My November #ootd Challenge

I imagine I’m not alone in my daily routine of standing in front of my closet, staring at my clothes, and deciding I have absolutely nothing to wear. I mean obviously there are items I could put on my body, but it feels so limited.

There are the items that just barely fit, so do I want to put them on and be uncomfortable all day? What happens if I get a little bloaty? Then I look at the items I deem as “reserved” for some magical perfect occasions, aka I will never wear because I’m too afraid it’s not the right time. Finally, I see the same five pieces I wear on the reg and decide to go with one of them.

Seriously, for three weeks in a row I wore the exact same outfit to work on Thursday. I called it my Thursday outfit. Even worse, it was a navy fleece pullover and black dress pants because I was too lazy to find something that matched.


As much as I love my routines, this one is tired and I hate it. Every day I go through it and I never do anything to change. For most of my life, I thought this feeling would go away if I had the mythical “enough” looking back at me from the closet, but I’ve learned it’s not about quanitity.

You see, I’ve always loved shopping and new clothes. I mean, who doesn’t? Every new item is a chance to express yourself and show the world who you want to be. There are few feelings better than finding the perfect dress or shirt or pair of shoes. When you have the right outfit, it can feel like you’re one step closer to being the person you’ve dreamed of since you were little.

At least, that’s how it feels for me. Only I didn’t have the money for this material search for self-actualization, so I charged everything. It didn’t matter that I was worsening my financial situation if, for a moment, I felt complete.

The sad part is I ran up my debt for pieces of clothing I was too afraid to wear and “waste” them on a non-important day. Clothing that eventually I would just donate before replacing with new items that in the store felt like something I couldn’t live without.

I look back at photos and see jackets, dresses, shirts, and more and wonder what happened to those items? Why did I get rid of them? I honestly don’t have an answer for myself. Maybe it was just to make room for new things, or maybe because I never wore them, I thought I never would There are even times I’ve donated clothing that still had a tag.

This is a problem.

Despite vows to get better and be better with my money, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 I knew I couldn’t continue like this. My credit cards bills had spiraled and I could barely make the minimum payments. At the rate I was going, it would take years and years and years and years before I could pay everything off. I couldn’t run from my debt anymore.

My way out was a consolidation loan which I wouldn’t recommend for everyone, but in my case it gave me a lower monthly payment than paying the cards individually and even with the interest from the loan, I’ll get everything paid off faster. But when you suddenly have empty credit cards, it can be so easy and tempting to fill them up again.

I knew the loan wasn’t enough. I had to make a real change – only buy things I need. This meant when I was having a bad day I just couldn’t go get something new at the mall. Wanting something wasn’t enough to actually buy it. Basically, I learned to tell myself “no.”

After a year, this became my norm. It’s amazing how a decade of habits can disappear with a year of self-control. By the time 2019 rolled around, I never seriously considered buying new clothes or just going shopping. What was supposed to be a year of living wiser turned into a lifestyle. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want things, just that I’ve learned to curb that.

More than just not shopping, this journey has been about being content, something I’m not good at. I’ve had to stop looking for new things I needed to somehow round out this vision I thought would lead to wholeness. It meant settling for pillow cases that don’t match and wall art that isn’t trendy and shoes that aren’t the latest in style.

It meant realizing clothes, as much as I love them, could never make me truly happy or whole. Sadly this enlightenment didn’t take away the “I have nothing to wear syndrome.”

Perhaps I just assumed that forever I would stand in front of my closet thinking that, or maybe I would lose weight and have money and be able to build the perfect wardrobe (note: these aren’t the keys to happiness, Chelsea). It never occurred to me to fix my current situation because I’m a goober.

It took a friend doing a 30-day closet challenge to realize hey, I can do something. It started when I saw her #ootd (outfit of the day posts) and thought that’s an interesting thing, but then her story clarified the why and I realized with a resounding YES this is what I needed.

Basically, it’s all about this journey I’ve been on: being content and grateful. Instead of thinking I have nothing to wear and allowing my mind to think more is what I need, I can force myself to use my closet to its full potential.

Thirty days. Thirty different outfits.

Honestly, I love the idea because it meant I would plan all my outfits a month in advance (!!!!). For an obsessive planner like myself, this was a dream. I started by inventorying my clothes to have a working list and then sat down to make my plan. IT TOOK HOURS.

The biggest issue I faced wasn’t worrying about the weather or repeating – it was not wanting to schedule an outfit for a “wasted” day.

Can I just have a minute to talk about what a bogus thought process that is? I’m giving more value to days where I’ll be more visible. This is a much larger issue in my brain because I don’t give my best to days I view as unimportant. AND I’m placing all my value on wearing the perfect outfit and thinking I need them for the right occasions. Every day is a freaking miracle and I love looking my best! Why do I treat days differently? Whatever back to the point of this.

This November, I’ve decided to have no wasted days. Every day is going to matter because every day has an outfit that I’ve carefully selected. I technically started this the end of October and so far I’m obsessed. It’s so nice to wake up and just know what I’m going to wear.

Granted, I’m just getting started and so far I haven’t woken up wishing to burn down everything in my life and just run away. So we’ll see how those days go. Either way, I’m excited to actually wear my wardrobe and not trap myself in the same comfortable items.

Obvs I’m going to share and keep everyone updated. Just what you wanted, I know.

Here we go.

Here’s to my sister on her wedding day (seven years later)

Recently it came to light that my sister was dissatisfied with the speech I gave at her wedding. Apparently, it lacked the flourish, emotion, and the eloquence I’m known for in my writing. Because I honestly can’t remember what I said except confusing the words ‘aunt’ and ‘niece,’ I’m inclined to believe it was so beautiful I blacked out while giving it and she doesn’t know how to appreciate art. Or maybe it’s because I was 21 at the time and she’s judging that version of me to current Chelsea. Either way, I figured it might be time for a do-over.

Let me set the scene. It’s Saturday, April 21, 2012. It’s been a rainy and chilly day, but spirits are high both figuratively and literally because the alcohol is flowing. I stand in my beautiful green bridesmaids dress with freshly darkened hair to cover the fact that I’d dyed it six times over the last month. My face flushes, as it always does when I speak in front of people, and I begin.


Hello, everyone. If you don’t know me, I’m Chelsea, Kristi’s little sister and maid of honor (not the strongest start but I persist). It wouldn’t matter if I had several months or seven years to write this speech, I probably would never do my sister and our relationship the justice it deserves.

You see, our relationship has been, in a word, tumultuous. Mostly because I was the incredibly annoying and lazy kid sister. There have been bunkbed fights, boots thrown, hair pulled, and even a few bites here and there. Our bickering could likely get even the most professional spy to talk in an interrogation just so we’d stop. Even today, as adults, we still slip into these roles where harsh words are said and feelings are hurt, but they never last.

Just like when we were children, the right song or movie quote can pull us back together from our fight and what seemed like an argument that could ruin the evening is reduced to giggles as we sing an old Barney song in the back of the car. It’s a well-known fact that the easiest way to get me to smile when I’m dragon-nostril flaring-mad is for her to sing Cheer Up, Charlie. I don’t like it, but it works.

Like most big sisters, she’s gone out of her way all my life to make fun of me, but the hardest part is I’m usually laughing too. It doesn’t matter what story she’s telling, even if it’s my most embarrassing, she’s so frustratingly funny I find myself laughing at my own expense.

It’s probably because she is and always has been my favorite person in the world.

You see, for all my academic accolades and achievements, I’ve never had the same spark as Kristi. We were just kids when she decided she wanted to be a reporter after watching Almost Famous, and against all odds in a bad market in a small town, that’s what she did.

[Current interjection: It’s what she still does. She moved to a new city and immediately starting getting opportunities to do what she loves, which is tell incredible stories.]

