Friday, October 29, 2010

Contagious Restoration...pass it on! :)

I just read a beautiful post on restoration at Beautiful thoughts and words. And the funny thing is, she read about restoration on another person's blog, hmmmmm, this restoration thing must be a bit contagious.

Today I have found myself thinking on what a priviledge it is to have the opportunity to write. And, like the silly girl that I am, I have been thinking all day, "don't screw this up Stephanie". Funny that is. Because honestly...I deserve not one millismidgen of what I have been blessed with. There is no way I could have "earned" the opportunity to write, the opportunity to share with others. It is all a gift by grace from God. He can give and He can take away. But He is sovreighn, and regardless of my flaws and/or gifts through grace, He is in control. So grateful that He is control. So grateful that my own mistakes cannot remove His hand from me. What a gift that is. There is no one or no thing on this earth like Him. There is nothing else in this life that is offered up completely free of charge. There is nothing else in life that we cannot screw up. There is nothing else that is completely utterly and completely unconditional. If that kind of love does not inspire restoration, I don't know what will! So I am praying for a restoration of my heart and spirit, and the joy of my salvation. Because there is nothing like it. Nothing even close.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

bursting with "God-news"

Luke 1:46-55, The Message

And Mary said,

I'm bursting with God-news;

      I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.

      God took one good look at me, and look what happened—

      I'm the most fortunate woman on earth!

   What God has done for me will never be forgotten,

      the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.

   His mercy flows in wave after wave

      on those who are in awe before him.

   He bared his arm and showed his strength,

      scattered the bluffing braggarts.

   He knocked tyrants off their high horses,

      pulled victims out of the mud.

   The starving poor sat down to a banquet;

      the callous rich were left out in the cold.

   He embraced his chosen child, Israel;

      he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.

   It's exactly what he promised,

      beginning with Abraham and right up to now.


Bursting with “God-news”

I get excited, I can’t help it, I am one emotional girl who gets giddy and happy and squeals with excitement! So, I cannot imagine the joy of Mary as she finds out she is bursting with “God-news”, literally!!!

And I know, I know, I am sure people thought she was a nutcase when she told people she was a pregnant virgin, nonetheless, pregnant with the Son of God. I know I certainly would have suggested therapy, LOL! However, regardless, Mary was bursting with joy, claiming herself the most fortunate woman on earth. And she was. 

She could have hidden, embarrassed, scared that no one would believe her. She could have been fraught with anxiety. But she wasn’t. She was overcome with joy, trusting and knowing that her God was holy and merciful and all knowing. She knew He would take care of everything, and in knowing that she thrived in perfect peace and happiness.

So, I think today, I am going to sit back in the beach chair in my mind with my toes squishing in the sand of His word and let the waves of mercy wash over me, and thank my Jesus for the fact that my life is one big burst of “God-news”!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I keep running into the word abandon lately. And might I say that God knew when to present this word to me, because had He presented it to me six months ago it would have sent me into a full blown panic attack with hives.

I never knew I had abandonment issues until the past couple of years. Honestly, I am not quite sure how they developed other than just twists and turns of life, and the fact that I have always kept so much of my pain hidden from sight. In a way I abandoned myself believing that if anyone knew the real me they would high tail it on out the door. Regardless of how it happened, abandonment was a very real fear of mine.

Then I picked up Lisa Harper’s book, “Untamed – How the wild side of Jesus Frees us to live and love with ABANDON”. Then I go reading the book I already started, Lysa Teurkurst’s book “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” and she starts talking about living with ABANDON! It has always been ever presently clear to me that when I hear a word in more than one place in my life, especially a word as strong as ABANDON, I need to pay attention.

The root of my abandonment fear is that I am ultimately very afraid to be alone. Alone means fundamentally flawed, and fundamentally flawed is at the core of my shame. Hence, I have believed one of two things, 1. if I let someone in, I had better hang on to them with all the might I have 2. sometimes it’s just better not to let them in than to risk losing them and being left abandoned.

But Christ, He calls us to abandonment. He calls us to live in such a way that we would lay everything else down and follow Him. So many of us sit here with such a burning Holy emotional passion for Him, but we stop short of abandon. We stop short of the action because our emotions don’t follow. Our emotions say, wait a minute, are you really sure you want to put ALL your eggs in this one basket, what if He fails you? Then where will you be? And our internal dialogue goes something like this: Love Him, but keep your self at a distance, you really are a mess, what if all this Bible stuff isn’t true, you need more than just Him, you can’t even touch or see Him, Abandon, Really?, you can’t do that.

Lies. They are all lies. Abandonment and fear lie hand in hand. We may carry around emotional scars that leave us fearful to the core of being abandoned, but one thing is true. When you forsake everything for the sake of the Cross, HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU! When you decide to love Him with abandon, you suddenly free your heart to be completely His. And when your heart is His, you can rest assured that He does not abandon. He will ask you to love others, and you need to love others, and others to love you, but your heart will always remain in His hands, and regardless of what would be abandonment wounds inflicted by man, He will protect your heart with His jealous love. Living with abandon is not easy; I haven’t figured it out yet. But I know the first place to start is to let go of my fears, to ask Him to help me overcome my doubts and unbelief, and to jump with both feet into His arms, and to willingly pour out my heart to others knowing that my Savior will never abandon me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm all itchy

I went to Women of Faith this weekend in San Antonio. Awesome is the only way I know to describe it. Seeing so many women gathered together to worship and learn more about our amazing Savior, it was simply amazing. And yet, I leave a bit confused, as I always seem to do. For as long as I can remember, I have been unable to attend an event such as this without feeling intense, I can't find the word, so I am going to call it itchyness. Intense itchyness. Even as a little girl attending church camp, I couldn't just come home like the other kids being simply glad to be home, I come home all itchy. All itchy to take action.

While I was going to counseling, I found out that a lot of my motivation to acheive was out of a need to counteract feelings of shame. But not this, not this itchyness. I don't think it is the same. This kind of itchyness is a passionate longing to minister to others. A passionate longing for ministry. It has never ever been enough for me to take in a message and apply it to my life. I have this burning need to reach out to others. I want to tell and tell and tell and tell, they need to be set free. They need to know that freedom is possible.

I know that God has put this itchyness in me for a reason, and maybe others feel the same itchyness and just don't talk about it. But...for me it is consuming. I trust that God would not put such a longing desire to spread His word in my heart without a purpose. He has given me passion for a purpose, and i know that He has me exactly where He wants me for know. But I can't help but passionately pray that He gives me opportunities in ministry. I know it may never happen, but I hope it does, I dream it does. So...I am picking back up my computer and am going to start finishing one of the many scripts I have started for a book. The hardest thing for me to do it seems is finish what I have started. But, finish I will. Because it's all I know to do with this Holy passion itchyness that burns, and let God do with it what He will. Amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Delight yourself

Psalm 37:4
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I have been feeling rather undelightful the past couple of days. Nothing is really wrong, just kind of wallowing around in an icky kinda funk. I keep reading stories of people who are going through so much more than I could imagine. Really, I have it pretty darn good. So…there I am comparing myself to others, to their thoughts and emotions and wondering why I seem so undelightful. Thinking I know what they are thinking and feeling, and reminding myself that I don’t measure up.

There is a problem with comparing ourselves to others, and depending on others for our emotional cues, the problem is we really don’t know what they are thinking or feeling. We only know what they present on the outside, and the assumptions we make on our own. And oftentimes, we are left feeling as if we are less than enough because we aren’t handling life as well as “they” are. So now, not only are we in a kind of icky undelightful funk probably due to hormones or something, we are in even more of a funk because we “shouldn’t” be in a funk. And let the spiraling of internal dialogue begin: I feel icky, I shouldn’t feel icky, other people aren’t feeling icky, why do I feel icky, what is wrong with me, I must not be normal, and on and on and on it goes – until whammo! – something whacks us in the head making us realilze how unbelievably ridiculous it all sounds.

What choice do we have then when we are in an icky funk? Delight YOURSELF in the Lord. Don’t expect someone else to pick you up and delight you, don’t spend hours ruminating on the undelightful, but find what is delightful and DELIGHT YOURSELF in the LORD!!! He is something stable. He is the one person who we know exactly what He is thinking about us all the time, “I love you, and I forgive you”, and that’s something worth delighting over.

Seeking delight in other people or things will never fill the deep down yearning desire in our hearts. It may soothe the icky funk for a moment, but it is not lasting. What is the desire of your heart? And How can you delight yourself in Him so that He can give you the desires of your heart?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hebrews 4

My sweet wonderful amazing husband led me to this passage. I believe it speaks enough for itself. So I'm just copying and pasting it from The message version and encourage you to read any other version you enjoy as well. And I would love to hear how this speaks to you :) blessings for a restful Sunday!

Hebrews 4

For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. 2 We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. 3 If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said,

Exasperated, I vowed,

“They’ll never get where they’re going,

never be able to sit down and rest.”

God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. 4 Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,” 5 but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” 6 So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. 7 God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:

Today, please listen,

don’t turn a deaf ear . . . 8 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” 9 The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. 10 God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. 11 So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience. 12 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. 13 Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

The High Priest Who Cried Out in Pain 14 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. 15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. 16 So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Emotional Poo

What a blessing today was for all the miners in Chile. I cannot even fathom what they must have been through, and I know this is such a girl thing to think about, but holy cow the stench must have been awful.

So often we find ourselves trapped. We might have been there so long that we no longer even realize we are trapped. Kind of like, you know when something smells REALLY bad, but after you are in the room with it for a while, it doesn’t smell so bad. We can be sitting in a pile of our own emotional poo, and at first it has a stench, but after a while you just get used to it. All of the sudden, it doesn’t smell so bad anymore, but it’s still poo.

Then along comes Jesus offering us a rescue pod up into the light. And funny thing, we might jump on the rescue pod, we might choose to stay in the dark, or we might choose to send a decoy up just to make sure things are safe. Yep, a decoy, sometimes we might send someone up who looks like us and acts like us…if we were perfect. We send up the clean nicely kept and perfectly groomed version of ourselves up into the light just to see if we are accepted. However, the real us…sitting in all our poo…is still down in the pit.

Jesus wants to rescue the dirty ooky nasty stinky girl that’s been down at the bottom of the mine for years. He doesn’t want the decoy, He knows you’re not perfect. He wants all of you, messy poo included. You may have to put on some sunglasses, because His light might take a while to get used to. But once you let Him save you, ALL of you, you will see yourself for the beautiful princess you are, and all that poo…well it just washed away.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finding Forgiveness

I have been hit hard lately with lots of stories of women struggling with issues in the past. Struggling to forgive others, yes, but mostly struggling to forgive themselves. I wrote this poem about a year ago, when I was processing through some of my own story. I haven't ever shared it on my blog, but the time just felt right to share it. Much love and blessings, and although I know some of you by name, there are countless others who I do not...but I am praying for all of us women that this weekend perhaps we can be just a bit kinder to ourselves, and allow a Christ's love to become our reality a little bit more.

Finding Forgiveness

Oh the breath of air I breathe
Cleansing is the peace that comes
When true forgiveness has been received
And the waters begin to run.
There really is no one to blame
For the wrongs that have been done.
Each one of us has felt the shame
Yes, every single one.
How deep the waters run of shame and guilt and doubt.
The soul begins to yearn for peace
My darling, you have to let it out.
Don’t hide beneath the bed of lies
That you should be ashamed.
No, let your songs of praise arise
To the one who breaks the chains.
He heals your heart with a song
Sung quietly in the dark.
You have been waiting for so long
To receive a brand new start.
So take your life and live your dreams
For you were just a girl.
How deep, how wide is the stream
That overcomes the world.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bloggy Awards...Blogs I love!!!

Today I received the coolest thingy!! A bloggy award from an amazing writing named Jen! I truly feel very blessed and humbled that she enjoys my blog, because she is just one amazing writer and artist! Check out her blog, her art is AMAZING, as is her writing and insight!

The rules in receiving the award are:

1. Accept the award and acknowledge the person who bestowed it upon me.
Jen, thank you sooooooo much for this award! I think you are awesome, in so very many ways, your blog has truly been a blessing on so many days for me!

2. Pay it forward to 15 newly discovered blogs you enjoy.

1. Mommy on Fire
She is on amazing mommy, with some adorable kiddos! I love all her posts, from home tips, to sharing her story, to just makeing me giggle! i love her blog!

2. Amy Sullivan at What Consumes You
Her story about her daugther stole my heart. She has a beautiful spirit, and is just enjoyable to read.

3. Fields of Gold
She has such an amazing understanding of scripture.

4. Kris Collins at I love the bible
This is one of my most dear friends blogs. She doesn't post very often, but when she does it is very powerful. I love you Kris!

5. Nichole at the Journey to Finish the Race I just love how she finds Jesus in everyday life!

6. Nickie
A girl with one awesome story!

7. Traci at Ordinary Inspirations
This girly is awesome! Writes, crafts, cooks, and has an amazing love for her Savior!

8. Lost in the praries...Found by God
Love her posts! Not the mention she is the host of the ever entertaining "caffienated randomness".

9. Lindsey's Log
I have not read a post of Lindsey's that I have not LOVED, she is so very insightful!

10. Myrtle's Turtles
Judgeing from her pics, she is a waaaaaay more talented cook than I am, and her incourage post touched my heart to the core.

11. Life in His Hands Amazing amazing amazing story or an amazing girl with an amazing God and amazing strength and amazing grace!

12. Melissa Taylor
Melissa is an author/speaker for Proverbs 31. Everything she writes shoots straight to my heart. She is one amazing woman of God.

13. Made by girl
AWESOME interior design!!!

14. Hillside Women
The blog of my church's womens ministry, if you live in Amarillo, you should totally check out Hillside Women, and

15. The Me I want to Be by Tish
LAST but CERTAINLY not LEAST!!!! This is my amazing aunt-in-law's blog. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. I love her dearly, she is just entering the bloggy world, so lets get her some followers!!! She has an awesome heart to share!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wherever you go...there you are

So….this morning started off plain enough. I got up, got ready, took the kids to school, and headed to work. As I pulled into the parking lot, I had a choice to make. I can go inside and stare mindlessly at the computer for an hour while I wake up, or I can go over to the school I do a prevention program at and work with some teens. I sat there…knowing what I needed to do…there were kids I needed to see. But, somehow the mindlessness of opening my emails and drinking some coffee while I woke up seemed to beckon me.

I made the right choice, today that is, many times I have made the wrong one. I went to the school, and found myself enjoying the kids as I always do. But…I couldn’t help but feel the spirit tugging at me. Why am I so reluctant to come over and make a difference in some kids lives? Shouldn’t I be excited about this?!? Why would I rather stare at a computer and vegetate than actually do something worth while? Why?

Because somewhere along the line working with these kids became not good enough for me. Somewhere along the lines, I decided to abandon what I am doing right now with my heart, and place my heart in the future. Somewhere I decided that I want more than this. I decided that I wanted to be in ministry and working with survivors of sexual assault and kids with autism. I decided that I want my own private practice where I do yoga and Christian Counseling. I decided to mentally check out of the present and into the future.

Who on earth do I think I am? Somewhere did I put myself in charge of my destiny? When did counseling kids who desperately need someone to listen become not good enough? If this is not conviction, I don’t know what is!!!

So tomorrow I start again, and OMG I am so thankful that I get to start again. I may want a lot of things in the future, and some of those may come to pass, and some of them may not. But…this is not my choice. All I can do, all I need to do, is be a servant in the place that God has put me RIGHT NOW!

How sneaky Satan is. Sometimes He just taunts us with who we “could” be so that we completely abandon who we are and everyone around us, rendering us completely ineffective and stuck inside the dreamland of our heads. Well, not anymore!!! This chick is saying enough!!! God has planted my feet where He wants them to be for now, and I will serve and consider myself BLESSED beyond measure to have the opportunity to work with such amazing kids. The most beautiful perfect place to be is right where He has me 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Someone pull me out.....!!!!!

Such a fun birthday party. The kids were swimming and having a great time. Lauren finally got brave enough to go down the big slide. Her only hesitation was that there were no floatie arms allowed when going down the slide. But, with the assurance that one of us would catch her as she came down, she decided to go. And she went again and again. And each time she was set back on the shallow steps of the pool so that she could get out and go again. But…this time…something different. She was set on the steps and then she decided she wanted to go swim in the rest of the pool! Her “catcher” was busy catching other kiddos and while he wasn’t watching, she jumped off the step gleefully into the water. Only problem was, uh oh, no floatie arms. Thank the Lord I was standing right there, and so was the lifeguard, and both of us simultaneously jumped in to pull her out. I got to her first, after all no one can beat a mommy on a mission to save her baby! And she was fine, no swallowed water, nothing but a few seconds under the water and a little bit of a shocked look on her face.

I cuddled her up in a towel like mommy’s do, and went to sit down with her. Everyone who saw was making a scene and checking to see if she was alright, and yes she was fine, physically that is. However, emotionally, her little heart had taken a walloping. Every time someone talked about it, she would whisper in my ear,”mommy tell them to stop talking about it”.

And it didn’t stop there. We went home that night, I thinking she was just fine and all was well. The next morning however, she started crying while sitting on the coach, and when I asked her what was wrong she told me she couldn’t stop thinking about “it”. She went on to tell me that she can’t stop thinking about what happened at the pool. Well, I automatically assumed that she was afraid of the water and going under again and assured her that I was right there to grab her this time and always would be. But, that didn’t seem to ease her pain. Distraction worked, but every time things got quiet, she would get upset again.

So, while I was in the shower worried and thinking that my daughter had some mild form of PTSD, it dawned on me. Shame and guilt. What are two of the major issues I had with my own PTSD type issues, shame and guilt. My poor baby felt like she had done something wrong. So…immediately I went to her and asked if she felt like she did something wrong. She immediately responded to with tears pouring, and her telling me that she shouldn’t have jumped off that step and that she was a bad girl. That she had forgotten to put her floaties back on and was sorry.

How my heart broke for her, and I have spent all day reminding her that she did nothing wrong, everyone forgets things especially when we are excited, and we were just so glad we were right there to be able to pull her out.

Shame…my baby girl felt shame. Is it the first time she has felt shame? I don’t know. But it’s the first time I witnessed her shame and my heart shattered into pieces. Shame, not guilt, because guilt is just that you did something wrong, but shame is different. Shame is the “I am a bad girl”, not “I did a bad thing”. Shame is about the person, it attacks the soul, making you believe that YOU are bad. Shame is the emotion I shouldered for years, and spent a year of therapy breaking through. Shame is a downright icky tool from Satan, I don’t like it one bit.

Shame will stomp all over you if you let it. It will convince you to hide your real self in a closet, and never come out because if you did, people might reject you the same way you reject yourself. Shame is evil.

I watched one of the most precious people in my life experience shame this weekend, and it was excrutiating. And it made me think. What is it like for our Father to watch us experience shame? What does He think as we continually trash ourselves for things that were not our fault or were long ago forgiven? I wonder if He feels the same desperation that I felt…wishing that He could take the words “I am a bad girl” right out of our hearts and minds so that we would never ever feel that way again. I wonder if He longs to hold us in his arms, and say “baby girl it was not your fault”, or “we all forget sometimes”, or “give yourself a break”. I bet He does. There is not a loving parent on the earth who wants their child to feel shame, and how much more is His love for us. He died for us for a reason, to be released from the grips of sin, not to hold our noses in it even when there is nothing griping our heads.

If shame is binding you today, especially if it is shame from past victimization or abuse, maybe it is time to let it go. It may have become your best friend, but let’s kick that shame out of its long sustained throne and put Jesus there instead. Let Him be your best friend. Let Him take the place of the shame. He is a much better friend, and He won’t keep you in a closet, but He will help you rediscover who you are, and He will do amazing things through you. He will tell you that you are beautiful, and don’t let shame tell you any different.