Category Archives: My Story

the one post where i said a cuss word….

no doubt.

my finger runs lovingly over the map of my story.  tears wet the page blurring the words.  bethel..ai..paran..gilgal..the WILDERNESS

oh the wilderness.  the wandering.. doubting there really is hope.  despairing that i will ever see LIFE again in the land of the living

i know the promises spoken to me.  i wrote them all down.  the dates scribbled in my bible.  years of words spoken to me

years pass as the caravan marches on loaded down with mixed bags of pain & suffering..vicious lies..cheating & stealing..blaming..hearts raw and rough..dreams shattered and falling apart

i remember events at each dot.  each “town”

leaving egypt … moving toward the promised land.  years spent trusting and doubting.  caving in to my own ways.  subjected to others choices.  choices that left me stripped and wanting.. raw and angry

passionate and groping for a nameless deliverance that i didn’t even know what was needed

but somehow..someway grace gave me a hand up again and i kept going

and here i am at jerico.  an impregnable fortress where the enemies reside

but God said the promised land was flowing with milk and honey..but it had enemies too right?

i am looking up at the wall shielding my eyes from the sun

searing pain and a crack..face plants me on the ground..i wince.. my eyes scrunched tight trying to control my breath
and i can hear him breathe..heavy it comes bearing down my neck sending a shiver up my spine.  i can smell the putrid
odor of lies worming their way around my soul…trying to find a way in and my anger boils over.  the words fall on my wounds
like alcohol…burning and searing

oh God!! rocking back and forth i scrunch my eyes tighter…and over and over i say…help me..help me
i can’t do this..lie lie lie
i have come up against jerico for so many years….it echos in my head and i pull my knees tighter
scared to open my eyes.  i can still hear the breath..i can still smell the stench of rotting lies..luring me
enticing me to DOUBT

this is all so sickningly familiar…the tears burning hot down my face
hot anger tears.  more angry at myself

warrior woman WHEN are you going to get up and BELIEVE that you are a grown ass woman?!!
you are NOT a little girl.  you are not helpless anymore.  YOU CAN trust ME

a gentle but firm voice said OPEN your eyes!!  see Me!
just stop — breathe..open YOUR eyes.  you must be able to “see” child

the warmth of your hand abba..i feel it..wallpaper my soul to yours abba..i want to give you all of me.  all of my trust
just today..stay in today..i need You.  You are God and there is no one else who can save like You.  Your glory is what my heart
wrings itself for.

but i don’t understand it abba.  i don’t.  i wrestle You hard.  You and me..i fight it don’t i?
i have this burning fire inside me and i don’t understand it
help me..

i squeeze the hand of love offered to me

the gates of hell want to see us fall.  to see us bound all up in the wilderness fighting each our own battle of doubts all the while jerico looms before us.  waiting.  a GIFT already given through the blood of Jesus.  maybe we don’t know war like our ancestors.  things got to easy and they settled.  bodies sitting in lukewarm bathtubs.  settling for mediocre.  living dead.

i don’t want to choose that.  i want to be like the children of isreal that were about to take jerico and pray for the COURAGE to take the city–we cannot keep looking at what our ancestors chose — we MUST choose to believe now!  today and pray for the courage to take our JERICO’s.  they have a purpose in God’s plan..

I have already given it to You daughter.  i have made a way.  look back over you story map.  right now…LOOK
all of these places have taught you things.  things you will need as you enter this new land

YOU are worth it
it is TIME child.  we are going to circle the walls
i have already GIVEN it to you….

this is the scary part — YOU have to TRUST Me!

you have to give me the only thing that is valuable to you…YOU
your trust.  your SOUL..all those dreams you hold so close
those dreams are from Me.  I put them there
you have to TRUST Me with them!!
you have to let go of it
you have to stop asking WHY and trust Me…

i could still smell the stench of DOUBT…the lies…i could still feel the worms
so i reached down and picked up my shield..my hands sweaty as they squeezed tight

” the LORD of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the jordan…do not come near it ( the ark of the covenant = the presence of the Lord ) that you may know the way by which you will go, for YOU HAVE NOT PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE…then joshua said to the people, ” consecrate yourself, for tomorrow the LORD will do WONDERS among you.”

DOUBT will not win this time–we are in for a hard battle but we have the ONLY One that we need leading us..xo

 

 

 

 

 

ngs

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the first messy spill of my heart with no editing….

warrior woman

 

i wish i would have known.

i was trying to find this image and it led me on a reminiscing of sorts.  my life in blog form

this is the house where this post came from.  it was where God came down in a very real way and changed the course of our lives.
i struggle missing this house.   i believe this was number 17.  houses i mean.  in 20 years.  that is a lot of houses.  i had my first real soul friend here.  i fought hard to stay.  for the kids.  for me.  i have achingly longed for a home of my own.  to just be somewhere.

years of fighting took its toll on everything.   a chronic disease from a chronic life of not trusting.

i have wanted to write since i saw stacks of yellow legal pads that my grandpa wrote on when i was a little girl.  i don’t know what he wrote about i just know he wrote.  as i grew older i found love stories.  at 12 i was reading novels that were inappropriate for a girl my age.  i was drawn into their story lines.  i wanted that “love” in my life.  to be loved like that.  at 12 you have no idea what real love even is.

i cry writing these words.  there is so much sadness at the length i would go for love.  to belong.  i had a gaping hole and i spent years trying to fill it.
to a wounded young girl you don’t realize that when you take a bottle of sleeping pills to get a guy to love you isn’t written on paper it is mortal.  you can’t write the character back to life.  and if you could shake that girl and tell here…HE isn’t worth it!  you life will be a living hell…and she would listen.  but you can’t. ( but God was always right there )

no one can tell you when you are hell bent on your own way can they?

i used to think being strong was getting back at those that hurt you
was being able to survive.
was being right
i used to think it was controlling things so that i could feel safe
i used to think being strong was sucking it up.  dealing with the pain
i used to think blaming made it ok
i used to think having babies was having a family.  was having someone to love

i am just weeping as i write.  the memories are sad.  i wish i would have known
i write this not to live back there again because i don’t…much but to begin to make some sense of my story so i
can share it someday.  there is so much that i don’t ever know where to start so i just don’t.
this year i want to begin

i wish i would have known how deep the pain would be of divorce
of letting your children live with their dad thinking it would be best
i wish i would have know that being whoever someone wanted so that they would stay wasn’t really love
i wish i would have known that someone belittling you wasn’t love
that strings attached to love isn’t really love
i wish i would h
ave known how to leave
i wish i would have know that the grass isn’t greener and that often…when your own life isn’t healed you choose something
way worse

i wish i would have know preachers aren’t always safe and they too can be wounded and wound people..families

i wish i would have never entered that church that day.  never talked to that man.
i lost so much of myself…my family through all of that

i wished i would have been able to leave and be on my own and be ok with that
i wished i could have left 10 years ago when my kids begged me

i wish i would have know i was a strong woman…
i always wanted to write.  i am NOT a writer in the sense of all the amazing authors i read…bloggers i read.
all i have is my story and for some crazy reason this won’t leave me alone.  for years to write my story hounds me.
i can’t explain it.  and i struggle because i don’t know grammer.  i can’t make sense…ugh

i laugh…

oh abba..if i would have know all of these things
if i wouldn’t have taken the road i choose i wouldn’t have a story to tell would i?
i couldn’t enter into others pain and sit there
i would never have known of YOUR love.
i would never have known what real strength is
real heart healing..forgiveness..i wouldn’t be learning of boundaries

that saying no doesn’t mean i don’t love you
that being real..being vulnerable is being strong

…sigh
breathe out

as the new year turns the page i am face down hands out reaching for more of YOU
my house is a mess and honestly?  that isn’t going to change no matter how much i muster up the new year get organized mantra.
i am living in a house i am grateful for but i don’t like.  at all.  there are strings attached.  i am praying this year for God to open up a home for me.  when it is time.  it would be a miracle to do so on my own but He is God in every season isn’t He?

this year i just need more of You God…more of me.  more changing.  more real…more of what it ETERNAL!  more healing
more JOY…more PEACE!  amen and amen

i am learning that.  He is showing me that as i grow in trust.

