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.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3