Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Tomorrow is my 25th birthday. Tomorrow I will be a quarter century. Tomorrow health insurance rates go up. Tomorrow I can rent a car with a reasonable rate. Tomorrow car insurance goes down, if I had a car that is. All of these things don't really matter. I'm already 25 in my head, but I get to really say it tomorrow. I usually count down to my birthday, but didn't do that this year. I think I've finally grown out of that... except for counting down to training camp and the race (24 and 100 respectively).

Anyway, I'm thinking about either retitling this blog or taking it down forever... I'm not in LeadTime anymore, and I have a blog for the race. What is your suggestion???

Life is going well, I have a job that I love, and its great spending time with my family. I've been babysitting and giving massages in my free time too, which has been great.

Training camp is right around the corner, I cant believe it! I get to spend 10 full days with my entire team, getting to know them and praising God together. We also will be put into our small teams, probably something I'm looking forward to the most. YAY! There will be lots of team building activities, lots of burden lifting and LOTS of fun. Cant wait!

I have about $4700 raised for the race, but have a long way to go. If you feel that the Lord is asking you to help, please visit: https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace&desc=For%20Chelsie%20ONeal&tuid=631484 . I also have some needs left on my amazon.com wishlist, please check it out and give if you feel led: http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/2URTMME7MACVL . If you feel led to help in a different way, I need help with shots and insurance! Please also join me in prayer for my specific needs. I cannot do this without YOUR HELP!!!! There needs to be 60% in my support account before January, please pray with me that this need is met.

The World Race from Adventures In Missions on Vimeo.

Prayer Requests:
  1. Peace. With all the pressures lately, pray for peace and a calm heart.
  2. Financial Provision. Please join me in prayer for all of my financial needs. Pray that God provides!
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Hey everyone!!

Tomorrow is the day! I am moving back to the West Coast. I have not even really started packing yet... It might be a long day.

I am going to Las Vegas for a week to hang out with my dad, and then its on to Oregon! Im looking forward to ZERO humidity, and lots of sunshine. YAY.

My new address is:
2542 NE Keats Drive
Bend, OR 97701

Things you can be praying for:
  1. Peace. Leaving is going to be really hard. Pray that the transition is smooth and easy.
  2. Rest. I need some! Moving is stressful, and I just got sick. Pray that I would be healed.
  3. Provision. Pray that God continues to provide, and that he will provide a job.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

THE Plan

I have an "official" plan! Its been about a week since I made a decision, and its about time I fill you in!

I leave Doulos in Branson, MO on Friday, August 28. I cant believe its over! More about that later. From here, I am flying to Las Vegas for a week, to spend time with my dad. I'm really excited about this because he was able to take some time off of work to get to hang out with me. YIPPEEE. Even though I'm sad about not being able to stay, I know that its not in the Lord's plan for me to stay there. The following Friday, September 4, I will fly home to Bend. I immediately have a wedding to get to, but after that, will be staying for four months until I leave on the World Race.

It took me awhile to make a decision because part of me was waiting for the Lord to show me something, or tell me where to go. I finally made the choice because I think that is what God was trying to teach me. Its not about the where part, but really the what choice am I making, and is it pleasing to God. Since he had already shut the door on Vegas, there weren't many other options. I tried to make everything work, but the realistic option is what I went for.

I have not been in Bend for more than two weeks since I left for Vegas 5 years ago. Its so crazy to be moving home after all this time. I'm really excited to spend time with my family, and to work like crazy!

SO, life at Doulos is coming to an end. We have one more "real" day with the girls, tomorrow. One real day. I've gone from ONE year, and its down to ONE day. Okay, so I have one more real week here, but its a break, and we will have minimal girls. We'll have 3 over the weekend and 1 for most of the week (we just got a new little on Monday!), and maybe another. It will be full of REST, and fun, and hanging out. Its going to be a blast... and super chill. Just what I need. This week has been full of "lasts"... the last time I'm ever going to be on a dinner at Doulos... the last Saturday work project... the last time taking a little to sonic... the last room time... and etc. A year went by so fast.

The new LTers came today. That was weird. Its really strange to think that they are taking our places in 10 short days. They are moving into our old rooms, interacting with our girls, and starting a new routine and life at Shelterwood. And, I'm not going to be here. I'm not going to see these girls. I'm not going to be a part of their last few months. THAT'S crazy. And sad. I'm probably going to cry a lot.

Where did this year go?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fasting and moving on...

Hey everyone!

I apologize for the delay in writing a new blog! Life is abundantly busy.... Here is a recap.

Two week fast from Facebook and The World Race. Thats right, I took a TWO week fast from those two things. A fellow racer suggested it to me, and I decided that would be a great thing. Turns out, it was. There were several reasons I did it. For one, God was slowly taking a backseat to my World Race stuff. Thats not fair to God at all. I needed to spend more time with him, and to really focus on my walk with him. The race became an idol, and it was time to let that stop. I also took the time to seek the Lord on where he wanted me next. I was planning on Vegas because it was "easy". God shut the door for that opportunity, and it crushed me. It still crushes me. More about this later. Throughout my fast, there was a lot of conflict thrown in my direction. I felt it from every which way. Mostly though, I had conflict with the little sisters. There was the occasional conflict with big sisters too. Nothing major. Im tired of conflict!!! The fast from facebook was not difficult, nor was it tempting. Overall, I learned a lot from this time. I learned that God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11), and I need to have faith to let him work it out.

Even though I feel like I learned that, Im really having a hard time believing that. I dont know where the disconnect is either. Vegas is not where God wants me, he shut the door. He is still shutting doors left and right. There are no open doors to walk through. The most frustrating part of all of this is that I have to leave Doulos in three weeks. Three weeks and still no plan. Its hard because I want to badly to have a plan, and to have a good one at that. But I feel that God is silent. I feel like I cant hear him speaking to me. WHY? I dont know. Like I said, I feel lost.

On Thursday, I graduated from LeadTime. I bet you're thinking, "its been a year already?" I think that all the time. Its weird though, being done with LeadTime, but still being here. During our graduation, we were given silly awards that are mostly made of inside jokes and the likes. Its kind of like a story about your life after LeadTime. Mine involved the race, vanilla diet pepsi, and my skill to get all of my overdraft fees reversed. It ended with me opening a massage and hula residential care facility in Maui. TOO funny. We also get a letter read to us by the LT Womens Director. It was beautiful. The Doulos site director gave us all a charge at the end. I feel like that message was for me. He challenged us to really seek the Lord rather than to seek the stay/go sign from him. I dont know how to not do this. I want to seek the go signs, and the what am I doing signs. But I think he is telling me to seek him. Below is a pic of LeadTime 29 and 29.5 (they graduate in Dec). One big happy family!

This is where Im lost. I hear these relevant topics of seeking the Lord. I ask the Lord to shut doors and he does. But Im also asking him to open doors, and not seeing that happen. I feel like I've laid this at his feet. But have I really done that? I dont know! I dont know how to make that happen. I dont know how to let this go. I want to control it so badly. I want to control it because I feel like I wont have a plan if I dont. What a terrible place to be. Thats how I feel. Im trying to give this to the Lord. I really am. BUT its just not going well.

Please be praying for me, I really need it. I need wisdom, guidance and hope.

