Monday, December 24, 2012


Some years ago (I don't know the exact number, I just know that I was still quite young), our family faced various struggles within the course of two-three years. It seemed like we were bombed with thing after thing. I still remember vividly the many tears that we all shed over sicknesses, losses, and all sorts of things that just didn't seem to stop pounding us.
One of those things was a sickness that came over my mom.
I remember being absolutely terrified that she would lose her life...
it was somewhere during that time that I was diagnosed with "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder", which I know is a somewhat common disorder.. many people that I know have it to some degree. \

As a young girl, I became very scared of germs and would also struggle with frightening thoughts that just would not leave me alone due to the disorder.
I had to see a shrink; and she gave me some great advice on how to push the thoughts aside and let them vanish. So the disorder died down for a while.
We are sure that my anorexia issues were a branch of that disorder, hitting me at the age of 14.
Again, I was sent to a shrink. This time, I was also put into medical treatment.
After a rough year of recovery, that died down as well.

Recently, the OCD has been attacking me again.
And I won't lie: these past few weeks have been quite gloomy for me.
I've questioned things, I've struggled with thoughts that I knew weren't really from my right mind, and I've tried to ignore it all.

Here's the thing. Life isn't always a ray of sunshine and a beautiful song.

On a drive home recently, I expressed openly to the Lord that this felt like "being drenched in black paint"; like I was smothered in a darkness that I couldn't just shake off.

And sometimes life is like that. Because we cannot create joy.
Happiness, maybe.
Joy? no.

Also, we do not choose the occurances of our lifetime.

I recently had the priviledge of praying with a family that was struggling with the hardship of a family member facing cancer.
I looked into the eyes of the girl who was asking for prayer. She couldn't have been more than ten years old.. but her eyes didn't express fear. I could see a hope in her like I've never seen in someone so young.
Like she believed with everything in her that the Lord was in control, and He would take care of her family member.
And she is so right to believe that!!
Now I'm wondering what it would be like to have a faith like that. Unquestioned and confident.
It truly is a childlike faith! That is what we're called to have, even in the scariest of struggles.

I'm still a little shaky myself, it's like I'm in a recovery process, again. And just now, I'm coming to realize that maybe I am. It's time for me to trust that the Lord is watching my every move, He knows my every heartbeat, my every breath.
And He loves me bigger than I could ever comprehend. Praise His Name!

He is true and real and the One we ought to seek our entire lives,
to trust in when the going gets tough.
And when the going stays tough for what seems like forever.

I've been struck many times by the lyrics of a song that I've been hearing on the radio.
They go like this:
Even when my eyes are dry,
even when my soul is tired,
even when my hands are heavy,
I will lift them up to you.
It's not about how I feel,
Oh, Lord, I am here for You.
I exist for You.

Love it.


Saturday, November 17, 2012


Hello, Friends :-)
Do you remember my earlier post about the trip to Australia with YWAM?
It's hard to believe that it's been so very long since I wrote that post.

We've been working on a very thorough application for this trip ever since I wrote that post,
and after much paper-filling-out and thought and most importantly, prayer, we finished the first half of the application.
On Tuesday morning I received an email from YWAM, which told me that I've been accepted into the Discipleship Training School of Toowoomba, Australia.

I am so excited for this opportunity to serve the Lord through music and missions.

I'd appreciate prayer over the next months as preparation for the trip commences.
I need to do all sorts of things yet. Sign some things, fill out more papers, fund raise, get immunizations, book means of transportation...
(Yes, I am a bit overwhelmed)

But it's good! I know that I'm going to learn huge things, and be stretched, and meet amazing people.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

One Minute Post..

So I need to leave for work. But I thought I could take a minute and say... "Praise the Lord!!"
He is definitely worthy of praise!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Whatever you do.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

A month or so ago I read this verse, undoubtedly with a big smile on my face.
After reading it, I'm sure that I made some sort of "oohhhh" sound preceding a whispered exclamation of "That's so cool, Lord!"

A week or so after that moment I sat in one of the almost-but-not-quite-squishy chairs at our church. I listened and probably made all sorts of goofy facial expressions as my church family discussed the topic of work. 
Work, as in, that thing we do so that we can make a living.
The men shared different things about how they work to provide for their families, the women shared about how they work in their homes (and other places), some of my young adult pals shared about their new jobs/experiences as they've just been stepping into the work world.
We had just watched the tour about labor on "The Truth Project" DVD, which we've been using for Sunday School for many weeks now (actually, last Sunday we finished it up with much sorrow. All of us would highly recommend that you watch it if you have the chance.)

It was interesting listening as everyone came from their different perspectives, hearing their views on work.

It made me think about all things work-related. And it made me think of Colossians 3:23 and 24.
I personally work as a cashier, selling snacks at a theater that does live productions of Biblical text.
I love my job, but understand, I see so many people every single day that sometimes I just nearly lose it.
When you have customers on the left and the right, all asking you where their seats are, if they can have a bag, "oh wait, could I add a Snickers bar to that order.., here, I think I have fifty cents..",
This is just between you and me, but sometimes when I'm in that moment, I don't exactly feel like I'm working for the Lord and not for men.
I am extremely thankful for the job and I love the Christian work environment that I am so privileged to experience every day.
You should see the register I'm usually on. My coworker friends and I have decked it out with doodles, for one thing. But also, I often have a verse up there (somewhere between the my little picture of a balloon, and the "kanga-rex" doodle) Right now my verse is "Be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. And I have set you apart from the nations to be my own" Leviticus 20:26.
It's a nice reminder that even though I'm there to sell people chips, I am also there to be an example of what the Lord can do with a heart.
Many of the people that I meet, I can tell that they are not around Christian examples very often. I've been encouraged on occasion when a patron expresses to me that "everyone here is so nice!"
As if love is a rare jewel that they've just been shown for the first time.

I love the way that we employees treat each other with respect and love and forgiveness and.. yeah.
Yesterday I received a card  from my friend thanking me for being willing to switch registers with her.
A card. For switching registers.  Like it was a big deal or something.
She also wrote in the card that she can see Jesus shining through me.
I'm not bragging. Let me tell you, I so often feel like a miserable failure of a Christian example. I was just so touched to read that in the card that I couldn't help but tell you about it.
Because here's why: Even when we don't feel like we're making a big impression on anyone, or doing anything significant... we can be. Chances are, (not to sound creepy or anything), someone is watching the way you operate.
And if no physical person is, the Lord is. And *ah-hem* insert Colossians 3:23&24 here.
Work at it with all your heart, as working for Lord and not for men.
This is the point, kids. We are here to serve the Lord in everything we do, everywhere we are.
He's the one who will give us the ultimate performance review.
This is the thought that I have to cling to a lot.
Someday I'll stand before the King. I know I've said this before, but I want to hear Him say "good job".
I pray that my life and my work will be that of a good and faithful servant.
And I pray that yours will, too.

