lightness/ darkness

It’s curious, that things that scare us at dusk are what inspire us at dawn.

The fog, the quiet, the shadows

as the sun falls from it’s throne in the sky, so often goes our courage.

We hide in blankets, toes wrapped tight, only our nose exposed to the monster in the closet.

There we stay, unless necessity calls us, having us run light switch to light switch, illuminating the dark spaces.

But with first light, we rise, like the sun who forgot why it fell, and we forget that what is know familiar, was once frightening. And that are monsters are now our muses.

We hardly realize what a difference a little light makes.


hiraeth (a heart’s longing)

Holidays, birthdays, times of gift giving and food sharing and family have always made me sad. Well, sad isn’t quite the word. I’ve never really been able to describe how I felt when these times rolled around until my sister sent me this word: Hiraeth. A welsh word with no direct English translation but can be described as a “homesickness for a home in which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.”

And I breathed a little sigh. Oh yes, this is it. This is the blossom of familiar almost sadness, seeded in my chest, reaching and wrapping it’s vines around my heart, up to the knot in my throat, where it springs pretty translucent petals out my eyes, silent tears. It’s frustrating and familiar and I think we all feel it every once in a while.

After someone has died, and months later you think you see them when in the grocery, excitement then hiraeth. (Hey Jonar, I’m talking about you)

When you had a life plan that crumbled in your hands before it came to be, and the date passes by, hiraeth.

When you visit childhood homes, to find them alive with someone else’s light, you want to knock just to see what it looks like without you, hiraeth.

It’s to have and to have lost, but it’s also never having the chance to have, and wishing you had. It’s confusing when you miss something that never belonged to you, hiraeth.

It’s freeing to put a name to something, like it has lost a little power over you, you still feel it, but now you can call it, hiraeth. Hiraeth, I feel you, I know you well. I have grown accustom to the ways you have decorated my person, how you have shaped me, that even when you’re not vacationing inside of me, you leave a remnant of yourself with me.


When I came to know the Lord, I thought I would be free of these feeling, this loss, the “my life is so full, why am I empty”. But as I have grown these last three years (has it really been three years with you, my Lord? It has both felt like forever and at the same instant just a moment) I have still felt hiraeth take it’s residence. When it first came, I was shocked: there is no more room for you in this heart, this heart is home to the Savior and to gladness, go! But it did not go, it stayed planted.

But it was no longer just me alone with my hiraeth, I had my Jesus. And as I prayed, I was shown the goodness of all feelings, how God has created all of them to give us depth in this life, to help us grow closer to others, to remind us to lean upon Him.

So now, when my lonely. almost sadness creeps back into me, I thank the Lord for all He has given me, the good and the hard and I try my very best to rejoice in these moments of hiraeth, knowing one day I will stand before the Father completely and utterly fulfilled in His glory.



Our time in Africa (in jumbled fashion)


What can I say about our time in Senegal?

It’s been a month, and I still am having trouble putting our time there down in words.

so, I’m going to break it down by our days, and hopefully the Lord will fill in the rest.


Day 1-2

were travel days, we had a wonderful group that we got to go with. Steve: our mission’s pastor at TRBC, Debbie: our comedian and sage, Bev & Jim: an awesome couple that served in Senegal for 20 sum years, and Dustin & I: hopeful couple that really wants to do international mission.

I can’t express enough how great this group was, we meshed well, and laughed often and it made the trip lovely and easy.


On the second day we also met Roger, and I can’t give him a simple explanation because he does a million things for the Lord, he also has a great laugh and singing voice.

Day 3

We meet John and his church in Kafountine. We meet Bibian, our translator and we prepare to go to the Island.

Day 4-8

We spend time on the Island, we meet Christopher (the lone believer on the island), and we just fall in love with a land and a people that God has so wonderfully knitted together, thank you Jesus for sharing your creation and your love for it with us!

In this time, we grieved as well. Because these people that Jesus loves, these people that He has opened our hearts to, they live in fear and in rituals, they are held captive by demons and they are chained down, and I so desperately want to shake them and tell them that Christ is the key!!

You see, they are “catholic” animists, they believe that spirits inhabit objects and they will hurt you if you do not sacrifice, or if you walk away from them. They must be first, they must be satisfied.

Bev, Deb, and I would talk to women, and we would tell them of Christ and their eyes would gleam but then they would ask “does your Jesus allow us to worship our idols?” and when we said no, Christ is the only one, he has power and dominion over all things, and he is the only one that they can worship, the glimmer would deaden.


Oh my heart, how it broke and broke. Lord, why are they captive to these false things? I know the answer is sin and separation, but I thank God that he continually breaks my heart over these separations, I thank him that I have not grown apathetic.

While we there, we met a zillion kiddos that were so sweet and wonderful, who asked questions, and listened to stories, who held my hand, and taught me to dance and braided my hair. On the island, they will give you an African name when you’ve been considered apart of the family. And the kids named me. Pauline Sambou.


As the week went on, we grew closer to Christopher, to John, to Roger, to Bibian. They named Dustin Mahaus Sambou, after Roger’s father.


We held hands and prayed, we laughed, and taught each other words and songs from our own languages (and laughed more as we butchered them) and we became family.

and we love them.

Day 9

We start our journey back home, stopping at Kafountine to prayer walk in Abene (another of John’s churches), overall we have prayed with three people to receive Christ. We shared more hugs and words and prayers, because tomorrow morning we will say goodbye to Christopher, John, and Bibian and we know it will feel like saying goodbye to a piece of ourselves.


Day 10

We travel to Zinguinchor to meet Roger’s awesome wife and kids, we get to tour his school and orphanage, and let me tell you cool things, God things are happening there and we feel so honored to have witnessed that.


Today we also head back to America, our hearts more tender and our lives changed.

Thanks for your prayers and your support, I’m sorry this is a bit jumbled, but to be honest I still haven’t fully processed the full impact of our time there, but we wait in great anticipation for when the Lord allows us to see our people again.

Mula Patumpa!

(Praise God!)


Funding has been met (and then some!)

With a warmth in my heart and tears in my eyes, I share the news that our funding has been met, “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6: 36) was poured in our laps, and can I say that we are not worthy of these things, but we are so thankful that you have allowed the Lord to work through you, and by doing that, supported us.

I, like many of us, do not feel qualified to do the things the Lord has called me to do. I am selfish and sinful, and I am sure my bad out weighs my good more often than not, and despite this, I am chosen by the High King, a child of the Star Breather, I am dust, being created into a beautiful thing (yes, I am listening to Gunger right now).

Despite our ugly, the Lord has called us (all of us, actually!) to do the work of His kingdom, and with this call and with your faithfulness to His will, we promise to live up to the job the Lord has given us, because if not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Like I said, we have reached our goal and then some! WOW

The extra money raised will, first, be going to pay for passport renewal for me, immunizations for both of us, and then the rest will be saved for a trip we will be taking in the summer of 2017 to the Philippines.

Thank you again for your giving, in funding and in prayer, they have been most affirming to us.

We thank our God every time we remember you (Philippians 1:3)

Love, the Tanners


If you would like a newsletter sent in the mail to you about our missions happenings, please send me your address to my email,


 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?- Matthew 6:30
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.- Isaiah 43: 19



a trip update!

We are very pleased to share that Dustin was able to get off work for our trip to Senegal with ease! This is such an answered prayer: not only that Dustin can go on the trip but that he is in a work environment that is healthy and supportive! Thanks Jesus for providing for us in all things!

Today, I am filing for my new passport with my name change- which will cost the same as getting a new passport, $140! I am always shocked by the price of things, and usually very discouraged: I hate spending money on myself and things that to me seem selfish (I was beating my self up because Dustin is putting me on his insurance, you know, a usual marriage step but I felt like such a burden) I know I allow Satan to manipulate me in the area of finances, but if I allowed him succeed in that, I would never apply for seminary because of the application fee, I wouldn’t get the passport because of the price,  but the Lord, again, provides constantly for me- for us. The Lord graciously gave me a very kind and supportive husband, that constantly reminds me of the things that are important to God and to him, that makes sure I know that the money is always “ours” not “mine and yours” and backs me on these big purchases I am afraid to make with prayer and support.

Speaking of finances, we have been slow to raise money for our trip, with a new job and taking on some additional things, we have been slow to save up on our own for our trip, having to allocate to different areas. Again, I allow Satan to discourage me in this. But again, I am reminded of the Lord’s provision and faithfulness in all things, but especially financially in my walk with Christ. My tax return is always the exact amount I need to pay for classes and bills, I have received grants mere hours before tuition is due, I have gotten random gift from a friend in the mail during difficult times, I’ll find random money in a drawer. And in marriage now, the Lord has blessed us with more than we need so that we can give back to others, so that we can buy people things to encourage them, so that we can take them out to eat and pray with them.

The Lord has always provided financially when it is something doing with His Will, and until the Lord shows us otherwise, His desire for us is missions- and with that knowledge we will continue to rely on the Lord in all things, knowing that the money will come through, knowing that our hearts will be taken care of by the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

So, my friends, hear my prayer of thankfulness to the Giver of Salvation, thanking Him for my life, for my Savior, for the prayers He has answered, the path He has cleared.

Thanks be to the Lord!


7 fundamentals of the Christian Faith (as told by this redhead)

I had the privilege of speaking at my Church’s ConnectWomen event that takes place once a month! It was a sweet time and I was very thankful to be able to share my story and what the Lord has taught me.

The entire manuscript was 20 pages, so I wont post it all, but I thought I’d share my 7 fundamentals of faith and how I apply that to my life!

Enjoy, and feel free to share your faith fundamentals with me!

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Here I am Lord! (send me)

For those of you that have spoken to Dustin and I about the future, “where we see ourselves in ten years” you know our answer is usually “we don’t know!”.

I know, I know, that sounds like zero planning, like we’re floating in the stage of almost adulthood, not quite willing to make any firm commitments. But that’s not the case.

Separately, when our “we” was “he” and “she” we felt the Lord’s calling to missions.

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