Storytime

I was having a really hard time thinking this week about all the various things I could tell you, that I couldn’t really settle on one thing. But then, as I sat down to discuss this week, I realized it’s really been on my heart that some of my original items didn’t get as much spotlight as I felt they deserved. They were the reasons that I started this blog, were these stories. They spawned the need to share with the world what God is doing in my life. Some of the original #Godshowedup. So, I decided I wanted to give them another boost. Sometimes to move forward, you have to remember where you’ve been.

The Bible Study

So, about 6 months
after my dad died, it’s morning time.  I’m getting ready for work, I’ve
been praying (I was now back to really praying – praying for this person, these
problems, etc.) And secretly, praying for a Bible Study.  Oh Lord, give me
a Bible Study, give me some people to help me grow.  I had been praying
for this for a couple years, off and on.  Sometimes, thinking I’d found
one, but scheduling would make it so I couldn’t go, one thing or the other,
etc. But here, on this frosty April morning, as I’m walking out to my car, had
just finished praying, getting ready to start my car and let it warm up for a
few before I head off to work, and I hear it, clear as day. “Why don’t you
start a Bible Study?” I stopped dead in my tracks. I felt like someone had
just knocked the wind out of me. “Me? A bible study? That’s
crazy….” And, then, “Well, maybe not so crazy.  I have a
couple Christian friends…. Maybe they would like to be a part of
it.”  Now, conveniently, for the only time that I can recall, I was
going to see both of them, independently, the next day.  So, I posed it to
both of them, and they were both ecstatic.  They would love one. 
Then, I told my mother about it in church the following Sunday, I’m starting a
bible study, and my mom wanted to join.  Alright, let’s do it!!  So,
we did.  Now, because of all of this, I had resolved myself, that when the
Holy Spirit tells me to do something, I do it.  The bible study, was just
the beginning.   

Cookies

Fast forward to
months later, and here the Bible study starts to bring forth some fruit – or
more appropriately cookies… Chocolate chip cookies to be exact.  


So, when our bible
study started, first of all, we dug in deep.  Most of the ladies present
were fairly well versed in the Lord, had seen him in our lives, etc. 
Therefore, we all felt pretty comfortable that it would be ok to just jump into
a hardcore bible study entailing the Armor of God.  Which, was incredible,
and for the most part what a lot of us needed.   But, when we really
started getting our feet wet, getting the rhythm of being in a bible study
down, and finally got through this hardcore meat-and-potatoes bible
study.  We all decided that maybe the next study would need to be an
appetizer, or a dessert, and as the quasi-leader-ish person of this study, I
did my homework on getting some promising books for the next study, and as a
joke, wrote down a book that had “chocolate” in the title.  This
book is supposed to be a totally light-hearted fun filled study for a
wide-variety of groups, and it really has been, but to bring us to where we are
now.  It has recipes in it, and every couple of bible study evenings, we
make some of these items together as a group.  But, part of the catch with
these is that, you’re not just supposed to eat these yourself, you are supposed
to share them.  Share them with non-believers or believers, or
whatever.  They’re conversation starters, and oh how God has blessed
that.  Conversation starters they are.


So, our first real recipe that we’re supposed to be making is cookies…  The most amazing
little chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever eaten.  Now, go out and share
them.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a very outspoken person
when it comes to my faith, or at least, I wasn’t.  So, now I have two
small bags of 6 cookies each, and I’m supposed to share these with a scripture,
to encourage someone… Great. 


Now, for the weeks leading up to this, I had started be-friending a lady at work a little
bit.  And, we were really getting on good terms, and life was going great,
the whole fast-friends business. Loving it!  So, of course, the Holy
Spirit says, share the cookies with her.   And, I’m like, “But,
I like her, and I don’t want to scare her off.” And, then, I was reminded
of my Bible Study, the bible study that has led us here.  The bible study
that the cookies came from.  And here, the Lord is nudging me to give her
the cookies.  And so, I did.  She was overwhelmed.  She was
touched. It began conversations of the fact that she had been wanting to go
back to church, but how, and fears of religion, and, and, and….


And, all these conversations I never would have had, had I not shared the cookies. Had I not
moved with the Spirit, to reach out, to someone who I had absolutely no idea
ever went to church, let alone had been feeling the tug of the spirit to come
back.  And, we have since only grown stronger, and I have only continued
to encourage her in her faith, and thanked God for the incredible experience and
opportunity.  *Small disclaimer, the other cookies that I shared have not
brought fruit that I know of, but maybe that will be a story for a later
day.  

Spoons (pt 1)

Ladies bible study,
next chapter.  Can I just say, for a book that was supposed to be light –
and more like an appetizer, we are digging deep and taking a bite out of our
faith here.  *Little background noise here, there is a lot happening in
all of our lives since this bible study has begun, and all of this is just
building, and everyone has been doing a lot of growing.  


We finally get to the end of the 3rd chapter of this book, and it’s spoon time. We decide to melt
some chocolate and make these little spoons, that again, like the cookies,
we’re supposed to share with people.  This time though, I have no idea who
I’m supposed to be sharing with, so they just kind of sit there, on my vanity,
where I pray, hanging out for a few days, and to be honest, I forget about them
for a minute.  Fast forward to Friday morning, my son is getting ready for
school, and I’m taking a minute to pray for the day.  I put my hand down,
and “Oh yeah, the spoons.” Well, I better bring them with me because
otherwise, I don’t know who else I’m going to give them to.  One lady I
know’s name pops into my head.  Oh, I bet she would appreciate one, I
don’t really know her that well, but sure.  So, I get to work, and I make
an impromptu oragami box to put them in, and bring them up to her office. 
And for the lack of anything better to say when she looks at me standing in her
doorway, “Hi. Good morning, I, um, have a gift for you.” And
practically drop the box on her desk.  I had a put a little note in there,
stating something to the effect of “God bless you” and have a
wonderful holiday.  And, she is just overwhelmed!  She begins to cry
a little, and hugs me, and just thanks me over and over.  We have a little
discussion about our faith, and how I got to giving her little chocolate spoons
this morning. And, it’s all very incredible.  And she says to me, that
tomorrow morning her niece is coming over for coffee, and she’s going to save
her spoons and share the gospel with her then.  WOW! How incredible. I’m
on cloud nine. These spoons are amazing, and God is amazing. And, until an hour
ago, I had no idea who I was going to share the spoons with.  *And, this
is just one of the spoon testimonies.  – spoons – to be continued. 

Spoons (pt 2)

Spoons continued.  Please know, we are within hours of sharing the spoons with the lady who’s going to share them with her niece.  I’m trying to get back
to work, and I kind of have another lady in my head, because you know – ladies
bible study – sharing with ladies… right? Wrong. So wrong. 😛

So, I get a phone call, from a higher up (like higher than my boss.)  Hey,
Stephanie, please bring me blah, blah, blah, work stuff.  Ok. 
*Please note here, I absolutely love my job, love the people I work with –
whole separate story, but just cannot emphasize that enough, I love my job and the company I work for* So, Ok, bring you stuff you need for a meeting – check. But, as soon as I put the phone down, the Holy Spirit goes – Hey, give him a spoon. And, I’m like, No – that’s crazy.  I like my job, and he’s a big
boss, and I’ll get fired.  And, the Holy Spirit is like, Give him a
spoon…. And, I’m like, aw man.  Here we go.  Now, in these
following moments, I’m walking around grabbing the materials requested to bring him, and I’m “rationalizing” in my mind, “Well, maybe that’s why
I have my second job right now, is because I’m going to get fired.  It’s
going to be OK, you know, I have a good church, and a good support system, and God won’t let me fall, and I’m supposed to share these spoons, and … I’m
going to get fired.  Well, maybe I won’t get fired til Monday….” On
and on it went.  But, I packed up the little spoons, and I wrote a little
note, stating I’m in a bible study, and I’m supposed to share these to share my
faith, and Jesus loves you – essentially.  And, I go to the office, and I
drop off the stuff, and I bolt (because he’s in meetings – so at least I don’t have
to see him face-to-face).  I’m no sooner back at my desk when the phone
rings.  Are you kidding me? I answer. 

“Hey”

 “Um, hi there.  Well, thanks for
running that stuff right over for me.”         

  “Oh yeah, no problem.”               
                     
“Well, I’m really
calling about the other gift you left on my desk.”     
                     
*My brain says: Of course you are… “Oh yeah, sure.”         
                     
 “That’s really thoughtful of you, I really appreciate it.”   *I’m now absolutely, 210% floored.  Excuse me, what? I was slack-jawed on my end of the line. 

This was just the beginning of a at least 5 minute conversation, where we just
briefly touch on my ladies bible study and what denomination I am, and then
this happened.

Him speaking, “Well, I’d like to share this article with you about some stuff
that’s happened to me.  I’d fallen away from the faith for a while, and
then a lot of really miraculous stuff happened, and I just have this little
article that someone else wrote about my experiences, and this may seem a
little crazy, but you gave me the spoons, so maybe not.  Would you mind if
I shared with you?” “Oh absolutely!!”  So – disclaimer –
now I’m thinking, an article – like newspaper article, like little blip of a
whatever, but that’s cool, I’m excited, this’ll be neat, and look at God show
up, how incredible?! Like, I’m already ecstatic, and I can’t wait for his
e-mail to come through. 

Um, people, this was a four-page magazine article about him having visions/dreams (while he is fallen away from the faith), waking up in the dead of night, with inexplicable dreams and then he’s given a word.  A word that will take him to Bosnia…. where these dreams come true….  and he assures me that the stuff that has happened since then is even more miraculous… WHAT?!?! 

Because I shared a chocolate spoon people! Because I listened to the Holy Spirit nudge me to talk to him. To her. To them. To GO!! To GO where you are.  We have since discussed that he and his wife are trying to write a book and get it published, and I just so happen to know some people who’ve published some
books…. ?!?! 

The Holy Spirit moves, and lives, and if you’ll let him, LIVE IN YOU!! & And
Through you! And you too will have and experience the incredibleness that is
God. ❤

 

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