From Broken to Mended

This blog has been very hard for me to write. So here goes… you get me.  Completely and utterly unscripted.

I have been in a place of despair, just like you. I know what broken looks like. I know what brokenness feels like. Take a look at the world around us. Brokenness in every direction. Whether we are mourning the loss of loved one taken too soon, the loneliness of lack of communication with others or the sheer volume of a broken world with anger and hostility running amuck. Our hearts are hurting.

Damaged goods. There was once a time that I thought I was so damaged that I was beyond repair. I did not understand how God could possibly love me. I could not even wrap my head around what that kind of love really meant. I would love to be able to tell you that this was addressed in my youth but that is not my story. Like you, my heart has ached. There was a time that my heart was aching to be a mom. After several losses, I wondered if motherhood would happen for me. I would wonder down the baby aisles at Target and Wal Mart. I would always find myself at some point in tears. I am sure anyone who saw me was thinking what is wrong with her. And then I saw her. She was doing the same thing I was doing. Our eyes met and we knew without speaking a word we were facing the same fight. You see, after an early pregnancy loss such as an ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage there is no burial. There is no real goodbye. I guess this was my way to cope and say goodbye and to mourn our babies and maybe even find hope.  During this time, I knew who God was. However, I wanted nothing but distance between me and God. I was angry. I felt like a failure. But mostly, I was hurting. I needed God but instead of turning to him, I blamed him for the reason my heart was in shambles. The enemy found a way to entrap me and I allowed it when I turned away from God.

You see, the enemy attempts to frustrate and alienate believers from God. The enemy tries to create a wedge that cannot be overcome. We see that Job stood firm in his authentic love of God and passed the tests of faith orchestrated by the enemy. Satan’s attempting to defraud believers at every available opportunity. If you have not read “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, I highly encourage you to do so. This book provides so much insight as to the method and manipulation utilized by the enemy.

I read two amazing books by Angie Smith that began the healing process for me. “I Will Carry You The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy” and “Audrey Bunny.” And I began writing my own book. I talk in more detail about my journey and it was been so good for me. Writing has always been my outlet. And last but, certainly not least, I made amends with God. I laid years of anger, resentment and hurt at his feet. And with that my heart softened and the healing truly began for me because I know that those babies are resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

You see, we all have a back story that is the prelude to our individual testimonies. I know there is another woman who is going through or has gone through a similar situation as me. I want to support her through her brokenness and be an encourager. I do not recommend the route that I took. I needed God and I think I even knew that I needed him yet I refused to let him in. Yet, he continued to pursue me. He did not stop. I pushed and pushed and he never gave up on me. That my friends, is what God’s unfailing love looks like. It is just that simple. The love of God is unlike any other kind of love you ever experience. As humans, we will fail our loved ones, not necessarily on purpose but we are humans and that makes us fallible. You guys, He approached the woman at the well.  The woman with multiple husbands and who was outcasted by her village. He did not care whether or not she “looked or acted” like the atypical Christian. He could care less about appearances. He is all about seeking that personal relationship with YOU. A moment in the presence of Jesus and that woman high tailed into the village to share her story of her encounter with the Messiah.

Thomas struggled with doubt, yet Jesus considered him a close relationship. Jesus left the ninety to find that one lost sheep. The one with a back story who is going through something and needs a moment in the presence of Jesus. Maybe that sheep is you. Maybe you have been running and you are tired. I get it. Heck, I was you. It took me awhile being hard-headed and all to realize that Jesus wanted me just the way I am in that moment…a mess. He was not waiting for me to get it all together and certainly is not waiting for you to get it all together either. He wants to take our brokenness and begin mending us. This is just one of the amazing parts of our testimony, aka the backstory.

From my experience, suffering introduces humility. As humans, we are not profoundly fond of humility. Humility can make us appear vulnerable. I am not one of love the state of vulnerability. Humility tends to showcase our imperfections. However, humility opens the door and allows God’s grace to break down walls. 1 Peter 5:5-6, states, “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Suffering is deeply personal. This is where we need to personally lean on Jesus. Psalm 34:18-19, tells us “the Lord is close to brokenhearted and serves those crushed in spirit. The righteous may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” In Psalm 147:3, “He heals then broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” You guys all we have to do is humble ourselves before the Lord and allow his sweet grace to break down the walls. You can never be so broken that God does not want a relationship with you.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that you do not have to “look” a certain way to be a Christian or have #Christian‘cred, if you will. There is no “Christian look” per se. In fact, a Christian comes in all walks of life. Being a follower of Christ simply means that you have the heart of a servant and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and invest in nurturing that relationship.

By now, you all know that I like to review scripture for my blog but I also try to find a song that drives the message home. The song “Truth Be Told” by Matthew West has been the song that I have listened to and reflected on while writing this blog. It is ok to be broken and it is ok to not be ok. However, it is not ok to live there. This my friends is where the amazing grace of Jesus comes in. He wants our brokenness. He wants us to lay our burdens at feet. And my friends, it is a given fact that we will have burdens and suffering. The Bible tells us in John 16:33, “You will have suffering.” But in this pain and suffering, there is so much potential for growth and sweet, sweet grace. God’s grace for his people is one of the most amazing gifts he reveals to us. We lean on Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of people who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I look at it like this, you have a choice to make: (1) you can continue to run from God and try to handle life and adversity on your own or (2) you can run to God in the midst of your storm and allow God to take the wheel. I would encourage you to choose the second option. I tried the first option for far too long and it never worked out for me in the long run.

On Monday evening before Thanksgiving our family watched God’s Not Dead 2 and there was a phrase in the movie that shook me to my core…Walter Wesley said:
“Honey, you of all people should realize when you’re going through something really hard, the teacher is always quiet during the test.” Umm… ya, that phrase was an “aha moment” for me. I was close picking myself up off the floor.  The quote is so simply but this is THE ANSWER I have been seeking for months. I have been working on this blog for a while now. And there it is just as plain as day…the teacher is always quiet during the test. We must trust his timing during the storm.The test or the storm is the time to really press in and seek God. Read scripture, praise the Lord, worship all while giving Thanks to the creator of Heaven and Earth for he is good especially in the storm.

Jesus, I just want to thank you for all you do and continue to do. Lord, I am praying for those who do not have a personal relationship with you. Jesus, I pray that humility creates a pathway for walls to come tumbling down and God’s grace to enter hearts and lives begin to change as others accept you into their hearts. I pray that folks find hope through Jesus. I pray that through the acceptance of Jesus that hearts can be mended and hope is restored. Thank you for being a good, good Father.

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Thanksgiving

I know that Thanksgiving looks a little different for all of us this year. The year of 2020 has been one for the books for sure, BUT God has been so, so good and faithful. Yes, we are watching our world in turmoil around us but with a God perspective that view is a little different.  Let’s go deeper on this subject.

This year has thrown a great deal of adversity and chaos our way, including the diagnosis of new health issues, online education of our kids, working from home exclusively, stores running out of Clorox wipes and no one will be able to forget the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. Living life during a pandemic has been something. But let’s get down to the amazing things that we can take away from 2020. My family went on a much needed pause in the Spring time. We were able to sit down to dinner and simply talk. No one had to dart out the door to practice. The sad but true fact was that we maybe had dinner together once or twice a week prior to the pandemic. I am beyond grateful for the pause that allowed my family to be a family unit together. Some of our best discussions as a family happen around the dinner table. It was the most amazing opportunity to just be in the moment together. I am grateful that I will take a stand I will value the family unit as a whole. We will not go back to what dinner looked like pre-2020. We have a new standard.

I cannot believe I am saying this, if you worked in the IT department at my work you would certainly agree.. but I am thankful for modern technology. I am so grateful for the ability to zoom, facetime and video chat. I find myself struggling with the need for human interaction. That is saying a lot because I can sometimes need time to decompress. I believe there is something to be said when something you normally take for granted is taken away. Modern technology has allowed our family to visit with family and friends. I have so enjoyed our Facetimes with my grandparents and parents. Of course, I would prefer to HUG them in a big way. If anyone finds a deal of hazmat suit, I am in the market.

I am also thankful to be able to explore adventures in cooking together as a family. The kids and I took advantage of Hello Fresh meals and were able to make gourmet meals together. This opportunity allowed Brogan to find a love for cooking that I dare to say, he probably would not have otherwise found. We also purchased a pellet smoker that has completely wrecked our dining world. Um, all I can say is get yourself one and your stomach will certainly thank you for it. I am grateful for the ability to see personalities show through when we cooked together. Kinsley naturally as a the first born, led. Brody liked the technical aspects of cooking but not necessarily the cooking itself. Our resident other 40 year old, Brody, who lives in a world that is very black (he does not understand his twin Brogan who is 100% living in the gray) made us follow the directions line by line on the recipe cards. The conversation was nothing short of priceless.

Another big one for me is simply TIME, no not the magazine. For example, my commute in the office was approximately an hour plus depending on traffic one way. Now days, I roll out of bed read my devotional and Bible and find one of the greats to tune in to. You know, like Louie Giglio, Jack Hibbs and some guy named Bo Gerken. I have found myself turning to the Word, worship music and speakers of the Word more and more. I have found myself reading my Bible and researching online classes to grow my knowledge base. This is a good problem to have. I am without a doubt grateful for the TIME to be able to focus and dig deeper. I have been able to focus on writing for my blog and book. There is so much peace that comes from expelling my thoughts into written word. Peace and contentment are attributes that I have been able to find a lot easier these days. I am finding who I am through my relationship with Jesus. There is so much FREEDOM to be had with growing your relationship with Christ.

I turned the big 4-0 this November. I was seriously struggling with this number. I also randomly struggled with 26- not entirely sure why. I am a bit quirky I guess. I am about twenty days into 40 and I am learning that I am proud of who I am. I cannot really say that about my 20’s or 30’s. I was constantly searching. I was searching so desperately for a relationship with the King of Kings. I did not know this then of course. I like who I am. I like who I have become. I am a perfectly imperfect mix of somewhere between an ample splash of hot mess meets a Jesus lovin’ Proverbs 31 gal, who fervently loves her family and friends and tells every dog in her path that she loves them- type of gal- otherwise known as quirky or even perhaps different. I am ok with that. I have no desire to be normal. I have reached a point in my life where I am living for Jesus not the world. I am flawed and I fail but I am not quitting, I AM PRESSING IN DEEPER. Join me!

I am grateful for church services and the ability to worship freely. At the end of the day, we all know how the story ends. I will be transparent in the fact that there have been times where I have struggled with hopeless and anxiety. For me, that is a trigger to dig deep. Some nights, I fall asleep while praying. Some nights, it is freezing cold or pouring down rain and I will stand outside and worship. I have to go outside because I was not blessed with a singing voice that sounds like angels-I might need to send apology cards to my neighbors. I am far from it. I also enjoy the alone time, just me, God, the stillness of living out in the country and with hands lifted I worship. You guys, I just know that I need God more than ever before. I need Him to be with me all day, every day.

I am thankful to belong to a family of believers who are focused on the hope that comes with having a personal relationship with Jesus. I am thankful for HIS grace and the Freedom that we can experience as a result of grace. I am thankful to be a part of something that words will never adequately describe. I am blown away by how believers come together in the face of a pandemic and pray collaboratively for a loved one. Words cannot begin to explain the gravity of what it feels like when Jesus enters the scene. Lives are being changed. God is not finished. He is moving and working behind the scenes. There is hope. I mean God knows you. He knows what you are going through. He knows your hurts. Press in. Be different.

Jesus, I come to you today with a grateful heart. I pray for our world. I pray for our country. I lift up those suffering. I am praying for healing. I am praying for believers to go viral with their faith. I am praying hearts, minds and relationships. Jesus, I am thankful for your unforgiving love and mercy. I will continue to lift you higher and bless your name during the storm and the times of prosperity. I pray that we enter the holiday season with grateful hearts and contentment and peace. Lord, we lay our burdens at your feet. In your loving name me pray. Amen.

This is the #givethanks song I am listening to while preparing for Thanksgiving.
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He is the King of My World

I have been reflecting on the song, “King of the World” by Natalie Grant. This song is my faith story. For so many years, I put God and my faith in a box. I kept this box tightly shut and opened it only when I absolutely needed to. These days, that box is never shut. I openly live out my faith and my strong belief and need for God everyday, unapologetically. There is a link to this song below, check it out!

I have learned the struggle of learning to grow in my faith. I have struggled with praising God during the valleys. It is easy to praise God during the peaks. It is not easy to praise during our storms. It is hard. It is really hard. But, you guys, it is growth when you reach a point where you can praise and worship the King of Kings even when are in the middle of a storm. God never ensures that our Christian life will be easy and that we will not face challenges. He gives us him to lean on and press into the Word during those storms. Some of worst moments have been fought while still praising God and worshipping. Did I want to praise God in that moment, probably not at first, but I pressed in and knew that I needed God to fight my battles. I tried fighting my storms on my own and eh, not really working out for me.

My spiritual breakthrough happened when I let God lead and I quit caring what everyone else thinks. I quit leaning on the input from others and started seeking God. I no longer pushed my faith in a box. I am unapologetically Christian. I am led by God in my every day. I am human and I perfectly, imperfect but I am his hot mess and for his constant GRACE, I am so grateful!

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Update

Best views from my backyard

How are we already in October? Time is flying by. You guys! We had an amazing women’s event, the Dare To Be simulcast. It was what my heart needed. It was an amazing evening of worship and a great message. I did not realize how badly I needed a night to worship and praise the King of the World. I truly feel like I lost 20 pounds of worry and stress that was weighing me down. Sometimes you need a room full of women to encourage you and build you up. I am blessed to have some of the most encouraging and faithful friends standing by my side. What a blessing!

Um…how much do I love FALL! Oh, so much! My favorite season is fall. I love the changing of the leaves. I do not love Fall allergies. They are less than awesome for sure. I am not sure what it is with baled hay but I love it too. I love this open pasture. It is one of my favorite spots.

And here’s my sweet walking buddy. We have been walking each morning together. We love these amazing Fall mornings. I love time with this sweet girl. I am trying to make sure I get my 10,000 steps in each day. I am working hard to exercising more and making healthier food choices. It’s tough for this Kansas girl cause I love food, especially mashed potatoes and lots of gravy. Stay tuned for updates on this health quest. Oh gosh, I love Chloe girl!

Chloe girl during our morning walk.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6
This is the verse that I have really been reflecting on lately. I love taking a verse or two at a time and focusing on that verse.
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Get Your Life Together Girl

Sometimes I am a crappy friend. I forgot to respond in a timely fashion. I will see a text message flash across my phone. I will think, girl make sure you respond to this and then here we are three weeks later and I feel like a crappy friend. I will miss a call ad again mental note to return the call and here we are in the same situation as above. I promise I am not a bad friend. I can be a little scattered. I have thirteen, nope three kids. Which does not seem like much, but it is. I have to plan meals. The absolute bane in my existence…cooking. I mean can you really get tired of spaghetti? That answer is apparently yes! I would do well with a personal chef. Hence the reason we tried Hello Fresh so my darling kids could learn to appreciate cooking more than their mom. It worked twice out of ten attempts. Not knocking Hello Fresh it has expanded my cooking to a whole new level. I event prepared a gourmet meal. Holla! And it was darn good.

Ugh. Dishes. I hate doing dishes and I despise laundry. I mean let’s be honest, you will never be fully caught up with laundry…like EVER! However, I recently found a recipe for my favorite Campbell’s soup, Noodles and Ground. I enjoyed this little trip down memory lane last nigh. I am blown away. This recipe would have calmed a lot of pregnancy woes about 16 years ago. I sent poor Keith all over Kansas and Missouri searching for this soup. I went on a letter and email writing to Campbells begging for any remaining cans of this delicious goodness. I even asked for gently expired cans. What in the world is gently expired, Tara?

The last two days have been so amazing and fall-like and my heart is so full. I love Fall. I love the changing the leaves and pumpkin spice and apple cider. We are planning a virtual/ simulcast of the Dare To Be event at our church. I cannot wait to worship and press in with some new and old friends.

Our house had some major hail damage to the roof and the siding. We are excited to get started on that transformation. I am team white or light grey siding/ roof and a wraparound open concept Southern porch. Keith is team green metal roof and log siding. Please feel free to cast your votes if you are leaning towards team Farmhouse Tara…

I just wanted to share a quick update and send you all love and well wishes. Here are a few prayers that are on my mind: I know my Aunt Glenda is dealing with wildfires in Oregon she is on the verge of being evacuated. I pray for her safety. My cousin, Sarah is scheduled for a c-section this Friday to welcome her first little guy or gal. I leaning towards a little boy but praying for a healthy mom and baby. Sweet Lea and her family. This darling girl and her family have a special place in my heart. I am praying for Lea’s treatment and her medical team. I pray for the health and well being of this family. I pray for mom to be enough and to know that she is more than enough. I pray that she presses in to you and leans on you. I pray that dad presses in and seeks you. I pray for Lea’s sweet sisters. I pray that they know how amazing they are. I pray that you comfort and guide this family.

I come before you today God with a heart on fire for you. I am in awe of how amazing you are. I am thankful and grateful. God, I lift each and every person reading this up in prayer. I know that you and you alone know their worries, fears and troubles. Lord, I pray that they press in to you and seek you first. It is in your holy name I pray, Amen.

Tara

A Time For Pause

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.

Reality vs. Social Media Presence

Slippers

Over the last week, I have observed posts on Facebook.  I have acknowledged how people tend to manipulate real life to fit their version of their Facebook life.  I’ll be honest I have been guilty of doing just the same.  You know what I am talking about.  When pictures are staged to show only the best side of what life has to offer- the house tidied and decorated to the nines, the kids looking like tiny runway models.  I believe this puts out a distorted view of reality vs. Fakebook.  You saw that right, Fakebook.  So many people live their lives for the next picture or post for social media, but only the ones where everything is shiny and perfect.  Let’s be real, like really real.  Here is some real life straight from my home to yours, today, my kids had late start.  Late start means school starts at 9:00 instead of 8:00.  I enjoy this extra time to do some much needed laundry and read my Bible and devotionals.  Today, I had noble plans of making a gourmet(ish) breakfast, getting the kids up early and spending some quality time with them.   Well, the reality is, I apparently hit the alarm off button on my phone instead of snooze and woke up at 8:49 a.m. 8:49!  What?!  One thing to note is we live approximately 20 minutes (15.5 ACTUAL miles) from the boys’ school.  I tugged on my Christmas moose or is it reindeer slippers (girl, who actually cares, they were literally $0.75 at Satan’s playground/ Wal Mart, but again, I digress) for shoes and screamed like a banshee for the kids to get ready.  Not my finest moment by far.  Wait, let’s add insult to injury, today is only Wednesday and I hate to admit it, but it is a repeat of Tuesday- alarm and all.  Yesterday and today were reflections of real life.  Have I shared this on Facebook?  Not yet, but I will. 

I am not here to bash on social media.  It actually can be very useful when properly used.  I think the point that needs to be driven home is “when properly used.”  I have recently unfollowed some of my Facebook friends because of their very misrepresented life on Facebook.  I also have taken note of who I am truly friends with.  I have no interest in helping someone reach a higher “friend count” on Facebook.  Let’s be real and not paint a twisted view of what your life is actually like.  Y’all, life is messy.  Sometimes it is really messy.  My thoughts are: let them take the picture, whether the silver stands are shining through or not.  I think some of the best memories are made in the messy.  I definitely do not want to indulge in the façade of living reality one way and putting something completely different on Facebook.  I want to ensure that my social media posts are truly reflective of who I really am.  I am imperfectly perfect.  I am His.  My life is messy, stressful and chaotic, but in all this there is sheer bliss and beauty.  You know, the sunset that you cannot look away from, when your sweet dog Chloe runs to see you after a long day and that super awesome dreamy moment as a family when you are all together and giggles fill the room.  Those are my moments.  I long for those moments in chaos.  I share on social media the messy.  I know that the mess and chaotic are what other mamas are enduring too.  We should not shy from who we really are.  I challenge us all to walk in the real life vs. your perfect social media presence.  WE are struggling together.  And if you got it all together, then God bless you, you precious little thing.   

I could not help but think of this Bible version in Ephesians 5:8 “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” 

Until Next Time…

Hugs,

Tara

Debunking the Perfection Myth

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I always wanted everything to be perfect.  I had a distorted Disney view of perfect.  You know the one, where everyone lives happily ever after and everything looks like it is straight out of a magazine cover.  I remember being a young girl dreaming of this picture perfect life, white picket fence and all.  Well…I am calling crap on the whole ideal of PERFECTIONISM.  I have a great life.  I have been searching for “perfection” in almost everything under the sun.  I wanted the perfect wedding.  Nope.  Not perfect.  The unity candle melted in the trunk of my car for crying out loud!  I am pretty sure wages were made as to whether or not my dress would fit me (cause it did not three weeks before the big day and I refused to try it back on before my wedding day.)  Not sure what I was trying to prove there.  I expected the perfect balance as a working mom and wife.  Still working on that one.  Y’all I expected my kids to be these diligent little people who always had it together and ACTUALLY would want to keep their rooms clean.  Uh ya, not so much.  I set completely unrealistic expectations for family and myself.  I held us to a standard that we can never achieve.  We are fallible.  We are human.

It is only in recent months, that I have finally learned a hard lesson.  We do not find ourselves through perfection, we find it through our Faith in Jesus.  I mean, let’s be real here, the only “perfect human” to walk this Earth is Jesus.  And last I checked he still owned the only title of “perfection.”

Life is messy.  The cars and house do not self clean, but man if they did!  Kids are humans. they are going to lose it from time to time or basically everyday.  You are going to charbroil cinnamon rolls.  Your husband is going to fail you.  Bottom line is our contentment does not come from people, Hobby Lobby (I do love some Hobby Lobby, but I digress.)  Our peace comes from our faith and a personal relationship with God.

I was not putting God first.  I was trapped in that circle of putting the world first. For a long time, I searched for perfection in my home, my children, my husband, or my job.   I was certainly not finding contentment through a relationship with God. I wanted perfection in worldly things.

I am no longer searching for the perfect in everyone and everything.  Let’s be honest, my house is LIVED IN.  On any given day, my house is somewhere between Better Homes and Gardens and an episode of Hoarders.  My kids like to keep everything like their dad, including packages things come in.

What have I learned from all this?  I have learned that I need to press into Christ more and the ways of the world less.  This is tough.  Everyday I am struggling.  I am perfectly imperfect.  Some days I am a straight up hot mess.  You know what?  That is just fine with me because I am HIS mess.  He knows I am flawed and I know that I am flawed too.  Sisters, we need to love on each other and encourage one another.  We need to join forces as a strong tribe of women who are there for each other through the storms of life, and there will be storms, but hopefully the storm of perfectionism is no longer one of those storms.

Until Next Time…

Hugs,
Tara
Philippians 3:12 
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

This Week….

Charbroiled Cinnamon Rolls

I am a pretty certain Monday only comes once a week, however, this week….I think Monday made several appearances. It was one of those weeks where you have to laugh about it to avoid crying in a corner in the fetal position. This week was a mess of a week. I got up extra early on Thursday to make these deliciously amazing cinnamon rolls for the kids before school. And…I burnt them to an unrecognizable charbroiled mess. The smoke alarm was blaring. The dogs lost their minds. It was NOT the start I had envisioned for our day. We got in the car with dry cereal in little sandwich baggies. I just started laughing. Like this deep belly laugh. My kids thought I had lost my mind and perhaps for a moment I did. I wanted them to see me laugh off what started off as a crappy, no good day. I wanted them to see me not get stuck in the muck. I have a bad habit of getting stuck in the muck and hanging out there too long. I am on a quest to reclaim my joy. Part of that quest is no longer hanging out in the muck and making the best of the situation. Praising in good times and well as trying times. Y’all this is not easy, but down the line it will be so worth it.

Until Next Time…

Hugs!

Tara

A Little About Me….

Hi Sweet Friends!  My name is Tara.  I live in rural Kansas with my husband and three kids- Kinsley and twin boys Brody and Brogan.  We have a hobby(ish) farm.  We have three dogs- two Dobermans, Jordy and Daphne; and a Great Pyrenees named Chloe.  We have a gaggle of chickens (cause eggs are so expensive), a horse named Angel (not quite living up to that name) and a barn cat that I call Kitty.  Y’all… this is the perfect life for me.  I love living out in the country.  I love having lots of pets.  I am campaigning for a couple goats, a llama and may be a miniature donkey or two.

I decided to start this blog as a method of journaling and a way to lift up other moms.  I am excited to share the good, the bad and the downright ugly.  Life is messy, but I believe a tribe of women who stand in their faith and stand beside one another are nearly unstoppable.  I have some amazing friends!  True sisters in Christ!  They are the best tribe to walk through life with.

I cannot wait to share my journey through life with you all.  Topics will range from kids, faith, pets, work…skies the limit.  Stay tuned.

Until next time….

Hugs!

Tara