living on pb & j

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


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Yes. No. Wait.

After we moved from Florida to TN, my son started praying that we would have snow on Christmas.  I was so sure that it would snow; I figured that God would answer a sincere little boy’s sweet prayer request.  But, well, it didn’t happen.

Christmas came.

It did not snow.

I was not happy.

Yes. It was immature of me. Yes, I knew better.  It doesn’t help that I have been a Christ-follower for years and that I am a pastor’s wife.  You would think I would know better.  But I simply thought that this would be a great way to build my son’s faith and teach him how God answers prayer.  I didn’t “get” why God didn’t “get on board”.

Well, a few weeks passed and it finally snowed. I was furthered annoyed, questioning why God could not have brought it earlier.  But I decided to make the most of it. I bundled up our two little ones, grabbed our new sled and took off up the hill.

We went flying down the hill, giggled, threw snowballs and enjoyed the white beauty.  As we were climbing up the hill, my son started talking about God. “Mom, God told me to wait, didn’t He?”  I tried to decipher what he was talking about; when I understood, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My four year old trusted God better than I did. “A” realized that God had heard his prayer. It wasn’t that God was ignoring him. It was that God had different plans.  God brought the snow when He decided to bring the snow.

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“Yes, ‘A’, God had you wait.

…but when He brought you snow, it was perfect. It was beautiful, it was fun, it was exactly what we needed.”

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t give up on us. …AND I am thankful that my son has learned to trust and love God even when his mama messes up.

Rejoicing,

Joy

 

 


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For Better, For Worse

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My husband and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary this past Saturday. When we spoke those vows of “for better or for worse” eleven years ago, we never dreamed that the “for worse” would mean saying a temporary “good-bye” to our sweet Heaven-born Nathaniel. God was so gracious and loving to us through the days and weeks that followed. His peace is continuously with us as reminders of our loss come before us still. Nathaniel’s due date is still a little over a month away and I know that day will bring more tears, yet even more of God’s peace!

In the difficult moments that came after we learned that our son had gone to be with Jesus, my husband and I spent time crying and praying. We are thankful for the moments when even though we don’t know what or how to pray that the Holy Spirit is there with us interceeding for us with “groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) God gave my husband a strength that I could lean on through those days that followed, and this continues.

When we were in the hospital we were given opportunity to spend time with our son. This was truly one of the hardest times in our lives, but a time we would not trade for anything! In it we knew that precious peace that passes all understanding! We got to hold our son, our little Nathaniel, and sing to him and read Scripture and talk to him and tell him the things that were on our hearts. Even though he wasn’t “there”, being able to do these things helped us, and reading the Scripture reminded us that he was living those beautiful truths right now!

Someone once told me that I would not be able to think of my son without thinking of Jesus and I have found this true over and over again! In the familiar passage about the rapture in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I wrote Nathaniel’s name in the margin because he is one of those “which sleep in Jesus”. This passage has a more intimate meaning to me than it ever did before!

On our wedding day, my husband and I were focusing on the “for better”, but we are so thankful that God knew about the “for worse” and gave us the grace and strength we needed (and still need) for those times. We still have sad days, but we know because of the hope we have in our Savior Jesus Christ and His shed blood and finished work on the cross of Calvary, our future can only be “for better.”

A dear friend who has two Heaven-born sons said this on Father’s Day and it truly expresses how I feel about my husband during our son’s Heaven-going:

” I truly believe that it takes more love for a daddy to graciously accept their children being taken away, than to love them here in this world.” – Honorah Stewart Deatrick

A verse that has been special to me lately is the one I’ll close with. May it encourage you today as well:

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26

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For This Child I Prayed, Part 2

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So much has happened since I posted in January about my sweet little boy (or should I say so many words!). In January he turned 2 and his vocabulary was very limited. We weren’t sure what was going on. We took him to his pediatrician, and he assured us that he was fine and that he would talk when he was ready.
I was so tempted to continue to worry about him, but I prayed about it and left the situation with the Lord. The Lord gave me such a sweet peace. We did a lot of extra talking and singing with our son and a couple months later more and more words started to come. One of his first words was “tractor”. Before that, he had only said about three or four words. More and more words and then phrases and short sentences came. It was a joy to hear him say the precious name “Jesus”!
He repeats most words that he hears now, but he mostly prefers singing! I found him one day standing on the piano trying to sing “Jesus Loves Me”. It was hard for me not to laugh because he was being so sweet, but I didn’t want him to fall. Thus, his singing had to be moved to a different location!
I give all the praise to our wonderful God for what I have daily seen in my little boy’s life! When he finally said “mommy”, it brought tears to my eyes! Each day as I hear so many words come from my son’s lips, I am reminded of how important it is to pray specifically for our children and wait and see what our God can do!
At naptime and at bedtime I sing with my little boy and our final song comes straight from Scripture. Countless times I have heard my little boy start singing this song in his own way, and it is truly music to my ears! It is from Psalm 4:8: “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”
On Monday, my husband and I will be taking our son to see an optician. He has been crossing his right eye for several months now. One of his older sisters had to have glasses when she was 18 months old because of crossed eyes. This situation is once again a time when we could be worried, but we choose to trust the Lord and know that He knows what is best for our little boy. We have been praying for this situation, specifically that this problem could be corrected without surgery. Would you join our family in praying for our son? And thank you so much if you have been praying for his speech concern. If he could meet you, he would say, “Thank you” and “Love you”!
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21

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