Friday, December 31, 2010

top events of 2010.

this has been a year full of change. God has used it to make me grow so much and i am so thankful, even through the hard circumstances. but right now i'm going to focus on the great things from this year and list them out in no particular order of importance. although there is one that definitely gets the #1 spot haha. praise the Lord!

1. August 21 - Jordan's proposal at Fenway Park! - most shocking and wonderful moment of my life :) i cannot wait to marry the most amazing man in this world.

2. Ashlee & Corey's wedding -seeing my bestest friend so happy and where God wants her to be was the biggest blessing. i love them to death. and the wedding was a blasttt!

3. Morgan & Bobby's wedding - two of my best friends from life getting married to each other after years and years of dating. it was beautiful! and so much fun with all our friends. 

4. April - the beginning of me & Jordan. :) God was working in awesome ways bringing us together. i could feel Him drawing me closer to Him and to Jordan. God's plans never cease to amaze me.

5. Boston - my trip with the Stephensons was so special and fun! i FINALLY got to visit Fenway and it was glorious. i cannot explain how awesome that place is. and to witness a walk-off home run win was amazing. 

6. my last Canes game - at the time i didn't know it was my last Canes game, but it couldn't have ended better. my parents were there, Jordan was there, and there was a hat trick on hat night. so much fun with my Hurricanes family & i miss it greatly.

7. beach trip with the fam - this trip never disappoints. i love my cousins oh so much & being with them is always a good time. we are all so different but get along so well. and i love having my birthday at the beach!

8. Blake's graduation - so proud of my brother! i still can't believe he's this old, but i'm glad he had a fulfilling & successful time at WCA and can move on to UNC-W. he's my best bud!

9. Thanksgiving with our families - we were able to do all of our Thanksgiving family activities together & it was awesome. i loved being with my family and had so much fun experiencing a Shelley family holiday for the first time!

10. Whitney & Aaron's wedding - i love this couple and loved celebrating their marriage with them and my other girls! it was soo gorgeous and i had a blast being crazy with my friends as usual. Whitney & Aaron continue to inspire me!

11. Mandy & Ian's wedding reception weekend - it had been a long time since the Hamilton side of the family had a wedding, and it definitely didn't disappoint. we love Ian so much and i'm so glad he's in our family now. i just wish i got to see them more often!

12. Dillon & Sara's wedding & first trip to Greensboro - although i didn't get to talk to Dillon & Sara at all on their wedding day haha, it was beautiful and i loved being there with Jordan. the people of Shannon Hills are so welcoming and friendly. and of course i loved spending time with Jordan's family right from the start!

13. last basketball sleepover - this was a bittersweet night back in February because our season was over, but such a memorable time at B.Hall's house rearranging furniture, dancing with Lady GaGa & Beyonce, & going outside in the snow. that team was sooo special to me!

14. first basketball sleepover - our first sleepover this season at Faither's place was a blasttt. i loved getting to know everyone better and jamming out to Space Jam all night. they are such G's and i cannot wait for the next one.

15. trip to Maryland - driving to Maryland with my best friend, listening to the best radio station ever, hotel adventures, dancing in front of a certain person's room, tailgating, being front row, trying to stay warm, being the best Wolfpack fans ever. definitely a memorable trip. 

16. Christmas! - my first Christmas with Jordan & my last one staying at my house. had wonderful times of fellowship with my family & his family, even though all of his family got sick! also it was an amazing WHITE Christmas in Greensboro!

17. Whitney & Chris' wedding & Charlotte - another interesting trip with Maggie, we knew Whitney & Chris would host a great party & we were right :) many a story came from this event that we will never forget...

18. Ashlee's bachelorette weekend - this was such a funnn weekend! being SO hyper when we got to Wilmington, her shower, sleepovers, shopping, being out of control like always, church and a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon. couldn't have asked for a better weekend for her.

19. Chris & Elizabeth's wedding & Rutherfordton - a great trip with my fiance to his friend Chris' wedding was an awesome getaway. we stayed in an amazing cabin & got to hang out with his friends & celebrate with them. i love this couple!

20. winter beach trip with the girls - when i think about this weekend back in January, all i do is laugh. i wish i could relive it. all of us staying at Maggie & Katie's beach house, being crazy and running on the beach in the moonlight. we need to have a reunion.

21. trip to the state tourney - even though we didn't make it to the state basketball tournament last year, i took some of the girls to Winston Salem to watch the boys, and we had quite the interesting time. let me just say that long car trips with Faith Simpson are hilarious. and hazardous. 

