self love or self-ish?

Hey y’all,

It has been awhile- but then again, I guess it always is between my posts. 😉 Like I’ve said before, I wait until the inspo hits me! Anyways, this topic is very prevalent in our society today and I feel like I want to put some perspective to it and hopefully open up some new discussions.

OKAY- “Self Love”…. something we have all heard quite a bit in the past few years. Mental health and wellness is becoming a well versed topic these days and has, in a way, been brought to the light instead of kept private. While I do not in any way think this is bad, I do think it is misconstrued and ill approached far too often.

I had a talk with my cousin not too long ago and the topic of self love and confidence came up. We both shared a little smirk because this craze has left a bad taste in our mouth, so we delved into its roots.

I know people are probably feeling a little defensive right now, but hold on!

Self love is something that can be abused way too quickly. Depression, anxiety, and the many other mental health issues are widely discussed on social media now and people seem to think that “self love” is the answer. Honestly, I don’t think this way of thinking is life giving.

This “self love”/”you do you” craze is destroying people and relationships left and right. Self love tells you that confidence is being able to be proud of yourself and put yourself before others while simply “not caring what other people think”. THIS IS NOT CONFIDENCE FRIENDS > don’t fall for this selfish scheme.

Confidence is being proud of who you are and what has brought you here without having to flaunt it and write off people in the process. Confidence is humility and being able to see others perspectives without becoming defensive. Confidence is faith, courage, assurance… not a weapon or means of justification. And YES you SHOULD care what others think!! You should hope that people see the good of the world in you and even further, the love of God. The funny thing I have noticed these days is that the people who really make a point about their confidence actually seem to be very opposite when the lights are turned off and the crowd is gone.

It’s okay to struggle, friends. Everyone does. Mental health affects everyone and we all fall into the pits every now and then.. some more than others, but no one is an exception. This is just the way the axis spins.

Being able to love and accept who you are is a good thing. Being able to make mistakes and learn from them is a good thing. Being able to be proud of the tough road that got you where you are now is a good thing too, but this new craze is teaching young people that it is more important to put “you” first and value everything about yourself on a higher level than others. Think about it… when you are more concerned with yourself… key word: “self-ish”

This way of thinking quickly carries into other aspects of our lives. Suddenly, you aren’t just proud of who you are- you think you’re better and that tossing others aside is justified because you are following your “truth”. I see it on social media every single day. People start to believe that the way they think or do things is supreme. They argue about politics, religion, personal beliefs or morals and never come to conclusion because they have taught themselves self justification. They throw tantrums when things don’t go their way because they want what makes THEM happy and they want it NOW. Can you imagine a world where everyone thought this way? That’s where we’re headed folks, and it makes me sad to think that might be the norm in the world my children grow up in.

What ever happened to our parents and grandparents teaching us how to care? What happened to being taught how to share and give? What happened to considering the consequences of our actions and how they affect those around us?

I had a friend who I was very close to for quite awhile who wholeheartedly bought into this way of thinking instilled in therapy (a common place where this agenda is pushed). Let me tell you guys, looking back it made them a terrible friend. I was constantly let down and felt like our friendship was a one way street. They had every excuse to not be there for me unless it was convenient, yet simultaneously expected me to always drop what I was doing for them. Funny how that works.

I was always raised to do things for others even when it hurts, even when you don’t really want to… why? Because being selfless and showing love to others builds character and pours love out on others who might really need it. It teaches you humility. And I have never once regret the things I have done for others because there is a beautiful sense of  joy that comes from pouring out what you have even when you think your cup isn’t full enough. When you live like this it always comes back to you and those same people will pour out on you when you’re thirsty for the same reasons. This is how relationships thrive.

In fact, the gospel of John tells us “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:13).

The biggest problem I have with this new form of self love is that it tells us we “deserve” it. I want to know who climbed up on their high horse and decided that we, imperfect humans, deserve a damn thing?! We don’t. Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross for us, a humble and loving sacrifice. We didn’t deserve that. We don’t deserve any of this, but by the grace of God we were given a chance. A chance to love and strive to be more like Him. There isn’t a verse in the Bible that says anything close to “you deserve happiness” or “it’s okay to put others down for your own sake”. Secrets out y’all, happiness is fleeting.. you can spend your whole life trying to chase it and you may catch or for a second, but it always escapes.

Joy, on the other hand, tells a different story. Romans says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (15:13). So we see joy comes from the Holy Spirit and allows us to rejoice even in the struggles of life because it fills us with HOPE. Even in the depression and the anxiety we can be thankful and celebrate the good and the ability to conquer and overcome while striving for better days. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that what our hearts truly desire?

For the believers, Colossians 3 also discusses the way to live as we are made alive in Christ and says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..” (3:12-15).

Take a second to think about the people in your life that display some or all of these virtues. For me it’s my great Grandpa Jordan. He is the kindest man I’ve ever known and through the course of his life has always poured out on others- no one is a stranger to him. His bright blue eyes and sweet laugh light up every room he walks into. He is widely known in his small little town in Colorado for always being generous and helping his neighbors- putting aside his own wants for the sake of others. Every time I met someone new or ran into someone at the local city market who knew him they would go on about “that one time” that he was so generous towards them or how he helped them in one way or another. They would tell me “you have quite the wonderful grandfather”, but I always knew. His legacy has been built on loving like Christ and it has truly made his piece of the world a better place for so many.

