Friday, July 19, 2019

Distant: Five Minute Friday

Though intermittent, I'm trying to utilize my posts for when I have something worth reading.
I've been having a lot on my mind lately and am grateful for a chance to share.
This week's linkup on Five Minute Friday is titled "Distant". We set a timer for five minutes and don't take a break to edit or re-write. This is raw, unedited, heartfelt writing that we share and comment on with each other. It's the most uplifting, encouraging writing community and I love the people behind those screens. I was blessed to meet up with many of them in real life a few summers ago at an FMF Retreat.
What a joy to be walking on Earth at the same time as these friends!!

Go!
The thought on my mind is to do with parenting. How do we ensure our children are actually being raised to follow Christ? If we don't do the work ourselves, we are expecting others to usher our children into the kingdom of God. We watch from a distance as the Sunday school teacher or the AWANA leader once a week pours into our kids. Perhaps we pay the tuition to put them into a Christian school so they get five days a week of a spiritual environment, but our distant contributions will not ensure anything if we're not doing work as well.
I could pay a "nursery" to care for my plant five days a week, and then pick it up at the end of the day, hoping that it would flourish in that environment. It might make it okay, but on the weekends, in the evenings, what am I doing to make sure that plant is thriving?

If I don't have my child plugged into a consistent church community because I myself am not involved, how am I being fed to pour out into my kids??

This is a post of self-reflection because God is stirring my thoughts lately. I teach at a private Christian school, but I cannot depend on my children's teachers to do the work I am tasked to do.

I am not allowed to be a distant mother, hoping that my own faith will rub off on my kids. I'm even less prepared to teach them if I'm not being prayed for and held accountable and worshiping corporately with others.

Sure, churches are full of people and people have their own problems, but we need to try, my friends.
Our children are at risk of being drawn AWAY from the love of God and what is true and right and noble and pure, because we are living in a world that wants to destroy our faith.

How are we equipping our kids for shining in the darkness when they grow up and move out??

-Tammy


Friday, May 3, 2019

Opportunity: Five Minute Friday

I'm so excited to make my first FMF contribution of 2019.
I love this community and have been really living in a new year with my walk with Christ this school year.
My word transformed from "All" in November. We took a family trip to the coast and the word "Still" became my new word. That was confirmed in December.
Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."

This week's prompt at Five Minute Friday is "Opportunity."
Here we go:

When God gives you a dream, it may start out as a small idea that you're not even sure you'd entertain again. When the dream continues to visit you, something begins to stir and the dream becomes a passion. When you get the opportunity to take that dream and turn it into a reality, that opportunity from God becomes a direct graft into the vine. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

In March I got the opportunity to go with our church to La Oscurana in Guatemala. I had a dream two years ago to bring instruments to the children so they would be able to worship even if the music in their heads wasn't the same as the sounds they produced when they sang. God helped me every step of the way, and His grace removed all barriers.

The children were in school when we visited and I was allowed to teach during their regular school day. I had 12 and 13 year old boys who in the afternoons ignored the soccer balls we brought and instead sat with me in the breezeway, hungry for more music instruction.
One student, even on my final day, ignored the pinata and the fresh watermelon, desperate to master the "Father I Adore You" round I had written on a notecard.

My five minutes is up, but my story is only beginning. What God allowed me to be a part of in that little village has made me feel a new spark of life in my heart. I was born to do this. I was born to worship God, and to share that worship with new faces, in a new language.
I have no greater joy than when I work with children and sing about our Jesus!














Thursday, August 30, 2018

Rush: Five Minute Friday

It has been a crazy long time since I have participated in the linkup. (Blogger actually emailed me today to see if I still wanted to receive comment notifications on my blogs. That's a warning sign.)
The last FMF prompt I wrote on was May 6.
Since then, I have been down and am now back at level, working on getting back up.
God has been doing so much in me, carrying it on to completion and it's still a work in progress, but mostly He has been working out that word "Rest" that I received at last year's Five Minute Friday retreat.
As I prayed all summer about this year's oneword365 (google it. I do mine Sept-Aug instead of Jan-Dec), I had lots of ideas, but the consistent one was the word "All". As in "you can have it all" (google that song!), "I surrender all", and most recently, Jennifer Dukes Lee's book, "It's All Under Control".
Now that the back story has caught you up to date, it's time for this week's Five Minute Friday prompt and linkup.
Here's the link to Five Minute Friday.
The prompt this week is "Rush".

The first thing I thought of when I saw that prompt was the song "Breathe" that starts out really fast and then slows down on the Chorus. "Breathe, just breathe, Come and rest at my feet. And be, just be,
Chaos calls but all you really need
is to just breathe." (Breathe, by Jonny Diaz)


I have been rushing so much. Rushing my kids out the door, constantly feeling the pressure of having to be somewhere on time has led to a high level of stress. Kids operate at a slower pace when they are in the primary grades. My oldest is usually ready on time and is entering middle school.
It's funny that I can't even remember what life was like when she was the one entering second grade and her youngest sister was still in preschool. That was my first year as a working mom.

Rapidly
Underappreciating
Sitting
Here




Martha was in a rush. Mary was not.
Somehow I crossed that line of "being busy means I am balanced and under control."
Instead, I'm overwhelmed by all the wonderful things I am doing for God, trying to make sure He really loves me.
Friends, that's not Jesus and that's not Grace. That's insecurity and Satan's spinning all the plates you're holding.
I am so encouraged to be reading "It's All Under Control." It officially releases September 18, but you can pre-order it now and get the first three chapters instantly in digital form. You also get a couple other freebies.
This book will help you to quiet yourself, to slow down, to have the "light and easy" yoke that He offers us instead of all the extra hitches we've put on ourselves.
If you're like me and tired of feeling the rush, maybe this book will also help you.
From "It's All Under Control" by Jennifer Dukes Lee





It's so great to be back with all of my Five Minute Friday friends! I've missed you and really needed to plug in this summer, but I was in a deep retreat, and it's finally time to surface again. :)

~Tammy