ON THE CATWALK FOR A CAUSE: Polished Fashion Show

Polished Fashion Show Models with Founder Kat Armstrong (centered in red)

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Last week, I had the pleasure and honor to walk in the annual Polished Fashion Show at Belk. When founder Kat Armstrong asked me to be part of it I couldn’t say YESSSS fast enough. I admire her tremendously and what she’s created to give faith-filled entrepreneurial women a place to connect and grow. When I first moved back to Dallas, I went through a period of sadness because I didn’t think the women here “spoke my language”. By the grace of God, over time I found a beautiful tribe of like-minded women who also believe in being spirit-led in every aspect of life.

So often spirit-led, mission-driven women feel they should separate their business and their faith. 

After all, faith is for early-risers on Sunday mornings, and the rest of the week is meant for work and fun, right? We couldn’t disagree more. Back in 2008, we took a closer look at the up-and-coming young professional workforce. We saw that not only are they leaving empty spots in the pew, but they’re leaving their faith at home when they head to work.  The young professional women of this generation are smarter and more forward-thinking than any generation before. But life is still hard, and we all face challenges that we can’t overcome alone. That’s why we launched Polished – to give women a place to find a community of women just like them. And while we’re there, we talk about how faith isn’t just for a dusty corner of an old bookshelf; it’s relevant to situations we face every day in real life. via Polishedonline.org 

Fashion Show Emcees, Catherine Lowe of Lowe Co + Whitney Kutch of Hello Whitney

To get connected, I highly recommend attending their monthly luncheons. The first Wednesday of the month, Polished Dallas hosts a luncheon with an inspiring speaker. For dates, location and registration details check HERE.

Also, make sure to attend next years fashion show. It was a blast and so refreshing to be part of an event where the women are truly bright lights fanning each others flames. You could feel God right there in the midst of Belk. Many events can feel stuffy and give you social anxiety, but you could sense a sigh of relief and level of comfort among the women. Hope to see you there!

#LIVEFREE benefitting A21

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[Cuff by All The Wire]

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sex trafficking. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.

There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.

A21 EXISTS TO ABOLISH INJUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. A non-profit organization who believes that we can end human trafficking together. [Source http://www.a21.org]

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One of my favorite female ministers, Christine Caine, and her husband started A21 in 2008. I’ve been following and supporting their efforts from the beginning so I was thrilled when my new Dallas friend Tori Gonzales asked SOS to join her company All The Wire and their collab with GoodhYOUman. It’s the 2nd year they have created a special capsule collection to raise funds and awareness for A21.

WANT TO JOIN US? 

Purchase a cuff or tee and $6 from every ‘LIVE FREE’ unit goes to benefit A21’s efforts.

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[Sleeveless Tee by GoodhYOUman]

Perfect timing as we approach Independence Day on the 4th of July!

#LiveFree

Love,

Tiff

 

 

HELLO SEPTEMBER: Bring On The Confidence & Walk Tall

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Join me in welcoming September! (clap clap)

Let’s focus on our spirit today…

Many of you have made it through the first week of school getting the kids back on a sleeping schedule and finding your own new groove. CONGRATS!  The transition to Fall is always a bit wonky which can take a toll on our confidence. The lazy days of Summer are over and it’s time to get focused. You spent so much time on your family and making sure their Summer was memorable and now it’s time to nurture yourself a bit.

What activities do you want to participate in? You’ve filled up your kids after school schedules, but what about YOU?

Do you want to try a new workout program? Start a side business? Join a book club? Take an online class?

My job here at SOS is to…

nudge you,

broaden your scope,

instigate change,

get you to step out of your comfort zone…

all of which will build your confidence. 

Are you the type who thinks and talks about doing something, but you never get around to it? This actually wreaks havoc on your confidence! Do you notice that sense of disappointment in yourself when you shrink back or are just plain lazy?  I challenge you TODAY — on the first of the month to step into the new season with new habits.

Here are 3 ways to bring on the confidence:

1)RECALL A TIME YOU WERE CONFIDENT & POWERFUL: Remember that time you nailed that important business presentation or told a great joke during a speech that had the room in stitches or threw a perfect dinner party from the appetizer all the way to the after dinner coffee? Recalling these moments when you were proud of yourself actually triggers you to feel that feeling of confidence again. Often, we tend to focus on our shortcomings and losses instead of our wins. Every once in a while, I take a look over my resume and credentials to remind myself that I’m not doing so bad.

ACTION STEP: Make it a regular habit of taking time to focus on your accomplishments. 

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2)TRY SOMETHING NEW (even if it scares you): We are creatures of habit and my intention with this post today is to encourage a change in the bad habits that are holding you back. I set a goal for 2014 to book a minimum of three speaking engagements. Recently, I hit my goal. Woop! I didn’t tell anyone about the first two. They were at smaller venues and I considered it practice and no one would know if I completely bombed. I’ve spoken many times in public, but it still makes me a ball of nerves. It’s something I want to get better at. I have the ability to talk into the camera all day long with no problem. That’s where I feel “at home”. Recently, I spoke at a bigger event and thought I was going to puke. I didn’t. Stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something that scared me strengthened my confidence in a major way.

ACTION STEP: Set the goal. What is that thing you’ve wanted to do even if it terrified you? Build your confidence by setting the goal and completing it.  

3)WALK TALL: If you’ve been part of SOS for the past year or so, you’ve seen me say this in many videos and on the blog. Why did I start this? I began noticing my own terrible posture when I was out and about in public. On those days I felt “schleppy”, my shoulders would round forward and my eyeline was toward the ground. As I looked around, many women were doing the same thing. Their energy was “stand offish” instead of magnetic. So was mine! What the heck? It broke my heart to see so many women with such low self-confidence. I had to have a chat with myself as well. Sometimes it’s good to take yourself to the mirror and talk to yourself as if you were your BFF. We encourage our friends all the time and I want you to do that for yourself today. Being the researcher I am, I found this to be scientifically backed in a study by Scientific America. 

ACTION STEP: Focus on your posture. Stand tall, core tight, eyeline forward and shoulders back. Standing tall actually signals the body and mind to feel more powerful. 

Like my Grandma always said, “it’s time to S*@! or get off the pot”!  Don’t you just love Southern sayings? The new season is the perfect time to try some new things.

What will you step out and walk tall doing?

Please share this post with any friends who need the nudge. Perhaps, do this with a friend and create some accountability.

If you need more in-depth assistance, I have limited space for new private clients in September. Receive a complimentary 15 minute consultation via Skype to discuss your options. Serious inquiries only. Contact me here. 

WALK TALL SISTAS.

Love, Tiff

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If you’re in the DFW area, please join us on September 12th for the ESTEEM 2105 Fashion Show benefitting The Elisa Project. I’m honored to walk in this show again and I do so proudly for the teenage girls I have mentored with eating disorders. I also battled poor body image as a teen model and want to empower the next generation with the knowledge and education that I was not given when I was young.

TICKETS ARE GOING FAST!

GET YOURS HERE.

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XOXO, Tiff

Hello Gorgeous!

I’ve missed you and apologize for being completely AWOL from the blog and YouTube channel lately, but I promise it was for a very good reason. I’ll share more details later! (Skwwweeell.. you won’t believe how freakin’ exciting it is!!) 

AHP-HOB_Tiff2AHP “Light Up Tomorrow” charity concert at the House Of Blue’s.

I check in with you all and send some love. We’ve had a whirlwind Spring and one of the important things that took up my attention was putting on my hubby’s first charity concert here in DFW. We’ll be taking some time off this Summer, but have planned to tape a few new style webisodes first. Hope to have one up by the end of the week. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all fun, relaxing & blessed Summer! 

Walk tall.

Shine without apology.

Strut it. 

Xoxo, Tiff

JOIN ME: Tons Of Fun On May 2nd

Hey Sistas!

This spring is off with a bang and can I just tell you, DFW has the most spectacular events. People here know how to throw parties and charity events. I’ve had more fun in one year than I had all 16 years in LA. Yes, seriously! 

I want to extend a personal invitation to two amazing events on May 2nd:

Blogger@Boss

The Blogger2Boss Conference May 1-2. If you are interested in taking your blog to the next level, you do not want to miss this conference! I will be speaking at a session on Sat, May 2nd and sharing my tips & experience on how to incorporate a V-log or YouTube channel into your blog and brand.

Blogger 2 Boss is DFW’s premier conference created for aspiring and emerging bloggers who desire to take their blogs to the next level. Hosted by the team at DFW Style Daily, this 2-day inaugural conference will take over the industrial-chic location of NYLO Las Colinas from May 1 -2, 2015.

Featuring top-tiered blogger and influencer panels, interactive presentations, product demos, unbeatable vendor shopping, networking opportunities, and educational breakout sessions – Blogger 2 Boss and its panel of experts will provide all of the need-to-know tips on how to advance your blog and get more noticed in 2015!

Check out the amazing lineup of speakers and the weekend agenda!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

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Now, once you leave the Blogger2Boss conference head over to Park Place for Accessible Luxury : Benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. 