That, dear friends, is the beginning of an awesome work ethic, as well as a life well lived and in tune.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Just Thoughts

About 6:45 this morning I found myself sitting cross-legged on our sofa, looking through the window at the beautiful view right across the street from our house. I was in awe as I took in the image of the early sun as it cast it's golden beam over the shining, dew-laden field.
And I pondered things.
This is a rare happening, as I have a mind that tends to jump from thing to thing, never focusing on one particular thought for more than a couple of minutes, if that.
I thought about fruit.
Bananas, peaches, watermelon, grapes.
God must have had a splendid time designing fruits...
I thought about how each fruit has it's own texture, aroma, flavor.
How great is our God. He invented texture, He invented scent, He invented flavor itself!!
I love those moments when you are just blown away by the huge-ness of the Lord, and the extent of His power (not that we will ever comprehend it fully).

I thought about how God's personality must be displayed throughout His creation, and if we take the time to notice it, we can learn a lot about our Lord and grow closer to Him!
I personally believe that God loves vibrant colors. Roses, clownfish, The bluest sky in October.
Just that little insight on His divine personality makes my heart happy.
Because guess what? I like vibrant colors, too!

I thought about how God is the first artist.
He is the artist. He designed everything.
I must say, I do admire His work ;-)
Seriously though! As a somewhat-artist-of-some-sort, I adore the fact that the Lord sculpted me with His own hands. He decided what voice I should have, how my teeth would be aligned, and what shape my head would be.
I've had, and still do often have a hard time accepting and appreciating my round head or my voice as I should, but I have to slow down and contemplate this.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Sculpted by the hands of God, The artist.

His love just falls on me like rain sometimes.
I want to be drenched in that rain.

Just thoughts. Merely the early morning ponderings of a curious mind, but I thought I'd share.

Chelsea :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What is this.. "joy"?

At church, we youngin's like to have a Bible study together as often as we can. Typically we start off by looking at the definition of whatever it is that we're studying. Take last week, for example. We studied God's Sovereignty, so we started off by comparing some different definitions of the word "Sovereignty" that we'd found over the week in our pre-study "homework" :)
So today I'm thinking about joy.
What is it?
What's it made of?

 What's your definition of joy?
When I think about joy, I don't get a definition given in any old dictionary.  I get images, really pretty mental images. And I'm sure that's the case for many, many, people.
And I believe this is the case because I firmly believe that joy is something so remarkable, so amazing, that it cannot be explained any more than it can be contained.

I see the eyes of an adopted child light up as their new parents wrap their arms around them for the very first time. Feeling the pure love all around them.

I see a beautiful sunrise over the ocean, the crisp air of a new day blowing away the previous one.

I see a group of friends gathered together around a bonfire, laughing together and enjoying life as it is in that very moment. Not thinking of what "could be" or "should be" or of what their future will hold. Just simply loving the moment.

That's my definition of joy.

I am a child adopted by a king, who's pure love for me rocks my world all the time.
I would try to explain, but I can't even begin to grasp the concept of His pure love for me. I just know that it will never fade.

I am a morning person. You know why? "His mercies are new every morning" 
How incredibly uplifting is that? Every single morning, He starts fresh. When I feel a fresh morning breeze, I can't help but let out a little squeal, or long sigh, of utter joy.
It reminds me that I am more than choices that I've made, I am more than the sum of my past mistakes, I am more than the problems I create (thanks Tenth Avenue North, for the good lyrics in "You Are More"),
His mercies/forgiveness are new every morning.

Every now and then I have "a moment". A moment in which I feel so at peace, so in love with life, so overcome with the joy of that moment.
Content and not concerned for what could be, should be, or will be.
Just in awe of how I am so blessed... eep! Gives me chills.

Here's what I would recommend. Keep an eye and heart out for those "moments", they are cadence in a most precious form. The more you recognize the joy you feel, the more you appreciate it. The more you appreciate it, the more you live for it, the more you live for it, the more you strive for a life lived in tune and well played.

God loves it when we have joy in the work of His hands in our lives.
It's good stuff.

Find some.

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;" ;) Psalm 98:4



Friday, June 15, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Can Explain.

Really, I can. Although, I don't want to.
I know I've been gone again for a long time... because the truth is, I fell down. Completely lost my footing and the ground beneath my feet just seemed to vanish.
I had nothing to say to you for such a long time because I was distracted... and I was a bit of a mess.

There's a great song by Thousand Foot Krutch called "All I need to know", it's a very pleasant melody and the lyrics are sincere. This is the chorus:
I don't know why it's so hard to swallow our pride
and I don't know how many wrongs make a right
I don't know the reason, sometimes it just feels so good to cry.
And I don't know which way the wind will blow
but you're here with me
and that's all I need to know.
This is pretty descriptive of where I've been at lately. Swallowing my pride has been a huge step. Especially when coming before the Lord, the Creator, the Ruler of all.
It's when I come before Him and realize how insignificant and unworthy I am, that makes the change in my heart. Because it's then that I can acknowledge His absolutely power and sovereignty and turn from my own personal interests/desires... and focus on being the servant I was meant to be.

As for knowing "how many wrongs make a right".. well, don't take that the wrong way.
Technically, wrong + wrong = wrong.  But, we are bound to be wrong, and we will fail time and time again.
Because we are human, and it happens. But the good news is that God doesn't just let us fall that far and leave us there, Only He knows how many wrongs make a right, and He's the one that makes them right.
God is a God of Holy Correction... and I absolutely adore this about Him. I often think about how "God is my favorite teacher", because when He allows me to go through this stuff, it's because He wants to show me something. He wants to correct me.

May I just say, I stand wholly corrected.

Maybe I do know the reason it feels so good to cry sometimes. My recent tears have been those of realization of my wrong, and realization that it can be right. Only because of His grace.
Boy, that grace is something else.

I don't know which way the wind will blow. And you know what? That's been my issue.
Analogy time.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Chelsea. She had been given a beautiful kite, and she wanted to fly it soooo bad. But, the wind wasn't blowing. So she prayed and prayed and prayed for the wind to blow. And it did! But, then Chelsea decided she didn't like the way the wind was blowing her kite. So she prayed and prayed and prayed for the wind to blow the other way.
It didn't, and Chelsea got upset.
She prayed and prayed and prayed again for the wind to blow the other way.
 It still did not.
So she gave up flying her kite, and walked the direction she had wanted the wind to blow, only to find a giant tree that surely would have wrecked her beautiful kite that she had been given.
Then she praised the Lord for knowing everything and protecting her kite.

Okay, so I'm not extremely spectacular with analogies.
Anyway, the kite is my life that I've been given, it's a beautiful one. I have everything I need.
But I wanted it to fly, so I asked God to help me make it fly, and He did, and all was well.
But then! I got distracted and wanted it to fly the other way. So I tried to make it go the other way, but God didn't want it to go the other way, because He knew there was a tree in the way, and surely my kite would be brought to ruin.

God is good. All the time. Watching out for me, even when I am being ignorant and selfish.
That's how I know He's here with me. And that's all I need to know.

So there you have it.
I was just reminded how bad pride tastes.
And how good forgiveness feels :)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This is just the Prelude.

