• Writing

    The Truth About White Lives

    “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.” Proverbs 4:7-8 English Standard Version I wandered around my happy place Friday evening. I haven’t been to my happy place in several months due to Covid 19, so when I walked through the doors of Barnes and Nobel and that aroma of brewed coffee greeted me… I heard music. I wanted to open my arms and swirl around in the aisle like Maria did on the mountaintop in The Sound of Music, but I was wearing a mask and already…

  • Heart

    Killing Racism

    “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Ellie Wiesel I was raised to be a racist, not the type that wore a hood and burned crosses in front yards, but a quiet one. Racism slithered across the floors of our Christian home hissing “sshhh.” It taught me to be afraid of black people, when Momma gripped my hand on the sidewalk as we passed by people of color. It taught me black people committed most of the crime in our town, when I heard comments like “Do they know…

  • Heart

    A Slowed Down Life:

    Preparing the Heart: Recently I’ve returned to my Orlando home. What we thought was a few days for spring break morphed into a two-month quarantine at our farmhouse. On the drive back to civilization and restaurant row, I realized I’d not driven anything but an ATV since March. I felt like a giddy sixteen-year old behind the wheel of my SUV. Furthermore, I’d not left the farm property in almost two months. I wanted to get home and bury myself in my office and studio. I also felt the overwhelming desire to grocery shop—but hey, I’d take any retail therapy I could get at this point.              But I’m a wishy-washy…

  • Heart

    What’s in a Name?

    I’ll confess I never truly liked the name Tammy. I blame my name for all the pats I received on the head from male employers and for the punches in the arm instead of dates I received from guys I thought were cute in college. It’s my name’s fault for why I’ve worked so hard to prove myself because if I didn’t, I feared I wouldn’t get past the little white yapper image in people’s minds when they thought of me. I read a book once about the psychology behind a name. The author stated our names shaped a portion of our personalities because it dictates how people perceive us…

  • Heart,  Writing

    The Sound of Silence

    The Chesapeake Bay fueled my terror of lightning. One afternoon, a dark shadow hung over my Daddy’s boat before a bright flash bounced off a crab pot, and a sharp pain sliced through my arm as it hung over the side of the boat. For years after, Momma closed all the doors to the bedrooms and sat with me in the hallway during lightning storms. We leaned against her record/stereo player that we had to turn sideways to scoot around. Simon and Garfunkel, Motown greats, James Taylor, John Denver—whichever she was in the mood for that afternoon—drowned out the thunder. Today, I heard again a remake of Simon and Garfunkel’s…

  • Heart,  Writing

    Mourning the Loss of Expectations

    Feeling sad today. Missing travel. Missing Main Street, USA at Magic Kingdom. Fearing that awful, monstrous…The Unknown. I don’t shove these feelings down. I don’t scold myself for not trusting God enough for not having enough faith. Please. The Bible is pretty much ALL people who aren’t enough but for whom God decides to Be everything. He’s always filled in the gaps, where we aren’t enough. No, what I’m doing is recognizing that my expectation for life does not match reality. The journey of letting go of expectation and accepting reality is called grief. It’s a crucial part of our mental health. Grief is tricky. It messes you up to…

  • Heart,  Writing

    Finding Peace in the Pandemic

    Preparing the Heart: My boys are restless. I feel their bottled energy as they slug around the house with that wild look in their eyes as if they hear war drums in the distance but are forced in their barracks unable to join comrades in battle. My hunter runs off to hunt the woods daily. My fisherman runs off to catch those bass in the pond. My youngest son runs between the two. They’re biding their time in quarantine as best they can. Meanwhile, beyond the farm fences, out there in the real-world, there’s a dangerous invader whose sticky barbs have infected every aspect of our lives. The enemy loves…

  • Heart,  Writing

    No Longer Doubting

    Preparing the Heart: “There’s no shadow You won’t light up Mountain You won’t climb up Coming after me There’s no wall You won’t kick down Lie You won’t tear down Coming after me.” Reckless Love by Cory Asbury When our family moved from Kentucky to Tennessee in 2005, Jennifer Yeager was the first person who went out of her way to befriend me. We met at the pool in the temporary housing the church provided for us. She be-bopped up to my family and I. “Well, hello Hammonds…” she said in her Georgia accent. “I’m Jennifer Yeager and this is my husband Robert; we go to Grace and saw that…

  • Heart,  Writing

    What God Showed Me in the Woods

      As of this writing, our family and my brother in law’s family are settled in at the farmhouse. What we thought was a few days at the farm for spring break turned into an indefinite stay. One day I felt the need to escape for a bit. With 12 people under roof—sometimes—you just need to hunt down some quiet. There is a stretch of woods on the farm where the tall pines grow in neat rows. The grass comes up bright green in this area and once it reaches a certain height the cattle are brought in for the buffet. I sat under a tree to enjoy some quiet…