Sunday, August 29, 2010


"Trust is the courage to accept acceptance." - Scott Hodge

It is always amazing to me how God uses many different people, readings, and messages to get your attention. Lately, this has been the theme. "Trust me", "Stop trying to do it on your own", "I am for you".......

I am realizing that this is an area in my life where I need to be continually reminded. I cannot do this on my own. There is NOTHING I can do to earn God's love. I just have to accept it. I never really think that's an issue for me. However, it keeps coming up, and then I realize that I'm putting my own view of God into my thinking, and I'm NOT trusting Him enough. It's in all the everyday little things, as well as the big things that He is already working on, in His time.

I have never had a church like The Orchard in my life. In so many ways, it is my dream come to life. When Scott Hodge teaches, I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He is using Scott's amazing gift of speaking the truth to breathe life into my soul and to help me realize the areas that I need to work on. I often joke and ask him if he sees the "light bulb" going off over my head during his teaching, because I am constantly making connections in my own life during his sermons.

I am so incredibly grateful to The Orchard, for the steps that they have encouraged and helped me to take in my journey with Christ. I have never felt more at home, or challenged in my faith, as I do from being a part of this amazing community. I am so incredibly blessed!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Amanda Hodge sang this song last weekend at The Orchard. It was the first time I had ever heard it, and I could not control my emotions as she sang it. First of all, it is a BEAUTIFUL song, and Amanda sang it like an angel. But the words have not left me all week. I have downloaded the song and video, and continue to say these words throughout the week.

The words that originally stuck out to me on Sunday were "I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness." That was easy for me to understand, as I am going through a tough stage right now with a broken heel. I am not used to being weak. I am not used to asking for help. I am not used to accepting others' grace towards me. I'm used to giving it, and serving others. Many people have told me that God is most likely telling me that I need to slow down, and I get that, and would also agree.

However, as I have thought on these words this week, I also see that God is also "writing upon my heart to remind me who HE is." I need to be reminded. HE is in control, not me. He understands and has all the answers, not me. Just when I think that I continually understand this, God uses songs and passages to remind me. I also read a quote from A.W. Tozer this week that said "The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us." Wow.

Have I been interfering with God's work? Have I been still trying to do things my own way when I thought I had moved past that? This is definitely something that God is continuing to work in me to realize that I need to trust Him more. So I will continually think and sing 'I know that you are for me", and continue trusting that He has something planned for my life that I can't possibly comprehend at this moment.

"I know that you are for me
I know that you are for me
I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness
I know that you have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who you are"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

So Long, Insecurity!!!

We finished our book club reading "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore. I would highly recommend the book! The group we put together was great, and we really helped walk through the issues the book brought up together. I feel like I have confronted issues of insecurity that I really wouldn't have said that I had. As the issues we talked about in this book continue to need to be worked on, she gave a great "maintenance" prayer at the end of the book. She wrote this before the prayer:

"God is calling you, beloved. He is summoning you to freedom. He is wooing you to joy. He's inviting you to live on purpose and spin around with childlike faith in the acute awareness of His love for you. His hand is outstretched. Take your dignity back no matter where you've been or what has happened to you. Hold on to your security for all you're worth. It is yours. Nothing and no one can take it from you. Now get out there and show some wide-eyed little girls what a secure woman looks like."

Here's the prayer:
My Father in heaven,
I thank you for breath this day to give You praise.
I thank You for a life where nothing is wasted,
a life where pain turns into purpose and Your providence
assigns a personal destiny.
You will never allow anything in my path
that cannot bring You glory or me and those around
me good.
No matter what this day holds,
I am clothed with strength and dignity.
I have divine strength to overcome every obstacle and
all oppression
because I belong to Jesus Christ, and His Spirit lives within me.
You, Lord, are my security.
No one and nothing can take You from me.
You will keep my foot from being caught in a trap.
I choose to turn my back on fear because You are right here with me.
I can smile over the days to come because Your plan for me is good and right.
My heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord.
In the end, I will look in triumph on my foes.
Because of You,
I, Tammy, am secure.
In Jesus' triumphant name,

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Losing to Give - Challenge 2

Many of you know that I just returned from a quick trip to Kansas City to see some friends, including my friend Jamie, who is battling metastatic breast cancer. It was a great trip, and I was so happy to spend time with her and my friends. I am completely inspired by Jamie, and her attitude towards life. You can learn more about her amazing journey on her website,

A few things have been resonating with me since my trip.

