Tuesday, April 27, 2010

falling together.

inspiration: i feel so much better...

over the last few weeks, things have really seemed to fall together. despite the stress, long nights, bad days, and emotional rollercoaster rides, ive really learned to cherish those crappy moments. if i hadn't been through so much pain, i would've never realized how happy i could be.

1. system is almost done.
after spending the last month pouring myself into learning microsoft access and vba and trying to design and debug a database system, it's finally almost done. we got the buttons put on the forms. all there is left to do is double-check the functionality of all the switchboards, and i think we'll be good to go!

still have to put the finishing touches on the system, meet with dr. myers at 11AM thursday, put together a powerpoint, final presentations on friday at 8AM, and then user manual due by may 6th.

but things with the system have definitely fallen together. im so proud of our group and our system. hope all goes well with the grading though.


2. money isn't everything.
financial woes have hit me hard over the last probably two weeks. and despite my worries about it, i feel like God will truly provide for me this summer. this will be the first time in a very long time where i'll truly have to trust in Him to provide for me...especially during may and june.


3. i have a great family.
parents, friends, and church family, alike. im so blessed.
i got to babysit (and i use that very loosely) for the Denleys tonight and im so blessed. =] i had a TON of fun and it was just an awesome opportunity to give back to a family that gives so much to us. :)


4. my season of singleness has only truly begun
ive been single for almost 7 months, but i really feel like it's just begun. im truly "free" and i absolutely love where im at right now. when the semester is finally over and im working and (hopefully) volunteering, i know that i'll truly be living out my special calling. :) trusting God is easy for me in some situations, but in this particular situation (aka the realm of relationships), it's ridiculously hard. but every day is a new day. a new chance to learn and grow and strengthen in trust. :) im blessed and im grateful for every single opportunity!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

blurbs...

inspiration: randomness.

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." --Oscar Wilde
i heard that last week at Alpha and i haven't forgotten it.
my past isn't the most pleasant, but my future is lookin' bright :)

"Patience is a virtue.
there are certain people and certain situations where i consciously have to bite my tongue, swallow my pride, and force myself to just keep the lips zipped. ive butted heads quite a bit with several people over the last few months and i hate it. im not a confrontational person by nature, but there are just certain times when my frustration and anger just overflow. im working on striking the balance between being a doormat and being a dictator. systems analysis has been the biggest test in this, by far. and even though this semester is almost over (thank goodness), there is still a long road ahead that to be paved with patience...

the semester is almost over!
hallelujah.

i want to invest in a bike
i would love to have one just to cruise the neighborhood in; maybe commute to work on pretty days. but i dont have the guts or funds to make that initial investment. i just wish i was in a better place, financially, to do all the things i want to do...

...speaking of finances
ive been awful about my finances. im ashamed and embarrassed about it. im looking into getting a third part-time job over the summer. im reluctant to do so because im afraid i wont have the flexibility i want (seeing as i want to relax, volunteer, and have a social life), but i guess i need to continue to just seek counsel and hope an opportunity comes around that will allow me some flexibility while helping me stay on top of my bills...

Friday, April 23, 2010

the ultimate relationship.

inspiration: my own personal struggles.

if i'm being honest, relationships are such complicated things.
for me, ive only been in like one serious relationship, so im by no means an expert and i tell everyone i know NOTHING about dating. i really don't.

but i do know this: its not easy. pain is not fun. no man (or woman, for that matter) will ever be perfect. we're human and we make mistakes. lots of them, too. and as long as we try and base our happiness on a human, we will always be disappointed. and the longer you "date", the harder it becomes to let go.

but if ive learned nothing else over the last six and a half months, i can say for sure with the utmost of confidence that Christ will never let you down. there are going to be moments where you're unsure of what will happen. the "what if i never find the right person?" or "what if i end up alone and a cat lady?" questions and woes have definitely stressed me out, but once i realized that even if i am single forever and if i do become a cat lady (heaven forbid =P) that Christ will always love me. He will always be everything i need.

