Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Days Were Accomplished

I woke this morning with the phrase "the days were accomplished" scrolling through my brain like an LED threatre marquee, over and over, I repeated it to myself as it crossed my mind. I began to drift back over the last 12 days, then 12 months, then 12 years. I googled the bible verse to refresh my memory of specifically how it is written. Luke 2:6 reads "And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered."

THAT SHE SHOULD BE DELIVERED. The first thing that struck me about the verse was "she should be delivered". Not Jesus, but Mary. The verse could have easily read; the days were accomplished that Jesus should be delivered. The verse points out the delivery of Mary not Jesus. The verse pinpoints the servant of God that willfully accepted the challenge he gave her.
THE DAYS WERE ACCOMPLISHED. This phrase is the reason I searched this verse today. I thought about the past year(s) leading up to Steve's diagnosis and subsequent double lung transplant. So many things could have hindered our days from being accomplished but God. Who else can accomplish our days but God?
WHILE THEY WERE THERE. Mary and Joseph had to be in the place where God would accomplish their days. They were there, in this place of uncertainty, for at least 9 months and surely more. While they were there, they struggled, anticipated, believed, waited to be delivered. The couple had to stay "there" where God had placed them. "There" where God had planned them.
AND SO IT WAS. Because God has the plan. He not only has the plan, it is a written plan. We make many plans as individuals but rarely do we put our plans in writing, to pen and paper, black and white. If we do take the time to make a proper written plan, we would most likely follow through. God had the plan for Mary and Joseph. God has the plan for Jesus. God has the plan for us and so it will be. He will faithfully follow his written plan. And so it was with Mary, so it shall be with us.
I've always correlated this verse to the Christmas Story of Jesus until this morning when God blessed me with a snippet of just how full, rich and encompassing his Word is. The message he gave me this morning is He is 'accomplishing our days' for his purpose and ours if we live in his will, our "while they were there", the place he has us in. We have no idea how many days it will take to accomplish his purpose nor how long we will be in this place. We simply must be there until he accomplishes our days, the fulfillment of his plan. However, we can put our faith in God's "And so it was" because his plan is unfallable and his word is true, we will be delivered!
Put yourself into this verse. Mine and Steve's goes like this...
And so it was, (God had a plan),
while they (Steve and Tammy) were there (going through illness and transplant),
the days were accomplished (3,650 days. 10 years. Steve was diagnosed 2011, his lungiversary was 2021)
that she (Steve and Tammy) should be delivered.
Praise God for his plans. Praise God for his Word. Praise God for his Son. As God moves us into another Holy season of Christmas, may we always see and feel the magnitude of who he is. From the precious babe in the manager to the Almighty King of Kings,
He is...
and was...
and is to come!


Friday, August 21, 2020

Practical Tips for Resolving 5 Common Self-Isolation Issues

Please welcome Guest Writer Emma Brown from to the blog today. During this very unusual year of social distancing and quarantine, she shares with us Practical tips for resolving 5 common self-isolation issues.  Thank you Emma for your contribution!

                                                                Photo Credit: Unsplash

Practical Tips for Resolving 5 Common Self-Isolation Issues

 We’re all under a lot of pressure these days. Uncertainties and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are at the heart of these added stresses and worries, but issues at home can also cause additional tension. From adapting to a remote work set up to dealing with distractions, here are a few solutions to some of the most common quarantine issues.


My Partner Is Hogging the Television 

Relaxing with your favorite shows can be a good way to unwind. If you have family at home constantly hogging the TV, those screen habits could be causing more tension than relaxation. If gaming is an issue, you could compromise with the guilty party by encouraging them to play games on a computer instead. You could even provide a gaming monitor (there are plenty of solid budget-friendly options if you’re struggling financially). You might also choose who gets to pick the programming for each night. One person takes Monday, another Wednesday, for example, and then plan one or two nights each week without the television. When all else fails, grab a controller, and play their favorite games with them.


My Kids Are Distracting Me from Work 

If you’re working from home for the first time, getting used to a remote office can be a major struggle. That’s especially true when you have kids at home who are causing distractions during work hours. Spouses can be distracting as well, even if they are also working from home, but there are a few strategies you can employ to keep yourself from feeling anxious and overwhelmed. First, if you just picked up gaming essentials for your partner or children, schedule their gaming time during your regular work hours to help keep them occupied. You can also find other kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones busy but you may need to rely on compromise and communication when dealing with a distracting partner or spouse.


My Boss is Asking for Constant Check-Ins 

Trust can be a huge issue when it comes to managing remote employees, and your boss’s requests for frequent check-ins may be a result of this lack of trust. It’s also helpful to remember that your boss is also adjusting to COVID-19 changes. While you can’t necessarily refuse those requests for check-ins, you can take action to reduce your boss’s anxieties and build trust with her/him while you are working from home. If your boss simply wants to be able to communicate with you in real-time, you can suggest using a chat app for your remote team instead of relying on emails and phone calls. While it may seem trivial, dressing professionally for video calls and team meetings can also help your coworkers and supervisors trust you when working remotely.


De-clutter and Clean 

Juggling work and children at home can be a challenge. To eliminate extra stress, enlist the whole family to help with organizing and de-cluttering your home. Once everything has a place and is in its place, you can avoid that nagging feeling of an overstuffed linen closet that’s been calling your name. Plus, all of that cleaning and de-cluttering can make your home a more inviting, positive space.


