Saturday, June 30

a butterfly birthday


A recent visit to a friend's home to drop off some books allowed some of us a wonderful science lesson. She had an aquarium with tadpoles swimming in the water, caterpillars crawling around, and many chrysalises hanging along the top where the screen was secured. She also had many chrysalises taped along the bottom of her cupboards. It was so so awesome! And she shared about the metamorphosis that they go through from eggs to caterpillars to chrysalis to butterfly and the perfect timing of each stage. It's an amazing incredible process and causes you to once again stand in humbleness at how great God is as your marvel at all the tiny little details of his Creation.

A couple of days later she dropped off a pen with two chrysalises attached and I taped it up under my cupboard. Yesterday one chrysalis was getting dark. Still dark this morning, but more transparent looking. Then someone came racing into my room later this morning yelling "BUTTERFLY"! Very exciting :-) The beautiful monarch butterfly is still drying its wings while it hangs onto the empty clear chrysalis. I'm thinking we're going to have to come up with a catch and release plan now. And I'm giggling at the thought of how many butterflies are flying around in her home right now! :-D

Enjoy the new life that comes with summer!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

littles middlers olders

This picture was taken last Saturday when my littlest had a birthday. Those four little fingers on the bottom of the plate represent four little years of living which have passed much too quickly for this mama. In fact, it appears that "toddler" may have to go out of my vocabulary as a descriptive word for this little one.

Tomorrow is another birthday celebration at our home as one of the middlers turns EIGHTEEN years old. Still shaking my head at myself for thinking I just had indigestion from eating too much pizza that night. At ten days past my due date. What was I thinking?! Let's just say this baby arrived in less than an hour from start to finish and it was a very memorable birth :-)

With these birthdays I'm starting to see I'm running into a dilemma. It's always been easy to group the littles, the middlers, and the olders. And in my mind they will always probably be classified as such. BUT the reality is that they are growing out of those categories. Actually, only the littlest is a little, there's maybe three that could be middlers, and all the rest are olders! Wow, how did that happen?! And someday....someday they will ALL be olders! Whew, I'm just relieved that I'm not aging as quickly as my kids! LOL!

So, please bear with me as I share about our family in the days ahead and hopefully don't confuse everyone as I try to remember who is who. Since they don't want to be named on this blog and I'm having trouble with the littles middlers and olders terminology, perhaps they need to go by numbers. Everyone, please wish Four a happy birthday tomorrow! How's that? :-)

May you enjoy the celebrations of life in your garden and all the memories that go with them!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 29

a healthy bar recipe

This morning I tried a new bar recipe that all the kids like :-) My sweet tooth told me this recipe needs to be sweeter, but that's a good thing as I can bake these and keep the kids happy and I won't be tempted to eat them at all! Of course, the other cup of chocolate chips left in the bag could be a temptation for me, but they could always be spread on the top of the bars when they are done baking as a light thin frosting.

PB - Banana - Crispy Bars

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking oil spray. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, pastry flour, wheat germ, and salt. Stir in cereal. In a separate bowl mix together bananas, both sugars, peanut butter, oil, egg, and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes (or when a toothpick in the middle comes clean).

The recipe says this makes 24 bars, but the kids kept asking for a second one so it makes more sense to just cut them into 12 bars and say one per person.

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

in ten years

A couple of weeks ago when I was dropping some things off at a local thrift store, I browsed for a moment or two and picked up a 50 cent book by Elizabeth George. Yes, I used to easily read beyond midnight when I was younger just like my kids do now. Nowadays, well, my goal is to attempt a paragraph before the book falls out of my hands as my eyes shut. It certainly puts a cramp in a reader's style, eh? LOL! Anywho, here is my paragraph from last night:

"Describe the woman you want to be spiritually ten years from now. Jot your present age in the margin here and write underneath it the age you will be in ten years. Imagine what those intervening ten years might hold and you'll see that you will need God for the events of those years! You will need God to help you overcome areas of sin and grow spiritually. You will need Him to help you be a wife...or to be a single...or when you become a widow. You will need God to help you be a mother--no matter what the ages of your children. You will need God if you are to be His kind of daughter, daughter-in-law, or mother-in-law. You will need God to help you successfully serve others. You will need God as you care for aging parents. You will need God as you move into old age yourself. And you will need God when you die."

Okay, I don't like sudden change and do much better with a little planning. Sometimes I will look down the road a few months. But ten years? Visionary is not my middle name. In fact, quite often it's more of a "just get through the day" kind of mentality. So, this will be a good topic to ponder in the days ahead because there is going to be a lot of things happening within our family in the next ten years. Many children leaving home and moving on with life. Weddings. Grandbabies :-) No doubt a few health issues as we age. Some travel. New bedroom carpet. Updated eye glasses. Living room remodel. More pets? Less to cook(maybe?). More time to read (hopefully?). Lots of people with hormones in our household (definitely!). The list could go on and on as my mind wanders around even avoiding thinking about certain areas like becoming a widow.

However, the one area that is hard to predict is the spiritual. What will that look like in ten years? What will God use to form, mold, and even break me during this time? Perhaps it is easier to put it in the context of relationship building as that is what it is. My desire over the next ten years is to continue building on my relationship with God so that it will become even a closer walk in faith. As with any relationship, there needs to be a greater time commitment to get to know Him better. One on one. Carving out more time for His word, for prayer, for worship. Applying it through ministry where He leads. And with His help a continued inside out heart cleaning of that which causes me to stumble.

Sounds like I might be busy for the next ten years! How about you?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 28

a keep off update

Hmmm, it wasn't until I read Donna's comment earlier that I took a minute to think about who near and dear might be a KEEP OFF kind of person. No one immediately came to mind.

And then the phone rang this afternoon. My step-dad.

I'm not going into the long history as it would take pages of posts. Here's the summary. He's a very special part of my life and the lives of my children. When my mom passed away a couple of years ago, our relationship changed as he became more withdrawn and hard to connect with. And did I mention he's known for carrying grudges? He did come to my daughter's wedding as she has always been grandpa's "angel", but only stayed for a moment afterwards. And there's been no contact since. Yup, definitely a KEEP OFF situation that has been developing over the last couple of years.

BUT when Father's Day came around, the kids sent him a Grandpa card as we always do. And, an unusual thing happened when we picked out that card as I saw one for "step-dad" which spoke the words I felt about him....so I bought it, wrote a brief note, and sent it off. Apparently he also recently received a sweet thank you note from my daughter.

And then he dialed the phone today. And shared how he thought everyone in our family was mad at him and he really wasn't a part of our family anyway because he wasn't a blood relative, and he doesn't hear much from us, and on and on it went. None of it was accurate from my vantage point. However, in his mind it was, he developed a grudge, and put up the KEEP OFF sign as he admitted feeling sorry for himself. Our three notes softened his heart. God is good.

It was a reminder to myself to make the effort to call him once in a while in the midst of our very busy family life, even if he rarely makes the effort to call here. And to send the random note or a hand-drawn kid picture. I had given up those habits since his response was so minimal. And maybe there was a reason for that response by him. A friend suggested that perhaps I reminded him a bit of my mom and he needed to keep that distance while his heart recovered from his loss. I dunno.

I just know I need to encourage others to make the effort....even the smallest effort....for those KEEP OFF people....because you don't know how God may use it to work in someone's life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

keep off!

Who needs a sign to keep people off a trampoline that the olders STILL have not put the protective netting up around? Typically a German shepherd is enough of a sign to say KEEP OFF! And the pooch likes to lay up there off and on throughout the day. Perhaps he thinks it is his other job when the kids aren't in the yard playing and needing his shepherding. After all, he does get paid in dog food and what could be better than that is his line of thinking?! Now, he may be protective if someone he didn't know approached the trampoline and wanted to jump on it. However, when his beloved children come and jump, he will either lay in the middle where he is now OR he'll get up, walk around with them bouncing all the way. He is also a vocal dog so you'll hear him talking while they are jumping (and I'm not even going to try to figure out the phonetics for you of what he says! LOL!)

Have you ever met a KEEP OFF kind of person? They just look mean and scowl at the world? Definitely unapproachable. Definitely protecting their territory which tends to be themselves. Could be a check out lady at the grocery store. Or a waitress. Or someone in the car next to you at the stop light. Or the person sitting a few rows behind you in church. They are the kind of people you'd like to take the smile out of your pocket and give it to them. Even then the smile may not work without getting to know them a bit first and hearing their life story. Everyone has a story. And everyone has a listening ear. Be that listening ear for someone who may not have any hope and has lost their smile in the process. For not only do you have a smile to share, but you have the hope found in Jesus Christ. He doesn't wear a KEEP OFF sign, but rather says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~ Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Keep kind words on your lips, share a smile, be a listening ear upon your garden path today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 27

inches

Finally last night a storm passed through and gave us some rain. It has been so dry again this summer and watering the garden and flowers has been very time consuming. The poor grass is on its own which means we've been saving money on mowing because we're allowing it to grow a little longer so it doesn't readily brown.

What is amazing is looking out at the garden this morning and seeing how much everything has grown! Literally inches! They say that lightning puts nitrogen into the air and soil - and we had LOTS of lightning - which is confirmed by all the plants that drank it in and are taller and fuller at this moment. Truly, the plants and flowers are singing! :-)

Storms come and storms go. Sometimes they are predicted and you can watch them coming on a weather radar screen. Some pop up unexpectedly. Some storms are frightening with their fierceness and others are easily viewed by watching while in a chair on the front porch. And after affects from a storm are just as varied with a range of complete devastation to a few branches down to the greenery of the earth refreshed.

Looking back over the last four to five years, there are reflections of tumultuous storms in many areas of my life - church, marriage, children, family deaths - and each storm had its own variables. The after affects from these storms was often not immediately noticeable, but now I'm almost startled at times by growth in areas of my life that I hadn't realized. It's kind of like "where did that come from?" and at the same time knowing that without the challenge of the storm those characteristics would not have developed and grown. It's not the type of growth that can be measured in inches. Nor is the growing finished as there are bound to be storms on the horizon that my weather radar isn't picking up yet. This states it well, "Jesus Christ is no security against storms, but he is perfect security in storms. He has never promised you an easy passage, only a safe landing."

This Scripture is cool, too: "Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." ~ Psalm 107:23-30 (NIV)

May you know God's peace today, too, whether the skies are blue and clear OR whether they are black and stormy. Grow with your day whatever the weather knowing that God is completely faithful!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 26

skinny little weeds

Yesterday while the littles were enjoying the outdoors, I decided to work on my neglected flowerbeds as I was easily able to keep an eye on the kids at the same time. For whatever reason, once the vegetable garden was planted it seems that I never really followed up with my flowers. I did a bit, but nothing like I typically do. And my perennial areas were looking nasty! The big weeds were easy to spot. But the little weeds were more challenging in one area. There's a spot where Johnny Jump-ups typically jump up :-) They are the sweetest little flowers with the sweetest little faces and are random single little plants in my flowerbed. I typically let them grow where they want to because I like them so much :-) BUT I was frustrated yesterday because there were skinny little weeds that would grow right next to them and often as I pulled the weed out, out would jump my Johnny Jump-up - grrrrrrrrr! They tend to be forgiving little flowers, so I'm hoping that sticking them back into the dirt will allow them to jump the rest of the summer.

Ah, I love spiritual parallels and here comes another one....

We can be growing in our flowerbed just fine. No major problems. Taking in the sun and the rain and weathering the storms securely in our faith. Hmmm, what's that skinny little sin growing there? Hardly noticeable to us as it blends right in. It's perhaps not a big old sin that other people are quick to confront us about and work at ripping out of our lives, but it's there. Just crossing the line. Barely. But sin nonetheless. And for everyone that is most likely a different area in their lives.

One particular skinny little weed, I mean sin, came to my mind. Gossip. I'm not talking about that blatant obvious mean spirited stuff. I'm thinking more of the subtle sharing we do as women. Is it helpful, beneficial, compassionate, loving as we speak of others? Is it a curiosity, a nosiness, or a true desire to come alongside someone and help them after the information has been shared?

"When you talk, choose the very same words that
you would use if Jesus were looking over your shoulder.

Because He is."
~Marie T. Freeman

"The battle of the tongue is won not in the mouth, but in the heart."
~Annie Chapman

I'm pondering if I've crossed the line in recent conversations. And that fact that I'm being pricked on it right now causes me to think I have. And there is someone in my life who I can ask accountability about this subtle skinny little sin because I don't want it to take root and grow into a big old ugly sin in my life. I much prefer to be one of the happy, forgiving, sweet little Johnny Jump-ups growing in the lives of others :-)

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." ~ Psalm 19:14

If there is a skinny little weed that is growing too close in your life, take a moment to examine it so that you may gently pull it out before it takes root!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~






Monday, June 25

whatever

An unexpected thing has happened as I've been blogging and I know I'll be the only one fascinated by it. Prior to starting the blog, I had all kinds of things that came to mind to write about. Different thoughts on a wide range of topics that seemed appropriate to share in a such a place as a blog. And you know what? I haven't used a one! In fact, throughout the day various things will happen and I'll think to myself, "THAT would be cool to write about tomorrow!", then morning comes and whatever it was is now gone and there's something new to write about. In fact, I've tried a few times to write what I had been thinking about the day before and have ended up deleting the whole thing. Perhaps I should make a list somewhere about possible topics because maybe someday I will sit down at my computer and my mind will be blank. Only an experienced blogger could answer that possibility for me.

