Wolfpack love letter

Dear Amazing Mom, Beautiful Sis, Faithful Friend, Devoted Wife to My Brother & Loving Aunt to My Kiddos,

Can I be you when I grow up?

Sure, I’ve got you by eleven years and your current four children are age 7 and under, while my three are 18 and over.

So what?

Age and family dynamic are relative. We’re all “growing up” each day. The journey of life is timeless. Wisdom merely represents a singular point on a static spectrum.

Moms out there need to hear about beautiful you; the reason I chose to forego snail mail, email or a phone call.

Why should I be an inspiration hoarder? M&Ms make friends, and you are deserving of me sharing this love candy.

So, yes, can I be you when I grow up?

Ten years ago a man I admire, love, and revere in the depths of my heart stood on an altar and made a vow to love, honor, behold, and cherish the woman he loved. Dressed in black, but clothed in dazzling Light, he offered to lay down his life for another.

The man?

My brother.

The woman?

You, my sister at heart.

wedding love letterDressed in white, but clothed in Grace, you were the angel God sent to ignite my brother’s world; a world that has since become a kaleidoscope of love in the form of faith, family, discipleship.

The covenant entered into marks ten years this April 29th. If God’s looking for a model of sacramental marriage, servant companionship, patient understanding, unconditional love, and abandoned Faith, your relationship dons the crown.

Your first decade together includes the following audacious resume:

Having five kids within seven and half years after newest baby greets you next month.

Living in five different homes across two states, four of which included moving with kids in tow.

Changing personal jobs twice between locations.

Supporting your husband through five job changes because he is a rock star in the restaurant business and in high demand to bring success to new operations.

Homeschooling your children for one year to give my brother more time with the kids during the day.

In case you aren’t counting, the two of you have endured seventeen…seventeen…life events in ten measly years. Dang girl, that’s more plot twists than Gone Girl!

For anyone wondering the definition of life event: a major event that changes a person’s status or circumstances, such as giving birth, marriage, divorce, death of spouse, loss of job. Life events are very often discussed in terms of stress.

My head spins because I thought I had the market cornered in mad dash stress inducers. In half a decade, we had three kids in three and half years, six career changes between the two of us which included me going from full-time, to part-time, to work-from-home, to stay-at-home, one move, and two major family shake-ups.

This amounts to twelve weighty shifts in five years, still a huge number.

Difference between you and me, however, is I look at you now, some eighteen years after my furious run of happenings, and stand in awe of your tenacity, peacefulness, resolve, and patience.

My dome twirls not because of all the major circumstances coloring your married life, but because of your beautiful alan laura love letterdemeanor and attitude of surrender.

I can assure you, in my first five years with John, grace, peace, and resolve didn’t always roll off the tongue of transparency.

You, on the other hand, are docile, calm, put together. Is that really a thing, all things considered?

I just have to ask, from what planet does thou cometh?

Every time I visit your family, or vice versa, my equilibrium skews and I’m convinced God put you in the universe as the eighth travelling wonder of the world.

You carry your tired as shiza very well, by the way.

And I want you to know that I see you. I recognize and absorb the little things, which I admire the most.

Your gentle requests in disciplining your children.

Warm embraces for the kid who wakes up grumpy from a nap.

Heart which continuously serves your family.

Discipline to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee at the kitchen table before diving into the day.

Generous hospitality when our loud and crazy family invades your home.

Willingness to smile in the face of fatigue.

Genuineness and transparency that emits positive energy into your surroundings.

Contagious laugh.

Acceptance of countless interruptions while trying to complete a single task.

Visible love towards your spouse.

Your ability to live and love simply moves me the most; effortless and drama free. You remind me of the eye of a hurricane gracefully traversing the landscape as the winds of your life swirl, whistle, and gust around you.

IMG_2379When I am with you, your canvas boasts an exhilarating display of brushstrokes depicting kindness, authenticity, creativity, patience, open-mindedness, courage, understanding, authenticity and incredible faith.

As ironic as it sounds, despite the fact that you are exhausted, drained, and weary from raising four young kids , after visiting you I actually walk away feeling refreshed and invigorated. The Jesus in you shines outwardly and strengthens my soul.


So, as your due date for another little boy scurries to the forefront, I want you to know how much I love you. I love you for loving my brother to the ends of the earth, for loving my family as your own, and for teaching me the importance of living each day in a spirit of gratitude.

You are an incredible mother. You have beautiful, mild-mannered, faithful, fun, well-behaved, and hilarious kids. Number five will be yet another blessed addition to a family overflowing with love.

“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.” Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)

While I’ll never truly be you when I grow up, I want you to know that because of you, I have become a better mom, sister, friend, and spouse.

Thank you.

In love & admiration,





OKAY, so major update! Sis-in-law had baby #5 and he is already 15 months old. What you might be interested in reading is her nutty story about taking all 5 of her kids on an airplane. By herself. That would be “solo momming it.” Did I mention she’s a saint? Well, not only is her story insane, it was also her first published piece which went viral. Cuckoo viral. Check it out here!

Airline Refuses to Let Mom Traveling Alone Re-Board to Take Her Kids Off the Plane

And you can read more about the joys of her mothering-capade over at her new FB page, Lowcountry Luna.

Shelby is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Meditation Teacher (CMT), author, freelance writer, speaker, and love enthusiast who is passionate about helping others ‘change the way they look at things so the things they look at change.’ She has numerous stories featured in the national publication, Guideposts. She also has over 160 featured articles at online publications, including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Parenting Teens & Tweens, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, and Today. Her book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”), co-authored with her dear friend, Lisa Leshaw, recently won the 2020 Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize as the finalist in the Inspirational/Spiritual category.