Friday, December 18, 2009

Everyone needs a best friend....

So I just gotta write a post about someone who pretty much has meant the world to me because I'm taking her to the airport tomorrow and I won't see her for two weeks and we are sitting here acting like it's saying goodbye for forever.
So one day four years ago I was sitting in my room with a group of people and a friend of a friend. Somehow during the evening the two of us got ditched and well you know those people you just have a connection with the first time you even meet them? Well this was one of those. We ended up having a wonderful heart to heart that night and life was never the same after that moment. This is me talking about my best friend, my sister, my support, my roomie, my encourager and accountability partner. I truly believe everyone needs that person in their life (yes even you guys). You need someone there (not of the opposite sex) to grow in life together, to challenge each other and be the close community that God had planned for each of us. Everyone needs someone to stay up late talking about boys with, to fight with (yes we have and do actually fight), to forgive, to cry with, laugh with and go on wonderful adventures with. I like any other girl long for the day I will meet the person I will spend the rest of my life with....but I am so blessed to already know the one that I will get to giggle and share with about that soul mate that I hopefully one day will have. I already have the person that I want to speak at my wedding (however embarressing it may be), who I want to have play dates with and talk about growing families and life as we get older. I am beyond blessed.
Our friendship the last four years has not been dull in any sense. We have walked through some major deserts and storms, and we have laughed until our sides hurt and tears were streaming from our eyes. We have cried together and watched as each of us has had to take on trials, feeling helpless and wanting to take the other's burdens. We have made fools of ourselves and weirded out many many people around us, we have traveled together and served together. I have watched this girl grow and serve and show her heart in so many ways and am always blown away.
I continue each day here in Nashville just in disbelief that I am living what most people only get to see in movies and tv shows. I moved to the most exciting city, with no plans of jobs or living situations but I did it with my best friend. The things we have gone through would be things that would normally make me want to sit down cry and give up...yet we have treasured them as our most priceless moments and laughed more than I have ever laughed in my life. We have had adventures in an AL walmart, rented a uhaul and moved a HUGE couch by ourselves, lived the life of unemployment, learned to cook without a microwave, slept on the floor and lived in an apartment with no furniture, had photoshoots just to keep us from getting bored from not having jobs, we have worked jobs at 5 am together, we have cried at the wheelers together (thanks for putting up with us you guys) we have snapped at each other and been blessed by each other. So I may not have found my future spouse yet....but I have found my soul sister and best friend. And after this crazy insane week I just felt that she deserved a little shout out on the blog.......I heart you Jenna Noonan and look forward to all the crazy adventures yet to be had.......






