Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Emi's battle

As many of you know my precious first born, Emi is a super tomboy. I remember when the girls first came into our life....it was all sparkle, glitter, pink and purple princess land. About a year and a half or so ago Emi decided the princess life was not for her. She fell in love with batman, hunting, toy guns, her bow and arrow and all things camo, solider and police officer. It's like the best of both worlds having one super girly girl and a tomboy! :)

We are the kind of parents that don't have a problem with our kids playing with toy guns, swords, bows, etc. We have always talked about what we use them for and about appropriate rules. We thought we did everything right. (Emi is quite the sharp shooter and it has been a lot of fun seeing her practice with her nerf darts and suction cup arrows!) A while ago all the good parenting that we thought we were doing, the teaching right from wrong came to a screeching, failing, halt. Emi had been in her room playing nerf guns with Daddy and she got upset about something and said, "I'm going to kill my self." Literally our world stopped. The breath in my lungs stopped. We asked her to repeat herself just to make sure we heard correctly. Hearing your six year old utter those words is earth shaking. We still to this day do not know where Emi ever heard those words or learned what that meant.

*Pause for disclaimer....she has never heard these words from the other kids in her life such as her foster siblings for the record. This is also not a post to debate opinions about guns real or fake.*

After Emi said what she did we both sat down with her and had a long discussion with her about what she said. We learned that Emi was really struggling and she needed help. We immediately removed all of her toy weapons, police gear, hunting gear, minecraft games, blocked her from all videos, movies etc that could trigger these feelings. Then we got her into counseling. You see, Emi is a trauma kiddo. We don't feel like it's our story to tell to the world at this point but know that even though she is only six and was removed from her situation very young...she still remembers a lot...mostly bad.  At times the things she remembers and tells us are heartbreaking. All of those things led up to what we experienced. We have also worked with trauma kids long enough to know when we are out of our league and need outside help. We are privileged to have that help right here on our campus. We met a great play therapist who is working with both of our girls. It's been great just having the outside support. Also the prayers and support of our close family and friends. Satan was planting lies in my daughters heart and we had to command that spirit to leave by praying over her.

Today, about eight months later, Emi got all her "boy toys" as she calls them, back. She has made great progress! We have had much better conversations with her about her feelings (as much as a six year old can convey). Will we still be talking a lot and reminding her of rules? Of course! But our little solider is growing soo much more in age and maturity! She is in a great place now!

I share all of this to not only share our story and struggle but also to be a spokesperson. A cheerleader of sorts. You see...suicide pulls mightily on my heart strings. I have lost friends, coworkers have lost children, family members have threatened....this is not a joke to me. At the same time there is such a stigma in our society that it's not okay to be open about suicide and the feelings around that. That it is a sign of weakness, it makes you a bad person, it means you are a failure. Let me be the person to stand up and say that all of the above are lies. Satan's lies. Sometimes the depression creeps in soo heavily that before you know it you are drowning in quick sand and you feel there is no other way out. Jesus seems soo far away and you feel you are at the point of giving up. While I cannot claim to personally understand that journey I can speak from the side of loss. The side of fear. Know that in that darkest moment when you feel there is no one left and Satan is screaming in your ear that I am always there to listen. I will call upon Jesus and pray over you. I will not judge you.

We remind Emi (and Linah) promises of Jesus daily...

You are loved.
You belong to Jesus.
You are a child of the King.
You are not alone.

God is going to use our daughter in a big way. Emi is a warrior. (In fact her name...Emilyn Lu means Loud Warrior) It is no coincidence that God gave us that name for her. You too are a warrior. God has great plans for you. You are loved.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Our first yes...

