Tuesday, September 28, 2010


1. charming or exquisitely beautiful.

2. having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face.

3. delightful; highly pleasing.

4. of a great moral or spiritual beauty.

pretty. sweet. hot. nice.

these are the words i hear used most often when a guy is referring to a girl they think is attractive. even when in a relationship, most of the words used to speak to each other are somewhat similar to these. whatever happened to enchanting, enthralling, lovely, stunning, gorgeous, or precious? are we so lazy that our vocabulary is limited to these lackluster words?

how is it that while we are one of the only countries in the entire world that speaks only one language, the vast majority of us don't even speak it well? whatever happened to the eloquent way of speaking that led to thousands of books of english poetry? i bet one would be hard pressed to find a decent book written in such simplistic format.

we need to pick up the pace, america.

my love, needless to say i am blessed by you

the title to this particular post has absolutely no relevance to what i will be writing about. i just adore the song changed by you by between the trees, and have consequently had it stuck in my head for ages.

moving onwards. a gentleman, who also happens to be perhaps the most intellectual individual my age i have met thus far, sent me a facebook message last night. this message, a well-written hodgepodge of information and youtube videos, told to me the story of his life over the past few months. as of last week, this very successful college graduate has packed up his belongings and, in an attempt to find meaning in life whilst calming his adventurous spirit, has moved to Wyoming. through visiting elderly people and volunteering at other places, he has begun living. what a marvelous thing.

funny to me, how i share this story with a few friends, and they turn green with envy. what boggles my mind is the fact that each of us has the ability to do this very thing-come alive-and yet we make a conscious choice not to. why? because it is easier to live a comfortable life. a life with no risks, a life where you know what you'll be doing and who you'll be spending time with tomorrow and the day after. but in the end, is comfort really worth settling for? is this idea of certainty worth giving up the thrill that each of us was not only born for, but craves? i think not.

perhaps we should quit making plans for next week, next month, next year, and just start with living our life today.

baby steps, my dears, baby steps.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


because i am far too tired to think of big words, do not expect this to be eloquently written.

today i went to my favorite class, had a freaking hard workout, then spend the remainder of the day with my lovely/hilarious/wonderful friends on the quad basking in the beautiful fall weather. after a fun-filled dinner with said people, i went back to the quad and sat on a swing with someone who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite people before going to a worship service at nine. i really don't have the words to describe how great today was, and how incredibly blessed i am.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


not that my life has been completely terrible, but it has been extra wonderful as of late. i have finally found friends who have learned to accept, and even embrace, my quirky comments and ways of thinking. it's really quite nice to actually have people in my life who enjoy discussing things that really matter, and who don't give me strange looks whenever i say something random or thoughtful.

on another note, after class last night i decided i wanted to sit on the quad to do some studying for the two tests i have today. just as i was getting cozy on one of the benches under a streetlamp, kris texted me and said that there was a worship concert going on at the ampitheater. as we walked up, the band was playing "how he loves" by David Crowder Band, which happens to be one of my all time favorite worship songs. if you don't know it, i highly reccomend looking it up. it really just drives home how much God loves each of us, and how he redeems each of us, and is more than happy to do so. i cannot listen to it without being overcome with an immense sense of gratitude. to think that the One who made the mountains, the tulips, the stars, and everything beautiful takes the time to pursue my fragile, deceitful, broken heart is so hard for me to comprehend. i love Him, and i want to continue loving and living for Him everyday for the rest of my life, not because it's easy, but because He deserves it.

the other day, i asked someone what they wanted out of life, and the answer i got in response made my heart smile.
he said that he wants to live the life that God puts before him, and that he wants to be content with that, whatever it might bring. i really can't describe how incredibly happy i was to read that, mostly because that would have been my answer, word for word. i wish more people i know would just let God tell them what to do with their lives instead of chasing after money and power, mostly because i know that these things won't ever truly satisfy. it breaks my heart to know that people waste their time on things they think will bring fulfillment, only to go to bed heartbroken and lonely because they're still empty, still unsatisfied.

God's love is enough. His grace is sufficient. Let him ravish your heart and transform your mind. it's truly a beautiful thing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

i feel so empty today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

i think too much.