Friday, December 4, 2009

thankful for the hectic life

Alright so this was going to be posted more than a week ago but when you are juggling a schedule of babysitting for different families at different times each day, starting a full-time official job, being over you head in folders and folders of pictures needing editing, still not having unpacked from Thanksgiving...and the only down-time is 1 am...blogging just gets put on the back burner.
Anyway, I have had lots of thoughts going through my head about who I am and what my life looks like (being the psych major/over-analyizer that I am). This was what I came to....as much as I always look forward to a day of peace, a normal schedule, normal job, a serene life....that just isn't me.
I was thinking of all the things I miss about my past experiences and not a single one was one of the rare moments of peace and serenity. Not a single one was a memory of sitting on a beach or being by myself reading a nice book or just sitting.
Nope....these are the things that I miss and that I am so beyond thankful that God brought me to.
I miss living in a house of 4 moms and 5 babies, screaming, laughing, tensions and stress levels sky rocketing, struggling with language and adaptation. Walking in the scary dark in the pouring rain with a sleeping baby and strollers full of groceries falling out everywhere. Not knowing what each day would hold. If there would be good news, bad news or no news at all....wondering what I would do if someone were to really follow through with threats and take one of those sweet babies away and spending hours thinking of what I would do if they did (the results would not have been pretty for whoever tried).
I miss being at Mel's having guacamole fights with Mary Margaret, eating oreos and peanut butter with Gin, spending two weeks with my dear dear sweet niece who gave me a wonderful challenge ;) and staying up all night talking about absolutely everything there is to talk about and more while eating strawberries and cut up snickers because that is all we had.
I miss trying to juggle leading a team of people my own age in a foreign country and trying to catch up and be at home in a place that was so familiar to me.
I also miss this....
I miss waking up at the Scott's and laying in bed thinking, oh boy...what will this day bring...and feeling like I couldn't wait to get out of bed and face it, knowing that at the end of the day when I crash and take a deep breath I would look back at the uncountable moments of blessings and laughter. I miss the loudness, the laughter, the talks, the dinners with my dear Mama Scott, the bowling and adventures with Mary Margaret, Gin and Lizzy...the wal mart runs and car wash incidents. I miss playing energy drink games, laying out under the stars all night giggling from being over caffinated yet still in awe and wonder of the amazing meteor shower. I miss feeling totally out of place while Daniel and Caleb took us out two steppin....I miss going to Josh and Betty's and being constantly pulled in two directions, steven on one arm and Jojo on the other all the while looking at my peaceful perfect little simeon.
I miss that the whole day could be stressful, eventful, hectic, crazy and just about everything.....but at the end we could all sit there and laugh and talk and just enjoy family....
And then there are the moments....when my sweet sweet Alli would wrap her arms around me and say.."you are staying forever and ever and ever" or when we would play the "what's your name" game and she would come up with silly names for everyone and then turn to me and say "your name is Kelsey Scott" with the biggest grin on her face. I miss putting her to bed and staying up playing McDonalds Drive through with her. God used that girl to bless me in ways I so badly needed without even knowing I needed it. I miss taking all of them to Cicis and everyone looking at me like I was crazy for bringing 11 children into a restraunt by myself and being so proud of every single one of them. I miss sethys slobery kisses and matthews mischivious moments. I miss Jonathan getting so excited to tell me something that I really had no idea what he was saying. I miss Samuel...Oh MY COW....enough said. I miss My sweet "big" girls and how different they each were from each other but how well they got along and played like best friends. I miss my claire pop and katy....for so so so many reasons. and Gaby ohhhh Gaby I just miss her light...she was usually the first person I saw in the morning and she was always so bright and ready to face the day...it was contagious.
Now here, the moments that wear me out the most, the days when I just want to curl up, fall asleep and have a day off...those are the days I am looking back on and loving the most. The kids I babysit that want to have light saber wars and pirate fights for hours on end....who want to wrestle and tackle and then have a serious 20 yr old conversation......or how one tiny tiny little doll 2 yr old can take more energy out of me than an army of kids but then lay curled up on the couch snuggling and look at me and say ohhhhh KEllSeeeyyyyyy.....oh those are the moments when I am so thankful to be alive and blessed to have so many wonderful little angels in my life. The moments when everyone's voices telling me I need a "real" job and I need to step away from nannying and child care.....thats when those voices just become silence.
I am so beyond blessed to be a part of so many wonderful families lives and to live a life of unpredictability and excitement...even if it is exhausting....
So there is my sentimental belated Thanksgiving post......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankfulness


So I have a lot of catching up to do. A lot has been going on the past few weeks emotionally, spiritually, and socially....pretty much to the point where I kinda of got on the fast track of just putting my head down and running full on, not stopping to process and think because sometimes when it get to be so much its just easier to run and not look around.
So I wanted to summarize some thoughts and do a quick catch up. Two weekends we had so many events to go to (which is very rare for us) and these weren't just la di da events...these were "smack you in the face, make you want to save the world" types of events, if you know what I mean.
First was the Athentikos event...oh boy did that make me miss Guatemala. This incredible (go check it out) group of people have been working on a documentary about some of the crisis issues in Guatemala and their hearts simply pour out of the work they are doing. So I walked away from that night wanting to go back and wanting to do something to make just the slightest difference in the beautiful country I have fallen in love with.
Then there was the Show Hope annual fundraiser banquet that Jenna and I were lucky enough to be invited to. I could write ten posts just on that night and how impacting it was. You could not go in and listen and then walk away not wanting to adopt, its impossible. The president from Compassion international spoke and was the most to the point, real speaker I have ever heard. He did an incredible job describing the orphan crisis and where as Christians we come in. There was a lot of talk about how we are called not to care ABOUT orphans but to care FOR them and that really hit me. Then my sweet Wheeler family's testimony was shown and I realized how being here now and seeing my sweet girl everyday has made me somewhat forget the battle that was fought for her. Watching their testimony brought tears to my eyes as all the memories of last summer, being in Guatemala and praying everyday that we would one day see this sweet girl home in her parents arms, and how there were so many moments that did not seem like it was going to come. Adoption really, truly is a miracle and probably the most clear way I have ever seen God work and fight for his precious children. Not only that but to watch the parents who decide to step out blindly and follow his call to care for the orphans inspires me more than anything.
Sunday was spent at an adoption picnic for orphan sunday and then we went to the Worldwide Orphan Sunday event...W O W.....Steven got up and spoke and sang and our whole row just had tears pouring from our eyes. I cannot even describe the feeling of sitting there listening to these people talk so passionately about orphans and God's call and the rawness of the Chapman's own testimony....it was impacting and moving to say the very least. Someday my turn will come....and until then I spend my time praying for my sweet child and searching for the doors God is opening in which I can walk through and help those who have or are going through such an incredible process.

Then tonight was yet another night among many since moving to Nashville that I was hit so hard with just how faithful God is. Not only that but how generous in His faithfulness He is. God has not only provided for the daily needs and the finances and all those material things that I love to worry about but He has provided so much emotion and spiritual support and surrounded me with so much. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it and as I drove home tonight I just kept asking God, why? What have I done to deserve all these people coming into my life and caring so much? I have so much going through my head I can't decifer what is anxiety, whats thankfulness and what is just being overwhelmed with everything. I have every worldly odd against me, I moved to a brand new state with no job, no money and nothing to begin making a home with...and here I sit in my adorable living room in my amazing apartment, having just spent time with such wonderful kids and felt so cared for by incredible couples who I have grown to just love and respect more than anything. I look back on the last several years and really cannot believe that at one point I lay crying out to God and being faced with the decision to walk with Him or walk away....I look at my foot and read the verse that I have been reciting through my head every single day and am reminded of the pure truth of it (The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still. Ex 14:14)
Jenna and I could not have made it without the support we have received. There have been so many moments we wanted to give up or we questioned if we had done the right thing and we were always answered as God brought people into our lives. We have been given to so generously for our apartment, and I have been beyond blessed with constant babysitting and photography. Despite being "unemployed" I am thriving, paying bills, and feeling oh so taken care of.
I really cannot describe how humbled I am by the people I have met here. People I have known for a year now who have just given to us beyond what I can thank them for and then people I had never met just pulling me in and treating me like we had known each other for years. I can never thank you all enough. I know that I am where I belong and that this truly is where God wants me at this moment, even when the worldy material things just don't make sense. God never does things the "normal" way in my life and I really should not have expected it here either :)
So another long post...Blessing to you all and thank you....for everything

Monday, November 2, 2009

CALLING ALL ADOPTION FAMILES/ADOPTION ADVOCATES/AND WHOEVER ELSE

These are some dear sweet friends of mine and they are starting their first adoption. As most of you who have adopted know...it is not cheap. I thought since I know so many families who have adopted I could help out a little and try to get some more people involved. I am sending them a package next week so if you have anything you would like to add (I know many of you are creative) let me know either we can add it to my package or you can send it to them yourself. Thanks!!!
Any donations are always appreciated as well (I will probably be hosting a blog fundraiser in the near future for them too.)
Here is their blog link and here is the note the Sam and Laura wrote: http://nikolasfamily.wordpress.com/

Family & Friends,

You may or may not know that most couples going through the adoption process do some fundraising. This makes us slightly uncomfortable, but adoption is extremely expensive, and therefore we feel it's necessary to find assistance wherever we can. We decided to be creative in our efforts, and so we would like to tell you about the NIKOLAS ADOPTION AUCTION.

