About Shirlee Abbott

I’ve called all sorts of spaces home: farmhouse, cape cod, bungalow, starter ranch, condominium, townhouse, gracious Victorian and renovated barn.

It’s always home, if God is there.

My husband and I are low-budget do-it-yourselfers. We installed kitchen cupboards rescued from the curb. We tiled floors, sanded floors, painted floors, installed carpet and tore out carpet. We stripped and spackled and painted and papered.

Our current (and biggest) project is an 1800’s post-and-beam barn. When it was made into a home in the 1970’s, every post and beam was covered with drywall. When we found it, it was in foreclosure. We couldn’t miss the negatives: bad paint and graffiti on the walls, holes in the floor tiles, sketchy electric wiring and a pile of dirt where the bathtub belonged.


But the more we looked, the more we liked. The basic structure was sound. We sought it, we bought it. And 0ur first tool of choice was a crowbar.

Posts and beams revealed

The destruction begins!





With the help of a contractor, we hauled out seven tons of wallboard, 2x4s, tile, fixtures, carpet and doors. We got down to the original hand-hewn craftsmanship. The result: a rustic and quirky space, a home uniquely suited to us.


While we restored homes, God restored my soul.

I accepted Christ as my Savior at an early age, and I asked him to be Lord of my life in college. Truth is, I don’t follow well. I got ahead of his plan, trusting my limited view instead of his eternal wisdom. The basic bones of my faith were solid, but I’d covered over them with cultural compromise, self-centeredness and pride. God’s restoration removed the junk and made room for righteousness.

We’re still working on our barn: baseboards, doors, landscaping. Our house is a work in progress. And so am I. God’s still working on me.

I’m a wife (of a pastor), mother and grandmother. My day job is in hospital quality and safety. My ministry revolves around prayer, teaching and writing.

I offer constructive thoughts, not pat answers. Feel free to join the conversation.

Bless your soul!


27 Responses to About Shirlee Abbott

  1. Mary A. Christensen says:

    In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, you are also a daughter–a very precious, thoughtful daughter, and I am so proud of you. Not proud in the sense that I take credit for the fine woman you have become, but just so thankful to be able to call you my daughter, my friend, and sometimes my counselor. God is indeed still working on (and through) you, as He is on me. Keep up the good work!

  2. Kathleen Gaul says:

    Hi Lee! Lorraine says thank you for the invite, but she works on Saturdays. Take Care! Kathy

  3. Hi, Shirlee. I so enjoyed your comment on today’s Books & Such “Between the Lines” blog about the work you did on your home–and how you never want to do it again. I’d love to have you write a guest post for my blog about the process. Just something short–no more than 250 to 300 words. Pictures are also highly appreciated. If you’re interested, please email me at johnniealexander at icloud dot com. I’m scheduling guest posts for 2015. Thanks!

  4. Dean morihara says:

    Shirlee…thank you for your encouraging and uplifting words that you share on the proverbs31 site everyday. Look forward everyday to your thoughts on the devotion. They should have you contribute devotions too! You and your thoughts are total blessing! Keep sharing your thoughts!

  5. Melissa says:

    Like Dean above, I wanted to encourage you too, Shirlee. I googled you to find you because I SO enjoy all the wisdom you post on Proverbs31 Ministries. I was thinking I wished you lived near me to mentor me! Keep posting!

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      I’m glad you found my website, Melissa. It is uplifting to learn that I was googled for a good reason!

      I find the Proverbs 31 devotionals and the comments that follow to be very helpful and practical. You are getting godly advice there. I hope you’ll find some godly advice here, too.

      Bless your soul!

    • Ijeoma says:

      Me too. You are a blessing Mrs. Shirlee

  6. Renee says:

    Hi Shirlee…I, too, wanted to find out more about you from your posts on P31. I’m so happy to have found your website. I’ve been reading the P31 daily devotionals and comments for about a year now, and I find myself scrolling through the comments until I see your face! Your encouragement and wisdom is a blessing. Thank you for your ministry and sharing your gift!

  7. dean morihara says:

    Just wanted to thank you again for sharing your encouraging words on P31. You have an amazing gift of wisdom and have brought peace and hope to many hurting souls on the P31. And I appreciate very much your sharing the hurts, the pains, the mistakes that you have gone through and still going through in your own life. I write many of your thoughts and prayers in my journal … so that I can always go back to them. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to bless and heal so many!!

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      Thank you, Dean, for the encouraging words! I have stacks of journals, places where I nailed down flighty thoughts so that I can find them again. I am honored that some of my words get nailed down into your journal.

  8. dean morihara says:

    I was wondering, how do you pray to someone, for someone who is going through chronic physical pain, arthritis, back pain, etc. When they have prayed for some time and the pain remains and healing doesn’t come. Thank you very much! Dean

    • I think about pain a lot, Dean, partly because I work in healthcare. Partly because people I care about live with pain. I don’t think it comes down to a single request: “Lord, make the pain go away.” We can add a thousand prayers about living with the pain.

      On my commute home from work yesterday, I prayed “What’s the blog topic for next week, Lord?” Looks like God answered my question through you. Thank you, Dean. I hope you’ll check in daily and add your thoughts.

  9. Melissa Knight says:

    Another thank you, Shirlee, for your comments on the Proverbs 31 site. I too, looked you up because your prayers and words have resonated with me and been so encouraging. Like Dean, I have written one of your prayers in my prayer journal, and use it to pray for my children. Blessing on you, and so glad I found this website!

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      Proverbs 31 is a great place to start the morning, isn’t it?

      I’m delighted that the words of the prayer reflect the thoughts of your heart. Bless your soul, Melissa!

  10. Tanya says:

    Like so many women have said, I also go onto the comments page of Proverbs 31 site to see if you have posted. You have ministered to my heart over and over through the sound wisdom from our great Lord. A while back I tried to find you on Facebook, but w no success. Today when I was on Proverbs 31 and you mentioned being a pastors wife, I decided to google your name in hopes of finding anything. I’m not real techy, so could you please give me any info as to how I can follow you (sounds strange) or hear more of what you write or are a part of.

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      I’m glad you found me here, Tanya. I blog here Monday-Friday, so this is the best place to find me. I plan to start a Souls Under Construction Facebook page this fall, featuring a Bible study on the Trinity. That will be announced here when the time comes.

      Here’s a hint for your not-real-techy soul: click on my name above my Proverbs 31 comment, and it links to my website. That works for other names in blue too.

      Thanks much for your kind words, and stay tuned!

  11. Kathy Wyg says:

    Good afternoon..Shirlee..I am so thrilled to have found this page…due completely to Lynn @ P31..I called there this am..asking some questions & she just e-mailed me & gave me this link; it is sounding redundant..but I too thoroughly enjoy your comments that you post on P31..they are encouraging…uplifting…& honest…you just tell it like it is
    That’s what is needed & we need…you are a breath of fresh air..& I thank you for that..I love the name of this page…quite original & creative…& I can’t wait to see your FB page down the road…I wish there was a site,..like this or even FB..where Catholic/Christians
    Could vent their frustrations & just speak our feelings about the way the country is going right now…& how we would love to see it go…& just speak up in defense of our faith…& show them that God does exist,..& we are proud to take a stand for him…..I am just so happy I have found you On this page so others & myself can just communicate w/you one on one…awesome…I too went searching for you awhile back…I just wanted to get in touch & talk w/you by e-mail…I think I found your address…you had made mention in one of your posts about living in Illinois…so I went from there…then I thought she is going to think I am a weirdo…so I didn’t….I hope you guys have a blessed day & wknd…this is sweet……Kathy Wyg

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      Thank you, Kathy, for working so hard to track me down (and thanks to Lynn for her help). You are welcome to comment on or share any of my posts. We all need more constructive dialog–“be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). My goal isn’t to offer pat answers, but rather to get folks thinking . . . and praying! Frustration that flows into a constructive conversation with God is very powerful.
      Bless your searching soul!

  12. Kathy wygant says:

    oh..super sweet. .you did receive it..awesome. .thank you for replying ;..
    the frustration part is what I rather need help with…due to our current
    political candidate warfare…will expand tmrw..thanks Shirlee..

    have a blessed day. …kathy..

    • Shirlee Abbott says:

      Hi Kathy,
      I’m back from vacation, and I look forward to your comments.
      Bless your thoughtful soul!

  13. Rachel Kent says:

    Hi Shirlee, I can’t find an email address for you, so I hope contacting you here works! You won the copy of the California Gold Rush Romance Collection on the Books & Such blog! 🙂

  14. Ashley says:

    Hi Shirlee! I’ve been enjoying your comments on the Proverbs31 devotionals so I finally stopped by your blog! Thank you for sharing and being a wonderful example of a Godly woman!

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