A Short Re-Introduction

14 May 2016

Hey y'all!! It's been quite a while since I have posted in this space. The last few months were actually my last semester of undergrad classes and it ended up being a heavier load than I was anticipating. That meant that I had to put more time into studying and doing homework than I had planned on, so some things got put on the back burner for a little while. Unfortunately, this space was one of those things. However, now that I am officially done with my undergrad career and have my second degree completed, I can now devote some more time to this space. I have some awesome things to share with you all and a lot of topics I hope to cover in the near future. 

Today I just wanted to do a brief reintroduction since I am aware that there have been some new visitors to this space and my Facebook page. So here it goes!

My name is Shelbi and I'm a twenty-something, second-time college grad who works full-time as a Teacher's Aide at a Daycare & Preschool. I also volunteer at my church in a variety of roles, some of which include youth ministry and children's ministry. I grew up in south central Nebraska, but have lived in Illinois for 5yrs this August. I am not a city girl and would love to move to a small town or the country, but for the time being I am enjoying the city I am in for however long I am here. 

I love curling up with a good book, a blanket, and a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or apple cider (raspberry iced tea in the summer :) ). I love to spend time painting, scrapbooking, drawing, or really anything crafty. I love cooking and baking, especially trying new recipes. I take advantage of any opportunity I can to spend time outdoors doing things like camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and so on. I like to play sports for fun. Horseback riding and doing poles and barrels are some of my all time favorite things to do that I haven't had the chance to do in years. 

I absolutely love children and working with them, especially pre-K and under, hence my job as a Teacher's Aide. In my free time it is likely that you'll find me catching up on my CW shows, watching a movie, babysitting, or reading a book. I have a lot of interests and I am always willing to try something new. Ultimately I love spending time investing in the ministries that God has led me to. If you can't find me doing any of the above then chances are I am at the church building working on something, especially right now as we are finally in a permanent building (more on that later!).

So there's a brief overview for any newcomers! Feel free to comment any questions, shoot me an email, or click on over to the Facebook page! I would love to get to know everyone who follows my little corner of the internet a little better. 

I am working on some posts for this coming week and cannot wait to share some of the things that have been going on in the last couple of months! 

Here's to a great Saturday!!


I'll Be Back Soon...

29 April 2016

Hey y'all!!
It's been quite a while since I have posted and that is due to a handful of reasons. I am excited to share with you about some of them in the next week or two as I get back into a normal posting schedule once again! One of the biggest things that has taken much of my time is my schoolwork as I am finishing up my second undergrad degree so I can get my diploma next month.
It ended up being a crazier semester than I anticipated which meant that some things got put on the back burner for a little while...one of those things being this space. I am excited to get back to it in the coming weeks as I will only be working full-time and doing ministry. Life will be quite a bit less busy and hectic which will be like a breath of fresh air.
So here is to my last day of undergraduate work!! Can't wait to share with y'all soon!

Enjoy this picture of Duke while I get ready to finish a couple of small papers and do a quick presentation of my youth ministry portfolio!

God Bless,


24 February 2016

Tribe: (n.) a large family

      In recent months and years the idea of having and building a community or to use a word that has been gaining popularity lately, a tribe. This is not a new idea or one that we have not the slightest clue about.The idea is to build up a family-like community the be a constant source of support and encouragement, among other things, during the various ups and downs of life. Finding that tribe of people is not always easy. People come and go, life keeps moving. Having that tribe around you, supporting and encouraging you along the way, life becomes easier to walk through. Not because you have it all figured out but because you know that you have people on your side. I can not tell you how important it is to have a family, a tribe around you.

     Having a tribe can change things on so many levels. I have come to see the importance of having a tribe, a support system over these last few years. Moving to a community in which you know no one and have no connections can be a struggle. It took almost a year before I found myself connected with a group of fantastic people at my church. Over the past few years these people have become my community, my tribe. They have been supporters, encouragers, and so much more through some totally awesome highs and some not so great lows. They have willingly walked through the valleys with me and joyfully celebrated on the mountaintops. They have opened their homes to me more times than I can count.They have welcomed me into their homes, into their families. I could go on and on listing the ways they have been a family to me.

     Over the past few years I have had a handful of opportunities to provide or offer that support to those who so graciously did the same for me. However, the last couple of days I got the chance to come alongside one of the families who has been such a big source of support for me the last few years. Nothing I did was extraordinary or huge. I just helped with some of the basic, every day stuff. I stayed to help in a moment when I could have just as easily walked out the door and left one or two people to handle things in the middle of a ton of stress, confusion, and exhaustion. 

     I was able to turn around and support the people who had been there for me. When I look at the idea of having that tribe of people around I really look at the idea of it being a family structure. We are all coming together to support and encourage each other. We come alongside and absorb the different tasks and responsibilities that need to be taken care of. When someone is struggling we are there to help with whatever we can and to faithfully pray for their needs. We open our arms, we grab a hold of each others' hands, and we keep going. We keep walking through this life knowing that we have people walking with us. We have people to help pick us up off the ground when we fall. We have people loving on us, reminding us that we are important and valued. 

We have a family.
We have a tribe.

     Our tribe is always forming and re-forming as people move on to the next stages in their lives, but the overall structure does not change. The support does not die off and the encouragement never becomes negative. We may struggle, we may get frustrated or annoyed with one another, but we are always there for each other. I could not imagine my life without this tribe, this family of people from various families, walks of life, and different places in the world. They have changed my life for the better. They are truly a blessing and I thank God for them.

Do you have a tribe? A family? Who are those people? How have they helped you to get to where you are and to become the person that you are?

If you do not have those people, that family, that tribe, I encourage to find those people. It really is truly amazing to see how much different your life is when you have those people around you supporting and encouraging you. It is truly wonderful and such a blessing!

TBT + Some Thoughts

04 February 2016

 Here's a throwback to a picture I took last winter. Still one of my favorites!

I know everyone with snow will hate me for saying this, but I am indeed jealous of y'all!! I would love for us to get some snow here in Illinois! It just has not felt like winter around here and I keep flashing back to the last couple of winters when we got a ton of snow. I would take a day or even a weekend full of snow that allowed me to stay inside wrapped up in a blanket with a book and a cup of coffee or cocoa. Y'all, enjoy that snow for me!!

It is crazy to me that it is already February. I'm pretty sure we just celebrated New Years...
Today, actually this evening, is the start of Winter Break for Olivet, so my housemates are heading home. Campus will be clearing out as people head home for this extended weekend. For me it doesn't make a difference to my schedule as I will still be working and going about life as normal. Having a day with no classes just gives me the time to get ahead on some classes.

While I've enjoyed my time at Olivet and in college, I am so ready to be done. I am ready to take some time just working, doing ministry, and living life without the daily time constraint of classes and homework. I think I may look into doing some grad school in the future, but I think I may take a few months to a year off first if possible. Mainly so I can determine what exactly I would like to major in.

Its weird to think that I am currently considering grad school. I'm 23 years old, I'm renting a house, I have a job, and I am considering grad school. What?! Craziness! It's really just been hitting me lately that I really am in adulthood. Or to connect with pop culture, I am really "adulting". Haha it's nothing new to me and yet weird to fully acknowledge. Especially when I look at the fact that I find myself in charge of children ranging in age from newborns to highschoolers on a weekly basis. I'm old enough to be in charge of anyone in these age ranges. It's such a blessing to do so but crazy to think about!!

This comes into play as we are starting to make preparations for the camps that happen in the summer. As of last night I accepted a position at one camp that is different than what I have done in the past and one that will be a bit more time intensive. It is a role that is more geared at my strengths but personality wise and spiritually. While I am a bit nervous to be stepping into this role, I also look forward to fulfilling those role and working alongside some totally awesome people! Camp is only 4 months away and there is so much to prep! Can't wait for it to get here!

Now I should probably get back to paying attention to my professor talk about languages...

Have a good day!!

Sincerely, Shelbi


30 January 2016

For those who don't know, this past Sunday was my birthday. I turned 23. I didn't do anything super exciting or celebratory. I had church and youth group, as well as a bunch of homework. Thus I spent the day at home when I wasn't at church. Just an average day in the life.

Yet I find myself wondering what the coming 12 months will hold. I know that there are some guaranteed events that will take place this year. I will graduate with my second undergraduate degree. I will finally be working full-time on a constant basis as opposed to going back and forth with school. I will start a new chapter in my life as a post-grad. I will be working at a couple of church camps this summer. I will be going to see my good friend, Alyssa, get married and hopefully get the chance to see my best friend, Mike.

My plans kind of end at the end of the summer. I have nothing set in stone for what will happen at the end of the summer. I don't know if I will stay where I am or find myself going somewhere else. I don't know if I will still be working where I currently am or if I will find myself working elsewhere. I don't know what to plan for or what to expect. I have no idea what these 12 months will entail. I can't even imagine because I have a feeling that it will be better.

Either way, I know who holds these coming months, these coming decisions, these coming life changes. It is God who holds them. I trust that He will direct me on the path that He sees as most fit for my life. I pray that I willingly follow the path on which He leads me. I pray that my vision stays focused solely on the Almighty.

So here's to the coming weeks and months. Here's to the coming year.

Here's to 23.

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