Monday, December 29, 2008

It's the simple things in life...

I love these bubbles!!

They're so simple...but it's these simple things that make a Saturday afternoon a memory, camp ground neighbors become friends, and a cabin of kids with nothing in common bridge the gap, bringing eyes to life and shrieks of laughter as they watch bubbles float through the sky.

I've seen kids and full grown adults get swept away in the excitement of these bubbles, standing in wonder if something so...beautiful....and simple.

This year, I want to laugh more, love bigger, and live brighter!

Get back to the basics, the things that truly matter.

Ah simplicity....we need more bubbles in our lives.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

There are no words....

I have a lot of these...and I feel like they should be shared with the world, you know, to make it a happier place. It is the Christmas Season...and I've been in the giving spirit. So here is a you...from me.

Thank you Nick Livanos, thank you, for the HOURS of comical relief.

This, my friends, is our honorary 5th roommate of Dogwood 8.....

Thanks Nicholie. You're awesome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Communication do you work again?

Emotional. Passionate. High Spirited. Easily worked up.


On any given day, at any given time.

Tonight was rough. It was one of those nights that you come home and think, "wow, that definitely could have gone over better."

I consider myself a pretty good communicator. At least, I try. In conflict, there's something extremely fulfilling about being able to communicate your feelings to someone accurately, and have them do the same....coming out of the conversation with a deeper understanding of who that person is, and hopefully, bringing you both closer in the end. I love it. Not the conflict itself, but the "working it out part". Maturity. Yes, maturity is what it's called.

Well I sucked at that tonight. I mean, really blew it. I had the raised voice, the hands over my face, little eye contact. All the cardinal rules. I broke them. Thank you Speech Communications major, I can now effectively pinpoint what NOT to do. Awesome.

Why is it so easy to communicate with some people, and then completely miss the point with others? When brains work SO differently, and thoughts are not parallel AT do you remedy that? How can you fight with someone about how much you care about them? How can the things you are both saying....meant to be encouraging, loving, and considerate, be frustrating, hurtful, and completely misinterpreted. And the more you try to communicate effectively...the more exasperating it becomes. I very rarely experience frustration like that. And I gotta say, I'm not a fan.

We are a race that longs to be understood. A people that screams, "Please, get me. Get my thoughts. Get my jokes. Get my passions. Get my quirks, and love me for them. You don't have to agree with me, but please...understand me." And when we're not understood...or not understanding, whether it be on a large or small's frustrating, and sometimes really damaging. Some people will even turn that part of themselves off, claiming to "not care". They'll strip themselves of emotion, swallowing the need to be loved and understood, replacing it with cynicism and selfishness.

This world is full of broken people. Some have it worse than others, but everyone is searching for the same things. Everyone needs the same things. Love,

Connect Tara. Connect and do it with love and a level head. Find the common ground, and plant yourself there, build something solid and tangible on it. Seek to understand. Learn to hear. And always, always, do it with God in the front of your mind.

Emotional. Passionate. High Spirited. Easily worked up.

Me. Tonight.

Good intentions? Yes.

Effective? Probably not.

Growing experience? That's what we'll call it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cheers to friends and Holiday Cheeriness!

Edited by crazy face Zachary McDonald.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Faith Like a Child

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, on my way to Nutrition class, I
walk by a playground full of children out for recess. And every Tuesday and Thursday morning I stop to just watch them...I realize that could sound creepy, but I promise you it's not.

Last Tuesday I observed an intense soccer game taking place. There was one girl out there, playing with the boys. I was instantly transported back to my childhood. I was a Tomboy alright, always out on the field playing sports with the boys while the girls played hopscotch. I had some crazy hair back in the day. It was short...and I wouldn't ever let my mom touch it...which resulted in a really out of control knotted afro. I saw a home video of me playing soccer once. I was barreling down the field, crazy hair flowing in the wind, trying to catch up to a boy who was dribbling down about to score on our team. I got there just when he was about to kick it, stuck my foot out to get the ball, tripped him, stole the ball, and turned right around to take it down the field. What a little brat I was.

But this isn't the point.

It's hard to explain the kind of joy I get when I see those children out there. It's so simple. And beautiful. And peaceful. So...not what this world has become. I think I like it because it's a picture of what this world maybe was meant to be. When I imagine the kinds of problems they will face as they get older, the pain that they will go through...I just want them to stay that way. Stay thinking that their parents can do no wrong, that people are always out there to do good, and that the Tooth Fairy really does magically turn your tooth into money when you're sleeping.

In Mark Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

These kids that I see playing every Tuesday and Thursday morning...they inspire me. I definitely recognize that wisdom and maturity are God given, and if one truly stays like a child all their in naivety and never growing up...they aren't going to get very far.

But I think what Jesus is talking about in Mark is that unharnessed, blind acceptance of good. That simple faith that screams, you can't touch me world...because If you've ever witnessed a child running full speed into their fathers' arms, you know what I'm talking about. In that moment all that kid cares about are those open arms and the love they are going to receive when they get there.

I am so....not like a child. I question and criticize when I should be giving and loving. I hold back when I should be sharing. And I constantly walk away from God, instead of turning around and running straight for His open arms.

So often I think we look at children and think, what can they learn from us? But maybe we should be asking ourselves, what can we learn from them?

Jesus calls us to have faith like a child. And I would love to be a kid again.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Come play kids!

Dogwood AWESOME.

I haven't gotten a chance to write a whole lot about how AWESOME God has been to me since I got here to Southern. But guys...He has been SO good.

One of the most incredible things He has done for me is set me up in an apartment with some of the most amazing girls/roommates/friends. EVER.

The quality of people that I am surrounded by every day is such a blessing. We are all pretty different, in a lot of ways...but so much the same in the ways that are important....if that makes sense.

To be able to have friends like this, who love and support you through the good, bad, and ugly can only be a gift from God.

Bottom Line: My roomates? They're amazing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crochet, Croquet, and Crickets.

Crocheting is AWESOME. Everyone should learn. EVERYONE. Look at all the fun little things you can do with it!?

The boys next door taught Sarah and I how to crochet this last week...and we're kind of obsessed with it now. We'll just sit on the couch, talking and little old ladies. I've started to crochet in class, which has actually been really beneficial because I find that I listen better if I have something to do.

I'm starting on a scarf because, well, it's supposed to be easier...and I'm a beginner. It's going ok so far, I suppose. I keep missing a stitch here and my scarf is slowly getting less and less wide. You see, I'm not a very patient person. Ben and Chris tell me that I need to count the stitches to make sure that I'm doing the same amount every time. But I just think that would be dumb...and boring. So I continue to mess it up, they continue to chuckle, and I continue to unravel the progress that I've made. It's a good learning experience. When I get better...I'm going to make some sweet hand warmers. Oh yessss....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Simply Put

Smoky Mountains need a nicotene patch

Midterm Break was this weekend.

That's right....our semester is HALF over.

Sweet Moses it's going by fast!

We hit up the Smoky Mountains to do some camping. That place is beautiful.

Here are some STANDout slash OUTstanding memories:

This is Jacque Liles (also known as Jacque Chan). We met in class, and it was soon determined that we are meant to be friends. She's a fellow free spirit. I had the privilege of camping with her and her family for the weekend.
Remember: Little Mermaid, Citizen Cope, Camper, Funny Dogs, Falling...chair/fence...oh the irony

This is Eli.
Belongs to Justin Jones.
Wish he belonged to me.

We drove the 11 mile loop around Cades Cove,

looking for wildlife and enjoying the outdoors.....

in a convertible and the back of a truck.

Entertainment of choice? Throwing things to each other.

This is Justin Jones. He was our self proclaimed tour guide for the duration. He decided to give us the whole history of the "Cades" Family. Complete with their starch and sugar addictions, cow slaughtering insulin factory, marijuana farms, lost sons, and happy trees.

Played some sweet
tackle football in the fields.

Thoughts on Fire:

-Hair still smells like it
-Melted two pairs of shoes
-The very CORE of camping
-Burn your marshmallows to charcoal. It's the only way.

Fall is beautiful here.
God is so good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Aloha Tiffany Blaser

This post is dedicated to Tiffany Blaser....

You inspire me.
Blog on.

Oh, P.S.

These pictures are from the Yellow Deli...also dedicated to you....

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's new. It's different. And I like it.

I'm here.
At Southern.
There is no question in my mind that
THIS is where God wanted me to be.
He has been so good to me. So so good.
It's gonna be a good year.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord....

ake a JOYFUL NOISE unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with GLADNESS;
come before his presence with singing.
KNOW ye that the Lord he is God;
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are HIS people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with THANKSGIVING,
and into his courts with praise;
be thankful unto him, and BLESS HIS NAME.
For the Lord IS GOOD; his mercy is EVERLASTING;
and his truth endureth to ALL GENERATIONS.
psalm 100

The Band of Champions got together Tuesday night, bringing whatever instrument they wanted. This symphony included a harmonica, saxophone, banjo, accordion, home-made bean shaker(mine), cheese grater and knife, bowl and spoon, music stand and pens, guitars, piano, cello, etc. We all met in the sanctuary to sing hymns and worship Christ in a creative way. We may not have been the most melodious group, but I'm sure God loved it all the same.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Keep on keepin' on

One month until camp. Research Writing is ruling my life.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

And they're off....

These crazy Southern peeps had their last day of school yesterday. Walla Walla still has a little over a month left. And while I'm sick and tired of school I've enjoyed this year so much that I almost don't want it to end. It's sad to think that none of us roommates are ever going to live together again, and everyone is going their separate ways. Walla Walla will never hold this same group of people ever again. Yesterday I was jealous of my Southern friends, hanging out...drinking Sweet Tea... wishing that I could feel that freedom...but now I realize I'm just not ready to let go yet. Maybe give it a couple weeks, I'll probably be singing a different tune. But until then...CONGRATULATIONS my friends! I've still got work to do.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


"Be RELEVANT to a Hurting World"

"Let my HEART be BROKEN with things that BREAK the HEART of GOD"

"I can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me"