who we are

Hey there. See the goofy blonde in the photos below? That's me—Shelby. I'm the blogger here at In The Thinking Tree. The gorgeous lady beside me is my sister, McCauley. She's the talent behind the scenes. We spend our days together in our studio: she crafts up a storm while I write and play with pixels. We find that the arrangement works out just swell.

As you can see, we kinda get along. It's 'cos we share more than a studio. We're both big fans of sunrises, spontaneous trips to the beach, kittens, our awesome friends, Apple products, babies and chocolate chip cookies. But most significantly, we both love the Jesus Christ with all our hearts and have the mutual passion of investing our lives in the advancement of His Kingdom. It's for that reason that I know we'll always be the best of friends.

We're also both pretty crazy about our family. We've been blessed to be raised and home educated by two very loving and intentional parents who married as highschool sweethearts and are still caught slow-dancing in the kitchen or holding hands in the car. Daddy has always been a wonderful provider and Mom has always focused on making a beautiful home for her husband and children. We have a strapping "little" brother, Jasco, who thinks it's funny to toss one of us over his shoulder at whim and spin us 'til we start squealing. Gracey-baby came just a couple of years ago, but she's quite sure she's all grown up already. Our Little Man, Noah, is the last of the bunch (so far!) and has stolen our hearts with his snuggly perfection. And that's just counting the family that shares our cozy brick home. Our grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins all live out on a start-up farm just twenty minutes away. We see 'em every chance we get. 

so what's this blog for, anyway?

Folks, let me tell you: I have one amazing sister. That's really the purpose of this whole blog: I get to brag on her and try to help her achieve her goals—and I hope you'll help me do it. She came to me a few months ago and started telling me about her dream to become a midwife. She's just the kind of woman I'd want to deliver my future children: sharp, comfortable in her own skin, calm under pressure, and in-tune to her surroundings. She seeks to really understand someone who wants options and yet she is very principled. But see, there's the challenge of tuition fees, buying a vehicle for driving to assist births and the need of a new laptop for her online courses (her current laptop is just about ready to bite the dust). The Thinking Tree is an endeavour to begin overcoming these financial challenges with good ol' fashioned entrepreneurship. This blog is just a service that her Etsy shop offers. I aim to share her vision and products with the world, give you an insider's peek into her studio and post DIYs you'll want to pin. Most importantly, I want rally up a support team to cheer her onward. (Oh yeah... and I might slip in a million few irresistibly cute pictures of our little siblings here and there.)

why does she want to become a midwife?

I'll let her explain:

Our government is bearing down hard on midwives all around the country. Association of Texas Midwives would provide me with a Midwifery License, without having to get a nurses degree. Many states do not allow midwives to deliver outside of a registered hospital. This is something that needs to be changed: the civil government should recognize the freedom for woman to choose how they would like their birthing experience to be handled. This is a battle for the rights given by God. A child may be murdered, by abortion, for the sake of a mother's “rights”, but in some states that same mother would not be allowed to deliver her child in a completely natural environment. I believe if more midwives stand up, and don't cave to the government's illegitimate standards, we will be able to raise both the awareness that women can deliver their babies in a more natural way, as created by God, and the awareness that this should not be under the jurisdiction of the state. I have recently been involved in an outreach/protest at an abortion center in Houston. This was quite an eye opening experience. I want the knowledge to be able to volunteer at pregnancy help centers, by offering to provide an alternative to abortion, in delivering babies free of charge to those in need. I believe it is important to keep the option of natural birth open and available to all women no matter the circumstance.   
I will have the opportunity to bring glory to God in my work, while helping to empower women and their families with choices in regards to their journey in pregnancy. I will be a part of something bigger than myself, supporting a program which enables women to bond with their child at the first hours of life, and to experience the surreality of birth and pregnancy. Prayerfully, I will continue a practice that has existed since the beginning of time, but is now slowly being pushed away. I am confidant these courses will provide me with knowledge that will be useful throughout all of my life. I want to help mothers feel positive about their pregnancy and realize that birth isn't some frightening medical procedure, but—while difficult— is a very natural and joyful experience. I hope to bless women by guiding them naturally through the glorious life experience of pregnancy and childbirth.  

Tolja she's amazing. You'll want a woman with this kind of vision to be delivering babies. I know I do. 

yeah, but who is she?

photo credit: Hannah @ DamselMade

'Cauley is one of those people you meet and don't easily forget. Hysterical, playful and a great conversationalist, she can be the life of the party. Yet she also craves that quiet time alone when she can get lost in her music and that stack of books beside her bed.

With a loyal heart and a listening ear, she's the first person to stand up in a friend's defense and the last person to leave them bearing burdens all alone. She adores starry skies, goes dancing in the rain, is constantly singing and has an incredible sense of style.

Favorite Color: Blue

Current Favorite Songs: Life is Beautiful [October Baby Album], Fast Cars and Freedom [Rascal Flatts], I Won't Give Up [Jason Mraz], Savior to Me [Kerrie Roberts], Grace [Laura Story], Springsteen [Eric Church]

Favorite Artists: Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Kerrie Roberts, The Afters, Selah, Bryan Adams, Laura Story, Mandi Mapes, Lindsey Sterling, The Piano Guys, Jimmy Needham, Dara Maclean, Disney Soundtracks

Currently Reading: 2 Corinthians, By This Standard [Greg Bahnsen], Deuteronomy [R.J. Rushdoony], So Much More [A&E Botkin], Eat and Heal [Frank Wood]

Favorite Movies: Spirit, October Baby, The Young Victoria, How to Train Your Dragon, Emma [2009 BBC version]

Favorite Scriptures: Psalm 147

"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.Matthew 17:20

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.Proverbs 25:28

and who are you?

I'm a child of God who is committed to rebuilding culture from the home up. I'm blessed to be a daughter who works in and from the home as a domestic-engineer-in-training, big Sissy, tutor, and freelancer. I aspire to someday be a published children's book author and illustrator. But I'm most excited about preparing for the ministry of marriage and motherhood, should the Lord give me such a high and noble calling. 

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