WHY?

I toyed with different ideas for a blog post name.  “TOADally Shocking” or “Caught in a Trap” or “Why would she bring a toad into my house?” I settled on just “WHY”

Well, let me just say that at 11:30 pm when you are in that in between bliss of awake and asleep, a shrill ear-piercing scream and a knock on our bedroom door, awakened my husband and annoyed me!

“MOM! DAD!  There is a toad in this bucket!” My first question to my middle child was, “Why do you have a toad in your room at 11:30 at night?”  She responded saying it wasn’t her and she just heard a flopping around and didn’t know what it was. She leaned over her bed and screamed because there it was in all its glory, an old toad.  Her cat was enthralled, and our daughter grabbed it and ran to our room to tell us.  I wondered why she just didn’t put it outside and tell us in the morning, but this was need to know!

I said it was probably the youngest child because I had seen her playing with two toads right before bed.  Yes. You read that right. TWO toads.

I went to bed after asking the youngest daughter if she brought a toad into the house and put it in her sister’s room.  In her sleepy sweet voice she said, “No! Why would I put it in her room? That would be dumb!” and she fell back to sleep.

Fortunately, my sweet hubby went back to sleep and I sat up and talked with our eldest for a bit.

This morning I was up at 5:45 doing my workout, making breakfast and I heard a screechy thumpy noise.  At first I thought it was coming from our refrigerator because it was in that area.  (We recently had a little tiny mouse that was caught and taken care of.)  I left a trap out for good measure.  I looked down and saw a toad leg trying to escape the side of the fridge area.  Yes. It was a toad stuck on a glue trap!  UGH!

I went back to her room as she lay there so peacefully and I asked her again in a different way, “Did you bring toads into the house?” “UM. No.” She answered sleepily.  Then the thought hit me, “Sweetie, if you were to bring a toad into the house, where would you hide them?” “In my windowsill.” was her reply.  There in her windowsill was the empty box that housed the “mother and son” toads from last night.  Of course, it was empty, minus the old sock that was to be their comfortable bed.  I hear her under the blankets, “Man! I knew I should have taped the box shut!” I told her that toads belong outside and she let me know that she wanted them to be safe from being killed by birds.  Long story short, the toad was saved safely from the trap. BOTH toads were released outside.  Sleep was stolen and a lesson was learned.

I HOPE!

Good night and good morning mother and son toads.  You are free to live outside my home!!!!!

I am ready for a nap!

Love y’all!

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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Have You Ever Been Deceived?

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

wrecked ship

Photo by Aneta Foubíková on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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.

In times of questioning… Part 1

In this time of questioning, one must ask, “What is Your will Father?” When all else seems to be lost in the time of confusion, one must ask, “Will You clear the way?” Yet, here I sit typing away wondering about the days to come. Not because I doubt His plan for us, rather what do I do to be obedient to Him.  When you don’t know what to do, what is the best option? Wait. Wait. Wait.  Wait until His path is illuminated. Wait until He tells us what to do. What until there is peace in the decision-making process.  So how am I going to do that??? I don’t honestly know.

These past few weeks have been really hard.  Challenging and frustrating. Scary and sorrowful.

I homeschool two of our three children. We have had an amazing year. A quote from Charles Dickens comes to mind, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Homeschool can be just that! Amazing and wonderful most days, but there are days I want to snatch them bald to be perfectly honest.  (They still have all of their hair 😉

Last week, my daughter’s computer crashed.  The one that she has been using for all of her school curriculum. In my 40+ years, I have NEVER had a computer crash. Needless to say, we lost everything. Why now?

We had some options. Option 1 was send the hard drive to a team of specialists in a white room where they would take apart every little minute piece of our hard drive to try to save the data, to the cost of $600-$1000.  Or option 2, (which we chose) was to replace the hard drive and lose everything.  EVERYTHING! All of her work since August was gone.

That left us with a very creative fun week of letter writing, cooking and library trips, to check out our weekly 60 plus books.  Though the computer was returned in perfect working order, I am bummed about the loss of her hard work.

We then received word that our health insurance policy was expiring, and they were not going to be renewing our policy. WHAT? Ok. Now what?  After doing research, finding an agent, and meeting at a local restaurant, we find that our income doesn’t support the need we have.  Swallow. Deep breath. God has this under control. He really does. Yes. He. Does. I continually tell myself. HE DOES. Full time work may be calling me out of the home.  God knows. He does.

That same week, my littlest runs in from the shop yelling that there is something wrong with one of our cats.  He had been sick, but not for long, and I had a feeling that Mr. Pickles wasn’t going to live much longer. Within moments of that conversation, he had passed away.  Sadly, their little hearts were throbbing in and their cries of hysterical pain echoed across the open area between the shop and our home.

Typically we have to bury an animal quickly, but daddy wasn’t home and I couldn’t break the rocky ground with the shovel. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get a hole started. The questions came from the kids, “Why did this happen to Mr. Pickles?” “Why couldn’t we have one more week?”

Helping children whilst crying yourself, isn’t always effective.  Through the tears and struggle, we made it through the day. Daddy came home and we buried Mr. Pickles.img_1054

I will close this post by saying this, life isn’t easy. Pain comes and hearts that once beat strongly, are snuffed out. Exhaustion is getting the best of me so I will close. Part 2 will not be far behind.

May you find solace in the One who catches every tear in a bottle.  Psalm 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

I know we have been covered in prayer and seek that same solace.

Blessings,

Tara

 

 

 

Heart under construction.

imageGod has been truly working on my heart. it has been under construction.

My voice to the kids is acidic, and hurtful at times. I would like to blame it on them but I am responsible for the actions and words of my mouth. This week I’ve been reading in Proverbs.

Proverbs 12:16 it says,  “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” Regardless of what they do, I am responsible for what comes out of my mouth, and how I say it. That’s confirmed two verses later in Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierced like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” I certainly do not want to pierce my children with my words, I would much rather bring healing. So why did they frustrate me so? It probably boils down to selfishness. They don’t act like I want them to act. They don’t act how I expect them to act. Yet I have to train them to behave properly. To be a functioning and productive member of society and show self-control.
Newsflash! They are kids. Kids do dumb stuff. Kids get into fights. Kids do great things. Kids help when they’re asked. It’s just the balance of the way I view them. Therein lies my problem. I need to view them as a gift more often rather than I view them with frustration. I need to show love and patience, rather than my first response being sharp like a sword piercing them.

Psalm 85:10-13 “Love and faithfulness meet together; Righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him; and prepares the way for his steps.”

Now that’s what I’m talking about! I would rather have love and faithfulness meeting together, but see, it starts with me. Not them. Me. He is faithful to work through me and I need to yield do that part of me to Him on a daily or hourly basis (minutes or seconds in reality sometimes).

I paint a rather icky picture of myself here perhaps because of what I know is on the inside of me. Parenting isn’t easy. It definitely can refine us as people.

The truth of the matter is, I want my kids to love one another. I don’t want damaged relationships, though I realize that is out of my control. I want to share from what I have seen and experienced so they don’t have to go through things I went through. Yet, just as I chose my path, they also must choose theirs.

I need to equip them for life and what lies ahead. In doing that with a relationship with God, a blanket of peace and arms full of love, they will succeed. They are God’s children. On loan to my husband and I. A lofty task, yet a worthy one.

Lord, may We today be the moms you have asked us to be. Help us to love without fear, teach without anger and be a peacemaker rather than a peace-breaker.
In the name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

You can do this friend!