Saturday, December 13, 2008

Help


So I have just recently moved to L.A., Santa Monica exactly and I am completely in love. I knew I was before I moved out here but I thought I wouldn't be able too for a loooong time. I am here because of my sister and let me tell you she's been the biggest blessing once again in my entire life. She is truly incredible in every way, shape and form. 

Sorry, sorry getting sidetracked in all the wonderful people I have been blessed with. The point of this blog is to hopefully maybe get across to some people...? In Santa Monica I maybe use my car once a week, most times less. I walk everywhere, or I go on my daily run down to the beach and it's so cool, it's like a mini New York. But with that being said, there are homeless people everywhere! I walk and there is at least one every block (there was even one that yelled at me every day and even spit on me, haha, great story). I have come to the point where I just have gotten used to it until today.  While I was walking around 3rd street promenade there was a particular man that I couldn't just pass. I stood there waiting for the light to say "walk" and I saw him and started to tear up as he ate the only food he had in his hands as if he hadn't eaten in years. The reason it killed me was because he looked so clean, so "fatherly" and just someone that got the short end of the stick. I went up to him while he was eating and asked him if I could help. I don't need to tell you "what I did" because it is not important my point is that we caught on to a very nice conversation and I realized there is sooo much more to people that live on the streets. He didn't seem crazy, drugged or smell like alcohol. I really believe he was telling me the truth when he told me his story. I sat there holding back tears thinking this Christmas I am not going to be with my family because of certain reasons and I think, what is he doing? I sit and complain about nothing when in reality I have everything! Now, what I am asking everyone and anyone that reads this blog to do is to instead of every month spending 20 bucks on yourself give it to an orphanage, feed a homeless person, or something else of that sort which is soooo easy, trust me, I know, so there are no excuses! Or even instead of spending tons of money on people this Christmas split it in half and give the other half to people that really could use it. Also, if you don't have money volunteer somewhere to play with kids with special needs or orphans, they need your love a lot more then your friends do. I don't know just a thought but I feel if everyone did that, the world could quite possibly be such a better place.

Spread the LOVE guys and give it out as freely as you give money for clothes or Starbucks. Open your heart this Christmas and give just a little. It's the best gift you can give to someone and yourself.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Changes

There has been a lot going on these past few weeks, but with the election finally over I feel I can finally rest. It was my first year being able to vote so I was excited. I am happy to say we officially made history November 4th, 2008, electing our first African American  president, Barack Obama. I don't necessarily agree with his beliefs but I respect him and think our Country has come so far, I pray he will take us to a whole new level. I am very, very proud to say I am an American and always have been. One thing I have to admit is I did vote for McCain and was sad to hear he admitted his defeat to Obama before all the polls came in. I listened to both Obamas and McCains speech and was extremely pleased with them. I thought McCain handled the defeat wonderfully and respected Obama as our new president, which is what he should have done. Now, Obamas speech just verified how amazing of a speaker he is and how America is ready for change. Considering CHANGE is what he has stood for all along. Seeing his family mixed with Biden's family on the stage after his speech gave me the chills. I am rooting for our Nation and the change that has been promised, although with him being our first African American president is change enough for me to be satisfied. 

P.s. You have to admit he is handsome too.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Counting my blessings!

My Jordan team...
First the girls: Rox, Amanda, Steph and I all snuggly under the blanket at the Grimes. (Kelsey and Tierney couldn't make it =( ).
The boys: Aaron and Jacob wanted to snuggle too. (Ryan couldn't be there either).

Guy had his recliner! (The man responsible for teaching the boys to be men!)
At work with Randi a long time ago but it brings back great memories!
Randi and her "real" daughter Belle, they are so BEAUTIFUL!

Earlier today at work as I was standing by the door I realized just how breathtaking the sunshine really is. I stood there in awe for a few minutes and realized waking up early is a beautiful thing. As I went about my day I got a text message from my "mom" Randi (one of the most influential ladies in my life) saying, "Hey I just wanted to tell you that I love you :) something about the sun reminded me of you :) love you and be wise." I read that and almost was in tears because just a few minutes prior I was thinking about the sun and its beauty. The fact that someone looks at the sun and can think of me makes me realize that it is all Gods doing, it has got to be Him. I am an ugly person, so desperately ugly that in no way should I remind anyone of the sun, but I did and that is because Gods beauty can shine through even the ugliest of people.

  My day continued and it only got better as I went to hangout with the wonderful people I traveled to Jordan with. I got to Amanda's apt. and instantly felt the peace these people bring me. There are just certain people in my life that I can be around and in seconds I am at peace and have happiness. The drive to the Grimes was eventful, full of wonderful conversations, and flash backs of being in Jordan that are so bittersweet. Literally, anytime I am with this great group of people I forget who I am, my "identity" and I am ME, for once, truly myself, "the creep", ha ha. It's an unreal feeling when you can have friends that really are family. We all are so different but relate to each other in ways that I know it was Gods doing putting us together. The drive home was even better talking about Gods work in our lives recently and what we are thankful for. I thanked God for the strength I thought I never had in me and the ability to let go of the past. I also had a great talk with Amanda and little by little I am realizing we are more alike than I thought. Guy Grimes (like a dad to me) said at dinner tonight, does it ever feel like the trip to Jordan was almost like a dream, and all of us answered back so quickly, YES! He explained it is surreal to think about it and I couldn't agree more. I can go on and on about this amazing group of people God just plopped in my life, but I don't think anyone can ever truly know how they complete me. 

Thank you Randi for being that guide through a rough patch in my life, thank you for never giving up on me even when I wore clown shoes my first day, thank you for making up bird names with me, thank you for being with me through the laughs, tears, sweat and craziness (and there was a lot) in my life and always encouraging me to better myself and never settle (should have listened). You have brought more than joy to my life and will never know just how grateful I am for you, you are the true essence of God's beauty!
...and,
thank you to my Jordan team for giving me the most amazing 3 weeks of my life in a foreign country, thank you for being the best team leaders I could have ever asked for you taught me more than I bargained for, thank you for inspiring me to dig deeper in my spiritual walk and in all people, thank you for letting be ME, knowing all the ugly things about me and actually still loving me. 


