Tamara Out Loud

Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know, And then Some

Your burning questions, answered! (Want to know more? Contact me!)

Are you as “out loud” and (seemingly, occasionally) crass in your real life as you are here? Why are you that way? My blog is representative of the real me, the way I think, the way I am with my closest friends. I am not so “out loud” or crass in most situations because a lot of life just isn’t safe enough for that. People who don’t know me well would probably be surprised by the way I write, but my closest friends know that this is my real voice.

But why do I share it here, for anyone to read? Because if you are anything like me, I want to let you know that you are not alone. I have sat in church and believed with despair, “I am the only really, profoundly screwed up person in this room.” And on the rare occasion when I’ve gotten a glimpse into someone else’s messy life, someone who loves God but still struggles, I have felt enormous relief.

So that’s what I want to do here. If you’re a Christian who struggles with being terribly imperfect or a non-Christian who is totally turned off by the holier-than-thou bullshit that you sniff in the Church, then I want you to know, you are not alone, and there is hope. I want people to read my words and think, “If God can love a fucked up person like her, then there is all sorts of hope for me.”

Why do you write? Because I think that when God gives you a gift, you are supposed to share it. When I write, I feel so much joy in doing what I was handcrafted to do. When I share my writing, it’s with the hope that you will be encouraged or entertained, or both– and if you are, please leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you. Also, I have a tendency to get stuck inside my own head, and writing it all out helps me get unstuck.

What does “real faith” mean to you? Faith in God is my lifeline. It’s the hope I cling to with white knuckles when things feel hard or desperate. It’s trusting that even when I can’t see two inches in front of me, God is clearing the path. It’s believing that every good thing in my life comes from God, and it’s trusting that at the end of this life, I will end up in his arms.

What inspires you? The usual suspects: God, my family, my friends– the ones I love and who love me. Also, writing that is so genuinely good that it makes you want to dig in and try to excavate something of that quality from your own soul. And, music– of any kind, but always a kind that wakes you up in some way and makes you thankful that you have ears to hear it.

What are your essential hot dog toppings? I am not a huge fan of meat in a tube. But if I’m really in the mood for a hot dog, it is best topped with a squiggle of ketchup, a criss-crossed squiggle of mustard, and accompanied by a really cold beer.

(At the risk of being overdone,) what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mocha, or coffee with some sort of chocolate accoutrement. Either way, chocolate and coffee are obviously soul mates.

When did you first fall in love with writing? As soon as I realized what I could do with a pencil and a piece of paper,probably circa first grade.

What is the compliment you most often get from people? That my children are beautiful. And they really, really are.

When did you become a Jesus freak and what led you down that path? I believe that God has been leading me down this path since before I was born, before he even created the world. I believe that he has had a wild plan in place all along, and that in an enormous fit of grace, he included me in it.

I was born to a woman who has shown me Jesus my whole life, just by loving me. I am the granddaughter of a woman so faithful that she ought to rank with the noblest biblical matriarchs. My pastor, Rob, has opened up the Bible and shown me truth more times than I can count. My friend Jenny has been a sister to my heart in more ways than she can know, and she has taught me about God by letting me into her living room and into her life without cleaning up either so that I can be comforted in seeing the truth.

If you had five words left to say or write, and no more, what would they be? Run to Jesus, right now.