Saturday, February 15, 2014

Faithful Friday - "Love Does"

I know it's Saturday, but even so, I wanted to join Joy's Faithful Friday this week!


Joy received the book, Love Does, by Bob Goff, as a birthday gift.  We'd heard it was an awesome book.  She started reading it and kept passing along snippets of it to me as she was reading, and just how much she loved it.  Since I couldn't wait until she was done, I've been picking it up and reading when she puts it down.



It is so inspirational.  And although I'm only chapter 7, I have to say, it's so thought provoking.  And it's funny!

Just from those first seven chapters, the thought that keep flooding my mind is just how much of a difference we can make by demonstrating love.  Even if that little act of love doesn't seem like much to us.

Particularly, in this book, I'm talking about a young Christian man that, although he knows that Bob (the author of the book) is probably headed in a direction that isn't ideal for his life (quitting school and going on an adventure), wisely lets him know that he's "with him".  That wasn't just something he "said".  No, he put action to his words.  He grabs his backpack and sleeping bag right then, and goes with Bob on this crazy adventure.  He sticks with Bob.....showing him love, God's love, even though he knows it's not going to work out.  He never once says "I told you so" or "I didn't think this was a good idea."

Looking back,  Bob sees what an awesome sacrifice it was for this young man to make. This radical young man made an impression on Bob's life because he was someone that didn't just say he was a Christian and "preach to him," but he sincerely loved Bob and lived out what the Bible said.  When they returned from the adventure, Bob learned even more of what a sacrifice this young man made by going with him.  (I don't want to tell you everything because you really should read it).  So get the book and read it!

Anyway, it really got me to thinking.  I'm sure this young man that sacrificed his time, comfort, and more to go along with Bob (on a crazy adventure that he knew was crazy before they began), probably never thought just how many people that one decision would impact.  When I think about not only the lives that this young Christian man has touched alone, but all of those that Bob Goff has touched, just because he invested in Bob at that point in his life, it is just an awesome picture of what Love Does!  It snowballs!

Love Does.  It catches on.  It spreads.  It makes a difference.

What if that young man hadn't invested in Bob?  I wonder if Bob would have lived a life for Jesus?  I wonder if he would have traveled the world touching lives?  I wonder if he would have written a life-changing book?

If nothing else, this reminds me that even the smallest acts of love.....doing....showing love.....make a difference.  And in that moment that we are demonstrating that small act of love, chances are we probably don't have a clue just how much difference we are making until it has the chance to completely manifest.  That may take years.

Because God IS Love, letting God work through us by being his hands, feet, and voice, is doing what God called us to do.  We are doing God's work.

God IS Love.  If we are Christians, we have God.  We have love.

And Love Does!  That's an action word!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥

Friday, January 31, 2014

Faithful Friday - "Creation"

I'm barely slipping in my Faithful Friday post, but it IS still Friday!  So here you go!   :)


I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Answers in Genesis or the Creation Museum, but in this family, we love both!  Both have played a critical part in equipping us with the knowledge to defend creation and our faith in God.

It's so important to us that we give our children a solid foundation on creation origins, so that when they meet the "professionals", "professors", and the "scientists" of this world and are told that we evolved from monkeys and that this earth was formed from a big bang, they will have the knowledge and information they need to back their beliefs.  And they will know that they never have to start without the Bible, because we believe what the Bible says concerning how we and this earth and everything on it was created.

I'm sure you've heard of Bill Nye the Science Guy.  My oldest son, Colt, grew up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy.  He's funny and entertaining and he makes science fun, BUT, he is a strong believer in evolution. And we're not.  We believe God's Word.  All of it.  That includes the first 11 chapters of Genesis, which tells us of creation.  Well, Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis will be debating Bill Nye this coming Tuesday, February 4th, on "Is creation a viable model of origins?"  I can't wait to hear this!  Ken Ham is a wonderful speaker!



So today, I'd like to invite you to do a few things:

1) Go to the Creation Museum if and when you get the chance.  Your eyes will be opened.  If you have doubts or just need more answers, you will find them there!  Creation makes perfect sense!  It's an awesome place! It is centrally located in the U.S., within an 8 hour drive of most places in the U.S.  We can't wait to go back when the Noah's Ark replica is completed!  The Creation Museum made quite an impression on us!

