Sunday Scriptures

romans1221

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Gosh, it’s been a while since I posted a Sunday Scripture! I started off my blog in 2014 with the ABC scriptures every Sunday and I just realized that when they were over, these posts fizzled out. Well, now that Luke is in Kindergarten, his class is memorizing a verse each week and I’m memorizing them with him. Romans 12:21 is his verse for this week and it’s a great reminder for our family.

When I first read this verse way back when, I immediately shrugged it off because surely I had never been evil. Evil is a term that is reserved for the lowest of low. When I think of evil, Hitler comes to mind, not anyone that I know. So, to make things a little more applicable, I changed this verse to say, “Do not be overcome with jealousy, but overcome jealousy with good.” Whoa! Well, that certainly changes things, doesn’t it? Or what about “Do not be overcome with fear, but overcome fear with good.” Or even, “Do not be overcome with lies, but overcome lies with good.”

I’m not one to go changing God’s word, each word in the Bible is meaningful, purposeful and God breathed. However, when I start exchanging real life “evils” into this verse, it suddenly becomes real, convicting, motivating and encouraging.

Let’s all try to overcome evil with a little more good this week!

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Sunday Scriptures

Psalm 18:2

This weekend Jacob decided that we each needed to lay a stone on our house that we are in the process of building. You can read about our forever home here. We asked the stone masons if we could and they laughed… “um, its YOUR house!” So, while we were laying the stones, I was reminded of this verse, Psalm 18:2.

Jake, Al and Luke with front door stone

As I picked up the rock I was to lay on the wall of the house, I was amazed at the weight of it… it was heavy, especially for its size. And I was reminded of why the Lord our God is compared to as our rock.

Allison and Luke laying stone

This rock I was holding in my hands was stout, sturdy, and extremely hard to break. It is tough and has withstood pressure from being inside the earth for thousands of years, yet it remains solid and unbroken. That rock (along with the others) will protect the inside of our home from what is outside. That rock I placed on our house isn’t going to easily be moved, burned, chipped away or destroyed. If someone wants to move that rock, it will be nearly impossible, if not impossible. And isn’t that how God is? He is unchanging. He is solid and sure. He is our protector. And He isn’t going anywhere. No one can move Him or change Him. Wow!

Luke laying a stone

After reading what I wrote, it sure seems silly to try to compare God to anything, especially a rock. He is our almighty Lord, but this weekend, I was reminded that He can be our ROCK!

Jake and Luke laying stone

And don’t worry, Lyla Rae actually got to help lay a stone on the house too. She just wasn’t up on the scaffolding when we took all of these pictures. Also thankful that OSHA was no where to been seen while the 5 year old was on the scaffolding! Hah!

Sunday Scriptures

Deuteronomy 4As a parent, I try to follow these verses diligently. Raising Christian children in today’s world is no easy task, but we must continue to follow the what the Bible says about teaching our children. Christian homes are where education about God begins and these verses are such a challenge to me to continually teach Luke and Lyla Rae about the gospel.

We are in the process of building our forever home and in the next few weeks the drywall will be going up (hopefully). Before that happens, Jacob and I decided we wanted to write God’s words on the door frames (and studs) of our future home. We tried to pick out verses and prayers that were meaningful to the purpose of each room. When both of our babies were born, we picked out a life verse for them, one that would be meaningful to them and help them grow in Him. I wrote Luke and Lyla Rae’s life verses on the door frames in their rooms. Luke’s is Psalm 37:4 and Lyla Rae’s is Matthew 5:16. The fruit of the spirit is now written on the studs in the kitchen and we also wrote prayers and other verses in around the house. We hope and pray that our future home will be full of love and will be the perfect place to raise our children to know and love the creator of all things.

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Luke writing on the wallsLuke saw us writing on the walls and wanted to as well. I mean, we’ve told him his entire life “we only write on paper”, so of course he jumped at the idea of taking a sharpie to the studs! He wrote his name, but he mostly drew and scribbled. My favorite part about this picture is his little bottom covered in dirt. That is what he looks like most days and I know one day I will miss that!

So, technically it’s Monday now, but I’m leaving this post title as Sunday Scriptures. Monday Scriptures just doesn’t have the same ring to it! I hope y’all have a great start to the week!

Scripture Sunday + Happy Valentine’s Day

We love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

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We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house, but I do usually dress the kids up in V-day gear. I mean, who can resist a shirt that says “Don’t go bacon my heart”? Hah!

I’m nearing the end of my low iodine diet to prep my body for my thyroid cancer scan on Friday. This week I will be sharing all of my tips, tricks and shopping lists for my LID. I know this won’t apply to 99% of you, but I hope the 1% will find it useful.

Hope your day was filled with love!

