<![CDATA[Nikki Godsil - Articles]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2019 15:23:53 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[what does great look like to you?]]>Tue, 16 Apr 2019 20:35:41 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/what-does-great-look-like-to-you
I still remember the night I sat knowing that the trajectory of my life was about to shift in a completely different direction.  The lump in my throat and the clamminess of my palms made it difficult for me to take notes.  Our church went to a women’s conference every year and this was my second time attending. This night seemed fairly insignificant because I’d never heard of the speaker and it was the first night of a three day conference. So I sat completely unaware of just how big this night would be.

There I sat with pen in hand, ready to hear anything God would speak, truly unaware of how powerful the message would be. This was the moment I heard the Lord whisper in my ear, “Nikki, this is your year of awakening”. 
The complexity and future of unknowns that surrounded that statement hovered over me.  I didn’t like unknowns.  They scared me.  What I know now is God planted a seed of faith in me that night. I had to choose to either plant and grow it or ignore and let it wither away.

We all have choices to make in life. Some are easier than others, but the ones I’m talking about are usually the scariest to say “yes” to. Making the decision to plant that little seed of faith set me out on a path that was full of twists and turns I couldn’t predict. With each turn I had to learn to give up control, relinquish my fears and insecurities, and resolve to follow regardless of what the outcome may be.

But you see, the holy spirit is gentle. He didn’t give me a huge decision to make in the beginning of my journey. He gave me ones that taught me how to hear Him and trust Him. Seeds require a lot of nurturing in the beginning of the process of growth. As it matures, it becomes stronger and much more rooted in the foundational elements it once needed to begin to grow.

God is preparing us for what we were always born to do through the process of maturation.  The more we lean into the seeds of faith He desires to grow, the stronger we become in our faith. The stronger we grow in our faith, the bolder we become in our walk. You see, as a sapling I was more prone to the elements around me.  The slightest bit of wind would knock me down.  The more I mature, the heavier the storms I can withstand and endure.

There is a verse in Esther that the speaker that night mentioned, and it’s been pivotal in keeping me on the path God set me on a mere two years ago. In Esther, chapter four, Mordecai, her older cousin and mentor was persuading Esther to help him.  She felt unequipped for the task at hand.  She was the unlikely choice for saving the Jewish people from the grip of King Xerxes, the Persian king. Esther was going to have to risk her life to follow through with what God was calling her to.

Mordecai sent a messenger to remind her not to get distracted in the King’s house by all the pampering. God put people all around Esther that didn’t look like her, but it was up to Esther to stay on task.

“He sent back this answer, ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4: 13-14, NIV.

Esther’s mentor was reminding her that she was placed in the position by God who would not leave her.  All she had to do was be obedient in her call and God would bless her.  It was in Esther’s response that truly spoke volumes of her faith.

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. AND IF I PERISH, I PERISH.” Esther 4: 16, NIV

Esther knew the risk she was taking by asking the king to free the Jewish people, but her faith was so strong that she was willing to be obedient, regardless of the outcome, even if that meant death. God grew Esther in her faith and obedience by giving her other decisions to make that lead up to this pivotal moment in her life. As she walked those other decisions out in obedience, her faith grew.

God is sovereign and loving. He knew the heart of Esther and He loved her through every step of her journey. Esther, the unlikely, uneducated, Jewish girl became the key that unlocked a whole nation from captivity because she chose to say “yes” when God gave her a choice.  She chose to plant the seed of faith He offered.

I don’t know what the outcome of my little seed will be, but I know if I continue to let God grow me, I and others, will be blessed. You see friend, I believe we all have a mission, together. 

It isn’t just about you or just about me.  If you sow a seed you get a seed and in return, we become mission minded women, together. And when women of faith stand together, we are a force to be reckoned with.  There is an anointing that resides in all of us that is released when you decide to emerge and answer the call placed on your life.

We are all women who have the potential to be movers and shakers if we choose to stay on the path God has chosen for us to walk.  The investment He is making in you is for the oppressed, but the journey will bless you by growing you into a strong oak, not easily destroyed or dismayed.

I urge you to choose your plantedness, friend. Say “yes” to the seed of faith that God is gifting to you because the favor of God is not random, but purposeful, and it is in Him you will find the path to freedom and fruitfulness.  
<![CDATA[learning to love after trauma]]>Tue, 09 Apr 2019 02:17:51 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/learning-to-love-after-trauma
My husband and I have been married almost ten years this upcoming March.  It’s been a fruitful, whirlwind of a decade.  We’ve been each other’s best friends since college and supported one another through some of our most difficult moments. 

Most recently, we had to learn how to walk through trauma counseling.  About two years ago my world was flipped upside down when I chose to confront the painful memory of a sexual assault in my past.  I talk openly about the affects it had on me as an individual, but the affects it had on my marriage have been just as life altering.
Healing from such a deep wound required me to uncover a lot of callouses.  Although it was healing, it was tough work.  God chiseled away the hard-outer shell I diligently built, revealing a softer, more vulnerable heart than I’d ever known existed.

Walking through a transformation of this magnitude had a direct affect on the closest relationships around me, most especially, my marriage.  The brokenness of my past robbed me of my ability to be vulnerable, trusting, or emotionally intimate with my husband.  I confused a sense of humor and people-pleasing with vulnerability.  I replaced physical intimacy for emotional.  Instead of walking into forgiveness I chose to avoid conflict and hide behind a façade, pretending I was a tower of strength, when I was truly wounded. 

Learning how to love after walking through trauma was difficult, but it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done for my marriage.  It was the equivalent of removing a blindfold that was costing us our joy, peace, and truly being known. 
Trauma caused me to callous my heart towards the person I loved the most in this world and I didn’t even realize it.  God began to heal my marriage by restoring my trust in Him, first.  Learning that I wasn’t a sum total of my past and that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139) shattered the lie that I wasn’t worthy of being loved.

Being open and vulnerable in my communication paved the way for deep, meaningful conversation.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” James 5:16, ESV.

Praying with my husband was one of the very first things that lead us to being more open and vulnerable with one another.  It opened a door to seeing each other’s hearts that we’d never known existed.  God gently lead us in to healing conversations that helped shape and mold the way we spoke and loved one another.  He simultaneously softened both my husband and I’s hearts towards one another as He realigned our own hearts towards Him.

Trauma gave me a warped view of vulnerability.  I viewed it as a gate that would invite more pain if ever unlocked.  The truth is, vulnerability paves the way for restoring intimacy in our marriage, giving us the desires of our hearts and restoring them to Jesus.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thess. 5:23, ESV.

Without being vulnerable, I would never learn how to trust in a relationship again, both with my husband or with Jesus.  Trusting someone with my heart after experiencing trauma seemed reckless and unnecessary.  It wasn’t until I began trusting Jesus with the most tattered, broken pieces of my heart that He would begin to transform my view of trusting in my marriage.  It was in my own heart transformation that birthed a transformation in my husband and me.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9, NIV.

I humbled myself and asked God to forgive me for trying to heal my broken heart without Him.  Taking the healing out of the Healer’s hands bore pain and division in my marriage.  Once I repented, He did what only He could do by restoring and repairing the wound that once spread out into the most precious portions of my life.

Asking my husband to forgive me for causing any wounds, even if unintentionally, caused a flood of tears to come pouring out.  I had no idea how unaware I was.  My guarded heart caused me to be brittle and unempathetic to the man I desired to be closest to in my life.  His tears were the cleansing agent we needed to restore the brokenness between us.  The further we walked down the road of forgiveness, the more emotionally intimate we became.

God began to restore our marriage, establishing our hearts toward Jesus first, organically drawing us closer together.  Marriage is stronger and healthier the more we pursue Him.

Learning how to love Jesus has simultaneously began to heal our marriage through the deep wounds of trauma.  May we constantly pursue the redemptive grace and hope of Jesus by walking in alignment with His word.  May our marriages constantly be restored by our willingness to submit to Him.  And may we cling to His redeeming love more than anything else, believing that He is the only healer that repairs the irreparable.
<![CDATA[The detriment of negative discussion surrounding “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis.]]>Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:39:09 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/the-detriment-of-negative-discussion-surrounding-girl-wash-your-face-by-rachel-hollisPicture
Fair warning, this article is going to ruffle a few feathers.  #Sorrynotsorry needs to be said before you read any further.

Y’all, there are a LOT of Christian bloggers out there with their panties in a bunch over Rachel Hollis and her message.  I had no idea the magnitude of the controversy until I read a facebook post about it two weeks ago.  I want to take a couple minutes to unpack just why I absolutely LOVED this book and why some of the subjects being discussed on other blogs are, in my opinion, incorrect.

As a writer, I really appreciate this woman’s simplistic style, relatability, and her delivery.  She’s such a gifted communicator and inspires and encourages others by being transparent and vulnerable about her own personal struggles in life. 

She is self-disciplined in reaching her goals and I absolutely love that about her and the way she communicates this in almost everything she does.  She stays in her lane and is freaking killing it because she doesn’t try to be anything other than herself, which is simply beautiful to me, as a writer and as a woman.

Here are some of the things I’ve heard Christian bloggers saying that I personally disagree with SO MUCH that it kind of fires me up.  Like, if you were in front of me discussing this, I’d get all red in the face and start talking fast, because that’s what I do when I get passionate about something.  I can’t help it, y’all.

First thing that got me all fired up: Self-help is Selfish.

Whaaaaaa? … Hold the phone, girl.  When I read this on multiple blogger’s websites my jaw literally dropped to the floor. 

Definition of self-help: “the action or process of bettering oneself or overcoming one’s problems without the aid of others” per Merriam-Webster herself.

RH writes about striving towards her goals by pushing herself harder, regardless of how difficult it may be.  She’s encouraging others to do the same because she believes they have it within them to do.  We ALL have it within us to help ourselves, especially when we’re walking out our faith with Jesus.   She’s simply trying to convey the thought that we are all our own best advocates.  Even if you have the most loving spouse, mom, friends, or dad, no one is going to want your dream more than you. 

God plants the dream but if we aren’t willing to do the work we aren’t allowing Him to utilize us as His vessels.  Her message is simply this: help yourself regardless of others opinions, fight to achieve the dream that’s been placed there on purpose.
“The bible says, let that which is in darkness be brought to light.  When things are allowed to sit in the darkness, when we’re afraid to speak them aloud, we give them power.  The darkness lets those fears fester and grow until they become stronger over time.  If you never allow your fears out, then how in the world can you disseminate them?” Girl Wash Your Face, pg. 61.

One blogger wrote that RH was “loosely” referencing Ephesians 5:11-14.  She was not.  She is referencing multiple scriptures that all point to this subject of revealing the lies in our heads by exposing to the light of Jesus (by both prayer and communicating with friends). To name a few more scripture verses that align with this quote: Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17, 1 Cor. 4:5, and John 3:19-21.

We can get ourselves caught in a horrible trap when we start to condemn others for something they didn’t do.  Rachel is taking the knowledge she has obtained from multiple scriptures and applying it in a very real and relatable way to women.

Fear is a pivotal tool the enemy uses to discourage and throw us off track from pursuing our calling, the God-given dreams planted in our hearts when we are aligned with Him.  She unpacks the sufferings she has gone through and reveals how speaking out the lies that inhabited her mind, trapping her, was pivotal in eradicating them.
The bible is supposed to be used as a living, breathing word that speaks directly into our lives, not utilized as stories we can simply learn and take away from.  She is simply utilizing the bible in this capacity, which some people have a hard time comprehending.

The blogger who accused RH of loosely referring to one piece of scripture alluded to Rachel equating her present-day struggles to that of Paul’s because he wrote this passage suffering from multiple beatings, being shipwrecked, and nearly dying.  The errancy that sticks out to me the most is that God could’ve given Rachel this specific scripture during prayer to encourage and inspire her through her sufferings. 

If we always weighed our current sufferings with biblical ones, my sufferings would always seem to come up short.  I can relate to biblical figures and their suffering, even if I haven’t walked through the same sufferings as them. 

The truth is, my current sufferings are just as important to Jesus as Paul’s were.

RH isn’t elevating comfort over obedience, which is what a slue of bloggers are alluding to, but the exact opposite.  That would be accusing someone of idolatry, which is a sin, in and of itself.  It’s the holy spirit’s job to convict, not ours.  When people do it, it’s offensive and condemning and it’s exactly the kind of thing modern day Christians do to drive people away from the arms of Jesus instead of towards them. 

Pursuing her career has caused RH pain and strife and God comforted her with His word to help keep her on track.  He spoke truth where lies once lived.  Evidence of this is her strength in being vulnerable.  This is a sign of a life walking in alignment with Christ, when someone is bold and confident in their faith.

Second thing that got me fired up: She doesn’t devote enough attention to her spiritual development.

Let’s address this by breaking down a couple key components about her as a person and the book’s purpose.  RH’s target audience is both non-believers and those who are starting out in their faith.  The book’s purpose is to encourage, inspire, and challenge women to overcome common lies to become the best version of themselves they can be.  She references Jesus, her faith, and Christianity in each chapter of the book.