2) Visit the Answers in Genesis website and even better yet, order some books.  Not only do we have many apologetic books from there, but our science curriculum comes from Answers in Genesis.  There's a wealth of information through Answers in Genesis.

3) Next, plan to watch the debate.  It can be watched live-streamed online for free.  For more information on that, you can click here.  After the debate is over, it will be sold as well through AiG on DVD.

4) And last of all, would you pray for Ken Ham.....for wisdom....as he debates.


For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV)

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I would also like to ask prayers for Joy.  She will be performing in The Chinese New Year Festival tomorrow.  This past week, she had type B flu.  She is dealing with a nasty cough.  Would you pray she is able to get through her interview and her dance performances without coughing?  And we would appreciate prayers that the rest of us get rid of our coughs and don't catch what she's had.  And we praise the Lord for getting her over it quickly....it could have lasted much longer...the fever and all, that is!  We know that it was God that brought her through it so quickly! Thank you so much for the prayers!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Be Blessed!
 ♥ Tammy ♥

Saturday, January 25, 2014

♥ Always Dancing ♥

Ever since she was a little bit thing, Joy has danced.....around the house, in stores....it just never mattered where she was.  She danced. 



I have video footage of her in sponge rollers, doing some sort of made-up bull dance to Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like a Woman", as well as Little Miss Graceful twirling like a ballerina to music.  She always pulled us into it with her, whether it was twirling her, twisting with her, whatever fit.  We laugh about this and she just says, "The music speaks to me....I can't help it, okay?" 

So through the years, she has done all kinds of dance.  She started ballet and tap at the age of almost 3.  She then added jazz to that, dancing all of those for almost 9 years.



Then we went to China to get Luke.  If you have followed my blog for very long, you may remember the video footage of her dancing in the park in China with the Chinese dancers.  As we stood there watching the dancers, I was watching her as she watched them.  Her feet were moving...she was watching every move.  She was 11 then.  She wanted to be out there dancing.  She asked her daddy if she could dance with them.  We ended up leaving that day without her dancing.  I think her dad just didn't know how they would welcome a foreigner dancing with them and if she could indeed keep up.  Well we came back the next day and I just knew this opportunity just might be one in a life time.  She looked at her daddy with the puppy dog eyes and asked if she could dance.  Of course, I helped out a little.  :)  She went up and asked the lady in charge,  and they all  gladly welcomed her.  And she did a great job keeping up.  She was just learning as she went.  They loved her!   She drew quite the crowd...this 11 year old American blond haired girl dancing with the Chinese ladies in the park.  You can see that video here on my blog.

It's just in her.  She has to dance or bust.

Well we took a break from dancing for about a year after Luke came home because of how time consuming it had become. She had this new little brother and she wanted to enjoy every minute of it.  We needed to simplify.  We were driving 45 minutes one way three times a week to dance.  But just like I suspected when we were away from dancing, she missed it.  So we found other avenues.  With her love of China, we discovered the Chinese dancing.  And she has most recently added swing dancing to that as well.

This next Saturday is the Chinese New Year Festival.  It's the big event she missed last year when she was in the hospital.  You may remember that.  She had the dress rehearsal for that last week.  Here are a couple of pictures from that day.





We are praying all goes well this year and she does indeed get to dance at the festival.  Being the worrier she is, it's in the back of her mind.  We're praying all goes well!

As far as Joy is concerned, there are so many types of dance to explore and try out, and so little time.  On her list to try are Irish dancing, Flamingo dancing, Salsa dancing, and more ballroom dances. 

She's loving the swing dancing, by the way!

It's so fitting that she has a ballet bar and mirror in her room and these words above it:



Dance like no one's watching
 
   
 
♥ Tammy ♥
 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Faithful Friday - "I Have Set You Apart"

I've really missed participating in Joy's Faithful Fridays.  I'm back today with a devotion that I read the other morning from one of my favorite devotionals, His Princess (Love Letters from Your King) by Sheri Rose Shepherd.   I just love how personal these devotions are, and they always hit me right where I need it.  :)


Often times I try to "fix things" instead of immediately turning them over to God.  I mean, I suppose when it's something so big that it seems impossible for me, it is probably easier for me to turn it over to God because I know there's NO WAY I can handle it.  But when it's the smaller things, I tend to try to handle it first, before handing it over to God.  He really does want me to just give it to Him from the start, big or small.  That takes so much pressure off me.  I tend to be somewhat hard on myself, so this one hit me right where I needed.  I hope it blesses you as well!

My Princess.....I Have Set You Apart

I have called you to be set apart, just as I called those who came before you.  I know this calling will sometimes come with great cost, but the eternal rewards are priceless and beyond comparison.  Just as I did with Queen Esther, I have given you the ability to walk in such a way so all will see that you are divinely Mine.  Some will admire you for your dedication to Me, and some will want you to fail rather than follow your lead.  You may fall because you are not perfect, but your mistakes can be the tutors that make you wiser.  Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect.  I'm the only one who can perfect you, My princess.  All I ask is that you let Me set you apart so that I use you as a witness for the world to see.

Love,
Your King who sets you apart



"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.  Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."

Jeremiah 1:5

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And on another note, I wanted to pass along some information to my blogging friends.  Many of you may remember Christina of Pendleton Primitives!  She and her husband retired from the military and purchased a farmhouse in Michigan, moved in and began renovating, only to discover later that the health issues her family was having resulted from previous conditions (toxins) in the house (it had been used as a meth lab). Of course, they had to move out, and are having to begin again.  There is a fundraising site set up for anyone that would like to help them along.  Every little bit helps I'm sure!  And please feel free to pass this along!  You can click here to get to the fundraising site.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!  :)

Blessings,
Tammy 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Pinned it, Made it! Monday ~ Week 65 ~

Hi there!  Remember me?  :)  I've been a very bad blogger and absent from blogland for awhile, but I've missed blogging and all my blogging friends! :)

I've had a really hard time balancing everything lately.  First the holidays, then Joy was in the hospital again right after Christmas.  But we were home in time to see the New Year in at home (getting home around 5:00 on New Years Eve.  Then Jason, Luke, Joy, and I all had strep throat. It seems like it's taken awhile to recover completely.  I really want to get back into the swing of blogging again though!


Anyway, I'm going ahead with Pinned it, Made it Monday this evening in the hopes someone may have something to link.

This week, I want to share the Pinterest-inspired gift that Joy gave me for Christmas.  It's a grater turned earring holder.  I love it!  And it works beautifully.  I use it to hold the earrings I wear most often.  Just give it a coat of paint and that's it!  :)



Oh, and she gave me the sweetest note to go along with it!  That made my gift all the more special!  :)



Have you tried something or made something that was Pinterest-inspired?  We'd love to see! Just link your project below!  :)

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I have really missed sharing family photos with you, so I want to come back with some of those in the next day or two.  And I really have missed joining Joy on her Faithful Friday posts, so I want to try to make those a priority......beginning this Friday!  :)

Oh, and one more thing....I'm trying to decide whether to continue with Pinned it, Made it Mondays.  Is it something you enjoy?  If so, I will continue.  :)  If not, then I will just put my time and energy into regular family, home, and decorating blogging.   I'd love to hear your thoughts on your favorite thing here!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥ 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Pinned it, Made it! Monday ~ Week 64 ~

Pinned it, Made it! Monday during the Christmas season is definitely going to be my favorite!  I love fall, but I love Christmas best of all!  I love seeing all the homes decorated warm and cozy for Christmas.  And what better place than Pinterest to inspire us to create Christmas decor and gifts!


This week I'm showing you another primitive style candy cane I have been wanting to try out!  I found it on the internet somewhere and thought I pinned it, but can't find it now.  Anyway, it's easy to do and turned out cute!

Supplies needed:

plastic candy canes (found mine at Dollar Tree)
twine (or jute it's sometimes called)
pieces of faux greenery and berries (I cut mine off some larger sprigs)
raffia
glue gun

Directions:

With my glue gun, I started at the bottom of the candy cane, securing the twine and continued wrapping it tightly around making sure to cover all the candy cane, finishing up at the curved end by cutting the twine and gluing it in place.  I then hot glued my little pieces of greenery and berries and then tied a raffia bow around them (I also glued the bow down a bit as well).



That's it!  I want to make more! I love these!



Okay...now it's your turn to show me your lovely Pinterest Christmas creations!

Have a wonderful week!  I plan to be back with Christmas decor pictures on Wednesday or Thursday!

♥ Tammy ♥


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing!  Know that the Lord, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  Give thanks to him; bless his name!  For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 

Psalm 100 (NIV)



From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!  :)