Author Archives: tammim1010

Feast of St. Teresa- quotes to live by…..

Tomorrow marks the feast day of a wonderful saint in our church….St. Teresa of Calcutta.

I will never forget the first time I saw this little woman on TV.

I remember the news reporter discussing how this little woman was treating the “sickest of the sick”.

The room full of white sheets and cots as this little woman dressed in white and blue moved from bed to bed.

She caressed those hard faces…..she lovingly held the dying…..and bandaged up those filthy wounds.

What the news reporter tried to pass off as “heroic virtue”, Mother Teresa reassured them it was simply “being Christ” to others.

Her faith was simple.

Her faith was strong.

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I remember a few years later …she seemed so frail….too old to be doing all the work that she so tirelessly did.

However, I remember seeing a picture of her smiling and the joy that radiated from her eyes.

Her beauty shown forth from her soul.

She was a small woman who spoke with such conviction, and faith.

Tomorrow, I will spend the day writing some of these lesser known but beautiful quotes, from St. Teresa, on paper flowers throughout my home…..

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

I thank God for this spunky, little Indian woman who has blessed this Earth.

I pray that her example may be a catalyst to the fire in all of our hearts to want less things, judge less hearts, and give more love.

St. Teresa….pray for us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfect marriages don’t exist….

16 years of marriage!!!!!

I tell you….I love my marriage.  

To say that I married my best friend would be accurate.

I was reading this beautiful post that my husband wrote about me on facebook, when he stated:

“Happy 16th year of wedded bliss to my best friend and amazingly beautiful wife. I am so blessed to walk beside you through this journey of life towards the kingdom of our Lord. You are the most beautiful and loving person I have ever met and best of all your all mine! Love you”

I believe every word of this.

I believe that he truly feels this way.

Because we have put so much of our time, energy, and ourselves into this marriage.

He has not always felt this way about me.

In fact, there was a time when he wasn’t sure that all of this was “worth it”.

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I know because I was so tired, so frustrated, so sick of trying to “explain myself”…..and list was endless.

I was a tired mom of young children who felt so misunderstood.

I felt:

He didn’t understand me.

He thought the worst of me.

He was so selfish.

He was always angry, and I was sick of hearing him talk about it.

If you were to ask him, he would say that he felt:

She doesn’t respect how hard I work.

She doesn’t budget our money well.

She always wanted to stay at home, and now she’s just not happy.

She’s always complaining about something.

We were financially struggling, and the burden was heavy.

We weren’t suppose to feel this way about each other. No one could know these struggles.

From the outside, we looked happy but the fighting was just too much.

Our children were so precious to us, so we chose to focus on them.

We made every day about the kids for weeks…months…a year.

We had three children in a tiny apartment. Our third, a baby, was living in our “walk in” closet. We had one car, which he took to work everyday, while I felt smothered in this tiny apartment with three little ones.

Nothing was easy….the kitchen sink was too small. Our kitchen was tiny so it made preparing dinner so frustrating. The laundry room was downstairs, so I would have to trek downstairs with three kiddos in tow.  I would come down later to find that same laundry thrown in my basket wrinkled, as someone else had changed the load. I would have to grocery shop when the hubs got home so that involved not “forgetting” anything that was needed for dinner.

I was too tired to argue…but there was so much frustration that we fought about everything.

Countless nights I would wait for him to go to bed, and I would crawl into bed crying.

How did we get here? This wasn’t the guy that I dated. This wasn’t what I signed up for….

It was so easy to just stay angry. So easy to call all my girlfriends and bitch about my husband and how men are so frustrating.

Let’s be honest, I could have created a list of “justifable” reasons that I could be angry.

We can always find people willing to allow us to vent, but we also need to seek out people who will help us to change the course of what is going on.

I happened to be blessed with an amazing brother in law who would allow me to call him and vent about my frustations. He loved my husband and would provide me “insight” into my husband and share his marriage’s similar struggles. He was a tremendous “bridge” that connected our two worlds.

You see….he helped me to see what I always knew to be true……

Perfect marriages don’t exist. 

I don’t think that any of us truly believe that they do.

However, I think it’s easier for us to assume that others do not encounter our same struggle.

Why is it so hard for us to share the struggle? Why is it so hard to show our weakness?

Because when we leave our struggles “in the dark”,  we also keep Christ out of it. We reserve a part of our life to be handled by us alone. It’s only after seeing how we truly fail anything on our own, that we lift our hearts in prayer to God and allow Him to bring us help.

I decided years ago that I wanted a better marriage.

I decided that I was going to fight for what we both wanted.

I knew that he was that same guy, and I was that same girl he loved. Some how, we let “life” and the “world” come between us.

We had stopped working on us.

And if you are struggling with some of these same feelings/issues..I have a few pieces of advice.

Make a decision to fight for your marriage…..and give your marriage to the Lord. Marriage is a decision. It’s a daily decision to love your spouse. Once you make this decision, it becomes the most important fight that you are in. It means rolling up your sleeves and conquering whatever hurdles you have together. It’s an “us against the world” mentality not a “you against me”. It means waking up daily, and asking the Lord to bless your marriage and any roadblocks for that day. I wrote a great blog about fighting for your marriage here. 

*I will never advocate remaining in a situation that involves cases of physical, mental or verbal abuse. Please seek professional help if you are in this situation. I believe that God can work miracles in your relationship, but that might require distance and professional help first. You are a child of God and worthy of much more.

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Always think the best of him. Assume the best so that you are never overly critical. It’s so much easier to think the best, then to apologize for rushing to judgment. Trust that he loves you and would never want to hurt you intentionally.

“I’m sure he meant to get to these dishes. The kids must have been tough tonight.” Instead of, “what an ass! He knows I don’t want to do all these dishes”. I’ve done that second one a few times and it bit me in the ass. haha. I know I leave the dishes until the morning if it’s crazy-ville and should give him the same courtesy.

Be open and honest. This is super important. Communication is key. I can tell my husband anything. I mean anything….. We don’t have “big discussions” because we don’t need to. We work out everything together. I have a certain way that I like things, and other things I don’t care about. We sat down and talked about who would handle what, and what decisions we wanted to be the “voice” of and what decisions the other person could handle. I know how he likes to be loved, and the things I can do to support him.

Honor the stuff that is important to each other.  I honor the stuff that is important to him, and he respects my decisions about stuff that is important to me. I used to hate football….I know…it’s hard to admit. I decided years ago that I would just honor his love for the game. I would make these cute spreads since I loved appetizers and hosting. Then, I would sit and watch the games with him. I was content to eat and hang out, he was content to hang with me and watch the game. What was a “sacrifice” turned into a love of the game. We now have complete ND rituals with songs and gear…haha.

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He knows how important “girl time” is to me. He makes sure I always have some wine in the bar, and often will just suggest that I “go out by myself for a few hours”. This past fall, he flew me to Atlanta to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday. It was just an amazing time. As I rocked with her on her porch with a cold beer in my hand, I got a text message that said “I love you. Don’t let her pay for anything this weekend.” As a single mom, he wanted my girlfriend to feel supported and cared for. It spoke volumes into her heart and mine. Whenever I mention a “girls’ night” or a “girls’ weekend”, he always helps me to make it happen.

Laugh. I can’t tell you how much this man makes me laugh. Even when I’m trying to be serious and discuss something with him. There is nothing better than laughter and what joy it brings to the heart. We constantly have inside jokes, or make references to Seinfeld, King of Queens, or The Office episodes. If you know my husband in real life, he is truly one of the funniest people EVAH……

Put each other first. Trust me. I love my kiddos. If you flip through my instagram, you can see how much I love the joy that they bring to our home. However, my husband always comes first. For us, that means plenty of date nights, yearly vacations alone, and just time together. Every saturday, we take our coffee and tea into our sitting room, and chat about the week ending and the week approaching. The kids know not to enter this room at this time. It’s our sacred time weekly. We cuddle and just relax.  In addition, Now that my oldest has started babysitting for us, we have also been able to slip out for breakfast few times a month together.

