The Incredible POWER of PrayerIn the space of one week in 2001, shortly after I'd opened this website, I received three amazing e-mails, each of which brought tears to my eyes while also energizing me and bringing me to my knees in prayer. I think these messages will move and inspire you as they did me. - Barbara
MESSAGE #1: From Ann Barosky, Sweet Annie's Designs
"Thank you for your comments regarding my frustration in whether or not to try to open a shop. You recommended that a creative person like myself not try to own and manage a shop because shop management would take so much of my time I’d have little left for creativity.
"As I read your article about how you dropped to your knees and gave everything to The Lord at one of your low points, I was reminded that even though I had done that in the past, it was time to do it again. I did that last week and, by the very next day, felt a new energy and enthusiasm (where I had been mostly frustrated and close to burnout).
"With fervor, I went shopping for vintage hankies, tablecloths, and embroidered pillowcases, as The Lord fanned the embers into flame of making these precious vintage pieces into jackets. I decided that the shop I was interested in was really beyond my means, so I let it go, and quit thinking about it. Shortly afterwards, the Lord brought several alternative possibilities to me in the form of working for other shop owners, renting space within their shops, etc.
"I wanted you to know how excited I am that The Lord worked so quickly and brought many choices that were all very pleasing, (if not potentially lucrative) to me. It took remembering that He was in charge, and giving it all back to Him. So simple, yet so difficult, and easy to overlook. Thanks again for helping me to remember what to do FIRST!
Editor's Note: A few weeks later, Annie wrote to say that, since rededicating her life and business to God, the tests and frustrations were coming at her from every direction. "Maybe the timing is coincidental," she wrote, "but each new opening or possibility for part-time employment or place to sell my floral designs, or appliquéd clothing has shut down, almost as quickly as it opened, and personal things with my teenagers and family have also presented challenges.
"Ah, but then, that is life. It may be The Lord is pointing me in the direction of guaranteed income as an Occupational Therapist, and then, again, maybe not. It has been the most stressful, frustrating employment ever, over the years I practiced, but I always wonder if it's time to pick it up again. So here I am in God's waiting room. My comment, for others, is not to expect calm when you give things up to God, but to know that He is there. And He is faithful, even when we are not."
MESSAGE #2: From Pam Hunter, Creative Office Services
"Prayer works! Really! I picked up your book, Homemade Money from the library again last Wednesday. I read the entire book over ten years ago when I first started my business and it was an excellent reference tool for me. Since then, I have checked it out of the library dozens of times, reading later editions of it.
"But last Wednesday was different! Business for me has slowed down the last couple of moths to the point that we are suffering financially. I found myself at the library, found your book again, was not sure why I was checking it out (since I had already read it over and over again), but did it anyway. I was looking through it, reading the quotes and snippets of information you have in the sidelines of the pages.
"One really struck me. It was a quote from you describing how you were having a hard time and you looked to prayer for your answer. How within no time, your prayer was answered. How you were not going into detail, but to believe in the power of prayer!
"I am Catholic, go to church, and my children go to Catholic school. I have never before experienced what I did last week. Praying isn't strange to me, but this time was different. I put down your book and started to pray, asking for guidance and courage. While I was praying, I heard my phone ring, but didn't stop praying. I poured out my heart and soul and asked for help.
"Within ten minutes, I heard from a client I had not heard from in months who had three tapes for transcription and more to come in two weeks. I received an 80-page typing project, I heard from the University's advertising department regarding advertising in their campus directory, and a lawyer in a huge firm contacted me to do his legal work.
"It worked! I am absolutely positive it worked! Thank you Barbara. You have shown me that I am not in this alone and the power of prayer is immeasurable!"
MESSAGE #3: From Debbie Spaulding, Puppet Designer
"I had no intentions of writing anyone today, and especially not you. Not that I haven't heard of you and admired you from afar for many years. It is just that I am busy here today in my studio. This morning I just happened to get a tinge of the need to reach out to a fellow designer, as this life of designing can lead to many concentrated hours alone and sometimes no contact except for the occasional e-mail that comes through to break the silence.
"Well, that designer directed me to your site and after reading your home page I was holding back a few tears of joy. I was inspired to see the role that your faith has played in your life and wanted to share with you how much you touched me today.
"I have been designing puppet patterns for 15 years but domestic violence, divorce, disease, and 8 years of single parenting kept me from full time designing. A few years ago I was blessed with a wonderful fiancé who has made it possible for me to stay home full time and design my puppet patterns and the Website that they are featured on. My business is growing slowly and this is my year to blossom.
"It is my faith that has kept this dream alive over these last 15 years. I never imagined I would finally get to the point where I could do this fulltime, but God has been so good to me and brought me out of a valley, and the walk to the top of the mountain is certainly breathtaking. I look forward to many more years of designing. I look forward to reading more from you and just wanted you to know that your words were much needed in my studio today."
"I wanted to let you know that my business quadrupled this year! I have been busy optimizing my pages for the puppets for ministry and after checking this morning I have quite a few more listings in the Top 10. I am having quite a burst of newfound enthusiasm after spending a lot of time in prayer last week and have gone ahead and done some work on promoting the site in spite of the fact that I still want to do more pattern updates.
"I am really feeling the Lord's presence as I move forward in my work here and can't wait to see what is in store for all of the puppets. I have about 5 new patterns getting ready to go online and just lots more designs I am working on.
"I just took over my living room as my new studio and it is wonderful to have such a nice organized space. My old office was just getting too small and I am feeling so happy to have all this room to work in now. The family was a bit cranky at first but we don't watch much TV anyway so I gave them the smaller room for that and now have all of my computers and sewing in one big room. . . HOORAY!
"I would tell any woman who is trying to get her business going to take her work seriously and to value her own needs in regards to space. I spend 60 to 70 hours a week here and I decided that I was most important since I am working so much here now. Forget everyone's fussing and see how the space can be used most efficiently. I have a nice big 16 x 24 work area now with 3 windows and a bay window and it is HEAVEN to be able to get everything into one room!"
Related Article:"Found—A New Source of Strength"
Copyright © 2000-2013