He IS the ultimate relationship.

i know i fell into the trap of trying to "make things work" with my ex. it didnt work. i was worn down, he seemed indifferent to everything, which in turn hurt my feelings and it was all just so strained and i was so stressed from everything that i ended up just getting hurt. i constantly set myself up for rejection and was always upset when i was rejected.

but i dont have to worry about that now. Christ will never reject me.
men will come and go in my life. i have to trust that whenever the "right" one comes along, that God will place that feeling on my heart. ive heard so many times that when the "right" one comes along, you know.

and i dont know if or when i'll ever "know", but for now i do know that my singleness is going to be great. everything i do will be for Christ. even if i end up single and a cat lady, i'll be okay. :)


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


books i would definitely recommend women to read:

  1. captivating -- john & stasi eldredge

  2. completely his -- shannon ethridge

  3. when God writes your love story -- eric & leslie ludy


  4. also, i'm reading sacred singleness by leslie ludy and really enjoying it :)

    and about relationships in general:

  5. love as a way of life -- gary chapman

  6. the five love languages (ive only read the singles edition) -- gary chapman

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i'll be by your side...

inspiration: SEEING TENTH AVENUE NORTH ON JUNE 11!! :)

i feel so overwhelmed with balancing school, systems analysis, work and friends. i haven't blogged hardly at all lately and when i do, i feel like i don't have much to say.

But God has been working so diligently in my heart lately. this time last week, i was pretty much miserable and feeling like such a failure. i had put so much stock and energy into a guy who rarely even returned a text message, let alone granting me the respect i feel like i deserve.

but now, im a brand new person (again). i've been renewed. my strength and spirit have done a complete 180 and i'm happy to be single. i keep hearing "this is the best time of your life" and i'm ready to live out the best years of my life. i'm ready to enjoy my season of singleness (not by being crazy, but by being practical and to just bring glory to God in all the ways i can as a single person). if and when my time comes to be married to a God-fearing, Christ-centered man, i will embrace the challenges, struggles, and joys of being Christ's name glory through marriage.

...but before i get ahead of myself, this is MY time with God. this is a time i will celebrate and rejoice in all He has blessed me with. :)

on an exciting note:
1. ONLY TWO MORE WEEKS OF SYSTEMS ANALYSIS!! it's been a greatly stressful experience, but i've learned a lot. i've grown as a student, leader, and communicator. and as much as i complain about the course, i've kind of enjoyed it. could project management/systems analyst be a future career path for me? hmm....we'll have to see....

2. i bought my ticket to see Tenth Avenue North in concert on June 11th. unfortunately, i have to also work Summer Welcome that morning, but i will have an extra "pep in my step" that day because TAN is AMAZING and i LOVE their music! :)

3. i have amazing, amazing friends. hands down, the best around. i LOVE them :) they've been so supportive and great through all my hardships and times of struggle and weariness.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a walk to remember.

inspiration: ...not to be confused with the cheesy Nick Sparks book/movie =P

so these past few days have been beyond amazing.
i *again* took the initiative to let go of someone (the same someone) who i have been consumed by for the last six months. ive found that letting go is hard, but once i've walked away and am in God's full presence, that life seems to go much more smoothly than when i'm trying to hold onto the reigns.

in the past four days, i've:

1. served others
2. worshiped more fully
3. laughed more frequently
4. spent time with friends
5. stressed less
6. had some prayers answered
7. slept better (except for the fact i was awake at 1AM texting a friend =P)
8. relaxed
9. been more productive
10. strengthened myself and my faith


today, i did something ive wanted to do for a long time, but never actually just done. i left my apartment and just walked. down the street. no tiemframe. no cares. no direction (except to end up back at my apartment). i timed myself. i walked for 43 minutes. i ended up walking a loop of about 2.3 miles: starting at my apartment, down memorial, down allendale, onto madison, and back down richview. it was time spent just de-stressing, talking to God, praying, praising, thinking (and when i got to madison street, a lot of praying that cars wouldn't hit me...next time, i know just to loop back up another street to memorial instead of walking along madison street. less traffic)

it was a beautiful day. the time i walked was later in the afternoon, so it wasn't very hot. it was perfect. im sure my legs will be exerting their hatred for me full force, but it won't change the fact that i'm finally at peace with everything.

im finally freeeeeee!!! :)
i'm allowing God to be the Navigator. i'm letting Jesus take the wheel (which reminds me of a "Big Bang Theory" quote: "Yes, mother, I'll buy it on 'the I-Tunes'" - Sheldon). im letting Him write my love story. i'm making Him the center of my life. and so far it's day four, and i'm feeling great! (now i just sound like a SunTrust bank commercial =P). but it's very true. there is no greater peace than being at peace with God's plans for me :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

newly pruned.

