Sunday, December 01, 2013
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 12:04 AM
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 12:00 AM
Saturday, September 28, 2013
As it was they had planned a surprise, and me, naively clueless, made it easy to execute. We drove up to Bethany's driveway, and it was lined with cars. She flipped her hair over her shoulder (she did this a LOT) and stated, "Oh, our family came over to visit."
Despite the fact that one of the cars belonged to another one of my best friends, the explanation worked for me, and I thought nothing more of it...until moments later I opened the door.
Talk about surprised.
I cannot quite explain why I did not anticipate or expect any such event. Everyone who knows me can attest that I do not let my birthday go by without making it known. However, I'm also easy to please and spending an afternoon doing nothing suited me (and still suits me) perfectly. I still laugh at myself now, knowing what I know. A large obstacle had been thrown in their way as one of our friends tried convincing me that many many people were on their way to Bethany's.
"No." I insisted. "Kim is just dropping them off. I don't know what you are talking about. It's just us."
I was wrong.
I was delighted.
I still remember sitting in a room full of friends, and smiling until my face hurt.
I did not expect that day.
That was one day. One afternoon many years ago.
Despite the fact that my friends can plan a simple, yet wonderful, afternoon I forget that God has something planned out way better for me than that surprise party. I become distraught. I dwell in the land of the, "I will never receive. I will never find what it is I most want. No one remembers me. No one cares. I am alone. No hope. No future."
I live with no expectation, no anticipation that there is anything good ahead of me. But I am wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.
I can choose to live defeated; recalling only what I have lost, or what I do not have. Or, I can breathe in the hope that surrounds me everywhere I go. Recognizing that God's promises are true.
And it's true that things are not exactly as I would like them to be. But the reality, the true and honest reality is that things are actually better than what I could have ever imagined.
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 2:05 AM
Friday, September 27, 2013
We sing, and sing and sing.
While I can certainly look backward, and I've come so far, the truth is a lot of what I've stopped saying out loud, I just keep inward.
But I don't want to be that way. I don't want to tuck it in. I don't want to think it all.
I can't quite get a handle on it. But, I'll not quit trying.
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 12:16 AM
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I had a sliding glass door as my front door, and with it the apartment came a trusty stick used to help "lock" the door. The first months I lived in my apartment, I would walk in, pick up the stick and check all possible hiding spots in my apartment, and only then could I rest easy. Since it was a studio apartment, and I hardly had any furniture, there were really only two places a person could hide: the bathtub, and the oven (for those contortionist intruders out there). Should I have ever catch anyone, the plan was to bash the person on the head with the stick, and make it out the front door...... Fortunately, I never had to carry out my fool proof plan. No one broke in. No one ever was found hiding in my oven. Quickly I learned to love living on my own. Aside from a few weeks, the love has continued.
My Mum has never been one to allow me to bemoan (bewail - mourn - lament - deplore - moan - weep - wail) what was about to happen. Why? Because we don't know what is going to happen. I spent a lot of those first months in my studio, gated, guarded apartment, worrying, anxious, not sleeping. I would wake up and stay up for hours. I would turn on lights. Watch TV. Play music. Why? Because of what might happen. What if someone wanted my $10 dollar tv stand/storage container? What if someone spotted my fantastic red Friday shoes (Yes for a while I had shoes I would wear on Friday) and they decided they had to have them? I borrowed trouble. I counted my chickens. I lost sleep, gained a twitch, and looked ridiculous taking a packed suitcase with me to work every day. (I didn't actually do that.)
Wait. That really happened.
What if tomorrow I'm in a car accident and lose both my legs, and my right eye? I'll just stay home. I will never drive again. What if tonight, a flaming ember from a backyard bonfire 2 blocks away lands on my roof, and starts Pearl (my house) on fire? I'd better not sleep. What if, while I'm taking a walk in my neighborhood, I trip on a rock and fall, and scrape my knee in front of a bunch of neighbor kids? (This remarkably has not happened.) I'd better not walk.
It has been a difficult year, and at the same time full, FULL, of happiness, and delight. Good times, visits (and food- usually always food (sigh)). I have been worried. I do worry. I worry about my Daddy. I worry about my brother. I worry about my best friends. I want them around forever and ever. I want them to be with me. Guess what? They are here NOW. I have them today. (Actually unless they are hiding in my basement, they are all (family and friends) technically at home sleeping.) I do not want to miss one second of time with them, whether it is in person, on the phone, via email. It is for this reason, that while all day long I have been worried, and anxious, and had a backache, and a headache, that the moment, the few moments ago that I prayed and said, "Oh God, please help me..." that I now have peace. No backache. No headache. I have peace. I will not borrow trouble tonight. And you can take that to the bank, Jack.
Psalm 91:1-5Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
nor the arrow that flies by day.
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 11:30 PM
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Tonight, I found the journal (it wasn't really lost, but misplaced). I flipped through to the end of December 2012, and while I normally do not (actually not sure I have ever) shared on here what I wrote in there, I am tonight.
I don't remember this exact day. It was December 16, 2012. I do know that the calendar year was coming to a close. I had charged in to 2012, determined to find myself, to have adventures, and to paint hope everywhere I went. I know that I was tired that day. And, I also know I wanted to be home. I couldn't sleep, and so I would stay up until early morning, and drag into work the next day.
In the middle of that, this is what I wrote:
"Even a small spark can become a flame and change everything."
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 11:34 PM
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
I have watched my dad do this over and over, for thirty some years. He puts his hands together and rocks back and forth and then will quickly step back, and in a little voice he will say, "I do it myself." I should remember, I was there, and he is quoting me, but I don't remember. Except that I do, because I did it yesterday.
My dad tells of a little girl, blue eyes and a chub face who loved to do it all on her own. She was independent, even when it wasn't beneficial. The thing about little girls is they grow up. Sure, there are (in my case) the same blue eyes, and freckles, and ... the stubborn streak. Cute, perhaps when younger, but maybe not so attractive when all grown up.
While I don't talk about it much on here, I am a single gal. Aside from periodically once in a while moping about, "Woah is me," I am good. I have Pearl. I have my family nearby (and family not nearby- don't worry I know how to find you!) I have friends in walking, phone-calling, traveling distances. I honestly love living. I love looking forward to God doing great things. I do, however, spend a lot of time with me. And, sometimes I am just short. (Not that I am every tall.... unless I wear tall shoes..another story) My arms are not long enough, and okay, I am just not always strong enough to do what I need to do.
That being said, why do I feel it necessary to show the world that I can do it all alone. Sure, I can whip up a good roast, along mashed "tators" (for all my Texans) and green beans. Yes, I can paint a wall. Sew? Yes. I can even go to sleep now, and walk around in the dark of my house, sans dog.
Ask for help?.... Who? Me? No. Nope. Uh-uh. And, it is to my detriment at times.
There have been many funny, funny stories, as I travel through the Life and Times of Stephanie. Yes, I poke at myself because I know I'm ridiculous. But tonight. Tonight I had a moment. For whatever reason I determined that I was going to move a large, large piece of furniture, up the stairs because I needed it to be moved tonight (?). I don't know why. It was funny. I was actually laughing, until at one moment I was realizing the precarious position I put myself in (as the dresser-ish I was hauling up the stairs, tried to haul me back down with). That isn't even the point of my rambling tonight.
The point is, I don't ask. Not even that I don't ask people, friends, family. I don't ask God. The truth of what it says in the Bible is there in black and white.
"Come to me and I will give you rest."
"Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden."
"Peace I'll give to you."
Furniture moving aside, life has been feeling like a whirlwind, and I'm sucked in. There are very few moments when I feel the calm. Instead I feel the wind and the crazy waves sending me flying through the air. I want to yell at life to, "STOP!" It doesn't.
There are things, every day things, family things, worry things that pile up. "I do it myself," though. I can handle it all on my own.... Except I can't.
If I would just stop in those moments and say, "God please help," the winds don't all die down. The waves don't disappear, but the anchor I need to keep me grounded, is firmly wrapped around me, and I won't fly off anywhere.
I am not alone. You, one of you (out of maybe the two who read this thing) is reading this thinking you are alone, and that no one can help and that you have been sent to sea in a sinking ship with nothing to bail water but a banana. Life's circumstances are hard. There's no where to run to, and no where to hide.... but there is a Help. The Help we all need.
