A New Perspective : Kathy

Kathy is a friend and mentor of mine, and has been for years. She always has just the right words to say and encouragement just when I, or others, need it most. She did Mr. Yell’s and my premarital counseling this past year and was our college minister for several years. I am so excited to have her on the blog this week!

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Worship- verb, proskuneo – pros=”towards” and kuneo=”to kiss”.

I will never forget learning this meaning years ago.  A room full of college students were at my house for discipleship and we began talking about what “worship” actually means and what God desires of us in our worship of Him.  We looked it up in our Vines Expository Dictionary and found this definition.  “To lean towards, as if to kiss”.   I was overtaken with the visual of that intimate act and could hardly speak for a moment.  Worship in my personal, private time was not a new concept, but that intimate act used to define it made it become a sharp and clear picture.  It made me understand why personal, private worship of the Lord Jesus Christ was crucial in feeling the power of the Holy Spirit when the whole church worships together.

Scripture teaches us the power of God’s people gathering in authentic worship together in 1st Corinthians 14:24-25.  The word of God was being taught and they were praising God together in such a way that listeners who did not know God came to understand how much they needed him and fell down on their knees and worshipped God, declaring that God really was there among them!

Only God is worthy of being worshipped this way.  In Matthew 4:10 Jesus rebukes Satan and tells him that we should “worship the Lord our God, and him only should we serve.”  The priority of faithfulness in worship is clear.  He wants all of our worship.

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Truly, my sweetest experiences in worship have been when I am alone at home or riding in my car.   Songs with strong biblically sound lyrics have made me want to stand up right there in my car and worship Jesus – which may be tricky since I am the one driving.  Reading God’s word and coming to a new understanding of God’s character or a new principle to apply to my life has often brought me to my knees in worship or caused me to weep at His overwhelming acts of grace and kindness toward me.

My encouragement to you is that you find a place where you can spend time “leaning in to God, as if to kiss Him”.    Even if you are one who doesn’t really know God or much about Him, seek Him – lean into Him and He will show you who He is.

Imagine what our weekly worship gatherings with others would be like if we all came to the room having already spent private time in worship of our Savior.  Let’s pray together that each of us who claim to follow Christ will be faithful to worship Him and only Him.  He is so worthy of our worship and praise.  After all, the bible teaches us that if we don’t, the ROCKS will cry out in worship.  And like the song says – “ain’t no rock gonna cry out in MY place!”

May your worship this week bring you a new understanding of how rich and fulfilling private worship can be.  For me, it changed my day, renewed my spirit and transformed my life.

Kathy

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Kathy is founder of “Speak It Ministries” and author of “5 Things” – a book about how a man should love a woman by looking at the life of Boaz.  She loves to share God’s word with anyone who will listen.  You can find out more about her ministry, as well as buy her book, at her  website www.speakitministries.com or follow her on Twitter: @cckathy and on Instagram: kathybnelson

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Little Things

Life is hard.

There is no doubt about it. Sometimes it feels like life is not just handing you lemons, but continually slapping you with those lemons… in the face… for no reason.

At least that is how it has been feeling for me for about a month now. I have had so many issues with my schooling, emotions, and just finding joy in general. I have just been feeling like I was being continually washed in sadness, despair, and hopelessness. There was no end in sight, no reason to be positive or optimistic. Basically, I was “Sadness” from the new movie Inside Out… (like, you-will-have-to-drag-me-everywhere sadness.) 

Not a pretty mental picture.

But you know what… there are so many other things to be than sad. So many more places to be, people to greet, and things to be thankful for.

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In honor of life’s disappointments (not just mine, but maybe your’s too?) I’ve made a list of all the great things in life. Maybe not all, but four sounds like a great place to start. So be sure to enjoy:

Life’s Little Goodies

1.) I am alive.
        Honestly, you and I are both breathing and our hearts are beating right now. This moment you are having thoughts and living a life (even if you don’t think your life is great.. it’s yours.) We are in this together. I want love and acceptance, and I am betting that you do to. These are facts that we are alive and conscious of our desires and that we have a life to live at this moment. Take a minute and just breathe. Feel your heartbeat and feel thankful for this life.

2.) I can read.
       And yay! So can you! We are the select few in the world who can read about people, events, and emotions. We can interpret squiggles that create stories of adventure or information about the world we live in. Reading helps us to be informed, empathetic, and help those in need. Without the basis of reading, we would be so limited in what we can do to encourage, love, or help others.

