Monday, January 30, 2012


I cannot tell you why it happens. It doesn't really make sense. That small logical part of my brain, (it's very small, I'm a woman, so my heart usually makes all my decisions!) has tried to figure it out in the past. But I cannot for the life of my explain why I pretend or why I try to cover over my flaws.

It's got to be fear. Fear that I won't be accepted, loved, valued, appreciated or seen as an equal. Perhaps pride, that I can project this persona that's so great it's worth admiring, respecting and even emulating. What a lethal combination - fear & pride.
The honest truth is that I want to believe what God says. That He loves me, so much that I can stop being afraid. I can let down my pride and just be the woman He's made me to be. I want to walk in that freedom. And if I could do something in that freedom, it would be to connect to someone else in her own moment of weakness. My name means "sheltered town". I want to be a place where she, where you, can feel safe. Because, let's be honest I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I messed up today. But God still loves me...the truth for today is that He loves us both.
~ Shelby

Friday, January 27, 2012


"...for I am the LORD, who heals you..."
Exodus 15:26 NIV

When I was at Grace College the campus counselor was a gift. She confronted me, allowed me to cry, and neither pitied nor bullied me. At at time when I hated myself and felt unlovable, she helped me experience self-hatred so that I could also experience the Grace of God. But of all the truth I learned in that little office, I hang my hat on this the most...

"With God there can be complete healing..."

So a little science here. According to the Cleveland Clinic, upwards of 20% of people with anorexia die, and anywhere from 24-56% of those with diagnosed anorexia never fully recover.* My mom read those stats at one point and had a major freak out moment, who wouldn't? Sometimes I'm scared to have a daughter because of threats like that. And yet,
"With God there can be complete healing..."

The temptation is still there - when I'm extremely overwhelmed or emotionally distraught.  The option to fall back is there.  And sometimes the lies have a way of slithering back in. But, we serve a perfect God who is greater than any illness, whether it's one we can see like cancer - or can't, like depression. I believe God can fully and completely heal, and I do not need to live in fear that healing and wholeness is impossible.

"With God there can be complete healing for your marriage"
"With God there can be complete healing for your broken heart"
"With God there can be complete healing between you and your father"
"With God there can be complete healing with the church"
"With God there can be complete healing from..."
~ Shelby

"But for you that honor my name, victory will shine like the sun with healing in its rays..."
Malachi 4:2 CEV
*Franco, Kathleen N. (2011). Eating Disorders. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Ugh, emotions. Seriously, sometimes I am just a mess.  Crying at everything, scared at nothing and melancholy on a sunny days.  And then, there are days when pain presses agains my chest so hard that I cannot breathe, and the emotions are so intense, so real that it is hard to really feel them. That is when I am tempted to "check out" of life, because feeling this way is more than I can bear. 

I often feel things so deeply that when life and auto-pilot kicks in and I don't have the emotional highs and lows I've grown so used to, then there must be something wrong with me. The truth is that emotions can be beautiful servants, rather than tyrannical masters.

He is a REAL savior, lover and friend. Someone that will travel down the quiet halls of sadness and loneliness, so that I am not alone there. He is also there to drink in the joy of the mountain-top experiences.  He is so real in all of those moments that I don't want to forget how real He is today, when I send an email, drive my car or make dinner for my husband. And with as much feeling as I can muster in this moment, I love him for that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Truth vs. Lies

"God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." ~ I Corinthians 5:21

That verse hit me over the head one night, I was so excited I literally ran down the hall to a friend and showed it to her. Jumping up and down (seriously, I do that when I'm really happy), I could only exclaim that I finally got it.

Perfection...this unattainable thing I had been working for was futile.  In the face of something better - His Righteousness. And so, I learned that when a truth rips the lies off the walls of your mind something incredible happens. There is freedom, joy, peace and a deeper connection with a Savior so perfect nothing else compares. It is in exposing lies and finding the truth that I am reminded of how weak I am and how great He is...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food Control

Lies intermixed with truth. Because fruits, vegetables, natural and organic foods are healthy. But extreme control, fear of fat and an empty plate are stark realities that I face when I'm weak. It's when I'm tired, emotional or feeling pain that I run to the comfort of control. Knowing that so much is out of my control, food becomes the way I cope. 

And the lies wash over me like a seducer promising a beautiful night of passion. The words are comforting, but they only lead to pain and destruction.

