Monday, July 31, 2017

Until Then

I thought of a dozen ways to write this post and along with it many a phrase to spin my decision in a clever way, but I think I want to land with something simple:

Starting today, I am going offline and 
do not plan to return until 2018. 

This has been a long time coming. I'm honestly not sure when I first felt the nudge from the Lord to let it go, but it was long enough ago that the final decision to release this place came with a sigh of relief. My spirit knew it was necessary, but my stubbornness held on. God knows what I need but sometimes it takes my heart a while to catch up and hand over the reigns.

Image credit: @nataliefranke 

Now, don't get me wrong, the internet and social media are not bad things. My dependence upon them, addiction to them, and the pride I take from them are. They have reigned supreme for far too long, and it is time to let go.

After eight years in the blog-o-sphere, I have been taking more of my identity and security in the numbers and the name than in being a disciple of Jesus. Even my most well-intentioned encouragements, efforts toward personal/spiritual growth, and the everyday have become something I need to document "just so" and in "just the right light" to please the feed.

It's exhausting. It has become empty. And it's time to say goodbye for a while. 

So today I am putting an away message on my blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages in order to disconnect to better connect with my own heart, my Savior, and my local community. I debated whether to go for simply a month or two, but in the end I felt the call to take this full stretch to the end of the year to live offline and to reevaluate my priorities.

If I feel the okay to return with the New Year, I will.
If I don't, I won't.
And I think I'm going to be okay with that.

This place has brought about some of my most treasured friends and spoken encouragement into my life in really dry times, so it is hard to step away. I also reach for my phone 193847 times a day. But I'm praying and believing this retreat will the the catalyst for breakthrough that I've been praying for for quite some time. Will you pray that along with me?

If you need/want to get in contact during this time, feel free to send me an e-mail at I can't promise to respond immediately, but I do plan to give it a look from time to time.

Sending blessings and grace your way!
Bailey Jean

Monday, July 3, 2017

Bailey Jean Reads: The Captain's Daughter

* I received a copy of The Captain's Daughter from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own. 
*This post also includes affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but I'll get a small commission. Sonic Happy Hour, here I come! 

I'm back on track with my reading goal for 2017, hitting book 28 out of 75 with The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere. I first fell in love with reading in elementary school thanks to a Christian historical fiction series, and I've been deeply attached to the genre ever since. This one was an easy choice for me for a number of reasons, but first I'll give you a glimpse of the back cover:
"When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.  
 A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind. "
Can anyone guess why I was excited about this one? ;) Historical fiction + theatre?! You betcha! Therefore you could say that I went in with high expectations and they were met. Mostly.  I'd give The Captain's Daughter ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5) stars over all, and I'd recommend it and read it again pretty easily, too.

Please ignore the title though.... honestly that bumped off the half star because I'm kind of irked that they labeled Rosalyn "the captain's daughter" when that's relevant for around 2.5 seconds in the book.  Yes, her father was a sea captain, but he is out of the picture, and that is left unresolved and a very small factor in the series of events that unfold. 😑 It is the first of three novels about the three Bernay sisters, so I could see it being a factor in book three with Cara's story, but still. I'd have called this one "In the Limelight" or something more theatrical.

Over all I really enjoyed it. In fact, I started and finished it on the same day; it was perfect for a slow recovery Sunday after my wild week in California.  I selected it for the theatre and stayed for the characters. A quick read, and, like I said the first of three though I think each book will follow one of the sisters individually rather than keep this particular plot line going. 👌🏻 Either way, I can definitely see myself picking up the next two volumes when they're released!

Pick up your copy of The Captain's Daughter here
It's a great summer read, and I'd love to know what you think!
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