Monday, February 28

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 28


For today February 28

Outside my window.....the skies are mostly sunny and the temperatures are currently in the teens.

I am thinking.....about a thousand little details and hoping I don't forget a single important one.

I am thankful.....for the little ways God reminds me how much He loves me.

I am wearing.....a denim skirt with my pink hooded sweatshirt since it's cool in the house this morning.

I am hearing.....a bird singing outside the window.  

I am creating.....a box for Goodwill as I sort through clothes.

I am going.....to be in and out of the house a lot this week.

I am reading....my Bible and my devotional books right now until my book order arrives hopefully today!
 
I am praying.....for my husband to do well with his surgery so he can begin the long healing and recovery process.
 
I am remembering.....how nice those longer hours of daylight feel and am looking forward to the daylight hours increasing more each day.

I am hoping.....that our family will continue to be healthy in the days ahead.  It's been a good winter so far with no bad colds or flu *bugs*.

On my mind.....is the long list of things to do today which is sitting next to my computer so I can keep adding to it.  Yikes!
 
From the learning rooms....I need to play catch-up today with a daughter who spent a couple weeks away from home being a mother's helper for her oldest sister.

Noticing that....we flip the calendar page to March tomorrow!  Yippee!

Pondering these words....."Nothing is worthwhile if the seed of Eternity be not in it." ~ Amy Carmichael

From the kitchen.....will be light easy meals this week.


Around the house....are scattered signs of winter outdoor fun yesterday.

One of my favorite things.....is listening to all those little sounds newborn babies make even if it is over the phone as I hear my sweet new little grandson.


A few plans for the rest of the week.....include schooling, surgery for my husband, volunteer training for the pregnancy resource center, and a son coming home on spring break.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.... 
These are the remnants of my Valentine's Day flowers.  Some are starting to fade a bit, but what a joy to still have the beauty of fresh flowers lingering in my house this time of the year.


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 February or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 26

thy will

My pondering for the weekend:


"My father, help me as a follower of Christ to say, 'Thy will be done.'  You would not have me accept your will because I must, but because I may.  You would have me take it, not with resignation, but with joy, not with the absence of murmur, but with the song of praise....Teach me that your will is love; teach me that your love is wise." ~ George Matheson


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 25

dump the reserve

Ohhh, I'm glad that my devotional continues on a serving theme.  How about this....

"Paul delighted to spend himself out for God's interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost.  We come in with our economical notions--'Suppose God wants me to go there--what about the salary?  What about the climate?  How shall I be looked after?  A man must consider these things.'  All this is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve." ~ Oswald Chambers

The thing that came to mind when considering serving God wasn't about economical notions or physical needs, but sacrifice. Particularly the sacrifice of time.   Perhaps it comes from being a mom and having many tasks that can be done within a day inside the walls of my home.  What will feel the *pinch* as I give my time to the Lord?  The cleanliness of my home?  The relationships of my family?  The little bit of leisure time I have, you know, the me time?  What am I willing to sacrifice?  

When I consider the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for me, there should be not be a single thing in my life that can't be sacrificed.  If there is, I'm holding on to this world waaaaaaay too tightly.

Think about it.  Is there a ministry God has been whispering to your heart about recently?  


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 24

*love* serving

Serving is on my mind.....

"The mainspring of Paul's service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ.  If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men." ~Oswald Chambers

A good reminder that serving is not all about them and it is not about me.....it's all about my love for Jesus Christ.  

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." ~ Colossians 3:23

May your servant's heart be fine tuned to the Lord on this day!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 23

listen to the whisper

My early morning women's Bible study continues to walk through a study on prayer.  As we finished up a chapter on intercessory prayer, I was once again reminded of the important of listening to the Holy Spirit whisper to your heart the name of someone and how important it is to NOT ignore that prompting.  Instead immediately lift them up in prayer knowing that God knows all the details of their life and you just need to be faithful in bringing them before the throne of God.  

