Category Archives: My Story

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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what i would say to the little girl in me…

i wrote some of my heart out on wood…you know in the bible when it says He saves our tears in a bottle?
this is what i hear God say when he has cupped my face so many times…He drowns out the lies i hear with truth
He believes in me..He comforts me like no one else can…this is what He is telling the 9 year old little girl when her world
has broken into a million pieces and in her eyes her daddy would be there helping her pick up the pieces but so often that is not the
case for little girls…or boys
but our real Father…He bends down…our very own daddy – with His eyes sparkling with joy seeing us as we really are consumed with love He says…

 

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:i love my mom in this shirt:

you were born to blaze new trails
to pioneer great adventures
to reclaim new territories – take daring risks
to tell your one.of.a.kind story and
if necessary start a new page
use your story to CREATE a new future – don’t live in the past
never ever quit and when you fall hard…get up harder YOU are God-strong
when you cross over into new land and face unknown giants always remember

you are never alone- the God – of – the – Angel – Armies goes before you
you were born  a warrior – wounded scarred and battle-weary but SAVED by no strings attached GRACE
fight hard for your story – you are worth fighting for
you are ENOUGH.  you are strong and courageous
heaven is singing songs over you every.single.day
i know you will have BIG faith

slavery to anything is surviving
instead..choose to live FREE let faith not fear be your compass
TRUTH not lies be your guide
my prayer for you for all eternity is that God’s word – like blood -
pumps through your veins
that you crave His LOVE like the oxygen you breathe
you are set-apart..watch with eyes wide open for God do amazing things around you

remember to give God room to PROVE Himself FAITHFUL
God is with you ALWAYS-
make your mark by DREAMing BIG..because you never know that
you were born for such a time as this…write your HIStory…xo

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sometimes i sense a fire at my heels and the need to run….
i an sense it coming in my bones
the need for them to know

i wrote these words first to the little girl in me and then for all the little girls and boys who are lost…who have no voice
who feel abandoned…who are in hopeless situations

so they will know.  so someone will tell them…believe these words for them
i write them to my children…my grandchildren
because one day we may not live in a country where we are so free
a day doesn’t go by that i don’t feel grateful for all i have…all we have as a country
but i believe it isn’t always going to be this way

and i believe there is a call going out to prepare..we are not to live by fear
we are to be on the front lines

and i wonder have i taught my children … not by my words but by how i live..what i stand for
it’s time

i hope to have this sign ready before i leave for Hope Spoken thursday!!!!

more on that soon and we still have a big surprise i am DYING
to share with you but i think it will have to wait until after i get back…but it is worth the wait…she is worth the wait…and i get to squeeze her neck in less than a week…..eeeekkkkk!!!!

xo

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surgery scheduled & the winner of the fierce sign

honestly?  i have been wearing many hats lately.  running a business..growing it..is lots and lots of hard work
i am learning it is blood sweat and tears on my part and then letting God do His part
which means the down time i do have is usually spent answering etsy convo’s..planning the next days workload and putting something in my mouth to eat…cleaning house .. oh and i do find time to eat Mexican with my mom and girls!!  i love Mexican food!!

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it leaves little time to peruse my favorite blogs and leave comments
answering back comments on my own blog
all of which i miss terribly!!

but you know–it is part of growth.  it is a season.  for me..i know i cannot do everything- we aren’t meant to.
i can only do so many things and do them well so some things have to be set aside for a time.  and i am learning not to feel false guilt
or take on pressure that isn’t mine to take…you know?

and that is ok!

and honestly… i passionately love what i am doing and where i am at right now

i feel like i have been given a second chance in life..i am feeling better and stronger than i have felt in years
it has been a year april 28 since i had major surgery having my colon removed and a colostomy bag.  since then, i had another surgery to create a new pouch that takes the place of my rectum made out of my small intestine ( crazy right ) and then april 21 i will have the last and final surgery where they will hook it up and remove the bag.  while i am beyond grateful for this process, having a bag has been…life-alteringly HARD!!  and while i am super duper excited to not have a bag i am aware there will be some months of healing and adjusting to the new way of doing things.  it will be hard.  but I AM READY:)

i will never be “normal” again.  there will be things i won’t be able to eat.  there are some issues that pop up with jpouch’s and energy levels always seem to be an issue and dehydrating but being on this side of severe ulcerative colitis and having such a poor quality of life i will take this anyday!!

God has been my rock..my strength.  He chose me for my weakness…it has been through these hard places that i am willing to be teachable, by His grace, to be taken deeper into trusting Him

giving Him a real chance to prove Himself to me

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i am trying to learn everything i can from this experience and one thing i have been practicing is LIVING BRAVE!
to STOP DOING WHAT ISN’T WORKING..and figuring out why i keep going back

creating a new future – living day-tight as mark batterson says:)

nikki and i have so many things coming up–i have some fun news that i will share soon too:)

all of this being said
PLEASE know i think of you all often.  i do!  it is the way i am made.  i know those of you who pray with me..and for me and encourage me are part of the reason i am this far in the journey.  i am SO looking forward to the next part of the adventure–and i think it really will be an adventure!!

if i am to tell my story…i have to be at that place to help others get out…so this season of my life is part of that story
it is part of what i am to teach but i have to “live” it first…does that make sense?

ok…now for the winner!

we had 313 comments and random number generator choose 105

Ashley – ashmcferrin on ig –

i asked ONE thing you want to do this summer and Ashley said, ” my kids have been begging to go fishing for the first time…
so this summer i want to go fishing!….have fun Ashley..fishing is one of summers highlights:)…xo

whoo hoo girlie!!  email me at tiffkilgore@live.com with your address and it is boxed and ready to come home:)

xo

 

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this is worth fighting for & a winner

i needed to be encouraged…and i thought just maybe YOU did too

maybe your THIS is cancer, divorce, rejection, discouragement, depression, loneliness, or something so terrible it shouts but remains unnamed?  whatever is pounding loudly in your mind, your body, your soul, let me…let US be YOUR balcony person today..yes?

let me hug you with my words.  let me wallpaper your soul to mine.  let me encourage you to sing God’s song, and let me remind you that the song in YOU is His idea

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hear me when i say the apostle paul did not lie when he wrote, ” long ago, even before He made the world, God CHOSE .. US! me and you..to be His very own

i’m leaning way, way over your balcony railing; i’m waving my coat above my head, and i’m yelling above the frightening noises of your world, ” i love you!  i believe in you and your abilities!  you can do it!  keep at it!  keep on!!  He’s here beside me..our Abba..and He’s beaming with delight in YOU!  yes, that’s right, He’s here, and He’s not sitting down

YOU are His child, He is your father.  His coat is off too, and we are both in your balcony cheering YOU on together!!
–excerpt from balcony people by joyce heatherley

wasn’t that good?  i want to that kind of  balcony person.  and i need balcony people
i have struggled this week with something and through a song God reminded me that i am standing with an army

that i am not alone
that i just have to look around…and look up
there really are people in my balcony..cheering me on and up
rooting for me

and friend…look around…look up
i’m waving my hoodie for you!!  with tears streaming down my face
i am cheering you on…YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT

…xoxo

THIS is Worth Fighting For T is in the SHOP

when nikki & i saw these words we knew we had to create a tshirt
all of the items in the shop are inspired and pulled from our life

here is part of our mission statement i felt led to write one night
i want to make it into a sign for the shop–God’s shop
it is a joy and a gift to do what we do and we are humbled..truly
at your support of our business but more than that..of our hearts
in the words of ann voscamp
all is grace

2014 mission

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thank you for sharing your adventures with us
it was awesome to read each one!!

the winner of the circle maker book  is kahra!!  number 21!  email me at tiffkilgore@live.com with your address and i will have it mailed right out to you
ps..i wish i could send you tickets to paris too…don’t quit your daydream…layla @letteredcottage

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