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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Star Eyes Started It All

I remember it fairly well. I was in fourth grade. My assignment was to write a fictional story. Mine was titled, "Star Eyes". If I remember correctly...mine was longer than most everyone else's. Lol! Hard to imagine huh? I even drew a sweet picture of the main character of my story, a clown who went by the name, you guessed it, Star Eyes. I had worked hard on constructing every last detail of my story. I even typed up (using the slow and steady two finger punch method) the final draft. The day had finally come that we would see our scores.

I don't remember the details well...but I do remember my teacher being very encouraging. I remember her praising me in front of the class for a well written story. Satisfaction in my accomplishment felt good. I loved to write...and just needed a little boost to know that I was on my way down the correct path.

Mrs. Robb was my teacher's name. Therese I am told is her first name, although I doubt I would ever be comfortable calling her that. Lol! Once your teacher...always your teacher. I do not think she has any idea the impact she had on my life. Could I still be where I am without her speaking those words of encouragement over my silly story? Of course! I serve a Mighty God...but I am who I am because of the paths that I took. Some of them paths that I chose, and some that were chosen for me. God used her when I was young and unsure, to spark the passion that was within my fingertips.

When I sat down to read over and edit this final draft of my blog post today I saw something very cool. Of course I just have to share it with you. That's my style. Lol!

Below is a picture of the note that was sent to my mom after my year with Mrs. Robb. You don't have to strain to read it. I will highlight what I am referring to.

 The last line reads as follows, "Keep up with the writing." I about cried when my mom found this in her keepsakes box. Those words were part of God's plan. And the written word means the world to me. As I have always said...it provides proof. You can read it and reread it as often as you want.
The other cool thing. Keep in mind...I was writing this post yesterday. I just didn't have the time...with 6 kids and all...then taking my four to VBS...to finish. So when I sat down to edit today...and noticed that her note was written on June 4th exactly 21 years ago...I laughed. Isn't God just too funny! I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. I finally sit to do it....and I just happened to pick the same date that she picked back in 1991. Ha-ha!

Anywhoo...I loved to write stories...so I kept on writing. Most of them fiction. Of course high school came after elementary school was over...and that is where I used my writing for myself. I wrote notes back and forth to all my friends. Sometimes writing funny things. Sometimes embarrassing. Sometimes claiming my love's (I use that term loosely...as I was clueless as to what 'love' really entailed). Sometimes gossiping. Sometimes being hilarious (did I say that already?). ;)

Next came my one year at college. I went undecided. I chose a major that I was not at all passionate about, nor interested in. While I was borderline drowning in a sea of uncertainty and confusion...I decided to take one English Composition course. It proved to be a huge challenge for me. I thought my professor was harsh on my papers. (He wasn't. It was just a plot of the enemy to try to keep me silent.) I am a comma queen and so when he would mark my paper with his red pen I didn't see it as constructive. I let it destroy my confidence a bit. Down the road a bit though, God had me revisit my college papers. This time when I read the comments, I realized that he was trying to make me a better author. My favorite assignment of the semester was to write an autobiography. I had one friend, thanks Pam, who looked forward to reading the newest chapter each week. (I am not sure if it was because my life was sooo interesting...or because I was sooo stinkin' funny. Sooo, I am going to go ahead and say BOTH! Bahaha!)

After my year was over I decided not to go back to school. I was unhealthy while I was there...and I was paying (still paying) for a major that I was not passionate about. What did I WANT to be when I grew up? AGH...I had no idea. I knew I really really really wanted to be a mom. Other than that...nada.

It was in this year after college, that my writing became a tool. A tool with a divine purpose. I began doing a devotional by Max Lucado and it changed my purpose forever. God spoke to me through my written words. I would get chills when I would read the things that He was saying to me. I would write prayers for different people...just as if I was having an actual conversation with God. (Hence the name of my blog. Pages of Prayer was a God breathed name. I knew it as soon as He spoke it to me.)

I continued to do different devotionals after I finished the first one. (It was called Embraced by God...get it! I have bought and given away several copies for only $4.00 on Amazon.com. That includes shipping!)  I was also reading books by some powerful Christian non-fiction authors...and underlining all the things I wanted to remember. Later I would journal about them. I would share them here and there...but most of them were left unseen.

Then the day came when God told me to begin this blog. You should read my first couple of posts if you haven't already. Those were the days that God began to use my writing to reach out. I figured I would reach my family. Maybe some close friends that would feel guilty and want to support me. What I didn't expect was to see how many countries, all around the world, would be viewing my little blog. I am constantly humbled when I see a new country represented. God is so amazing!

I know that God has an even bigger and greater plan for my passion to write for Him. I am starting to get a little glimpse of His plan...and it makes me anxious. Not in a bad way. I am not at all nervous...I am anxious as in I just want it to come to be...today! Haha! I am being patient while actively pursuing. Is that possible? ;)

I feel satisfied when I write. I feel joy when I write. I feel comfortable when I write. I feel powerful when I write. I feel blessed when I write. I feel humbled when I write. I feel loved when I write. I feel complete when I write for my King. It is my most intimate time with Him...and I wouldn't change my love for it.

I know how much the written word means to me. And I pray that someday this post finds the way to Mrs. Robb's desk. I want her to know that she made a difference. I want her to know that God used her words to stir up something in me that would play a vital part in my future in Him. I want her to know that she played a role in my calling. It wasn't something extravagant or extraordinary. It didn't take an impossible amount of effort. Just simple, spoken words.

So to Mrs. Robb, thank you for your kind words. Thank you for believing that I had something special. It may have taken me until I was almost 30 to truly fall into my calling to write...but you were step one in the road there. I am not sure if most of your students will take the time to tell you about the impact you had. But know that in Heaven...I will be one of them in a line...waiting to tell you all the places God took me because of His strategy that started with you. KNOW that your sacrifice was noticed. KNOW that your salary here is no match for your reward in Heaven. KNOW that you were/are loved by your students and staff. And KNOW that God wants you to finish strong. Keep speaking words of life to those around you now.

Let this be shout out to teachers/leaders/workers/parents/families everywhere. Speak life into the children you are surrounded by. Ask God to speak through you. You can help mold the life of a young child. You can have an affect that will sow into their adulthood. And maybe, just maybe someday...you will hear about it. Or read about it. Or see them succeed and know that God used you.

Encourage. Pray. Smile. Praise. Choose your words carefully. Little ears are not only listening, they are hearing what you say. Make your life worthy of imitation because the Author of your words is into raising up His sons and daughters.


  1. Vanessa,
    Thank you for sharing this story with me. I so often worry about the negative effects my comments might have on a student who challenges me--and I get so bogged down in trying not to discourage. It is nice to focus on the impact my positive comments might have on a young writer. This year, after some intense research and soul-searching, I have returned to teaching writing as I did when I was a newer teacher. Your thoughts and words have reinforced my dedication to teaching writing as a process rather than a product.
    It's late and I'm rambling...the joys of being an English teacher...sigh with a smile!
    Again, thank you.

    1. God spoke clearly to me that He wanted you to read these words. It is encouraging to me to know I heard Him correctly. :) I pray that someday you will reap the benefits of your passion to mold young writers. I pray that a student lets you know the impact you had on them. When it happens...be sure to tell me. What a faith booster that will be! :)