Giddy-Up: Kicking Butt After 50

Are Hunter Boots still in style? How about tights and hats for fall?

Um, yes, yes, and yes!! Look, I for one am not about to spend over $200 on a pair of rubber boots for them to be out of style in a couple years. I mean how can rubber boots ever go out of style in the first place?! There’s rain, there’s boots needed. ‘Nuff said. To me, these wellies are a great pair of boots that will forever ride the waves of footwear trends. Splish, splash, get me a puddle STAT!!!

Call me silly (not), but as soon as I pull on a pair of Hunters, I feel like I’m about to ride off into some amazing equestrian dream (paired with an gorgeous sunset of course), or perhaps a great night-time drama like Yellowstone or the Heartland. Want to get the look? Then don’t forget:

  1. A Hat – seriously, are these EVER going to go out of style??? My collection is growing. This one is from Urban Outfitters. They often have awesome sales. They also cover crappy covid hair. Bonus!
  2. A Fitted Blazer – oh my giddy-up goshness, how I love a good blazer! This one is from one of my fav stores still, H&M. They always have such great basics at fairly decent prices to boot!
  3. Leggings – yup, you heard me. Over 50 and wearing leggings? Sure, but I do keep a couple style points in mind when I do so: black, black, and black. Leave the cuckoo-printed ones for the kids, ladies (or for loungewear…at home). And black is going to pull it all in, if you know what I mean, and give you a great and easy boot tuck. After my hysterectomy, my gut isn’t looking like it used to FOR REAL, so I love to pair them with a longer T or knot my T in front to bring in my waist. Don’t care? Rock it the way you love to. You go girl.

Don’t forget a fresh face! Make sure you’re using vegan and organic skin-care and cosmetics as often as you can. Did you know that it only takes 60 seconds for what you put on your face to hit your bloodstream? I for one and not willing to put crap on my face anymore.

If you’re ready for products that are good for you AND look amazing on aging skin (plus fight aging), then check out LimeLife by Alcone. You can order everything I’m wearing at my link here. Message me if you want a skin consult or foundation and concealer colour match! I got you!

I’d love to see you wearing these boots or products! Message me your photo wearing one of my suggestions for a chance to be featured in one of my blog posts!

Love,

Tiffany x

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, I receive a commission.

Coming Back to the Heart of Worship

Where it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

I was just getting ready to type this announcement and this song popped into my head. What is it about ‘The Heart of Worship’ by Matt Redman that always seems to ring true and never gets old.

The Heart of Worship

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my hear
t


I’ll bring you more than a song
More than a song

If you’ve been following me at all, you know I’ve been on a ministry break and possible retirement for the last 10 months. So many things have happened over my past few years of ministry— let’s just say it. has. been. hard. But honestly, since the Covid pandemic hit, I was brought to my knees. I mean everything has been stripped away but God and I tell you, I have gotten to know Him even deeper as my only source of hope and help. He’s been my Best Friend in times of great need. I mean He always was, but this has been a greater relationship than ever before because of the weakness I have felt. People leave but Jesus never does. Please note friend—at the end of your days, He will be all you have and all you’ve ever had. Don’t miss the invitation to know Him now.

Last Fall, I decided to lay down all of my ministry for others to pick up. It was not a difficult decision because of the constant battles. My hope was in Him though. In March of 2020 I started reading the Word daily with the goal to finish it in 1 year. I’m still going. Just over 40 days to go to complete this goal but now it’s become such a passion of mine. Or I should say He has become such a passion. His Word fills my soul, my spirit, and my body with just the medicine I need. I am beyond grateful for this time to focus on scripture.

Last Fall, I also heard very clearly in my spirit to spend the next few months on self-care and to encourage other women in this as well. Some may think that has been selfish (probably due to the “self”-care) but really it was and is necessary. When you’re in any sort of ministry for any length of time (including parenting), you can put your focus on everything but yourself. I was tired and needed surgery and a refocusing. A sabbatical if you will. I praise God for every single break He’s led me to and I’ve taken. Something good has always come out of the surrender. But listen, I know there’s been judging. There’s been a falling away of the ones who were always there when the events were on and things were exciting. I’m okay with it. It has been painful but God has stripped away all falsehood and will continue to cleanse the charismatic Church and the prophetic movement. And He will continue to cleanse me because I want Him to. Let Him do it to you too. It’s worth it in the long run and there’s nothing you can hold on to in this world that is worth it, that is worth more than He is.

