You’re Gonna Miss This

<<You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back,

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These are some good times, so take a good look around

You may not know it now – but you’re gonna miss this>>

 

Second semester of senior year my best friend shared this song with me and I would listen to it every time I was in the car by myself and bawl my eyes out.

I was gonna miss the lock-ins at church with my friends, I was gonna miss picking my best friend up for school every morning, I was gonna miss the bus rides to church camp when we sang Disney songs *a little too loud*

And you know what? I can’t deny for a moment that I miss those things.

Last night one of my close friends from youth group posted a silly High School Musical video that sent me spiraling back to the times when all of us would watch them together in middle school. It sent me back to a time when life was carefree and lighthearted. It sent me back to a time that I probably took completely for granted and that I would love the chance to relive.

I do miss it. I do want it back. And oh how I wish I could have even one of those days back.

But the God began to shift my perspective.

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You’re gonna miss this. These times. Right here and right now. You’re gonna want these back one day. Don’t wish these away either.

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I sat in class yesterday during one of my favorite professor’s lectures, and it struck me.

I’m gonna miss this.

I laughed with my coworkers way too hard over things that probably weren’t that funny.

I’m gonna miss this.

I came home and all of my little siblings ran to give me hugs and were so excited to see me.

I’m gonna miss this.

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There are always going to be new things in life that I am later going to miss. Life comes in seasons, and our God is oh so good, so He blesses me in unique and special ways through each and every one of those chapters. When I made it past that high school season, a lot of doors closed, a lot of beautiful things were turned into memories – but they are great memories, and life in college has been great too.

There’s always going to be hard things in life, but when I take a good look around me, I am so so blessed. And every day of life is a gift that God has given me that I don’t want to take for granted anymore.

And from an even longer term standpoint, when I get to Heaven one of these days, I’m not going to miss any of these days here on earth. So while I have this time, I want to use it to make the name of The Father known and shout His Name from the mountaintops.

— Taryn

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Brokenness Aside

<<I am a sinner if it’s not one thing it’s another, I’m caught up in words, tangled in lies. But You are my Savior and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful>>
My life is broken. 
I am broken. 
My life is marred my anxiety. By fear. By pride. 
And I’ve let those begin to define me. 
The shards and fragments and rough edges. I’ve begun to feel like I deserve them. Deserve to have to wear them as scars — as strobe lights declaring my faults and failures to the world. 
I wake up and see myself through a shattered mirror. I see myself, but only under the layers of cracks and distortion and fog. 
And you know what?
I’m a broken person. The Bible backs me up on that. I’ve fallen short of God’s marvelous glory (Romans 3:23). But He is the Creator who takes our broken pieces and doesn’t discard them, but instead reshapes and remolds them. Who takes them and somehow makes them beautiful. 
He is the Creator and when I turned to Him and asked for His salvation almost twelve years ago, He took the broken mirror away. He washed me white as snow. He healed my brokenness and started reforming and refining and sanctifying me. Sculpting me to be more like the image of Himself. 
He declares me to be His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) and all of my brokenness and weakness doesn’t cease to exist, but He does use it for good (Genesis 50:20), and His power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) 
My Father loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to keep watching my reflection through broken glass. He wants to turn me around and let me see myself through His eyes. 
Someone worth dying for. 
Someone He wants to use to accomplish His beautiful purposes. 
A child of the King. 

She Laughs Without Fear of the Future

I made it almost a whole year as a teenage girl blogging about Jesus without mentioning one of the iconic teenage girl scripture passages::: Proverbs 31
Although I often think there is too much fanfare around this particular passage, it’s written as an example for me just like every other girl out there. And I take that seriously and I want to strive to live up to that the best I can through the power God provides. 

Proverbs 31:25 -30 // She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. // (NLT)

I’ve read through all of this more times than I can count, but in just the past three months, a completely different part of the passage has begun to stand out to me. 

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{she laughs without fear of the future}

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I don’t know about you, but I am a planner to the utmost extreme. I like to have every detail laid out and every box checked. I like to know when and how I’m gonna do everything. And all the unknown that’s in the future… it scares me. But there’s two big things that this phrase means to me and has been impacting in my life over the past few months and I want to share those with you today. 

1. Live for right now

Often in the craziness of life, I get caught up in what the next thing is going to be. Planning for the next event. Saving money for the next big thing or trip. Scheduling ahead, making plans for tomorrow, dreaming about my life five years from now. 

But God has given me today. 

God has given me right now. I want to enjoy right now. Laugh in right now, laugh not having to know what the future holds. Enjoying the little things that make right now such a blessing and let that be enough. 

It’s the simplest things that have been the biggest blessings to me this week. Coming home and lighting my candles. Clean sheets and warm blankets. Chocolate milkshakes. It doesn’t take having all of life planned and mapped out and good exactly the way I’d hoped. It just takes being able to enjoy all the little things that make life so good. 

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2. Trust God with the future

His ways are so much higher than ours, He is working all things for our good, He knows so much better than we ever could. Why don’t I trust the future to the One who sees it all? The One who is all-knowing and all-powerful and all-good? I don’t have that answer. Except that it’s something I definitely need to keep working on. Not being afraid of the future. 

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” — Corrie ten Boom

I’ve learned through the examples of Joshua, Jonah, Isaiah, Joseph… God knows what He is doing. And He reiterates that to me in my life time and time again. Whether any part of my life goes the way I think I want it to or not, I know that He is never going to let me go and that He is working all things for good in His perfect timing. 

“Thankfully, God’s plans don’t seem to be much affected by my own.” — Katie Davis

So that’s me right now, have you noticed a theme in what I’ve been writing recently? It’s not really intentional beyond that it’s something God is laying on my heart in a dozen different ways right now. To enjoy this life and laugh and have joy and not worry. He is so so good, even in the storms, even in the stress and anxiety, oh He is such a good Father. And I’m learning to rest in that no matter what. 

“Many things about tomorrow, I can’t seem to understand, but I know Who holds tomorrow. And I know Who holds my hand.” — Ira Stanphill

Taryn

Laughing with Jesus

It’s been yet another late night

There’s little to no time left to write

I’m tired as always is the case

Spent all day running from place to place

Life is tough, but God You are tougher

Your faithfulness brings me hope and comfort

When I am weak, then You are strong

You, O Lord, are my strength and my song

Grant me peaceful rest tonight

And when I wake up, may I know all is right

May I honor you in what I do and say

And may I follow You, LORD, in every single way

Some days I journal eloquent prayers. Some days I shoot up sentence prayers when I feel sick or my friends text me that something is wrong. Some days I cry on my knees before my Savior when I don’t think I can go another step. And some days — I laugh with Jesus. 

I laugh with Jesus when I realize I’m worrying about things that I really shouldn’t worry about — He’s got them. 

I laugh with Jesus when someone unknowingly says something in the words of a Bible verse or praise song. 

I laugh with Jesus when He places the littlest blessings so deliberately in my path just because He loves me. 

Those are my favorite days. And they make me so look forward to Heaven. To spending eternity dancing and singing and laughing with my King and all my brothers and sisters in Him. 

When life gets stressful, when I feel like I have to be serious, when the worry is too much and there isn’t enough time for everything… laugh with Jesus. Let Him take your burdens (1 Peter 5:7) and let His joy and peace reign in your heart. 

Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Thank you for laughter and blessings and reminding me not to take myself too seriously. Thank you for grace. 

— Taryn

Above the Noise

2 Kings 19:11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Let me tell you, my life has been chaotic recently. 

And I thought I could handle it too, with my willpower and genius time management, I was gonna make it through. 

Check every box and write every essay and keep every commitment — oh yeah, and in the meantime keep a smile on my face and look like I have my life together. 

But you know what?

That’s not the goal. 

This blog post is a sermon to myself and a lesson some of my best friends have been trying to teach me for a long time. 

I. Can’t. Do. Everything. 

And you know what finally made me realize it?

Rest.

The beauty of rest. 

God created and set aside a while day each week for rest. Sabbath. To be in the quiet and commune with Him. To slow down and let the true priorities take their place. 

When I’m running a million miles an hour, I love the rush of adrenaline, I love the feeling of productivity and accomplishment… but I lose the little things. 
Life is full of tasks and checklists, but all the beauty in the little things are choked out. 


The beauty of laughing and long walks with dear friends. The beauty of tea dates and phone calls with friends in other states. The beauty of taking my little siblings to the library or reading a book just for fun. 

And you know what else gets choked out?

The voice of God. 

Going back to 1 Kings which I referenced in the beginning, Elijah was surrounded by the whirlwind of life. But that’s not where God was.

God came in the still small voice, and we have to be still and calm to be able to find them there.

When I’m caught up in the hubbub and rush of life, I’m not going to hear Him. I’m not going to see Him.

Last week, I was rereading a letter my best friend wrote me during freshman year. She told me that God doesn’t knock us flat on our backs so that we will walk right back to the things that knocked us down.

This semester has already knocked me down. And it’s knocking me down over and over, because I’m not letting God speak into it. I’m not letting His still small voice lead me, but rather I’m being led by the busyness and agendas and craziness that I’ve inflicted upon myself.

One of the first Bible passages I ever memorized was Psalm 23, which says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life.”

God wants to give me rest. And I want to learn to embrace it. Not to take it as being lazy, but to except it as a gift he has given me to blessed me in so many ways. And also to allow me to fully experience my relationship with him in the way it supposed to be.

I want to really learn what it means to be still and know that he is God. (Psalm 46:10)

Taryn