Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Precious Gift for me

Today has been a hard day. Not sure why, it has been building though. I lost it. Lost it with a few people, mainly my kiddos. Went through periods not sure if I would make it out alive. I guess I share this because so many times I look around and think . . . I never see any one else lose it. It must be only me.

I know that is not true and I am so thankful in moments like these that even though I may not behave like I have been given all the self control I need, I have. He has taken care of that . . . it is my choice to draw upon it, I can royally mess up, and His tender mercies will be new for this great offender!

In the most pressing of all cirmcumstance, a lot of words filled with death have been spoken over me. I find that those are the hardest to let go of. Not because I believe them, but because I feel this great need to disprove them. I was driving down the road trying to come up with a clever stautus updates mildly hinting at the day I had. I was thinking how alone I felt and no one really knew that what I needed most was just comfort. Not that it wasn't given, but it wasn't from the one who can really diminish the pain of my broken heart. So, back to the update. I was trying to be clever in wording my status and it hit me. Who can comfort me? Only one can do so in a way that brings long lasting relief. Only one who can hold me so close and let me know that I am okay. I felt like David in one of those rants in a psalm bellyaching about all my misery. Then the verse came to me (thanks AWANAS) "Your staff and rod they comfort me . . ." (psalm 23).

That is it! That is what I sometimes still find myself striving to find in humans. They were not meant to comfort me in this way. Those I know cared about me spoke truth and encouragment, but it was not until I allowed the Lord to calm my spirit and remind me that he is enough. I had that talk that maybe you have had before:

Me:"I feel so alone."

God:"But you are not, I am here."

Me:"But why can't I have someone tell me it is going to be okay. Why can't they say that it stinks, but you will make it through?"

God:"I am and I do."

Me: long silence "You are right, why do I ever turn to anything but you?"

God:"It is in me where you will find what you truly long for, because I love you like no other."

Me: "Forgive me for being so hard headed."

So, in His usually sweeteness this new song I had been enjoying came on in my car and it spoke so loud and clear. So today, I am pressing into the giver of ALL good gifts. One of those is the fruit of the Spirit. So if you see me not showing the full measure of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, self control, goodness, faithfulness, or kindness . .. then feel free to remind me, "He is enough, Tammy."

Here is the line, in case you missed my status update on fb:

If I lost it all would my hands stay lifted to the God who gives and takes away? If you take it all, this life you've given, still my heart will sing to you. Even if you take it all away, you'll never let me go. I still know that I'm still Yours! (Kutless: I'm Still Yours)

Love my playlist! Got it now on my blog! Small things make me happy these days, I guess.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Patrick's Nightmare

We had spaghetti last night. I knew Jackson was getting to the age he needed to crossover into toddlerhood . . . he had to experience the spaghetti for himself. Patrick hates this phase as it involves a huge mess. Not like Babyboom, but pretty severe for our household standards. Jackson loved every minute of it, from the onions up his nose to the noodle on his head. His rosy cheeks added to the orange hue of the sauce. The nice part about these pics is that you get to enjoy them from the clean side of the lens! Love making memories!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

I am getting to where I am an organizing freak! I have figured out when I can do the tree, cards, presents, or anything else in regards to Christmas so I am not running around not enjoying it. That is good and bad. Good because I can get it done, bad because if I don't it makes me feel like I am going to miss out because I missed the deadline.

Well, this year Sydney was in the Nutcracker. Needless to say I am going to have to revamp the schedule to accomodate for this. So, we got the tree up. I even got the cranberry popcorn garland up- which is usally the hardest part to getting the tree up. I even got the lights up without a hitch. My problem this year was getting those darn homemade bows put up so the kids could get the decorations on the tree. The bows had to be just so in order to let the kids go nuts with the ornaments and I felt like I contributed something to it.
The other slow down was being in the mood to of course take picutes of the event. Between Thanksgiving, Mexico, and December I got sick and it really slowed things down. But never fear! The tree had presents under it before we decorated it. So for my dad's birthday, we decided to celebrate it by decorating the tree. What fun! I love letting the children do

