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Archive for the ‘Blessings’ Category

Here’s a song that I just LOVE from Laura Story ~ Blessings

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
But long that we’d have the faith to believe.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

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I am amazed each and every day, how good God is to Grace and I.

I love the fact that any problem or situation, no matter how large or how small can be taken to our heavenly Father, and He is bigger than the situation, bigger than our fears, and can do so much more than we can ask Him or even imagine He will do for us.

I say this not just because of the things I’ve seen God do in my life, but also because of the things I see Him doing in other people’s lives.  Let me explain a little more…..

A friend of mine shared a prayer request with me some time ago…..she was very burdened and concerned for her daughter.  Her daughter had grown up in church and claimed to have a relationship with God, but last year, she walked away.

She just up and left.  She left their church, family, and walked away from God.  She got involved in many things and with many people that she shouldn’t have.  This went on for over a year, she didn’t care what anyone had to say, she was going to do what she wanted to do.

My heart was burdened for this family.  I thanked my friend for sharing this with me and told her that I would pray for her to have wisdom, and for her daughter to turn back to God.

This seemed like a tall order.  Her daughter wasn’t showing any signs of change.  No signs that she even desired to return to her family, or to God.

At one point, she said her daughter told her, why bother?  She felt she had already messed her life up, so what was the point in even trying to please God?

My friend kept emailing me, we kept praying, and I kept encouraging her not to give up.

Then, last week, it happened.  I got an email from her that her daughter had attended some church services and turned her life back over to God.  She moved back with her family, and has been attending church services.  She’s making an honest attempt to repair her relationship with her family and most importantly, her relationship with God.

I’m not going to share her name with you, but please, pray for this girl and her family……she’s taken the first step, but she has a long road ahead of her.

I can tell you first hand though, that God can do it.  He can strengthen and empower her to walk with Him and can restore to her the joy of her salvation.

I share this with you not only because my friend and I are SO excited about what God is doing in her daughter’s life, but also because I want to encourage you.

If you know someone who has walked away from their relationship with God……please, keep loving that person, and don’t stop praying for them.  I can’t tell you how long it will take them to turn back to God, but I can tell you that He is there with open arms, just waiting for them to return, so don’t ever stop praying.

And if you’re reading this today and you have walked away from God, I want you to know that it’s never too late, you can turn back to Him.  Whatever it is you’ve done, God can forgive, and He can use your life to glorify Himself.  No matter what you may think, He’s standing there with open arms just waiting for you to come to Him.

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It has been quite a stormy few weeks around here……..let’s see…..my PC picked up 16 viruses and Windows wouldn’t even let it start up.

My car was run into and the driver’s side mirror was broken.  (Luckily the young man was HONEST and left me a note with his name and number and his insurance paid 100%!)

I have piano students coming out of my ears….well, maybe it just seems like it after 38 lessons every week…….

I almost ran over a ladder in the middle of the highway going 70 MPH  (and yes, that was the speed limit 🙂

In the middle of all of the stress, inconvenience, and being shook up about nearly totaling my car if I hadn’t been able to swerve around the ladder (Grace was with me, which scared me even more)  I still have peace.

Peace comes from knowing that God is in control.  I have no control over ladders in the middle of the highway (which I believe fell out of a state department of transportation vehicle that was working just up the highway….anyway……) but God has control over the traffic and allowed the lane next to me to be clear so I could quickly avoid the ladder.  He’s also in control of giving me complete peace, good judgment and decision making skills right in the split second I needed them.

I have no control over people hitting my car when it’s parked in my driveway, but God has control over the situation and worked out all of the details.  It turned into a blessing because I was able to borrow a car for free all week while mine was in the shop.  The repair was paid for 100% AND they totally detailed my car inside and out for me!!!!! (that was a VERY nice surprise.)

Even though the past couple of weeks have been inconvenient and I’ve had to spend time dropping my computer off, taking them my software, picking it up, dropping my car off, picking it up and have added more students to my schedule, God gives me peace.  I don’t worry about the details because I CAN’T control them no matter how hard I try.  I can only trust the One who does.

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I needed a hair cut SO BAD this week, I hadn’t had it cut since February, so I called my friend Carrie who always cuts my hair and begged her to fit me in this week. (She’s going on vacation next week, so I’d have to wait almost 2 weeks if she couldn’t do it this week.)  She was able to fit me in on Tuesday morning, and as I went to write her a check for my haircut, she said, “Before you write a check, what are you doing tomorrow morning?  Could you watch my daughter while I go to the Doctor?”  Of course I told her that would be fine, and she suggested that we just trade babysitting for a hair cut.  

 Not only was this a HUGE blessing, but it’s also a great way to save money!

 This is the first time I’d traded services with Carrie, but two of my friend Patty’s girls take piano lessons from me; Patty pays 1/2 of their tuition and they watch Grace every Friday afternoon for me for FREE! 🙂

I’ve also traded piano lessons for massages when one of the mom’s I taught for was a massage therapist. 

There are so many other things you can trade.  I hemmed up a pair of pants for a friend of mine and he replaced the break lights in my car for me as a trade. 

If you have any other ideas on ways to save money by trading services, please comment.

P.S.  This is one of the best hair cuts I’ve had in a long time!

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Sometimes it’s hard for me to be patient.  I’m always searching for a solution, always trying to have things planned out.

I was getting a little bit frustrated because I’m still working on losing the last of the “baby” weight, but other than drinking lots of water, making healthy choices and taking my green tea pills (which are working!), I wasn’t able to do anything else to help my weight loss progress. 

I was talking to a friend of mine about this a few weeks ago, and she said……”Stop stressing out about it.  You’re a single mom……when are you supposed to find time to work out?  Are you supposed to pay someone to watch Grace, and pay to go swimming?  You can’t afford that……just do what you can do for now and don’t be too hard on yourself.” 

That was nice to hear, but it was coming from a friend who’s a size 4……….so I stopped stressing about it, and started praying about it.

A few weeks later, a former piano student’s mom got in touch with me about two of her daughter’s taking lessons again and said that her husband wanted me to stop by and talk to them about the financial side of things since my rates have increased in the year they haven’t taken lessons…….

Guess what?  God worked it out for BOTH of us.  They are paying for half of the girl’s tuition, and then they are watching Grace for the other half of the tuition, which means that I now have someone to watch her for FREE while I go swimming!!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how overjoyed I was to see God bring together two people who had situations that they were stressed out about that worked out for what we BOTH needed.

Even though, it seems like a small thing, it is a HUGE blessing for me, and another lesson in letting go of my concerns and letting God do the work.

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Since Thanksgiving is only a few days away, Grace and I have been talking about what we’re thankful for this last week.  Here is Grace’s List:

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cheese
  • My mom
  • My toy box
  • Ranch dressing
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Pickles

Here is my list:

  • I’m thankful for Grace
  • Answered Prayer
  • That I’m self-employed
  • God’s Love
  • Our home
  • Family
  • Friends

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Have you ever heard this phrase?  I used to hear it a lot from people as I was growing up.  In those days, I never stopped to think about what it’s really saying.  I think it could be better phrased as “God blesses those who put forth some effort to accomplish things.” 

I know that sometimes, we have to be patient and wait for God to do things, but there are other times that I see people who complain about things and don’t try to do anything to fix their situation.  I once had a co-worker (single) who was always complaining that she didn’t have any money, but I also observed that she ate out a lot, didn’t spend her money wisely, and she didn’t want to WORK (Heaven forbid) for the money, she wanted God to drop it in her lap (or someone to give it to her.)

Now I know that God could, if He saw fit “drop” the money in her lap, but on the other hand, when God looks down and sees people making unwise decisions about their money and not wanting to work to earn their money, I really doubt that He’s going to “drop” some more down to that person for them to spend frivolously and then want more.

On the other hand, God blesses those who put forth effort to accomplish things.  When she came to me telling me that she didn’t have the money for her car payment, instead of loaning her the money for her car payment (as I knew she wanted me to do) I talked to her about ways that she could save money in her current budget and ways to earn more money so that she wouldn’t be in this spot again.  She didn’t really like it that I wouldn’t give her the money for her car payment, but I don’t think that anyone else she knew gave her the money for it either, because within a couple of weeks, she started working a 2nd job………wow, do you see how God provides? : )

I think you need a balance of praying to God about your needs and using some common sense and hard work to obtain what you need.  I’ve never found a time in my life that God hasn’t provided for me or for Grace and I if I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.  Even now that I’m self employed.  Before I quit my job, I was SCARED that I wouldn’t make it being self employed, but I knew I needed to obey God and that He would take care of the rest.  Then the economy started falling apart, and for 1 minute, I thought…..oh no, maybe I made a wrong decision when I quit my job, but then I knew that God is in control and He knew what would happen with our economy before I quit my job, so He will handle it for me.  (That’s one of the best things of having a Heavenly Father, He knows things ahead of time and He takes care of the details for me.)

In the last 7 weeks, I’ve started 7 new students.  I’ve set a goal to start 3 students a month until I get the number of students I need.  Then, I pray about that goal and ask God specifically to provide me with 3 new students for that month.  I also pray about ideas for ways to get new students.  I got  the students I asked for in September and October (plus 1 extra!) and now I’m working on November. 

Last night I was praying and I said “God, please provide 3 new students for me for November, and Lord, I don’t know where those 3 students are going to come from (I don’t have any leads right now or people who have called me recently.) but I know that you can provide them for me.  I posted an ad on our community website stating that I have openings for piano students and this morning when I woke up, there were 2 emails from people inquiring about piano lessons!  I don’t know yet if both of them will start, but I know that God will provide the 3 students I’ve asked Him for this month.

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