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**important message: in order to see all blog posts under a certain tab or date file, you may need to click on the "older" link near lower right. (something I learned about my blog)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Who "gets you?"

 Who gets you?





















Who knows you?
Your hurts...
Your scars...
Your pains...
Your past...
Your fears...
Your weaknesses....
Your insecurities...

And they choose you anyway?
To be their special one....
Their special....something...
They don't hold it against you.
They don't taunt you.

They calm you.
They love you.
They soothe you.

They keep you going, when the going is tough.
A nudge,
A kiss,
An encouraging word,

You feel them THERE,
You know they  CARE,

A friendship to be treasured,
A loyalty that is rare,

What a pleasure,
With this friend,
Your life to share!
..........................................................................................................................................

God gets you.  He knows you.  He is loyal.

Matthew 10:30
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Jeremiah 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..."

One of the things I love, about the Old Testament Bible, is that from a study or survey of it, clearly we can see that GOD REWARDS OBEDIENCE and FAITH.  His protection, is lifted when we live in sin, but I find comfort in that............... If I endure..... and make the right choices  FOR HIM.......  I WILL BE REWARDED, and I will have my AWESOME GOD on my side !!  And I have forgiveness of sin, in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;"


And I am blessed to have the Holy Spirit to help me do what is right!

John 14:15-18
"If you love Me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with your forever- the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans;  I will come to you."
(Jesus said)

"Thank you God ! "

"Jesus thank YOU for providing the WAY, and being our LIGHT, and sending the Holy Spirit!  I do not want to live this life with out you."

.........................................................................................................................
Thank you for reading.  I hope you will tell your friends, or share a link, if  you appreciate these words for Christ.  I pray the message gets to who needs it.  I am grateful for His work in my life, and I wish to share.  I would gladly address questions or kind comments.
Grandma Mary MarthaπŸ’–

Keep Calm and Thrive on.............

"The teen years were supposed to be fun.  This is not fun."  Have you ever thought that?  Many teens have.  Actually, ask high school kids and grown-ups, and they will likely tell you that they never wished to live junior high over again.  It is not unusual for young people to go through a difficult time of adjustment, during their teen years. 

 Physical, social, and emotional stretches of growth are pretty much inevitable, and actually can lead to something wonderful (adulthood).  But you have to survive junior high first!!




Here are some tips to help you survive and THRIVE:

T...... is for TEMPORARY, and TERRIFIC TIMES.  Remember that these particular difficult days are temporary and you can help yourself and others to grow into the terrific times, with good choices.

H..... is for HOPE and HEALTHY HOBBIES.  
 Hang on to hope that the best is yet to come, as you pursue healthy hobbies.  Art, music, writing, sports, hunting, fishing, dancing...anything that brings goodness and pleasure, real goodness and pleasure, should be pursued with joy and passion.  Spend your time with your healthy hobby rather than looser friends.  Winner friends YES.  Looser friends NO.

R..... is for ROLE models.  
Seek out people and friends in your life who are worthy to be admired for some reason.  Ideally this reason to be admired would be because this person makes the world a better place.  Someone who makes your family, your school, your class, your church, your neighborhood, your home, your team, a better place.  That person could be a role model.  Learn what you can from that person and determine some ways that you can apply that person's talents or wisdom to your own life.  Choose worthy role models !

I..... is for INVEST.  
Invest in others.  Purposefully, seek out others to be nice to them.  Be a friend !  Give encouragement, compliments, help.  Invest your time and goodness in others.  Even choose to invest in those who you feel do not deserve it.  For Christians, help from the Holy Spirit, is a prayer away.  Then to God be the glory for the good things that follow your investment of goodness.

V ..... is for VOICE.  
Use your voice.  Find your voice.  Hang on to your voice.  This means, "speak up."  Speak up for goodness.  Speak up for fairness.  Speak up and ask for help if YOU need it.  Don't carry a heavy burden with out speaking to a trusted or treasured person in your life.  Use your voice to seek counsel, and give counsel.  Don't ever loose your voice!!

E..... is for EXCELLENCE.  
Pursue excellence.  What comes around, goes around.   You reap what you sew.  Pursue excellence so excellence comes back to you.  I have never met anyone who said, "I am glad I was lazy and didn't try."  I have heard lots of people say, "If I had it to do over again, I would TRY HARDER."  Live your life like that now!   Pursue excellence!


Keep calm, and thrive on.  Do all that you do, for the glory of God.