We are asking our loved ones (yes, that’s you) to offer something to auction off. All proceeds will go toward adoption costs. Ideas include but are not limited to:

* food items
* gift cards or baskets
* handmade or purchased items
* a service (i.e. babysitting, writing, music/cooking lessons, yard work)
* a special skill or talent that you’re willing to provide (for example, knitting a scarf)
* another example = we will be auctioning off the first phone call for when we find out we have a child, and also our baby names (no one else will know but us and you!)

We fully realize that the holidays are approaching and you probably have other expenses. The reason we are doing this now is because once our home study is completed (December or January), we could receive news of a child anytime. Please do not feel obliged to contribute if you would rather not or are unable.

Thank you in advance, from the bottom of our hearts, for considering helping us with this. We felt it would be a neat way for you to feel like a part of our adoption experience, get something neat in return and maybe get to know someone else that plays an important role in our lives.

If you are willing to offer something, please let us know by November 10 (next Tuesday). We know that we have friends and family in many different locations. If you choose to offer something that is area-specific, please let us know. The auction will take place later this month – more details to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love,
Sam and Laura

P.S. Please email Laura at laura.nikolas@gmail.com or contact her through Facebook if you are willing to help with this. You can also reach me at 763-381-2538.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A place to call home...

So now that the comcast guy just left and I am sitting in the middle of MY living room in awe of the fact that I am living in my own apartment with real live internet....I figured I would take a break from painting/organizing/picture editing to give a little update on mine and Jenna's life right now.
currently I am becoming a pro at opening boxes, assembling furniture, putting clothes on racks, etc. Not exactly my cup of tea and really not bringing in enough money to pay rent, but, its a job. We finally we able to move into the apartment after postponing it about four times. It still seems unreal and it is still very empty.
Other than working the 4:30 am shifts at Old Navy and Pier 1 I have also been doing a lot of babysitting for some wonderful families, running a few photo sessions (please let me know if you want one!) and getting to tag along with this wonderful lady while she shines like a pro and I watch on hoping someday to be as cool as her ;)
So as much as I have been frustrated and slightly on the glass half empty side lately....life really is not treatin me to bad. It's an adventure and a crazy one at that.

Enough talk...here are some pictures to show you more:

eating our first dinner in our living room :)
this is why we were eating on the floor...our great deal table was a "great" deal because, well there was some assembly required
before we even braved opening the box-our one and only piece of furniture in our apartment
my window is the one on the second story
move in day...pretty much felt like move in day at college except everyone just stares at you while you struggle to carry a huge dining room table box up the stairs...which eventually just got pushing up the stairs while we were almost peeing our pants from how ridiculous we looked...yeah no more 3000 college students all moving in together and helping each other out deals
hmm phrase of the day "Whats that?" "Uh, I don't want to know"
Living room...oh so spacious and empty haha
Jenna's glamorous bedroom
my wondeful bedroom...you should have seen the look on our landlord's face when we told her we didn't have furniture or beds....she thought we were insane

YAY a piece of furniture (still missing two chairs which are still sitting un-assembled, they were pretty painful to put together)More to come...hopefully when things start looking a little better. But we are so thrilled to finally have our own place. I am currently working on painting my bedroom and we are hitting up some garage sales this weekend hoping to find some more filler furniture!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The I Heart Revolution

This will definitely bring you back to being thankful for what you have and at the same time, challenge the purpose you have set for yourself in this life....
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/inbox/?folder=[fb]messages&page=1&tid=1213888118026

This is just the trailer, there will be a showing of the full documentary in select theaters on November 4th...look to see if it will be playing near you. If you live in the Nashville area it will be playing at the Green Hills 16 and also the Opry Mills 20 plus IMAX!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sweet kids/Eliana's Gotcha Day!!

