Friday, August 26, 2016

Gross but Good

grumpy cat
photo credit: Grumpy Cat
I am warning you. You may find the details gross but the message is good. Lisette, my almost three-year-old granddaughter hasn't felt well this week. She's been kinda draggy, just not herself. We checked for a fever. We monitored her cough. We ignored her misbehavior because we knew she felt bad. Still, we couldn't put our fingers on anything specific.

Rewind to yesterday about 5:30 pm. "Sette", as she calls herself, climbed up in my lap as I sat in my rocking chair and went to sleep. Two things unusual about that. She never wants me to rock her anymore and she would rather avoid a nap than take one. Lying her in the bed, I decided she was tired from not feeling well. She woke up like a grumpy cat a few hours later.

Earlier that day, she'd draped a towel across her head asking "Do I look silly with this hoodie on my head?" I said "No! You look like Mary, Mother of Jesus!" Her large imagination liked this idea immediately pretending I was Jesus and she was Mary. After waking from her nap, she once again donned her "hoodie" pretending to be Mary. She came to sit in Jesus's lap still sitting in his rocking chair.

We were playing when she said "Jesus, my stomach is hurting. Will you rub it?" I gently laid her back to rub. Throw up spewed from that sweet baby's mouth by the gallon. I quickly picked her up so she didn't strangle while her mom grabbed a bag because she continued to vomit. I had foul-smelling chunks from my neck to my knees. Literally covered in throw up! After Sydnee took her to the bathroom, I sat motionless.

I HATE vomit! I'm one of those people who just can't deal with it. I couldn't even clean up my kids when they did it. Thankfully, their Dad did! I'm thinking to myself, don't gag or you're gonna be covered in two human's stomach matter. I tried to stand but my lap was full. I felt the stuff oozing everywhere (even into my prostheses) when I moved so I sat still until my husband brought me a towel. I inched my way to another bathroom. Luckily, the chunks stuck to me like glue. The floor was safe. Carefully, I raised the neck of my t-shirt over my head, removed it, my shorts, my underwear and naked I went out into the dark world to scrape the chunks from my clothes to get them into the washer. Then, I showered.

During the episode, I prayed for Lisette. I sat there with her vomit all over me thinking about her. God showed me something beautiful through the grossness. We vomit on God. We sin against him and it is ugly. It stinks. It fills his nostrils with stench. He sees it, smells it, feels it but his Excellency is only thinking about us. How much he loves us. How much he wants to forgive us. How much he desires a right relationship with us through his son, Jesus. I am so thankful that when we've covered God's lap with our filth, he's still mighty to save. Still forgiving, merciful, kind, patient and loving. He's the Dad that cleans his children!
I thought this was so cute and funny....

While Lisette was playing Mary, she asked if I (Jesus) wanted to go into another room to play. I said sure I do. She took my hand excitedly saying,
"Come on Jesus, there's plenty of room in the den!"

Feeling clean,
Tammy 
The Happy Handicap

I welcome all comments.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When Your Kiddos Teach You

me and my kids

Becoming a mother is one of the most special gifts I've ever received. Everything about motherhood is hard. Everything about motherhood is easy. Take one glance at the human you grew, all the ugliness blurs. You become a yellow smiley emoticon with hearts for eyes! When you are gifted a grand, it feels like a fairy God father granted you a wish to "get it right" this time. Practice all the stuff you learned raising your own. The easy overwhelms the hard.

I enjoy my children. Laughing with them. Crying with them. Guiding them. Riding with them, not so much. Traveling with them. Making memories with them. Sharing milestones and successes. Supporting them through trials and defeat. Simply, loving them.

Everyone has special qualities that belong inherently to them; Godly gifts. I learn from these in my daughters. The special way Sydnee is the most patient individual I know. She's the one who don't know how to be mean and it's funny watching her try. She's the one that nurtures creativity in her husband and daughter when I would have never allowed it in the first place. She's the one I prayed hardest for me to accept her non-competitive, easy-going, unstructured style. She taught me how to surrender. Her patience influences me in a powerful way. It makes me proud of her.  Finishing second is winning, because, hello, you finished!

Then there's the special way Sloane is the most diplomatic person I know. She cares about everyone's feelings, even animals! She's the one who won't make anyone mad (unless it's me or her sister). She's the one that worries dogs will freeze to death although Google says it's impossible. She's the one that makes herself sick wringing her hands with a flushed face if she feels she said the wrong thing. She's the one always buying gifts, sending thank you cards and making sure to include everyone or exclude everyone mutually. She taught me how to be considerate. Her people skills continually amaze and humble me. I ;love the way people love Sloane!

Then, there's my grand, Lisette. Everything about her is special. She is honestly the most caring individual I know. She's the one that says "Granmom, you be careful" if I'm doing something that concerns her. She's the one that includes me in her prayers every night. She's the one who makes me tear up when she looks at me with pure innocence.. She's the one I want Jesus to call to when it's time. How she loves me right now is like running water without a cutoff switch. Oh how I want to nurture that love!  I never thought it possible but she has taught me to love more deeply than ever before.. 

.
To my girls.
Proverbs 31:29 
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
All my love, Mom

Blubbering with joy,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

I'd love to hear what your kids have taught you. Share with me in a comment...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Free Hugs

beautiful flowers

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 2016. You simply MUST go! The city is magnificent. The people are super nice. The weather is gorgeous. The food is delicious. The flowers are everywhere. I could go on and on. Victoria was one of the best city visits I've ever experienced. God has blessed me to travel to 45 states including Alaska and Hawaii and seven different countries. 

I learn something from every adventure. I learned something extra special on this outing, from this woman...
hugger

This lady has been standing on this corner at various times for the past seven years giving free hugs. Sloane spotted her first and said "Let's get a free hug!". I was apprehensive. I can hug. I like to hug but it's not a common practice for me with total strangers. Also, short in stature does not a good hugger make. You can get a little more insight into short hugger thoughts here.  Since I'm always willing to experience something new and different, I hugged her.

She may be the reason my trip to Victoria was so overwhelming? Her hug was the sweetest, most exhilarating, non-invasive hug ever! She cooed to me in a bird-like song as our arms met and embraced thanking me for stopping to hug her telling me "You're such a good hugger" and "Bless you". Uh, no, Free Hug Lady, thank you!  The experience of that hug still lingers in my heart.

Yesterday, God used that experience in a way I didn't see coming. Steve and I were at Emory for his checkup. A young woman in a wheelchair with oxygen was leaving the office when the doctor came out and whispered something to her. A few minutes later, I saw this same lady wiping tears from her face as she and her male companion waited for the elevator. I wondered if the doctor had told her bad news about her health. In the same instance, Godly compassion filled my heart and I began to pray for her lifting her needs to our Heavenly Father.

Can you guess what happened next? That's right. God nudged me to hug her. I gave him all the reasons why I couldn't. She's a stranger. She's black. She don't want no white girl getting in her face. There's eight people waiting in this tiny area for an elevator! My heart started POUNDING! Just as her friend was moving her toward the elevator, I did it! I asked if I could hug her, she nodded and I did it. It wasn't awkward or strange in any way. It felt good to extend the love of the Father to a fellow being. I saw her again in the lab. She looked at me and smiled. Her entire countenance had changed. She seemed more peaceful, more content. 

You may hug strangers all the time, but I usually don't. God showed me that to experience him, you must seek that which is alive. I loved the beautiful scenery in Victoria. The flowers are alive now but will soon die. People are alive now but will soon die but their souls are alive forever.  I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. God's love is alive! Share the love whenever and wherever you get the opportunity... especially to strangers.


Sharing the love,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

Feel free to leave a comment with hugging tips or experiences.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

All His Fault, an original poem

religious poem

In case this is hard to read, here is a text version:

All His Fault 
by Tammy P. Stafford

It’s not the Creator’s fault his creatures abuse, refuse and cry.
It’s our fault we reject, have no affect and despise.
The Creator didn’t create murderers, jealousy or greed, deception, bankruptcy or aborting his seed.

It’s not the Creator’s fault his creatures are unkind, rude and dry.
It’s our fault we mock, ridicule and act unwise.
The Creator didn’t create sickness, lies, cancer or death, corruption, brokenness, or meth.

It’s not the Creator’s fault his creatures want, live reckless and pry.
It’s our fault we bicker, blame and wear a disguise.
The Creator didn’t create divorce, alcoholics or fatherless children,
malice, chaos or poor economic trending.

My Creator God is responsible for:
The miracle of birth and loving me first
Helping me walk and to a wonderful husband he brought
Gave me a new song and causes doctor’s diagnoses to be wrong
Took my place, saved me by His Grace
Hung between thieves on a tree
Defeated Death and took the keys
Sent Jesus to die for me and rose on the third day free
He created life for me
Eternally.

These things, these glorious things are all His fault.



Worshiping the Creator,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

Monday, May 16, 2016

Why Do I Need to Spring Clean?

I enjoy a clean-smelling house, do you? The feeling you get from a clean house is exuberant. These things are nice but the reason you need to spring clean is to protect your family's health. I had never really thought much about indoor air quality

UNTIL...

my husband was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Suddenly, air became super important to our family especially in our home! There are so many contaminants and pollutants in the air these days, indoor air quality can no longer be ignored.



For your health and lung safety, here are a few spring cleaning tips:
  • Lint and dust particles can irritate the lungs. I removed all window coverings and draperies in our home replacing them with plantation shutters. The shutters help reduce cooling bills by shutting out the sun, they look sleek and modern and the shutters are simple to clean with a damp cloth. No more removing dusty curtain/drapes to wash and rehang.
  • Change your heating and air conditioning filter every 30 days to reduce pet dander, dust and other allergen inducing particles in your home. You can program some newer thermostats to automatically remind you with a flashing message when it's time to change your filter.  Be sure to check yours for this handy feature.
  • Make sure you're informed about the contaminants in your house that can affect your health. For example, most homes built before the 1970's contain the toxic material asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma cancer if it is disturbed or not removed properly. Ensure a professional comes in to assess your home if you think it has asbestos in it. Click here to order FREE information about mesothelioma and your rights.
  • Warning: Chemicals are hazardous to your health! Vinegar and baking soda are two common household items that can be used to clean most anything in your home without harsh effects of store-bought cleaners. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil for a nice fragrance. I like peppermint or lavender.
  • Make a list of the things you want to accomplish realizing you can't do everything in one day. When you do finish, take a deep breath and enjoy your clean home.
Clean it up,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap