When we first started dating, I really struggled with the reality of having this man in my life and all of these ideals of what “my person” would look like that I had dreamed up over the years. That’s the thing about being single until you are thirty, like truly single beyond some dates here and there—it gives you a lot of time to think about the person you hope to one day marry. What they will be like. Traits and qualities you hope they will have. And for me, most importantly, what their spiritual life would look like. . It was hard in the beginning, when we first met. I was simultaneously falling in love with Bobby while trying to talk myself out of the relationship, simply because he was different than what I ever had in mind. That’s because I never considered what seems so obvious as I dreamed about my future husband—his own humanness. For so long, I imagined meeting a guy who would be exactly where I was spiritually in life. Who would think like I think and share the same passions that I share. But Bobby is his own person, and it took me awhile to realize that his relationship with God was HIS relationship, and not mine to try to control. That he is his own person with his own interests and passions and ways of expressing his faith. And neither of us are right, we’re just different. We express ourselves in different ways. And like I said, that was hard for me in the beginning. . The most important thing I was looking for in a man was someone who loved Jesus, and I am grateful beyond words to have found that. But in the beginning, I struggled with that love for the Lord looking differently than the way I love God and express my faith. What used to terrify me as I was confronted with this concept I had dreamed up and the reality of the person that was before me is now something that I love. Bobby challenges me to grow in ways that I never even considered before he was in my life, and I hope and pray I do the same for him. I don’t want to marry the guy version of myself, a Kelly copy. This is far, far better. It’s important to have standards, friends. But make sure to leave room for God to give you the best surprises you could never dream up!
SCOTLAND 🏴 // friends who live there or have visited, if you had a week, what are the things you would recommend to do or see?! Please tell me all the things!
I’ve thought about this day for a very long time—even back when I was a kid and didn’t fully get it yet. I’m not trying to make a big deal out of it (actually, I’m trying to do the complete OPPOSITE of that) but at the same time, I can’t help but be aware. Aware that as of today, I am the exact same age my mom was when she died. And it is a feeling that I can’t fully describe other than that it paints her death for me in a completely different light. Because, although I can’t even begin to guess the Lord’s plans, this just feels young. So young (even though 31 makes me feel like I’m officially in my thirties now, like what?!). . In just a few short weeks, I’ll have reached the point where I have outlived her, and the concept of that is just strange to me. It feels wrong. I only got eleven months with her, but somehow the notion of outliving her makes her feel gone all the more in a completely new way as I step into seasons of my life that she never got to live. Like I’m losing a part of her because I will soon be walking roads and seasons of life that she never got to even traverse when her life was stolen from her far too soon. It’s just strange, and I don’t really know how to process any of it yet, except to say that I have dreaded this birthday for a long time for this exact reason—I don’t even know what to do with it. . Here I am, 31 years old, knowing this day would come when we would be the same age. In some ways, hearing stories of her life has been like little guideposts along the way as I have lived mine, and I’m about to lose that, and like I keep saying, I just don’t know what to do with that yet. All I can say is I am grateful for another blessed day. I am grateful to celebrate this birthday (and celebrate I will, even if there is an anxiousness that comes with it). And that you better believe that I will live every single day ahead of me with joy, embracing the fullness of all that God has in store. 31. Let’s do this! Also, I love birthday balloons.
It’s been a little quiet around here lately. I guess I’m just soaking in the peace and stillness that winter brings. So often I fight against it—fight against these dark days like they are an enemy to my soul because my heart thrives most in spring and summer. I try to rebel against the barrenness of the season because it is almost like I am afraid of being sucked into the dark. . But there is a beauty to embracing the rhythms of each season. Winter is not my enemy, it just moves at a different pace then I one I generally choose. But I’m realizing that is a gift. There have been so many seasons where I know that the Lord has called me to rest, but I fight against it tooth and nail because there is something about rest that just feels wrong to me. I like to tackle goal after goal and can be hard-pressed to stop at times. I tend to take on too much and then get burnt out instead of listening to His spirit calls for me to slow down. I’m thankful that He knows what I need so much more than I do, and that I’m finally willing to listen. . I think I also feel guilty about it, too. Like there are so many things that always need to get done, so it feels selfish to rest. But it is important. It is Biblical. And rest makes me a better person on the days when I am super busy. It’s almost comical to me that I’m learning the true meaning of rest and Sabbath in a season where things seem the busiest (planning a wedding in 4 months is HARD!). But I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying what it is teaching me and the person that it is making me. . My soul has felt weary for a long time, and it’s because of my go, go, go attitude. But here in the winter—in the dreary and the gray and the dark nights and slumber, my heart is starting to slow with the season and just breathe and take in the beauty around me just as it is, so that it will be revived and re-filled for the season ahead. I’m enjoying the quiet and the peace of it all, and the ceasing of all the striving. So if it’s felt quiet around here, that’s why. I’m just embracing the season and learning how to create a true Sabbath rhythm into my life.
BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY! ✨🎉 (closed! Winner announced in comments). . Hey friends! I always love to take special opportunities to bless you, my amazing followers, with some fun things that I just love! And with my birthday coming up this Sunday, I thought it would be the perfect time to do just that! One of the questions I get asked the most is what Bible I use—and it’s an ESV single column journaling Bible. So I thought, since there is always so much interest about it, why not give one away? And then I thought, why not give TWO away? Read on for how to enter! . To enter to win one of TWO ESV single column journaling Bibles be sure to: 1. Follow this account @kellyhalsch 2. Tag as many friends as you want in the comments for additional entries (one per line please!) 3. Totally your choice, but sign up for my newsletter to receive 20 additional entires in the contest! The link to sign up for my newsletter is in my bio! . The winner will be announced at 6 PM EST on Sunday January 20th right here in the comments! . If you want a second chance to win, I’m doing a whole other giveaway over on Facebook page @kellyhalsch (simply type that in the search bar and my page will show up!) for my awesome FB followers!! I’ll be giving one away over there as well at the same time this coming Sunday. Just head to my page and find this same exact photo to enter. HOORAY! . This giveaway is not in anyway sponsored or endorsed by Instagram or Facebook. . Excited to bless two winners with my favorite resource in the whole entire world!!
It was one year ago today, and I never could have seen it coming. I remember it so vividly, sitting next to the bed in that hospice room, watching one of the most remarkable women I have ever known slowly fade away. She was my grandmother but she was my second mother as well—stepping in and playing such a big role in my life after my own mom died. And this moment was a moment I had been dreading for years. She was 91, and I knew she wouldn’t be here forever, and there we were living out what we all dreaded even as we knew she was going home to be with the Lord. . My cousin Molly was also in the room as we all chatted and visited, and it was sweet and it was special—soaking up those remaining moments with her, especially the ones where she was still alert and awake. My Mimi’s one big wish for me was to find the right man—she knew how much I wanted a family of my own. And there in that room, one year ago today, Molly joked that it would be her 2018 goal to find me a husband. And then Mimi started listing off all the qualities this guy had to have for me to even take a chance on him. . Later that night, back at Molly’s house, the two of us sat on the couch after another tiring day in the hospice room, sipping red wine, and giggling over my @eharmony app. I was signed up, but not really dedicated to actually pursuing online dating. But Molly took my phone and scrolled through the guys, and showed me this one guy named Robert who had sent me a smile, and said I had to send one back. I’m not sure if she pushed the button or I did, to smile back at him. But later that night, a conversation started between me and this Robert. . That conversation led to so much more. A love story that began in a hospice room. And although my Mimi never got the chance to meet him, she was still part of it somehow, which is a gift from the Lord to my heart that is still missing her so incredibly much. Molly fulfilled her promise. We got engaged on December 23, 2018. And here we are, celebrating one year of having each other in our lives. Something that I thank my Mimi and my God for. Happy one year anniversary of knowing each other, my love. Can’t wait to officially be yours soon.
