Saturday, November 26, 2011

Two Years Later.....

As I'm sitting in my comfy clothes watching "How I Met Your Mother" it hits me--hard. Tomorrow marks two years that we've been trying to get pregnant. And we continue to try, trusting God to bless us with a child. I know there are hundreds of women who have waited longer than two years and I'm not trying to make light of their wait by spotlighting our struggle. My heart aches for anyone who struggles to conceive a child. It's a painful journey to be on. The tension that exists when a friend calls or I see yet another FB post that says, "I'm pregnant!" is difficult to navigate. I rejoice with her. I am happy for her. I "like" her status. Then, I cry asking God, "How much longer will we wait?" I trust God's timing is best. I know His plan is better than mine. But, some days it's just hard. Some days the fear is overwhelming, frightening. Some days it takes everything in me to remain in the room when children, pregnancy, or motherhood is discussed.

Two years later. I continue to wait, continue to trust, continue to believe that God's plan is best--even when I don't understand.

So, I prepare for tomorrow. Whatever that means; however that looks. I am thankful for much, yet longing still.

".....always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:20)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."Ps. 107:1

For these and many others, I say, "Thank-you, Jesus"

Blessing #1: Jesus' death and resurrection which has given me life and freedom
Blessing #2: My loving, patient, funny, strong, honest, forgiving, coffee-loving, book-reading, networker extraordinaire, amazing husband, Lee Bickerstaff
Blessing #3: Family (even when my patience is hanging on by a thread I still love them and wouldn't trade them for any other family)
Blessing #4: Friends (I couldn't ask for better)
Blessing #5: The best job E.V.E.R.
Blessing #6: Ministry partners....THANK-YOU so very much! 
Blessing #7: I hate being sick, but I don't have to deal with that often. I'm very thankful for my health
Blessing #8: A good palate, which I'm especially grateful for when drinking coffee and wine 
Blessing #9: My growing appreciation for books
Blessing #10: Food (which I have plenty of and enjoy often)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Surrendering My Selfish Heart

I can't sleep (Yes, it's only 930p, but that usually doesn't interfere with drifting off to dreamland).  Tonight is different.  Tonight I'm battling against what my flesh wants and what God wants.  It's one of those I-want-to-cry-because-I'm-clinging-to-what-my-flesh-wants-and-I'm-fighting-to-hold-onto-it battles.  Have you experienced this lately?  The sometimes painful road to becoming more like Jesus.  There are days when the road is easy.  Today is not one of those days.  Today it hurts.  Today, Jesus is calling me to be selfless, but I'm adamantly fighting to be selfish.

As thoughts run through my head, the Holy Spirit is screaming (yes, screaming because I'm not hearing His whispers today) Phillipians 2:3-4, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

Uggg.  Even when I feel misunderstood? Yes. Jesus was misunderstood, yet He remained humble....."unto death, even death on the cross."

I need Your help Jesus.  I want more of the Holy Spirit to be evident in my life, but I'm operating from my own strength.  I'm weary.  Begin Your work in me.  Set me free from my selfish heart.      

Saturday, September 24, 2011


"The King is enthralled by your beauty...." (Ps. 45:11).

 Even when I'm at my worse--hormonal, crabby, emotional, selfish--the King is enthralled by me.  Does He want the condition of my heart to change?  Yes, but His view of me is not hinged on my behavior.  I am beautiful to Him, period.

I come to the throne of my King vulnerable, broken, surrendered.  I choose to believe, even when I don't feel it, that I am beautiful to Him.  I honor Him for all He's done for me.  I follow His call in obedience because of the love relationship I have with Him.  I find freedom from pretending, freedom from seeking, freedom to be who He created me to be.        

Do you think you're beautiful?  Do you believe and live like the King of the universe is enthralled by you?  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Strong Anchor

Chaos.  Waiting.  Craziness.  Uncertainty.  These words only begin to scratch the surface of my life recently.  These aren't necessarily all bad or difficult.  Sometimes the wait is exciting.  Sometimes the chaos is refreshing.  Sometimes the uncertainty causes butterflies in my stomach, much like a first date.  Sometimes none of that is true and the chaos, the wait, the craziness, the uncertainty, well, it just sucks.  Rather than safety and security, life can be shaky, unreliable, painful, and dangerous. eyes lock on Jesus.  My anchor.  My refuge.  My stability.  My security.  When life is whirling around me with no plans to stop or slow down, I find rest in Christ.  I catch my breath in the safety of His arms.  His grace strengthens me.  His love sustains me.  His words nourish my tired heart.  His tears bring comfort when I long for someone to feel with me.

This verse was a breath of fresh air for me today: "Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.  This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.  It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.  Jesus has already gone in there for us.  He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek." (Heb. 6:18-20)

I am so thankful Jesus is a strong and a trustworthy anchor when I am weak and tossed about in this journey called life.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Giving It All

Yesterday I was able to spend some time with Lord, which was much needed as Lee and I were not getting along.  Although, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much out of my time with Jesus.  My heart was not teachable and I was rehearsing in my head what I still wanted to communicate to Lee regarding our morning "discussion."  While I half-heartedly read through my reading plan, this is what the Lord had for me: Luke 21, The Widow's Offering.

While this addresses the issue of giving (financially) something different, something more convicting, something I really needed to hear, was heavily laid on my heart.  Jesus said, "this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them.  For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has."  Without a doubt, I had given "everything I had" when it came to voicing my thoughts, stating my opinions, defiantly choosing what I would or would not do, and making demands of Lee.  I succeed at walking in the flesh.  Grade: A++

Did I empty myself of grace? No. Love? No. Compassion? No. Forgiveness? No.  I wanted my needs me before I gave anything in return.  Unlike the widow who gave everything, laying her needs aside and trusting that God would provide, I chose selfishness.  I chose me.  Above Lee, but ultimately above God.

Once again, I find myself at the feet of my all-forgiving, totally gracious, never stop loving me Savior, pleading for His help.  Asking for more of the Spirt to be evident in my life.  Fighting for freedom.


Friday, August 26, 2011


Some of the many reasons why I love college students:

1) They will do, go, say and sign up for anything (well, almost) to get free food.
2) Freshmen dress up the first couple days, but, later in the week they are wearing comfy clothes to class.
3) They desire to engage with people who will hear them out.
4) They're willing to take risks.
5) They want to change the world and they're crazy enough to do it.
6) They love, love, love wings (especially free wings).
7) Watching and eavesdropping on the flirting that goes on between guys and girls (sometimes I'm embarrassed by the conversation and the lame pick-up lines).
8) Mac & Cheese, ramen noodles, and coffee--staples in their diet.
9) They are searching for meaning and significance. They are searching for Jesus and I have the opportunity to introduce them to Him.
10) This week I've been asked, "How are your classes going?" and "Are you a freshmen?"  Thank-you for making me feel so much younger than I am!

College students are awesome!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Perfect Planner

Plans for My Life:
(1) Graduate high-school: check
(2) Graduate college: check
(3) Married by the age of 25: check
(4) Own a house by the age of 27: nope, not yet
(5) First child by the age of 27: nope, not yet
(6) Proud pet owner-preferably a maltipoo: nope, not yet
(7) Live in a weather-all-year-round state: nope, not yet

Wait a second, four of my seven (oh, and I have more) life plans have yet to happen. For a control freak like me, this is cause for anxiety, worry, and "God doesn't know what He's doing, so let me take over and 'force' this to happen" moments of panic.

Then I read Proverbs 16:9, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Or, how about Proverbs 16:33, "We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall."  

Comforting? Yes. And no, not always. I like being in control. I like when plans go MY way. So, where does that leave me? Either I stress out, develop an ulcer, and gain 5 pounds because I find comfort eating yummy chocolate ice cream. Or I surrender my plans to the Perfect Planner, rest in Him, and enjoy how the dice land.

It's such an obvious choice, yet one that I struggle to make everyday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Think Twice, Speak Once

"Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything." (Proverbs 13:3) 

Everything?  Really?  Let's think about this, what can be ruined by opening your mouth?  Relationships.  Marriages.  Friendships.  Car rides.  Evening strolls with your honey.  A romantic dinner.  Even healthy conflict resolution can go south very quickly if one's mouth is moving too much (take my word on this one).

I don't know about you, but once I get warmed up, words continue being formed and escape from my mouth faster than I intend.  I often dismiss this "ability" as verbal processing, but God's suggestion is: keep your mouth shut (my paraphrase).  I think He'd also agree with my mom, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  (if I remember correctly, mom said this more to me than she did my sisters)

Sometimes freedom of speech isn't the best freedom.
I want to experience the freedom that comes when silence is the wiser choice.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wisdom? Yes, please.

"Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it." (Prov. 8:10-11)

I desire many things: clothes, comfort, a trip to Greece, a baby, freedom, a pair of TOMS just to name a few.  I pray for wisdom, but usually only in crisis situations.  I don't consider wisdom to be of more value than rubies (or diamonds for me, personally).  I don't desire wisdom.  Honestly, there are days when given the choice, I would not pick wisdom at the expense of my desire.    

I want freedom from my own shallowness; freedom from my here-and-now focus; freedom from my selfish, nasty heart.  

This is my prayer today, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me, is that I will focus on Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3).   

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sweet Whispers; Loving Arms

Since I was a little girl, I've envisioned being a mother.  It's been one of the greatest desires of my heart, and yet, it's still only a desire, a longing.  

Lee and I have been trying to get pregnant since November of 2009.  Twenty-one months later, we are still trying.  This is the most difficult trial I have ever had to walk through.....ever. 

I had begun to lose hope that God hears my prayers.  I had begun to lose hope that God cares about this longing in my heart to be a mother, to have a family.  I had begun to lose hope that He sees my tears.  

But, today, God gave me a gift, a sweet reminder of the God I serve.

Parents find it very difficult, painful actually, to hold their baby while the pediatrician pokes them, numerous times, to administer life-saving vaccines.  But they do it.  Why?  Because it is best for their baby; it could save their life.

Today I felt like a baby looking up at my heavenly Father, crying, and asking Him, “Why are you doing this to me?  Don’t you see how painful this is?”  Gently, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Yes, He does see how painful this is,but He is not withholding anything from you. He is doing what is in your best interest. Trust Him. He loves you.”

I felt God’s arms wrap around me even more tightly when He softly whispered, “It hurts me that you hurt so much.”  Like a parent, who is often crying with their baby, while the doctor administers painful shots; so is my heavenly Father.

Immediately, Hebrews 4:15-16 popped into my head: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testing we do, yet He did not sin.  So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Each month God grieves with me; He cries with me.  I don’t serve a God void of emotions.  I am His child and He doesn’t enjoy seeing me in pain, but He also knows (better than I) what is best for me.  So, even though this chapter of my life is painful and I don’t understand what God has planned or why we aren’t getting pregnant, I am choosing to trust that God is good.  He is not withholding good things from me.  He sees my tears.  He knows my heart, my desires, and my longings.  He is doing what is best and, oh, how He loves me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Live Free

You may be asking, what does eleutheria mean?  It's Greek for "freedom."  According to, there are several definitions for this word, but the one that resonates with me most if this: true liberty is living as we should not as we please.

One of my favorite verses is Galatians 5:1, which reflects the definition of eleutheria.  It says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  

Christ has set me free; He has liberated me.  Jesus Christ satisfied the demands of the law, so I can live free.  Yet, so often I find myself putting on the yoke of good deeds, performance, and "righteous" living.  Chained to my sin nature, I work overtime to meet the demands of the law I've put on myself.  All the while, Jesus is softly nudging me, "I've set you free, my child.  Live that way." 

So, each day I wake up and make a decision: will I live this way?  will I live in the freedom that cost Christ His life?  will I live as I should, not as I please?  will I yoke myself to Christ?

I have experienced eleutheria, but I want more of it. 


Sunday, August 7, 2011

And so it begins....

Hi.  My name is Chelsea Bickerstaff and I am a verbal processor.  Whewww, I feel better. Now everyone knows; I think out loud.  Not that thinking out loud is a bad thing, but when I verbally vomit all over my husband (he gets the brunt of it, as with most things), something needs to change.  I need to process before I verbally process.  Which leads me to enter the world of blogging. (Plus, typing is so much faster than writing. Maybe that is why I don't consistently journal?)

When I ran this genius idea passed Lee, which is to "process" by writing THEN process with him after I've organized my thoughts (and considered the repercussions of what will come out of my mouth), he quickly said, "Yes, babe. I think that is a great idea!"  I sensed an air of excitement (or maybe hope) that my frustrations, joys, ramblings, and emotion-driven thoughts would be released into cyber blogging space, rather than onto him. Whatever his initial reaction, I had already decided to try my hand at blogging, I just needed to process and receive validation that my idea was a good one. :)

So...this is my first ever blog post.  Welcome and enjoy the ride!

PS: I love my husband very much and I am thankful that he supports this endeavor of mine.