I asked my daughter Tara to write the intro to our partner newsletter and share how Erica became her lifelong best friend that I believe is very special and encouraging. Recently I shared her testimony as I’ve done so many times but this time I shared it with my oldest grandson Emmett when he mentioned needing a friend. I trust it will be something special for you to use as an Encouraging Woman! 🙂
As you know if you are one of our partners, I’ve returned to Japan to spend the final three months with Erica and my family. My cousin, Erica and I have had a very special bond ever since we were young girls.
The pivotal moment was when she came to live with us for a year as a foreign exchange student. Now rewinding, since I come from a very large family there was lots of activity in the home and your friends were your siblings. Couple that with being homeschooled, you see them every day and it was nice.
Then once I got to a certain age, my 3 older brothers and my sister began inviting many friends over to our house, which put a desire in my heart to have even just one close friend other than family. My mother spoke some wisdom to me that was the result of what the Lord did for me through Erica.
My mother told me that friends come and go, but family is forever, that I should ask the Lord to bring somebody into my life and even, if I’m remembering correctly, mentioned somebody like my cousin Erica who is blood and who I’d been in contact with via email and long distance phone calls between the ages of ten and twelve. It wasn’t something I really wanted to hear since she lived so far away, but then as you’ve now read in the testimony and mentioned above, she came.
Though we lived two worlds apart, we had the same conditions, similar personalities, we could laugh for hours and even looked a lot a like. Erica met the Lord and was very acceptive of this new family dynamic she’d never experienced having only one older sister. We talked about the future and wrote a letter to each other about where we thought the other would be in five years. Pulling out the letter not too long ago, now eleven years later, the Lord has given us far more than we could ever have imagined.
The biggest stipulation with what was written in the letter was how we thought we’d be married by now (with even an infant) haha but it’s all in His timing and when we think about how content we are with the Lord —we’re very excited that this is just the beginning chapter of life experiences together.
My conclusion is to encourage you who are mothers to be ready to give your children the wisdom that they need. If you have an answer from the Lord to give to them —still have them ask the Lord first and then come and tell you what they’ve heard. Most of the time, you’ll be surprised how they receive the answer from Him and you can confirm it. This is what my mother had me do ALL the time. The funny part is that I didn’t like how she always replied the same way, “You should ask the Lord and see what He says.” or “Did you ask the Lord?” haha But believe me when I say it’s the greatest gift you can give a child. I developed my relationship with the Lord through this. I learned how to hear Him and I learned that the answers my mother has to give me are directly from the Lord, so He can just as easily give me those answers and confirm them. Again, encourage your children to put that into practice, talking to the Lord all the time. If they can do it at a young age or begin at whatever age they are now, it’ll be natural for them to do it throughout their life. Isn’t it true that we want our children (and my future children) to have the Lord as their everything the way He is to you now?
Thank you so much for your love and being so much apart of the ministry. I hope to be able to meet each of you one day!
Lord, thank you for everything you’re teaching me each day. My eyes have truly been opened to this beautiful and diverse world through my travels. Meeting new people, seeing what life is like for them, how you’ve changed them, how you’ve provided and how I get to witness this first hand! You’ve given me new rich relationships in these countries and Lord let your seed be sown everywhere I go, no matter how small it is. And through it all, thank You for changing and impacting my life the most. I feel like a new person. I love you.
If you want to have blessings happen in your life like Tara, begin to PRAISE Him! Become an Encouraging Woman. Don’t just read praise, share praise! Submit a Praise Report today. Give what you have and you’ll receive more.
Luke 6:38 “Give [Praise], and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
Proverbs 11:24–25 “There is one who scatters [Praise], and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds [Praise] that is justly due [Him], and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.”