Sunday Scriptures + Snowpocalypse

Be Still and Know that I am God

photo credit: www.rubyforwomen.com

I had great intentions of taking a picture of my snowy backyard and putting this verse on it. However, it is just too dag on cold to even open my back door, so I found the lovely pic above during a quick Google search

This verse has proven to be full of truth the last few days for the Tamme family. During football season we are in a constant state of being busy, then we came home to Kentucky and jumped right in to the busyness of building our forever home. Then, snowpocalypse hit and we were forced to be still. It snowed for 30 hours straight and we couldn’t leave the house due to terrible road conditions. We made the most of it and played in the snow and watched lots of movies with kids. I think we were all ready for some downtime.

Luke and Lyla Snow 2016They loved the snow! Well, Luke loved it! Lyla enjoyed it, but refused to wear her mittens. I put them on her and she just said down and screamed “OFF” until I took them off of her hands. Needless to say, she didn’t last long without them.

Lyla Snow 2016Lyla Rae’s first time playing in the snow lasted all of about ten minutes. I think she may be more of a summer and swim baby than a winter and snow baby.

Luke Snow 2016Luke was determined to dig us out. Our driveway is 1/10th of a mile so he and his sand shovel didn’t make a dent! Hah! Thankfully, our sweet neighbor, Mr. Baker, came to our rescue and cleared our driveway *twice* with his John Deere tractor.

So for two days we were still due to the snow storm and then both kiddos got hit with the stomach bug.  First Lyla Rae and then Luke. They were both SO pitiful. So today, we continue to be still. Being stuck inside and camped out on the couch allows us to really focus on our family and be thankful for the health we do have. Every time one of us gets sick, it reminds me how much we need to rely on God. Yes, doctors, medicine, oils, or whatever else your go-to is for illness are all great, but He is the Great Physician and ultimately controls our health. Being still also reminds me to be more grateful for my health. You would think after my cancer diagnosis I would be more appreciative of my good days, but health is something you often take for granted until it’s gone.

I’m also enjoying the slowness of these days to get caught up on life and start blogging again. We will see how that goes!

Hope everyone is staying warm!

Blessings!

p.s. GO BRONCOS and GO CARDINALS! I have friends on both teams, so it’s an easy choice!

My 2016 New Year’s Resolution

As the year comes to a close, many spend this day reflecting on the last 365 days and all the joys and trials they have experienced. Me, well, I’m spending the day trying to get caught up on life and wrapping my brain around the fact that another year has FLOWN by! I guess the saying is true… “life is like a spool of thread, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!”

My new year’s resolution has been the same for the last three years and I’m going to continue it for 2016 – Read the entire Bible cover to cover. It is my goal to make this my resolution each year for the rest of my life. I’ve been a Christian since I was 9 years old and I’ve gone to church my entire life, but until 2013 I had never read the entire Bible. I had always brushed it off by proclaiming myself as “not a reader”, but the team chaplain for the Colts changed that. He asked me to join a group to read The One Year Bible. I told him that I wasn’t a reader and made a few excuses about being a mom and traveling, etc. Then he told me something I’ll never forget. He said, “God gave you his word in book form, you need to become a reader.” Ouch! Point taken. So, I began to read The One Year Bible on January 1, 2012 and I made it to… February and quit. The next year I yearned to start over. I used a plan I found online and accomplished my goal at the end of 2013. It just so happened that 2013 was one of the worst and best years of my life. I was diagnosed with cancer, my grandmother who I was very close to passed away and near the end of the year I became pregnant with our baby girl. God knew I needed to be grounded in his word that year, and I’m SO thankful I was. Y’all it is only by God’s grace that I can keep this up because much to my mother’s dismay I am *still* not a reader.

 There are lots of plans for reading through the Bible. The One Year Bible is a very popular one, but I just can’t jump around to different passages. If I jump from Daniel in the lion’s den in the Old Testament to Paul in prison in the New Testament, my brain goes crazy and I can’t compartmentalize what I’m reading. So, I chose to read from cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation. I found a plan online and re-typed it in 2013. I wish I could give credit to the original creator. All I remember is that I got it off a church’s website. So… sorry and thank you!

I would love for you to join me in reading the Bible in 2016! It only takes 15 minutes a day. If you get behind (like I often do), just double up a few days and you’ll be caught right back up. Just print out the pdf below and get started tomorrow morning. I promise you won’t regret it!

One Year Bible Reading Plan

The picture of my babies below totally sums up their personalities right now. Luke can’t stand take a pictures and Lyla just wants him out of her way. Even though she’s the baby, she thinks she is the boss! I can’t wait to see how they grow and change next year!

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I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2016!

Sunday Scriptures

Romans 1221

After weeks like last week, where fear seems to be the overriding emotion and evil seems to prevail, this verse speaks to me. Our family stopped watching the news in August in order to curb the fear and anxiety it was inciting. It’s not that I want to be immune from the hurt that is happening around the world (although sometimes I do). It’s the fact that I do not want to be overcome by the fear of evil. And honestly, Jacob and I were tired of Luke having to watch it and become fearful. He started asking questions about what he saw on the news and we weren’t comfortable with the conversations that needed to follow. We still keep up with national and world events through online news outlets, so we aren’t completely out of touch with the world. I’m not saying it’s bad to watch the news, it was just one way that I was allowing evil to consume my mind and decided it needed to end.

We can’t single-handedly stop terrorism and it’s unlikely that we will ever stop a mass murderer, but we can overcome that evil be doing good. By loving on our neighbors, by feeding the homeless, by inviting someone to church. In a world of bad news, tell people the good news… the best news. Tell people about Jesus.

What’s in an OCC Shoebox?

So, yesterday I challenged you to get a shoebox to pack for Operation Christmas Child. Well, today I’m going to show you a few suggestions of what to pack in your box. We ended up packing four boxes this year and I let Luke have pretty much full control over what went in the boxes. I love that he is old enough now to understand what we can and can’t pack in the boxes, what will fit and what won’t,and what children NEED in the boxes. It is precious to see his little heart react when he understands that some children have literally nothing. Prior to our shopping trip this year, I went over the list below so he could learn what he needed to look for in the store. He helped me make a list and of course, I added some items to the list as well. Packing the boxes is always a great reminder for me of how quickly we take for granted the things that some people have waited their whole lives to receive… a baby doll, a pair of flip flops, a toothbrush.

Packing a shoebox doesn’t have to be expensive. We got most all of our items at the Dollar Tree and supplemented with a few things from Walmart and Hobby Lobby. Our boxes averaged around $15 to fill.

gift_ideasThe first box we packed was for a 10-14 year old boy. This category traditionally has the fewest boxes packed, so we always try to pack at least one box for this age range. Below you can see the items we packed. Full disclosure: we didn’t pack the items in the box shown below. Luke was adamant that we get a big hammer, and it was 1 inch too long to fit in the standard OCC boxes. Thankfully, we live with a guy with some pretty large shoeboxes, which fit the hammer perfectly! We always include tools in the older boy boxes. The sad reality is that most of these boys work to make money for their families and they need tools to be able to do so.

OCC10-14Boy1. Toothbrush with case and toothpaste – be sure to include a case! These children don’t have a toothbrush holder sitting on their counter… because they usually don’t even have a sink.
2. Notebook, pencils, pencil sharpener and pens – in order to go to school, these items are necessities.
3. Durable waterproof bag – We made ours by covering a ziploc bag with duct tape. This keeps their soap and washcloth clean and takes up less space in the box than a soap dish.
4. Washcloth and bar soap
5. Work gloves
6. Nails and screws
7. Handheld air pump with ball needle
8. Screwdriver
9. Soccer ball – Basically, every boy around the world desires to have a soccer ball. We found ours at Walmart for $5.46 and deflated it and wrapped it with a rubber band so it would fit in a box. This is the most expensive item in our box, but dozens of children will get to enjoy it! Well worth it in my opinion!
10. Scissors
11. Fork and Spoon
12. Rope
13. Cup – It broke my heart when I heard that a relief organization brought food into a village and some children were only fed a spoonful because they didn’t have anything to put their food in to take back to their homes. I always pack a cup or bowl in our boxes for this very reason.
14. Socks
15. Flashlight and batteries. I found this flashlight at Walmart for $1.
16. T-shirt. This shirt came from Hobby Lobby and after a 40% off coupon was only $1.50.
17. Candy Canes.

The items below were packed for a 10-14 year old girl.

OCC10-14Girl

1. Manicure set
2. Notebook and pens
3. Scissors
4. Washcloth and soap
5. Durable waterproof bag
6. Flip flops
7. 1 1/2 yards of fabric. Girls can use this fabric to make or patch clothing.
8. Toothbrush with case and toothpaste
9. Sewing kit.
10. Bowl. Luke insisted we get a bowl with a straw so they can drink their milk after they eat their cereal. I would NOT recommend packing these. They were a pain to fit in the boxes, but I’m sure the sweet babies that receive them will love the straw bowls!
11. Fork and spoon
12. Elastic headbands – because all girls in every country love glitter!
13. Jump rope
14. Wet wipes
15. Cup
16. Rope and clothespins – to make a clothes line
17. Socks
18. Flashlight with extra batteries
19. Suckers

These items were packed for a 2-4 year old girl.

