Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I know I’m going to annoy you with all this “giveaway” stuff, but I’m just not going to stop.  My entire reasoning for coming back to the blog was this giveaway.  $5 to a family who could use your support for a chance to win over $300 worth of goodies!  Not bad, right?  

I’ll be really transparent here.  I struggle with this a lot.  I struggle with having thousands of followers between my blog, instagram, and Facebook and this giveaway slipping through the cracks.  I have a problem with posts about puppies and babies ranks over the needs of others.  That just bothers me.  That is what makes me want to stop blogging altogether.  But, the Lord gently reminded me this morning that this is not something I can do.  I was faithful in what He called me to do.  I cannot make others feel compassion or give.  I have absolutely no control.  That’s what is hard for me.  Control.  I like to be able to know the outcome and know that I’ve done all I can do.  I like to be able to “do” things and see results.  But, the Lord is teaching me (in several different areas) and I have pretty much zero control over anything.  Everything I have is straight from His hand.  He is the provider.  Not me.  This giveaway won’t raise a million dollars for this family because of anything that I did on my own.  If we raise $200 or $200,000 it will be because of the work the Lord did.  Do I really want to take the focus off of Him and put it onto me?  NO!  I want to step back at the end of this and be in awe of the Father and His provision.  I don’t want to step back when this is all over and see my own skill or accomplishments making this thing work.  I just want to see the hand of Jesus.  

Yes, I would love for you to give to this family.  I would love to give them a big check at the end of this that will allow them to go and meet any physical need they might have.  I would love to tell them that believers all over the world wanted to see their needs met.  I would love that!  But, I know that no matter how big the check is, I should be able to say the same thing.  Believers saw a need and they met it.  It’s not up to me to determine the size of the check.  It’s just up to me to be obedient to whatever the Lord has called me to do and I can trust God to do the rest.  All this to say... this is my struggle.  Control is an issue for me.  I pray that if you find yourself relating to this that you’ll be able to step back in whatever situation you’re in and see that the Lord is in control.  I pray that we find rest and assurance and JOY in knowing that the Lord is in control of our circumstances. 

Go HERE to read all about this giveaway.

Monday, November 24, 2014


"Dream blog world would be a place where I share my heart on what The Lord is doing and share joy and show struggle. It would be a place where I share our family's life to give positive and encouraging ideas to other families. It would be a place where I could look to others to learn how to be more submissive to my husband or learn how to better pray for him. It would be a place where I could read about the fears and struggles of motherhood while also seeing the great joy and happiness it brings. It would be a place where I feel encouraged in my walk with Jesus but convicted that there is always room to grow. It would be a place where I see the hurt in the world and I'm given opportunities to heal. It would be a place where I am faced with the truth of the gospel and challenged to turn and tell people about Jesus. It would be a place where I am shown examples of how to engage in relationships with the lost and how to better love and serve them. It would be a place where Jesus is glorified and I am made more to look like Jesus.

This is something I randomly sent to Victoria a few months back as we talked about blogging and how we desire to see it used.  All of this just flowed out of my fingertips but after I read it back I immediately saved it and knew that if/when I ever went back to bloom I would want this to be my heart behind it.  I would want this to be my purpose.  Ive been going through the She Reads Truth Thanksgiving study and Ive really enjoyed getting to look at different angles of thankfulness that we see in the Bible.  A line from that very first day really struck me.  “His will is not as much a path as it is a way of walking.”  Yes, yes, and yes.  So much truth in that.  If we walk in continued obedience, there is no way for us to walk outside the will of God.  The will of God isn’t a formula or a list of things we “have to do” for Jesus.  The will of God is for us to live obedient lives where we read the Bible and do what it says.  Right now, I believe my obedience comes in returning back to this space.  That seems dramatic, but I feel that it’s true.  To be honest, I really didn’t have much of a desire to come back to blogging.  There are so many aspects of it that I just don’t like or that truthfully just annoy me.  But, throughout the fall I’ve had several conversations with people and heard several sermons on being obedient to my calling and using whatever platform the Lord gives me.  And this is it.  Instead of letting things discourage me or make me frustrated, I can come here and do what the Lord is calling me to do with joy and with passion.  I can use this space to encourage and to speak the gospel regardless of what others are doing in their little corners of the internet.  Not everyone is going to share in my convictions over their blog.  Some will continue to be family journals or fashion blogs or business blogs.  I love that!  As believers, the Lord will give us different avenues to spread the gospel and use the platform He’s given us.  But, we have to be obedient and intentional to use these spaces wisely.  For me, this means letting go of numbers and stats and the desire to promote, promote, promote.  For me, this means I’ll be bold in my speech and gentle in my approach and loving in my message.  For me, this means I’ll share our family’s journey so that you can be encouraged and challenged and see that it’s messy to try and follow Jesus.  For me, this means you’ll see that we don’t always get it right and following Jesus is always a journey and it’s never a destination.  For me, this means I’ll pray that you don’t see Nicole here, but that you’ll see Jesus.  

I want this to be a place where Jesus is glorified and I’m made more to look like Jesus.  

Friday, November 21, 2014


I am way beyond thrilled to back here at bloom today!  Victoria gave this space a radical makeover and I think it fits my vision for this space perfectly.  I’m back with a purpose and it feels good.  I feel like the Lord is really going to refine this space and do new things here and I’m really pumped about that.  I have truly prayed so much that this space would be something that He would use for the spread of the gospel and for the glory of His name.  But, I’ll talk more about that next week!

Almost two weeks ago some friends of ours from our community group and church lost their home to a fire.  Devin and Danielle are two of the sweetest, funniest, most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure to know.  In the spring, Danielle was diagnosed with a very, very rare form of sarcoma.  “Cancer” is a really scary word.  To be honest, I’ve never dealt with it so “closely” before this.  Watching how this couple took this on with such incredible faith is absolutely one of the most encouraging and convicting things I’ve ever witnessed.  To see how their marriage has grown and how their love only increases make ME want to appreciate my marriage more.  The way their faith has increased and their joy has multiplied makes ME want to have a deeper faith.  I’m so thankful for how their story and their testimonies continually push me to seek Jesus and to honor Him with my words and my actions.  As soon as I found out about their house burning down I immediately thought of my blog.  I thought about my platform and how God had given it to me for times exactly like these.  I can use my voice.  I can come to this space He has so graciously given me and I can share a need and come together with other believers to meet the need.  

photo by KH photography

So, I give you the Give Back Giveaway!  

With a donation of $5 or more (donate easily by clicking the paypal link on my sidebar!), you can enter to win a giveaway that includes the following:

A mug and cozie from Oh Simple Joys (she designed our giveaway graphic, too!)

Advent Calendar from Persimmon Prints

Custom hoop from Ten Feet off Beale 

Custom calligraphy Christmas card from Accrewed Design 

Weave from The Weaver Weaves

watercolor print from Love, The Nelsons

Live Life Beautifully journal from Life Lived Beautifully 

So great, right!? These goodies will be PERFECT for the holiday season as either a goodie for yourself or for a gift for a loved one!  These amazing ladies have teamed up with me to give you this amazing giveaway as a “thank you” for helping Devin and Danielle!  Every single cent that you donate will go straight to this sweet couple so that they can begin to make purchases for their future home.  FEEL FREE to give more than $5, but a $5 donation is just as sweet. :)  This giveaway will run through November 30th and I’ll announce on December 1st!  

**If you wish to enter the giveaway without donating, just email me!  I’ll be happy for you to enter.  Send all donations through paypal to bloomtheblog@gmail.com.  There is a donate button over on the left sidebar!  Easy!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway