Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!

ONE song can spark a moment

ONE flower can wake the dream

ONE tree can start a forest

ONE bird can herald spring

ONE smile begins a friendship

ONE handclasp lifts a soul

ONE star can guide a ship at sea

ONE word can frame the goal

ONE vote can change a nation

ONE sunbeam lights a room

ONE candle wipes out darkness

ONE laugh will conquer gloom

ONE step must start each journey

ONE word must start a prayer

ONE hope will raise our spirits

ONE touch can show you care

ONE voice can speak with wisdom

ONE heart can know what is true

ONE life can make a difference

~Author Unknown

Many people believe that power lies within numbers… but I think the greatest power lies within one.

To start even the longest of journeys, you must begin with one step.

When there is one leader, many will follow.

To start a revolution, it begins with one: one idea, one person, one belief.

“ONE” of something can change a life.

So right now, right here… let’s choose ONE!

ONE WORD.

I wrote about this concept earlier this year (click HERE to read my post). In a nutshell, a friend of a friend of mine started encouraging people to choose ONE word for each year that would be personal and meaningful, a word which you could reflect and focus on for the upcoming year. When you choose the right word, it should challenge you, motivate you and maybe even scare you. (Click HERE to read more about the original One Word 365.)

So let’s pause to allow you some time to think of your word….

*Insert Jeopardy theme song here*

Got one? Good! (If not, just keep thinking.)

Well, since my life, heart and mind have become completely transparent for the world to read upon the pages of this blog, I will share mine with you!

*FAITH*

Yeah, it seems easy… almost like a cop-out. But I can assure you, it is not.

You see, for the past two years, I have chosen the word “Miracle”. I was at a place in my life where I was desperate to see some miracles. I prayed, I believed, and yes, I did see a few of them. I especially learned to see the everyday miracles God had blessed me with that I had taken for granted.

But I think there is more!

I believe that God (yes, that BIG GOD who lives up in the sky) is alive and well, and that He is the same God from yesterday as He is today! I believe that He still performs miracles today, just as He did thousands of years ago.

But over the last six months, God has really been stretching my faith. One of the things I wanted to accomplish while I was forty (click here to read that post) was to be known as a woman of FAITH. But how can you be known as a woman of faith unless He gives you situations in which your faith is stretched and put to the test?

“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,

you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.

Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

If faith truly moves mountains, then I believe the mountains in my current and future paths are there for a reason. Some of them may require great faith before they can be moved! (Now do you understand why this word kinda scares me??)

Mountain

BEFORE the miracle… you have to have the FAITH! Not this little halfhearted, wimpy, quickly-pray-as-you-need-something faith… but earth-shaking, mountain-moving faith that takes God literally at His word. You have to have a faith that truly believes GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS and that HE WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO!!

I need to know this, to breathe this… to live this! I need more faith!

So I raise my glass and toast to 2014! I pray God will increase our faith, belief, hope and trust in Him! I pray hearts will be drawn close to him, relationships will be strengthened, those in mourning will be comforted and that so much joy will be overflowing that ALL will see how wonderful and glorious our God is! I pray that we will never take a single day for granted, and that we will continually show love to others! May we live each day with eternity in mind, and live to the fullest while here on earth!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2014 be immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine!

If you have chosen Your word for 2014, please leave me a comment below! Oh, and check back soon… I AM GETTING A FACELIFT!!! (… in a manner of speaking!)

In closing, I would like to dedicate this blog post to a very dear man and family friend, Jeff Stumph, and to his family. On December 31, 2013, Jeff lost his nine-month battle with cancer, and received his complete healing as he entered the gates of heaven! He was truly an amazing model of faith and what a Christian should be: the hands and feet of Christ! He became the “father” to the fatherless and poured out his life to help lead others to Jesus! Jeff was actually one of the potential miracles I had hoped my faith would see healed in 2014…. God’s plan may not always be our plan, but we trust Him through it all, even when we do not understand! I now pray that there will be much comfort for his wife, two children, grandchildren, extended family and friends! I pray their faith continues to grow, along with the faith of all the other countless individuals whose lives Jeff has impacted. Though he will be greatly missed here on earth, we look forward to a day of rejoicing when we are all reunited in Heaven! Thank you Jeff for showing Jesus to so many!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal (to read more about this, click here):

388. Possibilities!!!

394. 1000

401. A fun dinner with my friend Jenny!!

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Um, yes… I’ll take some Brie, please! (And throw in some grapes and crackers)

Okay, I admit it… there are some days I just like to whine!

I want to curl up on the couch, wrap up in a blanket and have my own little pity party. And yes, I would like some cheese, grapes and crackers to go along with my “whine”, thank you very much!

You, too?

There are days in my life when “life” can seem just too overwhelming. It is time to pay the bills… again. (Didn’t I just pay those last month?) The children are hungry… again. (Haven’t they eaten already once or twice today?) The car is in the shop… again. (Forget the fact that we have more than one; what an inconvenience!)

Then there are the days when I like to whine about the big things… “Why Me?” (Now is the time I insert all the other problems from my life; you know… the ones that don’t seem to have any solutions… the ones that have lasting earthly and eternal consequences… the serious ones that leaving me gasping for breath each and every day!) I just want to ask God, “Why Me?”

He doesn’t owe me any explanation! I know everything about my journey has been to increase my faith in Him. I know there is always a greater purpose at work that will ultimately lead to God getting the glory. But there are times I just get frustrated! I just get tired!

You, too?

