Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Acts 5:38
Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

in my experience, i have seen that we fail. a lot. i fail a lot.

and it is interesting to see in this passage that failure is a result of human origins,
a result of us trying to do things in our own strength...

Monday, July 27, 2009


getting inside my own head is what J calls it.
i can spend too much time just thinking. and thinking. and thinking.
beyond what is productive.
and there are these days when i just dwell on things. and on the events of the day. the things i did well. more prominently though, the things i didn't do well. people. words spoken.
reading into everything.
it goes past the point of enjoyable thinking and reminiscing.
it becomes burdensome and overwhelming.
and we all do this. girls, especially.
so i've been praying about this and asking what am i supposed to do?
this way of thinking and dwelling and- more so- trying to answer all mysteries for myself-
this has become such a habit.
and i'm realizing
that as God continues to prove himself faithful over and over again,
He alone holds all of the answers that i'll ever look for- not that he will see fit to give me all of the answers

this idea from Deuteronomy 4 and Jeremiah 29 has met me with such freedom this week,
and i know that as Psalm 37 says, if i delight myself in Him, i'll find the answers i keep hoping for.
so, delighting myself in Him-
this is so much harder than simply going the way of the world.
it is so much easier to just make things happen for myself,
to walk into something, although unwisely,
to pursue a relationship without waiting for God's perfect timing,
to go to school to get a degree and provide for myself,
and i have almost come to hate when people tell me that i'm great for living this life, for giving myself to love and ministry (not that i do either well), for making pure and right decisions for my life...
and i don't know how much more i can say
that this is what EACH of us has been created for-
and it is only by God's grace that my heart is His.
and that this is SO not something that has just come naturally.
i have had to make choices.
and sacrifices.
and i've cried- a lot- over the things that i can't pursue for myself, like everyone else, because God has His timing
and i've chosen to let go of plenty
and am no better or worse than anyone else.
i've only received grace. so much of His grace.
and i've chosen to respond to it.

and i would NEVER trade this life that He's given me for any life that I could have built for myself.
but it has absolutely taken a humility and a willingness to let go and to turn my focus.

and this is where i was going when i started writing...
my focus, my thinking and dwelling- gets me into trouble.
it is only in choosing to turn and look at God that anything (and everything) falls into place.
because i've found that when i choose to take my focus off of myself and look to Him, the world makes sense.
i have to ask who am i? a mess, defined by mistakes and failures and weaknesses
but who is He? perfect, strength and love.
and i'm going to trust that He knows all
and hopes the best for me
and has the best for me.
because this is who he says He is.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


He's here, he's here!
Benjamin Michael English
6 lbs. 7 oz.
19 inches
2:30 pm, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


1. An apology

Dave returned about 24 hours after our little confrontation.
"Look Tam, I owe you the deepest apologies. I was totally out of line. I am so sorry. I am totally the problem, not you. I'm the problem; me and my addictions."
And this was an interesting 24 hours indeed.
I spent most of the time battling with myself to forgive him, but really really really not wanting to.
I flashed back to a sermon, not sure if it was Joe Stowell or Rod, but either way, the idea was that when we hold a grudge, we're essentially saying that someone owes us something, but to forgive is to cancel all debts and live in peace and freedom with those around us.
And last week while studying Matthew with Tony, Char, DM, Jordan, and Michael Scott, we read through the The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant


Matthew 18:21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"

22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."


2. New neighbors

Terry, April and their 3 little ones, Sierra, Savannah, and Trent, moved in next door a few days ago.
They are very friendly indeed and their children are sweet.
We are looking forward to getting to know them more, and hoping to share our biggest joy with them as well as our neighborhood.

3. A successful few days in the kitchen

Sunday night: My Couscous and feta stuffed peppers
Monday: My and Jordan's garden-fresh zucchini bread
Monday night: Charla's amazing Penne alla vodka (and we usually whisper the vodka part)
Tonight: We await to see what Jordan's cooking up...

4. And some new babies

Charla's sister, Mindy had her little boy, Jonas Christopher
And my Jana is having her little Benjamin...today!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


after 2 months the honeymoon stage just may be wearing off.
i guess i didn't really expect it to as things, until now, had seemed to get better and better and better.
God freed me from a lot of fear, especially in the first 2 weeks.
i've seen a lot of addiction.
and pain and anger and frustration.
but it was never directed at me.
we saw dave as a man of peace- and in sobriety, he was a man of peace.
but yesterday was different and i'm still not sure why.
usually dave's a bud light or natural ice kind of guy. the big cans.
maybe that day saw the vodka or heroin?

(and for us
it may come down to simple consistency and boundaries.
jenn has highlighted to me the seriousness of sabbath
and the struggle is to reinforce this idea with people who don't understand)

so he let himself in in the middle of the day, as he has been doing for months,
as if it is his own home
he yelled about his frustrations
he proceeded to ask for food
and i tried, in love, to explain what it means for us to have a sabbath,
but that didn't seem to connect with him.
this is when i asked him to leave
and he yelled and started the name-calling.
following him out, i locked the door behind him.
i was angry, and if i'm honest, i am still trying to decide if i want to forgive him

even chuck ("white chuck" as anthony calls him, so as to not be confused with "black chuck") feels quite entitled as well, but only ever knocks and waits for the door to be answered
but dave is a unique character.
when sober, he really is like family.
conversation is pleasant and often educating.
he cleans and washes dishes and is quick to carry anything that needs transporting...
he goes grocery shopping with us.
he goes to the cottage with us.
but yesterday was odd.
he has felt entitled to this house for so long...
so there has been a shift.
and there needs to be another.
and some boundaries.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


these days i am
needing humility more,
wishing i could be everyone's best friend,
loving this weather,
feeling burdened for friends who are hurting,
appreciating the comfort of good friends,
rejoicing in a season of strength,
anticipating a season of weakness in the future and
trusting God's hand in it,
delighting in healing and answered prayers,
finding joy in a community of people who share a common hope.