day 4/30 – the wilderness memoirs : the antagonist & dreams

we need an antagonist if we want to be a part of writing an epic story!
here is the definition of antagonist is you need it:)
a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.
“he turned to confront his antagonist”
1. One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.
2. The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.
you ask me how God began speaking into my dream…
for me: it was kinda like this -
the pull of that “something more” that i wanted my whole life..you know the one you have had since you can remember?  that one
would come knocking and i would answer and it and i would talk for hours about what were going to do and then another knock would
always come..call it freddy kruger is that helps but it always won
i would bury the something more..the gift God gave me and expose the fear..the freddy kruger fear as i call it
nothing much was happening according to my years of journals .. or so it seemed to me
no real growth…as i saw it at the time ( looking back NOW…so NOT true )
i knew a lot in my head though and it took some hard knocks for me to begin to connect that the head knowledge had to connect to the heart to
grow me
i had to practice exposing the gifts and burying the fears in the arena called “real life”.
i had a habit of asking questions to the questions..
is this something i am supposed to do was one of my favorites! ha!
funny thing is deep down i always knew the answer but time after time
these questions would send me retreating into old patterns not because they are easy…but because they were safe and predictable
while very destructive i knew them like the back of my hand.
same old same old…
i shut down and the walls come up and there i knees to chest sit watching and waiting
the first “real” memory i have of God speaking into my dreams began something like this…
He would ask me to step out from behind those walls of protection
and be brave.  to  “feel” .. key word.. feel the fear and do it anyway
at that time brave and courageous were not fad words running rampant in blogland or in self help books…at least not the ones i was reading
but funny things is
these words didn’t escape me in the bible though.  they have run rampant there for 2000+ years
God knows we are made of molecules of dust and with one hot breath we could be blown to smithereens
sitting at that table..on that day..i did feel the fear and in my own way took a few small baby steps and did it anyway
only to be turned down..not once but twice!
defeat and depression soon had their arms around me consoling me.  hopelessness was not far behind
don’t you just HATE that tape?  it is SO NOT TRUE!!  it is a big FAT LIE!!
to feel fear only to be healed?
i am asking if my antagonist is kinda like paul’s thorn?  is this what is driving me to choose?
cause if i have been praying for years for healing..and i have…to be made whole..to really LIVE..to be free
then how else could that happen?
think about it!  without an antagonist i might be living out of my church mind..stuck in legalism and works and good-enoughs
and judgments–you know the laundry list
even as i type this thanksgiving is dawning deep in my spirit..thank you jesus
you answered my prayer from the last few days!
just from writing this out
i know i am to be thankful..i WANT to be faithful but sometimes i get focused on the antagonist only and i get off the path
all the hard-places
dissappointments
heartbreaks
devastation
childhood trauma
sunday is usually grilling day around here and yesterday was no different only this day grace wanted to watch harry potter
i reluctantly agreed and i am glad i did
at the end when voldemort–harry’s greatest antagonist–was finally dead…harry had FINALLY won
i saw those of us with lives riddled with struggle…the underdogs…uniting…why?
because in some way we too…are all living an the epic harry potter story and we want to win in the end too!!
i do!!  don’t you?
even harry…when caught between life and death asked the professor who he trusted
professor what do i do???
and the professor disappeared with no response
you see…harry had a choice
and so do we…God always gives choice
and what did harry choose?
harry chose to rise
oh friend…hang in there
hang with me would you?
keep our eyes only on you abba
not on anyone else’s journey..only ours
and maybe you can give us new eyes to see our antagonists as a gift
and i pray we be the hearts you are searching for
…xo
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Tara - You are touching my soul and breaking my heart open!!! Thank you for writing these memoirs, you are a true gift from God, words being used to heal!!! BIG Hugs!! Can’t wait for tomorrow, giving thanks for you tonight!:)

Kelly Cach - I’m hanging with you!!!!!

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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Sarita - God has given you the knowledge and strength to move forward….bravo Tiff!
Your words in this post are empowering to me.

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - Tiff, I am so deeply and sincerely moved by the strength and courage you’ve found in Jesus. I can feel through the screen that He is your love and your life and your light. He is the solid rock on which you stand…even when all around you is shifting and shaking. He is the source of your Bravehearted Beauty. You are that, you know. You are brave and beautiful. And becoming more so by the day. Bless you, brave and beautiful one. xo

Kelly Cach - Tiffini!!!
I’m reading this…I’m following your story! Just wanted you to know. Sometimes my comments post, sometimes they don’t.
We’d have so much to share if we were around the same table. Not exactly the same stories, but very relatable. I’m taking a break from ig and Facebook, but just couldn’t take a break from hearing your heart. You’re helping me express mine. I started journaling…that is HUGE for me, inspired partly by you.
Thank you!
LOVE YOU!

