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SMC Women's Ministry

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Posts in Shea Rocheleau
Give Up Or Take In?


Before making SMC our home, Lent was just something in your belly button or to clean out of your dryer (yes, lint, but Southerners say it all the same). But the great Cindy Bailey introduced it to me as a way of giving up something to make more room for God to do something. The adage, less of me more of Him, kind of thing.

For years I gave up things, usually sweets or Diet Coke, and made it all about my suffering (and the suffering of my coworkers and family). Which compared to dying on a cross is about the saddest, whiniest suffering in the history of the world.  So this year, I chose to give up sweets, BUT replace it with the sweetness of God. What does that look like? How is that done? Can you buy it at Target?

It will look different for every one of us depending on what God knows we need and how He orchestrates things for us. He knows right now, in my current season, I need more of Him, His healing, His hope, His unwavering and endless love for me and I need to be more aware of that with a grateful heart.  I need to wake up each day and intentionally seek out things that bring me joy that I can thank Him for. I need to spend time in His Word, ruminating with a line or two to hear His voice. I need to trust His work in my life.

Exodus 15:23-26

23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.)24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.

There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

The Lord promised to heal the Israelites if they obeyed Him. He showed them they could trust Him by making the bitter water sweet. All because Moses cried out to Him, sought Him out, spent time with Him, praised Him, obeyed Him.

While I’m missing out on caramel and chocolate and cheesecake; I’m being healed by obeying The Lord, crying out to Him, spending time with Him, and praising Him. That’s what Lent is for me; giving up something so I can take in more of Him.


By Faith, I Must

fireflies This past week I was fortunate enough to hear Beth Guckenberger, and a few other incredible people of faith share about their faith. I’ll be honest, I battled and am still battling this conference. The timing of it with personal things and work things, the title claiming it was for children’s pastors (hey, I’m not one of them), and just an overall bad attitude.  I am one gajillion percent certain that the evil one is celebrating my bad attitude while everyone around me has quickly tired of it. I’m even tired of it. Therefore, to fight the enemy, I need to share some of the nuggets I heard over the week that are taking root in my heart and ripping apart the bad attitude (trying to anyway).

Beth Guckenberger is one of my heroes, one of those real, down to earth women you want to be around because she is so in tune with the Lord that you want to be in their presence. She started our conference with this question: “What is it YOU want me to hear from YOU?” Y’all, I KNOW I heard birds chirping, maybe it was locusts or crickets, but it was static and nothing decipherable was coming out. She led us through a prayer experience-where I stewed in my bitterness instead of opening my heart to hear what God wanted me to hear. But I’m home now and I’m upset with myself over a wasted opportunity to fully worship; to express my love and adoration to the One who made me and to beg for His forgiveness for my bitterness.

Beth talked about how God’s people had light amongst them… I imagine a warm summer evening with fireflies in abundance. Isaiah 58:8-14 says,

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

I desperately want to be the person who calls out to the Lord at all times, being sure He is with me. I don’t want to be the bitter person who is unsure of life or of God’s presence. I want to be a firefly, to be the light of Christ to those around me. Not in competition with those other fireflies, but in unity.

So how, how do I release the bad attitude and fully submit to the Lord’s purpose for me? I must acknowledge my need for Him. I must submit to His sovereignty, not being dependent on what I bring to the table. I must humble myself and ask for forgiveness from those forced to be in my world lately. I must remember to give myself as much or more grace than I would others. I must remember to follow Colossians 3:12-14 (oddly enough it was these verses Jim and I selected for our wedding):

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

That’s a lot of “musts” but they are necessary; you know what’s even better? It’s all fully possible when I focus on the Lord and release everything over to Him. Will you join me in praying for me to be able to do all these musts? And to humbly seek out help when I’m struggling to be who He created me to be? Is there something God is calling you to do that must be done? Don’t you want to be firefly, full of light for Him?

Shea Rocheleau




IMG_2587 It’s hard to think of the word legacy this month without thinking of Beth Gurley. My dear friend left such a legacy behind when she was met in Heaven with open arms on September 11th.

I’m awful at remembering years because some memories feel like yesterday while others feel like decades have passed. I first met the amazing Beth through her daughters, Kathryn and Sara (Meredith is the oldest and was already out of their house by this time). Kathryn was interning with us at SMC and helping me learn the lay of the land since I was new on staff. I immediately noticed something different about the Gurley Girls, it was about WHOSE they are. Usually when I come across a young person who shows such remarkable faith and strength I seek out their parents. I have this ridiculous need to know them and find out what they did to make their kids awesome sauce. Thus, my crush on Beth began.


When you first met Beth you noticed her smile. It wasn’t just her perfectly polished teeth, it was the fact that her smile started with her mouth and ended with a radiance from her eyes-that could only come from a deeply rooted faith and relationship with The Lord. How I wanted to be Beth Gurley from that moment on!  Her faith, her joy, her love for others, her devotion to her family, her desire to be more like Jesus, and a gazillion other things have had me saying I want to be like her when I grow up.  If I can be half the woman of God she was I will consider myself a success.


As a small group leader, Beth challenged her girls to be more like Jesus, to get to know Him, to study His word and to not take themselves so seriously. Beth left a hole in our ministry when she left to spend more time doing her mission, Step Up. I have no idea how many families are changed because Beth and Jim created Step Up and NEVER waivered from their dedication to it, even when the dreaded C word entered their lives. But I do know, her unfailing determination to serve those less fortunate made a difference in our community.

Once the evil C started battering her body, Beth refused to allow it to steal her joy. Beth knew JOY was not based on her circumstances, but was a gift from God. She freely shared it with others. C would cause her great pain, but you could still look into her eyes and see the sparkle of joy and life and love.  I would call Beth to check in on her and I would end up crying the entire time.  I’m a really good friend like that.  She would remind me the worst thing that could happen to her would actually be the best thing-to wake up in the arms of Jesus.  And she’s so very right, but the human woman remaining on earth knows what we are all missing out on without her here.


But legacy…her legacy of faith, hope, trust, love, joy, peace, laughter, radiance, perseverance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, patience, and self-control are things that the rest of us can aspire to because of her legacy. Beth devoured The Word and it was clear The Word resided within her, oh what a legacy.  Beth served with a gracious heart, oh what a legacy.  I can think of countless verses in the Bible that come to mind when I think of her and her legacy:

Proverbs 31:10-31

Galatians 5:22-23

Isaiah 40:31

Revelation 21:4

And so many more verses because her legacy is of God.


daddy 2012