Eleven Things About Me Times Two {Take Two}

Friends, my new friend Jenni has awarded me with the Liebster award! Which means I get to share the real me with all of you. Thank you, Jenni!

What is the Liebster Award?

The German word Liebster (pronounced LEEB-ster) means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

The Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

(Don’t think I should be able to receive this award?
Feel free to like my Facebook Page!)

**Please note: You may view the rules for the award at the bottom of this post.

Some might remember me doing an 11 Things About Me Post before. Hence the name of this post. Please note: I made sure not to repeat myself, which was a challenge! If you would like to read more random facts about me, you may check out my earlier post HERE.

 11 Random Facts about Me:

  1. An eye doctor once told me my eyes weren’t really hazel, they’re calico because they change color with what I’m wearing or what’s around me. Something tells me he meant chameleon but didn’t want to call me a lizard. A cat woman is much better…
  2. Pointed heels are not found in my wardrobe. Despite how much I like them, I like my knees not failing me more.
  3. If I didn’t worry about missing nutrition, I would have a loaded veggie burrito bowl every single day of the week and twice on Sundays.
  4. There are certain words in the English language that still mess me up no matter how many times someone tries to explain them to me. Example: Past vs. Passed. If you can describe the difference to me in a way google can’t, please do! And side note: I LOVE emails that point out how I could improve my grammar. Seriously.
  5. ‘Nikki’ and ‘Tech Savvy’ are never used in the same sentence unless there is an “is so not” in-between them. It’s one of the main reasons I fought starting a blog in the first place! And yet I learn so quickly when I put my mind to it. Father, give me the desire to learn all things techy that could serve You.
  6. Currently, I do not own a single bottle of fingernail polish. I threw all my old ones out before realizing how expensive replacing those bottles would be! If you have a very inexpensive line you like that doesn’t wear off every two days, let me know. My toes will thank you.
  7. Even after playing Scrabble Junior 20 some times today, I can still say I LOVE teaching kids how to play board games. I could play them all day long. Preferably not the same one more than 20 times in a row, but if they ask, I’ll never say no. (This one is kind of a repeat, but thank you for grace as I just played Scrabble Junior 20+ times!)
  8. I am extremely easy to shop for. Whether it’s because I never buy anything for myself or I’m not picky makes no difference. That being said, I still believe magazine subscriptions and books are the best gifts ever.
  9. The first thing I do when editing anything I write is go through and delete the excessive amount of ‘thats’ and exclamation points. I must be a joy to talk with in person.
  10. Sitting alone in a crowded waiting room is something I don’t mind at all. But I’m never able to get lost in my thoughts or people watch for long as I always end up having a person go out of their way to visit with me. God sure likes to take advantage of these moments I get and I do strive to show them Jesus.
  11. I prefer to take the stairs over an elevator. It’s not an exercise thing for me, though. It’s a fresh air/claustrophobic thing.

Jenni’s Questions for Me:

What is your greatest fear?

Bees. I fell into a ground hive when I was young and have never forgotten that experience. My heart palpitates at the very mention of them.

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind. Simple. Teacher.

What is your favorite passage of Scripture (verse or book)?

I wake up every morning with Lamentations 3:21-24 on my lips.

Name something that’s on your bucket list.

I have a Blogging Bucket List and a Personal Bucket List if you’d like to see more.
One thing: Make my own bread. The baker bone is not in me…but I’m striving.

Describe what a perfect day would look like to you.

If I’m with my family, it’s a perfect day to me! And if the temps are in the upper 60’s, low 70’s, I’m elated.

What is your favorite color?

Dry sage. Or any shade of green.

Share a brief testimony of how God is working in your life.

He’s turned me upside down lately, which I’ve discovered means I’m finally right side up. Now He’s turning me inside out. It’s been painful and extremely rewarding as I’ve begun to see things I hear Christians talk about so much the words seem to lose their meaning. I now see grace. faith. love. mercy. forgiveness in a whole new light. And I’m bursting to start sharing more.

What is your favorite snack?

Popcorn. Hands down.

If you could live anywhere, where would that be?

Close to family. Now, if only I could get them all to move to Alaska or Colorado…

Name five things that make you smile.

Toothless grins. A child’s giggles. Hand-written cards in the mail. Hearing from all of you (aka comments). My hubby walking through the door.

Why do you write?

Because God gave me a story to tell and has asked me to share it. Including the story in progress. And He’s given me the gift of sorting things out better when I take the time to put thoughts into tangible words. Thank You, Father… 

Oofda! Didn’t get enough? Check out my 100 Things About Me Post!

Now, I’m supposed to nominate 11 other people to do this as well. But the 11 I came up with have already been nominated by another! Plus, it would be more fun to hear from all of you…

How about you, friend? Care to share how we’re alike or polar opposite? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

** Rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Notify the people you have tagged.
5. No tag backs.

One Fold at a Time ~ My Birthday Reflection

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I had made it with my own two hands in shop class. Didn’t matter what the temperature was in the house, it was always cool to the touch when I would stretch under to find it. Spray painted black and locked with a key was my safe place. The space that for my teenage self-consumed years, held my heart.

And I still remember it like it was yesterday, my 18th birthday. When I reached under my bed searching for something inside my secret box: the list of my 5 and 10 year goals. My dreams.

Reading them again in great detail, I concurred I wouldn’t change a thing. None of them seemed to scream “all for me”. I could even see how God’s glory might prevail in each one. And in my prayer time, I told Him as much.

Then I handed the list to Him and said for the first time in my life:

“Here, Lord. I give it to You. Have Your way with me.”

Friends, I wouldn’t know it then, but I do now. I witnessed grace right then and there as He crumpled up my papered dreams and handed me a new sheet. Not one wrinkle, crease or writing on it as far as I could see…

Fast forward 17 years and you’ll find me today as He reminds me of that moment. And I hear His whisper “Do you see? I may have crumpled your child-like dreams, but do you see how I have made them more beautiful?”

He’s right, you know. My life is nowhere near what I imagined it to be. It’s richer. And I see now how He has folded that piece of paper so intricately to make something beautiful out of me.

Somewhere along the way, He apprehended my heart with His compelling love.
And gave me wings to fly.
Somehow through the journey, He captivated my soul.
And fixed my face upon Him.
Some way only He can accomplish, He turned my world upside down.
And made me realize I am finally right-side up.

I’ve been in a scandalous love affair ever since.

Wanna know the biggest lesson I’ve learned through it all?

My heart doesn’t belong in a box tucked away neatly in a safe place. It’s not meant to live on my sleeve, either. My heart, the place I’ve let Him take up residence, is meant to be shared. Handed out freely to anyone willing to accept it in the manner intended.

Could I get hurt? No more than He has been.

Will I run out of something to give? Not if I keep letting Him fill me up again.

Does everyone deserve a piece of it? That’s where the gift comes in.

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT

My heart warms while accepting the permission I have to protect myself. And my heart leaps out of my chest in joy over knowing the place where He resides determines the course of my life. It’s a joint effort. This love affair.

Friends, every time I lay my self down and give His love away, I gain another fold. I become one step closer to the one He has made me to be. And I have no idea what my shape will look like when He’s done but one thing I am certain: He’s the best origami artist there could ever be.

Thank you, Father, for another year of letting me witness what You can do through me. I’ve said it before and may I never stop: Here You go, Abba. Have Your way with me…

How about you, friend? How has He been folding you lately? How do you guard and still give your heart away? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linking up with:

A Blogger’s Prayer

I’ve read a few in my 9 months of blogging. I’m sure you have, too. Some have stuck with me and I’ve prayed them more than once. Duane’s prayer resonated deep. I’ve prayed it countless times as it has been my heart’s cry lately.

Then my friend Mary Beth suggested I write a mission statement for my blog. Define my purpose in this space. She’s right. I do need to do that.

When I brought the idea to the Mastermind behind this space, He told me to slow down. And began to show me where I need to begin.

Friends, I need to find my own voice. My own heart’s cry to Him. I need my prayer to be more personal.

So, this is where I’m at right now. When I sit down at the keys, and seek His face, these are the words on my lips. And I wanted to share them with you. Let it be so.

Will you pray with/for me?

Father, thank You for meeting me in this space.
For letting me linger long in Your embrace.
Thank You for giving me words to shed here.
For using this outlet to draw me closer to You.

Jehovah, You astound me. Let it always be so.

You have given me the gift of writing.
And although I’ve fought it, I now humbly accept it.
Thank You, Yahweh, for allowing me to worship You this way.
And here, I give it back to You.

For Your glory. Let it be so.

So with trembling fingers I press publish,
Offering my heart to others in hopes they see You.
Although I know the words written are for You and me,
I pray You can use them for more.

Not for me, but for You. Let it stay so.

May my words speak Your name. Not mine.
May my writing be so that the author is forgotten,
But what is remembered is You.
Your glory. Your grace. Your love. Your works.

For it’s all about You. Let it remain so.

I am but a vessel.
Your handiwork.
Nothing more than a piece of clay.
Nothing less than a masterpiece.

Only You know the plan for my life. Let that be enough.

And when people stop by, may they see who made me.
May Your style resonate so that my face is forgotten.
For all they see is You.

I cannot think of a greater legacy
Than that which leaves Your fingerprints
On everything I’ve left behind.

Holy Spirit, let it be so.

Lord, make me unknown.
Known only to You.
And while You’re at it,
Can You make me okay with that, too?

To You, Abba, be all glory and honor forever. Jesus, let it be so.

I’m certain this prayer will  evolve as I continue to draw nearer to Him. So I’ve decided, like Duane, to add this prayer to the tab headers on my blog for easy access. My plan is to update it when necessary. I would be honored if you would stop by from time to time and pray alongside me. For His glory.

How about you, friend? What have you been praying lately? What is your heart’s cry? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linking up with:

The Night I First Heard Him

The crisp air danced through leaves that would soon turn vibrant. Our winding lake country road was uncommonly bright and I stretched my neck searching for the source. Ah, there it was, the Fall Harvest Moon was upon us.

I was 16. And this night was altogether common. Me driving the 13 miles home after a high school sporting event. My younger brother in tow.

Why, he was the first one to spot it. And I quickly looked up the steep hill beside us to see it for myself: A grand buck deer being chased by something much smaller. Sleeker. As I was trying to recall if we had cougars in our region, the buck decided to change its course.

Anyone can figure out how a battle between a 13 point buck and a ’87 Chevy Sprint will turn out. Still I tried to defy the odds. I downshifted and tried to get under the buck jumping. Hoping he would clear our 3-cylinder car. It was a good thought and would have been brilliant if it had worked.

The hood flew up, causing the deer to spin onto the roof. His hind legs, grasping for footing, broke through my driver-side window. Bristly fur grazed my nose as his hoof made contact with my brother beside me.

If I were sharing this story with you in person, this would be the moment I would lighten things up by offering to be a spokesperson for anti-lock breaks. Because we had none. And I do see how they would have prevented us from rolling down the embankment ahead.

Yet that’s what got the deer out.

There we hung by our nylon straps as I took assessment of our situation. My 12 year-old brother doing everything he could to assure me he was okay despite the red droplets proving otherwise.

Nearly two decades later and I still cannot tell you how we got out of the car.

After tying my brother’s t-shirt around his head as tightly as I could, I took on my only option: running the final miles home for help.

The dirt road was like beach sand beneath my feet, making it hard to run fast. And I wondered why I had never noticed that before. I yelled back encouragement to my brother between pants of air and my prayers as I still wasn’t sure what was chasing that deer. Oh how I prayed.

For I cried out to him for help, praising Him as I spoke.
Psalm 66:17

It was around my 3rd plea, my first time acknowledging with praise, that I heard Him.

Don’t worry, my child. You’ll make it.
So will he. I have more work for you to do.

The fall air began to burn my lungs around the second bend. My knees grew week with fear or pain I wasn’t quite sure. Yet with each pound of my Eastland shoe, I heard Him. Urging me to keep going. Telling me I was doing great. Assuring me my brother was just behind and doing fine.

Long before I would have started, before the end of our drive was even in view, before I could see any light coming from the vicinity of our house, He told me to yell for my mother. Clear as day, He told me to yell for her. Quickly.

I listened and obeyed.
She responded.

I was 16 when I discovered His voice and the power of prayer. No one can tell me otherwise. For I’ve spoken with Him plenty since.

Years later, after marriage had found me a Pastor’s wife, girls from our youth group asked me what God sounds like. How they will know when they hear Him. I told them then and would tell you the same thing today:

When you seek Him with your whole heart, when you let go of yourself and let Him in, you’ll hear Him. Sometimes you’ll hear Him from within. A whisper that warms your heart while tingling the nape of your neck. And sometimes you’ll hear Him through a friend or while reading His Word or through any activity Spirit-led. Sometimes it will take time to know you’ve heard Him. You might not realize it until hindsight.

Regardless, He’s promised. He’s always there. Always listening. Always responding in one form or another.

Because He’s a God of relationships.
And He wants nothing more than to have heart-to-heart conversations with you.

That night changed my prayer life. It went from being formality to a communion I longed for. He became personal.

Friends, please know it doesn’t take a near-death experience to hear Him. That’s simply the first time I had made room for Him…

How about you? Do you remember hearing His voice for the first time? How does He speak to you now? How do you speak to Him? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Those persons who know the deep peace of God,
the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding,
are always men and women of much prayer.~ R. A. Torrey

NOTE: This is a part of my series on Prayer. To see other posts in this series, CLICK HERE.

Linking up With:

Always Be Ready…

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It was an ordinary workday. Like most, I had joined my colleagues in the lunchroom. The conversation was well under way when I arrived, yet they quickly pulled up a chair for me to join in. I pasted a smile on my face as I realized the topic was one of my least favorites. And decided to simply listen politely.

When I couldn’t take it any longer. The conversation was shifting to something I was passionate about defending: My Redeemer.

Bin Laden is proof there is no God. Unless God is cruel cuz there’s no way a good god could let a man like that do what he does. If that’s the case, I don’t want to know God, anyway.”

Friends, I was one in leadership and knew I wasn’t supposed to express my personal beliefs in the workplace. But I also knew I couldn’t sit silent. I’d never forgive myself.

It was out before I had even thought it through.

I don’t want to know his mother.” I uttered almost under my breath.

Instant silence. All eyes on me. My eyes on my plate.

What did you say, Nicole?”

I set my toasted sandwich down, met his gaze and reminded myself to breathe.

I said I don’t want to know Osama’s mother. How can she sit idly by and watch the chaos that comes from her son’s bloody hands? How can she live with herself?”

It’s now that I fully understand the word fervently. For that’s how I was praying.

Nicole, I can’t wait to see you become a mother. You know how little control parents have of their kids once they become adults. In fact, parents have less control over how their kids end up than they realize. Besides, the culture over there…” his voice trails in his own thoughts.

My eyes find my sandwich once again. I pick it up as I try to say coolly,

Sometimes I wonder if that’s how God feels. He may control earth’s orbit, but what makes you think He controls how we as people act with one another? We’re not puppets. He doesn’t take over Bin Laden any more than Osama’s own mother. And I’m certain the good God I believe in had better plans for Bin Laden than the path he’s freely chosen.

All stares peel off me and strike the man seeking for truth. Our eyes meet and I pray once again. May this man see Christ within me. May he come to me if he wants to know more….panic suddenly hits as I have no idea what I would say if he does!

