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

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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tara - love your favorite things…thankful you are feeling some better and recovering..praying for complete and total healing for your body.

watching truetori, too. and G & B….
totally forgot about 19 kids and counting….what channel?

paige - what a fun list!!!!

Suzanne - So happy you are taking
the time for yourself and
enjoying some things that
you love! My kids gave me
Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom
perfume for my birthday, which
is fabulous : )

Happy Friday!

xo Suzanne

lissa - you are so fun! I like seeing what you’re into!

Jamie - Some of my favorites Downton Abbey, Fixer Upper, your blog…Reading angels on assignment by Charles and Frances hunter.

wilderness memoirs : real change begins on the inside

as i wake up…drink my cup of coffee and uncurl myself into abba’s pretense  i hear the the muffled whirring of life outside my window tempting me to join while my thoughts struggle to collect themselves and settle down into being present with God

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    as i am dating my daily journal entry may 7, 2014 there has been a shift on my insides i am not the same..something has happened..i am changing.  i can feel it i am trying to put my finger on it i am starting a new beth moore study .. daughters of the day so i’m reading through the lesson and this paragraph STOP girl!!  whoa… tidbit about me: i am a highlighter and underliner girl..i write all over my books and my bible this is what beth said this is where we begin.  your circumstances are not coincidental in your journey.  God’s timing is impeccable. we have before us real words for real crisis, real medical diagnosis, real afflictions, real relationships, real doubts, real concerns, and real fears. REAL .. a word i fight hard for in days when everything is fake and photoshopped..down to the very food we eat REAL is a word i want to be..you too? i am sure it is more than just this..it is God’s perfect timing..people and places to be in the right time..a surrendered heart..a readiness to be all in i had to take back my life dissect it to get to the core of my beliefs that had me in the rut of life’s road from which i could not get myself out my age old questions has always been searching for someone to pattern my life after i look high and low and under every nook and cranny another question i have always asked is God is HOW do i DO bible verses so that they change me? i have sat in churchs a bazillion times and wept over awesome sermons preached by charismatic preachers and i have also been bored out of my brain wishing it would hurry and be over i’ve said before i have read every self help book known to man i have tons of head knowledge bottom line we must understand HOW to apply God’s word to be changed..for it to make sense and i can’t tell you how many times God and i have talked about this all of this and more is why we need to understand how the change happens since i didn’t have it modeled before me growing up i have been fighting tooth and nail for it t being the avid people watcher that i am…watching for someone to show me how its done he last 15 or so years since i wasn’t in a church that taught it i set out on my own journey to find it aha moment: now i understand that my resident teacher…the holy spirit .. has been teaching me and i didn’t even realize it until last weekend!! john 14:26 immediately came to mind .. the one where jesus said the Holy Spirit..whom my Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that i have said to you! if i’d had only known that is what was happening a decade ago….ha! i humbly share my story with all the realness i can i will teach only what God has taught me/teaching me…yes i am still very much a student wise in some ways…a beginner in so many others being open has been a big game changer for me it rides alongside changing the way i think oprah said it this way and i wrote it down in my journal with these three words- i said this is me! the opening myself up into that which awaits me based on everything else that has brought me to this point. -oprah i now have a few weapons under my belt to get me from point A to point B on my treasure map of my story i am persuaded now more than ever that changes really are from the inside out our thinking or what we believe is in the driver’s seat of our life that is where we need to begin our work in our mind this is where i have noticed the biggest changes..they happened inside me first and that has begun changing me on the inside thankfulness surrender trust these three words are like three strands that are interconnected and for me were and are the rope that holds me tight on this exodus road i will share romans 12:2

Place Your Life Before God

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

isn’t that awesome!!? so much to unravel in my story for it to begin making sense but i am going to plug away at it it is therapeutic for me so lets begin by lifting our hearts and hands high..placing our lives before God as we begin today’s journey thank you again lissa for all the beautiful images….muah! xoxo

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wilderness memoirs : brave is the door to freedom

 

to lissa..for capturing my heart in photographs…xo

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my voice is shaky and shy and can be very awkward at the least…but i am finding it
i am not feeling so invisible

it is in the doing..putting thoughts into action — that is the KEY to living BRAVE!

you see..i spent years of “time with God”

years of acquiring knowledge through books, classes, seminars, conferences
none of these things are wrong in and of themselves..
however..NONE of them changed the cycle of insanity that kept the merry go round of crazy spinning

i struggled to figure out how to make the journal pages begin to write something new!!
i would read through old journals and each one would sound exactly the same…it was frustrating when i was
trying everything i knew

part of the problem was FEAR

i was unknowably held hostage behind a wall of lie bricks….built up so tall that very little light could come in
my pain was so great on the inside God couldn’t get in..neither could anyone else..i was walled in on all sides

i was a prisoner .. waiting for my knight in shining armor – God – to swoop down and rescue me
and when that didn’t happen despair and depression ate me alive

leaving me whimpering on a dirt floor with tears as my drink and my own flesh as my food

on the outside i “appeared” to be a normal mom .. all smiles..homeschooled, taught sunday school, had the “perfect” family
teaching sunday school with a baby on my hip..cooked up dinner..hung clothes on the line..consumed with the crumbling walls trying
to plaster them back before anyone could see the cracks of our family and what was happening behind closed doors…especially
our church..i just couldn’t be “spiritual” enough..so i tried harder…and harder

on the inside the scream that was silent went unheard as the darkness crept in..the storm was rolling in and my family would be hit by
a life-changing storm that forever altered the landscape of our family.  it was a blessing i didn’t know what was ahead because
i would not have went

