[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
The meaning of the name Staci is "resurrection". I remember the day I learned what my name meant. I was a 22-year-old wounded girl who had recently surrendered her life to Christ after years of hurt and struggle. A difficult childhood of physical and verbal abuse from my dad, growing up in church but not living out true faith, being hurt by others and the church, living in sin, and trying to find meaning and purpose apart from Christ.
God was in the process of repairing the brokenness I felt in myself for so many years. For some reason I had never known what my name meant and one day during my bible reading, I found myself looking up my name and it's meaning. When the meaning "resurrection" was next to my name, I began to sob. I finally understood that I didn't have to be defined by my past or by my hurt. I didn't have to be defined by all the cruel names my dad had called me. I didn't have to be defined by the way I felt about myself. I was new. I was in a sense "resurrected" from who I thought I was and who satan tried to make me feel like I would be forever. I felt like God was saying to me, "I chose that name specifically for you because I knew you would overcome. I always had a plan for you through all your pain."
From the moment I completely surrendered my life to Jesus, I have experienced the love of my Heavenly Father in ways that no earthly father could ever show me. God has blessed me with a husband that is kind, patient, loving, funny, adventurous and forgiving. He is my best friend and I know he was one of the gifts God knew I would need in my life to show me that I am worthy of being loved. I do matter. I do have a purpose. All of us do. Our marriage isn't perfect because we are not perfect. Our lives haven't been easy because we live in a sinful world. But the foundation of our lives is our faith and relationship with Christ. Trusting in Him has gotten us through extremely difficult times of job loss, financial struggles, and the loss of almost all of our earthly possessions. The lessons we have learned during some of our most difficult years: nothing is more important than love, people, and the things money cannot ever buy. I don't think I could have understood what that truly means without having lost so much.
In all of the struggles and triumphs in my life, I have realized that what we place our trust in is the most important decision we will ever make. If we place our trust in things that can be taken away or lost in a moment or even trusting in our own efforts, we will be devastated when they crumble. We will be devastated when we fail. But if we trust in God and His son for our purpose, meaning and significance, we may be disappointed when life hurts, but it won't destroy us. It will make us stronger.
[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
One of my favorite times of the day is the hour after we wake up and before we start school. We hang out, sometimes read, sometimes snuggle, have breakfast, I have my morning coffee (yes!!), and sometimes we will watch an episode of one of their favorite shows on Netflix. It's simple, but it's one of the times I cherish in our day. We homeschool, so we never make our mornings a rushed event. I feel like everyone relaxes and are ready to start the day with a good attitude; most days. :-) I also love bedtime. We read a bible story together as a family and we pray for our family, friends, and the world around us. It's a great way to end the day. And our children are crazy, so sometimes we get to watch a re-enactment of the bible story. Or some sort of other ridiculous song and dance.
[#3] Name Three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
It is really tough to name just 3 inspiring women because I have so many people who are inspirational to me for various aspects and purposes in my life. But, here's my 3:
@ayanah Besides her photos being absolutely beautiful, creative, and fun, Ayanah is an amazing mama and friend I met on IG. Kindred crazy people. I mean, her and her husband flew up to meet our family and stayed with us when we were living up North! My kind of lady! Fun, adventurous times for sure and I love seeing her posts of her kiddos in my feed! And she's the queen of amazing black and white images!
@michellenicoloff I love Michelle's love for her family and her love for the beach and the way she captures her surroundings with her family. She is always very encouraging to my husband and I. Those women who take the time to encourage one another are greatly admired by me! Michelle is one of those women!
@shariweaver She is a breath of fresh air. Her encouragement and love for her family is always something I look forward to in my feed. She is honest and so kind and encouraging to me very often! And her photos are beautiful!
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
The biggest challenge I face are interruptions. I know being a mom means interruptions are inevitable and a part of life, but when I am in a creative zone, I do best when I can focus and start and then have a finish point in what I am doing at that time. When I get interrupted, it messes with my flow of the things and sometimes that can be frustrating because I don't do well picking back up where I have left off after an interruption. Interruptions continually teach me the never-ending lessons in patience and perseverance! It also teaches me to slow down and enjoy life. We all need to take a break from the hustle and bustle we sometimes find ourselves in.
[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
We are so simple and laid back that we don't adhere to much of anything so traditionally that it couldn't be changed or done a different way if we wanted it to be. We love changing things up and trying new things together. We love movie nights at home with ice cream sundaes and popcorn. We love family hikes and adventures on warm, sunny days. We also love our really lazy days where we all just hang out and do our own things around the house. We do love being together so I guess that is one tradition we uphold. Being together and having fun no matter what we are doing is important to us!
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home, what image would you share and why?
This perfectly represents our home. Our children always move everything in the living room and create large cities and towns and countries with their toys. We've got dinosaurs, Legos, Fisher Price characters, ocean animals, Littlest Pet Shops, etc...all living together in some sort of crazy context of child's play. This picture represents what I see when they are done playing and they leave it and don't clean it up until someone tells them to. Which can drive me crazy at times! I sometimes sit and watch them play and often love seeing the remains of their playtime and childhood strewn across the house because I know there will be a day when they won't play like this anymore. I know I will will miss days like these. I try to purposely choose to cherish the messes when I can and not stress or become impatient on the days I am not so excited to see all of this everywhere. (Mind you, this is only 1/4 of the mess! Ha!)
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
These are my crazy people. This is our crazy life!