Like I said earlier, there are three weeks left until I leave Doulos. In reality, there are two weeks left with the girls, and there is a week of break. We most likely (could change) will not have any littles around the whole week, with the exception of a few for the first weekend. When they leave on the 21st, we are saying goodbye for good. When they return a week later from break, they have new big sisters, and really have to start all over again. There are three 29.5 big sisters, that that will provide some stability for them. I cant imagine what its like for them to lose 7 big sisters and get 7 new ones. That would be awful. Im really trying to make the best of the next two weeks, and to really pursue them so that they would feel loved. I dont want to have regrets, although thats not possible all the time. I am going to strive for that. Its going to be so hard to leave, I dont know that I can even think about it. Not yet anyways... but I almost have to because leaving means leaving, which means I still dont have a plan...

And that brings me full circle with life currently. Again, please be praying for me!

Love you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Your SUPPORT is needed!

As you know, Im working for a residential care facility with teenagers in crisis. I am almost done! About 6 more weeks, and then Im off to Las Vegas. I am moving there to spend time with my dad, and to work hard to pay off my debt before going on the race. I have a job lined up for the most part, on-call nannying for the hotels, but no car yet. Thankfully, I will be living with my dad to offset some costs. 

Since I work 24/7, most of my support has come from friends and family like you! Thank you if you have financially supported my LeadTime year. I have $55 left in my Doulos support account, which is JUST under what I am needing for my next pay check, which combined with my stipend check is usually exactly what I need. God has been faithful thus far to provide for me. But, I am asking for your help for the month of August. 

I am asking for $500 to help me move home to Las Vegas and to sustain me and my bills for the month of September. 

I ask that you would prayerfully consider supporting me financially. As my time in Missouri is coming to a close, your timely response would be incredibly encouraging to me. If you would like to support me through Doulos (tax deductible), please send your support before August 1: 

Doulos Ministries
801 W. Mineral Ave,  Suite 202
Littleton, co  80120

To support me directly, please send checks to:
Chelsie O'Neal 
282 Doulos Rd
Branson, MO  65616

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Even if you cannot support me financially, your prayers are always welcomed!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Missions Minded

Hey Everyone!

Hard to believe this time is almost over... I have a month and a half left, which feels like nothing compared to the 10 1/2 behind me. Time flies... so weird!

Last Monday, the whole girls house left for Kansas City for our missions trip. Its only about 3 1/2 hours away, but we took our time getting there. Fortunately, I was off on Monday night around 5 when we got there. It was like a day off! Erin Conner, Amber (the LT intern and a my co-big) and I went to dinner at Old Chicago, and then to a movie. It was awesome to spend time with the girls, and was much needed. Tuesday, we went to the Kansas City area food bank to sort food. We sorted through 6 of the gigantic boxes and several of the collection barrels. (Pic below: me after emptying the huge box!) We cleared the aisle in just three short hours! It was really fun to sort the food, and I think the girls enjoyed it also. The food bank feeds 60,000 people a week, with mostly children. It was awesome! On Wednesday, we went to a living history museum to help with various projects in the morning and a book bank in the afternoon. I helped strip and prime the church at the living history museum; we didn't get very far though with only a few hours to work. It was fun to paint, and I was with 3 other big sisters and a house director. We had fun, at least I think WE did. I know I did. At the book bank, we helped count hard back and soft back books, and then were able to pick out some books to take home. It was a good day! Besides work, we were able to have some fun too. We went to The Plaza in Kansas City, a huge outdoor shopping area. We hung out at Coldstone and the fountain in the park. It was cool to see a new city.

Its my weekend off this past weekend, and I spent it sewing baby blankets for my sister. She is due in January, most likely after I leave for the race. Since I dont know what she is having until next month, I made two! It was super fun to sew... now Im all tired from it though. But SO worth it!!! I have a few more projects that I've already prepared for, and I cant wait to sew those also. I think, after this weekend, I have an addictive personality... but maybe I already knew that.

I havent been feeling that great lately, lots of headaches, and fatigue... but today, I took care of myself and took a 3 hour nap while everyone else went to community service. I still cant believe I slept that long. Im not a napper by any means, I usually wake up really groggy and stay that way for an hour. I actually had dreams during my nap too, which I think means that I was in a DEEEEEEP sleep. WOW. I could have slept another 2 hours I bet, if only I wasnt woken up by a little. OH the days of sleeping in my own room.

I've gotten permission to leave LeadTime a few days early, on August 27. This will help me to prepare a little more for life in Vegas (working, car, etc), and also give me a few days to settle before going to Oregon for a wedding that Im in (YAY Autumn!!!). Im really excited to see my family and friends, especially since I will be traveling around the world soon...

The race is still constantly on my mind... but Im trying to balance it with "real time" life. Its super hard sometimes, but Im just trying. Thats all I can do. I have 43 days to make it the best I can. My goal is to have one on one time with one girl each day. Yesterday, I had two, so that was awesome time spent with them. I've also been talking a lot to my fellow teammates, which is really exciting and fun. I like getting to know them, and cant wait to meet all of them! YAY!

Prayer Requests:
  1. Rest, Im super tired this week, and need to continue to learn how to take care of myself.
  2. Quality time, as this season of my life closes, I want to be sure to leave a "legacy" to my girls. Pray that I would make it my priority, as it should be, to really spend time with them.
  3. Provision, for all things race related. Pray that the Lord would show up and that I would use what he has given me well.
Happy Day! Thanks for reading!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PRAISES to the Lord on HIGH!

HEY everyone!!

I posted my last blog on Monday evening, and as of last night, Tuesday, I had received another $245... OVERNIGHT! I cant believe it!

God has been so faithful to me, and Im so grateful! 

Please consider supporting me financially in this journey! 

CLICK HERE to donate online!

ALSO, dont forget about my rag blanket!

Monday, June 29, 2009


So its really almost July. WOW.

62 days left, give or take. When I think about how little this time really is, its almost heartbreaking and sad, but at the same time joyous and exciting. This year has been SO nuts and busy and full of growth. I dont even want to think about leaving yet, because its TOO overwhelming.

Its been a difficult week for me. I had a huge breakdown on Wednesday, trying to deal with and process left over emotions from last week regarding a ton of things. Some of the things I am still trying to go through are: relationships, dating/marriage, Shelterwood teens, our Wednesday community service, preparation for the race and a few others. On top of all of that, I was on dinner without any little sisters to help, and basically couldn't handle it. I ended up in a heap in Emily Crow's (fellow prayer partner) arms, crying my eyes out. After that I took some time to be with Jesus, about 2 hours to talk, pray, cry and journal. I must not be getting enough time with JC... I soaked it up like it was going out of style. It was exactly what I needed, but I also don't feel like I finished processing all of that. I still have a long way to go with those things.

Along with that though, I think I'm learning how to just allow myself to be broken. I hate brokenness in general, because it means being vulnerable. I don't think I like crying, so being vulnerable leads to tears, which leads to all sorts of crazy emotions, mainly an out of control feeling. Which, is another thing I've been working on, trying to not control everything. I've come a long way in this, at least I think so anyways. OH, the joys of Doulos and community and vulnerability.

In my room currently, Im experiencing a LOT of "yucky" stuff. One of my girls is going through her storming phase. Thankfully, its not crazy, chaotic, or scary storming, unlike most of the rest of the girls. She is more frustrated with ways of life and things that are "unfair". Since I am the chore lady, that means shes actually not just frustrated, but angry with me regarding several things. Her counselor actually reminded me today that she is a teenager... I guess I forget these things sometimes. I dont know why though. I also forget that they are "in crisis" or "troubled", because a lot of the time they seem normal enough. But they are not, which is why they are at Shelterwood. Im learning how to not take on their stuff, and how to just let them bang their head against the wall, fail and learn from it. And right now, Im the wall. Great metaphor, I know! Part of me is really glad shes storming and angry with me because it means shes going to grow and learn and try. But the other part, the part that gets woken up BEFORE its even time, is not too happy about it. But, what can I do? Nada, let it roll I guess.

Things are going well with the race! Check out my blog!!! Click HERE to view it!

Support Update!
Total Received in my race account: $520
Total Received in Pledges: $175
Total Other: $20
Total Overall: $715

Amount Still Needed: $15,000
I have also received donations for a backpack, tent, sleeping pad, headlamp, chacos, and hiking shoes.
My Happy Little Feet in my new Chacos!

Ways You Can Support Me:
If its placed on your heart to make a donation, click on the Support My Adventure tab on the left side of this page, or click HERE. OR, if you'd rather give a tangible gift, I have a Wish List at amazon.com. Click HERE for the wish list (address is: http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/2URTMME7MACVL , if you'd rather copy and paste). I'd LOVE to have your help!
I have recently made a rag blanket (see below!), my first sewing project EVER! The Lord has really put it on my heart to either auction it off, or see if anyone would want to buy it, with all proceeds going directly towards my airfare or to my race account. If this strikes your fancy, LET ME KNOW! I'd love for you to have something to remember the race and me by!

Prayer Requests:
  1. Peace, for life in general... for my room. For the race
  2. Patience... for all things Shelterwood related. And also for myself
  3. My personal time with the Lord to be fruitful
  4. Financial provision for the rest of LeadTime and the Race
  5. For God to provide a car for Vegas
Happy July!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

july? almost? WOW.


Its been a little bit too long, so sorry!

Things are going pretty well here, extremely busy! Summer continues to be non-stop action adventure!!

The girls house went camping on Thursday night in Arkansas. For some reason, we always go to Arkansas. Missouri must not be that great, ha. We went to the Buffalo River area, its so beautiful there. Unfortunately, I didnt take any photos. I ended up getting sick on Thursday night before dinner and spent the rest of the night in my own tent sleeping. It was really nice to be alone after feeling and getting sick. The stars out there are SO awesome! I wish I had been feeling well enough to lay out and enjoy Gods creations.

On Wednesdays, we volunteer in the afternoons at various places around Branson. One of the places we go to is the food pantry, CAM. I've been going there every week, and hope to keep going. This week, I had the opportunity to do interviews to the people in need, which means, I go down the list of items CAM offers, asking what they need/want. Its extremely humbling to be in that position, and more than once I've been choked up or actually cried. This week, there was a client that came in with needs for herself and 4 children, one of which was 4 months. She asked for everything that we offer, and when I mentioned diapers, she gasped saying "you have diapers! Oh yes please!" We ended up being able to give her extra diapers and wipes in addition to a fan that belonged to CAM (its been SO HOT here!!! Imagine that heat in a trailer). Before she left, I broke down in tears in the directors office. The Lord stirred so deeply in me to help her, which was an incredible feeling; knowing that God CAN AND WILL stir my heart, and that I can FEEL it. God is so good. The rest of the day went fairly slow, but knowing that God made a divine appointment with her and me so that she could be provided for, INCREDIBLE! I know I used that word a bit too much, but its so true. God is the incredible, the all powerful, the almighty. AH! God is awe-inspiring, and shocking! I dont know if I have any more words.

Since I've gotten my race blog, I feel that I've been consumed by race thoughts and all that goes with it. But thankfully, things have been super busy, and I havent been able to think about it much, and it doesnt consume my brain all the time. I think things are settling in that I AM going, and there are things that I need to do, but it doenst need to happen RIGHT NOW! If you know me well enough, you know my urgency regarding certain things... its hilarious Im sure.

Current Needs:
  1. Plane ticket to Oregon/Las Vegas for September
  2. Roundtrip plane ticket from Las Vegas to Atlanta, GA for training camp in October
  3. A car for my time in Las Vegas, September-December. If you know someone who has one, or if you have one that you are willing to let me borrow for this time, LET ME KNOW!

Prayer Requests!
  1. Prayer for my needs above.
  2. Continued financial provision for the end of LeadTime, through my time in Vegas and for the race.
  3. Rest, peace, patience for all things Shelterwood (its getting a bit exhausting)
  4. Rest, peace, patience for all things World Race.
Thanks everyone!
Love much!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"its so exciting, I just can't stand it"


The title is a quote from Leeann about my blog/the race/whatever. AND I literally cant stand it because its ALL SO DANG EXCITING!!!!

Lets start with my NEW BLOG! It is my official World Race Blog. Im SO EXCITED I just cant stand it. The address is: www.chelsieoneal.theworldrace.org. Very similar to this address, for your convenience (not really... thats just the format, but wouldnt it be nice if it was for YOUR benefit? its actually really convenient though). ANYWAY. I have written my biography, my first two blog assignments (because I couldnt contain myself), and have posted some pictures. The main page shows you how to navigate the website... its super easy.

Another awesome feature of the blog is that I am able to "meet" my January team members. Within minutes of actually posting my first blog, several people had commented, welcoming me to the team. Its so cool to feel the community already. We also have a team blog site that you can view and meet my team too! The address is: http://10wr0101.theworldrace.org/ . I cant even remember that address, too many ones and zeros. BUT, go check out their blogs too, they are an awesome group of people. Im looking forward to getting to know them better. We also have a racers only blog, and have already read some extremely vulnerable posts... and am excited to keep reading and post my own. Its gonna be a sweet ride! Its so exciting, I just cant stand it!!

As the summer continues, Im finding it hard to stay on track of the Shelterwood/LeadTime focus. I really struggle with being in the moment, and not going to think about the race all the time. People have suggested that I compartmentalize, but that is just too hard. Since I like to talk about the race, a lot (or at least I think I do), I tend to want to bring it up in conversations. But Im learning to hold my tongue when I think its neccessary to, or when its NOT neccessary to talk about it. Im trying to stay here, with the girls, in the present. Im trying to not have "short timer's", which is really easy around here. Its almost like avoiding the reality of where I actually am. Which, lets be honest, maybe I am. Oddly enough, I just had a conversation about this too... But I just need to be here. This is where God has me for the time.

Prayer Requests:
  1. For HIS divine provision for all things
  2. For the NOW part of right now, and not the NOW part of tomorrow
  3. For more guys to join my team for the race (okay, we all know it takes guys longer to commit, but lets be real, we need more!!)
  4. For my brain to quit (I cant fit God into the cerebral cortex people) with all the busyness for just a minute.
  5. REST!
thanks for reading!IM SO EXCITED I JUST CANT STAND IT!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Its a cold rainy day in Branson, and I'm sitting in a cold Starbucks with free internet. Awesome. I actually got to stay at the house until 4 today. On Wednesdays, we have community service/volunteer time in the afternoons. It was nice to get to just stay and hang out. This usually never happens. But starting next week, I will have Mondays off, which I think will be good. I'm looking forward to it. 

I'm facing a lot of opposition from the enemy lately about the race, and its been really hard to work with and deal with. Thankfully, I have a great friend that I know from Maui, who is now in Canada, who is also doing the race, but in October. Stacey and I are going through the same thing right now, and its nice to have someone with me on the ride. There are two things I'm absolutely sure of right now. 1) I KNOW FOR SURE that this is what the Lord wants me to do. 2) HE CAN AND WILL provide for me financially, despite my fears. And I actually know one more thing. 3) God is going to use me in ways I've never imagined, and is going to break me and mold me into who HE wants me to be. 

