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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Stain is on My Hands

approx. 4 minute read

The stain was on my hands.  The fruit has been mostly delicious, but not quite perfect.  The stain, in truth, has been washed away by the blood of Jesus, but we still have the memories.

My  grown-up son said he didn't like to hike with us (his dad and me)  when he was growing up because all we did was fuss.............  Before that, on other days, he made comments to the effect of himself  being shocked that his dad and I ever, "got together," (because we fussed so much).

Too late to do over those parts now.  

How did it happen?  How did I try so very hard to make his family, our family, my family here, so precious and special, and earn those comments from him?

Well sometimes the "fussing," was me defending my son from impatient reactions from a stressed father.  I "fussed" to try and teach my husband what was normal toddler crankiness, and to protect my son.  I also "fussed," trying to make other things perfect................... like you should KNOW that when I ask you to get ice-cream for the root-beer floats (southern U.S.A. thing maybe)  for our son's COWBOY party of course I mean VANILLA, and, "How could you have bought COOKIES-N-CREAM?"
And, "How is it fair that you are the one that uses ice in drinks most often, but you NEVER fill the ice-trays with water......"
And, "What? It's my day off and you expect me to give YOU, who I live with and see all the time, my top priority in time?"

I really just wanted a good life for us all, and sometimes I "fussed" over stupid stuff.  Somethings were valid topics.  Sometimes my position was valid and worthy. Most fusses were stupid, and on most issues I should have kept my mouth shut.

Thank God, over the YEARS my husband grew in patience, and we both grew in wisdom.

I seem to be continuing the generational trend  of my linage to get better as I get older, even in my marriage.  I am really sorry that I was not better..... that my son would make comments about how his family was filled with peace and love.

All things are relative.  Poor guy.  Maybe he remembers the "fusses" so much because they contrasted so greatly, with the general love, peace, and stability that he benefited from generally.  I hope so, but never-mind........... it doesn't change what he said,  and how he feels or remembers. I believe in being respectful of our children's opinions and feelings.

I try to console myself.   Doesn't it mean that I did something right, the fact that he made good grades in school, was well behaved in school, and is doing well in university, and that he smiles, and likes to visit??   Oh, and by God's grace we did not divorce.  His parents are still together and after 11 years of fussing over stupid stuff, a 9 month separation, and 8 years of more practice,  WE ARE BETTER NOW, and still together !!   

This is the challenge of the empty nest phase.  
Job is largely done.  Time to live with the results or the evaluations.

When he makes those comments, I don't argue.  What would it profit?  I usually pat his back, rub his back and apologize.  (Hey maybe that's why he says such things?😏 ) 

Hopefully you can look back and feel proud and grateful for your accomplishment in raising your child or children.

I still have one at home.  She naturally reflects differently on her home of origin.

I suppose it is all part of the human journey.

Young mothers, be careful.  Our time with our children under our roof is rather fleeting.

Hopefully we will have more years to make good memories,  LOVE them and SUPPORT them with encouragement and gentle guidance.  All of the time is priceless and precious.  Please don't fuss over stupid stuff. I am hopeful that my grandchildren will see less of that, and if my son and daughter-in-law, or my daughter and future son-in-law, do better than my husband and I in our marriage, "Praise GOD!!  Thank you Father ♡♡♡!"

Isaiah 30:15 quietness and confidence shall you be your strength

I desire that God would use my mistakes and vulnerability here, to spread SONSHINE.  May wisdom and truth light your path.  Blessings in Christ,

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha 💖

Need Empty Nest support?  Go here and click join >>

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Book on topic of JOY

CHOOSE  JOY  BECAUSE HAPPINESS  ISN'T  ENOUGH, by Kay Warren is an easy and worthwhile read !  

She has particular credibility to address the topic of joy, because of the particular trials and hardships that she has endured, and she is courageous to share MUCH of her personal stories in this book.

This book is pretty darn packed with helpful suggestions to help you wrestle life and win your joy in Christ, as well as illustrations to drive her wisdom home for you.  Rich with scripture references, this book is a gem.  

If you do just a little research on Kay Warren in You-tube, your heart will be touched, and you will see why she is a woman we can learn from and be encouraged by.  I highly recommend this book, and give it 5 hearts♡♡♡♡♡

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Challenge I See

Recently, I was seeking guidance from the Lord on if I should exert more control over my daughter's schedule or choice of activities in order to reserve time for more "ministry."

Praying about it, the answer that came kind of surprised me, and I imagine it would be unexpected to you as well.

My answer was...........You don't need to get her involved in a particular outreach ministry.  You need to be better at leading her, guiding her, encouraging her, to LOVE the people that she comes across in her everyday choice of activities.

Can I just admit, this is not an easy order.  This is not an easy answer.  We already do our best, I thought, and now I am called to lead her to do better.

Honestly I can think of other ministry outreaches that would be easier.

LOVE........ all of those people?  Certain faces and personalities come to my mind.  I know these people.

"Oh Lord help me.   I want to Lord.  YOU please help me to meet this challenge."

It's not an easy order for this Mom.

How about you?  Is there someone or certain personalities that you need to work on loving, and teaching your children to love?

Let's be praying that we get better at this, because this is a great commandment towards our fellow man.

I love how 1 John 4 speaks to the calling to love.  Here is a lovely verse to meditate on:

1 John 4:7 
 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.  (KJV)

Thanks for sharing some life with me through the blog.  I am always thrilled to hear from you in the comments.

And in-case you have teens or very young people  in your life, here are a few  other articles that I wrote specifically with them in mind: >Here, this one speaks to surviving junior high or social challenges of youth.
>This one speaks to how to deal with the mulligrubs or the blue moods. (courtesy of my good mother's raising of me!)

 Love in Christ,
Tammy @ Grandma Mary Martha💖

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fun Chicken and Squash

My son and his family are welcomed in this house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but I like to know in advance when they are coming (if possible) so I can be prepared.  One reason is, a grocery store is not near-by and what my daughter and I are content to eat, is not guest serving standard. 

 I like to have special food for my son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter.  This time, I made CHICKEN and SQUASH   PARMESAN, and as I prepared it myself, this time I thought, "How much fun this would be for a kid to do......"

I had a 3 pound bag of frozen "chicken tenders."  I cut them in half to make STRIPS.  I put two sleeves of RITZ crackers,  into a bowl, and smashed them to crumbs with the bottom of my grand-daughter's cup.  How much would a kid love to do that?    I cut the ends off of two squash and cut them in half.

I put about one part Parmesan cheese into 3 or 4 parts crumbs.  (Grandma Mary Martha likes to cook with out measuring and being precise.)

Then I plopped two (big serving size) spoons of mayonaise, on top of the chicken strips.

FUN PART that kids can enjoy helping with:  Give the raw chicken and squash a bath in the squash.  Just rub 'em down with mayo!!

Then roll 'em in the crumb Parmesan mixture, and set them on a wire rack set on a baking sheet.  You could of course set them on an oiled baking pan, but I like the rack method.

I filled up two sheets/racks like this, and when I had a little bit of mayo and crumbs left over, I simply looked for a scantily dressed piece of chicken or squash and and applied it with a spoon.  Squash set skin side down.

I baked it at 400* for about 5 or 10 minutes and then turned the oven down to 350*.  When it is white through and through, and lightly brown it will be tender, juicy and yummy. I didn't track the time, sorry.  I am Grandma Mary Martha, not a professional recipe blogger. Fun and creative sharing, and Sonshine are my main goals here.)

Above are next day left-overs.  I got too busy enjoying my visitors, to take more pictures yesterday evening when they arrived.

Right here, I am going to try and link to two awesome write-ups by two of my blogging sisters recently, hoping one will be a particular blessing to you.

