Shelley with Westley (l) and Trevor (r), two of her four sons, at the top of     Mt. Dana during a Yosemite trip this past year.

Allow me to introduce you to someone I have known since I was about 10 years-old. Shelley Lee is brave, honest and a seeker of truth. She has many roles: wife, author, mom to 4 boys, and grandma to one sweet girl (with another grandchild on the way!). I have crafted with her, laughed with her, learned from her as a student in her Sunday School class, taken gymnastics classes from her and one time we got really crazy and she cut my hair!   We decided to add more to our list of fun and do a blog swap! I am thrilled to have her guest post on my blog and to give away her book. What an honor!

Enjoy this read from Shelley and be sure to enter the giveaway!


The Bottom                                                                                                                                                      by: Shelley R. Lee

My run along the river was therapy as chirping birds and bright green blades of grass welcomed me out of the darkness of a northwest Ohio winter. Damp brush and sticks that I had to get through to step up on the road for a time of stretching at the bridge reminded me that flowers were on the way. Breathing into my stretch, a rich earthy aroma filled my senses at this quiet spot closed to motor traffic for construction.

When I continued running I could only go a few steps and had to stop to get what felt like a small pebble out of my shoe. A few more strides told me it was still there. I repeated the process, this time turning my sock inside out to find the irritation. Again, my steps told me I had not gotten to the source of the problem.

Thinking now that it could be coming from underneath I picked my foot up to look at the underside of my shoe. I expected to find a small thorn or nail, certainly not the five-inch long thorny branch that was there. The one-inch protruding thorns explained the discomfort in the ball of my foot. I pulled it out, laughed with surprise and was quickly off and running with instant relief.

As I ran thorn-free I couldn’t help but ponder what God was trying to show me. Every day metaphors are His go-to to teach me (if I’m paying attention). I spent some time open to hearing Him.

There were things God had been shifting underneath my feet, so to speak, in recent months. Things in my marriage, family relationships, finances, my job, my physical body (shifting is one word!), and my writing, to name a few. What God showed me on my thorny run was that the irritations come from standing on the wrong things. I needed to stand on the solid ground. It didn’t mean the thorns would never touch my life, but it did mean they wouldn’t have to affect me quite the way they do when I let them support me.

In effect, I need to stand in the security of God and who He made me to be. My identity and worth come from there. Turns out, getting to the bottom of things brings me a crazy ton of hope!

Shelley and I have a giveaway! Two winners will receive her book, When Jesus Speaks to a Mother’s Heart and a fun printable from me that will look great framed on your desk! The quote for the printable is “Each day I have a decision to make. To choose expectation and turn to the sun or choose despair and ache in the dark. It takes courage to choose the sun.”

 Here’s how to enter to win Shelley’s book and Bethany’s printable. Visit Shelley’s Facebook page and comment in the post about her blog. You can enter again by commenting on Bethany’s Facebook page and/or sharing her post (doing both counts for 2 entires). Shelley and I will both draw a name on Friday, May 6.