Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An Update from Australia :)

Post 2

Hello my dear family and friends!
Just in case you were interested in how things are going here in Australia, I thought I'd write about what's been happening on this YWAM adventure.
I felt like I couldn't write anything until there was a routine, and now there is. (thank goodness!). So now I shall write.

Every morning on Mondays-Thursdays at 6am, there is an optional time of worship/prayer/personal devotions. I've been trying to get up and do it, but I'll admit, this morning I failed... Since we've started the official 'lecture phase', I've already found how important it is to be rested as much as possible in order to be awake and grasp what is being taught as much as I possibly can.
This is not to say that morning devotions aren't super great, and incredibly important, just that I don't think I'd have picked up on as much during class today if I had not rested enough.
At 6:45, breakfast is served. As in, the cereal, milk, fruit and toast are out and accessible. 
7:30-8:30am is to be used as quiet time or, for those who came to breakfast in their pj's, time to get ready for the day.
At 8:30 we have either worship or prayer. (By 'worship', I mean singing. I know that prayer is another form of worship)
9:30 we start lectures. We go until about 11am, when we pause for the all-important 'morning tea'.
Then back to class until 12:30ish (AKA: lunch time)

After lunch we either have free time, or we will do our work responsibilities. 
One of my work assignments is baking for birthdays or morning tea.
I'm delighted to have been given this responsibility, I love to bake!
Yesterday, Tabea (another student who is from Switzerland, how cool is that?) and I were taken to the grocery store to pick out all sorts of baking ingredients. So fun!
Side note: Australians have cool food.
Then we came back and decorated 2 birthday cakes :)

Dinner is served at 5ish.
Some of the other students have the work responsibility of making dinner.
I applaud their culinary ability. We had some fantastic home made pizza this evening.

At 7 or 7:30pm, we gather together again for another lecture, or announcements, or something else. 
Around 9pm, I'm usually exhausted and hauling myself back to the room that I share with 3 other lovely young ladies. (One from here in Australia, one from Canada, and one from Denmark)... We've already spent an evening chatting past my typical bedtime ;)

Basically at this point, I get ready for bed, crawl in, pass out for the night, and awake to an obnoxious alarm on my iPad and start the routine all over again.

I'm liking this.
Learning so much, learning to be open to trying new things (like ping pong and soccer and playing guitar in front of people I don't know that well) making friends, spending time getting to know my Heavenly Father. In fact, the subject we are studying this week is "the character and nature of God".
My mind is already blown. There's so much to think about and process! But some of the things that the speaker has pointed out in the Bible has caused the entire class to just gasp. It's hilarious, all of us at once being hit with some amazing revelation.
So cool.

This is an environment that is very open. 
Open to expressing feelings, thoughts, what God is teaching us.
And while I've experienced this kind of environment back at home, it's still neat to be able to go for a walk with someone and talk with them like you've known them forever.
God's seriously working in each of our hearts, way more than we even realize. 
And it's only been a few days!

So that's what's going on around here.
I miss everyone at home, so if anyone's up for a chat, shoot me an email!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thoughts from the sky

I'm on an airplane flying way across the world.
I've been on it for I don't know how long now.
Last night, I climbed into my cozy window seat, ready for sleep—not a meal. 
However, 1-something AM found me thanking the Lord for my cheesecake/pudding cup thing (being the tastiest part of the meal by far), my extra blanket, and the empty seat between me and the nice Australian lady.
If there's a comfortable way to fly for 14 hours, this is it.
And so I fell asleep a very thankful passenger.

I woke up about an hour and a half ago, with a Thousand Foot Krutch song playing in my mind and a violent urge to listen to it for real.
Out came the MP3 player, and for some reason listening to that song brought about the same feeling that I get when I eat a spoonful of peanut butter after being slammed with a crazy craving for it.
These things are inexplainable. 

I've been waiting for it to get light outside the window, but a moment or two ago I realized that pretty much no matter where we are at any given part of this flight, it will still be dark.
Time zones are confusing things.
So I press my forehead against the window and admire the clouds glowing in the moonlight. At least until the realization dawns on me that I'm being that person who leaves a smudge on the window that someone has to clean off later; that's when I move my head to an upright position.

Being one of the only people awake a large airplane with lots of people gives you a lot of opportunity to think about things. I guess if I were a really serious kind of person, I'd think about deep, serious things the whole way.
But I'm Chelsea, and my brain hops around.
I've been thinking the most about how blessed I am right now. (I've already described my flight arrangements).
Also, I don't feel anxious about all the new experiences I'm about to have as I had back at the airport. Maybe that will return once we land, but for now I'm just happy and excited. 
I'm also thankful for the 6 (...I think..) hours of sleep that I was able to get.
And for the fact that I'm not nearly as restless sitting in this seat as I thought I would be. Usually I can't sit for more than an hour without going nuts.

God's hand is all over this. 
I can just imagine him holding us in the air like we were a little toy airplane.

So, so thankful :)

Due to lack of wifi, I will be posting this sometime after I'm off the plane.
I have no idea when I'll get the opportunity.
I just thought it would be fun to capture my thoughts in a unique setting like this and I hope you were amused by reading them. :D

Written by Chelsea  at who-knows-what-time on either July 24 or 25, 2013.
Time zones are confusing things.

