Have you ever met a hero among heroes? They stand out for their noble character, courage and vulnerability. Not vulnerability in weakness but vulnerability in truth and transparency. There is a willingness to be in the spotlight, and take criticism and judgment for speaking truth…something most of us flee from. It’s a calling…not a human calling but a call from God. That’s my next Hen House Hero!
Her name is Shanti. She is a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a blogger. Growing-up she experienced abuse at the hands of her father. As a teen, she attended the Mormon church with her family and later her parents ended up getting a divorce. A few years later, Shanti met God and became a Christian. Life began to change.
God had plans for Shanti. Plans of redemption, healing and a better life.
Shanti has been married for 19 years to her Superman…a high school math teacher and a solid rock in her life. They have five children. A biological son and 4 adopted children (3 boys and 2 girls). Their ages range from 8-13. Shanti knew from the age of six she would adopt children…that she would rescue a child in need.
Shanti believes, “adoption is the hardest, but most rewarding endeavor. You will grow more as a person than ever expected. It is a calling.”
In 2010, Shanti’s husband was diagnosed with celiac disease and was told he was allergic to everything except meats, fruits and vegetables. Quickly, they transitioned him to a Paleo diet. After being tired of making separate meals for him and the kids, Shanti decided to move the entire family to the Paleo diet. As a way to inspire cooking ideas,…Shanti started a blog called Clean Eats in the Zoo. She posted recipes, tips, and tricks to help others going through the same or similar situation. It was very successful and she quickly gained a following.
About a year and a half into blogging, Shanti’s passion for writing grew beyond recipes. She felt led to share about family, faith and world issues. The political climate was heating up, and though not particularly excited about politics…she felt a nudging to start simplifying complex political issues. She made a strategic decision to rebrand her blog under a name that would create an umbrella of topics not just recipes…the new name: Life Made Full.
As Shanti continued to write about world issues, she experienced deeper feelings…beyond purpose…she felt called by God. But being called by God doesn’t protect you from criticism and judgment. She carefully and prayerfully considered what her next steps would be. After speaking with her counselor, she decided to let her audience know…she would keep the recipe section, but new blogs would be geared toward world issues. A courageous and bold move. Scared to lose subscribers on her blog (and she did) but on a mission to please her creator…God.
Shanti says, “The greatest action we can take in our private lives is falling on our knees in humility before God daily. It’s the only way our public lives can be filled with divine boldness and power.”
Shanti has experienced backlash and hurtful words. She has shed many tears. Her husband, a gift from God, brings balance with his logical approach to the criticism. Shanti’s deepest fear is turning people away from Christ. However, this Hen House Hero has come to a place of peace…realizing that her only responsibility is to tell the truth in love. What happens after that is God’s business.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Nobody can be a Hen House Hero alone. Everyone needs encouragement and support. For Shanti, she has a group of confidants -spiritual advisors. These close friends provide accountability, support and encouragement. If any blog posts are questionable as it relates to the Bible, she can trust them to kindly discuss their concerns. In addition, she has her husband and personal counselor.
If you have felt the call to stand-up for truth in a social forum or public venue, Shanti has this advice for you:
Being a new blogger is scary. I desire to be vulnerable and transparent with my audience while honoring God and speaking truth. Shanti’s story has inspired me to go deeper with my personal story. My life long battle with anxiety has mostly been in private…even hiding it from those closest to me. Also, my “no-conflict and non-confrontational” personality steers me away from having the hard conversations. But we live in a day and age that hard conversations cannot be avoided. As moral, patriotic and political tensions continue to rise…more Christians need to be willing to speak truth. My time has come to Chicken IN and face my fears!
This Hen House Hero is courageous, fearless and bold. Talking about politics, religion and morals/values for a Christian woman is anything but easy. She is stepping-up to the plate for that which God has called her to…with love, care and concern. Not because she wants to battle it out with the opposing side…that’s not fun at all! But because she was purposed for this. Her heart is for Christ and the truth. What is your heart for? Are you stepping up to the plate in your life?
“When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you’d been the only man in the world.” ~ CS Lewis
For more information about Shanti please visit Life Made Full.
For more Hen House Hero stories please visit Chickening IN-Hen House Heroes.