Top Social


Featured Posts Slider

Image Slider

Thursday, November 26, 2015


"Restore to me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12

I've been clinging to this verse for weeks now.  Most days, I repeat it at least a couple dozen times.  As we venture into this holiday season I think it's one that I'll continue to tattoo on my heart every single day.  I've had such mixed emotions about the holidays.  On the one hand I'm so excited to really dig deep into advent and make it a season unlike any other that I've experienced.  I'm excited for the Christmas music, the parties with friends, and the sweet traditions we have in our marriage.

But on the other hand I want to avoid everything holiday related.  I don't want to think about it.  Because when I think about it I think about how I thought I would have a newborn to cuddle.  Or at least a belly to rest my hands on.  I thought this year would be so different.  But, it's not.  And sometimes I have a hard time knowing what to do with that.  

But I've started to learn over the past few months that it doesn't do me any good to hide myself from the Lord.  He knows every single thought, every single fear, every single moment of hurt or anger.  Why would I pretend like it's not an issue?   I'm learning to call an issue and issue and deal with it.  So there might be many days these next several weeks that I just have to deal with my issues.  And that's okay.  Ultimately it's not about me being okay.  It's not about me having my life all put together and a smile plastered on my face every moment of every day.  It's about allowing myself to be completely wrecked by the Jesus who left the right hand of God, put on flesh, and saved my soul.  It's about knowing that Jesus and resting in His grace and mercy.  

I don't have the perfect life.  I deal with bitterness and jealousy.  I deal with anger and frustration.  I react out of selfishness to my husband.  I don't extend grace to those around me.  Dishes are piled in the sink, my email inbox often feels never-ending, and some days just end with me feeling plain weary.  I'm messy.  But, I have a Jesus who is stepping right into it all and showing me how fierce His love is.  Showing me how faithful He is, even now.  Even when the longing takes my breath away and the desire is unmet.  He fulfills me.  And I can be abundantly thankful all the days of my life. 

I can be thankful because my joy at the very core is rooted in salvation.  No matter what's going on in my life I can have joy because I have Jesus.  This gives me so much hope.  I never have to be without deep, true joy because I never have to be without Jesus.  He is always, always faithful and constant.  I can be thankful because I have a husband who loves Jesus and serves me in ways that I never even knew I would need to be served.  He's carried me through so many things already and I could cry thinking about all the life we have left to live together.  This year has been dang hard.  But, it's been one of the sweetest years of my life and in our marriage.  I'm abundantly thankful for the covenant of marriage and the bond that we have because of Christ.  

I'm thankful that through some of the hardest days of my life thus far we've been able to laugh.  He is so often my comic relief.  He loves me so well and my heart overflows with gladness because I get to laugh with him.  We get to play together.  We get to be silly.  We have this incredible privilege to walk through this season of life soaking in every moment of our marriage.  Our marriage is better because of the wait and the struggle.  I'd do it ten times over if it meant that we would walk closer to Jesus and love each other deeper.  It's so worth it. 

This Thanksgiving, I'm begging the Lord to restore to me the joy of my salvation.  
I want to be nothing but joyful because the Lord has been so good to me, to us.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Happy Tuesday, friends!  I can't really believe that Thanksgiving is DAYS away.  Waiting for a baby has made this year seem so long, but when I look back it seems so short.  As we inch closer to the holidays, the Lord is continually placing service on my heart.  The holidays are more than staying cozy in my home with my husband and our traditions.  It's about boldly serving those around me in the name of Jesus.  And really, everyday should be this way.  In 2016, I want to be uncomfortable.  I want to step outside of my comfort zone more and serve wholeheartedly.  I want to love on refugees, help fund adoptions, and bless foster care families.  I'm ready to do more.  The more the Lord has us on this waiting journey the more I realize that life really isn't about me.  Not in the least.  My life should be solely about pursing the will of God and pointing to His glory every chance I get.  I don't want to miss opportunities to make His name great.

If you've read my blog for long, you know that for the past few Decembers I've done a giveaway that supported a cause.  I feel so strongly about using this platform the Lord has given me for good.  I love being able to join in with others all across the country and give to a cause the Lord has put on my heart that year.  Every year I wonder "Will I still do a giveaway this year?" and every year the Lord puts a family or a cause on my heart.

About a month ago, I saw a post on Facebook from a friend from high school.  An average Friday turned into a day that will never be forgotten.  Her five year old son, a kindergartener, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Treatment was started immediately and through her posts you see their world turn upside down.  

But, through every single post... the name of the Lord is exalted.  This absolutely brings me to tears.  Even the hard days, the days filled with babies having cancer treatments, the Lord uses for His glory and His fame.  I can't think about this and not sob.  The influence this family has now is incredible.  Right now, they have 2,093 followers on Facebook.  That's 2,093 people who see a family having their hearts ripped out stand on the Rock and have incredible faith and hope because of Him.  This is the gospel going forth, y'all.  

As I continued to read about Jaxon's new journey, my heart was increasingly burdened to do something for the Hamm family. The Lord continually put them on my heart and I reached out to her one day to ask if it was okay for me to do a giveaway for them.  She said yes so here we are! I'm so honored to bring you this giveaway.  I posted a few weeks ago asking all my small business owner friends to contribute to this giveaway and I had such an incredible response.  I'm so proud to bring you this giveaway today.  Each and every one of this business owners is giving back and serving this family.  And it just blesses my heart.  

Here's the giveaway, y'all!

I'm calling it the "holiday gift" giveaway because I think this is the PERFECT giveaway to well, give away!  Whoever wins this will have gift for everyone on their list. I'm so excited for you to see what's included!

Give me Jesus mug

Graceline prints

donated by Graceline 

World Print

donated by MKS Design Studio

Holiday Hand Towel

2 Crew + Co Tees of choice 

donated by Crew + Co.

Set of 52 Scripture Cards

donated by Accrewed Design

Custom City Skyline 

donated by King Mallard Co.

Along Came a Cub Tee

donated by Along Came a Cub

Good Word Candles

donated by Good Word Candles

Holiday Pencil Art

(it will say "joy" instead of initial)

donated by Pearl Designs

Gladje Designs Print

donated by Gladje Designs

Custom watercolor from photo of choice 

Yes, this is us!! Ha!

donated by Kristy Haughwout


So many incredible and willing shops coming together to support Jaxon and his family.  

How does this work?

The goal of this is to raise money for Jaxon and his family.  Thanks to St. Jude, they will not have thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay for treatments.  But, the day to day expenses will add up quickly as his Mama has to take leave from her job (a nurse at St. Jude!) to care for Jaxon.  They also have a precious baby girl to care for and love on in the midst of this season, too.  I would love to be able to bless them with a large check to spend as they see necessary.  Let's love on this sweet family this holiday season!

Here's the deal:

Obviously I can't force you to give to this family.  It has to come from the goodness of your heart!  But, I would really like someone to win this giveaway who did actually donate to this family... so please just give a little to the Hamm's if you want to win this prize. :)

If every single one of my instagram followers gave just $5 we would raise almost 19K for this family.  NINETEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Like, whoa.  Giving up a starbucks red cup this week could mean so much to this family.  I would love for you to consider what you can give in honor of Jaxon!

If you would like to give to this family, there's a donate button over there on the right.  Click it and you can donate through paypal.  As soon as the giveaway ends, I'll write this sweet family a check!

So here's a little breakdown:

consider donating to the Hamm family... click the button on the right if you decide to!
enter the giveaway by following the steps below
The more you share, the more we could bless this family financially. 

Okay, got it?  Let's raise money for Jaxon!!!! The giveaway ends at 12AM December 1st.  Get to entering, y'all!  

And a huge thank you to all the incredible shops that donated items for this giveaway.  I couldn't have done it without you!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, November 19, 2015


my new give grace pillow from a sweet friend 

I wanted to kick off this series on waiting for baby with a few words for the sweet family and friends of those struggling.  It's been such a neat experience this year learning something totally new.  Getting to experience a whole new level of heartbreak and struggle.  So many of my views are now totally different because of the year that we've had.  Something I've really had to repeat to myself over and over the past few months is "they just don't understand."  And I don't say that in a negative way, I say that in a way that helps me remember to give grace to those friends or family members who truly have no idea what it's like to wait for a baby.  I'll be really honest.  Some people say some straight up STUPID things.  I think relationships have been extra hard for me because of this struggle.  I mentioned this in my post about community earlier this week, but these relationships are so vital.  Especially in a hard season.  So imagine the struggle of needing these relationships, but not wanting them/pushing them away at the same time.  This is hard y'all!  We know we need you, but we have such a hard time figuring out the words to let you know just how much we need you.  And often conversations end with confusion and frustration.  Here are just a few things I want you to know as you seek to encourage and love on your friend while she waits!

