[ hey - if you are new here: welcome! my name is shelby. i am 5 feet of spunk with giant dreams + a crazy life. somehow i ended up in alaska but i'm from ohio. i love coffee + popcorn + just about anything covered in chocolate. if i could eat one food the rest of my life it would probably be a cobb salad with chicken and extra ranch dressing. i would like to tell you i do awesome things like run marathons - but i don't. the only marathon i am interested in is a netflix marathon. i have an amazing family + a tribe of incredible friends. i'm still trying to find my footing here in AK but i am confident that the Lord has great things in store. so grab a coffee + read on. also: i missed a lot of school growing up + my grammar struggles because of that. i never met a comma i liked + capital letters seem like a waste of time. but many before you have gotten over it - so i think you can too! okay here we go... ]
my whole life my dad has said the same sentence many different ways.
if you know him - you've probably heard it.
[also if you don't know him - you should. roger roy taylor is the BEST ever.]
dad always says...
"i'm a big fan of his." ... "she's a big fan of yours." "they are big fans of you!"
it's his little trademark. he has a lot of those. the older i get though i am beginning to find out he didn't make them all up on his own. for instance. my entire life he's said "a tradition unlike any other" when anything special happens that we have a tradition for. vacation. birthdays. christmas day. and let me tell you i was shocked to find out that he didn't make it up. it just has to do with the Masters. which makes sense. but i thought RT came up with the best slogan ever for fun events. you know?
when i flew home in march my dad picked me up from the airport. after only being in the car for a few minutes he asked me about a friend of mine from highschool. a few years back i asked dad to pray for him. i remember sitting at the kitchen bar that day telling dad this friend wasn't walking with the Lord anymore + dad just said "keep loving him shelbs. keep loving him. and we will pray." so here we are the first week of march a few years later + dad asks about him. "i haven't seen him for months dad - i live in alaska so i'm not sure how he is." he tells me "i pray for him every morning on my walk. i'm a fan of his." i tell dad that i pray too + that i truly believe the Lord has something in store for this old friend. i also - am a fan of his.
a few years back a book became super popular. it was called "not a fan." kyle idleman wrote it. the whole concept was that we need to stop living this life of being a fan of jesus + not actually a follower. well. with no offense to kyle. i think it's possible to be both. and maybe that is immature thinking on my part. and maybe i'm completely wrong.
but maybe...i'm not. because when i hear someone say "i'm a fan of yours." what i hear is "i believe in you! i have faith in you! i love you! i'm here + i will ALWAYS have your back." and that is how i feel about Jesus. and i hope that is how Jesus feels about me. because i believe that the people you love the most are the ones you should be a fan of. and i am a fan of Jesus. i believe that He is capable. i have faith in His plan. i love Him. i am here + ready for His plan for my life. and i hope with all my soul that i will ALWAYS have His back. that i will never waiver to the point where i'm no longer a fan. i don't think being a fan of His is necessarily a bad thing. i think i can be a fan of Jesus.
this adventure the Lord has me on has stretched me in ways i never knew were possible. i have grown more in these 7 months than in the previous few years i believe. i have been able to fall in love with Jesus all over again. the hard days here have been HARD. but the good days have been glorious. and i believe that this is only the beginning. last weekend havilah cunnington spoke at a women's conference at my church. the theme was i do hard things. i laughed a lot at the irony. because this whole living in the land of ice and snow and knowing no one has been really hard. the kind of hard that made me start going [but Lord ... i'm not a fan of this place!!!] i was telling my friend that being here has been a totally different kind of hard for me. i can handle the physical hard. i can handle the brain tumor + the genetic disorder. i can handle the migraines + the fatigued days. i can handle the immune system crashes + my body being just a step behind everyone elses. but the mental hard. it's a different kind of hard. the loneliness + confusion were hard. the bad days are getting few and far between but some days are still rough. some days i'm still not a fan.
i miss home. i miss my people. i miss my mom and i miss my dad. i miss hearing him come through the door and make some joke about my dog Scout Finch being the only one to greet him. i miss eating popcorn with my mom while we watch dancing with the stars. i miss my best friends. i miss my church. i just miss it. for awhile i assumed all of that meant that i hated this place i now call home. but i don't believe that to be true. just like i think i can be a fan and a follower of Jesus. i think i can be a fan of ohio + a fan of alaska. it's certainly getting easier to be here.
my friendships here are just beginning to flourish. my closest friends here all have husbands and some of them have kids too. so i basically just have added myself to these families. + i have told them all to tell me when they get sick of me hahah! yesterday i was talking to my friend about a family i am growing to love here. and i did it ... i pulled a roger. and as soon as i said it i thought [dear Lord - i am am becoming my father! WOOHOOO!] i said [ i'm a big fan of them!] [them meaning my new friend amanda + her husband shane + their super cool kids. I LOVE EM!] but as soon as i said it i'm like [okay that means something.] because i'll be real with you. i'm not a fan of everyone. HAHAH. i'm so dead serious. there isn't another way to say it. but i'm a fan of theirs... manda + mr. cool you guys are the best.
last night after i left my new friends house i was laying in bed + talking to God. i straight up told him. "this season has been hard Man - but thanks for giving me some people. for right here for right now." and the still small voice said "you can do this! i believe in you!" ... and if we are going with the theme here ... i think that means He's a fan of mine.
but i gotta say ... and i'm sorry to go against the curve here ... but i'm a BIG FAN of Jesus.
i can't wait to see what He has in store.