{SIMPLE}

Hurry. Faster. I have to. I want... These are things that run through my head, especially now. Now that I am in the throws of this clothing company-designs, production, ordering, people, businesses, social media. Wait, People! Ahhh yes! The very reason why the Lord asked me to do this. Others. Its not about me. My rushing, my intense state of being, my have to do it now mode. It's about the people, families, women he loves that he gently asked me to be obedient. I said Yes and I am running. This can be a good thing, but I really feel in my heart that I need to simplify/ slow down.

As I was writing this last night our power went out. Nothing was saved. I knew I would have to wake up in the morning and do this and I started to get upset until I realized God was teaching me what I was actually writing about, yet again. So I lit some candles, sat with my daughter in the rocking chair and rested my weary head. Its the simple things. The other stuff will get done. God is in control.

This weekend as you are catching up from the week and preparing for a new one I pray you slow down just a little (even for a moment) to realize the important things in life. People!

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

{HUMBLED}

Sometimes I forget- honestly I do...that I am a girl still learning, a girl who Jesus loves- loves enough not to keep me where I am, but to grow me! OUCH- sometimes growing hurts. Does anyone feel me on this?

I have recently experienced some things that I believe the devil meant to harm me, but God intended it for my good to grow me. At the time they hurt, but once I stopped and realized I had a choice how I was going to react I saw them as opportunities.

Sometimes I can hear the words loved, cherished, cared for, beautiful, made in his image and I can become prideful. So today I chose to call myself humbled child of God. Children are always learning (yours truly right here) and "of God" indicates that I am royalty. I will take it because I want to remind myself to be humble and to love humbly knowing who I am in Christ.

You are a daughter of the King as well! Loved, cherished, cared for, beautiful and made in His image- may you humbly walk in all of this-growing into who you are.

"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

 

{18 Things I have learned in 18 months}

Today I wanted to remind myself of all the things I have learned in 18 months since my mom, Virginia has been gone. I miss her like crazy but her life and death have taught me a lot.

1. God is worthy to be praised-Always has been always will be; even in the storm

2. Mom, your prayers meant a lot-I see them in your journal- Thank you!

3.Your faith is inspiring still-I see your heart in your journal and on the pages of your Bible!

4. Daddy loved/loves you a lot-talks about you everyday with tears in his eyes

5. Your grandkids miss you -they say it at least once a day

6. I still want to pick up the phone to tell you what's going on-AND so much is going on! You'd be proud!

7. Some days are just hard.

8. Love people anyway. No matter what-honor God!

9. Pain is real.

10. My husband is my best friend. I know how much you love him

11. Be thankful

12. Be humble

13. Be hopeful

14. Be strong

15. Live on purpose

16. Trust

17. Have Joy

18. Your favorite scripture is slowly becoming mine. "The LORD will fight for you; You need only be still." Exodus 14:14 NIV

Some of these are lessons, some are truths, some of them I have gained a better understanding of, but one thing I know for sure- cancer tried to break our family but we did not let that happen! We are fighting back with armor! (Ephesians 6:10-19) 

Friends, whatever you have learned in the wake of your loss, diagnosis, setback, mistake let God use it for His glory and purpose! It will not be wasted!

Grief, pain and healing are a journey- we are all on one-let's cheer each other on, forgive, encourage and most importantly be the women God has called us to be inspite of...

 

{HELP}

Everyone at some point in their life needs help, but not everyone will ask for it. I am definitely one of those that struggles to admit my need.  When I do I feel silly or that I am bothering people.  As you know I have been learning to pray and understand my need for the Lord's direction and guidance.

Fortunately I serve a God who makes me come out of my comfort zone to show me how mighty He is.  Which leads me to my ask(here's me being brave) and the reason I need your help.

The number one thing we as a Redefined Courage team need is your prayers and the second thing is we need your kind words about us and our business to be shared and below is why!

There are way too many women we know and love being diagnosed with breast cancer each year or determining they are a BRCA carrier and decide to be proactive and become a Previvor ( a brave way of saying they are choosing to take their breasts off before they get cancer). With this diagnosis comes a lot of hard decisions and one as drastic as having their breasts completely removed. When you have this surgery you also have drains. Our post op shirt is perfect for this need with the 4 drain pockets and the buttons in the front to help with putting it on; carefully not to raise their arms too high at first.

