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Better Than Planned

I have had a few words living in my heart for the past few weeks, and I probably wrote this post ten times in my head. If you haven’t followed this blog for very long, you should know that I’m super sentimental about everything. It’s probably why I’m so stuck on vintage finds and pieces that have stories behind them.

But I’ve reached what feels like a turning point in my life, and, hey, what isn’t more appropriate to discuss life changes than bursting spring blooms welcoming a new season and a child completely in awe of those fresh, vibrant surroundings? (Sort of a metaphor, I guess.)

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Okay, you caught me. This post is totally just an excuse to show off our cute kid for a second. (Kidding.)

Before I get all mushy on you, I need to give you a little back story.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Ever since I was 6 years-old, I knew I wanted to create and help people. Create stories, find answers to problems, capture moments, build people up, figure out ways to make the world around me better…and I may not have had the capacity to really say that then, but I knew it deep within my soul.

God instilled in me a passion for so many things, and all through high school, college, and my early twenties, I could never find my place. I was never satisfied, and I got bored easily or felt like I lacked something that prevented me from focusing solely on one thing. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I had all of these interests that seemed completely unrelated and nowhere to really express them all. I never felt fulfilled.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

I had a dream to be a journalist when I was 16, but I realized the competition would be too fierce for little shy me. Being a reporter takes assertiveness, and I knew I didn’t have that.

I dabbled as a photographer, but I figured I had to take pictures of actual people to make money in it. I just wanted to take pictures of beautiful things sans clients.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

I loved interior design, but it was just a fun hobby. No way could I ever really be any good and have a job in it. So I’d envision my childhood bedroom the way I wanted to decorate it and created mood boards for my college dorm rooms. (Now I realize that’s not what just anyone does. I suppose I was onto something.)

I became a teacher because I wanted to encourage and empower people, and I did enjoy it in those 5 years, but I felt restless and missed creating. If I had to teach Romeo and Juliet one more time, I would have probably flipped out. (“Mrs. Shaver, why don’t they just come clean and tell their parents they got married to begin with?” Good question, little Johnny. I asked myself the same thing the first 20 times I read it, and I’m stumped.)

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Then, a while after getting married, Robert and I were blessed with our little girl, and I adored becoming a mother. Truly, I love it! But I feel guilty to admit that a part of me thought, “Well, that’s it. No more soul searching to figure out what you really want to be when you grow up. You’re there. And you better just be content. No one ever feels 100% satisfied with their job anyway.”

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Boy was I wrong. Because you see (if you’re still reading this, please accept this giant virtual hug) just when you think you’ve reached the end of a journey, when you think you’ve reached your destination, and you learn to accept it even if it doesn’t fill up all of those empty spaces in your heart, God can amaze you.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Our little girl opened a door; she didn’t close one. That destination from what seemed like an aimless wandering, wasn’t aimless at all. God had a plan. And when He placed a baby into our lives and gave little lost me the opportunity to leave my job. He showed me how everything I’ve ever loved could fit into a job I could wake up to every day and be excited about. This blog. And, okay, it’s more of a glorified hobby than a full on job right now, but I have His answer.

(UPDATE:  3/10/2016  This blog is officially my job! And I have now matched and surpassed my old teaching salary while still being able to stay home with my daughter. God is good all the time. If you want to learn how to start your own blog, click here.)

My love of writing, of photography, of teaching, of making, of designing- it’s all here. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

But the point of this post isn’t about me because I want you to know this…

Whenever you feel lost, know that God’s direction is different than yours.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Whenever you fall, know that God is using that moment in your life to teach you and prepare you.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

Whenever you lose faith and you think it’s the end of a long road, know that God has something better for you up ahead.

Better Than Planned {A Testimony to Trusting God's Direction} | Bless'er House

You just have to trust. And have faith like a child’s.

Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to check in on my adventures. You are a piece of my dream come true.

signoff

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48 Comments

  1. What a beautiful post! And oh my, those are some gorgeous pictures of your little one surrounded
    by so much beauty!! I wish I could find a location like that here in NC.
    Blessings,
    Carmen

    1. Thank you, Carmen! And we actually live right on the border of NC/SC near Carowinds if you know where that is. Our peach trees just dropped their blooms though. Maybe next year. 🙂

  2. God is so awesome! Just when you think there is no way something more can happen, he opens the door to a whole new world. I was really nervous about starting a blog, but I finally just told myself to give it a try and I love it! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, but I love learning more about photography and being able to show what I’ve made or done. I’ve always loved decorating too, but didn’t know how to use it in my everyday life, but now I have a reason. You have a beautiful little girl and the pictures are just adorable. I’m glad you let God show you what He had planned for you!

    1. You are absolutely right, Pamela. Nothing is impossible. 🙂 Best of luck in blogging! I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. There really is nothing in the world like it. Thank you so much for all the love!

  3. That was so beautiful and well written. It just came from the bottom of your heart and said all the things I think we silently say to ourselves. Hey Lauren, I am doing the drama for my Ladies Retreat (the theme is Our Journey) and would be so blessed if I would have permission to read this out loud. Please say yes!

  4. Such a beautiful reveal of your heart. His timing is perfect and sometimes we only see His plan once we’ve walked the path for a while. Give praise for finding your spot for now, but continue to be malleable to His will and the exciting adventure ahead. Your blog is one of my favorites of all time and I love that you share your spot with all of us!

    1. You are absolutely right, Jen. We should never be 100% stuck on staying where we are. Change is good. Thank you for such a HUGE compliment! That means so much to me!

  5. Beautifully written and expressed. And as an ‘older’ mom and woman, don’t be surprised if this turns out to be a step to something else in the future. Our little pea brains cannot wrap our heads around the wonders that God has planned for us! And I love the instagram shot of her dress above her head and her undies showing! My youngest daughter is 22 but that brought sweet memories!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I cannot even fathom how God has used so much of my past already in just my 27 years. You are absolutely right that it can’t even amount to His greater plans for us. It’s astounding. And I definitely couldn’t resist that silly pic of her. Every day is an adventure with that one. I’m sure you know how it is. 🙂

  6. Lauren my friend you and I are seriously the same person! I can not even tell you how amazing it was to read this and know I am not the only one trying to figure out this journey. I have so much faith but seem to always try to take things into my own hands. I have had the Big dreams, I’ve settled, and I have too felt that having my kids I would not be able to reach my life long dreams. Blogging to me has opened up doors and I keep praying this is my journey. Amazing how lately I feel everything in my life is holding me back from doing what I love, but I keep fighting it knowing that this is what I was meant to do and that hopefully one doors opens up another. Thanks for the encouragement! Oh and your daughter is such a little beauty! Love the photos you took : )

    1. Haha Deb, you know I’ve thought so many times that you were basically my long lost twin. I’m so glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. It’s good to know I’m in good company. This whole blogging thing sometimes seems like one great big soul-searching party…in the most awesome way. 🙂

  7. Lauren,

    What a blessing you are! Thank you for sharing about your journey and the direction, as well as the blessings that God has given you. You have blessed me today by sharing your story and your faith, and I know that you are a blessing to someone that might be in the same shoes you were and searching. The pictures of Olivia and the beautiful trees were an added bonus, too!
    Blessings to you, sweet friend!
    Lanita

    1. Thank you so much, Lanita! You always leave comments that fill me up. 🙂 I’m so thankful that you take the time to leave me some love every day.

  8. What a lovely post! I just recently started following your blog, but I love it! I can relate to how you feel! I’ve always, always wanted to be a wife and mother….always!! I got married when I was 20 and my kids are now 21 and 26 (where did the time go?) But no one tells you that your job will someday end and your kids will move on leaving you with a big empty space!!! It’s really hard trying to find a new direction to your life! It’s as if I were in a time capsule with my family and now, 26 years later, I’ve emerged to find the world a completely different place! Who wants to hire a 50 year old woman, with very few technical skills and the word “MOM” where is says, “previous work experience”? It’s a conundrum!!!! I don’t want my job to end!!!!
    Looking for a job that wants someone to bake, make delicious homemade soups and breads, quilt, decorate, organize, and color code their closets!! Anxiously awaiting grandchildren!!!!

    1. I’ve only been in the “mom zone” for going on 3 years and already feel like I’m living in a time capsule, so I can only imagine! You’re so right in that it’s challenging finding direction sometimes, but it’s also kind of exciting at the same time, right? Knowing that there are so many adventures possibly still awaiting you. 🙂

  9. Thank you for this post! Last week I had the most stressful week of my life it felt like, and I quit my job. This week, I’m facing potential new beginnings, ending a stressful and unfulfilling chapter, and general uncertainty. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who just didn’t fit.

    1. It makes me SO glad to hear that this post spoke to you, Holly. Not glad to hear that you’re in a stressful point in your life, but it’s also exciting that you get to start a new chapter. And that’s always a blessing in disguise I think. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together. 🙂

  10. Lauren, a big virtual hug back… And know that It is only the beginning of your lifelong journey, being a parent never ends. I have 4 kids (2 out of the house) and have never been happier in my life. Thank you for taking us along on your spectacular journey.

  11. Lauren, you have brought tears to my eyes this morning! I needed this encouragement so much. I’m so like you in that I have searched for the thing that I could say, “this is it” to, but have felt lost in the process. I think I’m falling into where I’m supposed to be, but I’m really needing to trust God for the details. Your faith has inspired and encouraged me!

    1. It makes me SO happy to hear it could give you some encouragement, Rebekah. It really is so hard to let go and just trust and pray that everything will end up the way it’s supposed to, but it always seems like with me, in the times where I just let go of the worry and pray and know that whatever is supposed to happen will happen, those are the times when I see God’s best work in my life. I hope the same for you, friend. 🙂

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