To be Seen: Claiming Our Identity Is Counter-Cultural – With Tianna Yentzer
Today we are talking about how finding your identity is counter-cultural.
There’s a song called Fully Known by Tauren Wells that speaks so deeply to my soul. I recall laying in a warm bathtub, with this song on repeat as I craved the enveloping understanding of Who I Am by the one who created me.
Struggle for identity. Struggle for conceptualizing my own beauty. Struggling for truth – running from all things fake – ultimately to be standing in the light…instead of crying in a bathtub.
Y’all, life is hard. And we often end up trapped in what the world wants us to be and who the world claims us to be, verse who our maker has established us to be. We are worthy. And loved. And like the song says, even though we often feel completely misunderstood through the filters of life, we are fully known.
Today’s guest gifts women with this concept of being seen, being known, and walking in their worthiness by way of her blending her passion with her profession. She, like me, desires to see women restored in their intended confidence and ultimately aware of their blanketed beautiful grace.
If you are still shying away from being seen by the world…this may not be the episode for you. Walking in the light, being fully seen…takes bravery and necessary unmasking. But I can assure you, form personal experience, it’s incredible gratifying and glorifying.
Connect with her here:
Tamra: There’s a song called Fully Known by Tauren Wells that speaks so deeply to my soul. I recall laying in a warm bathtub, with this song on repeat, as I craved the enveloping understanding of who I am by the one who created me. Struggle for identity, a struggle for sexualizing my own beauty, struggling for truth. Running from all things fake and ultimately desiring to be standing in the light instead of crying in a bathtub. You all life is hard and we often end up trapped in what the world wants us to be and who the world even claims us to be versus who our maker has established us to be. We are worthy and loved and liked the song says, even though we often feel completely misunderstood through the filters of life we are fully known.
Today’s guest gifts women with this concept of being seen, being known in walking in their worthiness by way of blending her passion with her profession. She like me desires to see women restored in their intended confidence and ultimately aware of their blanketed, beautiful grace. If you are still shying away from being seen by the world, this might not be the episode for you. Walking in the light and being fully seen takes bravery and necessary unmasking, but I can assure you and I think she would say the same from personal experience from both of our stories, it is incredibly gratifying and truly glorifying. Enjoy.
We are hoping that this meets you guys today. This is Tianna, and if guys didn’t have a chance to meet her a couple of weeks ago, I’m kind of excited because now I get to spend even more time with her, but we had a podcast and it was amazing.
Tianna: It was great.
Tamra: It was deep and real and alive and also silent. So, it was about a minute and a half, it was the longest podcast ever and we really hope that you took something away from it, or you’re just intrigued enough to listen again this time and hoping that the full hour comes your way but if not, we think that there’s purpose in that too.
Tamra: So, I don’t even remember anything that we talked about last time, which I’m really excited about. I mean, I’m sure if we started talking about it, like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I know where we’re going. But I’m excited to just have a clean slate and it could be because you just wash me with water before this started, we went to pray and I put my hand across the table as did she and then her water bottle went into my not lap thankfully, just my journaling note area. But it was a funny way to start prayer, which you might not know that we do before we come on air, but it’s a really centering practice to get into the routine of, but I never want it to feel like, okay, do this, then this, turn this on now go. And I feel like God just takes that away every single time you just say his name. That he just is like, Oh yeah, I’m here, what? What do you need? And I don’t even know where the prayers are going to go or where the time is going to be ending up but I know that he is present.
Tamra: And I’m grateful that you’re with us, him and you know. I don’t know who I’m talking to when I said that.
Tianna: Yes, I was going to say I felt like you were talking to Jesus.
Tamra: I did, okay. And I love how you accepted it that way. You’re a guess yes. So, if you don’t know Tianna, she became a quick friend at a networking event.
Tianna: So quick.
Tamra: It was so cool. And the way that we got introduced is being revealed to me at this moment, and if you’re not live you’re not going to know what that means, but she sits down next to me, we’re eating and I’m like, so you know networking usually is like, what do you do? And she says, ah, I’m a boudoir photographer. I’m like, oh, of all things I had to sit down next to the boudoir photographer. And I’m like, this is a bad thing and you’re going to learn that it’s actually an amazing thing.
But I immediately like clammed up my stomach kind of knotted and like, oh shoot, I have to have this conversation, great, cool. And then she starts going a little bit further and sharing like, oh, but it’s not like traditional. And I’m like, okay. So, then I see this little tattoo and it says you are enough. And I immediately was like, hold on Jesus, there’s a purpose for this.
Tianna: Whole lot.
Tamra: Because if you don’t know, he declares this over us every single day. And he wants our daughters so desperately to understand this simple message that has such grandiose long-lasting kingdom value. And that is our worth. And so, you can continue the story and kind of tell about what that means and how my initial reaction was probably common.
Tamra: And I want to hear all about all the goods.
Tianna: I love that you kept digging though. Yes.
Tamra: Me too.
Tianna: So, I am a fine art boudoir photographer and not traditional in that we don’t focus on, gosh, what’s the word? We don’t focus on the body parts.
Tianna: That just sounds so weird to say, but it’s true. My work and what I do is so heart-driven. A few weeks ago, in a session with one of my gals, she said, Tianna, you made me feel seen. And she saw her photos and it was actually one of the more, I don’t want to say tame, but conservative sessions I’ve done. And she was like, I feel ridiculously beautiful. And I could not stop smiling. She’s like, you just made me feel seen, you saw me for who I am, not who the world tells me I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to look like or what sexuality is supposed to be and that gave me more confidence than anything.
Tamra: That’s so amazing.
Tianna: So, yeah. So, on that first meeting with us, it was always like kind of awkward, I’m sure.
Tamra: Initially, like this is what I do. Go ahead and judge me.
Tamra: Basically, it’s an open invitation to say, go for it.
Tianna: This is my life.
Tianna: But it was so awesome because sitting and talking with you and finding those keywords, those buzz words about what I do and what that really is beyond, let’s just be honest when you hear boudoir photographer, you think naked, sexual…
Tamra: Yeah sex. Totally.
Tianna: Of course. A lot of people are like, so it’s like porn. I’m like, no, it’s not. But that is definitely what comes up. But what I do is I work with women who need to embrace their true beauty. In the way that God made us as women, we go through so many different seasons and stages and changes and all the hormones but learning to appreciate and love these bodies and these giftings in just who he created us to be unique. Right now, where we are is such a gift.
Tamra: So true.
Tianna: It’s such a gift.
Tamra: And so interesting. And the reason that I had like such this closed-off initial reaction, is because I’ve had pornography, you know what’s the word problems in my past and exposure at a really, really young age on a game of hide and seek. I mean, it’s so young, you’re not even thinking about that and I was under the age of six and six is the average age that children are exposed to pornography.
Tamra: And that’s like a known statistic. So scary because I have a six-year-old and I have a four almost five-year-old and I would just love to just shield them to blindness at all points at this point in their life, knowing that I too was a part of that statistic. And so that intrigue and that taintedness, that came from it played out in so many roles in my life. And I, from that age already had this negative view of my body and the expectation of what I was supposed to bring to every male situation in my life. And so, I claimed myself as unworthy without saying ever even comprehending what worthiness was at that point but thinking I’m only good for this and letting that play out in so many different ways in my life. And so, I have had pictures done that were not done under the self-confidence Christian element at all.
And I know what they were driving, what the driving force was for that. And to think of in my new heart placement and my new faith for me to be able to come up behind a lens in this desire for myself firstly, but in the recognition of who God sees me as.
Tamra: And then being able to present that to the one covenant love of my life and for him to see me through that lens and not through the lens that he met me as when I was 21.
Tamra: Because we have had to evolve that beauty and that concept of intimacy through our marriage. And it’s my biggest prayer that women, girls specifically, who are not yet into womanhood, they comprehend that worthiness and that value long before they ever tried to get it from a man. Because there’s no element of their ability to love you and your fullness like our father in heaven can. And basically, that’s a mic drop because…
Tianna: No one, but Jesus.
Tamra: No one but Jesus. But the problem is, and we were just talking about this at lunch, it’s like this world of comparison and this scared fear-based of sex and what that has done to our hearts and our culture. It’s really sad.
Tianna: It breaks my heart. And I think, well not I think, I know that is why God has called me to this hard work. Because as a believer, as a woman of faith, who is very much like our family is Jesus, 24 seven, we breathe it, we live it. I had a little, one of my mentees from church, I have known her since she was like 12 years old. She like looked at me and she’s 21 now, and she looked at me the other day and she’s like, so, how do you reconcile your faith with what you do? And I was like, well, let me tell you, I believe that the Lord, I believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
It is in the Bible, it is truth. And these bodies, these vessels we were given were made to glorify God and what the world has made it, this over-sexualized picture of this unrealistic woman or man is not what he intended. Sex is supposed to be good, our bodies are supposed to be good, and what the world has made it is not good. And I believe that I am doing this work because he wants to redeem that for him and it needs to be redeemed for him.
Tamra: It does.
Tianna: And I told her that and she was like, wow. And I’m like, yeah.
Tamra: Yeah. Like [inaudible 13:26] this, I didn’t just wake up one morning and like, oh this is what I do.
Tianna: Yeah, this is cool.
Tamra: And this is compartmentalization of my life. And that is where I think the concept of church and even the concept of Christianity is so often put in people’s life. It’s a compartment
Tianna: It’s just a section.
Tamra: Yeah. Oh, I do this on Sunday because it’s ritual and then we do brunch or whatever afterward and then I go about my merry week and forgetting whether it’s the concepts of what we’re taught, but ultimately forgetting biblical concept and not nurturing that relationship to the rest of the week or the rest of the month or the rest of the year, which then becomes a season, which then becomes a lifetime. And so, the outside view of Christianity for the commonplace person is, oh, there hypocritical. Oh, they’re living blind. Oh, they’re the worst. They’re the worst of all of them because there’s the judgment because there’s hypocrisy, because there’s the gossip, because all of the… whether it’s a big sin or a little sin, no matter what it is, however they’re living out their lives, and I say they, myself included is the recognition of the fact that we need grace and ultimately the way we treat our bodies and the way we walk out our life or the representation of what other people have towards Jesus.
Tianna: It’s so true. That’s what they see first. Before we have a chance to open our mouths.
Tianna: That’s exact. Yeah.
Tamra: So, you get into boudoir photography. How does your husband feel about that? What is his play?
Tianna: Oh gosh, that’s so funny. So, my first boudoir session was when he was deployed and I sent it to him as a gift. So, that was like our introduction to all of it. He’s always… my husband’s awesome, he’s he’s always been like my biggest supporter. And it was actually really interesting when we started having these conversations about how I reconcile this with my faith and all of that. He was like, Tianna, your heart, it matters where your heart is. Are you doing this for 15K followers because you’re showing photos of half-naked women? Which by the way, if you go follow me, you will not see half-naked women.
Tamra: No, it’s gorgeous.
