Thursday, October 25, 2012


Happy almost Friday! Today is Thursday, October 25th, 2012... exactly 2 months before my huge leap into thirtyhood. And I have to say I am excited about it. I am usually the anxiety queen, a lot of situations make me anxious. Especially the ones that have to do with commitment. I try to keep this little known fact about me just that, little known. But why not put it out there? I am always anxious. Public speaking, crowds, walking into a room after other people are already settled... I just don't like the experience of all eyes on me. I am sure to trip over my own feet, the curb, or any non thing. It's just me, clumsy Tam! But as I've gotten older, I no longer feel embarrassment. So what I tripped, I'm still awesome! :) If only anxiousness and embarrassment went hand in hand. These situations still cause me great anxiety. I nearly hyperventilated changing my facebook page to "in a relationship with..." And the walk to the post office to mail off my wedding invitations was like the longest walk across the street ever! I overreacted on all  these "no backsies" moments that come to mind. Poor Mr. Brawner thought I didn't want to marry him, I was seriously having the shakes standing up there. But sorry boo, it wasn't you... it was all those other people who were staring into my back. I could barely feel my legs underneath me. I am thankful I didn't fall over, and even more thankful I was able to get through my vows. Talk about public speaking... *wipes forehead* But as I hear, I pulled it off without a hitch! I don't think anyone (but Jerry) knew I was shaking uncontrollably. Yay me!

But alas, here it is... 30 staring me straight in the face. I refuse to be anxious about this, though. No matter the situation, I realize I always get through them. Often so glamorously, I have to wonder why I even got myself so worked up to begin with. So here I am. Awesome me, good life, loving family, great friends... my husband is amazing, my kids are as good as you can really expect kids to be. Life is just as it should be. Who am I to question or be anxious about 30? I am excited for it! I can't wait for 30 to come... I have this feeling it's gonna be the best year for me and I don't even know why. I just feel really good about it. I don't know what more I can ask for from my life right now. I am living my peace!
this is my fav sweater that Angie P gave me for
my Christmas Birthday 2 years ago!

So I am going to coin this term for you right here, right now... #YOTTO! You Only Turn Thirty Once! I gotta make it good. LOL! When am I ever going to be at this place in my life again? When am I gonna be this moment's Tam? Never again! So YOTTO it is! I promise not to get too out of control for this birthday! Just some good ole classic 30 year old fun. My sis and I have a little something coming up for a few of my lady friends. It's sure to be a good time. I'll let you in on it a little later... but the invitations should be going out pretty soon! I am so excited about everything that has to do with my turning thirty. I'm plotting a ladies' night in, brunch, a dinner and maybe a game party or something to bring it all together. Not too much, right? Then I'm going to make my husband take me on a MUCH DESERVED vacation! #YOTTO for sure!
I promise to keep you all updated on all that's going down. I try to pic document in the process.

I love this skirt, I got it from a consignment shop
in Bethesda, MD... perfect summer/fall skirt!

Part of my turning 30, was looking more put together. I never go around looking like any old thing, but some mornings when I get dressed for work I really don't care. No face, barely matching, no real accessorizing.... but that life is for the birds! I can't start falling apart now, life is just beginning for me. 30 is when I should be having it together and looking like it. So I have been making it a point to look like my true, mature woman self in the work place. Can't have the office thinking they better than me just cause I look only half decent. I am doing them a disservice not showing them my awesome self, but I feel like I have been doing better as of late. No more walking out the house "faceless" (except yesterday, when I was pretty much running away from Kai in the house... had to get out of there fo" I did her in!) shame I had to sacrifice my face cause that girl was driving me crazy, but I survived it and thankfully so did she. But yea, work Tam has been doing better...
animal print is one of my
favorite things. I have to work
on not overdoing it

this is Me today! (that's a lot of leg out),
Mr. Brawner bought me these gray booties
last Fall! I actually wrote a blog about
them! Shoe Dreams Come True :)

minimal animal print scarf, with my fav boots and
a skirt I borrowed from my mom years ago!
Never getting this back Gigi! :)

As you can see I LOVE my cognac Aldo boots... I actually bought those October 25, 2008! Can you believe that? I've had those boots for exactly 4 years and they are stick pushing! :)

Here's to aging gracefully like my Aldo boots! #YOTTO!

