Lavishly Loved

I'm a simple girl with a huge heart for God, family and friends.

Location: Michigan, United States

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hurt Feelings

Hurt Feelings…

* Did you know that there are more people in counseling for things said to them or about them rather than physical abuse? (being made fun of at early age-leaves scars-heck even as an adult)

Hurt feelings…it’s the cause for many friendships coming to an end, churches splitting, people leave their churches, even wars are fought over hurt feelings…things are said that just plain hurt peoples feelings, sometimes by the way a flippant remark that is made, or someone being a little too direct (with no compassion/grace) sometimes hurtful things are said intentionally but most times...I would say, 9 times out of 10 people don’t even realize what they’ve said.or have done acutally hurt anyone (And it’s not said out a heart of malice)

* I even went to a racial discrimination seminar…talk about things we say, without realizing it could be hurting someone’s feelings…anyways- I think it's about awareness…sometimes unless you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes-can you see their perspective or how a behavior or choice of words could hurt their feelings. But this blog is not about walking on egg shells..

What’s funny about people in general, is that they normally don’t think about hurt feelings until they themselves are the ones hurt…myself included.

Do you have those days, when it seems like everyone hurts your feelings, you'd rather be at home under the covers ? hahaha I think we've all had those days...those are what I call "high maintenance days" can't trust those heighten sensitivity days...girls you know exactly what I am talking about...

Growing up, my brother would always tease me that I got all of the heart and he had none-because I was overly sensitive and he wasn't sensitive at all. Over the years, the Lord has really worked on this area in my life...(my brother thinks I am 10 times better...but not "cured"..hahah)

I have been wrestling with a hurt since last week. I was informed that a person that I love “talks about me” negatively when I am not around. At first I was hurt, okay… actually I cried…a lot. But then I took a step back, and asked God what was the truth, was the person having a bad day and what was I supposed to learn from this.

The first thing he reminded me of was that I am a daughter of the King…He calls me His Beloved, and He loves me unconditionally. (Whew good stuff)

Now, having my identity in tact…I can face what was said about me…by my friend.

I began to evaluate my life…my behavior…does this friend have a legitimate gripe about me. And the fact is…yes…I am not perfect. I hate talking on the phone. I get quiet when I don’t feel good. I mess up everyday. I am a procrastinator & I am late for just about everything in my life. (I could go on but I wouldn’t want to bore you) I am asking God to open my eyes and my heart to any behavior or even attitude that I need to change and get rid of. He also reminded me of times that I get frustrated with people and “vent"...

But we all do it…vent, complain, talk about our frustrations with our families, friends, spouses-but how can we change it ? how can we turn it into a positive ?how can we begin to build into each other even through our frustrations, or even disagreeing times with each other? How can this friend of mine approach me about what bothers them instead of to other people (without me getting upset or feeling betrayed) ? and how can I do the same without them getting defensive?

There have been a couple of verses that have been hitting me hard recently…mostly they are in referencing our mouths (what we say to people or about people) and forgiveness.

Proverbs 17:17 “a friend loves at all times”

Ephesians 4:15-16“speak the truth in Love”.

“Ephesians 4:29"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.


Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing

Another one is: James 1:19“slow to speak, slow to anger”, …Yikes…but then it also mentions…”going to that person privately if they've offended you"-not sending anonymous comments telling me you have issues with me”… come to me personally...I may cry...but the bible says to go to that person.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.…..

Matthew 5 38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[
g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[
h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect

God has given us the power to encourage, to build each other up, to support…not to tare down, ridicule, be smart mouthed with…(but also not to be door mat)

So what have I learned ? if I’m complaining about someone…someone is complaining about me! hurts doesn't it ??Ask God daily to put HIS hand over my mouth before I say something that could hurt...Think before I speak, repent ( & if it happens to me & it will) it's gonna hurt...but I have to forgive & let it go…do I have it all together…hardly…but I am pressing in and pressing on…

Lord, I’ve got no more tears to cry
Someone has hurt me, done me wrong And I’m walkin’ wounded, oh…
Lord, this pain is a knife of fire
Why does it have to turn out this way ? Why do the innocent seem to pay ?

How many times? Must I forgive all the hurt that’s been done to me ?
Let the jury go, set the sinner free, oh Seventy times Seven

Lord, I really don’t understand
Cause I’m looking around for some stones to throw
But Your telling me, I should let it go

How many times ?
Have you wept from the anguish of all my shame?
How many times?
Have I nailed You up on the cross of pain? You bled from the broken heart, and I was to blame
Seventy times Seven
Over, & Over again
Seventy times Seven
You know just how I have tried
Seventy times Seven
You’ve gotta see that I’m hurting inside
Seventy times seven
So tell me how much one should take ???
Seventy times seven…

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Duraflame Nights

What's funny is that I was going to write about this topic several days ago...after last nights's perfect timing...

Ever since I was little I have loved the Bible & going to church. I remember ( I must have been 4 or 5) coming home from church, running upstairs with our Family Bible that I could barely carry...laying on the floor looking at the pictures. Even though I was was as if He were speaking directly to me...(I believe He was :)

As I got older & exposed to Christian music...I could sit for hours listening, praying & doing devotionals...Jesus Christ had become my best friend. It was my 9th grade year, when I heard a song by Steve was late at night and it brought me to my of the lyrics read...

Can we really be what we were meant to be,Jesus people living by the Spirit and living free?My heart longs to serve You, but wanders aimlessly.
Oh, Lord, You deserve every part of me.
Hear my cry of desperation
As I see the wickedness of my ways.
You alone are my salvation!
And, Lord, I've learned just one thing to be true
that is the closer I get to You, I see I'm a stranger to Your holiness.

The cool thing about God is that we can talk to Him at anytime,..driving, getting ready for work...I love how accessible He is. What an amazing God that wants to talk us, and for us to talk to Him all day long.

However, something sparked in me when I was on my knees...I felt His "bigness"-(how's that for deep :) Now don't get me's not like I get on my knees every day or even every week...but there's POWER in it!! Just recently in talking with Steve about something that we pray for when we are sitting together, I said..."babe...we've got to get on our knees about this!"...

I can't tell you how many times I want to just drop to my knees at choir, in the congregation, on stage...believe me, it doesn't make me more spiritual than anyone's the weight of His Glory...

I read a devotional recently that gave descriptions of people when they experience the Glory of God..they were on there knees...and then it talked about John 18:4-6, when Jesus was about to be arrested.."Jesus asked "whom are you looking for?"..."Jesus of Nazareth, "they replied..."I AM HE"-Jesus said, ..they all fell backward to the ground"...

...some churches kneel every Sunday (and maybe that's where people get bored with it)...but some churches don't do it at all, and they are missing out...and I think it is all about's realizing and coming to the place to kneel out of reverence to a Holy God.

I have come to love my date nights with God. I fondly call them DURA FLAME nights...Steve is usually gone, I get a duraflame log in the fireplace and listen to worship music, read, be silent, worship is so energizing. (in my old house, I would call them Candle Nights*partylight loved me-I would turn off the lights and light candles)

I would encourage you to try it...on your own, by yourself...just you and God...some friends of mine have moments like that while they are running. (I have to say I would be breathing too hard to hear anyone's voice, much less God's...hahahah) some friends go to parks (especially with Fall just around the corner)...they take a blanket, a warm snuggling sweatshirt, some hot chocolate and have sweet moments with God...

Make it your own...I love all of those ( except for the running one...hahaha) make it's God.

And when you feel like stepping out...ask one of your closest friends to join you! (talk about discipline-instead watching a movie, or chit chatting) to be silent, to read, to worship and to pray some point in your time together I encourage you to pray face's Good stuff!!! will be moments you will treasure the rest of your life with your friend and with God, AND God will speak in ways that you've never encountered before...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Long time no see :)...

Ever have those days, weeks, maybe even months-were you are running so much and feel like you are going no where. By passiing all of the stuff that matters...for the sake of getting things done...(to do list)...and the funny thing is,...we tend ( or I tend) to feel distant from God. You might begin to wonder...why exactly is He being so silent ? ...and then you have a been DUH moment and realize..."IT'S YOU Silly"...slow down and be with HIM!!!

Recently, with Steve working SOOOOOOO many hours...I have had to pick up the slack of all of the house work...inside and out. So you play the whole game of, "if it's nice out- I'm going to cut the lawn..if it's raining I'm going to dust and vacuum".

...Anyways...while I was cutting the yard 2 weeks ago, it dawned on me...MAINTENANCE...I HATE IT... I'm not a maintenance girl...I confess. Cutting the lawn, weed picking, dusting, vacuuming, washing the car, getting the oil changed, plucking my eyebrows, working out, eating right-It's all a part of maintenance. Wouldn't it make sense to let's say, (I'll choose my least favorite-pick weeds every week-while they are small and manageable, before they grow into tree trunks-YES I am still trying to cut down Weed Trees, as I fondly call them :) but nooooooooooooooo...I don't maintain my weeds.What sucks is that if you don't maintain things-they become neglected, fall apart and sometimes takes even longer to bring it back to the place that it should be. (Trying to get weight off in my 30's is a heck of a lot harder than it used to be in my 20's) And God has called us to be good stewards of what HE gives us (blesses us)

I recently read a quote that said "procrastination is self induced stress!"...ouch!!!! that hurt...(good maybe I'll do something about it)

I don't know how or where it started. I was raised in a very organized home. My mom had a place for everything, and a schedule of when to have "spring cleaning" or 'fall cleaning"...that meant you actually washed down all of the walls in the house.-which she and my dad least twice a year.

But the Lord has really began to chip away at my heart on this one. Because what is comes down to is the Fruit of the Spirit...Self Control/Discipline. Dying to my own selfish desire to watch TV instead of working out, reading the Bible or going out and cutting the lawn instead of taking a nap...setting Boundaries..(another hard thing for me to d0)

Maintenance affects our personal lives and relationships too. My sister in law (who has far more time than I-hee) says &( I'm paraphrasing).."I cultivate friendships like I do my garden. I take care of them, invest in them , etc...You don't get a pretty garden by just planting the flowers. You have to care for them, protect them. "

Same thing in our relationships and for us personally. As much as people want me to be healthy, lose weight, or whatever...they can't do it for me-they can't get up and do 30 minutes of Tae Bo for me...I have to do it for me.

I have to begin to switch my way of thinking. That maintenance is not a NEGATIVE word. It's for our's a positive...& we get to ask HIM to help us out with it! Hallelujah!!

The most important relationship to maintain is our walk with God. Why, why, why does He seem to be the one we short change ??? when He's the one that can fill us to overflowing, give us peace when our circumstances don't make sense...He's the one that gives us the desires of our hearts...He has a purpose for us to Succeed and to give us immeasurably more than we could ever dream!!

We need to connect to matter the cost. Some days it's a quick devotional and sweet praise and worship time driving to work...or other times (somehow) I find an hour to sit & read the Bible and pray (or have a DuraFlame night with God-I'll talk about that in my next blog)....but it's making the time to connect to Him (to the vine) it's for our benefit!

He's changing us from glory to glory...

Be Well...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's funny how God brings about friendships in our lives. It's wild to retrace how a friendship began.

I've been blessed to have alot of friends in my life. In High School-I hung out with everyone-the jocks, the music kids, the brains,-it didn't matter. I used to get teased because I could hang out with one person one night and then their "enemy" the next night.

I never understood why people just couldn't get along, ya know ? God placed in my heart to see the good in people. Because somewhere down the line-we are all alike, sinners saved by Grace.
Amy Grant wrote a song,

"We are all the same it seems behind the eyes,
Broken promises and dreams, in good disguise
All we're really looking for is somewhere safe & warm
The shelter of each other through the storm"....

But my Senior Year-I was blessed with really good friends. Two in particular-that for whatever reason-just didn't like each other. We even wore those "best friend" pendants-do you remember those?? hahaha However, we started to change, & I began to hold onto to each of them for dear life, becoming the neediest person on the a little kid squeezing the stuffing out of their teddy bear.

You know the rest right ?

I suffocated them and they ran for dear life (lesson learned-love people with your hands open) took years to rebuild one of the relationships. The other girl I just ran into a couple of months ago. We exchanged phone numbers. If God wants that relationship to come back around will happen.

Anyways...After a recent anonymous comment-I've been retracing alot of the friendships in my life.

I have friends that go way back to the College and Career Days at church, when we were all singles (Lori, SheShe, Angie, Liz)...(not praise team members) *Lori-..I was in the delivery room of her first born, sweet Riley Quin-and then through the losses of the other babies)

Some I have met at the jobs I've had-that I treasure with all of my heart, but our paths would probably never crossed had it not been for working together. (My Kathy, Jo Jo & Lisa-NOT EVEN NORTHRIDGE MEMBERS)

I have friends that don't go to church, don't understand the church thing and ministry thing...but I still try to make time for them.

I have sweet friends that are moving to Ohio (Scott & Cheryl) that because of busy schedules/ministries we never had a chance to hang out before they left. I am so thrilled that they have met some beautiful people and a church to call family. (don't we all long for that ? isn't that what the body of Christ is all about-to feel welcome?)

(*now I do have 1 friend that the moment we met-it was as if we had known each other forever--but that's never happened with anyone else-love you bro!)

I have also been blessed to meet & have relationships through the ministries that Steve is involved in. Through Mission Trips, (The Sternfels, The Hammonds, The Dage's) Prayer Partners (The Savede's Family-Gosh I just ADORE you guys) & Ridge Riders...I would have never gotten to know and love them had it not been for Steve..

I do have some incredible relationships with people on Praise Team but not with all of them-but being on stage was & is NEVER a prerequisite for being my friend. The close relationships that I have with people on stage, are the people I've been in a Bible study with, I've traveled with..cried with, laughed with, worshipped with, had Dura Flame moments with & have been on my knees the stage.

The 1 thing in common...we've done LIFE together, we've been through stuff together (poor Shelly went through almost 3 years of me being very sick, finding me a new job, and helping us move into our new home. We NEVER get to hang out :( but it doesn't change the history of our relationship-I love that girl) Kristi and I have done Bible Study after Bible Study together, we've gone to conferences with a group of girls, we've shared parts of our souls with each other....again-we've done life together...Doing Life-the good and the bad ...that's what made each friendship.

Not all of the friendships are alike but I treasure each one. We are all at different life stages.
THAT'S HUGE!!! when I was single-I totally didn't understand my married friends. But now being married I so get it now...:) I can't imagine adding kids to the mix of my busy life...I pray that people will stick with me whenever those days come around...

But I have single friends, married friends, married with children's learning to respect each other's life stage. I own a house-I have different repsonsiblities than my single friends, my friends who that have children-can't just meet up-they need to get a babysitter or they bring their kids along, etc. And the fact of the matter is's not about ME...

The hard part is making time for all of them.

Over the past several years, it was really wearing on me. I began to feel exhausted, I felt like I was giving everything I had, and it still wasn't enough (at least for some friends). It doesn't help having chronic fatigue and an auto immune problem-that can zap my energy level.

Plus I am a person that loves her alone time...I just do...( yes, even being married)-that's when I can regroup, sleep in, pamper myself, curl up and watch a movie by myself...or have date nights with's where I get filled up again...


During this time I felt very convicted that I was neglecting my time with my husband Steve, my parents (his parents) and my nieces and nephews. (even right now-I know my dad is reading this, ... I know he is shaking his head in agreement saying, "I have to get an appointment to see my own daughter, Stacey"-I love you dad-I'm sorry I don't get over as often as I should-I'm trying to do better)

But then I heard Beth Moore and Sheri Rose Shepherd-begin to explain about sacred relationships. And that everyone can't have first row in your life. (read blog from March for more details) It just doesn't work. I began to spread myself to thin-giving people 50%-70% and coming home and only having 30% to give to my husband. You can't build a marriage on 30% !!!! and then if we have children...the % is going to change again! with everyone!!! I won't be able to just go and hang out with people...

My responsiblity to GOD is my relationship with HIM, and then my Husband!...

Then the Lord began to remind of different scriptures in the Bible and about being a friend.
The Bible says, to show yourself friendly, doesn't mean you have to be everyone's best friend. The Bible say to 'be at peace' with those around you.

Steve showed me a devotional that blew me away. It was the example of Jesus and the disciples.
Jesus had 12 good friends (the disciples)-a crowd of people who loved Him, however He took only 3 up to the Mountain where the transfiguration took place.

I am blessed to attend such a LARGE Church. I love my church family. If you were to look over to the far left of the auditorium you would see me sitting with a variety of people (NOT all ones that I sing with) & as much as I would love to...I can't be best friends with everyone...

My husband Steve & I have huge burdens to get people connected. When they stopped having Sunday School-alot of people fell through the cracks.

Things I've learned.

  • Care for people-genuinely (but you can't fix everyone's problems)
  • love with your hands open-if you don't you will push people away
  • show yourself friendly-pray for God to bring the right people into your life ( where there is a natural give/take to the relationship...not lop sided where one person takes, takes, and takes more and you are left with nothing
  • pray protection over your sacred relationships
  • NOT everyone can have the front row of your life
  • Ultimately-we need to be filled with Christ. HE is the one who is a friend closer than a brother. ONLY HE AND HE ALONE can fill us up-not people. Even the closest of friends will let us down and hurt us (not intentionally but it happens)

This had been kind of weird-having to somewhat 'defend' my relationships or explain who I am. I am still not done..but at this point...this blog has become WAY too long. I have had fun remanissing of the past ;) xoxo

I love you all...even if I am unable to see you for months at a time.

I pray everyday that I am the same person on stage that I am at home, at work, at a restaraunt, at a concert...God calls us to be LIGHT, to reflect HIM...I never want to be a distraction to that.

Be Well

Colossian 3:12-15
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Somehow this seems fitting after ALL of the comments last week.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Week in Review

My Week in Review...
P.S. I am unable to go onto the internet at work, so it's not as easy as it used to be to update the site...:(

It's been a bit busy for me (as it is with all of us, huh?)....last week I was able to meet Steve's missionaries from South Africa...Ted & Diane Weinberg. They were able to stay with us :) that was sit around drink coffee and exchange stories. I love hearing stories about God speaking directly into people's hearts & then to step up, take a leap of faith and trust HIM with our everythings :) They were in their late 40's when they left for Africa... Great people!

Thursday was a long day. But I was able to stop in and say hello to sweet Kelley Horn. I had been praying so hard during Ed's final moments, that she would NOT miss him going to be with Jesus. When it was my turn to hug her (there was a line to get to her at the funeral home) the first thing out of her mouth was, "Stacey, I was able to tell Ed to go Dance with Jesus!-"...Thank YOU JESUS...for allowing her that moment! Ed-I can almost see that smile from here...

I was also able to hang with my friend Leeann for a little bit. We caught up with each other 's lives...giggled, ate cheesecake, I played her some of my brother's new worship songs :) ( I've known this girl since she was a baby-what a beautiful Godly woman you are!)
Friday was a long day...(I began to not feel well and haven't since)
that night was Ed's Memorial Service...there are so many things I want to say about that night....his life, his legacy, his testimony-challenged me in so many areas of my life (as a spouse, a friend, a stranger, a co-worker)...his life was Jesus. Everything about him pointed to Christ.
The testimoy's of his life all mirrored each other. He NEVER complained about his cancer. He would call people and ENCOURAGE them, while HE was in the hospital!!! He reached out to everyone around him. He was always positive. He always encouraged the people in his life. A person was blessed to have encountered him. A person would walk away encouraged, loved and full of joy. Oh, how I want that...
One of the people said, "you truly see a person's character, when you see them go through a trial-Ed finished well"...Lord help me do the same!
It was a late night coming back from the Memorial service.
Got up bright and early and took Shelly to the airport (it was good to catch up even though I was half asleep driving..haha)
Saturday afternoon...went to a park to celebrate, Gracey's birthday(my friend Lori's daughter)-she's 4 years old! time sure does fly! I still remember all of the tears praying that the adoption would go through and the birth parents would not change their minds. Anyways... It was so HOT Saturday, the heat really drained me that day...
Sunday was a real treat. I was able to go out and see my Maid of Honor Kathy from my wedding. I haven't seen her in a year. I just love her. We don't get to see each other that often but I love how we can pick up where we left off, without skipping a beat. God blessed me with her. She is truly one of my best friends. Sunday showed me just how much I miss her! God is doing tremendous things in her family. I love it! She lives in Grand Blanc...we spent the whole day out there...(we took JoJo and Dave too...)we had a great day...
I'm still not feeling good but now it's time to play catch up with all of the other things in my life...& respond to some things...I pray this finds each of you well..