Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So, even though this is our "journey" blog and not our "family" blog (starringthestevensons.blogspot.com)
I wanted to update our readers (YOU!) on the preschool situation for Eli. While Eli starting preschool I would normally be part of our other blog, the background is all in regards to this blog. Part of our current journey includes Ryan taking on a new job.  Ryan was one of the caretakers for Eli so that I could work.  With him starting a new job, and me going to back to work.... finding Eli care had been at the top of our "to do" list.
In my last post I explained a bit of our ordeal.  Ryan and I were so touched by the amount of questions,  emails,  and prayers lifted up in regards to this situation.
In fact, we even had a dear friend offer to open her home and arms to helping us out.  Thank you to that friend for your love shown, you know who you are.
Naturally, we would not have turned her down.  In fact, we were praising God for her and His provision through her.  Our next task was to try to get our "deposit" back from the preschool and withdraw Eli.   When we called to do so, we were informed that unfortunately it was a non-refundable deposit (which we basically already knew) and that our only option was to keep Eli enrolled for the month of September and part of October to get our deposit's worth.
Ryan was hesitant, but said OK.  The preschool teacher followed by asking Ryan if we were still interested in Eli going to two days.  She remembered us basically begging a few weeks back for a two day slot and at the time, there was not one available.  Ryan responded with, "well possibly, but you said that wasn't an option."  She continued with, "well it wasn't, but Friday one of our families informed us that the father was being furloughed, and that they would have to cut back on their days....this opens a two-day slot.  If you do decide to take it, you will be covered for care until November."
Two days was what we wanted.
It's all we need.
It's truly what we were praying would happen.
With our dear friend's offer still on the table, but our money tied up in the school- we gratefully thanked God for looking out for us and providing the two day slot--and we accepted.
All in all, everything worked out.
Eli will start at the preschool next Wednesday.
I'm still nervous to have Eli in someone else's care besides family or friends, but confident that Eli will grow, learn, and be loved there.
Thank you to all who prayed, and to our dear friend for her offered hope and willing spirit.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

a J-O-B.

I'm trying to think of a creative way to open this blog up.
Nothing is coming to mind.
So I will write.

There has been a lot of celebrating around here the past few days.
Biggest news: Ryan landed a job.
Not just any job, an amazing job.
A professional job.
A hard-to-get job.

It's truly and understatement to say that it feels as though a GIANT tidal wave of relief has overcome our household.  Honestly, it was at the last minute, and yes we were fretting.
Ryan and I had enough money saved to make it until September.
As you and I both know, September is next week.
Yes, nickel and dime-ing is a term we have lived very well these past couple weeks.
Thankfully after nearly a three month application process, the end is in sight, and God has sent provision through a job.

Starting from the begining, if you would have asked Ryan three months ago where he would be working, I garantee Farmer's Insurance was not what he would have said.
We had a few other doors that appeared open, and probable at the time.
Needless to say, God slammed many of those doors, and to this day some never were shut...just silent.
It's been a hard summer of uncertainty.
A difficult time of trusting God, but doubting the road ahead.
The opportunities we thought were guaranteed to us quickly faded with every passing day.
What we had confidence and comfortability in, dropped us.
It was hard.
Ryan applied everywhere, with what seemed like hundreds of other people.
Jobs we thought were in the bag, weren't interested.
Jobs that were handed to him, were taken before he could even start.
It was NUTS!

All of that to say, in the beginning, one of the many applications Ryan applied for was as a Property Adjuster for Farmer's Insurance.  We have a great friend who does this very same job in the Redding area and loves it. Ryan, thinking it was a LOOONNNNGGGG shot, applied.  The posting was for an adjuster to serve the Loomis to Tahoe area.  If you know anything about where we currently live, you would know that the closest point in that area to our home would be a 45 minute drive--making the furthest point (Tahoe) a two hour drive.  Obviously not at all convenient.  But, needing to make ends meet and desperate for anything, Ryan applied.

In the meantime, Ryan was still pursuing other opportunities for work that we thought were sure to pan out.
They didn't.
And in July, Ryan got his first call from Farmer's.
Then his second, a phone interview.
Which resulted in his first interview.
Which then lead to a group interview.
Which was followed up by a ride along.
And finally an offer.

Ryan was basically hired on the spot after his group interview.
We were ecstatic,  BUT it took nearly three weeks to get the official offer.
So, while we were so excited that it looked like something was finally working out, we were so hesitant to holding our breath in fear something "could still happen."

Nearly three months after applying, Ryan got the verbal offer on Friday.
The job is a huge blessing.
The pay and benefits are JUST what we needed.
Ryan is so excited to see WHY THIS job.
Why was this the only door God kept open.
Why did the other ones close?
Our prayer all along is that God would close all doors and ONLY leave open the "right" one.
Here it is.

The job story continues.

After his first interview, Ryan was told that he was not being considered for the Loomis - Tahoe area, but that they were considering him for the Sacramento area.  YAY!
This was huge, huge news!
But---it got even better.
After his last interview, were he was basically hired on the spot, they informed him that he was no longer being considered for Loomis-Tahoe, or Sacramento, but now--West Sacramento.
So yes, Ryan is now a property adjuster for  the West Sacramento area.
West Sac,
The area God put on our hearts.
The area we moved to.
The area we aren't sure what we are here for, but God is confirming to us daily that YES we are just where he wants us.

No, we still don't know why West Sac.
No, we have NO idea why Farmers Insurance (though I will add Ryan LOVED the ride along, and can't wait to start!)
We are just in awe of God's hand and how it's leading us through this journey.

This week I had a wonderful conversation with my teaching partner Kelly.
As a fellow pastor's wife, I was sharing with her some of my struggles and uncertainty.
With a listening ear to talk to, I shared.

This transition has been a stretching one.
One that I am pretty sure I can say we were not expecting.
Yes, three months ago we were confident we were going to plant a church.
That has changed.
Three months ago, Ryan had a few jobs "lined up."  That changed.
Three months ago, God called us out.
We went.

Since then, a lot of things our life was built around has faded.
And in many ways, we have stepped away from everything we knew to follow God.
I have felt confused and uncertain.
Growing up, all I have ever known is working for the church.
Being part of the Pastor's family.
Eating, sleeping, and breathing ministry.
This summer, I have felt a huge part of me was gone.

In my conversation with Kelly she reminded of our current ministry.
We are living it daily.
And while we aren't sure WHAT exactly it is, yet...
We KNOW God is with us.
We know we are right where HE want's us.
Your calling is being where God wants you, when he was you there.
We are in our calling.

Ryan starts with Farmers on August 30.
He is so excited.
We are so relived.
We are anxious to see where this road takes us.
Does it make sense? Nope.
Is it what we planned? Not at all.
Are we at peace with it? Absolutely.
God is with us, His hand is VERY evident in our lives.
We are where he wants us, and soon Ryan will be doing What God wants of him (for now....)

Side note Prayer Request:
Ryan and I have been on a wild goose chase looking for a Day-care for Eli. My expectations are HUGE, and my list of "must-haves/do's" is endless.  This has been a very hard thing for me to swallow, and finding the perfect place has seemed impossible.
Three weeks ago, Ryan and I came across the perfect place. A In-Home Christian preschool. Pristine. Warm. The place I envisioned and hoped for in our search. Priced high, but not terrible.  I fell in love.
This was it.  If Eli was going to have to be in someone else's care, it was in this preschool he needed to be......
All fine and dandy in mind and words, but NOT in finances.
We are looking for care for two-days a week.
The preschool only has an opening for a three-day a week commitment.
Essentially leaving us in the bind of paying for days we don't need (and truly can't afford)...or walking away.
With a heavy heart, this mommy is torn.
Prayer for God's provision in this situation would mean so, so much to me.
Eli is getting to the age where an outlet with other kids would be so beneficial for his development, but I still want it to be in a loving nurturing, Christian environment.
My prayer is that in the next week (yes, its that close) God would give us security in our decision, one way or the other.
That a two day slot would open up....or like HE has with every other situation, He will shut the door and give us peace that the right place is out there.
Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


There are many things that have gone unspoken.

They are the things we cannot share.
They are the words that were said.
The actions that were (or were not) done.
They are the things that have hindered our hearts.
They are the things that have brought us down.
They are personal.
They are offensive.
They hurt.

While I cannot share specifics, though the list countlessly races through my mind every time it comes up again.
A list I would love to clear my mind of.
A list I want erased from my heart.
A list I so desperately want to move on from.

I'm angry.
I'm broken.
I'm hurt.

I'm giving it to GOD daily.

The thing about forgiveness is that it is a choice.
Something one has to commit to doing.
And sometimes...
over and over again.

This is where we are.
Having to forgive, over and over again.
It's so hard.
It's so grueling.

Making the effort to move on, just to be burned again--is hard.
Impossible it seems, at times.
Despite the hurtful occurrences,
I am trying.
But trying.