Tamra: It’s light and airy and it’s tasteful. And I think, well, I know that women are proud. I have so many clients recently that have just been putting their pictures on Facebook and I’m like, okay, that’s awesome.
Tamra: Yeah, I know. I was like, okay, it’s on Facebook, on your personal…
Tamra: Yeah, like your grandma can see that.
Tamra: That’s funny.
Tianna: But the coolest thing that he said to me recently, he’s like Tianna, this is about your heart. Anyone can take your work and look at it and make of it what they’re going to because that’s their intentions, but your heart is to put more love in Jesus and respect and worthiness into the world and that’s what matters.
Tamra: So good.
Tianna: And it’s just really incredible because my husband is actually a stay at home dad. He homeschools our two children.
Tamra: Rockstar, so awesome.
Tianna: Yes, he’s really awesome. And he is taking a back seat for having a career of his own in this season because our studio is so busy and he so believes in the work I do and it’s just…
Tamra: That is so amazing.
Tianna: It’s incredible.
Tamra: It’s so neat.
Tianna: God is good.
Tamra: Yes, he’s is. He is so is, and it’s such an amazing gift and another thing that I pray over girls is this concept of having a man that comprehends that support placement and that it’s a mutually beneficial space for both of us to begin.
Tamra: And I feel like my husband and I have talked a lot about the concept of respect, and I think because of how I was raised and then just this concept of the military in my life and the role that played in my life, Is that I always thought respect meant that somebody was bigger or greater than the other. And so, you treated them as such, but you know, biblically, we’re called to respect our parents and even in that role, I always thought hierarchy. And then when you get into this symbiotic role of, we’re on the same playing field, wait, I’m supposed to respect you, what does that look like? And the variation of respecting somebody who is your equal versus your boss or your elder, it’s very different though similar qualities should come into play. And so, that symbolism of support has such a role of respect. He supports you in what you’re doing, respecting you alongside it, comes with the game of love. And I think, again, people try to segment these things and saying, oh, I love you, but I don’t respect you. I support you, but I don’t love you. And they take…
Tianna: That’s not love.
Tamra: Right. They are taking out all of these things and saying, here I am, and this is what I can offer you.
Tianna: This is what I’m willing to do.
Tamra: Right. Right. And if you can just expand yourself into all that you are and bring that whole person into the relationship, it’s such a different experience…
Tianna: Oh, my gosh yeah.
Tamra: Of love, support, respect, honor all of it is so different. And it’s really cool that if, once you’re able to do that on that playing field, how much easier it gets and every other realm of your life. I know that when women walk into the room in order for them to feel seen like you said that they felt or ridiculously beautiful, you have to be respecting them in such a way that they feel that way, that they feel seen. And respect is not easily earned. And so really amazing that you have that quality, I mean, you have that quality naturally about yourself, just because of the air of who you are and of course that’s Jesus, but it’s such a beautiful quality that I don’t think a lot of people have. So, I’m grateful to know you in that capacity, but also to know what you do and what you put into the world. You said putting worthiness into the world. That is so pretty. I don’t know if you have that tagline yet, but you should.
Tianna: I just put it on my website.
Tamra: Yes, so good. It’s so good.
Tianna: It’s actually so funny that you bring this up because I would love to talk about this. There’s this huge, thing going on right now. The Self Love Movement.
Tamra: Yeah, totally.
Tianna: And as believers, it’s a very tricky, tricky thing to walk. So tricky. Yes. We need to love ourselves because God created us a certain way and we can’t be bashing God’s creation, that’s no good. But this huge self-love movement that, what’s the word? Maybe it’s self-edifying or self-glorification, that’s where it gets super tricky. And I was working on that because I now have this weird thing about the term self-love. Clarification I completely believe in it, but not in the way that the world has made it. There’s, this huge thing now about me first, that is the prob… and don’t get me wrong, particularly as women, wives, mothers, we need to be taking care of ourselves because if we are empty…
Tamra: Absolutely, we cannot love.
Tianna: We cannot give.
Tamra: A thousand percent.
Tianna: But at the same time, I think there’s this huge thing about me first, I don’t care about anybody else. And that is not what the Lord has called of us. So, like I said, I just added that to my website because I believe that we do need to love ourselves in a healthy way that allows us to glorify God and values and sees our worth because our father is a King. He is overall and if we do not value ourselves and who he’s created us to be, we are not really appreciating the father.
Tamra: Yeah. That’s so true. And that’s where the concept when I share about self-love, I would hope that people with that mindset are doing. It’s like looking in the mirror and seeing yourself in diminishing who you are. And so often the words that we tell ourselves are the starting point of self-care and self-love. Beyond the manicure and the pedicure and the hair done…
Tianna: It’s way stronger.
Tamra: The workout. So much more important, that if you feel empty, start loving yourself more and see what ripple effect that that has and yet at the same time, knowing that that’s not where the first placement should be. So, a lot of people saying me first, it’s actually me second, always. And until you can get to the place of putting God before that, so if we’re empty and we’re putting ourselves first, there’s no one to pour into us. So, we have to be second because we need the overflow of the Lord in order for us to then be the tipping point for everyone else around us.
Tianna: That is so crazy because it’s like, sometimes like, let’s say you’re tired, right? So, you go to take a nap and you wake up even more groggy. But in the times that I’ve been like, no, I’m really tired. And I’m just going to get into the word and then I’m like, oh, I felt better.
Tamra: Yeah, It’s that peace component. It’s so true because often what’s driving you to the nap and it’s likely not what you think or why you’re tired. It’s just like when you’re hungry, are you hydrated? And if you’re dehydrated, are you really just dehydrated from the word? And as you drink your water, your mouth quenching right now. Right? But really what’s driving into the nap and for me with this whole concept of mind, body, soul alignment, and understanding what that really means. I was being driven to the nap from mental exhaustion just as much as I was from physical exhaustion.
Tianna: Oh my gosh, yep.
Tamra: From nutritional dehydration, I was literally fueling myself with gluten or dairy or a bunch of things that I now have learned what they do to my body because I’ve taught it to only fuel off of what it’s supposed to be fueled off of.
Tamra: And then of course the spiritual dehydration component is massive. And so what you’ve done in that moment, instead of saying, I’m going to go sleep it off because you’re not going to wake up any better or fuller, maybe you’ll have a little bit more energy maybe, but generally speaking, not.
Tianna: Not usually.
Tamra: You’re tired, you’re more tired. You want to go back to bed, or the rest of your day is out of whack because your schedule is messed up or, I mean, there’s so many components to that. And so, for me, and speaking from somebody who honestly used to take three hours a day, I would nap.
Tamra: No exaggeration. And this is on up until I was about, my husband can attest maybe 20… gosh, honestly, 28, 29. Honestly, when I came into the Lord, it was like an automatic transformation.
Tamra: And it wasn’t because I gave my life to the Lord that he was like, oh, you don’t need naps anymore. When I came to the Lord, I started self-checking myself. I walked through this concept of self-identity and when I look in the mirror, what am I saying?
Tianna: That’s so good.
Tamra: And when I go to the table, what am I eating? And when I go to work out, what am I doing it for? So, when breaking apart every piece of my identity and really recognizing that I can only be fueled from the father, not all of the worldly things that are being handed to me or that I’m finding and feeling myself with, that my body started taking recognition of that and started saying, okay, I get it. And here’s the overflow. The overflow is energy. The overflow is abundant. The overflow is health. The overflow is abundant in such a way that now I can give it to other people.
Tamra: And I was walking around like a starved and we’re in Halloween so I’m imagining these gremlins and skeletons with a walking dead, right? We’re all the walking dead until you come to know Jesus.
Tianna: And you don’t even know it, you had no idea.
Tamra: I had no clue. And in college I was actually like, I knew I was actually feeding off of Tylenol PM. And if you had met me in college, you would’ve been like, ah my gosh, she lives a great life, he’s so energetic, she’s so fun. So many things about me similar to who I am now but completely not living my life the way that I should have been living and mind, you in college, you have this concept of the people are going to bed three in the morning after partying, I actually still went to bed really early and then I would also sleep. And my friends knew that during the middle of the day, they wouldn’t get in touch with me because I was sleeping.
And they also knew that I was going to leave the party by 11 o’clock and not tell anybody and get a taxi home so I could go back to go to sleep. And it was funny and it was like a comical thing and like, Tamra needs her rest, her beauty sleep. But it was actually really sad because I was doing it with purpose that I didn’t want to live out the life that I was living. I wasn’t content in who I was enough that I didn’t want to be awake.
Tamra: Because it was too much to deal with.
Tamra: And that’s so sad and scary.
Tianna: Yes. And I think it’s sad because there are so many people living that way. And, you don’t, I don’t think it’s that you don’t know it, I think it’s that they aren’t ready to face it.
Tamra: Totally. That’s such a true statement. And mind you, I then am fast forward nine years later in a fully committed, beautiful, seemingly great relationship and I have kids and I’m still in this mindset. And so, I want people to hear so badly this portion of my testimony, that it is not the highlight reel that you see. It is not the picture that you see from the outside looking in, that there is so much more to people. And that’s why, what we do and what you do specifically is so necessary to get people, to peel back the layers of what’s being confronted and what’s being offered to society.
Tamra: Because that’s not what Jesus wants from us.
Tamra: He wants all of you.
Tianna: Yes, that’s so vital because I think it’s so interesting because in the work that I do with being a boudoir photographer, but also like being a coach, walking with them, a lot of the relationships that I start with these girls it’s not just a session and you’re done.
Tianna: I follow them on social media, we become friends on Facebook, and usually their session is just like a catalyst…
Tamra: Aww, that’s so cool.
Tianna: For them to see, like, yes, it’s a whole process, they have hair and makeup and we have wine and we have treats and we play music, it’s a whole experience. But that having that experience, it’s usually like a wake-up call for them. It allows them to see themselves the way that other people see them. It taps into different… because throughout the session we have some deep, deep conversations.
Tianna: It’s kind of like being in a therapist’s office, sitting on the couch, but you’re just posing on a bed.
Tamra: Right. Right.
Tianna: So, it’s very therapeutic for them and it’s like peeling back the layers. And so I love what I get to do because it’s not just like… I have a woman that I have photographed three or four times now. And she just discovered something different about herself every time.
Tamra: That is so cool.
Tianna: And they all follow me and we have conversations through DM on Instagram, it’s deep work.
Tamra: That’s amazing. So, explain that. I want you to share that part of the fact that you had taken what you’ve done from a photography perspective and then led into this passion of self-confidence coaching and how integral they both really are.
Tianna: So, I’m a confidence coach, I guess to start there. So I do have clients with me that are just with me for coaching, but all of my coaching clients get a session at the end, whether that be beauty or boudoir, you always get a photo session because I so believe in the power of the physical representation of all the beautiful heart work you’re doing and it’s just incredible to see them because, at the end, they’re like, wow, like things are really different, we’ve really taken a step and move forward. And I think when you’re in the midst of it, you don’t feel it.
