11.24.2015

Six Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving



             "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all                             circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
                                                ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18~


              I think I've mentioned before how crazy life has been for the last two years. I've moved twice. I've dealt with seasons of all different emotions and struggles. This Thanksgiving, though? I'm full of joy. Complete and utter joy. Not because everything is perfect, but because God has filled me with joy this season. Despite all of the chaos, the struggle, and everything else over the last few years, I'm full of joy. And that is worth celebrating. With that said, there are some things I'm thankful for this year that should be noted. 


  1.  Jesus. For His sacrifice, for His love, for His words of wisdom that keep me going when life gets hard, and for His comfort during hard times.
  2. My family. Parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great aunts, great uncles. I have a pretty big family, so there's lots of people to mention. I love each and every one of them to pieces! 
  3. My family. I say this again, because (like I've said before) family isn't always blood related to you. And I have a lot of family who aren't biologically related to me. I love them like crazy, too!
  4. A joy-filled heart. I'm thankful for the ability to remain joyful. I'm thankful that I can pray, and ask the Lord to help me remain consistently joyful, even when it's difficult.
  5. My friends! There's a lot to mention, but you're all fabulous. Oh, and specifically my best friend Anne just rocks, so thank you for being you! :)
  6. The kids I babysit/teach in Sunday school. They bring me so much joy, and I'm so thankful for all of them!
                   Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your holiday is wonderful, and spent happily with all of your loved ones. 

                                                       Love,
                                                    Kelsey :)

10.15.2015

A Lesson in Trust

Hello,

  I seemed to be under the delusion that I'd posted recently on this blog, when in fact, time had slipped away from me and it's been more like three and a half months since I've posted. Wow! I suppose the summer was just eventful, and time slipped away from me slowly.

 Rather than grace you with some long, drawn out post full of highlights from this past summer, I'll share one thing with you. And it has nothing to do with how my summer was.


                                                              source


  This. This verse has been prominent in my life for months. Not that I hadn't read it before, or hadn't understood it before, but it didn't really mean anything to me until now. Life has been chaotic for awhile, and things just seem so stressful and crazy sometimes, that it's hard to even determine what to do. What the next step should be. Not even in just one, isolated part of my life, but chaos has seemingly wormed it's way into every aspect of my life and it hits me hard sometimes. 
   
  The biggest reason I think I've been honing in on these verses is because it's a reminder of the things I need to work on. Truthfully, it is an encouragement, but it's more so there as a smack in the head, to remind me to just trust. Just trust. Easier said than done, but it's something I'm working on. Something I'm trying to remind myself of every single day.

  When you're in an unpredictable and chaotic situation, it's hard to hash out what is going on sometimes. It's like everything is moving and changing, and you're frozen in time, wondering where to move. This is where these verses come in and keep me levelheaded; bring me to a place of remembering to just trust. Sometimes I need to remind myself to trust like the act of trusting is the same as breathing. Trust in, trust out, trust always, trust to keep going. Then comes the part about not leaning on your own understanding. I think our tiny glimpse of the situation we're in can be deceiving without the ability to view it amidst the bigger picture. Finally, we come to the last part. Now, some may like to skip to the whole, "He will make your paths straight" part, but you really can't. "In ALL thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." I have to remember that acknowledging Him and His power and His presence, is almost like letting go and letting Him take over. Not that He's not in control all of the time, but it's the trusting and the letting go that's required to let Him direct our paths. 
   I have a theory that this doesn't mean that our lives will become any less chaotic or crazy or confusing, but I think it just means that the trusting, and the letting go, allow us to be free to live in spite of it. Even in the thick of life, and in the hardest, craziest parts, letting go and letting Him work through our situation allows a freedom. A freedom to just be, to trust as we breathe, and let Him pave our way. 

With love and hugs,
Kelsey

      












6.30.2015

"The Preacher Girl"

Hey there,

  On a regular basis, I find myself stumbling. Not just stumbling spiritually; but physically, emotionally, pretty much any way you can possibly imagine. I'm a stumbler. I'm not well-balanced, and I usually end up with lots of bumps and bruises.
   Besides being a stumbler, I also happen to be extremely sensitive, and I read too much into things sometimes. Guilty. Sorry. 

  All this said, it probably shouldn't come as any surprise to me or anyone else, when I had a strange reaction to being nicknamed "Preacher Girl," by my brothers. Why did they call me that, you ask? Well, let me set the scene for you.

