Don’t mind me. I’m just over here soaking. I have a friend who has four beautiful, very young children who finds out tomorrow if they’ll continue a “cure program” for her stage 4 breast cancer or, if the chemo is not working, the doctor’s will maintain it. I have a friend who delivered a brand new baby girl and discovered she has Down’s Syndrome and will need heart surgery at 6 months of age. My sweet grandma Lorraine just lost my grandpa William; she's waking up every day without the person she’s loved since she was 17 years old. There is so much my people have been through in the last year; some so heartbreaking that I don’t have the liberty to share. I haven’t navigated it all with wisdom but I’ve tried, goodness knows I have. So, here I am...thinking “Dear Jesus, the 30’s are no joke. What are we even doing here?
Danielle takes time to check on me and pray for me and worry about me. In the midst of stage 4 breast cancer, she is blossoming and her life is this glorious, screaming witness to a peace that comes from a faith with deep, carefully planted roots.
Ali, though weary from this life, is honest and true. She has a community that loves her, her husband, and all her babies so much. I feel connected to her in a way that I can feel her pain; it woke me in the night the other night. It is a testament to how vital vulnerability and having people who know you and love you is to being ok here.
I made a new friend right before I moved. Classic Tara; slipping another soul into my arsenal at the last minute. I’ve never wanted to do life alone and I’m awkward and pushy and intentional about friendship. Sorry not sorry. The 30’s might be riveted with hard but they are also rich in confidence and really, there is no time for anything but what’s real. Praise Jesus! Anyway, Chelsey called me today. She said she recently started asking the Lord to give her dreams again and she had her first one about me! First of all, we barely know each other but we do…you know what I mean? When you meet someone for the first time and think, “HI!!!!!! I know you and I like you. Let’s be best friends.” That’s usually a friendship happily ever after for me but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and we both end up thinking “Oops! We tried. Have a good life!” I don’t know if that’s Biblical but we can’t be everything to everyone and it's ok to not be everyone’s soulmate. It’s ok for people to not like me. It’s inevitable to not jive with everyone (this realization took me until I was 30). But when it sticks! OH BLESSED JESUS…when it sticks. I can’t even explain to you in words what it is like to have someone KNOW me and like me just the same! But back to Chelsey’s dream…she said she was on a road trip and needed a place to stay last minute. She knew she was close to us so she called me and when she got here we were so excited to have her stay and made sure she had everything she needed to be comfortable. She heard the Lord say “This is Tara’s worship. I have called her here. Her worship is hospitality and giving people a place to rest.” She saw a haze all through my house and at first thought it was incense but realized it was the Holy Spirit. He was in my home and He was everywhere. She said I kept apologizing because things weren’t perfect. I kept talking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to make things even better for people and she said over and over “No! This is great. You don’t need to do anything more.”
YOU GUYS. I have been working 12 hour days trying to get this space perfect because 1. I love it and have high hopes of being Chugwater’s very own Joanna Gaines and 2. I’m dreaming about this summer.
Our visitors. Meals shared. Children running in the yard. Adult beverages on the porch. Walks up and down the country roads. Milkshakes at the Soda Fountain. My people coming to love on my children, while I love on theirs.
My hands are raw from hard work and I have been falling asleep every night dreaming of what I want to accomplish the next day. Also, 3 young kids and moving ‘ain’t no joke…unpack a box, someone has to poop, wash hands, someone needs a snack, throw in a load of laundry, nurse, someone just threw something at someone else’s head, Jeremy’s home and is hungry, drive 40 miles for groceries, clean up puppy pee in the laundry room, wash hands, halfway unpack another box….BOOM! it’s midnight. No. Joke.
But back to Chelsey’s dream! Quiet tears are dripping down my face at this point because God has chosen me to be here. It is my act of worship. But even more, people aren’t coming here for it to be perfect. People don’t love my family because we are perfect. It will never be perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. What even is perfect? People choose to be part of our world because of who we are. We “don’t need to do anything more”. I’m going to say that again, you don’t need to do anything more.
I recently texted some friends that moving has done a few things: It’s made me want to be blonde (because blondes have more fun, obviously) and it’s helped me give less boo boo butts (Remy’s current favorite thing to say). Maybe it’s that this is the first time I’ve really been away from home and I’m like the girl that went to college and is finding herself on a more independent level or maybe it’s because we are really doing it. We are adults. We are in our mid 30s. We have 3 kids here and 1 baby waiting for us in heaven and 11 years of marriage to call our own. I don’t have to value all of the same things as my family and friends or do life parallel to them to bring them joy. Failure is not having differing opinions from the people you love. It is empowering to love and be loved even when you disagree. I’m smart, I love hard, I am seeking truth, and I love Jesus. Oh my goodness, I do and I can’t wait to get closer to him. He’s so good. Everything that is good is from him and I am so grateful it’s a lifelong journey.
So here I am, soaking in all these revelations and changes; all this knowledge of what is (good and bad) and ultimately, I am rich in love because people like Chelsey love me and are teaching me more about how much God cares about little ‘ol me. Say it again, out loud “I don’t need to do anything more”. That reality is life changing. He’s already done it. Now, let’s just be together.