Wednesday, December 26

still preparing....

Some Christmases are different than others.

Like this year.

My husband traveled to pick up one college son on the Wednesday before Christmas.  The other college son drove home that evening.  Both college sons weren't feeling well having come down with nasty colds.  That same Wednesday evening my husband said that he suddenly wasn't feeling well at all and ended up spending the next few days totally down and out in bed with what appears to have been the flu. Those three passed it on to two daughters.

That left me and little diddle to take care of the regular household duties AND  take care of those who were sick AND prepare for Christmas.  

Which means the house is a disaster, the family is slowly getting better,  and I'm still preparing for Christmas.  

No problem since our main Christmas wasn't yesterday, but is coming up over the New Year weekend when all our family comes home.  There'll be 21 people squished into this house for a few days.  Unless sickness throws that off, too  :::sigh:::  

Since I wasn't able to get out shopping much and there really is limited shopping here and thanks to a friend who blessed me with an idea that came in the mail, I decided to use what I had on hand to make ornaments for the kids still at home.  I did a quick quilting, then hand stitched their names and the year on the back.  The result is above.

Right now I'm working on finishing up some other handmade gifts for each "big" member of the family.  I'm realizing that this project was really one of those "your eyes are bigger than your stomach" kind of things because it's been incredibly much more time consuming than anticipated. Plus it has to be done so secretly to prevent those living here from knowing what I'm doing.  A real challenge.  I'll post pictures next week after these presents have been opened....that is, *IF* they get finished!

Hope your post-Christmas is not a working one like mine, that everyone in your household is healthy, and that you can enjoy every moment of celebrating the true reason for the season - JESUS!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 22

the difference in a day

From this morning's reading:

"George Müller said that he learned not to stop reading the Word each day until he felt happy in God.  Then he felt prepared to go out and do his day's work."      
~ Andrew Murray

Wow!  How would that concept work in the schedules of today's world where a minimal ten or fifteen minutes is penciled in daily for a devotional time?  IF that much?  Life starts quickly in the morning and sometimes even that short time gets bumped down.

Imagine *IF* we got up early and each morning read the Bible until we felt happy in God.  May mean getting up earlier.  May mean lingering longer.  May mean breakfast is not served on time.  

Imagine the difference it would make in your day's work *IF* you did that each day.

Thinking about it right now with Christmas racing to the forefront in our homes, imagine the difference it could make in all of our holiday celebrations *IF* God's Word held such a priority each morning.  

Definitely something to consider with the new year upon us as perhaps the one resolution you desire to keep!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 19

a puff of caramel

While we were on babywatch at my oldest daughter's house, her husband made a wonderful batch of caramel corn.  We knew we needed to repeat such a yummy treat once we got back home.  After calling to get his recipe and the suggested improvements, we decided to just use the recipe on the bag of the Old Dutch Puffcorn and I must say it was delicious. Here you go:

Caramel  Corn - Old Dutch Style

1 package Old Dutch Puffcorn
1 cup butter (not margarine)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.


Combine butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a two quart sauce pan.  Cook on medium heat until mixture has melted.  Once mixture has melted, add the baking soda. (Note:  this will cause the mixture to foam.)

Pour Old Dutch Puffcorn into a large roaster pan.  Pour caramel mixture over the Puffcorn and stir until mixed.  

Place in the oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.   

Remove from the oven, pour onto waxed paper, and break apart.  Let cool, then devour *wink*


We have not tried this variation yet, but it sounds just as yummy:  For a scrumptious addition to this already delicious recipe, drizzle melted chocolate over the mixture after you remove it from the oven.

ENJOY!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 17

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 17



For December 17

Outside my window.....the skies are a calm cloudy gray with temperatures in the mid 20's.

I am thinking.....about how life has been so busy that I haven't blogged for over a week.


I am thankful.....that God is an ever present help.  He's there for the little and big things.

I am wearing.....a pair of khakis, a red turtleneck with white snowflakes,  and warm socks.

I am hearing.....silence.  My house is very rare quiet at the moment.  

I am wondering.....what it will take for people to turn to God.  He is the ONLY hope and light in this dark world.

I am creating.....Christmas gifts.  I'm finding out that it is one of those "your eyes are bigger than your stomach" kind of things as the project I've picked is incredibly time consuming.  The idea certainly looked delightful when I came up with it!

I am going.....to take our old dog to the vet today to be put to sleep.  One of my very least favorite tasks as a mother who has seen lots of cats and dogs come and go over the last thirty some years.  

I am reading.....the book "How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong" by Leslie Vernick.  This is an excellent book for ALL marriages.

I am praying.....for God's peace, joy, strength, and wisdom for some difficult conversations ahead.

I am remembering.....the smell of Christmas cookies baking in my Grandma's kitchen.  What a powerful memory!

I am hoping.....to have enough energy to get everything done over the next week. 

On my mind.....is how broken the world is all around me.

From the learning rooms.....we will be working hard on schooling so we can enjoy next week OFF!

I am learning....that people only share their life stories when they trust you and believe you care about them.  

Noticing that.....the sunshine always improves my mood. It's much too gray this time of the year.  

I am looking forward to.....Christmas being over because all of our family gets together for New Years and I can't wait to see them all!

Pondering these words....."When we are weakest, He is strongest—and when we step far out of our comfort zones, we step right into the comfort of Christ." ~ Ann Voskamp

From the kitchen.....a batch of carmel corn disappeared yesterday.  YUM!

Around the house....we are enduring the strong scent of primer and paint as a room is getting a makeover.

One of my favorite things.....is opening each Christmas card and letter that arrives via snail mail.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include today's trip to the vet, taking a daughter to script readings twice, working on Christmas gifts, a couple of days of work, Christmas card writing, baking, preparing for college sons to come back home, a chiropractic appointment, and house cleaning.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
Here's one project that was recently completed and mailed off - a Christmas stocking for my newest grandson.  His mama actually picked out the fabric for it when we were shopping during the weekend before he was born (as we were hoping all the shopping and walking would put her into labor!) 

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 8

the chosen tree

And there she is!  The daughter that picked the winning tree that will grace our living room with its bountiful full branches filled with ornaments from top to bottom from now until the new year.  

Actually, I was surprised that all the girls wanted to take the drive to the tree farm to find a Christmas tree to cut down. With the exception of my littlest, my older girls tend to turn their cute little noses up at a host of normal activities around here.  Yet today they were excited to take part in this annual event and were actively going from row to row to find the perfect tree that would get the family vote.  They even enjoyed getting a peppermint candy cane from the owners while the tree was loaded onto the trailer.  I think I'll count this as my first Christmas miracle this season as it was an enjoyable time from start to finish!

Let's hope the pine scent wafting through the house will trigger some necessary Christmas spirit and motivation!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 5

get off the mountain

Here's a quote from yesterday:


“It is possible to work so hard for God that we forget about communion with him. Mountains of work and crumbs of intimacy generate dangerous imbalance. We can be very active yet totally ineffective. Our effectiveness has everything to do with balance, joining activity with intimacy, serving God and communion with God.” 
~ Jose Luis Navarro

We are living in a culture of work and achievement which take precious amounts of time. Abundant amounts of time. We need to get off that mountain and realize that crumbs won't sustain us.  Time spent with God is never wasted.  Through time spent with Him comes more clarity in purpose and you may find that you are working on a mountain that is a total waste of time since He has a different plan in mind.  

Stop moving.  

Start connecting with God.

Be effective in your moving.

It's simple!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 1

go and tell

"Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee." ~ Mark 5:19

Such an interesting verse for December.  Such an interesting passage of Scripture that goes with it as all the previous verses from the beginning of chapter five until this verse in Mark tell about the demon possessed man and the herd of pigs.  

December.  My mind went from the celebration of the baby in the manger to this passage for the month.  Huh?  

And yet what can impact the unbelieving world around me most during this advent season?  Telling them about the Savior of the world who came as a baby in the manger OR telling them about the Savior of the world who comes to bring new life and healing to everyone who believes in Him?

That takes away the "Huh?", doesn't it?

Do use this advent season as a perfect time to go and tell others about the great things the Lord has done for YOU!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 27

for or against

Here's my thought for the day:

"The way to solve perplexing problems is to ask—Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or the kind of thing in which the spirit that is the antipodes of Jesus is interested?" ~ Oswald Chambers

First of all, I love the challenge of a new word.  Reminds me of all the vocabulary words my high schoolers often have in their language book that I have never heard of before and which are fun to learn even though I may never use them in everyday language.  

Antipodes - opposite, contrary, against (kind of like the east from the west)

As I read this, a kazillion scenarios ran through my head. Some problems would be critical in my faith walk with Jesus as I responded to them, other problems would be sliding into enemy territory if not held closely to what God's word says, and other perplexing problems like figuring out yardage of different fabrics for a quilt may be considered non-essential.  

Although I can't solve your perplexing problems of the day, perhaps this will be a guideline to ponder a bit as possible choices pop up in your mind.  A challenge indeed!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 23

unlooked-for

It's been a long long time since we've had such a beautiful weather-wise Thanksgiving.  Sunny, temps in the upper 50's, glorious!  The menfolk were busy splitting and stacking firewood.  The womenfolk spent time outdoors biking, walking, running.  It felt ohhh sooo good to be outdoors after the many cooler gray days of November.  

As I walked along the trail way behind the bikers, I recited my list of thanks.  One item rabbit trailed to another item which rabbit trailed to another item.  Although the sunshine was warming the outside of me, a new warmth inside of me was found as I counted my blessings one by one surprised that there could be so many after a season of challenges.   

Having been refreshed inside and out, one of our smallest gatherings of family in a long long time of Thanksgivings joined together for a delicious meal followed by plenty of pie.  We all went to bed content after a good day.

What a surprise to wake up to snow falling, wind blowing, temperatures dropping into the 20's!  A complete change of weather making the house ohhh sooo chilly.  Funny how quickly contentment can change.  How thankfulness can be a little harder to grasp until you throw another log on the fire waiting for the warmth to come.  

In my devotional this morning on the continuing theme of "waiting", I had to smile with this sentence:

"We must ask and expect, that God will do unlooked-for things." ~ Andrew Murray

Unlooked-for things.  Like going from gorgeous warm weather one day to snowy blowy cold weather the next day.  

Unlooked-for things.  Like how God answers our prayers not in the way we expect or hope, but often in ways we could never anticipate.  

What will be our response?  Contentment as we completely trust His plan while thanking Him?  Or struggling with grasping thankfulness until we can "warm up" to what He may be doing?

May your heart be thankful for all the looked-for and unlooked-for things that are on your garden path today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 21

faint not

As I was enjoying some quiet time this morning before the flurry of pie baking and cleaning, the devotion for the day was based on Isaiah 40:31.  You know, the wings like eagles verse in the Bible.  I get that often quoted verse.  We are blessed to live in an area where we do regularly see the majesty of eagles soaring above us in the sky or dipping down to the lake to pull a fish out for dinner.  

However, this morning when I pulled my Bible out I was more drawn to the verses before that one:

"Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength."  ~ Isaiah 40:27-28

Those verses spoke to my heart.  Why?  Because it's in many ways been a long year.  A busy year.  A weary year.    As I look ahead to the final stretch - in other words, Christmas - about all I can come up with is a big sigh.  Keeping life balanced between home and ministry is already a challenge, but throwing in all the details of Christmas?  It makes my heart faint.

Yet the one who knows me best - my Creator - who never grows faint or weary is there to give me power and increase the strength I have right this very moment.  His power and strength will come as I live out HIS purposes and follow HIS will.  Because the final stretch of the year isn't about me.  It's about HIM.  The key is remembering that important detail.