  We were swimming last week, and we were splashing around and messing around as teenage siblings often do. My brothers began to say things that I didn't really agree with, I don't remember the exact conversation. Whatever they said came off as very worldly to me, and I responded with, "Well you know, you can be in the world, but not of the world." I was beaming, I was thrilled that I could pour out words of wisdom to my brothers. 
  After a few minutes, I said it again in response to something they had said, and they proceeded to say, "Whatever you say Preacher Girl!" At first, I was a little uncomfortable. I wanted to protest and say, "I AM NOT! That is totally unfair, I'm no preacher girl, I'm just your sister trying to give you gentle (or not so gentle) guidance here!!" 

  After much deliberation on my part (also known as, obsessive over thinking of my newly acquired nickname, wondering whether or not I should be offended), I realized; we're all supposed to be preachers. 

  Don't get me wrong here, I'm not implying that everyone should go out and go to seminary and become world renown ministers! No, what I'm saying is, that we're the light in this world. Our lives should be a ministry to others, our lives should be a message to others. 
   Matthew 5:14-16 says, 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." 
   Jesus are the light of the world. You're responsibility is to shine that light. The love that's poured into us is meant to be a light to others. The love that we receive should be pouring out of us. Jesus died so we could live, yes; but that's not the end of it. He also wants us to shine His light, for others to see.

   Your life should be a ministry to others. The love God has for you, should be so evident in your life, that people become curious. People wonder. 

   Am I offended by being called "Preacher Girl?" No, because it means at least something I'm doing is resonating with someone, even if it is my brothers. After all, we should show the light to our families as well, right?

   There's no need to jam the Bible down someone's throat, or smack them over the head with it (even if it may be tempting sometimes). First, show love. First, illuminate their lives with the light of Christ. Everything else can come later.

                                                             source

                                                             Love,
                                                                        Kelsey :)

6.18.2015

Dear Past Self (Another Thursday Letter)

Dear Past Kelsey,

  I don't have any time-frame I'm writing to you about, but I do know one thing; I probably shouldn't focus on the past. That's kind of a popular statement these days, "Focus on the now, don't look to the past." I agree, yet I disagree. I think looking to the past occasionally helps to remind you not to make the same mistakes that you have before. 

  I have a few things to say to you Kelsey, and I hope it helps for me to get them written down. You always had that habit, and still do to this day; writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you to figure them out. 

  First off, I want you to know something. You did it. You made it to sixteen. Whether you have one or one-hundred years left, I don't know, but you've made it this far. I know there were times where you didn't think you could do it, didn't think it was worth it; but it was, and I want to tell you, life isn't any easier, but it seems to be getting more beautiful.

  As I slow down and take a look back at your life, at our life, I'm noticing more and more how time flew when I felt like it was taking too long. Time, Kelsey, is very, very precious, and I'm determined not to waste a second of it. If I could be off of social media more often than not, I would do much better at not wasting time. 

  Secondly, you made it. You got over him. Maybe not fully (who actually gets over a guy fully?), but you shifted the way you were giving him attention. It might have hurt like nothing has ever hurt you before when you realized it was time to get over him, but I promise, he is not the entire world. That's why they say a guy won't complete you, because you get disappointed and heartbroken sometimes.

  To the little version of me that was scared to become independent, scared to dare to do more than just hide in the shadows of other people: you're not that girl anymore. The process of finding out who you're going to be is still ongoing, but you're getting there. 

  To the little girl who thought at sixteen she'd marry a prince and live in a candy castle: sorry, it hasn't happened. Hey, I did just turn sixteen, so you never know. Maybe he'll come along. 

  And finally, to the 13 year old version of me. You thought you could never change your ways, you thought you'd be a horrible, mean person forever: You're a work in progress. Things are gradually changing. You're trying to change your attitude and trying to sweeten up your disposition, but it's still ongoing. We'll get there, though. With time, I'm hoping we can get this straightened out. 

   Past me, I know you'd wished for a life totally different than the one you've got, but this is what we've got, and you're going to make the best of it. You're trying, anyway. Remember, kiddo, life isn't always easy; but with a little love and a whole lot of Jesus, I think you'll be just fine.
                                                       Love,
                                                  Kelsey :)

                        For your enjoyment, here are a few photos of "past me." 




