Category Archives: Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving…Let The Feasting Begin

Ekkkkk……it’s almost Thanksgiving! And right after that Christmas will be here before you know it, right? I’ll be honest I’m definitely a Christmas girl! I love ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS! 🎄🌟🎅 The sights, the sounds, family and friends coming together….the food😋

Duh…duh…duhhhh….the food for a lot of us can become such an issue of shame, guilt, and pain. Turkey, ham, gravy, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, mac n’ cheese, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole….Oh so yummy and honestly I can’t wait! But I remember a time when I didn’t feel that way. These 2 holidays would cause me a lot of anxiety over food. Most of us have already pre-attached shame and guilt before we even get to the holiday meal. That’s sad to me and I remember it all to well. Having an eating disorder or disordered eating wrecks havoc during times like this especially. Will I binge or restrict? How much will I gain or lose? What does so and so think of me? How can I best protect my image?

Culture tells us to eat a certain way, don’t eat this or that. If you do eat it now your bad, now you take on all the shame and guilt and tell yourself I’ll do better next time. Am I right???? During these 2 holidays you will hear ‘Happy Thanksgiving, don’t eat to much!’ Or if you Google Thanksgiving you’ll find 10 Tips to not gain weight during the holiday. Or Avoiding Holiday Weight gain. Or How to Make Your Holiday Healthy. Whyyyy? Why does everything go to weight or our image? Why is it always protecting body size? This says so much about our culture today.

Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Let me speak a little Truth 💣 💣💣💣 over you!
You are made in the image of God. That’s means you are not an image that needs to be managed and manipulated and contoured into something the world says it’s approved of.

YOU ARE ALREADY APPROVED OF beautiful one!

One meal, including leftover won’t kill you or destroy all your progress but all the worry, stress, and anxiety surrounding it will. To much cortisol in your system is worse than the meal you’re about to eat. For some, food equals anxiety and then we slap labels on food like “good food” and “bad food,” that causes more anxiety than the one meal you could enjoy with family and friends.

When you are in a chronic state of anxiety over food….and yes soooo many people are, it will absolutely affect your body. You may feel bad and have some symptoms from elevated cortisol levels. Some symptoms might include

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or diarrhea
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Difficulty recovering from exercise
  • Poor sleep
  • Muscle pain or tension in the head, neck, jaw, or back

In all likelihood, once this happens you’re like “See, I told you I just can’t eat that particular food. When in reality it could very well just be the stress of cortisol on your body and not necessarily the food you ate. We stress so much over food and image and don’t realize the impact it takes on our body.

I read this the other day and thought how true that is. “Rest assured, the fear-mongering around calories and holiday meals says more about our culture than it does about our bodies. In reality, our bodies are smart; they are meant to be resilient. So go ahead: savor every last bite of that turkey or pumpkin pie, totally guilt-free.” The Every Girl blog.

Feasting is all over the Bible. So why do we not want to feast? We will fast all day long. But feasting is scary for some of us.

VERSES:

And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we [must hold] a feast unto the LORD. Exodus 10:9

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Exodus 12:14

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD. Leviticus 23:3

And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. Genesis 26:30

I could go on and on but I won’t. You can take a dive for yourself. Feasting is part of God’s best for you, we just don’t think that includes all the yummy foods He gave us.

Imma say it again for the people in the back!🤣👊

Feasting was Gods idea. He invites us to feast and it’s part of Gods best for us. Just let that sink in for a bit. Ponder it my friend. This is just one of the ways He shows us his goodness and abundance.

He’s the God of Abundance!

God lavished his love on us and pours out his blessings over us. His blessings include food sweet friend. So I say this year, turn our hearts toward gratitude and this year while you’re feasting at the table with family and friends, eat with a heart of gratitude.

I’d like to challenge you to a new way of thinking….Feasting is ok and food was meant to be enjoyed and satisfying. Tell the food police “Byyyeee!” Don’t say to yourself or the person beside you ‘ You’ve ate enough’ or ‘You’re getting MORE FOOD???’ Or ‘Don’t eat too much’ This causes more shame and guilt to people around you.

Let’s go of guilt and shame of eating a beautiful meal with family and friends. Enjoy the moment. Come to the table with grateful heart. Take in His goodness and love.

I hope y’all have the best Thanksgiving holiday ever walking in freedom.

Thank You Lord for the small things
Like me and her on the porch swing
For summer nights and fireflies
And the sound of my old six string

Blessings, on blessings, on blessings, on blessings
If I still got breath in these lungs
And that’s all I need to get down on my knees
And be thankful for all that He’s done

For my mama, for my friends
For Your love that never ends
For the songs that make us dance
On this ol’ dirt floor
For my babies, for my girl
For the way they changed my world
Waking up today
Yeah, I just gotta say
Thank You Lord
Yeah, I just wanna say
Thank You Lord (oh, now)

Thank You Lord for the hard times
For lighting the way in the dark times
For pulling me in, forgiving again
The times that I took it too far, I

Big hugs,

Nicole ❤️

I Am Grateful

My Gratitude List:

My Jesus tops the list.

My Bible, the word of God.

My hunky hubby.

My 3 precious girls, and my 2 awesome son in laws.

My family and friends. Where would I be without y’all.

My Trophy of Grace blogging family.

My Ladies Small Groups.

My mentor.

My Spark in the morning, lol but for real. It gives me energy and clarity.

The beauty of sunsets everyday.

Thankful for being able to buy the groceries we need, the kitchen to prepare the food to nourish our bodies.

Our home that keeps us safe and dry, cool in the hot, humid summers and warm in the winter.

The dry cleaner who does my husband’s clothes because I can’t starch them enough, haha. He likes them to walk on their own lol.

The doctors who care for me. They give me the right treatments for my body and the medications and supplements I need.

My health, although I have challenges there is still always something to be thankful for. I may have to look a little harder and longer on rougher days but they are still there.

Thankful for my arms, while they might be a little flabby these days 😉 they are perfect for hugging and lovin’ on my family.

Hot water to shower with.

Clean water to drink.

The mere fact if you just open your eyes this morning, that’s a gift and a blessing.

Your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him.

My advice is just be present in the moment sweet friends, even in the tough times there are still blessings in disguise we just have to look for them.

Lastly,”Every good and perfect gifts comes from above.”

What are you grateful for?

Seeds of discouragement can’t take root in a grateful heart.”

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Come Forth

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Have you found yourself in a place you never thought you’d be and you feel like you’ve lost your way?

You only feel pain and despair. Your heart is full of sadness. You feel so far from God, and you drifting aimlessly through life. You doubt God, and all you see is just darkness.

We’ve all been there at some point.

Life can be messy no doubt but as we approach the holidays for some it can be much worse. TV and movies depict a perfect, joyous life, with miracles happening just when you need it. I’m not knocking Hallmark Christmas movies, in fact I’m quite the fan of them but I’m just saying is what we experience isn’t always that perfect life we see on the screen…. all wrapped up in a pretty red bow 🎁

– Maybe you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one.

– Maybe it’s a broken relationship.

– Maybe the children you’ve longed for but it hasn’t happened yet.

– A lost dream.

-The loss of a job.

– Maybe you just dread all the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring.

– Or maybe it’s something as small as the in laws or your crazy uncle Eddie, lol!

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We all are going through something, big or small.

If you’ve fallen and lost your way precious one, allow me to speak life into your darkness. You are not to far gone for God to come down to that miry pit and swoop you up. You are chosen, loved, and fully known. The Lord is near, He’s close to the brokenhearted. He sees your pain, and He sees each tear and has collected each one in a bottle.

Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalm 112:4 “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.”

If you call on Him, He will come running. He will shine light into your darkness.

You are not forgotten.

Come forth from the darkness my friend.

You were made to live in the Light.

To the doubting voice, allow me to speak to those places of your heart that have lost hope that God can restore what’s broken and shattered in your life. He is the God of restoration and He has a great plan for your life. What the enemy meant to harm and destroy God will work for your good. He will take your mess and give you a message. You may have drifted off track but just jump right back on, he’s the God of second chances, third, forth, tenth, or a hundred. He does not relent.

Gods not disappointed in you, quite the opposite…He’s cheering you on. When you are weak precious one, He is strong. He can give you strength to get through another day.

Nehemiah 8:10 “The JOY of the Lord is your strength.”

Come forth from the doubt that has overtaken you.

You were made to live in the confidence that God has you right in the palm of His hand and He will restore to you what the enemy has stolen.

To the voice of sadness that’s overwhelmed you, I speak victory. Though sadness has lingered on, I say you will not give up for the battle is already won sweet friend. To the voice that says “Just give up” I speak strength to your inner man to keep moving forward and not give up. Gods not done with you yet. You will live and not die. You will press on to all the good things God has for you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. He will give you joy for morning and beauty for your ashes.

Isaiah 61:3 “and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Come forth from the grief and sadness that has tried to engulf your life.

You were made to live a life of joy.

Let me just say, you can still live a life of joy in the midst of a storm. Joy isn’t the absence of problems, it’s the calm delight in the midst of a storm.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

James 1:2-4 “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Battle plan:

Praise, praise, and more praise because praise breaks the chains that bind us. Praise gives you strength to keep going. Praise changes the atmosphere.

Build up your support system around you. Friends, loved ones, support groups, or counseling if you need it. You won’t make it alone, you were built for relationship. We are better together.

When all you see is only hopelessness, change your focus and declare You O Lord are a shield around me and the lifter of my head.

When you find yourself wondering aimlessly, remember God is with you and He will direct your path.

When that grief and sadness kick in again, remember He gives JOY for mourning and beauty for your ashes.

When you are weary His word says “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

When your life has been full of broken promises, His word say “God is not man, that he should lie…” Get in the word and claim His promises for your life.

Maybe you don’t know or even feel it at this moment but Jesus loves YOU at your darkest sweet friend. While we were still sinners Christ died on the cross for you and me.

Come forth the Victory God has already planned for you.

Come forth the Breakthrough for your life that’s already been set in motion.

Come forth spirit of God and do what only You can do.

Come forth and show Your glory Lord.

I pray this holiday season will be one of rest, gratefulness, and JOY UNSPEAKABLE.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Breakthrough-Red Rock Worship https://youtu.be/6ni5_JGRrgs