I MET a man.

6 Oct

I met a man yesterday.

20151005_131440You see, I had seen this man a few times before kinda hanging out around this local Chinese food spot.

One of our CI Babies (what we call kids in our program) who went through the program years ago, needed a ride to meet this tow truck company. She had been waiting for months to get her car and today was the day. She finally got her keys back from a relative, and I told her I’d take her to get her car!

When we pulled up, this man (who is always friendly I might add) came over with joy,
“You are finally getting your car!”, he said to the young lady.

She was eager and he was so happy for her. Her car had sat in that parking lot for months and now she was going to be able to have it moved to a safer location, until the proper work was done on her car.

When the tow truck company arrived, this man offered some advice, and helped get her car safely onto the truck.
He then walked over to me, “Do you have a quarter?”

He asked me this the last time I saw him and I smiled.

“What are you going to do with a quarter?”

I wasn’t asking out of pure nosiness, but trying to figure out what this man would do with $0.25.

He responded, “Well If you give me a quarter, and others give me a quarter, Ill have just enough to go grab me a burger from McDonalds.”

I then said, “What is your name?”

He said, “Ronnie!”

“Ronnie, I don’t have a quarter-”

He simply thanked me anyway, but I wasn’t finished.

“I don’t have a quarter, but here’s what I can do. If you stay and keep V company, Ill run and go get you that burger from McDonalds”.
He smiled and said, “Okay, I can do that!”
I said, “What else?”

He looked shocked, and said “How about a Coke?”
“Well Ronnie, I can do that!”

I came back shortly, and handed Ronnie 2 cheeseburgers, fries, and a medium Coke.

He smiled and said, “I really appreciate that, I owe you one,” I simply replied,  you don’t owe me anything.

Jesus paid it all anyways right?

V hugged him and told him she would see him around. I asked her how she knew him, “He’s homeless but he’s a good man”.
I’ve always admired V’s determination to work hard to excel in life despite her circumstances, and her willingness to accept any and everyone.
I had seen this man before, but yesterday I MET him. He had a name. He knew cars because he worked on them before he became homeless.

You see, these people may be HOMELESS, but they had lives before (AND AFTER).
They are just like you and I with dreams, aspirations,etc.
If you peel back the heaviness and grunginess of homelessness, you will see that they aren’t just the annoying person on the corner hounding you for money. If you got the chance for a second to ask them their name, send them a God Bless you, and got to know them, you may find yourselves and God tucked away on the inside.

I’m saying alll of this to say, EVERYONE needs a little Sunshine in their life. There are people in this world that need to know that when they feel all hope is gone, there are rays like us, filled with God’s love, ready to spread it and shine down on the darkness an
d harsh realities the world throws our way.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ :)

A $10 and an I love you

30 Sep

So after the initial interruption in my last post where I blessed a mom with a mere $10, I went to Bible Study last Wednesday and something remarkable happened.
At the end of Bible Study, a woman handed me $10 to bless someone else. REALLY!??!?
I sat there literally in shock, and called the Women’s Ministry Director, Shannon, over at Rock Creek.
We both just held our mouths open, and when I finally got home, I said to myself, “Okay God, I see where you are going with this. I will save this $10 and bless someone else with it.”
I let the hustle and bustle of life, being a mom, and the weekend, occupy me, but I never forgot that $10.
I knew from the minute I was given the $10 who I was going to bless with it.

Ms. Oliver.
She’s a 53 year old amazing woman who took in 6 kids in her house to give them a place called home.
She’s such an amazing person, and I can’t imagine how big her heart is to take on a task that huge.
She gives these kids love, gets them to school and church faithfully, and gives everything she has to these kids.
The thing is though, it takes a lot out of her, and she struggles to do so. I called her on Monday and asked her what she needed and she said whatever I could bring. She had just got out of the hospital after being there for a few days and she wanted the kids to have the food. I began asking her what kind of food the kids ate and I just started creating a list. When I got to the grocery store, I realized my $10 and her list didn’t add up, but I was determined that I was going to get what was on her list, and not be guided by this $10 although that’s what prompted it.

I began placing in my cart, chicken nuggets, cereal, Crystal Light, Sandwich Meat, Cheese, etc. I was determined to get everything on her list regardless of the cost. I added quite a bit to the $10 and was thankful for the seed placed in my heart but was more happy that I’d be able to put a dent in what this family needed.

When I got to their home, Ms. Oliver was so thankful, and so was the youngest! I captured this cute photo of him in the kitchen while I put away the groceries!
20150928_134611She was so grateful, and as I filled her refrigerator I was completely humbled. She barely had anything in her refrigerator and in her pantry. I still think we can do more!!!

I share this with you, not for the “go stephs” or “bless your heart”, but I share this with you so that you can be encouraged to be a vessel, help others, and see people around you who may be struggling. Last night, as I left a work dinner, I met a homeless man in the middle of the street. He could barely be seen, but there he was just standing, looking for food, money, etc.After giving him some money I asked him his name. His name was Johnny and he was just really trying to find something eat. I assumed by the looks of it, he wasn’t a stranger to the streets and had been just wandering around downtown. I told Johnny I had to get home, but that I’d be praying for him and that I loved him. He looked at me rather shocked, and said well I appreciate that, I love you back, and you don’t know how much your smile alone, means to me.

This is what Jesus was about people! It’s not about doing good a few times of year and then going back to your cozy homes and lifestyles! It’s about loving on people, sharing with people, and being a friend to those, that others may turn the cheek to. It’s about loving people regardless of their past, their political party, their failures, and their horrible decisions. Last night I stopped in the middle of the street, and the light was green. Some people may call that crazy, I call it trusting God and KNOWING that he puts people in my path and me in places for a reason.

So I encourage you today, do something nice for someone else. Really SEE people, instead of just passing them by like so many other people in this world do. A great message from one of my favorite people (although he probably doesn’t know it), Greg Kirskey, encourages us to get back to the place where we see people as opportunities other than opponents. To hear the full message you can go here,

I’m still learning and growing, and trying to live my life more like Jesus!
Don’t worry, I’m always safe. I go with God.  I want you to just look around you and really SEE people and
the difference you can make.
To think, this week I’ve simple done it with a $10 and I love you.

Let’s make our lives missional people, instead of simply going on missions.

Until Next time, Much Love,

Mrs. Spj :)

P.S.- If you aren’t ready to make a difference, or you aren’t sure how to begin, please pick my brain for ideas! At my job we work with over 3200 children and youth in poverty so I’m pretty sure I can find a way for you to give back and help. :)

Getting Interrupted

22 Sep

God has been interrupting me a lot lately, & I love it.

Let me explain.
The wonderful Shannon that is over Rock Creek’s Women’s Ministry selected “Interrupted: When Jesus WRECKS your comfortable Christianity” by Jen Hatmaker as our Fall study. While we are still in the middle of this study, Jen talks a lot about people who are far too busy “doing church” instead of “being church”. It’s been quite a profound study so far, and I’m so thankful for being a part of something so wonderful. Jen talks a lot about moving when God asks you to move, even if it’s out of what normally happens or what is done.

This morning a mother of 4 came in our office, who had no money, and was simply trying to get to her child’s school where she was desperately needed. Our office doesn’t typically handle situations in this manner, but if we can help we try too. However this morning, all the people who can make those decisions or help were out. She simply asked for 10 bucks. She was desperate and she needed it. I began telling her that everyone who could help wasn’t in the office yet, and that I hated we couldn’t help her (silly, me). Literally I was thinking like the Staff person I was,  but then I remembered something:

I stopped by Tropical smoothie earlier to get my classic Island Green Smoothie. When the guy gave me my total, I remember looking at the 10 dollar bill in my wallet, and something said, “don’t use the 10″. Although It didn’t make sense at the time, I decided to just save my cash and use my card.

Flash forward to me standing here talking to this woman and telling her my job could not help her, and she looked so defeated. However in a split second I remembered something: that I COULD. (Stephanie could). I told her to hold on. I went to my desk  and pulled out that 10 dollar bill folded nicely inside my purse. I remember looking at it, smiling, and laughing at myself. It always amazes me how strategic God is, and how he works. She asked for 10, and I had 10. I handed it to her, and she said” I promise I will try and pay you back”. I looked at her and said, “don’t even worry about it.” She was in shock, I said, “You are fine. Go take care of what you need too.” She just kept saying, really? Are you sure? “Yes I’m sure”, I said. Go ahead. My coworker said,  Are you sure Stephanie? I said, yep I’m sure. God intended that 10 for her, so she should have it.

I walked back to my desk and smiled. I thanked God. I’m grateful I was paying attention. I thanked God for the Bible Study I’m in, for Jen Hatmaker, for the women of rock creek and the blessing they’ve been in my life. For a woman sharing her story last week at Bible Study about doing “for the least of these”. I thank God for showing me in the last years who he really is and what he’s really all about. He’s about US”being the church”.

If you are my friend on any Social Media,  you may notice I’ve been posting a lot of nontraditional (some may call it unorthodox thoughts on Christianity and Religion, and it’s because God has been Interrupting me a lot lately.

When I moved to AR, I felt alone. I felt like I had no one. Then one night, God met me in the middle of my living room floor. All these years I had been going to church, following the “how to be good” rules, doing good for others when I wasn’t consumed with church activities, but always within my own comfortable boundaries, However God met me in the one place I least expected. From then, he started pulling me in directions where I was working in service areas. I attended several different churches, but I still felt him pulling me and leading me to see things on a different level.

I’m  at a point in my life where I just want to be used. I want to be the person God has called me to be, and I want to serve even more of my fellow brothers and sisters the way he sees fit. We each have a part to play, and something to give. I’m not comfortable with just going to church on Sundays, singing in the choir, going to conference, or revival. It’s not for me anymore (I don’t think it ever has been. ) I’m thankful for my home church and my family who instilled in me the desire to follow the cross and introduced me to Christianity, but we are called to do and be so much more! God met me in an unexpected place, and he’s calling us to the unexpected and unnoticed places to do his supernatural will. Although this morning’s interruption was a simple 10 bucks (nothing great about that), it reminded me that we are called to be different. We are called to the “Yes”es in life that Bob Goff so graciously discusses in his book. We are called to help and not turn our heads when others say NO.  I’m sure if you look and listen real close, you will feel God telling you to take a closer look at the people and the places around you, and try to interrupt you the same.

As Brandon Hatmaker stated God told him, “What you have is not yours. You have a lot to learn. The first is this: You can trust me when I call.

My question is, Are we REALLY Listening?

Love you. Hope this blesses you as it so blessed me today.

I leave you with a video from Jen Hatmaker:

Until Next Time, Much Love

Mrs. Spj :)

What happened to Sandra Bland?

23 Jul

What happened to Sandra Bland?

The beautiful young vivacious woman who supported movements like “Black Lives Matter” and who wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion about racism and other madness going on in this world.

What happened to the young woman who spoke firm that being a black person in America was hard?

On July 13, Bland was found hanging from a noose made from a plastic bag in her cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas after being pulled over due to failing to signal a change in lanes. She was arrested for supposedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 Traffic stop, but my question is…

How does a traffic stop lead to a young woman, DEAD?

What is happening to my fellow brothers and sisters in police custody?

What about Kindra Chapman, 18, found dead in her jail cell?

What about Phillip White or Victor White?

This post is not a vicious attack against police officers because clearly I know some of the finest officers of the law. HOWEVER, I cannot deny that something is happening, that leads me to ask, DO BLACK LIVES MATTER?


I also keep seeing, All Lives Matter.

But until ALL LIVES are treated the same in today’s society, how can you even post #alllivesmatter,


We need to keep having these discussions, and work together to figure out what it will take for our country to truly believe that All Lives Matter. It is not okay if all lives matter to some people, but not to others, and that seems to be the history that has continued to repeat itself. Racism does exist, and to be quite honest, it never went away.

What happen to just loving one another?

And how can you repost pictures saying that love wins, when hate is killing everyday?

Love should win for EVERYONE.

Let’s find Justice for Sandra Bland and for the other Sandra Blands and Freddie Grays that fail to get the media coverage they deserve.

What happened to Sandra Bland?

Cj turns “TWO-DLES”

2 Jun DSC_0648

My little guy turned 2 last week and I still can’t believe it!
In honor of his birthday, we opened up “Christian’s Clubhouse” for an unforgettable “TWO”dles event!

After feeling a bit uneasy and rushed after Cj’s First Birthday party, I knew that I wanted this year to be different. It wasn’t too hard to find a theme being that my son is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  However, I wanted to do something a bit different than the norm. No red, black, and white, and I wanted to incorporate all of Mickey’s friends!!!

Since we knew the theme, picking out colors was next. I picked red (of course), aqua/sky blue, and yellow! I wanted his clubhouse themed party to be fun and colorful just like he is! After that, I started trying to think of decorations that would go with his theme. I searched pinterest all over for unique and fun Clubhouse party ideas (there were way too many)
I saw this really cute idea on pinterest to do centerpieces that represented all things Mickey, but I didn’t want to go overboard. I combined centerpieces with balloons and that was the setting for the table! I just saw a picture and my husband designed the centerpieces. If you do a simple search on Etsy, you can find some amazing centerpieces! I just wanted to go the diy route!

Next in the planning process came picking out games. I wanted games that babies and toddlers could enjoy, but I wanted it to have a clubhouse theme. I wanted to link all games to the character’s cj loves most as well as make it easy for parents to grasp! All kids in attendance recieved what I like to call “The Toodles Sticker Card”

twodles card








Each child was encouraged to visit at least 4 out of the 8 stations, play the games, and get the chance to earn a sticker at EACH station! Once your “Two’dles card had 4 stickers, you could turn it in for a prize! Here are the stations we had:

Mickey & Minnie Golf 
DSC_0617 DSC_0618
This set was purchased at Walgreens and was the perfect size for lil Mousketeers! You can also do a search for some online, they aren’t that expensive (under 15 bucks)

Daisy’s Rings & Things
Another great Walgreens purchase! It’s just a simple ring toss game! However Daisy and her fabulous splendor are all about rings & things!


I totally forgot to take a picture of this game, but my husband designed a poster of Donald without a bowtie. Bowties were then glued to foam board and viola! You could also do pin the ear on Mickey using your child’s photo which is something I’ve seen a lot of other people do! I just wanted each friend to be represented in the clubhouse!!!

I purchased this bin for about 8 bucks at Target and we cut up some water noodles to “bury” the treasure! Dogs are great at hiding things, so if you could go through Pluto’s hidden treasure, you would find great age appropriate prizes you could keep! Some of the prizes included, but not limited too, bath toys, Disney necklaces, trucks, balls, etc, flash cards, etc.

This was probably my favorite! We took about 200-400 ball pit balls and filled up an inflatable pool with them!
I do not recommend this exact pool, but the game was great! It was big enough for the big kids, but perfect for the baby mousketeers too!

My son loves his water table, so we thought, why not let the other kids enjoy it as well? This one was purchased from Babies R Us last year on sale! I’m sure you could find the same! They have all kinds!

My husband is quite the artist, (he did all of the artwork in Cj’s Room), so we figured we would set out some canvases, paint markers, and let children become their own little Picasso! The great thing about this game is at the end, you have an interesting beautiful keepsake, from your child’s birthday party!

My son could play the Clubhouse Toss for hours! You can find kiddy versions online, but they are either too cheaply made and would break or wayy to expensive so my husband made the one for the party. He even added a painted touch!

We had such a blast and I’m really happy with the way everything turned out! I saw lots of smiling faces and even my lil guy seemed to be having a good time!
Pinterest and Etsy really will be your best friend and don’t be afraid to get creative on your own!!!!!

Here are some Freebies! Please feel free to use what you need!!!

Twodles Birthday Sticker Card
Mickey Head Centerpiece
Mickey Hand Centerpiece
Mickey Pants Centerpiece
Red Stars Centerpiece
Yellow Stars Centerpiece
Clubhouse Sign


I hope you have a fun Mickey Party as we did! Check out some more fun pictures below! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below!

How awesome are these photos from my dear friend and photographer Pier Nguyen?

If you are in the Little Rock area book him!


Today I wear Purple

19 May Rest In Peace
Oct. 8, 1969- Jan. 16. 2015


Today I wear Purple.

It’s not simply because I think it’s a beautiful color.

It’s not because I’m trying to get in with some fancy trend.

I wear purple for those who fight daily while their bodies fight back.

I wear purple for those who live with the invisible illnesses that fall under
Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

I wear purple for those who have good days and bad days, with a disease that flares it’s ugly head up when it feels like it.

I wear purple for those who have illnesses that are blind to the eye, which makes it blind to those not living in pain.

I wear purple for those who start to feel like “maybe it really is all in our heads” because those not living with it, make them feel as if their pain “isn’t a real disease”.

I wear purple for those who sometimes refuse food, because they know what follows, and those who just don’t want to get up in the morning because they don’t have the strength to.

I wear purple for those wanting comfort, wanting answers, and needing a cure.

I wear purple to help spread the word about Crohn’s, Colitis, and IBD, so that we can find the cure for those living with it, and to help those who don’t, understand it a little better.

I wear purple today for Dwight.
Simply, because he can’t.

                            Rest In Peace                                                   October 8, 1969- January 16, 2015

Life Takes Guts! Crohn's Awareness

Life Takes Guts!     Crohn’s Awareness

A loss & Arrival

18 Jan

Early on my 310917423_10100273058226660_8342578752251464810_n3 birthday, January 16, 2015, I received a phone call, that my beloved 1st cousin had passed away. This news has been devastating for me and my family, since we lost his mother just 2 years ago… (Aunt Artie) Friday, I was exhausted with all of the phone calls, details, and a small birthday gathering, so late last night, I really had some time to sit and think. I found myself up in the middle of the night, and I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I wrote a poem for what was on my heart.




DWIGHT’S ARRIVAL259248_978882819180_1307935396_o

Shock and stunned you arrived,
This is different than before.
Not a nighttime of hanging with the Buddies,
you came upon the golden door.

“What am I doing here?” you thought,
“I was just asleep?”
“You belong here with me child,”
They said, “these wings, for you to keep.”

“What about those I have left behind?,
They will miss me terribly.
I’m the life of the party, everyone’s friend,
what about my family?”

“My dear,” the angel sweetly said,
“They’ll grieve but they’ll be fine.
No one will understand it at all,
But everything in God’s time.

We have a place right here for you,
a golden guitar and magical keys.
The world’s greatest soundboard
you could ever imagine, drums too,If you please.

The angels will get to enjoy you sing
So don’t feel sad and blue.
Although this is a lot to grasp,
Your heavenly father has been waiting for you.”

“But I must go back, they need me there,
I bring smiles to everyone!
They won’t understand, they’ll be heartbroken,
when they find out that I’m gone. ”

“They will, but life’s a journey,
and sometimes it just ends.
Without a notice, without a reason,
that’s simply life, my friend.

But I promise, you will love it here
you are free, what a better place you are in!
No more hardships, No more ailments,
No more pain, and no more sin.”

With that he smiled and scratched his head,
but walked on forward,As he should.
But then he couldn’t believe his eyes,
In front of him, there she stood.

He ran and embraced her,
and began weeping quietly.
“Your home now son,” she said,
“it’s time for you to rest easily.”

She was so beautiful, and smiling,
“come on “she said, “I have a treat.
Remember my dog, screechy? He’s here!
Now there’s someone special I want you to meet.”

She took him in to meet God, who said,
“I’m so glad you are here.”
They talked. They laughed, and it all made sense,
Everything became clear.

“It’s not for them to understand, ” Dwight said.
“For some this will be a test.
I get it now, they love me,
But God you’ve always loved me best.

Its all in your plan, you make no mistakes,
You always see your will through. ”
Artie said, “you understand now son.
I’ll take you to see Pop Pop too.”

With that, they went along in heaven,
though we feel an empty space.
Our new angel says, ‘Don’t cry for me,
I’m now in a happy place.”

So as the tears fall, and our hearts our broken,
we will need some time to grieve.
But remember the good times, always smile,
stay positive, always believe.

Love everybody, be a good friend,
help each other, stay kind.
Remember our beloved Dwight and know,
you’ll see him in due time.

Stephanie Jones
January 17, 2015
12:30 am


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