Browsing Tag

grace

making choices like Jesus would

in faith

Thanksgiving week this year was full. Full of family, laughter, conversations, shooting guns, being outside, delicious food, a few tears, lots of grace.

I was driving out to my parents’ house asking Father for help. God, please give me wisdom and discernment in my choices. Bless our families with good quality time and rich conversation. Be honored by our words and actions and thoughts. In His goodness, He gave me a visual.

Two sisters, different personalities. Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet while busy bee Martha is frazzled and distracted.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” v. 41-42

The greatest possession is close fellowship with the Lord as our ‘portion’ in life, says the ESV Study Bible. “It will not be taken away from her” — neither now to help Martha in the kitchen, nor for all eternity.

And Father said, stay at my feet, stay close, rest and trust Me. 

Instead of feeling like my mind is distracted and frazzled and busy like Martha, trying to please everyone and make the perfect choice.

Jesus was a man who lived on this earth. He walked, talked, overcame, felt physical needs, spent time with other humans. He valued close fellowship with his Father.

“Jesus came to reveal God to us. He is the defining word on God—on what the heart of God is truly like, on what God is up to in the world, and on what God is up to in your life. An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence. To know him as he is, is to come home. To have his life, joy, love, and presence cannot be compared. A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness. To be mistaken about him is the saddest mistake of all.”

To experience him and learn about him and know him is transformative.

God is cultivating in me a longing to know Jesus like I know my best friend or my husband.

To wonder about him when doing mundane tasks. To imitate how he speaks to both friends and strangers. To prioritize life as he prioritized life. To learn how he responds well in tricky situations. To love him by my service. To listen to him. To learn his mannerisms and tendencies. To know his heart.

I’m reading a book by John Eldredge called Beautiful Outlaw, about Jesus and his personality. All the quotes in this post are found in the book. It’s an interesting read.

He woos, he confronts, he delivers, he heals, he shoots straight, and then he uses intrigue. He lives out before them the most compelling view of God, shows them an incredibly attractive holiness while shattering the religious glaze.

I’m learning it this way… Holy Spirit is God in us; He is companion, wisdom, comfort, guide, and more. Jesus is our example for life; He lived a life that pleased God. Jesus is our brother to learn from. God is Father; He is creator, judge, powerful.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality. Your humanity, and your life. This is the reason he came. Anything else is religion.

I sometimes underestimate the power of knowing Jesus as if he was a physical person in my life today. I sometimes underestimate the stories of the Bible.. passages that tell of his expressions, his words, his way of being, his view of the world.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality.

Forgive me, Father. Thank you, for sending Jesus to live perfectly and die sacrificially.

lately

in lifestyle

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This post is a heart and mind spill.

Lately I’ve been praying a lot about a large storm called Matthew. For people who have lost loved ones, for those still in its path. Our God is far bigger than a storm, but it’s still a little scary.

Lately I’ve been learning about Holy Spirit. Who He is, and why He is given to us.

Lately I’ve been catching up on the new show This Is Us. Have you watched this yet? What do you think about it? I think it’s creative writing, definitely different.

Lately I’ve been jamming/watching Bethel’s mountainside worship. You can view it here, it’s pretty beautiful.

Lately I have loved wearing my Raven + Lily jewelry, like you see below. “Raven + Lily is committed to providing beautiful and unique modern minimalist products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment.”

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Lately I’ve been inspired by the words of Jonathan Edwards.

To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

Lately I am loving the community I’m blessed to be in. From a church women’s retreat to small group in our home to phone conversations to written letters. People are the coolest. They are the greatest gifts of this temporary life.

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Lately God has touched my afresh. And I’m heart and soul grateful.

Whoever is reading this post, I pray grace and peace and God’s favor on you. Thanks for reading. :)

what I would tell 16 year old me

in inspiration

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I’m a big fan of Timehop. Since photography is one of my favorite pastimes, I enjoy walking down memory lane. Yesterday an album came up from 9 years ago, the year I turned 16.

A lot of life has happened since I was 16. I have lived a blessed life, not without difficult circumstances and loss, but blessed all the same. Still, life is unpredictable, mean girls exist, disappointments and joys and big decisions come in waves, and change happens frequently.

If I could talk to 16 year old Chelsea about a few things, they would be these:

Embrace the curls.

I know straightening your hair seems fun and easy, but deep down you only do it because you think you’re prettier that way. Rock your curls, sister! You are uniquely you, and those curls will become a true part of you one day.

Be okay with not being everyone’s best friend.

It seems wonderful, but it ends up being pretty exhausting. Find that handful of sweet, God-loving, weird, lasting girlfriends, and stick close. God is not expecting you to be all things for all people. Love well and be a safe place for those you encounter. And trust God to be what everyone needs, not you.  Nonbiological sisters of mine, you know who you are… and I’m immensely grateful for you.

