Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time Slow Down!!!

Is it really the end of July!!!

The girls and I start school Monday. MONDAY!!! I can't believe I just typed that. Honestly, after the heat this summer, we are ready. :) When it's too hot to be in the pool, it's too hot.

As I type this, my car is packed and we are waiting to take Chloe to church so she can head to the mountains of NC for camp. The child is beside herself. I'm excited for her. We are praying that God does something special in the hearts of each camper. We are asking Him for more than an emotional mountaintop experience, we are praying that the truth they learn goes deep and that these people, will come away different than when they arrived.

Oh, and the favor of the Lord was upon my child. She was placed on the ORANGE team!! And can we say..38 days until TN Football season starts! Thank you.

So much is going on that I want to share, but one HUGE thing that I am so excited about is part of our AdvoCare journey. I'm so proud of my mother-in-law. She started the 24 day weight loss challenge last week. As of last Saturday, she had lost 10 lbs. I'm keeping up with her story over HERE. She is doing great!! If you have ever struggled with weight loss you will want to watch and see what happens! This isn't a take this pill and drop a few pounds fast, this is a lifestyle change. I'm so proud of her.

Okay, my travel coordinator is telling me it's time to go..SO, I'm off!

Have a great Wednesday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sometimes, God Hits Me Upside the Head.

This morning was one of those mornings. Before 6:00 Chad and I had run my mile. (Shaved almost a minute off of Tuesday's run time!) I was showered and he was out for his 45 minute bike ride/15 minute run. (He's in tri training for a 1/2 Ironman in September) The girls were sound asleep and I was ready for my first cup of coffee in 10 days and some serious time with my Savior.

In my time with God I use Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His Highest". This morning was all about sanctification. A big ole' church word isn't it?! Before the first paragraph had ended, Chambers was all over my toes.

Here is the part that slapped me upside the head.

"Am I willing to reduce myself simply to "me", determinedly to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself and to hand that simple naked self over to God? Immediately I am, he will sanctify me wholly, and my life will be free from earnestness in connection with everything but God."

"ME". The me that God intended. Not the me that struggles to open the fist and let go of control. NOT the me that fights worry. NOT the me that worries about what others are thinking about me. NO. I can not live, REALLY live with that "me".

I so long to, as Chambers describes, for that "me" to be identified with Jesus in death. Because I know that then and only then I will live.

Then He can complete the work He began in me. And how I want Him to do that! I want to hear Him say "well done". I want His kingdom to advance and I want to be part of it. Even more than that, I want Him.

I just want Jesus. "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" Phil. 3:10

After what He has done for me, how can I not offer that "naked self" to Him?

The last line in today's Chambers has so stuck w/ me.

"Sanctification is not something Jesus Christ puts into me: it is Himself in me."

That is a heavy, mighty, awe-inspiring thought isn't it? I want to live today with the realization that Jesus is alive, LIVING IN ME. That thought alone is changing how I think. How I act and more importantly RE-act. It changes everything.

This verse was at the end of the Chambers devotion today. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

I will boast in my Lord because apart from Him I have no good thing! (Psalm 16:2) I must decrease, He must increase. Not Stephanie, but Jesus. That is what I want others to see when they look at me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Winner Is:


E-mail me your address and I will have the good people in charge send you your box of goodies!!!

Thanks to all who entered!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Coolest Giveaway this Summer!

So, you know that my dream is to actually have songs I write used. So often they come out of difficult times and are prayers or conversation between God and I. Those are the times that I feel him most. It's the way He moves me.

Because of this, I often wonder about the story behind a song. What inspired it, what was the songwriter feeling, etc... I like to listen first and then hear the story.

I tell you this because this giveaway is more than a CD. Even MORE than an autographed CD. I have the privilege of introducing you to Audrey Assad.

Today, July 13, 2010 Audrey released her debut album entitled "The House You're Building". She says "The record is about faith. It's about the cross and fear, and pain and how God is carrying me even though at times it doesn't feel like it."

The title song is said to be the most personal on this record. She shares about being a misfit and not feeling "worthy" to be a Christian, but then realizing that the walls of God's house are made from "oddly-shaped and misfit stones". I love what she says next, "He does that on purpose so I know I have a place. There's a hole in the wall that I know I fit perfectly in."

I wish I could share the entire bio with you. I believe Audrey's heart is tender to our Savior and that she is madly in love with Him.

You can listen to a portion of "The House You're Building" here on her Facebook page

Back to the giveaway. In addition to being an anointed songwriter, Audrey is also a talented artist. For the giveaway, Audrey has hand drawn lyrics for each song on her album. Those lyrics have been put together in a really cool bound book to give listeners an insight into the story behind each of her songs. The giveaway features the lyric book and her debut release along with a personalized bag. HOW COOL IS THIS!! I wish I could win. :)

SO leave a comment!! Then go and tell your friends to come and leave a comment! I will draw for a winner on Monday, July 19, 2010. (And just between you and me, I hope you win!)


A few pictures from the weekend

It was another busy weekend around here. Well, not around here here, but in Chattanooga.

Chad and his cousin Emily participated in the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon on Sunday. It was Chad (and my mom's) birthday! He has been training and looking forward to this day for quite some time.

It was a beautiful morning.

The girls and our nephew(with his back to us) with their posters.

This is Chad's mom and her two sisters. They were running between wrapping BBQ sandwiches and the finish line to see Chad and Emily come in. I bet they have lost all appetite for BBQ!

The finish line! He did great. ESPECIALLY in the heat, dealing with Crohn's and a leg cramp during the run portion of the race. He ran in with help from 3 little people who think he is the coolest dad and uncle ever. And he is!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hello There

When it comes to blogging I'm in a summer slump. I have lots of posts in the draft form, but when it comes down to polishing and publishing...I can't concentrate. I'm blaming the heat. And my desire to be in the pool. But truth be told, God hasn't released me to share some of those posts. So I'll wait.

Chad and I are enjoying a week of quiet and alone time. Last Friday afternoon we headed to Chattanooga for a weekend of celebrations and to leave our girls for the Fourth Annual Gram's Camp.

Celebration number 1 was for my grandparents. J. and H. were married 70 years in June. We had a small get together on Saturday.

They were blessed to see 40 of their friends, family and church members drop in for some good food and wedding cake.

I'm posting a picture of the table for one reason. At each and every family holiday, get together, celebration type event, my Mamaw would MAKE my Papaw take a picture of the table BEFORE we all were seated. EVERY TIME. I am not kidding. SO...Saturday I took a picture of the table. :)

Had to post this one of Colin and Emma.

Dad and one of their friends and church members.

My baby sister and I. She's taller but so graciously took off her heels and stooped over so we were almost the same height. ( And yes. I know that I blend in with the walls!)

Sunday after church, we finished off the leftovers from Saturday's reception along with some ribs and typical July 4th goodies. Then we headed downtown to watch the Chattanooga Lookouts walk all over the Carolina Mudcats. (What exactly is a mudcat?)

I was impressed that the five grandchildren were SO into the game. Each one watched, cheered and did not complain one time about heat, being hungry or thirsty...they were great. (Probably helped that we had 14 seats and they could move around a little.) I wish I had taken a video of their chant. Let's just say they redid "Pants on the Ground". We are a traveling sideshow.

It may have helped that we fed them like there was no tomorrow! This is Morgan. Eating the hot dog part of Emma's corn dog. She had already had cracker jacks, ice cream and a grape slush. She also shared a funnel cake with Chad and I.

After the game we hung around for the fireworks show and my almost four year old nieces loved them. I was holding Mia and she kept saying, "That was green for Grams! That red was for my daddy. We wear red on game day." (They are GA fans, imagine.) "OH PINK! That's for us Aunt Steffie."

My girls were great helpers and we have decided that we have a new family tradition. The Fourth will be spent at the Lookouts. Fun times.

(Colin in my dad's "army hat" as the kids call it)

Monday morning all the parents left and the kids stayed for Gram's and Daddy Mack Camp. From what I hear, they have a very full week planned. I can't wait to hear all about it!

This was early Monday morning right before the parents left and camp officially began.

It's probably a good thing the girls are there this week. Chad is getting ready to race in the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon on Sunday. Our breakfast area has turned into his packing/transition area.

I'm so proud of him and will definitely be posting pictures on Monday. :) Till then, he has me praying that the river is REALLY moving so his swim time is faster!