My Best Friend

Chelsea PostThis is Chelsea, and I want to take a moment to talk about her.

She’s an incredible, beautiful and godly woman.

If you were to ask me to explain why she’s my best friend, I would ask you how much time you have.

Her and I have been through so much together. We look back on things that seemed monumental, and just laugh. We have had our fair share of arguing, break-ups and reconciliation. We have also shared many laughs and inside jokes.

I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. Or as Chelsea puts it: I could, but I probably wouldn’t get one.

I love her sense of humor and her ability to understand the heart of the matter, rather than only seeing the surface material.

We’ve walked through so many life situations together. Like the time that I forced her to watch a sad movie with me, knowing she hated sad movies. When it got to the worst part, she got upset. I slammed the computer shut and went to bed and she left and went home rather than staying the night. We look back and shake our heads at how silly we were.

We’ve had a couple friendship “break-ups”, which have mostly been me thinking “You want to be a missionary, and once you graduate you’re going to leave me and never talk to me again, so why should we be friends!?”…talk about commitment issues! Thankfully we’ve worked through that (a couple of times).

Speaking of being a missionary: Chelsea is one of those people that does the impossible. Most new missionaries with the CMA church go through a two-year process inside the country, she somehow managed to get to the other side of the world to freezing Mongolia for hers. She’s a go-getter, she doesn’t quit and she doesn’t settle. Those are all things that I highly admire. They are things that make me sure she will go far in life.

We’ve come to understand that our friendship has prepared us both for marriage in so many ways. We’ve learned to be there for each other, especially when it isn’t easy to be. We’ve learned to ask the hard questions and give honest answers. We’ve learned to assume the best and give copious amounts of grace. We’ve learned to take the good with the bad, and love each other anyways.

She is one of few people that I’m willing to ask, “What are a couple things I need to work on?” and trust that she will give me an honest, and yet loving response. Yes, we actually do this for each other.IMG_6110

Do you understand what I mean by “How much time do you have?” I’m only getting started!

But I will end here, because I don’t have enough time to write my first book right now.

When you ask me why we’re best friends, I could give you one hundred and one reasons why.  She’s stubborn and impulsive, but she’s also determined and sincere and I love her for all of it.

I’m writing all of this, because sometimes we take the people in our lives for granted. We accept it as something we deserve, but in no way do I deserve having an amazing woman like Chelsea in my life.

Who are you thankful for today? Take the time to tell them why.

Have a blessed day!



Wrecked: A Great Explanation

Finding your identity and place in the world is not a seven-stop program. It is not a tapestry, neatly woven. It is not easy or simple or tidy. In fact, it feels more like a sweater unwinding thread by thread. You are wrecked. It is not something you do. It happens to you. You cannot control it.
To be wrecked begins with an experience that pulls you out of your comfort zone and self-centeredness, whether you want it to or not. Your old narcissistic dreams begin to fade in light of something bigger, something better. The process leaves you battered and broken after the “real world” has slammed up against your ideals a couple dozen times. What’s left standing is a new paradigm. It’s hard, but it’s good. It’s incredible and indelible. It’s tough, but only in the way that all things worth fighting for are tough. Being wrecked means everything you believe–everything you know about yourself, your world, and your destiny–is now in question. Because you’ve seen something bigger. And you can’t go back. At first the process is disorienting. It calls out the greatest parts of you, the parts you might be afraid of. It tests your courage, the very fibers of your being. This may very well be why we avoid conflict. It calls into question that which we are most afraid of–ourselves. And in the end, you’re not who you were before. You’re different. You’re changed. Your old life beings to make less and less sense in light of your new priorities. Everything that used to matter now feels arbitrary. And it seems futile to try rebuilding the old way of doing life. As confusing or as difficult as that may be, it’s good.

I received the book Wrecked by Jeff Goins, for Christmas. It has been on my wish list for a couple years, but I’m not sure it would have made such an impact on me before this year. I’m only a few pages in because I re-read almost every paragraph at least once. The quote above is where he describes what it feels to be wrecked in a way that I believe could not be written more perfectly.

