whimsy wonderful things…

Whimsy Wonderful things…


There is something about writing things down for me. I can think it in my head, and feel it in my heart, but until it is down on paper, there is a disconnect. Journaling has always helped me make sense of the world. Starting when I was seven years old, I have these journals that are the ramblings of a little girl. I love having those. Especially when I am feeling crazy and know I just need to be alone and journal. I find it to be an encouraging reminder that the lord put that in me when I was young and so it makes sense that I still need it. He made me that way and I love that.

There is a line in a worship song that says “you have journaled about me every day of my life.” Or something…I love it though. I think its whimsy and wonderful to think that the lord put that wonderful desire in me, and maybe that’s a trait he has too. When I think about the Word of God, I have to believe God loves words and writing and reading. I think he made those things powerful and magical in a way.

When we as people are feeling pain, or joy, or fear, or confusion, I believe it is so powerful to put words to those feelings. I am left powerless if I don’t have a way to communicate the things I am experiencing. I feel paralyzed and scared. That may seem silly to some, but it is real and true for me. Then I think about some of the people in my neighborhood who are hurting and broken and scared. So many are fatherless and motherless and trapped. It makes me really wonder if they have any sort of way of communicating to themselves how they are feeling. When we don’t have the tools to know what we are feeling and how to communicate what we need, we are trapped in a cycle of confusion. It seems like that’s important in some way if we desire change and to move forward…

I have this jar on my windowsill and it is filled with moments. I started to write down moments throughout my year that seem important or magical or silly. I put them in this jar and I plan to read them at the end of this year. I remember reading a quote that Bob Goff said once, “If you don’t write it down, it’s like it never happened.” That makes me think and wonder about all the blessings and joyful things that have happened throughout my life that I haven’t written down…it makes me sad to think I have forgotten things like that.

I think I am trying to live a better story, and writing things down helps me.Readingthings that others have written helps me too. So I think we should all start writing it all down. All of it, the joys, the fears, the questions, the answers, everything, I don’t know, but it seems like something wonderful could come from it.

Have a happy day!


Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

This may be another serious one 🙂

But im sure there will be lots of silly, ridiculous posts too.

Most of the time, I am still trying to convince myself that I am enough. More than I am ever trying to convince anyone else of it. I just watched Brene Brown’s Ted talk on the power of vulnerability http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html. I love it every time. I am on a journey to figuring out vulnerability. and how to believe I am worthy of love and belonging. It is nice to remember that I am not alone.

Something she says in her talk is “The ability to feel connected is why we are here. In order to feel connection, we have to allow ourselves to be seen.” That is so hard. Most of the time I numb vulnerability so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable or rejected. I pretend, I attempt to make everything that is uncertain certain. I most definitely perfect. I do all of the things she mentions. I want to learn to lean into discomfort and let myself be seen. I want to practive gratitude and lean into joy.

I imagine every person I meet is battling for their life. I want to treat people with love and belonging, and maybe if we all did that, our battles wouldnt seem so big.

Life is sweet and full of wonder and hope and joy.

This is a poem by Mary Oliver that has saved my life again and again. Love her!


Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

            Love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

Are moving across the landscapes,

Over the prairies and the deep trees,

The mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

Are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

The world offers itself to your imagination,

Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

Over and over announcing your place

In the family of things.

It has already begun.

A good majority of the time when I talk with family or close friends it feels like they are waiting for me to tell them my life finally started. It’s bizarre. Most conversations go something like this…Shelby! What is new with you?!? What’s next?!? Have you thought about enrolling this semester? It irks me to no end. While I know my decision to not go to college is what’s best for me in this season, everyone who loves and cares about me doesn’t exactly feel the same way. By the way when did college become the focus? The almighty answer, to every question, or fear people have for their loved ones? I acknowledge that an education is such a gift and such a blessing. Having the resources and ability to go, and then in turn getting a job doing what you learned and love is pretty amazing. I wish it would have worked out so simply for me. But it didn’t. It hasn’t and the path i’m on is not in front of an institute currently. And that is ok. I am going to be ok people.

About three years ago I read this book; well many books that made me feel alive and not so alone. One of them was “The Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne. It was a book that opened my eyes to what theKingdomofGodcould look like on earth. In a sense it made me read the gospel in a different way and try to understand the calling on my life in a way that I never had. Longish story short, I moved into this intentional Christian community in down town OKC. Sometimes God answers my prayers subtly and by walking through open doors, and sometimes I can hear, feel, and know things so clearly that I don’t have any doubts. Moving into this community was one of the clear crisp moments where I knew that I knew that I knew I was supposed to live there. Now as you can imagine my family thought I was moving to a cult in an old drug building. The old drug building part is true, but the cult thing not so much. Unless following Jesus is a cult. I don’t know.

So for the past two years I have been all mixed up in everyway you could possibly imagine. I quit college which I hated anyways and was glad to be rid of, and I have tried and failed and tried and failed at hearing the voice of the lord and learning what laying it all down could really look like. Now I don’t mean to say I have laid it all down, because I haven’t. From what I am trying so hard to understand and live, Jesus asked for my life. So i’m trying to learn from all the amazing people around me what that means and looks like. I am terrible at it. I sleep in, instead of going into the neighborhood with my neighbors and doing the actual work of restoring and being obedient. I mean I really suck at that part. But i’m trying.

I know my life looks different than what everyone has hoped for me. I know that the path I have chosen does not guarantee me to be safe and comfortable for all my days. I am a nanny right now. I have no plans for the future. I am taking life one day at a time. I realize that this scares the shit out of my parents and loved ones. I realize that my dad imagines me living in a card board box in the next ten years because if I keep at what I’m doing, I wont ever have any of the lovely and beautiful things he imagines for me. That isn’t always an easy thought for me to swallow. Sometimes I think I need to go to college so I can do something like nursing (I hate gross things) so I can take care of myself. I tried that, I really did. For three miserable years I tried to love college. 7 failed and retaken classes later I decided I didn’t have to be miserable and waste my time and money so that my family and friends could feel better just because I was in school. I know I am rambling now.

All that to say, this is where I’m at, and it is ok. While people’s expectations can result in me feeling unworthy and not valuable in their eyes, I am trying to be obedient today exactly where I am at. I claim all my confusion and fears and questions (because I promise I have just as many as the people who worry about me do). I don’t know what im doing. I do not have it figured out. I am shuffling, sifting, spilling through becoming who I am meant to be.

My life has already started people. The time I am spending learning and growing in the only way I know how, is not a waste of time. The three years I spent going to school wasn’t a waste either. I am 21 almost 22 years old. Im figuring things out one day at a time. Maybe 3 years from now I will break down and decide I want a formal education and then everyone can say I told you so and thank God, but that day is not today. Nor is it in the foreseeable future. I sincerely appreciate the genuine care and love that my family and friends have for me. I am so lucky to have so many people worry about me. I love you all. I hope we can all find peace in knowing that the Lord has us exactly where we are. I know he is strong and he loves me. That’s enough insurance for me.

slipping, tripping, shuffling through it all.

I have seasons in life where I literally feel like I have it all figured out. I am even pompous about it. I am high and mighty because I have chosen the higher rode and higher life. It’s quite disturbing when I realize it. Today is one of those days where I have realized it. I was talking with my mom, constantly on the verge of tears as we go through every area of my life where I think I am being mature and making good decision. She gently points out the areas I can grow and take responsibility, and as it turns out, everyone isn’t really out to get me like I sometimes feel.

SOO today is a day where I feel like I have fallen to the bottom

(Thank God) of the ladder again. I thought I was climbing and learning and growing and now I feel like I know nothing. Which can sometimes be the best place to be. Because lets face it, I am not teachable when I think I have it all figured out. So many deep sighs and big tears today.

I am still sitting where it feels like I have sat a million times. Spread too thin, wondering how to maintain my meishness in all the different networks of people I have been so honored to be a part of. So far today I think humility and honesty will help. Hugely help. Being honest and attempting at humility, I am accepting that everything I thought I had figured out about life and love and friendship is just the beginning of learning about it all. Also, that it is ok to feel. It is ok to feel confused and strangely hopeful because of the acceptance of the confusion. Oh boy!

Besides all the tangled thoughts about that…I am feeling deeply grateful for life.

I am so thankful that Gods love is bigger than my fear. I am grateful for such an incredible amount of people who love me and are for me. For my quirky, vibrant, brilliant mom who not only reflects back my goodness, but also brings gentle correction and truth.  I’m thankful for all the laughter and joy and deep roots of love and friendship that I have had all my life. I am thankful for a community that nourishes the way of life I am choosing to live. I am thankful for a job. I am thankful to be alive. Thank you Jesus.