Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shame Bubble

What are these things that have made you too ashamed to look at Jesus as he pursues you so intently? 

Sex?... He died for that
Lies? ... He died for that 
Abuse someone told you was your fault? ... He died for that 
Porn? ... He died for that
Kill someone? ... He died for that
Another terrible awful thing? ... He died for that too

Even this disorder I've had the majority of my life that makes me have problems that no woman should have to deal with ... He died for that too.
Beloved, you are beloved.

The creator of the universe (and yes Jesus created the universe: John 1: 1-3) gave up his right to stay in perfect heaven to become human and deal with all the temptations and struggles that is part of normal human life just so that he could be tortured and humiliated before giving his life as the sacrifice for ours. He came to die for our mess... ALL OF IT! 

When he comes to us to meet, visit and get to know us and we look away because we can't get over our shame its as if we are saying that our stuff wasn't covered by his sacrifice, as if his sacrifice wasn't worthy or good enough to cover OUR sin. It's good enough to cover everyone else's except my terrible awful. That is a lie and we can't fully experience the goodness of the relationship he seeks to have with us if we continue to believe it. 

What do we do about this shame problem then? 
We take those thoughts captive. When our shame starts creeping back in our minds we identify it then praise Jesus that he's taken care of the payment for that. 
When the Holy Spirit comes to meet with us we choose to look to him and not this shameful thing we see on our clean hands. It's like a hallucination, it's not there any more but we think it is. 
We stop believing that we aren't worthy of him, He decided long ago that you were worth it. That no matter what you did to yourself, others, or what had been done to you,  he SEEKS YOU! He was willing to lay down his LIFE so that you might live, not just here on earth but for the rest of eternity!! 

This has been a big deal for me these past few days, I've realized that I've been keeping Him at an arms length for years. Yes, I walk with him constantly but there is this shame bubble that has been keeping me from really getting to know him, allowing him to really get to know me and going to a deeper level with him .. I'm still figuring it out and asking for him to show me what I steps I need to take as he begins peeling away the layers of this bubble. 

It may be painful and take a while to pull apart because its been building for over 11 years and maybe even my whole life. 

The amazing thing is that he's never given up on me ... He's been right there with me as I kept turning my eyes from him and adding another layer to the shame bubble, loving me even if I can't receive it. And for that I am so thankful. 

Thanks for stopping by,
- Chels   

Monday, December 2, 2013

He Is Alive

He is ALIVE !
No really he is A L I V E!

He went to heaven a man... And he has stayed a man for over 2000 years!!!

two .

That is a REALLY long time for a man to be waiting for his bride. And she/we are just taking our sweet time, not making preparations, not sending invitations or buying a dress.

You know what it says to me about the bride if she refuses to set a date or pick out flowers? That she doesn't really want to get married to this man... Is this true of his bride? Are we purposely avoiding the wedding because we are so comfortable with the feelings of freedom and independence that will be submitted to him in the marriage covenant?

We keep asking if he loves us and he says "Yes! Of course! More than you could ever know!" And we say "Great! Thanks! Could you do this or that for me?" And we take the blessing he freely gives and go about our everyday lives coming back only when we need him.

We are his bride. He will do anything we ask of him. But do we the favor?

We say we love him but our actions don't always show it. He's asked us all to love one another and make disciples, but most of us don't even know what those words mean.

And all this time while we are just dilly dallying along, he is before the throne of his father who is waiting for the day to come when he will send his son to get his bride. He is kneeling there, pleading on our behalf for just a few more days because his bride isn't ready yet. Surely, surely this time She will get herself together. Surely she'll soon start making plans and preparations. 'Just a little while longer... For me?' He pleads with his dad.
And Father God keeps waiting, watching, and challenging the bride to take action... But every generation starts something with so much zeal and begins the process but then they get distracted by life and the worries of this world.

But this generation... WE MUST BE DIFFERENT! We must be willing to go to the hard places, we must be willing to spend hours on our hands and knees in the dirt to bring others to him. We must be his hands and feet. We must prepare ourselves to be the best bride we can be. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, we must begin pouring out our love for our groom as often as possible.

I have a part in this too. For years I was selfish and kept hold of his love for me while refusing to really bring others to him because I wanted my dreams to come true before he came back to get us.
But get this... True love means that you're willing to give up your dreams and plans to make your loved one's dreams come true.. And His dream is to come get his lovely bride!
So ... I WILL go to the ends of the earth..
I WILL be radically, immediately obedient to what he says to do.
I WILL work to make Jesus more like the one he's seen in his wildest dreams
Every moment of every day he is waiting on me.
He is waiting on us.
He wants to see his bride so badly, but He is willing to wait for her to be complete and perfect because that is how he already sees her(pssst... She is us!)

Wake up oh beautiful Bride of Christ! Your wedding day is near and there is much to do!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Concussions and Survival Camping!

So if you didn't hear the news... I got a concussion about a week and a half ago... 
It was an accident.. no big deal... My head was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when tables were being moved. I didn't realize how hard it hit until monday when my headache and nausea started up again... But the funny thing is when you go to the DR 3 days after the accident he just tells you to rest and take some tylenol for the pain. 

oh... and don't do anything where your head might get smashed again....


We had a survivor camping trip this past weekend. Yes, I went with a concussion but got some special treatment since I hadn't healed yet. I didn't have to sleep under the stars and could get a staff member to sub for me for a game if it got to much. I also didn't participate in many of the event because it was just too dangerous running through a dark forest trying to capture the flag. That fact made me sad because I really wanted to have the whole experience. 

