Today, I am introducing you to Shelby! She shares with us her passion for and journey regarding her writing, thoughts about true worth, and some great tips to stay spiritually strong in a world that makes us spiral with insecurities and anxiety.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: The verse that has been inspiring me for months on end is Psalm 18:16-19 (MSG):
“but me He caught — reached all the way
from sky to sea; He pulled me out
of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which i was drowning.”
I love the wording in this version because of how poetic and beautiful it translates God’s true love for us in it. It inspired me so much, I chose it to represent the title I’m giving my upcoming poetry book, From Sky to Sea.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: If I’m honest with myself, it has to be just putting myself in “rest mode” and learning to feel the autumn season happening inside of my soul, too. This time of year, I always reflect on how I can change and what actually needs to change inside of me, so I can become newer and take more steps forward in my journey. We tend to internalize a lot of what each year presents to us, and for me, it was a year of big changes and new things. Along with changing my job to part-time to focus on my writing more, that came with a lot of new challenges, for both me and my husband. From it, so much has happened and spiritually, I’ve grown to learn that outer change often brings inner change, for good reason.
Profession: A writer, blogger, and soon-to-be author. A loving and serving wife as well.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Writing for the One who gave me His words.
When did you first encounter God: I can still clearly remember trying to find something I had misplaced in my room, when I was around 9 or 10, and only accepting Jesus a year or two before that, everything felt so new to me. I remember thinking to myself, “I know that if I pray for it to be found, God will hear me and help me find it”. Right away I prayed for Him to help me find it, and moments later my eyes fell right upon my missing item. It was in that moment I knew that God really is real, and He’s after my heart.
“It was in that moment I knew that God really is real, and He’s after my heart.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? The quiet times with Him. The music I’ve discovered and has been flooding my ears. The people following me on my Instagram; they’re truly a blessing and support me in ways I’ve never imagined. So much has allowed me to grow in this season – most of all though, it has to be writing. Ever since I decided to tap into my writing ability one year ago, it was like unlocking a once locked door in my heart that God has supernaturally poured into.
Just read/currently reading: The Worn Out Woman by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray – it’s such a simple, straightforward book filled with encouragements and simple steps to help improve your life in the busiest of seasons!
Top three essentials: Coffee, my journal, and my favorite pen.
How did God speak to you recently? Recently, I felt Him speak to me through a number of different occurrences, but there was one prominent message He spoke clearly to me: contentment is key. I had gotten so caught up in my schedule, my work, and my writing that I had quickly forgotten how good He’s been to me…and that hit me hard. I was feeling the weight of what I thought was being ‘busy’ but really, not spending adequate time with Him. I could see it showing in the aspects of my life like my home life, my Instagram, and other places. It was my mindset, and I needed a check-back.
“… contentment is key.”
Hobby: Writing, all the way! Often times, it’s hard for me to communicate my feelings otherwise.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1 – We live in a constantly draining world, so I’ve found that submerging myself in everything that is good and spiritually positive really helps me move forward. Beautiful worship music, encouraging speakers on YouTube, and reading + writing out His word uplifts me every single day.
2 – Journaling. This may seem obvious, but to me, it’s made significant impacts in my life for the past two years. I started free-writing my thoughts and feelings, and started a prayer journal where I pray for others and myself in writing form. Try it – the results start happening in your life right away!
3 – Finding accountability partners/mentoring relationships. This may mean filtering out some relationships…but if you want to stay rooted and grounded, having encouraging, faithful friends who also have aligning dreams and goals will help so incredibly much. Also, you’re never too old or too young for a mentor! I have been mentoring a girl in my church for two years now, and I can tell you it definitely helps me just as much as it helps her.
Favorite person in scripture: I have always loved and admired Esther. She was beautiful, but she never used her beauty and title as Queen for her own sake, but in a humble way, for God’s greater plan at that time.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That they can accept me for who I am, no matter what, and that my true worth is found in Him who is constantly making me a new creature.
Favorite season: I’m a summer girl!
Favorite holiday: I love Thanksgiving.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Every Christmas morning, my mom always made (and still does to this day) the best cinnamon rolls with coffee. It’s so simple but has been an ongoing little family thing since I was born.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? This was always too hard of a question for me to answer or come up with… I think I’ll be so caught up in His presence that I will finally be void of words.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I will forever be advocating the awareness of the high levels of insecurity, anxiety, and social struggles people have today (predominantly women and young girls) because of how accessible and highly unattainable everything is projected to be. It has had major effects in my life and has resulted in these issues, and I want to constantly spread the message that there is a God who can heal every single one of us from these things, and true worth and security is found only in Him. No amount of medicine or counseling will ever amount to being enough.
“…[T]rue worth and security is found only in Him.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? On the days I go into work, I’m up around 5 or so with my husband preparing for our day with breakfast and devotions. On my days off, I’m up right at 6:30 to start a slow morning of light writing/reading, making breakfast, and listening to my favorite motivational speaker, Dani Johnson.
What is on your nightstand? I don’t have one yet! But I keep my phone and my notebook within reach at all times.