Saturday, December 10, 2011

Perfect days

As I sit in Starbucks, it’s a seemingly perfect morning. It’s my day off. I’m drinking my pumpkin spiced latte (oh, sad day when the holiday drinks will no longer be served and I’ll have to wait an entire year for a sip of my favorite drink). Did I mention that snowflakes are falling outside, and Starbucks is playing music from the Nutcracker? I also just received notification from the library that the book I have been waiting for is in. I was number 64 on the waiting list.

Pinch me! What a delightful and wonderful morning!

As great as this morning is, it is a dim picture of what’s to come. This Advent season I am not only trying to remember that Jesus came to earth as a baby, but that He is coming again. Pumpkin spice lattes’, days off, and snowflakes are a pale comparison to what’s coming.

I am also reminded that those seemingly perfect mornings are rare. Life as we know it is plain hard sometimes. This time of year, I am always reminded of Christmas morning 2004. “Your husband has a brain tumor,” the emergency room doctor said. “He has a what!” I was utterly shocked! I will never forget making the phone call to Erik’s family Christmas morning. His sister answered the phone and the joyous “Merry Christmas” greeting quickly turned to disbelief and horror as I told the rest of his family that was gathered together.

We all long for the days of perfection where all is well. Those days seem to be so few and far between. So I wait -- wait for His return. Because when He comes, oh how perfect that will be! Perfect days will abound and be limitless. We get Jesus, and we will be filled to all the fullness of God every second of everyday. Complete joy, satisfaction, rest, peace. Filled completely!

That’s what I am trying to remember this Advent season. He is coming again! He IS coming again! What hope we have for our future and what courage that gives me for today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kisses from Katie

I am continually challenged by this girl's life. I have been following her blog for a while now and wanted to share this with you. She has a book coming out soon. Take a look and tell me what you think! (scroll down to the blogplaylist at the bottom of my blog and click on the stop button to turn off music, so you can hear the video)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tent Fun!

I have been cleaning out the garage, so I can actually park my car in it and stumbled upon a tent. Erik and I received it as a wedding gift. We never used it, but there are two Steffen boys who have had a lot of backyard fun with it! Perhaps, one day I will be brave enough to take them on a real camp out!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Good Intentions...

A lot has happened since i wrote last. I must have written a million posts in my mind, but in my mind they have remained. Here are a few pictures to sum up the last month. Jensen turned six, we went to Colorado for a conference, and since we've been home, the boys have been playing non-stop with their new neighbor friend, Luke.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Word of LIfe

What are three words that best describe your life? What is one thing you want to do before you die? Who is Jesus Christ? What happens after death?

These are all questions my seven year old asked a man on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. He was with our good friend, Scott, and they began to share the gospel with this man. Scott, who is very tech savvy, happened to have a gospel presentation on his iPad. Alex held the iPad up high above his head so the gentleman could see it, and Scott shared with this man how he could know Jesus. This man came to Christ that night.

I am challenged by my seven year old who shows no partiality and has a child like faith when it comes to telling others about Jesus. I often shrink back in fear that others will think I’m the weird Bible beater. Oh, how I learn from my children.

As Alex was literally holding up the gospel via an iPad, I am reminded of Philippians 2 where Paul exhorts the church to hold fast the word of life, which is the gospel. Oh, may we hold fast the gospel and may we not be ashamed, for it is life for all who believe!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


The boys and I have settled into our home away from home. We are in Virginia for most of the summer carrying out my summer assignment with Campus Crusade for Christ. There are over 70 college students who have been accepted for a summer project that I, along with others, will help staff. The focus of the summer for staff and students is “Encounter Christ, Experience Transformation and Engage in the Mission.”

We are all living in a motel that is about 4 blocks from the beach. It’s definitely motel living, complete with smoky rooms and all. The definite bonus is the motel pool which the boys have enjoyed swimming in nearly everyday since we’ve been here.

As they have been swimming in the pool, the boys have gotten to know some other children who have also regularly been frequenting the pool. We learned that these kids live at the hotel. It’s humbling, as I have grumbled more than once about our home away from home this summer. This is where they have lived for the past 6 months.

They came up to our room to play, as it was a rainy day in Virginia. I was humbled once more as they walked in and said, “Wow you guys have a lot of toys,” referring to the one small container of toys I brought from home for the boys to play with for the summer.

I’m thankful that the Lord takes me out of my bubble and helps me see a bit more of reality. Oh, may I cultivate a thankful heart and not one that is so quick to complain, and may I love extravagantly those the Lord puts into my path. I am praying that as I encounter Christ, experience transformation and engage in the mission that others I come in contact with will also.

There are the lessons I’m learning in Virginia.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Remembering this day 9 years ago and thankful for the 4 years of marriage with Erik Steffen!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Today there are many celebrating and many who are saying that justice has been done. Bin Laden is dead! I would imagine for the one who lost a loved one on Sept. 11th, today would be especially poignant. I watched the images of people at ground zero and the White House cheering and celebrating! Chanting USA!

I was thinking about the celebration we will have when ultimate justice will take place. That day when Satan will be cast into the fiery pit forever. Won’t that be amazing! It IS going to happen and what a celebration there will be! Justice will be served! It will be especially poignant for the one who has suffered unjustly. There will be no USA chants, instead a resounding JESUS, JESUS!

Until that day, keep persevering! Justice is coming!

Monday, April 4, 2011


So excited for the Butler Bulldogs and the championship game this evening! The boys and i have enjoyed participating in all the fun on campus.

Watching the final four game at Hinkle fieldhouse. My little entertainer!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last Day

Today is the last day of wearing the dress. I can’t wait to hang it up in my closet tonight never to bring it back out again. A friend asked me today if I was going to burn it. There will be no dress burning as tempting as that might sound. I’m sure one day it will make it’s way out of the closet.

It has certainly been something I won’t forget. Thank you Amy for allowing me to be apart of this amazing experience with you. I am no longer unaware and uninformed. I have much to still learn, but you have helped me to have better understanding. You are having an impact in helping others become aware, but also encouraging others to do something about it! Thank you!

I’ve been thinking about Amy. How in the world has she done this for four months and still has two to go? I can definitely appreciate more of what she is experiencing even though I only did it for a month. It’s like my friends who have husbands that travel. They often say, “I have a whole new appreciation for single moms”. They’ve gotten a glimpse. I’ve gotten a glimpse of Amy’s world.

It’s when we walk in another person's shoes for a while that we know a little bit about what it must be like to be them. I think of Jesus. He became flesh. The God of the universe experienced humanity and he didn’t just get a glimpse. He experienced it fully! He knows what it’s like to hunger, because he experienced it. He knows what it’s like to be weary. He knows what it’s like to have others reject him; one of his own betrayed Him. He knows loneliness, grief, mourning, pain. He knows! He’s not a distant bystander. He KNOWS and He wants us to turn to Him.

Certainly many who are reading this, haven’t been personally affected by human trafficking. We haven’t walked in their shoes. But, we can be apart of the healing process. Ultimately, I believe God is the one who can bring hope and healing to these girls who are in slavery, but we can be apart of what He’s doing.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the website: The Daughter Project, please do. Would you consider giving to the Daughters and being apart helping girls who are sold into slavery?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Psalm 34:18

Alex has another broken bone. This time it’s his ankle. I won’t go into the details of how it happened since little brother was involved in the incident. His broken ankle has kind of been a word picture for the state of his heart these past few days. Broken, sad and missing his dad.
Some days grief just hits you like a giant wave that catches you by surprise and knocks you right off your feet. Even though it’s been almost five years since Erik’s death, there are days were we are still sad. Alex has had a few of those days lately. As a mom, I want to fix it and make it better. I know I can’t. I just held him while he wept and prayed that the Lord would comfort him.

The next morning, the boys were coloring while listening to the Seeds family worship CD (which is excellent by the way). It’s Scripture set to music and just a lot of fun to sing. One song came on, Psalm 34:18 and I noticed Alex singing the words. The chorus of the song is: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

He asked me to play it over and over and over again. God was encouraging, strengthening, and ministering to him through this song and through His word. Sometimes it’s just good for me to step aside and let the Lord do what only He can do!

I think about the women and girls who have been trapped in the modern day slavery of the sex trade. Broken. Crushed. I believe the Lord can bring hope and healing. I believe He can use ordinary people like you and me to be a vehicle of hope.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Debbie and Miya's story

Why am i wearing this dress everyday? For these women! Check out this article. Be forewarned; it's a bit graphic. Debbie and Miya's story

rockin' the straight hair

Watching the Butler Bulldogs play some ball! Yes, i have on the dress!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aruna 5k

Check out this video that some of my peers put together. They are hosting a 5k walk/run in Cincinnati to raise money to stop human trafficking in India. (scroll down to the bottom of the blog and mute the playlist, so you can hear the video)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Daughter Project details

I thought I would fill you in on some more details of The Daughter project in case you haven't had a chance to look at the website. The Daughter Project is a non-profit organization in Northwest Ohio that exists to help girls recover from the trauma of sex trafficking and to help prevent others from being trafficked.

They are seeking to build a home that will help house girls who have been rescued. This is what their website says about the services the girls will receive: abuse & addiction counseling, family/friend restoration, health & nutrition education, medical/dental/vision care, legal counsel and spiritual mentorship. This help will be provided by caring & competent professionals and volunteers. More specifically, we have recruited doctors, counselors and other professionals to provide medical services to the girls. We are also developing plans for art, drama, equine and music therapy. In addition to medical services, we have begun to contact various local community organizations to provide healthy, educational opportunities for our girls. Some of these include the YMCA, the Zoo, the Symphony and others.

They are seeking to raise $80,000 for a home that will house girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking. They have raised $40,0000 so far. The plan is to begin building in May with the completion of the home in June, which will allow them to house their first girl in July. Would you consider giving to the Daughter Project?

I got to see Amy over the weekend. She's the one who is wearing the gray dress for 6 month. SO glad that she roped me into doing this!

Hanging out at my mom's

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One black dress

Today was day number one of wearing my black dress. I am excited about all the opportunities just in the first day that I have had to talk about The Daughter Project

I won't be buying anything new to wear with the dress. I am just wearing what i have and what i can borrow from the college students that live down the street. College ministry does have it's benefits! I did buy a few tights and leggings, so i don't freeze. Some have asked if i am going to exercise in the dress. The answer is no. That will be the exception along with sleeping. And yes, i will wash it. You should have seen the amount of mud my two boys caked on the dress today after we walked the dog.

Check out these sobering facts about human trafficking: fifty five facts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Daughter Project

I am about to embark on something a little crazy, crazy for me at least. My dear friend, Amy, has been wearing the same gray dress everyday since November. Everyday!

Why, you ask? To raise money and awareness for The Daughter project. It is a non-profit organization in Northwest Ohio that exists to help girls recover from the trauma of sex trafficking and helps to prevent others from being trafficked.

Why Northwest Ohio? Amy says this, "“I had no idea there was sex slavery in my own backyard,"I think I was overwhelmed to realize that in 2006 in a rescue bust in Philadelphia there were 150 rescued. Over 50% that were rescued were from Toledo."

Amy was interviewed by her local tv station, which lead to recognition on CNN. Click here to see the interview

Amy has asked friends to each take a month with her in the one dress campaign. So, here I go......I am wearing the same dress everyday for a month. I am starting tomorrow February 17th and ending on my birthday, March 17th.

I'm certain that i won't be as creative in making the dress look different everyday as Amy does. It would take you awhile to realize she was wearing the same dress over and over because she comes up with lots of creative ways to wear it.

Despite my lack of creativity, I hope to be apart of helping raise awareness and money for the Daughters. If you are interested in giving, visit: The Daughter Project

Sunday, January 30, 2011

lesson from a five year old

The boys and I moved just before Christmas and have been settling into our new house. Many of the boxes have been unpacked, although there’s a room in the basement full of all the remaining boxes that I haven’t had time to get to yet. But pictures are being hung, and it’s starting to look like a home.

One morning recently, I was spending time with the Lord, and Jensen woke up early. He crawled onto my lap and asked what I was reading in the Bible. I started sharing with him some things I was learning and he looked at me and said, “Mom this isn’t our home.” I sat there for a second thinking we might have yet another discussion about why we moved, then replied, “What do you mean, buddy?” He said, “This is our earthly home; heaven is our real home!” Oh, how right you are Jensen!

Jensen was feeling sad, missing our old house, missing his dad and yet, thinking about our future home in heaven gave him hope. What a good lesson from a five year old!

Colossians 3:2 “Set you mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Making memories in our new home. Yes, they have on helmets! :)