Please share, if you know a teen that could use some encouragement.  Remember, not all are blessed to get it from home.  Thank you!  Oh, and I would love it if you would write in comments, best advice that someone shared with YOU while, growing up.
Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Be a Sad S.A.C.K. -er



My sweet mama used to tell me, "When you start feeling sorry for yourself.... look around and find someone to do something for......"

My mother's primary love language to others, is SERVICE.  Yes!!  Some people show LOVE  through service, and if you are unfamiliar with the specific love languages that people could be speaking love to YOU, then you definitely need to read, Gary Chapman's book on that!


That was really good advice Mom gave ♡♡♡♡♡

I have expanded on this positive advice to declare that
we should all be Sad S.A.C.K.-ers!!

When you are sad or depressed, try one or all, or a combination of these:

S.............SERVE:
Like my mama said, "Look around and find someone to do something for."  Be a blessing to someone else.♡♡♡♡♡


A...............APPRECIATE
There is a wonderful old hymn that goes, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done........."  Really and truly, take the time to list your blessings and thank God for them  ♡♡♡♡♡ This could actually entail taking a walk, and taking the time to appreciate what you see, or petting your dog, and appreciating your faithful friend......APPRECIATE ♡♡♡♡♡

C...............CREATE
I advocate "art therapy!!"  Make something cool or beautiful.  With Pinterest at our fingertips there should no shortage of ideas or possibilities.  Many of you would have double fun, and double benefit if you included a child in your creativity endeavor.  Children's smiles help evaporate our tears,♡♡♡♡♡  and oh my goodness, it just occurred to me, "You can create also in music, and by planning fun times (a party game plan)."  God gave you the capacity to think, plan, and do, and create, for a purpose, and He wants you to enjoy your talents and abilities with a grateful heart. ♡

K................KNOW
Focus on your knowledge from scripture.  **Know your strength, love and hope in Him.  Personally, when I am really down, I like to write scripture on card and note papers and put the reminders all around my house and I have even done it in my car.♡♡♡♡♡

I encourage you all to be sad S.A.C.K.-ers, and teach your children to be.................

Thanks for visiting Grandma Mary Martha, and I would LOVE for you to comment below, with your favorite scripture(s).

**Here are pictures of some postings on a closet door in our house:




If I am a fool, may I be a fool for the Lord!
                                                                
Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–

The BIG Picture Can be Better


Psalm 9:11
Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings

Very recently, my husband, son, daughter and I attended a beautiful wedding, of whom I call, "son of my heart."  My husband and I had tried to adopt him 14 years earlier after loving him for 4 years.  (You can read the story of our love and life, here, in poetry form.)   For this post I wanted to discuss the glory that I found, when I allowed myself to receive it......... the BIG picture.

Being a wedding, it was WONDERFUL to see many people that I had cared about over the years.  Being female.....and  mother...... one of my main concerns was getting my PICTUREs.  I really wanted an intimate picture of the bride, groom, and my family of 4 with them.

Son of my heart looked so handsome.  He conducted himself like a mature, strong gracious man, ALL day long, never showing a sign of tension or stress despite the ceremony, photographs, photographs, more photographs..........over and over.............here and there........ I was a good mommy and I patiently waited my turn.

It was my turn.  It was his turn to call his family up for pictures.

I did not get called, just me, my husband, son and daughter to join the bride and groom.  We got invited up along with two other mothers, and another father......... I knew them all.

None of the others tried to adopt him.  None of the other mothers prepared an intentional "forever place" for him, and took classes and had a home-study done, and hoped and dreamed....... anticipating he would share their family name, be at all future holidays, vacations....events, highs and lows together like family forever.  But the other mother, and the other father........ were going to be in this picture for him, at his request.

"Lord, I know there is a praise here.  Help me to rejoice and accept it- the BIG picture!  Do I want this BIG picture of those other people, on my wall, my special wall?  No.............. but I want to want to......... Help me Lord."

He did help me.

I realized,
I loved those other mothers.  I loved that other father..........his first and very good foster father.  They had been there for son of my heart in ways that he needed, when he needed.  All of us had contributed to providing LOVE, and an example of functional caring adults, that in some way helped this young man that I so admired and loved, to become who he is today.

I WOULD graciously, and with gratitude frame this BIG picture that includes two other mothers and another father figure, and hang it on my special wall.  It will be a testament to the Lord's faithful provision, love and grace.  That is the truth.  I will hang it on my wall.

(When professional pictures come in, I will post the BIG picture for God's glory.)

Proverbs 3:3-6
Let not mercy and truth forsake you,
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

To God be the glory for the great things he has done!  To read more about His splendid grace and provision, I hope you will enjoy this poem linked here, about the back story to this wedding, in poetry form.                 
                       Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Berry Berry Muffins for a Berry Special Friend

We were 11 years old in art class when we met.  By the end of that school year, we were best friends.  At that young age, we literally gravitated to one another because of our common faith and passion for Christ.


Something terrible and beyond our control interrupted our relationship for the next few years, and then she moved.  Our "interruption," was removed, and we resumed contact.  Snail mail, phone calls and summer visits.... then she moved back into the vicinity for a few years, and we wasted no time being "forever friends," as our hearts led.

She had a few babies.  I went to university.  She honed her mommy and wife-y skills.  I became a teacher.  She had a few more babies, and finally I married and had mine.  Then at age 38, she went to college for the first time ever!!  How cool is that?  VERY COOL !!

When her youngest two were in high school, she completed her teaching degree, and we taught across the hall from one another for a few years.  Now, I teach around the corner of the hall from her.

Oh, and in-between all that action, we became neighbors about 250 miles from where we first met in junior high school!

Now, one of the super coolest things about this "berry special friend" is that our first born sons, close to 13 years apart in age, have forged a very special bond.  When my son was 5 years old, we prayed for David's safety every night, as he served his country on foreign soil.  

9 years later, David was home,  re-covering from war, and during that 9 months of separation that I told about in my post titled Juniper Berries and My Bible, David led a Bible study at my house, at my request for my teenage son.  I wanted a male presence in my son's life.  David was an encouragement to my son, and now adult to adult, my son returns that encouragement to his friend.  The first thing he wants to do when he has time here, is "go see David."  Oh!  And my son has called Lory's youngest son his BEST FRIEND, but they never see each other anymore, because he is away in the Army.

Anyway, this all makes me feel like God gave Lory and I a "generational blessing," because our friendship was founded on our sincere sisterhood in Him.

So it is a "berry special day," today, when Lory comes over for muffins and coffee with me ...  old friends ... neighbors ... teachers on summer vacation .. 41 years after we fell in love with one another in 6th grade art class, now our lives and families woven together in an exquisite tapestry like only our Creator could design, and it is flawed... only by our humanity...

Very possibly you have an amazing friendship tale as well!  I would relish to hear about it in comments below, and here is the recipe we enjoyed together today:



....................Berry Berry Muffins.................
1) Whisk together, dry ingredients:
     3 cups flour
     1 1/2 cups sugar
     1 tsp. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 tsp. salt

2) Whisk together in another bowl
      1 cup olive oil
      2 eggs
      1 cup yogurt
      1 tablespoons of lemon juice

3) Incorporate until lump free, the wet and dry mixtures.




4) Toss 2 cups fresh berries (frozen or new and washed) in small amount of white flour to coat and cover them, and then FOLD the berries  carefully into the dough.  Honestly, if you had no berries on hand, I think cubed fresh apples or pears would be delicious as well.

5) For a topping, use a fork to mix 5 tablespoons of butter with 1/2 cup sugar and   3/4 cup of flour, and spoon this mixture on to the dough in oiled  muffin tins.





You can bake it as a coffee cake as well, it just needs to bake longer.  Out of this recipe, I got 12 big muffins and one loaf!

Bake at 425* for 5 minutes, and then turn the oven to 350* for 20 to 25 minutes.  (The loaf took about 15 minutes longer and was scrumptious!!)

Hope you enjoy some Berry Berry muffins with a berry special friend!
Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–

The Back Story



I have a story to tell.
A loving,
Sometimes sad,
Wonderful story to tell,

To me, it is about God's faithfulness, mercy, grace, and provision,
It is true,

20 years ago, as I was teaching 5th grade,
the year of my son's infancy,
I fell in love with a student,
a little girl,
She tried so hard at math,
She was friendly,
Smiling,
Loaded with potential,
With an amazing attitude,
Considering the loving chaos around her,

Devoted big sister she was,
My son's first babysitter,
As I paid her at our school's Open House
To watch my son crawl around while I did my
"teacher thing" in the same room.

We, the little girl and I,
continued to create memories...

Summer after my son turned 2 or 3,
Was is after her 6th or 7th grade year?

I learned that she was in foster-care.
She was a package deal with her younger brother, so

I drove 75 miles twice a month (one way) for almost two years....
Became like an acting aunt to them both.

In the hallway closet, there waited wrapped Christmas presents
Remember the set of books?
That they all wished to give
To the yet TWO
Younger siblings
Who were with their father, not in foster-care,

It was hard on the little girl and boy,
To see their biological family fragmented and scattered,
They searched and grasped
At HOPE and NORMALCY and
A DREAM for the future,

Love grew,
My husband and I felt not mature enough,
or equipped,
To do more than aunt and uncle acting,
and then

For a period of time we had to say good bye til later
And move out of state,

During that time, something dreadful happened,
That caused ALL the children to be removed from that
GOOD FOSTER home,

It was so dreadful...
 That with wet miserable tears
I cried out to God
And I cried out to God
And I cried out to God
I gave the little girl back to Him
I entrusted her to Him, and resolved
to LEAVE her with Him, and
Trust Him to move in her life

I knew He would be with her, and
If/when she looked to Him,
He would be faithful.

She went through a deep dark valley
A scary storm
She felt lost
She felt lonely
Sad
Angry
Let down
Sometimes hateful and resentful


The little brother
felt lost in a thick fog of uncertainty,
He had always loved and depended on his big sister, so much
Now they were separated

And his new foster home, though acceptable,
Was loaded with pesty, pesky,
Younger siblings that sometimes drove him crazy.

The teacher, aunt,
Still loved them both....

She had left the little girl with God.
She resumed a visitation pattern with the little boy,
When she moved back into state,

Not until two years after that,
Did she and her husband,
Finally feel mature enough,
Indeed equipped,
to
Adopt,

Though it was the little girl
That had drawn her in,
Now it was the boy, now a teen-ager
Who she tried to adopt.

There was room in hearts,
A prepared a special place in loving home,
His own room, where could be his....
Forever.

"Home-study"
"The classes"
Finally,  "permission" to INVITE
Him to be a part of the family,  my family, forever and legally

He said NO
I will always love you, but NO
"I feel that it has taken me TWO years to adjust to the school that I go to now.... and I just can't change schools again.........."

What??
"There have been so many times when he didn't have a SAY.  This time he has a SAY.  Be respectful Tammy," I said to myself.

I re-affirmed my consistent love and let him sit with that answer for a week,
Then I called him up and preceded to persuade with every logic and reason and assurance that I could muster.
For two hours I tried.
He still said NO.

So

 We re-affirmed our love,
And I let him GO.

I thought, "He must be doing pretty good...."
I am tired of all the driving......
I'm not gonna do this anymore.
He must not need me.
I'm going to focus on my own family.

My own family now feels empty,
With out the teen-age boy that we prepared
To adopt.

He had said, "Why don't you adopt someone close to Charles's age."

"We don't want someone close to Charles's age.  We want YOU!"

For the first time, since our only son was born,
Our home felt empty,

We asked God to give us a baby from our own bodies,
Nine months later our daughter was born.

Amazing, unexpected journey, life is.....

At that point, my former student,
SHE is still lost and scared and angry,
Her brother is at times lonely and unsure,
But he was settled and progressing in school,
Getting wiser, and stronger, than he knew,

She stumbled through many stormy paths
Sometimes windy and black,

He continued in a familiar home
At a familiar school,
And God brought him a loyal friend,
A peer, and another mother,

Another mother, who loved this boy, my boy,
He graduated from High School, and together he celebrated with his friend,
And this other mother,
She embraced him and loved him, and met a need.

His big sister's path was rougher.
Sin and storm raged around her and could not
Calm the hurt and anger

But God was always there.
He saw their trials.
He knew their thoughts and pains and fears

Good and bad, is the mixture of this world
Retrospect is easier sometimes

Flash forward FOURTEEN YEARS later and the BLESSINGS

are

Miraculous

Staggering

Fantastic

Amazing

I have a 13 year old daughter, a 21 year old son.

My former 5th grade student,
Has a flipping gorgeous daughter of her own,
Who inspires her to rise to a new level,

Her husband is HANDSOME and devoted,

His LOVE has helped her heal,

His extended family has become like her own.

One of the little sisters that she yearned for and ached for 17 years prior....
Is her neighbor now!  Sister and sister in law!!!!

She has found her smile again,
peace,
and hope,
joy,

ASTOUNDING BLESSINGS

He, son of my heart,
Just got married,
To an elementary teacher,
An absolutely beautiful, intelligent, charming lady.
Her hardworking, close knit family has embraced him, as their own.

And there is more......... WONDERFUL.........

Wedding day,
Picture time,
Son of my heart, had three moms, two dads.... stand up as his "parents,"
My daughter was there, the daughter that I almost did not have......

Also in attendance his wedding day,
His oldest and REAL brother, stood up and read a scripture,
His brother's youngest son, was ring bearer and his wife and oldest son were there also.
He, this oldest brother is married to a teacher, and THEY have created books together, with her using her educational background to write, and Tommy using his artistic talent and skills to illustrate.

Their biological uncle was there.  He is doing fabulously, with a beautiful wife and baby son.

I was there with my daughter, that I almost did not have, my 21 year old son who I have always adored, and all these people........... whom I love............

Our connections, our memories, makes me richer.

We are a RICH GROUP of PEOPLE,
To have,
Our history,
Our story,
Our love,
Our HOPEs, DREAMS,
Our God,

Lessons learned,
Hope savored,
Dreams shine,

God has blessed us in ways we could not have imagined, 20 or 14 years ago....

His will be done, for these, your children Lord.
May we rest and walk in You.

Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–
2017

*  If you would be interested in buying the educational resources made by this family, look on facebook:  Chalk, Paper, Scissors😊  Also there is a link on my Grandma Mary Martha facebook page.*

This story is a true one.  I tell it because I am grateful for what God had done.  He is faithful, and love heals.  Loving the children and taking care of each other is our greatest mission.  God bless those that do............ To read a bit more about the "wedding day" and my lesson learned, click here.





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Prayer Packets

I am exceedingly excited !!

If you have read much of my blog, you will probably know that it is authored my me, Tammy, a.k.a. Grandma Mary Martha, and that it springs from my need to be creative.

Housework is so much easier for me after I have had a dose of creativity for the day.  I have a HEAP of housework to do, but it was my great pleasure just now, to make these "prayer packets."

They will be offered to our community prayer walkers, to hold and organize prayer, praise and scripture notes!!  As there are two primary pockets in each organizer or packet, one will be for UN-SHARED and the other will be for SHARED.  I will give a more thorough report on our community prayer walk ministry in another post.  It is a baby ministry that we look to the Lord to grow. 

Here is the how to make your prayer packet:
............................................................................................................
All you need is:

*tape, *ribbon of some kind (I used lace and tulle)
and *paper bags or big envelopes 
* a hole puncher (though you could make the holes with the criss-cross cut method which I will share)
Worth noting:  You can usually buy paper bags, and a roll of ribbon from the dollar store, as well as tape😊
1) Fold the sack or envelope in half so that top and bottom are together at the top!
2) Tape edges or sides together.
3) Make a hole through the front of the piece of the envelope. 
4) Use the brad and or the holes to thread the ribbon through and through, and tie your prayer packet shut to keep your papers from flying out.












Now, lastly, get index cards or standard paper folded and cut into pieces.  Write down petitions that you want to hold up before the Lord.  Think of your family, the Lord's church body in your community and abroad, your community, your state, your nation, the world, the unborn, the persecuted, the needy.  Write your prayer notes down and put them in the back section of your prayer pocket.

Then write down praises from your heart.  Remember to thank and praise God for the great things He has done.

Refer to your Bible and choose scripture to use in praise.  Copy some special verses down.

...............................................................

These prayer pockets some of us will use during our prayer time.  As we speak or share from our slips of paper, we will move the slips of paper from the back pocket, to the front pocket.

I am SO EXCITED about meeting with my sisters to pray, and I encourage you to consider doing this with your daughters and sons and grandchildren.  They could "decorate their packets," with crayons and markers, and even dictate their prayer requests or draw pictures to represent their notes (a picture of their family, etc.)  It could be a very meaningful activity for you to use to share your faith and love of God.

Thank you for visiting me here. If this post is a blessing you, it would surely bless me if you left a comment below.  I will share more in an update later.  Now, I have to get on that heap of housework that is waiting on me.  Have a blessed day, beautiful creation of God! 
Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–

Criss-cross cut hole method, and example of notes with kids:












You don't have to, but I color coded a bit.  When copied from our life giving Bible, I highlighted in green.  When I wrote notes to remind about an issue to address from the heart specifically, I used pink.  I am so excited to have sisters to share special prayer time with ...........


If I am a fool, may I be a fool for the Lord.
Grandma Mary Martha πŸ’–



Self Esteem & Boundaries; John 8

I have about 5 fairly finished drafts in this blog, that I do not publish quite yet, because of questions or insecurity.  Insecurity is un...