Another saves him by changing the subject and soon the 30 second episode is forgotten. Except to me…and I was hoping him…

~~~~~~~~~~

This years-old incident came to mind recently while reading this verse:

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope,
always be ready to explain it.
I Peter 3:15

I couldn’t help but ask myself:

Am I always ready to explain the hope found in Christ?

Oh friends, somewhere along the line, I feel like we’ve complicated things. We’ve gotten wrapped up in more than the basic truth. So much so that the simplistic realization of Christian hope is often forgotten when needed most.

I don’t know about you, but I’m striving to change that. I want to be ready to explain the hope of Christ to anyone, anywhere, any way possible.

The other day, I sat down to write out how I would respond if someone asked me to explain away. And was so ashamed at how long it took me to write a single thing down.

You see, I have been through Billy Graham’s salvation training. I’ve been a Bible Camp Counselor. I hold a Bible degree. I’ve memorized the Romans road. I know the hope of Christ. I do. And yet, it doesn’t feel right.

Because God didn’t use Romans to save me. Simply memorizing scripture and spewing off impersonal facts is not the purest picture of Christ’s hope — the one I know deep down in my soul…and isn’t that what He’s asked me to share? The story He has given me personally? Isn’t that what I should always be ready to explain? How He’s saved me?

How about you, friend? Are you ready to explain your Christian hope? How would you? I’d love to hear.

And very soon, I will share mine…

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

A follow-up: The man mentioned has contacted me. He shared with me how he had been hurt severely by a church. There are also a few incidents in his childhood that have kept him from seeking God. It is still an ongoing conversation between us as he continues to reach out to me on occasion. I would appreciate your prayers as I keep striving to show him the healing truth.

Saved the Same

My accent is Fargo-like. My skin burns easily. I grew up in a town that, until recently, did not have a stoplight. There were 76 in my public school graduating class. I grew up on hotdishes, said pop instead of soda, and do not have a good taste palette for seafood.

If I had to guess, I would say we couldn’t be more different. And yet we’re the same.

For we are all uniquely His.
Saved by the same Savior.
Loved by the same Father.
On the same journey home.

I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. I don’t ever remember being late for work. A cigarette has never touched my lips.

Yet none of that matters. Because I’ve failed repeatedly. Ashamedness is no stranger to me. I’ve broken commandments. And I need to ask of forgiveness frequently.

You see, sin is not ranked. You and I, we’ve sinned the same. We’re both in need of this grace He gives so undeservingly.

Friend, His grace is indiscriminate. None of us deserve it. No, not one. He loves me as much as He loves you.

He died for both of us. And He would do it again.

Technology intimidates me. I don’t consider shopping fun. And I would rather stay home and read a great book than go to the movies.

My guess is, we couldn’t be more different. And yet we’re the same.

We’ve sinned the same.
We’re loved the same.
We’re saved the same.
And we’re both on the same journey home.

My guess is, we would get along splendidly.

We believe that we are all saved the same way,
by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 15:11 NLT

Thank you for sharing your time with me. Me, this sinner saved the same.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linking with:

April 17th ~ Our Day

Breath escapes me when I see my reflection. It’s my 9-year-old self, playing this day with friends. This was it. The day every girl dreams of at one time or another. And here I was, draped in white satin, laced in pearls, awaiting you.

Questions abound as my inner child grasps for reality. Does he really know what he’s getting into? It feels too good to be true, so isn’t it? Look at me, I’m just a child. Why is He blessing me with you? I don’t deserve this. Does God really love me this much?

Dad accepts my arm proudly as we start our long venture, both trying to match pace. All eyes focused on me and my knees can hardly stand it. It’s your gaze that keeps me upright. Making me want to pick up speed.

The crinkled runner has finally ended. I breathe slow, catching the scent of lilacs held. And as I stand between your parents and mine, waiting to be given away, your pooled eyes reflect I’m not alone. You feel the same way. Never have we known such love.

Oh how He loves us.

Your strong hand encompasses mine, squelching any dangles of doubt. And we dive head first into love. Vowing to walk each other home as long as God allows. Every evening since, we have sealed it the same way: With a kiss.

Nine years later to the day. Your familiar hand surrounds mine once again. And yet it feels different. I look down and see what is holding you back. We learn it becomes difficult to squelch out fear with an IV in the way.

My inner child returns with more questions. Does God really feel we’re ready for this? Am I good enough to be entrusted with such a blessing? Look at me, I’m just a child, laboring to have one of my own. Do I have enough to give? Am I spreading love too thin?

