Wednesday, February 29

snow day

All winter long we heard rumors of snowstorms coming that ended up only giving us an inch or two of snow when they tracked differently than forecasted.  It began to feel like a lot of "crying wolf" every time a weatherman opened his mouth about snow.  So when the latest BIG SNOWSTORM forecast started being talked about we initially kind of yawned.  But it kept being talked about as it inched closer on the radar and the possible snow totals inched higher.

And for the first time all winter I was praying that we would not get a snowflake.

What a surprise to wake up to over a foot of snow on the ground!  Snow still coming down heavy with some wind to mingle it around as we almost have white-out conditions. It's hard to take a picture to do it justice and the skies are dark with the heavy cloud cover, but here's a peek:


White-out conditions as we look across the field.

A peek down from our deck to the garden gate.


A look at the buried swings and the snow heavy clothesline almost touching the ground.

Although the porch has been cleared off, you can see the snowy railings and the snow still coming down as it blows onto the house.


My husband is loving plowing the driveway with his front end loader.
The snow coming down now is rather wet and heavy bending all the tree branches.  We are getting some flickering of power here which means the power lines are starting to be affected.  

Schools are closed.  Businesses are closed.  Children are loving to be outside playing in the snowstorm.  It really is a wonderful thing to enjoy the beauty of such a snowfall.

EXCEPT when you need to drive over an hour in excellent conditions to get to an airport on a day like today. Fortunately the weather is clearing by the airport and flights are on time.  The challenge is getting from here to there and I'm very thankful for a husband who will do the four wheel drive thing with his truck to get us to the airport.  

Sooooo, hopefully my next pictures on the blog will be of sunshine and beaches if we can get through this continuing snowstorm!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~





Tuesday, February 28

the aim of today

"May our longing to satisfy the heart of God be the chief aim of our lives." ~ Andrew Murray

My thought of the day which I hope  can be your thought of the day, too!  Have a great day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 27

winter fun

Yesterday afternoon was a time of church fellowship spent at our local Christian camp.  Lots of outdoor activities which included:
Broomball

And yes, broomball is a game of running on the ice with boots while hitting a small hard ball (it's the orange ball by the goalie's feet) into the goal.  When I first met my husband, he played on a broomball team that took first place in the league.  Back then they actually played with broomsticks that had most of the bushy part of the broom cut off.  Now fancy sticks are used.  
Choosing to ice skate on the ice

Visiting the horses who pull the sleigh rides

Getting snowshoes on for the race

And snowshoe racing!

Most of my afternoon was spent with my youngest as all the older ones were busy going from broomball to tubing to relay races.  It was a fun afternoon for one and all which was finished off with a time of snacks and fellowship for all in the dining hall of the camp.  

Now on to the week!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Saturday, February 25

simply applying


When a message from God
would clear up confusion,
He could write on my wall—
or give the illusion.
But the writing that's there,
it's plain to be seen,
is a simple crayon drawing
that I've yet to clean.

Lord, help me to learn
I won't be receiving
a miraculous sign
wrought through believing;
when each day I can see
and yet don't apply
Your messages looking me
straight in the eye.

~Susan Lenzkes

Everything we do throughout the day requires making a choice.  A choice here.  A choice there.  Place those choices before the Lord and allow Him to lead you.  Then you won't need to look for the writing on the wall because you'll already  know that you are applying His messages which look you straight in the eye!



Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 24

more than a spelling lesson

One of my high schooler's memory verses recited this afternoon: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." ~ Proverbs 28:13

Interestingly this verse was lived out earlier in the day.

It was our usual Friday morning of mom ironing while giving spelling tests.  The youngest had taken her test and I put a few little x's by the words she misspelled which I usually do for all spelling tests.  My students are allowed a quick second look to make necessary changes, then the red teacher's pen comes out.  While she was taking her quick second look, I grabbed the spelling book and took a pile of ironed clothing into another room to put away.  A couple minutes later I returned to my ironing board ready to finish the spelling test correction.  

She brought her spelling paper over and all of a sudden big tears began to fall.  

"I cheated.  When you went out of the room, I checked my school chart so I'd know how to spell the word 'February'." More tears followed as she waited to see what I would say.

