Hose and Heels?

Posted October 21, 2011 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

WOW!  It has been a while since I’ve posted here.  I’ve heard from some and you want to know what’s on my mind….  ALOT has been on my mind and in my heart.  And with my inability to remain focused, it’s been difficult to blog as often as I’d like. 

Yesterday I attended a Leaders Lunch with a group of ministry leaders from all over the Metroplex.  It was an amazing opportunity to learn a little about what some of these ladies are passionate about.  Let me say, I’m encouraged by seeing all that God is doing with people that I encounter.

The speaker brought a message regarding presentation skills.  I was intrigued by the topic, as I am always looking for ways to improve in this area.  Although there were many bullet points that I walked away with, one that stood out, was how important it is for me to dress in a way that grabs the attention of my audience. 

Many years ago, I hung up my hose and heels because I was moving into a season of my life where they were no longer needed.  Going home to be a stay at home mom in 1999 allowed me to put on my jeans, tennis shoes and tshirts with comfort and the ease of never looking back.   Today, even though I find myself back in an office environment, I’m seeing that hose and heels aren’t needed any longer here either.  So, why is it important to “dress for success”? 

I’m almost finished with John Eldredge’s latest book, Beautiful Outlaw.  I have enjoyed this book because it portrays Jesus, in many ways, as I have seen him.  A real person who could be, and was, different based on the company in which he kept.  He was who he was.  Some liked him, some didn’t. 

The Bible shows us many examples of different styles of dress.  Some wore linen, ephods, armor, camel hair, sackcloth, etc.  We can look at them and determine, in most cases, their social and/or emotional status based on attire.  What about today?  Can we determine someones social and/or emotional status based on attire?  It is my belief, that we can conceive and idea of who a person is based on that, but we can only really know a person by spending time with them.  It’s the heart of a person that tells you who they are. 

What I realized, is that in order for me to be taken seriously in my field, I need to make some changes.  The message of my life story is a very real one that God has given.  I realize that in order to speak God’s message of my life, I need to change some things in order to make a postive first impressive to an audience.  This will be difficult, as I’m very comfortable being me.  I also realize that no matter the dress, some will like and some will not.

As we are approaching a time where some will be dressing a part that more than likely will not be providing a true statement of who a person is, it’s fun to be something we’re not.  However, this is one day a year that I might, just might put on hose and heels for the occasion, or it maybe Blue Jeans and a Rosary?  😀  Either way, it’ll be fun for the day. 

Longterm for me…. I do believe it’s time for a change.  Maybe I’ve been a little too comfortable?  Maybe it’s time to dress as I want people “know” me?  Either way, one thing I know for sure is that it’s important for me to put on the full armor of God.  Without that, I realize that the adversary stands a chance to creep in.  Time to gird up my friends so that we can stand firm!  Ephesians 6.

Are You Thirsty?

Posted July 6, 2011 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst ; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”    John 4:14  NASB

Be still, and know that I am God  Psalm 46:10  NIV


There have been times that I have been thirsty.  When I was thirsty, I would drink whatever may have been given in hopes that it would help.   More times than not, it was a waste of calories and left me desiring more.  Nothing seemed to quench the thirst like a glass of water.  Jesus told the Samaratian woman at the well that if we drink the water that Jesus gives, we will never be thirsty again. 

Last night in my ladies study, we watched a preview video of what’s to come in the week ahead.   This week we will be digging into what it means to be still and know that God is God. 

Being still, has historically been a problem for me.  Sleeping, resting, or just being still has brought thoughts of laziness to mind.  For most of my life, I have spent time “doing” in order to prove that I’m not lazy.  Last night I had a vision that came to mind that showed a glass/pitcher at a water faucet.  What I shared with the ladies is that if we are the glass and our only source of a quenched thirst comes from Jesus, the only way that our glass will be filled is to be still.  Have you ever tried to fill a glass at a faucet while the glass was being moved or waved beneath the flow?  I can’t say that I’ve ever tried it.  Probably because I know: One, it would be a waste of water.  Two, that it would take much longer to fill up.  When I thought about that, I was told that God is trying to speak to us, trying to fill us and our glass (us) is moving. 

My prayer is, that in the days ahead you will be still and be filled.  Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you.  He will! 


How Clear is Your View?

Posted March 21, 2011 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

This week our family, our church family and many suffered the loss of a dear man, David Shaver.  This man was one that loved Jesus, his wife and his ministry.  He minstered to many by the walk he led. He ministered to youth and college age kids through teaching.  He was an incredible man of God whom many admired and looked up to, so why would God take him? 

I will be the first to tell you, that I don’t pretend to know the answer to this question.  However, I do feel led to share my personal story of following the footsteps of another godly man whom God took home about 5 yrs ago.

This man was someone that Richard & I had come to know through a Sunday school class about 12 or 13 yrs ago.  He had a way of sharing a story from the word of God that left you wanting more.  He loved God and His word and wanted to share that with others.  This man was not a pastor or a teacher as we may know, but was a mere man that shared his passion.  He didn’t push it on you, but somehow had a way of drawing you to be better, know more, just desiring a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Anyway, in 2005, God saw fit to call him home.  It was the hardest thing that I ever had to endure.  Seriously!   But once he wasn’t there for me to ask questions of, talk to or learn from, I was a lost “puppy”.  I mean, how was I going to continue on, he had been my sounding board for so many things.  He had been the one that I turned to when I was leading a ministry within the church, running a business, raising kids, learning the word and didn’t have the answers.  It wasn’t until I cried out in prayer, imploring God to do something, that I heard him say….  I’m here for you.  I want to be your God.  I want to be the one you turn to. Through the time of grieving this loss, I realized that I had made this man my God.  I didn’t realize that I had done that.  I couldn’t even grasp that I could have possibly let that happen.  It seemed like my relationship with the Lord wasn’t even real, wasn’t even my own…  Because it wasn’t. 

 It was then that I was reminded of John 14 when Jesus knew he was leaving the disciples, He told them that he would ask the father to give another Helper.  That Helper is the Holy Spirit, the Spirt of Truth.  He tells us that He will not leave us as orphans and that we will know Him because He abides with us.   I had the Holy Spirit as my comforter, protector, guidance and many other things.  God had desired to have that relationship with me but  I had chosen to have with/through someone else.  For me personally, I felt like God removed a man that I had made my god.  In order for me to get a better view of God himself, he needed to call him home. Then he later removed Richard from my life to make the view even clearer. 

I don’t know if there is anything else standing in the way of my view these days.   It seems pretty clear to me.  I can’t imagine what my future holds without these amazing people in my life, but I know that for the last few yrs and especially these last 9 months, God has been there in ways that I can’t even describe.  My relationship is certainly deeper and more intimate than ever before.  I hope that I never get to a place where I’m not depending on God for anything.  I can do nothing on my own. 

As a christian, I Thess 4 reminds us that we don’t have to grieve as those who have no hope. 

 I’ll ask, do you have a relationship with God through Jesus?  If you don’t, message me.  If you do, is it one of your own?  Or are you living a “pornographic” relationship through someone else?  Meaning that you desire something from someone else that isn’t real.  Sitting and watching and wanting what they have?  I’m going to tell you, that you can have a real relationship like none other.  

 Romans 8:28 says we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

Don’t allow the things, or the people of this world to clutter your view of who God is.

Are you a Cheerleader?

Posted January 21, 2011 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

If you would have asked me this during my high school years, I would have laughed and said are you kidding me. I love sports; playing, watching, predicting outcomes, etc. And yes I can even yell at players and refs with the best of them, but cheer leading…. UH, NO!

Then one day a man entered my life who was an all star athlete. He not only loved watching/playing sports as much as me, but he was good at them too. If it involved a ball, that man could play. That man, my husband of nearly 18 yrs, Richard Stowell.

I quickly (ok maybe I was a little hard headed and it wasn’t that quick) learned that being a cheerleader was a very important role. It wasn’t about being seen or heard (which scared me) but it was him knowing that I was in his corner, pulling for him, being excited about something he loved doing.

Through the years, I have attended many events and I will sometimes watch the cheerleaders. And my male friends are probably saying, yeah me too… LOL! But I watched in order to learn. Take the game of football. They cheer during the tough times of the game: When the offense is trying to push through the defense. When the QB completes a pass for yards gained. You get the idea… But one thing I also noticed, is that they cheer more enthusiastically when a goal is scored. Why? Because their team is one step closer to winning the game. And winning is what we all want. Some people, will tell you that winning isn’t everything. I’ll say that if it’s not, then don’t play. I mean really. If you feel the need to be doing something, just to be doing something, sports is not it. That’s my opinion. In order to win, you have to know where the goal is and how to get there.

Since Richard’s accident, many people have asked how I can still have hope, faith, peace. Honestly, I can’t explain it other than it is that peace that surpasses all understanding. It only comes from the Lord. My faith through this has never been tested, but strengthened.

You see, I became Richard’s cheerleader in life. Even when he was pushed back and lost yards. In life, those times were, when we were out of work, kids were sick, moved long distance from all that we knew, or losing friends/family for the sake of a cause. Whatever life throws you can be a “loss of yards”. Cheering in tough times can be tough.

As a Christian, I believe that the goal of life’s game is Heaven. I believe that Heaven is as real as the world is that we currently live in. Do we all get in? No. But you can. It’s your choice. On June 7, 2010 Richard scored life’s biggest point! He crossed the goal line! He won the game before us. And I cheered him on. Weird? Maybe to some. But remember, this whole cheerleading concept was weird to me before I met Richard. I’m still learning. The more I learn, the more God reveals himself in a great way.

Philippians 3 – I’m reaching for the goal that lies ahead.

Be a cheerleader, someone is counting on you.

Christmas… I wonder…

Posted December 13, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Over the last several years, I have been somewhat “scroogey” during this time of the year.  Why?  Mainly, because I find that it’s very stressful to buy gifts for those that don’t really need anything, searching high and low for that “perfect” gift and decorating that takes hours, just to pull it down a few weeks later.  Seems a little much for an average person.  I know, I know…  I’m crazy, but I’m being real.   It’s how I feel.  

Over 2000 yrs ago, a baby was born in a stable & laid in a manger.  What is a manger anyway?  Webster says it’s “a trough or an open box in a stable used for feeding livestock”.  Hard to imagine that the saviour of the world, the Messiah was born in conditions such as these.  It was simple, not complex.  It was all part of the plan foretold long before….  When he was born, there were three gifts brought by the wise men: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  I wonder, were these wise men bringing gifts they already owned?  Did they barter, or buy from merchants?  The story really doesn’t say.  However, my personal opinion is that it may have been something they already had.  But, the point is, the gifts were simple.  They didn’t sacrafice themselves or their bank accounts. 

We spend lots of money and time to plan, buy, buy and buy for what reason?  Who’s birthday is it?  I wonder, does He really want us giving to someone else other than Him when it’s His day?  This hasn’t been a new concept for me to think about.  When I was a kid, my parents would give my sister gifts when it was my birthday and vice versa.  I know that they were just trying to keep each of us from being left out when it was the birthday of the other, I get that.  I don’t know how she felt about it, but I know for me, my gifts didn’t seem as special.  Why does someone other than the birthday child receive a gift?  Anyway, I know they meant well and for that, I love them. But I wonder, what does Jesus Christ think about when we’re busying around like little bees, spending money we may not have, in order to bring happiness to someone else?  I wonder what He thinks about those that are decorating and giving when they don’t even believe in Him and choose to call it a holiday?  In fact, when I try to think back to what gifts I’ve bought or received, very few come to mind.  Sad I know.  But it’s true.  I think the only people “gettin’ happy” are the retailers.

In the midst of all the emotions of this season of my life, I still have faith, joy, hope and love.  And as far as I know, none of those cost anything for me to have.  Now, granted Jesus paid a cost for me.  And for that, I’m eternally grateful! 

I hope that I haven’t given you a look at me and you go, wow she’s “scroogey”?  I’m really not.  But I hope that we can find true meaning of this season.  Without Christ, there wouldn’t be Christmas.   With Christ there’s hope.  Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I wish you well.  God Bless you and your family.  Merry Christmas!

What’s Your True Color?

Posted November 18, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Fall- it’s by far my favorite time of the year. Cooler weather, leaves changing colors, preparing to spend time with family over good food, a break in chaos (sometimes ;)) just an all around time to be thankful for that which I’ve been blessed.

As I was driving to work this morning I’m was in awe of the color that we have here in Texas this year. It’s not normal for us. Without knowing all of the scientific reasons, I know that it has to do with cooler temps, less sunlight and lack of chlorophyll running freely through the veins of the tree. The color of these trees is always there, but it’s masked by chlorophyll. As that decreases, then the beauty of the tree is exposed for all to enjoy.

I was then reminded that we ourselves are sometimes like the tree. There are elements that we need in order to live too. As we live, we sometimes “fall” on times that we wouldn’t normally want to expose. Whether it’s a financial hardship, loss of job, family, missing the mark on life (sin), marriage struggles, whatever. We all have them. When we’re struggling, I believe it’s normal to try to hide it. We want others to think we’re ok. In other words, you’re working hard pouring chlorophyll into your roots to keep it all green.

I just finished a study, Breaking Free by Beth Moore. This study has confirmed the freedom I’ve had through the years as I have tried to be transparent with people. Nothing to hide, just real. I’ll tell you that in the beginning, it was hard. Wondering how I was going to be judged, talked about, etc. Then I realized, it really doesn’t matter what others think. I’m not living for them. But surprisingly enough, I realized too that people are longing to know that they’re not the only ones that are hurting because of something. I can honestly say there isn’t anything like being free in Christ. The beauty that has been exposed is from the inside. It has nothing to do with the shell of my flesh. That will someday go away.

I don’t know if the things of this world have you in bondage. Whether a past hurt, loss, finances, etc you can be free. In order to do so, you’ll have to stop pouring on/in the “chlorophyll” that’s covering your true beauty. Let your true color be revealed. You’ll be amazed at what’s under all of the green.

Owner’s Manual

Posted October 25, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Owner’s Manuals – do you ever read them? They are enclosed in the packaging of nearly every product purchased. They give us instructions on how to assemble the unit or how to care for it. Mainly they’re printed to direct us on everyday use and purpose of the product.

Most of the products I’ve ever purchased I knew what the purpose of it was and how to operate. Take my appliances for instance, when we bought our home the manuals were laid on the kitchen counter and later found a space in the drawer. The only time I refer to them is if there is a problem. Otherwise, they’re safely tucked away. Electronics, I can sit with the product and work through each feature trying to see how I can get the most bang for my buck. If something I have will save me time and effort, I want to know how to make it work for me.

I can’t imagine the need for a manual unless the purpose of the product was conceptualized prior to manufacturing. I don’t think that a product is made and then the manufacturer looks at it and asks, “this is a fine widget, now what will we do with it?”

Think about yourself. Do you find yourself wondering if you were created for a purpose? Do you think that God created you and then asked “this is a fine creation, now what will I do with it?”. I don’t think so! Do you wonder sometimes how to get through a day, week or month? My personal belief is that there is an owner’s manual for our life. It’s the Bible. The most distributed book in the world. You may or may not own one.  If you do, are you using it in order to get the most bang for your buck out of your life? Or does it find itself safely tucked away in a drawer or on a shelf just in case of emergencies?

Emergencies come when we’re most vulnerable, unprepared and when we least expect them. If you know what the manual says, then those emergencies aren’t emergencies at all. I want to encourage you to read your Owner’s Manual. What does it say about you? Don’t let life pass you by. You were created for a purpose. Don’t miss what you were created for.

The Price That Some Pay

Posted October 15, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Today, as many days have been, is a day that I’m grateful to be an American. For no other reason than to realize that not only do men and women serve our country diligently on our behalf, so do their families.

I’m a proud American born citizen. One that I don’t take for granted. Because I’m free to go about my business and be me, for the most part, someone had to sacrifice something in order for me to have that.

I’m grateful to those who have gone before us. But I’m also sad for the families they leave behind while serving the rest of us.

It’s been 4.5 months since I’ve seen my husband and it’s not because he’s serving his country. But because he’s serving his Lord in heaven. These last few months I’ve been greatly blessed by many that have helped the girls and I in many facets of day to day activities. Again not anything that I take for granted. It’s been said that time heals all wounds. With each day, I miss him more and more. Longing for a moment where I could pick up the phone and make a call. Send a text to say that I can’t wait for you to get home. Or mail a card while he’s out of town on business.

Although I could never compare my situation to that of a military family, I do see some resemblance of missing the one you love. I pray today, that if you know of a single person as a result of their spouse serving your country, that you would reach out and do something that doesn’t have to be or couldn’t be returned, but paid forward. What a blessing you can be.

It’s A Choice

Posted October 4, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

This summer while the girls and I were out of town, we had leather bracelets engraved with Richard’s birthday, name and death date. This morning, while putting mine on, I realized that I had put it on upside down. You might ask, why does it matter? I’d respond by saying it depends on where I want to keep my focus.

You see, when I wear it the “wrong” way his name appears upside down to me, but more importantly the death date is in constant view. When I wear it the “right” way his name appears right side up and his birthday is in constant view.

When I see his death date, I’m reminded of bittersweet emotions. One, of the excitement for him to finally get to experience all that God has prepared for him in Heaven. Two, for the sad days of missing him greatly. Missing him when our schedules are crazy, when our girls are accomplishing great feats and when I just want to share the days events. As time passes, it seems like an eternity since I last spoke to him. And at the same time, seems like yesterday. It’s weird nonetheless.

When I see his birth date, I’m reminded on the many life experiences over a 21 year period that I was blessed to enjoy with him. I remember trips with the girls and those that we took just us. I remember being in Israel and him mounting a camel backwards. I remember going to FL and watching him play in the World Softball Tournament at the Wide World of Sports Complex. I remember getting away for a quick weekend to watch St Louis Cardinals play baseball. I remember watching and hearing him cheer the girls on at their sporting events. Applauding them when they spoke publicly amongst their peers and parents. Staying up late to finish those last minute projects. Many many other memories that we have all because of his birth date.

Although both dates represent both happy and sad emotions, I choose to focus on the date of birth. Why, because that’s the date that has given me more present day memories that I can laugh about and enjoy. The death date, although it too is filled with hope and promise for a future with him again, my human side remembers a time that isn’t always the best. It pulls me to a place, more times than not, that I don’t want to be in. I’m aware that I need to move through that in order to reach the other side, but it’s hard some days.

Today, I encourage you to “put your bracelet on the right way”. Focus on that which brings you joy and purpose.

Breaking Free – Jailbreak

Posted September 26, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

This will be my first attempt to write some of my thoughts for the “world” to read.   Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, while others resonate in a way that I am blown away by. 

I’ll warn, that I’m ADD, which is probably why some thoughts are fleeting.  LOL!  But I hope that I can make sense of that which needs to be shared.

Last weekend, I participated in an event, called “run the jailbreak”.  You can find more info at www.runthejailbreak.com.  When I signed up for this event back in May, I did so with the intent of staying motivated to continue going to the gym and being in shape as well as prepared for this day.  As life would have it, my plan wasn’t the plan that God had laid out for me. 

This same weekend, was about the 2.5 week point of a Bible Study, Breaking Free by Beth Moore.  I signed up to take a friend because I thought that she “needed” to be in a room filled with women who she could gather a new perspective of what life is like when you’re enjoying the Lord.  Well, again, as life would have it she couldn’t commit and my plan didn’t turn out the way I thought.  Now, I’m learning that I needed this study more than I originally expected! 

As I started the “run” I was surrounded my many.  I quickly fell behind and thought, I will finish this if it “kills” me.  I told a friend to run on and not to wait on me.  She had been training and I didn’t want to hold her back.  This race took us 3.8 miles through some unusual terrain.  Alot of mud, water, wooded area, open fields, over obstacles, climbing hills on tires, etc.  A couple of times I waded through water that was chest high.  It was quite interesting to say the least.  Am I ready to do it again, YES!  Although I was behind my friends and daughter by about 20 min, I was ok just trekking along slowly.  Some of what I saw was mud that had been there for what seemed like days.  I assume that it wasn’t “planted” but that the area just never dries out.  Because there isn’t any water moving through to “wash” it clean, there was an odor and mosquitoes were thick.  Again, I’ll say that in spite of the “nasty”, I learned some things that were completely unexpected. 

At this same point in the Breaking Free study, Beth talks about having peace.  The Bible talks about having peace like a river.   “It doesn’t say that we’ll have peace like a pond”.  We have to keep moving or else we’ll get stuck in the muck and we too will have an “odor”.  You see, I spent a lot of my time growing up on the river with my granddad.  He was a commercial fisherman and taught me alot about that trade.  I also remember hearing stories of white water rafting from Richard (my husband) when he would go with a group of men to various places.  While rafting, you have a guide that instructs on what you need to do.  He does so prior to getting into the boat and while on the boat.  Both men, my grandad and Richard, shared how there are times when the water is rough and you have to ride it out.  I took that to mean that riding it out doesn’t mean that you plant your feet (if you could reach the bottom) and wait for the trouble to pass.  No, I took that to mean that you ride the waves to the next place in the river.  Beth says ” to have peace like a river is to have security and tranquility of heart and mind while meeting many bumps and unexpected turns on life’s journey through change.  Peace is submission to a trustworthy Authority, not resignation from all activity”.

Sometimes, life takes us places that we didn’t plan.  No matter how good of a planner you are, if you are a child of God he may have other plans for you.  We were all created to fulfill a purpose of His, not ours.  I have certainly ridden many waves through many rivers over the years.  This summer has been a ride that I would never have asked for.  However, it has been one where God has shown himself in a MIGHTY MIGHTY way!  I plan to keep riding the wave until He places me where He wants me.  I’m not sure where that is, but I have peace like a river through this journey. 

The jailbreak was fun, but I sure wouldn’t want to still be in that mud.  Keep the water of life flowing so that you don’t become stuck. I want to encourage you to live life to the fullest.  Ride The Wave and see where God leads.