Cheap Date or Sweet Date?

My youngest and I went to get a few groceries last night after church. She asked if we could have a date night.  I thought, “I just want to go home! The kids still need to eat dinner, lunches and dishes have to be taken care of, baths need to happen, and the dogs need to be fed, chicken eggs collected, and the cat put up.”

Deep breath.

The Holy Spirit said to take the time and show her love. She needed it.

So we stopped.

It is a rare thing to have the opportunity to just be alone with one of the girls.  We call any time alone a date night. I let her pick chips and cookies for the week, a special drink, her own gum, a treat to share. To some, this may not be that big of a deal and it cost under $13, but to her it was one on one. We were just chatting at the counter and I told her I was enjoying my date with her.

Someone said, “Oh, you are on a date? That’s a cheap date.”  It wasn’t meant to be hurtful. It wasn’t meant to be harmful. Yet, when we got in the car and she was telling me about her day at a million miles an hour. She stopped and said, “This is a cheap date. I wish I could have done something different. Don’t you?”  I said, “No honey this is just perfect.  It is later at night. We have been out of the house since 7 am and here it is 8:30.

In her mind, 2 words lessened the importance of our time together. “Cheap Date”, is what she now thought.

“I am not worth much.”

What a sad thought!  She is worth so much more than that!  I assured her that no matter what money was spent, time together was priceless. I told her I loved her.

How many times have we chose to believe what others said about us?  What words change our mood from joyful to sorrowful? Why does it make us feel like we are worth less than God says we are?

I just did a quick search and the below link is what I found with some verses. That is just the tip of the iceberg!

https://www.openbible.info/topics/our_worth_to_god

Our worth is not bound up in the words of others, when God’s truth is there.

We do not have to wait for our friends to approve or like a social media post to be successful or loved.

God loves you.

God loves me.

Have a date with Him.

Get your bible and a cup of coffee, and rest in what He says of you. Talk to Him a million miles an hour and let Him encourage you. Let His words speak peace and healing. Let His truth be what we listen to!

 

I love you,

Tara

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Only God

There is a darkness in our souls that only God can fill.

The question is do you and I think He’ll fit the bill?

 

There is a darkness in our minds that only God can light.

The question is do you and I think l think it’s worth the fight?

 

There is darkness behind our eyes and in our hearts so large.

Are you and I willing to let only God be in charge.

 

In times of doubt, in times, of fear, in times we have no clue.

If we trust in Him in all we do, only God will carry us through.

 

We don’t know what tomorrow holds or where we will be.

This I know, He loves us so, and only God can set us free.

 

Only God can make a way where there seems to be no way. His promise is true.  “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

He will make it straight. Life has twists and turns and leads us down paths we would rather not follow.  You may be there right now. He will do what He says. I trust Him. Will you?

God, please help us as we walk down some perilous paths.  Paths that we have to walk down by force or by choice. Help us to fully trust in You when the outcome we pray for doesn’t seem possible.  Please protect our family, our children and our loved ones today. Guide and direct them in paths of righteousness for Your namesake. Though we may walk through the valley of death. We don’t have to fear evil because You are with us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

 

I Love you,

Tara

 

 

Phony or Faux Me?

 

I have spent many years trying to be someone I thought others wanted me to be. Fighting against what I thought I should be, rather than being the woman God wanted me to be. I have tried to please my husband doing things I thought he wanted me to do. (He didn’t even want that!) I was in the habit of being so serious all the time and not having fun.  Do you know how exhausting that is?

I was thinking the other day about what a phony I was.  Not intentionally mind you, but a phony because I was trying to be something that I was not.  Then I started thinking about words like “faux painting” and “faux fur” and other things that are faux.  Here I was being a Faux ME.  I was trying to be someone I thought I should be, and placed value in something that was valueless. A fake me.  I felt so empty and discouraged. Empty being Faux!  Empty being Phony!

God laid it out for me.

“…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” I Peter 3:4

I don’t have to try to be a certain kind of wife or mother. I need to be the wife and mom God asks me to be.  A woman who loves deeply.   A woman who meets the needs of her family. One who is a helpmate for her man!

I am the funny jokester that cries at commercials, cap wearing, has crazy sticking upC9057C55-BD31-4960-A6FE-4A0FF539B3E4

hair now and then, loves her family kinda gal. I can also trap gophers like nobody’s business! 100 and counting!!!

I am free to be free! Free from the bondage of trying to be someone else.

I am not a phony or a faux me. I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I need to do. I work hard.  I love my family and try my best to honor God.

He filled me up with truth.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am rejoiced over with singing. I was bought with a price. I am forgiven and set free. I am loved. I am cherished. I am worthwhile.

You are all of these as well.

 

I love you!

Tara

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The Fog

One of the girls has to be at work anywhere from 6:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., as she is a football trainer.  Logistically it made sense for me to take her so that Sammy and the other girls didn’t have to leave a full hour early to get to school and I would head to work a little bit early. (Or a lot early.)

She has been able to do all of her night driving and some of her day time driving during this time.  Sometimes she sleeps! Surprise! She’s a teenager.

One morning after I dropped her off and headed on to work, the fog was so intense that I just couldn’t see.  I had to slow down and drive so cautiously. It was a strange feeling to turn corners that I have turned on the back country roads before.  Strange that I knew there were stop lights ahead, but through the fog and mist, they were unseen.

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I turned one bend in the road and saw a brand new SUV surrounded by police cars.  It had hit a tree.  My first thought as I was waved on was a prayer for the people in the vehicle. I also prayed for the safety of the policeman who were there.

Our lives are like that.  We know the direction we are heading, but we don’t know when a new change of life may come, or if there is a new struggle to face.  We don’t know if we are going to crash into something unseen that can be a major problem for us which may cause a painful, life altering stop.

He is there in the darkness and struggle. He knows what we need before we need it.  Just as the policeman was slowing me down to safely avoid the accident, God guides us through life’s obstacles and challenges.

So.

Stop when you get to the light if it’s red. Don’t blow through God’s no thinking you know better!

Listen to directions for safety. If He is in the situation, listen to His voice and do as He says.

Slow down and seek Him for guidance through this earthly fog! He always knows where we are even though we may not!

 

Love you,

Tara

Blurry Blessings

The other day my youngest daughter found an old point and click digital camera and was taking pictures left and right. Asking everyone to pose for her. (At odd times I might add!)

I was trying to give her tips and hints to help her take better pictures.

  1. Hold still. When you are moving, the picture will be blurry
  2. Take a breath before pressing the button
  3. If it’s dark, and you don’t have the flash on, your picture will not turn out well
  4. When you are taking a picture of the sunset, it never turns out as beautiful as the real thing

Just a few things I learned over the years whilst taking pictures.  I suggested those things more than once and she probably got tired of hearing me.  She just wanted to explore with the camera and take pictures.  To experience life through the camera lens. Here I am trying to guide her and help her, and she doesn’t want to learn.

Is that not like us with God?

  1. We just want to go through life just running and He just wants us to be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10
  2. Not everything has to be spoken. Take a breath before speaking. Words aren’t always required. If they are, let’s make them safe.  “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”  Proverbs 15:4, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23
  3. How often do we listen to what He is saying when He is trying to help us and shine His light to show us the best picture of love? Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
  4. I am so concerned about how I think things should look for others to see, that I forget that He has laid that plan already. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

My picture of the “Sunset” doesn’t look like His!

I don’t have to know everything that is going on to live.  I just need to rest in Him.  He has this!

There is a flip side to that for the parent in me… Sometimes it is OK for a picture to blurry.  It is a reminder to me to just let her experience life.  Not to be worried so much about a perfect picture, but just to let her have fun. Be a kid who is playing with an old camera trying to figure it out.

It’s really ok to have blurry photos.

There is a lesson (blessing) here as well.

How often do I overlook what she is trying to tell me because I am in such hurry to get to where we are going?  Maybe I am working on something that doesn’t really have a deadline, but I just want it done now. I need to show her love in the every day things. The things that seem like they aren’t as important as what I am doing, are just as important to her. I need to hold still for her. Look through her lens and enjoy the blurry blessings that unfold daily.

So let’s take a breath, hold still, and remember the Son is right there holding us. Painting the sunset or sunrise.  His pictures are just more beautiful than we can comprehend, yet He is ever so patient!

This photo I took while on a fishing trip with my husband. It is nowhere near as beautiful as it was in person. 🙂

sunrise

Wake Up

 

Wake up from the sleep of darkness.

Wake up from self-pity and sin.

 

Wake up from the fear of gloom.

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Wake up from the feelings of sorrow.

Wake up from the gut wrenching pain.

 

Wake up from the heart stopping agony.

Wake up and feel His rain.

 

The rain cleans the air and the earth.

The rain gives the dry ground new life.

 

The rain causes flowers to open.

The rain puts and ending to strife

 

The rain awakens your senses.

The rain washes the grime away.

 

The rain brings new life to the present.

The rain brings healing today.

 

I pray that if you are in a dark place, God will send a cleansing rain to refresh you.  A rain to bring new life.  A rain to wash you clean.

“Come now, let us reason together”, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18

 

I love you!

Tara

Perfect Peace and Rest

Perfect peace and rest. I put that daily to the test.

When abiding in You, your peace surrounds, comes flooding through.

If I fall, You are there. You have proven that You care.

In my darkness, You are light. Protect me through the fiercest fight.

In my sorrow, you catch my tears. You wipe my wounds and bind up fears.

You are present night and day. Even if the earth gave way.

You are rock and shield to me. You draw me safely near to Thee.

 

But God…

Do you ever find yourself asking, “But God why? Why did You let this happen to me?”

But God, why are my kids or spouse this way?”  “But God why did I respond this way?”

I have asked the first, second and third questions! 🙂

The first though, was one I have asked my whole life. As a childhood sexual abuse survivor, I have cried out to Him many times asking just that! “But God why…”

Through some counseling a few years back, I have come to the conclusion that I wasn’t alone when it happened.  God never intended it to happen. It happened because of someone else’s sinful choice.   When the counselor asked where God was in my horror, I hadn’t ever thought of that.  Sitting there,  I began to go back and wonder that myself.  A very vivid mental picture came to mind.  Jesus was sitting there weeping. Since God didn’t make us robots, we came with free will.  The person who hurt me has free will. When I yell at my kids, that is my free will choice.  If people hurt me with comments,

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unkind words, or a cold shoulder, those are all free will choices.He died for my sins, and the sins of everyone else!

I am certainly not dismissing what he did to me as OK, or even comparing sins.  It is very real the pain that was caused and scars are still there.  For some reason, that thought of Jesus weeping over a broken 5-year-old girl brought great peace and freedom.  Freedom from the hate, freedom from the fear and freedom from forgiveness.

 

I still struggle with situational fear and panic for my children or myself, and I struggle with self loathing. Perhaps these things are tied to this. I ask God to help me and He does!  

But God… What someone intended to harm me, He is using for good.  I see this not as a blessing in the way that I suffered, but an opportunity to share and help in someone else’s healing.

Redhead girl with umbrella and suitcase at outdoor

His promises remain true.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 5:8

Thank you Lord for loving me, holding me, comforting me and healing me.  Thank you for using things for Your purpose though it was so painful to me! You are always present in times of trouble.  Thank you for loving me in my sin and for holding me when others have hurt me. Please forgive me for my sins. I also ask Lord that you would bring freedom and healing through this post.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

Hugs my friends!

Love,

Tara

 

Duck Feathers

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 There are times in each of our lives that we are on the receiving end of harsh words, or we are the ones dealing the harshness. We have to waddle around with what people say and how it is spoken to us. Do we allow what is voiced, to sit and fester with bitterness and resentment building up? Tucking it away for another day?

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We need some duck feathers!

Have you have ever observed a duck in the water getting wet? Water droplets bead up on it’s back and simply roll off. My prayer the other day was, “Lord, let the unkind words spoken to me just roll off my back. Give me some ‘spiritual duck feathers’ to protect my heart. In Your name, Amen”

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Do you need to ask the Lord for a set of duck feathers?

If we allow the yucky, messy, gross, and putrid bitterness…

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Gorging on Garbage

Our dog Angel, is a rescue dog. A beautiful, feisty, lovable English Springer Spaniel.  She ate out of her rescuers trash, (on the counter, on the ground or in the can) and 10+ years later, she still gets into the trash if the kids leave the cupboard door open.  She can’t help but dig in the trash! Perhaps these delicious morsels of forbidden treats, discarded by us  keep drawing her in because in her past she went hungry or without.  Maybe she just likes things that aren’t good for her?

Angel

Here in this photo, she is just chilling eating some random pieces of some things that weren’t dealt with properly.   You can see the trash that fell out of the trash can, and she just got comfortable in the midst of it all.

How often do you and I do that?  How often do we dig in the trash?  The habit we used to have, sneaks up on us when a door is left open, and we gorge on garbage. We get comfortable in the midst of it all.  Maybe we willingly choose to devour delicious morsels of forbidden things like Angel does.   Are we watching something we know we shouldn’t? Are we participating in gossip, or eating too much? Are we reading things the Lord wouldn’t approve of?  Are we wasting our time on social media?  Are we comfortable lying down in the midst of it all, not caring about what gross things we are consuming?  We know these things that aren’t good for us. Why are we so comfy eating garbage?  EEEWWW

We need to throw that garbage in the trash and take it out, so we aren’t tempted to participate and get comfortable in it!  Jesus takes out the trash in our lives when we ask Him to forgive us.  Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” We are free from all of that.  John 8:38 says,  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  We are free!

Let’s choose not to “gorge on garbage”.

I love you,

Tara