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

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

Digging Deeper: A Christmas Story

I’ve had to dig a little deeper this year. 🎁

☆ I mean really dig. In the quiet times, alone. Sometimes in tears and usually after I feel I failed as a mother. We all know. “It’s a different year.” A different Christmas. It just all hits different right now, doesn’t it?

It’s a different year.

Tiffany Butler—pointing out the obvious

☆ I made myself sit and ponder. Maybe it was the Christmas star that did it for me, but in the mix of depression and work, melancholy and delight, there lies the truth of it all. And sometimes we just have to dig deep to find it.

☆ It seems I don’t know how to do that very well in the midst of the craziness. When I pull away I can see Christ in His splendor, in His peace, beckoning me to just come away with Him and stay awhile. It’s where I know I can just be. With Him. I question why it becomes such a quest to find the meaning in it all at times? Truth and simplicity can be glazed over by work, tinsel and bows, presents, and stress.

☆ But in a manger, far from the crowds and social media, here for you and me, He came. To bring us the best gift of all. Himself. Born for our sins. For our freedom. For us.

☆ Finding the time to find the truth is the most important thing right now. I hope you can find it—Him. I also hope you can find it in the midst of all you do—I know I’m trying although it seems to come easier when I just rest.

☆ He is here with us now. In the loneliness. In the strain. In the mess. And He’s the best part of it all! Take a moment to welcome Him in and say thanks—for another day, for life, for it all. Even these deep depths of sadness and questioning that lead us closer to Him and one another—to the important stuff. Thank God.

He is here with us now. In the loneliness. In the strain. In the mess. And He’s the best part of it all.

“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.

-Matthew 1:23

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

– Luke 2:9-14

Do not be afraid. We can trust Him.

Good news of great joy. There’s joy in Him.

For all people. For EVERYONE including you.

A Savior.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

-Isaiah 9:6-7

Wonderful Counselor. He’s with you. For you.

Mighty God. What can’t He do?

Everlasting Father. Forever.

Prince of Peace. Even now.

He reigns. Not COVID, not sadness, not sickness, not loneliness, but Him.

☆ May you have a very merry Christmas, my friend. We wish you all the best as we wrap up 2020 and head into 2021. I think our digging this year has shown us what’s really important now and in the New Year. And it’s really one another. ♡

Much love and Merry Christmas from Us, The Butler's, in the thick of it all but near the streams of Living Water

Tiffany (and Trevor and Sam) x

5 Easy Ways to Kickstart Your Creativity

The blank page looms. 📄

◾ The cursor blinks.

And blinks.

And blinks.

“STOP BLINKING!!”

◾ Nerves kick in.

Sweat beads (or is that just menopause?).

Nail biting commences.

Ugh! “Why, oh why, can’t I think of anything to write??”

Been there?

Side note. My son has a hard time writing, or so he thinks. As his ‘new teacher’, I’m encouraging him to let his thoughts flow as he writes, just as if he was speaking them out to a friend.

And to stop saying “I can’t!”

When we make the words, the screen, or the palette, an elevated enemy, we purposely put ourselves at the end of a double barrel shotgun. It’s a really hard place to win from.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath

Get creativity flowing.

◾ So you know where I’m coming from then. You’ve stared down that blinking cursor yourself, or maybe it was a blank canvas or graphics app or songwriting sheet. Whatever it was,

the mojo just wasn’t there.

You weren’t on the upswing of a creative cycle.

The juices were not flowing.

◾ And oh, how we want those creative juices to flow! There’s nothing like the feeling of creating something from nothing, of moving to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat. Becoming one with the Creator Himself, and bringing His beautiful ideas to the earth is the honour of a son, of a daughter, of a creator.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

—Genesis 1:1

◾ And to be honest, some of our livelihoods depend on it.

Yet, here we are.

Staring.

Sweating.

And probably eating.

◾ Well, I’ve got a couple of helpful little hints for you – a couple of easy and practical things I do when the going gets tough and nothing is coming out of the ol’ braino. Here’s to hoping these ideas help you out in a pinch and give you your creative flow back when you need it:

  • 1. Stop trying and go take a nap. For real. Just walk away! The best ideas I’ve ever had have come just as I’m drifting off to sleep or in a dream! Even if that doesn’t happen for you, the best thing you can do when nothing is flowing is to take a break, get some rest, and reapproach your project with a fresh mind and attitude. Just think about it. The best way to quiet a stinky attitude is to put it down for a nap, just like a little kid! Sometimes I’ve had to walk away from a project for a few days, go to something new, and come back to it. Other times it’s a quick nap or an overnight sleep. On your way to your bed, ask God for grace, refreshing, and new creative ideas. Remember, His mercies are new every morning!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23
  • 2. Go for a walk in nature. Get physical. Being creative is very cerebral. Unless you are dancing up a storm, you are more than likely huddled over a computer on a hard chair trying to consistently press out fresh and amazing content of some sort. It can be difficult. I’ve found that one of the best refreshers for new ideas is movement. Better yet, movement in nature where you can smell and see creativity all around you. Breathing in fresh air, moving the body around, and seeing new sites, is both invigorating and inspiring. Getting outdoors and walking might just trigger that idea you’ve been looking for better than anything else could! The worst thing that could happen is you’re going to get some exercise and fresh air – not a bad deal in my opinion! My go-to’s are taking forest-filled hikes, walking near water, and strolling to beautiful worship or classical music (get a Spotify account on your phone and hook it up to some headphones). There’s no better place to get creative flow happening then being immersed in God’s own creative expression. Have fun and breathe!
  • 3. Read a fiction novel. Drink in the words of literary giants. Let the written vision of a classic novel take you away to another time and place. Imagine the colours and people of faraway lands. Go somewhere new, somewhere fresh, somewhere alive in your mind. Consider another perspective. Another viewpoint. I personally love historical fiction. Anything good in this genre puts me in such a thoughtful mood, triggering my mind to start imagining again. Once the mind is unlocked to start envisioning the surroundings of the story, the characters, and the plotline, the mind is just that. Unlocked. Flow begets flow.
  • 4. Do a different type of creative endeavor. If you’re trying to write, bake. If you’re trying to draw, sing. When I can’t get anything very productive done on a project, my favorite thing to do is to doodle. I have these amazing Pigma Micron drawing pens and a pad of watercolor paper (although any paper and pen will do), and I just draw lines and circles with no rhyme or reason to them. It is so freeing! It’s like un-constipating the bung-up zone, if you know what I mean. It’s a great unblocking exercise and frankly, I just do it because I enjoy it and it helps with stress. If I’m stuck on a writing project I will also either worship/sing, play an instrument, make jewelry, bake, or puzzle (I’m currently going through a puzzle a week here just to let you know how it’s really going). Other ideas are knitting, planting, dancing, painting, hand-making, clay work, or journaling. There are so many amazing creative things to do that are easy, fun, affordable, and possible in quarantine. The easier the better and make sure it’s not anything like what you are feeling blocked on. Also, don’t turn this other creative endeavor into a project too and then get bunged up on that! Just let your mind wander and be free! Be a kid and have FUN!

“And, now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • 4.5 Scream.
  • 5. Check out what others are making. Peruse social media and the internet for inspiration. Instagram, art websites, virtual museums, armchair travel, Pinterest, poetry circles, are all great in moderate doses… get inspired! While COVID-19 continues to clobber us, now is the perfect time to travel over to Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum or to the Louvre in Paris for examples, all possible if you have access to the internet. Instagram is a personal favorite of mine. I’ve been so inspired by many artists, makers, and women entrepreneurs online. That being said the key here is moderation. By that I mean, don’t spend hours and hours scrolling only to get more depressed and blocked. Another issue to be wary of is comparison. Finding inspiration in other’s work is for, just that, inspiration. Don’t use it as a means to say that your work is crumby and you’ll never be as good as ‘so-and-so’. If that’s something you easily slip into, don’t even go there. Stick to virtual museums and galleries, or skip out on this one.
  • Have you ever read Steal Like an Artist? I read it ages ago but I remember it has some great freeing ideas on utilizing what others have created to inspire your own:

One last thing.

◾ This is technically number 6 on the list but then I’d have to change the name of this blog post and I don’t want to. Just let me sneak it in here —try a new brain-boosting creativity app such as the Brainsparker app (not sponsored). I just downloaded it on my phone for FREE and it seems to have some fantastic features on it. For example, one of the Brainsparker cards says: “What does this spark?” “Step into someone else’s shoes.”

Have you used it?

◾ What are your tried and true ways to kickstart creativity? Did you give one of mine a try? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! And show me what you created while you’re at it!

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Tiffany x