Bombarded, But Held in His Hand 

There are times that you are on the right track and things are going as you believe they should and then BAM!  You weren’t expecting that call about a problem. You weren’t expecting the issue with your kids or spouse. Or you have these expectations that aren’t met on a consistent basis.  What then?

What is the plan here Lord?

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“I am.”

I understand that Lord. What do I do?

“Trust. Trust that I am working all things for good for those that love Me and are called according to My purpose.”

How can I help when people are aching so?

“Peace be still.”  “You know that you can trust Me. I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Yeah God, but I am being bombarded and so are so many that I love!

“Well, I never said it would be easy. You know the world will hate you because they hate Me.  Just focus on being strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

So, I need to be constantly in prayer and aware of the battle. Got it!

“Get ready my child.  Protect yourself and your family. Pray for your friends. Take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.” 

Trust. Be Still. Pray. Put on Your armor. Pray. Be alert. Pray

That is our path broken down I suppose.  So here today Lord, I will be still and trust You.  I will pray and use Your armor.  I am on full alert and will stay in prayer until you release me.  Give me strength. (“My love, I will provide all of your needs according to My riches in glory. I will give My angels charge over you.”)

Thank you Lord,

I love you,

Tara

Let Go

 

Have you ever sat and watched an hourglass? I have and it is mesmerizing.  Watching each fleck of sand drop into the bottom. Rushing, seeking, falling to the next place.

I am trying to hold onto sand. My thoughts, my hopes and my desires are seeping through my tightly clenched fists, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Do I need to?

clenched hand

“Let go.”

That is what I heard.  Just open your hand and let it all fall.

“But why God?”

“Let go.” 

“Let go of the expectations that things should be different. Let go of the control with which you so desperately are holding onto with tightened fists. The sand is going to fall grain by grain. Of that I know for sure. Just give it to me. I will take care of things. I know the cries of your heart and I have not forgotten you. I have not forgotten your children.  Let go of your stress and trying to control things. You aren’t in control anyway.

Choices. 

Will you let go so I can begin a new work?”

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

“But I don’t want to let go. What are you going to do?”

Matthew 11:28-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

“Rest does sound divine.”  To sleep through the night without worry and stress would be wonderful.”

“I’ve got this!”

Psalm 33:18-22

18 The Lord watches over those who obey him, those who trust in his constant love. 

19He saves them from death; he keeps them alive in times of famine. 

20 We put our hope in the Lord; he is our protector and our help.

21 We are glad because of him; we trust in his holy name. 

22 May your constant love be with us, Lord, as we put our hope in you.

 

Take it all Lord.

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Pride

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10

How often do I let my pride get in the way of simply listening to advice? I see it in myself, my kids and all around me.

We all want to be right.

We all want to be heard.

Here’s my challenge, especially when it comes to correcting my kiddos.  I want them to listen to me, I want them to truly hear what I am so that they will take to heart the mistakes I made and not have to suffer as I did.

I didn’t listen to my parents.

On the other hand, they also want to be heard.  What they have to say is important, though time, place, and tone of voice are an important part. Respect is a two-way street. A two-way street that has lots of traffic!  Life is going on simultaneously in each member of our family. Everyone is struggling or succeeding on different levels and at different times. Will I look past the external behavior to see what is going on the heart of my child? Will I see the pain and anguish that they carry, or simply “change lanes” hurridly trying to make it to the next destination or need?

Lord help me to see their needs, set aside my own when necessary, and help lead them through life. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen!

Love you,
Tara

Have You Ever Been Deceived?

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I have! I just realized today that I have been deceived by the enemies lies. Though I know and have been taught truth, some things can get blurred over the years.  Just enough for us to believe “it isn’t my job to do that.” In believing that, I have missed the mark!

I have believed that godly instruction through bible study and devotionals, fall strictly on my husband.  I have allowed him to lead all studies and he does them well. He is a teacher by trade, and I have heaped quite a bit of pressure upon my husband to carry this alone.

Yes, he is to be the leader of our home. NO, the job doesn’t fall solely upon him.  I have a responsibility to lead, in order for my daughters to see what it looks like for an older woman to lead a younger. According to Titus 2, I am to train them to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home and kind, (busy at home-they need to learn to cook, clean, grocery shop and care for the needs of someone besides themselves as well as their own needs.) God may not have a spouse for them and that is OK.  He has a plan that I don’t know about.  He will take care of that aspect.  I need to train them in righteousness.

I am not saying that I never speak to them about the things of the Lord, but I need to be  more intentional and that is where I fall short.

I can share something that God has laid on my heart. I can share verses at the dinner table that God has used to change me.  My man has never internally experienced what a woman does.  One of the girls said at the table, “Testosterone, you are all alone.”  There are 4 of us ladies and my husband.  He experiences the external result of the hormones, but tries to give lots of space when those things are taking place! Only I can share in those ways!

I have a tendency to overreact and parent out of fear. That doesn’t bring glory to God nor does it teach my daughters the best way to react.  I am working on that.

Here is the truth that opened my eyes today from scripture.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,” Proverbs, 1:8

And

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”  Proverbs 6:20

That thought was so important that He had that written down twice for us!

So my friends, if you are in the same sunken ship filled with holes, it’s time to bail out!

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Let’s lead with wisdom!

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”   Proverbs 15:3

I want to listen today to the life-giving reproof!

Lord please forgive me for not being the leader in my home that I need to be. Not to be the head, but to be hands and feet that lead my daughters to Your throne.  Thank You for Your love and tenderness to me.
In the name of Jesus we pray.

Amen!

Love you friend!

Tara

Storms of Life

Maybe I have written about this before…

I have read this chapter Mark 4:35-41 so many times, and thought about how Jesus is always there in the storm. The whole, “Peace be Still!” thing has been a comfort.

What I have never really paid attention to is the fact that Jesus led them into the storm.  In verses 35-36 it says, “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.” (ESV)

Jesus knew there would be a storm but He fell asleep.  Does that mean He wasn’t aware? Did that mean He knew everything was going to be OK, even though it didn’t seem that it would? Did He know how afraid the disciples were going to be? Did He not care?

I have lots of questions and maybe you do too!

He knew all of the things that were happening just as He knows what is happening in our lives. He cares and He is ever present in times of trouble as Psalm 46:1 states.  This proves it.

Though He is near, it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. It doesn’t mean life isn’t scary and unfair.  It does mean that in the midst of sorrow during a miscarriage, He is there.  In the death of a loved one, He is there.  In the chaos of life He is there. In the broken marriage and weeping, He is there. He has the ability to calm the storm. He is present.

Why do we have to suffer though? Why did He lead the disciples into the storm!?  Why does He allow bad things to happen to us?

There are so many answers to this and I know only what God has done in my life, and only that can I share.

I had 3 miscarriages. One every year whilst we lived in Africa.  I wept. I questioned. I cried out angrily against God. (He is big enough to handle it.) I begged for answers.

I did not realize until much later, when God gave us 3 children that He allowed that to happen, not because He wanted me to suffer and be in pain, but because His plan for me was different.

He wanted Sammy and I to adopt.

I lost 3 biological children and He blessed me with 3 amazing adopted daughters.  Not that my babies weren’t important, and not that I didn’t grieve with each loss. I did. I endured great heartache as did my husband and family.

No. He needed our family to take in 3 girls who needed us for parents.  I can honestly say that I would not have adopted 3 children had I borne three.  He knew that our three daughters would need a home.  He knew there was a storm in my heart, and He was making room in my heart for 3 daughters from the womb of another.  Their pain, their loss and grief was present also. Yet, He left my grieving arms empty until each one of them needed a home.  With each adoption, God has grown me. He has taken me into yet another storm.  Each child brings their own trauma, pain and anguish.  Not that it is their fault, but with adoption, there are things we can’t control. We don’t know what happened while they were growing in their mother’s womb.  We don’t know how God held their parents in the storm.

 

Truth.

 

God allowed our suffering to help someone else with their need.

Sometimes that may be the ultimate goal. We know that He works all things together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

We are vessels in which He dwells.

We can choose to accept and embrace the Lord in our anguish, or push Him out of our boat and weather the storm alone. I don’t know about you, but I want Him in the boat with me. I can’t imagine being alone suffering the storms of life without my Master of the storm.

Friend, in your ache and pain, know that at some point things will become clear. God knows what you are immersed in. If you have chosen to stay in your sin, leave it far behind you! Run from it! Change!  If you are in the storm because Jesus led you there, be bold. Know that He is there, in the boat with you.  He is ready to bring you safely through to the other side in due time.

“Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”(Mark 4:41)

He is there friend. Take heart. He has us safely nestled under His wings. Even in the midst of the storm.

 

I love you!

Tara

Another Leak

We have a home in the country though we have city water.  It exceeds the pressure limit for our pipes. We have to put the valve on it regulate the pressure to make it stop causing pin hole leaks in the plastic pipes connected to our water heater.

Problem solved.

Well what happens when my man has fixed it, but the valve isn’t working properly? You guessed it! Another leak.

I walked into the laundry room after my workout at 6 am.  I had put a load in the laundry when I went out to the shop at 5:30.  I was stooping down to put the laundry in the dryer when I heard it. I immediately stopped to pull off the water heater door and heard that distinct hissing of the tiny pin-hole leak.  How can something so tiny, cause so much noise and water to spew out and do such damage?

I am uncertain how long it has been leaking, or how extensive the damage, but it has to be fixed.  Bless my husband’s heart.  He gets to fix it again with the replacement part. Not thrilling I assure you!

First, I am thankful for a wonderfully gifted man who is able to do repairs on our home and second, I know there is a lesson here.

How often do we think we have something fixed in our life, only to have it happen again?  We vow that we are done with yelling, or overspending, or overeating. (Insert whatever sin you and I may struggle with here.)  We get help to deal with our issues, and when things seem to be smooth sailing and all is well, we do the thing we didn’t want to do!

We aren’t failures.

We just need to be repaired.

I ask myself, “Am I spending the time listening to what God has for me?” Am I spending time in the Word doing as He instructs? Am I accepting and putting into place the repairs He requires? Do I stop what I am doing to take the time to be a good mom or wife? Do I put my needs on hold to care for someone in my family?

I’m not saying that what I need is less important, nor am I saying my needs don’t matter.  Not by any means. I am simply saying, I may need to stop and fix an issue before I continue my task so there isn’t any more damage done.

The laundry was still waiting for me when I found the leak and tried to deal with it.  Just as my desires will be.

What leaks are you needing to stop and fix today? What things do I need to tend to?

I pray that God will show us so that He can repair us!

Love you!
Tara

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

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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