Author: Tammy L. Mashburn

What I'm Learning From Barn Swallows

“Barn Swallows dart gracefully over fields, barnyards, and open water in search of flying insect prey. Snagging insects from just above the ground to heights of 100 feet or more.” Behind our house there is a beautiful, wide open field. It’s boundary is marked by a thick stand of trees, all manner of shrubbery,  and wild blackberry bushes. It is simply breathtaking. My sweet man and I spend most evenings sitting on our deck taking it all in. Breathing in fresh air and contentment. Watching dusk fall. The moon and stars come out. Just being. Simplicity. Peaceful. Counting our gifts as we share our day and read God’s Word together. We love this time of day. The geese fly over. The hummingbirds play. Occasionally a turkey comes close enough to say hello. The bird feeders are busy serving up a buffet to a variety of birds. The quail are calling. The mourning doves are cooing their sorrowful song. Whispers of wind. A mini vacation at the end of our day. Lately I’ve taken to watching the Barn Swallows. And pondering. Pondering as I watch them swoop low to the ground at what seems like reckless speeds. Pondering as they gracefully soar high again. Up and down, covering the entire field. It’s as if I’m watching a carefully orchestrated ballet. It is a ballet of reckless speed and radical...

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Stuck in the Middle

“A good sign that you are moving in the direction of wisdom is a vague sense of discomfort.” Kristin Armstrong from Work in Progress: An Unfinished Woman’s Guide to Grace Stuck somewhere in the middle, clenching tightly to the old and desperately trying to grasp what is new. Ever been there before? It’s exactly where I am now. And it’s a mite uncomfortable. A bit fragmented. A few weeks ago I mentioned our move to a new address, a new church, and my struggle with connecting and building community. And I’m a girl who needs community. There are so many layers to the story of how we came to be in this place. All blessings from God. All a part of His master plan for us, that much I know for sure. Clear direction from Him. We are right where we are supposed to be. And I am out of my comfort zone. I am nursing a heaping dose of self pity. A speck of discouragement. A pinch of frustration. A whole big bunch of my will. A wee bit of Gods’. Not the way it’s supposed to be. Oswald Chambers said “That is where the battle is truly fought~in the realm of your will before God.” I was spoiled for sure. When your church home is also your place of employment, it’s easy to connect with others. Build...

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A Leaky Pail

“Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as a pail pushed right over.” Ann Voskamp I love the “ah ha” moments with God. You know the ones where your eyes are opened and your heart hears. Especially the ones that take you right up on the mountaintop with a song of joy on your lips. And you know, just know that you are in sync, if even for just that moment. The ones in the valley not so much. They tend to hurt. Squeeze just a bit. Require some self examination. Some discipline. A lot of confession. Humility. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. This morning was one of those mornings. The Lord didn’t give me a mountaintop moment, but one deep down in the valley. He had some words for me and I needed to hush up and listen. “When I am the Voice that you make time to listen to, your confidence can be real.” Crystal Hurst I had not realized until that very moment, I had been carrying a pail with a pinhole. A tiny a hole. And it was leaking. Leaking faith. Trust. Grace. Compassion. A while back, when we changed church homes, I signed up to be on the intercessory prayer team. I’m sensitive to pray when I catch horrific news stories, or we pass an accident on the road, or when I see...

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Fragility, Brokenness, and Treasure

“I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.”  Excerpt from Jesus Calling- August 12-by Sara Young Somewhere around five to six years ago a very dear and special young lady handed me this book. It was a dark time in my life. A time when I had chosen to turn my face and my heart from God. Over time, God worked through Jesus Calling to bring my brittle heart of stone back to life. Ezekiel 36:26 says ” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”   Sometimes your heart has to be broken to pieces and put back together before it can become a heart of flesh. Tendered again. Alive again. Beating for Him. And as God slowly put me back together, bit by broken bit, my face and my heart turned back towards Him. I have continued to read Jesus Calling over the years and I’m always amazed how God uses this little book in my life. When I opened up today’s reading I saw where I had...

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Being Right Where You Are Supposed To Be

“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 (paraphrase) I am six months from officially entering the season of “senior citizenship”. Six months from 5% off my groceries at Publix, six months from ordering senior coffee at McDonalds, six months from taking advantage of senior citizen day at various shopping outlets and six months from no longer riding the “coat tails” of my sweet man’s own senior discount. Now I may be married to a “senior” (he wouldn’t want you to know that so we’re not going to let him know I told you) but I am holding tight to the fact that I am not there…yet. However, God has chosen to sit me down right smack in the middle of “senior citezenhood”. Yep, that’s where I am. Every Wednesday I join the seniors for mid-day Bible study. It has become my favorite day of the week. “Hump day” and senior Bible study. I cherish this time. Relish in it. Sitting there steeped in wisdom and knowledge. With those who have walked a well worn path to Jesus. In the past I have ministered to young girls, women, preschoolers and their moms. Given my love for women’s ministry and a longing to be there again, I have been quite surprised by this turn of events. But can I just tell you I have been blessed...

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