Tamra: That’s good. Yeah. That’s really good. And it’s true, I mean, I think, they say a worth a thousand words, but I can truly see a variation in a picture when I look at myself circa five years from now, five years from now, five years from now, I don’t know what that’s going look like but five years ago. And I see myself, I’m like, ah, that’s not the same person. I can see the physical transformation. Now other people probably not my husband, yeah, my family members, for sure. And so, I think that there’s so much to that and to document it, I love that this woman came back to you because generally, that’s like a… almost, I would say like a bucket list thing.
Tianna: Yeah. I would say I’ve got at least 25% that do more than one, for sure.
Tamara: Come on. That is so cool. So, to know that they’re like coming back because they’re being given and gifted, a different mirror.
Tianna: It is.
Tamra: Like, here you go, let me gift you with something, even though they’re paying for it. [Cross-talk 33:04].
Tamra: And I get how that business portion works, but it truly is. And I think that that is the main value of the retreats in such a different way. And so, that’s a whole other component to what you do that we share, which is so fun. And one of the reasons that we connected to, so she does women’s retreats too. So, share about your heart and developing those, and that came before confidence coaching.
Tamra: So, share like what that has looked like.
Tianna: 2019 has been a year [cross-talk 33:35].
Tamra: Crazy. That’s so cool.
Tianna: Such a year. So, my first retreat we launched in 2018 and that was such a Jesus thing, honestly, to just be completely honest, I’ve been running from what the Lord has called me to. I’ve been a boudoir photographer; this is going on our eighth year.
Tianna: But I have always known that this is deep work, that it’s so important that the feedback that I get from my girls and how they feel seen and how they feel heard and how they just feel valued, it needs to go be on one or two or three hours, however long their session is. And so, it has been just God being like, okay, Tianna, we’re doing this for real. And I’m like, no, we don’t have time. But last year he was just like, no, this work is important and we need to do it. So, we planned our first retreat. It was called Truly Enough and it was about being enough in Christ and finding your identity in him and not what other people say.
Tamra: Yeah, that’s good.
Tianna: And it was exhausting and beautiful. We all cried the whole time.
Tamra: Yes, yes.
Tianna: But it still falls up that component because, at the end of every single one of my true retreats, my girls get to a boudoir session. And it’s just like, you put in the work, look how beautiful you are. And they’re always like, oh my gosh.
Tamra: That’s awesome.
Tianna: Yeah. And then like a week before yours, I had my second one and again, exhausting and beautiful and transformational.
Tamra: Yeah. Yeah. I think transformational is absolutely like a keyword for it. And the ultimate thing that I knew, and I knew this going in and then to see it afterward and hear what they have to say in response, we are called to be still and we are called into rest. And he promises through that, that he will rejuvenate and restore and yet our society is moving at a million miles a minute. And now this concept of busy is so glorified.
Tamra: That it’s everyone is busy so don’t tell me that you’re busy. I get it, I know it, I live it, but it’s glorified. It used to be like, oh, I’m so busy.
Tianna: How busy are you?
Tamra: Yeah. Tell me all the things. I want to know more about the deep-rooted things than what your schedule says. I know your schedule is busy, especially if you have multiple children in different sports or no children, but you’re pursuing all these different passions we all get it, but it’s the calling of rest and the calling to be still. And when you actually give yourself the self-care that you deserve, God shows up and these retreats are transformational because you’re taking the time. And whether they’re two days, whether they’re seven days, whether they’re in your backyard or they’re in another country and, Mexico we’re coming 2021, wherever it is, it’s so necessary and so not done that you do feel selfish. And you’re like…
Tianna: Oh my gosh.
Tamra: I’m leaving my job, they need me. I’m leaving my family, they definitely need me. I’m leaving my husband; I’m leaving all these things and I’m using some of our nest egg to pay into something that looks like I’m just going for a fun girl’s trip.
Tamra: It’s not a girl trip.
Tianna: And we feel guilty for that.
Tamra: It’s not, it’s not a fun girl’s trip. It’s fun.
Tianna: It’s work.
Tamra: It’s a lot. There’s laughter and there’s pictures that are taken and all those things, but you’re crying. You’re what’s the word?
Tamara: Unpacking. Yeah. It’s a lot of work. And I had tagged mine and I think yours does the exact same thing under this concept of detox, design, and development. And this portion of detox scared some of my friends because they know how I eat. And they were like, oh my God, are you starving the whole time. What? Are we not eating is truly like fasting? I’m like, no, no, no. I’m going to feed you really, really well. And I hope the girls left well-fed, I know that they did in fact, but it’s when you detox there it’s a mental game. It’s a physical game.
Tianna: Yeah, it is.
Tamra: And it is definitely a spiritual game and it’s not easy. And you come in with, and I know women, I’m thinking specifically of someone who came in, she pulled into the driveway and she was crying. And I was just like, oh my God. And I went and greeted her and gave her a hug. And she’s just like, I just left it all behind. And I was like, what do you mean? Wait, hold on, what do you mean you left it all? It actually freaked me out for a second.
I’m like, don’t quit. But no, she was just like I’m here. And that was the truest sigh of somebody putting it all on the line to say, okay, God, take me on this journey. Show me what you have in store for me. And he did over and over and over again. And to see the storylines of these women, they don’t know each other mostly. And you bring them into a house and that’s intimate because being in the house of anyone.
Tianna: Living with people.
Tamra: Sharing a bathroom, sharing a bedroom, that’s really intimate and then expecting them to share their heart with a stranger and…
Tianna: Be vulnerable.
Tianna: Watching it happen. Oh my gosh. It’s a gift as the host, just as much as it is a gift as a sisterhood. And it’s so many biblical concepts shared in a three-day timeframe.
Tianna: It’s incredible. How much happens in three days.
Tianna: Or two or…
Tianna: Yeah, the transformational, like you said, and it’s incredible too, because every time like the week before the retreat, I’m always like, God, I don’t want to do this I’m so tired. But after the girls arrive, I’m like, Oh Jesus, you’re sanctifying me just as much as you’re working in them.
Tamra: Yes. Oh my gosh. I learned, yes, so much. And you were talking about not like, yeah, I have no tears left to cry and I’m like, well, you weren’t packing them with enough water. Like, let’s have more water…
Tianna: We needed more water.
Tamra: As we sit here and drink water. But it’s one of those things that like, yes, so much can happen and it can happen in your own home. We just don’t rest enough.
Tianna: We don’t rest. And it’s so funny that you said that because rest was my word of the year.
Tamra: Oh, that’s so good.
Tianna: And because like you said, in our society, we do not, we don’t take time to rest. That’s less money. That’s less things that we can get done, but Jesus, the Lord rested. And it is because he rested that he had the energy to do all the things.
Tamra: Yeah, It’s so, so true. And I am all for all the things. If you, if you follow either of us on social media, we do all the things, but it comes from such a heart of overflow and such a place of, like I said, that energy that I’ve gained since coming to know the Lord, it’s insurmountable. It’s such an interesting… I don’t know how you would even describe it. I need to find like biblical concepts to back it up because it’s, it’s amazing. So, we have that. I want to share that because of all the similarities and because sisters can literally live in the same community, have similar age children living out similar, romantic stories, just…
Tianna: It’s crazy,
Tamra: So much overlap. And yet we were strangers. And this is such a value and a missing link to people in general. And I’m so grateful to see this concept of community over competition of collaboration, over competition, that our hearts are so aligned in that. And watching God literally takes two people and blend two lives, we want to do it for you.
Tamra: So, we’re going to give you guys just an opportunity to take a sneak peek into what our full retreats are like by offering you a day retreat to do the same because we do know that it’s hard to come by and if you don’t know us or you don’t comprehend, what could possibly happen in a three-day timeframe, that’s worth this amount of money we’re going to show you and we’re really excited about it. And then from there, we’ll go into sharing a retreat together, which I’m really, really excited about.
Tianna: Oh my gosh.
Tamra: And it’s so wild that God has allowed our hearts to align in such a way. And for it to be in the way that it did is so hilarious, but so purposeful.
Tianna: I think back to that because I almost, and you almost didn’t go right?
Tamra: Oh no, I was exhausted. I did not want to be there. You have had a really long day; you’re not going to show up.
Tianna: I was like because my friend Chelsea took me and I was like, I don’t want to go. And she’s like, you have to, I’m going. And I was like, but I don’t do networking. So, the fact that I’m like, I don’t do networking, that was Jesus right there.
Tamra: So, Jesus, and it was so fun. We got to meet other girls who were so aligned and it was just, oh, I actually have since like stayed with that networking group and I was legitimately going to email her like minutes before and just like, I’m not coming and also, I am not going to continue this.
Tianna: Yeah, I’m done.
Tamra: I don’t want to do it. But it’s like stepping out of your comfort zone and also knowing and being expected for what God has in store for you when you do those things because you could have easily come and just been completely close off and mad at your friend for bringing you.
Tianna: Right? Or sat a different table.
Tamra: Yes. Like I’ll sit a one over. So, I don’t have to actually communicate with you. You know what I mean? I mean, it was just so cool. And that’s what I think our hearts are for women to understand that you can get into the same room with seemingly all strangers and you’re going to see, and I just see like this spider web of connectivity, that there are so many linking points that God has in store. And he does it all the time, but we’re completely ignorant to it because we’re moving at such a fast pace. So, It’s the person who’s checking you out online, it’s the person you’re sitting next to at the movie theater. I mean, there is so many opportunities and we taught honestly, to stay right here and focusing on…
Tianna: Blinders on.
Tamra: The one thing. Yeah, it’s sad, but I’m hopeful as I see these different spurred communities jumping up and popping up, especially in the Christian sector that it’s going catch fire and people are going understand, oh wow, there’s a missing link to my loneliness. You’re alone and you’re surrounded by thousands, tens of thousands, millions of people, we shouldn’t feel that way. And I think what you shared about the girls coming and feeling seen with you individually, but also knowing that through your retreats, they feel seen because they’re not alone in what they feel like is the cyclone of a mess that’s only their life. Not true.
Tianna: We are all on the same struggle bus.
Tamra: Yes, and this is the place if you don’t even understand faith and I want to give this out because I had originally targeted my concept of retreat to mind, body, and soul alignment. It’s still 100% that, but I think the sector of faith that comes into play with this spirit and soul is people getting confused on what kind of retreat is this? Or what is it that I’m stepping into? Even so far, as you had mentioned, offering yoga, what does that mean to her Christianity? If she’s steering people into the concept of meditation and knowing that there are so many things that are being presented to us right now, mind, body, and soul wealth and health and wholeness that are skewed. And not to say I’ve got it all figured out because I am becoming alongside every single other person who is still becoming is that I can’t detract from what Jesus has taught me.
And it’s my sole responsibility to make that the priority versus, hey, let me give you some mental health advice. Hey, let me give you some nutrition and physical coaching. I can do those things, but you’re not going to leave in the same full cup as if you’re opening the Bible and opening the word. So, not to let that be a fear factor for people, because I think it is intimidating. I know specifically women who are like, I don’t even know how to read the Bible.
Tamra: I don’t even know what to open actually. Can you wait another 10 minutes? Because I don’t even know where the chapter of Corinthians is.
Tamra: We get it. I get it. Well, we’ve had pastors that are on-site with us, who too, myself included. I can’t find the Bible. I can’t find the specific book.
Tianna: Where is Zephaniah?
Tamra: Who is that? I can’t say all of the names. I can’t do all of those things. And that is why we become reliant on the Lord because he doesn’t care if I can…
Tianna: Oh my gosh.
Tamra: Hezikiah, I mean, he doesn’t care. That’s not the point. He wants to transform us through the words that meet us. And the root and the Hebrew language that’s behind what we read in the Bible is even more gorgeous than what we’re taking in. And so, that’s where we take all this time to pour into the macros and the micros and the nutrients and the weight of something of our nutritional plate and yet we’re not okay with like dissecting the word in the same way. Because it’s scary?
Tianna: Because it’s scary.
Tamra: Because it’s intimidating? Because we don’t understand what it’s saying? And there are so many translations of the Bible that one of them will speak to you. And so, not to let the faith piece deter you from finding out how you can become whole because it’s the peace.
Tianna: That is so powerful because, at this last retreat, a really big factor that we kept hearing is that like… again, just bringing it back to that sense of enoughness like, I am not enough, Bible enough…
Tianna: Faithful enough, Holy enough. Particularly Holy…
Tamra: Holy enough.
Tianna: To do this or to be in all of this mess and have Jesus still loved me unconditionally. And I think that was a huge barrier that my retreat shut down that I’m sure your retreat shut down and that both of our callings I think are trying to get at is that Jesus doesn’t care where you’ve been. Actually, he knows all of where you’ve been. All those things that you thought you were hiding from everybody.
Tamra: Yeah. He knows every bit of it.
Tianna: And he just wants you to seek him and love him and just be as you are. And I think that that is so powerful because as Christian or not, we, as women believe that we have to be something…
Tamra: Totally true.
Tianna: To be loved, to be accepted, to make it. And that is not the truth.
Tamra: So, true. And just to know the release of that.
Tianna: Oh, girl.
Tamra: And I think that’s the best part, release the concept of being and just be with.
Tianna: Just be.
Tamra: Yeah, like legitimately and you see the tagline like, just be like, what does that mean? What does that even mean? It’s letting go of all of the other things that you are seeking after, trying to accomplish even the title concept we’ve talked about before, or just even doing like, here’s my bucket list. I’ve got all these things that check off. What does that mean to you and why? And not to say that you can’t have goals or visions or dreams or aspirations. I want you to have all of those things God wants you to have all of those things. He implants them in us with purpose, it’s a matter of how you’re getting there and how, and who is leading that front.
And ultimately as Americans who are seeking after this American dream, if you will and that has shifted. I think even just in our generation of what does an American dream look like is that we’re seeking after it, that the pace with us in the driver’s seat. Because Lord knows if I let anybody else steer they’re going in the wrong direction and I’m a control freak.
Tamra: I know I’m a perfectionist and a control freak, but if you ask my husband, I suck at driving, horrible at directional navigation.
Tianna: My husband does not let me drive. If he’s with me, he’s like, no.
Tianna: I was like I want you to relax. He’s like, no, it’s not relaxed.
Tamra: And I would say the same about my husband. I’m like, you’re not relaxing me to drive, but I also know we’re going to get there, actually get there. And so, I’ll just, yeah, I’ll just sit over here okay.
Tianna: That’s so funny.
Tamra: So, to know that like, it’s okay to let go and let God, and yet it’s not the easiest.
Tianna: I just want the weight lift off, I guess I needed to do that today.
Tamra: Yes, yes. That’s so good. It’s so necessary we just don’t do it enough. And I hope that in this next season, so yesterday was my birthday. I turned 33 and I will share this with the world that I have had… because I came into my faith at 29 and I learned and started learning about the life of Jesus and how his ministry…
Tamra: Didn’t really happen until he was 30. And then it lasted three years. I have had a little bit, a tiny bit of a fear that I’m going to die when I’m 33. Not really…
Tamra: Not really. That’s not what I was saying. I mean, I do sense that, but not really is that I just have been nose down, God, take me and when I was reading and learning through concepts of revival, one of the things that it was saying was bend me, use me, mold me. And so, this concept of bending and letting God literally like bend my bones back to the place that he intended for them to be bend my life in the direction that only honors you, that suits you, that meets you. I am my word last year was expectant and just being expected for all that God was going to do my word for my 32nd year was fruitful and God was hilarious in giving me some really difficult fruits.
The ones that you can’t open, they look really cool, they’re really vibrant on the inside but you have no idea how to eat them and you don’t know how to cut them open. Those were the fruits that were given to me. So, thank you, Jesus. Learning to prune and how important it is to prune in order to gain the fruit that you so eagerly desire. Pruning is hard, it’s like detoxing and it hurts.
Tianna: It’s that refining fire.
Tamra: Totally. So, that was my 32nd year. Thank you. And so, walking into my 33rd year, I have declared the word my husband wanted it to be present, and I really liked that word, but it’s going to be rooted. And it makes so much sense with where my heart has just been simmering on this word for almost about a month and a half now. And you’ll see if you go to my retreat page the retreat name Radiantly Rooted is the next retreat coming up, but it means so much more than just like the name of that. Is that I have been so focused on the heavens the last three years, God, I’m looking at you and where do you want me to go and take me higher, take me into the mountain top because I am in a valley and I cannot be here anymore.
Tamra: And I’ve tracked and I’ve walked upward and I’ve felt on top of mountain tops, knowing that there’s more mountain tops ahead and things like that, but part of the importance of roots and also having dug many of them up over this course is the concept of replanting. And being eager enough that God has soil ready for me, that I’m going to be able to be replanted, that my roots are going to be so strongly reaffirmed in my identity, through him that the fruit I’ve been praying for is going to illuminate itself. It’s going to grow in this new soil, in this new option of life and life to the full. So, rooted is where I’m going.
Tianna: That’s strong.
Tianna: That’s a strong word.
Tamra: I’m probably going to have to get it tattooed. So, somebody… right where yours is so they’re like, what is that? Don’t ask. So good, it’s just been laying on my heart in so many ways and ironically, I was sitting, I’ll share this story because I think it’s so cool and also really close to home, I was preparing the retreat and like backend website designing it the day of Dorian, which was probably like a month and a half right? I guess maybe a month. And I was sitting at the computer for like six hours and I kept showing the computer to my girlfriend who’s my web designer. And like, what do you think of this? What do you think of this? And, and she was like, oh, it’s good. It’s good. She’s working on her own stuff and that afternoon I had a text message come through. That was from my sister who we have not been in communication a lot in the last year for different reasons.
And it’s been probably one of the pruning points that I was talking about that’s been very, very difficult. And it was about the song that she shared was Family Roots. And I was immediately like, Morgan, look at this, this is wild. So, I play the song, I’m like, teary-eyed like this is really crazy that this is happening. My mother responds and she sends this whole book about how crazy it is that she sent this because the neighbor’s tree had fallen and she was watching how the roots of this tree were so exposed and yet even those roots, there’s going to be that the roots of those trees are going to live on forever, whether or not you see them they’re there. And so, from a mother’s perspective, she was like, just simmering over the fact that her roots, the roots of what she’s laid in our lives, whether or not her daughters and her children are in communication, they’re there and she’s done her job.
And it was almost like a releasing time for her to realize I’ve done my duty and God this is your will. And it’s within them whether they want to recognize them or not. And I was just utterly amazed that God can do such work on the same exact day in the hearts of his children. And it had such great purpose to amending and the start to a healing journey that I know that this next year is going to hold for my family. So, when I say rooted, it’s not just because it’s a word or a cool imagery it is in my bones. And I am again, expecting for the fruit of being rooted.
Tamra: Crazy. Right?
Tianna: It’s going to be a good year.
Tamra: Oh, I’m so excited and so nervous and so all the things.
Tianna: So nervous. Like, okay God, what are you doing?
Tamra: He’s like you asked for something.
Tamra: He does it. And it might not be the way you think. And that’s where…
Tianna: It’s usually not the way you think.
Tamra: No, not at all. And that’s why that word fruitful is always going to be comical to me because I asked for it. I absolutely asked for it. And it was quite the gift. You’ve been a gift today.
Tianna: Thank you.
Tamra: I am so happy that we got to do this again. I truly don’t know if we shared similar things as we did last time, but only God knows.
Tianna: That’s okay.
Tamra: And it was just dedicated time…
Tamra: To be together, to share kind of the heart and the similar heart that God has put in both of his daughters, which I just love. I want to share more about your kids and your husband next time.
Tianna: I was going to say, we just have to have another one. 10 more episodes [inaudible 58:31].
Tamra: Yes, exactly. Tianna and Tamra, it’s time to put together a podcast. But I love alliteration. What was it that we did before that use…with alliteration? The worthiness into the world. So good.
Tianna: Oh, I love that.
Tamra: And that is what today has been about really. To let people, know that it’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to let go and let God, it’s okay to stop the busy cycle. Any final words, Tianna? You’re at such rest over there.
Tianna: I am. I’m like, I need to lay down. No, if I had one word just expectant, I feel like God… is every time we get together, I’m just like, I thought my husband knows, I just have to like lay there and he’s like, how’d your lunch go? And I’m like, I can’t even talk to you right now.
Tamra: I don’t know actually. I’m still processing.
Tianna: So, I’m just really expectant because I feel like the Lord has been orchestrating a lot in his heavenly places. And it’s all about to just come out and it’s going to be good and exhausting and beautiful.
Tamra: So good. Which has been your life for the last many years. Good, exhausting, and beautiful. It’s okay to be exhausted.
Tianna: In the right things.
Tamra: In the right things. So true.
Tianna: In this season of just all the things happening, I’m like, you know what, God, I’m tired, but it’s so good.
Tamra: Yes. It’s kind of like a movie when you’re exhausted and you want to go to sleep and you’re just like, I can’t, I can’t. Like I’ll close one eye I have to watch it because that’s how good it is. It’s not even worth going to sleep.
Tianna: It’s not. I’ve been praying about, that there are days when I’m like, God, I want to pray to ask you to take this from me but I can’t I love seeing it.
Tamra: Yes. It’s so wild. That’s exactly how I feel about the family dynamic and it’s like, just fix it, just make it all better. But at the same time, watching just things occur that have occurred. I’m like, I couldn’t have planned that better. I couldn’t have in my control, which is my nature. I couldn’t have done it only you can do it.
Tianna: Only Jesus.
Tamra: Every day. All-day. So good. I love you.
Tianna: I love you.
Tamra: Thank you so much for being here. So, if people want to get in touch with you, yours truly.
Tianna: At Yours Truly Portraiture.
Tamra: Yes. That’s Instagram, website, Facebook…
Tamra: All the things.
Tianna: All the things.
Tamra: She’s there. She’ll be back.
Tianna: I’ll see you guys in 10 episodes.
Tamra: That’s so good. Tianna and Tamra coming up.