It can be humbling to ask for help. I never think of myself as a prideful person, but there it is. Ugly pride putting a stamp on my forehead. (And not even in a good color.) Tonight, Jesus met me on the stairs. Not literally (because I could have literally used his help!) but after securing my crazy dresser-ish in a good, non-falling position, he reminded me that I have been doing a lot of this lately. I have been piling on the burdens. I've been, "I do it myself,"-ing. Piling on the weight and carrying around everyone's weariness. It is NOT MINE and they do not belong to me.
Psalm 81 talks of a trying time, but then speaks of the promise that when we cry to God, when we say to Him, "help me," He does. Bam. That's it. He helps. If you are uncertain reading this, and you want to know more... ask. Ask me. I can point the way.
Life is hard. Doesn't it make it all the better when you have a great travel companion?
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 11:49 PM
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
She creaks. But she is a character.
She has little "nooks" and "crannies" where she can keep your treasures and hide your secrets.
I've now told you about the beginning.
And, I explained the Craft Cabinet.
The keys on my laptop typed out the waiting.
The plan had always been to find an apartment. I was going to find my place. Move in. A month maybe. But then. The job came through. With rent prices the way they are, and with cute old style homes awaiting for my quirkiness to do some damage, buying seemed to be the way to go.
I hunted a lot. People came with me. Sometimes they did not. Then I found her online on a Thursday and I knew. Saturday morning my mom and I met with the realtor. I stepped on to the porch, and within minutes they were moved on, and I yelled out to them, "This is my house." I knew.
From the date I first stepped onto the porch, to the day I signed, and was given the keys, only 47 days passed.
Because I cannot help but to name things, such as my plants, I cannot help but give a name to her now. (I will also say that it helps differentiate between "home" my parents, and "home," my place.)
Pearl it is. We, as much as a house and a person can, belong together.
She's older than I. At 113 years she is not perfect. She is, however, solid.
Right now she's a mess. Some walls are painted. Almost nothing is unpacked.
Regardless, peace lives here.
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 10:33 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Take a step, or five, backwards.
Not quite to the beginning.
And, after the Craft Cabinet.
My parents' Pastor asked me to talk with him about an opportunity to work with kids at the church. I love kids. Always have. If you were to ask my friends, I annoy them, because I point out every cute child in every TV show, commercial, store..... usually it's all kids. I did not think, however, that working with kids at a church would be something I would be doing again. Little did I realize..... God had other plans. As usual.
Of course, this gives me (as if I needed one) reason to have glue stuck to my arm, and paint on my face.
Now...where to live?
More to come.
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 11:17 PM
Literally. I quit my job. I have never and will never be one of those people who just says to someone on the edge of a life altering moment say, "Jump!" unless it's with absolute certainty that God is pushing them in that direction. It has not been time to leave until that moment. It was a Wednesday, March 13th to be exact (1 day shy of being 3 months ago). I went to bed and I knew that it was time. While friends and family knew I was going to move...eventually, it hadn't happened yet, life moves on, and I wasn't really discussing it.
I woke up resolved. Had my resignation letter in hand, and written and saved in email, and asked my manager for a meeting.
He sighed. Loudly, and put his head down and said he was not looking forward to this day. I cried. But, it was done. I had given the two weeks notice to the job I had worked so hard to get.
Less than a week before I was moving, my co-manager asked me if I would be willing to work through the month of April; while a new manager was located, set into place; while I was looking for a new job.
She said, "More to come."
(I have found these are my three favorite words from this lady. More to come.)
Later that afternoon, she pulled up a chair and informed me about a the possibility of another "virtual" opportunity. Would I be interested in giving it ago? Never a guarantee, but the promise of an opportunity (working from home in my pajamas!) sounded good. With ten years (almost) under my belt, (and all that vacation time!) I said of course, yes.
As of my last post, I was still waiting on the word. I had interviewed, multiple times, with the necessary people. I was waiting for word. Waiting when I knew, knew what was coming. Waiting nonetheless.
I did get the job.
"Seems like we all think God needs our help, but mostly, we just want him to hurry. Sometimes, He just lets us wave our arms, and flail around until we get tired enough to be still and pay attention to him." ~ Wise Uncle Robert (This is really my Uncle Robert)
Posted by Stephanie Hunter at 10:29 PM