What else?


So… things are mostly OK.  I grownup to the max and live my life.  I don’t get in trouble and I pay my bills.  I like it when the heat is working and the water pump hasn’t frozen during a winter storm, but those things happen.  I am blessed beyond all measure.  I have more than I need.

Supernatural abundance.

So what can I really be complaining about?

I guess I’m bored?  I don’t really have any friends here.  I have co-workers that I spend 13 hours a day with, but that’s pretty much it.  I mostly feel like I am only in North Carolina for my job.  The reasons I wanted to come back again quickly dissipated after returning.  I have gained more job experience and life experience than I could have ever imagined for myself.

Seriously, a little small town Iowa girl traveling the world, I planned loads for aircraft knowing that each day hundreds of lives were affected.  I didn’t take this lightly.  Now, I help save lives.  Literally.  People call 911 for some pretty crazy things, but then you get the call of a baby choking.  Shout at me all you want, but is the baby breathing?  She is?  Then keep on yelling at me.  Call me whatever names you want to … because your baby is breathing now thanks to the instructions I gave you.

So why do I feel like there is so much more that I am missing out on?  Have I become complacent?  Complacency is where hope goes to die.  I just made that up.  I think.

On a scale of 1 to even, I probably can.

I can’t wait until years pass and I look back at this moment… hopefully I’ll be blindsided by incredible.  Change is coming.  You know when change is coming because things get uncomfortable.  Breakthrough style change.  I can’t wait.

So for now, I’ll just keep on.  Press through the uuugggg and get to the aaaaahhhhhh!

I hope you’re still around for it.

Trackback


Here it is, another post.  I have been reading over my blog, I used to be pretty in to this whole”write words”thing.  Here are a few of the highlights from the past TEN years.

Without ever being broken, there would be no need to be made whole again.  Who I was shouldn’t define who I am or who I am becoming.  They are all different people.  Like the woman who poured her sins out on to Jesus’ feet.  She didn’t even know that her sins would be forgiven, but she still gave them all to her Savior.  Which leads me to the next one…

Vale La Pena – It’s Worth The Pain.”I don’t need to be reminded of every experience that shaped me or all the valleys and the mountain tops along the way.  He knew how I would fall, and, yet, He was waiting on the other side of my failure and my shattered dreams with some dreams of His own.  He never let me out of His sight.”
Over and over again I would tell you, it is worth the wait.  Giving your heart to the wrong man will crush you… but I still miss the company.

A transparent cage is still a cage. “My words of advice would have to be that you cannot microwave an authentic relationship, they take time and any romantic relationship that you attempt to pursue takes Jesus.” Usually, we want to tell our past self things that our future self learned to save heartache and troubles.  I wish my past self could have slapped my future self and told me to get my life right.

And the violent take it by force. This…  This one gets me.  I remember this all the time, the bus experience, and it crushes me.  Life is hard, man.  Things go wrong, I’m a human and I make a lot of bad decisions.  Madonna was right: We are living in a material world and I am a material girl. However, this world is not my destiny.

Wake Up, O, Sleeper!  “I am getting closer. Some days are harder than others. Some weeks…But I have a promise.I won’t be distracted. Not now. I’ve come too far.”

That’s plenty.

 

Putting my business in the street


I don’t know if I really want to start blogging again, but I can say that I miss who I was when I did blog regularly.  For about a year after I stopped posting public posts, I kept a journal.  It was raw, but I still found that I was holding back.  There is something about telling all of your secrets to the whole world that helps you live your life right.

Let’s just get real for a minute.

If you read my previous post you’ll know that a lot of things have changed.  I didn’t go in to a lot of detail about things, because it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I am actively working on getting my life right.  I’m way too incredible to be putting myself in circumstances where my incredible-ness is not acknowledged.  I tried doing things my way and it didn’t work.  So now I’m done.  If you’ve ever broken a bone and had a cast on, that’s a lot what life was like.  I could still move my arm, but not being able to bend my elbow made it hard to do stuff.  And now that the cast has been removed, the muscle memory is still there, but I have to retrain my whole entire arm.  And it stunk.

