All morning long there has been a guy outside my apartment building serenading someone, begging for a girl to come down.  I'm starting to think she's not there.  There's no way a girl could resist a guy serenading for this long.  I've heard interesting renditions of "Listen to your Heart," "Be My Baby," "God Blessed the Broken Road," "Hey Baby" and many more that were semi-unintelligible.  He's been going for hours, and shows no signs of stopping.  I don't know what he did, but it must have been pretty bad.  If it doesn't win her heart back, he sure has entertained me. 

p.s.  Been listening to The Postal Service, upon the request of my dear ol' friend Rachel.  I'd heard some of their stuff before, but the album is "luvin' for my ears!"  Thank you!


Train Song

This is part of a song that I wrote on the train on the way to NYC last year.  I came across it and thought it was pretty funny...

i hear burping and bubbling from behind
they gurgle and snort all the time

the people lost their train
they found the one we're on
they've been riding for hours,
just trying to get to orlando

i don't wanna get old like them
i don't like phlem
i don't wanna make noises like theirs
i don't want long yucky nose hairs

*Hopefully, more songs to come.  I've written a few.  I just have to get brave enough to post them.  I thought it would be easy to start with something light-hearted.



     The first exam of the semester is upon me, and here I am on Xanga.  I think I ought to block this and the facebook for myself.  I'd probably be more productive.  Then again, I might find some other way to procrastinate.  It would only be treating the symptoms, not the disease. 
    This was a fun weekend.  On Saturday, Ash and I went and bought my wedding dress.  It wasn't as fun as the day I picked it out, but I'm glad to know it's mine!  After the football tailgate, I went to the BASIC house and Kyle and I fell asleep on the couches when we sat down to watch The Two Towers.  Saturday night, we all went over to Mike's for a par-tay.  Okay, it wasn't much of a "party," but we did play Scene It and watched The Time Machine (kinda lame). 
    Wonderful day today.  Church was great, and then my grandparents came over for the afternoon.  We have an annual tradition of going to Curtis Orchard and Prairie Gardens.  Every year, they get me some pretty decoration for autumn, and some apple goodies.  Today I got a Yankee candle, a pretty basket full of pumpkins and gords, some slightly- used Halloween decs from Gram's house that she wasn't using, and of course some tasty Honey Crisp apples.  It looks so cozy in our apartment now.  You can check out the pictures here.
    To top it all off, I spent the whole evening with JUST KYLE!  It was so great to have time alone that lasted longer than an hour.  Quality time has been tough to come by this semester.  It was rather drury outside, but inside it was warm and snuggly.  The perfect night for sweats, a movie, and some chicken soup.  Is married life going to be that great every night?!  Probably not.  But I think those nights will be more often and less far between! 
Did you do anything great this weekend?


Childhood and Money

Can you think back to the first time you understood that some people had more money than others?  I remember.  I really wanted one of those Barbie convertibles to drive when I was about 5.  I wanted one sooo badly.  My friend, Kristin Meredith, had one that we used to drive around when I played at her house.  My mom told me that Kristin's parents had money to buy it and we didn't. 
    The next time after that was when I went over to a friend's house to play after school and she basically lived in a mansion (not uncommon for Sherman/Williamsville kids).  I was probably only 7 or 8, but that's the first time I ever remember being embarrassed about my home and my possessions.  When her parents took me home that evening, I remember thinking that I didn't even want them to see our house. 
    Up until then, I was particularly proud of that house.  It was the first house my mom, Bob, and I moved in to as a family.  Before that, we lived in an apartment.  It was, somewhat ironically, the house that my grandmother grew up in.  My great grandfather built it with his own hands.  My grandmother's prints were cemented on the back patio from when she was a little girl. Mom and Bob worked hard to buy that house.  It had a pool, a big back yard, and was just two houses down from my best friend, Erin.  I loved it, until I saw that someone else had more. 
    Interesting that no one had to teach me how to covet or be jealous.  I so quickly forgot how much I had.  After a few years, my family bought a nicer home.  I suppose my parents wanted more too.  So that's what we got.  A newer, bigger house with a bigger pool in a nicer neighborhood.  We moved many times growing up, each time advancing in quality. 
    When I look back on the many places we lived, my happiest memories come from those of 121 E. Lester Street in Williamsville.  Playing "witches" with my best buddy, Erin, swimming in my pool, playing dress-up in my mom's old clothes, heels, and jewelry, performing for my dolls in the basement, having Miss America pageants with my Barbie dolls and making Bob judge, watching re-runs of Gilligan's Island... the list goes on and on... It was before I knew there were mansions, before I knew about motorized Barbie cars, before I thought possessions would make me happy. 
(Actually, I probably thought that well before then.  Little kids often say "gimme!"  I guess that's just my first memory of it.)
    These thoughts stay with me today.  My name is Chelsea, and I am a shopoholic.  Tonight, I made on giant step in the way of recovery, I cut up my credit card.  It was freeing.  I actually had two, but the other is just a $300 limit, emergency-only card I never use.  The one I cut up is a big one (a $7000 limit) that I've given in to using waaaayyy too much.  Don't worry, I didn't max it out!  It's funny how things add up so fast and then you look at the bill and realize, "How did I spend all that money?"  No more charging.  No more shopping.  I have enough to clothe Foellinger auditorium!   I better get cracking on MK!  Praise God for bringing conviction.


Hump Day Love

I actually really like hump day.  My MWF classes are pretty cool.  On hump day, I get to meet with Joanna at noon, and Jim at 1:30.  My afternoons are pretty free after that, which means either productivity or nap time, which ever is more neccessary!  I'm looking forward to today, though I am beginning to feel a bit worn.   The work load is getting pretty thick for all of us. 
    Kyle told me once that in distances races, the middle is the hardest part.  We are now in that middle part of the race.  The part where you can't look back, but the finish line seems so far away.  The part where we want to quit the most.  I found this encouraging this morning-
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne. -Hebrews 12:1-2
    I am so thankful that I have Jesus to keep my eyes on, to give me endurance, to bear witness to others, to give God all the glory.


Thoughts on my career

Just under eleven months now on the wedding countdown.  It seems a little crazy.  You all may have to tolerate me talking about it for a while.  People tend to talk about what's important in their lives, and nothing (other than God Himself) is more important to me right now than preparing for our marriage. 
    The wedding will be fun, the honeymoon will be more fun, but nothing compares to the sense of joy and excitement I have just to be in the presence and care of my groom!  As Kyle and I pray and prepare for our marriage, I have been so amazed in the growth God is working in both of us.  I'm not sure what it looks like on the outside, but between Kyle and me, there have been some awesome developments.  My favorite is seeing how God is growing Kyle into a better spiritual leader every day.  I see more wisdom and knowledge in him.  I see him taking on responsibilities, and handling them quite well.  I feel both of us handling conflict and frustration in a more mature, patient, and rational manner.  I feel myself learning how to be led.  I notice myself wanting to turn to him more for guidance and help. 
    Every day I feel a greater sense of the "calling" God has given me.  I feel this nurturing, devoted, protective, maternal sense rising.  I believe that the calling God has put on my life is to be a wife and a mother.  I think sometimes women try to fit those things into their schedules, rather than making them priorities.  After school, I plan on staying home with our (future) children and working the Mary Kay business.  Kevin asked me earlier why I wanted to go to college if these were my plans.  I've had to answer that a lot.  Usually, I explain that a college education is freedom in that I might never be stuck or helpless.  I will always have that to fall back on. Though last night I was plagued in really answering and getting to the heart of that question I have heard so many times.  Permit me, if you will, to have a little tangent here...  I want to address a few ideas.  The first is the priorities of women (even many Christian women), the second isn't quite as clear to me at this hour of the morning, but (I think) discusses stay-at-home moms and college educations.
    God comes first, and Kyle second.  Not my friends (sorry people, not that any of you are shocked by this statement!), not Mary Kay, and not school (haha).  Everything I will do in my life will be for the glory of God and the benefit of Kyle.  He will have no lack of anything good (Prov. 31:11)  Our household will be before all else.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to say that all women should quit their jobs and all their activities, and all be stay-at-home moms.  I just think there are major issues in marriages when a woman puts her own agenda before the needs of her husband.  We as women must say no to business that takes time away or causes us to neglect the affairs of our household. 
    Proverbs 31:10-31 is something I look to daily for wisdom and growth.  It is a TALL order for all women.  That woman is amazing!  One of the things I have drawn most from it recently is that she sees that everything in her house is in order so that her husband and her family can take their respected places in the community.  She is not worried about her own status (though she is well respected for her hard work and dignity).  I doubt you'd ever hear her say to her husband, "You're not meeting my needs."  She makes it her constant business to bring him good. 
    There are certainly women who do indeed need to find new jobs and quit at least some of their activities.  (It is my opinion that if they feel the need to be involved in everything, they might be trying to make up for something missing at home.)  I've prayed for God to change me and mold me that I might not put anything before my (future) household.  I am seeing fruit from the Lord.  I am beginning to find joy in things the world calls mundane and old-fashioned.  It contradicts the world's opinions that I might be college educated and still find great in joy running the vacuum sweeper or cooking dinner (especially when it's for Kyle). 
    The world, including most of my family, feels that I am crazy because of this.  Why bother getting an education when my greatest calling is to motherhood?  An educated woman ought not to love housework;  a wife who is submissive cannot possibly have a career.  That is their idea, but not God's.  I think my education will benefit my household in innumerable ways.  First of all, the process of attaining an education is one that requires hard work and self-discipline.  There are trying experiences in which we gain and learn perseverance, responsibility, and many other priceless experiences.  The second is that my degree will be in communication.  Most anyone will tell you that healthy communication is key to any relationship.  I will have a whole degree focused on how to communicate better with everyone around me!  I find it an incredible blessing that God would choose that for me.  If that isn't a major that will benefit my family, I don't know what is. 
    However, I will find my greatest sense of fulfillment in submitting myself to Kyle in marriage.  Why is this idea of submission so stifling to many?  In Christ, we submit our will.  That is an accepted idea.   For those who are in Christ, each of us has been given a calling.  I have been given the calling of marriage.  My highest sense of fulfillment will be found in obedience to that calling. 
    Many of you know that Elisabeth Elliot (wife of the late Jim Elliot) is my favorite author.  My favorite quote of hers in her book Let Me Be a Woman is, "We are called to be women.  The fact that I am woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am Christian does make me a different kind of woman.  For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am, and all that He wants me to be."  What does God want me to be?  Like that selfless Proverbs 31 woman?  Certainly, but mostly like His Son in that I would die to my desires and do all things for His glory and live with the *full acceptance* and knowledge of Christ  (1 Tim 1:15). 
    Well, that's my little tangent that went way deeper than I expected, but also included so much of what's in my heart right now.  I am anxious and excited to discuss these ideas!  Feedback would be good... or maybe an AMEN! (Joanna?  Anyone?)  I welcome correction and further teaching a



The last two nights I do not know what's wrong with me.  I cannot go to sleep.   I lay there and toss and turn and begin to think of things I need to do and things that would make good xanga stories.  Weird.  Here's a little one-
Waxing.  Who in the world came up with this ridiculous idea?  Really.  I'd like to know what ever made someone think that pouring hot wax on yourself and then RIPPING it off would be a great idea.  Sure, it works.  In fact, it's rather efficient.  But COME ON!  It's CRAZY!  As you can probably guess, I just waxed my eyebrows.  The end result is a much smoother, softer look than simply plucking.  However, it is messy and oh, so painful.  I wouldn't even want to think about what waxing your legs would be like. 
Kyle and I had a good night.  We watched the first five episodes of the show "The 4400."  I recommend it to fans of Lost and ALIAS.   It's similar, but not as high-class.  That's what you get for a show on USA.  Oh well, still very entertaining and lots of questions raised. 
Tailgating in the morning!  (Ugh, that's not so far away!)  I really ought to sleep.  Nighty night... or perhaps morny morn...


Wedding Dress Found!

"You and me are floating on a tidal wave
 You and me are drifting into outer space
 And singing oooh, oooh..."

I found my wedding dress today!  It's so gorgeous!  It's very antique-looking.  There's something about it that is soft and romantic.  I want to wear it every day.  A little more expensive than I was hoping for, but you get what you pay for.  It's called "Ophelia" by Maggie Sottero.  Why do girls get so excited about wedding dresses?  I don't know!  Anyway, I'm bubbling with joy because of it.  I can't wait for you all to see it in person.  It will be beautiful.  338 days!


Lessons from Naveen

Something else Naveen made me think about last night was "loving that person you know is going to hurt you."  That's an interesting concept.  I think almost everyone could say that there's someone in their life who has hurt them time and again, and will continue to do so, yet we are obligated to them for a reason other than because God told us to love them.  In my case, it's family.  I have a couple family members who have hurt me a lot.  I've always said that I'll keep on trying to love them because they are family.  However, to think of it in the light that Naveen presented, to love them when they don't deserve it because of God's love for us when we don't deserve it, that's freeing.  One of our many freedoms in Christ is forgiveness and healing.  We receive that all the time from God, yet we're not always good at dishing it out.
Why is it so easy to dish out the bad things- sarcasm, bad jokes, crudeness, teasing, criticism, resentfulness, irritability, boasting- and so hard to dish out the good- praise, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, gentleness, patience, humility, generosity?
Do you have people in your life who you feel like you embody all the bad?  I know I do.  I struggle with these people almost daily.  As soon as wounds begin to heal, they are thrashed open again.  But by Christ's wounds, I will always be healed.  There are times when I embody all the bad too, and I expect forgiveness from others.  However, I have problems forgiving when others do the same to me.  Because of Christ's love for me though I do not deserve it, I will continue to press on and love these people. 


Weirdest dreams last night.  The first thing I remembered when I woke up was that I shot someone.  It was in self-defense, but it's still pretty crazy to remember it so vividly.  They were attacking someone I know in a plot to take out the people of BASIC (not kidding) and I came along pointed my gun at him and told him that if he didn't stop, I would shoot.  Then he started coming at me.  He tried to turn the gun around on me, but I remembered to SING (thanks, Miss Congeniality!) Even though he was at point blank range, I missed the first time.  I wasn't trying to kill him, so I aimed at his arm.  The second time, I got him in the armpit.  Right after I shot him, he turned into Teddy!  (That's Dave & Ashley's puppy for those of you who don't know!)  So then I was scrambling running in the house of where we were to get the phone book to find an emergency vet hospital.  When I got the phone book, I somehow forgot how to read!  Poor puppy...
I remembered a little more about what happened earlier in the dream.  The basic crew had been on the run (from whom I do not know).  I think that we were in another country on a mission trip.   It almost felt like we were in Romania, but there were Asian people everywhere.  We were staying in a castle, and some of our group was kidnapped.  The three of us girls who were left had to go rescue them.  We got to the other castle where they had been taken, got them out, but were chased down by guards.  I was hiding as I watched all the other people in my group get beat down by them.  As it turned out, though, they weren't real guards, but people trying to help us escape. 
We got back to our castle, packed up and headed back to the city.  Then somehow we ended up at that house where I shot the guy.  I had heard our attackers plotting, and was able to thwart their plans.  Somehow, I saw a vision of what they were going to do.  That's about all I remember.
In another dream, my parents were married again and we were hiding in our basement from possessed cows.  That's right.  Cows.
On a side note, I was sick, but I'm feeling a little better today.  Kyle took care of me, and it was sweet.  Lynn (one of my roomies) is sick and I got to take care of her today.  I like taking care of people.   I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's a spiritual gift.  Maybe I should have been a nurse, or maybe I'll just be a really great mom!
Going to Michigan this weekend for my cousin's wedding.  Not looking forward to paying for the gas!  It'll be a fun weekend, though.  Be back Sunday night! 

p.s. Mary Kay, Inc. made a 1 million dollar donation to hurricane Katrina relief.  I'm so proud to be part of this company. 



My AARP (All About Romania Post) is coming.  I promise.  This is what you get for now. 
Today I was organizing the books on my shelf, and as I was looking through them, remembering each one, some stood out to me.  Some were amazing works of fiction that I thoroughly enjoyed, others that I battled to complete.  Most of my books, however, consist of non-fiction, which I usually enjoy.  Outside of the Bible, no other writings have influenced me so much as those of Elisabeth Elliot.  Of many things I've read from her, "Let Me Be a Woman" has been the most influential.  It helped me to realize my identity as a woman in Christ.  I almost feel as though she has been a personal mentor.  She is oldschool awesome. 
John Piper is another who is teaching me so much.  I've read a few of his works, but what I'm reading now is my favorite so far, and the most influential yet. 
Who are some teachers, authors, etc. that have influenced your life? 
p.s. C.S. Lewis is, of course, another one.


Back from Romania!

Romania was kickin'.  I will tell you more later.  For the next couple days I am going to be consumed with moving! 
"Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I'm not a fool.  I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope today that I don't get in a fight.  Ooohhhh, back to school, back to school..."
A prize goes to the first person to tell me where that came from. 


Recovery Room

I haven't written a decent blog in a while, and I still don't really feel up to it, but here goes...
Just out of open heart surgery in the recovery room, each patient has his or her own nurse.  The patient is mostly unconsious.  Of course, they can hear, see, feel, and touch, but have no idea what is happening around them.  It is somewhat like a "twilight sleep."  This nurse, however, is extremely alert.  She monitors every heart beat, oxygen levels, body functions, etc.  Every five minutes she takes a blood sample to check the contents of the blood.  She empties the urine bucket, sucks the saliva from the mouth, bundles the blankets, moves the pillows and the bed, and even makes sure the patient has a teddy bear.  Her job is to watch over the patient and meet his or her needs.  However, she goes above and beyond. 
Our Father watches over us in the same way.  We are unconscious to His ultimate plan.  He meets our every need and then some, though we do not always realize it.  Even when we cannot see, He is taking care of every detail right down to that last "drop of saliva."  It is not because it is His job, but because He loves us. 


Busy days

Hey y'all, I got a comment from middleageguy!  I'm so proud! 
Women are sure funny when it comes to make up.  Last night I held a skin care class with several women from the bank where I'm working this summer.  First of all, it was odd to see them in blue jeans and t-shirts as I am used to seeing them in suits and heels.  What was funny is that they were all TERRIFIED to take of their make up in front of each other.  None of them had ever seen eachother without make up on.  Don't get me wrong, I think make up is great and a lot of fun (if I didn't I'd be in the wrong business), but I can't imagine being that self-conscious.  They were all friends, why was it so scary?  Anyway, they got through it and seemed to have a great time.
The window washer man came to the bank yesterday.  Great for windows, devastating for birds.  I wish I had been keeping track of how many poor little birds have flown smack into the windows.  One of those sad things you can't help but laugh at, like people falling down. 

Chest Pains

My grandpa is having chest pains again.  I am stuck at work.  My family is with him at the hospital.  I've gotta get out of here. 


These plains are pleasant

It's going to be LONG day.  I am at the bank this morning in Pleasant Plains (about 30 minutes outside of Springfield).  It is SOOOOO SLLLOOOOWWW here.  I've been here an hour and a half with no customers.  That makes for a long morning.  Pleasant Plains in an... interesting town.  Population= 777.  The town is 1.2 square miles.  The bank is an old building that sits surrounded by houses.  This is what they call their "business district."  How this is a district, I do not know.  One building. One business.  No joke. 
Despite the size of the town, I still managed to get lost coming here (thanks, Yahoo Maps!).  Are you surprised?  You shouldn't be.  If you know me much at all, you probably know that I have this incredible ability to get lost everywhere I go.
I like it here, though.  A bunch of good ole boys cruising around in old pick up trucks.  "The Reverend" came in to the bank, bringing in change from Vacation Bible School.  The grass seems greener.  The air feels cleaner.  The birds chirp louder.  There is so much peace.  The Germans were right when they said these plains are pleasant. 
As soon as I leave here, I am headed right back to Springfield for my ex-step-brother's wedding.  It's going to be strange.  I will see my ex-step-dad for the first time in five years.  When he and my mom divorced, it ended badly.  In drunken rages, suicide notes, and a restraining order, in fact.  I've heard he's doing better now.  I guess I'll find out in a few hours.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I guess I just feel sad that it all happened.  He was such a huge part of my life for so long, and then he was just gone.  There were no goodbye's.  When I see him, I don't know if I'll want to cry, or hug him, or run away.  I do know I want to tell him about Jesus.  Somehow.



One of my biggest goals for the year is to earn my Mary Kay Career Car.  The starting car is a Pontiac Vibe.  Kyle and I will need two cars, this could be an answered prayer.  I am going to have to work so hard for it, though.  I'm not sure how I can do it with school on top of it.  We shall see...
My inventory is supposed to arrive today.  Wahoo!  That will make for happy customers and a busy Chelsea!  UPS is so amazing.  Such quick delivery, and the online tracking gets updated very fast.  USPS can kiss my bubbles.  (That's a "Finding Nemo" reference for you non-Nemo watchers.)
Better than all of that, Kyle is coming today.  However, he will not arrive by way of UPS.  That would be awesome, though.  What can brown do for you? 


Elijah Mark

Welcome to the world, Elijah Mark Fitzgerald! Our good friends Russ and Dana welcomed Elijah into the world today.  We're so happy for them!


More Changes

I've never dreamt big... until now.  Now I am setting big goals for myself because I have to.  I must admit, however, that I half expect to fail.  That's no good.  I know God is making big changes in my life.  I love that.  I'm willing to accept everything He has in store for me, which is more than I could have ever imagined.  I never thought I'd have my own business.  Now I am so on fire for it!  Praise God!  I have some lofty goals laid out.  Ask me about them.  I'm getting a little tired of the impersonal feeling of xanga. 
Later gators!



I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes til' I touch the sky
I'll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
It's amazing how quickly God's word transforms our hearts and minds.  After a rough day yesterday, I was on the phone with Kyle's mom.  I told her about my day and she told me to just read through Phillipians 1.  I did and, man, God changed my heart instantly!  I am so thankful for that. 
I am also thankful for Kyle's mom.  It's nice to have a godly "mom"  and "dad."  Sometimes I think I make things with my own parents worse than they really are.  It's just that my parents aren't walking with Christ.  They've both been raised in church, but neither really knows God.  Kyle's mom and dad do. 
I am officially a Mary Kay consultant.  Woot!  If you're a girl and you're reading this, send me your email address (if I don't have it already) and I'll send you an invitation to get some free pampering! 
I get off early today at 10:45.  I plan on using the day for MK things. 
I haven't heard from some of you in quite a while.  Hope your summers are going great!


Mary Kay, continued

Mary Kay= something I really want to do.  However, I am terrified of doing it without the support and backing of Kyle and my family.  They think I will fail, or that it will cause more distractions from school.  Agreed, I don't need more distractions from my academic career.  However, I feel really motivated to do this.  I haven't had motivation to do anything constructive for so long, that this is really an exciting change of pace.  I want to do it, and I feel God pushing me to do it (which is what I asked Him to do if it was His will.) 
It scares me.  What if I don't sell enough?  What if no one wants to buy it?  What if my family gets mad at me for taking on something else?
But then I think, darnit, I'd be good at it.  And there are so many people I work with now who would love the opportunity to get a free facial.


Cheering Up

Thanks, everyone, for your prayers. 
I'm feeling a little down today.  Not really sure why.  Stress is mounting.  July is coming.  Then August.  Then Romania.  Then school again. 
Money.  Ugh.  I hate it. 
I want some Steak & Shake with a side of Kyle.  I miss him. 
I went to Big R today.  That definitely cheered me up.  For those of you not from the Springfield area, Big R is kind of like a cross between Home Depot and Farm & Fleet.  I love going in there.  They have everything and everyone who works there is so nice!  They helped me get some horse shampoo.  The store smells like yard fertilizer.  I love it! 
York Peppermint Patties make me happy. 


Grandpa had a heart attack.

My grandpa had a heart attack yesterday and two stents put in his heart.  He is doing okay now.  Back home already. 
No one could have seen it coming.  He's in better shape than most people I know.  Every other day, he switches from walking three miles to riding his bike for twenty miles.  He eats perfectly.  All of this happened because of bad genes.  It's nuts. 
God is in control.  Everything is fine.


Happy Saturday

Garage sales= total chaos and madness!  These people are NUTS!  Today our neighborhood is having it's "Spring" garage sales.  People were waiting outside our garage door at 6:30am.  Kind of scary to open up your door and find strangers standing outside of it.  By the time I left for work at 8:45, people were swarming.  The streets were lined with cars on both sides.  INSANE!
Babysitting was rather interesting last night.  These kids were pretty much angels until bed time.  As soon as the words, "Time to get your jammies on" left my mouth, you would have thought that they were instantly possesed by demons.  The two year old boy was the worst.  He didn't want to take his clothes off.  Once he finally did, he didn't want to put his "jammies" on.  Now he didn't just kick and scream like a normal two year old.  Oh, no.  This little man also decided in his retaliation to pee all over everything.  All over his bed, his blankets, his wall, and his much hated jammies.  Finally, I cleaned him up, he gave in and put on some pajamas, and he cried himself to sleep.  Sounds sad, but I couldn't continue to coddle him.  Anyway, it worked out ok.  They were both asleep by 9:30 and the parents didn't get home until about midnight. 
I have no plans for today.  It's so nice.  I wanted to go out to the lake, but there's no one to go with  
Don't forget Father's Day tomorrow!  Later gators!


Oprah taught me.

I had a wonderful time in Anna this weekend.  I just got back to Springfield last night.  Kyle's family is awesome.  We had a lot of fun!  I got spoiled being with Kyle all day, every day.  Now I won't see him for a while and that is stinky. 
I'm still praying over the Mary Kay thing.  As I was praying last night, God told me that He wasn't ready to reveal to me what I'm supposed to do.  He said, "Keep praying, Chelsea.  You'll know soon."  After a great prayer time in my car on the way home, I arrived safely at Shadowchaser Drive.  Isn't that a cool street name?
I haven't really had many doubts about Romania.  I've remained fairly constant about God's plan for me there.  It was confirmed even further to me last night when I was watching Oprah.  It was an episode about children across the world who have lost their childhoods.  They talked about children forced into slavery, serving in rebel forces in Africa, and child pornography and prostitution.  The whole last twenty minutes of the show was about teens in Romania.  They talked about what a poor and desparate country it is and how it has some of the highest percentages of children in prostitution.  Parents hand their children over to pimps.  The pimps send the young teens out into tourist-populated cities across Europe.  In one situation they caught on film a father who personally took his fifteen year old son to Milan in Italy and was trying to sell him for the night.  The journalist bought the boy for an hour just so he could interview him.  The authorities know this is happening but are doing nothing!  Anyway, there are millions of young people from Romania being forced into these situations every day!  When we are in Romania, our biggest task will be outreach to the youth in the area we are staying!  How awesome is that?  God was showing me what the situation is like to encourage me and confirm that He has a plan for me there.  I'm so excited!  I'm sad and burdened for the situation over there, but I know I can be used.  Make me Your clay, God.  Use me and mold me!



