Fear of Rejection

Over the years this paper slipped between the fridge and counter at my mom’s house. I still remember the day I was handed this tiny piece of paper. All the kids were chattering about their high school rank and wondering who would be at the top of the class. Nobody had announced it and everybody was eager to know. Intrigued, I hesitantly walked to the counselor’s office to find out where I stacked up on the list. She scribbled on this piece of paper, told me congratulations and passed it my way. Out of 505 students, I was number one. Perfect GPA. I folded this piece of paper so tightly you can still see the lingering crease marks from years ago. I was completely shocked. Once word got out, the kids at school no longer called me Tiffany, but referred to me as “number one.” I’m not sharing this to toot my horn or reminisce on the glory days. I’m sharing this because this fragment of paper represents my deeply rooted fear of rejection and failure that I’ve been paralyzed by for years. Would I have graduated first in my class? I don’t know. But what I do know is […]

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It’s Never Too Late

When I talk to people about my personal journey with Jesus sometimes I hear “It’s so awesome you turned to him at a young age and sought His healing for the harms in your past. But it’s way too late for me. My ship has sailed. I can’t do anything now. My life is beyond repair. I’ve screwed everything up.” I am troubled by this mindset and the lies we easily succumb to, but I also know I felt the exact same way. I’ve walked in those shoes. I didn’t think God’s forgiveness was for me. My sins were beyond his reach. I was brainwashed to believe my brokenness was way beyond what he could beautifully mend. My past was too wretched to be redeemed. Like a game of elementary school kickball, I didn’t think he picked me for the team.  I’d almost given up complete hope that my life could be turned around, but there was a sliver of my heart that believed just maybe what Jesus had to offer was true. All God needs is a sliver of your heart seeking him to show you who he is and his plans for your life. You see, the buzzer has not rung in this game […]

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I like to Party, so I like my Jesus to Party.

  Back in the day, I would watch any movie with Will Ferrell in it. I felt like a horrible fan for falling asleep during Casa De Mi Padre, but my favorite is either Elf or Talladega Nights. It’s a toss up between the two.  In Talladega Nights, there’s this dinner scene where Ricky Bobby is saying grace and Cal chimes in with how he pictures Jesus and says, “I like to party, so I like my Jesus to party.” I hear where Cal’s coming from because I consider myself a reformed party girl as a result of a transformed heart by Jesus’ grace. But, just when I thought I had to put my party pants away Jesus says, “Not too fast, Tiffany. I like to party too AND you’re invited.” To which I respond, “Go on…” I think we like to recall and reminisce our firsts in life. First love. First house. First job. First time you successfully accomplished turning on a shower that is not your own. I always feel like an idiot at hotels. I turn into Avril Lavign as I stare at the shower and sing, “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?” The struggle is real. Firsts are important in […]

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The Man I Met in the Wilderness

This blog sounds like it’s either about my close encounter with an ax murderer in the woods or my happily ever after with the Brawny man. It’s neither. But unfortunately, or fortunately  depending on which plot you were rooting for,  it’s neither. I was enjoying my “dream praycation” hanging out in my hammock – or my official happy place.  I’m dozing off in the shade, curled up like a caterpillar in its cocoon, with a soft wind gently swaying me from side-to-side. I’m allowing my mind to wander to far away places when I hear a “Hey!” Startled, I shake off my slumber and look around to see a man coming my way. As he got closer, I could focus on his frame which was such a peculiar sight that a slight chuckle escaped my lips. He was wearing semi-nice dress pants and a button-up collared shirt, but his attire was oddly splattered with paint. It wasn’t exactly the wardrobe I would have chosen for a brisk walk on the trails, but to each his own. His hands caught my attention next. Wearing black gloves garnished with remnants of paint he held two blue weights on his shoulders and carried a twinkle in his eyes. Not like a creepy Santa Claus twinkle […]

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Call Me Mara: What Jesus taught me through Bruce Jenner

I never thought I would start a blog thanking Bruce Jenner, but if it weren’t for his Vanity Fair appearance announcing “Call Me Caitlyn” a specific passage of scripture stating “Call me Mara” would not have spoken to me as profoundly as it did. For a while, I couldn’t go more than two seconds without seeing Call Me Caitlyn plastered on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TV.  I love how Jesus doesn’t waste anything and even uses our culture to cultivate connections to His word. I want us to spend some time in the pages of Ruth walking alongside Naomi. Remember, I did not go to seminary school. I don’t have a degree in theology to garnish my writing with. I am not a pastor with any sort of pedigree. I did not grow up in the church. I have not studied the bible in the original language and often don’t know the full story behind the story inside of the story because it connects to some story in another chapter. Basically, what it boils down to is I don’t have credibility, but I can always give credit to God. I am just a princess of the King, a sheep to the Good Shepherd and a girl learning to see and share how the Kingdom and […]

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Learning To Welcome Weakness

 I stared at this page for a long time. I started a couple of different blogs before I came back to this blank page. I even left it for a week before revisiting it.  I have a million messy thoughts meandering through my mind.  For once, I don’t want to share my thoughts because it’s not pretty. For the past couple of months I’ve felt overwhelming weakness, weariness and wimpiness. I’ve felt pressed against on all sides. I’ve seen strongholds in my life painfully stripped away. But as certain things are stripped away I’ve noticed they are being replaced with a hunger for what God has to offer. Tiffany-made material is stripped away and replaced with satisfaction in God-made motives.  As I’m being chiseled away the remaining crevices are filled with desires for more of God’s word, His people and the Holy Spirit’s activity. I’ve realized I find comfort and affirmation in every other relationship in my life except for my relationship with God. I’ve struggled to remain committed to God’s healing in my life, because I rather continue to avoid the pain in my past than face my fears and peel back those fear layers to reveal the root problem. I’ve been told you are either running towards […]

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God Has His Grace Goggles On

In my not too distant past, my weekends consisted of absurd amounts of time at bars drinking copious amounts of alcohol to numb my pain and make me feel “alive.” Have you heard the term beer goggles? They were a pertinent part of my ensemble on the weekends and I wore them proudly. Once I started drinking, the last guy that should get my attention at the bar became the first one on my radar. You know, the guy your mom always warned you about. The one you should run away from in the opposite direction, but I was attracted like a flying insect to a bug zapper. It’s sucky (for lack of a better word) to reflect on this part of my past. I am thankful that God can take my nights of drunken debauchery and use it to show me His grace goggles. You see, the two are completely different yet uniquely the same. When I saw life through my beer goggles God saw me through His grace goggles. For those that aren’t familiar, beer goggles come into play after consuming alcohol. What once was ugly appears attractive.  It just blows me away that without God’s grace I am ugly, wicked, and evil but when His eyes see me through […]

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You Want Me To Blog About Blueberries?

Blueberries. That’s what I heard one Saturday morning as sipped my coffee, soaked up the sunrise and journaled my prayers.  If I’m being honest,  I already had in my head what I was going to write in my blog, but thought it would be good to double check and run my idea by God. Ya know, make sure he is on the same page as me, not if I am on the same page as him.  How many times do I find myself doing that? Already making up in my mind how something will look or what I should do and then almost as a common courtesy making sure God is aligned with my plan? That’s dangerous. So, Saturday morning I found myself asking God a simple question, “What do you want me to write in my blog this month?” Immediately I heard back, “Blueberries.” Um, What?! I began to question this response. Am I hearing blueberries because it’s Saturday morning and I haven’t had breakfast? Could be. Is it because earlier in the week someone tried to use a blueberry pancake recipe to pick me up? Might be. I was confused and went about my prayers with blueberries in the back of my mind. Saturday […]

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5 Steps to Fight Your February Funk

 My friends, writer’s block is upon me. I feel mentally marred. This is a foreign feeling to me. When I think of blocks I picture clogs. How do you take action when you know you have a clog? You take steps to pull, push, or pulverize the clog. It could be hair hanging out in your drain (definitely guilty of this) or a toy in the toilet. You don’t know the root, but you know there’s a problem prohibiting progress on your path. Usually, the words flow out of my fingers like water flows from a fountain. I’ve been struggling to write a certain message. I started off strong in the beginning, but the second part is just falling flat. Because my mind is notorious for running off on tangents,  I began thinking about how sometimes in areas of my life I get in a funk and fall flat. Even the most happy-go-lucky folks get in a funk. It happens to the best of us.  I think of myself like that pitiful happy birthday balloon that slowly loses its air until it’s shriveled and its limp balloon body looks so sad you have to throw it away and put it out of its misery. What if I could […]

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Every Day is Trash Day

Sunday through Thursday a trash service comes to my apartment and retrieves my discarded trash for the day. As I was setting out the trash today I was reminded of how closely taking out the trash and God sending his son Jesus to this earth to walk with among us are related.  I know my way of thinking is often borderline bizarre, but hang in there with me as I try to explain myself. Let’s rewind and tie together the threads of my thought process that directed me to my destination. Every day we as humans accumulate trash. It’s pretty much unavoidable if you eat or own anything. If we didn’t take out our trash at least weekly and let it collect in our homes soon our house would start rotting and reeking from the inside out. Our homes would become uninhabitable and we would no longer be able to live freely inside. As more trash piles on top of more trash our own stench and garbage ends up swallowing us. But there’s a way to  rid yourself of your garbage and it’s simple. Ready for this? Take out your trash.  You see my garbage man isn’t going to come […]

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