My Everyday featuring Stephanie Holden

#1 Share a snippet of your story.

Hi y'all! I'm Stephanie, a southern girl who doesn't like sweet tea. I get to do life with my best friend and for 26 years now he has called me his bride. Our story is one of great redemption and grace.  We were high school sweethearts and at age sixteen I became pregnant. You can read about that here. We had our first daughter, Elizabeth, and started our lives together as a little family while still in high school.  Against all odds and in spite of what statistics stated and people said would happen,  we are not only still together all these years later, but more in love than ever.  

The Lord blessed us with two more daughters along the journey and now they are all three grown and married to men who love the Lord.

We have three grandchildren who call me Honey and I am here to testify that grand kids are every bit all the hype that grandparents around the world down through the ages say they are.  So much fun seeing the world again through their eyes.  

The empty nest season that we are in is not at all the sad lonely thing that I had dreaded when my girls were still small and I couldn't imagine our lives without them being a daily part of us.  It is different no doubt and we miss our girls presence in our home immensely but it also ushered in a new season of passion and excitement for us as a couple as we are enjoying finding a new "normal".   However, we prepared ourselves for this season…we always made time for each other when the girls were growing up.  I knew that one day the dust would eventually settle in our crazy life and I wanted to make sure the guy left standing next to me was my best friend and lover…not someone who had become a stranger to me in the business of life over the years.

I {occasionally} blog about our journey the Lord has us on and the things He is teaching me over at The Honey Pot.  I'd love for you to meet my people and you have my permission to gush over my grand kids.  Be warned….they're pretty darn cute.  ;)

#2 What is your favorite part of the day with your little ones?

Well, my grand children live 12 hours away from us while their daddy is in seminary so when I'm with my them, the favorite part of my day is in the morning when we are still laying in the bed together. We seem to have the best conversations when we have full blown bed head, which our family calls "Honey hair". 

On the regular days when it's just me and my man, the favorite part of my day is coffee in the morning as we both have our quiet time. We don't read out loud together but it's the still quiet of the morning, gleaning from the word in the presence of God while in the presence of this man the Lord has given me to do life with.  It's my favorite.

#3. Three instagram moms who inspire you and why.

Oh gosh.  This is hard to narrow it down to just three.  I have been blessed by so many ladies in this community who have become real life friends to me.

1. Ruth - (@graclaced)  She inspires me with the way she is so intentional with all that she does. She shares her faith boldly and is always transparent with her struggles and the lessons the Lord is teaching her along the journey.  She loves her husband beautifully and is the momma to six little men who keep her busy yet she finds/makes the time for her love for fashion and food. She shares beautiful pics of the dishes she cooks for her brood of men that look fancy but she shows are really just everyday food with a little "flair".   She makes serving your husband and family so appealing…I always leave her little corner of the ig world challenged and encouraged at the same time.

2. Mary - (@mary.krause)  I've loved Mary from the first time our paths crossed.  Her feed is saturated with praise to our Savior in all that she does…in the fun stuff and the hard stuff. We share a love for the hymns of old with their rich lyrics and beautiful melodies and I love watching her mother her children and love her husband with great passion and grace.  They recently stepped out in faith and followed the Lord's calling on a new adventure in ministry and it has been encouraging watching it unfold as she shares their journey with transparency.

3.  My greatest inspiration as a momma is my own daughter Elizabeth (@mythreearrows).   It blesses me so much seeing her raise her kids to be intentional about sharing the love of Jesus with the community they live in.  She loves to keep things real and her instagram feed is filled with raw moments of motherhood as she shares her struggles and triumphs with transparency.   Her pictures are beautiful captures of genuine moments of life and I am so blessed by how the Lord is using her  honesty to minister to other moms.  It's an honor to be her mother…she teaches me so much.


#4 What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?

Well you would think now that my kids are grown that I would have all kinds of time on my hands to foster the creative stuff I want to do.  But honestly I feel like I got more done when my girls were still at home. It seems I am always back and forth on the road these days with my girls since two out of three live out of state.  So I guess I would say making myself take the time to actually do some of the projects I have swirling around in my head has been the hardest challenge….just getting myself back into the groove and finding a new routine.  Time management is my nemesis.


#5 What is a family tradition you enjoy sharing with your kids?

Oh gosh…we have SO many traditions. Certain things we did for each holiday and each birthday…too many to list.  But now that my children are all married and I have to "share" them with their other families, I have had to learn how to be flexible. At first I held on so tight to the traditions we had instilled into our girls through the years and I grieved the first time we had to "break" one of them but through the Lord's grace He has freed me from that and has shown me that it is OK to tweak them as needed to make them still work for our expanding family. They are still our traditions even if we have to change them and they look different.  I always want my girls, their husbands  and my grand kids to look back on our times together with a great fondness and joy.  Not that they were always being pressured to be here on a certain day to keep up with a tradition I was still hanging on to.

BUT one tradition that we started years ago with our girls is still going strong.  Due to Nick being in the US Navy for nearly ten years and then being called into ministry after that,  we were always far away from family.  So when we would visit or when family would visit us, I started doing a high kick instead of a wave goodbye. This would usually get a giggle from the girls and keep the tears at bay.  Well through the years it stuck and now I'm high kicking with my grand children. In fact, they think everyone in the world says goodbye with a high kick…like its a normal thing.  And I love that.

This is Lauren high kicking me goodbye the morning of  her wedding day as I left our house to go get everything set up. I knew it would be her last kick while she was still under our roof. Next time she would be a married woman.

#6  If you could give us a peek inside your home, what image would you share and why?

I love this picture because it was taken through the eyes of one of our friends who recently stayed in our home while she and her family were traveling through.  In our 26 years of marriage, Nick and I have moved 19 times so I have truly learned that our home is not as much about the house we are living in but the people who live inside.  The Lord has taught me so much about contentment and loving each place He has provided.  My husband has encouraged and reminded me through the years that our home is more about blessing those who enter more than impressing them.  It frees you up to use your home for God's glory when that principle sinks in.

#7 Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on instagram but depicts real life happenings.

I'll leave you with this one.  People think I look as put together all the time as the pics they see on instagram. Um…no.  This is a typical day.  Nick had taken a picture to send to our grand kids to see who had the best Honey Hair that day.  I think I won.

Be sure and follow @honeyholden on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms