Thursday, December 27, 2012

daddy. father. papa.

So for Christmas i gave my dad a gift. Not just any gift. I have him "100 letters for dad" well this turned into 102 by Christmas morning. And now we are at 105! How crazy! I decided to post my letter, not the one i sent out, but the one i wrote to my dad on here. I decided that yes, its personal, but everyone should know why i did it, why i love him, why he deserved a special gift like this. it goes.

December 24, 2012


             There are so many things about you that I love. I really am not sure where to begin. From the moment I was born 21 years ago you have loved me unconditionally. You have been a prayer warrior, a best friend, a dad, a backyard baseball coach, a listener, a great example, and one of my hero’s.

            When I sat down and compiled this idea of sending you 100 letters, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, then they started pouring in, and it made me realize just how much you are loved, not only by me, but by so many people! I’m going to be really honest; I was getting letters until about 9 tonight. I was a little bit nervous but since I sat down and sent out all the emails I’ve been praying every night I would make it to 100! And lo and behold, the Lord heard my prayer, and here we are!

When I sat down to write this, I realized it was much harder than I thought it was going to be. How do you voice everything you need to, to a guy in one letter? So since I’m 21, I decided to go with 21 years of memories, 21 years of thankfulness. So I decided to come up with 21 things I love about you, and that remind me of you.

1.      You are a strong Christian man, you are such a leader, and an amazing example of what a Godly husband and father looks like. I hope and pray that the Lord gives me someone just like you one day to marry.
2.     You love mom so beautifully. I know I bug you and say that you fight a lot, but deep down I know that you love her unconditionally. You are a leader and you provide just as the Lord has called you to as a husband.
3.     You are such an amazing dad. You love Jordyn, Seth and me through the thick and thin, and it is so apparent. I love that even though we may disappoint you, your love for us remains the same, and you just continue to be a great dad.
4.    I love you for praying with me and tucking me in every night before bed until I reached high school basically. I will forever have our prayer memorized. “Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for this beautiful day you have given us, God bless Mommy, Daddy, Jordyn, Seth & Shelby, help Shelby to be a good girl and wake up tomorrow feeling rested and refreshed and ready to serve You!” You know the routine.
5.     You are so humble dad; it is an amazing and genuine quality. So many people love this about you, but especially us kids, I think we strive to be more humble because of you.
6.     You are so smart. I mean lets be real for a minute, you are a DOCTOR. It doesn’t get much smarter.
7.     I love that when I, or anyone else is struggling, you have a solution, you always want to make me feel better, and are willing to give advice and awesome pep talks.
8.     I love that I’m your only “Brown Eyed Girl.” This song is forever engraved in my head as one of my first memories of us, and I forgive you for lying to me all those years saying that you wrote it for me.
9.     I love that you love to serve; you are always willing to lend a hand to others, even if it means that you need to sacrifice.
10.   You are so compassionate. You have one of the biggest hearts ever, the Lord has really blessed you in this area dad, and it shows in a big way. Thank you for caring so much about others, it is a beautiful example.
11.     You instilled in me a love, and yes, I mean LOVE for James Taylor, one of the most amazing musicians in the history of the world. I think James is the reason I love music so much, and the reason I love to sing and write. I often wish that somewhere down bloodlines we would be secretly related to him. Whether it’s us dancing to “Copperline” or listening to “Carolina in my mind” on the way to Sunset beach, his music is timeless, and you introduced me to it.
12.   I love that you love the things I say that may not be so correct. For instance, the hole in one described as a “chick” or embarrassing you by telling my kindergarten teacher about the glasses getting cleaned with the underwear. You just shake it off, act like it’s all good, and go on to tell the stories 100’s of time, while being proud of me for being funny.
13.    I am so thankful that the Lord called you to CVCA, and you have stayed there all these years. Dad, honestly, CVCA is my other family. That school which was built upon Godly standards, and the people inside, helped shape me from the moment I was born and everyone there was praying for me. I do not know what life would be like if I hadn’t had the opportunity to go there. The people there have so elegantly represented what a Christian community looks like, and I had the incredible opportunity to literally grow up there. Thank you for serving the Lord at CVCA.
14.  I am so thankful for the way you raised Jordyn and Seth. They are my best friends; my heroes and I look up to them like I do no one else. All of this you already know. Jordyn has taught me to stand up for myself, that I am beautiful no matter what, and when life pushes you down, you have to pick yourself back up, or find people to help you up, and keep moving. Seth has taught me that I should always follow my dreams, fight for what I believe in, and that I should always be myself, and that good Christian guys who treat girls like princesses do exist, and that I should never settle for anything less. These are all qualities that I am sure you and mom, long ago instilled in the two of them, and now I am being impacted. Sissy and Roo turned out pretty good I would say, and so thank you for raising them the way you did.
15.   I love that you read your Bible everyday, and pray as you walk each morning. Dad, there are a lot of “Christian” people in this world, but that does not mean that they live out what they say they believe, but you do just that. If you tell someone you will be praying for them, you do. I love that many days I walk into the music room to find your Bible open and many notes out along with it, it is such an encouragement to know you are staying rooted in the Word!
16.   I love that you never hold back any emotion. You cry when you pray, or speak about something that touches your heart. You yell when you are angry. You get that little wrinkle in your forehead when you are really upset, and that is when I know I made a big mistake. You cry when you are happy, and when news is good. You rejoice with others when great things happen, so much to the point where it almost seems not genuine, because you are so happy. I love that you have never been ashamed of these emotions. Grandpa Taylor is the same way, and I believe this is one quality that you definitely got from him, and I love it!
17.   I love how honest you are. I can always count on you to tell it like it is dad, whether it’s a question about what I’m wearing, or what I should do in a friend situation, or how something I bake tastes. You are honest if the answer is going to be something I like, or something I don’t like. You are honest with everyone this way, people at work, family members, and many more, and it is a pure genuine quality that I believe a lot of people love about you.
18.   I love that you are funny, and that you think you are funny when you aren’t. I love that you belly laugh at things, and I love that you laugh at yourself. I love that look you give me when I say something I think is funny, and turns out I shouldn’t have said it, and then you laugh anyways. You are full of humor dad, its great.
19.    You are so strong! You have had so much strength over the past 21 years dad, our family has had to face unimaginable trials and you have held us all together every step of the way. I don’t know how hard it must be as a father to see so much turmoil in our lives, and I know it is never easy on you when I am sick, or dealing with medical issues, but you still keep strength and faith! Thank you for being such a rock during all of sissy’s struggles too, those years were so hard on all of us, but because you were so strong, it helped me to stay strong!
20. I love that you aren’t really a “mr fix it” when it comes to being handy around the house, and building things. But you are a “mr fix it” when it comes to being handy with ideas, helping people, and building a school that serves the Lord! So like that coffee mug I got you says “My dad can fix anything.”
21.   I love you very much, I think you are special and I am very proud of you!

Merry Christmas Dad, I love you to the moon and back!

Blessed by a Heavenly Daddy,

Shelby Elyse

Monday, December 17, 2012

i quietly await

tragedy. tears. trust.

These are the only words that come to mind when i think back on the past weeks.

Our world is crumbling, and i and many others quietly await the returning of my King.

I wish i could scream at times, tell God "this isn't how its supposed to be!!" but that is something He already knows. This world was not meant to be a world of sickness, heartache and pain. He saw it crumble, just as i am now.

Im a 21 year old girl, but i wish at times i could be 4 again, not a care in the world and my biggest fear was when my dad forgot to turn on my nightlight after bedtime prayers, because i thought there were monsters under the bed. But now, now i have so many fears, they leave me afraid to watch the news, afraid to stay home alone, afraid to be in stores by myself, afraid to be anywhere alone at night, afraid to get on airplanes, afraid to not have my parents with me, afraid of getting sick, afraid of losing people i love, afraid of going to a public university, just afraid. It's the fear of the unknown, what will happen next? I'm not paralyzed by fear, it's not that i'm not living, i am, i'm just afraid. But sadly, these aren't the kind of fears like when i was little, i can't just go crawl in bed with my big brother when i'm afraid the monsters are gunna get me, it's not reality. The reality is the monster is satan, and he is alive and he is scary.

Last weeks end held such grief in our nation, TRAGICALLY, little kids, rather babies lost their lives to a shooter, as did many teachers. the unthinkable. a gunman. in an elementary school. who would have ever thought? it makes my stomach churn. it leaves me lying awake at night fearful for the day when i have children of my own. And then again, i find myself pleading with God and asking Him to heal the hurting, and please "O come, O come, Emmanuel!!!"

Friday evening, i got the news that our beautiful friend Allison Armstrong has relapsed, her leukemia is back. My heart is broken, TEARS fill my eyes, and then again, the questioning, the pleading. "Lord please, heal her, heal the sick, why is this happening? Lord, this world, it is not for me, it is not for any of us, please come back, i want to go HOME!" Allie's husband is a teacher at CVCA, she and him have 3 adorable little girls. I don't think we will ever understand, but we have to remain positive, TRUST that the Lord is in total control, and pray with a peace knowing full well, His will is in action.

This week i got a physical and all my bloodwork done, things look good, i am at peace. I have barely any vitamin D in my body, so i will start to take stuff to help with that, and get another blood test in 3 months to see how i'm doing, other than that, everything was looking good, blood cell levels were good, platelets, all the other good stuff, good. So i find myself thinking "praise you Lord, thank you!" My brain tumor has not grown as of my last check up, about a month ago, and i go back in 6 months. It's thinks like this, little things, little glimmers of hope, i see the Lord being faithful, for what he promises is true... "In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! for I have overcome the world" wow. TEARS. they stream down my cheeks, because i am thankful. i am TRUSTING that He walks with me through everything.

My heart is heavy, but i go to sleep tonight with HOPE.

Sethy Roo comes home Wednesday morning, i am so excited.

Christmas is coming, that brings joy, love, and family, and our Savior!

Blessed by a Heavenly Father and awaiting His return,

Shelby Elyse

please visit Allie's blog to stay updated, and please, pray.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

fierce beauty

"You were not created to be a princess of entitlement, but a warrior, fighting to bring love and hope to the world." 
  - Kim Meeder