Does it work?  Absolutely!  In recent days I have had so many overwhelming moments and then unexpectedly feel a calmness come over my whole being.  What a blessing that is and can only be attributed to someone who has faithfully prayed for me as I know it had nothing to do with me or anything I had done.

Someone on your heart?  Can't get them off your mind?  PRAY!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 22

wanna pick a bone?

I love those warm days that suddenly appear in the middle of the winter!  The sun shines brightly, the temperatures rise into the 40's, the snow melts a bit, and all feels right with the world.

I dislike those cold days that appear just as suddenly in the middle of the winter immediately after those warm days. The sun deceivingly shines brightly, the temperatures drop down into the single digits, the snow freezes into a hard glaze in the yard and in the form of a skating rink on the driveway, and nothing feels right with the world.

Especially when this happens.....

Simply cautiously carefully my husband walked from the steps of our house across the driveway to his office in the work garage.  He called right after he got into his office and told me to bring some ice over to him as he had fallen and broken his leg.  And I laughed and asked him what he really wanted.  He kept insisting that it had really happened, so I put some ice into ziplock bags and simply cautiously carefully walked from the steps of our house across the driveway to his office in the work garage where I assumed I would unmask his joke.

No joke.  Instead I saw him sitting with his boot and sock off the propped up swelling leg as he was attempting to wipe the blood off the hand that he tried to catch himself with when he went down.  He had then crawled into his office and called me.  YIKES!  He sat there for awhile as he got his bearings, then a son and I helped him over to the house getting him settled as comfortably as we could as we prayed it was just a sprain.
No joke.  It was worse the next morning which resulted in a midday x-ray showing the break in the distal fibia (the skinny bone to the right of my thumb...go up a little ways and you can see the thin black 'C' which is the break), and that caused the ligament on the opposite side of the ankle to give way as the talus bone shifted way out of position. Mandatory surgery requiring a plate and screws to pull it all back together where it needs to be is the next step which will happen right after all this swelling goes down.  *IF* it ever goes down  :::sigh:::

No joke.  It's amazing that an incident that took a couple seconds to happen has thrown life at home into a whole new dimension that will take weeks to play out completely.  It's amazing that I had just read in a leadership book that a trait of a great leader is their sacrificial servant's heart and I prayed that God would show me what that looks like right where I am now having no idea what it would look like until now.  It's amazing that I can squeeze in the full time care my husband needs right now with everything else that is happening in our lives at the moment yet God's grace is completely sufficient.  

No joke.  God will prove Himself once again to be faithful and trustworthy as we walk through the days ahead. There's not a doubt in my mind that my children, my husband, and myself will be stretched in ways we couldn't be without walking through this situation and that isn't bad...."And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28

No joke.  God is good all the time.  All the time God is good!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Monday, February 21

need a holiday?

Ewe knead two reed write hear:


A Letter to the Kids


Due crews too wear scent four piece!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 19

speaking of poetry

Having listened to a poem recited by my youngest on Thursday, yesterday I listened to a poem recited by my oldest daughter at home.  It came with no demand to go to the laundry area to be presented, but instead she began reciting in the kitchen what she had memorized.  I was putting away our correction books as she recited, however I stopped as the words were shared.  When she was done, I sat and reread the poem which was so rich with meaning.  Let me share it with you:


His Plan for Me by Martha Snell Nicholson


When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me,
The plan of my life as it might have been
Had He had His way, and I see


How I blocked Him here, and I checked Him there,
And I would not yield my will--
Will there be grief in my Saviour's eyes,
Grief, though He loves me still?


He would have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs likes a hunted thing
Down the paths I cannot retrace.


Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With the tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands,
I shall bow my uncrowned head...


Lord, of the years that are left to me,
I give them to Thy hand;
Take me and break me, mould me to
The pattern Thou hast planned!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 18

a place for poetry

When you've been homeschooling for a long time, life develops a regular rhythm that is normal to your family.  You don't even notice it anymore because it's been part of your daily school life for so long.  Then something happens that reminds you of these particular little pieces.  Like yesterday....