Your friend is going through an incredibly lonely season of her life.  It seems as though everyone she knows is having babies yet she's still without a bump or a child on her hip.  When she's in social environments with a group of moms, it's easy for her to feel completely apart from the group.  After all, she knows nothing about a baby's sleep patterns, the struggle to have a date night, or the way you long to have a full nights sleep.  She's on the outside of so many conversations.  Know that your friend can be struggling without you seeing it.  It's not like the chicken pox which is so obvious to spot.  It's a silent, invisible struggle that is hard to put into words.  Some days, she feels completely alone.  Even her husband doesn't really understand.  (oh the difference in how men and women react to heartbreak and struggle!)  She wants to call you, but she knows that you're knee deep in cleaning up the playroom or rocking that babe to sleep.  So she doesn't call.  She just sits alone and cries.  This can happen over and over and over for your friend.  Being vulnerable about how much it hurts can be so hard.  She wants to, she just doesn't know how to do it.

How can you help?

Be aware.  By all means, have those mom conversations and include her!  Somehow find a way to bring her into the conversation.  Ask about her view point.  Offer encouraging wisdom for when she's mothering in the future.  Do whatever you can to include her. Or maybe if you sense that it's a hard day, try and completely change the subject.  There are a million other things to talk about in that moment if it means encouraging your friend for just a few minutes.  I promise, it will make a difference to her.

Even some of the most simple, mundane moments are challenging for your friend. 

Waking up in the morning to an empty house.  Passing the baby section at target.  The pregnant mom in front of her at the grocery store.  Simple, every day activities can bring a flood of emotions.  And then there are days like mother's day, baby dedication, and even halloween that remind her of the memories she doesn't have yet.  Even the smallest of things can trigger a variety of emotions.

How can you help?

Recognize things that might trigger your friend.  Know where she is in her journey.  If you know a doctor's appointment is coming up, reach out to her.  When Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, be intentional to pray for her, and tell her that you're praying for her.  When Mother's Day comes, for the love of all good things, BUY HER A TUB OF ICE CREAM.  Know your friend, recognize the things that might be hard for her, whether you think they are "big" things or not.  You reaching out and even sending a simple text message to let her know that you're thinking of her helps her to feel not so alone.

Your friend wants you to be involved. 

This goes back to the the lonely feelings we talked about earlier.  When no one asks, she feels even more alone.  She feels like her struggle is irrational and that everything should be okay.

How can you help? 

Don't be afraid to ask questions.  You asking a stupid question is a lot better than you not asking questions at all.  She wants you to be involved!  Ask about treatments or doctor's appointments or just how her week is going in the wait.  Be willing to tell your friend "I don't really know what to say or what to do.  What can I do to encourage you today?"  This is an awkward time for everyone involved.  Be willing to get past some of those awkward moments so you can try and love your friend in the best way possible.

Your friend wants accountability.

As a believer, this struggle is really hard for your friend.  It is a deeply spiritual struggle that left alone, could really halt her relationship with Christ.  She's struggles so much in her daily quiet time.  She wants to spend time with the Lord, but some mornings are just so hard.  The longing runs deep.  And then she sees another pregnancy announcement.  And she's mad.  Mad that it's not her.  She needs someone to step in, give accountability, and point her back to Jesus.

How can you help?

Be willing to be that accountability for your friend.  If you're able (This is for close friends), have a conversation with her about her relationship with Christ and how it is being affected by waiting for baby.  Give her grace when she talks about the hard things and be willing to be that accountability partner she needs.  Know her struggles and know when you need to step in for her.  Sometimes she will need someone to step into those hard moments and speak truth into her life, even when she doesn't want to hear it.  Memorize scripture together, have weekly coffee dates, do something that helps to deepen your relationship.  She doesn't want to waste this season.  She wants to bring glory to the Lord through it.  But, sometimes, (a lot of times) she needs your help in doing it.

