Daily Walking with God

January 2018
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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Lessons from my country home

DSCN2936On our first official day out on our new property we had a doe and a fawn greeting us in our backyard. Precious!

Cole was riding the four-wheeler, Tim was riding the mower, Hunter was shooting guns with a buddy, Holly joined us for dinner after work, and I was capturing all the moments on my camera.

As mentioned in a previous journal entry, Tim and I had been praying for this moment for years. It was all in God’s time. (Definitely in His time!) He confirmed it, at least from my perspective, when on our first day out He provided a rainbow in the sky. I took that godly symbol as an indication that our family had reached our earthly promise land.DSCN2976

My mom and step-dad brought dinner to us after they retrieved Cole from football practice. Once we were ALL finally together, mom took our first family photo at our new home. The photograph cracks me up. Tim and Hunter look like they are right at home, Holly has her normal attire on after she had a been riding the wakeboard before her shift started, Cole was still in his practice clothes, and there I stood bug-eyed trying to contain our dog Marley all while our home-dog (Leyla) was wanting to play with her. Holly said, “Yep, that captures us perfectly.”

DSCN3000In Psalm 20:4 we read, “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Thank You, Lord, for this new opportunity for our family.

As I was standing on the front porch admiring the tranquil beauty of the country landscape, the song by Lonestar came to mind. The first verse says:

The only ground I ever owned was sticking to my shoes Now I look at my front porch and this panoramic view I can sit and watch the fields fill up with rays of glowing sun Or watch the moon lay on the fences like that’s where it was hung My blessings are in front of me, it’s not about the land I’ll never beat the view from my front porch looking in. (lyrics from MetroLyrics)

So true! The land is so peaceful and such a blessing, but the biggest blessing is when I turn and see all my family together in one place. The view from the front porch is sweet as I look out, but the scene on the inside is priceless. (I’m seizing these moments for sure before all my babies soon leave the nest.)

The view from my front porch.

The view from my front porch.

If you’ve followed me for long enough you’ve noticed that I allow God to speak to me and through me through everyday situations. My desire is to share Jesus with others through everyday instances, and hopefully others will want to see Him more through their own daily experiences. I’m sure that there will be many “Lessons Learned from Our Country Home” for years to come.

Lesson for today: no matter how blessed one may be as to the location of your earthly home, your family and the love you have for one another is a greater treasure.

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie


These are the flowers that Susan threw in the back.  "Bloom where you're planted."

These are the flowers that Susan threw in the back. “Bloom where you’re planted.”

Well, the Shuff family is on a new adventure. No, not the normal adventures we partake in where it requires boats, planes, and automobiles to a different place for a short vacation. Nah, this adventure will require four-wheelers, a tractor, and a short car ride down the road from where we are now.

Tim and I have been praying and searching for either land or a beach home for quite a few years now. To make a long story short, we are not the ecstatic owners of ten acres which is surround by tens of thousands of acres that will never be built upon. Did I say we were ecstatic? Yippee!! (I’ll save some details for another time. It has definitely been, and still continues to be, a series of “God lessons” along the way. Dealing with a short sale is NOT a “short” process. I may have to create a new tab for journaling titled “Lessons from my country home”.)

So, let’s just start this God-driven-lessons-learned new series off with the theme of “Bloom where you are planted.”

Holly has been the one member of our family that is NOT ecstatic about this move. You would have thought we were moving her to Iceland instead of only ten minutes up the road. We recently had a “come to Jesus” meeting with her. The home deal was finally done and Miss Holly was still having a negative attitude about this whole experience. We bluntly said, “Holly, we have prayed about this home and land, and God has provided. It’s a done deal. Sometimes in life you must just bloom where you are planted.” We continued the conversation with examples of our own lives. For example, leaving my childhood home that I loved in the country to moving a small home “up town”; moving to a different city at the beginning of our marriage; moving to the “burbs” against our original thoughts; and soon to be moving away from our home now that is the home where my husband grew up in, we began dating in this home when we were sixteen, and raising our own three children. This list could continue with life experiences.

After the purchase of our new home, I went out to visit with the previous owners. I’ve grown to appreciate my new friend that God has sent my way through it all. Susan is a precious Christian lady with an ashes to beauty story to tell. This process has been difficult for her as well. Much like our “city/current” home, Susan has raised her babies on this land. Much like our neighborhood is like family to us, neighbors are like family to her family. Much like Holly, Susan had to be reminded that we much bloom where you are planted. (BTW, the reminder was from God, not me.)

On our visit, I mentioned the conversation we had with Holly. Susan grinned and said, “Funny you said that. Do you see those flowers out there? (She was pointing to the old fire pit area.) I had planted them by the front door and they just would grow. So I dug them up and threw them in the back. Now look at them, they are blooming.” She said that she needed that reminder that we do need to bloom where you are planted.

Dear friends, we go through changes, experiences, and moves in our lives that we may not be particularly crazy about. Maybe it’s a change in school or job, or a circumstance within the home. Maybe it is a change in location. The change may be for a short season or a lifetime. But no matter where you are, if you are seeking God’s will for your life, just know that He has you right where you need to be. You are right where He needs you to be. It may not be where you want to be at that moment, but just as I’ve said many times, “This too shall pass”. The thing is, “this too shall pass” and we will all learn to appreciate the garden that God has placed us in for this time in our lives.

“Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you” 1 Corinthians 7:17a

I pray many blessings and much joy for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

The story I can’t wait to write about is when Holly has bloomed where God is planting her.  She’s my little “wild flower” child.