"Is ignorance bliss, i don' t know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? i think and think and think, i've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it."
-Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close-

i stumbled upon this earlier today when i was reading quotes i highlighted whilst reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. perhaps my adoration for Jonathan Safran Foer's books is derived from my being able to identify so well with so many of the things he says. he has a way with words that puts to shame anything else i've ever read.

for as long as i can remember, i have been a thinker. unlike most kids my age who rode in the backseat with their eyes glued to their beloved gameboy, i was always looking out the window daydreaming. i would study everyone who drove by, thinking about how mind-boggling it is that they are thinking their own thoughts, completely separate from my own, and how they are motivated by experiences and responsibilities i would never know. and judging by their disposition, i would draw conclusions regarding how they might be feeling that day. then i would lean back in my seat, and think about how lonely that made me feel. to this day, every time i walk by a table with an elderly man or woman sitting alone drinking sweet tea, it breaks my heart. and i'm not talking about a tinge of sadness, i'm talking full-on heart wrenching anguish. for some reason, i've always had an uncanny ability to read and relate to people, and that has greatly impacted the way i live my life. another realization i've come to know is that i am someone who cannot give up on anyone. i love too much. surely i am not the only person on this planet who realizes that there is more to this life than making money, and living the american dream. there are far too many broken people in this world to be selfish with love. with support. with friendship. with anything. everyone you meet is struggling with something, and if you can make that burden lighter, even if only for an instant, shouldn't you? would you not want someone to the same for you? how much different life would be if people started loving as much as they hate. or forgiving as often as they judge. of asking instead of assuming.

how beautiful would that be?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

i believe there is an innate desire in each of us to recognize the beauty in the world around us. i know it is true for me. there is nothing i enjoy more than going outside, lying on my back and staring in awe of this world that God created. how can you overlook the magesty of the sky above you-the way the sun shimmers off the clouds? are you not moved by the way the wind blows across your face, carrying with it the crisp leaves of fall? does the sound of the chirping birds not fill you with an immense yearning to close your eyes and for one moment, be still? how can you not be humbled by it all? this world is filled with surreal beauty, if only we would take the time to notice. how often do you take the time to lie on your back and think? and i mean REALLY think. about the meaning of life, or what the purpose of your existance is?

i believe your answer would be the same as everyone else's. not nearly enough.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


the past three months i have been chasing harder after God than i have in all my life before. until this week. for some reason or another, be it business, homework, or friends, i keep coming up with excuses for not getting into the Word. I haven't been listening to worship music at all this entire week, which is so unlike me, until just now. I heard the song "oh praise Him" by David Crowder Band, and all at once i was overcome with this crazy desire to just worship my God. I cannot get over how much i have missed out on this week because i was "too busy" to spend time with the person who loves me more than anyone or anything else ever could. TOTAL CONVICTION. time for me to put up the computer, and to spend time with my Father.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"We should probably head out, Joan. I know these boys must be suffocating under this bed."

hahaha, this quote, from none other than my adorable Pop, absolutely made my day.

he and nana, in their amazing-ness, kindly drove the two hours from birmingham to troy to take me, rachel, and aly to lunch. we ate at Sisters, a quaint restaurant known for it's down-home southern cookin'. and trust me, neither the baked chicken, ham, roast beef, nor the sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, green bean casserole disappointed...and that is just the tip of the iceburg. after devouring our first two plates, rachel, alyssa and i quickly decided our mode of attack would be to get one of each dessert (peach cobbler, apple cobbler, banana pudding, cherry cake, bread pudding, etc) and share. pop, in an attempt to make me look like a complete fatty, i'm sure, got me to also get him two pieces of chocolate cake. and boy, did i get some interesting looks on the walk back to our table, haha.

despite this disturbing act of gluttony, today has been wonderful.

i truly couldn't ask for better grandparents. i don't know anyone else who has a nana and pop who would wake up, drive two hours to spend an hour at lunch and thirty minutes in a dorm afterwards, only to turn around and drive two hours back home. on a saturday. when i grow up and have children and grandchildren of my own, i hope that i am just like them. sure, sometimes nana can be overbearing, but she has all of the qualities a woman of God should possess. moreso, i know that if i ever needed anything, and i mean anything, they would be there for me in an instant. i know people toss that statement around all the time, but how often do you truly BELIEVE them when they say that to you?

i'm disgustingly blessed, and it breaks my heart to know that i forget it sometimes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

life is calling, but we're too busy texting

what i find incredibly saddening is that our society has come to the point where each of us is too self-absorbed and too busy to take the time to get to know someone. i mean, to really get to know them. it seems that most relationships formed these days would be better described as pseudo-relationships in that we talk to people, but we never really say anything, and we hear, but we don't ever actually listen.

therefore, i propose an idea. the next time you're out with your friends for dinner, keep the cell phone in your purse. can you truly have an intimate conversation with someone while you're having six mini-conversations at the same time? the answer is no.

in essence, take the time to pay attention to the people around you. by letting your life be driven by your cell phone, you're missing out on truly living.

food for thought.

Monday, August 16, 2010


is quite possibly the most overused word in the English language. How can one say that one loves Doritos, and then, on one's wedding day, use that same word to describe feelings for one's husband or wife? by saying we love a certain song, or someone's dress, or the weather, or working out, do we not somehow cheapen the word that should be reserved for only the rarest and truest of occasions?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

well folks,

considering it has been over a year since i've posted on here, it seems i have made a liar out of myself. In my previous post, i swore i would never neglect my blog in such a way ever again, but it seems as though i did. However, my desire to write has since been rekindled, so i suppose i shall try this again. An indescribable amount has changed in the past seventeen months.

in a previous post, i made an incomplete set of the goals i had for myself, and listed things i wanted to experience over my lifetime. i believe the time has come to edit and revisit said goals.

shall we begin?

numbers one and two of my list, learn french and spanish, can be removed. not because i deem them unworthy, but rather because i have taken up an interest in german, and am applying myself rather devotedly to becoming fluent. number three, "travel. everywhere," is still very much a priority of mine. i believe there is so much more to this world than just the United States of America, and that learning of cultures other than our own is not only the noble thing to do, but the right one. number four, "write at least one book of poetry" has fallen by the wayside, not because i have quit admiring and being inspired by things, but because i find poetry hard to write unless i am emotionally distraught, which makes producing poetry far more difficult than one would assume. as for number five, my roommate, rachel, and i are running a half-marathon in february, so we shall see how that goes. number six-skydiving-was an incredible experience. my parents purchased me a ticket as a nineteenth birthday present, but i did not get to actually go until six months later. mmm, number seven, how i want so badly to make you come true. discovering something scientific, or even being there when someone else does, would be such an exciting feat. number eight seems to pale in comparison, but i believe music and art culture is still of the utmost importance. number nine, to inspire someone, is perhaps one of my favorite subjects on the list. to inspire is to create in someone an inconsolable desire. i want that. number ten, to make a difference in someone's life, is something i try to do every single day. well, i suppose we do it whether we realize it or not, it is just up to us whether the difference we make is positive or negative. i want to make mine a positive one. oh my, number eleven, how elusive you are. never letting myself forget how blessed i am has been harder and lovelier than one could possibly imagine. despite all the wonderful opportunities, people, and experiences i have been blessed with, i still struggle to find peace in myself. i suppose that is why my list of goals is not something i just come to, but rather something to work towards. hopefully, at the end of my life, i can say i've spent my time in a way i'm proud of, but i guess that's something i will have to decide when the time comes.

perhaps, since it's been quite some time, i should take a second to write about what i have been going through, and what i've learned from those experiences.

in the past year and a half, i have:

-had my heart broken, and broken someone elses heart simultaneously.
-let myself make mistakes that have ricocheyd in such a way that i felt i would never heal from them.
-fallen into a quicksand of depression so deep at times i was not sure if i could pull through.
-learned that there is so much to live for, such as family, friends, and love. it is love-the love of friends, family, God-that gives me hope.
-wondered what it would be like to quit trying to be the shelby that everyone wants me to be, and to be true to myself. to not let other people's expectations dictate my life.
-fought tooth and nail to make that dream a reality, and slowly but surely, i believe i can see the transformation. it's a beautiful thing.
-given up on love, only to realize that for me that is an impossibility. what a beautiful realization.

life, i've come to realize, is far grander than i ever could have imagined. i feel as though i've come such a long way, and experienced such incredible things, only to see that my journey has only just begun. to think that the feelings i've felt this past year-the highs, the lows-are maybe not as extreme as they seem at the time, is an interesting thought. why is it that only when we are in the throws of an argument with a close friend, or when we realize that someone we love has changed, are we ridden with mind-blowing emotion? why can't seeing a shooting star fill us with the same wonder that we feel when we meet someone new? perhaps in self-preservation we have sealed off the part of our heart that allows merriment and sadness and everything in between, and we open it only when we feel safe. what if we threw off our inhibitions just one time? can you imagine the difference it would make? sure, you put yourself at risk, but at the sake of something far bigger than you've ever experienced. i don't know about you-because surely it's not for everyone-but i believe it is worth it.