A Little Update

Hello my sweet friends!

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted on here. I want to give you some updates so you have a better understanding of what’s been going on. ūüôā

Recently a lot of different opportunities have come up for me, ones that I never thought would ever come my way. It’s taken a lot of thought, prayer, and action, so I’ve been pretty preoccupied! I haven’t disappeared though; I plan to keep posting but this is so you know why it’s been a little more slow.

God’s been doing some incredible things for me and my writing this year. I’m excitedly following His call on my life, and I’m taking a step of faith and going for it. I’ll release more details at a later date when more unfolds, but for now, I’m in a place where a lot of waiting and prayer needs to happen. My focus has turned to God a lot more in this intense season, and I know I have to give Him my full attention. It’s been an incredible journey with you and I couldn’t be more grateful for your support. From the deepest corner of my soul; thank you. Thank you for being you and for being here. Though my life is changing and unfolding into something new, I promise I won’t forget about you (I don’t ever think I could).

If there’s anything I want you to remember in this current season, it’s this: God’s plan for your life is so incredible and much more than you could ever dream up yourself. Keep your hopes, dreams, and heart open to His work and never be afraid to step out in faith. He’s calling us to a life of courage and power, never of fear. Be content in the process as much as in the waiting. Once you find yourself caught up in His plan for your life, get ready, because it’s going to be the best feeling.

I’m believing in you (so is He).

All my love,
Shelby xx

Greenhouse

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As I was happily walking through beautiful Terrain this past weekend, I thought about something – I love to think that my inner self is like a greenhouse. There’s a pretty specific environment inside; the conditions are properly adjusted every day for what’s growing. There’s endless beauty inside despite the cold wasteland just outside the doors and windows. If I compromise – opening a window or two, opening a door – then the environment drastically changes. The smallest change in temperature or humidity sets everything off into decay. I feel so much like this greenhouse some days. I’ve left a few windows open, swung a door wide open…nearly destroying the environment of my soul. My heart and soul need to be sealed off from outside contaminants. They’ll negatively affect what’s growing so beautifully inside of me.

I want nothing more than to stroll through my greenhouse in awe of the beautifully growing things, rather than having to worry about letting a draft in to harm my growth. Things may even creep in through the cracks, but I have to be diligently protecting everything. I can’t afford to be ‘off the job’. I have to take care of my inner self just as much as I do my physical self.

I can imagine Jesus coming in to enjoy what I’ve grown and what I have to offer; a pristine garden of faithfulness and hard work. I want it to be the best environment it can be for Him to dwell in.

Life is really all about the strength we gain from Him to fight the enemy and his schemes. I need it every single day, every moment. I’m getting better. I’m not taking any steps back, but many more steps forward. I can feel myself growing like a weed; evasively, persistently, and unwavering. It’s beautiful places like Terrain that remind me so much of myself and how God uses the natural to point back to Him. It’s all a reflection, and I’m staring right back at it in awe of where I’m at and better yet, where I’m going to be.

The Jump

Today, my journey brings me to a thicker, more intense part of the deep forest I’ve been navigating through.

All the while feeling a little lost, yet on the right path.

How does this all make sense?

Often times in this wild life, we have the general sense of what we want to do and where we’d like to see ourselves. God gives us a hope, a plan, and a future – a vision – of our lives. Once He does, it’s our responsibility to carry that out. We have to own our dreams. We have to listen to His plan because it’s ultimately what’s best for us.

But I’ll be honest; confusion makes everything seem ten times worse. The enemy may not have God’s power, but definitely knows how to confuse me and try to get me off track.

I think this may be happening.

I’m faced with a big decision and an amazing plan that could change everything for my husband and I – and I know God’s been leading me the whole way up to this point. There’s just something off kilter. I’m right on the edge of a cliff about to take that jump, but something keeps holding me back. It’s like God’s telling me to take the leap of faith, yet something tries to snag me back once I get ready to jump. Really, when it comes down to it, it’s fear disguised as excuses. And it’s coming relentlessly.

The enemy needs a new game plan, but so do I.

No matter what – I’m making that game plan.

I won’t back down that easily. God gave me a powerful mind and a spirit of power, rather than of fear. If I know for sure that He’s backing me up and right there with me, then I have nothing to lose. It’s so humbling to think about. I’ve always lived such a safe life; that’s coming to an end. It takes faith to live out my calling from God. My bravery makes the enemy afraid; I have to turn the tables. My strength comes from God and from the enemy trying to stop me.

Maybe it’s not the time to take that jump. Maybe God’s telling me to be patient, yet to stay right on the edge. I can’t wander backwards because of safety or because of what I’m familiar with. God wants me right on the edge to keep me focused, attentive, and ready.

