Wednesday, October 31

the hats of love


Remember my AWANA Council Time message the other night? Here's a couple of pictures to give you a flavor of the message.

It was "Crazy Hat" night, so I went with that theme digging through bags of hats that came from my mother-in-law's house this summer. I picked a hat for each "fruit of the spirit" and during the message the girls from my group read a verse about each fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as they placed a hat on their head...except for love. After we did the last one, I asked the group what was missing and they knew the answer - love. So, I called love up to the front and read I Corinthians 13:13 - "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." As we talked about love, I talked about how each of the fruits could easily grow in our life as long as we had God's love growing in us...and as I talked, I added each hat to love's head until love looked like the man from "Caps for Sale"! LOL! Then we went through the love exercise that I posted on Monday. It got quite loud as around 100 kids filled in the blanks with their names! Hopefully all the kids went home remembering how much God loves them and how they can show love to others :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

poking my head out for a moment

As much as I've always enjoyed a good rousing political discussion, I've grown to really really dislike all the election hoopla. The phone calls and poll takers have already started calling the house causing me to grrrrr as the presidential election is over a year away!

BUT, I'll stick my head out of the sand for just a moment to post a couple of links. Having ignored it all so far - especially since it feels like the American people really don't have a choice because so much happens that is out of our hands before we get to make a choice (does that make sense to anyone else but me?) - here's a link to see how your views align with the candidates out there.

And, if you are a conservative you may be interested in an idea that Lindsey from Enjoy the Journey came up with and is now being marketed here.

Putting my head back in the sand.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

that wind...

Remember that wind that suddenly blew this morning? Yup, well, it blew trees down on power lines putting us without power for almost three hours. It's still quite windy so I've filled some containers with water in case we lose it again. Really, being without power is survivable. What makes it barely survivable is the unexpectedness of it going out. Your household is in motion with all kinds of electrical energy and also doing things that require water, such as laundry. As quick as you can flip a switch...it's gone!...with no idea when it'll be back :::sigh::: And then I recall people who don't even have a home due to the California fires and the murmuring under my breath quickly stops.

Thank you, God, for this wonderful place you given us which is known as home!

Anyway, I need to play catch-up now that the power is working again.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a foreseen problem

Thinking about my early morning wake-ups, I'm foreseeing an upcoming problem. Next weekend we set our clocks back. Right now my sleep starts getting restless between 4 and 5 AM and I usually kick myself out of bed at 5:30 AM as it's pretty much worthless to lie there anymore. What am I going to do when 4 and 5 AM turns into 3 and 4 AM? YIKES! I suppose I *could* get up at 4:30 AM and have an awesome devotional time before I go off to exercise instead of right after I exercise. But I like to have my first cup of coffee with my devotions which is something I never do before exercising...I think of it as my reward for exercising...hehe! And right now I have a hard time staying awake and moving much after supper. I'm not certain I'll even make it to supper if I wake up so early. And wouldn't taking a nap in the afternoons negate all the good of getting up early?

Man, it's tough being an early bird! Such dilemmas!

:::sigh:::

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a change

Two hours ago I walked out the door for my morning exercise and the weather was calm and balmy warm for this time of the year, I think about 56 degrees.

"The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow....."

Right now it is blustery windy and pouring rain. Rumor has it that the temperatures are to drop about 10 - 15 degrees throughout the day with possible snow showers tonight.

I think I'm ready for that...I think!

My mind is churning out posts this morning, but I'm leaving them all in the draft box...for now. Much much too long. Verbosity is my problem! How to effectively say what I want to say in much fewer words...

Have a good last day of October!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 30

singing along

When my husband and I got home from Bible study tonight, I heard some familiar music in the house. The littlest had fallen asleep while reading late this afternoon, so she was still awake tonight and up watching a movie. One of my old favorites - Cinderella - and I'll be happy to date myself. It's the live version with Lesley Ann Warren which I watched every year on a black and white television when I was a young girl. It's amazing how the dialogue hasn't been forgotten and those songs still so easily roll off my tongue. And it's delightful to watch it now with my little girls AND in color!

Ahhhhhhh! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

driver number five

My morning was spent taking a son to a neighboring town where he could take his written driver's test to get his driving instruction permit. Okay, there I go being a dinosaur mother again because it isn't an actual written test where you need a number two pencil to fill in the circles. Nope, it's all done on a computer nowadays. So, he passed his test, went through the paperwork, got his picture taken, and we left with his driver's instruction permit. Woo hoo! And his mother let him drive home :-)

He's our fifth child to get an instruction permit. He is a focused kind of kid and I believe he will drive accordingly and with caution. I can't say that I was completely relaxed when he started driving, but much more so than when we started this journey with our first driver of the house. Of course, I'm sure the older ones think he should learn to drive on the 15 passenger van like they did! Oh, I'm sure he'll have to drive that a little, too, but his driving experience will mainly be in the sweet car.

Time to eat a quick lunch and see if I can get caught up around here after a busy few days!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 29

the love test

Between all the interruptions yesterday afternoon and evening, I worked on the rough draft of my Council Time message for tonight's AWANA Club. Today I need to work on all the props that I will need to present the message. The theme will be the fruits of the spirit with the main focus on LOVE.

Our school devotional theme all last week was on the topic of love and I'm going to use one of the exercises our family did with the clubbers tonight. It's a good way of pondering how well you are doing in the love department of your life. And I thought it may be a good thing to even post here. So here goes....

The verses used are from I Corinthians 13:4-7. Everywhere the word love is used, substitute your name. I'll highlight the spot for you!

"LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind. LOVE does not envy, LOVE does not boast, LOVE is not proud. LOVE is not rude, LOVE is not self-seeking, LOVE is not easily angered, LOVE keeps no records of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. LOVE always protects. LOVE always trusts, LOVE always hopes, LOVE always perseveres."

So, how did you do?

May you walk your garden path in LOVE today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Sunday, October 28

the garden is done

Everything is out of the garden now so I gave my husband the heads up to till it. Ya, um, this probably isn't the common way people till their gardens, eh? You pictured a small rototiller that he'd walk behind, right? HA! Nope, he took down the end of the garden fencing and drove his backhoe right in there to till the garden big time. He threw in everything from the compost containers and some loose straw he had in his storage building, then away he went slowly working up the soil from one end of the garden to the other. Although thorough, this method tends to leave more ridges and rough rows (as well as pulling more rocks up into the garden!), so his next step to complete the tilling job will be to put the tiller attachment onto his Kubota tractor and do a finer plowing job. It will look real pretty when he's all done...and perhaps only a gardener can understand that real pretty thing. I really love it in the spring when he has just done it again right before planting and I get to walk in my bare feet in that warm soft soil...absolutely heavenly!

BUT, I confess :::whispering::: I'm thinking about taking a gardening break next summer. I've had a garden for 27 years and am considering throwing a bunch of alfalfa and other grass seeds into that soft spring soil and giving the garden a break and letting it nourish itself while it rests for a year. My garden is very time consuming, and yet very enjoyable. However, there's a lot of other things I've put on hold through the summer months for years because of all the time I spend gardening and everything that simple word means. Just considering it has me going back and forth and back and forth. Perhaps after a winter of praying and pondering, the decision will become more clear.

For now, I'll just be smiling as I look out my window at a job completed and completed well for this season!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

32 jars

Since our schooling took all day and into the evening on Friday, I knew Saturday had to be spent finishing up the carrot canning. From starting on Thursday until ending yesterday, thirty-two jars later and I can now say my carrot peeling days are over for this gardening season. Whew!

Spending Saturday at the kitchen sink wasn't all bad. I decided to dig through some old CDs to listen to and pulled out one by Rich Mullins entitled "Songs". It was so so good to listen to and nourished my spirit while I worked on food to nourish my family's bodies. And I confess to hitting the repeat button, um, four times, on his song "Sometimes by Step". Don't worry, no one was sitting in the kitchen during that time wondering if mom was okay listening to the same song over and over again. I just felt the need to sing it out LOUD a few times...hehe!

Okay, you want to know what was even cooler?! This morning in church we sang a chorus that we haven't sang in ages. Yup, the chorus to that song! :::Godbumps:::

Chorus:
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days.
~Rich Mullins and Beaker

Yup, step by step down the garden path....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

teach me

Teach me contentment, Lord, whate'er my lot,
keeping my eyes on You in trust,
knowing Your love is true, Your way is just.

Teach me discontentment, Lord, with what I am;
daily striving, growing daily nearer,
finding You are daily closer, dearer.

Contented, Lord, yet discontented make me,
both together working, blending
all in Your own glory ending.

~Ruth Bell Graham

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Saturday, October 27

turning down a party invitation

"Gladness! I like to cultivate the spirit of gladness! It puts the soul so in tune again, and keeps it in tune, so that Satan is shy of touching it--the chords of the soul become too warm, or too full of heavenly electricity , for his infernal fingers, and he goes off somewhere else! Satan is always very shy of meddling with me when my heart is full of gladness and joy in the Holy Ghost." ~ Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

This morning I was drawn back into the opening verses of Hebrews chapter 12 about all those little things that hinder us in the race marked out for us. All those little things begin clumping together until you have some major sin issues to deal with. Kind of like that little pebble that begins rolling downhill until it's picked up so many other things along the way that pretty soon it's a giant boulder moments from crashing.

During a time of struggle, it is easy to get pulled into a pity party. And guess who brings all the decorations? The enemy himself. He knows all of our weaknesses and loves to decorate our lives with each one he can deceptively add. Pretty soon we are weighted down like a giant boulder. Blech....

But the solution to this is right there in verse two...FIX your eyes upon Jesus. How simple. As soon as you rip up the glitzy invitation to the pity party and look up instead, there is an immediate heart attitude change. As you plug into Jesus, your soul becomes filled with that heavenly electricity. Keep your focus there and your soul tunes into the gladness that can only be found in the Lord. And pretty soon Satan leaves you alone as there are plenty of others out there looking for an invitation to his party as he whispers temptingly to them.

This does seem like a repeat post. Perhaps it's something I need to be reminded of as it's been a tough month and at times I grow weary. Weary can so easily lead to weak. But when I am weak, I am strong because I can ONLY draw on the strength of the Lord. It's a matter of walking across my bedroom, opening up God's Word, plugging into His power, and getting filled again with heavenly electricity. Whoa! Jump back, Satan!

May you, too, be glowing with His heavenly electricity on this day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, October 26

letters :-)

At the beginning of the school year, I thought I'd start my four year old on her name and showed her how to make a 'k'. Since we've been talking about letters and finger tracing them this fall, I've noticed she spends a lot of time just writing various letters on paper. So, that prompted me to write her name on a sheet of paper for her to copy and learn. Of course, Lovey nailed it in her own cute way! And that prompted me to consider a little more schooling for her now as she is very eager to learn :-)

Just wanted to share since homeschooling continues in our households even in the midst of canning carrots!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

overfed

A full day of canning.

Only a bushel full of carrots was picked when my gloved fingers became numb with cold. I determined that those carrots would be a good start for the morning and picked the other bushel during the warm noontime sun. It always makes me smile to be out there in the sun that warms me up from top to bottom.

A full day of peeling carrots.

I'm the head carrot peeler and the kids are the circle cutters :-) They worked on schooling while I peeled the morning away. Once they all got started cutting, they worked through my large bowl of carrots in no time. We did about a bushel and a quarter or so throughout the day.

A full day of Christian radio.

Seldom do I turn the radio on or even throw a CD in anymore. There is enough noise around me that it only muddles my brain further. But when I'm at the kitchen sink for an entire day, it is nice to have some concentrated time to listen to Christian radio and I was thankful that the station came in as you never know up here. So many different topics and programs I listened to throughout the day. Truly, by nightfall my brain was stuffed! It felt like when you come home from a weekend retreat spiritually overfed and can hardly process it all.

One statement stuck with me from all that I heard throughout the day. I couldn't tell you who said it or what program it was on as it's all muddled together. So, yes, this is a loose quote. But the speaker had traveled all over the world and was visiting in a country where Christians are persecuted. As he was encouraging the missionary, he asked how best to pray. The man requested that he please not pray that the persecution would end. The church was alive and growing rapidly as people were being saved by God's grace and serving Him. The missionary said that if persecution ended, then their church would look and act just like the church of the western world :::::gulp::::: Doesn't say much about the American "church", does it? Or perhaps I should say it says volumes about the American "church"? In essence, we look dead to the outside world.

Yes, I suppose I could write a bunch just on that topic, but I feel like I consistently break a cardinal rule of a good blog is a short blog, so I'll leave it at that for you to ponder today.

More carrots to can today, but first we have our typically longest day of schooling each week to get started on now - spelling tests and everyone's end of the week corrections.

Have a good day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 25

it is time

Today appears to be the last good day of weather for awhile. I cannot foresee it getting better, so now is the time. The carrots MUST be pulled from the garden and canned. Before the cold winds and frosty snow flies. I can look out my window right now and see the rows of carrot tops covered with frost. Can you tell I am procrastinating actually going out there to pull them out of their homes? But it's time to find some warm gloves, my garden shoes, and an old coat as I make my way to the garden. The bushel baskets await the catch of the day!

May you, too, persevere on a task today that will take you out of your warm comfort zone!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 24

wait a minute!

Isn't this an absolutely beautiful fall arrangement of flowers?! It was quite a surprise to receive them just a bit ago from my husband. The occasion? Ohhh, we're celebrating the third family birthday today for the month of October. Now, if you've been reading this blog for at least this month, you know that today is not my birthday...my birthday was earlier in the month. And you know one of our sons turned 21 a few days ago. It's my husband's birthday today. My husband sent ME flowers on HIS birthday! Isn't that wonderful?! :-) I think he should do this every year...hehe! Actually, when he was opening birthday presents this morning before work, he commented that I shouldn't have given him anything (I had given him a new cozy shirt) because he hadn't gotten me anything for my birthday. What? He gave me chocolates and a beautiful bouquet of flowers which was quite sufficient, don't you think?

Guess I need to thank God for another blessing today!

Off to smell the roses!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

flakes

Nope, I'm NOT talking about those strange oddball people you meet along the way.

I'm talking about SNOWflakes!

Just a little while ago as I opened my husband's office door to walk back across the yard to the house, there were all these little white snowflakes coming out of the sky! It was odd because we have a mix of blue skies and clouds today, so it must have just been a random cloud passing overhead. While we watched it falling down, my brother-in-law mentioned that he heard there's a chance of significant snowfall next week. YIKES! I prefer to put my fingers in my ears this time of the year and say the "la la la" chorus quite loudly! LOL! The "let it snow" chorus usually doesn't hit my lips until I turn the calendar page to December and need Christmas shopping incentive...hehe :-)

Brrrrrr....back to school!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

full of wags

As I walked up to the house this morning, I was greeted by our dog and her waggin' tail. And it caused me to stop and thank God for her. I know, she's just a dog. But I don't really take time to thank God for sending us such a wonderful family dog.

Little Muffin. She was earned by a son who took care of his sister's Rosie dog for a summer. Since he was young, he had to prove he was capable of all the main responsibilities of dog ownership and he came through with flying colors. Once the summer was about over, we began watching the newspaper for pet ads. Now, we weren't looking for just any dog. It had to look like Arthur's dog Muffin. And sure enough, we had a lead on some puppies and went the next day to visit them. The mom was an almost white yellow lab who had a male neighbor visitor who was a golden retriever. And the result was a litter of fuzzy golden puppies. Quite easy to pick one to fall in love with! Little Muffin was a good puppy and our son was diligent in her care. Always easy going, never have to worry about her around kids, eats anything, wags her tail constantly, good health with a few extra pounds as she ages, and puts up a good gruff whenever anyone drives up our driveway. In fact, some people are more afraid of her than our German Shepherd! And probably the funniest thing she does is smile when our oldest daughter comes home :-) About the only thing she gets into trouble for is digging holes while on chippie patrol in the summer (I had posted pictures about her foundational underdigging this summer).

So, here's to Muffa! A dog like no other! Loved and cherished by her family! Thank you, God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 23

it's definitely a frown

Although they grow tired of hearing it, over and over and over again I say to my kids when they need to get something out of the downstairs upright freezer...."DON'T FORGET TO PUSH THE DOOR SHUT ON THE FREEZER!" because the freezer door tends not to seal tight without an extra firm push. And when I remind the kids, their reply is always, "We know, Mom, you don't have to keep telling us!"

Notice the frown on my face?

Guess what?

Someone didn't push the freezer door tight.

Several possible culprits which doesn't help.

At least it hasn't been thawing for several days, but most likely happened later yesterday. And that room has been quite cool UNTIL I finally broke down and turned the furnace on today when we had reading in that room.

Anyway, the food items in the back of the freezer seem to be fine enough. The items in the door of the freezer are thawed and I've decided to make a multi-fruit crisp for later. Fortunately the other things in the door are flours which will survive this mishap just fine. And my stash of chocolate? It is no longer frozen. Perhaps I should eat it all? You know, I'd hate to have it get frostburn :-)

:::::sigh:::::

I just don't like these kinds of things being thrown into my day when I have many other things to do, you know?

Back to working on turning my frown into a smile as I go into clean-up mode!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the hot seat

Ohhh, the weather is becoming much more seasonable! Brrrrrr! As I shivered crawling out of bed to go walking at the high school, I questioned my sanity for leaving my cozy warm bed. It would be so so easy to say forgetaboutit, but I knew I would be unhappy if I didn't get moving as it is such a small window of opportunity in my day to exercise. So, out the door I went and was praising God for the blessing of having a car that I could flip a switch on that would provide me with a heated seat for my short trip into town (and I confess to reminding Him that next time I'd like a car that also had a heated steering wheel as I haven't yet dug out gloves and mittens and my hands were a'freezin'!). It was wonderful to feel the warmth in my car which the heated seat was a big part of enhancing. It was easy to jump out of the car and walk the short distance into the fieldhouse as I was warmed up already.

The hot seat.

Yesterday I read a statement in a book written by Ruth Bell Graham which stuck with me throughout my busy day - "Do I embrace today what shocked me yesterday?". Simple yet profound. It caused me to stop and consider many things about the lifestyle in our own household. There was nothing that caused me to consider radical change, but how easy things slide into our lives under the radar. Just the way the enemy likes it to happen. Look at the culture we live in now. How easily the enemy has softened our approach to sin. The things that were shocking 30 years ago or so are no longer viewed in that manner by our society. And yet God hasn't changed....

Perhaps it is necessary to take a regular inventory of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then take the necessary steps to improve our lives - through obedience - to live more consistently by God's word. I need to get back to using a verse that showed up a lot in training my older kids - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:8 As we consider our lifestyles, how many areas will easily fit those guidelines? There is no better time than today to pause and filter our lives through His word. Because....

The hot seat.

We will all sit before the Lord someday and give an accounting to Him of our lives. Somehow I don't think this hot seat will be as comfortable and cozy as the heated seat in my car on a frosty autumn morning. Not that we aren't forgiven, loved greatly, and totally acceptable to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ...but have we died to self and lived our lives in a manner to bring glory to Him with thanksgiving in our hearts?

How did that all come from getting up early to take a walk? Hmmm, guess it's on my mind this morning so you get to listen to my out loud ponderings....

As you walk along your garden path on this day, consider what you embrace in your life.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, October 22

just the ordinary

This was a paragraph from my devotional this morning. The author was listed as "selected":

"My Father God, help me to expect Thee on the ordinary road. I do not ask for sensational happenings. Commune with me through ordinary work and duty. Be my Companion when I take the common journey. Let the humble life be transfigured by Thy presence."

Mothering at home full-time does seem to be common toil on the ordinary road.

There is not a lot of Hollywood glamor happening here except when the dress-up clothes come out on an occasional basis. The only photography is mom trying to figure out her digital camera and everyone suffers through her attempts which never make the tabloids. You won't see FOX news reporting here and our news only makes the nightly family blog, that is, when the power doesn't go out like it did last night. Noteworthy? Not likely in the least looking through the world's eyes.

