Tag Archives: Trophy of Grace

You Have A Say

Hey y’all!🤗 I want to help give some of you ladies some freedom! I don’t know about you but weighing myself is my least favorite thing and it was something I use to obsess over. I am no longer a slave to the scale, PRAISE GOD! But you know what bothers that crap out of me is every time you go to the doctor you have to weigh. For me that’s often unfortunately, lol.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ladies saying they didn’t want to weigh, can we just guesstimate, lol. But being forced to do it anyways because that’s what we’ve been told to do for our whole life. How many were filled shame and guilt after they got off scale? How many said to themselves, I’ve got to go on diet? Or I need to exercise more. But then fail. Heaping more shame and guilt.

My nutritionist passed on the best tip that I had no idea about and I bet you don’t either. Did your know you can decline weighing? Yep! You sure can. It’s true, unless what your being seen about actually requires knowing your weight otherwise you don’t have to weigh.

I have found so much freedom in this. You will get resistance but if this is something that is causing you anxiety or is triggering, you go for it! I’ll be happy to share a certain form with you that you can take with you. It’s actually quite empowering!

The first time I did it was rather horrifying lol and it wasn’t a good experience BUT my health, my choice. Me coming to your office for asthma and bronchitis has nothing to do with my weight🙄 I quietly told the nurse I was declining to weight, at first she laughed and I said ‘No I’m not joking, I’m declining to weigh today’ and she just wasn’t having it. She was rude and I was angry at her. I tried explaining to her I was working at overcoming my eating disorder and I didn’t want to weigh and that’s my right, that it had nothing to do with my visit today. She comes back with ‘insurance requires it!’ I said ‘no it doesn’t I’ve talked to them.’ Then it was ‘Well, the hospital requires it and we will not see you unless your get weighed!’ Are you kidding me right now?!?! You rude, lying, bitter woman lol! I was fuming on the inside. You are clearly misguided and misinformed. So I weighed that day but when my dr walked in I sure enough said something to her. I informed her how rude her nurse was and how me being weighed had ZERO to do with my appointment. She agreed and she had heard of this and would follow up about the situation and put it in my chart. I thanked her for her understanding.

But you know old me wouldn’t have declined in the first place and then if I did and had gotten resistance, I would have just let it go and not said a word!

But not today!!

Use your voice!📣

I guess what sparked me sharing this today is I had another lovely encounter with a misguided nurse. But this time I had more confidence and I politely didn’t back down. Everything was fine after we got past that.

You are your best advocate and you know what triggers you. You do you friend! Don’t be conformed to the world, be ye transformed….the world has set standards that don’t have to be YOUR standards, especially when they involve body image, weight, and what’s healthy for YOU!💗🙌💯🔥

God bless you and have a great day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

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.”

Tribute to Gus

Hey y’all! Just a few days ago we unexpectedly lost a very precious member of our family, Gus. The last year has been tough on him. He had been battling an autoimmune condition called pemphigus and then we found out he had lymphoma a week or 2 ago. Our hearts are beyond broken.

Little Gus man brought so much happiness and joy to our family. He was such a lover, always demanding attention. If you stopped petting him he would take his paw and hit you with it repeatedly to say “Hey you human, pet me some more.” LOL🤣

Me and Gussy had a special relationship, see I was G’mama and you know grandma gives all the loves, snuggles, and treats. Not a whole hot dog, lol, but little bites, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner plates he loved so much. Special bakery dog treats and cakes cus that’s how G’mama rolls.

I will miss the times when I would call or text Kayla and say “Gus told me he wanted a sleepover” and she would laugh and say ‘he told you that?’ Then I would go get him and it would turn into a 3 night sleepover lol. Those were the best. When it was time for bed he liked to snuggle right up in left arm and snore in my ear….not just any snore though….he had that loud bulldog snore😳 So between him and my hubby it would be an ear plug night but the best night🤣🙉

I will miss when he would come over and him runny up my stairs to greet us so excited and wiggling his little butt. He was so stinkin’ cute. He would greet me with a love nip to my chin lol. You had to watch him with that, he could leave you with a battle scar. He just loved chins for some crazy reason 🤣😘

That boy loved to lay on his back and scoot right up on you. He would lay there forever.

Gus was so gentle with the littles too, I swear he had the patience of Job. He would let them do whatever they wanted to him and he loved it.

Gus man, we miss you terribly. G’mama loves you SOOOO much. You blessed us and brought us so much joy. I know you are in heaven now and no more suffering. I’m so thankful you had a welcoming party waiting for you. Baby, Dixie, and Zeus, they were happy to see you. I know Zeus was glad to finally meet you. We will see you again little man, until then just like G’mama always did when you left, I’m whispering in your ear how much I love you.

Miss you buddy. RIP Gus❤️🌈

Mommy and Daddy miss you terribly but you were the perfect dog for our family. They took amazing care of you….all the trips to the vet, the medicine, the constant love and care and you loved them right back. It was a perfect fit. You were definitely a gift from God little buddy.

A huge thank you to Galleria Animal Clinic, Dr. Bordon, Dr. Nicki, Amelia, Jana, Karen and all the staff, you guys are truly the BEST humans!! I’ve never known a vet that cared as much as y’all and always going FARRRR ABOVE AND BEYOND what is expected. From the bottom of my heart thank you….it really isn’t enough. God bless you abundantly and richly bless you. You truly are angels in disguise.

Hope you guys enjoy my special tribute of our special Gussy. Please keep my daughter and SIL and the rest of our family in your prayers.

Big hugs,

Nicole❤️

When Gus first came home. G’mama was soooo happy😍
Stud muffin 😍
When Bella first meets Gus🤣
I was recovering from surgery and Gus wanted to sit with me but couldn’t.
Gus: I know you don’t feel good G’mama and your recovering from surgery but I still love you and need snuggles🤣 and maybe a chin nibble🤣🙄
Gus waving 👋
Pumpkin 1 and Pumpkin 2🤣🤣
Nom nom nom😋
G’mama sure knows how to throw a party
Easter bunny came💗

Miracle of the Moment

Miracle of the moment….Joyce was talking about that today. It was really good. I think so often we are just so busy just going through the motions we often miss so much or we are aggravated when things don’t go our way. We don’t realizing God might actually have a purpose and plan for the little hiccups of life.

That was yesterday for me, ohhhhh but I realized right when it happened. I was supposed to meet my dad for lunch yesterday at 11:30 but I had to go and pick up my truck from the car place first. Which let me just say how excited I was to pick it up😍 They had it FOREVER! But they blessed me with a rental. Anywho, so I had to stop and fill it up first before taking it back. I went to leave the gas station and I couldn’t get the key to work lol🤣🙈 I literally sat there 10 minutes trying to get the key to turn over. It was ridiculous. I just chuckled to myself and said out loud ‘Well, the Lord must be protecting me from a wreck or something’ and just moved on. Got to the car place and they took SOOO LONG! They didn’t do a credit, had to look into it, the normal person wasn’t there, etc. Basically, it all made me 30 mins late.

Dad and I were sitting in my truck eating lunch at Chick-fil-A with our windows down and this man walks up and asks if I had jumper cables, his battery had died while he was eating lunch in his car. I was like YESSS! I do and hopped out and got them. I said to him it’s your lucky day I was running 30 mins late otherwise I wouldn’t have been here. He prolly thought I was crazy but he didn’t know all the things that had happened. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure someone else could’ve or would’ve helped him but it just reminds me that God is in the details. He was in that moment where I couldn’t get that stupid key to work. He was there at the car place where they took soooo long to get me my truck. He arranges things, and he will set you up to be in the right place at the right time.

I know this was just a small incident but it still shows me just how BIG my God is. See my friend, He does order our steps just like the Word says. Yesterday, I was able to help someone in just a small way but God ministered to me in that moment in such a BIG way.

Don’t miss the miracle of moment. When things aren’t going your way today, tomorrow, next week, remember God orders our steps and He arranges things we don’t see.

Maybe you had car trouble, but maybe God protected you from an accident.

Maybe that cashier is new and sloooow but maybe you are there to encourage them.

Maybe you are 30 minutes late for a lunch date and your mad at yourself but maybe you were late to help and be blessing to someone else.

It’s the miracle of moment. Don’t miss what God is doing around you sweet friend.

Hope you have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole❤️

Word Of The Year- Courageous

Good morning y’all! Hope you are doing well today. Do you do a Word Of The Year? I’ve been doing it for many years now and I love looking back to my words and the years and seeing how they fit, it always blows my mind.

This year after much prayer I’ve decided that COURAGEOUS is my word. Why did I choose it? Well, I’ll be honest there were many reasons why I choose it but manly because of one 4 letter word…..FEAR.

Fear has gripped me since I was a little child. I didn’t have what I would call a stable home life. It was one of chaos. Don’t get me wrong, I know my mom did the best she could with what she knew. But in her own ways she taught me to be fearful of so many things. Still to this day she tries to put her fears on me, only today I know better and don’t receive it. Over the years I have walked through many things and learned to “Do it afraid” but 2020 showed me there was still some fear in me that needed to be dealt with.

I refuse to live my life in fear.

God kept speaking to my heart Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

DO NOT BE AFRAID. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.

Fear is from the devil and the devil is a LIAR! It starts off as a little thought and before you know our emotions are all wrapped up i it and it becomes soooo strong and can actually overwhelm us. For some it cause panic attacks and others it can cause to shrink back. That’s why we have to be so careful with our emotions, they are fickle and ALWAYS CHANGING. We can’t be ruled by our emotions.

Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he“. I like what Joyce Meyer says: “Where the mind goes, the man follows.” That is so true. God wants us to walk by faith and the devil wants us to walk in paralyzing fear.

We have to meditate on the Word of God and renew our minds to be free from fear and be COURAGEOUS.

Ephesians 2:10 talks about how when we were born again we actually become recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do good works which God predestined…for us…[living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] So let’s think about that for just a minute, if we are “recreated in Christ” whatever Jesus is…..we are too my friend. He is strong and IN HIM we are strong.

1 John 4:17 says As He is so are we in this world.

You are all the things Jesus is.

So the why do we shrink back in fear? False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.

I think it’s because we look at ourselves and what we are not. We look at how far we have to go. We look at our circumstances and think NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE. And finally, I think listen to what others think or have said to us or about us. They try and put out our fire on the inside to make themselves feel better but COURAGE is acting against fear. Acting against the naysayers. Acting on what God says about YOU. Not letting fear control you.

Do It Afraid my friend.

Be Strong and Courageous.

How Can I Be Courageous?

1. Put a name to your fear. I learned in Alanon how to name my fear and do a Fear inventory. It’s actually an AA step but my Alanon sponsor used the AA Big Book with me as well. I may not have been an alcoholic or drink but I was raised in it and lived with it so of course you pick up the “ISMS”

2. Surrender. This may take doing over and over again. Nothing is wrong with that, often times we give it up and take it back. Give back to God again.

3. Speak God’s Promises over your life. His promises are YES! And AMEN!! And they are for YOU my friend.

4. Renew Your Mind. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5

So this year when those fearful thoughts come to my mind I will put a name to my fear. I will surrender. I will speak Gods promises over my life and keep renewing my mind.

I WILL BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS AND KICK FEAR TO THE CURB! And I hope you will do.

What is your Word Of The Year and why? I’d love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

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💗🙏🙌💯⚓️

Some Storms Clear Your Path

Good morning sweet friends! Happy Saturday!

I don’t know what you might be going through, but I just wanted to encourage you today. The storms of life come to each one of us but Jesus is there with you…every step of the way. You may feel alone but you are not alone.

It’s because of your trials you are being made stronger with every wave crashes against you.

Keep breathing my friend.

Just take one more step.

Don’t stop.

I can promise there will be times when we all want to quit. Wanting to quite is human nature and totally understandable. You just want the pain or the problems to go away. Been there, done that…..bought the T-shirt.

We all get weary and tired, often times it’s during the weariness we stop doing the life giving things that help keep us going. We say to ourselves, “What’s the use?” I totally get it. But when we’re tired we don’t always make the right decisions because our mind is cloudy and our feelings are all discombobulated. Then we forget our purpose and that’s never good!

Lots of things happen in the middle of our trials and it’s especially important to not quite and keep going. With each crushing blow we can doubt the love of God. Have you ever doubted the love of God? I know I have. We can also doubt he can cause anything to work out for our good! I’m guilty of thinking , “There is absolutely NO WAY God can turn this around or make it turn out for me good.” We can think he’s forgotten us too. Oh, but can I just tell you “Precious one, He hasn’t forgotten YOU. He sees YOU and Oh how He loves YOU and with a resounding YESSS! He can work ALL things out for your good…..And He will!”

This moment, this trial, this storm….it’s time to find your BRAVE.

It’s time to keep going!

It’s NOT time to quit and give up.

YOU ARE ANOINTED FOR HARD.

Understandably, you may look defeated and even feel defeated but YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE KING. Walking in VICTORY AND PURPOSE.

DEFEAT IS NOT YOUR NAME!

OVERCOMER IS YOUR NAME!

Perseverance is in your blood.

You were born for such a time as this.

We gotta get in agreement with His word and say what He says about us.

Prophecy to those dry bones!

Speak life to the broken places in your life.

The power of life and death is in YOUR TONGUE.

Hope y’all have a blessed and wonderful weekend.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The word says
“For the spirit of heaviness”
“Put on the garment of praise”
That’s how we fight our battles (yeah) This is how I fight my battles. It may look like I’m surrounded. But I’m surrounded by You. This is how I fight my battles🔥🙌💗🙏💯