Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't you forget it.

Music plays through my head.

And the words just flow.

Beautifully and perfectly onto the page.

I stand on stage, hands wide, crying, Lord, I need you, oh, I need you. 

How true that always is.

This week in particular.

I look back on Monday.

We all stood on the porch, collapsing into tears- each and every one of us.

My heart broke in half as I watched a grown man, who has become like my older brother, cry. He hugged William and Jonathan. And I could hardly bare it.

I remember the dance parties.

And the movie nights. The time we watched Lion King 1 1/2 and ate Blow Pops.

The homework chair. The long afternoons at the pool.

"You're going to be one of my bridesmaids, aren't you?"

"Will you make the baby's scrapbook?"

"Harper's going to be a big sister!"

I kissed her sweet forehead, memorizing her sweet features, her laughs and giggles.

I hugged her tightly, not wanting to let go. Not wanting her to leave.

"I love you."

She wiped the tears from her cheeks. That was only the third time I had ever seen her cry.

My vision was blurred with tears as I tried to hold it together, tried to be strong.

We walked off, they got in their car, and drove. And drove. And drove.

On Monday, Amanda, Nick, Harper and baby girl on-the-way left for California.

I dreaded the day we'd have to say goodbye.

But it came and went.

And I can now look back and think, He was faithful once again. 

This week I have written.

I have prayed.

I have stayed close to my Jesus.

And He has proven himself so faithful to me.

I'm going to miss them more than I can say.

But, I can't wait to visit California to see my favorite almost one year old, her mom and dad, and her sweet baby sister.

Once again this week- He has been faithful to remind me of His promises. I don't think He will ever let me forget that He will always be faithful. No matter what.

Amanda, Nick, Harper, and little miss Mckinley(I love having a name for you, sweet baby), I love you guys. And though I'd rather you be here, I know God wants you there. So go ahead and find some awesome things for us to do when we come visit next summer. Thanks for everything from the dance parties to letting me help with wedding planning and everything in between. Be safe. And Harper- don't you ever forget I was your favorite in our family from the very beginning!

Love, Bailey Elizabeth

Friday, October 18, 2013

Life as a writer.

Life as a writer is....






Learning to balance.

And this week I figured out my favorite part.

My favorite thing about writing is this-

When my reality stinks and I'm tired of living in this world, I can turn my mind into the reality of my writing. I can turn my mind around and live in the world of Chrissy and Carter. The world that is right now taking place in Uganda with chocolate babies and fictional characters that are more than real to me.

As a writer- my mind is constantly in two worlds, two different realities. And however odd this sounds, it's really happening.

I'll be sitting at the kitchen table, doing math, and all of the sudden I can see a scene happening in my head, as if it's happening right before my eyes. I can hear the conversation, feel people's emotions.

And I find it beautiful.

On horrible days, I go to Chrissy's world, shaping characters, figuring out plot points, seeing the beauty in her life.

Then I think, doesn't God feel the same way? He's already shaped my story- and it's grander than anything I could ever come up with on my own.

Through writing, somehow I can get a glimpse of how the Grand Author has already shaped my life, my character, my story.

It makes me SO thankful that I'm not in control of my life. Because even on the bad days, or hard weeks, I know it will get better.

I'm thankful today for being an author. For this gift He has given me and the two realities I can find myself in.

Though some days it's frustrating...because I'll be somewhere and feel this wave of creativity move in, and I can't's also so beautiful.

And I love it.

I also can't wait for the day when you get to read book #1, which is now completed.

I'm just praying about what to do next.

And I have no doubt that because He's in control of it all, it will be beautiful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Uganda. Revisited.

When the Daraja Children's Choir of Africa came to stay with us in May, I never thought it could get better than that. We had three of the sweetest girls and a fabulous intern staying with us for three nights. And it was SO much fun, it always is. Our church worshipped with them in May, and it was beautiful.

Then. I went to Uganda. And it just so happened that the Children's Choir was from Uganda, too.

As we all know, Uganda was...beautiful. Healing. Incredible. I fell in love with that country and their people.

God did some incredible things on that trip...and I will never forget it.

The friendships, the laughter, the emotions, the jumps for joy...everything.

Ever since then- all I've wanted is a simple reminder of Uganda. And it's in the pictures- but it's still not quite the same.

Then tonight...oh, God is so good.

The Daraja Children's Choir was back for their fall tour and they were about thirty minutes from us. We got to go see them at another church.

I never thought it would connect that much. But, oh, when they played the intro video...folks. Let me just tell you.

I don't cry. Like ever. Except over math and sometimes chemistry. But tonight...when they were showing those sweet pearly white smiles and deep, chocolate faces, my mind and heart were brought back to log, hot afternoons in Uganda. When we laughed, and sang and tried to communicate with these kids who didn't speak English.

And my heart was more connected to those children-to their hearts-than I have ever been to anything else before.

Tears threatened to spill over as I watched them talk of dreaming to be someone who made a difference.

And saying that this journey- it's worth it. Because they are making a difference right now.

And precious Ugandan children, let me tell you, you made a difference in my day. You made me feel as if I was back under the eucalyptus trees in Uganda, praising Jesus once again.

So thank you.

Thank you for making me feel as if I was back in Uganda again, back where my heart is. Back where your home is.

Thank you for giving me the chance to worship alongside you tonight, to praise the God who has cleansed us all White As Snow.

You are beautiful, Daraja Children's Choir.

~And to my readers, here's the video that made me cry.

Have fun.~

Friday, October 4, 2013


These past two weeks have been hard. Really hard.

I had a migraine for two weeks straight. That was just awesome.

My heart was hurting.

But now- I'm doing much better.

Day #3(sort of) without a headache!

Haven't cried since Tuesday.

Sunday is youth Sunday.

Which means that the youth Praise Band (which I'm in!) will be playing in big church.

We had practice last night. I love it.

We're playing all our money songs, as Trent calls them. Cornerstone. Be Thou My Vision. Revelation Song.

I'm SO pumped.

Last night we were in practice and I was standing at my keyboard as we played "Great I Am."

I was singing at the top of my lungs, praising Him for being the Great I Am.

And it hit me.

I've been thinking about this time last year a lot lately, but last night- I thought about it differently.

I thought about the emotional wreck I was this time last year, the lack of trust I had in God, I wasn't playing in the Praise Band yet, Caroline and I weren't super close like we are now, everytime I heard "Great I Am" I sobbed.

I thought back to today.

I was standing on stage with Caroline, who has become one of my dearest friends, with Trent, who has basically adopted me as his little sister, with Becca and the rest of the band.

And last night I was thankful.

Because it was beautiful.

I was playing and singing with all that I had, praising Him. And this time last year, I couldn't have done that.

But now- I worship with all of me. I praise Him for being the Great I Am.

And even on days when I don't see it, He is Healer. He is the Great I Am. He is the only thing I will ever need.

And for the first time, I realized that this- this is beautiful.

The road He has me on, this journey, this heartache, this Joy in Him, it is beautiful.

It's a different kind of beauty.

But this healing He has brought me, it is indeed beautiful.

"When my sin is all that I can see,
Your grace remains the shelter that I seek.
And when my weakness is all I can give,
Your gentle Spirit gives me strength again.
And oh, the beauty of Your majesty,
On the cross You showed Your love for me...

You're beautiful, my Lord."

This life is full of beauty. May we always take time to find it, to find Him- our Beautiful Lord.