Tag Archives: tara powers

A Prayer for My Grown Children

A prayer for my 5 grown children

This is from an email I sent them in 2012. Tara, Stephanie, Tredessa, Rocky & Stormie… 

the rhoades kids

May you each {within your own homes and families, now} live full and exciting lives, marked by sheer delight and pure joy, along with the surging Holy-Spirit-strength that comes from that!  And I pray you will have many good conversations with the people who matter the most and will enjoy experiences and memories that warm your heart at the end of each day along the way.

I pray that you will be blessed with work, the life-giving kind of service and labor that comes from knowing you are doing the good things God actually created you to do way before anyone else even knew there would be a you (see Ephesians 2.10). I speak grace to you, over your lives. I shake heaven’s gates praying you will have the grace to be everything God created you to be and the grace to accomplish everything He created you to accomplish!

I pray you will press in to know the One who loves you most (Hosea 6.3), and that you will zealously, and with consecrated energy, live for the praise of His glory! I urge you to break off the chains of the quotidian existence sometimes imposed by the times and our culture in its’ pursuit of amassing things, gaining impressive status or careers with fancy titles.  And  I pray and declare that you’ll live, really live, in the hope for which God has called you.

Make every effort to enter into the rest of God (Hebrews 4.11), my sweets. Jesus paid it all, so don’t bother trying to earn your place in Him. He has got you covered.

Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost – that is Kingdom of God, the doors-wide-open welcoming House of the Lord. This is where we live, in the Household of Faith. There is bread in His house, you’ll never lack for His provision. Come, eat, my beloved children. Don’t go hungry when the feast has been spread.

I pray you’ll sleep sweetly through all your nights (Proverbs 3.24) under the moon and stars hung by your loving Father, having lived your days without regret and shame. And I pray you’ll drop into bed in sheer exhaustion, but that it will always be that “good kind of tired.”

I never even hoped to dream I’d have children like you. You were made for me. And I was made for you. I love you all very much and am wholly honored that God chose me to be your mom. And I am, you know…And I pray for you!

These are not just a random selection of nice thoughts for these who came from me. They are actually dedicated, targeted prayers for wholeness (and healing, too as it is needed) for a few of my weak areas – places where I may have (probably) failed them. Thank God He can redeem and restore and His grace is greater!

My first-born

“you’re my first born child, and the person who first showed me the miracle of this love a mother has for her child. ”   ~Elizabeth Noble, Things I Want My Daughters to Know

Tara in black and white


I know where I was at this exact minute, on this day in history in 1979. I know how I spent the day. I remember everything leading up to its’ culmination at 7:16 pm from my waking thought at exactly 5:55 am, just before the alarm would go off.

What was that? Am I in labor? Eyes widen, fully awake!

Thirty-five years ago at this exact time, I was being born. Me – this mother, now grandmother part of me was laboring to be, to become. I was shedding the skin of childhood and girlishness and self-focus and passing through the purifying pain of labor and delivery. I was walking a pathway to an unknown and unknowable destination. I was giddy and excited, scared and alone. I trembled with each deep, slow breath.

A girl woke up alone at 5:55 am, pregnant, filled with life {potential}. At 7:16 pm, she was born – a mommy, a full-grown woman.  They placed this perfectly round-shaped, blond-fuzzy-headed baby girl into her arms, the fruit of her labors, a tiny baby girl was born {potential}, too. Now they were two.

when — naked, soaked in sweat and blood, and a heart thumping from a marathon — you are squeezing onto your bosom ‘the whole universe wrapped in harmony with your soul’ and realize that this is the tiny body of your own baby.  Mytyr, Mana, Mater, Muter, Madre, Mother, Mamma, you are the circle of life; heaven and earth pass through you.” (Eleftheria Mantzouka)

Yes. Today is Tara’s birthday.

Tara leading prayer and worship

Thirty-five years she has walked this earth, which is hard to believe when you look at her, overwhelmingly stunning, her spontaneous smiles so youthful, so nineteen! It’s the celebration of Tara, it’s her birthday! Her arrival changed everything! The entire course of my existence was altered right there on the spot. This is a bit of her story, her glorious entry, as I recall it.

When I’d arrived at the hospital, just 30 minutes before she was born, I was {quite unknowingly} in deep, transitional labor, my entire focus on cooperating, breathing, bringing my baby forth. I asked the ER attendant to wait before wheeling me upstairs.

“Oh honey. You’re never gonna make it, ” the sassy girl said. “You’re going to be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you’re acting like this now, you’re never going to make it.”

I had never wanted to hit some one so badly in my life (transition!), but I was on a mission to birth a baby. I closed my eyes to shut her pointless babble out and breathed, {inhale} in through my nose, slowly, to maintain some control, {exhale} out through my trembling lips.

She rolled me onto the elevator and her negativity became a drone, the sound of the “adults” on Peanuts cartoon specials, like unseen teachers talking to Charlie Brown, “Wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah-wahhh.”

Could she not see that I was bringing forth perfection – and soon?

In their defense, apparently hospitals work with first-time moms who freak a little too soon in the game, but I’d been laboring, working hard for this since 5:55 am.

I was wheeled into the laboring room at about 6:50-something, given one of those magnificent gowns to don and left to my devices. I swayed, I breathed, I called this baby (boy? girl – my secret dream?) forth. I braced myself for 20 hours of this hard work, my reasonable service.

When nurses returned a few minutes later, they were surprised to find that my royal child, this gift of God, was ‘crowning.”

Tara and her family in Kai's room


Tara was born.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

She was born at 7:16 pm, just about a half hour after we’d pulled up to the hospital doors and no one there really had anything to do with it. It was me, my baby and the God of the Universe.  The Creator – He was there, having just applied the finishing touches on a life so uniquely formed and perfect, His own (full and complete) delight splashed all over her, perfuming the air with His very Presence, His absolute love. I inhaled the scent of the heavenlies from the top of her tiny head.

Alone with my baby a little later in a dimly lit room, this exquisite girl-child and me, she slowly opened and closed fawn-shaped eyes. The holiness of the moment, of the realization of the redemptive work of God and His total love lie swaddled securely in my arms, as irrefutable proof of Him. He was here – He was with me, for me. Proof!

Tara's selfie

Tara was a gift to me from God Himself. To me.

I’d awoken a girl, filled with questions and wonder and trepidations. I was going to sleep, having been ushered through the courtyards of the Lord, arms and heart filled, into motherhood. A daughter!

I am ashamed to admit I still sometimes struggle to truly, really, wholly trust God. That is terrible. Especially because He has actually completely shown His trust in me – 5 times!

Do I even need to tell you that a gift from God is good? That He gives beauty for ashes, a garment of praise instead of a spirit if despair? Do I need to remind you? And He sent the healing oil of joy for mourning. Our good friend once called Tara, “Liquid joy.” And it’s true, because oil is poured out and nothing it touches is ever the same.

The enemy tried to take her from me once {from God’s great plan for her life}, but the full-force of heaven  stood with a mom, born that day, May 9, 1979, who said, “Give. my daughter. back!” And what could hell do but whimper sheepishly away?

Tara smiles


So, Happy Birthday, Tara, and happy {joyful} day you made me a mom

You have grown up to become a compassionate, loving woman. People are drawn to your smile, your sincerity, and your gentleness powered by strength. You are a star in the darkest of nights and a voice for your generation. You’re a wonderful mommy, the fun-nest kind and such a devoted wife. Your house, all interesting and textural and colorful and serene absolutely looks like you. The lyrics are in you, the melody pours forth sweetly, and you, my most darling and beloved first-born, are such treasure on the earth, let alone to me.

And baby girl, I can tell you this about God’s gift of you to me, for these words could not be truer in any situation,

“Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).”  Ephesians 3.20-21 Amp.

And so, as your momma, you need to understand how desperately I pray this for you. And how deeply I KNOW God is hearing you and your heart’s cry.

