This month Build A Sister Up is highlighting one of my very dearest friends!  I met Shari Rigby several years ago at a Gary Sinise Foundation event and it was immediately evident that we had kindred hearts!  We connected right away and have been close friends ever since!I always look forward to visiting Los Angeles so that I can connect with her. She is one of my very favorite people to have deep, rich conversations with and the two of us can do some serious thrift store shopping when we get together. You are going to love getting to know Shari.  It is rare to meet a woman who loves Jesus so whole heartedly and is committed to following Him and honoring Him in her life and in her career the way that Shari is. I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend, actress, writer, director, speaker, and producer, Shari Rigby.   Can you tell us a little about yourself? First, I am a daughter of the King, then wife, mother, friend, lover of coffee and chips and salsa.  I have enjoyed an incredible life by doing the things I believed I was created to do.  I worked as a model for years representing numerous companies such as Mercedes Benz, Humira, American West Airlines, Suzuki, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cox Cable, and I started my film career with a lead in the Dove award winning music video, “Slow Fade,” by Casting Crowns.  I also appeared in The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. I have appeared in the following feature films: Not Today, which received seven awards including an IFFF Spirit Award and Best Justice Film, October Baby, named one of the “Top 15 Impressive Box Office Performances of 2012” by CNN, and have had leading roles in Boonville Redemption, (starring Diane Ladd, Ed Asner), Wildflower, (starring Cody Longo and Nathalia Ramos), The Journalist, (starring Sharman Joshi and Stephen Baldwin) and the upcoming film, Extraordinary, (starring Karen Abercrombie, Leland Klassen and Lindsley Register).
I co-wrote my biography, Beautifully Flawed, with Claire Yorita Lee, which was published in March 2015. Plus, I have recently directed and co-wrote several short films, Birdie's Song, nominated for 8 awards at the 168 Film Festival, and The Church That Never Sleeps for the LA Dream Center. I am the Director of Broadcast Media for the Dream Center in Los Angeles and Executive Producer and director of the Dream Center show currently airing on the Daystar channel. I’m passionate to serve others through the Dream Center Los Angeles. I am the founder of “The Women In My World,” a women's group focusing on identity, purpose, ministry, serving others,mentoring and living life in Hollywood. I have also worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. My greatest gift of all is my family. My husband, Matt and I have been married for twenty years and I have been blessed to raise two boys together. Coffee or tea? Coffee for sure full of yummy vanilla creamer Exercise or nap? This is a tough one but I will say exercise. I certainly see the importance of exercise as I get older. Cake or pie? Pie High heels or sneakers? Can I say boots? Vacation or staycation? Staycation. I travel so much that anytime I’m able to actually take a vacation, I want to stay home, sleep, eat and hike. Early riser or sleep in? Early riser. Read the book or watch the movie? Gosh, this one is tough. I’m really a lover of both but I will usually pick the movie. Dogs or cats? Dogs, I have 3. Introvert or extrovert? Both. I have come to understand that I need alone time to regroup and recharge but I enjoy catching up with friends, having some good laughs and great conversation. I really think that Jesus showed us how to be both and why we need both. Country living or city girl? City girl! Do you have any hobbies? Is thrifting a hobby? Haha, I love being outdoors, cooking and journaling. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Music: Plumb - God Help Me Podcast: Revi Zacharias and Graham Cooke Reading: Screenplay by Syd Field Watching: Poldark IT’S AMAZING What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about empowering women to reach for their dreams no matter what. What/where are you writing? I’m writing several new projects.
  • A Youversion study Beautifully Flawed Part 1 - Lights, Camera & Action
  • A new 30 day devotional The Ultimate Romance
  • A screenplay - An Untitled Thriller
My writing time takes place in my living room in front of my fireplace with a large cup of warm coffee. Truly amazing God time as I see Him write through me. Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work with the Dream Center serving on their media team. I have gone back full-time to mentoring this year. I have 5 new women that have come to Los Angeles to pursue their careers in the entertainment biz. I am having a Night of Worship for The Women In My World on Aug. 25th kicking off the fall group. How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) My website is http://www.sharirigby.com/ On Instagram, Facebook and twitter: Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/sharirigby/ Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/sharirigby/ Twitter  https://twitter.com/sharirigby The Women In My World on FB  https://www.facebook.com/TheWomenInMyWorld/ What is an area that you’d like to grow in? If this is for personal growth, then it would be “being time efficient.” I have a lot of projects going simultaneously and need to be ultra focused to accomplish each one. How can we build you up? Praying, sharing about my film, Extraordinary, my book Beautifully Flawed, and my social media feeds with others. Really I find that “grass root” marketing and advertising is the best way to grow your project’s awareness and to connect with people. Is there a parting thought you would like to share? I would share the following thoughts from my favorite pieces from my book, Beautifully Flawed:

“I still get lost sometimes, but the difference now is that I know who I am. My  identity lies in someone so much greater than I am, in a Savior who loves me. That speaks to me and reminds me that the only approval I need is from Him, not man. I am called lovey, beautiful, and gifted. And each day I die to myself in order to become what I was purposefully created for, giving Him control so that I can do what it is He has called me to do." ~ Shari Rigby, Beautifully Flawed

Shari's book Beautifully Flawed is available on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
I'm so excited to introduce you to Tammy (T.H.)!  You're going to her energetic and encouraging personality, her uplifting writing, and her fun interview answers! Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a California-born girl who currently lives on her Texas farm, but as a child, dreamt of traveling to Spain. Instead, I lived and gave birth to my daughter on the Asian island of Okinawa, a place muggier than southern Georgia. I also lived and birthed my oldest son in the quaint village of Bad Windshiem, Germany. With exception, my third son was born in “plain” ol’ Kentucky, however it’s a state with captivating hills and karst terrain.

During my young adult years, I lived as a prodigal running from the church, and essentially from God. But in Killeen, Tx, I dedicated my whole life (and self) to Him. In those days, I jammed out to DC Talk’s, “Into Jesus,” and Rich Mullins,“Awesome God,” and studied a Life Application Bible as big as an encyclopedia.

For eighteen years, I’ve been married to my best friend who makes me laugh and finishes my sentences. Up until 2016, we homeschooled our two boys for seven years, now teenagers (with one having Asperger’s, aka HF Autism). I opened my first blog in 2009 called, If Meadows Speak. I also founded and co-led (with Amy Breitmann) a collaborative blog (now closed but still live) for Christians wounded by church, in a season without community, calledOutside the City Gates. We then co-led an online small group with (in)courage titled, Women Without Church Community.  

I love small, intimate conversations, un-sweet tea, road-tripping with a camera in hand, Mexican food (extra salsa, please!), and my family. I write from my kitchen table with our mini-Aussie, Einstein, underfoot. In addition to the soon-to-be-released book, A God of All Seasons: Walking Toward Mercy, Grace, and Hope, I’ve authored, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness-Explore Boldness-Encourage Faith; and Social Media Strategies (Without Losing Your Soul),

Coffee or tea? TEA! But of course.

Exercise or nap? Trick question, there. Exercise because I NEED it. But a nap is too luxurious to pass up.

Cake or pie? Cake, gluten-free if you have it.

High heels or sneakers? High heels with great arch supports! (Also snazzy, comfy sandals are the bomb!).

Vacation or staycation? Vacay, definitely!

Early riser or sleep in? Sleep in. Is that even a question?

Read the book or watch the movie? Watch the movie. I’m a visual person, though I love to read but have less time than I used too.

Dogs or cats? Dogs (‘though we have an outdoor farm cat that is the best-est)

Introvert or extrovert? Ambi-vert. I’m energized by meaningful conversations with people! Afterwards, I come away talking like a chipmunk when I’m telling my hubby about all the wonderful-ness of the get together. But I also NEED to capture and process all that wonderful energy by channeling it through introverted time.

Country living or city girl? I’m in between as a small town girl, for sure. Right now, I live way-out-in-the-boonies country and like our place but prefer “country” that’s closer to our small town and community.

Do you have any hobbies? Um, does writing count?  Add to that, photography and travel.

What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Cooper’s Treasure (documentary that’s absolutely fascinating!), just read Karin Fendick’s beautiful and poetic book, From Ashes to Glory: A Psalm a Day, and this week, I listened to the hilarious but serious sermon by, Pastor Tim Ross, titled, “Here, We Upset the World!” (from a Gateway Church’s podcast in Southlake, TX).

What are you passionate about? I’m motivated for people to be set free from bondage, as well as being an encouraging voice through difficult spiritual seasons in life (which looks different when raising toddlers versus an empty nester versus teens versus no children, etc). I’m an advocate for identifying God’s goodness, majesty (through His creation), and His gifts within others or ourselves.

What/where are you writing? My website, The Art of Fear Not is mostly a website not a blogsite, since I don’t blog as much anymore. My current focus is on longform like the co-authored book I’m launching with Amy in August, A God of All Seasons.

Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work as a social media specialist and content writer for a local economic company and am involved at my local church. I’ve also been talking to someone about revisiting a book idea we’ve discussed in the past, but that is still in the preliminary stages.

How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website: http://tammy-h-meyer.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/

What is an area that you’d like to grow in? I’m a Berean at heart so I never have enough historical background on scriptures and want to better understand things such as the cultural times of the Bible.

