Saturday, July 30, 2011


I'm so thankful for this precious friend. It makes me laugh to think of where our friendship began (believe it or not we really didn't care for each other our intern year at teen mania, then we were placed as roommates our second year).

There are very few people in this world that I can say I feel like God knit our hearts together before we even knew each other. I couldn't be more thankful that God allowed us to live near each other once again. I couldn't be more thankful to have a friend who understands my struggles, who seems to be on the same page spiritually many times, who will tell it to me like it is because she loves me and wants to see me grow, who encourages me, and now someone I know will love my child as if he were her own. I often think about how God planned for us to be friends waaaayyy back when we were just wee little babes, and how cool that is! And I imagine that there are other little boys being knit together in their mama's wombs right now that Josiah will be lifelong friends with.

Just wanted to say I love you friend, and how thankful I am for you :-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life Changes in an Instant

Congratulations to one of my closest and most dear friends, Brittney Bumbalough and her husband Brad on Joseph's arrival! This is what you guys have dreamed of and wanted all along, and I am so happy that this day finally came.

Joseph being born has stirred so much in my heart, I'm not sure it can even be put accurately into words. Suddenly everyone is saying to me, Oh steph you're next, Josiah will be here so soon! (And he will - just look at me! I'm finally looking pregnant, only 12 weeks left to go in this thing)

And quite frankly it makes me panic a bit.

After I found out he was born yesterday, I walked outside with Boss. And cried. A lot. Cried because I was happy for them, cried because I'm afraid and not ready to be a mom myself. Cried to God and told Him he was out of his mind for letting me get pregnant so soon. Cried because I'm not one of those women who is thrilled at the idea of having a child, and wondering if that's going to reflect on my ability to love this child.

Have I mentioned I'm pregnant and my emotions are a little out of control at times?

I think God appreciates our honesty with Him. We weren't made to be able to keep it all together and do everything on our own. We were made to abide in Him, and depend on Him. I understand this more as I come to more desperate places in my life. And I cry to God, tell him my frustrations, my fears, and I lay it all before Him. I'm always filled with peace when I come to God with a broken and humble spirit.

I still may not understand God's ways and His timing with things, but my broken and humble heart will continue to come and sit at His feet. I'm believing for a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reminiscing with Fondness

As I look back now on my time living in Canada, I can appreciate it much more now than I ever did while I was there. I wonder now if part of the reason I had such a hard time was simply due to the 180 degree life change I took after Honor Academy graduation. I resisted a lot of the change, particularly after we came back from the honeymoon and winter was in full swing. But I can look back now at pictures like this one, and my heart swells with joy at the memories Rob and I made.

This picture I kept as my phone background the entire time I lived there. I took it in the fall, before the wedding and before it got too cold. It served as a reminder of God's love and faithfulness, and His overwhelming peace.

I'm so thankful for the friends and family at Rob's church in Lindsay. I learned so much about hospitality and love through so many of them. I've yet to meet anyone quite like some of the people I knew in Lindsay, and I miss them (Lena and Bill, Renee Buist, Jim and Millie, the VanHalterens).

I'm also thankful that God has been able to open my heart and look back on these times with fondness, and the not the frustration I experienced so often.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Soon to be Daddy

Isn't this just precious? Rob is so excited. SO excited.

At 24 weeks 2 days, on July 4th, Rob got to feel Josiah kick for the first time. Rob was like a little kid in a candy store when he felt that movement.

He loves to talk to my belly, or just put his hand there.

This great husband is going to be such a great dad. I am so happy I am married to him.

Dear Mothers of ALL Ages

To all the mothers out there, I want to hear from you!

How did becoming a mother for the first time change your life for the better? How has your life been enriched and blessed because of children?

Simple question, your answer can be short, novel like, funny, etc, but I want to hear from all of you mothers! And please, feel free to include any other tidbits of wisdom and advice that you're longing to share.

Thank you all so much :-)


such an impossible word in my life
my whole life it's always been about what's next.
in junior high i wanted to be in high school. in high school i wanted to graduate. when i was an intern at Teen Mania, i wanted to be a second year intern, then a third year, then i wanted to be on staff.
when i was single i wanted to be married.
when we got married and were living in other people's homes, we wanted a place to call ours.
so God gave us a sweet little apartment in dallas, that no one else lived in but us.
now i want to be in a house.

oh dear me.

we are so blessed to be in this little place to call ours, yet my heart is never content.

God forgive me for so quickly setting aside your blessings and wanting something different. help my heart to be content and thankful for where we are right now.

hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
help me to sing hallelujah
hallelujah, hallelujah
whatever's in front of me
i'll choose to sing hallelujah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From Deserts to Rivers of Joy

I'm pretty sure most of the people who read this are either Teen Mania friends, family, or other various church friends, so it's safe to say we all believe God has good plans for us.

Especially in our young, carefree, single days, we dream of the future and imagine without reservation the things God has in store for us, hardly conceiving anything less than incredible. Rightly so, it's true, because that's the character and nature of a Daddy who is crazy in love with His kids.

But then, without fail, deserts come up out of nowhere and the blistering heat takes our breath away. How do you cope?

ironically, as I'm typing this with pandora playing in the background, The Desert Song by Hillsong began to play.

It seems the life I dreamed of is so far beyond my reach right now. I'll first say that since moving back to Texas I no longer feel I'm in the spiritual desert I've been in, but there's still the emotional desert of unmet expectations and hardships.

There's a reason women were not created to be the sole provider in a family - its too stinkin stressful! My heart's greatest desire is to be here for my husband right now, and be home with Josiah when he comes. Circumstances seem to be dictating otherwise, and I'm in desperate need of grace, of favor, of provision. Part of my heart says don't be lazy, get a second job and prepare for when you'll be on maternity leave. The other part says trust God, that He'll provide while I can't work. And I'm just crying out to God to give my husband a job! I just want someone to see our circumstance and hire him for cash work!

Deserts do not last forever. There are many reasons we go through them, but God never intended them to last forever. And deserts aren't someplace that God sticks us and says see you when you make it out! He is here, and no matter what happens, God will NOT leave me here to rot and die! I believe I will be able to look back on these times, how God strengthened us in ways that can only come through deserts, and gladness and rivers of joy will overflow in my heart. Right now, friends, I ask for your prayers for grace and strength in these uncertain and difficult times.

In every season, He is still God, and I have a reason to sing, a reason to worship.