Thursday, May 31


Today marks the 27th anniversary of my marriage. It's hard to believe two wild and crazy kids made it this far....only by the grace of God. For when He came into our lives, our marriage foundation began changing from sand to rock. It's been a long, hard, and often challenging process at times, but God has been there every step of the way. And He will continue to be there in the days ahead.

At my daughter's wedding, First Corinthians chapter 13 was read. The love chapter :-) The verses are a good guideline for every marriage no matter how many years long you've been married. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." ~I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) Read through several translations (especially the Amplified) to really get a feel for the words....the standard of love we are to live out in our marriage. Challenging at times? Yup! However, applying these love traits into your marriage will overflow into the lives of your children :-)

Plant some fresh love in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, May 29

delights of the best kind

Our house has a different feel to it. After two weeks of having my daughter-in-law and granddaughter here, they went back home later on Monday. We had gotten used to all the household babyproofing we had to do - lock the door! shut the gate! watch the dog while she has a cookie in her hand! grab your cup before she tips it! get her out of the toliet! she's eating dog food! ETC. - and suddenly there is a hush. Ah, it is easier wandering around the house and not having to worry about those things, but we're also missing that dimpled smile that comes so quickly to her face. Those tender kisses she freely gives. The "uppy" signal with her outstretched arms. The chattering to the woof-woofs. The dirty clothes from sandbox play. Ah, what a delight grandangels are!

And what a delight daughter-in-laws are! It was a blessing to have a grown-up female in the house to chatter with day and night :-) You know how women have so many words to say in a day....well, I'm sure we covered whatever that number is and MORE! Plus she kept my lists for me and made sure I kept on track with pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding activities. Now I'm back to working on my own lists and the forgetfulness that comes with them as she isn't nearby me to write things down as I think of them....which means I'm back to talking to myself until I find my list to write things down. At least my kids are used to that and shake their heads at their silly mom :-)

And add to list of delights....friends! Tonight I'm hosting a dinner for the ladies who abundantly blessed me with their creative minds and helping hands as we worked on the wedding decorating at the church and reception. It will be nice to eat, relax, and chat with supportive friends. May I be as much as an encouragement to them as they have been to me!

So many of the delights in life come from relationships. And what greater relationship can there be than the one we have with the Lord? When making out lists, our relationship with the Lord should take the top priority. Consider Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." Doesn't that just make you smile? :-D

Hoping that whatever is going on in your life today - sunshine or stormy weather - that you are able to find a blessing to be delighted about in your garden!

Tammy ~@~

little buddies

For years around here "little buddies" were those little boys who were in constant motion in our household. This weekend that term took on a new meaning as three different things were referred to as "little buddies" by the people in our household:

mosquitoes - those flying insects that love to find you anytime you walk close to the woods. If you determine that the weather isn't nice enough to greet them out there, they will hang close to all doors and windows awaiting a chance to come inside and annoy you. Their favorite job is to buzz by your ears at night before they bite you. Interesting note though is that the male mosquitoes do not bite; only the females will bite and draw blood before they can produce eggs. Mosquitoes are known to be disease spreaders.

wood ticks - tiny brown clinging critters which are actually part of the arachnid family which is probably why all the girls scream every time one of these are found creeping along on their skin. The screams bring out the boys who pick the ticks off and prefer to light them with a match to hear them POP. Cruel, I know, but ticks are also harmful as here they are known to spread Lyme Disease which a couple family members and a dog have been diagnosed with, so far.

dragonflies - fascinating flying insects which are large enough to enjoy examining close up as they examine you with their compound eyes. The kids coax them onto their fingers and place the dragonfly onto their shoulders to ride around. Often you'll see several dragonflies riding around on their human friends. Even the grandbaby allowed a dragonfly to be placed on a finger :-) Dragonflies truly are our friends as they destroy large numbers of mosquitoes - YAY!

Soooo, all that to say, I never knew which "little buddies" were being spoken of until I actually looked to see what the kids had on them. And I have to confess that two out of the three "little buddies" wouldn't be in MY classification of buddy! It made me think of the beginning of the Bible where creation is described and God kept saying, "It is good". How could mosquitoes and wood ticks be put in the "it is good" category? I've been wracking my brain to figure out the context of when they'd be considered good and I'm just not coming up with any success. It's one of those "when I see God I want to know why" kinds of questions. But will it really matter then?

The verse from my devotional yesterday was John 16:23a - "And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]." (amplified version) Jesus was referring to spiritual mysteries that the disciples had questions about, and according to one commentary, these questions became minimal once Jesus had returned to His Heavenly Father and the disciples were led by the Holy Spirit. It's coming to a point of oneness in your walk with God. Faith. Complete trust. No questioning.

So, although I can't figure out why there are "un-buddies" like wood ticks and mosquitoes, I can trust that God has a purpose for them. And although I cannot understand why dear people in our lives are suffering with such things as the devastation of cancer, I can trust that God has a purpose even in trials.

Plant trust as you walk down your garden path with God today!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, May 25


In the blink of an eye this week has passed. And with as much certainty, in the blink of an eye this long weekend will pass, also. As family members travel today, we will soon all be together once again for a weekend of traditions. Our traditions are not traditional, but most of them are rather random acts that have happened through the years which the kids have loved and enjoy continuing every year. I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxin' and hangin' with them all as technology goes out the window for a few days and we enjoy a simpler, slower pace :-)

And let's not forget why we have a long weekend. Memorial Day. It's through the sacrifice of men and women who serve in our armed forces that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have in America on this day and every day.

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, May 24

a forgotten chapter?

When I found out my daughter was getting married, I immediately bought several books that were specifically for the mother-of-the-bride. There were so many details I hadn't even thought about as I skimmed through page after page and began making lists. Each book had it's own style - one business like with charts, one humorous, one with beautiful pictures, one a survival guide (grin), one well known "knot guide", one an etiquette book, one practical - and I'm not counting the additional wedding books for decorating, flowers, invitations, etc! Yes, welcome to my life as a book-a-holic!

But you know, even with all those books I could only find a few sentences with post-wedding advice. Really. I searched each book this morning. My favorite sentence was found in a book by Sharon Naylor: "The emotion you felt at the wedding has pulled everything out of you, and now you're left wandering around the house with nothing to do." :::::THUD::::: Oh dear. My life once again does not fit "normal". At least it gave me a very good chuckle :-D

There needs to be chapter for the mother-of-the-bride who has an amazing creative friend (and I mean amazing!) who puts together a reception design that is elegant and recruits friends to pull it all together with gentle touches. Simple. Romantic. Soft. Fragrant. Beautiful. In other words, breathtaking! What I never considered, however, was post-wedding. Everything in the reception room had to be taken down and put my kitchen. Bolts of tulle which had been cut for chairs and bows and borders now stacked up on the tables we used for our day-after-the-wedding brunch. Vases of lilacs filled the countertop. Numerous candles and candlesticks filled another countertop. Strings of lights in boxes. Ribbons were scattered amongst everything. Throw in all the tools we used, items we purchased but didn't use, and a host of miscellaneous. OH MY! We could hear children in the kitchen, but often couldn't see them for they were WAY below the mountaintops! :-D And yes, life goes on in the midst of this. There's still meals with lots of dishes, and laundry, and cleaning, and disputes to settle amongst siblings, and baby diapers, and baseball games, and gardens calling. Life at its finest :-)

We are still working our way through the mountains, but things are looking better. I am so thankful for a daughter-in-law who keeps lists and keeps me moving, especially when my mind wanders and can't focus on the next thing!

And although the books may not have the proper last chapter for the mother-of-the-bride, THE book has plenty of wisdom to hang onto. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" ~Galatians 5:14. Diligence, patience, perseverance, faithfulness. All good things to plant in my home at this time. And hopefully all done with joy and a bit of a sense of humor :-)

Enjoy your day!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, May 23

more fragrances

When considering when to have a wedding, my daughter picked May because she grew up with lilac bushes growing outside her bedroom window and it was a favorite scent and flower of hers. Not a problem, right? WRONG! Our lilacs blossom at different times in the spring completely dependent upon the past winter and the weather in the spring. Most often they available around Memorial Day weekend.

We marched ahead with a May wedding choosing colors that would coordinate with the various shades of lilacs. And then began the "lilac watch" by myself and friends. A fresh lilac bouquet was brought home by my daughter for Mother's Day, but she lives further south than us so hers were much further ahead. More bushes were closely examined. And a little over a week before the wedding I had to make a decision about whether to order lilacs - which would have been extremely expensive and the quality couldn't be guaranteed - OR trust that ours would be ready in time. I me, Lord. And He did. A friend that morning shared that the bushes were looking good in town and that I should take a drive through the streets and look. And that was my answer. They were at a perfect stage. I could trust God to provide lilacs for the wedding.

I went ahead and put a note on the church bulletin board looking for others who would share their lilacs and calls came in. Then came God's sense of humor. My husband casually mentioned that he was going to be removing a bunch of lilac bushes for a friend on Friday and transplanting them in our yard! :::thud::: I shouted, "STOP!" Apparently my husband had missed all the lilac conversations (actually he avoided all the wild planning excitement on purpose, I think *grin*) and I had to tell him NOT to transplant anything, but allow us to pick the lilacs fresh on Saturday morning.

So, Saturday morning he and I went to the friend's bushes and cut to our heart's content. We cut lilacs at other friend's homes. I cut the lilacs from our home bush for the front of the church and for the bridal table to satisfy my sentimental heart. We had lilacs, lilacs, lilacs EVERYWHERE! Talk about God's abundance! WOW! And the church and reception rooms were unbelievably fragrant. The scent permeated throughout the buildings. And the scent continues now in our home as we've brought millions (really, it does seem like that many!) vases home.

The thought came to me how appropriate this flower was for the wedding as there are so many references in the love book of the Song of Solomon about fragrance. Truly, the color and fragrance enhanced the wedding.

And the fragrance also brought to mind a couple of favorite Scripture verses again: "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing" - IICorinthians 2:14-15.

Is my life a sweet fragrance of Christ? Everywhere? Permeating everyone I meet? It's easy for me to do when I'm outside my home, but am I consistent within my home? Am I the only one who reprimands my child one moment with perhaps a harsh voice, but the next moment sweetly answers the telephone or door? :::gulp:::

I know that not everyone will have the permeating fragrance of lilacs in their home to ponder this thought more deeply, but I do hope that we all stop and take time to consider our fragrance. May it be pleasing to Him on this day!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, May 22

the fragrance of roses

I recently read something interesting about roses:

James Creelman, in one of his letters, describes his trip through the Balkan states in search of Natalie, the exiled queen of Serbia.

"In that memorable journey, " he says, "I learned for the first time that the world's supply of attar of roses comes from the Balkan Mountains. And the thing that interested me most," he goes on, "is that the roses must be gathered in the darkest hours. The pickers start out at one o'clock and finish picking them at two."

"At first it seemed to me a relic of superstition; but I investigated the picturesque mystery, and learned that actual scientific tests had proven that fully forty percent of the fragrance of roses disappeared in the light of day."

~Malcolm J. McLeod
Out of the darkest times comes the greatest beauty. I can apply that to several situations that have happened in the life of our family and even things that we are currently walking through. And yet what great faith builders these experiences are as we realize how incredibly trustworthy our Lord is and will continue to be.

And once again the Lord has reminded me of that fact as I begin to have a moment to reflect on the marriage of my oldest daughter. There were many moments of challenge with her throughout the years....many. Her personality is much like her mother's - yikes! - which could be why we often clashed. But just as the Lord has refined me through the years (which will no doubt be a life long process), so will He continue to refine her.

The verse that comes to mind is Psalm 30:5b "Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning." Truly there were shouts of joy on her wedding day as we saw the beauty the Lord brought forth from the times of darkness! God is good....all the time!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, May 21

a new row

Another new season has begun in my life! Although I've been a mother-in-law to a daughter-in-law for almost four years now, I'm now a mother-in-law to a son-in-law as my daughter married on Saturday. And just as it took a while to figure out this whole mother-in-law role four years ago (and I'm still learning!), I think it will take a while to figure it out again as I sense it will be new territory. Exciting, challenging, and always humbling!

So many of my family relationships began when I first became pregnant with a child and watched that child grow and mature. This new relationship is different in that it has been, in garden terms, transplanted into our family. This young man has grown up in a solid family full of extended relatives and set on a firm foundation. Jesus Christ will be the center in this new home. They will live and laugh and grow and love with the support of family. And I keep thinking of III John 4: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." There is no greater joy as a parent!

Although my body may be exhausted by all the pre-wedding, wedding, and now post-wedding events, my heart is full of life as I sense the excitement, happiness, and honeymoon glow these two have as they begin their new "row" :-)

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, May 17

employing time

"Make each day useful and cheerful and prove that you know the worth of time by employing it well." ~ Louisa May Alcott

As we countdown to the wedding on Saturday, I believe we have been employing our time well. Each minute of the day is full. I have been blessed by a daughter-in-law who is keeping a notebook with the pages filled of all that needs to be done and she regularly keeps me on task. Without her I'm thinking my time would not be employed well and I would be wondering through the house all day long trying to sort through my full mind! So one by one we cross things off her list. And moment by moment we get closer to the wedding.

So, we are employing our time well and making the days useful and for the most part things are cheerful around here....however....the children are getting a bit fractious. Now it can be a "waking up on the wrong side of the bed' thing, but I think perhaps it is more of a "mom is too busy and disconnected" kind of thing. I need to fill their tanks as it's been too many days of mom not connecting well one-on-one. It's once again the timeless mom act of balancing everything well! And so worthwhile if cheerfulness reigns once again :-)

May your day be useful, cheerful, and well employed!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, May 15

a spring storm

We were enjoying watching a baseball game late yesterday afternoon when the wind started blowing in clouds. The game was close as the clouds became darker and darker. Our son was called in to pitch for his very first time ever as the storm moved closer. He was doing well striking out batters when the lightning became more evident and the game got stopped in the fourth inning. The storm was threatening as we quickly drove home to grab clean curtains off the clothesline, shut windows in the house, and head downstairs. And just as quickly we lost power. Yet, once we found candles and the storm had passed, everyone settled in for a quiet evening of games and talking. Some went off to bed in the dark and others like myself (okay, perhaps I was the only one!) fell asleep on the couch as I listened to the olders banter back and forth about everything under the sun.

We saw the storm from the threatening side, but how many people during its fury considered the other side of the clouds? For on the other side of the clouds the sun was shining and the winds were calm. "Even now men cannot look at the light when it is bright in the skies, when the wind has passed and cleared them." ~Job 37:21 God is there during the storms. We may not see Him, but He is on the other side. How comforting is that?!

And how nice it is to see a clean landscape outside my window this morning as everything received a fresh washing of rain and the greenery is jumping out even more as spring takes on a new fullness even in the midst of lingering clouds.

Trust Him through the storms of life knowing He is there and the results will be new life :-)

Tammy ~@~

Monday, May 14

just do it

"Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience." OUCH! How many times have I read that in child training books?

This morning it reappeared in my devotional as it spoke about Abraham and his proper obedience to God found in Genesis 17:23. Abraham did what God asked him on the very same day.

How often do I expect instant obedience from my children? Always. How often does God expect instant obedience from me? Always. How often do I instantly respond in obedience? ::::gulp:::: Okay, am I the only one who always has to ponder, chew on, pray about, receive counsel, etc., before I believe I've discerned God's voice and actually move forward??? WHAT IF I instead immediately responded to what God was speaking to me? Can you imagine the adventure He would take me on? Whoa! and Wow!

Go and plant some obedience in your garden other words....JUST DO IT! :-)

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, May 13

remembering mom

The day has been well advertised and everywhere you go there are all kinds of things to purchase to make the day special for your mother. I did venture into the card aisle this year as I wanted to find a special card for my daughter-in-law and was thankful to find only two kinds to pick from, one which was perfect. And then I quickly scooted back out of the aisle.

For you see, I used to spend a LONG time looking for cards for my own mom, especially when I became an adult and a mother myself. How to find the perfect card for everything she meant to me - it was an elusive task! However, my mom has been with the Lord for over two years now and my mother-in-law passed away only five months ago. Mother's Day has taken on a whole different meaning.

Although my children bring great joy in their wishes, a corner of my heart still holds sadness on this day for the earthly loss of my mom. How often I wish I could talk to her! How often I wish I could ask her a question or seek advice! How often I wish we could laugh together one more time! And yet, how dare I wish her back here as she has received her heavenly reward and is enjoying life in the midst of heaven - what a glorious thought! - and it does make me smile :-)

Enjoy this special day as a mother knowing you are making a difference in the lives of each one in your family and that your impact will be eternal giving our Heavenly Father glory!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, May 12

pray in prayer

Prayer.....a young man from our church is seriously ill and currently hospitalized in the ICU. All day my mind kept running to prayer for him and his family and I know I'm not alone in doing this. I believe earnest prayer holds power.

As I thought about this, it reminded me of a devotional a couple weeks back. It was about Elijah and the intensity of his prayer in I Kings 18. He was a lone prophet of the Lord at this time living in a land of famine and drought. And yet he trusted God fully and completely as he prayed. He prayed with fervency and entered into a posture of prayer that shut all things out (verse 42) "....but Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, bent down to the ground, and put his face between his knees." He did not give up. One commentary said he prayed praying. Even James makes mention of his fervent, earnest, continued prayer in James 5:17-18. Whoa! How often do we do that? Imagine what our lives would look like it we consistently prayed this way? Prayed for our families with such intensity? Prayed for our churches? Our country? God's power is just a prayer away.....

Plant some prayer in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, May 10

a saying for today

As I sat down at my computer this morning, I looked up at my calendar and this was the saying for the month: "An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves." ~Lydia M. Child.

It certainly is appropriate as we are on wedding crunch countdown in our home. There are many decisions being made right now, but oh, what joy in making them as they are in anticipation of making someone else delightfully happy. And what a blessing friends are who are coming alongside right now to help, to pray, to hug, to suggest, to work, to encourage. God is good...all the time!

Perhaps the hardest thing right now is hearing the outdoors softly calling my name. Spring is my favorite time to be puttering out in the yard after a long winter, and alas, I have not lifted a finger yet. But there will be time in the days ahead to get my hands in the dirt again, to pull the weeds, to plant something new, to water the old. And there are seasons like that in life. There are things pulling at my heart to plant in the lives of my children, to water and nurture maturing friendships, to pull some sins out of my life, and yet I am in a season of harvest as a child marries. All in God's perfect timing!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, May 7

it is NOT an earring!

That thing that has been attached to my ear all is NOT an earring! It was the telephone. It was inevitable, I suppose. How else can you be on a wedding countdown without at some point having to talk to a bunch of people needing to make call after call after call? NOW to make heads or tails out of all my notes.....

And, at the moment, my household looks like I've been absent all day long. Life goes on, doesn't it? The kids still play and eat and let wet dogs into the house and snack and play with something else and finally give up after the hundredth time of coming up to mom to tell her something and have her give the "shhhh" finger on her lips while she tries to listen on the phone. Ohhh, I don't like these kinds of days, but there are things that had to be done and accomplished and perhaps I've made such great progress that the phone will go back to its place for a few days.....a mother can dream can't she?

So on to catching up with my household and spending some time listening to my kids :-)

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, May 6

the sound of grace

My random thought for the day.....

After singing a melody of songs around "Amazing Grace" during worship this morning, our pastor made a comment that has kept me pondering the rest of the day. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!".....what does grace sound like?

It may be the shortest post I ever write, so enjoy it while I continue pondering :-D

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, May 5

singing in the garden

The Scripture for my morning devotional was only one verse, but I like to read things in more of a context feeling. Actually this whole chapter was good, but here's a few verses:

"And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.' And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, 'Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.' And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed." ~II Chronicles 20:20-22

Okay, I really enjoyed these verses because I'm a morning person and that's when this took place *grin* just teasing a bit.....Jehoshaphat was surrounded by the bad guys and took time to fast and pray and confirm his belief in God. Then with thanksgiving in their hearts, they sang and praised the Lord as they moved forward. And the end result was that the enemy was defeated (you can read more about that in the following verse).

I don't know why I always stand amazed when God provides His timely Word for my life at the moment...God is so incredible! The month of May will no doubt be the most challenging month of the year for me and there is a sense of challenge on every side in so many areas of my life. Not that it's all enemy territory, but it could be easy for me to fall into defeat because of the overwhelmingness of it all. And yet in these verses, I'm again reminded to refresh my spirit in WHO God is, trust Him completely in everything, give thanksgiving, and sing and praise Him as I move forward through my days. Simple, yet profound.

Join me in singing in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, May 4

95 caps

One of my favorite stories as a child was "Caps for Sale" by Esphyr Slobodkina. We all know the story of the peddler who wandered up and down the streets selling a tall pile of caps atop his head. Then he stops for a nap and fairly quickly all the monkeys in the tree are wearing his caps *smile*

We've had our own version of "caps" around here as my sister-in-law was cleaning out my in-laws house a bit this past week. We received four large garbage bags full of hats which my mother-in-law had worn As we took them out of the bags, we put them up on the floor in piles of fives and counted NINETY-FIVE hats! Every color, every style, plain, funky, you name it, we have it! And the littles were delighted and are having a ball wearing hats around here :-) Since I didn't want to find hats all over the house once the monkeys were done with them and wanted to throw them down, I let them each choose a few hats to keep out. The rest I stacked up like the peddler, put them back into bags, and will let my older girls pick a few when they are home sometime. What fun! And what wonderful memories of their colorful Grandma!

And you know, we don't even have a copy of that book around here as I think we've always read a copy from the library. Perhaps it's time to buy our own book in memory of a grandma who perhaps didn't have a green thumb, but certainly had her own treasures planted in a garden for us to enjoy :-)

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, May 3

be praying!

Today as Christians we unite in prayer for our nation...."If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray...." ` II Chronicles 7:14

This is the 2007 Prayer for our Nation by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll:

Almighty God, we pause to
reflect on Your character as we
seek wisdom for such a time as this.

In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able
to protect;

In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading
us aright;

In the unprecedented events
we're facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, our dependence on
You, is total, not partial
...our need for Your forgiveness
is constant
...our gratitude for Your grace is
...our love for You is deep.

We ask that You guard and guide
our President and all who serve
the people of these United States.

May uncompromising integrity
mark their lives.

We also ask that You unite us as
truly "one nation, under God."
May genuine humility return to
our ranks.

And may that blend of integrity
and humility heal our land.

In our Lord's name we pray,

Take some quiet time today to pray for our nation....the church, the government, the family, our education, our military, our media. And amen!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, May 2


Ah, sweetness! My devotional was so good this morning on this topic that I'm going to use it for my post this morning. The bold print is my own emphasis as a reminder to myself that I can't do it on my own, but only through the help of the Holy Spirit :-)

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ...." ~ II Corinthians 2:14

How these words help us! Think of them when people rasp you, when the devil pricks you with his fiery darts, when your sensitive, self-willed spirit chafes or frets. Let a gentle voice be heard above the strife, whispering, "Keep sweet, keep sweet!" And, if you will but heed it quickly, you will be saved from a thousand falls and kept in perfect peace.
True, you cannot keep yourself sweet, but God will keep you if He sees that it is your fixed, determined purpose to be kept sweet, and to refuse to fret or grudge or retaliate. The trouble is, you rather enjoy a little irritation and morbidness. You want to cherish the little grudge, and sympathize with your hurt feelings, and nurse your little grievance.
Dear friends, God will give you all the love you really want and honestly choose. You can have your grievance, or you can have the peace that passeth all understanding; but you cannot have both.
There is a balm for a thousand heartaches, and a heaven of peace and power in these two words--KEEP SWEET.

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, May 1

the first of May

From my devotional this morning:

"Nature's harshness has melted away and she is now beaming with the smile of spring, and everything around us whispers of the gentleness of God. This beautiful fruit is in lovely harmony with the gentle month of which it is the keynote. May the Holy Spirit lead us these days, beloved, into His sweetness, quietness, and gentleness, subduing every coarse, rude, harsh, and unholy habit, and making us like Him...." ~A.B.Simpson

Ahhh, the smile of spring after a long winter! But somehow "sweetness, quietness, and gentleness" does not describe my boisterous household when spring arrives! There's bikes going up and down the driveway, trampoline jumping, dogs barking, kids yelling in the baseball field, the phone ring ringing, basketballs bouncing, skinned knee littles crying, motorcycles revving, dogs barking again, and so the day goes. Kids will delightfully be kids and enjoy every bit of creation until it gets dark outside! YAY!

And hopefully moms will be moms and develop sweetness, quietness, and gentleness in the midst of boisterousness :-)

And since the character trait of God mentioned in the devotional was "gentleness", do a word search in your Bible and be encouraged to plant this fruit in your garden!

Tammy ~@~

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