"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.


                                                                        Kelsey :)


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.
                                                  Kelsey :)

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



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. 

                                                Kelsey :)