Saturday, October 14, 2017

Invite: Five Minute Friday

I participate in "Five Minute Friday" as often as I can. Weekly, at fiveminutefriday.com we have a one-word prompt that we free-write on for only five minutes. No edits, no fanfare, just our sweet offerings in a community of gifted writers that pour out encouragement and "me too".


I was so excited to write this week and had hoped that I could incorporate the prompt into my words.
The prompt is "invite" and it fits so perfectly!!

How often are we rushing through our lives? We are trying to maximize our time and be efficient, and we don't slow down for anything. We tell our kids to "hurry up" more than we tell them "I love you".

Ouch.

Recently, I was going to be at an appointment that I knew would take longer than I wanted it to take. I was trying to prepare my heart to have a good attitude, when God softly whispered to me.

"What if I want to bless you? Would you be willing to linger? Would you soak and savor in that blessing from me?"

My attitude was completely changed! All of a sudden I was looking at this with brand new eyes.
God was inviting me to a chance to be blessed.
I couldn't wait!

And I thought, what if I were looking for His blessing in every situation? Especially the difficult ones? Would I find it there, hidden from plain sight but obvious to one searching?

Last night, I was one of the lucky people in our small Oregon town to attend a Cloverton concert.
Their new album, "Bloom" is full of meaningful lyrics and each song was either filling my heart, or speaking to me where I was at. Lance, the lead singer, took time in the concert to be intentional and speak to us in the audience about what God is trying to do for us. Their music ministry is by far the largest blessing I've ever received at a concert.
I came expecting to be entertained, but I left with my heart refreshed and my soul restored.
Truly, if you are anywhere near their tour, I cannot tell you enough what God is doing right now through them! They have a young lady opening for them named "Linsley" who is gifted, sweet, and even told me she'd be praying for our worship conference next week.

How often do you meet a touring group that is selfless and giving, instead of self-focused and entitled?

God is trying to bless us right now. We need only to look for the blessing. Will you take Him up on his invitation?
Linsley's Song "Give it a rest" was absolutely beautiful. Her voice is such a gift!
 
 Cloverton's new song "Here it Comes" was by far my favorite at the concert!!!

-Tammy
P.S. Thank you for your comments! I have found that even though I reply well, I don't always make it over to your blog in return, and I apologize if I don't. Know that I will make an effort to read your offering as well if you tell me your linkup number.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Depend: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is here again, and I am finally caught up enough to participate! Here's the weekly linkup if you're interested in reading more about "depend" this week. So much blessing awaits you!

I never thought of being dependable as sinful.

Growing up, I was the oldest of five children and quite Americanized. Independence and self-sufficiency were praised and I flourished in the predictability of being in control and "in charge".

I wanted to prove that I was trustworthy and responsible and could be left alone.

All of these things are necessary for children to live on their own and survive, but in the realm of the faithful, we have much to unlearn.

Depending on somebody else, being co-dependent, needing somebody in order to sustain our own lives—these all are fairly uncomfortable situations for most of us.

This is precisely where God wants us to develop faith.

He reminds us of feeding the sparrows—that their basic needs are met, and how we are worth much more than sparrows to God. How easy it is to forget, as we are coordinating schedules and packing lunches and balancing checkbooks and grocery shopping and folding laundry, that God is supposed to sustain us, not the other way around.

"See, God? I'm doing it all! I'm Instagraming my sweet devo while I'm waiting in the pickup line." "Philippians 4:13, Lord. I can do all things! (through you, of course, but you don't have to worry about me. That friend of mine needs much more of you right now, what with her husband deployed and another one on the way.)"

Oh, sweet sisters (and brothers), can we just remember why God calls us children? We're not supposed to outgrow our need for God.
*timer has sounded*

And, if you wonder if you can Depend on God? This song. Oh, if nothing else you do today, THIS SONG!!! (It's been my anthem this summer, and our High School worship team introduced it at school yesterday. I was beyond ecstatic!)

Love,
Tammy

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Work: Five Minute Friday

Oh my friends, I miss you! Here is my submission for this week's Five Minute Friday Linkup.
The prompt is "Work", which is my large reason for less contributions to FMF in general. :)

Go!

Work is not a word that is all negative. In fact, it's a compliment to be labeled a "hard worker". We are encouraged to work hard, to be diligent and not lazy.
When, however, we have to "put in the work", the tone of the word can take on a negative connotation.
The same is true in marriage.
This Monday, my husband and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary.
For the most part, we've worked hard to work together and work things out.
And, most of the time, we don't have much to work out.
This past week was a week of hard work, most likely because I'm "back to work" as a school teacher. We're just not getting much time together and he's been helping catch up some of my house work to ease my burden but it's not gaining us any time.
We had an opportunity to talk about it and work it out. It wasn't really a fun or easy conversation, but the beauty of 13 years is that we are understanding each other better. We know what the other needs, but don't always recognize an unmet need in that area without a floodlight or a magnifying glass or a megaphone in those times of emptiness.
Company Christmas party 2004 (still newlyweds)

Myself and Dave on the first day back to school (and his amazing Barracuda behind us)
http://dartslantsix.wordpress.com to follow his rebuild adventures


I am so so thankful that neither of us enjoy stewing and punishing the other with our hurt feelings. That our parents are still married (for both of us! it's rare with friends our ages) is one contributing factor, but I think that the work you put in yields you the reward.

So, if you're married, commit to working it out. If you're not married, don't rush into it until you know that they're willing to work at it until it works.
And, if God's not at the center of your marriage? You're going to have to work so much harder to keep it together. He is our third strand that keeps us tightly woven. Even if one of the strands would be removed, He would still be tightly wound with the other strand.

~Tammy