OCC2-4Girl1. Crayons
2. Notebook
3. Fun washcloth and bar of soap
4. Durable waterproof bag
5. Toothbrush with case and toothpaste
6. Bowl and spoons
7. Wet wipes
8. Toy – Luke picked out a rattle and even though its probably too juvenile for a toddler, we packed it in the box. Hopefully, it will be given to a younger sibling who didn’t receive a box.
9. Watering can – again, Luke said that Lyla loves to play with hers, so he thought this little girl would love it too!
10. Socks
11. T-shirt.12. Sippy Cup
13. Doll. I read online to not send blonde haired, blue eyed dolls. Most girls around the globe want a doll that looks like them, not a blonde haired, blue eyed one. We found this cute doll at the Dollar Tree.
14. Candy

The last box we packed was for a 5-9 year old boy, but I failed to get a picture of the items. In every shoebox, we make sure to send the child a letter and some people even send a self addressed stamped envelope so the child can write back if possible. We’ve never done this, but I want to next year! Here is the letter we sent in our boxes. If you want to include this letter too, you can download yours here.

IMG_1596I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we fit everything into the box. It’s a challenge for me to make it all fit. I use every square inch and pack and re-pack until we find a way to make it all fit! My biggest tip is to put all of the hard, flat items in the bottoms and anything that can “squish” washcloths, stuffed animals, tshirts, etc. on top. Also, be sure to stuff the cups and bowls full of items too!

I hope this gave you some great ideas for what to pack in your box! If you’ve already packed your boxes, what items did you include? We are always looking for new ideas!

Have you packed a shoebox?

OCC LogoOne of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Yes, it is for Christmas, but the boxes must be prepped in advance, so  it has become a Thanksgiving tradition for our family. In fact, this week is the National Collection Week for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. I would love to challenge you to pack a shoebox if you haven’t already. These boxes go to children all over the world. Most have NEVER received a gift before and they are receiving an entire box full of goodies just for them. They are not just getting a box of “stuff”; they are receiving the love of Christ. Isn’t that amazing?

If you aren’t convinced that you should pack a box, watch the video below! I promise it will bring tears to your eyes to see the joy that a simple box can bring a child, a family, a village.

We packed our shoe boxes and delivered them to our church this morning.

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Luke and Lyla with their OCC boxes

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Lyla was very interested in what was in the box!

So, your challenge today is: Go get a box! Any shoebox will do. Then, come back tomorrow and I will show you exactly what we packed in our shoeboxes and why we packed those items.

Sunday Scriptures + I’m Back!

Well, it’s official! I’m the worst blogger. Ok, so hopefully not the worst, but definitely the most inconsistent. It’s been seven weeks since I last blogged and truth be told, I didn’t really miss it until this weekend. The week I stopped blogging, Jacob got a concussion during his game in Dallas, Lyla got hand, foot and mouth disease (y’all… miserable), and Luke had a terrible cold and cough. I was not getting any sleep (read: zombie) and was living on a prayer and daily venti lattes. The Tamme family was a mess. But, as always, nothing lasts forever and everyone is now healthy again.

However, it was in that week of my entire family being sick, I realized that no matter what is written in your planner, no matter what deadlines you have to meet, jobs you have to do, trips you have planned, or people who rely on you, when your family isn’t healthy everything stops. Especially, when when a brain injury is concerned. So, I decided to stop blogging. It just wasn’t important. That week turned into weeks and eventually, I just forgot about it altogether.

Honestly, I realized this morning while listening to the sermon at church that God used that break to help me realize I was being prideful about this little ole blog. The sermon was, of course, on pride and although the preacher didn’t call me out by name, I knew he was speaking to me. Several of my posts in September had been shared dozens of times (which makes me laugh in hindsight because it was so incredibly paltry compared to the big bloggers I read), some local media members had mentioned my blog on twitter and I received praise for what I had written. I had become prideful.

Pride is a weird thing. The Bible makes it clear that pride is a sin, but after leaving the service, what was the very first thing I said to Luke when I picked him up from his class? “Baby, look at your Bible verse! I’m so proud of you!” Face.palm. It was then I came to the conclusion that this whole pride thing was a tough one. One I needed to work on. I am so proud of Luke and his work. I’m proud of Jacob when he steps out on the field each Sunday. I’m proud of Lyla when she sits down in her chair after I tell her 1.5 million times that “chairs are for sitting not standing.” I’m proud of myself when I drive by Starbucks and don’t pull in the drive-thru. Pride is hard, it’s everywhere, but it is also the doorway in which the devil enters our hearts.

The seven week break from the blog taught me that no one really cares that much about this silly blog. Not a single person asked why I wasn’t blogging. Not one. And, no this is not a cry for y’all to tell me you’ve missed me (even though I know you have, hah!), but rather a lesson learned. God used that break to teach me something and for that I am thankful. He taught me that I needed to be writing to talk about Him, for enjoyment, for the sharing of ideas, not for the amount of shares, likes and media mentions it receives.

So, that’s the long and short of my absence and return. I hope you’ll come back and read every now and then because I have a few posts I’m excited about! (See? Is that pride? Y’all, help me!)

Proverbs 11:2

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