             I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. It sits soo fresh in my mind and heart. I was working the day it finally came and no matter how much I prepared myself I was still terrified. After sitting through hours and hours of classes, mountains of paperwork, endless certifications and trainings we finally had our foster care license and we were waiting for that "perfect" child to say yes to. The call came August of 2013. We were told it was a teen girl and her newborn baby girl. In our world this was the perfect combination of fostering. We had asked specifically for teens since that is what our heart passion is and we had prayed and prayed for God to give us a newborn. Even if she wasn't our own we could still have her as part of our world. We said yes. I remember my mom coming and helping me decorate what would be their room. Ryan and I putting the crib together. Praying over that room every day until we she would come. A week or so later we got the call that they would not be coming. That she had run away and they wouldn't be needing our help any longer. I remember the emotional roller coaster that put us on. From that first moment I should have had an indication how this foster care journey would go.
               I can also remember the day we got to say our second yes to our first child. I remember the case worker fumbling as I was asking questions, the awkward pauses so she could come up with (ie. make up) some kind of answer. She didn't even know how to spell this precious child's name. We were told she was a hard case, and she wouldn't stay with us long. We said yes anyways. We knew that God had called us to foster and we were going to do just that. No matter... what we were going to serve Him.
                 The day she came she was mad. She wouldn't speak (for the whole first week). She wouldn't make eye contact. She wouldn't answer any questions that you asked her. There are no foster care classes or trainings that could have prepared us for this. This girl before us was in turmoil. She had been taken from her family, separated from her sisters and was now placed with these wide eyed, white, talks too much, nervous, foster parents.
                   This was the beginning of our incredible journey. There have been times when my heart has been soo broken and at the end of myself where there is nothing but Jesus carrying us. There have been long nights where I just stood at the bottom of our townhouse stairs and just cried, walked the halls and just prayed. Fostering has taught me that there will be many first times saying yes. That very first time we said yes was the beginning of changing our lives forever. It has reminded me that Jesus says yes to us daily. No matter what we did the day before or the day before that. No matter how many times we fail....over and over. He says yes to us. He says yes to loving us, forgiving us, and letting us be His. That is exactly our purpose in loving on these beautiful foster kids that God has entrusted us with. Twenty-five kids later and we are still saying yes.
                At the beginning of this year God gave us a vision for our family. A word to live by and a motto of sorts. The daily saying yes to serving Him. Our word is: Thrive. Our motto is: "To have a Christ centered family that brings glory to God through the way that we live! We want to be servants of grace who give more than we're given and love without second thought even when it may not be returned!" This has been our guiding, our purpose to live out. I smile thinking of all the doors God has opened so far for us to put this into practice.
                That precious girl that came into our lives in August of 2013 stayed with us for a year and a half. She has now graduated high school, has a good job and is about to be a mama herself. The other day I got a friend request from her and my eyes and heart just welled with happy tears. It wasn't always good times. There are times where I failed miserably as her foster mama. Looking back now there are soo many things I would have done differently. But one thing I know is that she was a light in our lives. She will always be our first. She helped pave the way for us to open our hearts to soo many others. (Including her two sisters for a short time) She taught us how to love in a deeper way like Jesus. The way that He loves us expecting nothing in return. I am deeply grateful that we said yes to this beautiful and broken calling.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Coming back!

That's right! All five of my readers...after almost two years of hiatus I'm coming back. God has given me this gift of words and I cannot wait to share what is on my heart! Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Table for....one.

I share a house with a total, at times, of seven people. (Please ignore the clutter in this picture) We have three teen girls full time, Ryan and I, and every other weekend a visit from the little princesses we are trying to adopt. Does anyone see anything missing in this photo?

I was sitting tonight eating dinner alone, listening to worship music, feeling heavy heartened....and I thought what an appropriate time to share with all of you how life feels lately.

Ryan has been working 60 hour weeks for almost a month now. (Praise God for the extra money) Our littles are over every other weekend. Our teens are involved in dance club, dance class, members at the rec and attending fitness classes among church activities and school stuff. I am working three days a week interpreting, being full time mom and part time dad, going to school full time and as of the beginning of the year have partnered in taking over the youth ministry at our church. Ya'll I am BLESSED!!! I wouldn't change the craziness of our lives. But sometimes...even in all that crazy...I feel utterly alone.

Step into the past couple hours of my day:

