Wednesday, March 30

unplanned lessons

::::tiptoeing in::::

Earlier in the month I wrote an article which is posted over at Heart of the Matter Online this morning.  It's been quite noticeable through our homeschooling years that most of our important lessons have not come through scheduled book learning, but through life experience.  Such has been the case this winter as you'll read in how we went Sliding into Lessons  

Can I just say that the primary lesson that apparently God thinks I still haven't learned well enough is PATIENCE as this lesson just keeps going on and on and on this winter.

Back to being quiet....

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, March 8

quietly following

It has been rumbling around in my heart for awhile, but yesterday did it when throughout the day those two simple words - "follow me" - kept whispering whispering whispering. 

As God has been taking me on a journey over the past year, I sense the need for a time to minimize distractions in my life as I fine tune my walk with Him.  He has called me to follow Him and I desire to prioritize my life so that I can more clearly see how to meet the needs of a variety of people He will put on my path in the days ahead with eternity kept in my line of vision. 

The Lenten season is a notable time to reduce the clutter of life as focus can be made on the journey to the cross that Jesus Christ walked.  A time of sacrifice and a time of giving.  

Therefore, tomorrow I will begin a forty day fast from blogging.  As my blog becomes quiet, my hope is that you will use the extra moments of the day that you usually spend here to spend with Him.  My comments will be turned off in the morning as well.  Please feel free to email me at any time if you have a need for prayer or encouragement (email address is listed on the sidebar).

May He whisper "follow me" to your heart, too!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, March 7

follow Him

This morning in my devotional book I ran across one of my favorite authors again:

"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." ~ Matthew 4:19.  We are tempted to think that we should make something of our lives and at the same time follow Jesus.  Wrong!  He calls us first to follow Him, and then He makes something of our lives.  He leads us to prioritize so that we can see the needs of people and their eternity as the goal of our endeavors." ~ Joe Stowell

We like to do things the opposite way, don't we?  We often think God needs to join us with what we may be doing in our life.  That we pick our ministry and invite Him to help us with those endeavors.  Somehow it gets to be about us and not about Him.

"Follow me."  Pretty plain and simple words of Jesus, don't you think?

Impossible?  Nope!  It takes a willing and obedient spirit to follow Him especially in the hard places of life.  Anyone can do it.  

I can already hear the but, but, buts out there.  Already busy as a wife and mother and homemaker and "fill in the blank"?  Here's the next part of the quote:

"And while God may not require you to give up your career, following Him will guarantee that you will never see your career in the same way again." ~ Joe Stowell

"Follow me."  Pretty plain and simple words of Jesus, don't you think?

Impossible?  Nope!  It takes a willing and obedient spirit to follow Him especially in the hard places of life.  Anyone can do it.  Even you!

Follow Jesus and let Him lead you as you prioritize your daily life so that your eyes are opened to those around you who need HIM!  Your life will never be the same.....

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, March 5

doing the best

Every once in awhile there's a quote on my gardening flip calendar that has nothing to do with digging in the dirt gardening as I found this week:

"Our closest friends challenge us to change, to grow, to become the best we can be." ~ Author Unknown

And yet, it can still be considered a gardening quote as it encourages us to plant seeds of encouragement in the lives around us.  It could be our children who need some challenging as we see character traits that need some refining and changing to become more Christlike as they mature.  It could be our close friends who may need some challenging as we see gifts and talents in their lives which perhaps they are fearful to step out in faith to use.  It could be the store clerk who does a wonderful job doing what they do every time you see them as you encourage them to continue to bless people with their words and actions.  It could be a complete stranger who needs the warmth of your smile to get through the next moments of their life.

ALL of us need a little encouragement on a daily basis to do whatever we do and  please remember the best kind of challenge in doing it - "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." ~ First Corinthians 10:31

Yup, when you do it all for the glory of God it will be the best!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, March 4

no cry onions

When I went down to the pantry to get an onion to mix in with the supper I was cooking, I was surprised to see how my onions were holding up.  

Last summer I planted and later harvested a good crop of each onion color - yellow, white, and red.  After drying them for a while on our protected front deck, they were moved down into the food pantry for the winter months.  It's been nice to have a large source of onions of all sizes to pick from depending upon the recipe I was using.  

Until now.  

Almost every large red onion I picked up proved to be an optical illusion.  As I gently squeezed the onion to test its quality, my hand could completely collapse the entire thing! Everything inside the shell had dried up and disappeared. Several white onions did the same thing and only a couple yellow onions actually felt soft.  Although it's typical for me to see onions losing their quality this time of the year after being stored for so long, the results this year were quite surprising.
So, I took a few minutes to sort through the onions with the above results all of which will be thrown into the pile in the woods.  I doubt the dogs will bother them and there will be kids that will rejoice to see them leave the premise.

Which brings me to a kid tip.  For years I used to so so so finely chop up things my kids didn't like to eat - like onions, green peppers, mushrooms - thinking they'd at least get some of the good stuff accidentally eaten in their mix of meals.  However, after watching children for years go through their food with a fine tooth comb dissecting every bite, it seemed to be a time saver for me and them to chop those kinds of things into big pieces so they could easily pick them out and the rest of us could savor a big taste.  

Enjoy your day with or without onions!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, March 3

adios salsa

You know it's time to start thinking about the new season of gardening ahead when the things you've canned are beginning to disappear. Like those wonderful tomatoes that filled jar after jar early last September. 

Such was the case this past week when we opened our last jar of salsa.  Actually, I'm amazed that we did open our last jar of salsa as I've kind of been hiding it away since my family easily eats the entire pint with chips every time they open a new jar.  It's simply delicious and came from a recipe that Suzanne from The Joyful Chaos shared with me last tomato canning season. 

Besides, it is March now and I feel like I can more easily get serious about gardening again rather than just dreaming about it each time a seed catalog comes in the mail.  

How about you?  Ready for spring and gardening?

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, March 2

the perfect cup

A new set of tasks came upon me when my husband fell and landed on his back with his foot up in the air about twelve days ago.  Some are easy to delegate like taking out the garbage or easy to add to my list like picking up his business mail at the post office since I'm picking up our family mail anyways.  But then there are the elusive tasks that are hard to replace him or do as well myself.  You know, like the morning coffee making.

I'm telling you, it's an art.  

He always grinds the coffee beans just so and pinches with his fingers just the right amount into the filter.  I've watched him do it and cannot duplicate it.  

Each morning I've done the bean grinding and used a measuring cup to figure out the right amount throwing a few extra pinches into the filter for good measure.  Some days it's too weak, some days it's too strong.  

But today after I added my dose of sugar and milk and took my first taste it was perfect!  And I smiled and said it is good :-)

Of course, I hadn't really paid any attention to how I made it this morning so the possibility of a perfect cup probably won't be duplicated for several more days, but it seemed like a sweet blessing this morning after a night of restless sleep watching the clock for each pain medication time after his surgery yesterday.  

Thank you, Lord, for coffee beans!

May you find a simple "it is good" to thank the Lord for in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, March 1

march in strength

Last night I was sticking bookmarks into pocket folders with this verse on them:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~ Philippians 4:13
This morning I flipped my kitchen calendar to the month of March and was greeted by the sight of tulips as well as a familiar verse:

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." ~ Philippians 4:13

A perfect verse for the month of March as I march into a lot of new territory.  A good reminder as I consider how lacking my self sufficiency is for the tasks ahead, yet with Christ I am empowered with His strength to be totally sufficient for wherever He leads me in the days ahead.  

May you, too, be strengthened by this reminder!

Tammy ~@~
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