But soon his strong cry encompasses my heart, squelching any dangles of doubt. And you and I dive head first into love again. Praising our Father along the way.

They take our son to the other side of the room and your hand doesn’t want to leave mine. Our eyes meet and we both know. God has blessed us with enough. Never have we known such love.

Oh how He loves us.

I make it easy on you, asking you to go to him. For me. And I witness you welcoming our firstborn. He knows you right away, even the nurses can tell. And me, well I can hardly breathe.

For 13 years now, this has been our day. The day to celebrate our choice to share the road home. God surprised us with a son on the same day 9 years later and we couldn’t agree more. There is no better way to celebrate our love.

Karen Sunde wrote “To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” And I know it to be true. For I see my home in you. I gain a bigger perspective of heaven in our son’s eyes. And I know we have received but a glimpse of what our second son already knows.

Thank you for holding my hand. Thank you for walking alongside me. Thank you for being the father my sons deserve.

I’ll dive head first with you anytime. For now I know…

Oh how He loves us.

And oh, how I love you.


Eleven Things About Me Times 2

I often get emails asking me to do another ‘About Me’ post. And I would happily do one if I knew what you wanted to know about me.

Well, my friend Sam tagged me in her own post and made it easy. She challenged me to share 11 random things and answer 11 of her own devised questions. She also requested I post a current photo of me.  So here we go!

Thanks to my soon-to-be 4-year-old, here’s me today:

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME (not found on my 100 things about me post):

  • I love plants and flowers adorning a home. I am not a fan of fake foliage, yet I do not have a single living plant in my house. I’ve tried. None has survived. The next time we move, window placement will be something I consider.
  • A perfect birthday cake would be angel food with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.
  • My husband is seriously my best friend. And I would have it no other way.
  • All of my close friends will tell you I am an old soul. I enjoy hymns, I prefer being a stay-at-home mom where you actually stay home during the day, and I am not one to jump on technology easily. (I still don’t have a smart phone!)
  • I never remember how old I am. If I’m ever asked, I have to do the math.
  • The color white is not in my wardrobe. That’s for your sake, not mine, as I look an ill-ish green in it.
  • Sitting in the hot sun soaking in rays is not an ideal vacation for me. Being cooped up in a secluded cabin on a lake is.
  • I do not like shopping for myself. Even as a little girl I had trouble. My grandma would take me school shopping and I would ask for nothing. Can you believe that?
  • The only cruise I might consider is an Alaskan cruise.
  • I will never grow tired of board games.
  • I’ll sit down and watch a chick flick with a girlfriend, but secretly prefer action or movies/shows that make me think/ solve something.

And the questions Sam wants to know:

1. How long is your longest friendship?

28+ years. And I have 3 friends that fit into that category I converse with regularly. My sister Anna, my cousin Ginger, and my first childhood friend, Faith.

2. Have you ever left the country?

Yes. I have been to Mexico several times for vacations and a mission trip. Canada on my honeymoon. And Spain, France, and England on a trip in high school.

3. What hidden talent do you have, but seldom share?

Love this question. And wish I had an answer. Talents are easily lost if not shared. And the one I worry about the most is painting contemporary landscapes. For I love to do it and really want to get better at it. Does that count?

4. Are you a homebody or extrovert?

I am the epitome of a homebody. I love staycations. But if we meet in a crowded room, you will never know it. I can socialize with the best of them. As long as it’s only an hour or two.

5. What is your favorite meal of the day?

Breakfast. Without question.

6. How many hours do you sleep each night?

I need 7-8 to be my best self. I probably get 6-7 most of the time.

7. Do you have a favorite perfume?

Pregnancy took this one away from me. I now prefer scented lotions. Coconut and vanilla being my first choices.

8. Who do you most admire?

Again, love this question. And I’ve never seriously thought about it. My great-grandmother Veta is the one woman I think of most when I am deciding how to react to something. So I am thinking she fits the mold best.

9. Why?

She was faithfully committed to her relationship with her Savior.
She was frugal yet generous.
She was extremely organized and prioritized.
She knew how to love. Well.

10. What is your favorite book?

How can you pick just one? Besides the Bible, “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis is probably the book I’ve read the most.  But I can get wrapped up in a good novel, too. And I always have to be reading something.

11. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Is fitting into the superhero spandex suit and looking good in it a super power? It must be because I don’t have it. Being a super parent would be my first choice. One who has the power of knowing how God would respond to that situation. Yes, that’s a superpower worth striving for.

