Saturday, February 28

short but fast


It seems rather amazing that this week passed so quickly and I'm staring at the last day of the month on our calendar.  Of course, when you look out the window and see all the snow still hanging around, it's not like flipping the calendar to March will suddenly bring spring on the horizon.  Not only is there still plenty of snow, but we've had a rather cold February with a steady steam of below zero temperatures. The combination often makes the shortest month of the year feel like a longer than normal month and that often makes it my least favorite month of the year.

But again, as I realize we are on the last day of this month, I felt a shift happen over the past 28 days.  The rousing out of hibernation.  More daylight hours.  A handful of big projects stamped with a *nailed it!*.  Some significant down in the valley moments that I now recognize were balanced with some significant up on the mountain moments.  And most important perhaps has been sensing God's grace and peace throughout the month in a new and fresh way that is hard to even put into words.  

Sooooo, I'm looking forward to March.  How about you?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 23

I'm just sayin'

Don't blink......

because one moment you are snuggling a newborn baby......


......and the next moment you are celebrating a 16th birthday!


Ohhh, and a couple of days later (TODAY!) she got her drivers license.

I'm just sayin'......it happens in the blink of an eye!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 21

to what point


A glimpse of a few lines from my devotional this morning:  

"Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that I love Him?.....Not divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvelous, but ordinary, simple human things which will give evidence to God that I am abandoned to Him?" 
~Oswald Chambers

Is my ordinary life revealing that I love Him to that point? Won't you join me in pondering that very thing over the weekend?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, February 20

open the shades


One word.  Five minutes to write.  No editing.  Post your post. Link up at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Leave a word of encouragement behind on the link before yours. Today's word is OPEN.  Ready?  Set?  GO!

::open::

When we go through these extremely cold winter spells (especially on these days when we our temperature doesn't get above zero....and then add the windchill! brrrrr!), we keep the curtains throughout the house closed.  Doing that helps keep the bitter cold outside and the warmth of the heat indoors where we need it. But those are LONG dreary kind of days for someone who loves light. So on the bitter cold days when the sun finally shows its sunny face, I will open the curtains in the rooms where I know the light and warmth of the sun will overpower everything in that room.  The bitter cold doesn't have a chance to cause shivers on days like that, but instead causes smiles.


And you know, our hearts can be like that, too, at times.  We close them down  and pull the shades to avoid the bitterness and pain that is all around us *thinking* we are keeping our heart in protective warmth.  But those can be LONG dreary kinds of stretches in time that can actually keep our souls in darkness.  It's sooo much better to unwrap our hearts and open them up to the light and warmth of the SON who can overpower everything in our lives.  The cold bitterness of the world around us doesn't have a chance of bringing us down, but instead the Son shining into our hearts causes peace, contentment, and the kind of joy that is only found in God who is sovereign over all.  All things. All places.  All people.

Yup, open your heart up to Jesus and let the Son shine in!

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, February 18

dip a chip

So often I walk past the deli in the grocery store and see those expensive little trays with taco dip as I think to myself...."My kids would love it if I brought some taco dip home for them, but it sure is pricey!"....because I know I can make a large batch of taco dip for a lot less money.  But I can never remember the recipe, so I walk past the deli and forget about making the dip. 

Until recently when it was Super Bowl time and I thought about taco dip again, got out the recipe, and made a batch. It is sooo easy to make — just takes a little time to chop everything up — and my family eats it right up with almost any kind of tortilla chips.  Here you go:



TACO DIP

2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 pint of sour cream
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 package of dry taco seasoning mix

Mix all of the above ingredients and spread it out in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Sprinkle over the top the remaining 1/2 package of dry taco seasoning mix.  Then chop up your family's favorite taco topping preferences like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, grated cheese.  You are now ready to dip in with your favorite tortilla chips.  Be sure to refrigerate the leftovers IF there are any!

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 16

Daybooking in February


For February 16th

Outside my window.....it is very overcast and we've hit the high temperature of the day a balmy 14 degrees.  Someone told me that this is the warmest day of the forecasted upcoming week.

I am thinking.....that most of our lives are lived in massive miscommunication with others.

I am thankful.....for the blessing of our woodburner that gives off a steady cozy warm.  Not sure that I'm thankful for the side effect of sleepy eyes whenever I sit by it though!


I am wearing....a pair of jeans, a long sleeved top with a teal vest AND a dark blue zip up sweater over it.  I've been in and out of the house today so this is my attempt to stay warm.

I am hearing.....a mermaid TV show currently playing on Netflix.  I love listening to these mermaids with their Aussie accents.

I am wondering.....if I can keep my last succulent plant alive.  I haven't figured out the knack of making these types of plants thrive as I've lost four others so far.  I really like them and am determined to try different things to help them to grow well.

I am creating.....a quilt for my grandson.  Most of the top is done now except I keep tweaking it a bit.  I think I need to just leave it alone and actually begin the quilting!

I am going.....to have to run some of my errands tomorrow as I forgot the post office was closed today.

I am reading.....a variety of books now.  Just dabbling.  Not enough time to really settle into one of my many books.

I am praying.....for God to work in a situation in such a way that there's no doubt HE has things under control.  

I am remembering.....the winter vacations we've taken to much warmer places.  I can almost feel the sand between my toes!

I am hoping.....for a bit more sunshine than what we've been having this winter.  I REALLY need the heart-lifting smiles that sunshine brings.

On my mind.....is how easily truth gets distorted in some situations and how much we need to pray for the Lord to reveal TRUTH.  

From the learning rooms.....we are doing well with our studies.  

I am learning....and experimenting with a new kind of art form - hand lettering.  I love to print and this feels like it's right up my alley.  Practice practice practice (and thank you, Pinterest, for the wealth of resources available!)

Noticing that.....the cat is very "electrical" right now.  Every time I pet him I get a shock.  Might have to run the humidifier a bit more.

I am looking forward to.....browsing through garden seed catalogs.

Pondering these words....."It's not the load that breaks you down.  It's the way you carry it." ~ C.S. Lewis

From the kitchen.....all baked Valentine goodies are GONE! That is a good thing.....

Around the house....are sunflower seed shells that seem to come in on our boots from under the bird feeders.

One of my favorite things.....is that first cup of coffee in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include breakfast with the Kiwanis Club tomorrow morning, work days, quilting, and celebrating the 16th birthday of a daughter at the end of the week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
My brother-in-law's wife's Christmas cactus that I'm "babysitting" for this winter went into full bloom during Valentine's week.  It was simply beautiful!

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 14

sending love

This week has been busy!  


The baking needed to get done so that all of the boxes filled with sweet treats for my family could get in the mail hopefully in time to arrive for Valentines Day.


Since my Christmas cards never seemed to get mailed out this year after I got the family photos printed in January, I was also busy this week writing out LOTS of Valentine cards. And I'm still writing them out so many will arrive next week. Oh, and I love the new Forever heart stamps!

The nice thing though is that I had addressed all my Christmas cards already which means that I am one step ahead for the Christmas of 2015!  

Happy Valentines Day!  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, February 13

the best when


It is Friday once again and time to write for a fast five minutes on one word, no editing, post it, link it at Kate's Five Minute Friday, comment encouragingly on the post before yours.  So simple that YOU should try it, too!  The word for this Friday is WHEN.  Ready?  Set?  GO!

::when::

It does seem that life revolves around the calendar of WHEN: 

-When the holidays are over I'll work on........

-When the kids are healthy again we can.......

-When the snow melts you can......

-When the appointment resolves things we will......

-When I get a new job we'll buy.....

The thing about the calendar of WHEN is that it never seems to be a specific time.  There's always so much variance that we never really know WHEN.  

For most things it probably doesn't make much difference when the when happens, but I've been thinking a lot about WHEN the Lord comes back again. You know, when the Lord descends from heaven with a SHOUT!  The voice of the archangel!  The trumpet of God!  The meeting the Lord in the air! 

Whoaaaaa! Won't that be a glorious thing when it happens?!

Definitely a wonderful thing to set your hopes on because when it happens you'll be headed HOME!  What an encouragement!

STOP!

P.S.  Get all the details in First Thessalonians 4:13-18

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 12

live the gift


You know how you know something real basic and then the reality of what it means really sinks in perhaps in a way that you've never known before?  That happened this morning as my heart was touched in a new way when I read the following:

"Faith isn't something you can work up inside yourself. Faith comes to you as God's gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8).  Not only is your salvation a gift of God, but the faith to embrace it is his gift as well.  But here is what you need to understand:  God not only gives you the grace to believe for your salvation, but he also works to enable you to live by faith.  If you are living by faith, you know that you have been visited by powerful transforming grace, because that way of living just isn't normal for you and me.  If your way of living is no longer based on what your eyes can see and your mind can understand, but on God's presence, promises, principles, and provisions, it is because God has crafted faith in you." ~ Paul David Tripp

Perhaps this struck me so profoundly because a few days ago friends and I were gathered around a table chatting about the craziness of the world right now.  The news headlines are something no one wants to read anymore as we watch our country taking paths down dark alleyways.  Things that would have never been acceptable in the years we were growing up are now shouted off the rooftops as perfectly fine and normal. People's values seem to be influenced more by what the media is yelling than anything else.  Right now, nothing our eyes see or our ears hear actually are understandable to our minds as sin lures people further and further away from the truth.

And yet the more we talked, the more evident our faith played into how we lived our daily lives and coped with the craziness around us.  We are living in a way that goes against the grain and would definitely not be the normal human way.  
Our lives are only different because it's through God's powerful transforming grace that we have been given the gift of salvation AND the gift to live it out in faith.

Have you ever considered how spectacular and amazing that is? It's not about me or you or the other person struggling to live on our own.  It's all about God and His gifts to us which enable us to live a life of faith. Truly there is nothing more LIFE GIVING and LIFE CHANGING!  

How very thankful I am that God has crafted faith within me to live my life fully in His presence, His promises, His principles, and His provisions as each day brings me closer to my hope in eternity.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, February 9

the sun of winter


There have been so so sooo many cloudy gray days this winter.  But you know, as long as the sun shines, I can do this winter thing.  Even if the sun has to do its shining through the icicles!  

Sunshine = SMILES!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 7

not one time


I think it harder
Lord, to cast
the cares of those I love
on You,
than to cast mine.
We, growing older, 
learn at last
that You 
are merciful 
and kind.
Not one time
have you failed me,
Lord—
why fear that you'll
fail mine?
~Ruth Bell Graham

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 6

keep the memories


It's simple. Only one word to write about today.  No editing. Post it.  Link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Then visit the link before yours and leave behind a note of encouragement. The word for today is KEEP.  Ready?  Set?  Go!

:::keep:::

There have been so so sooooo many moments through the years of raising my family that I've thought to myself - "I never want to forget this moment in time and would like to keep it forever fresh to come back to again and again!"  

And then life moved on and I promptly forgot that moment.

Well, kind of anyways.

One wonderful thing that I was diligent in doing for many years was taking pictures and promptly putting them in a photo album.  There is absolutely nothing better than sitting down with one of those old albums which store so many memories that I wanted to keep fresh forever.  Looking at those old photos brings my memory quickly back to the sounds and scents and sights of those moments.  Photos truly are a way to keep memories.

But alas.  The digital age arrived and my best memory keeping method suddenly crashed as printing photos seemed to be such a hassle. I mean, you couldn't just print the pictures.  You needed to crop them and fix them and, well, you know, it just took way too much time, so it was easier not to do it. Of course,  then my first laptop permanently crashed and I lost a whole bunch of pictures that had been downloaded onto it which was even more discouraging.

It's interesting because I've been thinking about this a lot recently and would like to return to this wonderful way to keep memories.  For you see, my younger children look at the old photo albums and wonder where the pictures of them  are from when they were little  :::gulp:::  It's time to maybe pick up where I left off and refresh memories in new albums.

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 4

you talking to you


Who are YOU talking to?

I hadn't really thought about it much until I read this in my devotional this morning:

"No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.  It's a fact that you and I are in an endless conversation with ourselves." ~ Paul David Tripp

Again, have you ever really thought about that? Not sure? Here's a bit more:

"In this inner discussion, we're always talking about God, life, others, and ourselves, and the things we say to ourselves are very important because they are formative of the things we desire, choose, say, and do. What have you been saying to you?  What have you been saying to you about yourself?  What have you been saying to yourself about life, meaning and purpose, right and wrong, true and false, and good and bad?" ~ Paul David Tripp

So, as I thought about this a bit more, I had to agree.  I do talk to myself.  A LOT.  Of course, a good percentage of my self-talk is about things I don't want to forget.  So as I'm walking from one end of the house to the other, I may be repeating to myself.....blue handled scissors, blue handled scissors, blue handled scissors.....just so that when I get to the other end of the house I will remember why I'm there! (yes, menopause does wonderfully crazy things to your brain like this :::sigh:::)  But how often do I tell myself I'm stupid for doing something the way I did it?  Or that I should have stood up to the pressure and said no instead of yes?  And what about talking to myself as I read between the lines of a situation?  Oh, yes, I do frequently throw in some "Help me, God!", "Protect me, God!", "Thank you, God!" throughout the day as I talk to myself.  

Referring to Psalm 42 and the psalmist who also preached to himself, consider these things:

"We either preach to ourselves a gospel of aloneness, poverty, and inability or the true gospel of God's presence, power, and constant provision.  You are preaching to yourself a gospel that produces fear and timidity or one that propels you to courage and hope. You are preaching to yourself of a God who is distant, passive, and uncaring or a God who is near, caring, and active.  You are always preaching to yourself a gospel that causes you to rest in his wisdom or a gospel that produces a bit of panic because it seems as if there are no answers to be found." ~ Paul David Tripp

It really makes you stop and think about what you are saying to yourself, doesn't it?  Is it positive or is it negative? Because it does make a difference in how you respond to the world around you.

Perhaps the best statement was the closing sentence of the devotional which I clung to as I headed out of the house for a busy day at work:

"So God in his grace has given you his Word so that you may preach to yourself what is true in those moments when the only one talking to you is you." ~ Paul David Tripp

How important it is to soak our lives full of God's Word so when we talk to ourselves, we are speaking truth and love and hope and strength and peace.  Because what we apply to our lives will tumble out onto the lives of others and can you think of anything better to share than the truth and love and hope and strength and peace that comes from God?  There really is nothing better, is there?

(Sorry for the long ramble......I've been long overdue for one of these pondering kinds of posts!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 3

crock or not

For years I had a mini crock on my kitchen countertop that held all my frequently used kitchen utensils until it broke and broke again. And I glued and glued again.  Then taped and taped again.  So faithful it was and I really didn't notice how awful it looked until I was doing a lot of cooking and baking for the holidays.  

Enter a son home from college on winter break bringing many of his pottery pieces from a class he had taken over the past semester.  Since all of his various pottery pieces were being left at home, it made sense to put them to use. 


Alas, my old faithful multi glued and taped mini crock was put to rest in the circular file as a new, improved and totally cool pottery container replaced it.  It works well, holds a bit more, and currently has sentimental value.  Definitely a blessing to be counted!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 2

a good reminder


"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." ~ Philippians 4:13

What a wonderful verse to start a new month!  It has always been one of my favorite verses — especially during labor and delivery — but I find I need it even more during this time of the year.  

January always seems to put my body and mind into hibernation.  Too much darkness.  Too much cold.  Too much exhaustion after the holidays.

Then delightfully February comes along and the little bit more of daylight each day begins to be noticeable.  More light.  Still cold.  Holiday exhaustion is done. It feels like it's time to get moving again, but there's a need for a little more umph in doing so which is hard to do on my own.  It's a good time to call on God's strength to use my time wisely and with purpose no matter what I'm doing.  For ALL things. 

May YOU tap into God's strength to do all of YOUR things, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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