Saturday, August 30

found amongst the tomatoes

My plans to FINALLY work on some house cleaning today were unexpectedly changed.  On my way back from running errands, I thought I'd stop at the local farm market to see what the status of canning tomatoes was at this point of the summer. Sometimes it's an early season OR sometimes it's a late season.  Of course, this time of the year it's never the right season because life is pretty busy.  

Alas, they had a handful of unclaimed cases of canning tomatoes sitting along the wall.  I couldn't resist.  It felt like one of those now or never kind of decisions.  Two cases came home with me.  
Spending time canning tomatoes truly is one of my favorite things to do.  I always thought it was simply because they are easy to can.  But today I realized there's a different reason I enjoy canning tomatoes.  It's not like  canning other vegetables where I have others in the kitchen helping me, but it's always been a task I do alone.  AND while I'm doing it alone, I realized today that I have an unspoken tradition of digging out my old Rich Mullins CDs to listen to while I'm slipping the skins off of the tomatoes. With that realization, I really listened to the words of his songs and now I know the reason why I have this unspoken tradition.....the verses and lyrics of his songs are rich with Jesus.  So rich with Jesus that you feel like you are worshipping Him in the midst of chopping tomatoes standing at the kitchen sink.  

Just goes to show you that any place can be used as a sanctuary for worship as long as your heart is open to Him.

Tonight there's twenty-one quarts of tomatoes cooling on the countertop of my kitchen and a heart that has been equally warmed by His presence.  Guess it really was the right day to can tomatoes!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, August 28

booking it


Spent a couple of days traveling to take a daughter to college as well as spending a little time with family AND came home to the arrival of all the materials I had ordered the week before to begin our homeschooling year.  Now I'll have to get out all the things I already have here, figure out our school calendar, and get our new year rolling.

:::::breathe in breathe out:::::

The month of August does not supply many opportunities to take a breath!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, August 25

berry thankful


Look at what someone blessed me with recently - a full case (12 jars) of jams and jellies using assorted berries!  A volunteer who works with me has been busy all summer picking picking picking berries and preserving them for the winter.  She knew that I haven't had time to pick anything, let alone have the time to make jams or jellies so she brought this wonderful surprise along with her to the office.

What a wonderful thing to be thankful for, eh?!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 22

the nest change


How quickly Fridays come up on the calendar right now!  Time to write on one word for five minutes.  Only five minutes.  No editing.  Post it.  Link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Click on the link before yours, read it, and leave behind a note of encouragement (and repeat....lots of good writers out there!) Ready?  Set?  GO!
(mama mourning dove with one of her two babies)

CHANGE

We are headed into a new season of change once again in our family.  The blessing is that it's been happening over and over again giving me a vantage point that isn't soooo uncertain.  In fact, having a large family has given me insights that perhaps most families wouldn't experience or know.

A daughter will be leaving for college in a few days.  She leaves behind two sisters.  Our family is shrinking.  The "pecking order" is taking a "hit".  

But I have found that it will be a good "hit" for the new one who steps into the oldest kid at home role.  It always seems like the one below the oldest lives in the shadows.  They tend to follow the ebb and flow of the oldest one as the younger sibling.  And when the oldest one leaves, a transformation begins to happen to the newest oldest as they step out of the shadow.  Who they are becomes alive.  They become their own person who is free to like and do and be who they are.  This visible change is a fascinating process to witness as a mom and one that requires attention and prayer knowing their time left at home is short, too.  There's probably a greater need for a lot of wisdom and discernment in this short season as you encourage them to seek the purpose and plan that God has for them.

It's an exciting time as you watch their new wings develop with strength as the nest has a bit more room to grow.....and I'm actually looking forward to it!

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~  


Thursday, August 21

changing the drive

On the road again.....
.....in the front passenger's seat.

My eighth child received her driver's temporary permit today. It's one of those "here I go again" feelings that I'm pretty calm about at this point.  

Following tradition, I let her drive home - a thirty minute or so ride - and she did well for her first driving experience. I loved that she had a teachable heart as she asked questions along the way (and I hope that part lasts!).