I went on a walk this morning; it was only a 20 minute walk at the most, but I spent those minutes in the sunlight and fresh air, doing two things: thinking and imagining. (Two things I think we often forget to do)
And what a walk it was.
I would encourage you to do this, even if you have done it many times before.
Just think and imagine really hard of what Heaven is like.
Doing this for only twenty minutes made me joyful, energized, hopeful, and woke me up from what seemed like a never-ending lull.
Sorry to sound like I'm trying to sell you something here, but you really can't imagine the feeling until you've got it.
So anyway, as I headed for home, it occured to me exactly how long "forever" is.
Let me put it this way:
It also occured to me that "forever" is exactly how long I have yet to live.
Sure, I'll die here on earth,
but this is only the prelude!

Think about this! Forever is how long it's going to take us to get to really know the Lord. And this is just the prelude to an eternity with Him!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!
(1 John 3:1)

But we need to be aware that nobody ever thinks as much of the actual performance if the prelude is bad.

If we just waste our years on earth, pitifully trying to please ourselves with trinkets of temporary amusement.. isn't it going to be a little awkward when you're staring into the eyes of the One who created you in His very own image? And had high expectations of you?

God gives us each a certain amount of years on earth to decide whether we want to spend eternity living with Him in splendor and victory and love, or dying again and again and again. He gives us this time to get to know Him, and to further His kingdom. It's the prelude to a "forever" of either dying in the consequences, or living in the reward of what we did, or did not accomplish here on earth.

It's our time to decide what our forever looks like.
I think I'll go with Heaven, and I can just say that, because my ticket has been payed for.
You have one, too, in case you were unaware. All you have to do is pick it up at the box office located in your heart.

I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve. Jeremiah 17:10

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has recieved from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1

I just pray that I will use the prelude years for some hardcore good.
I want to be greeted and welcomed into Heaven with a smile, a hug, and a "Well done" from my Savior.
I can think of no greater reward, and what a motivator to lead a useful life, hm?

:) later!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name,
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the desert of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forest bare.

And in his temple all cry "Glory!"

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinnamon and Light

I am a major cereal person. Many a morning for breakfast I have cereal with vanilla almond milk and banana slices on top, (don't judge, kids). It's really wonderful and you should try it.
This morning I decided I wanted to have cinnamon on it as well, because I love cinnamon and had heard that it is really good for you.
So as I enjoyed my delicious breakfast choice, which you really have to try sometime because you don't know what you are missing, I realized that while I had heard a couple of reasons why cinnamon was such a supposed miracle food for your health, I didn't actually know what it was good for.
So like a good Homeschooled child, I looked it up.
And it turns out that cinnamon really is pretty cool.

It can help regulate blood sugar, "reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells", it has an anti-clotting effect on blood, helps with arthritis pain, it's a natural food preservative, the the smell of cinnamon "boosts cognitive function and memory", it fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices (though.. I don't typically put cinnamon in my juice, but okay), and it is of course, an excellent source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. (thank you for the insight)

Please note: While I know it is exciting that cinnamon is good for all of those things, and more, I would not advise the consumption of too much cinnamon at once. No tablespoonfulls for a quick health boost, Ok? This has been a brief disclaimer. Any cinnamon-inhaling/choking incidents are as of this paragraph, not my fault.

Isn't the stuff amazing??!!?
It does all that stuff, and more! It's as if it was created for the soul purpose of keeping us well, and it refuses to do anything otherwise. Cinnamon is amazing, it's like super food on a mission.
But what if cinnamon was a rebel? What if it wanted to have the health benefits of, say, oregano. (Don't ask what oregano is good for. I didn't look that one up)?
What if all the foods and spices decided they wanted to be something else than what God had created them to be?
Simply put, they'd be useless. And we'd be dying.
Thankfully, God didn't allow them a free will.

However, He has entrusted each of us with incredible bodies capable of incredible things, and He expects nothing less from us.
So why are we such rebels? Why do we so often, so readily, refuse to do the things He calls us to do in favor of something else?

Obviously, because of the whole "free will" thing.

If God told me at any given moment "Chelsea, I want you to be a doctor", do you know what I would do?
I would think "Uhmm.. that probably wasn't God telling me to be a doctor, it was must have just been a random thought. He doesn't want me to be a doctor, I'd be bad at it"
Because here's the thing: I do not want to be a doctor. So naturally, I'm going to pull away from that as much as I can.

But God's the one who made us each so uniquely that He designed millions of individual fingerprints, and He knows what we are each capable of to give Him the most glory, if we just obey His voice, for once.

He made cinnamon to do what cinnamon does, and oregano to do whatever it does.

We each have a purpose that He will call us to, and when we get that calling, it can NOT be ignored or brushed off, or else the world will suffer. The world is suffering right now because there are so many people chasing the wrong things! There are too many oranges trying to be strawberries.

I believe that every individual, with God's guidance, can do absolutely world-changing things. If we're open for suggestion and hard work, for sweat and tears, and joy and pain, and love.
If we're willing to let cinnamon be cinnamon, and oregano be oregano.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Off Beat

I know it's been nearly a month since I posted.. shame on me!
It's not even because I haven't had anything to say. It's more that I had everything to say, but never said it.  (isn't that such an issue? How come we always end up holding the important things in and droning on about politics and weather?)
But anyway, now I'm back and I have to tell you, I've been a little off beat lately.
This really isn't easy for me to just go ahead and say, but it's true.
My cadence has gone wacky, and I don't like it at all.
I mean really, who likes an off beat, out of key, song? A song like that isn't one that would I would likely keep on repeat.

"So Chelsea, what exactly is wrong? Whadja do this time?"

Here's what I did: I got sidetracked.


I know.
You know what else? I let my passion die down. My efforts to please the Lord in every day life faded, and I started to lose grip on the selfless, giving, attitude I'd been praying for and working toward.
It's like I had a lapse in my life purpose.

As previously stated, this isn't my favorite post to write. I almost wrote a post on a personal Bible study which is extremely interesting, and would have been a fun post to write, and ya'll could think happy little thoughts like "Just look at that, Chelsea's doing great things for the Lord, she's got a great heart, that girl's on a roll"
But that would have been a stupid, prideful, vain, thing to do.
And  it would have tuned my life somewhere between dropped D and C, (which is an awful way to tune one's guitar and I would NOT recommend it)
And so I decided to write the hard post.
I decided to shout to the world that I'm struggling in certain areas.
It's humbling and it feels good, to be honest. Feels like I'm a little closer to being back to standard tuning.

Here's another thing I have to mention, though. It's not that I stopped praying, reading the Bible, going through the motions. It's just that that's what I was doing, going through the motions.
I let the meaning of what I was doing wander off, and it took my interest and passion with it.

So this is me,
Humbly asking the Lord to renew my heart and passion.

Being reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and nothing without Him.


Monday, April 2, 2012

A Lion in a Shoebox.

(Dearest Awesome People,
I want to thank you all for the kind and encouraging words I received from you after my last post. I was sooo touched! I'm sorry it took me so long to post again, but I've had a super busy week or so!)

Have you ever tried to cram a lion into a shoebox?
Yeah, neither have I. I mean, can you imagine? "here kitty, kitty.... get in... come on now, just get in the box..." *meow* *scratch* *bite* *death*
It would be quite a stupid thing to attempt. In fact, I don't care if you have a lion AND a shoebox on hand, I beg of you, DON'T TRY IT!!!
Because it's completely useless.
The lion is too big, too vicious, too strong, and I'll bet you my guitar that a lion doesn't wake up in the morning planning on climbing into a shoebox, therefore it will put up a fight to anyone who tries to get it in one.

