The Miracle of Answered Prayer

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

Image result for free page divider clipart

Hello my sweet Grandgirls,

I got off track after I told you I was going to share some miracles God has performed in my life.  I’m back on track and ready to share.

Miracles happen when God steps in and does what only He can do.  God has answered my prayers, so many times and so specifically that I know that I know that I know, He did it.

When God answers prayer in a big and miraculous way it touches our lives and we are never the same.

Prayer Miracles

I was 15 years old when I came to know Jesus.  I was a new creation. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops – It didn’t take long for me to learn nobody, in my world, really wanted to know or hear about Him. Not only were they not interested but many took offense when I tried to tell them.

I did not understand their reactions. Why wouldn’t everyone want to know the good news about the one who created them and loved them so much. What caused this revulsion when I spoke the name of Jesus?

As I began to grow as a child of God, my understanding of the enemy’s tricks grew too. He was the enemy of God and of God’s kids and he causes blindness and revulsion toward God’s son. It was then I knew I needed to talk less and pray more for those I loved, those who turned deaf ears to the message of God’s love and Jesus sacrifice. There is power in going to our Father, in prayer, because he hears and longs to answer our prayers of faith.

Prayers for Family

I experienced a deep peace and joy for the first time in my young life. My family didn’t get it. In fact, some gave me a rough time. I got made fun of and they called me a religious fanatic. As the tears burned my eyes, they laughed. My greatest grief, though, was that they didn’t get it.  I wanted them to know Jesus, they needed him just as much as I did.

I’ve shared with you the miracle of provision for College, right? God made a way for me to attend a Christian College.  A group of people from my Church promised to give money each month to make my first year possible.  Talk about humbling!!  Carried away by the love of God, I also carried the weight of leaving my family. Who would be Jesus to my family?

Once at college, I continued to pray consistently and urgently. I was no longer at home, there was no more opportunity to share God’s love.

After being involved in college life for awhile, I began receiving letters from my Dad. He was telling me some amazing happenings. He told me the plumber, carpenter, the insurance man and an old friend were telling him about personal faith in Jesus Christ.

It was absolutely miraculous! All of these people were being sent by God to tell my family the good news. I have no doubt about it. You see, in all of my life, before I heard about Jesus, no one had ever shared the story of salvation.  It was like Christians were coming from everywhere and into my parent’s lives. Only God could do this.

Prayers for my Son

danielThen there’s the story ya’all know.  The story about my handsome boy, your Dad and your Uncle Daniel, who went through a crazy walk of rebellion. I thought my mother’s heart would break. I cried out to God over and over again. I prayed was God would send believers into Daniels life. Once again the answer was mind blowing.
Dan told me that believers were everywhere. Christians shared their faith with him at work, at appointments, in restaurants, and in the most uncanny places. These children of God, were all holding out hope to my one and only son. Honestly kids, I  have never known anyone who was so chased by God. It was another miraculous answer to prayer that eventually led to your Dad and Uncle surrendering to God’s will.  JOY!!
 

Prayers for my Daughter

Renee was a quiet kid.  She was a trusting child. As a teen I was grew worried because she was interested in the bad boy types. I prayed and asked God to help me in guiding her.

One night Papa and I went to a concert at a Christian Conference Center. We sat across from a Doctor and his wife.  As the Doctor talked he pointed toward the banquet table at a handsome young man with a beautiful smile. The doctor beamed saying, that’s my son. As he continued to brag on his son, I sent prayers up. I prayed, “God, please give Renee a young man like this one. She doesn’t know what a ‘good guy’ looks like.  

It was the following year that Renee met a young man who came to our Church as the leader of the college-aged youth group. Soon, he showed an interest in Renee and began to hang out with the family. One of the things he liked to do was cook for the family. One night as he was doing his thing, I asked him about his family. He told me his Dad was a Doctor and his mom, a nurse. He went on to tell me they spent alot of time, in the summer, at a Christian Conference ground near their house. The bell went off!!  Oh my goodness, this was the young man the Doctor had bragged about. Here he was – right before me. God did not send me someone ‘like’ David, he sent me David! I looked at David and said, “David, I don’t know what role you will take in my daughter’s life, but I do know God sent you.” I then revealed how God sent him to Renee as a direct answer to my prayer.

David married Renee two years later. David is excellent loving your mom, Aunt Renee, and he provides such a stabilizing effect on her life.  She needed that – God supplied it. Only God!

Prayers for my Youngest

christyThis writing would not be complete without mentioning your mom and Aunt Christy. This, my youngest child, has possessed a heart for God from the time she was little.  We did not experience the struggles with her that we had with her siblings.

My prayers for Christy were answered as I watched her make hard choices. She even had a whole youth group come against her when she confronted them on their heart issues.  It broke her heart, she did not budge from her convictions.

Though she too, was strong willed, she took her orders from her Loving Father and chose to follow in His footprints. At a very young age, she brought her friends to me so I could share Jesus with them.

I share these miracles of answered prayer, within our family because I want you to know how specifically and lovingly God has blessed our lives.

You girls are blessed to be born into a family where God is actively at work. You have a family that pulls together to speak into your lives and to love you well.  It’s rare these days girls!

May these words give you a reason to pause and offer thanksgiving to the God who answers miraculous prayers and bestows blessings on our family.

I love you forever and always,

 Nana
Advertisements

Love Cups Need to be Filled

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

Image result for free page divider clipart

Good Morning Girlies,

In this post, I’m opening a piece of my heart to you. It is a piece that I tucked away in the recesses of my mind.  Today, the Lord brought it to a conscious level so I could remember a small yet significant piece of all He has done for me.

heart-broken

I grew up in a family where affection was not given. I never felt loved as a child.  My parent’s had so many problems and their problems were the focus in our home. Heated arguments were ‘normal’ and they took place on a daily basis.

At night, as I tried desperately to sleep, I could not. Instead, I was captive to hateful words, accusations, and drunken banter

Many times I would intervene by pulling my little Mother out of the room as my Dad screamed, “Get her out of here!”

I have no memories of feeling special. I did not receive hugs, kisses or words of affirmation.  I wondered what was wrong with me.

During our dating years, God used Papa to help me see it wasn’t me, it was my parent’s who failed to care for me.

A huge weight lifted when I realized It wasn’t me it was them

When the Father reached out to save me, I was only 15 years old. I was lost and so alone. My life was changed the moment I received the message of salvation. I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and the deepest joy I had ever known. When I heard about Jesus sacrifice, it blew my mind that He would actually give up His life so I could live eternally. “Greater love has no man than this; that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

greater-love

I had never in my life, known such love

In the Church I attended, as a young believer, the people were wonderfully warm and God fearing. They took me in and tried to love me.  I was prickly.  I did not know how to receive hugs. I bet you find that hard to believe ;).  I did not feel worthy of a hug. When someone wrapped their arms around me, my body stiffened, I could not relax to receive their embrace.

I did not feel worthy of a hug

God healed those wounds. It took time but bit by bit, His love was poured into my ‘love cup’ and it overflowed. Do you see how miraculous it is that today I receive and give hugs freely?

Since you all were tiny, I talked to you about your love cup. When you were sad, or angry or out of sorts, I asked you if you needed your love cup filled. You all delighted in those words and eagerly opened your arms to receive a hug from Nana.

coffee-cup-heart-love-favim-com-267461

Kristin told me that she actually thought she had a coffee cup in her heart that I filled up when she needed love

Do you girls ever think about how BLESSED you are?  As I watch you, I revel in the love you have for each other. I have soaked in all of the treasured memories of you, growing up, hugging each other and delighting in time spent together as cousins. To this day, the first thing our family does when we see each other is to exchange enthusiastic hugs.

I share this with you to give you just a peek at what God has done in my life and how much He has blessed me through all of YOU!

Thank God for the love of family, girls.  Never take it for granted. Remember there are children everywhere who do not feel loved and have no one to hug them.

Spread the gift of being cherished by your family.  Thank God, and know that you are deeply loved.

because I love you,

Nana

p.s.  and as for the rest of the story … both of my parents came to know Christ and our relationship was reconciled. They are in Heaven now, enjoying God’s love like we’ve never experienced it. I can’t wait to see them again.😉

The Mystery of Lilly’s Colorful Spots

UPDATE:  Lilly’s Colorful Spots is now available in Paperback.

Hey Grandgirls, I posted the book cover and a promo of Lilly’s Colorful Spots on my kid’s blog. Do you like the cover? There are a lot more pictures inside.

To create the illustrations, throughout the book, I did a photo shoot with your little cousin, Brooklyn and then cartooned the pictures.  So, Lilly is actually Brooklyn. 🙂

Aunt Christy is even featured in one of the photos.  Thanks to those, who live nearby, and patiently listened, critiqued and helped me put the story of Lilly’s Colorful Spots into a Book. You’re the BEST encouragers!