How can we build you up? Typically, because I’m an exhorter, I find it hard to focus on myself and even answer the question. Since I moved most every tbeyear growing up, I’m humbled by the smallest acts of kindness within this community. But if it crosses your mind, pray that I allow the Holy Spirit free reign in my life since I tend to hold back and that I’d allow Him access and control in every nook and cranny of me.

Is there a parting thought you would like to share? Don’t underestimate the power of community and supporting one another through the smallest of acts. And thanks Bobbie for taking the lead in gathering us together!

I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that I am no longer who I once was.  I was recently reminded of this as I waited to board my flight at the airport.  I walked away from my husband in search of a piping hot cup of coffee and returned to find him chatting with a man at our gate. The man was an old high school acquaintance of ours.  I recognized him immediately even though it has been more years than I care to admit since we all went to high school together.  He looked exactly the same. It took him a little longer to recognize me.  The years have definitely changed me.  I don’t look much like I did in high school.  I’ve lost the pony tail, bangs, and cheerleading uniform that were so familiar back then.  My hair is cut short now and, thankfully, I don’t have to wear that cheerleading skirt anymore. After a brief time to catch up, we parted ways to catch our flight.  As the plane took off, so did my thoughts.  I began to think about just how different I am from that girl that I was in high school. The difference is actually pretty shocking.  The biggest changes, though, are probably not ones that my old high school acquaintance could even see during that short encounter.  Sure, my appearance has changed, but greater still is the change that has happened in my heart.  It is unrecognizably different. I’m reminded of Colossians 3:9-10 ESV that says …”seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” The next verses in Colossians say that after we’ve put off the old self, there are some things that we need to put on.  Colossians 3:12-17 ESV tells us that our new self wears the knowledge that he/she is holy and beloved.  The new self that we put on when Christ moves into our hearts changes us.  We become compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, loving, peace filled, and thankful.  Verse 17 says that whatever we do in word or in deed we do in the name of the Lord Jesus. I’m glad that my old self has been put off.  She wasn’t always kind, humble, meek, patient, or forgiving.  She definitely didn’t have the love and peace of Christ in her heart because she didn’t even understand who He was.   That is the way we are before Christ intervenes. That moment we accepted Christ the old self died and the new self, with a new heart, was born.  Everything about us is changed in that instant that we believe in Jesus as our Savior. That doesn’t mean that our new self is perfect.  I’m going to be honest.  I don’t look like that high school cheerleader anymore, but I don’t look exactly like that person described in those verses from Colossians either.  Like most of us, I am learning to intentionally put on the new self each and every day that bears the image of my Savior.  Every day I look more and more like Him as I learn to love, follow, and obey Him.  He is constantly at work in me and He is constantly at work in you. This side of Heaven, none of us will be perfect.  But, we do have the promise of Philippians 1:6ESV that says that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.  As we continue to grow in Him, we will continue to look less and less like the old selves that we used to be. Honestly, I hardly recognize the girl that I use to be.  That is because I have been changed from the inside out.  I am a new person with a new heart.  I may not look like a cheerleader anymore, but I look a whole lot more like my Savior and I think that’s definitely progress in the right direction. *This article is featured in the June issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine as Out With The Old Man In With The New Creation You can read the article or see the whole magazine here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/befd5796-7daf-48ba-9a0e-2acdb904229e
"Reaching my hand into the dark soil, I could feel that the roots had gotten deep. I had to put my weight into the pull to unearth something I had spent weeks tending. I felt a little discouraged; I’d invested my time and attention into something that had proved to be working against the growth I was seeking the whole time. I also felt a little frustrated that I’d been so easily deceived." God is constantly teaching me valuable lessons through everyday life experiences.  I had the opportunity to share a particularly powerful lesson that I learned recently at iBelieve.com about recognizing spiritual weeds in my life. Pulling out that weed and the others like it that day in my garden caused a slew of thoughts to start circulating around my mind. As Christians, how many weeds have taken root in our lives? How many things have we poured our time and attention into that are choking out the Spiritual fruit we are trying to grow? How can we tell the difference between a weed and fruit when it is so easy to mistake one for the other? Am I watering weeds? Do you want to know how to recognize spiritual weeds in your life? Join me over at iBelieve.com by clicking the link below to read the full article! http://www.ibelieve.com/faith/how-to-recognize-spiritual-weeds-in-your-life.html Love and blessings, Bobbie
It has been so much fun getting to know Amy!  This country gal has an absolutely beautiful heart and I love the story that God is weaving throughout her life.  I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow dirt-road-lover, Amy Breitmann. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’ve been married to my husband Troy for 24 years and we have two children. Shelby is 19 and just finished her freshman year at college.  Our son Mitchell is 17 and will be a senior next year.  We are transplanted Northerners but have lived in Augusta, GA for more than 20 years.  ( I still don’t like sweet tea or grits...but southern hospitality is unmatched!) I have been in ministry of one kind or another for my entire career, as an entrepreneur and storyteller.  In this season I work from home and travel some with Vi Bella Jewelry.  I love the flexibility of weaving work with family and being at home. I have been a writer for my whole life, it’s my therapy. I own more cowboy boots than is probably necessary. I have a serious thing with leopard print and Tiffany Blue anything. I follow a LOT of livestock feeds on Instagram.  I have a love of horses and cattle and barns. We are members of an amazing church and have deep friendships here in the south.  So very blessed. Coffee or tea? Black coffee and lots of it. Exercise or nap? Yoga, a walk or barre class. Can’t remember the last time I napped! Cake or pie? Not much of a dessert girl. But homemade strawberry rhubarb pie is another story. High heels or sneakers? Boots! Vacation or staycation? Both. I love to travel but there’s no place like home. Early riser or sleep in? Definitely an early riser. Read the book or watch the movie? Read the book. Dogs or cats? We have two dogs and a cat. We would have horses if we had enough land! Introvert or extrovert? Introvert! Country living or city girl? Both. I love NYC and Chicago but dirt roads calm my soul.  I grew up going to my grandparents farm in Iowa so the Midwest will always feel like home.  Our family has a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia so you’ll find me there as often as possible, wearing cowboy boots and staring at the mountains or riding in the jeep with the top down. Do you have any hobbies? I had an interior decorating business for several years. I love creative processes of any kind.  You’ll find me in the kitchen most every day- I’m a chef wanna-be and avid backyard gardener. And I collect antiques and quilts- I hit estate and garage sales whenever possible. Most everything in my home has a story and a former life. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? I listen to the “On Being” podcasts and my book club is reading a variety of memoirs.  I love a good story. What are you passionate about? I am a 19 year ovarian cancer survivor and have advocated for cancer patients for many years.  I Co-Founded a ministry many years ago called “The Lydia Project” that grew out of our decorating business.  Lydia  now serves women internationally that are facing cancer, with the mission to let them know they are not alone, providing spiritual and financial support. I’m also passionate about decorating, writing, family, and the message “you are beloved.” What/where are you writing? I write on my blog belovedinbluejeans.com.  I was also the Co-Visionary with Tammy Hendricksmeyer on a site called “Outside the City Gates”- storytelling focusing on inclusion and grace, targeted at those who have been hurt by the church.  The site has been stagnant for a couple of years as we closed it to pursue other writing goals. I have been published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and Guideposts Magazine as well as on several online communities. My first book, “A God for All Seasons,” is due to release in August, coauthored by my dear friend Tammy H. Meyer. Here is a preview from the back cover synopsis:
If you were able to recognize God in every hard, sacred season, how might it encourage your faith to grow? This book is for anyone who has found their spiritual life stuck in the icy grip of winter or their faith lumbering to recover from a summer’s break. Through powerful and poignant storytelling, Amy and Tammy guide you on a journey that will you to lift your eyes toward God's ever-abiding presence through each season’s challenge. Discover hidden gifts of comforting grace in darkness by night, and the radiant glow of God’s mercy by day. You will encounter stories of a God who:
  • gives you a new name
  • never forsakes you
  • delivers you
  • redeems you
  • rescues you from the pit
Learn to perceive God's companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. Even when you barely believe such closeness is true. Unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but the One who also walks you through them.”
Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work from home and travel some for Vi Bella Jewelry.  We are a job creation ministry creating beautiful jewelry with artisan centers in Haiti and Mexico.  I have been honored to visit our artisans and their communities in Haiti twice over the past several years. It is an honor to work with our Founder and CEO Julie Hulstein and a team of world-changers as a storyteller and social media manager.  (And I get to dabble in fashion- selecting designs and fabrics for upcoming collections) How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website:  http://belovedinbluejeans.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.breitmann Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmyBreitmann IG:  https://www.instagram.com/abreitmann/ I run social media and marketing for vibellajewelry.com Facebook for ViBella Jewerly:  https://www.facebook.com/ViBellaJewelry/ IG for ViBella Jewerly:  https://www.instagram.com/vibellajewelry/ What is an area that you’d like to grow in? Bravery:  I’m working with a business coach to work on consistent posting on my blog (discipline) and being bold in doing live FB videos and possibly podcasts to compliment the book launch. As most writers, I have a lot of fear that crops up in sharing the message that is on my heart. How can we build you up? Prayer, encouragement, a safe place to “practice” my brave! I was the spokesperson for the non-profit I started for years, but that was my “cancer story”  I’m ready to share a deeper story- about owning being “beloved” and how that plays out. Is there a parting thought you would like to share? Thank you for this opportunity! I love being part of this encouraging, inspiring group of women!