one of those moments where the deepest places of my heart come boiling forth, like a pot of water forgotten at the stove. unaware of the eruption, until it's overflowing.

turning my head, ever so slowly, to peer back into the hallway behind me. full of doors marked with seasons.

the distance behind so far, the starting point so small, i have to squint my eyes to see it. to remember.

knob after knob, worn from the entrance and the exit. the gold scuffed off. some hinges squeakier than other.

to see behind is to fuel onward motion. 

i will remember Your love.

brick by brick
i'm building my life
brick by brick

brick by brick
i can't turn back time
brick by brick

lean in and peer inside
rough indentions and
small spaces

worlds within clay
moments trapped in blocks
engrained in the walls of my home

brick by brick
i'm building my life
brick by brick

brick by brick
i can't turn back time
brick by brick

east side west side
sun rises above
eyes squint as glory appears

so many cracks/crevices, 
bite-size regrets
bricks so frail they crumble under the weight
of the brick above

dust clouds sliding out from beneath
like snakes from their burrows
stability slipping away

the bright light peering through
the holes of missed moments
weak bricks and imperfect building

but i carry on

brick by brick
I'm building my life
brick by brick

brick by brick
i can't turn back time
brick by brick

click click
brick by brick


Today I felt uninspired.

Perhaps I felt

Inspired to crawl out from within 

the dungeon called


But alas that aspiration was not 


We, the creators, must silence all

The muddle and muck of 

Colour and noise that means 


Isn’t it a thief

Insta-bytes and uninspired blubbering

Of content 

Steals away true, authentic, gut wrenching 

Soul transforming, awe inspiring, visceral 


uhhhhh, I want to throw up all the hours

Of consumption of 

Fodder and fast food art and words

You, you, you 

You spit them out 

thinking they hold worth because they are

Out there now

But existence does not equate value 

When we are speaking about 

Reflection and


A diet rich in uninspired, self gratifying 

Head puffing up dialogue and 

Tiny squares grows humans -

Lo! Humanity -

Of a mundane, systematic species

Bent toward regurgitating uninspired 

Vomit for the dogs.

How to change ones diet

Or transform ones frame?

Are you asking?

How to become inspired again?

How to have something worthwhile to offer the world, the child, the dying man?

How to bring quality and calibre to the noise?

How to be a harmonious symphony amidst the traffic of 

man-made opinions and ideas and constructs that 


Let’s be Silent 


Let’s wait. 


Do you hear that low grade whisper 

that hovers over the dew 

that rests on each blade of grass


Atoms vibrating on the sunrise 

and if you still yourself

You’ll catch them and eat them 

and be nourished again

Turn off what’s in your hand 

and turn on your soul 

once again

Pause in the afternoon.

Let air and oxygen and 3pm sunshine 




Find the slivers in the atmosphere that open

You up to something spiritual 

And eternal 

Sit with it

Wonder again 


Drink of the Voice

The great Inspirer 

The Beginning of all true

Philosophy and Idea


Be beauty again.

I dreamed again

Skin nestled next to the corners of the eyes

and lines pointing to the triangle of white.

Like arrows 

leading to the sun -

a fireball watching over for 35 years.

It gives gifts, 

like textured hands 

and busy brains.

Pumping blood to the rhythm of,
“To do rather than to be. to move rather than to feet, 

             'cause we don’t have time for that”

The daily blaze speaks, 

as we roll toward him for a sunset, 

and roll away 

all the same.

I dreamed again of my childhood. 

Those final pages 

where summary is like twine tying up

something - though it feels


I dreamed again of feeling. Of unknowing.

Of discovery - a pillowy dress surrounding me.

I dreamed again of beauty.

Rays of heat present,

nestling upon that small patch of the wooden floor -

where dust particles dance and float and suspend

themselves for a moment.

With nothing else to do 

but be.

As eyes close, the temples stretch, and

It’s smooth again.

A freshly made skin bed -



Young again.

I dreamed again.


Sometimes at night I have dreams

where I’m wholly within my

 20 year old frame 

and thoughts,

   still unformed like 

the sand surrounding a child 

before a castle is born.

I fully feel, 

feel fully, the expectation of life 

and love and loss and the 

lingering sense of not knowing 

and only beginning to know.

Stuffed with childhood and wonder.

A soul like a telescope searching outward 

         for discovery and

stretching to bring the outside world


Then I awake with a small, 

squishy skin of a child

nestled next to my frame that has 

            sense walked like one with pails of water -

but sloshing inside is the archives of a full grown 


Shapes and hips and forehead lines 

can’t deceive that which was felt in a dream.

She can’t run from all the days piled up like sand,

forming the walls and windows and pillars with castle like peaks.

You can’t undue


You can’t expect the wave to 

               wash it away - 

because the seaside of time isn’t cyclical in a 24 hour way.


now, where time lives in the skin, 

in the brain, 

in the depths -

One must pull from within 

out, out, out

and let the sound of a one woman history 

give of itself.

Let others drink the water and

    take residence in the castle of the




Of days and days

Of sand and soul :

Lines connecting then to the here and now.


silent seasons of growth.

Sometimes the way God transforms is not quick nor dramatic. Sometimes it is in a very quiet, subtle way - often unseen by the eye - like the way the morning sun dries up the night’s dew every morning before many feet step upon the dry, erect grass - facing the Sun, and ready for the day. Or the way the world so slowly spins and orbits to keep life maintained.

Sometimes the way He grows us is similar to the growth of our bones as a child. Unseen, hidden, but lengthening and pushing the skin to grow and form around it all the while. Or like the strengthening of the lungs over our first months breathing oxygen, stronger with each breath, resilience formed over time - in the womb of darkness.

I look back at God’s absolute and utter faithfulness to grow me, to expand me, to lengthen me, to transform me. He’s present within the deepest places of who I am, and has intentionality in every aspect of my story. In my busyness, and my life maintenance, I often am unaware of personal growth. I move forward, fumbling often, frustrated by my own short-comings, or even the chill of my heart colder than I would have wanted it to be at 32 - all by any own immature, and ungraceful self-assessment. I want to feel the burning, every moment, as I did when I was 22 - I want to weep and scream and feel the raging seas and the whirlwind of His glory. Sometimes, however, He knows the quietness is the best thing for my growth - like a seed silently bursting forth with green life below the ground. Hidden, as if in a grave under soil and sand, being transformed from a dead seed to a living, oxygenating life force. Faith ruminating that says, “Though I can’t see it, though I can’t feel it, I am being changed.”

Sometimes God calls us to the extravagant offerings, but He is always calling us to the consistent forward movements. I think, often, these extreme moments in our story are much more for us than they are ever for Him. He knows that and so He kindly weaves them in. They help bring energy to our frames and drama to our souls. What He asks for is the quiet and consistent life of love. One that repays offense and injustice with heaps of love. One that fights hard to keep hunger alive in the human soul and never grow weary with the deep longing in our soul that cries out for the more. One that shows up, day after day, in obedience and moves forward when everything hurts and you’re tired and worn out and want to quit. It’s a life, no matter the seasons, remains fixated on the Man who awoke our hearts to love and made us orphans no longer. It says, “What next” and obeys regardless of cost. It daily relinquishes its right to comfort, to acknowledgment, to self-reliance, to having the story told in our favor. It runs into His arms again and again, like a child unashamed, and letting Him hold us like children again and again.

It lives for the Audience of One. Truly - it does not despise the small beginnings, the hidden seasons, nor the places of death.

Transformation - the pathway of the disciple - is not one that feels good. It is however, one that is never walked alone. If you quiet your own busy soul enough you will feel Him so near, and if you look to the right or the left, you will see a company of others walking with you. Some in this age, and other heroes in history gone.

He’s always doing, changing, transforming. He’s faithful to finish the good work He began in us - regardless of my own fatigue, discouragement, or immaturity. He keeps His promises. He’s unrelenting in the story of my soul and the story of the ages.

The deepest places of my being say, "Come " And all of us on this road upward say, "Come " And every thirsty soul says, “Come”; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost - and let us Rest in the promise of forever rest and eternal fulfillment. That when He comes, and we see Him face to face, all the wrestling of the life of faith - that moves on even though it does not see it clearly - will be utterly changed.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”


pain : it's bringing us closer.

We are crawling out of one of those whirlwinds as a family - where it feels like you escape reality and go deep into a hole that you may never get out of. The hole was the stomach bug - or some sort of African version of it - and it ravaged my two older kids. 

Lucia got it as Amos was recovering, and hers was worse than her brothers. Two nights ago, her stomach was in so much pain - from right before dinner until 6AM she was moaning from stomach cramps. We had thought we were in the clear, and she ate some food too early and was hit so hard.

She couldn’t move much - and it was reminiscent of a woman in labor. I had to convince her to move to the bath, or running water. I tried holding her grown, 4 year old body - swaying her to sleep for a handful of minutes at a time. I pressed her stomach, scratched her back, had her lay on her belly, had her lay on her side. 

We knew there wasn’t much the doctor could do, as stopping the cramping prolongs the bug. I kept asking her if she wanted to go to the hospital - and that I thought it would be gone by the morning. Her strong and resilient eyes looked at me and would say, “No, momma, just pray.”

So we prayed. Whenever she got so exhausted from the aching, she would ask me to pray. I would lay my hand on her stomach, or on her back and pray in the spirit. I would pray out loud, and she would to, asking God to take away the belly aches. We would tell it to go in Jesus name. 

It didn’t though, and by 3AM, after consistent stomach pains, I was spent and so was she. I looked at her and started crying and said, “Lucia, I would take it if I could! I hate seeing you hurt. I hate it. I want it to go!” 

I was so exhausted and so frustrated and said in my heart, “God! Why don’t you just take the pain away? I KNOW YOU CAN.” and I heard His voice say the most unexpected words. “Tiffany, this is going to make you closer. It’s tying your hearts together.”

It stopped me.

After I heard that we turned on worship music and we worshipped. I held her and we sang, and then we laid down and I sang, and after some hours of this, around 5:45 as the sun was beginning to rise, she fell asleep. She woke up at 7:30 AM with most of the pain gone.

The next day, after she had taken a nap she looked at me and said, “Momma, I love you so much. Thank you - we did it. I'm all better!” I looked at her, feeling like we had walked through a fire together, and said, “You did it, Lucia. It was so hard, and it hurt so bad, and you didn’t give up. You didn’t get angry. You made it through.”

I was crying, and she teared up too. Somehow, that long night of pain, it changed us. And when I said those things to her, it extended beyond our long night of stomach cramps - it covered the past year of her life. 

She, and her brother, did it. It was hard - they left their friends, their comforts, their family. They watched toys be sold and go off into other family’s vans. They wept and wailed when they said goodbye to their grandparents and cousins - saying, in their chid like vocabulary, “If it’s possible, let this cup pass from me!” They learned to sleep soundly in new houses and new homes, in a new city in a new country. It hurt - and their hearts are not unaware of pain. They didn’t grow angry and they made it through.
 We are closer because of it and God is even more real to us today than before.

Often I want to shield my children from all pain - pain on the playground, pain from friends, pain in their bodies, pain from my own mistakes. I am well aware, from my own experience, that pain marks us, wounds us. However, in life, pain is unavoidable… but God promises to work it for our good and take us through the process of healing. He says that our sufferings produce a perseverance that keeps us going even when it hurts, that produces character - that does what is right even when its hard - that gives birth to HOPE. Hope that is LIVING and ties our hearts to eternity. It carries us through this side of life, full of brokenness and evil and many moments of pain - victoriously. 

The past year of our lives has been full of hard things. I bet, if you evaluated your life, the past year has held some suffering for you as well. “Through trials and tribulations we enter the kingdom of God.” The new testament is filled with suffering: accusation, opposition, abandonment, persecution, murder, isolation. The most beautiful picture of our future hope, the book of Revelation, was written out of an encounter given to a man isolated as a prionser on the Island of Patmos. His suffering produces the picture of where this thing is heading: our future Hope. Suffering will be, in harmony with the heights of joy in knowing God and making Him known, our reality - but He can do something in us, so deeply, in these moments of suffering that bind us to Him and bind us to each other. 

God isn’t afraid of pain nor suffering and I don’t want to be either. He willingly put His son in the midst of it - to overcome it on our behalf. Jesus walked through it with the hope (not wishful thinking but future certainty) of glory of redeemed brothers and sister in His kingdom set before Him - carrying Him on. He’s not afraid to allow suffering to lead us to the greater good. He equips us with His living Spirit, and the ability to thrive and reign in life IN THE MIDST.

Surely, the idea is unpopular. I also know - that we should consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (romans 2) I know that trials and pain do not have to weaken hope or weaken us, but they CHANGE us so that we increase in our ability to SEE and AGREE with God, change us to beings more like Him, so that we can be more free, more whole, more victorious - stable in the midst of a storm, rooted in the midst of turmoil, confident in the midst of pain. He makes us able to function out of the reality of the Hope of what we may not yet see, but wait patiently for.

I am reminded of this old Rita Springer song, and I truly believe, as we encounter His face - shining in glory - and peer into, with the ability to fully comprehend it, our eternity - we will say, "It truly was worth it."

I don't understand your ways / Oh but I will give you my song / give you all of my praise / you hold on to all my pain / with it you are pulling me closer / and pulling me into your ways 

Its gonna be worth it, / Its gonna be worth it all, / I believe this. / Its gonna be worth it, / Its gonna be worth it all, / I believe this.