Category Archives: My Story

day 3/30 – the wilderness memoirs…it was him or me

behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins…mitch albom

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i can hear my heart pounding in my ears..my breathing is shallow is rapid.  my lungs are at capacity.  i have to stop to take a break. my arms couldn’t keep holding abandon run down, worn out, collapsing house of crazy up at the seams anymore
i’ve taken hammer and nails to pin up the rafters that were built from LIES!  fix the leaky faucets and put new panes of glass in its broken windows so no one could see what was really going on.

i now know there is a word for this and it is called “crazy making”  they make you believe it is you responsible for all of their sickness..you blame you and so do they hence the adjective “crazy making”
no one would believe us anyway and the hardest thing was saying with my voice my part in the story...how sick can someone be to live that way and call it love?
still to this day that decade makes me physically sick

one day or maybe it was years of “days” i drew back the curtains  of my heart house and i let Your Light shine into my heart for the very first time.
i knew i had to stop this madness that we thought normal and blaze a new trail for myself and run a brand new race for the rest of my life.
and then hand it over as a runner hands the baton to the next person so my daughters stand on up ahead with their hands out.
i see them shadowed by the sun setting spilling God’s glory all over us waiting..watching..and calling me forward so they can grab it when it goes by it is the passing of history.

setting things free is history making..almost a sacred work

because at some moment i knew it was him or me

we had already ripped the fabric of our family to pieces..and there is no way..humanly speaking to EVER heal such destruction of souls these kinda things leave scars deep and long and for the first time i wanted to do the hard thing.

the choice that was the scariest thing i have ever done…to choose my own freedom

i had to choose to let go of control of what i thought it was going to look like..what my children thought it was going to look like..heck i still don’t know what it is going to look like...it is being rebuilt each and everyday

i just knew i didn’t want to grow old with the idea of “hoping it will change”.  i don’t want to die in that hope.  i gave 12+years to this dream..no more

it is eery…i get sad when i think about my mom.  we sit over steaming mugs of coffee long cold and half eaten plates of carbs calling it a cheap therapy session but the truth of it doesn’t escape me.  action and owning our own addictions are the only way out.  the only road to freedom.

i believe that God is giving me the opportunity to run this next part of the our family history .. i have chosen to take the baton. the weight pushes me down telling me to quit.  it is in these moments that i begin asking what in the world AM I DOING!! that God gently reminds me of esther..of nehemiah..of jeremiah..of paul His words are my energy — they are my life blood.  my oxygen

i am not running for myself only…i am running for all the women in my family..for my daughters

it is the history making of these words that propel me forward.  i most likely will not live to see all of this play out but God lets me hear the freedom bell ringing…i know my daughters will have freedom

freedom becomes the sound of my shoe hitting the pavement creating a hypnotizing narcotic to numb the pain for a bit so i am able to get a little farther down the road.

daily i stand .. hand on hips.. breathing hard and fast..bending over trying to catch my breath.  sweat covering my whole body that is bloody and bruised..often in places that human eye cannot see. the heart bruises..the abrasions from lying sandpaper that just.won’t.STOP!

the pain from the unseen places throb and gnaw at me the most the enemy of our soul…others and myself  trip me up on somedays..throwing me headlong into a cycle of doubt and despair–trying to  lure me back into the crazy

but not today.   not today

i want to leave you with these words..i am not sure who wrote them but they strengthen me and i pray they strengthen you

“nothing good comes easily you have to lose things you thought you loved, give up things you thought you needed. you have to get over yourself, beyond your past, out from under the weight of your future. the good stuff never comes when things are easy. it comes when things are all heavily weighted down like moving trucks–

..xo

my dear friend lissa let me use this image from her ig…i fell in love with it.  i thought it was perfect for the wilderness memoirs

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day 2/30- the wilderness memoirs..and still i rise

 

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
-‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou

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still i rise sign

do you know someone who has fought his or her whole life?
whether it be a physical disability..their unique circumstances..seems like they always dealt a bad hand?

some of us have stories that we have to fight through our whole lives.  there isn’t always a fairytale happy ending in real life.
as women we idolize that in our hearts and fight to make that come true in our own lives don’t we?

i am learning to be grateful for my life story..for all of the hardships, constant stresses, failures.
if i choose..they are not hinderances at all but droplets of water to mix with the dust to make the mud to make the bricks to make the steps OUT!

i am choosing to find the gift inside each day..learning to be thankful for the good days and the hard ones

they have hurt hard…don’t get me wrong -
but they are becoming my testimony..deepening my trust..fueling my passions and shaping me into an overcomer!!

because in the end…the gift i am seeing…for me…is that i am learning to feel my own feelings…letting the painful things surface so they
can be acknowledged..owned and healed!

and the most humbling thing?

i am learning to enter into other people’s pain..even when it triggers my own
it isn’t so scary anymore.  i don’t think we like to hear people’s painful stories.  it makes us uncomfortable.
we only want to hear the fairytale ones..but i believe that jesus was drawn to the pain
people need to know they are not alone….hello!!!!

