Sunday, October 30, 2011

Acting out in faith

I have looked at missions in two ways. The one where you sell everything and move to a foreign country to teach people the word of God. Then there is the other style of being a missionary which is being on point with your OIKOS. Now many of my church friends know exactly what that is. The 8-15 people that God places in your sphere of influence. You do life with these people. These are two really great ways to share God with people. One you don't generally know the people with whom you are sharing and the other you do know them all. Sometimes pretty well. I have been struggling with my comfortableness in the way I was missioning to others. I have had the joy of being a part of Christian high schoolers from our church for over a year now. I get to enjoy Wednesday night bible study, Saturday Fuel services and I even got to join them at Hume Lake in the beautiful Sequoias. Being able to share God and teach them values and truth has been somewhat easy. They have the foundation of God that has been set by either a parent, friend, or pastor for them, and I get to help make that relationship with Christ deeper.
A little while ago I told you about our neighborhood shooting and how my husband and I felt God's pull on us to do more. Today was my first day experiencing what I feel as a different type of mission. I got my feet wet by walking door to door on my block to personally invite my neighbors to church. Tell them a little about our high school program and church services. I am not gonna lie....I was scared. I see these people a lot and the fear of rejection gets to me a little bit. I really only have a relationship with one person on my street so we started there. Wouldn't you know...she wasn't home! Okay so on to the next house. They didn't answer. Then the next either! Okay it is Sunday, they must all be at church, Right?! Well maybe. Our next neighbor was outside, um with his pit bull and two other dogs. haha. I stood back while Noah walked up carefully and calmly. Ah He was on the phone. We kept going, trying not to get discouraged and then finally someone opened their home. 7 houses in all opened their doors to talk with us. Even if only for a moment, we knew we could share just a glimpse into our church programs. We even had one mom say that she is new in the area and her son only sits around the house because he doesn't know anyone. He was even offered drugs at school and she has been concerned in finding somewhere for him to get plugged in. Wow! I know we have to start somewhere and this was the little bit of hope we were looking for.
We had two of our high school students come with us today to make us look a little more inviting and to also press on their hearts that they can do it in their neighborhoods too. Little by little we are going to make our way around here and we can not wait to see where God takes it. It wasn't that hard and really took no time at all. These kids need someone to reach out to them and I know I didn't want it to be me at first. I didn't feel competent and was nervous about the idea of sharing God with the "bad kids." Now I can't wait for the relationships that are going to come out of this.
Below is a video that makes me put into what I really do for Jesus into perspective and I hope it does the same for you.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Real Perfect

There is this idea that other people have the perfect family, perfect husband, perfect kids, they have it all. They never say or do things that are unchristian like, they are always put together, blah, blah, blah...BLAH, BLAH! (insert smile here) I know we can all think of one or two ladies that seem to "have it all." Right? Moms seem to be the harshest critics, and it's not on others, but themselves. We compare, compare, compare! It is no wonder with everything we have from facebook to blogging. We have found a way to get a small glimpse into others' lives. We seem to think that from a picture or quote they are better than we are. Life seems to be this competition of who can be the most creative, best room mom, or the most fashionable while being a great, no I mean, best wife and mother to her family. There is this idea that other moms do it better than we do. Why are we so hard on ourselves?!
I am not exactly sure. One minute I can feel so right with God and then the next feel worthless because I messed up again. There are daily struggles that we must face and when we add in the comparing ourselves, we fall apart and think we are no good. God tells us in Proverbs that a heart of peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. I believe it. Anytime I start thinking about my mistakes I feel worthless and unlovable. Any insecurities that harbor inside are brought to the surface by the enemy.
Grabbing onto God's word of His love for me is what snaps me out of these false feelings. The reality of things is that EVERYONE has baggage. EVERYONE! Even if their facebooks don't say it, they do. God made us perfect in His image and we must humbly accept that. If something causes you to feel bad about yourself then build a boundary or just get rid of it all together. It's not others that have the issue, unfortunately it is us. We have to protect our mind and souls from things that cause us to stumble. If a television show is allowing you to lust for a better body, or more money...shut it off! It is not easy, just worth it.
I write this to share that I am a major mess when it comes to comparing my life with others. I am jealous over things I don't have and show ungratefulness for the things I do. It brings me down and affects my most important relationships, which is with my husband and my children. We are unable to show pure love when we are wrapped up into ourselves and not into others. I hope you don't feel alone and aren't afraid to step out to share your true thoughts with God and a friend, and remove things that only make it worse. Be "perfect" in sharing your weaknesses in order to bring others up.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me,"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so Christ's power may rest on me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

first field trip

We got to celebrate our very first field trip together as a homeschooling family together. It was very neat being able to go with all three of my children and my husband verses the traditional school field trip.
It was only one child's trip and I could go only sometimes depending on how fast I signed up, and dad's? Well it just didn't happen. We also had my niece...that is the cute little blondie with us! 

