Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twenty

Twenty days to go and I'm starting to get anxious.

Excited anxious? No.
Nervous anxious? No.
Poignant anxious? No way.

All of the above? Yes.

I'm approaching the finish line, and now that I'm staring it in the face - more than anything, I just want to get it over with. Most in part, I guess it's already over with. It's been over with. I'm thinking maybe the move will finally just put things into perspective - make reality set in indefinitely. Throwing myself into another world seems like a promising solution, although I know the struggles won't end there either - they'll only be packaged a little differently.

::

The "kids" and Uncle Jeff are opening a bottle of bubbly (cider, that is).

It's a pretty cute sight to behold, all of them with wine glasses in their hands acting so sophisticated.

Grandma is on her second glass of wine and is toasting everyone individually. In the middle of her toasts, she gets sidetracked and looks over to Granddad and says, "love you, dad!" and starts talking about the time he played "Superman" and broke the bed.
I didn't ask any questions.

Grandma never could hold her wine very well.

I'm sitting in the corner in my chair with a full stomach, typing away. I don't know why I'm so apt to write all the time. I guess I kind of find it somewhat therapeutic. I used to fall asleep to the sound of mom typing on the computer when I was younger - but mom has longer nails than I do and it makes a way better sound than my short, calloused, fingers do. But I don't know if it's the sound of the keyboard that does it, or if it's the idea of ridding myself of thoughts and stringing them together into something tangible that calms me. Maybe both.

The holidays are going well; I miss my older brother and my sister-in-law though. It's just not the same without Jay's boistrous laugh and Jenn talking a mile a minute, but they'll be in late tomorrow night and maybe then it will start feeling like Christmas.

I'm speaking of the 'holiday' of course.

The other kind of Christmas, the real Christmas, speaks of a baby boy who would live a life to be given for those He loved. That Christmas, is not bound by December 25th any more than we're no longer bound to the very things He came to free us from.

What a beautiful gift Christmas is.


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
-John 3:16


Hope you all are having a very, merry Christmas...
today.


-C

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twenty-Two

Turns out my family left last night at ten-thirty and drove straight through from Jacksonville. I woke up to the sound of ice cracking all the way up the driveway telling me they were finally here. It was such a beautiful, beautiful sound.

By the time I had put my boots on, covered up my zits with some concealer (gasp, I have zits; what a surprise) and put my contacts in, they had already made attempt number one at getting up the mountain to Grandma's house.

If you've visited me in New Market, you know that the hill up to Grandma's is a pot-hole ridden, 80-degree incline. With the snow and ice, there's no way you're gettin' up there without 4-wheel drive or chains on your tires. Ron let the kids (who aren't really kids anymore - Morgan turns 18 tomorrow and Camron turns 15 next Tuesday) and Aunt Cari out to walk the rest of the way up. They, needless to say, got lucky. Mom, Uncle Ron, Chase and I on the otherhand had to walk the entire way up.

I'm so out of shape.

We didn't stop once we got to Grandma's house though. The kids and I (there I go again) - my COUSINS and I (better) - found an old sled in Granddad's garage and attempted sledding. I had to pull Camron down the first 50 times so we could pack down the snow (it is, afterall 2 feet deep) but once we did that, it was pretty successful. I don't remember the last time I played in the snow, but it was super fun and we were super soaked - none of us having any kind of winter wear on whatsoever.

We then continued the festivites by doing what we do best: eating.

Lunch: Sandwiches, Braunschweiger, Cheese Spread, Pickled Eggs
Snack: Popcorn and Cheese Spread
Post Snack: Fudge
Dinner: Beef Stroganoff, Salad, Crescent Rolls, Broccoli & Cheese
Dessert: Cheesecake
Post Dessert: Peanut-Butter Balls dipped in dark chocolate, and toasted, sugary pecans.

Sometime after dinner, it finally dawned on me that Christmas is Friday. I was just so happy that they were here that the thought of waking up on Friday morning to gifts under the tree somehow escaped my mind entirely. Family is enough.

Jesus is enough.

I also had a moment when I wondered where my husband was. He's out there. I don't know who he is or where he is, but he is. I really wish I could tell him how much I respect him, how much I miss him, how badly I need him and his leadership in my life and how I never want to spend another Christmas without him.

Seeing Ron and Cari, Grandma and Granddad and also watching those Mark Driscoll sermons and hearing him talk about his wife makes me think upon such things. I just find it so hard to believe that someone could ever love me the way these men love their wives; love me the way Christ loved the church. It just seems so impossible. Unfathomable. Unreal. I'm nowhere near worthy of such a love.

Dude, these chick-flicks are doing me in.
No more, I say - no more!


I just can't wait to go to school, to devote my time to the Lord, to build my character. Truth is, my heart wrestles with Him more than it should, and claiming that He is enough is sadly nothing more than a rebel sigh more often than not. If I could ask anything for Christmas, it would be that my heart would know and cry out in honest liberation - Jesus, You are enough...