6.14.2015

Choices

Hey there! 

   I hope you like the updates on this blog. The name change was because, after a few years of having "Dreamer" as the title, I thought it was necessary for a change. I hope this change reflects the way I'm living, and if it doesn't, it'll be a reminder to always seek the Lord's heart.

   You may or may not know this, but I teach Sunday school. I have very few kids, but making sure they're learning is really important to me. I may not know fully what I'm doing, but after a year of teaching, I'm starting to get the hang of things.

    Today, I planned a lesson (based on a free lesson online) about choices. The verses that we focused on were:

        "13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
                                           Matthew 7:13-14

      I had eight-year-old twins today, and they have a tendency to be rambunctious. They're rowdy boys and I have brothers, nothing really surprises me when it comes to them. They were their usual rowdy selves, and at times they didn't listen, but I've come to the conclusion that situations aren't always going to be perfect and tied up in a neat little package like you want them to be. Sometimes, the things we do can be hard.

    Which brings me back to the lesson. 

     We were talking about choices, and how making good choices in life will keep you on the right path to eternal life. As I kept reminding them that making good choices was always the best option, a thought struck me; they're not the only ones who need to hear this. I needed to hear it. I needed to be reminded that no matter how tempting that wide, easy road is; it eventually leads to destruction. 

  Think about it for a minute, in all the years you've read your Bible (this is for those who read their Bibles. If you don't, I highly recommend flipping through to correct me if I'm wrong), has it ever once said, "Wide is the gate, and easy and comfortable is the road that leads to eternal life." I've never read that. 

   Life is always going to be hard. There are always going to be challenges to overcome, comfort zones to step out of; but maybe the path to eternal life is hard so that we need Jesus more. Maybe that was the point. 

   Last year, when I went to Leadership Camp, one really big thing for me was when we were running in the woods. I was breathless (super out of shape at the time), struggling to catch my breath, and performing some weird mix of running/walking/hyperventilating. Everyone was SO nice about it, though. While I was embarrassed, everyone else was making sure I was okay and helping me if need be. 

  I think that's why the narrow, rugged road was made for believers. It's to see if we're willing to take it, no matter how difficult. At the same time, though, when it does get difficult, Jesus is right there to pick us up. He's there to lean on. He's there to encourage us and keep us going, just like when I was back at camp. Had those people not been there, I probably wouldn't have finished all that I did. If I were by myself, I surely would have just stopped, at least slowed down. 

  That's why not only is it important to lean on Jesus in the hard times, but it's so important to encourage others during the hard times, AND  surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Do you think you could finish a race with someone yelling, even whispering, doubts into your ears. No, because encouragement is super important when it comes to our Christian family. 

   Making good choices is always the best option, and if you make the good choice to follow down the rugged road, Jesus will be there to lean on, to tell you that you can make it; to help you finish the race. 

                                                    Love,
                                                Kelsey :)

5.24.2015

Changes Are Coming

Hello there,

 In an attempt to revitalize and breathe new life into this blog, there will be some changes coming. Most likely it will include, a name change, a design change, and a little bit of change in the overall format, but it will be the same me. 

  I hope you all have a fabulous Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend. Have a wonderful day!

                                              Kelsey :)

5.17.2015

God Doesn't Care What Color Pens You Use

Hello there!

  The title might seem a little strange, but this is a lesson I really had to learn recently. It's something that I probably should have learned awhile ago, but I'm stubborn. 

  Let's face it; Bible study isn't always easy. *GASP,* you say? How can I say that? Well, I'm a big advocate of honesty, and I truly believe we need to be honest in our Christianity, because it isn't easy. Actually, it rarely ever is. (Check out my last post for more on that) I know it's been said that "being a Christian doesn't have to be hard," but I don't think that's the truth. I think it is hard. I think it takes a huge amount of discipline, self-control, and complete dedication and surrender. I also think it's hard, at times, as a method for us to grow closer to the Lord.

 With all of that said, Bible study can be tough. The discipline of sitting down everyday and studying the Bible isn't always easy. Sometimes, we're busy, or lazy, or we feel guilty sitting down and studying when we have a dirty house, a thousand errands to run, and homework or, if you have a job, work to do.

 Now to be extremely honest, I don't study my Bible like I should. I don't study nearly as much as I need to. I get busy with school, or day to day activities and I put it off. Or I'm downright lazy and get too wrapped up in the hypnosis that is television, and I can't seem to get sucked back into reality. I'm not making excuses, though. I guess a lot of it has to do with a lack of self-discipline. 

  Now, let me paint a picture for you. I'm sitting in my bedroom, feet kicked up on the bed while sitting in my totally cool, pink, fuzzy, saucer chair (thanks, Auntie!), and I finally get my butt in gear to do some Bible study. I'm really getting into it and I'm prepared to sit there for hours and hours and just keep studying. Laundry? You shall wait! That two-page writing assignment for school? Psh, no time for that! This is studying time! Then, comes the dead halt in my study. 
  Before I go on, you have to understand, that I write things down. A lot. Whether in Bible study, or regular studying, or even just writing down to-do lists; I write things down a lot. Therefore, during my Bible study, I take notes (just as I do in church). 
  To continue the story, I was sitting there, in my pink fuzzy chair, all pumped up to do some Bible study, when I came to a dilemma. Are you ready for this? Are you truly prepared? I asked myself, "Oh goodness! What color pen am I going to use?" I kid you not, I spent a solid five minutes in this dilemma, sitting, staring at these pens, unsure of what color to use for my notes. Do I use pink? Or red for the really important things? Do I underline my notes? Don't even get me started on highlighting!

  I sat there, in this predicament, when the thought occurred to me, "Hey you! God doesn't care what color pens you use, He cares what you get out of this study." I kind of wished someone were in the same room to smack me in the head. I wasted all of that time (five minutes may seem short, but minutes are precious, guys) thinking, WORRYING even, about what color pens to use, when I could have been studying more. 

  All of this said, solid, habitual Bible study can only come from strong self discipline. I'm told it's easier the longer you've been doing it, but I haven't quite gotten there yet. I'm still learning, just as many are. I'm so grateful, though, that I've found the Lord at this age, because otherwise, I'd probably be even more busy and even more distracted from Bible study. Buckle down, Kelsey. Get in the Word. It's got so much to offer.


                                                   Love,
                                                    Kelsey :)

5.07.2015

The Truth About Being a Christian

Hey there! 

   It's been about a month since I've last written. Like always, I didn't really have much to say. Then a thought occurred to me. Since life isn't really about me, and it's about glorifying God, maybe I shouldn't use my own words. Or maybe I should, but they'll be my interpretation of what I think He's trying to tell me? Or something like that.

  Here's a SPOILER ALERT for all of you: Being a Christian isn't always easy. "WHAT?!" you say. "That cannot be! After you get saved isn't it supposed to be rainbows and puppies and sunshine?" Actually, no. Whoever thinks that way should probably dig into their Bible a little more, because I think you're  a little crazy. (Not necessarily in a bad way, I promise). 

  Not just in being a Christian, but specifically, in being a Christian teenage girl, there seem to be misconceptions that we're all on fire for Jesus 100% of the time, that we are seeking a husband (meanwhile, "dating" Jesus in the process, which is a totally weird concept to me), that we're seeking God's purposes, that we're just happy and wonderful all the time. It's not true. 
  
  The truth about being a Christian teenage girl, or even a Christian in general, is that it's messy. It's hard, it's messy, and sometimes we just want to be like everyone else. We don't want to strive to do better. We have bad days, we have good days. I'm mostly speaking from personal experience, but I'm sure this applies to at least one other person, somewhere.

  If you've been following this blog for awhile, you probably know that I had a really bad run in with anxiety last year. I still have my moments, but through a lot of prayer, it's slowly improving. I'm only human. Just because I'm a Christian, doesn't mean I don't struggle.

  I sin. I fail God constantly. I fail other humans constantly. It's a matter of being human. It's a matter of still having that humanness amidst the salvation. 

  To be perfectly honest, I have days where I want it all to be over. I have days where I feel like the world is going to swallow me whole and I don't want to get out of bed, but then I hear that still, small voice in my head saying, "You're gonna be okay." And I repeat that in my head over and over and over, keeping it on loop while I white-knuckle my way through the harder days. 

  I'm not exactly sure where some of the misconceptions came from that we Christians have it all together, but they're untrue. As a matter of fact, it's sort of the opposite. The reason we cling to a Savior, is because we can admit we DON'T have it all together. We admit that we can't figure out this life thing anymore than anyone else, and we need guidance to get us through.


  






  The verse above is what keeps me going sometimes. He gives me the strength to press on. 

   I don't know about you, but I think all we all really want is to feel worth something. We all want someone to just look at us and tell us, "I love you. I care about you. You're worth it." And the reason we Christians seem to have it all together on the surface is because Christ did just that. When He willingly allowed Himself to die for us. Each one of us. 
    His doing that was like He grabbed us by the shoulders, looked us right in the eye, and said, "I love you enough that I died for you. Before you were even born, I died for you. I died so you could live." If that doesn't make you feel worth it, I'm not sure what will. As my Mom always says, "You're worth every drop of blood that Jesus shed all those years ago." 

   Do Christians have it all together? Absolutely not. Do we know what's coming next? No, we don't. Are we sure of anything? Besides Salvation and God's love, pretty much no. Are we gonna continue living like this? Absolutely! Because what else is there to live for? If we're just here as a tiny speck in the whole of time and life, and we die, and nothing comes after it, what do we have to live for? What do we have to look forward to? Nothing. Maybe this world has beautiful things to offer in it's brokenness, but afterward, if there's nothing left but the dust of your decomposing bones in the ground, then, frankly, I don't think this life is worth it. Christ makes this life-the struggle, the heartache, the suffering-so much more worth it. What He did and what I have to look forward to, makes the heartache worth it. That's what I'm living for. What about you?

                                                 Love,
                                              Kelsey :)
  

4.02.2015

Why I'm Convinced that Easter is Really the New Beginning

Hello there!!

  It seems like only yesterday we celebrated New Year's, when in fact it was three months ago! Seems crazy, right? That means a quarter of the year has gone by! Where is time going, am I right?
  In the midst of all of the chaos of Easter, with the eggs, and the fancy dresses, and random rabbits coming in the middle of the night, there's something we have to remember: Easter is much, much more than all of that. 


      Tomorrow commemorates the day that Jesus died. The day he was tried, tortured, and crucified for our sake; for things He didn't even do! He died and was buried; He was resurrected three days later, we all know the story! We've probably been hearing this all of our lives, or at least every year since we've become Christians. Jesus died for you, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose from the dead. Yeah, we know it, yes, we claim to believe it, but are we really feeling it? Are we letting the weight of all of it sink in? Just think about it for a second. Someone literally died for you. He took on all of the guilt, all of the sin, all of the shame, and He took it to that cross, and it died on that cross with Him. 
 
                                                        That is monumental!
                                               
         I mentioned New Year's before, and you probably just read it quickly and didn't think it had much to do with this post, but it does. Because, I was watching TV yesterday and someone said, "It's never too late for a new beginning" and this thought struck me: We celebrate New Year's and make all of these resolutions to live better, and to try better, and to be better, but why is it the turn of a New Year inspires that? Maybe Easter is the real new beginning. 
        Think about it. It's no coincidence we celebrate Easter in Spring. Spring is the time of transition. A time of new life and new beginnings. Jesus' resurrection marked a massive change. He died so we could live. He was resurrected so He could prove He was who He claimed. Jesus' resurrection sparked a new life to live, for everyone!
  
        If you've failed on your New Year's Resolutions, or if you've told yourself it's too late to start over, it's not. Because through His sacrifice, we gain life. 

           "9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -John 10:9-10 (NKJV)

     He came to save us, He came to give us life; abundant life! New beginnings and new life are attainable through the One who saved us. So maybe Easter is our new beginning. His resurrection sparks the recreation of ourselves. We can allow what He did to resonate into the deepest parts of our soul, until our outside mirrors what we're feeling inside. Because that's what this is all about. His saving us, our acceptance of that salvation, and the saved living like they've been redeemed, because they have! You have! We all have.

                                                    (feel free to use this, it's my own edit!)
               Jesus is alive, God is good, and you are SAVED!

                If I don't get to posting before Easter, I hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to find some quiet time to rest in His presence and soak up all that this day encompasses. He is risen!

                                               Love,
                                            Kelsey :)

3.26.2015

The Greatest Assurance

Hello there, beautiful people!

   Life's been so chaotic lately that it's like I can't find time to do everything I need to do. I almost need more hours in a day, but I don't really. Because the Lord knew what He was doing with twenty-four of them, and I just need to suck it up, and prioritize. 
   
