Secret Sisters

I am so excited about the Secret Sisters Ministry at our church. My prayer life has already drastically changed! I cannot wait to reveal my sister next year :) It has been so fun being apart of the team that put this together and I’m looking forward to being apart for as long as I can!! If you don’t know what Secret Sisters is, basically you get paired with another lady from the church and you pray for and encourage them secretly for a year. Each month you write an encouraging letter, but you can give gifts as well. I was excited to hear that my grandma does this at her church too! It has been fun to see the table on Sunday mornings filled with letters and gifts! The kids have enjoyed being involved with the idea of Secret Sisters :)

xo, nikki :)

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Recap 2012, Goals 2013

This is a post devoted to revisiting my goals of last year and setting new ones for this year. It’s a long one, so thanks if you read it all!

Here were some of my goals from last year and how I fared:

Read Bible everyday – I didn’t do that one. I really enjoyed the first few months. But then I hit passages that were so familiar that I almost couldn’t concentrate and would get discouraged. So, I wasn’t consistent at all.

Get healthy/ lose weight – I successfully kept off 7lbs, and 3lbs keep floating on and off.  So, I’m almost there. Having had a stress fracture, my bum shoulder and travelling so much at the end of the year makes me grateful that I was able to keep any of it off!!

Book list – I didn’t finish all the books that I wanted but I read a lot this year and it was so much fun!

Finish what I start – I can’t say that I achieved all that I wanted to in this area. But it is getting easier.

Anger and expectations – This area will be a growing process until the day that I die. I can’t say that I conquered in this area, but I did have  many victories. Sometimes it was seeing it and correcting my heart before I acted on my anger or expectations. Other times was realizing my sin in the middle of it and asking for forgiveness.

Keeping the house in order – I can say that there were only a few times that I didn’t clean the house on the designated cleaning day. I think there was only one week that the house didn’t get cleaned. How is that for improvement!!

Schooling with Bentley – We did school here and there. After this summer, we officially start Kindergarten!

Staying on grocery budget – Negative. I have been really trying to work at this. I’m getting closer ;)

What 2012 taught me…

When I look back on 2012, besides seeing a whirlwind year, I see a range of emotions: connected, disconnected  joy, loneliness, and peace.

The beginning and the middle of the year went well but shortly after I got back from my trip up north, I went through a hard time. In the middle of it, I thought this must be what it’s like to feel depressed. I was completely unmotivated to do anything. I didn’t want to cook, sew, make crafts for the kids, can you imagine?! I was so confused, during this time I was doing a book study with some of the ladies in the church and the book we were going through was Because He Loves Me. It was excellent, I was learning so much about God, myself and our relationship, which is why I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so bad! One day after reading my Bible in bed, because I didn’t feel like getting up, God said, “you need me.” I thought, “Oh yeah, I need you.” I then prayed but it wasn’t for God to help me out of the “out of body experience” I was having, it was a prayer of dependence. I acknowledged my need for God and asked for forgiveness and immediately the fog lifted. It was night and day.

I have shared this experience with a few others and they have all said that travelling a lot can cause you to feel disconnected and sad. I think I was so distracted by all that we needed to get done and what I was learning that I forgot about God. The exact message of the book that I was studying. Months earlier, during one of my therapy sessions on my shoulder, there was a stretch that they told me to do. I simply needed to tilt my head back and look up. Look up. I remember how as the man was showing me, I was convicted. I focus all my attention on what is right in front of me and how I am going to get it done, that I rarely look up. God reminded me of this after I felt better. Since then, I have remember to pray with dependence and to do the stretch. I don’t put expectations on the days that I remember to pray this way. I know that just because a day went “well” does not mean that it produced fruit.

On to 2013…

One unexpected gift from the sad time last year was compassion. While I felt terrible, which was a total of a month, one of the things that I kept thinking was people live liked this?! I had never experienced not wanting to get out of bed other than because I was warm and cozy or still tired. It made me pray for Danny and my friends that struggle with depression from time to time.

During one of my quiet times, I was reading in Matthew and I was overcome at the compassion that Jesus had on all who sought him. He never turned anyone away. As I was thinking about this, God revealed the next thing he is going to teach me… compassion. I have to tell you I’m a little nervous about this one ;)

Each time God has revealed what he was going to teach me a trial comes. It seems it’s the only way he can get my attention. He always very clearly tells me what he is going to teach me.

First it was faithfulness, I got pregnant and Bentley ended up in the NICU and both of my children have ARPKD. Yet, lesson learned… God is faithful to his people.

Second, God’s love for me. This specific area of God’s love has always been weird for me, never really personal. I felt like God blanket- loved everyone. I never see how he specifically loved me. After my time of “depression,” I realized how much he loves me. He could have left me to myself, but he told me “you need me”, because he cares for me specifically. I learned that God’s love is not like human love, it is perfect and I don’t have to strive for it because I already have it. I need to rest in and be assured of his love for me.

