A curious timeline...
she broke a chain of generational divorces to stay married,
have 5 children,
THEN decide she wanted to be a mother.
Just in case you were curious, here are our kids in
their Easter bonnets (with one borrowed kid in the stripes -
you can tell he's not ours cuz he's un-coolly smiling)
Looking at her family tree, one might think Shelley’s marriage was doomed…however, God overruled! She and her husband Greg decided before they were married to implement God’s counter-intuitive Biblical blueprint for marriage, despite the fact that Shelley came from four generations of divorces. In fact, among the 30 family members going back to her great-grandparents, there are 33 divorces! Staying married and reversing that heritage has been challenging at times, but with the goal of holiness instead of just happiness, their marriage stands today as a testimony to the power of God.
Self-Esteem and Motherhood
One threat to her marriage was Shelley’s wobbly self-esteem, which was shaken when she left home and didn't have her mother praising every little thing she did. She began having children to compensate; it seemed that the more kids she had, the more attention and approval she received from people. After five kids in six years, Shelley was faced with a choice: keep doing lots of outside activities to look like an awe-inspiring mom and get attention, or start being a mom to her children. Shelley had to overcome her fear of feeling trapped by motherhood, and her tendency to feed her self-image needs by getting approval from others, and learn to enjoy and proactively parent her own children.
Conflict & Forgiveness
Woven through the story of how she came to embrace motherhood is how she and her husband learned to work through conflict. Having come from a home where the pattern was to shut down during a fight, marriage to an expressive husband was indeed an adjustment. And this first-born leader who likes to be in charge certainly met her match when she married an only child who was used to getting his own way! Shelley felt the tension increasing through a multi-year string of car accidents where Greg’s criticism of her driving record turned her hurt spirit into bitterness over time. It wasn’t until the most terrifying car accident of all that God showed Shelley the harm that her bitterness was doing, and taught her the step-by-step process of releasing her hurt and truly forgiving .
Purpose Driven Life
Shelley has used her business degree from Biola University in careers in marketing, computer training, building businesses with her husband, and most recently as a staff member at Saddleback Church where she created the world-renowned 40 Days of Purpose Campaign , which has been done in over 30,000 churches in the U.S. in conjunction with a church-wide study of Rick Warren’s bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life.
An Ongoing Journey
Shelley and Greg and the Holy Spirit have broken that chain of generational divorces, and are approaching 30 years of marriage. Lest you think they have the perfect marriage now, they do still revert back to their "first-born-married-to-an-only-child" patterns, giving them ongoing opportunities to apply the powerful Biblical technologies of forgiveness and grace! They share God's timeless blueprint for personal health, marriage and family with national audiences at FamilyLife® marriage conferences. They are both Life Purpose Facilitators with Life Purpose Coaching Centers International ® . They live in Southern California with their five children ages 15 to 21 (who survived Shelley’s over-achiever years to become relatively well-adjusted young adults).
For a list of speaking topics from which to choose, CLICK HERE .
To read some things she got her friends to write about her, CLICK HERE .
To inquire about speaker availability and rates, go to Ambassador Speakers Bureau