I was browsing the World Race website  this afternoon... they have a blog roll of the last 100 blogs. I read a blog of a girl, Darci Simpson, who has to go home because of her very sick grandfather. She is waiting in South Africa right now, waiting for her flight home to Texas. I am praying for her during this hard time, as I know exactly what its like to experience death in an intense situation. I felt led by the Lord to email her and encourage her, so I obeyed and wrote her, and actually cried through it. We have a powerful God!!! I went on to read the rest of her blogs, she is currently on the January 09 race, and its so awesome to read about some of the places I will be traveling to (especially Thailand). So, if you think about it, click on her name above and read... it will delight you, and amaze you. And, if you can pray for her too :)

SO all of that got me thinking about the race and the people, and the countries. AND just how much I really want to go. I'm glad I have 7 months (211 days) to wait. This waiting season is going to be great, and full of fruit. I feel hopeful, I feel nervous, I feel excited beyond belief. I think I'm most excited for Australia and Thailand (February and April), but also really excited for Romania and Ukraine (September and October). I will get to say that I will turn 26 in Romania. HOW many people can say that?!?! Maybe some people on my trip? I hope so! 26 sounds old because I'm not there yet... I feel very young on the inside. But, I'm still 24. Yep, 24. But only for a few more months! Okay, I'm getting sidetracked. Back to race stuff. 

I stuffed and stamped my support letters this week! I hate folding paper. And cutting paper. And writing. NO, not really. I love all things administrative... but my hands really hurt after. I'm now waiting for my pictures to arrive in the mail, my really awesome pictures that my great friend Erin Riley almost Clarke took a few weeks ago. SHE IS such an awesome photographer, and one of my dearest friends. When I get those, hopefully by FRIDAY, I will be sending out my letters! One step closer to the race! But the next step is paying my deposit, which I do not have the money for right now. Pray that this changes! I'm so excited to get my official World Race Blog, maybe too excited! But the best thing about it, is that I will be able to officially meet the rest of my squad for January. I mean, I guess I could do it now, but its weird without a blog! 

Prayer Requests!
  1. Financial provision. For the race, for the rest of LeadTime.
  2. That I am able to TRUST in the truth that God has given me about going on the race, and about being provided for always. 
  3. Financial provision for my deposit. AH! AND peace that it will be FINE!
  4. Rest. I'm already so tired, and its only been a few days of summer. 
  5. Boldness to share the gospel and share about the race with others.
  6. Pray for Darci Simpson, and her family.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Back to work, its SUMMER TIME!


I had a wonderful pre-summer break in Oklahoma! Katie even took me down to Austin, Texas for a day. Lots of driving, but totally worth it. We went to see the bats downtown. We waited for a LONG time, and a homeless guy got in my personal bubble, scary! I got really,  really sunburned at Barton Springs, a really cool natural pool. I was only in the sun for 45 minutes on each side. I cannot believe how sunburned I am! AH! I also got stung by a bee while I was there, and had a minor reaction. I took benadryl and was OUT for a few hours. Totally fried. Literally. 

I also had the chance to go to a BackWoods store to try on backpacks and got lots of information on things I will need to buy for the race! It was SO fun, and SO overwhelming. I wish I could buy all that stuff NOW! You know me, I want it now. The cool part about backpacks is that they are super customizable, and so the pack will be exactly for me! I cant wait to get that! They were super helpful, yay for BackWoods!

I was able to print my support letters yesterday, and got them ready to stuff. It was fun, and very time consuming. I feel like Im getting somewhere though, which is awesome. My mind is constantly consumed with race thoughts, and Im working on allowing God to calm my heart and mind so that I can sleep and think about other things. Its hard though, I admit, to think of other things. I had a major breakdown last week about financial things, and called Adventures (the main ministry that has The World Race) to get prayer. The people there are amazing, and so encouraging. Im so happy to be a part of that ministry!

Im excited for summer to actually begin... its going to be long, but full of fun. I cant wait to teach cooking for the girls. THAT is going to be awesome. The best part is on the last week, we are having a cake decorating contest! WOO HOO! FUN FUN FUN! 

I created a group on Facebook for the race. If you're on facebook, JOIN! I need all the help and support and encouragement I can get!

Prayer Requests:
  1. That I would be able to know when Im believing lies, and pray outloud for myself against them. 
  2. That I would have a peace of mind that I CAN DO THIS (race), and that its going to be great.
  3. That I would be encouraged through prayer.
  4. That I receive financial provision from now through the end of LeadTime, and after until the race begins.
  5. That more guys would be touched from the Lord to go on the January race! We NEED MORE!
  6. That everything would work for the greater good of the Lord. 
Happy summer everyone!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Im staying with Katie... and she has a jewlery business... I think you should check it out!!


My favorite things are the map or "custom location" necklaces, because I actually helped with them last night! I feel so accomplished, haha. But for real, check it out, all of her stuff makes great gifts, or just a treat for yourself! Her rings and earrings are also really fun and cool too!

Humor me and check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Hey everyone!

Greetings from Oklahoma! I drove here today with Amber, co big, while she was just passing through, Im stopping to visit with my dear friend Katie who lives here with her husband, Jason. Im pretty excited to be out of Missouri for a week, and we are possibly going to Austin next week! YAY! Im super happy! I also get to visit my old little, Savannah, and a recent (yesterday) graduate, Natalie tomorrow for lunch! IM so excited to get to see them, its going to be so fun!

SO, I need to give you the latest update!!!! I WAS ACCEPTED TO THE WORLD RACE! Only two days after my interview, I was accepted! AMAZING right?!!? YES! My brain swirls frequently with crazy things... and IM STILL SHOCKED that God has given me this opportunity. Im not leaving until January, so I have 7 months to fundraise and prepare. Im super excited, and super scared and all these other things, I cant get them all straight. I need to raise about $18,500, which sounds scary, but its not really. If everyone on my support list pledges $25 a month for the 6 months leading up to the race, I will be fully supported. Its all in God's hands. I actually stayed up late last night to write my support letter... I was so in the zone, I couldn't compel myself to stop writing it (even though I was dog tired)! THATS how crazy it is ALL the time. 

I have to pay my deposit when I get paid next week, and THEN, I can finally have my World Race blog, and be a part of the team! YAY! Its a really cool website with easy ways to get involved and support me. I will let you know the address and when its up!

We had a graduation yesterday, dear Natalie (see below). Im so happy that she got to leave the place. I didnt take any pictures with her, but I will tomorrow. That leaves us with 11 little sisters, which means a one to one ratio. Its crazy! We've had 15 almost the entire time I've been here, but keep dwindling down with graduations and the likes. Now Im not the only one with an open bed, so Im sort of hoping to not have the next new little whenever that happens, BUT I do sort of want the new little at the same time. But, we dont know when we'll get another one, its usually a surprise.


Its going to be a busy summer, we go right into that schedule when we get back. My summer job is Game Night, me and Tracy, another big sister, are in charge of planning games for every Tuesday of the summer! Its going to be so fun. Also, we get to "teach" a class on Fridays. Me and Claire, another big, are teaching a cooking and baking class together. Also so fun! YAY summer.  Im looking forward to it. 

I found out last week that my sister is pregnant, another thing of shock value. Im totally excited for her, but definitely didnt see that one coming. The sad thing is I think the baby is due right before I leave for the race, so I dont know if I'll get to see her and the baby before I leave. Im praying for the race to leave from Los Angeles, that would be awesome. YAY BABIES! Still weird to think that I will be an aunt. Yeah, weird. 

I have about 3 months left at Doulos, and thats another weird thing to think about. My time is almost over. I have grown so much, learned so much, and have faith that is SUPER deep in the Lord. I still need to figure out what Im doing for the 4 months after LeadTime. Im thinking about Vegas, because its easy to work there, I can make good money, and I can live for almost free. The only thing I need is a car. Thats actually as far as I've gotten. If you have any ideas, let me know! Im open to Maui, and Oregon too, but STILL need a car. 

Prayer Requests:
1. That God would provide for me financially for the race. That he would soften hearts of people I know to give, and that my letter would do the same. 
2. That I would be led by the Lord for a place to work/live after LeadTime. 
3. That I would have FAITH that God would provide those two things. 
4. For Rest, and that I would take care of myself better (more sleep, more down time etc)
5. For continued weight loss... Ive lost 11. something pounds... and now Im on vacation!
6. That I would have more motivation to get "in shape" for the race... AH!
7. That I would be provided with a car when its time. 

Thank you for reading my blog! If you want to get involved with the race, let me know. Especially if you want to support me creatively, I have several "tangible" needs for the race: a hikers backpack with internal frame, sleeping bag, sleeping pad,  and headlamp just for starters. 

Its really easy to give online
https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace. Under "program", select support racer, then
my name, Chelsie O'Neal. AND done. Super fast, super easy.

Also, if you want to support me in prayer, THAT would be AWESOME!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bursting at the SEAMS!

I have so much to be thankful for! Its really incredible!

Here is just a sliver of whats going on/what Im doing!

First and foremost, my job search is really heating up! Last week I was feeling so hopeless because I wasnt getting anywhere. I applied for 2 ministries similar to Doulos/Shelterwood, but had NO contact with any of them. One of my fellow LeadTimer's, Tracy, spoke over me last week too, telling me to wait on the Lord, and that He would lead me. 

SO, on Friday, I heard from the person that I was talking to before about a nanny job in Wyoming. The Lord shut the door on that a few weeks ago. But she emailed me asking if I was still interested. Crazy how that happens! I needed some time to pray and think about that. 

On Monday, a former LeadTimer, Patrice, came to talk to us about The World Race (www.theworldrace.org, www.adventures.org). Its a missions trip around the world, 11 countries in 11 months. Its similar to The Amazing Race, but only by the travel part, there are only a few "challenges" on the race. She went from Jan-Nov last year, and showed a slide show and talked about it all. I was so intrigued and captivated by her, it was so amazing. I couldnt believe how into it I was. I looked up the website and found that the race I was interested in is in Jan 10, and was going to Australia, somewhere I've always wanted to go. I started my application, and asked Patrice if we could meet to talk about it. We hung out on Wednesday, and she was so encouraging, and she got me a promo for the application fee! AWESOME!

On Tuesday, out of the blue, someone from New Horizons Youth Ministries called me, they have a place like Shelterwood in the Dominican Republic. The recruiter was more interested in Shelterwood than asking me interview questions! HAHA. ANyway, he said he was impressed with me, and was going to highly recommend me for hire, and was sending an email to the DR right then and there. HOW exciting! I got an email on Wednesday from the recruiter, and today, we had a mini interview, mostly her telling me the differences between SW and their school. Whats funny is that she used to work for HeartLight Ministries in Texas, which was started by a former Shelterwood counselor. HOW nuts! ANyways, she also recommended me for hire and is sending my application to the Director of Home Life so that he can call me and interview me. She said I would be a good fit! The position is "housemom", which is so DIFFERENT than anything here. Its more about relationship and emotions than anything. They are discouraged from consequencing and confronting! What a change from here!!! OMG. Awesome. I would have a separate room, and they pay airfare and good $, plus room/board. Its so cool. I hope they contact me soon! They're already calling my references!

SO, all of that to say, its getting crazy in my head, and Im so excited/anxious/nervous etc. The race is expensive, so I need to raise support, and would only have a few months. But the Dominican is about time, can they wait for me to finish LT? The Lord's hands are all over this, and Im just so excited about whats to come. I was asked today, what if they are both a yes? HA! I dont know what I'd do if they were both a yes!!! I'd FREAK OUT!

All of that to say, and Im still bursting at the seams with joy!

ALSO, we just found out that room changes are this weekend, PRAISE THE LORD! Im so ready, and so excited. We thought that they would be next weekend, and Im off, so that would have been so much added stress. SO thankful its this weekend!

Im just to thrilled, and cant wait for the Lord's timing and provision in my life!!

Prayer Requests!
1. That Im able to REST, and wait patiently. 
2. Financial provision until LT is over
3. The Lord's timing in everything
4. For room changes, and the girls who will be in my room next!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Freedom from Bondage

The theme for this week is Freedom from Bondage... The Lord led me to Mark 5 and Joshua 5. They are RANDOM passages. Mark 5 is about pigs that were possessed, and Joshua 5 is mostly about circumcision. BUT the main message is that the Lord delivers you into freedom from bondage. Its really cool for me because I feel like I have so much bondage from my past, and just with believing lies, and with patience. But the Lord makes us free from it. How amazing. It was also cool that HE led me there.
We had another little graduate last week, Rachel "Frenzy". SHE is awesome. I really do miss her!! Our house is dwindling down quickly... we'll probably have 4 more gone in about 6 weeks. WOW! It is so weird to think that things change so fast.
This past weekend was family weekend, and it was a combination of good and hard. I had the opportunity to have meals with the parents of the girls in my room. It was so fun to learn more about them, and to see where the kids come from. It was awesome. "Becca" 's mom and I truly connected. I promised to pray for her during this extremely hard time, and she promised to pray for me as well. HOW amazing that a parent would actually say that to me. It was wonderful. The other two meals were great as well, but not nearly as good as the first one. But it was a hard weekend too. Emotions were high, and there were lots of frustrations. Our newest little was acting out because she didnt get to have the same time with her parents the rest of the kids got to since she is so new. It was heartbreaking looking her parents in the eyes knowing that they have no control, and that I AM the authority of their daughter. Incredible really. AH so difficult.
As I look forward to September, I still have nothing planned. Its a bit scary, but Im trying to handle it. I have a few applications out right now. They are both like Shelterwood. One is the Julian Youth Academy in California, and the other is New Horizons Youth Ministry and has two locations, Indiana and the Dominican Republic. I spoke to New Horizons a few days ago, and they were sending my application to the D.R. for them to review! Incredible. I should hear back in a few days, I hope. I feel stuck sometimes because there are so many things I want to do, but cant really do anything for a little bit. Its also nerve-racking and unsettling. I dont like not having a plan. But at least Im trying. Lord, I pray that you open doors for me to walk through. I also pray that you close doors so that I may see what you still have waiting for me. I pray that your will will become alive.
Things I need prayer for:
1. Financial Provision, God hasnt let me down yet.
2. Doors to open and doors to shut.
3. My sanity for my room.
4. Weight loss to continue at a steady pace! Weigh ins are on Wednesdays.
5. That my time with the Lord grow, and that I hunger for Him MORE.
Frenzy and I at her graduation!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekends are my least favorite time of the week...

Its been an extremely hard week for me. On top of that, I've been sick, and thankfully Im almost done with that. 

Lets start at the beginning I guess. One of the girls (Im almost positive one of the ones in my room) stole something from me. Maybe I should back up... Okay, so I started Weight Watchers again a few weeks ago, and so far am doing really well! I've already lost 5.2 pounds, which is a HUGE feat for me. Anyway, as part of that, I bought Special K protein water mixers so that when Im about to chew my arm off from being hungry, that it takes the edge off of the hunger monster. They are expensive for my very small salary. So, fast forward to last Wednesday, my day off. I come home to find an empty packet in the bathroom trash. I went to bed SO angry! I confronted my room the next day and gave them 24 hours to fess up or they were all getting the stealing consequence of 3 Work Hours (lots and lots of cleaning and not very fun projects) and 1 week of property grounding (cant leave property/cant have anything from off property). Well, that didnt go very well. They were extremely upset and mad at me, it was HORRIBLE! I havent really questioned myself that much since I got here, but had several people reassure me. AH! So 24 hours went by with no confession. They actually turned things back to me, thinking that I had done it but forgot! That made me so mad!!! Well, no one confessed, and so they all got consequences. Thats when they all got mad! Didnt make for a very fun house night at first. Well, Im pretty sure I know who did it, but I dont have proof, and she isnt fessing up... so they all have to live with the consequences of it. These girls, I swear... a handful! Im actually really excited for room switches in a few weeks. 

