Monday, October 31, 2011

it's a wonderful life

hey bloggums,
I'm home for a few days, chillin' out with the madre, helping her put her house back together after it's spectacular remodel, facebook stalking, pinning, and watching Say Yes to the Dress. The world is cold and quiet-- in shades of orange, red, brown, yellow and white. I laid in bed forever last night just looking out my window at the stars. They're so beautiful here. I'd almost forgotten.

I've been tirelessly searching for a job back in Lynchburg. Graduation will be here soon, and soon after that: the dreaded loan payments. Uhhhhh...yeah. I've applied to over 25 jobs...and so far: nothing. Tears. Nail-biting. Deep breaths. And Prayer.
Lots and lots of prayer.

But despite all the unsureness about what's to come, I have such a wonderful life.
And I serve a huge God.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

for such things we may never know

When I was younger I used to pray that God would give me a gift exchange. You know, something like what Ariel did with Ursula in the Little Mermaid. But instead of trading my voice in for legs, I'd trade my voice in for some mad basketball skills. Because that was the 'cool' thing to do. Apparently.

The basketball thing eventually phased out when I realized that I didn't even like basketball, but as I got older it turned into other things. Today, it's become a multitude of things. For one, I'd probably rather be a writer than a singer-- but only because writing doesn't come as easily to me. I have to put a lot of effort into it. And to be honest, there's a part of me that really wants affirmation for that effort and for what's being born from it. I want people to leave comments and follow my blog-- yet a good majority of the time, my posts get no acknowledgement whatsoever. That sounds way whiny (because it is)-- but without any affirmation, I feel like I've failed....that what I've written sucks. And this goes for anything I do or take on. I need affirmation, dad gummit. It must be my love language or something. Cliche. But probably.

I might always be average at writing, at cooking, and at decorating my house. I'll even be average at singing (especially here in Lynchburg where the talent pool is insanely deep). But once I feel like quitting any one of those things simply because I can't be the 'best' at it, I've lost a battle with my pride.

I think the idea I haven't quite grasped yet, is the idea that service does not have to equate perfection. Service is not tallied by the amount of comments received on a blog post, a cooked meal, or a 'cute' house. Service is giving back to God what He has given to us, period. Therefore, only I can bring to the world what God intended me to bring, and only you can bring to the world what God intended you to bring-- the only thing is that we must bring something. Exceptional or not in its execution, it is the exact thing God desires to use for His plan and purpose-- for such things, we may never know. 


Monday, September 26, 2011

this weekend and last

A trip to Atlanta and a coming down with the flu/cold was my weekend. The trip to Atlanta = great. Getting the flu = not so great. This evening, YouthQuest led worship for the department of Ministry Team's 'All-Team Meeting.' When I wasn't singing, I was coughing. Like, a lot. If you heard the ruffling of a paper bag during the message, that was me-- reaching in for another Halls. I apologize for my sick, disturbing ways.

Despite my ailments and a bunch of technical difficulties, the evening went pretty great. The YQ band is getting tighter and tighter every practice. We've come such a long way since the beginning of the semester and I'm so thankful that God has blessed us with such a faithful team. This weekend will be our first weekend traveling!
I. am. so. excited.

Do y'all have any fun plans this weekend?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


one of my favorite things to do is tell people about how B and I met. of course, only when they ask-- and some of you have asked, so here it is :)

Our story began in the midst of 23,000 people at Passion Conference Atlanta on January 4th, 2010.

Before the evening main session, I decided to sit down in line and work on a bible study. I was exhausted and excited and irritated all at once. Irritated, because even though I really love music, I don't really care for having a certain song stuck in my head all day long-- especially a song that I only knew six whole lines of. When I sat down in line to do my study, I had for one restful moment, forgotten about this particular song. And then (ohhhh, and then) the guy sitting next to me in line starts humming the same song.

His hair was spikey, and his jeans were skinny. He sat there on his knees, drumming on his lap, and when I should have found the predicament annoying, i found it incredibly copacetic.

"I've had that song stuck in my head all day!"

"Haha. Yeeeah, it's a good one!"

He laughed what I now know to be his "nervous laugh" and smiled. He was only 'kinda' cute to me at the time.

We introduced ourselves. Found out that we were both attending Liberty University and that we were both majoring in worship leadership. Then, all of the little pieces started to come together. Earlier that morning, my friend Annie told me about a guy she met at the main session named Brandon Sharp who was a worship leader at Liberty. Even though she told him about me, I was obscenely jealous because she wasn't about to transfer into Liberty, I was. And I didn't know a soul there.

"Wait, are you Brandon..." (I tried to remember his last name) "...Sharp?"

He laughed another nervous laugh and followed it with a quick, deep breath in, as if he were about to deliver bad news.


For a moment he seemed disappointed, and at the time I didn't understand why. His whole demeanor shifted in an instant.

"So you're the same Brandon Sharp that met my friend Annie this morning?"

His eyes opened up wide, his back straightened up, and he leaned into me curiously. "You're THAT Chelsea?"

A week later when I started classes at Liberty, I realized why he was disappointed when I seemed to know who he was. People had been coming up to him all four days of Passion, wanting to meet the new kid on Campus Praise Band. I knew he was a worship leader there, but I had no idea what the Campus Praise Band was, nor that they led worship for the entire student body 5x a week.

It was weird seeing my friend up there on those big screens at first (heck, it's still a little weird). It took some time getting use to the stares as we walked about campus together. To me, he was just Brandon. He jumps off walls and drinks way too much caffeine. He has an alter ego that comes out past midnight, and his jokes are indescribably corny. He was my best friend.

and now, a year later, he's my boyfriend.
and i'm glad.


Monday, September 12, 2011

seis meses

I've never been one to celebrate monthiversary's, but somehow B and I ended up celebrating them. On our first month he showed up at my door with a single, pink rose. The next month, two. The next, three. And the tradition just stuck. Finally this week, I have a half dozen roses on display-- as well as a venti-sized Starbucks cold cup and a 17-minute piano instrumental track he recorded just for me. He's seriously the most thoughtful, most talented person I know.


I ended up making him some string art to hang up in his office at Liberty-- inspired by an artist I found on Etsy. I bought a wood mount at Michaels, stained it a dark walnut color, then nailed an outline of the state of Georgia onto it, filling it in by wrapping jewelry wire from one nail across to the other, and then somehow configured a heart out of nails and wire to mark Atlanta-- the place we met. I brought him into the dining room where I had it hanging on the wall, covered his eyes, and when I had him facing it, I took my hands away and the first thing he said was, "a frog??"

I don't know. Maybe it does look like a frog-- but at least he loved it once I explained what it was. I could hear him out in the living room examining it, exclaiming a "huh!" and a "you're so creative!" every now and again. He's cute.

After exchanging gifts, we settled in and spent the rest of the day watching LOST while drinking homemade cinnamon dolce chai's (another gift to him). We only took a break from the t.v. long enough to make pancakes, eggs, and bacon for dinner, and then back to being lazy we went.

It's great being in a relationship with the right person.
So great.


Friday, August 26, 2011


Good day, blog.

I just finished making lunch-- chicken fingers, via Lauren Valle. IN-credible. As a side: dad's green beans. It's a brilliant combination.

Jack is laying on top of the couch looking out the window; I'm still in the LU yoga pants and tee I slept in last night. No make-up, eyes are puffy, hair is barbaric, and my body-- a little more toned thanks to Jillian Michaels. I'm waiting for the right moment to make a Pumpkin Spice latte as I sit in this orange chair-- blogging, thinking, and praying.

I'm hurt today, y'all. And even still, the Lord leads me to still waters.

Sometime last year, when B and I were just friends, he wrote me a letter that said, "It's through other people's failures that you are shown the Lord's faithfulness, and for that, I am grateful." It was one of those letters that you hold onto. Like, forever. Timeless, because of the truth that was written into it. Today, that truth follows me around the house. Not only reminding me of our sinful nature, but of how holy, loving, and patient He is with us.

I think we all realize the reality of our nature in that we're always going to want to put ourselves first. We'll care more about ourselves than of our loved ones from time to time-- and they're going to do the same to us. It shouldn't be this way, but by His grace we can repent of it and fulfill the two greatest commandments: loving the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

I do plenty of putting myself first. Most of it probably without even realizing it. But y'all, there's no other time I'm more aware of my selfishness and how I've hurt others than when I've been the hurt-ee.

I can understand how God may feel when I say that I love Him, yet I don't make Him a priority in my life. How He may feel when I deliberately choose other things over Him. And even still, He's there for me, being patient with me, loving and forgiving me-- and after all of this, I can see not only how I've neglected Him, but how desperately I need to be more like Him. Sometimes, being hurt is the most healing.

He must become greater-- and I, less. My family, friends, roommates, and boyfriend must become greater-- and I, less. I am incapable of loving them the way God has called me to if I'm not loving Him first.

Do any of y'all know what this is like? How in being hurt, you then see how you yourself have hurt God and others? How do you choose to make Christ a priority in your day-to-day life? And can you see a difference in the way you love others when you do?

I'd love to hear your thoughts,


Thursday, August 25, 2011


i'm home. finally.
and it is, for a lack of better words-- lovely.

I'm currently in my new living room, sitting as close to the window as possible, trying to pick up YMCA's internet from across the street. Verizon's recent strike has left us internet-less. And so, here I sit by the window. "Borrowing."

Other than YouthQuest shenanigans and a few friends getting engaged, not much else is going on. One of these days I'll actually be able to sit down and write about more personal/spiritual "shtuff," but I don't think I've gotten to the point of being able to share them just yet. I never really know how much is too much share, so naturally I'll just revert to boring, everyday happenings. I know that there is a time to speak and a time to refrain, but my nature is totally open book and the refraining part can be tough from time to time. I write because I love it; I love crafting life into words and words into life. To me, they're one in the same. Whether or not I'm any good at it, I've no idea, but it helps me see and understand things I wouldn't have otherwise seen or understood.  And someday, I imagine, my children will look back on these posts and get to know who their mom was at their age; the good, the bad, the significant and insignificant. I've never desired that my writing be perfect in nature or in prose, because that's not reality; and because honestly, there's nowhere to go from there. I know that there will be times when I'll say more than I ought and you'll think I'm complete a heathen and want to stage an intervention and/or give me grammar lessons. But the beauty in weakness is that He is always strong, always good, always right, always loving, and always forgiving. He is what we dwell upon. I'm just a girl. Learning to be obedient to Him as I go.

Strangely, this is one of the only places in the world I feel comfortable enough to be myself in. And I am forever thankful that you let me do just that.

as always,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

pity party

Oh, my goodness, y'all. I'm going mad.

Just being here and knowing that I could be home right now drives me nuts. Why is this so dad gum hard?

I don't understand.

I wish I had something else to write about, but I've been a sad case lately. A sad, sad, pathetic, lonely case. And I've vowed that I wouldn't spew sad, sad, pathetic, lonely things around on here, so I guess I'll just go and take my pity party elsewhere. Like to a waffle cone full of Coconut Chocolate-Chip Almond ice-cream.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


So today is the day I no longer have an apartment of my own. Dad, Chase, and Byrd moved all my things out this morning.

It's sad, really. But I get to move into a new place with two wonderful women of God, where the rent is exponentially cheaper-- and that: I am excited about.

The days are dwindling down here in Spec. Only 8 more days to go before I'm back home with my wonderfully entertaining family, in our small, brick, ranch house, sleeping in until noon and sipping coffee from the Keurig all day long. It'll only be for a few days, but I will cherish them to pieces. As for being here in Spec, well -- there are some things I'll miss. But home overshadows them all. And I don't really believe that wanting to be home so badly is a bad thing. At least, it ceased being a bad thing the moment it ceased being a 'god-thing.' And I'll admit: it was a god-thing for me yesterday. There was nothing anyone could say to convince me to hash it out these last eight days. Well, except for B. And even still, he didn't try to convince me -- he just pointed me to the truth so that I could see it for myself. And the truth is that my home isn't in Speculator, and it's not in the Valley, and it's not in Lynchburg. My home is the Kingdom. And I should take hold of it as much as I can while I can. Invite it here. Manifest it here. Until I can't any longer. Until I'm face to face with the King and the Kingdom myself.

Until I'm home.


Dear friends, I urge you being aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from
the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul.
-1 Peter 2:11

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

the switch

"Soooo.... wanna switch?"

B leans onto the counter, sporting an adorable smirk and batting his thick, dark, glossy lashes at me. It was another normal night at the Tee-Pee; I was on register and B was on scoop. And he wanted to switch.

Now, my first instinct was "of course I'll switch with you" -- because naturally, I like him more than I like being on the register. But then I remembered that he didn't switch with me a couple weeks ago when I asked, so out of spite--I told him no.

He took it graciously, walked away, and I just stood there. Repaying him with evil. And feeling a little proud that I had hurt him. But then I realized I was standing there alone-- knowing that that was the most selfish thing I could ever think or do. Probably even more selfish than if I had just told him no on account of me really not wanting to switch. But that I told him 'no' simply out of spite?-- that like, quadruples the selfishness.

It wasn't long before I caved and called B over to the register.
"Babe! Take the register. Go!"

He smiled this coy little smile of gratitude and all of that selfishness I had harbored up, in an instant, turned into joy.

And I'm sure.

I'm sure that holding on to the things of this world only keeps us from the best of things. The heavenly things. The things that last well beyond this life. That every sacrifice we make is wrapped up into the only sacrifice big enough to save us.

No sacrifice can compare with Christ's, but every one-- no matter how big, no matter how small, is significant.


"do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." 
philippians 2:3-4

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

a chance

In some distant memory, I do recall myself hating it here. The reddish-purple marks left by the bug bites I received while hiding in the bushes crying reminds me of it. They're so annoying to look at.

Yesterday morning B and I woke up early and met each other at the beach. It was windy and overcast, but it was still peaceful, somehow. Both of us have been trying to make our way through Isaiah by reading a chapter a day for 60 days. It was really his idea, I'll give him credit, but I really wanted to jump on board as well. Moreover, I wanted to be able to talk about it together. He's a good one to talk to.

One of my roommates left this morning, so I got to move down to the bottom bunk, which I'm grateful for. It's a lot cooler down here. And my feet won't blister from climbing up the side of the bunk 50 times a day anymore.

Okay, okay-- so more like 10.
Maybe 5.

It's all relative, really.

I spent a half-hour making my bed and arranging the lamp, the fan, my computer charger, and my phone charger to my liking. All of which are plugged into an outlet might I add--the outlet I had on the top bunk, and now the outlet down here. I also inherited the two drawers on the bottom and some more hangers. Everything has a place now, and I love it. But I also feel kind of guilty. Should I? It wasn't even an hour after she left that I moved down here...

My classes are over and I'm proud to say that God got me through them, and with A's nonetheless--which is com-PLETELY out of character for me. So to celebrate my new gained freedom and academic successes, I treated myself to a few Amazon purchases:

I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah by Ravi Zacharias (he spoke here at Camp-of-the-Woods last week),

Desiring God by John Piper,

and a little fiction action--

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I've heard really great things).

It’s been forever since I’ve actually gotten to select my own reading material. And my afternoons have been bliss.

Our band 'True North' played at Battle of the Bands this past Saturday and somehow we ended up winning $500. B took me to Amsterdam for a reeeeeally nice dinner where I had stuffed Maine lobster. ‘Nuf said.

Afterward, we made a Wal-Mart trip and then went to see Transformers 3--the first movie we've seen together since we were in Atlanta. Sour Patch Kids were consumed.

