• Stephanie Black

I Rocked My March Madness Bracket


A dog puked on me yesterday. Well, not literally on me, but I did have to clean it up. Just need to get all the sympathy I can for that one. It should be noted that it was the dog they tolerate... not the favorite one. And since we’ve already established that I’m pretty sure this dog hates me, I suppose this was to be expected. And let’s be honest, we’d all be a little disappointed if this farm gig didn’t give us a few good stories.


It occurred to me today, though, that 10 years ago this family that I’m currently living with went on vacation and left me in charge of their three young kids at that time. During that vacation, their now 15 year old, then 5 year old, ended up with the flu and threw up every hour on the hour for a good 24 hours. I’m beginning to think there might be a theme. Personally I’ll take kid puke over dog puke any day. Also, while they were on that vacation, I may or may not have accidentally put dish soap in their dishwasher instead of dish washer detergent.


Do you know what happens when you put dish soap in a dishwasher?


Bubbles everywhere… for multiple cycles.


You’ll also be happy to know, I never told them about that. They will be reading this blog and hearing that fun little story for the first time with all of you.



You guys! The peaches got opened... And I didn’t even need boy muscles to do it. Just apparently some girl brain power. My lovely friend Renae gave me a nice little hack to succeed at life over here. Well at least in the area of opening jars. I’m going to need a whole lot more than this hack to figure out this thing called life. But seriously, how many of you knew this trick?....



Today marked the 1 year anniversary of being part of a super spreader before that was even a thing. Just settin’ the trend over here. One year ago we held a worship and prayer night. Our leadership staff, band, light and sound peeps all in our auditorium to stream this. And we may or may not have all ended up with Coronavirus days later. Well, except for our Youth Pastor, who now thinks he is the picture of health because he did not succumb. We let him think that. But also these sparkly shoes!


And today did my heart good. There’s a lot in life I’m trying to figure out at the moment. There’s a lot I’ve struggled through for the last year. And yet, I wouldn’t change any of it… because in the hard, in the uncertainty, in the trials, and even in the suffering, the Lord has worked in great ways and taught me so much. Some of those lessons have come through Scripture, some have come through the help of other people, and some I’ve just silently wrestled with. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, but one lesson that stands out the most to me is the simple fact that there is no substitute for loving someone through a hard time.


Because that is what I’ve experienced.


I, for sure, have failed at doing this for others probably much of the time, but man am I humbled when I think about the people who have loved me well. People who have just sat for hours on end and listened, people who grabbed a box of kleenex and just let me cry, people who have asked questions before jumping to conclusions, people who were willing to walk in the mess with me with no hesitation of how dirty they might get in the process.


Today was one of those days. Well, let me be honest, literally everyday has been one of those days, because without fail, the Lord sends someone my way each and every day. But today, I feel like a load has been taken off my shoulders because today was yet another person willing to get in the mess with me, simply trying to help me figure some things out, while at the same time being willing to put how it will impact them on the back burner. And in that I am so humbled.


And as I reflect on today, I can’t help but think that there are so many of you reading this right now who are one of those people in my life. I’ve kept a list, excuse me, let me break out the cool word, Punch List (haha), of several things over the last 6 months. I’ve kept a list of people who have gone out of their way to let me know that they are praying for me and the amount of people on that list astounds me. And I‘ve kept a list of how the Lord has shown himself to me each and every day. And all of you that are on my prayer list are, at some point. on this list too. Some in the craziest, coolest stories that only the Lord could have orchestrated. And I can’t wait to share all of those with you.


But today I want to encourage you. I just want to thank you for loving me so well. I don’t know what all the Lord is going to do in the days to come with me. But I can rest in the comfort and peace of knowing that I have people praying for me… so many people, Friends, that it leaves me with tears in my eyes in awe. Wait?! What?! Stephanie crying? Shocking, I know. Haha. Let’s be honest, would it really be a blog post if I didn’t mention tears at some point? Good tears, you guys! Good tears.


The greatest of these really is love, friends.


Thank you.


And because I know you are all dying to know… I filled out my march madness bracket. I went with who has the coolest logo this year. Each member of my family will at some point be totally ticked off at me because, without fail, at some point my ridiculous attempt at filling out a march madness bracket will land me in first place against their valid attempts. It won’t last long, but confession… I may or may not be a bit of a sore winner in those moments.

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