He has shown me that taking responsibility for ME . for my actions is the only way to CHANGE
it wasn’t about changing everyone else
God wanted to CHANGE ME!

when we begin to really change it changes everything else
BUT
it is a loooong journey.  it hasn’t happened in a month or a year.  it has been a process of surrendering
of months of not hearing God.  dark places of the soul
deep valleys sprinkled with a few mountaintops
but it is arduous!

you see…what i am knowing this new year is looking back over my life — He is shaping me into this courageous woman that He always knew me as.  i am a stubborn daughter and He loves me anyway.  He wants my heart.  i have always wanted things from Him.  to be rescued.  to help me…and He wants to help me but not in the way i sometimes asked.

all of the pivotal points in my life He is using to shape me as i grow in relationship with Him.  that is what He wants from me.
and He does His best work in the weakness.  in the surrender.  in the giving up of my life as i see it.

and friends…in this giving up my life He has taken me in places that i cannot even put words to yet.  when He gives permission for your health to be touched it can turn your world upside down.  life seems to be easy when you have your health, money, family a home etc.  the tangible things in life but touch the heart of you soul….

so this year while my house is a chronic mess..it is to cold to clean my truck out and dog hair prevails
i am choosing to take His hand for one more day.

because you see….He is all i really need.  He is the only One who can heal me from the inside out.  not just a diseased colon but a heart.
and not only that…He can use it to help others and He will be seen.

that is my humble prayer.  that all of my life choices He really can use for my good and His glory.
and that all of my kids will KNOW Him in a very personal way.  that He is the ONLY way.

that they will be able to take the hard things in their lives…from my choices and see them as nuggets of gold
to be written into the pages of their stories…that God is still ABLE to redeem.

running to Him with open arms….xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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what if we prayed circles around our own Jerico’s?

This would be the year that we would be just bunch of messed-up, broken-down people — with a swordBecause every. single. one. of. us. is  facing. one. hard. battle.   
–ann voscamp

photo (6)

nothing happens by accident when we have eyes to “see” the sacred

the timing of ann’s #memoryproject2014  and evan g coopers book recommendation the circle maker

that i have some deeply buried dreams
sacred visions that i want to go for
giants that i have long wanted to see slayed that are still standing in defiance

if feel an urgency within my spirit..

so i cut out living words printed on paper…

i have deep wounds that are infected.  wounds that i allow to be continually broken open
and i have been trusting God to get me out…in His way and it is HARD

so i read about prayer circles…about finding my “jerico”

and my mind & heart begin to beat faster.  God is speaking….

WHAT IF’s… begin pounding in my brain and i can’t write fast enough

Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of "what-if."  ~Dodinsky
source link was broken…

what if we each found God’s heartbeat for us..

what if  we DARED to TRUST God to fight our battles and began putting action to our unique dreams

what if we quit fighting in our own energy and began to trust His?  i mean really trust…

what if we really choose to LIVE instead of FEAR

what if we stopped letting false guilt and shame keep us from becoming a naked page for Him to write on?
after all He has already given each of us a song.  our very own song woven into the fabric of our soul
it is not ours to sing

it is HIS!

HOW do we DO..in real everyday life…THIS?

prayer SWORDS!  we are spiritual beings who have been given the weapons to fight
problem is.. we don’t use them.  we use our energies.  and they are not God’s weapons

people ARE NOT our enemy!

we have to prayerfully figure out what our jerico’s are.  what habits we want to see be set from?
what do we want to see a breakthrough in?  what do we want to see happen in the lives of those we love but in OUR OWN LIVES?

if we are changed it begins to change everything around us

in the lives of our family..friends
a book to write..a ministry maybe..starting a family..abusive relationships..the list is endless

we cannot fight in our own strength.  been there done that.  a lesson i continually have to come back to

in a matter of two days these two things came into my life –
God is calling – are we listening?  

what if we begin together by praying circles around our Jericho’s?

WHAT IF this is the year for that one battle that you have been fighting for years..for the walls of it to come crashing down?

get the book…download the verses

THIS is the YEAR to plant for a HUGE harvest!….xo

 

 

 

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the new collection – a contest – and a challenge..of sorts

we shot the last of the signs today and are busy getting the shop ready to open which is why i have been absent from here.

how have you all been?  i bet you have been thinking about this last year and the new year ahead.  i know i am.
which brings me to this–no WORD of the year for me for me this go round
being present within each day..one day at a time… is enough for me.  my experience has showm me..me talking about me
here .. that part way through the year the WORD of the year went out the window.  long since forgotten

2013 has been one of the hardest years i have EVER experienced.
you can read about my surgeries here here here and here

baglady

a growing business that my health seemed determined to ruin
life can change in a second and leave you never the same…grasping for air
for some sort of footing when the ground is crumbling out from underneath you
you just can’t seem to breath and you scream and
no one hears
been there?  yeah..me too.

i have struggled HARD with unworthiness and the feeling of not “belonging” my whole life which is the origin of my blog title
looking back over the last year and am undone.  the outpouring of grace that you all have shown me.  your support of our business

i am blown away

i am grateful to God for His provision…grace..for His constant and unchangeable love for his wayward daughter
that i am the daughter of the king of the universe STILL blows my mind!

