Since so many of you asked how I curl my short hair, I made a tutorial to help show you the steps I take to make it curly! (and this was the first tutorial I got to film in my camper. Woot woot!) Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel if you're interested in more tutorials. :)
Love you all!
We are just about two weeks into our crazy adventure on the road and it has certainly been an interesting few weeks. Thank you to all of those that have been praying for us, thinking of us, and following our posts online. It means so much! Just to recap each of you a bit..... here are some of the highlights we've gotten to experience already!
- We drove all the way through Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. So beautiful to watch so much nature through my
- We visited about 5 coffee shops in a few days time in Nashville - all in pursuit of internet and the best coffee. My vote?
Crema and Thistle Stop Cafe. I am now a little crazy from all the caffeine. :)
- We spoke to about 60 different people about Trades of Hope and how passionate we are about it!
- We visited some our artisans over at Thistle Farms (such a cool experience!)
- We saw snow!! (and almost froze with our Florida blood ;)
- We spent 6 days without a toilet and tried (very humorously) to try and fix it ourselves. Not a pretty experience.
- We figured out how fun (and tough) it can be to be in a new place every few days.
The trip, for me especially, was an exciting new challenge. I firmly believe that unless you are doing something that terrifies you, you aren't growing. This is pretty much the mantra of our trip. Meeting new people almost every day and speaking publicly (my worst fear) is something that can be so scary for my self-proclaimed introvertness. (I'm now just saying that I fall under both categories. lol). The last couple of years, I have found that I'm not the best at being a balanced individual and I am the greatest at being an obsessed workaholic. They were also full of a lot of confusion about what to do next with my life. I was 22 years old and I already had an amazing job (that I will never give up, for sure!), a cool apartment, and so much control of what I thought I knew. And I felt like I had no room to grow. It began to be stifling. It began to feel monotonous. In the face of the darkness of this world, my heart was struggling with trusting Jesus and understanding his goodness and love for me.
This road trip is exactly what I've needed. It's what Jesus has had planned for me since the very beginning. A job that has allowed me to travel and meet new people is the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. More time with Ryan. And a requirement that I must stop being a control freak. I cannot control how fast we drive (a whopping 55 mph in a big fifth wheel), so I can't really control when I'm late to things, and I can't control when our bathroom decides to break, or if its 20 degrees out and if my cell service isn't there and my internet doesn't work. So much not-controlling for this girl.....and this not-controlling is helping me become the person I have always hoped to be. In this period of no control, I am finding a quietness. A deep joy that I thought I might have lost. An ability to live in the moment, which was so hard for me before. As I live in the moment, I find the believe in the goodness of God creeping back into my heart. As I live in this moment, I see people for the beautiful beings they are. I care deeper. I love deeper. I empathize better. I love Jesus more. I understand grace fully. I see the sweetness of the world clearer.
It's still hard and it will continue to be. Wherever you go, there you are and no matter how big of a roadtrip you go on, your unhealthy habits still remain unless you take the hard steps to end them. I am working through this. I am identifying where I need to let rest permeate. It is tough. We are in the growing pains period. But my heart is settling, and I am hoping by the end of this amazing Trades of Hope Tour that I am so blessed to be on, that I will have understood better how wide, and deep, and long, and high the love of Jesus is for me in a way that shakes me and quiets my heart and makes me trust and laugh more and understand this whole heartbreaking and beautiful world a little better. Pray that with me?
Here are some photos so far. I hope you enjoy journeying this trip with us. I feel your love and cannot thank you enough for being a part of my life.
maybe Jesus wasn’t the guy sitting quietly in the pews next to us as kids, whispering solemn prayers under his breath and looking a little too serious. maybe Jesus is the kid next to you, poking you and whispering too loud and asking if maybe, just maybe you want to escape the boxed in hell-hole version of God we’ve all created out of a culture that wasn’t okay with a poor man getting a rich man’s wage. maybe he is the little boy next to you asking you if you’d rather go outside and run fast with him, and laugh a little louder than you’ve been told is allowed, and choose to see the gray of the world a little deeper without immediately calling “black” or “white” or “wrong” “right”. we wanted too many don’ts and Jesus fiercely whispers ‘do’ in a voice that rumbles with laughter and perhaps so much glee that it could be found disrespectful in the red-rimmed, tired eyes of the all too serious do-gooder adults that want to smack the light out of the childrens’ hands because they have forgotten what it is like to play.
Jesus is in the gay man’s joy and the little child’s belches and the running and running and the sun that seeps through the clouds while you lay on a picnic blanket letting its warmth touch your eyes in a way that screams more, more, more and we all know it but no one wants to say it. Jesus is not the reserved and refined man we thought he was, but he is the man that eats with drunkards and gamblers and all those the religious snidely deem ‘off limits.’ and he does not just sit in a corner and ‘associate’ with them…. like the church does with their token gay friend, secretly judging from behind protective religious cages…. but Jesus chooses them first. he engulfs himself in them, throwing himself into their experiences, feeling their joy, eating their food, perhaps laughing too much and filling with affection at every turn. he sees the shock on his friend’s faces when they understand that their long awaited messiah chose to define himself not as an unemotional, disconnected man who loved rules and black and whites and ‘that’s enough’ and ‘try harders’ and ‘stop doing this’, but defined himself instead by loving fiercely in the gray, by saying ‘it’s enough’ ‘you can have more joy. more good. more love. more than this,’ by stirring up trouble where he knew trouble was needed, by holding the hand of the dying in the dirt filled corner, holding their filth and weeping into their shoulder as he saw the affects of poverty, of prejudice, of suicide, of brokenness, of rule bent religion, the affects of the hatred that had seeped into a world that had forgotten how to love and protect one another.
and gosh darn it. i don’t want to follow the man in the corner of the church, so intent on wrongs and rights that he does not see the people beside him. i tried that man and his edges were not able to cover all of the pain that stretches just too far, his shallowness not able to reach the deepness of heartbreak that runs just too deep. i want to follow the man in the bar, roaring with laughter with his arm thrown around his brother, speaking radical grace, radiating love and light and joy and full of so much abundant life that covers our deep pain with his tenderness.
and do my thoughts go too far? a lot of people will probably think so. but i think Jesus went too far for us and i’m done believing in the culture-created Jesus that never goes far enough to actually cover the darkness and evil and filth and pulsing hatred and sadness and outright sobs of the world. I am learning that he does go far enough, and I will go farther with him too, far enough to cover this darkness with his glorious, unabashed, wound healing, hate destroying laughter of love.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3