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.

 

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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.

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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?

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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

 

 

Prayer

I am Yours. Fully and completely.

I abandon all that hinders my heart from You.

Your heart pours out, and I receive that which overflows.

May I listen to Your voice as You speak.

Help me to be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry.

May I obey your commands as they unfold before my eyes. Let me be Your vessel.

Empty all that is sinful, impure, & unholy in Your sight.

Cleanse my thoughts. Purge the sins I hold close to my heart.

Fill me with Your peace, power and perseverance.

Let me not grow weary, let me walk, but not faint.

Guide me in paths of righteousness for Your name sake.

There may be darkness ahead, but you will never leave or forsake me.

You are my Comfort. My Redeemer. My Rock. My Master, Maker and friend.

You are a good God who never gives up on me.

Thank you Lord that Your mercies are new EVERY morning.

Thank you for providing all of my needs according to Your riches in glory.

Thank you for preparing a table before me. My cup runs over.

Thank You that I don’t have to be afraid for You are an ever-present help in times of trouble.

You will never leave or forsake me.

You have sent Your Spirit, a translator, when I don’t know what to say, the cries of my heart are heard.

Your Word never returns void.

You are the cry of my heart and I worship You, Oh Lord my Strength and my Redeemer.

You are good.

You are God.

Your mercies endure forever.

 

Your daughter,

Tara

The Struggle IS Real

Dear Friends,

“The Struggle is Real!”, was the slogan emblazoned on the clearance rack t-shirt. I thought, “Oh My Gravy! That is so true!”  Of course, the t-shirt didn’t know what I was thinking, but it made me ponder seriously if there was a problem with my heart or my attitude. I left home before 7 am trying to get to one of the stores open at that hour trying to find something festive to wear for a Christmas party tonight.  I have been diligently working out and changing just slightly the way we eat.  Much of our food comes from our garden or an animal that was raised for our consumption.  I have lost nearly 20 inches and 10 pounds since July.  I exercise at least 5 days a week,  Yet, when I look in the dressing room mirror, I don’t see beauty. I see a distorted, ugly person who shrugs her shoulders and places the clothes back on the hanger wanting to cry. I bought a pretty shade of red lipstick and hope that will do for the Christmas party I am attending this evening.

I am pretty sure that is a heart AND attitude issue! 1 Peter 3:3-4 gives me a good guide for beauty, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This isn’t saying you can’t look nice or wear pretty things in my opinion, it is that I am worth a great deal in God’s sight. What’s on the outside doesn’t make me look pretty if my insides are ugly with self-hatred.  Does it really matter what I wear if I don’t like the way view my exterior? No! Will I wear an older outfit tonight to the party? Probably. Does what I wear matter in eternity? Not a bit.  God loves us right where we are.  If we are fluffy or thin, light or dark, young or old.  It’s truly about seeing ourselves as God sees us.  A sweet friend named Tanya D, said this more times than I can remember, “Beautifully and wonderfully made my friend. Beautifully and wonderfully made.” Which comes from Psalm 139:14

So I repeat those words now to myself, and to you, sweet one as you may be struggling with this today, “Beautifully and wonderfully made my friend. Beautifully and wonderfully made.”

Love,

Tara

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More? Or Less?

How many times do you hear people say, “I want less of a good thing”? Do we hear, “I want less ice cream, less fried chicken, a smaller portion of fries with that, or less cake”?

I can honestly say I hear very few people saying that!  Usually its more of this, more shopping, more shoes, more toys for the kids…

As I was sitting here praying about things in my heart that need to be changed, I determined what I want. (More or less.) 🙂

More of Christ, Less of me.

More Scripture, Less screen time.

More hope. Less despair.

More joy. Less chaos.

More resting in Him. Less running from Him.

More contentment. Less anxiety.

 

What are you seeking?  More? or Less?

 

 

 

Be Still

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As I view this photo, it takes me back to the chilly fall day I had taken my daughters to Guadalupe River State Park.  It was too cold to swim that day, but in my mind’s eye, I crawled over the gnarled tree roots as I had done many times before.  Carefully and slowly I made my way to the water.

I was barefoot and anticipated first touch of the water on my bare toes. They tingled as I slid my foot into the water, big toe first testing the temperature.  It was cool against my skin. I placed both feet into the bubbling, gurgling river as the water fully surrounded me. Making room for me. Welcoming me.  My feet sank slowly into the sandy, murky mud that enveloped my feet completely.  They have disappeared into the bed of the river. Every now and then, if I wiggle my toes, they reappear above the mud.

Small minnows ,dart to and fro, between my legs, tickling me with their tiny bodies as they search for their next meal.

Water, aimlessly floats and meanders lazily, as I bask in the sunshine not wanting the quiet solace to end.

I am overwhelmed by the many colors that my eyes behold. I am thankful as my senses are fully ignited by the beauty surrounding me, engulfing me, protecting me, shielding me. I am relaxed in the beauty of God’s creation.

I am still before Him. I know that He is God.