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Perfect marriages do not exist. But good marriages do.

They are the product of love, and selfless actions on the part of each other.

They are built brick by brick into the beautiful home that others see.

So…embrace the fight…embrace the struggle…and join countless other couples in fighting for a good marriage.

God bless,

Tammi

 

Women need other women…..

 

Last weekend, I had the privilege of reuniting with about 13 girlfriends from my college Alma Mater, Franciscan University. This reunion had been in the works for several months and I was counting down the days. These ladies were part of my “household”, in simple terms, a christian sorority that I had joined during my four years at that college.

These girls were the ones that lived on the same wing of the dorm as I did.  We passed each other in the bathroom,  and we stayed up late eating cheap pizza together. These same ladies ‘glammed up’ with me for dances, and I threw them the ball in intramural football. They allowed me to cry on their shoulders when I broke up with my first real boyfriend, and they took me to prayer when I was struggling with student teaching and graduating. They held a valuable piece of my heart.

They were a big part of the tapestry of my life. 

Not only did some of my fondest memories include them, but we have the bonds of spiritual sisterhood. They were my “sisters”. The ladies whom I had shared my heart with during those four growing years….that beautiful time of learning who I was, and where I was going. These ladies sat next to me in the pew at Mass, and held my hand in our weekly prayer nights. When Ohio couldn’t contain us, we moved on to a semester in Europe where we continued our journey together as sisters exploring foreign countries together.

As time went on, I sat in the pews and stood on the altar for many of their weddings. I cried big tears as I learned of pregnancies and miscarriages. We mourned the tragic death of parents, and the hardship of divorce.

And as we gathered in that lake house cottage in New York, we once again shared our hearts.  We came together to share not just our hearts, but our struggles, our hurts, and our loved ones.

CD reunion 2017

Because women need other women.

Ask the SAHM of an infant or toddler, and she will tell you that she craves adult conversation. …she would gladly exchange an hour of a nap for a solid hour chatting with a girlfriend.

We need to tell our story. We need the support of other women who can give us counsel and share their wisdom. We need other women who love us and seek our happiness. 

Let’s ponder the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. I believe that Mary spent the better part of that journey trying to think of the best way to share the story of the visitation. Would Elizabeth believe her? Would she challenge this message from God? Would she believe that God had chosen her to carry the Christ child? She needed a “sister” to whom to share the great news with.  What a surprise when Elizabeth already knew!!!!

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?” – Luke 1:41-43

We hear in scripture that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (St. John the Baptist) lept with joy at the presence of Mary. What a beautiful confirmation of the beauty of this friendship between Elizabeth and Mary….two ladies who had chosen to give their “yes” to God!

God was allowing them to experience this amazing journey together. They both understood the awesome privilege that they were given, and found comfort in their shared journey.

How many times have you sought the counsel of another women? or felt such comfort when another woman just “gets it” without a need for a long explanation?

My husband is my best friend….this is not a knock on men.  My husband will always be the first person that I run to with good news, when life is tough, or just to wrap his arms around me. However, just like I encourage him to seek the counsel of his brothers, he does the same for me.

My girlfriends walk the same journey of motherhood and wifedom that I do. ( I know…..wifedom sounds good…but I think I just made that up…haha) .  I laughed as the posts flooded our facebook group as these “moms” prepared for the weekend. There was the usual “do I need sheets for the beds?” or “how much alcohol should i bring”? but I laughed at the comments about “wearing sweatpants and pajamas” and what “nice clothes” did we really need….haha. Posts from true mommas who just needed a cocktail, an abundance of sleep, and to sit comfortably in a “nonjudgment” zone for the weekend.

It was so funny when one mom suggested that we attend Saturday night Mass so that we could sleep in on Sunday morning, how quickly everyone agreed that that idea was pure perfection.

Women need to be understood by other women. 

As we sat around drinking cocktails in pajamas, we laughed reminicencing about old times. We mentally surfed through facebook posts that we had recently “seen” of each other, and delved deeper into our lives. We were able to share the truth behind those vague facebook posts, and drop tears over what is really going on in our families….the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

And trust me…the tears flowed…from all of us.

But there was also gut-wrenching laughter that brought it’s own set of tears……..

Then…..we bowed our heads and prayed a rosary for our families.

And the beauty of a spiritual sisterhood is that Saturday night, just a few hours after we unpacked our luggage, and stretched our legs from our trips, we entered this tiny church and began our weekend with the Lord.

As I sat in that little church, I listened carefully to the beautiful sound of my girlfriends’ singing. What a gift. I closed my eyes and took it all in. These ladies were such a gift to my womanhood and to my journey as a wife and mother.

My “yes” to God had brought me to this little Catholic college in Ohio where God had plans for my life. He had blessed these friendships, and helped each of us to be instrumental in the development of each other.

He was our center……he was that strong “connection” that made the long distances bearable.

Those three days went too quicky….but as I pulled off to make the journey back to my family, who eagerly awaited my return, I felt renewed.

For those three days, I was just the daughter of a king, along with those other 12 ladies. I had sat at the banquet table of the Lord, and we had feasted.

CD blog

God bless,

Tammi

Being a mom…..

Sometimes I write a whole new blog…and sometimes I find an old blog that still speaks the same “truths” to my heart…..enjoy…. Happy Mother’s Day!

Chasing time and Drinking wine

What is being a mom?

I have been thinking a lot about this tonight in light of Mother’s Day and what it means. For every mom, it will be different. I am blessed to be surrounded in my life by some beautiful, selfless moms. They have helped shape the woman that I am today and they continue to “push” me to new heights of loving my children.

Do I feel that I am a wonderful mom?

Yes….but not because I have taken countless surveys or read countless blogs about the “top 10 ways to be a good mom”. Good Lord, you will drive yourself nuts trying to be “everything” that the newest bloggers recommend. I believe that I am a wonderful mom because I strive DAILY to be a good mom. Because I believe that my children will grow up strong, and ready for whatever life hands them when they…

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Honesty…the Wings of Freedom

Honesty…..

It’s definitely a little “plant” that the Lord has been working on with me over the past month.

The “seeds” of this blog were planted during a conversation with one of the mothers at my monthly co-op. I had been making a point of trying to converse with her more this past year, as she seemed to be “hanging out” more than I remember in previous years. As we started to share with each other, I began to realize that I didn’t really know this woman at all. I had developed perceptions of who I thought she was…but I was wrong.

And all it took, was just talking to her.

Standing in front of her without judgement, two people willing to listen to whatever each other wanted to say. The two of us willing to share with each other, not concerned about what was going on around us. Just willing to listen.

It was about being able to say “wow, I didn’t know that about you at all. Thanks for sharing that about yourself”.

It’s about recognizing the vulnerability of the person who is trusting you with part of their heart.

Then a few nights ago, I was reading in my Blessed is She journal, and the beautiful Elizabeth Foss was discussing the notion of hypocrites and stated:

“God doesn’t ask you to be perfect, but he does want you to be honest”.

There it was again….

The “H” word…..honesty….

Ok, Lord….you got it…

I’ll write from my heart about honesty.

Why is it so hard for us to be honest with people?

I believe that it takes a lot of vulnerability, confidence, and holy boldness…….but I also believe that it gives us the wings of freedom.

Don’t you want to be free in your relationships???!!!

How many of us go to bed at night thinking I wish a had someone who truly understood me or maybe you think If people really knew the real me, would they still be friends with me?

People are attracted to genuineness and honesty.

A few years ago, I sat down with two of my sister-in-laws and confessed that I wasn’t being honest with them in our relationships. I told them that I often left family gatherings feeling frustrated by things that they said, or that I replayed conversations in my head for days. I confessed that I didn’t like feeling like I was “holding a grudge” about an earlier event but I also didn’t feel like I was being honest and things needed to change.

I think they were initially quite surprised, as they didn’t know I felt this way. I continued, adding that I was going to “speak my mind”, and I might start offending people but that I needed a different level of friendship with them, and it meant being able to be perfectly honest.

