Woman of Influence – Guest Blogger 'Tam'

I am so excited about today’s Wednesday Women of Influence post because a dear blogging friend agreed to be our guest blogger for the day!

Tam has been such an inspiration to me.  Her joy, passion for ministry and love for life is contagious!

Check out her great perspective on the lives of Ruth and Naomi.  You’ll love her insight!

Ruth 1:19…is just about the only verse in this chapter my bible doesn’t have commentary on. I could never figure that out. That one verse says SO much to me.

Naomi and her daughters-in-law are going back to her homeland. Naomi had been gone for at least 10 years. In that time she had lost her husband and both her sons. She had heard that in her homeland they were experiencing good crops again. Eventually she would return with one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth. We all know how that story goes. It’s a beautiful picture of commitment, love and respect. But that isn’t what captures me in this chapter.

Ruth 1:19 (NLT)  “So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.”

The entire town was excited! And the women asked if it was really Naomi! Why? Why did her return get this kind of response? My guess? Naomi left quite an impact on her town! Big enough, that they were waiting at the gates for her return. The women were on the edge of their seats!

Naomi left a mark on the people. And not just the women, the “town”, which I found incredibly admirable!

The other thing this verse makes me ask is did she know the impact she had on them? Did she equip the women? Clearly she influenced them. And it seems it was for the good. But did she even realize it?

Do you have any idea the mark you are leaving on those around you? Would you say that if you left for a time there would be a void? Should there be a void? It’s one thing to be missed – but it’s another thing to remove an integral part of the picture. Are we equipping those around us? Are we leaving an impression with purpose? Would your community or sphere of influence be affected by your absence, but equipped for the better by the impact and influence you left?

Join the discussion about this great life of influence and then go over to tell Tam you love her!

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  • Indian Lake Papa August 13, 2008  

    Being here on a new blog gives a tiny hint of the impact that Tam is leaving on my life. Her and her family are impacting the lives of many people – a true Christian family that is serving God.

  • Jenni Catron August 13, 2008  

    @Indian Lake Papa – I totally agree! I’m so impressed by the way Tam and Brent and the kids are influencing the world around them and throughout the blogosphere. Can’t wait to meet them in person some day… soon hopefully!

  • mandythompson August 13, 2008  

    i love this perspective on Naomi. really…. i think we get so caught up in her despair that we miss the layer of how the women loved and revered her. i think tam is right – she must’ve had one heck of an influence on those around her. she left a mark.

    and, even in the midst of her bitterness, she didn’t lose her power of influence. Ruth stayed with her. and Ruth listened to her – listened to her advice on how to conduct herself around Boaz.

    interesting. she never lost her influence.

  • Mark August 13, 2008  

    I love how the Bible speaks giant truths and awakens us, even in the (seemingly) lesser verses. What seems simple story exposition in Naomi’s journey has a vast meaning we can all read into.

    Thanks for paying close attention Tam, ’cause it does make it clear she was completely influential there. And, it does make me think of the effect I have on my tiny slice of the world. I would like it to be similar to Naomi’s.

  • pcase August 13, 2008  

    Great post, plus I want to tell Tam I love her on your site, too!

    I spent some time on her blogsite. WOW! I’ll be a regular over there, too!

  • tam August 13, 2008  

    dang, i cry easy!

    papa – i cant wait to hug you!

    jenni – you have no idea how much your words just lifted my spirits today…thank you!

    mandy – so true, that ruth stayed with her regardless of the bitterness. naomis influence was strong enough to trump everything else!

    pcase – thank you for your encouraging words here and on my site too!!

  • JudiFree.com August 13, 2008  

    way to go tam! You and Jenni could make quite a dynamo team…just a thought!

  • Heidi August 13, 2008  

    Tam left a mark here!!

    What a wonderful statement and CHALLENGE on my heart this morning.
    To look around at the people walk by, what impression? what VALUE?
    am I giving. Not only the people I love and know, but maybe the checkout lady or my banker.

    Noami could have sat there with her arms cross and whined, But she differently… She IMPACTED A COMMUNITY…

    Thank you Jenni for allowing such a POWERFUL and ANNOINTED woman to come on your blog and share her heart. She truly ministered to me today.
    and is very influential!!

  • bradruggles August 13, 2008  

    Great insight on the verse from Ruth.

    Tam is an amazing person. Lisa and I have never even met her and yet we feel like we know her. Even through her blog you can really see how much she loves God and her family. She is definitely a woman of influence!

  • Juli Jarvis August 13, 2008  

    Really good thoughts. The biggest reason Naomi was such a huge influence on others’ lives was because of what God was doing in and around her. Trying to be a blessing doesn’t work. Staying close to God and soaking up His love and life lessons does. She was just reflecting the closeness she already had with God–and that example had already fallen upon Ruth. And you’re right — the women in Bethlehem already knew Naomi’s life and example would be a blessing to them, so they were eager to see her again.

  • ncarnes August 13, 2008  

    Great post Tam, and some really great thoughts and questions to keep in front of us as we lead others. I hope I have equipped those who I lead that in the event of my absence they can continue to thrive as leaders.

  • tam August 13, 2008  

    juli – good point! its a difference in being “me” focused or “God” focused. naomi was clearly focused on Him and that spilled out and over onto everyone she came in contact with. such a great lessen and reminder..thanks!

    ncarnes – my husband, who is a music pastor, always tells me when he takes a weekend off, “I hope no one knows i’m not there.”

  • tam August 13, 2008  

    judi – i have a feeling anyone jenni teams up with would make a dynamo team!

    heidi – you’re right…this doesnt only apply to those in leadership positions. in reality, as Christ followers, we are all leading the way for others to see Christs work in and through us. so we are impacting our community and those around us in one way or another…good or bad. love you sister!

    brad – i SO hope i we get to meet you and your lovely Lisa some day! thanks for being a part of my life!

  • Tommy Sircy August 13, 2008  

    Great stuff, Tam. Cindy and I read Ruth 1: 16-17 at our wedding. Ruth has always been one of my favorite books. But, we don’t want an old Sunday School teacher to start offering up the next lesson. lol

    I always enjoy your comments.

  • tam August 13, 2008  

    hi Tommy! ruth blows me away…cuz, well, i have a mother in law…and i’m just not so sure i could quote ruth 1: 16-17 to her 😯 just being honest. those two had something very, very special!

    and yay for Sunday school Teachers!!! thank you!

  • Pearls and Diamonds August 15, 2008  

    What a thought-provoking insight into Naomi! And she might have destroyed part of the testimony she’d had before when she returned bitter…if it hadn’t been for her daughter-in-law! I hope I am not only impacting others for Christ, but also impacting others to impact for Christ! 😀


    Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds