Wednesday, November 30

give a hand

As I was working on cleaning out my emailbox over the Thanksgiving break , I was overwhelmed by the number of prayer requests I have had over the past year for people who had lost loved ones.  Over the passage of time, I hadn't realized the amount of loss as I considered those families who were coming upon their first Thanksgiving without those who were loved sitting at their tables.  

Add that to others who have lost dear friends and family in recent years or even in not so recent years and it makes the holidays - which are filled with memories - a difficult sad and lonely time.

How appropriate to read this poem this morning:

Some of us walk into Advent
tethered to our unresolved yesterdays,
the pain still stabbing,
the hurt still throbbing
It's not that we don't know better;
it's just that we can't stand up 
anymore by ourselves.
On the way to Bethlehem,
will you give us a hand?
~Ann Weems

As we enter this advent season preparing for the celebration of our coming King, keep your heart tender toward those who are having a heart hard time.  Extend a smile, a listening ear, a hug, a whispered prayer, some extra love, and maybe a tear or two.  Doing the "Jesus with skin on" is never wasted, especially now.


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 28

making haste slowly

Here's a glimpse at the creative name holders for our Thanksgiving guests that my daughter-in-law and one of my daughters made after looking for ideas online:
Aren't they nice?  A pilgrim's hat, a big turkey drumstick, and a corn tassel.  Our table was much less crowded than past years as there were only eleven of us gathered together for our traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, having fewer people around for the long weekend didn't make the time go slower.  In fact, the time passed quickly and here we are in the last few days of November.

We're entering into the love-hate season of the year for me. I do so love many things about the Christmas holidays, but I do so hate the stress that comes with them, too.  So many more extra things to do that aren't part of our usual routine.  

More baking.  More shopping.  More writing.  More sewing.

Money squeezed.  Time squeezed.  Work squeezed.  Sleep squeezed.

Gaining shipping charges.  Gaining additional weight. Gaining daytime darkness.  Gaining fluffy snow.

Singing favorites quietly.  Telling secrets quietly.  Crying memories quietly.  Hiding presents quietly.  

And all in less than thirty days!

"The old Latin motto festina lente, 'make haste slowly', has a great lesson for us.  The more work we have to do, the more frequently we have to drop our head upon our desk and wait a little for heavenly aid and love, and then we can press on with new strength." ~ A.B. Simpson  

What a wonderful reminder to drop my head upon my desk and wait a little for heavenly aid and love so I can press on with new strength as I am reminded about the most important thing of this season which isn't on the list above. Celebrating the coming of the King!  

My heart's desire is to make haste slowly as I savor what this season is all about moment by moment not wanting to come to the end of this time weary and discontented, but joyful and expectant for the celebration of our newborn King! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~







Saturday, November 26

don't bite that bait

This past fall we had some unexpected excitement around here when my husband had a restless full moon night of sleep and decided to get up and go fishing.  He whispered an invitation to me to come along as he was getting dressed, but falling back to sleep in a bed all to myself sounded much more inviting.  

When he returned back home that morning about an hour before we needed to leave for church, it was hard to read his eyes as he extended a new invitation to me to come out to his truck.  My mind wandered to a possible damaged truck from a running deer. However it wasn't the truck he wanted me to see, but rather a peek into his boat.
And there it was.  

A  BIG FISH!

I mean a really big fish.  
A fish that he hadn't intended to catch as he was using a bait that would look appetizing to a larger version of a smaller fish which we love to eat.  
But the fish took a bite and apparently kept swallowing as the bait lodged too deep to do a "catch and release" move by my husband.  The consequence of his big bite was certain death and future mounting for our wall.

As I was reading Scripture verses about sin this morning, I thought about the consequences of sin in our lives.  We are often tempted by little temptations and toy around with them not thinking they'll really affect us.  But all sin - no matter what it is - has consequences. Once we take the bite it's only a matter of time before we've swallowed the entire bait way too deep to be able to easily release ourselves from it.   How easily the aftermath of such a sequence of events will land us on being mounted on the enemy's wall as his slave.  Ugh.

"Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" ~ John 8:34-36

We all have a choice as to who we will call master.  It's either the enemy or Jesus Christ. There's no such thing as being neutral.  You can either be enslaved by sin and its deception OR you can follow the Master who offers you freedom from sin as you enjoy a new life walking with Him. Take a bite of the enslaving bait OR accept the free gift of new and eternal life.  It's your choice....