I worked downtown yesterday.  If you don't know, working downtown is a big deal.  That branch is where all the big shots are who can make you or break you.  They made me.  They called my supervisor.  They want me to come back and work with them for the rest of the summer.  It was awesome.  I'm not sure what will happen.  My supervisor doesn't want to part with me on the teller line.  I will probably be half and half- "Teller/ Personal Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Human Resources."  Doesn't that sound important?  Anyway, I feel very blessed to get this opportunity.  It's like a mini-intership. 
Tomorrow morning, Kyle and I are going to check out a reception site.  I can't wait! 
Well, I just can't resist these things... They're fun, and I'm bored. 
What is your...
Name: Chelsea
Birthday: Feb 8
Age: 20
Height:  5'3''
Shoe Size: 7ish
Hair Color: brownish
Hair Style: depends on the day.  it's naturally very straight.
City of Birth: Springfield, IL
School: University of Illinois
Job: Random things at a bank at home, desk clerk at school
Bedtime: After Oprah is over and I talk to Kyle, it's usually between 11:30pm-12am
Which one...
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate!  (You can't tell but I just said that with my favorite Spanish accent.
Pie or Cake: Brownies
Coke or Diet Coke: Diet Coke
Fluffy Pillow or Flat Pillow: 12 Fluffy pillows!
Apple or PC: If I had the cash, I'd probably spring for the Apple iBook, but my little PC laptop works just fine for now.
Popcorn or Candy at the movies:  M&M's in my popcorn.  Nice combo of sweet and salty.  Thanks, Emma!
Christmas or Your Birthday: Christmas
Flip-flops or Sneakers: Flip Flops
December or July: July
Pop or Punk: Both
Elevators or Escalators: Escalators... they're more exotic!
Movies at Home or in the Theater: Depends on my mood and how much money I have at the time. 
English or Math: English
Coffee or Hot Cocoa:  3 parts Cocoa, 1 part Coffee... my own little latte.
If you HAD to choose...
The flu or a cold: Cold.  Who in the world chooses flu?
Piercings all over your face or tattoos all over your body:  I guess tatoos.  You can hide those. 
Failing a class or getting suspended: Getting suspended.
Having to sit in a tub of spiders or having to eat a bowl of spiders: If they're dead, I'd rather eat them.  If not, then... I guess I'd still rather eat them.
Eating a grey super-moldy peach or drinking a glass of very spoiled milk: I'll take the peach.
Have you ever...
Been stood up:  Yes.
Had your wisdom teeth removed: Yes, and I looked like a chipmunk for a week!
Played in a band: Several
Seen a UFO: An Unidentified Fruitcake Operator? Yes, sir!
Pulled an all-nighter: Yes. 
Been drunk:  In another lifetime
Been high: In an even more distant lifetime...
Been given a speeding ticket: Once
Eaten octopus or squid: Yes, they were greasy.
Seen a Broadway show: I was SO CLOSE!  I was on Broadway!  :(
Gone surfing: No, I'm afraid of deep water...
Gone snowboarding: No
Kissed someone on a first date: Yes
Been in a castle: Does Jumer's count?
Cross-dressed: Hehehe
Been in a car accident: Yes
Had an eating disorder: WAY too personal!
How many...
Piercings do you have: Just my ears.
Tattoos do you have: Ew.  Tatoos are trashy!
Pets do you have: None
Siblings do you have: Four step siblings, and two future brothers in law.
Rings are you wearing: 2
People have you dated: Don't make me answer that.
What is your favorite...
Color: Red is fun, black is slimming.
Cereal: Cheerios!
Pajamas: The Illini shorts I stole from Kyle and a t-shirt.
Disney cartoon movie: Beauty and the Beast
Disneyland ride: It's a Small World... fun and creepy at the same time!
Soda: IBC Rootbeer or rootbeer from Lambert's
Video game system: I HATE videogames!
Way to spend a Saturday: Anything with Kyle.
Class: I don't really like class.  I suppose Theater 199 was fun... for a class.
Ice Cream Flavor: Ben and Jerry's "The Last Straw" or "Half Baked"
What if...
...you could go on a vacation anywhere, where would it be: A long tour of Europe or back to NYC!
you won the lottery, what would you buy : The Cardinals, so Kyle could work have his dream job.
you could change your eye color, what color: I'd take Kyle's color, though it does not have a name.
you could magically be somewhere else right now, where:  Shampoo-Banana!

...you could magically make anybody appear next to you right now, who:  Do I really need to answer that?
you could be a superstar at one sport, which one: I guess volleyball, maybe swimming. 
About your personality...
Are you shy or outgoing: I'm so bashful!  hahahahahahahaha
Do you laugh a lot: Hahahahahahahaha
Do you get easily annoyed: Yes, sometimes
Do you complain a lot: I try not to. 
Do you have a few close friends or lots or casual friends: Quite a few close friends (I have SIX bridesmaids if that tells you anything!) and many casual ones.
Are you romantic: Very
Do you cry over people a lot: Not really, I usually cry out of frustration.
Do you cry in movies: Sometimes
Do you raise your hand in class a lot: Not really.
Do you enjoy alone time: At home, YES!  At school, I'd rather be in the company of my friends. 
Do you enjoy loud crowded parties: You betcha.
Do you prefer double dates or just you and your date: Just Kyle and I
In the last week, have you:
Eaten pizza: Yes
Eaten sushi: Never again!
Made out: Nope. 
Thrown up: Nope.
Gone hot tubbing: Nope.
Gone shopping for clothes:
Taken a big test: No!  Praise God!
Gone to a doctor: Nope.
Seen a movie: Yes.
Random questions...
What were you last Halloween: I made my own crocidile costume and Kyle was the Crocodile Hunter
What are you doing this weekend: Going to Southern IL.
What is your screen name: chelsea2885
What was the last thing you ate: A York Peppermint Patty
Did you ever play with Barbies or Ninja Turtles: I didn't play.  I accessorized.
Can you drive better than everyone else on the road: Most of the time.
Do you like to watch really scary movies: Once in a while.
How do you typically spend the 4th of July: At BJ's.  Chillin with my old school homies. 
Who did you/would have if you could, vote for: Bush or Kerry: FOUR MORE YEARS!
Do you have braces? Nope.
How old were you/are you/do you want to be, when you get married? 21 sounds good. 
What are summers for? Relaxation.
How do you feel about school? It would be great without all those classes!
How tan are you? Let's just say I wear the lightest foundation Mary Kay offers!
Do you like thrill rides: Who doesn't?
If your birthday was next week, what would you ask for? A personal trainer
Do you like candles? Mucho!
Do you like really sour candy? Not really.
Which is better, a snowstorm or a thunderstorm? Thunderstorm
If you could be an animal for a day, what would it be? An Eagle
Did you like this Survey? Sure.  I like surveys in general. 


Random Things

Once a week the man from Brinks comes to every branch to bring us more money.  You know, those guys in the armored trucks with guns and holes in the side of the truck to shoot you if they think you're trying to rob them.  They come into the bank and it's a big event.  "The Brinks man is here!"  Like a kid getting excited for the ice cream truck, we nerdy tellers get excited for rolled coin and crisp bills. 
Heat.  It's growing on me.  I've certainly reached the point that I'll take hot over cold.  The sign across the street at Culver's keeps flashing 91 degrees.  It's not even noon yet. Wear sunscreen today kiddies.  It's a hot one out there.

An afternoon thought:
Coldplay is most delicious.  Have you ever been so connected with music that it awakes other senses than just your hearing?  Andrew Lloyd Weber knows what I'm talking about; just listen to his lyrics in "Music of the Night." Sometimes, when music is really brilliant, I can feel it, smell it, taste it.  My heart pounds and my chest sinks into my back.  Coldplay, Eisley, Norah Jones, and Mae are a few bands who really do that to me.  Beethoven also makes me feel that way.  Ooo, and a song by the Smashing Pumpkins called, "By Starlight."  Maybe I'm crazy or I like music way too much. 

A later afternoon thought (the bank is REALLY slow today):
Saw this on one of my favorite blogs "middleageguy"  I've definitely got hitnosis.  Sometimes I am a blurker and a kittyblogger. 
Blawg - A blog primarily focusing on law.
Bleg - Blogs who's primarily purpose is to beg for something.
Blog Mute - Someone who only occasionally blogs.
Blogopotamus - Long, long, blogs.
Blurker - A person who only reads but never comments.
Hitnosis - Being unable to stop yourself from constantly refreshing your browser to see if your hit count or comments have increased in the last minute or so.
Kittyblogger - Technically, a blog about cats, but also an unflattering term for bloggers who write about mundane subjects. ("Today, I fed the hamster and then ate toast and watched the Today Show and then.....")
Dooced  - A person who looses their job because of blogging is said to have been "Dooced".  Named for Heather Armstrong who lost her job because her web site (dooce.com) included negative stuff about her employer.


Music and Excitement

And I am speechless
I’m astonished and amazed
I am silenced by Your wondrous grace
You have saved me
You have raised me from the grave
And I am speechless in Your presence now
I’m astounded as I consider how
You have shown us
A love that leaves us speechless

Praise God! Sometimes when I really sit and start thinking about Romania, I get SO EXCITED! All this money is invested, and now I feel like I'm really going!

On a side note- People can say whatever they want about Steven Curtis Chapman. He is a brilliant writer. Even if you do not enjoy his music, you should be able to appreciate the art and beauty in his lyrics. Typically, when it comes to that kind of music, I'm unimpressed. However, SCC is the man.
p.s.  Did I mention that on the way back from Romania we will have a 12 hour layover in PARIS?!  YAHOO for site-seeing!


Mary Kay

I'm considering a career in Mary Kay.  It's scary thinking of starting my own business.  I kind of feel like my family thinks I will fail.  Please pray that God will make His will very clear to me in this matter. 


Weekend in Champaign

I had a GREAT weekend! Best thing first, I spent some wonderful time with Kyle. God is really blessing this time of engagement for us. It's amazing to talk about how our household will be run, and how our children will be raised. It's even more amazing to watch Kyle become stronger and really take lead. It is a miracle that I could let him. I'm used to being in charge of many things in my life. Sometimes it's difficult because I want to be the boss, but that's not what God has in mind. That's not how he designed marriage. I'm making strides towards that P31 woman!

We're learning to make descisions together. We were raised so differently. Although we've had completely different experiences in the past, we agree on most everything (so far) for our future.

It was great just hanging out at the BASIC house this weekend. Kyle's room is really pretty nice. We sat for several hours playing our fantastic, newly invented game called, "Hippo," and talking to eachother. Good times.

On Monday, I went over to Joanna's for a facial (she sells Mary Kay). Let me tell you, this stuff is amazing! I already see a huge difference in my skin. I must admit, I was quite skeptical. I've tried many things. Some worked for a while, but then my skin got bad again. However, the results from this are so fast! I hope it lasts! Joanna told me about how her skin used to be so broken out. I thought, "It couldn't have been that bad. Not as bad as mine. Maybe this stuff worked for her, but I bet it won't work for me!" I was wrong! Yay for HEALTHY skin!



It was just one of those mornings. I was awakened by the sounds of my grandparents rustling around upstairs. It was 6:40. Way too early. Almost instantly, my mind began to flood with wedding ideas. Not just simple ideas, but very detailed ones right down to table decorations for the reception. I was consumed. I sat there, ten, twenty, fifty, eighty minutes gone by. Eight o'clock rolls around and I'm still thinking about flowers and vases and brown M&M's. How could I have been engrossed so quickly by this?

Kyle and I had a long conversation about wedding things last night. I don't want to be Bridezilla. We have made plans to prevent her from coming out.


Memory triggers

It is funny how we associate songs with certain moments, even phases in our lives. Every time I hear this song by Go West called, "King of Wishful Thinking" I can see myself sitting at the pool on a very hot summer day at the Nelson Center in Springfield. I was very young, younger than five because I remember I was there with both my parents. (They got divorced when I was five) I can see the lifeguard perched on top her seat by the pool. I can hear the water splashing and feel the warm sunshine. I hear that song play over the outdoor sound system. I even remember trying to sing along with fumbled words. I love that memory. It's one of just a few I have with both my parents.

Mmmm... going to the new locations of D'Arcy's for lunch today to eat a wonderful ponyshoe!!! Horseshoes and ponyshoes are a favorite fatty dish to us Central Illinois folks. The secret's in the cheese sauce! If you have never had one, then you better come visit me this summer!

Do you ever talk on the phone when you're sleepy? Last night I vaguely remember talking to Kyle, but I was so tired that I couldn't tell you a single thing we talked about! I could have said something really crazy! Who knows?! (Not me!)

I really like to use exclamation points! I think that it better conveys my tone of voice. Most of the time, I'm pretty excitable. So this makes it feel a little more personal! Can't you just see and hear my excitement?!

I heart teddy grahams.


Today I went home on my lunch break, but not to eat lunch. I had to change clothes because my pants ripped right down the front! It was pretty funny. Fortunately I had on a cardigan that I could just hold in front as I walked out of the bank!

Lunch was on the run, but I had a lovely grilled cheese sandwich and now I'm enjoying the best snickerdoodle ever!

It was sooo nice to just relax yesterday. It was the first time I'd been able to do that since I got home. I worked Monday through Saturday last week and by the time I got home from work every night I was just pooped!

I had several long phone conversations this weekend. Between Kyle, my mom, Joanna, Ashley, and Amanda, I spent over 200 minutes on the phone this weekend. That's a lot for me! I'm used to seeing these people all the time, with the exception of my mom, and not using many minutes. Thankfully, I have free weekends and free Cingular to Cingular.

It's only been eight days, but that's long enough without Kyle!

p.s. In The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis uses "cobwebby" and "fusty" as adjectives. I love it. Clive Staples makes me happy.


Lazy Sunday

I'm staying home all day today. Tonight I might check out a church service at Western Oaks Baptist Church. eeehhh... scratch that. I just checked the website and there isn't one! Bummer!

I'm reading about all this wedding etiquette. It's crazy! So many formalities! One thing I do like is that it lays out everything that is expected of the bride's family and the groom's family. It explains what needs to be done and who pays for what. That makes it easy.

Church was alright this morning. However, I don't necessarily feel that Calvary is the church for me this summer. I'm gonna have a great day of nothing! Later, people!


Thanks, God, for Kyle.

Thank You, Lord, for making Kyle so smart. I love and appreciate the high level of knowledge and intelligence You've given him. Thank You, also, for giving him wisdom and discernment. Though I never forget how smart he is, I often do not appreciate it until I encounter someone who isn't. Lord, help me to have a greater appreciation for his intellect and sagacity.


Oprah: My guilty pleasure

Oprah comes on at the craziest time here in Springfield... 10pm! Have you ever heard of it coming on so late? I love it, though. Anyway, last night was about young women with weight problems, each of them being the "fat" one in the family. This is something with which I can kind of relate.

First of all, I hate the word "fat." Hate it, hate it, hate it. If you're in my presence, please don't use it. In fact, don't use it at all. Don't call anyone fat. These girls were definitely overweight... Obese even. However, "fat" is profanity in my book.

Anyway, Oprah had some psychologist on there telling these girls that there were emotional and psychological factors contributing to their weight problem. She said that overweight people are emotionally unbalanced, and they don't overeat because of the food, but because of some external force. In one case, the girl had a dad who constantly told her she needed to lose weight. Every time he would make a comment about her eating habits, she would want to shove another Krispy Kream down her throat. Another girl had assumed the role of "victim" in her family. She became accustomed to blaming her weight on other things and it "not being her fault."

I started thinking about my body and my weight. I tried thinking of some reason why I over-eat sometimes. I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could blame this on something else?" Maybe I could blame it on my bad genes. Everyone in my family has had to deal with being overweight at some point. No. That won't work. Most of them have learned how to eat right and manage it. Maybe I could blame it on stress of school. No. That won't work. I don't get stressed very often. Hmm... that wasn't working very well. I couldn't come up with one single good excuse! Darnit.

I've always been a little bigger than my friends. I've never had tons of weight to lose, but I have always felt the need to be more in shape. College has not been good to me in that sense. I got the Freshman 15, lost it, gained it back, and then got the Sophmore 15. Booh.

This is what it comes down to- I love food. I love it so much that I sometimes lose self-control when it comes to eating. Also, I am lazy. I don't really like to work out. I know what's good and bad for me. I have nothing to blame this on but myself. Bummer.

I've gotta start thinking, "Food doesn't matter. Living healthy does." Lord, help me eat to live, and not the other way around.


Slow day...

Sitting at the bank... so slow... I've only had 10 customers all day! Makes the time go slow-- oh, so slow.

On a higher note, I have had some amazing prayer times this week. I've been praying to and from work every day. That's been AMAZING! However, my time in the Word has suffered since I've been home. I haven't quite found a regular schedule yet. I need to get on that.

Today I've been pigging on tootsie rolls. They're way too addictive. I need to stop that.

My daily devotionals have been so great lately. Every morning I find myself wishing they were longer!

I really enjoy meeting new people. That's one thing I really love about the bank. Already this summer, I have made so many new friends. Also, I've had several opportunities to talk to people about God. Please pray for my friend, John.

Adios, amigos!

p.s. People, I'm depending on your postings this summer. I need reading material while I'm at the bank! I promise I'll make lots of comments for you!


Wisdom from Elisabeth Elliot

This was my devotional today. It is written by Elisabeth Elliot, one of the most brilliant women of our time. For my generation:

On Motherhood and Profanity

"OK now, which one of you clowns put that bag of M 'n' Ms in the grocery cart?" The mother looks harried.

Two boys, maybe five and seven, eye each other and race away toward the gumball machine near the supermarket door. There is an infant strapped to a plastic board on top of the groceries, and a two year old occupying the built-in child seat in the cart. The mother picks up the M 'n' M candy bag and starts toward the aisle to return it. The two year old screams and she relents, throws the bag in with the rest of her purchases, patiently waits her turn at the check-out, fishes five ten-dollar bills from her purse, receives her small change, and pushing the cart with the babies in it, herds the two boys through the rain to the station wagon in the parking lot.

I go with her in my mind's eye. Jump out in the rain. Open the garage door. Drive in. Close door. Babies, boys, bags into the house in how many trips? Phone rings. Answer phone, change baby, wipe muddy tracks from kitchen floor. Feed baby, put groceries away, hide M 'n' Ms, start peeling vegetables, take clothes out of dryer, stop fight between two older children, feed two year old, answer phone again, fold clothes, change baby, get boys to:
1) hang up coats,
2) stop teasing two year old,
3) set table.
Light oven, put baby to bed, stop fight, mop up two year old, put chicken in oven, answer phone, put away clothes, finish peeling vegetables, look peaceful and radiant--husband will be home soon.

I see this implacable succession of exigencies in my mind's eye. They come with being a mother. I also see the dreams she dreams sometimes--write a novel, agents call, reviews come in. TV interviews, autograph parties, promotional traveling, a movie contract--preposterous dreams. Try something a little more realistic. Cool modern office, beautiful clothes, make-up and hairdo that stay done all day. A secretarial job perhaps, nothing spectacular, but it's work that actually produces something that doesn't have to be done over at once. It's work that ends at five o'clock. It means something.

I know how it is. I have a mother. I am a mother. I've produced a mother (my daughter, Valerie, has a two year old and expects another child soon). I watched my own mother cope valiantly and efficiently with a brood of six. ("If one child takes all your time," she used to say, "six can't take any more.") We were--we still are--her life. I understand that. Of all the gifts of my life surely those of being somebody's wife and somebody's mother are among the greatest.

But I watch my daughter and other mothers of her generation and I see they have some strikes against them that we didn't have. They have been told insistently and quite persuasively that motherhood is a drag, that tradition is nonsense, that what people have always regarded as "women's work" is meaningless, that "roles" (a word we never bothered much about until a decade or so ago) are changing, that femininity is a mere matter of social conditioning, that it's time to innovate. If the first-grade readers show a picture of a woman driving a hook-and-ladder and a man doing a nurse's job, see what happens to the conditioning. Abolish the stereotypes and we can abolish the myths of masculinity and femininity.

I hear this sort of claptrap, and young mothers often come to me troubled because they can't answer the arguments logically or theologically. They feel, deep in their bones, that there is something terribly twisted about the whole thing but they can't put their finger on what it is.

I think I know what it is. Profanity. Not swearing. I'm not talking about breaking the Third Commandment. I'm talking about treating as meaningless that which is freighted with meaning. Treating as common that which is hallowed. Regarding as a mere triviality what is really a divine design. Profanity is failure to see the inner mystery.

When women--sometimes well-meaning, earnest, truth seeking ones say "Get out of the house and do something creative, find something meaningful, something with more direct access to reality," it is a dead giveaway that they have missed the deepest definition of creation, of meaning, of reality. And when you start seeing the world as opaque, that is, as an end in itself instead of as transparent, when you ignore the Other World where this one ultimately finds its meaning, of course housekeeping (and any other kind of work if you do it long enough) becomes tedious and empty.

But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure." To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God.

But this is what we so easily forget. Men as well as women have listened to those quasi-rational claims, have failed to see the fatal fallacy, and have capitulated. Words like personhood, liberation, fulfillment and equality have had a convincing ring and we have not questioned their popular definitions or turned on them the searchlight of Scripture or even of our common sense. We have meekly agreed that the kitchen sink is an obstacle instead of an altar, and we have obediently carried on our shoulders the chips these reductionists have told us to carry.

This is what I mean by profanity. We have forgotten the mystery, the dimension of glory. It was Mary herself who showed it to us so plainly. By the offering up of her physical body to become the God-bearer, she transfigured for all mothers, for all time, the meaning of motherhood. She cradled, fed and bathed her baby--who was very God of very God--so that when we cradle, feed and bathe ours we may see beyond that simple task to the God who in love and humility "dwelt among us and we beheld his glory."

Those who focus only on the drabness of the supermarket, or on the onions or the diapers themselves, haven't an inkling of the mystery that is at stake here, the mystery revealed in the birth of that Baby and consummated on the Cross: my life for yours.

The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one's life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed--not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother's part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.

To modern mothers I would say "Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God's equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as a mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high. . ." (Phil. 2:5-11 Phillips).

It is a spiritual principle as far removed from what the world tells us as heaven is removed from hell: If you are willing to lose your life, you'll find it. It is the principle expressed by John Keble in 1822:

If on our daily course our mind
Be set to hallow all we find,
New treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.


Home again

Here I am at my first day back to the bank. My first week home and I'm already working overtime! Does that sound like complaining? If so, it's really not. I need the money. Plus, I get $12.75/hour for overtime. That's sweet. The day has gone so fast. The first two hours I was here I did nothing. There were problems with my computer that I won't go into. Anyway, it's been a good day. This is my new favorite branch to work at. For those of you who don't know, I work at Illinois National Bank at home. I float around to all the different branches, wherever they need someone to fill in that day. Today I'm in Chatham. It's awesome.

I had a hard time leaving Champaign last night. Kyle and I had to say goodbye for a couple weeks. We spent the weekend in Chicagoland with his family. It was fun. They were all pretty excited about our wedding date.

After dropping Kyle off at the BASIC House, and helping him set up his bed and a few other things, we had to say goodbye. It was rough. I hate not being with him, especially after spending such a wonderful weekend together. We were spoiled this weekend. Just two weeks till I can visit again! I hope that, with work, it will go fast. I'll keep pretty busy!

I'm meeting my mom for dinner tonight at Olive Garden. Tomorrow night my grandma is making chicken and dressing. It's good to be home.


Praise You

Well today has proven to be an okay day. I am still feeling a little overwhelmed with all that I have left to do, but I have a sense of accomplishment for all the things I've done already. But the glory goes to God. I could not have even made it past Monday of this week had I not bathed every day with prayer. No more tests, just a speech to write. That's what I'm currently procrastinating. I just don't want to do it.

Isn't it bad that we measure how "good" a day is by the way we feel at the end of it? Isn't that selfish of us? God made every day for His glory, not for us to feel "good." Shouldn't we get better at feeling "good" on the days when we're tired, stressed, sick, etc? Shouldn't we learn to delight in the Lord above all else and not let anything get in the way of that?

"Praise You in the mornin'
Praise You in the evenin'
Praise You when I'm young and when I'm old

Praise You when I'm laughin'
Praise You when I'm grievin'
Praise You every season of the soul..."

People seemed to respond well to the very serious entry I made a couple days ago. Maybe I should write serious ones more often...

On to the exciting news of the day: Kyle and I officially have a wedding date. August 12, 2006. Mark it on your calendar!


You Created by Caedmon's Call

"But You created nothing
That gives me more pleasure than You
And You won't give me something
That gives me more pleasure than You"

I've spent some time crying and delighting over these lyrics and the beauty of my Lord.

Does God "hate the sin, love the sinner?"

So the pastor who is leading my trip to Romania asked me this question, "Does God hate the sin and love the sinner?" Here was my response to him. Let me know what you think. It's not fully developed.

Now, about hating the sin and loving the sinner... I've only ever heard that used in application to man. Obviously, none of us is just in the hatred of another sinner. However, when talking about God... I'm not sure. My initial answer was "yes." But then I got to thinking about Sodom and Gomorrah, God's coming wrath and judgment... so I decided to do a little Biblical reseach. I do not want to use any commentaries, but be lead to the Truth by the Holy Spirit. I'll try not to write a novel, but here it goes-
Using my computer's Bible study software, I did a word search on "hate." It came up in the ESV 91 times. Most of those were in Psalms and Proverbs. Most were David saying that he hates evil. There were many about those who hate the righteous, and more about those who hate the Lord. Then I read Psalm 5:5 "The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;you hate all evildoers." This is when I wish I could understand Hebrew and research the grammar and context.
Then I looked at Jesus. Jesus did not hate those who sinned against Him. In fact He loved them so much that He died for them. Luke 6:27 Jesus said "Love your enemies..." If God loves those who, through sin, rebel against Him and hate Him, then so should we.
I guess it comes down to us, sinners, hating and rebelling against God.
My final answer is yes, God hates sin, and loves sinners. He loves us so much that He sent His Son. However, for those who do not turn to Him in repentance, there is wrath. For how do we love God? We obey His commandments. I believe that God's wrath and judgement is even an act of love.
Wow... this is getting deep. I better end this now. This all makes sense in my head so maybe you can understand where I'm trying to go with it. I would love to start talking about limited atonement and God's glorification through the damnation of some and how that plays into all this... I keep going in circles. I'm ending this now.
Sorry for the novel,


Summer's Coming!

I have a job for the summer at Cracker Barrel! YAY for not working at banks anymore!

Sometimes I take Kyle for granted. I forget what a wonderful gift God has given me in him. Sometimes I feel so undeserving of a gift so great. The truth? I am! None of us deserve any of the blessings God gives. But He is good and right and graceful. Thank You, Lord, for buying Kyle with the blood of Your Son, Christ Jesus. And thank you, Father, for giving him to me.


Blubity Blurp

I did my laundry yesterday! So what, right? Well, it had been a VERY long time since I the last time I did it. So it really is quite an accomplishment. I also, again, schooled Kyle at Scrabble. Friday night he beat me pretty bad at Disney trivia. For some reason, I lose every trivia game we ever play. He wins trivia, I win word games. If you knew us, you think it would be the other way around. He's "Mr.Grammar," and "Mr.I've read thousands of books." People keep telling him that he should be a writer. He would be quite good doing that.

Anyway, it was an okay day, and today I'm just going to be hanging around, studying and packing and such.

p.s. Don't watch Meet the Fockers with parents or children. Be especially sure not to watch it with your future in-laws!



DONE with papers for the year! YEEHAH! All I have left now is a speech and two tests. However, one test is today, so I can't write for long.
I'm feeling much better today. I was in bed before 10:30 last night. I slept until 8 this morning and started working right away. That was lots of nice, needed sleep for Chelsea! Before I went to bed last night I was feeling SO sick. Everything hurt, I had a stuffy nose and a sore throat. Although I'm still not fantastic yet, it's way better than it was 12 hrs ago.
I had a good time at the BASIC banquet last night. I felt bad that I wasn't my normal, happy self. But everyone knew I was sick, so hopefully they didn't think I was just being anti-social. Anyone who knows me more than 30 seconds ought to know that's not true.
Well, I must get back to this silly studying. Have a nice weekend, people!
Cracker Barrel tonight! Giddy up!


Planning for the future

My throat is messed up. It feels swollen and sore and it's hard to swallow. It hurts to speak. I know it's not good to drink soda when you're sick, but I love the tingly feeling of my Diet Barqs rootbeer when it goes down my throat. It feels so much better than water.
I had an appointment with my adviser yesterday. We talked about graduation. When I looked at my schedule and started thinking about what I had left to take, I was thinking that I could be done by August '06. After we sat down and mapped everything out, I could be done with all my gen eds and all the classes for my major by then, but still not have enough total hours to graduate. So it looks like August '07 for me. However, this, again, begs the question, "When will Kyle and I get married?" We're still figuring things out. Still praying and seeking God's guidance.
Right now I'm starving and do not want dorm food! Tonight we're eating at The Great Impasta for our BASIC banquet. Tomorrow night, Kyle and I have a date. We're going to one of our very favorite restraunts, the Cracker Barrel. Good, home-style cookin'. Mmmmmm... Friday night is fried cod night there. Have you ever had their cod? It's quite amazing. Well, enough talk about lovely, non-dorm food.
One more week and I'm outta these dorms forever!
Later gators.


Yesterday was a busy day. Of the many things going on yesterday, one was a test. I showed up to the classroom at 7pm last night. Several of us stood outside the classroom (it was locked) waiting for the TA. When he finally arrived he said, "Guys, I have some bad news. I forgot the key to the cabinet where we keep the test. We are going to have to reschedule. Does tomorrow night work for you?" :) Let me tell you, God was taking care of me. I really needed more preparation for that test, and He gave it.

As I was walking back to my dorm, a small sparrow flew in front of me. I could have grabbed it it was so close. Then I started thinking about that song, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches over me..." It goes something like that. How amazing is it that our Lord and Savior cares about the little things?!

Last night was our last Bible study with Dana as our leader. She's been the leader for several years, and I'm really going to miss her.

Off I go to my advising meeting. They should be letting me know when I can graduate! YAY! Please pray for me about that.



Go to sleep!

It's crazy up in here. Mad studying. Prayers being answered (that I would get all this done)... So far, so good. I'm all wound up. I think I need Norah to sing me to sleep. Actually, I think that's exactly what I'll do- lay in me bed, and listen to some lovely tunes and try to stop the buzzing in my head! Good day, people.

p.s. I'm excited for Darren! YAY!
p.s.s. (this is my sigh as I try to calm myself)
p.s.s.s. (this is me giggling at myself for being so obnoxiously hyper)


Ok, so you know that saying, "Be kind, for everyone around you is fighting a harder battle." Well, that is so true. After all the things I just wrote about, I talked one of my friends. Man, this has been a really rough week for her, and it's not getting any easier. Could you guys pray for her? You don't need to know her name, God knows who she is.
Later Gators!


Oh, wow. So this week just got stressful. I starting making a list in my head of all my to do's. It's awefully long! AH! God will bring me through it. I know He will. I have a feeling that this week will also contain much prayer! You know what they say, "As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools." Except that it's not just tests, but papers and projects, and a huge speech! I'm sure that everyone is just as busy, or busier than me! I'll keep you all in my prayers this week. You keep me in yours too.



Today I was reading an article about Vietnam. Today marks the end of the war and the fall of the South. They were celebrating in the streets by waving their red communist flags. How sad. These people are so passionate about their political beliefs, yet burn books that express passion for one another, anything with the mention of love... How sad.
What would Jesus do there? No. What will He do there? Lord, how will you move in these nations that so desparately need your love and healing? Here am I, send me, Lord. Make my life useful to Thee.


Bonjour, Y'all!

I heard that on an ABC Family movie and I've been wanting to say it ever since... haha.

Last night Jim talked about the importance of Christians have a fellowship to plug into. Man, is he right! We need to be able to meet with each other, share with each other, and most importantly, pray for each other. I love all my BCM buddies!

I also love that we have cool ways to share with each other like blogging. How awesome is that?

Well, that's just my thought for the day. Have a good one!



I'm such a procrastinator sometimes. I always wonder if or when I'll ever get out of that habit. I haven't seen too many adults who have a hard time with procrastination. At least, I don't know any who admit to it, so maybe it's something that comes with age? I hope so.

Yesterday was not very constructive for me. I had to go and observe a dance class before my regular 2 o'clock speech comm class. By the time I got done observing and came back to the room, I was running pretty late. Since I still had one allowed absence left for that class, I decided to use it. I couldn't have rushed there if I wanted to.

Did I mention how sore I was yesterday? I overdid myself on Monday and Tuesday with the workouts. Walking was even tough. However, I am feeling much better today and am looking forward to my workout tonight. I think I'll go to CRCE after BASIC! Who's with me?!


Answered Prayers

Well, as predicted, I'm pretty sore today, but I've been worse. Really, it's a good sore... if that makes sense.
So today I have some answered prayers. First of all, some of you may or may not know that I've been having some fairly serious problems with my colon. It runs in my family... Anyway, I went to the doctor today and they ruled out anything too terrible. What I have can be helped, but it's going to take some hard work. The easiest task, I have to start drinking two to three liters of water a day! That's a lot of water!
In addition, my condition will be eased if I get in shape and lose some weight. This is something that, if you've been reading my blog, you know I want to do anyway. Now I have more motivation. It's funny, I asked God to give me motivation to get in shape, but I did not expect it to come in the form of a health problem... hehehe

Well, I suppose I'll be off now. There is much to be done. Thanks for caring about what's going on in my life!


Work it!

I'm sooo pooped. I should totally be working on my paper right now, but I just can't. I worked out really hard today. I even lifted weights. I can just tell that everything will be sore tomorrow. And although I will whine about it hurting, it really will feel good. I haven't lifted weights that hard since high school. Also, it just felt good to be at CRCE (that's Campus Recreation Center East for you non-U of Iers) among my peers; all of us there trying to do something good for our bodies. There is much to be said for working out the mind, body, and spirit. In fact, I think I've come to the realization that if you aren't working out all three, you're definitely missing something. Don't worry, I struggle with it too. Most of all the body... but it sure feels good to be tired from hard work!
I'm putting off my paper for tomorrow. Sweet dreams!


Kim Possible, here I come!

Right now I really feel like watching Kim Possible, but it doesn't come on until 10am, so I'm gonna let you know what's going on with me!
VERY exciting news. I might be able to graduate as early as August 06! Isn't that great?! That's a whole year early! Yahoo! Pray that everything works out for that. I'm talking to my advisor about it this week.
Also, I might be spending the summer over here. Taking class at home at Lincoln Land Community College would be a waste of my time. There's only one class that I could take that would transfer. If I stay here and take class, I can knock out three gen-eds. Several of my friends have offered to have me stay with them, which would be a real blessing! Plus, my life is here now. My Church, friends, Kyle... they'll all be right here. I miss my family, but I can visit them. So things are looking good right now.
Keep praying for that and for Romania, that God will open doors in ways no one could have ever imagined!
Almost Kim Possible time! (Yes, I still watch cartoons... hahaha)
Have a beautiful day!



