Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10,000 children

I may have had a minor breakdown on Monday. I assure you, I held it together enough to not have a panic-attack or anything, but inside my head, I was freaking out a little. I let the stress of tying up loose-ends at one job, starting another and moving houses get to me. I also had the nerve to let issues with my family get to me too.

Being human, I immediately called a couple people that I'm close to and they both said, "Chelsea, stop for a second, breathe, and pray." Of course. Why didn't I go straight to prayer? Why do we so often forget the importance of prayer and presenting our thanks, requests, and concerns to God before anything or anyone else? The second I stopped long enough to talk to God I realized that everything I've got going on right now is great. Let's rephrase that, it's better than great, it's life-changing and truly incredible.

Why do I even have the nerve to complain and be anxious about such things when there are people in Haiti wondering if they'll make it to the next day? Why do we become so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget about those around us that are suffering far worse circumstances?

I started my job with Wine to Water today and given the events in the world and in my life over the last few weeks, it is so clear that God's timing is truly perfect. I have so much to learn with the organization, but I am so excited and honored just to be a part of it. It is insanely refreshing to be a part of something so much bigger than your immediate surroundings and to be around people that are truly and genuinely invested in helping others.

"10,000 children are my invitation to change
To continue in excess now suddenly feels oh so strange
Prayers and money should not be confused,
But I pray that both still are used

Only love can save us all..." -Dave Barnes

Sunday, January 24, 2010

redemption song

Talk about a packed weekend! As I finish up my duties at ASU, I'm also attempting to dive head first into my new position with Wine to Water. After wrapping up our half-day Alumni Council meeting yesterday, I moved a few more things into my new home (thank you, Stacie, I owe you BIG time). Then, after sitting down for a grand total of about 10 seconds, it was off to Banner Elk for the second Wine to Water event of the weekend.

A couple of fabulous ladies from the High Country put both of these events together in less than a week. They both felt the urgency to do something for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and literally sprang into action. Friday and Saturday's events raised over $9,000!

Wouldn't it be incredible if EVERYONE was this eager to help one another all the time?

Doc, our founder is in the DR right now and will head to Haiti in the morning to assess the water situation in the area. The survivors are in dire need of clean water, so it's important for us to do everything we can to help.
Speaking of helping in Haiti, if making a straight donation is not really your thing, check out the link below. The founders, both Mountaineers and great guys, have designed a shirt that will send %100 of sales proceeds to the Red Cross. They're amazing shirts, I own three, and I assure you, you'll never, ever find a more comfortable t-shirt.

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our mind..." Bob Marley

Thursday, January 21, 2010

keep it lose, keep it tight

I promise I'll get off my "live life to the fullest, cherish the people around you" sappy kick, but not quite yet. I'm just into life right now and if you're reading this, then I'm sorry to say, you're going to have to deal with it. :)

I'm reading an incredible book right now by my favorite author, Donald Miller. The book is called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years." I've read almost every book this guy has written because he has such a refreshing take on life and Christianity. I highly recommend any of his books, believer or non-believer, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy any of them.

In this particular book, Miller talks a lot about how we create the stories of our lives and what it would be like to go back and edit them if we could. I came across a great quote while I was reading last night that really hit home for me.

"People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen."

Simple, but so very true. Looking back, I've found that the most influential people on my life have been the ones that constantly put in the work to creating unique and memorable experiences in their lives- they created great stories. Which brings me to my next point... one that I've been hitting on a lot lately. Who are you surrounding yourself with? It's hard to create the great stories of your life if you're surrounding yourself with negative, passive, unmotivated people. When you go to heaven and you and God sit down to look back on the story of your life, what will you talk about? Will it be a great story or did you just do what you could to get by?

Make the change. Chase your passions. Pursue your goals. Create an amazing story.

"Sometimes we forget what we got
And who we are and who we are not
I think we got a chance to make it right..." Amos Lee

Sunday, January 17, 2010

two coins

I want to touch on something that is of great importance to me: family. Boring and cliché subject to some, I'm sure, but there's a little more to it than that. I have been lucky enough in the last few months to spend a lot of time with my cousin, Michael. In fact, I just got back from spending the weekend with him and his girlfriend, Kelli, who by the way, has become a wonderful and close friend.
My relationship with the two of them has really brought to light not only how important it is to keep up with your family, but also how important it is to build friendships with the people in your family.

I'm right in the middle of a very hectic, stressful, and exciting point in my life. I'm transitioning careers and moving and in the process, trying to grasp the idea that my life is about to change in an unbelievable way. All that said, I typically shut people out when I have a lot on my plate. I buckle down and finish each task before I allow myself to enjoy life a little. My time with Michael and Kelli this weekend served as a great reminder that it's ok to stop and enjoy the people around you as you are going through a process or striving for a goal. After all, the people that you should keep closest to you are the ones who are pushing you toward those goals anyway.

I'm so grateful to have these two in my life. They have provided great encouragement and support, and most importantly, a good laugh during times when I've needed to lighten up.
"Go ahead and laugh 'cause it don't cost much..." -Dispatch

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today was a monumental day in my life. I made a decision that will no doubt, prove to be life altering and difficult. However, I know with every fiber in my being that I am doing the right thing. So, instead of rambling on, here's what happened:
Last week I e-mailed my friend, Annie Clawson to ask if I could meet with her to get information on starting a non-profit. It has been a goal of mine for sometime now to start an organization that raises money and awareness for ovarian cancer research. Annie works for an organization called Wine to Water. If you watched the news, particularly CNN at all this year, you've probably heard of it. Annie, and founder Doc Hendley have dedicated their lives to helping solve the water crisis through Wine to Water. It's an incredible organization that I fully and eagerly support. Much to my surprise, my meeting with Annie turned into an interview with her and Doc to discuss the potential of working for the organization. When I was contacted the next day and offered the job, I was incredibly excited an honored, but I knew it was something to seriously think about.
I have a great job now and work with people who have become some of my closest friends. It's a great environment and I have learned so much from my experiences there. When Wine to Water called to offer me the position, I knew I had a lot to think about. After praying over it and talking with a few close friends, I knew without a doubt that by taking this position, I would be fulfilling what I am being called to do right now. The moment I realized that, so many doubts and uncertainties that I'd been dealing with all made since. I have been given this opportunity because at the end of the day, changing someones life is more important to me than having a hefty bank account. I now know why I stayed in Boone even when I was given opportunities to move to places that I hold close to my heart. I am here to serve a purpose and right now, this is it. I am so excited to start and to do my part in helping change lives around the world. If you haven't checked out Wine to Water, I strongly encourage you to visit: The effect their work has on the lives they touch is truly remarkable and inspiring.
"And who's to say it's wrong
And who's to say that it's not right
Where we should be for now..." The Fray

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

moving on

It's been a crazy few days, full of transition, major changes and great opportunities. As I look to the next couple of months I have realized that my life is about to change dramatically and I could not be more excited.
I did something a little spontaneous today, but spontaneity has kind of become my things. I booked a trip to NYC for the last weekend in Feburary. This trip will mark a couple of a major milestones for me. First, it will be exactly one year and a few short weeks after my very first trip to the city. Since that first trip, I've been back multiple time and am convinced that if I never get married, I will be perfectly content being in love with New York. It is a city unlike any other, full of passion and new beginnings. I fall more in love with it every time I visit. During this trip I have also been given the opportunity to meet with an incredible organization that does great things for ovarian cancer research. This meeting will give me the opportunity to sit down and figure out how I can really make a difference for the lives of women in the future who, I hope, will be as fortunate as I was in my battle with cancer. My meeting with the research organization marks the day that I have been cancer free for 10 years! What a great way to celebrate!
My hope is that everyone would find the things in life that they are most passionate about, the things that literally make them come alive and chase them with everything they have in them. Always take advantage of the opportunity.

"I'm moving onward as another chapter unfolds..." Weekend Excursion

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the best of what's around

This is pure happiness. I'm sitting here with my dear friend Amanda discussing our day over a glass of wine while a live Dave concert plays in the background. She's rolling out dough for tomorrow morning's croissants and I'm playing with her black lab, Sophie. Good friends, live music, baking, wine and a really doesn't get much better than that.
With that said, I encourage you, because I for one forget too easily, to take a breath and enjoy what's around RIGHT now. By all means, make plans, have dreams and chase them, but don't forget to enjoy the present. This is the only time you're in it and you'll never get it back again. Cheers!
"And if nothing can be done, we'll make the best of what's around..." Dave Matthews Band

Friday, January 8, 2010


Happy 2010, friends! I had a great conversation with three wonderful people New Years Eve that gave me the idea to start a blog. I'm very much in a great time of transistion in my life and I'm really seeing the importance of being still until I am TOLD to make my next move.
So, I'll start my first entry by sharing a few things. This year has been filled with it's fare share of overwhelming and heartbreaking moments, however, through each of those experiences certain people in my life step in and show me God's grace. I've learned that life is not necessarily about specific experiences, but the people that you surround yourself with to create them.
On a final note, each entry title will be the song title of whatever I'm feeling at the moment or just enjoy. This one: "Everclose" by Matt Wertz

"Your love abounds."