Are These Signs From God? A Call Story

Hearing and Answering God’s Call: Part 4

Are These Signs From God? A Call Story

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The Ripple Effect

I Noticed a Change in Me

After I prayed THAT prayer from part 3… the one when I told God I was ready to do what God wanted instead of what I wanted, I first noticed a change in me.

I truly wanted to know what God wanted me to do each day. Since that prayer, I TRY to remember to pray EVERY morning. Each morning I ask, “God, please help me see the needs of others today.” Do you know God did start giving me little opportunities to serve throughout my daily life? Check out the blog “We Ran Out of Gas” for one example.

I also started trying to pray in the car and pray before I entered any new environment. I started trying to be more mindful of God’s presence in every room I entered. Notice my blog is about Mindfulness? Do you see where all these circumstances are leading.

After Praying THAT Prayer

Because I am more mindful of God’s presence, I have noticed more “God Moments” in my life, and now I have even more “God moments” to share on this blog! If you read part 3, you will remember all of this started because I read a book called The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures). This is a fantastic book about a man praying and waiting for God to lead him in almost every aspect of life. I highly recommend reading The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures). Because of this book, I started incorporating prayer and listening to God in my everyday moments.  (I truly think God lead me to read this book because God knew the reaction I would have. You can see this story in Part 3)

I have many “God moments” since praying THAT prayer after reading The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures). You can read specific “God Moment” stories by clicking on the links below:

Did that Just Happen!

We Chose the Same Picture!

I prayed and then this happened!

 We Ran Out of Gas

Why Are you So Afraid?

 God Follows Through

 Should I Share My Personal “God Moment” Stories with Others?

I was so thankful that after saying the big prayer, God seemed to be showing me small ways to serve throughout my day, but I also felt like God was leading me to do something specific (see why I thought this in part 3). But what? Would I get any signs from God? While I waited..well, I became impatient so I decided to actively write down a list of some of my accomplishments and talents. ‘Maybe I can use some of my talents to serve God,’ I thought. I jotted down that I enjoy writing and had written nutrition columns for the local newspaper in the past. But how in the world could I use this to serve God? Blogging wasn’t even on my radar at the time.

Still I thought, ‘well I do have several personal God stories that may encourage others. I could somehow share some of these personal experiences I have had with God.” Could sharing these personal “God Momens” be my calling? But how would I know that this is something I should do? My goodness, I could do so many different things, how will I EVER know what God thinks I should specifically do?

Signs from God: The Answer is “Yes, Share these Stories.”

Then Sunday rolled around again, and I went to church. Guess what the sermon was about? Our pastor did a sermon on telling your personal call or God story. Well if that wasn’t an answer to my question, I don’t know what was.

In the sermon, the pastor said that a person’s personal call or God story has one of the greatest impacts when you are telling someone about God.   In fact, a person’s personal story is only 2nd to the Bible when you are trying to tell someone about God.  Well this totally spoke to me. How amazing that as soon as I thought about sharing my personal stories and experiences with God, our pastor started talking about how important it is to tell YOUR personal story! So I decided I did want to write my personal stories down in one place so that I can use them somehow later.

Another God Moment: Finding the Time to Write

The next obstacle was finding the time to write. You see, I couldn’t write while the kids slept because I slept in the bed with my 3 year old  (I know I should never have started that habit, but you mom’s know how it is. I was just so tired of the nightly sleeping battles that I just gave up. My son would go to sleep easily if I was lying with him. Sigh.)

The problem was that if I got up for anything, even to go to the bathroom, he would wake up and cry, “hold mommy, hold mommy!” How was I going to get up and begin writing again? I wanted to not only write, but also, pray and read God’s word more often. Do you know that when I decided to get up to write, my son didn’t wake up! I was able to write, pray and read about God while my son slept! Could this be yet another of the many sign’s from God?

Doubt and Fear and then More Signs from God

Now, if I was stronger I would not have needed another nudge from God, but unfortunately fears and doubt began to creep in.  I had written some of my stories, but I began to think, ‘do I really want to SHARE these stories with others?’  Just when I started backing away, God called me again.   Literally right after I started backpedaling and doubting, two of the sermons talked about answering God’s call and even emphasized telling our own personal stories.  The words and phrasing used in the sermons spoke to me so clearly that I had chills. Were all these signs and coincidences signs from God?

Finally Ready to Take Action

Okay, finally I was willing to take action. I still didn’t know what to do, but since our pastor had inspired the idea, I decided to send my written stories to our pastor. This was a total leap of faith. I don’t normally do things like this. These stories were personal, and I felt silly just sending them to someone. This was several years ago, and I still wasn’t familiar with blogging yet. In fact, the pastor was the one who mentioned blogging. (He is a lot younger and more tech than me 🙂 ) Turns out, the pastor had been contemplating starting a church blog, and he was even more encouraged after I sent in my stories that our church should start the blog. Maybe even the pastor was receiving signs from God?

And so a church blog was started. I became one of the admins for the blog. I didn’t know anything about blogging, but I wanted all the amazing stories from church members to get shared somehow. Church members would send their stories, and I would post. Now church members had a place to share their personal call story. After all, like the pastor said, “a person’s personal story is only 2nd to the Bible when you are trying to tell someone about God.”

More Coincidences: The Leap to Starting MY Personal Blog, “Mindfulness in Faith and Food”

This church blog was established years ago, but I still never considered starting my own blog. Then two things happened.

I was still writing down all my “God Moments” as well as any lessons I had learned over the years. I decided I wanted to organize all these stories for my children. So I started working on a little book that I would only give to my children. (See there I go, writing again!) I wanted my children to feel inspired and have hope that God is there even in the tough times.

“Hmmm, Should I Start a Blog?”

As I was organizing all of this for the book for my children, I thought, “hmm, some of these stories are so encouraging and give so much hope; I wish I could share them somehow. Well, I could start a personal blog. Then maybe a few more people could see all this ‘stuff’ God has done.” Just like most thoughts, at first I didn’t think much of the idea. But the next circumstance would make me think much more seriously about blogging…

Our Church Combined Faith with Nutrition

I was still working on lessons for my children’s book when one day a church staff member asked me that since I am a dietitian I would be willing to become the coordinator of a new church wellness program. The program was called FAN: Faith, Activity, and Nutrition. The goal of the FAN program is to promote, encourage, inspire, and provide opportunities for a healthier life within the church. The FAN program focused on helping the whole person- body and soul. I loved how FAN incorporated scripture, spiritual health, and physical health into their messages. I usually didn’t get to incorporate my professional background in dietetics with my faith in this way, and I loved it!

Again, “Hmmm, I Could Start a Blog”

When I became the FAN coordinator, I dusted off my nutrition materials (I was currently a stay at home mom) to see what I could use for FAN. As I was looking through all the handouts, articles, and client books I had developed, I thought ‘this information is not helping anyone just sitting on my computer or in my desk. I need to find a way people can have access to this!’ Again, I thought to myself, “hmm, I could start some kind of nutrition blog. But if I started a blog, I would also want to talk about my faith and God experiences. Would combining faith and nutrition even work as a blog? Wait! Look at the FAN program, this program incorporates both!”

Signs from God: Everything Was Falling into Place

And this is how the idea of a faith-based nutrition blog was formed. Everything seemed to be falling into place for me to start blogging. I was already organizing nutrition and faith articles for FAN and my book for my children, and I was already incorporating faith with nutrition at church. The fact if the matter was I was already writing about faith and nutrition, why not go ahead and blog? The timing just seemed right.

My Vision for the Blog Seemed so Clear

The next part might be harder to explain, but I will do my best. My vision for my blog seemed so clear. Let me explain the opposite of clear, so that you can understand what I mean. When I was trying to decide on a name for my private nutrition counseling, I struggled with finding a name and my brand. For one, I wasn’t being true to myself. I settled for something generic, but I cringed when I said the name. The name wasn’t bad; the name just didn’t ever feel right.

When I decided to blog about God and my passions, the name almost immediately fell into my mind. I wanted to call the blog, “Mindfulness in Faith and Food.” I am still relatively new to blogging. In fact, I have only been blogging for about half a year, but this blog still just feels right.

The Creation of Mindfulness in Faith and Food

So I decided to do it! I started a blog. All my past writings- journal entries, nutrition handouts, God stories, and partial books have found a home on this blog. Who knew that I was writing for this blog for so many years and didn’t even know it!