I am so ashamed of being human. To mess up, make mistakes, have a muffin top and admit that I don't have it all figured out. One day I won't be ashamed. When my body really is perfect, my mind will be too.  I'll realize that the entire goal was to have a body that reflected and exalted Him. Not in appearance, but in its person. 
~ Shelby

Thursday, January 12, 2012


There are things in life that isolate us: fear, pain or just plain messing up BIG. But lies, they combine all the isolation together & force us into a lonely dark hole.
Finding my way out the black pit was slow, painfully slow. There are moments when you claw at the rocks and end up with bloody fingers as you fall back down the mountainside. We can look up and see a light at the top of the deep well, but when the walls are slick and flat, it's a rope we need rather than our broken fingers and feeble attempts at climbing out. A rope of truth to lift us out of the dark and into the light.

We find we are not alone. And that tomorrow when the lie wrestles to shut out the light He is there. And, He has provided Himself in more than one way. His Son brings comfort, and His children can be called trusted friends. As much as I have walked alone and thought I would be safe, the darkness always threatens to win. 

But when I walk with her, a friend...with him, my husband...I am stronger. 

For when I am vulnerable to exposing myself to them, I am safe. The lie loses it's grip, and the TRUTH wins again. I'll take the noise of a relationship with Him and with them over the silence of that dark hole.
~ Shelby

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Live 4 Truth

That's my password to about half of my online stuff. I use it to remind me what I want to be known for, the legacy I want to leave. A life lived for truth.

There are a lot of lies in this world, in fact I sometimes think there are more of those than there are truths. I used to believe the lie that people would always tell the truth...they don't. I assumed that I was good enough to get into heaven...I'm not. And I still let myself think that believing lies is better than boldly seeking and living in the me, I'm telling you the truth, it's not.

So, I want to live for truth, I want to seek it where it may be found, and one of the things I ache for is to see that truth catch fire in others so they would live in freedom with me.

"...Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."
- John 8:32

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Creation

It's hard, it just is. Being something else, something more than what you are right now. The desire is there, the hope that one day I can be different, I can be better. But today, now in this moment of grief I believe the lie that says this place is all I can hope for...

I feel something tingle inside my chest, and my breath is taken away. I read these words of truth, blurred by my tears.
It's possible to be more than a broken women, to dig out of this grave and to LIVE. I am not controlled by circumstances of my past. No, today I am a new creation. A new being entirely.

Even before the Shelby that I hate is replaced by the Savior that I love, I am new. Because He says that I am. It's about Him making me new, and me dancing around in that truth. The hard work of moving beyond my past, well He did all that work. It sounds easy, it's not...and it is.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Number 26

Happy Birthday is my joy to watch you grow. Today, when I look at you I see 26 years of my love flowing over you, rushing to wash away your pain and sin.
Photo via Sarah Smith:
I see you sweetly and simply as a little girl asking my Son to forgive your sins and never leave you. It has been my joy to answer those prayers for you each day, I never want to be away from you. It was my delight to hear you ask for my Presence, and there's nothing I'd more gladly give you.

My heart rejoices over the memory of your college-self wrestling with life and with me. I watched you open your heart - despite the pain - to the truth that has come to set you free. The truth that is my grace, which covers your imperfections. We grew closer that year as you began to see me for who I am, not what you, your church or this world would tell you. Dear one, we walked through the refining fire that has brought you closer to me.

You are a woman now, and still my child. I eagerly expect and hope that you will have sufficient courage, so that now, and always, my Son will be exalted in your body. Be still my child, though it linger, wait for it.  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have had to endure many trials for a little while. Know this, I love you, I have walked with you 26 years, and will continue to be by your side until the day I hold you in my arms.

~Your Heavenly Father

Monday, January 2, 2012


Frozen in fear, the lie that keeps me stuck. It doesn't shout at me, if it did I'd probably have an easier time fighting it off.  No, it hisses in my ear. When I wake up and look in the mirror or as I talk, the lie creeps in behind my ear:

To look perfect, with every hair and piece of jewelry just so. Not accepting less than perfect work. I must be the perfect person to everyone. Fulfilling their needs, anticipating their feelings and responding flawlessly. Because of course that's possible!

And then, there it is, the truth that does SHOUT at me. It hits me right where my bangs hit my forehead and reminds me that those crooked bangs can stay that way. Perfection of my own isn't the goal, but His righteousness, a much deeper perfection than I could ever achieve. This is why Jesus came, so that when I wake up and look in the mirror, I see myself through His Son's sacrifice. As a daughter of the King who, for all He cares, can have mismatched socks, as long as my feet follow after Him.