Seems like kind of a heavy topic as we enter the holiday season.  But you know what?  The God of abundant and amazing love sent His Son as a baby to this earth for one reason.....to die for OUR sins which have separated us from Him  


So when you are making gift choices for the Christmas season, make sure you don't overlook the most important and greatest gift of all!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Friday, November 25

the importance of now

Here's something I don't think I've ever really thought about before:

Eternal life, then, is unending union with God.  Many people have accepted the idea that eternal life begins when their body dies, and that their present life is therefore of less importance--it is a temporary life, they believe.  But if we see that union with God is promised to us today, in this present life, then our perspective changes.  If we are with God, then our eternal life begins now and will continue forever.  The life we are now living with him will never cease." ~ Skye Jethani

Yet don't we live like that as believers?  Like this is only a temporary life and therefore it's not as important?  Many believers walk through this life rather ho hum  :::yawn::: getting by until someday when the Lord will take them home.  THEN life will begin.  

No, my friend, eternal life began the moment you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Opening the gift that He is will take your entire lifetime and is part of living fully and completely with Him.  NOW is important.

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." ~ Psalm 73:23-24

Yup, He's holding our hand as we walk with Him through our NOW days.  Always.  

Stop yawning and start living!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 24

doing and not doing the pc thing

One of the favorite things about Thanksgiving preparations is the PC.  Pie Crust.  At the end of my pie making duties, all the scrap crust pieces are thrown into pie pans, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked for a little bit while the last pie of the day is baked.  It's a yummy traditional treat to eat on the day before Thanksgiving and we love doing PC.

This past week I've been *chewing on* the Scripture from Sunday which came from Colossians 3:12-17.  Lots of good nourishing stuff in only a few verses.  There were three phrases that jumped out to me (ESV):


*be thankful


*thankfulness in your hearts to God


*giving thanks to God


The disciples often talked about thankfulness and I recently wrote about this when I flipped my calendar to the new month of November as I considered the verses bringing me to always.thanks.everything   The disciples developed a habit of thankfulness long before the Pilgrims ever came to America.  Every day for them was a day of celebrating thankfulness.  It was part of who they were as they recognized who God was and continually gave thanks to Him.  

Giving thanks always for everything in today's world probably wouldn't be considered PC.  Politically Correct.  Yet as we come to know God's goodness and love which grows our trust and faith in Him, how can we not celebrate thankfulness every day for everything.  It's going against the PC culture we live in which is wrapped around self-centered living and instead keeping our hearts on God centered living with thankfulness. 

Do enjoy this celebration of Thanksgiving today and everyday as you keep your heart God-centered impacting the world around you!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~










Monday, November 21

giving in to the white

I feel like I'm kicking and screaming every time we hit this time of the year.  But alas, it does me absolutely no good. Winter starts moving in whether I like it or not during these gray gloomy November days.
The snow covers all the sandbox dumptrucks and toys and the beloved baby swing that were so busily in use not so many weeks ago.
The snow freezes a clothespin to the line for the winter ahead as no one will be hanging clothes there for a long time.  Notice the rusty brown oak tree leaves in the background still hanging on for dear life, too!
The garden gate is done being opened for the season as the piling snow will prevent it from moving until spring.  The kiwi vines on the garden fence will rest, too.
The pine trees which offer the only color in the winter woods are even covered for the moment.
The crabapple tree that was abundantly covered with crabapples feeding the deer all fall is now a maze of empty branches.
The fall pumpkins and cornstalks are still out there reminding us that it is still autumn on the calendar and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  And yet, this early lasting snowfall is whispering to me :::Christmas::: and has prompted me to get started earlier than I normally do.  So how can I kick and scream about the snow when there is such an obvious prompting to reduce my future stress?

Now, check your observation skills and tell me what you see mixed in the cornstalks.  It'll give you the clue to know what my children were interestingly playing in the snow.......


So, are you ready?  Winter is here!


Blessings,
Tammy 

Saturday, November 19

praising the growls

From a devotional for today:  

"When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try to make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it.  It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there.  Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil's growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan's dislike for it." ~ A.B. Simpson

As I've been pondering an incident that happened this past week, a friend gently reminded me that this growl from the enemy was perhaps a gift from God.  Hadn't thought about it in that light at all.  

Aren't gifts suppose to come in brightly wrapped pretty packages?  Aren't they suppose to give us that heady feeling of excitement when they are placed in our hands?  Aren't our fingers suppose to wiggle with delight as we anticipate pulling the ribbons to open the gift?

Hmmmm, all those things have been missing.  Instead there has been an aching heart with a tear or two as I wander through the process of seeking the truth of the matter.  

Gingerly I hold this gift in my hands knowing that the weight of it has pushed me to my knees as I draw closer to my Heavenly Father.  It is from that position that I begin to see the treasure of this gift which didn't come in the expected wrappings.  

The gift of salvation didn't come in a pretty package either, did it?  It came with blood, sweat, tears, and scourging as a life was sacrificed on the cross.  Not any life, but the life of the Son of God.  Jesus.

My heart is humbled knowing His sacrifice for my gift of eternal life.

Suddenly the incident that is still playing out in my life looks differently.  The enemy may growl, yet my praises of thanksgiving to God will sound out much louder for HE walks with me as I open this gift knowing that the treasure inside is a deeper walk with my Lord and Savior.

May you keep praises on your lips when the enemy growls along your pathways knowing there is a gift of blessing ahead!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 17

only five ways

This week has definitely flown by!  It's hard to believe that we are almost to the end of the week already.  I finally took a few minutes to download all the recent pictures off my camera and I realized I had totally forgotten about all the pictures I took on:
My intent was to show what a normal day 11/11/11 was around here, but it seems ridiculous to post about that now since that was almost a week ago.  

Instead I'll post about a delicious surprise that arrived at our house on our Bible study night this week.  Back in early October a couple little guys who come with their mom and dad to our Bible study were busy promoting their annual boy scout popcorn drive.  When they said they'd be delivering the order right before Thanksgiving I knew that I had to take the plunge - well, it was for a good cause since it helps them go to a special scouting event - and buy the big can of special popcorn.  
For you see, I had a special purpose in mind for this special popcorn as I thought it would be WONDERFUL to eat with all my girls on the day after Thanksgiving when all the girls enjoy some girl time while the menfolk are hunting for the day.  


Yup, you read it right.  


CHOCOLATE LOVERS FIVE WAY POPCORN.

There's White Ruby (white chocolate), English Magic, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Chocolate Covered Peanuts, and Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Yup, YUM!

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like all of our family will be together for Thanksgiving this year.  My plan is to tuck this special treat away into a closet until Christmas time when we will hopefully all be together because such yummy goodness needs to be shared with my girls at a single sitting :-) 

Until then, we'll settle for our regular old buttery popcorn that my husband pops for us every Sunday night....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 11

encouraging a vote

The Homeschool Post is in the midst of its 7th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards.  Voting is going on now through November 19th in twenty categories and nearly 1200 blogs have been nominated throughout those categories.  That's a LOT of homeschoolers blogging!

This blog - Garden Glimpses - has been nominated in the category of Best Encourager.  Your vote would be greatly appreciated and can be done simply by  clicking right HERE which will take you to the list of nominees. Scroll down to Garden Glimpses and click in the empty circle.  

Thank you so much!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

living a greater love

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." ~John 15:13

My heart is grateful on this day as we recognize those who have served in our military both past and present.  They are willing to lay down their lives for the love of their country and endure the sacrifice that goes with the task of preserving freedom.  Having a son in the military has allowed us a glimpse into that commitment and a new appreciation for the sacrifice they and their families make on a daily basis.  

Take a moment to shake the hand of a veteran and be touched by the humbleness found in their character.  And always keep them in your prayers.


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 10

snow in context

No matter how many times you read the Bible, there's always those verses that pop out at you that you don't remember reading before which is what happened to me this morning.  Here's the verse:

"Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters." ~ Proverbs 25:13

The timing of reading this verse is interesting because we received our first significant snow fall of the season yesterday.  We ended up with about three heavy wet inches of snow instead of the six to ten inches that were predicted. Seeing the snow coming down, my heart was soooo thankful that for once I wasn't harvesting my carrots for canning as it seems I typically put off digging them out of the garden until forced to when the first main snow comes. The cold of snow at harvest is NOT a good thing for me.  Refreshing would NOT come to mind.  

Of course, I've missed the whole context of the verse since I got all tangled up with that snow because the verse is really about the faithful messenger.  His master has sent him on an important mission with an important message and the servant has carried the task out successfully and well. There was no mishaps in the delivery of the message and his master is very pleased.  So pleased that the comparison was made to the coolness of snow refreshing those who are harvesting crops while enduring the burden and heat of the day as they labor in hot countries.  

The verse was all about context and the context was quite contrary to my own experience.  Thank goodness for commentaries that provide information that we may be lacking.  

Now if I could only pass on some of this refreshment to those harvesters.....


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 9

choose uneasier

Here's my thought for the day worthy of pondering a bit as you consider your life  and the choices you have each day:

"It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment.  You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God.  But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis." ~ Oswald Chambers


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 8

hastening for centuries

Perhaps the thing that makes me grrrrrr the most about technology is that it has put our culture on such a fast pace. There is no patience.  Everything must happen NOW.  My tail end children have a much harder time with the concept of WAIT than my older ones as the younger ones are used to things happening instantly at the touch of a button.  

Sure makes it harder to teach them the concept of waiting on the Lord, doesn't it?

Enter God's sense of humor this morning.

My devotional listed Psalm 70 as the Scripture reading and I honestly did laugh out loud as I began reading it:

"Hasten, O God, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me." ~ Psalm 70:1

Seriously?  Even the people of long ago wanted things to happen quickly?  Weren't they used to waiting long periods of time on God?

Hmmmm, I guess human beings have always been self-centered wanting the universe to revolve around them NOW, eh?

Make sure you hasten to God's Word today and see what He has to make you smile!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 7

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 7





For today November 7

Outside my window.....the skies are blue, temperatures are in the 30's, and it is WINDY!

I am thinking.....about Christmas already.  How weird is that?!  

I am thankful.....for a kind part-time neighbor who shared his produce from his farm in another part of the state.  We were blessed with lots of apples, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and various squash!


I am wearing.....my black exercise pants and a white t-shirt from Hawaii.


I am hearing.....a daughter getting her school books out from the cabinet as the time change has her up early and ready to do school.


I am wondering.....how to make changes when you know the rest of your family won't be on board with what you are suggesting.


I am creating.....my family Christmas list.


I am going.....to write a note of encouragement to a couple who are going through a very difficult time in ministry right now.  

I am reading.....Radical by David Platt 


I am praying.....for my oldest daughter who randomly got a very painful kink in her neck yesterday morning. 


I am remembering.....how faithful God is as we take steps of obedience.

I am hoping.....to avoid all the extra candy around here that was purchased at a much discounted price last week. Fortunately there is very little chocolate!

On my mind.....are a couple teen girls from our church who are having a hard time living their faith out in the local high school. 


From the learning rooms.....we have finished the first quarter of our schooling and I'm starting to see where different kids are dragging their feet in certain subjects.  

Noticing that.....there's a LOT of flying squirrels around this fall.

I am looking forward to.....getting some new living room furniture delivered this week as our old furniture seriously has no springs left.  You feel like you are sitting on the floor no matter which thing you sit in since this furniture has seen years and years of hard kid use.  

Pondering these words....."The reward of the American dream is safety, security, and success found in more comfort, better stuff, and greater prosperity.  But the reward of Christ trumps all these things and beckons us to live for an eternal safety, security, and satisfaction that far outweighs everything this world has to offer. " ~ David Platt

From the kitchen.....we are now back to making apple dishes since we've received all these apples from our neighbor.  YUM!

Around the house....are clothes we've been sorting through as we move into a new season.  

One of my favorite things.....is sitting by the warmth of the woodburner on chilly mornings.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include a couple of work projects, a congregational meeting, more raking if the wind settles down, catching up on reading with my youngest, and some sewing I've been itching to do. 

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....one of our Thanksgiving decorations that I pulled out this weekend. Time to get the inside of the house looking like autumn before the snow starts making a regular appearance here!
Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook on this day. If you'd like to visit others who are participating in the November daybook or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook

Enjoy this month of thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 4

taped to trouble

I knew something was wrong the moment I picked it up out of its place in the junk drawer.  Something was very very wrong with the tape dispenser that we've had for a kazillion years because it was as light as a feather.
It looked normal from one side.  But the other side and end revealed the truth of the matter.  A whole chunk of plastic was now completely missing.   You'd think the one who had committed the damage would have at least attempted to tape the broken piece back onto the dispenser since there was already tons of tape stuck all over the old dispenser.  
Even though I found the tape dispenser in the drawer where it belongs which is NOT where I usually find it when I girls have been using it, I started the questioning with them. They all gave me the blank stare.  No amount of questioning gave me a lead at all.  

That left the menfolk of the house.  Since one was busy providing for the family, that meant I needed to check with the one doing school in his bedroom.

I couldn't believe it!  GUILTY!


Ahhhh, but the tale was ohhhh so interesting.  He had been outside doing some filming for a video he was making and needed the tape for something.  So he came into the house to get it.  Not a problem.  The problem was when the tape dispenser went flying off the GO KART while he was driving. YIKES!  It's not really a surprise knowing how the go kart bounces around on the gravel driveway or on the paths in the woods.  I just found it interesting that he calmly put it back into the drawer without saying a word to anyone or thinking that perhaps no one would notice.

Let's just hope his video will be award winning so he can earn enough money to replace my favorite old tape dispenser....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 2

the downside of down

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved her pillow.  It was a wonderfully squishy pillow filled with downy feathers and it went with her everywhere she ever slept. For years.  And years.  And, well, many more years. Until the last week of September of this year when that very much older girl said, "Honey, since I'll be gone for a week, will you please take my pillow to the cleaners to get the feathers fluffed and cleaned?  I talked to the man who owns the business and he said it only takes a week to do it and since I will not be able to take my favorite pillow with me this would be the best time to do this task since it has never ever been done in all these many many many years I have owned this pillow."

Returning home a week later there was much dismay that the beloved pillow was not home from the cleaners.  Nor was it done a week later.  Nor a week later, but at least now the girls at the counter were quite sympathetic as the whimpering over the loss of a favorite pillow was becoming much louder.  To the owner they would speak and relieve themselves of such a sad weary customer.


Alas!  A week later the pillow was ready!
Poor sad thing.  Apparently as they took apart the pillow, the feathers in the pillow had been covered, recovered, and recovered again over the years which must have been done before the little girl took ownership of the beloved pillow for she herself had never added a cover.  Due to all the coverings many of the feathers had crushed between the layers and had turned to DUST.  The scant feathers left behind were cleaned and fluffed and a new bag of fluffy down feathers were added to the new restored pillow.  

Poor sad thing.  It was one flat pillow whose new white feather protecting cover sounded crunchy whenever the much older girl tried to bunch it up into a snug soft spot to lay her tired head. 
Poor sad thing.   Doesn't make any difference what is inside the cover of this pillow now.  It's just not the same. Not even close to the same. The kind ladies at the cleaners said more bags of fluffy down feathers could be added to the pillow, but will it ever be the same?

Stay tuned....


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 1

alway.thanks.everything

November has arrived!  


It tends to be a month that goes quickly in our home with huntin' season for the menfolk and Thanksgiving with family. I'm thankful that it does go quickly as it also tends to be one of the gloomiest months of the year.  Often too many gray cool days for this sunshine loving person.  

The verse is appropriate for this month:  "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:20

Always.  Thanks.  Everything.

Those are the three words that jump out at me.  Not easy to do in our humanness.  We are certainly self-centered creations of God who often prefer to murmur and complain a bit.  Yet that attitude is not what Scripture is calling us to do.

Always. Thanks. Everything.

I think the key is actually in the verse before:  "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord." ~ Ephesians 5:19

When you feel a pity party filled with whimpering coming on, try opening your Bible to psalms.  Even the lamenting chapters have a praise to God tucked in their midst. Put on some praise music and see how long you can keep up your badattitude.  Suddenly you find that your attention is drawn away from yourself and back onto God which is where it belongs.  Life is really not about us.  It's about HIM!  

Always. Thanks. Everything.

We have a choice with every situation that comes across our path.  Be thankful knowing that even the difficult trials are molding you into the person HE wants you to be as you have the opportunity to develop Christ-like character.  He is developing strength in you as you trust His faithfulness to see you through whatever the days may bring.  

Have a Happy Thankful November!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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