That's my "30" peace! Love, Tam :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Than I Can Bear?

Hello beautiful people! I am trying to recover my bad morning, with some therapeutic blogging. :) There was nothing life and death about my morning... just too much "not right". My kid is crazy (as always), I missed my bus (another one came in 30 minutes, I survived) and my husband stole my lunch (completely accidental I'm sure, so I forgive him). But a bunch of foolishness isn't how a morning should start, right? (this was yesterday... this morning was better, except my kid was even crazier today). Lord, help me bear it!
I'll get to why we're here today...

Often when we are going through something, some kind of tribulation, worry, stress... and someone will offer a word of encouragement and tell us "God doesn't put more on you than you can bear." Aww, how comforting, right? "God knows I can handle it, so he put this on me. I'll get through it." That all sounds fine and good, but I'd like to challenge this concept if you'll indulge me.
One day, I needed to encourage myself. I was thinking "I can not bear this Lord, you said you wouldn't put more on me than I can bear..." *revelation* I had to go find this scripture myself, for my own sake...
Did I ever find it? No. I'd like to acknowledge that this much repeated "quote" is not even in the Bible, go figure? (If you find it, please tell me) Do we have Kirk Franklin's song to thank for the confusion?

I've gone through the fire
And I've been through the flood
I've been broken into pieces
Seen lightnin' flashin' from above
But through it all I remember
That He loves me
And He cares
And He'll never put more on me
Than I can bear

It is a lovely song, nice message... but it isn't really biblically correct. I assume the message comes from the scripture I Corinthians 10:13:
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
This scripture is specifically speaking on temptation, not trials, fires, floods... God knows that here on Earth we will be tempted, but never beyond what we can handle. And when we are tempted, He is faithful to provide a way out of it. It's not saying we will never have hardships that we can't handle... what would we need Him for if nothing beyond what we could bear was laid on us? That just doesn't make sense. God is not the source of our temptations and trials, he allows them but He didn't "put" them on us. This whole song is backwards and shame on Kirk Franklin. Yes, the message is uplifting. I've even said it a time or two to encourage someone. Then one day, I needed it for myself... "Lord, I can't bear this. I thought you wouldn't give me more than I could bear." Then, in realization, I asked "Lord, help me bear this!" Of course He puts more on us than we can bear! Why else would we call on Him if we could bear it all without Him? So while the song is sweet... it's a FAIL! LOL! God's prob up there chuckling every time someone says that ridiculous quote.

The scripture previously mentioned at 1 Corinthians 10:13 highlights that God will not allow a Christian to be tempted beyond what he can bear, but it does not say that he is the source of the temptation or trial. James 1:13 says, "When under trial, let no one say: "I am being tried by God." For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone."

So God isn't putting anything on you, and when you are going through something it most likely will be more than you can bear... but ask God to help you bear it. He does love you, and He does care that's why He is faithful to provide a way out so you can stand up under it. :)

Just thought if we were going to be encouraging one another, we should do it right! I pray the Lord helps you bear anything you may be going through.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." ~Romans 8:35-37

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" ~Jeremiah 29:11
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." ~Ephesians 6:10-12
"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." ~1John 5:4

“Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23

...there's some real encouragement for you! ;)

Happy Hump Day! That's my peace. Love, Tam

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hey y'all! What's going on? You know sometimes I start off a post having no clue what I'm going to discuss... well, this is one of those times.

I have since gone and read a friend of mine's blog, where she discussed the incident on the bus when a bus driver uppercuts a young woman who he was having a verbal altercation with. I have avoided looking at this video since last week, but MissKi had it right there and my brother was talking about it last night. So I could no longer resist... I should have!

I commented my feelings about the video on MissKi's post, but I want to elaborate a little...
 She was definitely doing too much! She was wrong on so many levels. What woman? (if we can even call her that) acts like that? People (especially females) like that, bug the heck out of me. Go sit down somewhere. What's going on in your life that the spotlight, ugly or not, needs to be on you? (this past Sunday's message on PRIDE is ringing loudly in my mind, a blog for another day maybe). What can someone say to get that kind of reaction out of you? Why aren't people taught to walk away from such situations? And especially in her case... Be a lady, act like a lady, speak like a lady! I reiterate to my daughter all the time, that if nothing else... (second to being a child of God) carry yourself like a lady! Especially out in public. I am worried for our future, that a woman thinks it's ok to act like this on a bus. Where was her class, standards for herself?

But aside from her behavior... He was DEAD wrong! He is a man and the same advice goes to him. Be a man! A grown one... ignore foolishness, be mature. She appeared to be a child, (I've since found out she was 25) but he should've been the bigger person. In actuality he was the, literal, bigger person. He was a man, she was a woman. And although she appeared to put her hands on him, she was in no way a physical threat to him. Yes, she was wrong. Yes, she got what she deserved. But he should've been more mature, ignored her, offered her some grace. Also, like a tell my daughter (and if I'm honest, I am working on myself)... Someone in the situation HAS to do the right thing. You can't count on the other person to be more mature, to do the right thing, to be responsible, so guess what? It's your responsibility! He's just as wrong as she was. It could've been handled better, it should've been. And as the authority, it was his responsibility. Just imagine how he would look if in that same situation, he would've practiced some restraint. Had she been the only one going off and being foolish, he would look like a saint right now. But no, he acted a fool as well. Now, he is suspended from his job all because he argued with a fool. He could have easily pulled the bus over, called the police. She was being a clear danger to the bus, it's driver and the passengers. Had he been responsible, she really would have been going to jail... all by herself. But now, he has to defend his actions and try to come out looking innocent. What she did is no longer the real issue, just his "over" reaction. And yes, I say OVER... it wasn't necessary. Was it warranted and justified? Maybe. But that doesn't take away from it being crazy, ridiculous and wrong. :( 

“Never argue with a fool.  Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference “ –Mark Twain. Which one of them is the fool in this situation?

I always think to myself, if someone recorded my actions, reactions, and responses every day and then played them back to me at the end of the day, would I be ashamed of what I saw? Would I be disappointed in the Tam I carried myself as? They are going to look back at this, and have to account for their actions... sad, sad day.

What say you?

That's my peace! Love, Tam

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"S"eeking Peace

Is it safe in this bubble? Cause I am not having a good week and I need to talk about it...

I am so thankful that it is almost the weekend, I need this weekend like I need air. Seriously. I so desperately wanted to take a mental health day this week. I need some time where I can just lay and cry and get it all out FREELY. I have been feeling so overwhelmed and mentally drained... and the little relief that helps me survive isn't even relief right now. It's like my problems are causing more problems... like I'm so frustrated about home that now I'm struggling focusing on the kids are driving me so crazy that now I really am just crazy and other relationships are becoming affected. It's the worse, and I haven't felt how I feel right now in a very long time. I usually handle this better. What's different this time? I feel like a team of 1 right now. These are the people I count on for my daily joy, making me feel miserable. All of a sudden, I'm the bad guy everywhere. At work, I'm not friendly enough, too quiet, not enough this, too much that. At home I'm too opinionated, never fair, too tough, blah blah blah blah blah... I feel so by myself, unsupported, unappreciated... and I want to scream "it's not fair!" But no, #16 beat me to it. And I am already aware that life isn't going to be fair. Still, I expect to get a little something good in return. I gotta keep it together though, I gotta remain rational and composed and prepared and still be responsible and functioning and loving. When do I get a break? Do I even get one? I'm about to claim injured and bench myself! Snatch this "S" right off my chest and quit. Then, everyone will be looking at me sideways. They'll forget all about the actual problems and the cause and just focus on the effect... "Tam just brokedown, quit on her responsibilities." So what they all drove me to it! I'd be the one in the wrong. Can't win for losing... smh. I need a real solution, one that doesn't involve me throwing a major tantrum and giving up.
I need a good, long, deep, uninhibited cry. I need to release this frustration and guilt and worry and... I can't even type this blog at work because all the hurt, fear, and disappointment is surfacing. This is no way to feel at work. This is no way to feel period! But, alas, just one more day, then it's the weekend. Grant it, I have a million things to do. But thankfully, hopefully, a few of my problems will give me a small break, long enough for me to recuperate and power back up, recharge enough to face them again. Hopefully my work bff doesn't try to hug me today, I will have a complete breakdown if she does. Who am I kidding? I'll be lucky to make it to lunch time... hug or not.
I really should've seen this coming, it was all going too smooth. Happy, behaved children. Loving, supportive husband. Calm, productive work environment. The devil was not pleased. I refuse to let him have any authority over my life. Jesus be a fence...

