Monday, November 29



so i got this letter in the mail a few days ago [actually it was today--but i'm waiting to post this until i actually accept the job]. it was from camp desoto and the fabulous phil hurt and i assumed it was just a "happy holidays" note or something of the sort.

i open it and i am reading through it not expecting too much more than "i hope you're having a great semester." i'm just thrilled to be reading a letter from phil. well then i get to the line that says "we would like you to come back and join our leadership team this summer."

i choke a little, then look around to make sure no one is watching me.

excuse me? what? let me read that again. ohhh wait. that's what it really says.

okay. so cue the tears (suprising? no). i catch my breath and start over. "we would like you to come back this summer and be the head of horseback."

no lie, i flip the envelope over and make sure it is addressed to me. then i start over.. again.

yep. it still says the same thing. i didn't read it wrong. are they serious? yep. they must be serious.

lots of tears are flowing at this point. lots. the kind that make it hard to breath.

do they really think that i can do this?

i'm going to be really disappointed if they meant to send this to someone else.

how long should i wait before i call them and tell them i'm coming?

i regain my composure. read it again [OUT LOUD] to make sure that i am not: 1. crazy dreaming or 2. reading the wrong thing. of course, i yell for mom. she reads it. cries.

i'm going back to the mountain this summer. oh how funny God is.

i am so unbelievably excited.


a very excited and blessed and thankful kels

Sunday, November 21

sermon from the mountain

I had the glorious opportunity this summer to speak one Sunday morning at camp church. It was a crazy, last minute thing and God definitely laid this message on my heart within a matter of hours. And for some reason I have been thinking about it a lot lately and thought I might share a little. Hope you enjoy and hopefully it is what someone needs to hear today.

Matthew 21:18-19 tells a story of Jesus and the disciples walking down a road, hungry and tired. They see a fig tree in the distance; a huge, leafy, beautiful fig tree. Obviously, they assume that the fig tree is going to bear fruit that will meet their physical needs. When they reach the fig tree, they realize that it is completely bear of fruit. Jesus immediately withered the fig tree, saying that if it didn't bear fruit that it was of no use to his kingdom.

Even though this tree was something of great beauty, there was nothing there of worth. The tree was not serving its purpose, but appeared to be because of his flourishing appearance. The duty of this tree was to provide nourishment, and since it was not fullfilling its potential Jesus caused it to wither. So what does this mean for us? Jesus was trying to tell us that if we only appear to have faith without putting it to work, we are like the fig tree that doesn't produce fruit. Genuine faith means bearing fruit for God's kingdom.

We are each given gifts from God that he plans for us to use as Christians to further his kingdom. He has a specifically designed role for each of us to play, and his plan is for us to take those gifts and use them to the best of our abilities. Some people may be great leaders, some may be great listeners, some might be servants, some might be encouragers,  some might have the gift of forgiving. Some people may have the gift of being able to show love to others unconditionally.

It is important for us to realize that there is no BEST gift. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul compares our spiritual gifts to the human body. My gift might be "the arm" and your gift might be "the foot" and your neighbors gift might be "the leg." If you think about it that way, we are all an individual and important part but each part is vital for the success of the whole.

As a Christian community, we have to make sure that we don't:
1. become to proud of our abilties.
2. think that we don't have anything to give.

Both of these are things that could cause our gifts to be misused. God gives us so many types of gifts and we should all be proud of the things that he blesses us with. We shouldn't waste time wishing we had another gift or be jealous of others' talents.

It is also important that we don't think better of ourselves because of our gifts. It is not hard for me to stand up here and talk to you today, but that does not make make a better Christian than the person that moved all of these benches so that you would have somewhere to sit for church this morning. I don't have a clue whose job it was to set up this gym, but they did physical, hard service so that we can all come together and worship and they knew that they probably wouldn't get any recognition for it.

