Deciding to Say Yes

Im linking up for the Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “Decide.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

Life is full of decisions. We have to decide about all sorts of things. We have to decide what to eat, what to wear, who to date, etc. We have to decide if we are going to exercise or not.

I chuckled when I saw todays prompt because when my now boyfriend asked me out I decided to say no. There were many reasons: the age difference being the biggest one. But then God nudged me and I decided to say yes. I haven’t looked back. He makes me so incredibly happy.

This decision is one I am glad I decided to make. Sometimes we just need that little nudge from God. If you read my post from the other day, you know I’ve decided to shift my prayers from Psalm 13:1 to Psalm 13:5-6. All because I finally decided to say yes.

A Mindshift for the Ages

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?”-Psalm 13:1

Anyone who knows me at all knows how endlessly I have prayed this prayer. The deepest desires of my heart are to be a wife and a mom. Yet at almost 45 years old, that prayer had not been answered for me. That is until a few months ago when God showed me that God indeed hears me and that God was beginning to answer this prayer for me.

I can’t help but laugh and say to myself, “Oh Tara, were you not paying attention?” Way back in February, my now boyfriend asked me out on a date. I turned him down. Yes, you heard me correctly. I turned him down. He asked a few more times and I turned him down those times too. (Trust me, he hasn’t let me forget this either!)

To be honest, I think the age difference scared me and I was worried about what others would think. But then there seemed to be this little nudge from God. I found myself saying yes to him. And I haven’t looked back. Yes, there may be an age difference but he makes me so incredibly happy. He also reminds me all the time how beautiful I am. And in some ways, he also has pushed me outside of my comfort zone in good ways. To be honest, he is one of my favorite people and the 90 miles apart that we are now is hard.

Yet I am trusting in God! Because I now see and know that God heard every single prayer of Psalm 13 that I’ve prayed over these almost 45 years. Friends and family have always reminded me that it will happen in God’s timing and not my own and boy where they right.

I also believe that it has to happen in God’s timing and not my own, because God was and is continuing to prepare my heart and his heart. God was also showing me my own worth and beauty. I had to accept my own beauty before I would realize what others were seeing in me.

Three years ago, when I joined TikTok, I never imagined the community I would meet and that would help me see my own worth and walk with me on this personal growth journey. I have grown in so many amazing ways. Like the lotus tattoo on my upper back, I have blossomed and grown into this beautiful flower who continues to develop and grow because of the love poured into my life.

I am so excited to see where this journey takes me; takes us. My guy cares for me and loves me in ways I only dreamt of. I am clinging tight to that love and instead of praying the words from Psalm 13: 1, I am instead now praying the words from Psalm 13:5-6: “But I trusted in your steadfast love, my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Because the truth is God NEVER forgets us! God just has to prepare us for the right time and place. And I can’t believe I ever doubted that promise! But I have a feeling I am not the only one who has doubted that God heard the cry of your heart. Know you are not alone friends. God is here and hears every prayer we speak!

Not A Fake-out!

Im linking up for the Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “Fake.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

It wasn’t a fake out last week. I really am back. I’ve missed so many of you who have become such dear friends to me here in this place. But let’s move onto what I’m really here to write about this week.

Have you ever made friends that you just clicked with and you wondered why God brought them into your life? I’ve been so blessed and then I’ve had friendships that have just ended. I’ve often found myself questioning why? But then I’m reminded of the quote: “Friends come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” Remembering these words I’ve learned to be grateful for those friends who’ve come my way.

I’m not saying it’s easy because it’s not. Tears have been shed as I’ve grieved some of these friendships. But I truly believe those friends that are meant for forever are the real ones sent by the one true God. That’s a promise that I can cling to.

Not Letting Doubt Win

I’ll bet you are doing a double take…yes I’m here. I’ve missed you all and am excited to be back in this space. I’m dipping my toes in the water and am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “Doubt.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

Fear often takes a hold of us and paralyzes us. It’s hard to get out from the arm hold of fear. I think doubt is a lot like fear. We get caught up in its grips and can’t let go.

Have you ever doubted yourself? Doubted that you make a difference? Doubted that your words matter. I’ll be honest I think I stopped writing here in this space because I doubted that my words were making an impact. Doubted that I have something of value to say. But I’m not letting doubt win, my words matter. Your words matter.

Words have taught me what it means to speak truth. Words have given me my voice. Words have helped me to grow as I’ve finally claimed my enoughness; my worthiness. Words are so much a part of who God created me to be.

A Rebirth

I went live on TikTok earlier this evening. Several friends stopped by and we had such a great conversation about my growth journey.

When I look back on the last year, I see a changed woman. A woman who has grown in so many ways. In fact, I don’t even recognize the woman I see when I look back on videos and photos from a year ago. One of my friends suggested making a year of Tara calendar because the changes are visible from month to month.