This spark is what pulls us all into her. It doesn’t matter how frustrated we are with her or how mad she’s made us, just one giggle, joke, or funny dance move and we’re all laughing with her. And yes, sometimes it involves the passing of gas in inopportune places. It’s gross and you want to be mad, but you will undoubtedly laugh as she scurries away trying not to laugh herself.

I’m lucky to be from a family of funny people. I’m unlucky because I’ve always been aware that I am hands down the most un-funny of us. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments, but you can’t shine next to Kristi. She will always be funnier, wittier, and cleverer than you but you’ll be too busy laughing to be resentful.

When she first started bringing Zach around, I didn’t know if he’d last. In many ways, he’s her opposite in his more reserved demeanor and mumbled style of speaking. Sorry, Zach, I love you but you mumble and I can’t hear you. But her spark affects him just like it affects us.

I’ve seen him with his grumpiest face and she can wiggle close and just do the right thing to get him to smile and laugh, even if its subtle. It’s even more entertaining watching how often he tries not to laugh at her. It’s a fruitless effort, Zach. I’ve been trying my whole life.

You two complement each other in such perfect ways and it’s clear God brought you together for a purpose. Hopefully, part of that purpose are two wonderful little angels named Louisa and Julia, but I don’t want to get ahead of my dreaming.

I’m so thankful to be standing here today to celebrate my sister and my new brother-in-law. The older I get, the more I hear stories of siblings who aren’t close and it breaks my heart. Having Kristi as a sister brings me more joy than I can express and I feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t have her as a sister. Now, as part of this deal, I get Zach too.

Here’s to many more years of me being your third wheel and hopefully in seven years you aren’t disappointed with my speech. I love you Kristi, so much more than I can ever express, and I’m so proud of all you’ve done. And Zach, you’re okay too. Cheers.

You made a way

Less than a month ago I wrote about a challenging season for the purpose of being able to bring God praise when the way was made. Well friends, let us rejoice together because our Heavenly Father who knows our needs took care of me again and did the impossible.


On April 12, three days before Tax Day, I made the final deposit into my savings. Most people would be sad to see $617 leave their account, but I nearly cried with joy for God’s provision.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe this was only a two month journey. From the tear-filled evening of February 13 to the rejoicing of the final deposit April 12, God used that time to do amazing work in my life.

It’s true my miracle wasn’t a mysterious and large check in the mail or a surprise raise at work. I didn’t get more freelancing clients or suddenly find a large benefactor. Up until the first week of April, I still didn’t see a way. yet I trusted in the words of my God and the knowledge His promises never fail.

When going through my budget April 1, it was the first time I saw the miracle. Like I said, nothing big or life changing happened, but enough small things moved and worked out that suddenly I realized I would have just enough.

I didn’t need a miracle bail-out check. Well, I guess technically I did, but God knew it wouldn’t do me any good aside from putting a bandage over my financial problem. My issues with money didn’t begin with tax season and are far from over. If His plan had been to provide abundantly, I’m sure I would’ve fallen into the same routines as before.

This became clear when I was trying to sell some clothes for extra money. A friend brought it up and I just happened to have a bag full of clothes in my trunk removed from my wardrobe during spring cleaning. It felt like a perfect sign and the day I went to sell, I kept praying that even if I only made $20, I’d be excited.

But then my mind started to wander.

I thought about what would happen if I received even more money. Maybe I could treat myself to dinner out! I haven’t done that in months. I became consumed by how I would spend the money, and I missed the purpose of selling at all.

I walked away with $14.50 and a bag full of mostly unsold clothing.

This wasn’t a one-time thought process of how I’ll live with more money. I find myself all the time thinking “when my loan is paid off” and “when I make more money” I can buy this, this, and this. Even if I’m “content” with where I am, I’m always imagining what I’ll do with more money. Tithing is an important part of my life, but I rarely think of how much more I could give back.

I’m in my second year of living only on my means and it’s been a radical life change for me. With credit cards, you never have to deny yourself because there’s always room in one of your accounts. When all else fails, you get a new card. I taught myself that I didn’t need to want for anything, so even as I get back on track financially, my goal is to one day get back to that place without self-denial.

Don’t get me wrong – treating yourself is good. I firmly believe that once you’ve given back to God what is His and you know you can pay your bills, we should enjoy our money. But my goal shouldn’t be to make more just so I can buy more stuff.

Right now it’s clear God can’t trust me with a lot because I’m a bad steward of what little I have. In practice I’m doing a fine job because I can’t spend it elsewhere, but mentally I haven’t learned a thing.

I still want to dress a certain way and project a certain image. I care so much about my appearance and how it influences other people’s perception of me. There’s nothing wrong with my wardrobe, except it’s not the most stylish or new and maybe I wear outfits a little more often than I’d like because I don’t have as much as I used to.

Marie Kondo taught me about holding onto things that “spark joy” and letting go of the rest. I quickly realized how shallow and empty my purchasing habits are from this exercise. Most of my clothes I don’t really care about because they were purchased in a blind spending spree, not because I carefully considered and wanted it, but because it was cute and likely on sale.

The items in my apartment that bring me the most joy are almost all donated. I only have a few pieces of furniture I’ve actually purchased. Almost everything else is based on the generosity of others. That kindness and helpful attitude mean more to me than some fancy Ikea desk that I never even sit at anymore.

Even now, as I write in my living room, I’m reminded that I’ve purchased only one piece of furniture in this entire space. It’s a little pink ottoman I bought for my freshman dorm room 10 years ago. Everything else is a hodge podge of items from my parents, sister, grandparents, and friends. I love being in this room because it’s a constant reminder of the goodness of others.

As I learn about God’s provision, I realize I need to let my ambitions go in more ways than one. He knows my needs, He’s taking care of me, all I need to do is rest in Him and man, what a relief that is. Even if it means I’m going to spend every week for the rest of my life trusting Him with what little I have and knowing He will take care of me.

It means letting go of the aesthetic I used to want so desperately and instead focus on what I do have, which is a wardrobe of clothes that are clean and nice. I’m not wearing rags or clothes that look like they’re from the 1970s. My couch pillows may not match the room but they support my head and back and really, what else do you need from pillows? Maybe there won’t be a theme to every room of my apartment but it doesn’t mean it’s not cozy and a place where I feel safe.

What I know is I’m blessed beyond all measure with everything I do have, especially compared to most of the world’s population. I’m sad because I can’t buy a new dress for Easter when there are people starving without homes. My financial status is relative and the bigger issue I face is cultural pressures.

When I’m by myself in my apartment, not on social media or watching television, I can forget about the world’s expectations. I don’t see the latest styles or newly released makeup. I don’t have constant reminders about who I should be and what everything in my life should look like, and I’m content. As soon as I re-enter that world, I’m bombarded because I don’t have enough stuff.

I know I can’t change the world, but I can let God change me.

That’s exactly what He’s doing. My financial situation wasn’t radically changed moving forward so I’m still in the same place as before, just with less money owed to the government. Instead, God knew He had to change me first. I’m learning to be content and thankful for what I am blessed with instead of thinking about how much better it will be when I have more.

Then I also remember I’ve had more, and it just left me feeling like it was never enough.

I’m so thankful to everyone who prayed for me after my last post. I’m so excited that we’re here now, celebrating in the goodness and unfailing nature of God. I can’t say it enough – it shouldn’t have worked, but it did, because that’s who our God is and always will be, forever.

[Also, because of all this, I had to let my domain name and WordPress premium plan go. It was hard, but I have to trust God in giving up the ownership of my online identity. For now, you can find my blog here:]

Before I stop, I’d be foolish if I didn’t talk about the title of this blog, You made a way, and the significance of today. Initially, I was thinking of the Elevation Worship song “Do it Again” when I wrote the title, but quickly another came to mind:

See the light tearing through the darkness
Hear the roar of the rugged cross
Jesus Christ You alone have saved us
We worship You now
No wonder we call You Savior
No wonder we sing Your praise
Jesus our hope forever
You made a way, You made a way

God made a way for me in this season, but what He did through Jesus Christ paved the way for my faith and salvation. Long before any of this, God sent and sacrificed His son so we could be together and how fitting this post comes on Good Friday.