Give grace. 

Through all of this, give grace to that sweet friend of yours.  It's a hard, challenging, and often times awkward road to walk.  Especially when she's walking it in the midst of all her mothering friends.  Sometimes, she will just need to walk away from a conversation.  Sometimes she'll have to skip that party.  Sometimes she'll really just need you to come over and sit on the couch while she cries.  Give grace.  Give grace when she says something that was maybe not very nice.  Give grace when she really needs to not talk about what your kids are up to.  Give grace.  I promise, she loves you so much.  And she loves your babies more than you could even know.  But, some days are hard.  Give grace.

There are so many different ways that you can be an encouragement to your friend who is waiting.  Be willing to have some hard conversations and figure out exactly what you can do to love her well during this season of her life.  All the things written above were written from my perspective and from what i've personally dealt with or struggled with.  Your friend might not struggle in all the same ways I struggle.  Find out where she is in her journey.  Have some honest conversations.  
Love her and point her to Jesus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Good morning, y’all!  It’s a busy season here in the 314 Productions office.  I have a mountain of editing to do, a handful of sessions left to shoot, and lots of prep work to get us ready for 2016!  I’m so excited for what’s to come and I have a list going in my head with all the business related posts I want to write.  But, more on that another day!

I wanted to have a quick conversation with you about posts regarding waiting for baby.  (Just a side note, I probably won’t ever say “infertility”.  Technically, that word applies to me.  But, I just can’t bring myself to use it.) I have several post ideas already spinning in my mind about encouragement through waiting and wisdom for others who have loved ones struggling.  But, I would love to know if there is anything specific you’d like to see discussed here.  It’s only been a little over a year for us, so I don’t have a wealth of knowledge, but I can give you encouragement that has really lifted me up over the past several months.  I fully believe that the Lord can use exactly where we are to cheer on others!

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your questions or topics in the comments, fill out the form on my contact page!  I’m hoping to write a little each day so that sometime next week I can start publishing a few posts.  So now’s your opportunity!  I’d love to know what’s on your heart and how I can best use this season to love on you and serve you.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015


This is probably one of the most honest and raw posts that I'll ever write here.  It's hard for me to write out these struggles, but I know that the Lord is teaching me so much through my journey and some of you may be in similar seasons of your lives.  I hope that this is encouraging and leads you closer to Jesus and your local body!

We attend a small church plant that meets at a middle school.  When we started attending almost four years ago, I couldn't have even IMAGINED what God would do through this body of believers.  Growing up, I didn't learn a whole lot about close, biblical community.  I wasn't plugged in at church (I attended youth group at another church) and if I had something else to do on the weekend, I didn't think twice about skipping.  My view of church didn't reach very far past regular attendance.  However, when we moved from a large church to a church plant, my entire view of church was changed.  (Please hear me when I say this:  I am NOT knocking large churches.  My personal experience growing up in a large church just didn't give me a correct view of the Body.)

When we started to attend Eastpoint, I quickly learned that service isn't just something that you do when you feel like it.  Being plugged in is VITAL to the health of the Body.  Church became far less about me and a whole lot more about God and the mission He had for me at Eastpoint.  

Fast forward to the beginning of 2015.  We were a few months into trying to get pregnant and it seemed like week after week another pregnancy announcement was being made at church.  By April, I was absolutely wrecked.  When I walked through those middle school doors all I felt was lack.  Mamas had their arms full.  Women were rubbing their swollen bellies.  Conversations were happening that I wasn't a part of. I saw everything I wanted when I walked in the doors of Eastpoint.  And when I looked at myself, all I saw was lack. I rarely could make it through a church service without sobbing.  Most Sunday mornings I fought off panic attacks within moments of walking up.  I hated Sunday with everything inside of me.    

I felt like this messy girl.  The girl who had every struggle tattooed on her forehead.  The girl that was very obviously not okay.  I felt vulnerable and raw and broken.  And I wanted to hide it.  I wanted to hide every tiny bit of it.  And I tried (Obviously I was fooling no one.  I was still the girl sobbing on the second row every Sunday.  Ha!).  I would walk into church at the very last second and try to talk to as few people as possible.  When I did talk, I tried to keep it as surface as possible.  I couldn't bear to let anyone in.  The one place I used to love was now the place that I wish I could run away from.  And I really hated that.  Really, I did.  I didn't like the way I was feeling.  But, I just couldn't move passed it.  So I continued to go (and sometimes I didn't) and I continued to try my best to hide.  