This camping trip was INTENSE. We were dropped off of the bus about a mile from our check in point where we had to find our luggage from the huge pile in the middle of the woods, then on to cross the "border" over an "electric fence" all connected together. Then after we completed that obstacle on to customs we went! Customs was customs... except for a crazy "corrupt government"! 
After our team made it through customs (first btw) we treked through the woods to our campsite... thats where I left my team for the night! When I got back the next morning probably around 7:30 am (we were not allowed to have watches) I was astonished at how great the campsite looked!... Bear Grylls would be proud! They even had breakfast going from our rations of rice and beans for the day. Love my Team!!

Plains Tribe (minus 1 south african)
Lots of team building games, beans and rice, and smoke filled everything later We survived. Our team won despite having one with a concussion and one who got injured because of over exertion during a game! We couldn't beleive it! I am super proud of us. We all grew closer to each other and have a better appreciation and understanding of what so many people in this world go through each day. 

I learned that I would probably really love camping like that if we had real food and didn't have to do extreme sports on no food.
I learned that I have learned alot from Bear Grylls and his competetion show this summer. 
I learned that I can't do everything I want.
I learned I have to listen to my body.
I learned that giving your all when it doesn't matter might mean you can't give it all when it really counts.
I learned that communication is everything... and even though we know that we sometimes find it hard to do.
I learned a lot this weekend and I'm glad I got to experience what I did even if I didn't get to experience it all. 

So there you have it! 
My post for the week!

Love you guys!

PS... I'm feeling much better!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's been so long!

I'm sorry it's been so long! The last 2 months just flew by with all the prepping and saying of goodbyes I forgot to update you! 

I'm here! I'm in Madison, WI working on my DTS! We've been here one full week, even though it seems like so much has happened it couldn't possibly just be a week! 

It's beautiful here! 

See! That's just a quick snap from the side of my eno as I'm swaying in the breeze! I feel like this is exactly where I need to be! 

I have several posts I need to write regarding my 30 before 30 list so hopefully I'll get those out soon! But I just wanted to let everyone know I'm here and I've made it! 

Most memorable events from this week include: having to buy new tires, getting a mild concussion from an encounter with a table , meeting all of these amazing people who will be my forever friends, and knowing this exactly where I need to be at this point in my walk with Christ! 

If you're interested in donating to my outreach or for laundry or spending money while I'm here feel free to contact me via Facebook or text or my mommy! :) I'm still about $2000 short of my outreach goal

I hope this update found you well! And hopefully the next will come soon! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pomegranate Pepper Jelly

After a very relaxing July 4th my parents and I made a trip to see one set of my grandparents in Louisville and after eating nothing but a slice of AMAZING German Chocolate Cake for Lunch we went to the gardens and my mom cleared off the north side of the pepper patch. 

This left us with only one question.... 
What will we do with all these peppers and chili's??
 ANSWER: Make Pepper Jelly! 

So we looked up a recipe online and adapted it a bit to meet our needs and what we could find at Kroger and got after it!

You can use this jelly on top of a block of cream cheese to eat with wheat thins for a quick and easy appetizer or pour on top of a pork loin and cook in the crock pot and serve with warm buttered biscuits! 

They also serve as great gifts or party favors. Something useful is always a great gift! Just tie a little ribbon around it secure it with a dot of hot glue and a notecard with your favorite use for it and a perfect grab and go hostess gift!

Hope you enjoy!
-Chelsea Lou

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Small victory

Today I accomplished something big for me.... God got me up at 6:30 to exercise because Tuesdays a busy days... And if you know me... Sleep is something I don't give up easily.
And today I ran for 3 full minutes and accomplished my fastest mile to date...


It's not a fast mile by any means but even a few seconds off and the fact that I'm building up my endurance is a big deal because I have something big coming up at the end of the month... 
I'll tell you about that a little later when I get back to a computer. 

Have a terrific Tuesday !! 
Chelsea Lou !!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

little reminders

Have you ever gotten a weird confirmation from out of no where that the adventure you are about to embark on is exactly what you're supposed to be doing?

Well those happened this week.

As I was a little worried about living in a dorm with people again and my funding coming in and all the little worries that eat away at you when preparing for a trip like this, my dad suggested I contact these church planters on the prayer card on my mom's vanity. I said ok?. and then he proceeded to tell me that they were based in Madison, WI... The same town my DTS is in. 

What a small world!?

I found their website on the card and contacted them, the pastor emailed me back within a couple of hours and I'm so excited that I'll be able to spend my sundays with them. Its a cool little church plant that ministers to college age students. My mom has been praying for this couple for at least 6 months and I've seen their faces countless times and now as I am preparing for this next step they are a connection to home right there in the city.

Talk about God reassuring me that I'm taking the right direction and reminding me to put all my trust in Him and He will make a way. I love it when God gives us these little reassurances before we even lay down our pride to ask for them.

-Chelsea Lou

You can check out their website at 

Monday, June 24, 2013

YWAM Details

So its been quite a crazy couple of weeks in my world!

but as I sit here waiting on my Bulldogs to play in the College World series I thought I'd take the chance to share with you guys what my plans are for this fall. (I'll sprinkle it with a few of my photos from trips I've taken in the past just for fun!)
Sweet Girl in Bangladesh
As many of you have heard (or read) I have been accepted into the Children At Risk DTS at YWAM Madison, Wisconsin. If you aren't familiar with YWAM... they love acronyms.. haha... I'll start backwards to give you a better idea of what it is. 

YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission. YWAM is a HUGE World Wide missions organization that specializes in training and preparing young people to spread the love of God through out the world. The answer to the question I get most often when sharing is "No, its not southern baptist." Its usually followed by a gasp and widening of the eyes but don't worry guys... I've done my homework. You can check out their statement of faith and more about who they are here.

House Visit in Bangladesh
Next is DTS... This stands for Discipleship Training School. This is their basic program where anyone wishing to be part of YWAM starts out. Its a 6 month program where we will spend around 3 months in classes learning more about ourselves, God and his heart for the nations as well as learning about the needs of our target people group and how to meet those needs. There is also a huge emphasis on intercession for the nations and we will be spending a lot of time in prayer. 
Then after the "Lecture Phase" we will have a short break for christmas then come back and prepare to go overseas to live out and practice all that we learned in the classroom.  For this DTS we will be deciding where we will be going after we arrive at lecture phase. The first week our options will be given to us and then after prayer and seeking God about it we will decide where we will be going in the "spring" (january&february) 

Infant in YWAM Orphanage Chittagong
And lastly, our emphasis for this school is Children at risk around the world. We "will focus on the needs of children around the world and the issues that put them at risk — sex trafficking, poverty, AIDS, abuse, child soldiers, and broken families. We will also focus on the heart of God who promises to be a “Father to the fatherless, who sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68:5,6)" - Direct from YWAM Madison Website << you can read more about this DTS there

So there you have it a little more detailed info on what I will be doing. I will be leaving in early september and the school lasts from Sept. 15-March 11. and I AM SOOO EXCITED!!! This is something I've been mulling over and praying about for YEARS and I'm so blessed to be given the opportunity at this point in my life. 

Bangladesh 2009
Now I've got to share my needs. As any good adventure it does cost money and I do have to raise it myself. I'm not worried one bit though. My God has always 
shown his perfect provision each time I've needed it! 

It will cost around $7,000 for the whole 6 months, plus travel expenses for getting there and back for the holidays. 

This $7000 includes school fees and room and board as well as all the travel costs for our outreach phase. I only have to have $3500 when we start in September and then the rest as we are preparing and buying tickets and things for our outreach. 

Local friends in Ghana
I've been saving for a trip like this and worked for a snowball business last summer to help start a savings account but I still have a ways to go. If you'd like more info on how you can help out feel free to email me at cburks420(at) or you can visit my GoFundME page and donate there!

Also If you'd like to keep updated through a newsletter VIA email or SnailMail email me your address and I'll be happy to send you things you can be in prayer for as well as other ways you can help! 

Mabel, The most cheerful child I've ever met!
Whew.. that was a mouth full but I thought it was time to share it. Please be in prayer for me over the next few months as I am preparing for this adventure, one step at a time. (I've got to get a new passport next. the Hurricane last fall ate mine1)

Tootle Loo!

P.S. This has been such a stressful game! No time to look away from the TV to check my Grammar!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

12 Skills

This morning as I lie here trying to go back to sleep before its time to get up and get ready for church my mind is being one of those spaghetti minds where one thing leads to a seemingly unrelated thing over and over again.

Somehow I ended up on the topic of things I must have picked up from teaching the Krazies last year that have been helpful in the past few months. So here is ....

12 skills I learned from teaching 12 3-year olds that are useful in everyday life: 

1) be adaptable in everything...Always have your flexible cap on and don't put too much pressure on others, we are all humans and that means we make mistakes. 

2) the quiet game is always an option... Even for adults... Sometimes (especially on long trips) you just need a break from the chatter... Everyone who can stay quiet for the next 5 minutes gets a treat!! 

3) I now have mad listening skills ... I can hear all of the conversations going on around me if I want to ... This is especially handy when playing the clothespin game at showers! It even won me a prize at the last one!

4) I have crazy control of my bladder... This is helpful in all types of situations.

5) I now have ninja-like reflexes ... Whether its to keep Nate from pouring his milk into the trash can (happened more often than you'd think) or keeping a groomsman from hitting the floor during communion it just kicks in and I don't even know what's happening until its over.

6) I can tell when anyone needs a snack to put some pep in their step or to stop them from being hangry and do my best to make it happen.

7) don't push a kid to play with the group if they aren't ready... They will come when they are... This goes for adults too.. I used to get upset if someone didn't join the group in doing something I thought they ought to.. But now I know that sometimes people aren't ready even if they look like they are.

8) if you can identify someone's love language you can shape your interactions in a positive way. You can recognize love languages pretty early on, Matty's was physical touch (that's why he couldn't stay in line, when he saw a teacher that 'needed' a hug he had to give it to her ) and Nate's was quality time (that's why he didn't take naps so it could be 'our time' together) and Andy's was acts of service (most of the time he was a hoodlum but if you gave him a job he would do it to the best of his ability and look to you to see your approval) once you see and recognize these traits you can adapt and find ways to reach out for that extra high five or ask for their help even if you don't need it.

9) Put a positive spin on everything! It makes for a lot less tears and makes life so much more joyful! 

10) if your positive spin doesn't work, music is a great tool to turn the mood around! They work even better together!
11) I was a pretty good artist before but now I can do ANYTHING with a packof construction paper, a glue stick, and a box of crayons!

Last but not least ...

12) counting down from 5 will get a whole group of people to pay attention to you in less than 5 seconds... In children's church they heard you say get in a circle but keep running around? Just count to five and they'll hop to it. They use this technique for fuge camps every summer. It brings the chatter to a minimum in anticipation for what's coming next!

So there you have it! 12 things the Krazies taught me while I was teaching them their letters and how to write their name. Sweet babies! I'm so thankful for my time with them!

It's crazy how much a short school year can change your life forever!!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thoughts on Moving..

Whew!! I'm exhausted!

Laying here in my recently cleaned off bed making a mental checklist of what needs to be done when I rise and listening to some Enter The Worship Circle music to chillax a bit I realized that I feel like I'm about to fall apart ... Every muscle below my shoulder blades is tingling with thankfulness that its bed time!

I decided I'd share with you some of the thoughts I had on this first day of moving.

...It sure is easier when mom is here! 
... Who knew I had so many pairs of fingernail clippers!?
... I'm finally going to be able to rebuild my stash of bobby pins back up!
... I'm not ready ... I haven't been to a single place I wanted to go while I lived here! 
...I have so much stuff!
... I love my pretty dresses.. Wish I had an occasion to wear some of them!
... I remember when I could wear those shorts... That was 3 years and 30 lbs ago
... No really ... You could just lose 30 lbs you'd have a whole new wardrobe
... Who can I give this furniture to?
.... I don't want another hurricane to eat my stuff again!! 
... I need a good pup like Bruiser in my future life!!

... I can't believe You paid so much money for these beautiful shoes that sit on the shelf... You need to sell them self
... You really need to lose those 30 lbs by September... Like really... 
... Look at all these purses! 
... Your book collection is getting out of hand especially since you've read less than 20 pages in the majority of them
... Why oh why! did the couch have to go in first!?!

So there you have it... My thoughts on moving day 1! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

An interesting 2 Weeks!

So they aren't THAT interesting... but busy...

Weird mostly because they have been so great and so not so great at the same time. 

I mean a surprise party for a college friend and a week at the beach and on the water followed by an AMAAAZZZZING wedding of the prettiest little bride around were amazing.... High points of the year! 

Such a pretty bride!!
But then there was the falling off the wagon post... remember that... well... I haven't gotten back up on that wagon just yet... I keep looking at it out of the corner of my eye but I just haven't climbed up there yet. 

and they are also weird because I have to move out of the dorm this week... not that I'm sad to be leaving this place but the fact that I don't have a definite destination for me or my stuff kinda stresses me out. Its like I'm homeless... but not.. I have 4 beds throughout the state that are "Mine" but the homes aren't mine and my stuff will be in boxes for another year and thats sad.. 

I just wanted to give you an update of where I've been the last two weeks.

Until Next time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I fell off the Wagon

When I say I fell of the wagon, I don't mean I just slipped off and landed on my feet.... I mean while I was twirling around in excitement from my success I lost my footing and did a faceplant in the horse poo and the mud... or rather a pizza and mac and cheese.

I started to tell you the whole story but as I was typing it, it all just sounded like a bunch of excuses. Any thing I could say other than I ate a whole pizza and taco bell in one day and didn't exercise or take my Advocare Vitamins would be an excuse. And I am so ashamed.

I am a compulsive overeater and stress plus the smell of pizzas equals disaster for me... every time... and if anyone has ever lived in a dorm during exam week knows that you can escape either of those things.

But I want to you know that it was not a split second decision to order a pizza  or go pick up taco bell. I struggled with the compulsion to do it for literally days before I gave in. Which in turn increased my stress level. I couldn't focus on anything else... like really, I couldn't remember kids names or the date or anything.

So I gave in.

and I regret it. and I'm finding it hard to get back on the wagon... today I just sat in the mud and looked at the wagon and complained about my swollen ankles and Tried to come up with some plan where this will never happen again...

But... The thing is...

It will happen again. I've just got to figure out how to cut my recovery time  considerably. Its like show choir or Guard auditions... they aren't judging you completely on how perfectly you can perform the given routine.... they need to see how quickly you can recover if something unusual happens, because one day it will.

So what do I want you to take away from this?
1. We ALL fail... and sometimes we wallow in our failures.
2. Tomorrow is a new day with no Mistakes in it yet.
3. Its ok if tomorrow has a mistake... just do what you can to make it better than today. 

So yes I fell off the wagon... but in the morning I'm setting my alarm, eating breakfast, dusting myself off and hopping back up on that wagon.

Thanks for reading today.
Hopefully the next post will be more upbeat!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

24 Day Challenge: HALF WAY UPDATE

I Made It Half Way!

This is further than I got last time. 

Before, I had already gotten frustrated with the pills and and my lack of ability to adhere to the program. I felt really defeated, but today.. as I'm rounding out day 12 I feel really good. 

Even if the scale isn't moving like I'd like it to, I can see the positivity in my face and I can feel the progress when I wear a t-shirt and the sleeves hang lower than normal and I can definitely tell a difference in my stamina as I work out.

I can see and feel a difference in my hands and wrists when using hand sanitizer or putting on bracelets.

I know why the scale isn't moving like I want it to. Its because I am not following the nutrition plan as it states. If I stuck with exactly what It said I'd be dropping the weight like crazy ... but I love cheese (I don't eat it every meal, but its so dang good) and I love ice cream. So I've made the decision to be ok with the rate at which I'm reaching my goal because I'm not avoiding them completely and at the same time reminding myself that those things are treats and not necessary for life.
I also have to keep reminding myself that losing the poundage for good means I need to do it slowly and work for it. If it just fell off without much work then I'd return to old habits quickly and put it right back on.

