Sunday, September 18, 2016

All I Have Needed

soul
What moves you? A big hairy spider that crawls up beside you! That would move me too, but I'm talking about genuinely emotionally being stirred. I'm one of those people who seek to be moved...by music, by movies, by relationships. My greatest desire is to be moved by God. Have you ever experienced God moving you to lift your hand in praise? Have you ever testified of his love and power to someone because he moved you to do so? Have you ever listened to the same song for the last ten years and really hear a line in it for the first time when it moves you? I did this very thing this past weekend. I love the song Great is Thy Faithfulness. I was moved by the following lyric.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided. WOW! Just.Wow! I can truthfully say, "All I have ever needed God's hand has provided it to me"! Can you say that of anyone else? My answer is no. Some of the things I've needed a mere human can't provide. God has provided me with great parents, a nice career, a loving husband, fabulous daughters, sweet son-in-laws, grandchildren, house payments, money when I didn't have any, gas for my car, a car, two cars, three cars, awesome church family and the greatest provision of all, calling me into his saving power! He's provided forgiveness when I'm wrong, mercy when I didn't deserve it, grace that is more than sufficient and peace I sometimes don't understand. Take a few minutes and think about what he's provided for you. Does that move you? 
DOES THAT MOVE YOU?
If it does not move you, please ask yourself why? 
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside. Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Thomas Chisholm, who penned the hymn in 1925, explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now.  Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

I believe Thomas Chisholm was moved!


Be moved,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap



Monday, September 12, 2016

Trunk or Treat Idea

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading Inc. sent me these products for review.  All opinions and experiences in this post are expressly my own. 

Fall is in the air. Halloween is just around the corner. If you're like me, you are already googling Trunk or Treat Ideas. Decorated trunks have become a favorite at many Halloween festivities and especially churches. Kids are always excited to get candy.  I'm always excited to see the elaborate trunk themes! We work long and hard on these trunks but finding the items to create them isn't hard at all with Oriental Trading as our Halloween Headquarters for decorations.

Let me share the details of  Noah's "ARK"cade trunk. Everyone loves amusement parks, especially children. Most amusement parks have game arcades where you play the game and hopefully win a prize. At Noah's Arkcade, you play the game and ALWAYS win a prize! How cute are these Color Your Own Heart Bubble Bottles for a prize? These Mini Marker Sets are a must to color the hearts. You might get the chance to witness about how God's love is always "bubbling" up!

May I suggest these animal-themed games for your arcade? You can even buy two of each to make your Noah theme more realistic and easily accessible to more kids! The Inflatable Alligator Ring is fun for all ages trying to "ring" the alligators nose or tail. The Going Bananas Monkey Bean Bag Toss gives you a chance to have some fun with your little players by asking them to scratch their head and make monkey sounds before taking a turn. Don't forget extra bean bags! One of my favorite games is Pick up Ducks. Place these cute duckies  in a tub of water. Take a permanent marker to place a number corresponding to a prize on each duck. Kids simply "pick up a duck" to win a prize. Use these or find many more at Oriental Trading Halloween Headquarters.

Your trunk might look something like this with your games in front of the ark and off to the sides.
Simply make this ark-like structure from cardboard and use these Jumbo Zoo Animal Cut-Outs for the animals in your boat. You might also want to add a balloon arch similar to the picture below to create an arcade-like arched entrance way.
balloon arch
Photo Credit: www.celebrateitballoons.com
A rainbow-colored arch is perfect for a Noah's Ark theme. Balloons are fun, pretty, add tons of color AND are super easy to decorate with. My family and I plan to dress up like different animals to add more excitement to the ARKcade! A Printed Animal Face Mask would also do the trick!

I hope this has stirred some creativity for your Trunk or Treat Idea. Whatever theme you decide on, (see my Alice in Wonderland theme from 2015 here) be sure to check out Oriental Trading for all your Halloween needs.

Happy Trunking,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

If you have a clever Trunk or Treat Idea you've done using Oriental Trading products, please share it with us in a comment. I'd love to see a picture too!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Should You Say the Word "Hell" to Your Pastor?

vbs

VBS Week 2016 was July 31 - August 4! I love the anticipation, the energy and the fun before and during VBS. I almost enjoy the tiredness from a week well spent too.....almost. If you participate in Bible School, you know what I mean. This year, like last year, my girls and I were assigned the Kindergarten Boys class. We had eleven boys! 11 boys! E.L.E.V.E.N. B.O.Y.S.! After this week, I knew more than ever God does not make mistakes. I have two girls, one granddaughter and another granddaughter due in October. I'm suspecting my younger daughter will have girls also if and when she has children.

These boys were full of male DNA which makes them run and jump off of everything, have wiggle worms in their pants, pay attention only when they want to talk, explore all the room decorations to the point of destruction and melt a girl's heart like only a guy can. I'll admit it was rocky the first couple of evenings. The craft teachers voted me "Most Likely to Need a Xanax" and the music teacher (pictured) "blessed me" all week. When the pastor asked how it was going, I replied "I'm ready to get out of VBS hell!". My husband told me that was probably not appropriate so I'm hoping he thought I said VBS jail. His face told me otherwise. Should you say the word "hell" to your pastor?

I always, always, always receive inspiration and blessings at Vacation Bible School. Here's what I got this year:
  • One little lad announced unexpectedly we should pray RIGHT NOW! He led the sweetest and most humble prayer ever that caused Sloane to say "He prays better than me!". 
  • Directly after the awesome prayer, a little one raised his hand and politely explained "I don't know how to pray". This touched my heart so much we devoted lesson time the next day to "How to Pray".
  • An aunt of one of the boys told me how impressed his mom was with our class. He went home each day giving a detailed account of the Bible stories. I was excited to hear it because she's a school teacher!
  • Lisette, my granddaughter, obviously loved the story of Zacchaeus. She keeps saying "Jesus is coming".  After asking my husband several times "Do you see Jesus? He's right over there.", he got a bit unnerved.
  • I wore my hair down the final evening. I actually put on some mascara too. The same boy who prayed kept looking at me and raised his hand to speak. "You look beautiful today!" he said with dreamy eyes. I said "THANK YOU!" all heart-eyes.
Pure preciousness! A few simple actions erased all my hellish thoughts. These boys and I gained a great rapport in five short days. They amazed me with their answers each night. They made me want to teach VBS again. They engraved themselves on my heart. I love these little boys. Next year, I'm ready for some kindergarten GIRLS!

I'm seriously wondering should you say the word "hell" to your pastor as I did? Leave me a comment and let me know if saying "The Word" to my pastor was inappropriate....

Blessed at VBS,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap.

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...