Lemonade Makin Mama - Just amazed at this post…. this series. Your words are blowing me away and though I haven’t experienced this kind of thing I am cheering you on and feeling like I’m getting such a deeper peek into your precious heart. Loving it!!

Love you girl.

Jill @ Cora Anne Designs - I’m getting a little caught up on your last few posts tonight. Such deep, real, writing. I’m never nearly as eloquent with words, but thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.

That quote at the end just hit me square in-between the eyes…”the weight of your future”….yes! We like to say the “future is so full of promise” but so often we let the unknown, the plans we’re trying to make, the expectations become a weight on us.

xoxo

susan@avintagefarmwife - You go girl! Your story isn’t over and HE is writing the next chapters! I’m clinging to Isaiah 41:10 these days….
“So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

What an amazing promise! Let’s claim it!

amy - I am getting out of a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. And I can relate to very word you write….. So powerful and raw. I get it. So very hard to break free. To Believe your worth……. Prayers to you my dear! Thank you for sharing…

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

photo-16
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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Sarita - We do have the choice everyday to let God shine through us. Not an easy thing to do sometimes. Our prayers can give us strength..

lissa - well written friend- especially the part about offering hope to others by the way you walk through your trials! love that. He’s doing a beautiful work in you my friend. it’s a marvelous thing.

Faith - Rising up. I love it. Have you heard of Baylor University? I came across their fight song last year called Rise Up and it has been my favorite song this last year. We can all Rise Up! You should check out the song. Here is the link: http://www.baylor.edu/nation/index.php?id=77243

Virginia aka Vava - Are you in my head? In my heart? I AM rising…and it’s so beyond me, it has to be God! This post was what I needed. Grateful for you and your IG posts. :)

Kelly Cach - I feel like you wrote this just for me.
THANK YOU!

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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Kahra Gilley - Wow! So honest and beautiful! Your words are such a blessing. YOU are a blessing!

Rhiannon - I am always amazed by you. I feel like you have more insight into your life and your soul than anyone I’ve ever met. I am impressed with how in touch with yourself and your life. Stay strong, dear!

Lemonade Makin Mama - Oh I think this is going to be good… and what an honest and real peek into your sweet heart. Love you girl… along the whole way and the whole process.

B - Tiff–
wow…I will email you.
Birgitte

Barbara - Oh I love this you are going to be recovered He will see to it!! God bless you!! I pray that you can hear his voice when you ask him for clearity. Thank you for letting us in.
Love,
Barbara

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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paige - it’s all so beautiful my friend
&
i love that you share life with us…the good, the not so good & your heart…you’re always finding beauty heart!

Deb Claytor - can you tell me where did you get your pillow cases? I love them, and my room is yellow….these would be great.

Jill @ Cora Anne Designs - So bright and cheery, and I LOVE that you feel like it’s an extension of YOU. Just as it should be!

lissa - I Just LOVE it! you have to tell me how you put together that orange sign! Did you buy it or make it? LOVE your style it’s just what you said, feminine with a little bit of masculine. amazing. I’m so happy you’re so happy there. praise! And you’re collecting some FUN books! I have most of the ones you have here. Books are one of my favorite things to have around- and candles, and flowers! Love you girl!

Lemonade Makin Mama - Oh man I haven’t read blog buddies for weeks and I am sure I’ve missed a ton of good things… these images are stunning. You girls are doing an awesome job!! Everything looks so welcoming and homey. I love that.

brenda - good to hear from you again. it has been quite awhile.
I am curious to know what you are doing to eliminate the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop ???
how have you been feeling ?? do you feel your health is on the positive side now ??

Shannon - Love what you have done so far in your new place. Light, airy, fresh and clean. A HAPPY feeling really shines through your photos. Slowly but surely it, will all come together. Thanks for sharing!

Ter'e - Thrilled that you are in your new home. I am already anxious about how you will decorate it for Christmas. I loved your last home’s fireplace and dining room.

While browsing Layla Palmer’s blog, I was so thrilled to see one of your signs!!!! YEA! You go girl!!!!! So perfect for their Sweet P.

Hope you are getting stronger and stronger with each passing day.

Kelly - I know you don’t know me, but I follow your blog along with many others and I am so blessed when I read it. Your spirit is so humble and I love how you talk about your fears. It’s so funny how God uses people we don’t even know to bless us!!! Thank you! Kelly

Kristen - When I need inspiration, I tend to head outside. Nothing inspires more than creation!

chasity - what’s your new favorite little shop where you got your table?
i live in oak grove and i’m always looking for a great new place
to shop.
:)

thanks!

chasity