Today, Tamara speaks to us about God as a source of creativity, her businesses (with a glimpse into the wedding industry) and a simple way we can consistently worship.
Tell us a little bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian home, where I went to church, and learned to love God, but my dad battled mental illness, and ultimately committed suicide when I was 14. There are a lot of memories visiting him at the hospital, and overhearing a lot of heart-wrenching conversations as a child. I was an only child, and quite simply “doted on” by both my parents. They created opportunities for me to take dance and compete in pageants that we more about youth development than makeup. I learned hard work because I had to raise money to be able to go to pageants, perseverance because I kept dancing and working on my “talent” portion and modeling and interview skills in order to do well each year of the pageant I competed in. (There’s so much more to my story, but it would be far too long to share for just this!)
“There are a lot of memories visiting him at the hospital, and overhearing a lot of heart-wrenching conversations as a child.”
What is an biblical passage inspiring you at the present time? Goodness me, there are so many! We have several scriptures memorized as a family that we recite daily, even our almost 4 year old daughter. But, I guess the one that I focus on that’s right by my computer is “whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. We own two companies, but they are both the Lord’s. The work we do can always be for the Lord, even with our wedding floral business.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Another one that there are so many areas, but really the most important of them all is making God the first and most important priority. The days are so much harder and stressful, when I don’t start them at His feet.
“The days are so much harder and stressful, when I don’t start them at His feet.”
Walk us through a day in your life: When my husband has to work, we always pray together before he leaves for work. Then, on a good day, I wake up before our little wakes up, make some coffee and sit at my desk and open God’s Word and my Write the Word Journal (Cultivatewhatmatters.com) or my lesson from 2 Kings from BSF (Bible Study Fellowship, an international Bible study where we study a part of the Bible the entire school year, going really in-depth!)
Then, when our daughter wakes up, I play with her, or encourage her to get dressed, if it’s a school day. Some morning we are able to sit at table for breakfast and we do a couple of our devotionals that we have on our table together. (I also own @Lightfilledhome a Christian lifestyle company, and we have products that we use almost daily…www.Lightfilledhome.com/shop) . Then if we are staying home, we play more, do crafts, etc., until lunch. If it’s a school day, we head out I drop her off, then either go to Bible study, or workout depending on the day! After I pick her up from school, we come home and wait for daddy to come. Eat together at the table or outside since the weather has been nice! Bedtime is Bible stories, prayers, scriptures, singing, with a game of Candy Land or Go Fish sprinkled in!
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? Simple! I give Him the glory! Everything we do can be to glorify God. We can worship Him throughout the day by simply saying, “Thank You.” I also only listen to Christian music. Within our floral business, we pray for our couples by name, we also give them a magazine that includes Christian marriage advice and scriptures!
“We can worship Him throughout the day by simply saying, ‘Thank You.'”
What do you think is something, we as Christians can bring to the arts sphere? Whatever our work is, we can always point others to Christ if we simply use Him as our inspiration, or share with others the opportunities He has given us. None of the things or opportunities we get to have are by accident or coincidence. We can always share with others how God has given them to us.
“None of the things or opportunities we get to have are by accident or coincidence. We can always share with others how God has given them to us.”
How do you incorporate your faith in your creative process? I pray a lot! I also rejoice vocally when we are setting up for weddings with a simple “Thank you Lord!” if an installation gets me excited. We pray before and after setup for safety, and protection. If flowers aren’t looking great due any number of things, I ask God for help, if I don’t think I ordered enough greenery or flowers, I ask Him to multiply them. I’m quite vocal when working on weddings!
What advice do you have for a young woman who wants a job like yours? Pray and just do it! Learn what you can from others, then push yourself to learn by trial and error. Just, do it!
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Confessions of a girl who likes to do “all the things.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? He’s been a part of my life the entire time, so this is hard!
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Starting my days with Jesus.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Don’t have time to read much outside of my Bible! Although, my daughter and I just started our first chapter book, A Little Princess. We’re chatting about the main character, how kind she is to everyone she meets!
Top three essentials: Water, my Bible, and if I being totally honest, my phone!
How did God speak to you recently? He often quiets my spirit when I am overwhelmed, and He also gave me a new idea for a new product!
Hobby: Anything crafty! I love doing craft projects with our daughter!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Prayer, all day, nothing formal, just keeping an open conversation with God. 2. Time in His Word. Even if just 5 minutes of reading a Psalm. 3. Rejoicing, and praising throughout the day! Good parking spot? “Thank you Lord!” Got home safe from running errands? “Thank you Lord!”
Favorite person in scripture? Without stating the obvious as Jesus, maybe Mary… I can’t imagine carrying the Savior of the World in my belly, then raising Him, then watching Him die on the cross. It blows my mind.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That we don’t have to be perfect to be loved by Him.
How do you leave your mark on your community? Prayerfully through sharing Jesus’ name and encouragement by being transparent.
Favorite holiday? Christmas and Easter, traditions and lots of teaching moments and reflection.
A goal you have? Grow our second company, Light Filled Home.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Eating together!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I think I’m just going to cry my eyes out when I get to meet Jesus face-to-face. I dream of Him meeting me with our 2nd baby in His arms.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I’d love to raise awareness about (non) fair-trade industry. To shine a light on human beings who are being treated poorly and not paid well just we can have conveniences here in America like “cheap clothes”, etc. I have become aware the need for more companies who work one-on-one with artisans and pay them fairly so they can support their families in a dignified way! I want to learn more about it myself, too!
“I have become aware the need for more companies who work one-on-one with artisans and pay them fairly so they can support their families in a dignified way!”
What is on your nightstand? Lamp, magnesium lotion, Navigators Council (marriage journal), a Bible, pen.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Jesus desiring us to come to Him, no matter what we’ve done, to sit at His and let His grace and mercy wash over us.
For more Tamara:
Until next time, keep witnessing!