Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Seminarian's plea

My dear sweet Jesus,

I love you so much. I love who you are to me: my Father, my Portion, my King, the One who sustains me by His very Word. You are Life to me Lord. Thank you for being my Friend - for I fear that my southern accent has nearly scared everyone up here in New England away. Lord you know that I am not really an extrovert. So why is it that whenever I see someone that I haven't met yet, I have this compelling need to introduce myself with way too much passion. It really must be a bit overwhelming for them to try to interpret "Hey yaaaa'lllll. My name is Shelly! I'm from Geeaaoorgiaa!" Please help me not to hug the new girls that I meet (as we southerners do) and at least give them a little time to decide if they can stand me or not.

Lord how I thank you for the opportunity to learn. I am begging you Jesus to balance the passion of my heart for you with the passion of my mind. I ask never to trade knowing who You are for merely learning about You. Let no textbook, no discussion, and no professor minimize You as the Glorious One; may they only be vessels for which I fall more in love with You. May the academic equipping You have provided me with serve only as means to love and know You more. Anything else must be an overflow of You being my First Love.

I went to Greek class on Friday Lord. I know you saw me. I was very nervous. Downright petrified to be honest. I tried to dress cute to redeem my emotions, but it didn't help much. I've had my first chance to study since then Lord. Can I confess something to you? I loved it so much that I studied until midnight one night! Really Lord...You're going to have to help me not be such a nerd. So I don't know what to do. Today is my Sabbath, so I won't allow myself to study. But my heart is really breaking a bit to not be able to pick up some Greek flashcards. I saw this other student with some today and I kind of wanted to snatch them away from him so I could look at them. I'm guessing that when passion leads to stealing it's probably not a good idea huh? Please love me despite my nerdiness...I trust that You do.

And please help some of the young men here know that as much as I love Greek, the following doesn't exactly serve as the best pick-up line for me: "Hey, I can help you with your Greek anytime you may need it. Just let me know." The Jesus dork in my heart resonates with such, but I would prefer some chivalry instead...really... :)

It's cold here Lord. I wore a sweatshirt and jeans today, but it is only the beginning of September. Please let the cafeteria serve more cookies and cake...I'm going to need it to survive the winter time.

And Lord, I know that just here lately my heart has been so overwhelmed. Thank you for the privilege of constantly being aware of my depravity. It so keeps me in love with who You are and the promises over my life. I thank You that regardless of whether or not my circumstances change, You remain. I am surrounded by new friends, a new climate, and new academics. The young man didn't understand me when I told him I wanted the 'fried chicken' option at lunch. And then I had to hold back the tears a bit that their fried chicken wasn't exactly like GA fried chicken. (Bless them!). Some young man was also saying the word "ruf" the other day...it took me a while to figure out that he was referring to the "roof." (Bless them!). I still say 'yes mam' and 'no sir.' If that is not okay with them, bless them. And for all the changing/molding that You are doing even now in my heart and mind, bless me!

You are the One whom my soul loves...


One of my girlfriends, Shaney, and I. She went to UGA, but I don't hold it against her :)


My roomie (Teal) and I being dorks under a big bell on another college campus :) Y'all, she is the coolest and I love her.

38 comments:

Dori said...

Shelly, my sweet Shelly,

This post literally made tears well up in my eyes tonight. It also made me smile and sometimes made me laugh. You are absolutely precious and it is my privilege to pray for you and encourage you whenever you need it through this season. I'm much older, though probably not wiser, and I'm overwhelmed with what God is going to do in your life, sweet one.

You just keep doing what you are doing and, for heaven's sake, keep writing!!! It was just precious!!

If I could send some fried chicken to you right now I would!!!!

Love and blessings to you, sweet friend...

Dori

Teal said...

girl, your cute outfit SO helped...don't ever doubt it;-)
p.s. you are an awesome roomie!!

Kelly S. said...

AMEN.....Sweet Shelly, how I have missed knowing whats going on with you. I just want to call you so you can hear a familiar "drawl" (with added mountain sayin's). Like my daddy used to say "Honey, I love you like a hog loves slop", and I do love you. I am praying for you and I really missed knowing you weren't somewhere in the arena at Deeper Still, praising Jesus with me. It was a "hum-dinger". Wha HOO!!! (hillbilly for Yipee). I wish I could send you a big ol'bucket of chicken and some sweet tea, but I'll just pray you learn more about Jesus, and that He will show Himself in ways that are comforting and familiar. You hang in there.....and keep warm!
Love you- KS

Amy Kate said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry! You're so cute! You'll just hafta cook em some real fried chicken the georgia way! I'm praying for you as you study and make new friends and adjust to the yankee lifestyle! Oh and if I ever get to meet you I'm so gonna hug your neck like southern girls do lol.

MelanieJoy said...

Shelly,

It is so good to hear from you. I have thought about you all week- wondering how everything was going.
Shelly... you are so sweet, passionate, amazingly real and too funny at times. I have never "met" anyone like you before. I long to have a heart for Him like you do.
Hang in there Sweetpea...Be yourself- they will fall in love with your heart just as we all have. Keeping you hemmed in prayers.

Debra said...

i love your words...just love them.

jennyhope said...

Oh Shelly I am so glad to hear an update. Bless you girl!! He loves you so! And so do i!

kittyhox said...

You sweet girl...

How could anyone not love you?

mandy said...

:)

Tee said...

I know you must be suffering terribly from culture shock. The Lord will sustain you. You need to find a Chick-fil-A, now they have good fried chicken!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Do you have any idea how many times I thought about you in Nashville?? Our siesta meeting wasn't quite the same without you! You hang in there, nerd girl. You know there is another here in Alabama who understands your plea and is quite envious you get to study Greek til midnite.

Where you wrote about introducing yourself with too much zeal? Hilarious..I could have written that about myself as I stalked girls in lime green tshirts to find out the name of their blog..teehee I get a little too excited and I am certain I am an exhausting person to talk to...

Oh well...I've just read back over this post and realize I make my own self tired too...I'll shut up now.

Love you!

Lisa

Fran said...

Shelly....
That was an amazing prayer girlfriend....I need that for myself....can I print this one out?! Honey...If I had 1/2 your wisdom I'd be thrilled.....you go be that nerd for Jesus. You are one darlin nerd for Jesus and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Hallelujah for all of us who love Him so much!! He really is the coolest thing.

Mary Watkins said...

Dear Shelly,
What a sweet prayer and sweet heart you are. I was wondering what the transition from GA to MA would be like for you. Years ago I transferred from Mississippi University for Women to William Jewell College near Kansas City. Shelly, I felt as if I was in a whole new world. Everything you shared, I understand so well. It was not an easy time. My dear siesta, you know the Lord for better than I did at the time. You are gonna be fine. I will continue to pray for you. May our Lord hold you close and be your comfort.

I hope you can find a decent piece for fried chicken somewhere up there.

Bless you, dear one.

In His grip,
Mary

Sharon said...

I am so glad that you got a minute to write and let us know what is going on. I am glad you love your roomie because I know that is so important.
I can't even imagine the culture shock--for them. But then they get to be around our sweet little southern girl--they are blessed. :)
I remember when I went to school in TN and had to get used to their food with no spice and their coffee that strangely resembled dirty water or very weak tea--poor things they just did not know what was good. Then Mom sent a care package and I had to let them in on what good food was all about.
Hey, if you need to make a little extra money maybe you could start selling sweet tea and fried chicken baskets. You might never get to class but you would make plenty of money. :)
HE is proud of you girl and so are we.
Love ya!
Thinking of you often and praying for my sista!

jennifer said...

Hi Shelly. I am right there with ya about being overwhelmed with the newness of it all. I am from South Louisiana and I still say y'all, and sir, and ma'am and I am getting weird looks! I have told my Yankee hubby that you can take the girl outta the South but you can't take the South outta the girl.

I am proud to be a Southern belle here in the Boston area! And you should, too. And just know that somewhere not so far away another Southern sister in Christ is going through the same adjustments to NE that you are.

God bless you as you seek His face.

His,
Jennifer

Ang baylis said...

Hi Shelly,

You are just the sweetest thing! I LOVE your posts! Please, keep being a dork! haha... don't ever change!

I hope you are getting more comfortable! You and your girlfriend are absolutely adorable!

Thanks for sharing your life with us!
We love you so much!
Angie xoxo

Lisa said...

Shelly, you DARLING girl!! I just love your posts and this one is especially wonderful.
I am praying for you as you make this transition. But, don't you change one bit - you just bring a little South to them ole Yankees! Sounds to me like they could use it!
AND, first time you make a road trip back home - you stop over at my house here in East Tennessee and I'll have you the biggest plate of fried chicken you've ever seen. You can wash it down with some good ole sweet tea! You just let me know when your coming!
Love you Girlfriend!!
Blessings,
Lisa

Jackie said...

very cute- brought tears to my eyes. you are awesome girl. if you are ever in Houston- we shoulf SOOO hang out!! take care sweet girl!