inspiration: small group at the Denleys.

i am absolutely blessed beyond measure with an amazing church family!
tonight, i went to Alpha (as is tradition on Sunday night). tonight, our topic was "How Does God Guide Us?". the video outlined 5 "CS"'s through which we are guided by God.

afterwards, we sort of discussed some prayer requests and difficult things going on in our lives. a dear friend of mine is going through an incredibly tough time and dr. denley mentioned the beginning of John 15 and how we vines cannot produce grapes (or fruit) from the old growth: they must be cut back and pruned in order to bear new fruit.

I've definitely been going through an entire pruning process over the past few months and especially over this weekend.


"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." --John 15:1-2


i feel like i havent been bearing much fruit lately. i feel like ive just been going through the motions and i definitely know i havent been healthy spiritually in a long time. i made a decision this past weekend to follow the path God has been leading me down. it was incredibly painful and i'm definitely still struggling to see the "big picture" i guess, but i know that it's all for God's purposes.

He's leading me to do these things so that i may grow closer to Him rather than to pursue a human relationship that will not fulfill my heart. God is calling me back to Him. to pursue HIS heart. to allow HIM to fill me and to fulfill my every need!

just as old vines cannot produce new fruit; my old habits and feelings can't produce fruit either. i must literally cut those things out of my life and let my new growth in Christ produce new fruit in my life. trusting God is the greatest thing anyone can do. and i have complete faith in that.

i may be newly pruned and aching and hurt. but i will become something that is beautiful and fruitful through God's work in my life! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

i need to be obsessed with Christ

inspiration: yesterday was hard.

i have come to realize that i had pretty much become obsessed and consumed by being in a certain relationship, but not the right one. my heart had become so consumed by trying to satisfy my selfish human emotions, that i had been forsaking THE most important relationship of all: my relationship with Christ.

ive become a hypocrite and im ashamed of that.
i would say that "i trust God with whoever he has planned for me", yet all i was pursuing was a relationship that isn't glorifying Christ.
yesterday, i took the first step to combat my hypocrisy and selfish heart. so now, im praying for strength and comfort and to be able to keep my eyes and heart focused on Christ, wholeheartedly and fully.


Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
--Psalm 71:3


The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
--Psalm 9:9-10

Thursday, April 15, 2010

things to be thankful for. :)

inspiration: i was strong today.

today was a great day! :)
i woke up with a fever blister the size of a small country on my lip. and i didn't put any makeup on today, which really doesn't matter to me anyways. and i have been going, going, going for like 14 hours straight now, but it's still be a great day!

our systems analysis project is coming along well.
still quite a bit to do, but i hope everything comes along swimmingly these last couple weeks.
i started my (very short term) computer science gig today. i was hired with a few other guys to do camtasia tutorials for the 1010 class. i had training today and i guess ill start work on my videos on tuesday :)
i worked for about an hour on my oracle assignment; got probably halfway done, but still need to debug a couple things in the morning and finish it up. hopefully i'll be able to finish that before class, though. :)

met with woman club tonight.
i still find myself struggling a lot with past failures and stuff and truly trusting in God's plan for me. i find it very hard to be patient sometimes; but it's great to be surrounded by people who want the best for me and who are going to continue to push me toward pursuing a relationship with Christ rather than pursuing an earthly one.
only God can fill my voids with Himself. no one else can.
it's a hard thing to accept sometimes, but i know that it's for the best.