One of the bravest things I’ve ever done was jump off of a 35+ foot cliff into a beautiful river; something absolutely terrifying for me, yet exciting. How did I get myself over the edge? How did I make that jump?

That day, I made my way through the forest that led to the rocky area that eventually opened up to the expanse to where the edge was. I watched as other people jumped right off the cliff; I ran over to the edge to watch them fall straight down into the deep water and watched their faces light up as they came up. The adrenaline-happy look on their faces and their triumphant calls up to us encouraged me that it was worth it; it was worth the jump. There were others standing around who clearly didn’t want to make the jump…I can tell you, they were totally missing out. They didn’t give off the same vibe as the people who jumped did. Watching the people who actually did it ended up loving it, and not a single person had regrets. So I found myself standing right on the edge, staring 35 feet down below me.

The moment I chose to let my feet leave all safety, the feelings that came as I fell were so mixed and beyond explanation. There were feelings of fear, of taking the actual jump, but they were overcome with awe and excitement. Once I plunged underwater, feelings of relief flooded over me. I knew the water was going to be there indefinitely to keep me from harm, and even death. Isn’t it all the same with God?

I’m making my way, one day at a time, closer and closer to the edge. I’m more than willing to be brave now. I know God has been preparing me for this time; I’m ready. It doesn’t matter what the enemy tries to get me – and Anthony too – to think. Fear will keep us on the edge; taking the leap of faith will open up the expanse of our dreams to where we need to go.

2/3/17

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Journal entry –¬†February 3, 2017

I’m waiting for my day. I’m waiting on that day where I’ll get there, open my eyes that morning and think, “I made it”. It’s a beautiful day worth waiting for. Even if it feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity. It almost feels like my mind has jumped out of time and space trying to dwell in that day, when it doesn’t even exist yet. It’s a frustrating feeling. It’s a feeling of excitement yet anxiousness. Isn’t it strange our minds can exist somewhere we’re not? Why do they leave us like that? I found that I allow it to leave. I’m letting myself think ahead, not keeping my thoughts here in the moment I’m in. I know where I’m going, but I don’t have to let my mind jump the gun. I’m here, now. I’m standing on the mountaintop looking at the expanse of everything, but God is reaching out to take my hand to lead me like a little child. He’s patient with me; I’m still learning how to operate within time. I have a powerful mind, one that is trying to escape my body and get to where it wants to be. I have a God who is understanding. He knows the power He gave the mind; I need Him to show me how to use it. I want my mind to grasp the here and now so I can live freely.

I’m going to do my best to live expectantly rather than ahead of time. The future is still so bright when you know where you’re going and where you want to be. I’m excited for my day. The day when I can finally see why the amount of time in between had to be there. It’s here for a reason, and if that means my mind has to be here for that, then I will let it. One day at a time (God gave me each and every day for a purpose).

Blueprints

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Picture an empty, brand new space that you’ve entered into that’s there waiting to be built.

You’re beyond excited to start building, creating, and making your space reflect…you.

You begin your life as this empty space. You have no idea what to do, but you’re too excited to not begin on the building. You begin building your life.

Someone has your blueprints; your unique and beautiful building-plan that has the answer to every question, the instructions for your project, and the right tools you need.

But your¬†building begins. You experiment. You try this, you try that, you see what fits and what doesn’t. Some areas are beautifully done; others are dilapidated and messy.

The storm comes. The winds and rain ruthlessly beat down on what you’ve worked hard to make. Everything seems to cave in – you find it hard to keep everything together and in one piece.

You anxiously search for answers. You toil away at finding what’s really going to keep everything in one place. Dissatisfaction and uncertainty are invited right into your space. Sitting in the middle of the ruin, you wonder if this is really all there is.

Your entire foundation crumbles, but somewhere in the back of your memory the realization hits. You have what you’ve needed all along – your blueprints. You had never really thought about them before. You didn’t necessarily want your space created like the way they had shown. Besides, so many questions kept pestering you: will the blueprints turn out ok? Will they look good? Am I qualified enough to do something like that? It seems like too big of a commitment..

But it’s all you have left. It’s the only thing that makes sense…the blueprints were created for you and only you. It has your DNA in it. Your name is right at the top of the paper. It’s a design¬†of what is living and breathing – you. Your foundation, the creator of your blueprints…it’s Him. He’s the One you’ve been needing. He will become your foundation. He will fix your broken parts, destroyed and worn away from the storms. He couldn’t bear to see your building collapse, but you simply wouldn’t let Him in to do His work. He can prove to you that your blueprints reveal something bigger and much greater than as they appear on paper.

It’s never easy, and it takes time and patience. Building up your space called life is a journey. It’s a¬†beautiful, tedious process. As long as you follow your blueprints, you’ll become who you were created to be¬†– how God actually dreamed you up. He took the time to create them; don’t you want to see what it will become?

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” C.S. Lewis