Thursday, April 10, 2014

New website


Moving to a new website. Check out www.tiffanydannielle.com for the most recent blogs. 

Thanks to Jonathan for creating me the new website and being my #1 encourager and inspiring me to dream! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Need Approval?


I am reading "Crash the Chatterbox" by Steven Furtick. In the first chapter he shared a story of preparing for a sermon and wanted to share the process, by posting a picture on Instagram.  He placed the books strategically on his desk, continuing to rearrange them, to make the picture more appealing to his followers. Steven Furtick said, "I felt the need to construct a certain image to present online. For what benefit? More likes on Instagram. More button pushing." 

I can relate. It is easy to get sucked into living a post to post, tweet to tweet, status to status life.  I have to admit, there were days I have been more concerned about the perfect Facebook status to describe my moment, than actually enjoying and living IN the moment. It gets better... Maybe even a time or two, I had a Facebook status in mind, BEFORE I even lived the moment! Have you ever forced a moment, just for the Facebook status?  Honesty, people.

I quickly realized my silliness, shook my head, rolled my eyes at myself, and refocused. I don't want to live the moment for the approval or "likes" of others.

Why do we seek approval? 
Seeking approval spawns from insecurity. 
"One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity: we're comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else's highlight reel." -Steven Furtick

Who's approval do we need? 
"When you realize that God is the only One who really has any lasting reward to give, He becomes the only One whose approval you desperately need." -Steven Furtick

How are you living your life? 
Post to post, tweet to tweet, status to status...seeking approval and trying to prove yourself. 

OR 

Moment to moment...realizing you "have nothing to prove, because you are already approved" by God!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tangled

Jada enjoys helping me cook! My little sous chef. When she was younger, I remember picking her up and sitting her on the counter, by the fridge.  She would play with her leap frog magnetic letters in between helping me mix and pour ingredients. Messes were made as she stirred and licked cake batter...actually I think more made it in her mouth. The bright red evidence was all over her beautiful face, in her hair, and all down her new pink outfit. So many memories were made in our kitchen through the years.

One particular day stands out more than any other. I was cooking dinner and Jada was playing with a tape measure...you know the safe ones, not the metal ones. No harm can come out of that, right? (Okay moms...don't judge). I would watch her twirl in her tutu, while wearing roller skates, as she pretended to be a ballerina. All while managing to unwind and wind the measuring tape. Those were the moments I enjoyed cooking the most.

Twirling Stopped
After several minutes, the twirling stopped and I heard choking. I glanced over in her direction, only to see my beautiful ballerina had twirled herself into a tangled mess. One end of the tape measure was hooked around the pantry door knob (her imaginary ballet partner) and the rest of the tape measure was wrapped around her neck. GASP!  I still have no idea how it happened or why she didn't stop twirling when she realized it was starting to wrap around her neck. She literally twirled until she could twirl no more. She was head to head with her imaginary ballet partner...aka...the pantry door knob. I ran over to her, telling her to stand very still. The more she moved or I pulled the tape measure, the tighter it became. I could see it starting to cut into her neck, as she continued choking. Honestly, I completely panicked instead of realizing how easy it was to untangle her. All I had to do was turn her body in the opposite direction. I seriously seem to lose all common sense when in panic mode.

Are your threads tangled
We are messy people. Our threads of life become tangled.  If we bring our tangled threads to God, we can be sure He will not panic, but will sort them out. 

What are you tangled in
Your thoughts?
Restlessness?
Searching Answers?
Your future?
Your past?
Fear?
Your purpose?

"God could untangle your soul, your story, your gifts, your people, your place, and your passions, and begin to weave it into purposes that you haven't been brave enough to imagine." 

I tend to overanalyze, which only gets me in the position of being stuck. I become immobile. Have you ever asked yourself too many questions and eventually talk yourself out of doing something that God could have blessed tremendously? Guilty. Been there, done that. 

Start allowing God to untangle your threads and weave it into His purpose. Get excited. Dream big! Live intentionally! Opportunities are endless with God. Don't allow yourself to become tangled...let God weave your threads into something amazingly beautiful! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What's Your Strategy?

My family loves to play games. "Risk" is one of our favorite games. The object of the game: conquer the world with your army. 

3 different strategies of playing Risk:
1. Quietly sit and build your army, hoping not to be destroyed. 
2. Start battling right away....which causes the army to weaken. 
3. "Police" the game board. Making sure one players army does not become too strong. 

Each strategy has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the player may realize their strategy is not working and chooses a different battle plan. 

Do you have a strategy when faced with trials? 
You may be going through your own battle right now. You have a choice to make. Will you sit quietly and allow yourself to get destroyed? Will you allow yourself to be run over and beat down...becoming weak? Will you become distracted from the path God has you on? Will you battle with your own words? OR Will you give God control and let him fight your battle?  When you hide Gods word in your heart, scriptures come to mind at the very moment you need to remember them. This is the scripture that popped in my head this morning...

"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." (Philippians 4:8, 9)

This is it! 
My strategy for today! 
Listen to words that speak life...not death! Fill my mind with things that are the best not the worst. 

Whatever battlefield you are going through right now. Do not be shaken,  do not be moved. Stand strong with The Lord, as he is always with you. 

Someone special in my life reminded me this morning, the Lord is our guard! He surrounds and defends us. Those are words that speak life!!

