Saturday, July 31

no longer a secret

Remember back in May when I was sharing about the garden secret?  Well, the secret has been out for a bit and is coming into its full glory!

Here's the before picture:

And here's the picture I took yesterday with the same two girls:
It's been fun because the grands have wandered in and out of grandma's sunflower house when they've come to visit.  Along the pathway, the zinnias are in full bloom and the cosmos are just starting to bloom.  The sunflowers are just beginning to bloom, too, and it will look so wonderful when all their sunny faces are blooming since we planted a variety of sunflowers.  

I did get a good chuckle yesterday when I was traveling with my girls and drove past a huge field of blooming sunflowers.  It was so fun to see the multitude of sunny faces looking our way.  One of the girls was concerned though as she wondered how they were ever going to pick all those sunflowers to sell especially since they were all growing so closely together.  I explained that these sunflowers most likely weren't for decorative uses but were highly likely grown for their seeds, like the sunflower seeds we put into our bird feeders.  It is fun to see birds on our garden sunflowers at the very end of the season as they peck the seeds out.  
Although I thought I may regret taking such a large space up in my vegetable garden for this secret, I absolutely love having flowers to walk past as I work among the vegetables.  They always make me smile!  (That was for you, Tina!)

Enjoy this last day in July, my friends!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, July 30

time to get ready

Reality has set in.  The last days of July are staring hard into my face.  YIKES!  How did that happen so quickly?

With that realization, I have sat down to order my curriculum for the coming school year and have only one more click to make to complete all my orders. Whew!  My upcoming school calendar has been rough drafted and should only take a few minutes to finalize.  Whew!  I have my article for HOTM in rough draft form and should be able to polish that by tomorrow night.  Whew!

With that realization, I noticed some upcoming events in August that pertain to homeschooling and which I'd love to share with you.


*After thoroughly enjoying the first Not Back to School Blog Hop last year that Darcy hosted, this year Heart of the Matter Online will be hosting this event.  It's a wonderful way to follow links to other homeschooling blogs who are rich with ideas covering various weekly topic during the month of August.  Feel free to click on the button on my sidebar to participate or if you'd like more information, click on this link - Not Back to School Blog Hop

*Coming up quickly is the Heart of the Matter Conference which will be held August 9 - 13.  It's a wonderful way to hear several homeschooling speakers, chat with other homeschoolers, receive a swag bag full of goodies, win some door prizes, and feel well prepared for a new school season ahead.  The best part is you can do all that from the comfort of your home!  If you miss a session, you have the opportunity to download it after the conference.   Click the link above if you are interested in finding out more or if you want to purchase a ticket for $19.99.  

Better yet, as one of the writers on the HOTM team I am able to offer ONE ticket to giveaway to one of my readers.  If you are jumping up and down at this wonderful opportunity, please leave a comment as to why you'd love to attend the conference and be sure to leave an email address where you can be contacted.  I'll pick a winner early Wednesday morning (August 4) and let you know who has won!


Now go and enjoy these last days of July!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, July 29

influencing the influencer

"You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential.  In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me." ~ Scott Adams

When I read this quote, I had to stop and think about the influences in my life.  It's easy to think of the obvious people who have influenced me from the beginning of my life such as parents or grandparents or friends.  It's also easy to think of my spiritual influence - God - through His word and the work of the Holy Spirit.  

However what about the influential people who are not even aware of the things they've taught me?  It's easy to think of various authors through the years whose words have influenced my child training or homeschooling or eating habits or health choices.

But perhaps my greatest influencers have been my own children.  I know....that statement sounds backwards, doesn't it?  I'm suppose to be influencing them, right?  And I'm quite certain I have through the years.  Yet they've influenced me, too.  They've shown me that a child isn't a one size fits all in a perfectly wrapped box.  Each one is so uniquely different that a mother's heart has to stretch to accommodate and wrap itself around them.  They've influenced me by allowing me to take God's Word, put it into application, and see the fruit of those labors.  

The bottom line is that God's Word works.  How can there be any greater influence and impact on my life?  It allows me to trust God even more as I apply these same applications more broadly in my life and beyond my own family.  


Love one another. Encourage one another.  Serve one another.  Be patient with one another. Be kind to one another.  Live in peace with one another.  Pray for one another.


Allow your children to influence you to put those principles into practice - and they will test them! - so that you may become more Christlike in the process and become a positive godly influence in the lives of others!



Blessings,

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, July 28

a time for beans

When it's time, it's time.  My bean patches were calling my name last week, yet with so much in and out of the house I knew I could not commit the concentrated time needed to work on canning and only picked enough beans for meals.

When it's time, it's time.  So for the last four days I have committed the concentrated time to work on canning the first crop of beans from my garden and can say I'm done for now!  Unfortunately I may not get much of a second major canning this year because with our rain an old garden problem has returned.
It's not easy to see at first glance, but the dampness from the rain has prompted mold to spread through a couple of my green bean patches.  
A close up view will reveal what I'm talking about as the mold slowly destroys the bean plant and the beans themselves.
Poor beans!
Fortunately there's one green bean patch that hasn't had a problem and the yellow beans have only had a touch, so I've thinned those out with hopes of more beans to come.


After having several summers of drought and bravely planting beans closer together, I've learned my lesson well this summer with this reminder to plant them further apart just in case we end up with a rainy summer.  The plants grow much bigger and hardier with better air circulation if given more space in between.  


When it's time, it's time.  Since I've been busy with my bean canning, the rest of my house is in great need of some concentrated housecleaning time. So, I'm off to get busy!


May you enjoy the fruit of your garden labors!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 27

it's a dog's life

We've had lots of "don't count your chickens before they hatch" moments this summer and ran into another one yesterday.  Our plans to connect with my oldest daughter in the morning to return her dog who we've been babysitting AND have her take her three sisters to her house for the week were canceled.  We seem to have a summer *bug* in the house which only one daughter had been dealing with so far, well, until we heard that my daughter-in-law took it home with her after their visit this weekend.  Now we'll wait to see who is next....


It is a survivable situation although there was much sadness abounding when the girls realized they'd be home this week instead of in the city going to parks and zoos AND shopping malls.  
But Cooper?  He wasn't all that sad about the situation.  He loves coming to Grandma's house so he can run and run and run (and fortunately has only run away twice in the week he's been here).  I really don't mind him being around as he's a happy kind of dog.  Always wagging his tail and minds me quite well.  He did get into some mischief yesterday as he chewed a couple of dog toys into little tiny pieces all over the kitchen floor, but that was fairly easy to clean up.  Plus he keeps our German shepherd running after him which is also a good thing.  

Hopefully we'll be able to connect this coming weekend so Cooper can head back home to someone who misses his a LOT.  And really, this post isn't about much else except to put his picture up here so a sweet little two year old far away could get a peek at her Coopie because I know she's missing her favorite companion. 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, July 26

the best thing to grow

Thirteen summers ago I ran across a group of homeschooling women who are still dear friends of mine today. Although not everyone understands the dynamics of cyberfriendships, the bond this group of women has makes me think of a line from the Friends song by Michael W. Smith....

"And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them......"

Read more about the blessing of these friendships over at Heart of the Matter Online as I share in an article entitled "Growing Friendships"

I'd be blessed to hear how cyberfriendships have blessed YOU as they've grown and blossomed in your garden!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, July 24

tracking backwards

Life is interesting at times, isn't it, and rarely able to be figured out.

Consider the fact that my night flashes have eased a bit at the moment and I could finally get some solid sleep for a change.

Did you notice the word "could"?

Instead of being woken up with a body on fire, almost nightly I'm woken up by a small whispering voice next to my bed which always begins with the same word..."Mommmmmmm."

After that single word comes a long drawn out explanation of why that little whispering voice is next to my bed.  How she has been awake since such and such a time or she keeps having the same dream or her nose is sniffly or she has to go to the bathroom or that the cat jumped on her bed or she keeps thinking about riding a horse or you name it, she's shared it with me and it usually takes fifteen minutes to explain.  At the end of the fifteen minutes, I usually tell her to go and get her pillow and Fuzzababy and Fluffa and Candy Bop and Sweetie Pie and Pinkie and crawl into the middle of the bed to sleep by mom and dad.  After some restless wiggling, she finally settles and goes back to sleep.   And I always hope *I* will go back to sleep!

I'm not sure what this is all about as she's seven years old and has been sleeping just fine for a long time.  I've been more carefully monitoring or completely cutting out things  throughout her day which are visually stimulating such as movies or computer time and that has helped somewhat plus I'm watching what she's eating or drinking which could affect her sleep.  But sometimes the things that are waking her up are coming from conversations from the day and it's hard to limit those around here.

You know, it's always something with parenting.  If it isn't one child it's the other or the other (multiple by three in my household).  How thankful I am to be able to lift one or the other or the other (multiple by three once again) up to my Heavenly Father to help me with this journey because He knows them best and whispers some wonderful insights into my ears as I seek His wisdom.  My hope is that through prayer we will begin tracking forward again with this little sidetracking backwards adventure and a wink of sleep will be mine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, July 23

avoid this stumbling stone

Sarcasm.

A cutting or contemptuous remark.  Ironic criticism or reproach.

We tend to use a bit of this around here.  The difficulty with sarcasm is that it can so easily cross a very thin line and become meanspiritedness.  Or to use a synonym, sarcasm can easily become lampooning.....harsh satire - biting wit, irony or sarcasm used to expose vice or folly - directed against an individual (sorry about about the definitions, but I am a homeschool mom).

This morning the thin line was crossed during a brief car ride to church with my girls and I called the blunt speaker on it since it had caused hurt feelings with a sister.  "Not true!" she exclaimed.  "I was only being sarcastic!"

:::::sigh:::::

And my response was that perhaps it's time to really work on not speaking sarcastically.at.all.  To measure each word that comes out of our mouth before it leaves.  To value a little self control if it could mean the difference between encouraging someone or tearing someone down.  To consider what Jesus would say to others.  To speak the truth WITH love.

To which my blunt speaker responded, "But sometimes you speak sarcastically, Mom."

Gotcha!

Our best accountability is often with the people in our own home, eh?

Within seconds I easily made the offer for them to call me on it every single time they hear it come out of my mouth because I truly don't want to speak sarcastically.at.all.  I don't want to take the risk of someone misinterpreting my words and thinking I'm meanspirited.  I don't want someone to be discouraged by my words, but encouraged instead.  I don't want my words to match the world around me but to match what Jesus would say.  I want to speak the truth WITH lovingkindness in my heart and spirit.

Be sure to keep those little stones of sarcasm off your garden path because they can certainly cause you to stumble!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, July 22

missing the campfire

Although I think there's a lot of things we can have a basic understanding of without personally experiencing it, "being there" can add a whole new depth to our understanding.

I get it now.

Today my oldest daughter and family are traveling to spend a long weekend with my oldest son and family.  Isn't that wonderful?!  Well, except for the fact that the rest of us won't be there.


We'll miss the "campfire", in a sense.


You know, I can handle my children growing up and living their daily lives wherever they may be living.  All of that is fine and dandy and I'm happy for each and every one of them because each and every one of them is happy, too.  But this getting together stuff?  Hmmm, it tugs at my heart that I'm missing some family hanging out time.  


And now I understand much better how they feel when someone comes home for a visit and the rest of them aren't here to hang out, too.  Those times when they miss the "campfire", in a sense.


Because really, the "campfire" is one of the best parts of a large family.  Those times of everyone hanging out around the kitchen table talking at the same exact moment.  Or everyone sitting around in the living room opening gifts at the exact same moment over the holidays.  Or everyone squeezed in around the real campfire up at the family cabin as they all have their mouths full of s'mores at the exact same moment.  


