Today, Tara speaks to us about mentorship, accountability and community, and her pursuit of patience.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: When I was six months old, I was adopted from South Korea by my mom and dad. My brother was also adopted. Home is in a small town in the beautiful state of Oregon! I was raised there and still live there — it’s where family is and it holds such a special place in my heart. We were raised in a loving, Christian family. My parents always loved on us and grew us up to be individuals who feared and loved the Lord. Growing up, I was always very well taken care of. I was always supported to do what I was passionate about, but most of all, what the Lord wanted me to do.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:3-4
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My spiritual growth focus at the moment is patience. Galatians 5 tells us that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit; it’s one of the markings of a child of God. He asks us to bear fruit and growing patience has been a challenge for me. Over the past couple of months, I have found it harder and harder to be patient in many areas: in my dating relationship, in my schooling and in my blogging journey. I get easily impatient about the future, and I want to be at a certain point. Often, I would rather skip to the end of my schooling or arrive at a certain amount of followers than wait where I am. This reveals a discontent heart, a heart that doesn’t trust the Lord or His good timing.
Profession: I am a student, studying to be a Biblical Counselor. On the side, I am a faith blogger (with a little bit of fashion), and I am active in middle school and worship ministry at my church.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? Over the years, it has gotten easier to incorporate the Lord in my everyday life. One of the reasons is because I have realized that worship is a lifestyle, not just something that happens on a Sunday morning. When I am out and about running errands, I always pray and ask the Lord before I hop out of my car. I ask Him to infuse me with His Spirit so that when I have conversations with people, they will walk away with the feeling that something supernatural occurred. Some other very practical ways to incorporate the Lord is to talk to the Lord whenever something comes to mind, listen to worship music and meet with people that are on fire for the Lord. Inviting God into our day-to-day lives doesn’t have to be difficult! Keep it simple and keep it sincere!
“Inviting God into our day-to-day lives doesn’t have to be difficult! Keep it simple and keep it sincere!”
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Once Tattered, Now Tethered (explanation: I have gone through a lot of circumstances that have tattered and thrashed on me, but the Lord has always brought me back and tethered me to Himself)
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? The first time I vividly remember encountering the Lord was when I was about nine years old. In the summers, I work for my family’s business. I was outside and it was cloudy. As I walked up to the office, the sun began to peak through the clouds. I felt like Saul on the road to Damascus in that moment; the sun blasted through the clouds and it literally knocked me to my knees. I heard God say my name. It was incredible!
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? In this season, I have found so much fruit in meeting regularly with “mentors.” I have made it a goal of mine to be very intentional in meeting with ladies who love the Lord and who are walking with Him regularly! It gives me so much encouragement and teaches me more about the character of the Lord; I am learning more and more why the Lord holds accountability and community so highly!
“I have made it a goal of mine to be very intentional in meeting with ladies who love the Lord and who are walking with Him regularly!”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Just read: 1st and 2nd Corinthians.
Currently reading: Romans.
Romans is one of my favorite books but it takes me a really long time to digest it all; it is one of the most complicated and deep books of the Bible. Although I’ve read it so many times, the concepts of grace, justification and sanctification have been reestablished in my mind and my life. The gospel is all about grace; it’s all about Jesus who died to cover us. It’s all about submitting our lives in reverence to a God who is sovereign over us; it’s about putting our trust in Him and committing to a life that is modeled after Him. There is so much GRACE.
Top three essentials: Top three “Jesus” essentials: My ESV study Bible, my journal and highlighters; Top three “life” essentials: Chapstick, my Hydro Flask water bottle and dry shampoo.
How did God speak to you recently? A few weeks ago, I was praying about what blog post to publish for Tuesday; on Tuesday’s, I post my faith-based content. I felt like I was hitting a bit of writers block so all I could do was pray. Over the next couple of days, the Lord brought multiple people into my life that were having the same struggles: They were struggling with purpose. They were struggling with knowing what to do with their lives, what careers to choose and what big decisions to make. One evening, God was like: “You need to write about this. So many people need to hear about what I have to say about this.” It was a blessing to be able to write about this, because I see it around me every day. We need to be reminded that our purpose in life is to know Jesus and make Him known; jobs and all of those other things will fall in place when we do that first.
