Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fertility struggles

I was recently talking with a friend who has walked the fertility journey and she said, "I wish more people were open to talk about their infertility" it can be such a lonely journey.  (Note I wrote this blog last month) So... here I am to talk!! (I soo appreciate those of you who have reached out to me who have been there!!)

The pain of fertility struggle Is a constant journey, which is not easy to just lay to the side. I really, really wish it was... but like every journey it can grow you or make you stagnant, the choice is yours!! 

People have tried to be helpful and I think it's so kind of them but it doesn't fix anything other than knowing u have friends who really care.  Some say, stop trying and it will happen:-) :-) Yet they have never walked in these shoes and tried to stop! I have tried and it's so soo hard!

It's the pain that effects me most. Isn't anything hard like that?  The highs and lows "roller coaster" tend to drag us lower because they are discouraging?
You try to get pregnant and are crazy hopeful! But then your hopes are dashed. The same process over and over, month after month.
And all the while you watch many of your friends get pregnant and then have their beautiful bundles. And While you are happy for them it stings, it's a trigger to a bullet of remembering your pain.

I have a wonderful life, two incredible boys and a loving affectionate husband.  I have nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for. And I do!!!
Yet I can't run from my sadness when I'm not pregnant. I always wanted a big family! When Preston died it was obviously not going to happen like I imagined.
And when you get the chance to do it again the excitement is maybe that much more intense because you have waited and hoped you would get another chance at that dream of more kids (and a hubby!!!)

Nothing physically is wrong with either of us, the dr, who is one of the best fertility doctors In our area says we are better than normal and it should happen!

This month we were going to take a break from trying because it's so emotionally exhausting. But one night I just couldn't sleep...
 I read this blog:

"Fear is the beginning of faith" (Ann Voskamp, Aholyexperience blog)

And what really gripped me was how I was allowing fear to wash over me instead of faith. I wasn't, as she says, stepping through the ring of fire to my father on the other side where freedom waits.

So I gave my fear to God.  All the messy ugliness, the deep fear of more pain.  And you know the best part of letting go to a living God?
His immense love for us wants To give us something in it's place. Other wise there is space for something not as healthy to come in.  Truly, we worship an incredible God who meets all our needs.

So I asked him what he wanted to give me and right away I knew, first was a confidence in His character and second, rest. Tara I just want to give you rest, literally!! In this moment I'm going to help you fall asleep, aka STOP THINKING!!  And I lay down and I felt this warmth come over me like a soft blanket... And I fell into a deep deep sleep. I woke up feeling confident in WHO I'm trusting. Which I have always said, the more you KNOW God, the more you TRUST in him.

God wants us to rest in him, While we wait for something and while we live day to day. There are plenty of opportunities to rest in Him on this entire journey of life, we just have to step into his rest.

How often do we choose fear over faith? A lot!
We tend to do things we are really good at because we know we can't mess them up. But do those things grow us? Do they stretch us if we know how to do them so well?
Not really.  And we need to be stretched so we can grow in our faith, in our characters and open ourselves up into who God created us to be!

Jump through the ring of fire (fear) with me and into faith and try something new.
 What is The Lord asking you to do? Maybe it's like me and you need to start accepting what's going on in your life this day and not fear the future  because you know you have a good, trustworthy God leading and comforting you.  Let him use your pain, serve someone you wouldn't normally reach out to.
Make a meal for a neighbour, get involved at your church.. Ask God to show you how to step out in faith.
Because I guarantee you that you won't regret it.

I was afraid of finding out I'm not pregnant again so I just wanted to quit. But today I'm in a different spot. I know this month I may not be pregnant but I'm holding onto Gods character to get me through.

Job questioned God, he asked him the whys and God didn't tell him why he had allowed him to suffer so deeply. And you know what? Job was ok with that!! WHAT?!? 

I had to ask myself the same thing, am I ok with never knowing in this life why I lost Preston?
Am I ok with never knowing why we have struggled with fertility?

Ya. I actually am.
Life is short. Soon enough I will be standing before him and I'll understand and I have peace about that.

And while we live we enjoy what he has blessed us with and trust that Gods plan is greater than we know.
Ask God to make that truth to you! Ask him to take away your doubts, and replace it with more faith & more trust in HIM. 


So if you are going through fertility struggles or have in the past you are not alone and you DID NOT go through that or are facing this for nothing! God does not love you less. The pain we endure can always be moulded for better, and trust me, if you choose to face the pain and hold your saviours hand through it you WILL BE renewed and restored and you will find peace and discover more of who you were created to be and then.... you will be thankful for the hard journey you walk(ed).  

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)


this is my theme song this year: walk with me, we can do this! No matter your journey and KEEP moving forward with Christ!!!


Rend Collective Experiment - Movements

Friday, January 03, 2014

I desire things in this life.
I want big superficial things like a gorgeous house 5 miles outside the city with so many rooms I can have company for days, money so I can travel whenever I want and take whomever I want with me. A ford raptor truck (love u kev), a camper.. No wait, a motorhome, a house in Hawaii.. Weekly pedicures, a robotic chef, maid and masseuse.
Realistically, I want a new kitchen, crown molding in every room, new hard wood flooring, a new washer and dryer, a new car and a pool.

