living life out of a bucket of dreams & grace

Goals that are not written down are just wishes.….unknown

Fiona & Twig

I love a challenge. I have some friends who have a bucket list or 40 before 40 lists and it inspired me to do my own at the beginning of the year. I am finally getting around to doing a post on it.  One thing He is teaching me is we need each other.  I have a big list and upon looking at it I almost want to not even try.  Sharing my goals and dreams with others opens the door for words of affirmation, encouragement and words that build up.  I figured sharing my bucket list here on my blog was a good place to start. Posting my goals will help me to stay on track and be a catalyst to getting stuff done and it keeps me accountable to my word too. The enemy of our soul..dreams.. and callings likes to whisper words that cause us to doubt ourselves and God and the goodness He desires for our lives. I was reading Isaiah this morning and I love what Hezekiah told the people…” But they were silent and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, ” Do not answer him.” { Isaiah 36:21} I am going to think on this when I’m whispered to…I’m not even going to answer a word back.  Just turn away and believe God.

I’m going to come back to this list whenever I complete one and mark it off and put the date beside it.  Have you made a Bucket List and if so how do you stay on track with checking things off?   I would love to hear your Bucket List:)

My Bucket List

  1. take a girl trip
  2. laser hair removal – upper lip/chin…I know:)
  3. letting my hair grow until it reaches my bra strap!
  4. go to the mountains and camp
  5. go to Italy
  6. be self sufficient
  7. make a list of 15 books to read by the end of the  year {I am working on compiling this list to post}
  8. go to a ballet
  9. go to an opera
  10. take at least one photography class
  11. take at least one Photoshop class
  12. take more than one writing class
  13. be more spontaneous
  14. be more intentional in my inner circle
  15. practice making it a habit to be present in my relationships
  16. practice gratitude…1000 gifts list
  17. wear high heels somewhere
  18. spend a week alone somewhere where I can be inspired…all by myself…prefer somewhere sunny:)
  19. visit a winery
  20. run a 5k, 10k and a half marathon in 2011
  21. write a children’s book
  22. continue exercising
  23. get a job – only one that evokes joy and that I want to get up everyday and do!
  24. put more things into my life that bring me joy and inspire my creativity and further my calling
  25. spend more time talking with God throughout my day
  26. continue to learn how to live loved…and then write about it
  27. learn how to operate all of my without Nikki
  28. make family album of pictures
  29. fly…don’t know about this one
  30. broken relationships mended
  31. take more pictures…
  32. go to 5 new restaurants downtown..that I’ve never been to
  33. write an e-book

living life out of a bucket of grace & dreams…..



Linking up with Jen today over @ Finding Heaven will you come?

Finding Heaven


Jen - Ahhh! Tiffini! This is fabulous. I love all of these for you and I hope and pray that you get to accomplish every. single. one.

Can I be your virtual running coach? Of course I would get excited about that!

And perhaps, that writing class might be in North Carolina, say July?

LLH Designs - I love every single thing on your list. We have a few in common. I'm working on my 1,000 gifts list now. Talk about changing the way I see! Wow!

Love you, girl!

Eileen - great list! I've often thought of writing a children's book too…and the running a 1/2 marathon is on my list too.

Stephanie - Love the list. Each and every thing sounds fantastic!

Tracey - I love that you list has some real stuff on, not just activities – flying is scary but mending broken relationships is even scary! You'll have to report back your progress.

Glenda Childers - I love #18. And I have always wanted to write a children's book, too.



Cha Cha - Can I just copy and paste this list and make it mine??????
I have missed spending time reading your words, the one written here and the comments just to me. You are a blessing in my life, thank you for having the courage to follow God's calling in your life. I hope to be able to stay caught up now.

Cha Cha

Robyn Q - That #26 is a whole life kinda thing! It's my favorite – and it might be tied to #25. You have some great stuff on here. Go for it!

BTW, I just love the pink theme today. So lovely – just like you!


♥ Carrie Shan - I love your list and might have to steal some to add to mine next year. Thanks for sharing….very inspiring.

Paula - Tiffini,

I have to save and reread several of your posts daily. You are an inspiration to me. I love that while you are in the refiners fire, you are truly working on your inner self. Working on strained relations, that is the hardest and the most needed fixing. You are a brave woman that can do it! I have faith in you and know that you will do your best and work your hardest!

With you in prayer!


jenny - LOVE your list! the laser wax hair one cracked me up – i can relate! isn't it funny how we start thinking like this when we get older? i'm going to turn 34 this may, and i can tell i'm older because i've started thinking in timelines…do this by then, etc. i don't have a specific list but i like the idea of making one. if i do, i'll be sure to share on my blog! can't wait to hear updates on yours.

Katharine - What a great list…Some of these are on my list as well…maybe we could meet in Italy!

Amy Sullivan - T,

So happy to see your smiling face and click over here from the link-up. I love lists, and you've got a good one here.My faves on the list include #1. I have an annual girl trip with the same set of friends each year. I can't even describe the bond we have. Also, #12. I know God is going to use your writing to impact many, and when that happens, feel free to email me, and let me know how smart I am. :)

Laura - A great list, Tiffini! I'd love to see that list of books once you have it compiled… I especially like "living out of a bucket of grace and dreams"!

Keep dreaming, I say.

Jennifer - This is fantastic! What a list! It is going to be so much fun to mark them off as you go and neat idea to put the date!! :)

Melissa Lewis - Midw - Love the opening quote. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing your bucket list with us… I love it!

Pamela - I loved reading your list. I do not have one, but you've inspired me to start one. I can see where looking at the list would inspire deliberate actions.



Kirstin - I love your list. I don't have one, but yours has inspired me to maybe make one. Thanks!

diana - love your list tiffini! if you need restaurant suggestions let me know! there's so many great places to eat downtown. and maybe i'll see you at the half marathon in october?

Dear Monday…inhabit me…

Inhabit me .. inhabit me …like the ticking of a clock… beat these words as I fumble to push through yet another morning awakened by the pulsating pain like a searing in my heart as the cycle of human flesh is to always seek their own way. Only to find a lack…like the beggar waiting for a morsel of bread I come full faced before my Father...reminding Him of Psalm 22:3 that tells me He inhabits the praises of His people…so through inward groaning that can’t be seen with the naked eye my heart asks of Him and I praise…inhabit…as I cook inhabit, as I clean inhabit, as I grieve inhabit, as I laugh inhabit, as I  write inhabit, when I have nothing left….inhabit…we cry inhabit us.

freshandgorgeous:  (via sayyestolife, laboomeria) photo source here

speak to me from the heart of the fire…like you did the children of Israel.  Give me understanding as to what this means.  Speak to these women who are in a multitude of circumstances so alike and so very different from my own.  Unite us in common praise so we may be inhabited by You.

we can’t choose what comes

True praise is unconditional. It’s not an attempt

to manipulate God into producing the precise

results we hope for.  Instead, it helps us accept our

situation as it is, whether or not He changes it.

Continued praise helps us reach the place where we

can say, ” Father, I don’t want You to remove this

problem until You’ve done all You want to do

through it, in me and in others.

for this moment in eternity I breathe out praisenot understanding it but believing…and in so doing…as you say…to breathe in the glory of God.





Don’t Forget to click HERE to sign up to receive the traveling Shelter of Story book.


Robyn Q - Tears. Your words, your heart – powerful. It brings me to my place of collapse. As you say: not understanding it but believing…and in so doing…as you say…to breathe in the glory of God. I see the glory, but I want nothing more but just Him, its enough.

Desperately praying about the Shelter of Story book. I don't even have all the words for the places God has brought me…not sure it's even a story & if so that this is the time to share.

I love this place, you know.

kerrie - "inhabit me…inhabit us" this is a beautiful prayer of the heart. He is our all in all.

Stephanie - Beautiful…as is always, your writing. I love the thought of "inhabiting". So thrilling that He would inhabit us! I have been visualizing me rubbing my hair around on His feet today, as the woman in John before He was crucified, I want to be that kind of girl who just lays down at his feet, pours out everything and rubs my hair and my tears into Him.

Jen - I love this — true praise is unconditional. And I also so resonate with this: Father, I don’t want You to remove this problem until You’ve done all You want to do through it, in me and in others.

Such a commitment to full surrender here.

Paula - Tif,

What a wise woman you are. We are both going through a fire of illness and I loved the last part of your post about true praise being unconditional. I have always tried to pray to be a usable vessel. But I like that "Father, I don't want you to remove this until you've done all that you want to do through it, in me and in others." That is an awesome way to say it! Thank you for your insight! You are a blessing!

Deidra - This reads like a prayer. Thanks for inviting us in…

give me some whole souled food ;)

We’ve heard of Soul Food but Whole Souled Food?

After this last hospital stay I am even more intentional on making every area of my life clean. Starting with my heart but I want that to overflow into ALL parts of my life & my children’s.

I am feeling the need to unclutter so I can focus more on His calling and this season of life that I am entering into with less distraction of STUFF.  Anyone else feeling that way?  I think our country is heading into a mass upheaval in the years to come.  I’ve got a post coming on that soon.

I cleaned out my pantry on Monday. I set the timer for 30 minutes and began cleaning. That was it for the day.   30 minutes a day to a purged house. Having crohn’s/colitis and possibly having to be on Remicade the rest of my life has me a tad frantic about what I am putting into my body and what I could change to do my part to be the healthiest me. Here are a few meals I have been cooking this week.

Simple Thoughts

Pasta con Zucchini

Cooking with my Kid

this was a winner! very easy and good and sitting alongside was a Caesar salad from Costco. Yummy!  16 year old boy…thumbs up!

here is a picture of Lissa’s @ Humble Pie’s green beans, chicken & peanut sauce.  AND my picture of green beans:) very yummy!

I made all three and will make them again.  I used this chicken that Target now carries.  Tender and REAL chicken and it is wonderful!  No hormones, antibiotics….

real, whole, simple and good for your whole soul food!

I’m also on a hot tea kick. My sweet daughter Nikki bought this for me when I was in the hospital and my friend Linsey @ LLH Designs suggested lots of teas to me..she is a storehouse of healthy whole food information by the way…go visit her!  I am loving Rooibios! I use a little agave in it for sweetener or not….it is good either way.

just a little funny: Grace wanted to earn money so she made a list of things she could do for us.  One of the things was a pedi. Warning:  my feet are not ….well…pretty. When I was called for my appointment I sat down and the first thing she did was put Neosporin on her hands and rub them together and then rubbed my feet with it! I cracked up and so did my cracks…in my feet:)  Here is one of our new fav’s from Essie…Going Incognito

I am purging all of my cookbooks and rebuilding with whole food ones.  Any suggestions on your favorite whole real food cookbooks? I bought this one mainly because I liked a few of her Asian recipe’s.

Happy “Whole Soul Food” Friday ya’ll:)  What whole soul foods are you cookin up for the weekend?


Shelter of Story Guidelines & LinkUp are coming out tomorrow:)

21 Days of Prayer for Sons starts today! I am encouraged already!  It’s not to late to join us!  Click here for more info…


Linking here today:)





misty - I am right there with you… i loved this post and the way you put it… It's been my goal for months now and I've found that my family has grown not only less tolerant of "garbage" food, but it's so much less appealing!

Jen - Okay, I just cracked up at the neosporin pedi lady! Ha! Can't wait to see about Shelter of Stories!

Oh, and I think I am finally, FINALLY, done with the blog re-do. Perhaps the "mistake" was totally a God thing?? Feels good to be able to create. And I did it all. by. myself!

Glenda Childers - My daughters love anything by Jamie Oliver or Lucinda of Mad Hungry. They cook great healthy meals.

I love tea . . . wish we could share a cup together.



budding wood


I walked under and my eyes turned heavenward…and in that moment His handiwork drew a word picture on my heart… written in that budding tree.

wood…how does something so soft and pliable push through that seemingly unbending surface? It sits idle for the winter months…unseen activity  One would think was dead.  no life.  but with increasing Sonshine stimulating growth.

for all the seasons of my heart…that seem to go from Ur to Haran and down into Egypt storing up all the words…building altars only to come


a place that the words cannot be contained anymore…come budding forth culminating in a clump that needs constant care to form into real living sentences that breathe…that breathe life - valuejoydaughtershippraise …to be able to take the hardness of wandering in the wilderness for years to shape these into whole bites for the chewing and digesting…so that my soul no longer lives deaf to starving calls crying out around the world.


and Jesus said to herto meDid I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Not just so I can speak but that

He can speak to me…to us from the heart of the fire…burning through the hardness of wood so that the harvestone little bud turns to 1000…so

How shall the soul in us longer live
Deaf to their starving call,
For whom the blood of the Lord was shed,
And His body broken to give them. bread,
If we eat our morsel alone!”

Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.— Henri J. M. Nouwen

I am so excited about She Speaks Conference!  It is a conference for women’s heart.  I think of Romans 8:30 says….Bring them into the calling that You have predestined for them.  He has a calling for each one of us and I am excited to begin this journey of creating the art that He has placed with my heart.  I also long to help others fulfill their calling as well. SO – please pray about coming.  Click here to find out more information on the She Speaks Conference to learn more about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God and that your heart is to serve Him and His daughters, as He leads.
She Speaks Conference 2011

to ask people to play.
and if they deny you….
to wait a bit,
and then ask again.


and if they deny you again….
don’t take it personally.
and ask again….:)...lizsong


Glenda Childers - I am so grateful, Tiffini, for your words "that cannot contain themselves anymore."

Are you feeling better?



Stephanie - Tiffini!!!!! I just can't wait for She Speaks!!!!

Robyn Q - I've missed your words! This is it, the bloom begins! :)

word women wednesday & shelter of story linkup

We have been having technical issues with our theme so I am just going to give a little blurb on what God is doing in my heart and it involves all of you.  I don’t have all the kinks ironed out yet but here is the beginning…

shelter of story

Shelter of Story is going to be a traveling book that will come to you upon linking up here.

Guidelines are coming by the weekend.

Nikki has a button that you can put in your blog post when you linkup to receive the book.  The code is on the Shelter of Story



I envision this book being used by God to help cheer women on to whole-souled-ness…real, raw, messy and vulnerable story told by brave women who have been there and back only by the grace of God there go I…kinda book.  written by You for them…


I copied my Warrior Prayer book and am all set for Friday! are you?  If not, click here to join us in 21 Days of Praying for Sons .


Please email me if you have ANY questions. I know it is vague at the moment but I promise to work today and tomorrow and put more information out so we can get a move on OK?  love you much…

A linky is open if you would love to share any words today.  Just link up your exact URL to your post and link back to House of Belonging somewhere so we can find each other. Praying your day be filled with the child like wonder of Jesus.



Jen - I'm really excited about this! Can't wait for more details!!