The Great Reveal {my Fears, my Faith, my Father}

The Presence of God

Fear can swallow us whole…

Sometimes, my faith doesn’t feel enough…

Often I miss seeing my Father right here with me…

All of this results in me missing out on The Truth.

Friends, I’m over at my 2nd home: 5 Minutes for Faith today sharing more about this. I’d love it if you had time to stop over as I share my recent thought process.

Here’s a sneak peek:

I gulped hard, forcing a smile as I watched my five year-old slide down the wet strip of yellow. Cold water splashed my shins as he squealed in delight. And still I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

She was too young. She didn’t deserve to go so soon. Yet she’s gone. Just like that.

Try as I might, all I could see was what else I could lose…

Won’t you stop by to hear the rest? Simply CLICK HERE or on the button below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Thoughts on Marriage {And My Greatest Regret}

Ecclesiastes 4:12

A few months back, my dear blogging friend Sarah asked me to participate in a wonderful series she has over at her place: Wedded Wednesdays. Here are her thoughts on the series:

Wedded Wednesdays arose out of my heart to write candidly and speak honestly about marriage. As a society, we often promote it as the pure wedded bliss or the ultimate unhappy matrimony – two very dangerous extremes. We would serve our friends and communities well to be honest. Marriage can be both difficult and beautiful, both struggle-filled and triumph-filled. We owe it to each other to get real about marriage.

I humbly accepted her invitation to participate, mainly because I couldn’t think of what I would write about and after 14 years of marriage, that bothered me. For I have grown much along this journey of marriage.

We all know the pains that come with growing…

Friends, I’m over at Sarah’s place today sharing an afternoon I had with a soon-to-be bride friend…where I shared my greatest regret in marriage. I’d love to have you stop by. Simply click on the image below!

How about you, friend? What has marriage taught you? Do you have any regrets? I’d love to hear. Feel free to share in comments over at Sarah’s place!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

A Journey of Rest {Come to the Well}

Peace of Mind

This promise is one of my favorites:

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

And yet I don’t seize it daily. I’m not sure why it is so hard to master. Why my feet get stuck in the quicksand of fear or regret.

Friends, I’m over at 5 Minutes for Faith talking about this very thing and the new perspective gained while reading a very familiar New Testament account. Stop on by, will you? Simply click on the image below!

I’m honored to be over at 5 Minutes for Faith through Monday. We normally do Music Mondays around here, but not to worry — I shared a song that speaks this message better than I ever could over there as well. In case you don’t have time to stop by, here it is. It’s a great place to start us on our journey to rest….

Come to the Well

by Casting Crowns

How about you, friend? How do you leave it all behind and accept His rest? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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

Recipe for Feeding Your Soul {And a Giveaway!}

There’s an amazing series going on over at 5 Minutes for Faith. Through Mother’s Day, we are each writing about what we have learned from the mother figures in our lives. How we saw Christ through them, or what aspects we strive to emulate them in.

Today, I’m there sharing about how I learned a valuable lesson from my Great-Grandma V. May I put it into practice every day–this ultimate recipe. This formula for keeping my soul fed.

Won’t you stop by? If not for that, you will want to see the fabulous Lisa Leonard Giveaway we have going with it! I wear her handiwork on my neck and am sure you or someone you know would love to do the same! Stop on by and see! Simply click on the button below:

How about you, friend? How do you like to feed your soul? Letting me know in comments over at 5 Minutes for Faith will enter you in the giveaway. If you don’t want to enter, you may share with me here. I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Spring Cleaning {A Song of Praise}

It amazes me every year…how snow goes out in grandiose luster as it transforms into prisms, allowing sun’s rays a brilliant display of worship before its season is over.

Sometimes I wonder if this was one of Beethoven’s inspirations for he finished his 9th symphony as the snow was melting…and if I were to describe that beautiful piece of music to a deaf person, it’s this display of light I would use. It’s what I hear in my head, anyway, but I digress. Or maybe not. It all brings me back to worship.

Friends, I’m over at Must Love God today sharing more thoughts on Spring’s Sonnet and how I plan on joining in.

