My Life Lately
It’s been a lot. I think the guessing game for everyone is always fun. It is for me, and people often tell me the guessing game on where will Haley end up next is actually amusing. And to that, I’m not sure if I’m flattered or want to tell y’all, ya need something better to occupy your time! Haha!
It’s almost impossible to keep up with, but I think I like it that way... right?
I mean, I think so...To be honest, I always thought I’d have a white picket fence lining the edge of my front yard by now, with the big dog running around, maybe a few kids, my husband, etc. But while I’m writing this, I’m currently sitting out on my 15-foot balcony watching boats go up and down the intercoastal in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
No kids to wrangle, no husband to cook dinner for, no pup to clean up after.
For a girl like me, it’s bitter-sweet. A dichotomy of being grateful for where I’m at and being honest about what I long to have one day. Sipping this cab and soaking in quiet moments that I know some moms long for.
It’s been a season of putting my head down and not spending so much thought on what I haven’t done, but more on what God has done for me and what He has for me to do.
It’s a lot, and the time is short.
Most important updates, my Dad has been in Costa Rica for the last five years. Originally he traveled there to have some dental work done at a lower cost; he wanted a perfect grill but didn’t wanna pay $50k+ for it, so he went to
Costa Rica. While down there, he discovered the beautiful population of Americans that actually retire there, and he decided to stay. I haven’t seen him in person since then, but wild enough, I am headed down there this Friday.
We talk at least once a week and FaceTime almost every Saturday, especially in the fall… a Gameday ritual.
Since being down there, he’s had a lot of hardship, health issues, significant setbacks physically, but the wonder is that God has sustained him. Mo doesn’t know any more Spanish than he did when he left and really doesn’t enjoy the intense COVID restrictions still laying the land, but he’s doing wonderful.
On the Mom note, both times in December 2019 and right before the pandemic, no one could get ahold of my mom for a very long time, so my older sister Heather went over to her apartment and found her sleeping. Except she wasn’t sleeping, she was having a “silent seizure.” Lethargic and slurring her words, not able to stand or lift her limbs.
Both times the ambulance was called.
Both times she was taken to the hospital and then transported to a rehab center.
If you aren’t familiar with my mom’s story, she is a cancer survivor, to say the least. These seizures are from all the radiation treatments on her brain tumors that have been done over the years. Each seizure actually causes more damage, and this has set her back.
So you know the story, and it never gets old… Mom recovered and made it through. This turned a whole new page because this time, my mom wasn’t able to live on her own after this. So after a short time of living with both of my sisters, we thought it would be a really empowering situation to get her her own place at a local, brand new independent living facility. She is learning to adjust, the staff loves her, thriving each day, meeting friends, staying active, and her brain is healing slowly.
As for me, 2020 was full of taking risks and getting my heart crushed over and over. It was emotional and took my heart through a few fires I didn’t want.
If you know me, you know I don’t like to talk about the weak or sad stuff, but we can start on Valentine’s Day 2020. Yes, on Valentine’s Day. The guy I was dating who I had banked on, put my hope in, fell in love with, broke up with me. It was clearly God’s protection, but even then, at that moment, it feels like you got run over physically, emotionally and it was one of the topmost difficult trials I’ve gone through. The trauma was at an all-time high, and it took me a really long time to get over it.
The next month, while hunkered down in Kentucky for the pandemic, in March something, 2020, my friend Brandon called me to “join the team” for his brand House Of Athlete. Brandon is an NFL stud who turned into quite an
entrepreneur. I jumped in headfirst as a producer, creator, project manager, dream maker, and communicator and s
tarted to help develop their brand’s ins and outs from fragrance to show concepts and more!
All the fun things that I have been able to create, produce, and experience is an entirely separate post, but House Of Athlete is headquartered out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and this is how I eventually made it down south (we’ll get there).
Many of you know the story via social media, but I mentored a beautiful 17-year-old soul named Victoria. I received a call one day to take guardianship of her to remove her from a toxic home-life environment. Not only her but her precious baby boy Bellamy. The most beautiful child you’ve ever seen, and he is a miracle that came from tragedy. This is also a whole other post that I’ve never really shared about.
I immediately went from single-and-ready-to-mingle- to Mom + Grandma. It was an experience that has changed the way I look at life, and Victoria is still my baby. She calls me mom, and I call her daughter. I will give you the details soon.
Lastly, after a year and a half of going every Monday night to the detention center in Orlando, FL (my hometown) to hang out with the kids in jail, the Department of Juvenile Justice of Florida called me right before the pandemic and said,
“Haley, what you have been doing has made its way to Tallahassee, and the impact you are making in these kid’s lives has had such a positive role in their behavior. We need you to duplicate whatever you’re doing in every county in the state of Florida.”
Mind-blown, I asked, “How many counties are there?”
“There are 21 counties.”
So I started my organization, The VERB Kind.
Giving incarcerated youth a second chance through mentoring.
Right after this call, COVID put a delay on our mission, but as of today, Aug 1, 2021, we are currently in 7 counties in Florida.
Check out the movement here: www.TheVerbKind.com
and if you want to support our movement monthly here www.theverbkind.com/give
Moral of the 2020 story:
God is good when He gives, and He is even greater when He takes away, and He will see you through ALL OF IT.
My rollercoaster of disappointment and victories look more like the stock market charts, wild and all over the place.
Not unstable, but strong and on the up.
It’s an addicting game to play. The “trust God and see what He’s gonna do next” bet you place each day, aka F A I T H.
Speaking of what He’s going to do next
… I’m still thinking about the husband and kids and white picket fence.
According to Pinterest pictures it seems peaceful and less stressful there...
It’s what a part of me always dreams about.
And then I hear the crowd yell, “but Haley you should be grateful for where you’re at and what you have. People envy your life. “
And you know what? You are exactly right. But it doesn’t take away from desires that rest deep in our soul, and being a woman, God created us to nurture and take care so it’s only natural for us to desire that. And that is totally healthy and totally right.
The best part about the God I serve? He always fulfills our deepest desires. Sometimes they are not the way you think. So that nurturing mother string in my heart, gets to play every single day as I take care of and mentor these teenage kids in the Detention Centers.
The question I keep asking myself that seems to rock me every single time. Is this:
But would I have what I have now the way I have it if I was busy taking care of home? And, is it more peaceful there?
Listen here if you’re thinking the same thing:
Stability and peace is experienced when walking in what God’s called you to do, not in what Pinterest or Instagram tells you a good life looks like.
And so for me, it’s been a season of learning contentment.
Learning to see the bigger picture.
For me, the fulfillment isn’t in getting the kids and hubby off to school and work so I can go do pilates and shop at Whole Foods for this week’s dinner.
It sounds fun, but the God of the Universe knows us better than we know ourselves and He always gives us better than we could have planned. He knows what I really want.
He knows what I really crave for and what really satisfies my soul.
Contentment in the chaos. It’s all there.
Ps. If you want to keep reading, here’s Part 2 of this post.... JK its coming next week.