Archive for April, 2011

Louis Armstrong, Cheese on the porch, Coming home!

I feel like a little kid. We have a rolly chair in our hotel room… and dad is out buying dinner… so I sat in my chair and have now crossed the room using my crutches like paddles. haha I’m a bit cheeky at the moment but it’s probably because i’m listening to Louis Armstrong… and he makes me wanna dance barefoot and eat cheese on the porch.

My diddy is a good man… today after we saw the doctor, he took me to get my nails and hair fixed. Clean hair can do amazing things to a person. Great news by the way… as long as the swelling doesn’t go up, I can fly home Thursday!!!! Thursday! So i’m really stretching and pushing my leg to work the blood! Hopefully no bigger swelling.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter… I wasn’t sure how ours would look, but I woke up Sunday morning determined to get out of the hotel room and celebrate… I have great friends in the states who hooked me up with some friends here and they took us to church with them and had lunch with dad and I at a cute little place called Elephin… Dad had Pha Thia hahaha it was funny stuff. I had chicken with cashew nuts which was awesome. What a great day… I struggled towards the end but held up really well through the church service and lunch.

Wanna hear something really great? When I walked into Newsong Bangkok (The church we went too) A lady sat down beside me and started asking me questions about who I was and what had happened to me… come to find out, she had been praying for me. haha She had heard about me from a friend who knew a friend of mine and said that I was on her mind so much… then all of a sudden i’m in her church. Crazy stuff huh? The world is small my friends!

So I’m going to sit in the sunshine on my bed, listen to some more Louis Armstrong… and invite you to do the same. Take a moment for yourself! Especially you mom, you’ve been stressed. Let the rain hit your legs. I did. I even let the broke one get wet, just so it would remember that it still has lots of living to do…. The rain has a strange way of making us feel more alive. And you should see the thunderstorms in Thailand… but that is a whole other story.

My love from across the ocean, and soon to be home!
Shelby Allison

PS- You should have a great cup of coffee and listen to this.

Here I am in Memphis… and I have ice in my glass.

One of the movie lines my dear father often quotes is from Castaway. The scene where Tom Hanks is back home and he says “And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass… And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

Now understand that I cannot even compare with what Mr Hanks went through… and the time for I got hit by a car pity party is over… ya hear me… OVER. I love the prayers and encouragement, please don’t stop… but there are people all over the world who need exactly what has been given to me. People who don’t have outside wounds or injuries, but have been cut to the heart. I hope we give them our best. If you are close to me and are sad you can’t be here, go help someone else.

The truth is… i’m happy. When it takes me 10 minutes to get off the bed, I am down, but then I remember how blessed I am… and it makes me smile so big. I’m singing as loud as I can and as much as I can. And when i’m alone I lay in the bed and praise… because i’m alive to do so… medicine hasn’t really helped, but worship has healed.

The part that gets me about that quote, is realizing that when I am able to go home it will be different. It will be changed for me. I can no longer be Mrs Independent. lol This morning dad brought me up to the roof of the hotel that I was moved too. I’ve been laying here in the sweltering heat enjoying a cup of coffee, that I just spilled on myself. haha What is hard for me is I think hey I got this no problem… then I fall or spill or stub my toe on my broke leg. Even when I am taken in the wheel chair out and about… people just look at me. I’ve been glad to have the bangs because I feel I can hide under them. I think when I had the accident I was hopefully and thought… i’ll bounce back. But now i’m realizing that I must be patience and kind to myself. Allow grace. But move on… move on and begin to give myself and energy to others as I was. The best healing for hurt is loving other people… I know this from experience. I hope that today I can make someone else smile, maybe rub lotions on dad’s feet (His need them more than mine hehe:) give myself wholly because I am not yet broken. I am exactly where I am…. I like that. I am where I AM. And I will use and enjoy it.