You aren’t just born like a Grandpa Jordan, you humble yourself and become more and more like that each day. You set aside your selfish nature and overcome it with the joy that comes from the Lord. He is the one with the power to free you from these earthly chains.

People say that you can’t learn to love someone else unless you love yourself, but I say that’s a myth. We can learn to love ourselves through loving others. We don’t need self love, we just need genuine LOVE in general. We need to give it, to feel it, to pour it on and on every chance we get and let it pour back on us. That’s the kind of world I know everyone wants to live in- let’s step out make it that way.

xo’s always, Kell

abortion survivor

Hey everyone 🙂

I’m sure my title gave away the topic of this post, and let me tell ya it’s a hot one!

I’ve had it on my heart to write about this one for awhile now, but truth be told I was a little nervous. It is a very personal topic in my life and I do think about it often. These days people value their own opinions with SO much pride that they are willing to attack their own friends on its behalf. Where is the respect? Where is the kindness?

These are the times that remind me Jesus is probably coming back real soon. I want to stand there in front of Him on that final judgement day knowing I used everything He gave me and that I stood up for what’s right even in the face of opposition with His Word in my hand.

So, anywhozzle!! I say we just jump right in, there’s really no way to ease into a topic like this one. If you have read my previous posts then you have a little glimpse of my past. I still keep much of it private, but I’m learning that hiding in your hurt does no good. On the other hand, opening up bravely is what really has the power to change lives.

Rewind about 22 years and you’ll find a very young naive girl. That girl was my mother. She wasn’t perfect and like every single one of us she made her own mistakes. When a man manipulates you it’s not always easy to see, especially when you’re young and looking for someone to love you. Some of you reading this may really feel that in the gut- and others may be lucky enough not to. For my mother, her mistakes led to me. My “father” was a man with a hard heart and he obliterated everything in his path from all the stories I hear (because unfortunately all I get is stories since he didn’t stick around). I’m sure you can see the picture here.

My mother was scared, but seeing two pink lines proved she wasn’t alone anymore.

How would she tell her parents? How would she care for a child when she was still one herself? How could she even afford to take care of a baby? How could she do it on her own? What will everyone at church think of her now?

I’m sure many more questions kept her from sleeping. Clearly, this isn’t how it is supposed to be, right? Now she easily could have ran from it. She could have “taken care” of me and never looked back. Her parents wouldn’t have to know and she could resume her life as normal.. maybe go to college or just get a dog instead?

But guys, I really want you to open your hearts right now and think this through. How is that considered that right choice? How is running from shame or embarrassment going to cure any situation? The honest truth is that it doesn’t. I think that is an isolated concept most people can agree on.

As a nursing student, I have personally dealt with patients who have taken this route and experienced such immense guilt when they eventually choose to have a baby the “right way”. The mourning is postponed, but it is surely felt.

And to be brutally honest with you- I think it’s a selfish choice. My generation is so concerned with themselves that they don’t consider the damage they cause due to their own wants. They take advantage of science and technology to find ways to escape or justify their actions- and I’m not just talking about abortion here.

And yes, I hear you in the back screaming for the rape victim so let me address that too. I am all for Pro-Choice. In a perfect world, everyone does have a choice. As for the rape victim, her choice was revoked when a man took advantage of her body without her consent. THAT is where she did not have a choice. The rest is up to her.

REAL TALK: Why do we instill shame on the rape victims and put them in this little box that makes them think that cannot bravely step out and wear their scars? How come we don’t empower them to rise above what happened to them and raise up a wonderful child against the odds? The only shame there is in carrying a child after rape is the stigma given by society and that is the real issue there, folks. It is not the rapidly beating heart of a child inside her body.

Friends, we have to stop hiding from the things and the people that hurt us!! Why do we give them the power? It is our CHOICE to say, “you know what.. you think you’ve won, but you have underestimated me because I am much stronger than to let you do that”.

I am very thankful my mother chose life and selflessness. I am thankful she didn’t fall for the lame excuse that I was just a “clump of cells”. I was Kelsie from the very start and God had a future for me long before she was aware of my existence.

Yes, I am going to quote the famous Bible verse used on the topic- but I want you to soften your heart and really read it this time.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:13-16

I understand that some of you reading this may not be believers, but I want to ask you this: why would you not choose a God who thinks this highly of you? Is thinking you are carefully curated by the creator of the world not absolutely mesmerizing to you? Is this not the worth we all yearn for? If not, you’re probably feeling really defeated in life.. maybe searching for meaning or dealing with depression. There is a way out of that and I hope you take it! ❤

( Side note: I know people try to argue that abortion isn’t in the Bible so it’s not a Biblical matter. Honestly guys, that concept was so far fetched and wicked that the people who wrote the scriptures probably did not think that we would ever come to this point. The point where we take the lives of innocent babies from inside a mothers womb would have been preposterous back then.)

Carrying on…

I am an abortion survivor. Not in the sense that an abortion was attempted and failed, but that my mother was in the place where the devil tried to whisper in her ear that she couldn’t do this and offered abortion on a silver platter– and she said “you’re wrong”.

