Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some Older Articles

Here are a few of my older articles that I just didn't want to leave off my blog. Their stories touched my heart so deeply.

The first is on Ron Hall and Denver Moore, authors of Same Kind of Different As Me.  This is a story of how Ron and his late wife, Deborah, helped a homeless man. Incredible story!

And Gracie Rosenberger, who just released her new book, Gracie. Gracie was in a severe auto accident, ended up losing her legs over time, and has an amazing ministry providing prosthetic limbs to people who need them. She has even been a Fox News contributor! Her website is, if you want to find out how to order her new book. I've just started reading it; cried like a baby reading details of her accident. I'm so proud of her.

And lastly, I want to include the very first article for WMU I wrote. Paula from Brazil on mission in Africa at the time will always be so special to me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Watch What You Pick Up!

Before Christmas, I got a new pair of shoes - Zeeboks. I didn't know they were called "Zeeboks" until after I had already had them a while. And I'm not even sure if I'm spelling that correctly. Not long after I had them, I realized they had an amazing unadvertised feature - picking up acorns, rocks, etc. Suddenly, you become a collector! At the end of the day, you never know what you are going to find in your "shoe pickers"! Could be good ... could be bad!!

Isn't that just how life is? Being surrounded by so much bad stuff ... how do we pick up the good and leave the bad? I think about this often. Mainly because I have two young girls. Example: there are words ... not bad words, but just slang words that just don't sound right coming out of their precious mouths. But, they are words I've heard all my life and words that I said when I was young, like "shut-up" or "stupid" (better known as the "s" words in our family!) We are inundated by them (and much worse) on TV all the time. I have to be cautious not to pass those things on to my kids. And if we aren't careful, we'll find we are instant collectors of a lot of bad stuff.

Sticking close to God ... He transforms us little by little; no doubt. And that is key. How do you keep the good and leave the bad? I've decided it's by running smack dab into God. (and please don't misunderstand and think I have this mastered ... my dearest friends know better ... but God continues to transform me little by little!)

When I was young, I could not roller skate. I was a hazard, and that is putting it gracefully. I'd go to the skating rink in Tyler, Texas, (before moving to Terrell) because my sister wanted to go. I could put the skates on, and I even managed to skate around the rink without falling. But I had a big problem - I could not stop. The only way I could stop was to run smack dab into the wall. I'd hold my hands out, as not to hit my face, and run right into the wall. Stopped! Real graceful! (actually, I got fairly graceful at it!)

Well, that is how you manage to keep the good and leave the bad. We have to run smack dab into God. How do you do that? Watch what you pick up! Make a conscious effort to pick up: a relationship with Jesus, God's Word (by memorization & meditation), church, Christian radio (oh, I love that!), Christian magazines and books, clean movies, clean TV shows ... and make a choice to leave the rest on the ground where it belongs!

We have to be examples and pass it on to our children. I have to admit something. My girls were watching "Parent Trap" 1988 version this week. I've always loved that movie. Loved the original, love the newer one. I adored both little girls in both movies. As my daughter revealed the list of characters, I saw "Lindsey Lohan." I was shocked that the little girl in the 1988 version was Lindsey Lohan, the actress who has been on the news so much in recent years for drug and alcohol abuse and imprisonment. My heart just broke. She became more real to me ... and I began praying for her. I googled her name; found one childhood picture of her, amidst many photos I wish I had never seen. Wikipedia revealed she had a very turbulent upbringing. Sadly, she is an example of what can happen to us when we don't make a conscious effort to watch what we pick up.

And that's just "Shelli's Scribblings" on the topic!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Picking Up the Pieces

It's early in the morning ... 1:32am. I can't sleep. Too much caffeine tonight. But after being in the dark, I can barely focus my eyes on this computer screen. But God has surely been speaking to my heart this night. Been thinking on "loss."

Just made a trip to visit my precious grandmother. I love her so much. She can barely hear me now, and she is afraid to let go of her savings to buy a good hearing aid. And her knee hurts so badly; that is all she can think or talk about. She needs to talk about it; and I'm grateful to listen.

But change is hard for me.

I had my hair cut today ... a good 5-6 inches taken off. I miss it already. My daughter, Katelyn, loves my long hair, and she was not happy with the haircut. I didn't want that much taken off, but nevertheless, it is gone. And I didn't say a word. When Katelyn looked at me, I was reminded of the novel/movie Little Women - when Joe has her hair cut for money; her little sister Amy sees her, and says, "Joe, your one beauty?!" Loss. As we were leaving the hair salon, Katelyn opened up her purse and revealed to me that she had picked up several locks of my hair and stashed them away as a keepsake. Made me feel loved. I mean something to her; even my hair means something to her. Precious. Her prayer request tonight: "And God, please let Momma's hair grow back."

My preparations this week for my Sunday school lesson is on giving. Actually ... stewardship. When paid, 10% to God/church, 10% saved, and the rest is used for needs ... but shouldn't be used all on "us." That left over part should be used to give to others, too. Japan. Friends going through difficult times. People who are shattered ... wounded. People experiencing "loss."

I love the words to this song:

Give Them All To Jesus
Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows
Are you tired of spinning round and round
Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrow into joy

He never said you would only see sunshine
He never said there would be no rain
He only promised us a heart full of singing
That's the very thing that once brought pain

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys
Give them all give them all give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrow into joy

Loss. What can we do to help others? What can we give? Food, money, encouragement, toys, clothes, the car we no longer use, prayers, a listening ear. We all have shattered dreams. Pain. Broken hearts. No one escapes. But when we know Jesus ... He is the mender, the healer.

God continues day after day to pick up my broken pieces. I often hear people questioning if God really loves them, but the flip side is this: how can we show God how much He means to us - how much we love Him? By giving just a fraction of what He has given to us. We can't be everything to everyone, but we can help others pick up their broken pieces as the Lord leads. Your love for them will be revealed, and they will also see that they mean something to us.

 "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

A fallen/broken tree at my grandmother's house. Who would have thought it could be such a beautiful place?

My sweet friend Amy just reminded me of something. My hair probably means so much to Katelyn because she is a cancer survivor. Thank you, Amy, from one surviving family to another.