As we celebrate the anniversary of VMP (September 1, 2012) and my entrepreneur start (September 1, 2008) I wanted to share what was happening before I even created the prayer journal.
On September 30, 2013, I debuted our very first prayer journal but the story goes back further than that. As I was reading through old prayer journals recently, I saw how God prepared me for VMP long before it actually started. Here are just snippets from my prayer journal over the two years before, but first a few things:
1. For more context, I added some thoughts in the brackets.
2. It’s vulnerable to share prayers I wrote 9 years ago. I’ve grown in my faith and how I approach prayer.
3. This is just a snippet of these prayers. I don’t JUST talk to God about this stuff but there is a LOT of money talk in what I’ve shared. Just know this is maybe 5% of what’s in my journal.
September 1, 2011
Three years ago I could have never imagined being married, running a successful business full time, just returning from an amazing adventure. What do you have in store for the next three years? I’m ready for it, Lord. Give me ears to hear, eyes to see, feet that follow.
October 4, 2011
Yesterday was the launch of the Southern Life Collection [a series of prints] and it was so anticlimactic. Do you want me to pursue it, or let it go? Guide me, Lord. Today, I am working for you.
February 23, 2012
I’m learning so much about the brand I want to build and about processes to keep things running smoothly. Thank you, Lord. Continue to grow this. Father, I need you to work in Val Marie Paper. I’m not sure how it will all work and if it will work but you do Lord. [VMP officially launched in September later that year.]
April 7, 2012
This big transition is shaking me a little. [I assume the transition of starting VMP.] It’s thrown me off. But Lord, I feel like there are some big things ahead in my future. I would love to be a positive influence on others. [This is crazy to read! I don’t remember this being a motivation but God must have put it on my heart!]
June 4, 2012
I launched a print collection on Friday and it seems to have been a bust. It’s a hard thing to work hard on something and have it fall on deaf ears. Lord, why didn’t it work? What do I need to do differently? You have a reason for everything. Show me the purpose of this. I really don’t know if VMP will be successful. If this is just because it’s a transition time and needs time to grow, remind me of that truth. If I need to do something differently, open my eyes to those changes. My businesses are in your hands. I want them to stay there.
August 6, 2012
It’s so hard not to wonder if I’m making a mistake. I got 4 calls last week for wedding planning. I truly feel I’m doing the right thing, but those calls had me a little confused. Were they to strengthen my faith? Your will be done, Lord. Show me just the next step, Lord. It is hard to imagine business slowing for another month. I don’t know what to expect with VMP. I pray, Lord, that you would provide. Show me how to be a good steward of your money.
August 12, 2012
Father, you are good. Forgive me, Lord, for doubting your plan. The number of brides calling for wedding planning is overwhelming. I feel like it’s a test of my faith but wonder if it’s not guidance or a sign I need to be doing it. Even saying that seems wrong and not true. Help me, Lord. Fill me with your truth. Guide me along your path.
August 28, 2012 [My birthday! 🙂 ]
Lord, I had a rough day yesterday and a pity party about Tropical Storm Isaac. It was frustrating and felt like someone didn’t want me to have my moment. I know that is silly, Lord. And my pride is so bratty. I don’t want to be like that. Remind me of the truth. Your plan is so much bigger than mine. I don’t know what’s best for me. You do.
[I had planned a VMP launch party August 30 and the tropical storm meant I needed to cancel or move it. I ended up having it a few days later, a bit smaller and still rainy but still fun to celebrate.]
September 16, 2012
As Tyler and I talk about kids, I think of what a nervine I will be during pregnancy. I’m so fragile. Fill me with courage and fear only in you.
November 8, 2012
I don’t pray for growth in my life. I don’t pray for our marriage or for Tyler, or friends or family on a regular basis. Put a desire in my heart for those things Lord.
November 15, 2012
You have created such a following of people that have been inspired by me. [I’m cringing too!] Show me more ways to point to you. I’m your vessel.
November 16, 2012
VMP is not where I had hoped it would be as far as sales right now. You are in control. I pray you’d open the floodgates for the right clients. Bless VMP, Lord! I love you and know you are a God who always goes beyond what I even know you are capable of. Perform a miracle that lets the world know, it’s only by you.
November 20, 2012
This invitation business is definitely a faith tester. I am putting my faith in you. You see the books. You know the math. You know. Show me, Lord, how to continue to expand my territory. How to point everyone to you.
December 3, 2012
I can’t do anything by my own strength. VMP is your business. I am your steward. How would you like me to run things? I am no longer the owner. I never really was, but I thought I was. I pray, Lord, that you would help my mind understand what that means for how I view my business and how I act and think about business. I pray, Lord, that you would pour out your blessings on VMP. I am so close to the end of my savings. Scratch that. It’s your business. Still working on it.
January 17, 2013
Lord, I pray for the Southern Fete deal that it would go smoothly and quickly. My account is so low. Send something! New jobs or the business sale. Show me how to not spend money on unnecessary things.
[I was lucky enough to get to sell my first business, Southern Fete, to supplement my invitation income with monthly payments of that sale. It wasn’t like selling a tech startup, but more like a brand. But it kept me afloat!]
January 24, 2012
My body has felt so weird lately.
January 25, 2012
We are pregnant! I am so excited. Fear and worry have not crept in. I pray you would help me with that. … I pray the Risk & Rest series will impact people greatly. [You can check it out here!] Show me more ways to inspire people.
February 4, 2012
I want to surprise myself at how calm and stable I am Lord and how strong I am to handle all the changes to my body. None of that can be done without you. Perform miracles Lord! Be glorified through my pregnancy and through the life of our little one!
April 7, 2013
I am a bit nervous about how slow things are moving for VMP. I know Lord, you have a plan that I’m not fully aware of.
April 9, 2013
Thank you, Lord, for putting a fire in me, not necessarily for my work but for how I can use VMP to make an impact… This brand is your brand, the blog is your blog. I want it to be used for your glory.
May 7, 2013
Things are pretty slow and I’m not sure if the answer is a part-time job for the summer or to trust the Lord that VMP will be the avenue that the Lord provides. My energy has returned and I am more than willing to work hard.
May 28, 2013
I have so many requests to lift up to you. My 10 goals. Baby Lyla and all my pregnant friends. My family and friends. Our jobs. I lift all these to you. I can do nothing apart from you.
May 30, 2013
Father, thank you for how you have been revealing things to me. Like for the prayer journal. Continue to develop this idea, Lord!
June 15, 2013
I need you to fill me with your power. I also really want to be a joyful mom despite hard things but I’m not choosing joy right now in my pregnancy hard things. [A seed planted for Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday!]
June 18, 2013
I know you are in control of VMP. I desperately need your provision. Is this supposed to fail? Am I supposed to be doing something different to make it happen? Send me your truth. I will obey.
July 2, 2013
Send me confirmation if VMP is to continue. I’m not sure what to do. But whatever it is, I want to be in your will.
July 8, 2013
I want to live boldly for you. How can I inspire others today? How can I love others today? You are my provider Lord. I am in desperate need of you, Lord. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost out of money for VMP. Lord help me put my trust in you.
[For context, Tyler owned his own business as well which meant neither of us had steady paychecks early on in marriage.]
July 18, 2013
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that VMP takes hard work. I am amazed by the business you have sent in the last week. Thank you, Lord, for your generosity. Show me how VMP can work for your kingdom, how it can glorify you.
September 30, 2013
Today, I’m going to start selling the journals. Bless everyone who comes in contact with them and I pray in advance for all the requests that will fill the pages.
[A few thoughts. 1) I find it interesting how little I mention the journals before we started selling them. It’s truly because I didn’t see it like I had seen our wedding invitations or even lifestyle collections. I had no clue this is what God was going to grow. 2) This prayer from 7 years ago is still active. I prayed the Lord would bless everyone who comes in contact with our journals which in my mind, I hoped would be 50 people and, still counting, is over 100,000!]
October 2, 2013
Lord, you have blessed this journal endeavor more than I could have ever imagined. In just two days, we’ve had $2,800 worth of orders. You have wildly surpassed all my expectations. [Younger Val, you have no idea!] Continue to bless these and use them. Prayer is so powerful.
October 6, 2013
VIVI is born!!
October 11, 2013
Thank you so much for the gift of Vivi. She is so special and I’m honored you picked me to be her mom. Thank you for such an amazing first 5 days with her. Lord, I pray you would continue to bless my busy days with time with you. Through Scripture, prayer, book reading and sermons, music. Show yourself to me. My worries have been more minimal than I expected.
October 17, 2013
Thank you, Lord, for the millions of blessings you have bestowed upon me. Thank you for stretching me so much through Vivi’s birth and first two weeks. I am amazed by what you have done. Be glorified in me. Lord, I want to do big things with the journals. That may mean not necessarily millions of sales but instead, a thriving community who is praying for others. Whatever your will is, use me. Make my desires, your desires.
October 31, 2013
I pray fervently that you would start a revolution of prayer through these journals and a community. Transform lives, Lord. Of those people being prayed for and of the pray-ers themselves.
I am humbled at what the Lord has done in and through Val Marie Paper. I’m nothing special, just someone who keeps coming back to Him in prayer.
Have you ever looked back through your prayer journals to see how He’s worked in your life? Or do you want to look back 5 years from now and see what He’s done? Get started here.