Now let’s see…. compassion. There are so many ways that this could go, I am thinking of anything in particular, but based on the other ways that God has moved in my life, it has been pretty dramatic! I’m looking forward to this new adventure with expectation.

Goals for 2013

Being consistent.

Reading my bible consistently. Working out consistently. Eating well consistently. Praying consistently. Talking with family and friends consistently. Date night consistently. Cleaning consistently. Meeting with others consistently. Have the TV off more consistently… you get the picture! This year I just want to  preserver and be faithful with what I have going on right now.

This year, I am following the Bible Program for Shirkers and Slackers, don’t you just love that name?! It has been very encouraging. You read out of a different book of the bible everyday. I believe it takes 54 weeks to go through the entire Bible. I started on Jan 8th and have missed a total of 4 days. Three of those days were Sundays, which is always rushed in the morning and that is when usually I read. Overall, I think that this is the best plan that I have followed so far. It’s motivating because it is different everyday.

Otherwise, I’m taking it slow and trying  not to over extend myself, so that way I can serve and do things as needed!

Well, if you made it this far. Thank you very much for reading!!

Do you set goal for yourself? I’d love to hear some of them if you do! Thanks for sharing!

xo, nikki :)

A long and honest rambling from my heart.

Jesus, the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace!

~Oh For a Thousand Tongues

Okay, here it is. I have a huge fear of needles. Like HUGE fear. I never really liked getting shots or getting my blood drawn, I can’t imagine that most people do.

The boxes that opened my fears:

These huge boxes for two little packets of medicine!

As I was opening these boxes, something stirred in me. I was expecting these boxes and was at peace with having to give the hormones to them, but I could barely breathe. Then a tear fell. “Oh why, why do my kids have to experience so much pain?”  Then the sobs came. I could not control myself. Then reality hit me. I am going to be the one administering the shots, causing them pain. I read some of the manuals and saw that one of the rotated areas of  shot placement is the stomach. Uggg.

God knows what I need to grow. He knows what fears I have that need to be turned over to Him. Last Saturday, I was having a pity party completely unrelated to this struggle and I was complaining to God. I was asking, “Why can’t my life be easier?” He answered me immediately, “Because you wouldn’t trust me.” BAM! In order for Him to charm my fears, I need to be willing to face them. I can truly say that I am grateful for this opportunity to grow and trust even if it involves needles.

I got on facebook and updated people on how I was struggling and got a lot of encouragement. One in particular was from a dear friend, Erin.  She shared her chicken phobia and how God helped her overcome that fear. She had no idea that I struggled with the same thing! Here is what she wrote:

I used to not be able to pick up a raw, whole chicken. If I ever had to use if for cooking, I waited until Matt got home so he could put the chicken in whatever container it needed to be in. The thought of touching that chicken made me want to vomit, cringe, run, etc. Anyway, I am happy to report that I can now pick up my own chickens…I still can’t believe I am able to do it, because of how it used to terrify me!!!! I realize your children are not raw chickens, but if God can help me in the kitchen with my chicken phobia, He will certainly give you the grace you need to give the shots!!!!!!!

and what I wrote back:

Erin, I used to have the same chicken phobia!!!! I used to pick up chicken breast with paper towels and I would never touch or eat from whole chickens! And God has helped me overcome that too, I shared that in cg a couple years ago! Thank you for reminding me of that and praying for me.

It is amazing how far God brought me in my chicken fear. I have no problems butchering a whole chicken and gasp I eat chicken off the bone. Believe me it’s a BIG deal! If God can help me with chicken, I know that He will help me with the needles!

Believe me! I’ll let you know how it goes!

xo, nikki :)

The Maternal Lens 3.16-23.2012

Catching up on posting my pictures!! This month is flying by!

3.16.2012 – YOU –  I’m enjoying some yoga!

3.17.2012 – something GREEN – Bentley’s St. Patrick’s Day craft

3.18.2012- book – my bedside book stash.

3.19.2012 – office supply- I think the rubber bands get the most use.

3.20.2012 – flower -first day of spring… first day of seasonal allergies!

3.21.2012 – living room – not sure where we live more… at the dinner table or in the living room!

3.22.2012 – neighborhood – I love our neighborhood!

3.23.2012 – something sweet – there is nothing sweeter than the laughter of children!

xo, nikki :)

The Maternal Lens… Catch up!

3.9.2012 – Music – Had to face the music and clean up the mess I made!

3.10.2012 – Something that Sparkles

3.11.2012 – Clock – “If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!

3.12.2012 – Store – Had to run to our favorite store! Thank you $4 Rx!

3.13.2012 – Favorite Accessory –  I guess you can count this as an accessory, but it is a necessary!

3.14.2012 – Something in your front yard – Searching for bugs!

We had family in town this weekend, so I didn’t get to post as I took pictures!! Hope your week is going well. I can’t believe that it’s already Thursday!

xo, nikki :)