Hey Y'all!!

02 December 2015

I can't believe it has almost been four months since my last post. I had a lot of things planned for this space during this semester but life had other plans for me. It has been a very busy semester with a lot going on. I'll try to hit some key details in this post and then put some posts up with some more details later on. 

If you did not know already, I am a super senior or a fifth year student this year. I walked in May and received my diploma in August for my Child Development degree but had a handful of classes left for my Christian Education degree. I only have four classes this semester but they ended up being more work than I anticipated. SO much reading!! I just finished my Spanish class this morning and it is so nice to be done with a class already. I'm kinda nervous about how I did though. The last chapter was a tough one. I have two pretty big projects due next week though and so I will likely be antisocial the rest of this week and next because of that. I'm excited about the one project, my Youth Ministry Portfolio/Resource Binder, and may end up sharing that on here.

Part of being a fifth year student meant that my housing situation was able to change. I was not keen on the idea of rooming with three people I did not know in an apartment and even less thrilled about the possibility of going back down to the dorm. So in the spring I started to look into options off-campus since I had the option. It made since for me to get out of campus housing since I am technically a post-grad even though I am finishing an undergrad degree. So after filing a petition to live off campus and it getting approved, I moved into a small house just across the street from campus.


If you follow me on Instagram you likely saw this picture back at the end of July. This was taken on move-in day. There are some full shots of the house on Instagram so you can head on over there to see them or wait a few days and I will get some up here. It has been so nice to not have to worry about all of the rules of living in campus housing and not having to find a place to stay for every holiday. It really is in the perfect location and we got a great deal on rent. Now I just wish I could afford to set it up the way I wish I could! 

Along with being in my first home, I also just recently got a vehicle of my own. By recently I mean last week. Haha! Got it insured but it sure is hard to do so for the first time. They sure don't make it easy! I am still in the process of getting it registered and such. I don't have a single picture of it yet but will soon. It is a '99 Honda Civic. Nothing fancy but it gets far better mileage than the truck I have been driving, that's for sure!!

For those who don't know, which I think is pretty much everyone, my sister is having a baby. Baby S should be here soon. My mom, sister, and I have been working to make sure that she has the basics that she needs for S's wardrobe. The situation has not been ideal so the celebration and/or support has not been quite what it would have been otherwise. So family is really doing what they can to make sure my sister has what she needs. Everyone has been trying to help her prepare mentally and emotionally as well but we aren't sure how much she is actually paying attention. We will just have to see when baby gets here.

So there are the three biggest things this semester. There has been a lot of other things going on that were not as big and maybe I will share about them soon. I'm currently just trying to get a second job and get some extra money coming in. Seems like everything hit at once right now and I am still recovering from almost a month without a check this fall. It's been...interesting.

Anyways, I should get back to Western Civilization lecture. Looking forward to sharing more soon about life as well as the book challenge I'm going to try and do this winter!

God Bless!

Prayers for the Coleman Family

28 August 2015

This isn't the kind of post that I wanted to come back with but I do want to share a prayer request with you for some family friends.

Yesterday evening I got the news that there had been a horrible tragedy in a family that we have been friends with since I was a small child. They have suffered a huge loss.
 
On Wednesday night their 12 year old son, Gabe, took his own life.

Picture from mom's FB page


At this point no details have been shared and no one knows why he did this. It was a complete shock to all. So many people have been wrapping around their family and showering them in love and prayers in this difficult time. All are asking the one question that we may never get an answer for...

"Why?"

There must have been some kind of hurt deep in his heart that he was struggling with and managed to keep hidden. What we don't know is what that hurt was. What we do know is that Gabe was deeply loved by his mom and dad. He was deeply loved by his seven siblings. He was deeply loved by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was loved by his church family.



Photo from JoLynn Coleman's FB page

This situation has been heartbreaking for so many and few know the pain of losing a child in this manner. We can understand that the pain is unimaginable. All we can do is lift the family up in prayer as they walk through this situation. The grief is heavy now and the stages of processing and healing with be difficult and different for everyone. May we pray that God's hand be on each and every member of the family throughout the days, weeks, and months ahead. May we pray for comfort and peace in the midst of so much doubt and uncertainty. May we pray for strength and discernment as mom and dad explain to the younger kids and help them walk through this situation as well. 

Sadly there have been many, many hateful and cruel comments and messages sent to the family about why Gabe did this and how they played a part in this. Their mom posted a screenshot of one of those very messages this morning as an example of the things that people have been sending them along with a brief explanation of the hiatus she is taking from Facebook due to these things.The message was cruel and the person was telling them that they knew the family had played a part in killing him. It was just so cruel.

May we pray that they are surrounded by a hedge of protection, especially the children, in the midst of so much negativity and cruelty being aimed at them. May we pray that they are continuously surrounded by people who will love them, pray for them and be the strength they need in the coming days. May God help to keep their eyes on Him and not let all of the cruel and negative things blur their vision. May they remember Gabe for the amazingly smart and talented, Godly young man that he was. May God use this situation to bring about much greater things. 

It is so sad to know that this precious boy was hurting so bad somewhere inside of him that he felt the need to take his own life. It is hard to process how someone so young can feel that way. Yet we see it happen in our world all the time. It is just hard to see it happen to someone you know, to a family you know well. While words fail more often than not I simply pray that God is with everyone and that He provides to each individual what they need to get through this situation.


