The Year in Review (and what’s ahead!)

What a year 2017 has been! 

And there’s no way that I could let it end without thanking YOU – the awesome community of Welcome Home Ministry – for joining in this amazing celebration of faith and family-life!

I just love sharing my heart on this blog.   It’s such an honor to share about my Lord, Jesus Christ, as well as everyday reflections on family-life.

My husband says that I’m a chameleon, and I’ve learned that my writing style certainly reflects my personality.  So in this space, I’ve posted about all aspects of family-life: the good, the bad, and the ugly – in both serious, comical (and sometimes nutty 😛 ) ways.  And to think that YOU stuck it out with ME.  I just love ya for that.  M-U-A-H!  *big, sloppy, wet kisses*

In this review, I share the posts readers loved most; I pay homage to some of my favorite bloggers, who I now consider friends; and I share personal reflections about my yearIt’s a bit of a variety post, but I know you can handle it (and I quiz you at the end, so pay attention!).

So without further ado . . . DRUM ROLL, please!

Top 10 Posts of 2017

1The Truth About Raising Young Adults – The post that could have easily been titled Confessions of a Crazy Lady!  I ask you: Who else is going to tell you this stuff?  You can always count on me to spill the beans. Read it and be enlightened.

2. The Theory of Everything: A wife who lost her look of love – is marriage advice via a movie review, or a movie review which slips in marriage advice – either way, it’s serious stuff, man!  (Psst: your eyes tell your man a heck of a story.)

3. If These Walls Could Talk: Faith, fear, and the truth that is setting me free – I used a model with really long and fake eyelashes to help me explain how God can even use the ugly, messy and painful parts of our parenting experience to accomplish His purpose for our family’s life.

4. Here Comes the Bride: My Angel is getting married! – It was just insane – the level of excitement and anticipation I had about my daughter’s wedding.  I see that my excitement was infectious!  It’s so nice to know that many of you shared in my joy.

5. I’m still here…barely; but I’ve got great pics! – A confession about how I took a blogging break because family-life was tough.  This post is one of my absolute faves because it has the BEST WEDDING PICS E-V-E-R!  Even if this mama was hanging on by a thread, the pictures in this post are well worth it.

6. Why It’s Important for Christians to be Salt and Light on Social Media – Listen, there’s a reason I don’t drive around with a Honk if you love Jesus bumper sticker: I don’t want to shame my Lord with my less-than Christian driving.  But recently, I’ve noticed just the opposite happening on social media: Christians telling people off because of their opposing views.  I am so glad this blog post made the top 10.  Sometimes we just need a reminder.  #WWJD?

7. The Little House That Could: How to thrive in family life – {inserts southern drawl} Hot dang!  After all the heartache, kicking, yelling and screaming, I’ll be darned if God doesn’t make this here family of mine into something that resembles Him!  Yee Haw!

8. Why Temper Tantrum Parenting Might Just Help You Make the Rapture – WARNING:::This is an inside-out, upside-down, nut-job kind of post where I poke fun at moms who prepare nutritious snacks for their kids and behave like Proverbs 31 women.  I’m not sure what got into me, but I had so much fun writing it!  Disclaimer: All scriptures are taken from Nut Job Version of the Bible.  You’ve been warned.

9. Hope for Hurting Parents in the Midst of a Storm – here is some legitimate encouragement for parents who are walking through a tough parenting season.  There is hope, His name is Jesus.

10. The Power of the Fourth Man: Hope for hurting families – This post is the perfect reminder that it’s not how you start out in family-life, it’s how you finish!  The pitfalls which ravage most families are no match for the power and hope that Jesus Christ offers.

You’ve made it to round two!

Give your self a high-five!

