I just want to sufficiently warn everyone that this blog will not be nearly as organized as ones I have had in the past. If I were to write a blog on every God moment I had this weekend (which believe me, I’d like to): A) I don’t have that much time to write them, B) No one has that much time to read them, and C) I have ADD so I can’t even remember what I was going to put here, but every good sermon has three points, so here we go. Since I don’t know another way to do it, we’ll go in chronological order and come back to whatever else I forgot.
God has really been speaking to me about the “shoulds” I have carried around in my life. For most of it, I have patterned who I wanted to become based on the things that other people saw in me, or the things I saw in other people. One of the things that God has shown me this weekend is that He takes delight in me and in who He alone created me to be. This is a part of childlike faith that I haven’t touched on: dancing on the table for my Daddy. You know what I did tonight? I watched a cheesy movie about horses (or most of it) and I colored pictures. And it was fun! And you know what? God was there. I started a little fun project (I always have to turn everything into a project). I was watching the movie Last Holiday for probably the millionth time last night-I could quote that movie from beginning to end-don’t believe me? Try me. Anyway, Georgia had a book called a “possibilities book” of things she wanted to do (or eat) someday in the future. I could go on about the movie, but I don’t want to ruin it for you (if you’re a guy reading this, give me a call and I’ll ruin it for you, it’s kinda a girl movie). I decided to start a possibilities book myself, with pictures of the things I want to do or experience someday. I’m doing it with a little twist, though. Georgia took pictures of her homemade chicken (pule chopatulis, spelling?). I am finding fun coloring book pictures online and taking all sorts of Sharpies to them. It’s going to be Chelsea’s lifelong crazy to do list, but really really cool. Now I sound like a high schooler. Anyway, it’s really freeing to bask in the smile of God. I’m enjoying being a kid in His eyes, knowing that His love for me doesn’t depend on how many good things I can squeeze into my time. He delights in me, and His eyes light up when I am growing into the joyful and free-spirited girl He made me to be. I keep trying to fit into a box when God never meant for me to. I’m just starting to scratch the surface of what all this means.
I also have not felt good at all this weekend, but God really used it to draw me closer to Him. I started a new med that my body doesn’t like (and consequently, I don’t like it either). Hopefully the doctor will take me off it on Tuesday. This morning I didn’t make it to church or work, and so I decided to have my own church in my living room. I really think the Holy Spirit came over me or something, because I started cleaning and I didn’t stop for 5 HOURS. Where ON EARTH did that come from? Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am not the most organized person in the world (understatement of the year), and this has been a big source of shame in my life. Both my parents are extremely neat in every aspect of their lives, so I guess I always saw myself as either A) defective child, or B) the great experiment that failed. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not disgusting; I just have other priorities. Well, millions of lessons can come from this, but I learned today that: A) I am not defective or a failure, B) I can be organized if I really want to, and C) I really need to work on this area of my life. So, this is me being honest. I am going to work on this.
This morning I took my cousin Linda to the airport and two things really stuck out to me from our conversation (boy, I like lists today, don’t I?): A) A totally different way of reading Scripture than I’d ever thought about before, and B) Learning how to recognize times of spiritual growth in my life. First, I’m going to adopt Linda’s style of reading Scripture out loud, like a drama. She is currently reading the book of Job like this, playing the parts of all the different characters, and she’s really getting a lot out of it. Second, I am learning how to shift my focus from my own struggles to see things from God’s perspective. My issues can’t constantly be begging the question, “Why me?” Sometimes our times of controversy and suffering are the best opportunities for God to grow us, and the big question “Why?” can really stand in the way. Instead, we can focus on tuning in to the purposes God is trying to fulfill in our lives. Are we keeping our eyes on the waves or on Jesus? It’s all about where we put our focus.
On those same lines, I had a pretty incredible time with God at church tonight. We did things a little differently than normal. It was a prayer service, and Pastor Rick had set up stations around the sanctuary. The only two I had time for was writing a letter to God and going to the altar, but there were also candles to light and a cross to nail things on that we were giving over to God. Tonight, everything that happened with my health this last week hit me, and as I started to write my letter to God, I just started crying and I couldn’t stop. I poured my heart out to Him in just a few short words about how I was tired and didn’t have anything left. My friend Pat who was sitting next to me prayed with me for a few minutes and then I headed to the altar where I continued to cry uncontrollably for at least 20 more minutes. Now, you have to understand, I don’t do that. Emotion in church? A little not acceptable, at least that’s how I used to think. But God showed up tonight, and I was able to pour out my heart to Him in a way I haven’t been able to in a long time. Pastors Rick and Dan came and prayed with me and anointed me for healing. It was such an incredible experience. I also had a chance to pray with my friend Patty, and what an awesome woman of God she is! God filled us up tonight with so much joy. HE IS SO GOOD!
Finally (I know you’ve all been waiting for this word), my friend Rachel called tonight. She and I are accountability partners. She lives in the Chicago area and goes to law school (and yes, she is super smart, and this is just one of the many reasons why I love talking to her). She talked to me about how she has been convicted of how Christianity is a PART of her life, but is not ALL of her life, and how Jesus made no bones about the fact that He wants all or nothing from us. That really challenged me, so this week I’m going to spend some serious time thinking and praying about that. I named my blog “All In” for that very reason. I need to make sure that I’m not slacking.
There are other significant things that happened this weekend, but I’m tired and I want to go to bed. If you would like to know about the others, just ask me! Ok, Chelsea signing off. Have a great day!