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Friday, October 3, 2014

5 on a Friday!


{ONE}
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!
{TWO}
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
 
{THREE}
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!
 
{FOUR}
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!
 
 {FIVE}
And in case you needed some Amy Poehler wisdom to get you through your weekend - here you go.


 

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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 lost...disconnected...like 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...

 
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivational Monday

So many Mondays are filled with heavy eyelids and complaints. NOT THIS ONE! Maybe it's because I've been sleeping so good lately, or maybe it's because my body is starting to feel even just a little bit better from working out and eating better-ish, or maybe it's because my heart is so full of love right now... but whatever the reason I am on Cloud 9 today. Here's a little motivation for your Monday!
 
3 important life lessons that have been reinforced to me lately:
 
1. Be brave, no matter what the cost. I promise you, it's worth it.
 
When you don't feel brave, listen to this!
 
 
Source

 2. Be an encourager. Make someone's day today.
Source
 3. Be out of this world thankful for your home team.
Source

Take that, Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pearls of Wisdom - from a 30 year old

Yesterday was my birthday, in case you missed that memo. I'm officially the big 3-0 now, or as I like to say I'm 360 months old. I had to get a new driver's license picture and everything. My 29th year ultimately delivered me to a place of grace, peace and – dare I say, maturity. (everybody who knows me in real life has my permission to laugh at the thought of me being mature). I mean, if Prince Harry can rock 30 then shouldn't I try to do the same?
 
I said it last year on my birthday, and I'll probably forever say it, but getting older is scary for me! The thought of moving into the 30's age bracket literally makes me want to vomit. It feels very "quarter-life crisis-ish". And by that I mean I'm definitely getting a new tattoo soon.

But even so, your birthday is YOUR day to feel loved and I definitely felt the love. Thank you to everyone who called, sent me a text, an email or a card - and especially Erin who sent me flowers!!

I am reminded of the great Carrie Bradshaw's quote about age brackets:
 "Your 20's are to make mistakes, Your 30's are to learn your lessons, your 40's are to pay the drinks."

I most definitely made more than my fair share of mistakes in my 20's. But isn't that what it's all about? Learning who you are and growing into who you want to be. My hope is that my 30's will bring me invaluable life lessons. Lessons of love, faithfulness, family and hope. I solemnly swear to eagerly pass those lessons on to others, over drinks of course, once I reach my 40's.

My only goal for my 30th year is to be in love with my life. Crazy in love with every single minute of it. The good, the bad and even the ugly - just to love it and know that every twist and turn serves a purpose.