Monday, December 29, 2014


for any of you that may for some reason still stumble across this blog, I have started on BlogSpot again.. blogging at this address: come join me! :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

This blog is coming to an end.

I have put this off because it is a little bit sad to me.

because I have been posting here for years. and by years I mean... years.

but it is time.

I am not longer

my last name is Chelsea Garter now and I think that that means that most things have changed.

and so should this blog.

So, I am inviting you to follow me in my writing journey, and to my new little writing corner. Because I love to write, because I believe that God has given this desire and this life to write about. Because I want to share the gospel with you. Because I love you and I feel loved and fed when you read and question and talk to me through my blogs. Because I feel like it is a space to share my heart. because Im so thankful that I still have the freedom to speak brazen and bold about what I believe and what I think.

because tumblr allows people to ask questions anonymously, and I've had a heart for awhile to have a space where people// teens// kids can ask and where I can answer to the best of my ability. Because I know someone who asked once and now walks so close to the Lord

because if even one person is changed by a blog all of my writing is worth it.

Cant wait for you to join me.

Click the link below, and if you want, add me to your blog lists of reads.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I wish I could make you understand that I'm not sharing with you because I'm religious. More than most things, I don't want to be religious. I share bc I care about you. 

I see so many people push away this life and answer because they've had a bad experience with people who've shared this truth wrong. 

I remember the day we put our hands on you. It was upstairs by the window and you were sobbing and bleeding and hoping it was different from last time. You heart was soft and open then. And God heard us. And now you have a lil boy. 

Jesus. The name people cringe at and silence. Jesus the one who can set us free eternally. Jesus who took all of your bad on himself and died and burried it so you could be free. Jesus who knew God the Father and knew his love for us and knew we must come to him clean and without sin. Jesus who agreed to love you enough to die for you and leave bliss to walk with us and teach us how to love each other and the world and not throw the first stone. Jesus. The name who taught me about no matter what kind of love. Jesus who paid for me so I'm a daughter of a King not a slave to this world. Jesus who taught me what humility truly is. Jesus who I want to follow. If you don't know who he is, ask. Search. Seek. He name is not appalling, it is life.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dear world

Please understand something. This may sound cynical but it's meant to be funny. 

Your hairstylist cannot read your mind. She also doesn't have the capability to make your head grow hair so that it has the amount of hair needed to make it look like that picture you brought in of some airbrushed Hollywood figure with extensions. She also cannot make your dress look any different because of your hair. And you should probably wear some makeup when you get your updo done because if you don't you'll feel very unimpressed at my skill of making you look like you did 20 years ago.

Your hairstylist is also not a magician. If you are twenty minutes late for your appointment she can't put 139 foils in your hair and mix your color and find out what you want and put on a glaze, get you coffee and file your toenails in the 10 minutes before her next client. 

Also she can't shampoo blow dry brow wax and style your monster amount of hair in 10 minutes so please be on time. I don't want to make you cry and turn you away. It's just, I simply don't have the time if your late. It's not that I don't want to do your hair. I did want to, 20 minutes ago. its just, i don't want to fry my clients hair either who I have to shampoo in, now that you went to the bathroom while I looked for you, 5 minutes. Don't take it personally. Kisses! 

Our job is to color your hair and find the best match for what to put in your hair to make that color you want happen. It's not my fault though that you've bleached your hair to death and expect it to grow 6 inches in 2 weeks when all you want to do straighten it. I'm sorry. And if you used boxed permanent color im not going to be able to turn the orange red of your hair neutral blonde all today. I don't know how your hair will respond to the color since everyone's hair is different. And no I can't  take you from a level 6 to platinum in one try. I can do it in one day if you'd like to pay me 400$ and hang out with me all day. That'd be fun. I'm fun. And ill give you coffee. 

Also. I offer you deep conditioners because they are good for your hair and I get them done on myself because of the difference they make. I'm not money hungry. 

Also. This is how I make my money. This is my job. Please don't come expecting me to change everything about the way you look without expecting to pay something. I'm not going to overcharge you.

Remember, I do love you. I love doing your hair. If your reading this your probably not one of the people im writing to. But the above is a day in the life of a stylist.

Your hairstylist. 

Monday, October 07, 2013

I listen to
Quite a few people
Remember the person I was
A fire ball, full of passion, respected, alive

It's true. I could write great things when I was lonely and sad and unsettled
And full of passion because passion was my husband then 
The inside of me though
It many times felt hollow and panicked
But I didn't share that 

I don't know quite how to resolve. I worry, am I now too comfortable basking in Gods steadfast love?

I don't read as much as I did bc then i thought i must read countless hours and be on my face. i dont pray as much. Or go as hard. Or write as much. 

But on the inside 
I am well

Where before I was always searching
Unaware of rest true rest

I have changed. I don't feel as passionate. I feel more introverted. More happy. More calm. Not as willing to go finding tornadoes to write about. They are more exciting garaunteed

Believe me when I say I want more
I'm trying to get back to a middle ground where I'm calm and yet passionate

I want to feed the orphan still
I want to pour out and into these little faces Gods put in front of me
I want to love my husband 
I no longer feel strained to change the ENTIRE world though
I am sure before that made me look like a person set apart like a person to follow like a champion

But then I was using my own strength and not Gods. 
He carried me. 

And he carried me here in his tight shepherd arms. He settled my heart enough to hear his true vision and now, now the journey is outward. Hawaii taught me this. To open my hands and to fill need where I can, so here I am Lord, send me, because you are the Savior now. I see that. Not me. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Muskegon in October

It was a crabby morning. Was it me, Over sensitive or just menstrating or he offended about nosehair...?  we split (hate the word) after coffee and I cleaned the home while he sold a home.

He kisses me quickly and I touch the wetsuit while the waves roll and call him and beckon. October one and I dig my heels in the sand for one last beach day and watch my man who is now a kid dive under the icy cold water and join the kite surfers, five magic flags dancing about, the walkers of water. 

I feel the sun burn my back and remember to thank God, me in October, how could i have chosen different, i remember this afternoon, grumbling as I tried to decide to stay home or join my husband in this adventure

Now, blanket unrolled, shirt off, bathing suit on, wind unfolding over my left shoulder, stash of pecans of chocolate, wave wave wave wave wave wave wave wave the place we are both most content. What a gift, what a gift, what a gift and when I count and count and count all this grace the anxiety dissipates ( the dirty house at home can stay that way), the anger escapes ( my man is awake), and with all this joy that only a Holy Spirit in me can breathe out, I am content, reborn, alive.

The Lord is good. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I don't write to make anyone jealous or to puff myself up or make my life seem extraordinarily better than anyone else's. I write to say my husband rocks. 

I went climbing into marriage a year ago, tentative, unsure of what adventure lied ahead, ready for the battle the uphill struggle the hardships.

It has not always been easy. My best friends can attest to this, but, it has been good. I have learned to enjoy life, to be grateful, to rest, to have fun, to communicate, to listen to God when he gently instructs, and to trust max. 

I am still sensitive, emotional, and fearful. But the waves have slowly rolled over and over my jagged edges, and with My Savior working through Max I have become more peace filled. More smooth.

He planned this weekend, a tiny time that we had together to rekindle and remember our vows we made to each other a good long year ago. 

He had actual luggage this time, which he never does, and so I knew he had something up his sleeve. When we arrived at Frankfort he made me wait in the car and so when we entered our suite, room 207, the room we shuttled off to the night we were married...

when he escorted me in I found a bath running and candles lit, fragrance ready to pour in, wine poured, and my man grinning.

Ill spare you details. 

Thank you babe for being mine. For taking me in and being a big strong wise goofball. Thank you for again expressing your commitment to me, to us.

Thank you Lord for loving me through Max. I don't deserve the love you pour out on me. All is grace. All is grace. I'm swimming in your goodness, Lord. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

On possessions

I was recently asked what a healthy amount of stuff is okay for a Christian to have. Is it ok for a Christian woman to have things? To decorate her home? 

I answered yes. I was surprised to see the responses that came from the conversation... Many women struggle with the desire to HAVE and with guilt that theyHAVE and WANT to much. 

R, made a great point, that we are to be seen as generous, women of good works. Despite the constant fight to not do good deeds as a way alone to win favor with God, we are instructed as women to constantly do good deeds and good works with our lives for The Lord. I love this. This is supposed to come ABOVE decorating our home. 

I think though that we need to see our homes as a way to pour out, a safe place for others. God has so given me a desire to be hospitable which I believe means that my home needs to feel comfortable and safe, a haven for others. I try to be frugal. Our bed was given to us, and we slept on a mattress on the floor for the first year of marriage. I bought our comforter on sale. I have a sweet pottery barn rug that just gives our living room the "ahh" that it needed, but God blessed us with it for a mere 27$!!!! I think we need to spend wisely in making our home a space of comfort and safety. But it is, I believe written in us women to make it beautiful and full of color and life, and I believe I our homes aren't in order it means there maybe something out of order in other places of our lives. We need to have time to care for and steward the things God has given to us, and if we do not have time for this, or if our homes are taking over our time more than they should perhaps we need to get rid of some things and check our hearts. 

The proverbs 31 women looked well to the way of her household. She made sure her family were clothed well and ate good food. She was wise with her earnings and investments. 

I often look as well to the widow, who any of us could someday be. Paul instructed this woman to be cared for if she had: been hospitable, faithful to her husband, well known for her good deeds like having people into her home and having children and washing the feet of the saints and helping the troubled, devoting herself to "all kinds of good deeds." He instructs younger widows to manage their homes. (1Tim5) 

 I'm not a widow but someday I might be and these are the things that God sees as important as a woman of God. And those of us that have alot... We are asked to not put our hope in that, but to put it in God who RICHLY provides all things for us... To  be generous, rich in good deeds, willing to share... Why? "Lay up treasure for (ourselves) as a firm foundation for the coming age..." (1tim6:17-19) 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mom called while I mopped. Jamin had another siezure while at meijer gas station. I've never seen one so I can only picture the flailing arms, shaking body, mind unconscious. I don't particularly like to think about it, or the faces of those huddled around him fumbling for 911. His body a specticle. 

I'm so angry. I went outside barefoot across the grass, greasy hair, sweatpants with hole in the knee, and the lawn mower halted when i rounded the corner and max held me while I cried. Asked me if he could do anything besides what he was doing with his two rust colored sweaty arms. Nothing else. I told him. 

Bravely I breathed and went back inside and picked up the mop and yelled. 

"Will he ever be ok? Will he ever be happy?" I yelled up to God because I knew he could handle it. My grief. My mourning. My doubt. My faith. I jammed the mop onto the bucket in frustration at depression, the demon that yanked joy out of his eyes, manipulating his thoughts and food habits. Even though those have been better, the voice is still often strained, the eyes dull. The body stained forever from anorexias impact. 

Then it passed, my anger. Because I do still believe that God is in control even when it seems he isn't. Even when depression seems to plague me as well. I will continue to believe that he is still good even if I am angry with him because this life? It is short. And He is forever. 

And He is good. 

But will you pray for me , for him today?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"David Cope just retired." She told me after she asked me to cut her hair into a "v" in the back and I began to whittle. 

I remember David Cope. Generally scatterbrained. Sometimes he wore shorts in the strangest season with tennis shoes and high socks and hairy, very hairy legs. 

He taught me to write. He said things like set each word like gold and write a picture and I'd write. He made me feel like I was a good, a very good writer. Maybe he made everyone feel that way but it didnt matter.

 Holding my colored red folder in his cluttered office, he would process each word intricately and speak through his poorly trimmed facial hair and say things like, "I've never read a manuscript quite like this one." I felt like I had just gift wrapped the statue of David and handed it to him for observation.

Maybe he made everyone feel that way, but it didn't matter. 

Sometimes he'd put objects in front of class or send us out into the streets of Grand Rapids along the gray cement and past the academic buildings into steepled stale churches where we would put our hands on pianos and ask to use the sanctuary and even though the energy for the room cost the church 100$ an hour they would let us sit in the pews and write. 

She told me something I never knew of David, that he had started at grcc by dusting the wood and mopping around students with sludgy shoes and careless feet. You take classes for free if you work there. This is how he began an soon he became a professor who kayaked and had hairy legs and put me on tv while my hands shook and i read poetry. Id meet fellow students at coffee shops and pick apart work and edit poetry and choose which ones could make display magazine and they called me the poetry editor.

I write this to say not that I am a great great writer or that I'm in love with David Cope or good at cutting hair into a v. I wrote this to say that you can start out a janitor and become someone who changes people. And that even if you have hairy legs and a disheveled appearance, your words and encouragement can make someone feel able and empowered. And. Like a good, good writer. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I remember the first time we danced together. I think my mom must have bribed him to take me, or maybe it was because one of his friends was taking his daughter. It, the daddy daughter dance, was led my the guy who wrote the song Butterfly Kisses, which i always thought was a touch too emotional since my childhood memories were trying to braid my dads armpit hair early in the morning when we all climbed in bed together and naming his moles, because like me, he has a few. There was no eyelash kisses. sorry. 

The guy made us hold hands during his speech and I could feel the rough callouses that had hardened over the years on the front of dads hand as it, sort of, clasped mine. I knew, even at that age, how awkward he felt since he didn't really know how to hold me or my hand... It had been since I was so small. Probably the last time was when I'd pretend to fall asleep as he read the Holy Word to us at night as a family. I'd pretend to fall asleep because I wanted him to scoop me up. To let my head fall on his shoulder. For him to carry me up the stairs that curves like a canes handle at the top and put me in bed like in the movies. I don't remember if he'd kiss my forehead goodnight or pull the covers to my chin. I know he didn't whisper "I love you." 

At age 18, I decided it wasn't normal. Startling him one day, I yelled it out as he left for work. The words came out like stickato, he hadn't said them in years. Not to me. Not to my brothers. Not to mom. I decided it was going to become normal. I forced him to hug me by hugging him in a way that to others it looked normal. I plopped down on his lap like a daddy's girl and I could feel him not know really what to do with his hands. He'd tap me with his palm when I hugged him like he was typing the morse code for HELP. 

It is normal now. To say I love you. 

He hugs me first. He mentions getting coffee or coming over for a beer. The words I love you are still hard for him unless I've said them first. But I am glad. I'm glad that I forced myself through the walls and made them crumble. I'm glad I yelled at him an challenged him and begged him to tell me WHY hadn't he ever told me about how God loves me. I'm glad he said sorry to me for a few things. For not hugging me more. I'm glad when we danced the day that he gave me away, the second time he danced with me that I said thank you to  him for not letting me marry the wrong men. For being a great, the best dad. For giving me away to the right one. 

He still didn't know what to do with his rough hands and kept laughing awkwardly because he had no words to say back. He never really was a man of many words. But. He said I love you. And  " yeah...." Over and over again, awkwardly. His back was stiff. He patted my back when I hugged him because he never really was a very touchy affectionate person. 

I guess I'm writing all of this because it helped me to know when we step toward someone or something that feels out of our reach, we might find something beauiful. And even though my dad never knew quite how to express his love for me with words or affection the way I needed it, he does it now by texting me every Tuesday asking me if I'm out drinking coffee because he knows I love coffee. Or by calling me and asking max and I over for a beer that he's brewed himself which doesn't have enough carbonation it in yet but we tell him it's good because it is, and bc it is more worth making his eyes light up and enjoying his company and his stepping toward us/me than wishing anything were different. 

[and God can bring redemption.]

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


morning our SAC club met at the wealthy street bakery and God laid out a theme


hiding, I have learned is something Christians are quite good at.

My best friend, Jana has taught me so much about this word. (You can find her blog in my blog list under Bengali Mama.) This, transparency, the only way that we as people can offer ourselves as real, whole, valid to other people.

and what are we if we cannot offer ourselves to other people.
laying out our person, our humanness, our weakness
the things that make us most human, needy for people, for help, for a rescuer

(for God.)

Transparency, the thing that you sense or do not sense in a person when you first meet
are they hiding
trying to prove something
the uneasiness we feel around a person that we cant quite put our finger on

the thing that allows us to be comfortable in our skin,  and makes others comfortable around our skin.

(may I interject, I do believe there are places to be guarded, to hide, to not share intimate details with everyone. just for clarification.)

I realized after our conversation how little I confess. I keep the dark dirty the ugly parts of me hidden and only exposed to a small crowd of people I call family or friends.

but I am learning, only in my confessions can people relate. only in my hardship and the muscle I gain through hardship makes me relatable to another person in their struggles. it allows me to step down and look them in the eye and know and see in my humanness that I am just as they are.

"with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself" phil 2

To regard another as more important than myself I must become comfortable with the fact that I am flawed. nobody wants to expose themselves around someone who is not exposed and unwilling to be so.

I want to be relatable. I want people to know that I am as you are, I am less than you are. I want to be small as Jana says. I want people to know what I have struggled with and gone through so they know that I can be a voice of encouragement as God has carried me and continues to carry me through these things.

Did you know? I've struggled with thoughts of suicide. I've struggled with a raging problem with anxiety and depression and take something for this. I was ashamed to do this. It has helped me. I want to go off of it but I'm afraid to feel that way again. I fight everyday to believe that when tragedy comes upon me, I will be fine and strong and able to survive. I've been angry at God. I've wanted to leave Him behind. I've not understood Him. I've yelled at Him. I've had random questions go through my mind, like, "WHAT IF IM A LESBIAN!?!" (I can assure you, I am not.) I have struggled in my life with fears that I am bipolar, Schizophrenic, possessed even. I thought Id never marry. I just in the last few years have received the truth of the gospel even though I grew up in the church. I am insecure. I question myself constantly. I have coveted other peoples houses, lives, possessions, even husbands though I love my own life, my own husband. I have made vows that I will never be able to fully keep. I asked God once to make me perfect. it didn't work. I cry. I cry a lot. My car is messy constantly. I'm afraid of mice and I complain. I obsess sometimes about my husband or my mom dying and always fear I will not be able to handle it when it happens. I'm afraid I would not take the bullet if ever asked if I love Jesus or die. I hope I do. I've had panic attacks.  I have pride. I've wiped boogers on the underside of my car seat. I'm afraid that someday I'll be crazy. or that I am already.

come, sit on my couch. i'm very human.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I asked God to show me once how much 
How much
He loves me

He showed me a picture of bushels and bushels and bushels of apples they didn't stop coming they filled up the house 

I asked him again how much how much he loved me 

And there I was in a field running trying to find a hole somewhere in the ground in his love some hang up that might keep my out but the land the field kept rolling it  never stopped and that was a picture of his great love for me

I asked him for another picture of his great love for me

And it was I basking in the ocean I could not see the shore the waves could have swallowed me whole yes this

This was a picture of his great love for me
And now I take him at his word
I hold him to it 

I am so undeserving and yet his promise remains

I believe. 
I lay across his chest
Hearing the thump thump thump of his heart be be beating and I am amazed at the   structure of our bodies 
The blood flow lungs breathing beating of our heart that we since birth take for granted 

His breath becomes longer and his hands twitch as he falls into slumber 

And I thank God for this minute everytime I hear it swell and thud and I thank God for this gift of max this life in him breathing life into me 

It is all grace 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jude was right I guess

She felt God was showing her my future was like bacon popping in a pan
Whatever she saw heard felt made her smile and laugh and swing her head back 

This, this is joy and I keep waiting for it to break