Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The book that hit home //

Have you ever had a book really impact you? Two years ago when I first read "No Longer a Slumdog" it had quite an effect on me. I never do things like this, but I decided I had to share the effect the book had had on me with it's author. This is the email I sent...

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Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 5:14 PM
To: K.P. Yohannan
Subject: "No Longer A Slumdog"

Mr Yohannan,

Whether or not you ever get a chance to read this I had to take the time
to give glory to God and share how He has used the book "No Longer a
Slumdog" for me personally. Its a bit of a long story but the context
makes the conclusion all the better so bear with me. :)

In the fall of 2010 the Lord began to sort of "corner" me with India --
everywhere I looked India was there. I took the hint eventually and
brought it before the Lord. He really burdened me for that country and I
was crying out on behalf of it to Him regularly. I was literally crying
for the people living there that I had never met before. I felt the
weight of the Lord's anguish for them so heavy on me. At the same time I
felt the great strength and release of joy in the hope the Lord is
bringing and desires to bring more fully to them. I began to learn a bit
about the culture and I looked into taking a trip there with the
ministry called Visiting Orphans. The Lord kept the burden heavy on me
until He had taken me through a refining season of bringing me to a
place of obedience and submission to whatever His plan could turn out to
be for me in regard to India. He caused me to come face-to-face with
some of my fears and things I needed to surrender in order to follow
wherever He may lead me and He had me really count the cost of being a
willing vessel for Him to use there. After He had brought me through
that the weight of the burden lifted. It was strange not to be overcome
with anguish and be on my face crying and praying for the country
anymore but it was still on my heart, it had become dear to me. Months
went by and I was still praying about whether I was to go to India or
not and eventually the Lord answered me saying simply, "Wait." I thought
at the time that He meant I was to wait for a few weeks or something for
Him to tell me that I was to go but He made it clear that He meant I was
to wait indefinitely and not plan on going this year. As much as I
desired to go it was exciting to know that I wasn't supposed to yet and
that He must have something else in mind. All those months of praying
and waiting I had also been reading and researching, trying to expand my
understanding of circumstances around the world and broaden my personal
awareness. That led to many different things: opened doors,
opportunities to share and learn and be involved in things I wouldn't
have been before, relationships with like-minded individuals, etc. In my
study the Lord directed me to GFA and that was one more way He
"cornered" me with India. I ordered a free copy of your book "Revolution
in World Missions" and it was fantastic. Among other sermons that I have
on my iPod by David Wilkerson, Paris Reidhead, and Major Ian Thomas, I
have sermons by you that I have listened to both on my own and with my
family members. Your passionate care for souls (which is from the Lord)
is always convicting and used to bring me back to the Lord on my knees
saying, "I don't have that burden, but I must. Lord, give me your heart
for the souls being lost daily."
Fast forward to last week. I was looking through all of my books,
wondering which one to start reading and really wishing that I had a
book on the circumstances children find themselves in especially in
Asia. Shortly thereafter a friend told me about "No Longer a Slumdog"
and I ordered my free copy. I got it a few days later and couldn't put
it down. Not only was it exactly the kind of book I was wishing for that
day when I was wondering what I should start reading, but the Lord used
it to confirm a lot of things to me that He has been leading up to and
preparing me for until this point, and -- though its a minor detail I
think it is worth mentioning -- the cover of the book consists of all my
favorite colors. My God is so personal and just plain sweet to me. I
know His chastisement and refining, yes, but even in that He is sweet to
me -- He is good. I won't go into the things that the Lord has confirmed
to me but one thing that I have decided is that, although there are TONS
of organizations and ministries to give to that are good, I believe my
finances for giving are intended to be directed to GFA from now on. I
came to this conclusion through many different factors but mostly
because of two things: Because your life is marked by love and that is
attested to by those who know you, and because your ministry operates on
the motivation to bring the Gospel to the dying souls in Asia -- not
just relieve and meet their physical and earthly needs. Through a
variety of ways whether it be sponsoring and supporting missionaries or
children in the communities, purchasing needs to be distributed to those
who will most need and best use them, or the Bridge of Hope schools, I
believe the Lord wants to use my giving to help -- and that was
concluded by reading "No Longer a Slumdog". I'll be honest and say that
I was not expecting that to happen from reading it. I have had a high
respect for GFA and the work that you do and your goals but I have never
really expected to be moved to really get behind a ministry in the way I
feel led to support yours. I am not an individual with excess cash
available. I am living on faith and the Lord is faithfully meeting my
needs, but now when I feel I am to give I will also know exactly where I
am to give. Praise God! 

Thank you for serving the Lord. Thank you for taking the time to write
and for giving books away for free. Thank you for what you and all the
workers that keep the many areas of GFA working do every day. God bless
you.

For the King and His Kingdom,

Chelsea Mills

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You can order a free copy today from my sidebar! Who knows how the Lord might use it in your life!

You can also read about my recent trip to India and the work the Lord did in and through my team and I there by clicking here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Over tea...

"I don't see what you want to go away and leave us for."
"I don't exactly want to, Davy, but I feel I ought to go."
"If you don't want to go you needn't. You're grown up. When I'm grown up I'm not going to do one single thing I don't want to do, Anne."
"All your life, Davy, you'll find yourself doing things you don't want to do."
// Anne of the Island, L. M. Montgomery

I've had conversations very much like this one frequently this spring with my littlest brother. I don't really want to leave my lovely home here in the country with my family. I feel I ought to though. Don't we all believe as kids that when we grow up we'll be free from all unpleasant and undesirable circumstances because we will be "the boss" of us? I have found that the freedom of choice that accompanies adulthood comes with the wisdom to know that there are many choices you make not because you want to, per se, but because you know it'll be best for you and for others. I've also found that making the choices I know to be right always come with benefits that I do want. It all works out all right after all.

pinterest

Growing up. Feeling very nostalgic. I've had so many flashbacks to childhood memories and the way I once thought as a kid... So if we were hanging out tonight, I'd share all of this with you. Over tea of course. ;)

Monday, April 22, 2013

The way I loved you //

You said that it was easier to focus on math when you listened to music the other day... So today when you started math I played music. We both know that a lack of communication is often what causes us to act out... So today we dialogued once again about lack of respect and the importance of immediate obedience. When we went grocery shopping the other day you said we go through cereal fast and I said its because you eat it instead of what's cooked for you... So today when I made something you didn't think you'd like, you said you'd eat it just the way I made it, and we celebrated that.

These are little, tiny moments that could pass by unnoticed, but often they would never happen at all if it weren't for intentional laying aside of one's own desires for the good of another.
And that's the way I want to love you all the time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Over Tea...

if you were here tonight, 
sitting at the other end of the couch, 
I would share my thoughts with you over tea. 
this is what the thoughts would be.
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I like that some things are always the same, 
like the smell of rain or the speed of the sunrise.


drinking in the now...



I like that some things fade with time, 
like hair turning grey or overwhelming emotions.



remembering is like storytelling...



I like that some things develop and grow and change with age, 
like who you are or a good friendship.



don't be afraid to dream a little larger...



Also, Taylor Swift and Disney Princesses inspire me. 
I always wanted to be a princess so I could be a good influence on lots of people... 
Taylor and Disney remind me of that childhood dream.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What I Wore // She Does Justice

When the spring collection of She Does Justice scarves released I snagged a coral stripe one quickly. I guess a lot of people did, because they were sold out fast! There are lots of other cheery colors left to choose from though. This one was my second choice
My scarf arrived just in time for our spring break trip to Florida. It was the most perfect accessory to bring! After being out in the sun a lot, I could tell I was getting a little pink. Putting on this light, super soft layer gave me a little added protection from the strong Florida sun, and it added a pop of color to my outfits. Here are two ways that I wore it during our trip...



You can hop on over to the She Does Justice shop and check out the other scarves in the spring collection as well as all the other shop goodies by clicking on the button in my blog sidebar or clicking here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Way I Loved You //

Even though we just came back from spring break and even though we just had a school pow-wow yesterday to get psyched up for these final months of school and the excitement and practical-benefits that high school years hold, you and I are so ready for summer break.

We're still learning the balance between hard boundaries and room to be creative, consequences and grace, nurturing the head and nurturing the heart. You work really hard and know it makes me proud and then you get distracted and bogged down and bored and you know it drives me crazy. I don't explain things clearly and you misunderstand me. You ask questions that can't be answered and I answer with irritation in my voice. Sometimes we take breaks to cool our heads and refocus our brains for hard subjects. Sometimes we power through it with arguments and confusion and hugs and loudly proclaimed assurances that I still love you.

Just when I think I'm the wort teacher or when I feel like running away from the stress of all your needs and all my inability to meet them, you come in for what I think is going to be a an annoying poke in the side, and it turns out to be a hug.

Yesterday at my low point you grabbed my hand and I tried to get it out of your grip because I thought it was just a game you were usin as a distraction but the more I pulled the more you pulled and then all of a sudden you looked me in the eyes and said, "I'm trying to hold your hand! Just let me!" So I relaxed and you held my hand lovingly all the way through the remaining lesson.

Sure I love you by sticking out the constant questions and the stress and the never ending work to be done... But you love me by sticking it out right alongside of me.

That's the way we love each other.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What I Wore // Standing for freedom and adoption...

Y'all have met the lovely Leah on my blog before. She and I got to spend an hour together during my recent trip to Florida. It was a blessing to get to fellowship with her. If you don't follow her blog, you're missing out!

She bought this hand-woven scarf during her time in Cambodia. It's a reminder to her that the people there are industrious and hard working and yet they make very little money through selling goods (often through unfair wages or the like). This causes them to seek income in areas like prostitution.