Click below to read my process in creating my first Children’s Book.  Thanks in advance to ALL my friends who are willing to help me get the word out!  🙂  Feedback, I need lots of feedback and sharing.

Moral Stories for Kids

Find my book on Amazon.com.

Source: Lilly’s Colorful Spots 

What are the Words Coming Out of your Mouth?

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

Image result for free page divider clipart

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Good morning my precious girls,

As I was getting ready this morning, the Lord dropped His word into my heart and my thoughts. It is the verse you read above.

Allow me a moment to personalize this verse, will you? What if Jesus showed up and said, “Hey Kristin or Hey Jessie, Hey  Mya, Hey Kenzie, Hey Maddi, Hey Bri, Hey Bethy let’s have lunch.”

What if your Savior had a heart to heart talk with you. What if He played back all of the words you used last week?  What if He flashed all the thoughts you had the previous week up on a big screen?

Ahhhhhhh that would be revealing, wouldn’t it?

The truth is girls, Jesus does hear your words.  He knows your every thought.

The Psalmist David, talking to His Lord says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”  Ps. 139:2  and  “Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.” Ps. 139:4

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let no filthy talk be heard from your mouths, but only what is good for building up people and meeting the need of the moment.[a] This way you will administer grace to those who hear you.” Eph:4:29  and “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Col. 3:8

I pray you will always choose to walk in His steps and obey His will.

He has given us boundaries because He knows what is best for us. When we live within those boundaries we find peace and fulfillment!

You are the light of the world girls, you are set apart by your Father, He has called you to be His kid. God’s children must not act like, talk like or look like the world.

because I love you,

Nana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fake Hunters Real Christians

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes Image result for free page divider clipart

Morning Girls,

Today, I have a treat for you.  I am sharing a heart searching illustration from Pastor Dave.

For those who are reading this blog, let’s just say, there are many miracles connected to the fact that today, as a family, we are where we are.

Only God could have brought us together in one place to worship. All of my children and their children attend Harvest Spring Lake. We are so blessed to be in a Church where we are consistently pointed vertically.

The fact that we all hear the same inspired messages gives way to some great conversations. God’s grace has worked in our lives and He has blessed us above and beyond what I could ever hope.

Without further ado, here is a message from our beloved Pastor, David Wisen:

My Second ‘Once-in-a-lifetime Hunt”

I spent Monday – Wednesday this week experiencing my second “once-in-a lifetime” “hunt”. Hunt is also in parentheses – this is not real hunting. This is a controlled hunt with a guide who puts you on massive deer that have been fed and allowed to live to old ages without being threatened by real hunters. I understand I am not a real hunter. I am a pastor, and as I sit in my stand waiting for my guide to spot deer I cannot see, my mind wanders back to the church and my concern for people who get confused and maybe misled into thinking they are real Christians when they are not.

Here are three things that every fake hunter and every real Christian knows to be true:

1. Fake hunters worry about how they are perceived –  real Christians understand grace.

As I packed for the “hunt”, I wanted to make sure I had the right gear and looked the part. The problem is, even looking the part, can I talk like a real hunter without looking stupid? Fake Christians have the same fear. Real Christians understand they will never measure up to any competency test – they know they continually fall short. However, they rejoice that although they are not “righteous” on their own, they can rely on the credentials of their Guide and his righteousness to accomplish the task.

“…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Titus 3:5-7

2. Fake hunters wonder if their gun is loaded – Real Christians have the proper ammo.

I can never remember if I put a bullet in the chamber – I am constantly double-checking. My fear is when the test comes, I will not be ready. Real Christians know that when the tests of life come, they have a God who never changes, who loves them unconditionally, who will never leave or forsake us, and who is sufficient in every circumstance.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness….”  2 Corinthians 12:9

3. Fake hunters brag about their accomplishments – Real Christians brag about the    Guide.

The deer always grows as the story is retold. The difficulty of the shot increases over time. Real Christians are quick to defect all the praise to the Guide. My guide understood the movements and tendencies of deer beyond what I thought was possible. He knew to stalk a deer from an up-wind position (“Is it windy”?). Real Christians look back over their lives and see that the Guide put them in the position to have success.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Some things to think about next time you are stuck in a stand.

Choose a Man After God’s Heart

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes Image result for free page divider clipart

Hello my girls,

It’s been awhile since I’ve sent you a note.  Life has been busy and my writer’s brain seems set on off. 😉

But my heart for you never goes off.  I pray throughout the week that God will drop a message for you in my lap.  When the words formulate in my brain, I begin to write.  Such is the case today. 🙂

As I watch each of you living out your lives, my heart fills with JOY sometimes, and at other times sadness.  How I wish there was a fast forward button so you could see how each little choice, you make today, will affect your future.

As an older woman “Let the older women teach the younger women,” referred to in Titus 2, I come to you in humility.  I come to you as a Nana fully invested in you.  I pray you flourish, that your life shines for Jesus in this dark world.

Today’s topic, A man after God’s own heart, is heavy on my heart.  I want you to marry a godly man.  Not a good man, or a man who treats you good (while you are dating) but a man whose heart is on fire for God.

a-man-after-gods-heartDo you know why I want this for you?  Because I know that a man who loves God will ALWAYS love you.  He will love you with the Love God puts in His heart. He will lead you because he knows his role is to be your rock. Marriage is hard, make no mistake about it. A man who loves God will weather each storm and love you through it.

Years ago, God laid it on my heart to break up with my high school boyfriend because he was not a spiritual leader. Oh, he was tall, dark, handsome, he spoiled me and was so good to me.  But God kept whispering in my heart.  He does not love God like you do.  This is not my choice.

Breaking up with my boy was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I agonized, argued, pleaded with God to change His mind.  But He was telling me, “Choose me, trust me, allow me to lead you to a man such as you never dreamed possible. You all know him as  Papa.  His love for God and his unshakeable convictions attracted me to him … well, that and his extremely good looks. LOL

Jesus gave His life for you, there is NO greater sacrifice. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”  This is what He asks of you.

Taking it one step further; don’t be fooled.  You should know that a man’s heart is revealed through his choices, his conduct, his actions. Does he give lip service to being a Christian? OR is his life transformed by the power of God.  Has he been redeemed and is he growing in his Faith?

As I ask you these questions, let me urge you to turn that light on your own heart.  A godly man seeks a godly girl.  It’s that simple.

God’s ways are not our ways, NO, they are better than anything we could ever imagine or hope for.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isa. 55:8

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isa. 55:6

I love you, girls, I will always love you.  I cannot choose for you.  God has given each of us a free will, otherwise, we would be puppets.  I pray you choose God;  and choose a man after His heart.

because I love you,

Nana

 

Raising Polar Opposites

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes Image result for free page divider clipart

Good Morning Girlies,

My article about raising Polar Opposites is published today on The Glorious Table.  I wonder if you can pick out your parent by my description?

I never took my role as a parent lightly.  My favorite role in life was in being a Mom, and when God gave me Grands, it is in being a Nana.

As I watch you living out your lives, I pray that each of you will grow in your love for God and for each other.  God has important work to do through you.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Click below to read my post over at The Glorious Table: 

Parenting Your Unique Children with Grace

because I love you,

Nana

God Called Me

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled,

Nana’s Love NotesImage result for free page divider clipart

Hello my Sweet Girls,

It’s time for another note. I am going to take you, in the next few blogs, on a trip down memory lane. My life is filled with so many miracles. I want to share them with you.  I hope they inspire you to trust God and walk in His ways.  Here we go:

I am a Child of God

I am so amazed that the Lord of all creation cares for me. Does that thought blow your mind, like it does mine?

As a new believer, I desired, with all of my heart, to show God my gratitude for giving me a brand new life in Christ.

I studied my Bible and asked God to make me wise.  I listened carefully when Pastor taught the word.  I took lots and lots of notes so I could learn everything I could about my amazing Father and His son Jesus.

One of the things my Pastor said frequently was, “The Holy Spirit speaks in a still small voice, you must be listening when He speaks or you may miss His call.”

One Sunday morning, sitting in Church, I studied the big wooden cross at the front of the sanctuary.  I was thinking about what Jesus did for me. He gave His life that so I could live, not just eternally but right here and right now – abundantly! I was living an abundant life because I was experiencing freedom as His child. God rescued me from despair and placed me into His family. I felt huge JOY in knowing that I was loved like that.

I was living an abundant life because I was experiencing freedom as His child. God rescued me from despair and placed me into His family. I felt huge JOY in knowing that I was loved like that.

