Category Archives: My Home

our ‘first’ home tour – look how far we’ve come

good morning ya’ll!  so happy you stopped in.  i have been smiling all morning thinking of you..really!

my love for Jesus has become equally matched with my love for what i call re-building our first home on reclaimed land!
for more on the backstory you can read here and here and here.

remember this home tour?
before we move forward with our exodus home i wanted to reminisce the home where our story began to take a new turn.
the 19th move i knew God wanted me to surrender too.

i didn’t want to go there because i knew i would have to co-exist with old memories.

i wanted to go because i told God to lead me on the road to Somewhere
and block any road to Nowhere and that i didn’t want to go anywhere that He didn’t go with me.
 

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our home isn’t empty anymore…

hey there:)  we’ve had some questions on our home..how we have been settling in so i thought i’d take a little time and share some bits and pieces

we recently spent some meaningful time sitting down and purposefully asking ourselves the 5 w’s and h on how we wanted our home to feel.

we moved in and then hit the ground running with work, surgery and well…life.  time flew and four months later we were in an empty home!

we moved in with not much furniture so the main living area was bare.  we have slowly been acquiring some little things but the big pieces eluded us.

we finally got a couch from ikea and a chair from home goods.  no more kiddo’s and me piling on my bed watching tv….boo!

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i am so grateful that God led us to this home and that i faced the fear and took the risk and called on it!!
for the first time…at 46…i feel like i am creating a home that is an extension of me..it is fun!!
i am enjoying it immensely.  it is a slow process and that is OK!  i am content with my life right now..not in the way that i am not anticipating God or seeking Him out..
maybe a better word would be peace.  i have peace here.  i am learning to receive it and not let the fear of the other shoe dropping swallow me alive and whole.

I work hard at being intentionally present in living my life these days

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the sweet little feminine table we scoured for WEEKS for..we found it in our new favorite little shop.
we found this small leathery ..soft ..not really sure what it is but i loved it at first sight.  i think i’m kinda a blend of he & she..masculine and feminine
and i like it!!

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a fun little wire basket holds our newest cookbooks..barefoot contessa’s foolproof - the forest feast and one on the way buvette..and june 10 the paleo kitchen comes out!

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i added a fun pair of pillowcases for spring/summer..i love the pops of coral and mustard …they make me feel happy HAPPY in my bedroom.  i was pleased with their quality.  and look at that cute tag and buttons!!

i am painting and distressing a dresser that i will replace the little grey table.  still waiting for the perfect little lamp to find me
and maybe one more layering piece for my bed

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i am working on a new Grace’s prayer sign for her room.  i wrote it for her in a post and nikki turned it into a sign.
we sold hers off the wall one time and i never replaced it…i know…eek!

here is our exodus home pinterest board.  i really do use it for ideas and inspiration

what do you use for inspiration?  are you a slow and steady decorator or are you a whole room at a time kinda girl?  in my dreams i am a whole room
kinda girl but in reality….uh well..not so much…ha!  it all good:)

now go out there and live courageously ok?…xo

 

 

i really do use it for inspiration and ideas

 

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the yes i have been eluding too & how it came when i was stripped naked…

i don’t want to forfeit the miracle
to NOT hear the One Who owns the fire in the burning bush

it is more than a sign business friends
more than a house
it is more than my story
than a growing blog or instagram or pinterest
or any diy project

don’t get me wrong...it is the business that God is using to help on the road out and i am overwhelmed with gratefulness
God-smacked..or shell shocked might be better verbage
but i believe with all my heart God has a bigger purpose…BIGGER plans for all of us in whatever dream we are pursuing
my heartbeat underneath everything God is doing is my love for Him..to KNOW Him more…to grow deeper
as i grow older and to live the rest of my life LOVED by Him and to find greater freedom from my own man-made
ways to fill all the empty places in my life…and i pray that for each of YOU too!!

 

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i have been at the end of my rope…for a very long time

jan silvious once said that letting go is the hardest challenge you face because it requires you to lay down every weapon, hook, rope, cord, or device you have for maintaining control…when you let go you determine to trust that God himself will faithfully handle whatever situation your letting go creates – from foolproofing your life

the YES i have been eluding to is my first ever HOUSE!!  all on my own
and WHY is this such a big deal?  and WHY am i sharing a personal information with you

because it is something that only God could have done.
and because i pray it gives YOU hope i will be sharing the back story to all of this as we go.   i have wrung my heart and hands for years over choices that were made over and over again without my consent with our finances.  long story short – it ruined our/my credit beyond repair to where i can get nothing by credit.  cash it is.  which in some ways i guess can be a good thing.  at 45.. when you’ve never owned a home..your truck is 10 years old and needs repairs…your girl needs braces..you know all that kind of stuff you can’t just go out and do it.  you have to save for it OR go without and anyone who has gone through this knows that it just adds lots more stress to your life.

so for years i agonized over all of THIS…finances are just a slice of the pie of course but it explains the no resources to have a home

however – God has been watching over His word to perform it…you know He does that right?
i am beginning to see this is where He does His best work

i feel so loved by Him…so SEEN
i don’t know that i have experienced Him in this way before
that He is truly is acting as my husband like He promised in isaiah 54: 1-17
the years of verses He gave me that i have recorded in my journal…i see coming true right before my very eyes…

i have no words for it..but face on the ground weeping..thanking Him
i believe the years it has taken to be at this place in time has made it all the more deep
it is encouraging me to go forward
to trust more
to pray through…and not GIVE UP
girls…i am talking 15 years of wilderness that looked much like jeremiah’s description

walking after emptiness they became empty?
and did they not say, “where is the LORD?”
who brought us up out of the land of egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and of pits,
through a land of drought and of deep darkness,
through a land that no one crossed
and where no man dwelt….jeremiah 2

traveled down roads like this much?  

i am seeing rivers being made in the desert
and springs springing up where there weren’t any
He is making an exodus for me and the kids
after 15 soul tiring years God is making
a road out…

i see these years being recycled for our good and God’s glory
and i could just SHOUT it from the rooftops
i wish every blogger could just hit publish on the post that says
God’s POWER is limitless — He is faithful to the wilderness years..to the wrong choices..to the fleeing out of fear
He NEVER leaves us..ever.  NO MATTER WHAT.  He can use all our junk to make something beautiful and USEFUL to
others…ok ok….believe it…share it…it is TRUE!!
oh how hard i pray ALL for His glory
He is teaching me to be thankful
to trust Him
He has been taking baby steps with me
earning my trust

He is showing me that His power really is limitless
that all the bible stories that i know by heart  that He is all of those things for me too…and for YOU!

this is a  God sized dream that scares me half to death–but shouldn’t it?  maybe this means i am on the right road for once?
if it is GOD SIZED shouldn’t it be too BIG?
and being afraid just makes sense if we can’t do it with our own resources right?

oh abba…my God, You are bringing us home to a land you have prepared for me – You have laid out this gift before me
give me the courage to take it

i am now circling all of my life with verses God have given me over the last years…that i have scribbled in my journal
adding new ones as He shows them to me
have you read the circle maker…it is amazing.  you won’t regret it

this new land will have giants in it
but it will also have milk and honey.  provision.  abundance
this is a way i have never been before
a land not yet sown
so i must follow You..keeping my focus on You to know where to go

i must depend on you for resources because i don’t have any of my own
do you know how HARD this is to DO?  oh my…i automatically want to grab anything i can other than God..
so daily this is the battle…taking up courage and following God when i can’t understand or see a.single.thing
and i can do the work you set out for me with my whole heart
YOUR part + my part = covenant

because when you strip a human being naked of every device that he puts his trust in you come face to face with you emptiness..your inability to save yourself …

friends…i was so beyond being able to save myself.  i have been in a static state of trust wondering if EVER there was going to be a breakthrough…

real raw faith is believing when there is no absolute way we can do it ourselves.  we can’t pull out a credit card, secure a loan, our health is failing, we have no family or friends in which to strike a deal, we can’t land that job…whatever…you fill in the blank

we are at the end of our own rope..and everyone else’s rope…
we are naked before God

it is the God of the universe bending down…looking out over all creation for hearts that are ready to risk it all
to step out beyond their resources..way beyond their comfort
to take up the courage to answer their calling
maybe He really does delight in giving good gifts to His people
maybe He really is the knight in shining armor…ready to ride in and sweep us off our feet at the first cry at the end
of that rope?

but stripped of all those things..and left with no resources..is THIS where real adventure begins?  
have i been missing it all these years?

what about YOU?  what do you think about all of this.  i would LOVE to hear your heart?  have we been to man-made in our spirituality and trusting in our own means?  maybe all these hard places are really opportunities to RISK…

..xo

 

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stop trusting fear…

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“if we dwell on all the things that could go wrong, we’ll be to afraid to take another step”

ruth had lived in fear all during the months of mahlons illness, and it had accomplished nothing…after mahlon’s death, she decided she would never again allow her mind to dwell on things beyond her control

I started my photography business back in September of 2013 and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone like nothing else. I think sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. The past has proven me to be a slow and steady kind of girl, taking few risks, and therefore, not really changing or growing much in any way. I think I’ve unknowingly preferred the safety of the nest rather than taking the risk of testing my wings. I suppose I figured there was no failure in the same ol’ same ol’. After awhile the “same ol’” started to feel rather boring and I felt this yearning like I was made for something more yet I just sat here inside the same four walls. The ugly truth is that I doubted God’s plan for me figuring that I had it wrong and there wasn’t something “extra special” planned for me. I actually reserved myself to accepting my role as wife and mom, choosing to be content with just that. But still that little tickle in my soul… this tiny seedling of hope that if I jumped out of the nest God would teach me to fly.

i know some of her words.  i have lived them.  God has been using her risk taking steps to fly to encourage my heart!   as a little girl all i wanted was to have a family.  to get married and have babies.  to be a mom and wife was the pinnacle of  “how it was supposed to be”in my mind.  and i made sure it happened.  it still amazes me the power of the human will to orchestrate a life that we think is safe.  i put all i was and all i knew into those roles.

what i learned was if you throw all of yourself into someone else..or something else
YOU get lost
years go by and if we’re not careful .. we wake up one day old and full of regret
i don’t want to choose that.  to settle for that

i used to think that the passions i had were meant to be hidden
that when i could do something good … i felt guilty
good things didn’t really happen to me and if they did i felt guilty because so many others were struggling

i didn’t give myself permission to shine.  it seemed nonspiritual to me
prideful even?
i am passionate about truth..trust..my relationship with God in all of its messy growth
i fight hard for my convictions and often my impetuousness gets me into hot water
what i didn’t know then that i am understanding more now is that
abba has provided me with circumstances to teach me how to use the gifts He has placed within me
that i need to stop living trusting fear and start putting actions to trusting God..in real life..not daydreams
within my days.  doing something tangible..you know?

i always felt that passion was weird somehow
like i never quite fit in but i am learning that to grow..to move forward i must let go off all these lies
and say yes to what God has before me

to take risks that make me feel uncomfortable and make me want to run the other way
but i haven’t
not yet
i have days that just bomb..maybe consecutive days even
the difference is i choose to get back up.  i must!

i can’t explain it but i am curious to take God at His word this time
i wonder if it is providence.  His timing
for all i know all of the years before have led up to this moment
the hard part for me is waiting.  waiting for that right time
letting the story unfold a wee bit more
i have learned that God isn’t going to light a bush on fire for me saying

tiff – this is exactly what you are to do..and here is how you are to do iti do see feel His heat upon my heart

my normal has always been fear living
but i know now that is not living

like ruth..i have learned that living in fear and dwelling on things i cannot control accomplishes nothing
and like the old fan we replaced with a new gold sparkly light

is kinda how i see the fresh new growth in my life
a new direction and it is spilling out into every area of my life
it isn’t the absence of hard though…or pain

it is like the turning of the seasons..new growth springing up while simultaneously the old
shrivels up and fades

so instead of dwelling on things i cannot control
or feeling stuck believing lies

i am letting go and allowing life to move me as the Spirit moves
one thing i am making a habit of is

taking risks
since we closed the shop several months ago while i recovering from surgery
i had time to really hear God and it was during this time that for lack of a better word the vision for
the new signs came into being

we are taking the next risky step and making everything more cohesive
here on the blog..in our home
i have started a new pin board called my exodus home
more on this in the coming weeks…

i want where i am the things i am being taught to have the same feel 
as what we create

i have been praying for sometime for a new direction with our signs..to set ourselves apart a little
to find our own niche
and i hope you will find that in the coming months as we
show our hearts to you

through our t-shirts – mugs – bags and paper-goods

that they will inspire YOU to take those risks
to not live in FEAR so much
to see YOUR dreams that God placed in your heart years ago
begin to GROW

all of these things will slowly be added in the coming months
the t-shirts will begin to be added to the shop next week so stay tuned to instagram for the first peeks

when we find that what we have been doing isn’t working and we are seeing the same results
it is time to do something different.
just like the old fan.  it had served its purpose but it was in need of an update
a fresh look

the strands of crystals catch the light and together cast a pattern of  dots across the room
bathing the room in captivating sparkles

let this sign..these words be the centerpiece for you little girls nursery.  can be used for years to come!

each one of us is like a crystal.  a unique blending of gifts, personality, quirks and history –that when strung together cast a light so bright it captivates those looking on
and i don’t know about YOU but i want to shine not only for my good but for all those looking to find their way
bring glory to God..really it is releasing those in prisons of fear, shame, guilt by us being released..it is these things that
give God glory!

how about YOU?  in what ways have you seen that living in fear has accomplished nothing?  maybe this weekend spend
some time thinking on what it would look like if you just took the next step..you know the one?  the one that you can’t take because you have been paralyzed with fear?  this isn’t about anyone else’s story.  it is between YOU and God

abba..we thank you that we have a God who is not made of wood stone or any man made substance.  You are a God who created the whole world..and yet..you have gone to unfathomable measures to have a relationship with us.  we thank you for the circumstances we find ourselves in today for they are our teachers.  only You can take to our eyes what is ugly and useless and turn it into something of beauty.  we thank you for your grace that looks at us in our own nakedness and loves us clean through.  so i come this morning with the only thing of value i have…my trust.  here abba…there is no one on heaven or earth that i can come to..that hears me like You do
so abba i pray in the midst of my life…and the lives of my friends who you know even now .. those reading..those who like me find ourselves reckless in our love for you.  we know how frail we are in our human form but we long to see freedom…we long to see You revive Your work in the midst of our years…in my 45th year abba REVIVE Your work…it isn’t to late!
you want what is good for us .. your plans for us are good..to prosper us in all kinds of ways but also
You want glory..help us to not cause harm to others by our words and actions
to SHINE for you..to be like the women of faith before us…ruth, rahab, tamar…may their hearts that burned for YOU burn within us today…
in jesus name

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