Within a unique caring environment, patients at TSRHC benefit from a world-renowned medical staff and the promise of a brighter future, through the research and innovation driven by the hospitals five centers of excellence. TSRHC is consistently recognized as one of the premiere pediatric orthopaedic hospitals in the world.

What’s more fun and glamorous than combining fashion, cars, cuisine and jewelry for a wonderful cause!?! Check out the videos on the making of this spectacular event.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

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I love you Dallas. This city is filled with some of the most generous, fashionable and creative people.

Hope to see you at these events!

Love, Tiff

CELEBRATE & BLOOM: Happy Easter

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I would like to start off wishing all of you who celebrate it…. A Very Happy & Blessed Easter!  Easter is a miraculous time of renewal and rebirth. I love this time of year for so many reasons, but especially on a spiritual level.  Everywhere you look there are signs of new life from the greener grass to the budding flowers and trees.  The birds are singing and the squirrels are playing.  How amazing is God’s Creation!?  On my power walk last week, I was thrilled to have all my senses heightened by the sights and smells of spring.

WooHoo! IT HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED!

Winter is a time when everything appears to die and lies dormant or is intentionally pruned back in order to grow bigger and better come spring.  We can feel like that at times as well.  Have you felt the pain of being pruned back and are now ready to bloom, shine brighter and live life larger?

Back in January, I shared that my life theme for 2015 is to “go bigger” and trust me, I’ve have many seasons of being pruned back. Who’s with me? Part of that pruning back is letting go of the things, behaviors or people who no longer serve our higher self. In order to bloom and become who you are truly meant to be and step into a new life, you have to snip some dead things off.  Grab those spiritual gardening shears and get to work.  Cheers to a fresh start and new beginning!

Since this is my blog & my world which I openly share with all of you, I would not be authentic if I didn’t mention the main reason this weekend is special to me. I’m so grateful for the cross and the resurrection power. I’m grateful for John 3:16 and God’s sacrifice for us, for you, for me. If you’ve watched my vlog’s you know I am transparent in sharing how messed up my life was until I allowed God back in. So, this weekend especially symbolizes the new life and second chance I’ve been given.

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This weekend, I encourage you celebrate your life, celebrate your family + friends and celebrate a fresh start + the opportunity to bloom…and grow bigger.

Love, Tiff

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Hey DFW Sistas, if you have done some spring cleaning in your closet and have gently used items to donate, please consider dropping them by the clothing drive for The Grace Project National Conference For Women Living With HIV on April 18th at 4054 McKinney Ave, Dallas 75204 in the parking lot. 

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GIRLTIME IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH: Plan Some This Week

Hey Sistas!

Recently, one of my besties sent me this great reminder. I read this a few years ago, but in each season of our life messages hit us differently! I wanted to share it with all of you to encourage you to plan regular time with girlfriends who lift you up, challenge you to be the best you can be, who spotlight your strengths and love you unconditionally. Over the past few weeks I’ve been blessed by several empowering and uplifting moments with girlfriends. This is truly the best anti-depressant and it’s even good for our overall health. Read on…

FashionStars[Celebrating our dear friend Dawn Mellon as one of this year’s Fashion Stars for a Cause benefitting the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Dallas at the DCC. Photo Credit: Danny Campbell]

INTERESTING BIT ABOUT FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS.  They Teach It at Stanford:

In an evening class at Stanford University, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection — the relationship between stress and disease.

The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman. … . whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.

Women share feelings, whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidentlythat is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

FullSizeRender-16[GNO with LeeAnne Locken & Cynthia Smoot]

There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

FullSizeRender-18[With Heidi & Erica Annise at PositiviTEA benefitting The Grace Project for women living with HIV/AIDS]

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health!
We are indeed very, very lucky. So…. let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently, it’s very good for our health. 

Love,

Tiff

RADIANT AFTER ALL By Fashion Stylist & Cancer Thriver Dawn Mellon

 

dress4yellowDawn walking in the “Dress4Yellow” fashion show, which celebrates cancer survivors.

Bad hair days.  Ugh!  We’ve all had them, right?  You spend 45 minutes drying and curling your other-wise stick straight hair and single-handedly deplete a portion of the ozone layer with hairspray to keep your ‘do in place.  Then, you walk outside only to be greeted by Mother Nature who whips up the wind and challenges the humidity to reach an all-time high, and you can almost hear her sarcastic laugh crackling in the wind as you feel your curls succumb to the elements.

Yep, it stinks.

But, everything is relative.