But it's not the world's eyes I'm concerned about. It's living for my Father's eyes only. I don't need a sensational spiritual life that would cause me to become prideful. Instead my heart's desire is for a humble walk before Him. That as I commit my day to Him each morning His presence would lead and guide my every step. And through the ordinary I wouldn't lose sight of Him, but that I would live expectantly. In the common. Knowing my trusted and faithful Father walks with me.

Nothing earth shattering about that....but always life changing.

May your step on the common road be graced by His presence!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, October 21

a pin

At the moment it's so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Quite unusual for our household which is typically noisy - how can it not be with three younger sisters who annoy their brothers endlessly? But whenever the older siblings come home there's a whole different kind of volume and variety of noise that seems to come alive. There's so much more activity, so much more cooking and eating, and so much more talking talking talking as we all try to talk at once! LOL! It is wonderful :-) It is always way too short. And then the older siblings leave and everyone seems to settle quietly somewhere in the house to recuperate. Oh, I would love to just sit and veg a bit myself, but there's so many things to do yet this day to prepare for a busy week ahead. We'll see how much I get done before deciding to settle into bed with a book....and fall asleep by the third sentence!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 20

a flying leap

Today sometime one of my older sons will literally be taking a flying leap...from an airplane...out into the wild blue yonder...sky diving! He and two friends traveled yesterday to enable them to be at the airfield this morning. First they go through training sessions, then they wait for a plane to be available.

I recall a few years back when a group of the older boys talked about going sky diving. One parents' response was that if their son ever did such a thing, he would not be welcomed back into their house. They called it sin. My boys laughed about it as they said there wasn't any place in the Bible that it says sky diving is a sin. I'm trusting that the parents weren't using Scripture for that, but rather for the fact that their son would be disobedient toward what his parents had requested - that he not put himself in a risk taking position. And yet at that time, most of the boys talking about going sky diving were around 18 years old or older. By then I believe our parenting role is to offer counsel when requested and allow them to make their own decisions, even decisions which often we may not agree with. They will live. They will learn. Just as their parents did.

It does seem timely for my son to be doing this now as his twenty-first birthday is tomorrow. Leaping into that next stage of adulthood. May this leap clear his head of any foolishness from his youth and give him clarity for his future!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 19

an extra pair of shoes

This morning there were an unexpected extra pair of shoes by the door. Now, if you've been to our house you know about the mass of millions of shoes that attempt to stay on a very small rug...hehe...so you may be surprised that I'd notice. But in cleaning last night we had straightened all the shoes. So, when I went to slip my shoes on to leave for exercising early this morning, I noticed not only my daughter and her husbands shoes as they got in late last night, but a familiar brown pair. I think I've stumbled upon a surprise.....

I had been on IM with my college son yesterday afternoon to see if he would be able to come home for the weekend since he had family driving right past him on their way home which would make an easy ride. He assured me between work and homework and stuff that it wouldn't work out this weekend. And that was okay. I mainly needed to know so I'd know where to put everyone for sleeping purposes.

I'm not certain where he slept and the house is still very quiet - I vaguely remember hearing the ruckus when they came in last night which means some children who were in bed didn't go to sleep, but stayed awake reading or something as they love it when the olders come home - but I'm thinking that as they all start rousing the evidence will be confirmed.

I haven't seen him since August 19th.

It could be a very sweet weekend indeed!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, October 18

my twin has been found!

As I was cleaning the main bathroom, my littlest came into the room. I thought perhaps she had to use the bathroom and told her to go and use mine, but no, she said she came to watch me to see how I cleaned the toilet. After a few minutes of quiet watching, she said, "Someday I'm going to be your age and we can be twins!" See! Mothers DO have a timeless quality to their children :-) So much for all those young/old thoughts from earlier in the day!

And wasn't that a random thought coming from my little? - you do wonder how their little minds work sometimes, don't you?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

heart attack material

My littlest who was still lounging in her pajamas - isn't homeschooling great? LOL! - crawled into my bed while I was finishing up some work at my desk. She then announced to me that it was snowing! :::thud::: Fortunately I had been outside early this morning so I knew it wasn't cold enough to be snowing, but her comment certainly got my attention. Upon looking out the big window I could see how she thought it was snowing as a misty rain was coming down from our gloomy gray skies. It did look like snow! YIKES! It isn't uncommon to see snow in October, but that doesn't make me any more ready for it.

Thankful that my heart has now returned to its normal pace....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

young and old at the same time

As I was walking on the high school fieldhouse track this morning, I was listening to the music they have piped in from a local radio station who plays classic hits. You know, oldies. Songs that I remember and am surprised at the words 30 years later. How we mindlessly sang things back then :::::shaking my head:::::

But as I was thinking back it reminded me of something I read in the news this past week - the 20th anniversary of the rescue of baby Jessica. Being a mom of three young kids at that time - one a toddler - the story had me riveted to the TV at the time. An eighteen month old toddler falling 22 feet down an eight inch well pipe. Who can forget the moment of rescue two and a half days later? I still remember sitting and crying knowing she was safely out. I wonder if my older kids remember any of it? Today she is a wife and mother of her own toddler.

Sheesh....does that ever make me feel OLD. The passage of time is so rapid...the blink of an eye. And yet the irony is in many ways I still feel young.

"It is magnificent to grow older -- if one keeps young while doing it." ~ Henry Emerson Fosdick

I personally believe - and please don't burst my bubble by telling me that I'm in lala land - that the hormones that flood your body through pregnancy and breastfeeding do have an anti-aging affect. Or maybe it's just that as you are pushing fifty those little ones in your house keep you young? Or maybe it all comes down to your mindset and thinking young? Being active? Challenging yourself mentally? Of course, all those things may contribute to feeling young, but then your body which is so so tired at the end of the day and which wakes up in the morning with aches and pains reminds you that you aren't as young as you think. Perhaps that is what keeps you more heavenly minded as you grow older - the promise of those heavenly bodies someday :-)

Whether young or old, my hope is that you will live each day fully as you walk with our timeless God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 17

back to breakfast

Once fall comes, our schedule becomes more solid again as do our meals. Since we try to get started on schooling by a certain time, I typically will fix a hot breakfast for the kids as they wake up around the same time which is quite different from the summer where everybody tends to grab their own thing when they get up.

Our breakfast menu rotates through a variety of things. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, English mcmuffins, bagels, stove-top oatmeal, oven oatmeal and applesauce, chocolate malt o'meal (which is apparently a family acquired taste as neither my daughter-in-law or son-in-law like it AT ALL), bacon or sausage with eggs and maybe fried potatoes, and cold cereal on Saturdays. Add fruit as desired with some orange juice. I think that's it... My daughter and husband will be coming for a long weekend and she's already requested regular French toast, stuffed French toast with blueberry sauce, and she's bringing along a French toast recipe she wants me to try that uses angel food cake - doesn't that sound heavenly?!

Another wonderful addition to our breakfast menu for those of us who are challenged in flipping these in a pan, is an easy omelet recipe a friend shared with me (thank you, Tina!) You get a pan of water boiling as you take a heavy duty ziplock sandwich bag to construct your omelet in. Two eggs and whatever fixings you like - cheese, green peppers, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, onions, etc. - squish it all around and seal the bag tightly. Throw it into the boiling water for nine minutes. Flip the bag over and boil for nine more minutes. When it's done, just slide it out of the bag onto your plate and you have a perfectly cooked beautifully shaped hot omelet! YUM! I will caution you that if you have several omelets to make, use more pans of boiling water otherwise your omelets will come out in very funny shapes LOL!

Hmmmm, breakfast is ready now but most of my kids aren't up yet as it's another gray gloomy rainy day. Time to rouse the roost!

Anyone have other tasty breakfast ideas?

Enjoy a good breakfast as you start down your garden path this morning!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 16

another letting go reminder

The load
that lay
like lead
lifted;
instead:
peace.

The dread
that hung
fog-thick, gray,
faded away;
and with release,
day.

The trial
the same...
unsolved,
but this:
now
it is
His.

~Ruth Bell Graham

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 15

speaking of mail....

As I made my first stop at the post office during my noon hour errands, I was surprised to find a package. I was even more surprised to see what was inside - a CD by Sara Groves entitled "Station Wagon - songs for parents". It was even signed on the front! An apparent gift from my son who first introduced me to Sara Groves figuring I'd enjoy her folksy heartspun songs. Silly me put the CD right into the player to listen to while I'm driving from place to place never considering how it may look to the bank teller at the drive-up window to see tears rolling down my cheeks!

The first song is called "I Can't Wait" which tells about all the things we can't wait to teach our children and all the things that they teach us. It immediately brought to mind a conversation this very morning at devotions with my 15 year old son who protested having to sit there because he thought the devotions were too juvenile for him. Seems every older one has gone through this stage :::sigh::: There are two things that they don't realize...1) how much the younger ones look up to them and learn from them, and 2) how much they can learn from the younger ones. We are called to have faith like a child and through the years I've learned so much from children about God. They see Scripture so clearly and simply through their child's eyes.

And so I pray about my response to my son as I told him I had to think about his points of opposition. And in the meantime I'll sniff sniff as I listen to these songs....

Thanks, sonshine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

like a letter

From my devotional this morning:

"True faith drops its letter in the post-office box, and lets it go. Distrust holds on to a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes.

I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed. They have not done me or anybody else any good yet. They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and trust them to the postman and the mail.

This is the case with true faith. It hands its case over to God, and then He works."

~A.B. Simpson

Isn't this true of our human nature and our prayers? We will pray about things but maybe not turn them completely over to God. Perhaps hang onto a corner of them to take care of ourselves? After all, there are some things we can take care of just fine, thank you very much! However, in doing so we end up hanging onto the whole thing never allowing God to work in the ways that only He can work which is almost always in ways we'd never even imagine. We need to let go of the entire prayer and place it fully in His hands. Let go, let God. There is certainly freedom found in doing so......

May your garden path be free from unsent letters!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, October 14

uncle uncle!

Remember as a kid when someone would do something mean like twist your arm behind your back until you said, "uncle uncle!" and they let go? Perhaps you don't remember that because you didn't know any stooopid boys growing up.

Well, I believe I've been playing that game and finally realized it today. The offender has been Mr. Autumn and he's been twisting and twisting my arm because my heart still wants to wander in the days of summer. I still want warm weather, I still want my leaves, I still want time outside to play, I still want a carefree schedule. Instead my schedule now consists of schooling, my time outside is limited, the leaves are now mostly on the ground, and the hard frost the last two mornings provided ample evidence of Mr. Autumn's complete presence. After canning tomatoes yesterday, I did head outside in the sunshine. I emptied out my hanging flower baskets, I emptied out all my flower pots and planters and flowerbeds, I brought my houseplants back into the house. Then I went to the garden and pulled out all the sunflower plants, pulled the green peppers plants, pulled out the tomato plants, pulled out the leftover lettuce, pulled out the flowers whose blooming days were long over, pulled out the cabbage and threw it in the field for the deer, pulled out the submarine-sized zucchini. All that is left in the garden is the kohlrabi which doesn't mind a frost or five, and all the rows of carrots which will be canned this week. The shovels, hoes, sprinklers, and hoses all went into garage for storage. My work outdoors continued until it was finished and I needed to come indoors to fix a late supper for my family. All that is left to do is raking and I can hire help for that as there's kids around here thinking about having money for Christmas gifts.

So, you would think that after all that work of yesterday I had finally yelled "uncle!" to Mr. Autumn. Nope, I had to wear a short sleeved dress to church this morning and freeze my bones! I ended up going and getting my coat to wear during Sunday School, silly mom that I am.

So NOW I finally say "UNCLE UNCLE!" as I snuggle in my turtleneck and corduroy jumper and favorite football team sweatshirt and fuzzy warm socks. My work outside is done and I can say good-bye to summer and hello to warm cozy days with the woodburner going. There is contentment knowing that my time in the months ahead will be spent trying new soups, cutting fabric for a baby quilt, catching up on reading, watching a movie or two, working on my photo album, writing overdue notes to friends, and putting flannel sheets onto our beds :-)

May you, too, enjoy the change of seasons wherever you live! (And hopefully you haven't been as stubborn as I have been in accepting the change....)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Saturday, October 13

a sobering thought

This morning when I went out to pick tomatoes, my husband went into town to take care of a couple of errands. While I was up to my elbows in tomatoes and about to get a canner going, I looked at the clock and realized how late my husband was in getting back home. Now it's not unusual for him to take some time at the hardware store as he often sees people he knows and gets into conversations, but this seemed unusually late even allowing for that scenario. It was much after I was contemplating what he was up to that he came through the door and explained what had happened during his morning.

As he was headed home and had turned off the highway onto our back roads, he was startled by a truck rushing past him. Quite unusual spot for that to happen as you consider it being a 25 MPH zone with a park nearby. He noticed not just the speed of the vehicle passing him, but the erratic driving, also. He quickly followed the other driver to see where he was headed and watched him turn onto another curvy road. Once upon that road it didn't take long for the driver to pinball back and forth amongst trees along the side of the road landing in the middle of the road with a totaled truck. A neighbor heard the crash and called 911 immediately. My husband stayed at the scene and spoke to the police dispatch agent on the phone. He also approached the driver who was able to state his name and birthdate despite being very inebriated.

Amazingly the driver only had minor injuries as he certainly could have killed himself. And amazingly there were no other vehicles on the road at that time. And even more amazing was that there was no one out walking or biking along that road in the morning which is typical of Saturdays. In fact, where the accident happened is exactly where the kids and I often walk with the dogs. It is sobering to realize how quickly someone's life - possibly even someone from our own family - could have ended through the actions of this drunken driver on a Saturday morning.

I do hope when this young man sobers up, reviews the accident, sees his totally demolished truck, and acknowledges that he was indeed very fortunate that he, too, will have a sobering thought that will change his life.

One can only pray...

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a change of plans

Last night it was exciting to think that I FINALLY had a Saturday to spend in entirety working on house cleaning. Now I know that wouldn't excite most people - LOL! - but I haven't had a free Saturday since we started soccer at the beginning of August. Over two months of not being home for an entire Saturday to just work on cleaning. And because of that a lot of basic areas in our home have gotten beyond pick-up clean. So, I went to sleep with dreams of scrubbing and vacuuming and dusting. I cannot tell a lie....I didn't really dream about that,
but it wasn't far from my mind! Waking up in the semi-darkness of the morning to my husband saying something about "it looks like we may have gotten some frost". WHAT?! I was suddenly completely awake. I've been checking online every evening to see how cold it is suppose to get so I know whether or not I need to cover the tomatoes. There hasn't been a frost since the one we had way back in September and I've kept the tarps out in the garden for the next one. And there wasn't any frost warning posted on the weather site. But as the morning lightened it was obvious that we had gotten a frost. Not a mild one either, but a heavy frost everywhere. My heart sunk. I have six tomato plants loaded with ripening tomatoes. I took a couple of pictures which I wish showed all the white of the frost on the plants and tarps, but trust me, it's bad.

So, change of plans for the day. As soon as I sign off from the computer, I'm going to pull all the ripened tomatoes and can them immediately. I'm hoping that the leaves actually sheltered a majority of them from the frost allowing them to still be usable. I will pull the tomatoes nearing redness in hopes that they may be still good and can ripen although past experience is that the heavy frost tends to ruin them.

And my major cleaning, well :::sigh::: I guess it will have to wait for another day as the Lord had other plans for this day.

Enjoy the day doing whatever the Lord shows you!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

P.S. I can never get my postings to look right no matter how much I try when I have more than one picture...sorry about that!

Friday, October 12

temperature check

"The test of a man's religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not before the footlights." ~ Oswald Chambers

When I read this during my morning devotions, it struck me how it really applied to stay-at-home moms. Daily life is just that....daily. It is a mundane regular routine that happens daily. Get up, make coffee, let the dogs out, do devotions, exercise, kiss the husband good-bye as he goes to work, get kids up and breakfast going, do devotions for the second time, do school, do laundry, do some cleaning, feed the kids again, run to the post office and grocery store, do more school, do more laundry, do more cleaning, feed the family again, pick up the floor for the night, tuck the kids into bed, ETC. Nothing too tremendous or exciting in that routine as it's quite ordinary.

So, what's the key? Our attitude before the Lord. Realizing that even though no one on this earth may ever notice our service, God does. He calls us to be faithful. And He calls us to love and train the children He has given as gifts....on a daily basis. One of my favorite verses applies here: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." ~ Colossians 3:23 If our heart attitude is right before Him, it will reflect in serving in our home hopefully keeping our steps light and our heart bright. I think of the saying that the mother is the thermometer of the home. Her presence sets the temperature of everyone around her in the household. Do a temperature check today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 11

reading smiles

When you've been homeschooling for a long time, sometimes you forget the things you love the best about teaching your children. And then something happens that puts a smile on your face and in your heart and you remember....ah, yes! I LOVE THIS PART!

The early years educating children is much more labor intensive for moms. There are so many basics that need to be established within their foundation of learning that the successes are harder to see perhaps because there is so much repetition Then as they get older you realize that all the effort was more than worthwhile. I think reading is definitely in that category.

Learning letters, learning the sounds of letters, learning to write the letters, learning all the ins and outs of phonics,
learning those little three lettered words which are painstakingly sounded out, learning about sight words, learning not to say "are you ever going to get this?" as you bang your head on the table, learning to go back to the beginning and start all over again. I have not found one formula that has worked for all of my children beginning to read as it's been a trial and error process with each one. Some have begun reading as early as four, most around six, and one was probably close to nine or so. BUT with each one you could suddenly see the light bulb go on. And when that moment comes you feel like dancing on the table! YES! Woo hoo! That truly is one of the greatest moments of homeschooling when it comes to the subject of teaching reading. But there is a second greatest moment and that is when they suddenly figure out that they really love to read and the devouring books phase begins. YES! Woo hoo! My 11 year old daughter has just hit that and I'm loving it :-) Of course, we will almost go broke as I expand on some series of books that her oldest sister enjoyed, but it's worth it. Right? (And no one would dare tell this book lovin' mom that it's wrong!)(and no, I'm not really serious as there is already an abundance of books in this household to read)

There are a couple of downfalls to this new found passion. The cost of flashlight batteries as my late night readers don't like to get caught while reading......hehe! And constantly having them to put their books away until their schoolwork and chores are done. It even goes to the point of having to frisk children before they go into the bathroom. But that's probably too much information, eh? LOL!

May your garden path be strewn with books!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 10

for crafty girls

Remember a few weeks ago when my daughters and I went to a baby shower? It was such fun and the girls enjoyed the activities AND the prizes :-) My eight year old daughter had won a little cross stitching project which she was excited to get started on. Since she hadn't done cross stitching before, we sat down and talked about some of the basics first. Then she jumped right into it.

Although I've done some cross stitch through the years, it hasn't been the type of project that I will spend free time on when I have free time. My mom was a very avid cross stitcher and I have so many of her finished cross stitch projects - although they all need to be framed. Perhaps I need to learn how to make frames, eh? But a box that I got more recently from my parents ' house had what will most likely be my favorite set that she has done as it's little outdoor and indoor scenes with quilts scattered amongst them. I would love to frame that set and put it up in my kitchen.

ANYWHO, I got off track a bit....

What I wanted to share is that my girls are at the perfect age to be doing a lot of these crafty and handcrafted things with, but I just don't make the special time to do it. I need to do that to pass on the enjoyments that have been part of my heart, my mom's heart, and my grandmother's heart. Motivation is the key! And I've found a blogsite that helps perfectly with that task as it provides step-by-step projects to do with your girls. Do check out Randi's special place for moms and girls!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 9

overflow

Recently somewhere (?) I was reading that ministry is often a difficult challenging strain as we work to serve others. It is WORK and more of a burden than a blessing. Why? Because it is often all about us and what *we* can do for the Lord. Self and pride tend to be the driving force. We can be so busy doing that we don't have much time to dig deeper into His Word.

Instead ministry should be a joy that comes directly from our relationship with the Lord. That relationship takes time and commitment. As we draw near to Him our service is directly affected by Him.
It will flow naturally from us and will actually overflow effortlessly.

Think of my flower watering container that I stick a hose into as I'm filling it. I wander over to pick up something by the sandbox and come back to a container that is gently and peacefully overflowing. I don't see or hear the source, but it is evident that there is a great force in the midst of it. And the end results will be seen by a large patch of abundantly green grass growing in the area where the watering container was set.

Our lives as mothers sometimes lack that overflow as we are too busy with daily life. The Lord often takes last place. We become more like the dripping faucet. Oh, not another diaper to change! Because you were all playing in the mud, now I have even more laundry! Is it mealtime already? - all I ever do is cook around here! I'm tired of picking up after you! Where is the money going to come from for THAT? When will this rain stop? Drip. Drip. Drip.

Invest in time with the Lord so your life will overflow with the love of the Lord into the lives of your household and the lives of others...effortlessly.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 8

the balancing act

There's nothing like doing bookwork and having something not balance...grrrrr! Usually it happens when doing my husband's monthly bookkeeping and he has added or subtracted something incorrectly and only takes a moment to fix. But after I finished his bookwork, our own checkbook was needing to be balanced, so out came the bank statement. It just refused to balance....grrrrr! I did my usual remedy - go to bed and look at it with fresh eyes. Ah ha! Part of the problem was that I had subtracted a service charge twice which haven't done before. Just blame it on too many distractions while doing checkbook balancing....grrrrr! But there was this mysterious $100 that I was off and kept me on an elusive chase through a number maze. Finally I decided to look over the bank statement from the previous month and scoured it from top to bottom. AH HA! I discovered that the same check for $100 had been subtracted on both statements! It was the strangest feeling to find out that the mistake wasn't mine. I always thought the bank was flawless, you know? So, I took both statements in to the bank this morning and they will straighten out their records. Whew!

I think of this new age we live in and how young adults do their banking. I can't tell you how often one of the olders has jumped online to check the balance in their checking account. What? Don't you know what it is? Just look in your checkbook, I exclaim! Although they've been taught how to balance a checkbook, they never do it. All their checkbooks do is hold debit slips and never a written balance.

:::::shaking my head in disbelief:::::

It's quite a balancing act to be a mother and a dinosaur!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the battle

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." ~ Psalm 18:16-19

During preparing to help lead a marriage class this fall, we were forewarned to expect a spiritual battle with enemy attacks. As we know from any battle fought on this earth, the best attacks are surprise ones that hit hard. The enemy seeks to divide and conquer, especially in the area of Christian marriages. Trust me, it is working if you compare divorce statistics between believers and non-believers. So, the purpose of this class - to help strengthen marriages in our church.

:::::BANG:::::

We've been hit. Hard. Unexpectedly. Painful beyond words. The enemy has used the proper ammunition to divide and conquer. And he could. Very easily.

BUT

we're not gonna let him. For we've recognized his plan. We've learned tools to use. We are on the same side and not enemies within our own household.

The battlefield is messy and we are wounded, however not defeated. We know the King who holds victory in His hand. And we will pick ourselves up, seek counsel and support, and draw nearer to the Lord in the process.

And I think of the goodness of the Lord for He has been unknowingly preparing me in the previous weeks through His Word. Remember how I was going to blog - and never got around to it because I was still chewing on it - about the Scriptures that had popped out to me about persevering?

Recognize the spiritual battle as the enemy seeks to destroy and discredit the testimony of believers. And cover your marriages in prayer and keep them protected by God. I cannot emphasize that enough.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Sunday, October 7

my rock and refuge

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God,
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8



Blessings,

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 6

rain in my garden

During the night we were awakened once again by thunder and lightning even more intense than the morning before. The littlest called out and was gently snuggled from her warm bed to ours as we tried to fall back to sleep. I did not have much success, but she was soon breathing in a quiet gentle rhythm. There is definitely rain in our garden as I finally fell asleep to raindrops on the rooftop and teardrops on my pillow.

This morning holds our last games of soccer for the season, but as I hear more rumblings of thunder there also rumbles the possibility of cancellation. Perhaps just an uniform drop-off will be required? Ohhh, that would be wonderful as sitting in the rain for two hours or so does not sound appealing. I would much rather continue sitting under the umbrella that God has provided this morning through His Word. He provides much needed shelter during times of rain in my garden.

May He be your umbrella during the rainy seasons!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 5

can you hear me now?

“Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts: the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering stars above, seem to impart a quiet in the mind.” ~ Jonathan Edwards

Yesterday was sunny with the beautiful deep blue sky of autumn singing as the leaves were falling. After I had just crawled into bed last night, the sound of a dog barking outdoors startled me as I thought they were settled in for the night. I grabbed my bathrobe to go out on the porch to whistle the dog in and was startled by the amazing starry skies. It took my breath away as I considered the awesome Creator who placed each star in the heavens. And my mind truly was quieted.

Early this morning we were awakened by thunder and much lightning. God provided His fireworks to celebrate the remembrance of Jonathan Edward's birthday AND mine, too! In the pouring rain, my daughter and I went out for breakfast as her gift to me. Then once back home was the present opening. More blessings of my favorite things. It really does become a more special day as children grow older and get into the excitement of a birthday.

But just as the early morning storm was quite a surprise after clear skies yesterday, so was a large storm cloud that erupted in life here late afternoon. The clear skies were a delusion and I'm progressing through unexpected rain. I've been attempting to look back to see where the clouds may have been forming, but they have caught me off guard. But have I really been off guard? Remember the parking ticket and the lesson I was trying to figure out...be more observant. I read another blog the other day that talked about paying attention to what God may be saying. That sometimes we miss things because we are tuned out. So much static in our world that the important sometimes bounces off of us and we aren't really listening to what He's saying. Yup, I'm beginning to hear you now, God. And now I can even see why in recent days so much Scripture has been popping out at me. It has a purpose during this time when I'm going to have to walk through some mud.

And now I need to take my own advice and remember....simply God.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 4

where and how?

As the pages of September kept turning, I was finally getting myself somewhat back into a routine. Homeschooling will do that to you every fall....put you back onto a schedule of sorts and force you to be more time efficient. YAY! When we weren't doing school, the ball was rolling on other projects that needed to get done during this season. Another YAY!

Enter my trip. Relaxation and refreshment.

Enter the return from my trip. Distraction and disorganization.

I just cannot find the ball and even if I did I'm not sure I could get it rolling again!

:::::sigh:::::

"No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined." ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Hey, I'm not looking for great, but guess you know what I'll be praying about tonight - focus, dedication, and discipline.

Off to find a harness until I have some knee time!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the simple answer

From my devotional this morning:

"God's sweetest memorial is the transformed thorn and the thistle blooming with flowers of peace and sweetness, where once grew recriminations.

Beloved, God is waiting to make just such memorials in your life out of the things that are hurting you most today. Take the grievances, the separations, the strained friendships and the broken ties which have been the sorrow and heartbreak of your life, and let God heal them, and give you grace to make you right with all with whom you may be wrong. And you will wonder at the joy and blessing that will come out of the things that have caused you nothing but regret and pain." ~ A.B. Simpson

This was timely reading for me, not so much because there are challenging people in my life at the moment, but because I know so many people in my life who are struggling with difficult relationships. It is timely as my advice to them has sounded cliche' and I've been struggling with that. Not sounding real. Giving the pat answer. Being hypocritical.

These words this morning confirmed my heart. The answer rests in God. Simply God.

Through the seasons of crying over my children, my husband, my parents, my friends, and committing them over and over to God in prayer, I can testify to the fact that God is faithful. He is the great healer. He gives us the grace and strength to walk through difficult days. He give us peace and joy even in the midst of pain and sorrow. He does the impossible.

In my life He is real, therefore I point everyone to Him. Simply God.

May your path today not be cluttered with chaos, but be graced by simply God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 3

another kind of light

Driving up to the house last night after Bible study, something definitely looked different. The lighting was minimal and muted, then we noticed flashes inside. A thunderstorm was moving through the area and it was pouring as we ran from the garage to the house. Aha! The scent hit us immediately when we opened the door - candles. An inviting light. And the flashes we had seen were the boys using the flashes on their cameras to see, in other words, they were being boys and horsin' around. The power was OUT. We aren't certain why as the storm hadn't brought along a lot of wind which typically knocks the power out quite easily living in the woods.

It was disappointing because there were things I wanted to take care of when we got home and now none of it was going to happen. The candles didn't shed enough light anywhere to really do much with it pitch dark everywhere in the house. So, basically everyone still awake went to bed. I read by flashlight for a bit, but the darkness around me made me sleepy.

Sometime during the middle of the night we were awaken by brilliant lights all over the house. The water pump was running again and the fan in the girls room could be heard. I leaped out of bed to run all over the house turning lights and other things off. It took me a while to settle back to sleep.

It reminded me of something I heard this weekend (dontcha love it when I stretch these things?....hehe). That the philosophy behind the new age movement isn't new at all, but it's an old age movement. It began in the Garden of Eden when Eve was deceived by the serpent as he told her she could be like God. And she fell for it. And she ended up not being enlightened at all, but only further lost in the dark. Kind of like those candles that were inviting and muted, but provided minimal light. They don't awaken you, but make you sleepy because they provide nothing to stimulate you. You can't see around you, but you are kept in a small little dark area. Deceived into thinking you have a light, but it's meaningless. Then suddenly a brilliant light appears in your life by the name of Jesus. And you are awakened! And things that you couldn't see before have now been revealed to your spiritual eyes! The power is ON! Woo hoo!

May you have the brilliant light flooding your garden path!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 2

the last corn chapter

When I ran my errands over the lunch hour, I stopped to pick up a couple of pumpkins on sale so that I could get this picture taken. The corn stalks are now tied to the bottom of the porch stair posts to celebrate their final days. And Lovey is holding one of several, um, rather large zucchinis which are still left in the garden. The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees like rain right now. I'm going to attempt a picture of that, too, later on this afternoon. But back to school for now as we have lots of catching up to do!

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




not a dog's life

The last night we were in the city, I took the kids for a walk while my son and daugher-in-law were at their church's prayer meeting. It was a delightful evening for a walk as it felt like a warm balmy summer evening with enough breeze to make it simply wonderful to be outdoors. As we were coming up behind a group of people walking a dog, my littlest said to me, "Ohhhhh, poor little German shepherd!" It gave me a good chuckle :-) No, it wasn't a German shepherd ahead of us, but some little dog of unknown breed which had pointed ears and the coloring of a German shepherd. Her comment was so sweet and interesting in the fact that she, too, had picked up what I was thinking about a dog's life in the city.

Having never lived in a downtown city environment, the dogs who have been scattered through my life have always been allowed to roam in the yard. They've thoroughly enjoyed chasing chippies, barking at strange cars that come into the driveway, digging holes in the flowerbeds, rolling in dead fish along the lake, and coming in and out of the house just by a human noting their intentions as they sit by the door. They live a full dog's life. At least from my viewpoint.

But a city dog doesn't experience any of those things. A walk on concrete sidewalks is their habit and not even always by their owner. My daughter-in-law was telling me that many people hire dog walkers and that it's a fairly lucrative occupation. I decided that if I ever had to move to the city that's the job I'd want as I love dogs and I love walking and I could get paid! Woo hoo! EXCEPT a lot of people have dogs for protection - mean dogs - and I'm not sure I'd want to tangle with those. One mom at the park had a small dog tied to the bench and she kept telling other moms not to let their toddlers wander over by it because it wasn't very friendly. Yikes! Hopefully this dog is the exception rather than the rule and that a majority of the city dogs wag their tails happily as they walk through the park.

So, what do all these random thoughts mean? Hmmm, perhaps that dogs have no choice. They adapt to wherever their owners live whether country or city and can live a full life in either place, although I do confess to feeling a little sad for city dogs. But that's just my country perspective.

And we, too, as humans also adapt to wherever we live. But we do have a choice in our attitude about life if the conditions are less than ideal or what we perceive as ideal. We can, in a sense, either be the happy tail wagging kind or the curl your lip growling sort of people. Our lives can be full whether country or city or richer or poorer when we base our contentment upon the Lord. That contentment comes from living obediently and knowing God's love for us which brings us heartfelt joy.

"These things have I spoken to you, that My joy man remain in you, and that your joy may be full." ~ John 15:11

May you - and your dogs - be joyfully content in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 1

it must be time to go

After enjoying nothing but beautiful summerlike weather since I arrived on Thursday, it must be time to return home as the rain has found me through the night. The breeze feels cooler through the window this morning. The city is stirring and now I must stir my two as we pack up and leave for home. It has been a refreshing time, yet my home awaits me. The quiet, if you can call it that (!), calls my name.

Persevere was my word from yesterday - more on that later - and now I must persevere on the long trip home. The challenge will be to stay awake, especially since the forecast is for rain all the way home and the rhythm of the windshield wipers can be like a lullaby once we get to less busy roads.

Enjoy your day whatever the weather is in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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