To read more about their family and to read more about Gabe and his other siblings' adoption stories you can head on over to their family blog, The Coleman Crowd. Please continue to join me in prayer for this family in the days ahead.

An Obligatory Post

03 August 2015


 
Well hello!! 
It feels like it has been forever since I have been able to post on here. Things have just been crazy busy lately and it has been one thing after another. It's been a great summer but so much has happened!!

I will write a big post or two this week about things that have been going on lately but I just wanted to pop on in and say that I haven't forgotten about this space!! I am looking forward to posting some new content in the coming weeks and months! Things that have happened lately have just demanded my time and attention so unfortunately this space has been put on the back burner. However, I am ready to get back here and get things going again!

Keep your eyes on the lookout for some new posts later this week!!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

A Bittersweet Summer

09 July 2015


Summer. 

A season that is known for all the awesome, fun, good things that happen. Summer is a sweet season, a sweet stretch of time in their lives every year. It is usually filled with family vacations, fishing/camping/boating trips, late nights making s'mores and telling stories around a campfire, lighting fireworks and celebrating independence, and so much more. Summer is known for many, many sweet memories.

I could list of a lot of sweet memories from summers past as well as several from this summer. Stories filled with laughter and joy. They are sweet glimpses into my past, into my life. They are a time to reminisce and look back at how things used to be. They are a chance to remember people who used to be in my life and share a smile or laugh with those who are still in my life. They are full of so much joy, so much good.

I had hoped that this summer would be filled and overflowing with its own fair share of sweet memories and stories. Yet as I find myself her in this moment I feel as though the memories are few. We are already almost halfway through July and we are just passed the halfway mark of summer. The days and weeks are flying by fast. Life is in full swing.

And here I am curled up on a couch under a blanket at 12:30am. I am processing the summer so far and all that has taken place. There has been some good. There has been some bad. Yet I find myself feeling like the bad has outweighed the good. I haven't written much in this space because of that. I am not entirely sure what I am feeling and for someone who finds comfort in writing the words just haven't been coming. My mind goes blank and any ideas for a post disappear.

I desperately crave the sweetness of life that is associated with summertime. I want more of it in my life. But it seems to be being taken over by the bitter. From a situation that one of my sisters is in that I can't condone and am struggling to come to terms with to a possible relationship that is challenging my thoughts on relationships as a whole to the tension and pressure being turned towards Christians due to issues such as Jenner and the Supreme Court. I could list off more but I think it is easy to see where I am coming from. The bitter seems so overwhelming.

And yet there are those sweet moments that counteract the bitter. Good days with my kids at work, watching fireworks with "family" that has welcomed me in, good conversations with friends, brunch with former roommates, and so much more. They are the small but highly impactful moments that aren't caught on camera or generally talked about beyond a brief mention. Yet they change the tone of life. They take what was bitter and make it taste better. 

It is often these contrasting moments where I find God teaching me the most. Reminding me of things that I know but can find hard to put into practice. This summer has proven to be a great reminder of what love, grace, and mercy look like. So many moments and situations have given me the opportunity to be an example of these things and to lavish them on others. Even in the difficult situations I have been learning of just how important they are and how much of an impact they can have. 

So while there are days and nights where it seems like the bitter is overtaking, there are indeed many, many sweet moments and situations that counteract the bitter. This results in a 'bittersweet' summer. A summer of lessons to be learned, new memories to be made, and healing to take place. A summer for so much more than the typical summer activities and memories. A summer that I will look back on for the impact it has on my life.

I am learning to embrace the bitter moments for the lessons they provide and be open to realizing just how sweet the small moments are. The days and weeks left are short but I can't wait to see what they hold.

Sincerely,
Shelbi

We Are Called To Love

06 June 2015

This is not the post that I originally planned on writing or posting but I couldn't help myself. If you have been on social media yesterday or today then you likely know about the current top trending issue is. The articles and pictures are endless and keep popping up on my news feed throughout the day. If you aren't aware of this particular issue is then let me enlighten you....

Bruce Jenner.

Or as he is referring to himself and asking of others to do the same, Caitlyn.

**I haven't read the article the link this pic goes to, just forewarning**


By now you have more than likely seen the Vanity Fair cover all over Facebook (if not, a headshot is above) alongside numerous videos of interviews that Jenner has done recently. It is also likely that you have read an article or two about the issue, positive or negative. Or maybe you have been avoiding any contact with this issue whatsoever. In this day and age news travels fast, especially controversial news. And the story of Jenner is just that.

I must admit that the first day I saw the Vanity Fair cover plastered all over my Facebook I quickly scrolled past and I didn't read a single article. I didn't want to be drawn into keeping tabs on a story like this. But the next morning I reminded myself that avoiding issues like this one doesn't help at all. It actually is more likely to do more damage than good. Yet as I began to read articles and skim through comments on Facebook I found myself faced with a dilemma. Share my stance on the subject and deal with the backlash or stay on the sidelines making no 'noise' and be labeled as the ignorant Christian. By reading the articles I was allowing myself to learn more about the situation, what lead to what is going on now, and how it is being handled in various circles.

I have seen a lot of acceptance of Jenner's lifestyle choices and people talking about him being a hero and how he is paving the way for the transgender community. I have also seen a lot of hatred being shared in regards to Jenner's choices and people talking about how disgusting it is and so on, most of which is coming from the Christian community.

Christians' responses to this issue make me sad. For people who claim to want to share God's love with everyone they come in contact with we sure seem to have a lot of exclusions. I don't get it though. God didn't command us to love only those who look like us or act like us. God also didn't tell us that we are free to judge those who aren't following His path. In fact it is quite the opposite and we can see that in Scripture...

'Love your neighbor as yourself.' -Matthew 22:39b
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?" -James 4:12
Now these verses, although not the only ones I could have chosen, share a common word. Neighbor. This isn't referring only to your friends in the dorm room next to you, the people across the hall in your apartment complex, or the family in the townhouse next door. In biblical contexts the word neighbor, when used in these general contexts, refers to every man not just the person living near you.

As a Christian myself I believe that God is the Creator and Sustainer of creation, of the universe, and is therefore the One True Judge. One day we will all have to come before the Father and He will handle the matters of judgement. This judgement is not something that we are given license to dole out as we see fit here on earth. As Christians we have been told that we are not to judge because we will be judged in the same way that we judge others. So taking that into consideration....imagine that we were all judged by how we are currently judging Jenner and his choices. It wouldn't be very pretty for a lot of us. It would be pretty harsh. While we are on this earth we are called to love. Now this in no means is equal to total acceptance of what everyone else is doing and the choices they make. We don't have to agree with someone's life choices in order to love them like Christ loves us. We aren't told to accept and agree with what everyone does because that is contrary to the very way we are supposed to live as Christians. However that doesn't give us free range to judge and hate on those who do things that we don't agree with. God is the only judge, not us. We are called to love.

Like the verse states, "love your neighbor as yourself." A seemingly simple concept that we unfortunately mess up a lot. I have seen a lot of unloving comments and articles dealing with Jenner. Comments and articles that hurt to read. Now I do not agree with Jenner's lifestyle choices at all but I do believe that he deserves to be shown love regardless. Despite his life choices God did create him and God loves him. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it hurts God to see the way Jenner is choosing to live his life but I also have no doubt in my mind that God still wants us to show him love. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jenner is our neighbor. Where and how is love being shown to him? How are we showing him the love of Christ in our responses?

Jenner desperately needs to be shown the love of God and yet it saddens me to see how little seems to be being shown. This does not mean that we agree with his choices but that we show love for who him as a person, as a human being. Everyone deserves that...even Jenner.

Now you may not agree with me at all and that is totally okay! I didn't sit down and write this in an attempt to win you over to my point of view but rather to share my point of view on how we should be responding to the issue. If you disagree with me I would love to talk with you more and see where you are coming from! Go ahead and shoot me an email!

Before I go though I want to leave you with a couple thoughts...

1. PRAY. Pray for Jenner and his family. Pray for those who have written articles and done interviews. Pray for those posting and commenting on Facebook and other social media platforms. Pray for yourself as you think through this issue and figure out where you stand if you don't know already. Pray before you write a post, comment or talk with others about it. Pray that God shows you a healthy, positive way to respond and discuss this subject and everything connected with it.

2. SHOW LOVE. While you may or may not agree with Jenner's choices, remember that he still deserves to be shown love regardless. And remember that there are others who are dealing with similar situations who need to be shown this love as well. Whether you know someone dealing with the issue personally or have friends who have friends dealing with it, be conscious of how you are responding. They are people, human beings, God's creation....they deserve to be loved just like you and I.

I could go on but I will leave it at that. This is indeed a touchy subject right now and my intention is not to anger anyone. I just think that we as Christians need to be more aware of how we are responding in this situation (and others), myself included. Sometimes we find ourselves unintentionally following gut instinct but we have to be conscious about our actions. Our responses to this are shaping how people views Christians and Christianity in regards to this matter. What kind of an impression are we making? Are we positively breaking the stereotypes?

Sincerely,
Shelbi


I'm Back!

01 June 2015




Hey y'all!! It's been quite a while since I have been in this space and the reasons for that are many. While I want to say sorry on one hand, on another I think putting this space on the back burner for a little while was necessary. I definitely need to do some update posts soon because a lot has happened in the last month!! Some of these posts will start to pop up this week along with some others that I am working on. I hope that now that my internship paperwork has all been turned in I will be able to spend some more time in this space.

I absolutely love writing in this space and I have some things I want to try in the near future. The summer is full of possibility and I look forward to what it holds. God also has done so much and is continuing to do more than I can imagine. I am excited to share some of this with you! I also find myself looking forward to sharing some college "prep" posts with some tips for what to bring with you freshman year and some college care package ideas. So many ideas are running through my head!! :)

For now I will leave you with a thank you for sticking out in my absence recently and a welcome to anyone new my little corner of the world wide web!! Praying for you all!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

It's A Busy Season

07 April 2015



If you haven't noticed I've been a little MIA as of late. Life kinda picked up speed and consumed more of my time which meant that my plans for this space over the last month or so have been put on the back burner. I have desired to have time to be active in this space and writing posts that have been on my heart. However, my desires have not won out over the things that I have to do for school and work.

For those who are not aware, I walk in May (so in a month...CRAZY!) with my first undergrad degree in Child Development. So I have been working to try and figure out all of the details and making sure my cap and gown were ordered, some senior pics were done for grad announcements, and so on. You don't realize just how much work and money goes into graduating college until you are in the process of getting everything taken care of.

Once I have walked I will have about 20hrs left for my second undergrad degree, a Bachelor's in Christian Education. I will also finish up the last few hours of my internship for Child Dev so I will get that diploma in August. I will finish up my second degree next year which means I will graduate next May with that degree. I am also doing a crazy thing this coming fall...

I am starting graduate classes!

I'm seriously crazy y'all! The ministry department managed to talk me into it. I will be working on a Master's in Family Ministry. I am beyond done with school but I know that if I don't do it now then I will likely not want anything to do with it if I take a "break". So I'm going for it now.

I have also been trying to figure out the finances so I can pay off this semester and get things together to be able to afford next year. I am looking at the possibility of living off campus next year if possible, but that all will depend on finances.

And this summer... I don't even have a definitive plan for this summer and I have a month left before I move out of my current student housing. EEK! It's all coming to an end quickly and I can't seem to keep up.

Luckily I got to spend this past Easter weekend with my grandparents, aunt & uncle, and cousins in Ferguson. Nothing like cuddling up with triplets to help you forget about life for a couple of days.

All in all, life is pretty crazy right now so bear with me as I get through this busy spell in my life. I will be back and I will be posting when I get the chance to do so.

God Bless!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

Favorite Preschool Small Group Bible Story Activities

03 March 2015



Some of you have probably heard me mention that I lead a preschool small group during an adult small group on Wednesday nights. I prep the lessons and activities each week. Right now there are three regular preschoolers who are there. Occasionally we have the older sister of the one family there as well. In the fall I had four preschoolers, one toddler, and an infant each week. I have come to regularly accept the help of my pastor's kids when it comes to helping the kids get crafts done or keeping the baby entertained.

If you have ever worked with preschoolers you know that they need tangible activities that connect with the stories each week. We try to follow the adult small group material so that we are doing the same story as the parents. This allows parents to more easily talk with their children about the stories on their way home, when they get home, or throughout the week. Each week I try to find one or two activities that connect with our story. Today I want to share some of the ones that the kids enjoyed the most!

1. David & Goliath || David's Stones


When I was prepping for the story of David & Goliath I thought it would be fun to have some real stones for them like David's. However, since we are inside someone else's home for group and children are notorious for throwing things, I decided to make them. I got on Pinterest and was looking for something and I came across this post on BibleCraftsandActivities.com. It looked really cute and it was really fun to make. All I did was make the stones at home, cut down the paper bags I had, and print and cut out the verses. The children glued the verse on and they threaded string through for a handle. The children loved it! They were so excited to show their parents and everyone else the stones that they had that were just like David and they were talking about the story.


2. David Cuts Saul's Robe


One week we talked about David & King Saul. We talked about how David was so close to Saul while he was hiding that he was able to cut off a piece of Saul's robe without him knowing. We talked about how that must have been kind of scary but that David knew that God would protect him. After our lesson we did this craft which I found in this post on the Flame: Creative Children's Ministry blog. It was easy to prep and it was pretty easy for the kids to do themselves, which is important with one of the kids being around the three year old range. I have a ton of scrapbooking supplies and a ton of leftover scraps of printed paper which made it really easy to have a variety of papers for the kids to use. They loved doing this and talking about David & Saul and how God protected David while they were gluing the paper.

3. Paul and Silas in Prison


Another story that we did was the story of Paul & Silas in prison and how an earthquake shook them free while they were singing songs to God. I came across this idea on Pinterest, but unfortunately was unable to find any website or blog that had the details for making this. I took the idea and ran with it, adapting it to fit my supplies and such. I was able to find the image of Paul & Silas here and it is free a free PDF. I then drew the bricks using a sharpie and a ruler on the back page. I used a sharpie to draw he stones for the front page. I precut the bars for the "cell" out of black construction paper. I wrote the verse on the front page as well. I manage to find music note stickers at Dollar Tree.

I had the students glue Paul & Silas down and stick the music note stickers around them. Then we glued the bars on the back of our front page. We then only glued our front page down on the left side of the paper so that they could lift the front page and set them free from jail. You could also tape the pages together which might make it easier for the pages to stay together with the constant opening and closing. The kids absolutely love this one!

***If you happen to know where this idea came from please let me know! I would really love to give credit to whoever came up with it! :)

4. Jonah & the Whale


By far everyone's favorite story was the story of Jonah & the Whale. The kids had all heard the story before, so we quickly retold it and we talked about how Jonah disobeyed God in the beginning but ended up following God's will in the end. I came across this activity idea in this post on the Thoughts From The Hill blog.

I tweaked it a little bit just to make it easier to put together and to fit the supplies I had available. I searched and found a blank picture of a whale and I blew it up and printed it out. I had already bought the party favors (noise makers...I'm not sure what they are officially called) and was able to measure the whale against one to make sure it was covered. Once the sizing was right I printed out the whales on blue cardstock and cut them out. I also printed out the little Jonahs and cut them out ahead of time. Our whales already had eyes, so I brought crayons and markers and let them color/decorate their whales. We then taped our Jonahs to the end of the party favors. We also taped our party favors to the back of the whales using masking tape. It held up really well!! What didn't hold up was the cardboard tubing of the party favor because the kids were spitting as they were blowing so it was getting wet and soggy.

Overall it went well and the kids loved it!! They were walking around 'spitting' Jonah out until they left to go home. I actually still have mine sitting on the TV stand in my living room and my roommate's boyfriend came over the week after we made these. He was intrigued and was entertained by it for a good twenty minutes! So if it is entertaining for a 22 year old college student then you know your preschoolers should enjoy it!

Anyways, these were some of the kids favorite activities from the fall. We had some fun snacks as well and I look forward to sharing those with you as well!

Have you ever used any of these activities or similar ones in your preschool or children's ministries? Have you done any different ones that your kids loved?

Sincerely,
Shelbi

When You Don't Feel Like Worship

27 February 2015



Sometimes we love to worship our Father. We look forward to any chance we get to worship Him. We worship through all that we do and our life is focused around it. Sometimes our hearts are in it and it is true, it is genuine.

But sometimes it is just the opposite. Sometimes life weighs down on us and so much is going wrong that the last thing our hearts feel like doing is worshipping. Just the idea of doing so can feel like another source of exhaustion.

It can also feel like worship won't do anything for the situation. It can feel like it is just a band-aid for some people.

These feelings often come when we find ourselves at a point in time where numerous things are going wrong or are not working out. I have found myself in this very situation the past couple of weeks. There has just been one thing after another going wrong and nothing going right. I didn't want to talk to or interact with other people let alone worship.

I didn't realize how much I felt this until I was in chapel this past Wednesday morning. I was standing there with all of my fellow students, faculty and staff and I tried to sing the first few lines. I tried because I felt like I was supposed to or that I should. But I couldn't. I couldn't sing the lyrics. My heart wasn't in it and I didn't feel like worshipping. I kept thinking through all of the things that have been happening. It was like a movie highlight video playing in my head.

I was having a hard time worshipping at all throughout the day. I didn't really talk with anyone the rest of the day unless I had to. My heart was exhausted. I didn't feel like worship.

I heard a story from a classmate during a Children's Ministry class on Wednesday afternoon that I related to deeply. By the time I got into chapel on Thursday morning my heart was in a big of a different place. Before I knew it I was singing the songs and worshipping like I hadn't done in days.

I realized on Thursday that what I really needed in the time that I didn't feel like worshipping was just that. Worship. I needed to worship God, to spend time in His presence being reminded of who He is.

In those times when just the idea of worshipping feels exhausting. When life seems overwhelming and all of the situations are weighing on our shoulders. We may feel like the last thing we want to do, or in some cases need to do, is worship. But I think we need to.

We need to spend time worshipping and remembering who God is. We need to remember that He is the...

Provider. Comforter. Healer. Protector. Shepherd. Peace Giver. Father.

And so much more. He is so much more than we can imagine and He can bring us through the hard times. He can relieve that weight on our shoulders. Things may not change or get better right away, but He can give you a peace about what is going on. Your Heavenly Father has your best interests at heart and He cares about you deeply.

When you don't feel like worship that is likely when you need to do it most.

Find a quiet place and spend 5-10 minutes focusing on God. Talk to Him without mentioning yourself. It will seem strange at first, but it can be such a great experience. Grab a piece of paper and write down the names of God. Write a prayer to Him about Him (don't use I, me, my). Make a list of the things that He created. There is so much you can do.

So even when you don't feel like it... Worship. Worship your Father.

It's A Monday...

23 February 2015

Well it's the beginning of a new week and I am already feeling like this will be a long one. I had a post ready to go for today but decided to save it for tomorrow because I just don't have time to do finishing touches on it today.

Today hasn't started out the greatest since I wasn't able to get much sleep last night.I was tossing and turning like crazy. I have no idea what my problem was. Anyways, I woke up wishing that I didn't have to go to work until 8:30 instead of 6:30. But not long after I got there one of my boys got there and he came running at me and surprised me by hugging onto my legs with everything in him. He was so excited to see me that he couldn't even wait for me to pick him up for a real hug! He is the cutest. I love my kids!

Then I went to my hybrid class on Infant & Child Nutrition and we did a lab on healthy snacks....a.k.a. I didn't have to go get breakfast which was a plus. I was amazed at how picky my fellow students were about things like shaved coconut and blackberries. I don't see how they will get their kids or students to try things one day when they won't even eat it... Oh well, to each their own.

I had an interview this morning for a second job but I'm not sure that it is going to work out like I hoped. Pray for me if you get a chance!

Well I am off to get ready for another class and the rest of my day.

Have a wonderful Monday!
God Bless!

Shelbi

Currently Loving

21 February 2015

1. Stay With Me Dance 

I.aM.mE. Crew - Stay With Me Dance 

I couldn't get the video to embed and I couldn't find it on YouTube, so unfortunately I just had to put a link to their Facebook. I hope it works! If not let me know! I love the fluidity of their dance with this song. They are able to show so much emotion through it!



2. Good Parenting: Father Tells His Daughter How A Good Man Should Treat Her



This video is absolutely precious!! She is blessed to have a father who is teaching her early in her life how a man should treat her. Teaching her now will instill good instincts when it comes time for her to date and eventually marry. We need more dads like this who take the time to teach their daughters this. And we need fathers who teach their sons to treat women like this. Way to go to this daddy!

3. How To Find Community Right Where You Are - Joy Forney


I am absolutely loving this post about community that Joy posted! Joy's post How To Find Community Right Where You Are is such a great reminder that community doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to always be put together. Community is more often just found in being together, in sharing life. It is found in the laughs, the tears, the celebrating that happens when we are together with people who care about us and who can understand the journey we are on. Thank you Joy for this wonderful post!

4. Mike Rowe's Response to Being Called Out On His Lifestyle


I grew up watching Mike Rowe on his show Dirty Jobs and I love him and the show! So when this article came across my feed on Facebook the other day I couldn't help but read it. Someone called Rowe out about what his lifestyle is like off screen and his response is wonderful!! You can head on over HERE and check it out!!

M15 Conference || Kansas City

17 February 2015


Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the M15 Conference in Kansas City, MO. This was a four day conference for the clergy and laity in the Church of the Nazarene. In an attempt to encourage current ministry students to come to the conference they offered a reduced rate to students...FREE. That's a motivator right there! Hotel rooms and lunches were not free at the conference however and we were blessed to have our University President cover the cost the hotel rooms and lunches. So the only thing that the 50 of us ONU Ministry & Theology students had to pay for was our food while traveling and our dinners while in KC. Talk about wonderful!

So last Monday we all met in front of Ludwig Student Center (I think that's the full name...we just call it Ludwig) at 7:45am and loaded onto the charter bus. Many came bearing blankets and pillows, some came with a backpack full of homework. Others of us, myself included, brought some fun, non-school books with us to read. We spent the next seven hours on the bus driving down to KC. We were excited when we arrived and could get off of the bus!

We ran into an old professor of ours, Dr. Moore, who now works with Holiness Today


We got to KC in time to grab dinner and head to the exhibit hall for a little bit. The group I was with also managed to pick up a job within two hours of being in KC! We were walking the exhibit hall and someone from MNU asked us if would help hand out bulletins for the evening service. Of course we said yes! Our fellow students didn't question the fact that we were handing out bulletins, but our professors and university chaplain were confused as to how we managed to get a job on day one! Haha we're just eager to serve! :)  We had fun with it and had a great first night!

On our way to our secret mission! (A.K.A. Handing out bulletins)
 We ended our first night by exploring the College Basketball Hall of Fame at the College Basketball Experience and playing some 3-on-3 basketball. Such a great time with fellow ministry students!

On our second day we had two services, three workshops, and a lunch session. So we were constantly going which was totally okay with me. There was free time to wander the exhibits and talk with people, which was good for those who are looking for a job after graduation this May. After a long day in sessions we got to take a short trip to get dinner. The parents of a friend who wasn't even on the trip took a group of five of us girls out to dinner. We went to Gates BBQ in KC. Oh how I had missed KC BBQ!! It was SO good! Nothing like some burnt ends.

Just a quick snapshot before dinner
 We were so thankful to Mr. & Mrs. Steward for taking us out to dinner! It was a great time to just relax, eat good food, and enjoy our time in KC.

Wednesday was another day full of sessions and time to walk around the exhibit hall. There were some great sessions and I look forward to sharing some of them with you! While walking the exhibit hall we had to stop by our own school's Grad School booth. After being there for 15-20mins three of us had signed up for grad school. Carlos was too convincing!! Haha :) I also ran into some wonderful friends from the district I grew up in, Nebraska. So fun to see them again! I also ran into people who knew my great grandad from when he was a pastor in Nebraska. Haha gotta love the interconnectedness of the Nazarene church!

We ended our last night in KC by gathering in the hotel lobby to talk with a new friend from Florida who is going to school in Independence, MO. It was a fun evening!

Thursday morning we met in the lobby at 7:45am and once again boarded the charter bus. We were headed back to Illinois, back to the reality of school. It was such a lovely time and there were so many awesome memories made! I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go!! I am also glad to be back! :)

Here is the highlight video from the conference if you would like to watch it!

video

Monday Musings

16 February 2015


Hey everyone! I'm back from my short hiatus. It was an intentional one due to the fact that I was traveling last week for a conference. I'm getting back into the swing of things, including blogging. It's amazing what one week off does to your schedule!

The Friday before I left for my conference I had a day off from school because of Winter Break and I got to spend it with one of my favorite little guys, Elijah. He's in the picture above. His big brother was sick, dad was working on the sermon for Sunday, mom was at work, and grandma was sick, so I got to spend the afternoon playing and cuddling with him! I loved it!

The rest of the weekend was spent packing for my trip and prepping lessons and such for small groups and for other things so that everyone would be prepared before I left. A totally wonderful friend volunteered to spend her Wednesday evening teaching the preschoolers instead of being in the adult small group. I was so grateful for her doing this because I hadn't found anyone as of Sunday afternoon outside of our group. She is a blessing!

On Monday morning I got on a charter bus with 50 other Olivet ministry and theology students and two professors to head to Kansas City for the M15 Conference. This conference is all about discussing where the Nazarene church has been in the past and where we need to go in the future. There were workshops on some of the hot topics in culture which have a major impact on our ministry.There were some wonderful points made by some wonderful speakers. I hope to share them with you soon. I will post some pictures and a brief overview of the conference tomorrow.

After four days in Kansas City I came home to a Friday of work and easy classes followed by a lazy weekend. It's been a good week and a half and I am looking forward to a good week. 

Happy (be-lated) Valentine's Day!

God Bless!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

Shaped by the Story by Michael Novelli || A Review

03 February 2015



This semester I am in a class called Issues in Children's Ministry and one of the books we were asked to read right away was the book Shaped by the Story: Discover the Art of Bible Storying by Michael Novelli. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect based on how my professor was describing the book and Michael's way of teaching, but it was required reading so I dove in. I was immediately intrigued by what Michael was sharing and found myself reading this book in less than 24 hours.

Before I go into my thoughts on this book, here is what the back of the books says:

After ten years in youth ministry, Michael Novelli felt like he had tried everything to help his students connect with the Bible. Then a missionary taught him the are of Bible "storying," an imaginative way to engage in the scriptures through storytelling, creative reflection, and dialogue. When Michael tried storying, he saw his students discover meaning and identity in the biblical narrative. This approach proved to be both deeply theological and experiential. Michael has invested almost a decade in refining this Bible storying approach, and has found it effective with groups of all ages. Shaped by the Story helps you engage your group with the Bible in a new way.


Michael starts out by sharing his journey to Bible storying and it is extremely relatable. Right at the beginning he talks about the issue of doubts and questions for those of us who grew up in the church. We find ourselves being told that we shouldn't have doubts or questions if we are Christians. Michael's statement about his feelings regarding this hit me:

I was afraid I'd get kicked out if I doubted or had any questions.

How often do we find ourselves echoing this sentiment? Likely more often than we want to admit. This notion that as Christians we should have everything together and know it all is something that many of us have grown up with. And guess what? We are passing that notion on to our kids and teens. We likely aren't explicitly stating that but it is implicit. This notion shapes how they view the Bible and how they view their faith. Do our kids and teens really have a solid knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures along with a healthy dose of questions?

Michael challenges us to think about that in this book. He challenges us to change our view of Scriptures so that we can change and help to shape the view that our kids and teens have of it. The Bible is full of stories, but not stories that we cannot relate to or stories of people who didn't exist. These stories are totally relatable and most importantly they are about real people, real situations. 

Michael makes a statement about the scriptures that actually kind of surprised due to the sheer size of the number:

Most of the Bible-about 75 percent-is actually narrative, meaning it was written in the form of a story.

Wow! The Scriptures are intended to be told as stories, not as lectures. Novelli shares this throughout this book and he shares why it is so important that we understand them as such. This approach to teaching and sharing the Bible is so much more than just another curriculum or tool, but rather a way to revive people's desire to really learn about and come to better understanding of the Scriptures. Michael shares how this approach can have an impact on you, your students, and those who don't yet believe. He shares about the value of returning to this style of teaching. The incorporation of creativity in the process makes it so much more than just another lesson. It opens the doors for people to connect with the story on another level and it draws in a variety of learning styles.

One of the best parts of this book is that Michael shares some tools for diving into storying and building your own narratives to use in your ministry. He gives you the information on how to go about making questions that will help your students to really dig into the Scriptures. There is all kinds of information on how learning theories actually back up and guide this approach. Michael Novelli has done such a great job of really sharing his heart behind this and of really striving to show others how storying can be beneficial for the growth of knowledge and faith. 

The Bible story is not just a story from the past; it's a living story, one of vibrancy and dimension.

By the end of this book I was rearing to go and wanted to implement this structure in my youth group, as well as in my preschool and children's ministry. I am still working on getting it started but I am excited to see how this could have a difference. It is actually very similar to what we use for our small groups already, but I think there could be a few tweaks in how we go about it with our kids and teens. It was even more exciting when Michael Novelli came and visited our class last week! My professor asked him to come talk with us and share in more detail how to go about storying. Michael actually shared one of his story narratives with us that was from the creation story. It was so great!!

I love this book and I have already recommended it to friends. If you work with children or teens, or really anyone, then this is a great book to read and learn about a new approach to how you are teaching the Bible Story. Novelli uses real life experience and stories to draw you in and he uses practical information to support the approach which makes you see how this can be applicable for your group. 

If you have a chance to pick up this book and read it I highly suggest that you do so!! Click on the picture above for a link to the website where you can buy it!


Sincerely,
Shelbi 






Currently Loving

01 February 2015

Hey All! I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. I hope that everyone in the Midwest has stayed safe and warm in the midst of this snow that has been falling for over 24hrs now. My college cancelled classes for tomorrow a few hours ago, so I'm enjoying this evening as if it were my Saturday night. Minus the homework for my online class that we due by midnight... It's in and done over an hour early. Success! Now it's time to relax but I wanted to take a quick minute to share a video that I came across yesterday with you. If you have a couple minutes you should watch this!


Just a shout out to the awesome dads out there! Keep it up!

For everyone heading to work or school in the morning in any of this snowy weather, be cautious and drive safe. Prayers will be said tonight and tomorrow for everyone who is making the trek.

Have a wonderful night and a great Monday!
God Bless!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

This post has been linked up with the Currently Loving Linkup over at The Happy Type.

The Happy Type

My 22nd Birthday

29 January 2015

So if you read my post on Monday you probably saw my brief mention that my birthday was this past Saturday. It was my 22nd birthday. However, it didn't really feel like it was that big of a deal to me but my friends thought differently.

My mom called in to my favorite local bakery, Nana's Cakery, and my roommate picked them up. The container was filled with some of my favorite cupcakes from Nana's and some that I haven't had before. They are delicious! My favorite are the Reese's cupcakes!


My friend, Wes, also dropped some brownies off while I was gone to volleyball and they were good!

I spent the majority of the day doing some cleaning around the apartment, getting laundry done, and working through some homework. It was a fairly typical Saturday. I also spent some time whipping up some late Christmas gifts and some just because gifts.



I look forward to sharing more pictures of what I made and the completed gifts for my roommates, but I don't want to post until after we do Roomie Christmas this weekend! I did try one of these delicious items myself and it was so good!!

I ended out the day by playing volleyball with my church family and then grabbing pizza. We stopped by our favorite pizza place, Aurelio's Pizza || Bourbonnais, and we got some Chicken Bacon Alfredo. SO good!!! If you're ever in the area you should stop by! Great pizza, Great people.

So overall it was a pretty good day! I'm definitely blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

Monday Musings

26 January 2015


Hey everyone! I know this is a late post but bear with me. I totally just didn't get around to doing this post last week and today was crazy and I almost didn't do it again. But I decided to take a few minutes before heading to bed to share a little bit about my weekend.

For those who don't know, Saturday was my birthday. I turned 22 on Saturday. Yay! I'll be sharing some pictures tomorrow or Wednesday! I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, baking, working on some homework and playing volleyball. It was a fairly average Saturday with a few fun things thrown in!

Sunday was pretty average but we had a pretty good discussion at youth group. I'm learning some new things, some new techniques, that I think I might like to try with the teenagers just to see if it might help them to engage with the stories from the Bible better. It's a work in progress!!

Anyways, today was a long and slightly frustrating start to the week. However, I got to spend a couple of hours this evening hanging out with and worshiping with some awesome kids. I helped out with the Children's service during Revival tonight. Oh how I love to work with kids! I was exhausted and tired before going and I came home with a new sense of energy that helped me to get some things I needed to get done done. It just reinforced my desire to really jump in full time working with kids in ministry and other settings once I am done with school. I just love them!

Well that's all for now, folks! :) I'm headed off to bed so I can start my day early tomorrow. 

Sincerely,
Shelbi 

2015 Reading Challenge Book List

15 January 2015



Hey y'all! It's been a little while since I have been able to post. Getting into the swing of classes has kinda caught me off guard this week if I'm being honest. Extra things came up that I hadn't planned on and they cut into my blogging time, so I ended up just not writing any posts for this week. But hopefully my schedule will be a little bit more normal starting on Saturday and I can get into a regular posting schedule!

Anyways, here is the list of books that I am going to be reading for the Reading Challenge I am doing this year. I'm going to type it up real quick, but it you want to check out any more information on any of them you can check them out over on my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge List. So here it goes...



1. A Book with More Than 500 Pages // The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. A Classic Romance // Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. A Book That Became a Movie // Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

4. A Book Published This Year // A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together by Scot McKnight

5. A Book with a Number in the Title // A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

6. A Book Written by Someone Under 30 // Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes

7. A Book with Nonhuman Characters // Animal Farm by Orwell

8. A Funny Book // Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome by Robby Novak

9. A Book by a Female Author // Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kahling

10. A Mystery or Thriller // The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker

11. A Book with a One-Word Title // Divergent by Veronica Roth

12. A Book of Short Stories // Separate Journeys by Contemporary Indian Women

13. A Book Set in a Different Country // And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

14. A Nonfiction Book // Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian

15. A Popular Author’s First Book // Carrie by Stephen King

16. A Book from an Author You Love That You Haven’t Read Yet // Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist

17. A Book a Friend Recommended // Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers by Kara Powell

18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning Book // The Color Purple by Alice Walker

19. A Book Based on a True Story // Spilled Milk: Based on a True Story by K. L. Randis

20. A Book at the Bottom of Your To-Read List // The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living by Lacey Sturm

21. A Book Your Mom Loves // Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

22. A Book That Scares You // Dolly by Susan Hill

23. A Book More Than 100 Years Old // Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

24. A Book Based Entirely on Its Cover // Make It Happen by Lara Casey

25. A Book You Were Supposed to Read in School But Didn’t // Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

26. A Memoir // Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor by Katarina Rosenblatt

27. A Book You Can Finish in a Day // Hit and Run by Lurlene McDaniel

28. A Book with Two Antonyms in the Title // War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

29. A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Visit // The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy

30. A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born // Along Came A Spider by James Patterson
31. A Book with Bad Reviews // The Shadow God by Aaron Rayburn

32. A Trilogy // The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

33. A Book from Your Childhood // Nothing But Drama by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

34. A Book with a Love Triangle // Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

35. A Book Set in the Future // The Giver by Lois Lowry

36. A Book Set in High School // My Name is Chloe by Melody Carlson

37. A Book with a Color in the Title // The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land, #1) by Jill Eileen Smith

38. A Book that Made You Cry // Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
39. A Book with Magic // The Spirit Well by Stephen R. Lawhead

40. A Graphic Novel // Chosen (The Lost Books #1) by Ted Dekker

41. A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before // The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlin

42. A Book You Own But Have Never Read // All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland

43. A Book That Takes Place in Your Hometown // Spring Came On Forever by Bess Aldrich

44. A Book That Was Originally Written in a Different Language // The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

45. A Book Set During Christmas // A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

46. A Book Written by an Author with Your Same Initials // Austenland by Shannon Hale

47. A Play // The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

48. A Banned Book // The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley

49. A Book Based on or Turned Into a TV Show // The 100 by Kass Morgan

50. A Book You Started But Never Finished // The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


Yay! You made it to the end! This feels like such a long post but there really isn't any deep content or anything. If you can't tell from this list...I have a wide variety of genres that I like to read. It is an odd assortment of books but I am excited to read them all! I actually have about 8 more books from classes that I will be reading as well and a few on my shelves that didn't fit any of these categories that I will be trying to read as well!!


Have you read any of these books? Are you going to read them or are they on your 2015 reading list?

Have a wonderful evening!

Sincerely,
Shelbi

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