What I Pray For

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Photo taken by me in Santa Monica. One of the highlights of 2015- going back to California for the first time since our move.

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I just stumbled across this old blog post and had to repost it. Be blessed!

 

Sista, my prayer for you:

 

May every single day be filled with the wonder of God’s special love for you.

I pray for your happiness, but also for a greater sense of fulfillment in your career and purpose, an ease of communication with those you love, and a sense of satisfaction in all that you have accomplished. Above all, may you rest secure in the knowing of God’s presence. Regardless of how lonely you feel or how difficult a situation- you are never alone. 

I pray for you to be happy and expectant about what is on the horizon in 2016.

I pray for smiles and love.

I pray for friends that are true and authentic.

I pray for kindness and compassion.

I pray for unexpected moments of joy and laughter.

I pray for you to be at peace. 

I pray you walk taller and shine brighter. I pray you shake off any self-defeating thoughts and truly own your beauty.  I pray you are healthy and whole- body, mind and spirit. I pray you stay spiritually centered.

May God keep you in touch with all that you are and all that you are meant to become. May you have the strength and discernment to remove any toxic person who does not celebrate and encourage the woman you are becoming.

 

Keep praying and stay in constant communication with God. 

Keep believing.

Keep moving forward.

 

Amen.

 

EGO= Edging God Out [Video]

 

 

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Did you get your ticket yet?

Hope to see you at the Stix & Brix Fundraiser to help build 10 homes in DFW for sex trafficked victims.

Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stix-brix-fundraiser-benefiting-treasured-vessels-foundation-tickets-27444134144?aff=es2

KNIGHTS DO EXIST

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Happy Birthday to my knight! Some say there’s no such thing as a knight in shining armor — I beg to differ! I never really thought I would get married. I was too messed up, but God sent you @aaronhendra to protect me and help me fight my battles. Exactly what a knight does! Thank you for showing up for US every single day. May God continue to direct your steps, shower you with favor and open doors of opportunity that no man can shut. You are chosen. You are destined. I love you 

[Photos clockwise: Our wedding day at the end of the Santa Monica pier, Aaron installing an LED light panel in the orphanage in S. Sudan, our first scene on RHOD and Aaron on set of his music video for “Alive”]

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Hey Love Seekers!

The above Instagram post is to honor my husband on his birthday today. As I thought about him and our life together over the past 13 years, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude to him for seeing past my brokenness to a girl who deserved to be loved.  See, when I met Aaron I had just embarked on a spiritual journey of healing from my past.

I was an emotional roller coaster.

I felt unlovable.

I was a hot mess.

I felt shame. 

Unworthy…was the label stamped across my heart! (so I thought)

But, in the few months prior to running into Aaron on Beverly Drive on the beautiful fall day in LA I had begun praying for him even though I didn’t know “he” was the one. For many years, I didn’t believe I was worthy of love much less an amazing husband. I had already hit 30 and started facing the fact that maybe marriage wasn’t for me. Growing up a Southern girl, of course- I thought I would be married with 2 kids by the time I was 25. Hello, that’s what most good Southern girls life plan was in my generation, right? Here I was 30 with no prospects and in a city like LA where it felt like finding a good man was like finding a pair of Louboutin’s 75% off at Marshalls. Impossible!  I came close to giving up on love.

BUT GOD.

In 2002, when I hit rock bottom on that bathroom floor in West Hollywood (hear more on Access Hollywood) God heard my simple pray of “help”.  Often we think we need these long poetic wordy prayers, but the simple prayers like “thank you” and “help” are just as powerful. The beautiful thing about hitting bottom is there’s no where else to go but up! This was the beginning of my relationship with God then my relationship with myself then ultimately my relationship with my husband. I had to embark on a love affair with God and myself before I could meet Aaron and allow him to love me. Period. Most of my 20’s, I had turned my back on God and basically shot Him the middle finger. But He was always there. I really should be dead in a ditch somewhere. I should have died on that bathroom floor or in some random person’s bathroom in the Hollywood Hills. But I didn’t.  I began journaling my crazy thoughts and praying for God to bring me a strong man. I filled up several spiral notebooks describing that strong man.  I began praying for him everyday in that prayer journal. With each passing day, my hope grew. Then a year later- BAM- I ran into Aaron on that street and we were married 4 months later.

Trust me, I made the first 2-3 years of our marriage a nightmare! When the fear and old shame-based Tiff would creep up, I would push Aaron away and resist his love. He never gave up on me. He stayed consistent. Aaron saw me as a beautiful, whole, strong, intelligent woman. Not as the weak, broken, messy girl I saw myself as. God knew I needed him to hold my hand as I continued on this healing journey.  God knew Aaron needed me as well.

I felt compelled to share that beautiful glimpse of our story to encourage any of you who are seeking true, real, lasting love. Knights really do exist! Don’t give up hope. Allow the love of God to transform your life first. If you’re like I was and feel unworthy, remember God sees you as His gorgeous daughter. You are the apple of His eye. When you grasp that truth down in your spirit– it begins to heal your broken heart. It renews you. It takes away all the shameful labels you or others have placed on you. Put on God’s label and wear it proudly like the most stunning custom-made dress.

 

You are lovable.

You are worthy.

You are strong, beautiful and filled with purpose.

Allow Him to lead you to your partner. His connections are Divine.  

 

Join  me in honoring Aaron today and if you are blessed with an amazing partner- tell them how grateful you are to be able to do life with them! It’s truly a gift.

 

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#MONDAYMOTIVATION: You Are

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Happy Monday Sistas!

Just a quick bit of inspiration and motivation for the week and month ahead…

Can you believe it’s the last day of October? We have about 60 more days of 2016 to finish the year strong. If you have been part of SOS for a while, you know I love the first of the month for reviewing the past month and setting intentions for the new month ahead.  Just as we do at the beginning to the year, instead of new year goals it’s new month goals. Make sense? How do you want the rest of 2016 to play out? How do you want November to look?

Also, I just had to share this powerful message from the Shine Conference I attended last night. Oneka Mcclellan had us say the above message to the women sitting next to us, “You are loved, You are valued. You are believed in”. I want to say it to you virtually today! I cherish this blog community and my mission it to help you realize your worth.

OWN IT!

Love & Light,

Tiff

AUDIENCE OF ONE: Who Are You Trying To Impress?

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Happy Sunday!

I’m just going to ramble for a minute. This has been on my heart this past week and I thought you ladies would be encouraged by it too.

Last week, a cool guy friend of ours – Jeff Peters – made a simple yet profound statement to me while Aaron was playing at a gig. The place was packed and everyone was engaged in my hubby’s performance. That’s what every entertainer wants, right? I was explaining how happy I was that the place was filled with loyal fans then my friend said something to the effect of, “Yes, that’s great, but we should all be more concerned with the audience of one” then he pointed his finger to the sky. God was who he was talking about.

WHOA!!!!!!!!  The place went silent and this hit me like a ton of bricks for a few seconds.

Don’t you love it when people around you are truly iron sharpening iron?!? (Thanks Jeff!!) This resonated with me all week.  We live in a world where so many people are trying to warp the perception about themselves on social media and make us all believe they are something they are not.  They are more concerned with how many followers they have and…so….

Are you more concerned with impressing people than you are about impressing God?

The silly thing is God knows who you are so it’s a slap in His face when you are being the fake, inauthentic version of yourself to the world. He created you to be exactly who you are with all your gifts, shortcomings, talents and flaws. He must shake His head when He sees someone put out a fake representation of themselves. I want to make Him proud. Don’t you?

As an influencer, I pray daily for God to enlarge my territory (Prayer of Jabez) which means, yes– grow my social media, but there is a mission and purpose behind it. Are you more concerned with feeling “popular” or are you more focused on the amount of people you could add value to? Again, God knows your heart!

Summer is behind us and as we head into Fall, take a look back at your 2016 goals. Have you hit them or missed the mark a few times? You still have time to create the best year yet!

 

I encourage you all to set your intentions toward impressing God more.

Please give me you 2-cents on this topic! 

The world wants and needs the authentic YOU! 

 

Love, Light, Ladyballs + Lipstick,

Tiff

 

It’s Time To Move On + Cross The Bridge

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Happy Humpday Hotties!

The aspect of SOS I love the most is when women who reach out sharing their heart and journey with me. It’s like a beautiful gift I get to unwrap when I open that email or message on social media. The love and inspiration exchanged comes back around to me full circle reminding me we are all in this together!

One message I received yesterday just had to be shared here with you all. The day after the #RHOD reunion aired, I posted the above bridge photo with the caption, “a walk in nature is all that’s needed sometimes to reset our spirit. This bridge is symbolic to me today…MOVING ON. What bridge do you need to cross over today and move on from?”

A lovely lady who follows me on Twitter began reading and watching my SOS content as the Bravo show was airing. She wrote me this yesterday and it touched me. It’s truly a testament on never giving up and how to face our circumstances head on with positivity and gratitude instead of getting stuck and depressed by them….

 

Hi Tiff!! First let me thank you for posting REAL pics on social media showing that you live what you teach and preach!  Not pics of you and Aaron partying or wearing fashions that women like me want, but can’t’ afford. You show us how to do it on a budget!

I get up everyday and look at the picture you posted of the bridge. 

I cross over it and forget about my broken heart, my relationship with my son and how I may never have one with him because I blew it and how my mom gets worse everyday with her MS.

I cross over the bridge and minute by minute forget the man who broke my heart and thank God for restoring my relationship with my son and thank Him that I can be here for my mom. 

It’s easier some days than others!

God has truly given me this time to get healthy and put my life in perspective and to prepare me for the man He has for me.

Like your tweet said a few days ago, “I’m a VESSEL not a VICTIM!” 

 

I pray this encourages you to pick up your feet and pick up your chin. I view God as the bridge toward our Destiny! Who wants to stay on the wrong side forever? Yes, moving on and crossing the bridge takes courage, trust and faith. Aren’t you curious what life is like on the other side? For me, it has been a life of more joy, more freedom, more love, more adventure. That’s my hope for us all.

Love, 

Tiff

 

 

ARE YOU USING YOUR #LADYBALLS?

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A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking at the 1st Annual Women Who Rock Event along with several authors and speakers. Talk about grabbing my own #Ladyballs and stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m still working toward getting more comfy doing speaking engagements. We’re really not exercising courage if we’re not shaking in our boots while we’re stepping out, right? I know God is calling me to it and I’m doing my best to be obedient! It’s not about me. It’s about the message.

I felt led to speak about the  #Ladyballs mentality and actually sense a book coming from it! After much prayer and meditation, a message for each letter of #Ladyballs began to take form. Here’s the brief version to inspire you and I plan to get the book finished over the summer. (hold me accountable!!)  When you work through each of these and truly take ownership of your life, you go on to soar, sista.

L- Lose The Labels

A- Always Be Authentic

D- Drop The Doubt

Y- Your Relationship With Yourself

B- Breakthrough Your B.S.

A- Adjust Your Attitude

L- Lift The Limits

L-Love Your Life

S- Step, Strut… SOAR!

 

Who’s ready to soar?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this mentality and which letter(s) seem to have you stuck.

Love & Ladyballs,

Tiff

 

P.S. Get your tee here before they’re all gone!

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HAPPY IS ON THE HORIZON: My 2016 Prayer For You

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Photo taken by me in Santa Monica. One of the highlights of 2015- going back to California for the first time since our move.

Sista, my prayer for you:

May every single day of 2016  be filled with the wonder of God’s special love for you.

I pray for your happiness, but also for a greater sense of fulfillment in your career and purpose, an ease of communication with those you love, and a sense of satisfaction in all that you have accomplished. Above all, may you rest secure in the knowing of God’s presence. Regardless of how lonely you feel or how difficult a situation- you are never alone. 

I pray for you to be happy and expectant about what is on the horizon in 2016.

I pray for smiles and love.

I pray for friends that are true and authentic.

I pray for kindness and compassion.

I pray for unexpected moments of joy and laughter.

I pray for you to be at peace. 

I pray you walk taller and shine brighter in the new year. I pray you shake off any self-defeating thoughts and truly own your beauty.  I pray you are healthy and whole- body, mind and spirit. I pray you stay spiritually centered.

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Sista, I am grateful you are on this journey with me and I picked up my favorite scented candle by Voluspa in honor of this final blog post of 2015. I lit it and wrote this prayer for you tonight.

May God keep you in touch with all that you are and all that you are meant to become. May you have the strength and discernment to remove any toxic person who does not celebrate and encourage the woman you are becoming. Keep believing. Keep moving forward. In His mighty name, Amen.

What are your goals and plans for 2016?

Share + Comment.

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: 

Cancer VS Suicide: Team Angels Won by Christine Handy

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Christine & a few of her angels, today! 

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer and completed my chemotherapies and surgeries before I felt full inside. I felt loved in a way I didn’t even know existed. I found the Holy Spirit through the teachings by my team of friends that we called my “team of angels!”

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The first days of my diagnosis I was set on suicide. In my mind I felt unworthy of the time and devotion I knew it would take for my family and friends to care for me. I was coming off an already brutal health problem and I felt like I had used up my “reserves” of care from my husband, parents and friends. I was ashamed to ask for more and yet I knew I couldn’t care for my 2 sons while fighting breast cancer. I believed everyone would be better off without me and without the intensity of my health pressures. I rationalized that decision and it made sense at that moment in time.

Then came my angels.

My friends rallied around me and made me believe the truth, Gods Truth. I was worthy and God loved me so much that He knew every hair on my head. The hairs before chemotherapy and each one as it grew back. I became overwhelmed with love, devotion and care by not only my family but my friends. They became my “team of angels”! And they were.

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Christine’s hair began falling out in the shape of a cross! 

I asked many of my friends why they gave up so much to help me. They gave up their time with their own families to care for mine. They gave up their lives in so many ways for my secured health and well being. And through their faith and teachings, I came to realize why.

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They did it for God, the Glory of God. Those woman didn’t want thanks, they didn’t care about the thank you cards , they taught me that the thanks went to The Lord.

I don’t know about you, but being raised a Christian doesn’t guarantee learning the principles that these woman taught me.

They taught me that my life was important and that I was worthy.

They taught me to give all my worries to The Lord .

They showed me what to serve really looks like even in a society that wants to take all the praise and the credit.

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They not only saved my life they taught me how to live. I went from giving up when I was diagnosed to fighting for my life with their help. I believe God put those woman in my life to change me, refine me and save me.

I am cancer free and love my life. I am never alone, I have the Spirit inside me. The terrors of diagnosis and the fears that come with it are devastating. But my life and my story are bigger than that day I was diagnosed, October 1 st , 2012. God has a plan for me that’s so great. There are days and nights where I feel doubt or fear but I remember my faithful angels and how they modeled the Truth for me.

My fears go away and I pray and feel comforted.

John 15:12-17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.