As the months went on and the pregnancy announcements doubled, I was at the end of my rope.  July was the month that God absolutely broke me.  There was no part of me that wasn't shattered.  There was nothing I could do to pretend.  There was no mask that would cover what was really going on in my heart.  August came and the Lord really started to work.  He began to change my perspective and mend my heart in only the way He can.  September came and Jamie and Victoria were in town for a visit.  As I took Victoria to the airport that Sunday morning we talked about my struggles with church and community.  She really encouraged me to be completely open with some girls in my group.  To humble myself and ask for help.  Real help.  So I did.  And the Lord continued to work. 

I can't get through this post without sobbing.  Sobbing because of grace.  God has pursued me even when I did everything in my power to push Him way.  Sobbing because I'm finally starting to get this community thing, slowly but surely.   Sobbing because I want to extend grace to those who struggle. 

You see, church is not just a building where we happen to pop in on a Sunday morning if we feel like it.  The local church is a covenantal body of believers. I'm in a covenant with these people.  That means no matter what, we stay together.  These are the people the Lord has CALLED me to.  This is the local body where He's placed us. These are my people.  Church is for the messy.  The broken.  The needy.  The hurting.  Church isn't about showing up and acting like we have it all together.  It's about having a family to run to for encouragement and support and accountability.  It's about having people to pick you up when all you want to do is lay in the dirt and sob.  It's about praying over each other and pushing others to Jesus.  It's about fixing our gaze on Jesus and living out His mission for HIS glory.  It's about Jesus.  It's not about me.  

We're all broken people.  I might walk into church feeling empty without a growing bump or a toddler in my arms.  But that Mama is broken, too.  Our struggles might not look the same, but at the end of the day it's a struggle to choose the Spirit over the flesh.  At the end of the day we all need grace. 

The days are still hard.  There are still Sunday mornings that my heart breaks when I stand in a circle of mamas.  My struggles are still there.  But, I don't walk alone anymore.  I'm not afraid to talk about it.  And even better, my community isn't afraid to ask.  There's openness and vulnerability.  And it's so good.  Church can be messy and hard but it's because we're all sinful people trying to become a little more like Jesus.  

Community is vital to my growth.  I need it.  I need those people. I'm still learning and growing.  There's so much left for me to learn about community and really loving others well.  I don't write this because I've figured it all out, I write this because I haven't. 

I write this today because it's been a very real struggle in my life this year.  But, the more that I've bene okay with being broken and messy the more the Lord has used this body to encourage me and support me and keep me accountable.  I am more equipped to do Kingdom work because of my relationships with these people.  And it's far from perfect.  We're all still struggling and learning together.  
But, this is the good part.  

"Let us hold fast the confusion of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25
Friday, November 13, 2015


Happy Friday, y’all!  It’s been a whirlwind of a week and it’s not going to slow down one bit until after Thanksgiving.  I’m so thankful for my job and to be doing what I love.  The Lord has BLOWN us away with business and I am so pumped about where the Lord is leading us.  I think 2016 is going to be a big year for us and I can’t wait to get it started. :)

Before I hit the ground running, I wanted to share a few photos from our home photoshoot back in August!  My friend Katie Kubler came over to take a few photos of us to celebrate moving into our new home!  I’m so thankful to have these and have this season of our live documented.  I told Katie that I really wanted photos for while we are waiting and what that looks like.  For us, that looks like settling into a new house and loving on our pups.  And today I can be so thankful for that! 

A few things have changed since that August day so I thought I’d hop on periscope tomorrow to give you a little video tour!  I’m planning on taking some photos of the house soon (Maybe Saturday after our tour!) to post here along with the scripture we wrote in every room when the framing went up.  

So if you want to come hang out with me in my house tomorrow, hop on periscope (@nicolevcole) at 11am CST and we’ll chat!  I can’t wait to talk with you guys.  It’s been too long!