Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Beautiful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving collage
 
A beautiful holiday spent with our beautiful  family.  This year, Dan and I spent it with his family. We have decided that we would take turns between families for Thanksgiving (Christmas is easy for us!).  

I apologize for the lousy quality of my photography. I could not for the life of me get the lighting right in my In Laws house. Clearly I am no expert with the camera ;).

But poor photos aside, the day was lovely, filled with yummy food and rich conversation and laughter.  Dan and I are so fortunate to live so close to our loved ones.  God is amazing good and we are so thankful for the sacrifice His Son, our Savior made for us on the cross.

I pray your Thanksgiving was blessed as well.

Tiff~

LA Shoot This

A few weeks ago, Madison had the opportunity to participate in a photoshoot with La Shoot This. The events are produced by the fabulous Joelle Leder.  It is a photography group for professionals and amateurs who are hoping to hone their skills in photography.  My dad has been participating for the past year and he loves it.  It has revived his love of the camera and I am excited for him.

I love looking at beautiful pictures. There are some amazing artists out there who really know how to work the lens and capture the most magnificent and magical of moments.

The following photos are from One..Two..Cheese photography, and Nancy Ahn Photography.  

LA Shoot This

LA Shoot This2

LA Shoot This3

LA Shoot This4

LA Shoot This5

The adorable Sock pet you saw is by Pam from Made By Pam. It was a huge hit with the little ones that weekend.  If  you are searching for a Christmas gift that your little one will love, I highly suggest giving Pam a call. Her Sock pets are WONDERFUL!

Enjoy!

Tiff~

On Thanksgiving Eve

There is a bustle of activity happening in our house today.  A lot of last minute cleaning, sorting of clothes for everyone to wear for tomorrow.

I will be up late tonight baking some yummy goodness for our family this Thanksgiving.  I am in charge of desserts and I have my eye on some sinfully scrumptious Pecan Pie .

I hope each of you have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.  

Tiff~

 

 

Hospitality and the Church

The pot was boiling away, the signal that it was ready for me to submerge the pasta in it's heated water.  Adding salt and spaghetti, I stirred to break apart the noodles while thinking of our dear friends who would be eating this meal as a family.  

Only it would't be as a joyous occasion.  Our friends had experienced loss and they were in mourning over a loved one.  

Dan suggested I make a meal and he would pick up some groceries containing quick dinners for a few days. Just so she would't have to think of dinner for her family. So she could just be with her family.  

I prayed my dinner would ease their burden somewhat. 

I thought of moments when a home cooked meal, a thoughtful note, a caring phone call brought life back to my heart.  And even in the happiest of moments, the thoughtfulness of others always encouraged me.  Always brought a smile and warmth to my heart.

I think of my two girlfriends who were expecting little ones this past year. When their darling babies arrived, no one ministered. From the church. Family helped if they lived locally.  Sure there were congratulations and well wishes…but I wonder about the attitude of hospitality.  

It seems so old fashioned here in California.  Or maybe, we just weren't taught the true principles of hospitality.  To share gifts of food, conversation and comfort.  To not just send a email, tweet, text or facebook messages, although those are good!  But to be hospitable, to cook for someone, clean their house, give a new mommy a nap….to celebrate with them in a joyous occasion or mourn alongside them during a difficult season….is when we see the church doing what God want of us.

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace…" 1 Peter 4:8-10 (ESV)

Does your church practice hospitality within its members and to those outside? Do you?

Tiff~

Adventures in Parenting.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  

God has blessed me with two beautiful munchkins. I love them to pieces.  I can't imagine my life without them.  They bring me much joy and happiness and laughter.  

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But let's be real and say that sometimes they make me want to stick needles in my eyes and go bald because I pulled out all of my hair.

*ahem*

Like when one refuses to go down the escalator and let's go of your hand at the last minute and you find yourself going down without your daughter and she is screaming bloody murder in public?

Or when you are trying to take a lovely family photo for the Holidays and one certain toddler refuses to behave unless food is involved and even then it is questionable?

Or when one asks 369749749875 different questions within 15 minutes and the answers you give her are not to her satisfaction?  

*sigh*

Ah, adventures in parenting ;).

Yes, my kids may look sweet and innocent, but don't be fooled. =)

In all seriousness, we all have days where parenting can be hard. Feel free to share your stories.  I love reading them. I love experiencing community with other mommies!

 

Tiff~

We Are Not Immune

My stomach was in knots all day.  The news coming from my husband's mouth was shocking to both of us.  We both stared at each other, not sure what to say next.  What to think. How to pray.  Have you ever had one of those days? Experienced something so startling that your nerves are just a mess.  You feel sick, nauseous. Upset, angry, hurt. The tears flow.  At least for me.  

We had Illuminate in just a few hours.  We both could feel our anxiety and heartbreak fighting with us as we sought to continue our ministry to those we loved at our Young Adult group.  In humble obedience, we placed our hearts before our heavenly Father, trusting in His goodness to speak through us.

We were blessed to witness students choosing Hope.  God moved.

At home we prayed together.  

We are not immune to falling.  That was the first thought out of my wise husband's mouth.  

"It could have very well have been me."  

It was then I couldn't hold the tears anymore.  I prayed for my husband. For his ministry. For protection.  I prayed for those hurt. For those we know who are in ministry.  

We are not immune to falling.  

When we are doing Kingdom work, obedient to God and loving His people, Satan is on the prowl.  Those who are not idle in their walk are his prey.  He seeks to destroy us. He will lie to us, accuse us. And sometimes, it seems like he succeeds.  

In Lamentations 3:19-29 (ESV) the author speaks of remembering his own afflictions and wanderings.  Remembering my past, how God brought me from so much. And He continues to restore me when I wander in my heart and in my life.  

That His grace is limitless. His loving-kindness never failing. 

"..praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.." Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)

In His Grace,

Tiff~

Anger and Forgiveness.

I have struggled with many sins in my life.  Before I knew Christ, I struggled with porn, sexual immorality, a horrible attitude and pride.

But after Sunday, when each of us placed our sins in a glass jar and sought forgiveness from them….I realized there was one sin that seemed to keep rearing its ugly head in my life. 

Anger.  

I get angry when people hurt me. Lie to me. Betray me. When things don't go my way. When people don't listen to me.  

This Sunday, I will be sharing alongside Dan at Illuminate about a time in our lives when we experienced pain from the people we loved most.  We experienced anger.  We will also share about our choice to forgive…..even when it doesn't seem like they deserve it.  

I hope to see you there.

Use Your Voice

Yesterday, if you are on twitter or watched the news, there was a major uproar in regards to a certain e-book Amazon Kindle was selling on its site.

I won't repost the link of the book, as it is offensive, but basically it is a guide book for pedophilia.  

I am not going to go into a long tirade about Amazon.  I will just say this.

When we see something that is disgusting, that has the potential to cause harm and illegal activity against other individuals, then you need to open your mouth. Use your words. 

We can go over and over about how we shouldn't attack "the company" but "the individual".  While in most cases that will be true.  But in something as despicable as pedophilia….no deal. 

I will hold companies accountable.  This isn't about censorship or freedom of speech.

This. Is. A. Crime.  

I will do everything in my power to try and protect my children and the children I don't know.   Will the crimes against children be erased after this book is gone?  

No.

We have a lot of work to do. 

But do not allow that to deter your from using your voice.

Tiff~

Illuminate Thoughts

Last night, I watched as over a hundred men and women walk to the front of the stage and place their hidden sin, the sin they chose to keep a secret due to fear, embarrassment or helplessness, in a glass jar. I placed my own confession, written down on a thin piece of  tissue paper, in that clear container.

Then I watched as Dan poured red juice, a symbol of Christ's blood, into the jar and over our written confessions.  

To me it was a powerful reminder of what Christ ultimately did on the cross.  

"For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. " Psalm 51:3 (ESV)

God knows of our deepest darkest secrets.  He sees the things we do in public as well as in private.  When we confess them before our Heavenly Father, He begins the work of restoration and healing immediately.  

What can wash away our sins? Nothing, and I mean nothing, but the blood of Jesus.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." James 5:16 (ESV)

Tiff~