Hi! I'm Stephani. Welcome to A Defined Life!

What is a defined life?  

A defined life is a life that has a deliberate form. It is not passive or without intent. It's about not letting time passively slip by, but living it intentionally and capturing it. This deliberate life is not an easy road to hoe, and I'm still a work in progress. I am awestruck by a God who shows me moment by moment that there is no such thing as ordinary, but that extraordinary exists all around me. This blog, which I started in 2008, has been an avenue for me to capture these extraordinary moments with lens and pen.

My journey here at this particular site is winding down however.  I am building a new site where I will still write, but I will be showcasing and selling my photography.  It is a huge job to change to a new and different type of site, so most of my time is being spent doing that rather than writing new posts.  But, I'm not gone yet so I will post from time to time over the next couple of months.  My target date for publishing my new site has changed several times.  2014 has been a year of care-giving for me.  Blogging has taken a back seat. Actually,  blogging hasn't even been in the vehicle this year! I've been missing it tremendously though, and my new target date to reveal my new site is January 2015.  New year, new beginnings?  In the meantime you can catch me on Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.

So, what about me?

I am the wife to a handsome fisherman, daughter to two godly parents who are in the winter season of their lives; my father has Alzheimer's and my mother has Parkinson's and NPH. Much of my time is dedicated to their care.  I work full-time outside of the home in higher education as a counselor to college students. I am also step-mom to my husband's now grown son, aunt to 8, and great aunt to one (although I haven't met her yet!)

More than anything, I am an imperfect sinner saved by grace and am learning to live as a Vine dweller.  (John 15:4-5).  Apart from Jesus Christ, I am nothing. My faults, and sins, and wretchedness run deep, but his blood that was shed for me, runs deeper still.  I can't imagine living without this hope and joy.

I have a burden for the broken-winged, and for helping them back into their nests again. I have a passion for picture taking and writing. I call myself a photographer and writer, but I don't do either professionally . . . yet.  Just the same, I am a photographer and writer. I'm a fitness nut. I weight train 5 days a week.  You might hear more talk about that on my new site.  I'm a girly girl, but I'm just as comfortable in hiking boots and camo as I am in high heels. If I had my druthers I'd live in a log cabin on a river bank with lots of land for hunting and fishing. I don't like to shop, which suits my husband just fine!  We live a simple life and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

getting up early
 playing with my puppy
a good workout
exploring ~ hiking ~ fishing ~ canoeing ~ shooting  (and not just with a camera ;o)
having the windows open and listening
 cabins ~ riverbanks ~ the woods
a campfire ~ roasted marshmallows ~ hot chocolate
jeans & boots
flip flops
 scented candles
decorating - when time and money permit it
drinking hot tea every morning
the glow of an oil lamp that lights a darkened room
reading in just enough light
collecting words
thunderstorms ~ rain on windows
taking the back roads ~ driving with the windows down
small towns ~ diners ~ drive-ins ~ old theaters
old quilts ~ old people ~ old memories ~ old things
sun tea on a summer day
sitting on the front porch

I suppose it's a little bit unbelievable to think a life is always filled with rainbows and roses.  I know sometimes in blog land we can leave that impression. It's hard to share faults.  We don't just want to be loved, we want to be liked!  There are lots of things about me that don't sparkle, things that tend to tarnish easily and always need polishing.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist so my house is never as clean as I'd like, I often run late in the morning even though I get up by 4:30, I was painfully shy growing up and have always been the antithesis of spontaneous, but even that has changed a lot in my life! There's more of course, but I am a work in progress!  We all are. So, hopefully we can travel this journey together of living a deliberate life and looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary all around us.

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Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you will find rest here, and come back again and again.
 Please leave a comment or feel free to email me.  So often, people have a story or testimony to share, and I love getting these emails!