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Stephanie

Today, Stephanie speaks to us about her powerful encounter with God, how God answered a prayer of hers for someone else and how God is always enough.

Stephanie (@journeytwenty8)

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” James 4:8a

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Would definitely have to be in hearing and trusting God. I am in a season where I feel that is really what He wants me focused on, trusting that He is present even when I don’t always hear Him, and then, when He does speak, trusting that it’s His voice.

Profession: I work part-time at an office, but I am a full-time mom and wife (and I will consider those to be a profession!)

A one-sentence bio of yourself: I am a wife and mom, who is also a writer who loves to spend time with family and in worship.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? It’s hard to pinpoint a specific moment in time. I grew up in the church, and I feel as though He was always there (if you know what I mean), but if I had to pick a moment it would probably be during “overnight” prayer at our small church. We would get together to pray really late at night and there were only a few people there, but I remember so clearly God really moving and speaking to us. His presence was always so real and so tangible. I was probably around 12/13 years old. It was also around that time that I made my personal decision for Jesus. All my friends went up during an altar call a few weeks before, but I knew I had to make the decision on my own, I didn’t want to follow everyone else. Then a few weeks later, the pastor made another altar call and I don’t even remember what he preached about that day, all I remember is that I desperately wanted Jesus, and I did not want to wait any longer.

“All I remember is that I desperately wanted Jesus, and I did not want to wait any longer.”

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? In this season, it would have to be quiet time with Jesus. Really making the decision every day, to disconnect and reconnect with Christ. To vent, to cry and even sometimes to just BE. It’s in these moments that I have found how important it is to invest in our relationships with Christ. Every day, it’s about making a conscious decision to spend intentional time with Christ.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Oh! I just finished reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and man is it a GREAT book! I am telling everyone about it. I loved it and have been so inspired by it in so many areas of my life (marriage, motherhood, professionally and spiritually). Honestly, it has just been so encouraging and uplifting, just a reminder that I can, because He created me to.

Top three essentials: Materialistically? Hair-tie, chapstick, and wipes!
But with matters of the heart? Jesus, my husband, and my daughter!

How did God speak to you recently?
I have been praying for someone, asking God to reveal Himself to them and speak to them. Then, just recently, this person called me and shared a ‘crazy’ experience they had at a store when a stranger began talking to them. The two of them started talking about music which lead to a discussion about church and God. Long story short, the stranger said things I had been asking God to say, and I believe He used that person to say it. The person I have been praying for, called me to tell me how crazy it was and how in awe they were by it all. All I could do was thank God for hearing me and in a way, speaking to me. Reminding me that He is listening, He is moving even when we don’t see it.

“Long story short, the stranger said things I had been asking God to say, and I believe He used that person to say it.”

Hobby: As a mom, that works in and outside of the home, it’s hard to have a hobby haha! – but if I had to say something I guess, right now, it’s writing. Whenever I can, I am writing. On my phone, in my journal, even on random pieces of paper. I just want to write!

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: I am not sure if I am the most qualified to answer this question because I don’t have this completely down yet, but I like to think that since our strength is found in Christ, our ‘strength’ depends on our relationship with Him and relationship is daily work, daily effort.

However, if I have to pick three things that help it would have to be:

1. Intentional time with God: Make time for Him, spend time with Him, get to know the God you serve.
2. Surround yourself with positivity: Uplifting music, encouraging books, joyful people. The more good you surround and pour into yourself, the more you can pour out.
3. Living gratefully: Choose to be grateful, choose to be joyful. These things are all a choice and we decide how to live.
And an extra one– bless others, in any way you can. Listen, love and extend a hand.

“Listen, love and extend a hand.” 

Favorite person in scripture? It’s hard to pick one, but if I had to I would say, Esther. Her courage and faith were beautiful, and I am not sure I would do the same in her shoes.

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Wow! I want people to know He is real and that He is present, always. Regardless of what we see around us, God is always here, and He is enough. I want others to know that joy is a real and attainable thing, that it all starts at the cross with Jesus.

“Regardless of what we see around us, God is always here, and He is enough.”

Favorite season? Definitely, autumn. A feeling of new, almost like a breath of fresh air. It is beautiful. Not to mention, the weather always seems just right – a little breezy but not too cold.

Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving; no gifts, just family, gratitude, and food (and it’s close to my birthday!).

A dream you have? To reach people, to live my life joyfully dependent on Christ. For my family to grow in His presence and for us to be used by Him. Sure, I have other dreams (to own a house, travel more often and etc..), but I have just realized that what’s important to God is His people, and I want to be doing whatever He wants me doing.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: It’s not really a tradition (we don’t really have any yet) but my husband and I just try to do as much as we can together (and with our daughter). My husband works a lot during the week (and some weekends) so we try to make everything a family thing. Supermarket run? Together. Does dad want to go fishing? Together. As much together time as we can get. So even the errands become family time.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Oh man! There are so many, but I guess the first is for Noah’s wife. How on earth did you do it? Animals, kids and a husband on a boat! Girl was tough! I want to hear her thoughts.

Thing you want to raise awareness about: HUMAN TRAFFICKING. I wish I did a better job at sharing about it but I wish people would see and know how prevalent it is. It’s not confined to third world countries, it happens every day on our own soil. Sometimes in our own backyards. Oh, and immigration/refugees, research and ask questions before passing judgment or assuming – get to know people.

What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I try to work out, but that doesn’t always happen, so I always try to have some quiet alone time. Listen to worship or a podcast. I work on myself in some way.

What is on your nightstand? Pictures of my family and I, my Bibles, my journals And whatever book I am reading. (And probably some mom stuff – pacifier, hair tie or toy!)

Define Christianity in a sentence: What it should be; is an every day intentional recognition, awareness, living and giving of Gods grace, Christ’s sacrifice and love

For more Stephanie:

Instagram: @journeytwenty8

Facebook: facebook.com/twenty8blog

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XOXO

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