Failers Aren’t Failures

Failers Aren’t Failures

When you at first do not succeed, what do you do? “Try, try again?”
Or, do you slip into a self-loathing monologue?

Early in my marriage, I made a financial decision that was unwise. And, it affected us both. My husband and I worked through it, but I did not speak to him immediately when the problem arose. I wanted to solve the problem by myself. This led to lies of omission—which break down trust. Recently I was reconciling our account and discovered a missed transaction. Since it had been a month, we’d thought there was a surplus in our budget and the money had already been spent. When I caught my error, I made like Eve and grabbed my leaves. The fear and shame of making mistakes crippled me—I want to be dependable and never let people down. (but, I’m not capable of perfection. Only God is.) I was internally upset for a few days before telling my husband. When I mustered the courage to tell him (shame from the last time), he was gentle in his response.
I was sobbing and he soothingly said, “We’re on the same team.” “I’m “for” you, Tammy.” “I just want you to tell me right away.” “I love you.” “When you wait to tell me, it separates us.”

As he said these things, I had a revelation that God is also speaking this to me—and to you. He is “for” us. When we avoid Him, it separates us. Not because He is stern or upset, but because we are trying to hide something from Him. It eats us up and robs our peace and steals our joy. We don’t trust Him, and fear an unloving response.
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NKJV)

God knew us in our mother’s womb. He knew what we would need help with, and He’s cheering us on as we try to take steps, even if we totter and tumble. We’re trying and He’s cheering.
Confession frees us from the burden of our sin. We are not free from consequence, but the weight of shame and guilt will not be there. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Jesus told the woman, “neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Grace is not a license to keep doing wrong, but a key to the locks on our chains. We do not have to be locked in to the cycle of sin any longer!
Take heart, friends, we are being perfected and transformed to look more like our Maker every day. As long as He is our strength and perfection, then we can rest in the fact that He created us to do His good works. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

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Recently, I failed to run the entire 5k portion of my “try”athlon, but I was not a failure. I still finished. You and I are here to glorify God’s name. We may be failers, but we’re not failures, and we’re not going to give up. 

Tammy

Getting What I Prayed For

Getting What I Prayed For

Sometimes God answers our prayers and we see right away what He has done. There are big crisis prayers and little tiny prayers, but His answers aren’t always what we expect.

In the journey of life, we have unexpected trips to the Emergency Room, moments where we look around for the adult, then discover “You are the adult”. God reminds us who is in control at the times we have no control. We were certainly aware of prayer in that experience. This year, my six year old had some fluke tummy-upsets on our 4th of July trip. No fever, just needed the tummy to empty itself. (too much sugar and fun at Grandma’s house?) In between the first and second round, we quietly sat in the bathroom at my parents’ house at 4:30am.

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After we prayed for her to be healed, we discussed that God made our bodies to throw up if something bad was in them. “God’s way of healing you may be to have you throw up again.” “It’s not the healing you would like, but you’ll feel better.
After I said that, the profound wisdom hit me.

How many times have I thought God didn’t answer my prayers because it wasn’t the answer I wanted or the answer I was looking for?

A year ago, God answered a prayer for healing. My friend had been battling cancer and was suffering greatly. Her health took a sharp turn in just two weeks. I was grieved and asked Him to either heal her completely or take her home, “but please don’t leave her like this!” She’d been battling osteosarcoma and had just turned 22. The next day, she passed away early in the morning.

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I wanted God to restore her to her pre-cancerous self. He chose to remove her pain for eternity. This was not the healing I had prayed for, was it? I wanted Him to answer the prayer my way.

But sometimes, “it’s not the healing you would like.” Maybe we are allowed to endure things for deeper healing. Maybe the healing is still coming. Maybe we are allowed to experience something sad so we can offer strength and comfort to others when they have a similar experience. We validate their pain with “me too.” “I know what you are feeling.” “I’ve been there.”

Don’t lose hope when God’s answer is not the one you asked for. We don’t see or know everything. At BraveGirl Community, we are committed to praying with you. We have seen prayers answered, and even when bad things happen, God can turn them around for His glory.
When we remain faithful to God in trials, it is a slap in the face to our enemy.
You are never alone.

The video below is Rachel’s testimony when she’d successfully battled cancer the first time. I believe it will bring hope and encouragement to you today! (And for you email subscribers, here’s the youtube link )

How can we pray for you today? Leave a comment and we’ll be sure to respond!

Tammy

How to Win Every Fight

How to Win Every Fight

Would you believe me if I told you I have learned in the past year how to win every fight? Especially if it’s not my fault? All I have to do is picture a traffic light.

I’m sure that you have had somebody close fight with you. You don’t know where it came from, or the magnitude surprises you. Your knee-jerk reaction is one of pain and perhaps retaliation.

This is when you need to visualize a traffic light. Big time!

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Green! (Quick to LISTEN)
Stop all noise. Virtual and otherwise. Turn off your phone, get away from people, find some solitude and quiet. Especially if you are reading a comment on Facebook or a text message. Take time to come down from your initial emotional reaction. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Maybe go for a walk. Pray. Remove yourself from the situation for a minute. Perhaps you are just an unfortunate recipient of somebody’s pain and hurt, and it has nothing to do with you at all. Are they under a lot of stress? Have there been recent changes or losses in their life? What may have caused them to lash out?

Yellow. (Slow to SPEAK)
We want to answer immediately. Often, though, our emotional response is less than gracious. Giving yourself a day or two (if possible) before responding can also open an opportunity for explanation. Maybe their intent did not come through in their words. What they meant to say and what they actually said could be two different things. You can ask questions to clarify, giving the benefit of the doubt, and possibly receive a resolution immediately.

If you are genuinely upset, a vague “rant” on Facebook will stir up curiosity from many not involved. Leave them out of it. Instead, if you must talk to someone—choose only one. Speak to them directly if you can. The digital age often results in misinterpretations with lack of facial expression. Emojiis just don’t cut it compared to tone of voice.

Red. (Slow to become ANGRY)
Assume the best about this person. If you’ve had a great relationship until now, a fight is upsetting. Why? You are afraid of losing this friendship. You clearly value this person and what they think of you—which is why you feel so wounded.
Don’t throw away what you have in a moment of pain. Remember why you like them. Pray for them. Ask for reconciliation. Will this matter a month from now? A year from now?
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” ~Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)

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If you didn’t immediately recognize our traffic light, it’s found in James 1:19. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
This, my friends, is how we win the fight. We choose love.
Sometimes, we will have to love from far away, but often “hurting people hurt people.” There is a hurt inside that person that is spreading like a wildfire. You can choose to respond in love and stop the cycle of hurt.
How can we pray for you?

Tammy

Stronger Than Britney Spears

Stronger Than Britney Spears

I am currently training for a “sprint” triathlon. It’s a 1/2 mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run (3.11 miles). In that order. The available swim times are difficult with three children 7 and under unless I want to pay for babysitting every time. So, I am waking at 4:45am, donning my triathlon suit (which can go straight to bike and run), and riding my bike to our pool.

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What I think I look like training…

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What I really look like. (Rode in a downpour. It was like swimming while biking)

Though early mornings are not my preference, it is in the stillness of the house that I am really able to listen to God. To let my heart rest and breathe in His Presence. To accept His strength for the day. In college I would read my Bible at night, before bed. Motherhood has caused my schedule to shift dramatically.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (NIV)

That verse has recently been a positive reminder that even Jesus needed time alone with God. In college, I strongly disliked that verse. What I have discovered about myself is that I am rather lazy—at least when it comes to getting up early. I would much rather sleep than bike 3 miles to a pool, swim 900 yards and bike home in time for my husband to go to work.

Even though I did a half-marathon without stopping two years ago, I haven’t exactly prepared for the running part. Still, with a goal in mind, I’m pressing on. Last night I jogged a mile without stopping! Never mind that it took 12 and a half minutes. Slow and steady wins the race.
While jogging and close to home, the pop song by Britney Spears called “Stronger” popped into my head. I came up with alternate lyrics. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a standard “we broke up and I’m doing fabulous” song with a cheesy music video.

My chorus was:
“Now I’m stron-ger than yesterday,
finish line’s less than a mile away,
and my laziness ain’t killing me no more,
I, I’m stron-ger!”
(It took everything in me to refrain from correcting the word “ain’t”. It’s in the original song. Ugh.)

The difference between me and the girl in the original song, is that I don’t believe I’m better off alone. I do need to get in a quiet secluded place, but it’s to meet with God. And? He’s waiting. He’s delighted to see me.

Rather than leave you with Britney’s music that was rather hopeless, I’ll leave you with a Love Song written by Third Day. It’s alternately called “Just to be with you.”

God just wants our time, our attention, so He can use us for His glory. The pressure is off when we’re doing His work. He’s doing the work and we’re just a part of it. My daily prayer has recently become, “Lord, please show me how I can bring glory to Your Name today.”
The truth is, when God gets glory, and I see His hand working? It fulfills all the empty places that scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and Twitter never fill. I notice people, creation, all things that exist without technology.
Technology is useful-you are reading this post because of technology, but it is a poor substitute for the fullness of God.
Try to take five minutes to just breathe in Jesus and tune out the noise. He’s waiting. 🙂

Tammy

Photo Credit

Grace In The Eleventh Hour

Grace In The Eleventh Hour

Some things in life bear repeating. For over a month, I have been under the downspout of grace. So, this week I’m sharing what God has shown me. I’m not done with grace, and hope you can handle another dose!

“Justice is getting the bad we deserve.
Mercy is NOT getting the bad we deserve.
Grace is getting the good we don’t deserve.”
~Dr. Helen Fagan

I’ve been learning about grace. Grace is offered to everybody. You may know about it your entire life, or perhaps you don’t. Maybe you live a heavy life of imperfection—knowing you don’t measure up. Then, one day, you hear about grace and you are set free!

Matthew 20 begins with a parable about the kingdom of God. I’d always thought it was speaking about salvation, but am glad to know it is talking about GRACE!

In this parable, a vineyard owner hires workers for a denarius (a day’s wages). As the day wears on, he hires more workers at three or four different times. “In the eleventh hour, he went out and found still others standing around…’You also go and work in my vineyard.’

When it comes to the end of the day, he pays all the workers the same wage, regardless of when they began to work in the day. The all-day workers are upset that the eleventh-hour workers also received a denarius, and that there was no extra pay for themselves.

He answered one of them, Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first and the first will be last.

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This doesn’t seem fair, but the truth is? Salvation is not fair. We sinned. Jesus never sinned. He died to pay for our sins. That’s the epitome of “not fair”. And? He did it because He loves us. He knew we could never be sinless, so He spent His own life-blood to pay our ransom.

An excellent example of eleventh-hour grace is given in Luke, chapter 23. Jesus is on the cross, between two criminals. One is taunting and mocking him, but the other defends Jesus. “But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43)

Grace is given to all people, regardless of our stories. Maybe you’ve been a vineyard worker your entire life. You’re serving God with passion and purpose. Maybe you came to him in your childhood. Or maybe in your teens, twenties, fifties, eighties—the amount of grace offered is the same. We can’t earn grace. Our good deeds don’t outweigh our bad ones. Jesus is the one who gives us all that righteousness that we long for.

When you accept grace, it frees you to extend grace to others. We forgive others because all our sins are forgiven. I encourage you to start living in grace. Strive to do your best, but allow a do-over, a fresh start, for the days that are less than your best.

And remember, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

You will find that the more you live in forgiveness, the more peace you find within. You look behind the offense to the hurt that caused a lashing-out. You begin to look on others with love and compassion, and you transform into a vessel full of grace. It begins with one small act of forgiveness and grace at a time, but it becomes a habit and then a lifestyle.
We’re walking this road together, you and I. And don’t forget that grace is extended to you, so forgive yourself as well.