The most important thing for us to do is to use our gifts. In Matthew 28, Jesus tells us to "Go and make disciples of all nations." We are given our gifts so that we can use them to spread his word. Think about all of the ways that you have ever heard or seen God's word. You can teach others through music, art, writing, serving, listening, or simply loving others. Sometimes it may be hard or make us nervous--but if we put our faith in God, he will use us and our gifts to spread his love to others. God has blessed us with these gifts, and the least we can do is use them fully to glorify Him.

1 Peter 4:10 says that "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." I want to challenge you to embrace the gifts that God has given you, and if you haven't quite figured out what those gifts may be yet---pray about it.


Monday, September 13

Back Where I Come From

I absolutely love being home this time of year...
because I have the wonderful privilege of seeing this out my back door.

The Delta.
Growing up twenty minutes from school, friends, civilization, and the grocery store.

I loved it in elementary school because that meant I could play outside for hours and no one would bother me. I had multiple "clubhouses" in the woods that probably weren't safe, and I would probably never be able to find again. Sweet Rachel and I spent hours and hours working on one that was without a doubt the most incredible clubhouse ever built.

I hated it in junior high because my mom always had an excuse as to why I couldn't spend the night out on short notice.

But my favorite part about living "on the farm" was that Saturday afternoon every year when we got the last cotton trailer all to ourselves. Just a little education for you--the cotton comes off the plant and goes through a machine that makes cotton bales that some of you might have seen. They're just big block of cotton that sit there until they're ready to be taken to the gin, where the seeds come out. Well before they make bales, the cotton just hangs out in a giant trailer. And thats where some of my best childhood memories came from. One of our dads would save a trailer for us, and park it in the front yard. Our parents would literally throw us over into the back of this trailer and leave us for hours. You might think that could only be entertaining for so long, but we managed to play in this cotton trailer for the whole day.. every year and it never got old. We made forts, we dug tunnels, we had wars, we made mountains. And of course we itched and stunk afterwards.

I don't remember anything specific, besides that Adron and I were always on a team and always won. And that someone usually cried. But that was always the day that I looked forward to in the fall when the fields started turning white.

Happy Fall.

Tuesday, September 7


Football Season Favorites:

Huge white tents going up in the Junction marking the beginning of fabulous weekends, Friday afternoons at 5 p.m., endless platters of Abners chicken strips at every tailgate, having too many maroon dresses, cute heels cute flats, the constant supply of campaign and sorority stickers, COWBELLS, Maroon-Out Games, White-Out Games, babies in MSU cheerleading suits, the excitement of the black jerseys, the Greenwood and AttalaWhackers Tents, running into that friend you haven't seen in a few days or a few years, solo cups full of... whatever you may choose to fill them with, the Dawg Walk, chill bumps at game time.. everytime, night games--and all that comes with them, flat screen TV's playing every other SEC game, winning, losing, "For dear ole State we'll yell like H-E-L-L," hot dogs and sprites, pictures, pictures, and more pictures,  four years worth of face tattoos, the student section, being drenched in whiskey drinks after every touchdown but not really caring, having blisters and a sore right arm on Sunday morning, the Crawfish Shuffle/Bulldog Shuffle.

Two more days until game day.

Saturday, August 28

Happy Five Year Anniversary :)

I'm not one for sentimental things, but Martin and I have been together for 5 years today. That's half a decade. All of college. Since I was 17. Since Martin was 16. Since Anna and Mae were 9. Since Karlie was in 8th grade. Since Drew was 1 and before Macy was born.

From awkwardly watching movies together, not holding hands, pep rallies and football games (and basketball games and baseball games), Sundays on jet skis at the cabin, tailgating and the Junction and the student section, road trips, CMA Music Fests, date parties and formals, Sigma Chi and Chi O, being apart for freshman year... and that summer.... and this summer (my bad), lots of birthdays and holidays, Anthony's trips, our Raymond Street family and our Greenwood family.

And the blessing of not being defined by each other, but being a better person because of each other.

Thursday, August 12


I thought it might be fun to share some journal entries from the summer with you. Enjoy.

June 9

CPR Training. Miz. However, I can now successfully make a sling for a broken arm. Bet that will be useful.

June 11

Last year seniors. What the heck am I going to do with 10th graders? I wish this is where I had been the summer after my 10th grade year. Things would have been a whole lot different if this is where my priorities were. I am absolutely terrified and overwhelmed but I know that God has his hand in this.

Please God, be with me in the morning when those girls walk into my cabin.

June 14

They are really quiet. And of course I'm akward.

June 15

106 degrees. Cool. Not.

Whatever happens,
those who have learned
to love one another
have made their way
to the lasting world
and will not leave.
Whatever happens.

-Wendell Berry

June 21

Today was Circus Day! It was so much fun to just play all day long. And eat. And by eat I meant I had 3 corndogs.

June 26

I stayed up for a while last night just thinking about things, and I'm scared that I haven't been doing my job as well as I should. I just don't feel like I have gotten as deep with the girls as I should have after two weeks. I've had some great conversations but I still feel like I'm missing so many of the things that I want to know about them.

June 29

Dear TTS Schedule,
I'm glad we have gotten to spend so much time together lately, but I need a break. It's not you, it's me.

Love, Kelsie

July 4

Horseback overnight was last night, and it was my favorite thing I've done all summer. Laying in a field under the stars made me realize how small we really are. God doesn't need us. He chooses to love us. Seriously?

July 6

I just tucked them in for the last time. I hope they learned a lot, and I hope they feel successful. I really couldn't be more proud of them.

July 9

Lord, please bless these girls and their families. Prepare their hearts for this camp experience and give me the ability to know how to love each one of them well. Thank you God for this opportunity.

I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

July 11

I really hope they like me. Why can't I get past that?

July 18

The Olympics have come to Camp DeSoto. It is incredible that butcher paper and twinkle lights can transform the gym into the Opening Ceremonies--and you feel like you really are there.

July 21

I'm to the point where it takes every single bit of energy I have to get out of bed in the morning. I also cannot understand how kids can eat this much honey. Honey on cereal, honey on every piece of bread that they eat. Honey on rice. Honey on chicken. Honey on fruit? I don't think so.

July 24

"You never know what's under a rock until you turn it over."

July 25

Wrangler horseback ride this morning. Yay for Sunday mornings off. We rode down to the river and then went to Sarah's house and made omelets. Perfect morning, for sure. We are leaving in 10 days, this whole summer has come down to the last 10 days.

July 26

Mary Jo showed up at Camp! Seriously the most perfect timing ever. Thank you for wonderful friends.

Thank you Lord for the rain. And for the the 2 1/2 hour rest hour that came with it. Whoop whoop.

July 29

CHRISTMAS IN JULY! Quite possibly better than actual Christmas. Scratch that--definitely better. Can we do this again in August?

July 31

Last day of July.
Last day of activities.
Last horseback class.
How did we do this?

August 2

Thank you God for everything you've given me. I never thought I would be in this place with this cabin of girls. I have loved them as well as I can all summer, and I hope that has been more than enough.

August 6


Friday, July 23

Where is summer going?

The past few days have been some pretty big ones for me.

I've been lifting lots of girls onto horses, taking lots of girls off of horses, untacking lots of horses, and hanging out with lots of kids. It really has been a dream, and I looked up today and realized that this summer is way too close to being over.

Coming into the summer, I didn't have a ton of self confidence and wasn't really sure how or why God was using me here. Things have slowly changed without me even realizing it, and it's so funny to look back on what was just a few weeks ago and see the huge changes that God has made in my life.

I had the opportunity to give the sermon in church last Sunday, and it was definitely one of the biggest ways that God has ever stretched me. I had very very little time to prepare and didn't have a clue what I should talk about--but I committed to doing it and God pulled me through it. Spiritual gifts ended up being the "topic" that I covered and I think it was just as applicable to my own life as it was to the girls lives. It's nice to be reminded of the talents and abilities that we are given, and that just because we may have the gift of service or listening, it doesn't make us less important or lesser in our Christian lives. It was such a learning experience for me and I hope that it was for others as well.

Martin came to visit Saturday night and got the chance to come to church on Sunday---which happened to be the same Sunday that I was speaking---but it was so nice to have him there. We had a wonderful time and it was great to be able to share this big part of my life with him.

My cabin is doing well too. I guess I forgot how slowly things progressed with the girls last term, so it's a little frustrating sometimes that they aren't super close yet. I'm learning so much from all of their different personalities and backgrounds, and I think they are learning a lot from each other. Pray for them to all understand each other better and open up to me and the things that God wants them to take away from this summer. They have a lot of different things coming up this week that are going to stretch them and teach them and I really hope that they will be ready for it and excited about it.

We all went white water rafting on the Ocoee River yesterday and it was a blast. It was a great get-away from camp and the routine of activities, and it was so much fun to get to hang out with my girls and do something exciting and different. The weather was great and we had so so much fun. I wish I had some good pictures to share, but I've decided that I should probably keep my camera away from water as much as possible.

Thanks for the letters and prayers. Hope you all have a wonderful day :)

Thursday, July 15

Being a Slacker

Haven't been on the internet in a super long time, but that's not always a bad thing.

First term ended last Wednesday, and I cried for a long long time when those "precious angels" left. They were such a blessing in my life and my heart has been changed because of them. I hope she won't mind, but this is part of a note that a camper left on my bed the morning that they left. "Sometimes God places surprises in our life. Like you were a surprise to me and I was one to you. Sometimes they're good and sometimes they're bad. Sometimes they're happy, sometimes they're sad. But none the less, surprises shape the person you will be. They change hearts, minds, and attitudes and God loves to watch his strong children endure through the sometimes tough surprises." That's just a glimpse of the things that I learned from 16 year olds every day.

And second term is turning out to be one of those surprises. Completely different personalities and relationships, but I am in the same cabin with the same age girls and they're incredible. They're full of energy and hilarious. I could definitely use some prayers though as we get to know each other and spend the next 3 weeks together. Pray for my energy and strength to physically give them the same experience that first term had, and prayers for each of them that they will open their hearts to what God wants them to hear this month.

Love y'all and miss you. Write me. :)

Friday, July 2

Climbing Mountains... Big and Small

Lots of excitement in Mentone over the past few days. Quick synopsis:

A super fun trip to Rock City with the babies of DeSoto. Exhausting, but worth it.

Rock climbing. Big rocks, lots of bruises, lots of laughs, sore muscles, excellent time.

"Porkie Day Out" aka Beiber dance party, pizza, photo shoots, sleeping in a barn. My camera went swimming, but miraculously survived the tragedy and is in good condition... for now.

Only 5 more days left with these precious angels. Keep praying. Love y'all.

Monday, June 21

Circus Day

At Camp DeSoto we love to play,

especially on CIRCUS DAY!

Circus Day was today! Full of cotton candy, corn dogs, snowcones and sugar of all kinds. All of camp divided up into different groups and performed several different circus acts. We had jump ropers, mimes, elephants, tumblers, lions, hula hoopers and many more. It was such a fun day, and I doubt any kid in camp will be able to sleep tonight.

Everything is going great. It's such a blessing to be living with these girls and learning more about their lives every day. They ask questions that make me think and dig deeper into my own faith. We've been having some really great devotions before bed, but my favorite has been from Matthew 21:18-22. Jesus is hungry and sees a beautiful fig tree on the side of the road. He stops at the tree but finds that there is no fruit. Jesus curses the tree saying "May you never bear fruit again" and immediately the tree withers. Jesus is showing us that even though we may have a beautiful and convincing exterior, if we aren't producing "fruit" for his kingdom, then we might as well be a withered tree with no use to Him at all. To me, that is such a clear picture of how we should be living our lives everyday.

Keep praying that these girls will continue to open up and let me into their lives.