∼ Personal Reflections ∼

The best moments of 2017

My ultimate high for 2017 was preparing for my daughter’s wedding.  The whole experience was just dreamy.  Angel has brought me such delight as a parent and I was over-the-top excited to be her wedding coordinator extraordinaire! (It was exhausting!)  Also, I didn’t have a traditional wedding so I took delight in planning hers, and my husband really let me take some financial liberties for that very reason.  Some key highlights of the wedding season included:

The bridal shower…

The backyard meet-and-greet BBQ with the Canadian in-laws…

And of course, the wedding! …

The worst of 2017, and what I’ve learned from those trials

Just as there were highs, there were definitely lows, and some of the lows represented the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced as a family.  But thanks be to God!  We are over those hurdles now, BUT I’m sure others will pop-up in the future because that’s the ebb and flow of family-life.

But I’ve come to understand that the trials we face as a family are uniquely preparing me and my husband for ministry.  I’ve learned that my husband and I make a good team in Christ and that God can use our marriage for His glory.

I’ve learned that God is ABLE!  He is able to convict hearts of sin, to save men from their sins, and to sustain those who look to Him for strength to endure hard times.  I’ve learned that His grace covers a multitude of parental blunders, and that when I least expect it, He is likely to show Himself mighty in the lives of my children (regarding salvation).  I’ve learned to grow-up, shut-up and toughen-up!

I have this best friend

One of the ways I survived 2017 was with the help of my Bestie.  Shadell was my life-line on numerous occasions.  When I needed counsel, she advised with godly wisdom. When I needed to cry, she gave me Kleenex.  When I needed someone to pray and fast with me, she was there – leading and gently coaxing me along.  When I needed to be told to “Get a grip, Tiff!” she was gentle.  I called her in crisis-mode so many times.  Eventually, she stopped taking my calls. (Not really, but she maybe should have?)  She was there in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY.

She was a road warrior!  Commuting back and forth from Pennsylvania to New York to be a part of all of our family’s precious moments.  First, she made a surprise visit for Mother’s Day.

Then she came back to NY for Angel’s bridal shower.

Then again for the Meet and Greet BBQ (and the wedding)!

Seriously, I should buy this woman some new tires!  I don’t know what I did to deserve a friend like her; but isn’t that just like God, giving us good gifts that we don’t deserve?

“A friend loves at all times,…” (Proverbs 17:17a).  

Revival in my heart!

This is the best story ever!  One day, while driving my son to his college campus he shared what God had been doing in his heart and his life.  He talked and talked and talked.  (I actually shut-up and listened – but really, I think God muzzled my mouth!)  Through our conversation I realized (once again) that what matters most to God is the great commission: that other people come to know Him and have eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.  God has the ultimate heart for the lost (Luke 15:7-10).

After I dropped him off I cried all the way home.  It was a cry of repentance because I realized I had been living life for myself – totally inward-focused and consumed with the needs of my family. I was living life inside of a Christian bubble and ignoring a lost and dying world.

Since that day my life has not been the same.  It feels like before that moment I was in a spiritual coma and God used that conversation with my son to awaken me.  Now nothing looks quite the same.  The things of this world have grown strangely dim (as the old hymn says).  I was able to lay down a big idol in my heart and I’ve been given the grace to share my faith publically.  I guess you could say that I’ve experienced my own personal revival!  I am so thankful to God for this move of the Spirit in my life.  Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

(Note: Please make time to watch the Noah Movie by Living Water Ministries.  It will get you fired up to share your faith in Jesus with a lost and dying world.  It’s entertaining and thought provoking.)

 Are you still there?  Don’t quit now!

This is the third and final round.

Bloggers who worked their way into my heart

Tap, tap. Is this thing on?

This is my opportunity to thank several of my fellow bloggers.  Thank you for consistently providing excellent content to encourage us.  Thank you for cheering us on in the faith.  THANK YOU!  In the interest of space and time I can’t list all of the bloggers I love, but here are a few. . .

Elizabeth Spencer of – Even though I only know Elizabeth through the internet, I’m certain that if she came to my home we’d lounge around all day in our warm and cozy, non-skid socks and chat like we’ve been friends forever.  Her posts should come with a warning because they’ve been known to make me involuntarily spit my coffee out of my mouth in unexpected laughter.  Mercy on my clothing and floors!  But I need that in a blogger.  Maybe that’s why we click, because we both tend to write light-hearted posts.  I get her, and she gets me.  She’s my bud!

Deb Wolf of – Deb is a seasoned woman in the Lord with adult kids and grandchildren.  She is a woman of prayer and wisdom and I value her blog posts because she is always pointing me back to Scripture.  My favorite blog post of hers was How to Love Your Adult Children Really Well, because sometimes, parenting young adults is hard!

Valerie Murray of Cord of Six ( – Who knew that you could meet friends on line?  I certainly didn’t when I started blogging.  But after I took a break for an extended period of time (over a year), Valerie was the only blogger that reached out to check in and see how I was doing.  At a time when I wondered if anyone out there realized that I had dropped off the blogosphere, Valerie’s private message meant the world to me.  Val, you’re my bud, too!

Shannon Geurin of Fiercly His ( has a passion to help women to RISE UP over their circumstances; and honestly, she is a trip because she is so R-E-A-L and will say the darndest things.  She has a radical testimony about how her marriage not only survived, but thrived after an affair.  Her ministry makes me want to fall in love with my husband all over again.

Sarah Greinger of – Sarah’s shtick is helping women to find peace through God’s Word; and right now I am being blessed by her Christmas Peace for Busy Moms devotional.  I knew I needed to order Sarah’s devotional to help me slow down this Christmas season and it has not disappointed.  It was my go-to devo on Christmas morning.

Sarah Koontz of is a writer who speaks directly to the heart of Christian women.  This year she launched two Bible studies, but my favorite part of her ministry were her Saturday SOULfood emails.  They were like candy in my inbox, brightening up my Saturday.  Just the sheer consistency of them – no matter what was happening I could always count on receiving her letter.  Sarah is one hard-working blogger and it shows in all she does for the Lord.

Lori Schumaker of Searching for Moments ( has one HOPE infused blog.  But what I like most about Lori is that she has a heart for orphan care and has adopted internationally.  She shares as candidly as possible on her blog about the joys and struggles of helping children in crisis.  Lori has been a source of encouragement to me in my foster care/adoption journey and is constantly cheering me on.  I enjoy following in her footsteps.

Thank you, Ladies! I can’t wait to see what you’ve got cookin’ this year on your blogs!

Hooray!  You made it (or skipped) to the end.

You’re such a champ!

Quickly – What’s Ahead for 2018?

In 2018 I’m looking forward to adding some solid teaching via an e-series, an e-book, or both!  I’m also prayerfully considering how to incorporate video messages and pod-casts, too.  Please leave a comment to let me know what you’d like to see.

Thank you so much for doing life with me here in this space.  My prayer for you in 2018 is that “God will bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you {and your family 🙂 } will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Have a Happy & Blessed New Year!

Let’s flourish in family life together!

Sign-up to receive my blog posts via email.
(I like you already.)


    • Hey Marva! So good to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, He is a faithful God. 🙂 And I love seeing what he’s been up to in your life as well. Happy New Year (my friend)!!!!!!

  1. Tiffiney, you have made me laugh, caused me to chew hard on some perspectives, pushed me toward Jesus, and warmed my heart again and again throughout this blogging journey. One of the funnest bonuses of blogging, is the amazing people you meet and the friendships that birth. I’m honored to be one of your favs and simply love you to pieces! ❤️


    • I so agree agree, Lori – I’m thankful for the friendships that are being made and so grateful that you’re one of them. 🙂

  2. Awe, this MADE my day. You have worked your way into my heart from the start. Your godly perspective, mixed with honesty and humor has always drawn me to your blog. I have a feeling if we met you would have me laughing quite a lot. Thanks for being a real, honest and supportive friend. I pray you have a wonderful 2018! Love your Giphys throughout this post too! Now I want to go back and read the posts I missed. Hugs!

  3. Thank you so much, Tiffiney! You totally blessed my 2017. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you! Praying countless blessings for you, your family, and your ministry in the year ahead! Sending you big hugs! <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.