Monday, June 30

be you TODAY


"Be yourself—not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Recently chatting with friends about upcoming plans for the Fourth of July, many were looking forward to getting together with family.  Some were traveling for big family reunions and others were hanging around here with family coming home.  

It was a rather interesting topic to be talking about because as much as everyone was excited about spending time with family, they were dreading some of the expectations.  

Family reunions can be the worst.  You get together with people you haven't seen for years.  You expect them to be a certain way and they expect you to be a certain way.  You know, like back in those days....

Only no one is anything like what they were years ago. 

So all your time is spent listening to all those less than flattering stories of the old days when what you'd really like to do is spend time talking about NOW.  TODAY.  Who are you today and how did your past shape you?

And I think that's true even in families who do connect fairly regularly. It's so easy to revert back to who you were when everyone lived at home, but no one is that person anymore. Everyone's growing up and changing.  Sure, their basic personality is still there, but as each one is maturing, their "old self" is being addressed often through painful life experiences and relationships as God renews their minds and helps them put on their "new self" (Ephesians 4:22-24). That whole experience throws off others' expectations, doesn't it?   

The bottom line is that we are ALL a work in progress.  

So whether it's a large family reunion or a small family gathering, let's focus on how we can encourage, love, and support the journeys our family members are on TODAY.  

And don't forget to be yourself!  You are a one-of-a-kind never to be repeated unique person who is abundantly loved by the God who created you!  He has a purpose and a plan for your life which will bring glory to His name and He'll be with you every step of the way.  Even those steps right into a holiday family gathering!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 28

limitless


"Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending." ~ Francis Chan

Something to ponder a bit for the weekend.  He truly is a limitless God who works in ways beyond our comprehension. So don't get frustrated....trust Him!  He is faithful!

Blessings,
Tammy  ~@~

Friday, June 27

lost for a moment


It's a bit surprising to not only see that Friday is here again, but that we are almost to the end of June already!  Oh dear....you know how the summer always goes much faster once you get past the Fourth of July!  Let's not think about that and instead think about the quick writing challenge of the day. For five minutes write on the word of the day.  No editing.  Post it.  Link it where a community of writers are doing the same thing at Five Minute Friday.  Be sure to click on the link before yours AND leave a word of encouragement behind.  The word for today is - LOST.    Ready?  Set?  GO!
(the map that was left at home)

LOST

Having checked google maps the night before to see where I had to go and with the handwritten directions by my side, my youngest daughter and I left the college orientation for her older sister to visit some family for an overnight.  Simple, right?  Until we were traveling along on the road that should have taken us straight to the interstate and instead we found a "Road closed" barricade across our path with no detour arrows.  

Gulp.  

With a one way street before us and no map, we traveled in the only direction we could and entered an urban neighborhood that caused me to quickly lock our car doors.  

Lost.  Another gulp followed quickly by a prayer.

"Lord, help us!  Be our GPS!"

Because you see, I'm not a north south east west kind of traveler.  I'm a turn at the yellow house kind of person. Without a sense of direction, I had to tune in very carefully to the Lord's leading.

And before I knew it after several turns this way and that, I could visually see the interstate and where I needed to go to get on it.

Found!  Smile. 

A good reminder that when I'm feeling lost in life how important it is to ask the Lord for help to be my GPS through the situation.  It will take focus and truly tuning Him in to be found once again.


STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 23

my determined purpose


This summer I'm going through a Bible study about godliness. Starting the book last week, one verse stood out and continues to keep rolling around in my head.  I've decided to write it out - the longing of wanting to KNOW Christ - and stick it on my mirror so I can ponder it all day long:

"[For my determined purpose is]that I may know Him—that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding[the wonders of His person]more strongly and more clearly." ~ Philippians 3:10 from the Amplified Bible

It's all about Him.  But it doesn't just happen.  As with any relationship, it takes time, commitment, trusting the Holy Spirit to lead and teach, and a heartfelt desire.  Check. Check. Check. Check.

Looking forward to the work His Word will do in my heart this summer!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 21

another step of release


Out-of-town on Friday, so I missed checking in for the Friday word assignment.  Tonight I thought I'd see what the word was and then suddenly I couldn't resist the urge to write.  Even if it IS Saturday.  So here goes.  Write on one word for five minutes.  No editing.  Link it at 5 Minute Friday.  Read the link before yours (or a bunch before yours) and be sure to leave an encouraging comment. The word for this week is RELEASE. Ready?  Set?  Go!
(as the bird leaves the nest)

RELEASE

Thursday and Friday were spent doing something I've done before with my older children.  College orientation.  It felt somewhat like BTDT, yet with each child it's a bit unique perhaps because each child is so unique.  Sitting through the different parts of the program you realize that this child is now entering new territory.  Territory that you won't really be a part of except when they call home wondering about this or that or the other thing.  It's the first big leap of release as they make their transition into adulthood.  And although there's parts of a mother's heart that are so very excited, there's that bittersweet part, too.  You know that part.  That part that says, "She was just my baby, how can she be going off to college?" as the whole release thing hits a bump in the road.  Oh wait, that's not a bump in the road.  It's a lump in your throat accompanied by eyes that suddenly want to rain on the parade. Oh, and that's all accompanied by the feeling of panic of all those things this child doesn't yet know but should be told before you release her yet you know there won't be time to do that anymore.  

