12.25.2014

The Most Amazing Gift You'll Ever Receive

Hello there, beautiful people!!

  It's Christmas day!! After all of the anticipation, the bows, the bells, the lights, the gifts, the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the planning; we've finally made it. One of THE greatest days of the year. Because amidst all of the previously mentioned tasks, there's still one small baby, born in Bethlehem, lying in a manger, and He's the greatest gift you'll ever receive.

 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
                                 Luke 2:6-11 (NIV)

   He has arrived! Merry Christmas to you all. I hope your day is blessed and filled with lots of joy. Remember, Jesus is most certainly the reason for this season. 
                                                         Love,
                                                      Kelsey :)

12.22.2014

My Restless Heart

Hey there,

   I don't think I've posted a post other than letters in awhile, or maybe I have, I don't really remember at the moment to be perfectly honest.





   All this week, I've had this strange feeling of restlessness deep in my heart. It's not so much a panicked feeling, but more of an anxious feeling. Waiting. Trying to figure out what to do. I've had this desire to do something wild. Crazy even. Not anything bad, just something different. Something unusual. Like I said before, wild. 

 Ever since I was little, there's been a single type of life that I've been terrified of living. What type? A normal one. I've always had this problem with "normal." I don't want a 9-5 job, and a white picket fence, and a perfect husband, and my perfect children. I want wild, I want crazy, I want different. Does that mean I don't want a career or husband or children? Of course not. It just means that I don't want the stereotypical definition of that and all that that entails. 

 I have a really hard time getting into a routine in life, because my life has been uprooted so many times. It changes so often. Which is perfectly fine, because it's created a desire in me to see the world. To experience new places and different things. Besides the fear of living ordinary or "normal," I've also been scared of living inside of a sheltered bubble. One where I don't experience new things, new places, new people.

 I truly believe God placed this desire in me to not want to live a "normal" life. There's nothing wrong with having a more mainstream life. That's totally fine! Some people are made for that, some people's personal ministry is there; that's just not for me. I've never been one who wants to sit for a long time. I need to be somewhere, doing something. 

  What am I going to do about this feeling? Probably nothing. There really is nothing I can do about it right now, except to pray.

  The life I've always envisioned myself living probably isn't what it's going to turn out to be, but I fully believe that God's will for each and every person's life is much bigger than they could imagine it, so maybe the life I'm going to lead is going to be crazier than I thought. Maybe it'll terrify my mom more than the life I told her I'd like to live. But that's the thing about God, He doesn't always have a safe, normal plan for your life. Sometimes, most times, His plan is bigger and greater, and sometimes it's scary. But looking back at the scary things I've faced before, I've grown so much, and learned so much, and experienced so much more joy in doing the things that scare me, than anything I've done in my own little bubble of safety. 

  Maybe this is kind of rambly, but I needed it. So if you've gotten to this point, thanks for reading :)

                                              Have a wonderful, beautiful day!
                                                    Love,
                                                  Kelsey :)

  

12.18.2014

Dear Grandma

Hey there,

   So my Mom informed me that this Sunday is the twenty year anniversary of her mother's cancer diagnosis. She died roughly two months after that. I'm fifteen. I think you can adequately do the math. 
   Being that I've never met her, and this Christmas season is upon us, and twenty years is a long time; she was my choice for this week's letter. So, here it goes!

   Dear Grandma Ruth,

  I've always called you that, but I've always wondered if that's what you'd want to be called. Would you want me to call you that? Or something else? 

  I'm fifteen now, and a part of me feels like you're missing. Even though I've never met you, everyone says there's a bond between a mother's mother and her granddaughter that's different from any grandparent-grandchild relationship. How I miss someone I've never met? It's hard to explain. It's not so much that I miss you, it's the idea of you. It's the stories I've heard, the lives I've seen that have been touched by you, and your children and grandchildren. 

  You may or may not know this, I'm not exactly sure how it works in heaven, but you have eight grandchildren. Seven of us are already here, and sweet little Sam is on the way. It's sad to me that if you had lived a mere three months more, you would have met your first grandchild. That seems so unfair. Eight grandchildren and you never got to meet one of them!
  I understand, though, that God's got this. He knows what's going on and knows what's best for us, even if we don't fully understand it anymore.

  Even though you're not here, I see you. I see you in the smiles of your grandchildren, my cousins. I see you in the way your siblings talk about you. I see you in the lives you've touched. Apparently, I should see you in my own face because I've been told I look like you.

  I wished I'd had a chance to get to know you. I wish I could meet the woman who made such a good woman out of my mother. I wish I could meet the woman who touched so many lives and did so many things.

  I love you. I don't know how, I don't know if that even registers in my mind, but I do love you. I love you for who you were. I love you for the things you did that influenced my life. And I cannot wait to meet you someday, in heaven.
                           Love,
                         Kelsey.

   
                                   Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!
                                                     Love,
                                                 Kelsey <3

12.11.2014

Dear Ol' Saint Nick

Hey there!

  The Christmas season slammed upon us like a hurricane, did it not? I don't mind, though. Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. So, in honor of that; here is your next Thursday letter!

   Dear Santa,

  We've had some good times, you and I. We've always had a good-standing relationship and you've blessed me with many, many wonderful gifts. I don't deserve any of it, so thank you.

  In recent years, though, I've come to an eye-opening revelation:

  You're great and jolly and all, but Santa, you aren't Jesus. 

 I'd like to say I've known that for years and years and that I've always been about Jesus during the Christmas season, but I haven't. I've been selfish and greedy and all about the gifts, lights, cookies, and tinsel and I lost true sight of the magic of Christmas.

  Because, Santa, no matter how jolly you are, how generous you are, how magical you are... Jesus was the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.

 I mean, the God of the entire universe, basically allowed a part of himself to come down, grow, and be put together in the womb of a young virgin, and was born, as the most vulnerable creature that this earth has: a baby. Flash forward a few decades; this baby is now preaching and teaching and witnessing and bringing more and more to the kingdom, and healing people. He then died on a cross. Died one of the most torturous deaths for things he didn't even do, for me. And everyone else.

  So Santa, you're great. Wonderful even, but you're definitely no Jesus!

                           Love,
                         Kelsey :)

   Okay everyone, among the stockings, and tinsel, and bright lights, and jolly, bearded men, remember that Jesus was the first gift, and the greatest gift. Try not to lose sight of that, okay?

                                                  Love,
                                               Kelsey :)

12.08.2014

My Great Grandmother's Bible

Hey there!


  This past April, my great grandmother passed away. She was 96. Yup, you read that correctly, 96. The thing about it is, I loved her. More than she probably knew. I looked up to her. I appreciated the life she had lived, I admired her amazing hospitality and love. She was one of those people who could make a meal out of just about anything. Nana was a giver. 

  After she died, someone gave us her old Bible. I don't think it was her every day Bible, but it probably meant a lot to her. Her daughter (Joy) gave it to her in 1981 for Mother's Day. It's got a quilted covering, I'm assuming because the edges are tearing apart.



  After we got this Bible, I started flipping through the pages one day looking to see if she might have highlighted, or underlined, or marked anything in it. Just to kind of get a glimpse into what it was like for her to read the Bible.
   I found three bookmarks. One in between the pages for Judges 12, 13 & 14, one in the pages of Jeremiah 29, 30, & 31, and one in the pages of Acts 28 & Romans 1. While that was interesting, it didn't really give me any insight. I read the chapters, but nothing really jumped out at me. 

   The only spot, though, in her entire Bible where I found anything highlighted was really interesting. It's just a small little cluster of verses, and had I not flipped through the book page by page, it probably would have taken awhile to find it. 

                               "Know ye not, that so many of us
              as were baptized into Jesus Christ
              were baptized into his death?
               Therefore we are buried with him
              by baptism into death: that like as
              Christ was raised up from the dead
               by the glory of the Father, even so
              we also should walk in newness of life.
              For if we have been planted together
              in the likeness of his death, we shall
              be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
             Knowing this, that our old man is crucified
             with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
            that henceforth we should not serve sin.
              For he that is dead is freed from sin."
                         Romans 6:3-7 

    It was really interesting to find this. It made me wonder what she thought of it when she read it, why she highlighted it, and why it was important to her. 

       The other day I was flipping through it, and my little brother saw that I left the bookmarks in there and asked me why. I said I didn't want to. I just hope that one day I can read it, and it'll be something I need to hear. Maybe it won't ever be that, but it's my way of remembering her I guess. 

       I've been missing her a lot as the Christmas season has been upon us, and reading her Bible makes me feel closer to her. Maybe we shouldn't remember people by their stuff, but sometimes it can bring a little comfort when we're missing them. 

                                                Love,
                                             Kelsey :)

12.04.2014

A Letter to a Hurting Heart

Hello there!

  I couldn't really think of someone to write to this week, and then I figured, why choose just people I know? Why not branch out a little? So, here it goes:

  Dear Hurting Heart,

 Yes, I'm talking to you out there. You. Who has struggled and fought for life. Who has felt down in the dumps, and as high as the sky, and everywhere in between. This letter is to anyone out there who's really hurting right now. Today. In this moment. 

 Whether you're having an everyday problem, or a monumental, life-altering problem, just know that there's someone there for you who won't leave you, always remembers you, and always wants what is best for you. And He loves you. More than you can possibly fathom.

 If you're heart is aching, or broken, take it to him. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you," (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). Pour out your heart to the Lord. Tell Him what you're feeling, relate your problems to Him. We sometimes don't pray for everything, because we feel like it's too unimportant and God won't care about it. But he does. Because he cares about YOU!

 Your life might feel difficult, but you can handle it! You can handle whatever life throws your way, because you have a God who is bigger than anything that could possibly come about in your life. 

