We recently moved to sunny Florida and to be honest there aren’t many days that are not beautiful!
We were eating breakfast one day and and my son, Landon, looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s a beautiful day!”
“Yes, Landon, it is a beautiful day” as I responded and looked out the window.
This conversation happened everyday for the rest of the week. Then one day we were sitting and eating breakfast and Landon looks at me and says, “Mom, it’s a beautiful day!” I looked outside and saw clouds, wet rain and nothing too beautiful. I didn’t want to discourage my 4 year old so I just kinda ignored the comment and went on eating my breakfast.
As I continued to eat my breakfast God spoke to me and said, “Landon isn’t wrong. It is a beautiful day.”
And we know that God uses everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brother and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)
I have had a hard time with this verse lately. I know God is sovereign and I know there is supposed to be beauty in everything but I have been having a hard time finding the good in some circumstances in my life. I lost my sister in law in May of 2014 and I have been struggling with the good in this situation. It seems that there have been nothing but heartache and unanswered questions through all of this.
My son Landon taught me something on that rainy day. He taught me that even if our day or our circumstance isn't good that doesn’t mean beauty can’t come out of it. We have a choice every day to see the beauty in our circumstances. I will never understand why our family lost Debbie and will never understand the circumstances that happened because of it; none of it was good. It is painful and we miss her every day, but through this situation God gave me something. It was hard for me to find, but I choose to focus on what I now realize instead of the pain. The most beautiful thing that I have realized through this whole situation is that God NEVER changes! He is always with us and nothing can separate me from Him. That alone makes everyday a Beautiful Day!
And I am convinced that NOTHING can EVER separate us from GOD’S LOVE! Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s LOVE!” Romans 8:38 (NLT)
Part 3: Jonathans
I remember coming home from a very long week in New York after Debbie’s funereal to a freshly mowed lawn, mulched flower beds, hundred of cards, goodie baskets and so much more! More then ever did I need the love and support from my family & friends.
Months later I still received texts, continued help with my children and more. I can’t ever begin to describe how grateful & loved we felt during this past year.
This year I found out who the Jonathans & Sauls are in my life. You are probably wondering what I mean by that?
King David had two people in his life. The first person was Saul. Saul was in David’s life for one reason He wanted something. Sauls only want something from you that will benefit them. Often in your lowest times the Sauls will try to take advantage of you or take what you have for themselves or they leave and find someone else. Sauls are takers. They do not give of themselves (unless for personal gain) and their motive is not to have you become the person God wants you to be.
Proverbs 13:20 (NLT), “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV), “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.””
The second person King David had in his life was Jonathan. Charlotte Gambill describes Jonathan’s perfectly.
“Jonathan-type friends are the ones who are secure to serve. They are fulfilled in playing their part and have no desire to be the whole. They are confident in what they bring, and they happily celebrate what you bring. They are sent by God to be on your side, to join your journey and enhance your adventure. They have skills and wisdom, but even better than that, they have the same spirit.” (Miracle in the Middle, pg 185)
Jonathans are the ones that want whats best for you. They want to be apart of your life no matter what role they are playing. They see the calling on your life and want to help you get there.
Proverbs 27:9(CEV) “The sweet smell of incense can make you feel good, but true friendship is better still.”
So many times we miss out on the Jonathans in our lives because we are upset that the Sauls didn’t show up. Other times we miss out on the Jonathans because we don’t like the correction or wisdom they give us. We prefer to stay comfy with the Sauls and never grow and never fully reach our full potential. We end up stuck in a moment and the Sauls in our lives want us to stay there. So many times we would prefer a kiss from our enemy instead of correction from a friend.
Proverbs 27:5-6 (CEV), “A truly good friend will openly correct you. You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.”
I can’t begin to thank the many Jonathans in my life. Each one of them played such an important role in my life, especially this year. Some gave me strength when I was weak, encouragement and love when I needed it most. Other Jonathans spoke into my life and helped me reached my current destination. They prayed for me and my family and continued to check on me! I love all the Jonathans in my life and they will always have a special place in my heart.
Who are the Jonathans in your life? God has placed them there for a reason. Don’t miss out on the Jonathans because they will have an invaluable contribution in conquering your biggest devastations.
Part Two: Anchors
As I look back in the last year or so I have realized that there were several items that my family & I had established in our lives before May of 2014. Some of them I didn’t even realized we established while others we made sure we did establish.
My husband and I have several Anchors that we talked through and have established in our lives. You may be asking: Well, what are “Anchors”? Anchors are items that stay firm in our journey. They are the foundations of our lives. They don’t change no matter what the circumstance may be.
Hebrews 6:19 says (NIV), “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm & secure.”
So many times when we reach the difficult circumstances in our life that is when we discover how deep & established our Anchors truly are. Charlotte Gambill says in her book Miracle in the Middle, “Anchors of any type of commitment or vow deserve the time and space they require to ensure they are securely attached.” Anchors take time to establish and require you to be consistent. Trust me, it isn’t always easy and it can take work, but it is worth the reward when we establish those Anchors.
I love how Charlotte Gambill says this:
“Too often we add layers to our lives without underpinning foundations first. Anchors are foundation fixers. They are the concrete in the commitment, the nonnegotiable amongst all the navigation. Without anchors, we can’t hold our course and are doomed to a destiny of drift.”
So many times we add the layers to our lives before establishing a firm foundation. If our foundations aren't strong and we add layers to them, we will eventually begin to loose course. This is why it is so important to have strong, deep, foundations so when life's devastations hit we have an anchor that keeps us secure.
I want to share a few of the anchors that I believe helped our family get through one of our lives biggest devastations.
1. Faith - I am so thankful that I knew God’s word and have it established in my life. I can’t tell you how many times I read scriptures before I went to bed.
2. Family - There were several times that I wanted to quit, but I saw those two precious faces; Landon & Maddie. I knew that I had to get through and take care of myself for them!
3. Church - Never stop going to church. I am not going to lie, there were many days I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to get emotional, but I need(ed) my church family more than ever!
4. Marriage – With marriage comes a lot of other anchors. We communicated and had tough conversations when it wasn’t easy. We chose to invest in our marriage and talk through our life situations.
5. Attitude- Choose to have an attitude of thankfulness. Trust me, I know it isn’t always easy. You will have your rough days, but you have a choice to choose your attitude and you can get through your circumstance with a rotten one or a positive one.
If you don’t have anchors in your life I would encourage you to evaluate the anchors that you want for you and your family. Teach your children now how to find their own anchors. Established anchors in your marriage and your friendships. Commit to them and make sure they are securely attached so when life throws you a curve ball you are ready and standing on a firm foundation on the things that matter most to you!
Part one: Introduction
I have been blessed with a beautiful & wonderful life. But let’s be real…right in the mist of our beautiful, wonderful life major tragedies and hardships can hit instantly and change everything.
In May of 2014 my sister-in-law, Debbie, and her daughter Alissa were traveling to PA from NY to surprise me for my baby shower. About a half hour into their trip they got in a horrible car accident and Debbie went to heaven. In an insist, a happy and exciting weekend became one of the hardest and worsts years of mine and my families lives. I have never felt so helpless and weak in my life.
In the next four blogs, I want to share a huge part of my life and heart. I want to share four important aspects/life choices I believe that will help you and your family get through difficult times. I believe that not only will you get through them, but you will conquer lives biggest devastations.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever." Psalms 73:26
I read a Psalms and a Proverbs everyday. I love when we have 31 days in a month because I get to read Proverbs 31 (one of my favorite chapters)! Every 31st day of the month visit momsareworldchangers.com for a featured blog on Proverbs 31.
A Wife of Noble Character
I have been a wife now for 6 years and I can honestly say that I have loved every year, day, minute and second of being married to David Lanzone. Trust me we have had many ups and downs, our disagreements and tough conversations but I wouldn’t trade any of those moments. I love my husband more then words can say and beyond blessed to have him in my life.
I love the movie “Big Fat Greek Wedding.” One of my favorite parts in the movie is when Maria is talking to her daughter, Toula, and she says, “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head anyway she wants.” In a lot, and I mean a lot of ways, this quote is very true! As a wife we influence our husband’s decisions. He may make the final in my house, but boy do I have some influence. I do not just influence his decisions but I can influence his day, mood, attitude and confidence.
Proverbs 31:10-12 says, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31:25-26 says. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she give instruction with kindness.”
Let’s be real…throughout my marriage I haven’t always enriched Dave’s life! I have not always been very kind with words, my actions and my intentions haven’t always been for his best. I have feared what the future holds and I have reacted in my emotion instead of praying and trusting God. In those times I have affected my husband’s decisions in negative ways.
As a wife, I am trying my very best to speak words of encouragement and wisdom. I want to be a wife that laughs without fear of the future! I want to give instructions with kindness and not with harsh words and anger. I want to lift up my husband with words of kindness and a heart of thankfulness.
Proverbs 31:28-31, “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and cable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”
This week I encourage you to be like the woman in Proverbs 31. Speak words of kindness and encouragement. Instead of an ungrateful heart be thankful for your husband. Be your husband’s biggest cheerleading! Use your wisdom to speak life and not harm. Be the wife God has called you to be!
I believe that moms need to take time for themselves. I know this isn’t easy and I know that it is a daily battle that I have. I am learning though when I do take a few minutes a day to take time to spend with Jesus I am a better mommy, wife and person. One way I believe we can equip ourselves is through reading material that will help us grow in our faith.
I wanted to provide a resource page for you with some of my favorite books, music, and activities for you to share Jesus with your kids. Each month I will have a featured item and you have the opportunity to win that resource! Just click the button below and fill out the form for your chance to win!
The Confident Mom
Joyce Meyers writes this amazing book for moms! I started reading this book in April of 2014. I loved it so much that I decided to buy it as a gift for some of my favorite moms for mother’s day! It is a favorite of mine for several reasons and holds a very special place in my heart!
This was the last gift I gave to my beautiful sister-in-law Debbie. She received it days before she went to be with Jesus. I remember receiving her text message with excitement to read it! She was a single mom and she LOVED Jesus with all her heart! Debbie was a true example of mom who had her struggles but was overcoming because of HIM! She was stronger than she knew and loved her Alissa with all her heart! She wasn’t always sure what she was doing but she was determined to find herself and her answer with to all her questions through God and His word! I am so proud of the mommy she was! She is an inspiration to me and so many others still! Debbie is still an amazing mommy & her legacy, love for Jesus will forever be implanted in her daughter’s life! I now have the book that I gave to Debbie. I hold it close to my heart and will cherish it forever.
It took me sometime to finish this book for many reasons, but I finished it! It changed my life forever and I am so glad that I didn’t let life’s situation stop me from reading it! This book talks about so many issues we all deal with as mommies! Fear, confidence, identity, perfection, how to shape your child’s life and so much more! This book relates to all moms in all stages, circumstances and seasons of life! Joyce Meyers uses God’s word in such an amazing way and speaks to moms through His word!
I cannot tell you how many times a week I start something and don’t finish or I go into a room and totally forget why I went in there! This was becoming more frequent and was driving me CRAZY! I was determined to figure out why this was happening…I was starting to get worried about my memory & health! Then one day as I got distracted it hit me! I am a mom of a 3 and 1 year old! Duh!
How many times do your answers in life get put on hold or how many times do we miss out on our miracle because of our distractions in life? There has been so many times I have allowed my distractions to have me miss out on my blessing.
I love the story in Luke 10 about the sisters Mary & Martha. They invited Jesus over for dinner and Martha was freaking out because Jesus was over! It was probably like having the Queen from England over! She was cleaning, cooking and making sure everything was perfect! Martha became upset because she was preparing everything for Jesus and her sister Mary was just sitting with Jesus. Martha says to Jesus, “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” (Luke10:40 msg).
I love Jesus’ response to Martha. It wasn’t the response Martha was expecting. He said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-41 msg).
Many times I am too focused on work or house stuff and I miss out on an opportunity with my kids or my family. Other times I have allowed distractions, like gossip, finances, and life’s uncertainty to distract me from my miracle or answer in my situation. I allow my distraction to take my focus off of what matters, HIM!
Not sure what you may be going through but don’t let the distraction of your life have you miss out on the “main dish.” Keep your eyes on Jesus, stop constantly cleaning the kitchen and stop fussing over things that don’t matter. He has it under control; He has your miracle waiting for you! Focus on Him and He will provide you with your answer!
I LOVE that God has made us unique and beautiful! I love that God has created no one like you! We all have different gifts, abilities and personalities! I am amazed by God’s creativity.
The one thing that I have a hard time with is wrapping my head around how we are so amazed by people around us, yet so insecure in who we are. If God made you, formed you and empowered you with your gifts and abilities, then why are we so insecure? We constantly compare ourselves to others and hide in our insecurity.
I am certain that we have all dealt with insecurity in our life. We allow others to define us by words and actions. We allow past hurts to control us and we are constantly comparing our moments with someone’s highpoint.
The past couple of years God has really been making me come out of my shell. He has pushed me in areas where I am not 100% comfortable and is showing me what He has for me! I have this new self-confidence that I have never had before. A confidence of who HE created me to be. I am finally seeing who I am, what I can be and what I can do through Him!
Trust me, I still have my days of struggling. Those days when I let people define me and not Him. Those days when I allow the “voices in my head” tell me I am not good enough or I am not like “this” or “that” person. I have realized that I will never be like “that” person because that is not who God created me to be. He created me to be ME and no one will ever be like me!
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
I am realizing that when we are truly in AWE with Him that’s when we will become in LOVE with ourselves. That’s when you begin to see the beautiful creation that God has designed, a masterpiece! You Love who HE made you to be! A beautiful, confident, unique and fabulous self!
“I pray for my kids” was what I was thinking as I started to tune out the sermon. Then in a clear voice I heard, “Do you really pray for your kids?” I began to have this battle with God on how I was REALLY praying for my children (I should have known better and just stopped the arguing with God…I never win!).
Fear. Something we all deal with. I know that as I have gotten older and have become a mom, I struggle with fear a lot more then ever.
I just finished a book called, Miracle in the Middle, by Charlotte Gambill (AMAZING BOOK!) and she writes this about fear,
It will try to turn off every light that hope has switched on and close every door that faith wants to keep open."
I have seen it in my own life and in so many other’s lives. So many times people are so close to the next step/season in their journey and they let fear take it from them.
If I look back through my life there are so many times I have allowed fear to take or delay my future. I have allowed the fear of what others say, the fear of what society tells me, the fear of losing a loved one, the fear of trusting a friend, a fear of failing or the fear of being alone take over what God has for me, my kids and my family.
One thing I am learning is that fear is contagious!
I have a huge fear of bugs, especially the lovely stink bugs here in PA. They buzz, crawl and fly; ugh! I really do not like them. When my son Landon was about 2 years old a stink bug was flying around in the hallway in our home. I jumped (of course) about 100 feet in the air and screamed! A few days later we had another stink bug in our home. I remember Landon screaming and running away in terror of that bug! He is now terrified of every bug, including lady bugs, and even flies! I allowed my fear to effect my son.
Joyce Meyer writes in her book, The Confident Mom,
Whatever you do consistently is what your children will learn to do. If you yield constantly to worry, they'll be prone to torment themselves with disturbing thoughts. If you choose to believe and speak God's Word and set fearless example, they'll be likely to enjoy life, swing the sword of God's Word, and win battles."
What fears are you spreading to your children or the people around you? What fears are making up stories in your life? What fears are hindering you from God’s best?
I wanted to share some of my fears that I am working on. I believe that when we declare it and share it, you will open a door for God to work in you and conquer your fears.
1. The fear of trusting others.
This is a fear that I have because of past hurts. Now that I am aware of this fear of mine I continually ask myself why I am not trusting of a person? Is it because of the hurt or because of the person.
2. The fear of what people will think of me.
I have always wanted peoples approval and have always been worried of what others think of me. I am realizing that I haven’t been 100% secure in who I am. I am working on strengthening my relationship with Jesus to improve my security and find my value in Him and not in others.
Today I challenge you to think through and identify some of your fears. As you begin to identify and become aware of your fears I want to encourage you to be open and honest with yourself. I also want to encourage you to share your fear(s) below in the comment section and how you are choosing to open a door to allow God to start working in that area of fear.
Hello my name is Tiffany. I am a mom to two beautiful children, Landon & Madelyn and a wife to my Prince Charming, David. A few of my favorite things are Disney, the beach, sharpies & post its.
Moms Are World Changers