You are doing the best you can, Home

A story that compels, draws you in, and causes you to stop and think is probably the best way to speak into someone’s life. Taking lunch to the crew working on the Lamb house, NPR highlighted a story on Tanya Tucker.

Tanya Tucker is an award-winning country star who has been making music since she was just a kid! She rose to fame in the 70s with hits like “Love’s the Answer” and her debut single “Delta Dawn.” Her latest album is titled “While I’m Livin” and it’s her first collection of original music in over 15 years. It’s a lot more personal than some of her previous records with songs written that reflect her life (Published by Bullseye by Bullseye).

Several factors drew me into this story:  She’s my age and looking back, I was about 10 years old when she rose to fame and I remember her songs, she wrote from personal experiences, and girl I love that you are wild and free on the cover of your album.

Once she began to share her life story, I was fascinated by her family dynamics and their influence in her becoming a famous, country singer. Hers was truly a rags to riches story. One particular song, “The House that Built Me” is a favorite of mine, but her rendition of the point of view from the mother’s heart and eyes stirred up something in me. The original song was written about a child who returns home. This time we hear the song from a mother returning to the home she raised her children trying to heal the brokenness inside of her.

I’ve been doing soul work with God for over 40 years now. He knows me. He knows I need music, scripture, friends who speak into my life, and a good story. This story broke the dam. The tears flowed.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself again
If I could just come in, I swear I’ll leave
I won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

They leave home, they move on, and you do the best you can
I got lost in this ol’ world and forgot who I am.

That day marked a pointed passion to pray, focus, and ask God for healing. Over the next week he used scripture, music, and friends, and my husband. Our church is focused on a month of prayer for the New Year. All of this preparation.

You may think this is an exaggerated story. I’m okay with that. I hope you see the point of God speaking into this mama’s heart. Why would He care enough to speak to me? That question alone causes me to realize just how truly personal and wonderful He is to me. He cares.

God used the word “home” and “you are doing the best you can”. He started with the word “home” from a song my husband shared, “The Two of Us”, and he danced with me:

On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home
You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead (The Beatles)
Messages and songs through music and study, the word “home” flooded into my life. A night of calming the thoughts led me to meditate on the words “you are doing the best you can” from a meditation app. The author shared that we must rest from the personal critic by reminding ourselves that we are doing the best we can. For someone who sets high expectations, I argued with her in my mind, and she spoke to this point. It’s okay to have goals and to acknowledge the need for growth, but we must have the healthy balance of “we are doing the best we can”. I know this, however knowing this in the context of a current situation started a new pathway in my brain–a shift in my mindset.

I left hot yoga with my body at peace and my mind praying. I didn’t want to listen to that song again, because I didn’t want to go there. But God. God nudges, I turn it on. I’ve listened enough that I would choose this song on Karaoke night, but when the line “You do the best you can” came around in the lyrics, I smiled. I see God. I see. I hear you. Thank you.

I woke up Saturday morning asking God for something. Please God. Today. Can I know in some way that “it’s” okay. The phone rang. I went downstairs, and my morning changed.


He showed me through her presence, her voice, and a start of a connection.

Doing the best we can in this moment.

The story still is being written, and I don’t know how the chapters will read. I’m taking one sentence at a time knowing the house that built me is a continuous building. I’ve lived in 9 different homes since coming into this world.  Each home from childhood, college years, and married life have taught me something. It’s not the dwelling itself but the memories, the moments that add up to years in a blink of an eye.

Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

Although I can’t really go and touch the house physically, I place a hand over my heart and my mind is filled with memories. I travel down the hallways into the bedrooms where I rocked my babies, the Christmas tree in the corner, the bedside with my husband and the pregnancy test that’s positive,  the kitchen table where homework and meals took place, the backyard filled with children at play. The rose colored wall. Girls circled up for Bible study in the living room.  Standing at the backdoor singing Waltzing Matilda with daddy teaching her guitar.

God reminds me that my eternal home is with Him.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

I have to believe that this preparation begins down here on Earth. He knows we do the best we can until we get there.

I love you, my Savior, my friend. Help us face this day knowing you are with us always. Help us see you at work and listen to your promptings of love. We rejoice in knowing we are covered by your love. Great joy floods our soul as we seek you.


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