Thursday, June 30, 2016

Protect: Five Minute Friday

Every Week, a one-word prompt, some thought given, and then a timer set. Five minutes later, you stop. That's Five Minute Friday. Some of the best writing on the internet in only five minutes. Poetry, passionate thoughts, hearts that welcome new friends. I love being a part of this community! You can check out the link at Kate's page.

This week's prompt?


Tonight, for the third week in a row, I ran short distances at the top of my ability on the track with some middle school students. Last week, I experienced some pain in my left thigh (quad) on my first of four laps, so I had to try to protect myself.

I stretched, took a "power shot" of Gatorade at home. (3 scoops, one part water instead of 3 parts)
I ate bananas and strawberries together. (Vitamin C can help your body absorb potassium)

I wanted to protect my body from a deeper injury. I wanted to be able to show up again and run again this week. I didn't want to be siderailed.

If I, an out-of-shape mathematics teacher, can put this much care and effort into my leg, then how does that relate to my spiritual life??

Am I also an out-of-shape Christian? Do I need to start hanging out with younger Christians who are exercising their faith and re-train? Or, do I energize and inspire other Christians around me to keep exercising their faith?

We protect ourselves by being prepared. By knowing what to do.
One of my passions with my daughters is to protect their innocence. I hope wholeheartedly that they will have innuendo flying far above their heads for many years to come, just like their dear old mother. I want them to feel safe asking me any question about anything, but not give them more than they need.

I'm re-reading Corrie Ten Boom this summer and something I love about her story with her father, is that he always put things in a way she could understand. She asked him "what is sexsin?" He asked her to go pick up his suitcase (full of tools-essentially his toolbox). "Why father, it's too heavy." "Some knowledge is too heavy for you to carry, so I will carry it for you until you are ready."

*end of time*

Sorry I can't give you more, but those were my thoughts tonight.
And, as promised, here's a video of me doing a bridge/backbend. This was how my daughters and I entertained ourselves this afternoon.

~ Tammy
P.S. Without your linkup number or URL, I can't find your post! :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rest: Five Minute Friday

Another week, another Twitter party. I was running sprints on a track with students half my age (and twice my speed). But the linkup this week? "Rest". Go visit Kate's page for some of the best writing this side of heaven.

"Where are the rest?"

Although the word rest conjures up relaxation, refreshment, and all other re- words, I chose to go in a different direction.

Luke tells the story of ten lepers. Nine of them are healed but do not acknowledge the healing as they travel. One turns back after he realizes his healing to THANK Jesus for healing him.

"11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
In my memory, Jesus asks, "Where are the rest?"
How well written a tale of our human hearts. Many times we are "the rest", but we can change that. We don't have to be "like the rest of them". We can be set apart. Different. Thankful.

Oh sisters (and brothers), how weary the internet has made me in the past few weeks. So much pain in Florida. For so many families. Some lost adults, some lost children, and so many uninvolved people have made it their business to continue to shout across the internet about it.

Instead, can we "give it a rest" and pray? I'm super excited to be traveling to our State Capitol next week to attend Franklin Graham's Decision America Tour. He's going to be at EVERY State Capitol this year to encourage the people to pray. I'm bringing my three girls. No, it's not going to be easy. It's at noon, which is a minimum 4 hours plus stops and we plan to leave by 6am. They are currently 4, 7, and 8. We will have stops. Guaranteed.

But, I don't want to be like the rest. I want to be pursuing Christ the way He pursues me. I want to be a follower, not a fan. And, Billy Graham isn't traveling anymore. I have never had a chance to pray with a Graham, but I want to give my girls that chance.

I'd love for you to pray with us Tuesday at noon (Pacific). That means 1pm, 2pm, 3pm for the rest of you State-side friends.
"The Lord was moved by prayer for the land" (2 Samuel 24:25, NASB).

Daniel, his friends, all were "not like the rest". They chose to pray, they chose to take a stand.
What about you?

P.S. please leave your FMF linkup # or url for me, I can't find you otherwise! :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Lose: Five Minute Friday

We weekly meet to write on the same word. We write for five minutes without refining, correcting, or critiquing. We simply let the words pour forth and share our fishes and loaves in one wonderful place. Here's Kate's link for the week.

This week's prompt is: Lose.

Well, once again I missed the FMF twitter party. This Thursday, though, it's because I want to lose some flub. As a new teacher this year, exercise fell by the way-side. And, since I'm a comfort/stress "eater", not a "starver", I want to lose how tightly my clothes are clinging. God is really using His mysterious ways to bring me to new opportunities to minister, too. You see, a couple months ago my husband and I had finished our couples' study we had been leading. I decided to help out with the junior high youth group at church.
Last night, I was "running" with our middle school athletes. The coach went "easy" on me. I had nothing to lose except my pride, right?

"I count it all as a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ."
Losing my pride has been the theme this entire year of working at the school. I was an excellent substitute teacher. I thought I had great classroom management skills. Any experienced teacher will tell you what I have learned, though. Subbing to full-time is like babysitting to parenting. You THINK you know, but you can't really know. You have to do it to learn how to do it fully.

What I am losing in the classroom is what I am losing on the track. That excess that isn't really me. (or maybe it is me. And maybe what I want to be is not me, but Christ in me.) I'm having to discipline myself and work hard. It hurts. I'm shedding laziness. And you know what? It's hard to lose laziness. It clings to you. In many places.

I don't want to think of having enough of my own strength and being able to just "make it" every day without God's help. I need to have the discipline of seeking input from others and Him to be effective. So next week I begin an online Continuing Education course specifically for math teachers. I'm excited to be able to ask questions and share ideas with other teachers out there.
First day of school...bright-eyed, confident, and about to grow a lot!

The best part of this journey? It's okay to realize you need help to be better. That none of us are without benefit from training. Even standout athletes can refine their talent. And less-than athletic people like myself can still get back in shape. One step at a time.
In honor of this all, here's Chariots of Fire.

P.S. Be sure to tell me your url or linkup number so I can find your post on Kate's page! :) Thanks!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Want: Five Minute Friday

I was at 8th grade promotion ceremony tonight and missed the Twitter party where we're planning a PNW retreat and I am co-hosting. Love the thought of reuniting with some dear women!!!
Kate's linkup is live, and we're pondering the word "want" this week.

"This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything.
All that I could want and nothing that I need."

I first heard this song in college and it has not lost its appeal.
Want versus need has been a lesson we have tried to teach our girls from the very beginning. We are still learning it ourselves. The discipline of good decision-making comes from delaying impulse and making rational decisions.

Budgeting money, time, calories, all are tied to thinking past the short-term time frame.
If I don't eat cake tonight, I will reach my fitness goals faster. Is this temporary want worth the long-term results?

Will delayed pleasure be worthwhile? A difficult question posed to our young people. I want to feel loved, but I Need commitment.

Jesus can be "all I want, all I need, everything, everything!" (Lifehouse)

I am typing at 11pm on my phone and my five minutes is up. I hope you can listen to the song.
Ps please tell me your linkup number. 😊

Friday, June 3, 2016

Haven: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday. The prompt this week is Haven. And taking five minutes to just focus on this word? That was a haven in itself.
IF you still don't know about Five Minute Friday, come on over to Kate's linkup and find out why I've been a part of it for over a year!

Haven: a place of refuge. An escape.
I could easily make a joke about being a mother and how the bathroom is a temporary haven. You close the door for a moment's peace.

But, I really did take this one a little deeper and pondered what I really consider a haven. What do I need when I'm overwhelmed? What refuge do I seek? Where or what is my haven?

It's music.

Music soothes me. Music moves me. I am made of music. You'll often catch me humming, unaware that it's audible, or perhaps I want to share my songs. I was given some awful news and asked to pray in mid-April. That day, I did not want to sing. I had no song, but I longed to hear a song that would comfort me. "I will exalt you" was my anthem.

In the middle of something unfathomable, a tragic loss for a friend and a young life gone much sooner than anybody thought, I was clinging to God's Sovereignty.

When we need to run, remember this Proverb. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run in to it, and they are saved." (Proverbs 18:10)

If we are running from our problems, but not running to God, we're running away from the real haven.
For me, He speaks to me through music. So does every other spirit in the world. I'm so careful to look at lyrics and sense the peace brought or disrupted with music.

My girls may not be current with the popular songs, but we are in this world and not of it. It's not to say the musician has to be on the Christian labels, but that I am careful which messengers are bringing their words and hearts into our house. I pray daily for His peace in my home.

P.S. please give me your URL or linkup number in the comments or I can't find you among the 90 some that post each week! :D