living on pb & j

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


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Whole and Entire…

I just love mid week services.

I know they can be hard to get to in the midst of a busy week of making meals, taking care of children and Husbands, attending sporting events, having work obligations and of course keeping up with our households. It’s definitely not always easy getting everyone out the door to Church on a Wednesday night.

But somehow we manage to make it in and I’m always so very blessed by the message!

This past week I found myself (once again) sitting there in awe as if the Lord was speaking directly to me!

I was having a difficult week. We’ve been battling sickness passing from one person to another in our home, I was missing my daughter terribly as I’m preparing for my newest little girl on the way, and I was just feeling…well… defeated.

I’m sure many of you can relate to weeks like this on occasion and they are just so discouraging.. It seemed like Satan was just throwing one thing after another at our family and I was feeling overwhelmed.

So once I got all my children into their correct places and as I took my seat, I felt a little relieved that I had a moment to breathe and let the Lord work on me…and believe me, I always need continuous work. He’s definitely still working on me.. =)

When my Husband read the scripture for our Pastor before the service, I immediately thought, yep this ones going to be for me.

We read in the book of James.

This is my favorite book in the Bible because I find it the most challenging. I always seem to find my way here on the weeks when I need reminded that my trials have a purpose and that God has a plan.

And though this week some doors that we thought the Lord was opening for things we had been praying for in our lives, they seemed to be closing right back behind us. So I thought.. I definitely need to hear this.

When my Pastor had us read again the first four verses of chapter one, I sunk into my seat waiting and willing what the Lord had to say to me.

James 1:1-4

1. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I had chills come over my body as I sat in my seat listening… I looked down at my Bible and noticed the word written to the left of this scripture and I couldn’t help but smile.

❤ Emmaline ❤

I was losing focus..

On my prayers. On my future. On my week.

Yes I know trials will come and temptations will test me. And yes I know I need to count it “all joy” when they do.. but that is not always easy.

I know that not every week will be a walk in the park and to be honest, it seemed like it had been a while since we walked a valley, so I sort of realized it was due.

Life isn’t always easy.

There are many ups and downs.

There are times of excitement…

Times of sorrow…

Times of frustration…

And times of complete joy.

But all of these times and these “moments” we experience, they mold us and make us into who we are and who we are meant to be.

But the thing that completely brought me back were the words found in verse four.

… That ye make be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

They echoed over in my ears as I heard my Pastor say them, as I read and re-read them in my Bible and as I saw the name written just to the left.. Emmaline.

Emmaline scripture

Our sweet baby girl who we prayed so hard for.. The one who we asked God to send to help continue to heal our hearts and give us the opportunity to raise a daughter.

She truly is an answered prayer.

we prayed

And her name just happens to mean…whole and entire.

I leaned over to Rick with tears in my eyes and showed him the beautiful name that I had previously written in my Bible and reminded him, that’s what her name means.. of course he knew.

For that was why we picked it.

Yes, this week was full of trials, sadness and frustration for me but the Lord showed me in that moment that I was losing sight.

Yes some things we had been praying about didn’t seem to be working out at the time, but so much of what we have prayed for is..

And at the end of the day… God wants us to just rest in Him.

He wants us to be whole and entire, wanting nothing.

For if we put our trust in the Lord we can know and believe He has a plan for our lives. We just need to wait on Him. We need to try our best not to “want” so much but just know that in His time.. All things will work out.

I believe that. I truly do.

I’m not sure why this is so heavy on my heart today, and honestly I do pray it helps someone, somewhere to truly believe that God has such a plan in your life.

And if we can just put our wants and our desires aside long enough to seek His face, and fall fully into the will He has for us; I believe that down the line, we will have that ah- ha moment and completely understand the Lords heart.

It doesn’t always make our trials easy, but it definitely makes them worth it.

After the message I found myself  back on track and in a place of “entirety” so to speak.

He is all we need, He truly is. But He also has blessings for us in His time.

I miss my sweet Madeline Grace, I miss her every single day. But the Lord knows my heart and here in just 2 months, I will meet her baby sister. I know Emmaline Mercy will not be able to “heal” us.. Only God can do that, but I truly believe God is sending her to us to help us. She’s bringing us to a place of happiness and entireness.. especially in the Lord.

Whatever it is you are struggling with today friend, run to the Lord. Only He can provide the strength and grace to move forward, even during our hardest of trials and temptations. He knows right where we are and He wants to meet us there, and truly make us feel “whole and entire.” again. =)

May the Lord Bless you today!

Much Love,

Natalie ❤

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Mama’s prayers and future spouses…

Amazing Grace

I’ll never forget the day I met the sweet lady who would one day become my Mother in law. After I got saved, she gave me my first Bible and she truly took me under her wing as family. She helped me and undoubtedly prayed for me as I was a Baby Christian.

Years later, she told me something that really spoke to my heart. She told me that she had been praying for me for a very long time. She would pray with Rick every night that God would give him a good Christian wife.

I’ve since joked with her and told her “I’m sorry God did not answer your prayer”… but she always assures me that He did. =)

Rick has told me on many occasions that he would hear his Mom praying outside his bedroom when he was growing up. She would pray late into the night. As a teenager even, he told me he could see her shadow underneath his door as she was on her knees, always praying.

I’ve always admired this about my precious Mother in law, Vicky, who is also my Pastor’s wife. She is a true prayer warrior. If I need prayers to be prayed on mine or someone else’s behalf, I always go to her. Oh how precious are the prayers of a mother!

After Rick and I got married and I became a Mother myself, I remember praying for my children. I would think about who they would become and what they would do with their little lives… I tell Rick often how much it worries me one day that I will send my precious babies out into this world and they will be on their own…I just pray that the guidance, testimony and faith we displayed is and will be enough that they love and serve God all their lives.

But the best start we can give them is this….

~Pray for them.

~Ask God to save them.

~Be Faithful to God and to Church.

~Love Each other.

~Read God’s word together.

~Ask God to guide that His will be done in our lives.

And then there’s one that we added to our list about 2 1/2 years ago…

~Pray for their spouses.

Now you may think this seems silly, but I assure you it’s not!

I’ll never forget shortly after we lost our daughter and  found out we were having a 3rd son; I was standing in the kitchen of our Church speaking to a sweet lady to attends there.

She was asking me how I felt about having another boy and we were talking about the other two. She told me that as soon as she heard it was another boy, she just knew that God had BIG plans. It blessed my heart.

Then she told me something that really made me think!! She told me that she was glad that these three boys would be growing up in our home and in Church. She told me that one day, these three little boys would be men and would marry some young ladies.

I wasn’t just raising three little boys,.. I was raising three Husbands!

She told me that we should pray now… and ask God to give them good Godly wives. As she told me she is praying for her daughter to marry a good, Godly Husband. But she reminded me that she does not know who is raising up her daughter’s Husband. She only knows she is praying for him.

It really made me think!

Wow, I really have a job to do!! I’m raising someone’s Husband.. someone’s father one day.

I feel so honored that God would choose me (choose us) to do so… What a blessing!

It made me remember the words of my Mother in law, and it made me start praying!!!

My boys, Noah, Elijah and Jonah were only 5,3 and (on the way) at the time, but we started praying.

Every night after we finish devotions, I now listen to my 8 and 5 year olds pray for their future wives. I hear their little voices asking God to make them good, Godly Husbands and that He will give them good, Godly wives.

This melts my heart.

Sure I’m nowhere near ready to think about my sweet boys getting married and leaving me… but one day when they do, I want them to marry great young ladies who love the Lord and them with all their hearts.

And maybe one day, I’ll be able to tell my daughter in law’s… We’ve been praying for you all their lives. ❤

What a blessing that will be!

Our Children’s future is at stake, let’s pray hard!!

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Much love and prayers to you,

Natalie Ross


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Unto the Lord…

pitcher

Do you ever sit through a service in Church and think, “Wow, God must have truly been thinking of me when He led the Pastor to preach that?”

Yesterday, that’s exactly how I felt.

I arrived to Church a few minutes late and little frazzled. It was my night to bring snack to the boys children’s class and my Husband was out of the country traveling on business. If you’ve ever tried to get 3 (or any) kids to Church on your own, you know what I’m talking about. It takes lots of work. =)

So, I got my older two off to class and the baby dropped to the nursery and made my way to my pew. I listened as my Pastor took prayer requests. and I was trying my best to focus on the message, and get some encouragement and fuel for the rest of my week.

My Pastor brought a wonderful message on “Tools for the battle” and went through a list of men who were in the fight for good, and what the tools that helped them win the victory.

The passage He read from was found in 2 Samuel chapter 23 starting in verse 8. It was so good! And with each point I found myself shaking my head and feeling like I could relate.

Some of his points included

~Get involved in the battle (Adino)

~Refuse to quit (Eleazaer)

~Stand your ground (Shammah)

~Be willing to Sacrifice (David)

~Be willing to be loyal (Abishai)

~Be willing to overcome (Eliam)

With each man He described and each point he went through I felt excited and encouraged.

They all had something they were fighting for.. It may have seemed small and insignificant to some.. but it was worth the fight to them.

One of the men really made me think… It was David and is found in verse 15..

It went on to read that David was asking for a drink from the well in Bethlehem…

And the Bible tells us that three men broke through a host of Philistines and risked their lives to get David this drink from the well..

The thing that really made my eyebrows raise was that once the men returned with his drink from the well… David did not drink the water… But the Bible says he poured it out.

At first I thought to myself. How selfish is David? He asked for this drink, the men said they would get it, they did get it.. and then David just poured it out???

If I was one of those men, I would have been upset! But then my Pastor finished reading the verse… He poured it out… unto the Lord.

2 Samuel 23:15   And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!

2 Samuel 23:16   And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.

2 Samuel 23:17   And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.

These men risked their lives to do a job… just to simply get a drink for David. But they did it. They worked hard and they made it happen.

And David realized the sacrifice they made.. And in return, he sacrificed the drink that he so longed for, and gave this back to the Lord.

This encouraged me to pour myself out to the Lord… In everything I do.

In all I am… to pour myself into the job has given me at hand and do the best I can do.

My Pastor asked a simple question… “What’s your ministry? What are you fighting for?”

It hit me like a load of bricks… I have such a job to do!

I have such a ministry to live and teach and spread… And I needed this little pep talk to help me get geared up again for the battle.

My ministry is to be the best Mom and wife I can be.

My ministry is to share that life is short and brief and we do not know if we have tomorrow.. My sweet Maddie Grace taught me that.

My ministry is to work hard in the nursery, and teach my Sunday School class, and love our bus kids!

My ministry is to tell others about my Jesus who died for me.

We all have an area we can work and help. Maybe even just be an encouragement.

Maybe even just be willing to get the Pastor a drink of water…

Whatever job God has given us to do, we need to work hard and do the best we can!

Sometimes I think we grow weary..

Life and our everyday commitments can make us tired and wear us out, but it’s in those moments that the Lord always seems to show up and give us our second wind.

He’s there, ready to pick us up, wipe us off and send us back out to fight.

Are you tired, friend?

Run to the Lord. He will give you strength to continue this battle in life.

Pour yourself out to Him, He will bless you.

Maybe you struggle with pain?

Maybe you struggle with depression?

Maybe you feel like you aren’t good enough?

Or maybe you just don’t understand why you are going through what you are.

Whatever it is in your life, God will give you the strength you need to keep going, keep fighting.

What is your ministry?

Wherever you can find to serve God, serve Him there to the best of your ability.

He has such a plan for you.. and me! And it’s an exciting thing to be a Christian, friend!

For we have the truth.. the good news! And so many are out there that need to hear it.

I hope I can encourage you today, to find your ministry and pour yourself into it.

Find what you are fighting for… And get out there and fight!

It will be worth it in the end!  

2 Timothy 4:7   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2 Timothy 4:8   Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Much Love,

Natalie