I tried to open the classroom door and it was locked.
Our new class has met in 3 different rooms.
There wasn’t a sign on the door to tell us where to go but I opened a nearby door anyway just to check and it was nice to see it was the right place. Sometimes it’s not easy to be so bold, ya know? What if class already started? We don’t want to bother anyone. What if it’s not the right room? What if they’re saying a prayer? I don’t want to interrupt. etc.
Since it’s possible more people may feel the same way I did and not want to disturb others I made a sign to put outside the old classroom door.
After scribbling a quick sign and picking up the paper I said to the few people in the room, “But I need tape and I don’t have any. Does anyone here have tape?”
Walking to the door and not quite sure how I’d attach the paper yet, I kept thinking, “But I don’t have any tape.”
I looked at the door handle and hinges to see if I could tuck the edge of the paper there to make it stay. Not gonna work.
Then I looked down by my feet.
I didn’t even have to take a step closer to it. The tape was just right there. Right within reach was a used piece of tape; sticky side facing sticky side. I picked it up and carefully pulled on the edges wondering if it would be sticky enough to hold a sign to a door long enough to guide people to the new room.
Stepping back into the current classroom I said something like, “People can’t even say God’s not listening and He doesn’t provide because He just DOES. I was just asking about tape and there was tape. Isn’t that so crazy?!”
The teacher said, “Nope. It’s faith.”
Crazy faith! So many people look for adventure in life and spend thousands of dollars to find it. I wonder if they know that faith is such an amazing adventure every day.
Some may say it was just a coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidence. God provides what we need when we need it.
And the thing I kept thinking about is this…
It was a piece of tape.
It wasn’t a nail or a screw or velcro or glue or a paperclip or even a rubberband.
It was tape – which made me think of this verse:
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
God just provides. He’s in the business of doing this very thing. He gives us what we need just when we need it.
I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this. We love to hear when this has happened in people’s lives. Hearing how God provides never gets old!
[Please note: You are welcome in class at church even if something prevented you from getting there “on time.” We would rather you come share and hear what’s going on in Bible class even if you’re late than to not show up at all. If teachers are upset and this isn’t the case where you worship, perhaps some are focused on the wrong thing. The message IS very important but if nobody is there to hear it then what’s the point? Consider this; Maybe you’ll walk in at the very right time to hear just what God knew you needed to hear.]
We met because a mutual friend, Dalana Squires, invited me to join Ten For Him. I’ve just got to tell you about this real quick. Ten women get together 10 times; once a month over a period of 10 months. We each bring $10 each time and we draw a name of someone in the group. This person takes the $100 and gives it as God leads her for that month. Then we meet again and she gives her testimony about how God led her to give. Check out Ten For Him here. http://tenforhim.com/about/ [Note: I do not own or have rights to this video in any way.] Praise God for Sara Atchley Wierman, the Founder of Ten for Him! God is working in powerful ways with this great ministry.
Jennifer told me she bought an extra ticket in faith a year ago that God would show her the right person to take to a conference. She asked a few people. Then she asked me if I’d like to go with her for the weekend. I couldn’t have known how great this pink conference would impact my life.
Prayer is powerful.
I almost never go out of town (and I’m really fine with that.) I love being home with my family. I told her I’d pray about it. I remember wondering how my kids and husband would be while I’m gone for a couple days. Would they miss me? Would they notice I was gone? Would they like a break from me? (More about this later.)
I went with her to the Pink Impact conference at a church building. WOW! The energy, smiling faces, lights, beautiful food and Frappuccinos were all wonderful. The speakers spoke God’s message to me in a way I hadn’t heard before. I’ve been raised in church and it’s been a long time since I heard scriptures in a new way.
At lunch she led me to a room that had been prepared just for her church group and I was invited since I was her guest. This was a kids’ worship area that had been transformed into a girlified, fun, ladies’ luncheon room complete with flowers, dim lighting, pretty centerpieces, gum, tissues, perfumes, chocolates, and more.
