Category Archives: just between You and me

TRUTH THURSDAY: To answer your question

How are you?

You know already. But… Can I just lie and say, “I’m ok?”


Ok… so, I’m not really THAT ok. I mean, I’m working hard to look ok, because, I don’t know– I just don’t want people to think that I’m not…ok…um

Because that takes a longer answer.

Yes. And I’m tired.

Why are you tired?

Because I have to look ok, when I’m not.

You already said that.

I know…

So? How are you, really?

I’m… hiding. I don’t know why, but for some reason, my defenses are up, and I don’t want anybody to come near me. I think they know the truth– but I don’t want them to confirm it. I’m scared that they might see how hideouspathetic I am, and leave.

But, since the walls came up, I have been very very lonely. Because nobody comes by to see me anymore–and I can’t see them. But the lonelier I get, the higher the walls get. And I bury myself with work. A lot of work. So much work, I can’t do all of it anymore. 

I don’t want this anymore! And I know what to do, it’s just that I’m afraid that if I do it, I’ll be left really vulnerable and exposed…and that scares me.

But then, it begs the question–what am I so afraid of that I have to defend myself from it? Would it be so bad for people to find out just how weak and how needful (needy) I am?

(Come to think of it, yes– it was bad before, when people did, and they left, because they couldn’t handle a needful (needy) weak Stef. But maybe it’s because they’re not used to it… because I always fight to look ok even when I’m not…

and blahblahwhineblah)

But I knew, all this time. And I’m still here. 

I know you knew. And I know you’re still here. But you don’t count.

Why not?

For that very reason! You don’t leave! I know you’ll always be there, so you don’t count.


I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that you don’t count that way… I mean, you’re the most important one of all. But, oh. You know what I mean!

I do. But I think you needed to hear yourself say it.

How do you put up with me?

Because I love you.

I know. And that’s why you don’t count…

I’msorry. I suck.

It’s ok. I still love you. And you won’t suck all the time. 

That’s a relief.

I’m working on it.

I know… but why are you taking so long?!

This isn’t too long. Compared to eternity.

I know. We’ve talked about this already. I’m trying to get it… it’s just… Oh, you know how stubborn I can get!

Yes. I do. 

But you still love me?

Yes. A million times. Yes. 

I love you too.

So, what happens now?

We break down the walls. I think… I need it more than I am scared of them being down. And, because I know you want them to be down, even if you’re not saying it.


But. I can’t do it on my own.

I know.

Help me?



This moment of vulnerability is brought to you by Truth Thursdays


Truth Thursdays: When it was over

When it was over
I was still standing
I was whole
Nothing broken

When it was over
I was mended
I was stronger
Though I was sad that it ended

When it was over
We walked forward
After I’d been through
I was no longer a coward

When it was over
You knew what to do
When it was over
We started something new.


(For Truth Thursdays)


Tagged ,

Dear God, it’s me Stef

Dear God,

It’s me again.

I need you, because I’m doubting again. I’ve been doing (and not doing) things that make me doubt that I belong to You at all. Is this how to approach this realization from the other side– from the side of someone who’s grown up on everything that a good Christian should know, all the words that are needed to be said and heard, all the catchphrases and the terms of someone who is in the inner circle?

But then, I know what I ought to do, but I don’t do it. But the things that I know I shouldn’t do (or think of doing or even say), I do. Gah. It’s the whole Paul thing again!

Lord, please give me the wisdom to know what to do (I think you have already) and the courage to do it.


Do I dare? Well, You did say we need to pray bigger prayers.

And I shall expect great things from You, my Great God.

the Artist

I saw this picture on National Geographic’s Facebook page, and it just blew me away. I had to write something: 

God, the artist
who paints the heavenlies
with light
and the explosions of the sun.

Who are we
that You would care
to reach down
from the heavens
and paint
Your own
on us?

Getting the Cost

When You said, “Deny Yourself.”

I said, “I do that all the time.”
I do right, I eat right,
I try not to say the wrong things.
I make friends with all the right people.
I go out of my way to help people
(and try not to complain (much) when it’s too out of the way)
I give my change to the poor and 10 percent to church.
I try not to get upset when You don’t answer my prayers.