My Schedule Is Too Busy to Pick Up Essentials 

Even if you and your spouse are both working from home, finding time to get out and get groceries can feel like a major chore. In fact, working from home can keep you even busier than working in an office, especially when your kids are at home and childcare is not accessible. So, instead of stressing yourself out about shopping for essentials, which can put your family’s health at a greater risk anyhow, consider using delivery or pick-up services. With so many people staying at home, these services can be pretty busy, so you will need to plan your orders out in advance, and the savings in time and stress will be well worth any extra effort. Also, be sure to disinfect purchases, as needed, before putting them away to keep your family protected.

Don’t let struggles inside your home add to pressures that are coming from outside. Instead, find practical solutions to these issues so you can self-isolate in relative peace.



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Spot Cleaning My Soul

white cabinets
My kitchen cabinets are white. Do they look like they need cleaning in the photo? Not really, but, YES, yes they need cleaning badly! I'm ashamed to say I spot clean my cabinets. Dirt is easy to see on white. Every time I look at them, I spot clean a bit, make myself feel better and move on. I hope my family or anyone else doesn't look close enough to see my cabinets need a deep smack-down with a wet cloth and a bottle of Clorox spray. A good cleaning takes time and energy that I'm not willing to dedicate to my cabinets. They look good enough to me.

I have a fun little segment called "Monday Moment of Truth" on my Tammy365 facebook page. Yesterday's Moment of Truth question was "How often do you clean your kitchen cabinets?" Several ladies confessed, like me, they don't clean their cabinets enough. They spot clean! As I was reading the comments, God spoke to my heart, not about my kitchen cabinets, but about spot cleaning my heart. Ouch! Here are some similarities he showed me:
  • My heart has spots (sin) that I have not repented. I know they are there but I hope everyone else can't see them.
  • Spots can't be seen on black, unsaved hearts. My white, redeemed heart shows spots so clearly.
  • Clean my heart? Shew! It just takes too much time and energy to get down on my knees to do some old-fashioned repenting. 
  • Oh wait, I know what I'll do. I will repent half-heartedly, feel a little better and move on...
Do I have enough time to dedicate to cleaning my heart? For the slightest second, God allowed me to feel the pleasure of clean cabinets, to step back and look at my pleasing work. I know the feeling. The elation inside of me when I finish a project with my own hands. The freedom I feel knowing that doesn't have to be done again for at least two years! I can't wait to show someone what I accomplished. Say Amen if you know what I'm talking about. God reminded me repentance and a good confession of sin brings about that same great feeling of forgiveness and freedom AND it lasts longer than two years!

I'd had a rough morning struggling with devious thoughts and hurt feelings. Asking the age-old proverbial question, "WHY?". I praise Jesus for showing me my flaws. I'm amazed he can use things I understand, cleaning kitchen cabinets, to speak to my soul.  I allow my heart to get spots when I hold on to sin.  I justify my sin because I've been hurt or wronged. I'm like a miserable kid. It's my sin Jesus and you can't have it! 
I repented to Jesus. I asked forgiveness of my spots. I allowed him to deep clean my heart. I feel so free. I love this old hymn Search Me, O God. The hymn speaks for my heart completely! Will my heart get spotted again? Probably. But, I hope it takes two years!


And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

I'm so thankful I have the power of Jesus in my life! Are you?

Steve and I always dreamed of creating disabled and Christian t-shirts. God has allowed us to fulfill our dream. Check out our etsy shop Disabili-tees!   

Friday, July 24, 2020

Black Bean Quesadilla - Low Carb

black bean quesadilla
 (12 net carbs per quesadilla)
Recipe makes one quesadilla

1/4 cup black bean, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp. green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1/4 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup Ole mild queso cheese dip
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 Ole low carb quesadilla wrap

Heat an iron skillet to medium high. Lay out flat one low carb quesadilla. Place beans on one side of quesadilla. Leave enough room to flip over to close. Sprinkle green pepper, shredded cheese and one tbsp. onion onto the black beans. Close quesadilla matching the ends as closely as possible. Spray Pam or any non-stick spray into your hot iron skillet. Transfer your closed quesadilla to the skillet. Spray the quesadilla with Pam. Brown the under side. Carefully place a spatula under the open side and roll over slowly, backward, in the pan. This backward movement instead of flipping allows the ingredients to stay inside the quesadilla. If you try to flip, it will spill. Brown the under side. Once browned, remove quesadilla and place onto a plate. Microwave the cheese dip for one minute. Pour over quesadilla. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and remaining onion. Enjoy!

Below are the items I use to make these delicious, super quick and easy, quesadillas. They are a real family pleasing lunch or dinner. My daughter Sloane brought this recipe to me from college. I've made it ever since, about eight years now. Please comment to tell me how much you love them! 

black bean quesadillablack bean quesadilla

black bean quesadillablack bean quesadilla


Friday, March 20, 2020

How Corona Virus Helped Me Understand My Parents

The picture above is my Mom, Juanita, age 79. Her birthday is just ten days away and she'll be the BIG 80! Happy Birthday Mom! My dad Clyde, beside her, is 82. Those beautiful little ladies are two of their three great-grandchildren, Lisette (l) and Milisende (r). My parents, born in 1940 and 1937 respectively, were reared by parental by-products of the Great Depression. I'm 56 years old. I didn't live the childhood they experienced and probably neither did you. I've never lived through a Pandemic either. While trying to stay socially distanced from everyone because my husband is high-risk, I had an epiphany of how Corona Virus helped me understand my parents.

I understand why my parents don't waste anything.

My Mom always says to me "Tammy, I could live on what you waste". In my mind, I don't waste THAT much money. She is referring to my behavior not aligning with hers.

She shops the grocery sale papers. I walk in and buy groceries.
She saves everything. I throw stuff out.
She is not an impulse buyer. I am.

My parents have fared well leveraging my mom's budgetary bones and my dad's side hustle of selling and trading. My dad's 5th grade education has not stopped him from making good life decisions concerning money.