life. yeah.

I know sometimes I post real-time raw stuff, but tonight I’m just too wiped. How about a recap of the weekend sans the sordid details?

Friday night we took the girls to watch Chipwrecked at the cheap theater with a big group of kiddos (and some awesome adults) from our church. We had two free hours and made the most of them. Then Livi and Ava spent the night with a friend, Nina and I snuggled on the couch with popcorn and watched Enchanted, and Gabe went to bed.

Saturday, Liv & Ave & their friend came home around 11:30 and hung out for a couple hours. Then my parents (who we hadn’t seen since the day we got back from Cambodia) came to whisk our kiddos away for dinner out and treated Gabe and me to our own dinner. Awe-some-ness. We ran a couple errands, bought Gabe a heartrate monitor, came home, played games and chatted, then Mom and Dad headed home.

Doesn’t this all sound so delightful? It was.

This morning (Sunday) we woke up, Ava felt sick, so Gabe was going to stay home with her. I got out of the shower, walked into the hall, and immediately smelled gas. (And not the human kind which has been rampant all weekend.) We called the gas company. They told us to evacuate. The guy came, found a small leak in our furnace, turned it off, and we’ll get it fixed tomorrow.

By that time, it was too late to go to church.

So we had a family meeting.

It ended in tears. My tears. Long story short: we came home from Cambodia with what felt like a purpose. We haven’t shared it with a lot of folks, but it was exciting. Once the jet lag/reverse culture shock was over, we were going to charge full speed ahead to what was next.

Except instead of paying off debt, we’ve added to it. Instead of Gabe getting all better, he’s suffering from a whole new set of issues. Instead of having a clear goal to work toward, we have a big, open space of who-knows.

And it’s killing me.

And I’ve got a pretty good idea that God has taken me out of every last stinking bit of my comfort zone, so that I could rely fully on him. (I’m speaking at a high school girls’ retreat this weekend for crying out loud. How out of my comfort zone can I get? Scared out of my mind. Not only am I completely uncool, I’m a complete and total mess right now.)

So after the family meeting, I sobbed upstairs into my pillow, prayed my head off, and God changed my attitude. Got up, hugged my family, made lunch, decided to take a nap.

And then everything hit the fan. And that’s the part I might tell later.

Asked forgiveness for my rage fest, and all is well. Gabe worked on formatting my new e-book. The girls are in bed. I’m picking up my aunt at the airport in an hour, and there is a warm, clean place for her to sleep.

People are getting excited about Traffick Jam. Would you want to sponsor one of us $10 for a really awesome cause? (Or maybe you’d like to sponsor this awesome girl.)

The 7 Read-a-Long has been really fun (and inspiring) so far. Join us tomorrow for our discussion on Chapter 1.

And I’m going to embrace a really-important, less-doing-more-being, right-now purpose: spending time with Jesus and loving on my family.

That’s all. Hope you have a really, really good week.

38 thoughts on “life. yeah.

  1. Bonnie Way

    We have spent a lot of time in the space of “who knows” or “wait and see,” so I can totally understand how that is challenging. I admire your honesty about such an up and down weekend. I wish you and the girls an awesome weekend at the retreat and God’s many blessings!

  2. Elizabeth

    I love all of the comments on this post. These ladies speak encouraging words so eloquently and effectively-I needed to hear them, too!

    I’m scared of high school girls too. But college girls are the best!

  3. jess

    a few quick thoughts!
    1) one day is like a million years (or however it goes) to God. so if you aren’t doing your plan/purpose RIGHTNOW, it’s okay. there’s no rush. i mean, there’s a rush…like since most of us only live about 100 years, but no rush to do it this week. in other words, don’t stress about not fulfilling your purpose righthissecond. takes time to get there sometimes. 🙂

    2) i forget the other one. but there was another one.

    3) oh! right! now i remember. high school girls. i can’t think of a demographic that could possibly be more intimidating than that. but, just remember that even though they’re wearing the hot styles and their hair is cool, that they’re still really close to little girl hood and they’re just getting their feet wet in the big girl world. and they need guidance and direction and they have a LOT of ability to remember stuff (was your mind a steel trap in h.s.? cause mine was. it’s not anymore), so give them lots of great snipets to remember that’ll help carry them through the crazy things that’ll come into their lives in the next few years. they need that. and they’ll think you’re cool because your’e taking time for them, don’t worry. 🙂

  4. Tina

    I had a similar weekend. Satuday was awesome, spent time with freinds from out of town, blessed day! Sunday, a different day, ugh. From reading your post, I need to do the same thing you are doing, focus on Jesus and family, that is it, nothing more! Thank you so much.

  5. Lori Mercer

    Dear Marla, Thanks for being the “you” on your blog that is so much like all the rest of us who sometimes have the perception that we’re the only ones who don’t have it all together. (I hope that crazy sentence made sense!)

    Yes, high school girls will love you! Go God!

  6. Jamie Nygaard

    Brooke, I cry when I run too. You’re not the only nut! And Marla, you inspire me. Truly, you do. Enough said.

  7. Shannon Wheeler

    You are in such good company. Just in case that helps. I chuckle (well, sarcastically chuckle) sometimes when I recall the prayer I prayed a couple years ago for God to take me out of my comfort zone and use my life for His glory, etc, etc. Well, come to find out, He loves to answer those prayers. And I sort of hoped it would involve me suddenly just BEING comfortable in circumstances that maybe were not my norm. But no. It actually has meant being really UNcomfortable in every area, watching everything get shaken up. We’ve had to go through our savings repeatedly for some annoying reasons, I’ve had chronic pain that’s been expensive, anxiety-producing, frustrating and just plain painful, we’ve been led to change churches (very hard and also good)…. oh my goodness… there’s hardly a part of my life un-shaken. All the things that make me feel like I know what to expect are deconstructed, and I know it’s part of God stretching me to lean only on Him and to have all the pieces be put back the way He needs them, so we can be more glory-bringing to Him. Just like you mentioned in your post – leading you to rely fully on Him.

    You guys are awesome! Keep pushing forward toward the things God has laid on your hearts. He will fulfill the promises He’s made to you. He will bring you through the battle-places and the hard days. He will not allow circumstances or obstacles to keep you from getting where you are going for Him. We keep letting go of our dreams, handing them back to God, and because He is the Dream-giver and the Author of our stories, He will package all the details and perfectly, and He will hand back to you exactly the future you are designed for. Keep the faith! You are moving in the right direction. And good job knowing when it’s time to step back and focus on the precious things of life like our families and relationships and our time with Jesus.

  8. Angela

    Dear Marla, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love your blog – all of it! When we were getting ready for church yesterday, I told my husband that I just didn’t fit in at church – the women are just all so “good” and I’m not “good.” He reminded me that they aren’t good – they just act good at church. You, Marla, don’t act – you are real and I love you for sharing your struggles and real life with is. Reading your blog always reminds me that we are all in the same boat – sinners who are only “good” because of Jesus. Praying that you feel him in a real way today. Thank you for who you are and for being honest with us!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks so much, Angela. Like I’ve said before, I keep trying to get God to let my awesomeness be the theme of my writing, and he says no, my glory shows up better in your weakness. Sigh.

  9. janelle

    Just was studying….. about the blood of JESUS :
    a. it covers
    b. it cleanses
    c. it protects
    D…………… DELIVERS……

    The power of God’s blood …… the ” why ” of why HE cleansed Marla, why HE has protected each one of you – via Cambodia and back….heart attack….HE has protected each one of you…and NOW….. NOW…..”car in tow”…no power , no engine….no steering….HE , HE , HE is delivering YOU, delivering Gabe, delivering Livi,Ava, Nina… their ” GOD GIVEN DESTINY “….car in tow….
    yep…how we hate it….
    how He likes it…….

    battery dead
    engine dead….HE is in full control….

    ( not at ya…but the KILLING PROCESS of self, is no fun…. you know my own process of that….smile. )

    but the arrival of ” YOUR AFRICA ” …is on its way…..
    believe, believe in your entire family…GOD GIVEN…GOD DELIVERED…and ride in confidence…

  10. brooke

    i had a craptastic week – ending in an awful start to my Saturday long run. i think i’m going to blog the details later but it was heart breaking. i cried (while running. and yes, its very common. i promise i’m not the only nutter out there) and cried out to God. but mostly just cried. then i rounded the corner – the corner i made myself round before i gave up. and there was my running buddy. the one who has said from the beginning that *I* was the answer to her prayer. the one that thanks God for me every time we get together.

    MORAL OF MY TOO LONG COMMENT: when i was wallowing/whining about being alone, God proved that I’m never truly alone.

    you inspire us, and not because your life is perfect. quite the opposite, actually. it gives me hope that God can use modern day people with nasty tempers for incredible things, just like he did back in the day. (I would have totally thrown the 10 commandments too were I Moses)

    1. Lori Mercer

      Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only “nutter”. I can seriously shed some tears on a good run. I’m not running as nearly as much as I used to but you reminded me of that. Maybe that’s good motivation to step up my miles… burn away that grief and make room for more joy. Thanks for sharing Brooke!

  11. Danielle

    HS girls are my heart! My HEART! I cannot wait to see how much God blesses your socks off. I am the most uncool person maybe in our entire city (possibly state,) and somehow my sweeties love me, and trust me to speak truth into their hearts. The fact that you’re not perfect will help immensely, so don’t worry yourself about that at all. HS students value honesty above gimmicks, no matter what culture says, and you might be one of the most honest people I know.

    About everything else, I love you sweet sister, and I’m praying for your heart. The sermon this Sunday at our church was on Psalm 42 & 43, he talked a lot about preaching to yourself. I need to listen to it again ’cause it was so convicting/encouraging. Put your hope in God dear friend. We can make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps, and he is so good and faithful to lead us exactly where we need to go.

    1. Marla Taviano

      You are NOT the uncoolest person in New Mexico (although, I’ll admit, I don’t know a whole lot of you). That made me bust up laughing. Thank you so much, friend, for the encouragement!!

      I just read Psalm 42-43. Sigh. Thank you.

      Love you much!

  12. Ruth

    What a lot to take in (for you, I mean) after coming back & trying to “settle in” but yet NOT settle in. You have dreams, goals, & plans, and they are probably amazingly fantastic. Yet can I say… God’s timing is best. He hasn’t gotten irritated with you or think you’ll never do what he wants you to do. A lot of the times we hold ourselves up to a standard he never attended us to be held up to. He is pleased; he sees your heart & your love for Him and others. How exciting about speaking to the teens this weekend! You’re amazing; just be yourself & let God use you. I think you’ll be amazed. Will be praying for you & your family extra hard this week. God is up to something great. Love you!

  13. Kim

    Yes, now I know why we met. Because our paths would be so similar and we would know how to pray for each other when we didn’t know how to pray for ourselves. I’m lifting your whole family up in prayer right this moment as you are sleeping. God bless you. He will get your through this. He is writing a beautiful story as you follow Him just one day – just one step – at a time.

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