Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the Holidays...2011

Why is it that every year, holiday time is such a whirlwind of craziness? I mean, I say that b/c this year we actually didn't have that. It's not that nothing happened, but somehow there was a calm in our family. It was awesome, and hopefully it sticks for the years ahead!

We're in the quick window between Christmas and New Years now, and I wanted to recap what's happened in the last few weeks, because yet again, quite a bit has happened.

For Christmas Eve, we were honored to host everyone from the Refuge {all staff and all the girls from Casa de Esther} for a candle light service. It was quick, beautiful and intimate. And we remembered how Jesus truly is the Light of the world. And also, Naya singged a bit of her bangs off from holding her candle too close. Hahaha! Yes, as I was concentrating on how great Jesus is, I began to smell that funky burn smell, and looked down and there I saw Naya's hair burnt off at the ends...with the little black tips and all. :) It threw a little laughter in the mix which was nice.

So the service ended, and Theo and I decided it would be a good time to wrap the girls presents. Nothing like a little procrastination. We actually had fun together and made a night of it...playing the girls new Chutes and Ladders and CandyLand games. Yes I know those are for 3 year olds, but whatever. We played and we had fun.

Christmas morning was fun. Instead of just letting the girls open their gifts... we made them search the house for their gifts, then take them over to the tree until they were all found, then they were allowed to open them. This was an especially fun gift giving day for us b/c the gifts for the girls were almost all gifts that had been given to them recently but were never opened. So we did what any savvy and on a budget parent would do {for a 1, 2 and 4 year old!}, we wrapped those suckers up and those instantly and at no cost, became their christmas presents. :) They were as happy as ever and so were we. :)

After gifts, we had our friends Nic and Michelle, and their kiddos, Lauren, Hannah and Carson over for a big family breakfast, complete with red and green pancakes. Yes I'm very into food coloring things lately....I just never realized how happy that would make my kids. It also is my sly way of getting them to eat their food!

After breakfast, we were so thrilled that it wasnt freezing outside, so we did church out in the front yard. It was A-ma-zing. Thanks to God's sweet presence, Nic's guitar and vocal skills, we had some sweet worship and prayer time. After church, we all just hung out at the house together, then watched the Star of Bethlehem video.. {highly recommend that!}....girls painted with their new paint...wearing their dress up stuff... Theo used his christmas present to chop some wood... {yes he asked for an axe}...and I put on my new lipstick. :) happened. All of a sudden, Nic goes inside, and realizes that Carson {7}, lit our bathroom on fire....ok, not the whole bathroom. Apparently he decided to see what would happen if he lit a square of toilet paper on fire... {my bad for leaving matches by the kids know never to touch them}...well, it lit and he dropped it into the garbage can...which proceeded to catch everything else in the trash can on fire, then melt the top of the trash can....the bathroom was filled with smoke when Nic walked in. And the hysteria began. Poor guy was terrified. But alas, the entire bathroom didnt catch fire...and everything was ok. A bit later, we were laughing about it...thank God it's not a wood house.

Next Christmas Day event was getting the call that my abuelo passed away. ugh. He was 89 years old, so it's not like we were dealing with a young man. He was really sick and really old. It was his 15th day in the hospital without eating a single thing. Between his alzheimers, Chrohn's disease and a bad was just time. We all knew and were waiting for the day so it wasn't a shock. But somewhere in my mind I thought, surely he won't actually pass on Christmas day, right? Well, he did. So that was the saddest part. On a day of celebration, we had to see a loved one go. I pray he really did accept the Lord has his saviour before he passed away. Theo is convinced that he did, so that helps. I guess i'll know for sure one day.

Christmas Evening, we hosted the Refuge clan again for a nice big dinner. We all were stuffed. The food was good, and it helped to give us a little more of the 'christmas feel' down here in Mexico. :)

The next morning I had a nice long 1 hour skype talk with my mom, abuela y abuelo, and tio's in Puerto Rico. Gotta love modern technology. Now if only my dad would get a computer...

That about we're planning a fun New Year's Eve party at our place with fireworks and all...then a big sleep over! Who doesn't love that?! For all who are reading this, I pray you had a wonderful Christmas and that God fills you up with His love and presence this coming year!

Monday, December 12, 2011


30 snuck up on me. I mean, I knew it was close, but suddenly it's here. I'm wondering how 30 years went by so fast...?! I remember being 17 like it was yesterday, don't you?? I guess the saying "Days go slow, but years go fast" is true! So I wanted to just note a couple of things that I've learned up until this point...

1. My mom was right when she said that I'll never know how much she loves me, until I have my own children. I know now. I love you too mom.

2. Nothing is forever, except Jesus.

3. God is so faithful and kind. He will provide all that I need. He enjoys taking care of me and my family. I've learned to trust Him and I can say that I actually love Him. Also, I know that there is still so much to learn about Him. And I can't wait.

4. In my 6 1/2 years of marriage, I've realized that it's totally fine to admit that Theo and I are different....we process things differently and have different opinions. It's brought much peace to us, to not fight to be the same or on the 'same page' in every possible way.

5. My husband is truly an incredible man. Firstly, this guys truly loves God with all his heart mind, soul and strength. {from my perspective!} And if the wife can say that, there's something real there. My advice to all my single girl friends...don't be so uptight about your 'list' of things you want in your future husband. I tell you...just make sure the guy actually LOVES Jesus and seeks His Kingdom beyond all attracted to committed.....and the rest will work itself out.

6. It's a humbling thing for me, when I think that God has rewarded me with 3 beautiful daughters. I believe what the Bible says about children being a reward and inheritance....not a burden or hinderance in life. That means the Lord saw it fit to give me these little treasures. What an honor.

7. One of the best things you can do for yourself, is to learn to be flexible to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life. Be willing to go where He leads, and when. Learning to trust Him, even without having all details up front. It creates more faith in your heart for the next adventure!

8. I love that as a believer in Jesus, I can daily remind myself that He will work out ALL things out for my good. Everything.....! Thats an incredible thing. Makes me wonder why more unbelievers don't take a look at that and BELIEVE!? That's a pretty sweet deal!

9. Disciplining my kids, especially at these young ages, is often just as hard for me as the parent, as for them. It takes alot of emotional endurance, perserverance, patience and LOVE. I also believe what the Bible says about disciplining your children if you love them. And I love my children. It's hard but so worth it.

10. I've realized that by checking my perspective on things, I can maintain a happy heart and positive attitude on an almost full time basis. Having a Thankful heart and truly remembering all the ways that I'm blessed makes for a hostile environment for complaining and depression.

11. Confession and repentance are good things. They hurt, but are vital to having a healthy soul. Like exercising hurts our body, but is vital to our physical health. Just do it. :)

12. It's still in the early stages, but I'm learning to not be so uptight about certain things. Having an immaculate house at all times... letting that go. Especially with the current household dynamics...3 kids, 4 and under and no outside help for anything. It's not worth the stress of trying to mainain something thats not really worth it. I personally feel a bit akward if I walk into a house that looks like no one actually lives there and if I touch anything the whole place will come crumbling down. It's nice to walk into a place that looks comfortable and lived in {especially with kids} yet organized and decent. I'm not at all suggesting that a dirty house is cool. Dirty and messy are 2 different things. I like clean, but I can now handle toys being out. Kids, go ahead and actually play with your toys! :)

13. It's finally settling in to take my friend Debbie Phillips' advice. 'While your kids are little, be willing to set aside your planner.' It's a very helpful tip to me these days. I'm learning to plan {because I can't help it, and b/c it sometimes saves my life} LOOSELY. It's no longer the end of the world in my mind if I don't get to the laundry on Tuesday. It is now OK to tell so and so that I can't make it to whatever meeting because my kids need me with them. Thank you Debbie. I love you and appreciate ALL the things you've taught me.

14. Not being attached to your "stuff" is awesome. It's a beautiful thing to be able to decorate your home with pretty furniture {I personally love awesome thrift store finds, or refinishing old stuff to make it great}, and hooking up your little domain however you like, but then being able to give it all away when need be, without it tearing your heart out as well. Extravegant giving is a learned and practiced thing. Being able to hand over the keys to a vehicle free of charge or handing over your favorite {whatever it is}'s awesome and exhilirating. Try it!

15. Learning to cook is just generally a good thing. For everyone. You don't have to be this gourmet chef in the kitchen, but being able to make some good meals, is just....good. Thank you Food Network for all your tutoring. My husband and kids are grateful too. :)

So surely I've learned more things that just 15 points in a 30 year time period, but I think these stand out the most. Hopefully I learn an bit more in the next 30 years!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whats New in my Life...It could be lengthy...

This post is dedicated to updating all the notable things happening in my life...kind of to keep track myself.  And this will not be in order of importance so let's not go there. :)

So...first of all I'm finding that I'm becoming quite the homemaker. I mean, the reality is that I grew up not having a clue how to do anything. Ok, not anything, but very few things regarding running/managing a well functioning home. Especially with kids. I was definitly not that babysitting, 'I love kids/can't wait to have my own' kind of girl. My mother didn't {and doesn't} actually cook much, so when I married a "real meal" man, I realized I better learn something in the kitchen or we'll be in trouble. So in our 6 1/2 years of marriage, I've learned to cook a bit....and I actually like it! I'm learning to love creativity in meals. Mainly thanks to the Food Network, and now thanks to for the great recipes.  Learned to sew {basics}, breaking out the inner-crafty lady in me, {pinterest is playing a part in all of it lately} and obviously learned how to be a "kid" person. :) My girls make that one easy for me. Oh how they make me smile.

