Saturday, July 12, 2014

12 Cafes in 12 Saturdays: TnT's Coffee and Cafe!

So I was sitting in a cafe/coffee shop between sessions of the conference I am attending this weekend and this amazing thought came to my mind. 
I need to revamp my blog or just my blog writing muscles and I need to start now and this idea of visiting 12 cafes in the next 12 saturdays as I travel from Madison, WI to Mississippi/Louisiana (who knows where I'll actually end up) and back again. 

I'll eat some good food, stay under my $10 budget and share a bit of my experience through photos! 
so ... here goes!

TnT's Coffee and Cafe
729 High Point Rd.
Madison, WI 53717

Bowl of Kale, Sausage and Potato soup 
 Medium sized Dark Roast
(tax included)

They serve Chocolate Shop Ice Cream here!
I didn't have any today but this flavor on the bottom is my favorite ever!

This cute little barrista was very helpful and super sweet!
They also serve sandwiches of all kinds and a full list of belgian waffles! 

If you're ever on the West Side in Madison and just need a place to chill thats super fun with lots of options and an upbeat playlist give this place a visit!

 You never know where I'll show up next week!
See Ya!

Friday, June 6, 2014

7 Ways to Bless your Favorite YWAMer!

As I have been volunteering here at YWAM Madison this summer the realities of what it means to live on support have been setting in. God is truly our provider and everything always seems to workout just in the nick of time making for some great stories and worship sessions. That being said, there are some luxuries that I have had to give up that I didn't even know were luxuries until diving into living as a full time missionary.

That is what this post is about.

Although we would love to have you on our team through monthly support, that just isn't always an option, and sometimes even if you are supporting monthly you just feel an urge to send a happy, and this is a list of 7 little luxuries that will bless the heart of any YWAMer.

 ** This is not me asking for any of these things, just thing's I've observed this past month or so, although if you feel led to send them my way.. I won't stop you**

1.) A Meal Out
Whether by gift card or a dinner date with yourself, this is a treat to us. I have always been able eat out at least 3 times a week, many times more, thats just how our family worked. Since living on a TIGHT budget I've had maybe 3 meals out in the last month, and only 1 was not fast food. So if you're looking for a way to bless your missionary give them a reason to dress up and enjoy themselves without worrying about how they are going to be able to afford this and pay rent.

 and if you want to make them cry them a steak
... i'm tearing up just thinking about it!

A gift card or just showing up with their favorite Latte in hand is such a blessing! One thing I've learned about YWAMers is that they LOVE Coffee... and everyone loves a latte or specialty drink now and then but $5 is a lot of money to spend when a $1.58 bold coffee with room will get the job done. You can take this a step further and find out their favorite local coffee shop and get them a gift card from there.

3.) Date Night
If you really want to bless a couple around their anniversary or another holiday, pay for a date night, even if you just send a check to cover childcare or volunteer yourself this really brings a smile to any couple's face. 

4.) Special Event Tickets
 Whether its Sporting events, a concert, movie or theater tickets these are a luxury when your budget is tight. Get to know your YWAMer a little better by taking them with you or if you are too far away find out when their favorite band is in their area and surprise them with tickets!

5.) Shopping Spree!!
New Clothes?! What?! Although thrift stores are amazing and the ones here are great sometimes its nice to just put on something new that no one has ever worn before. Also when youre not eating out its much easier to shed a few lbs without even realizing it... that is until you can't wear your jeans without a belt! Discover your missionary's favorite store to shop at and get them a gift card, it doesn't take much especially at stores like Old Navy or Target that have crazy sales, or ask them what new article of clothing it is that they really need if you know them well enough, it may be snow boots, a new suit or a dress for a wedding that is coming up (we have those all the time in YWAM) .

6.) Gas card
So some YWAMers don't have a vehicle but most do, and even if they don't have a car they typically need a ride to the grocery store or a ministry site, this is where gas is a necessary part of life for the North American Missionary. Gas prices are creeping higher and higher and ministry or relationship should never have to suffer because there is no gas.

7.) Blessing Money
So this one is kind of a fun one... one thing I've learned about missionaries is that they are VERY generous people, why would you not be when you know that your Father is King of Everything and will provide your every need even if you have to go without a luxury here or there.
Having an extra stash of cash that is ready to be given away if a need arises in the community or God places it on your heart is a huge blessing.
Another way this could work is if you are doing any of the above and feel like you want it to extend  further than just your missionary buy two gift cards, or tickets with instructions for you missionary to bless another with it. You will be such an encouragement!

So there you have it... it was kind of a long post but its been brewing in my mind for quite a while. If you would like to do any of these things but don't know a missionary to send it to.. let me know.. I've got lots of friends here and could easily find a missionary that would really, really appreciate your gift.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Update!

I've been meaning to write another post all week and just haven't but here is my monthly Mailchimp update. 

I promise I'll have another post this weekend. Its been kinda crazy around here with moving and cleaning but hopefully I'll become more faithful to y'all this summer! 

Love ya!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Update!!

Subscribe in the top left corner to recieve it in your email next month!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

So Long, Fear Bone!

Hey Y'all!!

This week has been one that has changed how I view myself forever and I want to share this story with you. 

It has to do with FEARS. We all have them. Those little things we just can't let ourselves do because we would just die! But this story is about how God is helping me over come those little fears in a mighty way!

 I realized that I still had many of these little fears that were holding me back from doing some things that I really wanted to do. Things like meet with my pastor's wife, call a supporter or even eat something that wasn't made with flour, all just required me to walk up to someone I know relatively well and open my mouth to speak. But I couldn't. I couldn't find the courage in me to do this simple thing. 

I am a girl who has traveled to India by herself, really wants a second tattoo, lived in Africa for 2 months with a bunch of other girls and thinks a 7 hour drive alone is a  "Short trip" and I was afraid of asking the girls staffing the kitchen if the soup had flour in it? 

"Who Am I?" I thought and then proceeded to go get my rice mac out of the freezer with my head hung in shame. 

During our afternoon break I began writing down all the things I was afraid of and as I prayed about it later with God, he asked me if any of these things that I was so terrified of had ever actually happened. I realized just then as I went down the list that none of them had ever actually taken place. Stunned and confused I sat there asking God "Well how do I stop feeling afraid if these aren't even actual fears that have any substance?" 

then... a beautiful blonde friend from PA gave me this next verse as I was talking with her after an amazing worship session where we sang about God's love for 2 hours with our new church family. 
   "There is NO FEAR in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" 1 John 4:18

As I read this verse it just hit me... I am choosing to fear and it is hindering me more than I realize. So I decided to choose not to fear, and everytime that I felt fear or anxiety about a situation or action I should take that I MUST just do it. No matter how much I think I fear, If I walk in the opposite spirit, meaning I do what I do not want to do, then I realize that that was in fact a false fear. It was like an operation where he cut me open and took out my Fear Bone. I don't have the "abilty" to fear anymore because He's removed it!

(google images)
This realization has brought so much freedom in the last few days and I can only imagine where God's going to allow me  to go and what he's got up his sleeve for me now that I've got this under my belt.

Pray for me. This is going to open some big doors that I always thought were locked but God was just waiting for me to try the handle and see!

Unti Next Time!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm Back!

Hi Everyone!

I have been crazy busy these past few weeks with a stateside tour, Graduation from Discipleship Training school, and a seminar and we have only been back in the states for a month! I can't believe it!

Over the next few weeks I plan on catching everyone up on what I have been doing these past few months as well as sharing about our time in Uganda. God has some major plans for me and has given me the opportunity to be part of an awesome team that will be bringing sustainable food sources to a very impoverished nation. I cannot be more excited about this opportunity.  This next week looks busy as well as a couple of us from the team will be doing some traveling to discuss our plans with some of the people who have invested in us during our school. 

A blog post is getting itself ready for tomorrow so just come on back!

Tonight I'm gonna keep it short and sweet and give you a couple of my fave photos from outreach to enjoy!

Love Y'all!
Chelsea Lou

Little boy who joined us for our
first week of Kids camp in Kampala.

Angela, the sweetest and craziest half mzungu
you'll ever meet! Miss this girl so much!
Notice the banana leaves she made into a wig? smart girl!

Two boys from Okoa Refuge, a children's
home just south of the Equator!

This is Robert.
Yes I fell in love with another one!
This one has a great story and I will share it later!
Travel in Uganda is always efficient...
Not the most safe but ALWAYS efficient!
(YWAM Nashville team joined us)

Group photo outside of Amecet,
a baby home who cares for children and babies
who are HIV Positive.

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!