Monday, July 22, 2013


It's everything they make it sound like.
From the first sight of it from our plane, I've been mesmerized.
Miles and miles of glittering lights welcomed us upon our arrival at nearly 1am, Sunday morning.
There's no way to describe it to you, except that it was beautiful.

We somehow made it to our hotel and dropped into our beds.

Almost 5 hours later I woke up.
The room was 
1. Dark
2. Chilly

And I was ready wake up. (After all, it was almost 9am back at home)

After ridding ourselves of icky airplane germs, Grandma and I made our way to breakfast. (Which was delicious)
We were then ready to venture into the heart of Seattle.
We hopped aboard the hotel transport and a few moments later were at the Light-rail, which would take us to the big city. 

Soon enough, we were there.
I'd dreamed about visiting this place for quite a while.
In fact, around this time two years ago, my intention was to move here when I turned 18.
...yeah, plans change.
But a change of plans doesn't mean a change of interest.
I am still quite captivated by this place.

The morning greeted us with a dense fog overhead.
 Only a few tourists like us,  and some super-fit-I-eat-grass-and-jog-in-the-morning locals occupied the streets at first.
But come noontime, we found ourselves among many others of all types.

At market, it's easy to tell the locals from the tourists.
The locals go in, buy their fish, veggies and maybe a donut or two, and then leave.
We tourists, watch the locals buy their fish and we take pictures of the guys who sell the salmon, because they sing and throw fish around.

We make our way down to the aquarium, where all the family tourists are at. 
Cute little kids are everywhere.
Grandma and I take our time admiring the pattern on each fish. You have to really look close or you'll miss it! 
We came to the conclusion that God must have really had a good time creating fish.

Later, we walk along Denny Way and eventually we're admiring the space needle.
Right beside the space needle is Chihuly Gardens and Glass. It's a museum with all sorts of blown glass sculptures and pieces.
Here Grandma reminds me about the building of the tabernacle, and how God gifted each person with amazing abilities so that it could be just as He wanted it to be.
We conversed some more on the subject, agreeing that those gifts are truly special.
That's God enabling us to serve Him. 

We leave the museum and head the general direction of the light rail.
We pass by people with instruments sitting on corners.
They play with such skill and ability.
Even so, all you'll find in their jar is a just few dollars and maybe some cigarettes.
How tragic
They've been gifted and they are surely capable of doing great things, accomplishing much.
But they can't see that. All they can see is today's reward: a dollar and a cigarette.
And evidently, that's good enough for them.

That's the part of Seattle that I don't like.
The desperation and longing for something is so strong
But nobody knows what it is that they long for.


And so Seattle I have seen.
And I like it, but I'm pretty glad that there's been a change of plans for my life.
I don't know if I'd like living here, even with so much good coffee around (There are so many good looking cafe's!). 

But yeah, God knew where He wanted me, and now He's taking me there! 
Thank goodness He didn't let my plans work out.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goodbyes are Like Needles. Stab, Stab, Stab.

When I started this blog, I had no expectations of anyone actually reading it.
I basically made it so that I could write about things that I was learning, because only when I write things down do they really start to sink in and mean something to me. Too many times have I thought: "well, this is a big enough revelation to me. Surely I'll never forget this!" Only to find myself desperately searching through my mind later, trying to remember this grand lesson.

Since beginning this blog, I've written plenty of posts that meant a lot to me personally. I've expressed how I've learned some life-changing, perspective-shifting truths as they have been revealed to me.
Not necessarily ground-shaking revelations to someone else, but to me, these were "grand discovery posts".
I've also written things about my life. Experiences I've had, hardships that the Lord has helped me through, and joys that I had no way to communicate well enough.
Some of these posts were encouraging to others in ways that I may not ever know the extent of, or know about at all. But usually, when I hear that something has touched someone, it was a post that I didn't think was that big of a deal.
Well, The Lord works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Whatever the case with others reading or not reading, this is still a journal-blog to me, and I'm going to use it as such. :)

I can imagine that every adult can think back to a point in their life when everything seemed to be changing. Everyone was going their separate ways and they were all sick of the word "goodbye".
Well, I'm there. I'm not just kind of there, I'm all there.
This time next week, I will be in Australia. 
New surroundings, new people, new ways of every day living.
I think my human self is probably nervous as anything, but I don't feel it because God in me has totally overcome the nervous human Chelsea with His peace, assurance, and excitement!
I am praising Him for that!

I've still got watery eyes today, though. The goodbyes are like needles that keep poking me in the heart. One after another. Stab, stab, stab.
All my dear friends! The worst part is knowing that this isn't just a five-month trip that'll happen and then I'll come back and everything will be normal again.
I'm excited beyond comprehension for my friends that are heading for college, but the sting of knowing we'll never have our 'good old days' the same way again really hits ya.

You know what, though? I've learned something about goodbyes in all of this.
They make you appreciate people like you wouldn't believe. 
These people in my life have not just been "oh, hey there. How ya doin" people. They've been used by God in all sorts of different ways to shape me into who I am... And they've been pretty stinkin' awesome while they were at it. I'm going to miss everyone like crazy!!!

But if my life were an iPod, I'd say that this playlist has reached it's end for now.
On to the next! A whole new rhythm is about to come in.

My devotions this morning were about knowing that God is present with me at all times. Whether I'm living in a 'day after day' routine, or when everything I know is saying goodbye, He's there and holding me.

How about some 'Hallelujah' about that! :)