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Posts Tagged ‘Blessings’

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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Well, 2010 is off to a good start so far.  Here’s what’s happening around here……

I’m as busy as ever teaching piano lessons, cleaning out closets (and selling what I’m getting rid of on ebay 🙂

Grace is doing FANTASTIC in preschool this year and in piano lessons.  She LOVES piano lessons, and picks up on it quickly which is a real relief for me.  (We’re using the “Music for Little Mozart’s” series from Alfred’s and she’s just moving right along!)

I’m about to add to my lengthy to do list…….drum roll please……..

I’m going to take Violin lessons!!!  I told the teacher that I can only do a lesson every other week so that I actually have TIME to practice.  I’m not exactly sure HOW or WHERE that’s going to fit into our schedule, but I really want to learn to play another instrument.

As of this morning I have 9 LBS left to go…..I can hardly believe it!  It seems like I’ve been trying to lose this baby weight FOREVER.  I’ve only been working on it seriously for the last year and a half and the end is in sight!!!

We’ve added taking a walk on Saturday mornings to our routine and we’re having a lot of fun with it.  I don’t like to exercise, but I always tell myself that a little bit of exercise is better than none!

On a side note, I bought a label maker a few weeks ago, and Grace just LOVES it.  She wants a label maker of her own and only told me that like 300 times last Saturday, so I told her that I will buy her a label maker of her own when she can spell 100 words that are 4 letters long or longer 😉

She is so strong willed that she’s taking me up on the challenge!  She has to come up with 92 more words she can spell and the label maker is hers.  This is what happens when you speak before you think about the fact that you’re sending your child to a preschool where they work on the sounds of letters…You end up buying a label maker……..she amazes me.  Here is her list so far:

*Sock
*Great
*Plan
*Plane (She spelled plan and I told her if she added an “e” it would be plane, so she said, “OK, I’ll add an “e” and she spelled it again with an “e” on the end!)
*Clock
*Love
*Stop
*Soup

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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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I saw this on a sign not long after I left Grace’s Dad.  As I read it, I laughed to myself and thought “Yea……right, they don’t know what I’ve just been through.”  I went through the rest of my day and that night, the sign popped into my head again. “There is Always, Always, ALWAYS Something To Be Thankful for.”  I thought about my life, and then I thought about the sign again.  It said ALWAYS, “Well maybe this is a general statement.” I said to myself.  “They can’t literally mean it……it just looks good on a sign.”  and I left it at that. 

The sign kept “haunting” me……I kept thinking about it, so I decided I should test it to see if it’s true.  I went to bed that night and thought to myself, “WHAT, out of this gigantic MESS, do I have to be THANKFUL for?” I thought for a second and then it came to me…..You’re alive, you have a baby girl on the way, you have a family who loves you no matter what, and you have a God who loves you more than anyone on this earth ever will. 

WOW, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I started crying……I don’t know how I ever had the strength to make it through each day when I was with Grace’s Dad.  Once I was away from him, the reality of what he planned to do if I had lived in our home even 48 hours more sunk in……..I have SO much to be thankful for just in the first thought that came to my mind.  “You are alive.”  It gives me chills even as I type this…….I was hours away from loosing everything, including my life. 

Every day, I wake up, and I am SO happy to be ALIVE!  I am SO happy to be Grace’s Mom!  I am SO happy that I can just be HAPPY with my life, who I am now, and where I’m headed.

This sign was one of the turning points for me.  It helped me realize that my outlook determines a lot of things in my life, and that even though bad things, terrible things, HORRIFIC things happen in our lives, if we look deep enough, and we try hard enough, there is Always, Always, ALWAYS SOMETHING to be Thankful For.

