January has come and gone – with it, many great memories! Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to writing my December Joys, by the time I carved out time to sit down and write, January was half over. If you’d like to read November’s Joys, you can check them out here.
* This month was exceptionally busy, so be prepared for loads of pictures! *
Here are my daily joys in January!
My birthday is two weeks from yesterday! Yes, I am already counting – 13 days! I personally think birthday’s should be a national celebration.
The day you entered the world.
The day you gasped your first breath on planet earth.
The day you cried as little ones do.
Birthdays are important because we celebrate someone’s life, we pause and acknowledge their innate value because they are a part of the human race that God sovereignty ordained.
As much as I adore birthdays – the party, the gifts, the cake, the balloons, the excitement, etc. a part of my heart dreads them.
As 2013 draws to a close, I’ve been planning out my goals for 2014. I’m writing a more extensive post on this which will be up soon.
As you know, I’m a huge nerd and absolutely adore reading. The majority of my Christmas presents were books. While I definitely don’t have a problem reading, or getting books completed, I figured it would be fun to track the books I’m planning on reading in 2014. This idea is not original at all, Jon Acuff is the one that created the Empty Shelf Challenge.
Here’s the premise of the challenge:
Boy do I have a treat for you! I have been so excited to share a project that I’ve been doing this month with you. First, let me say that this idea is not original, several of my friends have done this, and I borrowed the idea!
I struggled a little bit in September with loneliness, fear and a host of other emotions that weren’t completely honoring to the Lord. God gently showed me that I was griping and complaining. Oh, how often He has to correct me.
For the month of October, I decided to focus on the “small joys” in life. Every day, I wrote down something that brought me joy. I want to avoid using the word, “happy”, because happiness is circumstantial. However, I believe that you can find joy and be thankful in any situation!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It has been such a delight to being my day with eager expectation to see what kind of joys the day will bring. Sure, there have been days when tears have fallen, but I have chosen to find joy. This is also a good way to keep track of my days; I do journal, but not every day. I definitely plan on continuing this “project” every month, and sharing it with you. If you would like to participate, I would love to know the things that are bringing you joy!
I attended a reception in DC for Liberty students and alum. While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting Shannon Bream, an anchor on Fox News, but more important to me, Shannon was my commencement speaker. I didn’t get to met her at graduation, because things were crazy backstage. When I spoke with her at the reception, I mentioned to her that we shared a stage – her as the keynote speaker, and me presenting the Senior Class Gift. She said that she thought I looked familiar! It was great getting to chat for about half an hour!
An acquaintance from Liberty is spending a few months working in DC. While I didn’t know her very well at Liberty, we reconnected in DC and have had dinner together several times. We had an incredible, raw and honest conversation over dinner. It was refreshing to sit down with a sister in Christ, admit our shortcomings and failures, and spur one another on to the Cross.
On this day, a lady tried to ram her car into the barricades outside the White House, and then there was a car chase that ended at the Capitol and the lady was eventually killed. For whatever reason, this event scared me senseless. As I watched the news all afternoon (probably not the best idea!), my heart was overcome with fear. The White House is a block from my office in DC, and the fact that it happened so close scared me. After everything died down, I walked over to the White House and sat on a park bench and sobbed. The joy that I found on that day was the people who called me to make sure that I was okay. Knowing that people cared about me, and wanted to check on me, literally meant the world to me.
Since I was still physically shaken up from the events of the day before, and some other personal life events, I decided to take the morning off from work in order to get some extra sleep. It was such a delight to sleep in and have a slow morning before heading into work. It’s the small things
I spent the night with my friend Lauren. She was invited to a wedding last minute, and asked if I would like to join her! Not knowing a single person at the wedding besides her, I tagged along to “wedding crash”. The wedding took place outside, and we were able to get some gorgeous pictures! Even though I didn’t know anyone, I still managed to have a blast!
Our porch has to be my favorite thing about my home. We have twinkle lights around the top, a futon and a space heater to keep my toes toasty warm. I spent the evening outside with my Bible and journal, sipping coffee by candlelight. Literally the perfect evening!
I received a random encouraging facebook message from an acquaintance. It was so sweet and my heart welcomed the words of kindness!
I was asked out on a date by a guy on the metro. Obviously, I choose not to go, because I didn’t know if he was a Christian, and I’m typically not the type of girl to go out with people that I don’t know at all. Nevertheless, it was flattering!
This song by Shane & Shane –
I went to a discussion on Religious Liberties put on by the ERLC and the Manhattan Declaration. The discussion was fantastic and I would love to see more discussions such as this one held. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Russel Moore. He wrote the book, Adopted for Life and has two adopted Russian boys!
Cleaning my home! This might sound silly, but I love having a clean home, and today, I was in the mood to clean! I rolled up my sleeves, put on some fun tunes and got to work!
…the results were a spotless house!
Spending the day at home!
Sometimes you just need a day at home with absolutely nothing on the agenda! That was today, and it was good!
My heart got overwhelmed at a discussion at church. I cried and texted my roommates saying that my heart hurt. My sweet roommate came to pick me up from the metro (it’s about a 10-15 minute walk home), listened while I poured out my heart. It was good to have a friend take care of my heart!
Columbus Day! I had the privilege of going on a day trip to West Virginia with a group of people from my church. The group was smaller – just me and three others. We had the most edifying conversations, and it was so encouraging to my heart. To be honest, I’m not used to people going as deep as we did, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed them asking thought-provoking questions and actually caring about the answers
While I was grocery shopping, I had the best hour long conversation with my little brother! So thankful for this handsome guy…
I had the privilege of having dinner with a girl who’s about 5 years younger than me from my church. This girl intentionally reached out to me, so we met up at my favorite restaurant in DC – District Taco (If you ever visit me in DC, don’t worry, I’ll take you there! They might know me by name!)
On my way to work, I was sitting next to a guy on the metro who was reading the book of Revelation in his Bible. I tapped him on the shoulder and commented to him that it was encouraging to see someone else reading their Bible. We ended up having the best conversation and he encouraged me in my walk.
After work, I headed down to Liberty (my Alma-mater!) with a few friends! I spent the evening with one of my old roommates who is currently serving as an RD. It was SO good and refreshing to see friends from school!
My friend Bethany and I spent the day together. It was so relaxing. We visited one of my favorite coffee shops, read books, and enjoyed one another’s company!
On the drive back to Liberty, we put on hymns and as the miles passed, we praised God at the top of our lungs!
I am getting involved with the local crisis pregnancy center, and after training, one of my roommates who’s doing the training with me and I stayed and talked with a lady for over two and a half hours! The Lord gave us a new friend and a wonderful sister in Christ!
Finished up a project that I was asked to write and submitted it – Can’t tell you about it yet! You’ll have to wait until later in November :)
Unfortunately, some idiot named Chelsea dropped her phone today and it was unresponsive :( After briefly mourning the fact that my phone died, I headed to the nearest Verizon and purchased a new phone. Thankfully, I was able to get a good deal on a phone!
Today has two things that made me smile! :)
1) The Charlotte Observer ran a letter to the editor that I submitted on the effects of ObamaCare to young adults in North Carolina!
Check it out!
2) While I was at Liberty, I had the privilege of serving as the Senior Class President. For the Senior Class Gift, I planned and put together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week in order to inform and inspire students on how to be pro-life, not only in word but also in deed. The Senior Class at Liberty raised over $25,000 to donate to the Liberty Godparent Home, whose purpose is to provide girls a place to stay while they are pregnant. I received an update that they had purchased a much needed van with the money. Tears were brought to my eyes when I saw this picture and realized how BIG our God is. I am just an instrument in God’s hands, and my life goal is to bring Him glory!
I met my future mother-in-law! Hee hee! Just kidding! But I did have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Pam Tebow – Tim Tebow’s mom. I have started volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center, and attended a benefit dinner for the center. Mrs. Tebow was the keynote speaker. I wasn’t aware, but when she was pregnant with Tim, the doctors recommended that she abort him. Obviously she chose life and now has an incredible platform to speak on the issues of life. She was such a gem of a lady!
