beginnings and endings

I think this is one of the most conflicted blog posts I've ever written. I have much to rejoice about, and much to grieve for. Where to even begin...


 Well, the number of kids in our family doubled this week.

It's been amazing. Jasmine (left, 9) and Destiny (right, 11) came up to our home on Tuesday, and we've been sisters ever since. The two of them are such characters; it's been a blast having them around. Sure, there have been some more trying times, but God has honestly given us so much patience and time and love. I constantly remind myself of my own motto, "no regrets," as I learn to take time and enjoy the little things, like hunting for caterpillars or teaching them how to swing dance. I will continue learning, and I will continue to see how each of them needs to be loved. Continued prayers always appreciated!
 Destiny is such an energetic and exciting sister to have. She and I share a room now, and it's definitely more colorful and decorative than when I was alone in it! She loves hugs; you won't go more than a few minutes before another one is due. She's a total pre-teen, loving her music and her sense of style, and crazy about pink. But she's also willing to go out and blow up moles, climb trees, pet sheep, ride bikes, and more. Destiny really loves cats, competition, and conversation (she'll be an amaaaaazing debater someday). I absolutely love it when she laughs her deep, totally contagious laugh. She's a little crazy at times, but we can probably all use the energy around here, right? Altogether, I am so excited to be her sister, and have her as part of my forever family.
Jasmine is tiny in stature, but she's got a big character and a lot of determination! She's pretty proud of the wound on her hand that came from taking a tumble on her bike after removing the training wheels. Her favorite things to do thus far include holding baby Lizabelle, searching for "calapitters," going on a dozen bikes rides each day, reading aloud to baby Lizabelle or whoever will listen, helping in the kitchen, dancing, and being just totally adorable. I pretty much melt every time she says "calapitter," and "I know, right?" (Only, the r's are really w's.) In spite of her spunky go-go-go nature, she's also super chill about most decisions, being pretty much fine with anything we decide to do, except eating salad. Overall... I'm ecstatic to be her big sister.


 Things took a much different turn last night when I read on facebook that Josh Eddy, a fellow former speech competitor from Southern Oregon, was swept away in the Rogue River. He still hasn't been found. They held a celebration of his life today, and now one of the hardest trials of life begins.

I really didn't know Josh, I just remember seeing him at tournaments and thinking that he seemed like such a funny, yet sincere person that I would like to know more.

And honestly, so much of this was like a flashback to July 31st. Though I am personally so far away from everything that is happening, I remember that total shock that all his friends and family are feeling. Shock, pain, that desire to scream, cry, and be silent at the same time, what is that? That echoing "why?"

I know God is sovereign. I know He loves us beyond measure. I know He has a reason for everything. I've spent many months learning these lessons and though I'm not done, I believe them. But what I am learning now is simply to once again never take life for granted. I only have a limited amount of time, and so does everyone I love. I don't want to regret never having told someone what they mean to me, how they've changed me, or just how much I love them. I don't want to regret using time in ways that didn't matter, when I could have been making a difference. As Mr. Brazell said, "Life is short whether we have 19 years of 80."


Really, this is not the end. For Josh, this is the beginning of the entire purpose of his time on earth. He was here for the same reason we are; he simply was blessed to reach that goal before us.

Josh, I didn't really know you, but I wish you could see how many people your life has touched. Just reading your blog is so impacting, especially knowing now that your desire are fulfilled in Christ. I will continue to pray for those who miss you so, so much. And when I get to heaven, let's be good friends, okay?

"To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but to pursue anything but the full measure of the glory of God’s love is a wasted life." ~Josh Eddy


  1. Shelby, Great post today...touched my heart...keep speaking truth to yourself and talking to God! Mr. Cal

  2. Thank you for sharing about Josh. I never knew him and never knew of him until after his passing. He was the grandson of my teacher at Harvest Bible University I attend. His death, no, his life is beggining to impact me. I wish I knew more of him and how he lived for Christ. I feel like I can confidently say he was an extrordinary young man. It is no wonder that God would chose to take his angel back with him. I pray for God's abundant grace for Josh's family.

    Congratulations on your family doubling. Praise God for that! Again, thanks for this post.


  3. +1

    Thank you for sharing, Shelby.


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