I’ve met so many incredible people this year and they’ve been such gifts to me. I love showing them that love and kindness on their birthdays. I want them to see what I see in each of them. Three weeks from Friday is my 43rd birthday. It feels like such a different birthday for me. Two friends called it my “rebirth birthday.” I love that…because it does feel a little like a rebirth.

And as I look forward to this rebirth birthday, I know that I’ll have to have a box of Kleenex at the ready. Tears will fall at the amount of love and kindness my friends show me daily, but especially I believe will show me that day. A rebirth of a woman who finally sees herself as the queen God created her to be.

I offer the world love and kindness in the little acts I do daily. Today my friends commented on how I always support them. Another friend pointed out how I show kindness daily and I don’t even see it. I guess that’s true…I don’t always see it. It feels like such a simple thing to me.

Yet it’s because of the love and kindness they have shown me, that lotus flower has blossomed into who she is today. A woman who is making daily changes. A woman who finally sees her own beauty. Or at least, she’s starting too. A woman who is truly happy.

In the words from my last blog post, I’ve been changed for the good. I am a changed woman who is straightening her crown and spreading love and kindness to the world. Thank You for loving me my friends!

Changed for the Good

I’ve been doing lots of reflecting over the past four months. And I’m blown away by the incredible individuals I’ve met through a social media app. When I joined TikTok, I never thought that my life would become so much richer because of a group of new friends. As a deacon, one of my calls is to seek out those places outside the church where I can share God’s love with the world. But in all actuality, I think these friends in a sense sought me out.

The woman that is standing here today is a different woman than even a few months ago. She is understanding more and more who she is. She is a woman whose heart is true. She is a woman who adds value to her friends lives. She is a woman who is slowly beginning to see what everyone else has seen from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see where this road takes me because I’m beginning to believe and trust that there is an incredible road ahead for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, this journey has been difficult, hard and even painful at times. But what I’ve come to realize is that those times were the swift kick in the pants that I needed. Sometimes we need individuals who will tell us the honest truth and show us the road ahead. 

When I traveled to Vegas last month, there was so much fear in my body. Would they like me? Would I be who they expected? Yet I still made that trip and I’m forever grateful. I quickly learned that these were my people. They saw me for me and never questioned that. In fact, for me, Vegas was a giant step in my personal growth journey. There are so many moments I’ll treasure: physically hugging these friends,  intimate one on one conversations, dancing the cupid shuffle with my dear friend Matt at the cocktail party, and so many other moments along the way. Vegas brought me way out of my comfort zone. 

I’m not sure what I ever did to deserve these friends, but I think it has to do a little with what I offer this world: my kindness, my gift with words, my care for others, and my deep love of my friends and family. It’s taking me awhile to get there but every day I begin to see more and more clearly. To be honest, I think for the longest time I’ve always sought validation from those around me. And there are days that I still struggle to seek out that validation. What I’ve come to realize is that my duty is to continue to trust in these friendships. 

And I’m trusting more and more every day. For a long time, I feared that my friends would leave me in the dust. Yet that fear is slowly beginning to dissipate. Instead my heart is full of a joy and happiness I haven’t felt in a really long time. These friends show me daily how loved and valued I am. On Sunday night, my friend Matt surprised me with a gift: a Starbucks mug from Nevada to add to my collection. That act of kindness reminded me that I am valued and also that I’m an idiot for ever doubting that.

I am so grateful for each and every one of these friends. They add such value to my life. I came across this quote and it encapsulates how I feel: “Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.” In the words of the song “For Good,” from the musical Wicked, “I’ve been changed for the good by you.”

I don’t remember what life was like without you and I don’t ever want to remember what it was like before you graced my life with your friendships. I treasure each of you more that words can say. I love you all tons! 

The Remedy of Love

Sorry again friends that I’ve been MIA. Life has just been busy! And I need to get back into a routine! The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “remedy.”

This past year was a difficult year. There was so much we tried to do to care for ourselves and our neighbors. But for most of us, it was a really difficult year. We yearned for physical touch. We yearned for people. I think for many of us, we were lonelier than we realized.

About a year ago, I joined TikTok on a whim. I was hoping to have some fun and post some videos. Little did I know that my paths would cross with the most incredible group of humans. And those humans have blessed me in more ways than I can count.

And then a long came an opportunity! A meet up in Las Vegas for TikTok creators. Due to CoVid, I wasn’t going to go. But after my second vaccination, I realized that the best remedy for my mental health was to go on this trip. So I purchased my ticket. I knew that I would wear my mask when I needed to and being vaccinated gave me some peace of mind.

That trip validated me in so many ways. I have never felt as loved as I did that weekend. And that love continues to be shared with me every single day. I’m so thankful for these root friendships in my life. They have been the remedy to finding more joy and happiness!

Bouyed by Love

I’ve been telling my friends that they are going to have to start investing in Kleenex because they have brought me so many happy joyful tears lately. It is hard to even encapsulate into words, but this blog post is my attempt to do just that.

The story begins on Tik Tok of all places…yes I said Tik Tok! I met this amazing group of beautiful humans who are all about spreading love and positivity. One of the very first people I met on Tik Tok was a guy that goes by the handle @the_shoe_fits; my friend Dan. This incredible human has become one of my dearest friends and has taught me so much about sharing kindness and love with others.

This friend began something we call the love rally. It began with his idea. We are a bunch of creators who every two weeks go and love slap other creators. Slap stands for spreading love and positivity. It is so much fun and we often come into lives of those who really need to be uplifted that day. I have always participated but it wasn’t until about three months ago that I joined the crew officially. Little did I know what these people would bring to my life.

In the last three months, there have been changes happening within myself. As my friend Leonard says “the biggest glow up in all of Tik Tok!” This butterfly is beginning to emerge from her cocoon; spreading her own wings. It amazes me every day that I am not the same woman I was six months ago even.

On Saturday, my friend Matt posted a video saying how incredibly proud he was of me and to spend time remembering where I have come from and where I am going. That video made me bawl! And that was just the beginning of the onslaught of love that would be thrown my way over a course of about 72 hours. I think I counted at least nine videos where I was tagged. It was and continues to be so overwhelming.

These humans keep seeing me blossom (which funny thing: that is my 2021 word of the year). They see a potential in me that I don’t think I even saw in myself until they began to see it. They are showing me the power of my own light and I am so incredibly grateful..

Yes, there is still work to do but I know that I can do it with this incredible group of humans cheering me on. The walls are beginning to crumble around me. I am trusting in them now more than I ever have. I know that when it gets dark, they will show me the light or offer me a hand to grab hold of.

And because of them, I am learning to take care of me; to bring about my own happiness. This woman who has never worn makeup is now wearing it daily. There is light and joy back in my face and eyes. The smile keeps getting brighter and brighter. My confidence is growing and so many others are seeing it too (I’ve gotten at least two messages today asking me what I am doing differently because it looks good on me!)

I am basking in this unconditional love and trying not to let go of it because I am so excited to see what the future holds now. My heart is full. My cup is running over. And I am so ready to see what is in store next. But not without saying the biggest thank you to my love rally family. You have made this woman see and value her own worth. You have made her realize the gifts she has of caring for others through kindness and compassion. You have made her stronger. You have made her, most of all, not feel alone!

Thank you beautiful humans! I love you all so much! You are stuck with me for ever and always!

Learning to Love Oneself

Sorry again friends that I’ve been MIA. Life has just been busy! The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “green.”

The eyeshadow brush moves across my eyelids. The purple eyeshadow begins to bring out the green in my eyes. I’ve never been much of a makeup girl until a few months ago. At 42 years old, I’m finally beginning to see my own worth; to see that I deserve love and to be loved. But most of all, I must love and care for me.

In the last three months, I’ve begun to blossom. I’m a woman who is finding her voice. A voice that’s always been there but now it is more confident; more solid. My voice isn’t as shaky when I speak my truths.

This morning, I was reminded of how far I’ve come and how bright my future looks. A dear friend posted a video on Tik Tok sharing how proud he is of me. Sitting on my couch, wearing my green love over hate tshirt, tears fell from my eyes as I realized how proud I should be of myself. I’m putting in the work and I’ve come a long way!

I’m excited to see what comes next!

My Own Metamorphosis

“The bravest thing you’ll ever do is tell your story!”-Brene Brown
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know this is one of my favorite quotes. It took me over 16 years to tell my families mental health story. I am the daughter of a woman who daily lives and struggles with a mental illness.

In my 42 years on this earth, I’ve always cared deeply and taken care of others in my life. In a lot of ways, I’ve just gone through the motions. Then the year 2018 hit and I experienced some of the most profound grief I’ve felt in ages: nine family/friends lost to death. I was paralyzed by my grief yet I keep moving forward: most days in a fog.

I did a lot of work that next year to move myself out of that grief. And I did find my way out of it. However, that grief still was unknowingly clinging to me. I’ve been moving through life at half speed or less than half speed. There are so many dreams I want to fulfill but I’ve procrastinated for so long. Today I’m choosing to move forward.

The last year (2020) has taught me that I’m more resilient than I give myself credit for. And the last month, my world has been blessed by an amazing crew in Tik Tok. Their words have cracked open the facid I’ve been living and I am emerging as a beautiful butterfly who is slowly gaining her wings to fly at full strength.

I look at my phone screen and I see a new woman or perhaps not a new woman but the same woman that’s always been underneath the shell of grief and fear, she just needed to be cracked open.

The world is beginning to see a woman who is now more confident than she’s ever been. The world is seeing a woman that so many have known fully but others only know partially. The world is seeing a woman who is lighter and brighter than she’s been in ages. In the words of Amanda Gorman, I’m finally fully brave enough to see the light and be the light. And for that I’m so incredibly thankful. Yet thank you doesn’t even seem to be enough!

So as my thank you, I will live each day moving forward with new vigor and energy. I will continue to show the world the woman you all have seen from the beginning. I will embody what it means to move forward knowing that the struggles, the hard times they don’t define us.