Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Little Things"

"Little Things" by Elisabeth Elliot
When we were growing up our parents taught us, by both word and example, to pay attention to little things.
If you do a thing at all, do it thoroughly: make the sheets really smooth on the bed, sweep all the corners and move all the chairs when you sweep the kitchen, roll the toothpaste tube neatly and put the cap back on, clean the hair out of your brush each time you use it, hang your towels straight on the rod, fold your napkin and put it into the silver ring before you leave the table, never wet your finger when you turn pages.
They kept promises made to us as faithfully as they kept those made to adults. They taught us to do the same. You didn't accept an invitation to a party and then not turn up, or agree to help with a Vacation Bible School and back out because a more interesting activity presented itself...
When I went to boarding school the same principles I had been taught at home were emphasized. There was a hallway with small oriental rugs which we called "Character Hall" because the headmistress, Mrs. DuBose, could look down that hall from the armchair where she sat in the lobby and spot any student who kicked up a corner of the rug and did not replace it. She would call out to correct him, "It's those tiny little things in your life which will crack you up when you get out of this school!"
In the little things our character was revealed. Our response would make our break us. "Don't go around with a Bible under your arm if you didn't sweep under the bed," she said, for she would have no pious talk coming out of a messy room.
"Great thoughts go best with common duties. Whatever therefore may be your office regard it as a fragment in an immeasurable ministry of love" (Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott, b. 1825).
It is not easy to find children or adults who are dependable, careful, thorough, and faithful. So many lives seem honeycombed with small failures, neglectful of the little things that make the difference between order and chaos. Perhaps it is because they are so seldom taught that visible things are signs of an invisible reality; that common duties may be "an immeasurable ministry of love."
The spiritual training of souls must be inseparable from practical disciplines, as Jesus so plainly taught; "the man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches! And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?" (Luke 16:10-12 JB).
From "Keep a Quiet Heart" by Elisabeth Elliot
What a wonderful passage to ponder again and again.
Have a blessed and restful night. In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our TV-free Week

This is the "children's" vegetable patch that we built and planted this week. We planted sugar snap peas, romaine lettuce, spinach, rainbow chard, broccoli, and there are strawberries planted in the holes of the cinder blocks. We will be adding some marigolds and pansies for color. I cannot wait for it to fill in. It will be bursting with yummy things to eat.

Our week "unplugged" included me making some interesting observations:

I can mix up, in my Bosch, 6 loaves of bread dough and get it divided and ready for rising in the 30 minutes I usually spend on the internet after breakfast. Big conviction for me, especially since I cannot "find" the time to bake bread quite often. Our computer hutch looks much better closed. It is usually open with the laptop *ready* for me to jump on and get any information I need.
Speaking of computer time~ This week made me realize that the internet is a valuable means for finding information and for communicating. It is vital to our homeschooling. It is useful for our finances. It is something, when well managed, can be a great asset to me, instead of an idol. That is the ticket after all. Putting Christ first, and all else after.
We don't listen to near enough music. My children were accustomed to watching a little TV in the mornings before breakfast. I walked downstairs this morning to find they had turned on the CD player and were singing and dancing to "I Will Sing of Your Love Forever" ~ Oh, does that bless my mama-heart.
I also realized that we are actually less plugged in than I thought. The transition was the most difficult for my 11 year old son, who spends much of his free time dreaming of video games and what movie he might want to watch on the weekend. It will take him awhile to adjust to the permanent changes that are a result of last week.
1- There will be no more TV watching in the daytime hours. When Daddy gets home he likes to watch TV. Unless on the rare occasion when I am feeling ill and we all snuggle in the big bed together and watch a DVD.
2- We will keep our "Family Movie Night" on Saturdays. We enjoy picking out a DVD and making appetizer type food to enjoy together while watching a family movie.
3- Computer time for my son will be allowed but monitored. He uses an online curriculum for some of his schoolwork and also enjoys Zoo Tycoon. He use the internet quite often to look up animals and that type of thing to draw. All of those things are learning experiences, so permitted in moderation.
4- Video games are limited to 30 minutes per day.
All in all, I am so glad that we did this. When we pull back completely and then add back screen time sparingly it is so much easier, in my opinion, than just cutting back.
I pray that you all had a blessed week. In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, April 27, 2008

To Say Hello :~)

Coming by to say a quick hello, and to say I have missed being here this week.