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14)


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Empty Page

Have you ever been in a position where you have to write a story or a paper, but nothing comes to you...your thoughts are silent?  I have been sitting, for several days, trying to write my weekly blog.
I had nothing. 
Zero. 
Not even an idea. 
All I could do was stare at the empty page. Well, actually empty "notes" page on my phone. That way I could copy and paste straight into my blog app. Technology makes things more simple. Can I get an Amen! 

I was ready, with phone in hand and fingers ready to type, while waiting on God to give me an amazing revelation to share.
I still had nothing. 
Honestly, I was so desperate to type, that at one point I just started hitting a bunch of letters. I guess I thought they would mysteriously turn into words...then sentences...then a story for my blog. Miracles do still occur! 

This morning changed everything...
Today I woke up to an amazing and encouraging message, which changed my morning and sparked this blog. In my response to the message, I realized God is the one and only author of MY story! 

I may be writing my own blog, but God is writing my story, my life story.

I am beginning a new page in my life... A new story. We all know a story begins with blank pages and the author writes the story one word and thought at a time. God is the author of my story and I trust he will fill my empty pages with His words, his plans, his purpose for my life in this new chapter. 

Don't worry if your page is still empty. Do not randomly start making decisions to fill your own page and become your own author... That only leads to a jumbled mess. My attempt to fill an empty page with random letters only led me to erase the scrambled letters to have a new beginning...a fresh start.  

Be patient and allow God time to be the author of your beautiful story. Let Him fill your days, your pages! You HAVE a story! Give God your pen, (or iphone) and let him begin to fill your life, one story at a time! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Never Ending Arrow



"A line stretches out as far as the mind can imagine, with no end in sight. This is the unending story of our God, who ran after us to make us his children. Our pixel of a life, one dot of his eternal arrow."

God chose to show His goodness- His glory- through me and you. His GLORY! You may be thinking: Lord, what about my dark moments? Can your goodness show through those moments?  Did you ever think that maybe your dark moments, God intended for good. YES! God can show his glory through our darkest moments, our hurts, our disappointments. (Don't X out just yet...I promise I am getting somewhere.) 

Let's go back to the arrow...
An arrow has no end. An arrow points and leads. Every moment in our life leads to something. That something is called, our purpose. 

"In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become light for others...hope knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted." 

WOW! Can you say mind blowing revelation. Or it was for me anyway! Deep wounds leave scars. No matter how much "scar be gone" we use (completely made that up-but you get the idea), it will not get rid of the fact we were once wounded.   Did you ever share "scar" stories growing up? You know, trying to one up your friends. Your deep wounds were healed, but the scar still held the story. 

God can use our life scars. He will show His glory through our stories. Don't be ashamed. Don't try to erase the past. Let his light shine through you and tell the world how God saw you through! "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." Psalms 63:3 

Every moment is being added to his eternal arrow which is leading you to your purpose! 

Always Remember...
You have a purpose.
You were built to show Gods Glory.
You were made to do great things in HIS name.

Embrace the arrow! You are part of His story.

 "Give us faith that your arrow never ends and that to live as a part of it is the reason we were created."




Friday, February 28, 2014

Finding JOY in Chaos!


I went grocery shopping after work last night. I will be honest, grocery shopping is not on my list of things I love to do. 

The Shopping cart was full and the kids were helping me unload at the check out counter. Now, this is the moment I look to make sure the kids haven't randomly thrown something extra in to the cart. 

I was anxious to pay, and head home to spend time with my babies. I swiped my check card, only for the cashier to lean over and whisper the 4 dreaded words ...your card was denied. I looked at him and said, "let me try again". In my mind I am thinking, "There is obviously something wrong with the machine or this cashier messed something up." You know, trying to make myself feel better after being told my card was denied. Swiped it a second time...denied.  I said, "let me call the bank." Glanced at my phone...it was after five. That idea backfired.  I stood there for a minute thinking to myself. Then it came to me! I received a new check card in the mail two weeks ago because they believed my card had been "tampered with". I obviously forgot to activate the new card and now my old one did not work! Yikes! 

I asked if I could leave the cart of groceries there, run home and get my new card. Honestly, I felt seriously inconvenienced.  (Even though this was completely my fault by not switching to my new card.) I was tired and just wanted to spend, one night we had at home this week, with my loved ones. NOT running around activating my new card, only to drive back to the grocery store to pay for the groceries (that they were graciously holding for me.) Need I remind you, this situation was not helping the fact that grocery shopping is not my favorite. 

We drove home, found my new card, activated it and drove back to the grocery store. I Walked in and headed towards the costumer service desk. I was on a mission (for the second time) to get in and out quickly. There it was...the line...the never.ending.line.  I not only saw 1, not 2, but 12 people waiting in line.  At that moment in the grocery escapade, I was tempted to scream... "FIRE"....  This would have helped me move from costumer 13 to costumer 1 real quick! I decided against it (you know, didn't want to embarrass my children) and found myself waiting in the back of the line. Hello number 13! 

As I was standing there, looking at my groceries WAY in the front of the line, I remembered a conversation I had with Jada and Sky that very morning. Here was the conversation topic: we can always find JOY in any situation. Whoa! I needed to hear my own words. There is no exceptions... We literally can find JOY if we change our perspective in the situation. 
My
Perspective  (and yes, attitude)
Needed
To
Change
After realizing Joy IS possible amongst the chaos, the grocery trip became an adventure instead of a drudgery. 

Look for joy AND change your perspective when life is not going as planned.  It is guaranteed to help you on the adventure of your daily life...even in those crazy, unplanned moments.  

Always be joyful. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)