HOW TO DO SOMETHING DRASTIC FOR CHANGE

A fast can defeat you before you even begin. I wrestled with the idea of not having pasta and bread three nights a week, what it would feel like to not have my morning caffeine and all the other reasons I just couldn’t for months before I committed to it. God would prompt me, I would say, “Yes, LORD!” But then every time I would think about what I had to sacrifice or what “events” were going to “get in the way.” I would talk myself out of it. I just couldn’t do it.

My commitment to fast was strictly out of obedience. Jesus fasted. If Jesus did it, we are not above it. I also was in a place where the pain of my circumstances outweighed the fear of the sacrifice, or the change that would become of it.

BREAKTHROUGH CAN HAPPEN WHEN PAIN OUTWEIGHS FEAR

I needed something different and I needed more of Jesus because I was just too much. Even for myself to deal with. And when you can’t even deal with yourself, friend, you better do something drastic. I still stand with an abandoned heart needing Jesus to seep into certain areas of my life.

Do you need Jesus to seep?

Into your marriage?

Into your husband’s heart?

Into your child’s life, so they can be free from that addiction?

Into your bank account?

Into your daily self-doubts?

Into your health?

I implore you–do something drastic with me. Commit to fasting with me –and dozens of others–on

July 1, July 2 and July 3.

As you begin to prepare, here are some things that are true about fasting:

  1. You can always talk yourself out of a fast or doing anything that requires any level of self-discipline.
  2. Events, holidays, birthdays are always right there. You might have to forge through.
  3. You can’t think about what you have to sacrifice, you must focus on what you will gain
  4. You really can’t do it. If you can give that food up on your own, you need to consider sacrificing something more difficult.
  5. Fasting is about sacrificing FOOD.
  6. FASTING is a form of deep prayer. If you give up food and don’t pray you are simply starving yourself.
  7. Fasting is NOT a diet or a means to lose weight.
  8. Your dietary sacrifice can be anything that is challenging to you. You don’t have to go all out and not eat at all. (Especially if you haven’t been cleared by a doctor.)
  9. You must begin praying NOW about what your fasting commitment should be.
  10. You must be specific in what you are going to pray for.

Can you do it?

Yes

Because…

We don’t do anything alone.

We do life together.

Jesus commits to being there, to helping, to loving, to listening, to bringing freedom.

 

Let me know if you are IN by commenting. And then share this and challenge 3 friends to fast with us!

To our lives changing, because they will, my friend, they will.

Tiff

HOW NOT EATING CHANGED ME

At the beginning of May I entered into a 21 day fast. It was the second time I've done this crazy thing. But what I found even crazier is that there are people who have been Christians forever and ever and ever who have never ever fasted before.

Now I'm not super Christian who fasts all the time and does everything right and who is always obedient–in fact I'm quite the opposite. Just a few nights ago you could have found me fully clothed, sitting in an empty bathtub with the shower curtain closed screaming at God because he doesn't seem to be listening.

This was the very reason I began my 21-day fast because I needed God to listen, and more than that I needed Him to speak. I have been drowning in grief and confusion and every voice I heard was muffled and water logged, so I exhausted myself wondering if it was God speaking, or simply one of the echoes of my temper tantrums that daily emerged. I needed to empty myself…to empty my stomach…to remove distractions and caffeine and all the things I love so the sounds of my heart could maybe become audible.

This fast: no bread, no sugar, no meat and water only. Not quite as strict as my last one, but no less difficult–I love me some caffeine…I LOVE me some bread, I adore, absolutely addictively adore, sugar. I knew my soul needed Jesus more than my tastebuds needed anything. And so I embarked.

For twenty one days:

I prayed and prayed.

I read scripture.

I cried.

I yelled.

I discovered some really ugly…like really ugly parts of me.

And He answered.

Not every single thing in the way I hoped, or in the timing I wished for. In fact daily I'm still going before the throne and praying for a specific miracle. But I emerged with a new perspective, well..mostly.

With every fast comes the specific requests. Mine were personal and filled with hope.

Please lift depression from my daughter and give her vision for her life.

Please give me some sort of vision for my own life, because why do I wake up every morning?

Please please please break this financial bondage that we are in. Too many years, too much stress, too many curses.

Please just fill us. Empty our lives of us and fill us up with you.

God has answered my prayers for my daughter, given me a new hope in him, even though I hate it here still. He has filled us up, drawing us each nearer to him–however, we are still broke.

Fasting isn't realllllly about having Jesus wave his wand and bless you, answering all of your prayers because you so sacrificially deny yourself of something you love. What it's reallllly about is you becoming less like you and more like Him. He will answer prayer, but only if it's in your best interest. He will answer prayer but only if you have a heart change first. He will answer prayer but only if it transforms you–making you less and Him more.

Him more. In your mind…your heart….your thoughts…your requests.

I'm not hating because he didn't methodically check off my list of requests. I'm loving because I am free in a way I wasn't free on April 30th.

I'm a work in progress–and so are you

So plan on fasting with me.

For three days:

July 1

July 2

July 3

And the rest of this week I will convince you why …. I will show you how he worked in my daughter's life. I will envision you with the vision He gave me. I will explain the importance of obedience and fasting and obediently fasting. And we will do it together…Changing our hearts, and changing the World…solely for Him.

Are You In?

Comment and Share with me your emphatic or reluctant “YES!” And stick around the blog this week…

LG|LP Tiff

 

A Pug-napping From a Dog Hater

On Friday I was driving home and received a call from my husband.  The conversation went something like this:

Him: “Umm, Precious is Gone.”

Me:  “What? You’re kidding right?”

Him: “No, someone stole her and her kennel right out of the garage.”

Me: “NOOOO!” (the hysterics began)

Him: “Yah, Cody had given her a bath and put her in her kennel in the garage. He left the garage open, of course.  Someone must have come by and taken her.”

Me: “No, No NO!” (Alyssa, in the passenger seat begins her hysterics.”

Him: “Yah me and the boys are gonna try and figure this out but Precious is gone.”

I hang up and weep as uncontrollably as possible when driving down 1604. My daughter begins asking all the right questions through her tears, “Why would someone do that? … Do you think they will hurt her?….Where is she?….Is she scared?”

She would cry loud, then I would ball.  Then I would weep, and she would wail.

Precioius the Pug

Right as we are exiting, my phone rings.

Him: “We found her, she was at the neighbors. She’s fine.”

Me: “What the hell?” (Immediate calmness)

Him: “Some teenagers rode by on their bike and thought we were abusing her and she was wet with sweat.  They pulled out the kennel.  Our neighbors saw and took Precious from them.”

Me: “Ok, I’m glad she’s okay.” (trying to sound like I hadn’t been howling and bawling over my dog.)

What the hell?  is the question I really asked myself.  Has I just became totally out of control hysterical over a missing pug?  If you’ve really known me for any length of time you know that I have spent most of my life as an animal hater.  I don’t hate them like in wanting something bad to happen to them.  I have just never had any compassion, tolerance or patience for animals.  I have never loved them….until now….until Precious.  I mean who can blame me?

2011-07-30_13.40.03

I see people at the gym, friends who are losing weight, and even me, I’m trying to shed a few winter storage–I asked myself,”Where do all the pounds actually Go?” The changing of a body is pretty miraculous.  But the changing of a person is, well, divine.

I thought of all the other ways in my life that I’m not anymore…

-The Liar

-The Thief

-The Yelling Mom

-The Compassion-less

-The Cynical

-The Fearful

Instead, God has redeemed me–Freed me…and I’m now…

-The Seeker of Truth

-The Giver

-The Patient Mom

-The Understanding

-The Forgiving

-The Faithful

There is not one self-help book or show of Oprah that changed me.  I didn’t try harder, or just simply grow older…No it’s so much more.  I have been transformed –changed into something new.  Over the last 15 years of my life, I’ve gone through a conversion.  And like our bodies, when our pounds simply disappear, my old ways–and the desire for my old ways–have completely vanished.  And they’ve been replaced with something new, and hopeful and filled with life.  I once was…but now I am….  Praise God!

How about you?  Comment and tell me …. I once was ___________ but now I am___________.  Praise God!

LG|LP Tiff <3

 

NOTICE: No Pug was harmed in the making of this blog post, nor during the kidnapping.  Precious is alive and well, currently in the middle of her six hour daily nap at my feet. 

 

 

Getting Over It With Tortillas & Big Red

It’s a Christmas miracle.  I started working out.  If you know me at all you know that I am not one that enjoys working out.  I don’t get a high from it, I don’t get satisfaction from it, I don’t get it. I do understand I have to stay healthy, and that is my only goal.

But you runners…you’re crazy.

And you cross-fitters, I don’t even claim to begin to understand you.

Oh and you that go to the gym and then post pics of your cupcakes and donuts… let me just

Shake.

       My. 

          Head.  

But I did, I started doing some walking.  I have to. Because I am faced with the swimsuit + the reality that I haven’t worked out in the 8 months I’ve been in Texas.  It’s amazing what a little grief and depression can do to you. I have done nothing but eat the tortillas and drink the big red, and sulk on the couch.

 

Today I saw a friend I haven’t seen since I’ve been back.  She asked why it took me so long to come see her.  Seeking sympathy, I told her about the trap door of deep, dark depression I’ve been hiding behind. She looked at me and scrunched up her face and told me to

Get over it!

So I guess it’s time for me to get over it. We do this thing, us humans, where we submit to our feelings more than we trust in Jesus.  It’s okay for us to feel, God made us that way.  It’s okay for you to be disappointed you didn’t get the job.  It’s okay that you are angry that she wronged you.  It’s okay for you to be joyful when he isn’t. I love that God created us to live the abundant life.

Some think abundance means the materialism, or everything we ever want.  To me abundance is the fullness of life, the good with the bad.  The pretty and the ugly.  The roses and the thorns.  God gives it all to us, at His discretion.  It’s when we don’t trust in that, more so, it’s when we don’t trust in the character and integrity of this Great God, that we eat tortillas and gain 10 pounds. It’s then we have to start exercising.

Whatever it is for you that you need to get over, take a step. (A positive, non-alcoholic, drug free step). Do something to help you get over it.  It might be exercise, it might be talking to a friend, it might be just admitting that you have something to get over.  But it will always be Jesus.

Always Jesus. 

 

tortillas

For the Hopeless

I made up my mind. I had watched hours and hours on the TV. Tragedy, destruction, death. Complete life change in a moment for far too many. I was going to pack up and go help! The devastation was too overwhelming for me, and after all, What Would Jesus Do? Jesus would pack up and go to Moore, Oklahoma.

But I didn't go. I couldn't understand. It felt right, it seemed right. As I was talking through this with one of the voices in my head, God whispered to me, “You will have your own tornado.” And six weeks later, our family did.

My experience with the tragedy is minimal compared to what my sister in law and her family have endured, and are still enduring. The devastation is far spreading, and this time, I did pack up and go. But I went to San Antonio instead.

It was the evening of July 4th. My sister-in-law and her side of the family had just spent the day watching parades and sipping lemonade. Mom and Dad (affectionately known as Mimi and Poppy) left before the fireworks. It had been a long day, and it was a long drive home. That commute ended too close to home when another driver veered out of his highway lane, and hit Mimi and Poppy head-on, not even giving them time to brake.

At the age of 63, Mimi, a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a church-planter, a Jesus-lover, died. Poppy was burned on a majority of his body and endured having both of his legs amputated above the knee and is fighting for his life, moment by moment until they family had to let him go be with the Lord, and his beloved wife.

My husband and I walked into the hospital waiting room. Poppy was in skin-grafting surgery. A family, broken, in heart and spirit, sprawled throughout the waiting room. Tears, memories, shock, and the business of death loomed. It was my own tornado.

The damage still wide-spread. The rubble, and people's hearts buried deep within. Questions and doubts, fears and life re-defined.

I'm learning through this and what my own family is enduring right now that I love and serve a God that often I do not understand. His ways and his thoughts and his ideas of provision and what is best for me are so hard to grasp in my life.

I can only imagine what my sister-in-law and her siblings are feeling. Life is full of such much uncertainity, I can't imagine not having God as the strong pavement beneath my feet. Without God, this family would never be able to recover. With God, there is hope.

If you have no hope, then you have no God.

You are Loved.