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