Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lion Queen!

Friends, I have a new article out on Woman's Missionary Union's website, on a dear friend from Terrell, Texas, Nancy Cobb, titled "Courage, a Suitcase and the Lion Queen." Nancy has been on many mission trips. She has a book out called  Suitcase Carrier for God. I loved her book. I read it to my family all the way from San Angelo, TX, to Albuquerque, NM. I laughed and I cried. So good! I know you will be blessed by her.

Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your story with WMU.

Love, Shelli

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Grass Is Not Greener

Cows coming for apples
I love the country. My grandmother owns a beautiful, forty acre, piece of property in East Texas. I visited my grandparents often as a child and loved spending summer weeks there. My grandfather went to be with the Lord years ago and a few things have changed around their place - my grandmother is aging, the once-upon-a-time bountiful garden is now overgrown with weeds, and the cows have all been sold off.

But my memories of their place are forever etched in my mind and heart. I often let my mind wander off to their long, sandy driveway I played on as a child. Memories of peach trees, plum trees and blackberry vines, feeding my sense of smell and my tummy! Their house was on a high hill, and I can still feel the breeze coming through the window at night as I’d try to doze off to sleep.

Karalee and Katelyn with "Bottle Baby" 2005

We take our two girls there as often as possible, desiring them to have the same special memories. The girls especially loved to feed the horses and cows before they were sold. Not only did they love hay, but they had a real appetite for apples.

Since I’ve gotten older, nearly every trip to my grandmother’s house included a stop at the local store to buy a bag of apples. My husband would cut the whole bag of apples up into tiny pieces so that our "feeding the cows" adventure would last a long time! After my grandfather died, we’d hop in his old truck, and it would die at least a time or two before approaching the pasture gate. My husband would get out, open the gate and we’d head straight down into the pasture. As soon as the cows would hear the truck coming, they’d come running. The girls were thrilled!

Brian with "Bottle Baby"
Before the cows would reach us and especially before the bull reached us, we’d all hop into the truck bed as fast as we could. In no time, the cows would have us surrounded, and we’d have a blast feeding them. One cow, in particular, was very people-friendly. She was bottle fed as a baby, hence the name, “Bottle Baby”! We had to throw the apples to some cows because a few were afraid to get too close to us, but Bottle Baby would feed right out of our hands. One time our youngest daughter got the shock of her life when Bottle Baby engulfed her whole arm with her mouth! We thought for a minute that she was going to take more than just the apple! She never hurt Katelyn though. Bottle Baby was very gentle.

The bull looked so friendly and would even get close enough to eat the apples, but no way could you trust him. Being in the truck bed meant that obedience from our girls was top priority. With that old bull close by, obedience meant life or death to us and our girls. The bull could be quite moody, and he had been known to charge at my grandmother from time to time. Teaching obedience is one of the most important things you can ever do for your children. If our girls had not obeyed us and had jumped out of the truck bed, they could have been hurt severely.

Did you know obeying God is one of the most important things you can ever learn to do? God brought to my attention a very special verse in Deuteronomy 32:46-47 that says, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you - they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

Knowing God’s Word and obeying is “life” for us. Disobeying God is like stepping out of that truck bed and getting hooked by a fiery bull. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The world offers so much that is contrary to God’s Word. We teach our children to obey for their safety, and that is exactly why God wants us to obey Him. God loves us and promises life for those who obey Him. I would imagine one of Satan’s greatest hopes is that we won’t obey God, and we won’t take Him seriously. He would love for us to step out of line with God, so that he can do his best to devour us.

We are definitely in the truck bed of life, and we have a choice to obey or disobey our Father. Stay close to God, where there is safety or step out of the truck bed (following after the world) and get hooked by Satan. The consequences can be devastating. You, like me, may have found that out the hard way a few times. But know that it is never, never too late to jump back into that truck bed, in God’s arms, to safety!

“They are not just idle words for you - they are your life!” The grass is not greener on the other side!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Color Outside the Lines!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. The day started out so special. Two little girls woke me up saying, "Mom, we made cinnamon rolls for you." My first words, "You used the oven? Did you use the pie pan?" (they turn out best in the pie  pan!) Of course. Yes, they are 12 and 10 and quite capable of cooking, but this mom is always afraid to let them because I'm afraid they will get hurt/burned. I want to be there to watch every move they make to ensure their safety, and I have to admit, perfection. I have to tell you this precious action of theirs has to be credited to my husband, Brian. He's not afraid to let them try things like I am. He loves coloring outside the lines!!

