Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?


Today, I have the privilege of presenting my wife as my guest blogger.  Leanne and I will be celebrating our 15th anniversary in less than two weeks.  We’ve been through a lot together over the years, and I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.  Her thoughts below are extremely insightful while being very transparent.  Leanne doesn’t blog at the moment, but your comments and feedback may help spur her on to share more of her life and story.

This week I took a day off and went to the beach. This is something I used to do a couple of times a year but recently haven’t done for quite some time. So, it was a big deal to me. I filled up my tank with gas. I packed a picnic lunch, and figured out my directions. I put my tunes in the cd player and started on my trip. I didn’t even get on the turnpike when there was a detour – right at the start of my trip!

It reminded me of how this past year seemed like a detour in many ways.

  1. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after being treated for a bipolar/postpartum psychosis diagnosis for 10 years. My doctor encouraged me to get a second opinion and when I did, the diagnosis was postpartum psychosis. So, I came off my medicine and gradually began having symptoms which led to a severe reaction. I have spent a lot of the year recovering but have found a greater understanding for people who deal with mental illness but also special needs in general, especially as they relate to children.
  2. I decided to resign as my position of our church preschool director because I missed the children. I found myself spending most of my working hours behind a desk instead of with the children I love. Through tutoring and subbing this year, I have rediscovered a passion to be with students in the public school.
  3. We had to put the trip of my dreams – Africa – on hold, but we have a greater resolve to make a difference in our local community as a family. We are excited for our service group to start-up again this fall. It was also a lesson of control. We quickly learned how much we are not in control of our lives.

In all these things, I am now able to look back and see God working for the good in all things. At the time, life seemed like a series of detours.  A friend asked me the other day if life made sense and for the first time in a while I was able to say that yes, right now it actually did. That doesn’t mean that life is without problems and everything is perfect but there’s faith, recovery, hope, and the support of family and friends.

What detours have you experienced in your life?  How have you seen God working good in your life through the ups and downs?

(I’m looking for guest bloggers to share their “stretch marks” here.  If you’re interested in becoming one of my guest bloggers, please drop me a comment, so I can get in touch with you.)

July 2, 2011 - Posted by | experiences, life, looking back, stretch, thoughts, trusting God


  1. Thank you Leanne (and Jon, too) for sharing your heart the way you do.

    Love you!

    Comment by Jenster | July 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Jen, Thanks for the comment and kind words.

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. So proud of the way you both have allowed our great God to lead you through the years and all the ups and downs! He always has a purpose! So glad to have been a part of the day you committed yourselves together forever 15 years ago! (has it really been 15 already??) Congratulations for sooo many things! Love you both!

    Comment by MelissaB | July 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Lissy, We’re glad that you could be there to help us as we started our lives together. And I’m so thankful that Leanne has friends like you. Say hello to Eric and the kids!

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  3. Love you guys!

    Comment by Susan Landis Townsend | July 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Sue!

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  4. Hi Jon, I found your blog through a comment on Michael Hyatt’s blog. Great post Leanne, I appreciate your vulnerability in what you shared. My life feels like a series of course corrections and detours at the moment. I’m not at the point where I can see clearly why all the detours have been necessary, and life certainly doesn’t make sense, but I’m mindful that God is faithful. I’d certainly be interested in sharing a post about my stretch marks.

    Comment by Beck | July 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Hello Beck, Thanks for the kind words which I’ve passed along to Leanne. I’d love to have you guest post on my blog. I sent you an e-mail to get this going. Your blog is beautiful. I love the photography and the different tabs that explain more about you and your family. I’m looking forward to following along.

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  5. WOW ! This is really well written, Leanne. You are and will continue to be a wonderful encourager to many people and being the positive and bubbly young lady that you are — you are able and will continue to be able to help many people who may have a similar medical condition. We give you much credit for being able to deal with your health issues and through God nothing is impossible. HE will always be with you and HE will continue to lift you up and be right at your side. HE will never let you down.

    We know that children are a very important part of your life and that is one of your spiritual gifts, but we can also see you being involved with public speaking and or writing a book — making many people more aware of mental illness and knowing that you are no different than someone who has a different medical condition. And knowing that God is always there with you to pick you up and keep you lifted up is always a wonderful encouragement and you can use this encouragement to help other people.

    We love you. Thank you for sharing. You are such a blessing to us, too. Hugs! Love ya, Mother and Dad

    Comment by Alan and Janet Lomicka | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  6. You are amazing, Leanne. Thank you for your openness in sharing with us and others. You are in our hearts and prayers…both ours and our friends and family. May the Lord give you strength, encouragement, comfort and peace each day.

    We love you, Leanne.

    Mom and Dad Stolpe

    Comment by Mom | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  7. A lot of respect for to Jon and Leanne for speaking openly and honestly. I see the qualities the two of you share in common. I wish more people who write on the Internet shared your openness and integrity. Happy anniversary and many more years ahead of good health, happiness, joy, love, friendship and adventure.

    Comment by Michael Shaw | July 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Michael,

      We’re so grateful for each other.

      Hoping to get together with you and Debby sometime soon.


      Comment by jonstolpe | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  8. […] 5.  Detours by Leanne Stolpe […]

    Pingback by Top Posts For July 2011 « Jon Stolpe Stretched | August 1, 2011 | Reply

  9. getting married at such a young age…was a detour! lol….

    we put our dreams on hold for our family…we still are in away…

    but i wouldn’t change it for the world…no regrets…

    (i actually wrote a song about this…will be posted on friday! lol)

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | December 21, 2011 | Reply

  10. You are an amazing young lady, Leanne and we love you so much. We love you because you are our daughter but also because of the wonderful young lady that God has made you into being. You are a wonderful mother to Hannah and Isaac, a wonderful wife to Jon and a wonderful sister to Lara. You are incredible and have incredible innermost strength that no on but GOD has given to you. You are our gift from God and you are truly amazing in your recovery. We thank God every day for you and your recovery and we pray that God will continue to heal you and bring you to full recovery. We love you. Hugs ! Love, Mother and Dad

    Comment by Janet L. Lomicka | December 21, 2011 | Reply

  11. […]  The number 5 post for the year was a great guest post by my wonderful wife.  She shared about Detours that she has experienced over the past year or two.  On Thursday, I shared the 4th most popular […]

    Pingback by Christmas Eve 2011 Week In Review… « Jon Stolpe Stretched | December 24, 2011 | Reply

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