My youngest was ready to take her spelling test, so we decided to take it right then and there instead of waiting until Friday morning which is when we traditionally take all the spelling tests.  It took her less than ten minutes from start to finish to take her test and for me to write a red 100 on the top of her paper.  The next step was for her to stand and read her poetry aloud so this subject would be completed for the week.  

She refused to do it and was totally unmovable.   Well, until I met her demand.  

For you see, spelling tests have all traditionally been given every Friday morning downstairs in our laundry area.  While I dictate the words for them, I also work on the mountain high stack of ironing (you are not allowed to sigh about this because I simply adore ironing!).   When the test is done, they then stand in a certain place to recite their poetry for the lesson.  The exception to this is the lower grades when spelling tests take less than ten minutes and we do them at the kitchen table.  

She wanted to stand in the poetry place downstairs to recite her poetry for the week.  So downstairs we went where we each got into our traditional places and she merrily read her poetry complete with flourishes.  When she was finished and smiling, she told me I could clap now. That, by the way, has not been part of the tradition!  LOL!

Enjoy the rhythm of traditions in the life of your homeschool garden!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 17

back to a smile

The affect of smiling has been mentioned here before.  May I mention it again?  


After Bible study yesterday morning, I made a quick stop at Walmart for a couple items.  Honestly, I don't even remember now what the checkout clerk and I were chatting about during that brief encounter, but I left that aisle with a big smile on my face as I was still giggling to myself.  


Since I had parked close to the door at the faraway end, I needed to walk past all the other check-out aisles and I watched as one by one each person leaving their aisle suddenly smiled at me.  Really, it was like you could see the light turn on as I passed each aisle.  It suddenly dawned on me that it was because I still had this big goofy smile on my own face.


Then again, perhaps it had nothing to do with my big goofy smile but the fact that the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the upper 40's while snow melted all around us.


I dunno.  Perhaps YOU could try this same thing and let me know what happens to see if a smile really does light up the world around you?


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 16

it's simple?

Here's my thought for the day:


"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."           
~Hans Hoffmann


Ahhhh, this is my battle cry!  SIMPLIFY!  Now to find time to actually do it..... 


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 15

growing a tree

I seem to be stuck in the 90's in the new year....I'm talking about the Psalms and not the years :::wink:::  (Goodness, what WERE the 90's like anyways?  They seem like a big blur to me....).

My latest place to be stuck and encouraged has been found in these verses:

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;  planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.'" ~ Psalm 92:12-15

This short passage is so rich to me!  

First, I love the word flourish!  

Flourish - to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way as the result of a particularly favorable environment.  Possible synonyms are thrive, prosper, succeed, increase.

Then consider the trees that the righteous will flourish or grow like.  Palms trees which are known for their long life as they grow tall and strong.  Or consider the cedars of Lebanon which can grow up to 120 feet tall and have a circumference of up to 30 feet.  It's hard to think of a tree much more solid than that and definitely not easily moved or swayed.  

And even better is that even with old age the righteous will still bear fruit which is fresh and green.  Old age doesn't mean your faith is done and stale for it will still be alive and bearing fruit.

So can I encourage you on this day through this passage of Scripture to not chase after the things of this world that look so appealing yet lacking anything for eternity, but to instead seek the Word of God as a particularly favorable place to grow who you are through Him.  This is the best possible way to grow healthy and vigorous as you create a particularly favorable environment in your home to grow your children.  Living a life that is nourished on God's Word will help you to grow strong and solid in your faith so that you will not be easily moved or swayed when the world pushes it's temptations and problems before your path. Instead you and your household will continue to mature and bear fruit all the days the Lord has numbered for you which could be many. 