Early in the day, my husband says to me, "Shelli, let's let the girls color underneath our dining room table. No one will be able to see it. Only we will know it's there. Their drawings will be special memories down the road."

Now, our dining room table is fairly new. It is the nicest dining table I have ever had. When Brian and I first married, he was an enlisted airman in the Air Force, and believe me when I say our pay was little. I was thankful to have a small table all those struggling years; buying a dining table was not high priority. We actually didn't have a dining table until a precious elderly friend passed away and left us a monetary gift. When we lived in Fort Worth some twenty years ago, she was our neighbor. Brian always mowed her yard for her and wouldn't take a dime from her. She found a way to pay him back!! So with that gift, we decided to buy something that we needed, that would be around a long time, and that would always remind us of our precious neighbor. That was our dining table.

Color on the dining table? Really? I'm such a color-inside-the-lines type of person, but I'm so thankful for a husband who loves to color outside the lines.

The mural began!

I crawled underneath my dining table last night, and this is the first thing I saw:

Karalee's handiwork
Then I looked and saw this: (Grin.)

from my flower girl, Katelyn
When my eyes focused on "Believe in the Lord" ... I knew this was the beginning of an amazing Masterpiece. Karalee will look back at this one day and see that her thoughts were on God that Thanksgiving Day. And I'm so thankful that my color-inside-the-lines personality didn't cause me to miss out on something so special.

Color outside the lines? You bet!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Promise Keeper

This is the time of year when people start thinking about what they are thankful for. As I was putting on my make-up this morning, it came to me: I am so thankful that our God is "the" Promise Keeper! He is not wishy-washy, or indecisive like we can tend to be. He does not wake up on the wrong side of the bed. He is faithful. He is the reason I can smile today; and the reason tears can well up in my eyes at the thought of where He has brought me and what He has seen me through, in spite of me. Oh, I love Him.

I thought I'd share two of my favorite promises:

1. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

2. "Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Project HELP

I have another article out regarding what WMU is doing to prevent human exploitation. This sweet lady, Sheryl Churchill, actually grew up in Fort Worth and attended Travis Avenue Baptist Church (where we go). Speaking with her was such a blessing for me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Cry for Freedom

I recently had the amazing privilege to interview Sandra Johnson, president and founder of Triad Ladder of Hope (TLH) in North Carolina. She is an amazing woman. Her service to the Lord includes helping rescue victims tangled in the web of human exploitation/ human trafficking. I know you will be blessed by Sandra.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Toddler's Cancer Changes a Family

** Update ... when you click on this link, on the left side, click on year "2010" and Issue "04, Oct-Dec" ... hope you are blessed.

Katelyn in hospital April 2001

I have a new article out with Chinese Christian Mission about our daughter Katelyn's battle with cancer. Once you click on this link, look to the left and click on my article's title, "A Toddler's Cancer Changes a Family."

Katelyn 2009
Katelyn was only 13 months old when we discovered she had a Wilm's tumor.  If I look extremely pale in the picture above, just know that I am very fair-skinned and my make-up may have been too light, but I had been so sick.

I pray you are blessed by the article. And if you would like a copy of the publication, Challenger, with the article and pictures included, just call them or email them through their website, and they will send you one for free in the mail.

Love, Shelli

Brian blowing bubbles!

Katelyn (10) and Karalee (12) 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Challenge

I have a new article out on WMU's myMISSIONfulfilled titled The Challenge. This article was truly a challenge for me. This article was on the challenges of a person living with HIV/AIDS and the challenges of a "caregiver."

I had a high school classmate die from this tragic disease years ago, and his sister was so sweet to give me a quote about her brother for my article.

One thing that struck my heart ... no matter what hardships we endure ... in life and in death, God continues to use our lives and our testimonies. I praise Him for that. I praise Him that when our lives are over, they aren't "over." Not eternally and not on this earth.

May you be blessed.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

True Love

This is absolutely the sweetest thing my husband has ever done for me.

Spontaneous. Surprising. Glorious!

We were painting a section of our kitchen wall red.
Taking a break, I sat down at the office computer.
Eventually, the girls came in and blocked me from leaving the room.
After tickling them silly, I broke free to see such a sweet masterpiece of love!

