Progress not perfection! 

Progress not perfection, is a slogan I have struggled with especially here lately. Sometimes I feel like if I can’t do it perfect then why do it at all? That’s the enemy talking there.

For me this summer has been a hotmess. I love the meme “My summer body wasn’t ready but my winter body is ready to go.”

That’s definitely been me this summer, LOLOL😂

I had to have my left hip surgery in May. We did the left one first thinking it was my worst one. The first 3 weeks were a little rough but after I got past that I really turned the corner. I was exceeding goals and going way beyond where I should be, which was great and I was so thankful and encouraged. I finally had hope!
Then it came time to do my right hip in August, I was super excited and just ready for it to be over and done with. I have dealt with chronic pain for so long, debilitating bilateral hip pain as well muscle, joint and fibromyalgia.
It turned out I had what’s called FAI or Femoroacetabular impingement which also caused labral tears in both hips. It went undiagnosed for many years, making my back pain worse as well. By the time we figured it out I was just ready to be DONE! I want to feel normal….whatever normal is, right?😜
Well my right hip has been a whole other ball game, it was totally opposite of my expectations and my left hip surgery. Turned out it was way worse than my left. He had to do much more boney work than my left, had more anchors as well. I call them my anchors of hope!⚓️💗 I had both cam and pincer impingements, causing large labral shredding.

It’s just been much more difficult than I expected. It felt like I would take 1 step forward 2 steps back. Still having a great deal of pain, and healing is taking much longer than we expected. I read somewhere and it really resonated with me “1 step backwards after taking a step forward is the cha-cha and not a disaster” That’s soooo great! I love it! It really is about our perception!

In the season of recovery I’m in I have to remind myself of the good that has come out of it, my left hip has been a champ 💪🏻🏃‍♀️ I can walk better even when there is still pain in my right hip. I can go up and down the stairs like normal and not one step at a time. Traveling has been a little better. Those are positive things. I know for me I had in my my mind my right hip was going to be an easier recovery than my left and then when I started seeing it wasn’t, I got really down and frustrated. But in reality, honestly anything was better than being where I was before surgery.

Being thankful for the good things in our lives even when we may not be seeing all the good results we want is so important. Regardless, there is still forward progress! We can’t forget to look for the good and focus on it instead of always focus on the bad. That only makes you feel more hopeless and defeated. Believe me I know it’s so easy to do, especially when there is pain involved, whether it’s physical or emotional pain. We tend to wonder, will I have to live this way forever? Will it ever end? Am I ever going to be normal and do normal things like every one else? What I really want is to be able to sit in the floor and play with my grands or chase them around whenever they are born😍I want to take a walk around the neighborhood or park or do something, anything and not have it take 2-3 days to recover from it. It’s hard to understand if you haven’t been there.

I love this verse in 2 Corinthians and think it’s a great reminder “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

See sometimes God takes away our suffering and sometimes he doesn’t. But whatever He does or doesn’t do, He’s grace is sufficient for you and He’s Power is made perfect in your (and my) weakness!

If God fixed everything and we never had to walk out the tough things in our lives, we wouldn’t have a need for God, it’s that thorn so to speak. I do believe it is God’s will that we walk in total healing and wholeness, but sometimes we don’t see it on this side. Other times it’s a walking out process.

Often times we are not taking as good care of ourselves and that makes our situation worse. Are we living stressed to max? Are you getting enough sleep? Are we eating the right foods to bring healing to our bodies, or are we eating junk foods and doing more damage than good? Are we exercising to strengthen our bodies for the rest of our journey or are we sitting by passively and doing nothing and wishing things would get better? If I’m honest I’ve done both. We ask why bother when it doesn’t seem to change right away? But sometimes it takes making the right choices over and over and over and over again and again before you see results. We have to press in and not give up. We can’t expect God to change it all when we also have a part to do. God will not do what we can do ourselves. We only have one body, and we must take care of what God has given us so we can finish our journey well. Remember progress NOT perfection! There was only one perfect one.

Comparing your behind the scene journey to other people’s highlights only leads to frustration.

Focus on your progress and not what others do around you. They are not dealing with the same things you are and are not built the same as you. You have things you are capable of that only you can do but when the enemy of comparison creeps in, it only does you harm, steals your joy, and keeps you down and distracted. Be your own kind of beautiful!

God is not looking for our perfection, He is looking for our progress. Are you always striving to change, be better, look better, get to the next level? I get it, I understand. While those things in and of themselves are not bad it’s when we begin to focus only on them and believing that when we attain it, we will FINALLY be happy. Only God can fill those voids.

Constantly setting impossible or unrealistic goals is self defeating. I have definitely felt that in the season I’m in. Instead we need to make realistic goals and keep our eyes focused on God. Relying on Him to attain them. Moving forward slowly is still progress my friend. So keep pressing on!

Remember YOU are a troph of Grace!

Be blessed,

Nicole💗

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How are you…..REALLY? 


So Today was the first day of a new Bible study that we started. It’s about building friendships, being authentic and being real. It’s so easy to put a mask on and act as if everything is OK. But it’s been my experience we can dress it up, lose the weight, get the newest car, get the promotion you always wanted, buy the house of your dreams but it doesn’t change what’s going on under the surface. It’s just an illusion…..perfect plastic people.

We can have our hair perfect, make up on point, dressed to the nine and give the illusion that “We have it all together” but it couldn’t be further from the truth. All that doesn’t change what’s going on on the inside. So whether I’m on point so to speak or no make up, yoga pants and T-shirt doesn’t change the inside, it just gives us false illusions. And BTW I do enjoy both😊💁🏼 So today I on purpose wore yoga pants, T-shirt and no make up, I did brush my teeth and my hairs lol 😂 but that would not be my typical attire when leading a Bible study. But God has been really dealing with me about being the real me and being authentic. I am not perfect and yet I expect perfection from myself and then when I fail, and of course I do, I beat myself up. Why do we do that to ourselves? There was no perfect person but Jesus. It doesn’t matter how dressed up we get, we all have issues and problems we are dealing with, some may be more apparent than others but nonetheless we all have struggles and to go through life with our perfect little mask on is doing a disservice to ourselves and those around us. Now I’m not saying spill everything your going thru to everyone you come in contact with but what I am saying is JUST. BE. YOU. The REAL YOU! Folks we have to go deeper in life and in our relationships to be a who God made us to be and be a better YOU and ME.

You can live in the best of neighborhoods, have the best job, best schools, clothes, best whatever but when there is so much anxiety, sadness, depression, addictions, sickness, and grief in your 4 little walls you are only fooling yourself by putting that mask on every day and acting like “I’m fine.”
We were built for relationships and not act as if everything is perfect in our life. The struggles are real. The trials are real. The pain is real. I’ve seen it firsthand myself the beauty that takes place when we are real with one another. When I make a decision to be open with my pain and struggles, being vulnerable with another friend often I find out they to have struggles, maybe even the same ones. But had I not been real or taken a risk I wouldn’t have discovered the beauty and healing that could come from being so vulnerable.

When we dress up every day and go out we interact with people, we have a choice, who will you really be? God instilled in you and me certain gifts and traits to help other people, and the same is true for someone else, they have something you need.
This one question just spoke volumes to me and we say it every day “How are you? Or how are you doing today?” You hear it alllll the time and 9 times out of 10 we respond “I’m fine.” We’ll there ya go, that’s it, end of discussion and we move on, “You have a good day!” I’m guilty of it too. My husbands favorite phrase is “I’m living the dream!” With his best sarcasm😂

But I propose the question to you “How are you REALLY?” What’s going on in your life? Haven’t seen you at church or work, every thing ok? Or “I saw or heard you had been sick.” “I heard what happened, that’s terrible.” It could be a number of different things. But I think we find ourselves so busy in life we barely stop to breathe much less take the time build a true friendship. And even if we do, it’s with only “certain” people and we don’t allow others into our circle. But I’m hear to say we all have something someone else needs, if you know you me very well you’ve heard me say that many times before but it’s true. Open the circle my friends.

My challenge to you (and me) is to open your circle. Talk to someone you might not normally talk to, encourage them. You don’t know what other people are going through by just looking at them. Smile at someone. Give someone a hug. Buy the car behind you at Starbucks a coffee. Write a note, send a text someone who you know is struggling. Just try and brighten someone’s day. Share from your heart. Think about “Do I look approachable? Do I appear available, or always busy?

My friends I say take the mask off and open your circle and just see what God does in your life and the lives of others around you.
Hugs,
Nicole💗