The bracelet was sold to raise funds for the adoption of a little girl from China.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hello. My name is _________

I have been given the gift of faith. I don't feel the need for God to show me the big picture because I'm content to walk by faith rather than by sight. Mostly.

From the day that I was designed in the mind of God, I have been sweet, quiet, ornery and have had an overactive sense of justice. A deep thinker, reader of classic literature and avid journaler, I have things to say and I know how to say them. A planner, organizer and detail-oriented person, with the proper warning, I'm prepared for whatever comes. But, because of insecurities, I've been shy my whole life. Reserved and often isolated, I've probably intimidated many people on my life simply by being intimidated by them. Being an introvert I am content to be alone, I refuel on quiet time. However, in life relationships are key, and communication is key to relationship success. On top of that, life, and the people we do life with, do not always provide sufficient heads-up for things I like to be prepared in advance for. This has been the main trigger of melt-downs, cry-fests and the throwing of fits in my life.

Summer of 2010 Jesus changed that about me. In Him I found a deep sense of security. I gained a confidence, boldness and radiant sense of peace-that-passes-understanding. I walked around with my head held high, reached out to others, spoke in front of crowds with no preparation -- just words from the Lord. I helped organize events, opened up to friends and family and helped them open up to me.

Over the past two and a half years I've walked through miserable trials. Through these circumstances Jesus has brought to the surface many insecurities and fears that needed to be weeded out of my life. By His power and His love I've been able to walk through those seasons and come out stronger and more free. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

I'm walking into a new season of independence, having bought my first house and working on starting my own business. There are always unknowns that come with new seasons, but few seasons come with "all new" (aka "all unknown"). This one seems to. There are some things that I'm truly afraid of, in a paralyzing way, and others that I'm insecure about (and really hope no one asks me about because it will reveal how unprepared and naive I am). It's like riding a teeter-totter, one minute I'm excited and can't wait to move, the next I want to stay right where I am and let life tick by without me. (Not possible but sometimes I pretend it is.)

Here's the thing, I know the security to be found in my Lord, I know the strength given to face the day, and the love that exceeds all loves and calms my greatest fears. I want to be where He is, do what He is doing, go where He goes. I've left the shore, I've ridden out frightening storms with Him and now He beckons me to join Him in the total unknown, in the impossible-apart-from-Him, and I will step out of the boat and follow. My faith is little, and I suspect I'll begin to sink, even as I walk, more than once, but He is faithful even when I am without faith and He won't let me fall. All I need to be prepared, to walk through life with that aura of peace and to boldly obey my Lord is Him. And He is mine.

Hello. My name is Secure-in-Christ.

Hello My Name Is

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I Wore // On spring break...

It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts.
Honestly, it's because I have been wearing sweats and pj's almost everyday this winter. And while I do wear my Sevenly gear basically every day, I didn't want to photograph myself over and over in my work-out gear or jammie pants. You understand.
But, hey, here is an outfit I wore during our family vacation to Florida this past week. The weather was lovely. Can't wait for my winter world to thaw into spring so I'll feel like wearing dresses again! This is the first maxi dress I have ever bought. I got it on clearance from Altar'd State. It is one of their name-brand items and therefore a percentage of the profits from it goes to providing housing, education, food and clothing for children in need. Gotta love that!


Maxi Dress - Altar'dState // Belt - Altar'dState // Bracelets - Target // Sandals - Target

Monday, April 1, 2013

A generation that quits //

When something isn't as it ought to be and doesn't satisfy our needs we are quick to give up on it, rather than praying for redemption for it.

Perhaps you're in a marriage, a family, a friendship, a community, that isn't as it ought to be and doesn't satisfy your needs. Don't leave. Don't remain frustrated. Don't dwell on all the short comings of the individual(s). Don't cut down the individual(s) behind their backs. Pray for the Lord's heart for them. When He gives it to you, allow Him to move you to pray in accordance with His will for the relationship/community. Remain steadfast in His love for them. Continue praying in faith for the changes He desires. He will answer, change will come, growth will occur. You'll love the individual(s) more than you ever thought you could and wonder how you ever thought you could just throw you're hands up and abandon them. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things... Love. Never. Fails.

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As fallen men we are not as we ought to be and can't satisfy God's desire for a people set apart. Rather than throwing His hands up in the air in frustration, giving up on us and leaving, Jesus's love compelled Him to make a way for us to be with Him, to never be separated from Him.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. // Romans 5:6–8

His heart is for us. He desires to be near us. A willingness to change, a desire for growth is all it takes. He doesn't ask us to be immediately flawless. Allowing Him to make us right little by little delights Him. He couldn't love us more. He'll never love us less. He doesn't grow tired of loving us, even in our yet imperfect states. His love is as fresh today as it was when He was compelled to go to the cross by it, and it will still be as fresh every moment of eternity. Receive it.

And if we have been so loved by our [faithful, merciful, compassionate, loving] God, we ought also to love [never give up on] each other.