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It’s a fact of life.  People fail us.  Friends, family, spouses, boyfriends, best friends.  Some people don’t mean to let you down, other people let people down intentionally.  Whether it’s making a promise they didn’t keep (and maybe, it was a promise they never intended to keep.), not doing something they said they would do for you, saying something hurtful, not being the person they portrayed themselves to be…..and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes, people “let us down” because we have unrealistic expectations for them…..so when they don’t “do” or “say” what we expect them to, we get upset about it.  I’ve learned that If people are letting me down because of my expectations for them……(what I want them to do or say in a particular situation.) I need to stop it and let them be who they are and take things one step at a time.  That usually takes care of things on my end.

Sometimes, people let us down intentionally.  These are the people who pretend to be your “friend.”  They act like they are there for you…..they volunteer to do things for you……”Oh, let me come over on Saturday morning and help you paint that room.”  They never show up and then they don’t answer their phone.  You brush it off and then the next time you see them, you say “I thought you were going to come over on Saturday….You should stop by and see how my living room turned out…..”  and they say “oh, yeah, sorry about that.  My Aunt was in town and we went to San Fransisco for the day.”  You forgive them, move on and a few weeks later, they make another promise they don’t keep or say something hurtful to you…….Does this sound familiar to you?  I’ve had a few of these “friends” in the last few years.  When I sense a pattern like this, I’ve learned not to expect them to do what they said they would do and I consider it a “bonus” if they really do follow through. 🙂

I’m big on not looking at surface issues, and trying to find the root cause.  So, I try to analyze the situation and if they keep coming up with off the wall reasons why they weren’t able to meet for lunch, or come to Grace’s birthday party, or start saying hurtful things to Grace and I, then I stop initiating contact with people like this.  This type of situation came up not long ago……a woman I knew that would always say things like “I’m so glad we’re friends” started saying some very hateful and hurtful things to me and about Grace and I to other people……”What is wrong with her?”  I asked my mom…..”Why is she picking on Grace of all people?”

Mom’s answer:

She’s jealous…….”She’s JEALOUS?” I ask.  “WHY would anyone be jealous of US?”  I ask.

What I’ve come to realize is that sometimes, people look at who we are today and they wish they were that person, or wish they had your blessings so they become jealous.  They think….she has such a good attitude, her baby is so sweet……she’s a single mom, how can she drive such a nice car?  I wish I had a job like her’s.  I wish I could play the piano like that (OK, these are my mom’s words, not mine 🙂 ) It seems like everything goes right for her…….everyone likes her…..and they start getting jealous. 

(OK, these are my words now) What I don’t understand is that people don’t think of what I had to go through to be where I am today.  I honestly believe that if I hadn’t been in an abusive relationship, I would still be floating through life, taking every day for granted. 

When we go through tough times, it’s up to us to become better people because of them.  Do people see my blessings and wish they were in my shoes?  Why is that? Do they want the trials and the hard times that brought me to these blessings and who I am today, or do they just want the blessings?  Life is a growing process for everyone,but a true friend cries with you during your sorrow and rejoices with you when you receive blessings…..they don’t get upset because good things happen to you or because you come out of a bad spot in life and even better person. 

Here’s the lesson I’ve learned from all of this:  Surround yourself with true friends, positive people, and people who want to see you reach your goals……don’t spend your time and energy with people who are trying to drag you down.

People will let you down in life, but you know what?  I’ve found that no matter what, God doesn’t let us down.  He’s always there for us 24/7, He’s always ready to forgive, and He always wants good things for His children.

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Psalm 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

This is one of my favorite verses.  Sometimes we feel like we’ve had a “bad day” or we feel like things aren’t going the way we want them to.  Maybe you’ve been praying about some things and you don’t see the answer, or why it’s happening.  Sometimes, we only thank God for the BIG things, or we only consider the BIG and EXCITING things to be blessings, but David says that God DAILY loads us with benefits.  Once I began meditating on this verse, I began realizing that there are SO many little things each day to be thankful for.  So many little needs that God takes care of for us and so many little things He gives us each day.  Some of the little blessings God has given Grace and I lately are:

  • Good health
  • Safety (I have nearly been in 3 wrecks this year from drivers who didn’t stop at a 4 way stop in our neighborhood.)
  • Saving money (coupons, finding ways to cut costs, providing things that we don’t have to buy, finding things on sale :-))
  • Encouragement
  • Love
  • Salvation
  • A reliable car
  • New piano students
  • Time together
  • New Friends
  • Strength for each day

Today as you go through your day……try to find the little things that God is blessing you with and Thank Him for taking care of you and your family. 

Psalm 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits…….

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I have been incredibly blessed by God to be Grace’s Mom, and He has also blessed me with material goods and some fantastic friends (sometimes I feel like Job…..I lost almost everything I had, and God has more than doubled my posessions in what he has given back to me….amazing 🙂 )

One of my friends, Esther, has been a HUGE blessing to me.  Esther is not a single mom, but she does have 5 small children.  Esther always has a kind word to say, asks if she can watch Grace for me, gives me bags and bags of BEAUTIFUL clothes that her little girl has outgrown, her kids are friends with Grace and she is nothing less than an encouragement and an inspiration to me.  Esther doesn’t say “I want to be an encouragement to you because you’re a single mom.”  She just treats me like she would treat any other mom friend……Thanks Esther.

I have been blessed in SO many ways, and I know that God has blessed me and allowed me (that’s hard to say, but it’s true) to go through some dark times in my life to be a blessing to other people.  I have always been a generous person.  Anything I don’t need, I give to someone who needs it, when I see someone who needs something, I give it to them or buy it for them…..just because I want to be a blessing to them……the Golden Rule has been proved in my life.  When I was going through everything and had to leave almost all of my earthly possessions, people came out of the woodwork to help me……I believe it’s because I have always tried to help other people.  Now, I appreciate helping people so much more because I feel like I’m able to give back to everyone who helped me when I help other people.  Even though I don’t have lots of extra money at this point, I still try to do what I can to help other people.  I’ve been able to give some things to Esther that Grace is no longer in need of that she can use for her new little one.  It feels so good to be able to give things back to my incredibly generous friend.

Another one of my friends, Patty, is a great blessing to me.  Patty has never been a single mom, but she went through a very abusive first marriage.  Patty is so FULL of Compassion……I know that her goal from day one has been to be a blessing to Grace and I.  It has to have been, one person CANNOT be as much of a blessing as Patty is without determining that they are going to be a blessing.  If I ever don’t have someone to watch Grace, Patty is always there (and makes sure that Grace has a FANTASTIC time at her house.)  Patty has 5 girls, and they call Grace their “sister.”  Patty is so full of love, energy, and creativity, she is another friend who is an inspiration to me.  Patty puts up sheetrock to make walls in their basement, she puts tile in her shower, she paints, landscapes, puts on new doorknobs, homeschools her girls, AND finds time to bless others.  Patty has the gift of hospitality (among other gifts) she always has people over for dinner.  Anytime Grace is at her house for the day, she makes us stay and eat dinner with her family.  I thank God for you Patty.

 I also give a lot of Grace’s clothes and toys that I’m not going to sell on eBay to one of my single mom friends, Cherie. Cherie is incredibly sweet and is going through a tough time, so I try to have lunch with her a couple of times a month to encourage her.  We take our kids places together.  When I clean things out, Cherie is the first person I call to see if she can use what I’m getting rid of.  One time, I had a lot of frozen dinners that I bought and then discovered I didn’t like them, so I gave them all to her…..she was amazed that someone would just GIVE her big bags of food that they didn’t want (or need).  Cherie is not a Christan, and my desire is to show her Christ’s Love…..I pray that she will come to know Him personally through my encouragement and testimony.

No matter where we are in life, when God blesses us, He blesses us so that we can be a blessing to other people.  I believe that when God blesses you, if you’re selfish and hoard the blessings you will not be blessed as much as if you use your blessings to bless other people.  It doesn’t have to be material things, it can be time, talent or encouragment. 

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing. 
Out of my life, may Jesus shine.
Make me a blessing, O Saviour I pray…..
Make me a blessing to someone today.

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