Saturday, December 25, 2010


My heart has been burdened lately. So many desires are burning and stirring up inside me. Desires that I cannot fulfill and have to place into the Lord's hands.

-The first cry of my heart is for Africa. For some reason this continent has come to mean so much to me. I have a yearning to serve and love on the people there. I have looked for opportunities to go there this summer but can't seem to find any organization to go with. I know the Lord has specifically told me AFRICA for some reason. Whether that is because I am going to go this summer, or later on in life, He has never the less given me a longing for this people group.

-The next desire I have is for companionship...for the long haul. haha I know I know--I am just like every other girl my age. All their friends are up and getting married and they feel left out and lonely and want to find their own "Prince Charming". However, as much truth there is in those words, that is not my only reasoning. You see--I love serving people. And lately I have ached for a spouse to serve. I don't just mean to make dinner for and clean up after. I mean passionately serve. To be that Proverbs 31 woman who in on my knees for this man daily; who is out in the mission field loving on and caring for God's people alongside him; who is completely content with his unconditional love and willing to submit and follow this man who leads and pastors me all the days of my earthly life. There are two problems however. The first of the two is that the Lord's timeline and mine don't match up. And even though I think I am so ready for this-- the Lord may not. I don't have a boyfriend. I haven't had a date in--well since college. And there is no prospects in sight. Problem number two is that when I do begin to like a man I get so wrapped up in the situation and idea of it all that I make him sooo important. I am not chill. I am not nonchalant. I begin to make him somewhat of an idol. And that is why I think I haven't had this happen yet. I have to learn to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus whether there is a boy in the picture or not. I have to find my complete worth in HIM on the good days and on the bad days... when I am content and when I am lonely... on the mountains and in the valleys. Until then--I don't see this desire becoming fulfilled.

-The third cry of my heart is for my witness. I feel like sometimes it is just a show. I want to be branded with the "good christian" title that my desires become tainted. This brings me to my knees in heartbreak and sickness. This is not of the Lord. The talents the Lord has blessed me with can become a stumbling block if I don't constantly have my guard up against the enemy. He is trying to pull my down and knock me off when I am doing well. This can occur in many situations-- for example... say I am singing and worshipping the Lord and then someone hears me and says " sing amazing. You are so good." This in itself is not a sin. It is the pride that sometimes follows that is the sin. This can be better tamed with four little words with a huge, humbling meaning.... "It's not about me!" It's not about me. I need to remember that without the Lord and His love and His blessings I am nothing.

I will try not to get discouraged about this. The fact that I see these now gives me hope. I am constantly being molded and refined by the Lord so I know that He is faithful. He is a good God who has plans to "help and not to harm me--to give me hope and a future" -Jeremiah. 29:11 My Beloved is good and He is ALWAYS with me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010


During this time of the year I like to remember the things that I am truly thankful for. So here is a short list (that doesn't do justice to the blessings I have received) of my thanks....

-My salvation. The Lord, my Beloved, has loved and forgiven a sinner like me. He died on my behalf so that I could spend eternity with Him. Oh for the day when I get to go home!!!!

-My family. I have a father who has shown me what a true man after God's own heart looks like, a mother who is a Proverbs 31 woman and would do anything for anybody, and two beautiful sisters who have become great friends of mine over the past few years. Plus I now get to add ...a wonderful bro-in-law who is awesome!!

-My friends. These girls have been such a blessing to my life. Every single one of them have impacted me and my walk with my Beloved, have encouraged me, challenged me and spurred me on. Without them I wouldn't be the woman I am today.

- My job. I am so incredibly blessed to be working in the school district and in the school that I do. I have an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from teacher, parents and admin alike. I am given opportunities to better myself which will lead to the betterment of my teaching.

- My house/roommate. I live in a beautiful apartment. I just like to sit and look at it sometimes because it is so fun. I also have the opportunity to live with a great girl who is passionately pursuing the Lord and challenges me often. Her desire for God and AFRICA has helped our friendship flourish and I am so blessed for such a wonderful roomie!

There is obviously so much more but this is just some of the many things I am blessed with! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I see you. Standing there. You are so confident... sure. It isn't cocky. It isn't annoying. It's attractive. It draws me in. I want to know more. I yearn to be around you. You seem to feel the same way--but sometimes you don't.

Do you? Do you desire to know me? Have I caught YOUR eye? Does your heart flutter when I walk in the room? Do you hope that I come and talk to you? When I smile--does it melt your heart? When our eyes meet--do you get nervous? Am I like all the other girls in your life or do you think of me a bit more? When a text is received do you get a little more excited when you see it's from me? Do you wonder if I would accept or reject you? When you see me worship the Lord does it captivate your heart?? Do you pray about me? Pray for me? And anticipate a time that maybe we will be able to pray together? Does your self-doubt and fear make you think I am too good and would never give you a chance?

because that's how I feel....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Being sifted like wheat.

I am currently going through the study by Beth Moore called 90 Days with Jesus. I only have about a week left which is so depressing because I have learned more from this book about my Beloved than I ever knew or took the time to realize.

In Luke 22:31-34 Jesus is talking to Peter--who is refereed to as Simon-- and is telling him of what is to come.
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."

Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."

I thought about this after reading it for awhile. I thought about the word sifting and how that has been done in my own life. I thought about my desire to do everything a "good christian" was suppose to, but how one word out of my younger sister's mouth would throw me back 50 feet because of my rude, unchristian like responses. Satan knew that... so he would use it often. I thought about the way I looked at myself and the hidden anger I had for the Lord because I wasn't "pretty enough" or "skinny enough". I picked and prodded through my life and dissected all the little things that I never really thought of and realized those were moments and situations that were brought on though sifting.

Then, I observed why would Satan use those things to sift me? Why would he bring some of those things up? However, when I looked at the undesirable behavior that came along with these trials I see why he did it. I was angry. Vulnerable. Filled with shame. It was self-doubting/ Self-loathing produce. was ALL ABOUT ME!! Satan pulled up situations that peeled my eyes off Jesus and focused them on myself.

So why does this happen? Well, when I went back and read verse 31 again it was like I read it for the first time. It says that Satan has to ASK for permission to "sift us" and expose our dirty laundry and the Lord has to GRANT him permission. The funny thing is that after looking at all of my situations of sifting-- and observing what I got out of it--I realized that God uses those situations that Satan thinks will trip us up and hurt us to strengthen and pull us closer to Him. So when Satan tries to destroy us he is actually pushing us closer to the Lord. haha

Next, in verse 32 Jesus says:"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." So it is also so cool to know that when Satan is sifting us the Lord is PRAYING for US! I have never thought of that-- when we are going through difficult situations and trials the Lord is praying on our behalf. That just excites me and makes me so much more in love with our Beloved.

Beth says this perfectly... she says, "From falling, Peter is about to learn how to STAND!" Good stuff--we will fall every once in awhile. Luckily we serve a understanding God and He realizes this and loves us despite it. But if our hearts are where they need to be--surrounded with Christ's love-- we will fall but our faith will not fail.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My African Baby

I have recently had a aching in my heart for Africa. Not just the continent of Africa-- but the people there. This beautiful child above is Nkunyane. He lives is Lesotho, Africa with his mom and sister. He is living in a community that is severely affected by the AIDS/HIV crisis. He is not able to go to school at this time because home life is so difficult.

There was something about this baby that stood out to me. Maybe it is because he is the age of my babies at school. Maybe it was the hurt and sadness in his eyes. Whatever it was I could not get past him and I had to do something.

But what can I do? I live in Texas... thousands of miles away. I live in a nice apartment, drive a good car and have good clothes. That was it. I have more than enough--if not too much stuff. So I could give. I could budget my life. I could opt to stay at home and eat once in a while instead of going out. I could rent a movie from Red-Box for a dollar instead of going to the movies and spending nine. I could take the "luxuries" of my life and down size so that a precious boy in Africa can have clothes and food and water. No that doesn't make me great or kind or humble or respectable.... it makes me a Christian. We are called clothe the naked, feed to hungry and give water to the thirsty. So use me for your Kingdom Lord... and perhaps this child will learn about you on along the way. Oh how sweet it would be it get to heaven one day and see sweet Nkunyane... how sweet it would be indeed!!

Want to know how you can sponsor a child of your own through World Vision?? Check out their site... It will bless you for sure!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Betrothed Beloved.

Betrothal involved the establishment of a marriage covenant. The prospective bridegroom would travel from his father's house to the home of the prospective bride. There he would negotiate with the father of the young woman to determine the price (mohar) that he must pay to purchase his bride. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was thereby established, and the young man and woman were regarded to be husband and wife. From that moment on the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified, set apart exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride would drink from a cup of wine over which a betrothal benediction had been pronounced.

After the marriage covenant had been established, the groom would leave the home of the bride and return to his father's house. There he would remain separate from his bride for a period of twelve months. This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life. The groom occupied himself with the preparation of living accommodations in his father's house to which he could bring his bride.

At the end of the period of separation the groom would come to take his bride to live with him. The taking of the bride usually took place at night. The groom, best man and other male escorts would leave the groom's father's house and conduct a torch light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the exact time of his coming. As a result the groom's arrival would be preceded by a shout.This shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared for the coming of the groom.

After the groom received his bride together with her female attendants, the enlarged wedding party would return from the bride's home to the groom's father's house. Upon arrival there the wedding party would find that the wedding guests had assembled already.

Shortly after arrival the bride and groom would be escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber (huppah). Prior to entering the chamber the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside, the bride and groom would enter the bridal chamber alone. There in the privacy of that place they would enter into physical union for the first time, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier.

After the marriage was consummated, the groom would announce the consummation to the other members of the wedding party waiting outside the chamber (John 3:29). These people would pass on the news of the marital union to the wedding guests. Upon receiving this good news the wedding guests would feast and make merry for the next seven days.

During the seven days of the wedding festivities, which were sometimes called "the seven days of the huppah," the bride remained hidden in the bridal chamber. At the conclusion of these seven days the groom would bring his bride out of the bridal chamber, now with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was.

**This is a perfect representation of us and Christ. He sought us out. We became his bride and He our bridegroom. He left for a time and even though we knew He, in fact would return, we would not know the exact time or day. However, we patiently wait knowing He will keep His word because of His love for us! And then when the time comes, He will show up and claim us as His bride--His BELOVED-- and take us home with Him! I am looking to the skies..awaiting the day when MY BRIDEGROOM--MY BELOVED-- comes to claim me!! I am so in love and cannot wait!!**

Monday, September 20, 2010

Send Me

My heart. How it is longing for you. How I am drawn to you. I think of you often and when I do my heart skips a beat! My aspiration for you is not for pleasure. It is not for reasons that will make me famous or good. I yearn to serve. To be humbled and vulnerable. It terrifies me--and yet-- I have never felt more invigorated!

No I am not talking about a guy... I am speaking of Africa. I have poured out my heart once before on this subject but it is still in me-- running through my veins. It is in the pictures of beautiful children who are smiling for no reason but because they are alive. It is in the hundreds of thousands of hugs that are not given but desired. It is in the simplicity of a shoulder to cry on or to just be held because being close to someone is a foreign feeling. The Lord is burning this into my heart... a little Africa shaped space that can only be filled with loving like Jesus and doing His kingdom work.

Oh my God, your people need you. They yearn for your love. They are searching for your grace and peace. They have to be told about your goodness and mercy. And I am being called to do it. Beckoned is a better word. I hear the small whispers--I am shown the avenues of getting there-- I am seeing the Neon signs flashing "This Way! This Way! This Way!" I want to be obedient. Show me how. Help my disbelief! Here I am Beloved-- SEND ME!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Day that changed our lives forever.

Nine years ago today I was a 16 year old who was heading to my Sophomore History class. When I walked in I was met by my teacher and a few students watching the T.V. I thought, at first, it was a movie we were watching for class. However, I suddenly learned that it was the news...and it was live. I remember watching and still being so young and innocent that I was completely confused at what was going on. A few minutes into the observance of what was going on thousands of miles away, I broke the silence with a "What the heck is th....". Before I could even finish my question, a second plane hit the South Tower.

I remember feeling sick to my stomach-- like I was going to throw up. Now the news was erupting with the terms such as "Terrorist Attacks", "hijacked planes", and "people jumping to their death". I felt scared. I felt uncomfortable. And I felt threatened for the first time in my life. People hated us so much that they decided to kill innocent people? Why? What had we done? Then just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... it did. "The Pentagon has now been hit. The most secured building in the United States has been attacked!" What was going on? I felt like crying but my pride held me back from that.

Nine years later I have matured quite a bit. I am not embarassed to show my emotions about this terrible day. I am now a teacher to children who were years away from being born. They don't know about September 11th. They don't understand why it makes people sad. Angry. Upset. So I had to talk with them about it yesterday. This was the first time most of them had heard of even seen pictures of the Twin Towers. After telling the kiddos about this day I let them ask questions...

Student: "Ms. Daniell? On September 11th did a lot of people die?"
Me: "Yes baby. There were a lot of people who lost their lives."
Student: "Even kids like us?"
Me: (with tears in my eyes) "Yes even kids like you."
Student: "That makes me want to cry like you Ms. Daniell!"

They may not remember seeing it live. Or hearing about the many thousands lost. But they understand that it was not suppose to happen. They get that it was a terrible tragedy and that it was very sad and heartbreaking. Even though it was horrible and terrifying and sickening God was still in control. He allowed it to happen not to be mean or teach us a lesson--but to beckon His children back to Him! Lord allow me to be constantly in Your presence that I don't have to be reminded to love You!!

Never Forget. Never Give Up. Our God is GOOD!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My God is doing some crazy amazing things in my life. He is stretching me in ways that I could not ever imagine. He is humbling me daily--and to be honest--sometimes it really hurts. He is preparing my heart for the one He is sending to captivate it. He is beckoning me to the cross daily and I am hard core sprinting to get there. He is stirring up exciting things in my life that I didn't even know existed....and I love it.

Yesterday when I got home from school the Lord was knocking at my door (my heart's of course). I mean I have been meeting with Him everyday but it wasn't the same as it had been in the summer. I haven't had unlimited amounts of uninterrupted time. I haven't been completely focused. So yesterday was a pleasant surprise. I love writing poetry/songs. It's just something I have always done I may not be good at it but it is an outlet just the same. However, because of my crazy life I haven't written in awhile. I have blogged and I journal daily but sitting to listen and ponder and write hasn't been apart of my life for a while. And so yesterday I felt the Lord whispering to the deepest crevices of my heart... "pray. think. write." My future--especially my future spouse-- has been on my heart lately. Maybe it is because my little sister just got married or maybe it is because the Lord is shaping me for that time of my life. I don't know. All I know is I listened and thought and wrote--and this is what I came up with.

"From Now Until Forever"

Morning and night I think of you,
yearning for my heart to be wooed.
I often wonder where you are,
how could my soul travel so far?

I'm ridiculed for all my waiting,
in a world that sees nothing worth saving.
But you, Beloved, deserve so much more,
even though we've never met before.

I pray today will be the day God brings you to me,
if not then, my love, you should know
that I'll wait patiently.
I know you're the man I've been praying for,
My darling I am wholly yours.

From now until the end of times,
there is no man that is better.
It's only you. Beginning now.
And going on forever.

You're hidden from me at this moment in time,
as I continue this mountain I climb.
So I'll give my heart to the God above,
who showers me with agape love.

My vision of you is so surreal.
How could I be so blessed?
But my Daddy has started a stirring down
deep inside my chest.
It's you I wait for whole, complete,
white, untouched and pure.
I won't give up or give myself away,
on that please rest assure.

I pray this will be the day that God will bring
my wonderful husband to me.
If not, don't fret, my God is good,
and I'll wait faithfully.
Because I know that you're the man
that I've been praying for,
My darling, I love you, with this you know
that I am wholly yours.

Just think how many amazing things we miss out on when we don't stop to listen, think and pray. He desires to reveal so much to us. What have you missed out on?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Picture this: The wall is made of Jasper. The great street of the city is of pure gold, like transparent glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every type of precious stone. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. There is no temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. There is no sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light. (Revelation 21 paraphrased)

This scripture brought me to tears. Not because I was sad or scared. Not because I was hoping I wouldn't die before getting married or having children. Not even because I would miss my family and friends.... this scripture brought me to tears like Peter after the crucifixion.

"There is an ancient story passed down through generations of Christians about the apostle Peter during the latter years of his life. It was said that he would often weep whenever a cock would crow. Of course, if we know Bible history, we understand why. But it was also said that Peter would often weep at other times, and no one quite knew the reason. Finally, one day, a young saint worked up enough courage to ask him about it.
"Peter, why do you so often weep?" he inquired cautiously. Peter turned to the young man, and with a look of intense yearning burning in his eyes, he replied softly, "Desiderio Domini."
Translated from Latin into modern-day English, "Desiderio Domini" means "I dearly long to be with my Lord."
Peter had spent his time among men. Now he was ready for heaven, with a longing that grew each and every day to be able to run in the loving arms of his dearest friend and Savior, Jesus Christ." --Taken from 'When God Writes Your Love Story'

I have always thought of the 'last days' before our Beloved returns to filled with turmoil and fear. I have even prayed that I will be gone before that time occurs do to intense anxiety and terror. But after reading this I discovered that those days are a mere countdown for the wedding of all weddings. For the celebration of all celebrations. It should be a time of great anticipation and excitment. Our Knight, our King, our Savior...JESUS CHRIST IS COMING BACK!!

So I will often shed tears at my readiness to be with my Lord. I will keep my eyes fixed upward anticipating the arrival of my Beloved. But I will also live each day out for Him and His purpose so that when I do face Him for the first time I will hear Him proudly say, "Well done my good and faithful servant. With you, Stephanie Marie Daniell, I am well pleased." No other sound will be quite so sweet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My First Class

The school year is approaching and my heart is kinda torn. I was sooo ready for summer the first week of June that the sadness didn't really hit me. Yes I loved my class but I didn't really feel the effects of how much I would miss them until recently when I started thinking about my new class. I am sure I will have amazing kiddos and absolutely fall in love with them but it won't be the same as my "first class". My first group of babies that I lived life with, taught how to read and write, add and subtract, and how to love and respect themselves. I saw such growth in my class. They came in scared, unsure and looking to be told what to do and left confident and ready to be challenged. Here is a few of the things my babies did last year that will forever be embedded into my heart:

-When getting on to my class for their excessive talking I said the rest of the work time would be done in silence. I then told them that if anyone talked from this point on that they would pull their color and lose their sticker for the day. Just then one of my "talkative children" said 'but what if we have something funny to say'? I heard a gasp come from all of my kids as I whipped my head around at him and gave him the scariest teacher glare ever seen. Just then one of my students jumped up and said "cue dramatic piano: dun dun dun dunnnnn!!" I burst into laughter and my entire discipline speech few out the window.

-Every week when getting our new spelling words we practice using them in sentences on a assignment we do. I began with the word seen. "Who can use that in a sentence?" I asked. "Yes, Bella?" "Seen. Have you seen my puppy?" Bella asked. "Good I said as I wrote the sentence down on the board. "Ok," I began, "the next word is cute. Who can tell me a sentence with 'cute' in it?" "Yes, Evan?" "Cute," Evan said very confidently, "Miss Daniell is really cute!!" I turned around super fast to see a little boy, red as a tomato, and to hear the entire class erupt into laughter. "OK...", I said, "that was a good one but I am just going to move on."

-During morning calendar I teach my kiddos Spanish. One of my boys screamed out, "WOW Miss Daniell... you are really good at Spanish. You sound just like my friend's mom and she's a REAL Mexican!" Ohhh no...that's not politically okay to say young 6 year old! haha

-"Ms. Daniell... one day I was riding in the car with my mom and dad down the higway. Then, I saw bluebonnets and I jumped out of the car and picked one. As soon as I did all the cops showed up because its against the law. Then they took me to ju-bee!" Laughing I asked, "you mean juvy?" She said, "ya kids can't go to real jail Miss Daniell...." "Ohh", I said, "that's a crazy story!" "I know...I AM CRAZY Miss Daniell!"

-"Miss just have no idea how complicated life is until you start school...especially first grade!" Laughing I said, "oh just wait!" haha

**I loved my first class and will forever have them in my heart! 14 days until school starts!**

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The girl in the picture.

So some of yall may be wondering who the girl from the picture below is. Well this blog post is dedicated to getting to know the one and only REAGAN WILLIAMS! Reagan and I met last year at super summer. When you get to know us you may think that we have been friends for ages but that would be a false statement. The Lord brought me this wonderful girl only a year ago, dressed as a pirate and sporting pigtails. Some of yall may be asking yourselves "what the heck am I reading"? Well this my friends is what I have seen in and love about this dear friend of mine.

Reagan is a few years younger than me (she says she remembers me from high school when she was a freshman and I was a senior and president of FCA) and she goes to Dallas Baptist University. She LA-HUVES (that is loves for all of you who can't sound out) Jesus with all her heart, mind and soul. She challenges me to get to know my Beloved better and encourages constant conversation and a relationship with Him. The picture from below is a picture of us with the bracelets she got in Tokyo on her recent mission trip. She bought me one that was pink--my fave color- and that says Beloved in Japanese--Beloved is my fave name for the Lord!

She has many different qualities that I admire and these are just a few of them: she is filled with joy, gentleness, she is kind, loves children, desires to know more and more about the Lord, is beautiful inside and out, is a woman who fears the Lord (Pro. 31:30), has a heart for missions and God's children, is burdened by the eternal life of unbelievers and simply loves because we are commanded to.

"Reagan you are such an amazing blessing to my life. Your love for the Lord overflows and pours out on everyone that is around you. Your obedience to our Daddy is so great to see and I cannot wait to see the amazing things He does with your life. He is so enthralled with your beauty and your life is like a sweet incense rising up to Him. You are filled with His goodness and His will is being worked out through you. Continue to seek Him. Continue to praise Him. Continue to love and obey Him. Cause He is going to rock your world with His glory and I hope that I am close enough to have some of that splatter off on me! I love you friend and I leave you with this truth that describes us perfectly!!

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." -Philippians 1:3-9

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thought Provoking Thursday

So a week ago I posted a picture of two beautiful children from Africa. I loved the picture and it has recently had a very special place in my heart. I believe that the Lord is calling me to Africa to do some Kingdom work for Him. However, I don't believe He is just saying someday or one day but I feel like He is calling me to Africa in the Summer of 2011. One year from now I feel like I will have been in Africa serving the Lord!

Is this crazy? Am I hearing right? I mean Africa? Why Africa? Why am I so completely certain this is where I am being called? Why do I have this overwhelming urge to simply book a flight now and get there? I feel that I have gotten so in sync with the Lord and His desires that I can comprehend and understand His will for my life that much clearer and easier. I mean there is a chance I am misreading the signals I feel like I am getting--but I am so in love with my Beloved at this moment in my life that I believe He is calling me to this exact continent!

So what happens now? According to Buckner... I wait. They have not even posted their trips for next summer yet. This caused me to question, "Am I jumping ahead of the game? Is this where I am suppose to be? Lord am I hearing you correctly?" And I hear a small whisper in the still of my confusion...."be patient." But Lord--I have to start planning. Raising money. What if I can't afford it? How will I know if this is you're will for my life? Again... "be patient." If I am called to go then the Lord will open the doors. If I heard wrong then the Lord will close these doors and reveal something else for me.

My God is good. My God is big. My God is borderless. He can't be constrained and He can't be kicked out. MY GOD IS THE CREATOR OF THIS UNIVERSE!! So what am I going to do... I will attempt, with everything in me, to do as my Savior has commanded me to do and simply... "be patient."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday

Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need

Give me your life
The lust and the lies
And the past you're afraid I might see
You've been running away from me

You're my beloved
Lover, I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me
It's a mystery

Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need

I'm the giver of life
I'll clothe you in white
My immaculate bride you will be
Come running home to me

You're my beloved
Lover, I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me

You've been a mistress, my wife
Chasing lovers that won't satisfy
Won't you let me make you my bride
You will drink of my lips and you'll taste new life

You're my beloved
Lover, I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me
It's a mystery

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Go and makes disciples of all men...."

I haven't been able to write in a while since summer has begun. Usually you think of summer as a time to relax, be lazy without guilt and enjoy your downtime. However, this girl has not had any downtime. I started off my summer going to Hawaii with the seniors at FBC Midlothian. They take their senior trip to the island of Lana'i and work with a church on the island. This was such an impactful time that I would like to share my experiences and what my Beloved not only taught me, but also revealed to me through His quiet whispers as He captivated my heart!

The churches' focus in Lana'i is to reach their community through the children. We, along with a group of adults from North Carolina, put on a week long VBS for the the local children. Now, I am a teacher and I am use to working with 6 and 7 year olds, but oh my goodness were these children different. They are coming from households that they ran. Mom and/or Dad have left them and the children are taught at young ages to fend for themselves; and rules are not a learned thing! So when I tried to teach and round the kids up many of them didn't like being told what to do-- and there were even some that refused to be "ordered" around and would run away and go home. It was a crazy experience. However, the Lord taught me over that week that these kiddos were still wanting and yearning to be loved even if they denied or pushed it away! So, I loved on my very large group--I had 16 kids while all the other groups maxed out at 5 or 6-- the best I could. I prayed for them multiple times a day, I wept for their situations, I encouraged their strengths and I slowly saw the walls begin to crumble and fall out of the way. I reminded myself daily that I was there to a) be obedient and present the gospel to those unaware of it and b) love like Jesus did and if even one of them made the realization that a Daddy isn't a drug dealer, someone who hurts you or a family member or someone who leaves and/or abandons you in the middle of the night and flees the island to get away from the law or other mean people...aka other dealers...but instead that a Daddy is someone who cares for, forgives, loves unconditionally and never leaves or forsakes them--then I had done my job. I am excited to say that 5 of my precious babies said that they either came to know the Lord that week or wanted to learn more about him and begin coming to church!! My God is so good and I see the fruit of His labor. I was shown the success of obedience and the truth in the saying "Faith isn't believing that God can, it is knowing that God will!" Thank you Jesus for using me as a vessel, as a light and as a tool in this amazing orchestrated plan you have for us called life!! You are so good...all the time!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's Next?

Pressures follow you throughout your life. As a young girl, and a soccer goalie, I was "pressured" to be the best and have a shut-out every single game. I was made to believe that if this didn't happen I could be replaced or a disappointment to my team. When I got a little older the same thing occurred in different sports. In volleyball I was a designated hitter and was rotated in to spike the ball and serve multiple points in a row. In basketball I was a post. I was used to push and block out and rebound the ball. My job was to get the ball and put it in the basket--whatever it took. Pressures don't just occur in sports however.

I remember in high school the pressures took on many different forms. Popularity. Reputation. Influence. You had expectations that were suppose to be met. I was expected to be both happy and nice all the time. I was expected to be kind to everyone and bold but not step on people's toes. I was taught that you had to have a backbone and stand up for yourself, but you shouldn't be outspoken. I constantly felt that I had this mile long checklist of things I had to remember to do or not do in front of people. When I got done with high school I was expected to get a basketball scholarship somewhere, go off to a 4 year University and excel in both sports and academics. Well one out of two isn't bad. I decided that I would not be a pivotal player in the WNBA, so I "retired" from organized basketball. That's a nicer way to put it rather than I quit; because quitting shows weakness. Quitting shows lack of determination and work ethic. I WAS NOT a quitter. I simply chose to engage in other activities in college and played intramural basketball instead.

Once college was over I was expected to get a respectable job, settle down and get married. I have a wonderful job. I work in an amazing school district with a fabulous team. My students are ca-razy but such a blessing and I have support from the majority of my parents! I was able to move home (something I never planned on doing) and see now that the Lord gave me this opportunity to allow me to pay off loans in bulk and become financially stable. So what's next? According to everyone and their mother's dog...its get married. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that I'm "at that age". I shrugged it off and continued my long hours at work thinking of no one but my students and me, myself and I. I used the line..."if I was married now--my poor husband would be suffering"! I jokingly said this but recently I was convicted about my SCARcasam; as it has been referred to. Was I okay?

Well the answer is YES! I am totally okay in the place that the Lord has me right now. I am in an amazing time of my life. I don't have worries of providing for anyone other than myself. I am not responsible or obligated to explain anything to anyone right now. I have no reason to be worried or anxious or scared because my DADDY is taking care of me. He has reminded me of this over and over again. He made me and knows me. Not just the me of the past or even the me of the present...but He knows the me of the future. How do I know this? Because He has told me... in Psalm 139:13 it says that He "....created me and knit me together in my mother's womb." In Jeremiah 29:11 He tells me "For I know the plans I have for you (Stephanie Daniell)...plans to prosper you (Stephanie Daniell) and not to harm you (Stephanie Daniell), plans to give you (Stephanie Daniell) hope and a future!" What an amazing confirmation. I don't have to worry about where I will meet a man to go on a date with while living in the little town. I don't have to worry about if I will be able to attract someone that I am attracted to. I do not have to worry if someone will ever fall in love with me. My DADDY has it already figured out. All I have to do is delight myself in Him and He will take care of the rest.

My favorite word in all of the English language is Beloved. So I recently bought a ring that says "I will wait for.... my beloved!" And that is exactly what I plan to do!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Top Ten Guilty Pleasures

I saw this written on someone else's blog about their top ten songs that changed their life and I thought...what if I went beyond songs? What if I wrote about my top ten guilty pleasures?? Don't judge me! :) So here we go...

Law and Order: SVU-- Ok I know that this is the hardest Law and Order to watch but I am obsessed with it. My mom hates it but it is so addicting.

Orbit Gum-- I suffer from Halitophobia. This is when a person believes that they have bad breath, even if they aren't told they do. I swear, this is a legit thing! ha I will buy a 3 pack of Orbit Gum every week and go through the entire thing in seven days! Better safe than sorry!!

Tanning-- I have heard, read about and seen programs on the effects of tanning. I understand it but I think this is like my number one guilty pleasure. It is so relaxing and I just love being tan. In the summer lounging around outside, reading a book/listening to my ipod, and soaking up the sun is just sooo relaxing!!

Face Masks-- I got on this my sophomore or junior year of high school and have been doing it ever since. Face masks are so great for your skin and fun to do with the friends! I cannot count how many people over the years I have met that have never done a face mask until I introduced it to them! There are so many different kinds that have different purposes and they are a great investment! The results you receive will not disappoint you!

Pedicures-- The first pedicure I got was the day after my last basketball game my senior year of high school. That was a mistake. Ever since then I have been obsessed with this guilty litlte pleasure. Massage chair... check. Warm jacuzzi water soaking my feet... check. Massages for my calves and feet with a scrub... check. Somebody else scraping all of the nastiness off the bottom of my feet to make them silky smooth and pretty... check. A steady, practiced hand painting my toes pretty and coating them with a topper that will ensure they don't chip a day later... check. I mean this thing has the whole package. My next thing is simply be satisfied with the regular pedicures and not feel pressured into getting the "DELUX PEDICURES" every time I go there!!

Accessories--I love jewlery...especially earrings!! And rings. And necklaces. Ok, and purses. Whatever's even better is if you can find all of your favorite things in one place. I have recently come to love a little place called Charming Charlies. It is a huge store with every type of accessorie that you could imagine. Here's what makes it 100% better--the entire store is color coated. So instead of saying I need some purple accessories I guess I better search this entire store, you can just walk in and go straight to the purple section!! It is like heaven for a slightly OCD person like myself. I can say that I have never been to Sam Moon...I know right.. so I guess that is my next thing on my to-do list!!

Scrapbooking--I know it sounds kind of old ladyish but I love it! All of your memories right there, bound forever. It is wonderful.

Working Out--I never thought this would be on my likes list. Yeah sometimes it sucks, but I can already see such great results and it pushes me to do better. So far I am down 18 pounds... lets see how much more this can help me!

The Hills-- Ok so I know the girls talk and act in ways I would never imagine. I know that they have more money and can play in ways that would take me years to get to that point. I know that it is staged and fake... but thats why its a guilty pleasure. I like it! haha

Journaling-- This is such an amazing oppotunity for me to express my feelings and get out everything in my head. I also will write poetry (haven't really told anyone that before) in my journals. The best thing about journals is that you can go back years later and see everything you wrote down. It shows you how stupid you were back then and the growth you have made!

These are my guilty little pleasures... what are yours??

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am a liar. I am a thief. I cheat, I lust and I hate. I put myself before others and tend to chose my way (which is usually the hard way). I am dirty. I am worthless. I fail over and over again. I deserve hell. I deserve eternal pain and suffering. I show unbelievers how NOT to live better than I show them how they should. I discourage. I tear down. I am not the example I am called to be. However, I am loved.

Around this time, two thousand years ago, my God was brutally murdered. He was tortured. He was whipped, stripped and spit upon. He was humiliated and laughed at. He was betrayed and denied by those he was closest to. He was paraded through the streets, mocked and endured death...even death on a cross... for me?!?!?!

Why would He do this you ask? Why would Jesus Christ, the one and only human who was completely sinless go through all of this for the very people who would neglect and forget Him? Because He loves us. It is just that simple. He suffered for our eternal lives. He thought our souls to be so valuable that He took on all of the shame for us. He loved us so incredibly much that He bore our punishment so that we could freely live. He died for everyone.

But it doesn't end there--that was just the beginning. Three days later He arose from the dead. He didn't simply disappear. He isn't lying in a tomb somewhere. His body wasn't stolen and moved somewhere else to look as if He arose. He conquered death. He is ALIVE!! My God is not like other "gods". He is 100% God and 100% man. He could feel pain and hurt. But He can also help and heal.

Thank you Jesus for loving me. Thank you for dying a terrible, painful, humiliating and horrifying death so that I could spend all my days...forever and ever... with YOU! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to know you and have a relationship with you. And lastly, thank you for giving me the chance to be a vessel for you and speak on behave of you and your amazing truth.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid Him the iniquity of us all."

--Isaiah 53:5-6

Watch this and remember...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Intimate Encounter

Last night I was able to have the most amazing experience I've had in a long time. I was journaling and having my quiet time when the Lord completely showed up. It had been at least a year since I had felt Him so near and so evident. I am definitely a music person and I relate to so many different genres and songs. Last night, however, I was listening to my Christian music playlist and every single song was revealing something amazing to me. So here are some of the songs and the messages I got. I hope and pray that it will encourage and strengthen some of your walks as well...

The first song I listened to was a song that Anthony Evans wrote especially for the family camps at Pine Cove Christian Camps. The summer he sang and brought this to camp I was the worship leader at the Woods camp and had the extreme pleasure of working with him and helping sell his merchandise each week. The song he wrote is called "Reflection of You". This song is from the eyes of a parent talking about their child but I think you can also look at it as a reminder of how we as Christians--those who are set-apart-- should be desiring to live. The chorus say:

"Let my first impression be,
Lord that you're alive and living in me.
And in all that I say,
and in all that I do,
God let my life be a reflection of you!"

What a wonderful yearning to possess. In a world where 'first impressions are everything'-- putting that importance of a Christian's first impression. It shouldn't be that we are good looking, or funny, or confident or popular... but rather it should be that the Lord, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the Great I AM, the beginning and the end, the one who was and is and is to come--is ALIVE. And not only that He is alive... but that He is alive and LIVING in us. In every word we say, in every thing we do ("whether we eat or drink or whatever we do"... 1 Corinthians 10:31) that we are reflecting the Lord and bringing all honor and glory and praise to HIM!
The next song that came up on my little ipod was "Pure" by Kari Jobe. Kari is an amazing woman and worship leader. Her songs take you directly to the feet of Jesus Christ and allow you to worship Him in an incredible way. This song says:

Your love is pure,
Your love is precious,
Your love is all I need.
Your love surrounds me,
Your love astounds me,
Your love is everything.

I run to You
when my heart is weak.
I cling to You- you’re all I seek.
It’s my heart’s desire, to be close to You.
Here in Your arms I find my strength.

Everything I want; everything I hope in.
Everything my heart cries out for.

This love she is talking about is true love. His love is pure. Not tainted by the world. Not abusive or jealous. Not controlling or inappropriate. It's good. It's biblical. It's the 1 Corinthians chapter 13 kind of love.. it IS patient and kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. It rejoices in truth and is never failing. It ISN'T envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, keeping a record of wrongs or delighting in evil. It is the desperation and realization that the Lord is the ONLY thing we need. He is the ONLY way of survival. The ONLY source of life. It is just a great reminder of the urgency and importance of having that intimate head over heels, 'I am my beloved's and He is mine', captivating type of relationship.

Lastly, I listened to "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong. This is, by far, one of my very favorite songs. It talks about how everyone needs compassion and forgiveness. I LOVE the chorus... it says:

"My Savior...He can move the mountains.
My God is mighty to save,
He is mighty to save.
Forever author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave!"

Our God is not just a made up deity. He is real and alive and He CONQUERED AND DEFEATED the grave!! How incredible is that? Death had no reign over Him. He overcame it. He can move mountains. That shows the great power He has. However, He is the author of salvation which shows the sovereignty and mercy He has as well. He loves us and rejoices in us. He is captivated by us. Girls... He thinks you are breath-taking. He is "enthralled by your beauty" (Psalm 45:11). He desires to pursue and love you. This is way better than any random blind dates or dating websites. He is real. He isn't trying to impress you and get your attention. He knows everything about you and in spite of your sins HE ..LOVES ... YOU!! Run to Him today and get to know your Beloved again. It is completely worth it--I promise!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Life As I Know It

So, I finally caved and got one of these things. I absolutely love reading about the things my friends are going through and I thought, "why not share my life?" Is it the most exciting? No. Will people want to follow me to see what's going on? I hope so.

So what do I write about? This is my first post and it needs to be important. It needs to grab the audience. It needs to be fun. Interesting. Enjoyable. Well after I thought about what everyone ELSE would want to see... I thought I would start off with the changes that have occured in MY life the past year/year and a half. Where I was just months ago to what place I have come to. So here is my top list of things that I have experienced in the past 16 months.

1. I moved away from all my friends, the town I had spent the past 4 years in and (cue dramatic piano) dun dun dunnnnn... back home! I know I always said I wouldn't move back to Midlothian--and then I ate my words!

2. I began student teaching. It was more educational than the past four years of college but so great. I learned so much by being thrown into the mix rather than reading a book about what to do.

3. I graduated college!! All the trials, struggles and perseverance paid off and I have a 8''x11'' piece of paper that confirms that.

4. I became a certified teacher and landed a job as a third grade teacher... that soon changed to a first grade teacher.

5. I began working with the youth at FBC Midlothian. I have gotten the chance to pour into a group of high school girls lives and have become a leader in the worship team.

6. My sister got engaged! Her fiance' is an amazing man and she will be Mrs. Heather Carpenter on August 28, 2010!

7. My sister Lauren and I have the chance to go to Hawaii!! I will be sponsoring the Senior Trip to Lanai, Hawaii for 10 days in June. I know... I know... but its the least I could do for the children!

8. The Lord has blessed me with an amazing group of Godly women to share life with. I meet with six great girls every Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. that pray, encourage and pour into my life!

9. Two of my close friends became enagaged and got/will get married! Lacey met Scott and married him in December and Mallory and her long time best friend, Brandon, FINALLY realized what they were missing and fell in love. They will be getting married in June!

10. I have fallen head over heels and unconditionally in love with my Beloved! He has been the only consistent thing in my life and has captivated my heart these past few months. I am so excited to see what is going to happen and where He is going to lead me in the future!

Thanks for reading and following me! I look forward to sharing more of my life with yall!