Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Most of my life I've known how important words of affirmation are to all of us. Thankfully, God placed some pretty incredible people throughout my life to speak into me. If it was all up to me, I probably wouldn't be as good at speaking words of affirmation to myself or my family. I would still be believing my life was meant as a punishment instead of a gift. 

A leader at our church spoke these words into us this weekend and it reaffirmed a message I believe God is speaking to me: 

Be sowers of good seed everyday. Let the words you speak and the deeds you do reflect what God wants to do through you. 

Many of you that have been reading with me here know that I've been on a lifelong spiritual journey and my life and my heart have been messy all along the way. 

Because I'm in education, I usually take what little time "off" I get in the summers to refocus and listen more intently to what God wants me to do and say and hear. 

The last few weeks I've been immersing myself in reading. I'm reading Anything  by one of my favorite authors ever, Jennie Allen. I've read and re-read her Chase study and just finished up her Stuck study. I love how transparent and authentic she is with her writing and speaking. 

Alongside Anything I'm also re-reading Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers). 

These books are pouring into me what social media isn't no matter how much I clean up my timeline or feed. 

If you really want to read about love- true, pure, unbinding love, you need to read Redeeming Love as soon as possible. I'm serious. You can buy it here: http://goo.gl/h2RybW and if you have Prime Membership, you'll get it as early as tomorrow. It will change your life. 

I wish on all the stars in the sky someone had sent me to read this when I was 14 or 15. What a lot of heartache that would've been healed if only I'd seen and heard these words sooner. 

Two things I'm having to be reminded of as often as I breathe lately is that God's love is greater than anything in this world. It's greater than any pain: past or present. It's greater and wider and deeper than my heart can even imagine. 

The other thing I'm wrestling with on a daily basis is doing what God has called me to do. If I'm willing to do anything for Him, then why am I not doing it? What's holding me back? 

These are some of the lies I tell myself: 

I am unworthy
➵I have nothing to offer
➵This story is just for me
➵I deserve to carry the weight of this story on my own
➵I do not have the words, time or ability to carry out what you're asking
➵It is too painful to relive. 
➵What people think about me and my story will change how they view me

Lately, I'm beginning to think that most of these lies replay in my head because I'm not listening to the right voices. I took an experimental 2 days to deactivate my personal Facebook account and unfollowed a few people on Twitter and Instagram. I started picking up my phone to read and my Bible to study more. 

From Thursday to Monday, I'd handwritten 15 pages that were hard and painful to relive. As I opened my Bible yesterday during my Anything study, I was looking for 1 John, but ended up stopping at John. If you're a believer in "God Winks" as I am, you will know my turning to John was not an accident. 

"He came as a witness to testify to the light." {John 1: 7}

When I stop letting the lies swirl around in my head I'm able to see that God is using my story and my story with #superJace as a testimony to His light. Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not EVER overcome it. {John 1: 5}

I think as a people we get really caught up in the world and the worldly ways and the worldly opinions and when we immerse ourselves in all of that we become most like the world. When I focus on the world, I quit focusing on what God has for ME to do. I forget His promises and start listening to the lies. 

I thought I would share with you our family's daily affirmation. We say this together before we start out each morning. We say it in the middle of the day if it's been a hard chemo day with Jace. We say it at night if the stress level in our house seems to be rising.

I wrote it one day sitting in church as I thought about how the words we say are like seeds. They grow and multiply into something beautiful or they become like weeds in our lives. I needed this affirmation as much if not more than my kids: 

Some days I didn't WANT to say these words. Some days I had great difficulty believing these words. Some days my own family had to prompt me to say them. Even in my resistance, these words had power over my day and my life. I hope they will for you, too. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Behind the Smiles

Ugh. This week has already been tough. 

If you scan through any of my social media feeds {or the past blog posts here}, you'll most likely find the positives, the smiles, and  the gratitude. You'll also find a dash of authenticity and reality thrown in there, too. Part of what I wanted to do in the very beginning of my journey with Jace was be real. I wanted to be able to give you the day-to-day Tisha - not the one people call heroic, or brave, or an example. I may be all of that, but at the end of the day I'm really just me, daughter of the most high, and thankfully so because I could do it no other way. 

Some weeks are easier than others, but NONE of the weeks are easy. 

As you've probably gathered from the last year, holidays are bittersweet. Mother's Day and Father's Day, in particular. I do a lot of avoiding of social media and and television. There are some spaces that are still healing and as thankful as I am to be a mom to these amazing kids and have an amazing husband who is one of the best dads, we both agree that these days are often still filled with pain and reminders of what we didn't have or have lost. 

I miss my dad. I miss the random and unplanned talks we would have late at night. I miss him teasing me or hugging me. I miss him looking at me and being able to tell me all kinds of memories from my childhood. I miss him talking to me on the phone and remembering what he had for dinner or what he did the day before. Someday I may miss that he even remembers me. 

On the flip side, the day is also painful for my girls who always spend it with their dad. This year their visit was filled with mostly anxiety which made me a lot more anxious about the day. It was a hard day for us all because everything seemed off-balance. 


because chemo is a few days away, Jace has a hard time sleeping. He anticipates the port needle going in and the "sleepy room" (aka spinal) and the pentam booth. Last month was a hard one with him because he was more angry about it all. Every night since has been harder when it's time to take his chemo pills. He doesn't understand why taking them is important, he doesn't understand why he can't eat or drink before or after them. He cries because he asks when he gets his port out and even though we share with him that it will happen, he cries because he just can't fathom that far into the future. 

He's more weepy and clingy to one or all of us. Little things set his emotions into a tailspin and it's exhausting for us all, including him. 

This cycle is the cycle we are on every month. Just when he is feeling a little better, those nasty steroids kick in and make him feel crazy again. 

Which also makes US feel crazy because knowing when it's the steroids and knowing when it's just him being a boy is HARD. 

Behind the smiles you see from us are both, is a strength that only comes from God. Those smiles don't show you how tired we are of this journey and how our emotions are still cRaZy most days because of so much going on {work, work, bills, and "stuff"}. 

Those smiles were tears just a few hours before or later. 

It's summer and I STILL don't feel like I can keep up. That is a feeling I've never had before because I've not had to work as much and it's kind of making me insane. I thrive on prioritizing time alone, time to read, time to breathe, time away but when I don't get it for whatever reason, I'm always thrown off. 

I try to remember that this is a journey, not a destination. But some days behind that smile, I'm still looking for a finish line, a break, a breather. And, honestly, there isn't one. Life goes on. My girls are growing up, my dad is growing old, end of chemo is getting closer, but none of that is an end. 

It's a beginning, a new season, if you will and that's probably why we continue to smile and find the little joys in the hard days. 

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
{Ecclesiastes 3:1}