Saturday, July 23, 2011


She Speaks. Dreams in my heart, I stepped forward. Would they pick me? Would I be worthy? Would they tell me it’s my turn?

Aesthetically beautiful proposal in hand about absolutely nothing God called me towards. In the past few months my writing drifted. Washing further out to sea…further away from my calling.

Struggling night and day to keep swimming and reformulating the message God gifted me with into a twisted attempt at appealing to a wider audience. Neglecting everyone and everything God gifted me with along the way. I set my own course.

Tonight, Ann Voskamp spoke about gifts. What have I done with my gifts? The question rips at my heart.

Squandered, I squandered the gifts. Passing up the very blessings God has placed directly in front of me for something different.

We don’t write to publish. We don’t speak to have our face on a poster. It’s the hand of Jesus. We write, we speak as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Sisters, I ask forgiveness.

James 5:16 says this, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I neglected responsibilities to my blog sisters and my bible study sisters. I humbly ask forgiveness. Praying God molds me more to the shape of His hand.

God healed me from many things, yet “striving”, the need to “accomplish”, He did not deliver me until I was willing to ask. Tonight, I stand under the word of God, delivered.

Thank you Jesus for deliverance. Thank you Jesus for forgiveness. We are not only “picked”, but loved, treasured, gifted by God. Thank you Jesus.

I would be honored to pray with you my dearest sisters. No matter what we face, we come open handed to the cross, laying it all down. If there is something I can pray over you today, please let me know by leaving a comment. It is my privilege to pray for you, standing humbly before the Lord knowing that everything we have, everything, is a gift from Him. His and only His. Glory in the Highest TO YOU LORD.


  1. Very beautiful Stephanie and inspiring!!! I need prayers for healing, I am sick with sinus infection and I am getting worse! Monday morning at 10:00 through Friday I need to interview 10-12 people to be my secretary so I can't be sick!!!! Plus I need direction to hire the right person for the job

  2. You are a beautiful lady, Stephanie. And, you have a beautiful heart. Keep seeking His wisdom and trust Him to guide you to write whatever He wants you to write!

    If you could just pray that for me too, I would very much appreciate it!

  3. Today has been a very emotional day for me and I could really use some prayers. This morning I got news that my sister-in-law, Patty, has stage 4 cancer in her lung and her liver. Also after almost 3 weeks of my husband, Ken, trying to find work he still has not been able to find a job and we found out he has been denied unemployment benefits. And then packing things up today to go into storage I came across some boxes of Mom's stuff and even though it has been 10 years since she passed away it was still very hard to see those things. I still miss her so much!

  4. May you know even more of Him and may He continue to reveal and restore. Please know that He has used you to speak clarity and love into my life. Trying to accept His hand as my father has lost his mobility to Parkinsons. Seeking prayer and praying for you.

  5. Veronica, praying healing and wisdom for decision making in the interview process!

    Eileen, you are so amazing. I feel so blessed to have spent in person time with you today. I will pray that for both of us sister!!!!

    Lee Ann, I am so sorry that it is such a difficult time. Sometimes things just seem to roll in one after another. I am praying stength for you and your family, as well as blessing even in the difficult times. God is so faithful, and I am praising Him for you that even in the darkest of times He is bringing beauty from the ashes.

  6. Anonymous, thank you for your prayers and sweet words. And praying for you and your father. He may not be walking any more as the earth sees it, but as long as we are in the presence of the Father, we can continue to walk in the Spirit no matter what our physical bodies are bound to.

  7. So beautiful! And so true! I feel like you, like I have squandered my talents. Oddly enough this last week or two, it has come up several times. Since I was 15, I knew I was called to lead praise and worship. My life took a different "direction" and I am now getting my focus and self back to God! For a little while now, I have told myself "obviously, God won't use me for that anymore...I'll be content washing the dishes at the church functions." But my (ironically) 15 year old cousin told me "Why can't he? What makes your talent any less today than 15 years ago?" And it's been a cascade since. I ask for your prayers for my ministry, what ever it may be. I am ready for God to show use me!

    Thank you for your beautiful inspiring!! I LOVE reading from you everyday!

  8. Juanita, thank you. I think the enemy is so quick to try and convince that it's "too late" for us, or that we've somehow messed it all up. Bottom line is, if He has called you to do something you go for it sister!!!! I am praying huge blessings upon that ministry, and contetentment, peace, and thanksgiving all along the journey! :)

  9. Stephanie, so beautifully said... It is easy to get sidetracked and lose our focus on the things that we feel God has called us to do. Fortunately, He will help us up and get us right back on track.

    Please pray that I will have the courage to do what I fee He is asking of me.

    You are an awesome person and I am sure God is smiling down on you...

  10. Wilma, I will pray. I hope you know how much your comments always bless and encourage me. It is my privledge to pray for you that you will not "throw away your confidence" as Renee Swope spoke to us today, but will listen to the sound truth that comes from the word of God instead and pursue relentlessly at the foot of the cross.

  11. Stephanie, your transparency is so beautiful. You bring such Glory to Him in your sincere desire to serve Him fully, in His plan and His way - and to lay down your striving and allow Him to deliver you. I pray that God will draw me to the same place, where I will be able to lay down my need to be perfect, to be accepted, to be valued - by all those whose opinions that don't matter and that I will allow HIS opinion to be the most important. I will allow HIS acceptance heal the bleeding wound that even the slightest rejection tears at inside me.

    I read a devotional by Gwen Smith yesterday called Who Determines Your Worth and I realized I am still allowing others to determine my worth and how desperately I need to allow HIM to determine my worth.

  12. Stephanie,
    Your genuine nature has drawn my heart to your blog, seeking to read what God has laid on your heart to write. Knocked down again this week, I, too, seek Him. My road of healing seems so crooked and I get discouraged sometimes, not seeming able to hold onto what He's given me. God is good though, and He is leading me down this path, holding my hand as I hold tightly to His. I appreciate that you so honestly share your journey, your struggles, because in that you are helping me to navigate mine. Blessings.

  13. Stephanie, I could use prayer for strength that I will be able to pick up my workbook for counseling again & work on it some more. I haven't been wanting to do it for the last 7 weeks. In that time I've only picked it up for one week. Working on the workbook makes me sad & puts me in a very bad mood. My counselor wants me to keep trying with it, I want to & I don't at the same time. I believe that Hidden Joy has helped me a lot more than the Wounded Hearts book & workbook have even come close to doing. Thanks! I'm glad that you're having a great experience at the She Speaks conference.

  14. I have an appt with a ENT doctor on Tuesday in regards to a mass that has been found behind right nostril. Trying not to walk in fear; staying in healing scriptures; and doing my best to stay focused & up.
    You are an amazing woman Stephanie, with an amazing heart for Jesus! Thank you for sharing YOU with us!

  15. Stephanie, thank you so much for your prayers! I know that God will give me the strength to make it through this time in my life. I know that He has a plan for me and my family. I very much appreciate you taking the time to pray for all of us and to help us through this study of Hidden Joy!

  16. Steph,

    First I would like to tell you it was an honor to meet you! You are BEAUTIFUL!
    And your post here is breath taken! I'm just delighting in your words!

    Yes, I want prayers... please.
    I have been listening to the enemy's lies.
    Some years ago I heard about Christ, I liked the message, I even shared the message and brought people to Christ, but never actually said YES to Jesus. YES to His sacrifice on the cross! YES to a new life. YES to God's unconditional love.

    Today, sunday july 24th in the early morning, God invited me to be alone with Him and to be in His presence. In this special place I met Jesus, and I said to Him the most sincere and honest Yes I could ever say. In this holy moment I was lead by God to the cross where I laid down my brokeness, pain, shame, fear, guilt, grief and hurt.

    My prayer was simple: "Dear God, the only answer worthy of salvation is a total and complete Yes: Here I am dear Jesus... Thank you for the great love you showed to me through Christ's sacrifice. I give you my life, so you can give it back to me renewed and healed. Yes Jesus. Yes Lord. Remove my sin, give me your grace and mercy and let me be yours... your precious daughter. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

    Please pray for me, for I know my next steps will not be easy.

    In joyful tears,

    Michele Caséca

  17. Stephanie you are an amazing young woman. I always read Melissa's website and from the day she had you fill in for her, i was blown away by your inspiring voice, you have a calling on you girl. i searched for your website and i love it from your music your prayers and enjoyed your teaching videos. You are breath taking and have a way with words. Hugs and blessings from a small town girl from Idalou,Texas

  18. Stephanie, so thankful your time at She Speaks was so wonderful. God is so good and every time, He turns ashes to beauty - you are a perfect example. Keep seeking His face and He will keep showing you where to walk. Hope you will go back again next year - I will be there.

  19. Rejoicing with you, sweet Stephanie, at the important life lessons you are learning at an early age.

    Loved the picture on Jen's blog with you, Jen and Amy.

    Prayer request . . . for the next three weeks as we prepare to send our daughter off to England as a missionary. Thanks.

  20. Hope V - aren't we thankful He is perfect so we don't have to be!!! Praying you and I are both able to lay down our perfectionism....

    Rachelle, thank you sweet sister. If I learned one thing this weekend it was to look for the blessings, praying His blessings will be ever so evident to you sister as you navigate this difficult journey.

  21. Tricia, I am sorry to hear wounded heart has been so difficult. I have done a group with a workbook called "shelter from the storm" and individuals who have not liked wounded heart have done a lot better with this book, you might look into it?

  22. Christi - I am praying that it is harmless and for healing!!!

    And Lee Ann, it's my priveledge to pray for yall. Thank you :)

  23. Michelle, that is wonderful! You are so beautiful as well. Praying for your next steps on the journey...:)

  24. Beatrice, your sweet commment brought tears! And I know where Idolou is!!! Howdy from one Texas girl to another! Isn't the Hidden Joy study awesome!!! I just love Melissa and Wendy and all my HJ sisters, ya'll bless me so much!!!!

  25. Natalie!!! I can't wait to see you there next year!!!

    Glenda, wow, sending your daughter off has to be hard. But she will be safe in His arms. I will be praying for peace in you and your families hearts and an amazing experience for your daughter!

  26. Stephanie, you must have been with Amy! This sounds like it was an awesome conference. Sign me up for next year!

    Yes, we write for Him and for what He does through and to us as we write. Checking in today from SDG.

  27. steph.. loved loved loved your blog post.. what a joy it was to meet you. YOU have a gift and I cannot wait to use your book to give my clients. What a joy you are. Please pray that I will just follow God from strength to strength as Amy carroll talked about in her talk and That God will show me exactly how to use His gifts. love ya

  28. You know, the only way that I made it through this weekend intact was by repeating the mantra that God told me before I left: Do not look to the left or the right. Look straight at me.

    It's easy to be distracted. It's easy to try to set our own course. Thank goodness for His provision and His amazing grace.

    You are beautiful and I am honored to know you.