If you look at the categories this book falls under, you’ll find the top 3 on amazon are: self-help, motherhood, and Christian living.  For the love of simplicity, guys, the subtitle of this book is blaringly obvious about what the primary message is: “Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be”.  This sentence could not be clearer or more simplistic about its purpose.  This is not a book dedicated to biblical teaching, like Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer.  Its’ primary focus is self-help with a biblical context to a target audience that may not know Jesus at all.  She isn’t trying to convey that she’s been completely dependent upon herself to achieve fulfillment and success.  This is a horrible generality and accusatory.

Her faith isn’t the main topic of the book but that shouldn’t be cause for dismissal.  It speaks to her target audience, uplifts and encourages them to be the best version of themselves and she happens to do so by mentioning how her faith had a pivotal role in her success and the overall calling placed on her life.

Third thing that fired me up: She didn’t quote scripture in her book.

I really appreciate when authors who are speaking to an audience of both non-believers and new believers don’t over saturate their storyline with biblical and theological truths.  I look at it kind of like a maturation process- non-believers need to be bottle fed biblical truths before they begin to grow into the solid food of theological principles.  Her book mentions her faith, which was powerful for people (especially in Hollywood) to hear.  Her self-care approach softened that audience to hear the trail of biblical truths in her book, which seems to have been impactful to many.

Another book that comes to mind is Donald Miller’s, “Scary Close”.  There’s minimal reference to biblical context but it is saturated with reference that is evident to the spiritual aspect of relationship.

I believe Christians have an obligation to speak to non-believers in a way that will draw them closer to Him, not scare them away.  RH is feeding her audience the starter food for a relationship with Jesus, instead of trying to shove a steak and potato meal in their mouth.  She’s gentle and caring and doesn’t over complicate the message.

This is what I know.  No one is perfect.  No one gets it all right.  It’s difficult to put yourself out there and it’s even more difficult to have people pick apart your life’s work.  I truly believe it takes a strong woman to build another woman up.  It takes an even stronger woman to stand up for the ones being condemned.  Let’s be those kinds of Godly women.  The kind that support, encourage, inspire, and speak of others with love and gentleness.

We could all take a page from Rachel and start striving to better ourselves for both ourselves and others.  When we begin to believe in ourselves it’s then we can begin to receive the love of Jesus.  Cause here’s the thing, if we can’t love ourselves first, we can’t allow others to love us.  And if we can’t allow others to love us, we most certainly can’t fathom the Creator of the Universe loving us. 

Girl, Wash Your Face was written to inspire other women to love themselves and believe in their dreams.  I will always celebrate other women being vulnerable and transparent so they can hopefully impact others for the better.  Let’s all strive to do the same.

<![CDATA[A letter from the old me...]]>Tue, 12 Mar 2019 18:59:00 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/a-letter-from-the-old-mePicture
I believe one of the most powerful tools we posess lies in our own individual stories of triumph.  This is a letter straight out of my journal from a little over four months ago.  Looking back and remembering what I went through and how writing  allowed me to process and overcome it wasn't just powerful then, it's also powerful now.  

Writing was a tool for me to process and heal during my recovery but I didn't see how it would continue to impact me after.  What I'm realizing, is on the days I struggle the most, I'm able to look back at what God already delivered me through and remember just how good He was.  Those reminders help keep me from forgetting that I didn't get to where I am today on my own accord.  They remind me of the miracles He did to get me here.

I felt God call me to share this exerpt from my journal with you.  It's my hope that it will speak into your own hearts, as it continues to do to mine.

Journal entry: A Letter of Hope
Date: 11/10/18

"This past year has been a rediscovery of who I am.  For years I masked who I was in fear of being rejected by others, but for the first time in a long time, I’m coming out of my shell.  I often envision a butterfly emerging from a cocoon as a representation of how I feel.  But if I’m being honest, the past year has looked a lot more like childbirth.  There’s been contractions increasing in strength with less time between as they built in stamina.  The pain experienced is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  This process has been chalked full of exhaustion, heartache, and moments of clawing for strength to push when I felt I had nothing left to give. 

The reality is, healing has been tough work.  It shook the foundations of my identity and left me in darker places than I’ve ever been.  I’m finally turning the corner of a very difficult season, recognizing there has been purpose in my pain.
I’m unashamed of who I am, regardless of who likes it or not.  The inner struggle has been replaced with an inner peace as I accept the calling placed on my heart.  I’m more present and in love with my kids and my husband.  The friendships that lasted through this last year have grown deeper and more precious than I ever thought possible.  The new friendships that have sprouted from it are beautiful, because they see me, and they love me for who I am.

There’s nothing quite like going through one of the roughest storms of your life, experiencing fear and suffering like never before, and finally seeing end in sight.  There’s a peace and relief lifting your eyes, seeing the clouds roll away, feeling the warmth of sunshine that you thought you’d never see again.  I appreciate the tiny rays as they begin to emerge, piece by tiny piece, so much more than I did before. 

I’m at the start of a new season, one that promises hope and joy no matter what life throws my way.  I’m scarred and a little wobbly, but I’m not alone.  The battle of my past has been won. 

I’m no longer a victim, but a warrior.  The wounds that bled crimson red and threatened to break me are now fine lines on my strong, beating heart.  They don’t define me or shake me, just remind me of how capable I am.

There’s an inner beauty that’s beginning to shine through.  Like others whose stories started out with pain and suffering, mine didn’t end there.  I chose to take the time to heal, rediscover who I am, and birth a new life far more exciting than I ever thought possible.

If you’re in the middle of a storm, let my story be a glimmer of hope.  Hold on to your anchor in Him, you will get through this.  You are capable, you are not alone, and you are worth the journey.  The wounds of your past don’t define you, no matter how big or small.  They can heal and become beautiful scars permanently etched into your heart, serving as a reminder of what you’ve overcome; each one unique and telling of a powerful story, victorious and miraculous.
Are you struggling with something you’ve been avoiding, fearful of the pain it may cause?  I want to challenge you to boldly face it, casting fear aside, and allow the wounds that are controlling you to become scars that no longer define you.

You can do this. 

You are loved, valuable, capable, and worthy of freedom.

Sincerely, A glimmer of hope"

I had no idea this letter would continue to bring me strength, and possibly be a letter to breath strength in to others.  It's my hope that if you're sitting reading this in a difficult season, it does just that- delivers a glimmer of hope.  I challenge you to write your own prayers and difficulties down- so that one day, when you've overcome them, they will serve as a reminder of just how far you have come and how you got there.  

<![CDATA[My "how to" guide on overcoming rejection in relationships]]>Tue, 19 Feb 2019 20:14:33 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/my-how-to-guide-on-overcoming-rejection-in-relationshipsPicture
Rejection in any form hurts.  Whether it happened five minutes ago or five years, time doesn't heal the pain, God does .  I'm going to show you why it's necessary to confront the pain of rejection and how it will benefit you .

