Friday, May 30, 2014

adventure: an exciting experience

It has been a crazy fast year. I am famous for saying "can you believe that..." to Josh and he always smiles and nods and says "yes, I can believe that." In this case, however, I am serious when I say I can't believe how fast this past year has gone. We are starting to talk about our first anniversary and I feel like we blinked. The year has gone fast, but the days have sometimes gone slow. We have had such a fun first year of marriage. And a fun first year of living in the same place (same apartment for that matter!) after two years of being apart. The little joys of sharing day to day life has been quite fun. We've learned about ourselves, about ministry, about friendships, we've traveled and we've made life decisions together. Praying together to see where the Lord would lead us in so many things...

One of those things was where to live. I have really enjoyed my time in Northern Virginia but the Lord had been nudging Josh and I to start praying about what might be next. And so we did, and He led. After many prayers and conversations -- we've felt called to make a move to Richmond, Virginia! RVA is the capital of this fine state and it is right in the middle of both of our families. We have SO many friends already in Richmond. One of the main reasons we loved this city is because of the community we see there with our friends. When we visit, we feel welcomed and known-- something that has been harder for us as a couple in Northern Va. I felt the Lord telling me it was ok to move and leave and that He had YL in his hands. He has already blessed this place with a wonderful new Staff person. Josh has a job lined up for when we move in August and I'm pursuing some options trusting that the Lord will lead me to the right fit. I am excited to see what God calls us to next as we live out our lives and marriage in ministry for Him. He may use us in a new Church, or to love our new neighbors or maybe with students in Richmond. It is exciting for us to think about that future.

One of the greatest gifts I have received while working for Young Life, is having people believe in me. Because of faithful prayers, I have been able to share the Gospel with broken, lost high school students. But I also have been changed by what God has done in my own heart. He has stretched me. He has made me uncomfortable and I’ve learned that is ok. He has begun to break me of my desire to be perfect. (still working on that one.) He has given me opportunities to trust him. He has taught me that HE fights for me, if I only be still. The idea of rest in the Lord was something I didn’t quite get. I like to fight for myself, show my strong side, be perfect. But I have learned that He fights the battle for me. I have seen generosity displayed in the fullest extent from those around me in the YL community here. I have walked alongside friends as we share the Gospel to a lost population of high school students, who are being worn down under constant pressure. These three years have been so sweet.They have been an adventure.

As I was thinking on my time here, I remember how I didn’t want to move here. Because I didn’t pick it, it sort of felt like God didn’t choose His best for me. Man, was I wrong. Moving to Loudoun County to do YL was God’s BEST for me these three years. I am so glad HE is the author and I am not. I am so glad that when I didn’t want to go to JMU, He brought me. He is the author. And He weaves all things together because He knows the ending. He knows each chapter, each character and the greater story.

I am so grateful. I am also so excited for this next adventure with Josh. To learn a new city together. A new church, new friendships. To build a life in Richmond as long as God calls us there.

Before we leave, I am heading to a month at Lake Champion to be a Summer Staff boss. I will get to go to camp with my own high school students, and then spend a few weeks before we say our goodbyes. These next few months will be an adventure. Here is to trusting more with each day that comes...

“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On Friendship...

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one . . .” C.S. Lewis

As I sat at one of my dearest friends rehearsal dinner this weekend, I started thinking about life and friendship and relationships. Isn't a wedding rehearsal dinner the perfect place to realize that we are not supposed to walk through life alone? I remember our rehearsal dinner at Michie Tavern. It was such a sweet night. Ours happened to be big (100 people) but it still felt intimate. It was people who have shaped us, who have believed in us, who have spurred us on. They shared funny stories, important memories and spoke to our character and souls. And they reminded us that we were not alone. This weekend at my friends rehearsal dinner, the couple asked all of us there to continue to surround them with encouragement, wisdom, prayer as they live out their marriage. Marriage is much to big to navigate alone. I thought it was the coolest thing that they invited us into it, because they already recognized that they can't do it alone. It was an honor to stand by York's side as she made vows to Kyle! It's fun and different to go to weddings now that I am married to Josh. I am reminded of the commitment I made to Josh. And how some days I am not good at it. And how other days I am better and loving him. But that Christ's love for me, strengthens me to love others when it isn't easy or convenient or when I am selfish.

Isn't that real friendship though? Sticking it out when it's hard, emotions are raw, and life is real? My real friends are the ones who share the messiness of their lives. So that we cay say to each other "what you too?" We crave connection to others. But we can only find that when we risk being vulnerable with other people. When we can meet each other in the midst of joy, pain, heartache, sadness and excitement and know that we aren't alone. How sweet it is to know that we aren't alone.

I feel grateful for friendship. For people who call to say hi. Friends who know how to ask the right questions. Friends who text a funny inside joke. Being grateful changes everything. Prayer changes everything.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rejoice Always

The Bible commands us to Rejoice Always, hmmm what do you think that means? I'm not that good at the always part. I can rejoice, but it's more like when things are going well and I'm enjoying life. But I think I am learning what this means on bad days. On days where I didn't enjoy life. On days when things did not go my way. It has been good. I think rejoicing always brings me back to the Cross. To the grander perspective of life. To the fact that God is God and I am not. I can rejoice about that!

I have had quite a few good days though. A trip to sunny South Florida, a husband who cooks dinner for me quite regularly, a friends bridal shower, and lots of quiet but wonderful moments in between. I am grateful.

Til next time!
 Sunny Ritz Carlton in Miami!
 Margarita with a glowstick inside?
 Oh yeah, we bought a car!
Best friends til the end.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


It's been a while since I've been on the blog. I also think of things I want to write, but alas I never get around to it. But today is a snow day... I think 15 inches of snow outside so life is slow today and I have time to blog. So thankful this snow did not come last weekend, because I was on Divacation. My roommates and I from JMU got together for a reunion weekend at a beautiful house on the water in MD and since we call ourselves the "divas" we decided to name our weekend Divacation.

It was the best! To be with people who know you so deeply is such a gift. You don't have to get know each other or explain yourself. You can wear no makeup, and sing loudly, and be loved just the same. It's hard to believe it has been almost 3 years since we all lived together in that old, small, cold house called Graffiti. Kels drove from Ohio and Kel flew in from California... we all make it a priority to stay friends. Can't wait for October when we are all together again to celebrate the newest Divo when he marries our Nicole!

Other than that, life has been pretty normal. With all of the crazy weather there has been little rhythm in my life. Every week looks different because things are always cancelled. Soon though we head to Miami to celebrate a wedding with a dear friend and I can't wait for the sunshine. I love finding joy in the everyday but it makes life fun to have things to look forward to on the weekends.

Stay warm wherever you may be. Xoxo
 Move back to the east coast, Kel...

And a shameless selfie of my new haircut... needed something new!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Joy of EVERY longing heart

I like the season of Advent. Of waiting for Jesus. Of longing for Jesus. Of preparing to make room in our hearts for HIS arrival. It is a special time. To prepare for the King. And I love this song that captures this season so well.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Moments & Choices

My oh my. It has been quite some time since I've written on this thing. The last time I wrote I lived in a different place, was living with 3 other girls and it was 90 degrees. Today I live with my husband and it was 45 degrees out. A lot has happened. A lot of good things.

Most recently, I re-watched "You've Got Mail." I think this may be one of my all time favorite movies. How can you not just fall in love with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. (Although I laugh every time I see Meg Ryan's pleated pants) I love, love. Maybe because I am a newlywed. But I do. The feeling you get when you can hug your spouse, and just breathe deeply. I am so thankful for those moments. You know what's been cool though? To be married and loved and known. But still realize, that Jesus is the only thing that will fill me completely.

Here is a snapshot:
August: Married my best friend. Began an incredible journey. Danced the night away.
September: Vacationed in beautiful Antigua. Sometimes wish I was still there. We also started YL Club up again. Went to our first wedding as a married couple.
October: Turned 24. Chaperoned Homecoming, watched my cousin run a marathon, Spent time with both of our families. Celebrated York & Kyle getting engaged!
November: Will be Spending two weekends at Young Life camp sharing the Gospel with our high school friends.

Married life has been so fun. Fun doesn't mean easy. But so worth it. So joyful. I am thankful to have  a partner. Josh meets me where I am. He goes to the grocery store when I can't. The best! I am feeling more at home here in Loudoun. Probably because Josh is here. But I feel a little bit more rooted than ever before. We have friends to meet for dinner. We've settled on a church. I know where we grocery shop. We have a favorite mexican restaurant. I have a Bible study I go to. It is a good feeling.

Moments & Choices. That's life isn't it? Moments make up our days. Which make up our memories. And in each moment, we have a choice. To be thankful or complain. To be present or distracted. To go and be somewhere or stay and be home. I have felt overwhelmed by the choices people have made to share some of my biggest moments this past year. Choices to drive for hours, to spend money, to give up their time... to be with me.

So what will I choose?
 my best friends

 a favorite moment. looking over at my new husband.
 moments... celebrating engagements with best friends.

young life hoe down.

until next time...grab onto the moments!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Middle of August already?

Hello there, whoever you are that might read this blog. Sorry for the lack in blogging. There is so much going on while at the same time I find myself wondering what to do next. It's busy, but not at the same time. Does that make sense?

Anyways, life lately has been...

-quick roadtrips to Rockbridge to visit friends
-learning that I love the band Rend Collective Experiment
-cooking-- Josh and I have been cooking dinner most nights together and I love it. We make a good team.
-lots of wedding planning. it hasn't been too overwhelming but I'm ready for it to be over. To just enjoy the day with our dearest friends and family. 19 days, what?
-lots of trips to target. returns, exchanges, new purchases. we have been there so much lately
-trying a new church two weeks in a row. Gleaning from the Old Testament and how it is directly connected to Jesus and his life in the New Testament. My trainer in YL told us that the whole Bible is the "unveiling drama of the redemption of the world through Jesus Christ"
    -Side note: at church I learned that the name "Yeshua" is the same name for Joshua (from the OT in Numbers and Joshua) and for Jesus... the way that Moses represented the Law and following it, Joshua represented grace and leading the people to the Promised Land. And Jesus is grace also... the only way to eternal life. Isn't that little nugget so profound?
-Trying to put together and furnish our new apartment. It is coming together. Right now Josh's nightstand is a file cabinet but hopefully we'll have more furniture. I've been humbled as I look around at it and know that our family gave us everything... I hope to be as generous to others. Can't wait to move into our place.
-Working on practicing thankfulness. I am praying these days to see the good. To have hope. To see what there is or could be, and not what is lacking. It takes practice.

Have a great week, my friends!