And because I witnessed your birth, felt you emerge straight from the hidden place where the Hands knitting you together delivered you into my arms and into your bright-light existence, because I understood His delight and joy in having created you and written your story, I KNOW He hears you now and that this same God, His power at work in you (in your heart, in your body, in your womb, in your reproductive system) is able and will carry out His purpose so far beyond anything you even dare to ask or think or imagine or wish or hope.

Beyond your highest and most powerful prayers or your wildest dreams, infinitely more than you may even have the courage to ask or think, God can do anything, anything.

It’s not too late, my Tara-girl. And I once fought hell over you. So believe me when I tell you, I am believing, petitioning, agonizing, asking, reminding and staying put before the throne for you, for your life, for your deepest, wildest dreams to come true. Because I was born that day, too. And this is what mommies do.

Tara in the car

God has given you so much love in three adoring fellas. From you to them, from them to you. But you have more to give, more love, more joy. So sing, sing in the Spirit and with the understanding. I’m joining in your song {Tara’s song}. Let’s see what will happen. :)

Joyous Birthday to the firstborn, my Tara Jean~

To the girl who was deemed Liquid Joy {or Joy-bear} while she was growing up~

As the music at the banquet

As the wine before the meal

It was 5:55 a.m. The sun had just broken through bright and I felt the earth move.  Actually, probably less the earth moving than having that first, distinct contraction – that sign for which I had waited, wondering if I’d even know when you’d be coming.  But there it was – a new sensation, so marked and unambiguous, I knew everything was about to change forever.  I drank in the sun as it rose through my window.  I looked at the clock and my heart palpitated with wild excitement.

Today is the day.  This child for whom I have prepared and waited would arrive.  Today – this baby that had caused me to exercise daily and eat so many vegetables for its’ health – now we would see.

Boy or girl?  I didn’t know, but I was praying for a baby girl with blond hair and rosy cheeks (like the baby of one of my college Bible teachers).  I had a vision in mind…

No one but Grandma and I even knew.  It was our happy little secret all day as we went here or there.  I wrote down contraction times and when asked by friends and church family, “When are you going to have that baby?”  “Oh, maybe today, I’d tell them,” smiling so big inside about the best secret in the world.

5:55 a.m. and the clock spun wildly around until 5:55 p.m. when I told Grandma, “I need to go to the hospital now.”  I am not sure how I knew it except that I was packing my bag and when a contraction would come, I’d have to stop what I was doing to breath through it.  I was giddy with anticipation, feeling out of control.

But grandpa.  He wanted us to wait and drop him at the church.  So we left at 6:15 and drove {the almost opposite direction} to drop him at his office around 6:30 p.m. and then we were off to the hospital.  Okay-maybe I am being dramatic, as it was only about a 10 mile trip, but when you are in transition…

We pulled up to the doors at emergency so my mom could drop me off and I was met with a wheel chair at 6:48 p.m.  As we went over the bumpy grate going in, I said to my wheelchair-pusher, “Could you stop for a minute?  I am having a contraction and need to breathe.”

Oh, honey,” she said with great disdain.  “You are never going to make it.  This is your first baby and you will be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you are acting like this now, you will never make it.”  I figured she was the expert and I thought if what she was telling me was true I would never be able to do this for 20 more hours. I was not going to make it.

But I also kind of wanted to hit her.

She delivered me to labor and delivery and you were born at 7:16 p.m. – just 28 minutes after my mom had delivered me to the door.  I have never gotten over the fact that I didn’t get to smack that wheelchair pusher.  I just never have.

As the firelight in the night

So are you to me

At two

And like so many other things in your life

You surprised me and showed right up and it was beautiful and mysterious and awe-inspiring and magical and spiritual and breath-taking and it was you and me, just us. And you looked at me, and I couldn’t quit looking at you and though we’d only just met, I felt so at home with your warm, fuzzy head. The smell of you, the contour of your face in the barely-lit room: proof of God’s love for me.  A gift straight from heaven!  I knew I was undeserving.  I knew no one, no one, but God could have, would have entrusted you to me.