Yup, it’s amazing how many emotions suddenly become alive at college orientation….
  
Stop!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 18

patiently unresolved


A little saying found on Pinterest:  "Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Ohhhh, so very easy to say and so very hard to do, especially when there are many more things unresolved than resolved!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 16

Daybooking in June

For June 16

Outside my window.....the skies are bright blue and cloudless.  Temperatures are expected to get into the low 80's. Sounds like a perfect summer day to me!

I am thinking.....about how very quickly our household has gone from lots of people to hardly anyone (or at least it feels that way).

I am thankful.....that absolutely nothing can separate me from the love of God.

I am wearing....an old t-shirt and old jeans as I need to mow the lawn this morning.

I am hearing.....music from the birds outside my window.

I am wondering.....how my daughter and the mission team are doing as they minister down in Guatemala.  And each time I wonder, I pray for them.

I am creating.....a list of tasks for each day of this week as it's so busy and I don't want to forget a single thing.

I am going.....to have to stay home today until the FedEx man comes since apparently there's a package coming that needs a signature.  I hope he stops this morning as I have a lot of errands to run today around town.

I am reading....."The Red Sea Rules" by Robert J. Morgan

I am praying.....for our former youth pastor's family as they are suddenly and quite unexpectedly challenged by a diagnosis of leukemia in their adopted six year old daughter.

I am remembering.....how awful mosquitoes are!  They really haven't been bad for a few years, but are apparently making up for it this year with an abundant attacking army.

I am hoping.....we can get the little Mantis tiller going one more year.  It is invaluable in keeping up with the weeds in the garden.

On my mind.....is how to find enough time to do all the things I want to do?  I finally feel motivated to do several projects, but now time is a factor.

From the learning rooms.....I'm working on the high school transcripts of my college bound daughter.

I am learning....some tips that should help me run a little faster.  We'll see if they work.

Noticing that.....my hair is getting too long for summer.  I need a haircut!

I am looking forward to.....having family come home in a couple of weeks.

Pondering these words....."We are far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream." ~ Tim Keller

From the kitchen.....it's wonderful to have fresh produce available again.

Around the house....are boxes of things as we are cleaning and sorting through years of STUFF.

One of my favorite things.....are freshly picked flowers!  (no surprise there, eh?)

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include lawn mowing, transferring pictures from my phone to my laptop, a couple days of work, planting my seed flowers, some running, traveling with my daughter for a couple of days of college orientation, and a golf event at the end of the week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
Pink lilac flower buds almost ready to open.

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 14

what season is it anyways?


You know you've made the transition into a new season when you remember back to the early spring days when the temperature outside was in the 50's and it felt like a heatwave. Off went the jackets!  On went the flip-flops!  Rejoicing was heard!

Then you come back to reality of this summer day when the temperature is in the 50s and cloudy with the chance of rain. Off come the flip-flops!  On come the jackets!  Shivering is seen!

I know there's a spiritual lesson in this scenario but it's too cold for my brain to think and my fingers to type at the moment!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 13

traveling messenger

Wow!  Can't believe I haven't been here all week!  The past days have been a crazy kind of busy with not much relief ahead.  Good thing this only takes a few minutes to do.  Time to write on one word for five minutes.  No editing.  Post it.  Link it up at Five Minute Friday  Read the link before yours (and others, too!) and be sure to leave a comment of encouragement behind.  The word for today is MESSENGER. Ready?  Set?  GO!

MESSENGER


There is always a sense of wonderment when you hold a baby in your arms.  What will they grow up to be?  What specific purpose and plan has God gifted them with that will be used in the days of their lives?  

Then you get a glimpse of it when they stretch their wings a bit before flying the nest.  Like that little pink bundle in the picture who will be starting a drivers education course later this summer.  She is on a plane right now on the first leg of her journey toward a country across our borders to spend some time being a messenger.  The group she is with  all have a desire to share the message of forgiveness, hope, and love found in Jesus Christ.  

Having had older siblings travel around the globe with the same message, she knows it could be life impacting.  But I don't think she is thinking about how it will impact her.  She's thinking about how she can impact others.  She knows that  a few words of a powerful message shared with love can impact a life for eternity.  

For eternity.  

Not all messages hold such power.  

Covering her with prayer and trusting God for her protection and care is a faith building exercise for the messenger's mom.  

Godspeed, my little messenger!

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 6

garden hands



Friday again.  The days fly by when they've turned into summer.  Time to write for five minutes on one word.  Post it. Link it up at Five Minute Friday.  Read the link before yours and leave a word of encouragement OR even better, read through lots of the links of this community of writers and leave comments to inspire them.  So the word for today is HANDS. Ready?  Set?  GO!

HANDS

Yesterday when I was planting my garden and showing my girls how far away to plant different seeds in the rows, I thought of my mother’s hands.  There’s not much I remember about my mother’s hands, but I do remember her hands in the garden.  She did the same thing in the garden with me that I’ve done with all my children – dig in the dirt, plant seeds, plant flowers, water, pull weeds, then watch things grow.  


She loved the feel of dirt on her hands.

I love the feel of dirt on my hands.

And now I’m finding that my kids love the feel of dirt on their hands as they begin their own gardens. 

Could I tell you what any of our hands look like?  Nope!

In fact, this whole task of writing about hands has made me actually look at my own hands.  Broken dirty fingernails from gardening.   Tanned a bit from the sun with new freckles.  Lines of aging are apparent. 

Memorable?  Not at all.

But perhaps someday my kids will remember my hands in the dirt in the garden.  And you know what?  I'm perfectly okay with that and it makes me smile already!

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 5

flower power

"A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it.  It just blooms." ~ Author Unknown

It's not a secret that I love anything to do with flowers.  A quote about flowers puts me over the moon and back.  And this quote?  I especially adore it.  But let's get back to flowers first.  

One of my very favorite things to do late summer is admire all the seed flowers blooming in my garden.  I love to plant a lot of different varieties of zinnias because each one is so beautiful. Throw in asters and marigolds and cosmos and sunflowers - all of which also have different varieties.  Oh my!  I could never ever pick a favorite one because they are all so uniquely beautiful. They bloom where they are planted and don't think a single thing about who is planted next to them or how they can improve to be prettier than the flower in the next row over. They simply bloom.

With a combination of having daughters in the house who are quickly growing up plus working in a ministry that primarily serves women, I wish I could pass this message onto them. Simply bloom.  

For you see, the technology media culture that they are living in is so competitive.  Selfies reign as the media feed of Facebook, Twitter, Instagrams, Snapchat, and even Pinterest clamors at us about how to look, dress, feel, smell, decorate, exercise, eat, travel, worship, craft.....and the list goes on and on and on.  The comparison game gets played often as we work at this or that or the other thing to be as good as (or better) at what is perceived as best. There's the chase to go as hard as you can to "NAIL IT".

Somehow being REAL gets lost in all this.  Women are becoming baffled, perplexed, and uncertain. Who are they? Really? 

As much as the technology media shouts "relationship!", it often falls far short of true real relationship.  You know, it's missing that which touches our hearts when we sit down together, talk, listen, giggle, and share a warm hug. It's missing the sense of privacy and safety of sharing your heart in a place where you don't have to worry about someone forwarding your conversation in an email or across Facebook. It's missing the incredible value of being reminded of who you in God's eyes - someone created with a purpose and a plan, someone who He considers as His masterpiece, someone who He loves abundantly and was willing to die for even if you were the last person on the earth.  And with all of those examples, guess what?  There's NO competition.  Just you.  Being real.  Simply blooming.  

Can I suggest something?  Turn off all your electronics.  Get into God's Word and see what He has to say about who you are. Know you are loved abundantly.  Connect one-on-one with someone.  Share your heart.  Be real.  And simply bloom into the person God created you to be because that's what true beauty is all about!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 2

the best way to delight

Turning the calendar page yesterday to the new month of June brought with it these words:

"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." ~ Psalm 37:4

It comes from one of my favorite chapters in the book of Psalms - a chapter filled with imperative sentences (commands) with strong verbs (actions).  

I tend to think if we are only delighting in the Lord without putting all those other verbs into action, perhaps the desires of our heart :::whispering::: aren't really the best things for us.  

Are we trusting?  Fretting not?  Committing?  Refraining? Waiting?  Being still?  Turning away?  Living meekly? Stepping where the Lord is establishing the way?  Grabbing the Lord's hand when we fall? (only to mention a few of the verbs found in this particular psalm)

For when we are fully committing our life to the Lord, there is more delight to be found and suddenly His desires for our life are our desires for our life.  After all, He made us, knows every single thing about us, and knows what desires will truly truly delight us deep down in our hearts.  And when THAT happens, we delight in Him even more!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

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