This past week I received an incredible gift from the Lord through the anonymous hands of gracious saints. I came out to my van to find a package tied up with string and a note on top. It referenced this blog post where I talked about one of my favorite frostings… 

I can’t tell you how much I love this frosting and I will love it even more when I get a stand mixer and don’t have to kill my arms to make it. =)

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You guessed it; the gift was a Kitchenaid stand mixer! I love how God chooses times when we least expect it to surprise us with even small things that we have desired. Just a few weeks ago I tried to make this same frosting for The Bookend’s birthday cupcakes. I had to scrap the whole batch because my hand mixer is wearing out and the meringue didn’t ever form the soft stiff peaks that it should have. My arms were dying and I couldn’t make it work. I was bummed because I knew that I would probably have to wait to make this frosting again until I could get another mixer. I’ve always wanted a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but since we didn’t get the one we registered for years ago when we got married, it just hasn’t been a financial priority for us. 
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Over Christmas I found out that there were several great deals on Kitchenaid mixers, but with Adam still without a full time job, even great sale prices weren’t feasible. The Lord has always been gracious to remind me that if I have lived without something {even something I really desire}, that I can live without it for a while longer. That truly is the grace of God and not something I can conjure up myself.
I tear up thinking about the times {some very recently} that the Lord has answered my prayers and gifted me with something I have desired. Since the theme of finances being tight has followed me pretty much my entire life so far, it isn’t my instinct to simply go out and buy when I have a need. Even a trip to the grocery store is proceeded by prayer and asking God to stretch my dollar. For several years I have been praying for the right set of bookcases for our living room. I wasn’t sure if I would find a good deal at one of my favorite stores or come across something on Craigslist or at a garage sale, but I kept praying and kept my eyes peeled. This fall, Adam and I were headed home from a school conference when I spotted two beautiful bookcases in the driveway of a neighbor a few blocks away. There was a “Free” sign on them!  I made Adam stop so we could look closer. I figured if they were free, there must be something defective or damaged about them. They were in pretty much perfect condition! My eyes were blurry with tears as I drove away {sans Adam – he stayed there until I could bring back the truck to transfer the bookcases}. I knew that these bookcases were the gracious gift of God. Did God prompt this neighbor to get rid of these bookcases because I was in need? Probably not, but because I had been praying for God to bring along the right items at the right time, I was expectantly waiting for Him to provide through any variety of means. I was surprised in the moment, only because I wasn’t focused on that “need”, but I wasn’t surprised that when I least expected, the Lord provided what I needed/desired. 
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It was the same way a few weeks later when a favorite musician was in town and knowing that I couldn’t afford tickets, I expressed my desire to the Lord to some day make it to this particular artist’s concert. That time it was literally just a few days later when I received a text from a friend who had an extra free ticket to said concert. She didn’t know that I had prayed and expressed that desire to God, but I was overwhelmed at His gracious reply.

“You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.” James 4:2

I share all of this not to say, “Look at what I got.” I mean I do want to draw attention to it, but not because of the things themselves or to myself as if to say that somehow I earned these things. No, I simply want to draw attention to the fact that we have a Heavenly Father who is gracious and who desires to give good gifts. I think sometimes we get in the way because instead of asking and waiting for an answer from the Lord, we are self reliant and just go out to accomplish what we need in-and-of our own might. Let my answered prayers be encouragement to you. God DOES give good gifts to His children. He has already given us the greatest gift in His Son Jesus! If He gave us eternal life by laying down the life of His perfect Son, He will surely give us other good things. 

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Let me encourage you to be needy before the Lord. It might be a physical need that you have, it might be a spiritual need; whatever it is, take it to the Lord in prayer. Give that request; that desire to Him and ask Him to supply it. Often the hardest part is waiting for God to do so. Ask Him to strip you of your self-reliance and give you faith to depend on Him. I promise you that if you place your eyes on Jesus and look for how He is answering the prayers of His people, your faith will be strengthened! Yes, it could be easy to be discouraged when you see the prayers of others being answered while yours seemingly go unanswered, but that answer; that desire being met is just as much for us as it is for them. That answered prayer is a gift to you to build your faith and remind you that your Heavenly Father is answering prayer; He is giving good gifts and that He will answer your prayers as well. 

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” Deut. 10:17

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Praying that God will build your faith to wait on Him to answer with what you have asked. Praying that you will be joyfully expectant {without calendar or timelines} for Him to bring that desire to fruition.

PS

To the wonderful anonymous giver of the Kitchenaid mixer who obviously reads my blog – Thank you for being a conduit of God’s grace to me! You need to know that I will thank God for your giving heart for years to come every time I use this mixer. I am humbled by this gift; humbled to receive when it’s my desire to be the giver. But I look forward to the day when I am able to do this for others. Thank you for finding your joy so wholly in Christ that you do not hold too tightly the blessings that He has given to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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Written by Heidi Brachle

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