Peace During the Storm

1 Peter 5:7 ~ Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.



I’ve had my moments the last few days (or nights I should say) when I just want to cry and become overwhelmed….

I continue to wake up at night with the episodes of gasping for air- some nights I just don’t fully allow myself to fall into a deep sleep because if I’m awake, I can manage it a lot easier by remaining calm and trying to breath through my nose and not my mouth. If I panic and gasp for air through my mouth, this causes the seal over my air way to closed off even more.

(If you have not read my previous post explaining what I’ve been facing –  you can click here to read it.)

I now go to sleep with my bible open at my bedside- I chose scriptures to meditate on before bed and a peace comes over me. I still feel a restlessness but in the midst of it all, there is a peace- a peace knowing that Jesus is here. There’s also a hopefulness within me- that I will be healed. There’s a trust in the midst of all of this- that God is allowing me to walk through this for a reason- there’s a purpose behind it even if I don’t understand it right now.

I’m so extremely grateful and thankful. I’m thankful that Jesus continues to draw me to Him even through my trials. I’m thankful that He is teaching me to trust Him and to be content in all things. I’m thankful that during this battle that I face, He has led me to a deeper place of intimacy with Him. I’m thankful that He has been helping me to take my eyes off of me and and has led me into prayer for others in need. He has been my strength.

Don’t get me wrong. I still ask every day and wonder all the time ‘WHY’? Why, of all things, is it THIS that I have to face? What is the reason behind it? Maybe one day I will know…maybe I won’t. All I know is that God is good. God loves me. God has a plan and His plans are GOOD.

Life is precious. Jesus gave me life. I’m learning and believing that although we face trials, He does want us to live for Him and that is when we will be fully satisfied.

I continue to ask for prayer sweet friends. I can’t get in to see my doctor until next Tuesday- and to be honest, I’m believing for a miracle before Tuesday! Will you stand with me and believe with me?

And please let me know how I can pray for you in the comments below. I would be honoured to pray for you!

Blessings,

T:)

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Trust even when you’re afraid

About a week has gone by since this mysterious but frightening experience has begun.

Frist let me say, I’ve been sitting around worrying periodically and slowly but surly anxiety has tried to crop up on more than one occasion in the last week. Every so often an overwhelming peace will wash over me, only to come crashing down in another instant. And so today I prayed- “God, what do you want me to do with all of this? Tell me what you want me to do.” And at first I heard “trust me,” followed by “tell the everyone about it…and in doing so you’ll glorify me.”

And so here I am. There will be no fancy wording, no editing…just my story and what God is doing and leading me through.

And so here it goes.

A week ago, I woke up… onto week 2 of a mysterious cough (not to mention torn rib ligaments and thrown out back)…and I coughed. Then I coughed again…and that’s when it happened. I couldn’t take a breath in. I eventually gasped once, twice and my breathing resumed to normal. As scary as it was, I didn’t think much more about it.

And the next morning..same thing… cough, cough, and a huge struggle to get a breath. That little niggling panic feeling surfaced, triggering me to think something might be really wrong.

That night, I woke up in complete terror. I couldn’t breath- at all. I shot up in the bed and after about 5 seconds, I started to gasp inwards, breathing out was ok but every gasp inward was like trying to breath through a straw- the kind  on a juice box. The stronger the breath I tried to draw, the harder it was. The more I panicked, the worse it got.  My husband woke out of a deep sleep, fear in his voice “Honey are you ok?!” I couldn’t even answer him because I couldn’t breath let alone speak. Finally, air started to come easier but the fear didn’t fade. It was 4 am…I didn’t go back to sleep- couldn’t. I was too afraid. I began to research online and came up with this:

When laryngospasm occurs, people describe the sensation of choking and are unable to breathe or speak. Sometimes, the episodes occur in the middle of the night. A person may suddenly awaken feeling as though he or she is suffocating.  Some people will actually lose consciousness during these episodes.

As the airways slowly open, the person will make a high-pitched breathing sound (called stridor). The entire episode lasts only a minute or two before breathing returns to normal. But the experience can be terrifying.

I called out to Jesus. I began to pray this trough. I asked for strength and for healing. I gave Him praise and thanks for standing by my side through every trial. This one would be no different. That night I could not sleep until 3 am due to the fear of it happening again. I got up and sang praises in my kitchen, I read the pages of my bible, I talked to Jesus, I emailed my close friends asking for prayer and expressing my fear..as I did all of this, I couldn’t seem to find the peace I so needed.

I’ve spoken to 2 doctors who don’t seem concerned at all, but I’m very concerned.

This morning, a coughing spell has triggered 3 more of these episodes (not as bad) and I did my best remain calm and call on the name of Jesus.

This, I have determined is not a sign that my faith is weak. It’s a sign that I will choose to trust Jesus THROUGH the fear. I will be honest and open but not run from Christ as I face adversity.

If you want to join me on this journey, where God is taking me through the trials that I face, please do.

Please feel free to ask for prayer in the comments below. I will not allow this trial to keep me from praying for others and doing God’s will.

This is real life with Jesus. I’m going to declare health and wholeness for by His strips we are healed! But I will be vulnerable before others and before God and because that, I believe, healing will come.

What you see. What you don’t see. What God sees

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23

Hi. My name is Tara. And I. Am….  a sinner. You’d almost never know it by my Facebook posts, but I can assure you, I’m definitely a sinner.

I snap pictures of my sweet little bambinos and post them on Facebook and title the photo’s with hearts and  hashtags about love and blessings.

I receive a word from God during my quiet time, so I post that on Facebook as well, hoping to encourage anyone who needs it.

I experience a sweet or funny moment in my life and post it on Facebook because I LOVE to share my happy moments with others.

I even write posts about how disciplined I am when it comes to exercise- because I want to motivate others.

Let’s face it. On Facebook I’m just a big ol’ ball of Jesus loving positivity *insert big goofy bubbly smile here.*

THAT’S what you see….

What you don’t see?…

Here’s a little dose of vulnerable honesty from this Jesus loving girl. (And if you could hear me I’d be saying the following in my whisper voice because I’m not exactly proud to admit these things. Shhhhh)

Sometimes, within minutes after I snap those sweet pictures of my #sweetheart bambinos, I lose my cool (and I mean lose it) because one of them might have stolen a toy from the other one causing melt downs all around. OR one of them may have pushed their full plate of lunch over the edge of the table, onto the floor (that I JUST swept). Or 3 of them might be running upstairs through the kitchen (when I had already instructed them NOT to 3 times already)… Or one of them bites the other because  the one wouldn’t share. What ever the scenario might be- I do have freak out’s towards my children. Discipline good- freak out bad.

And sometimes, after I write a Jesus loving post on Facebook to encourage others, I completely forget or don’t put the time and energy into encouraging my husband and children- the ones I should be encouraging the most!

And I definitely DO NOT post my failures, ugly moments, and ginormus goof up’s on Facebook- BUT I do have them, let me tell you!

When I post what I post on Facebook, it’s a  glimpse of who I am, but not limited to who I am. I’m real. I’ve had massive moments of failure and defeat in my life.

Just a few short months ago, I battled postpartum anxiety. I bet you didn’t know that by what I posted on Facebook. I was hanging onto Jesus by a thread- a very thin thread and it was one of the darkest seasons of my life.

I face trials that sometimes cause me to feel defeated. I bet you didn’t know that by what I post on Facebook.

I get frustrated with my children when I shouldn’t. My 3 year old little girl is obsessed with washing her hands. A mother should be absolutely delighted with this…but not this momma. Washing her hands after she goes to the washroom is a 15 minute ordeal- or longer. Soap has to be slathered for at LEAST 5 of those minutes. Hands need to be rinsed for another 5, water somehow manages to find it’s way across the ENTIRE vanity- which takes another 5 min to clean up and that doesn’t include the time it takes  for her to dry her hands. Now, when you have a baby crying down the hall for a bottle and a 2 year old crying downstairs because her ‘jink’ (drink) is empty and needs refilled, I tend to get completely frustrated as opposed to ecstatic by the hand washing ordeal. I bet you didn’t know THAT by what I post on Facebook.

Oh…and I bet you’d never know by my posts on Facebook that after I do my diligent workout on the treadmill, I snack my face off more evenings then not….(yes, gluttony IS a sin)

And I’m not proud to admit it but since I’m being honest- I kicked the dog the other day because I was tired of tripping on her while I was trying to make supper. When you have 4 children ages 5 and under, your patience is pretty much zilch. Zero for the dog. Zeeeerooooo. I also may have had a few choice words for her as well but we won’t even go there… I bet you didn’t know THAT by what I post on Facebook either. (Don’t be too alarmed. It was more of a firm shove then a kick …and she wasn’t injured)

There’s a list that goes much longer then this but I’ll spare you the details. And so the truth:  I post happy moments on Facebook. Those moments are REAL and they are good, but that doesn’t mean that my life is all fairy tale. I just LOVE to spread positivity and when there’s a positive moment, I jump at the opportunity to share it. But that doesn’t mean that I’m Mrs. Positivity all day every day. Good grief, no way- that would just be a lie. Some days I’m Pitty Party Patty or Martha Meany Or Angry Alma or Emma the Emotional or Tara Talks To Much….*sigh*

So what can you take away from all of this?

Don’t ever get discouraged when you look at someone’s Facebook page, or instagram and twitter account and see their ‘perfect’ positive lives. Those are but snapshots- not the entire photo album. Don’t think that everyone has it all together because they don’t. I don’t. You don’t. No one does. Don’t allow your mind to wander to that dreaded spirit of comparison either. We tend to look at the happy moments of others on Facebook and start to compare our lives with theirs-That’s a danger zone.

I’m learning to embrace  the moments in my life- the perfect Facebook worthy moments AND the not so pretty moments as well. It’s in those not so pretty moments that my character is developed. Those moments give me opportunity to draw near to Jesus. I can count on His forgiveness and I can allow Him to change and transform me as I draw close to Him. And I can praise and glorify Him for the perfect Facebook worthy moments. I can praise Him for that is when His goodness is shinning through me.

Can I get an AMEN?

T:) Xo

 

Be Quiet and Pray- Attempt # 3

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.~Proverbs 13:3

I talk too much.

There it’s out.

I talk way too much.

Even when what I’m saying is good, I still find that I talk too much. I can remember back in high school when my husband and I were just dating, he would watch me when I was in conversation with a girlfriend, then look at my friend, stunned and ask her “Did you understand a word she just said?” Let’s just say that not much has changed since high school – when I’m excited and passionate in conversation, my mouth has the ability to move at one thousand miles per hour! (Ok ladies, don’t act like I’m the only one here that’s a fast talker) And so my point is just that. I talk way too much.

So jumping froward from high school, to this present day. A day in the life of my marriage. For those of you who are married, you’ve probably figured out that words can be life giving for a marriage or life draining, depending on which words you chose to speak.
For those of you who are not married, I’m sure you understand that this can go for any relationship- friends, co-workers, parents, children. Our words affect everyone.

A couple of weeks ago I was so excited to share with my bible study group just what God was doing in my heart. I shared (very confidently I might add) that God was helping me to stay quiet and pray about a situation in my marriage. I shared with them that I was trusting God to do the work that needed to be done and that I wasn’t going to keep bringing up a certain situation to my husband because every time I brought it up, it only led to a dead end with nothing accomplished except for hurtful words and no solution. (Because my way obviously wasn’t working, that’s when I had decided it was best to do things God’s way and keep quiet and pray.)

Ok, this is where I’m supposed to tell you that my prayers have been answered and life is perfect and that I succeeded in keeping my mouth shut and praying….BUT it didn’t really go down that way. It didn’t go down that way at all.
That night after bible study, I got home and ….you guessed it, opened my mouth and brought up the situation to my husband. Yep, the very one that God had asked me to keep quiet about. Even as the words were flying from my lips, my heart was telling me to be quiet- that this wasn’t part of the plan, that no good would come of this. But the selfish part of me that wanted to be in control instead of God, got the best of me. I suppose I had a moment of insanity and thought that I could save the day better than God could. Oye.

But anyhoo, let’s just say, I goofed. I opened my mouth- again. But I got back up and I got back up quickly. I ran to the thrown of grace and God showered me with His mercies which are new every single morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23.) I’ve been praying every moment I get. I’ve been praying for the big things and for the little things. I’ve been clinging to Christ every moment I feel the need to open my mouth, pausing to think about what path I will end up going down if I do open my mouth to speak. I quickly chose to pray instead because I know that my ‘words’ have not been having the outcomes that God desires.

Notice how the title of this post states attempt # 3? Well that’s because I’ve been trying to learn this lesson for a while now. But I’m at a point finally where God has got a hold of me on this one. That doesn’t mean that I won’t trip again and speak up when I shouldn’t. But it means that I’m making progress and growing in Christ.

Friends, if you find yourself in this situation, I urge you to be proactive. Get into His word and let Him equip you each and every day for anything that may come. Let Him teach you through His word, how to keep your mouth closed and your eyes on Him.

Note that there most certainly is a time to speak up! I’m not saying that keeping quiet is always the answer. Keeping quiet can often be a bad thing. God will often ask us to speak up-but I’ve heard clearly from God on this one, to be silent and pray.

Are any of you in the same boat? Do any of you need to get a hold of the spirit of self-control when it comes to your words?

I’d love to hear from you if you are! I’d love to pray for you to.

Blessings,

T:)

Be encouraged

As I sat in prayer a few mornings ago, I felt God impress the following words upon my heart. For anyone who might be struggling with condemnation, maybe these words are for you…..

Be persistent. My mercies are new everyday. My grace never runs out. My love never runs out. Get back up. No condemnation here… Only hope, forgiveness and grace. Come to the throne in confidence where you’ll find the help that you need. You’re making progress. Lean into me. Keep praying. Don’t let your past mistakes derail you. Don’t let them define you.
Don’t worry about what others think. I say you’re forgiven. You are a work in progress. You’ve come a long way. Don’t stop, don’t give up, don’t become discouraged. Be ALERT. The enemy waits around for opportunities to side sweep you. But I am always in front of you, fighting your battles for you … If only you will let Me. Let go…. Surrender each new day to Me for I know exactly what you need. Everything you’ll ever need,I have it. And I give freely.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-23‬ KJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭1-2‬ KJV)

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭8-10‬ NLT)

Bella’s Journey- It’s too early

IMG_0036_2It started off like any other normal day…. I hit snooze 3 times before I rolled out of bed. Bathroom, feed the dog, turn on the coffee machine, let the dog out, greet my 3 year old early riser at the bottom of the stairs….  pretty normal morning.

I proceeded to let the dog in, started to make my lunch for work that day, toast down in the toaster, coffee brewing. And then….

My water broke. Dread filled the pit of my stomach.

The next words out of my mouth were ‘No. It’s too early. It’s way too soon.’ That morning I had just turned 34 weeks pregnant. It was too early for this little girl to be born. I ran up the stairs and knocked on the bathroom door where my  husband was trying to get ready for his day as well. Trying to stay calm, I pressed my forehead up to the closed bathroom door, my heart racing and said “Dave, my water broke.”

The mundane morning routine soon turned disorganized and panicked. Our oldest who was turning 5 on this very morning, woke up to let me know that someone’s toast had popped out of the toaster and me responding with “Noah, your baby sister might be born today on your birthday. Mommy has to go to the hospital just to get checked.” Even he knew it was too early as he looked at me inquisitively and said “But mom, she’s not supposed to come until October!”

My mom showed up at our house expecting to carry on with her normal routine of getting Noah on the school bus and watching the girls for the morning..but when she came in she could tell by the look on Dave’s face that something wasn’t right.  I quickly told her what was going on, packed a hospital bag as quickly as I could and within 10 minutes  we were out the door on our way to the hospital. My lunch sitting on the counter, dry cold toast in the toaster, coffee in my mug that I never even took a sip of……..

 

 

Be Quiet and Pray

Just be quiet and pray…..

oops….I knew I’d heard from the Lord. I saw the words written on the forefront of my mind and I felt those words impressed upon my heart. ‘Just be quiet and pray.’

I also felt a panic in my gut and an urgency to do the exact opposite! My flesh was wanting SO BADLY to speak up! “Speak up, hurry up and say something or else how in THE WORLD will change ever come? Who will say something to help change these circumstances? Tara, hurry up and say something, speak your mind, and make sure you’re loud and passionate!”

And oops… I was loud, I was passionate. I spoke my mind (with good intentions mind you) but OOooo did it ever back fire. The situation blew up into an exaggerated, unnecessary and very hurtful argument. 

What made me speak up when I’d heard clearly to be quiet? FEAR. Fear is what made me speak up. Fear of ‘what if’s’. If I keep quiet, I’ll be ignoring the problem. Fear, fear, fear…. 

Fear that is all consuming is not good for anyone. 

The enemy wants us to fear. It’s his plan to get us to turn our backs on trusting the One we should be trusting. It’s the enemy’s plan to get us to try and take control of situations instead of letting God fight the battles for us and that’s exactly what I did. I thought I knew best…but I didn’t. What resulted in my ‘speaking up’, was a whole lot of tension and hurt…

Once I made the decision to drop the fear and surrender the control, I received peace and clarity. (Letting go and surrendering is a daily battle for me still.)

Friends, if you hear the Lord commanding you to be quiet and pray- do it. He would never ask us to do anything that was not for our benefit. He would never ask us to do something that would not bring glory to His name.  

Don’t fear. Trust God. Pray. 

Trying to take things into our own hands will result in nothing but disappointment and discontentment. 

What ever situation you may be facing today that is out of your control, do not be discouraged. Do not carry the weight of trying to come up with a solution. Trust that God will see you through. Surrender, and let him fight this battle for you.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Blessings Xo