 Remember this week, that your always going to have some sort of trial in life, but HE is your leaning post when you can't keep going. 

                   Love,
                Kelsey!

          If you feel like someone needs to read this, feel free to share it with them. Everyone could use a little reminder sometimes of the love God has for each and every one of us. 
                     Love,
                   Kelsey :) 

11.30.2014

The Last Day

Hello there!

  So it's the last day of NaNoWriMo! To those who have successfully finished, way to go! You've earned it. After hours and hours of writing, I'd suggest a nap. To those who haven't finished, or whose word count seems too small to even be worth trying, keep going! Not necessarily to make the goal of getting 50,000 words, but keep writing. It's an art form. It's a means of expression, and if you're interested in it, you're probably a very gifted writer. And to those who are going to spend this last day writing their fingers off to make the word count by midnight, keep up the good work! Just remember to have fun throughout the process and try not to get too discouraged if your word count isn't really climbing as high as you'd like it to. You'll get there!

  As far as I go? I made it to about 4,000 words. Which isn't too bad for the 2 days I wrote. Maybe I'll try again next year. Who knows?
  
                          Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo 2014 participants!
                                                   Love,
                                                Kelsey!

11.27.2014

Dear You (A Thanksgiving Letter)

Hey there!

  I'm writing this on Wednesday night, because Thanksgiving day is going to be so busy that I wasn't sure I'd be able to get a letter written. So, without further ado,

Dear You,

 It's Thanksgiving and I decided to write a letter to you. You're actually not just one person, but a group of people. The people who hold the dearest places in my life. You should know who you are.

  The reason I chose you this time is because, Thanksgiving is upon us and if there's anything I'm thankful for, it's the people I'm surrounded by. The people I love, and who love me. 

  I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to each and every person who has helped to shape and mold me into the person I am today. Every single one of you mean the world to me, and I will be forever grateful for the guidance, wisdom, love, support, and encouragement you've offered me from the time I was born. From family, to friends, to even people who are out of my life now! You've all held a special place in my life that has changed me, whether in a minute or ginormous way. Your love and encouragement have been the things that have kept me going.

  This Thanksgiving, I'm just thankful for people. Thankful for the people around me and even those I don't know. Because I love people. I connect well with people. And I'm sure some of you have had a hand in making me better at maintaining good relationships with people.

  So you. You're amazing! You're a blessing to me and I don't know where I'd be without you. So wherever you are today, Happy Thanksgiving. Celebrate. Love others. Be you, because there's no one better.

                        Love, 
                       Kelsey <3

       And to the rest of you out there, I'd like to say Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is wonderful and filled with all of God's wonderful, precious blessings!

                                       Love,
                                     Kelsey :)

11.20.2014

A Letter to One of the Most Important People in My Life

Hello there!

  This post is coming to you a little later than I hoped, but it's been a pretty busy week, it's still Thursday though! :)

   Dear Mom,

  You knew this was coming eventually, didn't you? You probably suspected, but didn't think it'd come 'til I'd absolutely run out of ideas and just chose you, but no. No, you were going to be one of my first choices, but I just couldn't find the words to say at the time, so instead I wrote a letter to myself.

 First off, I'd like to say that it's been rough over the past few years. It hasn't been the easiest to handle all of the stuff we've gone through, but it's definitely been possible. More possible than I probably thought. And through all of these experiences, our relationship has grown stronger than ever. You and I have an amazing relationship, because you've found that balance of being a Mom and being my best friend. Sometimes I need a mom, and other times I just need a best friend, and other times, I need both.

 I'd also like to thank you. Thank you for being you, and thank you for being a shoulder to cry on when I feel like my whole world is falling apart. It really isn't, but at my age, I have a crisis every other day. Life's just like that sometimes, I suppose.
 I'd also like to thank you for the faith you've had over the years, because it's inspired me to try and grow into a godly woman one day. That day seems to be coming faster and faster, and I'm so thankful for the moments we have while that inevitable day is fast approaching.

  Thank you for all of the moments of laughter that we've shared over the past 15 1/2 years. My life has been better because of them. You've taught me so much. 

  One of the greatest characteristics of you that I possess is your deep, deep empathy. Which seems like a curse, but it's a blessing. It's given me a better perspective on the hows and whys of why people are hurting. And it helps me to be more of a help to them.

  I love you, Mom. And not because you're perfect, or because you buy me everything, or even because you have all of the money in the world. Because none of that would ever matter to me. I love you because you're you. Because you're the best mom a girl could ask for, and I'm so thankful to be blessed with a mom like you. 

                     Love,
                   Kelsey!

     The next letter will be coming on Thanksgiving, so stay tuned :)

                                           Love,
                                         Kelsey :)
  

11.17.2014

Service is Not About You

Hello there, beautiful people!

   I was just thinking today about service, and being a servant and all that that entails. Because, let's be honest, none of us always LIKE being a servant. 