In some ways, nothing will change. I’m still on a journey and will never “arrive”. I still need physical and mental healing and I’m totally fine to be authentic and admit it. I know the truth of who He is and that’s more than enough for me. Let it be enough for you too. You don’t have to be perfect to love God and love people. You don’t have to be perfect to do what you’re called to do. But you do have to take care of yourself enough to still be here to do it. That’s something I’m learning and hope to share with others. I’m not perfect and never will be. God is though and His strength will see me through again and again and He will see you through as well friend. Just call on Him.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Cor. 12:9-11

Pray for us. Pray for me. Honestly, I have NO IDEA what this will look like but a weak yes is all He needs to work in and through me and in and through you. All I know is that I can give my small offering of some sort as He leads. Let’s face it, Covid has been crazy and so divisive, not to mention an illness that I don’t wish upon anyone. As a result, I will continue to protect my and my families’ health as I walk forward with wisdom and prayer. I do know that I won’t be taking any travel invitations this year. Thanks for praying us through this, we so appreciate it.

I will continue with my beauty influencing business just not as much as I have been. I started sharing LimeLife by Alcone products in December to coincide with my blog and I honestly love the products and community. I continue to use LimeLife daily and so I love to share things I’ve found that help me. This business also helps provide a bit of an income for me so I appreciate all of the support I get whether from orders, shares, likes, or comments. The truth is I still need to make a living and I will trust God to provide for me however He chooses to. Thank you to those of you who stuck by me and supported me and to all of my new friends and followers. I appreciate you more than you know! You have been a lifeline to me over the past few months and I’m so honored to serve you and get to know you better. My business website is: https://www.limelifebyalcone.com/thepeachykeendiaries. I will also have my PayPal account available for anyone that wants to donate to my ministry however it will look. You can reach me there @tbutlermin.

Onward and upward friends! Let’s make a difference with our lives laid down for the King. Time is drawing near.

Tiffany x

The Deck and Me

Today I stained my deck.

It seems mundane. A task we ‘have’ to do when wood gets worn and unseemly. And it had already been a long day. My mother had gone into surgery this morning for a massive tumor and hysterectomy. The same surgery I had just gone through in January. Four months now but I still feel the tearing, the straining, the adjustments, and the pain.

As I began to stain over the worn out wood, I felt a sense of calm arise. Seeing something that looked so old and useless turn into a beautiful and nearly new object was quite satisfying. It all felt quite peaceful in a way—the swishing of the stain across the wood grain; the sound of the birds and the smell of the grill coming from my neighbor’s back yard. Therapeutic work; like an art form. I was grateful.

My mind finally felt freed up. The movement and the labor allowed me space to contemplate. To feel. And there were lots of those. Feelings, I mean. My heart and thoughts leapt from the anxiety of the day, wondering if mom had cancer, and if she would even make it out of surgery, to the loss of my own reproductive organs, and the stress and strain of the biopsies. The wondering and praying I didn’t have cancer all year, and now this. To be honest, I didn’t know if I’d even see mom again. It brought up the memories of when dad died. No final goodbye, just regrets.

As my paint brush jumped to a new piece of deck, my mind jumped too. What a difficult year. The quarantine, the losses, the homeschooling, and new business. The loss of friendships, my ministry, and church family. It all. just. seemed. to. be. too. much. But God.

As the stain soaked into the rotting wood, I felt hope arise. Seems odd if you look at everything practically. 30 years living with bipolar disorder and panic disorder. Adopting a child who suffers too. ADHD, depression, and now testing for autism. It’s been a long journey I can’t quite wrap into this small space in time but the grief is real. The whole “what could have been but never will be” thing is so real and stunningly painful. Only gratitude can help now. I think God still does miracles but for the most part He likes to do healings that take time and effort.

I stepped back to look at my work. Half of the deck looked nearly new. The other half pretty sketchy. It was really a picture of me. Worn out from so much life. So much experience. Sure there had been days where the party tunes were loud and the visitors full of laughter—when the deck was lively and full of promise. But the rain and heat and the constant usage wore it out. A little stain doesn’t make it new. It doesn’t erase what caused the wearing, or replace the wood beneath. Is it merely a cosmetic fix that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter?

Listen, you can continue to paint over what’s wrong when really you need to go deeper. Stain, stain, and re-stain, but at some point you might need to replace a rotting board or two. There’s no denying real construction is possible in the future when we choose to hide the truth. I choose the word “authentic” for my year in January and this is it my friends. No more simple coverups to avoid the real work.

There’s so much loss but so much gain. I see the hope with so much pain. I’ve heard your greatest ministry, your real life purpose is in your greatest pain and testimony. Well let it be then friends, let it be.

So allow yourself to feel, to grieve. Write, create, and express it! Be real, be authentic, be you. And use it to launch you into your greatest purpose and change. the. world! When you walk unleashed, you will unleash others around you and your greatest pain will be not only yours, but exactly the healing someone else needs too.

Tiffany x

The Back Road

Wandering down the abandoned prairie road brought her peace.

It was the kind of trail she imagined once held horses and buggies and later old jalopies. The one where the cool summer breeze rustled through trees and down shady lanes full of dandelions and wild flowers. If she silenced her heart enough, she could still hear the clip clop of the horse hooves and the giggles of young children running free in the warm summer sun. Melancholy. Nostalgic. There’s no other way to put it. She was longing for a simpler time.

The days were long and worry-filled, she thought, as she journeyed down the back road. She had been out for a drive just prior and had seen the trail from the highway. Throwing caution to the wind, she stopped to explore—her curiosity always got the best of her. She had that way about her.

The earth felt solid beneath her feet. Sometimes you just need that—to feel something stronger than your body and your spirit, especially when they’re broken. The realness, the constancy of the ground, and the consistency of something between your fingers. To smell the grass and flowers. To hear the birds and the buzzing of the bees. There’s security in the constant turning of the seasons. There’s peace in the beauty God made by His voice.

If only we could hide on the back road. Instead we go, we stay awhile, and we heal. We hope, do we ever hope. We ask—for more, for something to make sense, for love. Sure we break but we mend on that back road. We welcome in the Divine and let Him heal us. Then we bring that peace back to the chaos within ourselves and the world. We go back. We always go back.

So here’s to you finding your adventure today. Discover your own back road and come back with more peace for you and for us. Take it all in and live again,

Tiffany x

God, Dreams & Entrepreneurship: Part I

I’m not talking about daydreaming. 💤

▫︎Don’t get me wrong. Having dreams is important, but I’m talking about the dreams you have when you’re asleep. The ones that shake you, rock you, and leave you wondering if they actually happened. 💭

For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds,

Job 33:14-15

▫︎God is so good! Quite often He reveals Himself to us in dreams and last night was no exception for me. Historically speaking, so many of my night dreams come true. Call me an old man if you must.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 2:17

▫︎In my dream I was by the river in Manitoba, Canada and a woman came up to me and said “Because of your hard work with your business lately I am giving you my car.” It was a Hyundai. I was so grateful and happy!

▫︎Not long after, she came up to me again and said “No, I changed my mind.” “I’m going to give you my new Mercedes Benz instead!” It looked quite like the one in the above photo. White, shiny, and new. Stunning.

Um, yes please! Thank You Lord!

▫︎So today I’m saying to you work hard at all you do. Show up. Try your best and do all you do unto the Lord! Listen—there’s upgrades and level-ups available when you do! Daydreaming is great but unless you put the hard work in, those types of dreams will stay just that. Dreams.

There’s upgrades and level-ups available!

▫︎God gives good gifts—the best of which was the free gift of salvation when He gave His only Son to die for us and our sins. He is still in the business of giving good gifts to His sons and daughters!

▫︎When I awoke from my dream, the word “favor” stood out to me audibly. So today I pray for favor, and also endurance, strategy, perseverance, and upgrades for you and me as we continue to work heartily in all of entrepreneurial and career endeavours today!

fa·vor

/ˈfāvər/

noun

something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act

friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill

the state of being approved or held in regard

excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” – Psalm 90:17

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” – Psalm 128:2

▫︎Are you an entrepreneur? Share your business and link below! May you have favor with God and man and success in your endeavours as you look to God for strategies and guidance in all you do! Blessings!👇🏻

Tiffany x

My Peachy Gift Guide for Valentine’s Day: Tiffany’s Favorite Things

Here it is. My Peachy faves for Valentine’s/Galentine’s! ♡

♡ I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite things as my 1st Annual ‘Peachy Gift Guide for Valentine’s Day! Everything on the list is under $120 CDN (and most way under that). I also seriously love each item and use each one, or I want to purchase one for myself!

♡ I hope we all know the drill right now. Try to shop small and local as much as possible because many small businesses are struggling right now.