The rest of the story is actually very beautiful. I was just a tiny little thing when I was born but I was healthy. I even have video footage of a whole hospital room full of people eager to love me. I didn’t have the ideal nuclear family, yet I had everything I needed.

As for my mother, God matured her in the process. We always had a roof over our heads and eventually she did find a man who truly loved us. My mothers life wasn’t ruined because of me, in fact, I think it was drastically changed for the better. Our situation was less than ideal, but that is where GRACE steps in and transforms lives.

Next May she gets to witness that “clump of cells” graduate nursing school and go on to save many lives herself. I am really happy I get to be there for that because she didn’t see my life as merely a “choice”.

As far as women’s rights, I’m glad my mother did not make the decision for me so many years ago when my voice was quiet. After all, I am a woman too, right?

This is a story of redemption, forgiveness, transformation, and healing. A broken situation turned beautiful. If that’s not miraculous then I don’t know what would impress you. And I pray women now and in the future don’t miss out on this because of what this broken world tells them is a “choice”.

 

xo, Kell

As always I would love to hear your feedback! Comment on my instagram and let me know what you thought about the post. Feel free to share it if you’d like! 🙂

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why pain & suffering?

Hello y’all & welcome back!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here because I have had something really heavy on my heart, but I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around how exactly to address it. I’ve been struggling and praying for some light on the subject because just like everyone else I wanted ANSWERS. Truth is, none of us really ever have the answers though huh?

Recently I’ve had talks with friends, strangers, and patients of mine about God and His goodness, but the conversation always seems to come back to a few questions..

“If God is loving why does He allow us to get hurt?”

“Why does He let us suffer?”

“Why do children die?”

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

It is such a hard thing to address to someone who is dealing with hurt, loss, and suffering because those emotions often consume us and we won’t settle until we find the answers. Even strong believers often cry out to God asking things like “Why does this happen to me or I need you to rescue me from this pain”. We often think the things we are dealing with are too much to bear. We start to lose faith, not just in God, but more often in ourselves.

It’s not secret. We have all been there.

First off, I want to say that just because people look like they have it all together does NOT mean that they DO.

People cope in so many different ways. Some people can go through the healing process by being more expressive and some deal with it very inwardly. It is not our jobs to point fingers and pull the whole “You just can’t understand my pain or what I’m going through”.

Something we learn very early on in nursing school is that pain is subjective. Every few hours we take patients vitals and the last thing we do is ask them to rate their pain on a scale of 0-10.  People feel it in different ways and their threshold may be uniquely different. Just because someone else’s struggle does not look as bad as yours does not in any way mean they don’t feel it as a 10 on the scale. Pain is vital. It affects the way you live, your breathing, your blood pressure, your sleep habits, and your behavior. It is a known fact that patients living with chronic pain are highly susceptible to depression and hopelessness. Emotional pain has the same effect.

I have known not one person who is an exception to suffering. It’s a part of life. Anxiety, depression, loss of a loved one, miscarriage, illness, and the list goes on. I know those ones first hand. They say time heals all wounds but I think I would argue that. Time may have minimized that pain but it surely has not taken it away.

You might be thinking some of those questions I listed earlier- ok well WHY does He let us suffer?

Like I said before, I have prayed and prayed about it. I have been down on my knees and asked God that very question. Why did I have to go through these things? What are you trying to teach me? How is this helping me? How is this a part of my journey? Eventually I came to a conclusion that was actually inspired by a patient of mine.

I starting digging into the Bible and came across a few familiar stories about suffering.

  • There is the story of Sarah and Abraham. She struggled with infertility and had to wait 99 years to have a child and then God asked her to sacrifice him.
  • People in the Bible dealt with leprosy and were cast out of cities because they were unclean. Being stripped away from their own humanity.
  • Blindness was seen time and time again throughout the books, even in faith filled followers.

These stories all have different endings and you can look into those on your own, but I want to point out two more specific stories that I find really miraculous and humbling.

First, the bleeding woman in the book of Mark. For 12 years she had this terrible disease and dealt with a great amount of suffering. She knew death was in her near future, but she came to one life changing conclusion. She heard Jesus was in a nearby city and she said if she could just touch His robe she knew she would be healed. She traveled there on her own in a great amount of pain, but she knew this could be her only answer. She finally makes it and finds that it was true. She merely touched His robe and found the healing she had longed for. His reaction is very interesting and I would encourage you all to read up on this amazing story, but I’ll give you the ending. In Mark 5:34 he says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”. Isn’t that just amazing?!

Second is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar told them to bow down and worship his image of gold and they refused. The King summoned them and told them if they did not do as he asked they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. They replied and basically said they have nothing to prove to him. They said even if he did toss them in the furnace that their true God could deliver them from it, and even if He doesn’t that they would stand up for what they believe in and accept the suffering. Consider the shade thrown. The story continues with the King having them tied up and sent through the fire at a heat SEVEN TIMES higher than usual. To his amazement he gets up and exclaims that he see’s four men in the fire,.. “and the fourth looks like a son of the god’s” (Daniel 3:25).

All these stories are very different in context and principle, but they all have one thing in common: suffering. My point is that this is an ever appearing concept in the Bible. No person is exempt from suffering no matter the scale or conclusion. Bad things happen to good people because our world is not perfect or inherently good. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him and at no point did He ever say the cross is lightweight or the journey is short. Jesus Himself experienced the ultimate suffering on the cross for us. A perfect and sinless man felt the pain of nails in his hands and thorns sticking his brow, but he knew that this pain had a purpose. This pain reaped a greater reward.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) 

I know I have been all over the place so far, and that’s because I honestly could say SO much about this topic but I don’t want this to get a Guinness World Record for longest blog post ever.

Back to my point.. suffering is inevitable. The big takeaway here is that there is another in the fire if we have faith that He will show up and deliver us. We do not have to wallow in these sufferings and accept lifelong pain. We can hand up our burden to God and say “Help me carry this weight, I cannot do it on my own” and He will.

I also want to say that living a faithful life does not guarantee us less pain in life because that simply does not exist. No person can be free of suffering or injustice. Who are we to think we deserve that anyways when even Jesus Himself suffered for OUR sins? This pain we feel here is temporary in comparison to all that is in store for us. That does not mean the pain is easier, but it should be embraced and accepted with faith that we KNOW we can get through it anyways.

In nursing we approach pain in different ways. Sometimes we have to give the strong pain medications and sometimes we can relieve pain with relaxation, deep breathing, or a changing of position.

Maybe this pain and suffering you’re dealing with right now feels crippling, but maybe all you need to do is change your position and feel relief.

Pain and suffering can have a purpose. Pain is inevitable, but at some point suffering becomes a choice. Ask God to jump in the fire with you and let it REFINE instead of SEAR you. Don’t give it the power to harden your heart and set you ablaze.

humble beginnings

Hey y’all, it’s been awhile 🙂

I hope this post finds you happy and blessed as the holidays are coming to a close. I know this can be a very joyous or very difficult season for many, myself included, and I pray that you all found something to be thankful for beyond the presents and Christmas cookies.

I’ve had people asking when I was going to publish another blog, and to be quite honest I did not have an answer. One thing I promised myself when I starting this blog was that I would only write things I truly meant or felt inspired in some way to write about.. and lately I’ve felt really down and discouraged. Even though those moments can help drive sheer honesty, it can make it hard to open up the computer and be raw with you guys.  Like I said in my first post, vulnerable is a very hard state of being.

In the past few weeks the topic that keep popping back into my head involves sharing a little bit more of my story. I have to be honest, that story would take many many posts to cover completely, but I think a little bit at a time will suffice for now. I kept praying that God would reveal to me just how I could share some of my story or which parts that I could configure into words, and finally I landed on making it a little more of a reflection. As cliche as it is, the end of the year does bring back many emotions, good and bad, about what we have learned or experienced. So I picked up my head and thought to myself, “why the heck not?!”. (Now if only we could have that mindset about all situations, amiright?)

Anyways, I would have to say this has been a big year of change in my own life. Shawn and I have almost been married a year now, I stopped working for the first time in about 7 years, my husband started a new job, we experienced loss, and have searched and prayed to be able to find the good in all the struggle that comes with building a better life for ourselves out of nothing. And this is only some of the highlights, because some of the rest I am not quite ready to write about.  I know i’ve said it before, but I am so blessed to have Shawn by my side even when we are struggling. I used to do life on my own and I know that I am capable of that, but I am so so glad I don’t have to do that ever again.

   Just to explain a little bit I am going to rewind and just paint a little picture for you… 

Baby K was a surprise and born to a single mother who just barely made it by in my first years of life. My “father” was not interested in being involved in my life from the very start and sadly I have never even met the man. The majority of what I know about my father is very heartbreaking and I have prayed for him every night since I was a little girl because I believe anyone can be redeemed for their faults and forgiven if they let go of pride, and maybe just maybe he could become a better man and i’ll get to meet him in heaven. Even still, I know my mom made the right choice by protecting me from that life and taking the responsibility of a mother and a father on her own.

I grew up very close to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and eventually step-dad who altogether seemed to fill most of the holes in my life because I always knew they loved and supported me (even though the truth is, nothing can really fill the role of a father). Fast forward a few years and I was one of the smartest kids in my grade, school was my hobby because I always liked doing things on my own and having something to show in my family. I was a busy bee from the very beginning. Unfortunately, being sent to the class two grades ahead of you for some subjects makes other kids think they could bully you for being smart. My mom took me out of school and decided to homeschool me because I took it so hard and didn’t understand why some kids did not learn how to simply be nice.

Fast forward a few more years and I started working on my own to earn money and buy my first iPhone (lol) at just 12 years old. I took orders at my step-dad’s work and spent days baking my grandma’s special pumpkin bread recipe to hand delivered them via a wagon full of loaves (hahaha), I walked door to door to find dog walking jobs in my neighborhood, and I did a whole lot of babysitting. I still remember the surprised look on the mans face at apple when I proudly handed him all the money for my brand new on the market phone after just two months of saving up for that $300.

Then at 15 years old I had 12 hour shifts every weekend washing dogs in a pet salon to be able to afford getting all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles Christmas gifts that year. And when 17 came around I was nannying full time for a precious little girl and that’s how I afforded buying my own clothes, most of my own food, eventually my first car, and saving up for college. I was so proud that year to walk down the aisle at graduation with honors and a 4.0 gpa on my way to California Baptist University with the aspiration of nursing school on my vision board. I remember the tears in the eyes of my mother and grandparents because most kids with my history don’t make it here with so much ahead of them and I was about to be our first generation college student.

I loved the challenge of college and making new friends, but it wasn’t long after this new journey of making my own way at 19 that my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and my Poppi was in his last days if he couldn’t get the lung transplant he desperately needed. I knew I had to put my dreams on hold for a little longer. I was still working two jobs to pay for school, and I knew I couldn’t keep doing that and take care of my mom and siblings at the same time so I took time off from school. I had my day job as a nanny and I waitressed at night, but any free time was spent holding the house together, helping pay bills, cooking dinners, and taking care of my siblings. This was a very difficult year and it taught me how suddenly things can turn your world upside down. I still remember saying my goodbye’s to Poppi in that dark hospital room before his surgery and the moments my mom said she couldn’t fight any longer. Every night the daunting thought of thinking there was that chance I would become a sort of orphan kept me from sleeping at night. Us kids had the house to ourselves and usually after I would lock up my siblings would come into my bed and we would just pray until they fell asleep.

After a year + of these trying times my mother recovered, my Poppi’s transplant was successful, and I worked hard to pay my way back into school. I knew I couldn’t give up now and eventually it paid off. Not long after Shawn and I had been dating I got the acceptance letter into Nursing school via email around 11 o’clock at night. I can still remember Shawn and my brother jumping up and down on my living room couch with me to celebrate.

And now at 22 Shawn and I are married, I am halfway through nursing school, he is on his way to a career, and we are building a life that we can be proud of. Him and I have lived drastically different lives and it’s crazy to think that our paths ever crossed. We both bring different strengths to the table and I know that will be one reason that we will always have such a strong, yet loving home.

Not long ago a person who will remain anonymous mentioned that I get everything handed to me because i’m white (honestly guys, this “white privilege” thing is utterly ridiculous). I don’t get offended easily, but this one got to me. I smiled at him and said, “Actually, you don’t know the half of it. I have proudly fought for every single thing that I have and have accomplished on my own from late nights, long shifts, and lots of tears because I am stronger than all of those things”.

….I have to say, the look on his face was priceless. 😉

And now to wrap things back to the present (Christmas pun haha ha ha.. ok) :

This Christmas was especially hard for us because we couldn’t afford to buy gifts for all of the special people in our lives, gifts for each other, decorate a home, or even buy ourselves a tree and on top of that I was really sick for about 3 weeks straight.. but on Christmas night I remember saying to him right after bedtime prayers that we are still lucky. I know from experience that humble beginnings reap great success. One winter night will find us decorating a nice tree with our children and hanging up that “First Christmas” ornament his parents gifted to us and telling our children all about what it means to be patient, thankful, giving, and to never ever give up. This is what I fight for every day.

I continually find myself reciting Ecclesiastes 3 and remembering that “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.. He has made everything beautiful in its time.” I would encourage you all to take a quick look at this chapter, it is so encouraging and applicable to many situations.

I will always remember the statistics, the school bully’s, the father and friends who left me that said my dreams were impossible.. but I always knew I could prove them wrong. Just because some people appear as if they have it all together, doesn’t mean you know their story. I hope that whoever you are and whatever life hands you is seen an opportunity to remind you that you are stronger and that God is so much bigger.

Courage and confidence is built in those moments when you look fear right in the face and choose to be fearless still. I’ve learned you have to show up and never give up because strength is a choice. The fight isn’t easy, but it sure as hell is worth it.

 

Happy New Year, folks. Keep fighting and stay the course.

xo, Kell

why can’t we be friends

Hi friends! 🙂

Today I just want to talk a little bit about friendship. I have been reading some very interesting books on this topic because it is something that has weighed heavy on my heart for awhile now. In this season of thanksgiving, I have really reflected on the true meaning and blessing of friendship, in friends and family alike. Celebrating my own wedding a couple months ago really opened my eyes to how many people out there love me and my husband and will go to great lengths to simply BE THERE for us (vice versa!) I am truly blessed to find such good friendship even in members of our family. Looking back I see that some of my best friendship’s and examples were fostered in my childhood. I was the first grandchild on my mothers side and had a heavy influence from younger aunts, uncles, and grandparents in addition to my mother who I am all proud to call friends with the bonus of sharing DNA (if y’all ever need a kidney, I got you). In addition, I was blessed to marry into a family of wonderful people that have shown such love and supporting relationships as well, an answer to a long term prayer of mine! You all know who you are. ❤

Anywhozzle!! I want to start by saying that not all friendships are great, and I am sure you have all found that out some way or another. Some friendships take a toll on you and leave you feeling inadequate, let down and left out to dry. As cheesy as it may sound, these ones really make you appreciate the good ones you find in life. SO, because I basically thing of everything in medical terms now, lets first rule out what friendship is NOT to try and nail down what it IS.

#1: Friendship is not a job. 

