Friday, January 31, 2014

No More Shame

"Anytime We feel diminished or accused of being unworthy, those are Satan's words.  Jesus said in Revelation 12:10 that Satan is the 'accuser of our brothers.'  We can recognize his creepy voice anytime we feel accused.  The Holy Spirit woos us, loves us, and moves us to a place of understanding.  He never undermines us, his children, with derogatory messages that make us feel worthless.  We are worth the price of Jesus on the cross, which makes us acceptable to a holy god just as we are."  
-Marilyn Meberg

Monday, January 27, 2014


To you what does intentional look like?

I lead a Good Morning Girls study with a group of 28 other women & this session it's called.. Intentionally Focused.

The word intentional has popped up all over to me. My 2014 goals, to this bible study, to the book 1000 gifts, to church sermons, to the shootings in the news.

I do not want to just be in this world, but I want to be in this world living intentionally. And intentional for God. Not for myself. But for Him.

My focus this past week was to be intentional about who I am no matter who is around. My faith & beliefs are more confessed around other believers than non believers. But why? I need to be an imitator of Christ, always. It doesn't matter who is around.

Ephesians 5:1 -- Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.


Do not take my days for granted. I may leave the house & never come back. So kiss those I love more, cherish my moments more, live IN the moment & not just be present but be apart of it.

Psalm 90:12 -- Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.


Be persistent & intentional on God's purpose & plan for me. Remove anything in pathway that is selfish & sinful, not glorifying God.

Hebrews 12:1 -- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders & the sin that so easily entangles, & let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY Car Freshener Redo

This project will literally take you about 10 minutes!

 The other day I was admiring a pretty cross hanging from the rearview mirror of the car in front of me in traffic.  I glanced at the scented freshener hanging from mine and a little lightbulb went on... that thing is like a blank canvas!  I decided to take it down and decorate it to make my car a little more personalized and homey.  You can do this with any size/shape you've got.

I knew I wanted a picture of my boys on one side.  I was going to type out my wording for the opposite side of the picture, but my dang printer wouldn't work sooooo, I wrote it by hand copying the fonts that I liked!  If you have a hard time with lettering, by all means print it out, or you could even cut something out of a magazine or old book.

Trace the images you want using the air freshener and then cut 'em out.  I used double sided sticky tape because I didn't want to mess with glue but use whatever works for you.  I went the extra mile and added some glitter because I have a slight obsession with sparkle.  This was a seriously simple project but I'm so happy with the result!!  This would make a great grandparent or Aunt/Uncle gift too :)

I know this next pic is a little tricky to see but I loved the reflections off of the window!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Comfort Zone

I don't know about you ladies but I love to read! I love the smell of opening up a new book and even the musty, worn smell of an old one. I find joy in reading and often times God uses reading to spark a new interest in me or to help me grow and learn. I'm the type of person you can't get to come out of Barnes and Noble and when I do it is usually with a bag full of books! As you can imagine, I have many in my room waiting to be read. Lately, my friends and family have been letting me borrow some of theirs! As I neared the bottom of my borrowed books, I came to a book one of my good friends let me borrow. It's called Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.

The past week God has been using this book to change and prepare my heart. It is a true story about a girl named Katie who feels led to go to Uganda during the summer between her junior and senior year of high school. God places a passion and a love in her heart and after she graduates she decides to take a year off before college to go live in Uganda. While there she is blessed many times and finds her purpose in life is to love and be a light to those around her.

This young woman is such an inspiration to me. Like her I have felt led not to go to college because those aren't in God's plans for me.(one of the hardest decisions I've ever made because going seemed to be everyone elses plans for me) I also know one day I will be in another place loving others and showing them the glory and grace of God! But sometimes I forget that he has plans for the present! What does God have planned now? How can I be a light in my home town? Who does He want to impact through me today?

I just want to say that if you feel called to serve somewhere else... don't ignore God!!! He knows we like to feel comfortable and like to have a place to call home. But remember we are here on Earth to serve Him and be good stewards to others. Secondly, some of you may be thinking, "I don't feel led to go somewhere else, God wants me right where I am." And that is wonderful:] I am so thankful for you!!! Not everyone can go over seas otherwise there would be no one to help the lost and broken here!:]

My pastor always talks about stewardship this time of year. Just remember you can go the hard places, do the difficult things, or you can remain comfortable. God will love you whatever you choose. You may still see His glory revealed in your life and recognize His blessings, but not like you could have getting out of your comfort zone to do what God has planned for you! I want to get out of my comfort zone this year, be open to God's plans, and most of all... love!!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~Philippians 4:13~

Monday, January 13, 2014

God took me out of my comfort zone by no mistake

I started a bible study with my church.. Sacred Secrets by Beth Moore a couple weeks ago. It is definitely a different type of study for Beth.. It is more of a journal set up & more questions about me. Personal questions. Things I've never thought about before. Or things I've buried deep down never wanting to resurface again.

Friday mornings I sit in a study with 8 other women all over the age of 40. 7 of them over the age of 65. Then you have me, a 28 year old. God didn't randomly put me in this group of seasoned Christian women.

Most women I "hang out" with are similar in age to me. We will just say ages 20-40 is my "comfort zone." 

When I showed up there one morning, nervous, but excited because this is my first study with my church. One by one women came in.. Older than I expected. I anticipated I'd have some young stay at home moms with kids around my kids ages. But God had something different in store for me.

All these pretty greyed hair women (but like 2, myself included) filled up our table. I smiled from ear to ear. My heart was happy. My heart was excited. My heart was content. 

I listen to things they went through in their life, things I am currently going through, their victories in areas I can't wait to wrap my hands around these victories. Hope. They give me hope. 

Seeing a women well in age so on fire for God gives me hope. It gives me hope that my fire for the Lord won't go away with age, unless I let it. I hope one day I can say 60 years ago I accepted Christ to reign over my life. And I hope one day I can tell that to a young 20 something year old.

I love that God placed these women in my life. One I saw in Church on Sunday & just couldn't help but to wrap my arms around & give her a hug. 

We all need mentors in life. Mentors can be younger & older. And honestly I have 1 stronger young one, my sister, Taylar (who also writes on this blog). I have several mentors that are my age range. My mom, because.. Well it is my mom. 

I always quietly told God... "I'd love to have some sweet old ladies in my life that has a burning passion for You."

I didn't expect it on Friday mornings in a sweet bible study. But He gave it to me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seek. Pray. Learn

(via pinterest)

Oh my goodness ladies. I am fired up and excited about Jesus! I want to get a little personal today and share with you some things that I am stirred up about and feel like God is leading me to share.
I know things in life can be superficial like decor, makeup,fashion,recipes and so forth but let's get real...none of that should be #1 in our lives.
Every so often God gives me a huge revelation about the most simplest things. I am here to stir your faith up and encourage you because God is GOOD!

I was driving in my car on my way to church and I was asking God why others seem to appear more close to Him. What's so special about them that they are basking in the glory, mountains are moving, they experience the prophetic and  are hearing God unlike anyone else?? When I thought of this Jesse Duplantis came to mind. God immediately spoke to me and said, "You can be as close to me as you want to be"

It clicked! REVELATION!! It's not about God CHOOSING "special" people who only get to experience Him in those ways, it's about YOU! It's your decision not His!! It's about how willing you are to SEEK HIS FACE, communicate with Him all the time and have a relationship with Him. DRAW NEAR TO HIM AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU!.  Uh Duuuhh! God is a genius. Just sayin.

How can it be that simple yet nobody gets it? Alot of people don't want to do the work. Yes, it takes work and discipline to be basking in the Glory. Thats the Lord's treasure and if you want some of it, you follow the map and find it. The map is the bible. Read it, study it and learn from it. It is a life manual created by the creator Himself. It contains the secret to getting close to God.

During my drive, I also thought of Moses. . That man obeyed his every command and sought his face. Ask and you shall recieve was definitely shown with his story. He asked God to see His Glory and that's what he got! If you draw near to Him and fully give your heart then God can show you himself in a real way.

Don't get confused with the supernatural and glory. People often are looking for the supernatural and miss God. God isn't smoke and lights. He's LOVE. His glory is his goodness! Don't seek the manifestations, seek His face just for the sake of knowing Him.

I love how God can take a simple question and explain everything in one sentence with the help of the Holy Spirit. Deep revelation for simple things.

Who knew "you can be as close to me as you want to be" meant so much.

So I encourage you to seek, pray and learn. When you are in the presence you learn new things about Him every time. Show yourself faithful and you will be rewarded because God is faithful and a rewarder who diligently seek him.

God thinks your beautiful! Pass it on!

Monday, January 6, 2014

this year i'm going to be more radical in belief

It's that time of year again.. The New Year.. Where everyone is positive & intentional. Why can't I live this way all year round? I'm a person who does not make resolutions anymore. I always break them. I always set the bar way too high & never accomplish them. And by January 5th, I am done.

So instead of resolutions.. I make goals. Goals just seem like a better idea of accomplishing something. At least for me. 

Last year I made some goals for myself...

  • to serve the Lord, each & every day, to be a witness & example
  • to love my husband unconditionally
  • to capture & cherish my kids each & every day
  • to wear more lipstick
Let me tell you something about last year... 
I served the Lord every day. I was in the Word 95% of the days (I wasn't perfect but I know I made it a point to be in His presence every day). I was more aware of my behavior & who I was influencing in the process. 
I learned to love my husband more than any other human on this earth. This may be a given, but some days are difficult. Sometimes we fight. But I learned that no matter what. Act in love Tiffany. 
I took lots of pictures of my kids. Yeah, they may have not been on my camera but on my phone, so in those moment photos. I cherished them a bit more than I had in the past. The mother role began to develop more within me. 
And yes, I wore more lipstick. I had about 3 sticks of lipstick in 2012.. I now have about 30. I had to throw in some fun!

But the thing is I made it something I knew I could accomplish, some things that we may not try for on a daily basis, or we do.. It's just realistic.

My relationship with the Lord flourished last year. And I owe Him for every thing else in my life that happened last year. I can say hands down.. 2013 was my best year on this planet.

So for 2014 what goals have I made...
  • continue my goals of 2013
  • to have a deeper & more intimate relationship with my Savior, each & every day, more than last year
  • to be radical in belief, like joseph was in trusting God to marry mary
  • to spend more time in real life, less time in social media, unplug
  • shop less, be content with what I have.. utilize those 30 tubes of lipstick, read those unread books on my bookshelf.. be content. period
Here is what are some resources I've been influenced by or will use to help me accomplish my 2014 goals.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Letting God Fill Every Room of Your "House"

I heard a sermon once a couple of years ago that really stuck with me

The pastor gave the analogy of our lives being like the houses we live in.  He was challenging us to understand that God has huge plans for us but often we live in a box - or we only live in one room of our house.  We limit God by not trusting in him to do big thing in our lives.  Wy would we choose to only live in one room of our house when we have a whole house available to us?!

This image came to mind recently when I was thinking about allowing God to be present in every single aspect of my life, not just certain areas.  I began thinking about the blueprints for a house in my mind, somewhat like the one below

The different rooms in the house began to take shape in the form of all of the different areas of my life.  As I thought about it, I realized that His Spirit is very present in certain rooms of my "house" (my life) but I shut Him out of others, which I believe allows a foothold for evil to dwell.  Wouldn't you love to know that the Spirit of the Lord fills every square inch of your house (and life) to the fullest, and likewise, that evil is completely shut out?!!  Walk with me for a few minutes here as I explain what I think are some very important areas that we need to allow God's presence to fill.

The Living Room:
Here's where we spend time relaxing with our family and where much of our entertainment takes place.  We like to watch t.v. and movies and play games in our living room.  In our family we like to turn on the stereo and dance too!  Are you allowing the Lord to dwell in your entertainment choices?  There have been many times in my life where I have uninvited the Lord (sometimes unintentionally, sometimes consciously) from movie dates because I want to see what I want to see.  What are you filling your mind with?  Would you sit down with Jesus and watch a movie (or read a book) with steamy sex scenes or crude language/jokes?  I don't talk this way in my every day life because, you know, I'm a Christian!  So maybe I don't need to fill my thoughts with these things for entertainment purposes.  Matthew 15:8 These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Oh Lord I don't want to be one of those people!  The more I allow God into my everyday activities, the more I'm uncomfortable watching (and reading) things that aren't healthy for me to see.  Same goes for the music we listen to.  Are the lyrics positive or dark?  Do they degrade women or elevate the kind of love that is good for us in our lives?  Something to think about!  I believe when we choose to leave God out of our entertainment choices, we leave a foothold for the devil to come in and attack us.  I find this to be true with horror movies.  When I watch things that fill me with fear, I have nightmares when I'm asleep and feel anxiety at night when I'm alone - spiritual attack! On another note, don't forget to add friendships to your living room as well!  Is the Lord dwelling in your friendships?  Are they enriching your life?  Are they good influences for you? God gives us one of his greatest gifts in our friendships don't forget to allow him in!  2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

The bathroom:
Our self-image/self-esteem.  Do we allow the Lord into this area of our lives?  Or do we shut Him out because we feel less than adequate, or worry far too much about others' opinions?  Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)?!  What do you say to yourself in the mirror as you get ready in the morning?  It is so important that we learn to tell ourselves the truth about who we are in Christ.  The world feeds us so many lies and it's often in the mirror that we repeat these things to ourselves.  Let the Lord fill this space in your life!  Don't let the enemy maintain his foothold in your mind over your self-image.  This may require help reach out for support or counseling if you need it.  Tape special scriptures to your mirror that you can memorize as you get ready.  Listen to worship music to get you started in the morning.  Replace your fears with His presence and invite peace into your life.

The Bedroom:
Yikes, now we get personal!  This is our space. Our retreat.  Our reprieve from the world.  To me this area represents our purity if we are single, and our intimate relationships if we are married.  Bear with me because this can be a difficult subject.  If you are single (in this case casually dating or in a relationship but not married), are you allowing God to dwell in this area of your life?  Are you walking with Him in other areas of your life but leaving him out of your physical relationships?  Purity can be so incredibly difficult but also so incredibly important and rewarding for a healthy marriage down the road.  You can begin by just asking the Lord to show you what he wants for you in your relationships.  If you're shutting him out because you know you're not honoring him in this area, don't!  He created your inmost being.  He knows your every thought.  He wants you to talk to him, to share your feelings, joys and struggles with him.  Don't forget, the Lord created sex to be the amazing, wonderful, mind-blowing glue that bonds us with our spouse for the rest of our lives.  This brings me to married women.  Are you honoring God and your husband in this area?  This can be a struggle for many, especially those who have experienced past abuse or even for those of us are just really exhausted at the end of the day.  This one kind of struck me as I was thinking about it because I realized that I don't often invite the Lord into this area of my life (as a married woman).  I need to be thankful more often for this amazing bond that I share with my husband and always ask the Lord to show me ways that I can improve this relationship with my husband.  Do you talk to the Lord about your sex life (gasp!)!!  This is important, don't shut him out of your bedroom!  If you do, you may invite the enemy to enter in and I don't know about you, but this is one safe room in my house where I want the presence of the Lord to shut out all evil.

The Kitchen:
How many of you love the kitchen?  How many of you have a love/hate relationship with the kitchen?!  Are you taking care of your health?  Guess what?  God wants to dwell in this area of your life as well!  I have slowly started making some changes in my diet and cooking habits in order to not only take care of myself, but also keep my family healthy as well and it helps my mood when I'm eating healthier!  Do you struggle with your eating habits?  Do you overeat or under eat?  Do you struggle with guilt over food choices or feel a lack of motivation to exercise?  How about what you drink?  Does your one glass of wine with dinner turn into half the bottle by bedtime?  Believe it or not, these things can be related to your spiritual life as well.  We need to take care of our bodies just like we need to take care of our spiritual lives.  Talk to God about this.  Begin asking Him to show you what he wants for you in this area.  
1 Corinthian 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink of whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.

Our Office Space:
Last but not least, the place where we get our work done.  In our lives this represents our work.  Do you allow God to go to work with you or do you leave him in the car??  Do you pray over your work and for your work relationships with your boss and co-workers?  It doesn't matter what you do, there is ALWAYS a way to honor God through your work!  Do the people you work with know that you love the Lord?  This doesn't mean that you have to be pushy or even talk about it on a regular basis, it just means that your life should be consistent at work with the life you live at home and at church or with your friends.  If your job, like mine, is to run a household, care for you children all day and everything that being a stay-at-home mom entails, are you allowing God to infiltrate your day?  Are you showing his love you your children?  What's your attitude like?  Eek, don't ask me about my attitude!!  Lord, I want you to be a part of my day all day every day.  God help me to create a home that is a refuge for my family and where other people can come and feel your sweet presence.  Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Inside and Out

This past weekend I went to a youth conference in Fort Wayne, IN. It was for high school and middle schoolers and I was there as a sponsor. Each year the conference has a different theme and this year it was "Inside and Out". The pastor painted a very vivid picture for the kids to kick off a weekend of learning more about God. He used monkey brains!! I know what you are thinking... the pink mush inside a monkeys head! But no!!! It is a fruit!!!

It is almost like a mango or a peach or an orange... but that is on the outside! Wait until you see what's on the inside!

Now I don't know what you are thinking but to me that looks nasty!! But the pastor said it is the best fruit he has ever tasted. It was very sweet with a little bit of a salty flavor to it! What he was getting at with these kids is that our outside may look nice... but what do our insides look like? We all have gunk in our lives, from our past or present. This year it is my goal to let God take that gunk and help me deal with it and I also hope he uses it to teach me things or to even teach others!! There has been so many times where I try and control all the hurts and lies and pains in my life, relying on my own strength. Honestly though... we try to control it and distract ourselves with relationships, addictions, movies, reading, the internet, phones, etc etc etc! I have tried and failed so many times! This year I am going to let go and let God!!

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.