Change. Sometimes we dread it. Sometimes we love it. Sometimes it is a drag at the beginning, but it turns out to be the best thing to ever happen to us.

We experience some sort of change almost everyday. Change and our adaptation to change makes us who we are. In our world today we are experiencing a lot of changes as big as the President of the United States to as little as the type of music that is coming out.

Change is in everyone’s story.

Zane Gray. Native of Georgia. English major. Lover of movies. Lover of Reece’s pieces.

A time of change and transition in Zane’s life was when he came to Gardner-Webb. He met his roommate, Joseph, through the online roommate directory that the school provided and for the fiDSCN3228rst month they hardly spoke to each. After the first month Zane’s phone broke which provided a great segue for roommate bonding.

Before coming to college, Zane was overwhelmed, but he was excited to take on new things. He discovered that people were more open in college. College, specifically Gardner-Webb, was a place full of caregivers. High school was a place where no one really respected your opinion. College provided a place where you could be who you wanted to be and strive for what you wanted to in your future.

One of the positive things that came from this transition from a place that was familiar to an unknown adventure was Zane’s faith. He has been challenged and poured into by many individuals on this campus.

Today Zane Gray is thankful for:

-the opportunity to come to know so many people

-family that loves him and a home to go to

-the most ideal roommate he could ever ask for


Another Day, Another Blog


Another day. Another blog. Another story.

Sophie Shappley. Next week she will be 7 years old. It is incredible that amount of joy that has been shared among the Shappley family with the past 7 years.

When my parents got remarried, my mom really wanted another baby. My mom had three miscarriages before she got pregnant with Sophie. I was really doubtful when my mom told me she was pregnant for the 4th time. The Lord, yet again, proved His faithfulness and mighty power.

The day Sophie was born was one I will never forget. Hospital at 6am. Sky still dark. Excitement level out of the roof.

We waited in the waiting room for what seemed like forever. I remember standing in this bland hallway in front of two tan double doors. Finally, my grandparents and I could see through the small cracks of the door my dad walking down the hall in his blue scrubs. It literally took my 12 year old breath away when he walked through with a beautiful baby girl in his hands.

To this day, I cannot recall another time when I felt as much joy and the overwhelming presence of the Lord.

March 2 continued to be a fantastic day. They put Sophie in a little bed where we could look at her from the window. I remember all of our friends and family coming by and there were tears and hugs and smiles and laughter. One of great family friends even brought me pig in a blanket because he knew they were my favorite. The day continued to be one of craziness but one of joy. There was so much laughter. So much meaningful conversation. So much excitement. We even caught the season finale of The Bachelor that night in the hospital room.

A story worth remembering. A story that certainly continues and remains to be another chapter in the Shappley Circus.


Here’s a fun video of Rachel & Ross with their baby in the show Friends:

A Story Worth Sharing

Today I am going to share one of my favorite stories of all time. It is a story that has shaped my life in more ways than one and brought me to the place I am today.

Side note: I thought it might be good to share a little bit of my story in the process of sharing the stories of other people.

Once upon a time there was a family. A  family that seemed to measure up to what “normal” looks like in this day and age.

When I was 5 years old my parents got divorced. A hard thing for a child, but today it has, unfortunately, become the norm.

My parents were divorced for 4 years.

4 years of it just being me and my mom. 4 years of “Daddy’s day” every Tuesday. 4 years of mac & cheese dinners and VHS movies on our 12 inch TV. 4 years of my dad going down the wrong path. 4 years of my mom earnestly praying for him. 4 years of the Lord telling my mom they were going to get back together. 4 years of my dad saying no, but 4 years of the Lord working things out for the good. 4 years of the Lord’s redemption at work in such a real way.

The Lord did an amazing work in my dad’s heart. The Lord did an amazing work in my mom’s heart. The Lord proved His faithfulness once again. By the grace of the Lord, my parents got remarried. It was a beautiful picture of God’s redemption. It was a hard adjustment. It took a lot of work. It was one of the greatest moments of all our lives.

There was a wedding in our apartment. I got to be the flower girl, the maid of honor, the best man, and the pianist.

God healed something that was broken for His glory.

The story definitely continues and the Lord’s faithfulness in the Shappley family never stops. It has definitely not been easy, but God has brought us closer to Him and to each other. I even have a 7 year old little sister now but that is a story for another day, another blog.


Wedding Round 2


“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”


This week I am going to change things up just a little bit. We are going to take a break from interviews of the awesome people on the campus of Gardner-Webb and just reflect (maybe  with a few stories thrown in though).

