Posts tagged struggle
Being Vulnerable Doesn’t Make You Weak

I’m a crier. If I have to talk about hard stuff, you can bet tears will be shed. However, if I’m not in the mood to cry, the walls stay up and I hold back. Let’s be real though, who is ever WANTING to cry? The bottom line here, honestly, is I don’t want people to think of me as weak or broken—so, I don’t cry. I don’t let them in. Vulnerability seems to come naturally to me—in some areas. I am realizing now I keep certain spaces of life secret and hidden away. I can’t seem to bring myself to publicly talk about the things that are hurting me most right now.

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How Vulnerability Saved My Life 

For me, there was no way to write this article without adequately paying homage to the master of understanding and embracing vulnerability: Brené Brown. Four years ago, I was sitting in the office of a psychologist as he tried to break down my outer protective shell and figure out exactly why I was there. Sure, I felt out of control, was dating someone who was damaging my mental and physical health, and was working over 30 hours a week plus taking a 19-credit course load, but “I was fine.” Sitting in the doctor’s office that first day, I was so nervous. He told me to look up a researcher/storyteller/general badass named Brené Brown and that she had a particularly great Ted Talk about vulnerability.

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Series Introduction: Vulnerability

Therapists have been stereotyped for years. The media often portrays them as inconsiderate, nosey, pretentious moneymakers with stiff couches and even more uncomfortable questions. This illusion convinces us that if we are to even think about seeing a therapist, you should think again. I believe there is this misconception that seeking counseling is taboo, and when the words, “My therapist says…” spill from someone’s mouth, judgment is there, trailing closely behind. I’m here to tell you, seeking help from a therapist is one of the best decisions you could ever make.

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Your Habit Might be Toxic If...

We are a mixture of both healthy and toxic habits. Some of our routines serve us well, while others don’t propel us forward. So, why do we hold onto those that set us back? Good question… Perhaps, it’s because we tend to ignore our flaws. Or, maybe, we’re just downright ignorant to the things we’re doing that are actually hurting us. For the next few minutes, let’s take a good, honest and hard look at how we spend our days. Girl, put your pride aside for a second, and let’s be real with one another. We cannot fully embrace change if we don’t first give ourselves the time to take inventory of our day-to-day operations and rituals.

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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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How Can You Love What's Been Lost?

I’m at a loss. I really am. When I sat down to write this, I didn’t think there would be an issue. Self-love? That’s simple. There are hundreds of step-by-step articles on how to love the person you are. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t love me at all. This is my fourth attempt at writing something, and it’s a struggle. Respect, admiration even, is felt, but I do not love the woman I see in the mirror. Everything about me has changed since becoming a wife and mother, and I’m not sure who I am. I’m not sure what I look like without my husband and son. I feel as lost as I did the first time I went blonde in middle school. My hair was mustard, and I was blindly searching for identity. I have wandered so deep into my roles at home I’m almost certain I’ve given myself away.

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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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4 Success Tips for Dream Chasing

I would say I have always been a highly determined gal — except for those lost teen years where all I cared about were boys and how my hair looked. Sure, motivation could very well be an innate trait the good Lord blessed me with, but as far as ambition is concerned, I developed that. After a rough breakup at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I slowly began the search for myself and my identity — as I had lost it all in him and the joke that was our relationship. It felt as if a forgotten switch was finally turned on, never to be turned off again — not for anyone or anything. Let me tell you, girl... I never felt more alive or more me than the moment I realized I was better on my own. 

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4 Ways to Let Go of Comparison and Hold onto Joy

How often our thoughts are consumed with the belongings and blessings we lack. What we don’t have, another does — that’s just the way the world works. But, we grow consumed with the idea, in order to be happy in life, we must have everything we desire — even if it isn’t for us. So, we bow down to envy and unleash this terribly ugly part of ourselves we should have just kept hidden to begin with. And, all for what? So deep down we can feel better about our life because we’re at least “holding onto” a dream or goal that sure looks good on someone else — so naturally, it’d look good on us.

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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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Find Happiness, Gain Thankfulness

Despite all the chaos of everyone’s day-to-day life, I believe there is always something to be grateful for at the end of the day. Whether it’s the fact you have a roof over your head or the fact you have a job, or a family, or even a good friend you can rely on, there will always be one thing in your life you can cherish and be thankful for. In the midst of a hectic work week, a stressful project or even a slight existential crisis at age 23, I always try to find time to look at the world around me, pay attention to my breathing. and just be thankful for the fact that I am alive and well.

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How to Have a God-Honoring Breakup

Perhaps this breakup isn’t the end but a new beginning. God found me in my mess and I met Jesus throughout the darkest times of my life. He changed me, when I shifted my perspective onto him. Back in 2015, I wrestled with depression and anxiety after a breakup with a guy who at that point, as far as I was concerned, was the love of my life. There aren’t words to explain all the emotions I rummaged through. I felt empty, worthless... I felt broken and stressed and had nowhere else to look.

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Once a Victim, Now a Victor

Roughly three years ago, I faced one of the darkest times of my life. I was finishing up college in a beautiful mountain town just two hours from home. I flourished here. I found out a lot about myself I hadn’t known before and I felt so strong, so independent. Then, one night, everything changed. I am struggling to tell you this because this is a story I have never told publicly — and most definitely never in writing in such detail. But, Crowned Chics is a place for honesty and I promise to always communicate with you in a real way. OK, here it goes…

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Fighting for Happiness Amidst Anxiety

I am a firm believer that you cannot fully enjoy life without struggle. After all, the struggle makes the good parts in life that much better. While attending Northern Arizona University, I ran into a lot of mental health issues. Long days of classes, homework, work, and bad relationships quietly snuck up on me and before I knew it, I was in a downward spiral I couldn’t make my way out of. Restless nights and constant knots in my stomach kept me from seeing things clearly and everyone around me knew there was something deeper going on — especially my parents. After sitting down one spring afternoon and opening up to them about my current struggles, it was clear I needed help.

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Choosing a Lifestyle of Body Positivity

I can remember looking into the mirror saying the most mean things to myself. I truly felt unworthy of love. I felt alone, friendless, ugly and trapped in my own body. Disorders do NOT have a look. I did not look unhealthy, or unhappy. I looked fine. I acted fine. I did not look like I was starving my body of nutrients or binging late at night because I was so hungry. I did not look like I was sad. I became the master of "I’m fine."

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Finding Victory from Fear

Fear is sneaky. It creeps in when you least expect it. It tags along when it is most unwelcome. It shows up when you are dealing with loss, with grief, with frustration, with pain. Fear knows no boundaries. It is no respecter of persons. Rich people fear. Poor people fear. Men fear. Women fear. The educated fear. The uneducated fear. It doesn’t matter what religion, what race, what your family looks like, what town you live in — fear will try to find its way in.

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New Girl No More

While I’d always considered myself a friendly person, it was pretty intimidating starting high school and seeing cliques had already formed. Many students already knew each other from middle school. I was that new girl I’d never wanted to be. I bounced around from group to group that entire year, but nothing felt exactly right. I was never quite happy. After feeling sorry for myself for a while that summer, I promised myself sophomore year would be different.

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The 'Why' Behind the Struggle

I’ve always been a worrier. Even when I was little, I would periodically go through different habits and quirks that helped me deal with the anxious feelings I experienced. It didn’t feel like anything abnormal, so I never considered it a unique issue. I worried. So what? I dealt with it. Well, then, I had my first panic attack. In May of 2017, just hanging out at my house, I started to feel like something was wrong. I was shaking, I felt all tingly, and my heart rate seemed to be racing. I was convinced my heart was giving out or something similar.

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Those Lies in Your Head Don't Know Beauty

I am sure you have been bombarded with all the clichés about self-love and how your truest form of beauty lies within. If you are like most women you might have even saved a motivational quote to your phone, laptop or printed it out and hung it to your wall. If you are like me, these reminders may sit on your heart — yet so many times I will forget they pertain to me. Many times I forget my own beauty. I fall into the trap of lies that I am not enough, or I am too much.

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