After working at the Tee-Pee this evening (which is really just one huge sauna at the moment) B grabbed my hand and steered me toward the beach. My heart melted at the gesture, because usually we’re both so tired that we mindlessly head straight back to our dorms. Nothing was different tonight, both of us were equally tired, him even a little sick— but he took me to the beach. And it meant the world. In the past four months, I’ve realized that [one of] my love language[s] is definitely quality time. We don’t really have to do anything, or even talk necessarily. Just sitting on a bench under the night sky, overlooking the mountains and the lake with his arm around me is quite substantial.

So like I said-- in some distant memory, I recall hating it here. But now that I’ve been here for 4, going on 5 weeks, I do believe that I’m growing quite fond of little’ ole Speculator.

A chance was all it took.

Thanks for praying for me, bloggies!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

camp-of-the-woods: week four

Hey there blogosphere! I have some pictures for you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a happy fourth

Confession: I missed the fourth of July due to Tee-Pee duty. And no, blogsters -- I'm not referring to toilet paper, just to the ice-cream shop I work at every evening. I get to wear a cool hat and put up with grumpy old men. It's fun.

Well, despite my devastating hang-up at the prime hang-out spot in Speculator (lovingly referred to as "Speck"), I did get to celebrate another fourth that I happen to be very fond of. And it conveniently happened to occur today on my day off.

But listen y'all: you can't "awww" or gag or roll your eyes, okay? Because all I'm doing is stating a fact. Just a plain, simple, fact...

....that today is four months of being B's girlfriend.

I'm sorry!--but I really couldn't keep it inside. I'm elated. And not just because I'm dating my best friend and it's the longest/best relationship I've ever had, but because in honor of our four "month-a-versary," he drove me all the way to Saratoga to the nearest B&N (which is a grueling hour and a half away), took my hand, and led me straight to the Moleskine display where the two most beautiful words I have ever heard him say flew through the air: "Pick one."

Pick one?! Oh, happy day.

B, you're my hero.
Let's have a month-a-versary every month, k?
I'll put it in my Moleskine.


Friday, July 8, 2011

i'm not a wife

...but when that time comes, i want to be ready for it.
i love this sermon by Mark Driscoll.

 i really need one of these.

"watch your life and your doctrine closely."
-1 timothy 4:16

Monday, July 4, 2011


I haven't done anything these past couple days as far as school is concerned. Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed that I find myself paralyzed to even start anything, let alone finish anything. This predicament is nothing new (thus why I am going into my sixth year of college...), yet I think I might be showing some progress towards diligence. It's just an extremely slow process....

...just as finishing all of this is going to be:

-a  ten page research paper on Paul's argument for justification through faith
- a four page paper on the "I Am"s
- some worldview paper I haven't even looked at yet
- two tests
- two quizzes
- a discussion board post
- and four discussion board replies

college. is. fun.
(sense the sarcasm?)

Among other things, my ankles and legs are covered in bug bites--because like an idiot, when I really needed to let it all out, I refused to go to my room and cry infront of my roommates. Instead, I decided to plant myself in some bushes by a horseshoe pit filled with sand at 11pm at night whilst wearing shorts and sandals. Hence the bug bites. Hence my idiocy.

And another thing I found out:
my medicine is the wrong medicine and it's making me crazy. Literally. Crazy.

Which would explain my bad attitude, bad attitude, bad attitude, obsessive crying, reclusiveness, and depressed state of being. It's the PMS that never ends. And y'all-- it's terrible.

But don't fret blogsters, I'll be back to normal here soon.

To all you crazies out there:
-don't make any rash, life altering decisions
- don't cry in the bushes
-check to make sure it's not your drugs making you cray-cray.

Rx drugs, of course.


Thursday, June 30, 2011


it's 4:30pm on a thursday afternoon.

everyone on teen staff is playing capture the flag with the kids and eating cupcakes.


well, I should be writing my research paper.
but I'm not.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

how much more?