Before I continue...I need to give the glory where it's's not for me, but to God. Somehow in the mix of everyday life, and babies, and wife-ing, God gave me the grace {and patience!} to learn these home-ec skills. I'm so grateful. We all are actually. My kids don't have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches {which we all love}, and my husband gets some sweet home cooked meals. And I....well, I get to eat good food and get the satisfying feeling of serving my family well, AND the fun feeling that "I made that!" :) Yesssss!

So I wanted to write about all of this because today I'm taking this a step further. I'm making my own laundry detergent!! I know it's nothing new and thrify mamas have been doing this for a long time, but today is my day. I have all the ingredients and it's making me all psyched up to do laundry! Anything to psych you up for laundry MUST be a good thing, hey?! It's gotta get done either way, might as well get some joy out of it!

Here's the deal on some Do It Yourself Laundry Detergent:

First you'll grate 1 full size bar of soap. I'm seeing people use any ole bar of soap.

Next, mix with 1 cup of Borax.

Now, mix 1 cup of washing soda. {I actually can't find that here in Mexico, so I'm substituting it with baking soda. Apparently it works differently, but it's just what I've got to work with.}

I also got some Mexican brand oxiclean {2 small containters} to throw in the mix. I heard washing soda is in oxiclean too, so maybe that'll make up for what I don't have.

Mix it well...keep in a bucket or some sort of container, and you only need 1 tablespoon per load! {2 scoops if it's a super dirty load.}

How easy is that?! And cheap! It comes out to less than a dollar per load. That is some sweet missionary thriftiness if I ever saw any.

Next cool thing happening... my baby girl is starting to walk! I can barely believe it. I say so often that time flies, and this is one of those things that reminds me how true it is. Olivia is actually doing things a bit later than her sisters did, which I think it turning out to be to my benefit. Once they walk, they're everywhere! And I can only handle my kids being everywhere, so much. She's absolutly our most cuddly child. Stella and Naya love a good hug and some cuddle time, but Olivia could just live in our arms 24/7.

We're trying to keep the balance of ministry work and family time in check. It seems that once you begin, it can suck all the energy right out of you. So as much as we're truly loving what God is doing at the Refuge, we're trying to not lose our sanity with all the work that needs to be done. We're learning to lean on the Lord daily for His guidance on what should be done. Learning to keep our priorities in line...God, family, ministry. Praise God, He has given us some amazing friends here in Ensenada. We came down knowing 1 family... our good friends, Sean and Trisha. Now 4 months later, we actually have a tight little community around us! God is so faithful.

Next notable thing in life is that in exactly 4 days from today {woah} I get to celebrate 30 years of life. I remember clearly thinking that 30 was really old when I was young. I mean, it just seemed SO far away. And suddenly it's here. 30 just showed up. I'm so grateful that God has given me this many years so far to enjoy my life...blessed with a truly amazing friend, companion and yes, lover. I know the lover part sounds kinda weird, but it's true. That will probably be the only time in my life that I write out that my husband is my "lover" so just let it be. And I also have the priviledge of having 3 wonderful little chicklets I get to call my daughters. I am so blessed.

Now because it's almost my birthday, it's almost CHRISTMAS!!! Who doesn't just love Christmas? Assuming you're not stressing out spending money you don't have on gifts that arent's's an awesome time to celebrate our Saviour Jesus being born on the earth! I'll admit that just a few years ago, while spending Christmas in Haiti, I had a mini meltdown because I felt we {Theo and I} weren't able to provide awesome gifts for all of our neices and nephews. It felt horrible. Thats when I realized I totally got sucked into the very thing I knew I didn't agree with. The thing that tell us that Christmas is all about the gifts and outward tradtional things rather than the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  Thank God I snapped out of it. Now I get to teach my kids new ways to celebrate Christmas without the main focus being gifts. Now of course I still want to give my kids gifts...and I will. Just without me pulling my hair out to get them whatever the world tells me they have to have. This is where that inner crafty lady come out again. We'll see what I whip up for them this year. :)

I'm thinking those are about all the major things that are 'happenin' in my world right now. Until our next post...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crazy Week at work...

Ok I just thought that since I actually have a moment to do this, I would talk about this insane week of work we've got going on here. One of our girls, Carmen, is turning 15. Actually, she turned 15 in June but were celebrating now. Hey it may be 5 months later, but it's better than nothing! Ha! Especially since we're in Mexico. And in Mexico turning 15 is a big in America we do 'sweet 16s', well here we do 'quinceneras.' Go ahead take as much time as you need to try to pronounce that word.

Anyways, it's a huge deal. Exactly like a wedding Some families spend every penny they have {practically} for these parties. There's a giant fancy cake, decor, a band, a dress and on and on. Yes, imagine all that goes on to prepare for a wedding {even a small and simple wedding} and that's what we're doing in 1 week's time. And making due with whatever is available. It's crunch time and it's crazy! SO our girl Carmen is pretty psyched for her party on Saturday. We have to decorate this room behind the church the girls go to and it's a completely unfinished room....with no power, cement floors and exposed wall studs!. No power means no lights. We're just a touch psaztic trying to decorate this place and make it functionable never the less pretty. So not only are we doing that every single day, we've got our own kids to do something with. As much as I'd love my 4 year old to watch my 2 and 1 year olds, that ain't gonna happen, so Theo and I are switching baby duties. Plus fitting in some sort of educational thing for Stella that we can call school,  ballet, and tutoring the girls from Casa de Esther. {We'll call is just Casa from now on.} Also- trying to maintain some sort of normal and not frazzled-to-death home life and time with friends to keep us sane. Thank God for friends who are like family...aka Nic and Michelle Brouwer. Whew, God is good and brought us some amazing friends that we can call forever friends. Anyways, I didn't mention that we just got back from Thanksgiving break and still have our unpacked bags sitting in our room along with the mini mountain of laundry that never got put away before we left for Thanksgiving. So you ask why in the world am I sitting here writing about all of this rather than doing laundry? Well, because this is my version of 'venting' and getting whatever is in my head out in a decent way and not causing harm to my husband or children. :) to do laundry and finish newsletters!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The buzz

Thanksgiving is this week and I've got that Holiday buzz coming on strong this year! It's a funny thing too b/c there are several things that I'd think would keep the buzz from hitting. First of all, we're not in America where the holiday traditions fly. We're not in a place where you see the seasons come and go. No orange and red snow. And we're not with either of our families where usually we feed off of eachother about holiday decor, food and family/personal traditions. And yet, here I am, in Mexico feeling the excitement of celebrating all that we are Thankful for, and the excitement of celebrating the day of our savior's birth! Ah! Yes, I'm really excited about putting up a Christmas tree and letting the girls decorate it. I haven't figured out yet if the fact that christmas trees are a pagan thing, along with a ton of other holiday celebrations, makes it reason enough for us to not just celebrate what we intend that holiday to be and let my family enjoy the festivities. So for now, we will! Thank Him for freedom in Christ, right?! Whew, thank you Lord for freedom from pointless shackels!

Anyways, hopefully I'll find a few fun ideas of crafts and decor to do this year with the kids...I'm sure I'll find some good stuff from mi amiga Jami Nato....and several other crafty ladies. Thanks girls for your creativity and willingness to share with peeps like me, who only gets creative once in a blue moon. You might well be saving us from the dull life. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

God is awesome...

So a few days after my recent post about my tough past with a family member, that family member called me. They read my blog and decided to call to apologize for all these years of pain. I was beyond shocked especially since I don't ever talk to him. And the previous day I was told that an actual conversation about this would never happen. I would be hung up on if I ever tried to bring it up. And here he was calling me! I obviously knew that the Lord was doing something and I just started praying and asking God to give me the words to say. My heart was pounding! He gets on the phone and I could hear emotion on the line. A slight quiver in his voice as he apologized and reassured me that he has never done that again and will never do it to anyone again. I couldn't believe it. I've thought it over so many times and thought that if I ever did have that conversation it might be on his death bed or something....never under these seemingly normal conditions.

Wow, what was God doing? I burst into tears when I hung up a bit overwhelmed at what just happened. Do these kind of situations ever end with such an apology and peace? Wow. I thanked God for allowing that phone call to happen. I couldn't believe how much tension and pain left my heart just hearing this person vocalize to me that he was sorry. And to see what it did to my husband...bringing him relief and was incredible! God is so good!

This past week in our Bible study review the very first letter is "Every turn-around starts with a step."
I guess Beth Moore is right. The simple step of posting what was on my heart {coupled with years of praying, actually} and suddenly something happened! Something great happened. An act from a tender and repentant heart. Thank you Lord. I'm continuing to pray and see what awesome thing might happen next!