Being a perfectionist is a not a negative, but being a people-pleaser is.

Girl, you spend too much emotional and mental energy living without boundaries. Beware of falling into a snare of fearing man instead of the Lord, of walking around anxious because you might disappoint someone, or not look great in their eyes. Jesus is the person you focus on making great; you cheer and support others in their gifts. You are not defined by the opinions of others, how others react to you, your successes or failures, or even your feelings. Find your specific passions, give God all the glory, and pursue them with that perfectionist DNA.

Live from your identity in Christ, not from your image.

Tie your confidence and anchor your identity to an unchanging, undeniably good, powerful, beautiful, and living God. Your image, your physical appearance, your features — all called good by the most important person in the world. Your image will change, it will fade, but your identity in God can take you to new heights of love and abundant life. Your heart, mind, and soul make you special, new in Christ they make you strong and beautiful — not how much you exercise or how fashionable you are or how your makeup is done. It’s too easy to get caught in that trap, so girlfriend, run the other way and run hard.

Keep wearing those Converses instead of heels.

A time for heels will come, and you will grow to enjoy it, but embrace that well-worn blue jeans and Chucks look you have going. Wear those brightly colored tights and braids and your favorite jeans 4 days out of the week. Life is too short to stifle the way you express yourself for the sake of cool or popular. Styles change too often to keep up with it all. Find a style that fits you, that you feel pretty in, and rock it.

Mean girls will always exist. Remember who you are and Whose you are; rise above.

I would love to hold your shoulders, look you in the eye and say, that girl is insecure, that’s why she’s treating you this way. She is unhappy, and is taking it out on you. It has nothing to do with you. Do your best to be kind, so she never has any ammo against you, and ignore. Keep in mind the people who love you, who support and believe in you, and keep doing your thing. She will eventually see that you are not to be trifled with, and she’ll move on.

A relationship with God will be the greatest adventure of your life.

I feel like I’m experiencing this in new ways all the time, but the delight in knowing God will change your life. He is the coolest adventure, greatest treasure, highest joy, best friend, sweetest love. You seek him, you are active at church, you read your Bible, and I get teary-eyed to think of the grace in those choices. He is with you, in the seemingly mundane, and in the difficult times. Keep living for God, keep shining bright, keep loving people well. The lines will fall in pleasant places, and it only gets better.

There are many many other things, now being 24, but you enjoy your life, girl. Soak it all up, savor it. Because it’s good.

for me, Christ must be everything

in faith

"If Christ be anything He must be everything."

This statement is one that has been more true of my life than ever before in my relationship with God. Not because I’ve finally arrived at some grand achievement of spirituality, but because I am at a place where I see the value, the beauty, the marvel, the richness, of treasuring Christ above all else.

I certainly don’t do it perfectly 24/7, but I finally see clearly how He must be everything. He must be my life.

I’m an all or nothing type. It has its perks and its faults. I’m not the girl who says, ‘One cookie a day.’ I just binge eat half a carton of ice cream and then don’t eat sugar for a month.

As I continue to grow up and learn more about myself, I see this in other areas also. I like to know 100% why I am doing a particular thing – running, healthy eating, writing, instagramming, etc. I must have a purpose and that purpose must be big enough to motivate me.

However, even while knowing this tendency about myself, I tend to give priority to God and self-image. God and entertainment, God and temporal satisfaction, God and selfishness.

How could I ever thing that would work? Especially being an all or nothing girl.

But, God in His goodness and grace, in my seeking of His help, has redeemed.

This Charles Spurgeon quote is the currently the lock screen of my phone:

If Christ be anything He must be everything.

I have seen that adding things to Jesus to satisfy, energize, and sustain me doesn’t work. It leaves me tired, numb, enslaved to insecurity or worldly approval, even irritable. There’s no other way for me but Jesus being my everything.

Does that mean I treasure Him perfectly every minute of the day? Um, no. Not in this life.

But I’ve seen that it does affect my daily choices. It shapes the kind of faith I live.

When Jesus is treasured above everything else, it’s believing that the thing I’m giving up is a vapor compared to the riches of knowing Him.

I see that my biggest hindrances to strong faith, dying to self and pursuing Him above all else come when my devotion, when my heart, is divided. When it’s being given to this and that, the temporary high, or selfish attitude. It is both heartbreaking and humbling.

And it’s a work of Holy Spirit alone. If not for Him, I would only ever pursue the glory of self. And I still struggle; it’s challenging. Sanctification of my heart relies on daily, hourly, moment-by-moment Divine intervention. But praise the Lord for His tender love and patience.

I pray that my treasuring Him brings Him glory, in whatever shapes in continues to take.

photo via unsplash

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