So whether you are young or old, my hope is that you will seek to grow a tree of faith which will flourish all its days!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 14

love like Him

Good advice on this day of love from He who gave His life because of His love for us:

"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" ~ Matthew 22:37-39


Sounds easy?  Try it!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 12

it's a BOY

Yesterday took a different path than I had planned when woken up by an early morning phone call.  After a few previous *practice* episodes, it seemed that my daughter's contractions were the real thing this time.  A quick shower and wakening my fellow travelers who needed to pack resulted in being on the road by 7 AM with thankfulness that the weather was perfect - although quite cold - for traveling.  

Dropping the aunties off at the house, I made my way to the hospital and once again was thankful as I found my daughter still in labor. My arrival was in time!  A couple hours later a sweet grandson was welcomed into the world with our hearts filled with thankfulness as we checked him out from head to toe.
And what fun to bring his big sister to the hospital later on for a visit!  (Note her green nail polish from our Super Bowl party the week before)  She is going to be such a wonderful big sister and good helper for her mommy in the days ahead.

Off to bask in the glow of being a grandma again :-)  To God be the glory!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 10

the clear skies of winter



I knew it had to be cold outside this morning as I had been hearing the house make cracking sounds which tends to happen with the more frigid temperatures of winter.  There was no rush to climb out of bed knowing how chilly it would be inside the house if it was that cold outside.  Temperature check when I did make my way out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee:

Minus seventeen degrees.

While I was bemoaning the fact that it was that cold outside and considering whether or not I really had to leave the house at all today, I sipped my coffee and did my morning online reads one of which included my friend, Tammi, who was participating in this week's Thankful Thursday.  As I read through her list, I had to tease her a bit about being thankful for "the beauty of winter" since she often seems to send her winter weather my way.  That teasing resulted in a brief conversation which gave me my own thankful moment on this frigidly cold morning.  

For you see, this winter seems to have many more cloudy gray days than I'm used to and it has felt like the grayness of November.  Typically January is a sunny kind of month and February will follow it until the early spring snowstorms pass through.  But not this year.  A friend had shared some statistic she had heard locally of the fact that it has been a grayer cloudier winter than normal for us.

Yup, I don't do well with gray day after gray day.  It does dampen my spirits quite a bit since it comes at a time of the year when the daylight hours are shortened.

However, these frigidly cold temperatures do bring wonderfully happy moments to my daily winter life because they always come with the clearest of blue skies. And when the skies are clear and blue, the winter sunshine streams through the windows of our south-sided rooms.  I'm continuously drawn to my bedroom with the big southern window where you'll see the dogs or the cat lying in the sunshine which falls on the floor.  My kids have been known to throw beach towels down on my bedroom floor and lie in their bathing suits in that warm sunshine on a cold winter day.  It really is that wonderful!  

So although I may or may not leave the house today - only if it gets into the teens as forecasted - I can be thankful and smile because the sun is shining!  God is good!

If you're having a thankful moment you'd like to share, visit Laurie at Thankful Thursday this week.


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Wednesday, February 9

living without competition

Recently I read a devotional that was talking about dog shows and how the dogs are groomed and trained to all look like winners as they pranced and stood before the judges.  The author wondered what the dogs were really like when they weren't in the dog show and paralleled it with what are we really like when nobody's watching.

The statement that caught my eye the most was at the end:

"We're not in competition with other Christians.  God will never ask us to compete for 'best in show'.  He measures us by the perfect standard of His Son." ~ Cindy Hess Kasper

How often do we get caught up in competition?  We see this person or that person or the other person who can do something really well and desire to be just like them OR become depressed as we see how far short we fall.  It's a constant comparison of ourselves with others and sadly I've often seen it played out amongst homeschooling moms who think they have a certain standard they must meet.  They see Mrs. Type A who appears to do all things well and abundantly and feel they need to do all those same things with their children or they won't get a proper education.  

