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Breaking free from your past

If there’s anything you’ve come to know about me it’s that I’m honest and completely transparent. I honestly don’t know how to be any other way. I grew up surrounded by strong women and there was very little, if any, room for fake. As I’ve grown up I’ve learned that sometimes this serves me really well…and sometimes it doesn’t. But for me, the cost of fake is far too high to outweigh the risk of honest. So I choose honest, come what may.

I truly believe that fake blocks us from all the amazing things that are ours to behold. Things like love, joy, peace, compassion, goodness and gratitude – these are the flip side of the real, dark, true nature of ourselves and our messy lives. If we do not truly know ourselves and what we are capable of, we cannot hold compassion for others. If we aren’t willing to give grace to ourselves, how can we not stand in judgment of others? Coming to terms with being rejected or abandoned in our past, or the depths of our own suffering, allows us to know the joy and peace of being truly loved. It cracks open the well of gratitude for each tiny gift.

If we aren’t honest with our own story, we will never be free. And we’re all desperately trying to break free of something. Or someone. This I know.

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Do you ever feel like you’re living for someone else? Striving to meet another’s approval or expectation? Have you lost sight of who you are or what brings fullness to your heart? Together with one of my dearest friends, Krista, we’ve created a video challenge for us to learn how to LIVE FREE. We were made to be free. Yet, so often we live in bondage to the people we love and the people who claim to love us. We’ve unknowingly traded one form of slavery for another.

Each day begins with a short devotional or reflection with me and Krista and then two different challenge exercises that will teach you to start moving away from the things and people that hold you back, and stepping toward the life you were created to live. Each day you will also receive a free, beautiful printable that coincides with each day’s challenge. It’s only by recognizing where we are, that we get to decide where we want to be. It’s the process by which we get to design how far our past will propel us forward to the life we were created to live. You were made to be free.

This challenge is a 7-day VIDEO dare! Honestly, it’s so fun. I watch it and just smile and feel so much JOY that God brought this woman into my life to be one of my very best friends. She’s the real deal and God is so good. Signups will begin on Friday and I wanted you to be the first to know! You all are going to get to see and know me a whole lot better through this challenge, that is for sure.

The challenge itself will start on May 11, the day after Mother’s Day to celebrate the release of my book, Pretty, in paperback! If you didn’t realize I wrote a book, you can find out all you need to know right here. At the end of the video challenge I’ll be offering some really fun additional bonus material for buying the book! There will be a lot more information coming up but I wanted you all to be the first to know about everything. Here’s what the challenge looks like and I’ll share a little video intro later in the week.

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OH-and that exciting fun YES I told you about last week? I got an agent!! And you guys, she’s amazing. I didn’t know what to expect when she contacted me to schedule a call because, ya’ll it’s been h.a.r.d. The last agent I talked with basically told me my voice was crap and I had nothing new to offer the world. Like, for over an hour. I won’t lie, it felt pretty personal and mean. But I learned that was just her opinion. Not a fact.

So now we have the opportunity to move forward into the world and see where God is taking us. Because I wouldn’t be here without you. I wouldn’t write if you didn’t keep telling me that it mattered – that it was helping – that you were finding your way, ever so slowly to Jesus. To peace. To joy. To freedom. It’s the only reason I’m here.

But I need your help. My agent tells me we need to sell at least 3,500 copies of my precious book. My heart. Written at a time when I was absolutely scared out of my mind to share it with the world because it was so personal and real and true. I’ve been hurt badly by women in my life and I have also been loved deeply by women in my life. I was terrified to share both the joys and the pain because I wanted to protect my heart. I wanted to protect the difficult journey I had to go through to be free. But I wrote it anyway. And when I got my first copy of the book in paper a few months ago I started reading it as if for the first time and I was terrified. I put it down and the fear started rising back up. But as I read on, my fear turned to pride. Not of anything I am, or the words that I wrote, but that I did it afraid. Honestly, I’m still afraid. I’m afraid people won’t buy it. I’m afraid I can’t sell it. But I look back on my little book now and know that those things will never ultimately matter. What matters is that God delivered me through it. That I wrote the message in it afraid…and the fact that I’m not afraid of it anymore. That’s what I want for you. It’s what I want for my kids! To do the thing God is calling them to do afraid…until they’re not afraid anymore.

But seriously. There’s more than 3,500 of you here. If you all bought just one copy, it would be enough. Of course you’re certainly welcome to buy one for every mother you know for Mother’s Day and one for every graduate you know for graduation! But I digress… 

Here’s the trailer for the book so you can see what it’s about and if you want to order your copy here before the video challenge begins in May. Either way, I hope you’ll join me on this adventure and find that you CAN be free. Honestly my brain was a wreck and I had to unlearn so much I thought was true. If I can do it, you can do it. You can LIVE FREE. But first you’ve got to go through it. You’ve got to claim it – all the messy beautiful parts – and eventually, you will be free. You will look back and see the path behind you and be proud; knowing it was painful and hard, and so very, very good. I’m so proud of you.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jenielle Harpster April 20, 2015, 10:52 pm

    Each January over the last 4 years, God has worked really hard to bring to light one of the things that was broken in my life. I say it that way, because I am extremely stubborn and my prayer has always been for God to slam the door in my face, if it wasn’t something that I was supposed to be doing. God has made it very obvious each year what he wants me to be free from. It has been a painful, but healing journey. I would have never chosen to walk through it, but God made it very clear to me that it was necessary for freedom. Over the last few years, God has impressed upon my heart that being obedient is the most important thing. As I’m sure you know, that can be difficult given the circumstances you are dealing with. The times when I have witnessed the biggest changes and the most healing are those times when I have prayed for God to do whatever he wanted with me! I wish that I could pray that everyday, but the world and life sometimes interrupt my focus.

    I think we all struggle with something that seems bigger than ourselves, something that we think no one in the world could ever really understand, and something that makes us feel like we are alone. I know that I have struggled with all of those things, but my biggest struggle has been with myself and feeling that I was unloveable! It was something that I believed at my core for nearly 40 years. It has been through my healing, that I have been able to change my belief and to know that the sum of all my mistakes doesn’t make me to who I am, but it makes me who Christ wants me to be! It is through the weakest most vulnerable places in my life, that God has given me strength to be real and authentic!

    I’m so proud of your courage and strength to walk through your fear and write the book that God laid upon your heart! Congratulations on getting an agent! That is amazing news! I am looking forward to purchasing your book and sharing it with others that I know will benefit so much from your words. I’m so thankful for this amazing blog. The words that you speak inspire my heart to continue to be authentic, even in the midst of the fear of rejection. Thank you for your own transparency! You are truly a blessing to me and my life!

  • Dorothy Camak (Dottie) April 21, 2015, 3:51 am

    Tammy, so many Smiles and Hand raises as I read your post!!!

    I am so thrilled that there is a new challenge about breaking free from your past coming in May!!! I can’t wait! As I live and write my own story, I often struggle with shame, guilt, and doubt. I know God wants me to embrace Him during those times!! Gosh, how it is so easy to “look back” and stay paralyzed rather than acknowledge that the past can truly propel us towards a brighter future and identity in Him.

    I am soooooo glad that you wrote “Pretty” even when you were afraid! It spoke to me at the perfect time in my life and journey!!! I am so thankful an agent saw that your voice is needed!!! My prayer is that God will use this next step and YOU to shine His light through even more women. Gosh, we need this so badly!!!

    Please do not stop walking in your calling—it so inspires me!!! Onward and Upward we go!!!

    xoxoxox, Dottie Camak

    • Tammy April 21, 2015, 3:08 pm

      Dottie!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your message brought so many smiles to my face today! I’m so glad we got to meet and pray our paths reconnect again. You are a gift. Keep writing, keep pressing forward, one step at a time. You are brave and beautiful and doing great work. xoxo

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