At three

As the ruby in the setting

As the fruit upon the tree

Oh, love story of love stories – my baby, my own, a sweet tiny, pink-bundled girl.  Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, joy of joys.  I wondered if I was actually allowed to feel this happy –  because I was sure some one would take you away if they knew.

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

 Read about Kai’s adoption story here

And now, joy-child, beautiful woman with two sons of your own {I learn so much from watching you mother them, love them} – it is a day to celebrate your birth, to remember and recall that day thirty-four years ago with gratefulness and thankfulness to a loving God who drew my heart to His with the most loving-kindess imaginable in the form of a girl, tender and sweet, now a woman – wise and lovely.  I do thank God for you.  I do.  So I wish for you (a prayer-wish, of course):

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

So are you to me

Happy Birthday, firstborn and namesake.  Happy Birthday, daughter and friend.  I love you.



Happy Birthday, Tara Powers!

Well, this day is as gorgeous as the one on which you were born.  I awoke at exactly 5:55 a.m. {33 years ago} to a deep contraction, one that I knew was “real.”  I hopped out of bed with giddy excitement on the inside and started writing times on a piece of paper.  Having heard many baby-labor horror stories, I hoped you’d be in my arms before the day was out, but began bracing myself for the 24-hour first-time-mommy labor and delivery.  I’d seen the television shows.  At any second I would become almost incapacitated and start screaming for hours.

But no.  I actually went with my mom and dad to the church where they worked for the day.  I tracked the contractions, gentle, strong, but building.  My mom and I went shopping.  Then home for dinner.  Then packing a hospital bag.  Then YOWZERS: need to go now.  But a one-car family and my dad says, “Can you wait until I am ready to go to church for Wednesday night service,” and I do so we can drop him at his convenience.  And You are born 30 minutes after I arrive at the hospital.  Not one single scream.

It is kind of funny to think about that now.  NOW, I would tell my dad: Heck no.  I need to go have this baby.  You’ll have to get another ride!  Hahhaha.

I am revisiting past blogs I have written about you because you are one of my favorite writing topics.


I did the photos with words to try to say everything I saw and adored and there just isn’t really enough space, though I got braver as 2011 went on and I can actually see space where I could have kept adding.  :)   Tara is the firstborn.  I have known her a long time!

I said, “You have the wisdom of some years now.  You are not just a pretty girl.  You are a ravishing woman…”

2010  Click to read.

The year of your surgery, I recalled the night of your birth.

“But later, in that room,  just us two, I knew that you were mine, a gift straight from God.  ‘I don’t know you yet, but I know I love you,’ I whispered, wondering who you’d be and if you could ever love me back.”

2009 ~ The year you turned 30

I wrote 30 wishes for you including lots of good hair days, health and vigor and for the songs of the Lord to be increased through you.  Write, girl, write!, I admonished!  :)


I quoted Lord Byron’s poem, “She walks like beauty in the night,” because that poem has always made me think of my sweet daughter.

I was praying for you then to understand your pivotal role in God’s great story on this earth.  I urged you to speak up and speak out and sing as His anointed!  SO thankful to God for a  blog recording my love for my children and His great faithfulness in their lives!  I LOVE it!  He answers.  He hears and He answers!

And I told you, “I am so pleased with you, baby girl, I bless the day you were born.”  I still do!

2007, the first time I blogged about your birth

I had started bloggin in November of 2006 and got to start telling the stories in ’07.  I revealed the blessing-name “Liquid Joy,” bestowed upon you by dearest family friends.  I spoke of the sensitivity and healing you had brought to my life by your birth and I even spoke of times I feared for your heart and life and how God so faithfully-faithfully-faithfully restored you and there was great rejoicing!

Through the years on this blog so far, the recurring theme about you is: you were a gift to me.  And you are joy.  And God created you for amazing things.  And on your birthday, I celebrate all of it!

O I love you.  Happy Birthday, Tara Jean.  You are a shining star in my night sky!

Tara Jean! It is your birthday, baby girl!

My Firstborn.