I’ll leave you with a song about Grace. It’s called “Broken Vessels” by Hillsong. It speaks so beautifully about how Jesus sees us. (If you read my posts through our email subscription, you don’t see the video links. The videos are embedded on the web page)
So, here’s the youtube link.

TammyHow about you? Are you longing for grace but unsure how to start? Leave a prayer request in the comments. We’d love to pray for you!

This post originally appeared at OneWord365.com

Photo credit

Being There

Being There

I grew up in a bigger family. I was the oldest of five kids. My parents both worked hard and expected the same of each of us. The thing I cherish the most about my childhood is that my parents always made an effort to be there for our important events. Their time was precious, but they made sure to communicate our value by showing up.

In today’s distracted society where our computers are palm-sized and double as cellular phones, I think we can miss “being there”.

My second-born is the “middle child”. As we have three girls, there are definite dynamics at play on a regular basis. She had a kindergarten graduation this year, and I volunteer as the music teacher at her school. Two years ago, I missed part of her older sister’s ceremony while preparing food for the rest of the celebration. I have regretted that. I need to let it go.

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Monday’s view for my parents. Eastern Oregon is not as lush and green as the Western side. Oh, and this was their view Wednesday too!

This year? When the graduates were released to their parents for the slideshow, I was certain she’d want to sit with Grandpa and Grandma (who did not get teacher-reserved seating like myself). After all, they are my own parents who decided to drive all day on a Monday (400 miles) for a Tuesday full of preschool programs and kindergarten graduations, just to turn around and drive 400 miles on Wednesday to go back home. (Did I mention that they have always made an effort?!)
She instead, chose to sit with me. I put my arm around her. I held her hand. I chose to be in that moment.

I was absent from social media for those couple of days and I don’t regret it. My Mom (thankfully) took lots of photos on her phone and liberally shared them. I tagged myself.

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While posing for my husband’s camera, I was unaware of my Mom’s snapshot. I love this picture of us!

My husband took multiple photos for me. I have not yet looked through them. Instead, I was able to just “pin” those memories to my brain without any digital aid.

For our friends’ sake, for our health’s sake, sometimes we need to intentionally get away from the constant updates on life. We need to just be there.

Being there will always cost you something. All we are allowed to take away from this life are our relationships. Those moments where we’ve connected and impacted each other. What will we sacrifice and what will we gain?

My parents delayed leaving so we could all go out to breakfast. My second-born lost her first tooth at the table! They delayed further and attended the elementary awards chapel, though my eldest wasn’t being awarded. I was given a teacher award and my parents got to see it. Mom even came up and took a photo!

They may have lost sleep. The jet lag of such a quick trip and sleeping in a foreign place for two nights is real. They were there for some amazing moments, though. My kids will remember Grandpa and Grandma “being there”.
For them, the sacrifice was well worth the reward.
I want to be intentional when I visit with friends. I don’t want us to simultaneously zone out and scroll on our phones. And I want my kids to know I love them. I want to be “in the picture” instead of always taking and posting a picture. Instead of clinging to photos, I want to cling to the memories.

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My Mom was here to see me honored and took this photo! This is my eldest daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Bowman, who was giving out the awards.

If you’re a parent, school is out or will be soon. I encourage you to choose a time. Schedule it on your calendar. Be there. Be fully there. Forget to take a picture. Just remember it for yourself. Let someone else take pictures and just savor that moment.
I don’t regret it. And I don’t think you will either.

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (ESV)

Tammy

You Make Me Brave

You Make Me Brave

I’ve been learning so much about grace lately. I never realized how hard I’d been on myself. I always thought if I worked hard enough, I could prove to God that I was worthy of His love and favor. I wanted to be the strong one, the dependable one. I hated my failures. You can read my post on “Finding Grace in Nebraska“.

If you have already learned this lesson, bear with me, because it’s so important to learn. God wants to be our strong one. He wants us to depend on Him—not ourselves. His ability, and not ours—to protect and provide for our families, or even ourselves.

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I had a dream recently. When I dream, it’s like an IMAX experience. You are really there—in vivid color! You hear, feel, sense every single part of it. In pleasant dreams, this is a blessing. In nightmares, well, you understand.

In my dream, I was inside my home and it was very stormy outside. There was an enemy raging outside, and I can tell you that the threat to my children was implied. When my children are threatened, there is a great protective mechanism that rises inside with a warrior’s cry!
I awoke with my mouth whispering, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

My husband woke me, as he knows what is going on when he hears me whispering Jesus’ name in my sleep. I then got up because one of our girls began to cry in her sleep.
When I had finally gotten her back to sleep, I sang myself to sleep.
The song, “Let it Rain” came to my mind.
In the middle of the song (2:31 in this video I’ve embedded), Psalm 97, verses 1-6 are read aloud. I tried to recall the passage as I prayed.

Psalm 97

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
    let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
    and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all peoples see his glory.

I prayed for God’s armies to be unleashed against these foes that came in my sleep. The perspective of “Our God is greater, Our God is stronger” is very powerful and can combat these fears.

The greatest comfort in this sleep experience was my devotional the next morning. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

It is not my own strength or power that I draw from, but God’s. And as I test the ability of God’s power to defeat my enemy—I find increasing courage and boldness to respond to those attacks firmly and standing tall.

That inner strength that God provides? It’s causing me to have more and more courage, even when I’m scared speechless. Bravery is not the absence of fear. It is a confidence, knowing our battles already have a victor.
Even though my feet may fail and fear surrounds me, I know who I trust. And He’s never failed. And He won’t start now.

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You make me brave, You make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. You make me brave, You make me brave, no fear can hinder now the love that made a way.

 

Tammy

Called to Fight

Called to Fight

I’m a peacemaker. As a child, I was very compliant. I may have been muttering in my mind, but outwardly, I wanted so much to please my parents. I naturally want to fix and mediate. I enjoy fair and balanced situations and long to bring peace where there is conflict.

My children are of a different bent. (My youngest has a touch of compliance after seeing her sisters consistently get negative consequences for misbehaviors)

Speaking with other parents who never “talked back”, we are perplexed. How did our children come out so differently? The parenting methods that worked on us don’t seem to work on them.

It is my opinion that we are raising the warrior generation. And? They were given to us. They are in training. That means that we peacemakers must lay down our flags of surrender and pick up our shields of faith.

God is calling US to fight.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11
“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Proverbs 30:5 (NLT)

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Bravery is not an absence of fear—it is the courage to face the fear.

As I embrace the call to fight, it is not emotional or logical, but it is a passion. I need to train up my warriors so that they can tell friend from foe.

There are battles unseen to our eyes that we are daily facing. You were placed on Earth for such a time as this. Do not fight alone, but instead join with others.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

And, be prepared.

Tammy

 

Enjoying Life

Enjoying Life

When was the last time you really enjoyed something??
Not:
“When was the last time you were busy doing something that you loved, but now it has taken over your life?”

It’s so like us to keep busy and running around and “doing” all the time—because we doubt anybody else can get it done the way we want it. This constant flurry of activity wears on our mortal bodies and on our immortal souls.
Recently, my children were ill. I had to make the decision to keep them home from their school where I also volunteer and substitute teach. It meant missing the music classes I normally teach, but their low-grade fevers were a signal of rest needed.

The same morning, I read from two different Christians, who ended up ill, needing rest.
“When a back injury left me confined to the couch, barely moving to avoid the pain, I had no choice but to literally stop all my Christian activity and be. I lay there feeling like I had nothing left to offer God.” ~Christine Caine

“I just keep feeling worse. Like I would go to a work meeting, come home and crawl into bed for an hour, then go to the next one. “These allergies ARE KILLING ME!” I would think…The Lord majorly got onto me about it yesterday when I was journaling and praying. Like, there’s nothing impressive about working a lot. There’s nothing “cool” about not making time for what we are commanded to make time for. The first third of this year I have missed time with God that would have made a difference in my life because I don’t make space. I’m no busier than you or him or her. We all have the same amount of hours in a day. I just waste more” ~Annie F. Downs
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This morning, my devotional verse was from Ecclesiastes 8:15.

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun

When we don’t take time to rest, we miss out on the enjoyment of life. While home with my girls, we got to enjoy life. No stress of three different pickup times, making sure they had their backpacks all set to go, making sure I was prepared myself and ready to teach.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with those activities, but that when we allow ourselves to become busy, we drown out the sweet, soothing voice of God asking us to slow down and enjoy life.

Can you picture yourself like the Psalmist, David?
“He MAKES me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3)

Does God have to make us lie down in order to give us the quiet and rest He knows we need? Or will we make that a priority and pursue the rest that causes us to once again be useful?

If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to subscribe to Basking in His Light. Her photographs with short scriptures are a daily encouragement to me, and she has been sharing from Psalm 23 recently.

Today, may you find joy in small moments. Perhaps it’s the song of a bird, a small wildflower with a burst of color, the vibrant hues of the sunrise or sunset, but just a reminder that the God of the Universe loves you and delights in you and created life for you to enjoy it.
Today is a gift.
Tammy

Soaking It Up

Soaking It Up

Here at BraveGirl Community, we try to bring you encouragement regularly. So, we’ve got a schedule that’s flexible, but gives us a small bit of structure. My posts are supposed to come every other week, and we call them “Thirsty Thursdays with Tammy”.
A little alliteration there, but this week really does have to do with thirst.

Many of us are trying to “do it all”. We’re balancing our work lives with our personal lives and in the midst of all that we’re doing, we’re drained. There is a general sense of exhaustion that cannot be pinpointed, but it’s there in the background—if I stop long enough to notice it. Frequently I choose to then busy myself to drown it out.

If you study dehydration, the body mistakes the need for water with a hunger sensation—therefore not drinking enough water leads to weight gain. How many of us are spiritually dehydrated? We consume our social media, our music, our activities, anything we can find to try and fill that nagging, gnawing void.

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Like a sponge, we don’t work as well when we’re dried out. And? A clean sponge, moistened with soapy water, will clean up a mess without absorbing too much of it. A dry sponge, on the other hand, will absorb every bit of that mess and it will be difficult to separate the mess from the sponge. It soaks up the dirt, the spill, and it becomes part of the sponge.

In Isaiah 55:1-3, God calls to us.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I have been so thirsty lately. I recognize a restlessness, a discontent, and it seems to be linked to the amount of time I’m spending on the computer or on my phone. I have a craving inside for something, but what? What is it that I’m really wanting?
(in verse 6-7, we get the answer)
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

And if we seek Him? Here is His promise—here is the power of His word: (starting in verse 10)
As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

If you are feeling empty, restless, needy, discontent, unsatisfied, perhaps you too are needing the “word that goes out from my mouth”. I long to go out in joy and be led forth in peace! Oh how wonderful that sounds!
I’m subscribed to a few pages on my Facebook feed that consistently share Bible verses and I cannot count the times that it has helped me.
Below is a list of phone apps or Facebook pages or emails that have “fed” me and brought me strength.
BibleGateway has a daily verse on their homepage.
GoTandem is a free app for your phone that will give you up to four verses a day and they tailor it to your needs based on a short survey you fill out. They also take prayer requests.
Proverbs31 Ministries has a daily devotional sent to your email (Monday-Friday).
Christine Caine has a daily email.
Unveiled Wife has a daily prayer for wives that can be sent to your email.
YouVersion is a great app for Bible Verses.

There are many others out there, so please add your favorites under this post in the comments.
My best encouragement to you is to find a short scripture that fills you up and write it out, hang it up where you’ll see it, and commit it to memory. (write it on your heart)
Here’s one that I found easy to remember.
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” ~Psalm 90:14

Also be watchful of the entertainment you seek out. You will absorb whatever you see, hear, meditate on. If you aren’t feeling filled, maybe there is a worship song that will focus you and feed you.
Mine lately is “Oceans” by Hillsong.

Again, we always love to hear from you. Visit us on our facebook page, send us a tweet, or email us! Leave a comment with a scripture that’s been feeding you. It’s guaranteed not to return void!

Tammy