We went to Boulder Creek Ranch, and I am not sure how long it has been there, but it was a cute little place. Tucked away in our desert, hidden in the hills of Hesperia.

 We went on a tractor ride to see the farm. 100 acres for horses, pigs, chicken, goats, and much more. There is even a place for events. It made you feel as if you were out of the desert. Which is always nice even it is for just and hour and a was worth it.

 All of the chitlings posing. Well most of them ;) Even my friend Jen's daughter joined in on the picture taking.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So what is faith? Loyalty or allegiance to a cause or person.
     For so long I have felt that my faith is strong. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe that I am saved by the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I believe that I strive each and everyday to grow closer to God in a loving relationship. I have been challenged however this week by "Do you BELIEVE God?"
   I had to really meditate on this idea. My first reaction was yes of course, but the more I thought about it the more I doubted my first response.  God has been stretching me in my faith, especially lately. I have been intentionally praying for the Lord to guide me where he wants me to be, show me what He wants me to do for His kingdom. No matter what, wherever, whenever...I will follow.
    Well that was put to the test this past Friday night. Now this might scare some of you, but please don't let what I am about to tell you, deflect the main message that I am trying to bring. Remember BELIEVE God. Some loud firework sounds starting going off what seemed close to my home. I quickly realized it was not fireworks, but actual gun shots. Not only were they close but they were coming from right across the street. Apparently a car drove by shooting at the neighbors house. My first reaction was ok God this is it, the proof that I needed to see that you want us to move out of this neighborhood, maybe even this state. After praying about it and reaffirming to God that I will do His work wherever He calls me, as well discussing with husband that we need to move somewhere safer.... Noah quickly brought a few things to my attention. We have been volunteering with our high school students for a little over a year now, teaching them how to read their bibles. A wonderful and very safe environment that we have blessed to be apart of. There are 18 homes on our street and only three do not have high schoolers living in them. Never once have we went out of comfort zone to ask these teenagers to be apart of our church or its programs. With a smile on his face he shared with me that he has not been this excited about God's work in our lives  ever. I was very confused for a moment until the Holy Spirit layed on my heart "Stop praying that you will do my work, if you are going to just turn away what I am putting in front of you." My first reaction is "but God, that's not what I want to do for you." Wouldn't that be yours?  God is at work all around you, but you must be willing to throw yourself into what He is already doing. I truly believe that this shooting needed to take place in order for me to see that there is a need that we can fulfill for Him. However many thoughts run through my mind but one in particular is that I am only one person, how can I change my world. It is not my world to change. It is God who wants to change the world and use me as a tool.  I need to BELIEVE GOD!

Phillippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

   With God centered in a mission, I have nothing but hope for great results. If only one changes and stops the cycle in their home then we have succeeded in changing the future. I can not wait to share more in how God is working. For now I must work on getting over my fears and doubts so God can then be glorified. He is definitely showing me what real faith looks like!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

My new pantry

This is an organizational project I took on a few weeks ago but really wanted to share. I like many of you have become fascinated with Pinterest!! I found this amazing pantry that a woman did and couldn't wait to redesign mine. It got to the point where I kept tossing things just where ever because I knew I was going to redo it. I hope I am not the only one out there like that. Well that went on for weeks, until I just couldn't take it anymore.

This was the before mess of a pantry (sorry for the blurry picture)

All cleaned out


A couple of things I did....

~ I spent no money. YAY!
~ I used paint, containers, and baskets that I already had.
~ I took the contact paper off the shelves and painted a coat of white onto the shelves.
~ I painted the walls green
~ I used a protective liner under the wire basket as well as the canned goods so they don't scratch the paint.
~ I took almost everything out that is not edible.

I hope you are inspired like I was to reorganize something in your home. I have found that it just makes life so much easier, and I can't wait to do more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

carmel apples

 Today we heading over to my friend Lyndsey's home for a great fall tradition....carmel apples! The kids had a great time and enjoyed playing with her girls, while we chatted about school, kids, moving and how it all weaved together for God. We are enjoying the same bible study at church so we had plenty to share. We hurried home to get the apples in the fridge. It is fall but here in California it is hot so they were melting fast. Can't wait to taste our yummy apples tonight for dessert! Thanks Lyndsey.

The finished product

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last week I took the kids Jackson Lake to take some pictures and here's how they came out!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Last week I was spending some time with the Lord in my bible study, Experiencing God. If you have yet to do this study by Henry Blackaby then you must head on over to amazon as soon as you are finished reading and order it! It is that life changing. Anyways while finishing my daily study I was asking God to help me with some "issues" that have had a stronghold on me and now that I have recognized them, I would like them to go away! God placed something on my heart so clear," Tara how can I help you get through this, if you can't even hear what I am saying." So I was whisk away to pre-computer days...well I am only 29 and I don't quite remember those days, but I agreed. I immediately knew that facebook, pinterest, and blogging was what He wanted gone for a time so that He could share with me the things I needed.
Today was my first day back and I couldn't wait to share what the Lord has done. He is clearly showing me that my life is not just here for me to sit back and enjoy. I was made in His image to do the His will. My life has been drastically changing for the last couple of years, however this last year I have been anxious for more changes. I am throwing myself all in for God! I am honestly not sure what all of that means, but I do know that He wants more from me.
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21
I have learned that I can not just ask God to tell me His will for my life and then sit back and wonder what it is. God is always at work around us and it is up to us to seek out what He is already doing and make ourselves available for Him to use. We must pray and wait for Him to show us our next step. It seems so simple to me now that I have been shown this through my bible study. I am the girl that stresses over every simple thing....yes I am a little uptight! I love to control and learning how God works has shown me that I have never really been in control and I just continue stressing myself and others out thinking I am in control. God knows what is best for us and He wants to be glorified through everything.
Another thing I have been struggling with is PURE JOY. This is something that I have been desiring for awhile now and I wrestle with the fact that I have not really felt it. We can see a woman from the outside and believe that she has it all together. She has the perfect this and the perfect that and then we turn on ourselves because we are not good enough. Well I think we just perceive it as they have a joyful "put together" life. I am not sure if God has truly answered me on this yet or not but I have gotten somethings this week to help me become the ME that God created me to be. I know that each day I wake up and have the choice to be joyful or not. Sometimes it doesn't seem that easy, but I am willing to put forth the effort to choose a grateful attitude.
A wonderful book that I am also reading now is Me the Me I Want to Be. It was given to my husband as a gift and when he started reading it he said "I think this is meant for you." In it John Ortberg says " God designed us to delight in our actual lives. When I am growing toward the me that I want to be, I am being freed from the me I pretend to be. I no longer try to convince people I am important while secretly fearing I am not." That spoke heavy on my heart because of abandonment issues that I stumble over constantly. That helped me to realize that I am so important to God and that I don't need to fear about others not liking me for me.
I have a road ahead of me that I am excited to travel knowing that I am growing a continuous love relationship with God. It was nice being off of cyber world this week to make things more clear. Those things look much more different now. Things can become an addiction and in a way a god to us if we are not careful. I challenge you to take a break, and I say break because I said fasting and my husband reminded me that we are not suppose to share with others when we are fasting, and take some time to see what God wants to share with you without some of life's distractions.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Home School Room

Three weeks ago I read an article called "Leader of the Pack: Relieving the Strain on Overworked Kids." I started reading it and then quickly laid it down because I knew the Holy Spirit was beginning a new work in me and I have to admit I didn't want it. All of my friends can attest to the  fact that I was always the one saying "I am so grateful God has not called me to home school." Well those words started to stir a lot inside the moment I starting reading this article. If you are interested, it is the October issue of the Family Circle magazine. (WARNING: YOU MAY BE CHANGED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT) Well after some prayer and great advice from some loving friends, we took the plunge. There is nothing like listening to those inner feelings that you know can only be God!
The first week was rough....very rough! There was a lot of "whys" and "Are you sures." I have all faith that this is our calling to follow the Lord in a command that only He could give me! Now we will beginning our fourth week and I am so full of joy! I love the simplicity of my kids waking up and actually sitting down to a peaceful breakfast, together. I get to enjoy teaching them about God, last week was Enoch, and then starting our school work. No  more rushing around. "Hurry wake up and shower" "Hurry get your homework done, we need to get to soccer" "Hurry eat your dinner, we have to get to bed." Seven hours a day was sucked up by school while I kept busier than ever. Now I get to teach my children about what the most important thing is in our lives, God! Yes we are learning about dividing fractions and parts of speech, but that only takes a few hours now and the rest of the time we get to enjoy each other as a family. I have come to realize that I only have about 18 years of my small life to be the major influence in my children's lives and I have been waisting 35 hours a week by having them in school.
Like I said before my main purpose is to inspire people, I never want to judge or offend anyone for their choices. God calls us all to follow Him and by doing that we have to read the word and see where He leads us. I believe we must be willing to reach to Him in order to see His agenda.

Here are some pictures from our new space...our school room! There is still room for more creativity but I am loving it so far.


Hi everyone. Well okay, maybe hi to the two of you reading this lol! I am so excited to finally get this up and going. I just love how I have been able to follow a small part of my friends lives through their blogs. I have to admit I hated writing in college mainly because I didn't feel I was any good at it, however I love to share my life and almost everything in it. With that said I can not promise I will not affend (hopefully challenge) anyone, but ultimately my desire is to just simply inspire people with my faith in Jesus. I strive to place Him in the center of all things and I truly hope my blog shows that. Please enjoy.