"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, October 22, 2012


I read the daily updates of the teams of bloggers going to Guatemala and to Haiti, my lungs burning as I forgot to breath.

My arms seemed so empty without the weight of carrying those babies, without holding the whole world up to my breast.  I yearned to be with them. To be hands of love to the weary.

I rocked to-and-fro in my chair virtually consoling the victims of poverty while questioning myself if in fact I had fallen victim to the poverty of spirit.  What am I doing that is of help?  My belly burned for more.


A week later I joined a circle of children around a small table, my knees pressed hard against the edge of the table as we mapped out timelines of their six years of life.

They include the birthday parties, the big trips, and first days of school.

And yet, the stories they had to tell bore more gravity for the construction paper background that their truth was laid plain on.

Notching their timeline was a depth of grief that I've never held beneath my skin.

Epitaphs bled out in Crayola marker -
"The day Mama died" -
and a six-year-olds depiction of her mama in her coffin.

The way this girl looked up at me seeking, smiling, asking if I liked her picture.
What more could I do but force my lips upwards to match hers?
Surely if she was brave enough to face this grief, I was brave enough to let her see her own beauty.

When I asked her to add to her timeline a favorite memory, a favorite trip...
something special just the two of them did that she could add to her timeline,

she paused.
Lifting one hand to her hair, she twirled it as she spoke;

"I loved the way my Mama would brush my hair."

That night a new notch was added to my timeline too, written down
as the night my eyes were unbound to missions I didn't always remember to see.
My true impact and outreach.

Returning home, I combed my fingers through my sleeping daughter's hair;

Wondering if I were gone, would she miss it too?

Would she miss the way I called her little bird each morning, holding her warm just plucked from slumber body close to me?

Would she miss our dance parties that happen whenever a song made us itch to be set free?

Would my son miss our laying out, watching his electronic solar system turn, as we told tall-tales in the dark?

Would he miss the nuzzle of his earlobes? Would anyone else remember to tell him they are the softest place on earth?

Would he miss my presence sitting beside him as he processed life and heart lessons?

Perhaps this season on my timeline doesn't have my reach far and wide.
Perhaps, for tonight my timeline includes loving two children instead of a mountain side.
Perhaps the time will come for far flung arms, but for tonight I will keep them tight around those I've been given keep.

While my mission may be in the mundane, so often love is too.

I will mark this season down as,

{sharing with JenHeather, emily}


  1. This is sacred, beautiful and true. I so needed to be reminded that the job I'm doing right now--sowing love and life into a young soul--is one of the most important jobs I'll ever do. You get that message through to my heart in a way that lets it burrow down deep; I'm strengthened with an urge to push my roots deeper into the soil, and feel a renewed sense of, "I can do this." Thank you, friend.

  2. It's the little things we do for them that they will hold onto.... This was lovely.

  3. Motherhood is a mission. I love your words here. They echo my own heart as my sons reach almost 9 and 11. The years are fast. The mountains will be there in God's perfect timing. Hold on to your nest and the mission of motherhood. Mundane sometimes, but that is love. Absolutely. Such moving words here Tara. Love you tons.

  4. Your words are a compass, pointing me toward the right things today. Thank you, thank you. What a beautiful piece of truth you've written here... Love, Jennifer

  5. I felt the same as I followed those trips and sighed and asked God and felt a little guilty. And you have shed truth here, in the beautiful way only you can, that calls me back to the spot He carved out just for me. My own mission field is right where I am, home. Thank you Tara, you have no idea how this blessed me. I do love you so very much.

  6. dear tara, you hit me here:
    "the night my eyes were unbound to missions I didn't always remember to see."

    oh, so often i have missed the face of Jesus just because he looks up at me with peanut butter smudges. really moved by your words, friend.

  7. I, too, read those blog posts and I wrestle with whether or not I should be extending more of myself and offering more. Then I remember that God has called me, in this moment, to minister to someone in my own home who is in a very difficult place. And I love that young man more than life itself. God reached wide across the ocean and brought him to me, and he is my mission.

    That part about the hair brushing nearly did me in. Beautiful, Tara. Simply beautiful.

  8. Oh...I this...I think the blog world bringing all of us into their missions is a wonderful thing...but I also think the enemy of our souls wants us to compare...measure our value against others. I love the settled place you found...doing the next thing...the most important thing for you and your life and to embrace fully this is where God has me. It is not less than is more than enough...because it is where He has you~ blessings~

  9. So lovely, heart-breakingly lovely!

    I also LOVE your quote with your beautiful!

    Thank you for the breath into my soul today!

  10. Tara,

    This is simply beautiful, thought provoking, and completely HOLY.

    Thank you for sharing your gift of words.

  11. Oh my heart, friend...such glory to be found in the thank you.

  12. Tara, so beautiful. Your heart, your mommas heart, your lovely lovely heart. Tara, you are holding on and seeing everything, the simple the daily and its all so beautifully woven here. I am blessed by your tender sharing.

  13. So lovely. I'm right there with you. With my own babies. It's still very important work that we mamas do...every moment of the day.

  14. You took my breath away here, girl.

    This is stunning. Truly.


  15. This is just lovely. And gives me a bit of a new perspective. Thank you for your words...

  16. Gorgeous, truly. This is a wonderful perspective on what is important and the significance of motherhood.

  17. Mercy, girl. This is exactly as it should be.

  18. "I rocked to-and-fro in my chair virtually consoling the victims of poverty while questioning myself if in fact I had fallen victim to the poverty of spirit. What am I doing that is of help? My belly burned for more."


  19. Infinitely beautiful, Tara. You speak my soul's language.

  20. Home is a beautiful and needed mission field, Tara. I'm so glad God is revealing that precious truth to you. And I love that you desire to help other children--not your own. But for now you are doing what is better. Thanks for this inspiring word.

  21. Tara, your blog always wets my eyes and brings such electricity to my heart. The way you convey such powerful feelings with equally powerful images... "I loved the way my Mama would brush my hair." Amazing. Thank you for this.

  22. what a gift to be able to reach far and wide into your children's hearts and lives...what ripples will happen from there...only God knows...beautiful, Tara :) Thanks for letting me know about Eyvonne's post as I went there to visit.

  23. mission in the mundane...absolutely. so few see, but to those little eyes, we're their whole world. what a gift. <3

  24. Oh Tara, this brought me to tears.

  25. Hi Tara,

    Wow, where are you interacting and loving these children with the hard timelines? What powerful images, and they compel me to want to scoop them up for hugs tight to my chest too.

    Savoring my own kids tonight... thanks.

    It's nice to be here again with you, Tara. Popping over from Imperfect Prose's link up,
    Jennifer Dougan

  26. Oh Tara - so beautiful as always. I've been feeling some of the same things lately, watching others go so far and feeling badly that I am not doing the same. But your wisdom is an incredibly important reminder - we all have seasons of our lives and not all of them are meant for big trips around the world. Thank you.

  27. How sacred the simple moments with our family can be. You put it so eloquently, very powerful!

  28. Home. Tara, I think I'm right where you are right now. In that season, in this time. This is bold and sweet all at once. I am so thankful for you and your writing.

  29. This piece is in my top ten mom lit of 2012, and I used your Pinterest pin image in the post, let me know if that's not OK!

  30. I'm here from LHTW - Such a beautiful written post - so clearly from the heart.