So, why have I been trying to put God's power in a box?

He created the lion.

This week I realized that I've been trying to put a lion in a shoebox for quite a while now.
I mean sure, I can say "Oh yeah, God can do it, He's God" but are my heart and brain and mouth all saying the same thing, there?
It's like trying to play three notes that don't form a chord. They just make an empty, wretched sounding noise.
You have to have all your notes aligned and in tune with each other to make the sound you're going for.
So if my mouth is saying something, but my heart and brain aren't in on it, too, all I'm going to get is an empty, wretched sounding noise.

Have I been thinking and saying about what God can do in my life without fully believing it in my heart?
Have I not been really acknowledging his true power?

I was thinking about this, and I got to thinking about how I want to serve God how he wants me to serve Him. And it's not that I don't know that he's got the power to use me in huge ways.. it's just that I doubt that I have the ability to serve Him the ways He wants me to.
There is a part of a song by Anberlin, where the lyrics are "We're not questioning God, just those who he chose to carry out His cause" And no, I don't think they're saying what it sounds like they are saying, there. I think they are saying the obvious: to doubt who God has chosen to use, is basically doubting God. Because the power isn't in the people, it's in Him. So what right have we we doubt any of it?

God's in control and His power doesn't fit in a shoebox.


(By the way.. if you think of it, I could use some prayer this week. I have a huge week at work, and I'm heading into it pretty wiped out already. Thanks!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Testimony

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Chelsea. Chelsea was a very quiet little girl, in fact, some adults who thought they were being just hilarious would sometimes ask her "Do your parents even know what your voice sounds like??"
Chelsea had a typical little-girlhood. She did her school work, she played with her friends, she argued with her big brothers.

When Chelsea was about 13, she decided she wanted to become healthier, so that she could be pretty like other girls. Because, obviously, then people would like her more. She could hang out with the cool girls, and be appreciated.

When Chelsea was 14 she was healthy, capable, and discontent. She'd made progress, but thought she could do better. Surely she could do better. She'd adopted the mindset that she could handle anything if she was strong enough, and if she wasn't strong enough, she wasn't good enough, if she wasn't good enough.. well, that couldn't happen. Because she was determined to be strong enough. Being strong required enduring painful things. Chelsea became hard hearted, and stopped allowing herself to feel emotions, or make anything of anything that could become an emotion.
And all the while, she thought she was building herself up, becoming stronger.

On a summer night when she was 15, Chelsea and her mom and brother sat together in their living room.
Chelsea's mom had tears in her eyes.
Chelsea's brother waved his arms, desperately trying to make a point.
Chelsea made sure her sleeve was covering the bruise on her arm, and tried to make sense of this.
Was this true? Was she really sick, or were they just over sensitive?
That was the night Chelsea became aware of exactly how badly she had messed up.

As soon as possible after that, she and her parents went to the doctor... where Chelsea was officially diagnosed anorexic, and at least 20 pounds underweight for the average 15 year old of her height and build.

The following year was one filled with doctors appointments, nutritionist visits, meal plans, a whole lot of writing and music, painful realizations, and finally, surrender.

For the first time in her life, Chelsea had to rely completely on God to even keep her alive. She'd been informed that her heart could have been very damaged by the lack of nutrition and how hard she'd worked it.
She had to rely on God to help her resist doing things to harm herself further.
She had to rely on God to bring her back to life.

That year Chelsea learned a lot about relying on God, she experienced incredible peace like she'd never felt before, she grew closer to God and found out that the more she trusted Him, the better things got. And whenever she tried to take things into her own hands, it fell apart.
That year Chelsea's whole life turned completely around.

Sometime after she turned 16, Chelsea realized her life was not her own. It belonged to the Lord, and she decided that it must be dedicated to serving Him wherever, whenever, however possible.

I know it's not really a pleasant story. But it's absolutely true.
I think it's beautiful, because it's proof of how it is vital that God is the one in charge of one's life.
I am so very grateful for the family and friends God blessed me with... there were so many times I just didn't think I could get through it, but there was always someone there to encourage me, especially God himself. Talk about the ultimate comfort.
God provided the most healing of moments.
He provides the most inspiring of moments.

ahhh I just love Him!!!

My life is not my own.
I hope and pray that it will be used all for His good and not mine, because good grief! It's not about me.
It's about Him, all of it. Everything.
It's all His.
I'm just a little thing with a voice, which I want to use to make a joyful, grateful, God-pleasing, God-glorifying, noise.

Every time I think about how far He's brought me, I just can't even believe it. But it's the truth, which is what puts the Awe in the "Awesome God" I now strive to live for.

So, I just thought I'd give you the background story. That's where I'm coming from.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Things Worth Checking Out

I know there's some of you who mentioned that you were eager to read part two of the Gideon post, but you're going to have to wait! :) because said Gideon post is a very time consuming post to write. However, I realized that it's been a while since I last posted and figured I should probably post something, if only to let you know that I'm still alive ;)
So I thought I'd let you in on a few things that really have been speaking to me lately, and just have been nice little boosts to my days.
Two of which are songs.

Song #1 that you should listen to is:
Any Other Way by Tenth Avenue North
I absolutely adore Tenth Avenue North, because their songs are written in such a way that anyone listening to the lyrics will just be drawn in and spoken to. This particular song has been one of my go-to songs recently because it's simply beautiful. I love the lyrics in the ending of the song "you needed my hurt, you needed my pain, it's not love any other way" That hits me hard, every single time. It's just too true! Where would I be if Jesus hadn't endured the pain I deserve? Yikes!

Song #2 that you should listen to:
Afterglow by Nine Lashes
This one takes some careful listening to, I think. I wasn't obsessed with the song until I got what they were really saying. Basically, there are many situations in life that we lose someone that we're close to, one way or another. Friends come and go, relationships end, family member's time on earth ends. And we end up feeling like a a giant chunk of our very being is absent.. and never coming back. It hurts. But what they're saying in the song is that no matter what, you're not alone. One of the lines is "God, fill the spaces left in me" (I think.. it's a new song, ok?) but that sinks in, and I really like the song. So check it out.

Okay and just one other thing.. it's a book. A very popular book for us young people. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. You may have read it (I know some of you have :P) But it's an amazing book with awesome challenges and new concepts for our generation and it deserves to be read, so if you haven't read it. puh-leeeaaassee do!

Okay I'm out of time!!
Listen to the songs if you have time, read the book if you have more time, haha!

Bye all!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gideon... Part One(?)

