Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring To Do List

Spring at The Biltmore House

Today I have spent some time trying to catch up on reading blogs I have added to my Google Reader. I love this feature on my google account.  If you haven't tried it, it is awesome.  Google Reader keeps blogs you like to read all in one place and shows the new blog posts from each blog.  As you read the new blog posts it removes them from your reader.   

One blog I read today was Life as a Mom.  She wrote an incredible and challenging post on - Making a Big to Do Out of Spring!  She even shares ideas of things you can do AND a download of a cute form you write down things to do, places to go, movies to watch, books to read and people to see! You should check it out. 

After reading her post and being challenged by it- here are some of my "Making a Big to Do Out of Spring" ideas-

Things To Do
  1. Organize the Craft Room
  2. Clean Out my Closet
  3. Make a craft I have already pinned on pinterest
  4. Plant herbs.
Places To Go
  1. Birmingham Zoo
  2. Ocoee White Water Center with a picnic
  3. Birdwatching with my neighbor friend
Movies to Watch
  1. October Baby
  2. The Smurfs
  3. Love Comes Softly series
Books To Read
  1. Karen Kingsbury series - I need to start the series on the family again
People to See
  1. Mike's parents
  2. My grandmother
  3. Traci and Sheri

Okay- now that I've been inspired by Life as Mom- I pray you will be as well.  In my research earlier in the year on goals, I found when we write down goals and place them in a prominent place, we are more likely to follow through. 

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment about one thing you hope to do this Spring!

Much Love!
Mrs. Tara

Monday, March 26, 2012

Headbanz and Puppy dogs

I took a day off today.  I had fun playing with my elementary friend.  He came over and we played many things but I most enjoyed playing these two games ..................

This is a Cranium Puppy Pals Bingo- it is great for children who are learning colors, patterns and shapes.  Even though my young friend already knew these things, we still enjoyed playing.  I purchased this years ago at Target.  If you are interested you can purchase it here on Amazon!

The other game we played is one I received for Christmas (yes I ask for kids games for Christmas).  I love them.  This game is not only a lot of fun but can be hysterical too.  I have two versions of this game but today I played this version -

I also have a lot of fun with this version - well because I am a little obsessed with all things Disney....

I have a whole board on pinterest dedicated to this obsession - check that out here !

Well I enjoyed a day off today.  I have a little work to do- headed to the hospital to see one of my kiddos who had arm surgery!
Hope you have had a great day!  If you need some fun in your life - pull out a game for kids and play it- even if it is with all adults!

Much Love!
Mrs. Tara

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My ice cream is not melting

I read an article today in the Chattanooga Times Free Press by Holly Leber on Spring Cleaning 101.  I have read a lot of articles and even entire books on cleaning and organization.  However, a quote by Julie Bestry of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga stuck a chord with me.  She states, "When you bring groceries home, you put the ice cream away in the freezer immediately to keep from having a melted, sticky mess.  Do the same thing with everything you bring into the house." 

What great advice.  I am a work in progress when it comes to organization.  I love Bestry's advice but if she only knew that everything else already in my house needs to find a place for this to truly work.  Her example is so very true and has inspired me to work on finding everything it's own special place.  I am thankful I have at least applied this to my ice cream - I had hate for it to melt!  Gotta go - I have lots of work to do!~

Much Love!
Mrs. Tara

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Plethera of Pins

The latest social media craze is this amazing virtual bulletin board called Pinterest! If you are like me you have quickly become addicted.  As I begin to view all the incredible crafts, recipes, organization ideas, home improvement ideas and much more, I lose track of time.  Before I realize it, I have been sucked into this site with never ending but helpful information. 

However, I have discovered something about myself - I pin lots of stuff but have actually tried very few things.  How about you? Have you tried any of the things you've pinned?

A friend of mine, Jami, is a high school senior.  She recently hosted a pinterest party.  Each of her friends picked one of the recipes they had personally pinned and brought the ingredients to Jami's house.  They took turns making their recipes.  They hung out, cooked and ate their delicious food.  She shared it was so much fun.  So learning from my young but wise (and fun) friend, next month at our Mom's Nurturing Moms meeting I will ask our ladies that the snack they bring to share be something they have discovered on pinterest. I can't wait. 

Last month in MnM we made a craft our facilitator Jackie found on pinterest.  It was neat to actually make something quite a few of us had pinned ourselves.  You could make a memo board, menu board or a calendar - all out of a picture frame.  The idea is the picture frame glass makes it a dry erase board.  Here are pictures of my pinterest craft.........

I decided to do the calendar using paint chips.  The original idea was found here ! 
I made this to match my bedroom! So I guess I have at least made one thing I pinned on pinterest. 

I am so excited to use this new technology tool.  I find things on pinterest for personal use and to use in ministry.  It is a clever thing but unfortunately I must confess I am a pin-a-holic!

Much Love!
Mrs. Tara

Entryways into the Church

When you think of the entryways into the church, often you think it means the actual front doors.  It can mean the physical doors that someone walks into the church.  It is my belief that very few people today are coming in through those doors. 

Sound a little confusing?  Let me explain.  I believe that years ago people in need of a Savior did come into the church looking for a Savior. They came through those doors for a revival, special meeting or a regular church service. Often they came at the invitation of a friend.  However, today so many people are afraid of the church or have a hurt related to the church.  Today, I believe people are less likely to accept invites to a church service.  Statistics show us that attendance at revivals and special meetings are in decline. Our methods have had to change as we attempt to introduce people to Jesus.  I believe one major change in our methods is the entryway into the church today.  Today's entryway looks and feels very different than the past. 

Entryways today- in my opinion- are ministry events and programs.  These things are non-threatening and open to all - those inside and outside the church.  In the variety of ministries (entryways) it is a chance for those with hurts in need of healing or those who need to meet the Savior an opportunity to interact with the church (the people).  Hopefully and prayerfully that will be a positive and life changing experience. 

So what do I think the entryways of the church of today look like (or should look like)...............

family events, sporting leagues, craft classes, cooking classes, reading clubs, camping, day camps, supper clubs, quilting groups, support groups, bird watching, fitness, music lessons, swimming pool, parent's day out, photographers, computers,  senior activities

This list is limitless  - it can be anything- hobbies, interests, talents ................anything people will want to attend, learn more about, gather around, enjoy the fellowship, participate, make, etc.

I believe if I invited a friend who doesn't attend church to a cooking class or a church service- more times than not- they would be more likely to accept the invite to the class.  The hope is that over time and with much prayer, they would desire a personal relationship with Jesus.  Next time you sign up for a class, group, night out, etc. at church.....  Would you consider inviting a friend?

Is there something you really enjoy in your spare time or God has gifted you with a special skill or talent ? Have you considered praying and asking God if this could be an entryway in your church.......... but more importantly into His kingdom? 

Mrs. Tara

Friday, March 16, 2012

The prayers of a Child

I teach a class once a month for children who have recently accepted Jesus.  The class is to help make sure they understand their decision, prepare them for baptism and share with them the things they can do to grow in their relationship with Jesus.  I talk to each child individually at the end of the class.  I ask them several questions.  The last question I ask is, Who is someone that you are not sure if they know about Jesus?  I tell them I want to be praying they have the opportunity to share Jesus with them. 

In a recent class I had a little boy who told me to pray for his friend.  He had a very concerned look on his face and I was prepared to hear all the reasons why he thought his friend might not know Jesus.  Often children tell me the reasons why they think they need to know Jesus.  I've heard many responses in 17 years but never one like I heard this time.  His concerned look was explained by the words that came next................ Mrs. Tara please pray he will have enough AR points so he can go on the field trip.  I really want him to go but he needs more points. 

Don't you love it?  For those wondering what I did................. I told my young friend I would pray his friend would work hard on his reading so he too could go on the field trip.  Reading specialists everywhere should be cheering.  For at least one young friend your reward system is working.

I love the innocence of a child.  I love they are honest and real.  And yes I did encourage my young friend to be praying for an opportunity to share Jesus with a friend who may not know Him. 

Much love on this sunny day!

Mrs. Tara

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Better is One Day in His House

I attended a one day conference for women yesterday. We sang the song "Better is One day in His House". See the lyrics after this post.

The chorus speaks of it being better to be one day in His (Jesus) courts and house than thousands elsewhere. Have you ever pondered on that thought. I have sung that song lots of times but not given it a whole lot of thought. Yesterday, I felt the Lord said, "Tara do you really mean that?" I thought about what my "elsewhere" could be. Emotion flooded over my soul. You see my elsewhere would be to be a mom.

Let me back up for a moment. My emotions were a little raw on the inside. You see as the conference started, the leader made the comment about every lady in the room being a mom. My flesh wanted to scream this was not advertised as a conference for MOMS. I immediately knew this was going to be a hindrance for me, if I didn't ask God to help me put that comment aside. I know that the leader was not thinking about this aspect and did not mean for that to be offensive. I knew it was my issue. And to be honest and real with you, I know that even though I very often feel alone with this issue that I am not. So I began to pray for any others who might be in the room who also have the hurt of not being able to have children. I didn't come a little over 2 hours to begin the conference feeling alienated. I came to be drawn closer to the most high King. I prayed asking God to bind the enemy from allowing this to rob me of the ways I could learn and grow from His word at the conference.

So back to my "elsewhere". I kinda laughed to myself that the Lord posed this question in my heart after already being frustrated with the leader's comment. To be honest if I had not brought ladies from my church I would have been tempted to leave before it really started. But I know the Lord wanted an answer from me. A sincere and honest answer. Would I rather spend one day with Him than thousands elsewhere? I can think of lots of elsewheres- can't you? I actually stopped singing and for a moment, thought about it. As I pictured my hubby and I with children- both biological and adopted children- we had a houseful. It was a happy scene in my mind. I felt for a moment time froze as I took in every detail of this scene. Then as the chorus began again- I began to sing........... truly sing with great conviction that I would rather spend one day in the King of Kings and Lord or Lords court and house than a thousand days in any elsewhere I could imagine. What about you?

By the way- the Lord did speak to me through several of the speakers and allowed me to move past the opening comments about everyone being a mother. I also am not having a pity party- I promise. I also know as a Minister of Childhood Education, God has given me the opportunity to mother many children spiritually. I am so thankful. In case you read this and wonder- I am at a great place in my life knowing I am not a mom. I really am. I haven't always been in a great spot with this but today I am. The Lord used the leader who opened the conference (who has a great heart and most likely doesn't realize the impact of her comments) to get me in a great place to be challenged by deciding one day or a thousand!

Love you much!
Mrs. Tara

How lovely is Your dwelling place, Oh Lord Almighty
My soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied, within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask, and I would seek, to see Your beauty,
To find You in the place Your glory dwells
My heart and flesh cry out,
For You the living God
Your Spirit's water for my soul
I've tasted and I've seen,
Come once again to me.
I will draw near to You.
I will draw near to You