...Romans 8 ministered to my soul! God will put more on us than we can bear, but he's faithful to help us bear it and see us through it! I am more than conquerer through Him who loves me. (New American Standard, "But in all these things we OVERWHELMINGLY conquer through Him who loved us.") So, I'm going to keep the "S" on for now, but for the peace I'm still seeking... realizing without God, there is nothing really Super about me.

My play cousin Alicia is messing it up for all of us...

"Even when I'm a mess, I still put on my vest, with an "S" on my chest. Oh yes! I'm a Superwoman"
~she just forgot to add, "through Christ Jesus"

"seek peace and pursue it." Love, Tam

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sharing Peace

This year is just flying by! It is already October... can you believe it? As much as I would appreciate time slowing down a bit, I'm glad Fall is here. Sorry to all you Summer lovers, I appreciate the Summer fun but my heart belongs to Fall. It's just something about the Fall season and all the accessorizing options it offers. Hats, scarves, tights, boots, jackets, oh the colors... everything! I just love the whole season!
If you know me, you also know how much I LOVE accessories. Earrings, bracelets, rings (my ring wearing has kinda fallen off since I got engaged/married, but I still love them just the same). Accessories just put the finishing touch on any outfit. A great blinged out stud earring can turn a jeans and a tee outfit from drab to fab! Add awesome bangles to it and... well, do you wanna be the girl with bangles or without them? lol, I can't even leave the house without earrings on. More often than not, I keep them on in the house until bedtime. And just as much as I love Fall and accessories, I LOVE to share. I grew up with a sister, so sharing has never been a problem for me. Even now, my sisters and I share all the time (Jules has the best stuff! She is like the Queen of Awesome Shoes). I can't even begin to count the number of times I've visited the Jules' Boutique and borrowed something fabulous. And Nae's Boutique is getting much better as she gets older. Isn't is just awesome that I wear the same size shoe as both my sisters? Lucky me! And let Jules or Nae or Angie covet something I have... just that simple, I can take it off and part with it and vice versa. With Jules and Nae, I can count on getting it back one day though...
(Sidenote: I am so proud of Angie's recent display of giving. She had on a gold bangle that I admired and she took it off and gave it to me. This is a big step for Angie the Indian (no offense to the Indians) giver. She was an only child growing up, sharing is tough for her. Let's pray for her and also congratulate her on her growth.)
Anywhoozle... I find joy in seeing someone love and appreciate something I've given them. And it really makes me smile when someone compliments something I have. What's that called? It's not bad, is it? I wouldn't consider it vain though, right? It's normal, who wouldn't like being complimented? It just makes me feel some kinda good to hear "I love your earrings!" "Your bracelet is just too cute!" And I am not one to keep all the goodies to myself. If I find something awesome, I am going to share it. Although I don't want the world to know all my trade secrets, but I am a frugal accessory shopper and I find good things for the low. I don't need it to have any one's name on it, I just need it to be hot. And tell me it doesn't feel ultra good when someone admires something you have, knowing you got the best deal??? Is it just me? "Oooh, girl! I got this for the low! You like it? Me too!" ;)

Lately, I've been coming across a lot of good finds. Yes, I have a shload of amazing friends that I could share these treasures with... but I'd like to think a friendship with me is a gift in itself... (lol maybe that was kinda vain, I kid). I'd also like to think all of you are my friends now too. I pour my heart, my life, my all into A Peace of Tam and I appreciate you being here with me, sharing in my peace. So seeing as how it is in my nature to share with my friends, I'd like to share something with one of you as well.

here's me wearing the bracelet
I gave to Jules!

I love my newest addition to my bracelet collection. I recently found these cross bracelets, and I bought a couple for myself... but how many cross bracelets does one girl need, really? I recently let one go to Jules, she happened to come over the day it arrived at my house. It came, she saw, she admired... I parted with it. I did wear it around the house for an hour or two before I gave it away, but I know it's in a better place now. It has a good home and I know she's taking extra good care of it, so I'm happy.

Here is the pretty new colorful beaded cross bracelet just
for you! Good luck!!!
But... I have another one I love too! And I'd like to have a giveaway for one of my readers. I want to share my peace all around, and today that includes sharing a piece of something I love. If you'd like to win my other new cross bracelet, just simply "Like" my NEW page A Peace of Tam on Facebook (click on the link). Also, comment here or on this post on A Peace of Tam's FB wall telling me some thing you love to share and why. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 10th.

That's my "first giveaway" peace! Love, Tam

Good Luck!

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." ~Hebrews 13:16

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Like My Mother

Mondays... I got nothing nice to say about Mondays, so I'll say nothing!

I really did read the Kindle edition from my Kindle app
on my iphone. I appreciated this method, it allowed
me to highlight and go back to my (much needed)
highlights and notes easily.

I just finished reading this book (sister recommended), Not Like My Mother: Becoming a sane Parent after Growing up in a Crazy family. I laughed, I teared... I enjoyed the read. Not to take anything away from my mother, she was a good parent. But still... life happens. And not to speak for her, but I'm sure some of her own childhood issues spilled into her parenting decisions and choices she made with us. No matter what the parenting, I'm sure all of us can connect to the moment we felt as children when we thought "when I'm a mom/dad, I'll never___". I often find myself parenting and thinking, "not like my mother did!" or "I won't make my children do that" and "when I have kids, I won't ever___" The book tries to show you that having a plan of what you're NOT going to do isn't a plan at all. And the parent you wanted isn't necessarily the parent your children need. Stop parenting your inner, disappointed child and parent your children based on the lives they are experiencing. Your children were not there with you when you were hurt by something your parents did or didn't do to you. They don't feel the same void or need that you did.The book tries to get you recognize what your childhood disappointments, tragedies, and shames were then detect how they are showing up and expressing themselves in your life today. 
I felt absolutely convicted in reading through this book. There were many "oh no, is that what I'm doing?" moments. It also helped me to acknowledge the growth I have already experienced even before I read this book. In the book there is a chapter on denial and it's stages (minimizing, diversion, anger and refusal). My name must be Tam "Minimizing" Brawner, because that whole section was screaming to me. I am good at empathizing with everyone, but myself. I need to be present with my own feelings and experiences. What happens to me does matter, it counts. I am allowed to be affected. I'd like to think I am getting better with it, but I think I tear-read through this whole section. I felt pain while reading the words, sensing like it was exactly me. Someone will always have it worse than me, that does not make it ok for me to have to go through this situation and disregard the pain it is (was) causing.

"We become so good at protecting ourselves that we don't know how to just be ourselves."

This woman's story of never feeling safe in her home, it wasn't my story. I never recall feeling unsafe, in a physical sense, living with my mother. But the absence of a father, not feeling like I had that protection is absolutely my story. My whole life has been a longing to feel loved and protected by my dad. Every bad life choice I made, was in a search to fill that void. There was nothing my mother could do to change that. After I recognized this void and allowed myself to mourn that experience and  forgive myself for the choices I made because of it, I was able release to grief and sadness that I'd been holding on to. Holding in all that hurt, turned me into one angry, defensive woman. I think I may have hated people for awhile, men especially. I am surprised Mr. Brawner married me! lol, I'd like to think I've experienced a huge bit of growth since we've met. I had "to put my anger and hurt where it belonged- in my history" and realize he was on my side and not out to hurt me. I don't have to be this defensive woman, everything is not a battle. It's ok to relax, put the gloves down and just be Tam. Not Like My Mother, also made me conscious of the growing I still need to do. I realize I am often parenting Kai based on the hurt I felt, not as a child, but as a abused, adult woman. I want her to be expressive of her feelings, not minimize. I'm not sure I allow her the platform or set the example for her to do this. "Why are you crying? That's no reason to cry." It's her pain, however she feels it, she should be able to express it. I don't want her to minimize her experiences. I am still a work in progress (pray for me), but I definitely appreciate the lessons this book taught... I highly recommend this read!

I wish this would have been a book club read because I really want to talk about it with a group, I think it'll make for great discussion. But I don't want to impose too much of my "self help" reading on everyone else. Even though I'm sure we could all benefit from it... *sighs* But!!! BYOB for Straight Talk, No Chaser by Steve Harvey is on the horizons. There is still time to get the read and join in on the discussion. I think I need a refresher, I'm too many books in!

I'll try to come with something a little lighter next time...

That's my peace! Love, Tam