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welcome to my chambers

September 23, 2008

as you know by now, i just spent 4 days with some incredible blogging women. mandy, kristi and cathi.

before i left, i tried not to picture what it might be like to meet these ladies. i didn’t want to be let down if i let my expectations get too high.

well, come to find out…they exceeded anything i could have ever imagined, had i tried! and then some!

on my flight home i began recapturing, in between all the tears, some of the moments we shared. we laughed so hard i would physically lose my breath! there is something seriously wrong with Kristiapplesauce. that’s all i’m sayin about that 😉

then we’d switch to the deepest of deep conversations about ministry, God, family, love, disappointments, hurts.

next, we’d make silly videos and play the guitar and sing!

having to walk away from this weekend left me very distraught. there are so many emotions to deal with. it’s like each chamber of my heart is filled with a different part of who i am.

in one chamber is the childlike tam. the little girl who just came home from like the best slumber party. ev-errrr!

in another chamber is the contemplative tam. the one who who is soaking everything up, sorting it out in her mind and heart.

one chamber is occupied by angry tam. yes. the angry tam. grateful on one hand and angry on the other that i had to fly away. these are the friendships and moments that every little girl dreams of! and i got to live that dream for 4 perfect days. then…i had to leave.

then there is a chamber filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude. did i just really meet these women?! we held hands and prayed together. we had our own church service saturday night in our hotel room. we brushed our teeth next to each other. we (kristi) snored in the same room. we wept together and wiped one another’s tears. we drank out of the same straw. just one week ago these women were pictures and black letters on a computer screen.

what do i do with all of this? how do i get the chambers of my heart to make sense of each other? how do i calm it? how do i keep it from feeling like it could explode at any moment?

do you have relationships like this?

and shoot darn. i forgot i guest blogged at mandys place tuesday for her amazing DOsomething series. and brent posts there today!

32 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2008 1:01 am

    in the past year i’ve gotten to this same place with a handful of women. it is wonderful and also hard (because of the physical space between us), but i thank God for it.

  2. September 24, 2008 3:01 am

    Am i strange for thinking that’s more of a ‘chick’ thing?

    Over here most blokes have mates, and for the vast majority that is someone you either drink (too much) beer with or play sport with and more frequently – Both (sometimes at one and the same time! 😯 )

    We leave the weepy, mushy break-your-heart-and-wanna-cry stuff for you women 😉

    Wanna swap? 😉

    In answer to your question: never – but i’m hoping to one day!

    Question for you – do you think all friendships should have to start out as blog-friends first? 🙂 ( i was way too shy as a kid to make those kind of friends)


  3. September 24, 2008 4:18 am

    When my heart goes roller coaster on me, I write poetry. It helps.

    I look forward to the day the guys can get together, preferably in the woods, and I can wipe your man’s tears for him. Well, strike that. None of that “same straw” thing either. Same bottle perhaps…

    And yes, I believe I have relationships like this, where I am completely relaxed and unafraid, knowing my friends will listen and encourage. Its amazing. ‘course there is less estrogen in our group.

  4. September 24, 2008 4:40 am

    This pic reminded me of a Drama picture we had to take in highschool, we all were wearing black and were sporting the ” Grease Lightning” type sunglasses:)

    Girl…I have so much I want to say to you, but at the moment, I can’t get the words out…
    However, as I write this my cat threw one of her fuzzy balls at me!

    I will say I have experienced this, when I went out to Colorado.
    I stayed with my friend Kit for a few days..I have known her now about 14 yrs,
    but she left the area in 1997, and we kept in touch, but I hadn’t seen her in person until I took the trip in 2003. The other thing about it, last time I had seen her, she was my Creative Writing teacher in highschool. (10th grade), so to see a whole side of her that I didn’t before, was the coolest experience in the whole world. I actually gained more respect for her, then I even had before…because I saw HER heart, I saw her passions in life, I saw what things she said and did in front of her family, and walking even in public.
    She is such a fun person, that if I could have taken the trip to see you guys in KS, I would have totally had you meet her, because she is just amazing…She reminds me a lot of Cathi Stegall, the fun-loving little social chicky with a deep thought pattern that makes you feel like you fell down the rabbit hole…she is spontaneous, and she just has such a unique perspective on life altogether! I cried when I had to say my goodbyes…she really is like my big sister, and she proudly takes the role…but to this day, I have no clue why lol.
    Then of course, I got to meet my friend Val for the first time, and I think a lot of our conversations would meet in the middle with, ” Oh wow.” Because we saw eye to eye on so much and just understood each other. It was amazing to live thousands of miles away, and spend time with her, and feel like she’s lived down the street for years!
    I haven’t talked to her in a few months due to time, but she is one of those people that you can pick up the phone and think no time has gone by at all! I love that!

    I will say this(I guess I got talking now LOL), that it is okay that these friends live far away, I do cry sometimes when I miss my Kit, when the world is chaotic, and I need someone to talk to, that will remind me of my place in this world, show me the entire world hasn’t gone bad…to know that there is good still. To remember who I am inside.

    The people that are most memorable in our lives, we treasure always, and never keep far from reach…they stay close to our hearts always, just like the blood flowing through our veins, without them apart of us would never survive, or possibly ever exist.

    I don’t even remember your question anymore, but I’ve talked enough, so I have to figure that I’ve answered it LOL.

    I will say these people I would like to meet in person:
    Tam, Mandy, CAT, and Jenny Hope:) AMAZING PEOPLE:)
    and believe it or not, I’ve known my friend Charlotte since 2002 I think,
    and we’ve never met face to face, nor my friend Amy an Aussie,

    Its like God sends a care package carrying their heart FIRST CLASS!

    I love HIM so, for just being HIM, and BLESSING US, Just Because He loves us!

    and I love you, and I am done rambling:)


  5. Heidi permalink
    September 24, 2008 5:15 am

    1. what do i do with all of this?

    Why do you have to do anything?? Enjoy it.cherish it.. Praise God For it..

    2. how do i get the chambers of my heart to make sense of each other?

    There are just some things in our life, I don’t think God made for us to understand.
    We want to justify the good feelings, the tears, and the thoughts, but maybe He just sensed in your life at this particular moment that you needed true happiness and solid friendships.
    Maybe He sensed that your “sisterhood” with these women would make a huge impact. Maybe Tam, The HUGE IMPACT wasn’t for you but was for them and HE USED YOU!!! but He also gave you a reward.

    3. how do i calm it? Why?

    4. how do i keep it from feeling like it could explode at any moment? It won’t

    The other day, I was watching your video and I said to myself “someday” I’ll have that, but you know what?? I’m experiencing this through you right now.
    Thank you…

    oh BTW… you are all gorgeous in that picture!!!

  6. September 24, 2008 5:37 am

    Nice Sunnies.

  7. September 24, 2008 6:42 am

    Thank the Lord for moments like these…they get us through so much!

    Love you, TammyJo.

  8. September 24, 2008 7:19 am

    Yeah, what Heidi said. Sit in it. Treasure it. Don’t worry about “doing” anything. Sometimes God gives us things in our hearts that we don’t have to teach anyone else through. Its just for us. Enjoy!

  9. September 24, 2008 7:53 am

    Why is Alece hiding??



  10. September 24, 2008 8:10 am

    I already feel this way and I’ve yet to meet anyone in real life! 😯

  11. September 24, 2008 8:48 am

    Love – alece was exhausted. it was hot that day. she got grumpy and wouldnt participate in the pic. but i have some of her that will go up soon 😉

    so today…is a weird day. not as many tears, just a heaviness on my heart. it’s strange. BUT…its good too. i know that in all of this there is something to learn and something to DO. i feel like i just had a crash course in true, authentic friendship. now….i get to live that out here and pass it on! i am excited for that!

    and arent they all SO, SO beautiful! and they’re great huggers too!!! i remember when Darla was here at my house…wow…she was a great hugger!

  12. September 24, 2008 10:00 am

    That picture is so cute; it’s like you are the pretty and popular clique in high school only you’re nice. 🙂

    My only advice (not that you were really asking) is to just let the four chambers of your heart keep beating in sync until they all start flowing into each other. I am REALLY fortunate that I have friends like that, literally we have those same kind of moments that words just don’t do justice to, that live really close to me. But I also have a couple of friends that I literally ache for that live far away (ironically one is in Kansas City and I was a little jealous of you all being so near her). The thing is, you don’t stop aching for them but you integrate them into your life so strongly that they flow into every chamber. And you take what you learn from them and show that compassion and love and caring to others. And talk to them all the time to tell them about the new experiences so they can be a part of it with you and stay heavily in those chambers.

    And then you force them to come visit you so you can fill each other up again. Unless they’re pregnant with twins like my friend in Kansas City, and then you give her permission to stay where she is and rest. While running after her other two little girls. And be grateful you’re not pregnant with twins. Because COME ON that sounds like a lot of work…

    But as soon as she has those babies I’m forcing her to come visit. And then I’m going to convince her to leave one of them here with me. Because that’s what good friends DO.


  13. September 24, 2008 10:14 am


    You’re just sooooooooo “COOL” Tam! Love the glasses!

    Closing is tomorrow!!!


  14. September 24, 2008 11:30 am

    I had a friend like that, and recently lost her due to betrayel on her end. Although I have lots of other really great friends, I am left with an empty place in my soul from the loss of her friendship. I wish I could make everything better, but It’s not up to me. The ball is in her court, and she chose to become bitter at me because I told her the truth in love. [sigh] Wish I knew what to do. Some days it’s like I almost wish my mind could forget her. I know that sounds aweful, but it’s the truth. If I didn’t remember her it wouldn’t hurt so bad. And it doesn’t help that I keep having dreams about her either. It just dredges the memories back up to the surface again.

  15. September 24, 2008 11:41 am


  16. September 24, 2008 11:57 am

    yeah… what can i say? i get grumpy in hot weather.

  17. September 24, 2008 12:22 pm

    Strangely I have had a friend like that since I was 3! And we have been separate for most of the time. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I think you just learn how to stay in touch and value the time you get together. Now I also live far from my family which I always have a good time with so it is similar. You know that deep ache that doesn’t go away. I also have to say goodbye constantly to my beautiful Christina each month. I am still figuring how you do it. My dad gave me some good advice that when you are together you act that you will never part, that way you can enjoy every moment you do have together. Then the web and phone calls help us feel connected. I can’t wait until heaven where there will be no more goodbyes!

  18. Heidi permalink
    September 24, 2008 1:13 pm

    You guys are still gorgeous..

    “just had a crash course in true, authentic friendship”

    What a gift from God, Tam!!!

  19. September 24, 2008 2:08 pm

    Yes, I do have some relationships like this….and what a treasure they are to me.

  20. September 24, 2008 3:23 pm

    I love hearing about friends having such a great time together.

    I don’t think friendships between guys ever get to the “head exploding” stage. 🙂 I have had a few relationships in the past with women, but they never lasted. Unfortunately their heads did explode once they spent enough time with me. 🙂

  21. September 24, 2008 5:13 pm


    “I don’t think friendships between guys ever get to the “head exploding” stage.”

    You’ve never met me 🙂

  22. September 24, 2008 6:12 pm

    I tink in part its a girl thing – but – i also think it is a relationship thing as well! Mama and I would love to meet every blogger on my roll – maybe some day. By the way, less than three weeks!

  23. September 24, 2008 6:18 pm

    Yes it is amazing when you get to meet other bloggers.

    I like them more than most people i know for real 😆

  24. September 24, 2008 7:49 pm

    That sounds sooooooooooooooo awesome! And I must admit I am even a tad bit jealous! 🙂

    I’m glad you had such a blessed weekend!

  25. September 24, 2008 8:26 pm

    Sounds like an amazing time! And I can definitely relate to what’s going on in the four chambers of your heart; right now my best friends all live far away (I moved several thousand miles and then the best friends I made here moved away) so I know that feeling, when I spend time with them and then have to leave …

  26. September 24, 2008 8:53 pm

    I had a friend like that.

    She knew everything about me and I her. She’d call out sin in my life and I didn’t have a problem letting her know that her poop stank, too. I’d tell her the deepest, darkest secrets of my life…the things I would not share with anyone. She’d confess hers and wasn’t scared for one bit that any of it would pass through my lips. We sang together, we lived together, we ate cookie dough together, we laughed together, we cried together. Over a decade of memories together.

    Things have changed over the last couple of years. Her life was thrown into a whirlwind with a divorce and subsequent issues with child custody.

    She’s different.

    I’m different.

    I still trust her.

    It’s just different. And we’re still friends. There’s just more time in between our emails and phone calls.

    Oh, and we’re in different states over 8 hours away from one another.

    God will provide. Thank God I have a best friend in my husband.

  27. September 25, 2008 1:40 am

    Tam- did praise just say “for real”? 🙂

    Praise- of course they are for real..and the bloggers you met that you like more…are they not for real too? just messing with you… I want my Tam I am all messed up because of her chambers, and now I know I have chambers..sooo soon am I allowed to fly? 😉

  28. September 25, 2008 7:00 am

    mmm. so happy for you that you had this experience, that you have these friendships.

    i’ve got no idea how to make sense of the heart.

    all i know is that i feel thankful in times like this that my heart has the ability to be so passionate.

  29. September 27, 2008 1:58 pm

    Do you know … I think these relationships are a picture of heaven. I really do.

  30. October 20, 2008 7:52 pm

    This is not the addiction now… I’m just back-tracking through your posts, because I’m working on something that is very “tam-ish”…. Trying to make sure you haven’t done this yet.

    Came across this post. Wish you wrote like this more often. I’m just sayin’… I don’t even know if you’ll read this. Hope you do.

  31. October 20, 2008 8:05 pm

    i’d have to go to KC to meet up with some blogger chicks to write like this again.


  32. October 20, 2008 8:14 pm


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