3.) I have necessities.
     I not only have water, but food and shelter. No, it’s not a pinterest house and I am not the best at creating art from the food I make, but I am well cared for in all of these physical needs. Not everyone has these things, even in the United States. In fact, about 633,782 people in 2012 were found to be homeless (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and 17.5 million households are food insecure (Coleman-Jensen 2014b, p1.). This isn’t even the poverty number. Poverty in the United States as of 2013 went up to 45.3 million people…. So to be thankful for the necessities is a big deal.
If you find yourself in need please let me know.

4.) I am so very loved.
    Friends. Please know that you are very deeply loved. I haven’t met you, but know that I love you and want to encourage you to keep going! This life is so hard, but it feels infinitely harder when you feel alone. Know that you are not alone, we are all in this together. While some may want you to fail, or if it just seems that way, others are rooting for you. We want you to do your best and live your best life. You are so loved!

While that may not seem like much… at this moment I know that I am going to make it. I have these four things to get me through.

One more thing, even if you don’t believe in God, I just find these words to be so encouraging:

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will praise Him, my Savior, my God”
Psalm 42:5

I love you all so much. Be encouraged.

Much love. Much grace.

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#InstalessChelsea

This week I went without Instagram. Now I am somewhat of an Insta fanatic, it’s my favorite form of social media. I love documenting life through pictures, and challenging myself to see the world in a new way. However, I started noticing that I was missing out on the world that I find so fascinating. 

This came to my attention at first through my husband as he jokingly would tell me that I was addicted to my Instagram. “Um, no! I just like pretty pictures!”, I would say. But as I started thinking I realized that while I may not be fully addicted, I had a problem putting down my phone. So began the week of #InstalessChelsea. 

  
When I first started this challenge it was very difficult for me. I had formed the bad habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning, and with the challenge I didn’t. I found myself enjoying other things like coffee or yoga to start my day instead of doing it in the midday. This really helped me to feel fresh and awake the rest of the day compared to the days when I had my Instagram mornings. 

  
Later in the week, around the third day, I didn’t really miss Instagram as much. I missed taking pictures and I did miss a couple feeds that I really enjoy, but I didn’t feel the pull to check it all the time. 

When I finally got back on Instagram a couple days ago, I realized I hadn’t missed much. The world kept turning, feeds kept updating, and I lost a few followers. But overall, I felt better. I felt a little more content with my life, my body, and just me in general. 

Am I going to quit Instagram? No. But I am going to cut down on the feeds I follow. I’m only going to have my very favorite accounts that I want to follow, and I have stopped worrying about how much people like my pictures. I like my feed, and that is all that matters. 

Much love. Much grace. 

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Mrs. Yell

Honestly, this part of marriage has so far been the hardest for me.  I never thought I would be so emotional, heartbroken, or struggle with this particular act.

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Changing my last name.

Crazy, right? I mean, there I was, marrying the man of my dreams; and yet I could not bring myself to take his name.

This wasn’t a struggle before we were married. I was so excited to get all the cute decor with our letter “Y” on them and hearing my friends call me the “Future Mrs. Yell”, and yet when I got married I was so upset that I would have to change my last name.

My whole identity up to that point had been just about me. All of my accomplishments had “Chelsea Hoskins” on them. My passport with all of my travels and adventures had “Chelsea Hoskins” on it. My diplomas, scholarships, important or impressive papers…. they all had “Chelsea Hoskins” on them.

That was me.  Without MY name, how would people know what I did or who I was? I was scared of losing myself.

I didn’t want people to hear my name or see me and not think of me, but instead that I was just a wife. I did not want to lose my independent achievements for the sake of a title.

In this way, changing my name felt like the loss of a person. I was grieving over the loss of myself.

In a way… it was.

But in a more important way… it wasn’t.

I did not LOSE my name, my accomplishments, or myself. These labels were not TAKEN from me.

I gave them up.

I made the CHOICE to not just become one with my husband by the marriage license, but legally with a new title.

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When I was on my own, I was ready to take the world by storm on my own. Truly a Miss. Independent, and I wanted it to stay that way.  Now I have the coolest person in the world that I get to travel, learn, and do life with… and I want to be associated with him by whatever means possible. Including my last name. I get to tell people as soon as they meet me that I am with that cute, honorable man Mr. Yell.

So, not only am I slowly learning how to sign my new name, I am learning how to give up some pride, and a little bit of ego. And friends, can I just say it is absolutely worth it? Because, it absolutely is.

Be encouraged ladies.

Much love. Much grace.

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