I think that in life we can easily become caught up in the story and lose focus of the one who writes the story and the main character in the story.

These past few weeks interviewing individuals at Gardner-Webb have been so much fun. I have been able to get to know some of my already friends a little bit better and even form some new friendships. These stories  have not been earth shattering or heart wrenching kind of stories, but they have been stories that allows you catch of glimpse of who that person is in every day life and what has brought them to this point.

One thing I have learned from this is that every person has a story whether is about how they decided on college or what sport they played when they were little. Everyone has something to share.

Right now, I am learning that the key to getting to know someone is not asking them a bunch of yes or no questions but having a conversation with them and taking the time to listen to their stories. Short, long, sad, happy, silly. A story is a story and the experiences people have had make them who they are.


“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Check out a clip from Jimmy Fallon where Ryan Reynolds tells a cool story of what he did for one of his fans:

Be My Galentine

This year I have been introduced to the new thing of “Galentine’s Day.” Although I do not watch the show, I have heard that this term originated from the hit show, Parks and Recreation that features Amy Poehler.

This year, “Galentine’s Day,” has been a huge hit, and I was able to participate with my roomie, Hannah Ray. This February 13th was a day to remember. A day of sleeping. A day of eating Mexican food. A day of eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. A day of watching Netflix and 80’s movies. A day for just the girls.

So next year, or really any day of the year, if you are in need of a day just for the girls, have a Galentine’s day.

galentine 2

Step 1: Wear comfy clothes, and lay in the bed and watch Netflix all day.


Step 2: When you get hungry, go eat Mexican. Order queso. Get sweet tea. Sit and talk to your best friend for a long time about everything and nothing all at the same time.

Say Anything

Step 3: Get Ben & Jerry’s. Turn on the Christmas lights. Watch a chick flick.

Step 4: Talk about how Galentine’s day is the best day ever, and plan for another one very SOON.


Couples of GDubb

Valentine’s Day. A day where some couples go all out. A day where some couples keep it super simple. A day where all the single gals get together and watch a chick flick. A day where chocolate is consumed and flowers are given.

Another couple I ran into on this Valentine’s day were my good friends, Trey and Amanda.


Trey and Amanda have been dating for a year and three months (Amanda says that Trey always keeps up with this calculation).

They met at Gardner-Webb, but they do not exactly remember the moment they met each other. They have just always been in the same friend group.

What is your favorite quality about the other person?

“Trey has such a servant’s heart,” says Amanda.

“She cares about others, and she is so generous. Also, I love her snort when she laughs,” says Trey.

When I asked them about their favorite date or memory together Trey responded, “The little ones are the most important to me.” Also, Trey and Amanda recalled that once they went to the art museum in Charlotte which was super fun.

“I romanced the crap out of her,” says Trey.

This Valentine’s day the couple spent in Hendersonville. Trey got Amanda a ring, and Amanda got Trey a new Gardner-Webb and a huge box of his favorite candy, goldfish.

Valentine’s Day 2016 has come and gone. Cute dates. Casual dates. Detail-oriented dates. Simple dates. Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. More chocolate. See you next year, Valentine’s Day.

Check out the best Valentine’s Day gifts to give to that special someone!

Fender Fairytale


Dennis Fender and Morgan McDaniel. Soon to be, Mr. and Mrs. Fender.

This newly engaged couple met a little over a year ago at Gardner-Webb’s annual Connect Fair. Dennis was at the Putnam Baptist Church booth  when he met Morgan in her purple rain jacket, dark jeans, and owl rain boots. Morgan won the gift card they were giving away at the booth, and Dennis always jokes that that was the first time Morgan tested his patience because when he called to tell her she won, it took her a long time to meet him to get it.

As time progressed, Morgan became interested in interning for the youth at Putnam Baptist. She began meeting with their youth pastor, Jonathan, who was busy telling the other youth intern, Dennis, about how great Morgan was. Needless to say, Dennis was really excited about officially meeting and getting to work with this girl.

Dennis and Morgan will share their one year anniversary on the 25th of February. Also, their wedding is coming up on August 20th!

What is one quality you admire about the other person?

“I really admire Morgan’s natural beauty. She has no need for any make it up. When she wears it, it just enhances her beauty,” says Dennis.

“Dennis is such a hard worker. I really love how positive he is, and he hardly ever complains,” says Morgan.

Dennis and Morgan shared that one of their favorite dates or things that they do together is hiking. Morgan said Dennis is really adventurous, and she keeps him from falling off the mountain.

The (soon to be) Fender’s spent their Valentine’s day just hanging out with each other. Last night, they went to see the Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins, and today Dennis brought Morgan flowers, chocolate, a card, and a mug.



Check out more of the story on their website!

The Lone Bronco

A rare finding, but there are a few Broncos fans in the midst of the mass of Panthers fans in the Carolinas tonight.DSCN3150

Ethan Ramsey (or E10 as some people call him). A lover of history. A lover of mountains. A lover of baseball. A lover of the legendary, Peyton Manning.

He is one of the few Broncos fans tonight which turned out to be a good thing. Peyton Manning is Ethan’s favorite player. He used to be a huge Indianapolis Colts fan when Peyton played for them, and then Ethan switched his allegiance when Peyton went to the Denver Broncos.

Besides Peyton and the Broncos, baseball is Ethan’s favorite sport. He loves the game, and he says it is so different that it is hard to describe why he loves it so much.

Ethan’s favorite baseball memory was during his senior year of high school. It was the last game of the season that his mom was able to see, and he hit a home run to tie up the game. Although the team did not win the game, it was still an exciting moment for the Ramsey family.

3 things Ethan is thankful for on this Super Bowl night:

  1. Football
  2. Weekends
  3. Peyton Manning


Congrats to the Broncos and Peyton Manning who have won the 50th Super Bowl.

Double Support

The Carolina Panthers are at the 50th Super Bowl. It surely is an exciting time to be in the Carolinas right now where you can meet some of the biggest and most genuine Panthers fans. DSCN3148

Breanna and Keanna. Sisters. Twins. Friends. Roommates. Lovers of music. Lovers of Cookout. Lovers of Panther football.

Keanna is a Communications major and Breanna is an American Sign Language major.

Breanna has been a Panthers fan for longer than Keanna, but they both said the reason why they were fans was because they wanted to support their home state and home team. Also, they said that their dad loves football, and it has always been a way for them to spend time with him and bond.

Tonight, they are spending their Super Bowl Sunday, of course, watching the Panthers and spending time with some of their closest friends at Gardner-Webb.

3 things Keanna is thankful for today:

  1. Friends that watch the Super Bowl with them even if they don’t really watch football
  2. The positive impact the Carolina Panthers has brought to the state
  3. Bonding through the game with their parents as they are 4 hours away

3 things Breanna is thankful for today:

  1. Friends
  2. Panthers going to the Super Bowl
  3. Connections


Check out some interesting stats about the Super Bowl matchup of 2016:

Overtime Buzzer Beater

The first weekend in February  has been one for the books in the state of North Carolina, especially for the tiny town of Boiling Springs. On Saturday night the Gardner-Webb men’s basketball team faced off Presbyterian College for what at first seemed to be on the verge of a shut out on the part of the Bulldogs. The game took a quick turn as Presbyterian College caught back up and forced the Bulldogs into overtime. Some of the most nerve-racking minutes of the game had every fan on the edge of their seats. At the very last seconds of overtime, the game was tied yet again. Gardner-Webb had the ball and with 2.5 seconds left, a pass was made to senior, Isaiah Ivey, who was wide open and made a “nothing but net” 3-point shot. Needless to say, the crowd went wild.


Tonight as I sat watching the Super Bowl I came across this legendary senior from Louisville, Kentucky. A stand-up guy from what I could tell in the few minutes I spent with him. Isaiah is a Sports Management major and has played basketball at Gardner-Webb for the past 4 years. Isaiah grew up in a basketball home. It is something he and his parents share a love for. He has played basketball for a total of 16 years. Needless to say, yet again, basketball is his favorite sport.

One of his favorite memories as a basketball player is in high school they went to regionals, and he was able to play in the same arena that the University of Kentucky plays in.

Isaiah says that his favorite college team, other than Gardner-Webb, is Ohio State because that is where he was born. Isaiah’s favorite professional team is the Lakers.

I asked Isaiah how he felt in those last seconds of the game yesterday.

“Relief. I was wide open.”

What a time to be a Gardner-Web fan.

Isaiah plans to play professional basketball overseas after he graduates from Gardner-Webb, and he said he hopes to eventually coach basketball.

Tonight, he is pulling for the Panthers which seems to be a common theme among the people in the Carolinas on this Super Bowl Sunday.

3 things Isaiah is thankful for today:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Teammates


Thankful for exhilarating weekends and new friends. Oh what a time to be alive, my friends.

Read more about the Bulldogs big game this past Saturday: