Saturday, September 12, 2009


I must confess. Lately I've been struck by how so many things that have been around for a long time have recently ceased to exist.

Today's Christian Woman magazine has been a source of information and inspiration for women of all ages and backgrounds for the last 3 decades. The last issue contained a notice saying it was the final one.

As a newly divorced single mom struggling to make ends meet, Rachel Ashwell opened her first Shabby Chic store 20 years ago and built a decorating empire. Her vision for creating spaces that are beautiful, comfortable and functional influenced interior design and impacted the way many of us shop and live. In 2008 she was forced to close the doors of all of her stores and only her Simply Shabby Chic line available through Target, her website and blog remain.

In April of this year, I was fortunate enough to hire a 30 year veteran in the child care field whose wealth of experience includes owning and operating two learning centers in our area. Though she is a wonderful asset to my team and I am very grateful to have her, I'm saddened by the fact that the loss of her centers was my gain. She applied for a teaching position at my center after being CEO and admininstrator of her own.

The first verse in Martina McBride's beautiful song, "Anyway" describes what has occurred in these situations well: "You can spend your whole life building something from nothing, one storm can come and blow it all away, build it anyway".

The stories I've shared involve women who have put their hearts, minds, soul and strength into something that did not last. The thing that amazes me is that despite the loss of what they built, they have not lost the passion that caused them to build it in the first place. I believe it's because they feel it was worth it while it lasted.

For 11 months I poured my heart, mind, soul and strength into fighting for full custody of my children. I was awarded full custody and for almost 3 years have been blessed to have my children with me the majority of the time, raising them under a Godly influence and impacting their lives for Christ.

This week I go to court to try to maintain what I have. Their father would like to have them 50% of the time, and I'm strongly opposed to this. It's not that I don't want them to love their father. On the contrary, my prayer is that they would have a good relationship with him because our relationship with our heavenly Father is often colored by our relationship with our earthly one. The problem I have with this time split is that our two homes are very different and the dichotomy in lifestyle, standards, expectations, and most importantly moral and religious values is so great that I fear my children will be confused by the differences. This could have long lasting spiritual and even eternal ramifications.

The chorus in Martina's country song with a Christian message says, "God is great, but sometimes life ain't good, when I pray, doesn't always turn out like I think it should, but I do it anyway. "

I'm praying for court to turn out the way I think it should, but I'm also praying as Jesus did, "Not my will but Thine be done". In my prayer, like Hannah did with Samuel, I commit my children to the Lord, confident that He loves them even more than I do.

Rachel Ashwell not only expresses herself through creating lovely spaces, she often does it through lovely sentiments. A statement she makes in her latest book, Shabby Chic Interiors, is an example of such a sentiment: "The acceptance that nothing lasts forever should not deter from making an experience as wonderful as it can be, during its time."

The fight for my children has been worth it.

My time with my children has been wonderful.

Whether it changes or remains the same, please pray for me that I will:

Keep my passion for parenting with a view toward eternity.

Take comfort in the fact that since I'm doing it for Christ, no matter what happens in court, what I've invested in my children will last.

Praise Him Anyway.

~Truly Tammi

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