Tag Archives: Freedom

New year, New me…NOPE!

Hey y’all! Hope you are doing well. At the new year, we are bombarded by all the messages New Year, New You! It’s time to get in shape, lose weight, exercise more. Perfect the outside of you. But the Word says, “….For the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

It’s so tempting to fall into this. But what if you started this year just as you are…..In Christ?

Be thankful that God made you or be in awe of all the things He’s done for you.

What if we chose to be grateful for where God has placed us? Instead of always striving to be somewhere different.

Sweet friend, YOU were purchased by the blood of Jesus, and He can turn your darkness into light.

See His mercies are new every day…..every single day, not just the first of the year.

Instead of working on changing our outward appearance let’s work on coming in alignment with what God says you are. It’s the principle of agreement.

I AM A CHILD OF GOD

I AM BEAUTIFUL

I AN BRAVE

I AM STRONG

I HAVE A FUTURE OF HOPE

I AN FORGIVEN

I AN NEVER ALONE

I AN LOVED

I AN FREE

Speaking God’s promises becomes SOOO powerful when we also function in His law of agreement. It’s God’s plan!

When you come into agreement with what God has for your life you are saying saying YES & AMEN!

So this year, I am not trying to become a new person, I’m trying to come in agreement with what God has for my life.

If I’m trying to live better and healthier that means I’m trying to come in to alignment with what God says about me…..And He says my body is good today!

Your body is good friend!

New Year, New Me….NOPE! I just want to grow into more of what God has made me to be, NOT a new person. If you are IN CHRIST, you’ve already been made new…..walk in that!

Hope you have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

I say yes to what You’ve promised
Amen to the word You’ve spoken
I say yes to what I can’t imagine
I say yes Lord I say yes

I say yes to what You’ve promised
Amen to the word You’ve spoken
I say yes to what I can’t imagine
I say yes Lord I say yes

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Lies We Believe

If you are struggling with body image issues, sweet friend you are believing lies. Please hear me when I say God designed you beautifully and perfect just the way you are. He didn’t create us to hate ourselves. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. No amount of weight loss will make you happy. At my smallest I hated myself more than you could know. I was stuck in an eating disorder, past trauma, and shame and guilt. I was believing the lies the enemy was whispering to me. I bought it hook, line, and sinker, maybe you have too?

The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. He wants to steal your joy and peace and often uses our insecurities to do it.

Sometimes the lies we believe are loud and other times they are very subtle. But they can become so deeply rooted in us and we not even realize it.

Society/diet culture has sold us the BIGGEST lie…..If we look a certain way or weigh a certain amount you will be happy and your life will be better. That’s a lie straight from the pit of hell.

Your happiness has nothing to do with your looks or weight sweet friend. Don’t buy into that. You are more than a number and more than how you look. You have sooo much more to offer than an image. God has given you gifts and talents that only you have. He has an awesome plan for you but if we are stuck believing the lies the enemy is speaking then we cannot fulfill our purpose.

Let’s kick the devil in his teeth by doing the work to overcome the lies he’s tried to distract us with.

👊TRUTH…..YOUR TRUTH is YOU are unique, wonderfully made, and there’s no one else like you.

👊He knew you before he created you, knew the mistakes you would make and STILL chose to create you ON PURPOSE..FOR A PURPOSE.

👊You are saved and completely made whole IN HIM.

👊You are forgiven and redeemed.

👊You are called and you are free!

👊You are victorious, accepted, and healed.

👊And so much more.

When the enemy comes at you telling you lies, “you are not enough” you come back at him with I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH because God calls me daughter of the King. I am here for a purpose with gifts and talents someone else needs. I WILL rise up from the ashes and be ALL that God has called me to be! Devil you are under my feet and defeated and I WON’T believe your lies anymore. Amen!! Speak truth and scripture over your life and walk in Gods plan for your life and family, in Jesus name, Amen!🙏🙌

Big hugs,
Nicole💗

My Health & Wellness Journey/Breaking Free From Diet Culture

🚨As we start the new I have exciting news!🚨
I FINALLY finished my Health and Wellness Certification in December. God has done some amazing things on this journey of mine. I have always been interested in health and wellness and helping others. I taught Health and Wellness for a while as well but wow does it look different today. My niche is completely different than other Health and Wellness Coaches it’s one of food freedom and peace with your body. How does that sound?😍🙌

I’m so thankful I didn’t finish in 2020. Back then I had so many food rules, restricting, over exercising, under exercising, abusing laxatives and diuretics (stopped that 5-6 years ago) and trying to fit into the mold the world has set.

Thin is best!

You will be accepted if you take up less space.

The message we hear; If you look a certain way they will love you; If your jeans are a single digit you are golden! If you’re a certain skin color or have certain hair, eyes, etc. THIS is called toxic beauty standards set by the world.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Diet culture!