If you have a friend that you feel like expects you to clock in overtime and come in early any time they’re short, then you are in a tough spot. I think the worst thing you can do in relationships is have constant expectations for people that are selfish or unattainable. Now don’t get me wrong, you should have standards.. but know that those are two different things. A standard is a quality level you consider to be normal, while expectations are things you, hence, “expect” to happen. Know how people should treat you, and do not be afraid to recognize when you are being mistreated, but don’t have a list of all the things you think your friends should be doing. It is so much healthier to be blessed by the times your friend goes out of the way for you in love. Keep the glass half full, people!!

#2: Friendship is not toxic

This is a big one guys. When you have people in your life who are manipulative and sneaky, they find ways to fill your head with things that should have never been allowed through the front door of your mind. Whether this includes doing or saying things that make you feel inferior, constantly pointing out your flaws, making you feel guilty or making you choose them over other people. This kind of relationship takes away so much of who you are. Don’t let someone clip away your wings and then make you feel bad for not being able to fly, you should never give someone that power over you. In addition to that, I want to make a point that true friends will never use circumstances or illnesses to make excuses to treat you poorly, they will overcome those struggles as much as in their power to still be a good friend. Instead, friendship should be the hand extended when you’ve lost your mind. It should be the thing reminding you that people make mistakes and there are better days. Friendship is a building block making you stronger, not a game of Jenga.

#3: Friendship is not a toll road

This is a hard one to learn because it cuts deep. Friendship is a a two way street and should not be consistently costing you. I have had that one sided friendship where the other party expects you to drop everything for them at any time, but finds every excuse not to be there for you. These kind of friendships leave you asking “Why?”.. “Why does this person not value me the way I value them”, “Why do they choose whatever better comes along over me”,..i’m sure you could put your own Why question in there too. It’s hard because we live in a very selfish world where people are taught by others around them or in therapy sessions to think ME ME ME. This kind of mindset is dangerous and will destroy people in your path. Jesus doesn’t say to do whatever it is to make yourself happy, honestly how selfish does that sound out loud? On top of that, happiness is fleeting and should not be confused with joy. It’s so simple y’all, Jesus says to love your neighbors and I know sometimes that can be hard, but it is truly rewarding and you will see growth and joy reap from it.

#4: Friendship should not be a court room

Ooooh guys.. if you didn’t take away anything else from this post please get this one! Friendship should be honest, but it should not be judgmental and punishing. I want to point out a big fact of life here and you may want to sit down for this one, PEOPLE do not always BELIEVE or AGREE on the same things. In fact, it is darn near impossible to find anyone on this earth that shares all of the same beliefs, perspectives, or values that you do. Now we see arguments over and over again about people disagreeing on politics or religion, etc. It is OK not to agree with everything your friends may be doing, but that does not mean you shun them for that. By all means you can be honest with them and be proud of what you believe, but friendship is not parenthood guys. You shouldn’t be sending people to time out.

I wanna say another thing about this topic; as many of you know I am a Christian, and because it is such a big part of who I am my thinking comes back to that realm often. If that’s not you then that’s ok, but just let me make this point real fast and we will continue.  Now as Christians we strive to be more like Jesus, right? (Some quick clarification: not to become LIKE Jesus because that would be sacrilegious, but to honor Him as a role model and try to exemplify the characteristics that He did.) So keep that in mind.. Now think: Did Jesus only hang around people who believed what He did? OF COURSE NOT!! Jesus found Himself in many controversial spots, yet people were drawn to Him because He knew how to LOVE.

Can I trust y’all with a little secret?.. I have many friends that I may not agree with on any given topic, but I truly pray the best for them all and will always support them with the right boundaries of respect in place.  Yes, I have told people, “I don’t exactly agree with that, but I love and support YOU”. That is never taken in a negative light as long as it is explained. At the end of the day, you can at least be a light to others and always be the person they turn to when the rest of their world comes crashing down. I truly think the people who turn others away out of disagreement are really missing the bigger picture here.

All of this said, you are going to have some negative experiences with friendship in your life. You are going to be hurt by people whether it was intentional or not. You are going to have that friendship that hurts you in a good way because it taught you a lesson and now you have discovered the VALUE of it all. Sometimes a person may let you down before they change their ways, and sometimes a person you considered a best friend will drop you in a single text message because they don’t even have the guts to hurt you face to face. Where is the value in that? And do they even know the whole story? Probably not. These situations hurt at first, but hind sight is 20/20 and when you take a step back you see all of these red flags that you may have justified before.

I’m thankful for this lesson I am continuing to learn. It is shaping me into becoming a truer friend to the people in my life and revealing how to genuinely invest in the people I love. Friendship is giving, loving, trusting, honest, and accepting. People always talk about the importance of having standards for the people you are romantic with, but they don’t talk as much about friendship even though this is such a detrimental foundation to every other relationship in your life. My prayer is that no matter what my friends and I go through, they will always look back and think of me as kind and loving.