This morning at our Teen Staff devo, we read a couple chapters of Romans straight through and as I was sitting there listening, a couple verses in chapter six suddenly hit me in between the ears:

"9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

I don't know about y'all, but when I've been on my last and final string, I rarely think back to: "that while we were dead in our sin, Christ died for us." I mean, I try to think about that-- but if I'm being honest, most of the time I just end up reverting back to things like this:
 - "Are you sure you're even a Christian?"

 - "AGAIN? You seriously failed AGAIN?"

 - "Just give up now, chels."
and my favorite:
 - "you suck, you suck, you suck, you suck..."

I wish I were exaggerating.

I am slowly, most times impatiently, learning to replace those lies with truth--
because here's the kicker:

If we were dead when Christ reconciled us to Him, how much more is He going to reconcile us to Himself now that we're alive Him?

We were in complete darkness--with no ability, no power, no strength, and no understanding of our own, and then Christ came into the picture, breathed His Spirit into us, and saved us. We never even knew how hopeless we were until we found hope in Him, and now that He's claimed us, we often times don't even realize how hopeful we should be.

Y'all, at the end of the day, I think that this is something that a lot of us as believers "know" but don't necessarily "understand" or come to grips with; and it's simply that our lives aren't supposed to feel like a losing battle anymore. We have Him and His help now. He will not leave us wanting or lacking, and He will not let us remain as we are. Our sin shouldn't discourage us any longer, because His promise is so sure:

"that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

How much more will He lead us in the way of everlasting now that we're His?
My guess is, more than we even realize.


Monday, June 27, 2011


Ever have a dream that just left you in a funk the next day?? I'm talking residues, people. Residues of something that's not. even. REAL.

I've woken up from dreams that I've had about B, totally mad at him for something he didn't actually do. Then I'll have dreams that he did something really sweet and wonderful and I wake up super giddy. The poor guy is probably so confused.

Last night I had a dream that my aunt accidentally chopped off her hand and I called Mark Driscoll.
(Your guess is as good as mine.)

This is how it played out:


"911. What's your emergency?"

"Wait - is this Mark Driscoll?"

"Suuuure is. Can I help you?"

"No wayyyyy! Okay, so first off, I just have to tell you that I absolutely LUH-HUV your sermons. Secondly, my aunt needs an ambulance right away - she chopped off her hand. By accident of course."

"Totally! If the hand was cleanly severed, go ahead and stick it in the freezer and an ambulance will be there shortly."

"Oh, right - yeah, yeah of course!"


I'm sorry - but, what the heck kind of dream is that?

Then there was this other dream I had last night that consisted of me holding this girl that I kind-of-know-sort-of-know in real life. She had broken down at the sight of me, as if I had something to do with her pain. In reality, I'm not sure if this is actually the case or not, but in the dream, I felt so much for her. I just sat there with her, and held her, and brushed her hair, and told her that I was sorry over and over and over again.

And today, I just can't get her off my mind.
Maybe this was the Lord's way of pressing me to pray for her?

What do you all think? Weird, huh?

Anyways, this camp-employee is starvin'.
Do me a favor and don't handle any sharp objects today.


in the stars

"Those stars are...

And they were. Absolutely ridiculous.
I couldn't help but stare at them. Everyone else around the bonfire was singing worship tunes and praying -- you know, being all spiritual and what-not. A few were laughing and joking around, but all I did was look up; and I was amazed.

And isn't that just as important sometimes? To just be. And to let Him be. Sometimes I feel like we try so hard to coerce God into coming down to us by attempting to create or force an emotional, spiritual experience - when in reality, He's already here. He's in us. And He's all around. All the time.

Lately my motto for worshiping God has been simple:
 Just go with it.

If being flabberghasted (yeah ---I just said "flabberghasted") over the fact that He spoke each and every star into existence AND He gave each and every one a name, if that makes someone recognize His greatness, then that's exactly the kind of worship they should be participating in.
Please don't get me wrong-- for someone else, it could have been the prayers, the worship songs, or even the kiddin'-around-ness. And I think that is what encourages me the most about worship: that even when we've failed at showing His glory, something else has succeeded. There is too much to Him; too much to feel bad about the fact that something went horribly wrong with the sound for my mic, guitar, and monitors at Staff Fellowship tonight. I mean, we're talkin' cover-your-ears-and-shudder material. I would say that I was flabberghasted at the awfulness, but I've already used that word already.

Ya'll, what I'm getting at is simply that we can, and should, worship God in practically everything we choose to see, hear, read, say or do - and tonight, for me: His glory wasn't in the music -- it was in the stars. And earlier today, it was in a serving of french-fries.

So like I said: practically everything.

"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen."
-Romans 11:36


Saturday, June 25, 2011

such things

Wow. Where to begin.

 I have a boyfriend, which you probably know by now - but I haven't mentioned it on my blog at all since we happened, so here's me officially catching you up.

And now on to the past two weeks...

1) My little brother’s graduation, but let’s not talk about it because it’s weird and makes me feel entirely too old.

2) Brandon (boyfriend, whom I often refer to as "B") and I getting the same stomach virus at the same time:

Me: "Babe…can you bring me some pepto?"
B: "I’m sick in bed and feel like I’m about to throw up…"

All my hopes of a settled stomach shattered.

3) Getting my apartment ready for move out. I boxed up as much as I could in a day, then Byrd and B came over to help me prime the walls. I didn't cry once. Praises.

4) B came over to my apartment the next day for some anti-nausea medicine. He was white as a sheet when he walked in the door, so I made him lay down and retrieved a “puke bucket” for him. As I was in my closet packing up, I all of a sudden heard niagra falls. Puke bucket = brillant idea. Chucking the entire bucket into the dumpster afterward = an even more brillant idea. Some things just aren’t worth rescuing.

5) That same day, we left for Roanoke. We were able to eat some dinner and keep it down, thank goodness. The next two days were a riot. We taught ten middle schooler’s six worship tunes for a training camp we were teaching at the Church of the Holy Spirit (the same church that sent me to Passion 2010 where I met B). B taught the music, I taught the singers, then we came together and had a night of worship with all of their family and friends. ‘Twas…interesting. :)

6) When the evening was over, B and I drove to New Market and stayed at my parents house which saved us 2.5 hours of drive time. We left the next morning at around 8:30am and at around 4:30pm, we arrived in Speculator, NY.

So, all in all - a lot of great things, and a lot of not-so-great things (puke bucket, anyone?).

And this is where I have been: battling the great things with the not-so-great things. Like the fact that while it is gorgeous here, a part of me would still rather be in Virginia where it’s both beautiful and there’s a Starbucks and a movie theatre right down the road. I’m battling the fact that while I love leading worship, I am not up-to-par with the rest of the band musically and that’s discouraging; chord charts were once close friends of mine but apparently they couldn’t make the trip up.

But more than all of this, I’m having the hardest time battling a bad attitude, a bad attitude, and a bad attitude.

I’ve either cried or wanted to cry every day since we’ve been here, and I honestly couldn’t even put a finger on it as to why. I really miss home, and I really miss normal. I miss being able to spend time with B - enjoying fun, relaxing, quality, him-and-me time; i.e. going on dates and watching movies and cooking dinner together. Everything looks and feels different now that we’re here, and I guess it sort of caught me off guard. I ended up sitting down with him on a park bench and bawled my eyes out like a crazy, insecure, needy girl, whining about how he basically ignored and avoided me all day (I may have exaggerated a little). Let’s just say he’s made more of an effort to show me some affection since then, and only God knows why. I would’ve ran in the opposite direction and left my whiney self in New York.

So needless to say, he’s been a real sport. I resent the fact that he’s seen me cry more this week than he’s seen me cry the entire year and a half we’ve known each other, but I’m thankful - more than thankful - to be with someone who can handle me at my worst.

(I at least hope this is me at my worst.)

So here is what I’m learning: my attitude and perspective is a choice. I’ve been having to surrender each and every insecurity, every negative thought, every mood swing, every tear, and every momentary breeze of homesickness over to Christ and exchange it for Him, His Word and all the good things about this summer. It’s been difficult, but I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be, because If I could do it on my own, I wouldn’t need Him, and then I’d be missing out on everything that’s worth knowing and worth becoming. It’s a season to spread my wings, try new things, meet new people, grow in Christ, forgo chord charts, and cherish every here-and-there hand hold with B as if it were the best thing in the world, because in this season - it is :)

I’m choosing to think about such things - but I’ll still need some serious prayer.

(Now would be a good time.)

”And finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8


Friday, May 6, 2011

ministry teams

After a year and a half of being here at Liberty University and trying out for ministry teams, God generously placed me onto a team! I'm stoked to say that this fall, I will be singing and playing my little heart out for the worship band of YouthQuest. It's a ministry team comprised of 20 members, sectioned up in three ways, all sharing the same passion: to love Christ and to love His children by way of worship, creative arts, and discipleship. We'll travel 8-10 weekends out of each semester and have our spring tour in FLORIDA! You guys, I can't even tell you how excited I am to meet the people we're destined to meet on these trips. What a blessing and what an honor it is to be able to serve God and His people in such challenging (yet, super cool) way! I can't wait.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

character versus comfort

It’s almost four am here in Lynchburg.

I laid my head down at 12:30, then I fell into that weird in-between stage between being asleep and awake. That place is the worst.

I tossed and turned and tossed and turned. I tried fluffing my pillows and putting my down comforter in between my legs to keep my knees from knocking together. I felt completely comfortable physically (I have the most amazing bed ever), but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, I was getting ambushed.

I got a call this morning from a debt collector. It wasn’t anything ostentatious, just a hospital bill from when I went to the ER last semester for strep throat (I tried calling out of work the night before, but my then-boss said she was going to fire me if I didn’t show up to work that morning at 4am with a doctors excuse).

I thought I paid the bill last semester, so I double checked my bank statements, and sure enough there was a check to Centra for $110. But the debt collector said that was separate from the $125 bill she had. The $110 was only for the room. The $125 was for the actual doctor. It would have been cheaper just getting fired.

So, needless to say – that set me back some (as did the $570 it took to fix my car the other week).

With money on the mind, I started looking into borrowing money for classes this summer. So I called financial aid to see how much I could borrow, and let's just say it never goes as expected and it always puts me in a bad mood. College is so darn expensive!

At this point, I'm just depressed. Seriously. So I went into work at 6:30, worked until 10:30, picked up a shift for this morning from 9am-3pm, and signed up for four extra hours to my already 8-hour workday on Saturday, where, for every extra two-hours I work, I'll earn a $10 giftcard to Sheetz. Gas money, hello.

I might be a little bitter that I won’t get to go home earlier today or be able to stay longer on Saturday, but you know – you just have to do what you have to do to avoid a visit from the repo man.

I know that God has me right where He wants me - even if that place has me up to my eyebrows in debt. But sometimes for that very reason (and this is just my flesh speaking),  I resent it. How on earth am I going to be able to do this whole adult-life thing after college? What kind of job am I going to get that will allow me to pull rent all by myself, bills all by myself, and these student loans all by myself? How in the world is this going to be worth it?

Oddly enough, the most comforting thing I heard today was that God cares more about our character than He does our comfort.

I'll be shutting up now.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Apartment Five-Oh-Eight

My apartment continually keeps
When I'm not working or studying or playing music at Brentwood, I'm busy decorating and rearranging and dreaming about decorating and rearranging. There are three coats of paint on the walls from my tenancy alone and a ton of nail holes in the walls. When the day comes to move out, I'll throw a party where we'll all celebrate by priming and spackling and sanding. Sounds like a good time, right?

Sniffle, sniffle.

Thrift store keyholder turned spool holder!

Camel colored suede and dark-grey faux-fur fabric from
JoAnn's made the perfect pillows!
My dream couch! I found it at the Estate Specialist downtown for $150!

Okay - so I got a little carried away with the chalkboard what?

Happy nesting!
(the non-expecting kind)...