A year of restoration.

We’ve been home for over a month now, it seems like much longer in many ways. I miss my family like crazy, but I am so thankful for the sweet time we had together.

I’ve been praying for several things, asking for God’s help, guidance, direction, healing… During one of my quiet times of prayer a word kept popping up in my mind. I felt like the Lord was speaking to my heart saying, “steph, you need restoration.” Me “restoration? I can’t get any rest! I’m a mom of 4 kids 4 & under!” But that’s not what the word restoration means. Take a look.





the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition:
“the restoration of Andrew’s sight”
synonyms: repair · repairing · fixing · mending · refurbishment · reconditioning · 

My heart has been wrecked, we’ve had so much change, coming and going and the person I sought out advice from the most is now home with the Lord. Great for him, but what about me?

My body is a mess, I have a lot of issues thanks to have Hypermesis 4x along with gastritis, gestational diabetes, I could go on… but you get the picture!

Our family is tired, the last thing we need this year is to be over committed, we need grounding, time together and a lot of grace.

Our finances are another story, we are trusting the Lord to restore them in his time and provide as he always has!

My personal walk with the Lord isn’t great. I do a whole lot of praying/singing but do I take the time to listen? Am I quieting my heart and giving him the time he deserves? Unfortunately no. Reading my bible has been extremely hard after my dads home going.

1 Peter 5:10

10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Friends, restoration takes WORK. I’ve made some changes that have already been helping.

I’ve backed off from formal ministry at our Church, it allows me to 100% focus on the kids and ministering to people out of my home on my schedule. Whether it be meeting a mom friend for coffee, or having someone over for a meal.

I’ve also completely changed my eating habits and it’s working! I’ve lost 15 lbs and have almost completely eliminated my stomach pains.

I’m trying to hug my babies more, I’m very distracted most days and out of it. Just trying to get everyone fed, changed etc. But I am doing my best to spend focused time with them. It’s a work in progress.

Justin is currently working at our friends cafe, they’ve been so gracious in letting him come back till he finds something else. The pay isn’t much but it helps. He also got hired on to be a seasonal patrol officer from Memorial Day to Labor day. This is a big answer to prayer. We have something else in the works that would start in the fall, we won’t know for a while if he gets accepted but we would appreciate your prayers that he would!

It’s still hard to read the bible. bib working on it, and won’t give up. But if I’m being honest, it’s the hardest thing out of everything I need restoration in.


I have good days and bad, some days I am on the edge of crying or having a breakdown as soon as I have a moment alone and other days I’m fine. But all in all, He is good.


In this world you will have trouble…

I use to like New Years, it was a time to reflect. See where you’ve been – how far you’ve come. We’ve had hard years, I’ve lost 3 out of my 4 grandparents. All who lived within a mile of my house growing up. I thought I knew what loss was like. But this year has brought a whole new level of grief. Loosing my dad so horrifically shook me to my core. Broke me.

I cried on and off most of the new years eve, grieving the year one that has past. Not sure I could bare a new year, with new losses. I wrote a friend way too late sharing a specific struggle and asking her to pray I could get some sleep. While chatting we both agreed the new year can feel like, “Oh great, what is going to happen now?!” I’ve been contemplating that a lot. I’ve been reminded of the passage in John 16:33…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We are actually told by the Lord himself that we will have trouble. Our feeling of “Oh great, what now!?” Isn’t totally wrong. It’s pretty accurate. He spells out to his Disciples in John 16 all about what kinds of trouble.

In verse 2, he doesn’t only say they will put you out of the synagogue, but he even goes on to warn them that when they are killed, people will think they are doing a service to God. (sound familiar, especially in these days?)

In verse 12, he says he has even more to tell them but they could not bear it. What? That’s not very comforting.

Thankfully he tells us exactly why he told us this…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

If we stay in Him throughout this life we will find peace. We will make it through.

I think going into the New Year with goals, high hopes, and ambition is a good thing. We have much to look forward to, but don’t loose heart when the trouble comes. Because it will. The end of the verse says…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Ultimately, we will be renewed. We will see our believing loved ones again. We will get our mansions. We will be fully healed. We just need to be patient. We need to serve the Lord where and when we can and those things will come. We can bank on Him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Take heart dear ones. If you’re not feeling chipper about the New Year that’s okay – just don’t give up on the one who has already overcome our trouble. We WILL be made new.




The Detour

It’s been a while since I’ve had the mental and emotional energy to write. I’ve been going through the bible study “His name is.” I got to the name “Alpha and Omega” and got stuck. A lot of questions arose and it was hard to get through and really be able to believe the verses I was reading about that description of God.

If he is the Alpha and Omega…

why hasn’t he sold our house?

why aren’t the connections we had turning into job offers?

December has been a month of questions… prayer… and reevaluating my own heart. What do I really believe in my heart of hearts. It’s convicting, humbling and exhausting.

Although there will be many questions that will not have answers this side of the kingdom. The Lord graciously has brought clarity in a few areas. It was not what we expected but we are thankful.

On January 8th we will be driving back up to Delaware. Our house hasn’t sold, and overall we would prefer to raise our kids in an area where the cost of living in much lower and it’s less crazy. It’s been a hard decision. We really don’t want to leave my family, but we also no longer have peace about prolonging our stay when we feel the call to go back.

We came for two reasons, to allow Justin to go through the dispatch course. And to be a help and comfort to my mom as she transitions into a new season. Justin finished the course at the top of his class. Praise God! My mom is also feeling a little stronger. She is very much still in the early stages of grief, but a lot of the paperwork following my fathers passing has been completed. She is amazing. She has given us her blessing to move back up. We don’t want to leave and she doesn’t want us to leave. But we both know it’s for the best. I wouldn’t trade the last few months we’ve had together for anything. We have no regrets. We laid everything at the alter and the Lord has graciously given it back. Our hearts are thankful.

There is a still a need for employment for Justin. He applied for a job that is located about 45 minutes from our house in Delaware! We appreciate prayers, it is a job that would combine his skills in dispatch, military training, as well as costumer service experience. We believe that either this or something we do not yet see will open if we’re obedient and follow His prompting.


We have praises already!

-We’ve been gifted money to help cover the costs of the moving truck and getting re-established. Praise God!

-Our realtor has graciously taken our house off the market and was so kind about it all. If you need a good realtor in Delaware she’s been wonderful. Praise God!

-We’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with family. It’s been such a sweet time of fellowship. Whenever we are together it is a time of restoration and wonderful fellowship. Praise God!

-We have already been able to do some shopping at Ikea to replace some furniture we sold as well as go to costco (I’ll miss costco & Ikea!) and get things for our pantry. All paid for! Praise God!

-We’ve had such sweet responses from our friends and family in DE excited for us to get back and offering to help or load items as we need them. We really have been blessed with a wonderful community. Thanks be to God!

We will be very busy in the next two weeks. Packing, soaking up the time with family, and traveling back up.

Please pray for:

-Safety on the roads and while moving things around.

-The right job for Justin to open at the right time, that will provide what we need.

-A good transition for our family as we go back home, and for my mom and sisters as we leave.

-Pray against depression. We’re leaving sunny south Florida for freezing Delaware. It’ll be hard for us all.


Thank you all for your prayers. We are excited to see what doors will open next. I can say with my whole heart I do believe our God is the Alpha and Omega. I am excited to see what he does next.

*highlights from Florida*

The museum of Science and Discovery

Getting to see the Dolphins play

Double Dates with my sister and her boyfriend

A date night to see the Christmas pageant

Getting to celebrate the Holidays at home

Tea time with my mom in the evenings

A lunch date with my mom

Justin doing well in school

Walking to aunt Linda’s house

Play dates with cousins

Time with my Grandmom

Playing at the beach and park






The Magi from the East.

matthew-2-1[1]This week in the bible study “His name is…” the topic has been about “the bright morning star.” We’ve looked at several verses through out the bible where it has mentioned the star, and why that is significant during this advent season… but that isn’t what stood out to me. I have appreciated the study but the verse that struck me wasn’t because it spoke of the Star but because it told me about the Magi from the East. Here is the verse:

  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.'” Matthew 2:1-2 

We’ve all heard the story of the magi.. It doesn’t actually say how many there were. They just show up in Jerusalem because they saw a star. Where from? The East. Why did this strike me? They must of had some incredible faith to travel all the way from the East, likely thousands of miles through dangerous terrain. Who does that?

Being Magi they likely studied the prophecy’s of the Old Testament. The would have read of the prophecy’s such as:

“I see him, but not now;  I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth” Numbers 24:17

To travel all that distance takes an enormous amount of faith. They didn’t even have an address and had to stop for directions along the way. Not only did they make the trip but they brought gifts fit for a king, they knew they’d be meeting a king and came prepared.

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11

They rejoiced when they saw the star, they knew the Lord was on to keep his promises. I don’t know where you are at in your journey of faith. We’re surviving completely off of faith that our Lord keeps his promises. We don’t have all our directions or an address… or in our case a buyer for our house or a job lined up. But we know that the Lord keeps his promises.

Be encouraged friends, be like the magi. Expect the Lord to show up.


His Name Is…

What are you doing to prepare your heart for Christmas? Besides hanging to stockings, putting up the tree, and finding the best deals on gifts for those you love… I’m talking about preparing your heart – focusing on the real meaning of the season and ending this year off right.

If you’re like me… in the business of the season you let your personal time with God slip away. And if I’m being 100% honest I haven’t have a regular daily devotion since my dad passed. It’s hard to pick up the bible and read. Not only with the move and never being alone or having much space from my littles.. But even in the few moments of calm it’s hard to want to pick it up and devote the time.

Last year, I was introduced to the Love God Greatly bible studies series. They’re made for women, by women and they are offered for free! I’ve done several of their studies and have enjoyed them all. I decided to go ahead and order their book on amazon to support the ministry and to keep all my notes together. But that isn’t necessary.

Over the next four weeks the hundreds of women across the US will be picking up their books, reading the word of God and inviting the Holy Spirit to teach them more about himself. Each week will focus on one the many names of God.

Week 1: Bright and Morning Star 

Week 2: Alpha and Omega 

Week 3: Good Shepherd 

Week 4: Prince of Peace 

Each week I plan to recap what the Lord is teaching me about himself. I hope something will encourage you. If you have been looking for a easy devotional I’d encourage you to check out their site! They also blog through the devotional and I have appreciated their insight.


Blessed is the one

who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither—

whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!

They are like chaff

that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

Psalm 1 sums it up for me… I want to delight in the Lord, meditate on his word. I believe the Lord will watch over me and my family. But I must meditate. Dig deeper. I’m trusting I will grow deeper in Love with my savior as he reveals more of himself through his work.

Until next week! Goodnight. ❤


A Thanksgiving for the broken.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, a day of feasting, family, and football. What could be better? Over the years it hasn’t been hard to feel thankful as the day approaches. This year has been different, this year has broken me. I don’t feel thankful. I don’t even want to try.

I was sitting in church when the pastor started his message on thanksgiving, he said thanksgiving is just that. It’s about stopping and GIVING thanks. It’s not thanks”feeling.” I felt convicted and rightfully so.. The Lord has been allowing difficultly to come, things to be taken away. We’ve had to wait longer for things than we thought, cancel trips, deal with sickness. And worst of all, I no longer have my dad.. my friend.. my rock and the one when trials came I could lean on his biblical grounding and encouragement.

But we are not called to give thanks just when life is all together – when we feel like it… we are called to give thanks to our Father in all things. Tonight my family and I visited a church where an African Children’s Choir performed. These kids come from the most broken parts of Africa, orphaned, abandoned and yet they’re up there praising God. My troubles and grief seemed to pale in comparison and these sweet kids taught me what I need to do. Lift my hands, and praise through the pain. Dance when my heart is breaking.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I don’t have many words of encouragement, or a profound message to share. I just want you to know if you’re hurting like I am. Stay pro-active, keep dancing, keeping praising. Even if it’s the last thing you want to do. This is a song that is ministering to me tonight.



I just need to lie down.

The words came out of her mouth, words I never thought I’d hear from my little sister on a Sunday afternoon… “Dad’s not going to make it.” I fell to my knees but it soon turned into being sprawled out on the grass in my back yard. I was too week to kneel. Too overwhelmed to keep my head up. I needed to lie down.

It was the first time in my life I was that overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with grief, pain, shock, and my head was spinning so fast I almost blacked out. It would not be the first time.. over the last few times there have been several moments where I would need to lie down so I wouldn’t black out. But in every circumstance someone was with me. When I saw my dad is the hospital after the accident. My friend Ramon had been in my dad’s room all night. Keeping guard. Waiting for the rest of the family to come. I was the last one to get there. He escorted me to my dad’s room. Then walked out to give me space. If he didn’t walk me through those doors, I might have passed out. Thank you Ramon.

Once my dad was transferred to hospice, we were waiting outside the room to get to see him. The feeling came again and I had to lie down in the hallway. My sweet husband caught on and sat down so I could put my head in his lap until we were allowed to go into his room.

There have been several other times since the summer that has happened. It wasn’t something I’d ever thought would happen during the grieving process. But it made a common Psalm come to life in a whole new way. Psalm 23:1-2

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. When I’ve heard that psalm before I always envisioned a picnic… Just a lovely day in the park. But today as I read it, I see the Lord letting us lie down and rest. Life it just too much, sometimes we can’t push through. Sometimes we need to stop and lie down in the hallway or on the grass. We need to just be. The Psalm continues in verse 4.

           Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

He was specifically talking about Death. Life is no picnic. But do you know happens when we lie down… Let’s look at verse 3.

   He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
    for his name’s sake.

I don’t know about you, but I need some soul restoration right now. I feel worn and weak. I’m thankful for this promise from God. He is our good shepherd. He know what we need. Friends, it’s okay to lie down. But in the midst of that exhaustion, lie down your needs, wants, and pain unto the father. He’s the one who can do the restoration work.

Today I visited my dad’s “resting place.” Such a strange phrase since I know he probably hasn’t stopped partying since he was taken home. I wasn’t planning on going today, I’ve been avoiding it. But wanting to go at the same time. We got caught in traffic downtown and decided to go home another way… right by memorial park. Justin asked if I wanted to stop. I wanted to say NO, I really don’t! But I did. And he knew I needed to. As soon as we drove through the gate I felt that weight, and grief come over like a flood. I just barely made it to the spot and collapse and laid there for a few minutes. I was able to pray and as I did the clouds opened and sunshine burst through. It was warm. Like a hug from our heavenly father. I miss my dad. I always will. But I know if I let myself lie down. Restoration will come.

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Justin took this picture. I almost deleted it… But it’s where I’m at. Miss you dad.