It is messy, confusing, even discouraging at times, and yet it is good. I have tried so many times, and in many different ways, to explain what he did.

When I think back on my experience in Honduras, I relive and feel so many different things. I remember the disappointment of missing out on life back in Ohio, the certainty I felt the second I walked into the classroom and saw my students, the exhausting I felt from keeping up with a new culture. I hear all the laughter, frustration and explanation that came from my mouth. I think of the roller coaster my heart seemed to stay on, even when I thought I had taken the bench instead of the ride.

My two favorite parts from this chunk of the book are the way he uses a sweater unraveling to describe the messiness, and he couldn’t have been more right. Just when you think the sweater has nothing left to fall apart, it goes on unraveling even more. My other favorite part was when he said “It tests your courage, the very fibers of your being.” I love that because it does test everything in you, good and bad. It shows you exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are.

Ultimately, you cannot control it. You cannot make it happen, or stop if from happening. It simply goes.

So, for those of you who have not been wrecked, that is what it means to be wrecked…that is exactly how it feels.

It is not pretty to experience, nor is it pretty to watch. It changes your being, down to the very core of who you are. It is one of the most challenging things to experience, and yet once it happens, you would relive it over and over again.

It doesn’t take going overseas to experience this either, it simply takes stepping outside of yourself and placing yourself somewhere that gives you the opportunity to be wrecked.

Have a great day!

Adjusting Back

I know the last few posts have been closely related to my return to America and adjusting, so I apologize for that. Today, I want to talk about the many things that affect adjusting back to American living and what culture shock really does to your body. I have several friends who have never experienced what I have, or at least not to the same extent, and that’s mostly what this is for.

I would have to say that the biggest and most challenging thing about all of this is you can’t prepare completely for it and you have no control over it. You can’t speed up the adjusting process. You can prepare your heart and mind all you want, but there are so many things you cannot prepare for or expect.

My third week back was extremely difficult. I was exhausted all the time and every day felt as if I could fall apart at any moment, and I did a couple times. I grew frustrated with myself and my circumstances, then I got frustrated that I was even frustrated in the first place. God has blessed me so incredibly much since being back, in ways I not only don’t deserve, but never expected. Because of these blessings, I was feeling that I had no right to be frustrated.

The second most challenging thing is that on the outside, you look perfectly fine, but on the inside everything is a mess.

I have barely been able to have full thoughts over the past couple weeks. I have had to write literally every single thing down that I need to remember, and even then I still may forget. In a previous post, I wrote about staring at orange juice for ten minutes because I was used to two size options not fifty size, brand and pulp options. On the outside, I may have looked like I just was taking my time deciding, but on the inside I was beyond overwhelmed and felt that I could fall apart on the spot (and surprised I didn’t).

The third for me has been the ability to be emotionally present.

I thought that since my heart for Honduras and God has opened some amazing opportunities for me here, that this aspect of adjusting would be simple. I couldn’t be more wrong. I could be in a deep conversation with a friend or having game night and laughing with a few friends, but I don’t feel present. I feel like I’m simply observing, watching my life pass by without having the ability to be there and enjoy it. This is one of those things that has grown increasingly frustrating for me, because I so badly want to be here. It almost makes you so focused inward, that you feel extremely self-centered. I was told that I’ve been pretty quiet since being back, and this is why. It is better some days than others and it something that will slowly wear off, but being patient with that is difficult.

Lastly, it’s all the little things that get you, the ones you don’t even think about!

It’s hearing a father speaking Spanish to his children in Target and completely tuning your friend out and being sucked out of your own world for a couple minutes without realizing it. It’s seeing kids that look like your students and seconds before waving, realizing that it’s an impossibility. It’s paying $60 for food that would only cost you $20 a month ago. And most importantly (haha), it’s paying $5 for a coffee that isn’t as good as the $1 coffee you used to enjoy every day.