First, I think it's crucial to understand WHY we need to overcome it.  When we bury, stuff, or avoid the pain of rejection, it does the opposite of what we want.  The avoidance actually stirs more anger and bitterness up, resulting in carrying the weight of that wound into your future, other relationships, and could potentially sever relationships we desire.  When we decide to confront that rejection, with Christ, we rid ourselves of the negative affects it could cause on our lives.

Here are the five key steps I've learned to utilize in recognizing and overcoming rejection in relationships:

1. Identifying Rejection
 Rejection is defined as, "to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use", per the Merriam Webster dictionary.  In other definitions, Merriam Webster describes rejection as, "to spew out", "throw back, repulse", or, "to cast off".  All of the adjectives the dictionary uses to describe the word rejection cause a negative, or painful response.
When we are rejected by others, it results in emotional damage.  The result leads to feeling depressed, lonely, worthless, unworthy of being loved, that you're not good enough, or fear.  The sad truth about this world is that we've all expereinced rejection of some form because people are imperfect, and cause harm, sometimes unintentionally.  If you have ever experienced these feelings before, it's a sign that you've felt the pangs of rejection.

I've experienced it on varying degrees throughout my life- from being refused a promotion at work to being broken up with- each and every degree of rejection can cause one or multiple of the emotional symptoms described above.  It may seem silly to describe the symptoms of rejection, but identifying it when it occurs allows us to move forward in healing it before it's allowed to sit and fester into a much larger wound.  When rejection isn't dealt with and time lapses the result is a piling of more emotional damage, further isolating us from the very thing we need to heal and overcome it.

2. Fear of Rejection results in further damage, not protection.
The aftermath of undealt with rejection can have an affect on the present and the future of the person who experiences it.  Fear of rejection leads to codependent, clingy, obsessive, jealous, or angry behavior in relationships.  We tend to guard ourselves from other people to try and avoid experiencing the pain of it again.  This severely compromises the quality of an individual's life.

Fear is an innate human response that has purpose.  Utilized in "fight or flight" it can save lives, but used in emotional wounds it causes further avoidance from loved ones, isolation, lack of deep, intimate relationships, depression, anxiety, and can begin to affect a person's physical state.  When we avoid emotional pain it can manifest itself in our bodies.  Lower back pain, chronic headaches, digestion issues, insomnia, fatigue, and referred pain are all examples of common physical complaints from those who have anxiety and depression but aren't able to identify why or when it began.  

It's pivotal to understand that fearing rejection may be our innate response to try and protect ourselves from being harmed again, but it's not going to produce the outcome that we desperately need, which is healing and wholeness.  We need healing so we can move forward with our lives without carrying the emotional baggage rejection causes.

3. Replace the lies with truth.
It's crucial to understand that rejection is NOT a reflection of who you are.  The only way to confront rejection is through replacing the lies it instills in your mind with TRUTH- and truth is found in the bible.  Understanding that rejection happens to everyone is pivotal.  Matter of fact, it even happened to Jesus.

When Christ hung on the cross, doing the greatest work of all of His ministry, His death came at highest point of rejection He'd ever experience.

"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" Matthew 27:46 NIV.

He was calling out to His father, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?".  At the most pivotal moment of His life, He felt rejected by His father.  We need to understand that Jesus identifies and understands our emotional damage and that He's already come and done what was necessary to heal it.

Remembering bible verses to combat the lies that tend to seep into our minds after rejection is pivotal in combating them.  Here are a few of mine:

When you feel unwanted: ""If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18, NIV

When you feel abandoned: "Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close" Psalm 27:10, NLT

When you feel alone: "When his people pray for help, he listens and rescues them from their troubles.  The Lord is their rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope.  The Lord's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through.  Not one of their bones will ever be broken." Psalm 34:17-20, CEV

When you desire retribution: "Because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgement" James 2:13, NIV

When you feel unworthy: "You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God's temple.  He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor." 1 Peter 2:4, NLT

When you feel weak: "But he replied, 'My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.' So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am." 2 Cor.12:9, CEV

When you fear punishment: "If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won't be punished." Romans 8:1 CEV

When you feel ashamed: "You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the Earth to be his own special treasure." Deuteronomy 14:2

When you feel unloved: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1, NIV

When you think you're not enough: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" 1 Peter 2:9, NIV

4. Heal the wound of rejection

You will never be rejected from God, no matter how many times you experience it in life.  If you're struggling with the aftermath of rejection, pray this prayer and release yourself from the bondage of its damage.   Jesus has already paid the price that was necessary to set you free from the bondage of walking through life alone and carrying the weight of sin done to you.  He's just waiting for you to come and ask.  He will never force himself on you, our God is a gentleman.  Pray this prayer when you desire to heal from rejection and walk into the freedom He has for you.

I give up the desire to understand why bad things happen to me.  Take my fears of rejection and replace them with your love and comfort.  I give up my desire to prove my worth to others.  I give up my resistance to trust you even when I can't understand.  I am sorry for being self-consumed in an attempt to guard myself from ever being hurt again.  I give you my anger, unforgiveness, and pride that tell me to guard myself when I know it's you who will protect me.  I ask that you heal and repair my broken heart and replace the lies that have infested my heart with the love and comfort of your holy spirit.  Burn the weight of my rejection with the flames of your holy spirit and consume them, O Lord.

5. Walk in preperation and forgiveness.

Be ready for the rejection in life.  The bible instructs us to put on the full armor of God to prepare us for spiritual warfare.  Let me be clear, rejection is the enemy's playground.  If you aren't intentional and aware, he will come in and consume your wound.  Prepare yourself by walking closely with Jesus, aligning your heart with Him, and remembering the truth in His word when the enemy tries to whisper lies.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6: 10-18, NIV

If you need help, have questions, or just want someone to talk to I'm available to help you find it.  Contact me through my contact page and we'll chat!  I have so many resources and truly love helping others overcome rejection.

<![CDATA[forgiveness: 4 truths to simplify & explain the act of forgiveness]]>Wed, 06 Feb 2019 20:30:00 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/forgiveness-4-truths-to-simplify-explain-the-act-of-forgiveness
Forgiveness has been a really difficult subject throughout my life and especially throughout the last two years.  I had to be taught who it's for, why we do it, how to do it, and what the results are.  So, I've broken these four truths down to simplify the complicated nature of this action.

1. Who is forgiveness for?

This might seem like a silly place to start, but I've learned it's the simple questions that we sometimes get wrong.  We have to first establish the foundational principles before moving forward.

FORGIVENESS IS FOR YOU... not the person you're forgiving.  YOU are the one hurt.  The other person may not even know that you're hurt.  You are the only one being affected by unforgiveness.  It's creating a wound in your own heart that needs healing, not the other persons.

2. Why do we forgive others?

We've been taught from a very young age that the act of forgiveness is necessary.  Think about it.  If Susie hits Bobby on the playground, the teacher instructs Suzie to apologize to Bobby for hurting him, but often won't explain WHY she's apologizing.

When we allow ourselves to walk through life with unforgiveness in our hearts, we allow anger to fester and spread.  If it goes on for too long without resolve, that anger turns to resentment and bitterness, and before too long?  We don't even remember how we became so hard and calloused. 

When we allow ourselves to forgive others, we remove the anger, resentment, and bitterness that takes us space in our own heart and make room for joy, peace, and freedom to replace it.

Forgiveness is the first step in reconciliation.  When two people agree and decide to move forward forgiving one another, it's important to understand that our words are very powerful in these moments.  

I teach my kids not to respond to someone asking forgiveness by saying, "It's okay, don't worry about it" because this is telling that person that what they've done to hurt them is "okay".  The act of forgiving is not to say that the action or words that were said are "okay" because there are still consequences to that act or words.  


I tell them when someone asks them to forgive them the proper way to respond is to say, "I forgive you". 

3. How do we forgive others?

This is the part that seems to stump people the most.  It's really difficult to do in the beginning, but once it's done, it gets easier and easier to do it again.  We will continually experience hurt throughout our lives and the act of forgiving will never be completed.  Learning to forgive is a lot like exercising a muscle, the more you do it the stronger it becomes.

Forgiveness Exercise:
-Sit down with a piece of paper, pen, and a red marker.  
-Pray and ask God if there's any unforgiveness in your heart.
-Sit and write down anything that comes to mind.

(The first time I did this I had over fifty things written on my paper.  There were things I didn't even realize were still in my heart that needed to be addressed.  That's the work of the holy spirit.  He reveals the wounds of our heart so we can then heal from them.)

-After you've finished, go down your list, one by one, and ask God to remove the unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, and resentment towards that person or incident and replace the wound with the holy spirit.
-Cross out the prayed over portion with the red ink pen.  This symbolizes the blood of Jesus, wiping the wound clean and making you white as snow.  The tool you need to rid yourself of the burden you carry has already been done through His sacrifice on the cross.  You were never meant to carry the burden of unforgiveness.  Giving it to Jesus is what will free you.
-Lastly, crumple the paper up after you've finished marking out each incident or person and BURN IT.  The burning process is symbolic of removing everything that once weighed you down, removing it from your present, and placing it in the hands of Jesus.  This frees you from carrying it into your future.

The more you do this exercise, the less and less time it will take.  You'll begin to be able to forgive without needing to walk through each one of these steps.  

4. What is the benefit of forgiving others?

There are two benefits of the act of forgiveness.  The first is redemption.  Redemption is the act of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.  Redemption only requires you and God.  It isn't always necessary to tell the person you're forgiving that you've forgiven them.  Sometimes all that's needed is to be able to move past it and redeem your life.

The second benefit is reconciliation.  Reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations.  It's important to distinguish that redemption and reconciliation don't always hold hands.  Redemption only requires you and Jesus but reconciliation requires two people agreeing to forgive one another, so they can move past the hurt and not carry it into the future of the relationship.  Some people aren't willing to forgive.  Plain and simple.  We have to be okay with their answer.  

It's important to remember that if someone rejects the offer of forgiveness, God is simply redirecting your life, and even though rejection hurts in the moment, it may be necessary to steer you in the direction He is calling you.  So, even in cases where reconciliation may not be possible, redemption is.

Forgiveness is a process and it is pivotal in understanding so we can grow in our relationships.  We learn how to love one another better when we learn these four truths about the act of forgiving.

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you" Colossians 3:13, NIV.

By forgiving others, we remove the anger, resentment, and bitterness in our hearts and replace it with joy, peace, and freedom.  It relieves you of the weight of sin on your own shoulders and gives it to the One who has already freed us from it.

<![CDATA[I pee my pants a lot...and i'm totally ok with it.]]>Mon, 04 Feb 2019 17:00:00 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/i-pee-my-pants-a-lotand-im-totally-ok-with-itPicture
There. I said it.  You heard me right.  I pee my pants.  And I’m not talking about the time I peed in my mom’s closet while sleep walking when I was 5.  No, I’m talking about just last week when my trainer decided to incorporate jumping jacks in our work out.  (Thanks, girl.)

Truly, there’s not ONE day I can go to the gym, take a run, or even laugh hard without wondering if I forgot to put a pad on. I still remember taking my first run after having my daughter, Ellie.  She’s my third born out of four kids. My first two kids were born via c-section.  (Yeah, I know, I know.  I did it backwards, but I do a lot of things in life that way.)
My first time pushing a baby out "the natural way" was the third time I got pregnant.  And can I be honest with you?  That little love nugget was more than two pounds heavier than my first two.  Boy did I get the short end of that stick.  Not sure what I was thinking when I insisted on doing it the “natural” way, but, nevertheless, I did.  She came out as healthy as ever.  All 9.2 lbs. of her. 

That hurt. 

When I say she “tore me a new one”, well, I mean it in the most literal of ways.  My  5’4, slim-hipped self wasn’t prepared to push 9 plus pounds out like a bottle rocket.  

That wasn’t even the worst part.  At around six weeks postpartum, when you’re supposedly able to get back to “normal life”, I got a little surprise.  I went in for my check-up, thinking it would be routine, only for the doctor to take one look at my hoo-ha, look up, snap her gloves off, and say “yeah, I think we’re going to refer you to the surgeon.”  ‘Cause that’s what you want to hear when you think you just finished recovering from labor.

Turns out, sex isn’t supposed to continue to hurt after childbirth.  It evidently wasn’t normal to pee all the way down your leg when you try to jog a block in your neighborhood, either.  I was both relieved and terrified to hear this wasn’t the norm, but surgery was required to correct it.

Who would take care of my kids?  Certainly not my husband.  He worked a gazillion hours as a college football coach and taking time off usually required a circumstance involving bleeding to death or some sort of catastrophic event, like a house fire, or an earthquake.  (Scratch that, they’d probably still come in with an earthquake, because wives are supposedly self-sufficient superheroes that don’t need assistance during extreme life events.)  

Side note- all the mommas out there married to a coach, no matter what the sport or level, hats off to you, cause you’re not only a superhero but a saint.  I didn’t make it in that season for very long.  My husband switched careers after about 4 years of coaching and me claiming to be “fine” even though my hair was falling out, I drank about a box of wine a day, and didn’t really understand why I’d cry spontaneously, anywhere, at any given moment. 

Anyways, I digress, let’s get back to peeing my pants...

You’d “think” my main priority for getting surgery would be to correct the issue of painful sex and peeing every time I laughed or exercised. However, in the interest of being completely honest and risking my reputation of “having it all together”, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  They weren’t the main reasons. 

My main concern was rejection. 

It was more important for me to resume sex, not because I desperately desired to do it like rabbits with my husband, but because I didn’t want him to fall out of love with me because I couldn’t perform my wifely duties of physically pleasing him.  I wouldn’t exercise around anyone because I was terrified others would make fun of or judge me. I didn’t want other people to view me as “lazy” for not “losing the baby weight” quick enough, so I hid and worked out in the confines of my garage. 

(Which totally works for some moms, but for me?  It did nothing but stress me out having my littles screaming beside me and constantly interrupting me.  The moms that do it with a jillion kids run around them are my own personal superheros.)

Why on earth was I more concerned about other people and their opinion of me than my own?  Shouldn’t I have been more concerned about whether I wanted to have sex and enjoy it again?  Why didn’t I care more about the uncomforts and set backs of the inability to hold my urine than whether someone would see the wet marks and judge me for it?

  Because rejection was much scarier than personal health and happiness to me. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of the comparison game women play.  It’s like we’re all in some secret competition to out-do one other.  It’s all about who can lose the baby weight faster, breast feed the longest (or if you don’t at all you’re looked at like you don’t love your child as much as women who choose to breastfeed), or who can volunteer the most at school, keep the cleanest house, or I don’t know- fill in the blank of all the other nasty, judgemental, unnecessary comparisons that do nothing but cause division and loneliness between us.

I’m really, really tired of pretending like everything is fine when it isn’t, just to keep up with appearances.  No one wants to befriend the girl who peed her pants but everyone seems to cling to the girl who talks bad about the one who sulked off to change her pee-soaked panties. 

Why?  Why is this a thing?

This is what I know.  The friends I LOVE care more about my hoo-ha being repaired for my sake and will support me no matter the circumstance.  And by “support”, I mean they’d run right along side me regardless of whether I soaked my pants or not.  Matter of fact, they’d stop mid-workout just to help find me a new pair.  The friends I want to keep are the ones who would never think about laughing, judging, or rolling their eyes at the woman who had to walk out of gym class because she just peed down her leg.

We can’t be truly known or receive the level of intimacy we truly desire unless we’re willing to stop rejecting others. 

I’m happy to report, I don’t pee my pants when I run anymore (well, I may still a little, but at least not down my entire leg) and I really enjoy having sex with my husband, the non-painful kind.  I’m also really happy to report that I care less about what others think about me, my life, my family, or my friendships, because I’m happy with who I am. 

If someone is willing to make fun, gossip, or reject you for being you, can I boldly step out and tell you that you deserve better?  My tribe of friends is small but they are loyal, selfless, transparent, and non-judgmental.  Do yourself a favor, whittle down your own tribe or start building one with the same kind of people that are in mine.  If you surround yourself with people who gossip, judge, and condemn, you’ll do the same, ‘cause friend, you are massively influenced by the people you’re surrounded by. 

This I promise you.

You deserve to be known by the people that truly desire to know you for you, all of you, regardless of your flaws, your circumstance, or your season.  If you’re at a loss and can’t seem to maintain those friendships, then it may be time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself the hard questions.  You may find the rejecting, comparing, and judging hasn’t been totally one-sided.

As for me, I’m off to go take a run and if I happen to see someone with wet pants?  I’m gonna give ‘em a high-five and a pad instead of rolling my eyes and talking about her with the first person I see.  I’m going to intentionally choose understanding and love over judgement and rejection. 

Because you know what, girl?  I want to be the person that others see and look up to.  I want to be the friend people come to for advice because they trust I’ll listen and not cast judgement.  I want to be known and loved for who I truly am by others and I know I can’t have that unless I practice what I preach. 

I challenge you to do the same. 

​Make a promise to accept instead of reject, to cast kindness instead of judgement, to be encouraging instead of defeating, and love when it would be easier to hate.  Your future self will thank you, I promise.

<![CDATA[The biggest mistake every mom makes...]]>Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:49:38 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/the-biggest-mistake-every-mom-makesPicture

“Do you mind if I go take a thirty-minute break?” I asked my husband when he walked in the door. 

“Sure!  Why don’t you go take a bath?” he responded.

I was relieved.  This was one of those days that motherhood drained every ounce of me.  My two-year-old wouldn’t stop hitting, my four year old said, “mommy” about eighty times a minute, my six year old was unusually clingy, and my eight year old seemed to be picking a fight with anyone that came within two feet of her.  I thought if I could take a quick breather, everything would be fine. 

It wasn’t twenty minutes after being in the bath my six-year-old came sneaking in, crying and asking me for a hug.  She didn’t want her daddy to put her to bed, she wanted me.  This wasn’t like her.  She loved hearing her father read to her, wrestle with her and her sisters, and sing her to sleep.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I was also frustrated that I couldn’t have that small amount of time I asked for.

“What is going on Evelyn?” I blurted out in frustration.  “You never act like this.  Mommy loves your hugs, but daddy hasn’t gotten to see you as much as me and he would really like to spend some time with you.”

What came next was unexpected.  With her little head hung low in devastation, she began to tearfully tell me about a party I didn’t attend for her class. 

My heart fell in to the pit of my stomach and my frustrations turned to pure shame.  How could I have forgotten the only class party of the year?  I remembered seeing the flyers come home in her book bag and I remember throwing each one out when I got stressed about the stack that would stockpile on my kitchen counters.

“I’m not capable of this.”  I began to think. 

“I’m not enough for four kids” was all I heard in my mind as I burst into tears.

I hugged my daughter, apologized for my mistake, and told her how much I loved her.  In that moment, fear crept into my mind and disguised itself as shame.  It quickly took me from having a bad day to being the worst mother in the world.

All it took was that one little moment to tear down the truth that I know the Lord tells me throughout His word.  He tells all of us:


“Can a mother forget her nursing child?  Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?” Isaiah 49:15 ESV

Isaiah speaks to the recognizable love a mother has for her child, so much so that it becomes a rhetorical question.  It recognizes that a mother’s love is one of the most powerful kinds of love.  What a beautiful reminder that I love my children more than anyone else ever could.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139: 13-14 ESV

God knew me before I was even born.  I was made to love and raise my children before they were even a thought that existed in my mind.  Just as I was hand-picked, so were my children.  God knew my path and my children and appointed me to be the person to love them and teach them above anyone else.

“He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into light” Job 12:22 NIV

It wasn’t until I began to pray and ask God to show me how to be a better mom that I understood the negative thoughts flooding my mind weren’t from Him.  It’s He who takes the lies and discouragements that prevent me from believing I’m not enough and replaces them with truth.  When we open our hearts up to Him and speak from a place of vulnerability, it’s there He can do the deepest work.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Romans 6:6 NIV

As a mom, I know I’ll make mistakes.  We all will.  However, when our identity is firmly rooted in Christ, we no longer must worry about pleasing others, only Him.  My mistakes, my sins no longer define who I am, Christ does.  As children of God, we are no longer slaves to our sin but set free in Him.  Our past doesn’t define us, our motherhood, our love for our children, or anything else in our lives.

“That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17 ESV

No matter how hard the circumstance, how difficult the day, or how drained I may feel, God has equipped me to handle it.  If I continue to seek Him, He will continue to guide me for whatever He leads me into.

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 ESV

Our children are not our own.  They are gifted to us from Christ to raise and love.  It’s hard to fathom anyone else loving them more, but God does.  We, as Christ-centered mothers, have the privilege of coming alongside God and guiding His children toward His plans for them.  He utilizes us to be a pivotal tool in forging their little personalities and futures.  It’s such a wonderful reminder that He has made us specifically for each moment we encounter.  He is the one in control, not us.  He is the one who owns them, not us. 

 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen” Romans 11:36

No matter what He calls us to or how difficult a season you may be in, remember that our soul purpose is to glorify Him.  We do this by digging deep in His word, so when doubt and devastation want to flood our minds, we can easily identify them with the truth that is ingrained in our minds.  The Word is a weapon utilized to combat the fears, anxiety, and lies the enemy so desperately tries to utilize against us.  Arm yourselves, mommas.
The biggest mistake we as moms could ever make is to believe the lie that we aren’t enough. 

You are uniquely picked and destined to raise your child.  Remember this in the tough moments and He will strengthen you in your weakest.  You are more than enough, more than capable, and much stronger than you even realize mamma.  Don't let the lie that you aren't rob you of the joy of raising the ones gifted to you. 

​Repeat after me... "I am MORE than ENOUGH".  Now go take a deep breath, maybe a bath, a handful of chocolate, and pat yourself on your back.  Tomorrow is a new day, full of new opportunities.  And I'm confident you're gonna crush it!

<![CDATA[I Bet you'd never guess what i struggle with on the reg...]]>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 20:09:07 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/i-bet-youd-never-guess-what-i-struggle-with-on-the-reg

I’m just going to come right out and say it, guys. I’m impatient. My kids simultaneously jump in and finish my sentence when I say, “I needed this room picked up yesterday”. It’s seriously a daily struggle. I think every ounce of patience I had simultaneously flew out of my body along with my fourth child. Yes, I traded my patience in for my children. 

Mucking through the process of anything is tough-whether it’s getting that promotion, cleaning up the house, writing my first book, or walking out the process of healing, I want it done, and I want it done NOW.

Not sure if this is something you struggle with?  Let me help!  Do you ever get easily frustrated or angry when something you intended finish required more time? Are you anxious or discouraged when you think about tasks necessary to accomplish a goal?  Is your mind a hamster wheel of to-do lists and negative self-talk?  Or maybe you just can’t seem to figure out how other people are capable of accomplishing what you’re trying to do with ease?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the questions above, well take a seat my friend, cause you need to hear this.  Getting ahead of ourselves is an innate, human response. You’re not alone in this struggle. I’m riding that struggle bus hard most days.

Here are the things that help me settle my mind, find some peace, and keep from getting to that ugly “boiling point” that I unfortunately get to more often than I like to admit.

1.There is preparation in the waiting.

 Have you ever seen what overnight success does to people? It’s toxic. The growth curve for someone to go from nothing to stardom tends to send people spiraling into some kind of rehab facility, divorce settlement, bankruptcy, or emotional breakdown (i.e. Britney Spears anyone?  Poor girl lost all her hair, on purpose.  Very unfortunate, but luckily it grew back, and she regained some of what she lost in the process). There are some exceptions to this, but they are very few and far between.

The truth is, we learn a lot on our way to success, whether it is personal or professional. Rushing through the pivotal steps of growth robs us of learning how to mature into the person who’ll be responsible enough for the goal we wish to achieve.

“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” Romans 9:22 ESV.

Our God is sovereign. Therefore, He makes sovereign choices. Patience is learned through the process of following Him. When we pursue Him, we learn that He is the one calling the shots, not us. Therefore, everything has a purpose, whether we see it or not. Walking through life with the understanding that the journey is more pivotal than the outcome has given me so much peace when I would’ve otherwise succumbed to frustration and anxiety.

2.Staaaaaaahp, already. Pump the breaks, girl.  It’s time for a break.

Oh my gosh- I’m the pot callin’ the kettle black on this one, girl. There’s a time to reap and there’s a time to sow.  In other words, it all doesn’t have to get done right now. Take it one step at a time. Focus on one task, finish it, and then move on to the next. The days I do fifty thousand things half-way compared to the days I do two and complete them aren’t even comparable. 

Don’t do the laundry, pick up the play room, cook dinner, bath the kids, and talk on the phone all at the same time.  Not only will you be exhausted, but you’ll feel unaccomplished and beat yourself up for not “finishing” something at the end of the day.  Or, at least that’s what I do. It really helps me to section things out.  I’ve learned to let go of having my whole house tidy for now and get done what’s stressing me out the most and then leaving the rest for later. 

For instance, I’ll leave the playroom a wreck and finish three loads of laundry, fold, and put it away on Monday. Yes, the playroom will still be a wreck at the end of the day but the laundry is finished. But here’s my rationale, the kids are going to destroy it tomorrow anyways, so why not wait and do it later?  Maybe you’re the opposite. The laundry doesn’t stress you as much as that nasty playroom, you do you girl! Get after that playroom but leave the laundry for later! 

Getting one thing finished instead of multiple things started help you feel accomplished instead of defeated at the end of the day.  I understand this isn’t always feasible, but if we try and make it apart of our normal routine the rhythms of life seem to pivot towards peace and joy rather than stress and anxiety. 

“so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” Hebrews 6:12 ESV.

You aren’t lazy for sectioning out your responsibilities. God clearly states that the promises He has for you comes through faith and patience. I’ve learned that making mistakes along the way teach me how to better prioritize my time and therefore result in less anxiety and frustration. It’s all a learning process. Take one baby step at a time.

3.It’s not always about me.

Did that hurt you as much as it did me? Goodness, y’all, I even had a hard time typing it. There are so many times throughout my day I catch myself having a pity-party. It’s hard to admit.

There’s a billion reasons and excuses I can use to justify why I should be pitied (in my own mind). But the reality is, I’m selfish. It’s a daily struggle to catch those negative thoughts and throw ‘em off the hamster wheel that’s spinning ninety miles an hour in my mind.

“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” Ephesians 4:12 ESV.

The work it requires to become patient yields some pretty awesome Jesus fruit, my friend. He trades our pride in for humility, our anger for gentleness, and our loneliness with unity. He begins to show us how to live out our lives exuding love, accepting love, and receiving it in return. 

When I stop and think about what truly matters, the things I get upset about don’t really matter as much as I allow them to. The days I’m crawling to bed without a single second to sit? They’re the ones I fall victim to those pity-parties the most. I want to be angry or upset I didn’t get any “me time” or tell myself I’m not enough when “everything didn’t get done that needed to”. 

But here’s the truth. The more I walk out the work I’m called to do in Him? The less those days hold on grip on me. My work isn’t in vein. My babies are cared for, my friendships are growing, my marriage is getting stronger, and my relationship with the Lord is getting deeper. 

I’m learning to hover in the process a little longer. The more patient I become the less restless, anxious, or stressed life seems. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the work.

If this helps you, would you mind sharing it with others? I’d also love to hear how this moved you. Share with me so I can get to know you better! We’re in this together, and we glean from those around us who openly share their stories. Thanks, friend!
<![CDATA[5 Practical Ways to Stop Stressing in the New Year]]>Wed, 09 Jan 2019 15:52:45 GMThttp://nikkigodsil.com/articles/5-practical-ways-to-stop-stressing-in-the-new-year
Ok guys, I know every body and their mother is talking about things to incorporate in the new year, but I want to talk about some things you should get rid of.  Don’t get me wrong, I really dig hearing all the things people are doing to revamp and start fresh, but sometimes I just need to simplify before I can add anything else on, am I right?

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Nikki.  I’m notorious for my love of all things involving guacamole and cheese, 90s rap, and midday naps, cause… life isn’t fun without any of those things.  I want to clear the air and just state from the beginning of this article, I’m not writing this from a place of arrival but in process.

These are the things that help me in my crazy, four kids, busy husband, mom boss life.  So, here it is! 

5 Practical Ways to Stop Stressing in the New Year:

  1. Start saying “No”. 
Go ahead, try it with me, “Nooooo”.  That’s right, girl.  I’m sayin’ it loud and proud this year.  I’m tired and one thing I learned from a busy year last year?  When you yes to one thing, you inevitably say no to another.  I am working on saying NO to the things that I don’t truly love, enjoy, or want to be apart of.  I use to beat myself up something terrible when I didn’t volunteer at every school party, go to every birthday party, or volunteer at all the church events.  But you know what?  The more I did, the more drained I was.  The worst part?  I became a fire breathing dragon of a mom to my most precious people, and they deserve the best of me, not those other people.  Do what makes your heart happy, and start saying no to all the things that don’t, because pleasing others isn’t more important than taking care of yourself.

        2. Get rid of the junk drawer. 

Gbye’, clutter!  Ok, ok.  For me?  The junk drawer turns into every stinkin’ drawer in my kitchen when I don’t pay attention to it at least once a year.  Seriously, who needs an 8 billion rubber bands, a roge battery that may not even work, and about 9 million chargers that we have NO IDEA what they charge?  Uh uh.  The only thing that drawer is doing is causin’ this momma some STRESSSSSS.  DUMP YOUR JUNK DRAWER.  That’s right, dump it.  You know what’s gonna happen right after you do it?  FREEEEDOOOOM (Cue Braveheart riding into battle).  I cannot be the only one who gets so stinkin’ stressed out about clutter.  I don’t know if it’s your junk drawer, your closet, your makeup counter, or your playroom, but good Lord, DUMP IT.  Having a hard time even looking at it?  Easy…. This is how I start.  Instead of looking at the whole picture, I narrow it down to one thing I can organize in about a half an hour.  Wanna know what also helps?  90s rap music.  There’s just nothing more motivating than Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It” while you’re working girls, trust me.

          3. Take Care, Brush your Hair.

Self care, y’all.  It’s a daggon MUST.  There isn’t a single person in this world who feels elated when they haven’t bathed in two days (no, dry shampoo doesn’t count ladies), talked with a person over the age of 2, or sat down for a minimum of 5 minutes without someone calling your name.  Nah, girl.  You need a break.  Do something fo yo self.  Take a daggon bath, drink a glass of wine, HECK, take a nap!   That’s my fave!  Whatever it is  that makes you stop, do it, and do it often.  I like to take a bath at least once a week with a concoction of “potion” my girl’s call it (but it’s essential oils, so, I’m not really a magician, but I like them to think I am).  When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed?  Take a breather.  And for the Love of all sanity, turn off Disney Junior!   Paint your nails, tell yourself often “YOU ARE ENOUGH”, and then you won’t feel like quitting.  Life will get easier, promise.   You just have to start taking some time for you.

           4. Stop choosing people who don’t choose you…

“Go where you grow the Most”.  One of the ladies in my small group said this the other day, and for the life of me, I can’t remember who she said it was from.  Pretty sure it was a nun, but at any rate, it’s so gooooood.  Find your tribe!  It doesn’t have to be big, guys.  Social media gives us a false impression of how many people one human being can be intimately connected with.  Do you know how many people is the average for you to be in deep relationship with?  THREE.  Find your three!  Good Lord, for the better part of last year my therapist took up one of those spots and my husband the other.  I literally had enough emotional capacity for one other person without feeling exhausted.  Find your people and open up to them.  Give them your heart and let them speak into your life, but make sure you choose wisely, not everyone deserves such an important role in that pretty little brain of yours.

             5. Stop letting fear keep you from your dreams.

I am the worst at planning, guys.  Like, the worst of the worst.  But, I know if I’m going to make room for my dreams to turn in to a reality?  I need to write them out and put them on some sort of calendar.  Planning isn’t easy.  In fact, it takes work.  But the end result?  Accomplishment!  When that little voice in your head starts spouting off all the negative stuff, recognize it as a lie and put it where it belongs, in the year 2018.  Cause as Gabriel Frabasile (whoever that is) says, “a head full of fears has no space for dreams.”  Get you a planner, dream about what you want to do, and write out how you can start achieving it THIS YEAR.  You do you boo!  This is your life!  Take it by the reigns and show it who’s boss! 
Alright, friends.  That’s it for now.  Stop stressin’, start livin’, and I strongly suggest eating some guacamole and jammin’ out to some TLC… cause, that’s what life is about, at least for me.  Go get ‘em tiger!  I'm actually rawring over here from my tiny office in my house guys... You're welcome for that visual... Claws up for 2019!