7:30am- Ryan leaves for work, arrives in just enough time due to the weather to work his 12 hour day.
7:31am- I am awake and cannot go back to sleep. May as well do my quiet time and get up. Shower, eat breakfast, walk the dog, think about doing the dishes but instead take full opportunity of having the TV to myself and end up watching the Brave Little Toaster.
10:45-Do homework, check on my still sleeping teens, walk the dog again, hunt the internet for a bigger house. Get an email from a case worker informing me, "the teens have a visit with mom today, oh and by the way, forgot to tell you "my bad" they have court on Monday, let me know if you will be there..." I put my phone down, take a couple laps up and down the stairs to calm down...do more homework.
1:15- Eat lunch, girls start to trickle down the stairs
1:16-Inform girls that they have a visit with mom today. Mixed emotions ensue. House becomes mass chaos while they get up and around and ready.
1:30-Get an email from the new therapist for the girls wondering if wednesdays starting at 7:30 for two hours would be good. Shake my head and contemplate not emailing back until tomorrow. After all is there really a "good" night of the week???
2:30- Overhear girls downstairs yelling at each other, listen for a moment and realize it's normal, continue homework.
3:00- Knock on the door...(think to myself I wonder who it is...transport for the girls isn't coming until 3:30) open the door and viola! Transportation. Girls scramble and yell at each other while trying to get out the door. I stand there and sign the mountain of paperwork. (it literally gets longer every time).
3:05-Get the girls out the door, realize one of them is carrying her coat when it feels like -99 out and another is wearing slippers. Inwardly scold myself for not checking these things prior, shout Goodbye, see you soon and close the door.
3:30- Text my BFF and decide to go visit. After all it's been at least four days because of the snowpocolypse since we've seen each other and I have cabin fever and am feeling like a ran over cat.
3:32-Decide the dishes aren't going to do themselves and the cleaning fairy is on a permanent sabbatical so I get er' done.
3:50-5:50- Spend time with my sweet, precious, also a mom to many, BFF. Catch up on life, vent, feel a little better about pullin up my big girl panties and moving on.
6:40-Girls walk in the door and yell at me to come sign their mountain of papers from transportation again. Two stomp up the stairs, the other goes to the kitchen.
6:45-Evil mom award. I tell them no TV until they eat dinner, which they can make themselves, it's sandwich night and they are all ready for school the next day. (because after three snowdays in a row they are going back!) OH! and by the way precious angels...you will all go to bed 30min early tonight to be refreshed and ready for school tomorrow.
6:46-Cue up the slamming of cabinets, plates, complaining and tempers. They are pleased as punch with sandwiches, school and bedtimes. OH! And that visit with mom? Always sends my middle child into a tailspin. I ask how their visit was in my most chipper voice and get the response of crickets.
6:50-Clean the kitchen to avoid making eye contact or making my children in a "better" mood.
7:05-Girls are done eating, they rush upstairs, slam their bedroom doors, and stay there...I make my dinner, turn on some worship music and eat in silence.
7:38-Current time...I hear the girls in their rooms across the hall talking, sometimes yelling. Ryan still isn't home. The dog is snoring.

Welcome to our life. Welcome to parenthood and welcome to our world of life with teens in foster care.

Lately, I have felt like I am just surviving. Barely. I can't imagine being a single parent. Shout out to those of you who are....you are much stronger than I. Tonight as I sat at the table alone I prayed for our little (sometimes big) family. I prayed for these precious teens hearts to be protected against all the pain and turmoil in their lives. I prayed that they would feel loved in our home. I asked God to help me love them even when they aren't being loving. And I asked God to use me to break down the walls in their hearts.

The picture above is an accurate depiction of my heart right now. I love my family. I love the children I have been entrusted with. I try everyday to show them and instill in them that they are loved but I feel so empty at times and like a failure because their brick walls can't absorb the love.

It reminds me of the way I act in my relationship with God sometimes. I think I have it all together and don't need Him and I ignore or push away. Yet His arms are always open wide with love outpouring. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.....

Lord, fill me up. Help me to love my precious gifts as you love me, expecting nothing in return. Give me the heart to keep going to battle.

I love you Lord.
~Stephanie Rachelle

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Adoption is the new pregnant!!!

An update on our foster care/ Adoption journey...
The last time I updated we were expecting to have a new placement back in August of a teen mama and her baby. Sadly that never happened. The teen ran away from the place she was at with her baby. Even though we had never met her it was sad to have to let go. I feel like the moment you get the call for a child you already have them on your mind and in your heart.
After finding out that she would no longer be coming to us we were put back on the list for admissions to find us other children for placement. Our phones rang off the hook. We were finally matched with a 15 year old girl and a 16 year old girl. They both moved in right as school started in August. (I really need to be better at updating! haha!)
Our sweet 16 year old, "Miss A" wasn't very sweet the first week we had her. We joke about this now and she says I must have her confused with another kid. ;) She is just like this huge flower....when she came to us she was this angry little bud and now she is this hilarious, vivacious, blooming flower. She is a joy to have in our household. She has two teenage sisters as well who are currently living with another foster family but come and visit us about every other weekend. They are just as sweet and funny! It is a joy!
Our 15 year old "Wonder Woman" has certainly ingrained in our life the power in prayer and that when we have nothing left at the end of the day, when we fall at the feet of Jesus, He is our everything and restores our soul. She loves skateboarding, video games, The Bulls and magic. Ryan's work has opened their magic and costume shop to her to do some volunteering hours. She seems to really enjoy it. Wonder Woman stayed with us until November 14th. Due to some scary and unfortunate circumstances she was moved to another foster home.
Over the past (what seems as a lifetime) three months we have learned and grown sooo much not only as parents but as a couple and in the Lord. Somedays we fall into bed with not an ounce of strength left and tears just roll down my face. Other nights I go to bed with a smile on my face and laugh softly to myself and think...we survived. We have certainly been blessed!!! We have such a strong group of support of other foster families, adoptive families and prayer warriors...we couldn't be on this journey without them.
Things we have learned doing foster care so far....
1. Rules are important. More importantly with teenagers, rules should be in print somewhere. That way no one forgets and there are no excuses. Stick to your guns too.
2. Consequences can be effective. We have a consequence jar at our house. If you have a negative behavior you have to blindly pick a task from the jar. It might be something easy like giong to bed 30min early or something "fun" like picking up sticks for 30min or doing 50 push ups and sit ups. We have also figured out that one of our teens LOVES shoes. Consequently, we LOVE good grades. We took all but one pair of her shoes and she earns back one pair for each letter grade improvement! So far she has earned back four pairs of shoes!!!!
3. Rewards and Praise go hand in hand with consequences. Give praise for even the smallest things no matter how insignificant. Offer rewards as an added bonus to positive behavior.
4. Communication. With God, your spouse and your kids. In that order. 
5. Put time on the calendar for you and your spouse. Everyday when Ryan gets home we have what we call our daily business meeting. Our teenagers know and expect this. It is ten minutes when we go to our room or garage and catch up and debrief. Since we have teens we can leave them alone for that short time. We have found it's helpful so we are both on the same page in dealing with our kids for the rest of the evening. We also have started sending the girls to their rooms 30min before bedtime to read, listen to music, veg out, whatever so we can have US time.  
6. Have a family calendar. We have a whiteboard calendar in the dinning room. (That's where we spend the most time) I write down all the hustle and bustle of what is going on. #1. It keeps my sanity and #2. It prevents them from asking ten trillion times what we have going on or what we are doing. :)
7. Along with the calendar I post our weekly menu. The girls help make the menu and we pretty much stick to it. It again allieviates the unecessary questions of what's for dinner! :)
8. Be a team. Discipline together, talk to them together, praise together etc if at all possible. Typically I will text or email Ryan to give him a heads up on a situation and then we will deal with the behavior together when he gets home. This prevents two things....#1. You don't play the he said, she said game and #2. It shows a unified front to kids who often come from broken homes and aren't use to that. 
I am sure there are more things...I will have to update this as I go along. 
Things are quiet in our home at the moment with only one kid. There is talk of her sisters possibly moving in with us before the first of the year but we shall see what happens. We have opted not to take any new placements in the meantime. Or at least not until after Christmas. 
ADOPTION!!!!! Things are moving slowly...it's just a hurry up and wait right now. We have submitted all paperwork for the moment and we are waiting for our caseworker to write the homestudy. The girls' caseworker is working on filing the paperwork for the sibling split. (There are eight kids total in this family and four of them have adoptive resources, while the other four are remaining in foster care. From our understanding they typically try to have all the children in a family adopted at the same time and since this is not happeneing there has to be formal paperwork filed to allow the younger four to be adopted.) We are hoping the sibling split paperwork will be finished before the end of the year as well as our homestudy so we can move on to the next phase which is the BIS (best intrest staffing...aka the big meeting where they decide yes or no we can or cannot adopt them). At this point we have no time frame or any reference at all as to when anything will happen. Prayers for strength much appreciated. We are VERY blessed that we see the girls weekly and they get to spend a lot of time with us. We love them ALOT, they love us ALOT, they call Ryan mommy sometimes which cracks me up and many of our extended family will be meeting them for the first time over the holidays!!! SOO excited and blessed by this journey. We will serve You, Lord, we will.  
~Stephanie Fricke
Be the change you want to see in the world....
Pray hard, let your light shine and give God the glory!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The hurt and the healer collide....

This last weekend I attended a Christian women's conference...it couldn't have come at a better time in my life and once again I stand in awe at my awesome God and His perfect timing. Last week before I went I received an email from someone that really broke my spirit. A person that I have yearned to be part of my life for a very long time and they have continually let me down. I have tried for 20+ years to just walk away and protect my heart and every time I think I can handle it this person pops back up and takes my mended heart right back to a million pieces.

I have spent hours on end being angry, hurt and broken. I have believed the lies that Satan has spoken into my heart. Lies that I am not good enough,  special enough, athletic enough, loving enough, skinny enough, beautiful enough, forgiving enough, love-able enough etc. Then this past weekend I went to that conference and God really spoke huge amounts of truth into my life.

One of the speakers talked about the story of the women about to be stoned to death for being caught in adultery. Jesus said he who is without sin cast the first stone....the woman was saved. Jesus offered forgiveness to that woman free and clear. He does this daily in my life too. But the underlying lesson of that story is that the woman had to accept the forgiveness and forgive herself too. God is more concerned about our direction than our perfection. The things we do in our life influence those around us and cause ripples in the sea of life. In that story is mentioned a very rare happening....when Jesus forgave that woman He called her HIS daughter. Jesus knew who she would become, He called her as His own....................for whatever reason no matter how many times I have heard that in my life it finally sank in. All these years I have had such a heavy heart for the lack of a strong father figure in my life. All these years God has been right there. Telling me I AM enough. I am more than enough. HE created me in HIS image. I am HIS daughter. I am HIS princess. He has been there through everything knowing what would happen before it happened. I finally got some peace and comfort.
God will heal my hurts, my past, and He is already using that as a testimony. He is using my story in my life as my testimony to my foster daughters and youth kids.
Then the next speaker got up...Bart Millard--Lead singer for Mercy Me....one thing he said that hit home was, "Jesus went to the cross to cover your everything...you are beautiful in HIS eyes no matter what anyone in the world says. You are enough, you are ENOUGH! Remember that the spirit inside of you dwelling is HUGE and is always whispering...my child, you are enough." Then Mercy Me sang the song titled the Hurt and the Healer. Through my tears God touched my heart.

That person who sent the hurtful email has made the decision to all but completely walk out of my life...the lyrics below caught my hearts attention in the midst of my brokenness... 

That moment when all my scars are understood and Out of weakness we must bow because it over now. I'm alive even though a part of me has died you take this heart and bring it back to life I fall into your arms open wide when the hurt an healer collide....-Mercy Me 

The above lyrics make me ok. They get me through this moment. Through this breathe no matter how shallow. The almighty Healer WILL heal my hurts. This person who walked away made their decision. God loves me. I am His princess. I am LOVED. I AM ENOUGH. 

I love you Lord. 

~Stephanie Rachelle

Monday, August 12, 2013

A father to the fatherless...our foster care journey

 It came in the mail last week!!!! We finally got our permanent foster care license!!! Let me tell ya when we started this journey last January I never thought this day would come!!! Just as a quick over view to give you an idea of what it takes to get your license you must complete about two months worth of classes, mountains of paperwork, reference checks, fingerprinting, background checks, doctors appointments, TB tests, home inspections and meetings. Our process took a little bit longer since we did move to a different house right in the middle. BUT...it's DONE!!!
We started our journey doing what is called Respite care. We are licensed for 0-18 years of age. That means we have been taking really short term placements typically for other foster parents needing a short break or sometimes through our agency while they are looking for more long term places for kids to be. We started doing this because we do work during the day and you can't really send a teen to daycare. So far we have had 2&3 year old girls, 13 & 16 year old boys, 6&3 year old girls with a 7 year old boy and this week we will be getting our first long term placement! It's been a great journey so far and I have loved having all these kiddos in my home!
Our long term placement is a 16 year old teen mama and her eight month old baby! I am excited for this new adventure! It's the best of both worlds for us age wise. We LOVE teenagers and would love to have an infant in our home! I get to learn all about enrolling a high schooler for school this week and a baby for daycare! Praying already for this situation that we can be a light for Christ and Godly parenting.
Something else exciting and some very BIG news that I have debated sharing for multiple reasons...many people from our church and family already know there are two little princesses (toddlers) in our life that have absolutely stolen our hearts. Our good friends are currently their foster parents but the state will most likely be transitioning the girls into adoption soon. If given the opportunity we will be applying to be their forever family. Of course nothing is ever definite in this crazy process and there are sooo many hoops to jump through and things that have to fall perfectly in place for it to happen. BUT...we're going to try. We are blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with them and they are just precious. (The love between the four of us is VERY mutual ;) I can't really tell you much about them or share pictures just for confidentiality reasons and safety for all but know they are beautiful and absolutely darling! We would love to be their parents if God allows it. We of course know that it might not happen. Nothing is guaranteed. But some wise person said love is worth fighting for and this is a battle worth it! :)
All this being said we are soo blessed! We have felt and seen such a huge outpouring of love from our friends and family. Whether it be clothes for kids, toys, cribs, bedding, money etc. every child that comes into our home is well taken care of and prayed for. We have been able to share the good news of Christ with all of them. And I LOVE standing in their doorway at night making sure they are asleep and whispering prayers of thanksgiving and for their little lives and hearts. There is no doubt in my mind this is what God has called us to be doing with our lives...and I cannot wait to share more of our journey with you as it unfolds!
Blessed beyond my wildest imagination,
Stephanie Rachelle

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Sooo much excitement!!! Ten things that are currenly blessing my life.....

#1. We sold the house!!! We closed on the 24th and moved into our totally adorable, homey, comfortable, perfect for us rental on the eve of the 24th. What a blessing to surrender to God's will and call on our lives!!!

#2. We have moved back to this little, quaint town just east of us. We LOOOVE it!!! Within hours of moving in one of the neighbors came over and introduced himself and his family. We lived on our old cul-de-sac for about three years and never once did our neighbors come over to introduce themselves let alone talk to us. It was soo refreshing. We also had the opportunity to invite said neighbor to our church on two seperate occasions while moving in. Then I get up on stage sunday morning to sing on the worship team and I see them sitting in the pew. You can't tell me that us moving wasn't in Gods plan!!!! THEN on sunday evening we met another sweet neighbor lady! Love Love LOVE our little cul-de-sac already!

#3. I am absolutely exhausted and tired of moving but we are almost done! The pile of boxes is getting smaller and smaller! Thank you Lord for blessing me with TONS of energy even when I feel like I can't move one more thing.

#4. Since we have moved we are one step closer to starting foster care! We might be getting involved with a foster to adopt situation but nothing is set in stone yet. TONS of hurdles to jump but I know that God has a plan! :) The sounds of little feet in my home already blesses me and already brings waves of prayer for our future children whether permanant or temporary.

#5. Another thing I love about being back in this sweet little town is living close to all of our youth kids again!!! Ryan and I have an open door policy with all of them and have already had the pleasure of two kiddos gracing our couch! Makes my heart smile!!! Those kids are the beat of my heart and bless me unendingly.

#6. Ryan and I have been eating more clean and healthy since December of last year. We aren't always amazing at it but we try our best. Our bodies are a temple of Christ and we are doing our best to take care of it! We both recently got FitBits and have faithfully been using myfitnesspal. It's a slow journey but we didn't get where we are overnight so we can't expect to loose it all in a night. It's an everyday choice and we are finally starting to see results! I find myself craving a good workout and even a year ago I wouldn't have been caught dead saying that! Blessed with motivation to get healthy!!!

#7. I had been applying for a promotion at work. (Four times now) and Four times now God has clearly shut that door. It's such a revelation in life when we have clarity and vision. Thank you Lord for blessing me. I know we belong here. I know YOU have called us to serve our community and be a light in the darkness. I know you want us to show our city YOU! Thank you Lord for guiding me and blessing me with an undying passion to seek you!!!

#8. The hubster has a birthday this week! AND we celebrate our eighth anniversary on June 11th. I am soo completely blessed by my marriage and my husband.

#9. I have twice now read the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan (I always want to type Jackie instead of Francis) it has taught me soo much and grown me into such a stronger Christian. I think I am going to have to read it again soon. It's such a "meaty" book I feel like every time I read it I catch something new that I missed before. It brings to light such a concept of community within the church and really grows the idea of doing life together as a church body. I am blessed by my church!

#10. I have recently started to get to know some new (to me) ladies within my church and I couldn't be more blessed! I really hope to continue to grow these friendships.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We will serve you, We will...

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. The moment when I knew the Lord was calling my heart, life and whole self to ministry. The moment that will be forever ingrained in my mind. Over the years I have been very involved in different facets and continue to these days. But over the past few months I have had this ever growing, ever burning flame in my heart to be serving in ministry. 

A few months back I blogged about the call. About my tug to youth ministry. God closes doors and opens windows. Several opportunities have come and gone since that time. And the Lord continues to move my heart. And the even more exciting part is its not just my heart but my husbands. Ryan is feeling a call too. We are being ever sooo faithful in prayer and at times even begging God to give us direction. 

I posted on facebook today: "Ready to spread my wings and fly!!! I've got dreams soo big they are about to explode!!! The Lord is stirring our hearts and I cannot wait to see where it takes us!!!" This has never been more true in our lives. Every house showing we have I feel like we are one step closer to selling and being able to take the next leap. Every decision we make, every move we make has been made with prayer. 

Now it's just a waiting season. Waiting for the huge swinging gate of opportunity to serve in a capacity that we long for. That little flame that was ignited in my heart sooo long ago has grown to a roaring inferno and I cannot wait to let it spread. God is good. He is soo faithful to those that are faithful to Him. 

We will serve you Lord. We will. 

His servant, 

Friday, June 15, 2012


restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.
restoration to use, acceptance.
an awakening, in a church or community.

My heart has been heavy lately for my church community. My mind and my lips have been full of prayers. I have been trying to figure what I can do for the Lord to make it better. For reasons unknown to me I have to admit that I have never before this past month prayed for my own pastor. I just have never been convicted to do so. I have begun doing that. I have been praying for him and his family, for my associate pastor and his family and for my whole church family. I feel like we have lost our fire.

We built a new church building about two years ago and when we moved into the building there was this huge flaming inferno throughout our church. We were excited. Our sanctuary was overflowing. People were coming to know the Lord. People were getting baptized. There was such a feeling of community. We were worshiping and you could feel the Spirit moving. 

Now, I sit in church every Sunday and I have to look at my own heart because that passion in the congregation is dying. That raging inferno now just feels like a tiny candle stick. I'm not saying that the Lord isn't working in peoples lives. I know he is. He is moving in that still small voice. But I have been asking myself lately how I can pass on my flame. 

I have this flame that is burning so bright inside of me. I have sooo many vision for our church. I have soo many hopes and dreams for our church to become a COMMUNITY of believers. To call upon one another, to be challenged, to pass the flame to heart to heart and be on fire and excited to be in the presence of the King of Kings. To have a revival. To fill the alter floor on Sunday morning and have the invitation go long because people are calling out and they are being up lifted by their fellow believers. 

A few months ago we had our youth conference and on the last night we were given a very challenging sermon. We were called to break down those walls, to pray for one another, to lift each other up. To lift our church up in prayer. To start a revival of hearts for the Lord. We prayed and prayed and prayed. There were kids and adults on their knees crying out to God and their were peers and mentors right beside them praying with them and just lifting them up. 


I was challenged. I had the opportunity to pray with so many of our students and really just be next to their hearts and lift them up. I want that for our congregation. I want to see the same passion from our young youth kids flow over into the adults. I want to see our church cry out to God and serve him with fervor. I want to be at the foot of the cross praying for people. Uplifting them....helping them find the words to say when they feel like they don't have them. I want to be real with people. I want people to know that I love them. That I love the Lord. That my light is burning soooo bright and I want to share that. I am going to start stepping out of my comfort zone. I want to be the little flame that starts a forest fire. 

I am praying. I am praying that a revival breaks out. That people can share my passion. 

I want to see Jesus moving. I am no longer going to be complacent. I am not going to sit back and let this lukewarm-ness continue. I hope you will join me. Help me. Tell me how to help you, how to pray for you and encourage you. How to help your flame burn bright!!!

"Rise up church with broken wings, fill this place with songs again...of our God who reigns on high, by HIS grace again we'll fly...." -Shout to the North

I love you Lord, 
Stephanie Rachelle