Well these pictures are totally backwards but I am too exhausted .....
I have been surprisingly BUSY the last two days! YAY!   Yesterday I woke up at 3:55 am so Jenna and I could get to work, it was quite the morning of unloading new merchandise from the truck at Pier 1. It was kinda like Christmas you never knew what you were going to find in the box.   
I then got up this morning and babysat for 8 hours for an incredible family, they have two boys, two girls adopted from China and they are heading to Uganda soon to pick up the next two kids, the Oatsvalls (check out their blog). We had lots of fun doing crafts, going on a nature walk, playing and swinging outside....such precious, gorgeous kids....





So after running to an interview after babysitting I then ran across town to see my sweet girl Eliana and watch her and the Moore's boys who are also ADORABLE and such sweet fun kids.
Well it is Eliana's Gotcha day! I cannot believe it has been a year since our sweet baby girl finally came home...We decided to celebrate tonight but well only having two hands, three toddlers, a lit candle and a camera...it was slightly a disaster. As I was trying to get a picture Eliana was trying to grab her cookie so Micah was holding her hands down while sweet Elliot sat there patiently which is when Eliana saw her chance...bam she had Elliot's cookie in her mouth before anyone knew what happened then was reaching for the lit candle..Micah was freaking out and yelling at her and I am trying to get across the table without dropping the camera or knocking over a kid...well she grabbed the lit candle before anyone could stop her and put it out without blinking an eye and she had the cookie in her mouth....Looks like someone has been watching a little too much cookie monster....
Happy Gotcha Day Baby Girl!!!




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

May we all be Coffee...

So like the last post describes...the last couple days have been filled with trying to change perspective, looking forward to the challenges and trials that come my way and learning not to complain but use every situation for the Glory of God. Well I received this email from a good friend and to be honest I usually just ignore the whole "chain mail/forward" emails but being a coffee lover and seeing the subject mention coffee I was intrigued....I also am bored these days so anything random to read can be entertaining.
Well this is what I found when I opened it and I wanted to share it with you all because I'm not sure about you but being the visual, creative person that I am I learn and am impacted a lot stronger through analogies...this is a good one.

Subject: may we all be coffee

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.


Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.. In the first she e placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.


In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'


'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.


Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.


Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ' So what does it mean, mother?'


Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.


'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?


Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?


Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?


Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?


May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.


The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.


When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling..
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying..

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perspective

So everytime this past week I have told someone my situation and this long, boring wait for a job and how if we don't hear about jobs by wed we don''t get our apartment...everyone has responded with..."Kelsey, God never works that way with you...you know that you are not going to find out until Wed if you have a job."
Then Mamma Scott being the wise person that she is...says "You just need to wait, then wake up wed morning expecting a job."
so we kinda hit our days of being ready to give up this weekend...we were complaining about the weather, the waiting, the not having money, the not being able to have a schedule, not being able to eat healthy, etc, etc....In the back of my mind I'm going, Kelsey you are SO blessed, there are people who literally have NOTHING...but does that stop me? Of course not.
SO we went to church this morning and the first round of worship was incredible and slowly eased us into what was about to be a big face smacking. They did songs about trusting God and stepping closer to Him, He will never let you go, depend on Him...you starting to see where this is going? I was but again...Denial.
Then it was all laid out....Paul and Silas, in the prison, singing praise. But not just light and fluffy like that, nope with great detail about the pain they endured, the conditions they were in, the fact that they had EVERY reason to complain...but didn't. Then the pastor goes on to give examples of what we complain about...to bad the examples ALL applied to me :( "Why are you complaining and worried about not having the finances? Not knowing your living situation? Not having the job you want? (By now Jenna and I are glancing at each other "guilty" written all over our faces).
He put it this way...if you were a writer you don't just write things on accident...it is all with a purpose, even if the reader doesn't see the reason right away. This life, this journey, is not your story to write...This is God's. we need to choose if we are going to stick around long enough to see the reasons and the results. Then we end and again come the songs of, trust, surrender, perspective.
Perspective was a word used a lot this morning throughout the sermon and it has really stuck with me...we choose which perspective to take and I seem to be pretty good at taking the doubtful, pessimistic one....when really I should be excitedly taking the perspective of Wow, God is doing something incredible here and I am honored to be considered a part of it.
So back on track and ready to face the week....jobs by wed=apartment no jobs by wed= taking positive perspective and seeing what else He has in store.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

VOTE FOR ELIANA!