 Sooo Superficial. None of this matters.
But, I'm leading into something. Something gooood:-)

I also desire not so superficial things like more babies, freedom for ppl still living in slavery (the sex trade specifically), behaved children and homes for every orphan. Maybe you desire things like that, or maybe you desire love from another person, more loving spouse or freedom from past pain. 

Those superficial things are not wrong in and of themselves, but our desire for these things and even the good desires uncovers something else. Something about every human being that has ever lived. A deep longing we all have,
For happiness
For security
For comfort
And I would also add, for LOVE
Because secretly we hope that maybe just maybe if we get everything we want or at least a few more things, we will have less problems and be happier than we are now, we will be more secure in our surrounding and more comfortable and maybe if we are with the right person or ppl we will find more or better love.

Humanity has also discovered something else, when we help others we are happier, like doing random acts of kindness or serving others before yourself, but neither are these cure-alls for lasting happiness.

When your life is full of desire, full of hope for something, perhaps a dream or a desire just waiting to become reality.... Superficial or not, What do we ultimately want above all else?   In the end, what we're all striving for is peace; deep and everlasting peace.

Could I be so bold as to ask you to entertain the thought, if even for a moment, that there is only one who can ultimately give us that peace and that's Jesus, just Jesus.

Don't roll your eyes, just bear with me a little while...
Do you have peace - really?  Can you say that your sins have been forgiven?  Do you have that kind of peace?  You can search the world over, and under and throughout but you will never be fully at rest or satisfied without knowing Jesus.

Jesus wasn't just a good man or a good teacher, he was and is God, YOUR creator. He was the picture of perfection and the author of love.
And he came to us, not as a mighty warrior but as a wee babe, as humble as they come. Not to save humanity from an oppressive government. But to save us from ourselves.  For the wages of sin... all our bad ways equal our death and his immense love just couldn't let that happen. He came and took our place, died the death we should have died and freed us so we can live an eternity with him!
Did you hear that? He freed us from our constant striving and from guilt and sadness and offers us guilt-free living and ultimate peace!!!!
I want to see some smiles here, maybe even a few happy dances!
"And if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead you will be saved!"

When we put Jesus at the center of our lives, not to the side, not outside the door of our lives, not telling him how much room he gets in our lives, something happens...
Freedom and JOY!
Unending Joy.
And the more you walk with him, the more joy you have. It grows because you rooted yourself in God.. And the fruit comes from knowing and being known and loved by God, so it lasts, And lasts and lasts.. Until one day when we see him face to face.
Seriously take a minute to imagine standing before your creator, before your king, your father... In complete and utter awe... Father, we did it. Father, You led me so well... Thank you. I can hardly wait.

Joy displayed in us doesn't look like a happy dance every morning, (though maybe for some it does!) joy is a still quiet, steady confidence that no matter what hardship we face, no matter what valley we are trying to get out of, no matter how crazy our day is that joy is knowing who has us. In knowing the God of the universe loves us and is always good.

But what do we do with our desires in the meantime? 

We abandon our grip on our desires and we sit before The Lord, maybe we fall before him, fall in desperation of wanting change. Of wanting to be in the right place with him.. A change of desires maybe, or patience to wait. We talk to Him.

We lay our desires at his feet and instead of asking for all these things, Bc he already knows our desires. We say, God work in me and take me where you want me. And u say this with a faith mindset. God, build my faith, my character in you and let's not worry about my physical life.... (Because faith is what lasts).
Help me let go of the short lived glamour of this world, help me Abandon everything before you and may you be the thing I crave most! Here you will find freedom, peace, joy love....


Life hasn't been at all what 16yr old Tara once imagined, but it's been full of joy. I am such a work in progress but I have learnt:
The healthy way to walk through hard deeply painful trials.
How to choose love over fear.
To trust that God loves me with a fierce love Just the same as all his other children.
And What freedom looks and feels like from living without strongholds.
And the list goes on. 

All that because I rooted myself in Christ, not because I'm amazing, he did all that work.
God doesn't promise lasting comfort, security or happiness apart from him. 
He promises the Joy that comes from the peace only Jesus can give.  It is born from the freedom we feel when we aren't holding onto this world and all it's desires. And it lasts. 


So I encourage you all to find Jesus and to know Him, not just know of him, taste the freedom that only he can give.

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9 ESV)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, (in Jesus) so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Trips, Lies and Freedom

Happy Summer to ya'll!!!! (i just came back from a week with our American family and ya'll just has a cute way of sticking to my vocab:)

I can hardly believe summer is flying by. I'm trying to think of ways I can make it slow down so that my eldest doesn't have to start grade 1! There is something about grade one that says he is growing up WAY too fast!

We just got to spend a week with Preston's family in western Montana, on Flathead lake! Have you been there? I had not even heard of it but it is incredible! It was SO beautiful!
Kevin hadn't met Preston's family yet so this was a first for him! Everyone got along so well and you could just feel the presence of the Lord in every heart there:)







Glacier National Park - AMAZING! 