Some dear sisters and friends in Christ….
Ben Rector Concert.
My friend Lauren and I had the best evening.
Tyrone Wells and Ben Rector performed an EXCELLENT show! Here are some snapshots from the show!
I went to dinner after Sunday evening church with a group of people that attend the church. The conversation turned to unsaved friends/family members that I have, and the group ended up surrounding me and praying over those in my life who aren’t saved.
Today was a really rough day, and I cried on more than one occasion This song helped me to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. I’m on a Shane and Shane kick right now if you haven’t noticed!
Leaning into the promises of God.
Once again, the past few days were hard, and I had to meditate much on the promises of God.
The fall leaves.
Happy Reformation Day!
I left work early and headed to Union Station to catch a train. Winston-Salem, North Carolina – aka HOME was my final destination! My plan was to go surprise my Mom for her birthday!!
I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post! I had a blast putting it together! Stay tuned for November’s joys!
Sometimes I wonder if life is long enough, because there are so many dreams in my heart and I desire to see them all come to fruition.
Right now I’m living one of my dreams!
2 months ago, I picked up my life and moved to a city where I knew almost no one and began building a life in Washington D.C. The journey hasn’t been what I expected it to be, it’s been harder than I ever imaged, yet better than I could have asked for!
I literally accepted a job and moved to DC within 3 weeks! It was a whirlwind, but the Lord worked out so many details, and I know that the nation’s capital is where He has called me for the time being!!
Here is a snapshot of some of my dreams!
1) Grow old with my best friend!
Yes, I do want a beautiful wedding day, but I am more excited about marrying my best friend and the love of my life. What a privilege the Lord gives us to grow old with one person and honor Him through a marriage!
My heart does long to have a man that will choose to love me, cherish me, care about me, and represent Christ to me…
The Lord hasn’t placed that person in my life yet, but I am genuinely content with where I am. I know that the Lord’s timing is far better than I can imagine. I am not sitting around “waiting” to be married, I am living my life as a single woman and if the Lord sees fit, I shall be married! Until then, here’s to single hood!
2) Adopt a child!
I take that back…I want to adopt a whole village of children!!
Being adopted myself, I am constantly aware of what an incredible gift adoption is! My life would not be the same if I hadn’t been adopted, and one of my biggest desires is to give the gift of adoption to children in the future!
3) Write a book!
The Lord has specifically called me to write a book for women. The topic that He has asked me to write about is the most intimate part about myself and I am not sure when the right time to share it is. A few years ago, I found out some things that radically changed my life, and were an intense time of suffering in my life. As a result of the things I found out, my life and future changed.
4) Travel the world
I have been blessed to visit some pretty cool places!
It stole my heart…
Athens and a few islands in Greece
Even though I’ve been to some of the world’s most incredible locations, there is a hunger in me to see even more of the world! A few of the other places I’d like to see include:
London, England – I need to visit Princess Kate
Revisit Paris – A piece of my heart was left there
Swiss Alps – Maybe try some skiing?
Amalfi Coast –
…basically anywhere in Europe
Fiji – I hear the beaches are pretty!
The Grand Canyon
Prince Edward Island, Canada – Anne of Green Gables
Charleston, South Carolina
New York City
I am already planning my next trip…
5) Live in a house with a red door!
This might seem like a silly dream, but I have always wanted to live in a house with a red door. There is something so welcoming about a red door, and I intend to have a house with an inviting red door!
6) Perfect my French
Je parle un peu de français – I speak a little French
I have taken a few years of French, but I am far from fluent! I would love to be able to speak it well one day!
7) Have lunch with John Piper
Of all the people on this planet I could sit down with for an hour or two, John Piper tops the list! He is one of the men who’s writing and speaking leads me closer to Christ. I have read almost every one of his books, listened to countless sermons and watched videos of him. It would be an honor to meet such a man of God!
Those are just a few of my dreams! While I have many others, some great and some small, I close in sharing my biggest goal and dream in life!
My greatest passion and desire is that my life accurately represents Christ to the world!
If I accomplish every one of my other dreams, but fail in this area, I have wasted my life! Oh may this never be!
Beloved, as I’ve shared some of my heart with you, my charge and encouragement to you is this – whatever your dreams are, may you always glorify our Father in heaven first and foremost. I constantly submit my dreams before His throne, because He is my great guide and knows what is best for me and for His glory!
Be prepared for picture overload! I think it’s high time I share some of my latest adventures!
My adjustment to the city has been improving as I’ve gotten into a routine, made a few more friends, found a church that I really like, and time helps all!
I crossed something off my bucket list this recently!!
Saw John Mayer in concert!
John Mayer is one of my favorite (secular) artists. One of my dear friends (and college roommates), Lauren found lawn tickets for fairly cheap, so we purchased them and eagerly awaited the concert! Lauren lives about an hour from me, so I metroed out as far as the line would take me, she picked me up and our adventure began!
We arrived with plenty of time to get settled in with our blanket on the lawn!
Phillip Phillips opened up the evening with American Idol winning voice! While I enjoy his music, he is still developing a stage presence! After Phillip Phillips was finished, there was an intermission, and then it was time for John Mayer!! He took the stage as the sun was just beginning to slip away, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while he serenaded us!
John’s concert was hands down the best one I’ve ever been to! Not only is his voice gorgeous, he is such a talented musician! Half of the time he was playing with his eyes closed, and you could tell that he was feeling the music and that it was his passion! He sang all of my favorite songs, but my all-time favorite of his is “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”.
While I enjoyed every moment of his concert, my heart did break for John. At one point during the concert, he started just rambling and he is so lost! I pray for him, that the Lord will open his eyes to Himself, and that life with God is so much better than the life he is currently living!
Here is a small taste of his music for you to enjoy!
These are two of my current favorites!
** I’m currently looking for a Christian version of John Mayer, so if anyone knows of one, send him my way! **
This past weekend, Lauren and I had another adventure! In between sleeping in late, a little shopping and girl talk, we escaped to visit the great outdoors!
Virginia is home to some of the prettiest places, and I got to visit one!
My dear friends, I introduce you to Great Falls…
This stunningly beautiful park is right outside DC!
I feel like I could live in the area for years and never run out of things to do.
During the summer, the National Harbor shows outdoor movies. Recently they wrapped up the summer by showing my all-time favorite movie, “Remember the Titans”. A group of friends and I arrived early, set up our things and took a stroll around the area!
Oh, did I mention that I leave my boat there! (Obviously kidding!)
We were in for a treat! The original Titan football team was on location doing a meet and greet! I was giddy as I stood in line waiting to meet them!
Some of the players…
But my favorite moment of the evening was getting to meet the original coaches!!! It was an honor to get to meet men who faced opposition and still stood strong for the convictions they held that all men are created equal!
Pardon the horrible picture quality!
Such a fun evening!!
Please understand that these are just the highlights of the past few weeks! My life is by no means this glamorous every day! I thought it would just be fun to share some of the fun things that have been happening!!
First of all, I want to say a huge “thank you” to all of the incredible support and encouragement I received from my recent post on loneliness. My heart was built up so much. I was reminded that even thought I don’t have a strong community here in DC, there are people that love and care about me! To all of my friends and family – ya’ll mean more to me than I can ever put into words! Thank you for your constant texts/phone calls/encouragement!
Since my last post was on the heavier side, I figured I’d just share some things that are currently making me smile!
It’s the small things…
1) Operation “domestic Chelsea”…
My fairly limited bank account, and my abundance of time has lead me to start
learning how to cook perfect my cooking/baking skills!!
Okay, so spinach isn’t exactly Rachel Ray, but it’s a start!!
Also, I can make a mean banana bread! Seriously, I’m pretty proud of it!
I figured that if I wanna get a man one day – I should learn how to woo him with my cooking skills! They always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach right?!
2) The gorgeous farmers market near my office…
Some co-workers and I headed out to take a stroll through a farmers market that is a block away from our office and a block away from the White House! Michelle Obama is known to have shopped there! I would have bought all the flowers if I could! They were practically screaming to be taken home and enjoyed!!
The veggies weren’t too shabby either!!
3) A little bit of home (via pictures from my family!)…
I miss this furry little beast!
These girls are my world! It’s a fact, I have the most gorgeous, sweetest, and basically most awesome sisters ever!
4) This mug…
I’d never been to Anthropology before, and my first “DC” friend, Rachel made me promise that I’d wait and go with her. Well the other night, Rachel and I were grabbing dinner and she showed up with a gift bag and this incredibly cute mug in it. I swear it makes coffee taste better, if that was even possible!!
5) Morning Texts from my brother…
When I left home, Nicholas told me that he was going to text me every morning, and he has kept that promise! I look forward to keeping in touch with him, even if it’s just a short text or two in the morning because we’re both so busy! My current life goal is to find my brother a great woman. (Applications currently being accepted!
6) The road trip I’m currently planning…
Maybe I’m dreaming a little bit, but how gorgeous are those mountains?! One day I plan on buying a jeep wrangler, loading up and driving across the country. Yes, I know gas prices are outrageous, but I wanna see this great country I call home!
7) This video…
Somehow I stumbled upon this video at work the other day and decided to watch it. I didn’t know what to expect, and ended up sitting at my desk with tears pouring down my cheeks! Maybe it was the fact that I was worn out and a tad more emotional than usual, but if you have a few minutes, watch this video! Such a precious love story!
Hello from our nation’s capital!!
Well…I’ve been in the city for a full week!
Last Friday, I said good bye to my siblings! My family is the most important thing to me, and I had a difficult time as I gave them each hugs and climbed into the car to drive away!
The drive up to DC was rather uneventful, my mom and I chatted most of the way up! Once we reached the house where I’m living, the girls immediately came out and welcomed me and helped me move it! I’m living with 3 other girls, and we all went to Liberty! Crazy how God brings people back together!
Here’s a picture of my new house!
With so many people’s help, moving in was a breeze! I’m sharing a room with a friend, so I set up my half of the room!
Not the best picture, but this is what my little corner of home looks like!
And yes, I did bring my childhood stuffed monkey with me! Where I go…Pinky goes!
I hit the ground running the weekend I moved in, because one of the girls in my house was celebrating her birthday! A group of us headed over to another friends house to spend the afternoon together!
Later, we all came back to the house, and one of the guys that they knew had turned our backyard into a Pinterest explosion!
Seriously, now gorgeous is this?!
We all ate dinner outside and enjoyed the beauty until rain drove us back inside.
The next day, my roommate and I ventured out to try a church that had been recommended to me by a lot of people! Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Isn’t this place gorgeous?
I was throughly impressed with the church! The preaching was solid, and Mark Dever (the senior pastor, who also wrote the book 9 Marks) reminded me a lot of Tim Keller! I ended up attending the bible study on wednesday night. I was hoping to meet some people there, but had somewhere to be right after, so I couldn’t stay and meet people! But I definitely plan on going back!!
After church, Caroline (my roommate) and I headed over to Georgetown! I’d never been and we were meeting up with some people for lunch! We ate at an adorable place called Dean and Duluca!
Then….we went to Georgetown Cupcake!
I got a red velvet cupcake and it was heavenly!
First day at my big girl job:
Let me just start off by saying that I have the world’s most incredible friends, and have been surrounded with nothing but support and encouragement! Monday morning, my phone blew up with kind words from friends and family!
I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8:00 am for my first day of work! The first few days were mostly training, but on Thursday and Friday, I had actual work that I could begin doing! I absolutely love my job so far! Everyone at the office has been sweet to me and I’m beginning to get a feel for the office!
This post is long and I apologize for that! I wanted to give everyone an update on how I’m doing! Several people have asked how I’m doing, and I’m doing good! I truly mean that, I’m doing quite well! I think I expected to have a huge breakdown (and that might happen later down the road) but right now, I’m enjoying getting to explore the city!
If anyone has any recommendations on what to see and do in DC (other than the obvious) I’d love your suggestions!