Dad read my prayer card out to me last night… the one I gave before I left… and one of the first prayers is that I will have courage and boldness. I think it still applies now. I love you all so much. I only really cry when I think about your faces and how much I care for you all…

PS Emy is back home and doing pretty well. She is still in a lot of pain and struggling with the same as ole Tom… being back home with the way things are. Keep praying for her. We both have poured our hearts out to each other and apologized a million times for what we think we did. We both would gladly give up everything if we could only make the other feel better. That is a good friendship.

All my love across the sea

Shelby Allison

How Would You Tell Your Story?

No longer writing from my cute riverside cafe in beautiful Da Nang. But i’ve got my feet propped up here in Bangkok pushing for a speedy recovery, with my sweet pop laying on the bench beside me trying to sleep off the jet lag.

Today I was able to do some physical therapy, which hurt haha but was good Becauseee I was able to go to the bathroom by myself. Yay! I must say, this experience is the most humbling of them all. Up until today, I haven’t been able to even roll over by myself. When you are broken you must ask for help. Which I have done from all my friends and family. But it’s not only my leg that is broken, but my heart has been really punished through this. Most of the tears i’ve cried recently aren’t because i’m hurting from physical pain, but because i’m so upset at the thought of leaving Vietnam. I’m not ready to go, and a voice tells me that I failed. I didn’t do or help anything. I wasn’t tough enough to survive for 3 months… I know that those are lies, but it so hard not to think them as I lay here… Especially this morning, as it is Sunday. Today I was going to sing at DIF, which i’ve been so excited about. And now even my singing voice is… not sounding so great.

But would I change anything? We ask these things after some tragic thing happens… often wondering if we interfered in time, if our lives would have been better. If we were the ones telling the story… how would it go?

A friend of mine sent me a book i’ve been reading, and the lady brings up this question. She sent me back to Hezekiah who was a great king of the Old Testament. In the Scripture, Hezekiah asked the Lord to give him 15 more years of life so that he can accomplish everything he needs too. So God grants him this. And he did do some good. BUT, during that extra 15 years he had a son Manasseh, who did more evil almost than any king of the time. Now, Hezekiah was able to rewrite his story a little, add on a few years. But how did that change the world? We think we know best, but often we don’t see the bigger picture, and we dont know what is down the road. I like to think sometimes that I know what’s best… but do I? I’m not saying that I would like to go through this again ever… or that if I had known that I would not have done something to stop it, but I feel that God knows just what it is that I need. He knew how this would changes my plans, and will affect relationships. But he has a plan and purpose for me like he does each one of you. I can tell my story as I know it, but God has seen it cover to cover and knows it well. He wants good for me. I know some of you are thinking “well did God want you to get hit by that car?” lol No… why would any good father want to see his child in pain like that? It was Emy and I’s decision to get on that bike and ride out to the beach that day… but we made the choice to go and that is what happened. But I do know he will take this, and my brokeness in body and spirit and do something better than I can even imagine. Which is Pink Rocks and Apple Pie… is it not?

The next few weeks will be hard, and will be heartbreaking… they are now. But in my worst pain I cannot deny how God is moving and how he will move. I’m in a state of grace. This is my story.

This is what i’m singing… 4:46 pm.

“Love Song For A Savior”

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she’ll understand the meaning of it all
He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she’ll pray,

“I want to fall in love with You”

Sitting silent wearing Sunday best
The sermon echoes through the walls
A great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can’t feel the chains on their souls

He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call us and we will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we’ll pray,

“I want to fall in love with You”

It seems too easy to call you “Savior”,
Not close enough to call you “God”
So as I sit and think of words I can mention
to show my devotion

“I want to fall in love with You”

“my heart beats for You”

I guess this is one way to visit Thailand.

last night I was lying in the ambulence alone. I stared up at the ceiling, out of the windows into the damp night and began to wonder, “what is it that I should even feel right now?” I was sick from throwing up and I couldn’t keep the pain meds down… my head was swirling without real reason. I couldn’t cry. I just laid… The Thai medic was very nice and tried to hold my hand for comfort. I tried to figure out everything in my head… what had happened Wednesday at 3:45.

Emy and I were headed out to the beach that afternoon on her bike. I was having a hard day so she was being awesome friend and taking me out for some laughs. We were on mostly backroads, and as we crossed through the intersection we only saw a truck that was moving pretty slow on our right, so we continued on through the intersection… suddenly seeing an SUV on our left moving at 70 Kil per hour. (which was told to us later) He hit Emy and I on the right side breaking both of our legs, and threw us about 35 feet to the side of the road, while he drug our bike another 20 feet before he could stop. I remember the blow, but that’s it. Next thing I saw was several people standing over me telling me it was ok in broken Vietnamese. I heard Emy behind me telling me over and over how sorry she was. I reached back unable to move and grabbed her arm. I just told her that I loved her and that we were gonna make it through this. I tried to look down at my body to see what was wrong but I was afraid. I had blood on my face, hands, and back. I was able to call Tony and tell him where we were and what had happened, I was actually pretty sane and together. But as soon as they loaded me up, I lost it a little. I didn’t know what was going on, who was there. I was just confused.
We were taking to a sort of western clinic in Da Nang where they straightened my leg (Which I must have passed out for lol) and put us in a room for a little over 24 hours. I won’t go into detail about some of the detail but it was intersting. Lots of crying, and lots of praising. But everyone I met in Da Nang came and laughed with me and made the time such a blessing. Also messages from home brought joy to my heart.

They loaded us up into a small jet plan and flew us over to Thailand… we didn’t really get into the hospital until about 12 am. That was the point I was laying alone trying to figure out the days. So much crazy stuff.

The one thing I remembered doing was singing as always, So I spoke the words over and over until I believed it. “Father I adore you, I lay my life before, how I love you.”

So I have will have my operation about 1 here, which is 2 hours away. I am scared, but I am confident that he who started a work will complete it. Got to go because I have just been given pain killers, so i’m not really sure what im tryping anymore lol LOVE

PS I’ll update after surgery.

Thanks to all who have given!

This evening I made a point to come home and rest. I hung clothes up, cleaned my room, washed my hair (This is a pretty regular thing) played with the girls, and then sat down to have some reading time. Things have been so crazy here that I have to be very intentional to have time to myself, and time to really focus and pray. This is a struggle no matter where you are.

This last weekend was supposed to be a really exciting time, and it was… but sadly I was unable to be involved. A couple of friends and I were asked to visit a C-h-u-r-c-h up in the mountains. We would be working with special needs children, and also would be putting together packages for other kids in the community who are very poor and malnourished. We started to make plans and pray about what the big guy would have us to do… then, unfortunately… I received sad news about what me going could actually do for the community or my Vietnamese friends. (I wrote out the details of the danger that could happen but after some thinking decided to take it down… better safe than sorry) basically it is not good for foreigners to go into the mountains, because it can draw unwanted attention. So I chose not to go. This of course was very hard for me, but I knew that I could still be a huge support for the people there.

We bought enough supplies (Toothbrush, toothpaste, pencil, pen, paper, 6 cartons of milk, shampoo, soap, candy, and a toy) for each child. So those of you who have supported me on this trip… just know that it is you that have really blessed over 70 families in the mountains of Vietnam.

When my friend Emy returned, she told me of all the stories she encountered (Emy is like a fourth Vietnamese, but is from Canada) … she told me of a lady and her husband who spent two years in the fields trying to raise enough money to send their children to school. However, since there were no banks for them to store their money, they did what many families do… hide their money down in the plants in the fields. Sadly, one day while the woman was working, she accidentally set some of the field on fire… which just happened to hold two years worth of their wages (Which apparently was about $900) Can you imagine what this woman must have felt? This was devastating and really hurt their chances to put their children through school. As I looked at the pictures, I knew exactly who this lady was… because the guilt and heartache was written across her face. She looked broken.

There were so many stories just like that. And though I couldn’t go, it touched my heart so much. I ask that you all pray for these mountain families. Pray that God would supply.

I miss you all… the time difference is getting harder, because often I want to make a call to the States about 2am… lol I don’t. No worries.

One last thing… something that has really weighed on me. Since I have been in Vietnam, I have seen more accidents than all my years in the States. And when I say accidents, I mean bodies laying on the road without life. When I see it, I freeze up. It feels hard to breath sometimes and it just hurts so much to see so many young lives lost. Usually the accident is with a teenager or young adult. Pray for the families of the young boys I saw this week. And pray that when or if I come upon it I will know how to react.

Isaiah 61-… Bind up the brokenhearted… To proclaim freedom for the captives…

Cinderella and Her Shoe

The story of Cinderella has enchanted generations. Girls love it… Why? Because she was just a simple girl, nothing special. Then one day, a shoe changed her life. And for that moment, she stole the attention of a kingdom.

I couldn’t help but think about cinderella and her shoe tonight, while at the Promise House Orphanage. It was a regular night… kids laying in my lap, a little basketball, kids hanging onto my back while I try to swing. All the fun things we do. But tonight, we had the priviledge to hand out new shoes… The kids all ran around in their new flipflops. Most probably only cost about 5 dollars or less, but the kids were so proud. A few wanted to keep theirs in the plastic and we were encouraging them to take them out and wear them.

I was sitting in the little living area holding a few of the kids when I noticed one of the older girls out in the courtyard. She is probably around 12, and takes care of many of the younger children in the orphanage. I don’t think she knew I could see her… She was taking slow steps, and one by one, she would look to see how her new red flipflops looked on her feet. They were a pretty red color with a little plastic flower on the front. She twisted, and turned, and skipped, looking down for every move. The courtyard was empty, but it seemed in her mind that she had a captive audience… and for once in her frail life, she was the beauty…I knew that look on her face, no girl could miss it… The look the bride has coming across the floor, the little girl in her new Easter Dress, a teenage girl on her prom night.

I watched her for about 5 minutes, and then she took them off, and walked away… she was still smiling.

So many moments have happened while in Vietnam just like this one. It is a very small window, but when I catch them, I feel as though I have witnessed something incredible. It is a picture in my heart as famous as any Monet or Van Gogh. It’s a picture that can never be painted or caught by camera, it is only written on the hearts of those who understand the feelings behind them…

One shoe can change your life says Cinderella…

Maybe the girls life did not change, but for tonight she was beautiful. And that is worth more than a hundred fairy tales.

Bangs and Listening!

It seems to me that when we give up one thing, or when we step out in one area it is a little easier to give up or step out in other areas.

Example
Step 1. Move to Vietnam
Step 2. Cut off my hair and get bangs (for real this time)

I have been wanting to get these bangs for a while, go for the london look. But i’ve been afraid and thought, i’ll probably look like one of those girls who try to look stylish, then just fail. But I finally just went for it. Seems if you are going to face some of your fears you might as well face all of them. haha So there you go… who knows what is next.

The honeymoon period of my trip is over I think. I’m still seeing new things and having awesome experiences, it’s just that now the adrenaline is wearing off and I tend to be very tired.

Yesterday I was able to use my Vietnamese. A couple of guys surrounded my bike on the road and were trying to talk to me, which was quite uncomfortable for me. So I finally said, Di Vay Ya which means, Go home… of course I found out later that they could have taken what I said to mean, take me home. Which would have really changed the situation lol Again, the honeymoon stage is over and there are certain things that I just don’t want to have to deal with. However, I look up at the mountains, cross the sea…. I give up the highest thanks that I know how to give… because my opportunities are boundless and my time here priceless.

I haven’t skyped as much as I did, nor have a blogged as much. Mostly because at the end of the day, i’m out of words. I am at this point where I don’t want to say too much more, I am very content at the moment with listening. Seeking, searching, and admitting that I need change.

I hope that everyday we all have a mixture of laughter and silly, set upon solid humility and prayer. Like a nice hot cocoa. I can’t seem to take myself to seriously here, but I also have never seen so much serious. Hard to explain and harder to reveal.

For now, I love you all, and please don’t make fun of me when you see my bangs!!!

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