Meet Shelly

I am a Christian. I married my best friend 23 years ago, and we have 2 amazing children (an 19-year-old young man and a 16-year-old young lady).  We enjoy traveling and meeting new people, and have lived in many different places around the U.S. since our marriage.  We enjoy food, music and each other. And we try our best to build everything we do around a deep need and desire to serve God and please Him.

In 2009, I was struck with a mysterious illness that left me disabled.  I live with Intracranial Hypertension, aka Pseudotumor Cerebri, which mimics a brain tumor. I have had 2 brain surgeries and a VP Shunt makes life more livable for me.

When I started Renewed Daily years ago, I told God that I would write as often and for as long as He gave me the words. I still hold to that, and I can't tell you how amazed I am with how many words He has given me.

Brian and I recently published my fourth book. You can find the first book, You're Chronically Ill... So Now What?, here. The second book, Your Loved One is Ill... So Now What?, is found here. Hopeless is the third book and I pray it will reach those who, like me, struggle with depression and despair. The newest book is The Darkness Doesn't Stand a Chance, and it is a collection of praise and worship devotionals.

I want this blog to be able to continue, to be a place of ministry where Jesus takes center stage and hope is always the outcome. I am surrendering this site, once again, to our Great God. May He bless this space and all who gather here.

My prayer is that these devotionals and the people I meet through this blog can help myself and others to be renewed daily.
As my favorite scriptures say:

"When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." - Psalm 94:19

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day." - 2 Corinthians 4:16

"Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him." - Colossians 3:10

"But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31

God's Blessings on You All......

Heart Hugs
Shelly   <3

53 Comments on “Meet Shelly

  1. I pray that God continues to bless you richly on your journey! Thank you so very much for the uplifting articles, poems, songs, etc!!

    • Thank you! God Bless You too! 🙂 Glad you are enjoying the site!

    • So nice to meet you, Lisa! Thank you for your kind comment! It's my prayer every day that what I go through and choose to write can help someone, so I'm really glad to know God is still able to use me! I know it always helps me to hear from others who suffer like I do. It helps to know that we are not alone! God Bless You, and please write to me on email if you'd like. 🙂

      • Hi Shelly,
        It is sure nice that God brought me to your page! I've gone thru the same thing with diagnosis' and am still. Sometimes I think that this part of the journey is the hardest (I began more diligently trying to get diagnosis & help since 2005 ). Anyway, I just feel that we are kindred spirits-blessed & purposed by God. I consider these chronic illnesses to be a way to serve God or a type of ministry in itself. Because God has let me know that he's using my life & "thorns" as a witness of Him - to others. I am grateful when I am aware that my life is useful in that it is comforting to those around me that I can relate to their different types of trials.
        And we can take joy that our children also learn of God through their mom's thorns! My two are young adult guys now but I can already see the fruit God has brought into their lives because of what they saw in their latter years of growing up with a mom with "thorns". I know that God will continue to do the same with you and your children!
        Thank you for this ministry that you are putting your heart and time into!

        • Mary, how lovely to meet you, Sister!! I am so thankful that God brought you to my page, as well! You are so right that the journey to diagnosis is the most difficult! That is when the fear threatens the most. I love what you wrote about our children, because I absolutely feel the same way! I am always aware that my children are watching and it reminds me that others are as well. They see the struggles and the pain, and sometimes the tears. But I hope the main thing that they are seeing is the steadfast love of the Lord, and how to remain faithful during deep and chronic troubles. They seem to be very empathetic and compassionate because of knowing of these things. They've also seen their Dad stand by me through it all, and take over the care of the home and of them, for the most part. I know that is a wonderful example for them for their coming marriages. I thank God.
          Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving this comment today!! You made my morning!!!! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  2. Shelly, Thank you for sharing from your heart and your love for God. I can relate to many of your answers. I'm currently in full blown pain in a new area of my body after making a trip home (2000 miles from me) to help move my mom into independent living. A 12 hour day of connections to get home this past Sunday and feeling fairely well. So I swept my floors before attending my last session of my ministry. You can guess what happened I pull or twisted something in my left hip and lower back. This is a first for that side of my body and I've been chronic on my right since January 1999.

    You are very encouraging and I will lift God even higher in my Praises to him. I've asked God to take this thorn but He has chosen not to yet. May God continue to bless you and your family. In Jesus Name. Amen

    • Tracy, thank you for your kind words! I will be praying for you. I know that new pain in an already pain-filled body can be very overwhelming. Thank God for His strength to us on those days!!

      It's so uplifting to know that we can connect in this way with others who share our struggles, and receive their prayers and encouragement. God Bless You, and please write to me on email if you'd like. 🙂

  3. I love your blog! We have a lot in common for sure. I never pretend to know someone else's journey. I only know my own but I cannot tell you how comforting it is to read your words and know that I too am not alone in the midst of my strongholds. I blog with the mission to reach out to those who are struggling to grab hold of their faith in the midst of their strongholds. Like you, I too am blogging as I face my strongholds day to day. As much as I love to blog for the purposes of giving others hope, and as much as I don't want to see anybody face strongholds that cause any challenges of any kind....please know that YOUR blog has brought peace to MY soul and renews MY spirit....and THAT in turn, gives me even more strength to do the same for others. With deep gratitude for sharing your journey, Claudia 🙂

    • Claudia, what a blessing your comment is to me! It is so nice to meet another wounded encourager! May God bless you in your journey and inspire you every day! Heart Hugs, Shelly

    • Thanks, Moni!! It means a lot to me to see you here. I love you! <3

    • Awww!! Hi Jenni!! This made my morning, to wake up to your comment! Thanks for visiting and leaving me a hug! I'm sending you a heart hug right back! <3 Shelly

  4. My beautiful friend, thank you for sharing your life with us. My prayer has been to KNOW God and He has allowed me to have a glimpse through your steadfast love for Him. God knows just what we need to help our walk with Him become one with His. What a gift, what love! Remember you are loved, Janice.

    • Mrs. Janice <3 Love you so much!! Your heart is so in tune with Jesus, it's a beauty to see! Thank you for your encouragement and love. They mean the world to me!! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  5. Your story is very inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing. I have a friend who has been battling a mysterious chronic illness over the last 8 years as well. I often try to encourage her, but she's not shy about the fact that she's growing weary. Sometimes I don't know what else to say to her, but your blog gives me hope that one day she will again gain hope. Thanks again,

  6. I just found your blog thru the Rest Ministries website. I have IH as well. I was diagnosed in 2005 and had my first of 12 shunt surgeries in 2006. I am slowly working my way thru reading your blog and have been so blessed already! Thank you so much for writing and sharing. I hope and pray to learn a lot from a fellow IH'er and Sister in Christ! Can't wait to get to know you better. I will be praying for you!

    • Angela, it is wonderful to meet you! I am so sorry to hear that you struggle with this awful disease. I've added you to my prayer list, and I thank you so much for leaving a comment here! You made my day! Looking forward to getting to know you.... Merry Christmas and Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  8. I receive the world englishinstitute publication quarterly. I live in Minnesota. I read the write up of your undertaking. I marvel at what you are doing. I am a member of the Lord's Church.. My husband passed 14 years ago. He was an elder for several years. I want to tell you how proud I am for reaching out in such a wonderful way for the teaching of our Lord and Savior. I am 83 years old and have 4 grown children. I have been blessed with good health. I will be praying for you and your family. Thankyou for sharing. May Good Bless you for His Service. I'd love to be a friend over the email.

    • Oh, Mrs. Margaret, nothing would make me happier than to be a friend to you over email! I will email you today! <3 I can't tell you how much your sweet words have meant to me. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  9. Hallo Shelley I am Mary from New Zealand, and older lady who has been a Christian for most of my life.
    I love reading blogs posts and learning about the life-lessons people share.
    I am working hard on an issue at the moment- which is how to maintain God's PEACE when things stress me, as stress tends to result in migraine. I am pressing in to Him for a greater measure of PEACE.
    I have 2 friends with long-term illnesses- both recently diagnosed after 10+ years- so I empathise with you.
    This type is so microscopic It's hard to se how to correct mistakes!
    But- I'd like to read more from you so please add me to your list of subscribers:
    Thanks and many blessings from the Sunny Summery South Pacific.

    • Mary, it is wonderful to meet you! I'm so happy that you want to subscribe to my blog, and I have added you to the list. 🙂 I have also added you to my prayers, for your migraines. I look forward to getting to know you better! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  10. Thanks Shelley! How can I pray for you? I love to pray for specific needs- we all have them- and I know the power of prayer as I am sure you do also.
    Please let me know how I can be a blessing to you as you serve many through your writing [ what a gift!]
    Are you home alone a lot?
    I work part-time teaching students from other cultures English [ ESL}
    I also am a keen crafter.
    Thanks for replying to me 🙂

    • Mary, thank you for offering to pray for me! I had my second brain surgery 3 weeks ago, and now have the flu, so if you could pray for me to get well and recover from surgery ok, that would be wonderful. Prayer is our most powerful weapon.
      My husband works from home, and at the moment we live with my parents, so I am blessed that I am not alone very often. However, I am very homebound much of the time, and that can get depressing. I especially miss worship services. I volunteer with WEI, an organization that teaches English online using the Bible. It has been a wonderful thing in my life, as I was a teacher before becoming ill. <3 Heart Hugs

  11. wow- you have been in the 'wars" ~! I have been praying for you- God has laid you on my heart, for sure- I just forgot to reply yesterday and asked God to remind me today and He has 🙂
    Do you have the time and energy to email once a week or so?
    I'd like to keep in touch and follow your progress- I find that really important when I am praying for someone, but I understand this may not be easy- so just flick me a line when you feel up to it.

    I am interested in WEI. I was a nurse for 40 years and when arthritis made that impossible I trained to be an ESL teacher so we have that in common as well as a common Father

    Just a short piece of news from me: my daughter's church [ in Melbourne, Australia] are doing a church-plant in Bangkok, Thailand, and she woke one morning last week and heard God's call to "go". She told her husband, and he replied that he had known for 2 weeks and was just waiting on her to hear 🙂

    She shared with me that she had a chat with God because she had thought they might finally get to start a family this year, and God told her she was going "to" family. Suddenly she saw that her 'children' might come from a number of nations, and if any, only one might be her bio child. I got a powerful witness to this as when she was 10 I had a vivid dream about her and saw her standing beside a ship with children about her and they were from many nations. Wow~!

    So, as Amy and Kieran begin language classes in Thai tomorrow, I ask for prayer that their tongues will take to Thai like baby's to mother's milk, and they might even be given the gift of tongues- as in another language- which I have read has often happened to people on the mission field.

    I feel for you not being able to get out to worship services- and will pray our creative God will inspire you to find creative ways for this need to be met.

    I can no longer go out at nights to homegroup, so have joined an online Christian women's group through (in)courage, called empty nests full lives- and have loved getting to know the ladies and we've grown close through sharing prayer requests and studying books together. It's lovely to be able to have this fellowship from the comfort of my lazyboy!

    May I bless you with these words someone posted once- naughty me forgot to write down who to credit them to- shall we credit them to God? lol





    You are not alone.

    love, Mary.I

    • Absolutely, Mary! I will email you tomorrow 🙂 Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  13. Thank you Shelly for letting God use you to minister to others & encourage us and give us hope through these chronic illnesses. I have constantly asked the Lord "How could I be any help to you & help others when I can even get out of bed most days" But through you allowing God to use you, you have helped me to look at my illnesses as being a ministry in it's self. Thank you again Shelly for sharing your life story. May God Bless you & your family

    • Wow. This comment is an answer to a deep prayer for me, Carol. Thank you for blessing me so much. God can use you. In fact, He just did. <3 Heart Hugs

  14. Hi Shelly - I just stumbled across your blog on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your life! I recently started my own blog and am hoping to grow it and gain a lot of followers. I don't know how much time you have but I would love to chat with you via email if possible. I find it difficult to find other Christians to network with. Thanks!

    • Robyn, how lovely to meet you! Going over to check out your blog, and I've sent you an email to get us started with our chat! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  15. One of my dearest friends has chronic illness and it is hard to see what she goes through. I really appreciated finding this blog today as i visited around the link up on weekend brew. It seems you have quite a ministry to others who are hurting. Blessings

    • Carol, it's wonderful to meet you! Thank you for your encouragement, and for being "God with skin on" to your friend. She needs you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  16. Hi Shelley! I'm visiting from The Loft link up. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with others. Your writing is rich and full of meat for the soul. The Lord is certainly using your thorn to not only conform you to His image, but to be a blessing to others. Keep it up and it's so great to meet you!

    • Arabah, it's wonderful to meet you, too! It's so exciting to find all of you through the linkup! Thank you for the sweet encouragement! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  17. Shelly, thank you so much for linking up at The Loft! I was so encouraged to read about you here. The Lord has used some of those same verses in my life through different situations. I appreciate that you are trusting God on your journey - that's not easy, but it's such a blessing to rest in Him! It's a blessing to "meet" you!

    • Rebekah, it's wonderful to meet you! I'm excited about meeting new Sisters through this linkup! It blesses me that you visited and commented today. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Thanks for coming by and blessing me with your comment, Rosilind! 🙂 It's sweet to see you here! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  18. What a beautiful place of HOPE you have here! I love the verses you shared. I know there are days I feel frustrated that I need to be renewed daily. Days where I wonder why I cannot just get it together. As if I have failed Him because I struggle. (Such a lie from the enemy!) He KNOWS we need daily renewal. He KNOWS we each need Him desperately. And that is why He so freely offers us the gift of His daily renewal. His daily love and mercy and grace. Thanks for the encouragement I found here this morning on your page. 🙂 Blessings to you as you continue to share the hope that you have!

    • You are SO right, Kimberly! The enemy LOVES to lie to us like that, doesn't he? I often remember that Christ taught us to pray for DAILY bread. One step at a time, but it's so hard not to skip ahead. 😉 Thank you for coming by. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Karen, it's a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for blessing me with your comment! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  19. Dear Shelly,

    What a pleasure to meet you. I am a missionary momma and I, too, was struck with a mysterious illness after serving the Lord in China. I found you here via the Blogger Care Group and I am so very glad that I did. I hope and pray we can mutually encourage one another to see the Lord. I love the photos and scriptures on your website. You have done a beautiful job.


  20. My goodness, my complaints about my unruly hair this morning are downright embarrassing now, after reading your post and all these others from women who are dealing with chonic illnesses. I cannot imagine what that is like, and my heart and prayers go out to you all. Visiting from Beauty in His Grip (I saw the giveaway, and it looks wonderful, but KJV is not my favorite. I'd rather it go to someone who really wants it). Wonderful to meet you!
    Mary Dolan Flaherty recently posted...Voices of the Crucifixion: Claudia: "I Knew He Was Innocent."My Profile

  21. Congratulations on your new book! Waiting for the kindle version! God bless you for helping me with your encouragement. Vivian

  22. Hi Shelly! I thought I had subscribed to your blog long ago, but evidently not. I visit it frequently though and just subscribed so am looking forward to it. You have ministered to me via Facebook for a while now and I feel so blessed. I too share chronic (invisible) illnesses - depression, fibromyalgia, migraines - so I understand your situation. Praying for you sister.... much love! <3

  23. Shelly...
    I just clicked through to your blog from Rest Ministries, and I read your story here and just felt so sorry that you've had to go through all that your illnesses have brought you to - I just wanted to leave a comment here and say I am blessed already by your willingness to be used by God and your passion to share the words He gives you.
    Then, just as I was scrolling down to find the comment section, I noticed your "Blogs I Recommend" list. I glanced at the names, excited to discover even more Christian bloggers who write about faith and suffering. I couldn't believe it - I saw my own blog listed there! I am honoured. Thank you so much. I'm grabbing a button for your site to put in my sidebar. And I'm in the process of revamping my site design and post graphics & format, but once it's all updated, I'd be so honoured to have you write a guest post for Live Nourished. Let me know if you'd like to. And may God bless you as you continue to serve Him and shine for Him, my sister. 🙂

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