Wednesday, June 16

Five days of camp, finally settling into a routine. I'm living with seven 16 year old girls until July 7th. From Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. I had a mild panic attack when I found all this out, and all I could think about was "How in the world am I going to relate to 16 year old girls?" And the question you are probably asking yourself is "Seriously? What type 16 year olds still go to camp?" Well, the answer to that question is amazing ones. Smart, talented, athletic, cool, spiritual, awesome ones. There have been several times that I've caught myself wishing that I could be as cool/wonderful as them. I hope that they learn as much from me in the long run as I have already learned from them. And they're the oldest girls at camp, which would make it very easy for them to take advantage of the "new counselor." But they are so supportive and encouraging when they know I'm not sure of what's going on---which definitely isn't their job but they do it anyway. They're just great.

I'll be spending the majority of my time in the riding ring, which in my head is the perfect place to be. It has already provided some extremely cool tan lines that you should all be jealous of.

But all in all, it's going wonderfully and I couldn't ask for anything better. Letters are greatly appreciated. Miss you all very much.

Monday, May 31


Being continuously grateful is one of those things that I have to remind myself of constantly. Yes, sadly, I can be a big brat. If something doesn't go my way--I like to complain. If I don't do well on a test--it isn't my fault. But for the most part, those are the worst things that I have to worry about. I'm honestly scared to know how I would handle it if I had bigger problems. I know it will happen one day, and I pray that I will be ready when it does. My roommate's Dad is about to be deployed for his second tour in August. Dana and I lived together for two years and I never once heard her complain about it. I admire that so much, probably more than she ever knew. At this very moment, I'm packing to leave for two months. I'm fairly confident that I will come back home to everything exactly as I left it (Lord willing). My family is in good health, and although some friends will be missing, I will be able to move back to Starkville to finish my degree and start applying for graduate schools. It is easy to be grateful for everything I have when I sit down think about it, but I tend to forget when I am going through something "tough." But I think that's God's way of reminding me that he is there and he is going to take care of me. Don't forget to say thank you to someone who has helped you out this week.

"If the only prayer you pray is thank you, that will be enough."

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. It is not your doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

"If you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you'll find yourself having more to appreciate." Michael Angier

Sunday, May 30


I'm already bad at this, but I promise I am about to get better.

I've been quite the world traveler lately (well, sort of). May 18th through the 22nd consisted of a fabulous trip to Baton Rouge for some baseball.

It was definitely the perfect ending to a 3 year career of dominating every SEC town that we have visited. (Diamond Girls: 2 Baton Rouge: 0) I'd say leaving the bar with a lava lamp qualifies as a successful trip, but to each his own. And this is where I have to elaborate on my previous mention of Mr. Berryhill. Good ole Darryl decided to "adopt" us in Hawaii last year, and ever since then has been the best supporter/grandfather/friend that any of us could have ever asked for. Just an MSU Alumni and baseball fan, he has treated us like his own family and I could never ever repay him for the things he has done. But in true Mr. Berryhill style, he and his wife cooked lunch for us during our weekend in Louisiana. Thanks Mr. B---we love you!

From Baton Rouge, I had a one day pit stop in Philipp and then headed out for a week of horseback training at Camp DeSoto. We stayed on horses from Monday afternoon until Thursday night, and I must admit that I haven't been this sore in a long long time. It did, however, get me even more excited about the summer to come. It is such a beautiful place and I fell in love with everyone that I met.

The view from Lookout Mountain won't be such a terrible thing to wake up to every morning. This is a short and sweet update on the past two weeks, and I will have some more insightful posts in the next few days. Have a great Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 16

Last Day at the Dude

Well, Saturday was Senior Day at Dudy Noble. That means I'm done getting ten free cokes a day and watching every baseball game from the field/best seat in the stadium. I won't ever be quite as popular in Left Field Lounge, and won't have any reason to venture into the Baseball Office uninvited.

I probably would have been a lot more emotional if we had a decent season this year but it was still uncomfortably bittersweet. It's going to be a strange feeling next spring when every weekend isn't already planned out for me, when I can sleep in on Saturday morning, and go to church on Sundays. I'm slowly coming to the realization that all those nice free trips just ended... hmm. As much as I have probably complained about it over the past 3 years though, it has been such a wonderful experience. As goofy as it may sound, handing out programs before a game was probably my favorite part of the whole job. Seeing the same excitement in an 80 year old that has been to every home game for the past 50 years, as a 6 year old who is coming in to their first game is a pretty good feeling. I have gotten to travel to every SEC school except Kentucky and Florida, got an (almost) free trip to Hawaii, and have gotten to know so many great people that I would have never met otherwise. I got closer to my friends, made some new ones, and grew to love Mr. Berryhill like he was my own grandfather. The loyalty of those baseball fans blows my mind every time I step foot in that stadium. I can only hope that one day I will still be dragging my grandchildren around Dudy Noble to show them to all my friends from "back when I was at MSU." It is by far one of the best things I have been involved with at Mississippi State and I'm going to miss it like crazy. I wouldn't trade all of those hours of sitting around watching batting practice or stuffing programs for anything in the world. That's pretty hard for a lot of people to understand--and I get that-- but I definitely don't have the words to explain it.

"The older I become, the more I find myself drawn back to Dudy Noble. There are many reasons. It's great baseball played by very talented kids. The game is pure and uncorrupted by money. The place is filled with memories, both of my college days and of the great games and moments since then. It's a wonderful place to unwind. The mood is festive. Time is meaningless. The game is played without a clock. There are no telephones in Left Field. Deadlines are more distant. Appointments seem insignificant. Regardless of wins or losses, I always feel better when I leave Dudy Noble than when I arrive. There are few places of which this can be said." John Grisham

Saturday, May 15

I'm giving it a try...

Sooooo... I got a blog?

I've spent the past semester falling in love with several different blogs and have gotten kind of addicted to say the least. I definitely didn't think it was something I would ever do, but after watching my sister graduate from high school tonight--I started thinking about all of the people I have lost touch with over the past four years. I love you all very much whether I have been faithful in keeping up with you or not. You know how bad I am with phone calls; I wouldn't have a phone if it wasn't completely necessary. I've creepily kept up with several of you (you know who you are) through your blogs lately, and maybe this will do the same for someone else as we graduate college and go our seperate ways.

Obviously there have been a lot of "endings" for me lately: my undergrad (sort of), being able to spend every waking moment at the Chi Omega house, being a Diamond Girl, and having my friends literally walking distance away. I didn't let it sink in until last week which is really unfortunate... but it did help me to realize that even though things are changing--it isn't anything to be sad about. I'm proud; proud of myself and of my friends, we made it this far and this is what we have been working for since we started kindergarten all those years ago. It's scary, but a good feeling. I've been so blessed these past few years with relationships and memories that have become irreplaceable. I DREADED leaving high school because I never ever thought I would make friends like I had back then. I spent wayyy too much of my freshman year feeling sorry for myself and driving back to Greenwood. I don't regret one moment of it and wouldn't change anything, but I had no idea what wonderful people I would meet if I would only give them the chance. Then I blinked and the next four years are over and we are moving away to Atlanta for a big girl job, Clinton for law school, and Oxford for grad school. Starkville will not be the same in the fall without the people I have grown so close to and dependent on over the past three years.

But the exciting part is that my baby SISTER will be with me in the fall, hopefully she can pick up the slack. She was only in the 8th grade when I graduated high school, so we still didn't have a super close relationship when I left for Mississippi State. I am so excited about being in the same town and helping her survive her freshman year.... I'll keep you updated on how well that goes :)

On top of all this change, I am going off to Camp DeSoto in Mentone, AL for the summer. I'll be teaching horseback and ministering to lots of little girls. I couldn't be more excited about it, but your prayers and letters will be much needed and appreciated. I was a counselor at Kanakuk in Branson, MO after my freshman year and had the most incredible summer of my life. It was a such a growing experience for me, and I didn't think it could ever get any better. I'm in such a different place in life now though that I think this summer is going to be on a whole new level. I can't wait to share everything that goes on this summer with you.

That's enough excitement for one night. Thanks for reading, precious friends.

God's voice is glorious in the thunder. We can't even imagine the greatness of his power. Job 37:5