it all, which provides some interesting decorating. Of course I had to get them to pose in front of it. Most of Savannah's ended up on the floor. They loved looking at each one of their's and remembering why they got it. That was my favorite part, but can't figure out how to really photograph it so for now I'll just remember real hard. So here is one of the things that makes my heart flutter at Christmas. The white lights of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.(Our tree is 12 years old, including the bows. Thank goodness not the popcorn and cranberry!) It just makes me smile to walk into the room with only the Christmas lights on. It reminds me of why I love Christmas. There is so much joy, peace, and hope when you stop long enough to take it all in. Now to enjoy the last ten days before the day we honor Christ being born into this world. He took on our sins as his own to allow us the opportunity to spend forever with him once receive the gift he gave us on the cross. Whew! Thank you God for loving us so! May my life reflect the most important thing in my life . . .YOU!

Thank You!

I just wanted to take moment to say thank you! I have been so lucky to get to take several families pictures. One of my favorite things to do is take pictures. I am so fulfilled when I get through taking someone's photo andwhen it is a blessing to them. I know I pleaded with a few to do it, but I just wanted to share again what a blessing it was for me to get to do it. I know that for this season, this is one of the ways I can use this ability I have. You can really only take so many photos of your kids . . . even with four! So for those who let me take part in this special part of your lives, THANK YOU!

Hmmm . . . .

Do you ever find yourself going through life taking it all in and then something stops you cold in your tracks? Do you ever find that sometimes the hardest part of life is going through the day to day events, even the ones you enjoy?

Life is in a funny place for me right now. I am so blessed and so grateful for all the wonderful things in my life that the Lord has given. He is the giver of all good things. So why, in the midst of great blessing can some things still take my breath away. I can only conclude that when these moments happen, the tunnel vision of the one thing that won't seem to go the way I want, the greatest blessing is that I realize something huge.

I am never the one in control. (Thank goodness!) He is all you need. He is the very breath for your exsistance. When your eyes fix on Him, the world rights itself . .. even when nothing changes. A friend made a comment a month ago that has done more for clearing my head than I think she even knows. She told me that the old Tammy would have responded that way and I am not the old Tammy. In moments when I want to just quit, give in the selfish and prideful desires I remember this. That is no longer me. I have been given all that I need to handle whatever life throws at me. The more I walk in this simple truth of what Christ has set me free of the more life is not a roller coaster that I am just along for the ride, but a path that I choose to walk on one step in front of the other.

One day this one thing will either be made right here on earth or I'll be with Jesus no longer caring about this. For now, I will fight the good fight and finish the race with joy because I know that ultimately it is not about me. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Jackson!

It is hard to believe he is already one. How fast it goes by. I remember that this time of year last year I was so ready for him to come. Now that it has been an entire year, I can't even remember how life was with only three. Jackson is such a ball of energy. He loves to make sounds and sure knows how to work those beautiful eyes. He looks just like dad, just like Jacob, and any one of us on a given day. He is a fast mover all over the house, crawling here and there. He survived his first trip to Mexico. Loves beans and to feed himself. Still won't hold his own bottle, but clinches his fist while drinking every last drop. He loves to laugh at his brother and sisters, and doesn't like to wait for what he wants. He loves to have an audience and most definetely knows how to entertain a crowd. He even puts up with Savannah riding him like a dog.

He sleeps in a room with his big brother, Jacob. They do great together unless Jackson wakes him up and you would think the world was ending for Jacob. He told me that Jackson had kept him awake all night one night. Funny, he was sleeping when I checked on him. I can't wait to see how they become friends as Jack gets older. Sydney loves to be able to carry him all over the place and even got to feed him his favorite food . . . chocolate pudding.May the Lord use you for great things, may you know that the Lord has made you great. You are treasure, child of God and I am so in love with who you are. May God raise you up to be a man of God who cares about others more than himself, has compassion and intergrity, and knows who you are to the one who matters most. I can't believe that one day you will leave me for another woman. May God be developing her into the most incredible wife you could ever have. May she take care of you better than I could, to help lessen the pain of letting you go. I love you so much Jackson Barrett Fogle! You are more than I could have ever wanted, known, or imagined. I am so blessed to be your mom!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Just spent the last four days at Reynosa, Mexico. What a trip! The last time I went was when Jacob was 2 1/2 and Sydney was 4 months old. It was a great trip, yet hard at times and not for reasons I expected.

