Category Archives: stomastory

sometimes miracles & messy go hand in hand



**i am sharing some tidbits below so you know that things are not perfect.  bloggers don’t always share scenes behind their life and they shouldn’t have to.  not everyone is called to do that.  that is not their purpose)

sometimes miracles and messy go hand in hand

new refrigerator broke so for the last week we are using the garage as the refrigerator and the back deck for the freezer
(thankful for below zero temps huh?:)
the dishwasher didn’t work
2 out of the 3 toilets clogged
we had a  snowmaggeddon with sub zero temps
moving and then having the shop at the old house so i had to travel back and forth the best i could in the bad weather
a business that is beginning to thrive
my daughter and the grand babies staying for a week
washer / dryer still at the other place
dealing with daily pain from my last surgery and this whole bag thing…ugh!!
truly is life changing
i have a third and final surgery coming up

and i stand looking in on my life
on one hand i am so miserable each day..physically
on the other hand God has stood me back up on my feet in WONDER!

for the first time in my life i have no resources of my own
one of my strengths has always been that i “felt” i could work circles around everyone…i mean i really thought i was superwoman
i ran the whole house…did all of my children’s responsibilities even!  i taught a woman’s sunday school class..all while having a newborn and homeschooling the other children
i seem to be able to see other people’s potential and would use my energy trying to make them have the drive to “be what i saw they could be” even though they didn’t care to be that

crazy right?

well now…the last oh…7-8 years developing a chronic disease that slowly ate up my intestines even while i pushed through all of that for years as if i wasn’t sick…landed me last april with my colon being totally removed and having a bag attached to my abdomen to go to the bathroom in

so lets say this
that that LIE in my right hand that i was believing and trusting in was that i had the strength to do many things without God
didn’t work anymore and that put me in a downward spiral for quite sometime

so when God blindsided me with this house and the news i will be sharing later this week please KNOW there is a BIG BACK STORY to all of THIS –

while i am FULL…i mean FULL of praise right now
and WONDER at all that God is doing…i don’t DARE take it for granted..i am fearful that i would and that would devastate me

mark batterson says it perfectly for me–

having a vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big
and it may feel like your setting yourself up for failure, but your actually setting
god up for a miracle.
how God performs the miracle is His job
my job is drawing a circle around the God given dream and if i do my part
i might just find myself standing 3 feet in quail

now drawing circles around things is not some magic formula
i remember the first time i knew God spoke to me while i was reading the bible
i wrote the date beside the verse
it was august 12, 1996
i remember was in the “office” of our home on 213
sitting on the floor

it was then that i began to know God has a plan for me
and as the years went by i would jot down the date next to verse i felt God
bring to life for me
at times i thought i “knew” what God was going to do

but most of the time i tried to figure them out..or understand them
which kept me from doing anything about them

friends::  it is in the stepping out and is in the is is RISK
how many ways can one say it before we HEAR IT…by hearing it we DO SOMETHING!

that was 18 years ago!

in God’s timing things can take a long time
which drives our human selves crazy

so please please don’t read my story and compare it to your story
what i can share with you is that those 18 years were bitter years that stole so much of my life
and my children’s
there has been permanent damage done..breaches that may never be mended
our heart are like a piece of fine wood
fine sandpaper can smooth out a rough spot
but take a course grit sandpaper used with force altars the wood.  scaring it.  forever changing its shape

and that is kinda what’s happened to our hearts

wounded people hurt people and when they can’t take responsibility for their actions and work on changing themselves
it then turns to us
we have to take responsibility for our choices and begin a grand adventure for yourself by taking God’s hand
and letting Him lead you out



sorry this is so long:/ –  this is what i wrote in my journal over the weekend and i believe this mindset is what we need to begin practicing to be a GIRL ON FIRE!!  this shirt was inspired by my friend ya girlie:)

photo (12)

this shirt is in SHOP!  it will be available in other shirt styles soon

but listen…yesterday in my quiet time i read the whole book of hebrews and WOW!  some of it was hard but here is what i
wrote in my journal that encouraged me and i hope encourages you… if you find yourself in a hard place today

let the spirit cup your heart with these words

leave finger painting and move on with the grand work of art ( i loved loved this!!)