Suddenly, I heard that still small voice from God. As I gazed at the cross, this scripture verse ran through my mind,”If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

I recognized the voice of the Holy Spirit, using scripture. He was talking to me. I prayed,“Oh Lord, you have given me hope and a purpose. I want to follow you but I am so ignorant of the ways of God, I don’t know what you want.”

Just then I felt God speak to my heart. This is what I heard (not literally but as certainly as it had been Gods’ voice) “You need to prepare to serve me. I want you to go to Cornerstone College.”

At first, the message scared me. The thought of living so far away was terrifying. Next, my thoughts went to my steady boyfriend. We had planned to get married soon after our High School graduation.

I never planned to go to college. I had my plans made, college wasn’t even on my radar. My home life was hard, filled with verbal and physical abuse. I was insecure and never ventured beyond my comfort zone. Though I was timid, I had big faith. I knew, deep in my heart, if Jesus called me, I would follow Him wherever He led.

Though I was timid, I had BIG faith. I knew, deep in my heart, if Jesus called me, I would follow Him wherever He led.

Follow Jesus

following_jesus

I knew Jesus was calling me and that I must follow His call.

Right after the Church service, I searched for my youth leader. I didn’t want to push the still small voice away. I needed to have godly input. I told Jan what God had spoken to my heart.  Her answer, “Oh Susie, I have been praying God would lead you to Cornerstone.”  WHAT!  I had no clue, she had never talked to me about going to college.  Next, I told my Pastor, and guess what, he too told me that he had been praying I would go to Cornerstone. Never did my Pastor talk to me about going to this Christian College.  You see, right there is evidence that God hears and he answers the prayers of those who trust Him.

From that day, I prepared to go to college. My family thought I had lost my mind. My boyfriend was angry and distressed. Much to my boyfriend’s dismay, peace reigned in my soul and I had a song in my heart.

My parents threw questions out like; “How do you think you can afford a private college?” My answer, “I don’t know, I just know God told me to go.” They tried to convince me I was not being realistic. They scoffed and made fun of me .. They would not help me with anything.

I was only seventeen years old but I prepared all by myself. I applied and kept an appointment with a guidance counselor from the college (3 hours away from home.) I shopped and gathered everything I would need as I prepared to leave home at the end of August. I look back and am dumbfounded by the responsibility I handled.

The night before I was to leave, I was packing my belongings, when my mother came into the room. I noted the sadness on her face. She said, “Susie, Dad and I have been going over and over our finances. There is no way on earth we can afford to send you to college.”

They did not have the money. I stopped what I was doing and looked at my Mother. She looked sincerely sorry and I could tell it was hard for her to give me this news.

follow-jesus

I answered her, “It’s okay Mom, maybe God just wanted to see if I would leave my home and everything I ever knew, to follow him.”

After mom left the room, I sat quietly on my bed. Most of my clothing was packed and everything else was prepared to go. I was relieved, in a way, because I really didn’t want to leave my home, my boyfriend or my church.

I decided I better call one of my Youth Leaders to inform her that I would not be going to college. I spoke with Jan that night and told her what happened. She sounded disappointed for me and promised she would be praying. She said a group of people from the Church were coming to her house that very night. She told me she would share the news with them.

My boyfriend was beside himself with happiness.  He took me to a swanky restaurant and celebrated. The next morning he planned to take me with him to a ballgame in Detroit.  He was a little league coach . He was taking his team to see a professional ball game. But, I got sick in the morning and could not go. Do you think God makes people sick and then makes them better in a few hours?  In this case, He did. 😉

Later that morning I received a call from Jim, the head deacon at my Church. He said, “Get packed Susie, you are going to college!” Shocked, I listened intently. He said Jan told the group who met at in her house about my plight. They decided to call my Pastor, who was on vacation at the time. Pastor Jones directed them by saying, “You get her up there and we’ll worry about the money later.”

After I told my Mom and Dad I hurried to finish my packing. You can imagine the chaos and excitement that took over our lives that day.

Jan planned to be at my house within two hours to drive me to college. As I worked feverishly, I heard my Mom on the phone. She was saying, “Susie said that God was going to send her to college, and He is! He really is!

I am forever grateful to God for Pastor Jones and for the godly group of believers who met at Jan’s house and prayed for me. This group made a commitment to contribute to paying my first year of college.That’s one HUGE sacrificial gift.

I applied and received a job on campus to help with my expenses and contribute toward my college tuition. My parent’s pitched in what they could and the prayer group paid the rest. Amazing Grace How Can It Be That You My God Should Care For Me.

because I love you,

Nana