Ok Please vote everyday for my sweet niece Eliana...I know this is a little shallow compared to the last post but we gotta have some fun and joy in our lives :)
You can also go to the facebook event!
http://family.go.com/gapcastingcall/entries/lindseyewheeler/93799996/


Food Shortage

You ever feel homesick and completely helpless all at the same time? I would love to be home in Guatemala right now but maybe the helplessness would be even stronger if I was....please pray for these hurting people...please pray for my dear family Andrew and Hannah, Scott, Melissa, Madi and dear baby Caden as they are living in Guatemala. Please pray for my dear kiddos at Casa Bernabe...and especially, pray for all the people struggling to provide for their families.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8254841.stm

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Desperate Roomates...

Before you start questioning the title for this post let me explain: Jenna and I have been constantly going through and figuring out budgets, how to get furniture, how to get connected and make friends ect...whenever we mention any of these to someone they usually respond with "Oh you should put up an ad in the Fellowship Bible Church classifieds". Well this is what our ad would look like....

Desperate Roomates-in need of-
we just moved here, have no jobs,
not a single piece of furniture, no money, and no friends.
If you have kids for us to babysit, families for us to photograph,
furniture for our apartment, people to be our friends, real jobs to give us
or really just anything at all that you can give...we would be very grateful.

Sound desperate?

So the last week and half have held a lot of adventure. We were sitting with our friends Chris and Lindsey Wheeler and voicing our "frustration" over not being able to find jobs and not having anything to do with no money to do anything with. They gave us the ol wise advice of "Just take advantage of this time in your life". So we decided to do just that.
We have managed to fill our days (on the side of looking for jobs) with lots of fun things....let me just give you a visual...it's so much better that way.

we went to try on shoes at DSW and Ross...we had to see what it felt like to wear some good ol TN cowboy boots...




Then being smart we thought, lets go garage sale shopping for furniture...and we had been warned- get there early and grab what you want...well we always laughed when people said that but oh RAIN or shine these people are SERIOUS about there garage sales! several neighbor hoods were having sales and this is what they all looked like...it was near immpossible to get in or OUT of the neighborhood and I'm telling you it was POURING we looked like we had just gone swimming...BUT it only poured when we just happened to be standing with a stuff in our hands manuvering them into the side doors of my car because my back door doesn't open....


we found this shelf and in the pouring rain it looked pretty nice...a little paint and it would be great ($2 is hard to beat) yeah then we took this picture.....worth $2? we will see


but the moments that make it all worth the craziness....and those God moments that take your breathe away....are like this.....


So that is our update....we are sitting here...I now have no bank account (still got my wonderful credit card debt) babysitting money in my pocket, canceled photoshoots, a broken down car, a week of waiting and counting pennies....but then Sunday..I finally have orientation for my NEW JOB at Pier 1. God works in mysterious ways

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twists and Turns...still waiting

Not much new has happened since my last post...we are still in the stage of "Be still...and wait". and wait. and wait. yeah you get the picture. This journey has been such a road of laughter, unexpected turns, frustrations and many unknowns. Jenna and I were in the car yesterday after yet another typical "Jenna Kelsey" incident and we decided we need to start carrying a camera around to document this journey to share with you all. Words just don't quite give you the whole picture but I will try my best:
Since Jenna arrived on Wed we have run out of money, counted change at taco bell and got so excited when we realized we could get an 89 cent burrito!!! Have gone through major transitions of "wow everytime we have been together in the last 4 years we have been stressing or feeling guilty about homework"....now...we sit here waiting going hmmm, what are we supposed to do with ourselves, we have no money to go do something, we have no friends, cool. It's been full of funny moments too...like discovering that TN storage units have these green grasshopper things that are literally ALL over ALL the walls and doors and you have to walk through all of them to get to your unit....yeha picture two girls from MN/CO bolting through waving their hands in the air and jumping in the car as fast as possible. There are also the moments of "Holy Cow" is this for real?Like when we found an incredible deal on an apartment and put down our deposit (now it would be nice to have a job so we can actually MOVE IN) or Like our interview with Pier One. No big deal right? Yeah until you go in and the manager starts talking about God's plan for us and how he is neighbors with the Chapmans and is so excited about me wanting to work for Show Hope...people are pretty nice here. Then there are the awkward moments of Amy Grant's son taking the dresser up to our room and us trying to help and turn on the lights but not being enough room and Jenna almost having a moment on "hand on boys butt" and then us realizing that well my suitcase is open with lots of nice underwear just kinda laying out.....
And then today...we had to run some stuff into the Show Hope office for Kathy and there standing right there is Steven Curtis Chapman...no big deal. He has only been walking around all afternoon as we sit here in the coffee shop.
I am still waiting for a job, I got to "work" for Show Hope yesterday because they needed someone to watch the office...it made me want the job that much more. So close, but not yet quite within reach :(
Life is full of the unexpected....full of laughter....frustrations....and moments that someday we will look back on and smile...grateful for the stories and the Journey that led us to the future.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes.....

Once again I am reminded of what faith and trust look like by watching the example of a child. I am reminded of the joy of life and unconditional love by watching a tiny little mayan diva.
Today was filled with many "discouragements" as I would see them in my pessimistic eye. However God's gentle reminders have left me on my knees again, trusting that His plan is yet to be revealed to me and I must "Be still".
The past few months have been filled with the unexpected and the unknown....I have tried my best to follow blindly and have so many times caught myself doubting God's faithfulness, I would be lying if I said I hadn't. But so many times God has spoken through those around me and made it clear that I am going where I am supposed to go. So I'm here in a new state with $35 dollars in my bank account, a car that's about to give out on me, a dream job just out of grasp, No job, and no idea what the future holds. When I named this blog I had no idea that I would still be in the "unknown" stage of the journey.
However, as always, never failing...God is using the low times, the scary times, to teach me the lessons that I will forever hold tight to. Faith.
Let me explain:
A year ago I left Guatemala not knowing when my sweet Eliana and her mama would be coming home, having walked with them through nightmares and trials and fallen in love with this dear miracle baby girl. I look at her now, a year later, and she is safe in her parent's arms at home. It was/is a journey of faith.
I have been so blessed to have been spending the last week staying with them and have been shown so much through this sweet girl. The other day it hit me so hard as Eliana was crying and throwing a nice normal two year old fit ;) from her eyes life was completely unfair, mean and cruel...even though she could not see through her daddy's eyes that he was only protecting her, and preparing her to be a woman of God. But yet despite this, despite the unknown for her....in the midst of the tears and screams, her daddy asks her for a kiss and in that instant she stops, tears rolling down her cheek, and reaches her little face up and kisses her daddy. She knows that even though she does not understand, even though she feels that life right now is totally unfair....she can have faith in her father. She HAS faith in her father and she was willing to give up during the fight, let go...and show him...that yes, she will continue to love him and follow blindly.
This is just one of the lessons she has taught.....
Eliana is a child who has more love for life than any other single human being I have ever met in my life. The child has one speed.....Fast. She is constantly jumping, running, yelling, laughing, and acting like cookie monster (her newest trick). There is no luke warm for her. She is a all or nothing sorta girl. Just looking at her brings tears to my eyes because I see the story God has already given her and I cannot wait to see where He takes her in the future....she is already ready to go all the way with the passion that can change the world. That is how I want to live. I want to be all there...I want to live with a passion that makes everyone around me turn and look, not in a flashy sort of way but in the sense that those watching say...I want that energy for life and God, I want that passion.
and yet another lesson of the week....
Linds came down the other night after having done the nightly ritual of reading the children's bible with Eliana and praying with her and she begins to tell us how it went.....
She said they were looking at the crucifixion page and Eliana touches Jesus' hands and looks into her mama's face and says "Booboo?" and being the incredible Mom that she is Linds goes yes...Jesus had those boo boos for you. Eliana goes, oo boo boo with her sweet sensitive little voice.
How many times do we read that passage..or look at a picture and are so numb and used to it that it doesn't even make us blink? And yet this little two year old can look at a children's bible picture of Jesus in his glorified, blow dried hair, perfect clothing drawing and see that He HURT for us? He came and suffered for us.

Out of the mouths of babes is not just a cutesy little saying...it is so full of truth and we should open our eyes and watch.

So throughout a day of disappointment and doubt, wondering what I am doing moving myself halfway across the country with no job and no money...I am reminded that God is bigger than my bank account...he is the one who knows the bigger picture and there is no reason for me to sit here and throw a fit just because I don't understand....instead I need to just wait...be still, and wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Journey continues...

Here I am...still in the waiting period of the transition phase. It's such a time of mixed emotions and desires. On one hand I am happier than I have been in a long time, I have so much to look forward to, am blessed with so many opportunities and am getting to spend some amazing quality time with my dear Wheeler family. On the other hand I am craving a settled life, predictability, friendship, and the knowledge that I will be able to make ends meet day by day. The feeling of not moving back onto a campus with 3000 people my own age as left me surprisingly a little sad and missing people so, I have become a facebook adict since getting to Franklin :) and am catching up from not having much cell service this past summer....sooo to those of you who have gotten several texts from me or phone calls.....I'm just excited to talk to people my age....either that or Eliana has found my phone and decided you were special enough for her to call haha.
God has taken me on a crazy ride and despite the road blocks and attacks that have come He has still gotten me to where I am sitting right now and I know that I need to trust that tomorrow is in His hands.
Tomorrow I go in and meet with Show Hope and interview to see if I will be considered for staff, Jenna gets here Thurs night, we look at apartments and stop at storage Friday.....we have quite the week ahead :)


On a totally side note...CONGRATULATIONS SCHRODER FAMILY!!! Welcome to the world dear little Lily Anne.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

karate CHica

alright everyone has been asking me what I have been up to since moving to Franklin.....well I thought I would just share with you all how I have been spending my time.....

and that is who I have been spending time with...today we sat cuddled on the couch watching Disney channel music videos on my computer....I am treasuring the moments with my baby girl and making up for lost time....I missed getting Eliana kisses everyday and still cannot believe that I am finally here to stay     :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stepping forward....

So I felt that since I was venturing into a new adventure it was time to start a new blog....the old one holds a lot of emotions and stories and it's simply time to move forward.
This was going to be started after graduation, when I began the adventure of being a nanny to 11 adorable kids....but being a nanny to 11 adorable kids can be pretty time consuming and it just never happened.
To sum up the past few months could take pages and pages.....May held many mixed emotions of saying goodbye to a place I had called home for four years, saying goodbye to friends I had lived with, cried with, studied with, laughed with, worked with etc......the feeling of relief after my very last final can not be described...a journey I thought would never end did..successfully (and keeping me company with many loans).


The week after the wonderful day of graduation my dear brother got married to the most incredible girl I have ever known. Their wedding was perfection, full of tears, laughter and celebration. I was spilling with pride for my big brother all day and in awe of his beautiful bride. He did good.




A day after the wedding I took off, saying goodbye to the St. Olaf campus and moved to Sulphur Springs Texas. Talk about a culture shock. I was in for a summer full of stories, challenges, hard times, incredible times, and three months of having my socks blessed off. There was never a dull moment....ever. I fell in love with my dear kiddos and had a great time being initiated into the Texas culture of two-steppin, tailgate partying, and late night wal-mart runs.











And now here I am sitting in TN awaiting the next adventure.....
After a summer of going back and forth and searching for what was God's will and what wasn't I finally decided that I was supposed to be in Nashville. This decision left me beyond excited and utterly heart broken. Saying goodbye to these precious faces was going to be unimaginable.......but looking forward to this was a dream come true......





so that is my quick summary of life....very shallow....nothing very deep or exciting.....but now begins the adventure of starting my life....no more school. no more short time summer jobs.....this is it