Friday, November 4, 2011

"The Love Letter"

        So today was such an awesome day at home with my family. We're here in Mexico and for the very first time since we've been here, it's raining! All day long. Actually, now it's pouring. It's awesome! Of course the downers are that this evening we found, count them, 4 leaks in the house. And this is after the landlords had a guy come seal the roof. Bad news for them. And it's a hogs heaven outside with how muddy it is. Good thing we're getting more gravel for our yard on Saturday. Anyways, so today Theo and I spent real quality time {basically just alot of play time} with the girls while we did chores around the house. And we got pretty caught up on organizing things and laundry, which felt so good for both of us. Then I found it.
"The Love Letter."

We were setting up our spare room as an office/guest room and I was going through a box of old journals and random things. A handwritten letter fell out and I started reading it outloud to Theo. I was completely 100% sure it was from him, until I got to the middle of the letter when I read something about 'me having his heart for the last 3 1/2 years' or something like that...and I knew from the language in the letter that we weren't married 'yet.' There was all kinds of 'when we get married' talk, so I was a little confused. Theo and I were only together for 2 years before we got married. Thats around the point when I stopped reading out loud. And of course Theo looks at me and asks whats wrong. As he looked at the letter, he noticed that it wasn't his handwriting! He looking at the letter and saying, "thats not how I write my G's and that's not how I write my exclamation marks!" So I started laughing hysterically apparently trying to cover my total shock and nervousness.... and also because I was still kind of convinced that somehow this was from my wonderful and amazing husband and maybe there was just some sort of mix up! Ha! I know.

       Thing is that whoever wrote me that letter signed it "Love, Me." Great. Thanks alot, "Me!" And when I first started reading it I said to Theo, babe I wish you would date your letters so we could look back years later and see how long it's been. Today we've been together for 8 years! Never once did I come across this letter. Or maybe I did and didn't read the whole thing through and just assumed it was from my husband! Another tricky thing about this is that unfortunately I did date a few guys which were long term I totally truly have no idea who this 'Love Letter' is from. And I don't keep calling it the "Love Letter" to be cheeky.... the very first line of the actual letter is "Well here it 'Love Letter' to you" or something like that. It's kinda a crazy thing to find something like this after 6 years of marriage and to realize it's been traveling around with us this whole time but it's not from Theo...and we're just finding it now.

So thank God my husband is secure and trusts me....and with ALL REASON, he should! But of course just to make sure, I reassured him that this is super old and means nothing at all to me. And that all my love and thoughts are for him alone. He assured me back that he loves me and knows it's nothing. Whew. For some reason this kind of threw me for a loop for a second!

Hours passed and I started doing the dishes. I was alone in the kitchen with no distraction and what pops into my mind? Yes, the letter. There were some really lovey mushy things written there and suddenly I did find myself thinking, "who was that?!" I started thinking back on the few guys I was serious with in the past...  As a woman this is totally the kind of thing that would throw me into a little emotional whirlwind if I'm not careful, right?!

Then minutes later {honestly not very long} by the grace of God, I snapped out of it! "This is totally a trap!" This very morning when I was alone with the Lord, reading the Word, I literally felt compelled to stay in the book of Proverbs and I was literally praying for God to give me wisdom for my life. I went through several chapters, taking my time,  just trying to soak it all in...

Although I didn't come across any proverb that told me that if I suddenly find a love letter from an old boyfriend, 6 years into my marriage, just throw it out and don't waste your time and energy dwelling on it... I knew thats what should be done. That is wisdom. And the verse that came to mind was this... "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

As Theo and I learn to love one another and be good partners for eachother in this life, it's not hard to see that our enemy hates us. He hates a God loving family. And we know he'll do anything, even ridiculous things like an old love letter, to try to bring division between us. So I called Theo over, explained to him everything I was thinking and we prayed together. I thank God for a God-fearing husband who prays and has discernment and love in his heart! We recognized this a a blatant attempt from the enemy to trip me up and the Lord allowing it to test my heart! Thank you Lord for your grace to handle this with wisdom today. I pray for this kind of response if anything else should ever rise up. Keep my heart pure and keep my marriage safe, God!

Ladies, it's not just men who the enemy wants to trip up...get wisdom, pray for your husbands and your marriages!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Steinhauer Family Missions Letter- November

Hola Amigos!

Can you believe it’s November already?! This year is coming to an end so soon and we’re trying to recap in our own minds, everything that has happened. This has been such a non-boring year for our family. We had another baby and moved as missionaries to a foreign country! Not to mention daily life raising 3 little girls! How much ‘adventure’ can a single family handle?! Well apparently that isn’t enough. We currently have no vehicle! For those of you who didn’t already know, our van died on our trip across the country from south Florida. We rented a truck for the rest of the way to get here and have been borrowing another missionary couple’s van. But as of today, their van has been returned and we are without a vehicle. Nothing like trials to purify our hearts, and see how much we actually trust God for our needs, huh?

So since our last missions letter, we celebrated our baby girl Olivia’s 1st birthday after home church here at our house. It was a sweet gathering of new friends, great food and of course, cupcakes! Liv tore through her very first cupcake and was an adorable mess by the end.

Stella and Naya are also doing well. It’s one of those times in life when it seems they literally grow overnight. Clothes and shoes fit them for about 1 week and suddenly nothing fits anymore. One week is an exaggeration, but not by far! I guess this is where hand me downs come in “handy.”

Melissa has been part of an amazing Bible study group consisting of about 20 female missionaries in the Ensenada {or outskirts} area. God is faithful to provide such an encouraging and energizing weekly meeting where they can come before the Lord through the Beth Moore study and pursue our beloved Jesus! Melissa also has been making jewelry again and hoping to create a small online business for additional income.

Theo is leading a young men’s discipleship group each week focusing on the Sermon on the Mount scriptures and various other areas in the Word. The fruit coming forth from these meetings are awesome and these young guys are getting noticeably more on fire for God! Pray for them during these pivotal years in their lives where we hope the cement of ‘JESUS’ dries forever! Theo has also been keeping busy working to make the house our ‘home’ by doing all kinds of man work, fixing the yard and building or refinishing various pieces of furniture.

Home Church at our house has truly been a life-giving fountain for us. Theo has been teaching each Sunday along with our longtime friend Sean Cates and also Nic Brouwer. Nic is a musician and new missionary to Ensenada as well. He and his family moved down about a month after we did, from Canada. Our families have been spending a lot of time together in prayer, worship and fellowship. Each Wednesday evening we gather together for worship, and throughout the week we are meeting together for meals and fellowship. This new friendship is proving to be a true blessing from the Lord. We love building solid relationships with like-minded lovers of God, and we’re excited to have found them! We also have been having new visitors come and join us every single Sunday so far. Apparently there are a lot of hungry hearts out there that are finding their way to our humble little church meetings! Praise God for his goodness and faithfulness!

As we briefly mentioned in our last missions letter, we are going to begin serving with a ministry called ‘El Refugio,’ aka ‘The Refuge.’ This is a ministry serving young women and girls who have been abused and/or neglected in the Ensenada area. We have a ‘home’ for these girls called ‘Casa De Esther’ where they live and are taken in free of charge and their children are also taken care of while the girls attend school or work during the day. We are really excited that the Lord has led us to this amazing ministry of caring for the hurting and needy young girls here. By the grace of God, we will both be serving in several different areas including construction to expand the home to now house up to 40 people, teaching the young girls much needed life skills and the young mothers, parenting skills. The girls in the home have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused and are in serious need of love, mentoring and training for their lives. We are super excited to help provide those things as the Lord has provided them for us. Please keep them in your prayers as the Lord begins to transform their lives and us in your prayers as we begin to serve them!

As of now, our hopes and plans to begin ministry with the YUGO team in January still stands. We are excited and eager to see how the Lord will work our service into this ministry in the new year.

We are also still facing the ‘support raising’ giant right now. We are lacking quite a bit of funding to meet our budget and basic needs. We know that God knows, but maybe YOU don’t know and you’d like to be partner with us in ministry?!

For those who aren’t sure what support raising is, here is a basic description and the scoop with us….

 We are not on a salary from a missions agency. We bring our support through Light International. We are fully funded by our own sponsors, including individual friends, family, churches or businesses.

 Some sponsors/supporters give ‘one time gifts’ which are always a blessing.  What we NEED is enough monthly partners to help sustain us in our ministry work.

 Any donation given is a lot more beneficial to us than it may seem and it’s way easier than you think!

Examples of how your donation can help us!

~Your Cup of Starbucks Coffee $3- 5---{Our personal drinking water for the month!}

~ Your Tickets at a movie theater $15 ---------{Home church supplies}

~ Your Dinner out at a restaurant $30----------{Diapers/wipes for baby}

~Your Average cost to fill gas tank $50---------- {Propane for our tanks}

~Your Average grocery bill $150----------------- {Help with our grocery bill}

And so on…

 All financial support sent through LIGHT INTERNATIONAL is tax deductible and you will receive a receipt of your donations each month.

You can go online to  ,  click sponsor a light missionary.

{For first time donors, you’ll have to create an account which will lead you to the page to contribute}, click on

Theo & Melissa Steinhauer, enter your information and you will be emailed a receipt.


You can send a check to:

LIGHT International

P.O. Box 668548

Pompano Beach, Fl 33066

{Please attach a small note with our names on it. Do not write our names on the check itself.}

For questions or problems, please call (954) 876 – 0302.

 You can also donate directly and immediately {no wait and no fees taken out} through

Western Union, or by direct deposit to our bank account. Let us know if you are interested in those options so we can give you details. You can also send a check by snail mail to our US mailing address.

 We get paid our support from Light International at the beginning of the month.

{ONCE A MONTH, only}

 Financial donations need to be given before the last week of the month to be included for the next payment.

We are lacking about $1500 to meet our monthly budget!

We know that sounds like a lot, but we know if a handful of people partner with us, we’ll be able to continue in the place the Lord has us. We trust HIS provision for us through the Body of Christ, friends and family. If you’d like to take part in this ministry, please contact us!

Our US phone line in Mexico is (949) 945- 5956

Theo’s email address:

Melissa’s email address:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Love & Blessings to you all…

Theo, Melissa

Stella, Naya & Olivia

Saturday, October 22, 2011


So from my last post...a wonderful conversation did happen. So much better than expected. :) All I can say for now is that God is good. God is in control. And I learned some new details about our 'situation' that I didn't know about before. It's helps to be informed. Surely I'll post if anything major happens, but for now, some good communication about it is enough.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to handle a difficult thing of the past... "READ AT YOUR OWN RISK" This is a long and heavy post. Beware.

The title of this post is exactly what I'm writing about today... What do you do when something bad from almost 20 years ago keeps coming back to haunt you? It's not a recent thing...20 years is a long time.  I won't refer to this in the 3rd person b/c this is me. It's personal. In many ways, I'm an 'open book' and have no problem sharing my life with people. This is one of the more tough things to share, but I think it's important. I've gone through rounds and rounds of forgiveness, shedding resentment & bitterness and reminding myself that God sees all. And I know HE will handle this. So whats wrong with me?? Why won't this just go away? I can't even express all that happened, but I can say that it's bad enough to keep coming back around to mess with me. I think of myself as a God fearing, Jesus loving, wife and mom in a christian household, and I'm finding that I'm certainly not immune to the sting of when God allows bad things to happen to believers. Even 20 years later...there is still pain. So I'm asking, 'God, whats up with this?' What is the purpose in you allowing this? I know you were there. I know you saw me and I know you love me. And I thought I dealt with this already. So why? Your Word says in Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  So Lord, please show me how this is working together for my good?

There are lots of people involved...and this would probably mess people up if I give too many details here. I'm not doing this to 'mess people up' at all but to protect whoever I can...and to see if peace and rest might finally come to my heart and mind regarding this issue.  I'm by no means trying to be the person to execute the consequences of sin...thats clearly not my job. But I'm also having a hard time knowing there has been literally NO justice or remorse for a bad thing that happened....20 years me and possibly others. But what do I do?! Get over it? Move on? Or finally speak up and do what I can? I shouldn't say 'finally speak up'...I'm not really the keep it all hidden kind of girl. Although growing up, this was a kind of 'sweep it under the rug and maybe it will go away' situation, there have been people who I opened up to and shared my experience with. This brought tons of relief to just be able to get it all out and not carry this burden alone. Thank you to all who know, and were just good listeners. I also ask that if you do know, please don't post that you know. I won't be writing names or titles, to keep some level of decency. But keeping it all on the "DL" isn't working for me anymore for some reason.

I realize this may not make much sense without me actually telling you what here it is. When I was 9 years old a man in my family sexually molested me. More than once. He didn't come out and confess what he had done, but he got caught. Someone asked and I told on him. I know that in the grand scheme of things, there are so many worse things that could've happened to me and there are countless girls and women who go through this, and worse,  all the time. Does it make it any less serious? Any less painful? Any less significant to me? No. I write that part mainly to remind myself that it is was a significant part of my life. This was something that greatly affected me and changed something in my being. My enemy likes to mock my pain by saying 'are you still whining about this same thing even 20 years later?!' Or 'why don't you just get over this....move was the past....what could you do about it's too late." Lord help me and give me wisdom.

Twenty years later you'd think an issue is long gone in the past right? So why is it then, that after all my forgiveness and classes for my 'heart issues' I'm still feeling such a pit in my stomach? Why did I feel like I was about to throw up when I thought about it this morning? Why do I feel like I'm contributing to and allowing the danger and risk of others being hurt, if I don't speak up, now, after so much time? I don't know. Maybe it's because I am supposed to say or do something. Even now. Maybe I will spare someone from being hurt if I just open my mouth. Who knows if he might try it again....or has already tried it again. Maybe he wouldn't do it again. But maybe he would.  Is it worth the risk?? No way.

I've been thinking of myself in others' shoes so much lately....probably because I have my own kids now. If I didn't know that I was friends with someone who molested a child, and my kids were around him.....would I be ok with that? Wouldn't I want someone to tell me? Wouldn't I want to be warned? And not only my children, but would absolutely want to reconsider my own friendship with him! Wouldn't I think the man should be in jail for his actions or at least some sort of major counselling?  So that's what's heavy on my shoulders right now. Adults and kids are hanging out around him in complete confidence that he's just a great guy. Safe and trustworthy.  Now again, I want to say that EVERYONE has issues....everyone falls short...sins...messes up....but I can't help but recognize that this is a big deal and has major consequences....right?! I'm trying hard to not to crucify him, yet acknowledge that christian or not, family or not,  there's something really wrong here!

So if I confront this and ask them to either refrain from having people with kids around or to do something to show they care...or make some sort of move... the worst case scenario might be that my family lies, denies, and disowns me. Surely they would hate me or at least disregard the issue as in years past.  Best case scenario is this man breaks down before the Lord Jesus and confesses his need for Him. Repents, is saved, transformed and renewed. Is that even realistic? Oh how I long for that to happen...and truly for his sake. I've prayed countless times for this...and for years, but maybe it will take something like a real confrontation to be brought to his knees before God...'at the end of your rope,' so to speak. He is definitly not at the end of his least the last 20 years his life hasn't reflected that.

My husband has been wonderful in walking through this with me and reminding me that it is important and that this process in my heart is expected and ok. In so many ways, he has totally represented Jesus and so many times he has shown me the Father's heart during this. I'm so grateful to have him. He's been gentle and understanding when we've been intimate... the times I made him stop when I'd get the creepy feeling that he's doing something wrong to me, only to realize that it's because something this other man did when I hadn't even hit puberty. Knowing that it should be right and ok, and even a holy thing from God, but in the moment it felt so wrong and bad. My husband was kind and let me cry. He held me until I could calm down and hug him back. That's a good man.

Today I woke up thinking about my 3 daughters and how quickly they're growing and how much I love them. How I get anxious at the thought of  any harm coming to them. Of my responsibility to protect and care for them with everything inside me. And to bring them up in the ways of the Lord. That's alot to handle, no? I'm learning to give them over to God regularly and trust that our Father is good and loves them so much more than I do. Then I thought 'God loves everyone way more than any human to human love.'

I have personal history with a man who has a serious issue in his past. He's not alone in it, I know. Tons of men deal with this but I'm not refering to them. I'm refering to the 1 man who was supposed to be a caretaker for me and he hurt me. This is a big sin issue....a crime even. It is dangerous and a risk of causing major pain to people. This person doesn't claim to believe in God at all so I have a place in my heart that says 'well, what should I expect? He is serving his father after all.' But I'm having a much harder time with the christian in the family who knew soon after the violation and didn't do much to protect me and keep me from harm. I was still at risk physically, emotionally and spiritually. No matter how much affection, gifts and "love"  there was, there was always that mixture of 'but if you love me so much, then why aren't you protecting me? Why won't you help me and take me  away from this?'

We both remained in the family. I had no choice. There was a jesuit priest guy who "counseled" me for a little while after this came out, but unfortunatly it was a joke. No healing happend for me. No repentance happend on 'his' part. I remember a quick apology one day at a park where we were all supposed to go for a meeting. It felt much more like a 'I'm sorry....that I got found out,' more than 'I'm so sorry about what I did to you. I'm sorry I have caused you pain. I will get real help to deal with this. What can I do to help you through this?'

Around the age 18, I was in a room where I overheard this man actually call me an a**hole to another family member. Nothing at all meritted this kind of expression about me and I realized that this man didn't have an ounce of care in him. There was truly no remorse at all for his actions which was why it was easy enough for him to continue on in his life like nothing ever happened. For years, in fear I went along acting too like nothing happened. But I just couldn't anymore. Something wrong did happen.

So here I am, 20 years later wondering how to handle this delicate situation? Since he is a family member who has remained "in the family" this whole time, how do I handle this? I'm no longer willing or able to greet him and treat him like a loved and honored family member. I can't and won't let my daughters be around him. Even the thought of him thinking of my girls makes me want to die. So how on earth can I continue to interact with my family knowing there's such a secret that most people in the family don't even know about? How can it be that a dangerous and sick man is hanging out and having a great life and attending family functions and nobody knows this serious thing about him? How can other people with young kids bring their family around think he's just such a great guy?? It's because that christian family member has covered for him all these years. And there's my issue....  

