Seeing and Savoring

Two weeks ago, life hit a brick wall.

Not because of some sort of dramatic instance or due to a life-changing circumstance, but because I simply decided I was too tired of disappointment to continue doing life the way I was doing it.

So.. I took a mental health day, pulled out a new book and started journaling… the Lord is teaching me a lot, many things about grace, too many things to handle about forgiveness and an insurmountable heap of lessons on trust.

I wanted to share a portion of what I’m walking through right now, please don’t correct my grammar, or look for a strong content flow… I can’t guarantee there really is one, however there’s a fairly decent portion or my heart…:

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“Please… please stir my heart. Show me what true love and devotion to you and your Word looks like. Cultivate this in me now- in the midst of my despair and do not let me waver from it. My prayer is simple… show me how to delight in you.”

Seeing and Savoring– “If you don’t savor Christ, you haven’t seen Christ for who he is. If you don’t prize him above all things, you haven’t apprehended his true worth.” (10) No truer words can be said to marry the appearance of WHO God is in our lives with the understanding of WHY he is in our lives. We must start seeing the reality of God’s character, love and desire for us to be able to truly understand His purpose for us. To savor we must see. To live abundantly and in His presence, we must first engage him.

Our finite minds grasp desperately at an understanding of our “smallness” in comparison to the greatness of creation and the vastness of the surrounding world. Creation was the beginning of the glorification of God amidst humanity and we can only see ourselves in an insignificant light when forced to face the reality of a God-glorifying creation. However, this diminutive life we are given is not so much about us and our being… it is ultimately about the Lord. “The reason for “wasting” so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity is to make a point about our Maker, not us. “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these [stars]? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:26).” (14)

Why do we see the world in disrepair? Why do we see our lives in great despair? Because we have chosen, we have consciously made a decision to trade the purpose of our lives and of creation, being the glory of God, for other things.

Guidepost– we were created for glorification of the Father, the entire universe was. With that in mind, when we are half-heartedly “seeking” Him, why do we struggle with feeling fulfilled, or led, or being completely satisfied when we’re trying to fit together the puzzle of our lives? Because our simplest, most basic desire in life is going unmet… our innate longing for intimacy with God through glorifying Him. We were made for this. (14) Is. 43:6-7

“The physical eye is meant to say to the spiritual eye, “Not this, but the Maker of this, is the Desire of your soul.” “

Healing has to have a starting place… brokenness, hatred of duplicity, hopelessness… it all must come to a culmination where we say- “Enough is enough, you selfish woman!” and we approach the healing process. The healing of the soul then begins by restoration of glorification in our hearts, where we realize that the glory of God must have its rightful center in our lives and that nothing else can begin to mirror is captivation of our spirits and purpose.

P.S. Don’t look for a conclusion, I don’t have one. 🙂

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The Sweetest of Rewards

“Wait on Me, My daughter. My timing is always perfect. I know you’re anxious about many things, and I see your passion for all the plans I have put in your heart. I know that you long to fly, and I see your enthusiasm. However, just as a vinedresser nurtures the vine and waits patiently for the right moment to harvest the grapes, so too am I working tirelessly to prepare you to bear much fruit. Don’t run ahead of Me or try to fly before My plans are complete. Your strength will fail you, and your dreams will wither away. Trust Me that My dreams for you are far greater than the ones you dream on your own. You will run farther and soar higher if you will patiently wait for the season of My blessing. Draw close to Me now, and I promise that this season of waiting will bring you the sweetest of rewards.”

But those who wait on the Lord

will find new strength, they will fly high

on wings like eagles, they will run and

not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 

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There are days…

When I have little to no clue what I’m doing here, in this life, with these dreams, and with my junk drawer of mismatched talents.

I just don’t get it.

My life at times seems to resemble that bag that Mary Poppins had- she just kept pulling things out here and there, things that didn’t seem to fit, things that may not have made sense, other things that were simply magical, yet they all served some purpose to her. What do you do with what you have when it doesn’t seem to fit together?

You throw it out there and you let the pieces lay where they fall. *

*Disclaimer: this is in no way foolproof.

This past year had been such a fun and incredible journey with The Adventure Project and I have enjoyed every step of it. I knew that I would be part of typeTAP again this year and I was so excited to see how it would develop and how the bar would be raised. Well, our goal for March 22nd is 25k, this amount is going to be matched dollar for dollar by the INCREDIBLE Prem Rawat Foundation and ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got ourselves a 50k day.

I’m overwhelmed.

So what do I do with what the projects that I’m passionate about, and my Mary Poppins bag of talents? My campaign this time around… is a little bit different, a little more daring, and a whole lot more fun.

If you go here and donate more than $25: Tiffany’s Campaign Page

Email your mailing address here: tiffanyeriksen@theadventureproject.org

And I’ll send you a customized one of these:

I hope you consider getting involved this year, whether it be your second go-round with typeTAP or if it’s your first, we’d love to have you.

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Another Year, Another Adventure

This past year has been one of the most difficult, frustrating, and painful years I’ve ever had.

But, I’m blessed- because despite the difficulty of my 25th year, there was also much joy, love, and learning I was able to experience. One of the best, most influential part of my year was getting acquainted with Jody and Becky and their incredible grassroots organization, The Adventure Project

They way I’ve been challenged and inspired this year by their campaign has certainly played a major role in the ways I’ve developed my worldview this year. I’ve been so blessed to journey with them and be able to take the people in my life along with me.

This year for my birthday the thought of donating my celebration to the Haiti Campaign made sense. It was not a difficult or crazy idea to me whatsoever… however, the challenge of actually upping my goal to 26 stoves was daunting.

And then I remembered… I am surrounded by people who are just as concerned for others, who are just as committed to creating sustainable solutions and who are not only excited- but passionate about maintaining dignity. This was going to go just fine.

And here WE are… 28 stoves later and I’m blown away. We’ve breezed by 26 with no difficulty… and I’m once again reminded of the love and concern the Lord has placed in each of us for those who are in the midst of crisis. I feel so blessed.

 500,000 are still in tent camps, living in the rubble of their past lives- each day being reminded of the devastation and pain of two years ago. Yet, through the collective heart of The tribe of AdPro supporters, 662 families and counting now have a healthy, profitable tool that can improve their quality of life and income. What an incredible journey to be on.

So thank you, to everyone who gave me a stove for my birthday, turning 26 was made into a more beautiful and meaningful experience than I could have hoped for.

The work isn’t over though, if you haven’t checked out the campaign please do so. You won’t regret it. Consider the best $20 you’ve ever spent. 

 

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Cheers.

Today I turned 26. So to celebrate rather than have a crisis like I did last year, my best friend Courtney and I thought up all the blessing, beauty, and love we have in our lives.

So. Cheers. To birthdays.. getting older and hopefully… wiser.

Cheers to wanderlust, yet being grounded in the things we know.

Cheers to sharing sweet sadness and uncontainable joy.

Cheers to sustainable growth from our mistakes.

Cheers to being less skeptical of love, people, and life.

Cheers to understanding depth of friendship, despite time or distance.

Cheers to replacing deteriorating habits with healthy ones, in life, in love, & with the Lord.

Cheers to the sweet sound of laughing our way through memories.

Cheers to learning how to appreciate our life and the people in it, more than the grass on the other side.

Cheers to wandering… without getting lost.

Cheers to living in the moment, not the moment ahead.

Cheers to rainy days that prompt nostalgic memories.

Cheers to wishing we were in Ireland every day, but knowing we’ll return one day to live in a little cottage on a hill down the bluff from my best friend.

Cheers to living out dreams

Cheers to living life as if you will always be young, but with a sense of wisdom and understanding that can only come with age.

Cheers to never getting old. Or never feeling it, at least.

Cheers to growing old with people who will always recognize your soul

Cheers to holding life with open hands and a willing heart

Cheers to hammocks, breezes, cherry limeades, and understanding the meaning of life lies in simplicity.

Cheers to letting go of fears: The ocean is our friend, Jumping off high cliffs is freedom, Exposing our ‘ugly’ features allows for vulnerable beauty.

Cheers to seeing beauty in all things from the closest of friendships to the tragedy of change.

Cheers to not wallowing. Seeing what is to change, and simply changing it.

Cheers to truth, beauty and sadness- because they all exist and each teach us something of this life.

Cheers to us. To our journey thus far, and the journey’s that lie ahead.

Cheers to the sweet times, the laughter, the vulnerability.

Cheers to knowing that no matter where life takes us, our spirits will roam with one another’s.

Cheers to our friendship and our beautiful, beautiful lives.

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The Fight for Dignity

A few days ago Nicholas Kristof wrote a short report about a recent visit to a rape center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The descriptions of story after horrifying story of girls as young as 2.5 MONTHS suffering and even dying from rape and STD’s was incredible. The nausea that swept over me while reading these accounts was overwhelming, I felt as though everyone should know about this, everyone should be aware, disgusted, and doing something.  Yet, we somehow don’t seem to connect the dots between our lives here and their lives overseas. Somehow, we allow it to be ok. We allow ourselves to remain unchanged and uninterested.

It doesn’t take an educated mind or critical deconstruction of history to see the events that have shaped the course of women’s rights. Many battles have been won here in the US; the right to vote, the right to equal pay and equal employment, even the simple privilege to be treated as an equal because it is demanded by society. However, the war is still raging on in developing nations as if they were stuck in the backwards thinking of societies from centuries past. In numerous nations we find that women are still regarded with little to no value, thought incapable of having a career and developing themselves into educated and valuable members of their community. It’s easy, so easy… to allow these tragedies to victimize women and girls like those in Kristof’s article. We are thousands of miles away, and we don’t have to suffer the same fear or humiliation… we just have to deal with the momentary disgust.

The issue of dignity for women is something you have already seen here and will continue to see, it will be the annoying and persistent water drop from a leaky faucet, I will always come back to it. But I will never dissect the topic without presenting a solution.

Photo by Esther Havens

You all have heard my passion and regard for the things that The Adventure Project is doing. I remain invested, engaged in the battles they fight against global poverty and for global dignity. Our current quarterly project is focusing on health care and dignity for women in Uganda. Throughout the month of October we hope to provide 500 women the opportunity to develop a career and save lives. Living Goods is the “Avon of Africa”, they supply healthcare providers all the things necessary to impact their community and treat women and children who are dying at an unbelievable rate from preventable diseases. Check out the campaign here.

I’ve created a fund-raising page with a huge goal, similar to the one you saw for the TypeTAP campaign. That campaign you guys knocked out of this world. Check it out and educate yourself on the cause. I’ll be digging into it more in the coming days, but for now- simply get a grasp on this, it’s just one solution of many to the issues facing women all over the world.

It’s a way to invest beyond yourself. It’s a way to change how you give.

 

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$1 Treasures

My favorite month of the year has arrived and along with it my favorite season.

Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy Autumn and everything it brings with it? Cider, fires, pumpkins, the colors…

I found these two crates at a yard sale yesterday, only a dollar a piece… I’d say I was the winner in this situation, the lady was no match for my haggling skills.

I decided to bring a little Autumn spirit to the house. I carved a pumpkin earlier this weekend with friends and I thought it would go perfectly with my Autumn crate vision…

A little elbow grease, a scrub brush, some mums, a few nails and a $1 copper tea kettle later… Fall is in full swing on Paulette Circle.

Perfect.

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