So I've been reading in Judges, and came across chapters 6-8, about Gideon.
I had sooo much fun reading about that dude. The story has so much to study in it and it's such a blatant showcase of who God is, and what we are.
So basically, Isreal's getting all crazy, they were worshipping a bunch of silly idols and stuff.
and God said "That's enough, I'm going to get someone, and knock some sense into you people" Okay, maybe he didn't say it exactly like that..
Anyway, so there's Gideon. Working away under a tree when, BOOM, the angel of the Lord shows up.
The angel just says this: "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior"
To which Gideon so humanly replies;
"But sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said 'did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian"
His first word is "but"! And isn't that such a typical thing for us to say?
I think it often comes down to us not fully acknowledging God's power. But it looks like for Gideon, he was skeptical that God was even present with them at all. I mean, just look what's going on, here! How could God allow this? They say God's so great but Gideon just doesn't see it.
Completely worldy, human, questioning and skepticism of God.
Because we are so prone to believe only what we see. But faith doesn't work like that, not at all.
It's the exact opposite.
But Gideon doesn't seem like He was clinging to too much faith, here. Look what we see next.
The Lord says to Gideon "Go in the strength you have and save Isreal out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
And guess what Gideon says now??
"But Lord," he says. Hah! "But Lord"!!
(we're at Judges 6:15, by the way). Where Gideon doubts. Doubting Gideon, I've come to call him.
"But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Isreal? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
I really, really, love this part. It's incredibly encouraging to me in this way: All throughout the Bible, God uses the most unlikely people to do His big works. I LOOOVE this.
Sure, He could use a great, powerful, fabulous, strong, person to do it, (and He does in some cases) but He also uses the "little people" because what better way to display His power?
I mean, really!
The Lord answers Doubting Gideon by saying "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the midianites together."
I like the promise that God says, there. "I will be with you", I love how He says it like, 'Gideon, that's all you need to know.'
It's all we need to know, as well. When we're feeling doubty, ourselves.
But, as we doubty humans are so often inclined to do, Gideon asks for more proof. In verses 17 and 18, he says "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you."
and the Lord says "I will wait until you return".
So Gideon goes and gets his sacrifice stuff ready, brings it back, and to make this take a little less time, I'm just going to say that God definitely proves to Gideon that He is who he says he is.
(I'm hoping that you'll read through these chapters, because there's sooo much more than I'm including here, even if I do 2 posts on the subject)

So starting in verse 25, God tells Gideon to go and take down his father's alter to Baal, and the Asherah pole beside it (Asherah was a supposed Goddess), and build an altar for the Lord. Then offer his father's bull as a sacrifice to the Lord, with the wood from the Asherah pole. ~Which I think is a great touch, by the way~
So Gideon and ten of his servants go at night, rather than daytime, because they were afraid, and do as the Lord said.
The next morning the men of the town get up and see what happened and they're all like "Whaaaaattt??!?" (well... not quite like that),
it really says that they "asked each other, 'Who did this?'"
Then they proceeded to carefully investigate and eventually find out, Gideon did it! *Gasp*
So they go and get Gideon's dad, Joash, and say "Bring out your son. He must die because he has broken down Baal's alter and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."
To which Joash replies in verse 31 (this is great)
"Are you going to plead Baal's cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar."
Yeahhh, you tell 'em, Joash.
So the people backed off and settled to just start calling Gideon "Jerub-Baal" meaning, "Let Baal contend with him"

So, now, God's getting ready for Gideon to take out the Midianites and their crew.
But uh-oh, Doubting Gideon is back.
He says to God in verse 37 "look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Isreal by my hand, as you said."
And sure enough, the next morning he's squeezing a bowl full of water from the fleece.

So okay now, Gideon really should know that God really means what He is saying.
BUT, Gideon's still got this little fear in the back of his mind. so this is what he asks the Lord next.
"Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew."

At this point in the story I'm noticing both how un-trusting we can be of the Lord, and how patient the Lord is with us. Notice how Gideon says "Do not be angry with me"... He knows that he's questioning an awful lot, but he really wants to be 100% sure.
And God was patient with him. He did what Gideon asked that night, and finally Doubting Gideon stopped testing God.
I think it's important that we make sure that we don't test God. I mean, I know this was a big deal and I totally understand why Gideon was so freaked. But like I said before, faith isn't about seeing and believing. It's about believing.

And I hope that I can learn to trust and obey the Lord and follow him without asking questioning or feeling the need to test Him.

Even if He asks me to go get the Midianites. :D

So that's the end of Judges, chapter 6!
Therefore the end of this post..
But you'll probably be seeing a Part 2 post, pretty soon.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spending Time.

"When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection" -A.W. Tozer
I absolutely love this quote. Because it is SO true! Time goes by sooo quickly. Especially when our lives are filled to the brim with crazy schedules of nothingness.
Nothingness? What do I mean by "Nothingness", you ask?
I'm talking about the things we spend time doing that do not build us up the way they ought to.
Of course, today, we think of our #1 time-murderers as Facebook, Twitter, Texting, you know. Things like that. And they absolutely are. There is no denying that at all.
There are also more subtle wastes of time, like shopping and other little pleasure activities we use to fill time with.
So we should just ditch all of it and meditate day and night. The end.
Just kidding! (hehehe)
No, the stuff isn't evil, we just don't need an overdose of it.
Here's a little lesson I learned yesterday-today and probably will continue learning until I get used to this new thing.
What new thing?
I am (or maybe, was?) one of those people that always seems to be online. The little green chat light just always seems to be shining away, you know? Well it was annoying me. It's not that all I ever do is sit on the computer and "like" things on Facebook. In fact, you rarely catch me sitting at the computer at all. I was accustomed to hopping on and offline while practicing guitar, or reading, or drawing. It was always multi-tasking. So I'm totally justified here. Just Kidding! (again)
Nope. I may have been doing more than just one thing, but by doing both things, my heart and mind couldn't completely be in one or the other. You know that scatter-brained feeling? Yeah. It's drives me insane.
And so, I decided to lay off the online-time. Especially during the day.
Here's how it went down.
Tuesday night I decided to change the whole schedule thing.
Wednesday morning I got up and by-passed the laptop, thinking, just for the morning. Then as the day went on, I was enjoying being outside (walking to the library!) and doing all sorts of things. Not things unusual for me, but now I was in them and enjoying them to the fullest.
And I didn't get around to computer time until I needed to message a friend, after the message, BAM. Offline and outside, for me.
And it feels so good, you know? Going out there in the sunshine. How amazing to just walk and admire God's handiwork. It's breathtaking.
Okay, I knew this before. I'm not a cave-dweller... I was just reminded of it, full force, and it's exciting.
So today, same thing. Barely touched the laptop til' now (except for earlier to use a guitar tab website but seriously there's no shame in that for me, because I legitimately need that, being that I'm teaching myself and all)
Anyway, so I've really been thinking about how I can use the time I am given wisely.
And I'm so excited! I've been loving reading God's word and writing things in my notebook and just trying to serve Him wherever, however, all the time.
Guess what? That's where joy comes from.
I'm not talking just about cutting back on social networking stuff, either.
The fact is, this really doesn't feel all that much different from before, I'm still doing the things I did before like everything I said before, guitar, reading, writing, walking, drawing, thinking, studying the bible, singing ;), attempting to write music, drinking coffee (lol), doing stuff with friends... I'm just more satisfied at the end of the day. More focused and in tune with God, I think. And it's only been two days!
And getting on Facebook tonight was somehow really not all that interesting at all.
So I thought I'd write a post here, instead, hahaha.
Anyway, my point is not that I'm super wonderful and am sacrificing the computer, or that I've been living as a total bum all this time, or that you should give up everything you do and attend a church service every night of the week and fast every day and fill your life with deep, meaningful things.
Because guess what? Deep, meaningful things, happen every day in the things you're doing.
It's just whether you take the time to appreciate them. Your child's laughter, the fluffy white clouds, the early flowers because of the extremely mild winter we've had...
It's where your heart is at in what you're doing, as much as what you're doing.

So yeah that's what's on the mind, lately.
Time, time, time.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Can I teach you a children's song?

Like I said, me and little kids? We get along. Every Wednesday, I help teach 2-6 year olds about Jesus while their moms are in Bible Study classes. I do the review of the lesson, asking them questions about what they just learned and whatnot. But before that, before they even hear the lesson, we get all the classes together (2 year olds, 3 year olds, and 4-6 year olds) and we sing songs. Tonight as I was thinking about things, this one came to mind.

Sometimes God answers "Yes" when I pray,
Sometimes God answers "Wait" when I pray,
Sometimes God answers "No", just because He loves me so,
But I know He always answers when I pray.

I'll tell ya, these are really big lessons, which someone oh-so-cleverly composed into children's songs.

I remember when I was a little kid, my brothers and I would follow my mother through stores like her 3 little ducklings. And in pretty much every aisle or section of the store we paraded through, we were able to find something that we just Then the pleading began. "Mommy, look at this! I don't have a doll like this yet!" "Mommy, look at the cookies!! YuMmmMMmmMm!" "Mommy, could I please have this?"
Sometimes she let us have it, sometimes she didn't. Sometimes she said "Maybe next time"
My Mother was-- I mean is, smart.
I recall very often hearing her reply "No, you don't need that"
Our young minds did not compute this answer. How could she say that we didn't need it? Surely she did not understand the importance of this thing that we so desired to posses.
Sometimes we were little brats and pulled some tears, sometimes we drooped our little shoulders and widened our eyes to full capacity, but like I said: Our mother was smart. She said we didn't need it, and sure enough! 10 years later, I am still alive and well. Even without that "necessary item" I always managed to find at the store.
So now I'm all good and never want anything anymore. Hahahahahahaha yeah, right.

After all those years, many toys never being owned by me, after soooo many life lessons, "talks", and sometimes punishments for acting up, I did learn. I matured and it is very unlikely that you would now find me stomping my feet and sobbing in the middle of a store (Ask my mom if that happened, I don't actually remember the extent of my tantrums). Even so, there are still things in life that I desire to have.
In fact, right now, I would love an acoustic guitar. But, I don't necessarily need one.

And there are other things that I want sometimes. Not material things that you can buy, either.
So when it comes to that, what am I supposed to do? Go to mom and ask her to give me a good hair day? or unending knowledge of all things music? Or perfect coordination so that I can stop dropping eggs on the floor for pete's sake!?!
Well, that would be dumb. Because those are things that she can't give me, no matter what price tag.
So, that leaves me to either
1. Take it to God
2. Sulk
3. Live with what I've got.
4. Talk to God, thank Him, and be joyful in things he's provided for me.
Those are my options. I'm thinking #4 looks like a good option. But do I always do that?
All together now. "nooooo"
Sometimes I even sulk to God about it. (Did you see that? I mixed options #1 & #2 together)
But why would His answer change? He knows whether I need it.
He knows what's in my best interest, ultimately. Because He sees all time and space and everything.
If I thought my mom is smart (which, I totalllllyyyy do, Mother Dearest!!!) then what about the one who created her?
I should be willing to not only be content in what He has given me, but be joyful in it. Because when it all comes down, I am blessed upon blessed upon blessed.
I need to embrace that, as well as God's eternal and unchanging LOVE for me! Because if He loves me like He says He does, then I can rest assured He's not going to give me something I can't handle with His help. And He's not going to leave me. Therefore, I will always have what I need.

Chelsea :o)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


That's a word that sometimes we probably don't like very much. Why? The answer is simple. In fact I'm almost 99.7% sure you've got this figured out already.
It implies work. It implies that there is a goal that we're working towards, and we have to put effort into this task in order to succeed whatever it is that we're trying to accomplish.
Well what if I set a goal to grow closer to God and tried it for a day, and it was great, it worked really well, I had a great day. And the next day I decided to take a day off?
Well on this day off, I would probably not be as productive, in general. And my attitude may not be particularly pleasant. And I definitely wouldn't feel like I did the previous day.
The thing with effort is, it's working towards the goal. If my goal is growing closer to God than I can't take a day off. Effort wants to see things through to the end. Growing closer to God is a big goal, one that's not going to be reached to it's full potential until I'm with Him in Heaven.
So why bother? It's not actually going to get me anywhere anyway. I might as well just live how I want to, cares about pleasing God aside, right? (yeah, yeah, you know the answer to this one, too.)
My goal here on earth is to please Him, grow closer to Him, and obey His commands.
But that's not an easy goal, it's going to take some effort.
Feel like we're right back where we started? That's because we are.
Sometimes if I'm not thinking about it, it's really easy to momentarily forget my goal. And it's easy to not be thinking about it, if I'm not spending enough time focusing on it.
Now. When I first set this goal, I thought "Well. I guess I need to read the Bible" (yes, I am aware it's such a basic way to start) And so I started reading a chapter of the Bible every morning. Woo-hoo, right? Well, sort of. Like I said, it was a way to start. I later realized that it wasn't amounting to much in the grand scheme of things, although it was a great way to head into the hours that the day still held. Over the past couple of weeks I've tried some other ways (in addition to the morning chapter or two) to be focused on God's word.
before I go to bed, making a list of somewhat-life-affecting lessons I learned that day.
here's a couple of examples of that:
1. God wants us to trust Him so much that we would be willing to give up our "first fruits" and trust that He will continue to provide for us.
2. It is important to never, ever, EVER, stop praying for someone. Never, ever. God can change anyone's heart. You just have to be patient and wait for His timing, His timing is best.
3. Be thankful. Don't take anything for granted. There are so many people who would give up so much just to have something like you have that you see as insignificant.
So yeah, those were some that I wrote down sometime last week. Sometimes there's obviously going to be repeats because these are the kind of lessons that you have to learn again and again, and keep reminding yourself of. That's why I've enjoyed going back and reading over these lists, it's really helpful, especially when you can remember the experience that inspired that lesson to be on your list. It's quite effective, I think.
Keeping a Bible verse in your pocket.
I just did this yesterday, and it was really fun. I wrote down a verse on a simple piece of paper with fun handwriting, put some color on it, then stuck it in my pocket. That way I had it with me all day long, something about keeping it right at my side helped it to stick close to mind as well.
The verse was Proverbs 27:5: Better is open rebuke, than hidden love.
I love that verse.
This is certainly not a new idea. As a little kid, I went to all sorts of bible programs where if we memorized our bible verses, we'd get a treat, or some sort of points that would ultimately lead to us getting a treat.
But nobody's offering me anything to memorize verses now, and so for a couple years, I had no motive to do it. But then I realized that it's my responsibility as a Christian to know about what I believe. It only makes sense. I personally, like to write the verses I'm memorizing out, over and over and over. You should see my notebook, haha.
Living like a Christian
I don't want to claim that I'm a Christian, I want to BE one, and LIVE like one. And so I've been trying to do that. Even though sometimes it's really tempting to not do the dishes when not asked. (And I've got to admit, I'm guilty of letting that one go, multiple times) But it's so rewarding. When you honor someone else's existence by doing something kind for them that they're not expecting, it has to brighten their day.
This morning I was out and again, had this on the mind. It was my goal to be kind to people, to love them as people, even if I didn't know them and they seemed a little cold in general. Because Jesus did it, and He said that we should do it, too.
"And they'll know we are Christians by our love"
So a couple things that stood out to me while I did this today.
The sales lady.
I was shopping for a dress and so I went to Dress Barn. I've been there before, I know how their sales system works. They are super-kind and write your name on the dressing room door, and offer to assist you in any way they can. The thing is, it's kind of, sort of, not always real. I got to the store approximately 2  minutes after they opened, I was the only one there and I overheard the manager correcting the sales lady on some things she did while working that apparently wasn't the stores typical way of doing it (by the way, it wasn't an argument or said in anger or anything, it was a simple correction) but I could tell that the sales lady wasn't exactly pleased to hear this--no one would be-- but she helped me just like any other sales lady at Dress Barn had done before. When she asked if I'd found anything, I said "I don't think so this time, but thank you for helping me" (insert smile here) and she smiled back. And it was genuine, and it made me happy.
The Walking Guy
I went on a back road to get to a different store, and there was a guy walking towards me on the side of the road. There was also a large pickup truck coming towards me in his lane. So I had to come to a halt, which technically I wouldn't have, had said walking guy moved out of my way in time. And I mean, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the suddenish stop, but he could see my facial expression and I could see his, so I smiled and waved at him and he lit up. I mean, I could tell he was expecting me to scowl at him and speed down the road in a huff. And his expression was one of gratitude. That made my day.

See this theme? You act like a Christian, you make an effort, people appreciate it. And when they don't, oh well! Because God appreciates it, and if your goal is to please Him anyway, bing bing bing! Win.

Now I realize this post sounded a lot like "oh see what I'm doing, oh, oh, oh, aren't I good?" but please understand that I don't succeed in my efforts half as much as I'd like to. In this post I was trying to present different ideas of how to spend more time with the Lord, and highlighting the things that are working for me.
Since I'm in a positive mood, it's easy to do.
But there are times, when I am Miss Chelsea Rain Cloud. Please don't think that I think that I'm any better than you. (My self-confidence lacking background assures me that this is not the case.)
I am just so happy about what God's doing in my life, and how he's showing me that when I do walk in His ways, it's extremely rewarding.
So I'm making an effort, and I hope you'll join me.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19

Chelsea :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What I mean by Cadence.

The definition of the word "cadence" is this:

a. A rythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language

b. The beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity

c. a concluding and usually falling strain; specifically : a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion.

d. the modulated and rhythmic recurrence of a sound especially in nature

That's not particularly the cadence I'm reffering to.
Allow me to explain.
You'll notice that almost all of the definitions for the word speak of rythm, or beat, if you will.
Here's how I have come to interpret "Cadence" (which by the way, is my favorite word.)
Life. That's right, I said life. Our lives tend to resemble cadence in the sense that it becomes rythmic, we go along with the beat.
We live day by day in our routines, sailing through life in the sweet comfort of the melody that we have come to know ao well.
Some of us have a quiet, pleasant rythm. Some of us have the bass and drums turned up really loud.

It's how we live out our lives.
If my life was a song, I wouldn't want it to be "bum. bum. bum. bum." forever and ever, amen.
I'd want some stuff in there, to make it sound better, to make it more interesting, and to make it more appealing in general.
Nobody likes songs that are too repetitive.. especially if it's repeating a particularly obnoxious sound over and over again. That's just, well, obnoxious.

You following me, here?
What I'm saying is, we choose how we live our lives, and we can easily choose for it to be an on-going beat of boring nothingness. OR! We could choose for it to be an exciting mix of all sorts of things, things that we may not be comfortable with at first. Things that might require us to think outside the box, and take a risk for.
Things that make people think about their own lives.
Things that make an impact on the world.

I once wondered if everyone would have a fabulous voice in Heaven. So that when we all sang together there wouldn't be that person who's always throwing everyone off key. But God made that person exactly how He wanted them to be, off-key and all. And I wondered if everyones voices would be changed into perfection in Heaven, or if He has a whole off-key section up there, that ultimately adds the most beautiful harmony ever. One that no human composer could ever compose. No matter how talented.

Because if you believe that God has a plan, than you believe that even the bad things that happen in the world have purpose for ultimately, His purposes, and His glory. Because He's a really good composer. He's the best.

So what about the ending of the ending of the song?
b. a concluding and usually falling strain; specifically : a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion.
Cadence does not only consist of an on-going rythm, part of cadence is the ending. It's like the climax of a movie, only at the very end. It's when all the important stuff happens.
It's when you are out of time, and you look back on the song you've composed. Is it one that you're proud of? One that you've worked long and hard on? One that gives a sense of "harmonic completion" Or is it one that never really got paid close attention to, and drones on with a repetitive and somewhat meaningless and unmoving beat? Or even a giant catastrophe of a crashing sound right in the middle? Maybe a "falling strain"
Our lives are all like the latter of the examples. (Crashing sounds, and whatnot) because we all screw up.
But if we hand it over to a different composer, one who knows what He's doing, it already starts sounding better. Then, if we work hard to break out of the boring beat, and do things that our composer/songwriter thinks will fit in the song well, it'll keep getting better.
Better and better the more good things that you add to the song, until finally,
when you come to that moment in the end of your Cadence, you and your composer will both be proud of what your song sounds like.

That's the Cadence I'm reffering to. And chasing.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Are you sure you know where we're going?"

I've loved little kids for a long time now. Because they are hilarious, they have the simplest view on things, and they are entirely straightforward. And it's really hard to not look at a kid and just smile at them.
So over the past couple of years, I've done some babysitting for friends.
And there is this one memory that I have from one of those times, that sticks with me. I'll randomly remember it sometimes and smile at the thought.
I was watching two little boys one summer evening at our house, and we were running out of things to do.
We'd played tag, "soccer", "baseball", clucked at the chickens (we have chickens),  and I think we'd played some kind of Buzz Lightyear something. I wasn't tired, but I was running out of ideas.
After another game of tag, we decided to go on a walk. Since we live in PA, there's a lot of fields and cows. We live directly across from a field, full of cows. We decided to visit them. So we walked down the road for a little while, and soon, we couldn't see my house anymore. One of the little boys realized this and started to question me about where we were. He didn't recognize it. He said "Are you Sure you know where we're going?" and I said "Yes, I am very sure" with that having been said, he reached for my hand, and was okay.

A few minutes later we came upon the road where I always turn, to go around the block. It takes you right back to our house if you just walk around the curve, and then go back down the hill. But the boys didn't know that. Again, my skeptical little friend looked up at me with big eyes and asked "Are you really sure you know where we're going?" And again, I assured him that yes, I did. And that we would soon be back at my house. He was still a little unsure, but as we took the turn, he followed along, holding my hand a bit more firmly than before.
We walked up the hill and around the curve. Again. "You really know where we're going?" he asked.
Again, I replied. "Yes, bud, I do.. we're going to go down that hill, and we'll be back at my house"
So we continued.
We finally came down the hill, back into "familiar" territory. And my little pal said. "Oh, we're back at your house! You did know where we were! ..I wasn't so sure"

This, my friends, is exactly what I do to God all the time. I'm like the skeptical little kid, and He's the one leading me through life. He's the one who knows which turns to take, and all the "unfamiliar territory" is completely familiar to Him. But sometimes it's really hard to just trust Him, because I don't recognize everything around me. Things are changing like mad right now, and sometimes I just have no idea what is going on anymore.

But you know what? My little friend didn't stop following where I took him. He trusted that I would get him safely back to my house. He questioned, but he followed.
He probably realized somewhere in the back of his mind, that if he left me at that point and tried to find his way back, he could end up lost and alone.
If I were to stop trusting where God is leading me, and run away, trying to find my way to comfort and familiarity... it wouldn't work. I'd just be helpless and alone, and most likely, confused.

When I think about it that way, it's kind of like "Why would I do that????"

The bible says to have a child-like faith, trusting and true. Now, every time I think of that walk, I am reminded of this.
Who would have thought? Growing up and realizing, that in some ways, you knew more when you were really, really, young than you do now.

I just hope and pray that I will be able to follow along where He leads. Around the corners and going down streets I'm unsure of. But holding His hand all the way... and holding onto it more firmly when I get really, really, nervous or scared or confused or all of the above.

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
Is any road too confusing, for Him?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Australia. (Yeah, "whaaAa?")

What about Australia, Chels? You do realize Australia and Seattle have next to nothing in common, right? Chelsea, Australia is far away and irrelevant to your dreams.
Hey yeah, Chels, ...what's this about

Well. Let me tell you a story.

I'd never really thought that I'd be a missions type of girl. I mean, I had no desire to go on a missions trip until last Spring, I went on a trip to Jamaica. It was a missions trip, but it was more of a vacation, I went with a group called "Cruise with a Cause"
Here's what happened:
I went
I got bored on the ship
I got homesick
We got there
We did our day of missions
That was the best part

You would think lounging on the ship would be the more enjoyable part, but the truth is, that got old.
However, spending time singing and playing with special needs Jamaican children, was amazing.
So I came home and was content for a while. Every now and then I would think that maybe a bigger more missionsy-missions trip would be good. And for some reason, I decided that if I were to go on another, I should go to Australia. I have no idea why. There are plenty of other places that could have appealed to me more than Australia, but somehow that was always in the back of my mind whenever the subject of missions trips ever came up.
So last week, I was reading this book, and it said something about how we're supposed to go into the world and telllll people about God. And I got sooooo fired up, like in a good way. I was like "oh man oh man oh man, I have to get somewhere! I have to stop waiting for an opportunity. I have to get something started!!" So I randomly (to her) go out to my mom and go "I want to go on a missions trip... to Australia"
She was busy so I started looking stuff up. I found a couple options and eventually we called one of the organizations, which had a trip to Australia in July. They said they'd call us back on Tuesday so that if we had questions or whatever, we could fire away, then.
Yesterday came: No call. So we called them a while after the set time for their calling. (Ya followin' me here?) Apparently the guy that was going to call us longer employed there... so.. my mom was getting a little nervous, and some other things didn't really seem to look right for this organization. And so I was sad. My family was throwing out ideas of other trips I could go on, why did it have to be Australia? Surely I could go somewhere else. So they started looking up other trips, and I wandered back into my room and simply talked to God. I said that I knew He has an amazing plan for me, but I didn't know the details. I just asked Him to direct me to where I should be headed, and help me to follow willingly, wherever He leads. So like, 3 minutes after I'd gone in my room (if that) my mom calls "Chels, come look at this"
I go out, and see what's up.
She'd found this YWAM program/school/missions thing especially for musicians! It's missions completely focused on music. That's my deal, right there. Serving God with music. She's reading some info on it and she goes "Chelsea.. I think this is in Australia" It is. It's there. I don't know, for me this seems like "Theeerreee itttt issss!!!" but I have to remember to still be open for suggestion. Because God could still turn me in a completely different direction.
Otherwise, I'd love to go to this thing. It's a 5 month program so it would be a decent commitment, but it's so exciting to think that I could learn and grow in music and Christ, with a bunch of people who are passionate about this, too!

It is inevitable, that we move foward.
Though I may be blindfolded
as to the path that I take
I know that there is not one
I could stumble upon
that my hand will not be held
I will not be unsure of my step
because I have vision
through the hand that's guiding me.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Recent Occurances, and such.

So yeah this is pretty much just a lame, boring, post about what I've been up to. Since, I like, disappeared for a while. Not that anyone's reading my blog anyway. (Ah-hem: That was not a sad statement. I really don't care who reads this, it's just an "along the way" blog, so that I don't forget stuff)
My 2 hours a day of practice aren't as..consistent as they were. However, I haven't stopped making progress, so it's all good. I think what happened there was, I forced myself to do it through those countless hours, and now I'm okay enough at playing to actually enjoy it. This is my theory.
And besides, I was working soooo much over the holidays, I honestly didn't have a chance. BUT NOW. I do, and I fully intend to take my 2 and a half months of downtime from work, to build the skills, ya'll.

It's just that there are certain things here in PA, that I'm kind of attached to. (I have spent my entire life here, and all). And it seems like it could be so easy to give up the whole dream I have. Crazy, right?  But then I think about music, I think about what I could do for God. Don't get me wrong here. I am fully aware that I could be in Sweden, doing things for God, if that was where He placed me. I really do understand that. It's just that the whole music thing feels right. Part of me has wanted for it to not feel right when I think about that stuff, but I'm getting no negative feelings, signs, warnings. Right now it all just seems like a green light that I'm headed for, full speed ahead.

I can just imagine. A girl who barely knows her own mother, who hates herself, who doesn't get the point of life. Who on a daily basis rips herself apart, mentally and physically. How am I supposed to just let her go?
Or a child that's been taken away from everything he knew (even if it was poverty) and forced to be a slave.. just so that we can have some rice with our dinner. I can't get images of hurt people out of my mind sometimes. I feel the driving need to do something.
How? This could be insanely hard to accomplish. I mean, I'm not really extremely gifted in the musical areas. I do love it, and I'm learning, but my vocals are less than inspiring, I barely have a sense of rythm, and to put music together with all the parts and lyrics and.. ah! I'm going to need some help here.
That's where I find comfort. There's a reason for this feeling of right.
If this really is what God has for me, then I have no doubt that he'll work out the details.
And if it's not what He wants me to be doing, He'll work out the details.
He's not going to let me just float around in the world doing nothing, especially when I have the desire to serve Him.
I just wish I knew which way to turn, sometimes!!