Just Me

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I have done a lot of reflecting today. Reflecting over the past year. Not just the 2014 year, but thinking about where I was last year facing the upcoming holiday season.

This year has had some high highs and low lows. Of course, this being Thanksgiving, I am thinking about the things I am truly thankful for...

I am thankful for healing. Last year, this was by far the hardest day of the holiday season. I remember I could not get past the void I felt...the empty chair that was next to me on that holiday. I fought tears the entire day, even as I was eating dinner with my family. I still feel the void, but it is much easier this year. 

I am thankful for those who have walked with me through this year. This has been a really hard year for me personally. I have battled things that only those closest to me know about. I so appreciate them listening to all of my whining (and there has been a LOT of it)...and letting me cry out! I really needed that support and it is truly appreciated! Love you!!

I am thankful for change!!! One year ago, I was 50lbs heavier...today I ran. I have worked hard to get myself in a healthier place and I have learned so much through this process! I ran my very first official 5K and a passion for running was birthed in me! I had almost 2 months of knee issues that put me in a non-running place and I was so scared I would not get to run again...but I am! I lost a lot of what I had build, but I am rebuilding. Running is therapy! It's my happy place! It is mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. I have learned so much about myself and beat many things I didn't think I could beat!! Now to get off that last 20 lbs...(today probably won't help that endeavor!)

I am thankful for provision! God has provided for me and my family in crazy amazing ways! I am facing a big loss of income starting in January, and I know though it may be tough and faith shaking, God will provide for me...cuz He promises He will! 

I am thankful that His ways are not my ways. This is a bittersweet mindset because truth be told, I really want my way. But there is such comfort in those words...when I see chaos, pain, disappointment, loneliness, even an empty chair, I can rest knowing this is not where my story ends! Early this year, the Lord gave me a word that I have clung to frequently, "No matter how today's page in the book of my life looks, the enemy does not get to write the final chapter!" I don't understand why He does what He does, or allows what He allows, but I can trust, rest, and KNOW...

He redeems! 
He restores! 
His plan prevails! 
He loves! 

I am thankful for those around me today that I love. As a single mom, it's me and my kids! I am thankful for each of them and I am so thankful that I don't spend this day alone...I get to enjoy it with them!! (plus a few others!) 

I am thankful for HOPE! There have been many times this year when hope was absent from my mind and my heart. Times I had to just choose to believe the promises of the Word, and there were times that I didn't really believe and I doubted. Everything I saw in front of me wasn't making sense and seemed void of hope. But God does fill our hearts with that hope we need when we plant our feet on His truth. And I am thankful for the grace He pours on me when I doubt.

I am thankful...thankful for a wide open future. Thankful that I can embrace the adventure. Thankful for a loving Abba Bridegroom who never leaves me and loves me like no other! I am thankful that He has a plan for me and it is good and full of hope! Today, I am thankful that His ways are not my ways...

I am thankful for those who have walked through my journey in the blog world...thank you for reading my words, my heart, my story, my journey...

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I was doing my devotions this morning and the author was talking about umbrellas...and my mind started to wonder...or maybe it was the Holy Spirit at work.

I am facing a road in life that requires complete Holy Spirit control. It is not a road that I want to walk and truth be told, if I could rewrite this chapter, I would. But I can't. I can only CHOOSE how I am going to walk it. 

This is what the Holy Spirit was speaking to me...I have an umbrella, we all have one. And it is not a small umbrella. It is the umbrella of influence that I hold in my hands. I saw words all over my umbrella, the words are my motives, my attitudes, my actions, my story, my choices. Whether I realize it or not, there are many people that stand under my umbrella. Many don't have a choice to be under it. (my kids, my family, those in my sphere of influence) But the thoughts that began going through my mind were "Stephanie, what words are on your umbrella? Are they words that would DRAW more people to desire to be under your umbrella, or they words that would make people to prefer to stand in the "rain" than be under that umbrella??" Hmmm...Ouch??

Then my mind went to the other umbrellas that influence those that I love...other relationships in those lives. Some I can not control. Some I honestly do not like. But is my umbrella going to provide a preferred shelter in life? Is it going to be a better influence than the other umbrellas that they may stand under? What does it take in this life to have the better influence?

We all choose. Every day we choose. To do life God's way or our own way. There are times when everything in me does not want to do it God's way, but I know his way is best. And I choose. I know honoring him, even when no one else sees the sacrifice, is given an eternal measure of reward. I would be lying if I said that I was not at times, battling my flesh and my spirit in a way that I can almost visualize. There are moments when the spirit is winning and then there are moments when the flesh is rearing its ugly head and working hard to conquer. But all it requires is me choosing God's way to truly win the battle...even when there is no apparent victory on this earth. 

I know when I do it God's way, I prefer to hold that umbrella and others will prefer to be under it, because my umbrella is a much more peaceful, joy filled, loving place to be. I was left with the thought, "What does my umbrella say?" 

I leave you with the same thought...what is written on your umbrella??