The hard part with a large family who keeps growing up is that as you slowly take drivers off your auto insurance plan as they get on their own, you also keep adding new drivers.  

However, we've also had another big event this week which will adjust our auto insurance in the opposite direction.  We sold our big ol' 15 passenger van!  That vehicle took our big family on a lot of amazing trips as well as helped transport church kids here and there at times.  So many memories and yet our family has definitely shrunk to a size where the van was no longer economical for us to use.  

One new driver, one less vehicle. Easy changes to handle right now as I look forward to some traveling one-on-one time with my daughter.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, August 19

the wooly sighting

Last week when I headed out to the heavily dewed garden to pick beans for canning, my first stop was  the pea patch for my morning filling of sweet peas.  Imagine my surprise in finding a fuzzy yellow woolybear caterpillar chilling on the leaves.
Poor thing was covered with dew, too!  It always feels like a sign of autumn coming when there's caterpillar sightings. 
Alas, the daylight is getting shorter and the nights are cooler, too.

Enjoy the rest of summer before it's gone!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, August 18

Daybooking in August


For August 18th

Outside my window.....the skies are heavy gray with a chance of thunderstorms all day.

I am thinking.....about how two people can be involved in the same situation but each have a totally different story of what happened.  So many things can affect our perspective on life.

I am thankful.....for the freedom we still have in this country to freely worship God (and pray for those who are persecuted in other countries). 

I am wearing....my khaki pants, a white tank top, a mint colored cardigan, and a mint with brown swirls infinity scarf.

I am hearing.....the sounds of a math computer game.

I am wondering.....when I should have a garage sale?  I do believe I'm running out of summer quickly and I'm not sure how successful a September attempt would be.

I am creating.....a quilt for my college bound daughter.

I am going.....to the dentist today for my yearly check-up.

I am still reading....."God Loves Broken People" by Sheila Walsh

I am praying.....for my friend Patti as she moves into a difficult new chapter in her life.

I am remembering.....how challenging the month of August always is with way too many things that MUST get done.

I am hoping.....to continue walking daily whether I feel like it or not.

On my mind.....is the emotional part of a mother sending a daughter off to college.  It's amazing how your mind reflects on everything that has happened from birth to this moment in time.

From the learning rooms.....I MUST order our school books for this coming school year.  I am REALLY behind this year!

I am learning....to keep putting a particular situation back in God's hands because there's nothing I can do about it and it's too painful to ponder over all the time.

Noticing that.....the grass has finally slowed down in its growing pattern.  I don't think I've mowed for a couple of weeks after what seemed like constant mowing this summer.

I am looking forward to.....going to a national conference soon!  Looking forward to a time of refreshment and recharging my soul.

Pondering these words....."Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." ~ C.S. Lewis

From the kitchen.....we are thoroughly enjoying the fresh summer foods straight from the garden..

Around the house....are lots of white threads as I travel from sewing machine to ironing board.

One of my favorite things.....is eating sweet peas while in the garden.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include my dentist appointment, saying good-bye to our 15 passenger van, a couple days of work, sewing together the quilt top and then quilting it, more garden harvesting, soccer practice for a daughter, running another daughter back and forth to work, and remembering a couple of birthdays coming up on my calendar.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
One of many big tupperware bowls full of beans that we canned last week.  It was a wonderful and abundant first picking.  It truly felt like we had beans coming out of our ears!

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 16

hidden identity

A Pinterest pin of a friend immediately caught my eye.  A quick click on it and all my "what?" questions were answered with surprise.  
But there was no mistaking the pinned picture as it matched exactly what we had been pulling out of the garden to throw into the weed bucket.  

This bit o'green was actually.....
.....better known as PURSLANE.  In other words, not a weed.

Purslane (or portulaca oleracea) is actually cultivated as a vegetable in some countries.  All parts of the plant are edible - stem, leaves, and the flowers - and you can eat it freshly picked or cooked.  This plant that has been pulled out of my garden each year is known to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as being a rich source of other vitamins and minerals.  There have been many health benefits found through this green leafy VEGETABLE.  

Unfortunately, I learned about purslane after much of it had been already disposed of from our garden.  I'm letting the remaining plants grow and have even snipped some leaves to add to my morning green smoothie.  

Here's a few links for you to read more about purslane:




Definitely a treasure underneath the weeds!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, August 15

to tell

Ohhhh, boy!  Life is busy right now!  But, I'm taking a mini-break to participate in today's Five Minute Friday which is now in its new home with Kate from Heading Home.  So the challenge is to take the word assigned for the day, write about it for five minutes with no editing, post it, link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday, read the link before yours and be sure to leave a word or two or many of encouragement.  Ready?  Set? GO!

TELL

Every single person has a life story to tell. 

That story is an accumulation of all that has happened to you from birth until right this moment and it is a story that is unique to YOU.

However, sometimes we don't always like all of our story.  So, we freely tell others the good parts and hide away the bad parts.  And without realizing it, those bad parts tend to isolate us a bit by not allowing others to really get to know us.  We are afraid of rejection.  

Unfortunately, it can be like a form of bondage that the enemy likes to keep us in which can also stunt our spiritual growth.

But you know what?  God knows.  He knows it all and He still loves you abundantly.  When you're ready to share with others the parts that you've kept hidden for so long, ask Him to put safe people in your life.  Tell your story to them.  Watch the chains drop from your heart as God provides healing and freedom in the process.  And it is a process which happens each time you tell.....

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, August 2

a treasure for your heart


Ahhhh, sunflowers!  Ohhhh, August!  What a mixed bunch of feelings come with the calendar page turning this month. August is always a tremendously busy month.  The garden is needing harvesting, preparation for our schooling begins, the summer projects need completing, soccer practices and games go into full swing, birthdays need to be remembered, kids still need rides here and there, and that's in addition to all the regular daily life kind of things.  Whew!

Perhaps all of that is a good reason to focus on the verse for the month:  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~ Matthew 6:21  

If God is the treasure of your life, your heart will be focused on Him as your main priority.  And when your heart is focused on Him, daily life goes a whole lot smoother.  Why?  If you've made time for Him, it's fascinating to see how much more you accomplish and with a better attitude to go with it.  

It's a matter of handing Him your "to do" list with a flexible heart to see what He will do with it.  

While the sunflowers are shining during this month of August, treasure the God who loves you and watch Him work in your heart and life!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, August 1

the daily scare

The first Friday on the first day of August.  It takes my breath away a bit as summer winds down quickly.  As part of that quickly part, it's time to write for a quick five minutes on one word.  Post it.  Link it up at Five Minute Friday.  Be sure to bless the link before yours with an encouraging comment and, if you have time, visit several writers in this special community. Okay, today's word is BEGIN.  Ready?  Set?  GO!

(a picture taken last summer in the Badlands with my girls on the very edge of a ledge of rock - they liked to scare their mom!  Yikes!)

BEGIN

It's funny.  The first thing that came to my mind was a quote I read on Pinterest this week - "Do one thing every day that scares you." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (and I did cheat and looked on Pinterest to make sure I had the words right!).  

What does that have to do with the word begin?

Well, I look back about four years ago when I was being interviewed for my ministry position right about this time. Applying and interviewing scared me half to death!  I did not feel I had any chance at this position, but I felt like the Lord wouldn't leave me alone until I followed through.  Well, that follow through led me to be hired and over the last four years I've had to frequently step out of my comfort zone to try something new.  And you know what?

God is there every single time.

He has never ever let me down as He challenged me and stretched me and whispered, "Trust Me".  

Does that mean I'm never scared anymore because I've learned how very faithful He is?  NOPE!  But I know I can try new things because He is so very faithful.  If I mess up, He's there to help me, teach me, and often to humble me.  And that's okay, too!

So take up the challenge!  Try something new.  Go ahead.  I dare you!

STOP

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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