Category Archives: Love and Marriage

Running After Peace

I mentioned in my One Word for 2013 post that my quickly forgotten word for 2012 was “Peace.”  As I’ve thought back on it, I’m astounded at how the Holy Spirit stuck with my word, even when I forgot all about it.  The Spirit, of course, knew how very much I needed it.

Many times in 2012 I listened to the song “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” on Youtube.  In the fall, I found a plaque of that same Prayer of St. Francis and hung it in my kitchen, right next to the sink.  My most stressful, non-peaceful moments come when I am scurrying about, trying to get dinner ready with one child doing homework, another singing and dancing and annoying the one doing homework, a four-year-old begging to watch Thomas videos on my phone, and a two-year-old throwing a fit because she wants candy.  That song and that plaque have been a remarkable blessing, keeping me focused on Peace when all I really wanted to do was throw the dishes on the floor and scream at the top of my lungs.  (No, I have never done this.  But I have pounded a Pyrex measuring cup on the linoleum, as if taking out my frustration on these two objects might ease my pent-up stress.  It didn’t work, needless to say, and left me feeling like an out of control moronic psycho.)

OK, pretend you didn’t read that last bit. Continuing on with my growth toward Peace…

In the fall, I made up a fake business card, to help keep me focused on what I believe God is calling me to do.  I posted it where I see it every time I sit at my computer.  You may laugh and think I’m foolish, but it’s been a very effective tool in keeping me on target.  The card reads,

Stephanie Engelman
Wife and Mom Extraordinaire
Author of Children’s Books and Bible Studies
For speaking engagements call 1-800-234-5678


Peacemaker… I can never be “Wife and Mom Extraordinaire” without PEACE.  I certainly can’t write Bible Studies without PEACE.  And I’d surely be a hypocrite if I tried to  speak publicly without PEACE.

To that end, the Holy Spirit performed its greatest coup d’etat toward the peace of my soul and my family late in the summer, when I shared some struggles that Ray and I were having with my wonderful, Godly walking buddy.

Colleen took out her phone and looked up a verse. As we walked, she read 1 Pet 3:8-11 to me:

Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.  Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit blessing,  for:

Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep the tongue from evil
and the lips from speaking deceit,
must turn from evil and do good,
seek peace and follow after it.

Actually, that’s the New American translation.  What Colleen read was from The Message translation. The words that I italicized above, in The Message, are stated,

“Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.”


“…run after peace for all you’re worth.”

And that’s just what I’m trying to do.  Run after PEACE for all I’m worth.  The Spirit helped me establish the beginnings of a foundation in 2012.  In 2013, it continues to build on that foundation, this time using Self-Discipline for the mortar, that holds the bricks, made of The Rock, together.

Do you see me?  I’m running.


Late Night Musings

It’s one A.M. and my mind is running at a thousand miles an hour, thinking about the changes that are coming.  It’s starting to sink in that Ray’s new career will impact the whole family, more than the name or figure on the paycheck, the stories brought home, or the number of hours away from home.

He’s entering a whole new world of “big corporation.”  That just seems like it will… change him, somehow.  Not in a bad way, just… different.

Definitely not the happy-go-lucky bar tender I first fell in love with.

The guy with the nickname,

“Twice a day every day, stuck in the mud, double O Ray.”

You have to be a certain kind of person to earn a name like that, one with stories attached to it that his cohorts still laugh at today.

“That Guy” was always thinking of others.

“That Guy” often spendt his night’s earnings buying drinks for all his friends.

“That Guy” was always willing to do a favor, never expecting one in return.

“That Guy” was proud to have “friends in low places”, and didn’t put on any airs, beyond the ones necessary to cover scars, emotional and physical, from a mistake years ago.

Corporate culture and “That Guy” just don’t seem to go together to me.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m very thankful that Ray isn’t “That Guy” anymore.  “That Guy” and fatherhood wouldn’t have gone so well.  “That Guy” and a growing faith would seem an impossibility.

But sometimes I remember “That Guy”.  I remember that he helped me to loosen the fist I had clenched around college text books.  I remember that he showed me it was possible to go out the night before an exam and still get an “A”.  I remember laughing with him at the comedy club, swing dancing with him at the Blue Bird, and sharing our first guilty kiss at a back table at Yogi’s.

I like the fun loving, more laid back girl that “That Guy” helped me to become.  And I’m saddened that the responsibilities and stresses of life have made him a thing of the past.