Author: Tammy L. Mashburn

REARVIEW MIRRORS & COFFEE STAINS

RECENTLY A FRIEND  ASKED ME TO SPEAK AT A MOTHER  DAUGHTER BANQUET AT HER CHURCH. I WAS HUMBLED AND HONORED TO DO SO. I WAS EXCITED TO SHARE MY STORY, A JOURNEY WHERE I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO SEE GOD’S FAITHFULNESS ALL OVER MY LIFE, UNTIL I OPENED UP MY LAPTOP,  SAW THE BLANK PAGE AND THE CURSER BLINKING. I STARTED TO SWEAT. I KNEW THE MESSAGE I WANTED TO SHARE BUT THE WORDS JUST WOULDN’T COME. THING IS, WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ME MY STORY, THE WORDS FLOW OUT OF MY MOUTH WITH PASSION AND EXUBERANCE AND I CAN GO ON AND ON AND ON AND ON. I’M NOT SURE IF IT WAS THE INTIMIDATION OF THE BLANK PAGE OR MORE, THAT LIKE MOST THINGS IN MY LIFE, SOMETHING I WAS TRYING TO MANAGE AND CONTROL, AN AREA WHERE I ESPECIALLY STRUGGLE. I CALLED UP A VERY DEAR PERSON TO ME AND SHARED MY DELIMA WITH HER. KNOWING I JOURNAL, SHE SUGGESTED I GO BACK TO MY JOURNALS AND START THERE. I WALKED AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER AND WENT TO PULL THEM OUT. I SPREAD THE JOURNALS OUT BEFORE ME AND SLOWLY BEGAN TO TURN THE PAGES. I SAW WORDS AND TEAR STAINS AND COFFEE STAINS.  AND THROUGH ALL THE WORDS AND STAINS, WHAT I SAW WAS A GOD WHO WAS ACTIVE AND ALIVE AND FAITHFULLY WEAVING THROUGH THE...

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Back at The Start Line

It’s been a while since I have been home for a visit. This past weekend my husband and I made our way up the road to a very picturesque small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we got off the interstate I found myself putting down the window and breathing in the mountain air. Mountain air has a freshness all it’s own and if you grew up there, there is none other like it and you never forget how it smells. We were going to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early with my mother and to get together with family.  I was too sick at the time to make the trek home for Christmas and my entire family got together for my visit. It was Christmas in May, and what a blessing it was! There was twenty of us around the table, laughing, crying, sharing, catching up and celebrating.  My Mom and my family surprised me with this gift of gathering, and I could so clearly hear my since passed “Pawpaw” saying something he told me many years ago, “family is family and you stick together for family”. He would have been proud of them, dropping their plans and coming together for me.  Since my illness, traveling is very difficult and I had been concerned that I might not make many family gatherings again. This trip also...

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Excessive Planning

“YOUR FEAR OFTEN MANIFESTS ITSELF IN EXCESSIVE PLANNING”   Jesus Calling by Sara Young Powerful words don’t you think? I pondered those words this morning, in fact most of the day they have taken up residence in my heart. I confess I’m a planner, and prior to my illness you could even say I was an excessive planner. I lived by the index card, making lists, leaving lists for my husband, most times I even had a list for the list;  and if you ever needed paper to make a note I was your go to person with a  handy stack of index cards in my bag, and an assortment of colored sharpies! (just in case you needed to color code) Now I admit those habits were maybe a little OCD, OK a lot OCD. However, I did pride myself in being efficient, but fear? I didn’t think so.  But looking back I’m not so certain. I’m sure I was afraid I would forget to pick up something or forget to be at the right place at the appointed time,or forget something from the grocery store,  and goodness knows I did not ever want to forget a hair appointment, because that would just plain cause a fright in itself! I’ve come to realize my excessive planning was fear driven.  I surely did not want anyone to realize I was not...

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Spring

It’s spring, or so the calendar says, yet this week found us waking up to a cold, dark, dreary  rainy beginning, with more cold and frost forecasted for the week.  Farmers are scrambling to cover and protect their crops and I am scrambling to find warmth and Light in the dark. I don’t like rain, never have, and I definitely don’t like cold. No matter how hard I try, I find myself grumbling and complaining on these days. I could justify all this grumbling since my illness causes me to be so bone-chilling cold it’s miserable. Not to mention the barometric pressure and weather events wreak havoc with P.O.T.S. patients. But I remember a Man who carried a cross two thousand years ago on this particular week and never grumbled, never complained, and I try to tap down my own petty complaints. I grab my hot coffee, cover up with my blanket and go to my chair, the place where I begin my day every morning, and meet with God. The view from this chair is stunning. I watch The Master paint amazing sunrises as His creation comes to life every morning. But on this particular morning it’s dark and murky and I have to get raw and honest before the Lord, confessing my grumpiness and disappointment that this morning’s view is not going to be as beautiful as...

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Weeds & Idols

I recently picked up a book titled “Love Idol-Letting go of your need for approval and seeing yourself through God’s eyes” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. As I was reading the book, I didn’t realize I was building my own “love idol”, or at the very least bemoaning something I had lost. You see, for many years I was a runner. I was a runner with a runner’s physical body that comes from dedication, consistency and endurance. I loved to run. I loved my runner’s body (that should have set off an alarm or two) and how I could push my body. I loved the camaraderie of running with my friends, long runs, the early morning alarm, and all of the challenges that came with it. And then the morning came on January 19, 2013 when I literally fell on my face at mile 2 in a half-marathon. Life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt and hasn’t been the same since. After months of tests, symptoms upon symptoms and finally near incapacitation, I was diagnosed with P.O.T.S. or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Long story short, my brain does not communicate with my heart and your body does not retain salt, which stabilizes your blood pressure. P.O.T.S. is a debilitating disease without a cure. It requires salt tablets, beta-blockers, blood pressure medication and drinking lots of Gatorade. Now,...

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