Saturday, October 31

almost



::almost::

Yes, we are almost there.

TOMORROW the shelves on every store will have replaced the current piles of candy and scary costumes of today with the grand greetings of Christmas!

As much as I absolutely cannot wait to see the store shelves cleared off as October ends, the refilling part absolutely terrifies — or would it be paralyzes? —me more!

The realization that Christmas is almost here and knowing the days coming will rush by feels especially overwhelming this year. Major remodeling throughout November and an end of the year move of the ministry that I work for will be completely time consuming. Then throw in all the family comings and goings and happenings that will be part of the upcoming days.  Yikes!

With all of that going on in life, perhaps it will be a good year to focus on what the reason for the season is all about and will force me to keep things simple without all the usual trappings. Right now seems to be a good time to be thinking those things through before the calendar page turns to almost Christmas, don't you think?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 31

Friday, October 30

bacon

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 
Five Minute Friday special word - bacon

::bacon::

Definitely giving away my age when I say that the first thing that came to mind with this word — bacon — was the phrase "he's bringing home the bacon".  In today's world, it would literally mean he went to the store and picked up a package of bacon on his way home.  But it used to mean that he had worked hard all day/week and was bringing home a paycheck.  

Bacon has become an interesting phenomena in our culture, hasn't it?  I cannot tell you how many bacon recipe pins come up on my Pinterest feed as bacon is featured not only in all kinds of odd food combinations that I would probably never consider on my own, but weaved into designs in the recipe as well.  Long before bacon became so crazy popular, our family already had a couple long loved favorite recipes that need bacon cooked to a crisp and crumbled into the mix.  But other than that, bacon only tends to show up on our kitchen table for family breakfasts as something that goes with eggs.  And why?  Have you seen the price of it?  This phenomena has driven up the cost of a package of bacon! (and you almost need to use a paycheck to pay for a enough bacon for your recipe!)

So for our household, bacon will probably still remain just a part of a favorite recipe or two.  Unless, like yesterday, I'm standing in the freezer section of the grocery store looking at frozen pizzas on sale and say, "Hey, here's one we've never tried!  Broccoli, bacon, and cheddar!"

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 30


Wednesday, October 28

hope

::hope::


As you reach nightfall, consider all the things you've hoped for over the daytime hours.

Chances are....the list is long.

AND chances are the list of hopes that actually came to pass over the daytime hours is probably short.

The reality of expectations not met shouldn't be surprising. Life and people and situations are bound to disappoint.  There are no guarantees in this ever changing world we live in.

Best to learn to set your hope on the living God who is always with you and who never changes.  

*No need to hope He'll hear you, help you, hold you. 
He will.  

*No need to hope He'll lead you, look out for you, love you.  
He will.

*No need to hope He'll carry you, caution you, comfort you. 
He will.

*No need to hope He'll steer you, shape you, support you. 
He will.

It's simple. Hope in HIM who will be with you throughout the daytime hours and when you reach nightfall, you will find that as you put all the details of the day — the good, the bad, the ugly — in the perspective of eternity, He did not disappoint!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 28

Friday, October 23

joy

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 
Five Minute Friday special word - JOY




::joy::


It has always seemed like a good idea to me to be able to capture those moments of great joy — you know, the kind of joy that makes your heart want to explode — and put them into a bottle to open when joy seems so far far away.  

Yesterday I was reminded of this when we were reading in the Old Testament about Joshua crossing into the Promised Land with God's chosen people and setting up a memorial with stones as a remembrance of God's faithfulness.  Every time in the future when they'd go past that memorial, their minds would flashback to the moment when that memorial was set up and God's great faithfulness.

Thinking about this...do I really need something visual to experience joy?

Maybe. 

Or maybe not.

What I'm finding more and more lately is that true heartfelt joy comes from being in relationship with God even during some really hard tough times when earthly joy is far away. His Word works powerfully when it's the only solid never changing always truthful full of promises thing you need to cling to when the future feels uncertain.  

That is the kind of joy that nothing on this earth can match because it comes bottled up with His peace and love at the same time.

It's like JOY with a bonus!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 23

Wednesday, October 14

fly

::fly::

For years I said I would never fly.  Never. Ever.

Looking back, I'm quite certain it was an irrational fear that came about from when I was young and watched people on television news stories sift through the remainder of horrible airplane crashes that had scattered everything everywhere. Very gruesome kind of sights for a youngin'.

Then a bit over ten years ago when a trip was being planned, there was no getting around that never.ever.  I mean, how can you take a cruise from the Midwest to Hawaii? So instead of planning a simply easy first time to fly experience, I ended up on a puddle jumper to a larger airport and then sat for hour after hour as we flew over the US followed by hour after hour over the Pacific Ocean to finally land in Honolulu.  

Funny how that never.ever. changed since the first time I took to the air.  Since then I have flown to Nashville, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and most recently to San Diego.

flying out of San Diego at dawn

Fly?

Yes, please.  A wonderful way to travel to further away places, enjoy the task of people watching, talk to people from all over the world, and get a lot of reading done. 

The best part though is to be reminded of the awesomeness of our Creator who not only made all the beautiful vastly different scenery below, but Who created every single person who lives in that scenery below.  It's a humbling way of taking me out of my own little world and blowing me away with the vastness of His world.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 14




Friday, October 9

trust

::trust::


Some of the hardest lessons of my life have come through that simple word. Maybe it's because trust puts you in a very vulnerable position with another person.  


There is someone important in my life who has broken my trust over and over and over AND OVER again.  Yet, I soooooo want to trust them.  I think that after years of this I have finally come to the conclusion they will never ever be trustworthy. Never.  Ever.  My heart aches.


What is interesting to me is that this particular relationship hasn't completely broken my trust in everyone else.  Is there caution in some relationships?  Of course.  If I sense God's discernment to walk and talk carefully with some people, I do. But there are people in my life who I can trust with my heart as they have proven themselves to be faithful and loving throughout our relationship.  

Perhaps there can be trust in others despite the impact of broken trust because I've learned that I can completely and fully trust God.  My journey with Him has grown a confidence in my heart knowing He loves me abundantly and will be walking with me every step.  He is my protector of my heart!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 9

Wednesday, October 7

love

::love::


Hmmmm, let's pick one word that is loaded with a kazillion different meanings!   LOVE!  It's hard to know where to even begin to write about such a word and it could definitely take more than the allotted five minutes.  So I think I will start making a list of some of the thing I love until the timer rings:

*I love Jesus.

*I love the sound of laughter when all my kids come home.

*I love the sound of my grands giggling.

*I love sunny warm days.

*I love flowers - any and all kinds.

*I love the sound of the rain on the rooftop at night when I go to bed.

*I love the scent of babies when they are snuggled close.

*I love the smell of the first cup of morning coffee.

*I love working with incredible people who love Jesus, too.

*I love anything Vera Bradley.

*I love the warmth of sitting by the woodburner on cold winter nights.

*I love working in my garden.

*I love reading a good book.

*I love being present at the births of babies.

* I love sewing a quilt.

*I love watching how God answers our prayers.

*I love hugs.

*I love snail mail letters that seem to arrive in my mailbox at just the right time.

*I love a movie that makes me cry.

*I love friends that are real.

*I love fuzzy golden retriever puppies.

*I love chatting online with my kids.

And there's the ring of the bell......that's all for now!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 7

Tuesday, October 6

possible

::possible::

Making things happen and become possible is often a result of our attitude.  

If we think things are too hard or too much of a challenge or that we have no known talent to do it, we often won't even want to try.  "IMPOSSIBLE!" is our battle cry.  And why? Because we don't want to fail.  

Let's look at an example of failure.....a man who had thousands of failed attempts, yet ended up with over 1,000 patents on various inventions of his.  In fact, I wouldn't be sitting here typing  at this time of the night without his determination and diligence leading to his invention of lightbulbs.  Thomas Edison.  Many failures led to many successes.

Yes, trying something that seems too hard or too much of a challenge or out of our talent range can lead to failure.  But if you have a good attitude and learn from your failure, you can turn something that was impossible into something that is possible.  

Just set your mind to do it (and pray lots, too!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 6

Monday, October 5

home

::home::


We work at making our little nests wonderful places for all of family to come home to over the holidays or vacation time. However, as they fly out of the nest, our home continually changes into something else.  


My older children recall a home full of people with a lot of noise and a lot of stuff everywhere.  My two youngest who are at the end of the family live in a home with few people, pretty quiet, and our stuff generally picked up.


Day and night, isn't it?


So when the older ones all come home, the house becomes like they remember it and my younger ones suddenly wonder what happened to their home!


Actually, the older I get, the less it seems that home is about a building filled with familiar stuff.  It seems that I actually feel more at home wherever I am with my family.  It could be at a daughter's house, at a son's house, or right here where our family's roots began.  It's more about the people I am with than the place I am at because being with people you love can make anyplace feel like home.

Wow.....that was an interesting revelation that came about after five minutes of writing!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 5

Sunday, October 4

embrace faith

::embrace::


Whenever something really sticks with you from a retreat, you know it has to be important piece of your faith walk.  

The speaker at a recent women's retreat used a familiar passage of scripture for her weekend of talks to a room full of women of all ages.  

Proverbs 31.

Yup, I heard all the groans from here.

Can I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through that chapter and look at all the roles that the Proverbs 31 woman took on throughout her life?  Lots of roles.  I always feel tired after reading all of that, don't you?  But those roles aren't what defined her and made her an excellent woman. What defined her as a woman to be praised was that she was a woman who feared the Lord.  

Simply put, she was a woman who most importantly embraced FAITH in God.

She understood that any of her other roles could come to a complete halt at any time.  Those roles weren't meant to define her, because if they did, who would she be at the end of the day if they ended?

what defines who you really are?

And the same could be said of women of today.  We tend to define ourselves by the many hats we wear on a daily basis. Say we get in a terrible car accident and spend the rest of our life bedridden.  Will any of those hats define us any longer? Probably not.  But even in that time of trial our faith in God can continue to define who we are.  

It's important, friend.  Embrace faith as the most dear to your heart moment by moment task! 


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 4

Saturday, October 3

capture

::capture::


What captures your heart?

After a recent memorial service for an uncle, I sat around a table with cousins as we were eating and doing the usual reminiscing about the past that tends to happen at these kinds of events.  Most of them were older than me, so it was interesting listening to stories about things before I was old enough to remember them.  They asked if I remembered a certain house that I lived in when I was little and honestly, there are very few memories tucked away in my mind from that time.  But one thing I did remember was the beautiful hollyhocks that grew along the side of the house where I would stand and wait for the bus.  

Hollyhocks.

It's interesting how so many of my memories involve flowers. Their beauty.  Their scent.  Their uniqueness.  God's creation shouts with flowers wherever I go and I'm quick to smile whenever they fall into my line of vision.  He captures my heart with the beauty He creates and I can't help but praise Him!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 3

Friday, October 2

family

::family::


There is nothing more unique than the families God places us in.  It really is nothing we have a choice in, is it?  We are born into a family through two parents who come with a boatload of family history of their own as they give you life through their oneness.  However, it is possible that as they unpack their boatload, the oneness dissolves and the whole concept of family shifts.  

The challenge comes as you mature and attempt to figure out what makes you who you are because family history does impact you in both positive and negative ways.  Ouch, right? Or maybe YAY?  

To me, the greatest blessing is being adopted into God's family.  He created me, knows every single thing about me, and still loves me abundantly and unconditionally no matter what.  He knows my family history and everything that comes with it, yet reminds me that as part of His family, I am a totally new creation.  He's not about building the new on top of the old; He's all about making me a whole new creation from top to bottom.  How exciting is that? 

It's a good reminder as we think about our earthly families. We are all works in progress and need to extend grace.grace.grace.grace.grace since God isn't finished with any of us yet.  

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 2

Thursday, October 1

calling

::calling::


Being home with your kids for years sure doesn't feel like a calling when you are in the midst of it.  Seriously, how could it?  Diapers, dishes, laundry, picking up, cleaning up, settling fights, giving baths, reading endless stories, constant food prep, things in the toilet, and more.  Then repeat.  Day after day after day.  What kind of calling is that?

A very important one, m'dear.  

For as you find your place of contentment in the midst of it all, God will be molding you to be faithful in the little things that last for a long time which makes them big things in His eyes.

And guess what?  That habit of faithfulness in little things will lead you to a calling to be faithful in much bigger things. Things that will stretch you and challenge you beyond your capabilities; yet, you will know you can trust Him completely because He has proven Himself faithful for so many years.  

So keep on keeping on right where you are because this is your calling at this moment in time  Find your place of contentment. Discover His faithfulness.  And know that you can trust Him wherever He takes you in the future!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*Participating in Five Minute Free Writes
  October 2015 - Day 1

a month of five minute free writes


One writing activity I've enjoyed for quite awhile is Five Minute Fridays.  Why?  Because it takes barely more than fifteen minutes total to write, post, link up, read, comment, and then go on with your day.

After being so very busy through September, I've missed writing and this challenge for October will help me get back into writing with a minimal amount of time each day.  Plus, it'll be fun to see what everyone else is writing about these days.

So for the next 31 days I will write on one word for five minutes each day.  Kate  - the hostess of this writing event - supplies the list of words (unless you want to do your own list, but that kind of challenge is beyond me at the moment.) If you'd like to participate, too, check out all the details here

As I post each day, I'll add the link to this main post.  So let's begin!

Day 1 :: calling

Day 2 :: family

Day 3 :: capture

Day 4 :: embrace

Day 5 :: home

Day 6 :: possible

Day 7 :: love

Day 8 :: purple

Day 9 :: trust

Day 10 :: ready

Day 11 :: rest

Day 12 :: storm

Day 13 :: patience

Day 14 :: fly

Day 15 :: laugh

Day 16 :: green

Day 17 :: offer

Day 18 :: worth

Day 19 :: honor

Day 20 :: temporary

Day 21 :: wave

Day 22 :: value

Day 23 :: joy

Day 24 :: silence

Day 25 :: crash

Day 26 :: whisper

Day 27 :: perhaps

Day 28 :: hope

Day 29 :: sea

Day 30 :: bacon

Day 31 :: almost

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

coming down from the mountain equipment


A new month has arrived after the swift passage of September.  It had been a busy month of much wonderfulness allowing not an extra breath anywhere. Refreshing, renewing, recharging - all done not on a mountain top, but instead felt deep in my soul on what must have been a mountain range.  And you know the saying....what goes up must come down. Perhaps that is why the Scripture verse for the new month seems to fit so well:  "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." ~ Ephesians 6:10  That simple verse is followed by many other verses as God's Word reminds us of His armor which must be put on piece by piece each day to be able to walk in the world we live in.  

Be strong in His mighty power and stand firm no matter what your altitude!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
Blog Widget by LinkWithin