Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life Lately

As y'all may have noticed, there hasn't been much happening in this corner of the world lately!  I thought I'd give y'all a little "life lately" from instagram/my phone, to recap the past six weeks.

Just as a little preview....lest you think that tour life is just full of friends + posing for pictures, let me enlighten you:
It ISN'T. =) 

Go visit this page to see that there is a whole lot more happening than fun + games!

 But, 43 concerts in 46 days is kinda hard to put into pictures. I also don't get to capture all the office work, and laundry, and set up/tear down, and all of the other "normal life" things that happen on the road. 

Below, you will see recaps in photos of time spent with old besties, and new friends, and amazing siblings! And head on over to our family blog to read the full updates I've been posting recently.
With love, all the way from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! =)
-Chels     

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Farm Girl Writes...

{photo taken @ a friend's farm in Alberta last week}

I miss my Iowa farm.

I miss the smell of newly baled hay. Of freshly cut grass. Of all sorts of delicious smells from the gardens + flower beds. Of the herbs in my herb garden. Of the ever present aroma of the cows + calves, and even the occasional whiff of the hogs that comes in on a windy day.

I miss the quiet country mornings. My walks with just me and our dog. Sitting on the bridge above the creek in the almost-dusk evenings, with my bare feet dangling over the sides, just being still + contemplating life.

I miss hanging out the laundry in the mornings, and then bringing it all in in the afternoons, when the farm is noisy with the sounds of the milkers clanging, equipment running, silage being mixed for the cow's feed, children laughing + talking as they work, and southern gospel music wafting across the farm from the barn speakers.

I miss the dust from our gravel road. I miss walking barefoot everywhere + anywhere. I miss mowing the lawn. I miss sitting out on the grass in the afternoons while looking through the mail. I miss jumping in the truck to run errands.

Yes, I miss all those farm-life things. But truly the best place to be is the center of God's will. Even when, in my flesh, I'd rather be somewhere else. Keeping perspective is remembering that contentment + happiness does not lie in my circumstances, my surroundings, or my location. Rather, it is found in choosing joy in the moment of where Jesus has me.

Sometimes that moment may not be my favorite. Sometimes that moment may get tiring. Sometimes that moment may be the furthest thing from what I would "wish" I could be doing. But if that moment is centered in Jesus + where He has me, than it is the very best thing for me.

So that moment right now?  It's the best thing, even in spite of my farm girl longings for the dirt roads, animal smells, country breeze, + bare feet freedom.

It's true, though...you can take the girl off the farm, but you just can't take the farm out of the girl.

And there's just a few thoughts from a homesick farm girl tonight. =)
-Chels

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jacob & Dorcas||Couple Portraits

This is my lovely cousin + her husband. Y'all may remember them from this post I did about their wedding, last fall.
I took these portraits of them at her sisters wedding in Colorado several weeks ago. We literally grabbed these shots in five minutes, just before the ceremony started. The afternoon light was gorgeous and of course there is nothing like newlyweds, so how could the pictures be anything but perfect, right?! (smile)
Enjoy a few of my favorites!
Favorites, anybody?

Have a beautiful weekend!
-Chels

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Tour Schedule!

{photo credit StyleLife Photography}

It is hard to believe, but the spring on the farm has flown by (see the last month recap that I posted here!) and it is once again time to depart for the north and seven weeks of ministry there! 
My excitement has been a little late in coming (#homebodystatus), but finally last night I felt a little anticipation hit and it has been growing ever since. =) 

I would love to meet some of you readers, so here's a little shoutout to all living in Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, & New York! Check out the schedule below and see if there is a concert near you!

JUNE 
14 - Guthrie Community Bible Church, Laporte, MN, 10am
14 - Community Center, Spring Lake, MN, 6pm
15 - Rainy River Covenant Church (Gideon’s Banquet), Rainy River, Ontario, 7pm
16 - Knox Presbyterian Church, Neepawa, Manitoba, 7pm
17 - Christian Fellowship Church, Lanigan, Saskatchewan, 7pm
18 - Centenial Hall, Two Hills, Alberta, 7:30pm
20 - North County Gospel Fest, LaCrete, Alberta, 1:30pm & 7:30pm
21 - North County Gospel Fest, LaCrete, Alberta, 10:30am & 3:15pm
23 - Menno Simons School, Cleardale, Alberta, 7:30pm
24 - Theisen Brothers Ranch, Fort St. John, British Columbia, 6:30pm
26 - Rolla Bible Baptist Church, Rolla, British Columbia, 7pm
27 - Clairmont Community Church, Clairmont, Alberta, 7pm
28 - Weberville Hall, Peace River, Alberta, 10:30am
28 - The Gathering Place, Slave Lake, Alberta, 7pm
JULY
1...Cardiff Golf/Country Club (with Cornerstone Baptist Church) Cardiff, Alberta, 1pm
2...Faith Covenant Church, Breton, Alberta, 7pm
3 - Community Hall, Vauxhall, Alberta, 7pm
4 - Picturebutte Mennonite Assembly, Picturebutte, Alberta, 7pm
5 - Evangelical Mennonite Church, Tabor, Alberta, 10am
5...Coaldale Mennonite Church, Coaldale, Alberta, 7pm
7 - Medicine Hat Trade Society, Redcliffe, Alberta, 7:30pm
8 - Austin Community Hall, Austin, Manitoba, 7:30pm
9 - Evangelical Mennonite Church, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, 7pm
10 - Arborg Town Hall, Arborg, Manitoba, 7pm
11 - Elam Baptist Church, Beausejour, Manitoba, 7pm
12...Christian Mennonite Church, Steinbach, Manitoba, 10:45am
12 - Bothwell Christian Fellowship, New Bothwell, Manitoba, 7pm
14 - Windy Bay Hutterite Colony, Pilot Mound, Manitoba, 7pm
15 - Active Living Centre, Carman, Manitoba 7:30pm
16 - Kenora Harbor Front, Kenora, Ontario, 7pm
17 - Townsend Theatre, Fort Francis, Ontario, 7pm
19 - Northwoods Bible Church, Ray, Minnesota, 10am
19...Balsam Bible Chapel, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, 6pm
20 - Chassel Township Pavilion, Chassel, MI, 7pm
22 - Bethel Family Missionary Church, Reed City, MI, 7pm
23 - Pigeon Band Shell, Pigeon, MI, 7pm
24 - EMUI Auditorium, Leamington, Ontario, 7pm
25 - Mapleview Mennonite Church, Wellesley, Ontario, 7pm
26 - Beacon Bible Chapel, Tillsonburg, Ontario, 10:30am
26 - Carrick Camp, Mildmay, Ontario, 7pm
29...Springfield Hall, Springfield, Ontario, 7pm
30 - LeTourneau Christian Center Tabernacle, Rushville, NY, 6:30pm

And if you think of it, I would greatly appreciate prayer as we head out for these seven weeks. We have a very intense schedule and a lot of ministry opportunities in addition to our concerts. 
It is the cry of my heart to encourage people and see lives touched + changed by the power of the Gospel!

Have a blessed weekend, y'all!
-Chels

The Colorado Trip + Wedding

You know, life is just better because of weddings. There's something so wonderful about them. I love how weddings bring people together-to prepare, plan, and celebrate what God is joining together. 

Whenever I have the opportunity to be involved in these celebrations, I jump on it. So when my cousin announced her engagement the beginning of this year, I immeditenly started scheming for how I could get out there. Details came together and I ended up driving out with another cousin several days prior to the wedding. 
My cousin + I threw a bridal shower/brunch for the bride-to-be. It was attended by a group of the bridesmaids, sisters, and close friends. On the menu was spinach artichoke dip, bean/corn salsa, fresh fruit, pineapple/lemon punch, and cupcakes. 
The special lady herself!
Had a wonderful time road tripping + planning with this dear lady!
Decorating for the reception!
We may or may not have tried to break a lollipop or two so it wouldn't be servable and hence could be consumed before the actual reception. =)
How I love being delegated to arrange candy! =) 
A few of the decorations. This was the corner of the coffee bar table. 
The quote. I adore it! Except that can you really love a man more than coffee??
Basil plants on the tables. So beautiful...and they smelled amazing too!
Sadly I really didn't get very many pictures considering that I was out there for five days. We had many special moments preparing, laughing, talking, and preparing some more! 
Alli came out Friday night and Saturday morning she + I did the hair and makeup for the bridesmaids and makeup for the bride.
 
This little cousin of mine was one of the flower girls. She sat so well to get her hair done!
I'm totally sold on these babies breath wreaths for flower girls. It was my first time doing them but they turned out SO CUTE! 
Made me want one!
The beautiful bride!
Yes, please...I want shoes like this! =)
How I love this lady! It has been such a beautiful thing to see her fall in love with the man God had for her!
I had to get a picture with these little ladies. =)
Yes, I snuck out there for their first look. I had to get some pictures! =)
His face just says it all. Priceless.
The front of the sanctuary.
ADORABLE!
Braiding the unity cord.
Fun at the reception! Finally got to taste one of those incredible lollipops!

This lovely set of sisters!
The new Mr. & Mrs.!!
It was lovely getting to meet + get to know this girl. She was the kindred spirit type for sure!
All the bridesmaids with their beautiful updos...
Time to leave!!
Smiles with this girl! 

And that's the recap! It was a lovely trip + wedding and some amazing memories made! 

Happy Friday!
-Chels