Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Choose Life

Everything within me fights this. Our entire world is made up of efforts to deny it. But after years of therapy, an eating disorder and some other falls and searing pains along the way, everything in my life, and likely yours, proves this true: life is hard. And that is an understatement. 

My friend who lost her father too soon, my husband whose sister died at 15, young girls sold into sex, people who I love were abused, and the list goes on. Life is so incredibly tragic that truth seems a trite response...
We are safe, secure as this little child, when we cling to God, who is big enough to give us life out of all this mess. Hope out of the darkness, comfort in grief & truth rather than lies. This lie, I choose to see it for what it is...fear. 
Fear that someone I love will die.
That my heart will be ripped out and trampled.
Fear that dreams remain unfulfilled.

But Truth allows us to choose life.

A life worth living.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Farther Along

This is not perfect.
A little wobbly on my feet.
Legs a little bent.
Jumps are really hops.
Yet, I'm farther along in understanding dance than I have ever been.

When choreographing, just like any other art, you live with it, breathe it, sleep it and carry it around with you for a long time. It becomes a part of you that can drive you crazy, or give you strength. This song and this dance represent and mean so much to me, on so many levels, that go way beyond dance; a few imperfections mean less than they used to.

I'm starting to realize how art parallels life. And we can take heart when things don't go as planned. We'll understand that it was the living, breathing and sweat of the process that gives us joy and glimpses of real truth, beyond what the end result had ever promised.

Farther Along from Shelby Lynn on Vimeo.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Only Truth

There are things that I cannot express, that I wish I could make you understand. But I'm unable to put comprehension into your mind of something that is so profound it makes me weep. 

Some days, I literally have to dance around in my living room because of this truth.

"...heaven filled me with more than enough..." is a line from a song I recently choreographed a dance to (hoping to post here soon!). It describes perfectly my reaction to this truth:
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

I am more than weak most of the time. My feet limit me, my insecurities box me in, and our vulnerabilities separate us. God sees the lies you're believing, whatever is swimming in your head right now and messing you up. And He sees...
His grace
His sufficiency
His power
His perfection

Thank you Jesus
~ Shelby

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You're "On"

Oh man do I think I'm smart. Somedays I sit up in my chair at work, my back straight, and I just know the words coming out of my mouth are brilliant. Ha! It's even worse when life is tough. Because I know the Creator of the Universe, I feel this pressure to have secret insight into how He works. Unfortunately I rarely understand His plans, so I end up frustrated, or feeling like I've failed.

But really, I know nothing, and that's what scares me. The closer I get to Jesus, the more I am struck at how His plans are greater, bigger, and often more confusing than mine. I can plan, prepare and study myself until I know it all, but I don't know HIM. the one that I need to know if there's hope of me saying anything insightful or compassionate or true.
Now that's truth.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


When my heart hurts it helps to remember the good...

A husband who's been in my life 10 years, and who I've shared a name with for nearly 5.

The truth that I run to, it's the love letter from my Savior Jesus

Heat, it's keeps my toes from being purple

Tears, they remind me I'm feeling instead of shutting myself off from pain

A friend who lets me tell her all the good and bad of my life...and her husband who put a spare tire on my car, cause I had a flat.

The sweet man who got out of his car, at a stoplight, in the tell me I had a flat

Music to match my emotions and remind me that God is big enough

Peppermint Mocha Brownies

~ Shelby

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I love seeing these two images next to each other. On the left a waif of a woman, a cartoon, yes, but the standard of an "ideal" woman in America. On the right, laugh lines and wrinkles from living, and the years that go with life. The pressure to conform on one side, and riding barefoot on your bicycle on the other. Empty and predictable versus colorful and spontaneous.

It's easy to conform to life's expectations, but the more we open ourselves to others, life gets a little brighter. People & relationships add dynamics that are beyond our control. The people I love have brought  deep, searing pain to my life. And they have given me happiness so great that it makes my heart ache.

The truth is that I want to grow old, wrinkly (perhaps even pudgy) from laughter...tears...and living life. No botox for me. I want people to see this face someday and know that it was lived wholeheartedly. (I already have gray hair, so wrinkles are next anyway, right?)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Lie that's True

In a way, this lie is true...
We are all those things, and yet because of Jesus, we don't have to live in any of the them. But I so often get stuck there. It's sad to realize that internally this is reality, while externally I put on a pretty good show.

I've hidden from this lie the most. I lived it out in the past, to the point that I punished myself into starvation. Healed and whole from that, I am still held back today from the lie that says I am crap. And the thing that makes me mad is that this lie keeps me from the things I want the most. From being a good wife or living out the dreams God has for me. This lie is so damaging, so insipid, that seeing it here both confronts me and breaks my heart.

But this truth, this is why I must dance! I want to walk in that freedom, and I long for you to join me. That we who have tasted God's love, which has set us free from the pain of past regret, and the worthlessness we found there, will drink in a new life. If we, if I, could live like we believe this - each morning with a fresh start - we could be the person we've always set out to become. And the person, God has always known that we are, that He created us to be.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Fire

Prayers can be scary. You know the saying: "When you pray for patience, God makes you wait". Or when you pray for strength He gives you something difficult so you'll be come stronger. I have often prayed that God's fire would consume me.

I was asked to choreograph this dance for a women's conference called "Come to the Fire". What I didn't know when I said yes, was that I wouldn't need to ask for the "fire to fall" for long. This dance was born at a time when the flames in my life were so hot they were licking my flesh. The women who watched me perform this dance likely thought God had moved me deeply that night. I became so emotional at the end of the dance that tears poured out of me. I did not need to ask for the fire to fall, I was in it.

God had allowed me to walk through something so searing, that I honestly did not want any more fire. I wanted His glory to come up from the ashes of the mess that was my life.  And I needed his rest. My prayers haven't changed, in fact they may even be more bold now. Now, I see from the other side of the fire,
and dear one,
it is good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Make the Stumble Part of the Dance

What that phrase means to me...
"I will exalt you, O Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O Lord my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; 
you spared me from going down into the pit.

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,
'I will never be shaken.'
O Lord, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
'What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me;
O Lord, be my help.'
Joyful feet on our wedding day
You turned my wailing into dance; 
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

~Psalm 30