I am called “Mama” far more often than “Tiffany,” and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I was not raised in a Christian home. I enjoyed the usual things growing up – roller skating, horses, my cats, summer camp, Speech and Debate Team, choir, Drill Team… I also spent my Junior year of High School as a foreign-exchange student to the Netherlands.
We moved a dozen times while I was growing up, and my parents separated and got back together several times, before finally separating for good during my High School years. They remained close friends until Dad passed away in January 2003.
I moved out the weekend I graduated from High School, even though I attended college close to home (UCLA) and would have been better off commuting.
As a young woman I was married, had a child, and got a divorce in rapid succession. I spent the better part of a decade as a single mom.
Even during all of that, I was very committed to natural parenting. I had a natural birth, and Nick nursed until past his third birthday. I even used cloth diapers, although I had the luxury of a diaper service that first time around.
I did a lot of unusual jobs and worked out a lot of trade-offs to be able to pull it off, but I managed to stay home with Nick until he went off to school, and then worked only part-time away from home so that I could still be there for him.
Mama and Nick, circa 2003
Nick is very bright, and very headstrong. In third grade I pulled him out of school (and went back to working from home) and we began our homeschooling adventure. It was a challenge to me on a lot of levels, and not something I really “enjoyed” per se, but it was what I knew was the best thing for him. (I’m trusting that between different personalities, and my personal growth in the intervening years, it will be easier with the little ones).
During Nick’s childhood, I learned a wide variety of skills that would come back into play later in my life, and in my Christian walk – some as useful talents, some as examples of the way things ought not to be.
- I managed apartment buildings, and learned a lot of handy-man skills.
- I supported myself as a writer during much of this time. I dabbled in fiction, but was well appreciated for my skills in requirements analysis, process analysis, and technical writing.
- I taught Traffic School.
- I did home parties and sold Mary Kay Cosmetics.
- I co-owned a software development company; I did the paperwork, payroll, presentations, hiring and training of writers, and a bit of everything.
- I became a Realtor, although this was very short-lived.
- I was a Fitness competitor (scaled-down bodybuilding), and became a personal trainer. I also did some modeling and extra work in movies.
- I worked at Renaissance Faires, fully immersing myself in period costuming and language.
- I started and ran a mail-order business for natural birth / breastfeeding / parenting books. I also volunteered with my local breastfeeding support group.
In 2000 I came to know Jesus as my personal Savior, and that was, as they say, the first day of the rest of my life.
The timing, of course, was perfect, as this allowed me a measure of peace as I handled my father’s rapid decline, as well as giving me the ability to see him saved before Jesus took him home.
I was eager to learn, so I went to three services a week, read everything I could, and listened to good teachers. I was fortunate to live in Los Angeles at that time, where there is a lot of good Bible teaching on the radio.
In His own perfect timing, and in quite a humorous way, God brought Wolf into my life. We were married on Leap Day 2004… and you can read the story from there on our History page. (One of the sad thoughts that lingers in my life is that my dad never got to meet Wolf, or his two littlest grand-kids).
And now, the segment you’ve all been waiting for… My personal Top Three Hot Button Issues!
- I have a huge burden for children that manifests in a lot of different sub-issues: pregnancy care (especially something like a “home for unwed mothers”), natural childbirth, breastfeeding advocacy, mother/infant bonding, moms at home raising their children, family-friendly worship environments…
- Modesty and feminine dress.
- Frugal homemaking as a crucial component of good stewardship. This will mean different things for different people in different situations, but includes a wide range of possibilities such as sewing, cloth diapering, bread making, canning, gardening, using non-disposable products, re-using recycling and up-cycling clothing and other goods, etc.