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my life-line today

with growth…comes constant invitations to change.  opportunities disguised in fear.


i am learning that fear of change doesn’t always mean bad things.

change can be for my good.  chapter 5 in Donald Miller’s book Scary Close opened my eyes even more.

i thought that i was heading down this path but am wondering now if i will be going down a completely different one.

that is the thing that gets me every. single. time.

a love adventure with God is anything but boring.  just when i think i know what we’re doing..where we’re going.  i don’t

and that’s ok because i want to grow in trust and that is just what we’re doing

 up ahead is a change.  i know it in my gut.  if i am being very honest with myself i’ve known it for a very long time.

today, i am still feeling the bullies of fear ganging up.  i actually feel smothered by them but i am grateful to have a word to hang

onto today.

a life-line

i’ve had isaiah 41:8-13 circled for a long time but today v. 13 really spoke to me
i feel shaken by it.  like Abba is saying PAY ATTENTION!!

so i am

That’s right.  Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you and I”m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t PANIC.

tgbg xo-t

**just writing out of obedience.  no editing or proofing:)

you can find me everyday on instagam @houseofbelonging


never enough

waves of adversity have been washing over me.  much of them on the inside.
battling my “inner self” my own worst enemy.

i keep repeating the song “wave after wave”

and i am learning that waves that challenge my woundedness make me isolate.  shut down. turn inside.

wounds that need healing

i used to believe that i couldn’t fine help outside of Jesus.  by that i mean if i read a book, talked to a counselor, heard a song, a speaker

that it wasn’t “truth” and would lead me astray.  that i wasn’t trusting in God enough.

enough has been a defining word for me.

never enough

your not enough and neither are people.
they aren’t worth giving your trust to
you will only fall short of their expectations
and it is painful to give trust and have it broken in a million pieces
it seems easier to be “strong” and alone.  taking care of yourself.

that means your strong right?

i am now learning that God teaches me through so many ways and others stories being a powerful way that i have grown over
the last couple of years.

i am learning that people, including myself, just want to be loved and do the best they can

by finding help in Jesus i mean

spending quiet times reading the bible.  ( which is totally good ) it is something i do to spend time and learn more about the One i love with all of my heart
i did that for so many years
and i have spent the last several years unlearning so many things.  like rules and regulations.  much of that i believe comes from the way i am wired.
i am a natural rule follower because i want to be good.  to be enough.  to be loved under it all really.  i am like the children of israel.  if i follow all of the rules
i am enough.  but we all know that is impossible.  and is so exhausting.  and in the end it isn’t enough.

that is why God sent Jesus.

now Jesus is showing me that yes the power to process my life…for the rest of my life…comes from within.  from Him.  the Holy Spirit
now lives in me.  His blood and breath flow through me and i think that is pretty awesome.  so i have everything i need to unlearn all the protective
lies i have believed and practiced.  i have been signed, sealed and delivered and am now a FREE GIRL!!  i have the rest of my life to for God to LOVE ME
FULLY ALIVE.  to learn who this girl really is and use the gifts that He placed in me

i read once that Jesus didn’t die to make us religious.  He died to make us FREE

to be a process in healing for the rest of our life on earth

Jesus wants to heal me and i am learning that when i spend real time with Him and not try to perform.  when i am open and teachable
He shows me all kinds of beautiful things.  He doesn’t shame me, He speaks words of love and affirmation.  He is my biggest cheerleader.

the real love i seek can ONLY be found in the One who created me.  Who spoke Tiffini into being.  it is His breath that puts flesh on my bones
and breathes life into me so that i can really really live.

and i am learning a whole new mind-set from the one i was fed growing up

the truth is i really don’t know “who” i am.  yet
i am in the process of learning every. single. day

and all the while the waves crash over me
i am more sure than ever of the foundation of love that i have in Jesus

i don’t have a human to write a new love story in my life.can write a “love story” with
but to me this is a gift

it takes COURAGE to be known
as i turn the page of my story daily i can see me seeking to isolate.  to do what feels natural but in reality is only a way i use to protect
myself so i am now able to “see” it
and with the turn of a page i can change that and take risks to be known.

to give my trust little by little to someone

i am reading Donald Miller’s new book Scary Close and i have cried through every chapter.

on page 20 he says this

” Bill said at some point i realized, whether true or not, there was something wrong with me.  
Either i didn’t measure up to the standards of my 
parents, the kids at school made fun of me, or i came to believe i was inferior.  
Shame, he said, caused me to hide.

“and that,” he said, ” is a problem.  
because the more we hide, the harder it is to be known.  
and we have to be known to connect.”

this made me think of the garden when adam and eve hid.  their shame caused them to hide from God when He came looking for them. God wanted to
connect with the ones He loved into existence! to connect?   He knew what they had done but He STILL CAME SEARCHING FOR THEM!
HE LOVED them ferociously as He loves us
their shame in doing their own thing instead of listening to God caused them to run.  to hide.  they didn’t want to be known.

and how does that apply to me?

is is possible that by letting shame control me that i think i am strong but in reality i am hiding and not able to connect to people
and more importantly to God?

::i now believe that to practice LIVING COURAGEOUSLY is what strong is
being strong is picking up the broken pieces and giving the to the Healer.  the One that knows you and only asks
that we are willing to be known by Him.  He promises us true healing.  that He will make a way when there is not one.
that He will never leave us.  EVER.  and what if we began with every turn of life’s page to believe that we are loved.

that everyday we can live loved.  that we don’t have to hide in shame.  that we can begin the process of uncovering who we are
and rebuild a foundation of others just like us that want real intimacy with people and who are doing their work?

what then?  can you imagine that revival that would sweep the country?  the world even?

your not enough and neither are people.
they aren’t worth giving your trust to
you will only fall short of their expectations
and it is painful to give trust and have it broken in a million pieces
it seems easier to be “strong” and alone.  taking care of yourself.  

that means your strong right?

wrong.  this is a lie from the pit of hell and will keep me performing for the rest of my life

so today i am choosing courage.
God and i have been learning about trust
He is teaching me that He is faithful.
He spoke quiet words to me over a year ago on a hard morning when tears blinded the road i was driving on
the words carved themselves into the core of my belief system that day

He said, ” give me room to prove myself faithful to you.”

and i did.  i have.  those words have forever changed my life

you see, i have learned to protect myself by withholding trust until it is earned.  for very good reasons.

but that is also keeping me from building new relationships.

i am all in on the process of becoming healthy and whole

one day at a time



photo credit to my dear texas friend maryjo.  she has been a gift to me and i can’t wait to meet her in person this year!
she text me this picture at 4:30 am this morning of our Live Courageously shirt overlooking the Mount of Olives!
she is in Israel right now.  isn’t that super cool?…xo

**just being obedient to write.  i have not edited any of this.  just writing my thoughts much like my journal…xo


take courage

i never thought of courage as a life skill.  i am learning it is.  it sets me free when i choose to use it.

i thought courage was only for heroes in storybooks and movies.  where you survived and killed the bad guy and won the girl.

little did i know that the really bad guy was my own “self”

and while spending time in the wee hours of the mornings with jesus was my lifeline
it was filled with so much pain.  pain that was rotting my bones and i didn’t know what to do with it
pages and pages filled with words that were true but the problem was i wasn’t “doing” much of them

often when we are in the middle of chaotic living we fail to see ourselves as part of the problem.
we see others and they very well have the biggest part in the mess but

here’s what i learned

that i had power.  i had a choice and when i stopped listening to what i was fed growing know that yucky victim mentality

and i put the words that Paul wrote in Colossians 2:6-7 that my life began a process of turning around

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given.
You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him.
You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him.
You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught.
School’s out; quit studying the subject and start 
living it!
And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

and i began what i call

the art of living courageously and i can’t wait to sit down with you all and take all of this apart so we can look at it in small bites!


xo -t

(just my morning musings to be obedient to write something.  no judgement please:)  i am not editing these…thank you!)

if you know the source of the image please let me know so i an give credit!





heart art + pretty things

good morning!  how are you? i want to crawl back in my cozy bed that is how i am..

the whir of the furnace is whirring behind me as the house still sleeps.
it is me, and God and coffee

and for some reason my weekend in Seattle and my experience with lissa and the “chickens” comes to mind

and i can see her concern as the night and her signature dinner is not going as she dreamed it would
as it always does

this time was different
she had a “stranger” in her home and like us all wanted to perform well
because isn’t that what we are wired for?  what we want more than anything is to be loved?

and we are most loved when we do something well
not when the chicken is done and the vegetables aren’t cooking
and the husband is past starving
and the crickets are chirping

and all the while i am sitting there watching her heart try and hold it together
trying to “save the chickens”
and realizing this isn’t going to go as planned

and i love her all the more
i love the real lissa
i loved the realness of all that transpired and you know why?

because it is the kind of things that happen in my home too

i cold relate in a thousand ways

who really cares about a carefully curated chicken when i

was building a relationship with another human being that i really really wanted to know more about?

the very thing that she may have felt i wouldn’t love if i knew

was the very thing that drew me to her

oh…and i think we are opening a small retail space very soon
and you are invited
to come and see our heart  art + pretty things
follow along on instagram because that is where i hang out everyday

**this is just me being obedient to sit and write.  i have not edited anything.  the fact that i am sitting and writing anything is a miracle today:) please don’t judge this isn’t rocket science or saving the world…..:)

xo t-



my master bedroom planked ceiling

things have been quiet here on the blog.  sorry.
i am still creating each and every sign that comes through the shop,  juggling the business end of things and keeping the kids and house semi-clean.

when i do get to pull out the list and choose something that can be done quickly and on a budget

i get super excited!

this month i chose

-planking the bedroom ceiling

before we planked the ceiling i dry brushed white paint on the headboard to cover the stained wood making it cohesive.


here is what it looked like before

2014 christmas house walk with jenn rizzo

we have been here a year february 1.  you can read more about that here.

i keep a running list of my dreams for our home.  do you do that too?

my husband is only home every six weeks and then only for a week at a time so when he comes home you can imagine his list…wink

planking walls and ceilings is nothing new and there are a million how to’s already out there.  here and here are a couple of detailed ones i love.

my main focus has been on my bedroom.  making it a sanctuary.  a refuge after a draining day


neural layers ( i am going with gray, creams and white, gold and a touch of a grayish pink ) textures, a touch of fur, wall art that encourages me….oh! candles are a must!

to me, planking falls under layers and texture.

i eventually want to plank all of the walls but a simple change to the ceiling made a huge difference.

it added warmth and texture and was a relatively inexpensive and easy fix to our popcorn ceilings.

i haven’t decided whether or not to paint it white, whitewash, or stain it darker.
right now, i am going to live with the natural wood awhile before deciding.
we will wait and see.


like these curtains from IKEA.  i am teetering back and forth on the gray or white

as i have said before this is the first home i have ever really been able to decorate the way i wanted.
to be honest, it has taken me a couple of years to nail down my style.
i am getting there.

now, i am trying to find a light fixture and night stand that i really LOVE

what about you?  what little things are on your dream list for your home?  what little steps are you taking to get there

and while i am asking…

any ideas on a light fixture?  i’d love to hear your thoughts