Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I've been challenging myself to be quiet.
To listen.
To hear.
To take in my surroundings.
To just be.

This is hard.
What lot's of people may, or may not know about me is that I am a pretty TYPE A person.
Everything has it's place.
Everything has order.
There's a plan.
A system.
A goal.
In my own ideal world, I can always "see" where we are going.

HA HA HA!!!!!!!!

I said that's my preference, not reality.

We have savings to "get us through,"
but Ryan still does not have a job.
We are in a wonderful house,
but there is still a lot to do to make the house, a home.
Ryan and I had every intention of going on vacation next week,
but with some recent events (and lack thereof) we are on the edge as to IF we will actually go. Mind you I said we are supposed to leave next Monday.
Eli has been sick, very sick.
Fever of 104 for days, sick.
Vomitting all night, sick.
Our insurance ends tomorrow and the new insurance is "pending."
His sickiness has made him very clingy and fussy--making it difficult to get anything done, let alone to even think about how to help him.

the list goes on.

All of these situations are up in the air.
They are the current prayer requests in this Stevenson household.

I don't know how they are all going to work out.
I can't see the plan.
I can't see the end in sight, and I can't see the road ahead.

So, instead, I'm listening.
Listening for His voice.
His calling.
His direction.
I know HE is here. I know HE knows each of these requests.

I can't see the solutions, but HE does.

Tonight, I'm listening.
Being quiet.
Thankful for the journey as it's been,
and hopeful in the one still ahead.
Tonight I am listening for peace.
For comfort.
For assurance.

In the quiet of this Tuesday evening,
talking and tears won't fix it.
Worry doens't work (though I am really good at it too).
I'm focusing in on the quiet.
Listening for THE still small voice.

He's here.
He knows.
I'm quiet.

He said ( to Elijah), "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still, small voice. (1 Kings 19:11 and 12)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coming together.

SO, we moved.
Tuesday, June 22nd.
The BIG day.
Everything went as planned.
Pick up truck, check.
Generous friends willing to give up there afternoon to help, check.
Load Boxes, check.
Take apart big furniture items, check.
Load refrigerator---an hour ordeal later....check.
Unload at new house, check.
Boxes everywhere. YES!

Thankfully, some of our family was able to stick around and help organize the chaos.
I can happily, and gratefully say we are about 85% unpacked.
What's left? Mostly decorations and our "office" items.
Being that this is our blog, where -- well we share our journey, here's what our home looked like after we woke up the first morning.
Not bad AT ALL!
Thank you to all who were able to give time, and to those who prayed.
Tuesday was a bit of an emotional day.
It was hard finalizing the end of Tourbrook Way being our home.

However with peace and a thankful spirit I can say I woke up Wednesday morning, in our "new" house feeling blessed and excited to call this place home.
Just what I needed.

(The Office -- our "dump" room)

Friday, June 18, 2010


We packed our house today.
90% of it is in boxes.

I'm exhusted.
I'm so tired.
Currently, I'm hungry,
Mostly, I'm sad.

It's becoming very real to me that our life here in this home is quickly coming to an end.
The memories here are going to stop.
And, yes, while new ones will begin.
This day, these boxes, marks the end.

We have lived in this house for three years.
Three years of laugter.
Three years of learning.
Three years of life lessons.
Three years of love.
This is our home.

Boxes flood our garage.
Boxes fill our hallways.
Eli's room sit's empty with his crib and dresser.
The cabinets no longer hold our dishes.
The walls are bare with the exception of that paint, which I still love so much.

As I packed our belongings into brown boxes my mind raced.
Thinking about the stories this house holds.
The funny memories of how the paint got on the wall and how long it took us.
The time I sat in the closet crying over our first little blessing taken before we knew him/her.
The many conversations Ryan and I shared sitting on our staircase.
The night before we moved in, sneaking into the house to see the final product.
I thought about the smell that first day moving in.
With every room I packed, I thought.
Packed and thought.

I will miss this house.
I really do love this house.
It's hard to imagine more, and frankly it's hard to imagine us not in it.
Today, I realized what I can't imagine will soon be.
Come Tuesday we will be gone.
Starting fresh, leaving something we love.
This house has been a wonderful home.
A home we have been blessed to call our own.
Soon it will hold these stories that the new owner will never know of.

As I sat packing boxes, thinking through the countless memoriess we have created in this home,
I packed them too.
One by one,
in my heart.
Holding them closer then our possesions.

With boxes in the garage of our stuff.
And boxes of memories packed in my heart.
The time is coming close,
and farewell to a faithful home will soon be here.

My stomach hurts, and it's not because I am hungry.
The knot in my gut is big.
I am ready to face what's next,
but so, so sad to let go of a blessing we were so honored to call our own.

Boxes. Packed.
Our home is getting empty.
A new journey is about to embark.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Out.

For the first time, in many months, Ryan and I can finally breath wihtout the burden of a secret.
Secrets. I don't like them.
They make things merky.
Secrets make things hard.
It has been so hard going through this alone.
It has been so hard taking each step alone.
It has been so hard not being able to come out and say our thoughts, our plans, our changes ahead.

But now, the news is out. Officially, last Friday (June 10) an email went out to the church announcing our newest journey.
This past Sunday, June 13 it was annouced from the platform that we would be venturing out on our own starting July.

HUGE sigh of relief.

Ryan and I have both grown up in the church.
We know the importance of timing and the sensitivtiy of change for a church.
BUT, it's so hard to keep such big life decisions from those we consider to be our closest friends.
Needless to say, we are sleeping better at night knowing people know...and support us.

The news is out.
The secret is no longer.
We are moving in five days.
Our time at the River Church is soon coming to an end.
Ryan is getting a job outside of the church.
We are not leaving the ministry.
We are not walking away from any calling. Not even close
Instead, we are following God's lead to go where HE wants us, to DO what HE wants of us and to be where HE wants us.
Yes, it's stretching.
Yes, it's a bit out of the box.
But Yes, it's all true.

Is the Secret any easier.
My heart is still heavy about our house, but excited for the horizon ahead.
Leaving The River Church is bittersweet. It has been a beautiful four years of learning and love there.
Am I confident in the road ahead, well no.
BUT I am confident that God is with us.
His hand is in front of us,
and that is not a secret.

Not everyone understands.
Not everyone supports us.
And that's OK.
Ryan and I know that this journey is meant for us.
We don't know the whys, and we don't expect everyone to agree with our decisions.
BUT, we know that we know this is our time.
It's OUR calling.
And we WILL follow.

Ryan and I have received so much positive feedback,
but even with the negative - I am reminded of a song my childhood congregation would sing after a baptisim.

"I have decided to follow jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus
no turning back. no turning back
.......Though none go with me, still I will follow....
no turning back, no turning back."

The journey has begun.
The secret is out.
We are pushing forward to be available for what God has set aside for us next.
Following HIS lead.
No turning back.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Home.

the rental we love is ours!
We got news last night from the owners that they were indeed interested in us occupying their home, and everything was finalized this morning. We will "sign" our year lease on Saturday.

This is a big deal for me personally.
One of the hardest hurdles with this whole change has been letting go of our home.
As I have expressed in my previous entry, I love our house.
Note: I do not like the payment, or decreased value.
But I do love our home.
Ryan and I have spent many, many ours making it ours.
Making it a reflection of us.
So, letting it go and leaving it has been more then emotional for me.

In our initial conversations, when the rental house hunt began, I cried.
I didn't want to leave my colorful walls (that took me a year to get just the right colors).
I didn't want to leave our yard, that we worked on the whole first year...and have continued to care for adding little things here that there to make it ours.
I didn't want to leave our memories.
The stories this house holds are already some that I will hold tight to my whole life.
Yes, we have only lived here three years-but they have been three years of stories.

So, moving on from our home here on Tourbrook Way is a big thing.
One of my greatest hardships in accepting the fact that we were going back to being renters. The thing about renting is that you lease a house that's not yours, it belongs to someone else. Someone else who might have a different style, or might not care about the yard, or might not like color on the walls-therefore having white.
I stressed over what was going to be next.
What would we live in, what would the house look like?
It was important for me to "see" us living there.
And trust me, in the rental house world many houses are...well, just well used.

Then, we found THIS house.
The house we will be renting for this next year.
The house we will move into on June 22nd.
It's a great house.

Located right in the Southport area.
Across the street from a quaint little park.
With taupe walls (some color!)
A beautiful backyard.
And little pieces of character that make the house different.

No, it's not my house. And it might not have everything Tourbrook Way has.
But we will be honored to call it home this next year.
God has answered my little whims.
He knew just what I needed to help this transition be a little smoother.
It will still be VERY hard to let go of this home.
But, knowing there's something lined up next, that I am pleased with....brings peace.

Someday we will own a home again.
One we can call our own.
I can spend a year picking new paint colors.
We can landscape,
and make new memories.

But until then, we have a charming house to call home.
For that, I am thankful.
We have a place to call home.
A roof lined up over our heads.

At the end of the day. A home isn't defined by walls and a roof.
It's defined by the love that it holds.
Our love goes with us.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Operation: Job

So, here we are--JUNE.
Our past two weeks have been overwhelmed with the latest task of finding Ryan a J-O-B.
I have to admit I have been amazed at how many opportunities have already presented themselves, and how many doors God has already began to open.
Right now, Ryan and I are praying through three potential job options. All with wonderful "friends" that we (Ryan) would be honored to work for and along side. For us, just the very fact that these business men are willing to take a gamble with us truly means so much.
Ryan has been in ministry for 7 years. It's been a long time since he was out in the "regular" working world, let alone as a grown adult. It's another BIG step of faith for us, but one we trust will be right.
Our hearts are so tired. We love the church where we serve, but also know that God is truly ready for us to move on. While we aren't really sure what is in store for next, continual confirmations (such as three wonderful job offers) give us tons of faith that we are moving on in GOD's will. We are planning on taking a break from organized ministry for a year, to live "normal" lives while staying 100% in tune to God's plans for us.
Yes this is different. Yes, it's a bit against the "regular grain" of ministry.

But this is also what we know:
-God has put the Southport area of West Sac on our hearts.
-We know there are no churches there.
-At this time, we would like to be a influential part of building a church for the wonderful families in that area.
-God has opened the doors for Ryan to pursue "work" outside the church.
-The burden of our house, has quickly lifted, and God's hand is definitely working in a time when the housing market is in turmoil.
-The support of family and friends has been a confirmation that yes, this is really OK.
-Ultimately we know that as we grow, God is defining us, and our ministry, and the role we will forever play in HIS everlasting plan.
- We KNOW we are in HiS hands, and HE is close, and HE is in this.

While Ryan and I are making decisions, and do feel we have a great job zeroed in. We aren't ready to share QUITE yet, but do stay tuned!

Update on the house...we have SIX, YES SIX Offers! God is not only good, but truly amazing! Our first offer was given to the bank last Friday, June 4. Can't say we have heard any news yet. BUT we did have an appraiser come by today and take some pictures at the request of the bank. GOOD NEWS!

We have yet to have the rental squared away. My type A, "planner" personality is freaking out! BUT, I am hopeful that what is meant to be, will be. God has been so faithful so far, no reason NOT to trust him with this too!

Today, I am challenged with the unknown. The year ahead. What it will look like? What to expect? Both questions I am not at all sure of what the answers will be.

I spoke to my grandma this week. Her words of faith reminded me of James 4:8 "Draw near to God, and HE will draw near to you."

That's my prayer.
Despite all of the uncertainty, and maybe even unconventionality of this transition in our lives. We are fully relying on God through it. May we be challenged daily to listen to His voice, to feel His hand, and trust HIs calling....wherever HE takes us.