My son’s fianćee and I have similar stories, although they take place thirty years apart. Both involve wedding ideas, prayer journals, dependency on God, unexpected provisions, and a whole lot of faith-building.


I thought of our stories today as I was reading in Mark 6:7-12.


Jesus sends out the 12 disciples and instructs them to take nothing except what they are currently wearing at that time.


Bring nothing else. No bread. No bag. No money. No extra clothing.


Why? I wondered. Why didn’t Jesus say, “Now, go and gather your belongings and prepare for this journey and then be on your way”?


In Luke 22:35 Jesus followed up with the disciples, “When I sent you without money, belt and bag, and sandals, did you lack anything?” They answered, “No. Nothing.”


Why would this passage be in scripture? What does it mean, I pondered… and how does this apply to us today?

Jesus wants our security to be in him, not ourselves. He wants us to depend on him, He wants us to experience firsthand the joy and peace found in surrendering our desire to control. He wants us to rest in him, knowing we lack nothing when we trust in him provisions.

I think you’ll agree. The pursuit in life seems to be to have more than enough to live comfortably, where needs and dreams are easily fulfilled. We would like to avoid any discomfort of a job loss, a financial set back, or any situation where we are not in complete control and wonder about our provisions.


But alas, that’s not what God desires. Yes, he wants us to work hard and with a great attitude. He wants us to be generous. But, he wants our dependency on him, not on ourselves.


Now, here comes the similar stories I thought of as I was reading that passage this morning.


When I was engaged thirty years ago, I kept a prayer journal of things I’d like for my wedding. Big and small. Inexpensive items and out-of-budget items. I knew I could trust God to meet needs and I also knew I could share the desires of my heart with him. In so doing, as I watched him provide, my faith increased!


Like many brides-to-be back then, before Pinterest, I looked through countless bridal magazines, tearing out pages of beautiful, expensive wedding gowns and adding them to my wedding binder. I had a very favorite that was – well, just a dream… but I wrote it in my journal anyway. Meanwhile, I continued going to bridal salons and trying on countless gowns looking for just the right one within my budget


A college friend had gotten married earlier that year, and one day randomly asked me, “Would you like to borrow my bridal gown?” Would you believe… it was THE VERY ONE I had admired from the bridal magazine! And, it was my size. #onlyGod

1985 Rhonda's borrowed Wedding dress

Talk about increasing my faith. Talk about excitement. This was far more exciting to see God work than if I would have had enough money to purchase at first sight. 

1985 John and Rhonda wedding

That’s just one of countless wedding stories of God’s provisions touching my heart.


My children have grown up hearing our stories and experiencing their own – of depending on God and watching him provide.


Fast-forward thirty years. My son Daniel (#danielkickscancer) got engaged in December. I made sure to tell his lovely fiancée Gabi of the beautiful testimonies of God’s provisions for our wedding and the excitement of being dependent on him. I challenged Daniel and her to do likewise, recording requests and trusting God with great faith to provide beyond what she could ever ask or imagine.

wedding prayer 2

Gabi has done just that. It’s her prayer journal for “little and big desires. She’s dreamed of this day her whole life and her Pinterest board is full of grand ideas that can’t be met outright. Of course, she’s trying to stay within a budget, crossing many things off the list, and looking for creative less-expensive ways to accomplish the same look. But, listen to this…


A few days ago, a friend of the family randomly gave her a check and said,  “This is for your wedding dress.”


#mamalike #dependencyonGod #doyouknowhim


But wait… there’s more. Just four days prior to this unexpected provision in the form of a $1000 check, Gabi had recorded some verses on faith in her prayer journal. She listed prayers for finding a church and a reception venue…

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.01.35 PM

… and she released things out of her control, accepting the Lord’s provisions as he so chooses to provide, even saying, ‘Prompt people to be generous and give.” For real… it’s right there in the journal below.

wedding journal 3

Boom! He did. #faithincreased #joyindependency #mamalike


Don’t miss an opportunity to see God provide in miraculous ways. Is there something you’re still trying to control or figure out on your own? Friend, you can rest in trusting God for his provisions.


Rhonda iwantyoutoknowHim ellis

  1. I love this story and I love that you and Gabi shared it. So encouraging to see how God takes care of such personal details for us!

    • Rhonda

      Yes he does! I know you have experienced this over and over again too. 🙂

  2. Priscilla

    What an example of faith and trust. It has challenged me to do the same in a certain area. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

    • Rhonda

      Priscilla, I’m so glad this encouraged you. I am praying for you today.

  3. Elizabeth Prestwood

    I love that you shared this story. I never knew but it makes the fact you loaned me your bouquet for my wedding even more special. God is good and faithful.

    • Rhonda

      Hi Elizabeth, so good to hear from you. Wow! I had totally forgotten about that. How fun is that – that we all shared with each other for our weddings. 🙂

  4. Lana Ellis Lowery

    Thank you for your testimony in which God does listen to the desires of our heart.I have been praying for a provision also and felt quilt as I ask God for this.Reading this Rhonda I believe God,
    That his blessings are given because he is our only source we depend on and he loves us and knows what we need before we ask. Thank you and ask for your prayers in this request in my life.

    • Rhonda

      Hi Lana, thank you for sharing with us. Praying now for God’s provisions. He is worthy to be trusted for both the things needed in our lives and for the things we lay at his feet in the form of desires of our heart. He knows what is best for us and provides abundantly above all that we can ask or even imagine when our hearts safely trust in Him.

  5. Lee Anne Anderson

    Thank you for sharing this! So wonderful to see how your dependence on God has so positively influenced those around you as you share this!

    • Rhonda

      Hi Lee Anne, God is good. I’m excited about the upcoming wedding in your family and know Peter and his bride will see God provide in so many beautiful ways. 🙂

  6. Gabriela

    Mrs. Rhonda,
    I am so thankful for both of these stories. Thank you for encouraging Daniel and me to make our requests known to God and watch as he works. Thank you for asking me to share my story on your blog! Thank you for pointing me to Christ. I am so thankful for your friendship and wisdom in my life!

    • Rhonda

      My sweet Gabi, Thank you for allowing others to peer into your journey of #danielkickscancer as well as wedding planning and your walk with Christ. You continue to inspire me. 🙂

      • Gabriela

        I’m thankful for the opportunity to share little pieces of my life with others! And you continue to inspire me as well! 🙂 <3

  7. Christen

    I was so encouraged by this story and the reminder to – trust God & pray! Thank you for sharing! (buying a summer prayer journal this week!)

    • Rhonda

      Christen, Thanks for commenting. #mamalike. Send me a photo of your first entry. 🙂 WIll it be for your foot to heal so you can stand on the surfboard this summer? lol. I do love how you are in the Word and seeking to grow in your walk with Christ.

  8. Karis Bellisario

    Perfectly timed. my boys and I said “yes” to Ecuador many weeks ago, and then the earthquake hit, and the needs there are even greater, and I am still wondering on the “logistics” of costs for flights and the tools needed for the ministries…and even my place. Why on earth am I going? what do I really have to offer? rumble around. Just Today I looking at actual flights with actual numbers and it was discouraging, I know this post was perfectly timed for me. Time to write. To pray. To trust. To let go of the planning, worry, and simply lay it down and believe. Thanks for a timely word.

    • Rhonda

      Hi Karis, How awesome that you will be sharing a ministry trip with two of your kids!!! Life-changing. It is a BIG expense to travel abroad. I’m praying for your trip that your boys and you would rest in God’s provisions and timing. (Miss you!)

  9. Jess

    Im a bride, that was literally just freaking out about how i was going to pay for my wedding and get the things i have dreamt of.
    Your story just boosted my faith, i would really love to read more of this wonderful testimony.

  10. Janeliza

    Wow powerful message, when we learn to fully trust in GOD He surpasses our expectations.Ephesians 3:20.I have a wedding and I know all my needs are met by the one who owns all silver and gold.

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