So here we go.  I’ve joined a new church, but was only able to go 1x in December.  I had to work one week, was in Iowa the next and the other 2 were cancelled because of Christmas and New Years.  I’ve started tithing again and let me tell you how much of a relief it is!  God loves a cheerful giver, and being forced to tithe makes you not want to do it at all.  It felt like I had to pay this bill every paycheck and I didn’t want to pay it, but I had to pay it.  Not now!  I know that if you’re faithful with little you’ll be given much.  That’s obvious when you look at my life.  Things stop flowing when you stop tithing.  The window that had blessing flowing out gets closed.  It sucks.  Things are going smoothly now.  There is money left at the end of the month.  I’m paying bills and still have money for things like food… seriously.  It’s great.  I really want to join a team just so I can meet some people.  I was going to another church for a few months and I literally met 2 people.  And by met, I mean they introduced themselves to me and that’s it.  I tried joining a team, but it took 6 weeks for someone to reply back and by then I was going to the church I am currently going to.  I don’t really want to get too involved, but I know it will help me get my life right.

Here is what I need from you.

Hold me accountable.  I’m going to hate it, but I need you.  Hold my hand and make me feel better.  I am incredibly blessed by those who are in my life and have stuck around.  It’s shocking when you think someone will be there for you forever, you know, because they said they would be, then they disappear.  I went searching for a friend on Facebook because I hadn’t seen them post anything in a long time.  They unfriended me.  It’s like a bunch of my very closest friends got together and decided they would all unfriend me.  I know, it’s just Facebook, but there were so many.  I almost want to put a list of their names.  Ya’all said you’d be there for me, but you left me and it hurts.  What’s more, is seeing them in person.  Oh, hey, remember when you unfriended me?  No, I don’t want a hug.

Hey, how have you been?  I haven’t heard much from you since you unfriended me on Facebook.  I hope you’re doing well.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

Over and over and over…  There isn’t a limit.

So basically, I’m starting over.  Not only because it’s a new year, but because I’m done.  We were not created to do life alone.  All of the years I spent out in the wilderness taught me a lot, but mostly, that it’s hard to live when your arm has been cut off.  I don’t want to do it again.  It sucked.  So here’s the ending to my 2017 blog post number 2… I love you.  Thank you for sticking it out with me.  You’re great.

XOXO

2017 is in a few days


I can’t believe it.  So much has changed.  So many things I can’t even bear to write about.  I just wanted to come here and say some things.  Mostly because I need to get it out and I know nobody reads this blog anymore.  So here goes.

I want off.  Like… the whole grownup thing.  No, seriously.  How can this be it? Work and pay bills and work and pay bills…  I definitely didn’t live my life right, but now I’m paying for it.  Here’s the kicker…  it all stopped working out when I stopped tithing.  I quit going to church.  I stopped playing music.  I tried it all on my own and now I’m a little baby all over again.  Sucks.  However, this time I am doing it all on my own.  It’s hard, but at the end of the day I’ve done well.  I have a roof over my head, a car to drive to my job and food in my cupboards.  I’ve grownuped to the max.

I’v had a lot of life experiences in the past couple years.  My dad died.  It took a long time for it to really get me, but when it did, I was totally crushed.  It wasn’t even the fact that I can’t just call my fodder to talk about nothing, it was that I had to go through it alone.  I appreciated the messages on Facebook and the call, but I have never felt so alone in my entire life.  People live without parents daily.  I’ll live.  It has encouraged me to change a lot of my habits.  I quit smoking, finally.  I started vaping and I haven’t had a cigarette in over 2 years.  I hardly even vape anymore.  I got down to 0mg of nicotine and it seems pointless.  I gave a lot of stuff to my sister, but she keeps smoking cigarettes.  Whatever.

That’s another thing.  My sister.  WTF.  I’m pretty much over it, but she crushed me pretty hard.  I’ve worked too hard to give up my future for anyone, even her, and for her to put my future in jeopardy, well… that’s just not fair.  I gave up too much of my life for her and I’m done.  It’s Kelsie time.  I’m getting my own life together and those that don’t want to be a part of it can go.

I am done pleasing other people.  Ya’ll are on your own.  I’m working on getting myself out of debt because I made poor choices when I was younger and because other people took advantage of me.

So… here’s what I really wanted to come here to say.  I wrote something when I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

It’s giving up weekends to go visit you, but you’re not allowed visitors.
It’s shame. “You’ll end up just like your sister.”
It’s lonely. “I can’t hang out with you anymore because your sister is in prison.”

Was it something I did? Was I not a good sister? I just wanted to be around you.
Mom hates me because I got in trouble – I just wanted some attention.  It’s always about you!
I have to be perfect – if I make a mistake they’ll tell me I’ll end up like you.

I’m not perfect – I’m invisible.  HELLO!!! You still have a daughter!!! They don’t even see me.  It’s all about you. YOU! YOU!!!

I know, I’ll be just like her, then they’ll see me.

No.

I’m still invisible.

I’ll just leave. They don’t want me here.

A Title


I’ve been to this place before;
At the entrance of the gate.
I could walk right in and take my place,
But I don’t want to fake it – anymore.

I feel like a prisoner,
You say that I’m the prodigal.
I could walk right in and take my place,
But I don’t want to fake it.

I refuse to have a rock take my place.
I refuse to have the trees dance alone.

If my praises were lifted here,
I fear that You’d refuse them.
If my sins were poured out, brought to face.
It’d be more than I could bare.

I refuse to have a rock take my place.
I refuse to have the trees dance alone.

Book Review: As The Minstrel Playeth: Discovering the Power of Music by David J. Napier


Last week I finished reading the book ‘As The Minstrel Playeth‘ by David J. Napier.  I knew I would be blown away by this book, but I wasn’t expecting such a tremendous explosion of emotion.  As I flipped through page after page, so many thoughts flooded my mind.

I have posted about how I have felt called to the Worship Arts for a few years now and after reading this book I know that the call is greater than ever.  And it’s not a specific call just to me, but to all believers.  There are many times in my Christian ‘infancy’ that I come across moments that are like ripping a band-aid off a fresh wound.  One of those moments happened in the first few weeks of attending Living Word.    I had always been told that ‘Music is from the Devil!’ And, ‘If you keep playing that Devil music you’ll go straight to HELL!’  But then I learned that we were created to praise God.  That if we don’t do it, the earth will!  (Luke 19:40)  There was a song that we sang at LWFC:

“I was created to make Your praise glorious!”

This song was so freeing!  Once I really grabbed hold of that, I felt a HUGE burden being lifted from my heart.  I was finally able to… do what I was created to do.  The only thing I can liken the experience to, is being under water… for years!  You know the feeling when you’re almost to the top of the water and you feel like your lungs are about to burst?  It was like that first gasp of air – but it was my FIRST gasp of air.  I remember being in the sanctuary during a Sunday night worship service.  I can’t tell you what the song was, in fact, it may have been silent for all I know, but I know that something BIG happened to my heart that night.  It was like I took my first breath after being suffocated all my life.  I was laying on the floor sobbing.  It was the moment that my prayers went from constantly apologizing to God for who I was in the past to thanking Him for who I was becoming.  This moment that seemed like it took hours, was actually just a few brief moments and for the rest of worship that night, you could find me jumping and dancing and clapping my hands.

Sometimes, when I think of my walk with Christ, I picture God sitting around a group of old ladies with a scrap book.  Here’s how the conversation would go…

God:  Here’s when she lifted her hand.  It was good.
Old Ladies:  Awwww.
God:  Oh!  And this is the time she told a complete stranger about my Son.
Old Ladies:  Oh, she’s just precious!
God:  This is one of my favorites…  This is the day that she got Baptized.  I could barely contain myself.  The next 12 pages are pictures of that moment.
Old Ladies:  Awww!  I could just squish her and kiss her face!
God:  Here’s the day she finally started playing her guitar again.  I gave her a special song to remember it by…  I put it on repeat sometimes so she knows how much I love her.
Old Ladies:  How lovely.  You must really love her.
God:  She’s one of my favorites.  I have big plans for her.
Old Ladies:  She’s a doll!
God:  This is the weekend we spent camping at the beach.  It was a great time.
Old Ladies:  Look at that!  That’s one of the best campfires I’ve ever seen!
God:  She excels at burning stuff.

You get the point.

Knowing that we were created for greatness and actually grasping hold of the understanding are two completely different things.  I had been told many times that God has a big plan for my life, but it wasn’t until I understood it that it really took root in me.  There are days that I want to hide under the covers from my calling.  “I’m too tired, God!  Just 10 more minutes!”  But once I get my flesh under control, I can’t imagine anything other than  doing my calling.