Its also parents weekend coming up, which is really great because its a lot less stressful than last time, and its not going to be as crazy. Im looking forward to it... plus we get treated, most of the time, to food. I love food...  but I gotta be good!

Im applying for jobs in the residential care world, or at least Im thinking about it. I have the applications, but havent filled them out yet. I think Im waiting for a response from a nanny opportunity that has come up. Its in Cheyenne, WY, about 3 hours from my best friend and 1.5 hours from Denver. It sounds wonderful, but its a waiting game like everything else. I might go visit the family in a few weeks too, how fun! But, Im also trying to hear from the Lord on the future, but its SO hard! I dont want to wait! 

I could use prayer in the following areas...
1. Finances, Im getting low in this area. Pray for provision. 
2. Future opportunities, that I hear from the Lord, and feel peace.
3. My room, my girls, that we can function well, and without conflict.
4. My personal weight loss challenges... Im doing well so far! Pray for 6 more pounds by May!
5. Rest and peace. 

Thank you for reading this, it makes me feel loved!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reality Check

I dont have much time to write...

Do you ever feel like you cant catch a break, or get a breath of fresh air? Thats exactly how I feel.

I was going to apply for House Director, but turns out Im not qualified. Now I feel lost. As lost as I was before finding out about Doulos. My sister's mom passed away last week. Now I feel lost. As lost as thinking, "will this ever end".

I want so many things. I need so many things. But Im lost.

Please Pray for me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Its a new house...

Spring break is over... sadly. BUT I did have a great few days of doing absolutely nothing. I like doing nothing, its my way of relaxing. 

I watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy, which I know can be very secular, but it really helped me to grieve the loss of my step mom. I have not been able to do that here very much because of how intense and chaotic it is all by itself. Grey's helps me to cry and let out emotion that I normally wouldn't even dare to just have all alone. This place is just hard to fully grieve, and even just struggle. I've been struggling a lot with Jeanne's death, and more so, I've realized that Im carrying my dad's burdens. I don't know how to not do this, but Im starting to learn how not to. But its hard. And, my dad is still really struggling with her death, and thats to be expected. I do worry about him a lot... but like I said, Im trying to not carry burdens for him. 

Aside from that, we have two new levels in the house, which makes things feel totally different than before. The girls are pretty typical teenage girls... all they are into and talk about are boys, boys, boys... which makes me INSANE! It also makes me really happy that I have the girls that I have. God is so sovereign, for sure. I am just so happy that God is the way he is. 

I feel extremely blessed to be where Im at, learning the things I am. Its hard at times, but I am truly happy. I feel a bit better about my financial stuff, and that I have a handle on that, thanks to my awesome mentor, Rachel! And, it seems that everything is just going well. 

Things I need prayer for:
1. Financial provision for the coming months, and that I have full faith that he will provide
2. Stress/anxiety levels to be LOWER than they are most of the time
3. Patience and wisdom for the new levels
4. Solid relationships to be renewed and strengthened

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another one leaves and more chaos...

Another one graduated today... Unfortunately, I decided that rest was more important. Sad, I know. Especially since she was my little a few months ago. Its great that she graduated, it almost didnt happen. I think her future is very bright.

So, here they are, my first two littles, Savannah and Casey!
(Savannah, me, Erin, and Casey, right around Christmas)

They are so precious! I miss them like crazy already!
Anyways... Things have been going alright. I have a lot of things swimming around my head lately...

My dad is having a really difficult time right now. I dont know that he has/is really grieving, but I think thats to be expected. My heart aches for him, and how I wish I was there with him. I dont really know how to encourage him, other than to call and send him encouraging scriptures.
I think that, after processing this, I am carrying his burdens for him, that I am bearing a lot of that stuff. I dont know why, or how to stop doing this. Its a hard thing to "unlearn"...

My middle child, and I feel like I need to name her for your sake... how about "Amy". Okay. SO, Amy still has a lot of anger issues, and actually lashed out on me last Friday morning, again. This time was more hurtful than the rest, and really freaked me out (on the inside). She has a perfomanced based outburst, expecting a reaction... and I just stood there. AH! It was terrible. Thankfully, after talking to her counselor, we had to find some new techniques to really respond and deal with her. After school, she came to me with an apology note and a better attitude. We were able to process through it, and came to a pretty good conclusion. Its hard, but Im learning, and so is she. AND, pretty soon she will be level 3, which means I dont have to worry about being attached to her anymore, or be in her conversations anymore. SOOOO wonderful!!!

My other two, the newest, lets call her "Becca", and the oldest, "Kate", are doing pretty well. They all have their moments, but thats life. Becca is slowly coming out of her shell, which is great, and Im teaching her to really speak up and use her words. Sounds silly. But true. And Kate is getting close to level 4, which is awesome! I love all my girls... even when its hard, like a true parent would. Im a parent. Crazy.
Im also trying to sort out some relationships, which is hard, and scary all at the same time. I hate conflict, but also know its neccessary to grow.... dang! I will get there, to a place thats easier to confront and etc... but until then, its going to be messy. YUCK.

Im trying to think about what else I was going to say.... I cant really remember. My brain has poured out so much lately, its hard to really retain.
Things I need prayer for:
1. Financial provision.
2. My dad... that a) I would full give the burdens I feel to the Lord to carry and b) that he can grieve fully, in time.
3. My patience, its wearing a little bit thin...
4. My relationship with the Lord, that it be renewed and more, and deeper.
5. My attitude, that I can really appreciate where the Lord has me, and be OKAY with it...
6. What my future holds, and how to be patient.
7. My relationships, that they can be renewed and great.

Thanks for reading!

Savannah and I at her baptism!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Learning. Lots of it.

Hey all... Well, its been crazy. My life is crazy. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I dont.

Well, lets start with the sometimes I dont part. Turns out, I do have one of the new littles from last week. BUT, thank the Lord, its a good thing for my room and my two littles. The "middle child" of mine (the newest before the NEW one last week), has been acting out, and its been extremely difficult on me. Last week was trying, and hard, and I hated a lot of it. She has a lot of anger issues, and tends to "lash out" on me most of the time. Im working on a few techniques to deal with her, and so far, its working a bit. Its also helping me to work on me. My newest little, from last week, has been doing well. She is soft spoken, and has some pretty crazy issues. I didnt think it would be this hard having two levels, but Im the only one of our group that has ever had two levels at once, and its HARD. I feel like I constantly need help with them, and need a lot of time TO BREATHE!!!!! Having someone attached to me is like not having air. Bad analogy, but its how I feel sometimes. ANyways, Im working through it. Sometimes I ask God why, why, why, but I know that I dont need to know the answer. I do need to know though that God is sovereign, and that all things work for his good. I might not like some of this stuff, but its certainly making me, forcing me to grow.... dang!

Also, there have been several "personal" battles going on with me... selfishness, entitlement, and lonliness. Its hard, and I hate it, but its stuff that needs to be worked through, as all things... and Im feeling a sense of getting to the top of the hill and working my way down, as opposed to climbing up, like I felt like I was yesterday. ONE day at a time... seriously. One day at a time.

Tonight, the guy house directors had a little concert at Starbucks, (where Im currently typing my fastest because I only HAVE 10 mins left until they kick me out!!!!), and it was awesome. A TON, well, a lot of the Doulos people came to see him, as well as some of the guy littles. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people, it was so cool. The Lord knew that I needed that... and it was in addition to my sweet, and most favorite time of the week with my mentor!!!! I sat next to the associate Staff, Erin, and it was like she was speaking to my heart. She asks the right questions, and I love that about her. I felt like it was so right that I was sitting there, having her talk to the deepest places of my heart. Then, after she left, I got to sit next to one of the staff counselors, Joani. SHE IS SO cool too. We got to talk about a few littles, which I try to not do on my days off, but shes SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO insightful and supportive. Then our convo moved on to dating and my singleness, and its just so cool to see how God moves in a conversation to really speak to people, like me. Shes encouraging, and so just, awesome. I love that word I guess. God used two different people, whom I care so much for, to really speak to me. I felt the hand of God on my heart tonight, and its nice because I really needed it.

SO, I only have 5 minutes left... I need prayer!

1. My middle child, her anger, and MY sanity in that.
2. My own issues, working through them with love, and with an open heart.
3. Still financial provision.... and that I can have more trust in that area.
4. My family, I feel is falling apart.... prayer for health, jobs, and healing
5. My spiritual life, that I can keep it alive, and keep praying for strength to come from him, because its the only place I can get it.
6. My singleness... that I can keep on being content in where God has me...........
8. My future, and the options that God has lined up, and that doors open and shut accordingly, and that I can be obidient to the call of the LORD!
9. Strength TO ENDURE this hard time

But I praise the Lord that I've had an awesome day off, and that I am surrounded by a community that loves me, and that holds me accountable. I praise the Lord that I am being stretched beyond my own reasoning, and that I am growing, even when its painful.

Thank you for your support in reading this, it encourages me more that you can even begin to imagine... But if you're looking for a more creative way to encourage me, try these things that bring more life to my heart: notes/cards in the mail, pictures, emails, gift cards, facebook emails, and PHONE CALLS!

Love you all, thanks for stoppin by... they are turning lights out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Changes... LOTS of them all at freakin' once

Sometimes I feel lost. Sometimes I feel like I dont know what the heck Im doing. I think I've said that before. It doesnt help that I need to know what Im doing for "work".... SO I think my brain has been "jumbled" lately with all sorts of things. 

Im still trying to fully process the loss of my stepmom. I dont really have "time to grieve", but its also probably the best thing too. I feel overwhelmed with sadness for my dad. I tried to take care of him while I was home, and I cant help but hope that he is doing alright, without me. He has a dog now, Poncho, so thats a little bit comforting. Yesterday, it was three weeks. I think that every Saturday for awhile will remind me of the loss, and how my dad is feeling. It breaks my heart. Also, since Valentines Day was their anniversary, and this year, marked two weeks, I dont know if that day will ever really be anything other than a sad day. My heart literally aches. 

Its been really hard being back, its been 2 weeks now, but still. Since I wish I was there, its hard. One of my littles really pulled away from me when I got back, and that was just hard for me. It felt like I had done something wrong, but in reality, these kids have issues, and thats just one of them. It hurt, but things are going better now. My newest little has been causing me a bit of stress as well. She is extremely defiant when things dont go her way, and is currently in the "poor me" stage. I think though, praise God, that things are on the upswing. That makes me really happy. My other little, the one I've had since I got here, is graduating tomorrow! (I will post pics and her name tomorrow night).  Im speaking at her graduation, what and honor! Im so excited that she is getting to go home. But its also bittersweet. 

In other news, just when I thought I was going to have two littles again, I was proved wrong... We're getting two new girl littles this week. And, I am most likely getting one of them. My newest little is still a level, but only for 3 more weeks or so. That means she is still "attached" to me, and is still conversation restricted. IF I get the other new one, that means I will have two levels for a while. If that happens, I pray that it wont be as hard as the first one. I pray that it will go WELL! AHHHH!!!! Its bittersweet. Thats the only word that I can really use to describe this. I want it, but dont. More like I want it. I think. 

Lets see.... I still feel swallowed whole by financial crap. I need prayer for this area of my life!!

Things to pray for:
1. Financial provisions and help
2. Patience. LOTS AND LOTS of Patience. 
3. That God works in my heart to change my attitude about lots of different things. 
4. Did I mention patience??

Thanks for reading. It helps keep me sane! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I got the call on Sunday that my step-mom passed away Saturday night. My mom's friend was able to get me buddy passes on Delta to get to Vegas, praise the Lord. Normal plane tickets would have cost me about $700, and I got it for less than $200.

Im in Vegas now, and will be until Sunday. Im really happy to be here for my dad, but its also really hard. The day I got here, we went to the funeral home, and I have to say that it was one of the hardest days I've had. Seeing someone that you love so much hurt is terrible. Im sure that everyone has experienced loss before and can relate. It feels different when it hits so close to home though.

Things to pray for:

1. My dad, that he have strength to keep on.
2. Flights on Sunday, that I make it home in one piece, and on time.
3. Me... that I make the most of the time I have with my dad.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sadness sweeps me

Its been such a hard week...

The weather around here has not been good. We had what they call here, an ice storm, where it "rains", and then it freezes, then it sleets then it snows. And today, it melts. So that started happening on Monday afternoon. It was SO bad on Tuesday, school was cancelled, which means that we are on coverage ALL day. Then the power went out at dinner for 20 mins, and then again at 9 until the middle of the night. School was cancelled again yesterday, Wednesday. Thankfully, I had the day off and didnt have to deal with it. 

I'm having a lot of trouble with my new little. This has been a trying week. She's only been here for 7 days, but already, Megan (co big) and I are hitting a wall. Our little is disrespectful and the other girls are still having a hard time with her. She is very needy, and expects a lot out of us, speaking for her etc. BUT that will not FLY! She got her first major consequence today, and sadly, Im glad she got it. She needs to learn time management! AH! I feel like Im complaining. Oh well. Please pray that she learns kind words, and that Megan and I can learn how to "deal" with her!

So the sad part of this, is on Tuesday night, my sister called, which is averagely normal, and asked if I had talked to my dad recently. She then told me that my stepmom, Jeanne's health is getting worse, and that I should call him. I was extremely upset, as I am sensitive to anything dealing with my dad, we're really close. I decided that since I was so upset, I should call my mom instead, shes usually the one to calm me down. She is coming tonight to spend the weekend with me, so thats a great thing. But she offered to change her tickets so I could go to Vegas instead of her coming here. Then she called my dad for me. When he called me back, we talked about Jeanne, and her condition. So basically, the tumor she had in her brain spread to all over her brain, and is causing the condition now. There is nothing else the doctors can do for her, so its really just a matter of time. As much as I want to go home right now, Im thankful that the Lord has provided my mom to come visit, such a blessing. And, its early still that my dad doesnt really think he needs me there yet. But soon, he will. Im blessed to live and work in such a community that leaving is possible. I hate to think if I was still in Maui working for a corporation. But this place is providing me emotional support and love, which is something I really need right now. 

I ask that you pray for me during this time. I need all the prayers I can get. Im not sure if Jeanne knows the Lord, so I ask that you please pray for her salvation. Financially speaking, I need prayer that the Lord provide for me to go home when the time comes. This is probably the biggest prayer that I need right now. 

Please pray!
1. Financial provision to fly home to Las Vegas.
2. Comfort and peace for my dad and Jeanne, and her family.
3. Extra love for my new little.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I need a break. seriously

I'm having a really hard time right now. I didn't think that it was going to be this hard having a level in my room. I feel constantly pulled in many directions, and I'm finding it hard to maintain a calm outlook. Its hard to be within 5 feet of someone, to be in my bedroom, and still have to be so close to someone. Its hard to not be able to listen to music out loud. Its hard to have to find a moment for a private conversation, or to be IN a conversation. My my. I'm starting to sound like I'm complaining. But really, this is my venting system. Its just been really hard for me. I WAS excited about having a new little... well I guess I sort of still am, but its a different excited.... I was excited for so many reasons, and now I'm feeling like I want to take it all back. BAH! AND, to make things not so much better, the girls in my room were having tension with themselves, and then, were feeling like our new little wasn't being honest about stories, and was being disrespectful several times. So today, things just got OVER heated so to speak, and we had to have a room pow wow, the girls, and Megan and I. Lots of tears, but things seem to be much better. Praise the Lord for that... I've been feeling extremely out of balance lately, and its so hard to find balance in "two sides". Not just with littles, but with bigs/littles, and lots of other things. I find harmony in balance, and like I said, I've been struggling so much! Something to pray about...

Other than that, most things are good. I have been meeting with my mentor on a weekly basis, and I love everything about our time together. The biggest thing she has encouraged me in is finances. Shes a math teacher at our school here, and since she loves numbers and budgets (biblical too), it only makes sense that she is strong where I am weak. I feel like a new person after spending time with her. It makes me so happy to have someone to talk to, who KNOWS exactly what it feels like to be a big sister. And, she teaches these kids too! Talk about awesome. I've been extremely blessed. 

I've been thinking a lot about my future lately, and what my next step will be in August. I've had several things passing through my brain, including going back to Maui (which I MISS and would LOVE), going to Oregon (could be hard, but really good), and staying here in Missouri to be a house director (maybe??). The application process for house directors starts in a few weeks. I admit to fear in this area because of others that are applying, and thinking that I don't have the abilities or gifting to do this. But I have been assured and reassured in these things. Applying is what I want to do, and have been encouraged to... its a matter of actually doing it. I feel like Maui fits yet doesn't, and same with Oregon. Staying here doesn't really have any weight. I want to do what the Lord calls me to do, and I'm still waiting on his direction. But I do feel that he has given me desire for this, so maybe he wants me to apply. MAYBE, my future job isn't a job yet... lots of maybes. The process for HD is long and hard, but rewarding in the end. Another thing to pray about.... 

My mom is coming next week, and I couldn't be more excited!!! I cant wait for awesome hang out time!!!

Things to pray about:
1. Finding balance in everyday life.
2. Creating a loving room with our new little, and finding time to spend with the other two, and my co-big.
3. Future plans, that I seek what the Lord is calling me to.
4. Financial provisions, that I TRUST that the Lord WILL provide for me, regardless of what he as already done.
5. Finding strength in Him ALONE, that I be able to fully rely on Him. 
6. REST.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Its going to be interesting.... PRAY for me.

I have had such a great week! I moved into the house about a week and a half ago. I got the room that I wanted, such a blessing. I'm on the first floor off of the living room. It can be bad, but thankfully, the rooms are pretty sound proof... for a house full of girls that is. I have only two girls, but only for two more days. I got to keep one of my littles that I had in the cabin, and she just got a level, and will be graduating soon! The other little is someone I'm really excited to have, we get along great, and I feel like my influence will be a good thing. I have a room for three girls, but since I only have two, I will get the new little on Thursday. Its bittersweet for me, but something that happens around here. I just told my girls about an hour ago, and they were upset, sad and frustrated, but had to know that it could happen sometime. Some of the things that are a bummer are that new littles are on level one when they come, meaning that they cannot listen to music out loud for three weeks, and they have to be 5 feet from a big at all times. Mainly me. Pretty much like I said, bittersweet. 

Aside from that, I've been feeling blessed lately. A lot of it is my new room, and my co-big Megan. Shes so awesome. Also, I have felt the blessing from the Lord, and His provision. Its fun to see what He can do! I sent out so many letters, I'm praying that He provide through my time here. I've been blessed by conversations with bigs and staff members, and through their relationships. I've been blessed by doing things I didn't/don't want to do. I've been blessed by so many other things, I don't know if I can name them all. 

We are moving the Doulos offices into our BRAND NEW BUILDING! Its SOOOO COOL! LeadTime classes finally have a place to be! We have a HUGE new kitchen and dining hall, and the best part, its NEW. We've been spending a lot of time cleaning and moving stuff, and cleaning and moving stuff. Its going to be so awesome. Check out some of the pictures here: http://doulosconstruction.blogspot.com . 

Some things you can pray for:
1. Continued provision from the Lord. 
2. A smooth transition from two littles to three littles on Thursday, for all parties involved.
3. A renewed sense of peace and hope, which is already making its appearance in my life. 
4. Safe travels for my mom coming next week!!!! YAY!
5. REST!

Thanks for reading my blog, it truly encourages me! Please drop a line sometime!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

After the storm is always calm....

Finally, room to breathe, time to write. Incredible. 

My holidays were mostly crazy and also laid back. I stayed here at Shelterwood for Christmas, and it was good.... hard and tiring at times, but good. After Christmas, I had 6 days off plus my day off, so that was wonderful. Two staff members opened their homes to me so I didnt have to stay on property, which would have been UN fun. It was the best six days I could have asked for. I stayed inside on the couch, watched movies, tv and read books. I didnt go outside unless I was going somewhere, which was only 2 of the days. I know what you're thinking... WHY!? Because thats relaxation to me. DOING NOTHING! Awesome. 

We have new bigs!!!!!!!!! FINALLY! Its really great that we do. We have 3 new girls, two of them are already here, and the other comes on Friday. We also got 2 new guys, and maybe one more. HOW exciting. Now we have 10 girl bigs, and 12 girl littles. Almost a one to one ratio... makes things soooo much easier. Now we have more freedom to take the girls places, and do more fun things. Its going to be awesome. Also this week, we have room changes! Im so excited for this because living in the cabin outside is getting old. I dont have any personal things or space in the house, so its going to be great to have my own space here. Although, it might be hard finding quiet in the house when I move in too. That also means I get new littles too. I could have 2 or three, depending on what room etc. Im looking forward to the changes!!! I will make sure to write about what they are like when that happens. We find out tomorrow, but changes wont happen until Saturday morning. 

I had a pretty rough day today. I got a migraine after breakfast and was down until lunchtime. It was a horrible way to start the day, and now Im pretty tired and sore and just blah. I havent had a migraine since last summer, and it was nothing compared to this one. AH! I hate headaches so much!!!

Im finding that computer usage while on property is getting more and more hard. I hate not having a mac computer. I have a pc, but due to privacy, only mac's get internet here. If I want internet, I have to borrow from someone who has a mac, or use the house computer when there are no littles around, or go to a book store or coffee shop (but I dont have a car, so that can be hard too). THe reason Im bringing this up, is to ask for a little help. If anyone who reads this has an old mac with internet that they would be willing to donate or sell to me for a reasonable price, I would be grateful. However, I know that this is a huge request, and understand that it is probably not possible... but its worth a try...

I hope everyone is well!!!

Things to pray for:
1. The migraine plague, that it leave me ALONE!!!
2. Room changes, that I be open to who I get for littles, and that it go smoothly.
3. The possibility of a new computer.... ?
4. The Lords provision financially.