Something I find myself praying over and over again lately is “Lord, show me how to worship you in everything that I do.” I think sometimes we think of worship as only happening on Sunday mornings in church as we sing along to the band or choir, but we can worship God through all that we do. Through loving and serving our community. Through caring for our littles even when we are at wits end. Through our jobs and even the most menial tasks, God is present in ALL of our moments, and when we see Him even in the most dreary mundane, it is all sorts of beautiful and joy and praiseworthy. . This may sound so silly to some of you, but for a season of my life after I finished college, I was a missionary in the UK working specifically with children. I lived on the main missions base, and one of my jobs was to clean the bathrooms every single morning. And as crazy as this may sound, I felt so full of joy doing it. I woke up every morning full of energy and a smile on my face knowing that I was about to clean the toilets, because God met me there, right in the middle of the most menial task, every single morning. And it was something I longed for. Lived for. A beautiful season of my life where cleaning toilets filled me with absolute and utter joy. Praising God with each scrub of the brush and serving the community around me. It was a beautiful picture of worshiping God in every and any circumstance. . We can worship God in so many ways—through loving the people in our lives. Through sitting around a table with those we love. Every time we experience complete and utter joy. Walking through the woods or watching a sunset. As we sweep the floors and change the sheets and fold the endless piles of laundry. EVERY MOMENT is a good moment to praise and worship God. And when we seek Him, truly seek Him in all those moments, He shows up, dear friend. Even in the most mundane moments of life. He shows up and makes them glorious.
I’ve noticed lately that I’ve become a fixer again. Whether in business or in just everyday life circumstances, when a need arises, I always try to meet it. When someone is feeling stuck with their business, I try to help them. I am a recovering people pleaser, and sometimes when I am not paying attention, I fall back into my fix-it mode, which includes ignoring all of my own priorities and focusing on everyone else’s. Healthy boundaries that I have set in place just crumble to the ground when I don’t keep myself in check, and that’s a season I am in right now again. Redefining boundaries in work most of all, but also life in general. . I’m still learning that it’s not selfish for me to have my own priorities. To have to say no when it is the best thing. And that I’m also doing the people I work with a favor when I let them sit in their own circumstances rather than trying to solve every problem for them. It’s a learning process and it can be hard, but I am thankful that there is so much grace. I can see how my miss fix-it and people pleasing tendencies enable the people around me as well, because they know that I will always step in. But I’m realizing that I can’t always step in. Because when I am always helping others problem solve and put out their own fires, I am leaving no time to even consider my own. . Setting boundaries is hard, especially when you have set a standard of things being a certain way and then you are trying to change it. It’s part of the growing pains I am going through in this season, and I know not everyone around me loves it, but it is also so needed. I want to be there for my people always, but I also am not the one meant to hold the world up. That is someone else’s job. So it’s time for me to stop trying. . So to my fellow people pleasers, it is okay to say no sometimes. It is okay to focus on your own needs. It’s okay to set healthy boundaries with the people you work with and live with and do everyday life with. It’s okay to change the flow of things. It’s okay when things don’t work out. It’s not up to us to uphold the world, or to even please everyone we come in contact with. And that’s okay. That’s good. That’s LIFE!
Happy Friday friends! Who is ready for the weekend?! Thought I’d pop on and just share a little bit about me since there are some new faces around these parts (I love me some new friends!!). So here’s a little bit about me! . 1. I’m Kelly. I was born in Rochester, NY then called California home for 11 years and it is still in my blood. I’m now living in Maryland cause winter. 2. I recently got engaged to my absolute best friend @robertjd302. I can’t wait to be his wife, but one thing you won’t see me stop talking about in this space is singleness! 3. I use this Instagram like a ministry. Whether it be sharing devotionals, what God is teaching me, or touching on subjects like how I study the Bible, how to pursue God in the wilderness moments of our lives, glorifying God no matter what our relationship status, and sharing my autoimmune journey—I just hope it all points back to Jesus. Even with the silly in between posts that are just regular life! 4. My passion is pointing people to Christ in their brokenness and helping them to see the beauty that He creates along the way. I’ve even written a devotional about it called #lessonsofthewilderness that you can get on my website. 5. I’m very bad at promoting myself so that is probably the first time I’ve mentioned said devotional in like a year. 6. In this current season the Lord is teaching me a lot about boundaries and not overextending myself and I am so grateful. 7. Every time I plan a party it POURS RAIN. I’m getting married on May 31st OUTSIDE. Join me in praying for sun?! Ha, I’m not kidding! 8. My favorite Disney movie is Tangled. 9. I loooove pie. All kinds. That’s it. 10. I work from home and am trying to learn how to not wear yoga pants everyday and I am failing even though I KNOW I work better when I feel put together. HALP! . Anyway, that’s just a little bit about me! Come tell me something about you?!?! Like, what is your favorite Disney movie?!