How about you? What do we have in common or how do we compliment each other? I’d love to hear!

Thank you, Sam, for the challenge!

Now for the fun-for-me part:

I’m tagging these friends to post 11 random, a new picture, and answer the 11 questions below:
Here are your 11 Questions, gals!
1. What consists of a perfect evening for you?
2. What is your ideal birthday cake?
3. Are you a morning person or night owl and how does it compare to your spouse?
4. What’s your favorite Bible verse (for today)?
5. What are you currently reading?
6. Aside from Jesus, what character in the Bible challenges you the most and why?
7. How would you describe your style?
8. What do you like about your favorite season?
9. What six descriptive words would you use to describe your personality?
10. What’s your favorite wall color and is it in your home?
11. If you could vacation anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?

And thank you all for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

P.S. Did you know I have a Dayspring Giveaway going on HERE?

Humbled Appetite

Flickr Photo Credit: Meredith_Farmer

There was a time when I used to be comfortable in my own skin. A time when what I saw in the mirror was what was portrayed in a photo.

Somehow between then and now, I let things get out-of-order.

It began with a pity party. That I am certain. The moment life overwhelmed me, I lost sight of who could save me. I looked to myself and reached for the peanut butter and chocolate instead. And pasta. 2nds. Late night snacks.

When I finally crossed that line of comfort, I found reasons to accept it.

  • My Hashimoto’s makes it hard to lose weight. It’s not my fault.
  • I’m too tired to be active after work.
  • My body will never be the same after a baby anyway.
  • No one should have to go through a stillborn delivery. It’s amazing I’m not eating the whole carton of ice cream.

Oh yes, I was good at excuses. And I was also good at finding comfort in my discomfort.

My friend, Barbie, gave me the courage to share this part of my journey. And I am sharing the rest of this post over at her place today. Will you please join me over there and hold my hand? I would feel better if we did this together!

  • I’ll share how God hit me over the head with my very own Bible.
  • I’ll share my discovery of the manna lesson.
  • And I’ll share a bit of my path on the other side.

Will you join me?

Please CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post over at one of my favorite blogs.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Walking Home

This is my 100th post. Before you get all excited, let me first confess there is no giveaway. Clearly dropped the ball there and hope you’ll forgive me.

Many ideas flooded my mind while determining what my 100th post would be. First I was going to list one hundred things I have been most thankful for since creating Simplystriving. Then I thought I would list one hundred things I’ve learned since starting this journey. Believe me, I’d have no trouble filling that list.

My last idea (after thinking I would bore you with 100 things) was listing the top ten lessons I’ve learned as well as answering ten of the most common questions I receive in my email.

But none of them seemed right.
And I think I know why.
Besides the fact they are all lists, they all focus on me.
Not Him, not you, not the brand new community of us.

I didn’t start this blog because of me. Frankly, I’m not a fan of talking about myself. But myself is all I have to give. And my heart is all I have to share. God told me that was enough and asked me to open my door. So, I started this blog with the intention of simply sharing what I’m striving for on this journey we call life. I opened the doors and asked one small request from Him: That I would get to meet you along the way.

For we’re all striving, stretching, sometimes failing.
Why not encourage each other along the way.

So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11 NLT 

Wasn’t it Ram Dass who said,
We’re all just walking each other home.

~~~~~~~~~~

So with this 100th post, I simply want to say thank you. Thank YOU, reader-turned-friend, for sharing your time with me. I do not take you for granted. I see why God delights in you so. For your heart is longing, aching for more. More of Him. Just like me.

Please know, I would have to do this without you here. I write my words to the audience of One with the hope of pointing you to the One in which I write along the way. But YOU, friend, make it easier when it comes to clicking that publish button. You returning the favor, extending a bit of your heart to me, makes this pride-swallowing journey pleasant.

So thank you.
Thank you for walking me home.
I’m thrilled with your company.

I never dreamed I’d be able to write 100 posts and still feel I have so much more to share.
Please, Lord, keep me striving.

I never dreamed I would be able to find so many kindred spirits along the way.
Thank You, Father, for answering my plea beyond my wildest imagination.

But I had always hoped I would enjoy the journey home as much as I am with you.

And as you go along your day, walking in His grace, I will be praying for you. I will be thanking God for you.

Today, my prayer for you is this:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV

How about you? How is your journey home? How can I pray for you? What would you like to see more of on Simplystriving? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki