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Friday, October 24, 2014

5 on a Friday!

Well... it finally happened to me. One month after my 30th birthday, I found my first grey hair. You would think I was dying. I was literally in tears on my bathroom floor. Getting older is awful. I'm totally going to blame this on the darker hair that I'm rocking right now. I don't think I ever would have noticed if I was still rocking my blonde hair. Back to blonde I go the next time I get my hair done! Ignorance is bliss.
It's been an emotional week for me. (Thank you for all your amazing support yesterday, by the way!) Dealing with life, finding the grey hair, and then I watched the RHONJ finale. Talk about a tear jerker. Teresa has not always been my favorite NJ housewife. I've loved her and I've hated her at times. But I was genuinely tore up about her getting sentenced to 15 months in prison. What a sad reality for her family! OOOOOH also, did y'all hear that Bethenny is coming back to RHONY?? I can't wait for that! She is my sarcastic idol.

Remember the good old table flip days from Season 1? 
I love it when my housewives show their crazy.

Whatever you do just serve God well. In overcoming this season of clutter and the feelings it stirs within me, I have to remind myself that I am blessed to be a passionate person. Even though sometimes my passions take over and I feel pulled in a million different directions. I thrive when I am serving others and feeling productive. I just have to pray that the choices I make, I will be obedient and serve God well every step of the way. Amen to that! So thankful for these reminders that others sometimes feel this way too.

Fall things are happening. I loooooooooove fall. Fall TV, football, weather, fall beer & iced PSLs, clothes, Hocus Pocus - I want it ALL. I'm a hot natured person so I love the crisp air in the mornings & evenings. I wish I could move somewhere that it's 70-50's year round. Perfection!

The bookcase in my office has a very Harry Potter-ish vibe right now with my witch hats, sorting hat style.
Target Dollar Bins FTW!

I did a craft class last week and we painted mason jars! So easy, fun and cute decorations! I'm Southern, we do everything with mason jars.
Just a short week from tomorrow, I'll be heading to Florida for a week for a work conference. I can honestly say I'm so excited to get away from my real life. I cannot wait to unwind, disconnect and just have fun. OH, AND I'LL BE AT THE BEACH! There will be work happening, but I'll also have some free time. And when my life makes me feel like I want to run away from it, this timing could not be more perfect.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Seasons of Clutter

Have you even taken inventory of your daily life and found yourself to be stuck in a season of clutter? Not necessarily physical clutter, but life clutter. I feel lately like my schedule is full of busy. I'm glorifying the busy in my life by keeping a tight schedule that lacks intentionality. I'm not a big fan of the way this realization feels when it hits me. I feel like I'm wasting time, saying yes to all the wrong things, throwing money away and not serving the purposes that I am here for. I'm always scatterbrained because I'm running on half as much sleep as I need, feeling ragged because I'm not taking care of myself and, if I'm being honest, I actually feel relieved when someone cancels plans with me because it frees up some time between hectic running back and forth. Nobody in my life is getting the best of me. Everybody is getting broken fragments of what I have left to offer. I find myself saying "I don't have time for..." constantly. I hate this feeling.

These seasons of clutter leave me feeling empty, drained, hollow. Like I have nothing to offer the people I love, the people I work with, the people who need me. Then it also leads to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, guilt and snowballs from there... I'm hard on myself, I know that. Too hard most of the time. I struggle constantly with showing myself grace.
I am words person. You know this about me. I am good with words. I can comfort with words. I express myself through words. I can sit here all day and write a blog post that tells you exactly how I'm feeling and take myself on a journey as to why. But when it comes to real life, I feel like I don't have time for real, meaningful, gritty interactions with people. I don't have what it takes right now to put my words into action in my own life. And that disappoints me.

Then I read Stop Sleeping with Liars. Cue the tears. Stop whatever you are doing and READ that. Don't just read it, print it. Re-read it. Highlight the parts that speak to you. Send it out on social media. Memorize it. Make it the first thing you read in the morning, or the last thing you read before bed. Maybe you can't relate to this now, but one day you will. One day you will need these words to resurrect you.

"you’re human. That’s it. You’re not super human. You’re not subhuman. You’re just plain human. You make mistakes. You don’t scale walls. You hurt people without ever intending to. You get your heart ripped out of your chest. Some days the only language you can endure is tears and you’re like, “I’M SO FLUENTTT IN TEARSSSS. WHATTT ISSSS WRONNGGG WITHHH MEEE???” Like I said, you’re human. Go with it." - HB

I don't let the people in my real life comfort me. It's a lifelong struggle I have with letting people in. The hardest thing in the world for me to sit down and talk about what's on my mind and what's bothering me. I want to be a super human. And to me that means dealing with things entirely on my own, not discussing my weaknesses and not showing emotions. I have to remind myself that when I can display my weakness, it empowers Christ to work for me and through me (2 Cor 12:9). Lately, this season of clutter has left me feeling weak, full of emotions and not able to be comforted. My instinct is to retreat. But my friend Hannah Brencher can comfort me with her words like no other. Well, second to Jesus, that is.

(If you don't know Hannah, then you are missing someone who can speak life into you. I've said it before, but Hannah is my soul sister - even if she doesn't know it yet. Her words reach into the depths of my soul and inspire me to want better, do better - just be better. Her passion is contagious. I am convinced she was placed on this Earth to light a fire within me!)

"Accepting yourself will prove to be one of the biggest journeys of this lifetime. Pack the bags. Bring the toothbrush. March for the door and go. That journey is worth taking." - HB
So what can I do to remedy this?

Remember that I am human. Give ALL my insecurities, fears and anxieties to God - Embrace God's sweet grace. Offer myself the grace that He offers me daily. Accept that I am doing all that I can, and maybe some days that just doesn't look like much. Don't continue to beat myself up for mistakes I made years ago. Fall back in love with people around me. Be real and honest when I feel like I'm just not measuring up. Don't believe the lies that I have to be everything to everyone. Be passionate about making a difference in a few people's lives and that will be my change in this world. Pre-order Hannah's book that is coming out in March 2015 (she really should just hire me to work for her!).


Friday, October 3, 2014

5 on a Friday!

I spent last weekend living it up in Charleston with Manda & Christa! a) What an awesome city! We had a blast! Plus, anytime brunches & mimosas are involved I'm happy. b) Isn't blogging so awesome to bring us together? Christa doesn't blog herself but she's been reading mine forever and we finally got to meet for the first time last Nov for our blogger Nashville trip. Manda and I have had several adventures together too! Gotta love the internet & internet besties! If you follow me on Instagram {@nikkib918}, then you probably got your fair share of pictures. But I have to say, one of my favorite parts was the FOOD!
Because shrimp & grits is the BEST, especially with hushpuppies, boiled peanuts and a beer! This is from Hyman's downtown, and I would HIGHLY recommend that place!
Have y'all seen/heard the buzz about this?? Yeah NBD Lil Jon is just a Vols fan now! #ThirdDownForWhat    All I have to say is, FLORIDA IS GOING DOWWWWN this year! I cannot even handle the excitement!! #VFL
iPhone 6 iPhone 6 iPhone 6! Let's all chant it together! I'm going to get mine this weekend and if I wasn't crunk enough already about Florida game weekend, then this is really pushing me over the edge. I'm still rockin' the sad little 4s from 2011. I am definitely due for an upgrade!
October is breast cancer awareness month! My mama is a breast cancer survivor! I've already pro-actively had my first mammogram 2 years ago, at the advice of my doctor based on the age my mom was when she got sick. Also, my cousin who is a survivor - and is an amazingly strong woman and former Lady Vol basketball player- had this neat write up about her yesterday in our local paper.  So do yourself a favor, and feel yourself up this month to make sure you're good! And take advantage of the extra reason to wear pink!
And in case you needed some Amy Poehler wisdom to get you through your weekend - here you go.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In the Here & Now

I didn't plan on posting today, but I read a blog post this morning that really struck a cord with me. And I find that when that happens to me, I just cannot seem to keep my mouth shut about it! Lucky you :)
THIS post was part of my Esther bible study that I've been doing through Love God Greatly. (I mentioned this study here too, and it's really been AMAZING! I cannot say enough about how God has been speaking to me through it. I would highly recommend their studies!)
No, I'm not a mom yet. But I want to be. I've thought so much about all the ways that life change will challenge me and pull me in a million different directions. Even without being at that place in my life yet, I still feel those pulls of distraction from my focus on God all.the.time. And all the time when I find my way back into focus, I beg God to use me. To use me in ways I never imagined possible, in ways so big that only He can get the credit for, because there's no way I could make these things happen myself.
I was so incredibly blessed by the opportunity to go on my mission trip to the Dominican Republic back in July. It felt BIG and important and like God was going to use me to change the world. When in reality, in so many ways, I was the one who was changed by it. I'd like to think I made even the tiniest of impacts on the lives of the El Carrizal community. I'd like to think that they think of me even half as often as I think of them. But my heart was impacted from the trip and that matters too. I talked about how when I came home from that trip I felt I wasn't doing enough here. It's a whirlwind thing, really. And unfortunately, it's terribly hard to process the words and explain that feeling to people.
I'm not going to lie, sometimes I am tricked into believing the lie that what I'm doing here at home, and in the now, isn't enough. I like to rank the order of importance of the ways God is using me. The mission trip feels higher up there, while serving at my church every Sunday or spending time investing in the stories of the people around me doesn't feel as much sometimes. I meet with girls all the time who feel the same way. I've really been thinking about this lately, about the people in my life who buy into this lie. About the ways I buy into it and let it allow me to feel discouraged.
And it's such a dirty ugly lie! Clearly God wants me to recognize that and repeat it. Because this is the 3rd time in a row in 2 days that He has clearly pointed it out to me.
I saw this cute little pallet last night on Instagram - actually very randomly found this picture, and it really made me think about these "not enough" feelings. This was my caption:
(Look at how adorable this is!!! From @honeydewhomedesign right here in Knox! Found them randomly on IG!) This world wants me to doubt myself, but Jesus assures me that through Him I am enough! This world wants me to conform, but being obedient and faithful to my Savior fills me far more than this world ever could! You can have this world, just give me Jesus!

Then the LGG post from this morning. This just did me in:

"You see, “for such a time as this” doesn’t just include the big stuff. Oh, there may be some big, bold, exciting, risky God-opportunities that He calls you to along the way. Don’t miss them.

But daily, God is calling us to the here and now."

Where you are? That’s no mistake. And whatever your here and now consists of, I promise that if you stop and take a moment to look around, you’ll find whole lot of Kingdom work to do. That precious generation of little people right in front of your face? They’re tomorrow’s church. Your neighbor across the street and opposite your cubicle? You might be the only Jesus they ever see. That meal you made, that note you sent, that check you wrote, that prayer you prayed? You may have just inspired someone to love God greatly with their lives.
All because you decided to say “yes” to the here and now.
Just like that, God reminds me that I have multiple callings on this Earth. Sure, I have a heart for BIG missions, but realistically I can't drop everything to make that happen all the time right now. I also have a heart for ministry. For me, my ministry is here- at home, at work, my own family, the people I go to church with, the people who live in my neighborhood, who I talk to at the gym, my future children. There are lost people all around me. All around us all. It's not my job to save them, and I never could no matter how hard I tried. It's my job to show them love. And every single person that I can inspire to even take a 2nd look at God, matters in the Kingdom of Heaven.

YOU are enough. WHAT YOU DO is enough. It matters. It's important. It impacts people's lives. Letting your light shine is enough.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
I hope somebody out there is saying AMEN right now...