What if your bad hair day began when you took wig tape and stretched it across the perimeter of your bald head while you prayed the tape would be strong enough to withstand Mother Nature?  Losing your curls to the humidity is one thing.  Losing your wig to the wind is…well, a nightmare.  

And, the bad hair day continues as you try to recreate the eye brows you once complained about having to wax so often.  The cu-de-gyres, of course, is gluing false lashes to your eye lid without the guidance of a single eye lash.  You get so frustrated, you consider giving up until the thought of continuing to look like an alien surpasses your urge to quit.

I wish I could tell you I’m describing a scene from a bad movie, but the truth is I was the star of this real-life nightmare.  I was 46 years-old, married to my soul mate and husband of nearly 25 years.  Together, we were raising our12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, and I was enjoying a successful career as a fashion stylist.  Then, one day I woke up with a lump on my sternum.  It, literally, grew overnight.  I had been to several doctors prior to that day because I was having difficulty breathing and received a series of inconclusive diagnoses.  But, this time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong.  

andrewfamilyfreshDawn & her family shortly after diagnoses. 

The next day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had about a quart of fluid drained from my lungs – fluid that wasn’t draining through my lymphatic system because it was no longer capable of doing its job.  Instead, the cancer-filled lymph nodes formed a 9-centimeter mass between my lungs, and the lump on my sternum was the outward manifestation of that mass.  Within a week, I underwent a biopsy of the mass, a biopsy of my bone marrow, a PET scan, and had a port placed underneath my skin through which I began my chemotherapy treatment.  I was given a 70% chance of making a full recovery.

Eventually, I had a 100 hours of chemotherapy treatment.  It rid my body of cancer and, simultaneously, it rid me of my femininty and my dignity.  

As a fashion stylist, I’ve often said, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  So, what does a 9-centimeter mass of cancer-filed lymph nodes positioned between your lungs look like?  I don’t think anyone wants to know the answer to that question.

Yet, despite everything I’ve just written, the most ironic thing happened to me during the first few months of my treatment.  Although I was on a sabbatical, I decided to attend a book-signing party given in honor of one of my clients.  A woman, not just any woman, a 6-foot-tall, redheaded fashion icon, said to me, “You look radiant.”  

jonb-dayWith supportive husband, Jon.

I was speechless.  I just stared at her until her very polite and intuitive husband broke the awkward silence between us and commented on..well, truth be told…I don’t know what he said, but his voice was exactly what I needed to hear in order to find my own voice.

Radiant.  Now that was an interesting choice of words, I thought to myself.  You see, she didn’t know about my diagnosis, she didn’t know I was wearing a wig, she didn’t know how it took every ounce of strength I could muster, mentally and physically, to be standing in front of her at that very moment.  

Then, of course, I told her.  Our conversation from that point forward is one I will always treasure for many, many reasons.  But, perhaps, the most important reason is that I came to realize the deeper meaning behind the advice I had been dishing out all these years.

ericarecital11With beautiful daughter, Erica – rockin’ her wig.

Despite the fact that I was a cancer-filled mess, standing a death’s door, and fighting for my life, I was spiritually stronger than ever before.  I felt the presence of God in a way that I’ve never really been able to capture in words.  I felt like I had been chosen – like so many of the biblical figures I’d grown to admire – I’d  been chosen to glorify God.  He knew that I would credit Him for healing me; I would lead others to Him through my unshakable faith; and I would be a living example of His power and grace.

291880_2030631369859_1860769476_nA toast to good life at the “Eternally Grateful” party Dawn & her family threw for everyone who helped them on this journey. 

Dawn Speech Photo2Dawn speaking at the 2013 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon – sharing her journey and encouraging others to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

So, I was radiant after all.  Radiant from the glow of the Holy Spirit shining so brightly that even my wig, my penciled-in eyebrows and my false eye lashes couldn’t overshadow its glow, and shedding a new perspective on the adage, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  

 

llsfamilyDawn with her family, including her mom, at the 2014 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon when she received the “Heart of Gold” award.

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To further inspire, here’s a ‘must see’ video of Dawn and her remarkable family: 

GET READY TO RECEIVE IN 2014

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My Sweet Sistas!

On this final day of 2013, I encourage you to take some time to close your eyes and give thanks for last year. Give thanks for the blessings as well as the hardships because ultimately the tough times turn to blessings. SAY WHAT TIFF? Yes, the tough times become blessings in the form of lessons learned, wisdom and strength! We do not gain strength and wisdom when everything is easy breezy. Also, take the time to get alone and write out your 2014 intentions, goals, resolutions and COMMITMENTS. Most people putter out and give up on their resolutions by the end of January so I prefer to think of them in terms of commitments and intentions. We make commitments to our loved ones nearly everyday and feel awful when we don’t keep them. Being committed equals being dedicated, faithful, devoted and loyal.

WHAT COMMITMENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE TO YOURSELF IN 2014? 

Go beyond the simple goal setting of “I want to workout more” and set to goal/intention with details like “I will workout for 45 minutes, 4 times a week”. Make your goals doable so you stay motivated. Take the time to really think about how you want 2014 to look. Do you want to lose weight, have more confidence, build deeper friendships with people, land new clients for your business? Recently, I read this about goal setting and loved it:

CONCEIVE>BELIEVE>ACHIEVE>RECEIVE!!!

Focus on the outcome of you fulfilling your goals. See the end result and RECEIVE the weight loss, RECEIVE more confidence, RECEIVE deeper friendships, RECEIVE more clients!

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I would love to hear what your 2013 highlight was!

PLEASE MAKE A COMMENT + SHARE. 

Obviously, my personal highlight was moving to Texas, but the highlight of SOS was leading my first live workshop in Vegas for the Rising Phoenix Charitable Foundation’s Annual Gala which raises funds for our friend Sam Childer’s (aka The Machinegun Preacher) and Angels Of East Africa as well as The Shade Tree Women’s Shelter. I’m looking forward to working with more women in person and putting on several workshops in 2014.

That’s one of my big new year commitments!

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I pray over this community and for each of you to have a blessed year full of health, happiness, beauty, style and commitments + goals received! 

REMINDER: I will be taking new mentoring/coaching clients in January. If you are serious about committing and investing in yourself, please take advantage of my offer of COMPLIMENTARY 15 MINUTE SKYPE OR PHONE CONSULTATIONS through Wed, Jan 15th. If you are interested, please feel out the contact form on the SERVICES PAGE. Those who take advantage of this January consultation will receive a 25% discount on all packages or single sessions. *If you are not committed to your personal growth, a coach or mentor will not help you. Again, serious inquiries only!

2014 is going to ROCK!

Love, Tiff

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR TODAY?

Sorry there’s no beauty tip or fashion fauz pas to discuss today!  My heart and thoughts are focused on the devastation in the South.   The awesome thing about having a blog is that you can use it to share your expertise and info with others as well as some self-indulgent mind-spewing! 

So bear with me,  I’m in the mood to spew…

Finally the media has shifted from all the hype surrounding the Royal Wedding (‘m SO over it..yawwwn) to more important events like the crazy massive tornadoes that have wrecked havoc on the South.    It really humbled me this morning because yesterday I was in a funky mood–you know that “mood” you find yourself in for no apparent reason– it’s not PMS, nothing has pissed you off, you got a decent nights sleep–yet, you feel like your heads about to explode and the littlest things just grate on your last nerve (like the sound of your lawn guy’s weed-eater…buzzzzzzzzzzzzz).   You go through your list of positive affirmations…give it to God…cast your cares–and the more you try to ‘SNAP OUT OF IT’, the more agro you become!

Thank you CNN– for being the catalyst to help me get out of my 24 hour bubble of ME-itis.   This morning as I was having my first cup of joe (that my wonderful hubby brought to me in bed..yes, I know–he’s beyond amazing) we were trying to find a news channel that was NOT talking about that dang wedding on the other side of the pond.   I mean seriously, if I see that 2nd kiss on the balcony one more time I think I’m gonna puke!   Luckily, CNN was covering the devastation in Alabama.  The death toll is over 340 now.  They interviewed a woman who could not reach her mother for 48 hours.  Now, can you personally imagine yourself living in that terror for a whole 2 days???   

Wondering..

Is my mom hurt?  Dead?   Stuck underneath pieces of her home and belongings?   Is she safe and warm?  Has anyone helped her?  Is she hungry?   You know how powerful our minds are!?   Thank God her mother was rescued and staying with a sweet neighbor.  Unfortunately, many people do not have the same happy ending.

With the recent catastrophic events in Japan and now this…how do you think, feel, react?

Does it put things into perspective?

Do you stay in your comfy little bubble of a life and try not to think about it?

Does it draw you closer to something bigger outside of yourself?  God?

Do you feel an immense feeling of gratitude?

Wikipedia says:   Gratitude is thankfulness or appreciation.   A positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Whatever you are going through today– and we are ALL dealing with something— take a moment to GIVE GRATITUDE that you are alive!   You’re here!  You’re breathing!   You have eyes to read this post right now!

Thank you for hearing me out!    If you have time this weekend, let’s join together and light a candle and say a prayer for those effected by the tornadoes. 

Gratefully~  Tiff