living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!

Planning, Praising and Praying…

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I’ll never forget when my Husband and I were about to get married.. There was so much anticipation and excitement as we were planning for our upcoming marriage. I had the dress, the venue, and the color scheme all picked out. We knew where we were going on our honeymoon. We had a place to live when we returned.. we had everything all planned out. As our day came and went, and we found ourselves the next day, just the two of us.. we giggled both saying “what now?”

We were just two kids, now married, alone on our honeymoon in another country. We were madly in love with our whole lives ahead of us.. yet we had no idea of what was ahead of us.

We thought we had our lives all figured out. We would have 2 kids (a boy and girl) and we would live back home after graduating college. Rick would work in the Church and I would teach in the school, we would have our family, we would build our dream home and live happily ever after… =)

It sure sounded good.

As the years have passed (almost 10 of them now) I think back to those days from time to time. I look where we are now and I can’t help but smile.. We were so young and green back then. Our biggest problem back then was how many days to take for our Honeymoon trip.

Now that we are fully submerged into our lives of parenthood and the ministry my thoughts back then are just a distant memory, but God has been speaking to me. He’s been showing me some things.

All those plans I had back then… they weren’t necessarily Gods plans.

And as I grow and continue to mature in the Lord, I continue to see just what His plans are in our lives.

I have to get rid of “my plans” and fully surrender to the Lord. I surrender to His will and His desires in my life, and in doing so.. His desires become mine.

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I love that verse.

So now as my precious Husband and I walk hand in hand together through this life all these years later, we can look back.. Our plans have change to praises.

We can praise God when he carried us through some of the valleys in our lives…

Like for the hard times He brought us through when we were fresh out of Bible college with a brand new baby. We were really struggling to make ends meet on his income from the Church alone.

During the time when his second job and business went under, and we had just given birth to our second son, and again we were so scared of how we would make it and pay our mortgage and bills on time.

We look back to the day that we had an ultrasound for our 3 month old baby and we heard no heartbeat. And within days of that we came home to our home flooded and the insurance company applied no coverage and called it an “act of God”..

And then during our most recent valley… When the Lord blessed our heart’s desire with a little girl, and we felt like we couldn’t ask Him for one more thing… until He called her back home just two short days later…

We all have trials and hardships we face in life, and these were the hardest of ours.

Yet, some of the hardest times in our marriage and the situations that cause some families to part ways, God carried us through. And we praise Him for that.

He provided His grace, strength and hope each day to help us through.. He has taught us through each of these trials and we learned to fully lean on Him.

Whatever He chooses to bring our way, we continue to praise Him. How could we not? He is the one who gives us all we have. He is the one who has blessed us with all the good things.

Ultimately, every trial He allows us to walk through is meant to bring us closer to Him.

I’m so glad to know this.

God loves me. He truly does..

And everything in my life is drawing me closer to Him.

I’m so grateful that He speaks to me and lays things on my heart. I praise Him for it.

The other thing that He has been dealing with me on, is my prayer life…

Our “planning” that we used to do has definitely started changing to praying..  I think my Husband has always been better about doing this than me.. Since I didn’t start going to Church and get saved until I was 16, it wasn’t something that was ingrained in me the way it was in Him. I have to work really hard at my prayer life.

Really hard.

And some days my sweet Rick has to remind me to stop planning so much and start praying about the things on our hearts.

It’s one of my downfalls for sure, and I’m asking God daily to help me to just trust and fully surrender to His plans for me. This is most definitely easier said than done in my life.

So, we began praying that God would carry us, guide us, and help us to make the right decisions according to His plans.

Sometimes you don’t realize your prayer life is lacking until you face the greatest heart ache of you existence… and all you can do is look up.

For me, this was the case.

When it hurt to take a breath every day and the tears didn’t seem to ever end.

I looked to Him and He was there to comfort me. He was there to carry me.

I cried to Him in prayer and He comforted me with His word. Oh how this has helped my hurting soul.

Prayer wasn’t something we just “chose” to do.. It was something we “had” to do.

We needed God everyday.

We needed a touch from the Master’s hand. We needed advice from our Father…

We still do.

Every. Day.

Prayer is so important. ~That’s how we talk to God.

But it goes a step further… One of the ways God talks to us is through His Word. The Bible.

If we aren’t reading His word.. It’s like we are talking into a phone to God in prayer but when He tries to call us and gives us guidance or an answer… We don’t answer. We don’t pick up.

We have to pick up His word and read it. He wants to speak to us. Daily.

He has so much in store for us!

I’m sure 10 more years from now I’ll look back to where I am now and be glad how much further I am in this journey of life. And as my heart ponders on the things I’ve been through, I truly believe I can face much of what is to come.. with God’s help.

We can truly face anything this life has to bring if we walk through it with the Lord. He’s there.

How is your heart today?

Have your plans fallen through?

Are you praising the Lord, even during the valleys?

How is your prayer life?

These are things we can all work on. We truly “should” be working on to better our selves as Christians and become more Christ like.

It’s a daily straggle, and Satan wants us to fail, but with God’s help we can do anything.

I’m trusting now in His plans, and I hope to praise the Lord and be faithful to Him in prayer… daily.

I hope this was a little bit of encouragement for you! We are all in this together!

God is good!!

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Much Love to you!

Natalie

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