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Breaking for Lent.

breaking for lent-between you and me

I’ve started and stopped this post so many times because I’m not quite sure how to put into words all the reasons I’m taking a break from my blog during Lent.

First and foremost, I’m feeling it as deep down as you can feel something…I know it’s what I need to do.
I could just end it there, but that wouldn’t be the least bit fun, so here goes…

People start blogs for all sorts of reasons. Mine is a super simple {somewhat ridiculous} reason.

When our family moved to Florida back in 2008, I left behind a sweet community and my precious family.
I felt lost.
My boys went to public school about a month after we moved, and I was at home all day with our brand new daughter who came to us from China just 6 months before the big move.
I was lonely and all out of sorts.

Lost and Lonely. Those seem like perfect reasons to start a blog, right?!
The good news is that God uses all things, even ridiculous things. Thankfully, in God’s economy, nothing is wasted.

Somewhere along the way, my love for design and my love for words collided, and our sign business was born.
The life lessons that developing and running an on-line business are teaching us are endless.
Blogging has also introduced me to some people I’d like to think would be genuine friends, if we lived closer.
So many of you have emailed me after a post and shared some of your story with me and asked me to join you in prayer for things going on in your life. What an honor. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it is sacred ground.

After just a few years in Florida, our family moved home to North Georgia.
We’re able to do life with my family again, we’re serving in a church with dear friends, we’re at a school with parents and teachers who are partnering beautifully with us for our kids’ education and spiritual formation, and we’re in a small group with people who are opening their stories up to us and letting us do the same.
Life is full. People are in the arena with us.

It’s been about a year or so that I’ve struggled with blogging. It’s been a struggle to become willing to just lay it down. Apparently, I hold tight to the things that bring me the least amount of comfort. I guess we all do.

It’s time to reevaluate what place blogging needs to have in my life.

I’m not lonely and lost and all out of sorts anymore.
All of those people that make life full are right here in front of me. I want to be fully engaged and present.

Also, God has been stirring something in me all year. I knew when the kids went back to school in the fall that He would use this year to make some things clear to me.

Here’s why it’s been hard to just lay it down and take the needed time to process and pray:: I’m afraid.
Fear often finds a way to step in front of faith.

One fear is that taking a break from blogging might somehow hurt our sign business.
We’re not closing our shop, and I’ll still be reaching out on Instagram and offering discounts through other bloggers, so there’s absolutely no relevance to my fear.
I want to surrender to the truth…the business is from God. He is our provider, and whatever he brings to us is exactly what we need.

Another fear is trusting him to lead me in the desire that he’s been stirring this year…to trust that everything will fall into place. I want so badly to operate in my old ways…taking the bull by it’s horn and making a way for myself. We so often make his will about our plans, and it’s just not where his peace resides.
I want to surrender to the truth…he knows the plans he has for me, and they are good. His timing is perfect. His will is that I know him and make him known. His peace is found in knowing him.

Lent is the perfect opportunity to be disciplined and sharpened by Jesus and to refocus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection to him. I’m breathing lighter just taking the step of obedience away from myself and my fears and towards him.

Rose D. Frenchtown, NJ - Release your fears and go with where HE leads you.

Lori H - Speaking as one of the people who would love to be friends in person if we lived closer (smile), I will miss your posting during Lent, but it sounds like the right thing for you. I hope that you will return after Easter, but know that you only make big decisions with prayer and thought so I would understand. I hope your Lent season is God-drenched and that you can continue to breathe lighter! Hugs!

BARBARA N - Good for you it will be a nice break to be all in in this special time. xoxo

Bethanie - I will miss you, my friend. I always feel like I’ve done a devotion after I’ve read your words…. I understand the need to follow His will. Don’t stay gone too long :) xoxo

Starr - Goodness how I love you.

paige - you are brave my friend, not only to step away but to share your heart!!
not brave like…ohmygah what if? but just brave in its pure form.
i love that about you

will miss “hearing” from you over here but glad that you’re doing what you think is best!!

xoxo

Amy Avery - Tara, again your words have touched my hear in a deep and profound way. I will pray with you as you make this leap of faith onto the path God is guiding you. What I hear in your words is not fear. What I hear is that your ready. This is your time and he’s waiting for you. Enjoy this time as he draws you nearer and whispers his love into your heart. Let it fill you with his peace and strength as you prepare for the transformation that you are now ready for. God bless you, my friend!

Glenda Childers - Enjoy your rest and time to hear from the Lord. I put in my tiny vote for you coming back … your voice would be missed. But sometimes there is something even better ahead.

Fondly,
Glenda

Christy - I will miss you.

Jackie - I’m proud of you and inspired by you, Tara. I know this is hard; your step of obedience will make the path before you clearer. And I’m thankful that I’m in the arena with you here, so I don’t have to miss you during Lent. Love you much, my dear one.

