Summer: Significantly Simple

Every time someone asks me where I grew up, with a grin, my mind begins to replay memories from my time in Freeport, Illinois. I moved to Texas when I was two, but I spent every summer until sixth grade at my dad’s in the country. I was surrounded by sunshine, corn fields and gravel roads. For a kid, it doesn’t get much better than that. As summer comes to and end I am beginning to reflect on how I spent my summers as a child. Ironically, I’ve mentioned Freeport, Illinois more times in the past month than I believe I’ve mentioned in my entire life. I’ve definitely been reaching back to my roots lately.  In today’s world, it seems like children are just chauffeured from one activity to the next not wanting our kids to miss an experience or an opportunity. Will little Johnny not get the most out of life if he misses guitar lessons, Karate, drama kids or football?  It’s not surprisingly that children are starting to feel the pressure and stresses of the real world when their parents are pushing them to be involved in every activity and make sure the don’t “miss out” on any […]

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Tiffany’s Transitional Transformation Timeline

Tiffany’s Transitional Transformation Timeline. Say that five times fast. It feels good to write again. The topic of transitions has been on my heart for a while, so I’ve decided to finally start writing it even though I have no idea what direction it will go in. I just have to keep typing one letter after another until it’s complete. This is just raw writing today. Pursuing progress not perfection I would love to say once I finally sought healing that God just transformed me over night. I would love to say that I woke up without any old habits trying to hold me hostage. The sin side effects still lingered. I’ve learned that when you desire long-lasting change there isn’t a quick fix. Imagine putting a spare tire on your car. It is designed to get you to the nearest tire shop to repair your car. It’s not meant to handle 5,000 additional miles. Driving on the spare for an extended amount of time will result in a blowout. How many of us our bracing for blowouts instead of reaching for a repair? If you put a Band-Aid on a wound that needs stitches you will soon realize that the healing you have is temporary. […]

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Heartbreak Happens

About two weeks ago I received a message from a Facebook friend asking me how I have dealt with heartbreak. For starters, I am not a relationship expert nor do I claim to be one. I’ll let Dr. Phil keep his crown. I can tell you one thing though, I feel like because I’ve done relationships all wrong that really by process of elimination I’ve become wiser at what works. Fortunately, God is always growing me in this area and I need all the help I can get! I’ve included my response below, but have decided to expand on it slightly. I don’t like using the term “heartbreak” when referring to relationships that end. I prefer to call it “heart dents” or possibly even “heart cracks” but I think there’s other suffering in this world that literally breaks the human heart. I only know this because I pray for God to break my heart for the things that breaks his and when I hear of a story of an innocent child being abused that breaks my heart. When I hear of someone who left their faith or had a falling out and no longer believes in Jesus that quite simply […]

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Love Does: Lazy Love vs. Limitless Love

There was a time in my life where I hit a low point. Although today I am bursting at the seams with a joy that can only come from Christ that wasn’t always the case. In my not too distance past I was miserable, depressed and hurting. I was also a professional at hiding my pain and masking my misery. However, my sister always sees right through me and her ability to see my suffering led to one of my favorite stories to share. One day as I was going back to my dorm from class at OU I opened up my door to see my roommate sitting in the dark. I was slightly perplexed, but before I could even muster out a question my niece (featured in videos below) popped out from underneath my covers and my sisters jumped out from their hiding spots as well. SURPRISE! A surprise it was indeed. I can’t remember if I cried, but I’m pretty sure I made some sort of loud, distorted noise because people in my dorm came running down to see what the commotion was all about. My family had made the drive from Dallas to OU to be there […]

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To be or not to be…baptized?

The other night I finally acknowledged my weirdness.  Most girls my age spend their time watching creative proposal videos (which to be clear there is nothing wrong with that and I’ve watched my fair share of flash-mob proposals). I, on the other hand, found myself enthralled by baptism videos. Seeing people moved by the Holy Spirit moves me to tears. Baptisms are such a beautiful representation of the transformation of one’s heart. If you ever need a “faith lift” just watch videos of lives changed and people deciding to leave the life they’ve known to follow Jesus. It doesn’t get more amazing than that. My mind began to wander to my recent baptism and the meaning in general behind it. On November 3, 2013 I was baptized at The River in The Colony, TX. Below is the email that I sent to my pastor leading up to my decision to be baptized and will explain exactly where my heart was in that moment followed by my post on Facebook the day of my baptism. This post is not in sync with how I usually write, but wanted to paint a picture of my personal baptism “journey.” Hi Sherman, You may or may not […]

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God wants me to use the F word?

  Lately, I’ve been fighting against forgiveness. It’s not that I don’t want to forgive. It’s simply my sinful heart intervenes and my brain likes to remind me of the pain in my past. When someone hurts me my natural response is as easy as 1-2-3. 1. Get Defensive  This might look like, “Well, I MAY have done that BUT you DID XYZ which is way worse.” I may want to control you and my insecurities led me to look through your phone, but you talked to your ex-girlfriend and lied to me about it. I make sure to take the spotlight off my sin (jealously, insecurity, control) and shine that sucker right back at someone else (cheating and lying).  2. Seek Revenge If I can’t be happy then you definitely don’t deserve to be happy. You hurt me. I will strategically think of ways to seek revenge. I don’t get mad. I get even. Sound familiar? Ideally, our happiness should not be dependent on our circumstance or people, but we are human and sometimes we find our happiness hangs on to another human. It doesn’t make it right. It’s just reality. 3. A Match Made in Misery They say misery loves company. […]

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The Disease to Please

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I was infected with the disease to please. When did I turn a God-given desire into a man-made tendency to make everybody else happy?   I believe God created us all with a desire to please, but it’s to whom we direct that desire that will impact the course of our lives and ultimately our satisfaction and, quite frankly, our sanity. If you’ve ever uttered, “I can’t make everybody happy” or exhaustedly muttered “There’s just not enough hours in the day” or dejectedly mentioned “I’m not good enough” then these are signs you are living with the disease to please.  We literally cannot make everybody happy when we are specifically designed to only live to please one person and there actually is enough time in the day to accomplish exactly what God wants us to do.  If you feel like you are running out of time that’s a good indicator you are doing too much of what the world wants and not enough of what God wants. Are you telling time by Christ’s clock or your own? Now, the activities you are doing likely are good things. That’s exactly what makes it complicated. Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? You […]

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Relapse is Real

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 Don’t be destroyed by the thing trying to devour you instead destroy what is damaging you.  During my journey of spiritual, emotional, and physical healing I began regeneration, often referred to as Celebrate Recovery. For those of you that don’t know, Regeneration is a biblically-based 12-step program to guide people through life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups and find freedom in Christ’s healing and grace. During Regen we always mentioned 1 Corinthians 10:12, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” You would think after saying that verse every Monday, I would be on my guard constantly. This verse is a great reminder to, in non-biblical terms, check myself before I wreck myself. At least that’s how I translate it. But what if I don’t check myself? What if you wind up wrecking myself in what seems to be a big way? I thought once I accepted Christ, that I would never be disobedient to him in such a blatant sin again. How could I hurt my healer? The one who rescued me […]

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Dating Redefined: RelationTIPS for Tiffany

A while back, I asked my nine-year-old niece for dating advice, since I was clueless as to how to maintain a dating relationship post accepting Jesus as my one true love. I explained that Tiffany’s track record wasn’t something to brag about and I no longer wanted dating disasters but dating redefined and then redeemed. In short, I told her I messed up a lot in the past and it was my chance to start over and to create my own definition for dating. I posed the question, “How does a person who loves Jesus date?”  Christ had transformed me, so that means my dating life would need to be a reflection of that transformation.   I didn’t know where to start, so naturally I believed starting with someone that has literally zero dating experience would be the perfect place. That’s the funny thing about God he doesn’t always use the people with a background in theology or a PHD in loveology (making things up now) he uses the people the world tends to scoff at or the people that you would have sought as a last resort for spiritual wisdom. Just like in 1 Corinthians 1:27 Paul mentions that […]

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Future Forgiveness

Omnipresent. Omnipotent. Omniscient. These words, used to described God, in my mind painted a picture of a creepy creator instead of a comforting creator. It described God as some supernatural stalker instead of someone who sent a savior to die for my sins. Oh, but how grateful I am to grasp the gospel now and delight in the description of God being all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful .  Deuteronomy 31:8 reads “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave your nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Man, God has gone before me? How do I begin to wrap my mind around that? He knows what the future holds and he holds my future in his hands? Now, this provides peace and encouragement. When I think about the struggles I will face in the future it fortifies my faith knowing I am not alone.  I have someone on my side who will NEVER leave me. He will NEVER forsake me. That’s a promise. But, then I got to thinking about this verse and meditating on the idea that God has foreknowledge. Wait, if he is all-knowing then when I get caught up in […]

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