Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Psalm for the soul

"The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths." Psalm 135:6
What a beautiful verse to reflect on! The LORD does whatever please HIM, sometimes I want Him to do what I think would please me! This morning as I read this verse I was struck with God's Sovereign plan for my little life. Yes, again it goes back to surrender. If we believe God's Word is true (dear friends I hope you do) then we can see that the LORD is going to do what He pleases so we would do well to spend less time worrying and more time surrendering.
Some of you might know that my dear husband and I would greatly desire for our family to be larger than a family of two. In fact, I have said for several years that I would be excited to be the mom of a dozen children, or really however many God would desire us to have. I feel that He opens and closes the womb and therefore He know the number of children we will have. Well, you might have guessed from my lack of photos of children that we don't have any. Yes, Brandon and I have not conceived any children in our 3.5 years of marriage. Over the months and now years of longing to become pregnant I have gone through many phases of doubt and questioning. After all, I have wanted to be a mom since... well I think I pretended to be pregnant as a toddler, so I have always wanted to be a mom. Anyway, we did some preliminary tests at an infertility DR. a couple of months ago and everything came back fine. On Tuesday I had an HSG dye test (this is a very very painful test which is presently still causing cramps) and it showed that one of my fallopian tubes is totally blocked. Part of me wants to cry out WHY ME?? However, God does what pleases HIM so instead, my response is (hopefully) Blessed Be Your Name Lord!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Refections from the Word today

Psalm 119:133 "Direct my footsteps according to your Word; let no sin rule over me."
Oh that I could be totally directed by God's Word. Today as I was walking I stepped in wet cement water (the stuff that runs into the gutter when new cement is laid and is sort of cement). The sidewalk was blocked off due to the actual cement drying so naturally I walking in the gutter to avoid the wet stuff. I quickly realized how easily I direct my steps according to convenience each day. No, God's Word doesn't tell me which side of the street to walk on to avoid a wet shoe, but it guides my steps perfectly so I will be prepared for the figurative "cement water" of sin that tries to pop into my life when I am enjoying a stroll!

Galatians 3:3-4 "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing-if it was really for nothing?"
OK, first thought every time I read this passage is... conviction. Yes, there is always something in life I am clinging to tightly to. Right now as Brandon and I struggle through the ups and downs of longing for a baby there are temptations around every corner to "attain our goal" for ourselves. What a wonderful reminder God's Word gives to continue walking in the Spirit!!
May we all continue in the Spirit today!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Becoming a Mrs.

I am so thankful for my husband and best friend, Brandon. I am thankful for the perfect way that God brought him into my life, and for the ways God uses him to grow and refine me! Since everyone (OK, most women) enjoys a good love story, I thought I would tell ours in one of my first posts! This is not just a story of two, but three, as God authored it, directed it, and is at the center of it. Even as I share the ways He worked I know this story is not complete. I am sure there are so many things that He did that I was totally unaware of and may not know this side of heaven... anyway... here is the story of Shelly becoming a Mrs!

Spring semester of my senior year of college I began to be extremely aware of my lack of potential husband as many of my classmates were showing up at class with rings on their left hands. Most of the time I had total trust in God to lead and direct this area, but I often reminded Him that after graduation it would be harder to meet a nice young man!
God didn't need reminding and he was working things out in His time!
I had been attending and interning at a fantastic church. We had a great Sunday morning class for college students! One Sunday after church my Pastor's wife asked me about one of the new students in our class, Brandon (he had just joined staff with Campus Crusade). I asked her which one he was :) That spring my Pastor and his wife invited me and several key leaders to their home to talk about the fall class schedule (yes Brandon was there I can see you are figuring this out) and we landed on the topic of relationships. We (the core group of about 7 students, an elder and his wife, the Sr. Pastor and his wife) actually designed a curriculum about courtship that proved to be effective in many ways! (If you would like more info on this please request). Well, after a very good meeting, most of the students left, but Brandon and I remained. We hung out with our Pastor and his wife and their three little boys. A couple of weeks later we had the second fall discussion meeting and the same thing happened. Brandon and I were the last two to leave. This time was different. I really began to like this guy! I went home and cried. Then I called a friend to come help me sort things out. Marisa and I talked through specific prayer requests. This is what I recall half a decade later: that God would close and open doors and that we would walk accordingly, that God would align our hearts, that God would remove my feelings for Brandon if they were not from Him. Well, that April 27th these prayer requests were written in my prayer journal along with others. That same night in an apartment Brandon wrote about me in his prayer journal!
Fast Forward through summer as Brandon spent it on the East Coast!
Fall came quickly and college group went very well. As our group wrote the curriculum on things like boundaries and expectations Brandon and I got a clear view of the others feelings on all areas of relationships. At this time we both liked each other, but neither of us knew that the other liked us so we just kept praying... and praying... and praying... and WAITING! I knew I was not going to make a move, but at times I was begging God to take the feelings away as my feelings for Brandon kept growing. Brandon wanted the same things as me in life. He had/has a deep heart for the LORD, for Scripture, for spending time alone with God each day, for discipline, for discipleship and evangelism, for children. Yeah, he was/is amazing! Anyway, I couldn't understand why God was keeping him around.
After Christmas, I noticed that Brandon and I were talking more for longer periods of time. I always had to stay and clean up after the college lunches (well of course I would since it was my job:)) and Brandon would stay and help and we would talk. We talked a lot after church.
Then, on February 3rd 2004 I got a phone call from Brandon asking me a couple of unimportant things. I thought it was strange... Then on February 4th I got another phone call from Brandon (it wasn't that he totally chickened out the night before, I did have a friend over) saying that he wanted to get together that night to talk about our relationship." I said OK, but was nervous all day. Actually, as I sit here and type this I feel nervous right now! I thought Brandon was going to say that he could tell I liked him and that he didn't like me and could I leave him alone. This was NOT the case. We met at the food court of the local mall at 7:00. After some very brief chat I asked what we were there for. This is (to the best of my memory) what came out of Brandon's mouth, "Well, I wanted to talk to you about beginning a relationship which could eventually lead to marriage." My heart leaped out of my body, I can't believe I didn't faint! Brandon then proceeded to tell me that he had liked me and that he had been praying (yes for the same date 9.5 months ago) and that he saw the time was now. He went to my Pastor and his wife to ask their guidance a few days before, and then he asked me what I thought about it. I then told him the things I have written above and that was the start of our courtship, which did eventually lead to marriage only 10.5 months later on December 18th 2004.
Within minutes of the DTR (define the relationship) conversation we were writing out boundaries for the relationship. We had physical, emotional, spiritual, and time boundaries. We updated them each month and gave them to our accountability groups and the Pastor and his wife, as well as our roommates. We NEVER (To God be the Glory) were tempted to stumble in any of the areas and on December 18th we shared our first kiss after the wedding! We were so blessed by the college group relationship series, as we already knew how the other felt about most areas of relationships. By staying far from temptation God really blessed our courtship and allowed us to really get to know all the parts of the other person in a healthy and honoring way. Yes, we still have copies of the boundary sheets and I share them with teen girls in my life. I thank God so frequently for writing our love story, and now I am thankful that He blessed me with the opportunity to share it with each reader. From time to time I may share other stories, like the proposal or others, but this gives you a glimpse at God's perfect timing. I tired to put the photos at the end, but I am still new at this. They are our first photo together, our engagement photo, and a photo from our wedding!

Monday, June 9, 2008


What an interesting word huh? It sounds so easy to let go... though sometimes it is the hardest thing. I desire to live my life in total surrender, not just giving God 98.5%, but trusting that He can control all 100% of my life better than I can! I am new to the world of blogging, though I did get into facebook, so I can see this being exciting too. As I share with those who might read this blog my desire is to bring God Glory and trust Him in each word that flows. Father, this is your page. I surrender it to you now. May all that is posted here be an offering of praise to You! Amen