...i guess i need to have fever blisters and wear no makeup more often. i've felt better today than i have in a while. =]
(ooh, and i got my new converse today! exciting! =D )

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

la futura.

inspiration: the future - it's scary!

graduation seems an eternity away; but in reality it's quite close. and impending. and im scared! lol.
i don't really know what i want to do or what i'll end up doing.
i don't know life will take me.
all i know is that God is bigger than my life.
God is my refuge and strength. and even though i'm a whiny brat most days, He still loves me and still provides for me.

im trying now to find my "calling".
im thinking it's definitely in computers, definitely in the workforce (i wouldn't be very effective at conducting research, i'm afraid). i'm praying that the rest of the puzzle will come together in time. i know it will, but i pray for peace and comfort in whatever happens.

when will this pain subside?

inspiration: =[

im constantly reminded of how deep wounds can cut into one's soul. one of my best friends made this analogy and i think it's very true: our times of brokenness are like scars. we have that physical representation of our pain. we'll never forget it. but the scar represents the healing.

i, however, feel like i have lots of open wounds that i haven't healed from yet. i try so hard to be content with where i am right now, but honestly im not. i havent found healing yet. i havent found true peace yet. im broken and so vulnerable. im tired of feeling this emotional pain. i wish it would just go away.

time heals all wounds.
i know it. im sick of hearing it, to be honest.
it's been six months, you'd think i'd be over it.
...but im not. =[

perseverance, character, hope

inspiration: i fail at life, sometimes.

i really do.
i rely on myself far too much.
i "hope" in things of my own accord rather than truly trusting God.

but after wrestling with my heart and head last night, my devotional this morning was the dose of truth i needed:

Romans 5:2-5:
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


If I hope in myself, it's basically like me saying "God, you're not enough", which of course is just not true! But when i humble myself before the Lord and say "I'm not enough, God, you are!", it is then when I truly experience hope the way it is meant to be experienced.

So, today's to do list:
1. persevere through all struggles and trials
2. reflect the character of a follower of Christ: make little of me and much of Christ
3. hope not in myself, but in the plans of God

Jeremiah 29:11 ♥

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

you'll know.

inspiration: "when you meet the right person, you'll know"

so i hear that and read that all the time.
i believe it wholeheartedly.

but im caught in the situation where i feel like i know, i really do. but i feel like everyone's trying to "talk me out of it".
im just confused right now and really just praying for clarity and for strength no matter what happens.

God has a plan and i trust in His plans for me. =]
Jeremiah 29:11 :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

listening and understanding God's call to me.

inspiration: just patiently waiting...

i don't really have much to say tonight.
just wanting to give a shout-out to my man, God, for providing and blessing me like He always promises to do.

i got to hear an amazing story from Daniel Doss about his and his wife's adoption process; heard about how im adopted into God's family; spent a wonderful afternoon with Brooke-ulus at Carmen's bridal shower. apparently, i know my famous couples. named 12 out of 18 in a minute and a half :) i won a soap pump, which was awesome, but it got broken in transit (probably from my purse...which i also could've won the purse scavenger hunt, but i lost count of how many items i had on the list...); came back and spent 45 mins in the library and got more of my part of our system working for systems analysis :) it felt nice to be productive; then wrapped up my day with Alpha at the Denleys! It's great and I am so blessed to have them, as well as my entire Grace Community Church community in my life! =]


Something that i heard tonight at Alpha, though, is sticking out in my mind. our session tonight centered around the Bible and why we read it and what it's all about. and how God is revealed in it and through it; and how we should live out the words rather than just read them. but the question that is still in my mind is "What is God speaking to me?"

i read His word every morning and often times throughout the day. but what is He saying to me through the devotionals i read? i dont think ive really taken the time to try and hear what He's saying to me.

and not only that, but what is He also trying to reveal to me every single day? what does He want me to know about Him that i'm not understanding?

there are a lot of things going on in my life right now where i probably should rely on Him and trust Him more. but am i? am i listening and understanding what He is calling me to do? i'm wondering i have "selective hearing" and if i do, how is it affecting my relationship with Him....


hmm =/

Friday, April 9, 2010

mexican + scene it + mad gab = spectacular friday =]

inspiration: God truly knows what i need in life right now! =]

So today was an awesome day.
Spent the evening out with some amazing women. Out to eat at Manzanillo. New fave place for chicken quesadillas ;) Went back to Kelsey's place with Sheena, Heather, Kels, and Kasey (who I met Wednesday at Aqua! She's awesome! :)) we played Scene It and Mad Gab. Oh, it was so much fun!! Memories, oh memories, for sure! =]

Friendship centered around Christ and community are definitely what I need most in my life right now, and I'm so blessed to have that. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by friends who are with me through thick and thin and building me up in Christ :)

This past week has been just packed full with school and work, but also with friendships that have really helped my keep my stress levels low and happiness and peace in my singleness high :)

I've made the conscious decision to not worry about relationships right now. I'm honestly at a place of contentment to be single for a while; in fact, i think it's the best thing for me right now...or at least until i get my life together and figure out what i want to do after graduation at the end of this year =/

life is coming at me fast. and i don't feel very prepared for it. don't wanna have another priority slapped on top of everything else im worried about...

but God is truly providing for me and blessing me in magnificent ways with magnificent family and friends :)


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. --Philippians 4:12-13

done.

inspiration: closure. version 2.0

i got some closure yesterday. finally!
but ive decided im done worrying about relationships. im taking a step back to just spend time with me, myself, and i. and God and family and friends.
i don't want to chase, nor do i even, honestly, want to be pursued.
i just want to be single =]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"He doesn't just love us, He likes us too"

inspiration: Jarrett Stevens is phenomenal!

So tonight was AQUA, Grace Community Church's college worship gathering. I had the great honor of helping set up for the event (all those chairs...yeah, I put 'em in rows ;)). We had a guest pastor (Jarrett Stevens) come speak with us tonight and what God placed in his heart to preach about was EXACTLY what i needed to hear.


Psalm 145

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." (verse 3)

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down." (verses 13-14)


Whoa! Something I had really, truly, kind of forgotten was how

GREAT

God is! He's not just some small, minuscule God that I send my prayers up to every night. He is the ULTIMATE Creator of billions upon billions of stars and galaxies! I cannot fathom His greatness and I'm wrong to assume that my problems are "too big" for Him to handle.

But not only that, He is full of goodness, too!
He lifts me when I have fallen. He strengthens me when I am weak. I may stumble, but He is there to help me up and guide me back to His heart, even when I've turned away thousands upon thousands of times before.


I have been so caught up in "my own" thing lately that I had truly forgotten that nothing is too big for God and nothing is too small for God. My prayers need to be more about "extolling" His greatness and wonder; not belittling it. I feel like for a while now, I pray my "Dear God, Thanks for everything, Amen." prayers or the "Dear God, PLEEEEEASE (fill in the blank), Amen." prayers.

He's much bigger than that. I need to trust God and have faith in Him and His plans for me.

I hope to put Psalm 145 into practice into my life. I want to be able to shout exaltations for His glory! He is THE King! =D

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

giving up the pen.

inspiration: When God Writes Your Love Story

so im reading When God Writes Your Love Story. i've had it for a while, but haven't made time to read it until a couple days ago. i've read the first part "The Author of Romance: Giving God the pen". so far im enjoying reading it. i just still struggle with giving Him the pen.

i feel like i struggle so much with setting it down and then running back to pick it up. you know the feeling? like when you know you have to give something up and so you give it up for like a day, then realize you really really really need it...that's me. with the "pen" of my love story. i want to write it; but i know ultimately that God can script it much more eloquently than me.

i've made a lot of mistakes in relationships. i know that.
and knowing that, i know that the pen is in much better hands with God. i know that His love story will be more beautiful than mine. i know that the story called "Nikki Eidson" will be beautiful as it plays out. and realizing these things and getting these little "reminders" to relinquish my control to God always encourages me.

right now, i feel like i have to wake up every morning and say "God, here is my pen today". it's not something i feel like ive completely surrendered fully. but every day that i'm able to "give Him the pen", so to speak, i feel encouraged. i know that one day, God WILL bless me with my husband. and i know that i need to enjoy my time of singleness because it's in this season that i am growing closer and closer to Him. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

ahh...stress

inspiration: the stresses of life get me down.

i'll be the first to admit that i'm a control freak. you can read about that here.

i stress about the small stuff as well as the big stuff.
im not as bad about it now as i have been in times past, but it still gets me down sometimes.

finding enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things i need to accomplish seems near impossible sometimes (while other times, i'm searching for things to keep me occupied).

right now, i feel so overwhelmed with systems analysis and trying to get everything I'M supposed to get done, but to also be a good leader and motivate and encourage and help everyone else. but it's so tempting to just throw my hands up and say "i know what im doing, i'll just do it all." but i can't. i'm not in control of everything. it's not fair to myself or to my group members to just seize that kind of control. plus, i can't allow myself to take on the extra load when i already have a mountain ahead of me.

i just pray that tonight, i can de-stress some and relax and just bask in the glory and goodness of God. i pray that i can stay focused on Him and not on the small things that aren't worth the glory.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" --Matthew 6:34

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My God's not dead, He's surely alive!

inspiration: "Our God is RISEN and REIGNING!!!"

Today is Easter.
It's not about the pretty dresses. or the baskets. or the candy. or the bunny.
It's about celebrating the fact that Jesus Christ paid the ULTIMATE price for all our sins when He was beaten, forced to wear a crown of thorns, was nailed to a cross, and left to die. And on the third day, HE BEAT DEATH! He was resurrected and is sitting at the right hand of God right now, reigning over us.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23

We're all sinners. Every single one of us has messed up, done wrong, we're sinners. We're not perfect. Only God is. And because of our sin, we are alone unable to achieve perfection and Heaven.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23

The only acceptable punishment for sin is death. But because God loves us, He gave His Son to die the ultimate death for us. Jesus never sinned, but died for all sinners!

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

"So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through the righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 5:21

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16

Did you hear that? Eternal life! Why? Because He has paid the ultimate price. But it gets better!! You may wonder "What's better than eternal life?" And here's the answer: JESUS CHRIST IS STILL ALIVE!!

"He is not here; he has risen!" -Luke 24:6

He is sitting at the right hand of God, filling us with His love, compassion, and grace. We are sinners. We won't ever stop being sinners. But neither will He ever stop loving us. He is with us in all our doubts. He is with us during all our struggles. Through thick and thin, Jesus remains.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" -John 16:33

We may have escaped death; but that doesn't mean we've escaped life in the world. We're always going to mess up. But once we accept Christ into our hearts and into our lives, we take comfort in knowing we're not alone.

I know that I've tried to fight Him. I've tried to "go back" to life before Christ. But I can't. He's forever in my heart and, even though I don't deserve it, HE STILL LOVES ME! His grace covers my sin and His power is made perfect in my weaknesses (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). Because of the cross, I will never have to experience the sting of death: I will live forever with Christ in Heaven, praising and worshiping His great glory and power!


Easter is more than just about finding eggs and candy (and hopefully money!), but about finding God's grace and His beauty. He conquered death so that we wouldn't have to experience it. We live forever in Him! =D

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 3, 2010

my bucket list.

inspiration: needed to re-do it anyways...


Nikki's Bucket List


Part One | Part Two



Part One: Things to Accomplish, See, and Do.



1. graduate summa cum laude (DECEMBER 17, 2010!!!!)
2. skydive (October 19, 2009)
3. parasail
4. see a Broadway play
5. fall in love with my husband
6. get married
7. inspire somebody
8. change someone’s life for the better
9. learn to pogo stick
10. meet someone famous
11. write a song (Brooke and I have written 3 songs)
12. learn to play guitar
13. learn to play violin
14. be an extra in a movie
15. scuba dive
16. go on a cruise
17. buy my dad a plasma TV
18. sail on a yacht
19. have a song written about me
20. ride the 5 tallest and/or fastest rollercoasters
21. road trip with friends (Route 66, perhaps?!)
22. find the job that makes me happy (started Hawkes in January 2011)
23. get kissed under mistletoe
24. get kissed on New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2008/January 1, 2009)
25. read entire Bible (read Bible in 2011)
26. beat all the Guitar Hero games on expert:
a. Guitar Hero (beat Guitar Hero – December 3, 2008)
b. Guitar Hero II (beat Guitar Hero II - June 3, 2010)
c. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
d. Guitar Hero: World Tour
e. Guitar Hero 5
27. ride in a hot air balloon
28. learn to juggle
29. go white water rafting
30. get a tattoo (April 1, 2010)
31. go to a Super Bowl
32. go to a World Series
33. go to a hockey game December 4, 2010. (Preds vs. Hurricans w/ Jason Hart! Preds win 5-2)
34. Kentucky Derby
35. go see a symphony
36. donate my hair to Locks of Love (November 4, 2010!)
37. bungee jump (i said i'd never do it, but here it is. on my list.)
38. run a 5K (August 7, 2010!! 31:08!!)
39. run a 10K (October 23, 2010!! 1:01:50!)
40. run a 15K
41. run a half marathon (ran the first one April 2011 and the second March 2012)
42. write a book
43. learn to surf
44. learn how to say “Hello”, “My name is Nikki”, “How are you?”, “Please”, “Thank you”, and “The cheese is my friend” in 10 languages.
45. go paragliding
46. swim with dolphins
47. ride a mechanical bull
48. fly in a blimp
49. zipline (October 19, 2010!
50.go zorbing
51. see Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and Southern Lights (aurora australis)
52. ride the London Eye (even though I am terrified of Ferris Wheels…)
53. learn to crochet
54. learn how to make origami
55. build a Habitat for Humanity Home
56. plant a garden (and keep it alive)
57. ride in a submarine
58. experience zero gravity
59. try 5 new foods every year
60. help my cousins like my uncle is helping me (financially)
61. learn a martial art
62. make $1 million dollars (I’m going to keep track of my paychecks and see how long it takes me to make $1 million dollars)
63. ride in a helicopter
64. see an active volcano
65. see a moose in real life
66. see a penguin in real life
67. stomp grapes at a vineyard
68. be on Wheel of Fortune!
69. hang glide!! :)
70. model on a runway.
71. learn how to "dougie" (August 2, 2010: Summer Bridge Program)
72. shower at a gas station (August 7, 2010 -- after my 5K)
73. do a triathlon!
74. go on a random weekend getaway. tell no one. just go.
75. run a trail race
76. dance in the rain with no inhibitions
77. sing karaoke (10-8-10: Fight Song Competition; sang the APSU Fight Song to the karaoke version of "Party in the USA" !!)



Part Two: Travel

1. visit all 50 states
a. the Grand Canyon
b. the Seattle Space Needle (November 2011)
c. see the Seattle skyline from the ocean (came close enough to seeing it from Kerry Park)
d. The Golden Gate Bridge, San Fran
e. Rocky Mountains
f. Times Square/Broadway, New York
g. Statue of Liberty, New York
h. Empire State Building, New York
i. Gateway Arch, St. Louis
j. Navy Pier, Chicago
k. Old Faithful, Wyoming
l. Plymouth Rock, Boston
m. Hershey, Pennsylvania
n. Cedar Point, Ohio
o. Monticello, Virginia
p. go on a carriage ride in Charleston
2. the “28 places to see before you die” according to the Smithsonian
a. Mesa Verde, Colorado
b. Pompeii, Rome
c. Tikal (Mayan ruins), Guatemala
d. Petra, Jordan
e. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
f. Taj Mahal, India
g. Easter Island, Chile
h. The Great Wall, China
i. Aurora Borealis, Alaska/Yukon
j. Serengeti, Africa
k. Iguazu Falls, Brazil
l. Machu Picchu, Peru
m. The Louvre, France
n. Zen Garden of Kyoto, Japan
o. Uffizi Gallery, Italy
p. Fallingwater, Pennsylvania
q. Yangtze River, China
r. Antarctica (sweeeeet!)
s. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
t. Grand Canyon, Arizona
u. Pagan, Burma
v. Parthenon, Greece
w. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
x. Ephesus, Turkey
y. Venice, Italy
z. Amazon Rain Forest, South America
aa. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
bb. Galapagos Islands
3. see Niagara Falls
4. scuba dive along the Great Barrier Reef
5. visit the Sydney Opera House
6. see the Outback
7. visit New Zealand and shear a sheep! :P
8. take a gondola ride in Venice
9. get kissed in front of the Eiffel Tower
10. visit The Louvre
11. visit the Acropolis
12. ride across Europe by train
13. take a tour of the Grand Canyon on a donkey
14. see the Vatican in Rome
15. visit the Easter Island heads in Chile
16. the Pyramids
17. Stonehenge
18. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
19. Taj Mahal
20. walk on the Great Wall of China
21. visit a castle in Luxembourg
22. see the Berlin Wall
23. eat cheese and chocolate in Switzerland
24. ski the Swiss Alps
25. eat chili in Chile
26. eat turkey in Turkey
27. visit Victoria Falls

these are a few of my favorite things...

inspiration: i'm so blessed.

this morning, i got bored and started making little icons of memories that i cherish, some of them profound, others not so much. but i soon realized that i have too many memories and too few pictures. so instead, im going to just compile a list of blessings that i'm so glad to be able to share.