Now let’s get some amazing finds for our loved ones

♡ First of all, can I just say how legit EXCITED I am to be back writing about fun gifting favorites and sharing all the things I love with all of you? One of my most fulfilling things is to share things that I’ve found that I love and that support small business people. So let’s go, here’s just a few I found that I adore:

  • Lion of Judah Clothing Company – this Christian apparel brand is an online retailer based in the United States, whose mission is to bring high quality products to believers who want to rep the King in a stylish fashion. New in 2020, this small business aims to bring more Christ-centered business into the world. Their mission is to make and deliver quality products for those who want to rep the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords in their everyday apparel. They believe that any one of us can change the world, but it starts with trusting in Him. I absolutely love the mission and the vision of this small business and so I also brand rep them and can offer my followers 10% off any of their purchases with Code TIFF10. I love how this sweatshirt reminds us that He calls us to love not some, but all and is a gentle reminder that we are called to spread His love every day. Loose fit and comfortable. Spread your love to all with this awesome sweatshirt. $48 CDN. How to purchase – Lion of Judah Clothing Company
  • The North Sound – this music duo from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada is ever-changing with lyrics spanning across haunting metaphors and a sound balanced between today’s modern production and the era of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Formed in 2014 by Forrest Eaglespeaker and supported by his partner Nevada Freistadt, The North Sound was created as a way to share stories in keeping true to Forrest’s Blackfoot identity and traditions from Treaty 7 Territory. The North Sound has had three singles reach number one on the Indigenous Music Countdown as well as Saskatchewan’s MBC Radio, and has received four nominations from the SCMA; two for Roots Artist of the Year and one for Emerging Artist of the Year, and they recently won “Indigenous Artist of the Year” for the Saskatchewan Music Awards. $15 CDN. How to purchase – The North Sound
  • Limelife by Alcone – this Build Your Own Lip Bundle is so beautiful and a great way to save some money on these professional, leaping bunny certified cosmetics! Send love all around with these custom lip bundles — pick any two vegan lip products from any of the Enduring Lip Colours (my fave), Enduring Lip Liners (self-sharpening!), Perfect Lipsticks, Perfect Lip Glosses (non-sticky), Perfect Lip Scrub (a winter must-have), Perfect Balm, or Perfect Balm SPF 30 – it’s the perfect chance to stock up or share with someone who deserves a treat! Build yours quickly because these bundles are only available for the month of February! I’m wearing the Enduring Lip Liner in Dark Nude, the Enduring Lip Colour in S’mores with a touch of Concealer 00 in the middle, and the Perfect Lip Gloss in Grace. Go support my small business with your purchase! An awesome idea for any woman in your life including yourself. $42 CDN. How to purchase: Limelife by Alcone – The Peachy Keen Diaries
  • Wildflower Colour & Clay – Jessica Rachelle produces pottery out of her studio in Winkler, Manitoba. As a former barista and waitress with a long interest in cooking and hosting, it is only natural that her ceramics would focus on these activities where people come together over food and drink. It’s her vision to see her mugs inspire people as they take a moment to breathe and dream, to see a collection of her plates amplify the beauty of a family enjoying a meal, and to see her tumblers add to the refreshment of friends sharing a drink. There is significance in these ordinary moments and Jessica wants her pottery to add to their depth and beauty. Love this vision and small woman-owned business! $38 CDN. How to purchase: Wildflower Colour & Clay
  • FLIKR Fire – A portable way to enjoy the cozy comfort of a fire in your home office or anywhere! Runs on clean-burning rubbing alcohol. I found this online and thought “I NEED this!” Perfect for creating a warm and cozy atmosphere anywhere in your home or outside. Provides around 50 minutes of burn time without any soot or smoke. The cement design is height-adjustable to suit your space. Made by a small couple-owned business in Cleveland. $120 CDN. How to purchase: FLIKR Fire
  • Trumpet + Tassel – this local, small and woman-owned Canadian business makes sustainable, vegan leather jewelry for big causes. And I own it! Made in small-town Manitoba, Canada and operating from Etsy online, this jewelry is both super pretty and totally affordable to purchase. PLUS 10% currently goes to help The Canadian Cancer Society, a cause we can all get behind (gifting that gives back is the way to go whenever possible). Currently available in 3 different colours: 1. Cool Cats + Kittens; 2. Little Black Dress; and 3. Oh Natural. Our newest colour just sold out and is called My Funny Valentine. Don’t worry, we have lots more coming soon! A beautiful and thoughtful gift for the friend that loves accessories, and for every woman in your life this Valentine’s. $22 CDN. How to purchase: Trumpet + Tassel

Note: All photos are credited to the individual business owners

♡ Which items are you going to get for a Valentine, Galentine, or yourself? Let me know in the comments! I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Happy shopping!

Tiffany x

The Oversized Blazer: Wearing the Trend at 50’ish

Women’s Blazers. 🧥

■ These “men’s-wear-inspired” pieces have been a women’s wardrobe staple since the 1950’s. Fitted blazers and pantsuits have been around for about 150 years, but today’s newest trend is the oversized blazer worn in a variety of ways. And can you wear it at middle age? You bet gurl!!

■ Remember when everything had to be super sleek and fitted? Well, keep your classic blazer for another day because the oversized blazer trend it just that —oversized! Big. Boxy. Bold. Think loose, long sleeves, with just a hint of those 80’s padded shoulders. If you’re my age, this should be that touch of nostalgia you’re maybe looking for.

This look can stand for an even larger size then what I'm wearing. I sized up to a Large for reference. Blazer - Ardene
How to wear it:
  1. Pair the look with leather leggings and a cami like I did above.
  2. Pull out your favorite denim, hoodie and sneakers for a full-on Dad look.
  3. Make it more office-appropriate with matching trousers and a button-down.
  4. Jazz it up even more buttoned over a mini skirt, dress, or shorts with knee-high boots or sandals and a bralette.

■ What’s your favorite way to rock this trend? If you haven’t tried it yet, will you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tiffany x

Thankfulness in the Midst of Trouble: Lift Your Eyes Up to the Mountains

When songs pop into my head I tend to listen to them. 🎶

♩Today I started singing an old Brian Doerksen song. I have to admit. I haven’t felt much like singing lately. I’ve just been trying to make it from one minute to the next.

The song goes:

I lift my eyes up, to the mountains

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from You

Maker of heaven, Creator of the earth.

Oh how I need you Lord

You are my only hope

You’re my only prayer.

So I will wait for you

to come and rescue me

Come and give me life.

I Lift My Eyes Up – Brian Doerksen

Where does your help come from?

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalms 121:1-4

♩God is so good and faithful. He has brought the most caring, loving and faithful people around us during the toughest time. I am so grateful. I’m going to publicly honour one of them a day this week thanks to a post one of my mamas made today.

♩Focusing on what He IS doing and IS providing and being grateful, honouring, and thankful is key. Keeping your eyes on Jesus when things look difficult brings our eyes UP to look in the beautiful face of Jesus instead of down on our problems.

♩It always amazes me to see how He works behind the scenes bringing help in ways you weren’t even expecting. Sometimes I think “well why don’t you just do it this way? Wouldn’t that be easier?” when He thinks in a completely different way and says “Yes, I could but if I do it this way instead then this and this will happen…”

♩Balancing being authentic and keeping it real and walking in faith has been an interesting journey full of learning and good fruit. Yes, things are tough right now but wow, I woke up to breathe a new breath and live another day. Praise the Lord!!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:6

♩God has been impressing this scripture upon me lately. I pray it brings you HOPE as well today:

Isaiah 55:8-9 – “”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’

♩How have you been challenged to be grateful and thankful in the midst of trouble? Do you look to God for help and how has He pulled through for you in the past? Do you trust that God’s ways and thoughts are always for the best out of His immense love for you? I would love to hear your testimonies friends!! Have an amazing day looking to the heavens! 🧡✨👇🏻

Tiffany x

Hyster-Sister in the Making: It’s Just a Peachy Thing

I figured it would help me to write about it. 🧡

✘ It’s the weight of the thing that’s hard. Kind of like that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach right before a dentist appointment, but worse. I think it’s the not knowing, the dread, the anxiety…the worst.

✘ A rush laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH). 49 when told this could be coming. Just 50 when it’s now my reality. 3 days away and the nerves are climbing. I guess I didn’t think this would be me right now. I just didn’t.

not me but sets the mood don't you think?

I guess I didn’t think this would be me right now. I just didn’t.

Nice photo of Florida to kill the anxiety I feel and to sweetly segue into my next paragraph. ps. wish I was here, on the beach, in the sun.

✘ My story starts a few years ago. I was at a Christian conference in Florida in 2008 and a prophetic man prayed for me and said he saw cancer trying to come into my reproductive system. I thought this dude was whack. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God could and would talk to His people but that I had had absolutely no female problems up to that point—no monthly cramps, no heavy periods, no irregularity or strange Pap smears, notta! Regardless, I let him pray. Everything else he said then was accurate and has since happened to one degree or another.

✘ Fast forward a few years and I start getting really heavy periods. The kind that leave you pale, weak, and tired, wondering what the heck is going on. Sorry men, but these are the ones that leave you gushing, leaking, and dreading the thought of having to stand up or go to bed (leaks, leaks galore). Periods became my nemesis and I wondered how long they would keep hitting me with such a vengeance and how much blood loss I would keep accumulating. It must be menopause, I thought. Soon this would be over so just keep going (ps. If you’re in a Christian church culture that teaches and reinforces this behaviour please do yourself a favour and get out now. But that’s for another post.)

✘ Time went on and I remember putting on a 12 hour worship and prayer Burn with churches from all over our region around this time. Not only was I setting it up and leading it the whole time but our worship team had a 2 hour set to boot. You guessed it. Of course I had my period. Sure I had been having heavy periods but I hadn’t thought much about it, to be honest. It wasn’t like I was planning my activities around it and frankly, it wasn’t like I even could. My periods had started coming at random times. Sometimes sooner than was expected and often a lot longer in time too. I was just grateful I had never really had much pain with them so I carried on and didn’t tell my doctor. I was also part of a religious culture that believed heavily in the healing power of God and, not that I don’t now but, when you’re really in that way of thinking you can have a tendency to just pray and hope for the best and not face reality.

✘ That particular period was the pits. Standing, singing and playing for 2 hours, plus running around for 16 and then going out to eat after with the crew proved to be too much this time. It was a long day and I wasn’t taking care of myself. Sitting there at the restaurant waiting for my order I felt a weakness come on me like I hadn’t known before. “Time to go, Trev,” I said. Nobody knew why but we hustled out of there. Apparently, the word for that year wasn’t “authentic” like it is now. I was used to hiding things. I was used to keeping going.

Apparently, my word for that year wasn’t “authentic” like it is now. I was used to hiding things. I was used to “being strong and keeping on”, “faking it until I was making it”, and “not speaking negative things into existence.” All completely unhealthy false teachings by the way.

✘ I dreaded standing up but I had to. It felt like my life force was draining away from me. We headed home but it was shortly after that I nearly passed out down the stairs and my heart rate remained high. We called an ambulance and they monitored me in the ER back in the city.

I dreaded standing up but I had to. It felt like my life force was draining away from me.

✘ The story only continues in a downward spiral since. Periods continued to wreak havoc landing me in the ER a couple more times with heavy bleeding and extreme pain. “Oh, it’s probably just menopause,” I was told during the last emergency trip and was sent home with tranexamic acid to help stop the bleeding, and narcotics for pain. Thanks God for a general physician who finally sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound (which took 3 months to even get in to) revealing a thickened uterus and fibroids.

Side note—Everything takes so long. If you’re having any suspicious bleeding, get it checked now because the medical system in Canada will normally make you wait, and then wait some more. In the meantime, you don’t know what is in there taking root and gaining more ground as the clock continues to tick due to cutbacks. Better safe then sorry. Go now.

✘ Thinking back to this ultrasound, that had to be at least a couple of years ago now! The uterine wall thickness flagged my doctor enough to continue investigating starting the wait to get into my gynecologist for a further assessment and biopsy. Like I said. Go as soon as things seem off.

✘ A few months later I’m finally in for an endometrial biopsy. Look ladies. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. They’re awkward and painful but I found that taking an extra strength Tylenol and Advil together an hour before helps. Also, go to someone who does it for a living! My GP popped one on me in her office and tried but couldn’t get into my cervix (not uncommon depending on where you are in your cycle and if you haven’t given birth before). After forwarding me on to my gynecologist it was a way better experience with much less pain because of his expertise. I was surprised at how quickly he was able to get the samples needed for pathology. I’m still so grateful for his skill level!

✘ It took a month to get my biopsy results back. I remember going into his office to hear the results. I was in a hurry. I had lots of commitments and things to do and I figure I had received no call so there was nothing strange in the report. Looking forward to hearing it so I could quickly dash out the door, I was instead met with a serious “you have abnormal cells”. I guess I looked shocked because he rushed out and brought a pamphlet back entitled “Endometrial Hyperplasia” and continued to explain which level I had. It reminded me of that dreaded moment in time when my mom handed me a pamphlet will letters scrolled on the front that said,” You’re a Woman Now.” The same but different, you know?

✘ Maybe you’re thinking big whoop. At least it wasn’t cancer. But I thought I was fine. I thought it was just menopause. I had things to do! I didn’t have time for this! The thoughts went through my head as my Doctor continued to explain I had the 2nd level called Complex Endometrial Hyperplasia with a 3% chance of having cancer so I would have to go on hormone treatment. 3%? “Ok chill,” I thought. But he seemed so serious. Well the story goes on.

“Ok chill,” I thought. But he seemed so serious.

Here’s the treatment options I was given:

  1. Provera – hormone pills for 3 months. Over summer. Yay. I already have a mood disorder. Double yay.
  2. IUD – focalized hormone treatment. I have a mood disorder. Yay.
  3. Hysterectomy – are you kidding me? No thanks!

✘ I miserably choose Option 1 and waited a month to start the pills (mainly due to fear and secondly because I had no idea when I was even supposed to take the first one so figured I’d wait until my next cycle. The internet is full of misleading information. Duh.)

✘ Another month goes by and then 3 more while I take this progestin in hopes of it reversing the abnormal cells. Let me just say that my moods were all over the map with the predominate visitation of anger and rage. More YAY. I’m just lucky that my family didn’t walk out on me. It’s been an exhausting trip mentally.

✘ September rolls around and I get booked in for my 2nd biopsy in October and I figure “THIS IS IT!!!” I’m finally done with this run-around and I can move on with my life! Another month goes by and I get the call: “Your abnormal cells got worse. You now have atypia and could already have cancer.”

“Your abnormal cells got worse. You now have atypia and could already have cancer.” WHAT??!!

✘ This isn’t suppose to happen. Pretty much everyone gets better on this treatment!! Except for me apparently. I cried. I cried hard. I also had a pretty big “talk” with God. It’s ok. He can handle it.

✘ So at this point I have a 30% to 50% chance of getting endometrial cancer if I don’t already have it. Now I really have to decide what’s next. My gynecologist promptly forwards me on to CancerCare in Winnipeg and the wait continues for my appointment with the gynecologic oncologist. These are words I do not like.

CancerCare, oncologist.

✘ What the heck is happening? On the outside you would have never known. I grin and bear things. It’s what I’ve been taught. I’m trained peeps! Unless you live in the deep depths of my home you wouldn’t have known what I carry. Are you the same?

✘ If you’ve ever waited for an oncologist to call you I am giving you a virtual hug right now. It’s hard, it’s stressful, and I don’t envy anyone in this position. If you’re battling cancer I give you the biggest hug. My news was good, I thought! When the oncologist called he decided that since it wasn’t for sure that I had cancer that his services weren’t needed and hopefully wouldn’t be ever again. He then recommended the IUD or a stronger drug called Megace or the hysterectomy and said that the treatment standard for these types of cells is hysterectomy. After much discussion with my husband and doctors I hesitantly decided on the latter. I also thought I was in the clear in a way. Being that we were in the middle of a massive COVID outbreak, surgeries were pushed way back and I could always change my mind. Plus, I didn’t have cancer, right? Time to move on with the dreams I had put on hold awaiting this appointment.

✘ My gynecologist then forwarded me to a gynecologic surgeon who decided I needed rush surgery. With the current surgery que I wouldn’t be able to get it out until July and he said I need it done now. Urgently. Hold up again. He says if I don’t already have cancer somewhere else in my uterus then I likely would by July. So here we are. Going in in under 3 days and I’m not ready. I’m not ready for anything because I still don’t believe him. I have to trust that he knows best. And I have to trust God has me and the pathology report will be clear.

✘ Anyone else been in denial about their life and health? I’m convinced it’s a coping mechanism put in place by the brain and body when you’re in overdrive already. We all know this has been a tough year in so many other ways. I think a person can only deal with so much.

✘ So if you’re the praying type, keep me in yours. If this post helped you on your journey to a hysterectomy, let me know. I really hope that all of the things I write helps someone in even some minor way. Even if it’s to just inspire you not to be like me or just to let you know that you’re not alone. This is the last post I’ll do until I’m hopefully on my way to recovery (unless I find some half written post I can put up to appease the algorithm gods). If I don’t answer you anytime soon, I’m not ignoring you. I just have bigger fish to fry and probably some major drugs to take. I will be posting when I can on the whole 9 yards of pre-op, surgery, post-op recovery, and pathology reports. Bless you and hopefully talk soon! 🧡

Tiffany x

When Things are Overwhelming: My Story of Panic Attacks, Meds, and the Man 👆🏻

I don’t know what I would have done without that pill last night. 💊

Lorazepam.

⦶ I was actually too afraid to take one for the longest time. That’s the nature of the beast I guess. Anxiety seems to put you in hyper-vigilance mode and even the things meant to help you can seem like the enemy.

This magic pill has saved my butt a few times. Last night too. Grateful.

⦶ Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an either-or sitch. When I’ve called out to God He has helped in some way. Even in the midst of this last panic attack I could sense His presence. Sometimes He’s seemingly absent so it’s simply by faith that I know He’s there. Then there’s times, the best of times, when He’s so spiritually tangible I can almost feel Him. Last night I sensed Him in the form of my son’s powerful prayers and the calming presence of my husband. Regardless, He never leaves us. There’s a comfort in that even when going through the deepest, darkest trials.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

— Hebrews 13:5

⦶ Have you ever felt you weren’t going to make it?

Me at 1:00 am — “I need an ambulance!! Stat!! I’m having a heart attack!!!”

⦶ There’s been times when I’ve been ill and after crying out to God my symptoms suddenly disappear and peace comes upon me—this is the power and love of my God. He’s truly good! Do you know Him?

⦶ I wish it was always that way, that easy, but it’s not. I mean, He remains good but symptoms don’t always just disappear at the drop of a hat, in fact, more often than not they persist! My prayers and the prayers of others don’t always bring immediate healing and unicorns and rainbows. And last night was one of those times. I thought I was going to die.

Panic Attacks:

⦶ Panic attacks are one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve landed in the ER with electrodes hooked up to me because of them. I’ve suffered in silence for decades. They’re literally the worst. They’re like nonsensical terrorists of the mind and body that attack when you’re least expecting it. They especially don’t make sense when they wake you from peaceful slumber and leave you physically unable to breath or function properly. This seems to happen more when you’re subconsciously overwhelmed. In the quiet time, when you’re asleep, the body, brain and mind have time to catch up to one another. And then BAM. There it goes..

Symptoms:

  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of unreality or detachment

⦶ My worst symptom is the racing, pounding heart rate with a hint of thoughts of impending doom—a mental health cocktail mix I hate to the core. So what’s up?

Being Overwhelmed:

⦶ This has definitely been a year for feeling overwhelmed. First with COVID, lockdowns, separation from friends and family, and then for some of us loss or gain of work, other life transitions, and illness. All of these can just catch up to a person, like me, and come out in the quiet times. Pair that with the fact that feeling easily overwhelmed seems to go hand in hand with anxiety and you have a cycle that needs to be broken. Let me just say there’s NO condemnation in this. Here me again if you suffer like me. There’s. No. Condemnation. We are all doing the best we can with what we have and sometimes our brains and bodies are just plain old exhausted and/or lacking a balance of necessary chemicals. Don’t suffer in silence. Tell someone. Get help. And don’t add to the stigma.

There’s. No. Condemnation.

⦶ I haven’t always been able to keep it real in the past. Or so I thought. In my last season, being in formal Christian ministry in the charismatic church was a great honour and blessing but also difficult in many ways.

⦶ Could I really be me? I mean, what would people think if they knew one of their supposedly fearless leaders that believed God healed and even prayed for others and saw them healed, had to still take some psychiatric meds to keep sane? Simply put, whether by my own doing or the unspoken one that comes with the territory, it was a battle I couldn’t do anymore. Be real. Be open. Be you. There’s more power in authenticity then there is in hiding and that’s when real help and real ministry can happen.

⦶ God can work through really difficult situations. I’ve seen it time and time again making me think of that scripture about His ways and thoughts being different than ours. Now THAT’S so the truth, isn’t it?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

—Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

⦶ Last night I had been in research mode. With an upcoming rush hysterectomy in a week and half, I don’t feel prepared for it. To be honest, I don’t feel prepared for the trip, for the COVID risks, for the surgery, for the meds, for the downtime, for the possible complications, for homeschooling afterwards, for the results of my pathology, for anything. I tried to keep away from the support groups that really just freak a person out more than anything (which was a good choice but not completely helpful). After putting the research away and nodding off into dreamland it still happened. My heart kicked into a 200 bpm nightmare jolting me out of bed and down the stairs to some sort of relief that didn’t exist. Reality began to disappear before me. My limbs went numb and I began to shake and lose control. The storm was upon me again. I was definitely overwhelmed.

Have your felt overwhelmed this past year? You’re not alone! Take a time out. Rest. Read. Get off social media. Exercise. Laugh. Play. Pray. Breathe deep. Take care of you.

How to Get Out of a Panic Attack:

⦶ You can find lots of techniques and theories for getting rid of panic attacks on the internet so I won’t repeat them all here. But these are honestly the only ones that have helped me personally over the decades. None are foolproof and sometimes you have to try and try again, mix and match, and press on. NOTE: the key is to ask your Doctor first. I am NOT a medical professional, this is just what I do or have done in the past.

  • Take a fast-acting anti-anxiety med like Lorazepam (be cautious – ask your doctor first and don’t take if you are prone to addictions)
  • Take antidepressants (longer term solution)
  • Move. Run. Walk. Pace.
  • Take a deep breath or 2 or 200 in cold fresh air
  • Pray and have others pray for you
  • Splash cold water on your face
  • Bear down (can help with racing heart)
  • Eat some protein and have a drink of juice
  • Get a distraction – tv, movie, have another person talk to you
  • Touch something. Hard.
  • Do deep breathing – inhale slow, hold, exhale slow
  • See your doctor and/or therapist

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

⦶ Do you suffer from panic attacks? What has helped you? Will you try any of the above pointers? I’m rooting for you in this strange time of life and would love to keep you in my prayers. Send me a message or comment below! If you’re suffering please seek professional help. I’m here with you giving you a virtual hug tonight. We’ve got this!! He’s got us!!

Tiffany x