I do write a family blog every night before bed and that blog will never run out of writing material as our household is busy from sunrise to sundown. The main problem I have with writing for that blog is I'm so so tired and my mind kind of shuts down.

So, what's on my mind this morning? A kink. I woke up with a kink in the middle of my upper back. Now that wasn't expected either! It was a restless sleep last night so I must have slept "funny" - isn't that an odd expression? Slept funny? Well, I'm not laughing this morning! :-p I've already exercised this morning and thought that would help relax the muscle that is kinked, but no success. Guess I'll move slower today and turn my head oddly when people talk to me. Our day's plan was already flexible as a little friend is here for the day to play and you can't schedule giggles, you know?! :-)

Then there's the unexpected, but in a sense, expected things that happen in life. My sweet daughter-in-law called later last night to let us know that her Paw Paw passed away in the evening. Thankfully she had visited him and family very recently as she knew his days were short. Her heart had been burdened though by the uncertainty of his eternity. She shared last night that her prayers that began as a child for her Paw Paw were answered when his pastor recently shared the softening of her Paw Paw's heart in his final days as he settled things with God. Tears of sadness mixed with tears of joy! And the hope, the HOPE, of prayers spoken for years perfectly answered in God's timing. He is good and His faithfulness is not unexpected but something we can have complete confidence in! :-)

"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations." ~ Psalm 89:1

Plant a row of faithfulness in your garden to carry you through the unexpected times of life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 24

contrasts

What a glorious summer day! And what a glorious day to worship!

Before the message was given during worship this morning, a short video was shown. In the video the interviewer was stopping people on the street and asking them two questions - what was Jesus was like? what are Christians like? (or something like that...the interviewer was looking for descriptive words) - on the video the answers were in two parts. The first part you heard what today's culture thought about Jesus, the second part you heard what they thought about Christians of today. What a sharp contrast of answers! Day and night. Light and darkness. A very sad testimony of how believers are seen in today's world. We are not drawing others to Jesus, but instead repealing them. There is not an authenticity, a realness, a love for others as we live our lives as believers.

:::::gulp:::::

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." ~ Psalm 139:23-24

Truly, I do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone coming to know my Savior. I desire to be emptied of self so only Jesus will be seen. Quite a task for God since I can't do it on my own - thankfully he's in the impossible business!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 23

running together

This morning over an early morning cup of coffee, my husband and I were talking about the day ahead. I'm on call for a birth so my day will be spent close to home while he will be taking a son - and whoever wants to go along to watch - to a baseball tournament about an hour or so away. We were talking about how our son just isn't hitting the ball when he's up to bat and the possible reasons why. My husband is convinced that sometime during the pitch our son takes his eye off the ball and therefore misses with his swing. He expressed the importance of watching the ball continually from the time the ball leaves the pitcher's hand until it crosses the plate. Although he said he mentions it before games, he believes the key that he found when he was a boy was to hear that piece of advice right when you step into the batters box and get settled. "Keep your eye on the ball!" And today my husband will be in the bleachers and not a volunteer umpire *grin* so he'll actually be able to state that to our son when he's up to bat.

And no kidding, guess what my passage of Scripture was this morning in my devotional? - the verses in Matthew about Peter walking on water until he was distracted by the waves taking his eyes off Jesus and sinking. Isn't God cool?! I love when He reinforces things :-)

Of course, my mind pondered this further. Keeping your eyes on the prize. Running the race. It reminded me of early this spring when a race walker friend talked me into my first 5K race. The race was a local fun race and she got a group of people committed to being a part of it....and did I mention the race was at midnight? LOL! The preparation for the race was enjoyable as I like walking :-) But the real enjoyment was the race and walking with a group of friends. We kept a fast pace with the experienced walkers checking on me to make sure I could keep up and encouraging my steps. And we chatted and laughed along the way crossing the finish line within seconds of one another.

Paul talks about running the race and pressing on toward the goal...the prize...the heavenly reward. The Christian walk. But you know, we don't run the race alone and there isn't only one person who will get the prize. We are as believers in Jesus Christ all running together in this race of life. And what could be more important than encouraging and supporting one another along the way so we all have a good finish? Like my spring race? And not knowing when it may be the midnight hour for another runner? Sharing Jesus with someone who may be at the end of the race? The importance of encouraging someone at just the right time. Like my son in the batter's box. Yes, we will all stand alone before God someday, but we've arrived there with the love and encouragement of others under our racing feet.

May you be an encouragement to someone in the race on this fine summer day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 22

taking the higher road

One statement which has been heard in our home from time to time amongst siblings or in reaction to various situations is: "That's not fair!" There are times when it truly isn't fair and a parent needs to intervene to correct what is happening. And then there are other times when the reality of life is accurately unfair but it's life, you need to deal with it, and move forward.

A situation has come up with an older which is feeling like injustice and hurt has been caused by two Christian friends. Even this mama bear has her fur up a bit with how this has been played out, but papa bear balances out my reaction with the reality of life and maturity - or should I say immaturity - of those involved. It is a situation where a parent does not need to intervene, but instead needs to remind their child of familiar counsel --- always take the higher road. Do not lower yourself to the behavior of someone else, but instead seek Christ as your standard of behavior living in a way that would follow the principle of Titus 2:6-7. In other words, living in such a way that no one could speak badly of you.

Oh, it's an easy thing to say and already head knowledge for this older, but it's the heart that is hurting and wants to respond in an opposite manner. It reminds me of a chapter in one of Elisabeth Elliot's books that I recently read about the discipline of feelings. Emotions are something that God has given us and we need to recognize them, name them, and allow the Lord to show us how best to train our responses. She says, "Choices will continually be necessary and - let us not forget - possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them." OUCH! Wait a minute! I was counseling an older on this topic and now I've been pinched? I don't think the changing hormones and moods that come with my age count, do they? Oh dear, there's always a lesson to be reminded of and learned once again , isn't there? Even *I* need to take the higher road, to live like Christ, when strong moods hit and my responses may not be found to be godly.

Today's walk down the garden path will be including prayer for my hurt one and how best to apply this lesson in my own life.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Thursday, June 21

it's summer!

June

Month of leaves,
Month of roses;
Gardens full
Of dainty posies;
Skies of blue,
Hedgerows gay,
Meadows sweet
With the new-mown hay.

Flowery banks,
A-drone with bees,
Dreaming cattle
Under trees;
Song-birds pipe
A merry tune--
This is summer,
This is June.

~Irene F. Pawsey

Woo hoo! The first day of summer! The longest day of the year! A time for celebration!

My husband was up early ready to get going on his work day and as I opened my eyes with him stirring about, a quick prayer went up to start my day and then my mind shifted gears to the long list for the longest day. But first, the pleasure of a quiet house for my devotions. Quietly I wandered into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee and it immediately hit me....there was no bread in the house! *sigh* Not a big problem if it isn't needed until lunchtime, however, I knew my olders would be up soon to pack their work day lunches. Suddenly my relaxing morning shifted gears to throwing on clothes so I could make a quick run to the grocery store. Along the way I needed to pause a moment as a mama deer and three small fawns frolicking behind her meandered across the road. Ahh, plenty of time to pause as it is the longest day, you know! And once I went into the grocery store I remembered why I liked coming early as there's no one shopping then and you can leisurely go up and down the aisles. And after all, it is the longest day....plenty of time to find what I need and plan out supper, too.

Once home, the olders were up and ready to make their lunches. A couple of littles were up, too. The dogs were ready to be fed. And suddenly my quiet morning was already gone! How could that happen so quickly on the longest day? My day felt half gone already!

It reminds me of one of those mother's sayings which goes something like this...."The president of the United States has the same amount of hours in a day as you do. Certainly you can fit in time to make your bed!"

Yes, I need to face the fact that the longest day of the year is truly an illusion :::sniff sniff::: The fact that this is the longest day of daylight hours only means I'll attempt to pack more into my day which will result in being even more tired when I go to bed tonight. The truth is that every day has 24 hours. Period. And I need to wisely plan my days to make the most of each moment with a bit of flexibility for what God may have in mind for my day. Wouldn't it be nice if He left a list on the kitchen counter every morning so we'd know what to expect? :-)

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

Enjoy this new season and especially this longest day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 20

lower your wings

Oh, how I love to "chew" on things! And lately some of my devotionals have hit on the "be still" theme and I'm chewing again. Perhaps the reason it is such a chewable topic is that the concept is such a stretch for me while living in a large household of people. There are those few quiet moments in the early morning before the children are up, but even then it's hard to be still knowing in the back of my mind that at any moment someone could interrupt.

And how still is still? Earlier this week the devotion was talking about a vision of Ezekiel's. His visions definitely top any Christian Sci Fi literature out there. Wow! But the cool thing was his descriptions of the living creatures - your imagination could go wild envisioning them. And they were noisy creatures "like the tumult of an army" or "the noise of great waters". But when the Lord spoke, they not only stood still, but they lowered their wings (Ezekiel 1:25). Bingo - there's my "chew" - to not just be still, but to lower my wings. Do I ever actually do that? Even in my early morning devotions I have one ear open for the pitter patter of someone getting up and checking in on mom first thing like they like to do. It feels kind of like having one wing cocked, you know? Yet my heart longs for the "be still" so that I will hear Him speak to me - "Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left." ~ Isaiah 30:21

Oh, I don't have the answers and will no doubt continue "chewing" on this a bit more and being thankful for those be still quiet moments that I am blessed with :-)

May you have some wing lowering moments in your life, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 19

dancing with my sweater on

Joy of joys! We finally received some rain yesterday. For weeks we've watched clouds come and go with only an occasional drop falling from them, but the clouds finally opened to water the earth. Oh, God waters every green thing on this earth much better than any sprinkler you can buy! A priceless gift which causes my garden to sing choruses of hallelujah :-)

Ah, but that great joy has come at a cost - simply put, a breezy COLD front. I've had to close all the windows this morning to the singing outdoors in order to stay warm indoors. Shiver me timbers, even the dog is rolled up in a ball to keep warm by my desk.

Now to employ flexibility and contentment as my plans for the day have changed. I can cross off the work that was on my list for the outdoors due to the wet and cold, and instead can concentrate on the indoors portion of my list. This is a good thing for me. Our summer is so short that being outdoors puttering around is a distraction at times as it pulls me away from keeping up with my indoors chores. Now to pick a project that could use a day of attention - where do I begin as the list is long?!

Perhaps the greatest key in planning any day is spending time with the Lord in the quiet of the early morning house before actually beginning the day. "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." ~ Psalm 90:14. For when our hearts are satisfied in Him, we can have contentment whether there is rain or shine, warm or cold, outdoors or indoors, flip flops or fuzzy slippers.

May you find contentment growing in your garden today whatever the weather!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 18

a flowery learning curve










Please bear with me! Not only am I getting reacquainted with my digital camera, but I'm finding that adding pictures to my blog is an even greater challenge than I anticipated as they just don't go where you want them to or how you want them. Guess I'll have to experiment on my family blog as they are used to me stumbling around with new things and will just do one of those "oh, mother!" rolling eyes kind of things...hehehe

Hopefully what you'll see once I post this is the last bloom on my late blooming lilac bush. It is much more of a pink color with a slightly different type flower and with not as much scent as my true lilac bush. The color of these lilacs would have matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly :-) I've also added a picture of one of our bushes that has finally taken this year and is profuse with blossoms (and for the life of me I can't recall what the name of the bush is now that I need to know!). And finally, a so so wonderful pink peony! My grandmother had several peony bushes which my mom took parts of to plant in her yard. When my parents moved, I wanted to take some of her bushes to transplant to my yard. Unfortunately they weren't in bloom then and I had no idea what color peony bushes I was getting. So far I have two white bushes, one pink bush, and one unknown (I know now that I planted it too deep, so it hasn't blossomed for me yet). I do love the pink peonies the best as they are not only beautiful but incredibly fragrant. Last night I talked to my husband about expanding the flowerbed where the peonies are and adding some other colors of peony bushes that will blossom at different times in the summer.

And life isn't just about flowers, but the vegetable garden is up and doing fine! I'm finding that watering the garden as much as it needs right now is very time consuming and so I wish we'd get a good rainfall one of these days....one of those soaking rains....then everything would grow mightily!

Aren't we just the same? During the trials of life which often feel like dry spells, we tend to turn more toward the Lord and find that He provides the living waters which we can soak up and which cause us to grow mightily, also.

My hope is that you, too, have flowers in your life to make you smile and just the right amount of living water to grow!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 17

the greatest father

Much will be said today as fathers across the nation will be remembered - both the positives and the negatives will be spoken. Whether our earthly fathers measure up or not, our Heavenly Father is the ultimate example of true fatherhood. His love, well, His love is beyond our human comprehension and worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. May our Heavenly Father be the source of wisdom for fathers across the land!

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~Ephesians 3:14-21

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 16

dishes dishes dishes

This spring we have been in the process of breaking down my inlaws household and emptying the house. It is a bittersweet process. To say my mother-in-law was a shop-a-holic is probably the greatest understatement ever spoken! And with that statement comes great sadness as there have been countless items in her home that still had price tags on them. My sister-in-law has gone through the bulk of the house which was a huge task.

There haven't been a lot of things that hold a sentimental attachment for myself, so in this process my eye has been mainly on things my kids would enjoy. Grandma had lots of hats (we brought home three or four large black garbage bags full!), lots of costume jewelry (we have a large cardboard box of everything separated - dress up will NEVER be the same again), and dishes galore.

Our last main project has been going through dishes having already made a few trips down there for that purpose. One of the littles and I worked again yesterday until I ran out of newspaper to wrap the dishes with as I placed them into containers. Our main task has been dividing things into categories so like is boxed with like. Our task yesterday was pinks, golds, blues, gold-edged, and flowered (tea cups included in that category). It is being boxed up and marked so that someday it can be passed onto the children as they marry or leave home, for example, one of the olders received many every day kitchen items and dishes when he moved out this spring.

Truly, it is hard not to want to keep it all, but the reality is I have no room for the massive amount of dishes found in their home. I've made a promise to myself that I will only personally keep those things which I will use and so far I've held true to that promise. However, I am feeling a bit challenged with the flowered dishes that came home with us yesterday. Lots of odds and ends of little plates, bowls, cups, and I'd love to keep them all as I so so love flowers! I really do need to learn how to use my digital camera so I can post some pictures - I'm certain I'd receive sympathy if you could just see these dishes which I know I should keep! LOL!

Ahhhh, I so so want to simplify my household and my life and the world keeps tugging at me at the same time. And, of course, my devotional was timely this morning coming from Matthew 6:24 about not serving two masters. OUCH!

Oh, Lord, keep my heart always yearning for you with a healthy enjoyment of the blessings you give me!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 15

a completed portrait

When the Portrait is Complete

As the portrait is unconscious
of the Master's Artist's touch,
unaware of growing beauty,
unaware of changing much,
so you have not guessed His working
in your life throughout each year,
have not guessed the growing beauty,
have not sensed it, Mother dear.
We have seen and marveled greatly
at the Master Artist's skill,
marveled at the lovely picture
daily growing lovelier still,
watched His brush strokes change each feature
to a likeness of His face,
till in you we see the Master,
feel His presence, glimpse His grace.
Pray the fragrance of His presence
may through you grow doubly sweet,
till your years on earth are ended
and the portrait is complete.

~Ruth Bell Graham


In memory of a woman who has gone on to her heavenly reward and whose earthly life of 87 years will live on as a shining testimony to every follower of Jesus Christ.

Blessings with tears,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 14

it's all in the timing

We are in the midst of Little League season with one of my middlers. It has been fun watching him improve through the years little by little. This year he has occasionally been pulled in to pitch at the end of a game which is interesting because he has never pitched before and rarely practices that skill. His pitches are slow, but accurate.

Last night was a big game as they were facing off against the undefeated team of the league. Exciting stuff! They pulled an early lead in the game! Woo hoo! It was fortunate that his team was playing well because my son was not - striking out at bat a few times and missing the ball in the field. After a few innings, our pitcher was changed to a more precise thrower who has a mean pitch. The game was close. We were still up by a run. And then they put my son in to pitch :::gulp::: The move didn't make sense to me at all since the other pitcher was doing fine. But there he was and the batters were swinging and missing. Two batters were struck out and one run managed to come in through that inning. Tie game. Extra inning. My son struck out as the third out at the top of the inning. Back up to pitch. Again, he had the batters swinging and struck out two batters in the inning with a guy on third. He threw an outside pitch which the catcher missed and went running to the backstop to pick up. Racing in is the guy from third base at the same time my son is running to home plate from the pitching mound. The catcher tosses him the ball and my son tags the runner out! Woo hoo! Game over ending in a tie (our league regulations state all games must finish by 8 PM since the fields don't have lights, so no matter how much they wanted to play one more inning to determine a winner, they couldn't).

My husband shared with me this morning that he overheard the second pitcher ask the coach why he was pulled from pitching since he was doing well. The coach told him that his pitching was excellent, but they needed to put in a new pitcher to throw the batters off. And that is exactly what my son did with his slow, but accurate pitches. The batters couldn't figure out their timing so their swings were off. If my son started the games pitching, the batters would have more innings and therefore more opportunity to talk amongst themselves to figure out the best timing to get hits.

And I decided that life can be like that, too. We can be going along just fine and then something comes along that we just can't quite figure out and it throws our timing off. Something happened a couple of weeks ago and I've been waiting it out as I try to see if I need to "swing" or let it pass because it's a temporary nothingness. My prayer has been for clarity and discernment. And this morning there was confirmation that I need to take a swing. Time will tell if it will be a strike out or a home run. I do know that I am guaranteed a walk of increasing faith because I'm headed into unknown territory. But, hey, I don't walk alone and can trust my walking Partner :-)

May we all remember along the path that God's timing is always perfect!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 13

as easy as pie

"It is important to know that you have to work to keep love alive; you have to protect it and maintain it, just like you would a delicate flower." ~ James Dobson

It was our turn to host Bible study last night which meant it was my turn to come up with a dessert. One of our friends had been experimenting making cookie sheets and had given me samples of what he had made, so I thought I would bless him by making one of his seasonal favorites - a strawberry rhubarb pie :-) You thought I was going to say cookies, didn't you, since he made me cookie sheets? Actually I've already given him samples made on the sheets. Okay, back to the pie....

The spring has been so busy that I haven't yet pulled any rhubarb, so it was nice to have a reason to go out to the garden. I wish I could say I picked our fresh strawberries, too, but it's too early for strawberries here plus the chipmunks always get them out of the garden before they fully ripen, rascals!

The pie crusts rolled out perfectly this time, perhaps because the kitchen was so warm, and soon I had two pies ready - the strawberry rhubarb one and also a pecan pie. Into the oven they went. And the littles busily rolled out the extra pie crust which we put in a pie tin and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. Into the oven that went. And off I went to finish my cleaning.

As I walked back into the kitchen there was the delightful aroma of fresh pies baking which soon became mixed with the smell of burning! Yikes! I had forgotten the kids' pie crust treat! Even my die hard eaters wouldn't touch that black piece of crust :::sigh::: But the pies turned out wonderfully and enjoyed by all :-)

And what does pie have to do with anything? Well, I had forgotten how much my husband loves my pies. Really, he practically hums while eating a piece of my pie :-) I don't think I've made one since Thanksgiving. I'm not a pie eater - give me a chocolate chip cookie any day! - and to me they are putzy and temperamental as the crusts roll out differently every time. Plus they are a messy clean-up. And there's so many mouths here you can't make just one pie, but you need at least two. Then there's the family member who demands an extra pumpkin pie made at Thanksgiving so there's enough pie to have a piece for breakfast the next morning (how about that as a family tradition? LOL! I told you we make them up as we go!) Oh, and did I mention that my husband loves my pies?

After seeing the smile on my my husband's face last night, really, how hard would it be to bake a pie once a month for my husband? Or once a week? It would be a simple way to bless him and show him how much I appreciate all the hard work he does for me and our family. And all it would really cost me would be some time and the clean-up and perhaps a tad bit of frustration when the crust wouldn't roll out right *grin* A small price to pay in the scheme of life compared to all his hard work.

Is there a special way you could bless your husband? Plant a little love in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 12

red brick buildings

On Sunday one of my olders and I began our travels to spend an overnight at the newlyweds apartment :-) Leaving there first thing the following morning, we headed off for orientation and registration at a college campus.

It's been four years since I've wandered around a college campus and that was when my oldest (and his now wife) were graduating. But the look was much the same - red brick buildings. Sidewalks trailing from one building to another. Pretty lawns manicured to perfection. Young adults with backpacks. The sights and sounds took me back over thirty years ago when I was entering college for the first time. Could it have been that long ago? My hopes and dreams were to be an elementary teacher, but I didn't return to college after that first year. Dreams crushed? Nope. God still knew the desire of my heart and answered it differently with me instead teaching my own kids at home for the past 20 years.

Now I look at another child of mine so anxious to leave the nest and so excited to pursue the future. And you know what? I feel just as excited! And yet mixed into that excitement comes a vaguely familiar catch in my heart as I was also miss this person who has grown and matured into a young adult who is a joy to be around, well, most of the time anyways :-) And with that comes this verse from I Timothy 4:12 - "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." The foundation is set and my prayer is that it will continue to be built on in a godly way as college becomes "home".

Whether your children are home full time or home for the summer, may you be blessed by helping build their foundations!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 10

ahhhhh!

It took me all day and some, but the garden got fully planted yesterday! Woo hoo! I am very thankful to my little helpers who are becoming big helpers as they grow up :-) Next big project outdoors is working up the flowerbeds and adding some annuals. I can't wait as it's so wonderful getting my hands into the dirt again :-)

And what glorious weather today! And glorious worship! This is the Lord's day and my hope is that you will rest in it and enjoy all that He has blessed you with :-)

"Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!" ~ Psalm 147:1

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 9

it still works

At the end of the recent holiday weekend, a special item of ours was sent home with my grandchild - THE potty chair! With it went an old copy found at a book sale years ago of "Potty Training in a Day" (and I looked at Amazon to post a link, but quiet honestly none of what they had looked like mine and I have no idea who the author of mine was). No, I'm not an advocate of that method, but there are ideas that work well in general when it comes to potty training. Plus my teachable heart daughter-in-law sought advice from me who has gone through the trenches of this challenge. She is fortunate, too, to have another advantage in that her husband was a huge help in potty training his youngest brother (in other words, he came up with the right bribe!). And off they went to prepare for task.

Last night at suppertime, we received the call! The first success! They noticed there was some preparation going on for a "big job", so off to the bathroom they quickly went....and it worked! There was jubilation going on! Cheering! Skittles received! Woo hoo! I'm so so proud! The potty chair is back in action! And it still works!

As I was thinking about it later last night....who would have thought so many years ago when that potty chair was ordered out of a Sears catalog for our first child that someday it would be passed on to a grandchild after successfully training such a large household? Back then I would have laughed at such a notion as I looked at my firstborn sit on that chair.

God had a plan, didn't He? And perhaps it's good that we didn't know the future or it would have possibly paralyzed us from moving ahead. There's that fear peeking out again. But what was there to fear as I look back? God has been there for each step and will continue to be there for each step into the future. His plan unfolds and the adventure continues!

May you, too, look forward to the plan He has for your family and the adventure it holds! As for me, I'm headed out to my real garden as the sun is shining brightly and warming up the freshly tilled dirt for it's planting day :-) My heart is purring LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 8

so so

My littlest of the littles uses the words "so so" before descriptive words. For example, "I'm so so hungry" or "I'm so so tired" or "It so so hurts" or "This is so so pretty". Which means I often succumb to peer pressure and use that expression myself :-) My apologies to those who read it here and in emails...hehe.

HOWEVER, I am feeling a lot of "so so" things on this day. I am so so tired of this cool weather. I so so really want to plant my garden. I so so want to finish up the last of the wedding stuff. I so so want to be caught up on my laundry. I so so want to complete the photo album project I've started. I so so want my desk clean again AND my bedroom for that matter. I so so need to pack up dishes at my in-laws house. I so so need to sit down and pay bills. I so so have to finish correcting the last of our schooling. I so so feel so so overwhelmed. And....well....I think you get the idea. Lots of "so so"'s (how do you pluralize such a crazy word? LOL!) and lots of *I* Bad combination. Sounds a bit like ::::whispering:::: murmuring, eh? I should just come right out and say "I am so so discontent at the moment!"!!!

And then I think of the apostle Paul who had it so so much more worse than I could ever imagine and his words from Philippians - "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." He could still say that through jailings, beatings, shipwrecks, stonings, persecution to the max?! So, what's his secret? Easy. Just a couple verses down, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Surely my murmuring and complaining could be so so easily relieved if I'd take my eyes off my self-centered spirit and turn them upward to the Lord and ask for His strength to tackle all my projects. No need to be overwhelmed and frustrated if I've asked Him to guide my day and my projects. Then I'll be doing just what He wants me to accomplish with a little bit of flexibility to be open to something maybe NOT on my list that is on His list :-)

May you not be sowing discontent in your garden today (yikes! who wants to reap that crop?!), but being content in the breath of life and what God has for you this day!

Have a so so wonderful day! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 7

energy

When talking to a friend yesterday, we both found that as early birds we've suddenly had a harder time getting up in the morning. Doesn't make sense because it's lighter in the mornings now which should make it even easier to get up and GO! But instead we actually feel more tired. Our conclusion was that because we've been in a spring pattern of earlier get-ups and also later go-downs because it stays light longer in the evenings, our bodies have finally had enough and are shouting, "CATCH UP ON YOUR REST!" :-)

Last night when I crawled into bed, I pulled out a devotional book that I will read before I fall asleep because they are short devotions and I can usually get one read before the zzzzzz's hit. My ribbon was still in place for Monday and since I hadn't read it yet, I found it was the perfect thing to read for my tiredness.

Everything that you and I do takes energy from us and causes our energy level to reduce. While there are some people who seem to have unlimited energy, nobody really does.

The older we get, the more we realize we can't do some of the things we did when we were younger. But the power of God is never diminished. When he exercises His great power on behalf of anyone or anything, all of His power is still at the same level. He is never tired.

Isaiah said, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary" (Isaiah 40:28). You don't need to wait and give God a chance to rest up. You can go to God at any time and know that all of His power is available to you.

~David Jeremiah


Isn't that a wonderful reminder?! God is never tired. Before we close our eyes at night, we know that He is still working and creation will not skip a beat. And when we really do need energy, we can call upon Him :-)

May you be energized in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 6

are you swerving?

Through most of the winter and early spring, I grew into a habit of walking at least twice a week. In the winter months our local high school opens up the fieldhouse early in the morning for walkers to use the track which is marvelous :-) Then when the weather turns nicer and you aren't fighting snowbanks, walking easily can be moved to the outdoors.

As May came and life shifted gears for the wedding, I fell out of my consistent walking habit :::thud::: Until yesterday. I so so wanted to take a nap after a long lingering lunch with a friend, but instead mapped out where all the kids were and found the oldest one home to whisper in their ear that I was sneaking off for a walk with one of our dogs. Typically I will walk with the dogs and kids, but it does resemble a three ring circus at times and I really wanted to get a fast paced walk. So off we went!

Our older dog is such a nice walker, especially when I don't have the younger pooch with us. Besides, she needs the exercise as much as I do, so I often choose her as my walking partner. The weather was perfect and the traffic light. It was like walking in a whole different world since the last time I had walked. The trees are now all full of leaves and everything is green and lush. Flowers are blooming. It was wonderful :-)

We live in an area where there are no sidewalks, so as cars would approach us the dog and I would move a few feet over into the grass giving the cars plenty of room to pass us. What became interesting to me was that each car would move way over into the other lane to go around us sometimes almost going off the road! It was the strangest thing to watch. It wasn't like there were kids on bikes with me or several of us spread out along the roadside....it was just me and this very obedient dog way over in the grass. Were they afraid we'd suddenly leap out at them jumping into their lane of traffic? Did we look that dangerous? Were we really swerve worthy?

After completing three miles and now feeling awake, I began thinking about swerving (to move abruptly aside from a straight line or course). How often do we as believers swerve? Rather than leave our comfort zone when the Lord may be tapping us on the shoulder, we swerve. A necessary conversation, a ministry opportunity, a stranger in our midst, a new Bible study, travel to a new location, an outreach event, a neighborhood picnic....whatever it may be.....we swerve. Each one of those things may be perfectly harmless. Each one of those things may be a perfectly wonderful opportunity to be a light for Jesus. But we swerve because of FEAR. I love the acronym for FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real. We have nothing to fear for the Lord is on OUR side! All it takes is a whisper to the Holy Spirit and our lives are empowered. God truly is with us! Woo hoo!

And what comes to mind is the phrase frequently used in the first chapter of Joshua - "Be strong and of good courage!" May you, too, be strong and of good courage AND sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you walk down your unswerving garden path today :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, June 5

one load and five pieces

One of our favorite stories about Jesus is the telling of how he fed thousands of hungry people with two fish and five loaves of bread. Talk about a miracle of multiplication! Sometime set those exact items upon your own table to see if you can even begin to fathom the awesomeness of God's work. It is a perfect example of how Jesus not only fed people spiritually, but he took care of their physical needs as well. And continues to do so today.

I've decided to use the same sort of principle to conquer the laundry....only by using division instead. For you see, sometime when I apparently wasn't looking, the clothes in my laundry area have multiplied. I do believe the items of clothing must number in the thousands! Oh, I can keep up with all the laundry of a large household, but I have a tendency to forget the clothing left in the dryer which means when I do remember it the items will require ironing. Still not a problem as I am one of those strange mothers out there who LOVES ironing :-) But we're talking laundry baskets currently as high as Mount Everest! So, I've come up with a plan. Each load that comes out of the dryer needs to be dealt with completely - everything needs to be sorted, folded, ironed, and put away completely. And since the iron is hot while I'm doing that, I iron five pieces from Mount Everest as soon as I've finished my one load (I actually started with three pieces, but I enjoy ironing too much....hehe....and now I can see the progress much quicker). And I guess the miracle that is happening is that my ear is more in tune with when the dryer is done, so I am actually able to fold and put away more clothes without needing to iron them. Oh, don't worry, I'll never work myself out of my favorite job :-D

Perhaps you have a job that needs to be divided and conquered in your home? Come up with a plan and watch your mountain turn into a molehill with a bit of determination, perseverance, and diligence!

Enjoy your summer day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 4

like a postage stamp

Has anyone else seen the new 41 cent (why isn't there a 'cent' symbol on my keyboard?) Jamestown postage stamps? They are in a triangular shape and have a picture of sailing ships. My husband mentioned that he had gone into the post office to get some - after I proudly showed him my purchase as it is a minor competition between us to be the first to get newly issued stamps - and that they were out of those and may not get anymore. He was saddened by that fact because he is a stamp collector. This morning I checked my sheet of these precious stamps and found that I had not used a single stamp yet, so I think I'll bless him by giving up my sheet for his collection. Granted, he could probably order these online, however he will never get around to it and it will be fun to see his face when I hand him my stamps.

And continuing with my stamp theme is this saying: "Be like a postage stamp--stick to one thing till you get there" ~ Josh Billings. What significance does this saying have, you may ask? Well, I've recognized another problem I have. It's a seasonal disorder in my life. And every August for many years now I've detected it and am determined to do something about it this year.

Every year when June finally arrives, my heart is in paradise! VACATION! We have commonly finished up our homeschooling for the year and have put a long winter indoors behind us. My spirit feels burned out. The remedy is typically LOTS of time outside in my garden/yard and puttering around the house. Freedom from our normal daily routine. So many household things get behind in a school year so I'm like a butterfly flitting from one thing to the next with no thought to time. I start doing something in the kitchen which leads me to putting something away in a bedroom which leads me to cleaning a drawer in there only to need to take things down to the laundry area where I find something else that needs some straightening out only to have the phone ring and then I don't remember what I was doing when I'm done talking on the phone so I start back at something else in the kitchen which leads me to another room, and, well, you probably get the picture by now (and wasn't that a mighty fine run-on sentence!).

The calendar quickly flips to July, then August, and then :::bang::: I'm steaming mad at myself for frittering away my summer and not accomplishing much of anything on my project list.

Therefore, I am determined to be a wise steward of my June time and conquer this seasonal disorder of mine. A project list that will keep me on task throughout the month balanced with some flexibility to refresh my spirit. Building diligence, perseverance, and self control as I become like a postage stamp sticking with one project at a time until it is completed. Ask me in August how I did......

May you enjoy this June day in your garden working on the areas in your life the Lord has spoken to your heart about!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 3

a flip for joy

My calendar page has been flipped! The picture for the month of June is a large bowl filled with daisies with little wildflowers sprinkled amongst them. And the verse is appropriate for a day in June: "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." ~Psalm 126:3

One of our first main activities on that calendar page was traveling for a wedding which was held last evening. It was scheduled to be an outdoor wedding, however the weather just wasn't cooperating. A last minute decision was made to go ahead with the ceremony in this beautiful outdoor setting, so everyone was quickly seated. The bridal party raced down the aisle, the father of the bride marched down with his lovely daughter as fast as he could, and the big raindrops began falling as the wind picked up! The bride was handed over to the groom and we all ran - literally, everyone was running! - back into the the reception rooms to complete the ceremony. A memory was made! And everyone was filled with joy and laughter!

May your day of worship be filled with joy, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 2

flipping a page

Each month it always takes me a few days to flip all my calendar pages to a new month. The calendar which sits above my desk/computer typically will get changed on the right day since I do look at that one a lot. Besides, I like to see the new picture every month - hehe! Most of the other calendars around the house aren't mine and the kids will usually flip their pages without my reminder.

But there's one calendar which is a stickler for me. It sits above a kitchen countertop. I love it, I really do! However, when we remodeled our kitchen and I was trying to decide on a where my calendar would be placed, I found the perfect place and made the decision to buy a frame to put it in. The Lang Company is my favorite calendar and stationary place as I've bought calendars from them for a long time, so it was easy to pick out the frame that wanted to use. Everything seemed perfect. Alas, time and experience proved it wasn't. Because of the location over a wide countertop, I cannot easily access the calendar to flip the page. I must break one of the 'mother rules' and climb onto the countertop....okay, the truth is, I don't just climb onto the countertop, I have to STAND on the countertop because the calendar has to be pulled up and out of the frame in order to turn the page. Yes, this also makes it difficult to write future events on the calendar because I can't just flip the page when I'm on the phone talking to someone about an available upcoming date. Instead, little notes are taped along the edge of the frame to write onto the new calendar pages when I do my once a month flipping.

The truth is out! Everyone now knows how ridiculous and stubborn I am! LOL! There are a couple of possible solutions to this dilemma - I could take the calendar frame down and use it somewhere else in the house where I could easily walk up to it and change the calendar OR I could sell the frame and continue to use my calendar in the present place where it fits so well. BUT, I refuse to do either because I still love the frame since it perfectly matches my kitchen cabinets and I love the location as it's the perfect place in the kitchen to keep track of all our family activities. Even if it is difficult. Silly, I know :-)

And this morning while I was remembering that I needed to turn the page to June on that calendar, I was pondering the fact that perhaps some of it is that I'm mentally attempting to freeze time by delaying the inevitable. HA! IT DOESN'T WORK! Silly me, again. It does bother me that time marches on so so quickly and there are moments when I wish I could just stop the clock and savor the sweetness. But time has never worked like that. And I'm reminded of how God works in all of our lives. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." ~ from Psalm 139:16. Every single day of my life has already been written....even if I NEVER turn that calendar page! And the brevity of our lives has been noted in several passages of Scripture as life as been referred to as "a shadow", "swifter than a weaver's shuttle", "swifter than a runner", "a breath", "a mist", "a vapor", "a grass"....in other words, our lives are a blink of the eye.

Now I'm wondering if this pondering is encouraging or discouraging?! I think perhaps the best way to look at it is to live each moment, each day to its fullest for our days are numbered. And when we live fully all praise can be given to the Lord :-)

Go for it!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 1

hiccups

It was the strangest thing last evening. Three of us kept getting the hiccups! One person would get them, then they would stop. Another person would get them, then they would stop. Then another would get them, then they would stop. Then someone that already had them would get them again, then they would stop. Then the next person would get them again, then they would stop. Etc. It was completely annoying, yet we had to start laughing about it because it was so ridiculous! The cause of hiccups tends to be from a digestive or respiratory disturbance, so all we could come up with was what we had for supper. We had a cold light supper last night - shrimp salad, lettuce salad, melon, then ice cream for dessert. Hmmm, I don't know why any of those would cause hiccups. Or perhaps it was more from a respiratory thing as we were holding our breath a lot as we were watching the national spelling bee? This morning I'll have to check with those who were out and about with other activities throughout the evening to see if they had hiccups, too!

I've been experiencing hiccups in my life this spring, too, but in a different way. Another definition of hiccups found in my dictionary is: a brief minor interruption or change. A wedding definitely fits that category if you are the mother of the bride. Regular routines and schedules get interrupted. Most of the work is done in a brief amount of time. Life takes on a new and somewhat irregular rhythm in which you have to be flexible and go with the flow. Change. The word annoying doesn't come to mind like those hiccups of last night, but the key was keeping a sense of humor at all times with a smile in your pocket. And watching God work as only He can throughout it all.

And I've recently realized another hiccup this spring. I have not been outside to putter. Yes, I've been outside to do my two or three times a week 'lose weight to fit into my dress for the wedding' walk, BUT I haven't picked up a rake to clean up the leftover fall leaves, I haven't dug around in my flowerbeds to see what has returned this spring, I haven't picked tender rhubarb from the garden, I haven't planted a single thing. This is as strange as those hiccups of last night!

Everyone knows spring is my favorite season and gardening is my thing. HICCUP. Hmm, I don't feel annoyed, it doesn't seem ridiculous, no laughter needed to soothe the nerves, frustration isn't building. HICCUP. It reminds me of the saying, "Contentment isn't getting what we want but being satisfied with what we have." I am satisfied with going through my daily priority list to catch up indoors on my household duties that have been neglected. I am content knowing that in God's timing I will soon be outside puttering to the fullness of my little heart all the while knowing that once I get out there working in the dirt, it'll be hard to get me back inside! HICCUP. Learn to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11).

May you, too, find contentment and satisfaction in your garden despite the HICCUPS of life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
Blog Widget by LinkWithin