move from salvation by self-help
trust toward God

there is SO MUCH MORE in God
let’s get on with it

stay on the course with committed faith
abraham stuck it out – kept trusting
God’s promise until he got everything God promised

grab the promised hope with both hands

this new plan =covenant I’m making with israel isn’t going to
be written on paper,
isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
this time i’m writing out the plan IN THEM


carving it out on the lining of their hearts
i’ll be their God
they’ll be my people

we can LIVE all OUT FOR GOD

stick it out

because we are NOT QUITTERS! who lose out
on no, we’ll stay with it and survive, trusting, ALL the WAY!

shoot adrenaline in your SOULS today

God HIMSELF is FIRE…the God in the burning bush…oh man i LOVE this word picture

that my God…the One who loves me through all my on FIRE!

so let’s go outside where Jesus is
not trying to be privileged insiders
the inside world is not our home

let our hearts be stirred by sibi’s post the new church lady?

let’s light our hearts on fire by the God of FIRE and burn for Him so others
can see and know God is real..He is personal

He longs to be a part of your story
he can take all the back story and begin to recycle it into something beautifully useful

there has been years of pain to get to this exodus home…and the news i will be sharing in the next few days
i am struggle with feeling guilty about but truly…i am overcoming that with trust.  why?
because God is doing a work…not just this house but He is doing a work in hearts right now
it is His work!  it is about God…not a house.  it is about relationship.  a relationship with God

to show us…HIM
that believing in HIM….letting go of self help…and casting ourselves all over Him
allows Him to do BIG things…He WANTS us to live out our dreams…HE PLANTED those DREAMS inside you
we have gotten waaaay to man made in our faith

it is time to set your world on FIRE and begin
together with God our GRAND WORD of ART

photo (11)

oh darling shirt is available in the SHOP

because what i am tasting …now…of God
i want MORE of..not the things…HIM

and hebrews tells me…as well as every other book in the bible that there is so much MORE of God
that we will never get full!!  it satisfies like nothing else i have ever tasted
the more i step out in trust the MORE LOVED i feel
the MORE SEEN i feel

i am now choosing to build my life on trust when hard things come understanding that it is these hard things
that are teaching me to be able to run farther and faster

that God has a story to tell

no one else has my story
no one else has YOUR story

lets together be the adventurous pioneers of our time so the next generation can look back and say
they never quit!

they endured
they believed God
and let’s by our faith…our running the race and not quitting

set others FREE to to do the same
imagine the landscape of america if this kinda of fire was burning brightly

instead of telling with our mouths what we stand against

let’s start showing by how we LIVE…how BIG GOD is…and let GOD do the work
after all HE is the spirit that moves hearts

not ranting and raving and pointing fingers

one last thought
there is NO END to the parameters of your life when we choose to LIVE BRAVE

i will be sharing this key in the photo above and its meaning later this week..  praying your heart is stirred
to let go of all that is holding you down and look to the ONLY ONE who will lead you out if you will be strong
and courageous and TRUST






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 at a time… is enough for me.  my experience has showm 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


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? 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–


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 the way YOU think they should come about
let go of yourself

you must surrender.  not just once

but every moment of

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 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



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



hanging in there…

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



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.


a quick update on surgery

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole.
Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

 i vacillate.  one minute i am wanting to tell my kids my heart in case.  i am sure that is normal right?


they are gonna see me naked!  some of the surgery will be performed by the davinci robot so i will be laying with my head tilted toward the ground.  i laugh thinking of loose skin tilting toward the ground .. kinda like when you jump on the trampoline and skin goes up when
your coming down…does anyone get this?  i know your out but i think all women worry about being seen naked don’t you?

talk about being vulnerable.  ugh

i didn’t think about trusting God being a risk until i saw lissa’s facebook post last week.  it didn’t slip by me.  i knew God wanted me
to know this verse…well not ONLY know it but believe it for this surgery.

my surgeon, nurses and other jpouchers have said this surgery will KICK your butt.  that i will feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.
it is the hardest of the three.  good to know..i think

this is the 2nd of 3 surgeries and the hardest.  this is where all the reconstructing of everything will happen.  they will make a new rectum from my small intestine…crazy right?  i will still have the bag for approx. 12 after while everything heals up.  then they check the bag with dye to make sure there are no leaks and
that everything is healed.  the 3rd surgery is what they call the “letdown” and they will make all the plumbing work the old fashioned way..

