Monday, November 18, 2013

The Gift!

   I am back! With more to add to the story. :)

   I have this desire to finish college and earn a Bachelor's degree. I'm not 100% sure what I am going to do with it, but I really want to finish. I also have this desire to finish debt free. I like to pay as I go! That being said it is a slow process. Another thing, I have had the same car since I was a senior in high school and it is getting kind of old. I was really wanting/needing a more reliable car. A Honda to be specific - that's what I wanted, not needed. So I began saving money for a new car and for school and for other life expenses. It was getting tough while going to school because I am not able to work full-time. So I told God my desires and asked Him for help because I didn't know how this was all going to work. I was barely getting by to have enough for school AND books and life. I cut back on hours at work to take more classes. Ouch. Not helping. Yet I specifically heard God tell me that He wanted to show me how He provides. I needed to just trust Him. Little did I know what He had up His sleeve..... ;)

  Oh friends, God is so abundant. Far more than I could ever hope or dream. I just can't stop smiling when I think about what He did, and continues to do.

   I have a very dear friend that I met in Colorado. Her name is Rachelle and she is such a blessing. We were going through a similar season in our lives and connected one night over frozen yogurt. After that evening I knew we would be friends for a long time. When I returned to Kansas after DLA she remained for a second year yet we were still able to connect via phone dates & Skype.

   One day while on the phone Rachelle began to tell me a story. She was planning on spending this season right now at YWAM. Her original plan had been to sell her car to be able to afford YWAM. However, God had other plans for her. She began to sense that He wanted to stretch her and soon He asked her to give up something HUGE. Her car. Rachelle felt that God was wanting her to give her car away and trust Him to provide her with the money she needed for YWAM. Craziness! She told God that she would be willing, if He made it abundantly clear to her. She asked for three signs and three signs she got. My favorite is the last. The seat adjustor on her car has been broken so that she could not move her driver's seat back and forth. It remained in one position. Luckily for her she is taller and the height worked out well. If she gave her car to someone who was shorter it might be an issue. One day she was driving her car and something got caught on the seat adjustor. As she untangled it, the seat adjustor loosened and the seat once again was able to move back and forth.

  You might wonder why I mentioned this last sign. Well, while praying for the strength to make this decision, Rachelle was also praying for direction as to who she was supposed to give her car to. My name kept popping up. With that last sign about the seat adjustor once again working she immediately knew that the car wasn't her car anymore. Last summer Rachelle bravely allowed me to borrow her car to drive home for my dear friend Meghann's wedding. It was in the middle of the summer and my little red car does not have air conditioning. 8 hours is a loooong time to drive without air. In Kansas. I had the wonderful privilege of driving her car that trip. Because of the broken seat adjustor I actually had to put a pillow behind me so that I could reach the pedals without stretching. ;)

   Anywhoo, when the seat adjustor started working again Rachelle knew it was no longer her car anymore. It was my car. So one day she called me up and asked me if I would be interested in receiving this incredible gift. No strings attached. There was more to the story that happened before, but ultimately she blessed me with her car. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!! I do not adequately have the words to express my gratitude to Rachelle. I know this though, Jesus is going to bless her abundantly more than I ever could for her huge leap of faith. I am excited to hear the ways He does so!

  There are so many amazing things about this gift. This car is in much better condition than my Cavalier so it is essentially the new car I have been saving and praying for. This car is a Honda, which is precisely what I had been saving for. This car has air conditioning. I never had air conditioning in my other car. The day that Rachelle offered me the car was the very day that my red car would not start, for the third time this year. Before the phone call I felt peace even though my car wouldn't start. After the phone call I knew why. ;) This car was free, therefore I am still able to say that I am debt free. My worries about struggling financially with a car and school to worry about have been alleviated. God has provided for me, in one of the craziest ways possible. Now I am able to tell our story to so many people and see how God uses the story in their lives. I firmly believe that this is only the beginning. For both of us.

  Every time I walk out to my car I am reminded of God's faithfulness. His provision. His abundance. The way He lavishes His love on me in ways that I cannot even imagine. I did nothing to deserve this car. Believe me, I made lists about whether or not I deserved  it and He wiped them all away. This car was a gift. An incredible one. Because Jesus loves me. He is taking care of me. He is blessing me.

  He wants to do the same for you. Will you let Him?

 I wanted to share this link with you. If God lays it on your heart to help support Rachelle as she takes part in YWAM, here is how you do so: Support Rachelle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

He Knows Me... ;)

  Sometimes life is so painful you can barely breathe. Sometimes life is just simply okay. Sometimes life is so wonderful you can't keep all of that joy inside. Sometimes...there are plenty of other emotions. ;)
  Over the last year I have had some incredible things happen to me. Some rough things too. But right now I want to reflect on the abundance of God. I have some pretty crazy thoughts. I dream REALLY BIG dreams. I have a Dream Big book for goodness sake. ;) I'm pretty positive that the reason I have been able to have so many incredible experiences over my lifetime is because I ask. I ask God to expand my horizons. To take me where I haven't gone before. To challenge me. Ohhhhh boy has HE!!! According to Webster's New World Dictionary abundance - means more than enough. Yep. That is most definitely a word I would use to describe Him.
We Matched!!
  When I moved back to Topeka I had my requests for God. One of them was that I wanted to move out of my parent's house. It has nothing to do with them. I LOVE my parents both so much and I am extremely blessed to call them my parent's. I just have an independent streak in me and wanted to pay for my living expenses and such, ha! I was having a hard time finding someone to live didn't help that I am rather selective about who I live with. :)
   Anywhoo, a few years back my brother had asked me if I wanted to move in with him. At the time I couldn't. About a month after being back home I remembered my brother's offer from before and wondered what he would think about that now. I prayed on it a bit and asked God to give me wisdom and move my brother that direction if that's what He wanted. Right about this same time I had lunch with my brother and he brought it up again! Oh how cool is Jesus!? Now I live with my brother & his daughter and I love it soooo much! My brother is a bit older than me so I don't feel like we really lived together that long when we were younger & now God has given us this awesome opportunity. It is really so much better than I could have dreamed up. God is using my brother in my life to teach me some things and hopefully the same is true for him. :) Plus, I have this awesome 'loft' that I call my room. God really REALLY is abundant! I love my brother and my niece so much & we have such fun together. Painting pumpkins. Going to concerts. Watching movies. Eating at Pizza Pub. Talking about what God is doing in our lives. Talking in silly accents. Watching Duck Dynasty. God is just really really great!!
   On to the next thing....
   Whoops. I think I am going to split this into two parts so I don't lose you. Check back later to see the next part of the story!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you don't mind. ;)

   The moral of this story is this: God knows me. He knows what my desires are and He knows how exactly to bless me. Beyond what I dream up. Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


 Help! If you are anything like me, this is a very difficult thing to ask of others. Being a rather independent person I pride myself in being able to do things on my own. (Whoops, problem right there. pride). On not asking for help. However I am learning that this really isn't the best way to live life. God designed us for community. We have a family and friends for a reason. If we do not support one another, what are we doing?
  So when you are used to being stubborn and independent it hurts to be broken. It's a rather slow process. Very difficult. These last few months have been a season of me learning to say that one word. HELP! In the easy and the difficult....asking for directions from a friend...asking different men to carry things for me that I didn't have the strength to carry....asking a teacher to help me understand something further...asking for rides when my car was broken...asking for prayer with my struggles....asking Jesus to give me the strength to remain silent when I want to many different areas.
  I've been learning something in this. One - it is extremely important to rely on others. on Jesus. We can't make it through life alone. It would be truly miserable without friends. Without family.  
  Two - this is for all you single ladies out there... ;)
   For those of you who have been single for a long time I know the struggle to try to do things on your own. To learn to be comfortable alone. To try and prove to others that you are fine on your own. This can be a safety net that people set up to protect themselves. If you don't need others, they can't hurt you. bahhh...this is silly thinking.
    One time when I was thinking about my independence I distinctly heard Jesus whisper a hard truth to me. He said "Stefanie, if you can not allow other people (especially men) to help you right now you will not know how to accept help from your husband. If you are truly preparing for marriage then this needs to change." Ouch. I needed to hear that. Stubborn pride needs to go. Accepting help is a great thing. I'm loving asking people for help actually. It's good for me. It's good for you. When you have the right balance! So, for any single ladies out there, or really anyone struggling with this help thing, please allow other people in your life to help you. Stubbornness is not an attractive quality. Pride is ugly. It needs to go! We need to learn to find that balance of interdependence. People are a wonderful gift from God. Friends. Family. Strangers even. God can use anybody!!! :) So, if you struggle with asking for help, just take it little by little.