Signs From God: The Ripple Effect

Now, looking back, I can see the ripple effect from each of these events that lead to writing a faith and nutrition blog. Each by themselves may not seem like much, but you put everything together from part 1-part 4 of this series, the sheer number of signs and coincidental circumstances are impossible to ignore

A Recap of the Ripple Effect

  1. My passion for writing since childhood (See Part 2)
  2. My weight struggles as a middle school child that initiated my interest in nutrition (See About Me)
  3. Being open to following God’s call after reading The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures (Part 3)
  4. Signs from God: After I prayed THAT prayer asking God to show me my call the sermon was about hearing and answering God’s call (Part 3).
  5. Then Even more signs from God seemed to indicate I was going to hear God’s call soon (Part 3).
  6. Reading The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures) further helped me become more mindful of God and God’s call throughout the day. Thus, I was able to notice more God stories. Now I write about them in my blog! (Part 3).
  7. Even more signs from God? Just when I was contemplating that perhaps sharing all my personal “God Moment” stories is my call, the sermons were about sharing your personal God stories (Part 4).
  8. The church blog was started after I took a leap of faith and sent our pastor all of these God stories (Part 4).
  9. I started organizing all my God stories and lessons for a book for my children. This gave me the thought, “Maybe I should share these amazing stories in a blog.” (Part 4)
  10. Meanwhile I was introduced to the FAN program, which combined faith and nutrition. I loved this, and a concept of a faith-based nutrition blog was born. (Part 4)
  11. My faith and profession as a dietitian also collided when I started incorporating ‘mindful eating.’  Mindul eating lead to weight loss and lead to mindfulness of the presence of God. (See “The One Thing I Did to Lose Weight AND Strengthen My Walk With God”)
  12. Throughout my life I had already written several ‘nutrition and faith’ blog posts through writing and journaling, I just didn’t know it!
  13. The Blog name and niche seemed so clear. (Part 4)

 Feeling Called to Blog? Want More Information about How to Start a Blog?

Have you noticed any signs from God or coincidences that you think are leading you to your calling?  Are you feeling God’s call to serve in some way? Maybe you are even feeling called to blog?

Do you are feel called to blog, but don’t know where to begin? My next post goes through the steps to start your own blog. You can check it out by clicking on this link: “How to start a blog when you feel called to blog.”

 

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Hearing & Answering God’s Call: Too Unbelievable to Just be Coincidence

Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series: Part 3

 

Unbelievable Coincidence

 

Recapping Part 1 and Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 2, writing kept creeping up in my life. Even as a child, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I would put the thought of writing aside, but years later I would find myself writing again. Part one of this blog series talks about the 4 clues that you are hearing God’s call. One clue is you have a God-given passion for something. Another clue is that you keep getting signs over and over… and over. Sometimes your passion keeps finding its way back into your life… over and over. I think this reoccurrence of you passion could be a sign in and of itself.

(*An important note: Just because you have a passion, does not mean you are called to pursue it. Also, every passion we have is not a calling. After all, we often have passions for not so good things. Passion is just one clue. We need to look at every clue to figure out a calling. Another clue is that your passion matches up with God’s teachings. This series looks at several pieces to “What is your Calling?”

This post may contain affiliate links (See full disclosure here)

The Call Became Stronger

True, my passion for writing was a nice little clue, but standing by itself this clue really means little.  The call became much stronger later…

We had just joined our church, and my husband and I were in the process of visiting Sunday Schools.  One Sunday, we randomly visited a Sunday school class called “Open Doors.”  During the class, the teacher off-handedly mentioned the book, The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures), which was about a missionary named Brother Andrew.  I thought to myself, ‘that sounds like a good book to read.’   Almost a year later, I still remembered this specific Sunday schools comment about this ONE book, but I couldn’t remember the name of the book. It’s funny how one small comment will just stick in your mind, isn’t it? One day I saw the Sunday school teacher, and I asked her again for the name of the book.  This time I didn’t wait around. I quickly purchased the book, and my journey began…

One Book Changed the Direction of my Life

Brother Andrew’s story was inspiring.   The things that he accomplished when he listened to God’s call were amazing.  When he was truly doing something God seemed to ask him to do, God took care of every one of his needs to get THAT job done.  (I thought this was interesting because we sometimes use God as a wishing well, but when we are truly following God’s wishes to help others; then, he will help us do THAT job).  In other words, if God tells us to do something, then God will help us get it done.  If you want to read some truly amazing God moments, I strongly recommend this book.

Awesome “God Moments” from the Book, The Narrow Road

Some of the amazing things that happened in the book were: 

* Brother Andrew had an injured leg. The leg hindered the particular mission work he felt called to do. In fact, he felt the leg would nearly make the mission impossible. One day Brother Andrew talked to God about not being able to do this mission work due to his hurt leg. His leg was healed immediately!

* Brother Andrew felt strongly that he was suppose to take Bibles to persecuted countries. Bibles were not allowed in these countries, and sometimes Brother Andrew was faced with difficult situations. One time some guards stopped him. The smuggled Bibles were right on the seat of his car and the guards didn’t see them!

* Once or twice the money for missionary school was about to run out, and the exact amount came to him in peculiar ways just in time.

Mt Favorite Brother Andrew Story: This is GOOD!

One of my favorite stories took place during Brother Andrew’s time at missionary school.  Brother Andrew and the other students were asked to do local missions as an assignment.  They were given no money, food, or housing and they were told that they were not supposed to ask churches or anyone else for help. They were asked to trust that God would provide.  This was an exercise meant to teach them how to trust God completely.  This didn’t mean that the missionary school thought that people/charities should not ask for donations; the school just wanted them to practice putting all their trust in God for this particular exercise.

The students were also expected to tithe!  The students were divided into two groups. Brother Andrew’s group tithed at the beginning of each week no matter what challenges they faced.  The other group planned on tithing if they had enough after they fulfilled their own needs.  Interestingly, the group who tithed no matter what, always had enough for themselves and the missions. The other group constantly ran out of money and supplies.

They Needed Cake, and They Got a Cake in the Mail!

God seemed to always answer the needs of Brother Andrew’s group no matter how small.  For example, a church asked Brother Andrew’s group to come to a church event. The church also asked the group to bring a cake to this event. Remember, they have no money! The group panicked about how they were going to get the money for this cake.  They even considered doing something they hadn’t done yet, which was ask people for donations.  Just when the decided against asking for other’s help, they received a package in the mail.  Do you know what was inside the package? A cake, sent to them by a loved one!  The giver did not know they needed a cake; she just thought it would be a nice gesture!

The Prayer that Started it All

This book inspired me. Like Brother Andrew, I wanted to experience God’s power and presence more regularly. But was I willing to follow God’s will no matter what? Yeah, I still struggle with that questions, but I decided to pray. Instead of praying for my needs, I prayed for God to show me what God wanted me to do. I told God I wanted to follow and serve God, and I wanted my life to be about serving God and others, not myself. (Yeah, I’m still working on that.) I asked God to please tell me God’s will. I figured if I really listened AND followed, I would see some amazing things happen just like Brother Andrew.  Basically, I was asking God to call on me.  Then God started talking…

God’s Call: Signs That God Was About to Answer My Prayer

Before telling me my specific call, God seemed to be telling me that my request was heard, and is being answered. Messages about God’s call bombarded me everywhere.

In fact, RIGHT after I prayed for God to call on me, our church started “The Call” series, which was suppose to help us learn how to hear and answer God’s call! Even our church band played songs about hearing God’s call. But here is the kicker; the band did not know the sermon topics when choosing songs!

After church, I experienced another coincidence. After church, I grabbed a veggie tales movie for my son to watch not knowing that out of all the Bible stories; this movie was about Jonah trying to push away God’s call!

Finally while I was putting my son to bed, I was showing my son pictures from his Children’s Bible. He was young, so we were just looking at pictures instead of reading the words.  The bottom of each page had a one liner prayer.  I finally randomly glanced at one of the prayers.  The prayer was literally asking God to help us listen to his call!! Out of all the prayers, why was this the one I randomly read?

I asked God if God would lead me because I was ready to do what God wanted instead of what I wanted. God seemed to answer imediatly. God seemed to be saying through signs, ‘Of course, I have been waitng for you to ask this! I will lead you to what I am calling you to do.’

But the next questions was, “What IS God calling me to do?”  Check out part 4 for the answer…

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

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What is God Calling you to Do?

Hearing and Answering God’s Call: The Series

Clues of your Calling

Part 1: What is God Calling you to Do?

I have always longed to know what God wanted me to do. Does God have a specific plan or call for me…for us? This is not an easy question to answer, and sometimes knowing the answer takes time. Perhaps callings even change over time. Recently  I began to notice interesting clues, coinsedences, and circumstances that made me feel like perhaps God was giving  me a few clues to help me determine my call. Of course I am human, and I sometimes get it wrong. But here are 5 clues that I felt lead me to my calling. Perhaps they can help you determine your calling too.

(Note these 5 clues are based on my personal experiences so please take what I say with a grain of salt. I think God reaches all of us in different ways)

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  1. You have a Passion for Something.

In the Bible God seemed to give others a passion for whatever God was calling them to do. Therefore, I think God gives us a passion for where we are being called to serve. If we don’t have a passion, we are probably not going to give the job our best efforts. When we are passionate, we feel driven to do the best we can do. So are you passionate for certain needs or causes? Did something happen in your life that seemed to develop that passion?

  1. You have Certain Spiritual Gifts and Even Talents.

1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 Says

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Romans 12: 6-8 Says

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians and Romans tells us that God gives us spiritual gifts that we are suppose to use to serve God and others. So knowing your gifts may help you determine what you are being called to do. If you are curious about your spiritual gifts, you can find several spiritual gifts surveys online.  I won’t provide a link since there are so many different types, and many are available through churches. I will let you pick which survey will appeal more to you.

You may not fully know your gifts after taking a survey as the answers to the survey do not dictate these are your spiritual gifts, but maybe the spiritual gifts quiz can lead you in the right direction. These surveys ask questions to help you self-reflect. Pray for God to guide you as you learn about yourself. Sometimes God not only gives you the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible, but God also gives us talents we can use to serve God and others. Do you have certain talents you can use? Perhaps brainstorming and writing your talents down in a journal will help you move closer to understanding your call.

 

  1. Signs and Coincidences Keep Pointing You in a Certain Direction

This one makes me nervous. As humans we can often see the signs we WANT to see. I know that I sometimes do! Or when I am feeling pessimistic, I see signs I DON’T WANT to see. HOWEVER sometimes the coincidences are just too unbelievable or signs are occuring one after another. When the signs are just too amazing, maybe we should take notice.

If you want to read an awe-inspiring book about God leading someone, read The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures).


This book motivated me to ask God to lead me even if it was scary. And my life changed after that…

Coming soon: Read more about how my life changed in Part 3 of this series.

  1. Your “God Calling” Matches with what Jesus Teaches.

This one is soooo important.

Matthew 22: 36-40 says

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So does your call line up with these two commandments and the other teaching of Jesus? God calls us to help and serve others. Does your call help and serve others?

Clues to God’s call

Your Calling Doesn’t Have to Be Your Job

Sometimes our jobs are different than our calling and that is okay. Some people feel called to volunteer in certain areas. I love how Bob Goff, a lawyer and writer, looked at his job. In his book, “Love Does,” Goff said he viewed his job as a lawyer as fundraising for his mission. We can also view our jobs as a fundraiser for our call to serve other.  Our calling can even be how we feel we should live our lives. For example, maybe you feel called to be an encourager, so you try to encourage others wherever you are. You encourage your co-workers, your family, or random people at a store. Sometimes we feel called to do something, but don’t love every aspect of the calling. Yet our passion drives us to push through. Maybe you feel passionate about helping the homeless, but you don’t love all the paperwork that goes into working at a certain organization. Your passion and calling can drive you to do the less appealing stuff. Does this make since?

Bob Goff’s book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World is a really good read. His wife, Maria Goff, wrote a book as well called Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want. I have read and enjoyed both books.

Keeping Track of Your God Calling Clues

As you contemplate your calling, you may want to keep a journal. Sometimes writing helps us organize our thoughts. Writing your thoughts, ideas, spiritual gifts results, talents, and listing your passions in a journal can help you in your search for your calling. I find that I am more open to hearing God’s call when I pray before I write.  You can also use a journal to write your prayers and write down your awe-inspiring God experiences. I am able to remember those amazing “God moments” in my life when I write them down as soon as they happen.

Just in case you are looking for a good journal, here are a few beautiful inspiring journals.

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This is part one of a five part series. Part 2 talks about clue number one, which is finding your Passion. Sometimes the fact that a passion keeps surfacing throughout your life is a sign in and of itself….

Find out more about the first clue that God is calling you in Part 2: Did God Give you a Passion for a Reason?

This series is meant for anyone searching for God’s call. However, if you are contemplating blogging or think blogging might be your calling, you might find later post particularly helpful. I will go into not only my blogging journey, but also the steps I took to start a blog.

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

This blog is hosted by Bluehost.

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