“We need to be reminded that our purpose in life is to know Jesus and make Him known; jobs and all of those other things will fall in place when we do that first.”
Hobby: Here are a few of my hobbies: writing blog posts, hanging out with friends and family, hiking, working out and finding new coffee shops
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Top three tips for staying spiritually strong: 1) Read your Bible even when you don’t feel like it. This may seem like a lot of pressure, but one of the big things that people struggle with is creating a habit of spending time with God. We need to push past the days that we “don’t want to” or “don’t have time.” God knows how we feel — He knows we’re weary and we’re struggling. Yet, however much we struggle, God will always meet us in whatever state we’re at. Begin with just a few minutes and ask the Lord to help you desire this time. It will happen — it just needs to be a practiced process!
2) Get accountability! Find a lady (or two or three) that are walking with the Lord and seeking Him. Find the ladies that are strong and willing to stick with you. These ladies will be committed to pray for you and check in on you. Don’t think accountability is important? Take a look and see what God has to say about community!
3) Talk about the Lord often. I think a lot of us are scared to talk about Jesus around people — it may seem like “too much.” But I’ve learned that it’s never enough — talk about what God is doing in your life. Talk about how good He is. Never stop!
Favorite person in scripture? One of my favorite people in Scripture would have to be Daniel! A year ago, I did a personal study on Daniel and I was blown away by his life. His story encourages me to be bold in my trust in the Lord. It encourages me to stand firm under trial and unwavering in my beliefs.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at me, I want them to see Christ — I want them to see someone who is being sanctified and in the process of being renewed day by day. I want people to see me and think, “Hey — if God can do that in her life, what can He do for me?” I want people to be able to picture their future secure in the Lord’s hands and an identity rooted in Him alone.
How do you leave your mark on your community? Community is really important to me. I am very involved in my community via my church. I have loved being able to form relationships with people that are in the same area as I am and be able to spend quality, one-on-one time getting to know them and encouraging them. In the church setting, I love to spend time with the middle school group and encourage them in their walk with Jesus because it is so important at that age.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is definitely Christmas! My family has so many traditions and it is one of the best things!
A goal you have? One goal that I have is to be able to set up a mentorship program or some sort of Bible study for young women to participate in. I would love to provide resources and information for them to make very practical and applicable to their lives. I want young women to grow in their identity, purpose and their love for the Lord! When we know who God is, love just flows from that! That would be an awesome thing.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family has this tradition where we drink Coca-Cola out of little Santa-head mugs. They are antique and my dad has had them since his childhood. During Christmas, we drink Coca-Cola out of them and cheers each other. It is the sweetest yet simplest thing!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? This is something that we all get asked, but I’m going to be completely honest: I don’t know. I have a lot of questions that I can think of right now, but I know that when I get there, everything is going to pale in comparison to His glory! I just want to sit at His feet — listen, bask and praise.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I love this question! I would love to make this more aware to our current culture: It is okay not to have everything figured out. It is okay not to fit the traditional mold. You don’t have to get a bachelor’s degree to be successful — you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to glorify and please the Lord. He has something different and unique for us all!
What does your morning routine consist of? I am an early bird so I love getting up early and getting a jumpstart on my day! The first thing that I do is go downstairs and get a cup of coffee and a bowl of my favorite yogurt and granola! Next, I will spend 20-30 minutes studying the Word and praying. This is the best time of my day. These are the moments that I set the tone for the rest of my day; I know how important it is to start out with the Lord so that I can spend the rest of it with Him as well!
What is on your nightstand? On my nightstand I have my Bible, journal, current read, Chapstick and lotion!
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is knowing, loving, submitting and sharing the name of Jesus Christ, our Father and Savior.
For more Tara:
Until next time, keep witnessing!