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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

10 Jan

i lost my voice … part 3

Soooo … in case you happened upon this post and missed the other two, just reading this one might not make any sense. And you might wanna take a look at those other two {links at bottom of this post}. Just sayin’! :)

I’d like to start by clarifying something from the last post that might’ve been taken the wrong way … “social media covers up a multitude of underlying crazy.”

My last words were basically that I was blessed to be heading to the beach. To the outside world, it stops there and social media confirms that yes, I certainly am beach-bound-blessed. What it doesn’t show is the ten pounds of stress in my beach bag.

What I’d like to clarify … and I promise … it moves into my point of today’s post! … is that I don’t use social media to “pretend” anything. You know? I think sometimes people can be guilty of projecting a picture-perfect life through social media. That’s not me. Far from it!

As I last mentioned, and I don’t think I ever got to my point {sorry!} … is that I believe in better. I believe in inspiring others. I believe in finding hidden blessings in my life {and try to teach my girls the same}. I also do my best not to dwell on the “ugly” that happens in our lives and try to joke, or make light of it, when it does come our way. Our oven caught on fire recently and took dinner down with it. So we ordered take-out, I posted a photo of the take-out and made light of the situation.

Anyway, my very long-winded point is that I don’t try to portray perfection in my social media activity, I can joke about our craziness at times, but there’s also a whole-lotta crazy going on that words couldn’t even begin to describe. And so I don’t.

Making any sense? Still with me?

My last point {I hope!!} in “losing my voice,” is kinda what I just wrote above. There are things that happen to us or we go through that I don’t think I could even begin to describe.

I feel like I used to try. And while doing that, I made sure to have an underlying message … one I believed in and wanted to share, so as to inspire others.

But along with losing my voice, I also lost part of me. I found myself weary and wandering.

I’ve been searching for answers for several months now … how to articulate exactly what I was feeling and going through … what I still kinda am going through. And even now, I don’t think I have the proper words to share.

The closest I’ve been to getting an answer has been through an amazing study of David {of David & Goliath fame}, that I hope to share sometime soon. God promised David a blessed future … King of Israel. But David didn’t see the kingdom for 15 years! FIFTEEN! He wrote many of the Psalms we read today during that time. Crying out and lamenting to God.

David was weary and he cried out to God.

I’ve been struggling for months now. I’m weary. I’ve also grown stagnant in my faith. Dry, I guess you could say.

My faith isn’t any less. I’m not losing faith. I KNOW God is right with me. I know He’s near. I know He sees me and loves me. I know all of this. It’s just that I’ve grown weary.

Like a marathon runner who falls right before he gets to the finish line and comes crawling in? Don’t know. That analogy just popped into my head.

Anyway … why write about all of this? I guess because it’s been on my heart for so long now I needed to get it out.

I lost my voice because of a combination of things: I’m busy, busy, busy; I can’t write honestly about a lot of things happening in my life; when I try to venture out a little, I get nasty emails that I don’t like; and I’ve grown weary.

I guess the bottom line of all of this? I really want to start writing again. About all kinds of things … just like I used to. Maybe I’m hoping by airing out my heart and thoughts, it’ll give me a fresh beginning to go back doing what I love.

I lost my voice – part 1
I lost my voice – part 2


Posted in deep thoughts, writing


8 Jan

i lost my voice … part 2

I’ve been thinking about these posts for a long while now. Pondering whether I should share my thoughts or not.

You see, being busy, busy, busy is more of an excuse why I’m not writing. And while it’s a very real excuse, it is just that … an excuse.

Because we make time for what’s important to us, don’t we?

Excuses aside, the reason I stopped writing is because I lost my voice.

All of this has been brewing inside of me for months now. I want to write again … desperately. But I’ve been stifled.

And then, leave it to good ol’ Pinterest … I saw this article pinned and it screamed at me to share my thoughts.

Number 5. Don’t lose your voice.

And there just might be another one or two I can relate with. But mostly it was the DON’T LOSE YOUR VOICE, that screamed at me! {just like that too, in all caps!}

As I mentioned the other day, I really do live as an open book and I’ve pretty much always written that way too. And when some things happened that I couldn’t write as an open book anymore, I found myself treading lightly in my writings.

And then I’d get “hate” comments. On my blog, on Instagram. Emails. Amazon and B&N reviews of my books.

I’m not the kind of person who lets those sort of things get to me. I don’t dwell on them. Sure, it sucks and hurts … I’m human. But life is short, I’ve got a limited amount of physical and emotional space, and frankly … bigger fish to fry!

So I shake it off and move on.

And then it happens again. And again. And slowly, I don’t know what to write anymore … or how to write anymore. Cuz it really does take the wind out of ones sails when they’re being attacked.

Also? {warning, this leads off onto a bit of a rabbit trail!}

I always … always, always … try to be inspiring in what I write. Believing in better … it’s what I stand for.

Despite what social media shows, most days are a struggle for me. Either my health, the kids, our situation, or the crazy that somehow falls upon us! #neveradullmoment seems to be our hashtag for life!