Be the good friend and fight the good fight. Be the one that others think about when they count their blessing this season, and don’t forget to remind your friends that you feel the same.

xo, Kell

 

 

this is us

Hey y’all! 🙂

As many of you know, I am newly married to a wonderful man named Shawn McDivett, but most of you don’t know our story, and it’s pretty funny, so I figured I’d catch you up since that is such a big part of who I am. Plus, it’s fun to tell.. 😉

Okay so rewind back to my early high school days, I knew Shawn because we played for the same basketball league. (Fun fact: his mom was actually my first coach in 7th grade! I’m sure she had no idea the shy little scrawny girl was every going to be her daughter in law.) He’s 2 years older than me so we never really had the same friend group, but we knew of each other.. and unfortunately some of the people I was close with at the time poorly represented who he really was for reasons I am still unsure of BUT nonetheless I didn’t pay much attention to him and just did my thing. I wasn’t really interested in dating in high school, I was always “too busy” with school and what not  (funny to think I considered my life THEN to be “busy” hahaha. Oh Kelsie, you have so much to learn).

So in my high school days Facebook was still cool, sorry in advance to all the moms who might read this and think “wait, Facebook still is cool?!”… okay, sure. I agree that it is a wonderful place for all you moms 😉 (Please don’t hurt me). Anyways, one day Kelsie logs on to update her status, maybe some photos.. just the regular! Well I see that I have a message from Shawn McDivett, so weird right– since I barely know this boy! He told me he thought I was pretty, but get this– I DIDN’T REPLY!! My future husband messages me on Facebook in 9th grade and I didn’t reply, looking back makes me just laugh and *face palm*. We weren’t the right people for each other back then and I know that now, but still! It’s so funny how God works sometimes.

Our paths don’t cross again until a few years after I graduated. So let me set the scene… it’s Christmas time and a good friend of mine worked at Chick-fil-A and told me that they were having a Christmas party and that I should go. I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t even work there and that seemed weird to me.. well a couple days later I get a text from none other than Shawn McDivett that wrote a little something like this.. “Hi Kelsie, (insert name here) told me that you might like to go to the Christmas party and I was wondering if you’d like to go as my plus one?”. I remember laughing and telling my mom how absolutely crazy I thought it was and she was like, “Kelsie just go and have fun!”. So I did, we had fun at the party and all went to Disneyland after but I still was not interested in him in that way. 

Not long after this, my world turned into a whirlwind in the Spring of 2016 when my mom was diagnosed with a nasty bout of cancer and my Poppi found out he needed a lung transplant or else he wouldn’t make it even a few more weeks. My mom and Poppi both had their major surgeries within a week of each other while I was finishing finals. I took off the following fall to be with my mom and help take care of my siblings while she went through months of chemotherapy and also trying to visit my Poppi whenever I could. In November I decided I was going to get my life back in order to go back to school again in the Spring, but there was one problem… I was broke, and so were my parents now because medical bills are ugly. I remembered that Shawn was a manager at Chick-fil-A and handled part of the interview process so I texted him about applying and he helped get me the job. I started a few weeks later and he was always very friendly with me, but I just thought he was weird and awkward like that hahaha. We had planned that some of us friends were going out on New Years day to hang out, but they backed out so awkwardly Shawn was like “I’m still down to go out tonight.. unless thats moving too fast for you?”. I laughed and told him it’s not weird, it’s just two friends hanging out!

#friendzoned

So he picked me up and I didn’t even let him come to the door (because I just wanted to be friends remember) so I just walked out to his car. We went to Griffith observatory because I said I always wanted to go, and then he took me to Disneyland after to watch the fireworks because I had mentioned how much I loved them. Looking back, it would have been a cute little date but I was not letting that happen! We talked, laughed, and just had a great time. I remember playing my favorite song for him in the car, “On an evening in Roma” by Dean Martin, which if you’ve heard it you know half the song is in Italian, but I sang every word and he wasn’t even weirded out! He said, “Do you speak Italian?” and I said “Nope!” and we just laughed. So yeah, I thought that was cool and maybe we really could be good friends.

We worked together pretty often and became good friends, but I was so busy with my family and working two jobs to ever really hang out. A few weeks later he was at a bachelor party and I woke up to 8 texts from him the next morning that were sent over the course of the night, i’ll spare all the details.. but lets just say they were very funny texts! Within the next month or so we would hang out in groups after work and with some other mutual friends. Early in March we were at a friends house when he very nervously asked me if he could take me out “just the two of us” and I said no. AGAIN!! Kelsie.. my goodness, you never know what you want. Hahaha. There’s many other funny little details to this part of the story, but for times sake that is a story for another time! Long story short the poor guy was really bummed and confided in a friend that he really liked me and wanted to get to know me better. We were still friends and I didn’t let things get awkward, we still hung out and eventually he was coming over to my house to watch movies and hang out with my family. He would always say that he was still going to pursue me and that I was worth waiting for, but I just laughed and thought he was a sweet talker.

He started going to church with me, was so supportive while I was in school, and was always there to get me out of the house when I needed a break from life. I guess one day it just clicked and I realized how wonderful I truly thought he was. On March 27th of 2017, he nervously asked me to be his girlfriend and you know what I told him? I giggled and said, “I want you to ask me again with more confidence!” (#guts), but I knew he loved being surprised by the things I said so he laughed and did just that. This time I said yes!

Fast forward 10 months to January 1st of 2018 (exactly one year after our first “not date”), when he took me back to Griffith Observatory and very nervously asked me to marry him in front of tons of people, and this time I didn’t make him ask me again 😉 .