I share all of this to say that the women we so love, that are being diagnosed with cancer need a practical gift and HOPE (our post op shirt) is just that.  The shirts we have sold thus far were never purchased by a cancer survivor-churches or small groups bought them as a gift for her. If we can help it NO survivor will buy the shirt themselves.  

Thank you in advance for your heart and for being willing to share with others.  They will be available very soon and as you read this I am researching more colors/designs for them too!

 

{PRAYER}

This last month has been challenging to say the least. Challenging in a good way- is that possible? Anyway I wanted to share this with you!

I am reading 3 books about PRAYER! and I am also putting them into practice which is the challenging part. You know the waking up early to spend some time with God, alone, quiet, strengthening time! Why is this so difficult. Why does it seem like I am so tired or that I don't have enough time? Is this the same for you? Girls just so you know (which I know you know this but...) There is an enemy that wants to destroy us! How can he do this? It is so simple. Little by little we stay in bed, sleep longer, check social media more and then the day gets away from us and bam- we are not fighting on our knees we are fighting the very people we love and slowly but surely we aren't connected with God so we get angry with Him.

This has all been such a learning process for me as well because when I prayed I always asked for things I needed and things other people needed. Wasn't I doing a good thing? Going to God setting my prayer requests before Him and others prayer requests for that matter?

I know He loves me and He knows me- He made me and He made you! He loves us even when we can be selfish (like all the time for me- I am finding out) BUT God clearly spoke to me and said I am going about it the wrong way. I need to come before Him and lay down all my want to's and have to's and seek HIM!

I challenge you this week to go before Him laying down your burdens and prayer requests and ask the Lord for more of Him. I would be so blessed ifyou would share with me as well. I honestly love getting emails and calls to see what the Lord is doing in your life. Its so encouraging.

Here are the books I am reading if you are interested:

The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz

Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10-12

{REDEFINE}

Hi Friends!

Sorry it has been so long since I last wrote. Sometimes I truly have writer's block, other times I am too busy with family stuff, and then others- well I am just plain lazy! Ok so apparently I am keeping it real today

I wanted to share with you another thing I am learning this year, along with my eating habits. I am learning how to redefine my thoughts and what I am about. This may seem silly to some but like a fresh batch of honey to others- we are all so different! That's why I love ya! Anyway back to what I was saying...

For so many years what people said about me and what people thought about me determined who I was. I don't find that to be so much anymore but I found that I was doing that with this business that God has given me. I was allowing other people to say - you should be involved in this, you should check this out, don't you want to do this, you should go to this event...I would literally take all this in and do research and usually be involved because I wanted to get our name out and ultimately help women so wasn't all of this good?

Actually most of it was all good and people had my best interest, but what I wasn't doing was checking it with who I was, what we were about as a company and what was best for us!

So, here I am learning to REDEFINE who I am as a person and a business owner to realize what my mission is and move forward in that-not every wind that is blown my way! I pray today you are staying true to your calling-who you are and what you are about!

Redefined by Him,

Nikki

{ENOUGH}

Lent is very much upon us and quite honestly I knew I needed a change long before this!

 I have always gone to something other than the Lord when things were going wrong. This year instead of anything else I would go to food for my comfort. PS it didn't comfort me at all!!! I gained 10 lbs. This comfort was killing me.

With the help of my daughter Emma's disciplined eating habits, my dad's own health journey, and some great friends I decided to allow the Lord to fill me (when I think I am hungry -every 15 mins).  I have started intermittent fasting and working out at home. It has really helped me in my journey to let go of food to satisfy me.

He has truly shown Himself faithful to me. I still find myself not knowing what to do because I am not making, cooking or eating something all the time, but He is gracious with His reminders to trust in Him. He is enough for me and I pray He will be that for you in this season and beyond.

"But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God's presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praise to him who rides on the clouds. His name is the LORD- rejoice in his presence!" Psalm 68:3-4 NLT

{HOPE}

Whether it be healing, change, a job,  for a family member, a friend, your marriage or yourself we can all say that we have HOPED for something.

I have always hoped for change. Change in my thoughts, actions, and words that they might glorify God. I have wished for so many years that I would approach my marriage, my kids actions, loss of jobs, peoples opinions, differently.

I believe as I have messed up, grown and been placed in some pretty yucky situations I have changed. It hasn't been beautiful. Its honestly been messy. But I am so entirely grateful for HOPE. Hope in the Lord that He will come through. It's about praying and putting our hope in the one true God. Things are not perfect in my life but I can see that I approach things differently today than I did a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. I am a work in progress and I am HOPEFUL.

I would like to hear how you have hoped and prayed and where the Lord has shown up and changed things for you.

Maybe you are still waiting for the change to come. I would love to pray and believe with you for that thing you are hoping for.

 

"But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 NLT

{UNIQUE}

Have you ever thought about all the events that led up to this moment in your life; why your here and how you've been shaped?  Have you ever wondered what caused you to seek God's plan for your life, or maybe why you haven't decided to seek God's plan for your life?  Have you ever wondered how much of your life is accidental or random, and how much is designed?

I believe God knew exactly where you would be right now, what you would be doing and what you would be like.  He knew about your gifts and passions and the platform that you have.  I believe that He was purposeful in designing your life.  God made each one of us to be uniquely significant and to have an eternal impact on the world around us.  Think about that for a minute...do you believe that God has always had a plan for you?

How would you live differently if you truly believed that God had specifically designed you to impact other people?  What might you attempt if you were convinced that God was backing you?  What seemingly impossible problems would all of a sudden be possible to deal with? 

The fact is that when you truly believe you were designed for a purpose, you will begin to live with purpose!  God knows that we will fall short and that finding His will for us will be a process.  But when we fall, we can get up, brush ourselves off and move forward toward our goal.  Whatever your past, God has a plan for your future.  Remember that no problem is too big for Him to solve...He created the Universe!!  That also means that there is no problem too big for us to attempt to solve in His strength. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."  - Romans 8:28

 

 

 

{STRENGTH}

This year I have no doubt needed strength-not physical strength, although I have felt weak in my body, but strength from the word of God. It has sustained me. God is my ever present help.

Starting Redefined Courage has been an absolute journey of dependence on the Lord and when I depend and not trust in my own self- Man does God just show up and show out. I could name so many instances where God told me to keep going, don't give up!  If any of you have ever trained for something giving up in the middle of your training will NOT prepare you for the race/game/competition. Friends that is what we are doing- we are running the race of life and our fuel is the Word. It may get tough! There were days I would cry myself to sleep because absolutely nothing was falling into place and then there were days that every prayer I prayed was answered. In all of this God showed me that in Him is where my strength comes from and as I have leaned in and let Him do what He does best {lead and guide } I have gained strength to move forward.

Sweet friend continue to look for and to God in your day! He is always working and He is for you! I am not quite sure what it is you are going through or have gone through but I pray you can find strength in the Creator who knows and loves you just the way you are-Beautiful! Special! Smart! Capable! and Strong!

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1 NLT

 

 

{S C A R E D}

It was the peace, the music, the sadness, the joy. How could all of these things be wrapped up in that little room with that large hospital bed?

How could the mom I had known my whole 37 years be passing from this life before my very scared eyes?

Lord? Are you listening? We asked for healing! 

Oh yes sweet friends He was listening and Mom was healed. Not the way I had asked in my heart, but I did pray God's will. Isn't that just like me. I pray God's will yet my  heart yearns for it not to hurt. Please Lord I don't want to be scared. I don't want this change.

Sweet friend I know you may be hurting in this season that is so beautiful and full of celebration, I fully understand. So I say to you as a reminder- it's ok if your scared, lonely, hurting, tired, and just plain "not feelin' it" ! Cry out to the one who designed you! He hears you, He sees you and He knows what's best for you! In this season would you hold on with me? Would you pray that His will be done not only in your life but in your heart? 

As you read this I pray blessing, peace and joy in the midst of what you may be facing this Holiday season. I pray God shows himself real to you and you can rest, rest in His never changing love, grace and mercy.

You are loved beautiful one! Deeply loved by an amazing God! Draw near even if you're scared-He will steady you! 

"Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God the Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." James 1:17 NLT