Tonight I fell in love…

Tonight I fell in love…

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with a handsome guy named Aaron. He had the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen and kept staring at me all evening! My heart couldn’t help but fall in love with him the moment I saw him. He captured my attention all evening and I was sad to see him leave.

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Honest thoughts on birthdays….

Fun Fact: I love birthdays!e3e0302326dcf3c5f5edc0c3fded8a15

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.

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As much as I adore birthdays – the party, the gifts, the cake, the balloons, the excitement, etc. a part of my heart dreads them.

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My dreams…

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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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…

 

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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!

 

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I take that back…I want to adopt a whole village of children!!

 

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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!

 

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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

 

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I have been blessed to visit some pretty cool places!

 

  • Bucharest, Romania

 

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  • Paris, France

 

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It stole my heart…

 

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  • Athens and a few islands in Greece

 

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  • Rome, Italy

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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

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • Revisit Paris – A piece of my heart was left there

  • Prague

  • Swiss Alps – Maybe try some skiing?

  • Amalfi Coast –

  • Croatia

  • Ireland

  • …basically anywhere in Europe

  • Fiji – I hear the beaches are pretty!

  • Colorado Mountains

  • The Grand Canyon

  • Alaska

  • Hawaii

  • Niagara Falls

  • Prince Edward Island, Canada – Anne of Green Gables

  • Charleston, South Carolina

  • New York City

 

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I am already planning my next trip…

5) Live in a house with a red door!

 

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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!

 

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7) Have lunch with John Piper

 

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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!

 

 

Etc…

 

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!

 

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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!

Adoption – Ordained by God

I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could before the tears started pouring down my cheeks. Once inside the bathroom, I sat down and wept. A few moments earlier, some words had been spoken that had cut into my heart like a knife. Someone had been explaining what an orphanage was to some children and said some extremely hurtful and insensitive things concerning adoption. Not only did the words sting my heart, there were also a few other adopted children within earshot of the discussion.

As I cried in the bathroom, it hit me like a ton of bricks….

Not everyone

….views adoption in the same way that I do!

….views it as precious or mandated by God!

….views adopted children as equal to biological children

….views orphans as people deserving our love

To me, being adopted is the greatest gift I could ever imagine receiving apart from my salvation. Being adopted is a part of my identity, because not only have I been adopted physically, I have also been adopted spiritually by my Heavenly Father! Because I am adopted, I feel as if I can understand the Lord’s adoption in a more unique way than most people!

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While I was trying to compose myself in the bathroom this afternoon, my heart filled with anger,

Familiar feelings flooded my heart…

I am unwanted

– I am worthless

– I am a mistake

– Even though I’m adopted, I’m still different than everyone else

I wanted so much to march out and let the lady know how inappropriate her comments were and to set her straight! Instead, I quickly prayed that the Lord would calm my heart down until I could spend some time laying my emotions before Him.

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Later this afternoon, I was able to get some time alone and sort out my feelings before the throne. I told the Lord how much that woman’s words affected me, and the lies that Satan told me. My heart had foolishly allowed a few careless words to cut me to the core and hurt me. The Lord sweetly began to remind me of truth!

This is what the Lord says, and this is what I choose to believe…

– I am chosen!

– My life has purpose!

– The circumstances surrounding my birth do not define me!

– I am who the Lord says I am!

– The Lord chose to use adoption to display His glory!

Dear reader, I encourage you to promote adoption and to talk about it in light of the Gospel. One of my favorite quotes about adoption is

“The Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel.” – John Piper

Each life matters. Each orphan matters. Each adoption matters.

It all matters, because God values each life, each orphan, each adoption.

Love knows no borders. Love knows no colors.

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I’ll be honest, my heart is still stinging a little bit tonight. But I am making the conscious decision to trust in the Lord. I am trusting that what He says about me is truth.

Watch this video on adoption, it is one of my all-time favorites!

I Like Adoption

Choose life – my birth mom did!

My heart was broken this week as I watched the Democratic National Convention, and saw the crowds cheer for “women being allowed to make their own choice over their bodies.” Over 25 speakers indirectly referenced abortion and their outright support for abortion. As I watched the crowds cheer in support of the murder of innocent lives, I wanted to vomit. The topic of the sanctity of human life is extremely near to my heart.

I was born in Bucharest, Romania to a young girl during a time of poverty in the country. Romania had been under communist rule for 44 years, and at the time I was born, they only had their freedom from Nicolae Ceaușescu (the dictator) for a little over a year.

Hardly a day goes by that I am not acutely aware of the Lord’s hand on the events surrounding my birth.

My birth mom chose life for me!

I do not know what she was going through before and during her pregnancy with me, but I do know that she chose to give me life! I do not know my birth mom, but I thank the Lord every day that she did not chose to end my life. Today, I have the two most incredible people on the planet as my parents, and I have more gratitude in my heart that I can ever begin to express.

I am grateful for….

* Being born
* My adoption
* My parents
* My family
* Life

Beloved, life is precious…anyone who tells you otherwise is liar! One of my favorite quotes on this subject is by Ronald Reagan…

“I’ve noticed that everyone that is for abortion has already been born!”

As Christians, we should have a firm stance on life and protecting the unborn. We should go about it with love and our ultimate goal should be to lead others to Christ’s redeeming love in the process. I urge you to take a stand for the sanctity of human life, but to do it in a manner that honors the Lord.

I have been blessed beyond measure. Not only was I given the gift of life, I was given the gift of adoption. My parents also adopted 5 other children from Europe. Other than my Jesus, they are the most dear and precious things in my life…

Adoption, Ukraine, and a little girl!

As I type this, there is a precious little girl on an airplane headed back to the Ukraine and another girl sitting in her backyard feeling like her heart is going to break! Over Christmas, my family had the incredible privilege of hosting 2 Ukrainian orphans at our home for a few weeks. (You can read more about that here and here) The girls came back in mid-June, but this time a family friend kept one of them, and my aunt and uncle kept the other one. My aunt and uncle are looking to adopt Yulia, and wanted to form a relationship with her. The past few weeks have been filled with swimming adventures, birthday parties, cook outs, and lots of giggles and family time. My aunt came several times a week so that we could all spend time with Yulia.

 

“I love you, I love you, I love you”

-The words Yulia whispered to me as I hugged her good-bye

After I said good-bye to Yulia, I went inside and wept. It’s incredible how quickly the heart can become attached to a person. I can’t wait to see Yulia again and see how the Lord works His beauty through her adoption. My aunt and uncle are in the middle of the long process of bringing her home…permanently!


  I see God through adoption; oh what a glorious thing it is – to take someone who has absolutely nothing and to choose to call them your own child. Christ is in every aspect of the beauty of adoption. I want so badly to help others adopt. My heart yearns to take care of children who can’t take care of themselves. I want to show them what Jesus looks like, and teach them about who He is. After experiencing first hand how impactful adoption is, I can tell you one thing, things that were once important are no longer important. My heart doesn’t care as much for worldly pleasures when I can pour out my life helping the gospel reach those desperately  in need of Jesus.

May I ask you to please pray for Yulia as she travels back to the Ukraine and for my aunt and uncle as the seek to adopt her? May the Lord receive maximum glory through this situation!!

Who I am…

I realized that I write about matters close to my heart all the time, but I haven’t truly shared about me! So, I have decided to take some time to share about who I am! I would like to open myself and my life up more…so here it goes, a journey into the life of Chelsea Patterson!!

My story begins rather unusually in a country on the other side of the world…

Bucharest, Romania

I was born in the country just a few short months after the fall of communism. The blood running through my veins is completely Romanian, because I was born to a Romanian girl. Two people decided to travel to the broken country in hopes of finding a child to adopt…I was the one the found. The Lord’s hand was on my life from the very beginning, because I deserved to grow up in a poverty stricken country, instead of the lush and luxurious United States. While my parents were in Romania adopting me, they decided to adopt another child, so they adopted a boy. Nicholas is 11 days older (He never lets me forget it!) and he is my very best friend in the entire world. We grew up incredibly close, and to this day, he is the one person in the world that knows me better than I know my self…

By the way, he flies airplanes…pretty cool if you ask me! He’s currently at a school in Texas where he’s playing baseball! I couldn’t be more proud of him!!

My parents decided that they wanted to adopt again, and again, and again. Now the Patterson clan consists of 6 children, making a grand total of 8 people!! Nicholas and I are the only ones from Romania, my parents tried again to adopt from Romania, but the government closed the doors to outside adoption. So, they switched countries and adopted from Russia. I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters, and consider my family one of the greatest treasures ever!

I wish I could convey with proper emotion how much I love and adore my family members!! They mean the world to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with them!

I currently attend Liberty University where I’m studying International Relations with a minor in French. My college experience has been wonderful, I’m so glad I’ve gotten the opportunities I’ve had here. I serve as an RA, and that has been one of the most challenging and growing things of my life. To be honest, I’m a different person because of this “job”. The position has grown me so much, and I’m very glad that my character has gotten to be developed. Even though it’s been difficult, it’s also been incredibly rewarding. I love the girls on my hall and am grateful that the Lord placed me where I am.

I love to travel!

My heart beats quicker at the thought of exploring new places and visiting the wonders of the world. I’ve gotten the change of many lifetimes to visit places such as Italy, Greece, France and Romania. They have been incredibly beautiful and I consider myself a lucky lady indeed to have gone.

The most important thing about me is my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I am in the most amazing relationship ever known to man. Christ met me in my sinful state when I was destined for eternity apart from Him. He won my heart by dying a brutal death on Calvary, and I am devoted to spending the rest of my days seeking to bring as much glory and honor to Him as possible. That is the essence of how I want to pour out my life. Oh that my moments at school, with my family, and my future would not be wasted on myself!

Hopefully, this little snapshot into my life has been helpful. I want my readers to know me, and that includes my life! If you have any questions about me, please feel free to ask! I would like to do a better job of sharing about my life from now on.

Lovingly,

Chels

I’m in love

I’m in love…

with two little girls from the Ukraine.

They stole my heart from the moment I laid eyes on them. Words cannot express the sheer joy that I’ve experienced since they have come to stay with us. When they arrived at our house around 9:00 pm around two weeks ago, I never expected that I would love them so much. It may sound silly, but I just expected that our family would take care of them, but I didn’t expect my heart to care for them the way it does.

The first night when the girls arrived, they walked into the house and one of them headed straight for me with her arms open and just hugged me. We chatted with them, through a translator for a few minutes before the translator and the orphanage director headed out to their host family’s house. They reached into their bags and brought out gifts that they had made for the family. My mom had sent them a letter and told them that she had 6 children. So they prepared gifts for us. That brought tears to my eyes. The fact that these girls, who live in an orphanage and have next to nothing would bring us gifts was so extremely humbling.

My dad put a translator app on his iPad, so we have been able to communicate with them through that. They have also learned a few English words/phrases. The phrase they use quite often is, “I love you.”

I’ll tell you one thing…I love them so much and they have done absolutely nothing to earn my love. I simply love them. When I wake up in the morning, and the first thing they do is greet me with hugs and kisses and giggles, my heart feels like it’s going to burst because there is so much love for them. If I could keep them and adopt them myself, I would do it without hesitation. I’m glad I still have a little over a week with them.

I would like to ask for your continued prayers for them. They are incredible and I know that they Lord is going to do great things in their lives.

Orphans from the Ukraine!!!

I’m sitting on my bed…and I feel like I’m a little kid and it’s already Christmas morning!! My heart is pounding, my palms are sweaty, and I’m so jittery I can hardly sit still. What is my excitement/nervousness from??

My family is keeping two little girls from the Ukraine…

and they are arriving in an HOUR!!!!!!!!!

