Prayer & Praise Monday – January 13, 2014

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Greetings, Prayer Warriors! My, it has been too long since I’ve met you all here!

Yes, I know it is actually Tuesday, but I’m getting this published late! The story of my life, lately… 🙂

We’ve got an urgent prayer request that I want to get right to, and then I’ll update you on a few others…

• Do you remember our adorable little Bridget?

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Who could forget that precious smile? Bridget is the daughter of one of my best, best friends (Joyce). We first started praying for Bridget back in 2011 when, at the age of 1, she was diagnosed with a cataract in one eye and underwent surgery to correct it. She has since had three surgeries and though her vision seemed to be improving at one point, it has now regressed and seems to be at its lowest point ever. So sad! Despite hours and hours of patching a day, corrective glasses, and countless exams from a whole host of doctors, they are left with no answers as to why this is happening! It’s never good when your doctor says he doesn’t know and he’s never seen this before! The good news is that doctors agree that her eye is healthy, the lens is clear, and everything looks to be in place as it should be. In order to (Lord willing!) get to the bottom of this mystery and restore Bridget’s sight, her doctor is performing an MRI and some others tests as I type this. They want to see if there is something going on in the brain or with the nerves behind the eye to cloud her vision.

Please stop now and pray that the Lord will reveal clear answers through this testing and that doctors will have wisdom about how to proceed. Pray that Bridget, Joyce, and Bridget’s daddy, Jason, will have peace that surpasses all understanding as they endure this long day and the coming days as they await test results. Bridget has to be put under anesthesia for the MRI so please also pray that she will do well with that and that God would spare her from the difficulties she has had coming out of anesthesia in the past. Most of all, pray that our God and Father will be glorified through Bridget’s life as the great Physician and the great Healer!

• Now, for an exciting update from Throne of Grace’s Deb. Deb has shared with us in the past how she and her husband have struggled through infertility for many, many years now. God graciously brought their amazing son, Cole, into their lives through adoption (almost 8 years ago!) and God has been gracious to the Townsend family once again! Introducing Quinn!

 Meet Quinn

Deb and her family traveled this past week to China to welcome this adorable little guy into their family. Quinn is 10 months old and, according to Deb, very, very tiny! Quinn was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate and will be having some surgery to correct these issues once he gets settled in to life in the U.S. What a blessing that he will be given that opportunity! The Townsends will be in China for a couple more weeks as they get the adoption finalized and give Quinn a little time to bond with his forever family. Let’s pray for a quick and deep bond to form among all four of them! Pray that God will make the way smooth before them as they finish their travels and begin life as a family of FOUR! So exciting! If you’d like to read more about Deb’s precious gift, she is documenting the journey HERE.

• Bonnie Jean would like continued prayer for her family. Her mom passed away back in November after suffering with Alzheimer’s. Bonnie Jean is grateful that her mom is now free from the disease! Please pray for Bonnie Jean and her brothers as the family dynamics are affected by their loss. Bonnie Jean has never been close with her brothers and would like prayer that the Lord would use this time to heal old wounds and draw her brothers into a personal relationship with Jesus.

• Please be praying this week for our sister in Christ, Heidi. Heidi is due on January 23rd with her first baby, a girl, who doctors believe has Downs Syndrome. Praise God for Heidi and her husband who are trusting the Lord through this challenging time. As Heidi says, “We honestly have had little time to even think about her diagnosis. We feel that the Lord has given us a special ‘charge’ to speak out for children who don’t often have a voice: foster children and developmentally delayed children.” Heidi and her husband are also fostering a little boy whom they hope to adopt. Lord, bless Heidi and her husband – these special servants – and grant them all they need to do Your work of loving and leading these precious little ones!

• Finally, friends, I would love to selfishly ask you to continue holding me and my family up in prayer! We are still very much in uncertain times for the Garibaldis! 🙂 Our home of the past 9 years closes escrow in 14 days and we still have no place to go! Praise God our wonderful buyers are allowing us to rent back for another month…but the time is still short! Please pray for the Lord’s direction and wisdom to guide all our decision-making and that our eyes would be open to see the wonder of His plan! Please pray that I will be able to get the time I need to accomplish the overwhelming task of getting packed. SOOOO little progress has been made in that department! It seems I can barely keep up with the everyday tasks of life right now like laundry, dishes, grocery shopping and school responsibilities…there is just not *extra* time to move!

Have a blessed week you all! Thanks for hanging in there with me! And, please, let me know how we can be praying for YOU!

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly

Prayer & Praise Monday – October 14, 2013

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Hello dear Prayer Warriors!

This post is several weeks overdue…and even at that I’m just barely getting it out on Monday (at least on the west coast it’s still Monday!) It has been a crazy few weeks and life won’t be slowing down for awhile!

Before I get on to these important prayer requests may I ask for your prayers for us? I would greatly appreciate your prayers both for my family personally and for Throne of Grace during the next few months of the busy Christmas shopping season. We have spent the last few months building up our inventory and would love for you to pray with us, in faith, that God would use us mightily to spread His Word and help us get our resources into the hands of those who would be blessed by them! Our first boutique is this coming Saturday, October 19th, as part of a secular Fall festival. A great opportunity for sharing the love of Christ! Please also pray that I would be led daily by the Lord as He uses me to lead Throne of Grace and that, especially in this busy season, I would keep my priorities in proper perspective!

Now, let’s lift up these sweet brothers and sisters in Christ who desperately need our prayers…

• Our friend Bonnie Jean (you may remember her as the angel who distributed our blessing bags among Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey) would love prayer for her family. Please pray for Bonnie Jean as she parents her two young adult sons (19 and 21) and seeks to be a godly influence in their lives. They both have faced many challenges in their lives and need to be relying on the Lord as their Rescuer. Please pray for the Lord to bring special Christian friends into the lives of Bonnie Jean and her sons that they can connect with and meet with on a regular basis. Hurricane Sandy forced many of their closest friends to relocate far away. Bonnie Jean is also still struggling with health issues related to Hurricane Sandy from contaminated water she ingested. Let’s pray that the Lord would rid her completely of these health issues and bring complete healing! Finally, Bonnie Jean would like prayer for her marriage and for her husband, who is not a believer. Pray that God would give her His eyes to see her husband and use her to be a blessing and sweet aroma of Christ in his life.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
(2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NIV)

• Remember our little friend, Ian?

Ian Update

Ian is now a third of the way through his Halo recovery time. If you missed his story, you can catch up HERE and HERE. He recently had a check-up with his neurosurgeon and received good news that the bones in his neck appear to be fusing well. This is a BIG praise! However, despite the improvements in his physical condition, and despite Ian’s joyful spirit, he is struggling quite a bit. Just days after this photo was taken, he had to return to the hospital with severe pain at the site of the pins in his head. The doctors could not find any obvious source of the pain but prescribed antibiotics just in case there was an undetectable infection. It is hard for a 4-year-old to clearly verbalize pain or be able to describe the source, so Ian’s mom, Lesily, is not sure if Ian is truly experiencing new pain or if he is just fearful or remembering the pain at the time of the accident. Lesily is also beginning to wonder if Ian may be experiencing some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please pray for wisdom for Lesily and doctors to continue to care for Ian in the best way possible. It’s hard to look ahead and imagine life for 4 more months in this contraption! Pray that the Lord would lavish His grace upon Ian and his family to not only endure, but triumph through this challenge! Pray God would put a hedge of protection around Ian’s young spirit to be able to handle the very grown-up emotions such a traumatic event brings into a life.

