My name is Stacie. I have been married to Steve for 18 and a half years. He is a firefighter/paramedic and has worked at a small department for 21 years. We have six children ages 15, 13, 10, 8, 6, and four. There are four boys and two girls. We homeschooled them for seven years, but have since put them in public school.
I have been a Christian since I was six. I grew up going to Sunday school and church. I thought I knew the Bible because I knew all the major stories like David and Goliath, Samson, Daniel, and Jesus dying on the cross. Basically, I knew basics.
I didn’t have any desire or need except every once in a while when I was going through a crisis, to pick up God’s Word throughout my teens and early twenties.
I grew up, got married at age 20 and continued to live a very moderate, powerless Christian life. I thought I knew the Word but in reality I knew almost nothing.
I began working as a church secretary, when I became pregnant with my first child at the age of 22. Because I was pretty efficient at my job, I had a lot of time on my hands. I started to read some of the pastor’s magazines that came in the church’s mail. I began to realize that there was a lot about the Bible I had never heard of. I suddenly felt very incompetent. I knew that when my children grew up they would start asking me biblical questions. It terrified me to think that I might not have a clue how to answer them. I remember God and I distinctly having a conversation. It went something like this:
“I want to raise my children the best way possible. I want to be the best mother I can be.”
I felt him saying, “Do you think what you are doing is working or do you want to start doing things MY way?”
I said, “Your way, Lord. I know my way isn’t working.” It was my first step of surrender. I was 23 years old.
I didn’t have a clue how to do this Bible thing. A friend invited me to her Bible study and I sat there as she opened up the book of Philippians and went on and on about the history of Paul and the church of Philippi. I sat slack jawed and asked her how in the world she knew all that. I felt totally inadequate, ignorant and stupid, but I kept going and listened and learned so much from her.
After my second child was born, I was invited to a women’s retreat where a missionary woman came and talked with us about how she raised her three children in the jungles of Papua New Guinea . She kept saying over and over how she would turn to God’s word and it would give her strength. I only had two children and I was living a comfortable American life style and I felt like I was drowning. After the talk, I felt God nudging me to ask the most spiritual person I knew that was in the room (a precious older woman named, Shirley). The woman oozed God! When she opened her mouth, the power of God’s Word came forth. I knew she was different and I knew I wanted to be that kind of a person. I was honest and told her, “I know it is important to study the Bible, but there is NOTHING in me that wants to open it. It’s a book that is boring and I know all the major stories. What do I do? How do I enjoy reading God’s Word?”
Shirley told me that I needed to pray that God would give me a thirst for His Word. I remember her and several other ladies circling around me and praying that I would receive that thirst. The second I opened up my Bible again, I knew something had changed. I wanted to open it! I wanted to read and receive whatever God had for me. This was the second step of surrender to my Savior.
I am Miss Over-Achiever, so I read the whole Bible from front to back in five months. Now I had a zillion questions about what I had just read. The Lord led me to get a Life Application Bible that had the little footnotes under the confusing passages. I read the Bible all the way through again studying all those footnotes with it. I was finally grasping how wonderful God’s Word really was. I was daily being convicted and encouraged and it completely changed my life. This was good because we kept adding children to our family. We finally topped out at six. I needed all of God’s help and wisdom that I could get!
I discovered in-depth Bible studies about 12 years ago. God has only used them to increase my thirst for His Word as each year goes by. I love studying a book or a subject by dissecting it! I find great joy in discovering the connections between the Old Testament and the New!