Links for YOOUUUU

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One of my favorite things about blogs is when people post links to things they've read or loved. I'm thinking of doing that. I like to read them on Friday night as I siiiiiiiink into the weekend from the structure of the week. 

// A long read look deep inside Taco Bell's reinvention of the crunchy taco

// A graphic look at human ingenuity (of which I cannot get enough of!) and the tenacity of the human spirit -- be forewarned that this is about a face transplant and discusses suicide

// The bicycle as feminist icon

// This podcast episode with Mike Foster and Annie Downs is raw -- this is a compassionate and earnest look at longing and living with it

// I'm gearing up for my yearly battle with Winter and this mug looks like a good thought?

// Did you see that you can sign up for the Launch Team of my next book Preach to Yourself? -- it's come to my attention that they asked for some crazy info about your followers (like who even HAS a tumblr?!)...you know I could NOT care less about that, right? I truly believe that a genuine recommendation from a friend is 10x more valuable than a shout out on social media. 

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Next week, I'm going to take Leslie Lee's challenge and I'm going to give it my best shot to write about seeing the workplace as a place of discipleship. I will also take a hard, bright look at the lie I told myself all last year...I'm not good at making disciples. I'm also going to take a summer retrospective full of personal pics, if that's your sort of speed.

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Would you tell me in the comments the places you love to spend time on in this World Wide Web? I'm just interested in the kinds of ladies who are gathering here. 

I love:

The Atlantic // Cup of Jo // Go Fug Yourself // Reading My Tea Leaves // The New Yorker // Christianity Today // Lindsey Kubly  and a BILLION others ("input" is one of my strengths and I've always loved reading and loved the Internet)...but that's a start.

xo, guys! hayley

I'd Like to Get Off the Stage

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I miss blogs. I've heard tinklings of this thought rumble around in the past year or so...but no one is doing much about it. We start and stop and try and pause, but the beauty about blogs was their regularity. Here's the thing though, they took a little time. Blogs required work from the writer, and a little buy-in from the reader. It was kind of a conversation, but it felt intimate and solid.

I'm honestly bored of Instagram. It's almost too regular. It's almost too fast and too simple. Everything there (at least in my feed) is starting to bleed into each other. It sounds like one loud Christian women's conference. And, I LOVE Christian women's conferences! I do. I created one--and honestly it was born out of a unique moment on the Internet.

If I'm honest, I think we're approaching another unique moment on the Internet. Vulnerability is not novel. Content is all crazy well produced. And, it's coming at us with force and speed. Fake News is a thing, and everyone is on edge. 

Instagram feels like a stage to me, and maybe that's why I've been quiet there. It feels like a place you go to SAY SOMETHING. And, increasingly, you have to say it loudly, with specific calls to action or it gets buried within 10 minutes. 

If Instagram (and Twitter and Facebook) feel like a stage, then an old school blog kind of feels like a neighborhood. To find my little place in the world, you'll need to type in the address. :) You'll get to see the vibe of my place, and not just hear me shouting something at you. This is what I want. I desire this sort of arrangement as both a writer AND as a reader.

I miss blogs, and so every day I kind of putter over to Cup of Jo and Go Fug Yourself (which, despite the name, is not anything profane AT ALL!) and I might quietly tap on Erin's door. Sure, Joanna has contributors now and GFY is run by a duo, but Erin is still over there tapping out entries all on her own in the dead of stinking night. And, I know she tap taps the keys pre-dawn because I've hung around long enough and read deep enough (it doesn't hurt that we've talked over life and the Internet over slow brunches and over in Africa).

You know who else's blog I refresh allllllll the time hoping for a new post? Lindsey Kubly. She's the gentlest, quietest (in the BEST WAY), most helpful blogger around.

Anyway: I've got a book coming out in like 6 weeks. That's bonkers. And, it's all because of starting a blog a bit over a decade ago now. In the run up to the book, I'd like to create a new little home on the Internet. I think I've got a neglected, empty little place here...it's going to take a little more than flipping on some lights and rolling some paint on the walls. I'm going to have to show up here. And, you are, too. 

But, maybe we can find a little place to connect again. Somewhere more like sitting on a squishy couch together, cross legged with our fingers wrapped around mugs. I'd like to get off the stage, if that's all right with you? 

Tomorrow, I'm planning on doing a good old-fashioned "catch up" kind of post. Like a "what I did over summer break" of sorts. See ya then, I hope. xo.

PS: Would you leave me a comment like the olden days so I can know you here? That would make my whole day. I'm trying to cut a new trail here in the wilderness of the Internet. I'm glad you're here with me.

On the Edge of 2018.

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I feel like I'm holding my breath.

Maybe the whole world feels that way? 2016 seemed pretty bleak on the world stage and we all waited for a fresh start in 2017. But, now 2017 is breathing its last--and some of us are wishing the same. Let's turn the page, let's get to something better, let's get to where the hope is.

But, I'm just saying what we already know deep down to be true. The hope is here, right now. We don't have any earthly hope other than what we have in this moment. We have Jesus. We have breath in our lungs. We (hopefully) have the food we need and a warm place to rest. This is what we were told to expect. 

We are cared for and provided for, and we have hope because the very Spirit of God lives within us. I'm not hoping for a better 2018 as far as the world goes. But, I'm hoping to know Jesus more and better in 2018, and that's enough for me. If He can change me, He can change the world. And, not because He'll change me and then I'll change the world. No. It's just in the believing that He's big enough and good enough to do it.

I've been writing a lot this fall about the idea that we don't truly believe what we say we believe. We don't embody the truths that we say we buy into. We don't let the Good News sink down from our head to our hearts and into our bones through lived experience with the living Christ. 

The only way to get there...from point A to point B in your faith is to walk it with Jesus. Every day, day in and day out. Giving thanks on the glorious days. Giving thanks on the days you wish you'd never had. Begging for help when you think you can provide for yourself, and believing God will actually help when there seems to be no other way. 

The hope. It's here. It's Jesus. You can have Him way before the ball drops and we cheer on 2018. He's here! He was born 2000 years ago, a tiny baby boy just like the four sons I cradled in my own arms. He was poor and needy and defenseless, that was not an act. He had to rely on the provision of the Father, too. That's how He came to know His Father. Daily reliance, daily submission, daily intimacy. 

That's how we come to know our Father who is in Heaven better, too. We rely on Him, even when our flesh says "nah, I'm alright." We submit, even when it feels unnecessary, over the top, or uncalled for. And, we hold tight to Him, we stay near Him, we enjoy Him. 

This is my hope for you, for me, in 2018. That you'd hold tight to God, needing Him ever more, all the time, and enjoying Him more than you thought possible.