Friday, January 31

the hero of my day

Friday is here!  Up for the challenge of five minute writing? Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them by going to Five Minute Friday The word for today is: Hero   Ready?  Set? GO:

HERO

Hero indicates a rescue.

An hour ago I was rescued by hero.

For you see, after the extreme cold left town, in came temperatures near 20 degrees and SNOW.  Add that to a daughter whose vehicle had no gas when it was time to leave for play practice after supper who instead drove mom's car which is not good in snow.  Compound that with her arriving back home at 10 PM and not being able to get up the small hill into the garage since the driveway hadn't been plowed yet, so she backed down the hill to get a better running start only she backed quite well into a snowbank.  Combine that with a father out of town and only us girls to try to dig her out in the dark.

Yup, epic fail.

After digging and repeatedly trying with no success, we turned the car off and went to bed, only to let the dog out this morning and hear him barking at our car stuck in the driveway. Frozen stuck in 12 below zero degrees with the sun just coming up in the sky.

And then the wonderful young guy who plows our long driveway came along to do the job he regularly does every time it snows. He smiles when he tells me that we are the first car he's pulled out this winter.  (What an honor, right?) He gets his truck in position, attaches the front frame of the car to the strap, and pulls me out with room to spare.  

I'm quite certain he had no idea I thought he had a superman cape underneath all his below-zero winter gear, but without a doubt he was my hero.


What an encouragement to me to remember that although a lot of things that I do seem commonplace and part of my regular job, those very things can be hero material to someone else.  Just need to be available where the Lord leads!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, January 29

burnt up in the vortex

The chopped and split wood was neatly stacked by late fall as we anticipated a row per month with plenty to last through the winter.  But no one said anything back then about a Polar Vortex. Or the fact that a Polar Vortex can affect weather more than once in a winter.  Or that a Polar Vortex can continue to affect the weather into another month, like say February, which I heard about tonight in upcoming weather predictions.

And now that I think about it, we had a touch of below zero temperatures back in November, then again in December, all adding to the bountiful supply of negative numbers this past month.  

It's been a POLAR VORTEX extraordinaire!

I may need to get one of those shirts that says "I survived the Polar Vortex of 2014".  But, of course, first I have to survive it!

My biggest hope and prayer is that we will have enough wood to get us through the rest of the winter because we are already into February's stacked row.

In other words, it's been one extremely long cold winter!  And we are all wondering.....will it be an extra long winter or will spring actually come early? Anyone willing to bet a cord of wood on their choice? 

All I can say is, stay warm, my friends!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, January 28

choosing to be desperate?


"I have come to believe that one of the greatest reasons we don't pray more than we do is this:  we're not desperate.  We are not really conscious of our need for God....Though my natural instinct is to wish for a life free from pain, trouble, and adversity, I am learning to welcome anything that makes me conscious of my need for Him.  If prayer is birthed out of desperation, than anything that makes me desperate for God is a blessing." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Truth, don't you think?

We tend not to pray much when life is going smoothly. Actually, when life is going smoothly our faith becomes rather complacent.

It's when life brings pain, trouble, and adversity that we draw nearer to God through prayer allowing Him to stretch and grow our faith.  

There is perhaps a tad bit of irony when we do recognize a bit of flatness to our faith walk and ask God to stretch and grow us AND he responds by bringing pain, trouble, and adversity onto our path causing us to go "OUCH!  OUCH!  OUCH!  THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT, GOD!"  Ever do that?

Count it all blessings, my friend, and pray some more!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, January 27

Simple Woman's Daybook for January 27


For January 27

Outside my window.....a sunny day with a fresh covering of snow as temperatures are extremely frigid.    We are in the midst of Polar Vortex, Part 2.

I am thinking.....that these days of being forced to be inside allow me to get all my tax work completed and ready for the accountant.

I am thankful.....for the support and love of friends.


I am wearing....a pink hooded sweatshirt with a white long sleeved shirt underneath, my pretty flowered flannel pants with long underwear underneath, and two pairs of fuzzy socks.  Yes, really, it's that hard to keep the house warm when the windchills are near 40 degrees below zero.

I am hearing.....a high school DVD class playing in a daughter's bedroom.  Many public schools are closed today and tomorrow, but the weather rarely stops us from doing our studies.

I am wondering.....how many years ago the winter was this extreme.

I am creating.....sketches for a baby quilt I need to work on this winter.

I am going.....to stay inside all day long!

I am reading....."Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamont

I am praying.....for a family who recently said good-bye to their son after a tragic accident took his life. 

I am remembering.....how much I prayed when all my kids were little realizing that was nothing compared to how much I'm praying for them now that many of them are grown up and out of the house.

I am hoping.....the flu does not pay a visit at our house.

On my mind.....is how best to keep our heating costs down right now when it's so cold.  I especially feel badly for those who have to use propane gas since the cost of that per gallon has skyrocketed.

From the learning rooms.....we are delighted to have just passed the halfway point in our books!

I am learning....that following hard after God also means the enemy likes to keep distracting you with things that waste your time and take you away from the purpose God has for you.

Noticing that.....our rows of wood in the woodshed are disappearing much quicker than planned.

I am looking forward to.....getting through the month of January and it's hibernation tendencies.

Pondering these words....."Help me to put aside the things that are breaking my heart, to pray about things that break yours." ~ Author Unknown

From the kitchen.....where we've almost eaten a whole crockpot of creamy chicken wild rice soup.  YUMOLA!

Around the house....are piles of papers as I sort and save and toss.

One of my favorite things.....are the rare days where the sun shines this time of the year.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include tax work for our business and personal, going into work and spending time writing a newsletter, and I'd love to get at some quilting.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
I simply adore chickadees!  They are such happy birds that fly in and out of our bird feeders year around.

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 24

a visit

Wow, I can't believe a week has passed and I haven't written   a thing! Time for that to change.  Up for the challenge of five minute writing? Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them by going to Five Minute Friday  The word     for today is:  Visit.    Ready?  Set?  GO:

Visit

Recently going through one-on-one kind of childbirth classes with a young couple who missed the local childbirth classes offered through the hospital, I was delighted to hear this first time mama's voice on the phone announcing the arrival of her baby.  But my heart sank when I heard the words saying that nothing went the way she had hoped.

The best way to hear the birth story was to pay a visit up at the hospital with these new parents whom I had developed a kinship with over just a few weeks of meeting.

Our visit began with them offering me a baby holding (better known as a heart melting in my book) as they told about their labor and delivery story.  An hour by hour blow by blow version was shared which lead to the end result of an unexpected cesarean section.   They had prepared for their birth, done their best through out the labor, and made critical decisions when necessary.

Their eyes were beaming as they exclaimed that every single bit of it was worth it for that bit of warm soft love in my arms. 

As I gently handed this precious bundle back into the arms of a new daddy ending the time of my visit, my congratulations to them were smothered by their heartfelt thanks for coming alongside them on this new journey.  


What a perfect dose of happiness to help cure the winter blues!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 17

the root of encouragement


Friday came quickly this week!  Up for the challenge of five minute writing? Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them by going to Five Minute Friday   The word for today is none other than - Encouragement.  Ready?  Set?  GO:

Encouragement

Recently thinking back, I realized I hadn't grown up with a lot of encouragement.  It wasn't that I wasn't well taken care of or talked to by my parents, I just never remember them saying, "Great job!"  "You're good at this!"  "Way to finish that up!" etc.  I know I was loved, but it was without accolades.  

What makes that interesting is that I think of myself as being an encourager.  Did that come out of all the things that perhaps I felt was unconsciously missing such as verbal encouragement?  Or was it just a gifting that came from my Heavenly Father?  Or is a natural overflow into the lives of others from the overflow of God's love in your own life?

It's interesting because this verse came across my desk this week - "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love" ~ Colossians 2:2

Encouragement is about love. Knitting our hearts together in love.  And I can't think of a single person in this world that isn't in need of a little love spilled into their life.  More importantly, a little of God's love.  Or maybe a LOT of God's love.  

It's a hurting world out there.  Let's be genuine (because people DO know the difference!) and generous with our love!

Blessings,

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, January 16

quietly pondering

At the end of each year I pick a new morning devotional to use for the new year.  Here's the one that I started at the beginning of January.
It has been good so far giving me questions to ponder at the bottom of each page. And it's often just what I need to read and be encouraged by each morning.  

Like yesterday.

The Scripture verse was - "His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence." ~2 Peter 1:3  (actually that entire chapter is good...read it!) 

This is what really spoke to my heart when considering the verse - "We now have all we need for salvation, all we need for sanctification, all we need for every step, every season, every struggle and strain of life." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

We have ALL WE NEED through Jesus Christ.

Not just some things.  Not just a few things.  Not just most things.  He has granted us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness.  

ALL things!

Sorry if it seems like I'm shouting, but I really really really don't want you to miss it.  Especially if you are walking through a season of struggle and strain.  The enemy loves to attempt to pull our focus away from the Lord and onto our circumstances. Don't do it.  Run to Jesus and be reminded that He provides all things for YOU who believe in Him.

To HIM be the glory!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 11

never tire of blessings

Sometimes when you are in the midst of a mishap, it's hard to see the blessings.  It's after you process the whole event  that you can't miss all the ways God took care of you.  

Like yesterday.

It was time to take one of my sons back to college.  We headed out the door mid-morning and were a little over an hour into our drive when the car started suddenly thumping.  Initially we thought it was a snow chunk that came loose in the wheel well, but it got worse as my son pulled over to the side of the highway concerned it could be a tire.

Yup, definitely a tire.  A totally blown off tire lying behind the car.  Yikers!
At the time, it felt like a disaster.  But let me count the blessings that were realized:

*Often traveling alone, this time I had an adult son with me.

*My son knew where the spare tire was and how to take off the old tire to put on the spare tire (okay, I've never had a tire issue in my life and would have had a hard time figuring it out).  

*My son was strong enough to get four of the lug nuts off, but got stuck with the final one.  It would not budge.at.all.  That was the moment when an older gentleman in a pick-up truck stopped behind us.  He had a better tool that worked to get it off, helped with the jack, gave my son some tips. So blessed my son was teachable throughout the whole time with this man God provided at the right moment.

*This happened during the daytime in the sunshine right after the polar vortex lifted so we weren't dealing with extreme below zero temperatures.

*I texted a couple of friends who lived fairly close by who were willing to help if needed, but primarily prayed.

*This happened close to an exit by a service station.  The spare tire was very small and we just made it there before it was flat. We were able to put some air in it and travel about 10 miles further down the road to a small town where some thought there'd be a tire store.

*Another son was driving from the opposite direction as he was coming home from his fiance's house and could have helped us however we would have needed.

*We found the tire store immediately and after checking they had ONE used tire our size.  They replaced our tire, rotated some tires, took the old blown out tire, and made sure all the tires were properly inflated.  Very friendly, helpful staff with this stop costing us a total of $55.

*My son and I had some quality talking time.

*We were delayed about two hours, but I was still able to get my son to college and turn around to come home in the same day arriving safe and sound being blessed with no precipitation of any kind.

*Today I had a lesson on how to check air pressure in my tires and fill them as needed.

I know.  Not the most exciting post I've ever written.  But I was so struck by how God took care of us from start to finish that I wanted to make sure I recorded the blessings.  It was a good thing to share with a daughter who the day before was questioning how to feel God's love. This was a perfect example of God moving so many things into place at just the perfect moment to reveal His love and care for us.  

God is good all the time!  All the time God is good!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, January 10

to see


It's finally Friday!  Up for the challenge of five minute writing? Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them by going to Five Minute Friday The word for today - SEE - caused me to open my eyes a bit. Now to put those thoughts into 5 minutes? GO:

See

How fascinating it is that we tend to go by what we see. People, relationships, situations are all judged by what we see before us and we don't hesitate to share that information with others. Yet what we see is only the top layer of what is often far from the truth.  

But who cares, right?  Who has time to go deeper to see what is real?  What is true?

Normally I probably wouldn't give this more time or thought and would move on with my day.  However, our family has experienced some major shifts and people around us are seeing something different.  They are now judging by what they see and don't hesitate to share that information with others. However, what they are seeing is only the top layer of a much deeper reality.

And it hurts.

And yet, it draws our family that much closer to the One who sees all things.  Who knows all things.  Who will never leave us nor forsake us. Whose love for us doesn't change despite what He sees.


Realizing this personally on a deeper level causes me to say...help me, dear Lord, to come alongside those on my path who You see are hurting and need a friend!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, January 6

too much holiday

The holidays are over.  Why then do I feel so tired?  After all, I shouldn't be as I consider one of the definitions I found for holiday - a day of freedom from work.  

I'm wondering how many moms consider that as an accurate definition of a holiday?  A day of freedom from work?  Hardly.  

No, I'm not complaining.  I do really enjoy all the parts of the holidays - the decorating, the baking, the presents, the cooking, the board games, the laughter, the heart-to-heart talks, the barking, the cleaning, the hugging, the toasting, the shopping, the bantering, the everything.  But, honestly, it all adds up to a lot of work.
Okay okay, I confess to feeling like the grandpup tonight. There's the desire to curl up somewhere and just catch a little bit o'rest.  Peek out at the world only when necessary.  Relax a bit now that the house is getting back to order again.  Settle into the winter routine.  Not think for awhile.

But alas, life calls.  Back to work. Time to refocus.  Both eyes open.  Ready?  Set?  Gooooooooo!
After this morning's wake-up temperature (and this was without wind chill factored into the number!), hopefully it will be warmer tomorrow morning when I leave the house or both of my eyes will freeze solid!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 4

the last night


Looking inside through a window from the outside at the final view of our Christmas lights.  They look all a'blur which feels much like how quickly the holiday passed by.  One giant blur.  

Almost all the Christmas decorations are boxed up and ready to be put away.  Just one last night of the cozy Christmas tree lights.

Tomorrow it'll all be packed away as we close the book on this holiday. The widest fullest tree we've ever had will become an outdoor shelter for the little birds as they fluff their feathers for a few days of temperatures not going above zero.  Those of us indoors will fluff our blankets and settle in for a few days of hot chocolate and a movie or two as we rest from so many days of busyness.   

Tis the season of hibernation now upon us.  Ahhhhhhhh!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 3

Five Minute Writing - Fight


A new year is here!  Up for the challenge of five minute writing?  Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them. The word for today - FIGHT- seems perfect for my new year. Now to put those thoughts into 5 minutes?  GO:


FIGHT

It was a long hard challenging mind-exhausting year.   It served its purpose in my life as an unwanted trial that brought me closer to the Lord as I continually waited on Him for each step.  However, there was no sorrow in my heart saying good-bye to it either as I  welcomed in a new year. 

Funny how a number on a calendar can change your perspective, eh?  But the newness of that fresh bunch of calendar days ahead has done just that by bringing much more clarity, determination, and earnestness in the approach to take in living life.  Hadn't thought about putting any word to that feeling, until I saw this one.

Fight.  

Patience in waiting has served its purpose.  Moving forward with resolve doesn't come with unrest or dissension within.  It comes with a serenity of heart trust in God and a bit o'tenacity. Or, you could say, fight.  

OR, you could say, look out devil because I'm tired of your stealing and destroying and devaluing and wrecking lives.  

Now them is fightin' words, don't you think?

Blessings,

Tammy ~@~

P.S.  Sorry....couldn't resist putting up a picture of the beloved quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.  He's going to have to fight against indescribable odds with the temperature at game time in Lambeau Field on Sunday anticipated to be below zero. Then factor in the windchill.  Brrrrrrr!  

Wednesday, January 1

as we start



A perfect start to a new year!

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." ~ Matthew 7:7

Honestly, is there a better verse that could start a fresh new year in front of us?  

Ask.

Seek.

Knock.

And see what God has for you!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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