The trip down was pretty uneventful. The kids did great and we made great time. Once we crossed the border all the memories of five years prior flooded back. Right before we had Jacob I was praying that God would allow us to move down there to work and live. I wanted to be a part of what he was doing and sad when I knew that God had different plans for us. To be back in that place opened up much discussion between the Lord and I. I was surprised once again how going back to a familiar place while being a completely different person is a lot of work. I fought most of the time trying not to revert back to the person I was more than five years ago. The one in bondage and fear of what man thought of me, what God thought of me, not measuring up to what I thought I should be and feeling like a failure most of the time because I really didn't grasp who I was in Christ. I could go into more detail, but at that time I think be used in Mexico was my desperate cry for the Lord to make me feel like I mattered. Being used in something noble(Mexican Children's home)=significance.

The funny thing about when you change, sometimes the situations you leave stay the same . . . from your perspective. I am not even really talking about where I went, but in my mind the battle was could I choose not resort to old familiar behavior in and old familiar place. The result . . . I stayed me. I took opportunities to carry old burdens and walked away because it was not mine to bear. With that being said, I viewed all around me differently. I was able to enjoy those friendships at the place they were. No regret or guilt dictated my actions, just the genuine care I have for those at the children's home.

My oh my how those kids have grown. The program they did for us moved me in such a way I don't think that I have words for. I know that in some ways I am just one of many Americans who came to visit, but in my heart it was so exciting to see how they have matured and grown in ways I pray will carry them into their future. They seem to believe what matters most and that will be what will give them hope in any situation.

Ironic, I just went to see good friends and let my kids see another way that some live. I didn't know that the Lord would show me more of who He sees in me. Now if I can just process it and continue to move forward. But I guess sometimes that is how life goes . . . two steps forward and three back. I won't worry until there are is no stepping forward. God is good all the time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two months, really?

I can't believe it has been two months! I knew that it had been a while, in fact sitting at my computer has been luxury. Between changing computers and a really involved schedule . . . this is what happens. Good thing life keeps going even when I can't blog about it.

I have had an incredible last two months in some ways, others I am amazed I made it through not smelling like smoke(Beth Moore's Daniel). The Lord is challenging my walk with Him in so many ways. I must say that what has come out is a new outlook on most everything. There have been some longings that I must say have not been turning out the way I really thought I wanted. Turns out, by them not happening I know can say that the Lord is the meeter of EVERY need I have. I know that is what the Bible says, but it has gone from something the Bible says to my life!

I know not to go too deep, lest I lose you, but I am so grateful for the battles I have endured in the last few months. Each battle I have walked away more whole and complete in who I truly am in Christ, than I ever have been before. Do you know what it is like to have some slime you with their own insecurties? I must confess that I use to walk away from a battle of words so to speak beleiving that whatever was spoken over me was true. Now, thank God, I see what it is at face value. Realize what I can do about a situtaion, what I am not supposed to do and hold my head up high knowing I am walking out my faith more today than I ever had. Even if the battle seems to intesify.

So, if I haven't totally confused you by my vagueness. Then good. If not, I pray that you too know or will soon know what it is like to only care what the Most High thinks of you because it is the very air you breathe. As Avalon says, "You are my oxygen. I breathe you in and breathe you out." If you have experienced the weird place of knowing God thinks you are "all that" and yet knowing you are only that in Him, you understand.

Thank you Lord that I am yours. Thank you Lord that I am loved by my King. Today is a day I get to walk in your freedom, experience your beauty, and am able to be known by you. While this world changes from day to day, YOU are the same. Today is the day I choose YOU!

P.S. It also helps when you are able to clearly see that I am a part of the side that wins!

The enemy has been defeated. Death couldn't hold you down. I am gonna lift my voice in victory I am gonna make his praises loud! Shout out to God with a voice of triumph, shout out to God with a voice of praise! We lift your name up, we lift your name up! -Just the song in my heart right now.
P.P. S. Yes that is Jacob sticking his head through the net of Jesus, fisher of men or Jacob at that moment!