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Ever Present.

Lydia asked for her very own cuff for Christmas,
and I think I waited a whole twenty seconds to order it, after she mentioned it to me.

I asked her what she would like on hers, and she didn’t even hesitate before she said, “God never leaves me.”
If there is one thing I’ve prayed over and over and over for her, it’s that she would know this truth.
He is always with her, and he never leaves her.

He was with her when he formed her in that very brave woman’s womb.
He was with her in those first eight weeks when that precious woman so deeply and wonderfully cared for her.
He was there for her when she dressed her in sweet clothes, wrapped her up tight in a warm blanket and pinned a note on her with her birthday on it.
He was there for her when her caretaker in the orphanage asked if she could foster her.
He was there with her in China when we were not.
 He has been her constant.

I know there will come a day when she will wonder about parts of her story.
It might become easy to be distracted by the parts that don’t make sense.
There will be things she won’t understand and questions that have no answers this side of heaven.
The prayer of my heart is that she would know, in the deepest parts of her soul, that He has always been with her.
 God has written her script.

We live in a fallen, broken world, and all of our stories are laced with some pain and sorrow.
Some of you are wondering where God is in all of it.
You can’t find how he fits into your life, and the questions leave you feeling flat & empty.
It’s not so much how he fits into your story; it’s how you fit into His.

The story of Christmas is so simple and pure.
God came down to dwell among us…to provide a way for us.
I pray you know that He is your way to peace.
I pray way down deep that you know that He loves you.
He has written your story.  He wastes nothing.  He uses everything.  
Emmanuel…God with us.

{thankful for}
628. recipes from the pioneer woman…she’s a genius.
629. my new winking owl…love a great anthropologie knock off for half the price.
630. neighbors who bring the most moist, delicious poundcake ever.
631. God’s provision…he is trustworthy.
632. feeling better after a few days of the yucks.
633. you…who show up and read my chitter-chatter and take time to dialogue with me in the comments.

Sheri - oh sweet girl. I needed to see that cuff. to read your words. He never leaves us.

GLENDA CHILDERS - Bless your darling girl. My girls are getting Becky’s cuffs for Christmas, too.


The Avery House - Oh Tara, this is so beautifully written and has my face tear-stained. There is no doubt in my mind that your sweet girl knows our Lord and knows he has always been with her. I love, love, love her heart and yours, sweet friend. God does know each of our stories and is always there. Always. Have a very blessed Christmas.

Brooke - I read faithfully, but don’t often take the comment to comment from my phone. Just wanted to tell you that EVERY time your blog comes up on my feed I am SO excited to click and hear what you have to say and see your beautiful pictures of your family or home. Sometimes, I admit, I read blogs and I’m overshadowed by jealousy of someone’s ‘perfect’ life. Yours, however, for whatever reason, is so inviting and I feel like an old friend coming over to chat every time I nuzzle up with you at the computer. Thank you for being a light in my day and a fun little place on the www!! xoxo, Brooke

theelizabethhighsmith - I think it’s in Acts 17 in Him, we live and move and have our being–love that–all of us believers or not live and move and have our being because of Him what a wonderful creator! and wonderful your little miss lydia has it written on her sweet heart. merry christmas, sweet mama!

Sharon - I so enjoy sitting with my cup of coffee early in the morning, reading what you have to say each day. I feel like I know you! The Lord is SO good to us…and I wish everyone KNEW him as a Believer! What stories we all have!! Merry Christmas Tara!

Jackie at Roots and Wings - Beautifuly written, Tara. And oh so true. Glad you’re in my life and look forward to spending time with you tomorrow. :)

slip4 - Your daughter has a beautiful heart, just like her mama! I still hope my daughter will realize how much she means to the Lord. I could buy her a cuff that says so, but it wouldn’t change her mind right now. I just keep praying :)

Vintage Country Girl - What a great gift…and what a very grown up young lady to want on! Merry Christmas!

Beth - I love it. what a great reminder, in the face of major tragedy, and also in our own small personal tragedies that we face daily, (cancer, death, sickness) God never leaves us, it was what held me together yesterday in a room waiting for an ultrasound on a lump and is what is still holding me together as we get it double checked. “Count it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds”, that is hard but our God never leaves us nor forsakes us. Thank God!
I am loving the cuffs!

paige - just perfect!!
you’re such a good mama. always connecting their hearts back to jesus.
love you friend

Lemonade Makin' Mama - She has a precious heart… no wonder with you as her mama.

thistlewoodfarm - What a wonderful gift. I know that she will be blessed by this constant reminder of what an incredible God that we serve!

Merry Christmas my wonderful friend!

Salena - Love this post because it is so true for ALL of us! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

melissa shepard - Ditto to what brooke said…. merry christmas to y’all! What sweet and comforting words… I needed that!!! U r precious!

Julie - What a beautiful gift… and how wonderful that your daughter knew exactly what she wanted it to say. I never would have been able to come up with that at her age! Merry Christmas!

maggie@septemberrust - i enjoy reading your blog, your words are those of encouragement to me, thank you for sharing with us.

janis - how preciously splendid♥

Flower Patch Farmgirl - “He has been her constant”. Pretty much in love with this. :)

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D - What a sweet story.
Your prayers are being answered – He is writing it on her heart.
(And, that’s a really nice cuff, too!)

Tiffini - have i told you lately how much i value your friendship? well i do!!
it has been what? two years? almost?
we HAVE to meet this year!! maybe once winter is over we can plan
some sort of girl weekend…invite some of the girls?
hope you are feeling better and no one else has gotten sick–
can’t wait to read about your vacay:)….praying peace all over your

LLH Designs - Catching up and stopped in my tracks by this post. There really are no words I can add that will be as meaningful as the words your daughter is wearing on her cuff. My heart is absolutely melted into a puddle this morning over the fact that she KNOWS this is true at her young age. Thank you, JESUS! And to think of how God has used you and your husband to teach her that truth. It’s almost too much to take in this morning, but know that I”m rejoicing with you! xoxo!

Lisa Montsion - I want to eat those candy canes.


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