I reminded that there’s nothing my God won’t do for me because of His deep love for all of us. That includes small miracles that overcome financial hurdles. I hope you have this hope as well.

I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You

Before I get into this post, I want to tell you why I’m sharing this part of my story with you. I’m in a challenging season, to use popular Christian parlance, but I believe God is going to do something amazing. I’m telling you about it so when it happens, we can praise Him together for His faithfulness. Also because I need your prayer.

[Side note: It’s late and I needed to get this post out of my brain so I’m not proofreading it. I’m a very disreputable writer whatever.]

It’s rare that you can pinpoint the exact day and time a season starts in your life. Usually you just wake up and realize something has changed and it isn’t necessarily good. For me, it happened on a Wednesday, the day before Valentine’s Day, in the year of Lord 2019. I was in my favorite spot on the couch wearing my penguin onesie.

In another sense, this story really goes back 10 years, to a foolish girl who got a credit card. Like most bad choices, they continue to spiral until you’re in your late 20s with more than $20,000 in credit card debt.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was my financial destruction. After years of ‘I swear I can stop’ and ‘I swear this is my last big purchase before I get a handle,’ my spending habits had caught up with me. You see, I ended my teen years with a job that gave me ample money to spend and save, so I wasn’t used to not getting what I want.

The problem became I entered my 20s in a much worse state. Instead of adjusting my habits then, I continued to indulge myself because I could get everything I wanted and only pay $25 a month! Seriously, if I could time travel, the first thing I would do is go back and slap that child in the face. After I might doing something more important, but the first act is definitely correct my idiot 20-year-old self.

I can’t actually tell you how bad it was because I have no real sense of living within my means from that time period. Which I suppose tells you how bad it was. I continued to make rent and juggle all my credit card payments all while buying everything I could ever want. I completely furnished an apartment only to leave most of it behind less than a year later when I moved. Crazily enough I still didn’t realize I had a problem.

Fast forward through worsening behavior and I’m making less money than I have in a while due to a new direction and I’m at my wits end. I see a banker because my financial situation is beyond my control. He says the magic words to me: consolidation loan.

Now, before you roll your eyes, this was a legitimately good call for me. My monthly credit card bills were nearing $800 minimum payment. I wish that was an exaggeration. At that rate, I’d be paying for years and years. The loan meant a decent amount in interest, but ultimately it saved me years of paying more interest and lowered my monthly payment. Still, you know you’re in a dark place when you’re only hope is a consolidation loan.

It was then, at the end of 2017, that I knew I had to change. 2017 had already been a doozy of a year for me growth-wise, so it seemed fitting that it would be time to change my spending habits. And I did, amazingly enough. I closed a few cards once they were paid off and took the one I kept out of my wallet. I spent 2018 only buying what I needed, and with the exception of some planned ‘treat yo self’ spending, I did it. If you ever want proof of the strength of God, my 2018 is proof.

The saddest part is you can’t even look at my spending year over year to see how much better I did because so much went on credit cards. My spending through my bank account doesn’t seem bad because I hardly used my own money.

I swear I’m getting back to February 13, 2019. Stick with me.

In July of 2018, Girl Scouts brought me on full time which meant I no longer had to work at Sephora. Even though I made more at Girl Scouts, I was working less hours which worked out to less monthly income. Fortunately, and by the grace of God, I continued to make it work. I wasn’t living lavishly, but I was living.

Lulled into a sense of confidence also known as stupidity, I decided to use my credit card to buy Christmas gifts so I could get my shopping done. I didn’t go too crazy and had a plan to pay it off, but if you know me, you know how my plans go. For the first time in a year, I had a credit card balance but I still wasn’t concerned. I felt in control.


The only thing exciting to me about January is tax season, because it means free money from the government. Yes, I know it’s my money blah blah blah, but it’s always felt nice. Last year I received a lower return than usual due to freelancing and New York state taxes, but it was still something, so I wasn’t concerned. I began to pray that I would be thankful for whatever I received. I feel like God saw through me and knew I was just trying to show faithfulness to get more money. I’m sorry, God. I’M SORRY.

Most years, I’ve filed by the end of January because I cannot wait. This year, however, I hit a snag. Sephora had my old address and I couldn’t access my W2 online which meant I’d have to wait. I filled out a form with the company and resolved that I would to file until it came. For a while, I was pretty good.

Until February 13.

I began the day like any other with my time with God. I was nearing the end of my Daniel Fast and wrote the following entry in my fast journal:

“Prioritizing Return:

  • Savings
  • Mattress
  • Cancun
  • [Offering]

Dear God, only You know when I will receive the Sephora W2 and how much my return will be. Help to focus on Your provision and faithfulness and remember, no matter what, You’re taking care of me. Thank You. I love You. Amen.”

I wrote those words as a gesture of faith and God was like “oh really?”

I spent the day in a team meeting, so I got home a little earlier than usual. My first act was to put on my onesie because it was starting to snow and be very windy outside. Eventually church was cancelled which was a relief because I was in my onesie and definitely not going anyway. Then everything started to crumble.

Despite telling God every single day I would wait until my physical return made it to me, something in my snapped. I emailed my contact again and said it’s been more than two weeks since the mailing deadline can you send me a digital copy and within minutes I had it in my inbox. Okay God, we’re on, right? (for the record, I received the physical W2 in mid-March, still well-within tax time).

I gathered all my other documents and logged onto Turbo Tax. Remember when you could actually file your taxes for free? The good ol’ days. Everything was going fine and I had a bit of a return until suddenly I didn’t. After many tears, retries, and a panicked call with a nice woman who I paid $50 just for her to tell me I had until April 15 to pay what I owed, it became clear. I was severely in the hole to the government.

The next few hours were a blur of self pity. I cried and cried and cried. I cried all my makeup down my face until it formed a beard-like pattern on my chin. I couldn’t do anything except cry. It was like I was in shock. This is not what I was expecting. I had $100 in my savings. I still don’t live extravagantly, so there’s not really room to cut. I thought about everything I had bought and all the money I had spent recently and I hated everything. How could I be so foolish.

Everything seemed to line up for the day. I started by randomly (and for the first time) planning my return spending (my current mattress I’ve had since high school and has a lovely dip in the middle). I received my W2 so quickly I thought God surely had His hand in everything. Now I know it was my need to have control.

Do I think it would’ve been a different outcome had I waited? Maybe. I mean truly, everything is possible with God, and this is clearly an area where I needed to be tested and refined a bit more.

Either way, all that matters is how I did act, which was on my own timing. After several hours of a semi-catatonic state on the couch, I decided to go to God. Yes, it’s embarrassing it took me so long. It’s not like I wasn’t talking at Him and praying, but I wasn’t trying to listen. You see, we’re doing an Experiencing God study at church and the author said God answers prayers, we just don’t wait long enough for the answer. Mind blown.

So I move to the less comfortable end of my couch, turn on the lamp, and grab my Bible. I begin a prayer asking for guidance. Asking for scripture. Take me anywhere, God. I need to know what to do. Should I get another job? I don’t know if my anxiety could take it. What am I going to do. Tell me. Please. I need You.

Suddenly, two came to mind that weren’t unfamiliar to me, but two I’d never put together. The first was 2 Chronicles 20:12. It features King Jehoshaphat seeing his enemies and understanding he is powerless. He cries out “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes on You.”

This is a verse I’ve had a on a post-it note since I was 18. I don’t know why it struck me like it did then, but God clearly had a purpose. Interestingly, Jehoshaphat had another daunting battle and believed he could do it on his strength. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work out.

The next was Matthew 6:33 “seek first the kingdom of God and live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” These words have been long-favorites. Actually, most of chapter 6. I love how it talks about how God clearly cares for all living things, and since He values us above all else, He obviously won’t forsake us.

It became clear what God was telling me. Look to Me, live righteously, seek Me. I know what you need, I know it seems impossible, but I’ve got you.

The tears didn’t stop, but their vibe changed. Suddenly I was elated. My God, my Provider, my Waymaker knew what I needed and I knew He wanted to be glorified through it. Sure, I could get a job, but how does that glorify God?

God’s always had my back with money, despite my countless times of ruining everything. Things have worked out that shouldn’t have and there’s always been money. I’m either a terrible bookkeeper or God is still a God of miracles (it’s the latter, obviously).

Now we’re here, more than a month later and just about three weeks away from the State Tax Robot coming into my savings to take what I owe (I charged what I owned to the federal government because I panicked so there goes my manageable credit card debt). I’ve spent every morning by seeking Him and asking to dwell in His house of peace, and it’s made a huge difference in my life and peace overall. But I’m still struggling with this financial miracle.

See, I’ve heard countless tales of unexpected checks and things clearing at just the right moment, and I believe them wholeheartedly, but being here has been such a huge test. In the first chapter of James, it says we won’t receive if we don’t fully believe and that terrifies me. I know God is faithful and keeps His word, but what if I heard it wrong? I don’t think I did. Why on earth would I, the worst kind of control freak, leave my financial fate to a plan I can’t know?

It doesn’t make sense to me or most humans, so it must be God.

Any time I start to maybe look for something else I stop and remember who this is about. God is going to bless me, not only because He loves me and always takes care of me, but because how it will show His glory and greatness. His miracle for me will bless others. And I want it to! I want people to see how He moved in my life and realize He’s with all of us, always.

I’m up and down in my fear every day, but I hold fast to His promise. Even if a magic check doesn’t show up and I’m in more trouble with the tax people, that won’t mean He failed me. It just means my story isn’t over yet. And I need to be willing to remain faithful through every day, week, month, and year that I struggle with none of it making sense.

To keep it interesting, I lost one of my freelancing clients this week which puts my finances into an even more precarious balance. In all honesty, I don’t know how I’m alive. I’m not ‘trying to save’ broke. I’m ‘how am I still alive’ broke. Spending $5 worries me because that makes a huge difference in my budget right now. I look at the numbers and have to fight the dismay that tries to steal my joy every day.

I’m holding fast to the promise that my circumstances don’t matter to God. He’s not behind me when I check my budget going, ‘yeah, you are out of luck. Even I can’t fix this.’ Dude fed 5,000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish, so He can radically change my situation.

I also don’t try to imagine how it will happen, mainly because I’m not trying to anticipate or put God in a box. My mind wanders, but I shut it down because I can’t know the thoughts of God. All I know is the outcome is God’s responsibility. Obedience is mine. (originally heard this phrase from Pastor Steven Furtick)

Now, friends, I need your prayers. I need a miracle. Living is really hard right now. I don’t mind the struggle, especially because I know it’s a time where I need to show God I can be trusted with less, but the weight of what I owe is getting to me. I can’t do this on my own, not even the prayer aspect. I want the original elation I had upon realizing that nothing in this world compares to what my God can and will do.

This is long, I know, so thank you for taking the time to read it and pray for me. I look forward to sharing the update about what God does in my life because I know it will be major.

Maybe the Daniel Fast will fix my problems

Last year I spent my life unbecoming who I was. Several realizations in 2017 led me to face my problems and issues instead of pretending they didn’t exist. I wanted to stop balancing between God and the world and find sure footing with my Savior. I couldn’t pretend to be the same person anymore.

The process of unbecoming broke me.

No longer could I hold to my safeguards. My soul was laid bare in counseling sessions and I was forced to face my biggest demons and anxieties. Through small groups I let go of the shame I’ve lived with and finally found freedom. For someone who claims to be an open book, I’d never felt more exposed.

Now, more than a year into this process, I realized I broke down a lot of the pieces of who I used to be without building up anything new. I’ve left things go and now in my life is silence. Sometimes I just feel like a shell who remembers the human experience but can’t quite feel it herself.

Now, don’t be alarmed. That isn’t a statement of depression, just realization. My life was filled with facades and stripping them away left me here. At first, I blamed the medicine I had to help with anxiety. Surely it was why I felt so bland. Until I intelligently quit essentially cold turkey and after two weeks of dizziness realized it went deeper than a substance altering my brain chemistry. I had changed, I knew this, but I didn’t know where to go.

I’m reading a leadership book with a group at my church and the one question asked us to write out our goals and plans for five years. I realized I didn’t have any. It was hard enough to formulate resolutions for this year, let alone decide where my life is going.

You could argue this is a good thing. I’m learning to follow God one day at a time and trusting He is my way. It’s a nice argument, but it’s wrong.

It’s harder now more than ever to cede what little control I feel over my life, even though I know it’s destroying me. My anxiety has been so high this month I’ve spent most of the time trying to release the tension in my shoulders and breathe so the chest pain stops.

It’s like this. Imagine it’s the apocalypse and literally everything is falling apart in society. Fires are blazing, people are becoming cannibals, and gangs run rampant through the streets. One person realizes he can’t do anything, so he sits inside spraying a plastic plant with water, acting like he’s in control of at least one destiny.

It’s pointless, right? That’s me.

I’ve realized how little I can control so I’ve let the small things blow up inside of me. Growing my relationship with God has been wonderful, but it’s opened me up to so much spiritual warfare and strife that I know is part of the territory. I just hate it and want to keep watering my plastic plant.

This morning my emotions finally reached their breaking point when the scale told me once again, despite being more active and careful about what I eat, I’m still 20 pounds heavier than I’d like. This weighing followed the first day of the Experiencing God study and realizing I want to follow God, but I just can’t do it one day at a time.

Literally every part of me is standing still.

I don’t want to be here. I want spending time with God to be full of excitement and expectancy. I want to be filled with joy and look forward to things and not be so blasé about everything. I want to be a person who managers her anxiety and doesn’t let it rule her. Really I just want to enjoy my life again. And that’s when it hit me.

The Daniel Fast.

Here are three important things to know about me: 1. I’ve never successfully completed any food fast in my life. 2. I buy so many processed foods I’m practically made out of preservatives and 3. My meal prepping involves making a sandwich with white bread, meat, and American cheese, or cooking something frozen. I am not equipped to do this fast.

When I look at all my problems, I know there’s a common solution, and it’s my faith. I need to turn to God every single day, beyond just my daily reading in the Bible, and learn to depend completely on Him. Not ask Him for the big picture, but just have Him lead me today. With the Daniel Fast, I’ll need Him more than ever to give me a strength and perseverance I don’t possess. I won’t be able to do it on my own.

More than just relying on Him to sustain me, I’ll have to have faith in my financial situation. One of my biggest excuses for the way I eat is that I can’t afford to eat better, but I honestly don’t know if that’s true. I’m too afraid to change my life and try. With this, I have to rely that God will make a way even when my bank account is like whattttt.

Plus, part of being a disciplined Jesus Follower involves taking care of our bodies and I know I’m not treating mine as well as I could. Beyond the weight I want to lose, I know there are systematic issues I need to address, like the way I fuel myself.

Now, I don’t plan to do this and then never eat sugar or meat or French bread pizza again. God gave us food to enjoy, right? Physically, it will be like a reset and a way to show myself I can do better because right now it would be hard to do worse.

My goal is for this to be one big kickstart to my life before it’s too late. I don’t want to accept that this is how I’ll always feel and let complacency convince me solitude is best. I want to find joy in my relationships and have dreams again. I want to wake up every morning (or at least most mornings) excited to see what God is going to do with me that day. I want to stop trying to do everything by myself.

I want to rejoin the human experience and I hope the Daniel Fast will get me there.

[Apologies if none of this makes sense and there are typos galore. Sometimes you need to get a thought out of your head without worrying about if everything is correct.]

Live Commenting for ‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding’

So I literally just finished rewatching the first A Christmas Prince and I had a lot more thoughts than I anticipated. Let’s hope that’s because I had a whole year to think about it.  Now it’s time for the sequel and Netflix just steamrolled me right into with hardly 20 seconds to decide if it’s really what I wanted.

Before I start, I’m going to make myself a single person mug cake so I can party in style.

A few predictions:

  • The Converses will reappear, probably at the wedding
  • Hopefully Sophia and Simon have a child together and are still awful human beings
  • There will be Christmas hijinks
  • Everything will work out


Note: Below are spoilers and likely errors, but editing is for people who care.

  • This is an abbreviated version of how the first started
  • Her site is ‘Amber’s Blog.’ Compelling.
  • Amber’s a celebrity now. Cool. But she’s still her. Don’t worry.
  • So she’s not a popular blogger because of her talent. It’s because she’s marrying a prince. Further evidence she is a terrible journalist.
  • New father makes a joke about feeling like a brand new man to make a joke about how it’s a new actor
  • Some jerk who will inevitably turn up at the palace stole the dad’s cab
  • Why did this guy not greet them 20 minutes ago? Joseph would be disappointed #GenoviaRules
  • Why is there a new dad actor? Did they need someone with range beyond generic statements of encouragement?
  • More comments about how the previous father looked
  • Okay so this guy is a friendly dad with no understanding of how to treat royal people. I get that it’s who he is, but also he’s not a dumb guy.
  • I’m enjoying their dynamic and the fact that they didn’t instantly get married, so clearly there love is real.
  • Well she’s wearing heels with this cocktail dress so apparently she’s learning a little
  • How is this wedding not planned yet? It’s a royal wedding.
  • Of course the taxi stealer is the wedding planner. I hate him already.
  • I’m also 100% over how Amber calls her dad Pop
  • Princess Emily is a saint and I won’t write anything negative about her
  • She’s sleeping in full makeup. I want a movie that shows women who take care of their skin. We’re underrepresented.
  • We’ve mentioned Jimmy Choo as her wedding shoe and she questioned it. I’m feeling more like my Converse-at-the-wedding-theory is correct
  • How is the dress not done yet? Is it easy to plan a wedding in a week when you’re rich?
  • I love how the modernization conflict is the core of this story. No contemporary dress for you.
  • NowBeat/BeatNow was her magazine and it shut down. Who’s surprised by that? At least they acknowledge it was disreputable garbage.
  • More Christmas carols on the piano. Before I looked up I assumed it was Richard again.
  • Fake Joseph is clearly a progressive saint here to help Amber be herself
  • How do people not know why this country is bleeding money? Is someone stealing it?
  • SIMON!
  • I didn’t like Miss Avril in the first one but now I’m sure she’s the worst
  • Is the father going to fall in love with the chef?
  • I’m taking notes like Amber again.
  • “excuse my pausing, I’m in shock”
  • Richard is still wearing Old Navy sweaters
  • This Leopold man went to Monaco. Still waiting for a map to see where Aldovia is
  • It obviously wasn’t going to be Lord Leopold. Everyone look at Simon like that was a soap opera dream. What’s he up to. I have no idea how, but I’m sure he’s somehow stealing the country’s money
  • He and Sophia are divorced which is a tragedy. One prediction wrong already.
  • Simon is going to screw these people over after they decided to forgive him. SCUM OF THE EARTH.
  • New prediction: Amber will wear Queen Helena’s actual dress
  • Also this dress looks noting like the sketch?
  • okay she’s definitely going to wear Converse for her wedding
  • Even Emily is on the Converse trend
  • This performance will go on, that I am sure of. Also this Tom Quill (is that his name?) is a real cutie patootie.
  • So all of this has to be solved within 24 hours? Unless they put on the play without a real crew. This is a cheesy Christmas movie, of course it will resolve quickly.
  • Will Leopold and Helena find love? It’s been two years since the king’s death
  • I don’t believe in Simon’s sound plan. I believe he is the devil.
  • Or is Leopold the scoundrel? I’m starting to think maybe. Perhaps he set up the plans to siphon money to himself. Maybe Simon can actually save the kingdom.
  • What am I saying.
  • They’re all standing around having a toast while the country is in turmoil
  • They’re still talking about the taxi stealing. Will it ever end. Also they clearly aren’t even looking at Christmas trees. Also she insists on a cone and settles for the Charlie Brown tree only bigger.
  • The queen’s hat is incredible
  • This green screen is horrendous but they’re acting the crap out of it
  • I’m really still thinking Leopold is actually the bad guy. Sorry Simon. Unless I’m wrong.
  • These kids in the kitchen are giving me anxiety. Who’s going to clean this up? The chef gets it. She understands my concerns. Or is she crying because of something other than a clean kitchen?
  • I can’t believe the Internet cares this much about the Aldovian royal family. It must be time for the conflict where she’s told to stop writing.
  • Even my best friend wouldn’t constantly monitor my blog to see if pictures came down from my blog. And my best friend is the best best friend.
  • PROTOCOL is the absolute worst. I don’t know why I’m upset. Protocol is obviously going to change.
  • Chattering will not disrupt makeup. Does this guy know anything? If you’re using high quality makeup, it will last. End of story. Also what kind of makeup can’t handle talking.
  • I WAS RIGHT! Tears of nostalgia from the chef. Also she talks about a hard life and has a vague Russian accent. Makes sense.
  • Amber’s hair would definitely be styled better for a royal portrait. I think it looks fine, but considering these strict standards they’d demand something more traditional. I bet they take a new portrait later where they’re smiling and not solemn.
  • That final project was awesome.
  • We’re doing archery in the courtyard again. But why are they letting Amber handle a bow? OMG she legitimately could’ve killed one of her friends.
  • I don’t think how Amber lives her life is wrong, but why are her best friends best friends with her? They always want to party and she’s about working. To each their own, but why do they want to hang out with her?
  • I’m really on team ‘Simon isn’t the bad guy’ and I want to be right.
  • I’m excited she’s back on her note taking game.
  • Meadowlark
  • Fishy
  • I hope Simon is good AND falls in love with the best friend
  • Why don’t they have the door shut for these conversations?
  • They really hyped a bachelorette party that I would enjoy but it felt like a weird choice for them
  • King Richard is not at all the lion heart like his namesake. Also 100% not his namesake but it’s all I think about
  • Can we just fire Miss Avril already
  • It’s def Leopold. Despite the fact I figured it out early, it wasn’t the most obviously telegraphed storyline, so kudos to that. Or maybe it’s just another case of my lowered standards.
  • This movie is much more dramatic than the last one. It’s definitely more rom dram than rom com
  • Okay I’m all for drama but to pull a bow and arrow on someone is a bit far. You can accidentally release that and maybe hurt someone who wasn’t the bad guy.
  • I mean I know I was hard on Simon but I think his redemption was a good story choice. He’s even the best man.
  • I know they wanted it to be their wedding, but this feels too low-key. But Emily’s boyfriend is there so I’m happy.
  • Where did they get that dress overnight?
  • YEP THERE’S THE BEDAZZLED SHOES. Why does she have to show everyone?
  • I don’t care about this wedding at all
  • Okay so we’re setting up so many couples right now. Just like everyone’s getting paired. Can I come to this wedding to find my soulmate?
  • Really though how long can a conga go

Okay so there was more political intrigue in this one and not enough Christmas for my standards. But overall a real achievement.

Here are my movie three predictions:

  • It will be about the queen marrying Fake Joseph
  • Amber will be pregnant or coming to terms with being pregnant
  • Hopefully Simon is the star
  • Everyone just lives in Aldovia now to make it easy

Live Thoughts About ‘A Christmas Prince’

Not to brag, but I was an early adopter to A Christmas Prince. Before the insane amount of attention, I was just a girl, sitting in front of a screen, trying to decide how to spend my Friday evening. A new Netflix movie had released and I’m generally a fan of the Netflix content I’d watched, so I thought why not.

Man. Woof.

Here we are a year later, celebrating the long awaited sequel. Despite having watched the movie multiple times last Christmas season, I strangely hadn’t been back in the time since. Before diving into The Royal Wedding, I wanted to recapture the magic of those two days where our leads fell in love.

Let’s see how this goes.

To set the scene, it’s 6:30 on a Friday night and I’m naturally already in my pajamas (a nightgown saying ‘Let’s Sleep In.’ I only wear it when I can actually sleep in the next day). My dinner is beside me – a delicious plate of pizza bagel bites and macaroni and cheese. This will surprise you, but I’m actually an adult in my late 20s.

Please forgive the typos I inevitably make because I’m not editing this at all.

  • It’s starting but I realize I don’t actually remember how this movie starts
  • Ah yes, city at Christmas porn
  • “Ugly Christmas Sweaters of the Stars”
  • I forgot she’s a “real” journalist who’s stuck as a junior editor and getting rejected left and right. She’s probably not a good writer
  • No one cares about royalty from small countries. Also why would a celebrity magazine send her editor to cover this political matter just because of his ‘royal hotness’
  • That’s right. Every girl is recovering from a serious breakup that happened a long time ago but they still aren’t ready
  • The dad thinks it will be a big break but apparently he doesn’t know that no one cares about royal drama from non-existent countries
  • I do like that he’s not laying on the guilt trip because his wife is dead and he’s going to be alone for Christmas
  • I want someone to show me on a map where this country is. It has to be England adjacent because they all have English accents
  • Yeah the prince was selfish taking her cab but he was actually really polite about it so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Journalists grumpy because they’re covering a press conference that was supposed to feature a notorious flake of a prince. Are press actually this “ahhhh” and “ohhh”?
  • My favorite part about all these Christmas movies is when people are outside bundled up but they clearly aren’t cold. Do you know what happens when you’re outside in the frigid air? Your eyes water, your nose runs, and the wind is insufferable. It aint cute.
  • Wouldn’t you also ask her name instead of just saying it at her? Or saying she must be a tutor? I don’t know why I’m dissecting this dumb plot point
  • Mad that press is in town and call them parasites but you also called a press conference which means you invited them?
  • Prince Richard looks straight up homeless and not in a hot hipster way
  • So immediately we can tell Richard is not in fact a douche because he’s a great big brother
  • “Who are you and what are you doing in my palace?” Savage
  • I will say I like Richard more than the piece of cardboard who was in The Princess Switch which is surprising
  • Editor supporting this crime in a foreign country. Solid journalism.
  • “There’s nothing loose about this goose”
  • She freaks out at the mouse even though she said she liked mice to prove she’s *cool* but is clearly surprised and terrified to see it there
  • I keep saying she. I don’t know this character’s real name. Fake name Martha.
  • Why does Princess Emily know she’s from Minnesota?
  • Why does she assume she’s wondering what’s wrong with her? As an adult Fake Martha probably has her own assumptions and isn’t concerned about her wheelchair
  • Okay so Richard is doing archery in a garden three feet from a target. You can say you’re adjusting your sights but I know. Now you’re showing off your skills like you’re some master archer
  • I’ve already taken so many notes. This is exhausting.
  • When Fake Martha says “Awesome High Five” she sounds like a robot trying to express excitement
  • Her friends are the opposite of interesting and helpful
  • I just remembered she always wears Converse. You’re not an emo teenager from 2003, Fake Martha. Be an adult and wear real shoes. It’s annoying but also I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t wear them to her wedding?
  • Also she’s the most obvious photo taker of all time. ALL TIME.
  • Okay so the more I see Prince Richard the more I genuinely enjoy him. In my defense, I’ve watched a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies recently so my bar is low.
  • Also this douche Simon is awful and overcompensating. Probably because his name is Lord Ducksbury
  • She is not blushing
  • “Where there’s a tiara, there’s dirt. Trust me.” Okay.
  • Let me obvious film Prince Richard playing the piano and no one will think I’m either an undercover creep OR I’m obsessed with the prince and I’m going to try to kill him
  • Lady Sophia is clearly the worst. Why is the queen trying to make fetch happen.
  • If he would’ve dropped her heart ornament I would’ve moved this movie to the top of my favorites list
  • Also Fake Martha’s journalism is about as good and thorough as this list I’m writing
  • Amber. Her name is Amber. Thank you Princess Emily
  • Where did these rumors about Prince Richard come from? Why do they exist if he is clearly boring?
  • Poor Richard gets interrupted every time he’s trying to get his Christmas piano playing on. Man just wants to be festive
  • I can tell this is a fake country because there’s no security around all these royals. Even Genovia gets security.
  • Why do these small countries always have quaint little orphanages? Why do orphans sell so well?
  • These adults are romantically romping about while poor Emily is just lying in the snow
  • Why are Sophia and Simon on a carriage ride? She clearly doesn’t like him or the cold. I mean I know it’s for the plot but it’s real dumb.
  • Amber’s notes again. Holy cow. It’s not surprising she gets so many rejection letters for freelancing
  • This horse chase sequence is entirely too long
  • The whole wolf scene. I forgot about it.
  • Richard’s sweaters also look hella cheap. Hopefully the costume budget increases in the sequel. Or maybe Old Navy sponsors Aldovia.
  • Do kisses get interrupted in real life like they do in movies? I get the horse neighs and maybe the moment passes, but don’t you still want to kiss? Maybe I’ve been single for too long but after the prince came back after checking on the horses, I’d be like I think we need to re-enter that moment.
  • If you found a scoop as big as this adoption I would not talk to my dumb friends over Skype. Also “this will make your career” because you lied your way into the palace and snooped and stole information. You will break a story but also not be a respected journalist.
  • Of course Amber sees the kiss but not the breakaway. OF COURSE.
  • Also, Sophia calls Amber a peasant. Are real royals that out of touch? Maybe it’s all the inbreeding. I assume in a place like Aldovia that tradition still runs rampant.
  • I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY LISTEN TO YOUR HEART IT ALWAYS TELLS YOU THE TRUTH. Hearts are notoriously stupid. Do not listen to them. Trust your gut. That strange feeling is always correct.
  • I guess you wouldn’t anticipate people coming into your room, but wouldn’t you lock your ID and the adoption papers in a safe somewhere? Seems much smarter to leave everything incriminating on the bed.
  • ALSO Richard falls in love with the very supportive Martha who’s really Amber trying to get details for her story. That’s betrayal.
  • That bracelet looks like something my mom brought me back from the Bahamas when I was 14. Granted, it’s from a little girl, but it falls into the category of things she’ll never wear.
  • I would give up all my wonderful Christmas Eve traditions to go to a Christmas Eve ball. Even Christmas jammies.
  • She looks good, but like everyone turn and stare good? It’s not like she was a hideous troll before. She’s always been very beautiful. She’s just in a dress with a lot of eyeshadow.
  • I like that a piece of drama isn’t Richard and Martha/Amber’s relationship. Clearly Queen Helena thinks it’s chill
  • They spent a lot of that dance swaying back and forth like it was a preteen dance at a firehall
  • I really need to pee
  • I want to be on the creative team who makes up these country names.
  • Simon and Sophia are just watching waiting to spill the secret and it’s super childish. Just shows they are garbage humans.
  • “This Fraudulent Christmas Prince” ROLE CREDITS
  • I feel really bad for Richard. His entire life just fell apart. He’s adopted. The woman he loves has been lying. Everything he believed was true is a lie.
  • WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE APPLAUDING SIMON AND SOPHIA AS NEW ROYALTY?! You just watched them publicly ruin your prince’s life and now you’re like aww this is nice. LIKE WHAT
  • They show so many shots of this statue in front the palace. It’s at least three or four. Always close ups. No wide shots.
  • I honestly don’t hate this scene between Richard and his mom where she explains everything. It seems like he’ll probably need counseling but it wrapped up nicely.
  • One thing I know for sure is Aldovia isn’t an international hub. Those United flights are a sham. You’re definitely flying a terrifying small plane to a major city in a real country.
  • We’re going to fight this by showing up and demanding it’s delayed even though we don’t have any law on our side and then just give up when we’re told we can’t change things.
  • At least these people in the parliament or whatever understand the travesty of this situation
  • How did the king amend a law without anyone else, including the Prime Minister, knowing?? I’m not a monarchy expert, but I feel like you would need at least a discussion about that.
  • Also he’s not blood but he’s a great guy so obvs he deserves to be king – Richard’s dad
  • I really really need to pee but I won’t pause now
  • Further proof Amber is actually a terrible journalist is she works for a horrible magazine and that was probably the only place she could get a job
  • She’s quitting to blog because that’s a completely lucrative way to make money
  • 20,000 likes and she doesn’t have ads. No one cares.
  • Oh wait she works at the restaurant. She has a job. My b.
  • Seven minutes from the end and I had to go to the bathroom. I was sure I was going to pee my pants. Made it, though.
  • I’m not a wine expert but that wine on the table looks like Kool aid
  • Okay so this prince isn’t on the sidewalk. He’s literally standing in the middle of a street
  • “Emily showed me your blog online” the online is redundant doofus
  • They’re still in the middle of the street
  • Okay like do you have to engaged? Can’t you just date?
  • You don’t have a career. You have a blog.
  • “We can come back whenever you want” UH I think you’ll be busy ruling your country
  • Granted, I would definitely say yes to him. He could walk into my apartment right now and if his first words to me were “marry me,” I’d say yes.
  • This ending just reminds that they watch this movie The Princess Switch and everyone is crying because it’s so beautiful. False. There are some makeup scenes that I live for because you can just tell both parties are incredible kissers. This is so-so to the max.
  • Now Netflix is just automatically rolling into The Royal Wedding. It didn’t even give me a choice.

I know I’m too much DEAL WITH IT

I’ve never found a historical figure more like myself than Alexander Hamilton. What I lack in his obsessive stamina I match in my overt too much-ness. See, Hamilton came to America with a dream and he worked hard to achieve it. Along the way, he overwhelmed people with words and honesty and was constantly fighting uphill battles to make his new nation great. His words, especially when written, were his tools.

He made mistakes and sometimes his honesty got him into trouble. That didn’t stop him from continually working and publishing. Ask anyone around him and they’d probably tell you he was a little too much. Except etiquette was the obsession back then so there would some gentlemanly way to express it, like ‘Hamilton always has ideas and suggestions for every situation, even when not directly involved.’

Like Hamilton, I’m too much.

I have strong opinions about everything. Today I started a tirade against autographs and why they’re pointless. I can feel when one starts rising within me. An unknowing victim cordially chats with me about any random subject and suddenly I’m triggered. My demeanor changes and my voice becomes strangely forceful and somehow I get a little louder. It’s never against them or what they think because fortunately my manners work occasionally. I only care about nonsense, like the travesty of wearing jeans to the theater and why ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ is a really demeaning song.

At least in a professional setting, they’re supported by my experience and knowledge. Still it happens. We’re discussing something related to branding or marketing and then the strong opinion starts building. Usually it’s useful and drives my work ethic, but sometimes it just means I talk a lot during a meeting.

I’ve often claimed to be a very dichotomous person. I am either in full makeup or I look like I just rolled out of bed. I will work hard nonstop or I will spend hours on my couch rewatching The Office. I either don’t care at all or I care so much everyone else begins to hate me.

I’m really familiar with that last one.

One of the hallmarks of my personality is my intensity. I have zero bedside manner and tend to sound like a jerk when in reality I just don’t know how to tone myself down. I want to help where I can and often I go into overdrive and people no longer want to work with me. In college, I started wearing bows every day to appear less harsh, but it probably just made me look crazier.

People probably wish I would remain lethargic so the passionate beast wouldn’t be unleashed to annoy everyone. I just don’t know how to care less.

I want things to be the best that they can be, and sure you can argue that it’s just my perception of ‘best,’ but whatever. When I dedicate myself to a project, I want everyone to feel as strongly as I do. This is why working at Girl Scouts is such a good fit for me – everyone care a lot, just like me.

I’ve never understood why people don’t care or try. They don’t implement new rules or pay attention when something is being changed. They just keep going with how they’ve always done things because to them, it doesn’t matter. I DON’T GET IT. Whatever.

After more than 28 years of being this way, because yes I’m sure even as a baby I was like this, I’ve learned a few tricks. Primarily it’s keep the raging beast within. Get to know people and let them think you’re quiet and then SHABAM douse them in insanity when you can trust them.

Jk. Kind of.

It’s not that I pretend to be someone I’m not, it’s just I hold a lot of opinions to myself and just kind of nod along. When I used to meet people, they either liked me or they didn’t. Now I’ve mastered to art of tricking them into thinking I’m likable. Once a real relationship is established, I’m fully Chelsea, lock and loaded with opinions I will most definitely express. So if you know me IRL and I’m a spaz around you, take it as a compliment.

Recently, though, I’ve moved back toward my roots of ‘this is me’ (sung to the tune of The Greatest Showman classic). I don’t want my behavior to act as an apology for who I am so I don’t accidentally annoy someone. Yes I know I can be more tactful and quiet, but in general I like who I am. I like that I care so deeply about everything. I like that I’m intense. I understand that not everyone will jive with by vibe and that’s a-okay. God made me to be this passionate so why would I dare deny Him the joy of seeing me express it?

Right now it’s got me in a tough situation. I’m in a new place with new people and we hardly know each other, but I’m in full-Hamilton mode. Like dropping a pamphlet denouncing John Adams deep. I feel like I’m in this place for a reason, with the right experience and skills to make a difference. The more I push, the more I feel I’m the only one. Except now instead of worrying that they won’t like me, I’m wondering if this is worth my time.

I don’t say that to be uppity like my time is so precious (see previous comment about rewatching The Office). Moving against the popular current alone is exhausting and frustrating and frankly, it makes everyone hate me. Contrary to what my personality may say, I don’t want to be disliked. Sometimes it’s uncontrollable, but sometimes it’s the result of me trying to make waves nobody asked for.

The remedy for this situation is a polite confrontation where everything is laid on a table and a decision is made. But conflict isn’t my forte. I’m the girl who will ignore our texts if we’re fighting because I don’t want to deal with it. Being an adult is hard.

Tonight an email became the straw that broke the horse’s back. Is that the right phrase? Either way, something finally snapped within me and I realized I can’t avoid this conversation any longer. I won’t make myself less or belittle my intensity, but I will respect the outcome.

It just means I might have time to obsess and lose my mind over something else. Most likely The Office.


I didn’t miss last week’s email. I actually had three pieces lined up, including a riveting review of Netflix’s most recent foray into cheesy Christmas movies. Everything was ready to send, I just needed to add in the link for the devotional when it published Sunday.

Before I could finish it and hit send, insecurity snuck in.

Writing about myself isn’t anything new, but my typical style was be so compelled to spew my feelings I typed everything out and shared without a second thought. Because I would write and share so infrequently, I never worried about people getting sick of me. But now I’ve been doing this for two months and (if you’ve subscribed to my emails) you’ve received nine emails full of me and my never-ending emotions.

I began to wonder if it was sustainable, if I was sustainable. It’s not like I don’t have more to say; I have lists of essays to write and I’m constantly processing emotions that need to be discussed. What happens when I have more to say and no one wants to listen anymore? How often can I talk about my anxiety, my dad, and my faith before you tire of my opinion?

Before I continue, I’m not writing this so my three faithful readers send me encouragement to keep up the good fight. I know I have people who believe in me and that’s powerful.

Writing like I do also makes me feel like a hypocrite. One week I write about weight and finding peace in the struggle and the next week I’m crying on my living room floor because I can’t lose weight. I detail my financial plans and realizations only to fall back into credit card trouble. I tell people they’re loved only to feel worthless the next day.

I know that this makes me human, but it’s hard to bare and share your soul when you want to keep readers. If I truly was honest each week, you’d be in the exhaustive struggle I face between my two sides: the one who wakes up every day determined to make this the best day of her life and the one who doesn’t want to get off the couch. It’s a rollercoaster I want people to avoid because selfishly I know eventually people would get tired of what I had to say.

When I try to vary my writing, it feels forced and I second guess myself. This is because I’m not really a trained writer and it shows. I don’t have a plan, so I rely on my emotions to feed me with quality content. Frequently they let me down.

In the past, writing in the heat of the moment and throwing it on Facebook made it easy. I wasn’t sending it to anyone in particular so any feedback was good. Now, I’m reaching a group of people who want to hear from me (or at least support me because they’re kind). I don’t want to write just to send an email every week, but I also don’t want to hide behind that excuse.

For the past week, I’ve gone over what I wanted to say in this post in my head repeatedly and clearly I didn’t come up with a cohesive way to hash everything out. What I know is I want to write and I want my writing to reach people. Not reaching as in a large number, but creating a meaningful experience.

Most importantly, I believe in my own writing. God gave me a gift and for a long time I’ve felt a need to share. I don’t have all the answers, but I know there’s a reason I do this and I want to keep pursuing this path. But right now I need to take a break.

One of my goals for December is to take away the things the add stress so I can enjoy the Christmas season. My fast for the month is no lists or diets, so it’s already going to be a doozy. Instead of worrying about having to send an email and what to write, I’m going to chill and pray about where this is going. I might actually make a plan. I guess we’ll see what happens in 2019.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy New Year!



Laziness related to finances

Proverbs is a great book of the Bible to pull verses out of because it covers so much relatable content. It’s likely you know some of the classics like Proverbs 3:5 (trust in the Lord with all your heart); Proverbs 4:23 (guard your heart above all else); Proverbs 27:17 (iron sharpens iron); Proverbs 16:3 (commit your plans to the Lord); Proverbs 16:9 (man plans, God directs our steps); Proverbs 16:18 (pride goeth before the fall); Proverbs 13:24 (spare the rod); and basically the entirety of Proverbs 31 if you’re a woman.

There are a lot of popular examples because Proverbs is 31 chapters of wisdom found in non-rhyming couplets. For me, reading through Proverbs is a painful thing because too often I realize I am a fool, and if you’re familiar with Proverbs, that’s basically the most detestable thing imaginable. Especially because I’m kind of a big mouth (“those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” 13:3).

Another trap I frequently fall into: laziness.

“Hard working farmers have more than enough food; daydreamers are nothing more than stupid fools.” Proverbs 12:11

“Hard work pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.” Proverbs 14:23

Woof. I like to imagine I have two speeds: sloth and overdrive. It’s rare I find a compromise in-between. I’m either working so hard I’m a flurry of nerves and action or I’m comatose on my couch watching Netflix.

While I often think about laziness in terms of my productivity, recently I’ve been looking at it as a measure of dedication. Laziness isn’t simply something that stops us from completing a project on time or going to the gym; it can also stop us from reaching the less tangible goals.

For about the last decade, I’ve been trying to get my finances in order. In that time, I racked up more than $20,000 in credit card debt because that’s clearly the solution to become more financially stable. I’d set dates where I would no longer use my credit cards and resolve to do better this time around. But I couldn’t do it.

Looking back, it’s clearly an example of laziness.

I knew what I had to do to get better – stop indulging myself. Stop thinking I can live like everyone else. Stop thinking I need something now. Accept my limitations and live within my means. It’s so obvious and so hard.

I would have moments of clarity and pay off cards, only to see the charges begin to pile up a month later. When I first started using credit cards, I bragged about how amazing it was to get whatever I want and only have to pay $25/month. I clearly didn’t understand interest.

The issue was I was sure of future fortunes after I graduated college that it seemed like I was just one step away from a good income to help me balance out. Even as I struggled post-graduation, I believed my windfall would come. I was still waiting after six years.

Last year broke me. I reached a point where I recognized I couldn’t do this on my own and I had to change if I wanted to get better, while that reached into a lot of different areas, my finances were a big piece.

When 2018 began, I wasn’t excited about my resolutions, but resigned to what needed to be done. No longer was I trying to do better on my own, I had Jesus on my side to guide me toward proper decision making skills.

“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” Proverbs 13:4

I went from being so lazy about my finances to so diligent. This year, I haven’t used a credit card to purchase something I couldn’t actually afford. I set boundaries and stuck to them and the state of my finances is a testament to this dedication.

Here’s the thing: you can’t get caught up on the word prosper and assume it means your windfall. I’ve made better financial decisions this year, but I’m still sweating between paychecks. But I find so much joy in this struggle. I’m prospering because I’m not making things worse for the first time in nearly 10 years.

None of this is to say I’m perfect. When I moved, I bought a $60 comforter I didn’t need and every time I look at it, I wish I had that $60. Funny enough, I don’t remember anything I told myself no about this year. Nothing lingers as a regret in the back of my mind because I didn’t get it.

Money is something a lot of us struggle with in our own way. The Bible specifically mentions how we can’t serve God and money (Luke 16:3-5) because our Heavenly Father understands the hardships we face. It’s what drives the world and having too much or too little affects so many areas of our lives.

I’m not an expert, but these are the steps that helped me move from lazy spender to dedicated saver:

1. Start with God

For so long I depended only on my strength to try and be better with my money. Even when I’d cry out to God, exhausted with my own efforts and at the end of my rope, nothing changed. In those moments, I wasn’t really ready to make the change.

It wasn’t until I fully surrendered everything and said ‘God, I need you’ that it became real in my life. It takes that release and resignation to let God’s will in and watch yours slink to the background.

If you aren’t willing to make God the focus, you will keep struggling with money.


There have been so many moments in the past few years where my budgeting didn’t make sense. I was sure I knew how much money I had and then suddenly I was wrong and I had enough. I owe these miracles to tithing.

Even though I’ve been broke for years, I refused to stop giving back a portion to God because I learned the importance of it from my mother. Her testimony of abundance and blessings was enough for me to desire this in my own life.

One time I met with a banker and he saw my budget and how much I tithed and recommended I take care of myself first. This is an understandable response from someone who doesn’t believe or know the miracles God can do.

If you don’t tithe, or tithe regular amounts, I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes I think about how much more I might have if I held onto the money. Then I realize something important: if I believe I need my money more than God can bless it, I’m immediately limiting God’s power to my own understanding.

So just tithe and see what God will do.

3. Set goals

Your goals can be actual spending limits or just a general spending plan. I set a few related to how much money I wanted in my bank account at the end of each pay period and about how I wanted to spend my money. Specifically, I decided this year I wouldn’t buy something if I couldn’t justify it as a need. I gave myself some grace periods where I allowed myself to spend a little more recklessly, but on the whole I stuck to this goal.

Having guidelines make it easier to monitor your progress and actually see the difference, which comes to step four.

4. Track everything

I have a Google Sheet that documents all of my finances – my budget, income, goals, and spending. Here I keep track of everything year over year to celebrate how I’m getting better. It also helps me adjust my goals or add new ones because I can see what’s working and what isn’t.

My favorite thing is tracking my spending in categories: Sephora, Shopping, Amazon, Eating Out, Fast Food, Gas, Groceries, etc. I picked my biggest areas of expense to compare from last year.

You might not be obsessed with seeing everything like me, but I encourage you to find some way to actually see how and where you’re spending your money. Last year, when I set up my spreadsheet, the full extent of my spending became clear and I couldn’t avoid it any longer.

If nothing else, surrender to God and begin tithing regularly and you will see your situation turn around. I believe that wholeheartedly because I’ve experienced the miracle first hand. God will do amazing things with your obedience that you won’t understand, but you will enjoy. Let Him bless you and your finances.