Treasure's From Life's Garden

Finding Spiritual Flowers Amongst Life's Weeds

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The Face Of An Angel

I saw him. I made direct eye contact with him.

He saw me. And did the same.

The kids saw him too.

It was late and dark outside. He was standing on the corner holding a sign – the sign was yellow – his clothing dark – but his face was different. He was smoothed skin and the look on his face was desperation – the fear in his eyes was unlike anything I’ve seen on any face of any homeless person – and I’ve seen a lot of homeless people. He not only drew me in – but both my kids. We all three brought him up at the same time. It was obvious he was out of place.


I turned in to the Arby’s, ordered some food and made my way back to the corner as quickly as I could – and he was gone. The kids helped me look but as quick as he appeared, he was gone. I know the homeless get picked up and moved to different places, but this was different – crazy different.

It didn’t make sense –

We made the loop around again but the only other person sited was another homeless man pushing a buggy. He accepted the food graciously and he hadn’t eaten in days.

As I got back in the car, Christopher yells, “MAN! He’s inhaling those french fries! He must be REALLY hungry!”

When I got back in the car I told the kids he said he hadn’t eaten all day and that the thought crossed my mind that maybe God allowed us to see the first person so we could help this person.

BOTH children at the exact same time responded, “I WAS JUST THINKING THE SAME THING!”

There is no doubt in my mind, God used an angel to feed another last night.

Last night my children learned another lesson on helping those less fortunate. Another lesson is listening when the Lord speaks, and making impromptu u-turns.

Last night my children learned what Hebrews 13:2 is all about, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”




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Yes, I Perceive It

God loves me.

I just can’t help but smile when He shows me.

I got out of my car, in my driveway, the same driveway I walked across to get to the car to go to urgent care about my foot, and look what is right there – a penny.

God is at work.

There is not doubt.

When I saw the penny He whispered, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

And my answer to Him . . .

“Yes, Lord. I perceive it. You’ve already begun. And I trust you.”

Yes. God loves me. And I love Him too.

Jesus Loves


Charis House Fundraiser and Personal Testimony

A few days ago I spent some time reflecting over my life, specifically the last nineteen plus years.

I will be celebrating twenty years of sobriety this July 7 and was sharing with the Lord that I wanted to be able to give back to my church for being so supportive to me and thousands of other drunks or addicts that beckoned their halls. It was then this “aha” moment came to me to do a fundraiser for the Charis House from the Lord.

I am attaching two videos – one is how this has all this come about and the other is a shorter video with less distractions – share whichever one you feel led to share, and if you don’t feel led to share, or give to this life changing Ministry, then I ask you to pray. Please pray.

Sobriety Testimony and Giving back challenge

Shorter video with only facts

In just the 72 approximate hours since these videos have been on Facebook, I have received numerous messages from friends and strangers accepting this challenge. To date the video has been viewed over 800 times! How crazy is that! I’ve received MANY messages saying, “the check is in the mail,” or “I’m in for $100!” It has been MIND BOGGLING! And the stories of friends and strangers reaching out to share their own testimony about addiction or how a loved one is struggling asking me to pray – y’all – God is moving! I can’t wait to see what He does as we approach July 7!

Address to send your check (in the “for” section please label as Charis House fundraiser):
Ministry Village – Charis House
ATTN: Debbe Jefcoat
1830 Olive Road
Pensacola, FL 32514

I found out today you can also donate online. Visit Ministry Village and click donate. Thank you!

God Is On The Move

Here are a few photos of the three white birds that were flying over the pond when I got out of my car. They were flying so fast I wasn’t able to catch all three of them together except for a a few shots – click the images for larger preview – one of the birds is carrying food in its beak – talking about a visual for how the Lord provides!

Charis House – Ministry Village Website

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I Don’t Know Why, But I’m Glad You Do –

Do y’all ever wonder why God loves you so much? I know this sounds crazy but as I was packing up my stuff to get ready to go home, I got a glimpse of a duck sticking it’s behind up in the air. I got a quick picture while seriously laughing out loud.

It just sat there.

Upside down.

For like what seemed minutes.