1. I need to appeciate my health and take better care of myself. Our health is truly a gift that most of us take for granted (I know I do). Jamie doesn't have a choice that she is battling cancer again. But, I have a choice to eat healthier, exercise, and make good choices for me and my family. The time to start is now.

2. I want to do something to honor her. I pray for her every day, but I don't live close, so I can't help with daily things. Then it hit me. I can do a second losing to give challenge, and this time support in her honor!

So, my second Losing To Give challenge will start tomorrow. In November of last year, I did an eight week challenge and had sponsors pledge to support me with donations to a local food bank. It was a win/win, as I lost weight and helped hungry people in the process. The challenge helped to keep me on track, and helped to inspire others as well.

Here are the details. I will start a 12 week challenge (from April 1st to July 1st). My goal will be to lose 20 pounds in that time frame. I will gladly accept pledges up to the 20 pound mark, that will then be donated to in Jamie's honor. Last time, I had pledges starting at $1/pound and up. You can fill out the information from the link below, or just email me with your pledge amount.

I understand that this is a difficult time for many people, so if you can't support the challenge financially, I would still LOVE your support and encouragement! And, if you feel compelled, I'd love to have others join me in the process!

Here's to raising some money for Breast Cancer, and losing some weight in the process!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"So Long, Insecurity"

I started reading Beth Moore's new book, "So Long, Insecurity". I admit, I only bought it and started reading it because some friends at church wanted to start a discussion group on it. I even commented to one of them on Sunday that insecurity was not really something that I struggled with, but I was looking forward to the discussion.

Wow. I am continually amazed at how books like this can make us aware of things that we don't typically take the time to notice in ourselves. Some of the things I am realizing already are things that I would have never "labeled" as insecure. There are two passages that really hit home with me, especially after the amazing series we just completed at The Orchard, called "What Jim Said".

From Beth Moore's book - "Just when I'm feeling all secure, like I'm God's best friend, an earthquake splits that lofty mountain right down the middle. And boy, am I dismayed. I have a feeling we can never get so secure in ourselves that we cannot be moved. Can a rock ever move forward?

Is the goal of the believing life to get to a place where we simply hold steady till we die? Maybe that's part of my problem. Maybe I just get bored easily. I'm forever wanting to go someplace with God. I forget that in order to really want to go, something has to happen to make me want to leave where I am. Maybe we're all just sick to death of taking three steps forward and two steps back. Call me a math wizard, but isn't that still one step forward? Isn't that still some pretty big progress as we run against the hurricane winds of a godless culture? And if we don't lose that ground, aren't we on our way somewhere new? Willing to take three more steps - even if we lose two?"

Here's the other one - " Perhaps, like me, somewhere deep inside you entertain the lie that you know yourself better than God kows you and that you've somehow successfully hidden something from His omniscient eye. This could be the only explanation for why He bothers with you. For those of us who try to live in the light of Scripture, this thought process is far more subtle than outright. Roots always extend underground. Sometimes, the only way we know one of these roots exists is when we see what's growing from it. If we have false assumptions like, "If God really knew me, he wouldn't like me" hidden somewhere in our core, it will feed our insecurities like a zookeeper shoveling hay to an elephant. We only know that assumption is there because something big, alive, and destructive is growing from it."

Wow. I've been thinking about these passages for the last few days. Very insightful!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thank you for sponsoring me!

Happy New Year! A huge thank you to those of you who sponsored my weight loss through the end of 2009. I am happy about being 11 pounds down going into the year! I appreciate all of your love and support!

Well, tomorrow is my birthday. As each year passes, I find it hard to believe that I am in my late 30s and quickly approaching the big 4-0 in a few years. But, it really doesn't bother me as much as I expected it to. In fact, this year, I have to say that I am happier than I have been in a long time. I have made significant personal and spiritual shifts in my thinking and behavior this year that have helped me to have an even better outlook on my life. I can look back, specifically on the last few years, and truly see how I have learned significant things through the challenges that have been put in front of me. It is never easy during the time, but I know that I am a better person for having perservered through the difficulties.

I am extremely grateful to have an amazing God who loves me, an awesome family, and more good friends than I deserve. I am thankful that I am at a point in my life where I truly appreciate what I have, and continue to push myself to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, professional, etc.

Thank you to all of you who hold a very special place in my heart. I appreciate every one of you more than I can ever express!
Here's to an amazing 2010!