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!
Let’s talk about body image!
To be honest, I’ve avoided publishing this post for awhile because it’s hard to be vulnerable about topics like this sometimes. But the Lord has taught me a lot in this area, and I know I’m not the only one that’s ever struggled with body image, so hopefully what I’ve learned will encourage you!
As a woman, I long to be beautiful – inside and out. I used to be ashamed for wanting to be beautiful, and would try to ignore those feelings – until the Lord brought me to Genesis. Eve was the first woman created, and she was completely perfect for two reasons. First, because she was created in God’s image, and therefore had intrinsic worth and value, and second because there was no sin in her yet.
Oh how gloriously beautiful she must have been! Can you just image Adam, who had been hanging out with the animals, waking up to find her – the finale of God’s creation!
Women were originally created to be beautiful, because it says something about God’s character! Even though men and women are created equal, they have different roles, and they reflect different parts of God’s characteristics. Men reflect God’s strength and power, while women reflect God’s tenderness and beauty.
But something happened…
As a result, woman’s beauty was distorted. Don’t get me wrong, women are still beautiful and created in God’s image, but now, women’s desire to be beautiful often becomes an idol and something they chase after more than the Lord.
Take a walk in your local drugstore and you’ll see aisle after aisle of products promising women that they can have…
The list goes on and on.
I’m going to be honest, I’ve struggled with insecurity. There have been times when I’ve walked into a room, and the very first thing I want to do is go hide in a corner because I feel like the plainest, most unattractive woman in the room. There have been times where I’ll compare myself physically to other women, and measure myself against an unrealistic standard.
Recently, one of my younger sisters told me that she wasn’t happy with how she looked. I sat down with her and told her that it makes God unhappy when she says that she’s not beautiful, because she’s created in Him image, and she’s insulting Him when she complains about how she looks!
Beloved, when I stand in front of the mirror and rattle off to the Lord about how I wish He had created me with thicker hair, longer legs and higher cheek bones – I am offending my dear Savior, because I am criticizing His handiwork! He fashioned me exactly how He wanted me to be. My appearance, my personality, my story – all of it is perfectly and uniquely and lovingly designed by my Father!
As I’ve been asking Him to give me confidence knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I will be praying for my fellow sisters in Christ! Please always remember…
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart!
Enjoy the beauty that God has given you – it’s a reflection of Him!
But don’t ever get sucked into thinking that outward beauty is all there is. Character is what matters and what will last!
I am a woman resolved to seeking the Lord with all of my heart, mind and soul. While I do mess up, while I do struggle and fall, while I do need daily grace – I know to whom I belong!
Happy Monday all!
Before I get to the meat of this post, I thought I would share one of my favorite photos of the super moon with you! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I absolutely adore the moon! I regularly get texts from friends that read something along the lines of, “Chelsea, I saw the moon outside and thought of you!” or “Go outside and look at the moon!”
Whew! God’s creation is breathtaking!
This week hasn’t been nearly as busy or as “exciting” as the past few weeks have been! I haven’t met any former presidential candidates, I haven’t spoken at any conferences, and I haven’t traveled anywhere! Even though circumstantially, things haven’t been quite as glamorous, the Lord has been teaching me much this week and that is what I would like to share with you!
I’ve been wrestling a lot with the Lord this past week.
Lord, I know how I should respond when pain creeps into my heart.
Lord, I know how I should respond when I don’t know the next step in life.
Lord, I know how I should respond when my heart starts to long for things.
Lord, I know how I should respond when anxiety floods my mind.
Lord, I know how I should respond when a person captures my attention.
….even though I have the head knowledge, so often my heart is running in the exact opposite direction. Whoever said to “Follow your heart” must not have a head because that is the worst possible advice!
Scripture tells us that,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.”
Oh how true those words are!
Often times, I struggle to submit my heart to the Lord. If I’m incredibly honest, it is because I don’t fully trust Him. Pridefully, I think that I can do a better job at managing my heart than He can.
He’s the one that created my heart.
He’s the one that knows me more deeply than any human ever could.
He’s the one that chooses to love me regardless of my sins or shortcomings.
He’s the one who numbers the hairs on my head.
He’s the one who collects my tears in a bottle.
He’s the one who adopted me as His own daughter.