The boys and their cousin! 

Right before we drove to meet up with them we were staying with my dear friend Shelly and her family in Washington for a couple days. Shelly and I have been close for a long time! We had our babies at the same time and after Preston passed away she was a tremendous source of strength! She was a shoulder to cry on, a friend to laugh with and our hearts were bonded forever.  So it only made sense that we absolutely had to stay with them on our way towards Montana! 

Me and Shelly! 

The last morning we were there I found out i wasn't pregnant, again:( That was such a downer for me (as we have been trying for quite awhile). 
The blog I missed posting the last couple months was one I didn't have any desire to post because I was too sad.... 
Last blog I told you how we were trying to get pregnant, well...  
We DID!
And then we lost it. 
I had an early miscarriage at 6weeks. But it still hurt. Early or not. And when you try for any number of months and it finally works and then you lose the baby.... the disappointment is great.
I was confused and my heart was so so broken. 
YET out of the pain my heart and Kevin's became tangled like never before and we are so much stronger today! We had to make the choice to grow together and with God's strength and guidance we did it really well! So even if that was the only good thing i ever see come out of that painful time I am so thankful for that. And knowing we can conceive is a blessing too. 

But countless people told me that they got pregnant right after a miscarriage! And I am the most hopeful person I know (haha) so when it didn't happen i was seriously broken. The thing about any grief journey, or any journey of that same feeling over and over, the countless days of waiting for relief, the unknown and pain... 
IT IS EXHAUSTING!!!!!! Emotionally I am so tired of it.  

So the trip from Shelly's house to Montana was sad for me. I cried alot. I just can't hold things in, my poor family! but the good thing is that I get it out and then I work through it and I move on. So driving in a car didn't enable me to "get away" and i couldn't hold back the tears, but God was working on my heart even then, working on a very angry angry heart!  

Over the next week God took me on this journey that I didn't expect. That's the beauty of a heart sold out to Jesus. It is easy as a Christian to keep Jesus at a distance, but when you come into complete closeness with Jesus that is when you find FREEDOM! 

Over the last year there has been three things I have struggled with. I'm going to be short and brief with them so you get the main point I'm trying to make. They are life changers so READ ON! I will never be the same. I love how the Lord unwraps us in layers, ever so gently, mending the broken as he goes and restoring us to complete FULLNESS in HIM!

I was hearing lies from the enemy: Oh does he get you when you are down. 


Lie numéro 2: God has forgotten me
Really, I knew that wasn't true, i knew all these lies weren't true but I got caught up thinking that MAYBE they were!  But God isnt' satisfied with MAYBE and he revealed TRUTH again in this area.

Often in my hurt and anger and confusion as to just what the Lord is doing by allowing this pain I push him away. Often just by not praying or worshiping Him when that is the very thing that brings you out of your state of mind. When I draw near to the Lord I ALWAYS find that he never left, he just had a different plan than I did and I was too stubborn to let myself be open to it bc it was different than what I had planned. Yet again i was missing the freedom he was trying to show me. He IS faithful and if we allow him to he will renew and restore our broken hearts.  Even if that means playing worship music and let the words be your prayer because you have nothing left, that's OK!! God only wants to meet with you, he nudges us, and calls to us but he isnt' going to force you. 
"Because your love is better than life my lips will glorify you." - ps 63:3

Lie numero 3: I was doubting God, and hearing,"you can't really trust God" (THIS IS HUGE)
Well first, looking back on my personal monuments - those times when God was faithful in life and reading the Bible tells me he is trust worthy. But when I start doubting him do you know what we are actually doing? We are MAKING up a God who absolutely does NOT exist. I am making up a God BASED on MY feelings and not based on his character and what the Bible clearly says about HIM. God does not change, I do, but he does not. He is there 100% of the time. You need to remind yourself what you KNOW IS true, over and over, and over through reading scripture, and memorizing it. My favourite thing to do lately is to listen to the Bible because let's be honest, kids and quiet time don't go well together! I have the Bible app - 'You version' and you can audibly listen to any chapter you like. I suggest doing a reading program through the bible and the app has plenty to choose from! Let it play and be renewed as you see God's faithfulness through scripture. 

Lie numero 4: FEAR
bam bam bam! Oh fear.. rearing it's little ugly head SO many times this year. I fear my kids will die, i fear Kevin will die, or my family, or that I won't have another baby with my beloved. I fear watching someone die again, I fear injury of any kind... the list could go on but shall we not dwell;)
The truth the Lord revealed to me was the obvious, 
"There is NO fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 john 4:18
SO when I am fearing then I am NOT resting in God bc God IS Love (1 john 4:16)
When I am spending time with Jesus then I rest in him and I don't fear, i am so connected with the Father and I am able to give ALL to him all the time because we're in constant conversation. And the gift he gives me when I give him my fear? He satisfies me with his love. (bc when you give him something, he replaces the place fear was taking with a gift from him:)  
"For God has not give us a spirit of FEAR, but of power and of love and of a SOUND mind." 2 timothy 1:7 You don't have to fear or worry! It is a choice! 

