Monthly Archives: November 2009

Beautiful Beautiful

Last weekend I sang at Illuminate.  This was the first time I had sung in over a year.  It was challenging yet I find myself revived. Reliving a dream and once again doing something that I love doing. 

Music is such a big part of my life.  I pay close attention to the lyrics of a song.  Because those are words that were written down by the author.  They came from the heart. There is a purpose behind those words. 

And often times those very lyrics speak to other individuals, like me, and help them through their darkest moments.

Lately, I have been filling up my iPod with so many songs that have just been hitting a cord with me lately. 

Like this one.

Francesca Battistelli's song Beautiful, Beautiful instantly struck my heart.  The lyrics are simple in that she tries to describe how God grabbed ahold of her heart and her life…and made it so beautiful. It can't be explained. It just is. 

To experience God's love is something that I can never find adequate words to describe.  How he grabbed me from certain death, took my sin upon Himself and died on the cross…the cross that was meant for me. 

Check out the song.  I am in love with it.

Beautiful, Beautiful (Francesca Battestilli)

Don’t know how it is You looked at me

And saw the person that I could be


Awakening my heart


Breaking through the dark


Suddenly Your grace


(Chorus)


Like sunlight burning at midnight


Making my life something so


Beautiful, beautiful


Mercy reaching to save me


All that I need


You are so


Beautiful, beautiful


Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain


But even perfect days can end in rain


And though it’s pouring down


I see You through the clouds


Shining on my face


(Chorus)


I have come undone


But I have just begun


Changing by Your grace


(Chorus)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Today, I am thankful for:

*My Husband who absolutely adores me and sacrifices so much to provide for us

*For Madi, who is a little mini me in every way and lights up my life so much. I can't imagine my life without her in it.

*For Sean who is just the happiest little guy in the world.  The smile melts my heart.

*For the gift of salvation that I have been given through Jesus Christ.  The price He paid on the cross is what I deserved and He took it for me.  I can never repay Him. Saying thank you will never be enough.  I love Him.

For my life, my health, for a roof over my head, money in the bank account,  and friends to share and laugh with.  

For the opportunity to do ministry with my husband. To see lives changed.  I can't get over that.

And for you. For making this blog a place where I can share my heart and not be judged.  For sharing your thoughts and emails and even just reading.  I will never understand why anyone would be interested in my little life. But I thank you for stopping by. 

What are you thankful for?

Blessings,

Tiff~

What To Look For-Hate The Game

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At Illuminate we are really hitting home in our relationship series.  We often hear from our students about how much they desire to find the one that they are going to spend the rest of their lives with.  I have no doubt about how much they desire to be loved by someone.  I felt those same feelings often.  I often would ask God just who would be my husband.  I waited anxiously to meet him, but I am at the same time so thankful that God put me in areas to serve and taught me how to love HIM first.  It wasn't an easy lesson, but it was one of the best lessons I have ever had.  And I learned so much in that time of serving on with our high school ministry. And I met so many amazing people during that time. 

A question I get a lot from people is how did I know Dan was it? What exactly was I looking for and did Dan meet it? Did I have a list of things that were non negotiable? 

For one, yes. I did have a list.  Let me elaborate a little bit.  I became a christian nearly 10 years ago.  I have had my share of failed relationships, both christian and non.  I didn't want to just date some guy to pass the time.  I also didn't want a guy who just said he was a follower of Christ, yet his life bared NO FRUIT whatsoever.  I also wanted a guy who served actively in his community/church.  I wasn't looking for a pastor to marry. In fact, I pretty much remember asking God that I NOT MARRY A PASTOR!  I wasn't sure I wanted that type of responsibility. And I had a pretty skewed vision of what a pastor wife was. 

I thought they were pretty boring and wore dowdy clothes. And we all know how I feel about fashion ya'll. 

When I met Dan, I wasn't looking for a relationship. The reality was that we both had just come out of long term relationships.  We were exhausted and didn't feel up to the task of getting to know another individual to see if it would work. Little did we know how much God was doing behind the scenes. 

Dan had all the facets of a man I was looking for…except that he was a pastor. Dangit!  What do I do with that??!!!  But honestly, I didn't see just a pastor.  I saw a man who LOVED God. Who desired to serve Him. Who longed to reach the entire world for Christ. Who would stop at nothing to share His name.  Who loved people.  Who was outgoing. Sensitive.  Compassionate. Goal-oriented. HAD A JOB! (that is a big one ladies. Take note.  I am not talking about how much money he makes.  I am talking about his ability to provide for his household.) And the idea of never marrying a pastor flew out the window. I was in love!

Our relationship wasn't 100% perfect. In fact, we broke up for a bit.  Perhaps one day I will tell our story. Of how we met. How we fell in love. Breaking up, coming back together…..all the stuff that movies are made of ;).

I believe that we should all have a standard that we keep in the types of people we date.  In saying that though….. a person looking for a 10 must be a 10 themselves.  So if you are looking for someone who lives a life of godliness, serves, is trustworthy and you aren't those things yourself….you will not attract that type of person you are looking for.  You, more often than not, attract what you are.  There are always exceptions.  But they are just that…the exception. Not the rule. 

I hope you are encouraged.  And remember…..seek your first love, your heavenly Father. 

Blessings,

Tiff~

Etsy Tuesday

Hello my sweet bloggy friends.  I hope you are all getting ready for Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I cannot even tell you how excited I am for this weekend.  I am so ready to eat myself silly. 😉

Now onto some Etsy goodness. 

Painted White: handmade goodness galore. I adore handmade home decor items.  They create such a warm and homey environment. Her page is featured on the home page of Etsy. 😉

4Leaf Boutique: Sweet items for your wee one. Makes great baby shower gifts!  I heard about this shop through one of my dearest friends. 

SweetWater Scrapbook: This is also a scrapbook paper company.   I am in love with Fabric Calendar Kit they have for sale. 

Post Road Vintage: Vintage items…nuff said!

Revolution Garden: Ummm this shop is just fun.  Who doesn't want a beautiful mask?  Would be perfect for a Masquerade party.  Gorgeous!

My Patterned Mind: I just adore the clutches in this shop.  And the patterns are to die for.  So stylish and fun for any outfit that needs a little pop of color.

Happy shopping 😉

Tiff~

He Is Not The Enemy

Dan and I had one of those days.

One of those fights.

Neither of us were going to back down.

We literally had our hands crossed and glared at each other while our 3 year old threw a massive hissy fit on our bedroom floor.  It was getting ugly, but neither one of us were willing to compromise on our position because we both believe we were right. And the other was wrong.

Suddenly, we became the enemy. To each other.

Words were said by both of us that were hurtful and went to bed angry with each other.  We didn't want to talk it out.  We didn't want to hear what the other was feeling or even give their views a second thought.

Pride got in the way of working a situation out with my best friend. 

Pride is ugly. 

It is the biggest reason why it is so hard to say the words "I'm sorry" or "please forgive me."  It is the reason why our words lack grace and are so full of venom.  I am sure the children feel that. I know they see it. 

Whenever Dan and I have those moments….those heated discussions that continue to escalate into yelling matches…I find myself thinking he is the enemy.

When he is not. 

He is my husband.  My best friend. 

We have a real enemy.  One who is constantly seeking to destroy us.  And I know he is constantly trying to destroy our marriage. 

So why do we let him have a foothold?  

Today I am going to kneel before my Heavenly Father and seek forgiveness. And then I am going to call my earthly husband and seek his forgiveness as well.

Because pride is ugly.

And I want to be the wife that my husband is able to find comfort in. 

Pride has no place in marriage. 

Has Pride found a home in yours?

Tiff~

Inspired

I have decided to stop and just enjoy the things around me.  Lately, I have been inspired by so many things. 

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Fun and pretty headbands (From Bean and the Sprout)

These two kiddos just growing up too fast:

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Happy Music playing on iTunes:

Joy Williams: Sunny Day

*Toffee Nut White Mocha's

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*The weather finally changing so I can wear cute sweaters and boots. And scarves and more headbands 😉

*Playing with the kiddos.

*Snuggling with the hubby

*Winter Crafts

*Baking some yummy goodies for the family

*Christmas!!!!!! Thanksgiving!!!!!

*Celebrating the birth of my Savior. 

God is so good. 

What have you been inspired by lately?

Tiff~

Singleness-Hate The Game part 1

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Last week (November 8th) we kicked off our Hate The Game relationship series.  Praise God for the turnout and praise God that so many of you were so interested in this topic. 

We addressed the issue of singleness.  What does God's word say about it and the lies society shoves at us.  

Let me be honest and say that sometimes I really envy those who are single.

Let me clarify.  I absolutely, 100% adore my husband.  I love being married, I love the family God has given me and I absolutely love that I get to serve alongside my husband. Every. Day.

But I struggle with the balance between serving God and serving my family.  I have to worry about pleasing God and pleasing my husband.  It is very hard. 

Before I met Dan, I was very much single.  Btw, when I say single, I don't necessarily mean without a boyfriend.  It can also mean that I may be in a relationship but I am not bound or required to please or serve him in the way that I would with my husband. Does that make sense?  Anyway, I was heavily involved as a youth leader for the High School group at my church and I also sang on the worship team nearly every week.  I worked a part time job and was able to serve in as many community service opportunities as time allowed for me. I had absolutely no one to answer to in regards to how I wanted to serve.  Except God.  It was such an amazing time.  It was also freeing to be able to save up some money and focus on school and spend more time in my relationships with my female friends.

Now that I am married, life is definitely different.  It isn't bad.  In fact it is AMAZING!  But I am not able to just do whatever I want with my time like I used to.  I now have mouths to feed, a husband to love, a ministry to help  care and pray for.  If I wanted to do anything that is outside of Illuminate and would require time away from my family, it must be discussed with my husband and prayed about before God.  My priorities are divided. 

Now, Dan would NEVER hinder me from using my gifts.  Which is why I choose to discuss these things with him.  But it isn't easy.  My independent spirit wishes I could just go whenever I want to do whatever I want to. 

I understand when students dislike singleness.  In church it seems that our biggest goal is to find THE ONE and get married and have babies.  But if we keep focusing on finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, we may miss out on some amazing opportunites for God to use us during the time we aren't attached.  When our affections are not divided. 

Paul says this 1 Corinthians.  The church of Corinth had many questions regarding marriage. 

Paul does seem to favor singleness over marriage, but he clearly states his reasons why:

"But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife." (1 Cor. 7:32-33 NAS)

I realize I am married now, and that you may think I have forgotten what it is like to be single. That it is lonely at times.  I get it.  But my hope is that you would use the time while you are awaiting to be the person God wants you to be and serve.  Finish college. Save money. Go on a missions trip.  Get involved in your communities and church.  We only have a short time. We should treat every season of life as a gift and make the most of using the gifts God gives us. 

What season of life are you in right now?  How are you using this time constructively?  

Tiff~