Author: Tammy L. Mashburn

Rural Places & Slower Paces

I am currently reading a book titled The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinenborg. It is a beautifully written book, filled with words that dance across the page and tickle the ears much like a pianist fingers moving across the notes. In it Klinenborg says, “In America we’ve learned to locate the meaning of rural life in the past, nearby dismissing it”. “Rural life” brings to mind picnics after morning worship, covered dishes,  Sunday afternoon naps, handwritten notes, a game of horseshoes being played in the back yard, bare feet, thank you notes, a slower pace of life and community and connection with others. Sadly, yes these are things of the past and much too soon there will not be a generation left that has memories of precious times such as these. Life has gotten too fast with long to do lists, calendars with filled up days, activities galore, and the quest for more. But instead of being filled up with all these things we are left empty and wanting, often not realizing what we are looking for. We were created for community and the need for connection and we were created with a longing, a longing to be filled; to be filled with God, with His Spirit and His words. To know Him and to love Him. To connect with other Believers and build community with one another and...

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When Loss Becomes Gain

Several times I have mentioned here that I have an illness, a chronic neurological disease that will be with me for the rest of my life. I don’t like to waste time on this blog talking about it, because I want my words to be about how God has faithfully carried me through and provided for not only me but my husband through the changes in my;  in our lives. I want others to see that when you are in your darkest place, God provides Light. And when you think you just can’t go on, He provides strength and a new even more exciting path to travel, with the promise that you don’t have to go it alone. Yesterday we made our regular trip to see the specialist at Duke and I felt compelled to share some things with you. My husband, myself, two PA’s, and my Doctor were in the room discussing where I have been, where I am now and where I might be as time goes by. I felt raw emotion bubbling up from deep within my chest as conversation was taking place around me.  I was squeezing back tears as my chest felt tighter and tighter, constricting with pain and loss.  I was looking everywhere so as not to make eye contact with anyone, lest they see how close to tears I was. I was...

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Erosion

I imagined myself standing just inside the ocean water, waves crashing in and out and feeling the sand shift from beneath my feet. Yeah, you know that feeling. As I was doing an online Bible study this morning I heard Debbie Eaton say, “small things build up and erode us”. She was referencing sin and how it’s not the big things, but the little things adding up over a period of time that affects our faith and our relationship with God. Being a lover of words and the dictionary, I looked up the word erosion and here is what I found: erosion is the process by which the surface is worn away by the actions of water, glaciers, winds, and waves. Not only does erosion occur in our eco-system it also occurs in our spiritual life as well. We say a harsh word to our mate, we are impatient with our children, we hurriedly pass by the friend who desperately needs an ear and some words of encouragement. We get angry and impatient with the driver in front of us or the person at the drive-thru window. We hang on to that grudge we’ve been holding far too long.  We get busy and before you know it several days have passed by and we haven’t picked up our Bibles or whispered even the smallest of prayers. And little by...

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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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I’m Tammy

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