So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Four states, five cities, and seven apartments have been home for my husband and I since we were married almost eight years ago. Each of our children were born in different states (Texas, Nebraska, and Florida). But NO, my husband is not in the military. We met and married in Utah and he worked while I went to school. During the economic downturn we moved to Texas for a job, then later up to Lincoln Nebraska for school, then Hastings Nebraska for a job, and then central Florida for yet another job.

            But each year and move (and set of friends made and later left) was put into a new perspective recently. Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the beach in Destin, Florida. We met up with some of my husband’s family, some of which I hadn’t seen in two years! Destin is gorgeous. Beautiful beach, perfect weather, and great company! The beach house we rented was comfortable and big enough to fit all 23 of us. But one thing I loved most about the beach house (besides the proximity to the waves and the great beach cruiser bikes) was this wall art that hung in the staircase.

            I’m sure the quote has been around for years, but it was the first time I read “The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God cannot protect you.” I thought about it, then thought about it, and when I came home I shared the quote with a friend. And sharing it made it come alive in my mind.

            Geographically, God has taken us many miles in such a short amount of time. In each location, God has graced us with lifelong friends. In leading me away from all family except for my husband and kids, God has given me friends who are more like sisters.

            But God has done more than protected me physically. God has protected me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. For these past eight years, God’s will has taken me to some pretty amazing vistas along with a few heartbreaking moments. My Father in Heaven thought is was a good idea for me to watch my mom suffer from Multiple Sclerosis for over twenty years and ultimately die from the effects. It is still heartbreaking. But in taking me to this place, His grace has protected me by strengthening my relationship with my siblings and dad. My mom’s positive attitude was astounding. It literally leaves me without words – I cannot fathom how she endured that debilitating disease for YEARS while keeping a positive attitude and being a blessing to everyone around her. So whenever I think, “I cannot possibly survive another day” of tempter tantrums, or wiping multiple bums, etc., I remind myself this, “If she can do it, I can do it.” And then I do it. And by God’s grace I know that my mom is there watching me and cheering for me. Understanding my frustrations, but slowly bringing me past them to recognize my blessings. God’s grace compensates for the places He takes us.

            Recently, God’s will found me at my dad’s wedding. Oh what a location! And I kept saying, “I really could be mad and frustrated about this situation a lot more if I didn’t like her SO MUCH!” What a sweet woman my dad found to marry. And although I doubt I will ever like the situation of my mom not being here with me, I am grateful God’s grace has shined on us and brought his new wife into our lives.

            And lastly, I (like many other mothers and women can sympathize) find myself in a place of suffering from post partum depression (PPD). But this PPD lasts oh so long. And I can’t help but ask myself “life would be SO MUCH EASIER if this just went away.” And “could it just end?” And “When can I have normal emotions again?”

            But even in God’s will to have me face this mountain, his grace has led me to understand that this is actually an opportunity. Because this PPD leaves me feeling pretty emotionless, I have to fight with more tenacity to have a relationship with God. I have to have a purpose. No lollygagging around for me if I want to feel His spirit with me. I have to be diligent. Every. Day.

            So sometimes God’s will takes me to places I don’t want to be. Places without my mom, without my family, and feeling horribly down. But His grace protects me and teaches me that I can get through anything. Seeking Him is my top priority. And His will and His grace are good enough for me.

Stephanie Keller

I am wife to Jake -- the modern day superman. He truly is my better half. I am mother to Sam, Olivia, and Timothy. I love them fiercely! I like to say they grow up too fast (and some days not fast enough!) I am a lawyer by education, but now a stay at home mom. I stay sane with my three littles by sewing and blogging. I'm beginning my first year of homeschooling and I'm scared. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey through life! Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hopeandabreath/

When Life Feels Hard, Sit in the Light

In: Faith
book plate and mug sitting in light on a table

Because of the way our house sits, there isn’t a lot of natural light that flows into our home. As a girl who loves the sun and works at home, this has been a problem, especially in the winter months. I often find myself identifying deeply with my dog, who walks around the house in search of patches of sunlight to lay in. In fact, there is a section of my kitchen where I often sit and do my devotions because the sun shines down on me—a physical reminder of God’s love and presence. The first time I did this...

Keep Reading

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.