About the Author

Tanya is a recovering perfectionist and chronic illness sojourner who’s found life’s deepest hurts to be intimate invitations to cling to the Cross.

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  1. Yes! This!

    He’s been showing me this, too. It’s more than we think it to be, the crazy schedules. He is there.

    Rich blessings, Tanya, as He leads you to His heart in your *whirl and twirl* of life.

    • thank you for that encouragement-filled comment, amy. the craziness certainly is more than we think it to be — and so is He.

      i’m so glad you stopped by. may the Lord richly bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you as well.

  2. Oh, I hate the stress of running late – especially for church, where I, too, need time beforehand to prepare myself and “settle in”. (I usually use my 25-minute drive to do that, but sometimes end up with mornings similar to the one you’ve described here.) Yes, we *should* ultimately depend on God…but it’s difficult sometimes, because I feel like if I’m not in the right “mindset” in church, I’m wasting my time. After all, church *is* only once a week *sigh*

    • i hear ya, sonika. i’d like to grow in the area of being more intentional about preparing my heart for sunday morning worship, too. and at the same time, God’s been nudging me toward the reality that worship spans far beyond the blessing (& necessity!) of corporate worship on sunday mornings. so in that sense, He’s calling me to surrender my heart to a state of worship on a moment-to-moment basis amidst in the daily grind. but like you said, that surrender, that dependence, doesn’t come naturally. so i rest deeply in knowing that regardless of my feeble mindset, there’s no sunday morning (or thursday afternoon, for that matter) that’s beyond His ability to bring beauty from the ashes of my lacking mindset. any moments in our lives that we may think have been wasted, God can always redeem, amen?

  3. Hi Tanya
    This is so true. As we abide in our Lord Jesus, we can stay in His peace and rest amidst all the chaos around us. That deep rest deep inside.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mia

  4. I really needed to read this today. As a single mom with 2 children, my mornings are ALWAYS chaos! I get to work after dropping them off at separate schools and feel so frazzled! I am so quick to forget that i need to give it all to HIM. I can’t handle this by myself and God can!

    • you said it, ellen! we can’t handle it by ourselves and God can.

      what a blessing to hear that when God planted the seed of this post in my heart, He had you in mind.

      your children are so blessed to have you as their mom, ellen, and i heard that your Father can’t stop rejoicing over you with singing.

  5. I struggle with finding Christ in the chaos. I love to approach Him at a calm restful pace, but life doesn’t allow that sometimes. This will always be a struggle for me.

    • oh, how i appreciate your transparency, lisa. and i still struggle with finding Christ in the chaos, too. i think we all do. that’s what i find so glorious about the filthy, stench-filled stable. it’s a visual reminder that He offers us His mercy in the middle of our mess.

      thanks again for sharing your heart with us, friend.

  6. What a wonderful thought! We’re so dependent on ourselves, aren’t we? We so easily forget that what bought us also equips us in our not so simple lives.

    Thank you for the reminder!

    • what an excellent summary — “what bought us also equips us in our not so simple lives.” yes!

      i’m so grateful you were encouraged.
      may we always rely deeply on the now power of the gospel.

    • you’re welcome, scott — thanks for joining us. that being still is so counter culture, isn’t it? yet it’s exactly what our hearts, minds, & bodies desperately need. i’m humbled that His tender pursuit of my wayward soul remains unwavering.

  7. “the fact that our ability to worship doesn’t depend on us, we have only to depend on the blood of Christ”. That statement struck such a melodious chord in me that I had to comment. It set my mind free from having to become “spiritually worshipful”. Sometimes I have a really hard time getting there. BECAUSE the songs are new, why do they have to let the drummer play so loud and why doesn’t she take that kid to the nursery? Now all I have to do is look up at the cross, shut out everything going on around me and relax in the arms of my Lord as I let him know how much he means to me.

    • my dearest johnna,

      my repeated prayer as this piece was dispersed was that the Lord would use my words to offer others a deeper understanding of the freedom in Christ that accompanies the sufficiency of Christ. so needless to say, your comment struck a melodious chord in my own heart. a song of worship, thanksgiving, and praise.

      i am so very grateful for what He has just done in your heart and mind, and i am excited for the uninhibited soul worship that awaits you as you rest in Him. i only wish i could be sitting next to you the next time that baby cried or that unfamiliar song begins . . .

      “Now all I have to do is look up at the cross,
      shut out everything going on around me
      and relax in the arms of my Lord
      as I let him know how much he means to me.”

      i’ve read that sentence at least a dozen times already, and i’ll be reading it again. because hearing your heart’s response to Him keeps drawing my own to worship. (so am i ever glad you DID comment!)

  8. Oh, how I struggle with this. One aggravated moment, stressful morning, or “annoying” look from my husband sends me into a screeching halt from any “worship” coming out of me. How selfish? It is SO tough when this happens… your conclusion is so true: “our ability to worship isn’t dependent on us at all. We’re dependent only on the blood of Christ.”

    Amen!

    • i completely understand, anna. it IS tough! oftentimes, i compound the mess by getting frustrated about my responses and feelings, and try to get them in order in my own strength. utterly futile every time. so my challenge in those moments is to shift my focus OFF my feelings entirely, and make the choice in the middle of my mess to turn my eyes upon Jesus. because as i do, He begins to sort the rest out for me.

      thanks so much for keepin’ it real in your comment, girl. that’s a blessing to all of us here.

  9. Thank you for sharing. I can apply this the next time I am running late, which inevitably will happen. 🙂 {Even when they are almost 9. :)}

  10. It’s so encouraging to hear so many who are “searching” and “desiring” to have God in control of their lives. We so often feel responsible for each moment of the day to have it go our way. Yet God is there ready and willing to be there for us when our hearts are desiring to please Him and to walk in His ways. His plan is what’s important. I am needing to be reminded of giving it all to God as I am under-going open heart surgery within a matter of weeks. I will appreciate your prayers that I can continue to “face it with Faith, and not with fear.” Thanks Tanya not only for this blog but all the others in which you so meaningfully share your struggles and your Faith response. You are an inspiration to me and others to deepen our trust and walk with God.

    • suffice it to say that if you were the only person on the planet that God used to encourage with this piece right now, my heart would rejoice.

      as i’ve thought about the health journey that you’re about to embark on, i’m reminded that in a way, it can be harder to trust Him when we know we’re about to face something significant than when we’re blind-sided by it. but when my health left me out of commission, i heard something about faith that encouraged me greatly. it was a reminder that faith is a fruit of the Spirit, a gift bestowed, something we cannot conjure. and so when we’re lacking it, we go to its Source. where there is an endless supply.

      praying that His perfect Love casts out all fear, and sending an abundance of love and hugs from my heart to yours.

      “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Eph. 3:20, 21)

  11. All I can say to this it that we’ve all been there, done that, at one time or another.
    What struck me the most was all your running……up stairs, down stairs, up and down again. Oh how I pray that after my knee surgery I will be able to walk up and down stairs again without this pain. I will never wear pretty heels again. I just want to be able to walk normally and pain free………God willing. If that’s not His will for me, then I will limp along thanking Him that it isn’t worse.

    • so brenda, it would probably surprise you then if i told you that not too long ago, i didn’t have the strength to hold my head up, or sit up, let alone take the few steps to the restroom . . . truly, my navigating around our church campus that morning is undeniable evidence that God has drawn the boundary lines for me in incredibly pleasant places.

      He doesn’t owe me any healing, but in His grace, He has offered me much. and i am so very grateful. but better than the healing, He offered me Himself. with every painful step of the way in my health crisis.

      i am so humbled by this statement, brenda:
      “If that’s not His will for me, then I will limp along thanking Him that it isn’t worse.”
      what surrender, friend. what worship . . .

      i heard a quote when my health left me out of commission that has stayed with me ever since. may it encourage your heart as you go into the unknown of your knee surgery:

      “Every cross is a message from God and intended to do us good in the end.
      Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees.
      Health is a good thing, but sickness is far better if it leads us to God.
      Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one if it brings us to Christ.”
      ~ J. C. Ryle

      yes, just give us Jesus . . .

  12. Tanya, so amazing as usual. Thank you for these words of truth. How exciting to see you posting here. I am thrilled for you!!

  13. What a great reminder to be still and know that He is. Sometimes we get so wound up in life and circumstances that we forget why we’re even here. Love that Noah means ‘rest’. Just adds a whole other layer of meaning to the story of the flood. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • you’re so right, lizzy, about getting so wound up in life and circumstances that we can forget why we’re even here. so may we turn our eyes upon Jesus, and look full in His wonderful face, then the things of earth will grow strangely dim. in the light of His glory and grace.

  14. I often have more of a heart for worship & get more out of it from the music & singing than I do from the sermon (& personally those drummers can play as loud as they want, but that’s just me..) I have to keep my eyes off those in my line of view who are barely singing & seem totally uninterested in the music part of worship, and on Jesus who I am there to worship. And even in those times when I enter with an ugly heart the Holy Spirit grabs my attention & (thankfully) reminds me why I am there & WHO I have come to worship.

    • one of the many things i appreciate about you, my seasoned sister, is your example of taking off the seeming-to-have-it-all-together mask, & thereby offering the rest of us the sacred gift of doing the same. i’m so grateful for that.

      and i think we all struggle with focus in worship for one reason or another (or many all at once). but like you shared, praise God that He is greater than our wandering hearts, minds, & eyes. and that His power is revealed through the surrender of our struggling souls.

  15. I totally agree with Sandy. I get tons out of the music portion of worship. Certain songs just speak to me.

    We do communion weekly. There are times when I can pray really hard and start crying at that point. Realizing that Christ died for little old me–a nobody–no one important. The reason is that HE truly loves me enough to do it!

    Prase God for that! Love the post!

  16. This could be me every Sunday :/ Oh why does it have to be on the Lord’s Day that everything topples over :/ Thanks for the encouragement sis! You’re such a blessing! (((hugs)))

    • i’m thankful that the Lord loved on you through this piece, misty. and why does it have to be on the Lord’s day? well, what better day for Him to reveal His power in our weakness, amen?

      thanks for your encouragement, my friend. i’m so honored by your visit.

  17. Tanya, I have so much to learn from you. Not just in this piece, but from each of your comments (have been poring over them and am just so grateful for who you are and how much you truly love others). This has been my biggest struggle in the past two years. While I was sick, it was so easy to reject the world’s ways and find stillness and peace in Jesus. Since I have been healed (and of course I’ve gone through shorter phases of illness and healing since then) it’s so hard not to go at the speed of a tornado. Not because I want to, but because everyone around me seems to be screaming “more, more, more – and faster, too!” Just a couple months ago, as I was exploring the concept of “waiting” with God, someone asked me what to do while we wait. And after praying about it, I felt God nudge me to two things: be still and be intentional. “Still” is now my One Word for 2013 and my biggest pursuit. This post has spoken to my heart more ways than I can put into this comment. So grateful that God has connected us online over all these miles. Thank you and God bless you!