Goodness, how much I want that...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twenty-Three

I have a really good feeling this post is going to be completely and entirely, one of the most scatter-brained posts of all time with no point whatsoever. You have been forewarned.

It starts with the turkey.

No, not the kind you eat - the kind that gobbles in the morning. You never know exactly how much that gobble means to you until there's two feet of snow outside, and you're worried to death that your beloved turkey is frozen and on his way to becoming Christmas dinner. Trust me, that gobble quickly becomes music to your ears.

With worry finally off of my shoulders, first knowing that some of my favorite people in the world finally made it out of this wickedly beautiful weather and back home in one piece, and knowing Filmore wasn't going to be making it to the dinner table anytime soon, I did what I do best. Nothing.

Curled up on the couch with a grapefruit and some coffee, wishing - wishing desperately - that I had more motivation in me to cross some things off of that list of mine, here I am; pecking away at my keyboard and watching t.v. simutaneously only like a true unemployed 21-year-old can.

I spoke of some of my favorite things a couple of days ago, but I've also recently discovered a few of my least favorite things as well--my newest dislike being those new NyQuil commercials. They're just so disturbing. Who wants to watch a semi-unconcious person snoring and snotting and drooling in bed? And then the movie finally comes back on and a feeble attempt is being made to make the gal look down in the dumps simply by messing up her hair some, and putting her in a t-shirt and sweats before she goes to bed. It looks somewhat convincing except for the fact that they somehow forgot to take off the loads of perfectly airbrushed makeup she has on. Come on - I mean, at least get rid of the lipgloss. Can't we just find some sort of happy medium here, Hollywood?

Speaking of movies, U.S.A has got the chick-flick marathon down today by starting with Licensed to Wed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sweet Home Alabama, and then by wrapping up the estrogen-overload with Disney's Enchanted.

Yup...
the couch is looking good. Real good.

Did I mention there's two feet of snow outside?

My family from Florida is leaving tonight around 2am to come to Virginia and I've been anticipating it like nothing else. They've been praying they'd get to see some snow and well, they won't be disappointed that's for sure.

The minutes are going by slowly and have been for the past week - and its driving me up the wall - but these next couple of weeks are going to be a complete blur. Not to mention a complete blast.

My family is coming up for Christmas, I'm stepping up to lead worship this Sunday without Cameron by my side (I'm not too fond of the idea myself - it'll be like I'm missing an arm or a leg or something else equally vital), and then I'm heading to Lynchburg for Winterfest on the 30th and 31st, which shortly thereafter I leave for Atlanta to attend Passion which is the 2nd-5th, and then I start packing for Liberty and you guys will finally be reading about more than just ridiculous ramblings about turkeys and chick-flicks, I promise.

Anyhow - not a bad way to spend your last couple of weeks, ay? Even though I just realized that I only have one more Sunday left at Aletheia after this Sunday and well, that kind of sucks.


By the way, I'd much rather see this commercial than those NyQuil commercials anyday. It might just be the music, Kate Winslet, or the fact that I've stood on that bridge, but I love it - except for the french dude speaking at the end.
Oh well, what can you do?



Okay, I know what you're thinking; the chick-flicks have got to stop...


...and yeah, you're probably totally right.



23 days,
-C

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twenty-Six

Ya'll are going to be hearing from me a lot for the next twenty-six days, I feel like. I apologize in advance.


You'd be happy to know that today was a little different than yesterday!

It was wayyyyyy more boring.


There is a big "however" however, and it is this:
I made buffalo chicken wraps for lunch and salmon cakes for dinner.

Call off the hordes, the gal can cook!


Being unemployed and unenrolled is awful, but it sure has it's perks. I'm sure my husband will appreciate it someday. I've learned to be way savvier with money (a.k.a 'frugal') but only because I have no other choice but to be, and I've been so up to my elbows in domestication you might as well start calling me Donna Reed.





Okay.

So we won't go that far.


I always get a cravin' to watch Sound of Music and Anne of Green Gables around this time of year. My cousin and I sit around and watch them together every Christmas. Only thing is that every single one of those movies I have on VHS, and I discovered today that we no longer have a VHS player. Drats.

Well, if that doesn't put a damper on things...

So since Sound of Music was on my mind, I found that while I was walking around the house today I kept spotting my favorite things. They're always close by. Imagine that.

Here, I'll share them with you!




My Starbucks Travel Mug.

Two friends from Norfolk gave this to me just to be awesome. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside whenever I see that it's in the cupboard ready to use. However, when it's dirty in either the dishwasher or sink it's a completely different story.



My Starbucks Cup.

It's double-walled, doesn't sweat and you can use it for either hot or cold drinks. I use it constantly. Byrd got this for me as a surprise one time when we stopped in at a Starbucks on our way home from the beach. It was in my cupholder when I got in the car. The girl's got game.



The Liberty Sweatshirt / Pink Victoria's Secret Sweats Combo.

Lord, have mercy on my lounging.



My TOMs.
.
Enough said.



My New Columbia Water-Repellent Fleece.

Punches North Face in the face any day.



Taylor.

Duh.



The Keurig.

It's quick, easy, and perfect every time.



Merona Scarves from Target.

They're super, super soft.



My Brown Beanie from Wal-Mart.

Four dollars and I'm just happy.



My Book-Bag from NAMB.

Because it was free, and since I have it,
it's one less thing I have to worry about getting
before I go to school.



My Black Skinny Jeans.

Pay no mind to the mess. It was intentional.
For the sake of the shot, ya know? Trying to be all artsy and what not....



My Burberry London Perfume.

Mostly because it smells good.



My MacArthur Study Bible.
 
Because, "Jesus is word."




So we can pretty much sum up my favorite things into four different categories: Clothes & Accesories, Coffee, Guitar, and God.


And there ya have it folks.
Turns out I'm not as complicated as we all thought.


I hope ya'll are having an awesome Christmas break.
Shoot me a comment on here or on facebook and say Hi or something. Oh, here's an idea: tell me what YOUR favorite things are! It'll take up some of my time - and some of yours too, so uh - in that case nevermind. Just keep doing your thing...but if you want to...that's cool too, cause I'd really love to know.

Okay bye.

-C


P.S. Please don't judge me for my room. I've turned over a new leaf - I swear. "Donna Reed," remember?

"...and then at the end of the letter I like to write 'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R got rebellious'" - Mitch Hedberg

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twenty-Seven

Mom scheduled an appointment at Dr. Gate's office for me today a few weeks back to get my vocal chords checked out. It was a miracle that I even got an appointment on such late notice, not to mention during the holiday season. Our insurance goes bizerk after December, so if I wanted to have them cover my appointment I had to get in before the end of the year.

I didn't give a second thought about getting my vocal chords checked out. I knew they scoped it, but somehow I never thought about how they actually went about doing it - so I got on youtube a half hour before leaving for my appointment and found out that they shove a tube up your nose and down your throat.

Uh, what?

The thought of it alone made me sneeze, cry, and gag all at the same time.

I debated for about five minutes if I wanted to be brave or not, but I've always been partial to the cowardly lion. Actually that's false. I was all about those glittery, red high heels and the pigtail wearing gal that wore them. I wonder if she ever got her vocal chords scoped out?
So - I need not drag this out any longer than need be: I called and canceled my appointment with hardly ten minutes to spare.

When I got home, Dad said that they numbed your nose and throat and that you hardly felt a thing. He made it sound like a breeze, as did some of my friends who've had it done on facebook later that day.

"Gosh, Chels. If I could do it, you can do it."

He's not kidding. Dad's about the biggest baby in the world. Come to think of it, I think he actually had agents knocking on his door wanting him to play the part of the cowardly lion. Obviously, he was too scared to do it.

I'm not helping my case here.


Not that this is going to help my self-esteem any, but instead of going to my doctor's appointment, I started to read Twilight. I found myself skimming and skipping over pages though, so don't be so quick to judge me yet. It's actually been really difficult to get into. I don't know if that's because I've already seen the movie or what, but I found myself looking through my library here at home for a replacement read.

Sorry, fellow Twilighters -- I'm just not pickin' up what you're throwing down. In fact, I'm starting to think there's a reason it's been thrown on the ground.


So I fell asleep (okay, now I'm just being mean), and after I woke up I started working on my gingerbread house as was suggested as a to-do on my to-do list.






It worked out a lot better than last year's attempted graham cracker houses
(attempted being the key word).


It wasn't really as fun though.


I was at the Ministry House pretty much all day by myself, with the exception of Asher who was just as bored as I was except a little more verbal about it. I did let my frustrations out on Byrd's camera however, which was conviently sitting on the coffee table infront of me. I recorded a little video that can easily be summed up in about ten so's for every bored.

My advice to you?
Don't get fired if you can help it.

It sucks.




So! Progress on the list so far is as follows:


1) Draw a picture
2) Paint a 'byrd' house
3) Meet someone on a bus and take a picture
4) Treat someone to a random act of kindness
5) Make homemade dog treats
6) Take Asher to the groomer and have Lauren pay for it
7) Make homemade playdough
8) Throw a Rosie O'Donnell Party
9) Stuff a Turkey
10) Go hunting
11) Dig a hole
12) Put on a puppet show
13) Make a pillow case (I'm counting the bedspread as a pillow - a really big pillow)
14) Make a video of my day (Even though it was totally lame)
15) Try to make as many different kinds of hot chocolate as possible
16) Make a gingerbread house
17) Handwrite letters and mail them to people
18) Cook Weiner Schnitzel
19) Give a tour of New Market
20) Memorize a Psalm
21) Read both Twilight and New Moon (Can we please just say I did?)
22) Cross stitch a picture
23) Put together a Science Project
24) Punk someone  (I'm thinkin' Asher counts)
25) Make butter
26) Can something
27) Make popsicles
28) Research another religion
29) Buy black socks



Gosh, I can't wait to go to school...

27 days,
-C




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twenty-Eight

I haven't been to New Market since I left for Lynchburg on Friday and have since stayed here in Harrisonburg with Lauren and Byrd while Sarah's been in Warrenton. I've been interchangebly wearing the same two pairs of pants and two shirts for the past four days, and I'm thinking tomorrow might be the day I wander back up to my nothing town, take a shower and put on a new change of clothes.

It's so hard to believe that in twenty-eight days I'll be laying my head down at night in a new town, in a new bedroom, with a new group of girls to call housemates. It'll be strange to say the least, because this is all I've ever known since I stepped into new life: Aletheia Church, the Ministry House, the band, the Galati kids...

Once you accept Christ it's like you see everything again for the first time--which is most likely the reason why I can remember everything that has happened in the past year in intricate details. I can remember dates and times and I'd be able to tell you what clothing was worn and what song was playing in the background, what we ate, what was said, where we were heading, what I was thinking...

It's your first time for everything again and with it comes new meaning and new understanding. You actually see Christ in Christmas and the empty tomb in Easter---you see Him in friendships and in relationships---you see your job as a ministry opportunity instead of merely a way to make some income---you view marriage as a way to make you holy and not just happy, and you view having children as not only a blessing to you, but as a blessing to God -- with the burning hope and desire that they would be able to do more for His kingdom than you ever could.

Everything-- everything is different when Christ is in your life.

It was the first year for me--the first year of an eternity spent in communion with God. Every place, person, and thing will forever hold a special place in my heart and will never, never be forgotten.

I just love you all so much, gosh darnit.

Thank you for an amazing year...

...there's no one else I would have rather shared it with.

-C

Monday, December 14, 2009

Twenty-Nine

It's actually a really nice December day here in Harrisonburg and I've glady enjoyed it from the indoors so far. Byrd threw me over her shoulder about an hour ago in an attempt to get me to go on a walk with her but I hadn't had my coffee yet and without my coffee, I am useless (even my legs fail to be of use apparently).

Last night we sat on the couch and brainstormed 29 things I could do with the 29 days I have left of unemployment and aside from that being an absolutely hilarious way to spend an hour of your life, i.e:

Byrd: "You need some Ginkgo Biloba"
Me: "What the heck is 'genkamolobo?'"

...this is what we were able to come up with. If you have any other ideas, leave a comment and let me know. I am desperate for some entertainment.

1) Draw a picture
2) Paint a 'byrd' house
3) Meet someone on a bus and take a picture
4) Treat someone to a random act of kindness
5) Make homemade dog treats
6) Take Asher to the groomer and have Lauren pay for it
7) Make homemade playdough
8) Throw a Rosie O'Donnell Party
9) Stuff a Turkey
10) Go hunting
11) Dig a hole
12) Put on a puppet show
13) Make a pillow case
14) Make a video of my day
15) Try to make as many different kinds of hot chocolate as possible
16) Make a gingerbread house
17) Handwrite letters and mail them to people
18) Cook Weiner Schnitzel
19) Give a tour of New Market
20) Memorize a Psalm
21) Read both Twilight and New Moon
22) Cross stitch a picture
23) Put together a Science Project
24) Punk someone
25) Make butter
26) Can something
27) Make popsicles
28) Research another religion
29) Buy black socks


I'm off to knock some of these off the list,
check back to see if I actually do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thirty

Yesterday:

Went to Lynchburg to go visit Jay and Jenn.
Ate at Waterstone.
Watched a movie.
Went to Liberty's Christmas Coffeehouse at 11:30pm.
Someone played August's Rhapsody and I was thrilled.
It didn't end until 1:40am.
Almost froze mid walking stance on the way back to my car.
Got back to the apartment and fell asleep.

Today:

Bought a Columbia fleece jacket for way cheaper than I even realized.
Ate lunch.
Drove back to Harrisonburg.
Helped watch some kids at Aletheia.
Made one cry.
Turns out it was Byrd's fault the kid got in trouble.
Laughed about it.
Went to the Ministry House.
Cameron came over and fixed us dinner.
It was amazing.
Watched a movie.
Screamed once...
...okay, maybe twice.
Got ready for bed.
Thanked God for the chance to make some new memories.
Felt torn.



     I was in Lynchburg this morning, not wanting anything more than for it to be January 13th, and then by five o'clock I'm in Harrisonburg, wishing January 13th would just hold out for a bit longer...

I'm somewhere inbetween.



Liberty isn't here yet, but most of my friends in Harrisonburg are either already gone for winter break or will be leaving soon - so with the exception of a few, my life in Harrisonburg has pretty much already come to a close.

So I guess, this is goodbye?
                                                  Really?
                                                                   ....so soon?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thirty-Three


::

Fourteen days until Christmas
Nineteen days until Winterfest
Twenty-Two days until Passion
Thirty-Three days until Liberty

::

Time is going by super, super fast.
Once Christmas hits, that's all she wrote - I'll be at Liberty before I know it. I have about two more weeks of complete boredom until the madness hits.

I'm excited.
Really, really excited.
(Just in case you haven't picked up on it yet.)

I've spent the last hour trying on the clothes and shoes that I want to pack up and take with me, and I put together a little bag of medicine that Byrd-lady got me when I was sick a couple weeks ago to take. I've also gotten really excited about my apartment, my new bedroom and bathroom and I've had fun wondering what it's going to be like and who I'm going to share it with. I've had my eye on this comforter from Target for the past couple weeks, but it's way too expensive...


Sweet, right?



It's just strange to think about your life changing.
One day it's one way, and the next, it's never the same.

Crazy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thirty-Seven

I really want to write about what I'm feeling right now, but I don't even know where to start. If I could somehow register the greatness of the Lord, bottle it up, and hand it to you, I would - but He is far too big to put in a bottle and far too great to sum up in words on such a little page. I'm at a loss.

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with {Him} so that we may also be glorified with {Him.} For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." -Romans 8:12-18


..."For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. - Romans 8:24-25
 
 I am the daughter of the Almighty God...

....and I'm going to see Him one day.


Holy crap.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thirty-Eight

The power is out in our house today and I’m running on 72% battery power. The house is quiet, pitch black and freezing, but I pulled out some of my old scrapbooking supplies, lit some candles and have been busy making home-made Christmas cards. One must do what one must do with no income (and no electricity).

















I felt somewhat domesticated, but I also woke up this morning to cinnamon buns and Mom stuffing a turkey (which is now sitting outside in the snow because there’s no way to cook it), and the reality of where I am on this voyage to womanhood struck me. Simply put, I’m a freakin’ amateur.

How the heck do you know how to stuff a turkey off the top of your head? And put Christmas decorations up at the same time?

It's the first snow of the winter, and there’s about 5 inches of it on the ground and it’s still going strong. The concert last night was AMAZING, and my heart desires the Lord and His wisdom now more than ever. All I could think of last night at the concert was, "God, I need to be doing something like this for You, but it's so totally beyond me."

Because let's face it: I'm no Bethany Dillon...
                                             ...or Proverbs 31 Woman for that matter.
                                  

Seeing Bethany and Shane last night also clarified all the more how badly I would like a husband who I can help lead worship with, because really - how much more fun could it get than that?

Maybe for Christmas, but I've got a feeling I'm going to have to learn how to stuff a turkey first, and well....that could take a while.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thirty-Nine





Phil Wickham, Bethany Dillon, and Shane & Shane
Tonight, 8pm - VA Tech

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Forty-Two

Forty-Two days until move-in, which ironically means forty-seven days until classes officially begin on the 18th.

My life apparently likes to change drastically on that day.

The countdown means a little something different for me today and yet strangely enough, when I wasn't expecting to be - I'm actually doing better than just "okay."

There's just too much to be thankful for.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven,"
Ecclesiastes 3:1


                                
                                                   December...
                                                       ...it's good to see you again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Forty-Three


"Shh! Be vewy, vewy, quiet. I'm hunting wabbits..."






It's that time of year and I am about to head out with Dad to go shoot me a rabbit for dinner.

If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely, head over heels in love with Germany and have been wanting to share the love by making a huge German dinner for all of my friends before I leave for college. Imagine my excitement when I spotted the most incredible German cookbook in Barnes and Noble and flipped open to this recipe for rabbit...
                             
      
                        

"Stoked," would be an understatement.


So who's coming to dinner? :)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Forty-Four

My eyes are heavy. So very heavy.

Two services in one day, basically right back to back, a good hearty lunch afterwards, and a 3.5 hour drive back home will do that to ya, I suppose.



Annie invited me to come sing with her at her home church in Roanoke a couple of weeks ago, so my ever faithful roadie and I made the trek towards Star City yesterday in time to practice with Annie's little sister who is an amazing celloist and way too mature and way too hilarious for her own good - but I mean really, what's to expect? Her last name is Lawrence for cryin' out loud.

That family is:

1) hilarious,
2) talented,
3) so entirely genuine and,
4) such a blessing to know.

So basically, they're the Gwaltney's of Roanoke.


The three of us girls played during communion this morning for both the early morning service and the eleven o'clock service. I felt a little uneasy about not having a full band behind us, but the correlation of guitars and cello sounded so rich and full and well, God is always good and always worthy of praise, no matter the circumstance. It was an amazing time and I was blessed to have gotten to play music with two of my sisters for Him this morning. The nerves were actually pretty minimal (considering their church is HUGE), but I might have just been too tired to notice; we stayed up until two in the morning watching Twilight.




Don't judge me.



I guess we could say that it's been hitting me more recently...

Worship. A response to a relationship we don't deserve.