I couldn’t help but think about how Jesus has gone to prepare a place – just for us – and how amazing that will be! We are ALL invited.
It was such a blessing to hear from these great speakers; Lisa Bevere, Elaine Fisher, Charlotte Gambill, Blynda Lane, Debbie Morris, Tim Ross, and Lindsay Huckins was the Emcee for the weekend.
Thank you ALL for God’s message through you guys! Please DO tell me if I’ve missed anyone because every one of you matters and I thank each of you for the messages you shared!
EVERY speaker brought the Bible scriptures to life in a way I’d never heard them. I’ve been in church for 45 years. I haven’t heard scriptures brought to life in this practical way in many years.
We got to hear a message from Christine Caine (via video.) She founded the A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization that fights slavery around the globe, doing amazing work rescuing girls who have been trapped in the dark world of sex trafficking. This work is especially dear to my heart for many reasons and I believe God will be using my family to help with this same type of work in Wasilla, Alaska, as God leads us to open and care for a homeless teen place. So knowing the work God is leading us to start, it was absolutely incredible to get to hear from someone God’s already put in place doing this same healing work. I needed to mention this because it reminds me how God is a detail God and this was the first time I’d ever heard about Christine Caine.
We heard from Roma Downey (via video.) We listened to Patricia Heaton (via video) and worshipped with Gateway Worship and Kari Jobe. There were many talented musicians and singers (and if I knew all the names I’d be glad to add them here.) You guys made the weekend even more powerful. Thank you so much!
We got to see performances by Dance Revolution, Founded by Michelle Brogan. (OH how I’d LOVE to dance with them some time! Probably Hip Hop would be my preference!) And we were blessed to listen to Amick and Cassie Byram and their beautifully blended voices.
~If I have left out names, please email me and I’m glad to add them. This was a life-touching, relaxing, lovely weekend and I was honored to get to be a part of it. I know there are hundreds more who invested time, money, sweat, tears, and prayers to put this weekend together. Thank you to ALL of you!~
We were lifted, empowered, prayed over, loved on, and had time to just breathe and enjoy being women.
Jennifer had reserved a room at a nearby hotel for us. Cozy beds, great food, fun conversation, and getting to learn more about each other’s pasts just added to this amazing weekend. There were many other Pink Impact ladies staying in the hotel also.
When we had checked in when we first arrived at the church building we had been given a folder with a fun ice breaker game and the instructions said to get a signature from a woman who matched the description and she was to sign next to it. There were many hundreds of women so we had to talk and meet new people a lot to get all 50 thousand (not really) questions answered. There would be prizes for the first several people who turned these papers in. Fun!
The game said things like:
Find someone who has a dog with a human name. _____
You’ve attended 3 or more Pink Impact conferences. _____
You can wiggle your ears. ____
Find someone who has taken tap or ballet dance lessons. ____
(…and so on…)
On the 2nd morning of the conference one young lady and I were the only two people in the hotel elevator. The elevator conversation was quick and unusual. I broke the silence, “I can wiggle my ears. Can you tap dance?” She replied, “No.” This totally broke the never-speak-in-elevators-to-people-you-don’t-know-because-it’s-awkward rule. (It may remain my favorite elevator conversation ever.) [I always wondered why I could wiggle my ears. Question answered.]
At the end of the conference they announced they were giving each woman a gift. This beautiful gift was a white, soft, cozy, thick, terry cloth robe.
A detail I didn’t mention yet: My oldest daughter had been asking for a terry cloth robe for a few months. (I kept not putting this in the budget for whatever reasons so I hadn’t bought her one yet.) We don’t try to make things “even” at our house (i.e. if one child gets a gift, the other child usually does too, but we decide based upon their individual desires and not on money amounts) but I secretly and deeply wished I could get a second robe for my youngest daughter.
THIS is another way that God shows me He is a detail God.
Jennifer and I had each received a Frappuccino the night before and she really enjoyed hers. I still had mine and I didn’t want to waste it and somehow a natural conversation led to me saying I really didn’t care for Frappuccinos that much and she was delighted to take mine! She admitted while the white robe was very beautiful she probably wouldn’t wear it and she gave it to me for my youngest daughter!