Be sure to savor the "campfire" moments in your garden as they are the sweetest part of family life!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

P.S.  We won't be totally "campfire" free this weekend as the newlyweds were planning a visit home.  I need to double check with them for details!  Can you say "wedding pictures"?!  :-)

Wednesday, July 21

a bag full of traveling

While I was busy cleaning through closets for my garage sale, I ran across this quilted bag in the girls room. 
 When my oldest daughter was a little girl, my mom gave her this bag to use when she went to grandma's house for an overnight visit.  Jammies and a change of clothes could be stuffed inside the bag while her favorite dolly fit in the outside pocket and there was even a little pillow sewn on for her little doll head.  Hmmm....I had an idea for a birthday!  I threw the bag into the wash to get it as clean as possible and went shopping.
In one of the little shops downtown I found this sweet little orange haired dolly who was just the right size.  Immediately she was purchased and I dashed home to make sure she fit perfectly in the pocket in the bag. 
The next step was to look through my fabric stash to find fabrics with orange or that would go with orange so that I could make a little quilt for the dolly.  The blocks and strips were cut and sewn together (and yes, I had to put a heart in the center to go with my quilt theme this year....and yes again, I actually accidentally sewed this heart onto my apron underneath and had to take it all out and stitch it again!)
Look at this bright awesome quilt backing fabric!  This was actually some leftover fabric from a dress project that my mom had made for me as a young girl.  Pretty wild and full of flowers!


Once the little dolly quilt was hemmed, I wrapped the dolly up in it and stuck her in the front pocket of the bag sending her off to my granddaughter.  Oh, and I put some treats inside like a candy bracelet, a candy necklace, and some little gummy life savers for rings.  Candy is usually grandpa's job around here, but sometimes grandma can sweeten things up, too, don't you think?


My hope is that this little worn bag will continue taking journeys to a grandma's house for overnight visits!

Happy birthday, Princess! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 20

not the usual irregular regular

I'm feeling irregular lately.

No, not that kind of irregular.

Although we've been off our regular school year schedule for a couple of months, now I even feel off my regular irregular summer schedule.  And it feels very irregular making me feel very out of sorts.

The hard part is looking ahead to my schedule for the rest of the month and seeing that even that is a continued irregular unpattern for our regular irregular summer.

So, please accept my apologies for being irregular with my regular blogging this summer.  Plenty of blog worthy thoughts come to mind all day long but my irregularity keeps me from the computer.  In some ways that's a good thing.  In other ways it just contributes to this irregularity.

Now you may return to your regularly scheduled blog surfing!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, July 19

Simple Woman's Daybook for July 19


For today July 19

Outside my window.....the skies are blue and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful summer day.

I am thinking....about our dog and hoping we can get her through her nasty "hot spots" without having to take her into the veterinarian'$$$$ office.

I am thankful.....for the blessing of rain God has sent our way this summer.

I am wearing.....a denim skirt and a peach colored peasant top.

I am hearing.....my boys packing their lunches for the workday ahead.

I am creating.....a blue toned quilt for my college bound son.
 
I am going.....to finish cleaning my desk.  Yup, I really am!

I am reading....In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
 
I am praying.....for more work project calls to come in for my husband as work has  slowed down.
 
I am remembering.....how fast the last half of summer always passes and trying hard not to panic about all the things I want to do yet this summer but probably won't have time to do.

I am hoping.....that the weather will be nice for the Backyard Bible Clubs our church is hosting this week.
 
On my mind.....is the giant leap of faith and obedience I'm about to take.  
 
From the learning rooms....there is basically no schooling going on and it's probably time I sit down and order what I need to start school this fall.


Noticing that....my garlic plants are starting to brown just a bit.  I can hardly wait to dig them out when they are ready and see what's underneath those plants that have been glorious since early spring.

Pondering these words....."Let this be a day of self-forgetting ministry for Christ and others." ~ A.B. Simpson

From the kitchen.....I need to come up with ideas for a light luncheon tomorrow for my son's family and their friends, but it needs to be gluten free....hmm.....
 
Around the house....are many little messes as my granddaughter flits from one thing to another.

One of my favorite things.....is picking summer flowers from my garden.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include driving our 15 passenger van this week to transport helpers for the morning session of the Backyard Bible Club;   a luncheon and good-byes tomorrowheading to the pregnancy resource center later in the week for volunteer work; and catching up on garden weeding!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.... 
Yes, this really is the border of the tablecloth currently on our kitchen table!  Either we're being real messy lately and going through a lot of our everyday tablecloths or I'm way behind on laundry needing to wash tablecloths or a combination of both as this was the only everyday one left in the cabinet.  But it's okay.  Reminds me not to complain when it's hot and sticky outdoors since freezing cold days are ahead.

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook on this day. If you'd like to visit others who are participating during the month of July or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, July 17

hurray for hydrangeas!

Sleepily woke up to a beautiful summer morning!  Grabbed my vase of hydrangeas to take a few pictures.
After not producing a single flower last year as the severity of our drought continued, the rains of this summer have allowed them to flourish a bit again with bunches of flowers.  I don't think I've ever noticed a scent to them before, but these seem to have a lovely aroma around them.  Perhaps the bees are happier this summer and working harder on the flowers?
As you peer under the left side of the flowers, you will notice a corner of our sandbox.  My son and his family as well as friends pulled into our driveway around 2:30 AM after a long drive after work.  As soon as my granddaughter had said her hellos, she was off to one of her favorite places in the world - grandma's sandbox.  She enjoyed playing in there in the semi darkness with only a bit of the yard light shining her direction while we packed up an old pick up truck full of their gear, the groceries I had picked up, and the coolers which I quickly loaded up with food and ice.  An hour later after the packing and chatting was done, they left for more driving northward as they headed up to the family cabin for a long weekend.  
My granddaughter stayed behind to spend the time here with her favorite aunties as there will only be one other child arriving at the cabin tomorrow with his family who is the same age as her little brother.  Once she wakes up, I'm certain she'll be busy from start to finish as she wanders around to all of her favorite spots at grandma's house on this day of perfect summer weather.  I can't wait to show her a special place in the garden!

May your summer day include visiting favorite summer places, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 

Friday, July 16

stop screamin'

I.must.stop.screaming!

I'm not a screamer by nature, except perhaps on a roller coaster ride which makes it absolutely fun and delightful to scream as loud as I can.  But I've been screaming on occasion the last couple of weeks and I believe it's for a valid reason although the menfolk seem to think differently.  

And it happened again this morning.

I screamed.  Loudly.  My girls didn't even want to come out of their bedroom when their names were part of the scream.  But they eventually came out when I didn't stop screaming.  The reason?

A small simple mouse scurrying around in my kitchen.  

The fourth one IN our house plus the one found OUT on the porch.


We've never had mice issues.  Ever.  In over thirty years in this house.  Occasionally the cats would catch a small mole, but never mice.


I still don't know if it's part of a catch-and-release program our cat has going on this summer or if they are coming into our house another way.  There's been one in the living room which I gradually managed to divert its path out the door;  one in our kitchen which unfortunately managed to scoot through a hole in the base of our cabinets and which I hope pray finds its way out and doesn't die under there; one found in our master bedroom's bathroom's bathtub which my husband took care of for me; and the one this morning which was running around on the kitchen floor and which I managed to divert out the door despite his, um, injuries as part of the diversion. 


And I'd love to post a picture for you of these little trespassers, but, of course, I'm too busy screaming to even take a picture.

I really don't want to scream and I know I need to stop because my girls are going to learn to scream about mice because I'm doing it.  


:::::sigh:::::


In the midst of this I'm struggling with the whole "what would Jesus do" and wondering how I apply that to even silly situations such as MICE!


I'm just praying that crumbs found in MY house isn't God's plan for providing food for these critters and He'll give me strength to stop screaming while I figure out what to do next.....



Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


 

Thursday, July 15

kickin' again

And so we begin another soccer season.
 
Tonight is the first coaches meeting where we will receive all the general information for the upcoming season, get all our roster information, and pick up the gear we'll need for the weeks ahead.  Practices will begin in a couple of weeks with games starting at the end of the following week.

This will be my third year of coaching having had one season where we won all our games and one season where we lost all our games.  My hope is to have a nicely balanced season of wins and losses this year. 

This year I'm also blessed with an assistant coach who has five years of coaching experience!  Yay!  She took an assistant coach role to ease some of the responsibility and yet still be involved.  I'm looking forward to getting to know her and to have a teachable mind - and FEET - so I can become a bit more knowledgeable about the sport of soccer and the skills needed.  

Soooo, here's to another season of kickin'!  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, July 14

handle with nurture

Cancer's return came swiftly for my friend's mom and it seemed that we barely began praying when her mom left this earth.  Today a service and in a couple of days a burial.  

The passage of time does not stop when these events happen so that our hearts can catch up, but it keeps marching on.

My eyes fill with tears and a familiar ache of my heart returns as I remember like it was yesterday walking through this with my own mom.  I'm surprised that although the pain is not fresh, there is still a sharpness to it after five years. Perhaps because hindsight reveals that this loss came with so many days of numbness and foggy vision requiring step by step walking with a bit of depression along the way. Time does heal and clarity does return as hearts catch up with what the reality of your head already knows - your mom is gone and not coming back.

As I've pondered why the loss of a mom is so difficult, I believe it must be because they are the nurturers.  They love us unconditionally and are there whenever we need them.  They make sure we eat and have clean clothes on and mind our manners.  Their job doesn't stop once we leave home, but continues as they love our children with even more intensity.  So when moms leave this earth, there is a huge empty spot left in our life.  Who is left to nurture us?

Perhaps that is why it is important to have friendships with other women to provide some nurturing in our lives.  To have someone there to talk, laugh, and cry with you providing hugs when needed.  To be that Jesus with skin on to love others.

So while I spend today praying for Steph knowing God will overwhelm her with His peace and strength for these difficult days, I will also throw a bit of nurturing in her direction in the days ahead knowing the blessing it can be as her heart heals.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 13

the foes of summer

We've had such a different summer this year.  It came early with warm temperatures from the outset, there's been more rain, and it seems that the result has been flourishing greenery everywhere and BUGS.
Of course, this guy wouldn't be in the bug category because he's our friend.  Mr. Dragonfly very wonderfully feeds on the mosquitoes around him.  But it seems that there is a plethora of other bugs who aren't so friendly.  My kids have had some of the strangest looking unpleasant bites this year and even our dogs have suffered from hot spots that are often initiated from bug bites.  I wish we had a bug book to look up some of these odd looking characters so that we could give them a name.  All I can say is that God was certainly creative when he worked on this category that we often don't see much of until the conditions are perfect.

May all the bugs in your garden be the pleasant friendly helpful kind! (And as I head out to my garden this morning I hope those are the ONLY kind in my garden!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, July 12

the second lesson

There's many observations you could make while having garage sales such as the time you put into it compared to the money you get out it would give you an hourly wage of about a quarter an hour.  Instead let me share with you the struggle that I tend to have every time I have a garage sale as I sit in a quiet garage on the second day.....

Is it worth having a garage sale more than one day?  

Now perhaps it's just the area that I live in and isn't a consistent fact everywhere around the country, but the first day of the garage sale is BUSY.  There are not only a LOT of people stopping, but they are going through the merchandise thoroughly.  But the second day (which was only a half day this year)?  Few cars and the people walk in and out.  It makes me wonder why they've even stopped since they don't even take a moment to look at anything.

I pondered this again on Saturday as I sat sipping my coffee with a book in hand with quiet music in the background as everyone in my house still slept (hey, the dogs weren't barking at every car as they did the day before because there weren't any cars driving into our driveway!)  It seemed the only good answer I could come up with was that it really wasn't worth doing more than one day.

Until I got to the end of my morning when the signs came down and my answer changed.

For a few people didn't walk in and out and leave.  They stopped to chat and bought things that I've been trying to get rid of for a few years. A grade school teacher wanted all my old flowerpots as she was trimming up her spider plants and wanted to plant the overflow of baby spider plants for her students and needed many flowerpots to do that project.  Or the older woman who took all those old golf clubs that my sons had accumulated through the years as she enjoys making yard art sculpture with them having survived a brain tumor and can only find expensive golf club sets at the typical yard sale.  Or the older gentleman who was looking for an electric typewriter as his old printer died and he could no longer buy a new one since his computer was very old so he thought he'd go back to doing his writing with a typewriter (mental note....part with one of my old electric typewriters next year if one of them is worth selling). Or the woman who took our phone number because her son may be interested in our old woodburner for his big garage?Or the younger mom who came at the end and bought the entertainment center that I was dreading having to move out of the garage and to somewhere?  


Or what about the book I pulled off my bookcase when I went through my books looking for some to sell - only found one - but found this older book I always wanted to read, began to read it, found it was consistent with everything else I've been reading lately, and am thankful that the Lord provided plenty of quiet time to get into the heart of the book?


It seemed the Lord was teaching me another lesson in patience.  To slow life down.  To stop and smell the roses and take time with people.  To fill quiet moments with good things so that He can speak to me.  To see the blessings that come with waiting for His perfect timing.


Perhaps keeping a second day for my garage sales is a good idea after all!

May you be open to the lessons that the Lord wants to teach you in unusual ways! 


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, July 9

two fewer

(WHOOPS!  I'm not sure what I did wrong, but this was suppose to post first thing this morning....and I just found out it didn't!  Guess it all still applies though....) 

After a couple days of serious pondering, it's time for some lighter thoughts.  
Since I'll be very busy today and tomorrow with my garage sale - and I'm praying everything will sell!  wouldn't that be awesome! - I'll instead share a recent tug at the heart moment.
Over the weekend my littlest busily wiggled her two front teeth and when one of them became loose enough out it came with the next one following a couple days later.  Not a hint of fear or need of assistance for this little girl as she couldn't wait to say bye bye to those teeth.  

I'm trying hard not to feel sad about this moment.  I love those little teeth and now that they are gone, well, you know, those big front teeth will come in and she will no longer look like a little girl.  My kids are all growing up and it happens so quickly....

Don't blink!


Enjoy your day and how about making someone's day by buying several things at their garage sale? ;-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, July 8

opposite contrary youth

Perhaps one of the reasons that yesterday's post about opposite contrary thoughts was still ponderable came from a conversation that I had with my oldest son at home.  He had been gone a week attending a national youth conference with a group from our church and we spent some time chatting about the things he experienced and learned.  He shared about a conversation he had with a group of teens about dating.  

What surprised him and myself was the general feeling that it's okay for Christian youth to date non-Christians youth.

Really?

Perhaps this is their own feeling and not the opinion of their parents? 

Perhaps they need to be taught better methods of evangelizing youth their age than witnessing to a non-believer in a dating relationship since that seemed to be the excuse they used for taking that stand?

Perhaps a future youth ministry night could be geared toward having a Christian come and talk about the painful disheartening sorrow that comes from the burden of being married to someone who totally rejects their Savior?

Perhaps they need to be reminded of a commonly used Scripture verse for marriage (although applicable to a number of life situations such as business, etc.)?

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?  Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" ~ Second Corinthians 6:14  (and keep reading through verse 18 for the full context)

OR if you missed it yesterday:  "Both the sons of this world and the sons of God have been baptized into a spirit, but the spirit of the world and the spirit which dwells in the hearts of twice-born men are as far apart as heaven and hell.  Not only are they the complete opposite of each other but they are sharply antagonistic to each other as well."  ~ A.W. Tozer  

It is such an important principle to begin sharing when your children are young so that when they enter their youth there is not even a possibility of considering any other option.  Having a born again believer married to a born again believer places a strong godly foundation in their lives which can be built upon as God's Word is their Source of guidance in all matters.  When this essential principle is lived out through marriage, future generations will be blessed by the unity found in their parents relationship with Jesus Christ.  


Hmmm, interesting how sometimes having opposite contrary youth is not a bad thing, eh?


May your garden path be strewn with lots of conversations with your children  as you show them a better way to travel the paths of life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, July 7

opposite contrary thoughts

This weekend I was able to finally finish reading a couple of books I've been slowly working my way through over the past several months. They were slow kind of books because I chewed over so many thoughts and Scripture as I read.  The same thought comes to mind now that I'm finished with them that I had the whole time I was reading them.  How?  Just how do I apply these principles to my life?

One quote I'm still thinking a lot about is this one which I read this weekend...."Both the sons of this world and the sons of God have been baptized into a spirit, but the spirit of the world and the spirit which dwells in the hearts of twice-born men are as far apart as heaven and hell.  Not only are they the complete opposite of each other but they are sharply antagonistic to each other as well."  ~ A.W. Tozer 

Believers in Jesus Christ are the complete opposite of those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.  Honestly this is not a difficult fact and is in fact quite simple, yet when I look at the world around me it seems profound.  Christians of today so often perfectly blend in with the non-believers around them.  If God suddenly extinguished the sun, would the light of the Christians shine bright enough to be seen from the heavens? Or have we learned to love the world and everything in it which is contrary to what God's Word instructed (I John 2:15-17)? 

As I go back to Tozer's book and one of the Scripture's he refers to - I Corinthians 2:14-16 - he writes:  "To a son of earth the things of the Spirit are either ridiculous, in which case he is amused, or they are meaningless, in which case he is bored."  Yes, the world believes Christians are foolish and unacceptable, so why wouldn't Christians want to blend in?  Who wants to be seen in that light?  So it's easier to extinguish their own lights a bit rather than completely grasp what the end of that Scripture passage says...."we have the mind of Christ."

Why not desire to live with the mind of Christ following His will for your life even if it's contrary to the world around you who may think you are foolish because by doing so what will become more evident to them is your Christlike love for them?  That you desire what Christ desires for this world which is that no man shall eternally perish?  That you are willing to live sacrificially and differently than the world if it means someone may find Jesus in the process?  That life really isn't about me who is an alien in this world anyways, but it's about Him? 

Yes, how do we apply all this to our lives and the lives of our children is my pondering thought of the day....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, July 6

fading off into the garage

As the fireworks from over our lake fade, it's time to gear up for my garage sale at the end of this week.  Since I'm somewhat organized, I'm hoping I can get it all put together over the next three days.  Just what was I thinking...... Yikes!

Enjoy this July day whatever you may have going on in your garden! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, July 3

holiday reading

Need a little challenge on this holiday weekend?  

Read the Declaration of Independence.

Perhaps its the homeschooling mom role that brings this to mind or perhaps its just the concerns that I have about our country right now that make this document more relevant.  

Really.  Read it.  It doesn't take long to do and you can find it in history books or encyclopedias or online.  Of course, you may get stuck pondering the first several sentences over and over again, but keep reading right to the very last important sentence.  

And if you need more of a challenge, read up on the lives of the 56 men who signed this notable political document that has been a part of our country's heritage for over two centuries.  

After reading this, may your heart have a deeper understanding and a solemn respect for our country's founders as America celebrates over the weekend.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, July 2

the gladness of July

If you can imagine, I actually flipped the calendar page on the first day of the month!  Ta da!  Perhaps I was prompted to do so because our family has a birthday on that date - a son turned 21 years old.  No need to wonder.....yes, it makes me feel old!  LOL!  
Looking at this new month also caused me to realize that this year is half over already and noting that the Fourth of July is only a couple of days away was the reminder that the rest of the summer will go by quicker than the first part.

Then I noted the verse for the month and smiled - "You have put gladness in my heart" - and it seemed like a wonderful thing to ponder right after my mind had drifted to some of the downsides of this month.  Then I looked at the reference and did a double take.  Proverbs 17:17.  Wait a minute.  That doesn't sound right.  That's the "a friend loves at all times" reference.  Upon double checking in case my memory had thrown me a loop, I found that I was indeed correct.  


Although I'm quite certain that a friend loving at all times could definitely put gladness in your heart, my curiosity had been tapped and I knew I needed to go on a Scripture hunt to find this verse.  It was found in the NKJV:  "You have put gladness in my heart......" ~ Psalm 4:7a


This little exercise reminded me of how important being in the Word of God is whether by reading it or memorizing it.  It is also important to hold up teachings we read in books or hear from the pulpit to the Word of God to confirm their accuracy and context.  The wonderful part of doing this is that it takes your fingers traveling through the Scriptures which is a refreshment and renewing of your mind.  Even during the brief time I spent this morning first looking in my own concordance before doing a search in the Blue Letter Bible site, I was led to many verses that combined the words "gladness" and "joy" within the verse.  Guess how much more delighted my heart is now after reviewing verse after verse with these two words?!  


All I can say now is.......bring on July!  You have put gladness in my heart!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, July 1

the lightning bolts of life

See me?
Naw, that's not really me.  And I'm not the one who is feeling proud.  
But I sure am proud of a son and his accomplishments as I watch him transition into adulthood.  Read more about what it's like working with a lightning bolt over at Heart of the Matter Online today as I share about how good God is at piecing together the lives of our children.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
Blog Widget by LinkWithin