Posts tagged stress
Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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The Day I Traded Peace for Panic, and How I Got it Back

My heart was racing. I couldn’t catch my breath. What was happening? Was I having a heart attack? I’m in my thirties, and I’m a runner —certainly my heart is fine. But why can’t I breathe? I took my phone into the closet and frantically searched Google for the signs of a heart attack. What I found made me feel better and worse all at the same time. Thankfully, I was not having a heart attack! Unfortunately, I was having a panic attack. I had never experienced this before. I laid on the floor and focused on breathing in deep, trying to get this horrible feeling to pass.  Life was so out of control. We had just made our second big move in three years. Starting over again. New friends. New jobs. New places. I was just beginning to feel settled in our last town, and now I needed to start all over.

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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Anchored in Love: My Healing Journey

Then, years later, the crash came. I’d managed for so long, but in the fall of 2016, my weary body started firing symptoms like sirens. I reluctantly put myself back into the hands of a doctor, and after running another panel of tests, she found the mysterious bacteria that had been oppressing my body for almost a decade. We were shocked and relieved, and I immediately entered into the necessary but brutal treatment. Love carried me through those months. The love of my husband who wrapped me in blankets every day just to get me into fresh air. The love of my friends who met me where I was at — in my bed. The love of my family who helped care for me. And mostly, the love of my Creator, who planted a peace in my heart not even the tears could wash away.

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Series Introduction: Joy

I’ll be blunt and say I don’t agree with the dictionary definition of the word “joy.” In my opinion, they’ve missed the mark and lost out on the true meaning of a word with the power to impact and change lives. The dictionary definition reads, “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure.” Two things, joy is not an emotion nor is it the reaction of something. At surface level, if you were to simply accept “joy” as another form of “happiness” then this definition would fit the bill. I’d like to dig deeper and challenge this vaguely cliché understanding of joy, so you can use this word to its full potential.

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What a Disastrous Thanksgiving Morning Taught Me

Friends, this is no joke — I was IN TEARS sitting in my window seat thinking to myself just how bad things had gone. To top it off, I could hardly take a solid, life-giving breath without my stomach quivering from that awful odor. I felt low. LOW. I was trying to figure out for the life of me why God was testing me on a holiday that should be filled with gratitude and smiles. I’ll tell you right now, I was in NO way thankful for anything other than my fuzzy sweater and the adorable, sleeping man next to me. Thank God for him. Now that I’m removed from this terrible start to my day and now that it’s only a memory, I can see how it actually added value to my life.

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Displacing Worry with Thanksgiving

Worry knows no bounds, limits or exceptions. Each and every one of us experiences worry — for some, it’s every single day. One moment we’re cool as a cucumber, the next we’re such a hot mess it’s a wonder we survive the day without blurting out four-letter words. OK, maybe we don’t… it’s fine, no one is perfect. But, worry and anxiety is a beast. It consumes every thought, and sometimes our actions. You might be asking, “Nikki how does worry tie into thankfulness?” Bear with me, I promise I’m getting there. I recently attended a ladies night at a local church and the amazing woman on stage discussed peace in reference to Philippians 4. She touched on this chapter with perspectives and teachings I’ve never heard before.

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Trouble in the Tight Places

Have you ever been in a tight spot? Awakened one day to find yourself in some kind of trouble? If you’re anything like me, I imagine you’ve answered yes. Absolutely yes, a hundred times over, yes.

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