Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blessings galore!

Blessings galore! That sounds wonderful doesn’t it? It is a reality in me. It can be a reality in you if you just believe. Don’t believe me? Listen to this story of how God sent me three specific blessings just for believing He’d do it. I had been meeting with Him on a daily basis…and my brother kept telling me to wait, because God had something big in store to bless me. It was very exciting. Anticipation was at it’s highest. I have since become keenly aware of each blessing…big or small.

So the first…it was just over a week before Christmas. I woke up early to do my devotions. (Even though it was Saturday…and I really wanted to sleep! Remember I talked about that in my last post. I don’t want to make the enemy’s job easy on him. So I will wake…and meet with God first! So…=P) In texting my accountability partner (my brother Jonathan) back and forth, he says to me…”Today God is going to bless you with a need from the past.” Instantly I was excited. He assured me that this was not the big blessing he referred to earlier.

So I got up and got myself and my family ready to go to the Christmas party at my in-laws house. In the back of my mind all day…what could this blessing be? I had an idea of what it was…but was stuck on the word ‘need’. My brother referred to it as a need…not a want. The item from the past that I was thinking of was more of a want. Still I waited. We ate lunch together. We ate cookies together. We opened the gifts we had gotten each other. And we ate cookies together. (Yes…I realize I already mentioned that. But it is worth mentioning again…because there were A LOT of cookies…and we ate A LOT of them! Ha-ha!) I really thought I would receive my blessing there. I was a bit puzzled.

The day together with my husband’s family was fun. The kids (10 in all) were so excited to be together. Much loudness and screaming in excitement was done. No naps were had by any one of them. Lol! As the evening came we decided to head home…half a mile down the road…to our little country home. We unloaded all the kids and gifts minus one. The large combined gift our kids had gotten was to be delivered later.

After getting the kids some quick dinner…probably cereal…we put them to bed early. Sunday’s mornings come early for us…and they need their beauty sleep. ;) Once they were all down Eric and I decided we would like to split a bread bowl salad from Perkins. I agreed to go get it…thinking there must be someone there who would give me my blessing. Again…still hung up on the word…’need’. I went and came back empty handed. (Except for the salad of course.)

Later I was talking to my brother and he asked how my day was. I said…”Great. My in-laws got my kids a really nice swing set for our kids as a combined gift. Eric and I have wanted to get the kids one since our first child was born 6 1/2 years ago.” Immediately he confirmed that that was it. That was our blessing of a need from the past. I assured him that a swing set was not a ‘need’. He confidently stated…”a want becomes like a need when you are unable to provide it for yourself.” That is what I needed to hear to believe.

What came next…the next day…Jonathan told  me to expect another blessing. This one was still not the big one…but it would be something I didn’t even know God knew I wanted. Again…I was instantly excited.

So let me set the scene for you…it was the Sunday before Christmas. There were people left and right walking around with gift bags. Each one I noticed and thought…”Ooo, maybe that is for me!” Not one of them had my name on it. Lol! God certainly has a sense of humor doesn’t He? After church we are off to yet another family Christmas party. This one was at my husband’s Grandpa’s house. We typically don’t receive gifts at this party. It is all about the kids…and spending time with family. The only hope to get a gift is if you get one labeled…To:_______ From: Santa. If you get a santa gift that means that you have done something stupid over the past year…and you got caught.

Gift after gift was placed in my lap for one of my four kids. I helped them open them. Or Ooooed and Ahhhed over it if they had opened it already. So when a small gift bag (which I noticed was quite heavy) was placed on my lap I of course assumed it was for my youngest son. When they assured me that it was actually for me…I was shocked. As always…when you get a santa gift…it is custom to say…”But I don’t think I did anything stupid this year!” So I followed suit. I didn’t notice at first the woman sitting beside me cowering behind her daughter in her chair…knowing that she was the mastermind behind this gift.

Santa gifts are always accompanied by a note, which is read aloud for all to hear. It gives an explanation as to why this gift was pick especially for you. (I will give you an example. There was the year that a man in the family (named intentionally left out to keep the peace) seemed to find himself in a tough position. In the woods…in the middle of poison ivy…wishing he had some toilet paper. You can guess how that ended. Ha-ha! He got lots of santa gifts that year. Itch relief gel. Compact campers toilet paper.)

So I pulled my note out. I instantly recognized the handwriting. (Remember that cowering woman beside me.) I laughed as I read aloud…

Winter 12 006
“Dear Vanesa,
You do know candles are for burning not just for sniffing? So you can light this one or sniff it for the next couple of years. =) LOL
   Love ya!
Who knew the favor of God could be so funny? I then had to tell them all the story of when my husband and I first had our son. I went on a shopping spree with my friend Erin, while he went on a hunting trip to South Carolina with her husband Greg. On my spree, one of the things I bought was a candle…(mentioned also in my last post I believe). It is called Country Christmas or Spiced Pear. Same scent…different color. It was almost $20…so I never allowed myself to buy another…even though I loved it sooo much. Since it was my absolute favorite scent in the world to date…I kept the jar and would ‘sniff’ it every once in a while. Ha-ha! So I turned to my red-faced, cowering friend…and said…thank you santa. Then I told her about how this was a blessing from God. And told her of the story of the swing set. I love to show off my King!

That night I talked to my brother again…and told him of the newest blessing. He said to still be waiting and anticipating the next. It was going to be the big one. So I told him about my hair cut I was going to get that week. It had been almost a year and a half since my hair had met a pair of scissors. (Not by choice. I had scheduled myself and then the time would come and my children would need it. So I would take a back seat.) One day I am at my grandma’s and my aunt tells me that she, my grandma, my other aunt, and my mom went together and bought me a hair cut along with the set of salon products to improve my hair.

I am not sure if you can tell very well in the picture at the top of the page…but my hair is very thin. It was the result of a perm that I had done when I was in 8th grade. What devastating timing huh? Crucial! Eighth grade…I mean come on! My hair began breaking off…and then never grew back. I was completely embarrassed by it. So years later…about 3 years ago…my friend Trisha told me that she was praying that God would restore my hair. I kind of rolled my eyes as if God didn’t really care about my thin hair. I mean really. People are dying of cancer. People are dying unsaved. People are broken and lost. And people everywhere have thin or balding hair…what makes me different or special enough to change it for me and not them? So…I didn’t believe.

Because that seed was planted though it helped me with my brother’s next statement. “That is IT! That is your big blessing. God is going to restore your hair!” Instant tears. I have been embarrassed and hated my hair for 16 years. I don’t like going to get it done at a salon because I can’t pick out ANY hair style and ask to get it done. I have to stick with the small list of ‘things that will work with my type of hair’. It is disappointing.

I told Jonathan that I believed that that was from God. I also told him about my friend…and how this would be an answer to her prayers from years ago. Maybe this would be a spark for her to begin speaking and praying more miracles over those around her.

The day comes that I go to the salon. Mary Frontera at Innovations was my woman of choice. She is wonderful. She is inviting. She makes you feel comfortable and pampered. (I can give you her number if you so desire! =) ) I went in…alone…which is rare for a mother of four. So that was great. The salon was empty…again great. When you are embarrassed about your hair…it is nice to have no one there watching. She showed me the 6 step hair routine that my loving family had purchased for me. She said it would help to clean out each hair follicle and make a healthy bed for new hair to grow in.

As I told God I would…I told Mary about my story with my brother. I told her that I believed that God was going to restore my hair…and this was going to be the start of it. I have no idea how she took my words…but in her sweetness she smiled and was happy for me.

So there it is. In the raw. In the reality of me. I am waiting…and I am believing. I have no pictures to show you a change…but my God has proven Himself faithful to me. I do not doubt. I choose to believe. Believe with me. Give me an area of your life where you want to believe no matter how long you have been waiting. This has been 16 years in the works for me. What a powerful testimony God has been writing for me. His favor. His goodness. His faithfulness revealed.

Choose to see each thing in your life as a blessing. Your children slept in til 8am…blessing. Your windshield wipers didn’t stick to your window in an ice storm…blessing. Your oven mysteriously stopped smelling of leaking gas…blessing. Your ‘puppy’ hasn’t pooped on the carpet all day…blessing. Okay…so maybe some of those are my small blessings. But the favor of God is with me. I am not special because I am me. I am blessed because of Christ in me. And you have Christ…you have the same opportunity. Start asking. And if you don’t have Christ…you have the same opportunity. Start asking. Seek Him. Seek people that are like-minded and will help you along. Then talk about it! Don’t be ashamed to tell people about what God is doing in you. And He will not be ashamed of you when you stand before Him.

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