The weekend is quickly passing by and has been filled with lots of wonderful family time outdoors.

I had thought I would be posting yesterday, but I think I will continue to gather my thoughts on being TV-free for one more day.

I have lots of pictures to show of what we've been up to this past week.

I pray that you are all having a blessed and restful weekend.
In God's Love, Tami

Monday, April 21, 2008


We are unplugging this week.

I am going to be checking email daily, and I'll reply to any emails this weekend.
We are going to be participating Monday through Friday.

We are unplugging the TV, video games, and the computer.
(except for bill-paying and homeschool lessons)

Check out this website and feel free to join in!

I'll post on Saturday and let you know how it goes.

Have a blessed and productive week.
In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, April 20, 2008

One of My Favorites

I thank You God for most this amazing
E.E. Cummings

I thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(I who have died am alive again today,
And this is the sun's birthday;
this is the birthday of life and of love and wings:
and of the gay great happening illimitably earth)

How should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no of all nothing--
Human merely being doubt unimaginable You?

(Now the ears of my ears awake and
Now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

This has to be one of my favorite poems of all time. In high school, I chose this poem to interpret, and to create a collage from.

Cummings' words just make me want to go outside and experience all of God's glorious creation.

Green is my *favorite* color. Green has always been that color that makes me feel alive. So much of God's creation is green, and lush, and beautiful.

We are having a truly relaxing weekend. So nice, so leisurely, so simple. We tidied our nest yesterday, and now today, rest. And maybe some baking :~)

I pray that you all have a glorious and restful Sunday. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My *Gem*

"The Golden Gems of Life" by S.C. Ferguson & E.A. Allen.

It is finally here. I have shared *gems* from this precious book before, and I now have an original copy of my very own.

My search for this book began after Jewels quoted from it, on her"Eyes of Wonder" blog. I was so enthralled by the beautiful language and the timeless wisdom.

My challenge was to find a copy that was in decent condition and didn't cost a fortune. I found this very loved, and a little tattered 1883 version for $10.00. A steal in my book.

The book included hidden in it's pages, the original receipt, at a cost of $3.50 to the purchaser in 1883.

When I touch the pages, I can imagine the hands that have read through the passages over the last 125 years.

Wow....that's what I love about old things, they have had such a life before me. What did the original owner dress like, did she read it by kerosene lamp in her favorite rocking chair? What fun to imagine. I can see little markings she made in passages that she wanted to remember.

It's pages are filled with beautiful wisdom and such artistic writings. Some of the more interesting content titles are Home Circle, Duties of Married Life, True Nobility, God in Nature, and so many more that take me back in time.
Here are some of my favorites:

"Kindness makes sunshine wherever it goes. It folds its way into the hidden chambers of the heart, and brings forth hidden treasures, which harshness would have sealed up forever. Kindness makes the mother's lullaby sweeter than the song of a lark.....Kindness is the real law of life, the link that connects earth with heaven."

"Either patience must be a quality graciously inherent in the heart of man, or it must be acquired as the lesson of year's experience, if he would enjoy the greatest good life".

"And say to mothers what a holy charge is theirs; with what a kingly power their love might rule the fountains of the new-born mind; warn them to wake at early dawn and sow good seed before the world has sown its tares." ~ Mrs. Sigourney

One quiet evening very soon, I will spend some time pouring over this precious book in it's entirety. What a fascinating look into life 100+ years ago, and how wonderful to know it's wisdom still speaks today.
If you get a chance you can read over parts of the book online here.

Have a truly blessed and restful night with your precious treasures. In God's Love, Tami

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today, I am most grateful for the dailiness of my life.

God gives me sheer joy and contentment when I am simply living and *do*ing my daily life.
It is when I let myself get too busy or distracted that I lose that joy and contentment.
When my eyes wander from Him and my purpose, that is when I cannot see the joy.
The simple tasks of my daily life, bring such fulfillment to me, and love, warmth, and nourishment to my family.
All praise be to God for this wife and mama life He has gifted me.

Today I see:

Spring flowers in a cut crystal vase on my table.
Two little boys with fresh hair cuts.
A freshly feathered nest all tidy and clean.
Green grass growing tall and lush.
Four children eagerly awaiting a day out with Grandma.
One mama who has much joy.

Have a joyful and blessed Friday.

In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, April 6, 2008

One of My Favorites

"How Deep the Father's Love for Us"
(Written by Stuart Townend)

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain and searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds that mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to Glory
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon his shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

I love this song. It always brings tears to my eyes.
Have a blessed and restful Sunday with your treasures.

In God's Love, Tami

Friday, April 4, 2008

Grateful Friday

This week I am grateful for so many things.

Firstly, there is a very sweet and truly amazing lady named Peggy at The Simple Woman. Her writing always encourages and inspires. God has given her an amazing gift. Her recent posts on "Setting the Keeper Free" have truly given me a sense of confidence that I can keep up on this home of mine.

Yesterday, she bestowed such a sweet honor upon me. I am so grateful and humbled by her "Simple Woman" for April recognition.

Go to Peggy's blog and be truly encouraged. She loves the Lord, her family, and her home very much, and I always leave her "place" with a sense of love and warmth.

Thank you Peggy for thinking of me. I really do love to find simplicity in my days.

I am grateful that the Lord has given me every part of my life. The struggles, the triumphs, the lessons, the blessings. Every season.

Have a blessed Friday. In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"A Child's Vision"

"My child took a crayon
In her little hand
And started to draw
As if by command.

I looked on with pleasure
But couldn't forsee
What the few simple lines
Were going to be.

What are you drawing?
I asked, by and by
I'm making a picture
Of God in the sky.

But nobody knows
What God looks like, I sighed.
They will when I'm finished
She calmly replied."

-Sherwin Kaufman
Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul

How precious are the little ones who see so plainly the face of God.
Thank you Lord for my sweet treasures. Amen.

Have a blessed night of rest. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What to Wear ?

Am I the only late-30's, Christ-loving, blessedly-busy lady who has issues with dressing modestly *and* fashionably?

I could go into a long-winded rant about how frustrated I generally am about clothing, but instead I will talk about where I am in this walk, what God has put on my heart regarding this very personal subject.

Modesty is one of my concerns. I know that modesty means a little something different to everyone.

What it means to the Webster's dictionary is:

Modesty~ 1 : freedom from conceit or vanity 2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

But, what does it mean to God?

There are several verses in the bible that speak to modesty of dress as well as modesty of behavior. This is the most common one I've heard.

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

For me modesty boils down to not drawing too much attention to myself through dress or behavior. It is also my deepest hearts desire to be a good example to my husband and children in my clothing choices.

Another of my concerns is being age appropriate - and what is that anyway.........I am in my late 30's and there are just certain trends that are totally inappropriate. Does anybody even make real clothing for thirtysomething-busy-wife-and-mom types? (barring sweatpants of course...LOL)

My husband likes a certain type of clothing on me. He is more liberal than I am, and I want to please his eyes. I also want to please the Lord. I know that pleasing my husband does please the Lord.....Oh the agony :~)

Can I just say that I *love* dresses and skirts. I find it *very* difficult to find everyday dresses that are not jumpers (no disrespect to jumper dresses it's just that they never fit me right.......I do better with some sort of waistline.....). Skirts are a bit easier to find- I would love to find a dress that is really made for the kind of work we mama's do. All cotton, flattering, mid-calf, comfy....elusive.

What do I do in the winter though? I have resorted to wearing jeans again just to keep my legs warm. Again, nothing against pants, I just *love* skirts and dresses.

And of course, price is always a factor. We are thrifty people in our house, so I sometimes have to search a bit to find clothing that fits the bill.
Oh I could go on and on............

Have any of you found the ticket? Any suggestions, any cool websites? Make my own clothing perhaps!
Oops, I apologize for getting a little *rant-like*.

Sometimes it just helps to throw it out there. Thank you for listening to my internal ramblings. I am certain though, that I am not the only one that struggles with the clothing issue.

Leave me a comment on what works for you or if you have a great resource to share.

I have come across a few websites for fashionably modest clothing:

I have been thinking and praying about this post. I wanted to choose my words carefully as not to offend anyone with my words or opinions. Thank you for extending grace to me.

Thanks again for listening to my chatter. I do appreciate you all so much.

Have a beautiful and blessed Wednesday. In God's Love, Tami