Who Is The Perfect Christian Man?

perfect christian man to marry or date

Recently I was asked to speak at a women’s conference in Uganda. Outwardly I reflected my cool, calm demeanor, but inwardly my stomach instantly tied into knots. Passing out from anxiety seemed imminent. You can check out my blog Fear of Rejection to see where this reaction stems from. As my friend shared with me the topic for the conference I couldn’t help but roar with laughter.   Who is the perfect christian man?   I would have to be the bearer of bad news and tell these women the perfect man does not exist. I wish a perfect man existed because then my marriage would be easy with zero headaches or hassles. I hope no ladies are out there holding their breath for that perfect christian man to waltz on up and whisk you away as the sun dips behind a glowing horizon. As it stands, we may not be able to pick the perfect man, but we can choose a man who is pursuing the Lord with all his heart and aiming for godliness. A few years ago I asked my niece for advice on how to pick the person you should date. You would think she had […]

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9 Lessons Learned in the First 90 Days of Marriage

Christian Marriage

Today marks three months of marriage for my husband and I. There are days marriage is so easy I think everybody should do it, and there are days it’s so hard I wonder why anybody does it. On February 26, 2017 I wheeled my two suitcases and two carry on bags into DFW airport to begin a departure to a relatively unknown life. I felt this gnawing growing inside my core reminding me life as I’ve known it would never be the same. With a parade of thoughts swirling in my mind, I resolutely boarded the plane to take me halfway around the world to a different home. Some days I sensed I was hitting the ground running in Uganda, other days I felt like flattened roadkill plastered on the hot pavement wanting desperately for someone to scrape me off the ground. I’m thankful for a husband that constantly helps me navigate the new world I am in, extends grace when I am cranky, practices patience during my culture shock spasms and loves me without faltering. I am no expert in marriage, but I am an expert in learning and have compiled nine essential lessons I’ve learned in the first 90 days […]

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A Daughter Who Loves Her Dads

Father's Day

I sat down in my sturdy chair and flipped open the pages of the week’s recovery lesson. “How has the view of your earthly father impacted the view of your heavenly father and how has that view shaped your life?”  With a quizzical expression plastered on my face,  I questioned how the two could possibly be related.  I struggled with this for a while allowing God to use this question to probe and sift through the clutter in my heart. After wrestling through tough questions, acknowledging the pain divorce and distance can cause, and expressing my true, messy feelings God brought my heart and mind to a new place. As God replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh, this freshly beating heart began to birth something beautiful from the ashes of my life. I  discovered I have a perfect father in heaven and any father on earth will always fall short despite their deepest efforts. I came to a moment of revelation – God has blessed me with two dads on earth. Before encountering God’s grace, that is not something I would have said or believed, but God revealed to me that my dads have always loved me […]

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What the Traffic Officer Taught Me After Getting Pulled Over in Uganda

Kampala definitely fits the description of the city that never sleeps. The stores are buzzing with people and the roads are busy carrying hard-workers home at all hours of the night. Ashiram and I were driving home late one evening from across town with tired bodies and sleepy eyes. As we approached an intersection, the light turned yellow. I caught myself from raising the alarm thinking I might have the traffic light system wrong here. The light shifted to red as we coasted through the intersection. Immediately, I saw a traffic officer standing tall in his black boots and white uniform signaling to pull over. I looked at Ashiram and gently mumbled, “We ran a red light.” I’ve heard the stories of frustration that involved Mzungos (the term used when referring to white people) encountering traffic officers. The traffic officers would wave them down and point out an unusual issue with their vehicle after the routine inspection. Usually, the Mzungo offered some sort of bribe or food in their car to be released. I silently prepared for a similar experience where the color of my skin would falsely indicate to the officer the amount of money in my wallet. The […]

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Acclimating to Africa: My Multiple Meltdowns

I knew it was inevitable – culture shock.   I naively hoped my transition would be as smooth as gliding down a water slide on a hot, Texas summer day. Kind of like this.       I downplayed the fast-approaching drastic life change. Not only was I being transplanted to a new continent and culture, but I was also getting engaged and married within a month of landing. That’s a lot of life change condensed into a short window of time, but I couldn’t argue that God had been steadily preparing me the past six months for the life-altering move. In fact, most people in the bible where often called to live in foreign lands. God is an expert in this territory and I knew I couldn’t be in better hands. He wouldn’t lead me somewhere He hasn’t already been. That fact alone brought me comfort on the days I battled culture shock and turbulent emotions.   I arrived in Uganda and the chaotic, hazardous driving that once gave even my anxiety anxiety did not rattle me. I beamed on the inside thinking to myself, “I must have mastered culture shock! Tiffany 1, Culture Shock 0.” The tide quickly […]

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Better Is The End

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8   I started laboriously paying off my student loans over a year ago. I took a good, hard look at how much interest I would pay over ten years and that made me cringe to the point  I became aggressive in paying off my massive debt. The end of paying off my student loans was infinitely better than the day I sent the first payment. Better is the end of a thing that its beginning.   It’s one thing to enroll in college, it’s another feat to dedicate four years to earning a degree. The extended nights studying, the countless papers written, and the numerous hours spent in the classroom. Adrenaline rushes through us at the beginning of a new adventure, but that fire fades as we settle into the mundane activities it takes to patiently endure to the end. Adrenaline can cause acceleration, but doesn’t always give you an advantage over adversity. “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10. Better is the end of a thing that its […]

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The Untold Christmas Story

Christmas Story Jesus Savior Lord Baby in Manger

When the Christmas story is told, we mainly hear about Mary and baby Jesus born in a manger. Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing means more to me than the birth of my Lord and Savior, but as people across the world flock to churches to hear the story of Jesus’ birth and celebrate his coming to earth I want to talk about another person tucked away in the crevices of the Christmas story. You see there’s another “J” man who may have been overlooked as the wise men were onlookers at the nativity scene. That man is Joseph. I understand Jesus is the focus and Mary is magnificent for offering her life to carry the one who would bring eternal life to the world, but Joseph’s character deserves some credit in the story. Joseph lives more by faith and less by logic Mary was legally pledged to marry Joseph, but they hadn’t done the thing husband and wife do. Apparently, there was a child (the Savior of the world to be exact) growing inside Mary that Joseph played no role in creating. Let’s say I was engaged and then said, “Hey, Honey-Darling-Love-Of-My-Life I am pregnant. I can explain though. […]

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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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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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Broken to Brand New

Last night, as I began packing up my apartment, I ran across a folded up piece of paper tucked between two books – hidden yet wanting to be found. It contained thoughts that I wrote in high school and one particular sentence shook me to my core. “I am fighting a lonely battle and by looking back at history you’ll easily see wars aren’t won with one soldier.” It took me back to those days of depression. The days of pretending I was perfect. The days I hid my pain in my academic performance and relationships. The days I started to find my escape in alcohol to numb my pain, yet make me come alive temporarily. The feeling of coming alive was fleeting.   As one feeling fleeted I looked to another substance, subject or source to fill that void inside instead of looking to my savior.In my letter I wrote “I wish I had strength, but I’ve failed everybody in my life.”It broke my heart. I wish the Tiffany of today could have been there to comfort this lost, vulnerable girl. I wish I could have wrapped my loving arms around her and whisper in her ear,  “It’s going to get […]

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