Just a little post to let you know that I have a brand, new spoken word for you to watch. Enjoy!
This morning I woke up at a truck stop in Emporia, Kansas. By eight o’clock, I had successfully cleaned myself up and had many a conversation with lady truck drivers and fellow travelers. One in particular happened to be from California. We chatted a bit while we brushed our teeth. It felt strange, yet normal.
After living on a shuttle bus for almost two weeks, I feel like I could live anyway and live off of much less than I ever imagined. I can’t help but think that God has been preparing me for this all along, as I reflect and look back at all the steps that have led me here. From all of my mission trips, to my days as a street performer, leaving home, resigning from good paying jobs on a whim, following His light straight into the dark. I am watching in amazement as God uses every experience to strengthen and prepare me for each adventure.
His mercies are new every morning, and He has been supplying me with grace upon grace. As each wall of my comfort zone is stripped away, I find an even greater depth of intimacy with Him. Even in the midst of recuperating from a cold, I have seen His sovereign hand resting upon me. In my moments of exhaustion, He has met me here.
I’m a shower-every-single-day kind of girl. I like my hair to be clean and I like to smell nice. It’s been a couple days since my last shower and I have now become quite accustomed to bathing with baby wipes and washing my face in the Walmart restroom. It honestly makes me laugh. I welcome the awkward and the uncomfortable. Life is much more joyful.
We are now on the final stretch of the tour. Our last stop is in Dallas, Texas. The closest I’ve been to Texas has been the airport, so I am rather excited to see a bit more of the state before I head home on Monday.
Special thanks to all of the truckers who put up with me running around the parking lot with my camera. Also, special thanks to the Flying J truck stop for providing me with the opportunity of purchasing this crazy wolf shirt that I am wearing today.
By living with less, I’m finding abundant joy.
Each morning brings a fresh measure of grace to see me through the day [says the girl who hasn’t taken a shower in three days].
Years ago, I know this would have been a much bigger stretch for me, but I am thankful that God is giving me the opportunity to grow without my normal luxuries.
His grace has no bounds.
I’ve learned that good quality dry shampoo does wonders for my unwashed hair [for the first few days], but today it is starting to get a little bit grungy. Well, it is what it is at this point. I will probably talk about my next shower for years. It will be the best one I have ever had. That said . . .
Compared to what I am watching the Lord do on this trip, my hair really doesn’t matter.
Also, I went into Walmart three times today and it didn’t even phase me. If you know me, you know that even the thought of going into Walmart gives me anxiety. Walmart is only okay if I plan it out and bring moral support. Yes, I went into a Walmart in Dayton, Ohio this morning. Three times. Alone.
I am enjoying the simplicity and ever-changing adventure that comes with traveling to new places day after day. This is the first time I’ve driven through this part of the states. Today we drove through Ohio and Indiana to get back to Michigan for the band’s show this evening. A lot of barns and corn. It’s lovely and fun to shoot. I’m a happy photographer-camper.
I have no idea where this journey is headed, all I know is that God is pouring out a tremendous amount of grace and endurance for me in the present. Leaving my previous job was the best decision I could have made. I feel so much lighter.
Lord, continue to lead me in this season. Show me the path I need to walk. Let my eyes stay fixed on You.
Reveal to me Your righteousness, and let Your holiness take control of all that I am. Let my thoughts, my words, my actions be aligned with Your Kingdom plans.
Guide me with Your peace, so that I will no longer be swayed by the circumstances surrounding me. Holy Spirit, have Your way.
I don’t know where this road will lead me, but I know that Your grace will be the light that guides my path. Awaken my heart, Lord, to Your Kingdom plans.
I am writing this post from a bus, as we head toward Cincinnati, Ohio. Last night I landed safely in Lansing, Michigan. Due to supernatural God-opportunities, I am on a brand new adventure with a team of wonderful people I met for the first time yesterday.
Friday was my last day at my full time job. I have closed that chapter and I am officially freelancing. God said it was time, and there is no other way to describe His confirmations other than supernatural.
So, now I am on a bus, heading over to Cincinnati, Ohio. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought I’d be here a week ago.
I know, I know . . . I am being extremely vague. Few people know exactly what I am doing, but then again do I even know?
The gist of it is that I have an out-of-the-box job/ministry opportunity this month. I’m traveling in a shuttle bus converted into a tour bus, with a band that impacted me greatly when I was 18 years old.
Only God can open doors like this, and He did it when I became fully surrendered to walking straight into the unknown.
This road is far from easy, but my God is faithful. He is definitely keeping me on my toes.
I am standing at a crossroad very similar to one I stood at a couple years ago. In less than a few weeks, I will be leaving my current full time job and continuing on with my journey elsewhere.
My decision to resign was not simple. My position includes my home, which meant I would need to find a new place to live. It meant I would not have a steady income and that I would need to find a new job. I have also been on the cusp of burning out and it was almost too exhausting to even consider stopping and changing my life path right now.
That said, I realized that my health was on the line and I needed to take care of myself. So, I gave my notice and felt completely at peace. In that moment, it was as if a large burden fell off my back. There was hope.
This place of employment was a stepping stone. I found healing here. I found people who I am proud to say have become part of my family. I thank God for this season, but I also know that it is time for the next season to begin.
The peace I felt is still with me and so is a new excitement. Thankfully, Chad [my dog] and I have a place to live during this transition, but I don’t know a lot beyond that. I stand at this crossroad, asking myself,
Which risk should I take?
Do I go down the path I already know, and fall back on what I know I can do? I could do that. I know I could do that and get a job quickly. I have experience and already have a lead or two. This would be a risk. Maybe I’d have more money, that would probably be true, but do I want to take this risk just for the steady income?
I’m learning that I don’t need as much as I thought I did. In fact, I was a lot more joyful when I had less and was able to do the things I’m passionate about.
I expect to be scoffed at by some for saying things like this. I’ve had people look at me [in the past] like I’m being irresponsible for not saying yes to the first job that opens up. After all, that’s what we have to do, right? Here’s the deal . . .
I’m twenty-six years old. Life is only going to get more complex at this point. I figure, if I don’t jump now, will I ever have the courage? I see this open window of opportunity and it’s terrifying, but I know I eventually need to jump and see where it leads me.
Anyone who ever wound up doing what they are passionate about had to take crazy [and sometimes unpopular] steps to get there. I know that in order to see my dreams come to fruition, I am going to have to put myself out there and start walking it out with God today.
I don’t have time to start tomorrow because tomorrow is always going to be out of reach. Regardless of how nonsensical and out of the box it may seem to other people . . . is this the risk I need to take?
Money has always stood between people and their dreams, but I know that God is much bigger than money and my dreams combined. I know that my first job is to listen to Him and follow His direction. I’ve seen Him provide in supernatural ways, when I’ve had a steady income and in the seasons where I’ve lived from one day to the next.
I think I’ve made up my mind.
Which risk should I take?
I’m going for the path I haven’t yet taken. I’ll take the risk to do what I was created to do. The risk to do what I am passionate about, even if it means I have to face the unknown in the process. After all . . .
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”
― Max DePree
A few days before I left for Iceland in September, I was inspired to create this piece. Though I did not have all of the words, I felt very certain that I would film during my travels.
On the night of the blood moon, after I watched the eclipse from my room where I was staying, I started putting words down on paper, and I began to hear the notes that would eventually become the soundtrack to Holy.
To view the video in high definition, change the quality to HD in the video player settings, or view it on Vimeo.
It started with a couple sentences back in April.
On Thursday morning I woke up inspired with the rest,
and it became . . .
My original plan for Thursday was to stay in bed and sleep as long as possible. I work at a year-round Christian camp, and we are currently in our busiest season. So I am pretty much daydreaming about the next time I get to sleep.
Every single day.
But that changed when I woke up and instantly began to write down sentence after sentence. I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee before I latched onto the insane notion that I would then compose and record an audio track, film a video, edit it all together, and then release it on Saturday. Mind you, I had to work Friday and part of Saturday. It was slightly ridiculous.
Thankfully, I live for ridiculous.
Why did it have to be released on Saturday? Honestly, I could have released it a month from now, but I did it for myself. Simply because I needed to.
Saturday was the day of my almost-wedding. To those who have been quietly wondering since April, the wedding was called off. I had my reasons. Thank you, friends, for being supportive even without knowing all of the details.
To answer your next question, I am doing well. Very well. In the end, I am thankful that God is in control and that He is a good, protective Father. And honestly, it has been around roughly seven years since I have met Single Stephanie. I really like this for the moment. After sorting through some things with the Lord for the past few months, I have emerged with some new standards, clearer perspective, a healthier view on my self-worth, and more peace than I have had in . . . . yes, seven years.
Besides working, I have been spending a majority of my time pursuing my passion for photography and furthering my experience in filmmaking. I have big dreams regarding both and I am taking steps every day to experiment and challenge myself to go further. If you are not yet friends with me on Facebook, I post a photo of the day on a regular basis.
I am also in the works of a new music project titled, Awakening. Most of the songs were written while I was playing out in the streets of Portland. It will be so different from anything I have ever released that I find myself slightly lightheaded at the thought. I plan to write a few more songs to complete the album and I am determined to put out a promo video by the fall.
I cannot believe that we are already halfway through 2015. So much has already happened, and there is still much more to come. I am preparing to return to Iceland in September for another conference with His Glory to the Nations. My heart has been longing to return ever since my first trip last year. I am currently putting together a promo video for that as well. [Yes, I have quite a few projects going on right now . . .]
That said, the projects won’t finish themselves. 😉 Be back soon . . .