I ran so excitedly to grab my camera -
and this is the love I captured!
This is one sweet memory I'll never forget.
And it's going to be mighty hard to paint over.
It may take me several days to figure out what to do about this ...

This melted my heart more than anything he's ever done for me.
I guess I'm easy to please ... but it feels like, after 23 years ...
true love!

Yahoo! That's my "B"!

Planting a Vineyard with my Little Sister!

I have a new article out titled Planting a Vineyard: "Couponing with Lucrecia Wingfield." What a fun article this was because my sweet friend (like a little sister to me), Lucrecia, agreed to do an interview/article for me. I started a facebook account because of Lucrecia ... she kept posting pictures on there and I kept getting invitations to see her pictures ... it was more than I could take, so I started a facebook account. I had to see those sweet kidos - her 3 boys and my girls' best friends.

Well, not long after, I kept noticing her posting pictures of groceries and personal care items that she purchased for so little money. She, once again, got my curiosity up enough that I had to ask her how on earth was she doing that. She showed me all her great websites for finding great coupons ... convinced me to start buying at least two Sunday papers for the coupons ... and I have really saved a lot of money since the first of the year. Not only that, I have so much more groceries and personal care items in my pantry and bathroom cabinets ... enough to last for months.

The best part ... I can give so much more away than ever before. I am a stay-at-home mom who home schools and writes, but basically we live on one income. We are probably the only "one income" family on our street. Earlier in the year, the post office did their yearly food drive, and we were the only family on the street that put out an overflowing sack of grocery items to donate.

It's just proof that one can do much on one income if you take advantage of money saving opportunities.

Shelli and Lucrecia
I thank my good friend, Lucrecia, for the interview and for the special memory/keepsake of an article on her - written/compiled by me. That is mighty special indeed! And I thank my precious Savior, who makes blessings like this possible.

I hope you are blessed by the article. And that you are able to save money and stock up as I have.
Love, Shelli

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Beauty for Ashes

I have a new article out! I am so thrilled about this one because it is written on a lady, Mary Clemons, who lives in my hometown of Terrell, Texas. We actually went to high school together for a few years until she moved away. It is a tragic story of domestic violence ... I say tragic because there was not a happy ending to her marrige. But her life is victorious, and the best thing is that she is alive today to proclaim how much she loves the Lord and is a servant to helping others escape domestic violence. I know you will be blessed by her story!

And Mary will be featured in Good Housekeeping toward the end of this year!
Love, Shelli

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have a new article posted on WMU's myMISSIONfulfilled called A Valued Inheritance regarding "life." Vicky Payne had me in tears, and the video, The Silent Scream, was horrifying, disturbing, and heart-breaking ... yet, an eye-opener. I found it on-line and forced myself to watch it completely. I pray you are blessed by this article.

Love, Shelli

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Texas Bluebonnets

Every year it's such a challenge to get "Bluebonnet pictures"! They are so beautiful, but it is always rainy this time of year which makes the ground so soft and muddy! The only place you usually see them is on the highway/interstate, unless you make an intentional country drive for pictures!
It's driving on the highway that reminds me ... I need to get pictures!
This last week as we were driving home from our Saturday ritual of Rudy's breakfast burritos and donuts, we found a place easy to pull off on the highway for pictures.
You have to be careful where you stop ... you don't want to cause on-lookers to have an accident!
The ground was so soft from the rain, there was some complaining over that and over the precious flowers we squished to get pictures, and we came home with some mud on our shoes, but I got pictures!
It's very windy, and I can't help but laugh when I see my youngest daughter's hair blowing up against the back of her head ... but, I got pictures!
See ... with Bluebonnets ... you only have about two weeks to accomplish this amazing feat!

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." - Isaiah 40:8

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Inconceivable Love

Sweet friends, I have a new article out by a Chinese Christian publication called the Challenger!  This article touched my heart more than most ... though they all touch my heart. This one had me crying all the way. So ... caution! It is regarding little girls in Africa and Islam ... and broke my heart so much because I have two small girls. I cannot imagine what these babies are going through. No one should have to.

Be blessed. Grab your tissue.

Go here to read this, year 2010, issue 3 (July-Sept).

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Surrendering Heart

I have a new article out on WMU's This young man's name had to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. It was a blessing to speak with him ... I know you'll be blessed, too.

Love, Shelli

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February is for Snow and Valentine's Day!

We received over 6-8 inches of snow in Fort Worth, Texas, this February! Hard to believe. Looking at my recipe for snow ice cream ... the last time we had this much snow was when we lived in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 2001! The girls really enjoyed it.

and so did their kittie cats, Aslan & Lucy ...

I shoveled all the snow from our driveway and have a definite back pain from it!

Have to throw in a few pictures from our December/ Christmas snow!

"Crystal" is her name, and she even made me look small! A few days later ...

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Started off with our sweet 4th grade Sunday school class at Travis Avenue Baptist Church. Then we were off to the Rain Forest Cafe in Grapevine!

Karalee & Katelyn

It was a wonderful day, until about 9pm. Karalee started having a stomach ache and here comes the old bad stomach virus. NOT a very nice Valentine's Day present. But two days later, she is a new little girl! Now, hoping Katelyn doesn't get sick, too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Manila Flood

I have a new article out at Woman's Missionary Union's I interviewed a precious missionary in the Philippines who lived through the awful flood. I am so glad the Lord allowed our paths to cross, and I appreciate her for sharing her story.

Be blessed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shelli Littleton is New to the Blogger World

And how! I deleted my initial post ... I knew that would happen. For those Siestas who commented, please forgive me. I am awfully horrible at technology. But learning. I told you I need blogger prayers!

Just to re-cap what I wrote earlier, but condensed ... thank you, Beth Moore, for inviting me and so many others to a "Jesus Year" and for the invitation to Houston. It was great to be at a small, church type setting with you. 2009 was such a blessed year, hiding God's Word continually in my heart. Thank you for that precious hug.

Here I am with Amanda. I told her I felt like I was at Disney World! I felt like I was waiting to take my picture with Cinderella! She is a cutie pie and so sweet ... right up there with Cinderella!

Here I am with Melissa. She was so sweet to do an interview with me earlier in the year on her India mission trip. She, like Amanda, is beautiful inside and out. The humidity is starting to take effect on my hair!

Here is my new friend, Donna. We sat together at the event and said our verses to each other. It was a blessed time together, and I couldn't wait to come home and add her to my facebook friends.

It was great to see Beth Moore earlier in the year at Life Today, as well. She was so sweet to my girls which made me get all teary-eyed. And she didn't know it, but she was loving on a precious 9 year old cancer survivor ... our Katelyn.

My oldest, Karalee, says she is a "good talker" just like Beth! Beth is a huge role model for her. Thank you, Beth, for being so loving and approachable. I love your humor ... how you can make me laugh so hard and have me crying the next minute. You are my favorite Bible teacher.

Before we went to the Life Today taping, my husband and I were sitting at home and watching Beth teach on Life Today. A woman began to cry, and Brian looked at me and said, "You aren't going to cry, are you?" I said, "No." How silly. Why would I cry? Well, as we were in the audience ... the minute Beth walks out, tears well-up in my eyes. I almost laughed out loud thinking about the question my husband had asked me earlier. It's about love. It's just that Beth has been such a sweet teacher and God has used her so sweetly in my life ... but she's always on the screen ... never face to face. It made me think of Jesus. Don't you just know tears are going to well-up in our eyes when we see our sweet Savior face to face. He's been our teacher ... for He, Himself, has taught us.

Just before this Houston event, the girls were part of a Lifeway VBS taping at our church in Fort Worth. The new material is already out in the stores ... Saddle Ridge Ranch. The girls performed all the songs and will be on a tape other churches can purchase to help them learn the songs. The whole Lifeway team came and the precious man, Jeff Slaughter, who wrote the songs was there. Our Katelyn wanted a picture with him in the worst way. She normally could careless about taking pictures with anyone, but he was on the CD helping them learn the songs all those months. He's so precious. I love to see people who have become well-known in their Christian service be so approachable and loving. He didn't meet a stranger. If you walked by him, you were going to get hugged. He welcomed the love from fellow Christians. Beautiful. He sang a song, I Just Want To Be Like Jesus ... and he couldn't talk about it without crying.

The Lord has been so good allowing me to write for Woman's Missionary Union and my church newsletter. The mission stories have been such an eye opener for me. Our world is hurting so. Jesus is the answer to our every need.

Father, thank you that you choose to use this homemaker and mother, who feels so unqualified most of the time ... but like my dear friend once said ... "God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the ones He calls." Keep us humble, God ... our eyes fixed on you ... and may the most important thing in our hearts be making your name well-known. "Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." Isaiah 26:8 ... one of my blessed scriptures this "Jesus Year."