Talk about God being in the details! He just IS!
God uses people to connect with others every day on purpose and for a purpose. Someone may be praying a prayer over you today and you may not even know it for a year.
Maybe all you need to do today is pray about life, get up, and show up.
Thank you, Jennifer Drake Johnston, for leading our Ten For Him group, for praying about me when you didn’t even know me yet, and thank you for the life-changing weekend at a conference I knew nothing about before I went. I pray God’s blessings follow you and that you are blessed many times more for blessing others the way you do! MUCH love in Him, Kerri
Want to hear about the icing (as if the weekend, itself, wasn’t sweet enough already?)
When I returned home I was the blessed mom and wife of 3 love notes. SWEET!! They DID miss me! (That is, they missed me until it was back to regular life the next week. lol. Oh, well. I have some notes so I can read them again and remember they actually DO like my help as a mom and wife.) They gave me permission to share these great notes. It is easy to look past spelling errors. (I’d much rather have love notes from their hearts than for them not to want to write to me because I correct their grammar and spelling when they give me sweet notes.) [Too sweet and amazing NOT to mention; Today I found out the love notes were actually my husband’s idea! How cool is that? God is surely alive and prayer is powerful!]
God bless you and thank you for reading.
[Please Note: We don’t try to make things “even” at our house when it comes to gifts (and that’s okay. We love our girls and they both feel loved by us.) Every family has different opinions on gift giving. Please do not send me yucky notes about it. This is how OUR family gives gifts. This doesn’t mean if you do things a different way that it’s wrong or right. I’d love to talk about it but I won’t read or respond to hate mail. I’d love to hear how your family chooses the gift giving process and what that looks like at your house.]
I read so much and hear differing opinions on many things – ESPECIALLY since being online for the last 10 months. It’s a strange world. Not being on social media until I was 44 has let me see the internet in a way many may not see it if they’ve been “more social” for 20 years. I wasn’t online because I was afraid because of stuff that happened in my life when I was younger (and that story is found in other places here and I’ll write more as God leads me to write.)
It’s not like I didn’t know HOW to be online. I just wasn’t.
Something I’ve noticed – People just get SO offended and SO very easily!
People (yes, even grown ups) seem to get so offended when others don’t like the same traditions or if others ask the question, “WHY do people do this?” Culture? Bible? Is this going to matter in 50 years?
God made us each different and this is how He chose to create us. He could have done things any way He wanted to and He made us this way. So being different is okay and having different opinions is okay.
It is even okay to TALK about our differences WITHOUT getting offended.
If God decided to make us different ON PURPOSE, then why do we take it upon ourselves to treat others as if what they say does not matter? Why do we huff and puff and “unfriend” people?
Please stop this. It’s what the enemy wants for us. Are we not divided enough without getting offended at the very nature of who we are? We are different and that is a God thing.
– Check this out.
I like you and I like your heart.
Let’s be friends. We have so much in common.
Wait. Did I hear someone say you don’t like cheese?! I can’t EVEN understand why you don’t like cheese! This is a deal breaker. I’ve gotta go.
What?! What just happened here? Please stop!
We get offended over some silly stuff in this life, do we not?
People are interesting and nobody – NOBODY – you meet is going to like every same thing as you do and it’s STILL okay to like them and talk with them (and not talk behind their backs.)
God, please turn us back to You and remind us what this is all really about here because You see the stuff we argue about that does not matter tomorrow. Please heal this place. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
[NOTE: I’m not talking about Jesus differences. Jesus is THE WAY. I know people have other opinions and I will just keep sharing what He’s done in my life. We each have free choice to choose Him or not. In this blog post I’m talking about stuff like cheese and sports and everything ELSE in this life.] #unashamed
Sometimes you just know stuff – just because you do.
That’s a God thing.
These things are called your talents.
Some of the most profound words my youngest child ever said was when she was about 10 years old.
“Sometimes I don’t even know I know stuff until I say it out loud.”
(When I remember her speaking about this epiphany it still makes me smile!)
I told her those are God-given gifts and to always be proud of them. He has given these to us on purpose and for a purpose. We need to ask God what He wants us to do with the talents He gave us. When we do this, it honors Him, gives our lives meaning, and helps us understand more about the reason we’re even here on this Earth.
I used to tell my husband, “I don’t like to learn.”
After years of feeling this way I realized something. I realized that actually I VERY much like to learn.
I like to learn about people and why they think the way they think. I like to learn why people react or respond the way they do to different things in certain situations. I find it fascinating to learn why people are the way they are.
Honestly, if we would work more toward asking God to reveal our kids’ (and our) talents and encourage, research, pray over those more than the school subjects we’re “supposed” to learn “just because that’s how it’s done” maybe more people would be doing what God intended for them to be doing in the first place and not find themselves in dead-end jobs at age 60.
Sometimes you just know stuff – just because you do.
Wow! I am this week’s recipient of my youngest daughter’s Wednesday Letter! She brought tears to my eyes. It is a very sweet letter.
It’s due Wednesday morning but she turned it in early. I was surprised to see “Mommy” written on the envelope today.
My oldest daughter is a few letters ahead (but that isn’t a free ticket to miss next week’s letter.) I still would like them both to turn in a Wednesday Letter every week. Extra letters are always okay.
“Wednesday Letters” is something I prayed about when we began homeschooling and feel God led us to start.
My oldest had had an assignment when she was in public high school where each student was required to write a note to each person in class each week. This was something I was reminded of when deciding how our homeschool would look.
My kids pray over who they should write letters to and a letter is due every Wednesday morning from each of them.
The letters need to be uplifting, thanking someone for somehow touching their lives, maybe speaking life, or just, “Hey, I noticed when you….”
The reason they are due Wednesday mornings is because if they need to be mailed, the letters may have time to get to the recipients by the weekend (but even if they get there Monday, it’s a pretty cool way to start the week.)
The letters may be emailed, texted, mailed, but written is important. (IF for some reason they cannot be written though, then speaking them to someone on the phone or in person is still a great idea. We don’t want anything to get in the way of getting an encouraging message to anyone.)
This may seem small but it’s turning out to be one of my favorite things (and it’s not just for homeschoolers.)
I am praying this becomes something very big because we ALL could use more encouragement and more noticers in the world.
Being the recipient of this today has made me realize Wednesday Letters may become much more than it seemed at first. It’s truly touched my heart and made my week better knowing my daughter prayed and God put my name on her heart.
I pray this spreads like wildfire. The world is starving for all the blessings that have been left unspoken.
If you decide to write some Wednesday Letters we’d love to hear from you.
Our marriage has been under attack for years. We have been through so much. There is one thing we can agree on. God has been The One to hold us together.
God has put a love in my heart for this stubborn man and He’s put a love in my husband’s heart for this impossible woman!
If it wasn’t for God doing work in our lives, I wouldn’t even be writing here at all.
I shouted, “Let me in!” I cried, “Why do you have these walls built so high?” I tried to tell my husband for years what I needed.
I felt as if he never heard me. (Probably because he didn’t.)
My husband only was able to hear me when my spirit was finally quiet.
The problem with my spirit getting quieter was that part of me was giving up on believing we’d ever have a real, honest, deep relationship with each other.
Today my husband painted my toenails.
This takes me being quiet and letting him love on me.
This takes me not correcting him when he’d miss the nail.
This takes me letting go of control and letting him brush side to side instead of how I’d do it.
This takes him listening to me when I tell him water on a paper towel may not take the paint off my skin as well and that a cotton ball and polish remover will work better.
This takes us both letting go of something and listening to each other to get somewhere better.
And I’d rather have this intimate time with him than perfectly painted toenails.
I’m praying over your marriage today, also.
God, please touch marriages everywhere and make them into the healthy, beautiful relationships You intended them to be. Please help us let hurts go and be trustworthy for each other. Please help us be transparent; not hiding anything from each other. Please remind us how to show respect to each other and speak softer when we feel upset. God, I pray now for marriages that have yet to happen. Please guide us to be the best husbands and wives we can be. Please give us more moments of husbands painting toenails. Thank You for marriage. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Teens, and pre-teens, since I know there are a few of you guys here online, I just wanted to tell you I am SO proud of how you stand up and share your faith! This is a REALLY tough time to be a kid. I am proud of your modesty and how you stand up and speak out when friends are talking you into and making not great choices. It’s really tough. You have GREAT courage!! I just wanted to be a voice thanking you for standing out instead of trying to fit in. You guys are making a difference.
That being said, PLEASE Please talk to us (parents and grown ups) when you do mess up. We will love you through mistakes. Yes, we may be sad and a little disappointed just as you may be when we mess up as grown ups, but we ARE here for you and we DO get that life is really tough as a teenager in 2014. We do not expect you to be perfect and I apologize to anyone who feels like you are held to a “perfect” standard. We mess up as parents and we know you guys mess up as kids, too. I love you. And I just wanted to tell you that you DO have people to talk to when life gets you down.
Praise God there is not a score card or report card saying how we’re doing spiritually based on our age! (In fact, I’m not sure why life should be a race academically either – but that’s for another day.)
I can’t imagine someone saying these things to others yet sometimes even when we don’t say them we kinda act this way.
“You’re 25! How come your faith isn’t up to par yet? Why are you still struggling? We are going to hold you back a year so you can catch up!” (That would be quite damaging.)
And anyway, what?! Catch up to what? Your race is just you. There is nobody to your right or left, in front or behind. It’s just you – and God sure is patient.
“You’re 60! How come you don’t have more grace for others?!” (There’s no “grace” in that at all…)
I know many girls would ask, “What does that even mean?” SO many have not been taught what this looks like.
Ladies, please stand up and teach our younger girls how to be women of Christ! Please stop the gossip and please start teaching girls how to be beautiful from the inside out! Take a look at what the world is teaching them. They NEED you to speak life and love over them!
“You have a grown up man’s body! You need to act more like a ‘man’ now!”
HOW? He hasn’t been taught how to do this.
Please, men, stand up and teach our younger boys how to be gentlemen of God! The world truly needs you! Teach them how to stand tall in a world full of hatred and racism.
And boys (and men) desperately need to learn how to treat a woman in the way God says to treat a woman. Love her. Love her as Christ loves the Church.
There is honor in helping each other; not in stomping each other into the ground.
Life is NOT a competition!
Please stop arguing who is “righter” and start caring for each other “right where we are” in faith, grace, honor, life, (and academically.)
What are you supposed to be doing? I don’t mean what is your job that pays the bills right now because that may or may not be part of your “calling.”
Certainly at work, or school if your job is school right now, (and it doesn’t matter what age you are) there are people you meet every day God has put in your path for a reason; customers, co-workers, teachers, and don’t overlook the person you don’t know yet standing in line at lunch or the person working behind the counter.
Some people you meet are there to teach you and sometimes you are teaching them. Sometimes you’re learning from each other.
You have influence.
What did God design you to do? You are created for a specific purpose and your talents are part of whatever your calling is.
Please don’t think you’re too old or too young or it’s too late or too early for you to ask Him what you are supposed to be doing with your life. I have heard about people doing what God wanted them to do when they were hundreds of years old and I have heard about a king who was only 7 years old.
So the age thing is not a “thing” at all.
(NOTE: I’m not 100% sure but it doesn’t seem that the king finished college. Do not let someone tell you that you are not “educated” enough to do what God has called you to do. In fact, there are many people in the Bible (and in your circle of influence) who have done amazing work for the Lord and I did not read that college was even invented yet in Bible times. – No. Just don’t. Do not send me hate mail saying that I said college is not important. College is great for several reasons. What I said is that we CAN and we WILL do great things for God – Period – no matter the level of “formal” education.)
I know there are babies who never made it out of the womb alive due to miscarriages or abortions yet are making a difference in this world even though they never took their first breaths. EVERY soul matters and there is a purpose for EVERY soul.
YOU CAN make a difference.
I can’t know what your calling is FOR you. YOU have to ask God what He created you to do. Please ask Him? Then watch what happens in your life. I don’t know how that looks for you but if you start asking Him every day what He wants you to do today I believe He will show you.
The Bible is a “LIVING WORD” and since It’s a Living Word, God still leads us. I don’t get it when people don’t believe He still leads us today. I think many Christians are not really believing this though they speak it with their mouths. Many are not living it. How can you call the Bible a “Living Word” and call God “Alive” when you act and live as if He’s not? Our To-Do lists are not as important as His To-Do List. How do you know what His list looks like if you are not actively asking Him daily?
Please, please get up? I believe in you. I know bad stuff has happened but we need you. If you were not this important and God didn’t have a purpose for you then why would the enemy work SO hard to keep you down?
Please ask Him what He created you to do? This dark world really needs you to stand up and shine right now.
Here, I’ll start. You finish. “God, please show me what You created me for and please pick me up and give me a place to stand. I believe that You designed me on purpose and for a purpose. Please show me how to…”
We hear people say, “Well, it’s the thought that counts.”
Maybe those are not the best words to live out.
I saw her drowning and I THOUGHT about helping but I don’t run very fast and by the time I got there it’d probably be too late sooo…
“Yes it’s our anniversary and I THOUGHT about saying something or getting flowers but you know, Honey, it’s the thought that counts!” (Yeah. How did that work out?)
I heard you were grieving the loss of your child and THOUGHT about checking on you but it’s probably not my business.
The teacher said this homework was due today but I’m sure she knows it’s the THOUGHT that counts so it’s an easy “A.”
I thought about Jesus and I think He is real and I THOUGHT about Heaven and Hell, THOUGHT about accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and THOUGHT about being baptized under water… but my friends may laugh at me so… (By the way, He is real and we only have so much time to accept Him. We each have an earthly expiration date.)
Perhaps “It’s the thought that counts” is MESSED UP!! It is nothing more than a sad attempt at an apology, in my opinion.
Please do not misunderstand.
EVERY thought counts, for sure. The Bible says so. But action NEEDS to be taken.
DO something to help someone.
Listen for that tug at your heart to call or write to somebody.
Sometimes sitting quietly with someone who is hurting is enough. Sometimes there are NO words that will help a situation. And that’s okay. Sometimes just being there says more than words ever could.
Maybe the very thing that is taking up all your mind and energy today is actually the very thing you need to be focused on and it isn’t a distraction.
It’s what matters most today.
It’s what you do today that counts. Maybe you need healing. Then please do keep working on healing. This is okay and necessary for you and for people around you.
All I’m asking is that when the Holy Spirit nudges you and puts someone on your heart, please listen and do something.
In case nobody told you today, YOU MATTER. (I thought about telling you that today and now I did.)
God, as we do work for You every day please always remind us this is about You and not us. Please keep us humble and not try to take the spotlight off You. Please remind us that the work we are doing is to lift You and only You. If we forget and start to like attention please take the attention and turn it back to You. Please do not let us get caught up in how the world and culture think life should be but let us remember who gave us our talents to do these jobs in the first place.
You are our Father and thank you for loving us as a good Father does. Thank you for Your Son because as a parent it’s really amazing to know You gave Your only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. How could You even do that? My mind can’t comprehend this. Thank You, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for guiding us, never giving up on us when we turn to You, and for Your perfect love for each of us.
Please give us words to witness to others in the way You would bless it and want us to witness. Please give us courage when someone stands against us and please give us words to speak and know when to be silent. Please give us wisdom to know when we are in the wrong and please lift our faces to look at You to find truth again. Please forgive us of our sins.
Thank You for Your Angels watching over us and thank You for making our paths straight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.