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Archive for November, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a little girl I imagined my name was Tamara–so much more elegant and interesting than plain Tammy.  I wanted to do amazing things…serve in the Peace Corps…write a bestseller…perform on Broadway.  Even now–mid-way through life and buried beneath loads of laundry and books about childrearing–I have dreams of being applauded as I belt out tunes to Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera.  In reality,  I’m yelling through the door at my teenaged son who chose not to go to school because the traffic jam was too difficult to navigate.

I’m tired nearly all of the time and always seem to have crumbs on the kitchen floor.  My closets are only organized once or twice each year and the kids rarely wear matching socks.  Where do they all go? 

My husband and I watch movies in installments because we fall asleep.  The towel rack in the bathroom has fallen off–again. And, we’re happy.

Our home isn’t quiet–how could it be with three boys and a feisty little girl?  The children argue, have tantrums, and lose their homework.  Dave and I feel overwhelmed most of the time.

God may not have given me a stage on which to perform.  I haven’t travelled to third world countries to hold impoverished babies.  Instead, my challenges, joys, sorrows, and delights are directed by and immersed in this messy life of motherhood, marriage, and moments of worshipping the God who provided it all.

Joy can’t be found in the what-if’– it’s in those moments that make up living.  I think I like being plain Tammy.

Verse for Reflection:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy SpiritRomans 15:13

Recommended Reading

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I can see them in my mind.  Men–worn and thin–browned by their daily toil beneath the hot sun.  Women–their hands raw from gleaning the last piece of grain from a heavy stalk.  Children–kneeling in thanksgiving before a god who doesn’t exist–hoping they’ll have enough food to eat next month.

I leaf through magazines considering my family’s Thanksgiving meal, but am distracted by the article about Pongal, southern India’s harvest festival.  I try to imagine a celebration that honors the sun and the rain.  I try to envision emaciated cattle adorned in bright colors as if they deserve more honor than the God-man who died reddened by his own blood.  I try to grasp what it means to forget that He is the One who offers a bounty of goodness to His children.

Pausing, I am humbled.  I realize I forget His goodness every day.  In the mid-life muddle of  raising a family, I get caught up somewhere between dishes and driving lessons and begin to worry about children…finances…and tomorrow’s dinner menu.

And I’m reminded that even when I forget Him, I am not forgotten.  My hope is sure because my God has existed eternally.  Friend, He invites us to an everlasting table–a feast of matchless blessing.  Won’t you join me?

Scripture for Reflection

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!  Psalm 34:8 NLT

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Man walking away at dawn along road

The Prodigal walks the lonely road–determined…defiant…desperate.                                                                                                                                       Knowing his need, but unwilling to turn back he heads aimlessly onward.  Each weary step echoing his thoughts, “Help me. Help me. Help me.”

And The Prodigal’s father works hour after hour– captured by his unrelenting schedule–only to be greeted by the weight of sorrow and concern at the day’s end .  The Prodigal’s mother feels as if life moves as slowly and methodically as the boy on the lonely road.  Let me help.  Let me help.  Let me help.

But there is no word from the boy and the mother wonders, “Where is my boy sleeping tonight?” And she prays that God’s very warmth and presence would surround the Prodigal.  Then, she waits for tomorrow.

Scripture for Reflection

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.”  Luke 15: 4-7

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