Sunday, December 18, 2016

shelbulb takes anchorage:: month two + three.

you guys. when i moved here i said i would write more. boy has that been a struggle. i'm sorry i lied. i'm going to TRY to work on writing more.


ohio is home. but alaska ... alaska is slowly becoming home.

glory glory hallelujah this month was grand. or these last two months. it's december now. sorry i'm a little late.

i have told multiple people this month [ man i gotta stop worrying - and i kinda feel like i should just stand still and watch God. ] because OH MY GOODNESS has my Jesus shown up big time.


do you have your coffee? go get some. and a cozy blanket. and your dog. if you don't have a dog i'm so sorry that your life isn't fulfilled. no. cats don't count.

okay. lets go. got your coffee? great.

so about a month ago i was having my quiet time. and simply asked God to help me find a house or apartment. i threw in there "if they love Jesus that'd be cool too."

so the following evening i hopped on craigslist. a little scared of it if i'm being honest ... because you know ... craigslist killers. you guys. i'm so serious! you know how monica potter gets murdered in patch adams by the crazy patient? that is my worst fear. besides clowns + costume people. anyways. i found this adorable little basement apartment in a person's house. with a lofted queen bed that looked incredibly magical. so i emailed them. went to see it the next day and HOLY SMOKES! just like He has every step of this adventure...

Jesus showed up.

when i got there + saw the landlord instantly i felt a sense of relief. she was a bright eyed redhead with a pixie cut + probably the most stylish person i've seen so far in anchorage. moments after i walked in i knew it was where i was supposed to live. it's almost as if it was designed for me. i instantly felt at home.

the first thing she said to me was "oh my gosh you are so cute!" so of course my self-centered side was like "haha awwww she's the kindest person in the whole world already!" LOL she also thought i was like 18 and not 25 so that was maybe part of it. when i said i was 25 her jaw dropped.

things just kept getting better from there. within 5 minutes we were talking about Jesus. she stated "i just knew you would be a Christian. i'm not surprised one bit!" we had both been praying for that! How cool is that!?

well ... after she showed me the apartment we ended up sitting on the bare floor for hours - talking about Jesus + church + life + shared our testimonies, and she invited me to her church for the next day. ironically - her husband is the pastor at that church. i mean. not ironically. obviously God would have me find a church through a craigslist ad for an apartment ... because nothing in my life is normal. ever. HA!

anyways. the next day i went + i instantly felt AT HOME. the church i HAD been going to was huge and overwhelming. i thought because my church in Ohio was so big that it made sense to find a huge church here - i was very wrong. in the 5 weeks i went to that huge church not one person noticed i was new. no one introduced themselves. i had to make every single effort. i was worshipping alone and i hated it. i sat alone. i went alone. i left alone. it was lonely. and let me tell you - if you are feeling lonely in a church - you shouldn't be at that church. your church should feel like home. i feel at home in my new church. i have already made friends. every week people approach me and introduce themselves because they know i am new. it is just a breath of fresh air to be there.

so my new pastor and his wife are also my landlords. and now my friends. they have kind of taken me under theirs wings - and i finally feel like i have found my footing here. the family i nanny for is awesome - and i feel so at home with them too - i just needed another safe place. i think everyone needs that.

i officially moved in but few things are decorated. i'm working on it. but when it's as cute as i dream it will be - i'll show you pictures! if i forget - remind me!

[ so now i will talk about all the things that have happened this month - or the things i've learned. ]

1. friends!!!! on the plane on the way here i wrote down that i wanted 3 friends by Christmas. and let me tell you - it is hard to make friends. i am SO thankful for all my friends back home and i'm realizing that the fact that most of them have been in my life for my whole life - is the ultimate blessing. because it's hard to just move somewhere and make friends. slowly but surely they are coming though. do i think i have 3 forever friends? not sure - is He giving me people for the now? absolutely!!!!

now these three all have to do with what you just read...
[ 2. apartment  3. church 4. more alaskan parents ]

5. adulting is hard. it just really is. LITERALLY this is my theme of my life the past few weeks. i told Joni - my new landlord/pastors wife/alaska mama that when you are a chronically sick kid people take care of you. not that i'm incapable. it's just what happens. and then you are 25 and you can't do real life alone because adulting is hard. she says it's okay and that everyone needs people. but i'm learning things like ... i'm too short to hang a shower curtain + internet companies are shady + it's possible to overstuff the washing machine. WHOOPS! anyways. sometimes things are hard. sometimes life is hard. and adulting is hard.

6. contentment is a gift - but you have to choose to accept it - this transition has been filled with so many emotions and they seem to vary by the day. i have told most everyone that i have experienced much loneliness - simply by just not having my tribe with me here. i have also experienced God's presence more than ever though, it seems to seep through the loneliness + cover it will love. some days have been awesome + i look outside and see the ocean + the mountains or my littles are giggling while we're playing a game and i feel like this is exactly where i should be. other days i find myself to be a disaster dressed in tears asking God why on earth He brought me here. it's a rollercoaster. i talk to my mom everyday. but when i talk to my dad i get a giant lump in my throat and end up crying after we hangup. some friends are easier to talk to than others. some haven't barely reached out - and thats hard. move across the country - you will find out who really loves you. i seem to be on a never ending carnival ride - i'll never know what i will feel the next day. i can't figure it out. but - God is still God + He is still good. i am confident that my purpose here will all unfold eventually. so i am learning to be content in the now - in the unknown future - and in what has already happened. it is not an easy feat. i told someone the other day that i think moving here has been harder than dealing with some of my health problems. and moving to alaska is not life or death. brain tumors are life or death. yes - it's been truly that hard. but i am learning. learning. learning. learning. and i'm not sinking. but i wouldn't say i'm swimming. i would say i'm floating in contentment.

also things happened like:: having my first thanksgiving without anyone i'm related to - and i survived. i had adventures with the littles + fights with the littles + days we weren't perfect but i'm so thankful for forgiveness. i started using a checkbook. i learned that alaska doesn't use salt on the roads and there are two kinds of drivers here:: turtles + superheroes. the superheroes end up in accidents. i am a turtle. slow + steady to get home safe. i experienced ice fog + it felt like i was in the movie FROZEN + was terrified at the same time.

and for all my ohio people:: if you say O-H here ... no one says I-O + then you feel stupid.

i'm hoping to get all of anchorage to love the CAVS this season though...

because it would only make sense for my home here to love my home team.

i'll write soon. gotta go start packing for christmas in california with my fam. CAN'T WAIT.

ohio - i'll be home in march. get ready! until then...

be brave

shelby elyse taylor

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