A Very Brief but Special Moment..

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I know this isn't the Battlefield of the Mind study for today.  I'll have to post it Sunday evening.  I'm leaving town early in the morning, so I want to write that post when I have a little more time.

But I did want to share this picture from last Friday night at about 3 a.m.  Evan and Todd had gotten home from California, but Todd and I were going to be leaving again in the morning for King's Island with the church and Todd wouldn't be coming home again for another week (mission trip with the senior high this week in Indianapolis).  We woke Olivia up so I could get a picture of all the kids at home!  Erich had to go back to Nashville last Sunday, so this was the only "time" that all four kids were home together.

I just wanted to share a picture of Erich, Evan, Todd, and Olivia....

Erich gets married September 18th!  He loves being a nurse.

Evan had a great internship in California.  He starts his senior year at Morehead State in a few weeks and will be doing his second internship with my friend's physical therapy business.

Todd is having a great mission trip and starts his senior year of high school next week!

Olivia is back into daily basketball practices and is enjoying her last few days of summer.  It has gone by too quickly!

I'll write again Sunday and we'll look at the question,

"When is my mind normal?"

Shew!  I'm thinking, "Not very often for me!"  :)

Love you all,

A Beautiful Promise.......

Lamentations 3:22-25 (NIV)

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
       therefore I will wait for him."

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
       to the one who seeks him-

My prayer today is that God would be your portion.

He is enough.

He is sufficient.

He is your Provider.

He is your Shepherd.

He is your Shelter.

He is your Sustainer.

He is your Comfort.

He is your Hope.

He is your Promise.

He is your EVERYTHING!

He is enough!

Let Him be your portion today!

If He is, then you will do what it says in Lamentations-

"wait for Him."

Don't rush God's working in your life.......He makes all things beautiful


I love you all,

Psalm 38:9

 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; and
my sighing is not hidden from you.


I just love that God chose to let us know that not even our sighing is hidden from Him.

Have you ever been in a season of life where deep sighs seem to carry you from moment to moment??  I sure have.

Grief brings deep sighing.

Stress is often accompanied by deep sighing.

Regret leads to deep sighing.

The burden of huge decisions can also cause deep sighing.

Thankfully, God hears all of these sighs.

In our moments of deepest pain where we often feel all alone and overwhelmed, we have a God who sits with us.......listening to our heavy sighs.

And I just have to believe that as we breathe in deeply, He somehow slips in with our breath and tries to fill us up with Him.  As we long for life to change, I believe that God is leading us to long for Him.

So, if you find yourself this morning feeling out of sorts in any way and if these feelings are bringing you sighs of any kind, remember God is sitting with you and He longs to be your Answer to your questions, your comfort in your sorrow, your hope in your despair, your everything in  your nothingness, your strength in your weakness, your joy in your sadness.......

Breathe in deeply and sigh.......

God hears you and He understands.

Even Jesus sighed and God listened.

Mark 7:31-35

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through

Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the

region of the Decapolis.  There some people

brought to him a man who was deaf and could

hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand

on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus

put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit

and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to

heaven and with a deep sigh said to him,

"Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ).

At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was

loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Thankful for a Savior who truly walked the same earthly road as us.......a road that brought Him to the point of sighing,

Battlefield of the Mind: Week Seven

With Erich here this past weekend, Friday came and went without me sharing week seven in our study of Joyce Meyer's book Battlefield obattlefield of the mindf the Mind.  This is such a great chapter, too!!

The chapter title is, "Think About What You Are Thinking About."

At first, you might wonder what that means exactly.  But let me give you an example from my own life.

Erich left yesterday to head back to Nashville, and watching him carry his suitcase to the car and then take down Hugo's dog cage and pack it in the backseat was not fun.  I loved having him back home.  It felt so much more like the old days just having his fun spirit here, laughing and being silly.

After he left, I easily could have slipped into some sort of sadness that hung on for days.  But I had to make a very conscious decision to think about good things....Erich loves his job.  Erich still enjoys coming home to visit.  Erich is excited about his wedding.  Erich loves being independent and he is a committed Christian.

The same thought process has helped me keep my grief from consuming me which it easily could.  I cannot allow myself to sit and dwell on the sadness of Nick having cancer and all that he endured.  I can't focus on what I could easily see as an injustice of loving God so much and yet having to walk the road of losing two children.

I have to focus on God's promises.  I have to choose to think about what I'm thinking about.........and sometimes this means that I actually have to stop and say, "Tammy, you are thinking about the wrong things."  At those times I claim the verse that says to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ." 

This doesn't mean that I never cry or I'm never sad, but it does mean that after I cry (usually in the shower), I wipe away my tears and I decide to live for God not for myself.  There is power in living for God, and there is freedom!  See, I believe with every inch of my being that I will be reunited with Adrienne and Nick for eternity.  So I agree with Paul when he says, "To live is Christ, to die is gain."  Tim texted me before his flight from Houston Friday and shared about a sermon where the minister had asked a lady if she was nervous about the flight she was about to make.  Her reply was, "I have one daughter in Cleveland and one in Heaven.  In 90 minutes, I will be with one of them."  I loved that!!  I want to live with that spirit daily.

So for this week, I'd love to challenge you to really "think about what you're thinking about."  Do you feel overwhelmed with things you need to do?  Make a list and start getting things done.  Whatever it is that may be burdening you today, try to turn it around and make something positive out of it.  After a while, you will begin to see that your entire attitude about life is transforming.

Psalm 119:15 (NLT)

I will study your commandments
      and reflect on your ways.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

I love you all so much,

Hugo's Big Day........

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We took Hugo out to see Grayson Lake.  He had a great time!

more hugo  0003_resize  Can you tell it was nearly 100 degrees here today....and this was an evening picture. We were soooooooooooooo hot!

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  We had to stop and let the Jordans meet Hugo.  John is such a dog-lover..can't you tell?  Our son Todd is named Todd Jordan..after this precious family who came running to our house the morning we woke up and discovered that Adrienne was not breathing.  Martha tried to do CPR (she is a nurse), and she held Adrienne until the coroner arrived.  I don't remember a lot about that day except that they were there from early morning until late at night-mowing and making a lot of phone calls.  I remember thinking that if we ever had another child somehow "Jordan" would be in the name.

We love you, John and Martha!!!more hugo  0024_resize We took a little swim when we got home!  more hugo  0021_resize Even Hugo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim, Todd, and Evan pull in about 1:30 this morning.  They are flying from Houston to Lexington this very minute!

Then we'll be doing laundry and getting Todd repacked to leave for Mission Indy (a mission trip with our church) at 8 a.m. in the morning!

Olivia and I are heading out with them (just for tomorrow) for a day at King's Island with the youth group.  We'll come back home tomorrow night with the junior high kids.  If you are planning to be at King's Island tomorrow (Sat., July 24th), please let me know!  Email me or something! :)

Thankful for some time with Erich,

Early Morning Thoughts....

It's been a while since I've had any early morning thoughts......well, early morning when the sun was rising anyway.  I guess 1:00 a.m. is early morning, but it's just not quite the same as 6 a.m.

I woke up to the sound of Hugo whimpering in his cage, and I decided that good grandmas get up and take care of puppies while their sons sleep...

So, I've been out this morning walking around in the wet grass with Erich's puppy.

I've missed the early morning sounds-birds chirping as if to say "there's lots to do today, let's get going!"

I've missed the sun peeking up over the hill beyond our house.  I love that the sun is so faithful to rise every morning.....how can anyone not believe in God's faithfulness when they open their eyes to the world around them?

I've missed having some quiet time in the morning before things get hopping.

Yes, as much as I enjoy being a night owl, I think I'm ready to transition back to being a morning person.

It was so funny watching Hugo try to get our dog Peppy to "play" with him in the kitchen a little bit ago.  Hugo would pounce toward Peppy, throwing his paws up in the air and jumping towards him......hoping that Peppy would pounce back.  But Peppy just stood there in the kitchen at 6:30 a.m., looking at Hugo as if he were crazy.  It was hilarious.  Peppy looked irritated and tired while Hugo looked ready to run around the college campus across the street from our house.

I want to have a Hugo spirit!

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Wanting to live with a renewed mind and spirit today,


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Just wanted to share a picture of Erich and Mallory's new puppy, Hugo! 

He is so funny! 

He follows whoever is walking around the house! :)

Erich is on his way!!!!!!!!!!!! Evan will be soon!!!

Remember our son Erich???  He moved to Nashville at the beginning of the summer to be a nurse at Middle Tennessee Medical Center and is getting married on September 18th!

Well, he has four days off in a row and is coming home to visit!!!  And he's bringing his new puppy, Hugo!!!  Our first granddog! :)  I'm sure I'll take lots of pictures!

I am so excited to hug him!

And remember Evan?  He has been in California all summer doing an internship at Warner Brothers Studio's Fitness Center.  He is arriving late tomorrow night along with Tim and Todd who have been out there for a week visiting him and sightseeing!!!  I'm excited to hug them all too!

Olivia and I have been having a week of girl time here - enjoying a little different pace, and we are now bracing ourselves for the return of the boys!!!!!!!!!!!!

None of them know about our little Miracle yet, so we'll get to introduce them to the new kitty! 

As difficult as goodbyes can be, they sure make the hellos exciting!

That's what I want to cling to as I long for Heaven and the chance to hug Adrienne after 18 years and Nick after a year and a half so far.  I read about how those "who sow in tears will reap songs of joy" and how  God  promises to "turn our mourning into dancing," and I understand these verses when I think about the joy I will experience as I walk down the golden streets toward my children's mansions!  Oh my!!!  I get excited just thinking about that day!!!!

For now, I will look forward to hugging my boys who are  here with me!

But, oh what joy will fill my soul when this earth passes away and we all stand in the presence of our loved ones who have gone before and even more than that as we all stand in the presence of our Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I will fall on my knees and barely be able to look up.  To say "thank you" in person to the One who has comforted me in my deep sadness, who has strengthened me in my greatest fears, who has provided for me in my time of need, who has loved me when I felt unlovely, who has sustained me when I felt I couldn't go on................

Thank you, Jesus, for being everything to me!

So, for today, I will watch for Erich's car to pull in the driveway, but as always, I will glance Heavenward often in hopes that Jesus may be showing up too!  I do believe it could be any day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anxiously awaiting so many arrivals,

Uncovering a Treasure...


columbus 0008_resize I returned to the pile of trash today to see if the desk was still there!  It was!

Thank you, Brett, for meeting me there with your trailer to help me dig it out and bring it home! :)

new desk 0002_resizenew desk 0001_resize  I took out all the drawers, washed the desk off (it was a little warped from all the rain,) and found a gallon of paint in my closet that I had used for trim earlier this summer.

Then I painted it white!

Here is my new desk! 

Trish, I placed it right below the wall hanging you brought me when Nick was so sick.

It says, "Happy moments, praise God, difficult moments, seek God, quiet moments, worship God, painful moments, trust God, EVERY MOMENT, THANK GOD."

I love these words!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you, Trish! :)

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I moved a few baskets around from different rooms and bought a $6 lamp at Family Dollar......... new desk 0009_resizenew desk 0006_resize

Now I have a little place to write while in the same room as the kids!!!

I just love it!

Here's what it looks like at night!new desk 0010_resize

I'm just thinking that if an old throw-away desk can be transformed into something so useful that surely GOD can do something AMAZING with each of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you all,

Is Your Gift Hiding????????

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I'm going back to this pile of trash today........

Because that blue desk is too cute to be thrown away.

If it's still there and if it survived our major rainfall last night, I'm digging it out and bringing it home.

Just looking at this picture makes me wonder what treasures we all have hidden under a lot of "junk." 

Are there some things you need to pull away from in order for God to use your treasures?  Do you ever feel treasure-less? 

I just want to encourage you today to look deep inside yourself and ask God to reveal to you the specialness He has placed within you and only you.

I have a feeling if this desk could talk, it would say, "I'm of no value to anyone anymore."  But I look at this desk and see so much potential.

That's how God looks at you.

Feel Valued Today!

You are a treasure in the eyes of God,

Blog Give-Away!

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We placed an order for more Nick stickers, because so many of Nick's friends were asking for them.  I love seeing them on cell phones, gym bags, and lap tops!  The new stickers have Joshua 1:9 on them, so it's a great way to share God's love with people you meet!

I'd love to give you one too!

Please post a comment if you would like a Nick sticker!  I'll do my best to mail or deliver one to everyone who leaves a post! 

I love you all!

Topsy, please do not look at the time of this post!  :) 

Battlefield of the Mind Week Six

Chapter six is extremely short and yet extremely powerful!

Basically, the chapter is making the point that when it comes to God and His Word and His promises, we have GOT to make a decision to BELIEVE!

In my life, I have had seasons of great faith and season of great doubt.  Joyce refers to these seasons of doubt as times when we are being attacked by a mind-binding spirit.

In this chapter, she very clearly says that we must pray and believe that God will free us from these evil spirits and destructive thought patterns.

For me, I relate most things back to my grief because that is a part of my life journey that is still very, very painful and very, very real.  I miss Nick so desperately that I sometimes think my heart will simply explode in pain.  I could easily slip into a spirit of depression, anger, bitterness, or other negative spirit.  However, I have chosen to believe God's Word which promises that for Nick to be absent from his body means that he is present with the Lord.  I have chosen to believe that God numbered Nick's days before one of them came to be, and that God was not shocked when Nick went Home earlier than I ever wanted.  I have chosen to believe that God will transform my mourning into dancing, so I wake up every morning "crying out to God" and trusting Him to hear.

Today as a series of events in a parking garage led me to a third option for parking my car, I discovered that a bright shiny penny was right beside my door as I stepped out into the garage. It was a 2008 penny..the year Nick died.  As I returned to the parking garage, look what I noticed that I had not even seen when driving in!!!!!!!!!!!!sleepover 0038_resize

I've parked in this garage many times through the years, but I had never noticed the name of the garage or the measurement of the parking clearance! 

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Nick gave himself the nickname 7-11 when he found out he had a second brain tumor at the age of 11.  His first tumor was at age 7.  That's how we named his website in 2006.  (Click here to go to his website.)

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Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that choosing to believe in You and Your promises is a decision I will never regret.

It is a decision that changes EVERYTHING about how I live.

Lord, even in my grief I choose You,

Meet Our Miracle.......

Sunday afternoon, I wasn't expecting to answer my phone and hear a sweet little voice ask this question, "Do you want a kitten?"

My first thought was, "You've got to be kidding........we just found homes for six little kitties just a few weeks ago!"

But as my friend's grandson went on to tell me the story of this little kitty, my heart softened.

See, my friend was driving with her two grandsons in the car as they witnessed the passenger in the vehicle in front of them tossing something out his window.  At first, it appeared to be a black hat, but as they looked more closely they realized with horror that a tiny kitten had literally been tossed to the side of the street.

How could anyone do such a thing?

As I thought about the cruelty of this act, I remembered very quickly that Olivia's life began in an extremely similar way.  She was dropped off of a bridge and abandoned at just two days old and was left laying with her head split open from front to back.  Thankfully, a policeman in the village found her and took her to a nearby hospital where she was taken care of until they could place her in an orphanage.

And thankfully, my friend stopped and rescued this sweet little kitten as it stumbled around on the side of the road.sleepover 0005_resize I don't know if Olivia truly comprehends how her life began, but somehow I think she has a sense of just how blessed she is to be in a home where she is so loved.   And as she held this little kitten all evening, the bond was amazing.  

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Marbles (our cat) has a new little friend and we are calling him Miracle!

sleepover 0003_resize Thank you, sweet boys, for sharing this gift of love with us!

Oh, I love you both so much! :)

I Love India.........

sleepover 0032_resizeMy passion for the people of India is something I could talk about all day long, so I don't know why I was so nervous this morning as I drove to Carter Caves to share a little about the Indian culture with area 5th - 8th graders.

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Once I arrived and got started I could tell that God took over and brought my thoughts together in some sort of way that I hope made a difference in the life of each child who was listening.sleepover 0031_resize

I just want kids to realize how different life is on the other side of the world for so many children.  I want them to appreciate what God has given them, and I want them to learn to be thankful...........

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   We played a couple of fun games using just one sock, and I think the kids were amazed at how much fun they could have..........I really believe that kids are longing to live simpler lives. 

India may be far, far away in many ways, but right this minute part of India is cuddling with me and sleeping with her arm across my arm.........

Knowing how close this country is to my heart compels me to do more.


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Olivia, her friend Cameron, and I had such a nice weekend with my mom and dad.  We didn't get home til midnight Saturday night, though, and I spent yesterday afternoon doing laundry and getting ready for a class I have to teach this morning at Carter Caves for Camp Kids on India.  hoiday world 0020_resize

I kept thinking that I needed to sit down and write the Battlefield of the Mind lesson for last week and ended up with 6 girls coming over to stay all night with Olivia.........an end of the summer sleepover......... hoiday world 0066_resize

So after a campfire and late night swimming, I chose to head to bed at 3:30 a.m. with several girls still awake. hoiday world 0040_resize

And now, I am needing to get out the door to teach these morning classes, so I thought I'd share some pictures for this morning and write later tonight.  I love you all! hoiday world 0028_resize  hoiday world 0089_resize hoiday world 0033_resize hoiday world 0036_resize

Remember Randy, who lived with us in May???  His whole family was at Holiday World too!  What a surprise!!!!! hoiday world 0025_resize hoiday world 0090_resize hoiday world 0052_resize Mom won a prize at a baby shower we attended with her!!! :)

hoiday world 0071_resize hoiday world 0054_resize Until tonight!

Until Sunday.........

rest time

I'm slipping away to my mom's for a couple of days with Olivia.  I will add the Battlefield of the Mind lesson for this week on Sunday afternoon.

I love you all and I will miss you!  Summer is slipping through our fingers, though, so we're trying to do a few little things that were on our list. :)

Psalm 62:5-6

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
       my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Much love,

How Deeply Do I Love....Really.....


india and end of april 2009 1808 As I was gathering photos from our trip last April to send to my cousin Tanner so that he could work on the poster for the Faith's Journey Project, I was struck with the reality of how much I had forgotten about the great need for hope and love in India.

india and end of april 2009 1047 With every click on my computer keyboard, I was haunted by the question, "How much do you love these people, Tammy?  Really????"2009-04-22 1748 resized As I stare into the eyes of this little boy, I find myself asking, "How can an average American make a difference in the life of a people on the other side of the world?"

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Truthfully, at first, I feel overwhelmed by India.

But then I remember how Jesus was able to use one little boy's lunch to feed thousands, and I feel a stirring inside me. 

A stirring of potential that comes from God and God alone.

This potential lies inside of each of us!!!

So I believe there are several things we can do to make a difference in India!!

First, we can all pray daily that God will bring missionaries into these beautiful people's lives to teach them about the love of Jesus.

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Then we can choose to support a missionary who is serving in this country. 

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And maybe another way you'll be led to help is by joining us on Faith's Journey!

Just think, hundreds of people doing one simple thing-

having a yard sale-

could actually produce enough resources to build a kitchen and dining hall that could meet the needs of over 200 orphans at a time!

india and end of april 2009 592 You can make a difference!!!!!!

More info will be coming soon!

If you've already had a yard sale, consider setting part of your profit aside to mail to Mid-India Christian Mission!

Details about how to make a donation to this ministry will be given in an upcoming blog post!

Thank you for all your prayers in the past few days! I'm feeling so much better!

In Him,

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