Monday, September 12, 2011


I attended church this weekend and celebrated my seventh wedding anniversary. As it was a special occasion, I took extra time to look nice. Growing up, we always dressed in our "Sunday best" for church, then changed after getting home into playclothes. There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress nicely for church. In fact, I anticipate every Sunday as a chance to get dressed up-my stay-at-home life doesn't call for much dressiness. I usually dress practically for the chores/playing with my girls.

During the service, I was observing people in attendance. We meet outdoors for the summer and this was our first regular indoor service. I saw a lot of new faces and shamefully, I felt a bit of snobbiness soley based on appearance. Some of the new people seemed unpolished, and looked as though they had perhaps been through some hard times before coming to church. This was wrong and I was quickly convicted by the sweet, gentle Holy Spirit as I watched a young lady during the worship time.

She had a contagious joy during the worship-and I am pretty sure she was a new Christian. Most of the time, a new Christian is unhindered in their emotion as they rejoice in their newfound faith and hope. She was ecstatic while clapping and singing, and I couldn't help wishing I had her energy and excitement. At a later point in the service, we had open communion and she was weeping loudly while others comforted her.

At this point, I recalled the rebuke to the Pharisees that Jesus gave. He called them whitewashed tombs.
As I remembered the story, He called to my mind that God looks at the heart. "Tammy, you spent all that time preparing your appearance, but did you prepare your heart today?" What good is it to look presentable if you are not presentable inside?
How thankful I was that it was a communion Sunday and that I could ask forgiveness, then take the elements as a remembrance of God's grace and forgiveness for our prideful hearts (and all other shortcomings we have).

There is so much yet that I must learn as I walk in God's grace, but I am thankful to have friends like you to help me on my way. I am turning 30 next month and in some ways I feel grown up, but this was a reminder that I am still very young and immature in some ways-and that God will be faithful to complete His plans for me if I will yield to His leading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Housecleaning and thankfulness??

Laundry, laundry, how I love thee-you mean I have clothes to wear
Dishes, dishes, thank you, thank you-you held food that I prepared
Dirty floors that I am cleaning-how I thank you very well-
you hold up the ones I love-glad we have a place to dwell
I coined this poem this morning while doing some baby laundry that was unexpected. (no more huggies diapers for me-we're pampers people for good!)
Regardless of our circumstances, our attitude bears so much on our life and mood. I pray to have a thankful heart and to be cheerful as I work. (and we have been watching Cinderella a lot)

I was blessed to have 16 people in our home for lunch after dedicating our youngest, Naomi, to God at our church this past Sunday. (our entire house is 864 sq ft). Then we had 15 people in our home for dinner as some left and others came. How blessed we were (and stressed but in a good way), and as we clean, we can thank God for each guest and pray for them. We underestimate just how much prayer affects others. Praying is the single most important service we have for each other. Far beyond our physical capabilities, we can call on the power of the Almighty God for each person we bless as we lift them up to our powerful Creator.

I believe we do a disservice thinking that our words will be more helpful than our prayers. Not to say that we shouldn't interact personally-I think face to face time continues to be of importance as we lose so much personal connections to technology. Often though, we really don't know what to say and can say something that really DOESN'T help.

May you find joy in your work today as we journey onward toward heaven-where work will cease to be anything but joyful!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What we do with what we have

I like to talk.  Sometimes I have people around that like to hear what I have to say.  I used to post "blogs" on myspace regularly when my first daughter was weeks and months old.  By the time my second daughter came around, my computer time was significantly cut down.  I just gave birth to our third daughter and though I've enjoyed posting "notes" on facebook, I thought I'd try to gather my thoughts in one place now.

In a time when we spend more "face time" on the computer than we do face-to-face, is it any wonder that we want people to listen to what we have to say? The spoken word is not as common as the texted abbreviation and yet we are an advanced society. My daughters crave my love, time and attention. Too often I selfishly want love, time and attention from others without first giving of myself. How much time do I waste posting photos and then checking to see if there are comments? Scrolling down the "news feed" to see status updates that mean little to me when I'm not personally involved. "Your friend is now friends with five people you'll never know and here are their names and photographs." "Your friend is now addicted to another online game." "Your friend just added another application in order to receive a free gift and wants you to join so they can receive the free gift."

Each day we are given is a gift.  We have life, we may have health, shelter, food, and family.  For these things we should be so thankful.  Many have nothing and are thankful for much less.  How comfortable we become and how quickly dissatisfied when we do not receive instant gratification. To get away from all the distractions, I find it helpful to turn to my Bible.  Right now Romans chapter twelve is holding a lot of fulfillment for me.
In Romans 12:12, Paul charges "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer."
It is easy to be joyful in hope, but patient in affliction? The daily tasks of motherhood combined with my young children (ages almost 4, 2, and 1 week) cause me to be less than patient frequently.  I have some way to go here.  And faithful in prayer-though I pray often, there are in my opinion several different kinds of prayer.  Small prayers at mealtimes, thank you prayers in situations that turn out for the good, and deep time spent with God, to name a few.  My deep times need some deepening.  If I can only be intentional about seeking God, He finds me where I am.  If it's a small break while driving, a couple minutes peace while getting ready in the bathroom, it is more of an attitude and less of a clocked appointment. 

He delights in us as we delight in Him. How appropriate that my last child, whose delivery was a blessing and a complete switch from the first two, has the name "Naomi" which means "Delight, sweet, pleasant." She is a reminder to me daily that God is with me.

Today and always, I hope to be more joyful, strive to be more patient, and pray to be more faithful. Will you join me?