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If you didn’t already know, Nick’s favorite verse was Joshua 1:9,

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified.  Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I was at the mall Saturday afternoon and walked into a store to look at the display of pictures made from photographed “letters,” and this was the first one I saw!

Of course, I had to buy a small copy to place on the windowsill above my kitchen sink!!

This was just another reminder that God truly is with me WHEREVER I go!

He’s with you too!

Have a wonderful day!

I’m watching a little two-year old this morning whose mom had to go out of town to be with her dad who had a heart attack last Friday, so I’m surrounded by toys and have Nick Jr. on in the background.  Please keep her dad in your prayers.

I’ll write again soon.  I’d better stay focused on my “little buddy.” 

Much love,

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Until tonight………….

March 30th, 2010

 

I had to take a minute to say, “GOOD MORNING!”

And “I’m praying for you all!”

Have a wonderful day.

Make someone smile!  You may be the only one who does all day. 🙂

Whisper a little prayer for Tim if you think of him..he’s preaching in chapel today at KCU.

Until tonight,

heartBG2

 

grief share I receive a daily devotion from a ministry called Grief Share.  If you would like to sign up for these devotions, you can click here.  This morning I had to smile as I read the devotion from yesterday about God’s creation, because last night after church Olivia and I had a moment involving this exact topic! 

Here’s the Grief Share devotion from yesterday:

Enjoy God’s Creation
Day 290
Open your eyes today to the gift of God’s creation. Make a point to look up and notice and savor what you see.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).
The beauty of creation is crying out daily for you to see and to worship the Creator in response. Live life on a different level today-a higher level.
Elisabeth Elliot says, “It’s our human nature to fret and stew and try everything in the world to satisfy ourselves, but that is never going to be the answer. I myself have found tremendous comfort and joy in observing God’s creation.”
Creator God, what treasures and beauties do You have in store for me today? What new wonder is just waiting to be seen? Amen.

 

Here’s what happened last night:

After church, Olivia and I ran to the grocery store to get ready for the week.  While we were in the meat department, I got a call from Brandon, one of Nick’s best buddies, asking if I had seen the rainbow in the sky.  I hadn’t, of course, because I had been busying trying to figure out some decent meals for this week and find the best prices on meat.  So, Olivia and I headed to the front of the store to look out the window, and OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!  The rainbow was amazing!  I heard other people talking about it as I approached the front of the store, so I left my cart to step outside and see a complete rainbow brightly shining from one end to the other!  It was breath-taking! 

I had to smile because I knew the Creator of this rainbow, and I knew that He longs to see us enthralled with His creation!  I tried to get the girl who was ringing up my order to step outside and look, but she didn’t seem overly interested.  I did get several people around me to take a minute to soak in the beauty, and I was so thankful that Brandon had taken the time to share the rainbow with me!

So many parts of creation have different meanings to me, but a rainbow has such pronounced power!  I guess the fact that they don’t happen ALL the time makes them extra-special, and the reality that the first one was given to Noah as a promise from God just gives me goose bumps!  To think that I could stand outside a grocery store in a little town in Kentucky and feel the presence of God in such a mighty way! 

My prayer for you today is that you will find a moment to soak in something beautiful from God’s creation that surrounds you.  Maybe it will be a cloud or a flower or even a barren tree that is showing its first signs of spring buds….whatever it is, try to hear God speaking as His created nature “pours forth speech.”

Thankful for Grief Share and thankful for God’s creative ways of saying He loves us.

Blessings from my home to yours,

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When I pulled up today to pick Todd up from tennis practice, I noticed that a little guy on the team was sitting against the fence holding his racket and crying. Todd was kneeling down in front of him and I could hear the words, “You’re getting better. Keep trying.”

After a few minutes, Todd helped him up and off they trotted back to the court.

As I sat there reflecting on that moment in time, I knew that God was somehow redeeming the hurt in Todd’s life by allowing him to reach out and help someone else who was hurting.

I just love how God works.

If only in those moments of deep pain, rejection, and hurt, we could remember that God is working to create in us a “new thing.”

Isaiah 43:18-20

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!

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Release………

March 27th, 2010

 

releasing

re�lease

-verb

1. to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go: to release a prisoner; to release someone from a debt.

2. to free from anything that restrains, fastens, etc.: to release a catapult.

3. to allow to be known, issued, done, or exhibited: to release an article for publication.

4. to give up, relinquish, or surrender (a right, claim, etc.)

(www.dictionary.com)

I learned in elementary school that words like “release” are called verbs because they show action.

I guess I just never thought about the fact that actions require effort.

When Nick died I was called to release a lot of things……

dreams for Nick’s future, unanswered prayers about Nick’s health, anger at the thought of having to say “good bye” to a second child, and the list goes on and on….

But tonight I find myself facing a different kind of “call to release.”

I believe God is calling me to release my desire to “fix” things for my children and for their friends. See, I have a son who is hurting tonight, but I know that stepping in would only make things worse.

The Bible says that the devil came to steal, kill, and destroy. I am reminded of this truth over and over again, but tonight I am so frustrated by his never-ending schemes to bring feelings of rejection and loneliness to kids who are trying to live in God’s will in an attempt to steal their joy, kill their friendships, or destroy their self-esteem.

Psalm 25:14-16

The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.

My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

Tonight I’m releasing my desire to make the world a perfect place for my son, and I’m releasing a different kind of anger while trusting God to be a different kind of healer,

heartBG2

Thankful Thursday….

March 26th, 2010

 

 olive hill elementary 010 When I was asked to work with the fourth grade students at an area elementary school in the area of writing, I was so excited!

Writing and children are both passions of mine, so I felt as if God was opening a door for me to both help my family financially and do exactly what I love.

Little did I know that God had other plans for me in the walls of this school!!

I believe that one of the reasons I was drawn to this school was because God wanted me to meet Miss Fitch (pictured above)! 

I can honestly say that I have never met a more positive, thankful person in my entire life!

I know a lot of positive people.

I know a lot of thankful people. 

But Miss Fitch has moved the bar up so high in both categories that just looking at her picture makes me get tears in my eyes.

Just a few years from retirement, Miss Fitch still teaches with the energy, love, and patience of a first-year teacher.  She lives with her elderly mom who requires care around the clock, and yet she arrives at school all smiles and totally focused on the tasks ahead of her each day.  I have learned so much from her in just a few short months!

When I read the chapter in Choosing Gratitude for this week, and it was all about the importance of actually taking the time to SAY “thank you” to people either through words, cards, or letters, I was struck with the realization that Miss Fitch exemplifies this chapter in SO many ways!  She thanks everyone for the simplest acts of kindness and makes EVERY person who walks in her room feel like royalty.

As God would have it, Miss Fitch and I had a chance to talk on Tuesday and during our conversation she shared about the letter she is holding in the picture above.  One of her students from years ago had taken the time to write her a thank you note and tell her how much she had been influenced by Miss Fitch’s positive, encouraging spirit!  This particular student is now a teacher in Frankfort, Kentucky, and gives Miss Fitch credit for being her inspiration even though she was never actually a student in Miss Fitch’s room!  WOW!  Now that’s an inspirational teacher! 

Miss Fitch had been so touched by the letter that she had framed it and now keeps it in her classroom.

As I thought of all the students Miss Fitch has had the chance to teach over the past 20 some years, it occurred to me that she could have her walls COVERED in letters if more students would have just taken the time to send her a note of appreciation.

In the very same moment I was convicted with the question, “Tammy, how many teachers have you thanked from your childhood?”

Nancy Guthrie, in this week’s chapter of our book, encourages readers to send thank-you notes to ministers, neighbors, friends, and others who have impacted their lives in positive ways.

My goal for the month of April is to write at least five thank you notes every week to people who have made a difference in my life.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked,

“Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”

Who do you need to thank…a teacher, a preacher, a mom, a dad, a neighbor, a brother, a sister, a child, someone you work with….?

Praying we’ll all make the time to say “thank you” to someone today either through a phone call, letter, or card.

For tonight, I’d love to say thank you to Miss Fitch for inspiring me as a teacher and to all of you who visit my blog and for each sweet comment you leave…..I love sharing life with you..you have given me a safe place to share My Heart and His Words,

 

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Thankful Thursday….

March 25th, 2010

 

Well, I don’t know about you, but my Thursdays roll around much more quickly than I can believe!

Stop by this evening and meet someone who the Lord has brought into my life to teach me about being thankful.

I’ll be taking her picture today at school!

Praying all of you have a good day and thanking God for all of your prayers and love. 

Philippians 4:5-7

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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marias birthday  3--22-2010 0070 resizedMaria had a birthday this weekend!!!
We are so thankful for her!  She came into our lives exactly when we needed her.  Evan brought her to Nick’s funeral, and our first hug was in the visitation line…she has been a comforter to us ever since.  We love you, Maria. marias birthday  3--22-2010 0084 resized Erich and Evan were both home this weekend…..my little boys are all grown up. I love you both so much.IMG_4304_resize Can you find Erich and Evan in this “old” picture of all the kids with Mamaw?

(Nick is right in the middle.)

marias birthday  3--22-2010 0072 resizedMallory got to come for the weekend too!  All the way from Nashville!  She brings such a bubbly fun spirit to our home and we are thankful to know that she will soon be our “daughter.”  September 18th is the wedding date!

We love you, Mallory!marias birthday  3--22-2010 0019 resized Olivia started golf last week!!  I’ll let you know how she does! 
This is a first for our family!!!

state tournament 007

Tim, Olivia,and I had a fun time at the state tournament!! 

We are so proud of the Raiders! 

tennis and raider socks 003

Todd spends most of his time playing tennis or running around with his friends, so I had a hard time finding a recent picture of him but I didn’t want to leave him out.

Because, this is “life” at our house.

We keep pressing on.

Making memories.

Laughing.

Crying.

Sharing.

Arguing.

Fussing.

Complaining.

Things aren’t always perfect here in the Nischan house.

I’d be lying if I claimed they were.

But we keep praying our way through every up and every down and trusting that God will pick us up when and where we fall short.

My friend Melanie has challenged me to pray for my family in a more fervent way, because we live in a time when the devil is doing all that he can to tear down anything built on love.

I wanted to share that challenge with you, too, and allow you to share any needs your family might have either through a comment or an email, so I can pray for your family too. 

You are not alone in whatever you are facing.

It’s good for me to remind myself of that truth. 

God never leaves or forsakes us even in the toughest of times…He is there.

Grief has been weighing me down recently to a level much lower than I had ever thought I would go again, but I have learned from several friends who have walked this road before me that this is normal and that, in time, these periods of deep grief will soften……I think I fear softening in my grief,  because in some way the devil has convinced me that this pain is the only way to feel near Nick.  But somewhere deep, down inside of me I know that Nick is never far away, and I have GOT to look up for strength and comfort and hope to press forward in this life. 

Today I am determined to pull myself out of my own “pain” and pray for others, and that is what I am committing to do in the days and months ahead.

I am reminded of a poem that my roommate in college (20 years ago) had on our mirror.

“Lord, let me live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful way

That even when I kneel to pray

My prayer shall be for others.”

I will regularly be scrolling over the map on the lower part of the column to the right and praying for your “hearts” represented by your visits.

Praying faithfully and lovingly  for my family and for all of you – my family through the blood of Jesus,

heartBG2

My Safe Place………..

March 22nd, 2010

 

marias birthday weekend 135

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, 
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.

marias birthday weekend 114

I’ve taken our boys to a nearby state park many times in the past 20 years to catch crawdads and wade in the creek, but for some reason this year it is calling my name for an entirely different reason.

marias birthday weekend 122

I’ve found a safe place here. 

Beside quiet waters.

Moving steadily.

Promising that God’s love never stops flowing.

Transforming rocks like He is transforming my soul.

I go here often.

He leads me to these quiet waters.

And longs to restore my soul.

And as He does I am somehow able to understand that even in the valley of the shadow of death my cup does truly overflow….

Because I am reminded that..

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Amen

Thankful for quiet waters and hoping you can find some refreshment in them too,

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Busy Mom’s Bible Review

March 22nd, 2010

 

busy mom pictures 007

I recently was asked to review a new Bible that has been placed on the market by Zondervan Publishers.

This amazing Bible arrived on a Friday that was kicking off a  weekend that involved a basketball tournament for my daughter, a band concert in another state for one of my son’s, a weekend visit from my mom, and a weekend college visit from our two oldest sons and their girlfriends.

When I found the package on our front porch I was so excited!

Mom took this picture of me showing my happiness after discovering this Bible’s appearance in the midst of our crazy weekend!

I LOVE THIS BIBLE!

It is small enough to carry in my purse yet contains many practical, short one-minute devotionals for those days when I am on the run and want to have a quick “spiritual lift” while waiting in the car to pick kids up or while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room.

The leather cover makes the Bible very sturdy which is also nice considering how “weathered” things can become when being carried here and there and everywhere.

As a mom who is trying to juggle many different schedules while also walking a very painful road of grief after losing my son to cancer, I find that having a Bible with me at all times is a MUST.  Knowing that I can reach in my purse and be comforted by His Word keeps me pressing on in an often very difficult “race for the finish line of life.”

I also love that the devotions contained in this Bible have a one-minute option for moments when I can just take a quick break but then also offers five and ten-minute options for those times when I have the opportunity to stop, reflect, pray, and dig a little deeper.

If you would like to know more about the Busy Mom’s Bible, simply click on this link.

busy mom pictures 004

A Busy Mom Trying to Stay a Balanced and God-focused Woman,