It's been hard to retreat lately into what's been comfortable for me. He's been putting me in situations way out of my comfort zone within the worship ministry. Such situations demand for a good throwing up of the hands and a loud exhale of, "Yep, God. This is totally gonna have to be You because I am so incredibly unable, not to mention a horrible person and completely scared out of my flippin' mind to lead these people."


Here's the thing: whether or not He's calling me to lead worship, my aim in life is and always will be to worship. To know Him for who He is and to live my life in response to who He is.
Truth is, worship is not about me at all.

I don't know the outcome of my calling, only the direction in which I should go. Even though the full-purpose eludes me, taking those steps with the Lord is what I need to be doing. It's going to change me, no doubt. Every step will be in faith. He's confirmed it and reconfirmed it: I have to be brave, persevere, and walk with Him.


There's no turning back now.


"Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'"

Luke 9:62




FORTY-FOUR DAYS,

C

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forty-Seven




Much Gobbletude,
Filmore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Forty-Eight

Forty-eight?!

It's 1:23pm here in New Market and I'm exhausted. Unemployment is hard work. (Ha!)

It's hard abstaining from useless things when you have so much time on your hands. I had this wonderful master plan of how many books I was going to read and how many hats and scarves I was going to knit but so far I got nothin'. Let's not mention that I've been "cleaning" my bedroom for the past two weeks now and it's still not clean. In fact, the only thing I've done well so far is play guitar, eat Chipotle, and go on spontaneous road trips.

Note to men seeking a good wife: don't pursue a girl with a guitar and whom Meyer's-Briggs has deemed an ESFP. Nothing will ever get accomplished.

Aside from being totally lame, I've been striving so hard to get back to where I was with the Lord this time last year. I'm beginning to feel like my old self, yet I'm continually discouraged when I realize my heart is still not matching up with Chelsea at 19 years-old. Let's face it: that girl really loved the Lord.

Laying there in bed last night hating myself for the changes that have taken place and being afraid that I would never be in the same place with the Lord again, God was very frank with me.


"Quit trying to go backwards to be her when I'm trying to push you forwards to being someone new," He says.


Well, isn't that a brillant concept.



"Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19)



Micah asked me the other day what I was most excited for in heading to Liberty. It was no question; the first thing that rolled off of my tongue was, "growing in the Lord."

He's making a way.



48 days,
C

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fifty-Three

Final Hours 

Desperate and weary
I come
so heavenly, gruesomely burdened
if possible
take this cup from Me
but Your will, not Mine. (Luke 22:42)

My heart is troubled, now what shall I say?
"Father, save me from this hour?"

No, it was for this very reason I came.
So Father, do what you will to glorify Your name!

Then a voice came from heaven,
"I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."  (John 12:27-28)
"They may curse, but you will bless;
when they attack, shame will rain
but your servants will rejoice. (Pslam 109:28)
for You will rise again,"

An angel from heaven appeared
and gave Me strength
And being in anguish, I prayed
all the more earnestly,

sweat dropped to the ground in blood (Luke 22:43-44)
that's when I knew that My final hour had finally come

They repay me with hatred (Psalm 109:1-5)
yet they know not what they’ve done
Father, grant them forgiveness (Luke 23:43)
at the cost of My own blood!

I’m calling for help; but My throat has gone dry.
I’m looking for You up on this tree,
but My eyes, they fail Me (Psalm 69:3)
Father, why have You forsaken Me? (Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46)

Darkness comes to light
darkness comes to light
darkness has come to light
church arise, I'm alive!



You have heard and you have seen
and yet you still do not believe (Mark 16:14)
You owe Me nothing
repay Me with nothing
just believe, just believe


Desperate and weary
I Am
so heavenly, gruesomely burdened


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fifty-Four

I'm rushed as I write this, but I wanted to quickly tell you that I made it back to Lynchburg yesterday with Byrd.



Why, thank you for the applause.
It wasn't necessary, really.
:)



It was a good trip, although not quite as exciting as I think we were expeciting it to be, it was definitely worth it.

At convocation, Johnnie Moore spoke about perseverance, about not quitting or giving up "the race."

So convienent as I have been writing this song for the past couple of weeks now and still haven't come up with any lyrics other than the chorus. I was definitely encouraged - to not only finish writing this song, but to refocus my perspective on life and to finish the race, and finish it well.

I have spiritual nearsightedness more often than not, but I have been challenged to look past the horizon and look towards the One I'm living for, to the One who lives through me. If there were no finish line to the race we're running, no one would ever run it, but there is a finish line...and it's glorious.

That's what I learned in college yesterday.


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7

"Well done, good and faithful servant" - Matthew 25:21


Keep running,
-C

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fifty-Eight

Taylor and I got into it this morning and sadly this is how things panned out:





Tragic.


I realized a few days ago that I never got back to ya'll on how my audition went, and well, I think now is about the time to tell you!

It went awesome. Not because of me, but because God is awesome and you guys are awesome for praying for me. I felt your prayers, truly I did. I know that God was present in that room and that it quickly became more than just an audition. It was an opportunity to let Christ take the reigns on a situation I had no control in and to show HIS stuff. Praise was given to Him, and I'd say that is already a victory :)

I got an e-mail last night saying that I made callbacks, so now the next step is putting together a musical resume, my written testimony, two references, a snapshot, and youtube video of me performing two songs by Febuary 15th.