I gently thanked her for telling me the truth and told her that I was proud of her for listening to God speak to her heart as He convicted her of doing wrong.  We talked about how important it is to always listen to God and how important it is to confess our sins for God is merciful.  

It was a good lesson for a little girl that I pray will be lived out in her life.  Too many people stuff sins below the surface and wonder why life doesn't go well.    Interestingly her older siblings were quick to recount consequences from spelling tests when they didn't confess some spelling shortcuts and got caught in the act.  Ouch!

Proverbs provided a good reminder for all of us that keeping a clean slate through confession is essential to living well as you realize your Heavenly Father is loving, forgiving, and full of mercy.  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 23

dears are better than deers

As I was sitting by the window doing my devotions this morning, I looked up and caught some motion in the woods. As I watched closely, I could see a line of deer breaking through the snow with each step as they slowly made their way through the woods.  At least the snow isn't very deep this winter and we haven't had our typical long stretches of sub-zero temperatures which means the deer should fare quite well this year.  Fortunately God designed them to survive the winter weather and bundles them up in His way for cold and snow. Even knowing that I can still say that I'm so glad I'm not a deer and have to live outside in the cold. Brrrrrrr.....gives me the shivers thinking about it.

I'm much happier being God's dear living out His purposes through my adventures for Him indoors!

And that's my random thought for the morning. Hopefully my thoughts will be less random for the rest of the day and I'll be able to focus better on the important stuff before me.

Have a good day, DEAR ones!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 22

the sudden notice

It escaped my notice until last night.

The Lenten season begins today.

Last year I was intentional about my journey through that season making several choices - such as not blogging or Facebooking - until Resurrection Sunday as I reduced clutter in my life so I could more fully focus on Him.  

This year I've only had a few hours to ponder this season of sacrifice not yet knowing what choices I should make so I could more fully focus on Him.  

One thing I will do, however, is use John Piper's book The Passion of Jesus Christ as part of my walk through Lent.  As I ponder some more today, I'll leave you with two short powerful quotes from the first reading in this book:

"We glorify what we enjoy most.  And it isn't God."          ~ John Piper

"Let us not trifle with God or trivialize his love.  We will never stand in awe of being loved by God until we reckon with the seriousness of our sin and the justice of his wrath against us." ~ John Piper


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 21

thir.teen

No matter how much I try to prevent it, my kids just keep growing up. Today we welcome a new teenager to the family which puts us at four children in that age range.  Talk about a challenge somedays!  
But this one.....she's been watching all those older siblings go through their teen years and claims she is NOT going to be like that!  We'll see.......

In the meantime, thirteen is the age when mom says it's okay to get your ears pierced, so that will be the first thing to accomplish on this girl's list.  Other than that, I expect her to continue growing into the person God created her to be - a late night reader, growing taller, preferer of the color red, hanging out with girlfriends, still playing with her younger sister, learning to be a kitchen cooker,  money earning babysitter, singing sweetly, soccer ball kicking, favorite aunt, ponytail wearer, sweet daughter of mine!

Happy birthday!  


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 20

be a life changer

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life." 
~ Margaret Cousins

Did you ever notice there certainly isn't an abundance of appreciation these days. How about changing a life today? Tell someone thank you!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 18

just shine

Love this quote I read today:

"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does.  Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine."  ~ Dwight L. Moody

which goes with this Scripture:

"Let your light shine before me, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:16

and reminded me of this:

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." ~ Second Corinthians 4:6

It's not about us.  It's about HIM!  May the light which comes from knowing Jesus Christ shine from our hearts reaching others in such a way that it brings praise to our Heavenly Father!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 17

booked for the day

Wowza!  Where'd this week go?  I can't believe I last posted on Monday and it's Friday already.

Sooo, let me tell you about my day yesterday.  The homeschoolers from our area had a wonderful opportunity to travel a bit north to spend a day downhill skiing or snowboarding for a greatly reduced price which included the lift ticket, rentals, a lesson, and lunch.  My husband agreed to take our four kids and off they went at 7 AM on a perfect day of winter weather for such an activity.

I closed the door and smiled.

The whole house was mine for about the next TEN HOURS!

Do you know how rare that is?!

After having my own dance party and jumping on all the beds, I needed to settle down to the tasks on hand.  First I cleaned up the kitchen a bit doing up the dishes and wiping down the countertops. Then I worked on  some personal monthly financial bookwork that my husband requested before he left which I had planned on doing on the weekend but since he was kind enough to take the kids for the day, I sat down and balanced numbers paying bills.  

Finally, on to the primary area of the house that regularly shouts at me for cleaning......my bedroom.  Does anyone else have the problem of YOUR bedroom being the collect all for everything?  I mean everything.  I will often start to clean it, but it always takes so long to put things back where they belong in other places in the house which leads me to start cleaning those places that I never get very far on that task.  However, this time I had time to invest in some deep cleaning.

So I started in the corner next to our bed where we have a rocking chair and a bookshelf.  I took all the books out of the bookshelf and put them on my bed.  I took all the books off our bed's headboard and put them on the bed.  I put all the books I had stacked on the floor in that area and put them on the bed.  Let's just say that our king-sized bed was covered with BOOKS!

I dusted and vacuumed and washed the window and its screen and put the bookshelf back in place.

And then the daunting task began.  Reshelving all those books.

Do you know how hard that is for a book lover?  I think I probably opened every book I handled just to peek inside at the words as I found a special place on the shelf for it. Some books got moved to one of the other bookshelves. Some books will find themselves on an office shelf.  A few books are tucked under the bed because I don't know what to do with them as I can no longer agree on all of their philosophy.  Do I toss them?  Burn them? Plus I found Atlas Shrugged for my husband to read since he saw the movie. And one book will go to the thrift store.  Yup, ONE BOOK out of that big bed covering mountain of books. 

There's no doubt.  I am a hopeless book-a-holic. I love the feel and smell of the pages of books.  Librarians will continue to be our favorite people as they regularly loan books from other libraries to us because we don't have them on our shelves.  

ALL that to say....not much else got done yesterday because the reshelving project took me all afternoon which was worth every minute as that corner is now clean reducing my stress level as I walk into my bedroom. 


Ahhhhhhhhh!  


So how would YOU spend ten hours to yourself?


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 

Monday, February 13

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 13


For today February 13

Outside my window.....the skies are mostly sunny and it was below zero when I woke up. 


I am thinking.....about how quickly this short month is going by with so many activities filling the pages.


I am thankful.....for the Lord's provision for our family. He's never a moment too late!



I am wearing.....my bathrobe and fuzzy socks as it feels too chilly in the house to get dressed yet.


I am hearing.....the furnace running since the woodburner can't quite warm the whole house when it's this cold outside.


I am wondering.....how this political primary system ever got started.  Seems totally unfair to the later primary states as candidates drop out because of early results.  Guess this is a homeschool research project just waiting to happen.


I am creating.....valentines for a group of volunteers.


I am going.....to make an appointment for a daughter's ear piercing as she turns thirteen next week.



I am reading.....Humility and Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray.


I am praying.....for a group of girls who really need to know the Lord.


I am remembering.....how cold winters typically are and this rare cold morning reminds me of how much I'm not missing that weather this winter.  Thankfully it is suppose to get up into the 30's today and the rest of the week.  


I am hoping.....that the winter hibernation mode my body has been in for the past several weeks will begin reversing soon.


On my mind.....is a brave son.


From the learning rooms.....we're keeping up pretty well these days.


Noticing that.....the daylight hours are beginning to stretch a bit.


I am looking forward to.....a possible brief time away in warmer weather.


Pondering these words....."Oh, you who love the Lord Jesus, take time daily in the inner chamber with Him to drink in a fresh supply of His heavenly love.  It will make you strong in faith, and your joy will be full.  Love, joy, faith—these will fill your life each day through the grace of the Lord Jesus. " ~ Andrew Murray

From the kitchen.....will be some simmering bowls of chili in the days ahead.

Around the house....are little piles of fabric as I work on cutting quilt blocks.

One of my favorite things.....is the cozy warmth of our woodburner on cold winter days.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include mid-week Bible study, sewing together quilt blocks, filling out college paperwork, a ski day for the kids, and enjoying Valentine's Day.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
A peek at the valentines I attempted to make over the weekend.  What they may lack in creativity will hopefully be made up by the fact they come from my heart of thankfulness.

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 11

prayer conduct

Here's my thought for the day:

"If your crowd knows you as a man or woman of prayer, they have a right to expect from you a nobler type of conduct than from others." ~ Oswald Chambers

Lately it seems that God is placing a LOT on my path about prayer.  In my main morning devotional the topic for February is Intercession and at the same time I've picked up a couple of books stacked next to my bedside about prayer that have been begging for me to open once again to read some more.  

There is so much that could be said about prayer at the moment, yet my quiet time for the day is ending as the weekend calls my name.  Instead I'll leave you with the quote above and say that if you persevere as a person of prayer your relationship with God and others does change as well as your conduct because the intimacy of prayer changes your heart.  May that news warm your heart on a cold winter day!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 9

you're invited

Here's my thought of the day:

"It is faith in the power of Jesus' name and in our right to use it that will give us the courage to follow where God invites us." ~ Andrew Murray

Where is God inviting YOU to go today?  Have courage!   He'll be right there with you as you take steps of faith that 
s-t-r-e-t-c-h who He has created you to be.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 7

the hugeness of ordinary

From my devotional:


"The man who missed his opportunity and met the doom of the faithless servant was not the man with five talents, or the man with two, but the man who had only one.  The people who are in danger of missing life's great meaning are the people of ordinary capacity and opportunity, and who say to themselves, 'There is so little I can do that I will not try to do anything.'  One of the finest windows in Europe was made from the remnants an apprentice boy collected from the cuttings of this master's great work.  The sweepings of the British mint are worth millions.  The little pivots on which the works of your watch turn are so important that they are actually made of jewels.  And so God places solemn value and responsibility on the humble workers, the people who try to hide behind their insignificance the trifling opportunities and the single talents.  Our littleness will not excuse us in the reckoning day." ~ A. B. Simpson

He's referencing the parable of the talents found in Matthew chapter 15 as well as this verse  - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." (Luke 16:10)

You may feel ordinary.  You may feel little.  You may feel insignificant.

But I'm here to tell you that you aren't any of those things. You are indeed hand crafted by a loving God who considers you a treasure. 

Step out in faith using every little simple opportunity to serve Him because no act is insignificant when your heart is focused on loving God.  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~






Saturday, February 4

inclusive love

Here's my thought of the day:

"Love makes people do strange things.  A couple in love will go to great lengths to demonstrate their exclusive devotion.  Likewise, a mother loves a child like no other person on earth.  Yet the love between Christ and the believer is not just between the two of them.  It is the strangest love of all, for it does not thrive on being exclusive.  In fact, it is the only love relationship that grows by being inclusive of others.  We must love others with Christian love in order to show our devotion to Christ.  We show Christ extreme love if we are willing to love those who have not loved us back.  Who is God asking you to love today for his sake?"

~ From Extreme Devotion by The Voice of the Martyrs

God's love truly is unlike any description or experience of love found on this earth.  Share some today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 3

perching on hope



"Hope" is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune—without the words
And never stops at all.
~Emily Dickinson


May HOPE be something that always sings in your soul!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 2

loving through prayer

"If you surrender yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and live a life wholly for God, you will realize that the time spent in prayer is an offering well pleasing to God, bringing blessing to yourself and power into the lives of those for whom you pray." ~ Andrew Murray

This past week a friend and I spent some time praying through a list of people who do not know the love of Christ. We used Scripture as our guide for this prayer time as we read through Ephesians 3:14-21 using the person's name for each YOU found in the verses. We would like to do this weekly and trust God for the results which we may not personally see during our lifetime since most of these people are not people we have regular contact with in our lives.  

Do you know someone in your life who needs to find God's love?  Let me save you a step by providing God's Words here allowing you to pray for them right now:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen (NAME) with power through his Spirit in (NAME)'s inner being so that Christ may dwell in (NAME)'s heart through faith.  And I pray that (NAME), being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that (NAME) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him to glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  AMEN" (Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV)

Use whatever version of the Bible you may have - we used the Living Translation that day because that was the Bible we had on hand - and mark this Scripture so you can regularly use it for a prayer time.  You never know how God will use your faithfulness to prayer!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 1

love in February

A new month stretches out before us!  February tends to delight me because it is the shortest month in midst of a long winter.   Even with this year being a Leap Year and adding an extra day it's still the shortest month.  And it's also the month of LOVE....
God's love


"Beloved, if God so loved us, then we ought also to love one another."  I John 4:11

Ponder how you will love others in the month ahead!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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