Stories From The Tolbert Home

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I hear so often "how do you do it all!?" I often look beside me to make sure if they are speaking to me. Can they not see the bags under my eyes, I don't do it all. I scrape by like the rest of you. Lets be real.

I have had a rough season. I would like to say it has been a rough day or week, or even month. I think I have lost count. I feel God is near, but I feel challenged on every corner of my life. Like when you are working out and it feels like you just cannot do anymore and the trainer says "give me 3 more."

I find that I could list of the huge list of things that have weighed so heavy on my heart. Maybe I am bias to my own self but if I was on the outside of my own life looking in, even as an outsider I really do believe that lady with the 4 kiddos seems a bit overwhelmed.

I was going to a doctor appointment the other day, my husband had the kids and I punched in the address on my gps and traffic was bad so without realizing the route I chose, I picked the one with less traffic and began to drive.

I was praying as I drove. It was one of those mornings I felt I should lay out my wants before God. It was a quiet drive, no kiddos and I had a lot on my mind!

I began to drive by the area I grew up in. I say grew up, but I was probably considered an adult, being a mom and married at the age of 16 and all.( Piece of my Story) First I passed the school I never thought I would graduate from. My chances were slim, and honestly some days I just didn't think I would make the decision to finish, but I did.

Next, I drove by the bank where my friend had gotten a job, she was also a teen mama, and a year an a half older. I applied there also, they wouldn't hire me I was too young. It broke my heart.

Next came the little cafe I applied at for about 6 months. Every month I tried getting on at that place. Thinking just maybe the tips would be just what I needed to help us get going in life. Just up the road was my first job, the one that FINALLY took me in! I felt so important to be bringing in a paycheck.

I worked my tail off there, managing to balance my classes at college as well as high school-thank you running start.

After sitting in traffic reminiscing a bit more, I came to the first apartment we moved into. I remember the rent being a blessing because they gave us a couple hundred off each month because my husband had known someone who worked there. It was still a stretch for us.
I remember winning a contest that they had put together. They offered a computer to anyone who wrote in an essay on why they would use a computer. I wrote out my heart felt plea and begged they consider me. They did, and I did just what I had promised. I finished my last year of high school on that dinosaur. To this day I owe one last biology essay because my computer crashed the week I graduated and it never did get sent in.

Feeling so thankful, I kept driving. I began to drive past a rougher part of town, remembering so well the 7 years we lived in our first home. We bought that home with much pride. As time went on we began raising our 2 girls there and desired so much to move to a safer town. I would pray and cry and beg God to move us to the town where we wouldn't worry about drugs and crime in our front yard.

Tears streamed down my face as I so clearly heard God say "Ive always taken care of you." Here I was driving my Cadillac Escalade. The one we saved up for and paid cash. On my way to my doctor appointment from my home in that safe city I dreamed of living in.

The night before, my husband handed me an envelope with a check in it that I was supposed to drop off to the IRS after my appointment.

I had been crying and feeling the weight of life as I drove that morning. A check written out to the government for an amount I would much rather be putting down on a home. The amount that they said we made was something I never dreamed I would make, yet there I was throwing a fit.

When I think that I make the decisions each day, I seem to forget I still serve a God who ORDERS my steps. It was no coincidence how traffic was that morning, how I was feeling and where he led me along the way. I was feeling overwhelmed.

Being a mama is not easy. Neither is being a wife, a friend, daughter, teacher and all the other hats I am so blessed to wear. Why do I allow myself to become overwhelmed when I so clearly serve a God who has never left me, has always taken care of me, and has went ABOVE and BEYOND what I could ever ask of THINK to ask him for myself.

I hope this overly long post reaches someone else who is having an overwhelming season. He still has the pen in his hand.

Hebrews 12:2
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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