“The diet industry is worth billions (64.7 Billion to be exact) –– and it profits directly off our insecurity around our bodies and our health. This pervasive industry takes over our culture, minds, and wallets and preys even more specifically on women from young ages.”

What’s is the cost of toxic beauty you might be asking? Well, it affects young kids and women…men as well but more so women and girls.

What does it look like? Anxiety, eating disorders, disordered eating, self esteem issues, depression, self harm, PTSD, suicide, fat phobia, orthorexia, diabetes, metabolic disorders, drug abuse, I could go on and on. The list is endless.

THIS!! Breaks my heart!

Most of my life I’ve bought into this.

I wanted to be free!

Free to eat and not feel guilt and shame.

Free to actually enjoy eating and feel satisfied.

To move and exercise with joy, and not move to compete or focus on losing weight to fit in a certain body.

I hope something I say resonates with you.

I can get on a rant because I’m so passionate about it. I started back to school last year, despite hearing the voices of ‘your not good enough’ and “You have nothing to offer’ or God can’t use you, you’re too broken.

Do you ever hear these voices?

My biggest takeaway from 2020 till now is God has a plan whether we see it or not. He created YOU for great things. His plans for you are to prosper and not harm you. It may be a fight but sweet friend it’s worth it. Despite how I felt about giving up school in 2020 God knew what I didn’t know. He had more to teach me and more freedom to be had.

Let me just say here….HOW HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL YOU ARE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SIZE OF YOUR BODY. Big or small, white, black, or brown God wants to use you just the way you are. However, how you feel about your body will impact your relationship with God, your relationship with others, your identity, and your calling.

I’ve learned there are no good or bad foods, and my body isn’t a project to improve and constantly be rejecting and trying to make it fit into what the world deems good! My body IS GOOD regardless of what the world says.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD.
YOUR BODY IS GOOD TODAY! JUST AS YOU ARE SWEET FRIEND!!

Food freedom and peace with your body IS possible and I’d love to help you on your journey. As the new year starts you will be bombarded by diet culture and ideas of starting another new diet. More exercise, detoxing, clean eating and the worlds view of how you should look to be accepted. You are loved and accepted just as you are!

I use a biblical approach to food freedom and body image issues. Learning to eat intuitively and trust your body once again. To eat and feel satisfied and not deprived and become comfortable with your body. Is it easy, no! But soooo worth it!

We want to walk in freedom in so many areas including food and body but yet as a society we’ve created so many rules and restrictions in food, exercise, and body. We become convinced that smaller is better but God created us all and, guess what? We are all different….different colors, sizes and shapes. We keep striving to look a certain way, weigh a certain number but having to restrict food or complete food groups, to exercise to extreme in order to stay or obtain a certain size. Does that sound like freedom when we become obsessed with food, weight, and body? I use to think so but after several years of really hard work I think differently now.

We say we want to be led by Holy Spirit but we’ve completely lost all since of our hunger cues or body cues. We’re taught DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, your body doesn’t know what you need. But God created your body whatever size it is to be incredibly remarkable! If we truly listen to our body, the cues it gives instead of ignoring them and allow God to work in you, you can learn a different way. You’ll soon see how amazing your body truly is. God is so good and amazing and so is your body!

I would be honored to help you on this journey to find food freedom and heal body image issues. Let’s make 2023 your best year yet!

Be on the lookout 👀 things are changing! 🤗

Big hugs,
Nicole

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 ❤️

Jesus….You are Worthy of my Song

Hey! Hey! Hey!

How are my favorite Trophy of Grace friends? It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. This has been such a difficult season I’ve been in. I’m sure you’ve been there at some point. Coming in, middle, or going out of it.

Regardless, Jesus You are worthy of my song. You are worthy of my praise.

I will forever remember 2020, it is scorched in my heart and mind. October 31st 2019 was my first appointment with my nutritionist. She specialized in eating disorders. I told her upfront I didn’t want this to be about losing weight, I wanted us to get to the root of why I was doing what I was doing and why I felt the way I did. So often we focus on the actions we are taking or not taking and we want to change but using another set of rules to gain freedom and love for ourselves and others. But my friend, there is something driving it, there’s a root cause to what’s going on in our lives.

For me, I discovered that past traumas and pain drove my eating disorder and body image issues. Which reflects in all areas of your life.

When the pandemic started I was 4-5 months into this healing journey I’m on. I can’t explain it but I started to flourish when others like me where falling deeper into there disorder because of Covid, loss, and isolation. I was gaining more and more freedom. But there always comes a point on the road to freedom, it gets REALLY HARD. It’s in the REALLY HARD place, we have a decision to make. We can suffer the pain of change or the pain of staying the same. Suffering is inevitable, but you get to choose whether you get to the other side of it or you can stay in the darkness, the sadness, and the brokenness. Friend it’s so important to choose well here. I’m even gonna give you the answer……KEEP PRESSING IN! Keep pressing on, never give up!! Feel the pain, let God do a perfect work in you.

There is blessing in the breaking.

Blessing and pain you’re gonna feel it, it might as well be going through….you are worthy sweet friend. You are worthy because Jesus says you are.

I had so many life challenges and changes in 2020, it would prove to be a difficult season but so enlightening to me and life changing.

I’ve always had passion to help others, loved all things health related. I started Holistic Health and Wellness coaching school and honestly with my dad moving here, and other issues with my Mom, and my life drastically changing because of Covid it was so overwhelming. Drs telling me to stay home and stay safe🙄 I went from seeing friends and church, leading small groups in my home, and being on the go to just nothing and it was sooooo hard and lonely. It was too overwhelming to finish school, which then heaped on lots of shame and guilt. As if I didn’t have enough of that. I still kept working with my nutritionist and learning and growing. Not realizing God still had a plan for me. It was a season of pain but GROWTH AND WISDOM. I was learning to listen to my body intuitively. One day I was listening to an ED podcast they started talking about Intuitive Eating, what is this they are talking about??? Sounds interesting. Sounds familiar. Examples they were giving were things I was doing and working on. Next session I talked to Amie and I asked about Intuitive Eating and she says that’s what you’ve been doing, LOL. My goodness, what I was working on had a name. Which of course I must know more so I dive deeper in my journey.

I started back to school this year, despite hearing the voices of ‘your not good enough’ or ‘You have nothing to offer’ or God can’t use you, you’re too broken. My biggest takeaway from 2020 till now is God has a plan whether we see it or not. He created you for great things. His plans for you are to prosper and not harm you. It may be a fight but sweet friend it’s worth it. Despite how I felt about giving up school in 2020 God knew what I didn’t know. He still had more to teach me. If I had finished it in 2020 oh my goodness my coaching would look soooo different than it will once I’m done this time. I would’ve coached focusing on food rules, good and bad foods, foods to avoid, reaching the perfect weight, orthorexia basically, etc.

Today I’ve learned there are no good or bad foods, my body isn’t a project to be improved and constantly be rejecting and trying to make it fit into what the world deems good! My body IS GOOD regardless of what the world says. Today I want to help women with intuitive eating and body image issues and find freedom.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD.

YOUR BODY IS GOOD, TODAY! Not when you’ve reached a certain weight or size. JUST AS YOU ARE SWEET FRIEND!!

My mom was always on diet, so of course I fell into that. But we come in all shapes, color and sizes. Your size, shape, weight, hair color, skin color, eye color, boobie size🙈🤣🤷🏼‍♀️ is NOT and I repeat it does not dictate your worth and value. In a culture that objectifies women and if you don’t fall into a certain category you are deemed not worthy.

YOU are worthy!

If I don’t weigh a certain number then I’m not good enough. We let Hollywood and the world’s culture tell us to be a certain weight and we will accept you. I bought into that crap for waaaayyyy too long.

Can I just remind you of how great your Fathers love is for you and how He created you for purpose. He don’t make NO JUNK! (In my best southern accent😜)

There I said it…..YOU are not junk to be thrown aside because you don’t fit in a certain category. We are all different….since when is being different bad?? God made us all different because we all have gifts and talents we each need.

You weren’t meant to fit in a box! You were meant to flourish in your skin, not be a clone of someone “society” thinks is perfect.

NO!!! YOU were perfectly created by a perfect Creator.

I’m so thankful for 2020 and the lessons it’s taught me about God and myself. I’m thankful that He is teaching about having a healthy relationship with food and trusting Holy Spirit to led me. I’m thankful I can listen and hear from my body, more importantly I can trust it. I’m thankful I don’t have to weigh myself every day, I still may not like the number on the scale but I’m learning to love myself more. The real me. Enjoying a cookie or a Bundt cake without feeling shame and guilt is just bonus. Food was meant to nourish us but also for our enjoyment and pleasure.

I’ve rejected God’s creation…..myself….for far to long. I have made my mind up to trust the One who created me and loves me…..and you…unconditional with an everlasting love.

The pain and suffering has a place and a purpose, it was not meant to take you out. Yes it can if we let it, but you keep giving Him your worship. You keep pressing into the One who changes all things and works them out for your good. When that voice is soooo loud in your ear saying quite, give up, it’s too much, it may even tell you the world is better off without you so I might as well end it. Friend I’ve been there, but hear me tell you that YOU are loved, the pain does get better, trust in the One who heals. Do the hard things and press….press….and keep on pressing through the pain. Preach to yourself. Get up on the inside.

Praise proceeds the victory!! Hallelujah!🙏🙌

There’s blessing in the breaking and YOU ARE GONNA MAKE IT. You are anointed for hard things.

God bless you and I hope you have a blessed and wonderful week! You are a trophy of grace!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Worthy of My Song- Phil Wickam and Chandler Moore

https://youtu.be/NeL9mKnd38g

Fasting and Eating Disorders

The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. Isaiah 58:6-8

I’ve learned so much as I walk out and get free from ED (eating disorder) 21 days of fasting and prayer have always been one of my favorite times of the year but also a time that caused me great pain and confusion. Over the last year though I’ve learned why.

Fasting can be very triggering for someone who suffers from an eating disorder.

This one word….Fasting….can cause my world to fall apart completely.

We study the life of Christ and his spiritual disciplines and we learn how important fasting and prayer are and how they can break the chains that bind us.

Prayer changes everything.

However, when one has an eating disorder fasting can destroy any and all progress you have made.

Restricting is NEVER GOOD under any circumstances.

Restricting TRIGGERS even done under the best of intentions.

Most people that do 21 days of prayer in January they might do the Daniel Fast, food altogether, sugar, 1- 2 meals a day, etc. But in my brain, that simple suggestion to skip or restrict a meal can flip a switch that cannot be easily turned off and send me spiraling.

I can remember over the years when I started realizing I was struggling in this area I just didn’t know why or how or what to do to help myself. 21 days of prayer and fasting would roll around and I decide to do Daniel fast and fail miserable. Enter shame and guilt.

Then I’d decided to fast sugar, same thing, I’d fail miserably. Enter more shame and guilt. I’d ask myself time and time again “Why can’t I do this?”

I know people mean well but there are some people that will shame you for not fasting what they’re fasting. That happened to me countless times. Let me just say I don’t need someone else heaping more shame and guilt on me I’ve done enough of that myself. You should NEVER shame anyone for doing something differently or not doing something you are doing because you have no idea what they are going through.

I read somewhere, “In many cases, asking a recovering eating disordered individual to fast for a single meal would be like inviting a recovering alcoholic to drink a beer: It is absolutely disastrous.” Let me just say it’s VERY TRUE!

I’m so thankful in so many ways for 2020. I believe I’ve grown more in my eating disorder which is mind blowing because during a pandemic eating disorders as well as other addictions and disorders were skyrocketing. Not to say, I didn’t have my challenges but I praise God He was moving and working in me and through me to gain more freedom instead of losing freedom.

So as we start this season of 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, FOOD IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME and even though it’s taken me a really long time to believe this….It’s ok!

I know we are called to Fast and Pray it’s all over the Bible. It was through 21 days of Fasting and Prayer when God finally said “Nicole, now is the time to deal with this secret problem you have.” He told me to throw out my diuretics and laxatives that I had been abusing for sooooo many years and I was set free right there! Haven’t touched another laxative or diuretic since. So I KNOW fasting and prayer work. It’s just mine and maybe yours needs to look differently and ITS OK.

We have to protect our own recovery. I have worked soooo incredibly hard to get to where I’m at and I have such a long way to go but you best believe I’m protective of myself.

Fasting is simply laying aside SELF. Who couldn’t benefit from that, right?

Fasting is clearing out the clutter that we’ve let in and allowing God in those places. I’m sure there are many areas we can come up with to give up or Fast from that don’t involve food.

Fasting is about growing closer to God.

More of Him and less of me.

Fasting is NOT a diet and some people use it to lose weight at the beginning of the year but don’t work on the drawing closer to Him part.

Ideas of things you can FAST:

Social Media

Gossip

TV

Video Games

Online Shopping 😱🙈 my hubby would prolly like me to do this one LOL😜

Secular Music

Negative Self Talk

Don’t Eat Out

There’s so many things you could Fast instead of food. It’s not about what your giving up it’s that you are dying to self so that Christ can be glorified through us.

Maybe, just maybe, me walking in my recovery, following my meal plan for someone with ED….maybe MY FAST. See now I’m learning self care and how to nourish myself….that’s a sacrifice and takes a lot of time and prayer.

So yes, I’m excited about 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer! But I WILL NOT be fasting food in any way. My ED recovery is to precious to me and I’ve come to far for that. I look forward to seeing what our Mighty God will do during this season.

I’m believing and expecting great things for you and for me. God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

I still believe You’re moving. I still believe You’re speaking God, I believe You’re working All things for good. I fix my eyes on Heaven God, I receive Your vision God, I believe You’re working All things for good. We sing come alive in the name of Jesus. Come alive in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles. We bring everything to the feet of Jesus. Everything in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles💗🙏🙌💯⚓️

That Girl Was Me….

That Girl Was Me….

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/that-girl-was-me/
— Read on nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/that-girl-was-me/

September is National Suicide Prevention month so I thought I’d reshare you story. I hope it will bless and encourage someone.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗🙏

My Passion And My Struggle

Hey y’all !! What’s up? What’s up? I haven’t been here in a while, lots going on in our neck of the woods. How about y’all?

My hubby is STILL working from home y’all! Prolly no plans to go back in the office till the first of the year.

Imma lose my mind y’all 🤣🤣🤣🤣

My Daddy is in the process of moving here so we are trying to find him a place and get him settled.

Had some close family members with some serious health and my grandmother past away about a month or so ago. No one was able to be with her and she died all alone and I think that just made it more difficult. There are some other things but I can’t share them. Just a difficult season here, which I know it is for many of you.

Had a lot on my mind as we’ve being going through all these different things. Add in my health issues and school, no alone time, being stuck at home 🤪 and the Rona I’ve found myself frozen at times, maybe you can relate to that.

Some of you know I’ve been in school to become a Holistic Health and Wellness practitioner which I’m so excited about this journey the Lord has had me on. It’s just taken me a little longer than I thought it would but it’s ok Imma get there. It’s ALL in Gods timing.

Extending grace to myself is so much harder than it is to do for someone else. I’ve had a lot going on around me and IN me. Some of you know I’ve struggled with ED…….eating disorder. Sometimes ED screams so loud and other days I feel victorious and it’s so quite. I’m in counseling with a nutritionist who is awesome but imma just say it’s hard work and it’s an every day battle.

A battle to NOT weigh myself everyday.

A battle to eat lunch or not eat lunch.

A battle to not restrict food.

A battle to not eat a bunch of cookies or a big cup of Cheeseballs.

It’s just a battle.

I know the battle belongs to the Lord but sometimes we’ve done things for so long they become ingrained in us and they become a habit and it is a process of overcoming.

So where am I at today? And this sooooo soooo important to recall these things.

I’m not where I wanna be but I’m not where I use to be either.

Well….I’m no longer abusing laxatives or diuretics. I haven’t done that in 2 years or more. That’s a big ole W!!! 🎉

There were days I would wake up and decide I’m not going to eat today and I wouldn’t. Now I’ve come to realize that restricting food was a form of punishment to myself. I can tell you that thought hasn’t crossed my mind in months, PRAISE THE LORD!! 🙏🙌🎉

I’m not weighing myself everyday. Y’all literally don’t even know what an amazing accomplishment this is. I would weigh myself everyday, sometimes 2-3 times a day. In order to do this though I had to remove the scale from the bathroom and outta my sight. The first week was so hard I almost got up in the middle of the night to weigh myself, I know it sounds crazy. But that’s ED for ya! I did really well for about 2 or 3 months and not even sure what happened but I decided to go to it’s deep dark hiding place and pulled that evil scale out and stepped on it. THAT WAS A BAD MISTAKE FOR ME! It set me over the top because I had actually gained a little weight. I got in all kinds of fear and old patterns started showing up. Imma do this, Imma do that. I’m not gonna eat this or that. Imma exercise for X amount. That’s ED behavior and it’s what I’m trying to overcome.

But here’s the thing, I’m finally allowing my body and metabolism to heal from all the dieting and self destructive behavior I’ve done to my body so that’s going to happen before it gets better. You can’t put your body through hell for years and years and expect it to perform a peak condition in just a few months. NO it took me a lifetime to get here. It’s a healing process kinda like how our hearts have to heal after being broken. I could just choose something quick and fast because so often quick and fast works, we see results but its temporary and we find ourselves right back in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now at least that’s been my experience. At this place in my life I’m choosing healing and finally getting to the root and freedom even if it takes me a lifetime.

So my whole purpose when the Lord lead me to my counselor, Hope who lead me to the nutritionist, Amie. I said to her I don’t want to lose weight…..well I mean the flesh part of me does but the inner man of me wants freedom and healing and to finally have a healthy relationship with food AND the scale AND love my body AND not curse it.

Far to long I’ve gained my worth and value over what I saw in the mirror and what number I saw on the scale. You may not be able to relate to that particularly. For you it might be how your house looks, the clothes your wear, your job or title, car you drive, your kids, neighborhood you live in, etc. At some point most of us at have tried to find our value in other things. I’m hear to tell you it will LEAVE YOU EMPTY and searching for more my friend!!

Only Jesus can feel that hole that we try so desperately to fill with other things.

Another BIG W 🎉 is I’m eating lunch almost every single day. I haven’t done that in yeeeaaaarrrssss y’all! That’s incredible! But let me tell you how scary that is. To add in eating lunch….a meal I haven’t ate in years AND NOT WEIGHING MYSELF. That’s straight up dope right there!! Lol 😂 But also sooo scary.

I’ve felt for so many years the Lord pull me to Health and Wellness Coaching and Holistic things because I’ve been through so much health wise and it’s always fascinated me.

It’s been my passion AND MY STRUGGLE.

Only GOD can turn, a MESS into a MESSAGE, a TEST into a TESTIMONY, a TRIAL into a TRIUMPH, a VICTIM into a VICTORY.

Let me ask you, do you know what your passionate about?

What causes you pain?

What has been your struggle?

Have you been suffering alone?

Let me just say that’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do is isolate yourself and make you feel all alone when in reality there are many others with the same struggles you have. You just need to find someone you can be vulnerable with, that’s why small groups are so important. Gotta get that plug in lol. We are better together!

This is what I can tell you, it may not make sense but what you’ve struggled with, what has caused you agonizing pain, what’s caused you to isolate is more than likely also something your passionate about and I’ll go even further to say that it could even be YOUR CALLING! Of course, only you know that. But very often that’s the case.

For me sometimes the voice of doubt and insecurity is so loud in my ears….Did God really tell you to do this Nicole? People want somebody who has it all together and knows their stuff. That’s what I tell myself but truth in my heart says, I want someone who’s been in the pit themselves and who knows exactly where I’ve been or where I’m at. I’m willing to bet that’s what you want too.

I read something today that so spoke to me because there are so many days as I go through this process that I feel unqualified and I feel like why on earth would someone ever listen to me I’m STILL STRUGGLING and quite honestly it may always be the “throne in my flesh” but I WILL continue on my journey of wholeness and freedom.

This was the devotion blog. “Currently, I’m in a season where anorexia is trying to win again. Let me share some truth with you. What ever battle you’re facing today, whether it’s comparison, doubt, pride, lust, self harm, fill in the blank ____. This does not define you! My eating disorder does not define me. It’s apart of my story and my story is still being written, Your story is still being written!”

This is as real as it gets right here folks. She’s STILL struggling and she’s STILL helping and encouraging people. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH! “It’s part of her story,” just like it’s part of MY STORY AND YOUR STORY. We don’t have to have it all together to help someone we just need to be willing and available.

What I hope and pray people see is the real me, the one who will sit down with you and take the mask off and say “Hey, this is my struggle too and precious friend you’re not alone.” This is me in my brokenness….my passion and my struggles!

I AM A TROPHY OF GRACE AND SO ARE YOU SWEET FRIEND!

God bless you and know that I am praying for you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Body Of Christ Needs You & Your Gifts

Hey y’all!! How’s it going in your neck of the woods? I’ve been spring cleaning…UGH! Washing drapes, cleaning walls, floors, linens…it really needed to be done. I really need help with all this though, now my back is a mess as I sit on my heating pad and write this lol.

I was just wonder if you truly know how special you are?

Do you know that you have gifts and talents that someone else needs?

Sweet friend YOU have been anointed for such a time as this. God has a great plan and purpose for you, a plan that only you can fulfill.

Someone out there needs the gifts and talents that only you have, they need you to step out into your destiny so they can be changed and set free!

The Church….the body of Christ needs YOU.

There’s so many areas you could serve in and we will talk about some of them. Some you may have never thought about and others maybe you don’t have in your church yet but maybe you could start them.

It’s great to go to church but it’s a whole other level when you are serving in your church in the capacity you are called too. You become part of a family, a team, and you grow spiritually. You have ownership of your church, it’s kinda hard for me to describe. It’s just different then just going to service and rushing out. I LOVE MY CHURCH! I’m pretty sure it’s the best church on the planet💗

Areas To Serve In At Church:

1. Kids or Nursery- This may well be your calling to work with children or babies, what a blessing that is if that’s you. It’s so needed. Me however, you would find out real quick that was not my gifting LOL🤣🙈

2. Leading a small group. That’s what makes a big church small. It’s the life of a church. It’s where relationships are made. Masks are taken off, you can become the real you with a group of people, heal from past hurts and get freedom.

I love small groups and I love leading ladies small groups. I’ve led ladies small groups for abt 10 years or more I guess. For the last 2 semesters I stepped out and been a Small Group Coach and loved it. It’s been challenging but an amazing experience. My passion and my heart is definitely with ladies small groups.

3. Greeters. Maybe that’s you! You like smiling and welcoming everyone. That’s me, I love being a greeter too! I love people and I love hugging 🤗

Some of my greeter peeps at Christmas!

4. Helps Team. Maybe you prefer to work behind the scenes. You enjoy helping to clean, plan events, organize, or do parking team.

5. Worship, singing, sound and technology. Those are all also a amazing gifts but singing yeah that’s not mine, LOL. I love singing so much but you don’t want to hear it LOL. But hey it’s a joyful noise though, right?🤣

6. Prison ministry. What a blessing that is and such a need.

7. Visiting the elderly and shut ins. Such a great ministry. They love to have visitors or people to come sing to them or even do a craft with them.

8. Ushers. These guys are great, they are responsible for seating guests and maintaining order in the service.

9. Church Security. Are you a cop or security officer then what better way to serve at your church then helping to protect those around you.

10. Prayer. Maybe praying is your strength and interceding for others is your gift. That’s incredible. We need you! Prayer Warriors Needed!!

11. Lawn Care. You might be great at yard work so this is right up your alley. You can help spruce things up around the church. Pressure wash, cut the grass, plant flowers, weed eat, edge, lay pine straw, etc.

12. Sign Language Interpreters. Let me just say what a beautiful blessing this is and how it is so needed. Our oldest daughter is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids. She does wonderful but having an interpreter is such an added blessing.

13. Special Needs Children. This too is such a big need. You have many parents that aren’t even able to come to church because they have a special needs child and the church doesn’t offer anything for them. I’m so thankful our church has a wonderful program.

14. Dream Center Volunteer. It’s an outreach ministry center where they are changing and transforming lives. Dive in, I’m sure you can find something here you could do.

15. Celebrate Recovery. Maybe you’ve struggled with and addiction or life issue in the past and you’ve found freedom. With CR you can lead and come along side others who are struggling and help them find freedom too.

There’s many other things you can do, this is just to name a few to get you started thinking.

We need all these areas and many more to function as the body of Christ. I don’t look at one being better being than the other and I hope you’d not either. See God has placed certain gifts in you and without you doing your part, the body of Christ just isn’t quite right without you.

It NEEDS YOU!

It needs YOU to function in proper order. Whether you’re a greeter, a worship leader, nursery person, small group leader, coach, or someone who cleans things up, hear me…YOU ARE VALUABLE and you do what God has called you to do. No shame or pride, do it unto the Lord sweet friend!

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT:

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”
Isaiah 58:10

for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” Ephesians 4:12

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10

Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17

It’s time for YOU to rise up precious one, you are called and anointed for such a time as this. If you don’t know what your called to do, that’s ok no worries, just step out and find out. Try different areas until you find the right spot.

Your destiny awaits you!

God bless you and happy Saturday!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Divorcing ED- Life With An Eating Disorder

Hey y’all! Hope you guys are doing well. Things have been hopping here. Hubby working from home also means home projects right. I swear that man can’t sit still for a second, then he sucks me in lol🤣

I thought I’d let you in on a secret…..lean in real close. I’M DIVORCING ED! There I said it!

Secrets out now.

No! ED is not my husband’s name. ED is someone who has been with me for too many years to count.

ED is the eating disorder I have struggled with for what seems like a lifetime but I’ve decided we are breaking up for good and getting a divorce! He doesn’t serve me well anymore, well he never really did, he was just how I coped.

Do you know ED too?

ED…..I.e. sin….took me further than I ever thought I’d go and kept me longer than I ever thought I’d stay.

I have been in counseling with a nutritionist who deals with eating disorders and Imma tell you how wonderful, hard and challenging it’s been.

My first experience with a nutritionist when I was finally ready to deal with ED didn’t go well. She would say things like “You need to only eat this or that.” or “If you drink that Dr. Pepper your only hurting yourself” Even better was the time I didn’t like one of the supplements she gave me, it was like horrible mud like substance you drank with a hint of mint🤣🤢🤮 she said “I guess you just don’t want to get well.” Are you kidding me?? Lady, I guilt myself enough I don’t need more guilt and condemnation or rules and regulations from you, that’s what got me here to start with. So needless to say that didn’t last long. I knew she wasn’t good for me. She was setting me up to fail. Inevitably I was gonna fail or make a mistake but failing wasn’t a bad thing nor did failing make me a failure….she was not teaching me that though. It’s all part of the process. Plus, she was not celebrating the small victories I was making.

This time Amie, my nutritionist now she is amazing! What a gift she is. She challenges me but also celebrates the small victories with me. The truth is if I eat 3 meals 1 day that’s amazing considering for many years I haven’t done that.

If I wake up and tell myself I’m not gonna eat today but then go through the process of talking to myself and on purpose choose to make the decision to eat regardless of what my feelings are saying, that’s another victory!

If I go 2 days and don’t weigh myself that’s another victory. I’ve gone 5 so far, 5 DAYS OF NOT WEIGHING MYSELF. That is nothing short of miracle to me.

I’m learning though if slip up it’s not the end of the world, just get back up and start all over. Being perfect is so overrated. Not that I ever was but it was something so engrained me and I learned to try not to rock the boat, be as perfect as you possibly can they will love and accept you THEN. How misguided I was.

What I look like, how I dress, the car I drive, the house I live in, or the job I have…none of that matters or has eternal purpose. Having a relationship with MY JESUS is what matters. That is what’s life changing and as I walk this out and I feel like I can’t do it anymore I cry out to Him one more time, and one more time, and one more time. He’s there waiting to pick me up, and sweet friend He’s there waiting for you. You have access to the King.

I mentioned to someone the other day I was seeing a nutritionist for my eating disorder and the first thing they asked was “Wow! How much weight have you lost?” I just thought to myself “Oh my word! What’s wrong with people?” That’s the whole problem. Weight, food, exercise, not eating, binging, the scale, all of it turned into idols. I’m not trying to lose weight, of course I’d like too I’m a woman lol but my main goal is to have a healthy relationship with food.

To not be afraid to eat this or that.

To not be afraid to eat 3 meals a day or a snack.

To eat lunch and not be afraid.

To not weigh myself everyday….I’ve been a slave to the scale for as long as I can remember.

Anyone relate to that? 🤣🤣🤣

That’s our culture though. We think if we lose enough weight or if we are the perfect size we will be happy and all of life will fall into place and we’ll have no problems. That’s simply not true. But if you watch the Jenny Craig commercials they’ll have you believe “Because of Jenny Craig, I’m a happier person, a happier mom, a happier wife. I’m more confident.” Well I was a size six and it didn’t change what was going on on the inside. Until the root is addressed you will repeat the cycle and that’s true for anything. I just hate the media plays on our emotions especially women, you are just not quite good enough….YET! Try this and maybe you will be. I’m tired of listening to the lies! THE devil IS A LIAR!

How about you try some Jesus instead of all the worldly things it has to offer. Sorry for my soapbox. Finding our worth and value from the mirror or the scale will never fulfill you.

But having a relationship with Jesus will.

Back on topic, lol, for me most days I would eat a small breakfast, never lunch, and eat dinner. Some days I wouldn’t eat at all, I would consciously make a decision to not eat today. Punish myself for the shame and guilt I carried of living with this secret, and other secrets and trauma from my childhood. I was also fearful of lots of foods that in moderation are actually healthy for you.

One of the things I’ve been working on is incorporating lunch into my schedule. I know, sounds simple but for someone with ED, not so simple. But I’ve done pretty well, not every day yet but 4-5 out of 7 I’d say. That’s HUGE! Even if it’s something small.

Progress not perfection.

Forward motion.

My nutritionist asked me how I felt about not weighing myself everyday and did I think that was something I could start to work on. Immediately, tears streamed down my face and I said “ Yes, I will do it.” The scale and I have had a meeting together every morning for yeeaaarrs, sometimes weighing myself more than once a day. Despite how unhappy it made me, I still have always been drawn to it even though I knew it wasn’t helpful to me. So last week I hid it in the closet so I won’t see everyday lol. The first couple of days were really hard and I almost got up in the middle of the night to weigh myself. Crazy I know. But that’s the bond ED and I have. His clutches run deep. Have you ever experienced anything like this? It’s powerful, BUT MY GOD IS BIGGER.

I’m divorcing ED to have a relationship with me, to get to know me and a deeper relationship with my Savior. To get my voice back instead of shoving things further down. I’m overcoming the misguided self. To heal the proper way from past hurts and trauma. It’s hard work and it may take a long time and it may be painful but I’m up for the job. I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me and so can you sweet friend.

Your struggle may not be ED, it may be drugs, alcohol, shopping, pornography, or something else, we all have something. I urge you to give it completely over to the Lord. Press in and contend for your freedom. He will set your shackles free. FREEDOM IS THERE FOR THE TAKING. You are a new creation IN CHRIST. What the enemy meant to harm and destroy God will work for your good.

NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING IS TOO BIG FOR HIM!!

I have worked on this blog for 2-3 days and was set to release today but after I watched our church service this morning I was simply blown away again by my God. How he loves me (you) so much, and how he confirms what he’s placed on my heart to share. I’m even more certain of what He wants for me.

I will tell of the mercy of the Lord and proclaim the great things He has done for me and continues to do.

The Misguided Self- Life With ED and My Broken Past (click below)

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/ive-had-an-epiphany/

Sword the Spirit:

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Song of Solomon 4:7 My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:1 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near all who call out to Him, all who call out to Him with integrity.Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

1 Corinthians 10:13 The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

How I Need You- Highlands Worship

You fashioned me, formed my heart,
Searched my soul, and know every thought
Love so great, but never too far
Through the storm, You’re the calm, every war, You’ve already won
Life’s secure in Your loving armsJesus, Jesus, oh, how I need You
You stay the same, You are good in Your ways
Jesus, Jesus, oh, how I need You
You are enough, all my trust is in You, LordYou are powerful, God above it all
I believe in You, I believe in You
You do miracles, the impossible
I believe in You, Jesus

See I’m contending for my freedom from ED every day and renewing my mind. What are you contending for? Would love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