Monthly Archives: July 2010

Heading Home

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Today we are heading back home.  To be honest I wish we could be on vacation forever, but that isn't reality.  

Even with our sad start we still enjoyed ourselves.  We were still able to celebrate being a family and shower our little ones with adventure and fun.  They had such a great time.  I can't wait to share with all of you about our little stay in San Diego.  

Although I have to say…relaxation is a thing of the past when you have two kids under the age of four. Ha!  

Blessings,

Tiff~

 

The Memories Are The Hardest

I know that I said that due to being on vacation, I wouldn’t be posting this week.

But this afternoon, around 12:00pm. Dan and I received heartbreaking news in regards to one of our members of Illuminate. Even as I type this I am having a hard time comprehending the fact that she is gone. Tears won’t stop flowing and the memories of her face keep returning at a rapid pace.

Death of someone you love makes you stop. It makes you think.

Dan and I take comfort in the fact that she is now completely healed and with Jesus. We will miss her. She was a regular attendee of Illuminate. She loved us and we loved her.

Tonight I keep seeing her face in the church hallway, always stopping me to ask if my babies were there. It hurts.

It is one thing to hear about someone dying and you didn’t know them. It is quite another when you have held that person, prayed over them, prayed with them and spoken with them over the phone. This hurts.

I am praying for her family tonight. And thanking God that she shared a part of her life with us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to be a part of Kelly’s life. We are so saddened that she gone, but we trust that You wanted to heal her not on this earth but in your arms in heaven. And that provides comfort. We will miss her. May Your glory shine around her life and may those who do not know You learn of just how much You meant to our precious Kelly. We know and believe that she is no longer in pain and no longer in tears. She is with You.

Tiff~

When Others Are Hurting

When people are in pain, often times we find ourselves in positions of trying to find the right words to say.  We want to bring comfort to them, but we are unsure of the words or actions.  We don't want to overstep our boundaries, yet we don't want to leave them with their wounds wide open. We want to help.  

So we often say something like this:

"God will never give us more than we can handle".

On Sunday night, Dan preached to Illuminate about suffering.  We get a lot of questions from our group about why God allows suffering.  And to be honest it is one of the hardest questions to answer.

But I learned something new that night.

I have heard the phrase shared above many times in my life. I have said it, and others around me have said it. But here is what I learned.

That. Is. Not. Biblical. 

It isn't in the Bible.

I believe that many people use this passage to justify the statement that God would not give us more than we can handle:

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV (emphasis mine)

Temptation is not suffering.  There are those that we encounter throughout God's word who were brought to the point of death and beyond.  Who wanted to die (read Paul's sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:16-33…he was brought so low he wondered if there was anything better than death in order to be released from his pain). 

Remember Job?   He lost his wealth, children, servants and his health all at once. His own wife told him to curse God and die.  His wife! 

If we were given trials that we could handle….then we wouldn't need God.  Sufferings are to bring us to the point of dependency on our Lord. The only One who can provide peace, comfort, hope, grace and mercy when all else is out of reach.  When we are brought to our knees in pure surrender to Him, clinging to Him as though our lives depend on it and still praising Him even though we may be crawling through the darkest valleys and the hottest desert.  

When we are at our weakest point, when we can't go on anymore, God's glory shines the brightest.  It is then that people can see the beauty of Christ and the mercy and grace and love that can so often be overshadowed by our desire to do it all and be it all. 

God is not malicious.  He does not allow trials on us or around us so that He can have a happy little field day with hearts. He does not take pleasure in our pain.  He does not waste the pain we are going through.

Because our pain can help someone else.  We can be God's hands and feet and minister to someone who is experiencing the same thing or trying to heal from a past hurt.  

God doesn't need us to do this work for Him. But He chooses us…with our broken and weak hearts to share and love on His people.

Love God, Love People.  Even when we are hurting and weak. 

And to those who want to help…the best thing you can do is look them in the eyes, give them a hug…and say nothing.

Tiff~

A Way To A Man’s Heart….

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A way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I'm smiling as I type this because my man loves to eat. He grew up with a mom who has this incredible ability to make delicious food ALL THE TIME!  We both look forward to the Holiday season because she makes her staples and we gobble it all up like we hadn't eaten for months. 

Seriously, she is that good.  

I knew marrying him that I would need to work on my cooking skills.  I had none. I didn't know how to cook when we got married.

Epic Fail.

So for the first year, Dan graciously ate every nasty thing I made just so he wouldn't hurt my feelings.  It was definitely a learning experience.  Having to create a menu and go grocery shopping was such a new thing for me that back then I couldn't even see the joy in it.  

But I am happy to say now that I love cooking.  I love finding recipes and creating a menu and making delicious and healthy foods for my family.  I look forward browsing through the grocery store to find the ingredients I need and then heading back to my kitchen to cook up a storm.  It brings me joy in ways I never thought possible. And I like to think that my culinary skills have improved. At least he says that they have. And that's all that matters! *wink*

This week over at Women Living Well, Courtney has challenged us to serve the men in our lives by making their favorite dinner, dessert and drink. Dan loves anything with meat in it. ANYTHING. 

He doesn't do vegetarian which is what I have ,unfortunately, been feeding him lately. It is time to put my husband first and make his heart and belly full by giving him something he will like and look forward to.  

What do your men love to eat?

Tiff~

My Dad, A Camera and Sean

My dad has been taking photos since I was a kid.  I have a lot of memories with him and a big camera strapped around his neck, telling the kids to stop and pose for the him.  

I also remember quite a few moments at Disneyland where he had us stand by all the photo perfect spots in the park and we would spend A LONG TIME posing for him when all we wanted to do was go on the rides.  

But I am not bitter. (just kidding Dad hehe.)

My dad is really talented and he has rediscovered his passion for the lens.  I thought I would brag to you all about my daddy and show you a few photos he took of Sean at his birthday party a few weeks ago.

*Please do not copy or borrow images without permission from photographer*

Seans birthday

Probably my favorite photo.  Sean with his Great Grandfather.  He wouldn't let him go. This photo is so precious to the whole family.

Seans birthday 2

Sean loves the water.  These photos truly illustrate Sean's joy while playing at the sprinkler park.

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I am excited to see more of my Dad's work.  I know he loves this hobby of his.  I love seeing people I love get excited about the things that make them happy and give them pleasure.  

Good work Dad!!! We love you so much!

Tiff~    

My Birthday is Coming Up

In a couple of weeks I will be turning 29…..nearing 30.  Since I have nothing really spiritual or important to write this week (although I do have a couple of posts that I need to get up) I thought I would post about some of the things I am wishing for on my birthday. 

Because I like presents on my birthday.

I mean, who doesn't *smile*.

1. Homestead Blessings series: Okay seriously I have been wanting this video series set since I saw it on Raising Homemakers.  I would love the entire series but hey I will take the kitchen series.  Madi and I love watching the excerpts online together. 

2. Shey B camera strap cover: This one  *swoon*

3. An afternoon with starbucks and a good book.  Just some time to myself would be lovely.

4. A date night with my man.  Someplace that has great food and great atmosphere. Any ideas folks?

5. Sprinkles cupcakes. *smile*

Any August birthdays out there??! 

Have a great Thursday. 

Tiff~

P.S. I am also dying for a food processor and a kitchen aid mixer…but those things might only show up in my dreams. LOL!

Bummer

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This poor gal had to go to Urgent Care today due to feeling yucky.  

Luckily we were able to get some antibiotics so that she can feel better.  She also had to get a shot which I had no idea would happen.  She did great…except she cried because she got a tweety bird band aid instead of a princess one *wink*

Ahhh the life of girls.  Now we are just home resting and praying this infection goes away quickly!  

Have a great weekend friends!

Tiff~

 

Madi and Baking

It is Polished Cornerstones Link up Day over at Raising Homemakers.  I have to tell you that I am really enjoying this curriculum for Madison. I wasn't really sure how it would go but so far we are doing well.

Last week we memorized together Exodus 20:12.  I will have to get a video of her sharing her passage with you all.

Don't worry….she won't be afraid to be on camera. She loves it. Ha!

This week, since we were working on submission I decided to have her help me bake brownies.  Since part of submission is listening and obeying, I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to learn how to follow instructions. And what better way to teach than with baking when the instructions are written out for you.  If you don't follow them….the results could be disastrous, not to mention inedible!

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Here is Madi.  She is really excited.  

I poured in the brownie mix and let her put in the vegetable oil and water (all pre-measured) and then I cracked one egg and she cracked the other.

Warning: allowing small hands to crack open eggs is very messy and very hilarious.  I wish you could have seen the look on Madi's face when the egg broke. Priceless.

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Then she and I mixed, poured it into a 9 x 13 inch pan and baked it for 20 minutes.

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Never mind that missing piece in the upper left corner.  I, uh *ahem*, really enjoyed that brownie.

Be sure to head over to Raising Homemakers if you are linking up today!

Tiff~

Our Downfall

"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Genesis 4:7

Sometimes, I go through the motions.  

Sometimes I read my bible because I am excited to learn more about my Savior and hold His promises in my heart.  But sometimes, I read because it is on my to do list.  

Sometimes I tithe because I enjoy being obedient to God and giving Him what He deserves after all He has given me. And sometimes I tithe because, well, I feel I have to.

Sometimes I do things joyfully. Other times I do it out of Christian duty.  Have you ever been guilty of this?

I think for the majority of us, if we are being honest with ourselves, tend to things because the Bible tells us so.  It isn't that we don't love God, but we are more worried about our appearance than we are about our devotion to Him.  Whether it is reading our Bible, tithing, attending church, praying or whatever else we can think of….we sometimes do it out of Christian duty.

Cain was the son of Adam and Eve.  You would think he would be the son of promise and hope.  But in my bible commentary…it is clear he lines up with the curse that was administered to man.  

He created an altar of sacrifice to God with his fruits and vegetables that were harvested…but God did not accept it.  Why?  He did what he was supposed to didn't he?

His heart wasn't in it.  He did it out of obligation….not because of his love and devotion to God.  

God spoke to Cain saying that if he did well (with a full and devoted heart) God would accept his offerings. But if not, then sin was crouching at the door. It wanted to overtake him, but he could master it.

Instead, in his anger that God rejected his offering, and instead of desiring to quickly re mediate the situation so that he could be in God's favor, he choose to sin.  He chose to murder his brother.  

How many of us do the same thing?  When we perform for God and do all that we are supposed to, yet God doesn't bless us or answer our prayers as we would like. He doesn't accept our gifts, our sacrifices.  We may not murder another individual….but we can choose to sin.  

We may choose to reject God and His discipline, forgetting that He loves us as His children and that discipline and teaching is necessary for our growth.  Yes we may choose to be jealous over the person whom God does appear to be blessing with many opportunities and gifts.  We choose to SIN.  

The above verse in Genesis brought much encouragement and conviction to my heart.  Today has been a day of obligation…..one where my heart hasn't been completely connected to the Holy Spirit.  I have a choice to make.  I seek Him by falling on my face, lying prostrate before Him, seek forgiveness and fix this hard heart of mine. Or I can choose sin as comfort.

Are you in this place?  I pray God's word encourages you and you can seek His face and mercy today!

Tiff~

PS. I use the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord and Zuck for my quiet time studies.  I find it helps me greatly when studying scripture.