   Having a "servant's heart" is something a lot of us Christians are encouraged to do, because it's what the Lord expects of us. Jesus came here to serve. Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Even Jesus, God's Son, the Anointed One, came to serve. He didn't come for people to bow down to Him like He was some royalty--even though, in actuality, he was--but he came to serve others. He came to spread the Word, and to serve. Jesus was the epitome of servant-heartedness and humility.

  I think a lot of us misinterpret service to be something that we're supposed to benefit from. Like, we're supposed to get some good feeling when we do it. While a lot of times, that's true, it can also be untrue. Service can be hard. 

  Some people are ungrateful. A lot of the little things you do as acts of service to someone will go unnoticed. Some people might even be annoyed by your service (sounds weird, but it's true). Regardless of these facts, service is not about you. 




  Let me explain. Let's say you were a doctor, and you had a patient with a life threatening injury/disease that required emergency surgery. The surgery is successful, and you save the patient's life, and then you go to visit the patient. If the patient is laying in bed, feeling significantly better, would you go in the room and think about the amazing job you did in saving their life, or would you go in there and think, "Wow! He/she is feeling so much better! I'm so happy for them."

  That's service.

   Service is humbling yourself to do whatever it is that's needed for a particular person or group of people. It's not about you whatsoever. It's not about the way it's going to make you feel, it's not about the praise you get for what you do. 

  Sometimes, service is even sacrificing more of yourself than you thought you would. Sometimes serving others is putting what you want aside, in order to provide, or do, or say whatever it is someone else needs.

  That's humility. Being a servant isn't meant to be proud, it isn't meant to be for your benefit. It's about whomever you're serving.

  The other thing about service? Sometimes it's dirty. Or it's hard, or it doesn't seem worth it. But, we're not called to, "love our neighbor only if we feel like it." We're called to "love our neighbor as yourself." As ourselves. Jesus called it the second greatest commandment. He didn't leave some of these little ** asterisks next to that, to look below, and read, "Only if you feel like it," or, "Only when it's convenient for you." No, we're supposed to love and serve others whenever the opportunity arises. 

 Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't thank the servants in your life, because you should! I'm saying you shouldn't be serving others because you want praise, or the feeling YOU get from it. You should serve others out of a love for people you have in your heart.

   Service should be done from a place of love, a place of choosing to love someone. Because, as C.S. Lewis said, "Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." This applies to serving others. You should serve out of the love you choose to have for someone, and use that love for their ultimate good.

   Pure, selfless service is a beautiful thing. Because, serving someone else, is taking time and energy out of your day, your life, your heart, your schedule to do something for someone else that may or may not be noticed, appreciated, thanked, or even wanted. And that's why pure, selfless service, is one of the deepest forms of humility we have. Because nine times out of ten, you gain nothing from it. And that's what being selfless is all about. That's what being the hands and feet of Jesus is all about. 

                                              Have a wonderful day!
                                                       Love,
                                                 Kelsey :) 

11.15.2014

Being Torn isn't Fun, but Maybe It's Necessary

Hello there, beautiful people!

   This week has just been one of those weeks where I can't seem to shake this unsettling feeling that something is about to happen in my life. Something big. And to say that I'm nervous as to what that is would be an understatement. Because, looking back on some of the things I've done within the past few years are just mind boggling to me, like I have absolutely no idea how I've done some of these things, and I know that they're small in comparison to the things I'll probably do in the future.






   Right now, I'm kind of in a dilemma. One of those dilemmas where you're stuck in between two really hard choices and you have no clue which one to make. Which is why prayer is so necessary for me right now. It is all the time, but I've found myself whispering little prayers everywhere lately. 

   I think we all come to points in our lives where we become torn. Whether it be between two jobs, two relationships, two really important, life-changing decisions. Whatever it may be, we all come to these places in our lives where we're stuck at a fork in the road. And a lot of times, we have no idea what decision to make. We try really hard to think things through for fear of making the wrong decision, and we try our hardest not to mess it up. But I'm not exactly sure that this is the right way to go about handling a tough decision.

   When we're torn, I think God wants us to ask Him what to do. He wants us to seek His guidance, and figure out what He wants us to do. Because how are we actually following God's plan for our lives, if we don't look to Him to find out what exactly that is? 
  
   Being torn isn't fun, but maybe it's necessary to bring us closer to God. Maybe, just maybe, by seeking Him, we're drawing closer to Him and His will instead of just going by what the most logical solution is in our own heads. 

  So yes, maybe a huge decision is facing you right now, but maybe that's God's way of trying to gently guide you back closer to Him. 


Love,
                                                                          Kelsey :)

11.13.2014

Dear Little Sister

Hey there,

 This post is going to be a little weird, because I'm writing it to someone who's never existed. Someone I only wanted to exist. So, here it goes;


Dear Little Sister,

 It seems a little silly to be writing a letter to someone who never has, and might never be, apart of my life. I've never had a little sister, only a little brother, and I love him to death, but I've always envied the relationship my brothers have had. I've never had that closeness with another person growing up in the same household as me. That's probably a key factor in why I was a loner for so long. Sure, Nathan and Jacob fight, but they're still brothers, and they have a bond that I don't, and won't, ever understand. 

