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Haley Raydo

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March 23, 2015

The Hunting Ground

March 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

So today I wanted to write something that is very close to my heart.  I recently started to work with an organization that does advocacy for victims of sexual assault and rape.  One of their main purposes is to also educate the community about assault and rape.  Some are quick to conclude that education is not needed, “everyone knows what rape is.”  However, there are some major misconceptions within our society.  A majority of our population when hearing the word “rape” automatically pictures a stranger in a dark alley.  This is what we call “real rape”  because our society assumes that this is what rape looks like.  However, research has shown that this only accounts for around 10% of all cases.  So that means a majority of rapes and assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

Because in most cases the perpetrator is known, a lot of victim blaming and shaming (however mostly unintentional) takes place.  A lot of victims, we like to call them “survivors,” have explained the things they were told and had heard.  “Well if she wasn’t wearing that”  or “if she wouldn’t drink.”  Most of these comments aren’t meant with harm, however when survivors hear this it only brings shame.  They hear, “If I didn’t wear this outfit I wouldn’t have gotten raped.”  (Also women are not the only ones this is happening to, men too).

Our culture tells us that rape is only the “real rape” kind, and anything else isn’t.  This makes reporting to police very difficult for victims.  They struggle with wondering if anyone would believe them or if it even was actually rape.  And can we blame them? I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have heard someone say “well she’s after something, that’s why she’s saying she has been raped.”  That isn’t our job as a society to judge.  Our job is to seek justice and healing for victims.

This documentary, The Hunting Ground,  takes a look at the cover-ups of rape and assault on college campuses.  Not all college campuses are this way, I am very blessed to attend a school that does not stand for these actions.  Unfortunately there are campuses in this country who are more worried about keeping a reputation.

As members of society we need to educate ourselves and others.  As potential jury members, government officials, teachers, parents, and/or college deans, we need to know how we can prevent, how we can bring justice, and how we can bring healing.

The amount of hate and discouragement I have seen reading the comments on this documentary’s trailer only further proves to me the importance of education and sensitivity our society needs.  If you haven’t thought about rape and assault in this way before, I would suggest learning more about it.  Not to bring discouragement, but to better improve our society.

As a Christian, I feel that I have a responsibility to be informed citizen and loving.  To be someone that represents Christ.  Learning more about this issue gives me more reason to pray and to pursue righteousness.

So if you’d like, the organization I work with pushed hard in getting a special screening of The Hunting Ground, come watch the screening at AMC in Olathe on 119th St.  on Friday April 10th or also on the same day at Glenwood Arts in Overland Park.

You can buy tickets early:

http://www.fandango.com/thehuntingground_179871/movietimes

Also visit the website:

http://www.thehuntinggroundfilm.com

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Haley Raydo

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March 15, 2015

“The God Who Sees Me”

March 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

I spoke in class chapel last week and a lot of people had asked that I share what I talked about.  So if you didn’t get to hear it, here you go!  This has something that has been on my heart the last several weeks and I am glad it spoke to so many:

I don’t like to ask for help. I will try to find places on my own first before looking it up on my GPS. I never asked my parents or teachers for help in school. I think there is a part of me that really likes being independent and self-sufficient.

I think as humans our relationship with how we view and interact with God is a conflicting battle between two things. Reverence and intimacy. It’s either we grew up seeing God as close by and a comforter but sometimes forget to see Him as the creator of the universe. We forget about the wonderment and amazement. If we aren’t careful we may even make Him and our relationship like one we can relate to (so something of this earth). Than there are some of us who were taught (whether as a child or recently) that God was far away. He was this God who is out doing big things and doesn’t have time for our little things.

I think the best relationships with God have and find a balance between the two. Because its true that God is a big and amazing God, but he also cares about the small things. For me I struggled with God caring about the small things. I felt like I had this intimate relationship with God, but I felt that He was too big to care about the small things in my life. When I have a little fever, or I am beyond exhausted, if I needed to receive a particular grade, or I was really hungry and didn’t have much to eat for dinner. Those are seemingly day-to-day basic and simple things. Than there were a little bigger things like when I was upset and hurt by something had told me, or other broken relationships, a loss of a loved one, or the stage and feeling of helplessness. I always thought God was too big to care or see me and what I was going through.

When I was heart broken I would think, “ok there are 27 million people enslaved around the world, millions of kids are starving to death, I live in such great wealth and blessing. I shouldn’t feel this way, or more that I feel this way but God doesn’t care as much because He has bigger things to do.” Although I don’t necessarily believe that that kind of thinking doesn’t have a place- I definitely thinks it gives perspective and humility- but I think we underestimate God and his character and abilities. We place a limit on who He is and His power.  When we think we will be fine and can handle it, that it is not as big of a deal as some other people’s issues, we rely on ourselves and underestimate God.

One of my favorite stories is the story of Hagar. So we are going to read it Genesis chapter 16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.

12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward[b] all his brothers.”

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”

Part of me reading this story makes me angry. How could Hagar be mistreated like that? But I think we get to see a glimpse of a sweet side of God. I don’t have all the answers of why there is evil and why bad things happen. But God saw Hagar. He went out and found her, increased her blessings. Hagar responds with something so profound and says, “You are the God who sees me.” He sees us. Hagar was a slave, a minor character in the story of Abram later known as Abraham. Abraham! I mean the father of the Israelites. The guy who has the most insane faith- He almost killed his only son because He so trusted God. This Abraham we teach in Bible stories. Hagar isn’t like an Abraham. But God sees her. He saw her tears and her pain.

The God of the Universe sees your pain, he sees your dreams, he sees your daily simple needs and HE CARES.  He knows us and our dreams.  And he CARES.  How much more could God do in our lives than us trying to do it ourselves?  We do ourselves disservice when we think we can figure it out on our home.  Why figure it out ourselves when the God who knows all things wants to be a part of it? What a God what a love.

If you aren’t convinced about a big God that cares and includes us in His story I wrote down some times in the Bible this was true:

  1. Jesus fed the thousands. (He definitely didn’t have to)
  2. God saved Israel over and over and over again. He saw them whining in the wilderness and provided for them every time.
  3. In Matthew 6 He talks about how he feeds the birds, “How much more does he care for us?”
  4. Genealogies- lists out all the people- doesn’t leave anyone out.
  5. Israel asks for a king, God gives them a king.
  6. Jesus reaches out to tax collectors
  7. God sends angels to tell shepherds to tell of Jesus’ birth (could have told a nobler group)

There are so many more examples. Moses and Joseph. I just think it is so cool we have such a big God that 1. Cares about the little things in our lives 2. So desires to include us in His story.  However we have to keep praying and asking for God.  We have to take the first steps and be proactive.

So I hope I talked to at least a couple of you today. I know it is a message for myself as well. A couple things I want you to take away is

  1. Start seeing God in a different way. Whether that be with more reverence or if you need to start seeing God as a God who cares. He is both, don’t forsake one for the other.
  2. A mentor of mine once told me “God moves when we pray because He wants us to know that it is Him at work, so His glory can be shown.” If you are hurt and broken, or tired and frustrated, or anxious and scared, or maybe everything is good… give it to Him in prayer.
  3. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with Him, you never wanted one or maybe you didn’t know much about God and never thought anything of it. I might ask if you feel so bold and up for a challenge to read the Word, talk with someone and see if it will change your life. I’ve lived life with God and I’ve lived life without Him (the good, the bad) and I will tell you there is nothing like Him. He is worth it all. A God that is so big yet cares so much, is worth living radically. Life with Him has been anything but boring. So see what learning about Him will do.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Haley Raydo

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March 2, 2015

The End It Movement

March 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

Today I wanted to share something I am so passionate about.  It stirs my soul, angers me from deep within my body.  27 million. 27 million in bondage today.  Human trafficking and slavery is evil. How could anyone take a woman, an innocent child, or anyone and use them for their own personal gain.  It completely shatters my heart.  That these people men, women, and children are in bondage. I want to see it end.  February 27th, this past Friday, was awareness day for slavery.  Today I encourage you to do a few things if you feel so moved.

1. Pray.  Please pray.  Write it down to help you remember.

2. Educate.  Learn more so we can find ways to make an end.

3. Spread awareness.  Educate others.

4. Donate.  If you can and feel so moved!

The End It Movement website has some really interesting things you can learn more about the statistics and specifics and also how you can donate!  I encourage you to be a part of this movement.

https://secure.enditmovement.com

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Haley Raydo

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February 23, 2015

A Month of Pictures

February 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

I sat down to my computer just now, drawing up a blank.  Like all the creativity just left my mind.  I don’t know what it is about the pressure of a computer and a deadline that pulls all the creative flow out of my mind.  Regardless, computers and deadlines are a part of an education.  Actually they are a part of life.  So I just gotta get my head in this blog game… woo.

I thought I would just share some fun happenings this last month in pictures:

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Bridge w: Randi

KU game- Kayla

(KU game this weekend against TCU)

randi jenner pioneer

(vote Randi Jenner Pioneer Spirit)

me and dan

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(I get to nanny these boys again)

modeling re group

(Bridal event at Restoration Emporium, Picture Kia Bondurant, Clothes Encore boutique)

Pretty good month so far :)

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

 

Haley Raydo

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February 16, 2015

A Non-Snow Day Snow Day: Life Update

February 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

If you are confused by the title of this post I understand.  Basically, along with a lot of the Midwest, Kansas City woke up to several inches of snow.  So snow day, but not really because classes weren’t cancelled… However, I have the whole afternoon off (yay) so I am going to pretend this latter half of the day was a snow day.  I don’t know about anyone else, but snowy days make me want to curl up and go into hibernation.  So those are my plans for the day… I am being super responsible  obviously.

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As I have posted a couple times already, I am trying to find joy in the ordinary things of life.  That includes non-snow day snow days and Mondays.  I think it gives me a better attitude.

Here are some other things for a life update:

My sister won Homecoming Queen at her high school!  (Also in the background you can see my lil freshman brother, suited up for varsity I might add, walking away in the right corner) My sibs are the best! It was good to be with them this last weekend.

kayla hc queen

 

Also I can’t even begin to describe how much I love these girls :) Missing a few of my roommates, but these girls here are beyond beautiful inside and out.  This was from the Sock Hop, our 1950s dance thing.  (Also I don’t know how to explain my face in this picture)

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Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Haley Raydo

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February 9, 2015

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

February 9, 2015 | By | One Comment

Simple, yet so difficult.

Why does our generation struggle with this concept?

We get bored,

Desensitized to the beauty of creation

to the beauty of our loved ones

to the beauty of words and learning.

Instead our souls are allowed to be filled with junk.

We choose to believe what we hear,

to believe what we see,

to believe what we are told we need,

and in this, we forget the joy of discovery.

New places and new ideas,

or old places and old ideas.

We forget what life is about,

What joy is to be found.

We become satisfied with little,

But there is so much more!

Life is about the early mornings,

the relationships: built and restored,

the learning,

the compassion and humility,

the appreciation of beauty and of sacrifice.

You could live a whole lifetime,

seeking happiness and never finding it.

Because life isn’t about circumstances,

It’s about your mindset in the circumstances.

The key is joy, and joy doesn’t just bring life,

It brings resurrection life.

Haley Raydo

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February 2, 2015

B E A U T Y

February 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

Our two – (three?) week enjoyment of decent weather has come up to an abrupt, yet expected, end.  I rolled over this morning and looked at my weather app to find it was a whopping 4 degrees.  Incredible.  Everyone’s dream Monday morning.  To make it all more satisfying, today is Groundhog Day so the groundhog does it’s thing and has declared 6 more weeks of winter (yay).

Oh well.  That is what happens when you live in Kansas, you never really know what you’re going to get.  Exciting yet extremely annoying.  Although, let’s praise God because it has warmed up and this day is turning itself around.

Even amidst of my not-so-thrilled remarks toward the bitter cold, I am reminded of Christ’s beautiful creation.  This world is beautiful! I haven’t experienced enough of the world as I long to experience.  Even though, I am amazed at his masterpiece and workmanship.  There is beauty all around if you choose to see it.  You may not be on the beach, or live in the mountains, or roam the streets of Paris, but His creation is all around.  He could have made the earth however He wanted.  He cared enough to give us a beautiful temporary home. If I have that mindset, the cold and snow don’t seem too bad. Even on campus there is such beautiful trees and landscape! Find the beauty.

Today (even in the extreme cold) choose to see His beauty.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

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My trip to Peru (2013)

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Beach in Texas (2014)

atlanta 2012

Somewhere in Georgia (2012)

 

(Featured image found at http://ohpioneer.com/post/101100777592

Haley Raydo

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January 26, 2015

Ten Valuable Things You Learn in College

January 26, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends

The semester is in officially in full swing– I have four tests next week (gross). But writing is one thing I always look forward to.  I love to write about what is on my heart, what is going on in my life, and what I am learning. So I am writing because I am escaping from my stack of books I have yet to pick up. And today that writing will be about all valuable lessons I have learned in college (yay)!

So here it is 10 Valuable Things You Learn in College

1.  There are three valuable things: Academics (grades), Social life, Sleep.  You get to choose two.

college-life chart

2. No matter how hard you try, no one is immune to a Netflix addiction.

3. You can only do the best you can.

4. You have to learn to say no.  If you don’t, you’ll soon be involved in everything and you will get burned out (see #1 for chart).

5. You can’t focus too much on the past or future.  Learn to live in the present (I wrote a previous blog “Just Stop and Learn to Be on the Beach”). Right now you may be living in the memories of the past, or thinking about all that may happen in your future, but one day you’ll wake up and you’ll miss being in college (also see previous blog “Diary of a College Student”).

6. If your roommate get’s sick ALWAYS disinfect.

7. Staying up late with your pals is (most of the time) worth it.

8. And getting up early occasionally is not the end of the world.

9. Surround yourself with people who only make you and encourage you to be better.

10. Really be dedicated to learn something.  Get really informed about one specific thing.  For me, I love to read about interesting new studies in the psychology field.  So when someone is talking to me and it relates to an article I just read- lets just say I sound smarter than I probably actually am.

And that’s about all I have.  Do you have any valuable lessons learned in college?

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

(Pictures found at http://kickofjoy.com/college-life-best-days/

Haley Raydo

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January 20, 2015

Word of the Year 2015

January 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

This year is kicking into full swing already, classes at MNU are hitting the gas pedal hard.  I think that gets me easily distracted.  I focus all my attention on finishing this and studying for that– I sometimes  get so caught up and before I realize it it’s April and the end of a semester!  So I choose to be intentional at the beginning of the year.  Our church members (Cross Points Church) every January choose one word as a theme for his or her year.  After prayer and asking, the idea is that the Holy Spirit would lay an impression on a particular word.

It is pretty interesting to look back at the end of the year and see what the Lord did.  A couple of years ago mine was trust, and that year just happened to be a year full of the biggest changes!  I really did need to trust that year (as I do every year).

This year I found my word a little different.  I do these devotional plans and it seemed every day I had a verse with the word joy, or the idea of joy, located somewhere in my reading.  I didn’t even think about that being my word until I was driving one day and I recalled a verse I had read earlier that week, “In my presence there is joy.”  Psalm 16:11.  

So I chose the word joy.  I am not exactly sure what the Lord will do in my year, I don’t know how He will use joy in my life, but I know He will work if I take a step to be intentional.  So I’ve decided to focus on that verse and to be intentional about being in His presence.

Another verse I’ve been leaning on is “…but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.  I also have chosen to be intentional about this verse- yes that means super early mornings once a week for me. I am not a morning person, but I believe as I sacrifice the Lord will move and meet me.  He promises joy, and I want that joy.

I say all this to challenge you.  Maybe you’re struggling with your relationship with Christ getting dull (I’ve been there too many times), maybe you’re looking for a new challenge, or maybe you would like to do something special this year, try it!  What is the worst that could happen?  For me, getting up super early one morning a week.  Trust me I will survive.  I challenge you to begin asking the Lord for a word and possibly a verse to accompany it!  Lets be intentional in 2015!

Thanks for stopping by!

Haley

Haley Raydo

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January 9, 2015

Christmas Break Wrap Up

January 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

So Christmas break is coming to a close and I definitely have mixed feelings about it.  I am ready to see friends and be back at school… I might not be ready for the “school” part of things.  Anyways I had a great Christmas break and I hope you all did too!

Here are some of the highlights:

I got to meet our pastor’s new baby!

 

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Mayors Christmas tree!

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Quality time at grandmas.

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Crazy outings in freezing cold weather… Not our smartest plan

 

 

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Some more quality time with my church’s college small group– previously known as the Wild Stallions.

 

college small group

Also many coffee dates, late night movies, work (blah), family game nights, Netflix marathons, and a many books read.

It is always nice to have some down time and re-energize before going into a new semester.  Although this next semester is going to be crazy difficult, I trust the Lord will not only get me through, He will use me in my weakness.  And by weakness I mean my current lack of motivation toward education (kidding mostly).

Thanks for stopping by

Haley