💖Here is link to a young woman, young mother of small child ,blogger,  "Happy Healthy Holy Home," ><   I found it particularly encouraging towards mother's who are perhaps putting other goals or focuses aside in order to invest in their small children.  A VERY IMPORTANT JOB !!!  

💖Here is my favorite empty nest blogger.  She doesn't necessarily call herself that, but she is a Christian blogger, who is dealing with the adjustment of parenting ADULT children, like  I am, and everything I have read that is written by her, has been very relevant and encouraging for this stage of life for me.  Maybe you would enjoy her posts as well.  Here is her recent post  >The Comment that Wouldn't Leave Me Alone<.  I love them all, by Lori Ziegler!

Blessings to you, sisters of God's world, whatever stage of life you are in.  God builds beauty, lessons, challenges, hope, and wisdom in to each season!  I truly hope you come back here to visit, and sign up for me to share encouragement via e-mail (box in upper right of computer format).

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha💗

Thursday, August 17, 2017

What is at the root?

Have you ever had a dream (a goal to achieve) come to you, seemingly planted in your heart?  And if it is for God, then you assume it is from Him..... that it is in accordance with His will, because your aim is after-all, good fruits for the kingdom.  

I recently  realized how helpful in decision making it is to consider, "what is at the root."

To make sure my dream or goal is appropriate, or "what is at the root of it", I ask myself:
WHAT do I want to achieve?
WHAT is the goal?
Would it please God?
I always must consider my priorities:
RESPONSIBILITIES (non-negotiable)

Now on the side of accomplishing for the kingdom, with God's blessing, grace, and provision, I am encouraged by standing on HOPE and FAITH, and reaching far and working hard, possibly taking risks with the aim of good fruits for the kingdom being my goal.

But characteristic of walking in this world, we no more than determine our direction for the kingdom, and discouragement is soon to come.  The enemy does not want workers striving and investing time, talents, treasure, or hopes, dreams, faith, for the edification of anyone in Christ (individual or group).  

So when discouragement comes, how do you filter through what is real and legit, and what is a bogus bullet or bomb from the enemy?  To determine, "what is at the root" of the discouragement, and the validity there-of, consider:

1) scripture applied
2) counsel of Christians that you respect
3) prayer/listen
4) What is your fear? Why are you discouraged?

In my case recently, I had to admit my fears and anxiety were tied to fear (more imagined that REAL), vanity...........literal vanity in different ways........... Are imagined fear and vanity valid discouragement when considering a path dreamed toward good fruit??

In the spiritual context, I think not! I shall continue to consider above listed 1,2,3, but understanding the root of my discouragement helps me to know where I intend to place my feet........ on the side of HOPE, and FAITH, good counsel and scripture, not on the side of vanity and imagined fear, or even pride and fear of failure....

Are you facing a decision of choice that is difficult for you, because you think you know what is right, but discouragement comes and scares you or intimidates you?  Consider it all in light of scripture.  Consult Christians whom you respect.  Pray, listen, and stand on HOPE and FAITH to do the right thing. Could it be that you need to step out in faith and trust that God is big enough, faithful enough, trustworthy enough, that with Him on your side, you will come out BLESSED ? (rhetorical question) 

Do what will build someone up, be it an individual or group.  May we live to serve our Father through serving His people.  He loved them all, enough to die for them on the cross. 

When we put our Father first, He will meet our every need.

Thank you for reading.  My His SONSHINE light your way.

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha💖

P.S.  Thank you to my counselors, and all glory and honor to our Lord.  His will be done♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Solitary Prayer Walk

Another fabulous view in the evening, across the fence from the school, where I walked around the track.  It was special time with the Lord.  

While I was seeking to make a difference with intercessory prayer, I was blessed with some wisdom (which I will share)

When I sell myself short,
am critical of myself,
lack appropriate confidence in myself,
allow fear or insecurity to taunt me,


I am selling God short,
denying Him glory and praise,
and confidence that He deserves,


I am what I am because of the grace and blessing in Him and He is MORE THAN ENOUGH.....