the surgery will last approximately 6 hours.  it begins at 7:30 cst.  this time i have a wise pain dr. on board.
he suggested an epidural be placed before i go completely under to manage the pain better in recovery.  pretty amazing stuff!:)

there are a couple of more risks with this surgery with 2 of them being

bleeding & infection

so if you would pray for those two things – NO bleeding, NO infection and NO blood clots!
good pain control
that i have my right mind when back in my room
that the dr’s are amazed at how quick my recovery will be
that everything will wake up quickly so i might have a 5 day hospital stay instead of 7?:)
and for my family because they are scared too. Especially my kids.  chelsee my second oldest daughter who lives in florida is sad and scared she can’t be here

please follow me on INSTAGRAM to get updates on the surgery


i love all of you and thank you for all your support and prayers.  i know i am surrounded by a great cloud of word women.
i will picture that in my mind when i go back to the OR

i was pulling an I Am His sign last night and the words fell on me in a new way

I AM HIS - 18" x 36" ( new size )

i ( tiffini ) am
a daughter of the KING
who is not moved
by the world
for my God is with me
& goes before me
i DO NOT fear
for I AM HIS…xo



it began with my abraham moment…God wanted my isaac


i am pregnant with words
so much so that i have to pace myself
so i am going back to this post for a bit and taking it apart to share some of the things i doing to change my behavior
of what is working and what is not

i asked here how to get off this merry go round called life..the frenzied frantic pace we live here in america and all the while a smile
plastered on our face and lips that quickly say i’m good how are you?

but on the inside i am caving..praying someone would see me and save me..

how do i slow down?  what does that look like?  
well i by no means am an expert but i can share what it is looking like for me
i am sure i will edit as i go but for now this is what i am doing

for me it began by asking for help…literally.  i needed an intervention
sometimes your kids can’t give you what you need.  they aren’t supposed to.  even when they are grown children
i was drowning in life.  it came to a screeching avalanche of sorts with big and little pieces being shaken loose and they were picking up force
on their way down
i saw it..felt it..knew it

and i had a choice
i could let them all fall
keep the plates spinning in the air by sucking it up and letting the bitterness fueled by hurt keep burning hot and hard

glory be to God i began the process of letting some of them fall
and that someone & Someone showed up in a very real tangible way
i think this is just simple and we make it so HARD
it is called SURRENDER
it is hard because it HURTS.  it hurts because God is asking for those things that are most precious to us


i call it my abraham moment…God wanted my ISAAC…and ONLY HE knows when we are really surrendered

and the weight..oh the weight girls..the bitterness and anger and the want to control was gone in almost that moment
years of me asking…abba how do i forgive in this?  how?  i wrestled with God for years with this question
and because we are given a choice and He never forces but so gently loves us all the way and never leaves our side
He lets us wrestle…and WAITS until that divine moment in eternal time when we have had enough

and that was our moment
i heard Him speak so clearly on that porch that morning
i pray i never forget

so it begins with a choice cradeled in divine timing

i had to have someone from the outside that could see.  that knew me almost better than i know myself.
that knew all my ugly
sometimes we can’t see the forest from the trees
we need someone who can see inside our mess where we can no longer see

i was given a daily plan
my work space was cleaned up and organized.  i wasn’t overwhelmed when i walked downstairs to work.
slowly things have a home.  things were built to help me work smarter.  not harder.
i am off of the floor now when i built frames for signs.  it is WONDERFUL.  it is just a baby step but one i can firmly stand on
while i wait for the next
i have a candle down there now…glass in the back door so it is no longer dark and more lighting was installed

simple things like that can make all the difference


then my goal is 5 a day.  5 to stay alive...funny but it works for me right now.

5 signs a day and box and move them out.
i was all clogged and overwhelmed…

this give me a goal for each day

a manageable GOAL.  so important for a LIST MAKER…i feel like i am accomplishing something

someday’s…like yesterday.  i had a hair appointment that takes several hours so i had to give myself grace knowing
i couldn’t do 5 signs yesterday but i could do 5 things…and that is OK

you see for someone who has a HURRY addiction…thoughts bombard your mind
you can’t stay FOCUSED on any one thing and it drives you crazy because your list of to do’s grow so big
you feel sunk before you ever embark.  it can be debilitating

FOR NOW – lots of things don’t get done within each day and that is ok too
right now getting our signs done and out the door are second
my health and healing are firstick… is that a “christian” thing to that selfish?  boy have i fought that lie
but yes…if i’m healthy and willing then my family will be too.  it just works that way

i learned something from watching the author to the book untethered soul...kinda new “agey” but i saw a practical way…a tool if you will
to help me deal with my mind.  after all that is where the battle is the bible tells me.
when things come into my mind…a disturbance if you will…something is said that triggers me..triggers the thorns or wounds in my spiritual flesh..whatever those may be
i stop and ask the question
is this worth me being disturbed???


most of the time it isn’t
so i lean back into abba’s arms and just let it go by-in my minds eye i picture it just the way i said it.

i am practicing DOING this.  everyday.  so that it creates a new way of being.  of behaving.  and it is working

and if it is something that i need to address…i can then do so from a calm place
it also gives me clues as to where i may need some healing.  why is this or that upsetting me so much..that sort of thing

i am SEEING so much FREEDOM in forgivenessin the amount of ENERGY i have given to things that  are not glorifying to Godand hurtful to me


this is the ONLY LIFE we are gifted.  how i am spending my time is so valuable to me now
i don’t want to spend it trying to sale signs and just building more and more
that can become a snare…for me
i want to teach what God is teaching me
one step at a time

signs are wonderful.  i love them.  i am humbled and blessed by the business God has grown for us.  period!
however–there are a bazillion sign makers out there…and some good ones.  my friend tara is one of them!
she is a true friend…a soul sister who prays over me and i want to lift her up.  i no longer want to be bound by anything that would
hinder me or anyone from pursuing their calling…you know what i mean?  it can wear a sister out…:)


i want to become an encourager
THAT is what the body of CHRIST is.  it isn’t a building for pete’s sake
it is a living breathing  organism of stories!!
we are called to love each other
LOVE..put aside our judgement..our anger..our wanting to fix..our jealousy..our WANTS..our being RIGHT..
it gets me gives meaning to my my life

we are called to surrender
we are called to freedom
we are called to come along side and comfort with the comfort we are comforted with

it began with my ISAAC
what i call a wide open surrender.
take it abba
speak it out loud


give it a voice
whatever ugly you have been hiding
speak it
God is a GIVER of grace for TRUTH
there is healing in the light of His LOVE
by His stripes we are healed

intentionally living much slower within each day for sure
literally taking thoughts in my head captive…all day long
taking the time to pay attention to them and doing something with them
letting the spirit help me control them.  DOING something with them

and STOP letting my thoughts control me
glory to God..and amen


:::: disclaimer ::::

and here i smile big but i just have to say this.  for my sweet friends
none of you will EVER know how much your words .. your comments mean to me
often i read them and weep
i am a heart sleeve wearer
i don’t suck up and play games which translates – i am pretty real on here
all my crazy out there for all to read but that is what i feel God calling me to do

even more now.  slowly it is coming so i do apologize for not being clear and if you don’t understand
somethings i just can’t say on here yet.  it isn’t time and i have to think of my children
God will let me know when and if it is time so some things may not make total sense
they will someday:)

and i am just learning to spread my writing wings.  so i am giving myself grace to just share each time
what God would have me to.

in my way
and by that i mean not comparing myself to the writers i soooo admire and wish i were like
the truth is i am not like them
i have my own story like they have theirs and i have to honor mine like i honor theirs

The House of Belonging
i got the infection…and i never want to be cured either ann:)

i am willing to learn and grow
but for now…first and foremost all that is going to come out on here is me just sorting and sifting through
what God is showing me

i will share it piece by piece and then go back and dissect it even more…hopefully more clearly…ha!
anyway…i beat myself up for not having time to comment back to all of you every.single.time
someday i hope to but please KNOW that i value and read each one.
i am in your debt my warrior women sister friends..truly

in His grip of grace and not letting go

Prayer of FAITH is based in relationship with God rather than in what other people say about God.
In this posture we believe that God can do for US what we CANNOT DO for ourselves.
For months, this was the only prayer I could pray–”God do for me what I cannot do for myself”.
And then all I could do was wait-
and the LONGING within me carved deeper and DEEPER into my soul-making space for the WORK Of God…
-pilgrimage of a soul – phileena heuertz

These words spoke so deeply to me. #pilgrimageofasoul #myheart#godanswersprayers #grateful #believingGod