Hope and Humility


Every once in a while the Queen and I get to talking about things outside the shelling and beach world and I wonder if I should blog about it. After all, the Queen and I are more than just shellers. We’re people too. The Queen presented some things to me that she had been praying about and it hit home. The topic? Being a humble person.

So how do you write a blog post about being humble without being not very humble? On a shelling and travel blog, no less?


I don’t know, but I’m going to try. I do know that being humble is a very challenging and difficult task, especially for a guy like me. I like to talk and share and contribute.

I’ve always wanted to succeed at everything I do. I fail often. I set the bar high. Rarely do I jump over the bar. I’m a musician and I love my craft. When something good happens with my music, I like to tell people. In my heart and mind, I know I’m not telling people so they can pat me on the back. But I realize that deep down inside, I’m unconsciously seeking validation. It’s a weakness. Humble people don’t seek validation. I realize that my talent is a gift. Not an ability.

That’s just one example.

The Queen showed me a picture that laid out Mother Teresa’s Ways to Be Humble. I read them and I immediately felt a pit in my stomach.


After having that deep discussion with the Queen, I see that I’m not a humble person. After reading a list of things humble people do, I realized that I do too few of them. It was like a slap across the face. My own slap, of course, using my own hand across my own face.



I took it to bed with me. I dreamed about it. I had a hard time sleeping because I was beating myself up. I realized that I needed to be more selfless. I need to let other people get the last word. I need to give in more. I need to listen more than talk. I need to overlook things. I need to be more pliable in discussions that don’t follow my lines of thinking. I need to be less significant.

In short, I need to be less Tobias/Shell King and more Most High. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and it’s clear that mine’s really weak .


When we shell or travel, we take pictures. We love to share our experiences with everyone. We’ve mentioned it here before, but I’ll mention it again – We enjoy life and living it. We enjoy taking trips and having fun and want to show on this blog that you can do the same things we have been blessed to be able to do, if you have the desire to do so.


Wanna take a trip? Do it! Wanna eat meat on a stick at a festival? Hey, you can do that too.


Pre-dawn shelling? Hey, let’s go! Unfortunately, sometimes it may come across (unintentionally, of course) as a “Ha ha! Look what weeeee’re doing that yoooooou’re not!”

God forbid that ever happen. If it ever does, we’ll shut this blog down.

But it’s hard to blog about your experiences without it coming across as in a way, bragging. But I assure you, we are not doing that.


We want to be humble people. Selfless people. Pliable people. Our hearts are not built to insult, hurt, wound or lessen anyone. Sometimes, we just love to share what we do.  Our inspirational posts are not posted to put anyone down and in turn, build ourselves up as something we are not. We are human beings and we struggle with things just like everyone else does. We just like to show how we have been able to overcome and instead of sorrow, add joy to our lives – and show that you can do the same.

We want to continue doing that….and we want to do it with more humility.





33 thoughts on “Hope and Humility

  1. my husband and I are now elderly and did travel every chance we got now not so much so your posts help me relive my youth Both of you are having a blast and I’m enjoying it with you PLEASE don’t stop posting you NEVER come off as braging

  2. I enjoy reading reading your posts and love hearing about your and the queen’s adventures, and especially the shells! Enjoyed this post as well — I could relate to everything you said.

  3. Your adventures give me a break from the duldrums of work until I can smell that salt air (and hunt for shark teeth!!!) once again. Yes, I’m jealous but I don’t think you’re bragging, so forget about it and start the next adventure so I can start planning my next family excursion!!!

  4. I have never considered any of your posts as bragging. I look forward to them with anticipation to see what the sea gives up to you! You are fortunate to be able to live where so many of us would like to live. I thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. Noel and Moira, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. When we get encouraging posts like we have today, it makes what we do worthwhile. It also sends us to the calendar to check when the next Festival starts!

  6. Don’t beat yourself up about humility – as long as you are considering others, that’s enough. If we all got too hung up on it we wouldn’t be blogging.

  7. Tobe, you and the Queens blog bring back so many memories of when Mag & I lived in Florida so y’all can’t stop! Being humble is a challenge for everybody we just need to be thankful to you know who that we are just vessels being formed every day. Keep up the good work bud and enjoy every minute.. it goes by so quickly!

  8. I never thought your posts came across as bragging, altho I admit I get jealous all the time.
    Looking over Mother Teresa’s list, I can see that I’m an epic fail myself. I guess we can all use some work.

    Hey, I have a question for you – what beach NOT on Sanibel would you suggest for a day trip within an hours drive (of sanibel) for some great shelling?

    • 🙂 Kim, three good spots. One, Lover’s Key. Take the trolley to the far end beach once you park and shell all day. Two, Little Hickory. We’ve blogged often about its treasures. Three, Tigertail Beach on Marco. Beautiful water, beautiful sand and great shells. If you wanna go a liiiiiitle farther than an hour and North, Manasota Key Beach. Shark teeth everywhere!

      • I went to Manasota Key with Karen 2 years ago and had a blast. I was thinking of trying a different beach next trip down. It’s just so hard to leave Sanibel once we’re there, but I would like to try someplace else for 1 day. Thanks so much. 🙂

      • Oh No!! We’re already planning on hitting Sanibel before Disney specifically for the shark teeth. Are you saying Manasota Key is better for shark teeth?

      • Noel, unfortunately you’re not going to find shark teeth on Sanibel. At all. 😦 Manasota Key is THE place to find them…and you’ll find lots!

      • Thanks for the heads up!!. Think we’ll try Venice which looks real close to Manasota Key. Is Stump Pass State Park end better or Manasota Beach end?

  9. Hi! Your blog never comes across as bragging. As a matter of fact, to see the great relationship between you and the Queen sets a good example for married couples. Being new to Florida I’m always wondering where the “hot” spots are so I enjoy seeing your travels. Keep it up & thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Martha, thank you for that. That means a lot to us. That’s something we focus on – our married relationship. We definitely want to be good examples to other married couples and glad that shines through!

  10. P.s. Went to Little Hickory yesterday without much luck but, scooted over to Lovers Key and found tons! One thing that I have learned is that the beaches are always changing. Even if you don’t fill your bucket it’s a blessing to be at the beach- make sure to take it all in! 🙂

  11. I saw Mother Teresa years ago when she and her sisters came to Trenton NJ for a Mass said at the Cathedral. I was able to stand at the side with the newsmen and got some awesome photos in the church and then again when she was leaving and boarding her bus. She was such a tiny person you could hardly see her but when you looked at her face you saw only peace. Her words you shared today were just what I needed to hear.
    Thank you and God Bless you and Queen.

  12. I just love your thoughts and how you can ground any of us! It is a pleasure to see two people enjoying life to the full and enjoying each other. Life is too short to let it slip by without seeing the beauty God has put in it for us to savor!

  13. Love the mini poster by Mother Theresa about “Ways we can Practice Humility” It’s a really great one that we can certainly all use! It’s very relevant…especially today. Thank you! Love your blog!

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