 So there you have it. A Half Way update. Here are some stats for you.

12 days of 24 day challenge
4 lbs gone
8 of 50 days working out
Wk 2/Day 1 of running plan complete

Until Next Time!

I am an Advocare Distributor and I'd love to answer any questions you may have or you can visit my Distributor Page to order products yourself.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Finale Night!

Last night was the season finale of Grey's as well as the SERIES Finale of THE OFFICE. 

Talk about emotional... I ate too much of my Celebrity Apprentice Ice cream and realized I watch too much tv. I also barely breathed during the Whole episode of Greys.

On another note:

I made a fantastic dinner. Everything was really good.. that rarely happens... theres always something that could use some tweaking but not this one. Sorry I don't have the page numbers.. I forgot my book at BB's house. 

Until Next time!
Chelsea Lou!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

TP Rolls and Rainbows

We all know the story of Noah's Flood found in Genesis 6-9. At the end of this very important story of God's might as well as his grace, God gave Noah a symbol to remind his people of his promise to never flood the earth again. That symbol was a rainbow.

google images
I have a rainbow of my own that just developed over the past month or so. Its the Toilet Paper Roll. I know what you're thinking.. "She's lost it!" but I haven't.

You see, back in April, the Baking Bride and I had children's church and we were going to make "Telescopes" to go along with our High Seas Adventure Theme. But  I forgot to get an email out to parents to get some help finding tp rolls. So i just prayed that God would help me find enough rolls for the children that might show up that day.
And He did.
google images
It was like every time I went into a restroom that week there was an empty roll on the holder. There was even one in the otherwise empty trash can in my room at BB's house, and I even finished up my roll of paper towels that week without trying. I, of course, lysoled them all really well before we made our telescopes but I was just amazed at God's provision, and we even had more than we needed that day.

Now Everytime I see an empty toilet paper roll (This is still happening 2 or 3 times a week everywhere I go) I'm reminded of God's provision for my life's endeavors. If He's called me to it, He will provide the resources I need to complete it.

This is a big deal in my life right now, My upcoming DTS with YWAM is going to need ALOT of resources, like $7000 in resources plus airfare for coming home for christmas. But God is Continually reminding me that he's got this. If He can provide 20 tp rolls in a week then he can provide anything else I might need exactly when I need it.

So there you go. If you have time today pick up your Bible or use you bible app to read what Paul has to say about God's provision in Philippians chapter 4.

Thanks for reading today!
-Chelsea Lou

What is your reminder of God's promises to you/us? 
Comment below with your answer!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

24 Day challenge: week 1 update

 First.. This is my 100th Post! Aahh! I couldn't believe it. As a little happy to commemorate this post I want to do a give away. Since I'm saving up for my YWAM adventure it'll have to be handmade by me. So the first person to text me " 100 Posts!!! " will get a painting with a quote of your choice on it! I'm sorry if you don't have my number.... but this way I know I'll be able to hand deliver it rather than having to mail it (like I said broke)... Next give-away will be open to a broader crowd!

You can even have this one!

Ready, Set, Go!

Now on to the update!

This Challenge has gone much better than my last. Probably because it was paid for with my hard earned money and I'm just in a better place in my mental and spiritual  and all around life to be able to commit to a program like Advocare. I'm already down 3 lbs.

The Spark energy drink mix is really helping with my desire to be sedentary. Its like watching tv and scrolling through pinterest are less important so I need to find something else to do. Which is great for my goal of exercising  every day. I've found that I only need one Spark a day, even though the challenge says you can have 2 a day. I can't get to sleep at night if I have two. You've also seen the effects of Spark on this Blog! There's been some changes here in the past week and its from the mental energy Spark provides.

All in all I'm feeling much better in general. I don't feel like sleeping until 10 like I used to (I don't get off duty until 12:30 so its not like I'm sleeping an extreme amount of time.) but I did feel like I was sleeping the day away. Most days I have been up before my alarm clock by an hour and unable to go back to sleep because my body was ready to get started. 3 of the days I've gotten up and been finished with my work out before my alarm clock went off.  I like that!

A Couple of other neat tricks:

My Blender cup and A Quart Mason Jar are my best friends:
The blender cup makes sure the Spark and Fiber Drinks get blended well.
The large mason jar helps me measure my water intake. Each one is 32 oz. and I just need to drink 4 of them a day to be right on track with my water consumption. I keep 2 in the fridge so They are ready to go. I've found that If the water isn't sitting out next to me I will forget to drink it.

I put my blender cup with the right amount of water or juice into the freezer about 30-45 minutes before I need to blend my spark or fiber drink and it helps make it super cold and kinda slushy, which helps immensely when it comes to drinking the fiber drink.

My Advocare distributor Amy suggested mixing the fiber drink with Orange Juice. GREAT IDEA!! This makes it much easier to tolerate. Its just like drinking very pulpy orange juice (which I love) rather than orange flavored mud... haha.. its not that bad.. but I have a texture thing when it comes to food.

So there you go. An update on my 24 Day challenge.
I am an Advocare Distributor and I'd love to answer any questions you may have. or you can visit my Distributor Page to order products yourself.

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

25th Birthday: a 30 before 30 update

My 25th birthday came and went a few weeks ago and it was a really great, low key birthday. 

You may not know this about me but I'm not really a fan of being the center of attention when I'm not in charge, so I'm glad that this birthday was low key because it was a big one. The quarter life crisis took its toll but I've come out of it a better person with a positive outlook on where I'm going rather than the negative outlook on what HASN'T happened in my plan life yet.

But I did get 2 birthday cakes and had cake at the lingerie shower Friday night. I was so blessed from my friends and family and had something like 6 meals gifted to me and a cute pair of earrings from Francesca's from my fabulous friend Jennie! (Shes the one who made the burlap ornaments for Nightgown party) 

Bruiser was creeping in the photo to the left. You see him?!?  He's the sweetest English Bulldog I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.... and that says alot since I did go to College at MSU where our mascot is a Bulldog. He's owned by Shane, my sister's boyfriend.. and she must like him a LOT because she lets this pup get on her bed. So not the old Ka-Ka!!

Bruiser, Valtentines 2013
I got to spend my birthday weekend in my favorite city (NOLA) eating some fantastic food with some fantastic Ladies! Here is a photo of us all (Sans 1 Matron of Honor who's behind the camera) at the Audubon Zoo. 
Photo Courtesy of Molly Reid of Reid Photography, Jackson, MS.

 I thought I'd give y'all an update on my 30 before 30 goals. I'll just go down the list and give any news if applicable:

1) Cook through a Cook Book:
      I started this in January and have really enjoyed it so far! The book I chose to cook through was Glamour's "100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know". I have cooked the following recipes from the book and will make another 1 or 2 this week!
Instant Seduction Porkchops
I'll Take Care of you Mashed Potatoes
Make New Friends Plum Cobbler
Single Digit Grocery Bill Stew
Impress His Family Chardonnay Cake
Forget the Mistake you Made at Work Margarita
Thanks for Helping me Move Michelada
Bikini Season Baked Salmon
Gingery Green Beans
Easy Peasy Risi e Bisi
Just Kiss me Garlic Bread
Italian Chicken
We Still Miss the Sopranos Spaghetti and Meatballs
Secretly Good for You Banana soft serve
Wake Up and Make Up Sausage Biscuits

Skip a few..

22) Compete in an Adventure Run:
    We haven't offically signed up but the Bestie and I are looking at the Diva Dash in Chicago in August. So excited! I even printed out a training guide and have started a running program to prepare!

Skip # 23...

24) Get a Tattoo!:
    I am excited about this one... a friend (not sure if she wants it publicized who she is) wanted to gift me something from my 30 before 30 list for my 25th Birthday and this is the one she picked! EEK!!! So excited and blessed and can't wait to get to do the planning needed when making such a permanent decision with her!! Thank you again friend!!

25) Give up Soda for an entire year:
    I'm on day 211 of 365!!! and it has not been easy. The every day getting water or half and half tea is easy. It's the stressful days when its killer. Coke was my #1 way to relieve stress and every now and then when its been a stressful day or there is just stress in the air I NEED a coke. but I haven't had one since October 15th. The only exception to this goal has been the ginger ale or sprite in punches and 1 cup of ginger ale after an Upper Endoscopy for my tummy troubles. But that is it as far as sodas go... and we have a beautiful soda fountain at the church, that I haven't had the pleasure of trying yet!!

Skip a few more...

29) Exercise for 50 consecutive days:
     I have started this one like 8 times and failed on day 2. every. time. ... haha... But today was day 3 of 50! and tomorrow is day 3 of my new running program. I will stick with it... I will... if not.. I have 4.9 years left to try again!! No worries until march of 2018, then we'll need to get worried!

and 30) Own a Pair of Louboutins:
     I don't have a pair yet.. but I did get myself a quart mason jar and am saving all my pennies and dimes to put toward this goal! That is a LOT of pennies and Dimes I'm gonna need!!

So there you go. Its not a "Quick" update but its nice to put  my progress on paper. 
Thanks for reading! (and if anyone knows Tim tell him to facebook me! ;) )
-Chelsea Lou!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trying this running thing... again and a Happy Mother's Day!

What a beautiful Mother's day here in the Golden Triangle. A Cloudless sky with a nice cool breeze! It doesn't really get better than that! (unless of course you're at the beach... the beach is always better)

I am so super thankful for my great mommy! and her mommy and all of my aunts and cousins and friends who are mommies! I've learned  so much from watching and interacting with you and your little ones! 

May God bless the socks off of each and everyone of you today!

Now on to the running.....

I decided I'd really like to try running again... and it was never an issue of hating to run but always an issue of going a little too far, a little too fast and injuring my back.

I've started the Couch to 5K program several times.. I get to about week two and then ~*!BAM!*~ my back goes into spasms and I'm totally out of commission for anything except laying on the floor with my legs resting on the couch...

You see, I have a couple of vertebrae in my back with compression fractures from a boating accident in Destin, FL back in 2004. I still get anxious when we drive over that big bridge into Destin. So now I'll have back problems for the rest of my life thanks to some jerks in a BIG boat that don't know what IDLE: NO WAKE ZONE means.

Sorry... I'm usually not ugly like that but its really changed the way I have to live my life and I've missed out on a LOT of opportunities and big events because of back problems and it makes me sad because it was totally preventable, if only the rules would have been followed. I still love being on the water and boating but it did take me a long time to be comfortable riding in my dad's boat again. That's why I usually volunteer to take one of the Jet Skis when we're heading to a sandbar or something.

MoW and me in Destin July 2012 
My sweet cousin and My pretty sister

With that being said... I'm trying out a new method of training myself to run. I found a post on Runs For Cookies, a blog by Katie who changed her life through running and lost 125 lbs. Its a plan that is for people who HATE running so it starts you off nice and slow... a 30 second run and a 29 min 30 sec walk at your own pace, bumping it up by only a little bit every other day.

