Tag Archives: Healing

Your Body is an Instrument Not an Ornament

Your body is an instrument not an ornament.

BOOM!!!

Let that sink in a minute.

I had to go to the dermatologist today for my yearly skin cancer check. He found only one, took care of it and sent it off so we wait for results. Pray it’s basal cell like the others I’ve had. Any who, as I was updating my paperwork half of it was, did I want information on these particular services…..Cool Sculpting, Botox, fillers, laser, etc. that was all before I got back to the room. Ridiculous! When I got in the room there was an area of cosmetic pamphlets for all the services you can choose to “make yourself better” more acceptable. Listen, I’m not saying there isn’t a place for this but I’m saying that society and media is constantly telling us as women “If you use this product or do this procedure you’ll be more beautiful and happy!” This is a multi bazillion dollar industry preying on women and our insecurities. You could have the most perfect body or face and they will still try and offer these services to “improve” what you have. Still implies there’s something wrong with you. Let me just say God don’t make no junk.

It’s a money making industry!!!

So who has determined that your thighs are too skinny or too fat?

Who has determined that your waist is too thin or wide?

Social media?

Celebrities?

Your friends?

You?

Let’s be real, most of what you see on tv, magazines, social media has all been airbrushed, filtered, or blurred in some way to make it look better. I mean we are all guilty of it. Me: Can you hold the camera up higher? Angle it this way🤣🙈 How long does it take to decide on a picture you will post? Or how many times do you retake a picture? I’m preaching to myself, I do the same thing. I’m just saying we all try and present the best image of ourselves or what we want people to see.

This just cracks me up, LOL🤣

Look at all the phot editing apps. Did your know your can actually stretch your body to make you look taller and thinner? What??? You can blurr out some cellulite….OK now that might be nice LOL. I had no idea but these apps do some crazy stuff. I know a woman I’m pretty sure she does all her photos with an app. She smooths out all her wrinkles to the point it doesn’t even look like her, maybe 20 years younger her. What’s crazy is she’s a beautiful lady. Who told her she needed to do that? To get Likes and comments to build her self esteem? Idk, but obviously she feels the need to look like a “better” versioned herself. Do you feel that same pressure from society or media? I’m sure we’ve all felt that.

But what if I told you, you could be ok in your own skin?!?!? Yea, yea, yea I know, I struggle with that too. Like really struggle. Would you believe me? I’m working hard on this area. I have literally cursed my body and hated it for as long as I can remember when it was thin or fat. It didn’t matter. I never felt enough. Why? I believed lies from the enemy. Things that were spoken over me. But also because I was always comparing myself to what society says is beautiful and acceptable. Also, past hurts, comments, relationships, or traumas can cause this as well. Only you know what played a role in yours.

What about what God says is beautiful and acceptable?

For we are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Sol 4:7

He hath made us accepted in the beloved.”— Ephesians 1:6

My nutritionist is the best, between her and my counselor they challenge me to do the work to truly be a better me, not necessarily in my looks but inside beauty. Inside beauty radiates to outside beauty.

So my nutritionist has been working on me with doing mirror work. Can I just say YUCK!! No one wants to do that. Most of you know I’ve struggled with an eating disorder, well with that comes body image issues. I’ve made a commitment to myself and God to do the hard work.

I’m ALL IN!

So I had to make a list of neutral statements of different body parts and then look in the mirror and say them to myself. Examples; hands, legs, eyes, feet, arms, butt, stomach, etc. Some are harder than others. When you’ve hated your body and been disgusted with it this is the LAST thing you want to do. But I’M ALL IN! So I do it off and on till the other day when I’m reminded that Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13

See spiritually, we are naked before the Lord but this day I was to be “naked naked” before myself and my mirror. Really Lord??? You have got to be kidding me, my dude?!? 🤣 Nope….disrobe and let’s do this!!

I’m ALL IN so here I go LOL.

So I have mirror time, but NAKED MIRROR TIME! 😱🙈 Oh, the horror right?!?! I didn’t plan it but it just happened. I was just going to do the neutral statements but God had other plans. My friend, lots of tears were shed but I was following Gods leading.

I spoke the neutral words over every part.

I spoke nurturing words over every part.

And then I spoke a blessing over my body.

THAT I have never done. I’ve been too busy hating it and hating how it looks. When I should’ve been blessing it and being thankful for what it does. This is real life y’all, this is total transparency…..I told myself how sorry I was for how I’ve treated my body, how I hated it and cursed it and asked for forgiveness. It was difficult and beautiful all at the same time. Do you find yourself here? Well, if you’re do you are not alone.

Mirror time is getting better. Something broke off me that day. Do I still struggle, yes, of course, but I’m gonna keep doing it and eventually those feelings will catch up to what the Word of God says about me.

COMPARISON GAME

Do you play the comparison game? Boy, I have. What happens to us when we compare ourselves to what the world says is beautiful and acceptable? I’ll be happy to tell you…..we don’t measure up and you never will. You’ll never be happy. You’ll always be looking for the next thing to fulfill you, diet, lotion, procedure, exercise, etc. When we feel like we don’t measure up shame and guilt rush in and set up camp. Our lives become like little hamsters on the wheel, constantly spinning but never getting anywhere. Trying, failing, shame, guilt, repeat.

We make decisions in our lives based on how we look and how we think people perceive us. We don’t go to the party because we don’t feel pretty enough or have the right outfit. Or I can’t wear shorts again because my legs are ugly. How about, I can’t go swimming again because I’d have to put a bathing suit then others would see my thunder thighs or cellulite. Come on, where my sisters at??? I know there’s a bunch of y’all out there feeling this.

How many things have your missed out on because you felt less than or not good enough? I know I’ve missed out on waaaay to much. I challenge myself now to not do that, to explore the why, explore those feelings.

I’m ALL IN!

How about you?

So today, I’m learning how to nurture and love my body. I’m more than a body and so are you! Loving your body isn’t thinking your body looks good. It is knowing your body “IS” good regardless of how it looks. Now that right there is POWERFUL!

In a world full of body shaming, fat shaming, skinny shaming, messages coming at you left and right that something is not quit right about you. If you do this or that….buy this or that you’ll be a better you and you’ll finally be happy and accepted. I’ll leave you with this, love and appreciate your body for what it does. Your Body is Powerful. Use it as an Instrument, Not an Ornament. You are beautiful just the way you are flaws and all. You are Gods chosen instrument. You are good because God is good and you are made in His image.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

God Collects Our Tears

Often times when struggling with pain and trauma we find ourselves angry, holding onto bitterness, and unforgiveness. Does that sound familiar to you? Does to me, I’ve been there and honestly I’m still working through some things. But here’s what I know. We’ve got to revisit the pain and trauma…..revisit…..NOT SET UP CAMP and fellowship with it but for many of us we’ve shoved it down so far we can’t even feel it which means it’s harder to feel other things as well.

It’s kinda like a garden, we need to tend to our heart, our broken places, and the things we hide so they can heal.

This definitely takes time and will probably be painful. But just because it takes time doesn’t mean we should neglect it.

Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

YOU ARE ANOINTED FOR HARD THINGS! His Word says; for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Phil 2:13

Don’t run from the hard and painful things, embrace them.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 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. James 1:2-4

We need to go to that particular pain and trauma dig it up and allow Jesus to heal it. We’ve got to feel it, experience it and allow it to do its work in us. The Word says in Psalms 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.

So after we have felt it and experienced it, it’s time to place it back in the ground, then God takes those tears of ours that He’s collected and pours it over it. It’s like a healing balm. The healing will come. It may take some time and doing this over and over again, like me, you may have many traumas or past pains to work though, it’s ok. You are gonna make it! It’s a process. Not a competition. As long as you are pressing forward, doing the work and allowing God to do a work in you friend you can’t go wrong!

I say this often but it’s so true and worth reminding you, God wants to heal you everywhere you hurt! Don’t hide your brokenness from him, He already knows it…move through it! Don’t get stuck at the point of your pain. I’ve been there and been stuck for way to long. I’ve allowed others to paralyze me, heck I’ve paralyzed myself.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. The devil don’t need any help because we are doing it all for him when we get stuck and paralyzed, and not moving forward in our lives. He’s rejoicing and we are foiling our own lives.

See God has a plan for you and me and you may not know what it is and thats ok, you’ll figure it out. Keep searching and trying different things till you get it. He’s not gonna let you fall, He will reposition you. The thing about God is you never really fail the test, you always get a do over. Again and again and again! That’s kinda nice if you think about it.

Sweet friend, I hope you hear me when I say YOU are precious and loved by God. You are worth all the hard work it takes to overcome past traumas. You weren’t meant to get stuck there. No! God needs you to tend to your heart….your garden so He can do the healing so you can help someone else. I’m definitely preaching to myself here. There’s someone out there who needs to hear your story. They need to hear what you’ve been through and how you’ve healed from it but if you’re stuck and not moving forward that can’t happen. Rise up precious one and plow forward, YOU ARE DESTINED FOR GREAT THINGS!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

You are a beautiful mess, created

Pain….Embracing Where You’re At

Pain…don’t you just hate that word? In the last year or so I’m learning to actually embrace the word P A I N. Pain in my body, and pain in my mind and heart.

Culture today tells us to do everything we can to escape any and all pain. That’s why we have so many addictions these days. But let me share a different side to that. If you choose to escape pain and you absolutely can, God will allow you to do that. But it never really goes away it just gets shoved down and you just use different things to numb the pain. You can pick your choice….shopping, food, drugs, alcohol, sex, tv, games, over working, etc. You try and avoid the pain at all cost but it shows up in relationships, work, and your health you just may not realize it.

The thing about numbing one area of pain is it actually numbs more areas if not all areas.

However, if we choose to embrace the pain something else happens, yes it is painful and yes it can take a while especially if you are dealing with any form of trauma. But it’s better to go through the pain than to shove the pain deeper where it grows and festers.

This is where I find myself today fighting through past traumas, embracing the pain, and allowing it to do its perfect work in me.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

In Gods Word it says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

Pain tells us something is going on.

Pain tells us something isn’t right.

Are we listening though or do we shove it down again and again?

I’ve done that myself. I’ve been the Queen of shoving, maybe you have to.

I’m learning that untreated trauma shows up in the body in the form of pain, sickness, and disease. It can show up as migraines, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, IBS, or autoimmune disease. Very interesting, right? The body keeps the score of what we’ve been through whether we choose to deal with it or not the body does something with it good or bad.

For me I think it started growing up in a broken home and toxic environment. Things and traumas that happened during my younger years and teenage years. I learned to not share and to shove things further because it wasn’t safe to share. Or I never felt safe to share. Maybe you feel that way too. I’d like to encourage you today to begin to take that mask off, find someone to share those things with whether it’s a counselor or someone from your small group or church. Start slow, but just start. Letting those secrets or painful things out of those dark hidden places is extremely difficult but you will feel so much better.

It’s all about being vulnerable. Ehhh, that word, it makes me all squirmy. I don’t like it and yet in order to get the things I need being vulnerable is what has to happen. See people don’t know what’s going on in your heart and mind if you’re don’t tell them. Yea I know, no one wants I do that either, lol.

But YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I AM WORTH IT!

Let’s make this more practical and personal, I’ve had a lot going on in my life the last couple of years, extremely difficult things. But if you know me, you prolly have no idea because I don’t let on that anything is wrong or happening. Let me take it a step further and say why. See growing up, my mother had enough emotions for the both of us. She was EXTREMELY emotional. She freaked out over little things as if they were HUGE things on the daily. She also played the victim so well, even though she would create the situation but she would blame others to get the attention she desired. Makes no sense, right? It was just really difficult. So for me I guess I became numb to emotions because everything was BIG! If that makes sense. I never wanted to be like that and that was one of my fears, being like her. So that’s part of why I shoved things down instead of feeling them on a “real level” not an extreme level like my mom. Also it just wasn’t safe. People around me weren’t safe. It made me more afraid to be vulnerable because I didn’t want people to think I was like her even though I wasn’t.

Exert from Brene Brown about Vulnerability:

The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.

This is where shame comes into play. Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think. When we’re fueled by the fear of what other people think or that gremlin that’s constantly whispering “You’re not good enough” in our ear, it’s tough to show up. We end up hustling for our worthiness rather than standing in it.

When we’ve attached our self-worth to what we produce or earn, being real gets dicey.

The good news is that I think people are tired of the hustle – they’re tired of doing it and tired of watching it. We’re hungry for people who have the courage to say, “I need help” or “I own that mistake” or “I’m not willing to define success simply by my title or income any longer.”

Did you catch that at the beginning, being vulnerable for others is courageous and daring but for me it shows weakness. Exactly how I have felt for years. That can be our mindset if we let it. But it absolutely shows more courage to say what we need or desire than to keep going without and feeling less then, resentful, and angry at someone for not knowing what we need. I’m totally speaking to myself on this. See there are times I just need a hug from my husband and I continue to go at life alone in a certain situation. Have you ever been here? I’m challenging myself to be more real and honest in my closest relationships. How about you? Are you willing to ask for what you need? Or does it seem scary to you? It seems scary to me but what’s scarier, staying the same and feeling less than, resentful and angry or stepping out and doing something YOU need and desire.

My friend YOU deserve good things, to be loved and treasured and maybe part of that is stepping out and saying what you need. Do it afraid!

YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I AM WORTH IT!

At 51 years of age, I’m learning to feel all the things. Embrace all the pain and emotions and yes it’s has been really hard but so worth it and so freeing. I have a ways to go but I’m so thankful for the healing journey I’m on. God is a good good Father and He wants to heal you everywhere you hurt. Will you let Him in to do it?

God bless y’all and let me remind you how loved you are and that God has a plan and purpose for you. He desires to heal you so you can go on to help heal others. You have a job to do sweet friend. Get out there and do it! Let’s do it afraid!

Big hug,

Nicole❤️

When You Have A Toxic Relationship With A Parent-Mother/Daughter

This is a subject close to my heart and yet it’s very painful and not something openly talked about. We live in world where where it’s portrayed that there is always good relationships between mother daughter (or parent/child) but sometimes the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. In this world there is brokenness, mental illness, addictions, and just evil. YES it’s sad. YES it’s traumatic. YES it is painful. But it’s still truth. It cannot be denied but it can be dealt with over time.

Sometimes you can do all the things and it’s jusy not enough. You can choose to forgive and turn the other cheek 70*7 like the Bible says and we should but you weren’t called to be a doormat or abused.

In our culture you often hear a parent can go no contact or even disown their child and it’s more acceptable. “Ohhh they were so horrible to their mother or father!” But if a child decides to go no contact with their parent you hear….”you only have one Mom or Dad. You’ll be sorry one day.” Let me just say you have no idea what someone has been through to even get to the point to make such a decision. It took years and years and years and many tears and prayers before I ever made such a decision. Knowing I’d be judged for doing so but also knowing I and my family would have more peace and less drama. People these days have opinions without knowing facts. They spew hurtful words and have no idea what you’ve been through and it’s like being traumatized all over again.

Yes, we are called to forgive. But continue in a toxic relationship in the same manner, NO! Absolutely not! Sometimes no amount of effort on your part or even prayer can heal a relationship with someone who is toxic and has no desire to do different. We don’t want to hear this but in my 51 years, THIS is my experience.

Yes my God is BIGGER than any situation, any circumstance and He can absolutely heal a broken, toxic relationship but BOTH parties have to want it not just one.

When only one party is doing all the work, often times that person is the one also enabling the relationship but may not realize it. This is where we pray “God open MY eyes to do MY part. Help me love how YOU would have me love THIS person and how it would best serve this person.”

What I have found in how to love a toxic, broken person best is sometimes from afar. Sometimes it’s letting them feel the consequences of their behavior. Sometimes they have to walk through their own decisions or trials by themselves simply because you will enable them and try to take away the pain they so desperately need to feel. Pain they’ve tried to escape or put on others. Let me just say upfront how excruciatingly painful this WILL BE sweet one. Letting someone come to grips of who they are, what they’ve done, who they’ve hurt isn’t always pretty and you will want to make them “feel better” but that’s helped keep it going in the first place. Allowing God to do what He needs to do in that persons life is what needs to happen.

Let go and let God.

Sometimes limiting contact or even going no contact is what has to happen. For me I have chosen no contact now for 6 months and it has been hardest most painful thing and yet God has done so much healing in me in this time. There maybe a time when we are reconciled but that isn’t up to me. For now, I’m doing what God has told me to do and focusing on allowing Him to heal those broken place from all the trauma I’ve been through. His desire is for us to be made whole and help others along the way and that’s what I plan to do.

See, you were meant to love, edify, and build up, the problem is relationships work both ways. But it may only be working in one direction. It takes two. In relationships, we care for one another and not tear each other down. We are even selfless at times.

In relationships you love, serve, and give instead of taking all the time or sucking the life out of people. But I have to insert a disclaimer here ****Yes we do all these things but NOT, I repeat NOT to the determinant of our own well-being or mental health. Some people are takers and will take advantage of you, so you have to watch out for this and do what’s best for you.

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries.

The word NO is good and it’s ok to use it. It will feel wrong when you start doing it but it’s OK!

Keep doing it.

Precious one, YOU must take care of yourself so you can be the best version of yourself for you and others.

I am so thankful to God for my healing journey. It’s been very hard and painful. Lots of hard work and I have a long way to go but I will get there. Despite my relationship with my mother, I didn’t have a very close relationship with my dad either but I have a great relationship with my 3 daughters. It is only by the grace of God because I didn’t have that roll model. But I did know how I didn’t want to be and that definitely served me. I know I didn’t do everything right and yes I made mistakes as a mother but God helped me be a better Mom because of what I went through. For that I am soooo thankful for. His grace is perfect and it’s there if you need it.

So let me say if this is you too….my heart goes out to every girl who’s mother isn’t their best friend, as they should be. My heart goes out to every girl who tries to have a healthy relationship with their mother, but can’t. My heart aches for any girl who wishes more than anything they could have a loving relationship with their mother, but no matter how much they try, it just doesn’t work. It’s difficult to understand how traumatic a toxic relationship between mother and daughter truly is, and my heart aches for anyone who’s been unlucky enough to say they understand. *Unknown

As I’m on my healing journey, I’m becoming more open and transparent about things from the past and I know God wants to heal that little girl in me that was so hurt and broken. If this is you my prayer for you is that you do the work sweet friend. Do the hard and painful work. Everyone runs from pain these days but I encourage you to run to the pain, sit with it, embrace it and allow God in to heal it. He has soooo much in store for you, things you can’t imagine. It’s gonna take time. It may take a long time but YOU ARE WORTH IT! You are worthy! You are enough and God loves YOU!!

Big hugs,

Nicole❤️

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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💗🙏🙌💯⚓️

Enter In

Good morning y’all! Hope you are doing well. I feel like I have a word from the Lord for you today. So much is going on around us in these crazy times but God says its time to ENTER IN sweet friend!

Enter into the promises of God!

Enter into His Presence!

You are about to see the supernatural come to pass! You are right on the edge so DON’T GIVE UP!!

Keep PRESSING IN!

Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking!!

Those things you’ve been praying for, that breakthrough it’s going to supernaturally come to pass!

God is working even when you can’t see it.

We need to stand on the promises of His Word because NOTHING is to big for Him.

Whatever you’re going through, it’s NO match for our Almighty God!

One word from You
Things change on Your authority
Your word, it’s true
Things change on Your authority
One word; from You.”

The enemy has come only to steel, kill, and destroy! Oh BUT HE came that we may have life to the full, till it overflows.

Are you overflowing? Don’t worry if you can’t answer yes, you are not alone.

If I’m honest right now no I’m not in that overflowing part of life He died for me BUT I’m in that pressing and contending for part of life.

Lots of things have happened the last few months, things that have been extremely difficult but I’m trusting God with all that is within me and I KNOW that he works ALL things out for my good and He will for you too sweet friend.

I can’t explain why but sometimes we just gotta contend a little longer.

As we are contending for the things we are believing God for, let our posture be on our knees as we look up to the One who has the power to change things, heal things, and restore things. I don’t know about you but I need some things in our life changed, healed, and restored. The good news is God is able! He is trustworthy. He is still in the miracle making business.

Contend, pray, and believe just a little bit longer and ENTER INTO His presence as you do and things will change.

I declare you are walking in the God’s authority and the plans of the enemy are destroyed and annihilated in Jesus name! As you release the promises of God over your life, your words are full of resurrection power and none of them will fall to the ground!

Decree it with confidence my friend! For your declarations will truly come to pass! I am strong! I am fearless! No matter what am faced with only good can come out of this! God works ALL things for my good. NO weapon formed against me will prosper! Amen!

Hope you guys have a blessed and wonderful day! If you have any prayer requests please let me know I’d love to pray for you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

One word from You
Things change on Your authority
Your word, it’s true
Things change on Your authority

Will Heaven not prevail and strongholds not be moved?
Will spirits not be silenced and cower at His rule?
For if my God is for me then what have I to fear?
And I will not deny Him the glory that is His
Will Heaven not prevail and strongholds not be moved?
Will spirits not be silenced and cower at His rule?
For if my God is for me then what have I to fear?
And I will not deny Him the glory that is His, oh
Heaven will prevail and strongholds will be moved
Shout it out
Spirits will be silenced and cower at His rule
I know my God is for me so what have I to fear?
For nothing will deny Him the glory that is His

One word from You
Things change on Your authority
Your word, it’s true
Things change on Your authority

Heaven will prevail and strongholds will be moved
Spirits will be silenced and cower at His rule
I know my God is for me so what have I to fear?
For nothing will deny Him the glory that is His

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💗