I have been praying for time to slow down. I have been complaining about how crazy our lives are.  Interesting fact, guess who sets said crazy schedules?  Ya, uh huh that would be the one complaining.  I know that my heart needed more time at home with my family. I needed time together versus a quick hello in passing. I needed a break from Keith and the boys running one direction and Kinsley and I another. I felt I was fighting for time with my OWN family. I WAS fighting for my family. I honestly did not want to contend with sports anymore. AND WE ALL KNOW I LOVE SPORTS, sometimes a little too loudly.  But here’s a simple and very true fact, I love my family more and we are living on borrowed time together. I did not really know how completely out of sync we had drifted until we were under stay at home orders.  My daughter is missing her first year of high school softball.  She has looked forward to this day for many years.  We discussed her disappointment, but we also spoke of the Senior that does not get another opportunity to play sports in high school. We talked about it being ok to be disappointed but not ok to live in that disappointment.  Same with my twins who are 5th grade.  They looked forward to having their farewell to elementary school. We will celebrate once the storm is over.

We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 epidemic is real and it is challenging our way of life. Actually, in our home, quite honestly, a way of life that I hope I never get back to. This pandemic has altered the way I look at life. Do not get me wrong, I know this is a serious issue that we are faced with.  I am relishing in the fact that my kids are getting a Christian focused education because we are creating an environment that begins with Faith and then school and work.  In a world that is surrounded by chaos and negativity, I have hope. I have been leaning on Romans 5, especially verses 1-5. “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Honestly, I cannot imagine not having hope, especially given the current climate that is thrown at us on a daily basis.  I would love a newscast that was not surrounded by negativity.  I check the weather on my phone and that is where I get the local weather scoop.  It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity.  It was Zig Ziglar who said, “I read the paper every day and the Bible every day; that way I know what both sides are up to.”

The enemy has a way of attacking us where we are most vulnerable. Relationships, family, finances, and self-worth are just a few examples. Personally, I have been struggling with self-worth and the feeling that I am not enough. I am not enough as a wife, mother, employee and now distance education specialist (aka home ipad education patrol) and friend. I have had legitimate fears that I will fail my children, my husband, my employer, my friends and myself.  The fear of not being enough has really come to life in these last few weeks.  In the last couple of weeks, I have called out to God more times that I can count. I have prayed to the point of falling asleep, also more times than I can count.  Sisters, we are all in this together.  We need to press into God through these challenges and lean on his Word. We need to take things one day at a time and allow for a whole heaping of grace.  At our house, when I am struggling, I start talking to God out loud.  I want my kids to know that this is how I handle my struggles.  I take them to the one who can handle them much better than I can.  Each morning after spending time in scripture, worshipping and praying I am better equipped to handle my days.  Somedays I put on my headphones and crank up some worship music to power through the day. Seriously, I needed to adjust my unrealistic expectations of what our days would look like.  Day 1 was full of tears, jeers and fears!  The struggle was real.  The students were dancing awfully close to be expelled and the self-appointed Assistant to the Assistant Principal was about to get a boom box and blare some jams to commiserate the resigning of her self-appointed new job after 23 minutes on the job!  After googling if boarding schools are still open, we decided we need to amend our schedules and expectations.  Sometimes you just need to crank up the volume and DaNcE it out.  One of our family’s favorites is Grace Got You by MercyMe. Try to listen to that song and not move.  IMPOSSIBLE!   We usually follow it up with some NKOTB (for those of you who do not know New Kids on the Block.)

Reach out to your squad.  You know, the gals that we can cry to and with after an exhausting day of picking up Goldfish, re-washing clothes and trying to keep everyone on task with schoolwork.  These sweet sisters know the value of an encouraging call or text, dropping by a latte or your favorite sweet treat.  Pray with them and certainly pray for them.  I would encourage you to #SpeakLife with and into the members of your #squad.  Just make sure ya’ gals are practicing social distancing. Also lean into praying Psalm 91 over your family and friends. 

I can tell you the most amazing thing happens when you praise God during your storms.  Losing my grandpa Keith was one of the most difficult times for me.  It is hard to lose someone who is so larger than life.  This man meant so much to so many.  He had a such a heart for helping others and loved attending Mass at St. Therese.  I always loved how he would get dressed up for church and he was the SMARTEST Trivia Pursuit player- I am sure he sent several letters to their headquarters to inform them their answers were wrong.  I fondly remember him singing HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! I am pretty sure he and I were both skipped when musical talents were handed down. When he passed, my heart broke.  I had put this man on a pedestal.  His love and approval meant so much.  My heart needed peace.  I dove into my Bible and I remember praying 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and all God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  God’s amazing grace was everywhere.  After my grandpa passed away, my mom and sister attended church with my family.  I remember hearing Kristian sing HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!  You guys!  My heart!  I remember looking at my mom, sister and Keith and just smiling with tears of joy.  We all knew the significance of this song and it is what our little hearts needed at that moment. So press in girls!  Press in when times are good and you are dancing a top that mountain and press in when you are in eye of the storm.  God’s got this.  He will not forsake you and I hear he is a proponent of carrying the one!  See what I did there?!  You know, I could not help myself.  Girls give yourselves an abundance of grace.  Below are two verses that have been on my heart lately.  Hang in there and keep hope alive!

Isaiah 26:20 “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you.  Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed.”

Jeremiah 33:6 “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

Lots of love, virtual hugs and prayers headed your way!

Tara

My Battle Plans…
This is how I feel since we started distance learning from home.
Jordy Nelson Beattie. This is why he is not allowed to go to the pond when someone is fishing. He’s the problem.
Ignore the window sill that need a paint job. Sweet Chloe girl.

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