when you're down to nothing…

The drama continues (yada yada) and so does my struggle with exhibiting Christ-like attitudes/behavior in the midst of it all.

Vacation was lovely. I heart my family. The beach was lovely, the game-playing was lovely, my nieces and nephews (and brothers and sisters) are lovely, the weather was lovely.

Not lovely? The 3 straight days of back pain, the 3 (different) straight days of Ava being confined to bed with a high fever, and the ER visit for Gabe with one of his worst panic attacks to date.


We came home to more discouraging stuff including (but not limited to) busted internet.

Swimming with friends was a highlight of Memorial Day. My crappy, despairing, anxious attitude was a low.

“When you’re down to nothing, …God’s up to something.” (quote courtesy of a church sign somewhere in the hills of Virginia)

So thankful for a smart phone and a simple Facebook post and lots and lots of prayer and encouragement last night. I woke up this a.m. with a sense of hope, a glimmer of maybe, just maybe, God really is up to something. Something good.

Today has been a series of small miracles. Nothing is solved or fixed or paid off or healed, but I know God cares, and that’s all I need right now.

So thankful.

I’ll be back to blogging soon. I miss it.

p.s. Wanna join our Summer Read-Along? We’d LOVE to have you!

26 thoughts on “when you're down to nothing…

  1. Rosanne

    We’ve been going through a very tough couple years. I did and do get to worrying and fretting and even having panic attacks at times. But when I look back, I can see that GOD was faithful – even when I wavered with unbelief. He ALWAYS came through, even when I made dumb decisions. He was ALWAYS good even when I took my frustrations out on others. 🙁

    The thing that helps me to keep holding on to God and His promises is the story of the parting of the Red Sea. I’ve read/heard that story all my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I saw something. GOD LED THEM TO THE RED SEA. He led them into a seemingly impossible situation so that He could show His glory.

    I have a little saying I came up with posted by my computer to remind me on the hard days: Difficult circumstances are an excuse for God to show His glory through ordinary people.

    Praying for you and your family!!

  2. Gail

    When I feel like things are coming apart, this little burst of truth helps me immensely: He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17 NIV84)

    Interceding for your family right now.

  3. Ben


    Hearing about what’s been going on with all you Tavianos has reminded me of two songs. I’ve always thought of songs as little capsules of theology, capsules that contain a small & refined thought one can ingest and carry throughout their day.

    The first one is ‘Blessings’ by Lara Story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ). The lyrics are so real, so challenging. Especially in difficult times (like when I discovered the song). If I were to quote lyrics from this song, I’d probably end up quoting the entire thing… so I’ll try and do a couple of lines “What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near…” It runs along similar lines to your billboard quote, but is what I’d call a ‘first person song’, when one sings it they feel as though they’re talking directly to God.

    The second one is ‘The Moment of Truth’ by Matthew West (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daOtIdTYiAE). This one’s certainly not a first person song, but I included it because of its encouragement to remember the moment of truth—that time when God brought us through, the time we can look back on and say “If God helped us then, He can most certainly help us now!” It’s so easy to get caught up in our sadness, our grief, our bitterness, be consumed by the feeling that there’s simply no way out. This song has encouraged me to look back on times when I also had that helpless feeling and realise ‘He helped me get through then, because God doesn’t change He can most certainly help me now as well. I simply need to believe.’

    Songs appear to be extremely personal things, music tastes seem to vary from person to person about as much as shape varies from cloud to cloud. Considering this I won’t be offended if these songs don’t ‘click’. Realistically, I should expect as such. I guess I just wanted to let y’all know that you’re all being prayed for, and not only does God love you, but there’s people who care about you scattered all around the globe… even down here in Australia!

  4. Krysten

    Praying for you girl! So love how you are just plain real, even through the sucky parts. God is up to something. Remember, we just get to see a little tiny slice of the big ol’ pie. He knows how it fits altogether. Can’t wait to hear more from you! Welcome home

      1. Krysten

        Tomorrow’s my last day of school, so I’ll get through all that madness then I’ll email you to hook up something in the next week or two. So excited! Until then… Praying for you, lady!

  5. Keri

    I have missed you and been praying for you and wondering how your vacation was. I am sorry. That’s it. You know we serve a big and mighty God so I don’t need to remind you of that but I will say that I wish I could take on some of your burden for you. I would in a heartbeat.
    Love you friend!

  6. Cindy Terry

    Still praying for you guys. Since my son too suffers with panic, I feel for you a lot. It is not easy, but glad you are filled with hope. Satan can never take that away unless we just hand it over t him. Keep the faith!

  7. Melissa

    I’m praying for you and your family. After I read your post it made me think of the song You Never Let Go by Matt Redman. When Joe was out of work and we faced many many lows and I clung to that song many times. I am sure you know it but I just wanted to share one part with you.

    Oh no, You never let go,

    Through the calm and through the storm

    Oh no, You never let go,

    In every high and every low
    O no, You never let go
    Lord, you never let go of me.
    Will be thinking and praying for you!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      We experienced the same thing before our 5-week trip to Cambodia. I can’t imagine how threatened the devil feels by this huge move. Prayed for your family just now. SO EXCITED to follow along on your adventures!!

  8. Lori

    For some reason when I read this, the song “Mighty to Save” came to mind. In particular, Savior – He can move the mountains!!! Must be intended for you 🙂
    Prayers and hugs dear one!

  9. Amy

    Marla, I’ll be praying! Last night, I was really feeling crazy attacks from Satan regarding my family and potential ministry opportunities. Satan wants to pervert what God is calling us to. I know that beyond a doubt! I don’t know everything you are going through, but I know it’s terribly hard.

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