Meet Tiffini from The House of Belonging

By now you may have heard the word on the street about the amazing giveaway I’m doing to celebrate my book launch: a beautiful 24 X 36 wooden sign (frame included!) with the 8 declarations from Put Your Warrior Boots On, made by the exquisite House of Belonging. 

GIVEAWAY:  If you haven’t put your name in the hat to win this for your home, CLICK HERE or find me on Instagram – @lisawhittle (ends at 6pm ET TONIGHT)! 

Though wildly popular, it dawned on me that you may not be familiar with The House of Belonging, and I want you to know that there’s so much more behind this partnership – there’s a reason why this company is so powerful and why it’s founder, Tiffini, has become my true warrior sister.

Her story is a beauty from ashes testimony. It is the truest example of a Jesus Strong life.

I’m honored to introduce her to you, today.

Friend, please meet Tiffini.

 


 

Q and A

1. Tiffini, I have to admit that what drew me to you at first was your beautiful art. I am a home décor freak, always wanted to be an interior decorator, and I followed The House of Belonging and just fell in love with the art. But not only was the artwork stunning, it was the words on the art that drew me in. They were powerful and I knew they came from a deep place. Can you tell me a little of how HOB started?

That is hard to answer in a short paragraph! I love sharing it though. I humbly hear that often. The art drew me, but the words kept me. That is our Papa isn’t it? That words matter. HOB was birthed out of my journey. A rescue mission, we love to call it. In 2010, I knew in my bones that something was stolen from me. Something was missing + I knew I had to go to my Papa to find it.

I was suffering from the inside out. I had arrived at the end of myself and risked my whole world
falling apart (and it did for the most part) as I began letting the spinning plates fall. One by one.

My kids + I had been through over a decade of crazy. Insane, spiraling cycles ending up in me being in an impossible situation to ever get out of. Humanly speaking. While no one else saw our pain.

God did + He was always waiting. Always acting. I chose to take His hand in rescue. House of Belonging was born in a basement with myself and my oldest daughter, who does all of our designing, and the vision that Papa gave me. All of which I could never have seen what was coming and what still is still ahead. I liken it to walking through fire. It was gutting. The birthing. Still is.

It is now a family affair. All 5 of my children work at HOB (I have 4 grown children, 1 teenager + 7 grandchildren).

 

2. Before we even became friends, my friends would send me screenshots of your warrior apparel – your hats and such – because my rally cry is, of course, to Put Your Warrior Boots On and they knew we were kindreds in that. What is it about the word warrior that means so much to you?

I spent all of my life as an orphan. I don’t mean in an actual orphanage. I have biological parents. I have a relationship with my mom, but not with my biological father. I had four step-fathers. Coming from a childhood of hard places, I never felt I belonged. I didn’t know how to have human relationships, and I didn’t know what trust was or how to handle emotions. As children, we learn early on to protect ourselves in whatever ways we can.

I was completely out of control on the inside, but I never gave up. I believe I was born a warrior in the womb. I first heard God when I was 9. I believed it and from that moment on I had conversations with Him.

The day that changed the course of my life was when Holy Spirit breathed me to life through the story of Gideon in Judges 6 + 7. How He saw me. Who I was as His daughter. My identity was a beloved warrior daughter. All of it coming from Him. From His living words. Ever since then He speaks to my identity. Not to the orphan who grew up believing she was unlovable, weak, powerless and never enough.

Now, warrior beats in my chest. As warriors, we have our Father’s heart. It is a warrior heart for rebels, survivors + revolutionaries. A fire that will ignite in broken hearts through His Word to Papa’s heart. We are born in the battlefield of real life. And as warriors, this is where we find our identities, our belonging.

 

3. You have a campaign called “words matter.” Tell me about how words have the power to change and transform, especially words from The Word?

Words matter because they are the threads that weave the stories. Suffering stories are my heart. I am a former sufferer for suffering’s sake until God invited me to come + see the mystery of suffering and look in awe and wonder at what He does with our suffering. He isn’t the cause of it. He is the rebuilder of it.

My heart is teaching others how to enter into other’s pain and not have to fix it, tell it religious antidotes, and even participate in real-time ways.

Eugene Peterson says it best, “In other words, we need to quit feeling sorry for people who suffer and instead look up to them, learn from them, and if they will let us join them in protest and prayer. Pity can be nearsighted.”

I want somehow for Words Matter to give a voice to all kinds of suffering stories with a myriad of endings, not all fairy tale endings, but God-story endings that invite us to dare to be fully awake in our own suffering. To partner with Papa in the mystery. To give those who live lifetimes of suffering a voice, affirmation, and acknowledgment instead of isolation, shame, and loneliness. We do not know how to enter into pain without religion. We must enter in with living words AND Papa’s heart with relationship.

 

4. What is it about the 8 declarations on this custom piece you made for me that resonated with you, and which one, in particular, do you personally need to most remember?

I LOVE them all, you’re talking to a word girl ;D

But for me, declaration #2 (I Know What I Believe). The cross is everything. It is central. It is the gospel. BIG GOD. BIG GOSPEL.

 

5. I can’t believe you are a grandma! What do you most hope for your kids and grandkids as they walk through this world that seems to have gone crazy?

To know their God, their identity, and their stone.

Their identity is their stone. Their story.

That they throw that stone into the chaos. Sharing God’s shalom with the world in chaos.

Friend, I can’t wait to meet you one day! I am championing you on from here. I am humbled to war with you. To be on the front lines with you. Don’t you ever stand down. Keep giving voice to the cross… to every single one of your declarations. You will be challenged daily, but I want to encourage you that the world in chaos needs the gospel in real time. In real people who are Jesus followers in every way of the word. Who don’t fall away when suffering and persecution come.

I love you.

 

Connect with Tiffini & The House of Belonging!

 

The Signature Collection 8 Declarations Sign (as seen above) will be available beginning June 1, 2017.

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series

House of Belonging + Warrior Boots Sign

“We don’t need spiritual decorations;
we need spiritual declarations over our life.”

Put Your Warrior Boots On
Chapter 1, I Am Able

People are starting to read this book, Put Your Warrior Boots On, and saying how it’s impacting them, infusing strength inside, and all I can do is just offer the praise back to God because this was the intention.

I didn’t write a book to tell us all the placating, pretty things. There are plenty of other books for that. I wrote this book to help us, really help us. I am in this life for lasting impact, so may my writing always stay consistent with that life quest.

Stay with me…I’m getting somewhere with this, but I must ask you a question because trust me, I like pretty.

Did I ever tell you that at one time I wanted to be an interior decorator? I did, and I have the brochures from the Art Institute of Charlotte to prove it. Before God decided different, I wanted to design pretty spaces for people to look it, since creating and art and beauty are favorites of mine.

Which brings me to my point.

Today I get to combine my past and my present in one beautiful thing.

I get to offer you something pretty to hang in your house with powerful words that change the atmosphere of the room, and most importantly the heart.

All 8 declarations from Put Your Warrior Boots On in one gorgeous limited edition art piece from the amazing and powerful House of Belonging.

YES.

IT’S TRUE.

Pretty + Truth-filled = powerful combination.

Available soon at TheHouseofBelonging.com!

INSTA-GIVEAWAY

YOU can win one for YOUR HOME just like I have in mine. I’m doing a giveaway* on Instagram now through May 25 at 7pm ET. The winner will be announced via my insta-story at 8pm.

All of the instructions will be in my instagram post. Click here to get started. OR follow me on Instagram – @lisawhittle

*No purchase necessary to enter giveaway. See instagram post for specific details.

 

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series

I Am Jesus Strong – Spoken Word Video

I’m nervous.
Today I share with you the thing that intimidated and exhilarated me, all at the same time.
I was so moved by it that it had me in tears by the time I finished.
I’m sharing it with you today, half parts thrilled to death, half parts scared to death.
But that about describes the whole Christian life, now doesn’t it?
Watch. Nod in agreement. Share, that the world might know of our GREAT GOD.
I love you.
I love Jesus most.
Always His,

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series

When You Don’t Feel You’re Able, But You Are

I go on all the podcasts and they ask me the same thing: what would you say to your 20 year old self?

And I think long and hard about this blog and what I want to say to you now and to me, too, since we are all alike even though we claim we are so very different.

And I know: it’s words not just for the 20 year old me or you but the 40 year old me and you and the 50 year old and 60 year old and truth be known, the 15, 32 year old and 75 year old, too.

We all need to know the same thing as we walk through this crazy hard world.

That we are able, even though so often, we think we are not.

So maybe you’ll indulge me a few words to my right now self, since we are alike and all…so that means they’ll be for you, too…

Yes, Lisa, you are able.

I know you don’t feel like it, today. Truth be known, that last email about did you in – you know, the one with the bad news? It’s crummy, hearing hard things. Makes even a determined person feel like seeking the refuge of the dark closet.

On that subject…oh, what people do not know. That it doesn’t really matter how God knit a person together in the womb when it comes to the scary of the world. No one is tough enough to fight the human fear from mere genes and chromosomes. Personality type doesn’t qualify or disqualify from Jesus strong, thank God. I wish people would stop saying things like, “well, it’s easier for you” since we know good and well it’s not true. Sometimes outward grit just better hides the pile of inward angst.

I know that when you woke up after falling asleep on that airplane some months back, in what some people might call a panic attack, you felt fear grip you like never before – like your kids were going to die and you wouldn’t be able to protect them. I know that isn’t the first time that’s happened – mostly it happens in the dark of the night in your bed and you wake up in a sweat and Satan laughs at you and all you can really do is pray Jesus’ name over and over again until the terror passes.

Yeah, the world is crazy, no doubt about that. The other shoe is going to drop for sure, and that’s not being negative. So what are you going to do about it – sit and cry and panic? It doesn’t seem like a very good solution. It doesn’t feel like a good way to live. Won’t that rob that everyday joy? Won’t that keep you holding on too tight to kids that really belong to God…keep you from living the full, beautiful life God intended for you? Cocoons are for caterpillars and bubbles are for gum. Life is not meant to be stuffed in a box taped up by human hands under the illusion of control.

No, what you really want is to live strong. You don’t want weak faith – you want sure, steady, fortified faith that lasts until the end. You watched your daddy take his last breath and that’s a holy thing too big for words. In that moment you saw for yourself that earth things aren’t worth it if they aren’t attached to heaven things. You don’t want the panic life you pass on to your kids. You want the prepared life they take on as a heritage of strength to last long after you are gone. You don’t want to be swayed by the culture, confused by the mixed messages of the world, or live a life of half-truth. No. You want freedom in the Jesus only way. You want thick and abiding trust. You want Jesus strong, not human brave with an expiration date attached to it. 

So don’t trust how you feel. Trust what you believe about God. Is He the authority of this world? Did He adopt you as His child? Has He made promises about the strength you can walk in despite this world and can He break promises? Then put on those warrior boots and stop living below your potential. It’s time. You are called to live the legacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing else to do but to do just that.

You are able. You ARE able.

By the power of the Holy Spirit. Under the covering and authority of God.

So sister, warrior up.

 

PS: OH MY FRIENDS. I have something so special, so close to my heart I am going to share with you on Thursday. Please stay tuned and GET READY. It’s something I’ve never done before but something I found to be one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done in my life. I pray and trust it will be powerful for you, too, and for people all over this world. Let us boldly proclaim the name of Jesus, together, my warrior friends…it is time to rise to our spiritual potential and walk in the authority that is ours. Jesus Strong!

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series

Dear Parents: Why You Need To Put Your Warrior Boots On For the Sake of Your Kids

If there’s one universal cry of parents, it’s that we want our kids to be able to make it through this tough life and come out, ok.

God bless us, we know too much.

The bumpy roads, the impasses, the tears, the messes we got into and didn’t know better and messes we dove into head first…lost jobs, maneuvering friendships, miscarriages of babies and of justice of other things not in our control…marriages that don’t work that we lament because we started with the best of intentions…just all of it, the real life, the true, every day grind that even the best morning coffee can’t fix.

Add bombs to it – another mass shooting or a terrorist attack on top of all that – and the cruel crazy of the world feels like a foe too hard to fight.

If our kids only knew how much we worry about them.

We know God doesn’t want this for us. It’s not biblical…yes, we know. But these are our kids, and turns out, even good Christian parents don’t know how to make the worry ever completely go away.

But worry won’t help these kids. It will only make us less effective. They need us, now, more than ever, to become Jesus Strong so they will learn from our example.

A crazy-hard world calls for a crazy-strong Jesus follower.

The way we will prepare our kids for the crazy of this world is not by cowering with worry in the corner but by showing them the example of a Jesus Strong life.

Teach them to pray and get in God’s Word.

If we aren’t praying for our kids, intensely, we better start right now.  This is where it starts – with our example, and with our own dedication to giving our kids over to God. We need to be telling our kids that everything they need to know is found in the Word of God so when they are confused or discouraged or need wisdom or strength, to look there.

We need to be telling them that God is their Father and has all authority and He wants to listen to them so take all their burdens and hurts to Him. Long after we are gone they will have Jesus. We are foolish to think we will be there to shelter them from all the hard things. They need God, their only Help and Hope.

 

Teach them to put their warrior boots on and walk Jesus Strong.

Our kids need to know they are able and ready (Declarations 1 and 8 in the book, by the way) to walk through a tough, hard life because they walk in the power and authority of God and have everything they need to do so. (2 Peter 1:3) This is not wishful thinking; these are promises from the Word. Ephesians 1, John 16:33, and all throughout the Bible give us all the proof we need. Our speech at home needs to not be about how hard this world is and just end there. It needs to be about how despite the tough world we live in, Jesus has overcome the world, and when we give our lives to Jesus, we have a Hope who will not disappoint (Rom. 5:5) who provides His children with His strength to do hard things (Phil. 4:13).

 

We must shift our focus from doom and gloom speech to power and hope speech because we know Jesus. But make no mistake – our kids need training. Now is the time for preparation. If we are focusing all our efforts on ball schedules, cheer teams, academics and violin lessons but have not properly focused on the spiritual training and fortitude our kids desperately need, may we quickly wake to the reality of the situation. Declaration #2 in the book, I Will Know What I Believe, might just be the most important declaration for our kids to grab onto, and we must first grab onto it for ourselves so we can help them.

I’m with you, parents. One of the greatest joys of my life is parenting my three kids, and like you, I love them with every fiber of my being. There have been nights I have gone to bed afraid because of all the coulds and mights about my children, waking up in a cold sweat over the fears my mind thinks up.

But since God has rallied me with this call to put your warrior boots on in my own heart, there’s been a needed shift of perspective of how to do this life — for myself, for the body of Christ and most of all, for my kids.

They’ll need these warrior boots more than they now know.

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series

3 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Buy Put Your Warrior Boots On

When authors write books, we make take away promises for if you buy the book.

It’s not a gimmick – we truly think hard about these things and hope and believe for them to be true for you, the reader.

When people tell me I Want God was a game changer for them, I am moved in a way I can’t explain, because I often say that wanting God the most is the game changer of life. So that the take-away for the reader is exactly as I prayed and labored for it to be can only be credited to God.

I have take away promises and goals for the reader of Put Your Warrior Boots On, too – one main one, especially. I will post about this next week, but first I want to ask you a few questions so you can decide for yourself if the book is worth your investment.

  • Do you want to live with a strength the world’s level of crazy can’t bring down?
  • Do you need a better strategy for less fearful living?
  • Are you tired of your faith being contingent upon your emotions, mood or outside factors?

 

If you answered yes to any of those questions, getting the book is worth it.

  • I also want you to know you are ready and able to walk Jesus strong through this life and exactly why that is (Biblical proof) so you won’t doubt anymore.
  • I want you to know what you believe so you will live more settled and won’t have to worry about the hard conversations since your convictions lead the way.
  • I want you to live a life of complete truth so you are in the best possible warrior shape possible.
  • I want you to live a bolder faith than you ever have before, to fulfill the ultimate purpose for your life.
  • I want you to choose God and follow Him, forever, once and for all instead of continuing to live a life of passable, marginal faith.

 

So I wrote the book for those purposes, too.

Many more things in the book – the ministry of sameness, the Best Choice test (3 questions to ask yourself to make the best choice), the difference between human brave and Jesus Strong (big difference), and what is the opposite strategy to a life of panic.

Now, only you can decide if you think it’s worth it. I hope you do. I believe God has some things to say to you in the pages.

It is my prayer.

Pre-Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

Pre-order today and you can claim your bonus gifts:

  • Start reading the Introduction + Chapter One
  • The 8 Warrior Boots Declarations PRINTABLE
  • Exclusive access to Lisa's new ReClaim video series