I was accepted into the Nursing program and started just a few days later. Guys- it’s so crazy how fast your whole life can turn around. It’s like I blinked and suddenly I was on the path to my career, engaged to the love of my life, and my family was all healthy and happy. All my prayers were coming true!

We had a small wedding ceremony on February 9th where my Poppi was able to marry us after healing from the transplant and all of our close family was able to be a part of it. Later on July 12th we had our big beautiful wedding where Shawn’s family friend was able to marry us again just as he did for all of Shawn’s 4 older siblings and all of our friends were able to celebrate with us! We were able to have everything we wanted and both were such special days to us.

I really cannot imagine my life without him and he truly makes me a better person. He is so supportive of everything I do and constantly reminds me that I am beautiful, strong, capable, and worth the wait (I guess all this time he was right, huh?).

I’ve never known a relationship like this, one so forgiving, accepting and honest. I’ve had friends who said they would always be there for me let me down or make me feel like I wasn’t “as good” as they were, and that made me think true friendships were just too hard to find (I’ll do a full post about that story soon), but I found my best friend in Shawn and I never have to second guess it. He works so hard for us every day and prays for us at the end of every night. Even though we struggle, I have never felt so fulfilled and safe.

I know that there will be some of you reading this who have lived their own special love story already, but I know some of you may not have found this yet and maybe it even feels helpless for you.. but I want to encourage you that it IS out there! Wait for THAT person. I thought it was helpless too, but I was wrong. Friends might leave you and family might disappoint you, but there is someone out there that is going to look at you with a light in their eyes you have never seen before and you will finally realize it was worth it. It was all worth it.

xo, Kell

the real adventure begins

Hey y’all 🙂

Welcome to my collection of ramblings. I’m glad you could make it.

Let me start off with how I landed on this little domain..

I’ve wrestled with the thought of publishing a blog for over a year now. I never talked to anyone about it, yet felt something pulling me to do it. Like most things, I didn’t give it any more effort than a thought. The funny part is that I had multiple people encourage me just out of the blue to do something like this, even though I had never openly expressed a desire to do so (I see you God *finger guns*). Silly little Kelsie still found all the reasons not to start..

“I’m too busy with school”

“I’m planning a wedding”

“I’m working too much”

“What could I possibly write that would make any difference”

“Who would actually care about what I have to say”

The list goes on. I know we’ve all been in a place like this, where fear separates us from vast potential. All the while, it’s as if God keeps planting seeds, yet we are so utterly oblivious to His divine interferences. We cry, “God give me a sign“, or even better; “give me another sign” (haha, thats a funny one..sound familiar?). I thought so.

A few weeks ago I specifically recall seeing a friends instagram post of a quote that said something along the lines of..

“How can we expect God to direct our steps

if we aren’t willing to move out feet”

Well shoot, right?! I finally thought to myself, “ok this is my sign”. It’s crazy how we can find so many excuses NOT do something because we are afraid. We let fear and the rest of the world convince us that we are not capable beings with untapped potential. We let the devil rob us of sheer greatness because we pull a Peter and become too scared to walk on the water when Jesus [literally] calls us to.

For so many years I have felt like I could do so much more. I wrestled with how I would ever truly help people, yet I had the burning passion to do just that. The people who know me would say “wait, aren’t you going to be a nurse?”.. and ok yes, but that is not what I mean here. I’m not just talking wounds, narcotics, and bed baths.. I mean PEOPLE.  Like literally guys, I would stay up for hours at night going back and forth and just praying for one of those signs.

I have lived what some would call a “unique” life (story to come later), but I know there are others out there that struggle with the things I do and so many other things, so really, we are not all so different after all! We just like to convince ourselves of this and hide away because we think it’s easier. If we would just learn to be open and REAL, instead of posing to be the people we wish we were, maybe we could accomplish some great things.

Anyways, as far as the blog goes.. I’ve prayed about it, dreamed about it, and now one year later I am finally gonna be about it!

I want to make you this promise, a pinky promise even (because those ones are dang serious).. I am not going to write fluffy posts with quotes that I find just to seem encouraging and smart. I promise that this blog is going to be REAL. Real stories, real people, real struggles [In detail, scary!]. It is not an easy challenge to be open and vulnerable like this, I have never been comfortable with that.. but that’s just my point guys, we don’t grow in our comfort zone!

I was scrolling Instagram this morning and was encouraged by this little quote,

This is the season she will make BEAUTIFUL things, not PERFECT things, but HONEST things that speak to who she is and who she is called to be.”

-Morgan Harper Nichols

From my adventures in marriage, ambitions in nursing school, struggles with father abandonment, family illnesses, what i’ve overcome, what i’ve learned, friendships good and bad, growing up, questions I have, and, well.. just REAL LIFE! Emphasis on the “real” because aren’t we all gosh darn tired of people faking a reality.

This is me,

because I don’t believe many of you truly know her. If you don’t know the real me.. how could we ever be friends, right? Anyways, I hope you all get a little something out of my posts, and feel free to connect with me if you need someone to talk to, have any ideas of things to write about, or need prayer.

I love making new friends. 🙂

 

xo, Kell