Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Resolution

I started thinking about the new year and reflecting back on this past year recently. I started to think about that hideous, terrible tradition of new years resolutions. I realized for 2010 I hadn't ever come up with a real one. Nothing in writing that I can recall. I also didn't expect or want the Lord to change anything. I was comfortable. Therefore, He changed things.

I made plans. He changed plans. I planted. He uprooted. I asked for forgiveness. He forgave. I was finally willing and open to a new job. He blessed me with a wonderful one. I learned to budget and almost reached the top of my small mound of debt. He blessed my finances. I pursued boys. He pursued me. I cried. He comforted. I learned. He taught.

He has been faithful. He will always be faithful. He is the only constant in my life.

And so my resolution for 2010 is to finish strong. Look around me. Be a servant. Be willing. Be open to opportunity and change. See where God is working and join Him. Kindle afresh a fire that will start me strong for the year ahead.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Having Purpose

Last night when I laid down in bed I knew things had to change. With the ache of those three muffins I scarfed down after The Gathering still sitting in my stomach, the guilt piled on. I hadn't talked to God all day. Had I yesterday? I can't remember. Or the day before? Maybe?...

Not spending time with God and eating when I'm not hungry are my two hang-ups. When I lose focus of the big picture, then all I see is the small picture, the one with me at the center. At The Gathering, the speaker asked us to identify what sparks our interest in new friends.
I have similar interests. I would get along well with them.
I think they're funny. They have the same taste as me.
When did I become so self-focused? Why does my life revolve around me me me, even to the point that new friends have to fit my bill? No wonder I scarfed down those muffins. My life has become a sick obsession with fullfilling me, myself and I. The equation isn't correct though. Muffins won't equal life to the full.

As I was laying there, telling myself tomorrow I would spend time with God, a thought crossed my mind. One week of purposeful living. Start small. I quickly agreed with this thought and drifted off to sleep.

This morning I drove a whopping 2.5 miles to work with the radio off, asking God to help me through the day. I worked alone today at the chocolate factory and kept the radio off still. Complete silence all day besides the hum of the enrober and kettle. I talked to God. A lot. At each meal I took time to think over what I really wanted to eat, what I wouldn't regret and steered clear of my trigger foods. Then, I was fortunate enough to spend my evening at a pre-thanksgiving dinner with friends as we all shared what we are thankful for and enjoyed encouraging fellowship.

Day One of Purposeful Living: Successful.
John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just One Question

Take this and chew on it. I am right now...

If God took the most precious thing away from you (a relationship, a material item, a comfort, a luxury, pride) would you still trust Him fully and completely?

Friday, October 22, 2010


"I have recieved no assurance that anything we do will eradicate suffering. I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives...just as the dentist who can stop one toothache has deserved better of humanity than all the men who think they have some scheme for producing a perfectly healthy race."
-C.S. Lewis

I like food fads. It's that simple. I've tried recipes from every angle. Sugar free, vegan, raw, primal, vegetarian, gluten free, organic. The list goes on. The only problem with food fads is that they all have some sort of disclaimer that if everyone followed this way of eating, the world would be a perfectly healthy place. No disease. No heart problems. No sickness. No weight problems. You name it.

My opinion: Find a food routine that works for your life and your body. No two bodies are the same. Strive to be healthy but don't let it consume you. Share what works for you so others can experiment and benefit and discover their balance too. There is not only one road to health. Love God above all else and love people above food or health or some perfect ideal.

But a chocolate a day does wonders for a weary soul :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Right-Side Up

I got a job last week at a chocolate factory. They told me they would offer me a two week trial to see how it goes, make sure I was a good fit for them and they were a good fit for me. It wouldn't be full time and after the busy chocolate season (November through April) there probably wouldn't be many hours but it was a job and it got me some income so I could move back into the Red House. In the meantime, State Farm Insurance was calling me several times a day trying to get me in for an interview. We've played phone tag for a week trying to get in contact.

I've been stressing for a week whether or not I even want to go in for an interview. I loved the chocolate factory. It was fun. It was new. It was different. State Farm would be job security though. State Farm would be predictable. State Farm would be stable. This morning I got up and had a serious and long conversation with God. What am I supposed to do?? Do you want me here or do you want me there? All I got in response was wait. But I can't wait! I need to get in touch with State Farm as soon as possible! I need to make a move! Wait.

So I waited. This afternoon, right before I left the chocolate factory (as I was planning in my head exactly what I would say to State Farm when I called) the owners pulled me into the office for a quick meeting. "We would like to put you on full-time and give you a raise. Also, we'd like to put you completely in charge of the sugar-free line and there is opportunity for more responsibility in the spring. Any questions?"

Any questions? Yeah I got a few. God, why don't I trust you more?

This is my world back to right-side up.

I think... :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Coming Out"

Last week I came across a blog called Sweetly Raw. She's a raw food dessert chef. The blog was so cute and I was immediately curious to see if in fact it was possible to create delicious raw desserts, so I started following it. On Sunday her post was labeled "Coming Out". I assumed I knew what that meant but two paragraphs in I realized she was talking about something quite different. She went on to tell how she's been vegan for over 10 years and in the past 5 months her body had been rapidly going downhill. Finally, at the end of the summer it got so bad she broke down and sought help from a friend that was a homeopathic doctor. After several tests her friend's advice, among other things, was to start incorporating meat into her diet. This was completely contrary to everything she had thought and practiced. It completely flipped her world upside down but the crazy part is, it worked. Her body started working properly. Her health began to slowly return.

And now it's my turn to "come out". I thought I've been doing things right. I thought I was following God. I thought He was leading me to Idaho. Little did I know that two days before leaving, after quitting my job, packing all my boxes and over a month of anticipation, He pressed the breaks, hard. Now it's time for me to go to the Great Physician and get advice. Where do you want me now? As day by day I give it all to Him, I've found it easy to jump into job searching. I'm hopeful. I'm ready. I want to be where He wants me and I'm learning to wait and listen. He had to flip my world upside down to get to me and now I have to be willing to let Him show me how it should look right-side up.

*Deep Breath*
Let go Nicole.
Don't be a control freak.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Pastor

There are people in life that you have a certain bond with. It's hard to explain. Almost like they are a piece of the puzzle that tells the story of your life. Without them, it wouldn't be right.

My pastor happens to be one of my puzzle pieces. I've known Jim Jacobson since I can remember. He's taught me, encouraged me, teased me, pushed me to think for myself, nicknamed me, pranked me, praised me, questioned me, but above all else loved me. He's a second dad to me and always will be. As a teenager, he was the reason I stayed up til all hours of the night sticking 1000 plastic forks in his front lawn. As an "adult", he's the one I went to the day a boy broke my heart. He sat with me, prayed with me, consoled me, and helped me grasp reality again.

Last week he invited me to coffee. He was curious about my decision to jet off to Idaho and wanted to hear the whole story. He also had some questions he wanted me to mill over and there were things on his heart he needed to share with me. He was open and honest with me and challenged me. At the end of the conversation I had a lot to go home and think about but the one thing he reassured me of was that no matter where I was or what direction I chose, he would be here to love me and support me and pray for me.

Tonight at our Wednesday night church service he spoke a little on his heart reguarding him serving in ministry. He commented that he intends to be around " dedicate the children when they are born and bury them when they die. To be there to marry them, counsel them, pray for them..." and so on. The point being, he loves us and wants to be part of each stage of our lives. As he ended our church service he prayed for me and my future in Idaho in front everyone. I wasn't expecting it and it caught me off guard. It touched me. As church ended, I turned and went straight to my car. I cried the whole drive home. I will miss him, deeply.

We are called to bless those who give their lives to serve us. I don't even know where to begin.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Weeks Notice

About a month ago, my fellow dreamer and best friend Tessa proposed an idea to me. Idaho. Load up, hightail it out of here and go settle into potato-pickin' life with her relatives over in podunk Idaho. About ten minutes into the conversation we were already on craigslist looking up apartments and jobs in the area. There was never a moment of hesitation about this, what some would call, insane idea.

When I laid in bed that night, letting the excitement overwhelm me, I had one simple prayer; If I'm not supposed to go, Lord open my eyes to a reason or purpose to stay here. I continued that prayer the next few weeks as we planned a weekend trip over to check out the town and visit her family. The trip was a success. I immediately knew it felt right.

Today, I gave my official two week notice at work. In 18 days we'll be packing up and heading to Idaho for our small town adventure. People keep asking why. Why? This is why...

I have a dead end, terrible split-shift schedule job that recently cut my hours in half. I have a reliable car with a full tank of gas. I have no relationship holding me here. I have a nice little nest egg in savings. I have a travel bug. I'm virtually debt free and I'm young and want to get out of my rut before it turns into a grave.

You're only 21 and unhindered once in your life.

Also, in August of 2009 I heard a study done on Numbers 32. I don't know who taught it, I don't know where it was taught but I had written down notes about it and came across them a few weeks back while preparing for our weekend visit. The note that stuck out to me was simply this:

"East of the Jordan was meant to be a resting place and NOT a final destination but they treated it as the destination. There was no major faith challenge by settling east of the Jordan and not pressing on the the promised land."

