Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where my feet fail.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders; 
let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. 
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander; 
and my faith be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

Sometimes I just listen to worship music for the heck of it. I tend to listen to it more when I work out (which, hey, hasn't been so often lately, but whatevs) and when I'm driving alone in my car, so I'm always on the hunt to find stuff that we don't sing in church practically every Sunday. AND GOD ANSWERED PRAYERS. Or, Hillsong United did. They released a new album this week called Zion and HOLY GOODNESS it is fantastic. The whole thing. It's way more in the "modern" realm of worship music and I don't see a ton of it being used in (my) church anytime soon, but seriously it is SO good. Specifically Oceans (Where My Feet Fail)... Never has a song spoken to me so directly. I leave this here for you... enjoy. And check out the new album. For real. 

xo Haley

Monday, February 25, 2013

My dad.

Last month, my mom attended a weekend retreat called Women's Encounter. From what I have heard about it, it seems like a very intense weekend: lots of studying the Bible, hearing testimonies, sharing testimonies, and leaving all of your hurt and burden on Jesus' cross.
After some urging from my mom and few of his friends, my dad finally decided to go to Men's Encounter this month.

Not that my dad isn't a great guy, because he's always been a fantastic dad and friend to me, but as the spiritual leader of our family - he was never that kind of guy. I now know that after this weekend, my dad will always be that Godly leader.
This weekend truly changed my dad.
After the weekend is over, families come to pick up their husband/fathers/etc. and support them, because they've just had a potentially life-changing weekend. Each man is given a chance to get on stage and share with everyone what the weekend meant to them. Much to my surprise, my dad went up there and shared that one of the men's testimonies really spoke to him and made him realize he needed to change. He then apologized (mind you, in front of 500+ people) to my mom and to us kids for not always being the Godly man he needs to be. He let go of some major baggage, and he let go of, and mended, a broken relationship within our family. A few weeks ago, my dad wouldn't have gotten up and said those words in front of so many people. I am so happy, so grateful, and so proud.
*this was actually when my dad was speaking on stage*
I've been praying over this for years. Ever since my own relationship with Christ started growing, I had always been praying that the rest of my family would follow.
What's exciting is that now my dad and I have this common interest. We have more than just seeing Twilight movies at the midnight premiers (although, those days are now over. I doubt he's that bummed, really. Ha!), we now have something meaningful to talk about on our breakfast dates (which I hope happen more often now). He even told me that before Blake and I can get married, Blake has to go to Men's Encounter with him! I honestly can't wait for that!
Thank you, to those who have been praying for me, my father, and my family during this time. My dad has reclaimed his life for Christ... God is so good. We are so grateful!

Love you all!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Little old me.

I thought I'd do the fun little questionare posted by The Paper Mama a few weeks ago! I won't go by the rules and post my own questions for you, but feel free to answer these and link back so I can read your answers, too!

1. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to? I don't know... I struggled with this for a long time. I always hated the name "Haley." Can I just totally cop out of this question and just say, Katniss? It's the best name ever, y'all. ;)
2. Are you a collector of anything? Owls. At one point, my old roommate and I had over 50 owls combined. 
3. What is your first thought when you wake up? "NO." Well, that's how I feel at 6 am on work days. But most days I'm in a pleasant mood. 
4. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods? Usually salty. I like potato chips  A LOT. But every time I eat something salty it's always followed by a craving for sweets. 
5. Name one thing you miss about being a kid. I miss the simplicity. I miss being excited to wake up at 7 am to watch cartoons. I super do not miss going to school. 
6. Are you a morning or night person? Morning, for sure. I used to be such a night owl. I'd stay up watching movies and painting. But now? I can barely stay up past 10! 
7. List 5 items on your life’s to-do list: Live in New York City. Have some cute kids. Be pen pals with Claire forever. 
8. Share one thing that people may not know about you. I like the internet. That's no secret. But a lot of my best relationships have come from the internet. Case in point: Claire and I became pen pals after reading each other's blogs (now she's a bridesmaid in my wedding!) and even Blake and I met via (gasp) MySpace. That was WAY back in the day. #2008
9. What is your all time favorite song, movie, and book? Song: No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses// Movie: Tie between Wristcutters and Gone with the Wind// Book: In 4th grade, I fell in love with The Giver by Lois Lowry. In 6th grade, I fell in love with A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I think those two will be my favorites forever. 
10. Do you have any hidden talents? Uh.. no. I really, really don't. I sing and that's about it. I've only "performed" in public once, at church with my mom, but I haven't really since then. I had dreams of doing the Broadway thing for a looong time, but those dreams died, sadly. I sing Les Miserables in the car allllll the time (just ask Blake, I've perfected the one person version of the show). 
11. Are you a really clean or super messy person? Somewhere in between. I like for things to have a certain space, but when it comes to my clothes, they are every.where. I'm working on breaking that habit before Blake and I get married, or he might kill me! He's a very clean guy. 

Oh man, that was fun. Reminds me of the good old Myspace days. ;)
xo Haley 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

As of late...

Last night on Instagram, I posted a piece of scripture that I had been really praying over and thinking about a lot. I don't know what it was, maybe not seeing Blake at all yesterday, or what, but I felt extremely down about my friendships. I have the greatest relationships in my life. All serve a specific purpose and were placed in my life for a reason; I seriously wouldn't trade these friendships for anything in the world. But these verses have me thinking:

"Do a favor and win a friend forever; nothing can untie that bond. 
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; 
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest." 
Proverbs 18:19-20

I started thinking about the friendships I have, how grateful I am for them, and then I realized - two of my best friends live 3+ hours away (sure, it's not a far distance, but it's still enough to be annoying). The other two are either busy when I'm free, or free when I'm busy. Recently it really has been getting the best of me. There just comes a point where you just want to call up your BFF and ask them out to dinner (which I have, and never fails: someone is busy). I know I have Blake, but sometimes you just need a good girlfriend to meet up with every so often and just chat with. There are just some things you don't want to talk about with your fiance, am I right?!

I don't know - I've just felt super bummed about this predicament, if that's what it even is. I haven't felt challenged spiritually lately; things have just been so-so, and that's not what I want my relationship with Christ to be like. I'm in need of some major encouragement. 

On a lighter note, I posted about this on Facebook as well, and I was so surprised to see a ton of girls reply that they want to hang out (some my age, some a bit older, some my mom's age... haha!), but one reply beat them all: my pal Breigh Jusino wins it all for saying, "I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE." 
Some people just really get me, you know? #highfivetoyoubreigh

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For the sweethearts

A few weeks ago, I wanted to create a little Valentines Day inspired playlist to listen to at Red Velvet, but of course I forgot until two days before Valentines Day. Luckily I worked yesterday and I played it all day long!

So here it is,  in all of it's glory, for you to listen to on this day of love! You can also listen/subscribe to it via Spotify as well (search my name and you should find me. I would link it... but I don't know how. Ha!)! Enjoy and happy V-Day all you lovebirds (and my single ladies too)! 

xo Haley 
Sweetheart by Haley Tyson on Grooveshark

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Word vomit, again.

I was recently (as in yesterday) asked to attend a youth retreat in a few months and share my testimony with a group of high school girls.
My first reaction was, "I don't know about this..." I've never been one to shy away from telling my story. Heck, I will tell you about my entire life if you give me the time. But my immediate feeling towards the request was "no way, ever."
But then two seconds later, I remembered that this is God's purpose for my life. To share my struggles so that maybe someone, even just one person, can be spared those same trials.

I have shared this story before, so I'll keep it short.. but for those of you who don't know. I self-mutilated for years. I was 'depressed' for some time; I use the word depressed lightly, though. I was more sad than depressed. My home life was fine, I had friends, I was active in school as a member of student council and a cheerleader. But something inside of me was not clicking with all the good things in my life. Satan really took control for about 3 years of my junior high/high school years. I rarely sought help for this. I mean, I had friends that knew that I was cutting myself, my parents knew (and really did try to help). But I knew inside that real help could only come from God, and at that point in my life, that's just not what I wanted. I wanted to be self sufficient, I didn't want to rely on anyone for help. And for 3 years I continued to be sad all the time, to not be thankful for the amazing life God had given me, and to cut myself.
I'm not sure what it was that made me stop, but something finally clicked inside, and I stopped. Every day since then has been a struggle. It's been 6 years since I've cut myself and it's still hard to not go back to it. It's a habit that was formed that you just can't shake. But I've come to realize, and ultimately acknowledge, that those few years of my life are part of me. I can't take back those 3 years, but I can use them to better myself, and to help others.

I had the HUGE pleasure of mentoring a young friend of mine for a few years. He is one heck of a guy. And he's an inspiration. He went through what I did x10. And he pulled through and is stronger than ever, now. It was through him that I realized that this is what I'm supposed to do.

God has blessed me immensely, giving me an insanely large platform to speak on. He's given me a subject that I am passionate about. Not just passionate, but seriously on fire about. I could talk for days and days about the harms of depression and self-injury. I don't know how I'll use this in my career and my future, but I'm excited as to where God will lead me.
And so, really, I'm excited to talk to these girls. I don't know what I'll say to them, but I'm praying that God will speak through me that day and that He will be glorified through my testimony.

Thanks for reading word vomit part two.
xo Haley

Friday, February 8, 2013

I am glad my dating days are over.

An older than dirt photo of me. This was from my senior year ish of high school.
Blake and I have spent a lot of time discussing my past. I had a lot to confess to him in order to move forward in our relationship. Pre-Blake days, I wasted a lot of energy on boys that were most definitely not worth my time or effort (or tears, if we are being honest here).

The months leading up to mine and Blake's relationship were the worst. Actually, the whole year leading up to Blake. I tirelessly prayed for the wisdom and strength to get me through the worst few months of my life. God was always faithful, although I couldn't always feel His presence in my life. But He was always there.

I had a boyfriend. He was IT. He was The One. We dated for a few months, and then things slowly fell apart. He had an anger problem, I had anxiety about our (my) future. I had talked to other SO much about our future that after a while, I felt trapped - like I had to marry him, or I would be disappointing those who had invested so much in my relationship with him. People who had put faith in our relationship, and even those who doubted us - I wanted to prove them wrong, show them that we would get married after all. But it wasn't in the cards.

A sequence of events were the final straws for me. We broke up (over text slash phone call, I might add. Major cop out on my part, I know). He called and texted for days. He showed up at my house and workplace unannounced. I felt stalked. I felt even more trapped than I did when we were together. I felt so unable to move on from this relationship, one of the most unhealthy places I've ever been in in my life.
And I prayed and prayed that God would guide me away from the darkness that plagued my every day. That he would show me that things would get better. That he would show this guy that I was not "it" for him, that he would find his girl and move on.

Blake and I started hanging out, and it was the breath of fresh air that I needed. Blake and I didn't have to be serious, which is all I was with my ex-boyfriend. Blake and I could be silly, we could be 'just friends' and be just fine (although, he would tell you my constant need for a label was probably really annoying).  After a while, things did get serious (um, Captain Obvious, right?) and things got a little strained between the ex-boyfriend and I.

And then all of a sudden he was engaged.

At first I was hurt (again, since we're being honest...). I had no idea where the hurt came from, but I felt a little bit on the jilted side. I knew we were over, I was confident in my relationship with Blake and knew were our future was going, but still... there was a tiny bit of hurt.
I kept a journal during this time. I wrote all of my feelings out whenever I felt the need. Oh my gosh, best thing I have ever done for myself. I would read over what I had written and God slowly revealed to me that whatever I was holding onto with my ex-boyfriend was so unhealthy and that my relationship with Blake would suffer badly if I continued holding onto that pain. God did BIG work in my life in those few weeks after I found out about the engagement. My relationship with Blake became stronger, my relationship with Christ blossomed in a way I thought it never would.
I even texted my ex-boyfriend and thanked him for what had happened between us. No matter what we went through - it was for a purpose. God had a purpose for all of it. I wouldn't treasure the bond that Blake and I have now if it hadn't been for that one bad relationship. Funny how that works, right?

In 7 short months, my name will change to Haley Tucker. It's crazy how much my life has changed in the two years since I graduated high school, but it's all been for the best.
I now can look back on that period of my life and give all thanks to God for bringing me out of all of that. Life could've ended up so differently, and I think about that almost daily. But God had a plan for my ex. He had a plan for me. And I am so grateful for that plan.
I have to stop every so often and remind myself that no matter how much I plan my life out, God's plan and His timing is always better than my own.

Thanks for reading my word vomit. Just something that was on my mind tonight.
xo Haley

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Bachelor is my weakness.

Can we just hold up a sec, and talk about The Bachelor?

I am obsessed. YES, obsessed.
It all started during Brad Womack's (second) season, and Breigh made me watch a few clips. Then I decided I would catch up on the whole season, and now here we are.. 2 bachelors, and 2 bachelorettes later. I am what you would call... a reality tv freak.

I have never been one to just sit around and watch reality tv show. Give me a drama, a sitcom, anything except reality. But then The Bachelor came along... and oh, how my heart was stolen. The epic (and totally not real life) dating situations, the one evil person who always blames the editing, the cheesy and dramatic music during the rose ceremony. Oh, my heart. My heart. I can hardly take it... yet I keep watching. It's just THAT horrible and great at the same time.

Because I care so much (and I just needed to get this out of my system - so what better than to blog about it?) I thought I would give you all the rundown on how this season is going (for me).

SO Sean Lowe is Bachelor #17. He's a sweet guy, a little too sugary sweet for me, but he seems pretty genuine. The only thing I don't understand is how he quotes scripture, gives all the glory to God, then poses for People magazine wearing only a towel. But hey, I'm the one watching the trash tv, so I'm not one to throw stones.
This season is probably my favorite - he seems nice enough, doesn't seem to choose too much based on appearances, etc (I don't mean to be snarky here, but hey! An African American woman made it all the way to episode 5! I don't think that has EVER happened!)
The dates this season have been.. so-so. Repelling down a building, rock climbing, chugging goat's milk, shopping on Rodeo Drive... it's all pretty meh.
My thoughts on the laaadies (meaning, the ladies remaining as of right now, of course):

* Lindsay: She's from Fort Leondard Wood, MO which is a little less than 2 hours from Springfield, so I feel like I practically know this girl. She's a substitute teacher and lives on a military base. Not much to report here. She seems pretty sweet, but I don't know what exactly she has to offer Sean. She showed up on the first night wearing a wedding dress and it was CRAY.
*AshLee: First of all, I hate the way she spells her name. I know that she most likely didn't choose that, but still. She's an adult! She can change those things! Anyways - her date with the two disabled girls was THE cutest. She seemed so sweet and patient, but HOLY CRAP who wears short dresses and heels to a theme park? WTF, the producers could've nudged her in the right direction outfit wise!
*Catherine: I like her. We haven't seen too terribly much of her, but she's super small and adorable.
*Daniella: I don't know much about this girl either. She was an emotional mess at the rose ceremony a few nights ago. But my guess is that those were what I like to call Beer Tears. Honey, you're drunk.
*Desiree: Super cute! I see her going pretty far in the 'game.' She's totally down to earth, but still confident. I like her.
* Lesley: At this moment, I cannot recall who Lesley is. My apologies. OH WAIT. She's the girl who kissed Sean for 3.5 minutes on live television I believe. At least I think so.
* Sarah: I love this girl. She has one arm - and bless her heart, the producers obviously think that's the only thing that matters because they always zoom in on her arm when faced with a physical obstacle like milking a goat or competing in a roller derby. Poor girl. But I like her. And kudos to Sean for keeping her around, despite the obvious difficulties of her not having an arm. This is what makes him seem so sweet.
* Selma: The Iraqi that Sean took to the desert on a date. She won't kiss Sean out of respect to her family. DUDE. Kudos. Because all these other girls are kissing her man, you'd think she'd get real frustrated and just get over it! Sean super seems to be into it though...
* Tierra: OH TIERRA. Can we just stop a minute and talk about her? For real, this girl is legit insane. I always say, if a girl can't get along with other girls (and uses the excuse "girls are intimidated by me!!!1!!!") then she is not the gal for you, son! No one wants to marry someone like that! Catherine (I think, or maybe Des) was like, "you want to be with someone that you can have fun with around other people too" and it made total sense. Tierra would never be someone you take to a dinner with friends. She'd be hate-staring the other girls down! So scary. So awful . Tierrable.

I read Reality Steve's spoilers, so I know who 'wins.' Every season I tell myself that I want it to be a mystery and a surprise, but I always look up the spoilers. I'm so glad I did this season.

So. Do you watch The Bachelor? Did you even read this blog post?
I like to ramble about absolutely nothing of importance. Enjoy your day! ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My hair is pink.

So I dyed my hair pink.

Not all of it, obviously. But just the ends.
Pink hair is something I have ALWAYS wanted, but was never exactly brave enough to do. Half of my head has been blonde (why? I don't know) since... oh, Thanksgiving-ish. And naturally, with the wedding coming up (7 months!), I have been thinking about how I want my hair. I've decided it'll most likely be one color, and that one color will probably not be blonde (Blake rejoices!). So I wanted to do something fun before I bid farewell to the ombre. And I suppose pink was my answer. It's a bit on the dark, hot pink spectrum right now, but soon enough it'll fade into a bubblegum pink and it'll be perfect! The girls I nanny keep saying they love my pink hair and THEY can't wait to have pink hair (and they also want "stamps," aka tattoos... uh... no).

I told my dad before I did it and his one response was, "no, please don't do it, etc." So I decided not to tell my mom. Yikes. Hi mom! Don't kill me!

The pink won't last long because soon I'll need to start working on healthier hair (I've dyed it blonde a few too many times in the past year). But "pink hair" should be fun for the month of love, right?

Hashtag festive.