Using our Filters

When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a tiny apartment. I could vacuum the entire house using one plug for the cord. My mom came to visit for a few days. She didn’t mind sleeping on the couch, but she did mind the lack of coffee supplies. She quickly went out to buy us a coffee pot, filters and coffee.

After my mom left, she sweetly left us the coffee pot for future visits. After a year in the tiny apartment, we upgraded to a bigger one. I brought the coffee pot and the filters along with us. We made coffee on rare occasions, and I was happy we were prepared.
When my husband and I finished schooling, we moved to another city for further training. As I packed the house for the move, I broke the coffee pot and decided to throw it away. However, I kept the coffee filters. There were a bunch of them, and I didn’t want to waste a perfectly usable product. So I put the filters in a plastic bag and packed them.

My husband and I moved into our first home. We were excited about the change and the new possibilities that came with it. Most of all, we were thrilled that we lived right next to a local coffee shop. I didn’t need to buy a coffee pot; and as the years went by, I completely forgot about the filters.

We moved one more time back to our hometown where my husband and I first met. As I was unpacking, I found the coffee filters. My husband must have tossed them into the box. I thought it was interesting that the filters had made it from our first home to our current home almost eight years later.

“What am I going to do with these filters?” I thought.

I kept them mainly for nostalgia’s sake. The filters were a sweet reminder of my marriage’s beginning. Finally back in our hometown, we joined a church and began to raise our growing family. A year later we started a church home group. My friend bought me a coffee pot for Christmas, and I started serving the much wanted coffee for my friends. I finally had a use for my coffee filters.

What I’ve come to understand is that God many times gives us coffee filters. He puts a desire, talent, promise or dream into our hearts way before we will ever use them. They just sit on the back burner, and we wonder why God ever gave us the passion in the first place.

But slowly, without us even realizing it, a need will come and we’ll finally get to do what God has called us to do. I don’t know why God places these dreams in our hearts so early, but I do know that we will greatly enjoy dedicating ourselves to those dreams when the time arrives…. I was excited to finally use my filters.

What about you? Has God given you a talent, dream, passion or promise that you haven’t been able to fulfill? Or have you finally been able to accomplish something that God anointed you for years in advance? Share your story with us, so we can be encouraged that God does finally let us use our filters.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1.20 NIV).

Blessings to you!

Alisa Hope Wagner

Alisa Hope Wagner is aggressive about leading a simple life. She enjoys working out, reading, writing and communicating God’s love and truth. She married her high school sweetheart, and together they enjoy raising their children in a Christ-centered home. Though an introvert by nature, Alisa easily expresses herself through social media, especially on her blog. She has earned her B.A. Degree in English and her M.S. Degree in Applied English Linguistics, and she volunteered in women’s ministry leadership and life group ministry for her church. She trained in Mixed Martial Arts and won her bout by TKO! She has written her debut novel, Eve of Awakening, and has started the sequel, Bear Into Redemption.

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  1. Excellent post, bless you.

  2. Alisa, This is a great analogy. And for me, it comes at a perfect time. I just got done running my first-ever half-marathon. In January, I couldn’t have run to the mailbox and back. But on Sunday, I ran 13.1 miles! That’s a God-inspired passion in my heart — to run for Him. I suspect that He must have placed that in me a long time ago, but He waited for the right time to use it for His glory. In this run, I was able to raise $2,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In earlier years, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do that. So, yes, from personal experience, I believe what you say is true.

    I think that’s good reason to keep our eyes open for how God wants to use us. Often, we’re like Moses, saying “I could NEVER do that, so pick someone else.” When in fact, God really does want to use us in a special, new way!

    Thanks Alisa, for a terrific post.

  3. Thank you for sharing this Alisa. I needed this reminder. 🙂

  4. Alisa, love the analogy!
    God’s calling on our lives are so precious; even before we know what it is He’s called us to do.
    He does give us the desire, when we’re yielded to Him, to want to pursue something worthy of praising Him.
    Thank you for the reminder to keep on keepin’ on!

  5. God gave me a HUGE passion for photography…I am slowly using it to gain extra income…maybe one day I can use it for something even more amazing…like family pictures for people who cannot afford them!

  6. Your first apartment sounds like ours! Good post.

  7. Great post! Sometimes in the dailiness of life, I feel like “this is it?!” I needed your reminder that God gave me my dreams, and he’ll bring them to fruition when the time is right!
    Writing and communicating is a new dream for me, but I see God’s been building all sorts of communication skills in me all along. Who knows where this dream will take me! I’m excited to see what God does.

  8. Hi Alisa –

    I started reading this over at your blog and had to finish the story. 🙂

    From when I was very young, I wanted to write. I started my first “novel” when I was 10. For many years that desire went into the basement of my heart. It came out briefly and then got packed away again. When my husband and I married, he encouraged me(okay he pushed me) to develope that gift. I’m now working on my third manuscript.

    BTW, thanks to the commenter who ran for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. My husband died from leukemia three years ago.


  9. Excellent post!

    I so understand the shelving of filters! God gave me a passion to do prison ministry years ago. He’d flame my desire… and then it’d go nowhere. I had no idea how to get into it. It’d blaze again at the strangest of times. Then, it again would be shelved and lay dormant awhile. Only to again, be awakened again and again and again. Until finally!… in the most unexpected of times!

    He opened a door in the wildest of ways without me hardly realizing that I’d actually be going. One prison. Then, before I’d hardly been there a minute, two! Then, three… and four… and oh so many more! And within only a few months I practically have access to every prison in Alabama. How did it happened? It only can be explained with God. None of it makes sense at all if not for Him. But wow… like you said, when the times arrives……… watch out and watch God! He’ll blow your mind and it’ll be hard to keep up with Him! 🙂 He knows what He’s doing. He put that passion there on purpose. And He fully intends to activate and fullfil it!

    How I love the wonder of my Lord!

  10. Neat story. Good job of using a metaphor to teach eternal truth.

    Yes, one of my dreams (time will tell if it is a talent 🙂 was to write a book. I did. Now I’m writing a follow-up volume, and another book on parenting. That dream took 25 years before I felt I really had something worth writing down and publishing. It took that long to gain the experience, do the study, and find what I thought my niche could be.

    So, whether it is coffee filters or a dream, don’t throw them out.

    Alisa, I’m running a series called Favorite Marriage Books. Would you like to contribute one as a guest post for me for May 14? Send me the title of your favorite book on marriage with a 2 paragragh summary of the book and 1 paragraph explaining how it encouraged you/your marriage. You can visit Family Fountain and see what the series is like.


  11. My dream is to use my writing to honor Him and bring Him glory. I can see it in my blog sometimes, but I pray that God will use that as a stepping stone for me.

    Love this post –


  12. I think God put me here to be a wife, mom, and grandma. I love it but I think there is still something else he wants me to do, I just haven’t listened to Him enough to figure that out.

  13. I love this post. There are so many things in my life that are suddenly becoming so clear. I cannot wait until the day I stand next to Jesus and he shows me the completed puzzle of my life and the reason for each gift.
    Many blessings,

  14. Wonderful words of wisdom Alisa. There have been many things placed on my heart over the years, and my problem is wondering when/if/how I’m supposed to do them all. 🙂 But I just rely on God to point me in the direction as He prepares me. One of my biggest areas is to lay the Christian foundation for my children, so that when they grow up and leave the house, their relationship with God will already be developed and it won’t be something they’ll have to struggle to find. We’ve been having a nightly Bible time lately, and the older girls really enjoy it. The younger kids I believe are being blessed just by listening, even if they don’t yet understand the concepts.

    There are so many more areas though – again I just get overwhelmed sometimes thinking of all the things I’m passionate about – and how God can possibly use me to accomplish them all in this lifetime. Our latest series at church was titled “What No Man Can Do” – and I think that definitely applies to the plans God has for our lives – for us, it would be impossible – but for God it is what no man can do, and with Him all things are possible.

  15. What a great post. I loved the analogy and nostalgia. It is amazing how long some things stay with us. And the meaning we discover behind them~a nice reminder of your Mom.

    Your post touched a soft spot with me. I believe the Lord has given me a dream as well but now I know it’s simmering on a back burner somewhere. I will just have to wait on His timing, and continue “moving” on with life.

    Thank you for sharing.

  16. Love this post Alisa, it makes me wonder how many things I’ve gotten rid of that God could have made use of.

  17. Alisa, I can relate to your analogy of the coffee filters. From someone who has moved multiple times, it is amazing ( and totally a God thing) that the filters weren’t uncovered until your last move. There is significance in everything, even coffee filters. What a nice reminder of new beginnings.

  18. What a wonderful way to bring things into perspective… you would use coffee filters… ha!



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