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." ~ First Samuel 16:7

I'm here to tell you that all that outward stuff doesn't matter a single bit. What matters is that your heart is right with the Lord.  The only focus you need to be have - which is not in the least bit competitive - is to keep your eyes on Jesus and desire to live like Him.  Hold up His standards for your life as you study His Word and not the standards of another woman or homeschooling mom.  His standard isn't perfection for He covers all our missteps with His love.  By living in this manner others will be drawn to your faith which vividly makes a difference in your life and not your incredible skills as a mom or homeschooler.  By living this way you'll be the same person whether in the limelight in the show of life or at home in your kitchen.  And at the end of the day, isn't that what really matters?


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 7

the green and gold

What more can I say but.........
.....WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!  The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl last night  after playing one incredibly tough game!  


You may now return to your regularly scheduled day while I remove the green nail polish off of my fingernails.


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 5

perhaps it never does....

It was in the early morning hours that the phone rang while we were still in bed six years ago. My mom had passed away.  Having been there daily for a week and saying what could be my final good-bye each time I left to drive the hour home, I knew this call could come at any time.  It didn't take away the thought that I wished I had been there to hold her hand for those last moments.  Those last seconds when the Lord called her name inviting her into paradise.

Although the phone call is still a clear memory, in some ways looking back it seems like sooooo long ago.  So many things have happened within my family since that day.  My older ones have graduated from high school with some graduating from college, weddings have happened, and her great-grandchildren have arrived - one, two, three, and walking a lot with the mama of four as we wait on this little guy.  My gardens have come and gone, pets have come and gone, quilts have been made without her advice.  Life has continued on with surprising moments of joy as well as times when I wish I could seek a safe place for advice and there's still that little thought that pops up in my heart wondering what mom would think about this or that or the other thing.  I wonder if that will ever go away?

Perhaps it never does.  Perhaps it's God's way of keeping us longing for hearing Him call our name as He invites us into our Heavenly future.  To be welcomed into His arms as all our earthly cares fall away.  To see Jesus face to face.  And to once again see those who have gone before us.  

Until then I will continue to rely on Him as He walks me through all my surprising moments of joy as well as the times He provides a safe place to seek wisdom.  He has proven to be faithful and trustworthy and strength providing through all my earthly moments and I know without a doubt He will continue.  


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 4

a feathered reminder

Chicka dee dee deeeeeee!
I think my favorite winter activity is watching the chickadees come in to the bird feeder outside our kitchen windows. They are so friendly and so busy and so chattering.
They give me a calm peaceful feeling that all is well with the world.
"Look at the birds of the air;  they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" ~ Matthew 6:26


And perhaps that is why they give me a feeling of peace as they remind me of my own value and God's care and daily provision for my own life.  No need to worry for God will take care of those He loves!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 3

nourishing wants and needs

"From our first breath until our last, we have few truly essential needs.....when it comes to our wants, however, there seems to be no limit.....the vague dissatisfaction so many people experience is really spiritual malnutrition and thirst.....have we been failing to nourish our souls while pursuing our wants?"           
~ Vernon C. Grounds

Needs versus wants. 

Where does God fit in?

As you go through your day, consider all the things you *think* you need or want. How many are real and how many are really self centered?  How many could really be satisfied by the Bread of Life and the Living Water?

With the sun bursting out all over the place today, it feels like a need and a want has been nourished to overflowing after so many cloudy days.  And I can only praise the Sonshine!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 1

the love of february

A new month has arrived!  
Known as the shortest month of the year,  February often feels like the longest month of the year because of where it is on the seasonal calendar.  More winter.  Need I say more?

Fortunately the picture is delightfully smile worthy with flowers in shades of pink and the verse is a lovely thought to ponder throughout the month.  Here's the complete verse - "Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." ~ Ephesians 5:2

Instead of getting caught up in all the mushy surface love that is often promoted and celebrated on the 14th of this month, how wonderful to choose to follow the example we have in Jesus of what true love is all about.  A love that goes beyond simple affection to self-sacrificing for others. Easy?  Often not.  But the aroma of Christ will linger long afterwards in the lives you've touched for Him and I can't think of anything more smile worthy than that, can you?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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