Dear Shelby.

on August 23, 2010 in Dreams Coming True, Nash-livin' with 28 comments by

Dear Shelby Jennings Boatman,

I don’t know when, if ever, you will actually read this. But I’ve gotten in the habit of writing letters to my friends’ babies and well, you are my friend’s baby.

Like, a really brand spankin’ new baby.

Shelby, I want to tell you something. For the rest of my life, when I think about God answering prayers, I will think about you. I cannot tell you how many nights I sat and cried with your mama, praying that someday, she would have a child. I can’t tell you how many roadblocks tried to keep you from ever being a being. Ask your parents that stuff- it’s a lot of technical medical mumbo-jumbo.

But I can tell you the minute your mom told me you were coming, I knew that God heard us. I knew that you were the one He made, the one He picked for such a time as this, the one that didn’t need to be a day earlier but couldn’t be a day later. I am as sure as the sun rises that your life has purpose. Live like it, Shelby. Live a life with purpose because I knew you before you were you and I am certain the girl I prayed for is a part of God’s story for this world.

Your parents are going to absolutely make you crazy. Your dad is going to take too many pictures and your mama is going to make too many lists and she will teach you be so polite it will make you sick (and well-mannered). And at some point, I know that you will say how glad you are that Ansley and Adam are your parents. Your grandparents are going to want to talk to you on the phone. Do it- they are amazing and you have a lot to be thankful for in your gene pool. Your aunts and uncles are going to buy you lots of stuff. That’ll be awesome.

And me? Well, I’m going to want to bake lots of cookies and laugh at your jokes. I’m probably always going to ask you what book you are reading and expect a real answer. I may hug you too much because I’m trying to squeeze out some of that faith that your parents have sown into your life. I’m also going to cry a lot. Cause, Shelby, that’s how I roll.

Finally, I want to say thanks. Thanks for being such a tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness. Thanks for showing up, just in the nick of time, before hope was ever off our lips. Someday, when you are old enough to need to hear a story, I’ll tell you mine. And right smack in the middle when you start to wonder if I give up hope that God can hear us when we pray, I’ll say, “here’s where it gets good, Shelby. See, here’s where you came along.”

With so much love,

Honorary Aunt Annie

(Aunt in charge of entertainment)


  1. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:02 AM  |  reply

    So beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Jane
    posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:11 AM  |  reply

    So dear, so sweet! What a reminder of God;s goodness!

  3. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:11 AM  |  reply

    I don’t know Shelby or her parents, by this may be my favorite blog I’ve ever read. The part about her coming along just in time… Your spiritual maturity and discernment seriously challenges me. Enjoy spoiling that baby girl and thanks so much for being obedient and letting us see your heart.

  4. Katy
    posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:56 AM  |  reply

    crying…. Shelby is a precious miracle!

  5. Merideth
    posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:58 AM  |  reply

    Such a sweet letter, Annie. She’s lucky to have you in her life. What a beautiful story of your friends’ faith, and God’s faithfulness. I love hearing stories like this!

  6. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 8:26 AM  |  reply

    I don’t know this baby, I don’t know these parents, heck…I don’t even know you! But this letter brought tears to my eyes because of it’s sweetness. Do you know how awesome you are Annie to be able to not only write these things, but to feel them in the first place? I wish I had an honorary aunt like you! What a gift for this little girl to have you in her life. 🙂

  7. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM  |  reply

    Aw, Annie, that is beautiful. I bet her parents will make sure she does read this letter at some point in her life! God bless.

  8. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 1:57 PM  |  reply

    Every child should be so blessed. And to top it all of, she gets an Aunt in charge of entertainment?!?!?! So cool. And – I can’t help it – precious.

  9. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 2:03 PM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie…what a lovely idea to write letters for your friends’ babies. You are the best kind of caring friend! And the coolest Aunt ever!

  10. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 3:12 PM  |  reply

    Sweet. Beautiful. Loving. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  11. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:01 PM  |  reply

    I love that you write letters to your friends’ babies. Annie Downs, you will be writing letters to your own. Mark my words.

    Love you.

  12. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:05 PM  |  reply

    Oh, that is a beautiful letter, Annie! I totally teared up at the end. This inspires me to write letters to my friends’ babies, too!

  13. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:50 PM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie, this is b e a utiful. Just like little Shelby.

  14. posted on Aug 23, 2010 at 8:04 PM  |  reply

    Beautiful! Long time friend of Adam, new-found friend of Ansley, pointed in your direction by Aunt Hercules, and now a new blog follower of yours 🙂

  15. Brandy
    posted on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:07 PM  |  reply

    Now that…that made me cry!

  16. posted on Aug 24, 2010 at 4:36 PM  |  reply

    That’s beautifully written, Annie. Takes me back to the days when we cried out to God over and over for a baby. In fact, Denise’s parents were an integral part of that plea for us. I try to remind my children of that often.

  17. marybeth cole
    posted on Aug 24, 2010 at 8:30 PM  |  reply

    i haven’t heard the baby name shelby since steel magnolias…it is absolutely adorable. she’s a doll and so are you AD. night night.

  18. Maddie
    posted on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:46 AM  |  reply

    This one made me cry. Beautiful. And it reminds me of the first letter I wrote to my own newborn Shelby, 15 years ago one cold, January night.

  19. Annie
    posted on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM  |  reply

    that was absolutely awesome and so beautifully written. thanks so much annie for posting that!

  20. posted on Aug 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for that. That was really, really nice and I’m glad I read it.

  21. Angelica
    posted on Aug 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM  |  reply

    Annie you really inspire me! this is so beautifully written! i love just coming on the computer and reading your blog’s but this one was just special!! x <3

  22. posted on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:23 PM  |  reply

    Oh Annie, this is just too sweet. And you know what? I know you’re writing this to Shelby but it speaks to me too.

  23. posted on Sep 01, 2010 at 5:56 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for this letter. I needed to read it. The hubby and I are at the point – praying prayers we never thought we’d pray. God answers them. Thank you….

  24. posted on Sep 02, 2010 at 9:59 PM  |  reply

    I’ve never visited your blog before, but my very dear friend sent me this link and said that it made her think of my own child, born after many many many prayers and tears and so much waiting that we *almost* lost hope. Thank you for the good cry.

  25. Nancy (Shannon's mom, Adler & Eisley's Mimi)
    posted on Sep 15, 2010 at 7:16 PM  |  reply

    Dear Nanny McAnnie-I only wish that I could articulate my thoughts about your writings as well as what I read in your blogs. Unfortunately, my mind seems to be stuck on simple words like “WOW, AMAZING, PRECIOUS, PRICELESS, AND GIFTED”. Once again, my heart leaps with joy that you have become such an integral part of our family. I am thankful that God has blessed the people I love with you and your beautiful spirit. We love you.

  26. posted on Sep 21, 2010 at 6:59 AM  |  reply

    Just. so. beautiful. – thank you for sharing something so precious.

  27. posted on Feb 02, 2011 at 9:24 AM  |  reply

    […] is and always will be a gift. We can all remember Annie’s blog to Sheby back in August when she was born. Annie so eloquently put into words what Adam and I felt, being […]

  28. posted on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:47 AM  |  reply

    […] that’s Annie’s Blog to Shelby framed on the […]

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