Be Still

tara.jpg

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!

Am I Truly Thankful

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done. How often through my day do I ungraciously run. Allowing pessimistic thoughts to flow through my veins expecting productivity when what I speak comes out in negativity. Criticism first to my tongue, It should be dripping peace to each and every Young.

Am I truly thankful for all that You have done? The puppies that lay squirming from that little stray. You have given them to us to brighten up our day. Even if there are 8 your timing is never late!

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done? For my spouse after 6 months we were married, through years of coaching life was harried. Now a calm You have placed upon us. His being home is a bonus and a plus.

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done? The messes all around me Lord are so frustrating! Where is this peace that You afford? That is when you plainly say, “I answered your prayer for a family that day.”

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done? If I took the time to write all of the things You have done for me, I would be here all day long. You have blessed me with the gift of song. Yet another gift you gave. God help me daily to behave.

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done? My being at times a challenge can be, but yet again, you placed me exactly where you want me. Encouraging, loving, shepherding and listening. I can see your brow on the cross was glistening. With the love You poured out, your very life. Help me to see life as a blessing not just filled with strife.

Am I truly thankful for all that you have done?Let this day be in me which was also in Christ. Let me be last and You be first. Let my heart beam and with Your love, let it burst. Let it overflow. Let words of peace around me glow.

God, go before me this I pray. Go before me this new day. Let me see Your hand of power, reach every one of us this very hour.

I am truly thankful for all that you have done.

A Dare of a Prayer – Will you take the challenge?

Lord,

Help me as I walk down this very daunting path.
Change my heart now filled with anger and wrath.

God show me how to love like You.
To encourage in the way that is true.

Show me Father how to love.
How to encourage my children, not mentally shove.

Them away from a loving embrace,
but to run the heavenly race.

In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen

At times, parenting can feel so daunting and discouraging. Life catches up to us and we get frustrated with responsibility. It can be so easy to just say, go turn on the tv and let mommy (or daddy) think.  Yet, they just want to be loved, hugged, and encouraged just as we do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
This should be our goal outside the home and inside the home. Regardless of situations, regardless of what life throws at us. Home is the place to run home and feel safe.

I dare us to pray that God changes our hearts, not to be annoyed, but to love as He does.

Praying today!

Tara