I feel like I’m coming into a more stable place. I’m beginning to have a schedule again and real-life is starting to settle in. Maybe I will never be able to truly live as I did before Honduras. Maybe the cost of living will always surprise me. Maybe hearing Spanish will always pull me out of reality. Maybe $5 coffee will always sadden me.

I’m learning, extremely slowly, to be patient with myself. In order to be patient with myself, I have to surround myself with people who are patient with me. I have had such a great support system in returning, of people who encourage me to take my time in adjusting.

I’m learning to rest and to be content in where God has me. Learning all I can while I’m there, and taking the next steps in being more adjusted. It’s exhausting, frustrating and sad at times, but it’s a process that I have to walk through.

Have a blessed day!



You fall asleep a couple of days before departure, and mindlessly walk through life and complete tasks on your to-do list. As you return to America and begin living life here, your mind and body slowly wake up and are able to process things and be emotionally present in situations.

This is the best way I have learned to explain the process of returning back to Ohio after being in Honduras for 3 months.

The past few days have been pretty overwhelming for me. I went grocery shopping for the first time since being here. I have been shopping several times with friends and family, but never for groceries.

I also haven’t been this mentally and physically present in two weeks.

I stood staring at orange juice for ten minutes. When you get used to have two or three options, and usually all dependent on size rather than brand, having an entire isle of options is crazy.

Later, I walked down the international foods isle to look for a couple things and began seeing  products I would have seen at the Economica where I used to buy groceries in Honduars. It’s wild that looking at a can of beans can make me tear up.

Every day since I have been back, I have gotten at least one message or comment from a student. I miss my kids so incredibly much. They could be so challenging at times, but when you get to actually touch their lives, it makes it all worth it.

The other night, I got a friend request from a student I was positive didn’t even like me. He was constantly rolling his eyes and mocking me (and not in a fun way). I accepted and quickly got a message from him. He told me that they all miss me and told me he was sad. That threw me for a loop. I really made a difference in the lives of these kids. They are part of me and I am part of them now. That was overwhelming for me, and still is, to wrap my head around.

I haven’t had my breaking point yet. I thought for a few days that maybe it simply wasn’t going to come (yeah right!). As I’m able to process things and actually live life, I’m realizing that that moment will most certainly come. I haven’t even cried. My heart hasn’t had a chance to process, even though my mind might be beginning to.

This coming week is overwhelming me. I’m starting work at the library, and working with two of my new jobs as well. I also plan to finally begin with the jr. high youth group at my church. There are a lot of exciting things happening, and yet I’m feeling overwhelmed.

This morning as I was getting ready for church, I began praying. I was beginning to feel lost.

I felt like there was nowhere to turn, or nobody that I could talk to that would get it. I felt this way because satan is a jerk. The most amazing thing that has happened for me in returning is realizing just how many people support me. God has shown me over and over again just how much I’m loved and cared for.

I spent over a year not truly living in Ohio. I hurt a lot of people because of that, and yet every single one of them has stuck by me. They supported my decisions and my passions, even if it pained them to do so. I sincerely want to apologize to anyone who has been affected by this. I cannot thank you enough for walking through this with me.

It’s overwhelming to me to know just how many people have my back.

I’m extremely tight on money, far more than I’ve ever been. I have been doing work here and there but still haven’t gotten money yet. I know it will all come together, and God will provide where needed, but until I’m truly back on my feet financially, I will be feeling overwhelmed in this.

I’m feeling overwhelmed this morning.

I’m overwhelmed by the many incredible blessings in my life that I don’t even deserve. I’m overwhelmed by actually living life in America and adjusting to normalcy. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the experience I had in Honduras and the many ways God provided for me during that time.

I’m slowly learning what is means to truly rest in God during this time. I’m learning to hand my burdens to Him. I so much so want to be overwhelmed by His presence and not the many things that plague me throughout the day.

This is where I’m at this morning. I’m feeling many different things. I feel like I can’t be completely present yet, but that I’m slowly getting there. Small things seem to be more overwhelming than the bigger ones.

And yet God is ever-present.

I cannot be more thankful for that.

Have a blessed day,