22. Blake's last baseball season - Blake had such an amazing senior baseball season, pitching and playing third base, providing some clutch hitting and bunting. i was so proud of him and hated to see his long career end, but i am so thankful for all the years i got to watch him play! also, i LOVED that baseball team! such a great group of guys.

23. Easter with the Stephens' - something i look forward to every year is going to North Augusta for Easter break. riding the Gator, watching movies, playing old school computer games, Clue, and many other traditions are a blast. and i absolutely love my cousins. i can't wait 'til i can see them again!

24. engagement party - spending time with our bridal party & families was so much fun and it was great to get everyone together. it definitely made the engagement feel a whole lot more real! we are so blessed to have such great people in our lives who love & support us.

i'm sure there are many other things i could add - overall it's been such a blessed year and i am so thankful that God allowed me to experience it! many changes and new additions to my life, and i am eager to see what He has in store for me. great is His faithfulness and He never fails me! 

goodbye, 2010!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas love & traditions.

i love Christmas. i love traditions. the combination is awesome. since next year, i will be part of a new family - the Shelley family, consisting of me & Jordan - i am thinking about the traditions we will keep going, adopt, and start for our family. so i would looove to hear some ideas from people about cool little things that they do for Christmas. 

for example, my friend Whitney posted something about how her mom puts money in a jar all year and then gives it to a family in need right before Christmas. a Christmas jar. i think that is a great idea. my family always opens stockings first on Christmas morning and that is my favorite part of presents. we used to read the accounts of the birth of Christ from the Bible on Christmas Eve. my friend Sarah said that everything she gets is completely wrapped. even little things in her stocking. 

sooo...ideas? traditions? i want feed back & inspiration, people!

i'm going to list some of my favorite things/traditions of Christmas:

1. chocolate cake & boiled custard at my Grandma's
2. my mom's million Christmas trees in our house (there's literally at least 40)
3. staying up late with Blake on Christmas Eve watching A Christmas Story
4. Elf
5. going to see the Christmas lights on Penny Road
6. stockings
7. reading the Christmas story of Jesus coming to earth :)
8. singing Christmas songs at church
9. "Sleigh Ride"
10. ASC Christmas reunion (me, Britney, Sarah)
11. Christmas party with Ashlee, Brittany, Morgan, & Laurie! (which is tomorrow!!!!)
12. the kids playing with a new singing dancing Hallmark thing at Grandma's every year (they have a table with like 8 on there...yes it is loud)
13. Oreo balls
14. Christmas cookies
15. picking out a Christmas tree
16. putting up the day by day ornaments on me & Blake's tiny Santa tree
17. sitting back & looking at all your presents after Christmas morning is over
18. looking at Christmas card pictures
19. getting socks from my mom
20. my mom & uncle exchanging gag gifts (sometimes it's a bunch of random food mixed & crammed in a bag)
21. family time - board games & movies!
22. waking up on Christmas morning & having to wait until mom & dad say it's time!

merry Christmas & God bless :) 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

my Christmas list...sort of.

mom asked me to make a Christmas list. so i tried and i could think of 2 specific things and then...stuff for my future house. wow i am getting old. i never thought the day would come when i would ask for plates, shelves, and end tables. weird.

anyway, this is not going to be that kind of Christmas list. this will be a list of what i wish i could give people for Christmas. Jordan and i were talking about what all we wish we could give our parents and it got me to thinking about other people too. it'll probably be really random and outlandish but whatev.

my parents - a cruise. 10 days somewhere beautiful and away from work and basketball. i wish this oh so much. they'd love it. they never get to go anywhere. someday i will give this to them.

my bro Blake, my future bros Josh & Joseph, and Jordan - their own recording studio and all the equipment necessary. i wish that the public could be constantly blessed by their music like i am. they are all truly talented and God has given them awesome gifts when it comes to music. really i guess i could include most of mine and Jordan's families on this haha.

Jordan - his dream Taylor guitar. a Pontiac G8. a giant TV.

my mom - a horse.

my dad - more time in a day. a trip to Fenway.

my cats Pink and Floyd - a miniature house that would be lined with fleece blankets for them.

Josh, Danielle, & baby Shelley - a trip to Greensboro for Christmas.

my basketball team - matching Nike shoes, ankle braces, bags. matching Under Armor practice attire. the most legit looking stuff you can have. a giant video camera that follows us around all the time & captures the best moments for videos.

Ashlee & Corey - a plane or a teletransportation device. something to get them to me whenever we want.

Maggie - a pass for myself to be her guest vom partner at Canes games whenever i please.

Bobby B. - an NCSU bowl win.

Suzanne - a date with Cam Newton. unlimited fouls in games.

Katie L. - lots of balance bands so these crazy falls will cease from occurring. 

Katherine - a night out with a certain someone. she knows who. 

Blake - a room at the house without any of my random stuff in it. 

Anna - Toy Story character toys. live ones. who don't wait 'til we leave to come alive. 

Matt - a theater. 

My future in-laws - outside video home surveillance and thief catching device.

Wake Christian - a new high school building, new gym.

well that's all i've got in my mind for now. i may add to this later. i'm sure there's many many more things i could add for many more people :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

a story of faith and basketball.

so, as you may know, basketball season is here. i am so excited i can barely contain it. i will probably talk about it a lot, so if you hate basketball then i apologize, but most of it probably won't even be about the sport itself so just bear with me. such as this post, which will be about one of my favorite girls in the world. but she wasn't always one of my favorite girls. actually, you could even go as far as to say that i was not fond of her. but i will explain.

back in the '06-'07 Wake Christian basketball season, my first year of helping my dad coach, the girls made it to the state championship for the second year in a row. that year they won. it was a wonderful day to say the least. they played against Grace Christian School, who had a history of great basketball teams. they also had a middle schooler on their varsity team with long brown hair and a killer 3-point shot. she was impressive, especially for someone who wasn't even in high school yet.

fast forward a couple years to the '08-'09 season. the Wake girls are in the state championship for the fourth year in a row. the pressure is on, and the Buffaloe who runs the court is working towards leading her team to a 3-peat. everyone is on edge from the game that was barely won the night before. Dad does his pre-game devotion and turns his attention on what the focus is for the big game. offensively: run our stuff, do what we know. defensively: tight pressure, and don't you dare let LBPT shoot a 3. who or what in the world is LBPT you may ask, and that is a great question. well Dad has a habit of giving little nicknames to opposing teams' best players. nothing ugly or demeaning, just something descriptive to call them when he's telling his players to be in their shorts. on this state championship day, it is "LBPT" - Long Braided Pony Tail. yes, the guard with the long brown hair and the automatic 3-pointer is back in her sophomore year. and every break, time-out, and at halftime, Dad is drawing the letters LBPT on his worn out dry erase board, circling them a million times in his exaggerated way, emphasizing not to let this girl shoot. well, to make a long story short, whatever they did that day worked. the Wake girls came out victorious yet again, due to three awesome seniors and a season of hard work. and we left LBPT to be faced again the next year.

(LBPT - #12 in the background)

that summer, as we are discussing the upcoming season and how to prepare for it, my dad drops a bomb on me. 

" remember LBPT from Grace, right? The one who shoots the 3's?"

"Um...yeah. You only said that acronym about four thousand times during the championship game. I was not likely to forget."

"Oh, yeah. Right." (Dad is often unaware of his sarcastic exaggerations, so i tend to point them out for him with my own sarcastic exaggeration. like father like daughter.) 

"What about her? Is she still in the 8th grade and we just didn't know it?"

"No, she's actually a junior this year believe it or not. And she's going to play for us."

i was floored. excuse me? play for WHO? us as in Wake Christian? on our team? with our girls? no way. you must be out of your ever living mind. well i didn't say all those things but i sure did think them. this kind of thing just does NOT happen in our conference. it was weird and i didn't know how it would work. but we were both just going to have to wait for it all to unfold.

so summer workouts started and LBPT showed up. i found out she had an actual name: Faith. Faith from Grace. that kind of confused me for some reason. i kept wanting to call her Grace. she was quiet but nice. Katherine overwhelmed her with loud bubbly comments, Brittany welcomed her sweetly, and Suzanne gave her a nod or some other G-like gesture. and so it began.

Faith came to almost every summer workout, practicing her 3's and being consistent. but it became clear to us that she could be used for so much more than just 3's. why just stick her in the corner or on the wing? we needed to utilize every ability she had. so we worked with her and tried to get her ready for the upcoming season. she was nice, quiet, coachable. things were going smoothly, but she still felt like a stranger to me.

then the season came. at first, it started out with Faith making little comments here and there. throwing in a word about whatever ridiculous statement Katherine was making. saying something to make Emily laugh her booming laugh she's known for. challenging Suzanne herself. woah. this Faith girl has quite the personality or so it seemed. little had we known that over the next few weeks, we would learn that Faith is a feisty, hilarious, firecracker of a girl. maybe she had been holding back. maybe she knew that if she showed up at Wake armed with witty comments and awesome dance moves, we would be in too much awe. so she waited and let us in a little bit at a time. 

Autumn, me, and Faith after the Bulldog Classic

Faith and Katherine with their 5hr energys!

yes, she hits 3's for us. she still has a long, braided ponytail. she also plays excellent defense and drives to the basket with the presence of a 6 foot 2 girl. but that's not why we love her. we love her because she's become such a huge part of our team. our family. it seems like she always has been a part of it. i cannot imagine the team without Faith. she's a senior now, and a leader. a teammate who inspires others to play harder and to keep going even when they think they can't do it. she consistently lifts our spirits and makes basketball fun. 

God's plans surprise me sometimes. Faith has been one of those surprises. and i could not be more thankful that He wanted her on our team and in our lives. it is evident that she belongs with us. our basketball family would not be complete without our little Faithers. i dread the day that she moves on from Wake Christian. we only got to have her for 2 years! it's not fair. can't we just hold onto her a little bit longer? but God knew that 2 years was all we needed to fall in love with #24. she's going to have to go spread her amazing personality and testimony with the world. and i'm going to have to let her go.

i'm so blessed to have Faith Simpson in my life. and so is the team. so whenever you see her hitting 3's or popping up on dance videos, just know that she is a special gift we never thought we'd have. and that now, we couldn't live without.

i love you, Faithers.

the seniors: Meredith, Nicole, Katie L, Suzanne, Faith, and Katie R

Saturday, December 4, 2010

jimmy v.

in honor of Jimmy V week, i am going to share some of my favorite quotes of his. it's amazing how NC State has had 2 awesome coaches, Jim Valvano and Kay Yow, who lost the battle to cancer. i'm thankful for their examples and legacies, and how they represented the Wolfpack and always will.

"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul."
"I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you're emotions going."
"I will thank God for the day and the moment I have."
"I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em."
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
and of course, the classic:
"Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

5 reasons to fear Nate Irving & his belly.

in honor of Senior Day at Carter Finley today, and my last game as a student there, i give you 5 excellent reasons (all from the same play) to fear Nate Irving. and his belly.

i think that about sums it up. 

Pack, thank you for giving me 5 fun years at Carter Finley. i look forward to more years as an alumnus.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

20 random thoughts.

1. i haven't had a post in a while. lame.

2. we had our first scrimmage game last night at Cary Academy. it went better than i thought. i'm so excited about this season.

3. i've picked out some stuff for the future Shelley residence for Christmas, and i am so ready to move and decorate! it's so funnn. i'm going to have my own kitchen! and my Nanny is giving me a yellow Kitchenaid mixer! hollaaaa (my kitchen will be green and yellow)

4. i have achieved my goal of growing my nails out and making them pretty. hopefully i can keep them like this.

5. i should be studying Philosophy instead of writing this. oh well. teletransportation will have to wait.

6. Owl City has a version of In Christ Alone - one of my most favorite songs EVER. it's pretty cool but my favorite version is still when Jordan does it :)

7. i miss my brother. can't wait to see him next weekend.

8. my last football game at Carter-Finley as a student is this weekend. bittersweet. we better win. no interceptions pleeeaaase!

9. i get to see my entire Hamilton side of the family for my cousins Mandy & Ian's wedding reception next weekend. so pumped. after March, Blake will be the last one not married! haha whoever that girl will be is gonna have to get my approval first, that's fo sho.

10. no Christmas decorations yet! it's not time!

11. it's amazing how many things God teaches me through coaching. i'm so thankful.

12. our first music video of the year was created at last weekend's sleepover. enjoy.

13. we're making Operation Christmas Child boxes tonight. i'm excited.

14. i went to a Canes game last week. it was kinda sad, but soo awesome to see people. it's really the people that i miss! and i know i can always go back & visit which is great. also we scored 7 goals...haha it was crazy good.

15. girls wearing shorts and uggs took over campus today. appalling. 

16. Jordan and i are going to the gym together today for the first time. precious, i know. i dislike working out in public places but i guess i'll get over it haha.

17. if anyone knows any nice guy who needs a place to live in Raleigh starting next semester, please let me know! this is a huge prayer request right now.

18. Halloween was fun. i wish i could be Tinkerbell once a week. one of my long lost dreams is still to be her at Disney World...

19. our first basketball game is next Tuesday. be there & wear white!

20. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

so long, insecurity. part 2.

a significant loss.
this is huge. loss can change your life in a second. in a phone call. it can change everything you know. it can change people, families. every single person deals with it at some point. i have not experienced much loss in my life. until this year i did not lose anyone really close to me or in my family. i even knew that it would be hard for me. i had told my friends and Jordan that i had no idea how i would handle it when one of my grandparents finally goes home to heaven. i thought that would be my first loss. i was wrong.

most people who know me know about the tragedy my family experienced this past summer. when my cousin Ben died, it was heart wrenching. the thought of the situation and how everything happened made it hard to breathe. it still does. it's hard for me to even think about and especially talk about. i usually ignore it. that is where my insecurity comes in. i have to trust in God enough to let Him help me deal with the feelings and emotions that have come from this loss. even if it's crying out to Him saying why?? how could it happen this way? how will my family ever be the same? i have been too insecure to even cry out to Him. to ask Him the questions that He already knows are in my heart. the questions that have built up bitterness and resentment towards His will inside me. you may have the same questions in your heart concerning a loss. David cried out to God with questions like those constantly in Psalms. in Psalm 13, he goes from asking him questions that it would be hard for me to ask God, to thanking Him.
 1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
       How long will you hide your face from me?  2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
       and every day have sorrow in my heart?
       How long will my enemy triumph over me?
 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
       Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
       and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
 5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
       my heart rejoices in your salvation.
 6 I will sing to the LORD,
       for he has been good to me.
that comforts me. the questions may not have answers but it helps just to cry out. i am learning this and trying to deal with it God's way - giving it over to Him and not ignoring it or trying to be numb to it. being secure in the promise that He will give me the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) and i know it's about to get a lot harder with the holidays coming up, but God is my strength in weakness. and in insecurity.

dramatic change.
this has been the main cause of my insecurity lately. you already know that i don't like change. and these days my life is all about change. i moved back to my house, which is quite strange after four years of not living there. Blake moved out and went to college. my best friend got married. i'm going to graduate college. i retired from Storm Squad. i got ENGAGED. it's all so craaaazy! life is so different. and it's taking its toll on me in different ways.

you may think i'm nervous about planning a wedding. yeah that is kinda nerve wracking. but what is scary is preparing for marriage. when i think about becoming a wife, i want to be the best one ever. especially because i'm marrying, in my eyes, the best man ever. so this makes me anxious and yes, insecure. i know it shouldn't, i know i should just give it over to God, but that is easier said than done. i'm working on it. i just feel like there are so many things i need to learn and improve on! i guess that's how it will always be. but i need to learn how to cook better. to iron better. to manage money better. to communicate better. the list goes on and on. thankfully i have an awesome mother and a wonderful future mother-in-law as examples for me. and most importantly, i need to learn how to respect and submit to my husband, treating him exactly how God planned marriage to be.

i think the change that has made me the most insecure lately is that i have quit Storm Squad (SSQ). this may sound ridiculous, and when i really think about it it seems ridiculous to me too. but i did not realize how much security i found in being a SSQ member. when i think about it though, my initial motives for trying out were not all that great. i mean some of them were - i love to work with kids, i love the Canes, i love sports, i love people, i love smiling, etc. so that was a good fit. but i also had ugly motives - i wanted to be "successful", i wanted to have not peaked in high school, i wanted to show certain people that i could do it, and i really wanted to impress a guy. yes, a guy. i thought if i made SSQ, surely he would never want another girl! hahah yes it is stupid. and no it didn't work. 
now i'm not saying it was a bad thing for me to be on SSQ. God used it as a ministry and He used it to make me grow in so many ways. i met the most wonderful people and will always have my Canes family. i wouldn't change any of it. but i did let it get to my head and ended up putting too much priority on it. and i know that if i hadn't done that, then it wouldn't have become my security. but i did and it did. i'm not gonna lie, it's a good feeling to have your own month on a calendar. and to have people want your autograph. and constantly give you compliments and want to talk to you. and to treat you like you're some famous person sometimes. but i relied on all of that for my confidence wayyy too much! but didn't realize it until it's been gone. now that i think about it, it's kind of a relief to have most of my confidence stripped away, because that's when i truly get on my knees and point to Christ. which is what i should have been doing more of all along. and i'm sorry i didn't. all glory and honor goes to Him. and that is what should make me secure - that i am a tool for His glory. not that someone wants my autograph.

so now what?
okay so i've figured out my main insecurities (although there are many more, most of them stem from those core sources). now what do i do? what i'm learning to do is immerse myself in the Word. more. always more. and when i keep wanting more, my desire for it keeps growing! it's an amazing and wonderful thing. i am surrounding myself with people and things that are uplifting. those movies or songs that are degrading to women? no thanks. books or shows that promote an "all about me" lifestyle? noooo. people who are constantly talking about others and comparing themselves? shut your mouth when you're talking to me. i don't want any of it. i just want my identity in Jesus! this is going to be a process and a journey. and i will let you know how it goes. until then...i am His beautiful daughter & that is all i need to know!

"I will praise You, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." -Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

so long, insecurity. part 1.

if you recognize the title, you have either read or heard of Beth Moore's book So Long Insecurity. i have been reading this lately and i am about halfway through. it is like God told Beth Moore to write this book for me because it has been exactly what i've needed at this time. let me explain.

i have dealt with insecurity, well, my whole life i suppose. sometimes pretty bad cases of it. at certain times it has hindered productivity in every area of my life - spiritual, physical, relational. pretty scary. does this surprise you? i have a feeling it would surprise most people who are not extremely close to me. i mean everyone deals with this to a certain degree and in different ways. but i think people forget that sometimes. we look at a person and think that their life is a comfortable and happy stroll, when in reality everyone, and i mean that literally - everyone, is facing some sort of battle that the outside world knows nothing about. i think that is my main motivation to be a teacher/coach/guidance counselor/whatever God wants me to be. i have a specific sensitivity and compassion for this topic.

on top of insecurity, i do not like to talk about my "problems" to other people. and i put problems in quotation marks because this is my line of thought: is my "problem" really a problem compared to what others face? are my feelings really legitimate? even now as i am typing this, i am thinking, well people are going to read this and think that i believe my issues are bigger deals than theirs and think i'm whining. it's like i can't make it go away! i know that people care about me but i haaaate complaining! i don't even like talking about problems to God, the One who is always there and wants me to come to Him with everything. that is why this is an issue for me. Beth Moore says in the book, "If it is translated as something huge to your heart, it is huge to God on your behalf." Jordan has been helping me with this and it is something i am working on because it goes hand in hand with my insecurity. so just typing this for people to read is a big step and actually helping me in the process. even if no one reads it. 

i know what you're thinking - give me specifics. tell me how you are insecure. well as hard as that is, i will do that. only because if it helps ONE person then i have accomplished God's purpose in me writing this. i am kinda laughing to myself right now because i have a feeling this may end up being pretty long. but here it goes. i will try to categorize my insecurities the same way that Beth Moore has separated them in the book. 

this has been my main relationship insecurity. not being wanted. not being loved. not in the right way at least. i have felt very wanted in the wrong way, which may feel good for a moment, but then actually makes me feel even worse about myself. this is another thing that i don't think many people realize - when a girl is constantly wanted in the wrong way, she will believe that it is the normal way. she will estimate her value and worth by that way. this is a lie from the devil himself! flee from that kind of acceptance and desire because it is not real love, that is for sure. i see so many girls using their sensuality and attractiveness to feed their worth, but it doesn't suffice. it never will. it is like air puffing them up with no substance. only God can fill you up when you find your identity in Him.

rejection from guys has caused me to do some pretty crazy things that make me cringe when i think about them. which has also led to guys doing some pretty crazy things. all because i have been insecure. the period of time from when i first got dumped after my junior year of high school to this past January has been full to the brim of rejection insecurity. i am so thankful that i have a great home and family who love me and show me they love me, because if i hadn't, oh my word i would be a wreck. thank God i've only experienced it with guys. so i have a huge amount of compassion for anyone who has experienced rejection in their home life. this has caused me to make many bad decisions in relationships, and i hate the fact that i have hurt people because of it. by God's grace He has given me a man who loves me for who i am and values me because i am a daughter of the King, and i thank Him for that multiple times a day. no, i cannot get my worth from Jordan, but God has used him to point me to Himself and what God thinks of me. and He thinks that i am fabulous and will never reject me! what a promise!

well i don't want this to get too extensive for one post. but the next two categories will be significant loss and dramatic change. that will be included in Part 2, if you would like to return to read that tomorrow. for now i will leave you with another quote from the book:

"Let Him bring you peace. Let Him tell you you're worth wanting, loving, even liking, pursuing, fighting for, and yes, beloved, keeping. Whatever you do, don't reject the only One wholly incapable of rejecting you."

"I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God." -Isaiah 41:9-10

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

what we have been up to as of late.

so, it's another day, another week, but life just got a lot more busy due to the fact that basketball season started today. we had JV & varsity girls tryouts day 1, and the gym felt like home. it was so great to see everyone who returned, and to see fresh faces whom i am excited to meet. i am also pumped that Jordan will be helping the JV boys head coach Chris Underwood. :) i think they will do a spectacular job. the first home games are Tuesday, November 16. so be there.

our engagement party a couple weekends ago went wonderfully. we have the best friends and family and they are all so fun. i'm glad that many of them were able to meet each other, although i wish there could have been more interaction between my friends and Jordan's friends. but there will be more opportunity for that. the Browns and the Stricklands were so kind to help my parents with the food and such, and we were so glad that Jordan's family could come from out of town. there was Wii and cornhole, and some awesome Mario Kart decorations. Peach and Mario represent me and Jordan quite nicely. except i'm not usually stolen and he doesn't usually have to come find me in castles. not yet at least.

this past weekend we were able to go to Greensboro, aka "G-Boro", where many g's reside. it was a jolly good time and i was sad when we had to leave. on Friday we went to Jordan's grandparents' wienie roast and spent some quality time with his family. Jordan has 10 month old triplet cousins who are always highly entertaining for everyone, and even more fun to watch when Jordan is interacting with them. he is such a kid. another reason why i love him. it is great being around his family because they are so loving and easy to talk to. i am so blessed to get to be a Shelley in a few months. :)

then we went to Jordan's friends' bonfire and that was great because we got to ride fourwheelers! i love riding fourwheelers but hardly ever do. yes, we were wearing helmets, mother, i know that is what you are wondering. so it was the three best friends (Jordan, Dillon, Patrick) with their three women (me, Sara, Lindsay) riding through the woods and amongst the cows in the light of the full moon. awesome. i would partake in that every night if i could. we then made smores and laughed our heads off at Jordan's friends, because they are pretty much the funniest people ever.

Friday night i spent the night with Jordan's sister Anna in her room which was quite the treat. although we did not actually sleep until the wee hours of the morning, i now know many, many hilarious stories about Jordan and his family, and some interesting views that Anna has about waking up from a dream and such. ;) Saturday was spent at my cousin Harleigh's third birthday and seeing the Brady and Scott families which was sweeeeeet! i got to hold baby Boston for quite a while. yes i have a cousin named Boston. yes i am jealous of this name. then we watched Anna win her final soccer game of the season (yeahh #2!) and ate a delicious meal that Mrs. Kim had prepared. we spent the rest of the night watching home videos which i LOVE. i never turn down an opportunity to watch home videos. they're the best. Sunday was spent at Shannon Hills Bible Chapel worshiping our Lord, and then eating at the Shelley home again. 

so obviously, this was an excellent set of weekends. (haha every time i think of the word "obviously" what immediately pops into my head is "well, obviously, we have a rapist in lincoln park, he's climbing in yo windows..") we are always so busy and have so many people we need to spend time with and i love it. God has truly blessed us. i wish we could see all the G-Boro people more often but i am thankful for the time that we do have.

wedding planning. there has definitely been some of that going on. we do have our wedding website, so you can look at that for all the info that you are just dying to know! haha. most of the save the dates are out, which is a relief. my bridesmaid dresses are picked and hopefully ordered by now, or if not then soon please, haha. my flowergirls are going to look adorable in their dresses. so i am excited about all of this. still there is much much much left to do. i'm just ready for March 19 so i can be with my mannn! i will leave you with this number that is getting less and less: 145 days. yessssss.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever." -1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Josh Hamilton.

if you have turned on a tv this month you have heard/seen this name. you've heard people talk about him. maybe you saw him hit 28 home runs in one round of the home run derby in 2008. in the world of baseball he is a household name.

yes, i am biased, because he is in my dad's side of the family. i grew up watching him play at West Raleigh and at Athens Drive High School. i remember how excited my family was when he was the number one draft pick at age 18. i didn't really understand what was going on back then, i just thought he had won something cool, and i got a few signed baseballs, a t-shirt, and a few bobbleheads out of it. and yeah it ended up being pretty cool haha. it's an awesome thing. but that is not why I write this. that is not what is important. actually, his home runs aren't important. the Rangers' playoff run and wins are not important. not compared to what really matters.

“This isn't really about baseball.” - Josh Hamilton

no, it's not really about baseball. what really matters is that his story is an incredible picture of God's grace and mercy. it is a reminder that anyone..anyone..can be redeemed by our Savior Jesus Christ! if you don't know Josh's story, i'm not going to try and explain the whole thing right now, but he talks about it in the video below, and i will guide you to this article. if you haven't read his book Beyond Belief, it is an encouraging and inspirational must read.

even when Josh hit rock bottom, deep in drug and alcohol addiction, God picked him up and washed him clean. ONLY God's power can make a change like that. no it's not easy, and yes, he's had struggles and made mistakes since then, but he has been made new in the Lord. he has been used to reach so many people for Christ, and this is the reason i rejoice! yes, his home runs make me happy, but the way that God uses him as a witness and an inspiration is what is INCREDIBLE! because winning souls for Christ is the most important thing.

Josh's story makes me think about the fact that no one is out of God's reach. i am guilty of making judgments and thinking in the back of my head that certain people will never change their ways. this is an awful mindset. i'm thankful that God has changed me and continues to change me every day. if He can change me, and Josh, and countless other believers, then Christ can change anyone.

i cannot give up on my loved ones who do not know Christ. i cannot give up on strangers who do not know Christ. the power of the Holy Spirit is in me, and I am going to USE it. God gives gifts and skills for a reason, and that reason is His glory. i may not be able to hit 28 home runs, or even one for that matter (i was always more of a bunter), but i can talk to people about Christ. i can give Him the glory for everything. i can always give people a chance, and show them God's love no matter what. Josh's story encourages me to do this and i hope it will help you too. i need you to help hold me to this responsibility that God has given us, to glorify Him and point others to his redeeming love and grace!

wherever you are in your walk with God, or even if you don't have a relationship with Him at all, He is waiting for you with open arms. He longs to transform your life. we are all sinners, no matter where we are in life or what we've done. because of this, Jesus died on the cross to take our place, and that is the most amazing gift we will ever receive.

so whenever you see Josh pop up on tv or in the news, or hear about him getting a Canada Dry shower rather than a champagne shower, think about the reason he is there: our Savior Jesus Christ, who truly offers amazing grace. Praise the Lord!

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

my chains are gone, i've been set free
my God, my Savior, has ransomed me
and like a flood, His mercy reigns
unending love, amazing grace!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

why i love october.

there are many reasons why i love October. i have been thinking about these reasons as of late. why does it appeal to me so much? why do i look forward to it every year? i think i have figured it out.

i am one who values tradition. especially those of you who are in my close family know this for a fact, as i am always emphasizing doing our regular activities and taking our annual pictures and such. traditions are fun, and traditions are consistent. they rarely change. they're always there for me. they are comforting.

that is one of the most amazing and wonderful aspects of the character of God to me. He is unchanging, faithful, always the same. will never leave me or forsake me. loyal and loving no matter what. but also hates sin no matter what. He, unlike people, will never ever let you down. "For all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." - I Peter 1:24-25

October is the most consistent month to me. at this point, if you are in school, you have a routine down. the weather is cooling off (sort of) and it's usually lovely outside. there is no threat of winter weather, and hardly ever a thunderstorm. the leaves always change to reveal another side of God's majesty.

certain things always happen. hockey starts officially. this is different for me this year because i am not a part of it like i was, but i will always be a Canes fan and look forward to a fresh hockey season. football games are in full force. even though we don't have a traditional winning record, the games are always some of most fun experiences of my college career. we tailgate, we yell, we have red-outs, we stand in the rain, we sing heeeeeyyy babyyyy i wanna knowwww if you'll be my girl. we're there every year and we are loyal no matter what the score or the record. this is how it will always be for me.

the State Fair comes every single year in October. there has not been a year of my life when i haven't been to the State Fair. i don't cry and hide during the fireworks like i used to, thankfully, but i go at least once and get my traditional foods: a turkey leg, a candy apple, cotton candy, and a caramel apple for my mom. i ride some rides and people watch. it's always excellent and i love it.

MLB playoffs are in October. i love major league baseball. i mean, obviously i love the Red Sox but i also just love the whole system. every year one team from the National League and one team from the American League will meet up for the final series. usually we do make the playoffs, and only two years of my life have i been completely happy and satisfied with everything, but i watch it every year regardless. this year i am pulling hardcore for the Rangers (my 2nd favorite team) and my dad's cousin Josh. baseball never lets me down. every year it is here for me, every year my Sox show up and battle it out all season, and it all comes down to October. it's awesome. as far as this year goes, i must say that i am content with our season this year, because the Sox won the one game they needed to, and it was the best day of my life thus far. :)

basketball begins. this is my favorite part because i look forward to it all year after February. unless you are a coach, you cannot fully understand how fulfilling this time is for me. it is a ministry, it is what i love, and i care about the girls so much i can't even explain it. it's like i'm reunited with my family when basketball starts. and we really are a family. i will talk more about this later, but when October comes, and basketball finally gets here, i feel like i am doing what i'm supposed to be doing. and it's by God's grace that i have the opportunity and ability to do it. 

you may say, okay that's a lot of stuff that always happens, but what about December? that month has more traditions than any of them. well, perhaps yes, and of course i love Christmas and celebrating Christ's birth specifically, but it's just so busy. also, after Christ, it is centered around people, and people are not consistent. they will let you down, and they will not always be there, because people don't last. the leaves always change. the state fair always comes. there are always football games, and the Sox always have a team for me to love. basketball will bring a new team of girls every year that i am coaching.

God's blessings abound at all times of the year, and i love every season for different reasons. but there's just something about October.


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