Someone please help me out on this.  I know as believers, we are called to many forgiveness, mercy, compassion,  and love. But does that mean there are no consequences of sin? No protection against harm? No priorities???! So you see now that my issue is just as much for the man who violated me, as for the 'christian' who did nothing to defend me or protect me. Possibly more so.  People, including myself, make mistakes ALL the time. I understand myself to be a sinner saved by the grace of God alone. I'm not claiming to be all wise and without fault myself at all. And I've been told that 'you never know how you'd handle a situation, until you're in it yourself.' But I feel like I can honestly say that if a child in my family....either a daughter, neice, cousin, granddaughter was in a situation like I was, and I had the power to remove the child from the situation,  I would NEVER allow them to remain unprotected and vulnerable no matter what. It's not a superhero mentality is it?? Isn't it just normal to want to protect the young and helpless? Isn't it instilled in us?

So because my family doesn't know about the 'issue,' I'm finding myself in that either "go along with life and try to avoid 'him' as much as possible" or say something. I've gone this long without blasting it to anyone who is around during family functions, or whenever I hear about kids being around him, but it's getting more and more difficult to sit quietly about it. The 'christian' to this day also seems to be living life like nothing happened and seems to want the benefits of life like nothing happened. But I can't live like that anymore. Either I cut relationship with this family member, which I totally don't want to do,  or I confront them about this...again. As a believer, I'd want to just confront {in love and humility} this person and hope that something great would come from it.  Is it better to just avoid confrontation, let happen whatever will, and not risk being hated by my family?

Also to make clear, I have already approached both the 'christian' and the offender about all of this before. I have told them both that because of the love of Jesus and forgiveness and mercy of the cross for me, I also am able to forgive them. I feel like the offense to me personally is being handled sufficiently by Jesus, and now my issue is the continued risk of danger and carelessness on their part to others.

Ah. So there it is. This is what's been running through my mind all day. I felt there might be someone who could identify with this and might help them not feel like they're alone in the struggle. move foward with 'a talk' or not...

If you have something regarding this post that you'd like to talk to me about privately, please email me @  Thanks!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rambling about how I'm starting to hate cleaning....

So I'm just wondering how in the world I will ever get my house in order. I mean, today, Theo and I were so set on cleaning and organizing and finally putting order to things. We were psyched up! And to put things in perspective, we did just move here, like 2 months ago and we're not totally settled. Not everything has it's place yet and we don't even have a washer and dryer. So we have mountains of laundry everywhere. Which is absolutly crazy. I mean, the mini chaos in my house is somewhat normal {right?!} but it drives me up the wall! Plus my 3 sweet kids are awesome, but maaaaan...they can make a mess! It's about 10 seconds after they wake up in the morning. And this is what I hear when I say, "clean up time, before mommy loses it!"..."mama, it's just soooo hard to clean all of this"...or..."I'm just so tired mom!" Holy smokes...if they only knew what I had to deal with! I mean, should I actually get rid of their toys?! I've totally thought about it and definitly threatened it...{I know...sorry} but geez, there has to be a better way. And half the time, Stella says, "yeah mom, that's a good idea. We should give all our toys away to the poor chocolate kids in Haiti." Hmmm.....yeah so thats a tricky one.

Besides about them dishes?! They take foreeeeever to do! And as much as we would like to do them right after we use them....we just don't. And sometimes they pile up...which drives us crazy too. And today...I have to stand at the sink for literally an hour and a half washing each thing. Crazy right?! I know. One of the truly lovely things about living in the states. Dishwashers. Well, maybe they have dishwashers here, but I haven't seen one. Maybe it's just for the mexican bourgeois??

Anyways, I'm not as bad as Theo in handling the tornado of toys, dishes and laundry all over our house. I definitly don't like it, and my kids know that when I start to look the the 'crazy lady' they better start singing 'clean up, clean up, everybody do your share' song and putting things away. Or maybe when I just hold up a wooden spoon! But Theo...he gets this glaze over his eyes. When it gets to 'that point' it seems he just shuts down. The mess of random things everywhere causes a total 'Theo system failure.' It's kinda funny actually. But not so funny when it's time to actually do something about it. My man will pick up things and just move them. Not actually put them where they belong. He just seems to shuffle things around and make them look a touch more organized. But it's all still out...not put away. And he's totally excited about how he helped out. And it's bad news if I come in and ask 'so what did you do?' What?! I just organized all this laundry! Organized? Why did you "organize" the laundry?? ha, oh man. That's just a little insight to how 'we' handle the chaos in our house sometimes. I know you wanted to know all of that, right?!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Only the beginning...

So today was our 3rd Sunday of hosting home church here at our house in Mexico. It was awesome. This is a totally unofficial thing. We just decided to meet here and invite God to be with us because we were missing that close knit community that does church and life together. Sean & Trisha and their family joined us for home church 2 weeks ago and after church, we prayed and asked God to bring us a worship leader so we didn't have to use a cd player, and I secretly asked for someone with some skill. :)  So that Sunday after church our family walked down to the beach and this non-Mexican family walks up to us and introduces themselves. Nic and Michelle and their 3 kids had just moved down from Canada about a week prior and only live about 2 minutes drive from us! After some small talk and getting to know eachother a bit, we invited them to join us next Sunday at our house for home church. They said that before the move, they were looking into home churches because they were really interested in that! Nic also let us know he was a worship leader and would love to help out. :) God is so good.

Today during worship, a man walked up to our gate so I walked out to meet him. His name was Alex and I realized he had 3 young kids by his side. He said he didn't have any money or food and wanted some food for his kids. He told me they've been homeless for a while and sometimes stay in shelters when they can. I could smell the alcohol on him.  He asked for money to get to the next town and money for some more food for later. He said they had been sleeping on the beach for a few nights now and he didnt have consistent work. I looked passed him and around the corner and saw a woman, {who she later told me is not his wife, but his 'legal partner' or something like that}, and 2 more kids. All 5 kids are theirs and they've been 'together' for 8 years. I went in and quickly explained the situation and we all, as a church, gave them some money and we gave them food in a bag. At first when I asked if they would like to come in the gate, he said no. But after we gave them money and food, he agreed. Before we knew it, we all were praying for them and sharing the gospel for hours. At one point this man was bent down and in tears. He said the first time we all layed hands and prayed for them, he felt a very strange and powerful sensation. He was a drug addict and when he 'shoots up' he feels an intense strength and power and feels like he can fight all men off with his bare hands. When we prayed, he said he felt a similar feeling only twice as much...and without the desire to destroy anything. He was feeling a surge of the Holy Spirit through his body!

With tears in his eyes, he said that he's encountered other christians before but that he always felt very judged and felt alot of discrimination. He's never been invited in the doorway of a house and offered food with love. he said something was different about this meeting. There was no discrimination or judgement.  He opened up to us all about some of his past with drugs and alcohol. He voluntarily poured out the contents of what was in his "Fanta" orange soda bottle, which he told us was spiked with alcohol, and recognized that he needs God in his life and that God will help him change.

Their 5 kids came inside and were playing with our kids. Their little girls were all dressed up in my kids' princess dresses and tiaras...playing kitchen and playing sidewalk chalk outside. Alex said as they were walking outside, he heard the sound of our worship in the house and said, "that's where we'll find help," and so he came to our house. What a testimony of the Spirit of God!

What a blessing this was. To keep my guard up for this adult mexican man who just showed up at our gate, then to bring my guard down so his kids could come in and play with mine...and enjoy the toys we had and feel some love. Those kids received so much affection while here. Between Lynette and Holly {the 2 teen girls} and the moms, the little ones were filled up with love and joy. The mom came in the gate reluctantly at first. You could see reservation in her. As we prayed for her and time passed, her demeanor became much softer and open. She even came inside the house with me for a moment to see her kids playing. She told me that they were staying in a room every once in a while offered by another church not far from here.

After a few hours of ministering to this family. It was time for lunch and everyone was hungry! {This family was obviously hungry way before lunch time!} We're doing potluck style after church, and we obviously weren't expecting this other family, but what a blessing it was to feed them. To trust the Lord to multiply our food...and to see our kids all sitting and eating together was awesome. To see my clean and "put together" kids sharing their toys with somewhat dirty and not so put together see the gratitude in the parents when we made our kids serve them their meals. What a refreshing thing to experience after so much time in a comfort-at-all-costs culture and mindset. Now that's what I call church! :) Also, Alex and his family will be coming here to church next week. Praying for deliverance and true transformation from the Lord.

We also met a woman and her daughter yesterday while at Punta Banda. Debbie and Lynette bought a table from us and we invited them for home church. Lynette goes to school close to our house so it was easy to explain where we live. I was filled with joy during church as Debbie expressed how her heart has felt like a desert since she hasn't been to church in so long. The pastor of the small church she was attending, resigned and most of the people left. She felt isolated and alone and was really wanting a solid church for Lynette, her 16 year old daughter who was also a believer. It was so powerful to remind her that God hasn't forgotten her and knows exactly where they are at.

This is only the beginning. Only day 3 of our little home church and I'm reminded of Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."

Thank you Jesus for your goodness and loving kindness. I will never stop thanking you for your mercy and love. Continue to lead us and teach us. We want to know you and love you more. Amen.

Monday, September 12, 2011

We made it!

I can't believe we actually live in Mexico now! Mexico just wasnt in the cards of places we thought we'd ever move to, but I guess when you decide to let God lead your life you end up in some cool new places. We're really excited to see what the deal is with us being here, so as we set up shop we're spending alot of time in prayer trying to get some clues. :)
We've been here for like 3 full weeks now and learning to do life in Ensenada is really fun so far. First of all, it's thrift store heaven here. For reals. The main street before you get off to come to our neighborhood is packed with them. And really good ones too...all the little mexicana ladies go up to San Diego and wipe out all the garage sales and craigslist and bring it down for me to enjoy! It's awesome. Actually, I think the little mexicana ladies make their husbands do all of that and they do the negotiating to get a decent price for it all. Pretty fun. :) SO since we left all our stuff in Florida, we've been in start up mode regarding furniture which I don't mind at all. :) Except right about now that we have no moola to get the rest of the stuff we need like a dining room table and chairs, a washer and dryer, beds for the girls, silverware and some other stuff. Bummer. Stinks when I see something I like at a segunda and like 5 minutes later it's gone. The mexicans are quite at swiping the good stuff and some of them are livin' large here thanks to So Cal!
It's cool though, we're learning to be content with what we have and making it all work until the Lord provides more. Thank God we hosted last semesters home fellowship at our house b/c we had a bunch of plastic forks, spoons and paper plates left over which is what we've been using almost every single day since we moved here. Sweet. No dishes! {well, no dishwasher either!} Our real silverware got scooped up by some unsuspecting blessee at a Goodwill store in FL. Same with our plates, mugs and kids stuff. I'm wondering what else didn't make it across the country with us since we're not all unpacked yet. We'll see what else we randomly gave to the Goodwill just b/c it was heavy. I know my sewing machine was in that pile. :( But surely the segundas will hook me up with whatever I need, and for cheap too! Yessss. Sorry Target, seems you're taking back burner to my little mexicana friends right now. Besides that the nearest Target is in another country now. {I'm just trying to cope....I really do love Tar-jay}.
Anywho...once we get a little more settled, which hopefully will be by tonight b/c I can't handle the chaos happening in my house right now....I'll post pictures of whats been happening and of the house and of whatever else.
Thanks again to all our friends who hosted us and loved on us while we made the journey across the US of A. It was intense but you all made it fun.
Pics coming soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So, I just have to say that it's pretty insane how much stuff can happen in a single month. If I don't update right now, I fear the next time I try to do so would be years away and with too much to write. here we go. From the last 'birthday surprise' blog.... well, we are now officially moving to Mexico!!!! Ahhhhhhhh! That was an 'ahhh' of serious excitment. :) So, since we've been home from Theo's birthday trip, we had a jam packed month of June with lots of friends and in-laws visiting with us..and...lots of kids involved. :) Need I say more? So, I'm slightly wiped out, but there's definitly no time to be wiped out right now...
Sorry peeps...copy & paste isn't working here for some reason and I can't possibly re write it all at this point.
Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Theo's Surprise 30th Bday gift

A few months ago, Theo flew with Lee to San Diego, CA to pick up a truck that was given to him. They drove down to Ensenada, Mexico, than drove across the country back home to south Florida. Theo was all excited about how great Mexico was and how much he loved eating the mangos on the beach, which were cut like flowers and had fresh lime and salt on them, how beautiful all these different parts of the trip were and how he wished I was there to share it with him. So, since Theo's 30th bday was coming up, I decided to do a big surprise trip with Lee & Sarah.....back to Mexico and with no kids! So after a month of serious planning and several complex details, the day for us to leave, came. On May 24th, we had just gotten home from Virginia & Orlando at 1in the morning. That day I planned on unpacking, repacking and cleaning like a mad woman since I knew was about to happen that evening. Well, we got word that some special prohetic people were going to be at staff meeting and we should both try to go. So, of course I decided to go for just an hour max. Well, 3 1/2 hours later I get home to a completely upside down house and no time to do anything. I half unpacked...just the dirty clothes from the VA trip and replaced it with clean underwear and stuff, lol, then threw the suitcase in the trunk without him seeing it. Steph was flying up from Haiti to be with Stella & Naya for us, as his gift. Well when I got home from staff meeting, I got a call from Kathy that Stephanie's flt was rerouted to Miami at the same time. The plan was for Steph to fly into FLL at 7pm -ish, and our flight took off at 8:22p, so I planned to take Theo on a special 'date' that night, and we were going to pick Steph up at the airport which was the first part of the surprise, and after some hugs and an explaination of what was happening, she was going to get in the van, drop us off at our terminal then go home to be with the girls {who were there with my sister at the time}. So since Steph was now rerouted, I had to quickly think of a back up Sarah drove with us to our destination which he thought was a {LEO} double date to a Ft. Lauderdale Strikers game, and Lee was planning on meeting us there. So with Theo blindfolded, we pulled up to the airport. We let him out and filled him in on the real 'date'...aka his birthday surprise trip to Mexico then Sarah did me with big favor of driving down to the Miami airport to get Steph. :) Needless to say, he was in total shock! I think even a tear welled up in hi eye. :) And I couldn't believe that I was able to keep this whole thing a secret for a whole month and I could finally let it all out! :)
So that all was the prep work. Now on to the fun part....we boarded our plane and flew to LAX, stayed the night with Andrew and Emily Bowser at their super cute apartment in Hollywood. The next morning we jumped on a train down to San Clemente...which is a cute little surf town. We got to hang with Dave and Julia Weissmann for a few hours....Theo surfed and rode motorcycles with Dave which that alone made him such a happy camper, while Olivia napped and Julia & I caught up. :) Later, we met up with the Cates' then continued our journey down into Mexico! The next 4 days were spent in Ensenada just hangin with our friends, getting reaquinted with YUGO and getting familiar with the surf ministry that happens every Saturday. Meanwhile, we had been praying for some direction from the Lord for a few months now. Our lease is coming to an end and we needed to know where He wanted us. So while at YUGO {Youth Unlimited Gospel Outreach}, we had a meeting with the Ensenada directors about the Lord possibly leading us in that direction. The meeting went very well and they informed us how the believe the Lord is really beginning to do something special in that place b/c we are 1 of a handful of new families considering relocating to Ensenada for ministry work with YUGO! :) {Of course that makes this all more exciting!}
We also were looking for possible housing since we knew that if the Lord does indeed move us there, we don't have money to visit again for housing. Well, we ended up meeting an american missionary family whose been living in Mexico for 6 years and the house next to theirs is available! We called to make an appointment to see it and and couldn't believe how beautiful this place was, and with so many advantages that most homes in the area don't have. So after much prayer, talking with Harbour leadership and the YUGO meeting, we are pretty sure it's the Lord guiding us to move to Ensenada! AH! We are super excited and are so grateful to the Lord for His kindness to us. Now, we just have to do all the logistical things of moving a family from south Florida to Baja, California! :) Yaaaay!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prayer Time...

So I'm sitting on my bed listening to Stella and Naya pray while they are in their 'secret place' with Jesus....aka Theo's closet. :)

Stella: 'Dear Jesus I am just so sorry for not obeying you. Please heal our bodies and grandma and grandpa's bodies, in Jesus name, Amen...

And thank you for dying on the cross, and heal all the chocolate people in Haiti. In Jesus' name, Amen. '

Naya chimes in every few seconds with, 'Yes, Lord!'

Hahaha! This is the best.

Oh then Stella asks if she can have a treat for praying such a good prayer, hahaha!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just to catch up...

The girls are huge. I can't believe Stella will be turning 4 in just 2 months. I'm trying really hard to cherish every single day I have with the girls since clearly time flies. Naya is talking so much now too...I guess this is the point where they go from saying a handful of words to full on conversations about everything you could think of {that sometimes just doesn't end!} :) Stella and Naya are just such sweet hearts...I mean it...they are coming into their own little personalities and they are showing such sweetness and love...I guess this is the fruit of our prayers for them! Thank God for His faithfulness to hear our prayers! Olivia is almost 6 months old already. I could cry. I purposely took in every part of her life b/c I knew it would pass so quickly, but this is just beyond what I expected. I feel like she should still only be 3 months old. She sits up alone {occassionally falling over}, eats her baby food {the best of the 3 so far}, and has begun crawling.....backwards. :) She'll get her directions straightened out soon enough. But I just am enjoying motherhood like never before. I feel incredibly blessed and am so grateful for my family. We've been really enjoying our home fellowship group that meets here at our house on Sundays for church. Honestly, it was a big group of strangers at first....people of all ages and stages in life...none of whom I knew. Well maybe 1 or 2 tops. But this group that has been meeting here for 9 months now as become so tight knit and bonded together! I truly have such a love for them. It's amazing how people start to feel like family {closer than family in some cases!}, then to read how God will bless us with a spiritual famliy as we seek His kingdom and righteousness. That's just awesome! We are blessed and not alone. So as you know from past posts, Theo is working at the Harbour Church still and has also been pursuing other opportunities that have not led to a single thing. The fire academy: out. City of Ft.Lauderdale lifeguard: out {he's hired but can't get anyone to call him about starting work!}. So besides working the facilities dept at the Harbour, he does work landscaping jobs when it's available to make up for our lack of income. We thought we were on our way out of the support raising thing, especially b/c 2 of our supporters were cutting their support this month {if you only knew what our income was, haha!} but I guess the lord has other plans. Another couple just came to us and said that the Lord told them to support us. SO....we're so grateful....and waiting to see whats next and apparently still fully raising support! I told Theo I like to be an 'open book' on pretty much every front, so I'll spill the beans about what I think is next. :) MEXICO! Yes, Mexico. In the summer of 2008 we travelled to Ensenada, Mexico with some friends who were connected with a ministry there called YUGO {Youth Unlimited Gospel Outreach}. You can learn about it at While there, God did alot in changing our mentality about missions as we knew it, and we were impacted powerfully by being there. And after that trip we knew we would always have a willingness to be part of that ministry if God ever made an opportunity for us there. And so it SEEMS that there may be an opportunity! :) Nothing at all is set in stone, but we are in contact with the director and planning on another more detailed meeting right after Easter. The friends I mentioned who we went down to YUGO a few years ago are now living there full time, so we'd be super excited to be with them again and just so let the Lord do His thing through us there in Ensenada. :) The other interesting thing about this is that we would have to begin our support raising efforts again! Oh that's just so bittersweet. Bitter, well b/c it's just bitter raising your support sometimes and sweet b/c the Lord is our ultimately our provider and it teaches us to truly trust and rely on Him. :) There are a bunch of details that we don't know yet, which will hopefully get cleared up in our next meeting with the director. Please pray for us as we seek God's will and plan for our family. He has proven to be a very kind and gentle leader.....and incredibly patient. :) Thank you Jesus for your goodness. Theo recently had a powerful encounter with the Lord. If you didn't know, Theo is almost ALWAYS full of joy and laughter. But lately he was just feeling that 'dry and weariness' that we all experience at times. During his Harbour staff meeting, God came like a flood to the group after Theo shared his feelings and there was a mini revival! Praise God, who knows the details of our lives and is faithful to bring peace and joy and love even in a season of drought. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Funny words...

So this is just a quick post that I wanted to add which is some funny words that my girls say...

1. pacuter = computer {Stella}

2. spitachio = pistachio {Stella}

3. ha god= hot dog {Naya}

4. sticker pots = potstickers {Stella}...don't know why she gets that one backwards!

I'll add more as they come...just don't want to forget the cuteness that is in my daughters. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So I just wanted to write a little update about where things are in life b/c I feel like things are about to change pretty soon. I don't know what will happen, but the ball is about to start rolling.
As of today we are finding ourselves with several avenues that our life may or may not go down...

Theo may begin working with the City of Ft. Lauderdale as a lifeguard soon! He's actually been 'hired' for 2 months now but there was a little issue on the admin side of processing his application. This is where I could put a little frown face, b/c we've just been waiting so long....and hello?! We need to pay bills around here...and the once in a blue moon pedicure! :) But I won't b/c we trust in God's sovergnty over things and the timing of things in our life. Thank you Jesus. Anyways, we'll see what happens with that.

Theo's 'boss' for the city called him last week to talk to him about this guy who wants to meet with him who is into manufacturing SUP {Stand Up Paddle} boards, and apparently is interested in doing something with lifeguards, SUP, and Haiti. It sounds like an interesting combo, and it's definitly up Theo's ally. Theo and the guy are meeting this Tuesday to talk about it. We don't actually have any idea at all what it could be about but it's kinda exciting! Keep ya posted.

On July 23, the next Fire Academy class begins. I've been going back and forth with Theo about whether he should go for it again or not. It's hard to know. It was clearly the Lord's will for Theo to be in the class last August, but his heart has changed a little bit regarding his desire for it so it's just unclear what to do now. I can't tell if Theo is afraid to do it again {b/c it was so stinkin' hard} or if he's just too worn out to do it {b/c it was so stinkin' hard} or if truly the desire is just gone...{b/c is was so stinkin' hard....just kiddin}. Really though, what's hard for me, is to think back on how great he was and to look in the corner and see all of his bunker gear, firefighting books, etc just sitting there and think we just need to give it all back and nothing comes of it. That just messes with me. Who's a matter of time either way. That's all the way in July and we don't even know what tomorrow holds for us.

Speaking of not knowing what tomorrow holds for us...a few days ago a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. I'm talking out of control horrible flooding. I've never seen flood waters completely consume a place as fast as it did in those areas in Japan. The same morning, someone posted on facebook that 'they just lost their favorite cute water bottle.' If there is anything that would remind me to seek God with all my heart, mind, and strength.....and to NOT store up my treasures here on earth, but in was that. We all know its fine to have a cute water bottle, but the timing of her loss of it just made me think...who cares?! I mean, lets just have our priorities in check. Everything on this earth is going to be burned up. Everything. How is your heart before the Creator? In 5 minutes from now some crazy natural disaster, or an accident could happen and we could be face to face....think about that....FACE to FACE with God. If that doesn't make to tremble then something is wrong. Even if we DO have our priorities in check, we should tremble at the thought of being face to face with God.

I'm reading a book by Fancis Chan called 'Crazy Love.' I can't remember the last time I was so moved by a book. {Probably b/c I don't read books that often, haha!...Don't judge me, I've got 3 babies in my house! } Anyways, this book is challenging me to the core. Here's the specific incerpt that I'm talking about...actually, it's an icerpt from an'll see.

"In his book God Is the Gospel, John Piper essentially asks whether we are in love with God:

The critical question for our generation - and for every generation- is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?"

So whats challenging me is I "love" Jesus for who He is, or am I pursuing Him because of what He offers? {Safety, peace, health, nice-ness} Now, I'm definitly not saying that we should ignore His benefits or write them off....but to make sure that I'm loving this Jesus because of how wonderful and faithful and loving He is. That kind of love that can't be held back, like when you fall in love with your spouse. It just happens and you can't help it. It would be so weird and completely wrong for me to marry someone just because he can offer me financial security, or a good name, or any other superficial thing. Again, I'm not saying that we need to completely forget those things {things have their time and place} but to cultivate a relationship with someone that you spend quality time get to know love their voice...everything you discover about them, you just love. That is what I want with Him. I want to slow down all the prayers for my protection, my wisdom, my needs, my this, my that.....and I want to direct my attention to just loving on Him for a change. I want to tell him {and remind myself!} how great, and merciful, and kind He is to me and my family. I want Him to KNOW that I love Him, not because I've thought it in my mind a few times, or b/c of a few PDA's, or even b/c I've accepted His gift of salvation. But b/c I've come to Him on a daily basis to tell Him, 'I truly LOVE YOU, God.' My husband likes me to tell him I love him every day, and vise versa...I know he loves me but it's good for my heart to hear it often and it strengthens our relationship. How much more the very ONE who created us and is completely in love with us?

Ok, there was my mini sermon. I just can't help it sometimes. I get excited about things and like to share with whoever would listen {or read in this case}.

That's about it on the Steinhauer News page... I hope to write more often about all kinds of things, but you know I just get to this when I can...i.e. nap times! :)

Love to you all.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Sunday!

So you think I'm about to write about the Superbowl??? Wrong. Ha! I'm not a huge football kinda girl....unless I'm actually at the game! Then it's a blast!
I'm writing b/c I met my loving and wonderful husband 8 years ago today, at a Superbowl party! Oh yeah!
As Theo and I talked about it, I was thinking back on the day we met....I was completely unsuspecting that I would be meeting my future husband that day. And who knew that 8 quick years later, I would be married to that funny and charming man and have 3 amazing daughters with him?? Who knew that marrying him would give me a back bone and draw me SO much closer to my first love, Jesus? What a miracle it is! Really, I can look at Jeremiah 29:11 and say, wow God, that is truth! You're plans for me are for good...for my well being! Not for harm or bad things. The last 8 years of my life have been absolutly incredible. I'm blessed beyond words can describe. I'm thankful for the thousands upon thousands of blessings you've given me and my family. Who am I that you would chose me to carry these blessings?? I'm but a speck on this earth, but I love you. I love that you love me and chose me first.
As much as I want to hold on SO incredibly tight to these people I call my husband and kids, I give them to you. I trust you. Even as today we 'dedicated' the girls to you at church, I sit here and dedicate every part of this life to you. My whole being and every part of my life. I find it to be safe and wise to let you be God... in control. And to remember that you are so amazingly good and kind. Your ways are beyond our ways. You are faithful and true. Lord, your perfect love casts out all fear. What truth that is! What freedom you give!
So Lord, again....we are yours. I thank you for my life....specifically these last 8 years and I give you the rest of our lives to have your way.
I love you Jesus.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12, 2010

We are remembering today thousands...300,000... people that lost their lives exactly one year ago today in Haiti's earthquake.

I remember exactly where I was and what we were doing.

We moved to Melbourne, Florida b/c we knew that God's plan was not for us to go to Egypt. Egypt was the next step for us in the missions school we were in while in KC but as we prayed, there just wasn't peace in our hearts about going. Not fear or dread...just a lack of peace. After a while of waiting , praying...and more waiting to know what God's plan was for us suddenly in 30 seconds, we knew. Not the whole picture, but we knew it was time to go to Haiti.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 a 7.0 earthquake shook a nation. A nation where our family was. My mother in law and father in law as well as my sister in law and her family were all there. They were spared their lives without even a scratch. By the grace of God, my mother in law and father in law were driving in a car away from Port-au-Prince, and the Lord's hand kept my sister in law's house from caving in on her and the kids.

We were in sheer shock as we watched the news of this devastation and not being able to contact anyone in our family made this one of the most scary and difficult things to experience. Were they dead? Injured? Were they together at least or was anyone of them alone somewhere? How bad could it really be?

That Friday, Theo left to do crisis relief with CRI (Crisis Relief International) as an emergency responder, but truly it was an easy ticket into the country immediately to find his family. Incredibly, the christian school that Theo grew up going to became a place of refuge. Not a single crack in the walls, or stone removed right in the middle of PAP. And my father in law, Ted, became the head of what immediatley became 'Quisqueya Crisis Relief". Theo was now connected to CRI, IHOP, the Harbour Church and QCS (Quisqueya), so had several legit ways into the country.
The next several weeks are a some point in there we found out I was pregnant with our #3 sweet baby girl Olivia. We also decided to move to Haiti since we believed that Haiti would be needing long term crisis care and we believed that we were supposed to be part of that. {In some what of a rush, we didn't pray thoroughly about this full on move there rather than doing trips back and forth.} So we moved down with our bffs LEO...let's just say thank God they were there with me, b/c it was horrible timing {first trimester pregnancy} to be in the thick of the destruction. {3rd world country going on 5th world since the earthquake!} I was grateful to have my friend there with me.
Anyways, about 7 weeks later we moved back to Florida. Quisquesya was transitioning back to school and our work was ending and we didn't exactly have a plan B. {Not that I was upset in the least to move back to FL!} It was such a difficult time for us, but the Lord promises to work all things out for the good of those who love Him....and He did! Theo met some amazing people and discovered his passion of working in the emergency rescue field!

Since then, Theo went to New Hampshire and became a nationally certified EMT as well as a Wilderness EMT...and is also now certified as a lifeguard planning to do Ocean Rescue when the door opens for him. Amazing...

So back to today...
I am just remembering how intense of an experience this was for us last year. And we were all safe and unharmed! I can't {and don't want to} imagine how the general Haitian population is feeling...Maybe that's what is so incredibly humbling and sobering. Alot of people died...but we were spared. Thank you Jesus. You are merciful and kind. Even when you allow things that we don't are good. Bring peace and comfort to those who lost their loved ones. Draw them near to you. Reveal your love to them. I stand today thankful and alive and I Love you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I just have to write this...

So I was just reading back on some older posts and I saw the one about my studdly husband being in the fire academy. Well my very last comment of that post was 'Lord, your will be done, not ours.' {Or something of the sorts} Well...He did have his way, and it wasn't at all the way we thought we were heading in. Funny how that happens. Anyways, I guess I should actually explain the situation rather than just stating he's not in the academy anymore....for those who want to hear it.
Well, Theo was doing a-maz-ing in the academy....I'm talking squad leader, class leader, btwn 90-100% on all tests...the works. You'd think {we thought} he was on his way to being top firefighter of the year at the rate he was going! HA! {j/k!..........kinda} Anyways, part of the class is to do these 'PO's' or 'performance objectives' where they have to do the practial, hands on stuff with the "aparatus" or tools or whatever. Well, he had to redo this specific PO dealing with knots and tools and when we redid the knot, he did it perfectly but at the wrong end of the tool. And he failed. And that was all it took to put him out of the program.

Please tell me that someone else out there thinks this is ridiculous. Because I do.

Especially since the point of tying the specific knot was to hoist the tool up the side of a building and it was done correctly. Where the knot is, doesn't affect getting the tool up the building. {I checked}. So there it is. B/c of something so ridiculous, he was out! When he called to let me know he was on his way home, it didn't even register to me that he was actually OUT of the academy...fully. He would have to start over from scratch, including tuition and all. When it did finally hit us, we just sat and cried. Yep, it was a sad day. If you could've witnessed the work and dedication it took for him to get to the top of his class how he did....the studying...sacrificing so much family time...hanging out with friends, etc...then to just be cut from the program like was one of the most heart breaking things I've experienced. {And yes, I do go into 'defend my husband, get a little mad, go down with a fight mode over this situation. And yes, I even called the chief to 'talk to him' about the matter. Hahaha! Yes this made me a crazy lady for a brief time.}
I still have a hard time when I think about it, but we still fully believe that God led us and provided all we need for that time in the academy. To have it end so abruptly was/is just a shock to our system. But we choose to believe that God is sovereign over our lives {every single part of it} and that He allowed it to go down like that for a reason. We obviously don't know why yet, but one day we will and we'll be thankful.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

What a promise. These are the things that give us peace when life gets crazy. And it seems crazy often times in our world. Thank you God for your goodness to us.


I can't believe how quickly 2010 passed. Theo and I call it the year of the fog. But we're excited to begin a new year...a new season...fresh fire in our hearts. We're trying to find the balance between seeking the will of God for every moment of our lives and pursuing our hearts desires, which we know He put there in the first place. I'm wanting to ooze God and to our neighbors. I'm praying for ideas on how to love on the neighbors that God has brought into our lives...some of which are kinda intense, but seem ripe for a nice overhaul from the Lord. We'll see what happens.
So, Theo isn't in the fire academy anymore...that door shut abruptly...and we're ok with it. Not thrilled about it, but it's ok. We'll see if God has any other plans with us regarding that in the future. But for now we're waiting to hear back from Ted {Theo's dad} about a project manager position in Port-de-Paix, in the north of the country. He'd be teaching the people basic hygiene and bringing in medical supplies and medical missions teams from around the world. {Who woulda thought?} It would be a 5 month project, and get a little salary...some other fun benefits too supposedly. Interestingly, I was actually really excited about the possibility of us going, which is pretty much a miracle since our time there in January traumatized me for the whole year. I didn't even want to think about visiting let alone moving there again. But with a new perspective and a different set up, I think it would be an awesome experience. Haiti is going through their second round of presidential elections right now so we're still waiting to see if the grant goes through to MTI so we can go or not. The first round of elections were crazy...causing riots, road blocks and burning tires in the streets. Hopefully this time it's more civil. {probably not, though} So since we've been waiting for about a month now, Theo went ahead and did his lifeguard training and got hired with the city of Ft. Lauderdale as a lifeguard! We're excited and hoping he gets stationed at a fun pool with a little water park. I'd take the girls every day! Hello South Florida! :) The guy who trained him is this super nice guy who apparently loves Theo and loves Jesus {good combo for us!}...and told Theo that if he has to leave and do his thing in Haiti, not to worry that he would have work for him whenever he gets back! Saweeet! Talk about job security! Theo's hopes to do Ocean Rescue and the new boss is apparently the guy to talk to for that as well. He was the chief for Pompano Beach Ocean Rescue until he retired. Then he came back to work and moved on to take over Ft. Lauderdale lifeguard training and hiring. So like the title says...we're see if we're going to Haiti or not. And if not, I've got a hot lifeguard hubby who loves Jesus. Oh- and he's still working at the Harbour church part time....doing his 'churchy opportunities.' :) {Nacho Libre, anyone?}

My girls are growing at lightening speed and it's freaking me out. Stella {who acts like she's 15} will be 4 this year. How does that even happen? I'm talking 1 or 2 blinks here and she's not a baby anymore. Same with my nounouse {ittle bear}. Well, not so little anymore. She weighs more than Stella and they share clothes and shoes now! hmmm?!!! Crazy. And Olivia is already 2 1/2 months old. Didn't I just give birth to her, like yesterday??? No actually, didn't I just find out I was pregnant with her??! All this is happening way to fast for me. I can't keep up. My little ladybugs are going to be little women before I know it. God, help me to remember all of the sweet moments and milestones for these precious ones. {Hence, the blogs for them and abundance of pictures I take of them. Definitly trying not to forget.}

As for me...well I'm in pursuit of knowing God more intimately this year. Already, I'm desperately longing to see Him...literally...I want to see His face. I know I can't, but somehow I'm feeling desperate to just get a glimpse. I've been pretty consumed with having babies and learning to be a mom so I'm trying to give a bit more attention to my need of reading the Bible and spending alone time with Jesus. {Yes, still almost impossible at this point, but given any opportunity I will take it.} I'm also trying to remember my passions and desires before motherhood came around for me. Singing, making jewelry and other creative things...I plan {hope} to make time for those things this year.

For now, chao!