November 18, 2016

Giving Thanks, In Everything...

It's been a little while since my last life update. Things get busy and health struggles are hard and I honestly just don't always have the words to share what it's been like over the past couple years. Something that stays on my mind so often though is this verse in 1 Thessalonians, "In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

In EVERY thing give thanks? That's something I admittedly struggle with not just doing but at times even wrapping my mind around. When I'm only responding with my flesh and focusing on my circumstances anyway. But when I take a step back and look at it from a spiritual perspective and ask God to really help me see how blessed we are regardless of what we are going through, oh how things change. Or my attitude towards thing changes at least and that makes all the difference.

The past couple weeks have been rough(er). Moving again, health issues flared up severely, trying to find a new church, being consistent with schooling, financial struggles, and just every day life stuff. Let's just say that remembering to still give thanks in the middle of it all has been a challenge. One that some days seemed more of a duty than truly heart felt. And I fall into the attitude of thinking that of course it's not wrong to feel discontent with how things are! Who could be thankful for all this? And my focus is completely on the bad with no thought for any blessings, which obviously is not a good place to be.

Then at the same time we are seeking God's will for our lives and sometimes doubting and questioning if we know what that looks like or if we are truly "getting it right". But then I read an article like this and it convicts me and reminds me of that verse all over again. And I go back to read it one more time. Only to find that not only do I have so much I should be giving thanks to the Lord for, but that is exactly how I can be in His will right now!

I'm not belittling what us and many other families are going through, some with way worse trials than ours(like the article above). I truly believe it's okay to be real about struggles because that's needed too so that we don't all feel alone in hard times. But at the same time I don't want to get hung up there and completely neglect to still give thanks.
Because the truth is, God is good. And every day that we are alive is due to His mercy and grace. If He never gave another gift or blessing to me besides just the fact that He gave His own Son to die for my sins and saved me from hell, that's enough to give thanks for. In spite of the hardships in life.

And just like the woman in the Bible, who begged Jesus to help her daughter even though she was just a Gentile "dog", He gives way, way more to us than just the crumbs off the table. He never leaves us, never forsakes us, and always provides exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or even think. It doesn't mean there aren't trials, but only that He is with us through them. And that He's leaving handfuls of blessings on purpose if we take time to get close enough and look for them. And He wants us to take time to thank and praise Him for that!

I'm going to wrap this post up with those thoughts, but next time I plan to be more specific on things I've found to give thanks for during these hard times. I hope this was an encouragement to someone and that you'll join me....


                                             Tyra

October 12, 2016

What Is the Difference?

I'm going to show you a couple pictures. And then I'd like to hear what your honest reaction to each one is. I think I already know what the majority will say. But I'm interested to see if I'm right. Anyway, here's the pictures and then I'll share my own thoughts below. You ready?

                                                          (the new covergirl boy)

 
(girls wearing boys jeans/shirts)
 
My guess is that most of you were disturbed by the first picture, but not the second at all. In fact, you're probably confused as to why the second one would even be an issue? Let me tell you why I think it is.
 
Our country has been racing down a path of sexual immorality for years now. The most recent and saddening turn on the path being gender confusion, especially in children. Believers or those who are more conservative in their views are quick to express outrage and disbelief over stories/pictures like the first one above where a young boy has been chosen to represent a popular make-up line. They ask questions such as why would anyone want to do this, how did we get here, or other similar expressions. But the thing that I see as being most confusing (and dare I say, hypocritical) is when they blame the world, the left, the liberals, etc and completely fail to point any fingers where they should rightly belong.......the church. How many girls and women claiming to be Christian's do you know that gleefully follow the fashion of the world without thought as to if it's feminine or masculine in style? I've personally been told by multiple women including but not limited to a pastor's wife, fellow homeschooler, family members, and random acquaintances about instances where they shopped for their daughters or even themselves in the men's clothing department because their pants "felt better" or "fit better" than the ones from their own section. And let's not forget the number of Christian families that encourage their daughters to play sports....where the girls wear the exact same uniforms as the boys do and think nothing of it. Or how cute and funny they think it is when the opposite sex ends up in an outfit that exactly matches each other.
 
(*Let me just take a second to be clear here and say this post is not about starting a discussion on being for or against women wearing pants of any kind, in any way, for any reason, as much as it is about pointing out inconsistencies in beliefs/standards and how that affects our argument against sin by using the Bible as our basis for morality.*)
 
There are numerous places in the Scriptures that point out how important the differences between men and women are. And that not only are they to be enjoyed and celebrated but that we should also take care to make them obvious. But how often do we fail at that and then excuse it? How desensitized have we as believers become to the lack of differences in the sexes when it comes to clothing/behavior for ladies? But yet we are outraged that there are now boys and men who want to explore the opposite by wearing dresses and makeup and behaving more womenly! Am I the only one who notices the irony of this? We talk about slippery slopes but I think we don't really want to consider that maybe our acceptance of something that was never God honoring is one of the things that pushed our culture down the hill. 
 
I'm not na├»ve enough to think that there wouldn't still be sin in the world or that the kind of things like that first picture wouldn't ever happen if the church didn't compromise. But that in no way changes our responsibility in choosing to come out and be separate. Because if we don't stand up and show them a difference, who will?
Styles and standards of dress may look a bit different for each family; but if we are going to the Bible and studying out God's truths and praying for His guidance, rather than blindly following what the world and yes, even mainstream "church people" believe is okay, I can guarantee that there won't be any confusion when others try to figure out what gender we are. We claim that people who are teaching their sons and daughters that being the opposite gender are so confused.....but maybe they are just as confused as to why we are judging them so harshly without judging ourselves first? In fact I know they are because I've seen the comments from them on Christian blog and facebook posts that are belittling boys for dressing/looking feminine, while their own profile pictures depict themselves or their daughters looking/acting rather masculine.
 
I'm not saying any of this to be hurtful or offensive (or God forbid, to sound self-righteous) but because it breaks my heart to see how the church has lost its' ability to be a light and a witness in these days. Maybe you're reading this and thinking this isn't an area you struggle in, but are there others? That's what we all need to be asking ourselves. Because I see a lot of unbelievers today looking at those of us claiming to be Christian's and asking, what is the difference? And if the answer we give them, even if only by our actions, is that there is none.....then why would they want what we have?
 
(I realize this subject is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talking about how believers should be separate from the world. There are numerous other areas we could look at such as modesty, masculinity in men, attitudes, etc but for the sake of time and discussion this is the one I chose and also because that's what kept coming to my mind and heart when I was reading about the covergirl story. As I said above, we need to be asking ourselves what God's standards for us are in ALL areas of our lives. I pray that we can all be challenged to let not just our words but our actions show unbelievers what a difference Christ can make!) 

March 23, 2016

Our Plexus Beginning!

If y'all know me or have read about our family's health struggles and challenges over the past few years then you probably know that I'm super cautious about the types of treatments and supplements we try. I also tend to do lots of research before making a decision on if something seems like it will be good for us and help with our issues rather than making them worse or just not benefiting us at all. That being said I've been hearing about a company called Plexus for several months now but honestly at first just passed it off as another product line that claimed miracles but with a closer look wasn't as healthy as it said. Add to that the fact we were in the middle of new treatments for Daxton, a move to FL, and a dozen other crazy changes and I pretty much just wasn't interested in looking into anything else right then. But fast forward to a few weeks ago and I kept seeing stories about how much the Plexus products had helped people with so many things (and some of them specifically very similar to issues I knew we had) and I decided I couldn't ignore digging a little deeper any longer! After much reading and discussion plus prayer we ended up taking the plunge to try the basic set-up called the Triplex. 
Something that greatly impressed me when researching these products was the emphasis on gut health and the need to heal that in order to help so many other issues. We've faced many challenges in our own health journey due to problems with our gut so I know that it is the basis for a huge variety of both ailments if it's out of balance and achieving optimal health when it isn't. Add to that some of the other great results you can see from just drinking the pink drink alone and I was very encouraged that these products could help us in our ever changing journey to helping our bodies be the best they can be. I also love that it is plant based, has no artificial colors, and is sweetened only with stevia. There's so much more I found out but for sake of time here's another graphic to help explain the process of taking these three products together:
We've only been doing the protocol for a couple of weeks now so can't testify to any amazingly different results yet (other than noticing better energy levels for me which is definitely a plus!) but I am looking forward to what is in store for us in the coming weeks as we keep on taking it. I will be sure to report back as we notice more changes!
 
Last but not least, I wanted to share that if you're interested in trying these products for yourself Plexus is offering a one time 15% off code for all purchases made by April 15th. You can go to my website here to browse and order with the code THANKS or comment or email me with any questions you have. There are 3 different ways to order that can save you money depending on the level of use you intend to have with the products so please let me know if I can help explain things in more detail. I would love to have you join us on this new health challenge and am excited at the benefits we can all see in the future!
 
Blessings,
Tyra

 

March 19, 2016

Changes

Looking back over the past year and more of our lives the main word that comes to mind is changes. We've moved 4 times in various ways and distances since last March. Lived in a camper for 6 of those months in 2 different places, with me taking care of the kids during the week and Blake only able to come where we were on weekends. Then a more major move to the ocean in hopes of helping with health issues, especially Daxton's skin. Our rental only lasted thru the winter months so we just made another move down the road and are finally getting settled in again. (although if you're wondering about visiting we do have a serious lack of furniture at the moment!:) Mixed in with all those moves were trying all kinds of treatments and doctors, dealing with the overwhelming issues that go along with us detoxing and just feeling rotten a lot of the time, job interviews, visiting churches, making and saying goodbye to new and old friends, struggling with financial worries, and just trying to adjust to all the craziness that had become our "normal". Needless to say, our emotions were forever changing as much as the things in our every day lives.
But thankfully in the middle of it all is a God who never changes. He has shown us time and again that His promise to never leave us or forsake us is true, even when in our storms we may not always feel like He's there. Yes, some lots of days are still hard and to be honest we are all tired and would like more stability in many areas. But He's teaching me to trust Him in spite of it all and also showing us that His ways are not our ways and that just maybe there is a bigger picture and plan for all this that we can't see yet. Do we always have unshakeable faith that it's all going to be ok? No, not really. Not every day. But one of my prayers the past couple months has been Lord, I believe but help my unbelief! I truly want to learn to look for the good that He is working for us in all of this rather than questioning or being bitter over how bad it has been and still is. And He never fails to send us a little something here and there to encourage me when I'm at my lowest! (like someone secretly buying our meal at a restaurant, a friend who reaches out with scripture or a song, an unexpected love offering, family that prays and helps out, and even showing us a house to rent just a few days before we had to move)
So even though this past year+ has definitely brought about many changes with all their highs and lows, one thing I still am sure of.... God is faithful. No matter what.  And that really is enough.


                                               Tyra

February 22, 2016

A New Look, New Year, New Start?

I can't believe it's been an entire year since I posted here! So many things have happened over the last twelve months that I doubt I can ever completely share it all. Hopefully I will get around to some of it in the coming days. For now though I just wanted to share the new simple look of the header and also the fact that this beautiful picture is where we've called home for the past 5 months. We sadly are moving again this weekend (prayers for that please) but plan on staying close by so I will still be seeing these gorgeous sunsets in the future. I'll be sure to share more pictures of that too. :-)
This past year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that has challenged our faith and exhausted us physically and emotionally in many ways but I'm thankful to look back and see God's grace through it all. I look forward to getting back in the groove of blogging about our craziness and hope to "see" some of you coming back around to catch up with us! Until later....

                                       Tyra