Friday, October 17, 2014

Month of May in 2015 Devo and My Own Book Coming Soon!

The 2015 Daily Wisdom for Women devotional by Barbour Publishing will be out in stores soon. I wrote the month of May!

My first solo book by a publisher, also by Barbour will be released in 2015 (I don't have the date yet). The title isWhen Jesus Speaks to a Woman's Heart. I can't wait to see it!

If you want a copy of either for a discount let me know. They don't pay me much to write but I do get the books a lot cheaper and am happy to pass that along to you! : )

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October's Column in Boomers Living Magazine

Photo by Trevor Lee @trevlee on Instagram
Gotta Love A Man’s World

Tree Climbers
by Shelley R. Lee

If you have kids of any age you have been their first responder in a number of situations to be sure. I’m not sure if having four sons increases the rate and frequency of these incidents, but judging from the way people look at me when I tell some of my stories I’m thinking it does.

One day when my four boys were all school age I heard a faint but urgent “Mommmm!” coming from the little woods next to our house. The gully, as they called it, was a boys haven, laden with scrap wood, rusty nails, and Dad’s missing tools. An utter dream. Unless of course you find yourself dangling by your ankle from a tree screaming at the top of your lungs which is the state in which I found Wes after I tore out of the house in search of the frantic cry that could barely be heard from the house.

Standing under his struggling little frame and big tears, I could give him just enough slack to loosen the rope around his ankle and then he fell down onto my shoulders. On other days their panicked runs to the back door with a trail of dripping blood behind them may have been less scary than this one. Wes had gone out to the gully alone to move a part of the zip line landing to help his brother who was afraid to go down the zip line. Yes, there was a zip line. Excuse me, but I feel like you’re giving me that look I was talking about.

Well anyway, we had a good talk afterward, again (just in case you were judging me), about safety and thinking a few steps ahead of yourself.

Now all in their 20’s three of them are into extreme hammacking, slack lining and climbing things that the average person would naturally avoid with the use of common sense. I’m sure glad I had those safety talks with them.

But all mishaps aside, fall is a such a great time to hang out in the woods, but maybe you’re like me and prefer a simple hike with less potential for being a first responder.

Shelley R. Lee, previously the lone woman in a rambunctious  family of four 20-something boys is happy to also have a daughter-in-law these days. Author of three books, numerous articles and book contributions, she resides in northwest Ohio with her husband of 28 years, David, a wrestling coach, of course. 

August's Column in Boomer's Magazine

Some of my guys practicing their knife throwing skills on
a roadside stop for tea with an ocean view.
Gotta Love a Man’s World
Guy’s Road Trip
by Shelley R. Lee
At home in Ohio, an urgent phone call from my husband, Dave, seven states away stranded with three of our sons jolted me out my happy place. I was done with work and awaiting my flight to spring vacation in San Francisco where I would meet them later the next day. “Shell, can you look up repair garages around here, we’re in Rock Springs, Utah…my reception is horrible. Maybe we need a rental…I don’t know, pretty sure we blew the transmission.”
These guys love a road trip and most of their adventures end up with a story something like this. We often travel with the title of our vehicle, and if you saw our fleet you would understand. But this journey was the first time we actually had to scrap the old beater in the middle of the country.
When I called that nearest repair garage and explained the situation a kind man talked slowly to another guy who we later learned was his brother. His voice echoed across the room, “Oh yeah, I saw those guys pulled over at the exit. I’ll go back and pick ‘em up.” Sort of a small town, apparently.
The nearest car rental was in Salt Lake City, over an hour away. One of the brother repairmen offered to take them the next day, and meanwhile directed them to the only motel in town for the night. My men decided to do what they usually do for a night’s sleep on the road, use the van as their room, usually with Dave sleeping on the roof. I should mention here that the van was locked inside a chain-link gated yard, There was probably a dog. It seems like there would be a dog. 
Their next night’s sleep was in a stunning 2012 Subaru Outback where they stopped late at night in pure exhaustion at a park in San Francisco. When the sun came up they realized they were at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Subaru windows were all fogged up and the neighbors in this upscale neighborhood were getting concerned.
Our time together at Alcatraz, the walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, and all of our wanderings in this spectacular city were great, but in retrospect, not as entertaining as all the travel antics. I hate to admit it though, because I typically whine quite loudly and get thoroughly depressed when I see the rental bills. But hey, we saved a boatload on hotels those three nights I wasn’t with them.
Shelley R. Lee, previously the lone woman in a lively family of four twenty-something boys is happy to also have a daughter-in-law these days. Author of three books, numerous articles and book contributions, she resides in northwest Ohio with her husband of 28 years, David, a wrestling coach, of course. 

This Boomers edition online: 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hidden Parts and Life's Ledges

Recently I've been shaken up by someone I care a lot about suddenly wanting to leave their spouse. Then I'm told it's not sudden, it's been bubbling up for quite some time. But it's sudden and shocking to almost everyone who knows them. I get how hard marriage is, make no mistake there. I tend to be more frank about this than my husband, Dave, used to prefer, and I guess I wasn't always comfortable with it either.  But I think we're both becoming more open about our struggles, realizing that there are others who need to know they're not alone.

All of this has me thinking a lot about the hidden parts of me that I don't realize have some level of control over me. I'm talking about the dark and injured parts that are hidden away in my soul. They have the potential to be incredibly destructive to me and those I love if I don't care for them.

If I don't take the time to think, search myself, process, pray, and feed myself with truth and love I will suffer and in turn, those I love may suffer as well. If I don't get some light shining into those dark places I can't expect to make progress. Here's the thing:  I am the only one who can do this work - no one can do it for me and I can't do this work for anyone else.

I know, this post is no funny, light-hearted bit with a slight spiritual emphasis, but it's been brewing in me for weeks. I feel compelled to share it with you with the hopes that fewer of us will be jumping off the ledges of life anytime soon.

Maybe this encouragement will help you muster the courage to face something instead of running from it, uncover something instead of bury it, maybe you'll talk to a trusted friend, find a good counselor, or call someone you've wanted to be your mentor.

We were meant for growth, beauty, freedom, truth, and love. When I give those things to myself somehow I end up seeing that God's been offering them all along. Then, I can begin to bring those things to others. It's weird how that works.

Some great reads over the past several months on this subject:
Psalm 139 (God, I love King David!)
Defining Decade, Why Your Twenties Matter, by Meg Jay
Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, PhD
You're The One You've Been Waiting For, by Richard C. Schwartz
Immortal Diamond, by Richard Rohr
Jeremiah 33

Monday, May 12, 2014

An Anniversary Card Split Four Ways

My brothers David & Ray & I, my parents's Gloria and Ray Maurer.
    This past weekend my entire family met in Florida to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. My two brothers, their wives, my husband Dave and I and the 11 grandchildren. It was great! Spring is a nice time for the beach and we enjoyed it.
    Along with my parents' milestone, my brother Ray and his wife Katrina, have their 25th coming soon. My son Mitch and his wife Liz, celebrated their 2nd anniversary today, and of course there was Mother's Day. There were a lot of greeting cards getting passed around.
    The card for Mitch and Liz was sent with Dave down the hall to Trev, Wes, and Dexter's room for signatures. Dave, you may recall is on pain medication... The card came back with a very nice Mother's Day note to me from Trevor. Wes wrote a sweet Mother's Day note to Grandma. Upon discovering the comical error the boys decided to see if they could get Mitch to sign his own Anniversary card, which they did. He actually read the card and questioned them so they told him it doubled as a Mother's Day card for Grandma.
    When Mitch gave their anniversary card to Liz to sign I couldn't let it go on, and we all had a good laugh.
    The family enjoyed this story at our Mother's Day lunch the next day.  I ripped the card into pieces giving each person their note written on the greeting card for four. Never mind that one of my Mother's Day notes said "appy Anniversa" on the other side of it.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and the Iron Skillet

    About two weeks after I returned from the beauty that is California I was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It comes from a tick bite and the spots give it away before the fever just in case you're wondering!
    A few days after I was in ER for that and still moving pretty slowly, my husband was in the same ER with a shoulder injury from wrestling. He has a high pain tolerance and was writhing with this thing. They were about to send him home with a pain medication that we knew didn't work that well for him. So, I walked down the hall to the nurses station and explained. Turned out they were giving him one of the strongest they could.
    "Can the dosage be increased?" I asked..."No, he's at the highest."
    Thinking about this for a moment I asked the nurse, "Do you iron skillet?"
    From down the hall we heard Dave, "I heard that!"
    It has taken about a month to recover from the spotted fever even thought the spots still linger. But Dave is still dealing with his issue, we ended up in a Florida ER this past weekend with it.
    The good news? One more ER visit this month and we'll get frequent flyer hats.
    The better news: I appreciate my health a lot these days, and having to rest a lot helped me get more of my writing contract done. It's nearing completion.
    I am grateful for much, ER and all!

Snowy Spring Break

   There are so many good little stories I want to share with you! I signed a little book contract back in March that I've been working on (yayy!) but it has kept me so busy, I feel really behind on my blog. So, here come a few of the best I've got lately. I hope you enjoy them.
    My last post was written after a beautiful day and a half at Yosemite at the start of spring break. The very next morning I woke up in my freezing cold 'heated' tent cabin after a night of what I thought was really loud rain.
    Preparing to meet my son Trevor for breakfast I slipped on my flip flops to head to the community restroom. When I cracked open my cabin door I was shocked to discover it was actually three inches of snow that had plopped on the canvas roof all night.       
    My husband Dave, and sons Wes and Dexter, arrived the next day and the same snowy scene reoccurred each morning at Yosemite. It was the most snow they had all winter long. Gorgeous, and of course after this winter I hated it with unparalleled passion.
    The photo here is in the valley where the snow mostly melted by mid-day. The location we would hike 12 miles a couple days later...not the case -- NOT melted. That hike took us through trails with 10 inches of snow for long stretches.
    I have to be honest with you. I cried. "What are we doing in the snow on spring break?!" Horrible.
Trevor gave me a consoling hug doing all he could to encourage me (and stop the tears, they're way too scary!).
    That was a day of polar opposites. Raging beautiful scenery and ugly, raging melt downs (Yes, a meltdown at 30 degrees -- I like to defy possibility). We left Yosemite two days early opting to drive three hours further west to the beach.
    The beach! Now we're talkin. Driving Highway 1 along the coast was like a fantasy I now liken to unicorns and purple penguins. Unbelievable.
    God is real, people. He sees my discouragement and wants to give me joy. I am so thankful!!
One of our stops along Hwy 1 - Dave on a carved tree stump chair...made for a giant.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Twisting Tall

After the worst Ohio winter since the Blizzard of '78 I am so thankful to be enjoying spring break at Yosemite. It's beautiful here! 

On a walk this morning my son told me that these trees are black oaks. In a crowd of trees they bend and twist between their taller, straight competitors, to find the light they need to grow. They let branches in the shadows die off that are pulling away energy they need to grow and live.

It's a perfect life metaphor from God's handiwork. I've been thinking a lot about that today. I need to be like the black oak.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


    This winter in northwest Ohio has really been something and it's not even February yet!
    To attempt to explain this photo (on one level anyway), there have been several days in a row of  lots of snow and below zero temps. The other day: -37 with wind chill (are we in Alaska?!!). So naturally, yesterday when we hit a high of +28, the fifty degree swing felt like spring. The snow and wind didn't let up though and everything was cancelled which left everyone home.
    I am prone to a bad attitude when life doesn't go my way which is most of the time. This, combined with cabin fever called for creative solutions to keep me going. And there you have it.
    If I could remember that all of life is this way, calling for creative solutions, I would be in the hot tub more often (even if my face is freezing!).
    Happy wintering everyone, wherever you find yourself.