Just for kicks, let me share a sample. Last week, on vacation, we were all getting ready to go to the beach. Ahhh … the beach some might think. And yes, I’m thankful we had the beach before us and I might’ve even posted a beautiful photo from the beach when I got there …  but what I failed to mention was the crazy I’d just been faced with.

Sorry … off track … my point is that social media covers up a multitude of underlying crazy.

So we’re getting ready to go to the beach when Hunter comes into the room saying her underarm was itchy and hurting. I take a look, and wouldn’t you know? Her skin strep/staph infection had returned even worse than the first time. She had open wounds all over her underarm. We’re on a third-world deserted island and I was trying like crazy to get her a very-hard-to-find {in the States!} topical ointment. And also an antibiotic.

When in comes Piper with a bad bloody nose.

While my mom was voxing to see if I could load a video that Piper desperately wanted to see. {I love you mom!}

In the meantime, I was also trying to process a message I’d just gotten from our vet. Taylor’s new puppy, Mocha, was attacked at the kennel by another dog and had wounds on her face they needed to take care of … so the kennel sent her over to the vet for clean-up and observation {they were worried about brain swelling}. That had happened the day before, but what I was trying to process was a new message from the vet.

While Mocha was eating, she choked on her food and died. Fortunately, because they were already worried about her and watching her closely, a technician was right by her side while Mocha was eating. The tech immediately intubated and resuscitated her and she fully recovered.

So while all of the above was happening, I was also trying to get more information from the vet. And also knowing I wouldn’t be able to tell Taylor until we returned from our vacation … or I’m pretty sure she would’ve swam home … it was killing me to keep this information from her.

All that while trying to get ready to go to the beach. “Ahhh, but the beach,” some might think. Yes, the beach … with a ten pound beach bag of stress.

{please join me Friday as I finish up my thoughts?}

I lost my voice – part 1
I lost my voice – part 3


Posted in deep thoughts, writing


6 Jan

i lost my voice …

Hello? Hello?

I’m not entirely sure if anyone is still out there? If by chance there is, then it’s no secret to you things have been pretty darn quiet around here!

There’s been a whole lot going on in my neck of the woods. We’ve been busy, busy, busy {I’m currently reading Phil Robertson’s book, Happy, Happy, Happy. If you’re a Duck Dynasty fan, play along with me and read “busy, busy, busy” with a slow and lazy drawl?}. It seems I drop the girls off at school and run non-stop all day … appointments, meetings, doctors, dentists, school lunch & reads, riding lessons after school, groceries, laundry, cleaning, a teen who’s being homeschooled again and doesn’t like to be left alone, and sometimes if I can plan it just right and don’t end up with a sick kid at home, I actually get to have a fun day antiquing or lunch with a friend!

Anyway. You get the picture and I’m sure you all know exactly what I’m talking about. This year flew by! I look back and wonder what I did with it! At times it seems I’m running from one crisis to the next with no down time in-between.

Piper commented recently this was the fastest year in her life! You know if it went fast for an eleven year old, us adults be in real big trouble!

All that busy, busy, busy aside {remember – slow, lazy drawl!}, there’s a bigger reason things have been so quiet ’round these parts …

I lost my voice …

Not literally. Cuz you know, with typing and all, I guess I don’t need a literal voice.

But inside – inside where my heart, my thoughts, and my “voice” live – I lost them.

I’ve always considered myself an open book. Especially here. I cringe actually, with some of the things I’ve shared here in the past! Not regret. Just can’t believe how open I’ve been. But that’s okay with me. That’s who I believe I am.

And then some things happened. I still shared in the ways that I could. At first, I went gonzo-creative {example here} — and am so thankful my blog is about all sorts of facets of my life, that gave me the freedom to share more than just thoughts or happenings in my life.

After I ran my creative bone into the ground and started to “feel” some of the things we were facing, I would cautiously write about some of my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this subject and will be finishing them up in a separate post {or two … or three} … I hope you’ll join me over the next few days as I continue to share my thoughts.

I lost my voice – part 2
I lost my voice – part 3

 

 


Posted in deep thoughts, writing


27 Mar

on becoming a writer :: book review

BecomingWriter 3D 324 I feel so blessed to have met some amazingly talented women around this ol’ World Wide Web thing! Especially when I can call them friend!

And so it is with Denise.

My friend Denise just wrote her first book and I was lucky enough to receive a preview copy. Denise is beautiful inside and out, and knows this craft of writing pretty well.

You see, not only is Denise a blogger, she’s also a writing professor. Does that intimidate any other writers out there? No? Just me then … carry on. :)

So what of this new book? As someone who’s both a blogger and writer aficionado, Denise’s On Becoming a Writer is chock-full of wisdom on writing in an easy-to-read-and-understand-sort-of-way.

Denise is the ultimate encourager and this book is proof. She believes “every blogger has a unique story — a unique purpose — for writing.” And her “deepest heart’s desire is to come alongside other bloggers to encourage them.”

Her simple definition of a writer is “someone who has something to say and wants to say it well.” And On Becoming a Writer is just that … an easy read for guide those of us who have something to say and want to say it well.

I highly encourage any blogger or writer to get a copy of On Becoming a Writer! It’s available on Amazon now for only $4.99. Go. Quick!

Is there an area of writing you struggle with?


Posted in resources, writing


6 Feb

31 days of forgiveness – released!!

IT’S TIME!!   IT’S TIME!!   IT’S TIME!!

As I mentioned the other day, writing this book has been a labor of love. A complete and utter labor of love.

Anyone who knows me, knows my story, and reads this book, will know the labor of love and gamut of emotions put into each word.

I’m amazed as I sit back and read through these pages and think, “Who wrote this?!”

Then I hear a gentle reminder, “Remember when you invited me in each time you sat at the keyboard?”

Yes … indeed. These words … this book … and the heart behind it is Divinely written. I believe that with every fiber of my being!

<— This kid, Taylor Rio, my soon-to-be eighteen year old … wise beyond her years.

A living example of forgiveness and grace. It was one my most favorite things to do, to be able to dedicate this book to her … my first babygirl.

Taylor, you inspire me more than you might ever know. Stay strong my love and live in the plans your Savior has laid out for you.

WHO’S READY
FOR SOME FUN?!?

First up — the electronic version of 31 Days of Forgiveness is FREE for the next 72 hours!! Shout it from the rooftops and tell all your friends!

Secondly — for those of you, much like myself, who desire a hold-in-your-hands-to-mark-it-up-good book, I have just the thing! A paperback copy of 31 Days of Forgiveness!! It’s $7.99 and available on Amazon. I tell ya, it’s been so much fun holding this in my hands over the last week! And if you’re not ready to splurge on the $7.99 right now, take a look below … we’re offering many chances to win a paperback copy {along with some other fun things!!}

Sooo whoooo loves a giveaway?!?

I’ve been blessed with the most incredible launch team … thank you ladies from the bottom of my heart!! Many of these ladies will be hosting a giveaway over the next few days, which means you’ll have many opportunities to win! Each blog will be gifting the following items! One winner will receive all three of these lovelies! Woot-to-the-hoot!!

Following are links to the blog posts currently available, I’ll be updating this list as the team adds their posts:

Encouraging Sweetness
Elisa Pulliam
Along The Trail
Button Bird Designs
Jean Blogs
Mercy Is New
Cindy Clean Living
Hoovers West
A Heart Consumed
Jessica Lynette
Glass Peacock
Enjoying Each Moment
Girl of Grace
Constant in Chaos
Denise J. Hughes
Teri Lynne U
Beauty Out of Dust
Melissa’s Musings

Giveaway details:

{what}
One winner will receive all three items listed above!

{how}
~ leave a comment {any ol’ comment. winners picked via random.org}
~ tweet the giveaway {but come back & leave a comment}
~ facebook the giveaway {but come back & leave a comment}
~ blog the giveaway {but come back and leave a comment}

{when}
Now through Friday, February 8 – midnight {EST}

{prizes from}
note pads – Day Spring
paperback copy of 31 Days of Forgiveness – me!
owl pillow – Button Bird Designs

ANOTHER WAY TO WIN!!

I’ll be hosting Instagram giveaways for the paperback version of 31 Days of Forgiveness throughout the day!! How will that work you ask?? I’ll post a photo of the book, and the first one to see it and comment WINS! If you’re not following me, my username is @tmstier.

GIVING BACK!!

All proceeds of 31 Days of Forgiveness will go directly to The Seed Company. Today, nearly one-third of the world’s language groups, representing 350 million people, are still waiting for God’s Word in a language they can understand clearly.

The Seed Company enables you to support local Bible translators as they make God’s message available in the language of their people.

IMPORTANT LINKS!!

31 Days of Forgiveness {through the eyes of grace}:
website
paperback
electronic version

SPREADING THE WORD!!

If you would like to be involved in generating word about 31 Days of Forgiveness — a much needed message in this world — here are some pre-worded tweets:
Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. <— click to tweet
Are we required to forgive & forget? If we don’t forget, is it really forgiveness? <— click to tweet
Forgiveness is rooted in grace — giving someone something she doesn’t deserve. <— click to tweet
Forgiveness comes in stages … and there’s nothing wrong with that. <— click to tweet
But Jesus … filled with love & forgiveness, didn’t judge her guilty. <— click to tweet

SPECIAL THANK YOUS!!

My girls – for allowing me the time to write. for giving momma grace when she’s overwhelmed. for your never-ending supply of hugs and “I love you mom.”

My friends – thank you to each of you who gave me an encouraging word!

Sandra Peoples, Next Step Editing – you not only “fix” my mistakes, you teach me to be a better writer. {was that sentence okay?} :)

Erin Ulrich, Design By Insight – designer extraordinaire and the patience of a saint. I thank you, thank you, thank you!

My Jesus – for healing my hurts. for giving me strength, when in my human capacity I couldn’t bear to go on. for sacrificing Your life as the ultimate model of forgiveness. for showing me freedom and peace available in forgiveness.

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Posted in 31 days of forgiveness, giveaway, writing