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
-2 corinthians 1:4

 i want to offer hope minus the judgement

i believe this is key KEY key!!

think on this with me:

it is wise to stay abreast of the latest information that will cause you to be able to
grow forward and not just go forward – bishop t.d. jakes

what if today you began choosing to rise..what would happen to those closest to you?
and if these around you are watching you “growing forward”..rising above your circumstances
what do you think that is going to do for them…if they choose?

after all…i have a choice to let all of the painful things in my life ruin me..or rise me
and so do you sweet girl…so do you!!!

…xo

 

 

 

 

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day 1/30- the wilderness memoirs

In my recovery
I’m a soldier at war
I have broken down walls
I defined
I designed
My recovery

In the sound of the sea
In the oceans of me
I defined
I designed
My recovery
james arthur – recovery

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hello.  i am tiffini and i am a relationship addict

Relationship addicts crave unconditional love, but live in constant fear of abandonment if they don’t live up to their own impossible standards.
They want to be free to love, but often trap themselves in a relationship by becoming pregnant or by weaving some other type of emotional spider web.
Drowning in the whirlpool of their own emotions, they turn to a rescuer who cannot swim.

for 16 the relationship took twists and turns that i would never in my wildest dreams  would have believed.  we won’t get into to much of that during these 30 days.
the focus of the days ahead will just be my time with God during the hard places and what i learned.  and in so many ways and on deeper levels..still am learning.  it wasn’t until i surrendered and let loose of my grip on control and began to really “feel” my feelings…my fears deeply layered between cycles of abuse that my own recovery began.

 

it is possible that many of our addictions are attempts to take the hurt out of our hinderances
beth moore – daughters of the day

the pain that was inflicted in my childhood left me a desperate teenager seeking someone who would numb my pain.

for as long as i can remember negative words have been my traveling companions and since i am a sponge i absorb everything much deeper than those say…
who let things roll off their backs

in recent years…words have become my modern day manna…my energy bar if you will
fueling my recovery from an addiction
being addicted to a living and breathing person is different from a substance.  my “substance” has a heart and breathes.  is the father of my children
and as much as i love him i can also hate him and the reasoning that goes back and forth as why stay with someone when it is so unhealthy is maddening!
i invested my whole being into being a mom and a wife…not only that…a “godly” one.  it was all fairytale hopes and dreams.

it was unhealthy and unrealistic
and it wasn’t until i hit bottom my eyes being opened to the circular living we were doing
insanity being the game we played.  it was our “normal”  i was eyewitness to the pattern growing up.  it was all i knew

it was in counseling that i began seeing my own childhood narrative being played out on the screen of my adult life
my children saying the same things that i used to think..but not really say
it was like eating popcorn until i was sick…knowing it made me sick i kept eating anyway until i was left vomiting my guts out..shaking over a
toilet..watching the remains spiral down
to save my life i couldn’t figure out why i couldn’t stop

i used hard and the withdraws are debilitating and more often than not .. sent me right back into the cycle
i defined myself growing up not so much by what they said but how they lived around me as a child
by others opinions of me
and at a certain age…by religion

by what i believed i had to be..to look like..to be loved and accepted

i was intimidated by men..especially men in authority.  still kinda am to be honest
i had it all upside down
i lived putting all of  my hopes dreams and drive into my children and my husband
in the end only to be majorly disappointed that is doesn’t work that way

these days by His grace and my willingness…God and i have been working on a recovery plan for me

one in which i get to design and define
not based on anyone else’s thinking but based in God’s truth and His love and grace
i said ENOUGH to giving my power away to everyone else
to the fear of failing and making a mistake..as if that was my only chance.  it isn’t.

i stopped being dismissive and am opening myself up to God
trusting Him with this new life He is laying
letting Him be the One who fills the empty places

this maybe a little bit what these memoirs will be about
daily snapshots of pieces of my recovery and what it “looks” like
the “hows” & “whats”
i always wanted to know “how”…how do i do that God?
how do i put that verse into my real life in such heartbreaking circumstances?

i can tell you this:  recovery isn’t for the faint hearted.  it is for the STRONG!  i used to believe i was so weak.  i was even told that and i only believed those words because
deep down that is what i believed about myself so when someone told me that it was only logical that i believed it
now i know i am not weak..or stupid

i am a warrior.  and i am worth fighting for.

GOAL

lets begin today to just think about what life would look like if  YOU believed you were really worth fighting for.  only YOU can change anything

…xo

 

SIDE NOTE:

there is HOPE.  always hope.  i used to believe there wasn’t any hope for me..my marriage..my kids
i have/am slowly learning that God can do things in your life that you wouldn’t believe EVEN IF He told you!
while it may not end up like you thought it would…or the journey takes a different route..YOU can be OK
i have ALWAYS had a dream.  God gave it to me and at 46 as i have begun to trust Him with all of me..and all of my mess
as i have been courageous and felt the fear and did it anyway…He is blessing that
i am beginning to see the “me” i always wanted to see…she looks a bit different than i thought she would…ha!  she’s missing
her whole large intestine too!!…smile

i am super excited to see where this recovery finds me and my sweet family.  i love them so much
but more importantly…God loves them much more than i do!

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my friday favorite things…

happy friday .. whatever circumstances you are waking up into today know you are LOVED and SEEN! i am hanging in there.  pain meds are my friend right now.  that is how i get through the day.  just keeping it real.  my step day and sister in law are such a blessing to me.  they are pretty much running things at the shop.  i just show up and do the easy stuff.  they ROCK!! don’t you just love finding new things.  food..tv shows..books..decor..quotes..just SOMETHING new and different..me too! i thought it would fun to share a few of mine..if you share a few of yours?  deal?…;)  i am sure yours are much more exciting!!

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don’t judge.  soda.  i know.  gave it up way over a year ago.  since the surgery i have been miserable and honestly..it makes me feel a little better and i justify it because..hey.. it has REAL sugar.  sold!  and glass bottles bring back memories of my dad would take my sister and i to get sodas.  i loved pulling that bottle out of those old machines!
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what about these cute crate & barrel plates? we will be using these at our gathering this weekend where we celebrate family.  click here and you can see the other designs
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thank you lissa!  one of my new obsessions.  this is the kind you save up for and treat yourself.  a special occasion.  something just for YOU to make you feel pretty or your home to smell pretty.  jomalone.com
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the girls surprised me with a little picnic in our backyard for mothers day.  they had pandora playing french cafe creating a sweet atmosphere for the girls and i to share our hearts and laugh together while enjoying edie’s grilled honey garlic pizzait really was one of the best mothers day i have ever had.
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old ways DO NOT open new doors so true!

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have you seen this yet?  if not — it is a MUST see

the fatherhood project / cory martin

favorite tv shows lately

true tory
guilianna and bill
the little couple
19 kids and counting — LOVING the courtship stories!!
the voice

i dvr them and watch them before i go to bed.  what are some of your favorite shows?  are you a before bed tv watcher too?

exodus home news

we have been getting a little more settled in our exodus home…we will be sharing hopefully next weekend some of those changes! what is your weekend being filled with?  what new things have you been enjoying..would LOVE to hear in the comments below have an awesome weekend… xo

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emails with the subject: do you feel like being brave?

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-emails with the subject: do you feel like being brave? in them –  if opened and YES is typed and SEND is clicked

will put new skin on words like

BRAVE

VULNERABILITY

TRUST

SURRENDER

what your afraid of
the most may be where
God wants to use you
the most.  silence the
voice of fear with faith
-layne schranz

in my small shadowed life God showed Himself faithful to me
i experienced by doing what i knew in my head and craved deep in my spirit

what i had read in umpteen books but so desperately wanted to experience myself
but little did i know that it would be

TBT as i audaciously trusted God and subsequently transported to jr. high and all the old tapes of

your not good enough
you aren’t pretty enough
you don’t say the right things
you don’t fit in

were on replay..over and over again as cracks in my salvation armor and sword hung to heavy to wield. i sat in my hotel room and cried
i felt stupid and vulnerable and wanted to run back home and wrap myself in my security blanket
where i know i am loved for all my flaws and broken places

but ya’ll…by His grace i didn’t leave…didn’t run
i stood in Jesus’s strength by offering Him my weakness…He is mighty in our weakness!!

what was trying to surface was the fear of not being loved
and i wanted these girls to love me

so i took a risk and text a friend and asked for prayer

and she wielded the sword over me .. for me
she reminded me to practice these words because
everything is a practice

here were the words that became my mantra
i trust you jesus

because you see..i knew i knew i knew that i was meant to be here
to many God stories that worked out for this to happen!
i can’t tell you why
the only thing i know is that in all the crazy moments that were unfolding inside of me
the #eyesclosed moments when i couldn’t take any good pictures like everyone else
arrived exhausted – just overcoming the fear of flying about did me in…haha!!
my legs swelled huge
i lived on cheesecake and biscuits because i couldn’t eat much of what they had
i quietly fought to find bathroom time to take care of the “bag”…with 250 plus women that was a little challenging
i felt so out of place…which was my own “junk”

in the midst of ALL of this what God gave me was eyes to see THIS

women who loved, prayed and spoke grace over me
that soothed my newly exposed skin..words like these from danielle burkleo
unless God is closing a door keep walking through them
STOP OVERANALYZING and FEARING everything instead LISTEN and say YES to God

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i was on sacred ground when hannah singer’s words fell
scars – visible or not – are reminders to us of God’s provision -
you don’t have to be free of the circumstances to be FREE -

leslie padgett’s words hooked my pain so i was able to enter into hers..
everything broken and lost is a testimony psalm 119:111 -
God takes us to the grand canyon of our fears and asks “do you trust Me now?”
Pain offers a CHOICE always to participate or not -
God will not tell you what to do until you know who you are –

what if we began to look at pain as a teacher?

i think our small group has a forever crush on honey holden..did ya’ll know she is a grandma too?  #grandmapower
it won’t ALWAYS be this way -
and that our STORIES are written in seasons -
and WELL..paw paws really ARE SEXY!!  #pawpawsaresexy

 

our CALLING FIRST is to Jesus – as He leads us – He will show us how to use our gifts or change them – lauren chandler

jenny simmons  words were anointed when she told the prison story and my heart couldn’t contain the words
“turn around and look at my daughter’s” 

and take time to throw candy – yes…besides “new skin” in shauna niequist story i would have to say throwing candy was powerful!

they became my blanket of security..wrapping me in their acceptance love ..

these women
these words
became my blanket that weekend
they became living pieces of vulnerability for me to witness

i was humbled
i was reminded
i was challenged
i was stripped

i saw no matter what her story was i related in some way
i learned something

i found God to be faithful

He showed up just like He promised me He would
i am practicing giving Jesus room to prove Himself faithful…

and i left with fresh new skin that burned with every word
and every tear that fell my cup was more and more full

i left with an amazing diverse group of women who inspire me to be the best me
who encourage me that God really is giving me a new song to sing
and that one day i will sing it

how to get there you ask?

choose to be brave in whatever is in front of you
EVERYTHING is a PRACTICE
be open to receive good gifts from God

BRAVERY requires vulnerability

being brave has no boundaries
you don’t have to have a catastrophic story to have a story
little or big in your eyes makes no difference - God wants to give you HOPE in your story

i can know many facts about bravery..read every book
sing every song
have 100 quotes around my house
but
until i trust God with me and my story
change will never occur be until i DO or CHOOSE to prACTice DAILY

running TO fear wielding my sword of FAITH and asking for help along the way
so i can grow.  change.

Jesus is a relationship.  He never disappoints.  His plans for us are only good.
this season is only temporary.  it will pass

but here is the moral of the story
more than likely it will hurt or be uncomfortable
that is way we have to take up courage and do it afraid

i may not over know this side of heaven what all of this was for other than
i did it!

i flew and i didn’t die

and if i want to continue to live in God’s wide & SPACIOUS place…in FREEDOM
then i will have to choose to take up COURAGE every.single.time

choosing to let Jesus continue to put more and more skin on the hard words

that if i choose to let fear win i forfeit healing
when i feel the pain and step into it i allow God to get in
my surrender is FREEDOM  my surrender is HEALING & WHOLENESS

there is HOPE in your story
and He whispers over you today and everyday
see…i am doing a New thing..can you not see it?
that being foolishly courageous is being all in – shannon martin challenges us in hard ways not just with her words but by her life..she is the picture of brave in the flesh..she DOES LIFE

that is the secret – what God is showing us..DO IT..praACTice it daily…it makes CHANGE
and don’t forget to throw candy!

move out of
your comfort
zone.  you can only
grow if you are
willing to feel
awkward and
uncomfortable
when you try
something new

 

 

 

 

 

 

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