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 :)