Shelley in a Snapshot

Shelley’s humor-laced messages arise from her experiences as a formerly-reluctant mother of 5, her quirky methods of propping up her self-esteem and her 35-year marriage of two strong-willed people. She is the co-author of a book for women, Character Makeover and a curriculum for teen girls, Head to Soul Makeover.

Shelley and Greg Leith get married at Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, 1980
Shelley & Greg’s Wedding Day, 1980

Starting Out

Step 1: Shelley and Greg got married.

Step 2: They had 5 children.

Step 3: Shelley faced her fears about motherhood.

When Shelley came face-to-face with the young lives God had placed in her care, and she stopped focusing on her fears that were making her a mediocre mother, and she embraced God’s marvelous plan for motherhood.

Five kids ready for church,  Vancouver, BC 1995
Dressed for church, 1985
Jason (5), Ryan (7), Heather (2), Shannon (8), Carson (4)

Her Motherhood Journey

After having five kids in six years, Shelley was faced with a choice keep doing lots of outside activities to look like an awe-inspiring mom, or start being a mom to her children. Shelley had to overcome her need for approval and her fear of feeling trapped by motherhood to learn from God how to thrive as their mother. She began a journey of learning to do that thing other mothers seem to do naturally – nurture her children.

A National Church Coach

Shelley used her business and Bible degrees from Biola University in her role Saddleback Church where she headed the creation of 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. Currently, she is the National Church Coach for Zondervan publishers, where she is the featured trainer of church teams, helping them implement year-long Bible engagement experiences for all ages called THE STORY and BELIEVE.

3D Zondervan books
Greg and Shelley in Maui for their 35th anniversary
Shelley & Greg find the perfect Coke can on their 35th anniversary

They're Their Better Half!

Shelley and Greg, with the power of the Holy Spirit, have broken a long chain of generational divorces and have passed the 35-year mark and are still going strong! Greg is the CEO of Convene, a membership organization that empowers Christian CEOs to maximize their business performance with eternal perspectives. Their home is in Southern California.

Leith Family, Christmas Day, 2013
Christmas Day, 2013
(Clockwise from left) Jason, daughter-in-law Paige & Ryan, Carson (in stripes) & daughter-in-law Lauren, Grandpa Alf, Greg, Shelley, Grandma Marilyn, Heather (in black), Shannon (in white)

She Speaks Canadian, Eh?

Shelley and Greg have a cross-cultural marriage – she is an American married to a Canadian. All 5 kids were born in Canada, making Shelley the only pure American in the family…but she speaks Canadian, eh! The even-numbered kids are married, the odd kids are single, and they all seem to have survived Shelley’s over-achieving years.

She's All About Character

Out of Shelley’s years of proactive character-based parenting, her books on character development were born. First she co-authored Character Makeover: 40 Days with a Life Coach to Create the Best You, a book for women who want to develop eight character qualities to become more like Christ. People asked for a book like it for teenagers, so Head to Soul Makeover: Helping Teen Girls Become Real in a Fake World was born, which teaches the same eight character qualities through the metaphor of eight different television reality shows.

3D Shelley Books
LookUpandUp

About those trees...

When I was a young girl living in the Philippines, our family would spend summers in the place I was born, The Firs Conference Center in Bellingham, Washington. Coming from the tropics, those towering fir trees were fascinating to me, and it became a morning ritual for my mom and I to lie in bed, craning our necks to look out the window of our camper and saying, “Look up and up and up and see the trees up and up and up.” Silly, yes, but somehow it was seared into my memory as a very awe-inspiring and special sight.

Years later, my study of Scripture led me to conclude that where we look, or focus our eyes, is extremely important. If we look at other people, we will compare. If we look at our circumstances, we will complain. If we keep our eyes locked on God, we will change. One of my favorite verses describes what happens when we look up to God:

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV

That verse is at the core of everything I speak about. My desire is to help people shift their viewpoint upward to God, and help them see who he really is and what he really thinks of us, so we can reflect his radiance in our shame-free faces.

Looking up and up and up~

Shelley Signature