He’s the one in whom I can place my trust!
Beloved, I will be the first one to stand up and say that I struggle connecting my head and my heart and then laying both before the throne of God! The first part of Romans 8 has been capturing my attention, and it is discussing life in the Spirit vs. life in the flesh. Oh how despertly I long to be a woman living in the Spirit! I pray that you will join me as we seek to become people who learn how to trust the Lord with everything…including our hearts!
This song, Head to My Heart is beautiful and is a sweet reminder that I’m not the only one struggling!
Two days until Christmas!
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons…
Being home with the family
Crisp winter season
Lights and decorations
People are typically more cheerful
Honestly, I can get so easily lost in all of the hustle and bustle and forget to slow down and remember what Christmas is truly about! This Christmas season, I’ve been going through John Piper’s reflection on the Advent season. (You can find it here) The word “advent” literally means “The arrival or beginning of a person/event.” The days leading up to Christmas day are known as the advent season, and they are a time where Christians should pause and reflect on the coming of Christ into the world.
The eyes of my heart have been opened to the beauty of my Beloved Jesus like never before this year. Typically, I focus on the birth of Jesus (there is nothing wrong with this at all), but my attention does not leave this event. The Lord has shown me over and over that the reason that Christ had to come, live and die was to save me from my wickedness and my sin. There was no other way for me to be reconciled to the Father apart from Jesus.
“Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. It will not have its intended effect until we feel despertly the need for a Savior.” – Piper
Beloved, everything in the Christmas “stories” that we typically read intentionally this time of year – Mary and Joseph, King Herod, the Angels, the Shepherds, the Wise Men, Christ’s birth, the Stable, the Inn, etc. – all of it points to Christ and to the fact that He sovereignty stepped down into humanity, wrapped in human flesh, born of a virgin to save us. Oh may we grasp the incredible beauty of this season! May our hearts be inclined to worship Christ like never before!!
We have a Savior!!!
“Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you.” – Tim Keller
That tiny baby in the manger that we celebrate should direct our attention to the man who died on the cross 33 years later in order to save us! I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, find a quite spot for a couple of hours, and read over the “Christmas Story” in light of Christ being the Savior, not just a little baby. I assure you that you will not be able to read it the same!!
Dear One, my prayer for myself and for you is that Christ will reign glorious during this Christmas season. May we see Him for who He truly is – the Savior and Rescuer of our souls, and the King of our lives.
This song by Hillsong has been on repeat over the past month, and ties in perfectly with what I’ve been meditating on.
As I sit here and type this, my Beloved is painting the sky with vibrant purples and pinks, and is wooing my heart closer to Him. When my eyes behold all of the glories of creation, my heart can’t but help behold the majesty of God at the same time.
My God is stunning.
My God is creative.
Oh how I love Him! There are times when my heart grows cold, and I don’t enjoy Him like I want to, but the beauty of the Gospel is that God pursues me! He is the great and divine Romancer of my soul. He is the one who woos me closer into His heart. I can never earn His love or favor; I can never do anything to make myself “lovely” to Him. But He sees me as spotless because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.
The Lord has me in a season of singleness right now, and He has lead my soul into a place of “loneliness”. If I’m extremely honest, I’m fighting with everything in me to choose joy and contentment. I know that contentment is a heart issue, and I am choosing moment by moment that I will be content with where the Lord has placed me right now.
“Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to your from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God’s version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion.”
Dear one, something that my heart longs for is to be romanced. I want someone to get to learn me and know why I am the way I am. Recently I was bearing my soul to the Lord about this matter, and He spoke to me and said…
Daughter, I am the One who is and always will romance you. I know you better than any man on this earth every could. I know what makes you smile. I know what makes your heart break. I see you. I think you are lovely. I think you are beautiful. I gave my life so that I could be with you.
If you are desperate for love, run straight to the Father’s arms. He will hold you and remind you of His love for you!
Recently a prayer leader on my hall suggested that we go a week without wearing makeup….
Immediately I said that sounded like a wonderful idea…until this past Monday when I was getting ready. Let me preface this by saying, I don’t usually wear a ton of makeup, but I do wear it nevertheless. As I walked out the door without a stitch of makeup on my face, I felt completely naked. It sounds silly, because it’s just makeup. But I never realized my dependance on it before. People passed me in the hallways, and all I thought was “They probably think I’m so ugly right now” I worked up the courage to tell a few people that I wasn’t wearing any makeup, and they did a double take and said that they couldn’t tell a difference.
