Sunday, January 14, 2007


There is a mural of school pictures that graces the wall adjacent to the garage in my parents’ house. The pictures are arranged in a circle, displaying the overdone bangs, oversized sweatshirts, and massive bows of my elementary school years, quickly followed by the multi-colored braces, loud vests and awkwardly grown out bangs of my middle school years and ending on the more bearable note of the butterfly clips, newly straightened teeth and hot rolled hair of my high school years. Among this short photographic history of 90's fashion, hangs a picture lovingly deemed "sheepdog girl" by my husband. If you have ever seen sheep dogs before, you know that their one distinguishing feature is the thick mop of overgrown hair, which masks their tiny black eyes. Seriously, who decided on proper dog hair cut etiquette? I mean, whoever made these decisions, in addition to loathing poodles, must have greatly underestimated the importance of a sheep dog’s eyesight. That being said, you can probably guess where the nick-name came from. As I alluded to above, the aquanetted bangs of elementary school were a big no-no by the time I was headed for middle school. I did not have much fashion sense, but I did know enough to know that bangs were on their way out by the time I reached 5th grade. Thus began my attempt to grow them out. A few months into it, I decided it wasn’t going well, so what did I do? Cut them? Clip them to the side? No, no. I was much too fashionable for that. I got a perm. I only had two friends, and, sadly, they were more fashion-challenged than me. So, when asked their opinion, they thought a perm seemed like a perfectly good solution. Having greatly underestimated the need for MY eyesight, while having greatly overestimated the beauty of a perm, I turned out looking very much like the afore mentioned sheep dog.

My sister Shelby, on the other hand, assembles outfits like Harry Connick Jr. plays the piano. Smoothly, effortlessly, perfectly. A trendsetter from day one, she had traded in mary janes for ankle high stiletto boots and striped stirrup pants for black pleated skirts by age 8. My sheep dog bangs dulled in comparison to her light, feathery bob, and my blue-jean button-up shirt couldn’t hold a candle to her blue-jean sunflower hat. I often wondered why I couldn’t pull things off like she did. To this day, I will still watch her strut into a room and say to myself, “now, why didn’t I think of that?” However, I don’t think it was her actual clothes that I envied throughout our growing-up years. Instead, it was her sheer determination to “pull it off.” She is a woman who knows what she wants. A woman of confidence. A woman of passion. Her decisions are made with purpose and clear intent, and I don’t just mean decisions regarding clothes.

Shelby started off her dancing career with a bang, starring in Mrs. Trish’s Care Bear ballet piece with 15 other 3 year olds. And although she was busy admiring her pink sequined tutu for the majority of the dance, she managed to maintain perfect turn out and stage presence. From that moment on, Shelby was destined to be a star of the stage, which is why it came as no surprise when she was chosen as our high school dance team’s Major. But even more impressive than her winning the title, was her incredible display of leadership among her peers that year. Yes, she followed her passion and confidence on her journey to success, but what made her a leader to be followed was her purpose. Above all, above trendsetter, above performer, above leader, Shelby is a child of the King. Her passion for the Lord instills in her a confidence that drives her in her purpose to lead others to Christ. She not only clothes herself in the fashions of this world, but, more importantly, clothes herself in the armor of God. She is a passionate warrior of Christ, and that is a trend worth setting.

Shelbs, I feel honored to follow all the trends you set (except maybe for the ankle high stiletto boots). Love you, sissy.