Idaho may be my promised land or it may just be a resting place until God pulls me another direction, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will be a faith challenge. Starting over won't be easy but I'm not going to let fear override faith. I'm pressing on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

402 days ago...

The last time I wrote a poem was 402 days ago. Over a year ago. As I was sitting flipping through my journal this evening it hit me. You see, the reason this is so astonishing to me is that I write poetry when I feel. When I feel pain, joy, love, excitement, fear, confusion, or all of the above. It's been over a year since I felt something so strongly that I had to get it out on paper. I used to write a poem a month. I'd begun to rely on poetry to get me through the ups and downs of everyday life. But then, all the sudden it stopped. Have I stopped feeling? Have I stopped experiencing life? Or have I lacked anything to be passionate about? I think I've been really stale. I think I've settled for mediocre. I've just drifted along with the waves, not feeling them and not fighting them. But I know for a fact that this is changing. I've begun to crave poetry again because I know I have adventure ahead. I have new scenery ahead. Life is calling. I'm going to jump back in.

Here is the poem I wrote 402 days ago...

"Baby Steps"
You wake me in the morning
With Your kisses so sweet
You wrap me in Your arms of love
And rock me through the week

You give Your time and energy
To make me big and strong
I never see the sacrifice
All the while long

The years go by and disappear
And still Your by my side
You help me comprehend this life
And guide me through each tide

As I look back I realize
What You poured out for me
And wonder in astonishment
How could this ever be?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Curlew Lake & Nachez

What I learned while on vacation...

A good dose of no cell phone, no computer, no instant anything really does a whole world of repair. Try it sometime.

I asked God at the beginning of my trip for one fish a day. Each morning I got up and went to the dock and fished with my dad and my Dad. At the end of seven days I had caught 17 fish. Each morning after catching my one fish I had asked for, I cast out my reel again and told God I didn't expect anymore, one was plenty, but I was gonna leave it out there in case He happen to have another one set aside for me and in the meantime I was gonna spend time with Him and my dad. Give God opportunities. So often we cut Him short. Time runs out or faith runs low. Just let the pot simmer.

I'm extremely blessed to have two brothers who love me unconditionally. Andrew brings me adventure. I had the priveledge of spending most of my vacation with him and his wife. They push me to be silly, to relax, to just roll with the punches. We spend a whole evening in the fishing boat venturing to the hidden coves and quiet spots on Curlew Lake getting tangled in seaweed and dodging logs and stumps. We also spent a day four wheeling in his Jeep, crawling massive walls of rock and exploring the rocky forest with our family and a few friends. He is a breath of fresh air in my life. Jacob brings me laughter. We spend our time at one of the rest stops throwing pea pods at our dad and giggling like we were children again, just waiting for him to get fed up with us. And we spent the whole trip giving each other the look when mom or dad made one of those comments and then bursting into laughter because it's just not worth getting angry.

I can survive tent camping as long as I have a good showerin' in the morning.

A heart shaped rock is so much more than just a heart shaped rock. There was never I time while on vacation that I looked at the ground and didn't see one. He followed me everywhere and did some deep digging in the mess of my heart. He made it look much more lovely. White as snow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sometimes I forget I'm an "Adult". Sometimes I want to. Sometimes I doubt it's truth. Maybe I just fear responsibility but mostly I just don't think I'm ready for it. Or it's not ready for me.

The average person, child or adult, always seems to aspire to be like someone older, more mature, or more sophisticated. And then there is me. I find myself aspiring to be like a kid more and more. I work with kids. I love kids. My life thrives on kids. Maybe this explains my lack of zeal to be an "adult". But I can't help it.

Last night I had the privilege of meeting a friend's seven year old daughter for the first time. She was captivating. She wanted to dance for me. She wanted to tell me all about her big brother and sister. She wanted to share her toys and stories. She wanted to know she mattered. I left last night feeling rested, content and full. My prayer as I lay in bed afterwards was simply this, "Jesus, don't let me forget how to be like that. Don't let me get old and dried up. I want to offer my strength, my beauty. Give me the discernment to know when and how to do that." And that is my prayer today for all the people in my life. Make us children.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


puddle jumping, soggy skin
tag, you're it, you win
racing, laughing, falling, fun
riding bikes, rain or sun
wild hair and dirty toes
never caring where time goes
ice cream dripping, sticky hands
when we're bored, lemonade stand
fill up on candy and stay up late
start over next morn', clean slate
how I wish time still stood
back in the ear of childhood

Friday, April 23, 2010

First Crop

Today I wept. They were deep sobs that made me tremble. It's been a good while since I wept like that. I was on a no tear streak. But today the flood gates were let loose.

My roommates puppy got into one of my trays of garden starts. Lettuce, tomato, carrots and peppers. They were all doing really well. I was so excited to see the fruits of my dedication come summer time. I went out on the deck and just sat and stared and wept at the pile of what had been promises of sweet summer time and dirty hands and fresh food. A few minutes later my roommate graciously came to my rescue with potting soil and new trays, ready to doctor it up. We scooped up the survivors and cleared away the mess. In the end, I had at least two of each kind that made it through.

Later, as I was weeding the garden beds, I thought about why I cried. I didn't cry because I would go hungry. Between my roommate and I, we have an abundance of seeds and will have a huge crop this summer. I didn't cry because I'd lost a monetary investment. Seeds are next to nothing and the soil I received free. Those were the two reasons a simple farmer would have heartache over lost crop. My heartache was because they were my babies. This is my first year raising a garden all on my own. I was so proud of my crop and how well they were growing. Proud. My pride. Pride comes before the fall. And today I fell. I was investing so much of my focus and drive into what may never be, which I find myself doing in so many areas of my life. And when things don't go as planned, my heart sinks. I become discouraged. All hope is lost because I'm blind to the hope that surrounds me.

When I realized this I stopped and said sorry. At that moment the sun peaked through the clouds and warmed my back. I looked out over the yard, speckled with bursts of yellow dandelions, the grass blowing in the breeze and smiled. He is faithful to forgive. I whispered thank you as I took a deep breath and dug back into the soil.

It was a lose. But it was just seeds. Life goes on.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Last night my dad went with me to pick up an old bicycle I found for sale on the internet. It is old. It is rusty. It will need a lot of work and time. I'm so excited.

On the drive home my dad said, "You should be a writer Nicole." At first I was confused. A writer? Me? He reads my writing in my journal? Then it dawned on me, He reads my blog duh. But how I see it, my writing is like that rusty bike sitting in a pile in the corner of my garage right now. It's rusty. It's not shiny, new and exciting with lots of bells and whistles. The people that like my writing are the people that love me most, so it's not hard for them to see past the rust. They read my writing and see the beauty underneath. Strangers looking at my writing, well I think they might only see the rust. Who knows, maybe someday people will look at my rust and really like it. I'm open to it. And my dad's compliment last night opened me up to that.

Thank you dad for seeing past the rusty bike!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


In the past year I've tried, sometimes with great failure, to simplify my life. Cut out the unnecessary and keep or add the necessary. It sounds so simple. The steps to remove these things were simple for me, until it started impacting others. Then I started to wonder if I was being selfish. Refusing invitations to see movies at the theater, turning down foods that I once "loved", spending time working on my garden instead of hanging with friends, sitting around a fire instead of a tv, not having the latest and greatest and being content. But the more I strive for simple, the more I enjoy it and hopefully draw others in. Simple is peaceful. Simple is fun. Simple is...well, simple.

Yesterday I took my brother to Ocean Shores for a night. It's one of the vacation places we went to as kids, back when life was simple. We just hung out. Walked around the beach, rented banana bikes and peddled around town, and checked out all the shops we went to as kids. We came home with a bag full of shells and pretty content. We didn't buy any souvenirs. We didn't go out to eat. It was perfect.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Love Story

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it was and always will be yours. If it never returns, it was never yours to begin with."

I'm usually not a fan of all those cliche love quotes but this one caught my heart today when I read it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


There is a phone call I have been avoiding for a week or so now. It's not a bad phone call. In fact, once I have the courage to pick up the phone and dial, it will be a healing conversation. I need to release someone of self-doubt and guilt and a heavy load I know they are carrying when they need not. Until a month ago, when my own load was lifted consequently, did I realize they also had a load they needed set free of. It's amazing how your own load can tunnel your vision.

I fear this phone call.

I like words. I like writing words. I like reading words. I fear speaking words. I'm not an eloquent speaker by any means. I stumble and jumble them up and they come out in awkward sentences and uncomfortable comments. Meeting new people, not pretty. Talking on a phone, not prettier.

But the daffodil's are in full bloom in the front yard today. They greeted me with their cheerful yellow bloom when I slumped up the front steps this evening. If they have the courage to show their beauty to the whole wide world, I surely have enough courage to reveal my heart to a single person.