Oh happy day.  You make me happy when skies are gray.  And all sorts of fun songs about love and joy.  To you.  For your birthday today.  Am I supposed to mention that you are 32?  Because I won’t if I shouldn’t.  You should not hate it.  Think of me – your mother!!  If you are 32, then I am….

You were born to…

A novice, a clueless girl.  A May day.  The lilacs in full, fragrant glory.  The sunshine.  Green grass.  No money.  Uncertain times.  A God who loved you and was already smiling at your life.


Fixed in the Galaxy

When you were a teenager, everything was stars.  They were your “motif,” and all around you were oodles of doodles of stars and star design on your clothes and belongings and in presents you got.  And you were nicknamed “Shooting Stara” and it was cute.  But it was part of youth.  It was part of a past and you have become a claassic woman of dignity, beauty, strength and grace now.  Save, perhaps for when you are competing with great zeal on the kickball field or during a volleyball game.  Becoming wise and deeply steadfast, though, has not changed or diminished your easy laugh and happy nature.  No, it has only deepened it and made your personality even richer with joy-bringing treasure.

For your birthday, I think of the hallmarks of who you are and what you have always been known for.  For me, of course, a gift.  Thus the Barbra Streisand song, “The best Gift,” that Bill Tull and Mary Tiller sang for your dedication. 

“Liquid joy,” Lisa Bierer called you,for you are a glass-is-half-full, big-smile, cheerleading, enCOURAGing, exhorting kind of person.  Everybody in the room feels more loved and more happy when you have arrived.

At the Heaven Fest dinner Saturday night in Loveland

But then, there was the whole “star” phase.  And as I thought about you and all you are and everything you are becoming and how, youthful and lighthearted as you remain,  you embody even now the personality you did at 3 or 4 years of age.  And as a teen.  So, I could not forget the star part.

But what is different now, sweet daughter?  Now, you need to know, you are not a shootingstar, just a brilliant flash of passing dazzle and fancy against a dark sky.  You are a star hung steadfastly in the firmament declaring God’s glory.  I still see the star in you (S)TARa.  I see it.  But now, it is as Daniel 12.3 says:

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

You have the wisdom of some years now.  You are not just a pretty girl.  You are a ravishing woman.  And you are leading many to righteousness, like a cool drink of water on a hot, dusty day, by your life, by your example, by everything God created you to be and to do.  That has given you a fixed place in the universe to shine.  You shine, baby girl.  You shine.

Happy Birthday, Tara.  Here are my words, a few of them, to say I love you and I thank God for you.

Photo by Ellie Pickett, www.lilacphotography.com Taken last fall.  It is the no-make-up session

Actually, ALL photos by www.lilacphotography.com  :)  Ellie is great!

The 5 Who Made Me…

…a mom

You don’t just get to be a mom without the help of some pretty incredible people to help you out.  On Mother’s Day, I always think tribute should be given to the people who made you a mom.  I have never been one to need breakfast in bed or a dozen roses of thanks with a Hallmark card, really, though those are sweet things.  But I sure like being with the people who afforded me the privilege and title of “mom.”  Time.  Yes.  Loved them way back when (before I could even know who they would be but I just knew God had entrusted their tiny to-be-discovered little lives to me).  Love them more, and o-so-proud-of-them all, today.

I loved having babies, which is why I kept at it so vigorously for those, ya know, almost 7 years.  There was honestly something so regal in carrying a child within.  I sensed, very keenly, during pregnancy, the unbridled blessing of the Lord, the trust He had placed in me to carry destiny, to harbor safely within:  some one, a person, my heritage from Him – a baby who would grow up to be His.  At each child’s dedication, I solemnly renewed in my heart to honor the Lord by giving my babies to Him.  Write Your Name on their hearts, Lord, I would pray, knowing that more than they were mine, they were His.

It is a sobering realization

With the way I failed so many times, at being everything a good mom should be, the kind they speak of in songs and greeting cards, it amazes me still, that I was entrusted with so many and such an above-average group, at that.  I think I got points for making sure they had such a great daddy, or something?  Nonetheless, I was blessed, so blessed beyond deserving.

And I have often heard it said that God gives you the parents you needed, which, except in the case of parents who choose cruelty, who abandoned without thought the preciousness of the child placed in their care, this may be true.  But it seems more true that God gives you the child you need (with 5, I must have been very needy).  For they bring a piece of your heart, a part of everything you were born to be – when you didn’t even know it was missing.  And suddenly, you’re a mommy.  And though they grew there, nurtured in your womb, and then became their own, leaving that safe place, they somehow left you more whole than before.

So, on Mother’s Day, thank-you to Tara & Stephie, Dessa & Rocky and the baby, Storm-kins for making me a mom and for turning out so darn great in spite of me and maybe a little because of me.  I hope my deep love covers anything that needs it and will last in your heart way past the days I here to remind you of it – all the way to the end.

Tara – you taught me that God loved me and believed in me even when and especially when I did not deserve His mercy.  You were a gift straight from heaven for my heart, joy that I had never had, and a stamp of approval I was almost too embarrassed to receive.  Having you was my yes to God.  Yes to You for all times and all ways. This is when I knew I was in for keeps (I am my beloveds and He is mine) and not just because of who my parents were.  This is when I met the same God Hagar had discovered in a desolate place: the God who sees.  I saw Him.  And He saw me and placed love in my arms.  Joy-in-the-morning!

Stephanie –you taught me that God is a healer and that he hears us when we pray.  You were not just the only baby we actually “planned” to have ~ all the rest were delightful surprises and unexpected-but-cherished gifts.  But you, you were the one I had to fight the enemy for.  You were the baby that caused me to grow up and stand my ground against the thief. You were the one that introduced me to agonizing like Hannah before the Lord “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to him.”  And He did, oh yes He did.  And you were worth it, Stephanie.  You are worth it…

Tredessa – everything about you, from your conception to your even-in-toddler-hood deep love for the Word and things of God when you could barely walk or talk caused awe and wonder in us.  You have challenged me to know Him more, to press in  no matter what.  Where I had been a strong-willed, hard-headed, bull-dozer of a kid to try to be heard, you came quietly, but with such a deep dignity and strength of spirit. Your reliance on the Lord has taken you around the world and keeps you close to home.  You are the wit and wisdom of your grandparents, the brains and ability of all who have come before you and deep treasure of the strong love of your parents for each other, for you.  You are all this and so much more…

Rocky –to us a child was born, a son was given.  You were such a surprise after 3 girls.  You carry the name of our family, of all we have been and yet are to be.  You got your dad’s good looks and my fire-y personality.  You carry your grandpa’s zeal and your great-grandpa’s strength of character.  You embody the strong work ethic from which you come and make us proud, so proud to call you son.  But you carry a song from the Holy Spirit, and a heart to give God praise and you are called by the One who has shared you with us for paths all your own, yet to be discovered, exciting for us to watch.  You are my beloved son, in whom I am so so so well pleased.

Stormie –you came in gentleness.  You are the heart of your daddy and you remind me so much of Jesus in John 13 when he was ina room full of disciples and no one would serve.  And because He knew who He was and where He had come from and where he was headed, He just tied the towel around His waist and washed their feet.  And baby girl, you have served the Lord and the people you love in selflessness and rich beauty and you are all the more ravishing for it.  It is your honor, your bejewelment, it is the dazzling beauty of who you are in the room.  You were the icing on my cake, the cherry on top, the greatest (the servant of all) for last…

The past couple of weeks

These are some photos and video from 2 or 3 “family times” these past couple of weeks.  This song and these images are a tiny, delicious slice of the great smile-pie of my life!  This is Dave + me + the five + their loves + 6 chubby-cheeked sweetie-pie honey-bunches-of-oats grandbebes.  Mi familia.  Because of a blessing-giving God…



1 Samuel 1   “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here praying to the Lord.

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.

Therefore I have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is given to the Lord. And they worshiped the Lord there.

Best thing I ever did as a mommy?

Give you back to the One who gave you to me.  As long as you live, you are in my heart, but you are His.

My Little Women

My daughters are industrious, creative, gifted and talented Proverbs 31 women.  They all see to their households, as well as to the Household of Faith.  They give to the poor and assist anyone in need; they shop for the best yarns and cottons and enjoy knitting and sewing.  They organize their days and plant gardens with the money they have put aside.  They dress for work, roll up their sleeves and are always eager to get started because they understand the worth of their work.  They take good care of their families and dress in colorful linens and silks.  They design gowns and sell them and bring the sweaters they knit to the dress shops.  Facing the future with smiles, they always have something worthwhile and kind to say.  They outclass anyone in Hollywood or the magazines.  Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades, but my little women – these who are serving God with reverent respect? They are to be admired and praised!  (The Message, personalized)


Stormie and Stephanie are MayDae &have an Etsy shop. 

www.MayDae.com  &  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MayDae 


My girlies, Stephie and Storms, are such creative women.  Each on their own, but when they get together, zowie!  Stormie works in the billboard-graphics field during her “day job,” and Stephanie mommies 3 of the most amazing little red-heads!  They have proven to have a “good eye” on finding vintage wares that people will love.  I love them bunches!


Tredessa serves as the Director of Operations for a little ministry called Heaven Fest www.heavenfest.com











The night Dessy let us make her into an 80’s glam girl.  Aaahhh….good times!


Tre directs a leadership team of 100 people, who utilized 2000 amazing volunteers this year!  Daniel Miles said, at the appreciation event at Elitch Gardens that Tredessa was the “captain,” of Heaven Fest and people cried as he said (and others chimed in, in agreemen)t, “We’ll follow you anywhere.”  She needed to know that – because it is true.


Jovan has an Etsy shop, now, too! 


This is granddaughter, Amelie Belle, modeling one of her mama’s creationsSweet baby girl!


Jovan makes the prettiest things for baby girls (her passion, imagine that) and for gifting.  Jovan is my sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice daughter who is woman enough to not be afraid of pink.  And a good wife to my baby boy!


Tara leads an international ministry with her husband and very dedicatedly teaches their son at home!



Yes.  That IS Hunter’s KINDEGARTEN textbook.    I shudder to think what he’ll be doing by junior high?!

I wonder if Hunter can yet comprehend what an amazing and patient momma he has?  She is fully devoted to helping Hunter fulfill God’s call in his life in his generation.   Plus?  The woman writes songs and sings and lights up a room!  My firstborn, who walks in favor.


Quotes I love from Little Women, the movie (1994)

Marmee:  I am going to write that man a letter.

Jo:  A letter!  That’ll show him.

Jo:  Now we are all family, as we always should have been.

Marmee: Feminine weaknesses and fainting spells are the direct result of our confining young girls to the house, bent over their needlework in restrictive corsets.

Marmee:  Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You’re ready to go out and – and find a good use for your talent. Tho’ I don’t know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.

And from the book by Louisa May Alcott:

“Money is a needful and precious thing,–and, when well used, a noble thing,–but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”


May the LORD bless you and make His face to shine upon you.  May your lives, Tara and Stephanie, Tredessa and Stormie, and Jovan, be festooned with the praises you have earned for all you are and all you do.  And may the favor of God surround you and your marriages and babies and businesses and ministries like a shield.  I admire you all!  Much love and a zillion kisses…mom

A Saturday in November

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(1) Gather and eat a light and delicious breakfast, a little too early on a Saturday morning.

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(2) Swap meet.  Clean out your closet of clothes and jackets and jewelry and all manner of now-unwanted items.  Throw them into a giant pile in the living room so that after breakfast, everyone can dig through and get what they want.  Leftovers to Goodwill.

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(3) Go hit a series of thrift stores looking for amazing deals and designer clothes for less and to replenish everything you just got rid of at the swap.

Meanwhile, Guinivere stayed behind to lend her hand to decorating the outside door garland.  She works very meticulously, we have found, from left to right in straight lines.