Saturday, July 18, 2015

Moving to Facebook!

I am moving this blog to a Facebook Page called All Things New. If you're interested in following me there, please click here. See you over there!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Another Preview: The Drop Box

Here is another preview for The Drop Box, coming in March for only 3 days. Get your tickets here!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Yesterday I turned 41. I thought it would be a hard pill to swallow but it really wasn't. I was thankful all day...for my life, for all the blessings God has given me, for my amazing friends and family, for my spiritual family (my church) and most of all for the way God has opened my eyes to His truth and His ways.

It's not every year that I am grateful for getting older. In fact, grateful is never the word I would use to describe aging. But this year God has planted a seed of gratefulness in my heart. Most of us don't like what getting older looks like, but the wisdom and experience that comes with it are truly priceless. And I believe they are gifts He gives us, in part to help us deal with the fleshly aging we so often dislike.

This amazing man makes me feel special and so loved every day.

These pics are from my front camera so the quality is poor, but these are my peeps!

I love doing life with you girls!!!

And this is why...standing in the middle of a restaurant lifting our sisters up to Jesus!

Thank you for a great night and awesome birthday! I love you all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Who are you?

Christine Caine, an amazing woman of God and speaker/author, wrote:

It was my mother’s seventieth birthday party. Within a span of hours, I was characterized by different people in a variety of ways. To one, I was my mom’s only daughter; to another I was Nick’s wife; to another, I was Catherine and Sophia’s mom; to another, I was George’s sister. Some old friends considered me the “weird one” who had “got religion,” and friends from church know me as a Bible teacher and author.

While it’s true that the way each of the partygoers identified me is a legitimate aspect of the various roles I fulfill in life, none of these roles is who I really am.

If we allow ourselves to be defined by our roles instead of allowing who we truly are in Christ to define our roles, we’re going to get all messed up.

No one role completely defines us. In other words, who you are is not determined by what you do; that is, your do is not your who!

If we try to get our identity, significance and security from the roles we play, ultimately our lives become focused upon mere functionality and doing more, rather than something deeper.

So the question we need to ask ourselves is this: When no one is calling us parent, spouse, sibling, mentor, boss or friend, who is left?

“... I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)


Redeem - to buy back; to free from what distresses or harms; to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to release from blame or debt; to free from the consequences of sin; repair, restore; to make good.

Don't look to your "roles" for security in life or validation. You are who God says you are, BECAUSE of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Greater by Mercy Me

Our church performed this song a few days ago and what an amazing message it has!

If you're interested, here's the video of our church performing it.

I love my church!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tripp Update

I have a very sweet friend & her 2 daughters currently staying with us. Meet amazing Caroline. And her 2 shadows...

Their big, very sweet dog is also here...Red Dog.

He has been nothing but sweet and loving and amazing.

My 3 dogs have gotten along with him perfectly...until this week.

Sugar, my mid-sized 27 pound dog who loves everything and everyone, especially squirrels for dinner, had a run-in with Red Dog under the "squirrel tree." Sugar spent the following day at the vet's office while they x-rayed her leg and made sure she was okay. No broken bones, just a very bruised leg, an open wound, and a pathetic limp to grab as much attention and love as possible from all the humans living here.

It worked.

My most adorable and precious (and only) granddaughter celebrated her 1st birthday on July 29. Where did the time go? She is so much fun to have around and such a blessing to her Pops and me (Lolli), and her Auntie Savvy. Happy 1st Birthday Ellie!

My middle son turned 25 this week. Again, where did the time go? Wasn't he a little boy just yesterday? Happy Birthday Joseph!

Lots and lots of other things going on around the Tripp house lately and coming up. Savannah will be 13 (A TEENAGER) in 2 weeks.


She is the most disobedient child alive - we have told her over and over to stop growing but she refuses. I think she has Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

This photo was taken at Easter this year. Look at that beautiful 12 year old thing on the right side in the is she only 12?? She is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Thank You, Jesus, for such an amazing opportunity to love You more by loving her. Thank You for using her to change me. Thank You for Your promise to finish what You started in her (Phil. 1:6). She is an amazing tool for Your Kingdom! Thank You that I get to be part of her life.

In September we are driving to Colorado for our niece's wedding! Again, how did all these kids get so grown up?! We are so excited to see Sara take this big step in her life and watch as God blesses them and matures them through their marriage! We will also visit my aunt in Boulder while we're there. Anxious to see her and my uncle!

Savannah starts school in just over a week. We've homeschooled for 5 years and this year she is going to a homeschool school that has her at an actual school building 2 days a week and at home the other 3 days. She'll have real teachers and real classmates. She's excited and I'm excited for her. It's hard for an "only child" to homeschool. She misses the social interaction that comes from being in school. She gets a lot of social time at church but it's just not enough when you're in 8th grade. You remember, right?

How are you? Leave me a comment or send me an email and tell me how I can pray for you!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Children See Children Do

This is an amazing video...take it to heart. Little eyes are always watching us.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Found this today and want to pass it on to all the other women out there struggling with the normal insecurities that come from living in our're not alone.

Colbie Caillat's "Try" Video

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sjogren's Syndrome

This post is not intended to be a "poor me" story. This is primarily for my friends and family who aren't local and are interested in keeping up with my family and me. So feel free to take it or leave it. :)

Most people who know me are aware that I've had joint pain almost my entire life. At the age of 12 I was told by a doctor to stop running track because of my knees. I was told not to water ski. At one point they thought I had Lupus but the test was negative. I did run track in high school and loved high jump. I don't remember my knees being a problem at that point. As I got older my pain subsided and became a nonissue.

Around the age of 35 it came back with a vengeance. I had such bad pain and stiffness that I felt like a 90 year old woman whose joints are stiff and painful most of the time. I couldn't sit Indian style because my left hip was so stiff and painful that my leg wouldn't lay down that way. Being in any position for very long made my joints stiff and hurt to "unfold". My lower back also gave me a lot of problems. So I decided to see a rheumatologist.

My inflammation levels were 3 times the level of a normal person. He thought I had Lupus again. Test was negative again. He diagnosed me with unspecific/generalized autoimmune disease. He put me on meds. The meds made me feel awful. And they didn't even bring my inflammation down to normal.

Fast forward...I wanted to have another baby so I got off the meds at the advice of my OBGYN. I had 3 miscarriages (possibly because of the autoimmune disease) and never had another baby. I quit seeing that rheumatologist and researched inflammation and joint pain on my own. I read an article that said gluten can cause inflammation and joint pain.

I had nothing to lose.

I've been gluten free over 3 years now. My pain is CONSIDERABLY better. I am not 100% pain free, but I am so much better that I will never eat gluten again (and I love me some bread). I had my levels checked 6-9 months after going gluten-free and my inflammation was gone.


However, I began having more problems about a year ago. While my general joint pain is still massively improved, I began having bladder issues, chest pain, tummy trouble, and extreme thirst.

Last week I was finally diagnosed. The thing we've been searching for since I was 12 years old has been identified. It's a chronic autoimmune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome ("showgrens").

"Sjögren’s is a chronic autoimmune disease in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as four million Americans are living with this disease. Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s may also cause dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma."

While my eyes and skin are obviously dry, thankfully my mouth isn't really. My extreme thirst may be linked to my recent onset of anemia. But this explains all my GI problems over the years, my inflammation (currently chest and bladder and blood tests indicate my inflammation is elevated again) and joint pain, dry peeling lips, and occasional fatigue.

I'm so thankful to have a diagnosis. There is no cure but at least I know what the problem is. I can go forward knowing how to take care of myself. I can treat the symptoms and at least have some peace of mind.

Shortly before my diagnosis I found out my genetic skin condition I've had my whole life is called Icthyosis. Since it's not anything new I shouldn't have been too was just nice to know it has a name. But as I was going forward with my new rheumatologist in searching for my autoimmune issues, my life long Icthyosis was getting worse. I have Icthyosis Vulgaris which manifests on the hands and feet. But there's also a general Icthyosis which is dry, flaky, scaly skin all over the body. I have seen horrible photos of people that have severe cases, of which I do not. But over the past couple of months my arms and legs are much worse - more dry, flaky, and scaly and at this point embarrassing.

After my diagnosis I was depressed for about a week. I was so overwhelmed with the idea that I have a chronic condition, on top of this life long genetic skin condition that is getting worse. Not knowing if I'll get worse, if I'll get cancer, if my symptoms will ever become unmanageable.

But then I was reminded that my God is bigger than that. He may not heal me or make it better but I know He allowed this for a reason. I know I can bring glory to His name through this, if I'll let Him work in my heart. If I can take my eyes off myself and show the world His Love and Greatness through my pain, then I am powerful in His Kingdom!

And that brings Him glory and me joy. There's no better way to live.

I pray that this condition will only strengthen my relationship with Him as I let Him use it for His glory and His goodness. I pray that it will cause me to draw closer to Him so that He can use me for His glory and honor. And His alone.

Please pray for me as I walk forward in this. I know the enemy of my soul wants to use this to ruin me. He got close last week as I struggled with doubts and fears and sorry-for-myself-ness. But I have God on my side and He is greater and stronger than my enemy!

Psalm 18:29 "In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall."

My sweet husband wrote me a story yesterday that really encouraged my soul. It's an excellent word picture of what living for Jesus looks like:

The Letter

She sat in the back of the group, so many others around her, all of them anxious for Jesus to come and give them their life assignments.  When He walked in and smiled with love looking both at all of them and at each of them simultaneously, their hearts melted for Him as they had since the first time He rescued them from their respective and very different living hells.  As Jesus walked through the room, he would gently touch each person, some on their cheeks, some on their shoulders, always with a smile and a look of deepest love.  He handed each of them an envelope and then moved on to the next person.  The envelopes were sealed, and on the outside of each was written “your mission”.  Jesus explained that each envelope had inside of it a description of the path that lay in front of each of them, and that He needed then each to share His love, His lordship, and His message as they walked that path.

Some tore into the envelopes excitedly, some apprehensively as Jesus moved on to the rest of the waiting people.  One lady jumped up excitedly and said she was going to Africa, and she’d always had a love of that country and couldn’t wait to go.  One man read his out loud soberly with a shaking hand: “Martyr in Iraq?,” and that although he had family there and wanted them saved, the idea of dying for them was a bitter pill.  “My Child,” Jesus said, “it is by seeing you die for me that many of your family will realize that I am worth dying for, and they will understand that not only did I die for them, but that through me their death here on earth will lead to life instead of end it.”.  

A tear slowly rolled down the man’s face and he said “I’m afraid.”

“I understand.  I was afraid of the road I needed to walk too.  But because I did you’re here now.  And I will be with you at every step.  I know you can do this.” and he wrapped his arms around the man, then kissed his forehead and the man nodded, smiled, and walked out to start his journey.

Now fighting fear, each of the remaining people were a little slower to take their envelopes from Jesus, but some of them were relieved to find that their envelopes held missions like “You will teach children” or “You will be my light in an affluent neighborhood”.  Beside her, a man opened his envelope and his face sank.  “You will need to forgive your unfaithful wife”, his letter read.  “I didn’t even know she had been unfaithful,” he said to Jesus.

“I understand.” said Jesus, “I’ve been betrayed more times than you could count.  But her heart is repentant, and both you and me loving her through this will be a part of her healing from the deep rejection she’s felt from her father and other men throughout her life.  And remember, I will walk this road with you.”  The man got up, embraced Jesus, then walked off and started his journey.

When at last she opened her envelope and read her letter she was confused.  It read, “You will suffer from chronic illness and reach others through it” but nothing more.  She started to breathe heavily and could feel a panic coming over her as she ran through all the possible ramifications of having a chronic illness.  She feared the idea of consistent pain, but more than anything she feared the idea of not knowing what exactly she would endure.

“Why are you afraid?” said Jesus

“Why did you give this to me?” she asked, “I’m not strong enough for this.  Let me die from some cancer or an accident.  Let me be martyred for you.  I’m willing to suffer betrayal or abuse but the idea of lifelong, persistent illness terrifies me.”

“I want you to meet someone.” He said, and only then did she realize that everyone else in the room was gone.  They were outside, and a young woman walked up behind Jesus and took His hand as she stood beside Him.

“This is Olivia.” said Jesus, “I’ve taken her from your future so you could see how important the road I’ve chosen for you is.  Let me let her tell you herself.”

“Hello,” said Olivia, “I know it’s hard for you to understand but I’m actually much older than I look; I actually died at age 63 and this is my new body,” and she twirled around and looked no older than 30.  “At the age of 22 I found out that I had a chronic illness.  I’d grown up in church and hoped that God would heal me but when I didn’t, I became bitter and resentful that my life would be filled with pain, and lost all hope shortly after my 25th birthday.  For the next 35 years I built walls around my heart, not letting anyone in but also locking myself in.  People tried to reach me, to tell me that God loved me, but they didn’t understand.  God hadn’t given them this disease He’d afflicted me with.  I hated them like I hated Him.  And then God sent me you when I was 61 years old.  I’d been to lots of meetings with others who had my same condition, talking about coping, talking about treatments and doctors, but I’d never met anyone like you.  You had the same condition as me in your body, but your heart couldn’t have been more different than mine.  You were filled with life, with joy, with love.  At first I thought you were just in denial, but I talked to you and found out you were absolutely aware of reality, but that your perspective was completely different.  You knew and loved Jesus while you walked through the illness instead of blaming Him for the illness.  And you showed me, through that little peep-hole I’d left in the wall I’d built, that I could do the same thing.  With His help and through seeing that truth in you I let you talk to me, pray with me, and lead me out of the prison I was in.  Not a prison of my body like I thought but a prison of my heart.  I can never fully express how grateful I am that someone I could really relate to showed me how much Jesus could change me too.”

Olivia hugged her, kissed her on both cheeks, and then walked away.

“You see,” said Jesus, “I tried to reach her in so many ways.  She didn’t believe that I could relate to her suffering just because it was different than what I suffered.  She needs you to show her that, and the only way she’ll trust that you relate to her is if you experience what she experienced: the slow walk of a chronic illness.  I’ve given others different tasks, and different roads.  And know that I didn’t create this illness or afflict you with it, I’m merely using what was already created by the breaking of the world through sin to reach someone else who has been affected by the same illness.  She needs someone who she believes understands her, who can set an example she can follow.  I’ve given others easier tasks, and I’ve healed others from illnesses like this as well as worse and less severe, but I need you to do this for me.  I want Olivia and you’re how I can reach her.  You are my lifeline to her.”

She thought about it and considered the cost worthless compared to the gain.

“I understand that too.”  Jesus said.

So here I sit, with my assignment in hand. Proud to be assigned a task that will please my Savior. I want to have a heart that will serve Him, NO MATTER what.

Today I will begin that journey.

Friday, June 13, 2014


I learned something about myself just a couple of years ago.

I have food issues.

I have struggled for years with my weight.  And even though I made the choice to get healthy 5 years ago, I have continued to struggle off and on to make the right choices with food.  It wasn't until recently that God revealed to me the true problem...lack of self-control.

Self-control is something I have never had much of.  As I look back on my life I see many areas where I lacked self-control. It comes from extreme selfishness in my case.  If I wanted it, I got it. If it was wrong, I justified it. If it tasted good, I ate it. And these decisions ranged all the way from eating something I shouldn't, to wrongly handling an offense, to infidelity.

I have known since the age of 8 I have an allergy to caffeine. The main reaction I have is a headache. But as I got older and was more in control of what I ate and drank, I allowed myself caffeine if I wanted it. I justified it by taking Advil when I got a headache. This eventually gave me stomach trouble - too much Advil, especially when taken without food, can cause stomach bleeding. All because I didn't want to deny myself caffeine.

Recently God took me on a journey into His word to give me hope. I want to share with you what He taught me in hopes of giving you the same hope. These verses can be applied to lack of self-control in any area, but I am specifically relating them to eating habits. If you are struggling with food on any level - eating too much or are consumed with thoughts of food - I know these verses will encourage you. Ask God to reveal to you any food struggles and what the root is and then ask Him to let these verses come alive in your heart and mind as you go forward in making better food choices.

I need to give Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies a quick shout out. I read Lysa Terkeurst's book, Made to Crave, last year to get my eating under control. While it was very helpful and encouraging, I don't think I was quite ready to receive from it. Then last month I found out that was doing an online Bible study for Made to Crave so I decided to join it. Reading the daily posts and keeping up with the online community of more than 40,000 people really encouraged me and set me on a course of in-depth Bible study about self-control. Thank you, Proverbs 31, for your amazing resources and time and effort put into these online studies!

I would encourage you to look these verses up on your own also and do some cross-referencing. That is how I got started on this journey actually. I cross-referenced a verse which led me to more and more cross-referencing. And that's where all these verses came from.

When I shared with my husband a few months ago that I was afraid my self-control would run out and I would end up gaining my weight back and undoing all the work I had previously done, he reminded me that self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not only is lack of self-control an issue for me, but something Lysa's book revealed to me is that when I continue walking without self-control I become defeated. When I am defeated, my peace is stolen. That is not God's plan or desire for me. The enemy doesn't want me to have peace because then I am ineffective and miserable.

Lysa says in her book, "Not only does the Spirit live in us, but He is active and infuses power to our lives that is beyond what we could possibly muster up on our own." If you are a Christ follower, you have the Spirit of the Living God inside you helping you walk in victory!
  1. Galatians 5:16 - "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves." Our sinful nature wants food that isn't healthy - food that is pleasing to the senses - but if that food robs us of our peace it becomes a stumbling block. We often use food to fill a void that only God can fill. And I don't think most of us even know we're doing it. In our society it's so "normal" to eat what we want, when we want it, that we don't even think about it. But when we choose to let the Holy Spirit guide us, we will not be giving in to our sinful natures and we will have victory.
  2. Romans 8:6 - "So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." Did you catch that? Life and PEACE. If our poor food choices leave us feeling defeated and steals our peace, then we need to let the Spirit control our minds regarding our food choices so we will have peace.
  3. Romans 8:9 - "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit..." You don't have to be controlled by your crazy cravings! Be controlled by the Holy Spirit instead. This will bring peace and victory.
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" Do you understand the power of this verse? If you are a Christ follower you are a new creation! All those old habits and patterns of behavior, like poor food choices, do not have to be who you are anymore. Again, you have the Spirit of the Living God in you empowering you to walk in new ways!
  5. Galatians 5:24 - "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there." The passions and desires of your flesh have been crucified. Your bad eating habits and lack of self-control are no longer part of you because they were crucified with your sinful nature when you decided to follow Christ. You just have to believe it to walk in it.
  6. Galatians 5:13 - "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature..." FREEDOM, sisters! We have been called to live in freedom! Freedom from sin, freedom from bondage, freedom from defeat, freedom from shame. God wouldn't call us somewhere we aren't able to go. If He called us there He will help us get there.
  7. Romans 6:6 - "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." I don't know if poor eating habits are "sin", (gluttony is) but this verse helps me because I have felt like a slave to my flesh in regards to my food choices and this gives me hope and encouragement.
  8. Romans 7:18-25 - "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." This is why we need Jesus! We are hopeless and helpless without Him. We can't do it on our own.
  9. Romans 8:12-13 - "Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation - but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." To live according to the flesh in this context is about a lifestyle of denying Christ's power in your life which points to unbelievers, not genuine followers of Christ who are struggling to have victory over a specific thing. However, I think you can still apply this to bad eating habits. Remember how we said our food struggles can rob us of our peace and leave us defeated? When we live according to our flesh in this way we are ineffective, or at least distracted from what God has called us to. When I am lacking self-control in this area and am not at a healthy weight and lack energy, it becomes a distraction and gets in the way of what God has called me to. For example, when I am feeling bad about myself or start comparing myself to others then I am not living an others-focused life because I'm too busy feeling insecure and less-than. Does that make sense? This doesn't quite lead to death but it certainly isn't the life God has for me.
  10. Romans 13:14 - "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." It's all about Jesus. It's not about how to get what we want, on any level. Even with food.
  11. Galatians 6:8 - "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." The destruction is of our freedom in this case. Freedom from the peace of God that gets taken from us through guilt and shame when we can't get our act together regarding food.
  12. Colossians 2:11 - "When you came to Christ, you were 'circumcised,' but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision - the cutting away of your sinful nature."
  13. Galatians 5:17-18 - "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law." My Bible commentary says this: "Those who are Spirit-led are not under the law. This verse might be understood in two ways: Led by the Spirit is a description of all Christians. Therefore, no Christians are under the law; they are not depending on self-effort. It is the Spirit who is resisting the motions of evil within them, not they themselves. Also, to be led by the Spirit means to be lifted above the flesh and to be occupied with the Lord. When one is so occupied, he is not thinking of the law or the flesh. The Spirit of God does not lead people to look to the law as a mean of justification. Rather, he points them to the risen Christ as the only ground of acceptance before God."
  14. Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Don't give up! The road of denying our flesh is a hard one, but has so many blessings!
  15. 1 Corinthians 15:58 - "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." Lack of self-control and gluttony cause guilt in our conscience and cause us to be distracted by appearance and/or weight. Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so when we give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord we are not out of control or gluttonous and will be rewarded by Jesus in heaven for standing firm and not allowing this issue to take away from His work and plan for us.
I know this was long and kind of deep but I really hope it encourages you. I have walked quite a road regarding food and self-control through my life and I hope this helps you avoid the difficult path of learning the hard way.