Friday Finds: So Proud

This is my CREATIVE friend Carey. 

(For the record, she is also amazing when it comes to themed parties and costumes.)

I mentioned her 31 Days of Creativity yesterday.  She has even guest-posted for me before.

I could list all of the reasons why I am thankful to know Carey C. Bailey, but that would take days for me to write and just as long for you to read.  Today I want to talk about one particular reason why I’m so thankful that this woman is in my personal network of support and friendship.

Carey is visionary.

I haven’t actually pulled out the dictionary to see if I have the correct definition of visionary as I write this.  I believe that Carey is visionary because she is one of the few, the proud, and the brave who have the chutzpah and desire to make her God-given dreams a reality.  I have watched as she plans celebrations for friends and family, designs crafts, decorates events, and imagines programs that go above and beyond the call of duty.  She creates because she loves it, but also because she’s obedient to the very firm calling that God has placed on her life.

It was September of 2006.  I was 24 and enjoying my life in Texas but I kept feeling a tug that it was time for a new adventure.  On a whim I applied for a job in Arizona (of all places!) and thought to myself, “Nothing will ever come from this.  I’m not moving to Arizona.”  I was wrong on both counts.

Carey was the Children’s Director at the time.  I remember answering her phone call and pacing in my tiny rented room and listening to her own story of journeying from Texas to Arizona.  What I heard was the story of a confident woman who was living an adventurous life.  I looked up at the sign that hung on my wall and read, “I will go.  I will do the things the Lord commands.”  I was terrified- but knowing that someone had gone before me made all the difference.

Carey has always been two steps ahead of me.  This allows her to be an amazing coach and friend in each of the crazy stages of life that I’ve entered.  She encourages creativity and productivity and she reminds me of the truth to claim in areas where I am prone to dwell on lies.

Carey set out to create a devotional for women who were walking through her same phase in life.  She dreamed and prayed and then she did the work.  I want my hand held all the way through the creative process.  But  I’ve watched as Carey has sought resources, focused on the task at hand, and made her dreams become a reality. Carey gets a vision for what could be and what she could create (oftentimes waking at 3am) and she starts moving.  She listens as God’s voice calls her deeper in and further still.

As a result, Carey’s creative project “Cravings” is coming to full fruition this week.  I can’t imagine what that must feel like!  All I know is that I’m thankful that she is two steps ahead and always ready to call back to me with wisdom, love, and joy.

I’m not a mom, but I have friends who are new mothers.  I’m thrilled to be able to share Carey’s creative venture with them!  If you are looking for a unique gift for a mom to be, consider this unique devotional full of God’s Word and practical application.

Carey’s example of living out her passion reminds me to do the very creative best I can with my own life.  I would encourage you to do the same!

“Live creatively, friends…. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”  Galatians 6:1, 4-5, The Message

Following with JOY,


Dear Carey.

A two week series on learning from the past and looking to the future…

Dear 16-year-old Carey,

A fumble may be small but you can learn from it. An outright mistake may be large but don’t worry, it actually helps you grow. And while you were a really good girl who strove for perfection at all times there is one thing in hindsight that I would warn you about. Try not to take this too personally. I am not criticizing, just trying to help you get the most out of your early days.

In first grade his name was Andy and he lasted all the way to 3rd grade. In 4th grade his name was Jason, in 5th grade his name was Grant. Junior High there was Chris, Matt, Lee, Alex, Bobby, and Graham. You really like liked Graham a lot and would probably consider him to be your first true heartbreak. In high school there was Matt number 2 and then Ryan. Ryan stuck. You kept him around till you left for college. Can I stop there? You get the picture, right?

Let’s talk about this. A boyfriend is nice. It is fun to say you have a boyfriend. It is nice to hold hands with someone in the movies, it is cool that you never have to walk to and from each class alone, and that you can stay up late at night sharing hopes and dreams on the phone. But let me tell you a little secret. A boyfriend is not needed for survival. I promise! There doesn’t always have to be a boyfriend. And while the Bible does speak of leaving your mother and father for a spouse there was no need to go on a quest for “the one” at age eight. That is just plain silly! I understand your love of dreaming and grand fairy tales.  You dreamed big. Dreams of marrying your childhood sweetheart, having kids, and telling stories that made peoples heart melt. You were crossing your fingers for romance, love notes, surprises, and things written for soap operas. I love that dreamer side of you. Don’t lose it, just use it in other ways.

Here is what I know now. Enjoy friends! Enjoy your girlfriends. Have sleepovers, stay up all night, talk on the phone, giggle, go to the mall, and bask in the sun (with sunscreen, of course). Hang out with your family! Go to church together, have lunch with them, go on road trips with a smile on your face, play with your siblings, appreciate that they are there. Don’t let boys make you so nervous! I know now that you always liked having a boyfriend because it kept you safe. You didn’t have to put yourself out there because you were “taken.” They may be boys but they are just human beings that you can learn from and have as just friends. I say all this because I know without a shadow of a doubt no matter how much you try to fashion “the one” for you it won’t do you any good. You are not the one in charge. God has to pick him for you.

16-year-old Carey, your style led to heartbreaks. You experienced more heartbreaks than needed because you were trying to control the boyfriend situation, make it work, and ignore the stop signs that God was throwing in your way. The thing you can be certain of is this: don’t worry! Don’t worry about the future. It will come.

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act” Psalm 37:7a

It just won’t be in your time. It will be in God’s time. And it certainly won’t look as you planned. It will look as God desires. And this Carey, allowing your life to look as God designed for you, is the grandest storybook story that can ever be told.

Enjoy the journey.

With Joy, Carey

Bio: Carey C Bailey

I am a lover of grace through Christ, a wife to the hilarious Mr. Bailey, and a mother to two precious children of God. I host an online community for mothers called Cravings: desiring God in the midst of motherhood. After having kids, I realized I had to make a shift in my personal devotional time. The days of chillin in my comfy chair reading my Bible, journaling, and sipping hot tea were gone. I had to make it easier not less meaningful, just easier.

My goal at Cravings is to walk with moms in creating a powerful relationship with God in the midst of motherhood. My promise is that Cravings is a place of inspiration, encouragement, and community. I want you to be able to walk in and out of each day satisfied because The Bible, not cupcakes, filled you up.

Cravings first product, daily devotional flashcards, will be in stores in August. Stop by and stay awhile.

Stay connected with Carey: website / blog / facebook / twitter