The analogy of the piece of straw that broke the camel’s back fascinates me. A camel is a large animal with a huge capacity to carry things, evidently this includes straw. I can picture the area right between the humps where I would start loading the straw. Now this is for 2-humped camels. A 1-humped camel would stack a bit differently, but the principle is the same.
I would probably start with bales and could easily get 6 on right away before the camel even felt that much weight. Then I would grab handfuls of straw and start tucking it in any corner or crevice and on top of the 6 bales; at least another 3 bales worth of handfuls. Eventually the camel’s back would start sagging. Now so far this makes sense. What gets me is how little each additional piece of straw weighs and recognizing that as I add it one by one, there actually is a point that the camel’s back would fail. I’m sure that if you gave it enough time, the back would fail even without any additional straw. So the phrase could be coined “the split second that broke the camel’s back”.
In any case there is a minute difference between breaking and not. We tread near that ground today but we have receded from it in the last hour. We were talked off the edge by words of God.
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
God is our strength and we trust him. We say this yet we pray that our heart will follow our tongue. We will continue to say what we know to be true. Truths from scripture. We are humbled to think that many people suffer much more than we do and many without hope. We have hope and joy, knowing that our savior Jesus has suffered more that we and has conquered death. We are far from the last straw.
Tomorrow is Micalyn’s birthday. Thirteen years old. Wow! We want to make that an awesome day for her. We have a party planned for this weekend with women of influence in her life. They are coming from Kansas City, Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota to share with Micalyn life lessons from their own lives that will bless her. There will be some partying too. It breaks Tara’s heart that she will not be there, as she will be a day out of some major surgery. A friend will stay with Tara and will help her Facetime in to the party. The real impact of Tara’s life isn’t that night of the party. Rather is has been the steady, patient and godly love and care that she has given to Micalyn her entire 13 years.
I wish so badly that your post included New Mexico in the list of where family was coming from. Micalyn, I want to be there. My heart is there. I remember holding you in the Chiefs “Quarterback Sack” outfit as a newborn baby and watching you grow up into the sweet, beautiful young lady that you are. I loved having you visit us this summer for a week. You are a beautiful young woman, inside and out, and I want you to know that your Aunt Leslie and Uncle Jimmy love you to pieces! Enjoy the time with your grandmothers, aunts and friends.
WOW what an inspirational family you have there. Your children are extremely lucky to to be blessed with such amazing parents, and we feel blessed to have crossed our life path with yours. Even though we are new in your lives and we don’t know Tara well, we have been deeply touched by this event. The importance of family and family affairs cannot be understated – from the usual stuff like dinner together and church/school functions, to the more mundane like tying kid’s shoelaces, scraping the spouses car windows, or finally learning where all the clean dishes are supposed to go – it all ads up to sharing your lives together and making the best of anything this world can throw at you.
Tara if your body is at least half as strong as your spirit I know you’ll do great and come out on top of this. Keep on shining that light you two(7).
Oh and about that straw? – remember that the camel needs to eat some too 😉 – keep feeding each other with good food and even better soul food.
Thanks for the inspiration, and “GO TARA GO, YOU CAN DO IT!”
Tara and family,
God’s love and wisdom are so evident in you and those who love and surround you. Your blog has become a part of my daily devotions because it is so packed with encouragement from others that we can all apply to our lives and your powerful example of fully trusting God in this season of your life. Thank you for taking all of us on this journey with you so we know how we can pray for and best serve you.
Your camel analogy reminded me of a Karisa moment recently that made me chuckle. She is our little unexpected blessing from God who makes me laugh daily with her thoughts and questions. As we were driving home from my Mom’s one day we were passing a truck of cattle and she says “hey Mom, look quick there’s giraffes in that truck.” I tell her they are cows and she says “no…they are giraffes because the butt is down there and the head is up there”. She didn’t realize there was two levels on the trailer.
Here’s a couple more that hopefully make you laugh…
While driving in downtown Rochester on a very cold day last month Karisa said to Ken while looking at some Mayo buildings “Dad look, that building is leaking clouds.”
My personal favorite from last week…” Mom, is our belly button a special kind of boob or something?”
I pray God’s peace for all of you so that you can be humored in the valley and that you continue to have deep touching moments when you see our Savior in each other’s faces.
Praying for your full recovery so we can go on that walk we keep talking about. 🙂
Tara as far as mothers go, you are truly awesome, godly, patient, steady. A very true gift you have that is no doubt spiritual and from The Lord. Micalyn is such a sweet young lady who no doubt is like her beautiful mom in so many ways- in her character most importantly. Continuing to pray over your surgery, treatment, family. You are so dearly loved and prayed for all over the world!
I just heard this Rich Mullins song, and was reminded of how much comfort it has
brought to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTDRjqVIyVY
God’s peace, my dear friends.
We have been praying and will continue to pray for you. We are praying that everything will go precisely as planned before, during and after surgery. We are praying for an uneventful, speedy recovery. We are praying for a complete cure. We are praying for your mental health, that you will sense a profound peace that comes only from God during times like this. We’re also praying that Micalyn will have a happy birthday.
Happy birthday Micalyn from Clear Lake.I can’t believe you are teenager WOW!! Your Nana says you are an exceptional young lady . She is very proud of you! Please give my sister a hug from us. Much love to you all! Many many prayers are continuing from here. Cathy and Mike
In a previous post you mentioned being encouraged by verses that refer to battle and defeating the enemy. Over 2 decades ago i was hospitalized for 2 months and had the opportunity to cling to the Lord to help pass each day. My job was to eat, rest, and follow the doctor’s orders. But it was God who was in charge of the battle that existed within. I clung to the following…
2 Chronicles 20:15b- “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” and then especially appropriate for today, it goes on to say in vs 16, “Tomorrow march down against them.”
2 Chronicles 32:7 continues with the same theme- “Do not be afraid or discouraged…for there is a greater power within us than with him.”
Press on- our love, prayers and most of all God will go with you into the battle that lies ahead.
You and your family are such an inspiration for all of us. Your Godly example serves to challenge and encourage me in my own faith. You are truly a beacon of light in a sometimes dark world and I am confident that light will continue to shine depsite the current storm. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Happy birthday, Micalyn! 13 years old already! It’s hard to believe you are a young woman. I remember the first time we came to visit you at your old place. Jenna wasn’t even born yet. It was just 3 little girls and your mom & dad, swinging from the trees in your back yard. You are so blessed to have godly women to come beside you and guide you along the path to adulthood. Your dad is definitely one of those men that Othelmo & I want to be part of that same process in our boys. And I want to thank you so much for being a great big sister to Ana. When she comes home from spending time with you and your sisters, she just glows. Thank you for already being a godly example to her.
Tara and Jay and family,
I can’t begin to imagine what you all are feeling, but I am trusting God to give you His “perspective” as you face surgery tomorrow and in the difficult days that will follow. You have been an example of Godliness to me personally (you, Tara, being my first Bible Study leader when I first started attending ARC) and now to our son as you both have been his cell group leaders this past year. Thank you for investing into others’ lives. We are privileged to be able to invest in your lives through prayer, meals and whatever else is needed. As I have been praying for you this morning, a verse came to mind that a former pastor of mine put to music and I’ve been singing it over and over. God is good, even when He is hard to understand. Here’s the verse: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you. For I am your God and I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you! Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10 Praying for strength, courage and healing. Oh, and Micalyn–welcome to the terrific teens! Happy Birthday! 🙂
1 Timothy 2:1 from The Message – “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how…” Jay and Tara, there is a huge crowd of witnesses praying with and for you. A lot of people lifting their eyes to God in hope for you. You are surrounded by an army of God’s people that are lifting up hearts, hands, and prayers for you…today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes. May you know God’s presence, may you feel the body of Christ, lifting you up. May His power sustain you, encourage you, surround you. May you know His great love for you all in the midst of your darkness!. Sharing Elevation’s “Exalted One” with you. Singing with you, praying for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csBgp9YPJg8
In the midst of the darkness,
You’re the light that guides me through.
Our eyes are on You.
You are near to the broken,
The weak find their strength in You.
Our eyes are on You.
When I’m lost in the madness,
You’re the peace that calms my soul.
Our eyes are on You.
You bring hope to the hopeless,
Your the love that won’t let go.
Our eyes are on You.
We lift our eyes to You,
Where our help comes from.
Our hope is found in You,
Jesus, Lord of all.
We lift our eyes to You,
Exalted One, Exalted One.
I’m so glad that God spoke to you through His word in Isaiah. I pray that He will continue to give you strength as you walk through this valley. Your post today reminded me of the following passage in 2 Cor. 4 and I want to share it with you.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Love you guys! Praying for you!
Happy Birthday Micalyn!
May you be every bit a godly young woman as your mother and more!!! You have such a great blue-print to follow. May God guide you in your growing years.
1 John 3:2 ” We shall be like Him.”
Micalyn, 13 years old! I have loved watching you mature and grow into the wonderful daughter and big sister you are today. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” 1Peter 3:3-4 Tells us that beauty “…should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
You have a great example of a beautiful woman in your mom. You also exhibit the lovely traits you have seen in your mother; a gentle and quiet spirit. All the Blais’ wish you a wonderful birthday Micalyn!!!
I sat down to read my Bible this morning and this verse popped out to me with your name on it Tara.
Psalm 112:4a and 7-8 (NLT)
‘Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.’
YOU GO GIRL!!!!
Know that we are covering you in prayer as you go into surgery tomorrow.
I am reminded of our conversations over the years about living by fear or by faith. Tara and Jay, I can only imagine what really is going through your minds and hearrts as you walk this part of your faith journey. I want to proclaim Christs love, truth and faithfulness with you as he delights in you and your family. Psalm 147:10,11. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love!” and also some of my favorites from Psalm 145…”the Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. He is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works!” (you are his works, Tara!) “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” We are all calling on him on your behalf! Many saints all around you hearing truth, proclaiming his goodness (despite the pain) and thanking him for his mercies that endure forever! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Tara, dear friend, You are loved by many on this earth, but your life, your faith and your love for Christ is what delights your heavenly father! He is your strength! Lovingly, Jodi
Happy Birthday, Micalyn! Solomon wrote “by wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” You are a treasure to God, your parents, and all who know you. Let God hold you in the palm of His hand today, tomorrow, and all of your days.
I am still praying for you daily with the boys xox
Dear Ones, my thoughts and prayers continue your way. 23 years ago, Uncle Gary and I faced an unknown journey. We know you are surrounded by an abundance of family and friends, but more than that an amazing God. One of my favorite scriptures promised “He would make the rough places smooth….” I found myself talking to Him often about those unknown rough places I was heading. He was faithful. I find myself praying this very scripture for you, Tara. Know you all are loved and held dear in our hearts, Aunt Barb
Tara and Jay-
My heart aches for you! You are so loved by all who know you and your family. Never forget that you will be lifted up in prayer by many including our family. God will never leave you! Tara, I remember Jay missing you so much when he was in Kenya. He loves you just a little—OK a LOT :)! We all love you! You and Jay are so blessed to have one another. Your love for each other and your family will grow through this experience. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” He will supply all your needs. In Him….
I suppose this is as good a time as any to thank Tara Maier for “saving” my marriage. Dinner planning, dinner prep and grocery shopping had been a source of domestic distress in our lives for years. I have lost count of the times when I’d get the inevitable call at the end of the day to get something from the grocery store for dinner that same night. Insert groan here. I hate having dinner late, meaning past 6:30 p.m., and we were invariably having dinner past 7:00 p.m. That most definitely did not make it for happy family time for me.
I was at the Maiers’ planning one of those guy get-togethers with Jay when the subject of my frustration with dinner prep and timing came up. Tara’s eyes lit up and she matter of factly mentioned that they used emeals.com and that it saved so much time in planning and shopping. I signed up that same day and that’s been about three years ago. The meals are easy to make, healthy and balanced. The kids like most of them but really enjoy the rare, far-in-between breaks from the plan when they get to eat the junk that used to be a greater portion of their diet.
So, I often think of Tara and her thoughtfulness in sharing a useful resource with a frazzled fellow parent dealing with the day-to-day frustrations associated with feeding a large family whenever I make dinner.
Thank you, Tara, for being such a committed, supportive and loving wife, amazing and long-suffering mother, thoughtful friend and fellow heir of the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Our prayers and support will be with you tomorrow as they have been throughout this time.
Othelmo for the well-fed da Silva Crew
Though I believe I have only talked to you a few times, I remember the last time the most at our Moms on the Run picnic. You probably don’t even know it, but you were a huge encouragement to me regarding homeschooling. I was saddened to hear of your diagnosis but am so thankful for your faith in our amazing Healer.
You are again a great encouragement to me and you will be in my prayers moving forward in this journey.
My favorite verse is Philippians 4: 6-7. Here is that verse, and more:
“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
May He give you more peace than you have ever known,
Allison Vail (& the rest of the Vail clan)
Saw an interesting article of a woman’s battle with abdominal/thoracic cancer that is encouraging. Google AARP magazine for December 2012 to read the article “Against All Odds”. Praying for you and your family and Care Team
I continue to pray for Tara and all of the family. Thank you for sharing some of your heart in this blog. I’m weeping as I read parts of it. I pray that God will give the doctors divine wisdom during the surgery and that He will touch you divinely and heal you.
Isaiah 58:8 “Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard” God bless you all!
Happy Birthday Micalyn!!!! What a special way to celebrate with so many coming from afar and how awesome that you get to facetime with your mom! My 11 year old daughter, Kaleigh, your 2nd cousin just showed me how to do facetime!
Tara, we’ll be thinking about you non stop tomorrow and waiting for the good news! Please tell the Dr’s not to take too long of a lunch break because you have a very large community of family and friends here waiting for them to work their magic. 🙂
Lots of Love!
Dear Tara, Jay and family!
First of all, Happy Birthday Micalyn…even though you haven’t met us, we wish you a great birthday!
We pray for God’s guidance tomorrow for the Drs. That He give them wisdom and clear minds and steady hands. We pray for you Tara…strength, endurance and peace. For Jay, peace and an all-knowing that the Lord is with you all.
You all are loved!
Micalyn! Happy birthday to you and much love from all of us here in Haiti! We are praying for you as you go to school and continue on with life in the midst of hardships.
This song popped into my head for you! “Lean on me, when your not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on!” The crew here in Haiti!
139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea
This is one of my favorite passages from the Psalms. It helped me get through my first husband’s fight with brain cancer and later his death. Even though God said his time was done, I found out later that his witness affected many people for Christ. I have never feared death since that time and yet I fully embrace each day of life with my whole being. I believe God has much for you to do yet and I pray for you believing that God still does miracles today. Even the death of my first husband opened the doors for me to marry a man who would move us to MN, where my faith could grow larger and I would make many friends who love Jesus – such as your family.
God knows you from the smallest part of your body and all of the tumors inside you. I pray for wisdom and supernatural surgical abilities for the surgeons tomorrow. You have people all over the country praying for you. Know that you are being bathed in prayer and God knows the desires of your heart. I love you Tara, Jay and family. Happy Birthday Micalyn. Turning 13 means you are now a young woman, not a little girl any more. In Israel you would celebrate your Bat Misvah – the coming of age ceremony. May God Bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he grant you his peace today and always. You are becoming a woman after God’s heart. Always seek God first and He will direct your paths.
Dear Ones,My mind and heart are constantly with all of you. A devotion that I read recently reminded me that God is our strength and shield (Psalm 28:7) and you are certainly examples of what you can go through in life and still be victorious!
I want to wish Micalyn a wonderful birthday with so many loved ones with her. I can’t believe it will be #13. I pray it will be a very special day for you,Micalyn. I hope you will greet your grandma Nancy for me (and grandpa too)and all my love and special prayers for your mom. There are many prayers being sent from many people here in Oelwein, IA.
P.S. Micalyn, on a lighter note, ask your dad to tell you about a visit he and your mom made to the Mississippi river many years ago and about your dad’s water skiing adventure. If he doesn’t remember, I will tell you sometime.
Much love always and God Bless you,
http://instagr.am/p/VaiyuFI6Nf/ that picture might make you laugh. What a bunch of hams!
Love you all and will be praying for Tara’s surgery and Micalyn’s birthdays.
Happy Birthday Micalyn, you are truly an amazing young lady. I am so proud to have you as my niece. I love you with all my heart & soul. God has truly blessed us all with your presence in our lives! You have the best role model in how to be a woman of God & how to trust in him, your mother.
Wow I thought it was only yesterday when I was cuddling in my arms the most beautiful little thing I ever held, my first niece. I did not know I would get the pleasure of 3 more nieces & a nephew, that would run me wild and poop me out (you know I love every minute of it). I do not like the fact that you are almost as tall as me. Hope you had a great Birthday, I am glad I got to hug you on your special day!
Here is some scripture from my daily devotions. Ephesians 6:10-19
I tell you, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Wear the full armour of God. Wear God’s armour so that you can fight against the devil’s clever tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers & authorities and the powers of this worlds darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places. That is why you need to get God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the evil one. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit, that sword is the teaching of God. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. Always pray for all of God’s people. Also pray for me – that when I speak, God will give me words so that I can tell the secret truth about the Good News without fear.
May God continue to Bless you!
Dear Tara, Jay and family, Your blog is so beautiful in so many ways. As I read, cried and laughed I was encouraged by your faith, honesty, and love for God and each other. You will all be on my mind and heart today. I will pray often. Love, Jean Parsley
Psalm 84:5, 85:8 “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You…I will hear what God The Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.”
Your family has been in my thought and prayers all weekend. As you go into hospital today, I will keep your family before the LORD.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Micalyn. I remember one day when you and your dad stopped at my house. You came in the house and we got out books to read. You just had such a fun time and read everything I put out. Way to go. Now you are 13. Hope you have a great party this weekend. Remember we are praying for all of you and especially your mom. Prayers do a marvelous thing. Tara, God will be with you in that operating room. Let Him put His loving arms around you and He will be with all the Doctors and those attending you. You are in good hands. I will be praying that all goes well. Our Bible Study group also has you on our prayer list.
We have been and will continue to uphold you all in prayer. Prayer chains and bible study groups are lifting you up in prayer! Many believers around the area are lifting you up in prayer! God PROMISES to be there for you, every step of the way! His love surrounds you and gives you a strength and courage that is beyond our understanding…..
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE!! Isaiah 29:11
We claim it and we believe it!!! We love you guys so much!!
Dean and Joyce Jorde