i laugh when i think we have a business.  a mother daughter business.  i must admit that i am OVER the moon doing what i am doing and who i am doing it with.  nikki just gets me.  i have always said we are like moses and aaron.  she is my mouthpiece when i make no sense. she is able to capture my heart for the story i am trying to tell

she does that when she designs the signs i tell her i see
and by pulling of a photo shoot in our backyard..even after the wall fell over twice

that is what photographers are.  they are soulographers.  ( i first saw this word here ) they bring to life what is in the visionaries soul.
it is similar to the relationship of peanut butter & jelly.  they go together

she is the one that encouraged me to blog.  she see’s things in me that i don’t.  she believes in me.  she is my teacher in so many ways. she’s awesome that way.

this is really want i want to say to you today–

cuff

to take you by the hand and tell you that YOU ARE going to make it!!

you CAN do it

i don’t care if you have to get up 75 thousand times.  GET up!  wherever you are right now…do it

you really really don’t know what is around the corner.

God is able to do things you could never dream up even if you tried.  trust me.  i am living it

i have learned that everything can seem to be falling apart all at the same time that your dreams are being realized

my heart for house of belonging this year is to continue to take you with me on my journey.  this year is going to be FULL of new adventures.  some so hard you think all is lost..some so beautiful they will leave you breathless and if we are open and receptive we will be loved all the way to life by the One who loves us FULLY!

i believe – if we surround ourselves with words that they will seep into the fabric of our life and will change the course of our lives

when we created the deeper still collection it was with much prayer.  the words on each sign mean something personal to me.

 

you see–i am on a journey.  an exodus in a way.  i have yet to share that part of my story with you.  when and if..the time is right i will but for now know that truth will set you free but you must be willing to let go of

your understanding
your dreams..in the way YOU think they should come about
let go of yourself

you must surrender.  not just once

but every moment of every.single.day

you will fail miserably some days.  some weeks and yes…some years.

but you must must get up and keep going

i am so…( i struggle here for the words ) humbled that we get to share US with you.  we are not perfect.  that is not even the point is it?

i just pray with all my being that this collection cracks open your soul..

your dreams

your story

your adventure

and for the first time…in maybe a really really long time–at this time next year– you will be seeing new growth..new healing
new LIFE..a stronger BRAVER deeper woman

these words are for YOU

COMING thursday january 2 the DEEPER STILL collection.  
the shop re-opens with the first round of soul-crafted words

 

deeperstillcollection

from our hearts to yours

be sure to check our instagram @houseofbelonging for a contest to win a 60.00 gift certificate towards the
Deeper Still collection…tuesday around 10am cst…xo

 

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hanging in there…

i won’t keep you but wanted to update ya’ll that i am home…AGAIN!

IMG_5003

 

i am hanging in there much like this little leaf dancing above me today.  i got myself off the couch just long enough to step outside with the camera.  the air had that campfire fall smell to it.  i wanted to be a part of it if even for a few minutes.  which is about all i have up and around these last few days before i am sitting..or laying down again.

the last surgery was hard.

this surgery has been harder.

i came home for the second time yesterday afternoon after another 5 day stay.  i have been in the hospital almost two weeks except for the two days i came home after the surgery before going back to the hospital by ambulance due to a blockage.
they shipped another 18 signs out  this last saturday.  i will have carissa come next week and she will get started on the rest of the orders.

please give me another week to just be and get a little stronger.  i can’t eat food yet.  i was just cleared for a full liquid diet friday.  it has been over two weeks since i have eaten….i watch the food network all day.  weird right?

pray for no more blockages and for my diet to be able to advance to soft foods

jpouch surgery is where they take the small intestine and form a rectum.
my old stoma is gone and now there are two pieces of intestine where there used to be one.  this is only temporary.

in 10 weeks i will be able to have the last surgery called the “takedown” where they hook up the two pieces and tuck it in
and close up the hole where the bag was.  i will never ” go ” like normal but with some months of healing and training i will be able
to at least eat salads and veggies and all the foods i love and have missed!  i am keeping my eye on the prize

thank you for all the cards and gifts…the blanket is like a piece of your love wrapping around me.  God’s arms loving me through others

i’m so grateful….xotiff

 

p.s. to read more of my stoma story click here and here or here

llustration of a cross-section of the abdomen showing how a J pouch is constructed by the surgeon.

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