Just counting some of my many blessings...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apologies

I have written some things on this page that have been my innermost feelings and looking back I realize I probably shouldn't have.  Seeing as I can not turn back time and start over I am going to say sorry to anyone that has read my blog and has been hurt. This especially goes out to my family. My blog is a place where I thought I could say whatever and no one would find it, I shortly figured out that was a naive way of thinking. Writing does make me feel better and relieve my stress at times, no matter how immature that sounds, it's true. I never enjoyed writing until I started this silly thing. Putting my deep personal thoughts on this blog was a bad idea in more ways then one and I did learn that the hard way. I couldn't help but be intrigued by it at first although, that is no excuse. All I can do from here is say sorry and start over. I am remorsefully sorry once again and hope we all can move past this and move on, I love you. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No need for a title....

So I haven't written lately, I have almost too much to write about. I don't really feel the need to write it all down on this though. Anyway, I have read two books in the last two weeks and have enjoyed them very much. I forgot how much I love reading. I have read everyday for the last two weeks for at least an hour each day and it's so refreshing. I enjoy it so much more then spending countless hours on the internet or watching repetitive movies or T.V. shows. Although, I do enjoy those too, books are where my imagination takes action and I can be the director in my head and act out the scenes as if it is my own movie. Call me crazy, it wouldn't be the first time I heard it but I just wanted to share that for no reason. Toodles, that's all. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The other side...

Every day it seems that I turn another page,
And it feels like the heartache fades a little more away,
I look in the mirror and I like what I see, 
Hey you didn't take that much, baby, out of me...  
Something proud and something strong, 
Fills the absence of a memory that's dead and gone...  
[Chorus] 
I do believe I'm crossing over, 
I feel that weight come off my shoulder,
I close my eyes, and I drift over To the other side... 
And lord I swear I'm crossing over, 
I found the strength to let you go, 
And the thought of you, 
is getting colder and further from my mind... 
And I think I've crossed that line- to the other side... 
Lately I find, when I'm walking through town, 
I don't have to turn away, 
I don't have to look down, 
If I should see you with somebody new, 
Well, I might get sentimental, but I'll make it through...  
Something real and something right, 
Puts the shadow of a doubt in a different light....  
[Chorus] 
I do believe I be crossing over, 
I feel that weight come off my shoulder, 
I close my eyes, and I drift closer, 
To the other side... 
And now I swear I'm crossing over, 
I found the strength to let you go,
And the thought of you, is getting colder and further from my mind... 
And I think I've crossed that line- to the other side...
Something real and something right, 
Puts the shadow of a doubt in a different light.... 
[Chorus] 
I do believe I'm crossing over, 
I feel that weight come off my shoulder,
I close my eyes, and I drift closer To the other side... 
And lord I swear I'm crossing over, 
I found the strength to let you go,
And the thought of you- is getting colder and further from my mind, 
And I think I've crossed that line- to the other side!  
I love Deana Carter she has been one of my favorite Country artist since I can remember.
I put on her C.D. because I figured I hadn't listened to her in a long time and this song was the very last one on her C.D. and I thought to myself, hmmm, yes FINALLY I am crossing over, and it feels gooooooood so good!!!!!

One more random little thing could anyone who reads this put a prayer up for Greg Laurie (the pastor at Harvest church) and his family and all of the people at Harvest that knew his son Christopher. He passed away today due to a car accident on the 91 freeway. He has a wife named Cathy a little girl and one on the way that's due in October. I can't imagine the aching in their hearts for this loss, it breaks my heart. Pray that God keeps them strong and that the devil does not get a foothold on them in this horrible tragedy, thank you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dima and Sahar...


Kelsey, Tamara, Sahar, Sarah, Dima and I with our best friend bracelets on. We all got matching bracelets before Kels and I left.

Our last day with the girls, so sad to leave!

The bracelets!!

Me, Dima and Sarah (Dima's little sister) eating at the yummiest place in Jordan called Jerusalem!

Sahar, Kels me and Dima all had the same glasses so we had to take a picture!

Us trying to take a picture downtown but we were all laughing!

Kels, Peter, Dima, Sarah, Sahar and I had to take a picture with Peter because he had our matching glasses too! We met him randomly walking downtown and he heard me talk and stopped me and asked where I was from turns out he is from D.C., pretty cool!


As most of you know I took an amazing journey to Jordan, the Middle East this past May and had the experience of a lifetime! Today I woke up and was actually down in the dumps because I missed Jordan so much and my friends out there. I got on facebook and checked my page and had two picture comments from Dima and Sahar, two girls I had met in Jordan and became very close too, I got so excited to hear from them! About two minutes passes and Dima messages me through facebook, then Sahar did and I was glowing with happiness! I was talking to both of my friends in Jordan that I had been so upset about and missing! God works in the craziest ways, He knew just hearing from them would make my heart at ease and feel at peace! I talked to them for about an hour each and let me tell you it was a great talk! I heard all about Dima's graduation party and how much fun they had, they told me how much they wished I was there and all the girls missed me sooo much, which was so nice to hear because I miss them! I went on to ask them about Islam and got to learn a little bit more about that and it's always great to learn more about other religions and cultures. I also got to bring up my faith and I found out Dima has actually read some of the Bible and has a lot of Christian friends which is amazing to know! I know I just got to keep praying that God will give me the right words to speak LOVE to them because I care for them and love them so much! I am so excited right now I could scream, haha! I know I should never doubt God and what he has planned for me or those girls. I know I will continue to doubt through out my life but it's time like these that God shows himself so clearly how can I not believe??

Monday, June 30, 2008

Think

Lately I have found myself thinking non-stop to the point where I can't sleep. My mind is so jumbled with different thoughts about people, my life, my "journey", my family, my God, and of course the thing that fills every womens head, men, or should I say boys. I keep saying why? I know what a lame question, but I ask it all the time. I have put people on this pedestal and tried to reach it myself but realize no I will never get there, not because I am not good enough, just because that's not the road God wants me to take. The road God wants me to take is definitely the road less traveled. I have kept praying and trusting God but all that keeps happening is signs showing I need to leave to help others. Although, some days I want to just have all the riches in the world I realize that it is just temporary, the Kingdom of God is eternal that's what I work and strive for everyday! Sunday morning I was having a chat with an old "friend" and we started talking about God. I brought up how my life feels level, I am not abandoning God but I feel as though I am not glorifying Him right now either. I read my Bible, I pray, but I feel empty about it. He said faith is easy Shelb, it becomes hard when you actually get tested and he said the same thing with believing in God. He said don't worry it will all come together in the end, just keep reading, keep praying God will not reign fire on you if you do something wrong, you are going to punish yourself with your conscience and feeling guilty. He said many other things that helped me but I thought it was crazy that him and I were just talking about this then I go to church and the sermon Matt Brown had was on just that. I don't know what God is trying to tell me but I definitely can feel something. I guess this all goes back to why my head is so jumbled. Nothing is really making sense, but yet I have to trust in God with it, that's what faith is all about.

One more thought, I trust people so easily and almost everyday I get let down, recently this has been the biggest dilemma in my life. I am sick of thinking people won't let me down, they often do I just need to realize people aren't perfect that is the way God made it. That doesn't mean I need to sit around and take the way I get treated or backstabbed by people that call me a great freind because honestly if I was that great of a friend things like "this" wouldn't happen, right? I have said this before I can forgive only by the grace of God but I don't know if I can ever trust again. Lying is a nasty sin that is so easy to get tangled in, I know. I just hope God can save me from the temptations I may have to lie to someone seeing the outcome in my life nothing good comes from it. Lying hurts others and yourself. One day I pray everyone will realize when you sin even against yourself or another you are hurting not only yourself and that other person but every single person that cares about you or cares about the other. It is like dropping a pebble in a pond, it ripples, and shakes up the whole pond. People can say sorry all they want and we can forgive all we want, but the word sorry is meant to be used one time not numerous times for the same situation repeating itself. The word sorry gets abused in my opinion, it's easy to say but hard to follow up on. If we would let God take that sorry and all the sin that comes with it, we wouldn't have to keep using the word sorry so much, but that seems to be the hardest thing to do. My niece and I were talking one late night around Christmas time and I was telling her about a situation and how I hated the way I felt and I can't even imagine how others were feeling about it. I found myself beggining to understand others feelings very well (I know sad being 20 years old and finally realizing others have feelings too). She said to me you got it Shelb, you understand, all you need to do is think J.O.Y. (Jesus, others and yourself). I know cheesy but coming from an 10 year old at the time I was blown away. I thought to myself wow, I am going to keep that in mind and everyday wake up thinking that. It has helped me not to be so selfish in my journey with God.

I want people to THINK that one night of satisfaction is not worth giving up an eternity with God. I want people to THINK that what is cool is not always right. I want people to THINK about others before themselves and this world would be without so much pain. I just want people to THINK...

I know God uses all pain to make Him stronger, because broken people draw near to Him. I really do understand this, pain needs to be in this world to know we are living for something much greater! I don't understand people is what I am trying to say, somethings I will never know until I am face to face with God, and oh boy I can't wait! Every day is a struggle and I am thankful because the more I get broken the more I actually become stronger in God.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I want...

...to go back to Jordan so bad, at this point I would do anything.

Note to self: My timing is off, God's timing is perfect!

Just a late night, wishful thought.

Goodnight ya'll.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My sister


Haha, and I introduce you to my sister Lisa, for those of you who don't know her, this is her and as you can see she is crack up! She is such a kid at heart but a great Mom and sister too! This was two nights before they moved I helped them pack and then we went to SUSHI and took some pretty funny pictures in her car!

Took O to the beach the day before they moved.

Olivia is BEAUTIFUL!

AHHH!! This is why I love her so much!

Driving home from the beach, stuck in traffic but her and I always have a good time singing to the Beatles or Beach boys!

She's sooo cute!

Going out to dinner, yum yum!

Here's Milla Jane, Lisa's new baby.


Lisa again I thought I'd show you a normal picture.

This is my family when they took me to Vegas, Lisa, Jodi, me and Olivia. Jodi is amazing as well!

Dining room all packed up.

Kitchen

Living room

Olivia's room was sooo cool!

Lisa's room



My sister Lisa left yesterday to Santa Monica. Even the thought of that makes me sad. I know what everyone is thinking, "it's just Santa Monica," but no, no it's much more than that. I was over at her house in Riverside everyday, my job was to watch her daughter, my best friend and niece, Olivia, and sometimes her new baby Milla and now I can't do that anymore. They are both the most loving people in the world! A lot of who I am I give full credit to both of them. Olivia is only 11 and she has taught me more about Christ then many people in my life. She is such a beautiful child of God! I am so thankful for her! I grow everyday hanging out with her and I only hope I can be as much as an example of God for her as she is for me. She is brilliant and God sure blessed her with brains and good looks too! I am probably going to drive by there old house from time to time and just sit there and think because that house holds so many memories and so much happened there that I will never forget. I will always hold those memories in that house dear to my heart. So many of them, how could I forget? I know my sister is strong and she will be perfect there and it is much more conveinent for her to be there considering her job consists of her driving to L.A. for castings almost everyday! I just am being selfish not wanting her to be there because of all the great times we have shared, and all the times I would just call because I had a bad day and she would say come over we will cheer you up! She could always cheer me up no matter how much I didn't want to be around people, I could always count on her! I guess I just wanted to show everyone how much they have given me and all I could think of was to dedicate a blog to them to show my love for them! I really do love them and like I said before God has a reason for all of this, the hard part is figuring that meaning out...

It's time to make some more good memories in Santa Monica in her new apartment, praise God for that!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Betrayal and forgiveness??

I guess betrayal pretty sums it up for me as of right now. Don't even know what to say about that. 

I thank God for giving me a heart that feels because sometimes our eyes are so blind to see the truth we don't want to believe but our heart knows better. I am literally becoming numb to all this pain that repeats itself. I learn something new everyday, good or bad, doesn't matter. Today just so happened to be a bad one. It's like something new comes out everyday... Why do I continue to be shocked by it? I should know by now. 

Oh well, no ones perfect, I know that most of all.

All I can say is your performance made me stronger now, so take a bow cause you have taken everything else!

Moving on....

I get home from Jordan and the next day my sister Lisa comes to pick me up to surprise my niece Olivia at school, I was already sad to be home because I fell in love with Jordan so much! The first thing she tells me is she's moving to Santa Monica on the 15th! I sat there in disbelief! NO, NO, NO you are not! You can't take Olivia! Well, yupp she is, she is moving and renting her awesome house out! That stinks! Moving into a one bedroom apt. with two kids will be interesting. She needs to be closer to LA for her job though I can't blame her. I just wish I could buy her the flower shop she's always wanted so she can stay here! If I could do that I would in a heartbeat! I have gotten so close to her this past year and Olivia, well she is my best friend too. I don't know what I am going to do without seeing them almost everyday. Going over there just for stupid advice on outfits and especially her asking my advice on fashion too. Going over there when I have tears rolling down my face and Lisa and O being there through it all. Them coming and joining me for brunch or dinner at the caf and acting like goofballs with me there. Lisa making me laugh because she is the most real person I have ever met! I can't explain the bond I have with them it's amazing and I don't think I could ever ask for two people that have blessed me more in my life!  They have been through everything I have been through and have been my backbone for the past year more then anyone could know. I know God is doing this for a reason. I need to grow in Him not in anyone else, even family! I am just distraught that they are leaving... It won't be the same, change is good right? I really hope it is this time...

There's a lot more other then that, I don't even want to get into it that's a whole different can of worms. 

All in all being back in America sucks!

I don't think one thing has gone right, I have had fun but that doesn't mean it's right... 

God just heal me, and help me to forgive! No person will ever amount to the grace and love you have given me, help me quit searching for that in flesh. I only want to thirst for you! You are all I need! Amen.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Home...not so "homey" anymore...


Standing at top of Mount Nebo. This is where Moses looked over the Holy land. It is beautiful you can see all of Israel.

The DEAD SEA, my fav tourist place! As you can see it doesnt look so dead does it?

About to get baptized by this grizzly bear also known as Guy Grimes. Ya the water is green and it isnt much of a river anymore (sad sad) but still an amzing experience!

As you all already know I am back home. I am living with my best friends family "the Bowers" I am very grateful for that too. The first day I got back Brit got me at the airport, and I was soooo happy to see her beautiful face! =) We got some taco bell on the way home and I got sick and continue to keep getting sick from the American food, wierd? It stinks but oh well. Hoipefully I will get over it soon. I wasn't that tired which was good because I needed to stay up until at least 9. It's crazy our flight left Amman at 2:30am, landed in Frankfurt at 8am (4 hour flight) and then got back to fly to Cali (12 hour flight) at 10am and landed in LAX at 12:30 in the afternoon, crazy eh? We all got to live Tuesday twice haha. The flight had a lot of turbulance and everyone was all freaked out, I actually was calm about it, suprising I know. So pretty much everything went great with the flight and the team all got home safely on Tuesday, May 27th at 12:30pm. I went home to Brits mom making me a welcome back dinner. It was yummy! At about 7pm I felt as if I was a zombie and headed to bed ASAP!



Now, Update on the trip and what really went down! I know it sounds like in my prior blogs all we were doing was having fun and partying, well we were having a great time but we did a lot more than that. God blessed our trip more than any of us could ever imagine! I just couldnt say that when I was in Jordan because they scan our e-mails and we could get in some deep doo-doo, crazy I know. So, now you know God, yes he is the MAN! Our first week was our tourist week because Robert was down a friend of the "M" so he wanted to knock out two birds with one stone. We saw a lot of neat things down in Jordan and I will never forget them. I am so happy I got to meet Robert he is an amazing guy! A lot of us got sick the first week. I didn't and was so happy until the second week I got super sick! I was the only one that had to actually stay in a whole day, what a bummer! I slept about 7 hours during that day until the team came home and woke me up I felt better within three days, but it was hard to get better because the smoke and dust is everywhere. The smoke and dust out there was intense so it was honestly hard not to get sick from it. Anyway, we did a lot of communication out there. We had specific groups to where we would go on campus (University of Jordan) and try and talk to people and learn about them and there language, which is Arabic and is amazing! We actually made so many freinds doing that and I know will keep in contact! The group idea didn't work out too long because Kels and I went a lot of places together, we felt we were most effective together and we were. We met many girls together and some of which already call us there best friends! I am so grateful for God putting them in our path. The crazy thing is they approached us and spoke English (just happened to be English-German majors) very well! The language barrier was a lot harder then I thought It would be. We hungout with so many different people and each one beautiful in a distinct way. We also did some feeding in poor areas (Palestinian refugees)for a couple of days. Some of which were Christian and got to share there story with us, (incredible) and others were Muslim but all were so welcoming and loving! The hospitality shown in Jordan is priceless, I can't get over it. You walk in a house and the first thing they do is serve you food or a drink of some sort, (usually tea or this crazy coffee stuff, yikes.) We visitied an orphanage too. This was my favorite day, considering I want to hopefully have an orphanage or do something of that sort some day. I love kids they were so awesome! They just wanted to be loved and played with and we showed them so much attention, they seemed to be very happy! We played some games like baby shark and the hookie pokie. They loved it! The kids kept saying anna, anna meaning me, me because they all wanted to be picked up more then the others. It was so sweet, the only downfall was I wish we could have stayed longer. It was a very clean and organized orphanage and we were all blown away by that. We all were sad to leave. Kels and I snuck upstairs to spend time with some of the older girls because the kids always get the attention. Only one girl was awake and she showed us pictures of her friends and we talked as best as we could. We left and headed off to have dinner with the "M's" out there. I loved going to there houses because it was the only place that really felt like back home, only because they are American. I loved being with there kids too they shared so many great stories and brought so much sunshine into my life being out there away from my family and friends. They all have the hospitality as the Arabs do too. We had a few lessons in Arabic, which was intense but we honestly learned a lot. I sometimes use it out here when I don't mean too and people get confused but it's just a habit now. We did so much more then I can even write, but I don't want to bore you so that was the run-down. The trip was more then I ever thought it would be and I can't wait to return to Jordan! There is so much to be done and I didn't feel comfortable leaving yet! Our whole team didn't want to leave. I know everyone says you get in a wierd phunk when you come back and it takes a while to get out of it but I don't think I will be out of it for a long-while. I LOVE JORDAN and everything about it, the people, the land, the food (MANSEF!!!), the culture, the smoke, the dust, the streets, the smell and on and on. I am in an indifferent state being back home. It just doesn't feel right. No one can understand fully what you have seen or where you have been until they experience it themselves. In the meann time I try my hardest to explain anyway, haha. It is weird everything in America now reminds me of Jordan and I want to tell everyone the story behind this or that and the inside jokes we all had out there, but there is a reason they are called inside jokes. I find myself getting very sad at random things because I miss being out there so much. I thank God for giving me this opportunity and keeping everyone safe but I know this isnt the end! I miss Jordan very much and am seeing what God has in store for me next...

God made this trip possible, God did all the work, we were just privileged enough to be his hands and feet!


Thanks again to everyone who prayed for em out there, it helped more then you know. There were times when I wanted to give up but didn't because all you guys back home! So, THANK YOU A BILLION! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! Please keep praying for me and especailly the Muslims in Jordan. I want to be sure I keep a relationship with the girls we met out there and show them the LOVE Christ has for them!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coming home...

Well well well, my journey has just about ended here in Jordan. I am very very very sad! Just thinking about leaving these beautiful people brings tears to my eyes! I can't explain how much love there is here. It's unbelievable! I have never felt so loved in my life from all the hospitality that has been shown. I wish some day it will be like that in America. I am going to miss it here more then anyone can ever know. I might hide out for a couple of days, so friends and family don't be mad, it is going to be hard for me to transition back. Especially since I don't really even want to come home. It is crazy to think when I first left and even up to about the second week here I was excited to come home but this last week has been amazing! We have been hanging out with so many Arab friends and I don't want to leave them, not in the slightest! Just today we hung out with soem awesome girls and were laughing and they took us around downtown then we went to one of the girls house and she served us tea and we shared more laughs. No one can understand what I have seen and who I have met they have to come out here for themselves and do it! I am excited to see my family and friends of course but I understand now what it is all about being here and what a difference a friendship out here can make. I hope I can really keep these beautiful people as my friends! I will and ya'll keep me accountable! Yesterday we went to Jerash, it was INCREDIBLE!!! Got lots of pics so I will post them as soon as I can. We got to go inside different caves (we weren't allowed to go in them but we were curious, haha) and see how the Romans lived and see the castles they built for the gods. It was really fun, and saw Roman theaters. I got to see 3 different ones, and some Jordanian men were playing bagpipes and drums and they played Amazing Grace and then Yankee doodle. It was so fun and all us girls started doing a Jordanian dance that we learned from friends. We were all laughing and having a blast! I really am becoming family with my team I love them so much! We are headed to citadel, a place in Jordan that is extremely high up and it looks over the city of Amman. It is gorgeous. That will be the last thing we do, then we pack up and leave. ='(

Hmmmm, well I am kind of speechless I didn't know it would feel this way. I thought I would be sad to leave but I didn't think it would go by this fast. It is a feeling I know I have to feel but I can fix it, I can come back. I will do everything I can and it is not me that is in control. I love you all so much I can not deny, and once again thank you for keeping me safe out here from you keeping me in your thoughts! I will let you all know when I am safely home. My girl Bowsa is getting me at the airport so no worries! Bye bye....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

UPDATE #2! =)

First of all, I just want to say I love you guys! All my friends that have been keeping up with me out here. It means more then you know! I am starting to get a little homesick because I have never been away from my friends or family this long. It is a good thing though! We are learning Arabic and it's going pretty good. Im excited to practice it with you when I get home, it is very very hard though! I love the people out here, it is sooo different but beautiful the way the people carry themseves! The women carry themselves in a whole lot different way then the women carry themselves in America. That has definitely been the biggest struggle for me, learning to hush up and not even look at men or they will think the wrong idea. Trust me they stare and stare and yell at you, but you have to ignore or they will be "naughty". Therehave been a couple very uncomfortable times for me and Kels because we are blonde, but luckily we have got some great guys with us. I am naturally a loud person so it is hard at times, but I know now that I can be the submissive, quiet women that I never thought I could be. It is interesting to see the culture here and how radically different it is from being home. I can't tell ya'll enough how much I love it here! I havent had major culture shock at all, I feel the same, just miss everyone that's all. I really can't go into detail about anything else. I wish I could but all I can do is share about myself really. Just know we are making MANY friends and learning each day. It is simply amazing over here, I hope one day everyone can experience it.

So, I went to Petra on Monday!!!!! Let me just say AMAZING!!! 3 mile walk in down hill and 3 mile walk out up hill, CRAZY! Luckily I was okay and wasn't to out of breath. Me and Kels rode camels!!!!!! We rode them for a good 10 minutes and took some neato pictures, my butt hurt afterwards though. It was super strange but super fun!!! There are zillions of places around Petra we saw a couple of tombs and climbed and hiked all over and went into caves and such! It was incredible to see the beautiful rock carved into a city! I can't wait to show you all the pictures! =)

Here's an update on my cleanliness. I have showered now a total of 3 times. Yippee! It is sooo dusty so everytime I shower dirt runs out of my hair, it is nasty but funny. I went a total of 3 days without shaving my legs, I KNOW CRAZY!! It was rough but I did it! Oh, and another thing our (the girls) water has been turned off for 3 days now. Haha, so it has been quite diffucult to brush our teeth, wash our face, shave my legs, haha, flush the toilet, wash our clothes and so on and so on. We have been hanging in there though, that is what it's all about. We are all being stretched and are doing great! The food once again, amazing! When I leave I know I will be very sad about leaving that.

Other then that I think everything is going great. People have been sick beyond belief on our team, and Guy had a rootcanal here in Jordan. There have been a few injuries but all in all we are handling everything moomtas (perfect in Arabic)! Well folks that's all she wrote, I am sorry once again I can't write more details about other things, but once again keep us all in your "thoughts" please we need it!!! A good note we are all getting along as a team perfectly! We have had no major conflict and all mesh so great! We all laugh and smile and work great together! =)

Alrighty dooders I am off to get lunch, it is 12:30 here which means it is 2:30am there. I love you all again!!!! SEE YOU SOON!!!! =)

9 days....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jordan

HI GUYS!!!!!! Ok first I want to say I made it safely, and jet lag wasnt too bad! I still am getting tired at random times but I am toughing it out! We had an 8 hour lay over in Germany so we got to go out and see Frankfurt for a while it was really cool! I am a quarter German so I got to see a little of my "home" haha. We got to Amman, Jordan at about 2:00am and our friend came to get us after we went through customs and all that crazy stuff it was about 3:30am and we were all soooo tired! Instantly I felt as if I was in a different country because of the language and look. It was dirty and dark feeling in the airport and people were trying to carry our bags for us and followed us out to the car and grabbed our stuff. They were trying to help but really all they want is a tip. It was a little strange and scary at first but now I am honestly used to the staring and looks. Our apt. or flat is what they call it is crazy. It is huge! Although, there is no hot water and we can't flush toilet paper down the toilet, it is pretty amazing! So do to that I have only taken one shower and am darn proud of it! Those that know me know that I can't go longer then two days with out shaving so I have been shaving with a bucket of water. Ha ha, I don't mess around! I enjoy it though. I can survive on this one-hundred percent. I think it shows how strong you can be when you don't even know it and how much we take what we have for granted, when in reality we don't need all the things we have, we just are used to being pampered. Alright, so I am going to go straight for the amazing things that have already happened on the trip! The first day we got to eat Yemen food and let me tell ya the food is excellent!!!! Later that night we got to eat Jordanian food which was even better! I love hummus and pita bread and that is everywhere in the Jordan! YUM YUM YUM!!! So I could go and on about how lovely there food is here but I think I might make you all a little jealous so we won't do that just yet ha ha. Yesterday, Saturday was our first tourist day. We are doing all the tourist stuff in the beginning of the trip for a reason. We went to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea yesterday. It honestly the most amazing day of my life! Let me tell you why, first I got baptized in the Jordan River, yes I did! I was the only one in the whole group that was allowed to go in the water and get baptized in the same place Jesus did. It was the most incredible feeling. Words can't even describe what it felt like! I made an outward expression from an inward decision and there was no better way to do it other then in the Jordan River, right? I thought so too. We toured around the place and got some awesome pictures and the team got a bunch of videos of me getting baptized too. There were different people there from all over the world coming up to me saying congratulations in different languages and shaking my hand it was neat! I was soaking wet so I couldn't go in the church at the Jordan River but I got to look inside at least and it was beautiful. After that we headed to the Dead Sea. Here are some random facts by Robert (a guy we met from Geogia) the Dead Sea is 20x saltier then the Ocean. The Dead Sea loses about an inch of its water every year and it is said that in 50 years the Dead Sea will be no longer there. Crazy hu? Robert knows just about everything about anything, trust me. We got to the Dead Sea and Kelsey, Guy and I ran in because we were so excited! It stung a little but we got right in and it's true, YOU FLOAT!!! It was sooooooooo cool! I didn't want to get out ever! Kels and I couldnt touch the floor but we were just sitting there bobbing and floating away. It is fun to play in it until you get the water in your eye, it stings horribly! Kels got in her eye and then decided to get some in mine and we were running around screaming! It was funny though. There is this special mud in the Dead Sea that is really good for your skin so Kels, Guy and I swam over there and it was under this salt rock. We put it all over our skin and face and looked black but it felt really good on our skin! Our whole team met up with us out there and we were all in the mud. It was one of the coolest experiences ever! There is so much more to say about this but you all have to wait until I get home. I have tons of pictures to show you all and I can't wait. I want to tell you all that is happening in Jordan beyond this but that will have to wait until I get home once again. Please just keep me in your "thoughts", rest assurred things are happening here! That's all I can say, I love you all and will update you soon hopefully! BOWSA thanx for my presents in my bag!!!! =) It was certainly a sweet suprise! XOXO!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

GOOOOOONE!

So it is 4am and I am writing a blog when I need to be up at about 6am to finish packing and getting ready, haha what am I doing? I am so excited to go to the Middle East. I was not for the whole moth of April, I was actually dreading it. Now I can say I am 100 percent ready and stoked for what God is going to do in my life and the lives I will come in contact with! I let other things distract me and now that that business is done and over with I feel so connected with God! It is just amazing! I am going to try and keep everyone updated on this blog as much as I can, but I can't make any promises. If anyone is interested my e-mail is shibbles123@yahoo.com, shoot me an e-mail and I will try and get back to you. I love you all and thanks to all for being so helpful and supportive through everything! I can't wait to tell ya'll about my trip when I get home. I will miss each and everyone of you!

BOWSA, don't find a new best friend I am coming back ok!!! haha I will miss you so much but when I come back, were roomies again the whole summer and we will go to chipotle everyday still!!! =-) You are the most amazing person Brit!!! I can't stress that enough! You mean everything to me, and your family has treated me as one of their own and I can't even explain how they have changed my life!

Potter, you are simply amazing I can't thank you enough for how many times you have gone to bat for me! I owe you so much, probably my life but God already has that sowwy, haha! I'll miss ya homie and be good while I am gone!

Brisco, oh brisco! I have had a long history with this one and it never gets old with her!!!! I love her to death and always have a great time when we get together! Brisk you better be ready for when I get back to get down at JOHN MAYER!!!! WHOOT WHOOT!

All the rest of you, meaning family and friends, I LOVE U GUYS SOOO MUCH! Jodi, Lisa and bowsa thank you for an awesome birthday before I left!!!! Also, thank you for your support the most, you guys have been the most supportive of everything I plan on doing in my life especially with this trip! AMAZING! Sheesh I have been blessed with amazing people! I am sooooo happy right now and I haven't been able to mean that for a long time. God has perfect timing!

BYE GUYS!!! See you in 3 weeks!!!! =)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

.Torn.

I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm
He came around like he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry
Well you couldn't be that man I adored
You don't seem to care what your heart is for
I don't know him anymore

There's nothing where he used to lie
Our conversation has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothing's fine
I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

So I guess the fortune teller's right
I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
But you crawled beneath my veins and now

I don't care 
I have no luck
I don't miss it all that much
There's just so many things that I can't touch
I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn
Torn

There's nothing where he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothing's right 
I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My story...

Cousin Ashley, step-sister Kandice, sister Chelsea, niece Mckayla, sister Savanah and me.

Me dancing with the girls while others sang karaoke, fun!!
My Granny that I have missed soooo much!!!


Step-sister Kandice, sister Savanah, niece Mckayla, step-dad Kandane =), me, sister Chelsea, step-bro Bryce.
My niece Olivia that I actually have never met and she loved me!!! Funny 'cause I already have a niece named Olivia and she has my same birthday. =) 



So I thought I would just write out  a little bit of my story, just because some stuff happened recently that I wanted to write about. 


I am tired of thinking nothing makes sense anymore. I don't think I will ever be good enough for anyone. And that mainly goes out to my parents. I will never understand them and the things they do. A simple, "I am proud of you" would do. No, never happens. I used to center my life around doing only the things that I knew would make them happy, but I couldn't be fake anymore. Now, that I am on my own and not living my life exactly how they want I am "disowned". I am doing nothing wrong with my life, I go to school, a school that is Christian based (their religion, ha) and am paying for it all on my own and live all on my own. I honestly don't make stupid decisions or put myself in bad situations where I could hurt myself, or others (well depends on your opinion, I guess). I am starting to give up hope on so many people, especially my parents, and I don't want to.  I don't want to at all, but it is so hard when the person you look up to most is always "disappointed" in you because his wife tells him to be. Or when the woman he is married to doesn't even want to be in the same place as you and makes it pretty obvious by telling my sister. Or leaves their grand-child's 11th birthday without even singing happy birthday to her because you show up and start having fun with what you are supposed to call your family, right? I just don't get it. I don't get how my own father could disown his children for her? I am the only one out of the four that actually has tried to keep a good relationship with him. I moved out of my mom’s house to live with him and Lori my junior year and my other sisters moved out of my dad’s house to my moms. I am the only one that tried to do better and go to school out of my family (well blood family, meaning out of my 4 blood sisters). For God's sake Dad be a man! Be a father! Please, the fact that I am not even allowed to call you Daddy in front of her makes me sick. So what if I am 20 and called him that when I was a kid, he is my Daddy nothing will change that! I just want him back when I was 8 and would sleep in his room with him every night when my parents were divorcing because if I didn't I wouldn't fall asleep unless he was right next to me. I get so frustrated because this is becoming a problem of mine. I don't even know how to define a real man, Godly man, because my examples are so out of whack!

 

I never told anyone really about this because I ran from this problem my junior year and forgot about it until recently. CRAZY! My mom left my dad of thirteen years of marriage being unfaithful the whole time for a man named Kandane, which was shortly soon to be my step-dad. I was only 7 when this all happened so it's kind of a blur but all I knew is I hated this man! Ha, didn't take me long to fall in love with him soon though! He became my Daddy and everything to me! I literally would fall asleep in his arms every night! He came to all my cheer comps and all my games and everything ROOTING me on! I think my real dad came to one and there were hundreds. He didn't "agree" (thought we were all backstabbing sluts is actually what he said to me) with it, therefore he didn't show any support. Which slowly but surely broke me down. So my mom had more custody of us then my dad did, I only saw my dad every weekend from Friday night to Monday morning, but the third weekends were my moms. My mom’s house was the "party house" and oh boy do I have some great memories! Haha, always people over, mainly the football boys staying the night all the time and it was just the life I lead, I was honestly one of the boys. Every night it was just non-stop fun and crazy ridiculous nights that actually I should have gotten in a lot of trouble for. Anyways, my step-dad in the middle of my freshman year was going to get baptized and starting getting really deep into God and everything was going great. One day I brought something into the open and lets just say it went over a lot worse then I expected. My step-dad hit rock bottom and began coming home drunk and cheating was going on, I figured. I only knew what I saw because my mom acted like everything was perfect. It was not at all it was hell! My mom found out what bar he was going to went to that bar saw him dancing with another women and punched her in the face, next morning cops were at our door and tried to arrest my mom. Trust me that wasn’t the first time that happened either, cops were over a few times. My sisters and I had to always take care of our mom and ourselves we were the "moms". Finally, one morning we all woke up to find out Kandane, GONE! He had left and he left in my soon to be truck a Shelby Dodge (my baby). It was the most miserable day of my life. I just remember crying and crying in my mom’s bed asking God why, and I didn't even know if God was real. For some reason all I knew is that when I talked to Him I felt better. I was only 15 when this was going on and I felt it was my fault for some stuff that came into the open that happened so long ago. One day a couple weeks later I woke up and my mom and Kandane were in the living room, I freaked out and said YOU'RE BACK!!! I was soo happy! Words can’t even explain. Him and I were inseparable. I didn't ever let go of him I was wrapped in his arms every night. He had come back to us after only a few weeks, I knew he would, I knew he couldn't leave us. Well I was wrong once again, he only lasted a week, then, he was gone again, but this time he took his stuff. I was CRUSHED! Absolutely crushed! Once again, I was hysterical in my mom’s room and asking why??? I was with him every night did he not love me? What did I do wrong? I felt blamed again. I thought to myself what a fake, what a fake, he came back to just get his stuff and then leave again! I HATE HIM! I didn't care anymore about it I numbed it out of my body and pushed it all to the back of my mind! I did that and I did it well. No one even knew at my school what was going on until my mom started dating a different guy every week and bringing him to all my comps (when I'd strictly ask her not to, for the simple reason I didn't want to have to explain what was going on because I didn’t want to deal with it). Questions and rumors went around my school for sometime, funny thing was the rumors were about my mom not even me. It was horrible. I wanted to get away sooo bad!!! The second I got a chance I did, my dad moved into a house in Riverside right next Martin Luther King high school the school I wanted to go to so badly! I left my moms house because her and I were not getting along, fighting every night to the point of us almost fist fighting. I would be throwing stuff at her and she'd be throwing stuff back I would get kicked out and wouldn't leave because I had no respect for her and instead of blaming myself it felt better blaming her. I would disrespect her because I just didn't care and knew she wouldn't do anything. She would tell me she didn’t care if I left and she never saw me again so that was when I said to her well, GOOD, ‘cause I am out Mom and went to my dads. We didn’t talk for a while after that, but shortly got our relationship back to kind of normal it never will really be normal I don’t think. Don't get me wrong there were good times, I just was a very angry kid on the inside but never ever showed it on the outside. It was just really bad. So I left, my dad got me on April 18th 2004. I remember the exact day. I started at King that next week and FORGOT all about my old life at Canyon Springs in Moreno Valley…

 

Until about a month ago when I got a call from... Kandane. Not talking to him for about 7 years and completely erasing him from my memory was probably the worst thing I could have done. I didn't pick the phone up because I didn't recognize the number it was a Texas number. He left a message and all those feelings came rushing back! Hurt, pain, blame, shame, love, abuse... everything flooded back and it was almost overwhelming, thank God my best friend Britt was with me. I explained the whole story to her and she had never even heard me talk about my step-dad or that whole other side of the family, because I literally forgot about them. I would say something about them but never thought about it or talked about it. I mean they were in my life for about 10 years. Kandane called to invite me to Granny’s house for a birthday party and that he wanted to see me and talk. I thought talk?? About what??? Haha, that's a joke. You left me it's to late buddy sorry!! I slowly calmed down and ended up going to see him and my old family that Saturday. I was so happy to see him he hadn't changed much still the big 6 foot 6 huge retired military man I knew! He was my dad! It felt so good to wrap my arms around him. It was hard at first to be normal around this side of the family I had blocked out for so long. Slowly, I became myself and I got to talk to Kandane and ask him all the questions I had been dying to ask him. Like, why he left? Was it my fault? Was their cheating going on? All my questions got answered and there were lots and lots tears and emotions! It was all good tears though, because my sisters went too and we all got to clear our chests. Overall it was an amazing day to have my dad back. It was a crappy feeling to leave though and know that was it, he was going back to Texas and I didn't know when I would ever see him again. That day was probably one of the best in my life. Even thinking about it gives me chills and tears to my eyes. In all honestly if I could say anything I would advise don't run from your problems because when they come back its 10x worse! I just can't get over how life works?! (Pictures of the day are up at the top).


 

I never really have shared my story before so that is just a very very very little bit into my life and what’s gone on. There is a whole lot more to it, crazy to even think that huh? It makes a lot more sense to why I am the way I am. The way I am with guys, my friends, school and just everyday things. I really notice how much my past affects me. I would try and run from it but it does come back full throttle. All I can say is I thank God for that though. I would be the weakest person alive if I hadn’t gone through these things. I see where I was and where I am at now and think WOW, I was really a bad person, had so much anger and hate towards people and things that I couldn’t control. I sure have got a long ways to go but I think to myself of God can really change me from the person I was to who I am now, He can change anyone. It’s crazy how it all works like I said before I never will understand it, but I know one thing there is more to life then drama, anger, hate, laughter, love, gossip and so on…..God is LIFE! I am glad I finally figured this out before it was too late. Faith is everything!



Friday, April 18, 2008

STRONGER

I am stronger then this...

stronger then what others say, stronger then what others do, and stronger then I have ever been before!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chapel with Rick Alonzo =D

So, chapel this morning was ridiculous! I went in there not even wanting to be there considering I have about two chapels left. I didn't even need it but I thought to myself I do need it for my own good. Chapel isn't something I consider a burden I consider it a blessing and actually enjoy them, they don't harm me they only do good for me even though at times I can't see it. Walking in with a poop attitude I sat there with my friend Cristal playing on my mac showing her how it worked before chapel started. Then this "little" man walks on stage and starts sharing his story, he had an accent and didn't speak that great of English but I liked that about him it showed that it doesn't matter where you are from or how you speak you can share the Gospel! He said he was going to paint to a picture for us and explain what it meant later. While he was painting in the dark gym I started to lose interest. He was finger painting with neon colors but no one could tell what he was painting, it was, I have to admit an ugly painting. Until, he flipped it around and it was a huge picture of Jesus. I was in such awe that it literaly took my breath away! It took everyones breath away! How could something so ugly be flipped around and become such a beautiful painting of Jesus? Cris and I looked at eachother and almost started crying. He went on to explain that Jesus called him to paint that picture when he realized he needed to "flip" his life around. The painting is symbolic because he was living life as a "religious man" but not as a follower of Christ, so the painting was painted upside and flipped to show how Jesus flipped his life around. He went on to paint three others, one with planets and Jesus looking down on the planets because he the commander of the whole universe! Next, he painted a sideview of Jesus in bright orange and green and blue and he painted this one mainly with his feet, CRAZY! Lastly, he painted Jesus hanging on the cross, then he splattered red paint all over his body to show he bore all our sins becuase he loved us that much! When Rick was painting that last portrait I couldn't help but get teary eyed, I saw that painting and thought WOW he bore it all, ALL, just for me, just for me to be a screw up and not live for him. I thought I don't deserve his LOVE and kindness and comfort one bit. I just couldn't believe what a vivid image I got of him on that cross broken hearted because everyone had betrayed him but yet the LOVE he still had for us ALL! I was so broken during this chapel and thought I need to stop worrying about such little things and consume my thoughts only on Him! I know it seems impossible to only think about God, but I can assure anyone of this I am going to strive everyday to be Christ-like in every action I make. I've wasted so much time putting others down just to bring myself up, when in reality it only feels good because im lying to myself. I need to LOVE, I know I have grown in this area a lot but it will never be good enough until I can completely let go of everything and PRESS ON not look behind but PRESS ON towards the goal which is JESUS! Please, anyone that reads this keep me accountable for these words I write because sometimes I can lose sight of the image I want to live so easily. This world is sooo distracting and evil that I get sucked in so easily. I'm sick of living this life for anyone else but God, it's not what I am about or ever want to be again! I know this was probably hard to understand because I am a horrible writer but I wanted to share with everyone this experience that I wish everyone could have experienced.

"So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." Acts 24:6

Here are a few pictures I took on my phone during chapel but as you can see they didn't turn out too good but I tried and hopefully ya'll can get a little taste of what I saw. Enjoy...







Toodles...xo<3