Most who read my blog live right here in the United States (though let me thank the many readers who stop by from countries all across the globe!!) We live in the Land of the Free! We have much… too much! And what we have… is never enough. This causes an inner struggle within me. I am a single mother of four: two in college and two still under my wing. I see people every day who have so much more than I do. I have often wondered what it must be like to live in their shoes; just to have the necessities of life not be a worry. But then I am torn when I see the families who live just a few miles across my little town. They have so much less than me… there are many days they are hungry. And then I see the pictures of those so far away. I see the faces of children who just need clean drinking water so they do not die… it is a level of poverty I can not begin to truly fathom. These are images that seem to be permanently etched into my mind.

So I live with this daily internal struggle: not having enough… while at the same time having wealth beyond measure!

It can be hard to keep things in perspective when you stay so far removed!

We have a tendency to harden our hearts and thicken our skin in this area. It’s not intentional, but we have seen the commercials and television specials to feed the hungry for most of our lives. We just get… used to it.

We know there are homeless people… we donate our old clothes to the organizations so they can have something to wear. We also donate a few dollars during a natural disaster relief campaign or as the holiday seasons approach. That should settle our conscience, right?

Now… on to looking at that new house we want to buy, or that next vacation we want to plan; back to writing our Christmas lists and looking at the holiday advertisements for more items we really don’t need. (Oh, I can be so guilty!)

Honestly, I think Jesus would be ashamed of me; I think He would be ashamed of us….

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:

 ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

I believe Jesus would be the ultimate “Share the Wealth” proponent, but not by the government’s involvement… rather, by the Christians’! People in the New Testament of the Bible sold all they had to follow Christ. Would we be so willing? We as Christians, as a church body, should never not be doing “something” to help someone else. We should be giving the coats off our backs and the food from our refrigerators, and using the time we have been given to bless others.

We should be doing more… so much more!

Instead of whining, “Why Me?” in regards to the things I don’t have or the circumstances in which I find myself, maybe I should change the questions I am asking God….

“Why Me? Why did you choose for me to be born in this American society, instead of the unfathomably poverty-stricken areas of Africa or Haiti?”

“Why Me? Why did you choose for me to be born into a fairly peaceful land instead of the war-torn countries of Rwanda or The Democratic Republic of Congo?”

“Why Me? Why was I born into this country and generation where everything comes so easily that we take so much for granted; where we have clean water that runs freely from our kitchen sinks, and fully stocked grocery stores stay open 24 hours a day, while in Ethiopia or Guatemala they die from malnutrition and disease-ridden drinking water?”

“Why Me? Why was I born into a country that allows us the freedom to vote, to choose our own education and employment, to bear arms, and to speak what we want, instead of a communist or government-controlled country such as China or Iraq?

“Why Me? Why was I born into a country with modern medical technologies and advancements, while others are born into areas filled with HIV, AIDS and Malaria?

Starfish Missions (2)

I recently read a book that I challenge EVERYONE to read: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker (click HERE to check out her website). She is witty, and writes with such honesty that she will feel like your best friend; she will make you laugh and cry!  If you have not read this book, stop what you are doing and order it right now. (Seriously, my blog will still be here waiting when you are finished!!)

**But, DISCLAIMER WARNING… it might just change your life!!

So, I pray that during this Thanksgiving season and throughout the rest of the year (and the rest of my life), I will put away my “Whine.” (Please note that I will keep the Brie, grapes and crackers!) I pray that I will stop whining “Why Me?” and instead ask God, “Why have you blessed me so greatly, and how can I use it to bless others?”

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Will you join me?

Here are just a few ideas to get us all started….

1. This year, lets give it all away:

When Christmas Gets Radical: Whose Birthday is it really? (Click to read this very thought provoking blog post by Ann Voskamp)

2. Sponsor a child in need. (Check out the ones dearest to my heart; the ones forgotten that have been waiting for more than 6 months)!

http://www.compassion.com/

3. Sponsor a family in your own church or community. I am sure there are many families with the fathers out of work, widows that need help financially and emotionally, military families, single moms raising their children on their own and orphans (by either death or abandonment). May we all open our eyes widely to those sitting next to us or living next door! Sponsor them during the holidays and throughout the entire year!

4. Volunteer to feed the hungry at a local food kitchen… not just for a few hours one time, but continuously. May we as Christians flood the shelters and homes with our willingness to serve every day of the year! (This is one we can do even if we don’t have a lot of tangible dollars to give.)

5. Donate, donate donate… the items in our closets, the food on our shelves, the time we spend watching television and playing games or looking at pictures on Facebook or Instagram (ouch… that one hurt).

6. Instead of giving gifts or accepting gifts, spend the money (no, not on another cruise) but instead on a mission trip! Let’s get our fingers dirty and truly do something that matters and has everlasting implications!

7. Emotionally invest in someone who is hurting: visit a nursing home or a shelter… just listen to or hold the hand of a lonely person who needs to know someone cares.

8. Consider adoption… a true rescue and life-changer for a child (of any age) who desperately needs to be loved! Or, donate to a local adoption center.

9. Cook meals and take them to friends and soon-to-be-friends. Cook for those recovering from surgery or fighting cancer or other illness, for those going through an emotional or financial crisis, or just for anyone else (for no reason at all)…  to show them Christ’s love! Click here for a fun website to get you started!

10. Love, Love, Love… sometimes a person just needs to hear your voice (maybe an old friend) or receive some words of heartfelt encouragement; to feel they have not been forgotten. Always be on the lookout for ways you can bless someone else!

This list is just the beginning; the opportunities are endless when we stop looking through our narrow lenses and instead open our eyes to the hurting and hungry all around us!

We as Christians should be making a HUGE DIFFERENCE across our communities and across the world. If we do it all in HIS name and for HIS glory, we may even find ourselves blessed beyond measure, in ways we never thought possible; the beauty will amaze us!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the Glory…” (Ephesians 3:20-21a)

I am so thankful for each of you who have read this blog (even though there have been many months of silence)!! I am always amazed by how God uses these humble words to reach people across scores of countries throughout the year!

I pray that each of you will be blessed beyond measure during this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season!

From my family to yours… May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal (to read more about this, click here):

367. God’s continual promises to not be afraid… that He will fight for me!

376. “7”… no additional words necessary!

379. A big prayer… ANSWERED!

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The Darkest Hour

It has been said that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. I do not know if that is true scientifically speaking; however, metaphorically and Biblically… I completely agree.

No matter how dark the night is, the light of morning always comes!

SR

The darkest day in history… the darkest hour… was when Jesus died on that cross. I can not begin to imagine how lost and hopeless those around Him must have felt. But little did they know that Sunday was on its way! That glorious Sunday morning when the sun shined its brightest… when the grave could no longer hold the Savior of the world!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

 (Psalm 30:5, NIV)

When things look the most impossible is when God moves! He likes to wait… (and sometimes wait…. and wait a little longer…) until a situation seems absolutely hopeless. He likes to wait until we have nothing left to hold on to but Him… until nothing makes sense but His promises… until everything is against us; then He brings the morning in all her glorious splendor.

The problem is that it is sometimes so dark, confusing, frustrating and painful that we want to give up. I believe many prayers do not get answered because we stop praying; the answer does not come in our timing, so we move on to other things or forge our own paths down roads on which we do not belong.

Over the last four years in my life I have kept a journal. The good, the bad and the ugly are all written down… pages and pages in numerous notebooks. I can not read most of my entries from that first year; there was too much pain involved and reading the words makes my stomach turn. But there are so many other pages filled with answered prayers: promises by God that have come to pass; dark moments that have been followed by bright mornings; so many nights of frustration turned into peace, joy and contentment. And when I look back through the entries, I realize that it was when I hung on to God’s word and His promises through the darkest hours that I saw the most beautiful sunrises!!

Oh, He is faithful….

“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.” 

– 
John Piper

I have once again been going through a darker moment in my life, one filled with confusion. I have prayed asking for wisdom and clarity… asking for direction. I felt the frustration and darkness close around me… the struggle continued to worsen. I kept hearing His promises: “My plan… My timing.”

*sigh*

He has brought me, once again, to a place of complete faith and trust. It is an unsure place, filled with total reliance on Him. I know He has a plan… even though it is dark and I can not see it.

So I continue… each and every day, I continue to seek Him, praise Him and trust Him; I continue to look to Him to hold me, and to light my darkened path. For He who has promised is Faithful… the beautiful morning always comes!

Where are you today? Do you feel that your life and situation are surrounded by darkness? Do you feel frustrated? Angry? Ready to give up on the prayers you have been praying? 

Hang in there and don’t give up… a shimmer of light is on the horizon.

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

311. Beautiful Florida weather… it was perfect!

342. The little mustard seed… sometimes it just takes a little faith!

363. Snuggling with baby in the green chair!

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Word Up!

You can change your world by changing your words…

Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Joel Osteen)

BLOG

It has been a while.

My heart has been heavy, my life has been busy… thus, the screen has remained blank.

I have felt overwhelmed. Not within my own life, but in regards to some very special people who are feeling the heaviness of this broken world.

I sit. I stare.

There is so much to say, so many thoughts swirling within my mind… yet there are no words. For those of you who know me, this is a rarity. I always have words… usually too many of them for my own good! But when the heart is heavy, it can be difficult to express one’s thoughts to the outside world.

So I just sit. Stare. Think. Pray. Cry….

2012 was a good year for me and my children. It was not perfect, but we began seeing some promises fulfilled that I believe God has given me. We continued to grow closer to each other and stay focused on the little things that matter in our lives. There was much healing….

2012 was also a year of heartache for some very dear people I know, as well as for others whom I have never met.

Cancer. Widow. Fatherless. Emergency. Newtown, Connecticut. Tragedy. Fear.

*sigh*

These are all words I was unprepared to hear. They are words that have forever been etched into the hearts and souls of those around me. Many I just don’t understand, yet I choose to still hope and trust in the One who does. Many don’t make sense, but His ways are not our ways. Many seem unfair, but I only see the immediate, small chapter… He sees the whole story.

I…  we, live in a very broken world; these words are around every corner and can cause us to feel overwhelmed, saddened and confused. We are left with a choice: we can choose to only focus on the negative words that surround us, or we can choose to replace these words with an entirely new vocabulary.

Faith. Hope. Light. Trust. Healing. Comfort. Blessings. Joy. Love.

There is a fellow blogger I know of that developed “One Word 365” based on the concept that each new year (or any time you happen upon the website) you choose One Word that will personally guide, shape and encourage that particular year, just for you.

Last year, for 2012, my word was MIRACLE.

This year, for 2013, my word remains MIRACLE!

In Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language (an incredible dictionary given to my son as a gift), the word Miracle is defined as the following: 1. Literally, a wonder or wonderful thing; but appropriately, 2. In theology, an event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event. Miracles can be wrought only by Almighty power, as when Christ healed lepers, saying, “I will, be thou clean,” or calmed the tempest, “Peace, be still.”

(I love that definition!)

I need miracles in my life, and in the lives of those whom I know! God-sized, impossible miracles that only the Almighty One can perform!

Oh, there were many in 2012… but I believe this was just the beginning!

I pray… believing, trusting and walking in faith for my son to be healed, for several of those I know to walk cancer free, for impossible opportunities to come to fruition, for joy to overwhelm those who have lost so much, for promises to be fulfilled, for the most calloused hearts to be drawn to the Creator, and for His glory to shine through the many seemingly hopeless situations.

I pray that each day I, along with my children, family and friends, will see the small miracles of beauty that God surrounds us with in His creation. May we never be so busy that we can not stop, breathe and take it all in. They are everywhere… and they are beautiful!

Job 5:9 says, “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”

Psalm 77:14 says, “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”

God is the same yesterday, today and forever! What He did thousands of years ago He can still do today! That same power that made the blind see… that made the lame walk… that raised Jesus from the dead… is alive, strong and available for us all!

So I choose faith! I choose hope! I choose to look each and every day for the miracles I believe He is accomplishing, and pray others will see what a powerful, Almighty God He is… For He is awesome!

Will you join me? Will you choose a personal word for your own life? A word that will become a part of who you are? A word that will affect the decisions you make… that will help keep your focus throughout the rest of this year… that will inspire you, guide you, and stretch you as an individual?

I would love to know your “Word”… please leave me a comment below. Feel free to share a bit of your journey and what that word means to you!!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

238. Field full of geese.

247. A blanket of snow!

269. A fun day with my daughter!!

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Table of Thanksgiving

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

(Psalm 100:4-5, NIV)

I love Thanksgiving….

It is a holiday dedicated to eating… and eating… and when you finish you go back for more eating!

I love the fall flavors and smells: the cinnamon, the cranberry, the pumpkin, the ginger…. What can I say? I am a true foodie at heart, and I savor each and every bite.

But I have to be honest… for many years it was just about the food, the new outfits for the kids, and that perfect “photo moment” where we would put on our best smiles and no one would see the emptiness inside. I dreaded the dinner table when my parents would ask everyone to go around the table and say that for which we were thankful; it was too forced, and everyone’s answer would be too cliche’… or at least my answer would be. “I am thankful for my family, my children, my friends,” blah, blah, blah.

Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful for them (very much so), but that was obvious. I really couldn’t find anything else in my life for which I was truly thankful. I was a pretty miserable person on the inside, so it was difficult to see past the end of my own nose and my current circumstances.

So I just enjoyed the food.

Now… everything has changed. I cry each morning, just so thankful to God for life… the amazing gift of life. I cry as I thank Him for each one of my children, my family, my home, my journey, and His plan for me. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness when I remember His sacrifice for mankind… for me.

This year my list continues to grow. I have learned to be thankful for the many little gifts  that God gives us throughout each day, as I have read Ann Voskamps’ book entitled 1000 Gifts and have begun my own gratitude journal. (Click here to read more about this) Each numbered entry reminds me just how much He loves us… He thought of everything!! God’s love and beauty are everywhere… by looking for it, and thanking Him for it, we draw closer to Him!

But there is one gift I am especially thankful for…

One gift that is not deserved…

One gift that so many take for granted….

It is my daughter’s middle name:

Grace.

Five little letters that carry the weight of gold.

It is by God’s amazing grace that we are saved… that we have a hope and a future… that we have an eternity. All we have to do is accept it; all we have to do is accept Him. This gift is freely given to us, but it was paid by the highest of prices: God, the Creator of the universe, willing chose to become human… to live among us… and to die for our sin.

“Signs of being blessed aren’t power or material wealth. It is receiving the benefits of God’s Grace.” (Author Unknown)

It is not a gift to take lightly. Grace is a gift that, once truly realized, overwhelms! When we stare at ourselves in the mirror and look deep into our souls, we see the raw, ugly side of who we are: the sin… the dark sin that can only be covered by the crimson red of blood. It changes us….

God is not a God to be mocked. He did not give us grace to be thrown back in His face so that we could continue to knowingly sin, expecting the “grace card” to cover all. It does not allow us to continue in our old ways. When we truly comprehend all that grace entails, our lives are forever changed!

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

This Thanksgiving day, and every day I have breath in my lungs, I will be thankful for the Amazing Grace that has been given to me. I pray that each of us today will take a few minutes to remember the cross… to remember that sacrifice that changed everything. May we never forget the blood shed so that we can have an eternity with the God of the universe!

And as we go around our virtual table, my cup runneth over with Thanksgiving. I can’t believe all that I have been blessed with; I may be poor as dirt, but I feel like the wealthiest woman in the world! God is so, so good!! He is so faithful!

What is the one thing you are the most thankful for today?? Share in our “Table of Thanksgiving” in the comments section below!!

So from my family to yours, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

205. A 3 1/2 year prayer… Answered!

212. Seeing the beauty, even when things don’t go according to plan!

219. Cool wind on my face… it means I am alive!

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Forty While Forty

The day has finally arrived….

This post is being published at 9:27am on September 30, 2012. At this precise moment, 40 years ago… I was born. 

“For You created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ” (Psalm 139: 13-14)

40…

Forty…

10 + 10 + 10 + 10…

20 x 2…

No matter which way you look at it, it is still difficult to believe. How did I get here? 40? Really? These numbers were reserved for the older generation, like my parents (sorry guys, if you are reading this). But me? I thought I was at 29 and holding?? Does this mean I have now become “middle-aged”? Surely not!

“I’m not 40. I am 18 with 22 years experience!”

(author unknown)

The number “40” has proven to be a very significant number:

~ Did you know that 40° is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond. In other words, -40°F is equal to -40°C. Hmmm… I didn’t know that!

~ 40 is the atomic number of zirconium. Also known as the poor man’s diamond. Hmmm… that explains a lot!

~ There are 40 hours in a typical work week.

~ The average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (although it sure feels like 90!!).

~ During the Great Flood, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

~ God’s people wandered through the wilderness for 40 years. Hmmm… that kind of sounds like the first 40 years of my life!! (haha)

~ Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days.

~ The time between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to Heaven… yeah, you guessed it: 40 days!

~ Ronald Reagan was our 40th president!

Needless to say, 40 seems to be a very monumental, significant number!

With this in mind, I raise my glass and toast to all of my fellow 40 year old friends… and to those of you who have gone before me (some of whom have been there for quite some time!!). Here is to 40 years of life so graciously given to us from The One above. Here is to every smile, joy, tear, and heartbreak; to each and every breath.

Over the last year I have been compiling a list of 40 things I would like to accomplish while 40. It seems easy, but it has been very difficult, as I wanted the list to be both meaningful and achievable. This is not a “bucket list” (as that is for another time), but rather something for me to focus on as I celebrate this milestone in my life; something to help better me for the next 40+ years. So… in no particular order, here goes.

40. I would like to have a completely cleaned house. (Imagine…. I can see it now!) Not just a few rooms – not every room except for the one that we have filled with boxes and baskets of items that need to be put away, the door to which we close so our company does not see – but a completely clean, spotless house, baseboards and windows included! Even if just for one day… it might just be heaven on earth! (Hmmm… this is a big project; thinking I may need to outsource for this one…. Monetary donations are now being accepted! haha).

39. I want to watch the movie Pride and Prejudice with my daughter, and the Bourne Trilogy with my boys!

38. I want to wish everyone I know via facebook a Happy Birthday… and to send cards to my close family and friends when appropriate. Oohh… maybe start a birthday calendar! This could be fun!

37. I want to be considered a conservationist of the paper towel. It’s unbelievable the number I use on a daily basis (those little things can be quite handy!); I think I have been keeping Bounty in business.

36. I would like to lose these last few pounds of baby weight. Having a baby at 38 is such a huge difference than at 25!! (And what can I say… we cook good food around here!!)

35. I have a list of friends that I have not seen in years… for some almost 20! We keep saying we are going to reconnect, but we just never seem to make the time. I want to make every reconnection, even if just for a quick cup of coffee.

34. I want to get through my “to do” lists… not lose them or forget about them, but actually do them.

33. I would like to spend more time outdoors. I love being outside, but I keep finding distractions that seem to take precedence and keep me indoors. No more! I want to enjoy the beautiful world outside that God created!

32. I would like to be in the habit of making my bed every day! Yeah, yeah… I know I am supposed to make my bed each day, and I really do love the way it looks when all the pillows are perfectly adorning the comforter in the right order, but that takes so much time and energy each and every morning. Most of the time, I just prefer to leave it all snuggly and keep that “lived in” feel to it. *sigh*

31. I want to remember to mail all the Thank You letters to the people who need to be thanked! I actually have an entire Hallmark store in my file folders. My intentions have always been there, but my forgetfulness (which I am convinced is actually a neurological issue)… hmmm…… what were we taking about, again??

30. I want to be organized. (For those of you who know me personally, stop laughing!)

29. Okay,  I want to at least have my pictures organized. This would be a huge accomplishment considering I have thousands… upon thousands….

28. I would like to once again be sleeping through the night! I dream of this… (with eyes wide open, of course).

27. I want to begin writing a book; even if the words are never read, at least I would have my thoughts written down (which I have found to be very therapeutic and healing for me!!).

26. I want to keep in touch with friends and family; I mean seriously, how difficult can it be to pick up the phone that is always in my back pocket and send a quick text??

25. I want to talk, to everyone; not be afraid when entering a room full of people or a coffee shop that has large tables that you must share. I want to engage in conversations and hear people’s stories; each one of us has a story to tell!

24. I would love to have an exercise routine… nothing too extravagant, as I don’t want to displace a hip; after all, I am 40 now!

23. I would like very much to stop stressing over the little things. Even though it is the perfectionist in me, I want to be able to relax and enjoy each moment, holiday, birthday and event without the stress! (Again, to those who know me personally… stop laughing!!)

22. I want to finish what I start: movies (without falling asleep), projects, conversations… thoughts!!  Nothing half-way; it’s all or nothing!

21. I want to complete my first 5k race… even if it means walking (old injury, I am not a runner). Yeah, I would love to have one of those cute little stickers to put on the back of my car window that says “13.1” or “26.2” or even “140.6”, but seriously… let’s be realistic. Besides, there are way too many of those out there on other cars. I believe in being an original… standing out in the crowd; how about a “1”… or a “5”??

20. I would really like to stop being critical of others, and make a habit of finding the positives; to see the good in everyone!

19. I want to follow through with all of my words… if I say it, do it.

18. I want to be finished with this list!! (It is much harder than it looks!!) I have been working on this list for almost a year. *Insert yawn*

17.  I wish I could go on a mission trip.  But since that is not a reality for this upcoming year, I must find a way to make a mission right where I am.

16. I would like to reach the point where I do not worry about others’ thoughts or views of me.

15. I want to be able to do all for my audience of One… God above! (See #16.)

14. I would like to write each one of my children a very personalized letter, to share my thoughts of them, explain my love for them, and encourage them to grow into the individuals God created them to be!

13. I want to think before I speak; too many feet have already been inserted into this mouth! This is difficult for me, as I always have an opinion on everything. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

12. I would like to be considered a “Writer”. I never dreamed I would ever write, as my passions always took me to other creative outlets… nevertheless, here I am!

11. I hope to be an even-tempered, patient woman and mama (again, to those who know me, stop laughing).

10. I want to complete my list of 1000 gifts; not just to write down random things, but to truly look at the world around me and be thankful for the little things I might otherwise overlook!!

9. I want to show my heart for people, wear it on my sleeve! God has started giving me a heart for others… so what am I going to do with it? I need to be His hands and feet in the world, show His love to others!

8. I want to live my life intentionally; we never know which day will be our last.

7. I want to completely forgive others, and heal any broken or strained relationship that has affected my life. (Yes, this may prove more difficult with some than others!)

6. I want to be the mother my children can be proud of…. Difficult, as I know how often I have failed them…. *sigh*

5. I want to feel “Accomplished” in something… to know I have made a difference in someone’s life!

4. I hope and pray that I can reach a place in my life where I am truly living each day with no regrets… to the fullest!

3. I want to be right where God wants me to be: hopefully a little closer to the top of the mountain, rather than where I have been (the valley is getting old)!

2. I want to say “I Love You”… often, never letting a moment or opportunity pass by me!!

1. I want to be considered “A Woman of Faith”… one who loves and trusts her God with all her heart, soul and mind, who believes that NOTHING is impossible with God, witnesses His miracles in her life, and passes this legacy of faith down to her children!

So, here I go; I’m starting a new day, a new week, a new year and a new decade. I am thanking God above for the last forty years of my life and I am looking forward to what He has planned for my future!

“40”…. It’s gonna be great!!

May you find the beauty in today (no matter what age you are),

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

188. A weekend with a full house!

189. Brokenness… from which true beauty is found!

193. Daughter’s surprise visit from college!!!

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One.

One year.

Three hundred sixty-five sixty-six days (it was a leap year!).

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog, Created to be Beautiful!! Whoohoo!!

The party festivities have begun!! Please enjoy a piece of cake or brownie in honor of this monumental occasion!

It has been a whirlwind of a year as many things in my life have changed.

In the last 366 days my oldest son turned 19, moved home from college, and changed directions in his own life (remember my post about “Plan B“??).

My daughter turned 17, graduated high school, watched every episode of every Netflix tv show possible and moved away to college.

Another son, child number three, turned 14, left the public school system, and now is enjoying school at home, after obtaining an unruly creature from the wild (actually, just an overly-hyper-lick-you-to-death-howling-separation-anxiety-ridden beagle who is teaching us all how to love even the most difficult of beings, haha).

The baby has celebrated his first birthday, produced a mouthful of teeth and learned how to work the iPhone!

Marshmallow (our almost-three-year-old Peek-A-Pom) is trying not to be eaten by the newly acquired beast (as mentioned above).

And the cats… well, they continue to mind their own business, ignore our commands and put the howling dog in his place!

It is always an adventure at our house!! 😉

I have taken on new roles and responsibilities; God has continued to open many doors, and others have closed as the divorce papers were signed.

Prayers have been continually prayed, as contentment and joy have settled in the heart. For my baby, my family and my life, there has been much hope… and much healing!

The God has been faithful!

The God has been good!!

So today I say thank you for the last year! To God above, for the journey that has brought such beauty from ashes and allowed me the words in which I share my story; to my family and friends, who have supported and encourged me; to my eldest, whose writing I once spent time editing; now he edits mine!

Thank you to my readers, my continual followers and my happen-to-land-by-chance-due-to-an-Internet-search-gone-wrong people! 🙂

I am amazed by the way God has used my humble journey to encourage others; I have greatly appreciated all the comments, and all the people I have met along the way. This whole new “world of blogging” has introduced me to some incredible people across the world! In just the last six months, Created to be Beautiful has been viewed by readers in over 80 countries! Wow!! God is awesome!

As I begin this second year (yes, you have to put up with me for a little while longer), I will continue to pray that God will use my past pain, my current crazy life, and the joy I find along the way to encourage others and beautifully point them to Him!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

174. Isaiah 40, 41

178. Having a house full of my teenagers and their friends… Again! I love college breaks!

185. Funny bird with ruffled feathers outside of baby’s window (too cute!)

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Rescue Heroes

Have you ever been in a life or death situation and needed to be rescued?

I have….

Many years ago when my third child was much younger, he loved playing with a line of toys called “Rescue Heroes”. It was a great concept; the figurines were everyday heroes such as firemen, police officers, paramedics, etc…. I love heroes that are normal, everyday people; those who willingly choose to put their own lives at risk to save the life of another.

Everyone loves a good rescue story, don’t they? We sit on the edge of our seats in the movie theaters, watch the dramatic stories play out on the evening news stations, and we love to read the words that are so poetically written as the knight in shinning armor rescues the beautiful damsel in distress.

But what about the story before the rescue? Many times it is by chance or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, there are other times when we place ourselves in the situation in which we need to be rescued… physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally, we become our own self-destructive force that is in desperate need of a “Rescue Hero”!

You see, my life or death situation was my own entangled web that was spinning out of control. It was all about me… my life; my choices; my pride; my way. I was self-destructing and hurting those I loved the most! I needed to be rescued from me! I needed a “God-sized” rescue, and unfortunately it took the crash of my marriage and life as I knew it before I finally reached up for the ultimate “Rescue Hero”: The One… The God of the universe.

Why is it that it sometimes takes such pain and life-changing events before we are willing to look to God and do things His way?

It has been said that a person will stay the same until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

On July 4, 2009, I was finished! No more Tara’s way… the pain was too great.  It was time for a change! It was an eternal life or death situation, so I laid it all at the Cross and chose to live completely for Jesus. He reached down from Heaven and rescued me on that dreadful, yet beautiful day.

Where are you today? Are you in a situation in which you need rescue? Have you become your own self-destructive force by the choices and decisions you have made, or are still making?

Do you know of someone who is in desperate need of rescue? I sure do….

It is always difficult to watch those you care about walk that path. We know where they are headed. More than likely, it will not end well; there will be pain, frustration and heartache. We can try to stop them, but they probably will not listen. We want to shout at them, wave the flags, and sound the alarm! But they are determined, selfish and prideful… so we watch, pray and trust the Almighty God to quickly become their Rescue Hero.

Jesus, God in the flesh, became our Ultimate Rescue Hero when He willingly chose to give up His life on a cross for each and every one of us. He became human so He could take our place, overcome death, and give us everlasting life. But we have to be willing to trust, believe and accept His grace, forgiveness and redemption. A person can not be rescued until they reach out their hand towards their rescuer. They have to make the choice…

I have recently found a new band that I LOVE!!! The Rhett Walker band has a southern rock sound with amazing lyrics that speak of God’s mercy and grace. Their latest release, “When Mercy Found Me”, is basically the story of my life and the story of so many lives I know…. It is also my prayer for many others that I hold dear to my heart.

In one moment, everything can change for each and every one us. God’s mercy can wash us clean, and we can become a new creation in Him… we can be rescued from our destructive selves and start a beautiful new life filled with love, purpose and so much joy! I promise… just reach out your hand… The Ultimate Rescue Hero is waiting!

One of my favorite passages that has come to me during the journey of my last three years (too many times to count) is Psalm 40:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. 

Then I said, “Here I am, I have come- it is written about me in the scroll. 

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord.

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.  I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head; and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me. 

May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The Lord be exalted!”

Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.

If you or someone you know desperately needs to be rescued, I pray that you will see the beautiful rescue of the Ultimate Rescue Hero!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

156. Storms… that bring such joy to my boys!!

162. Revelation 12:11

168. Baby footprints on the back deck!!

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What if… tomorrow doesn’t come?

Tomorrow.

How many times have we heard that said? How many times have we ourselves said it? We have great intentions, but they always have to wait… until tomorrow.

What if tomorrow doesn’t come?

Today I am frustrated. I am saddened. I need to vent, so the best way for me to express myself is through my words.

A few days ago, an amazing man left this earth and entered his heavenly home. It has shaken a community and a church. It has left a beautiful wife a widow, and three young children fatherless. This isn’t the way it was supposed to be; they had plans for the future… for tomorrow.

I don’t understand. We cry out, “Why, God?” He was young; only thirty six. He was the worship leader for our church; one who pointed so many to Christ. It doesn’t make sense.

I am angry.

In recent months, I have heard of too many young fathers leaving this earthly realm. They were godly men, men who loved their wives like Christ loves the church… who were courageous leaders for their families; men of integrity, honor and character; men who modeled on earth the example of their heavenly Father; men who would give anything to spend one more day, tomorrow, with their wives and children.

And yet, we have other men who continue to willingly walk away from their spouses and abandon their children… taking everything they have for granted. They are leaving in search of a “better tomorrow”… intent on finding their own personal happiness, usually leaving a long trail of hurting victims behind them.

I don’t get it….

What if tomorrow doesn’t come?

I know I have written numerous times about making the most of every day. But my heart continues to be so heavy… too many deaths have recently surrounded this community in which I live. For those involved… tomorrow never came.

What about you? What about me?

Are we so focused on tomorrow that we forget to live today?

Is there a relationship that needs to be mended?

An “I’m sorry,” that needs to be said?

Are you a spouse that needs to turn around and go home?

How many times have we said “I’ll go to church… I will get my heart right with God… tomorrow”?

How many times have we promised our children… “Tomorrow”?

How many times have we promised ourselves… “Tomorrow”?

I will do better… “Tomorrow”.

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. 

 I live now.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, sweet friends… what about today??

2 Corinthians states, “…today is the day of salvation.” Not tomorrow!

Life is too short, and the older I get, the more I have to stare down this reality. We have to live today! We have to make the most of every opportunity while we can… before it passes us by!

We have to love those around us with complete abandon and be the hands and feet of Christ!

We have to say “I love you”… often!

We have to realize that this life isn’t about us… it is all about our Creator. We have to tell those around us who He is and what He has done… tell them about that rugged cross and the hope and redemption it gives to those who believe! What if their tomorrow doesn’t come? What if we had the opportunity to say it, show it, live out the example… and we chose not to? What if we’d simply said “Maybe tomorrow”?

We have to live so that when our time is up on this beautiful green and blue planet and we stand before our Almighty God, He will look at us and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.  That is what this life is really about… getting to spend eternity with Him.

So I challenge you, I challenge me… Live! Live today! Say yes, today! Scratch things off that to-do list. Make that phone call. Say those difficult words you know need to be said. Mend those relationships. Take time to stop… and find the beauty that surrounds you. Take time to stop… and spend time with the Creator of your soul.

As our church and community, along with a grieving widow and family, prepare to bury a very beloved man, we can use his life as an example of how we want to live ours; of how we want to be remembered. There have been so many comments left on facebook, blogs and the newspaper obituary page, all stating what a difference this man made to the hundreds, if not thousands of lives that he touched. He was a godly man who loved Jesus, his family and others. What an impact this one life has had for the Kingdom of Christ.

My favorite quote that I have read regarding this life that has ended too soon: “… he ran the race with integrity and grace.”

If our tomorrow doesn’t come, may that also be said of us today!

 I have fought the good fight,  I have finished the race, 

 I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV)

I leave you today, heart heavy, yet full of hope;

Thankful that through Christ, we have a hope of eternity with God.

We have a hope that every tear will be dried and every cry will silenced.

We have a hope of joy everlasting.

We have a hope that with much prayer, there are redemption stories waiting to be written; a hope that those who have walked away or abandoned will become courageous and lead.

We have a hope for the future… for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

So if your tomorrow doesn’t come… are you proud of the way you lived today?

This post is dedicated to the memory of

Matthew Joseph Davidson (1975-2012).

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=matthew-joseph-davidson&pid=158472349

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here):

144. Ideas

146. Freedom!

147. The brave souls of our founding fathers.

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YOLO…

A few weeks ago, my only daughter graduated high school. It has been a time of very mixed emotions as we have said goodbye to her school years and childhood, turned the page, and are now beginning this new chapter in her life.

It seems like just yesterday… not when she began school, not when she was born… but the day I myself graduated high school. Twenty-two years ago I walked across the platform to shake hands with the head administration and receive my own diploma of high school completion. I felt my life was really just beginning… it was all there, unwritten before me. I thought my future would be the perfect fairytale with all my dreams unfolding as planned.

*Insert record scratch now*

Then reality smacked me in the face; life hit hard and throughout the last 22 years I have traveled a very long, winding, difficult path. With many mistakes, you gain much wisdom….

So today I would like to share a few thoughts in a letter to my daughter and the Class of 2012.

To my dearest Savannah Grace and your graduated peers:

You have arrived. You have now officially completed the first stage of your life. You are getting ready to move into the next chapter in your own, personal stories. Most will go to college, some into the workforce, others the military, or missions, or some may even be planning a future wedding. The world is before you. You are a generation with big plans… you have seen the mistakes of your parents and you are determined not to follow. You have heard the same old political agenda and you are ready to chart a new course. You know the state of our environment and the urgency of worldly causes… you are ready to make a difference. You have more resources, technology and awareness than any other generation before you… you can make this happen. With diploma in hand, you are ready to hit the ground running. You have my full support.

But I caution you to prepare for “Plan B”. Please don’t get me wrong; it is wonderful to make plans, have goals and map out your future. For some of  you, you will attain all that your hopes and dreams can afford you. But for many of you… life will happen. There will be unexpected life altering phone calls, lost jobs, spouses who leave, an unexpected diagnosis, failed plans, wrong turns….

I can assure you that when I graduated, neither being an almost 40 year old, separated woman raising 4 children on my own, nor the very difficult circumstances I have gone through were a part of my “long term plan”.

*Sigh*

…but life happened.

So always prepare for the future, but live each day as it comes.

Many of you have already adopted this outlook as “YOLO”… (for those older generation folks who are reading this, YOLO means “You Only Live Once”).

True. But there seems to be a carefree, almost reckless mentality that follows YOLO. You are young; you have few worries… you just want to live your life having fun. I get it. There was a time when I had a very similar outlook to my own life. Just remember, every action has a consequence… positive or negative. You may not see it today, but many choices will affect you tomorrow, next year or even in the many decades to follow. Many of these consequences can be far reaching, affecting your family, your friends and your own future spouses and children. I ask that you stop and think before you act….

I think a better slogan to adopt would be “Carpe Diem”… seize the day. This mentality allows you to make the most of every opportunity, enjoying each moment of each day to the absolute fullest, but is also more intentional… instead of careless, it is thoughtful… instead of leaving regrets, it creates a sense of accomplishment, of fulfillment, of purpose. It allows you to see the world and the people you love in a whole new way!

If you don’t have everything figured out by now (which I know many of you believe you do…), it is okay! You will change more between the ages of 18 and 23 than you will any other time in your life. You will go from living under your parents shelter to becoming adults in a productive world, standing on your own two feet. Enjoy the adventure of becoming You, the adult. You will never be able to go back… so take what you have learned (the good, the bad and the ugly), and just keep walking forward!

My most important advice to you is to just keep Christ first in your life and in all you do. God has created you with a very distinct purpose… you are here for a reason. You were created for His glory. You can walk your own path, search for your own happiness, and look for everything else in the world to fill the void that your soul was created with; but in the end, it will all fail you and leave you empty. As the wise Solomon said in Ecclesiates… it is all meaningless.

The God of the universe has created this beautiful, magnificent thing called “Life”. He has filled it with laughter, pain, beauty, emotion and wonder. He has given us breath for our lungs, pulse for our veins and love for our souls. Don’t miss out on the joy and peace that only comes from having a personal relationship with The Creator… you won’t be sorry, and the benefits will last throughout this journey and into all of eternity!

May you take time each and every day to notice the little things… to appreciate the beauty all around you… to mean what you say… to not overlook the mundane. Life passes so quickly…. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. May you not get so caught up in a quote, a slogan or a life manifesto that you are only filled with great thoughts and ideas; may you actually live them out to the fullest!

Let go of the little things that in the end have no value.

Hold on to every true friendship… sometimes water is thicker than blood!

Don’t put your faith in people, but rather put all hope, faith and trust in God above; He will never fail you! Never give up on Him, even on the difficult days!

Be a person of character, integrity and honor… that is how you will want to be remembered.

Love deeply, with abandon… forgive easily, as we have been forgiven… and be compassionate, as you never know the full story of where a person has been.

I pray all your dreams come true, but I pray more importantly that you find the deeper meaning of life within your soul.

May you find the beauty in each and every day that you walk upon this earth!

A personal note to my only daughter:

Savannah,

I have loved you from before I even knew you! I am so proud of the strong young woman you are becoming. I will stand by you always; I will never leave you! Your eyes are full of much pain, yet I see the new twinkle of your future. Spread your wings, baby girl… take this flight… soar high into the unknown. Mama bird will always be cheering you on! You’ll be forever in my heart.

Mom

*****

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*****

*****

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“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”  (1 Timothy 4:12, NLT)

*To my readers… what other advice do you have for the graduated Class of 2012? I would love to hear your additional thoughts!!

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal: (to read more about this, click here)

123. Black wooden barn with bright red roof

125. Cute Baby sneezes!

129. House full of fun!

132. Daughter’s creativity

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