Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now, The Rain Is Gone! (Tks Johnny Nash!)

One of the greatest temptations in life is to become overwhelmed with its cares and obligations, and lose the optimism and gratitude that God's grace offers us.  Naturally, each of us has a unique disposition that lends to its own outlook, but when we simply pull ourselves out of "ourselves" and look around, we shouldn't be any less than humbled by the blessings of life, and that should spill out from our lips and from our actions. 

Our newest addition, Annie Marie, is growing like a weed.
She and Aunt Steph like to snuggle.
Five years ago, I turned 30.  It was difficult, and that wasn't an attention-getting emotion.  It was genuine.  Looking back, I attribute some of those struggles to a hectic life, four little children, and graduate work.  But it was more than that.  In my mind, turning 30 personified a clean break with youth, and I felt trapped becaused there were expectations that I had for myself that I had not yet attained. 
One by one, the next few years passed, and as 35 approached I felt myself anticipating it with a "bring it on" attitude.  It was just a feeling, but it was a great one. 

Mrs. Pouzar and I share a birthday week, so we celebrated
(twice) with our favorite blizzard.  Mine is Ultimate Chocolate
with chocolate ice cream and extra toppings.
 For serious chocoholics only.  :)
What has changed in the last five years?  Without a doubt, my personal level of joy.  Not that I was unhappy or miserable, but I was allowing day to day life to rub on me in a way that was emotionally counterproductive.  I didn't feel comfortable setting boundaries with people who were sucking the life out of me.  I didn't have what it takes to understand people who think differently than I.
Daily, God helps me with these three areas.  Sometimes I briefly fall back into a trap and find myself struggling with these same temptations.  My hope is in the One who gently reminds me to retreat for a few moments of calm and remember His imparted wisdom.

The brightest rainbow I have ever seen, with both ends visible.
On I-75 as Greg and I were out for my birthday dinner. :)
 (justice not done by photo)
Today, I am basking in the happiness that comes with a life of joy.  Life is still busy, I am still human, and frustrations still come, but I am so much more able to recognize the special things and special people that God brings into my life to let me know that He is walking along with me on this journey.  

Suzanna Kate...innocent sweetness
What is keeping you from experiencing life to the fullest?  What are the things that strip you of joy?  What is stealing your smile? Define it.  Defy it.  Defeat it.  God has something better than simple existence.  He wants to help us fulfill our dreams and find our destiny.  He has good intentions toward His children!

Some of the special women in my support system!
Have a great weekend!


  1. Good post, Stephanie! I enjoyed catching up on your blog. I hope all is well y'all's way! =)

  2. Enjoyed reading this. ...and the last pic doesn't make my eye look as bad as it really was! :)


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