Profbaugh said...

Shelly,

Hey Siesta. It's okay. Really it is. You go ahead and be the biggest Jesus studying NERD in the world. You've got the Savior smiling as He's watching you.

And, by the way. . . I love reading your "culture" adjustment. This is one Northern girl who's had to adjust to a bunch of Southern bloggers. I'm even saying y'all now. Oh my!!! So, I'm smilin' just a bit.

From one geeky prof to a nerdy student,
~Cheryl

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Shells,

I love you siesta:) can't wait to meet you:) Be Blessed!!!!!

Angelina Bumbellina

P.S- I know a secret...a siesta is planning a t-shirt design for then:) YAY:)

Belle-ah said...

(((hugs))) from one southern belle that had to learn to live up Nawth to another! Hold on to who you are...and keep remembering BBQ is NOT, I repeat NOT, a verb!!!!

Patty said...

Shelly,
I prayed for you this morning. God gave a very specific thing to pray for you and I know God will meet all your needs. I loved this post. I thought of you all weekend at Deeper Still. My delight was after the conference on Friday night I saw Nate in the bleachers talking on his cell. I smiled as I walked by because I just knew he had to be talking with you. It made me feel like you were there with us in spirit and the cell phone. :o) I introduced myself to him the next morning and I tod him I wished you were here and he said, so do I!! I think I am going to have to send you cake and cookies for the winter time!! What is your favorite?? Have a blessed day and keep charming them with your sweet southern self!!

connorcolesmom said...

Shelly,
Oh that cracked me up!!
I love the part where you said you needed help being so enthusiastic when meeting everyone. I do the same thing. I have to remember that some people do not like to be hugged. YOu are so precious though and God will bring you such sweet friends!!
Thank you for the info on the clothes. I will be shopping for you soon!!
I can not wait!!
Much love,
Kim

CrownLaidDown said...

Praying for you this week, Shelly.

May He make you laugh and smile a lot!

And do not alter a thing about your sweet southern-self. Be yourself. You are just right...just the way you are!

Perhaps like me, it will take awhile for these northerners to be hugged. It took a while for me, too! But I really liked it, deep down, I was glad someone cared enough to hug me that day.

And I pray that you will hear His voice telling you this is the way, Dear Shelly, walk in it.
With love,
holly

Lindsee said...

Oh girl, you make me laugh...hard!

Loved it,
Linds

darla said...

There is nothing nerdy (is that a word?) about you. Being from PA, I had no problem understanding one word you said, and you are very charming. And just like Jenny Hope said..Jesus loves you and so do I! I am glad you are blessed with a good roomy..praying for you, Sweet Princess!

lorisue said...

Shelly,
You make my heart smile! I am praying that you ALWAYS want to stay up and study and that God's Word never becomes boring to you.

I will drink some sweet tea just for you today :)

Heather said...

Love this post! So sweet. Praying for you as you adjust to your new life.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

You are so adorable! I'm sure they all love you!!!
Hug away! They probably need it :)

Blessings,
Sue

Jen said...

THANK YOU!!! I am not the only one who hugs people when introduced! We don't meet with handshakes! We meet with hugs!!!

jen said...

Oh girl, you are too sweet! I love the "nerdiness" comment. It's definatly a praise that you are hungry to learn. :) If you ever want some homemade TX gal cookies, e-mail me and I'll be happy to send you some. :) Praying for you!

Linda said...

Your passion is so wonderful I am sure it pleases the Lord to have one love him so. Thank you so much for all that you share with us. As the Lord leads I am praying for you.
Blessings

THE SMITHS said...

What a beautiful prayer. I'm so happy for you :) Fun pics under the bell!!

Sacchiel said...

The Lord is precious to you! *this is a blessing*

Lauren said...

Hi Shelly!
Amanda J. referred me to your blog because I am a fellow southern transplant! My husband and I moved up to Boston from Houston a few years ago for grad school. Email me sometime, and maybe we can get together: laurenbenesh@gmail.com

jennyhope said...

did you get lost in greek class? oh where is my shelly?

Sharon said...

Just checking in on you girl.
Wishing I was up there in the coolness with the changing leaves.
Enjoy the fire of God.

KASI said...

Hey Southern girl,

This Texan is hugely hug deficient!! Hug me whenever you see me...PLEASE! And if you need a homecooked meal, just c'mon over.

And thanks for the sweet message you left on my blog...

Love ya!
Kim