Regena Fickes - I too struggle to let God do the very thing I have asked Him to do…. Take my life and make it into a reflection of Him. Bless you for following Him. If you are to return, we will be here. If your life takes a different path, our prayers will follow. Take care, dear spiritual sister. God’s love shines through your words.

Sandy - You are an amazing inspiration to me! We must always listen to God, follow His direction. I’m so proud of you & your dedication.
You have so many blessings … They need your touch & nurturing. God bless you & your beautiful family! xo

Lemonade Makin Mama - Alright, I get this. Lately I keep thinking maybe I should quit blogging altogether. There are so few people reading them anymore yet I adore my loyal little commenters and readers and I don’t want to ever let them down… I didn’t give anything up for Lent… I just purposed to change some things and in the process some of my blogging energy and drive up and left. I don’t know what the future holds but I could quit it ALL and just do Instagram in a heartbeat. One of these days I may just do that… still considering things but man, my plate is full these days. Especially blogging for that radio station once a week. It just took it all right out of me. So we’ll see… I have shop fears too though and feel like I have to keep my blog open. Ugh hate feeling that way. Apparently, like always, we’re chewing on similar thoughts. Huh. Go figure. :)

jj - Good bye~
Will miss your insites <3

Becky - Hey sweet girl. Just seeing this. So proud of you for being obedient. He always honors that. Love youuuuuuu and I know we would be that kind of friend in real life. I have no doubt. You’re my blog family.

Kelly Cach - Tara!!! I don’t even have a blog, but feel I’m being nudged to quit it….hahaha!! Seriously, I have thought about starting one for 3 years now (I even have a name), but I honestly don’t know how I could fit it in with the few social media things I’m already involved in (instagram and reading blogs). I understand whole-heartedly wanting to go back to the way it used to be. You are so wise to listen to the Lord’s whispers.

Glad you have an arena! And I know we could be in the same one if not for the miles between us.

Bless you! And I support you!

Trudy Haynes - Hi Tara,
I just found your blog today by way of Edie at Life in Grace. You have so much to offer in so many areas. I found it hard to stay within my allotted time frame for blogging, ok, I went a little over, but I could have easily spent the whole day there. I actually live in Tucker which is fairly close to Athens. Will your blog stay up while you are not blogging? I wasn’t quiet sure if you had decided not to blog any longer or just through Lent. Would love a reply!
Thanks so much, Trudy

amber@grace.to.be - oh, you just speak my language!
i got every single word of this post~

“All of those people that make life full are right here in front of me. I want to be fully engaged and present.”

yes.yes.and yes!!
amen & hallelujah. :)

wishing you a blessed & peaceful lent season.

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Growing Kids with a Growing Business.

Growing Kids with a Growing Business

My kids will be my greatest work here on earth, but they aren’t my only work.
Talking today over at Courtney’s blog about a big life lesson I’m learning while growing my kids and our business.

I’d love for you to go join the conversation with me.:)

Lori H - I tried to comment over on your post but had some trouble with the comment form (usually those kind give you the option of signing in as a guest). Anyway, here is the comment I couldn’t leave:
Such good points, as always, Tara. I am older than you and still wondering what plans God has for me…Edie from lifeingrace has written some good posts that made me realize that sitting on the sidelines waiting for God’s plan isn’t what I should be doing. I need to jump in the pool and figure it out as I go! Your signs are awesome and if we could figure out what we want it to say, we are going to order one to switch out with the wonderful Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Donna - You are so inspiring !

Juli Elgin - I totally understand your need to step away for a bit but I do hope it is only a bit. I just found your wonderful blog last fall and instantly fell in love. First with your beautiful home decor, then your signs and that drew me in and I started reading. I have even found several new blogs to read from your posts. Some of it was very inspiring and some was like talking to a sweet friend. I now look forward to a new post so while you feel a need to step back and move your focus to the front and center I do hope you will pop in every now and again to share some of the things that speak to you or touch your heart. So until then…

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The Church.

The church-between you and me blog

It is a beautiful thing to experience God’s love through his people. It’s life changing.
Not everyone can bear the weight of our stories, but there are those friends in our lives who allow us in and offer to come into the most sacred places with us.

They see the beauty of our brokenness…they remind us that God is able to bring beauty from the ashes.
When our eyes get fixed on our brokenness, they are the people who turn our eyes back to Jesus, our true help.
They allow us to expose ourselves, our hearts, our souls.

They appreciate the beauty of who God has made us to be.
They’re not threatened by or afraid of our weaknesses. They can handle our imperfections.

When we don’t feel “enough” in motherhood or marriage or in our careers, they remind us that we’re not enough. And, they carry us to the one who is more than enough.

When we forget how to dream for ourselves, they dream for us until the fire in us is ignited again.
They call out those things that God put in us that shine bright.
They aren’t threatened by our gifts..our gifts inspire them. They celebrate who he has made us to be.

These dear friends refuse to let us wear masks to protect ourselves.
They aren’t afraid to have scary conversations, and they’re willing to help us let down our guard.
They urge us to let ourselves be seen.

Brene Brown reminds us that the people who love us aren’t cheering for our freedom from the stands.
No. They’re inside the arena with us battling for our freedom. They won’t stop until Jesus has set us free.

In Luke 5, there was a man who was paralyzed, and he needed Jesus to touch and heal him. The crowds were surrounding Jesus, and the man’s friends couldn’t find a way to get the man in front of Jesus, so they carried him to the roof and dug their way through it until they could lower their friend down. They carried him to Jesus, and he was healed.

Do you have people that are in the arena battling beside you and with you for your freedom?
Are you doing that for someone in your life?

I’d love to hear your stories…

* The beautiful church painting was painted by my sweet & talented friend Jackie.
She is a friend who has stepped into the arena with me and has allowed me to step into the arena with her.

Corinne - such beautiful words..thank you for this post…
is was just what I needed and so very encouraging!
I’m new to your blog, but I can tell I’ll be at home here!
God bless,
Corinne

Janie Fox - You made me cry. I am so blessed to say I have these people. God knew who I needed and he sent them. Love this post. And her painting…fab!

ashley - Does your friend sell the church paintings? Would she? I love it!

Jackie - I’m so thankful you’re in my arena; I’m honored to be in yours. I love you, my dear friend!

Amy Avery - This is such a beautiful post Tara and one I really needed today. It always amazes me how your posts speak to my soul, not because I don’t truly believe you are a fabulous writer, but that the timing for my feelings and the way God uses your gifts and talents through writing and sharing here is so in sync. I am so blessed by you Tara and I hope one day I will meet you in person to be able to express my gratitude. Thank you for sharing this today!

Kelly Cach - HOLY CUTENESS!!! The sweetest reminder of His love in a little framed church.

Sandy - Tara, you are so inspirational. I love your blog, and I love your spirit. Your family is beautiful and such a blessing! xoxo

Barbara - Love this we all need to friend and be friend this wsy. That painting is so beautiful.

Lynn Richards - What a wonderful post.
I have to say I am immensely blessed in this arena. We have been in Bible Study off and on for ages with a group of four families and have been in each other’s arena for over 20 years.
Whether we are in study together or not, we have all come back together to fight for each other in the different arenas of child rearing, aging, moving, life transitions, illness, brokeness, you name it.
We spend holidays together, plan our children’s weddings together and are now welcoming grandchildren into the arena.
Thanks for this blessed reminder!
xo
lynn

Starr - Oh goodness. Grateful to TEARS for good friends in my life for the last 10 years or so. My heart is tender toward women who are struggling and lonely – such a hard thing when you SO want friends, but for whatever reason relationships aren’t coming easily. As a newlywed when my husband was in Bible School and I was in graduate school I felt like such a fish out of water. I wasn’t connecting with his Bible school classmates but also pretty far removed from my graduate school peers. God did some great things in me and in our marriage during that time…but it was still so tough! To anyone struggling to make those connections – keep trying!! Keep loving people and investing and eventually those sweet, natural connections WILL come!

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Glitterfying {and a winner}

Gold Glitter Banner-between you and me

Well, so much for stopping by on Monday to announce the winner of the sign! I’m sorry for the slack.
Life has a way of stepping in the way sometimes, and this has been one of those weeks for me.

I’ve got so many posts churning in my heart about blogging and marriage and parenting and friendship.
I just can’t find the time or brain space to empty all the words in my head and heart here.

However, I did make time this week to fluff Lydia’s room a little.
We painted her cork board frame black and added the gold glitter banner above it.
I’ve made a few more tweaks that I’ll try to show you next week.

I’m telling you what…glitter sure stops the show, doesn’t it?

If any of you want to glam up a space with some glitter, this DIY project was super easy.
I bought everything I needed from Hobby Lobby. If you use the 40% coupon, it can be cheap, too!
Cheap and Easy…my favorite kind of projects!

You’ll need:
a pack of chipboard banner
metallic gold craft paint
gold glitter
a can of polyurethane spray
twine

I painted the chipboard banner pieces gold, and while they were still wet, I added the glitter.
When the paint and glitter dried, I sprayed all of them with polyurethane and then hung them with the twine.

************************************************************************************************************
Okay! Are you ready for the winner of the GIVE AWAY?
I always use {www.randomnumbergenerator.com} to pick our winners, and this time it chose Debra Myrick. Congratulations!!!

Thank you all for entering to win.
I loved reading your stories of the people in your life who belong among the wildflowers.
If you didn’t win but you’d like to have one of these signs, you can purchase one in our shop.
Please use the coupon code MYFAVORITES for 10% off your purchase.

Lemonade Makin Mama - I do love some glitter!! Certain times of the year it just seems so appropriate. LOL

Jackie - It looks great! Can’t wait to see the bookcases! :) xoxo

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