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; our sufficiency is of God;

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Isn't that just like our loving Father.......... I pray because I want to be a blessing to the kingdom through His work in me...., 


I am abundantly blessed myself, from Him.

May you be blessed in the Sonshine, day or night from our Father.

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha 💖

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

(A) Reflections after Chapter 2 of Boundaries

I actually am not far in to this book, but I am so excited about it, luving the brain-food, so I decided to share my reflections specifically on Chapter 2 of Boundaries, by Dr.Henry Cloud&Dr.John Townsend.

I spent a decade of my life reading self help genre, so in that context I think I have some experience to compare to.  This book is a keeper, and a lender.  You will want to lend this book to friends and you will refer to wisdom gleamed over and over if you are like me.

Something that I so very much appreciated about this book is that the Dr.s wrote it from a Christian perspective, and quote scripture through out,  AND there is a tone of HOPE on every page.  These professionals have seen (no doubt) HELPED families and individuals recover from dysfunctional patterns, and wounds, and today, there is a people  who are hungry for HOPE.

These guys spell it out.  In chapter two they have helped broaden my understanding of my family of origin, as well as the individual that I grew to be.  In chapter two alone, I found passages that made me think, "Every parent should have this language in their tool chest."

If you want to read more, it follows in part (B).

Someone trained in journalism and blogging media, suggested that my LONG posts could inhibit my reading audience or page views, because typical blog reader will loose interest when the post is too long.  Well I am a long winded writer sometimes, so I am experimenting with dividing my posts into sections, to be posted on different days and linked together in the long run.  

I would be so happy for your input in the comments on any issue brought up here.  Thank you for visiting ♡  
Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha

(B) Reflections after reading Ch. 2 of Boundaries

In chapter 2, this book by Dr.Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend has not been so much about learning how to take control, but more about understanding elements that are key to our decision making and even perhaps personality, that effects relationships, feelings, and boundaries there of.

Some epiphanies that I penciled in the margin of my book (borrowed from a friend- glad to think she loves me enough to put up with me writing in her book):

*A great language  template to keep in our tool chest is:

He/She is __________ and happy. You fill in the blank with annoying or dysfunctional behavior, like drunk etc...
You are ___________ and miserable. You fill in the blank with the result of the dysfunctional behavior, like tired, stressed, angry etc... 
What can we learn from this?...  What needs to change?...
Has ________ helped? ... What else might we try?

Pretty cool communication don't you think.  I haven't modeled this for my children and haven't had it modeled for me.  I haven't really used it, but I hope to from here on........That communication template was not even stated in this book, but it is something I took from a story shared.

There is awesomeness on every page of this book if you ask me.  Another epiphany that I got from chapter 2 is:

*If you interfere with people reaping what they sowed, you might be interfering with God's will !!! (Galations 6:7 )  Be careful and handle with prayer........  

*GOD obviously has boundaries, so should we !!

I am not going to write-up anything on the other chapters, but I shared a taste.  

Have a wonderful blessed day.
Grandma Mary Martha💖

Monday, August 14, 2017

Turning it over in Prayer

God is my judge, in my prayer-life and ALL.  Before Him, and with you, I share my prayer, and ask for your agreement.  You feel free in the comments, to share thoughts, or request prayer yourself.

Lord, I am so grateful for your AMAZING LOVE and FAITHFULNESS, and for beauty, friends, and encouragement along the way.  

In every change, every phase, every curve in the road, YOU  have provided beauty.  

I am grateful for my memories of the beauty
........... the long stretches of coastal plains, and the salty rippling bays

........ the tall piney woods forests, with trees that near reach the sky

............. the deserts of Nevada, where the sky is the most beautiful BLUE that ever shined

......... the limestone hills here in Texas where I live, with the mesmerizing babbling rivers and brooks.  

These are memories that I hold dear, along with the faces that smiled along the way, shared a friendly word or thought, or pat on the back.  In these things, I feel YOU and and I see your love and your power.

 I am disappointed in myself, that often I do not embrace change or challenge in confidence, if it takes me from my routine, my home, my family, yet I should, because of my trust in YOU.... because of how AWESOME YOU are, Father.

I should enthusiastically run to each challenge knowing that it is an opportunity for YOU to show  YOURSELF faithful to meet my every need.  YOU have never let me down before.  YOU are a faithful and loving, amazing God.  Only one true God!

These changes which are a challenge for me, could be an opportunity for ME to shine for Christ, which I am willing.

...but I do need HELP.

 (Ephesians 6:16-18) in prayer:  Lord help me to take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is WORD from YOU.

Help me to rest in YOU through the changes and challenges, of the journey down the road, even when it takes  me where I do not covet to go.

Help me to rest in the very knowledge of WHO YOU ARE,
How blessed I am, to be YOURS,
How YOU are with me where ever I go,
How ultimately, 

Romans 8:38-39
....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.

Thank  you for YOUR WORD, for JESUS, for shade, and living water.  I pray for your will to be done, in my heart, in my life, in my family's life, and in the whole world, as in Heaven.

All glory, and honor, and trust, I seek to give to YOU Father, in YOUR beloved son Jesus's name I pray.  AMEN

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha💖

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Heart seeking revival

Once again, I am inspired my my blogging Christian sister, Rita. (>Here is a draft of chapter one which she recently shared of a book that she is writing<)

In the above linked article she addresses the Christian community on the subject of revival, speaks to some ideologies that arise in response to the topic, as well as gives a historical reflection and scriptures to consider.  I, myself am not a deeply Bible academic student.  I, myself am very content to dwell most often in matters of the heart.  I, myself am often stirred by the words from Rita's heart.

Here are some thoughts that I ponder, as I join Rita in prayer for revival.

Rita reminded me that revival is from the Holy Spirit and is comprised of REPENTANCE, and spiritual AWAKENING, and it increases love and peace.

YES, that is the work of the Holy Spirit!

I want that !!

What is more important...
grievances that I have against certain faces...
hurt feelings... disappointments...


to be a vessel of love and wisdom,
filled with the Holy Spirit's fruits and work,
that I may be an instrument of healing and love,
a LIGHT in Christ,
that others may be encouraged and edified


What will I  allow bigger in my life,
My FEARS and disappointments and hurts,


My GOD and my HOPE and FAITH in Him


What is more important?
What will I allow to be biggest?
What do I wish for?
What do I seek?
What do I indulge in?
What do I pursue?

LORD, God, my Father and Savior,
I pray,
Let it be YOU.

Not flesh,
But Spirit.

(>Follow this LINK to enjoy Rita's write-up about the names of God<)  It will inspire you and encourage you in worship and praise.

Blessings to you dear creations of God.  Thank you for reading♡

Tammy @
Grandma Mary Martha💖

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Be a Living, Loving Tribute

I went to a funeral not to long ago, of someone who had been special in my life.......parent of a best friend, whom I had very specific, very good memories of.  I remembered this man as vital and active (about the age that I am now).  I saw him build a shrimp boat with his own hands.  I saw him build a house for his daughter, with his own hands.  He offered to build me a house, and he would have, if I gave him the word.

Above with his daughter ♡♡

Above, on a shrimp boat that HE BUILT and worked on.

Above, smiling with their granddaughter, in a house that HE BUILT.

Anna and I got very busy with life.  I moved away.  We had 4 babies between us.  We had to try and keep husbands happy, make ends meet, and raise kids.  We didn't often see each other's parents during this time, but frequently inquired, "How are your parents doing?"  We each knew that we were blessed to have both of our parents.  

Somehow, time flew by.  Our children (except daughter of my "advanced maternal age") are GROWN.  Our parents turned white headed, and slowed down, except in their love.  I have a LOT of white hair myself, and don't mind.  

Anyway, Mr.D.C., struggled for so long, to overcome physical challenges that had increased with age.  He fought cancer, he battled with back or pain ailments.  Living became difficult, much less building. He lost his wife (her near 87 years old) and  he lived a few more years.   His daughter and granddaughters cooperatively took turns, and pretty constantly gave in love right back to him, the way he and his wife, Mrs. D.C. had given to the family over the years.

When I gathered with family, and went to the funeral of Mr.D.C., I was not surprised, and I recognized what I saw, in his eldest granddaughter.  Sadness and grief that she had to say good-bye to her grandfather, and disgust with death, and aging.  SHE is in the prime of her life.... just graduated with her master's degree, but up close and personal she had witnessed her grandfather's last years, last months.

I could so relate to her contemplation, because I had been there.  Somewhere along life's journey, I suppose more so for us introspective philosophical types, the shift moves from self (getting mate, getting education, pursuit of the next pleasure or thrill...) to.... something bigger.......something beyond what we see.........  What we see, is an aging population, that we each are a part of, and it ends in death.  Poor D (grand-daughter named after her grandfather in fact) was disillusioned.  

She said, "What are we all doing this for...... for end in death like this?"*  It hurt her to see her grandfather suffer.  Because of the strong man that D. was, I suspect that it hurt his granddaugter(s)  more than it hurt him.

 She, my my precious D. shared a little story: 

 Even in the hospital, her grandfather, a shadow of the man I knew who built a boat, and houses, and shrimped and tug boated,  lay in that bed  with the shadow of death looming just out the doorway, and he was concerned about her and others.   He inquired, "How are you doing?  Do you need anything?  Because if you need anything, just tell me.  Don't underestimate me!  I got CONNECTIONS...!"

I have no doubt that Mr. D. would have found a way to come to the rescue for his daughter or granddaughters if any of them had need, as long as he had breath and voice.  Well, he got to live to see all three of them find loving mates.  He got to live to witness them all enjoy life while adulting.

*I answered my master's degreed little D.'s  heartfelt inquiry, with something like, "I know it hurts honey, but you know, if for no other reason we endure the hard times to encourage others, the younger generation, with our words and OUR courage, which we CAN HAVE in Christ."  I told her that I was already praying, for God to make me strong... help me be ready for what ever challenges come my way.  I want to live with bravery and grace and courage, and in God is my HOPE and expectation.  When I go through the rough times, I still want to be able to say things that comfort and inspire others, like her grandfather did.

My sweet darling D.  has some healing to do, as do her sister, and her amazing mother.  I believe they will carry these loved ones lost, in their heart, everyday for the rest of their life, like I have carried my grandparents in my heart for the last 26 years.  Her sister and her have so much joy and fun, to yet experience in this life. The wonderful adventure of motherhood....  My sweet darling D. put her life on hold, the fun part of life, in order to accomplish that master's degree, while working a full time job and taking care of her grandfather.  So much GOOD and GREAT is ahead for my amazing darling D and her sister..... 

I read somewhere, that the best way to honor the dead, is with our life. Mr. and Mrs. D.C.'s granddaughters have  a mission now,.....

ENJOY life, 
be ready to help others, but 
enjoy LIFE, and 
know that nothing would make these grandparents happier (besides being with their savior).

When you stop and think about it, our mission to live for our savior is similar.  We are to be a living, loving our savior, offering up our very life as a living sacrifice.

Everyone  who is evolving an eternal perspective, here is something I wrote, when I was weary of this life's journey, and homesick for Heaven.  May it help sooth  your sorrows of good-by, and may you be encouraged today, to live in loving tribute♡

My poem, on grief and comfort for Christians.

Blessings to you and yours.  May you know the warmth and comfort of the Sonshine.

Grandma Mary Martha💖

a favorite post !

Marvelous Moments in His Word; Quietness and Confidence

Isaiah 30:15 quietness and confidence shall be your strength... James 4:8 Draw nigh to God,  and he will draw nigh to you.  cleans...