 You've never existed, but when I was younger, I used to imagine you did. I used to imagine I would have a little sister one day that I could give advice to, and be best friends with, and love forever! I imagined you'd have matching brown or hazel eyes to one of our parents. I imagined you'd have the curls I always wanted, but I'd be okay with it, because I'd love you so much. I imagined you'd be the sweetest girl I'd ever met. I imagined you'd look up to me, like Jacob looks up to Nathan. 

 But, little sister, life doesn't always turn out how we want it to. We don't always get the little sister we wanted, and that's okay. Because God doesn't just hand us everything we want on a silver platter. Sometimes we have to accept the fact that we don't always get what we want and that's okay. Do I still wish you existed? Absolutely! I prayed for years when I was little that somehow, some way I'd get the little sister I always dreamed of having! Whether I got her at 2 or 20 years old. I just wanted you. I wanted you to be a real, live person, instead of some imaginary friend I had dreamed up. I wanted to be the cool, big sister who took you places, and talked you through broken hearts, and loved and understood you when you felt like nobody else in the world did. 

 I was always a little disappointed that I never got the little sister I hoped and prayed for, but I have so much family, that I know God didn't give me you on purpose. Because there are so many other women/girls/ladies in my life that I love just as much as I know I would've loved you. Even though I do wish I had you, I'm so glad I have the girls in my life that I do. Because they're all amazing. 

 So, little sister, you don't exist. But even though I wish you did, God knows what He's doing, and I love my brothers to the moon and back! Nothing could ever replace my brothers!

             Love,
            Kelsey!

   So there ya have it, folks! :) My letter for the week. Another one shall be coming to you next Thursday, so stay tuned. 

                                                Love,
                                            Kelsey :)

11.11.2014

I'm Failing NaNoWriMo (And I'm Not Really Bothered By It)

Hey there!

 So, as you know, I wrote a few posts before November started about this year's NaNoWriMo. I hyped it up, made it sound like I was going to write tirelessly, without fail for days! Yeah, I'm failing. 

 Before you say, "Oh my goodness! Kelsey is failing! I cannot believe it! She sounded like she was so determined! Wow!" let me explain. I don't really mind that my word count is only at 2,000. Because this year I am busy. Not too busy, but busy. And I've kind of decided that this year, if I want to write anything, at all, I'd rather do it in my own time than in a time crunch. Believe me, I still love doing NaNoWriMo, and I might pick it up again next year, I just don't really have as much ambition this year. Who knows? In a few days I may pick it up again and attempt to add to my word count, but I'm not going to make it my goal to finish within November. Maybe I'll finish, maybe I won't, but I don't want to be as crushed if I don't hit my word count within the time given. 

 So to those of you who are religiously, continuously writing, I want to wish you a hearty good luck! Because I understand what it's like to just keep writing and writing, trying to hit your word count! Write wonderfully, write in your own special way, just write!

                                                   Love,
                                                  Kelsey :)

11.09.2014

An Internal Struggle

Hey there,

  I was sitting in the car today, just thinking about life. I tend to do that a lot in the car when there's no conversation going on, or when I'm not apart of the conversation that IS going on. I just think, about life, God, family, and whatever else might be flowing through this brain of mine. 


    I've been pondering over something lately, something important. It's what I was thinking about in the car. It's that: maybe I'm not loving people in the way that God wants me to. 

    This thought has been gnawing at me for a few weeks now. I don't think I'm loving people in the way God intended. He said to love everyone, which I try to do. I do try. But I know I don't try my hardest, and I know I don't love people in the way that I should. I hold back for fear of looking stupid, or crossing lines I shouldn't be crossing. I truly believe God has hardwired me to listen to other people's problems, to be a shoulder to cry on. But I hold back from doing that. Because I don't feel like anyone will respond well to it. Or that I won't go about it in the right way. Or, like I said before, I'll cross some lines.

   But doesn't God want us to be brave? Doesn't he want us to take a leap of faith into the places where we're most scared of going? Because He'll bring us through it. He'll take care of us. But I think there's a connection mishap between my head and my heart. In my heart, I know that, and I want to take a leap of faith; love people in the way that I should. But then my head jumps in and says, "No don't. That's not safe. Stay where you're comfortable. Stay where it's safe, cozy, warm." Then my heart comes back with; "But if you're staying where you're safe, isn't that sacrificing all God has for you? Isn't that remaining in an unloving, un-challenging, un-stretching place? A place where you're well aware God never intended you to stay." 

  I don't think God ever intended any of us to stay comfortable. Because I've noticed that in the most uncomfortable, hard, struggle-filled places, are where He uses us the most, where we grow the most, and where we thrive the best. Because He's guiding us--we as sheep, He as shepherd--into a place where the grass is better, the company is better, and we're able to thrive into what He created us to be. 

 So through this internal struggle over the past few weeks, I know what I need to do, I know what He expects of me. I'm just choosing to be stubborn, pig-headed, and scared, instead of trusting in Him that He's always there taking care of me. I just need to remember that. We all  need to remember that. From now, until eternity.

                                               Love,
                                            Kelsey :)

11.06.2014

Dear Best Friend (A letter to Anne)

Hey there! 

   As I said in my post last week (You can find that, here.), I'm going to be starting up a weekly Thursday post. I'll be writing a letter to someone each week. I don't have a definitive list of each and every person, I'm just gonna go with whoever happens to be on my mind each Thursday (or the day I schedule the post, if I write it earlier). 

  So this week, being that our 5-year friendaversary was last week, who better than to write to my best friend? Here it goes;

   Dear Best Friend, 

  Ironically, I haven't even started texting you yet today. Shows how good of a friend I am, hm? 

  We've been friends for five years now. Five years. In some ways it feels longer, and in others it feels so, so much shorter. I feel like I've known you a lifetime, but also just met you, ya catch my drift? 

  Life is passing us by so quickly these days and I feel like I can't keep up with it all. To quote High School Musical 3, "I wish it would all just stop. Or at least just slow down." We're getting older. We're both in our junior year of high school. In a little under two years, we'll both be graduating and then who knows where we'll be? I'm not exactly sure, yet, but I hope it'll be somewhere good, for both of our sake. 

 If I had one thing to say that sticks out in my mind the most, it'd probably be to tell you to not give up. Don't give up on yourself. Because I've seen you in some of your best places and some of your worst places, and I don't want to see you go somewhere that's going to be detrimental to your well-being. Because, regardless of the fights we have sometimes, you'll always be my best friend. You're the sister that I always wanted, but never got. Until now.

 I can't wait for the day when we're both in our forties. You'll be married with a big brigade of kids, I'm sure, and who knows where I'll be. I've always been pretty unpredictable. I can't wait for that day, because I can't wait to look back and reminisce on the crazy, wacky things we've done, the lives we've lived, the lives we've touched. Because I believe in you! I believe you're going to touch lives. I believe you have a stronger influence in this world than you believe. Your options are limitless. The world is your oyster (well, that's a weird cliche statement, but you catch my drift). 

 In conclusion (okay, never mind that's too business-y and this is a trying-to-be heartfelt letter). Anne, I just want you to know that no matter what we go through, you'll always be my best friend. You'll always mean the world to me, regardless of how far or close we live to each other. We've managed a five year friendship from 900 and then 3,000 miles apart. I think we're doin' pretty well, so far ;) Love you, girly!

                    Love,
                 Kelsey!!

      I encourage you all to appreciate your best friends today. Because no matter how crazy life gets, they're usually one of the first ones to have your back. Show your best friend you appreciate him/her today. You owe it to them.

                                           Love,
                                       Kelsey :)

11.01.2014

NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Hello there, beautiful people!

   This is a scheduled post. Because it's Saturday (today, when this is published) and I'm starting my race of the word count, or what is more commonly known as, NaNoWriMo. I'm probably sitting at the computer, smashing out 1,667 words as quickly as possible. Or, I'm super stressed because I have no idea what I'm even writing. Either way, I'm most likely busy at the current moment in time. 

   
     If you're doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, I have a few words of advice.

1). If you're like me, you probably just aim for you 1,667 words and don't go any higher, but I encourage you to aim higher. Adding a little bit extra here and there really pays off. Because your word count starts jumping, and it helps on days when you're a little more lax in you're writing.

2). Don't get stressed out. One year, I remember literally CRYING because I couldn't think of anything else to write and I was missing roughly 500 words in my word count. Don't stress. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and walk away for awhile. You can come back to it later with fresher ideas. Just take a break. Even if only for five minutes.

and;

3). Don't forget to enjoy the process. Obviously, if you're doing NaNoWriMo, you either love writing, want to try your hand at it, or were dared by a friend to participate. None of which are a bad thing! Just remember, the process is apart of it too. Maybe you'll find success at the end, maybe you won't, but remember, enjoy the writing process. Writing is a tool for free expression, your options are endless. Writing is an adventure, not a monotonous, never-ending, terrible hike, in the middle of a rainstorm, in the snow, in the cold of winter!

    Congratulations on this adventure you're about to embark on. It's gonna be a wild ride, buckle up, and keep your feet on the floor (or up on something if you prefer that) and your hands on the keyboard or pen at all times. Enjoy!

                                      Have a great day,
                                         Love,
                                         Kelsey :)

10.30.2014

A Letter to My Future Self (And pssst! Some Changes Are Coming!)

Dear Future Self,

   Maybe you forgot about this letter for a long time, but you've just found it, have no idea what you said and want to get some words of wisdom from your former self. Or maybe you're just reminiscing about the past and want to laugh at your teenage years. 

   Either way, it's me. *ahem*, sorry, you. I don't know exactly where you are right now or how old you are, but I hope and pray that you're doing well. By well, I don't necessarily mean you're happy, I just hope you're full of joy. The difference between the two is that happiness can be temporary, but joy is a feeling that lasts. A feeling you feel deep down inside that reminds you of what living really is. 

   I hope and pray that you're living the life God wants you to; and that you're a good person, not by some self definition you've given to being a "good person," but by God's definition. Because I've always hoped to be successful in the eyes of God, not necessarily of man. Remember, do good, be kind, and remember to empathize with those who need it most. 

  Right now, I'm just climbing my way through the steep hills and rocky canyons of high school. That sounds a little over-dramatic, I suppose, but I'm just taking it day by day, with no definitive goal in mind. 

  Maybe at this point you're married? Maybe with a few kids? Or maybe you're career focused right now. If being career focused is your only goal right now, I encourage you to find another one. Because, I know money is something you need, but it's a need that's constant. It's kind of a bottomless pit. Don't spend so much time focusing on your career that you lose sight of the people around you. Don't spend so much time focusing on your career that you lose sight of the goal. God's goal. Because, I'm not sure what that is right now, but I'd hope you know what He wants from you wherever you are. 

  Most of all, remember the words you thought so long ago, "Love people. Because that's the only thing that truly matters in this world. Loving God and loving people." 

  I sincerely hope you're doing well, Kelsey. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, remember God loves you. Remember He only wants what's best for you. And no matter what you go through, His joy is your strength. 

           Stay grounded. Stay in His word.
                 Love,
         Your Fifteen-Year-Old Self

                                       Have a great day everyone!
                                              Love,
                                       Kelsey :)

P.s. This blog is going to be undergoing some changes again. Hopefully I'll have more to share about those changes soon, but I'm still workin' out the details, ya know? ;)

Also, this might become a weekly thing. I'll write a letter to someone each week. I don't know who yet, but someone. :)

10.25.2014

What if We Just Looked Up From Our Smart Phones, Hmm?

Hello there, beautiful people!


     I have this problem. And I hate to complain, but I just wondered if my problem annoys as many people as it does me. Are you ready for it?

Are you really ready?

Here it goes...

One of my biggest problems with our technologically advanced society is that I feel like I can't have a decent conversation anymore.

   How many amens can I get right now? Because this isn't just a joke, I feel as though it's a serious problem. 

   For some reason, when God was thinking up my genetic makeup, he decided to throw in a little character quality there that is really annoyed by this issue. I love having deep, heart-to-heart talks. 
   I think deep down, we all like having these conversations. The kind that encourage you, allow you to cry with others, and allow you to connect with people on a level that technology can't reach. Because regardless of how fancy they make a smartphone, or how wonderful video chat becomes, there is nothing like having a face-to-face, heart-to-heart, real conversation with someone.

  Because we're either talking via Facebook or Twitter, or we're texting eachother; or worse we're talking, but the conversation turns into a lot of mhms and yups while we're staring down at the handheld device in front of us. 

  I don't want to be rude, but when I'm having a conversation with you, I want your full attention. I want to know you're hearing and understanding every single word I'm saying. Because when I'm talking, and you're staring down at your phone, I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall.

 In a world full of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (all of which I have, so I'm not bashing these in any way), we need to take a step back and look at the people in front of us. 

  And I'm not just saying that people do this to me, I'm fully guilty of focusing on a laptop, or a tablet, or a smart phone rather than the person I'm talking to. But I don't want to do that anymore. None of us should want to do that anymore. Because it almost cheapens the conversation.

  Imagine it like this, you're praying. To God. The God of all of the earth. The One who created the stars, and the heavens, and dandelion dust. Now imagine you're sharing your deepest most intense, raw feelings with Him. Imagine you're pouring your heart and soul out to Him on a platter, and leaving it all out there. Now imagine he says, "Mhm," as He's staring down at His smart phone. You try to speak again, but he says, "Hold on, lemme just send this text to Gabriel real quick, Lolzzz he's totes hilarious!" 

How would that make you feel?

It's an outrageous example, I know, and our God would never do this, but sharing your feelings is hard, especially to another person. When you're talking to someone, and sharing your deepest feelings and fears with them, don't you want their full attention? Don't you want nods of understanding, and that connection that can only be found in the deepest eye contact met with the deepest feelings?

Now imagine something else.

Imagine you're talking to someone, and they're sharing with you. Imagine they don't know anything about Christ or redemption or the Cross, and you're staring at your smart phone rather than listening to their cry for help. How would that feel? How would it feel to miss the chance to help guide a broken heart to the greatest source of healing that there is? 

I'm not saying these are everyday occurrences, but it's definitely frustrating to try and talk to someone when they're distracted by the internet, or texting, or a phone call even!

So I'm going to try a thirty day challenge. For thirty days, every time someone speaks to me, for any reason at all, I'm going to do my best to avert my attention solely at them, regardless of what I'm doing. Because the human connection is more important than anything the internet has to offer, trust me. 


So I hope you have a fabulous day!
Love,
Kelsey :)

10.24.2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: It's Almost Heeeere!

Hello there, beautiful people!

   Amidst all of the newness that this school year seems to have, NaNoWriMo seems to be coming upon us much faster than I had originally thought. It starts in eight days! Crazy!

  I'm so excited this year to be participating again, although I did go back and forth a whole lot about it. I wasn't sure whether I really wanted to do it again, because I wasn't sure if I wanted to taste failure again. (Me? Negative? NEVER!) Because for the past few years of doing NaNoWriMo, I haven't exactly succeeded at getting to my 50,000 word count, but I'm determined to try. Because not only am I stubborn, I'm extremely motivated to get it finished this year. Just because I want to look that 50,000 word count in the eye and go, "Beat ya!" 

                                      Who else is doing NaNo this year?
                                        Love,
                                     Kelsey :)

10.22.2014

Something Important

Hello there, beautiful people!

    It's been awhile hasn't it? Well, I've been good. Just living mostly. Life seems to be moving quicker than I ever thought it would. I mean, we're almost done with October! That seems a little crazy.

   In reading my Bible, I've noticed one thing that's repeated quite a lot. I think we've all heard it before, and we all know it in the back of our minds, but we don't always live it.
   What am I talking about? I'm talking about LOVE.


       I'm talking about the parts where it says to love one another. I think a lot of us believe that when this is said, it's all about that sweet feeling we get in the pit of our stomach just by looking at someone we care about. That's all fine and dandy and all, but I don't think that's what our Lord was talking about when He said this.

     I truly believe He's talking about love as a verb. Love as an action. The unconditional love we're all still trying to comprehend, because it's such a contrary concept to what we've believed or been told all of our lives. God wants us to love each other as Jesus loved during His time on this little earth of ours. 
   To love regardless of how we're being treated, regardless of what we're getting out of it, and regardless of who the recipient is. We're called to love everyone, not a fraction of society that we deem worthy of our love. Because isn't that how He loved and loves us? 
   Jesus loved the lowliest of the low, because that's His character. Because regardless of what the latest societal belief is, He loves the unlovable. This is how we're supposed to love. This is how we're told to love. This is what He wants from us.

   But shouldn't we want it too? Shouldn't we want to love everyone too? Regardless of what we're getting out of it? 

   We're not supposed to pick and choose who we love. We're supposed to love everyone. Collectively. As a whole. We're supposed to love them with our actions. Because I've found that sometimes you can say, "I love you," 647,000,000 times, but if you're not showing it, the person you claim to love isn't getting the message.

  This has really been on my heart for the past few days, and I felt the need to share. Friends, love others. Because not only, as humans, do we need love, but we need to give it. Love has been so cheapened by the stereotypes it's been given. As if it's just some fairytale thing that can be tossed around like some sort of football. No, love is the basis of all. Because if we tear away money, fame, power... what do we have left? What's left to crave? What's left to thrive off of? Love. That's it. That's the answer. Because God is love, and if God is the answer, then it's only fitting to say that love is the answer. 

                                           Have a wonderful night!
                                                    Love,
                                                 Kelsey :)

  

10.07.2014

A New Haircut, Bad Quality Pictures, and Spiderman

Hello there, beautiful people!

   It's a gorgeous October day here in New England and I felt the need to post. Not necessarily about the day, but just about something. 

   First off, isn't Fall just gorgeous? Fall in New England is my favorite!  The colors, the smells, the chills.. It's amazing!

   
      The picture above is from last fall, 364 days ago actually :) The colors weren't completely change yet, but it was definitely beautiful!

    I got a hair cut yesterday. I seem to be getting those more frequently lately. I'm always into changing my hair for some reason.



      The picture quality is pretty bad, because I used my tablet's camera (which is very low quality) instead of my camera, but it gives you the idea of what my hair looks like. It's pretty short. Also, I make really creepy faces in pictures, just sayin'. 

      My Mom was laughing at me on Sunday, because I needed a new toothbrush and I picked the pack of Marvel Superhero toothbrushes at the store. So now I have a spiderman toothbrush that's intended for seven year old boys. Oh well... 

      Fall is bringing in a lot of changes. And not just in the colors of the leaves. Life is changing constantly, and sometimes I feel like it's all going by so fast, but other times I feel like it's in this slow motion and I can enjoy each and every little moment. I guess life speeds up the older you get... or so I've been told. Let's hope it doesn't. Because I want to live a little more in this moment before we jump to the next.

                                            Love,
                                         Kelsey :)

P.s. I'm sorry this post is kind of randomized, but I'll try to have something a little more intriguing next time, I promise :)