Author: Tammy L. Mashburn

Three Questions I’m Often Asked: Living Chronic Illness

“God’s will for us is generally for us to pursue that which gives us life (John 10:10) and to turn away from things that drain life from us and leave us debilitated.” Ruth Haley Barton from Sacred Rhythms  Dear Readers, I feel as if we are mildewing in these parts, rain has been falling for days. Still, I’m wowed by brilliant blooms, bird shenanigans beneath the feeders, and their singing in the rain. Captivated by unfolding grace on stormy days. Maybe we can find a bit of sunshine together? I’m sharing three questions most often asked about my wilderness journey. Three questions,...

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Whispers of Rest: It’s What I’m Reading Now

“A change in direction feels scary in the moment, but it leads us to our God-Guided Dreams. God sees the way ahead. But we need to trust Him and make room for Him first. God can only speak to us best when we allow Him room to guide us ahead.” Bonnie Gray from Whispers of Rest Dear Readers,  I can’t let this day pass without telling you about this book,  Whispers of Rest. Bonnie Gray crafts her words in a soulful way, taking you deeper in your relationship with God. I’ve made no secret of my physical pain, Whispers of Rest has been balm to my soul and my weary body.  I make my way to layers of soft down every evening in sweet anticipation of the daily reading. Whispers of Rest speaks to my wilderness journey. Words of comfort wrap around me with each daily reading. Ending with reflective questions prompting me to authentically process this season of life. Bonnie’s words are beautifully written. A deep breath of fresh air. She writes in such a way I feel as if we are sharing a table, our struggles and hardships. As if we are friends. Whispers of Rest is divided into forty days of devotions with the intent to “Revitalize Your Soul,” (from the sub-title), ending with a daily prayer. The prayers near the end of each daily devotion, a...

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Stranded In The Wilderness: Taking The Long Way Around

“There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not recognize him.” Frederick Buechner from Listening to Your Life I stood at the edge, toes curled under, digging in, peering into the wilderness. A place of frightening unknowns with uncultivated terrain. Life derailed by chronic illness, one malady heaped upon the other, I found myself, not only led, but stranded in the wilderness. Stranded without a cure. A long journey lay ahead, one, I didn’t ask for. Isn’t that often the way, when we are called, possibly pulled kicking and screaming into the wilderness? Given a choice, would I go? Given the choice would you? Dear Reader, I’m wondering if you feel stranded as well, wondering how in this unholy hard can, if, we might find our way through. Yesterday was one of debilitating pain, a fight to not give in or give up. Have you felt this way? If so, I pray these words will encourage you today. I slung (it’s a southern thang-smile) a temper tantrum before the Lord, said all the words a good girl, a tough, good girl, doesn’t say. Hurled questions at a brilliant blue sky, once again holding my tears within. Spent, empty, I pulled a blanket across my lap, sitting in the quiet. The spending of myself makes space for listening....

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Mom: Five Minute Friday

“Shall those lips speak in the years on-coming? O, child of mine, with waxen brow, Surely your words of that dim to-morrow Rapture and power and grace must borrow From the poignant love and holy sorrow Of the heart that shrines and cradles you now!” My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery Happy Friday Friends! My week has been full with open windows, singing birds, the scent of jasmine, and fresh cut grass. Dinner on the deck with my Sweet Man, Lola snoozing on the chaise lounge. Laundry, hung outside to dry. May in the south is stunning. Friday is date day with my Sweet Man. I am counting down the minutes, waiting for him to waltz through the door, whisking me away. In the waiting, I am joining Kate Motaung and others for Five Minute Friday, where a community of writers come together, writing five minutes (YIKES!) on a one word prompt. Today’s word: MOM  *** Before I share the words that skittered across my heart, I want to pay tribute to my Mom. Mom, You are a woman of both grit and grace. You raised us well through circumstances that were gritty and hard. Fractured. And yet, you loved us with a mighty fierceness. No matter the instability, you were a rock. Solid, dependable, vulnerable, the perfect balance of hard and soft. A...

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What Makes Me Cry: Living With Chronic Pain

O God I am furrowed like the field Torn open like the dirt I know that to be healed that I must be broken first I am aching for the yield that you will harvest from this hurt Abide in me Let these branches bear your fruit Abide in me Lord as I abide in you Let your word take hold Remove in me the branch that bears no fruit Remove in me as I abide in you The Sower’s Song by Andrew Peterson “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14(ESV) Dear Readers These are not the words I want to give you today. I’ve wrestled the words for weeks. I can’t hand them to you in a pretty package. If I’m here to encourage you in your wilderness, in your pain, I must share with you my own. In her book A Million Little Ways, Emily P. Freeman asked the question, “What makes you cry?” Dragging my journal across my lap, I scratched a list on the page: Rainy days and cold Another’s grief, visceral grief Pain inflicted upon the innocent  When my children hurt When you hurt Russ Ramsey’s song The Ballad of Andy Catlett I cry when I leave the cranberries out of my lentils and rice. When I forget to thaw the orange...

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