Final postings won't be put up until March, so please continue to pray about this with me.

I know He's going to do whatever is best for His kingdom - so please don't be disappointed if I don't make it any further than this! haha. He has a plan! He already knows the outcome, but I wanted to thank you for your support and your prayers in the meantime. I hope the time you get to spend with Him in prayer about this will only bring you closer to Him, I know it has for me. What a sweet blessing prayer is!

Either way, whether I make it or not, we're going to give Him praise because He knows what He's doing and we know it's going to be better than we can even imagine!

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9


Thank you for praying. :)

Love always,
-C

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fifty-Nine

I’m shocked that there are only 59 days left before I'm at Liberty.





Considering that I started this blog when there were 83, if things keep going at this rate I’m going to be at Liberty in what seems like tomorrow. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it?

I’m just starting out, but before I know it I’m going to be graduating from Liberty University.


I’m twenty-one. The next decade of my life holds some really big things and I have exactly 59 days to prepare myself for the onset of all of that. Obviously not all of it is going to happen in tandem, but I know that the day I step onto that campus, my life is going to go warp speed ahead: college, graduation, marriage, family, ministry, more college, a career, who knows.

I welcome it all; in whatever shape, way, or form the Lord would bring it before me. It’s just crazy to think of what the next season of life holds. I want to be ready for it. I want to fulfill my purpose within this generation that God is raising up, because I’d think you’d agree that we truly are a generation unlike any other; there’s just something different about us. I notice it every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening at Aletheia Church when hundreds of college students come rolling through the doors. I notice it at Liberty University when there aren't any open seats in the Vines Center for Convocation. I notice it when I see my friends, all roughly 21 years of age, leading Bible studies and teaching and worshiping Jesus and sharing their faith and planting churches when they could be out doing countless other things.

I anticipate looking up into the clouds and seeing Christ in my lifetime - I really do. Yet, even if He doesn’t come for us while there's still breath in my lungs, I would still never regret living my life believing all the while that He will. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me pushing forward. It keeps my heart alive and my perspective in place; knowing that what our generation does is going to set the stage for Christ’s return -
knowing that what I do is going to set the stage for Christ's return.

Well, hey there goosebumps.


"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;"
-1 Peter 2:9

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sixty

So, day one of unemployment: woke up at noon and then called my advisor and signed up for classes.

Yep. Noon. (Waffles obviously weren't involved this time around.)


My class schedule for Spring 2010 is as follows:
  • English 102
  • GNED 101
  • Sociology 200
  • Intro to Worship Studies
  • Harmonic Practices and Theory I
  • Private Vocals
  • Private Guitar

Now that registration is finished, what's next?





eh...
well, that's exciting.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sixty-One

I was five minutes late to work this morning.

And, well...







Don't worry. We parted ways amiably. :)


-C

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sixty-Two




Financial Check-in is FINALLY complete!
Registration? TOMORROW!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sixty-Four



Hi! Welcome to Chili's. My name is Chelsea and I'm going to be your server today.

While you guys are looking around the menu a bit, I'd like to take out the time to point out a few of my favorite items.

First off, I'd like to mention our Presidente Margarita to you. It's our signature drink here at Chili's - and the reason it's signature is because it's actually made with Conmerativo Brandy which gives it a much richer and smoother taste than just your average Margarita - not to mention that it's shaken all the way to your table making
 YOU the center of attention!

As far as appetizers go, I'd regret it if I never got to tell you about the Kickin' Jack Nachos. You can order either a full order or a half order, but keep in mind that once they're on the table, they go quickly! A fried corn tortilla is layered with mashed black beans, our warm queso, mixed cheeses, topped off with jalapenos, and then showered with our very own margarita spice.

Entree specifically, I'd go for the Burger Bites. These little bite-sized wonders are served on mini, toasted, buttered up, buns. These handpacked burgers are given a good dose of our smoky applewood bacon bits, cool ranch dressing, cheese, and sauteed onions and on the side is our less than average jalapeno ranch for dipping. The burgers are also served with a good helping of our homestyle fries and onion blossom strings, so there's no need to worry about going hungry.


And the moment we've all been waiting for: dessert. The paradise pie is one of the most underrated items I feel that we have. The molten cakes get a lot of hype, but this is where it's at. It's a warm blondie brownie packed with chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut and then topped with vanilla icecream, fudge and caramel. You've never experienced Paradise quite like this before.


Let's just say I'm super stoked that there's only 64 days left to go, because that means there's about 40-50 days left to go before I get to leave Chili's and frankly, I don't know how much more I can take of this corporate hoop-la (confession: I really wanted to say crap right there).

The above was written on here because I actually left my computer charger in Lynchburg at the dorm we were staying in for CFAW. My computer is now dead, so my Mom's handed-down Acer will have to do the trick until I can get back down to L'burg. The Acer doesn't have Word on it, and even if it did there is no way I'd be able to print it off. I could have hand written it, but that would have taken forever and disrupted the flow of my creative, adjective packed (hardly), genius of a two minute long menu-tour (because everyone wants to hear their server ramble on for two whole minutes).

I now have to go copy it down by hand, memorize it, and present it to a manager today before I"m allowed to work. It was due Wednesday, but my rebellious streak kicked in and wouldn't allow me to do it. But then Chris, our store manager called, said I had to have it done or I wouldn't be able to work. My rebellious streak has been put in it's place to say the least, but I am still going to loathe every second of this. You probably will too.

Coming soon to a Chili's near you,
-C

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sixty-Seven

CFAW
Day One



Last night, Annie and I arrived around 7:30 or so, checked-in, signed up for ministry team auditions (8:10 and 8:20 respectively) and then went to Olive Garden for dinner.

After dinner we headed out to our dorm (Campus East) and met up with our RA Laura, signed some stuff, chilled out online for a bit, and then went to room 303 for a hall meeting at 11.

We went over the Liberty Way some and Laura put some rumors about Liberty to rest and confirmed others. Guys and girls do not have separate sidewalks and yes, the only appropriate form of physical intimacy is hand holding and three second hugs.

Speaking of the opposite sex, there is a lot of mention of them. Dating and “meeting your potential spouse”  was specifically addressed at our meeting. Dating is strongly, STRONGLY encouraged – pretty much expected.

Annnd the blood pressure rises.

Once the other CFAWs heard that one of the Spiritual Life Directors on our hall had a boyfriend, they squealed in unison (they were all 18) and insisted to hear the story of how they met. So Linds told us the entire story of how she met her boyfriend future spouse, and it was pretty interesting to say the least.

Turns out, she had made a commitment to God to not date anyone for a year.
Well, first week of class there was this guy in her Communications class whom she loathed because apparently he was a know-it-all, over achiever, and apparently cocky as all get out (her words, not mine). After she gave her first speech, he talked to her for the first time, then moved to sit next to her, and then started throwing rocks at her dorm window - you know where this is going...

When he finally mentioned dating her, she on the other hand had to tell him no because of the commitment she had made with God. He, obviously, thought it was a bit silly, but honored her commitment and told her that he would wait an entire year just to date her.

In the meantime, they were only “allowed” to "go for coffee,” ("cause everyone does that") and talk via facebook and IM. She never even gave him her phone number until their “non-relationship” hit the ten month marker. She had to go days, sometimes weeks without talking to him at all so that she could refocus and keep her heart in check. He wasn't allowed to come visit her over the summer, but be rest assured that once the summer was over and the year was up, he made the drive to go visit her dad and ask if he could date her. They have officially been “dating” for three months now. Props to that guy.



And welcome to Liberty.


All this boy talk and I can’t lie and tell you that I haven’t thought about the possibility of meeting him here. It seems like it’s the first thing out of people’s mouths when they hear I’m going to Liberty. “You’re totally going to meet your husband there!”



Wait – so what’s that about an education?



It scares me, if anything else. More so than the thought of him never finding me, I’m more scared that he will find me. And if he does, then I might just pull a Lindsey or walk around with a garland of dead fish around my neck for a year -

    or something to that extent.

Poor guy.

Convocation is in t-minus 100hrs. Ministry team auditions are tonight at 8:10. I’ve had a sore throat since yesterday and it’s only getting worse. I also woke up this morning and noticed that the bracelet Jay and Jenn got me for my birthday wasn’t on my wrist anymore.

It’s apparent that Satan is desperately trying to deter me but God is strong in me today…


....probably because for the first time in a long time, I’m allowing Him to be.



67 days,

C

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sixty-Eight

I feel drowsy today.

I woke up at about 9, which is a total feat considering that on my days off I usually sleep in until about noon. Oh, the life.

I shouldn't be so tired; I got exactly eight hours of sleep last night.
It must be my body in recovery mode. I've had a very eventful last couple of days to say the least.
I'll try to condense it as much as possible.





Service was absolutely amazing. Worship was incredible, the congregation was alive, and the Spirit was at work in a very special way that morning. My day could have ended here and I would have been stoked to say the least, but God had a lot more up His sleeve that day.

While we were hanging out in Harrisonburg, this was going in New Market:





That my friends, is a tea party. And this...




....this is me realizing that the party was for me.




As if that's not enough, this is the moment I met Taylor...



     


...and that's the moment that I realized that Taylor wasn't the best gift on earth...





...these people were.

THANK YOU.




Needless to say, this week has started off amazing.
I'm leaving in an hour to go to Lynchburg for the weekend.

Ministry Team auditions (and the Dave Barnes concert!) are tomorrow night, so please be praying!

I love you all. I'll write again soon and let you know how CFAW is!

Sixty-eight days and all my love,
-C