So keep walking my friends! One day at a time. God's grace is sufficient for today. Ask Jesus to carry you when you can't do one more second of your journey. SOAK yourself in Him, even when you feel like sulking or sleeping, or just staying mad, because He WILL restore you and bring you OUT of the fire, refined like silver:)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What do you do in the waiting?

Blog

I have been plotting and planning for this blog post literally for months.
I have written and rewritten it so many times. And each time I couldn't finish it, but today, oh today is the day!

I feel soo blessed with the life I have! Kevin is incredible, he has adjusted to life with a family amazingly well. The boys adore him. He has taught them to ride bikes, responsibility, how to play baseball, and what it means to be a boy - in ways I won't even begin to describe here haha
and kevin has a patience with them that i certainly dont have! patience isnt my forte....

We have learnt more than we ever anticipated! They say that a child learns more in the first five years of their life than at any other time of life. Well I would seriously like to debate that one! This last five years I have learned more about raw, real life.... I have seen many many mountain tops, and many low valleys, even been stuck in a pit or two, or twenty, but who's counting;-)

And through every single step, every moment of our lives we haven't sunk into the deep, thrashing waters.
And oh u bet u know exactly why.
J-E-S-U-S :-)
Melt my heart, I stand in awe,
MY GOD IS GREAT!!! He is real and moving in incredible ways.
Don't miss Him.

A girl from my bible study recently lost her precious baby boy.
Heart twisting... How could this happen? God knows.

Do you want to know what she first told us ladies at study? "Girls, I want you to know how great our God is" !!!!!!!
Soak that in....

You absolutely cannot make that up. Grief is flooding, it eats you, and yet she saw and felt God right in the midst of deep pain. God has and is and will continue to work in their lives , they will have scars but they will not succumb to the pain. Its unimaginable pain but you must know and trust that God meets the grieving in unreal ways. I know first hand.

God doesn't take away our pain but he meets us at every single step of the way.
He Carries us
He walks with us
and through it all he is building in us depth,

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering PRODUCES endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

All this is made through his astonishing mercy, grace and love that no one can take from us... Not even death.

Kevin and I have not endured the loss of a child.
But, we have had our own real struggle this year.
I want to share it so maybe it can encourage someone else struggling with unanswered questions.... With hopes and dreams that just aren't coming to pass like they thought they would.

Babies. Oh babies!!
We really would love to have a third child! Oh the gift of a child. Don't u ever for one second take your baby or pregnancy for granted. You have a gift that many so deeply desire.

I know I have two adorable, wonderful boys and not at all have I been ungrateful for what I have! Kevin and I would just like to have a child together.

So, pregnancy isn't happening for us but no reason why. And yes we know every tiny detail of how haha

It's been a huge year but for so many reasons we wanted to try right away, even though there was alot of stress and realistically it might have been smarter to wait. (Like I said, I'm not so patient;-)
This has been a very painful journey that I never ever expected to go through but im here, i cant ignore it is effecting me even though i have two kids. Its still disapointing every month. i try to pretend its not but it is. So i have to deal with it, not live my life around it, deal with it - work through it.

I can truly say I am glad I have experienced it so I can say to another woman, I know what it's like to live month to month just waiting and hoping.... And then hopes dashed. Oh it is no fun at all. And watching everyone around u get pregnant. It's sad. And exhausting.

So what do you do with disappointment as a Christian?

With that waiting period? With the Impatience?
You have two choices, like Job (story in the bible) tell Jesus how mad you are, how frustrated u are and how this was NOT YOUR plan... And then you turn the switch off. Sorry God I'm done here, I just don't get you.
OR like Job did, you can tell God all those same pains, and then fall at his feet, curl up in his comforting arms, and sob. He is a very BIG God, he can take our rage.

And more than anything he wants his children to be raw and honest before him... Let Him pour his love upon us, and It is then that he can work so fluidly in our lives. When we let him come in and surrender all, casting our desires before him. And if you are bad at surrendering so am I!!! (Ill explain that later) but Jesus can help u get there, abandoned before Him.

And Oh did I let him in! I know by now I am dumb not to do that. What's the point of remaining in your slump?
And It's humbling really.
Look around you, great suffering plastered on newspapers, online, next door... Around the world, those big issues like... Hungry children and nations at war, genocides, way bigger issues than my little pain at not getting what I want when I want it. And YET, HE meets us wherever we are... He picks us up so gently and speaks love over us... He gently refines and restores. Digging out all our dirt.
The big pains to the little pains. He is your deliverer.

I thought, if I got through the death of Preston I could certainly get through anything!!! Ha. Not exactly. I mean, i can get through it but it doesn't mean it isn't painful.
I'm exhausted from the rollercoaster from the last five years and yet I love the growth that can come from it. So... Onward we go, I am not a quitter.

I am soo bad at surrendering my "stuff" to God. One huge reason is one you need to hear....

I don't always trust that Gods plan is best. True sad story:-/
Do you relate?

I want to control the timing of this baby. But I just haven't been able to convince God my timing is best:-/

I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and God knew it. He brought a dear lady into my life who has helped me come before Jesus. Mama Shelley sharkey!! She prays over me, she prays for me and speaks truth into my life. Everyone can use a good dose of godly life coaching.

Look at this picture: (actually scroll down Bc I can't seem to put it in the right place here through Blogger app)

It's me and a tree. A fruit tree.
I'm fruity so it's perfect.
What was I doing staring at a tree? Well... I was remembering truth.
For every lie you hear you need to remember the truths.
God takes care of his children. He prunes us when we need it - he knows when we do, you CAN trust him.
He takes away everything that gets in the way of your relationship with him Because he knows that the road to happiness is holiness and holiness ain't gonna happen if its up to us. Let him set your feet upon the path.

If we are rooted in Christ we will not be shaken, but The tree needs to be watered, it needs to be pruned or else it will overgrow and the branches will rub together and become more susceptible to disease. And disease leads to death.

And there is no way a good father is going to let his children go. Like a good father, Jesus cuts away our bad stuff, he nourishes and strengthens, he refines and restores so that we will produce "fruit" life giving fruit.
And we have the great hope that one day,
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor PAIN anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things NEW (emphasis mine)" (Revelation 21:4, 5 ESV)
Did you get that?
HOPE
When all seems lost and sad and broken and oh soo frustrating you have hope!
You have JOY, from your salvation - you are free!! Hello that's a reason to rejoice in the midst of anything.

Oh and ps rejoicing in suffering doesn't mean dancing in the streets like, guess what?? life totally sucks right now but i dont care Bc Jesus is fixing it all!!!!! :-) :-) :-) while that is indeed true, that Jesus is fixing it, it's ok to be sorrowful (yet always rejoicing.) He knows your heart and he isn't for one second thinking you are bad if you are feeling sad.

Remember? He meets you where u are at and takes you to where he knows you need to be!!

Rejoicing and being thankful is a command. And for good reason, God knows that when we rejoice and give thanks we see MORE of him and less of us. And there. THERE, He teaches us.
So go to him, knowing you can trust His plans and dig deep into his word. After all it is his love letter to us.
Memorize, study, soak it in.
And PRAY PRAY PRAY
Then...... Shh wait for it....
LISTEN. he has so much to say, through scripture, through the whispers into your heart. Through analogies of trees;-)

I am in a good place today. I do believe we will have a baby, and i can hardly wait to love on it!!
I am sad it isn't happening today but I know my God is good and his plan is great. I CAN trust him. And in the mean time I have plenty to be thankful for!
One day ill sit with Jesus and we will watch the story of my life and ill see... And realize that he DID work everything out for my good.

Im excited to hear how God is working in your life! Talk and share with me if u want:-)



Monday, November 26, 2012

Grief is like an onion

In beteeen a New house, kids, renos, crocheting (funnest winter hobby) watching ' lie to me' with my hubby, and making hair clips I just haven't had time to blog!

Last week we were in Portland, the city that I love!!
Gosh I love that place.
Kevin hasn't met our Portland family yet and I desperately missed them. Desperate is an understatement.
My heart would literally ache everytime I thought about it. And Kevin was soo sweet to take time off work so we could go and visit my sweet family and friends!

The love that he showed me on this trip was Just one example but I see more everyday why God brought us together. He is above and beyond the man that I need!. Not that life is perfect as ill soon explain but my goodness, that man loves me!! I think his goal in life is to make me happy and I can't argue there:)
Isn't it sweet how much love heals? Though u do NOT need a man to discover that. Jesus' love is deeper and quenches far more of our empty places than any human on this earth.

I have been so crazy emotional the last few weeks! And I'm not even pregnant - which would give me an excuse right? because I would prefer to have one.
Have you heard that grief is like an onion? Layers keep coming off and there is always more underneath. And, each layer usually makes you cry:-/
Well I was pretty sure my onion was peeled, chopped, served and done away with, not all the sadness but the pits, the deep heavy, heart wrenching pains!
Oh. was I wrong.
The last month I was sad all the time, though life was pretty perfect. Great man, wonderful kids, lovely house - everything I wanted, needed, craved - all mine, yet the tears still made their way onto my cheeks. I know u know what I mean.
I asked myself over and over, was i being ungrateful in some area? To some extent I suppose I was. But even deeper I had an inkling that my grief was creeping up on me again, but I didn't know why. I say creeping because to be honest I don't welcome it. I hate grief. Hate should be in BOLD.

I felt like I was pulling an emotional ball and chain, twisted around my ankle. And it was getting heavier.
I was restless for God to answer me, to tell me what my heart why my heart was in turmoil.

I prayed lots and lots and God told me to wait. EVERY time I have had an emotional 'ball and chain' so to speak God always brings me through and I knew he would here. I have been here before and thanks to Jesus' sweet faithfulness I completely trusted that he would work this one out too. Never does he fail us.
I prayed these verses into my life while i waited and prayed some more.....

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" - Psalm 139:23 NIV
And
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer" - psalm 19:14 (I was so emotional i had to pray my mind wouldn't go crazy on me - it's easy to get hung up on ANYTHING when you are emotionally broken)

And I chose JOY. My heart friend Bonnie who also lost her first husband around the same time i did reminded me of this. And It worked. My joy comes first from Jesus - layed out on the cross, my sins poured upon Him, my punishment TAKEN by Him, Him who loves me so so deeply, my debt was PAID, my chains are GONE. How can that NOT bring joy?

Make Jesus your source of joy:-)

Then i felt it as the weeks wore on.... rising up and up.... The answers were coming.... So thankful!
Know what it was? Guilt. I felt guilt. Ugh. Guilt for moving on with Kevin and with life.
Then that led to realizing I still carry Preston with me alot, but not always in a good way. I can't explain that one here.

I discovered that i didn't know how to move on without bringing parts of my past with me that I should leave behind.
And then I heard what I didn't want to.

"Go to The Grave."
Ughhhh!!!!!!!
I have never visited where Preston is buried. Never.
I had my reasons and they weren't bad at all, I shouldn't have gone until I was ready.
But I felt this was where God was leading me and I knew I had to wait until I got there before He told me why.

I asked my mentor, my second mother and friend Lori, to come with me. She came the night he died and she caught many of my tears, my angry words and my hurting heart. Not that she was the only one. But I knew it had to be her to come with me.
The day we went was cloudy, but it's portland, that's like everyday. We get there and guess what? we can't find the grave!!! No joke. I am feeling pretty lame about this moment. But Preston couldn't care, im sure he would have made it into a joke. thus I have to say I didn't feel painfully bad.

Finally we found it. As we stood there, it was so evident he wasn't there. this wasn't for Preston at all. I didn't feel his presence or anything not that i thought i would, in fact it was still weird.

But I had business to finish and dang it!! I was gonna get it done! Lori asked me how it felt to be here, "Sad" I said. "weird" and then she talked and I let her talk and I loved it. As she talked I prayed God would speak through her. And he did. I love Him so much.

And God completely rescued me and softened my heavy heart. And I knew exactly how God wanted me to move on.
She said, "Tara, maybe God is trying to show you that this will always be with you, maybe your onion won't ever be finished (sounds funny, but it's true). And that it's ok to always be with you.
As she said that i really was OK with it Bc God was showing me how I would manage it.
I had been angry that I would always have triggers that brought me back to my old life - to the accident, to missing Preston etc.
I was mad that I was feeling sad when life was so happy.
It was stealing my smiles.

The verse on Prestons' grave is,

"To Live is Christ, to die is gain"

"To live is Christ..." that's it. I need to live my life and USE my past to glorify God with it (aka giving God the credit and magnifying Him) that was easy to do when I was IN the midst of my pain but when its behind you and the majority of your deep grief isnt as intense its harder bc much of u wants to move on and let the past remain there.

As i have been meeting new people and telling our story (two kids, a new husband and all just doesn't add up - i can see it in ppl's eyes when i talk, they wonder how that happened and so i tell...)
But i had been getting emotional about it - in my heart. And it was ruining my day after i talked about it. Again, anger that triggers were effecting me so much.

But standing at the grave that fell off. All I have become through this, all I am, has been Gods transforming work in my life, isn't that worth bragging about!!?

So I left the grave, after many tears and THANKING God that I even had the chance to know Preston, and all who I became through knowing him.
So since, when I have had a trigger I have just said my thanks for my past and the moment passed much quicker:-)

Lori (my other Lori) told me something that another man at church had prayed the week preston had died. He said, 'isn't it great that Preston isn't looking down on us grieving, but that he is looking up at the Father praising Him?" ummm ya, that's absolutely incredible. He wants us to move on!
And what a great life I have to move onto!! I have a husband that is crazy for me and i for him!! and boys that I'm wild about!!
A God who constantly pursues me and meets all my needs.
I only hope I can live a life worthy of Him. Living in thanks Bc of all he has done.

I hope this was encouraging knowing that God redeems and heals ALL!!!!!! Our souls but also our everyday struggles.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LIFE INSURANCE IS A GIFT

Well, I can't ever seem to motivate myself to participate in a triathlon, or a marathon, or even a walkathon, but I can do a blogathon, lots of people are participating and helping make life insurance sweep the blogging world today!
http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/life-insurance-movement/#more-24037

 I am passionate about what we're talking about today! 
Protecting the ones you love by getting LIFE INSURANCE!!

It was September 16th, 2008.
The morning after Preston was swept into eternity. Not just 8 hours ago he was beside me. Now he was forever gone, and I could hardly keep up with all that was happening.
My heart was shattered. Close friends and family were flooding the hotel we were at. I was thankful, and I was overwhelmed. Someone mentioned funeral plans, of course, of course that's the next step, but oh what a sad step.
We made some calls, my fragile heart aching the whole time.
Then I stood back, and gazed across the hotel lobby, I saw friends working on the computer making arrangements. I saw others playing with my son Jacob.  And still more people, strangers, moving on with their life, no idea mine was just ripped apart.
And then it hit me.
I. Have. Life Insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I took a big breath of relief, some relief in this painful moment was priceless. I pulled a friend aside. "we had a life insurance policy! I just remembered" She rejoiced with me. I think it brought relief and joy to everyone.
A young mother, 20 something. One young child, another on the way. And a dream that Preston and I had, to stay home with our babies should anything happen to one of us.
A dream that could now become a reality. When so much was crashing down around us we had a safety net. It didn't make anything ok, or take away even an ounce of pain but it was a gift that would be felt for years to come.

Life insurance has not just been a policy, it has been a gift! A gift from Preston, his last gift to us. And what a gift it was!! To not have the stress of finances is well, priceless.
While it has been an emotionally rough and painfuljourney, I am so thankful for the impact and freedom life insurance has broughtto my boys and I.  As a parent you wantdesperately to give them a beautiful life.  I know I cannot control everything, but it’s a blessing tobe able to establish things like education funds, paying for swimming andsoccer lessons, preschool, trips to see grandparents who are far away, maintaininga reliable car, and providing a home they can call their own and even startinga savings account for my retirement. 


A life insurance policy is worth every penny. And honestly, those pennies aren't much. For us it means giving up a dinner out each month, and really that isnt' so bad when you can have family pizza, movie night at home and make some wonderful memories together! 

I know you don't think it will ever happen to you. But it will. Have you heard this one undeniable fact? 10 out of 10 of us will indeed die! I know, shocking. So your family WILL USE your policy. You may not use it to raise your family if you pass away when you are older but think about the gift it will still be at any age for your kids.  Did you know that funerals cost up to $10,000?
Do you feel my passion? do you see how vital this choice is?

As you make your final conclusions on whether life insurance is right for you, imagine this, what would your family's life look like without Life Insurance should you pass away? Really, stop and imagine.

Here’s some great resources to help YOU CHOOSE life insurance. Because i know, you're gonna do it, today:) Don't put it off another minute, insure your family and sleep well knowing you are protecting the ones you love! 


PRIZE ALERT! You can also win some AWESOME Prizes just by mentioning life insurance through a number of ways online TODAY, August 22, 2012! Click here! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And two become ONE!

Today was a beach day!!
Just me and the boys, and I think I might have embraced every second I had with those two sweet kids. Ok, i lied, I didn't embrace that moment when Jake splashed me [twice] after I told him girls don't like to be splashed. Does irritating girls come with being a boy? I'm certain it does.
As i sat on the beach I reflected. I am in constant reflection lately. Literally, alllll the time.
1. I got married - SO GREAT, big change:)  More on that in a second!!
2. My little though not so little boy is going to start kindergarten in two weeks!
3. It will be four years since Preston has been in heaven...

Let's go back to that very very exciting #1! I GOT MARRIED!!!! Here is a glimpse into our day!
We used our iphones to do our vows, we use it for everything so why not this?! 

It truly was my dream wedding, such an incredible day. Full of huge emotional meaning, and a TON of love. It was the day we started our new life together and I really could not have asked for a sweeter day. We got married on top of a hotel rooftop overlooking a gorgeous lake. It was a smaller wedding, which we loved, although it would have been nice to see all our family and friends, but in reality you can't visit with them all. In the ceremony Kevin gave a family vow. It was so meaningful and we will place the vow in our home. He wasn't just signing up for a wife, he was signing up to be a father and leader of our home and he does it really really well. 
As you may know it's not an easy job! 
The boys also gave Kevin his first fathers day present, hotwheels, because that is what he brought them once a week while we were dating:) and a picture of Kevin and the boys on a hike, where he is leading them up a path, holding his hands and trusting that he will lead them in the right way, and i have all the faith in the world that he will. 
We did it!!!!!!!! 
We live here! well not on this golf course... but in this city:) I am so thankful for the beauty around us
A new beginning, a new chapter with much to celebrate! 

Me and my Groom, my sweet sweet husband. I have been blessed.

does this really need a caption? 
(ALL pictures were taken by http://www.steshajordan.com/ You are wonderful my friend:) 

The day was just amazing. from the first moment that Kevin and i saw each other to the last look at my sweet groom before I fell asleep for the night. I am really blessed. I knew it then and I still know it. 
The wedding day was great, everything we dreamed it would be. 
Our honeymoon was amazing as well:) 
Ok I gotta post a picture... or 2:) We went to the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington and stayed in a B&B
 It was so wonderful. 
Just Kevin and I, Just Kevin and I, Just kevin and I!!! Did I make my point heard?  Yes, it was so so good to have just that time with him and I. No interruptions, no time crunches, it was so sweet. My favorite memory was one night when we were going to dinner. We had asked around about where to eat and decided on a fancy seafood place on the ocean. But we got there, pulled up and both of us said, do you really want to go? (thankfully we were on the same page haha) the place was beautiful, the food I'm sure was amazing, but we just didn't feel like sitting and being all fancy and put together, and we wanted more than 5 bites of food. (I really don't get that whole pay a ton of money for a little bit of food?) So we went to the grocery store, got a bunch of food and cooked it on the beach ourselves! (see first pic below) we just had the best time. It was so peaceful, so full of love and laughter and all while watching a beautiful sunset. I'm not trying to make it more than it was. It really was so amazing, I think it had extra meaning because we are so used to having the kids around that a break like this, our first one together was priceless. And when you have lost someone so precious to you and you have that love again you do not take it for granted. not one single second do you take it for granted. 

                                      
 The Turtleback in was so beautiful. We explored a little... and had just a little bit of fun:)
 This pictures makes me laugh so hard everytime i see it. who knew Kev was so graceful?!


After the honeymoon we knew reality and life was coming, FAST and with a BIG punch. We were trying to sell both our homes - in different towns and had hopes of buying another one together in the city Kevin lives in (an hour away) because he has a great job and it just makes sense. But his house is 800sq feet, (a bachelor pad, that mind you, he has made into a great little home).... and mine was 2400sq ft. Little bit of difference:) So we lived at my house on the weekends and his during the week.  His house was by the beach, tennis courts and had alot of hiking around so we just labeled it our summer house to make it a little more mentally exciting haha
It was an adventure to say the least and the adjustment for the boys was huge. Especially for micah. They acted out because of the change, not because of Kevin, though that was a change but they adore him and are so glad they have a "new" daddy. Going between two houses was getting to be alot of change, living out of suitcases and moving our fridge food every week between the houses was well...... getting old. We knew it would be like this though. We prayed and prayed one house would sell as we had been for quite awhile and then.. IT DID!!! 
We sold Kevins!!! And shortly after decided to rent mine out to friends:) 
Onward we go:) 


We moved permanently into Kevins house and started to look for houses. No luck, of course, i mean isnt' that the way real estate works? nothing, nothing then BAM, you find the house of your dreams, or your price range and most of your dreams;) The realtor called me and said i had to look at this house before it got an offer - it had an offer on it just that day. So me and the boys drove over and we loved it!!! It was perfect! four bedrooms, fenced backyard, 2900sq feet, three floors, garage, great neighborhood, great schools, and has alot of fun things to do in it:) Needs some paint, new countertops and knobs but that's the fun details. It doesn't need renovations at all. With kids I don't need renos! 
So we made an offer, and got the house! It's beyond exciting! I know we have only been married a couple months but it feels like we have lived alot of life in those two months!
We move in September 15th. 

Which you might remember as the day our sweet Preston went to Heaven, four years ago. i did not choose the date, the owners did. And I just thought what are the chances of that? But it's also the date that Kevin called me for the first time one year ago (ya we're fast movers:). So I am thinking our great God wants to give us some happy memories on that date:) And I am thankful for that and as well for staying busy on that day!

We are praying Jake gets into the school that is within walking distance to our house but the classes are already full:( so we're praying something changes, i'm working on that happening, but you can pray with us!  I know whatever school he goes to is the one where God needs him to be at. Kindergarten is a huge deal for the first time, for me more than him i think! I know it will be ok, but I just hope he makes wise choices, I hope that we have instilled in him enough to be kind, and loving, helpful and graceful and not a little turd;) I know that ultimately he is not ours, he is the Lords and our job is to raise him and teach him what God's word says and all that God has done in our lives to teach and grow and mold us. Already I see such a love for God from him, one may say he only believes because he has been raised in a Christian home but I SEE the conviction in his heart, i see the faith being built, through things I don't even say or teach him, but how God leads his little heart and mind. I can actively see God working and molding him into the boy God wants him to be, it's Gods work, and not mine and I have to keep trusting that God is holding  him closer than i ever will. 


                            


The boys love Kevin, they constantly ask when he will be home from work and run to him when he walks in the door. Or they wait on the steps for him to drive up. It has been such a sweet journey, although a very busy and large transition. We have seen God working and felt his love and his peace and I'm so thankful. 
Micah had a harder adjustment to Kevin than Jacob. He has never known what it is to have a daddy, he diddn't even know what a daddy does. Such a weird reality hey? He made a comment saying, "what does a daddy do?" so as he saw kevin love him, and play with him and even discipline him, i think he saw that he could trust Kevin and the last few weeks have been really rewarding for Kevin and Micah's relationship. 
I think it's such a sweet picture of God's love and faithfulness for us. We run from him, he pursues us. We ignore him, he loves us, we get mad at him, he comforts and teaches us and responds with love and grace and hopefully we respond to that love and wisdom and our relationship only flourishes. 

So I have constantly been in reflection because life has been so busy and yet SO great, i just don't want to miss a thing! I dont' want to get so stressed out that I miss a hug or a snuggle, or a romantic moment i could have had if i wasn't fretting over something.  I'm reflecting on trying to live in the moment with my sweet boys and be thankful for everything,  watching micah eat an ice cream cone was the highlight of my day yesterday, have you ever watched a toddler eat one? it's priceless. 
God is good and he is in way more than we think, and when you find Jesus and pursue him with ALL your heart you will see him work in your life and in the small details of your day and your joy and thankfulness will only grow more and more as you see that and as you live in service to Him. 

Thank you for all your prayers and congrats on the wedding and new chapter in our life!!!