   That is not what I wanted to talk about, though. After a lot of thought about all of the changes going on in my life (more details on that later, hopefully!), I had to just take a breath and remember that He has still got it under control. And if there's no other assurance that I need to remember but one, this is it:

                                                   He loves me.

     Those three words seem so easy for us to remember at first glance, but do we live like it? Do we live like we're loved by an all-powerful God, or do we live like we have no idea what we're doing?

   The Lord's greatest assurance to us, is that He loves us. That's what it boils down to, really. At times, it seems like God isn't there, and we even delude ourselves into believing that He doesn't care. But when you come to the root of it all, He loves us. Isn't that why He sent His Son to die? Isn't that why Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us? Isn't that why He continuously blesses us, even when it doesn't seem like it at first? 

  I think the issue is when things don't go our way, we automatically gravitate toward, "Well God mustn't care, because things aren't working out exactly how I asked Him. I mean, come on, I prayed in detail for it. He should know! He doesn't care!" But, oh, He does. 
   I think the realization that not everything will go my way all the time, is probably one of the greatest lessons I've ever learned. Because life won't always go my way. I won't always get what I want; but He will always, always give me what I need. There's a bigger picture, and this life isn't about me. So it's time to suck it up, realize He's got my best interest at heart (with the bigger picture still in mind), and He loves me. It's as simple as that.

                                                    Love,
                                                  Kelsey 


3.10.2015

God is Good...So, so Good!

Hello!!

  Life, it seems, is getting more interesting day by day, and it's almost as if I can't keep up with it. The days are seeming longer since we've sprung ourselves forward, and the longer the days are, the busier they seem. It's like there's only so many hours in a day, and not enough of them to fit every little thing I need to do. In the midst of it all, God is still there, continuously whispering the things I need to hear to my heart.

  We have something big coming. At this particular time, I'm not quite ready to talk about it, and I don't know if I even should, but big things are happening. Life is changing. 

                                     (found on the Project Inspired Facebook page)

          I'm so incredibly excited for what the future holds. I'm torn because it hurts, but there's so much wonderful potential too and it's just craziness. 

       Hopefully I can share more later. All I can say now is that God is good. Still so so good. Regardless of what happens.

                                                   Love,
                                               Kelsey :)

    

3.02.2015

When Things Aren't Looking Up

Hello there,

   I was thinking today about the phrase, "things are looking up." Mostly because I wrote it down to remind myself that things, in fact, are looking up. Then, I got to thinking about it a little deeper, and what if I'm wrong? 

  What if things aren't looking up? What if things are never looking up or down, but it all depends on the view I have? What if it's not a matter of waiting for things to be seemingly good at all, but a matter of fixing our eyes toward heaven and realizing that we should be looking up. We shouldn't be waiting for things to get better, or for life to "work itself out." We should be fixin' our eyes on Jesus, to realize that the only real, consistent good in our lives is this Lord and Savior of ours. 

  Sure, life can be good. Life can be really good, yet, at the same time, bad things do still happen. We don't always get what we want; nothing ever happens exactly as we wish. That sounds cynical and negative and like a bad view to have on life, but if you think about it, what good is there in the world if the One who created good itself isn't our focus? 

  



   I'm a firm believer that the quality of your life isn't determined by what's going on in it, because, like it or not, life isn't 100% butterflies and rainbows. Your quality of life is determined by the perspective you have. If your gaze is fixed on this world, sure life is always going to be bad. There will always be a financial problem, or a family problem, or a work problem, or some disease going around, or war, or famine, or poverty. Yet, if you fix your gaze on Jesus, and look skyward (because that's about as close to heaven as I feel we can get on this earth), you see life through an almost different set of eyes. You still understand that life is hard. You know that you won't always be fine, you won't always be fantastic, and you won't always have the most joyful seasons, but in the midst of all of that, there's a Savior, who came to save. There's a God out there who has yours and my best interest at heart, and even if life seems perfectly miserable; His goodness still abounds in the brokenness. His goodness doesn't falter, regardless of your circumstances.

  I've come to the conclusion that life won't ever be perfect, there will always be problems, always be challenges, but if we turn our gaze upward, heavenward... we might just find the goodness in the midst of the craziness. 

 Usually when things are looking up, it's because you are looking up. If something feels impossibly difficult, just lift your gaze a little higher. And when you're too weak to fix your eyes on Him, He's there to gently lift your chin just a bit higher til your gaze it right where it always should be; fixed on Jesus. 

                                                       Love,
                                                    Kelsey :)


       

2.21.2015

We Are God's Children

Hello!

   I've had an interesting and wonderful week. Some church friends needed help with their grandkids, so I agreed to stay a week with them and help out with the three little ones. The kids are awesome! I love each and every one of them and they're so sweet. 

  The Lord has taught me a lot this week about myself, kids, and Himself. One thing that really stuck out to me was the way children are with new people. I was practically a stranger to these kids and for some reason, they liked me. Almost instantly. It was really strange to see, because that's not the way older people act. None of us like someone right away. Granted, there are some cases where that happens, but more often than not, we older folks (listen to me, speaking like I'm eighty) tend to distrust first and ask questions later. We're skeptical, we assume the worst a lot of times. 

 I arrived at our friends' house Monday night, and by Wednesday morning, the four year old, Lexy, was already snuggled in my lap falling asleep. She already liked me, already liked being around me, and more than anything; she trusted me. 
 As one who doesn't trust people easily, this was a new experience for me. I didn't remember ever being like that when I was her age; trusting people from practically word one. 

  After thinking about this for the next couple of days, I realized something; this is the closest example to what our relationship with the Lord should be like that we're ever going to see. I truly believe God wants us to trust first and ask questions later. That's not always easy, but it's what He wants. He knows better than we do and understands what we need at any given time. 

  Then yesterday, we were walking around in a parking garage and Lexy grabbed my hand. Just like that, she grabbed it, knowing she'd be safer if she held my hand. 
   Last night, in her room, she was going to jump from one bed to another (she's the cutest little stuntman ever!!), and I put my arms out and she jumped, knowing if she fell, I'd catch her. 

   That right there is exactly what the Lord wants from us. He wants unconditional, complete trust. He wants us to put our small hands into his strong, large ones, with the knowledge that He'll keep us safer than we can keep ourselves. He wants us to jump without thinking, realizing that no matter how high it might seem, how far it might seem, how daunting the jump, if we fall; He'll catch us. We are God's children. We are small and weaker than He is, and He's there; strong and powerful. Ready to catch us, or hold our hand, or keep us safe, so long as we trust Him completely with the same childlike trust like we once had for people older than us. 

                                                      Love,
                                                  Kelsey :)

2.01.2015

Life These Days

Hello there,

 Life is a little interesting right now. It's not extremely busy or still, it's kind of in a random state right now; like I never know what's coming next. I suppose that's how life usually is, constantly changing, lots of unexpected twists and turns. I don't know if I'll ever get into a routine state and I don't think I mind. 

                                (Baking a cake for my grandmother's birthday!!)



 The Lord has really been working in me through the past few years. He always has, but as I'm in a stage where I'm maturing and in the last stages of being a kid before I become an adult (only a few years!!), I'm anxious to see what God has in store. I don't know exactly what that is, but this year, I'm focusing on this little tidbit of Scripture:

        "Find rest, O My soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." -Psalm 62:5-8 (AMP)

   Resting in Him will leave me a lot better off. I find that I get so filled with anxiety and stress when I"m relying on my own strength to keep going. Sometimes I need to just reassure myself of this verse. Repeat over and over again, "Find rest in Him, find rest in Him." And quiet moments alone help as well.

                         (Yes, we got a lot of snow, but here in the woods it's so tranquil).

                                            Have a blessed day!
                                                   Love,
                                                   Kelsey :)

1.30.2015

When You're Lacking Inspiration

Hello there,

  Twenty days. It's been exactly twenty days since I last posted on this little blog of mine. I wish I could say that I was heartbroken because of this, but to be perfectly honest, I only thought of it maybe once or twice. 
    I guess I tend to just forget to post, or I lack inspiration. Being in a place where I lack inspiration isn't fun whatsoever. It's like I rack my brain and rack my brain and can't find anything. No matter what kind of creative juices I try to muster up, they just don't show up. 

                          (I live in New England, so we have a lot of this right now)


   Despite these past twenty days, my inspiration is coming back; slowly, but surely. Bits and pieces of little smidgens of ideas come about, and I realize that sometimes it just takes a little extra thinkin'. 

   I hope you're all doing well, and I hope to be posting soon!


                                            Love,
                                        Kelsey :)


1.10.2015

I Did Not Stop Thinking About This Blog, I Promise!

Hello there,


   I know it's been awhile since I've posted; well, really only nine days but sometimes it feels like an eternity when you want something to say, but don't really have any words. 

   Life is certainly funny in the way that we change. Different things become important to us over the years and other things fade away slowly. I remember back when I first started blogging, and I spent hours and hours trying to think up new blog posts, or even writing blog posts. That got me to the point where I had 60+ followers and I was content with it. Except for the fact that I had two of my own blogs, I was about to start up another blog with some other girls, and I spent four or more hours on the computer a day. Talk about priorities, huh? But that was back when I was ten or eleven. This is what mattered to me. Blogging and getting as many followers as possible is what mattered to me.
   Now, I've come to the conclusion that blogging, if not done in a good way, isn't all it's cracked up to be. You can easily become obsessed with being the best, or the greatest, or having the most followers, and it's completely and utterly unhealthy. Dedicating all of your time to having the most followers, is kind of like being the type of person who goes around in a crowd begging people to like them, and tweaking their personality to suit those around them.


   


   Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I still did the same thing that I used to as far as blogging. If I had continued spending four hours or more on the computer every single day blogging or reading blogs, for the last three or four years, where would I be now? I feel like I'd be unhappy. Only because if you spend your time learning about the world online, you never get to experience the real world. Granted, I don't have much experience in the world yet because I'm fifteen and a half going on sixteen. I'm not exactly Ms. World Traveler. I just don't want to live a life consumed with social media, and blogging, and the internet, all so I can lose sight of the real world. 

   I don't know exactly what this post was supposed to accomplish, but I definitely feel better after writing it. If it was a little boring for you, and you've made it this far, thanks for reading anyway :)
                                                    Love,
                                                 Kelsey :)

  



1.01.2015

A Letter to the Old and New: Dear 2014 and 2015

Hello there!

 New Year's is the time when people come up with lots of different goals for the coming year. Some of the most famous are; to lose weight, to get a new job, to find a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife... These are just some of the typical ones I've seen.

  As it's Thursday, I feel it's the perfect opportunity to write a letter, and determine what I'd like to do in the coming year, all in one neat little package....ummm post?

   Here it goes;

  Dear 2014,

 You were a great year. A truly great year. Although you possessed some of the most major challenges I've ever faced, I still can't say you were a bad year. Because those challenges grew me. They strengthened me and brought me closer to the Lord than I've ever been. I'm thankful for challenges and suffering. Studying the book of Romans with our home group this year has taught me that.

 Though you possessed all of these challenges, you still possessed so many wonderful experiences too. 

 The beginning of the year was sort of a time where we transitioned ourselves more fully back into life up in New England. We became closer with many people, became more active in our church, and joined Bible study.

 Spring was wonderful! A time of fun, anticipation for the summer, and the finishing (for me) of tenth grade.

 Summer was great, it was fairly short, but it was great! We spent time swimming, and going places, and having a ball!

  Fall was the best, yet. It was such a nice phase of life. 

  Winter has been good for the ten days it's been around. Unfortunately, not much snow has come, but I'm hopeful it will come along with January.

  All in all, it was a pretty good year 2014, and I will look back on our relationship with fond and cherished memories. 

                    Love,
                   Kelsey.

  And now, onto the next one ;)

    Dear 2015,

  BRING IT ON! Okay, that sounds like a weird statement, but I mean it more in the sense of, I'm ready for anything you can throw at me. The last (almost) two years have been a whirlwind, and crazy, and I don't think it can get much crazier. So whatever you have for me, go ahead. I'm totally okay with it.
  
  My goals for the coming year? I'd like to just enjoy this next year. It's my last full year of high school and I want to enjoy it to the fullest before I have to get a job and all that jazz.

 My hopes for 2015? I hope it's full of as much joy as 2014. I hope I can make new friends, and maintain relationships with old friends, and hopefully go on a trip in July, Lord willing.

 Well, here's to you 2015. Bring it on. Because I'm ready for what's in store.
                             Love,
                           Kelsey :)

        Here's to your new year too! I hope your year is blessed and wonderful and full of challenges to grow you and help you along your path!
                                                 Love,
                                              Kelsey :)