Thursday, July 5, 2012

As requested...


A friend of mine reminded me of our blog.
Yes, this journal.
It’s been a long time.  Too long.

As my heart was prompted this morning to come back to it, I was overwhelmed with emotion to trace back the steps we have taken.

I was humbled as I read the words written and the journey that our family has been on.
Despite the many emotions this blog has expressed to you through the past few years, one word comes to mind…


It is such an amazing honor to be able to see God’s hands tangibly direct our family.
Truly, a gift.

God’s goodness has overcome.
His faithfulness has provided.
His love for us, has healed.
Our journey, so tender  -- is heartwarming and sweet.

It’s a beautiful thing to be sitting in this coffee shop and have nothing but a smile on my face regarding where we are.

Ryan, Eli and I are in a great place. 
We have no doubt that God has placed us right here, right now, doing exactly what we are doing.
Was it plan “A”?  Nope.
Not even sure it was plan “B.”
But, it’s still good.  Great, actually.
We are content with life, and living it daily.
Continually striving to be in HIS will.
Leaning into Him for our direction, and trusting Him to guide.

If you would have asked me two years ago, when this journey started, where I’d think we’d be….I would have NEVER guessed this.
THIS, is sweet.
It’s great.
It’s right we need to be right now.
It’s right where HE’s put us, and where we will remain until further notice.

I pray that no matter what you are facing, and what decision you and yours are processing through that you will find peace knowing that HE knows the end.  He knows the journey ahead. HE will get you through.  And it too will be sweet.

We are well.
Life is good.
Things are probably better then they have ever been.
Our family is strong.
We have peace.
Open to Him, but content.

Until movement happens, or new revelations surface….
may you and yours be living in the sweet as well.

Hold tight to His hand, HE knows what He is doing.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year and a half.  Ryan and I felt God sending us out May 2010.  We felt He had a purpose. A plan. A reason for all of the hardship and journey we faced.
It’s now January 2012.  The plan is still not apparent. The purpose is still yet to be seen. The journey is quiet.
In my reflections, I think a lot about the what if’s and the what’s next.
I don’t at all think we’ve missed to boat.
But, I just don’t know what to think about all of this…still. 

I miss ministry.
I miss having a home church.
I miss being involved. 
I miss our purpose in ministry.
I miss it all.

Ryan and I have tried on multiple occasions to pursue planting a church, which seems to be the only “open door right now for us.” We’ve had meetings with other people. We’ve sought out wise council. We’ve prayed, planned, chatted, and discussed all of the possible ins and outs. Nevertheless, despite the fire we try to fan – there just isn’t a flame there.  I don’t know that we have a heart for church planting, or a fire to make one happen.  Every time we put effort there, a spark never really ignites.
I feel pretty passionately that’s a sign.  That God is revealing something in us through this.  That perhaps, planting isn’t in the deck right now.  
That’s there’s something else.
While I am not losing hope about that something else,
I am so confused – and almost discouraged. 
Tossed between missing ministry, and trying to stay “involved” – but feeling more and more like an outsider in the world of church. 
In many ways, like we no longer have a place, or a calling.
I know these things not to be true.
But, at times these are the thoughts that ring in my head.
 I find myself thinking about the future.
 What is yet to come. 
What is yet to be discovered. 
Wondering what it will entail.
If ministry is part of it.
I wish there was more to say.  I wish I knew “the plan.”
I wish there was something tangible I could see that was in the works.
There’s not.

I’m recognizing a constant pattern of waiting in this journey.  
Seems like for a year and a half now we’ve been waiting.
It’s hard to be on a journey without movement.
This journey of waiting is so against our grain.
When we stepped out, we prayed that God would take us wherever HE wanted us.  Little did we know then, that we would still be waiting for Him to call our number.
That we would still be waiting for that direction from Him.

I am sure the time will come.
I am sure movement will happen at some point.
But for now, we are in idle.

It’s hard to plan.
It’s hard to predict our next steps.
It’s just hard to just

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Harbor.

A little over year ago we were challenged with the idea of the church being a harbor.
A safe place, a refuge, a place of refreshment and serenity from life's storms.

Ryan and I have been in West Sacramento for a year now.
It's been a year of refocusing.
A year of hardships.
A year of struggles.
A year of mending.
A year of rebuilding.
A year of healing.
A year of refreshing.
A year of growth.

God took us from where we were, and placed us here.
In West Sacramento.
During our hurt and healing,
for such a time as this.

In the year that it's been, West Sacramento has been a harbor for us.
A refuge.
A place of waiting.
A place of refueling.
A place of calmness.
We are rebuilt.

There's more to be said, but for now know -- God is moving.
We are starting to feel confident in what God is unfolding around us.
In this past year of quiet, West Sac became a harbor for our family.
It's where God placed us, to grow.
We have grown and are still growing.
But now we are being stretched.
HE is moving, are we are joining HIM.

.....Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simmer and Steps

It's been a long time since I've (we've) written anything here.
For our readers, despite the lack of words -- it says a lot.
Bottom line, it's still quiet.
Or, at least it was.

In the past month, God's hand has been moving again.
He's starting to stir us up again, for something.
We've felt a thought the "quite" time is coming to an end and God is preparing us for something.
While we still aren't sure what that means in relation to ministry, we've come to a place where we are ready to face what's next.
We are anxious for it.
Excited to see the continuation of this very interesting, and stretching journey.

In the past few weeks, Ryan and I have had some very real, and very eye-opening interactions with people.
Through their words to us, God has spoke to our hearts.
Preparing us.
Making us excited to venture "back" into ministry.
God has been stirring us up again.
Even though the pot is still technically simmering, we feel strongly that this season is soon to change.

Professionally, Ryan and I are in great places.
 Ryan is still loving his job at Farmers, and they are happy with him as an employee.
His job has been a gift from God, and one that we do not take lightly.
On my end, a very exciting opportunity presented itself in my career and I followed it.
After applying and interviewing, I was chosen as the new Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator for my School.
It was a long-shot in my mind that I would get the position, and I am overly blessed and honored that I did.
This professional change for me means a bigger change for our family.
I am going back full-time.

Since Eli was born, I have been blessed to be part-time.
My going full time is a choice as I pursue this position.
A position I have aimed for since my college years.
Eli is now two.
He's getting more and more social.
He desires that outlet and interaction.
Ryan and I are ecstatic about the opportunity that awaits me in this new position,
but we are tentative about where Eli will be starting in August.
I am confident this will be a good transition for him too, but I am still very concerned about it as well.
I am trusting that as God has very evidently opened this door for me, HE will also provide the perfect opportunity for Eli as well.

How can you be praying for us --
1.  That God will continue to stir the pot. We are ready to be back in ministry, and are ready to jump when HE show's us what that means.

2.  For Peace in my new job position.  I am so excited, but so worried about Eli.  Please pray that God will show us the right fit for Eli so that he will continue to grow and learn, and we will be confident in our decision.

God is still very much here and a part of our lives.  Despite the quietness, God is still working and speaking.

We trust where he is taking us, and where we are going -- with every passing day.
Thanks for hanging in there with us -- and traveling this journey alongside us.
It's still to be continued!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing to write.

Sometimes, I just need to write.
My mind gets filled with thoughts, and writing helps sort them all out.
Eli is napping.
It's a cold day in Sacramento and the heater is whirring.

Overall, it's quiet.

I've said many times this journey of ours is prone to "quietness."
Ryan and I are waiting patiently for God to speak to us about what to do next,
but still --- nothing.
I have yet to decide how I feel about it.

Sometimes I wonder if we missed something in the course of the past many months.
I wonder if we are choosing not to REALLY hear.

I know better.
We've followed and we've been listening.
It's been amazing how disconnected though can help you be more connected.
As a family, we are more united.
With our friends, we have time.
Within the church, we are plugged in -- but still recharging.
It is good.
Quiet, yes.
But good.

I wonder a lot about what  ministry for us will look like next.
I wonder when the words I write will say something more.
I promise when He tell us more, there will be more.
Until then, we are good.
Living life daily.
Loving God with our lives.
And loving God together as a family sent by HIM - surrounded by HIS peace.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Tree.

One of the greatest blessing of our rental house has been the charming park across the street from the house.  As you can imagine, we frequent it quiet often.
Eli usually attempts to dart towards it any time the front door or garage door opens.
I can't say we go everyday, but often.
While normally my time there is spent chasing around our very active 20 month old,
when Eli swings
--I swing too.
Last week while enjoying an hour (yes, an literal hour) of the sun shining through the clouds,
Eli wanted to swing.
Allowing me to sit.  And swing.

There's a tree that stands in the park.
It's not a giant tree, or even a mature tree.
It's young, but not an infant.
Probably a "teenager."
Still growing, still "small"
but weathered and grounded.
It's not going anywhere unless someone cuts it down.

This tree has been placed at the edge of the playground and sidewalk.
Next to it were thoughtfully placed a picnic table and bench.
It's a common tree.  A shade tree.
Perfect for a park.
It stands alone it's area, with it's nearest tree relative 30 feet away.
As I sat swinging next to my son I examined the tree from afar.

The tree stands out in the park.
It's different from the rest.

The tree is bent.
It leans.
With it's trunk growing towards the West, the branches follow suit.
It's unbalanced and uneven.

Wind, weather, and storms have formed this unique tree.
Only time could show the storms that caused this tree to grow as it has.

God has used the weather, and maybe even mans lack of care to form this charming tree.

As it leans to the left, it's shade perfectly covers the picnic table.
With the few branches that grow to the right, shade cover the bench beneath it.
Straight? No.
Balanced? No.
Perfect? Depends.

Despite the journeys we face in life, the people we encounter, the storms we weather --
 God is forming us too.
We don't know why in moments.
They may hurt and bend us.
And they always change us.
Through them, HE forms us.
HE sets us apart.
Perfectly molding us to a purposeful life.

May my life be as the tree.
But serving a perfect purpose.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

End of a year.

It's December 23.
Christmas Eve Eve in my family.
With two days left until Christmas and eight until New Years -
I thought it the perfect time to write one last posting for the year.

I'm not sure what else to say that hasn't already been shared.

Ryan and I continue to reflect on our journey this past year.
The roller coaster ride we have called life.
It's been confusing.
But most importantly, right now -- it's peaceful.

Peace has reigned in our hearts throughout it all.
Despite our questions of whys, and whats---we have never once questioned if God was with us.
His peace has always remained.

Things are not necessarily how we would have ever planned.
Things are not necessarily how we would like to keep them.
But for now, we are thankful for much.

We are thankful for the transition that has happened.
We are thankful for jobs, a home, provisions.
We are thankful for the love of family and friends, who have lifted us up so much.
We are thankful for a healthy, growing son--who is curious, confident, and so loving.
We are thankful for a generous giver, who gave to us financially -- thank you.
We are thankful for others who feel our same sentiment, and are stepping out.
We are thankful for insurance.
We are thankful for vacations.
We are thankful for prayers.
We are thankful for the journey--just as it's been.

No, it hasn't been easy.
No, it hasn't been as planned.
And no, we weren't confident through it all.
This year was a year of refocusing.
Who we are, who we want to be, who we will be should ONLY be defined by HIS desires for us.
This year, God has reminded us that our focus is to be on Him.
A reminder that our calling is based on HIM alone, and what HE desires of us.

We followed HIS desires this year.
Hard to understand.
Hard to comprehend.
Hard to follow.

This year, we gave in 100% to our calling.
We followed.

And here we remain.
Wrapping up 2010.
In transition.
Faithfully following.
Comfortably waiting.
Thankful for so much.

I have no idea what 2011 will bring.
I never would have guessed what 2010 was going to present.
Despite everything, here we are.
In the middle.
In the quiet.
Preparing for Christmas.
Reflecting on a journey unfolding daily.
Hopeful in the plan that God has dreamed for us.
Inspired not to settle for anything less.
We end 2010
and Peaceful.

May the peace of the Father find you and yours this Holiday season.
May you be challenged in 2011 to step out and follow HIS dreams and desires for you.
If you are out in His will, find comfort knowing you are not alone.
In 2010--we stepped out into God's plan for us.
In 2011, the journey will surely continue to unfold--
stay tuned.

Peaceful in His will,
The Stevensons