My Faith Tattoo Getting my tattoo Beating Guitar Hero on Expert ;)
All my Joshua memories Passion 2010 Going on the Titan rollercoaster! Going skiing with Josh
SKYDIVING!! Visiting the World of Coke with Josh

A few of my favorite things (including, but not limited to...)

  • my tattoo

  • playing Guitar Hero

  • reminiscing about memories with josh

  • talking to joyann

  • writing songs with brooke

  • Passion 2010!

  • rollercoasters

  • road trips

  • SKYDIVING!

  • sunsets

  • hanging out with friends

  • spending time with God

  • admiring God's creations

  • eating

  • springtime

  • dogwood trees

  • buttercups and daisies

  • Chewy Spree candy

  • sidewalk chalk and bubbles

  • APSU (Let's Go Peay!)

  • Grace Community Church

  • reading

  • t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops

  • Sprite

  • half-off drinks at Sonic

  • strolling down Riverwalk

  • Woman Club




...oh, there are about a billion and a half more things that I could write, but I think you get the point: I'm incredibly blessed and thankful for everything that God has given me over the last 21 years. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

when life gives you lemons...

inspiration: weird dreams and uneasiness.

lemons:
i got an absolute weird night's sleep last night. i kept waking up (mostly because i would somehow end up laying on my wrist and considering it's sore anyways, it made it much worse). but i had weird, random dreams. it was like my subconscious was spazzing out on me. i woke up around 8 o'clock feeling almost depressed because it felt like everything i had overcome over the last week just came flooding back.

lemonade:
after being awakened by such strong emotions and frustration, i pulled myself together, read my devotional (Isaiah 40 -- God's Words of Comfort to Israel -- perfect, right?!), journaled, prayed and went back to sleep.

Once I woke up the second time, I felt totally refreshed. Even though I only slept for another hour, I felt completely refreshed. It was like my "battery life" went from "drained" to "completely recharged". I woke up with a better outlook on the day and on life, in general!! =D

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." --Isaiah 40:29-31



(Like I said. That was the perfect thing for me to read this morning during my semi-meltdown! God's timing is perfect!!)


even though, i currently don't have any big event to channel all my energy toward, i figured i might as well continue at least setting daily goals for myself. :)
goal for today: REST. Be still and be at peace with God's plans for me.

Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God..."


I have so much to look forward to :)
Having a picnic lunch with Heather and Kelsey, then going to see The Last Song :) The weather is lovely outside and I am on fire for God!! =D

Thursday, April 1, 2010

journey of faith: legit ink!! :)




So today was the day.
I finally got my tattoo.
I absolutely love it!! I can definitely see why people say they're so addictive.
But mine, totally, took less than five minutes to do. Didn't hurt that much at all after the initial sting. But I'm so excited :)

This means so much to me.

I've wanted faith on my wrist for a long time, but never got it. For the longest time, I was told that I didn't need a tattoo and I was really put down for wanting one in the first place. But after that whole phase ended, I realized that it was something that I truly wanted. And after having been through everything I've been through and through overcoming so many obstacles since last October until now, I realize just how important my faith is to me and how much of an impact it has had on me.

I got a lot of heat about it because "it's permanent". But guess what? This is more than just "ink" to me. It's a permanent mark of my faith. Not only marked on my wrist in permanent ink, but also in my heart through the blessings of God. =] It will never leave me. It's THAT important to me that I am not ashamed to have it permanently marked on my body.

I have overcome a lot of guilt, anxiousness (anxiety, i guess, is the actual word ;)), feelings of worthlessness, and frustration over the last few months, and especially over the last week. i'm proud that i've been able to move on with my life and to begin to focus on what's truly important to me now: my faith in Christ!

I have such amazing friends that I am so thankful for :)

God Bless everyone. Thanks for the birthday wishes and thanks especially for your prayers and support!! :)

journey of faith: this is it!

inspiration: it's my birf-day =D

day eight:
so today is the "big" day :)
everything i've overcome and worked through is leading up to a permanent display and reminder of my faith.

The past week has been amazing. Tough, at times, no doubt, but i have overcome so many obstacles and been shown just how blessed i am. and for that, i praise God!! His strength and comfort have led me through all this.

goal: continually give praise.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"