As I was laughing and thanking God for the beautiful day He had given me to rest and reflect, I asked Him to make the ducks fly so I could get some good pictures of them flying off. I continued to hope when my eyes were drawn to a new bird that had arrived about ten or fifteen minutes before the duck mooned me. It was a beautiful white bird, so naturally I got pictures of it when she (or he) first appeared. I continued gathering my things (yes I pack the house when I leave for the day – cause you know – you never know what you will need), watching the ducks because I believed with all my heart they were going to fly for me when suddenly, out of the corner of my right eye, I saw it. That beautiful white bird was flying – I lifted my camera to my eyes and began shooting like crazy and just before she turned to fly away she hovered – allowing me to get more shots. As I was thanking the Lord graciously for allowing me to capture a bird in flight, He whispers, “Sometimes you might not think you are getting those prayers answered, Stacey, but just because they aren’t getting answered the way you want or expect them to be answered, doesn’t mean I’m not answering.”

(I didn’t realize I had forgotten to change a setting on my camera when I took these and apparently I was so caught off guard I forgot to zoom – they are not crisp clear but – you can see the white bird the Lord gave me.)

And I haven’t been able to stop crying.

Here I am, just days before the closing of my dad’s house and I’m still praying and asking Him for something He obviously doesn’t want me to have – but just because He says no to that doesn’t mean He doesn’t have another peaceful retreat for me somewhere else. He showed me I need to take my eyes off what I want and how I expect Him to move. And while I know this, having God show me visually and speak so tenderly to my aching heart, has just made me a pile of mushy tears.

Oh – and that white bird that appeared out of nowhere – it’s gone.

Lord, thank you for loving me so much that you speak when I least expect and you move in ways that I could never imagine. And I love you. And I thank you for loving me.


Jesus – 1 Goliath – 0

She was 28 years old when she walked into the room known as the community room. She had found peace and comfort in those rooms for several weeks searching for a way to remain sober, but this particular night she found heartache, anger, resentment, and fear deep in her heart.


The room was packed with more ladies than she could count.

The leader of the Bible Study quoted scripture after scripture about forgiveness. With each verse she could feel her heart ripping apart. The pain was unreal and it hurt for her to breathe.

With each verse her mind raced.

With each verse, she remembered her life as an 11 year old child.

What seemed like hours was only seconds as the memories flooded in –

That once child remembered the wake up calls as soon as the garage door opened  at 5 a.m. when her dad left for work and she had to begin pulling weeds and cleaning the pool.

That once child had to remember the salt being added in the grits box because the woman thought the child used too much salt so she decided to pour a container of salt in the grits. She then made the child eat it.

That once child had to relive the locked food cabinets because the woman thought the child was too fat.

That once child had to relive not being given lunch money and begging for food.

That once child had to relive eating molded food out of the garbage can because she was so hungry.

That once child had to remember getting caught and confronted about eating out of the trash.

That once child remembered she chose to steal candy bars and because of that one bad decision that once child had to relive having her father beating her morning and night with a leather belt that carried a heavy brass Marine Corps buckle on it. But he wasn’t the only one, the woman did it too.

That once child had to relive wearing the same clothes to school every day because that was another punishment for stealing.

That once child had to relive not being able to eat with the rest of the family and having her meal placed at the bedroom door (after the stealing).

That once child had to relive being asked what kind of pizza she wanted for her birthday, but when she sat down to eat that child was told, “you aren’t allowed to eat with the family. You are supposed to be in your room.”

That once child remembered not receiving birthday gifts that year.

That once child remembered weeping that night because her heart was breaking more than the physical beatings could have ever hurt.

That once child remembered the day her PE Coach, Coach Hess at Horace Mann School in Bradenton, FL saved her life.

That once child remembered the police that night making her grab her ankles with no pants on so they could take pictures of her bottom and legs.

That once child remembered the safety and happiness she found the day she arrived at a children’s home called, “Christian City.”

That once child was happy for the first time in a very long time. That once child who had struggled with much anger and hatred after her parents divorce at ten years of age had taken all that hurt out on her mother, brother, and sister after the divorce. The mom did what she thought was best for the child because all the child wanted was her daddy.

She then heard the words that would push her beyond her capability to control her emotions.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

And she couldn’t keep it in any longer –

With tears pouring out her eyes, she yelled, “I’m sorry, I would rather die and go to hell than ever forgive that woman for what she did to me. I will NEVER forgive her and if that means I can’t be a Christian then so be it” (she wasn’t a believer yet).

As women throughout the room gasped, many spoke out and began to tell the young struggling woman that she had to forgive. The more she heard it the more she shook her head and the angrier she got. The angrier she got the more she cried. It took a power stronger than she for her to not get up and leave that room that night. And as much as she hurt, she knew she needed to stay. At the end of that meeting an elderly woman approached her, Ms. Cora, and told her in the softest, sweetest, gentlest voice, “You have to forgive.” And while the young woman left that night unwilling to except what had to be done, it was that night that God began the healing process in an angry broken heart.

Because the young lady was desperate for a new life, one that did not involve alcohol and drugs, she returned to the support meeting the following week. Upon arriving, Ms. Cora approached her in private and gave her a steno pad of prayers and scripture. The steno pad was full of prayers and scriptures she had prayed to the Lord on this young woman’s behalf. She had prayed the Lord would draw her to Him, that He would heal her heart, that He would show her the need to forgive and deal with the bitterness and anger in her heart.

That was the beginning of healing for me.

Yes, that little girl was me. I tried to make excuses for the woman’s behavior for years. I shouldn’t have lied. I shouldn’t have stolen the candy. Maybe I did use too much salt. But through counseling and guidance I realized, that while my actions did deserve discipline, they didn’t deserve abuse, but more than anything, what I realized was I was an 11 year old child. And she was an adult.

I didn’t want to let go of that anger and hatred though. I wanted that other woman to suffer and as stupid as it sounds, I believed that by holding on to that anger I was keeping her in bondage.

I didn’t know Jesus as Lord of life at that point in time, but God was at work.

I learned what it meant to “give it over to the Lord”.  That’s something you hear that a lot in church, you know, “give it to the Lord,” but what I’ve learned is people usually say that when they don’t know what else to say or they don’t want to help you through a particular journey, especially one as stinky as what I was walking through. It is usually used as a cop out, but, in this particular instance, God was showing me what it meant to not only give something over to the Lord, but to surrender to Him fully. And that was the beginning of praying for me – I don’t remember praying before then and I sure didn’t have any idea what to say or how to say what I was trying to say but I knew I could be real with Him. I knew I didn’t have to be fake with Him. And I knew He could take whatever it was I was throwing at Him, so EVERY TIME she would cross my mind, I would be very honest with God. I would tell him, “Lord, I do not want to forgive that woman. I do not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she’s off the hook. But if you want me to forgive her then YOU have to do it for me because I don’t know how.”

And that was my prayer for days and weeks and even months.

During that time frame I also asked Jesus to come in to my heart, to forgive me of my sins, and to heal my heart.

I was growing as a believer in Christ, my prayer life was growing, I was studying more and more, then one day I realized I hadn’t thought of her but one time that day. And instead of saying I didn’t want to forgive her I sensed the Lord telling me to pray something specific, and it was hard.

I can still remember where I was when I prayed, “Lord, I forgive her.

The more I grew in my faith walk, the more I realized she needed a Savior also.

Now that was hard prayer to pray, I won’t lie. I didn’t want her to have the same freedom I had experienced. But when a person love Jesus, and He has been healing your heart and restoring the relationship between your family, and guiding you through sobriety, and giving you a new life, you can’t help but tell others about it.

Even your enemies.

It was then, when she would come to mind, I would pray for her salvation, that someone would share Jesus with her. There have been many times I have wanted to reach out to her and let her know I had forgiven her, but as I would pray, the Lord whispered, “forgiveness is for your benefit, not hers.”

The first step in the Most Excellent is Humility. That first step is the hardest – admitting all the wrongs that one has done and admitting the need of a Savior in one’s life. It’s never easy because that means a person must recognize they aren’t in control. But it’s the best step a person will ever take.

It has been three days since I led my first class with the Charis House ladies. The Bible Study we are working through, “Goliath Must Fall”.  A study about taking down one’s giants in order to walk in freedom.

It has been twenty-three plus years since I’ve heard from her.

Until last night.

If you are reading this, what Jesus did for me He will do for you. He loves you. And He wants to be Lord of your life. I went a little crazy after leaving the children’s home. I started drinking, partying, manipulating people to get what I wanted, stealing, got pregnant out of wedlock, had affair after affair after affair, got evicted from one place after another – all because I chose to drink and party and not be a responsible parent or person. But here is one of my favorite verses, and I’ve personalized it because it applies to my life, it’s found in Titus 3, 3:-8:

At one time Stacey was foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. She lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  BUT when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared to her, he saved her, NOT because of righteous things she had done, but because of HIS mercy. He saved her through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on her generously through Jesus Christ her Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, she might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

What He did for me, He will do for you.

Regardless of what you’ve done.

Regardless of where you have been.

If He can give me a new life and forgive me what I have done, He will do it for you. The Bible says when we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins that they are remembered no more, they are gone – as far as the east is from the west.

I hope you will trust Him today.

And if you are wondering, there is a reason why my subheading to this blog reads, “Finding Spiritual Flowers Amongst Life’s Weeds”. I had been praying for a title for my blog. While I was pulling weeds you came to mind and God whispered, “Pulling Weeds, Finding Spiritual Flowers Amongst Life’s Weeds.” God sure does have a sense of humor, doesn’t He? During the early months of my recovery, He gave me a verse, Genesis 50:20, that brought comfort to my heart. It was then that I knew I was going to be okay. It reads, “What others mean evil against you, God means for good . . .” I’m now leading a Bible Study with a group of women coming out of jail and out of addiction. Many of them have the same hurts I have had to work through. Together, we are all taking down these giants in our lives. Together, we are all finding our place in the Kingdom of God. Being used for God’s glory – it’s the greatest experience of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.

MEW Humility

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There are many layers of onions. I remember a Bible Study I once heard in the Most Excellent way  – with each new layer there are tears – then just when you think you are through that layer of tears the next layer is even stronger and stronger.


Just like the layers of onions, so it is one’s faith walk. We are (or should be) continuously learning and growing closer and more like Christ. As we grow and become more like Him a pruning process should be taking place – that can be painful, which occasionally produces tears. As we become more like Christ we often are saying goodbye to old patterns and habits and lifestyles – that can be a challenging journey.

Over a period of about five months I have sensed the Lord whispering, “dig deeper”. I ignored those whispers at first because I was overwhelmed and believed I didn’t have time. But when the Lord woo’s and continues to whisper, it becomes impossible to ignore Him.

I had to confess jealousy was in my heart.

Because that jealousy had been there for a while and I didn’t deal with it or accept the path God chose for me, envy sprouted off the seed of jealousy.

And because I didn’t deal with the root of jealousy and the sprouting growth of envy, bitterness took root in my heart.

Dealing with those layers took time.

But, eventually, I became free over that sin.

Satan no longer has a hold over that area of my life. Because the roots of jealousy, envy, and bitterness had been dug up (root and all), I was able to submit under God’s authority in the area He has been calling me to for years – to teach.

This Thursday I will begin leading a six week study with the ladies at the Charis House at Olive Baptist Church Ministry Village.

If you are a believer in Jesus you know that when a person surrender’s an area of their life over to the Lord it ticks off Satan. Scripture tells us our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil. Well it didn’t take long for that warfare to begin. Within a few weeks after arranging to lead the study I watched the graduation service online for the ladies at the Charis House. It was absolutely amazing! But – Satan tried to replant what God has already dug up. The ladies were quoting scriptures and telling Bible stories like it was a first language – they knew it all.

And Satan began to whisper,

“They are so far advanced there isn’t anything you can teach them. It is them that should be teaching you!”

“You are pathetic. Why are you going to even do this. You just need to back out now.”

Fortunately, I recognized Satan’s tactics, and I contacted three friends who have prayed for me and the ladies, but as the day grows closer for the study to begin, one of the very topics our study is on, fear, is creeping in like a vengeance. On top of that, within a week of nailing down a date to start, sickness hit our house. We have had two separate viruses hit one child, then strep hit another, and the flu got the first one on top of the two viruses she already had! It has been UNREAL! Satan is really working hard – so if you read this, and if you know Jesus as Lord of your life, then I ask you to pray for the following things:

  1.  That sickness will take a back seat and be gone.
  2.  As a friend told me to do this morning, pray for a teachable spirit within me. I ask you to pray that over me and over the ladies, that we will have a teachable spirit (Proverbs 4:5).
  3. Ask the Lord to fill me with His Spirit and that every word that flows out of my mouth is of Him and only Him and that there will be freedom in our room (2 Corinthians 3:17).
  4. That God will use the story He has given me to give someone else hope (Genesis 50:20).
  5. Pray that as we address the giants in our lives that we will become free and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 8:32).
  6. Pray that what is being learned and taught will carry these girls beyond the walls of the Charis House when they leave and that their heart will be pierced for Jesus  (Ezekiel 36:26).
  7. Pray that our lives will be changed for eternity and that others will see the transformation in our lives and want the Jesus that lives within our hearts (Romans 12:2).
  8. And most importantly, if anyone doesn’t know Jesus as Lord of their life, that they will seek Him, and that He would become personally known to them (Romans 10:13).

Come to the Table, Sidewalk Prophets



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All Things New

I walked out my front door to return the Uhaul truck. The first step off the porch is a shiny penny. I pick it up to see the other side is worn and ugly – tarnished – which surprised me since the other side was so shiny –

God whispers, “I make all things new, Stacey”.

And I say, “Thank you, Lord, for making me new.”