October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Family Fun

This is the month for the Pumpkin Patch at DRI where Rob works. Our family went out to volunteer at the Patch on Thursday night. I decided to try and find the most..hmmm, "unique" pumpkins to take pics of. Here are some of the pics I took that night.

Here was a warty pumpkin.

A diverse grouping of pumpkins.

Some white pumpkins.

This pumpkin is kind of freaking me out.

And it's neighbor....

These little mini pumpkins are so cute!!

Sophie looking a little freaked out because I asked her to
sit next to the man dog.

Jack hanging out in one of the pumpkin trailers. I love the
gourds in the background.

Here is Rob and Derek carrying out a load of pumpkins
with the most amazing little Mattie May hitching a ride.

Jack obliging me by standing next to the scarecrow.

The only pic I got of all my kids together. Along with the man
dog, he was so intriuging I wanted to include him in the
family picture.

October 14, 2010

Having a Radical Heart and Living Normal is FRUSTRATING!!!

I am attracted to the radical way of life. I always have been. Maybe that is because my life was anything but boring growing up, maybe it is because I have lived in the valleys and on the mountaintops, maybe it is because God made me that way. I don't really know, but what I do know is that living to acquire stuff doesn't interest me at all. Stuff seems to get in the way. I am reminded to what Denver Moore said to Ron Hall in Same Kind of Different As Me when he saw his keyring filled with keys..."Do you own something for each one of those keys?" to which Ron replied, "yes." Then Denver said, "Are you sure they don't own you?" Mother Teresa said our possessions separate us from God. I have worked to buy the next newest thing, only to have that thing be out of date within a couple of months. Stuff breaks, get's old, get's in the way, must be dusted and organized. Stuff drives me crazy.

What excites me is relationship. Serving the poor, serving the brokenhearted, serving those who think that they are not worth the doormat they walked over. Looking into someone's eyes and reminding them of their value to God, their value to community, their value to the people around them. That's where I want to invest.

I am drawn to people who live radical; Mother Teresa, George Mueller, St. Francis of Assisi, Henri Nouwen, Shane Claiborne,...and today I just heard that Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God) is selling all of his possessions and he and his family are moving to India. My favorite books are reading true stories about people who have loved Christ so much that they don't let anything get in the way of sharing that love and grace with others. My favorite stories to read in the Bible are those of Paul and Mary Magdelene. Two very different stories, but once each of them had a taste of Jesus, they held on. They were two of Christ's greatest messengers. Two of the great redemption stories.

I pray often that God will show me what He is calling me to. What is He readying me for. As I am a wife and a mom, the decisions are not all mine to make. They must be balanced with respect and honor to those whom I love.

Right now I know my calling includes being the best mom and wife, serving my family and filling them with love. My love and Christ's love. I am taking classes to get a degree to work in an area where I can pour the love of Christ into the poor and needy.

Having a heart for radical can be frustrating when you are living normal. God help me.

I read this today... ..fight the middle ground...

October 10, 2010

Clutter-free zone, thanks to The Magnificent.

Sunday night. The new week is about to begin. I am in a group which is going through the study of the new Breaking Free by Beth Moore. It is the second time I have "broken-free," but the first with the updated study. I am just as blessed this second time, maybe more. The first time I had done several introspective studies in a row, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things (which is by far my most favorite study personally, it is the study that showed me that I had the power to overcome sinful choices through the power of the Holy Spirit. That study opened my eyes to the power of Christ in my life and put Satan and sin in it's place in my life, which was not a small task.) That study along with Believing God, The Study on the Fruits of the Spirit, and Breaking Free we did within a two year period. All were excellent, however it is nice to come at this study with a fresh perspective 7 or 8 years later.

I have been diligent in completing my study each morning before I go to school. I let the stress of school take over for the first two weeks of this study and would put it off till the end of the week, but after about loosing my mind in stress and anxiety I realized that if I want to be sane at all I need to start my day in the Word of God even if I am busy.

Whenever I think, write, or say the words that I just wrote it makes me think of how I have the mindset of the secular. "I" don't have enough time for study, because "I" am too busy. Mother Teresa, George Muller, and Henri Nouwen, all of which I have studied and read about and are heroes and great examples of faith, would differ with my thoughts of I am too busy to study. They would all say they were so busy that they must dedicate even more time to prayer. I am asking God to shift my thinking so it is a natural thing for me to do. The busier I am the more I will rely on prayer and God's great provision.

School is going well, Greek has taken me to new places of memorization and study that I thought were not possible. I told someone today that with all the new neuron's and pathways that I am building with all this memorization I have pushed back any Alzheimer's or dementia for at least 10 years. I am continually amazed with God's graces to me in the area of memorization. I have realized that I see everything in pictures, so if I can associate vocabulary with a picture in my head then I can remember it pretty well. One of our vocab words last week sounded like "idone" so the Ide's of March came to my mind, and I pictured Julius Caesar and the people looking on at his assassination which helped me remember the meaning of "I saw/They saw." Seems like a lot of work for one word but as I just learned in my psychology class in our chapter on learning that I am attaching new info to old info and that helps in memorizing.

All that said, I don't want to do another semester of Greek. For me it is about balance and studying/memorization is taking much more time than I had thought it would, so I am switching over to a different major at the end of this semester. I was in Biblical Text where 2 Semesters of Greek are required, to Psychology or maybe Social Work. I am pretty sure I will continue on for a Master's Lord willing, and I am deciding which direction I want to go. God is continuing to put people in my path, or bringing to mind people I can talk to that will help me with good information to help me make my decision.

Tonight we had a beautiful sunset. We have a storm blowing in, which always makes for the most spectacular sunsets in our big Texas sky. I wish I would have pulled out my phone to take a pic, however, my view of the sunset had obstacles like a building and telephone poles in the way, that to me would take away from the photo, so I decided it wasn't worth taking the picture. I have thought about that decision and regretted it now for 2 hours. I lost an opportunity to take a picture of the beauty for all the clutter in the way. I am glad that when God looks down to see His children that He see's us even more beautiful than the most gorgeous sunset, and He doesn't see the clutter that we bring along because Jesus took all of that away when He bore for us the "clutter of sins" on the Cross. He is truly Magnificent.

I am Tammy in whom Christ dwells and delights.