Gather Together and Give Thanks

This morning I gathered together with two of my friends to spend time going through a new study our church is going through called Faith Fixer Upper.    I am really excited about this small group study because I know there are areas in my life that I need to work on, areas that need to be "fixed".  

We had a wonderful time of sharing together.  During the teaching I wrote this one statement down in my notes, "EVERY miracle comes from a problem".  As I thought about how I react to problems, I know this is an area where I could use some improvements.  With my recent breast cancer diagnosis it was easy for me to give it to God and ask for His help.  It was a challenge that was simply too big for me to "fix".  However when it comes to the smaller, day to day challenges that arise, sometimes I react quickly to try to fix things on my own.  

As we discussed how we handle problems, we discussed what happens when we encounter others who may be going through something difficult.  The question came up, when it comes to our faith, how comfortable are we sharing it?

 Immediately I thought of a time recently where I felt led to pray for someone.  Instead of praying at that moment, I just hugged them and walked away saying, "I'll be praying for you".    It's not that praying for them on my own was a problem.  Its just that at that moment I should have over come my insecurities and just asked if I could pray for them right then and there because I was feeling led to do so!

As I shared this with friends today, they prayed for me that God would help me to "fix" my fears so that the next time I felt led to pray, there would be no hesitation.

Well, "next time" came about 15 minutes after they left.   

My parents came to visit and they brought over a young caregiver they wanted me to meet.  This young gal had just gotten engaged yesterday and my Mom wanted me to see her beautiful ring.   I was introduced to her and then my Mom asked her to show me her engagement ring.  This young gal was all smiles until she lifted her hand to see that the ring was GONE!   At first she smiled shyly, she asked my Mom for the keys to the car and went outside to look for it.  A few minutes later she came back in no longer smiling but looking distraught.  Then she began to quietly say things like, "where could it be"?, "what am I going to tell him"? and "I don't know what to do"?  I could sense she was trying to control her emotions in front of me, after all she was in a strange house meeting someone for the first time. 

As I saw her, I thought about the study we had just finished.  I knew that God was providing me with an opportunity to pray for someone I didn't know who needed to be comforted and who needed a miracle.  So I just stood up and said to her, "I know what to do, let's Pray". 

We circled around her and I prayed.  I asked God to give her peace and to help us find the ring.  When we were done she had tears in her eyes.  We went out and checked the car one more time.  Still no ring.  To make matters worse she had just come from the beach and she knew that she had lost it somewhere between the beach and my house.   I jumped in the car to go to the beach to look and my parents went back to their home to empty the car and check one last time.  Well, as they looked a little deeper in the cracks of the back seat, there it was!  Praise God, the ring was found!

I believe this happened so that this young girl would know that there is a God and He answers prayers.  He answered not only the prayer to find the ring but he also answered my friends prayers who asked God to help me to be more comfortable in sharing my faith.  God is so good!

I have much to be thankful for today.  I am really thankful for my friends who came over to go through this amazing study with me.

Before my friends left I gave them a small gift I had purchased last week.  Did you know  Fall is one of my favorite seasons?

 Last week I passed by the Honolulu Cookie Company at Ala Moana Shopping center and saw they had their Pumpkin flavored cookies out.   I couldn't resist purchasing a few of their adorable pumpkin tins, aren't they cute???.  

Since we were going to be "gathering together" I had just the perfect card to go with this gift.

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card was a part of my September Stamp A Stack class.  The leaves and sentiment come from the Painted Harvest stamp set.  

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I also used the large pumpkin thinlit from the Patterned Pumpkin Thinlit Dies.  Our new leaf punch was used to add some dimension to the top of the pumpkin.

My friends were really grateful for the surprise Fall blessing.

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was really grateful too.   Grateful for the fabulous Faith Fixer Upper study that I will be going through over the next several weeks.

Faith Fixer Upper Ohana Group Study - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Faith Fixer Upper Ohana Group Study - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Grateful for "ohana" who gathered with me and prayed for me.  

Thankful to God for hearing those prayers and providing an opportunity for us to witness a problem turn into a miracle!  

Blessed to have the opportunity to share this story with you with hopes that you will be encouraged.

With a grateful heart,

Cindy

ps.  If you live on Oahu and would like to be a part of this study you can jump in on the last four sessions.  They will be held at the New Hope Leeward Kapolei Campus every Wednesday night in October at 6:30pm.