Lizzie and Chelsea take the Camino: Finding Contentment in Chaos 

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I’ve always considered myself to be a rather high maintenance person, with a desire for the finer things in life. Heck, I want to work in an industry that some might peg as totally materialistic. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never struggled with feeling content with a mediocre lifestyle. If there has been one thing challenged on the Camino, it’s been this.

It’s amazing how a dramatic change in living conditions can completely change you as a person. For the past 30 days I’ve been living out of a backpack, traveling on foot somewhere between 20-40 Kilometers a day and relying on the small inconvenient service in Spanish bars to provide the nutrition I need. 

The other day I was walking with Lizzie and we planned to stop at the next town for lunch. We had lost the friends we were walking with, my feet were tired, I was cold because I didn’t have a jacket, my phone was dead, and I was excited to scarf down some mediocre food. We went from bar to bar until we found one with wifi and a working outlet. The only open outlet was in the corner of the bar next to a slot machine, and you have to hold my charger in the outlet otherwise it doesn’t work. So there I was, sitting on the floor in the corner of a bar trying to charge my phone just enough to contact our friends, meanwhile eating a chocolate croissant that had been in the pastry case for who knows how long. The funny thing with all that was, I could not have been happier.


I was so grateful for the small amount of heat the bar provided, the ability to sit down and rest my feet, and the slow but working wifi that I had. Perhaps the whole situation wouldn’t have been so funny had I felt as pathetic as I probably looked. I was ACTUALLY content. 

It reminds me of Paul’s message in Philippians when he says “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in every and any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Vs. 12). Granted, I wasn’t starving and there is a whole lot more desperate one can be than I was. However, I feel like I got just a glimpse of what it’s like to find contentment when experiencing life that does not measure up to one’s average lifestyle standards. 

Now I’d just like to say that I don’t think it’s bad to enjoy the finer things in life. God has blessed me immensely and believe me when I say I can not wait to get back to a full sized bed and a closet that can hold more clothing than my backpack! God has just shown me it’s possible to find joy and contentment should we not have the certain luxuries. I know that no matter what God gives me or takes away, I can be content in Him and His promise of everylasting love.

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Lizzie and Chelsea take the Camino: Every Step I Take

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After just 12 days on the Camino, the physical strain on my body finally struck a cord. My ankle had started aching on day 7, but it wasn’t until the twelfth day that I got confirmation of the tendinitis living in my foot. Because of the many blisters that formed on my toes (literally, every toe), I started to walk in an unnatural fashion which caused my ankle to swell, and eventually cause tension down the top of my foot. And alas, tendinitis. Well, I think that’s what happened. I’m a journalism major. 
It became very painful to walk that day, and so Lizzie and I were forced to take a rest day in the village we ended up in. I wanted this rest, and I was happy to get off of my feet after 12 days on the trail. I got to catch up on some youtubers that I follow (coughcough Aspyn&Parker coughcough), and take a long nap during the afternoon. Sure, it was nice. At first. By the time evening rolled around, the restlessness started to roll in. I got frustrated with the pain in my foot and was sick of staring at the top bunk above me. The desire to strap up my boots, throw on my backpack and get out the door had never been so real. The next day Lizzie and I did a short 10 kilometers which put us in the next small village, where we spent another day twiddling our thumbs. 


On day 15 I finally felt well enough to walk a full day. I have never appreciated walking as much as I did that day. It didn’t matter how much pain I was in, each pound on the pavement filled my soul with an unexplainable joy. Every step was so bittersweet and I felt as though I could walk for hours, thanking God along the way. It’s crazy to think I desired to take a break before the injury, and amazing to think it took an injury for God to make me appreciate the simple privileges of life. 

Remember to thank God for the every day blessings that sometimes go unnoticed. He is so good! 

Buen Camino! 

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Lizzie and Chelsea take the Camino: Lord, give us our daily bread

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Since being on the Camino, Lizzie and I have learned a lot about being totally reliant on God on so many levels. 

We’ve had a lot of trouble with my debt and credit cards over sees, and on the Camino, having cash in necessary. After trying dozens of atms along the way and borrowing money from fellow pilgrims, we reached our last 12€. When God would provide next we didn’t know. How we would eat and still have enough to sleep somewhere was up in the air. 

That morning as we headed out on our daily trek to the next couple of villages, we ran across a restaurant. Every day we’ve been buying fresh baguettes in the morning and eating them along our journey. It’s really nice to have fresh bread each day, and yes, I know we look ridiculous marching down the street eating a piece of bread as long as my leg. 

Anyways, at this restaurant we went inside to see if they had bread, and to our disappointment, they had none. As walked out the door, we noticed a basket of bread just sitting outside the door. We went back in to ask about it, and she said it was yesterday’s bread and we could have it free of charge. Our fellow pilgrims thought we were absurd for wanting day old bread to eat on its own, but hey, it’s a college student life! We adapt. That afternoon we reached a village to stay the night, and to our delight we found a hostile that was 6€ a person. We had exactly how much money we needed to stay the night, and not a cent more. Had we had to pay for the bread that morning, we would have not had enough to stay somewhere that night. 

Yes, we’re getting by by the skin of our teeth, but God is providing along the way. It’s amazing how when you trust Him, He follows through every time. 


Buen Camino!

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Trendy Meets South Africa: Sisterhood of the Traveling Sickness

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. Romans 12:10

When you step out in faith to serve God, whether that be in a small way or large, we can be certain that Satan doesn’t like it. He will do everything in his power to dismay you from following Christ, a little something we like to call spiritual warfare. That can come in internal form like doubts and fear, or external like sickness and other tangible roadblocks. A month in South Africa with Christ-centered ministering to kids? There was no way Satan was going to let that go completely smooth.

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Falling in Love with the City of Love

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So yes, my time in South Africa is done. I really hope you guys enjoyed my #TrendyMeetsSouthAfrica series, because I really enjoyed sharing it with you guys! God did amazing things this past month and I’m forever grateful for the things I’ve experienced and learned.However, my traveling is not done! Strap up your hiking boots up folks because I’m headed on el Camino de Santiago!

El Camino is a pilgrimage that goes through Spain, extending 500 miles! My friend Lizzie and I decided to hike it after ZA since we have a layover in Europe. If generally takes about 40 days to do, but we’re challenging ourselves to finish it in 35 before school starts. Say prayers for us, I beg of you. Before we started on our voyage, we went to Paris for a day to leave luggage with a friend and explore the city. 

I’m sorry did you get that? I went to PARIS. The 16 year old me would be so proud, flabbergasted, and breathless all at the same time. It honestly was a dream come true to visit this city and see the gorgeous architecture, immense history and Eiffel Tower with my own two eyes. I’m still screaming inside. Also, can we talk about the accents on those French guys?

Here are some photos from our exploration! Enjoy! 

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Trendy Meets South Africa: One in Christ Jesus

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28

While here in South Africa, I’ve had the privilege of visiting different churches in the community around Pretoria and Mamelodi. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see different congregations and experience different services. Each church has been remarkably different from each other, and that’s given us a really cool perspective on the church culture here.

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