Ok... so I'm finally writing again! I went through a brief stage that I just didn't feel like writing, but now I'm into it again!
It's going to be such a great day! It's beautiful. I wanna go get some sun, however, I fear a good sunburn. I'm sooo fair-skinned. This morning I've enjoyed watching videos on VH1. They rarely show actual videos. It's fun!
I really want to go swimming. I wish the CRCE pool would open up. It's been closed for maintenance for about a week.
Thought for the day...
Why is it that after fighting with passion, we can make up with passion? It seems like the highest, most emotionally passionate times in relationships come after the lowest. Is it that we can greater appreciate having that person in our lives? Is it that we're trying to make up for the bad stuff? Are we being extra sweet to make up for all the spiteful things we said? The answer is probably YES to all of those things.
The real question, however, is how to keep that sweetness all the time!


Curve ball

Tonight I had a curve ball thrown at me.

If you're reading this you probably know I've been planning on going on a mission trip to Romania this summer. Well, I've been praying very specifically that God will provide the finances for that trip because it's not cheap. One of the ways that I thought He was doing that was that I had an unexpected amount of financial aid this semester. I came up owing only a third of the usual amount, so my parents and I were praising God for that.

Today, my mom got a letter saying that they made a mistake and now we actually owe a very large sum of money to the university. My mom's not so happy about this. Now, all the money they'd been saving for my wedding, helping out with my trip, and next semester's tuition is going out the window. And they want me to use the money I make this summer (that I was planning on saving for my mission trip and wedding) to pay them back on this loan.

It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now. I am starting to doubt everything about everything. I know that God is sovereign. I know He's taking care of me, but this is a very serious obstacle and feels more like a stop sign right now. Please pray for me.


Go Illini!

I'm useless today. Too nice. Can't focus. All I see is orange and blue. I can't even focus long enough to


Blupity Blurp

I haven't felt much like posting since I got back from spring break. I guess part of me is hoping that people will still be reading my last post. I thought it was a pretty good one. If you can, read it. (I know it's long!) Since no one was commenting on here or in person about it, I thought it might be time for a new one.

Break was great. I don't want to write about it though, so talk to me about it.

Well, well... not much today. It's so windy! And Sunny. Windy and sunny. I love carmel corn and easy mac. Have a good day.



You scored as Sleeping Beauty. Your alter ego is Princess Aurora, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty! You are beautiful and enchanting, and as sweet as ever.

Sleeping Beauty






The Beast


Peter Pan


Cruella De Ville


Snow White




Donald Duck




Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with QuizFarm.com

Well... THAT was fun!

Yesterday was great. I got to touch base with an old friend from high school who goes to Iowa. We had a great conversation. Unlike a lot of people, I really miss my high school friends. They were the best. Of course, like everyone, there are some people I don't really care about seeing again, but all my friends were wonderful. I can't even think of a more fun group of people. No offense, college buddies...

This one goes out to Landon, Jill, Ariannah, Travis, Trevor, Dusty, Josh, Mottershaw, Emma, Jamie, Rachel, Zuzu, Nate, Valerie, Catherine, and Jenxi Cat. Cheers to the way things used to be! I miss you all!


Good, good dream

I had the most beautiful dream last night. I was getting ready for some special mystery date that Kyle had planned. I didn't know what we were doing, but he told me to dress up. So I put my make up on, and fix my hair when there's a knock on the door. It's Ashley. She said, "I'm here to help you get ready, but you have to wear this blindfold."

So she puts the blindfold on me, and tells me that she's brought a new dress from Kyle for me to wear. So, without seeing it, I slip it on and she leads me out to the car. She helps me in and gets in herself. I'm still blindfolded.

Finally, we get to our destination. Ashley helps me out of the car and removes my blindfold. We're standing outside in a park at dusk. I look down and I'm wearing a wedding dress! The car I just got out of was a limo! I look up again and there a very long white carpet runner. At the end of the carpet is Kyle, in a tuxedo, walking towards me with a big yellow scroll in hand. I'm shaking. He walks up to me, opens the scroll, and it reads, "Chelsea Ann Johnson, today is your wedding day. Please join the rest of your wedding party down the hill."

I'm speechless. So we drop the scroll and begin walking down the hill. We pause as we see a few other members of the wedding party running into position. They were apparently running late (Kent, Keith, Jason and Amanda :)
Once everyone is there, I begin looking around again. It is almost dark at this point so the park is lit with tons of candles. It's breathtaking. My bridesmaids are dressed in beautiful aqua blue dresses, and all Kyle's groomsmen in their tuxedos. Only our closest loved ones are there- our parents and grandparents, and our best friends. No huge wedding, no worry over all the extended family and the not-so-close friends. It was perfect.
As Kyle and I walk towards the altar, Jim is standing there ready to marry us. The ceremony goes off without a hitch. Everyone is so happy and excited. I am still in shock, but very happy.

Then I was thinking, "Where are we going to live? I'm supposed to live with Marsha and Lynn next year! How am I going to get out of my lease? We have to re-file for FASFA so we can get more financial aid!" There were a million thoughts and worries beginning to flood my mind.

But then I heard God's voice so clearly saying, "Chelsea, this is My will. The two of you were joined together WITH ME! I'll take care of My sheep."

I still didn't know what was going to happen, but I was completely fine. Kyle and I were married, which was my heart's greatest desire. We went on to a small reception with some homemade food and a little dancing. It was a great time.

What a great dream. It seemed so real that I was surprised, and disappointed, to wake up in my own bed this morning, unmarried.

I got to thinking about it a little more and I realized what a great picture of Christ's return it painted. Here I was, unsuspecting, not knowing that my groom was coming (1Th 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.) He sent someone to help me, to prepare me for our wedding (Luk 12:40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.") And then he was there, ready to take my hand and join with me in Holy matrimony. He had already prepared everything for me. He took care of all the plans (Joh 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.) I didn't have to worry about anything! How cool is that?!

I leave you with this Awesomeness-
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready!


Home free

Aaahhh... that's my sigh of relief. I am now home-free until Spring Break! I'm so thankful. The last couple days have been so stressfull! I had to give a speech today that didn't go so well. The projector didn't work for my visual aid, so I got all fumbled and flustered. Oh well. There's nothing I can do now.

Now I can just focus on New York! Awesome.

I love music. Really. All kinds. I'll listen to almost anything once. The only kind I've found that I don't like are the metal bands that scream a lot. I can't handle it. Other than that, I love it. I could easily spend lots of money on buying music if I had a more dispensable income. Unfortunately, my music purchases are limited these days. Oh, well. Like my good friend Joanna always says, "Live like no others now, so you can live like no others later." Basically, don't spend all your money!

Well, that's all for now. I'm enjoying my Hawaiian music and smiling.


Girls and Jealousy

Ashley, Amanda, and I are having a slumber party tonight. I'm so excited. I need girls night. We all do.

We've had this show on in my room about celebrities and their bodies and how they keep in shape. It's crazy. Most of them work out for at least two hours every day. Then you have those few gorgeous people who don't have to work out, and who eat what they want. It's tough not to feel jealousy towards those people.

Envy is something I really struggle with. I'm not really jealous of their bodies, but of their discipline to stay fit. I don't forget the many blessings God has poured out on me that I don't deserve. I just know there's a better version of me in here somewhere.

That's all for now, folks... off to girl's night I go!


Bad Dreams

I'm feeling better this morning. Kyle and I started the day together with a nice breakfast. He'll be gone all weekend to the state basketball tournament with his dad and brothers.
I have bad dreams a lot. I'm not sure why. For a while they were getting better (I read something about keeping it warmer in your room can help prevent bad dreams) but I had another one last night. I was fighting vampires with Morgan Freeman. Weird, I know. It was pretty intense. What's even more strange is that I can wake up from the dream (gasping and trying to remember where I am) fall back asleep, and pick up the dream right where I left off. How much of our dreams are meaningful to our feelings, and how much of them are random and meaningless? I mean, sometimes my dreams are so frightening that I don't want to go to sleep! I know better than to be truly afraid, it's just the idea of being exposed to all the violent and traumatic images and experiences. Even Kyle thinks my dreams are odd.
Anyway, I've gotta get going. Have a good day.


Rough go of it

Frustrated. That's how I'm feeling right now. Most reasons I won't talk about on here.
I miss my family. I haven't seen any of them in over a month. I haven't talked to my dad in that long. He didn't even call on my birthday. That kinda hurt. No, that really hurts. Yes, I could call him too... I know. It just seems like I'm always the one that calls him.
Things are feeling pretty messed up here right now (for reasons even bigger than my dad). I don't know what else to say... I guess I just needed an outlet to vent my feelings.
"When I call on Jesus,
All things are possible.
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar.
When I call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall.
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call.

Weary brother,
Broken daughter,
Widowed lover,
You're not alone.

If you're tired and scared of the madness around you,
If you can't find the strength to carry on,

Call Him in the mornin'
In the afternoon time
Late in the evenin'
He'll be there.
When your heart is broken,
And you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said
He'll be there."
Nicole C. Mullen