Seventeen Problems by Betsy Tachella

Sep 2, 2014 | Faith

It’s my privilege to share an excerpt from my friend Betsy Tachella’s new book, “Speak To Me Lord, I’m Listening.” She’s also giving away a copy to a reader – comment below or send me an email and I’ll put your name in the drawing. The entries will be open through Saturday, September 7.

Seventeen Problems

Prayer is such an integral part of our Christian walk, yet how many times do we approach God with an issue that needs attention and really expect to hear an answer? Sometimes things build up in our lives, and we become overwhelmed. 

Several months after we settled into our home in Southern California, I experienced a nagging sense of frustration. Feeling emotionally fragmented, I noticed stress and exasperation were my constant companions.

One morning, I awoke almost immobilized by these overwhelming feelings and thoughts.  What’s bothering me, Lord? I’m feeling frustrated, but I can’t put my finger on why? Will you reveal to me what is wrong?

By faith, I awaited His answer. “…if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.” (Jn. 16:23).

Having brooded over my mood for several weeks, I knew that something was stealing my peace. Maybe you have had this experience, where you know something is out of kilter, but you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what it is. With pen and paper in hand, I listed the things that floated across my mind. My list gradually unfolded as I engaged in listening prayer and heard God’s voice.

In our newly built home, the yard was still just dirt, and I wanted grass. Completion of the pool lagged behind schedule. We had not found a piano teacher for the girls. No gutters were on the house yet. Friends for the girls proved sparse. We needed new furniture for the family room. I had no Bible study group to attend.

Determined to continue hearing from God about what bothered me, I remained still, waiting on the Lord, and listening further. The woeful list went on: No letters from home, no rapport with neighbors, no ministry, no ongoing creative projects. No, no, no…. 

Looking over the list, I counted seventeen unsettling things in all. I was gaining a clear picture of why I felt frustrated. It wasn’t just one thing. It was seventeen. Being an analytical person, I began to categorize the list which revealed five items concerning the house, six involving the girls, and three miscellaneous issues.

Since God loves order, He first helped me arrange and catalog areas of frustration into a pattern. That, by itself, eased my mind. Next, He revealed that ten areas were beyond my control. Action could, however, be taken on the remaining seven.

Seventeen items had robbed my peace. Spending time listening in prayer provided the help I needed. My next step involved more prayer. In that prayer time, I released the seventeen obstacles to God. Then I asked for grace to accept the things I couldn’t change and wisdom to handle the areas that could be changed.

After several weeks, I looked again at the list. To my delight, eight items could be marked as done. I wrote TYL (thank you, Lord) beside each of these. After six months, I again revisited the list and happily crossed off all the remaining obstacles. God loves to hear from His children in prayer and to respond to our needs. I’ve noticed that it is often the little things that mount up in life and have the potential to rob me of peace. Maybe, it is the same for you. Muddled and confused, I sought counsel from God. He spoke specifically, even revealing to me what bothered me. Then, He directed me through steps leading to renewed peace and contentment.

Story taken from my book, “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening.” Find out more at

Betsy Tacchella has lived in Michigan for over 30 years. She and her husband of fifty years have three children and soon to be nine grandchildren. Betsy has a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary and has been teaching the Bible for over forty years. She also mentors woman, and does public speaking. She is the author of “Mother Has Alzheimer’s,” a book of hope and inspiration in the midst of loss. She has also published “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening,” a book on hearing God’s voice.




Simple Secrets For A Compelling Life

Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. Susan Mueller

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Betsy Tacchella

      Thanks for taking time to read it. I appreciate your interest.

  2. Ingrid Lochamire

    Thanks for sharing, Betsy and Brenda. I’m reading your book now and find great encouragement there!!

    • Betsy Tacchella

      I’m glad you’re enjoying my book and appreciate your comment,Ingrid. You are always such a blessing in my life.

  3. Wilma Classen

    Thanks, Betsy!

    • Betsy Tacchella

      Nice to hear from you Wilma. You’re welcome.

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