So back to the book…

I wish I had this resource years ago when I first gave my life to Christ.  There were many things in there that blew me away.  I’ve read these scriptures before, but David was able to put things into an understandable context.  A black and white, no hold’s barred punch in the gut.

This is what we were created to do, so do it.

I feel like I’m making him sound mean, but it’s not like that.  It’s a gentle tap on the shoulder saying, “Hey, you’re doing it wrong, this is how God said we’re supposed to do that.”

Here’s another illustration…

Do you remember flannelgraph from Sunday School?

While reading this book, I kept seeing a flannelgraph.  The church lady would put up the blue board and get out her little envelope of laminated people and away we would go into story land.

Example:

As Minstrels, we are called to usher the people in to a place of worship.  We should know our instruments well enough that we can flow with the Holy Spirit.

I remember when I had first joined the worship team.  I was new to playing the electric guitar and wasn’t quite comfortable with it.  “How much different is an electric guitar from an acoustic one?”  You’re saying, well…  they’re different.  You play them differently, hold them differently, etc.
The band was going toward a place of ‘awesomeness’ and I was so uncomfortable with this instrument that I just didn’t play.  It was noticeable.  It sounded lame.  Where there should have been strumming, there was none.  It was embarrassing.  Not just because I “messed up,” but because I didn’t know my instrument well enough to play it.
It was shortly after that when Angela Courte came to minister on a Sunday night.
She asked all of the worship leaders, team members, etc, to stand, so I did.  She had an awesome Word for us all to encourage us, and one thing she said has stuck SO hard that I have to share it.

Hone your skill and God will provide the anointing.” – Angela Courte

She went on to explain that she didn’t just wake up one day being able to play the piano and sing and minister all at the same time, it took hours and hours of practice.  Playing and playing and playing…  trial and error…

I carried that Word around with me with the mission that I WILL learn the electric guitar better so I can flow when the Holy Spirit leads us as a team.  I know I’m not a guitar master by any means, but I went from barely knowing how to play a barred chord to knowing how to play them all without having to stare at my fret board.  I still work on it, but it was these words that encouraged me to press on.

Before his book was released, David shared a quote from his book that really got me excited.  He said,

The better you are at your craft, the clearer a channel the Holy Spirit has to move through your playing.  Skill is a clean conduit. – David J. Napier

It was confirmation, for me anyways, that I needed to step it up in my worship.  I had been using the same excuse for far too long.  I can’t play, my hands hurt.  I can’t play because I don’t have time.  I can’t play because I don’t want to.  I can’t play because I’m discouraged.  It was mostly the last one.

So here’s what I did.  I started implementing ‘Worship Time.’  Which is different than just playing. Here’s how it goes down…

1.  Get out giant worship binder.
2.  Flip through it to find a couple songs.
3.  Get situated.  Guitar, picks, water, etc.
4.  Pray
5.  Play
6.  Pray
Repeat steps  4-6

I set aside at least 10 minutes a day to do this.  You may think that 10 minutes isn’t much time, but it is when you’ve overdone it in the past and messed up your hands from playing too much.
Not being able to play the guitar for such a long time was a very dark time for me.  Not really depression, more like a season of ‘being lame.’

These words have become many so I will wrap it up.

As The Minstrel Playeth:  Discovering the Power of Music should be the quick resource for every worship leader.  It is an accumulation of all of the questions that anyone with the calling to music ministry will ever have.  I am truly honored to say, “Hey, I know that guy!” in reference to Sir. David J. Napier.  Knowing someone and knowing their heart are two completely different things and now that I have read this book, I can say I truly know his heart toward worship arts.

Buy your copy here.
Befriend David here.
Talk about his book here.

2012


I feel like I should be writing this with my brain instead of a keyboard.  Shouldn’t we be in flying cars by now?

There is so much that I could say right now about 2011.  I have mixed emotions about the year as a whole, but in the most part, it was incredible.
I knew that big things were going to happen in 2011 to prepare me for the biggest change in 2012, but I wasn’t expecting to be so incredibly blessed.

I know I didn’t post very much in 2011, but it was mostly because I enjoy being secretive.  Or maybe I just didn’t want anyone to know what I was struggling with.  There were times when I truly felt like nobody would understand.  More so than anyone else could ever think.

Let’s review…

I started having a lot of pain in my hands when playing guitar.  It made me mad.  I hated playing, but wanted to play.
Turns out, playing so much had given me Carpal/Cubital Tunnel in both arms.  In June I had a carpal release on my left hand.  I haven’t played much since then.
I hate it.
I am seeing a new Dr. here in Iowa about it.

I moved to Iowa.
The reasoning…  I only had 1 friend in North Carolina.  I miss her, but I miss watching my baby nieces grow up more.
Don’t be offended that I don’t consider you a friend.  We grew apart.  It happens.

I clearly, left my awesome job at Living Word.  I moved with a promise of a job – options even.  But upon arrival, had nothing.  My father graciously let me live with him until I got a job.
I finally was hired at Starbucks & Lane Bryant in the same day.  It took a couple of months of interviewing for lame jobs before I chose two.

Here’s a good story…
My sister told me that Lane Bryant was hiring because one of her friends from school, Meri, also worked there.
I went to my nearest LB and got hired there.  Like – interviewed, started the same day.  Turns out, Meri worked at that same store!  (Side note:  she’s awesome.)
So I worked 60+ hrs/week between the two jobs and pretty much hated working in retail more than flat tires.  (That’s the first thing that came to mind.)
So I started looking on craigslist (shady, I know) for a new job.
I found a few, most ended up being fake jobs, but one looked too good to be true.
It was working for a local ministry that sent missionaries to South Africa.  I stalked their website, sent my resume, stalked their website more & got called for an interview.
The interview was a blast.  I hit it off instantly with the two ladies that I would be working with.
Shortly after getting to work at Lane Bryant, I got a text from Meri that said that I had just interviewed with her sister.
!!!
So I got a 2nd interview and met with Dr. Blessman and found out that his daughter, Kelsey, went to the same church as I do.  (There are maybe 5 Kelsey(ie)(y)s there so I hadn’t met her yet.)
(Another side note:  She also has an anchor tattoo.)
Long story short…  I got the job.  I quit working at Lane Bryant and still work part-time at Starbucks.

So far, it has been awesome.  Quite different than working with LWFC, but I still do a lot of the same stuff.

I plan on going to South Africa soon with one of the teams, just not sure since my hands wouldn’t help doing the work.

I got a new truck, which I’ve already posted about.  I haven’t come up with a name yet, my sister suggested Evelyn, but it’s just not ‘fitting’ for a giant stealth black truck.

Mali is still a cat.  She has only had a couple spots of ringworm reappear since we moved here.  She likes her new apartment because she can watch people out of the giant windows with giant ledges.  She also got some really great Christmas presents from her Pappy and Gramama that she annoys the crap out of me with.
She likes to dip her fuzzy ball in her water then bring it to me to show me how wet it is.  Usually she drops it on my bed and meows like she’s injured.  All. Night. Long.
I may have to reinstate the closed bedroom door policy, but hate the sound of her nails on the door.

I pretty much work all of the time now.  Which is helping me get out of debt, but I don’t really have a social life.  I haven’t made any new friends and since I’ve been working most every Wednesday night haven’t made it to the connect group I was going to.
Although I really enjoy the church I am going to, when I can actually make it to service, I think it is more aesthetically appealing to me.  I like the people – they seem genuinely kind.  The messages are really good.  But I can’t say that I’m growing by being there.  Maybe I just haven’t been there long enough.  But I’d rather be in a church that punches me in the face with the Word when I screw up than one that I’m just another face.
I haven’t really been there long enough to make friends, or maybe it’s because I haven’t found the single 30yo group.
I’ve been invited to a different church a couple times by random/unrelated people.  So I think I might try that one if I can manage to have the morning off and be in town.
Either way – I need friends.

I got a new ukulele, which you already knew about, but I sure wish I could play it.  I hate being gimpy and I’m pretty sure that working at Starbucks, slinging milk isn’t helping.  Either is being at a computer all day.
But I like paying bills.

I have never really had a New Year’s resolution that I actually wanted to keep, but this year I am going to give it a go.
“To be genuine with everyone.  To say ‘I Love You’ instead of not.  To take chances and risk heart ache.  To be brave and walk in victory.”

Please hold me accountable.

I’m sure there are other remarkable things that I am forgetting, but I started this post 3 hours ago and have forgotten where I was going with it.

Happy New Year.