Over the next few months, some of my text messages were a little sassy at times. I spent time sending messages about my gratitude and appreciation for little loving gestures, and I enjoyed answering the text messages about “what I thought about__________”. These same sisters realized that my honesty was refreshing. They knew they could come to me for advice, and then could also hang up the phone and not wonder what my ‘real thoughts’ were on a subject we had discussed.

There was freedom for them in being able to talk to someone who would deliver honesty, and yet care about them.

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God wants us all to speak truth.

He wants others to be drawn to the freedom that we elude when we live a life in His Truth. A life that grants us true freedom.

A life where we are free to be who we choose to be, not who we think people would like better.

God doesn’t want us to live our life through perception…concerned only with how others see our marriages, our children, or our lifestyle.

God wants our lives to be transparent and honest….to be looking at our family from a realistic place of where God has us.

To me, there is nothing more beautiful that a person who has the interior freedom to be who they want to be.

When I was in college, I had this friend named “Ducky”. I believe he got that nickname because of his similarities with the character from the movie “Pretty in Pink”. He had a crazy sense of style, but such a warm and loving heart. I remember the first time I met him just beaming. I remember thinking to myself this guy is crazy funny…and his laugh is infectious. As college progressed, “Ducky” and I went on a mission trip to Florida together and we were able to have some quality time hanging out around a camp fire. I learned rather quickly that “Ducky” had a lot to teach me about being true to who I was. He talked to me about his love for Our Lady and he was never without his rosary beads. I have vivid memories of his mad dance skills, and his love for good music. You couldn’t help but be happy when Ducky was around. He was the genuine deal….and everyone knew him and loved him.

I also believe that God puts people in our lives to share our hearts with.

Who are these people God has placed in your life? Are there people that you need to invite “in”? People who you know you could be closer with if you shared more of yourself with them?

What are you afraid of?

Share. Share your thoughts….and your heart.

Ask the Lord to make these people clear to you.

Allow the Lord to give you wings of freedom, so that you can experience true friendship with other men/women.

Be willing to be that honest and genuine friend to others.

“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter. He who has found ONE has found a treasure”. – Sirach 6:14

God bless,

Tammi

St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Thoughts for St. Paddy’s Day!!!

Chasing time and Drinking wine

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You know what time it is??!!! It’s the celebration for all of us Irishmen! We definitely love our Irish heritage and sport our green for Ireland on March 17! Thanks to Walmart and the local Dollar Tree, I was able to score some awesome “loot” to help the kiddos celebrate! Missing from this picture is my son’s green leprechaun hat, four more pairs of shamrock socks, Sweet Pea’s larger shamrock drop earrings, and two more scarves. My kiddos always get super excited and then race away with their loot. I’ve been know to hang on to stuff so that they actually know “where it is” come Thursday….hahaha.

I try and integrate the holidays into every aspect of our lives.  With St. Patrick’s Day, this is no acception, Pinterest always has a ton of ideas.  If you want to see some of the things we have done in years past, you…

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Getting back in the groove….7 quick takes on the past few weeks….

I’m linking up with 7 quick takes this week to share a little bit about what’s happening over here in the CTDW household, and some random thoughts for this week. Giddy up…..

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 A profound and overwhelming thank you to all of you who have lifted up our family in prayer, in regards to my post about my husband’s chronic lung disease. We instantly felt covered in so many prayers. Friends and family all flooding our facebooks with messages of love, support and encouragement. Friends dropped off dinners, sent gift cards, and called to lend kind words and comfort. It is in times like this that you become truly aware of how blessed you are. The Lord, in His Divine Wisdom, used this simple post to also speak to the heart of so many of you who struggle as the “silent sufferer”. Thank you for sharing with me your struggles, your hardships, and allowing me to find comfort in your prayers as well. Please continue to pray for my husband that his lungs continue to remain strong and we can be hospital-free this winter. Please continue to look for those people that God may have placed in your life who struggle as well. If you didn’t get a chance to read my last post about Dan’s health,you can read about that post here.

Christmas was a beautiful end to a tough year. After weeks of worry and fear, My greatest Christmas gift was having my husband sitting next to me feeling pretty great. I was comforted by his loving smile and his willingness to hop up on a ladder and hang Christmas ornaments on a tree. Watching him struggle to climb stairs for lack of energy, it was truly a beautiful gift to watch him enter the holidays with the same luster that he always has had for the holidays. The joy in the picture below is just that….pure joy. We all felt it!


Joy. 

This word has taken on new meaning for me this year. I have always loved the verse in Timothy that says “Be prepared to give a reason for your joy”. However, a little girl named Joy, who miraculously recovered without brain injury after drowning in a pool and being without a heart beat for over 20 minutes has really made me re-evaluate the reason for my “Joy”. This little girl and her family, who were college friends of mine, have deepened the faith of countless people who dropped to their knees to pray for the health of this baby girl. Every day I stalk facebook waiting for Joy’s mother, Kristin’s update on Joy. Her family has allowed us to witness the raw, painful journey of suffering and yet also experience the joy of her miraculous recovery. This little girl has brought so many souls to Christ. You can read about Joy’s story here. A gofund me account has also been set up to help her family with all her medical expenses.

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My day was spent watching the inauguration of President Trump while emptying vomit buckets. Lord…have mercy! For anyone who is unaware of “vomit” etiquette…..you must quarantine your home. Stomach viruses are no joke and you don’t want to “bless” another family with this precious, vile predicament…haha. I’m feeling pretty sleep deprived, as those of you who handle these sticky situations in your home know, you can’t sleep through that ever distinguishable sound of vomit hitting carpet….arghhhhhhh. So gross. Praying that these two little girls don’t “spread the love” to their other siblings or dear mom and dad.*** edited…just added my son to the quarantine…(sigh..)

In addition, I have found one of my passions through starting as a consultant with Thirty-one gifts!I am busy growing my thirty-one business and would like to invite all my readers to check out my VIP group on Facebook. This is a great group of ladies who love a great deal, love our bags, totes, and jewelry, and want to be apprised of all things “thirty-one”. We would love to have you as a member….www.facebook.com/groups/partycentralwithtammi. You can also purchase directly from my site at http://www.mythirtyone.com/tammimccarthy. We currently have a 20% off 20 items from our fall catalog that we are retiring through the end of January. Our Spring/Summer catalog full of bright colors and patterns will be available online  February 1st. Make sure you check it out!

The Catholic blogger’s conference that I attended this past Spring opened my eyes to a few amazing Catholic bloggers…and the Blessed Is She group. Since joining their Instagram, I have saved so many of their bible verses to my phone. Please preorder your Lenten journal from Blessed is She. You can order it here. Trust me….you will LOVE it. It’s perfect for those of us who have little time but want God to do a mighty work in us. Elizabeth Foss has a beautiful three step process of Scripture, reflection, and a call to action (journaling, doodling, etc.) I preordered my Advent journal and I loved everyday of it. I snagged up my Lenten one this morning!

I have seen many bloggers refer to their “word for the year”. A word that they are going to focus on; a theme for their year. After giving this concept some thought, I do believe this is a profound way to project confidence and clarity into my year. To examine my weaknesses and areas that need the Lord’s guidance. My theme for this year is to be intentional. I feel that too many things in my life are not intentional enough. I know that the Lord is calling me to be more intentional in all my decisions. To take control over my house, my finances, my children’s education, every aspect of my life that just has drifted into normalcy over the past few years. I know that the Lord is calling me to be more intentional….to gear my life in a specific direction allowing God to lead me. I eagerly await the Lord’s clarity for this year.

Thank you for continuing to be supportive readers of my blog. This blog started as a way for me to offer “tips” to my fellow homeschoolers and Catholic moms but has really turned into more of a place for me to share my heart. Thank you for always being willing to “listen” to my voice. My goal for this year is to provide more consistency in my blog and yet to allow the Lord to lead the path for the blog this year.

God bless,

Tammi