Fasting from makeup has been such a revealing thing. I am realizing where true beauty comes from. I’ve always preached that beauty is on the inside, but I’ve relied on makeup to cover up the flaws I don’t feel comfortable with the rest of the world seeing. My acne scars and blemished aren’t the first thing I want people to notice about me, but if my flaws are seen, it is okay.
Oh how I desire to be a beautiful woman of God! When people look at me, I want them to see Christ living in me. I want my dependence to be only in the Lord; not in a beauty product. With the extra time I’ve had, I’ve devoted it to memorizing scripture. It is incredible how the Lord has been working in my heart this past week. I challenge you to take a break from makeup for a while. It might be hard for the first day or so, but after that, there is great freedom!
Here is me…sans makeup!!
The moon has a rare power to make my heart beat so fast it feels like it might burst, yet at the same time, leaves me speechless and silent. It is by far my favorite part of God’s creation. I can’t explain my love for it, but when I see it, my heart worships. All I can think of when I gaze upon the moon is how absolutely stunning my Beloved is, to create such a lovely part of creation. Just think, God didn’t have to create and place beauty here on earth, but He choose to, simply because He could. He could have left the sky pitch black with nothing but vast darkness, instead He sprinkled the night sky with millions of stars and placed the moon…all to declare His unmatched glory. Dear one, I pray that when you look at the moon (or whatever part of creation makes your heart beat faster) your first reaction is praise to the Lord. Allow the Lord to use His creation to remind you of who He is. Listen as He whispers His love to you.
Don’t worship the creation, worship the Creator!!
Dearest reader, let me allow you into the heart of a woman for a moment.
One of the questions on every woman’s soul is, “Am I beautiful?” Each woman, whether they will admit it or not subconsciously asks this question. They ask this question of the men in their life, their friends, society, etc. Often times, when they ask this question, they will go to extremes to hear an answer that will satisfy them. I personally ask this question, while I may not ask it aloud of people, my heart searches for the answer. Why is beauty such an important topic to women? The reason that bearing beauty is so crucial to women, is because women are uniquely designed by God Himself to bear beauty. Beauty is an essential part of God and He has intricately fashioned and formed women to carry a part of Himself.
As a little girl, I used to wear dresses all the time and dance around with my brother pretending that he was a prince and I was a princess. My heart wanted to be clothed in beautiful, even as a young girl. One of my prayers to the Lord is that I will be able to accurately represent His beauty. While the world strives for outward beauty, I desire to exude genuine beauty. I think it is very important to make sure to take care of yourself physically, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look as best as you can, but the moment those outward expressions of beauty begin to trump inward beauty, beloved, you no longer bear the Lord’s beauty. When you shift the focus solely upon the physical, there is no room for the Lord is show off His beauty.
Numerous books have been written on this topic, but I would like to personally breath into the topic of beauty. Yes, I do struggle with my appearance on occasion, there are days I wake up and think they world would be better if I placed a paper bag over my head. But for the most part, I find my beauty in the Lord! If I don’t run to Him to define what is beautiful, I find that I try to fight a loosing battle. When I am consumed with my personal beauty and going to extremes to enhance my beauty, I am not finding my identity and worth in the Lord, instead I am shortchanging myself. I have a beloved Savior who calls me beautiful. Why on earth would I run to society or a man to tell me I’m beautiful. Honestly, I do enjoy it when I receive complements, but those all fall so short compared to the words my Lord speaks to me.
Beauty is a wonderful thing. It captivates and overwhelms. What is more wonderful than beauty, as we define it, is beauty as King Jesus defines it. He defines it in Himself. Dearest, if you are struggling with believing that you aren’t beautiful enough, press into the heart of Christ and listen to what He says about you. Soon, the worldly standards of beauty will fade and in its place will come into focus, eternal beauty. I choose to spend my time and energy on making myself beautiful for my Beloved. My Bridegroom is coming back to take me home one day and I want to exude as much beauty as possible; I want to radiate His beauty and His glory.
Will you join me?