About Nana

About Nana

We met Karen in our old neighborhood and weren’t instant friends, but the kids were drawn to her and wouldn’t give up the pursuit. She let us love her, and loves us in return.

Karen quickly became the kind of friend whose door was always open, and the coffee pot was always on. She came to our house for noise and excitement. At her home,  Jelly Belly jelly beans and water were always present.  She is a woman who is retired from the army after 22 years. A little rough around the edges, but life has dealt her some harsh blows.  I think in many ways, we are all rough around the edges aren’t we?   I want to be a friend like her. One who always opens the door to her neighbors and their wild, full of life children. One who gardens in the heat of the day, to get rid of those awful weeds.   One who accepts a glass of lemonade on a hot Texas day, from grubby little toddler hands, and drinks every drop and is thankful. One who seeks to know what our favorite things are and pops in with surprise groceries, when we didn’t know how we were going to make it that month.  The friend who always listens, asks the right questions, and seeks to make sure we know how loved we are. She has been the break from reality, when Sammy was coaching 96 hours a week.  She comes for birthdays.  Truth be told, she has brought the birthday many times! The kids found chocolate chip cookie cakes with maraschino cherries, whipped cream , icing, sprinkles and whatever toppings they chose to be undeniably delicious!  I think she has made cookie cakes for the last 8 years!

She was there for the activities of the kids, a supporter of odd requests and purchaser of random last-minute birthday gifts that we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) purchase.  She has a son and daughter in law, but grandchildren haven’t arrived.  She has wall plaques, and picture frames that have Nana phrases. She has our hearts.  So, as she suffers from her third form of cancer in 3 years, we cry out to the Lord with sorrow and gratitude. With sorrow, because it hurts us to see her suffer.  With gratitude, that she has been led to the Maker of Heaven and Earth and we know eternity is in her heart. Selfishly, we want her forever here.  Not for her to be in suffering, but in selfishness we want her here, with us.  She became Nana.  You see, she is adopted into our family and as much of our family as any Grandmother or Grandfather would be. We wormed our way into her heart, and she planted the gift of love in ours.

So this is where the wish comes in. I wish we were all healthy at the same time so visits could be more frequent. Will you pray that we can be healthy to visit as often as possible?  According to the Dr, we have a month give or take.  A month of quiet kisses and I love you.  A month to take as many pictures as we can take. A month to get in as many cuddles as her pained body can bear. A month to share laughter and love over a meal. One last Christmas, birthday and Thanksgiving. One last…

Every day is a gift.  Every day matters.

I want to be like Nana. Full of love, patience and humor.  Generous to a fault.  Ready for adventure!

We love you Nana.

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In times of questioning… part 2

Here I pick up where I left off.

Our cat passed away, my husband has just recovered from the flu, one of my daughters missed 3 days of school due to fever, and another had a fever today as well.

I heard the truck pull into the driveway after my husband and daughter left Friday morning for school.  I wondered what was wrong.   On the way out of our driveway, our eldest daughter saw our guard dog Shadow, lying lifeless on the road in front of our mailbox.  He NEVER went out of our gate. He NEVER left the property. Sweet Shadow was gone. Gone were the late night barks on alert. Gone was the goofy galloping, as he ran to us when we called…2 days after burying Mr. Pickles, we were burying another one of our pets.

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Gone.

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In our sorrow, we were thankful. Thankful that a friend had loaned us his tractor so that we could shred our property. Thankful that we were able to bury this sweet boy more easily in the parched, rock filled soil. “How much more Lord?” was a resounding question in our hearts.

I apologize for being so sorrowful, but as I said in the first post, these last few weeks have been tough.

Transparency.

That is what I offer you.

Here tonight as tears slide down my cheeks, I trust.  I trust in God.  I trust. He knows each one of our needs.  He knows that I may, after 13 years of not working a full-time job,  may have to place the kids back in school and get a full time job.  This isn’t a surprise to my Heavenly Father.

The truth? I’m scared.

Scared of giving up the blessing of being a stay at home mom, to become a full-time working mom.  People do it all the time.  I just never thought that I would need to.  Times change.  Home insurance goes up. Health insurance goes up. Cost of living goes up.

My eyes lift toward heaven as I pray.

Psalm 121:1-8

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
         From where shall my help come?

2My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to slip;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.

4Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

6The sun will not smite you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.

7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
         He will keep your soul.

8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth and forever.

http://biblehub.com/context/psalms/121-1.htm

 

It is all going to be ok.  It will.  God will provide as He always has.

“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?” He has promised to do so.

So.

I.

Trust.

Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

http://biblehub.com/psalms/20-7.htm

We trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Wherever you are on your journey, I pray that you don’t feel alone.  I pray that you will be able to lift your eyes up.  Lift your face to the Creator.  He loves you.

Lord, to all who carry a heavy burden of grief, fear, shame or loss, please comfort them. Please hold them tightly and allow them to feel Your presence as they never have before. Love them deeply with Your love everlasting.  In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Love and hugs,

Tara

 

 

 

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!

Motherhood

You have a very noble task. One meant for only you. You have had lives shaped and formed inside your very being and God allows you to continue to form and shape them on earth. (For adoptive omoms, we had the blessing after this.) Wow. Talk about a gift. They may drive us crazy, with the high pitched squeals and fits but just as the potter shapes and forms us, we are shaping the lives of our children to be a masterpiece. One created by a loving Savior to be used for His service. They will get chipped and cracked through life, but that is the beauty of art. Something beautifully used by the Master to be an example of hope to others.

Ephesians 2:10

Praying for peace in our homes and hearts that long for Him!

Peace! Be Still!

In preparing to leave for a trip, there are so many things to be before one can leave. With a family it’s not as easy as just packing my bags and heading out the door. All the rooms need to be cleaned up. All the chores need to be done. Menu needs to be planned and food needs to be purchased.  Living on the farm adds an extra amount of work. Animals feed needs to be purchased. Chickens, cats and dogs all have to be cared for. Then, and only then, can I think about leaving. It seems like there’s a tidal wave of emotion my house!  I looked up tidal wave in the Webster’s dictionary,

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This just about describes how I’m feeling this morning. Trying to get the kids ready for school, trying to do things that are sweet only to be received in a way that hurt my feelings. Stress caused by just the basic morning routines. This is the tidal wave of my morning. Yet this is not where Jesus wants me to stay. He gives us each the opportunity to get into the boat. The boat is His peace and escape from the floods of life that seek to draw us in and drown us. It is the freedom from the tidal wave that is coming to destroy us and His freedom from what we’re wallowing in. Whether it be fear, or circumstances, or grief, or self pity. Our work load may be out of control and insane!
He says in Psalm 89:9, “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” He has this! He is in full control over everything that is going on right now in our lives. Even when it seems like we’re drowning, we’re not. Jesus is there. Just as He stretched out His hand for Peter who walked on the water to him, Jesus reaches out His hand and pulls us out of the ocean, out from the tidal wave that looms, and puts us on the deck of His boat. We are safe. We are protected. So regardless of the situations that we are in, we are safe in Him. We can rest in the protection He offers us.
So rest in knowing that He commands the seas with His voice In Mark 4:39,

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You Oh Lord Are Faithful

Though the storms of life are pressing in regardless of any truth or sin. The rains come and the wind blows, but you oh Lord are faithful.

Broken hearts lay shattered there, it seems that no one will ever care. The tears and weeping last all night, but joy comes in the morning

Disappointment creeps in to the soul. Turning the heart black like coal. Eyes are clouded with the pain, but your love endures forever.

Your truth rushes in to the hidden den into which I have been buried. Your hands outstretched, your arms open wide, You will never leave me.

Questioning

Do I base my opinion on what other people think?
Do I allow what they say into my heart to sink?

Is my merit based on work? Is my life based on fame?
If it is, wow, that would be such a shame.

Useless as a severed limb lying on the floor.
Doubting, seeking, asking what am I really here for?

Oh God instill in me a passion and a zest,
for this life you have given me, I truly am well blessed.

I think I have a listening ear.
Am I trusting you? Will I persevere?

Your plan I feel so strong one day
can nearly be swayed by one another day.

Yet here I am waiting for you please
confirm what I should do.

In that waiting let me wait
with patience, kindness, that is how I will pray it.

Where am I God? I can’t see where?
I look into the mirror and I stare.

Who are you there before me?
A woman waiting to be what I should be.

I long for solace in my heart,
Lord start today, please help me start.

To be motivated in all I do.
To work my guts out just for You.

On the roller coaster, its up and down.
Once a smile now a frown.

The fear that follows bind it up
Lord fill me up,please fill my cup.

My heart hurts and aches so.
Let your peace upon me flow.

Deepest water rushing in
cleansing me from hurt and sin.

Let your truth be evident
Let your peace be prevalent.

The pain of wanting and the grief off loss on Mother’s day.

In your heart you feel the pain.  The pain of loss and sorrow.  The deep desire to hold a baby in your arms. To hear the late night cries for feeding. Yet, instead you hear silence.  Your arms are empty and so is your heart. There may be anger or hopelessness. There may be sorrow and grieving. For the loss of the one you will never hold. The loss of one you will never watch grow old. The loss of your name never spoken on their lips. Those little lips that will never be kissed. Little hands never outstretched wide. Little arms never flung wildly from side to side. No heart-beat. No breath. No Mother’s Day gift

Remember this, though your arms are empty and your heart is broken, there are still small ones to love.  You may have friends or family who have children, shower them with your love. Pour your love into those little vessels of spunk and wildness. Freely give of your time and energy. It is a way to enjoy the gift of life.

Today is also a day we celebrate you.  You are a mother in your heart and this day is hard. To you sweet, sad, broken-hearted mommy, we say

Happy

Mother’s Day.