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.

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

My Rock. My Fortress. My Refuge.

I find myself caught up in the people pleasing stage currently. I want so desperately to find some success in one thing. JUST ONE, when many other areas of my life are swirling out of control. Time constraints and deadlines loom, yet ministry still happens. Loving well in the time of frustration is a requirement. Not by me or from those around me will I find success, but by HIM and in HIM. God wants us to pour out, love others and be an encouragement. Yet, if a water pitcher is not full, is there any water to give? If there is no coffee in the pot, can I share it with a friend? NOPE! Therefore, how can I share God with my coworkers, my children or my friends? How can I reach those dark places in the lives of the ones I love? I can’t. Plain and simple. Without being proactive with my time in the Word, I am like a watered down cup of coffee. What is the point? Just as I would want to maintain a close relationship with a friend, I also have to make it a point to want to be close to Daddy. ABBA. God.

Do I wait for the approval of others to fill that hole in my heart? If I do that, I will never feel successful. Never feel accomplished. Never feel good enough. Which is not what we were created to do. We are created in His image to praise Him. Feed His sheep. Love our neighbor as ourselves. Be filled with His love.

Instead, we spend our days scrambling to find success and pleasure when all we become is wrung out, like a wet and soggy dishcloth hanging limp over the faucet on the sink.
So today honestly, I sat down after on the floor with my Bible after not finding success or worth in what I do and opened my Bible to Psalm 50:16-17. I began to read. I found such great calm in my morning, which up until now has been more like a tornado.

“But I will sing for Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning. For You have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength I will sing praises to You, for You O God are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”

He is the only one I have to please, my audience of one. If I am doing all things for His glory, then I am successful. If I am trying to train our children in His ways, there is success, even though the outcome isn’t what I would like to observe. If my job isn’t getting done the way I desire, and I don’t have the praise I crave, I am doing it for Him not for them.

God, today I need You. I need You to take over every part of my life. I can’t live well without You. Psalm 62:5-8 says, “ For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Lord, thank you. Thank You that Your Word is so powerful. Thank You for loving me where I am, in what I am doing, and how I am doing it. Thank You for redeeming me, carrying me and being my refuge. In Jesus name. Amen.

17 years ago today.

17 years ago today, God opened the door and paved the way. I wore my mother’s dress that day.

CCF00612013_00002

Walking with my hand in my father’s, he was giving away his only daughter’s.

CCF00612013_00001

My parents entrusted my heart to yours preparing to walk through many doors.

CCF00612013_00000

Humble vows tender words recited.

CCF00612013_00003

Oh my goodness I was so excited! Being one with you had been decided.

CCF00612013_00004

17 years of ups and downs.

17 years of laughter and frowns.

17 years of sorrows and joys.

17 years floors now littered with toys.

If I were to return to this same time, I would still make you mine.

CCF00612013_00005

Trepidation and excitement too, 17 years and I still choose you.

 Happy Anniversary my love.

As I was reading…

Praying Scripture for the Kids

I was reading Psalm 119 this morning and I began to pray scripture for my family.

“Teach me good judgment for I believe in Your commandments.” Psalm 119:66

Lord, I fall short every day but I can’t live in my bed under the sheets weighed down with discouragement feeling like a failure. I would never leave me sweet solace also known as my bed if that were the case!!

bibleTeach me good judgment when it comes to circumstances and people who I don’t know how to handle. Give me the knowledge that I need to process and deal with the things that come into my life. Give me the wisdom of Solomon as I train my children in Your ways.

Help me to guide them for You and into Your kingdom. My heart’s desire is for them to love You. My prayer for them is that they walk in Your path. I ask that when they rise on the wings of the dawn, if they settle on the seas. Even there Your hand will guide them. My hope is that Your right hand will hold them fast. (Psalm 139)

I pray that You would teach them O Lord the way of Your statutes, and give each of them and understanding so that they can keep your law and observe it with their whole heart. Father, please lead them in the path of Your commandments. May they truly delight in them. Incline their hearts to Your testimonies. You have done so much in their young lives, may they see and understand that. Help them not to do things for selfish gain. Lord, please turn their eyes from looking to worthless things that won’t fill them with lifelong peace and joy, but let them see Your abundance. Give them life in Your ways Sweet Jesus.(Psalm 119:33-37)

Bless my children with the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) With love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and especially self-control. That one God has been a challenge for all of us lately!

Father reign us all in to be aligned with Your will so that we can honor You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

the family nobody wanted. A must read book!

The Family Nobody Wanted

the family nobody wanted

My cousin sent me this book as we have adopted 3 children. I didn’t read it right away because just the title alone is sad to me. As we have gone through each adoption, we have learned that nothing is EVER the same. 🙂 You are probably saying some smarty pants comment right now like “duh” or “seriously?” but you never know what to expect with adoption. Heartache and love go hand in hand.

Life changes so differently for each side of the family. This book made me laugh, cry, doubt, and lean more on God. He truly is the one who makes all things happen in His time.

I highly recommend this book to those whose hearts are blessed by adoption, to those considering adoption or those who work with foster care children. Rather, any person who loves should read this!

Have a wonderful day.

Tara

You are the One

glory1

You are the One
By: Tara Young

You are my King and my Lord
Gracious forevermore.
You are the one
You are the one.

You the Savior, Son of the King
You are the One
You are the One

I lift my voice to You
You are all that’s good and true.
You are the One
You are the One

My heart cries out to you
You are deliverer too
You are the One
You are the One

Finding solace there
You’ve counted each and every hair
You are the One
You are the One

For every tear I’ve cried
for every lie I’ve lied.
You are the One
Yes, You are the One.

You are the beginning and the end
Alpha Omega without sin
You are the One
Oh, You are the One.

Lord You are the One
Yes, You are the One

Creator of everything
Life giving Holy God
You are the One
Yes, You are the One

Joy giving, heart healer
Mind blowing love revealer
You are the One
Yes You are the One

Jesus your mighty hand
Delivers me from sinking sand
You are the One
You are the One

Soiled and forgiven dove.
I am one You dearly love
You are the One
You are the One

God my heart you mend
When my clothes I have rend
You are the One
You are the One

Peace washes over me
Giving me hope in Your great mercy.
You are the One
Yes You are the One

Gladness unleashed
My life restored
You are the One
You are the One

You are my love
The One I adore
You are the One
You are the One

Love spilling out my heart is full
You’re so awesome. I am Your jewel.
You are the One
Yes, You are the One