Ashley Frank is a young, beautiful woman who devotes her free time to inspiring others through words and phrases that she writes on seashells and then leaves wherever she goes. Dedicating about two hours every day to her passion of uplifting others, she writes inspirational messages and Bible verses on about 1,000 shells every week. On the outside of each shell she writes #ShellReadTruth, meaning also “she’ll read truth.”
Ashley explains how it all began, “Next week it will be a year. It started on a whim. My friend and I were at the beach and I had just recently become a stay at home wife.”
Ashley wanted to do something that made a difference, whether she made money at it or not. “I’ve always been a beach bum. I’ve always loved seashells, and so the idea just kind of popped into my head. So I called another girlfriend and talked about the name and literally that day, Shell Read Truth was started.”
Turning to Pinterest for inspirational quotes and ideas, Ashley put together about 400 short little quotations and Bible verses that she carefully writes on the inside of each shell.
Intimidated by the vision of how big it could get, she backed off of seeking God for the ShellReadTruth mission for about six months. “I thought that this would be something that would grow and get big, but that’s kind of terrifying.” In January, after that six month period passed, she started a blog where she writes about the messages.
Each blog post focuses on the message from one shell. “I write about how it applies to my life or what I’ve learned from it. Doing that is being very open. It’s kind of nerve-racking to put yourself out there and not know who could be reading them, so I just didn’t really listen to God for six months because of my own pride and fear.”
Sharing an uplifting aroma of encouragement and truth everywhere she goes, Ashley explains, “When I’m grocery shopping I’ll leave them on shelves at Publix. I also went into Michael’s one time and in the section where it’s 20 feet of baskets, I put one in every basket as high as I could reach. I actually received an email from the manager of Michael’s at one point saying that they made it a game to see who could find the most in one day and that it was such a joy to find.”
Ashley’s mom and dad avidly support her mission and share her shells where they live in Pt. St. Lucie. Her shells are making it to northern states as well, as she hands out generous bags of shells to scatter to friends living in Connecticut, West Virginia, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, and even Canada.
Occasionally people find her through the hashtag, #shellreadtruth and let her know how it inspired them. One of those people was Kim Cunningham.
Kim’s story began in a worship service. On May 21st, 2016, in the middle of the service, Kim was praising God with her hands held high. Unable to move, she felt God saying to her over and over, “You will not be shaken. You will not be shaken. You will not be shaken.”
After the service, Kim and some friends went out to dinner. While they were waiting for a table, Lisa Glassman, one of the three ladies, suggested that they wait in her car, but Kim countered with the suggestion that they should wait on the bench outside of the restaurant.
Kim said, “We went and sat on the bench, turned around and there were two shells on the bench. And on the outside it says #shellreadtruth. So I’m like, ‘Lisa! Look at these shells!’ So she picked one up, and I picked up the other one. I looked at mine, and it said “Psalm 16:8″ and Lisa’s said “Be faithful.”
As Pam Schiegner, the third person in their party arrived, Kim said, “Hey, look what we found!” As she looked, on the other side of the door, there was another bench and on it was the third shell. Kim remembers, “So there were three of us and three shells.” Pam picked the shell up and read “Be respectful.”
Kim continues, “So of course, I immediately googled what Psalm 16:8 says, and when I googled it, two versions popped up; one King James Version and one New International Version. And the KJV said, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” And the NIV said, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord, with Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” So [during the church service] I could not move and I kept hearing, “You will not be shaken.”
Kim’s story was a great encouragement to Ashley, whose journey through this mission of writing and sharing words of truth on shells has not been easy.
“I’ve honestly thought that these past few months, wanting to give up, was just Satan attacking me. There have been so many times that I’ve come so close to just stopping but then it’s like…there’s still shells out there and who else is going to do it?”
Ashley’s blog can be found at www.shellreadtruth.com. Please take a moment to encourage Ashley by liking and commenting on her Facebook page and help her on this beautiful mission of sharing the aroma of inspiration and truth with South Florida and beyond.