Thursday, June 28, 2012

may/june:done & july goals & picture recap.

Let's be honest. I'm the worst blogger in the history of bloggers. Except I really wouldn't even consider myself a blogger. I'm just a kid who likes to write about random things and this is the only way to do it. If I was a real blogger I'd take lots of pictures and post them and write blog posts every day and reply to comments and actually change the blog title from "Let the Aunthood Begin" to something much more relevant.

I would also write a post about my friends graduating. And then one wrapping up my 3 weeks in Memphis. And then one about my time in Apex at the GNOM Surge outreach. And then one about my week at Skyland Bible Conference. And then one about my birthday. But I won't.

Instead I'll tell you about accomplishing my May/June goals (I realize that June isn't quite over, but it's close enough). And also about my July goals.


1) Have all graduation and birthday presents for May and June bought and/or made and given away.

I did it. I bought so many presents but thankfully I kept my creativity up and (if I do say so myself) gave some pretty good presents. For example, Rachel saw the Broadway play Wicked for her birthday. So, I bought her the book off of which the play was based. I got Dane the Hunger Games soundtrack (we have a common love for the Hunger Games and it's fantastic) and also a trash can made out of trash (which I wanted to keep so badly).

2) Finish reading through the gospels.

Done. I finished a couple of days ago and didn't know what to do next. So, I just kept going. Which means that now I'm in Acts.

3) Read something.

I actually read two things. "Young Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George and "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. Both excellent books which I would suggest that you read...but the former only if you're a young woman, of course.

4) Get on a daily prayer schedule.

So glad I did this. I strongly encourage you to do this if you don't already have some sort of daily prayer life. It makes it so much easier to remember what to pray for and make sure I don't forget things. I love doing this after my devotions. It's so much better than having my prayer time in the car (which I used to do because my radio was broken so I had nothing else to do).

5) Run. Once.

Complete. And I only ran once. But at least I did it. Thanks, Bethany, for making me.

6) Memorize something.

Yessir. Matthew 5:1-16. The beatitudes and the whole "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" thing. If you see me sometime make me quote it to you, just to make sure that I don't forget it.

7) Go out of my way to speak to those who I normally don't speak to.

Eh. I'd say I did this a little bit, but I definitely could have done better. Unfortunately I completely forgot about this one until a week or two ago. But I still had time to improve and I'm not sure that I did as well as I could have. I'll have to keep working on this one.

Alright, moving on to July. This is pretty much just so that I'll make myself do these things, so no pressure to continue reading unless you're extremely bored. I'll make this shorter than last month's goal blog, for those of you who are extremely bored.

1) Finish 2 books.

2) Memorize something else. Bethany suggests Psalm 1.

3) Send 5 cards to people. Getting mail is one of my favorite things. A couple of times I have sent cards to people from church who are sick and what not. And they always seem so appreciative. It's an easy way to make someone's day a little brighter.

4) Do something to my poor room. I love my room. But there is literally over 100 pictures in my room. And I'm not even exaggerating. If you haven't been in my room let me tell you about it. When you walk in, straight across the room is (or was) a picture frame with about 15 pictures. Then if you look to the right there is a desk with 3 frames and a whole bunch of other junk on it. Then beside the bed is a dresser with 6 pictures. Then you look at the walls and there is a trail of pictures that makes a complete circle around my entire room. I love pictures, I really do (clearly). But it's a little overwhelming and I'm afraid that when people walk in my room they have a small panic attack inside. Something needs to change. Also, I need to print pictures and switch some of them out. They're getting old.

I feel like there's some other things that I should add to this list but right now I can't think of anything. They'll have to come later. For now I'll leave you with a bunch of pictures of the things that I mentioned at the beginning of this post that each deserve their own posts but will not get them.

Katelyn, Dane, Jesse. 3 of my favorite graduates. 

Esther, Katelyn, Granma, Beka. At the boys' graduation party.

Rachel and Dolly. Classic photobomb at the Surge outreach.

Rachel and the Wards. White water rafting in Tennessee.

Leah and DP. Bowling with the teens at Skyland.
The padres.

Intense games at teen devotions.

Jesse, Daniel, Sarah, Katelyn, Nick, Tyler, Michael. Playground time for my birthday at the park.

Jesse. Beach music in downtown Greensboro.
Taylor and Katelyn.

Friday, June 8, 2012

zoos, ducks, forgiveness, and expectations.

I like Memphis. A couple of days ago we went to the Memphis zoo which was great. In my opinion, so much better than the Asheboro zoo. Let me tell you why (not that you care to know my opinion on zoos). If you have ever been to the Asheboro zoo you know that by the end of the day you feel like you've walked a marathon. To get from one animal to the next it seems like a half of a mile. I don't suggest taking your children unless they are either in a stroller or older than me. Because if they can walk and they're not adults, they're going to complain about it. Believe me...I went to the zoo this spring and I complained. If you do decide to take children who are in the walking stage of life, put on comfortable shoes. You're welcome for that tidbit of advice. Now, the reason that everything is so spread out is because the animals have very large enclosures. Which is great for the animals. But then again, the zoo is for humans to observe animals that are trapped in small places and can't be free to roam around and absolutely hate their lives.

So the animals' enclosures are massive which not only means a lot of walking time but also that the animals tend to wander off and you can barely see them. However, at the Memphis zoo the animals are trapped in small spaces which means they are very close together (little walking distance) and also the animals are right up close to you. This is sad for the animals, but happy for me. Also, they have 2 of the only 10 pandas that are in the United States. China owns all the pandas in the world and "loans" them to zoos. I hear that China charges $900,000 a year for one panda. The lady at the panda exhibit said that they had to build a $13 million enclosure for the pandas before they could even be approved to get them. I'm sorry but that seems insane.

Now that you know everything you need to know (and more) about the Memphis zoo and the Asheboro zoo, I will move on.

This morning we went to the famous Peabody hotel to see the equally famous Peabody ducks. They live on the roof and every morning they get on the elevator and walk into the lobby and get into a fountain where they swim all day and then get back out in the evening and walk back into the elevator and up to the roof. It's pretty impressive.

(I didn't take this picture. I found it on Google images. Much easier.)

To move to a more serious note, I read some cool things in my devotions tonight that I thought I should share. Not because I think you need to hear some great wisdom from me, but because it was just so cool.

Tonight I was talking on the phone with a friend and discussing some other friends that had wronged us and others multiple times and it was sort of a bad situation. I was really frustrated and told my friend how I had forgiven these people in my heart but how it was hard to forgive them in my mind. I had decided to forgive them and I knew that holding a grudge was not the right thing to do. But when I thought about their actions I was still angry.  And then I came back inside, began my devotions, and opened up to Luke chapter 17. Verses 2 and 3 read: "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." And if that's not a sign from God, I don't know what is. No matter how many times anyone wrongs me, it's my job to forgive them. Not an easy thing to do at all.

Then I continued to read. I got to verses 5 through 10 and was struck by those too. You may go read them for yourself, but Jesus is telling His disciples how God expects us to work diligently for Him and to do much for the advancement of His kingdom. If we give someone a tract or mention Jesus in conversation He isn't going to give us a pat on the back and thank us for doing so much for Him. There's no reason for celebration or thanks. It's just our duty. It's what we're supposed to do.

If you leave work at the end of the day and you've done all of the tasks you were supposed to do your boss probably doesn't thank you. You haven't done anything special. You just did what you were expected to do. We are expected to show love to the poor. We are expected to be patient with our brothers and sisters. We are expected to respect and obey our parents. We are expected to have self-control. We are expected to submit to those in authority over us. We are expected to be a friend to the hurting and a comforter to the mourning. We are expected to be shining lights to the lost of this world. All of these things are our duties. I think that often when we do something for the Lord we are proud of ourselves. We think, "Man, I just really did a great job today. I gave that homeless man a few dollars and told him that God loves him. God must just be so happy that He has me as one of His children." But there's no need for this. God has commanded us to do all of these things and not one of them deserves extra credit points.

I could go on about the great things I read tonight, but I won't. I'm sure you are fully capable of reading the Bible on your own. And I encourage you to do so. You won't regret it.

3 more days till I say goodbye to these people (plus a few more)


and say hello to these people (plus a few more).


Sunday, June 3, 2012

things you'll never hear a shelley say.

Today we were driving down the road when Josh said, "Oh there's a dumpy bike place. I should go there."

The other day we were playing a game and each person has to make up a category for it. After we finished playing someone mentioned that one of the categories should have been "things you'll never hear a Shelley say". Josh's statement reminded me of that. Who else picks where they should shop because it's dumpy?

So I decided to make a short list. If you don't know the Shelley family, you're about to. Here's a few things you'll never hear a Shelley say:

"Throw away the plastic cups...and anything disposable."

"That's too cheap."

"I think I might be sick so I'm going to the doctor."

"I don't feel very well so I think I'm going to skip church."

"I have the flu so I think I'm going to skip church."

"Let's stop singing."

"I don't want seconds."

"I hate college basketball."

"Don't drink out of my cup or eat off of my plate."

"Bummer, the basketball game is on during lunch...guess we can't watch it."

"I don't like hymns."

"I'm not going to ask you details about your love life because that's too personal."