God didn’t write a fairytale ending for this girl..instead he thrust me into the wilderness and said woman, find thyself
and gave me a promise that

His angel would go before me
and that He would be my rear guard
that He knew the way i needed to go
and that if i would be strong and courageous He would destroy my enemies before me
and that He would get me to the new land that He would show me
and that there would be giants there but that He would help me destroy them
and that i would never be alone

these were some of the promises He gave me
and that is all i had to hold onto
things started really changing was when i acted on them
by taking risks of bravery

my pain was hot to the touch and came out only at select counseling sessions and when i was alone
the wracking of sobs of a lost girl who desperately needed someone to rescue her
i really believed i wasn’t able to do that for myself…a learned helplessness
added to that
were my babies..my children…how was i to save them too?

i was thrust in head first and can only tell you from this side of it that i didn’t hear the words

woman, find thyself!  i didn’t see it as a love…i think it was God’s tough-love….ha!

so i knee-jerked my way through the first couple of years and when that didn’t work i switched to
woman, save yourself - i was pretty good at this one for awhile 

then onto
woman, survive thyself

none of it worked..maybe when i was at the end of myself the
dots finally started to connect

we were living in independence in a big rental home where i thought the fairytale
would finally come true

only to find that the definition of insanity really is a true statement
that the same thing happened again..in what seemed 18 times and counting

my heart finally shattered in a million little pieces

i moved the kids and i to a little rental house across the street from my mom

and a wrestling began between God and me

He began to give me eyes to see i really wasn’t an orphan

i was a daughter.  HIS daughter to be exact

i AM NOT an ORPHAN…I am the DAUGHTER of the KING
it was life-changing when i stopped believing i was an orphan
and started LIVING like a DAUGHTER!!

one day Jesus gave me this verse in john 11:40
” jesus looked her in the eye.  ” didn’t i tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

i always wanted to “understand” everything but jesus was telling me to just BELIEVE

i began to live by belief rather than understanding

i cannot live anyone else’s story.  i have to begin to live mine
to SURRENDER ALL of me to ALL of Him..not another person or thing or idea

to Jesus

i love what mark batterson says in his book All In

jesus didn’t die to keep us safe
he died to make us dangerous

i don’t know about you but i want to live the rest of my life dangerous!

not isolated and protected
i wast to LIVE in the WIDE OPEN SPACE God died to give me
knowing that i will always have FEAR
i will always be afraid of things…i am an introvert that loves people too shannon;)
the key to change is prACTicing COURAGE..

it really is doing it afraid..it is living dangerous…how?

it is taking risks!  that is scary as ??!!

it opportunities that are WAY out of our comfort zones
but if we don’t

we will never write OUR very own STORIES

i believe stories are medicine

and people are sick
paralyzed in the battlefield called life
who is going to carry the stretcher to the wounded?
sometimes God wears skin ( paraphrased from the character steady from the book unwritten )

i was that girl..who needed someone to take a risk on her and no one did
because God had a lesson for me

well…i take that back
God did take a risk on me
but it wasn’t the fairytale and knight in shining armor
that my little girl heart dreamt of

now i see it as a great love story..one filled with adventures waiting to be LIVED!

so now – i want to be a God-skin wearer and help carry the stretcher to the wounded
i know there are others just.like.me out there

silently screaming

it doesn’t matter my idea of whether my story is good nor not
bottom line:  my story isn’t mine.  it is His

Jesus didn’t die to keep me safe..to get me safely to heaven
he died to make me dangerous

she who is BrAVE really IS FREE!!

xo

 

 

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jamie - Love this! Thank you for sharing. I am at the place of surrendering all of me to all of Him. Trust!

BARBARA NELSON - Oh He wrote that fair-tale ending yes he did you just have a couple more chapters, I believe it and I believe in You Too!. I am so lucky to be able to witness it!

Love you sweet Girl, have a great weekend!

Glenda Childers - Your journey has been long and hard … thanks for sharing it with us as you grow and change. So sweet how God drew you and helped you stop the insanity.

Fondly,
Glenda

susan@avintagefarmwife - Wow. This is powerful stuff. So glad you are on your way. You are a dangerous girl! Hugs

Debbie Wiens - You have stepped out of the boat, and now you are walking on water. You are in the safest place you can be. So am I. Are journeys are similar. No longer will we run here or there, but we will surrender and run to the one who can save, that is Jesus. In that I believe we will see and be who we are.

Vera McKendrick - Just by the way, my nickname is lisa…so when you wrote to lisa at the top…it was as if God was talking directly to me.

What you have written is lovely, and so pure and direct from the heart. Few people can be honest with themselves in the sight of looking ‘not normal’.

I believe that when God gives us the gift of writing, it is sometimes a double edged sword. Very seldom do we see the impact that we are making because what we ‘see’ never really matches up to the words of thanks…

But I saw my life run through your words and God speaking to me as if your story was my own, with a few minor differences. but even those he seemed to highlight with a yes-but.

Never stop writing! Few are gifted, and even less pick up there pens and listen!

God bless!
Vera