Tuesday, July 29

never forgotten

"Child of God, you cost Christ too much for Him to forget you." ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Sometimes in this great big world you feel like you're lost among all the other leaves on the trees like a forgotten speck of humanity. But God knows exactly where you are and what's happening in your life.  He hasn't forgotten you.  In fact, He loves you more than you can even begin to comprehend.  

So hang in there.  Be still.  Open your eyes and ears to all the little ways all around you that reveal His love just for YOU!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, July 28

only found in God

A prayer to start your week:

"Lord, in your mercy, forgive all our sins against one another. Take from our hearts all suspicion, hard feelings, anger, dissension, and whatever else may diminish the love we could have for one another.  Have mercy, O Lord, on all who ask for your mercy.  Give grace to all who need it." ~ Thomas a Kempis

We live in a world with so much conflict all around us. May our hearts seek peace through His forgiveness, His mercy, and most of all, His grace.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, July 26

whatever you do

It was one of those moments when I just don't get it.  The realization of something way beyond my human understanding. The common question of "Why, God?" knowing it won't be answered during my time on this earth.  

It happened when I read the name of someone from our community who was suddenly killed in a car accident.  A woman who was known for her energy and enthusiasm as she volunteered in various community non-profit organizations. She had a vibrant way of connecting a lot of different organizations to be able to resource and work together.  And I had just spoken to her earlier in the week when she stopped by my office.

I'm stunned.

Why do those who have so much to offer to so many people get taken home so soon? 

Perhaps it is God's way of stopping all of us in our tracks to reflect and consider our own lives and legacies.  Are we living life to the fullest for the Lord?  Are our hearts engaged in serving others?  Does the love of Jesus shine in us wherever we go?  

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." ~ Colossians 3:23

What an honor it has been to witness someone's example of doing this very thing!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, July 25

avoid the stumble


It's Friday and time to stop for a few minutes - five to be exact - to write on the topic of one word.  Post it.  Link it up at the community of writers found at Five Minute Friday  And be sure to leave an encouraging word on the link before yours or on many links before yours.  The word for today is FINISH. Ready? Set?  GO!
(a peek of the start of the garden path)

FINISH

Since last weekend, I've been working on making my way from the garden gate to the opposite end of the garden where the raspberry bushes are currently mass producing a bounty of sweet juicy berries.  However, there's also been a bounty of weeds, rocks, and small sticks on the journey from one end to the other.  It's hard to progress through the mess of things that can cause stumbling and falling.  A lot of perseverance and hard work has gone into clearing the pathway so that we can finish with a bowl full of fresh raspberries.

As I consider the encouragement found in Hebrews 12:1 to run with perseverance the race set before us, I also see all the stumbling and falling that comes along the way.  There's a tendency to look down at your own sin, at the unexplainable behavior of others close to you that affects your life, at the chaos of a culture all around that throws weeds into the lives of believers.  Stumble.  Fall.  Stumble again.  Fall harder.

Yet the next verse in Hebrews pulls our eyes UP to the founder and perfecter of our faith - Jesus.

And imagine my delight when I read this verse this morning during my devotional time which was a good focus turner upward - "I am always thinking of the Lord; and because he is so near, I never need to stumble or to fall." ~Psalm 16:8

Keep thinking of the Lord as He walks with you on the path leading you through all the challenges within your own life, the involvement with the lives of others, and within this crazy world we live in.  He's got you and you can finish well!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 22

perfectly prepared

"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see." ~Corrie ten Boom

I read that quote and immediately said to myself....truth.

The older I get, the more I can look back pinpointing certain experiences and certain people during certain times of my life that were key in preparing me for an unknown unfolding future.  That thought takes me directly back to a Bible study I did a long time ago by Henry Blackaby - Experiencing God - where he wrote about how God is always at work around you. 

Life is constantly in motion for His purposes which means there are no coincidences or random encounters.  

Oh sure, they may definitely seem like it at the time.  But trust me, you'll look back someday and be able to pinpoint certain experiences and certain people during certain times in you life which will give you an "AHA!" moment of Godbumps.   Really big Godbumps.

Simply because that's how amazingly cool God is.  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, July 21

picking weeds, ummm prayers

Once upon a spring I was trying to decide what to do about a garden.  Life is busy around here.  My kids are growing up and most of those at home work all summer.  It would be a lot of work if it was just my youngest and myself having to do all the planting, weeding, and harvesting.  So, did I want to even plant a garden this year?  Or maybe only plant a small one?

So, before I left for the long Memorial Day weekend, I asked my husband to please till the garden.  
Ohhhh, he tilled it alright.  But he also did a landscaping project on the hillside by the garden that he's talked about for years.  Did I mention that his project substantially increased the size of my garden?  Did I also mention that after seeing my new garden I had to go into the house for a few minutes to cry?  It really did overwhelm me, deflate me, discourage me, that much.  

I went from no garden to maybe a small garden to a much larger garden.

It took me two weeks to recover as he added more fencing to re-attach the garden gate before I began the project of tackling the planting. Once all was planted, I closed the garden gate to let it grow.

The summer went on in a flurry of busyness.  So much happened at work, at home, within our family.  So much on my mind.  So much on my heart.  

Then I looked out my bedroom window the other morning and saw my garden.

:::::THUD:::::

Seriously out of control.  
Yes, this bad.  At least the sunlight makes it look bright and cheery, right?  Because my attitude wasn't bright and cheery as I began.  Nope.  Not even close to bright and cheery.

I quickly determined that I needed to define all the rows and areas of veggies to kind of outline them by pulling those weeds first giving them the light and watering they needed to grow strong and productive. Then we could do more general weeding between the rows and edges to clean up the entire garden.

My crew of girls disappeared rather quickly as I spend several hours each day over the weekend sitting in the dirt pulling weeds and hoeing along the way.

Improvement was noticeable as I headed to the shower at the end of each day full of dust and dirt.  
But, you know what was more noticeable?  My attitude.  The act of pulling weed after weed in the quiet of my garden allowed me to pull thought after thought out of my mind.  No one to disturb me as I pondered work, home, family.  Honestly, I hadn't had quiet pondering time like that in a LONG LONG time.  And all those ponderings unraveled a lot that had been on my mind which naturally led to prayer on my knees.  

My garden.  The perfect place to pray. 

Finally my head hit the pillow last night with muscles and joints complaining. But my heart?  It was so full of thankfulness for a much too large garden which provided a much needed pondering time that provided the much needed prayers for so many life situations.  

Perhaps God enlarged my garden to enlarge my faith during this growing season?  Time will tell!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 15

the swoosh is beginning

There are so many times I wish blogging was around when I first began raising my children.  What a wonderful way to journal the happenings of life!  But alas, I didn't discover it until my youngest was almost four years old.  So, instead you get posts like this one.....one of the "firsts" for my last child.

My children loved going away to camp.  Perhaps a bit scared at first, but the stories that came home always spoke of delightful adventures.  As they grew up, they would often make the decision to go back to our favorite camp and serve as counselors or on summer staff.  

On Saturday, I dropped off my youngest for her first experience of girls camp.  Since she's the kind of kid who likes to have a pretty good idea of what's happening in life (IOW, not a big fan of sudden new changes), I lingered a bit longer to make sure she was comfortable in her new surroundings.  Met all her cabin counselors, arranged her new bed, met her cabinmates, watched her take the swim test, and then walked along to watch her take the horsemanship training.
Once she was done with that, I could tell she was all set for a week long camp experience. I returned to the main camp to get back into my car for a quiet ride back home.  And it's a quiet week around home.  Funny how quickly life changes from the pitter patter of tiny feet to the swoosh of their wings flying from the nest.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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