When You said, “Follow me.”
I thought You meant to just go where You might’ve gone.
I go to Bible studies, small groups, fellowships every week.
Sometimes I go to far places.
I go to church and pray and read the Bible
even if I don’t feel like it.

I didn’t really know what else to deny myself
Then You showed me when prayed,
“Not my will, but Your will be done.”

And when You told me that if I want to be Your disciple,
You said to take up my cross and follow You.

I didn’t really know what a cross was
until You brought it up Yourself on that hill.

(From Luke 9:23)


Thoughts from our church’s prayer meeting tonight, where Pastor Erick asked (as soon as I came in through the door), what is the cost of discipleship. And I replied, “Everything.” I didn’t know what I was talking about, and the question followed me all the way home.

Sometimes when I’m confronted by the cost of discipleship, I go for it– sometimes; sometimes I hesitantly walk away to “think about it,” and sometimes I try to haggle the price down.

Like what I’m learning from Andy Stanley’s current series at Northpoint Community Church, “Christian,” it’s easy to call myself a Christian because it can mean a lot of things, but do I dare be a disciple of Christ?

This is going to be an interesting season.



“Now, I’ve found, the greatest love of all is mine
Since You’ve laid down Your life, the greatest sacrifice.”

(“Majesty,” Martin Smith)

Oh God, I’m 31.

Lord, thank You for all my days.
31 years is a long time to be faithful without fail.

Thank You for my Dad, my Mom, my Sisters and Brother.
Thank You for my Cat, the other cat and the dog
My friends at from childhood, at church, at work
Those random people I meet and love and don’t have a category
The men I loved… and don’t feel as strongly for anymore (hehe)
For the people I will eventually grow to love.
Thank You for my job
For all those articles I finished (and lost count)
For those articles I didn’t finish (can still count)
Those deadlines that I met headon and those that whooshed past
The blogs I wrote and didn’t
For the words I got credit for and didn’t

Thank you for taking me to places
All those car rides, plane rides, bus rides, train rides, boat rides
jeepney rides, tricycle rides, bike rides
All the food I ate strange, rich, bland, cheap and expensive
All the food I can still eat and all those I can’t anymore

Thank You for Jesus, and His name that brought me to life.
Thank you for making me weak so You can make me strong
For those reminders that I don’t know much, no not really, so I can learn more
For the plans I make only so You can change them
For breaking my heart so You can mend it
For taking me out of burning furnaces unbounded and without the smell of fire on me

Lord, thank You because I saw You there,
and there, and there, and there, and there
there, there, there, there… You were there
And now You’re here.
Thank God You’re here.

Thank You.

Me too


O God, the Light of the heart that sees You,
The Life of the soul that loves You,
The Strength of the mind that seeks You:
May I ever continue to be steadfast in Your love.
Be the joy of my heart;
Take all of me to Yourself, and abide therein.
The house of my soul is, I confess, too narrow for You.
Enlarge it that You may enter.
It is ruinous, but do repair it.
It has within it what must offend Your eyes;
I confess and know it,
But whose help shall I seek in cleansing it but Yours alone?
To You, O God, I cry urgently.
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep me from false pride and sensuality
That they not get dominion over me.

(St. Augustine)


Always before me

a devotion

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

There’s really no escaping You, is there? It wasn’t even a prayer, but I remember almost two decades before, telling my camp counselor that I want to know You “not just in an abstract ‘there is a God and He loves me way,’ but something more.” I guess what I meant was I wanted You to invade every aspect in my life so that my reality will be You over everything else. It wasn’t even a prayer, yet You took me up on that invitation. Now I have 30 and so years to look back to and see much how You’ve turned my world topsy turvy. Yes, even  at times I didn’t expect or even want You to. And I couldn’t take back what I said so many years before, when I was too young to know anything other than You. Your timing works so well that way.

Nothing is off-limits to You.

You’ve taken everything I held dear and showed me how much they are worth. My plans You have shaken into disarray and let me watch as Yours unfold far more beautifully than I could ever daydream or make them for myself. Through Your love, I love–even those I don’t want to love. It is by Your strength that I keep on moving forward. Jesus, it is by Your grace that I am forgiven and I forgive.

Thank You for never letting me forget it.

Eclipse everything in my sight, as I set You always before me.