Sounds doable right? Right!!

I've completed days 1 and 2 and feel great! I'm also on day 6 of my Advocare 24 day Challenge and I'm feeling good. I'll post an update on that come Tuesday after completing an entire week! I'm so excited summer is so close!! I'm definitely going to take in as much of the sun and sand and salt water as possible as I'll get to experience a Wisconsin winter this year!

Until Next time!
Chelsea Lou!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Porkchops and Plums

As I continue my adventure to cook through my copy of Glamour's 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know I am going to try to do a better job at documenting it for your pleasure. 

On Thursday night I cooked for the Baking Bride and her hubby. Usually we would all sit down together for a meal like this but there were lots of activities to be completed before the big graduation weekend here in Starkville so we all ate separately. 

Here are the instant seduction pork-chops from the cookbook. This recipe taught me to make a "Pan" out of two layers of tin foil and use it to broil your pork and it doesn't take long at all... and an even shorter clean up!

I served the pork with a savory cranberry sauce that I made up on the go. 
I was just really craving a savory fruit sauce and cranberries and apples go great with pork. This doesn't have apples in it but it would be a nice addition. 
I will share my recipe in my next post.

The meal ended with this lovely dessert. A "Make New Friends Plum Cobbler" With fresh plums and a touch of cinnamon. It was quite yummy ... not nearly as rich as the peach, apple or berry cobblers I've made in the past, which is good... that means you don't feel nearly as guilty when you help yourself to a second helping!!!

That being said... I think we'd need to double the recipe if we had any more than 5 friends in attendance!

Thanks for Checking in!

Simple Savory Cranberry Sauce

Friday, May 10, 2013

I've been a cookin'

As you know I am on a journey to cook through a cookbook by the end of the year 2013 and I've been busy... I forget to post and keep you updated on my progress.. 

so I'll do a quick recap. 

The book is "100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know" by Cindi Leive and the Editors at Glamour Magazine. 

And I am about 12-13 recipes in. 

This stew was super yummy!
(Thanks to the Easter Bunny for my new stock pot!)

Each recipe is teaching me something new, whether it be a new cooking style or how to use an ingredient I've never had the pleasure of using before. I'm really enjoying each of the recipes and even if I'm not a huge fan of whatever it may be, I take notes on how to make it into something that I'd love!

Its also pushing me to come up with new side dishes and take time to think about how the whole meal will come together rather than just relying on some old staples. 

Here is a recipe for the Gluten-free cornbread that I made to go with the stew shown above. You can tell this was good cornbread because thats all that was left ... and there were only 3 of us eating... :) 

I'll try to be better at taking photos and posting reviews. I already have the next post's photos and a bonus recipe with it! 

Until tomorrow!
-Chelsea Lou

This Girl Loves a Grand Gesture

Whether is a flash mob proposal or surprise party... I love it.. I love how it makes for a great story not only tomorrow but 30 years down the road. 

You may be asking... "Chels, why are you talking about grand gestures today? Do you have any news?" 

The answer is NO... I just love them, we got to witness a great TV proposal on Greys last night and that reminded me of a super sweet real life lip dub proposal on YouTube that was all the rage a couple of months ago. and of course I watched it (search "marry you proposal" to watch it yourself)... and cried... and then started praying to God that someone would love me like that to make such a grand gesture one day...

Then it hit me.

Someone does love me like that...

He loves me way more than that... He didn't just lay down his pride to dance around and get 60+ people to dance and sing with him... He laid down his life... and then defeated death... to give His bride an eternal life with Him.

Wow.. talk about a grand gesture... a wave of thankfulness just over came me... the prayer for my future husband turned into a long string of tearful thank yous... I was a mess all the way from the Hickory Grove Rd exit all the way to Columbus! I mean what more could I ask for than the love He showed all those years ago on the cross. 

And the thing is ... He didn't just do it for me... He did it for every person who has ever walked the earth. He loves each and every one of you enough to step down from His throne in HEAVEN to become a human and walk the earth and experience all of what it means to be human. He knew how his story would end. The pain he would endure. The Humiliation that would be thrown on Him and He still CHOSE to do it because he LOVES us. 

I mean WOW... I am still in awe of the revelation of that love again that came last night... I can't even pray for my husband today to come because this love is so much better than any earthly love ever could be. and I think my future husband will totally be ok with it.

I just couldn't sit on this revelation any longer and do nothing about it.. I had to share it with you. If you have more questions about this guy who loves you more than life feel free to email me or facebook me or just comment and I'll email you... 

Just don't miss out on this beautiful love He freely offers to anyone who will accept it.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Its spring!

Its finally feeling like spring and its MAY 8!

and I have been a slacker this spring... Not only in posting but in accomplishing my goals.

don't get me wrong. its been quite an eventful semester: a couple of weddings have taken place and one still to come, each with their own set of festivities, a spring break get away with my aunt to Savannah, GA and Hilton head, a Month long stress related illness that i'm still recovering from, several trips to southern LA and back, not to mention an elderly grandmother who had a spell in January (the same week we welcomed a new baby into the family), seeking God's will for where I need to be come fall and helping out with coordinating our children's ministry at church... oh and a little thing called working in a high school dorm through all of that.

 Whew... I'm sure there is more but my mind doesn't want to remember it all!!

I finally feel like I'm on the upswing of things.

 I mean summer is coming.. and you all know how much I love summer.

I got ACCEPTED to YWAM Madison for a Children-at-Risk DTS that Starts in September. I'm SOO Excited about this opportunity and It has brought an amazing amount of peace with it. You can find out more information about what this is here. I'll probably post on down the road some specifics with my trip and how you can help through prayer and support!

My stress related illness is calming down, which means that I finally feel good enough to try to eat right and actually get moving.

I started my AdvoCare 24 day challenge yesterday and I feel good...  This is a two fold goal for me. I'm trying to get my fitness journey kick started again and I'm using it as a tool to get some consistency in my life because I feel like I'm all over the place ALL of the time. I'm committing to this because I know that wherever the day may lead me I need to follow through with it. It also means making a point to get all of my spark and vitamins and shakes together in the mornings before I start my day.

So this is just an update of where I am these days. I'm going to try to make it a point to write some posts about the things that have happened this semester because I was constantly taking photos and writing them in my head but they just never made it to the keyboard!

Thanks for your patience with me!
Talk to you soon!
Chelsea Lou!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Low Carb Zucchini Lasagne

A long awaited post. 

I made this recipe several weeks ago after being reminded of it by a friend thats away at ministry school and then before I got a chance to post it easter happened and then I fell ill but now I'm back! 

And here it is. A low carb lasagna that I've made for several years on several occasions and have never actually written it down. I took some ideas from several recipes online and made up my own sauce so Its a little different each time but its so fresh and yummy.. you won't be disappointed, and you won't even miss the pasta! But if you are a pasta lover and want to use noodles feel free. (I use the no boil noodles when I make it without the zucchini.) 

Feel free to copy and paste to print out! I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meatless Monday: week 1

So as I was scrolling through pinterest I came across this post labeled "Bob's skinny rules" After reading them all of them seemed so doable. a couple include: No Carbs after Lunch, Don't Drink Your Calories, Go to Bed Hungry and several others. 

The one that came to my mind often this weekend of Going Gluten free was to Plan to Make one day Meat Free. I started thinking about it.. and it really is a good idea. Not from a "Protect the Animals" point of view but from the "Eat your Veggies" point of view. 

I mean, think about it. If you can't eat meat , and like me you cant have most breads or pastas, what else is left to eat? Fruits and veggies!! So I'm gonna try it. I know that I can't commit to more than just one day because I really enjoy eating meat.

I've decided for me the best day to do it is Monday. I have to work every Monday, and there are very few times where something comes up and I don't have control of where and what i'm eating. As long as I plan before and have the right foods in the fridge I am confident that it will go well. 

I am hopeful.. I don't know how much it will effect my health but, I know that it will help train myself to make choices that are positive and to abstain from over eating. 

Today I had:
a vanilla yogurt with caramel
Hummus with carrots and rice crackers
Amy's Mexican Casserole
Lots of water
a Pickle
 Amy's bean and cheese burrito
a tomato with salt and pepper

Not too shabby, I usually have coffee as well but my monday was too busy for that this morning!

So there you go.. Meat Free Mondays begin!
- Chelsea lou!

Going G-Free

After having a crazy 5 day long headache last weekend I decided that I needed to do something about it. It had to be what I was eating/not eating that triggered it and wouldn't let it leave. I've had headaches like that when I was in college but I hadn't had one in a LONG Time. I could feel it from the tip of my nose all the way through my shoulders and down to my back, I can feel it now as I am telling you about it. UGH... I was miserable, medicines wouldn't help and I slept all but 8 hours on Saturday (4 to eat thanksgiving lunch and family photos and then 4 to drive back to  and still woke up on Sunday with this nasty headache.

So, I went through my diet last weekend when I was home, and low and behold, almost every meal included some type of flour or wheat product. Knowing that I have a gluten intolerance I immediately knew what needed to be cut out/way down in my diet everyday. Even though the lack of caffeine starts the headaches, if I've had gluten that day it won't simply go away with taking in the caffeine.

Since Gluten is in like EVERYTHING premade I had to do some searching and try some new things. Luckily for me Kroger has a whole section full of foods that are gluten free as well as tags on the price tags that state if a food is gluten free... This is so helpful!

These little meals have been a lifesaver this weekend. They really are delicious and far exceeded my expectations. I've also eaten some gluten free organic yogurt with sugar free caramel sauce, Chicken, Tuna, Guacamole, Hummus, gluten-free rice crackers and lots of carrots for dipping and I don't feel unsatisfied which is a BIG DEAL for this big girl.. I love food.

And guess what.. after 4 days of gluten free eating I feel sooo much better. I have more energy, My fingers aren't swollen all the time and I've lost 5lbs with little effort. I haven't had a headache until today and that was because work started earlier than expected for me this morning so I didn't have time to fire up the keurig before heading out to get the bus.

I wont lie.. its been tough.. especially when student's would have Pizza delivered and it would sit outside my office window or when the waitress delivered those steaming buttered rolls to our table at Logan's. Also when I saw what the cafeteria was serving and I know how yummy that food was.. and it was free but I still had to say NO. but it defintitely has been worth it. 

Now the tough part is figuring out how to keep this up and how I'll do it every day. Like I said.. I LOVE FOOD... and I've just got to work on making the right choices when I am out. I've got to research my options and know what I'm getting before I get to the restaurant so when I see that other yummy thing on the menu it will be easier to say no.

Pray for me as I am on this journey. its gonna be a daily choice and hopefully it will get easier with a little practice. 

Thanks for reading!
Until Next Time!