Allow me to explain in a little more detail. When I was home for Thanksgiving break a few weeks ago, my family informed me that we were going to be keeping 2 young girls from the Ukraine. I believe they are both 11 years old. They are coming with a group from an orphanage in the Ukraine, and all of the orphans are going to be staying with host families. The girls that are staying with us originally had a different host family, but they backed out at the last moment. So my family decided to step in and offered to house them. The purpose of them coming to the States is to expose them to families that might want to adopt them.

I am so extremely excited for them to get here!!! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a work of God that they are here. I will share some more stories in the future, but trust me when I say that the Lord has a very special purpose for them. May I please request your prayers while they are here.

First of all, for them (I am choosing not to share their names), but please pray for their salvation. I have no idea where they stand with the Lord, but there will be a translator in town with the group, and they will have an opportunity to hear the Gospel be presented to them in Russian.

Second, please pray for my family. There will be 10 people in my household!! Talk about craziness!!! I’m so excited, even though it’s going to be difficult, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Third, please pray that people’s hearts will be opened, and they will be adopted. Orphans and adoption weighs very heavily on my heart, and I firmly believe that the Lord has great things in the future of these precious girls!!!

I will definitely keep you all updated!! Thank you for your prayers!!

Gratitude and Romania

Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. 

It’s that time of year again. Ah the holidays. You can just feel the Christmas cheer in the air as you’re walking around with sounds of Christmas music playing, lights sparkling, and people wishing you a “Merry Christmas”. Last year, around this time, I wrote about how thanksgiving involves sacrifice. (You can read that here!) This year, I want to share my thoughts on gratitude. No, not the fluffy, superficial kind of gratitude where everyone goes around and says one thing they are thankful for, but raw and life changing gratitude. I recently read a book on gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss entitled  “Choosing Gratitude”. To be completely honest, when I first picked up the book, I was expecting it to be a rather shallow book, containing 10 steps on how to be a more grateful person. I was completely wrong. It was probably one of the most challenging books I’ve read in a long time. I highly encourage you to pick up a copy.

One of the topics in the book was the topic of entitlement. This generation has become so good and thinking we’re entitled to everything! Think about it, we expect to have a warm house, food on the table, breath in our lungs, the ability to read and go to school, etc. The list could go on forever about the things we just expect to have. Not only do we just expect those things, we think that it’s our right to have them. We’re entitled to those things, and something is wrong if we don’t have them.

The Lord has gripped my heart with my sinful thoughts concerning entitlement. As He’s opened my eyes to my horrible attitude, and how I view my circumstances, especially concerning the things I feel like I deserve. As I’ve confessed my sins to my Father, He’s changed my thinking and given me a genuinely grateful heart. As I see everything in my life as a gift, and as something I don’t deserve at all, my heart is changing. I don’t get upset when I don’t get the thing I wanted the most in life, because I’m not truly entitled to it.

I was born in Romania, a country that just killed their dictator and ended communism. When I was adopted as a baby and brought to America, I was given more opportunities and privileges that I ever deserved. As I’ve reflected on all of the things I’ve been given, instead of complaining that I don’t have the latest iphone or a boyfriend or any number of things I think I want, I should pause and realize how many children grew up in orphanages in Romania. I didn’t. I don’t know why I was adopted instead of some other little girl, but I do know this, I’m eternally grateful. My Father has plans for my life. I know that. Although I am in pain sometimes, and cry out to Him because my heart hurts over a severe loss that I’ve experienced, I need to remember that I’m not entitled to what I’ve lost. Trials and difficult circumstances can be a time where I can either worship or whine. I don’t always respond how I should, and worshiping my dear Savior is not my first reaction all the time. Sometimes I do whine and complain over what I don’t have. But I can tell you one thing, when I focus on all the Lord has given me and don’t see anything in my life and something I’m entitled to, my attitude changes. I can begin to respond and truly worship and honor the Lord in my sufferings.

I challenge you to evaluate your life and identify the areas in which you feel you are entitled. Next, pray and ask the Lord to truly change your heart and attitude towards those things so that you can properly glorify the Father.

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert