On How Fearing the Dark Might Not Be a Bad Thing

eclipse-M

The idea of light has followed me around lately. Reaching me in the most obscure and obvious places. And while I try to help my five year-old sort through his own questions of darkness, a part of me wants to teach him what I’m learning now in hopes his journey of life would be more illuminated as a result. Regardless of how the darkness feels.

The other part of me doesn’t want him to know the truth yet…how the darkness is a foreign animal no human could ever tame…

Friends, I’m over at my other home, 5 Minutes for Faith, sorting through this very thing today. I’d love to have you stop by and share your thoughts with me! Simply click on the button below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Wide-Eyed Wonder {Stop and Consider His Ways}

Stop and Consider God's miracles

Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from His clouds?
Do you understand how He moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
When you are sweltering in your clothes
and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
He makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
Can you do that?
Job 37:14-18

A simple question I asked my son last week reminded me of these verses and then began a new journey for me. One I am loving thus far.

I’m sharing about it over at my other home, 5 Minutes for Faith today. I’d love to have you visit so I can share it with you. Simply click on the button below!

For in witnessing the unimaginable, and pondering the indescribable, we see Him more clearly. By admiring His craftsmanship, we join the Heavens in praise…

If you don’t have time to stop by, I’d still love to hear from you. Tell me…How has God astounded you lately? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

(in)couraging Homeschool Mamas

A treasured story has been on my heart lately. You know the one simply by their names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Do you ever wonder if they doubted their decision to stand firm? I tend to picture them looking at each other for clues on how they were going to respond first before they uttered their own life sentence…

Friend, may I confess something to you? I’m not a homeschooling poster mom. I still struggle. I doubt my capabilities. My decisions. I wonder if I’m giving enough, teaching enough, showing enough, laughing enough. I fear how fast I could fail. How fine the line is between blowing it and getting it right…I mean, it’s my child’s life we’re talking about here.

May I share something else? It sometimes feels like I’m the only one making this decision to homeschool. I’m often the only one I see in the flames. The lot of us is very small in my personal circle of encounters. And when questions roll my way and when doubt creeps in, it’s easy to start feeling the blaze of fire on my heart.

You know what I’m figuring out? No matter the cost of my decision, God has a way of making sure I’m not alone. He always manages to give me a friend to help me see Him clearly. Because He’s always there next to me.

Thanks to social media and the wonderful (in)courage community team, I now can link arms with other homeschooling mamas. Together, we can claim this path God has for us no matter the cost. And if one of us starts to feel the heat, we can encourage to look beyond the flames–help each other see the One we’re walking towards.

Friend, you can too. Even if you’re not a homeschooling mama, there are dozens of community groups to choose from! Check it out HERE!

How ’bout you? Would you like to be my Abednego? Would you like to help encourage other homeschooling mamas alongside us? We’d love to have you.

Thanks to (in)courage, here’s how:

  • UPDATE: This group is now full to capacity. But there are other (in)courage groups waiting for you! Please check them out…

I’m honored to be co-leading this group for (in)courage with some amazing homeschooling mamas. To find out more about us, click the image below.

Please know we don’t claim to have all the answers. We aren’t expecting to alter any of your homeschooling decisions. We simply want walk with you. Encourage you by letting you know you’re not alone. Share Biblical truths to show the solid ground beneath our feet.

How about you, friend? Could you use a friend in the homeschooling fire? We’d love to get to know you. Share some virtual tea as we talk about all things Kingdom related. And if homeschooling isn’t your thing (and believe me, it’s not for everyone), what community group do you see yourself in most? I’d love to hear. You may check out all the groups HERE.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Love Never Stops Believing {The Greatest Motivator}

click for photo credit

Sometimes I get so caught up in my unbelief. I get so wrapped up in my faith, or lack thereof, that I forget some basic truths about The One we are striving to believe in in the first place.

Am I the only one?

I’m over at 5 Minutes for Faith talking about this today. I’d love to have you stop by and express your thoughts as well as give me the opportunity to share something heavy on my mind.

And I’m so excited to lay it open, I’ll give you a glimpse of it now:

Friend, God believes in you. God believes in you.

Won’t you click over and let me tell you more? Simply click the button below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Wide Eyed Wonder ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

WONDER

I nearly burst as I see his eager eyes offering to soak it in. And am blown away at what a difference a year makes. As I reach for my trusty Storybook Bible, he whispers:

“No, Mom. Don’t read it. I want to hear you tell it to me.”

My heart warms as I push doubt aside and breathe in deep, inviting Him to lead the way.

We start slow and steady as He primes my heart. And I let it all go as I share the story impressioned on my soul years ago.

His eyes grow wide with each point told. My eyes pool with pride or love I’m not quite sure, but doubt there is a difference now.

I let the space of silence grow at the end as he picks up his thoughts left along the trail. And when our eyes meet again he asks me what’s been weighing heavy:

“Mom, what did the shepherds do with their sheep when they went to go visit Jesus? They didn’t leave them behind, did they?”

Grace wins right then and there as I wonder if my 4 year-old heard more than my words could muster.

No, child. Not one sheep is ever left intentionally. The Good Shepherd always keeps watch. He sees you and will pick you up along the journey if He has to.

Don’t worry, son. He’d even bring you to Bethlehem. Room or not, He’ll always make space for you.

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

Please know 5 Minute Fridays will be taking the month of December off. But I’ll still try to post now and again. Trusting I’ll have 5 minutes here or there where I can write without a prompt…

How about you? Is there a part of the Christmas story you’ve ever wondered about? What do you delight most in the Wonder of the Season? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

STAY ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

STAY

His squeals of delight never get old. We run up and down chasing wind currents I’m hoping aren’t imaginary. Trusting one of these passes our dreams will take flight.

We proved that day what glory sounds like: a ripple of nylon in the breeze…

I wanted nothing more than to let out the string some, lay on the top of the hill and watch our handiwork dance. My four year-old had other ideals on how you keep diamonds in the sky.

We skipped circles in the crunchy grass, changing courses with each rotation, when finally the flight came to an end.

He dropped his arm to his side, string still in hand as he said “Oh mom, I wanted it to stay like this forever.”

I’ve never agreed more.

My Savior and I have had this conversation before. And those mountaintop moments will always be my favorite. As I dance in unabashed praise, arms raise as if I’m holding hands in the sky. With glory so sweet I can taste His goodness.

Then life blindsides. Courses change. Grass browns. And I long for what once was.

But as soon as the breeze touches my face, I remember. When I choose to raise my hands again, I feel it.

Yes, son, we’ll have to put the kite away for this next season. But I promise you we’ll have this moment again soon. And we’ll keep having it for a thousand forevers. You’ll see glory again.

After all…He’s promised.

 

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you hold on to His promises of glory? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

ROOTS ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

Greg Abel Photography. All Rights Reserved

This week’s prompt:

ROOTS

For weeks upon weeks he’s asked for the same song. And I try so hard not to groan for it’s really not a going-to-sleep song. He can’t see me doing the motions in the dark and yet he is adamant with his request that they must be done.

So he closes his eyes and I try to create a safe space for dreams. I make sure he hears my hands building. Wisely on rock. Foolishly on sand. With rains tumbling down and floods rising.

Some day I’ll have to explain how I’ve made up the last three verses.

But not tonight.

No.

Tonight, my 4 year-old miracle of a boy will go to sleep knowing our house is built on Jesus. He’ll know the rains can’t penetrate our hearts. Sure waves will come crashing, but our foundation won’t crack.

He’ll know when the floods of life rise, our Savior becomes our life raft.

And some day I’ll tell him all about roots and how they don’t have to be buried here.

Roots don’t need a zip code. They need a Savior.

I already have his Bible picked out. The one my husband and I will give him sooner than later.

I’ll show him how to build upon it.
How to bury deep within it.
How to soak up its nutrients daily.

So when the rains come — and they will.
But when the floods rise — he’ll know he’s going to be alright.

Because his roots extend beyond the storm.

And his Savior has got a firm hold.

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you bury your roots in the Word? (And do you know what song I’ve been singing each night?) I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

Hallowed Be Thy Name {Thoughts on Halloween}

He’s nose deep in his children’s dictionary.  The one his grandmother gave him. I can almost see his inner wheels spinning wildly as he stares long at the page in front of him.

I’ve learned not to interrupt; to speed the lesson along. And I savor the gifts my Savior often brings as a result. Today was no exception.

“Mom, what is so holy about Halloween?
And what does ‘holy’ mean, anyway?
Why don’t they show that word here?”

The towel goes limp mid-fold as I scramble to slow the room down. Clearly I missed something.

“What do you mean ‘holy about Halloween’?
Where does it say that?
Can I see your dictionary, please?”

His defenses rise as he tries to explain his train of thought. How he knows you can put two words together sometimes. And there they are, together in the dictionary…like they used hallowed to make Halloween…

“Don’t ‘hallowed’ and ‘Halloween’
look like they go together?

Hallowed…or holy…Halloween”

My eyes won’t leave the page. I can’t get over it and have no idea how to respond. Patience thins and he bends inward to search my hazels for a clue. His eyes twinkle when our gaze finally meets and I see Christ right then and there.

I can barely breathe. And feel like I’m nearing the word that follows…

Out of words, I tell him honestly: I have never thought about this before. These words have never been connected to me. Until now. And I will never look at Halloween the same.

So I remind my four year-old what I’ve told him all along:
Holidays are what you make them to be.
And I will do everything I can to
make Halloween hallowed for him.
Why, we might even integrate the word listed above…

His excitement grows as I show him where to find holy. A few pages following and in his heart. I could burst as he begins to mention every name of God he knows. And catch myself doing the same.

Knee deep in laundry…nose deep in books…my boy and I…we find holy.

A Hallowed Halloween.

It’s then I hear His whisper. The lesson He had for me.

You see, I used to think God showed up where and when you least expected Him to. As if His presence was a random event. Like today.

That’s not true.

He’s been here all along.

Intertwined in every moment.

He’ll prove His name Hallowed any day of the year.

Even on Halloween.

On earth as it is in Heaven…

I just need to invite Him in.

Click to Pin

Friends, this is the day the Lord has given.
Let’s not forget. Let’s live it out.

No matter the celebration plans, let’s invite Him in.

I can feel it already. It’s going to be a Hallowed Halloween.

How about you, friend? How will you honor His Hallowed Name today? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Photo Credit

Linking With:

Stop. Look. Listen. ~ Five Minute Friday

I say it every week, but it hasn’t changed yet.
It’s true.

Sometimes, I just want to write
Without worrying if it’s right or not.

Would you believe I’ve found a place that offers me that kind of grace?
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

So I will join others and write unabashedly
for five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

LOOK

It’s Parenting 101. At least it should be for any parent with a preschooler knows the importance of this one simple request. It’s a requirement here before instruction can carry on:

“Look at my eyes, please.”

I used to think I needed to say ‘Stop’ before the request, but now save myself the effort. Because I’ve come to realize, one needs to stop to look with focus. My boy will need to stop in order to see what I’m saying.

To think, I say this like it’s an easy task. And I’ve been frustrated before with him not stopping I’m certain. Oh that silly apple…it doesn’t fall far.

Father, I hear You. Inviting me to look at the Prize, not the spectators along the way. And I see it now…this request is really a gift, isn’t it. Because when we look, we need to stop to see You clearly. And when we do, we find it: REST. We find You and leave the drama of this world along the wayside.

Oh how You love me…

Friends, sometimes we look but we do not see. Sometimes we listen but we do not hear. Sometimes we stop and we do not rest.

Or is it just me…who loses sight of the prize through the flashing lights. Who can’t hear Him through the screaming spectators. Who grows so weary every part of my body and soul aches.

Am I the only one who forgets to stay childlike?

Today I’m going to stop. Look right in His eyes. And listen to the instruction He brings.

Will you join me? And more importantly, may I pray for you?

I think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank.
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—
to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally,
your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly
what it is He is calling you to do,
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has
for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of
His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!
Ephesians 1:16-19 (The Message)

STOP.

Okay, it’s true. I copied in that Bible verse after my time was up. But I knew what I wanted to pray over you, so I’m hoping you will give me some grace?

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How do you stop to look at the Prize? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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Psst…Friends, you’ll never believe it. I’m guest posting over at Christian Mommy Blogger today! You see, when I heard about all the Facebook changes, I decided to get informed and see how we can use them to our advantage. I think I found a loop hole! Stop on by if you’re confused or frustrated about the News Feed changes. Click the button below!

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

Reversing the Rat Race ~ Five Minute Friday

Can I share something with you?

Sometimes, I just want to write
Without worrying if it’s right or not.

Would you believe I’ve found a place that offers me that kind of grace?
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

So I will join others and write unabashedly
for five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

RACE

It never ends. From the rise of the sun to the moon’s final descend, we fight it: Time. We wring it dry, trying to savor every drop and lay our heads on the pillows wondering if we succeeded.

Something about this makes me wonder if we misinterpreted this gift of time…

Is it just me? Are we too busy?

Busy is a four-letter word now widely accepted.

And excuses are busy’s cousins.

Friends, I want out. This race is not for me.

I wish I remembered where I read that if we’re too busy to spend time with God, we’re busier than He intended. Oh how that makes me cringe as I think about how many times I’ve let busy’s cousin in to reason with my lack of time for Him.

No more. I’m taking Him up on His offer and trading in that four-letter word for a better one: REST.

Yes, I’m letting go and letting God…

So my child may not become a black belt. He may not be a pianist savant by age thirteen. We might miss out on a few fun things…

I might not even get 3 blog posts done some weeks. And I might miss out on a few fun things…

But I can assure you, friend. I’m not missing out on Him loving me. I’ll be taking my time in the pool of grace. Trying to wring it dry. I’ll show my child how to stop and see His gifts all around. For that’s where true joy abounds.

Friends, I plan on savoring long whatever the time right in front of me holds. And thanking Him for each moment it brings. So when I lay my head on the pillow each night I can not wonder but know I’ve spent this gift of time well.

This upside down Kingdom of grace is one I signed up for. I’m going to start living like it.

Let’s reverse this rat race! Who’s with me?

STOP.

What keeps many of us growing is not sin, but speed.
We lose God in the blurred landscape as we rush.
We don’t struggle with the Bible, but with the clock.
Michael Yaconelli ~ Messy Spirituality

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Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? Will you trade in some busy for rest? How do you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…