Friday, January 23, 2015

More of the Story--Keeping God's Appointments

"Girls loaded into van. All doors securely closed. Arriving at the nursing home and raring to go, we girls piled out of the van, hymnals in hand. Walking inside, we met 2 precious women at the dining table. 'May we sing for you?'

One eagerly smiled. The other voiced, 'I have a headache. No.' "

Please join me over at WMU's site for more of the story.

Blessed by you,

Monday, January 19, 2015


The Christmas I received my first Bible is very special. It was a Blue leather Bible, with my name engraved in goldShelli Ann Fomby.  My father presented it to me. I adored it. I still have it.

A good friend highlighted in her Bible, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I must have been seven or eight. I thought it looked pretty, so I began highlighting. Not special verses ... just verses. Any verse, just to add color. And I used pink, blue, orange, yellow highlighters. I wanted it to be pretty.

I'm not the quickest learner. After a while, I noticed that the highlighter had bled through my Bible's thin, satiny pages. The colors were too bright, too dark. The Scripture it had bled over to on the following page wasn't marked neatly. I had ruined my Bible.

I remember sitting in church by my friend.

"Turn to chapter so and so, verse so and so," the pastor would say.

I'd barely crack open my Bible, so afraid that someone would see how stu ... I won't use the "S" word. But I had been it. Covered with shame and embarrassment, I didn't want anyone to see.


My church gave me a Bible when I accepted Christ. My mother made the sweet cover.

I came to love this Bible. It's funny looking at it now, because it has pictures of teenagers in it. They're all hippies. Bell bottoms. That'll date me. But this Bible was great because at the back, it contained a collection of directions. Spiritual directions.

"When you're feeling lonely, left out: Luke 6."

"When you've said something you shouldn't: James 3."

"When you're struggling to do right, and can't quite make it: Romans 7-8."

"When you want to find out what true love is: 1 Corinthians 13."

And I loved that new Bible because it covered my mistakes. No one could see my mistakes.

The new covered the old.


Y'all, I made some costly mistakes as a teendefinitely not the highlight of my lifethat bled over into many other areas of my life. I felt so ugly. I thought I had ruined my life.

I don't go into detail, I'm a concealer, because I might possibly shatter if I did. But I have no doubt God will have me sharing it one day ... because I know Him and well, because He knows me. And well, because He knows we're at our best when we've been completely shattered, completely broken.

As I grew closer to God, I realized that I hadn't ruined my life. I also realized that I hadn't ruined my Bible. God's Word is still there. Jesus' words in red are still there. It's just different.

Areas of my life had simply been highlighted, turned more colorful, changed ... for the sole purpose of ministry. It's a testimony.

No, sin is not good. But God is. And He delivers Romans 8:28, just as He promises.


The Bible I use today, why, it's nearly thirty years old.

When someone sits near me, I shamefully turn the Bible over to hide the front cover. My name wasn't engraved properly. And I don't want people to think I spell my name with a "y" instead of an "i." They'll think they've been spelling my name wrong, all along.

But that Bible is so torn up, y'all. Pages are worn. Maps falling out. And I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a testimony of the tearing of my life, the falling apart, the rebuilding, the begging, the clinging, the seeking, the tears, the laughter. All my Bibles boast it. It's not vanity, it's sentimentality.

How I ruined my life and my Bible led me to the highlight of my lifethis amazing journey with God. And He bleeds over into every area of life, making me new.

And I have to askhow on earth could I have it any other way?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rolo Challenge

"Did you get Rolos?" Asked He who will not be named.


"Why not?"

"Oh, I don't want the girls to eat junk. So I better be good."

From that day on, everywhere I looked, it seemed, there was a package of Rolos. 

In my toothpaste drawer.

In my nightstand drawer.

There on the window ledge, behind my choice book of the week.

After having already unraveled and inhaled at least two packages singlehandedly, I didn't quite long for a Rolo fix.

"Are you getting filled up on Rolos?" Asked He who will not be named.

"Yeah, a bit. I don't think I'll need anymore for a bit." I chuckled.

"Oh, man. I bought a whole case."
A giving heart sees a need and ensures there is plenty. To fill the need up so full, the need no longer exists.
I had the honor of speaking to the most adorable, beautiful group of women this week. They were older than me and had been through much harder times than me. Being the youngest in the room, I'll admit, I didn't have much to give. What could I offer?

But I felt the Lord say to my heart—
You can offer encouragement.

And there birthed my first words to them. "I'm simply here to encourage you on this journey."
And from their precious comments ... loss of husband, a spouse dying of cancer, one dealing with surgery after surgery and pain ... I knew God placed me there for that very reason.
When we realize another's need, it's a wise one to unravel what we have and pass it along. Even if we don't have much. Share our hearts and lives with others—lessons, love, language, longings—whatever we've been given from God.

It's a challenge.
Will we unravel lessons, love, language, longings and allow them to roll over to a friend? To one in need?

And pass them along until the need is filled and overflowing?
Lessons, love, language, longings ...
Where will people find these treasures?
Quite possibly in you.
Jesus in you.

More of the Story ... Motivation Through Remembrance

"Not getting back into the swing of things after Christmas is mind-boggling. For those of us who are active or have active children involved in functions, we seemingly have no choice.

But we can choose our attitude."


Please join me over at WMU for more of the story.

Blessed by you,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

More of the Story - Relinquishing Your Rights

" 'Maybe we shouldn’t memorize so much lengthy Scripture this year,' I reluctantly suggested at the leader meeting."


Please join me over at Woman's Missionary Union's blog for more of the story.

Blessed by you,

Monday, January 5, 2015


The little lights were burning. Christmas Day had arrived, and even though my girls are teens now, we have a small birthday party for Jesus to start the morning. We want to ready our hearts for Him.

In simplicity, refrigerated Ding Dongs for cake, able to withstand the candle's heat.

Having gotten up extra early, I was ready. Hair done. Make-up on. A person who loves to take photos and make photo albums continually thinks of these things. Since the girls were small, they never belted out into the living room Christmas morning. No, I went to them, woke them up, got them ready ... for pictures.

That could be a Texas thing, a photographer's thing, an uptight person's thing, a problematic thing ... don't look too deeply into that thing.

But those photo albums have to be nice. Memories, you know! We must be ready.

Camera ready. Batteries charged.

Waiting. Everyone ready?

No. Waiting on Dad now. The girls are waiting on the stairs. The candles are burning lower and lower, refusing to wait.

I'm going to have to blow them out.


The end of Christmas always leaves me a little down and out. It always means my girls will be a year older in the following months. And you know I'm grateful for that, grateful for each blessed year with them. I had the risk of losing one, I know gratitude. But they are growing up. They aren't little anymore. Time doesn't wait. 

And you get that gut-wrenching, questioning feeling ... what will I do with myself? I don't even know my next steps, Lord.

And you shuffle through the piles, the paper, the options, the questions, the mess, the fire ...

And you beg God for your future direction. How to handle this game of Life?

And we best be ready.


Because Jesus' light never goes out. In His faithfulness, He always delivers. For today.

That's a glory and a hallelujah!

~A thank you to Wendy Mac for her "little light" inspiration.