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Haley Raydo

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January 4, 2015

A Bright Yellow House

January 4, 2015 | By | 3 Comments

Hello friends

Well if you are involved or know anyone in the MNU community, you possibly will know of the recent tragedy that has left many people with heavy and burdened hearts.  One of MNU’s dearest went to be with Jesus a couple days ago.  When heartbreak, tragedy, and trials come our way a mix of emotions rise.  There is confusion.  There is hurt.  There is anger.  There is shock.  All of which are logical and acceptable emotions.  In the past I haven’t always thought that my grieving mix of emotions were acceptable to God.  But that is simply not the case.  Scripture says that God is near the broken-hearted.  He is saddened with us.  Remember He once lived as us, and in the lowest of circumstances.

I was driving home from Oklahoma a couple days ago reflecting on the news of the recent passing.  My heart ached for my dear friends who are broken.  I looked out into the empty fields.  Gray sky stretched across the horizon.  The dead of winter made evident throughout the landscape.  Nothing seemingly “pretty” or “happy-looking” appeared in sight.  Until I saw this bright yellow house.  I thought it was kind of interesting, so I pulled over and took a picture.  I mean this bright yellow and cheerful, little house in the middle of no where, surrounded in a storm, in the dead of winter, just sat there.  It seemed resilient. And almost out of place.

That little yellow house would not escape my mind.  I reflected on it as I drove home and I felt the Lord made an impression.  That this house was joy, it was light, it was His people.  In the midst of a storm, in the midst of all things dead, His joy, His light, and His people were set apart.  They were bright yellow houses in the dead of winter.  That as trials come “the house” will not fall.  His people will find joy in his presence (Psalm 16:11), they will find his light, and they will be that light.  So as people drive and pass that little yellow house in the storm, they will be drawn to it.  Because it contains the joy of the Lord, it contains (even in the midst of tragedy and sorrow) perseverance, and it contains overwhelming comfort.

So maybe you are heavy burdened today.  Broken hearted.  I say to you: it is ok. It is more than ok to feel how you may feel.  The Lord draws near to that.  I can’t tell you anything new that you haven’t already heard, but I think the Lord says to you today to strive for comfort and safety in that little yellow house.  In the comfort and safety of our Savior’s arms there will you shine in the midst of the darkness, and there you will find joy.

I didn’t know Quincy as well as I wish I would have. Reading through endless amount of posts of the lives she had touched truly showed a legacy that is inspiring to all.  I urge us all to pray.  Pray for her dear and close family, for her roommates and friends, and for all those who grieve today.  A wise mentor of mine told me once that God moves when we pray because that way we know that it is Him that moves and works, so He receives glory.

Haley

Haley Raydo

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December 8, 2014

Christmas Break To Read List (Finals Week Procrastination)

December 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends

Soooooo hehehesklgkng :) << I don’t know what that was about… I think I am exhausted.

Well after that terrible example of writing…. How are you?  How’s it going?  How’s your week?  If I am being completely honest with you, the only reason I am surviving this week is because I know it will all be over soon and it will be Christmas break!  Finals are here, as I am sure all of you are aware.  I mean you either are the student complaining on social media or you know at least one college or high school student who is complaining on social media.

So last year I wrote a blog post on study tips… And honestly I should really begin to take my own advice. This year I figured I would hold on tight to what is getting me through to the end… Everything I am going to do over Christmas break (because that’s rational).

And by everything I mean read and watch Netflix.

 

So I wrote a list of all the books I want to read that I definitely will not finish or even get close to finishing.  BECAUSE when you are in school, you spend all your time reading for class.  So breaks are for all the fun reads.

So here you go… My book list:

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (I read this in high school, but I didn’t take it seriously.  I watched the movie this weekend and I haven’t stopped dreaming of Mr. Darcy since)

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (This is a reread… I just watched the movie and I need to let myself heal again by finishing the story)

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (I know I’ll get a lot of hate for this, but I have never read the books or seen the movies… I honestly don’t even know what the first one is called so I just wrote Harry Potter *shoulder shrug*) (P.S. I realize I am a little late on the bandwagon)

4. To Live is Christ To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler & Jared C. Wilson (This is another I started and didn’t finish but would really love to! It was so good and challenging from what I started to read from it)

5. Jesus is greater than Religion by Jefferson Bethke (I watch his youtube videos and he is super smart! I’ve been meaning to read his book! Also it is supposed to be the greater than sign but it changes the sign into something else when I publish this… ugh technology)

6. Strengths Finder by Tom Rath (This book guides you into finding your strengths! Interesting!)

And then if you must know my Netflix list:

1. Grey’s Anatomy (I am on season 8)

2. Downton Abbey (I am on season 3)

3. The Office (I have seen every episode..)

Isn’t deciding what you are going to do with all your extra time on Christmas break so much more enjoyable?! Also it is a bit of stress reliever.

Stay sane friends!

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

P.S. This picture I posted on instagram from the mayor’s Christmas tree lighting over Thanksgiving break.

Haley Raydo

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December 1, 2014

Diary of a College Student

December 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

I am a college student, and for that I am thankful.  But it is also a very stressful time.  I mean, I don’t remember a time where I was at a family gathering and wasn’t asked about school or my future career.  When asked about my major, I find an almost whisper and respond, “psychology.”  That single worded response elicits so many questions.  “What do you want to do with that?” “Do you know you have to go to graduate school to be a counselor?” I shake my head quietly every time-o  But secretly I am thinking “do you know how many times I have heard that?!”

Man… there are times I want to give up.  I am thinking about it right now as I type.  What would it be like, if I left? Found some job… maybe work in a church?  That is my dream.  I definitely would not have to worry about taking finals next week.  Cross an item off my worry list… I wonder what it would be like to have my own place… I would get a dog. Definitely.  Is this the stress that is talking? Probably.

I really do love college.  The people I have met will forever change my life. The things I have learned will forever change my narrow-minded perspective.  The stories I have will be forever told to my children, who with no doubt, will be sick of them by the tenth time around.  The relationship with Christ I have built, without a question, will last longer than “forever” but literally eternity.  That is something I treasure most about being a college student, particularly at a Christian school.  I have asked more questions, I have contemplated more ideas–that I am not sure I knew existed–, and I have stepped out into more boldness than ever in my life.  It’s a jumpstart.  It’s a jumpstart to my adult life.  My adult life that still has a considerable amount of time; I am just now reaching it.

This time in college, is stressful.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  Sometimes I wonder where I fit in.  Sometimes I wonder where God is.  I get homesick.  And I sure do not get enough sleep for what is good for me.  But it is a time where I have learned more than I could have ever imagined.   I am working on building a foundation for my life.  I am studying to be a better citizen, daughter, sister, future wife and mother, future career person and counselor, and a better daughter of Christ.  A better workman for His glory.  These stepping stones, are messy.  Life is messy.  It isn’t easy, but I am growing.  That is the ultimate goal, right?  To grow.  To grow in education and maturity, to grow into someone that has dreams and visions.  With an eternal perspective. Not set on the things this world offer, but what is really important.

So yes, I am not always in the best mood.  I fail daily.  I am not always the person I know God has created me to be. But I am learning.  Learning with open hands, with an open mind, with an open heart, and with open eyes.  To learn what Christ has already done and is going to do, and to be willing to follow it.  Maybe not everyone gets this same experience in college.  You definitely don’t have to have this experience in college. But this is where I am at.  This is where I am supposed to be.  I don’t think that way enough.  I will take in my learning and growing process.  It is messy.  It is scary.  And it is hard.  But it pays off. 

Thanks for listening

Haley

Haley Raydo

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November 24, 2014

Values: A Challenge for Thanksgiving Break

November 24, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hello friends

Today I was inspired to write a quick note about a sermon I heard yesterday in church. David Perkins came in and guest spoke for my church’s (Cross Points Church) missions month. This particular sermon really had me thinking and evaluating, so I thought I would share!

“Worship is a response to something we value most.”

This was a HUGE statement for me.  I value a lot of things.  I love my sports teams, I love my family and friends, I love Netflix (you can see my post from two weeks ago to fully understand), I love to read and write, I love to play the piano, and so much more! What happens when we value something?  We spend our time there, we spend our money there, we focus our thoughts there, etc.  Those things that I value aren’t bad things, however they sometimes get in the way of what I should value MOST.  I don’t want to worship materialism, or even my family! But if I put them at my highest value point, as I so often do, I am indeed worshipping something that is not intended to be worshiped.

If I spent as much time learning about and building a relationship with the Lord than I do watching The Office, or if I spent as much money (or some financial contribution) as much as I do to attend a Chiefs or Royals game, what would happen?  What would it look like?

I think the Lord has called us out to step above and beyond what we on a regular base give him.  I challenge you (and myself), as we go on break, spend time with Him.  If you normally spend 15 minutes a day, start there and slowly increase the time daily.  Next take the challenge to give money, if you are a student I understand the sacrifice… but I think that is why it is of so much value… it is a sacrifice.  Give money to your church, find a ministry or charity you believe God has given you a passion for, or (since this month is missions month at our church) help raise money for missionaries around the world.

It may seem challenging at first, but I think this will slowly change my priorities of what I value most.  When you find something with that high a priority of value, it becomes the standard and measure that everything else must be compared to.  That is the life I want to live! Take the challenge with me this Thanksgiving break!

Also this picture is from a worship night by Bethel Music.  How cool would it have been to be there??!!

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Haley Raydo

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November 17, 2014

How To Stay Warm

November 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Sooo it is cold outside.  Literally I am looking at the weather report right now and it says that it feels like 9 degrees outside.  And we all scream and plea “WHYYY” I have never had the urge to skip more classes in my life, not because of the class itself but because of HOW COLD it is! Seriously though, that should be reason enough to cancel classes.

Anywho, I thought it would be most convenient of me to provide a semi-sarcastic, semi-realtalk on how to stay warm.

1. Don’t go outside.  Seriously, avoid it at all costs.  Just hibernate all winter… like a bear.  If that was socially, financially, and spiritually acceptable I think I might consider. I would say goodbye to all my loved ones and bam you wouldn’t see me until March.

2. Wear layers.  I hope for most of you this is an immediate “duh” however according to some people on this campus and other college campuses around the country I might think differently.  I mean seriously! Flip flops? And you think you are done with the “bro tank” phase once winter hits, but believe me you are not. I guess muscle men don’t get cold? Are “muscle men” a thing?

3. Sometimes you have to sacrifice.  I would like to think I am a girl who likes to dress “cute.”  I mean I tend to be the friend of the group who is rarely seen in sweat pants and t-shirts. But sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice to keep warm.  In a perfect world, this is how I would want to dress for winter: (courtesy of my obsession with pinterest)

cute winter fashionBut when you step outside and it literally feels like someone is punching you in the face, sacrifices are made so I end up with something like this: (courtesy of twitter @haleyraydo)

me this winterMaybe I am not to that extent yet, but I feel that way.  I also feel like I make that face quite a bit.  I see people walking all the time with their completely normal face, and when I am walking out in cold weather I make the worst faces.  Oh well.  Again, sacrifices.

Now winter isn’t all bad– I love the snow (when I don’t have to drive in it), THANKSGIVING, Christmastime, College Basketball (Go NEERS and gooo to my Jayhawks), Football, warm sweaters, chai lattes.. you know… But all this will be relevant around January/February.

The point of this, I am not sure.  It might be me venting of my hatred for single digit weather, or it may be of help to those of you who struggle with these concepts…

Also, if my Minnesota relatives or my Alaskan friends are reading this– I know, I’m a wimp.

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

 

Haley Raydo

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November 10, 2014

Christmastime in Spin 105

November 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So today I have a little video because well…. We decorated for Christmas!  Yes it’s early, yes it’s ridiculous. The way I see it, we only have 2 weeks of school after Thanksgiving and that isn’t near enough time to enjoy it.  So we went all out early.

Also there is some randomness at the end that I cannot explain, literally that is Spindle 105 (#spin105).

Anyways have a good week and be filled with the Christmas spirit a “bit” early…

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Aaron Merrell

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November 9, 2014

Lessons I Learned from Olivia Pope

November 9, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Hey guys!

Okay, so I know that my blogs have been SUPER serious so far, but I promise I’m not usually so boring and depressing.  I wouldn’t say I’m super funny, but I’m certainly not serious all the time. Like, at all.  I am actually a little too sarcastic for my own good, and I like to use my words (usually) to fight my battles, and while your tongue can get you in trouble, it can be the best way to get a point across.

I am a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes’ show Scandal on ABC.  You may recognize her name from the creation of other great programs like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and more recently, How to Get Away with Murder.  Her shows feature drama, action, comedy and everything in between.  They are the perfect balance.  Have I mentioned I love her shows? I do.

The lead character on Scandal, Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) is a revelation.  She worked her way to a prominent, but not political, position in Washington.  She is interconnected, has friends and enemies, and is able to assert herself clearly, leaving no room for misunderstanding. Obviously, there are some aspects of Olivia’s character that we wouldn’t agree with, but we can learn some things from her.

So I’m taking a page out of the Britney Lewis book, and I will now present some of the lessons I’ve learned from Olivia Pope, in .GIF-and-caption form:


 

 

 

 

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1. It’s okay to admit defeat.

It sucks to be wrong sometimes, and I used to have a big issue with admitting I was wrong.  This is a pride issue – and Lord knows I still have plenty of it – but I’ve learned to understand that this is how you learn sometimes, even though you really just don’t want to.


 

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2. At the same time, there are toxic people and situations to avoid.

What’s right for you is between you and God, and some people just aren’t gonna get it. Surround yourself a #SQUAD you can trust and grow with and SLAY.


 

not-arrogant-liv

3. Embrace your talents.

We’ve all got stuff we excel at, and you don’t have to shy away from it.  If you’re the best at eating fast, use it! If you’re the best at forestalling, use it! Whatever it is, you can use it to your advantage, and for God’s glory.


 

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4. Don’t be afraid to go straight to the top.

Got a problem or dream or vision or whatever no one wants to work with you on? Go above them. They won’t help you? Go above them.  Keep looking for people who can help you who have some serious authority and will chase a dream with you.  After all, they say connections are everything.  In another sense, don’t be afraid to go to the VERY top with issues.  Prayer is SO powerful and god won’t deny you or put you down.


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5. Have confidence, and dress well.

‘Nuff said.


 

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That’s it for this week.  Hope you all have great week and remember you can ask us any burning question on your mind!

IT’S HANDLED.

-Aaron

Haley Raydo

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November 3, 2014

My Nights In with Dr. Meredith Grey, Dwight K. Schrute, & Haley James Scott

November 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

Can you believe it’s November? Because I can’t!  But no complaints from me, this is my favorite month of the year! Anyways.. I am sitting here jamming to Taylor Swift’s new album (yeah me and all my roommates are a little obsessed you can follow me on twitter if you want to really understand my obsession: @haleyraydo) wondering what I should write about this week.  Between the heartbreak from the Royals (I am still a very proud, loyal fan), us putting up our Christmas decorations (yes we are those people), again our suite’s obsession with Taylor Swift, me writing more music diligently, and what not… its been hard to think of a lot of other things (including our studies whoops).  Thats life though, its easy to get distracted from what is really important… like Netflix, Netflix is important right?

Seriously though, how much of my time goes toward watching Netflix?  Um a big chunk. It’s seriously a time-sucking machine.  I think one of the biggest lies people tell themselves, “I’ll just watch one more episode.” No you won’t!  Its a trap!  I mean from the Dr Meredith Grey to Dwight Schrute, these people really make me happy.

Now here is the standard argument against Netflix.  It becomes an activity that takes us away from the opportunities from what is around us! First of all think about all the quiet times with the Lord you could have, the extra hours of studying, the time to take a friend out for coffee, a chance to get out and volunteer, and so forth.  Don’t fall into the modern time sucking machine! Your time is valuable.

Now I am going to be crazy and argue FOR NETFLIX.  We all have stressors in this life and it is always good to have a time to unwind and relax.  If you are going first to the Father for comfort then there is nothing wrong with a little Netflix!  If you find the right and appropriate show and use self-discipline why not! We all need that time.  Been studying for hours? Unwind, plop your feet up and watch a show.  I mean some can even be educational I mean who knew you could grow your own trachea? Watch Grey’s Anatomy and you can see how Alex Karev does it.

alex karev

Am I making stuff up?  Probably but hey if we are filling our minds with clean things, not neglecting our responsibilities, putting the Lord and our time with Him first, and maintaing relationships with friends and family, how could it be a problem?  There is no shame in a Friday night-in with Netflix!

P.S. My favorite shows: The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Downton Abbey (not on Netflix unfortunately), One Tree Hill. And yes I know two of those are extremely depressing, I have to work in The Office to make me feel better.  Why I still watch shows that make me sob who knows- I think I am just a bit emotionally invested.

Thanks for stopping by,

Haley

Also let me know what shows you recommend!

Haley Raydo

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October 27, 2014

Life Update: Homecoming & A Thought on Hope

October 27, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends!

So, homecoming week has come and gone… and let me just say it was a blast! SO many fun memories were made; ASG did a fantastic job! Also I have a random thought I have been thinking about this last week.  Although it was nice to have a bit of distraction from some of the struggles of life with all the fun events of Homecoming week… I have in the last few weeks been a little down…. But don’t worry there is HOPE!  I have a quick thought I would like to share on that in a bit… but here are some pictures of a FANTASTIC Homecoming week!

We had a movie night, a hoedown, a homecoming dance, and a football game where we BEAT BAKER (if you aren’t a Pioneer you may not understand but that is a big deal around here!).

movie night homecoming

hoedown girls

group homecoming picture

royals homecoming

(Yes I wore my Royals jersey over my dress… I am that dedicated).

All that to say it was a crazy and busy week let me tell you!

Now thats homecoming, let me give you just a quick thought of the day and then I’m done rambling.

I have really been reading and thinking a lot about hope the last few weeks.  For many reasons I have been kind of in the dumps with some personal issues but mostly with the uncertainty of life and exactly my calling.  Whether you’re a Christian or not we all go through these times.  And these are times that help you grow.  But beyond all that I have been realizing there is hope.  Some lyrics from a song, Anchor, by Hillsong go like this:

There is hope in the promise of the cross, You gave everything to save the one you love, and that hope is an anchor for my soul, my God will stand unshakeable!

Man I love that! It gives me the chills! I think when I am sad or overwhelmed sometimes I think God is surprised or He can’t handle it.  But He is UNSHAKEABLE.  And because of His promise of love on the cross, we can have hope!  Hope that there is a God who is constant, who loves and cares, and who wants what is best for us.  When everything around us seems chaotic or maybe there is a lot of hurt… remember these song lyrics! I think if we can have hope in Christ (who He is and what He has done) which coincides with trust, we can be more diligent in being patient through the trials and the pain.  Just wait and see what God will do when you regain a piece of hope in Him.

What that has to do with Homecoming, or what Homecoming has to do with Hope?  No one will ever know.  It has just been my life the last week though :)

Anyways..

Thanks for stopping by

Haley

Aaron Merrell

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October 26, 2014

Good Nights

October 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone!

 

Hope you had a stellar week! I’ve been helping out with a few of the homecoming events, which has been SO much fun.  A lot of the events, and this evening, got me thinking about the fact that everything fun seems to happen at night: most of this week’s events, stargazing with awesome friends tonight, city events like the plaza lights. I could go on and on.

 

I have a mindset that business gets done during the day, and all the fun happens in the evening/at night.  Maybe I shouldn’t feel that way, and there is a lot of fun to be had during the day, but I am at my happiest at night-time.  Something about the darkness, or maybe it’s the stress of the day coming to an end, brings conversations, jokes, and just being with people to a different level.  Some people get crazy as they get tired, others grumpy, and still others just laugh, but it is so much easier to get to know people as the day comes to a close, though perhaps we feel this way because we can dwell on these things as we sleep afterward?

 

I’m not sure what brought this up, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently.  It seems like ties are made and severed after nightfall: making new friends, maybe losing some that made you emotionally unhealthy.  But, sometimes it’s just trying to figure out what’s still open late in Olathe, and packing up the car to head to McDonald’s or Waffle House, or just to drive because it’s free (kinda).

 

These experiences are something you can’t get back, hours well spent, so I encourage you to stay up late once in a while, study all day so you can stay up late, and just be with people.

 

That’s all I’ve got for this week, I hope you all are blessed as you live your lives this week, and I’ll see you soon!

-Aaron