Category Archives: Encouragement

Why You Don’t Need More Inspiration or Motivation


Inspiration is everywhere. Have you noticed that? Whether we are being inspired to create a beautiful home, or new delicious recipes that will wow your family and friends, or outfit inspirations, we are literally inundated with inspiration and ideas that are meant to move us to action.

Pinterest is a dreamers haven. But I have also found it is the place where dreams go to die.

Why? 

Because being inspired is not the same as action.  Honestly, it is easy to be inspired. Dare I say, it is even easy to be motivated.

Action, on the other hand, is harder. Because that means you have to make a decision to move or do something based on what you have seen.

If what you saw inspired you enough to move, and you actually took action, then fantastic! It worked!!!

But, if you are constantly being inspired but nothing happens….then you don’t need anymore inspiration. 

You need an action plan. You need to move.

People like to chat about being inspired. But being inspired costs you nothing. Literally. It is free. I post on social media every day my workouts, or about something I have read that encouraged me, in order to inspire and encourage all of you. And it is all free for you. I don’t charge for my inspiration. I give that away because I know it can benefit the heart of the reader.

But, if you come to me wanting my help to take action, I will require YOU to put some skin in the game. That means, you will have to invest your time and dollars in order for you to reach your desired goal. Action requires skin in the game. It does not require more motivation or inspiration. Those help to keep momentum. Heck, we all love an “Atta Girl!” Now and then! No shame in that!

But if you aren’t willing to move and put some skin on, then you are wanting to achieve anything. 

Are you ready for this? I say this in love. Completely. Because I love you.

You just want to be inspired. You aren’t looking to change. You don’t want to change, yet. You are not there yet. 

“But why do I have to spend so much money to get healthy/build my business/get training/etc.

Because. If you put into it, it will matter more to you. You will care more. It will hurt more because it cost you something. My journey was not free. It still isn’t. I invest regularly into my health, my relationships, my home, my business, because it matters to me! I have skin in this. It matters.

I know that part is painful. We don’t like to give any part of ourselves if we aren’t sure if it will work out. There are no guarantees, really.

But what if. Just what if you decided to take that inspiration, invest in it, and be surprised by the outcome. 

You may discover it was worth it.

Be a Size You,
Tiffany 

P.S. If you are ready to take charge of your health, and put some skin in the game, I always offer one on one support. Apply here so I can help you reach your health and fitness goals. 

The Pharaoh of Comparison

Yesterday at bible study I was struck deep in the chest about something.

Our women’s group is going through Priscilla Shirer’s study “He Speaks To Me”.  In her video session, she was encouraging us to be undivided in our worship. To not be distracted by the things around us.  To not be held captive by anything but give it all, everything you have, to God.

She spoke of the different captors in our lives, Pharaohs she called them, that keep us captive in our thinking and behavior.

My captor?

The Pharaoh of Comparison.

I believe a lot of us struggle with comparing ourselves to others. If you are a woman, this is especially true.  I find myself looking at other women and marvel at their abilities and attributes and I can’t help but start to question my own abilities and attributes.

“Why can’t I be as creative as Elizabeth?”

“I wish I could speak as well in front of people as my friend Bre.”

“I don’t have as much energy as so and so”.

“I want to write like Sarah. She is so incredible with her use of words and I’m not”.

Do you see where I am going?  When I do this, then I try to be like them.

Instead of trying to be myself. The girl that God specifically created and crafted with a specific personality, gifts and attributes.  I have passions of my own to use for God’s glory and for ministry.  But I get so lost in trying to be someone else that I put my own gifting on the back burner…or buried in some dark closet.

And then Priscilla said this and it shook me to my core and snapped me back to see just how unique God made me:

“If you are too busy trying to play someone else-who in the world is going to play you.”

Friends don’t be held captive by this captor. He is only as strong as you allow him to be. Allow the Holy Spirit to break you free and realize your own full potential, gifts and abilities to glorify Him and worship Him fully.

An undistracted worship for our King.

Blessings,

Tiff~

Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things

  Photo from Christmas 2010

This sweet little gal is outgoing, fun, friendly and happy…most of the time.

She is not, however, very adventurous.

That accolade belongs to my son who is too adventurous for me and he gives me a heart attack daily.

Madi can be very timid when it comes to trying out new foods or new activities.  It can be a real battle in our household whenever I try out a new recipe for the family to enjoy (and it just so happens to be healthy!).  She will start to cry, pout, stall, and whip out all of her tricks and tools in order to avoid trying anything new.

She is a creature of comfort. She knows what she likes and she chooses not to stray too far away from her preferences.

Last night was one of those instances where she had to try a new soup for dinner.  She didn’t want to. She cried big crocodile tears. I told her all she had to do was take a couple of bites. If she didn’t like it, she didn’t have to finish it.  She finally conceded to my suggestion.

And guess what.

She loved it.  And she asked me tonight before she went to bed to make it again.

How often are we like children? Afraid to try new things? To step out of our comfortable little settings and activities? I have nothing against being comfortable. But I don’t want to be in that place forever.

Is this you? Are you too comfortable to move?

You are in a relationship that seems to go nowhere, but you stay. Comfortable.

In a job you don’t really enjoy, but the pay is good so you will put up with it. Comfortable.

There is an opportunity you would love to jump on, but you hesitate to try because you don’t want to rock the steady boat you are currently on.  You don’t want to take risks. Comfortable.

I could go on and on with examples, but I am sure you get the gist of what I am sharing with you.

Friends, a lot of times stepping out in faith does not equal comfortable. It can mean the exact opposite. It can stretch us, pull us and mold us into places and positions we never even imagined.  God can use anyone, but I really believe He wants us to be like clay…so that He can mold us and position us in the way He sees fit and aligns with His will for our lives. Madi had to submit full trust into me in regards to soup.  We must submit our full trust in God when it comes to stepping out of our comfort zone and in our lives.

I pray that today is the day that you try something new. That you pray for God to mold you, move you and perhaps make you a tad uncomfortable.

Blessings,

Tiff~

What Would You Do?

Say you are serving in ministry as a pastor in one state and you feel God is directing you and your family elsewhere.

Would you listen or would you hesitate?

What if God was prompting you to plant a new church in a different state.  Would you and your family instantly say "Yes Lord!" and pack your things? Or would you stay put, certain you heard the Lord incorrectly?

What if you found out you were expecting a brand new baby and you are in a new city, new state, beginning a new life and new ministry?  Would you stomp your feet in frustration and stress over how to provide for such a child? Or would you thank God for this brand new little life and trust in His provision.

What if you just found out that that very unborn baby now had an uncertain future?  Doctors tell you that chances of survival are slim to nothing. That your baby is very sick and will most likely die. 

What would you do?  Would you cling to your Heavenly Father, praying to Him and trusting in His goodness even though the situation looks bleak?  Or would you throw your fists up in anger and curse Him?  

What would you do?

On Monday, friends of mine shared heartbreaking news with us all.  

Would you visit their blog and share some encouragement with them today?  They are in the midst of a grand adventure in creating a brand new church in Indiana and they need our prayers.  Please pray for their little boy as they travel along this painful journey.

I believe in a God who can perform miracles and I believe in a God of comfort in our darkest moments. I believe in a God who does not abandon us during the storms of life, but instead chooses to renew our strength and mount us up with wings like the eagles when we wait for Him.

Praying for my friends today.  

Tiff~

Isaiah 40:30-31

True Beauty

"An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels." Proverbs 31:10 ESV

I long to be an excellent wife to my husband.  After listening to yesterday's conference online, I was just convicted at how selfish I am a lot of the times.  How often I don't serve my husband because I have my own agenda.  I want my husband's heart to completely have peace and trust in his wife. If I am selfish and choosing to not meet his needs, then he will experience unnecessary anxiety and hurt. I truly don't want to bring that on him.

I feel like our relationship series at Illuminate is just as much for me as it is for our group.  Dan and I are married and have definitely disappointed each other.  I think a lot of times we try to look good in the eyes of others (at least I have) instead of focusing on pleasing and obeying God in who He designed us to be.

I long to be beautiful in God's eyes. Not the world's.

The bible describes an excellent wife as "far more precious than jewels". That means she is valuable, rare and of worth. When the world places value on the material and superficial, God is teaching me that a wife, one that loves the Lord and is obedient to Him and cares and loves her family, is of real value. 

A rare jewel. 

In the New King James version, she is described as a virtuous wife.  Virtuous in the bible was used to describe a man or an army strong and mighty.  So I choose to thing of this woman as strong  and mighty.

But not just in the physical. 

She is also strong mentally, emotionally, spiritually as well as physically. She is no shrinking violet.   She works hard.  She doesn't wait for work to be handed to her. She knows there is work to be done…and does it.

Her characteristics show evidence of a life yielded to God:

*Nurtures a peaceful heart (Proverbs 14:30)

*Knows patience (Proverbs 19:2)

*Does not pick fights, create drama (Proverbs 19:11)

*Restrains her emotions (Proverbs 25:28)

She masters her tongue:

*Speaks less often (Proverbs 10:19)

*Speaks only after she thinks about what she is going to say (Proverbs 15:28)

*Speaks only what is sweet and pleasant (Proverbs 16:21)

*Speaks only what is wise and kind (Proverbs 31:26)

She is truly a beautiful woman. Not by the world's standards, but by God's.

That is who I aspire to be.

Tiff~

Encouragement in Written Form

I love receiving cards in the mail. To me, nothing says "I love you" or "thinking about you" than a personal, hand-written note from a loved one.  They often come unexpectedly, and I believe that is the beauty of the note.  

To bring unexpected, joy, hope and encouragement into one's life. 

Yesterday, on September 11th, I attended a Memorial Service for a dear friend and attendee of Illuminate.  Watching a mother grieve the loss of a child is so hard to view.  It is something I pray to God everyday that I never have to experience, regardless of the age of my children. While I was getting ready, I knew she would need encouragement.  I decided to give her a card of encouragement.

I also knew that she would probably be receiving lots of cards.  Written words from those who loved Kelly. From those who may have had a hard time finding the words to say to bring comfort, but a card they found spoke it perfectly.

That is the beauty of a card.

I picked out my card from Dayspring's Hope and Encouragement set.   It said exactly what I was thinking that morning. My heart heavy knowing we were celebrating a life that was no longer with us.  Praying for Kelly's Mom and brother. Praying for other family members and friends who would be with us that morning.  There was joy in my heart knowing that her mother and brother had accepted Jesus. Joy because Kelly was in heaven in a new body, no longer in pain.  Joy because others would get to hear about the Jesus Kelly loved so deeply.

That is the beauty of experiencing pain. 

I don't wish to dwell in pain, or even experience it regularly.  But it is when I am hurting or I see others hurting that I know our Heavenly Father is really present.  That He carries us and calls us to lean on Him so much that we can't imagine being anywhere else.  And it is with that experience with pain that we know to bring encouragement to those who experience it as well.  

Through a card. Encouragement in written form. Sometimes, our mouths don't form the words we want to say. 

But a card can.

Tiff~

P.S. Today is National Day of Encouragement.  If there is someone you know who could use a beautiful, encouraging note from you, please send one today. 

*Huge thank you to (in)courage for sending me the beautiful package of cards from their Hope and Encouragement collection.  They are absolutely beautiful and I have several more being mailed out to friends and family as we speak.*