Please, stop on by and hear about the moment spring cleaning turned into worship for me and pray alongside me as I offer this next season to Him. The One who never changes…

Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? What part of spring stirs up praise for you the most? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Luckiest There Ever Was {This I Believe}

Click for Photo Credit

Friends, can I share something with you? I’ve heard how God moves. How Jesus heals. How He blesses in abundance. All my life, I’ve been taught this.

And still I catch myself thinking — I know what He’s done for others, but what about me?

I’m over at Must Love God today sharing more thoughts about this and my final conclusion. I’d love to have you join me, because I want to tell you:

We may think God moved more in Bible times. We may be deceived into believing He’s not as active today. But it’s not true. The Bible tells me so. This I believe:

I believe we are the luckiest there ever was.

Want to know why? Stop on by. Simply click the button below!

Thank you 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

We All Have Nets {The Things That Entangle}

Flickr Photo Credit: Lo.re.n.zo.

I’ve talked about it some, but need to more. Give examples. Show you how it looks and breathes in my everyday life.

The Living Word.

May I never grow tired of how it speaks to me differently each time I read it. How a passage I’ve read thousands of times can jump out at me at just the right time.

Like this one for instance:

“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow Me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and followed Him.”
Mark 1:16-18

It’s the “at once” portion of this story that’s grabbed hold of me.

And I’m so excited to share with you how over at my dear friend Dolly’s place: Soul Stops. You might remember her from her guest post here. I was so excited to reciprocate when she asked.

Would you please stop by and let me know your thoughts? What jumps out at you? I’d love to hear!

You may CLICK HERE to read the rest of my thoughts.

Thank you, Dolly, for having me!

And thank you for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

It’s the Little Things {The Biggest Role There Is}

swimming-lessons-M

It’s a question I dread. One that should be easy to answer and yet, I still struggle with how to respond. Do you get asked this, too?

“What do you do?”

There are a number of ways I can reply. And a part of me wants to be comfortable giving the straightforward answer.

I’m blessed to be a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom who gets to teach children, not just my own, in many facets of life.

Even if I manage to get it out that eloquently, I still tend to get the tilted head. The same expression one gives when sympathizing…as if what I do isn’t much. And maybe it’s just me, but it takes all I have within to not go into defense mode.

Why? One can argue being a wife, mother, and teacher are the greatest roles God can give any woman and yet, some days, it doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

It seems society’s view on status quo can take its toll as the head tilt reminds me I am, in fact, the least of these.

And there’s no place I’d rather be.

I am right where He wants me. Cleaning up spills, picking up after others, washing…everything, preparing meals for those I love, being a help meet, finding what’s lost, educating minds, nurturing souls…

So why do I sometimes feel it’s not enough?

I often get that urge to do more,
be more,
live big,
give big,
make a difference in all the right places…

My husband and I are reading a book together, Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn (highly recommend). There’s a section that talks about us fulfilling our roles the way God intended: as servants. It’s hit me hard. And I cannot get these verses out of my head:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
Luke 16:10-11

We all know God sees the details of life we sometimes hope to skim over. He knows what happens to the sparrow in my yard all the way down to how many hairs are on my head.

God pays attention. Let me be more specific: God pays attention to me.
Even more specific:
God takes notice of how I handle His true riches:
His children — the least of these.

And do you know what He’s been telling me lately?
It’s the little things that add up to much.

Friend, whatever God has entrusted you with, no matter how little it seems, believe me when I tell you — it’s a big deal.

We all know what He can make out of five loaves and two fish when given wholeheartedly…there’s no telling what He could do with whatever is in your hands.

No matter what comes my way today, I plan on giving it my all.  I can make someone’s day. I can serve another with love. And I can remind myself:

  • He doesn’t need me to rule the world — He’s got that covered.
  • He doesn’t need me to reach a multitude — He’s after the one in front of me.
  • He doesn’t need me to do more, be more — He just needs me to love the least of these. Which He’s fully equipped me for, since that’s what I already am.

Next time I hear that familiar question, It’s not going to bother me. I’ll smile wide and answer it humbly as I think about how God has given me three of the greatest roles ever conceived — A trifecta of trust.

Friends, we are servants to the King of Kings. And in this upside-down Kingdom of Grace, that little title is the biggest role there is.

“If Jesus meant for His followers to rule the world,
then why did He teach them to wash feet?”
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church

How about you, friend? How can you serve Him today with what He’s entrusted you with? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki