Welcome to our little corner of this online life. If you were with us here in “real life” we would most likely be sitting around a table overflowing with books, papers, art supplies, and legos. Surrounded by children and dogs, each one louder and wilder than the one before, Melissa would probably offer you a cup of coffee or a bottle of diet dr pepper but, if we’re at my house, both are probably lukewarm by now.
Our lives are real y’all – messy, noisy, and very much imperfect. We promise we won’t try to hide the fact that our lives are a great, big hot mess. But you don’t have to pretend perfection either. We don’t want to pretend. We want to get real. And the realest, most true thing we know is Jesus. In this world teeming with lies and untruths shouting at us that we are always either too much or never enough we want to encourage you through the truth of God’s Word.
We want to help you plant your feet firmly on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, so that you will know who He is and who you are in Him. In Him we have hope. In Him we find freedom. In Him we receive strength, power, and courage. Because of Jesus our hearts have been made new, set free, and are being rewritten by Him.
My name is Tara. I am a mama, wife, teacher, sister, daughter, and most importantly a follower of Jesus and a child of God. I have two wild boys who love to run and jump and yell and scream and seem to love being attached to their Mama; Smith who is 7 and Charlie James who is 4. I have also been blessed with a “bonus” child, my stepdaughter Kaleigh, who just turned 13 and does her best to tolerate the antics of her little brothers.
My husband, Aaron, and I have been married for 8 years and we have definitely seen God at work in our marriage. Every day we are learning that, in order to have a successful marriage, we must have God as our foundation.
Growing up in a family of women I always knew I would be a Mama to girls but God knew better. I have plenty of experience with teenage girls (and boys) in my life through my job as a high school theatre arts teacher. I have the best children in the world – my own two little boys and my “big kids” at school where I am known as “Mama Blake.” I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job that is more than a career; I have been blessed by God to earn a living through my calling.
I am the oldest of three girls and I am fortunate that my sisters truly are my best friends. We grew up on Princess Bride, Goonies, Labyrinth, and Dirty Dancing. We may not always agree; sibling rivalry doesn’t automatically go away when you grow up, but I know that, along with my Mama and my Nana, I will ALWAYS have the love and support of my sisters.
Last, but certainly not least, I have the best Mama and Nana that a girl could ever want. My Mama has taught me what it means to be a strong woman – independent, loyal, a hard worker, and secure in who I am. And my Nana has always been there to hug me, to rub my feet, to scratch my back, and to sing “How much is that doggie in the window?” and “Swing low, sweet chariot” as we swing on her back porch.
But most important of all – I want to spend every moment of my life following Jesus and living in the security that I am a child of God. I grew up in church; we were there every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, and every Wednesday night. I thought I was “saved” as a teenager but, as an adult I had not attended church regularly in almost 20 years. I would pull out my Bible from time to time but I was not living as a Christian because I was not a Christian. I know that I surrendered my life and received Christ into my heart on September 18, 2014. I don’t look at twenty years of my life as being wasted, rather, I am thankful because I know that God was using those 20 years to prepare me for the heart I now have. I have an insatiable hunger and thirst for God and His Word – both in the form of His Son Jesus Christ and through His Scripture.
Thank you for joining me along this journey as I share with you the ongoing …
Story of my Heart
Hello Friends! I am honored that you would choose to spend some time with me! My name is Melissa and oh do I carry a ton of baggage. Some under my eyes and even more in my mind! The good news, I have chosen to let that baggage serve as a reminder of the promise that “all things are used for good” and I’m hopeful it will allow us to bond over tears, smiles, and maybe even a little yelling. After all, I am a southern belle.
I am currently a recovering people pleaser and do head to head combat with shame, guilt, and worthlessness everyday. Seeking God’s peace has become my heart song in order to fulfill the plans of hope and prosperity that He has promised, plans that are lead by Him, and not by me. And let me assure you, I put on my smarty-pants way too often and think I can determine those steps for myself. Maybe I’m not the only one?
I have been graciously given the job of parenting two beautiful daughters, Katelyn and Emma. Katelyn is unique, strong willed, and passionate. The sound of boy bands and the smell of fingernail polish seep from her bedroom at any given time. Did I mention she is a teenager? Yes, you can pause for a moment of prayer. I do thank you. Emma is my 1st grader who hoards jewelry of all shapes and sizes and searches for any container possible to hold it all. She is a true momma’s girl who is super sensitive and super thoughtful. Did you catch that they are seven years apart? Go ahead, another prayer. Thank you.
The job of wrangling all these girls goes to my honey, Greg. He is my handsome husband who can wear a beard and sport Jesus tattoos all while snuggling any of us at any given time. And let me tell you, with three girls, there are plenty of tantrums that need addressing by snuggling. He is a lover of God and is a recovering alcoholic that shares his life story easily for the sake of helping others. His eyes are full of pain but his heart is full of love and with God’s help, he is some kind of man.
And lastly, Mason and Snuggles bring up the rear of the Reynolds clan. Mason is our furry puppy who is some sort of expensive breed that doesn’t appear anything like what we paid for and Snuggles is our lion head rabbit that is very cuddly but moody. Between the chewed up homework and the antique rocking chair, the peed on furniture and the scratched up wood floor, we somehow melt at the sight of them. It has to be some sort of conspiracy the two have concocted. Either way, we love them.
As you can see, God has blessed me richly with a wonderful family. We are so far from perfect that I’m sure we could have our own reality TV show if the right person noticed. Unfortunately, our flesh seems to take over more days than not but, with God’s mercy and grace, unconditional love and forgiveness, we hope to radiate God’s goodness. I hope that with words of love and passion from my heart to yours, you will see that there is no other way but God’s way. Whether through tantrums or grief, maybe some celebrations or even stories of that baggage I mentioned earlier, I am honored that you would choose to listen and maybe allow my life to somehow impact yours. For the better. For the good. God will blow your mind, just you wait and see. I will say yes to Him and I pray you will too.