Be kind to yourself

Brutal tyranny. We can be harsh, cruel masters to ourselves. God has been reshaping me and my identity but I’m realizing, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

We’ve been working through Romans in my Sunday school class and I keep getting hit with the idea of ‘no condemnation’. My head gets it… my heart is taking longer to understand.

The last few weeks have been throwing me under the bus. I’m realizing, it’s not so much pressures that other people place on me, (don’t get me wrong, it’s there), but it’s what I’m putting on myself.

For the most part, I am my harshest critic. I give something all my effort, and it fails and I rip myself into the dirt. I grasp onto condemnation and claim it for myself. Satan rejoices.

Condemnation alienates us from God. It steals our identity, and cuts us away from our hope. We are orphaned and too ashamed to ask for the love we crave. I love how the Message describes it. “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

It’s like a fairytale. Jesus sweeps in, saving us from the tyranny of living under condemnation. We aren’t doomed, we have HOPE. So why are we so eager to claim the lies?

Doesn’t it all come back to not knowing who else are? Loved. Treasured. Safe. After all the things I’ve broken, I still get to hold my head high because I AM CHOSEN. Not because of what I’ll accomplish, but because of who I am.

And the mess ups, the brokenness that I hate and cry over and wish I could forget. Do I really think I understand more then God? Out of the most shattered parts of you, He grows the most captivating plans. He’s already given me faith. I only need to claim and hold onto it.

This is nothing more then your daily reminder to be kind to yourself. Stop obsessing over the past. The most beautiful things in life will grow from the failures you hate so much.

Truly Madly Deeply

Those of you that know me, know I tend to dwell on the love of God….a lot. I didn’t understand his love for so long, now I just want more. More understanding, more becoming, more love. So, sorry if you get tired it. There are so many aspects of this perfect, unending love. Every time I think I understand one part of it, I turn around and it blows me away again. 

Something new God’s been showing me, is how his love has made him a jealous God. Jealousy seems like such an ugly word but I guess it just started registering, how deeply beautiful, real and meaningful that makes it. He is jealous of ME.❤️

Have you all read Hosea? I don’t think that book gets the spotlight it deserves. It is uch a  beautiful, gut reaching, REAL  picture of how God loves us. It’s an allegory, the story of how I betrayed my greatest lover, God, and how he took me back. 

He gave up everything, he lowered himself to my pitifully low level.  Imagine the richest prince in the world, with impeccable character, with the best of the best to choose from for a wife. And yet he chooses a prostitute- me. 

The worst part is, I didn’t even have the decency to be grateful. I hated him so one night I leave him, the man who has loved me so selflessly. And go. Back to the men who have sold me into this life. 

I broke his heart. Heartbreak that leaves you feeling sick to your stomach, desperate for answers, aching to know this has all been a misunderstanding. That’s what I inflicted on him, who has never been anything but perfect.

Being cheated on, is one of the hardest things to forgive. A lot of you may know the pain , unfaithfulness and betrayal brings to your heart. So does God. But he didn’t just forgive. He kept chasing.

He left his home. And chased me down, even when the men I was with, hurt him, and a left him for dead. He brought me home. Gave me my royal clothes and loved me still.

 Did I understand what I had cost him? No. I never will fully understand. Did I love him the way he deserved?? Never. But he stayed. 

He romances my torn apart, sold-out heart. He craves for me. For my love, and for my passion. When I start looking at the men I left behind, he lights up in jealousy. Not because he is anything less then perfect, but because, he is deeply in love with his bride. 

This isn’t just my story. You are his bride. Go back and make the story about you. Are you starting to understand? Are you getting just a little taste of God’s love for you?    Why do I forget so often? When I am in love with a human, I physically and emotionally crave their presence. I want to know everything they feel, I want to give them the world. That’s only a speck of the love, that God has for me, a broken slave. I am truly nothing without his love.

This has been ramblings with Tiffany. 😭 If you have been able to track, CONGRADULATIONS! Thanks for tuning in 😉 btw. I know its been over 6 months since, I’ve blogged. I’m sorry, but I wont promise to do better because I don’t know if that’s a promise I can keep. As always, thank you for your support. I have a short list of things you can pray for if God lays it on your heart.

1) Open doors. And courage to walk through them. I’m learning God is far less interested in where I end up, and much more interested in the process of getting there. Right now, I have a few things really laying on my heart, and I just need to decide how to act on them.

2) Monetary providence. Trying to prepare for life after the dorm, while on VS pay, is defiantly stretching my faith. 😂

3) More Jesus attitude, less Tiffany 😉

4) Energy. Most days, I’d love to skip everything and do nothing but sleep. 😉 I’m asking for wisdom to heal my body,  without running it to the ground again!

Much love you guys! ❤️ thank you for keeping in touch! I love hearing from y’all even if it takes me eons to reply!  I’ll l slap a few picture of my life on here, and call it quits. Jesus’ riches blessings on you!

Out with the old, in with the new.

Yay it’s time for the cliche new year, new me, blog post! JK. I may be basic, but I still don’t get the hype of  New Years resolutions. I do like goals though. And in the spirit of 2018, I figure I’ll list a few. But first, lemme look back over 2017 and feel nostalgic. Ahem.

She began her year in Minnesota. At bible school. It was intense, and they didn’t even have tents. I disgress. MBS had highs and lows. That’s all she can say. She met some amazing people there, and made friendships that made it worth every frustrating moment. She was in Missouri  for a few weeks after Bible school, then Kansas, and then HAITI.    She loved every single minute of it. The group she went with, the culture, the food, the people, the kids…. she still misses it so bad some days.  She came home, and her summer was pretty much a whirl wind. She traveled around a fair amount, and was busy tutoring several kids. She made the descision to go to Nhm for camp week, and see what could be seen.  Her already chaotic life  went for another loop. She knew God wanted her here in CO. She had no idea how it would happen. But it did. Through events, that are too complicated and aren’t hers to share,  she was freed to leave. She had about 6 weeks to prepare. She spent most of that time in Missouri, finding a new tutor for her kids, and squeezing in as much time with her favorite people as she could. She left the weekend of her birthday.  Her best friend was with her in Kansas that week, and she left for Missouri and hour before Tiff had to leave. It didn’t hit her until then how scared she was. She prided herself on being independent, but  that day, she really didn’t want to be strong. Never the less. Life in Colorado began. And was wonderful. She felt so blessed by the people God had placed in her life. She began to realize how wrong her idea of God was, and began learning how to trust. Jesus started to rewrite her belief system, and she started seeing bigger and bigger glimpses of His love for her. Her life here is busy, and so so far from perfect. But she know this is where she needs to be. She has goals and plans for the new year, and will list in due time.

And so end my narrative. I was she, as I’m sure you know. My year, condensed in the above paragraphs. It seems so easy. WhatI didn’t   include is the brokenness. The anger, the hurt, the cries. If y’all didn’t know what I meant, I’d tell you. But you do. I know all of you have faced pain, and ugliness this past year. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your pain and loss. I wish I could fix everything for each one of you. I can’t . But I can share the sentence that has meant so much me the past few months. Jesus wept. Jesus knows. He’s walking with you through all the hard things. He feels your pain and frustration, just as strongly as you do.  I pray this year, you will see this more clearly then you ever have❤️

I wasnt going to ramble like this. What else is new? If it interested you, below is my short list of goals for the new year.

Stay out of my comfort zone.

Travel out of the U.S. At least once.

Touch base with as many long distance friends as possible.

Be the person, that causes all hell too rejoice when I die, because I am out of the fight. 

Below are some snapshots of my 2017 life
Some of the girls who have impacted my life in huge ways since moving west… the girl in pic below is the best, fill in, older sister, I could have prayed for.

Quick trip home

Colorado living

Orientation week 

2nd home❤️

Bestie. Always had my back 

More mbs fam

My world

Summer

Camp week: the beginning 

Idaho fam

Haiti highlights 

Bible school days

Blessings through tears 

I’m learning how much God loves to exchange our crap for his beauty. It’s incredibly humbling, and even more exciting. Through Jesus, I’m no longer an idiot or a failure. I’m CHOSEN. Because he loved me, I don’t have to wear that coat of shame. The worst parts of my life, the ugliest scars, the chapters I wished so badly would disappear, can become the strongest points of my life, and the places I can minster out of the most. 

So to the person wrestling with the monsters, walking through valleys, and feeling abandoned: all is not lost. I know what pain is. I know what rock bottom is. And if Jesus can touch MY life and fix MY heart, he’s got you too. And no, I’m not a uber Christian. In fact, I suck at it most of the time.  And He’s still blowing me away with his grace.  

I think the coolest thing is when he takes hardest struggles, and uses it to show what he can do❤️ At least in my logic, I want the ugly taken away. He never takes away. He transforms. He redeems. He shows us what he can do. When the lepers were healed, he didn’t erase the last year of their life. He WORKED in their life and showed his power. When Lazarus was sick, he didn’t fix the situation instantly. He walked with his friends through the difficult times and then blew them away with his healing. When I was in deep depression, he didn’t make it go away. He saved me from myself and took  me through places I never wanted to go, and brought me out on the other side, amazed at that type of love. Whatever you’re facing right now, Jesus is crying with you, aching to taking your pain and disappointments and turn it into beauty. He will never leave you with brokenness. Because He is a Good Good Father. Because he died to be with you. Because he choose you.

So enough with my ramblings. Leave a comment or dm me what God has been teaching you. I LOVE hearing from y’all. Happy first week of December!!🎄

October drinks💛

Happy 9th of October!! I know it’s the 9th because I’ve written it on a stupid amount of furniture tags today… but I promise that’s not what I’m talking about today. It was freezing today. Literally. Yesterday was 80 degrees, today it snowed. Good one Colorado. And what’s the best thing to do when it’s crazy cold and unfriendly outside?  Honey, curl up in an oversized sweater, with a good book, and piping hot beverage and you’re set. Wondering what kinda drink to make? I gotcha ☺️

I have a bucket list of drinks you need in your life this October. And because I like challenges, all of these are coffee free. All you haters out there, TOLD YOU I COULD DO IT! I did my drink research, people. And it took so much effort and it was exhausting and, ok I’m lying. I’m totally down for this kinda research any day 😍 soo without further ado… 

1) gingerbread steamer 

So this gave me all the nostalgic feels. Honestly, probably wouldn’t get this super often, because it’s like the baby version of a latte, just no coffee. But it made me feel so cozy and warm inside 😍 like my tummy got tucked in for a nap. If you’re too little, cough, if you don’t have the taste for coffee, try THIS! 

2. Spiced cider. 

Seriously. The autumn fairies drink this. I made it with hot soup and rolls and we ate it wearing beanies and oversized sweaters. (Note to self, blog about the perfection of oversized sweaters.) But for real. Make it. So, so perfect.

3. White hot cocoa 💘

Ohhh mah starts and stripes. Let’s be honest here I’m totally gonna brag about this one. It. Is. Heavenly.  Broiled marshmallows. Downtown Abby. Fluffy socks. *Oversized sweaters. Annnddd the girls asked me to make this more then any other expierment, sooo what does that tell you?

4. Cocoa in general. 

Ok this is a little redundant. I’m not apologizing. If you never have experience hot chocolate outside of Swiss Miss, do yourself a flavor, (get it hehe), and cook a pot. If you really wanna feel the love, have some glazed soft pretzels as a side. But you didn’t hear that from me. The snowmen marshmallows are a must. WARNING: may cause the Christmas spirit to hit hard. 

5. HOT TEA. 

Sugar. Honey. Cream. Milk. A cuppa tea ain’t complicated. But ohhh sweetie, it’s good for your soul. I’ve been craving my favorite blend ever since I arrived in Colorado. So last Saturday, we went to Springs, to a super sketchy tea shop… but we found Ginger Peach. And I’m totally content.

So. Yeah. Go forth and drink delicious flavors. Inhale the October air. Listen to Christmas music if you wanna. Haters gonna hate. Be as stereotypical as you wish😘 till next time✌️- Tiffy

Ps. Comment on a hot beverage you love, or would love to try! 

*i referenced oversized sweaters 4 times in one blog. I’m thinking a poem would be appropriate. No I’m not obsessed. Yes I am. 

Colorado Randomness 

So. Everyone wants to know the same thing…. HOWS COLORADO!? ☺️ thank y’all for all the support and sweet texts and mail! It’s meant a lot. 

I thought I’d give a sort of update, a brief rundown of what my week looks like. My apologies if you’re bored, I’ll have inspirational thoughts another time😂

I love our Sundays. We have church in the morning obviously. Every Sunday we have two girls scheduled for lunch. Afternoons are free for NAPS and whatever our hearts desire… Evenings we either have hymn sing or small groups. 

Week days are crazy. I work in the Pueblo store, meaning we have close to an hour commute. But we have coffee by the gallons sooo, life is good. Monday nights our house mummy comes over for coffee and girl talk. Tuesday nights are either quiet nights or joint households, when we go to over to the guys dorm. Wednesday nights are ball games. Every other Thursday night is Prayer and Praise. Friday evenings are for youth. 

We have to work one or two Saturdays a month, and they try to schedule as many people off as possible. Mostly we sleep till noon, (cough cough, stop looking at me), and thenthe world is our oyster ☺️ y’all. Colorado is pretty freaking gorgeous and we got some bomb coffee shops. Tomorrow we’re due downtown Springs to explore adorable little shops and eat crepes and find high quality tea. Oiii I’m excited! 

So. That was a crash course on my schedule. In other news … I love it here. I love my roomie, and my co workers, and the dance offs we’ve had in the kitchen. I love our tiny backyard and the skyline drive that’s only 15 minutes away. My heart feels at home here. God is doing great things, and I know He’s gonna do more. 

We had orientation our first week here. It was so full of incredibly intense, emotionally draining sessions. And yet I walked out feeling full. Full of goals. Or passion. Of hope. 

But I disgress. I’ll close before I start bouncing down bunny trails. 

Keep me in your prayers. Keep NHM in your prayers. Tell me about your lives. Tell me what you what me to blog about. Tell me what to cook tomorrow. Idk tell me a lame joke. Ok I’m done, peace out my peeply! -t

Random thoughts about breaths of the Holy Spirit 

I went on a long walk tonight, to all my favorite spots. And it was magical. I have never seen a more beautiful August in Missouri. I can’t remember when it wasn’t insanely hot and parched come August. But this year was different. The grass, the fields… it’s this intense green! The sky has the prettiest clouds. I could watch the light rays shining through the trees for hours. The ditchs are filled with wild flowers. The birds aren’t hiding because of the heat. Maybe I just didn’t notice before, but I think this has been such a gorgeous summer. 

I said so many goodbyes the past two weeks. Talked to so many strong people that have impacted my life. It made me think a lot about what had shaped them to who they are. This past year hasn’t been easy for anyone. A lot of people have had to make decisions they never should have had to make. There’s been so many tears. But seeing them now, happier, stronger, full of peace, it makes me smile. They have their reprieve. The breath of fresh air, in the heat of summer. Like the Holy Spirit is breathing on them. 

God is so good. 

Tomorrow, me and my best friend head to Kansas for the weekend and from there, I fly to Colorado. Tomorrow, I’m not 18 anymore. Tomorrow, the rest of my life begins. I dread orientation, I don’t wanna stop being 18, and I’d happily just sleep for about a month.  But I cannot focus on what Tiffany wants to look at. I want to look at Jesus, and what He has for me. I’m going to hold onto this peace, that a new chapter is starting. Jesus is in control and all is right in the world. 

Love and pain.

Disclaimer: I’ve been trying to write this for a week now, and it hasn’t been going well… I hope I can articulate my thoughts clearly enough to make sense.

Maybe it started with the counseling. Looking at my own life, and seeing the pain and scars I’ve tried to hide. Now all I can see is the masses of hurting humanity around me. And in a way, I wish I could go back to hiding from it. Ignorance, while definitely not bliss, requires less effort. 

But I’ve never seen so clearly how much it tears Jesus’ heart to see his children in pain.   I see the people who have hurt me in so many ways, and it’s killing me to see them wrestling with their own demons. I see the girls who can’t open up, and all I can see is the aching in their eyes. The ‘jerks’, the ‘bullies’, they’re acting out of pain, or confusion, not just a desire to hurt people. 

It’s barely a glimpse of how Jesus views us. But I’m starting to understand a little, what it does to Him, seeing our country, our planet, filled with His creation, and so much raw, staggering pain. And maybe, starting to understand how I’ll never understand that kind of mad, crazy, passionate love. For love and pain, at least in this world, go hand in hand.

The suicidal, the sexually abused, the beaten, the orphaned, the abandoned…  so much agony. And Jesus feels it all. He died for these people, their pain is His pain. That’s something I never grasped before, and strangely enough, when that clicked, I started seeing myself more as he sees me. 

Priceless.

Treasured.

His delight.

Enough.

The Jesus I’m learning to know, made you, choose you, adores you,and cries for you. No amount of pain, or mistakes can ever change that. He is safe, secure, the only thing that will love in a completely selfless way.  It’s completely useless to pretend you don’t need Him.

You have nothing to offer Him. Nothing but your broken heart. Yet, that’s all He wants. He doesn’t want you to measure up, He wants you to realize that you never will. He wants to carry you, to mend your heart. We are the orphans, and He is our hope. We can’t escape humanity, or the pain that will come. That’s why He gave up everything. To give us the hope.❤️

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge. Ps 91:4

random thoughts about circles…

I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago. And eerily, it felt like I came in a complete circle. Again I’m searching, wishing I knew what God’s plan is, considering another move, trying to find my stability. This past week was really hard. I felt like all the stuff I came through in a years time hadn’t made a difference, like the pain was worthless. And more bad things happened to my friends who never deserved that kind of pain. I’m tired of hearing myself say the same thing over and over, ‘It’s not gonna last forever, Someday it won’t hurt like this.’

Again, God takes me hand. He says, ‘Hon, I got you. I have all the bases covered. I know it doesn’t make sense now, but believe me, one day it will. It will be totally worth it.’

And I know He’s right. I know he IS using all of this to make something beautiful. But I’m tired of it. I just wanted Him to reach down and push the waves away. I’m tired of feeling like I’m barely holding on.

I should tell you that I’ve been trying to visualize pictures in my head of God. Call me weird, but it’s made God seem so much more personal. Anyway, my friend called me, and told me to try visualizing myself, sitting at the right hand of God. And all the waves, the pressures, the hurts, the struggles, they’re all down there. Not up in my face, threatening to choke me.

I have goosebumps just writing this, because, again, God is here. So maybe it does look like I came in a circle, down here on earth. It looks different from the higher view. So again, I’m choosing to believe, again, I’m not giving up, again, I’ll say, ‘God has a plan’. Maybe in another year, I’ll have to write this again. I’ll look back and see, that even though the storm didn’t end, I don’t have to drown. I’ll still be sitting at the right hand of God and nothing can reach me there.

 

-when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the ROCK that is higher then I. psalm 61:2-

Ten things you probably don’t know about me.

1. I’m super accident prone. It’s kinda scary actually. I have crooked toes and fingers from randomly tripping or falling, and I attract catastrophe. Just ask anyone who’s spent like, a day with me. 

2. I’m 50% country, 50% city girl. Like I wear a cowboy hat with heels. Yes, I’m just as confused as everyone else.

3. I dream every single night of my life. I probably dreamed about you…  I’ve dreamt things that have come true. Sketch.

4. Algebra 2 was hands down, FAVE. I hated algebra 1, but 2? Best. Thing. Ever. 

5. No one believes this, but I get really, really shy. I just don’t show it. 

6. If I see a snake, without fail, I’ll dream about a pit of snakes that night. (See number 3).

7. If I get super tired, laughing till I throw up is a real concern.

8. I was once the biggest veggie hater in the history of veggie haters. I’ve since converted to throwing okra in my shakes. 

9. I’m the most un-technically gifted teen ever. It took me forever to figure out maps…  Snapchat took years. It’s sad, I know. 

10. Submitting my first article to be published, terrified me. It made me feel wayyy too vulnerable and exposed. I’m learning, this is a good thing:) 
Comment on what YOU think most people don’t know about you!! Happy Sunday!