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life, photography, truth
One true word: possessions.

Stuff is so overwhelming. We have too much of it. We don’t NEED 99% of it. And boy, we just keep going back and getting more, don’t we?

I remember when my kids where babies and every trip to target included $100 in purchases. Ugh.

As believers, how do we navigate the sea of stuff? It’s constantly in our faces and being shown to us by media, the Internet, and even by our close friends and neighbors. “Be like me! Get more stuff!” The world shouts at us!

I’m in a process of having less stuff. Over half of my clothing is sitting on a table in my garage. For sale. Almost all the books I’ve been hoarding and keeping for 20+ years are for sale. Over half of my “crafting” stuff is out here. All luxury unneeded unnecessary things that I just buy. 

Everything in me is in flux and change right now and I’m so glad. God is flushing it all out. Helping me get rid of stuff. Both inside me and outside of me.

The important things in life are the people around me. The word inside me. The light that shines through me. The intentional good I’m putting out into this world. The kids I’m raising. My marriage. Being a generous, responsible steward of what god has blessed me with. Letting go of the unforgiveness inside of me. These are the things that matter.

Not all this “stuff.”

Acts 20:35 “it is more blessed to give than receive.”

Clean out the stuff that’s hindering you from the life you were meant to live. Do it now! Make a tangible list of three small steps you can take today to get rid of something. My favorite author, Bob Goff, calls it “quit something Thursday.” I promise you, you will feel 2 million times lighter and better. Go. Do.

One true word: possessions.

Stuff is so overwhelming. We have too much of it. We don’t NEED 99% of it. And boy, we just keep going back and getting more, don’t we?

I remember when my kids where babies and every trip to target included $100 in purchases. Ugh.

As believers, how do we navigate the sea of stuff? It’s constantly in our faces and being shown to us by media, the Internet, and even by our close friends and neighbors. “Be like me! Get more stuff!” The world shouts at us!

I’m in a process of having less stuff. Over half of my clothing is sitting on a table in my garage. For sale. Almost all the books I’ve been hoarding and keeping for 20+ years are for sale. Over half of my “crafting” stuff is out here. All luxury unneeded unnecessary things that I just buy.

Everything in me is in flux and change right now and I’m so glad. God is flushing it all out. Helping me get rid of stuff. Both inside me and outside of me.

The important things in life are the people around me. The word inside me. The light that shines through me. The intentional good I’m putting out into this world. The kids I’m raising. My marriage. Being a generous, responsible steward of what god has blessed me with. Letting go of the unforgiveness inside of me. These are the things that matter.

Not all this “stuff.”

Acts 20:35 “it is more blessed to give than receive.”

Clean out the stuff that’s hindering you from the life you were meant to live. Do it now! Make a tangible list of three small steps you can take today to get rid of something. My favorite author, Bob Goff, calls it “quit something Thursday.” I promise you, you will feel 2 million times lighter and better. Go. Do.

One True Word: Progress

Philippians 3:12, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” NIV

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us FIX our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” NIV

but oh, listen to how Eugene Peterson paraphrases is for us in the Message, “It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

WHAT?

Golly, God has got ahold of my heart today… and I think it’s because yesterday I was completely broken. Like for real. Like had to seek medical help. Like needed an intervention of the harshest sorts.

And you know what? He provided it. I don’t know why or how he knows exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it… but he does. I heard and I’m listening.

Friends, I have been holding onto anger, bitterness, rage… ugh. I’m exhausted! Holding onto these things is life-sucking and overwhelming, and just plain depressing. LET GO.

Today I wrote down all the things that I need to forgive. All the pain, all the anger, all the bitterness. OUT of me and onto paper. THEN, I burned it.

Now, I’m sure I will get hurt again. I am sure I will need to forgive again. But, boy I am a new soul by letting that out of me. 

The toxicity of unforgiveness will eat your soul alive from the inside out, and it will wear itself on your body and it will destroy precious things in your life. Get it out.

THEN, I made a decision to start doing my #powersheets by Lara Casey. My oh my. Or as Lara would say, Oh my stars.

THEN, I did them. Yes, I ordered them months ago and I admit, just took the celophane off yesterday. Yes, I’m afaid. Yes, I might fail.

BUT: doggone it! I’m going to TRY.

I’m going to press on. God loved me so much that he sent his son. By his love, I HAVE VALUE. Not only value, but purpose. And no matter what I’ve done, where I’ve been, or who anyone thinks I am or am not, I KNOW in my heart of hearts, who I am in Christ.

And I’m going to live it.

I’m going to live it today. And everyday forward. From now on. I’m determined. I’m pumped!!!!!!! My heart is on fire. AND, I’m making progress.

I am thankful, full of peace, full of joy, full of hope. All by the power of letting go and getting right.

Guys, do it. Get it. This BEST life, the life of abundance that Jesus has for us, is WAITING for you. Why, oh why, are you NOT Living it? Why? WHY? WHY? WHY?!!!!!!!!!!

Come one! Let’s do this.

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One word: carefree.
Here’s a secret, or not so secret, truth about me.
I care.
I care too much about what people think. I care the most when I’m screaming “I don’t care!” 
And with this “care” comes insecurity, worry, and even hesitation to trust or share myself fully.
God says we are to cast (throw away from ourselves) all (not some) our cares upon him.
He can handle it.
He can handle all the things I care too much or too little about. Not only can he handle them, but he can change us in our process of letting go. 

I cast all my cares upon you.
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.
And anytime I don’t know what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon you.

One word: carefree.
Here’s a secret, or not so secret, truth about me.
I care.
I care too much about what people think. I care the most when I’m screaming “I don’t care!”
And with this “care” comes insecurity, worry, and even hesitation to trust or share myself fully.
God says we are to cast (throw away from ourselves) all (not some) our cares upon him.
He can handle it.
He can handle all the things I care too much or too little about. Not only can he handle them, but he can change us in our process of letting go.

I cast all my cares upon you.
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.
And anytime I don’t know what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon you.

Hiding

Hey all followers and friends! I’m taking a social media break. It’s not you, it’s me. 

I need to HIDE in the right places.

The song “rock of ages” says let me hide myself in thee.

So if you don’t see me for awhile, that’s where I’ll be.

I still love you all deeply and will repost again in the near future. Until then, I’m focusing on face to face people, less screen time, and hiding myself in the strength and truth I can only find in God’s amazing love and in his word.  

So yeah, that’s it.

BYE!

Hearing the truth about yourself can be hard, I know. And sometimes we aren’t in a place where we can hear… and sometimes…. We are.

I was in that place recently. The open hearted, scary, gut level, ugly crying place, where the truth was staring me in the face. But, oh Lord, it was beautiful. I want this. I won’t grow or heal without this truth.

Galations 5:1 says “It is for freedom, Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

John 8:36. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Friends, I lived far to long enslaved to that which defeated me. (2 Peter 2:19 HCSB). I let myself be burdened by something I was set free from a long long long time ago. And you know what, I believed a lie about myself. You see, the world wants us to believe we are marked, uglied, and dead. We carry our past mistakes around like dead animal carcasses. All the while they get stinkier and heavier. All the while the burden becomes too hard to bear at times. Yet all the while, freedom from this self inflicted shame is available and ready.

Today, I’m so grateful to say, I stand firm in the freedom from all that I once was. I stand firm knowing that what happened on that cross over 2,000 years ago meant something. It was not for NOTHING Christ died, but indeed, was it not for our sin? If we cannot ever be free, then why did he die? It’s plain old logic playing out for me. I believe it. And I stand firm in it.

And everything else in my life will fall into place understanding this glorious truth about WHO I REALLY AM, and not who I really once was.

So grateful to Rebecca Meidinger and the work being done at http://www.faraboverubiesministry.org/ and her bold and honest way of pointing women, like me, to the gospel truth.

So grateful to Inspiration Point Bible Camp and Retreat Center www.ipoint.org, for being a source of LIGHT, example, leadership, love, and truth to my life for the last 22 years. Oh, how I would not know and hear these beautiful truths if it weren’t for the unabashed, plain old gospel that is shared at camp freely and without restraint.

And so grateful to serve and follow a God who meets me in the middle of every tear, wipes them away, lifts my face into his and whispers love to my heart. Over and over and over again, for as many times as I need to hear, without restraint and without hesitation. Unconditional, white as snow forgiveness and grace poured over me time and time again. I’m so grateful to stand firm in this today. In this freedom and in this truth.

God is able. For me. And for you.

Have a weekend where you rest in truth.

My best,

Shelly

Week 12. These guys. So grateful to be their mom and to be present for these moments… it’s going by so quick. If all I ever do in life is know and love them, that’s enough.

Happy Easter everyone!

Week 9. My sons.

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.

Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life (via bradleyspitzer)

This really pushed me. #authenticityalways

Week 8. 2013.

These 3. My whole heart. Always. I’m posting one of each of them weekly. Until they won’t let me.