3.31.2010

and to clarify on my previous post...

having a beautiful home or a style that you feel represents you or being creative in any arena is no way IN ITSELF wrong. how silly would that be? i love to make my home a reflection of me and i want to sew my kids cute clothes and i want to be an extraordinary chef. :)

the point i was making isn't if we do or do not do those things - it is the motivation behind them. Why do we do them?

the line i find so cloudy, so often, is my success as a woman, as a wife, and as a human is not found in all these things that are listed. i am not defined by them. i am successful because I am loved by God and a lover of Him. i am interesting, favored, beautiful, etc. etc. etc because of the latter statement, not the former.

the other question I have to ask myself is, "Am i balancing my energies on this or that with the development of my heart in love towards the Lord?" Where my treasure is there my heart is also. Where my time goes, to that I am giving my life to. I am prone to spiritual boredom, and I find it the most apparent when browsing super cool blogs is more fascinating to me than encountering the Lord in the Word. These days come more than I'd ever want to admit. In those moments I see the invitation to draw on a fountain that never runs dry... and to confess my poverty in spirit... and to ask God to reveal GOD to my heart. This is my greatest thrill and my greatest adventure. This fulfills all these longings to be beautiful and creative and what not.

So the pointing was inward and not outward. My own weakness was the reason I wrote.

With love!
Tiffany

3.30.2010

"So take all of me..."



I think trying to be cool is so very tiring.

I gave up on it quite some time ago, but I’d be a liar to say the feeling doesn’t creep up on me time and again.
I don’t know, lately there is this zeal roaring in my spirit about the passions and energies of our lives.
WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GIVING OURSELVES TO?

I read this twitter update that said the following,
“The older I get, the clearer I see vanity and meaningless activity profiting little to nothing at all - and I despise it all the more.”

This is something I often feel. I can partially thank my mother who was given the grace to see the true worth of activities (and people) and mostly to the journey the Lord started me on when I was a freshman in high school.

The second update went further:
“Salvation is more than being saved from hell and the lake of fire; it is deliverance from vanity & meaningless toil into choices that matter.”

I think that is so true.

There are so much more verses that confirm these thoughts,
Psalm 27:4, Phil. 3:7-14, Mark 8:31-38, etc.

I work a full time job, from the moment I leave to the moment I come home takes about 9 ½ hours of my day. I sleep more than usual as I’m a sleepy pregnant woman, which leaves me about 4 or 5 hours a night to do what I need to do for the kingdom. That also leaves little time for anything else.

Now, listen, I’ve become quite a loser in this arena. Great fatigue (of body and soul) have crippled these precious hours, and I often get embarrassed when Ricky pulls up around 9PM and asks me what I’d done. I need grace from the Lord right now. Grace that means power from the Holy Spirit to live well and live full.

To come back to my main point – all this toiling for great style and cool clothes and cute d├ęcor and awesome blogs and trendy dinners and vintage crafts and great pictures of this and that can be such vanities! We are all sucked into one thing or another – with Ricky it’s all the gadgets on his iphone, or sports scores, or the newyorktimes. For me it’s an even greater myriad of things.

And it’s been the tug at my soul since I can remember: to give my time and energies to this or to that?

As my dear like-hearted friend Courtney said, “it's worth it to give yourself fully to God on this side of time (God hedge us in to find no satisfaction apart from You)... no soul will face Him on the day they give account and wish they gave less, but rather they would probably think the opposite... the quote "too heavenly minded for earthly good" i believe is birthed from a heart clinging to other gods... it’s worth it to die now, to have true life. God help us!”

I couldn’t agree more.

I believe we live in such an hour of shiny little attractions begging for our souls, even for our lives. I remember beautiful Britney saying, “Our lives are made up of little moments...” Those little moments are all we have, and do we serve within those pockets the Lord and His purposes or our own fantasies? What are we building with our hours and with our minutes?

John Piper recently released a letter stating his intent to take an 8 month sabbatical.  Even the burdens of ministry can crowd the soul. I think it is a beautiful time to re-evaluate our lives.

I write this mostly in the hour of my greatest failure concerning time spent. And I write it to encourage anyone not living in the most ideal circumstances. I went from a prayer room 4 minutes from my house, a community of eternity-driven people, and a job that was putting together massive solemn assemblies. I now live in a house the size of a closet, with an over-worked husband (for only a little while longer), still searching for a church and a community, while working THE MOST mundane job. I haven’t mastered Brother Lawrence’s beautiful skill of “Practicing the Presence.” I rarely remember the truth, “He isn’t far away. He isn’t far away. He is in me. He is in me.” I have been scribbling within the same journal for 8 months, and I’ve become addicted to the most ridiculous TV sitcoms.

But for all of us, there is the beauty of the invitation.

We CAN know Him. Now. In this hour. He can be known. Spiritual boredom has a remedy. Even the wilderness contains His whispers.

And even more, He’s coming soon. There is a thrill for the human soul in this season of the Lord’s return. There is an adventure near…

So I guess this is all to say - If I’m not super cool, I put no hope in such thing. And if you are super cool, it means nothing to me (and I say that with the gentlest meaning: You are more than your outfit, your skill, and your music choices). I think the day I meet the Lord, His evaluation will have nothing to do with that sort of thing. For that I am so thankful. 



"and let the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace."



3.29.2010

thoughts:

- i'm not very photogenic. i mean, my faces? my expressions? any angle but straight on is terrifying!
- i ate way too many pastries today and i haven't eaten a pastry since like 2005 or something like that. (not helping point #1 i'm sure)
- my heart is encouraged by the life of david, STILL. that man made some SERIOUS mistakes and it is still said of him in Acts that he did "the full will of God." Oh man, our Father is merciful!
- i am super excited for Easter. Why? because Jesus rose again and i have hope!
- counting down the days until ricky has a normal life. about 60 more days or so!
- days move forward, and i still would drop everything and move to ihop. i just LOVE that community - and it keeps growing! no fair!
- i need discipline in my spiritual life as of late, and i feel all flabby in the heart because i can't fast. Lord, open my eyes!

life:

3.24.2010

hello little bean! we love you!

So at 11 AM Ricky drove up to my work complex and picked me up. An english muffin with turkey, cheese and pesto was wrapped in a papertowel, missing a bite. We drove to our first baby appointment, as I grilled him about his family's genetics and medical history.

How incredible to see our little bean swimming (or maybe at this point, just growing) within my belly. Ricky was fascinated by the little heart beating so quickly, and when we got our ultra-sound pictures he studied them for the rest of the appointment as our midwife talked to me about various things.

It was amazing, and I think Ricky finally fully believes I'm really pregnant. :)

---

In other news, the IHOP prayer room has really been ministering to my heart lately. I usually don't listen to it very often, as the bad mix in sound irks me a tad. Pathetic, I know. However, since my recent, and incredibly embarassing, addiction to comedies on hulu - I figured it was a better use of my time. Plus, this isn't just about me and my little spirit now - there is a little bean who is a little life taking in all I am too.

---
Oh! and tonight I need to research sewing machines. Ricky bought me one from target a couple weeks ago - but it ended up being not so good at all... so, now to research something a little more sustainable. Any suggestions?

lovelovelove.
the valdez family.

3.23.2010

today while at work, i listened to one of the best sermons for my heart in this season.
it's from the series by mike bickle on the life of david:
5 Prophetic Seasons in David's Training

i wish i could recap well, but just listen to it.
such vision cast for such mundane, boring seasons.

as i find myself in now.

updates:
- i bought my first maternity clothes yesterday.
 - "what God has joined together, let no man separate. remove everything that hinders, let no sin get in the way."
- i've become addicted to TV via the internet since I became pregnant, and too tired to do anything productive. it's so dumb! and i hate it. and i want to stop. (we don't even own a TV for this precise reason)
- i am reading the most incredible and well written book on apologetics by Chuck Colson titled "The Faith"
- i've also become a pathetic housewife lately. please don't walk into my home.

well, that's all for now.
i think i should go reread old prophecies and remember what He's said.

love, t.



ps. here's a shapshot of the two lovers who graced our home a couple weekends ago and the bff skyping.

3.22.2010

kiteflying.




so i felt sick and we skipped church,
but made it to the beach (2 blocks from our home) to walk our kite.
it's not as good as a puppy, but maybe one day.

today's revelation (understood but hard to walk out)...
i can't earn God's favor.
His commitment to me is much stronger and more fierce, than my commitment to Him.

amen.

3.18.2010

so i'm really not the best writer...
after reading genius blogs like this one
or beautifully composed blogs like this one
i sorta avoid the whole "blog that no one reads" ordeal.


but that's sorta dumb, or to better state it, incredibly dumb, and i think defeats the entire purpose of having a blog. and now that i have written 2 measly paragraphs about "to blog or not to blog" i shall begin.


my thought is: i am pregnant. being pregnant is a whole lot like being engaged. it's this miserable, torturous limbo filled with weird preperations and deep contemplations. i've only known for about 2 weeks - and i already feel like an entirely different human. i can barely stay awake enough to do anything productive, and any smell other than winterfresh gum makes me want to throw up my lunch. they say these are only 1st trimester woes, but who ever knew the joy of motherhood launches on such a painful foot!


but then, of course, you endure. not just because you have to - but because for the first time in your life, your achiness, sickiness, nausea is for a bigger and better purpose which extends even beyond yourself. it's for this other life... this hidden, invisible soul swimming around in your belly. this IMMORTAL being, who will one day, God-willing, call on the name of the Lord, be filled by the Spirit of the Everliving God, and be part of the greatest hour human history has ever known. This unknown being will live FOREVER.


and that makes all the difference.


and i was thinking, how incredibly reckless is seems that God has put the power of procreation in the hands of weak humans. i know that statement could easily become a calvinist's holiday... but regardless of theological murmurings... i could have chosen to get married or not get married. and i think, even with the various divine interventions, we sorta chose when to hold off on having a baby or when to start trying. i mean, there were CHOICES. and utlimately, those choices lead to this immortal human creature who will, God willing, be forever an inheritance to the King of Kings.


The Son truly longs for partners. Co-heirs. Fellow laborers. It is absolutely undeniable - He has even given us entrance into the process of creation. Creation of his family.


Wow.

3.17.2010


i've been terrible at posting.
mostly because there is a little child in my stomach the size of a pea
sucking all my energy from my body and making me want to throw up every 30 seconds.


:)


it's an exciting, thrilling adventure.
this thing called life.

and the other day as i sat and thought about what lie ahead...
baby, and ricky, and usd graduations, and moving?, and eventually the tearing down of one kingdom to bring in an everlasting one,
i heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me, so tenderly,
"motherhood is a great invitation unto full preparation. it is here you learn to die to yourself, and count it all as loss."

i will go my way up the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.
for me, He says, this is my way.


how joyfully i bow to His leadership.
let's see how this all works for our good. 
because we love Him.
we do.

3.01.2010

i am thankful for the instant family you gain through marriage.


i am thankful for this man, with a heart that never gives up.



hallelujah.