Get to Know Shirley...
I went from being "clueless" about God to shaping a belief system that became the motivation for my everyday choices and actions.
Married; mom to 3, grandmom to 5, GG to 3
Certified Personality Trainer (Littauer)
Certified Strengths 101 Trainer
A successful entrepreneur with 18-career in sales and marketing prior to ministry
Ordained Elder, Church of the Nazarene
27 years in full time ministry
Author: "Riding in Cars with Men: A Clergywoman's Story"
How it all began...
I grew up going to church off and on, but I didn’t really pay much attention to the minister or find a direct connection to anything I heard. I just liked to sing in the children’s choir! It was all about the music for me.
Not So Good Life Changing Choices...
In my early teen years, I made some bad choices that made a mess of my life. I became pregnant at the age of 15, and by age 16, I was married to an alcoholic and had a newborn son to care for. I tried to find forgiveness for my mistakes by returning to church. Unfortunately, instead of finding someone who would take me under their wing and help me, I ended up deeply hurt by someone whispering unkind comments about my situation. I was too young to have the coping skills to know how to process that, so I left the church that day vowed to never go back.
Fast forward… some 12 years later I decided to try church again after literally being nagged by a family member. By now I was 27 years old and had three kids age five and under. I was given a Bible, but I had no idea how to use it or how it could help me - I was clueless! It would be years before I understood how much God wanted to connect with me in the ordinary - and the messiest - moments of my life.
Fast forward another 10 years, and I was remarried and thriving as a working mom, a sales professional who owned a very successful consulting and training business. I knew what it was to work long days and then come home to all the things necessary to keep the household in order, like laundry or running kids to sports or school events. I felt the stress of being unable to attend many of their activities because I was with a client or traveling to lead a training class or be in a meeting. I often felt overwhelmed, wondering if anyone understood all that I did or if I was appreciated, but I kept going - sometimes to the detriment of my own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. And I wanted my children to have a belief in God, but I struggled because I didn’t know enough to help them. I had to count on others to teach them.
When you know better, you do better….
I realize now that an informed relationship with God would have been a tremendous asset and a basepoint for better choices - from how I made decisions as a teen, to how to cope with my hectic lifestyle as a working mom, to how I could teach my children to interact with God through practical, everyday life experiences.
It’s almost comical that I eventually became a minister - that’s right, me! The woman whose life was once a total mess!
When I left my business, I had to keep learning what I needed to know for the ministerial phase of my journey. And after 29 years of being a church pastor, I want to share the things I’ve learned with you!
I don’t want your journey with God to take as long or be as difficult as mine.
There are basic teachings that could have made all the difference in my spiritual development and my ability to connect with God, e.g.:
How can we put teachings about God into use in the context of our everyday life?
How did God wire us for a relationship with Him and what impact does that have on how we put into practice what we learn about God?
How is our understanding of God directly related to our choices?
Can we actually make sense of the Bible, or is it “just another book”?
I’m so passionate to help you discover these and other things faster and easier than I did!
I want to help you discover how to connect with God in ways that are meaningful to your everyday life - right now! I can teach you, even if you have no previous knowledge or experience, steps to make your connection with God easier -- steps that I believe will bring more peace and joy in your life!
I teach what I know…
I’m a practitioner - not a theologian! My teaching style is down-to-earth, not using big theological terms or jargon that you may not understand. I want to make it as simple as possible.
I offer ideas that give “food for thought” - you get to decide if and what applies from what you hear. The choice is yours!
I teach from a Christian perspective, but it’s a “no judgment zone”. You don’t have to believe what I believe. You’re capable of choosing what the meaning is for you and I know God will help you. This will give you a framework to learn from, and then you can choose if or how it applies to your life.
I hope that you will consider joining me on this journey!