our ‘first’ home tour – look how far we’ve come

good morning ya’ll!  so happy you stopped in.  i have been smiling all morning thinking of you..really!

my love for Jesus has become equally matched with my love for what i call re-building our first home on reclaimed land!
for more on the backstory you can read here and here and here.

remember this home tour?
before we move forward with our exodus home i wanted to reminisce the home where our story began to take a new turn.
the 19th move i knew God wanted me to surrender too.

i didn’t want to go there because i knew i would have to co-exist with old memories.

i wanted to go because i told God to lead me on the road to Somewhere
and block any road to Nowhere and that i didn’t want to go anywhere that He didn’t go with me.
 

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N.N. - the thing i love most about your home is how happy it makes YOU! all the colors are so well put together, they make me happy too.
thanks for sharing your home.

KristiYaYa - Looks just like you sprinkled charm all over the place!!! I love it!!!!!

chasity - so bright and cheerful and LOVELY lovely LOVELY!

Meet Tiffini from House of Belonging... - Jennifer Rizzo - […] You can see her home tour here and all of her cozy goodness […]

Stacey - I love it! Your home looks happy and smiley! Love all the colors.

Karen @ a house full of sunshine - Beautiful home tour!! So warm and welcoming!

Julie Norkus - I love your passion for Christ as well as your home!!!!

LISSA - Oh tiff! what happy pictures!! Love the colors and whimsey! Love your style so much! You have creativity flowing through your entire being!

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - I see such joy and delight expressed in your home. A rejoicing that is uniquely yours. Xo

Jessica - I love all of this! What fun and joyous colors! Thank you for sharing.

new signs & shirts & 15% off promo starts today

hey you..how was your weekend?  was it long and leisurely or filled with errands and late night looking at your electronic device?
ha!  mine was more of the second if i’m honest…oh cringe! View full post »

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Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - Love the name of your promo code. It’s the name God gave me alongside Bravehearted Beauty. I’ve kept quiet about it, because I still don’t believe it. Me? Yes! xoxo

kimberly batsketis - Please join me to this blog

day 7/30 : the wilderness memoirs – wilderness is the birthplace of our dreams

i recently came to a fork on my life-map
the choice i made felt contrary but i proceeded after remembering to feel the fear and do it anyway
risking God’s reputation..

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i am so far out here  it feels agonizingly scary..i wonder am i making a mistake..did i hear wrong…what if i fail..or make a mistake? or go back to the crazy?
if i open up to trust will i be hurt again? being vulnerable is risky…but without it you can’t love or be loved or LIVE!  and i want to LIVE!!  don’t you?

but you know what?
i am choosing to do my life afraid..taking risks..again and again..not letting the “what if’s” keep me from trying

but if i’m honest i want risk..i want to risk it all on God to do what only He can!  maybe i don’t do that enough..or ever
i am learning when i am having to trust and it isn’t something i can fix in my own strength that it feels crazy and wrong and very uncomfortable
when i try to do it in my own strength i end up retreating with my tail between  my legs
bemoaning the fact that it must not be meant for me to live my dreams

what is so beyond exciting for me is that all things are possible with God and the possibility
that all of this devastation is the VERY THING God is using to heal me!
 
as i map out this trek across my life i am wondering if our dreams are what save us?

that maybe all the heartbreak and all hard places and upside downs are all a part of what crushes us to death only to
to birth us in the crucible of the wilderness–being ground down so fine so that the very essence of us is pressed out

the crucible of the wilderness might be part of the key to our wholeness..our healing

the wilderness crucible is pressing out the very essence of my God given story that will be glory giving and life-saving...into wholeness
it is the very thing that saves us

ALL the hard places of our life would be the birthplace..the incubator of our dreams…wow!!

this gives me hope to move forward and i pray it does you too!
let’s encourage one another to keep risking and see where God leads
what if i take the risks and travel the miles and what i have longed for all of these years comes to life
AND
not only alive but way bigger and better than i ever dreamed possible…and if it fails at least i was brave and tried
and grown-up into a stronger more courageous woman who isn’t afraid to choose faith over fear

maybe i can have both..maybe i don’t have to choose
maybe i can move forward and it will all become clearer on up ahead

i know it has to begin with me..always us first..not them

are you willing to risk it all…to be all in?
to feel the fears that scare you the most–to surrender to them–to let go of control
because you think you know better than Me?
on up ahead and around the bend is working on that deep shard that is staked right in your heart
unforgiveness and vengeance…you know the place
to not forget but to let it go..to allow me to re-build in a brand new place .. YOU..on your reclaimed ground

it is going to be one of the hardest things you’ve faced yet
are you ready to let go of that weight you’ve been hauling around in secret?
are you ready to have all that energy you’ve been using to keep that wound raw to spend on
your dreams?
are you ready to step out of the shadows and into your God-giving story that will be GLORY-GIVING
and LIFE-SAVING..into WHOLENESS

..xo

maybe it is LOVE that pursues us that mends and heals…

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jamie - Beautiful! Love your openness to be poured out. Take us deeper, Lord.

Tara - I look forward to each post and find God in every one of them!! ThNk you so much for sharing these beautiful, honest & encouraging words :)

day 5/30 : the wilderness memoirs – burning off the clutter

you fight fire with fire
and the people who have fire in their bones
are called to fight the fires of this world

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this is a journal entry from this week…more from where i am right now in my story..image from my uber talented friend lissa...xo

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similarly, we must use directed effort to control misdirected effort
if your consumed by busyness at the expense of real business, perhaps
i should set a new and different kind of fire

when i burn off the clutter of busyness and leave time to think and study, you may get less done
but the things you do  will be far more productive and ultimately more organic to what i’m
passionate about accomplishing
–t.d. jakes

the fringe benefit to burning off the brush is a much clearer view of the terrain ahead

no one can get beyond their sight lines.  and when cluttered with obstructions, our vision
will always be impaired!

again…i question..and i wrote

“where do i need to clear a path so that i have room to maneuver toward my ultimate destination?

and then i asked God to show me what needs to be burned off first

later on in my “busy” day ha! while perusing pinterest… ( unnecessary busyness i’m sure;) i ran across this post that the nester
has pinned!!!  i immediately clicked in and devoured it .. it made SO much sense!!  yes!!

God showed me a breadcrumb!!!

BINGO!  answer number uno!!  practice reminder !!  it begins with head knowledge but i must put it into practice in my everyday life to make change

prACTice doesn’t make perfect…prACTice makes change right?  right:)

i am by NO MEANS an expert and i feel so busy..even in my head..i LONG for the days when my first three
were little.  when being a momma was simpler.  no social media.  no blogs.  no smart phones.

so much more free time.  what did we do to ourselves?  ugh…anyway

so i am taking this “burning off the clutter” seriously.  even in our business
especially in our business!

honestly?  this is so super applicable to anyone..in any stage of life in whatever circumstances you in..don’t you think?

that is enough for one day.  i will share what i’m learning and practicing as i go so hang in there with me:)  love  you!!

my daily practice

be on the lookout for unnecessary clutter and how to subdue the ground i live on
and take back my time

with love from,

this girl is on fire…..(wink)

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Sarita - Great post fire girl! One thing I HADB to do was unsub from blogs! I wad spending so much time looking at other peoples lives…it was crazy…I also limit myself on Pinterest…I do love email though!

Suzanne - Funny how God often leads
us to just the right words we
need to hear. Due to techno
issues, I haven’t been able to
visit blogs on a regular basis
for a while now. As I sit here
in a little coffee shop with wifi
and tea, I know that TODAY
was the day I was meant to
read this very post. I also chafe
at the constant pull of social
media and struggle to find a way
to coexist with it, peacefully….

Love the shots of your sweet
home. A reflection of sweet
you!!!

xo Suzanne

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!!!!!