Until then, I'm going to enjoy these days ahead of being with family and joining the rest of the country in an "attitude of gratitude".  Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, November 20

waiting in the sunshine

"God is wise.  He cannot gather the fruit until it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive the blessing.  Waiting in the sunshine of His love will ripen the soul.  Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious.  Our times are in His hands." ~ Andrew Murray

Throughout November my devotional has been talking about waiting on God.  The timing of all these days of reading what Scripture says about waiting on God has been, well, timely for me.  

Having a gardener's heart, today's words went right to my heart and understanding.  As I walk through my garden in late summer, I know when to harvest the beans or the carrots or the squash.  Sometimes I can gather because the crop is perfectly ripe and ready; sometimes I realize there is more growing needed under the warm sun.  I, the gardener, am the judge of the ripeness of each thing growing under my watchful eye.  

And so it is with God. He knows when we are ready because He knows us better than anyone walking on this earth.  He created us and knows every single little detail about us.  His watchful eye misses nothing.  Sometimes our growing takes longer than we'd like.  It requires stillness and waiting and resting.  It takes trusting in Him.  It takes letting go of what we may want and desiring what He wants whatever it may be.  

We wait in the sunshine of His love as He ripens our soul.

"Each time you wait upon Him, you may look up and see Him ready to meet you." ~ Andrew Murray

Ohhhh, that gives me :::Godbumps:::

The reward of waiting.  When He sees that we're ripened in the Christlike character He's been crafting and molding into our lives, we look up and there He is.  The blessing of His love at that moment can take our breath away.

Ohhhh, Lord, help me to be still, to wait, to rest, to know that I can trust you completely for You are the faithful Gardener of my soul.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 19

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 19



For November 19

Outside my window.....the skies are cloudy gray with a chill to the air.

I am thinking.....about how I somehow missed doing a daybook in October and am enjoying taking a quiet moment to do one for November.

I am thankful.....for the safe arrival of a beautiful healthy wonderful grandson.

I am wearing.....a pair of jeans, a long sleeved green shirt, my bright hoodie, and warm socks.

I am hearing.....the dog snoring a few feet away.

I am wondering.....why my new watch already has a dead battery.

I am creating.....a list of Christmas ideas.

I am going.....to snuggle in and watch a movie with my girls tonight.

I am reading.....the book "When Life Comes Undone" by T.J. and Mary Ann Addington.

I am praying.....for God's wisdom and His will in some decision making I have ahead.

I am remembering.....a Thanksgiving many years ago when I met my inlaws and husband's family for the first time.

I am hoping.....this mild weather stays a bit longer because I'm not a fan of COLD.

On my mind.....is wrapping up some necessary paperwork which has been extremely time consuming.

From the learning rooms.....we are using this week to school instead of taking it off as planned.  Have to catch up on studies after taking some baby time off.

I am learning....that there are many broken hearts all around me that only God can mend. 

Noticing that.....my clothes are getting tighter and I need to get back into my walking routine.  NOW.  

I am looking forward to.....spending time with some of my family over Thanksgiving.

Pondering these words....."If I could look at myself from God's perspective, what would I see as my true needs?" ~ Oswald Chambers

From the kitchen.....there will be fresh pies baking soon! Yippeeeee!

Around the house....are hooded sweatshirts here and there. I think we need a separate closet for all the girls hooded sweatshirts!

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

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include a memorial service, some work, house cleaning, pie baking, THANKSGIVING with family, and a baby shower.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....

Actually, I'm sharing TWO pictures with you.  My daughter was recently in a high school play and had the fun of wearing TWO different amazingly fun hats.  The second picture has the fog of the moor mingling into the picture.

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 13

climbing

"It is extraordinary how we debate!  We know a thing is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it at once. To climb to the height God shows can never be done presently, it must be done now.  The sacrifice is gone through in will before it is performed actually."  ~ Oswald Chambers

Reading this reminded me of a conversation I recently had as we talked about how believers don't seem to be living very victoriously these days.  In fact, it's hard to spot them since they seem to look, act, speak or think much like the world around them.  

I think that perhaps it does come down to the quote above by Chambers.  God has a plan for our lives to mold us and shape us into who HE wants us to become, but it requires living in a way that may be different than we want to be living.  We know what the right thing is to do and perhaps hear God whispering to our hearts, but choose not to follow in obedience as we debate with him all the reasons we should not climb to where He is leading.  Is it fear?  Is it pride?  Is it selfishness?  Each person has to ask those questions of themselves.

It comes down to choosing to follow Him obediently no matter how difficult NOW for that is the bigger sacrifice than actually living it out.  Because all those questions will get answered as you live it out...no need to fear because you'll find God is with you, humble feels much better in your soul than pridefulness, and joy comes from living unselfishly.  

Is God challenging you right now?  Don't debate.  CLIMB up!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 8

Homeschool Blog Voting Time!

Yippee!  Just found out that I was nominated in the 2012 Homeschool Blog Awards for the "Best Encourager Blog"! Ohhhh, there's lots of good very active bloggers once again nominated that my chances are slim to none, but what a blessing to be nominated by those who are faithful regular readers of Garden Glimpses.  This seems to be a blog that I hear more from my readers via email than by comments.  It has allowed me to enjoy some dear friendships from those who live around the country.  

So do go and vote!  The rules have changed this year allowing you to vote ONCE A DAY.  After clicking the dot next to GARDEN GLIMPSES in the Best Encourager Blog category, please check out the other categories and nominees as there are a lot of amazing homeschoolers writing about their experiences and giving lots of educational tips, curriculum ideas, and creative how to's from cooking to everyday life to field trips.

What are you waiting for?  GO VOTE (and thank you!):


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 1

for everything

"For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Such an appropriate verse for so many things in my life right now!  The next verse speaks about those things that have been more pressing in my life at the moment:

"A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:2

This past week I have plucked up almost all of the things in my garden from tomato cages to shovels and hoes to the last of the kohlrabi.  The only thing left standing in my garden at the moment is the flower plants which I need to pop the heads off with the hope of some seeds for next year's garden.  

But even that may not get done because I'm more concerned about the "a time to be born" part of that verse.  It was always hard enough to figure out the starts and stops of my own laboring body, but let me tell you that trying to do it from afar for my daughter is even harder! Like this morning as we've been texting back and forth of about some possible labor signs. Grandbaby number five is due to arrive any day now and it keeps my heart a'prayin' and thanking God for this wonderful gift about to enter our world!  Of course I'm a'prayin' more that I can make it there in time to watch this baby's entry into the world.  

Never a dull moment during this season of life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 26

the path of orange

My life is full of good intentions.  Unfortunately my life is also full.  Sometimes these two things collide.  Like when my son needed a new quilt to take with him to college.  I knew about it all summer long, but as the summer was about to end and school was about to begin the good intentions and full life collided once again. 
Off we went to pick out the fabrics he wanted throwing away all my graph paper designs and going with simple and basic which translated into quick.
The blocks were cut, laid out several times, and finally sewed together.
The design worked perfectly, but once on the quilt frames he said, "Too thin!  I want warm and fluffy!"  So we added another layer of quilt batting which bulked it up a bit.  He loved it :-)
It didn't take long to tie it with orange and blue yarn.  Off the quilt frames it came as I settled into my chair to hand sew the hem and pray for him with each stitch as he was about to fly away from the home nest to a new setting as he stretched into his future as a young adult.
He loved the end result and this quilt is now settled on his dorm bed.   

Simple.  Quick.  Sewn with love by mom.

Can I encourage you to check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival of Fall 2012?  Amy hosts this event twice a year and there are TONS of amazing creatively sewn quilts that are entered into the festival.  I'm always very inspired as I quilt hop, but of course, continue to have the problem of good quilt intentions colliding with a life that is overflowingly full.  Someday, right?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, October 19

spider hedging

The girls and I were immediately drawn to an unusual barrel in the midst of the produce department of the grocery store. What made it more intriguing was that there was a sign on it saying "DO NOT EAT!"  What?  Why was it by all kinds of good healthy things to eat?  


As we were picking these up and looking them over, one of the produce workers walked by us and overheard our conversation. He stopped to tell us that these odd looking green balls were actually called hedge balls and they were suppose to help keep spiders out of the rooms of your home.  That was news that delighted all of us, so we thought that for a dollar we'd take one of these new discoveries home with us and test it out.  

When I got home, I looked "hedge balls" up on the internet and, of course, there was nothing new about these interesting odd looking things.  They've been around for a LONG time and are also commonly called hedge apples.  They are rather mythical things grown on trees in various locations and their claim to fame is that they are thought to be a repellant to a large variety of insects. However, I could find no real proven data of the validity of the claim.

Always enjoying a good challenge, we knew we'd have to test our hedge ball to see *if* it would work and had the perfect room to test it in - our main bathroom.  That room is known for its spider habitation during the fall season and someone is always hollering for me to come and get the spider out of the shower or away from the sink or down off the wall.  

And, after a couple of weeks of testing I have to say that I don't recall one single spider in that room.  Of course, there's been some other bugs who don't seem bothered by the hedge ball, but spiders have apparently maintained their distance. We all think that is a VERY good thing.

I have no idea how long they last and we should probably tuck our hedge ball away in a drawer when company comes as it is getting a little creepier looking, but it has been a fun experiment and a peek into some of the unusual things God has created!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, October 17

what do you really want?

"Don't love the world's ways.  Don't love the world's goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father.  It just isolates you from him.  The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity." ~ First John 2:15-17

You often hear the phrase "follow your heart", but making that choice can also mean following your heart down the path of the world's ways.  That will only pull you further away from your Heavenly Father. 

Follow your heart.....to the Father!  For there you will find all your "wants" met!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 12

watch the clinging

"That man has a will other than God's is not sin.  It is when he clings to his own will when it is seen to be contrary to the will of the Creator that sin occurs." ~ Andrew Murray

This is a simple thought.  Funny though, I've always thought of man's will as a negative thing.  However, free will is not necessarily a negative.  We make a multitude of decisions daily within that free will that we have that are actually healthy positive choices.

It is when those decisions are directly contrary to what God's Word says that we get into trouble.  Those moments when we happen to think we know better than God as we make a choice in what we do or say or think. And boy, oh boy, are we ever good at justifying those choices.

Listen to the Holy Spirit as He whispers to your heart.  Cling to Him. Follow His will and find out how delightful and freeing that can be!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 10

a fixed heart

"Believer, the Lord, who knows you and your surroundings, has need of you, and has chosen you to be His representative in the circle which you move.  Fix your heart on this.  He has fixed His heart on you and saved you, in order that you should bear and exhibit to those who surround you the very image of His unseen glory." ~ Andrew Murray

This is such a good reminder for everyone who knows and loves the Lord!  It's an especially good reminder for stay-at-home moms who feel like the circle they move in is often quite small and not very significant.  Let me tell you that it is perhaps the most important circle you can EVER move in since it affects future generations.   

Of course, as moms, we often stumble and fall and feel we don't bear and exhibit the very image of His unseen glory very well.at.all.  But truly, He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. He is right there with you and will pick you back up again.  He saved you and fixed His heart on you.  

Fix your heart on Him!  Impact your circle!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, October 9

nominating time

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!


Yippee!  It's the 8th Annual Homeschool Blogs Award time again!  This is a fun opportunity to nominate all your favorite homeschool blogs in 20 different categories.  Voting will take place in November. 

Head over to the information page now and begin nominating!  
8th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 6

snow ending

This is what we woke up to this morning as we entered a full day ahead of soccer tournaments.  Snow on the ground and a degree above freezing.  
Unfortunately this daughter's team didn't fare very well in the cold windy games and at this point she's looking back at a her last season of playing soccer in the youth league. 
Fortunately this daughter cheering on her team in the snow (see those white spots and streaks!) has done well - she even scored a couple goals! - and we go back in an hour to watch her play in a championship game.

In the meantime we're all defrosting and warming up until then!

Enjoy your weekend with or without snow!

Blessings,
Tammy  ~@~

Friday, October 5

picturing the past

There are always so many links posted on Facebook and for the most part I don't click on them.  There's only so much time I can spend online, so I tend to be quite selective in which ones I take the time to read.  However, yesterday I did have a little extra time, did click on the article, did spend most of the time reading the article with tears running down my face.  

Allison Tate, a mom of four children, wrote a wonderful article entitled The Mom Stays in the Picture. I could have written most of the article myself.  As moms we are totally immersed in the lives of our children, yet invisible in the records of their lives.  We love, serve, and sacrifice for them from sun-up to sun-down and even throughout the hours of the night.  Our hearts are to nurture and care for the details of their lives.  We stand behind our cameras photographing all those details stored in photo album after photo album (which is all digital these days) and yet, you won't see us in any of those memories.  

As a mom of many who has spent most of my married life either pregnant or nursing a baby with a houseful of children to care for, it was easy to see my children as beautiful.  But one look in the mirror revealed a tired mom who was carrying extra weight with hair always in a ponytail to keep it out of the hands of babies and toddlers.  Certainly didn't want my children embarrassed someday when they looked back at pictures of who mom was.  

Yet as I've grown in my walk with the Lord through the years and realizing the depth of His love for me, I've found that what the world calls beautiful is often something that is quite shallow, perhaps sinful, and primarily lacking in character. True beauty is deep within and shown in the eyes and smile and conversation of each person I meet.  My heart isn't looking at the outside of a person at all, but desiring to connect on the inside seeking that individual's beauty.  

Coming to those realizations has been empowering.  It has given me a confidence that isn't about me at all, but about who I am in Jesus Christ.  Combine that with the reality of knowing how quickly kids do grow up, you will find me in more pictures with my children these days, like this one taken last weekend:
Can I encourage you if you are a young mom - or even an older mom! - to read the  link above and get into pictures with your children?  Smile from your heart!  Those pictures will be a treasure someday and a connection of your children's hearts to yours.  


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 4

peaceful in chaos

"Don't mistake predictability for peace: some of life's most important moments are born of chaos." ~ Terri Trespicio

Reading this yesterday actually gave me some peace.  Life for me has been anything but predictable over the last month.  In fact, chaos would be more close to the truth. There is no doubt that this is a defining moment in the life of our family as I've been steadily pondering pondering pondering before the Lord.  

Wise counsel was given to me in the midst of chaos.  Seek God's peace for your life because HE will protect and guard your heart and mind on the battlefield.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:7 

That kind of peace truly is something the world cannot offer me.  That kind of peace doesn't even come with predictability as it only comes from God whether life is calm or bumpy.  That kind of peace allows you to sleep at night and work at day.  That kind of peace comes even in the midst of tears knowing He will never leave me nor forsake me.  That kind of peace will still be with me after this important moment born of chaos passes by and moves on.

And knowing that peace makes me very thankful on this day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 1

waiting in October

Honestly, I have no idea where September went as it was obviously flying by in the midst of busyness, but here we are......OCTOBER!

And the Scripture verse is perfect for my life right now - "The LORD is good to those who wait for him...." Lamentations 3:25  Of course, I think the rest of this verse is also very important - "...to the soul who seeks him."

To me, the verse has to go together.  You can wait a LONG time on the Lord, but it seems that waiting would be meaningless without seeking Him at the same time.  It is while you are seeking Him and waiting on Him that you can see His fingerprints upon your life revealing His goodness. That goodness reveals His faithfulness allowing you to trust Him while you continue to seek and wait.  

Make sense?

It's a principle that will give me encouragement each day in the month ahead and I hope it will encourage you, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


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