Wednesday, November 23, 2011


As if you haven't already seen enough Thanksgiving decorations, made enough gravy, driven enough miles to your great aunt's house, and read enough blog posts about Thanksgiving....I thought I'd let you hear about it one more time.

A couple of nights ago we had our annual Thanksgiving-eve service. Of course it was wonderful, as always. One of the speakers, who happens to be a fantastic youth leader of mine, was talking (obviously) about Thanksgiving. He began to talk about what it really means to be thankful. Not just an "I'm thankful for you" kind of deal. But what will happen if you're truly thankful. If you're thankful for your family, you won't talk badly about them behind their backs. If you're truly thankful for your job, you won't complain about it. If you're truly thankful for your salvation, you'll share it with the world, and live in a way that shows you have salvation. And so on and so forth.

This was killing me because I know I complain so often for things I should really be thankful for. And I know I take so many things for granted, and overlook them day by day. I seem to thank God for things, but I don't show my thankfulness for them in the way I live. So he was encouraging us to not only think about how thankful we are for different blessings, but to show it and live it out.

And then he also talked about some different things that he was thankful for, the biggest one being his salvation. He read Romans 5:8 because it's one of his very favorite verses. You know how people always say that no matter how many times you've read a passage of scripture you can still get something new out of it every time? Well, I don't know about you, but I've read this verse a hundred times, quoted it for all sorts of things, and thought on it a lot.

And tonight was one of those nights that I got something new out of it, after having read it over and over and over throughout my lifetime.

For those of you who may not know this verse, it says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (NASB)
First of all, He demonstrates His own love to us. He didn't just say, "I love you." He sent Christ to the cross, and I'd say that's quite the demonstration. This goes with what was said about how we often say that we're thankful for this, or thankful for that, but don't really demonstrate it. Well, I'm here to tell you that God displayed the most incredible demonstration of love that could ever be shown.

And secondly, He loved us and died for us while we were sinners. I've thought about this many, many times. But tonight something hit me that I've never thought of before. Think about someone you love. If you're married, your spouse. If I were to ask my mom, "Why do you love Dad?" she could give me a long list of reasons. If you were to ask me why I love Katelyn Murphy, I would tell you it is because she is one of the most loyal people I know, she encourages me, gives me advice, is a servant to others, loves the Lord with her whole heart, sacrifices herself for myself and everyone around her, and the list continues.

And then you ask the Lord, "Why do you love me?" and what do you think He is going to say?Because you pray? Because you read the Bible? Because you go to church? Well, that couldn't be it...just think about the thousands of times we fail Him each day that are so much bigger than the good things we do.

What about before you did any of these things? Why did He love you when you didn't even care about Him?

What about before you were born? Why did He love you then, when He knew you would sin against Him and reject Him?

While I have a huge list of reasons why I should love my best friends, He has no absolutely no reason to love us. We have done nothing to deserve it.

Why has He ever loved you and why has He ever loved me?

I don't know. The only thing I can come up with, is that it is because God is love. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." 1 John 4:8 (KJV).

I don't get it. It's so far beyond my comprehension. It's just one of those things for which I am thankful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

a weekend in chapel hill.

This weekend I went to Chapel Hill to visit my brother Joe. Needless to say, it was awesome. UNC never lets me down.

He wrote on my wall on Facebook and told me that his friend's sister was coming to visit and is also my age, and also wants to go to UNC. And he thought we should be bffs. So, I came. And it was so great.

Friday night we all watched the Carolina basketball game. Which was fantastic. Not because it was on an aircraft carrier. Not because Barack and Michelle Obama were there. And not just because they won. But because it means basketball season has arrived, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Then we went back to Jordan's room at about 1 to go sleep, but then talked till 3 about things like homeschooling, and the ridiculousness of curse words. And Chelsea, Jordan's roommate, gave me her iPod. Yeah...crazy, I know. I was telling them about how some kid had recently stolen my iPod and this girl that I had known for no more than an hour gave me her iPod. Boy, she's so sweet.

Saturday we slept till 11 (except Lauren...who, uh, woke up at 8...she doesn't like to sleep during the day) then went to McAlister's for lunch. So delicious. After that, the first round game of the NCAA women's soccer tournament. For those who don't know: Joseph Shelley is in love with the women's soccer team. And he knows all their names. And calls them all by their first names.

Then we went to student stores, the old well, Yopo for frozen yogurt, the dining hall for dinner (which was surprisingly good for cafeteria food), the Achordants a capella concert (which was horrible...nothing compared to Psalm 100), Yopo again, and back to the boys' super suite.

Sunday I went to church with Joe at Western Wake which was really good, and then to lunch at Qdoba.

And that was our weekend. I'm sure no one cares about anything that I have said in the previous paragraphs. But I want to be able to remember it.

Unfortunately, the only pictures we took the whole weekend were a few pictures at the old well. But here they are:

This is Lauren. Future roommates? Maybe. We are dying to go to UNC. She wants to do special ed. I want to do either elementary or special ed. Oh and we've both dropped our phones in the toilet (more on that later).

My fantastic brother, Joseph.

Joe and Jordan.

Lauren and Jordan. So cute!

Also...about the phone. I dropped it in the toilet at school Thursday. After I used the toilet. And before I had flushed the toilet. Disgusting, I know. I put it in rice for 3 and a half days and when I took it out it worked! No worries...I sanitized it.

So thanks to Joseph, Jordan, and Lauren for amazing weekend in Chapel Hill. It was unforgettable. And I'll be back soon!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

my wedding...planned out. almost.

Lately, while looking at Pinterest, I've realized that my wedding is pretty much planned out. I mean...I have like three hundred good ideas on Pinterest that I want to incorporate into my wedding. Now I just have to narrow them down. But other than that, it seems like I've got things ready to go. But the time I get around to getting married, I'll probably have changed my mind on a lot of stuff.

Katelyn Murphy. Rachel Langston. Hope Shelley. Grace Shelley. Meredith Andrews. Sarah Bertrand. Ashley Shelley. Danielle Shelley.

Flower Girls?
Arabella Shelley. Kennedy Shelley. Savannah Shelley. Caitlin Shelley.

Ring Bearer?
Harvey Shelley. (my nephew, not my grandfather.)

Quite possibly yellow.


Photo Booth?

Chickfila? :)

Keeping with traditions?
Definitely no seeing each other before the wedding, but I'm a fan of the on-opposite-sides-of-the-door idea.
And who cares which side you sit just always ends up confusing the ushers.

I'm in love with this cake that has the wedding vows written around the entire thing.
And also, this one with the cool flowers.

No assigned seating....that just seems ridiculous to me.

Save the dates?
For sure doing save the dates. I've seen so many cool ones. Check out my pinterest board...I've pinned like 15 different ones.

I know nothing about flowers. I really don't care. Something pretty...and fairly cheap. But real. I can't do fake flowers.

Well, I'd like it at church but uh...the carpet has got to go. I refuse to get married in a room with carpet of that color. But definitely indoor. The whole let's-plan-for-outdoor-and-hope-it-doesn't-rain deal just seems too stressful.

Now I realize this isn't all of the details of a wedding. Just thought I'd clarify that so Ashley wouldn't have to comment telling me to go read all of her wedding advice posts. But I've got a start. Oh and one more thing...

The groom?
I'm still working on that one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

more pins. i'm lamee.

So this blog is pretty much going way down hill. It has been going down hill ever since I came back to America. Cause uh...let's face it..America isn't all that great.

No, it really is. It's just not as interesting as China. or Harvey.

So yeah. I pretty much have nothing to blog about anymore. My week really isn't all that exciting. I love it, but uh...let's be honest. No one else cares what play we learned in basketball practice. Or that tonight in one of my students' piano lessons, I taught her how to know left from right (I pretty much feel like a hero).

So since I have nothing to talk about I'll show you some more of my favorite pins.

Every anniversary, take a picture of you holding a picture of the anniversary before. Once you get to'd look sooo cool.


This needs no words.

Literally, a bucket list. Why have I not thought of this?


Good words to live by.

So cute.

Such a cool tattoo. I will never get a tattoo. But this is cool.

This is such a genius idea.

Ok that's all. I hope you enjoyed my pins. And if you didn't...well..sorry. Feel free to stop reading now.