Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

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In the past two years we’ve been welcomed by many, but what has touched my heart the most is to see how God uses people, even strangers, to answer the quiet prayers of my heart.

Picture in your mind the contents of your home: your photo albums, shoes, tools, kitchen supplies, etc. Now, select some things and put them in a suitcase or two, for each person in your family. That’s all they get to take with them to their new home, what’s in that suitcase, nothing else.

Taken in Korea on one of our trips back to visit the US.
Passing through Korea on one of our trips back to visit the US.

As a parent with five children, it can be very overwhelming on a tight budget to start all over from scratch again.  Do they get a bike, a headboard for their bed, another doll like the one they left behind, matching blanket and sheets, bookshelves for their books, what about a dresser and do we even consider the cost of them going to church camp this summer?!

Those are some of the questions we’ve had to wrestle with as we start life over in the States, but the awesome news is that people surrounding us have made this transition much more of a blessing than a burden.

Below are pictures of the many blessings we have received in just this past 5 months after purchasing our home. Many of the things listed are answers to specific prayer requests I made known to God, but not necessarily to people.

And for those of you who can’t help but doubt and wonder if  these answers were mere coincidences, I’d like to encourage you by simply stating that I wasn’t offered beds (that I already have), dressers (that I already have), a vacuum (that I already have), a computer chair (that I already have), but instead we were offered things that God knew my heart desired!

I list them to remind my children and perhaps you too of how close God is. He is described as a husband, a father, and a friend.

1 Chronicles 16:34 “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting.”

I list them to remind us of how awesome people are for listening and responding to His leading!

1 Chronicles 16:8 –Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.”

 

Do you know how much these things cost?! What an awesome gift to be passed down to us for our children to enjoy!
Do you know how much these things cost?! I do and subsequently knew it would probably be a few years before we’d have enough saved to put one in the backyard, so, I prayed that I would come across something on Craigslist for free. Instead, a co-worker downsizing asked if we would be interested in having them! What an awesome gift to be passed down to us for our children to enjoy!

 

Just a little whisper to God, "I'd love tohave more seating for when guests come, maybe a big 'ole picnic table!" WE repaired the legs, are painting it now and can't wait to have it on the covered porch to provide more seating for guests.
Just a little whisper to God, “I’d love to have more seating for when guests come instead of us eating out of our laps. Maybe a big ‘ole picnic table!” Just a few days later we were asked if we wanted a picnic table. We repaired the legs, are painting it now, and can’t wait to have it on the screened porch to provide more seating for guests.

 

I was bragging on Facebook about baking a cake on the grill, when I received a message from a friend asking if I would like an oven. At first Peter and I weren't going to tackle the issue of not having an oven until we had enough money to remodel the whole kitchen, but once we realized we could tear down a storage area and put the oven there, we were more than happy to accept this generous gift to us! The sweetest momment was when we brought it home and Lily told me her secret, "Mom, you have an oven! Now I can tell you our secret. Daniel and I have been saving our money to buy you an oven for your birthday." She followed up her confession with, "I sure am glad we don't have to eat cake that taste like hamburgers again!"
I had been praying that God would continue to meet our needs in the kitchen, mainly an oven. Though I was content to wait a few years to save up for the renovation, I often mentioned to Him how nice it would be to have an oven again. I was bragging on Facebook about baking a cake on the grill, when I received a message from a friend asking if I would like their oven. They bought a new one and had not been able to get rid of the old one yet.  The sweetest moment was when we brought it home and Lily told me her secret, “Mom, you have an oven! Now I can tell you our secret. Daniel and I have been saving our money to buy you an oven for your birthday.” She followed up her confession with, “I sure am glad we don’t have to eat cake that tastes like hamburgers again!”
Don't we all wish we could receive a bag of money?! Though we didn't get one, we did get a gift of money to allow our two older kids to attend a DNOW conference with their youth group. We've been attending the church for just a few months and were shocked by someone's generosity and blessing our children in that way.
Don’t we all wish we could receive a bag of money?! Though we didn’t get one, we did get a gift of money to allow our two older kids to attend a DNOW conference with their youth group. We’ve been attending the church for just a few months and were shocked by the anonymous giver blessing our kids in this way. It never crossed my mind or was a prayer, but it definitely met our needs.

You might be thinking, Wow, God sure does love Jenny; she gets everything.

I’m not sure how to reply to that because quite frankly, God does love me…and you. Very much!

Have I gotten everything that I have prayed for? Definitely not!

I have my own lists of things I wish could be different, as many of you do too.

I don’t get everything I pray for, but instead God uses my unfulfilled desires  to teach me how to rejoice and be content with what I do have. I mean seriously, look at all that green grass and trees in that picture below, not to mention a  son; I am rich in things that matter!

We were push mowing our lawn and though I know I need the exercise, I don't enjoy it in the heat of the south! I prayed for several weeks for God to bless us with a riding lawn mower. One of Peter's co-workers neighbor wanted to get rid of it 'cause it wouldn't start. The co-worker changed the sparked plugs and asked us if we wanted it, for FREE.
Do you know how fast grass grows in daily sunshine and afternoon rains?? FAST. We were push mowing our 1-acre yard for about 2-4 hours each week, sometimes twice a week. And though I know I need the exercise, I don’t enjoy it in the heat of the south! I prayed for several weeks for God to bless us with a free riding lawn mower. Sometimes I would just shake my head and say, “I know it seems so selfish to pray for one since we have so  much, but…” Wouldn’t you know that one of Peter’s co-workers asked if we wanted a  lawn mower.  The co-worker changed the spark plugs, sharpened the blade, and gave it to us–for FREE.

Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

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No more sitting on camp chairs for us! One of Peter’s co-workers is heading to China and was unable to sell his couches. I had been praying for a sleeper sofa, a love seat, and a regular sized couch. Guess what he had to get rid of?? Yup, all three! And those brown curtains in the background? Yup, another answer to my heart’s desire to help keep the heat away during the day.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

With money flying out of our pockets after purchasing our home, I had a little conversation with God. I was just mentioning how there would be no way we could afford a vacation this year, it really wasn't a prayer, just a thought expressed to Him. And then one morning during church I was approached in the lobby and told that our family had come to their mind and they wanted to give us their time share! Even now I tear up at the extravagance of a loving Father and am humbled at how He can bring our name into anyone's mind.
With money flying out of our pockets after purchasing our home and all the necessary things to fix it, I knew a vacation would not be in our near future!  I had a little conversation with God. I was just mentioning how there would be no way we could afford a vacation this year. It really wasn’t a prayer, just a thought expressed to Him. I asked Him to help me accept this and give me ideas of what to do with the kids.  And then one Sunday morning at church, I was approached in the lobby and told that our family had come to this person’s mind and they wanted to give us their time share! Even now I tear up at the extravagance of a loving Father and am humbled at how He can bring our name into anyone’s mind.

 

Since we bought this home with a basement, it has always been our heart's desire to have an air hockey table and fooseball table for the teens to use. It's one of those things you know as a aparent won't be high on the list when you are considering what to purchase, in fact, with our renovation list, I didn't expect to see this in our basement until Lily was a teen. We received thiese as a gift tonight, as I am finishing up this blog post.
When we first moved into our home, I spent too many hours scouring yard sale sites in the hope of finding an affordable air hockey and foosball table. With our long renovation list, I finally told myself to stop looking and learn to be content with what we already have. I didn’t expect to see this in our basement until Lily was a teen. It arrived today, as a gift from someone who is moving and couldn’t take it with them. They didn’t even know we wanted them so badly! Even as I type this blog, I am speechless at the generosity of others and how God met our hearts’ desires.

 

Now it’s your turn!

If God nudges your heart to give to someone, please respond. You might just be the means by which God answers someone’s prayer! I’m so thankful for all of those who responded to His leading in giving to us as we have had to start over and settle back into life here in the States.

Please share your own praises below, as I would love to rejoice with you on how great our God is!

Disclaimer: **I share these answered prayers with you in hopes to encourage you through what God is doing in our family’s life. In no way do I want to make God look like a genie that answers our requests for things, or appear puffed up like the Pharisees about my prayer life. Instead my desire is to portray Him as a loving Father who provides for His children through the body of Christ.**

2 thoughts on “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

  1. We should never be surprised at God’s awesomeness. Thanks for sharing your experience and affirming the power of prayer.

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