• Many of you know, or know of, my sister Emmy. She is the creative genius behind Much Ado About You, Confessions of a Paper Freak, the Choose Joy Event, and now, her new blog, It’s Just Emmy. Emmy and her family are in the midst of adopting a baby! The newest addition will join big brother, Beau (10, biological child) and Penelope (2 1/2, adoptive child). Emmy and her husband have a HUGE heart for adoption and have heard God’s call to give another baby a home. You can read the story behind the latest Blakely adoption HERE. Emmy and her family would love prayer as they enter the final stages of the waiting…waiting for a match! Over the last couple weeks they have had about 4 or 5 potential matches. Several of those have not panned out but they are still waiting to hear from two possible birthmoms to find out if they have been chosen. Please pray for God’s clear leading in these decisions –  for Emmy and her husband to know which is God’s choice for their family and to be united in each decision along the way. Pray that He would time the baby’s arrival perfectly and prepare each member of the family to receive and bond with the baby. Pray that the Lord will provide all the necessary funds to bring this baby home! And don’t forget to pray for that special birthmom who will be forever linked to their family. Pray that God will give her grace and wisdom through this difficult time in her life and use this adoption to draw her closer to Christ. I’ll be sharing more about ways to support the Blakely’s adoption in the coming weeks…

Have a BLESSED week!molly

P.S. Don’t forget there are just 3 days left to enter the BIG Throne of Grace $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway!! Have you entered? Have you told your friends?? Click on the link below to enter…

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Prayer & Praise Monday – September 30, 2013

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Good morning, Prayer Warriors!

We missed getting the prayer requests up last week and so this week we’ve got a TON! We praise God for the opportunity to lift these up to the throne of God’s grace together this week. I know i say it a lot, but it truly is a privilege to get to pray and to be a part of God’s work in the lives of our friends and customers.

Here is a quick word from the Psalms to focus our hearts today:

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
(Psalm 19:14 NIV)

Let’s begin with a praise:

• Praise the Lord for His miracle gifts of Cole and Ramona! Cole is pictured in the top photos and Ramona is in the bottom two photos:

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These beautiful, tiny twins were born to Molly’s cousin, Amanda, and her husband, Chris. They came far earlier than their due date – about 9 weeks early, actually! Weighing in at just over 2 pounds each, there was potential for many, many complications! God, in His mercy, delivered two very healthy babies who have been gaining weight and strength over the past week and are making great progress! Please pray for Amanda’s healing and for both Amanda and Chris as they juggle home life and their long visits in the NICU as they wait for the babies to come home.

• And another BIG praise from Karen, who we’ve been praying for while she’s been on her mission trip to Tanzania. She returned last week and just emailed me today with such an encouraging report. I was going to summarize, but I think it is best said in Karen’s own words. Skim if you need to, but I think you will be blessed by hearing how God used your prayers to impact Karen and the amazing women of Africa:

Your prayers were felt the entire time I was in Africa but oh how His power filled me the day of the Women’s Seminar.  God woke me up at 3 am and I prayed straight for 3 hours – then slipped back to sleep for an hour and then leaped out of bed ready to go.  I spoke in the morning and shared my story of not being able to have children and how God healed the hurt in my heart by calling me to pray for the babies of Babyline.  This was in a small and very poor village called Kamala.  To everyone’s surprise a small group of Muslin women who have never attended any function with Hope of the Nations arrived and sat on the front two rows.  I could see their eyes glued to me and one even openly wept when I spoke of my feelings of shame and hurt for not having a child. In their culture not having children is like being cursed and they had never heard of the God who can comfort and bring meaning to a woman who never has a child.  After I spoke, I gave an invitation to come forward and pray and be prayed over and two thirds of the women attending rushed to the front.  In Africa when we pray – everyone prays out loud at the same time.  It is so moving and there I was surrounded by women praying, weeping and holding up their hands to God.  Next Happiness, the woman interpreting for me invited women to come forward and share what they received from my talk.  Several spoke about the wonder of praying for their children.  One woman who looked ready to deliver any minute gave a passionate call to all of the other women to pray for their children.  Another shared her inability to have children and now was filled with hope that God could use her too in some special way.  I am in awe of these women, they have the greatest faith in God and I know that in response to this invitation from the Spirit to pray for their children there will be no stopping them. My talk naturally led into the sharing of the gospel for as children are “a” gift from God, which means it is only one of many gifts and in my case He chose not to bless me with that gift but Jesus is the one gift everyone can receive.  My Mom was to speak during the afternoon and I wondered if we should reverse our speeches but God impressed on us to stay with our first choice.  It turned out that the Muslin women all had to leave at noon to attend a funeral and so God ensured that they would hear the “gift” of salvation in Jesus.

Karen ended her email with, “I told them of you and your prayers for them and they were deeply touched.  Many of them asked me to take their love back to you and let you know that they are praying for their “sisters” in America.”

How amazing is that?? As someone who has (thus far) not had the privilege of doing much international traveling, I love being reminded of how small God’s world is when we are a part of the body of Christ. Let’s pray this week for the African believers that were encouraged by Karen’s talk and also pray for those African women who don’t know Christ or who may have just made a decision to follow Him for the first time. To God be ALL the glory for His work in Tanzania these past few weeks!

• We have a new request for prayer from a customer named Heidi. Heidi attended the Choose Joy event we got to be a part of back in February of this year. Heidi and her husband have struggled through the challenges of infertility and have been brought to a point where they are both in the process of adoption, as well as pregnant with their first child! I’ll let Heidi share her request in her own words:

Please pray that my husband, Alan, and I are completely surrendered to the plan of our good God and that we don’t fall prey to the temptations of worry and bitterness as we seek to adopt our foster son whose mother is still actively working to get him back (but unlikely to succeed), and plan for the January birth of our daughter who has Down Syndrome per an amniocentesis. Please ask God to fully heal my husband who had shoulder surgery last week, and for God to provide for our financial needs as my husband is self-employed and unlikely will be able to work until mid-December. Lastly, ask God to please resolve the uncertainty of my own current job and either provide stability where I am or a new job who will be understanding about my pregnancy.

• Please continue to pray with me for Meredith for complete deliverance- mentally, emotionally, and physically. You may recall that Meredith has Lyme disease and has had heart tissue damage as a result. Our God is the Great Physician! Let’s continue to pray for complete healing for Meredith as she battles this aggressive disease.

• Throne of Grace’s, Tami, would love prayer as she has gone back to work part-time in the computer gaming industry where she was formerly employed before coming to work for Throne of Grace. The company she worked for as a sound design engineer needs her help for a few months in order to finish up the game she was working on before she quit. You may not know this, but Tami is a VERY busy lady! She has one of the biggest servant hearts I know and gives generously of her time and energy for work at church, to care for the needs of friends and family, and of course, in her (invaluable!) work for Throne of Grace. Please pray that Tami will be able to find the time and energy to fit in the extra hours of work and trust the Lord’s wisdom for balancing it all. She will still be working for ToG, but not quite as many hours a week, so please also pray that we will trust the Lord to faithfully provide for ToG’s needs, as well – especially since we have just entered out BUSIEST season of the year! 🙂

• Finally, we have an update to a prayer request we first posted back in July of this year for Mo and his wife, Krissy. You can read more background HERE. Mo is 31 and has follicular lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After completing his medical residency at Duke, Mo was set to become a family physician there. Now, he is beginning chemotherapy instead. Please pray that the Lord will grant success to Mo’s doctors and that the cancer will be eradicated. Pray that God will use this battle to draw Mo and Krissy closer to Him. Pray that Mo will have the strength and energy needed to both fight the cancer and endure.

Phew! I’m sure thankful we have a BIG God, because there are some big needs there! I’m rejoicing in our great praises this week and holding on to the promises of Scripture as I pray over these requests.

If you are praying with us this week, or even want to leave a special prayer for any of these needs, would you leave a comment below?? I know it would be a great blessing to these individuals and families…

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly