Physical Health is Just One Piece of the Puzzle

I have been on a journey of health. Since I was a little kid I have been involved in sports and very active. Even throughout college I played sports and now post college I challenge myself physically by lifting weights, hiking ridiculously large mountains, doing triathlons, running many miles. I have been going to the gym or running or biking or some form of exercise for as long as I remember yet just recently it hit me as to why I have had a health block.

 

I have been trying for years to get healthy. To be in better shape, lose weight, but somewhere along the way I hit a wall. I have been exercising but it wasn't until I put it all together did I realize physical health was only a piece to the puzzle of my life. 

 

Since I have been on the journey towards emotional health, I realized where my block was. I was so consumed with physical health that I neglected my emotional health. It wasn't until God met me in the brokenness and showed me my emotions were to connect me with him did I realize this was part of the puzzle I was missing to achieve optimal health!

 

Light bulb!

 

Along with my emotional health, I have taken a deeper dive into my spiritual health. God met me. He has been with me the whole time, coaching me, guiding me along this journey. He has been showing me the pieces of the puzzle but it wasn't until I took off my blinders to see that the whole time the pieces have been in front of me!

 

Now it is time to put all these pieces together!

 

This has been a huge revelation for me. God made us so intricate and detailed. He placed the pieces of us together in a unique way and I believe in our lives we are learning what and where the pieces of us actually fit together.

 

Today I am starting on a new health journey. I am doing an experiment. I have been knee deep in research about health regarding your gut, hormones, and your brain. It is fascinating to me how complex God made us and how each of us are so unique down to the types of food we should eat for our own optimal health. 

 

I don’t know where you are on your health journey. Whether you are working on emotional, spiritual, or physical health I challenge you to dig deeper and ask God to reveal more of the pieces to the puzzle of your life. 

 

I will be documenting my experience on this health journey. If you want to follow along subscribe to this blog and follow me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/nikkiromanibiz/

Intimacy with God is not what you may think...

What does intimacy with God look like?

Let me tell you from experience, it does not look like what you may think at first.

 

A few months ago I prayed for more intimacy with God. Little did I know I would be stepping into one of the hardest seasons of my life. 

 

Honestly, I have felt like my insides were being ripped out. I know that is not a pretty picture, but it has not been pretty. God has been pulling out all the messy, ugly things in my life. 

 

I have been one to stuff my emotions. My initial reaction when I would feel something other than joy and happiness would be to disregard it and move on. I would tell myself life with Jesus is supposed to be joyful and happy! Life with Jesus is like Christmas cheer year round! But the deeper I go in my relationship with Jesus the harder it is. Because the deeper you go with God, the more the devil wants you. The devil does not want you to have intimacy with God so he will do whatever it takes to tear you down. I have felt as though I have been in a war, on the battlefield fighting for my life. 

 

For the past 3 months I have not felt like myself. I have not felt like the joyful, positive, optimistic person I have always been. I barely recognized myself. When someone would ask me how was I doing I would still respond with “Great! Terrific! Fantastic!” when inside I was breaking. Why did I do this to myself? I was trying to deny the fact that something was going on. I was trying to force my feelings into something positive instead of recognizing and dealing with what was truly going on. I let my emotions hold me captive. 

 

I enjoy working out. I enjoy challenging myself and competition, but I got to a point I was using exercise as an escape from my emotions instead of dealing with them. I was using exercise in an unhealthy way. I would be exhausted and then workout and feel overly exhausted. I had been stuffing it and stuffing it until this one time I was working out and felt as though I was wearing a weighted backpack. The workout was hard but not as hard as it should have been. I felt as though I was at my max and about to burst. That’s when God make me realize I was using exercise as my escape and I got to the point I could not take it anymore.

 

I did the thing I never thought I would do… I stopped working out. I started listening to my body and listening to God. I didn't want to feel this way anymore. I was fighting a battle I could not win on my own. I needed help. I still need help. It’s hard for me to admit that I was depressed. I would get 8 or 9 hours of sleep and wake up feeling so tired. It was hard for me to motivate myself to do something but I didn't want to be identified as a person who was depressed so I forced myself to get up, but instead of asking the questions, “What emotion am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? What do I need to do with this emotion? Do I need to ride the wave or let it pass by? God, what do you want to do with this?” I would exercise. So imagine feeling absolutely tired and then working out. Not the best combination for a healthy life. 

 

Busyness is another way I would escape from emotions. I always have something going on. And when I would start to feel and emotion I did not recognize I would make myself busier so I would not have to deal with it. Not the way to go. Satan uses busyness as a way to keep us from God. The busier we are the less time we have for God, and the less time we make to be with God the less intimate we become with him. Exercise and busyness are my strongholds. They are the places in my life Satan can get to and ruin me. Becoming aware of those strongholds is the first step. Coming to God to help you release those strongholds is the second step. I am working on the second step. 

 

I have always wanted to be the strong one, the person who is there for everyone else, helping others, but I am at the point in my life where I am the one that needs help. It has been a humbling experience to say the least. 

 

God has brought me to my lowest, I have been broken and now he is putting the pieces back together. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am seeing how God is using my experience to be able to relate to others on a whole new level. He is bringing people into my life who are either one step ahead of me to help me or one step behind me for me to help them. God is truly amazing and I will continue to walk in this intimacy with Him no matter how messy gets. I want it. I want the most out of this life with Him. 

 

Do want it? Are you willing to go through the pain and the hurt to get to the other side of freedom? 

 

It’s not easy living a life with Jesus, but let me tell you it will all be worth it when we get our reward in Heaven and see Jesus face to face. 

What Happens When a Missionary Returns Home?

When missionaries are preparing to leave on a mission trip whether it’s long term or short term, there is a tremendous amount of support in comparison to the others areas of the term. There is excitement when a missionary is getting ready to take on their mission. A “See You Later Party” is planned. They are telling their friends and family and even strangers what they are about to do. Most people see the need to help in the beginning and will donate to the cause whether it’s financially or through prayer. There is much excitement and thrill in the air. 

 

While the missionary is on the field, reports back to loved ones at home sharing stories of experiences, people they have met seem exciting. Depending on how long the missionary is on the field it is as though some of those people who were once excited about their friend or family member leaving start to fade away. They get into their own lives and their missionary on the field becomes a back memory and an occasional thought. 

 

And then something happens when it is time for the missionary to return home. Where is everyone? There is no “Welcome Home Party”. Everyone seems the same. They are caught up in their own lives. They ask questions like, “How was your trip?” “Now what are you going to do?” They don’t get it!!!! 

 

This is how it is.

 

I know. I have experienced it.

 

I experienced the “see you later party” where friends and family came over to my parent’s house to send me off. There was excitement in the air for the unknown and the adventure I was about to embark on. 

 

I packed my bag and left for an 11 month journey.

 

I would talk to some friends mostly through email and Facebook while on the field, and was able to video chat more with my family. It’s all still so exciting getting to share with them all I am doing and the new places I am living in. 

 

As the months go on, something changes. There aren’t as many emails and posts that go out, less comments. You become comfortable with the uncomfortable and have changed tremendously only to return home to the same old. 

 

When I came home there was no “welcome home” party like I had when I left. My family came to the airport which was wonderful, but I was alone walking off the plane instead of the community of 40 people I had been around for almost a year. I was a bittersweet moment seeing and hugging my parents. I was home, but what was home?

 

I arrived back in the states the night before Thanksgiving. The following day my entire family came over to my parent’s house. I felt like I was in a fog. Almost as though I was in a dream. Could this be happening? Did I really just travel for almost a year? I had those questions asked that no missionary wants to hear. I can’t get upset because they didn't know. 

 

“How was your trip?”

“Now what are you going to do?”

 

My response… “My trip? I was gone for almost a year! How was your year?”

“I was in Africa YESTERDAY!” 

 

I didn't want to talk much about it because I had no time whatsoever to process my “trip.” I wouldn't know where to begin. 

 

For the next month I felt numb. I didn't know what to do. I was questioning if I had even just traveled to 11 countries in 11 months. My body was shutting down. It wasn't until Christmas I actually felt something. I received a message from a girl I had met in one of the bars in the Philippines. She was a bar girl. She wanted to wish me and my family a Merry Christmas. I messaged her back to wish her the same and asked her what she was doing to celebrate. Her response will stay with me forever. She replied, “I am working. I have to pretend to be happy for the customers.” My heart sank. Tears filled my eyes. Here I was in the comfort of my parent’s beautiful home with family all around me and she was working as a prostitute to provide for her family so they could eat.  

 

As I sat and watched my little cousins tear open their millions of presents, every single person I had met over the course of 11 months flashed before my eyes. All the prostitutes, orphans, street kids, bar girls, the families living in cardboard shelters and trash, I could go on. All the faces of the people I had seen. I was in silence numb to the world I was sitting in and flashing back to the world I had left.

 

After the family left I went outside and sobbed for the first time since I had been home. I actually don't remember the last time I cried that hard. It all hit me. I did go to 11 different countries in 11 months. It wasn't a dream. It happened. And not only did all of that hit me, but my reality hit me…Now what am I going to do?

 

The first 3 months back “home” I struggled. I struggled with my identity, my purpose. I felt so alone. I felt like everyone I would talk to did not understand. They didn't get it. Some would barely listen to my 30 second answer to “How was it?” People would ask and I soon learned most people didn't want to hear about it. Their mind quickly went elsewhere when all I wanted to do was pour out my heart. I started shutting down spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 

The crazy thing is… I am not alone.

There are many missionaries who feel as I did. 

 

It has been 3 years since I have been home and now I am turning my pain into my passion. 

I am a certified life coach and I have a heart for helping missionaries through this whole process. I want to be there for them not only when everyone else is, but especially when everyone is not. I want to help missionaries with the reentry process.

 

This is my heart, to help missionaries before they get to where I was. I don't want anyone to experience the struggle, the doubt, and the loneliness I felt. 

I have the amazing opportunity to work with a ministry called M2B. We help missionaries with re-entry and help them to become all they were meant to be in God's kingdom. Check out the website here m2bministries.org

If you are an alumni World Racer and want to help other racers with their journey and re-entry apply to be a Navigator here http://m2bministries.org/alumni-navigators/

And if you are a future racer and wish to have someone to walk alongside this journey with you, apply to have a Navigator here http://m2bministries.org/returning-missionaries

Please contact me if you need help in this area or if you know someone who does! You can email me here hello@nikkiromani.com or go to the homepage of my website and input your name and email address!

You are not alone. 

 

Believe the Impossible

Going into the new year I have been doing some reflecting on the past year.


What have I done in 2016?

I have done a lot.

Attended 7 weddings. I was in 2 of them.

Became a life coach.

Hiked the tallest mountain in the lower 48.

Began discipling woman and have been discipled myself.

Experienced inner healing and have been learning how to give myself grace.

Turned 28

Partnered with M2B ministries to help missionaries with re-entry.

 


God is doing a lot and I know there is more to come in 2017.

 


One thing that I desire this year is to have more intimacy with God. I know I need to pursue God and spend time with him. I must pray and sit and be in His presence. This is something I need to be discipled in and practice. I must turn it into a habit, a good habit. I know this will be a habit that will change my life! I want to hear God’s voice and be able to share what he tells me with others to encourage them and hear what he wants to say for my life.

 


This past year I have also been learning how to dream big and if my dreams don't scare me, they are not big enough. That’s a scary statement. I think before I would never allow myself to dream so big it scared me because I figured it would never happen. But that’s not the right attitude!!! I must believe in my God to do the impossible. I must believe that he has my best interests in mind and wants the best for me. He can make the imaginable possible and that is what I am hoping for this year! I want things to happen that can only be explained in one word… GOD.

 


Why don't we live like that? Why don't we live life thinking the impossible will happen? Believing the impossible will happen!

 


It’s a mindset. We need to change our mindset and our focus to be on Jesus. We need to trust him and his ultimate plan for his life.

 


God gave me a picture many months ago of me and him standing hand in hand on a stone. It was a stone that looked like part of a stone path but all I could see what the stone I was on. As I was hand in hand with him he led me to the next stone. As put my foot out to take the next step the stone appeared.

 


My interpretation of this vision is that God is with me every step of the way but that he wants me to trust him and to stay present. He wants me to stay focused on where I am and not where I am going or where I have been. He wants me to take the step of faith and trust that he has something there for me even though I cannot see it.

 


And I believe this is true for you as well. God wants you to stay present but to trust him in the process and to take his hand and let him led you. It’s scary but great things happen when we step out and take risks.

 


I pray for us going into this new year. I pray we grab onto God’s hand and allow him to led us to the next stepping stone in our lives even if we cannot see it! I also pray we stay present where we are and enjoy the moment.

 


Believe the impossible.

Enjoy the moment.

Trust God.

Who Do You Know?

God is faithful.

God is provider.

God is good.

God is a connector.

God sets things in motion.

God hears our prayers.

 


I am in awe of God. He continues to amaze me and shake me in incredible ways.

Where do I begin?

 
The words God continues to say to me are, “Nikki, keep meeting people, keep putting yourself out there and I will connect you with the people that you need to meet.” He also has been saying, “Continue sharing even if people say no. Keep sharing and you will meet those yes’.”

 
I am learning what it means to be a “networker” because I feel that is the best way to meet people and to share with them what I am doing because you never know who they know that you need to know.

John C. Maxwell says a great leader asks great questions and one of those questions is “Who do you know that I should know?” This question is something I am starting to ask and I am blown away with the people I am meeting.

 


I met with a man named Neal Pirolo and his wife. They invited me to their home and we sat and talked for two and a half hours!! We shared stories with each other, they shared wisdom and insight about the re-entry processes for missionaries, which is a huge passion of mine! It was truly a gift! He gave me a copy of his book “The Re-entry Team: Caring for your Returning Missionary.”

 


As I read the words on the pages, I realize more and more how deep of a passion this is of mine. I want to help these missionaries. I was one of them. I struggled with reentry and now I want to be a support for others! I am being reassured this is what I am supposed to do and there are people out there like me, and people who want to help me and support me. I am seriously at a loss for words of God’s continued provision.

 


I know it is not going to be easy, but knowing God is on my side and placing people in my path to cheer me on and teach me and share their wisdom with me.

 


Another conversation I had this week was with a man who has his own business called Mindfluence Revolution helping people become the best versions of themselves. He was saying things that God has been telling me, which means I need to listen! If I am hearing it from God and God is putting those same words into another person to tell me, that means it’s important! He was very encouraging and wanted to pour into me and help me! He messaged me after our conversation saying how enjoyable it was. I am humbled.

 


I have struggled with belief. Belief in myself that I can do this. That I can create a business of helping other people. I have put a wall up thinking I was protecting myself but really I have been keeping myself in and hindering myself from using the gifts and talents God has given me to share with the world. NOT ANYMORE!!! I will be ok with the no’s and learn from my failures. I don't want to live life saying “what if?” I want to live life asking “What now?!” I want to take risks, step out of my comfort zone. If I stayed behind the wall I would never be able to help the people God is putting in front of me. I wouldn't be able to see them because of the wall. BUT GOD breaks down that wall so I can see those people, I can get rid of my pride and the worry of what other people think of me and just do it! JUST DO IT! Just do the thing that God is calling you to do even if you are scared and don't know what next step to take! God will help you.

4 Keys to Unlock Your Purpose

What is my purpose? What is my calling?

 
These may be questions you are asking yourself or have neglected to ask yourself because you don't know where to find the answer.

 
It has taken me 20+ years to figure out my “sweet spot”, my “purpose”, my “calling.”

 
I am here to tell you it is not easy. It doesn't happen over night. You may have to step out of your comfort zone to figure it out. But let me tell you this…it is all worth it!

 
I was going in a different direction. I was in sports medicine which I still love but it wasn't getting me out of bed in the morning, it wasn't what made me come alive.

 
I decided to get out of my comfort zone and go where God was calling me to go and that was on an 11 month Christian mission trip. I was so nervous and was making every excuse not to go, but when I decided to put my fears to the side and trust in God, my life was changed forever!

 


I do not regret my decision to leave the country for 11 months. Do live in 3rd world countries and to be a part of a community that would become my family. During this 11 month mission trip, i really discovered myself. I learned my strengths, weaknesses, what made me come alive, and what didn’t. I was seen by my mentor and coaches as a leader and was placed in a leadership position and when I stepped into that position even though I have not clue what to expect, God met me there and molded and shaped me into who I am today. And I continue to be molded and shaped to this day. This was only the beginning. In the position of leadership is when I was introduced to my true calling…. life coaching!

 
It wasn't until 2 years after I returned from this mission trip that I really dove into this profession and I am so glad I did. I have found what makes me get up in the morning, what makes come alive!

 (I was one of the leaders of this amazing family of 43 people I traveled the world with!)

I want to help you discover what that is for you!

 
Here is a good place to start.

 
The 4 keys to unlock your purpose that I have discovered are…

 
1. Time management 
Where are you spending your time during your day? Is it productive or unproductive? The activities you do throughout your day either move you forward, backward or keep you at a stand still. Where do you want to move?

 


2. Dream

Are you living the life you want? Or are you just living to get by? Are you allowing yourself to dream and live the live of your dreams? Its ok to “daydream.” It’s ok to want more for your life. It’s ok to not be “normal.” Be extravagant. Live the life you want. You will have to do the work to get there, but you can do it!

 


3. The Slight Edge Philosophy

What is your daily routine? What habits do you have? Are they increasing your growth or hindering it? Do the daily little tasks that will propel you forward. They can be small like reading 10 pages of a personal development book, or making your bed. What are you accomplishing each day?

 

4. Live out your purpose
What are your gifts and talent? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you implement these things to make a plan to move into your purpose and calling?

 


Number 4 is tough. This is the thing people struggle with. If this is you, you are not alone. 

It Starts with YOU

It all starts with you. In order to give of yourself to others, you must take care of yourself first. You must give yourself grace for the mistakes you make. Humans are not perfect. You must strive to be your best but you must allow for mistakes. Some of the best success comes from a line of mistakes.

 
Giving grace to ones self is difficult, sometimes more difficult than giving grace to others. I know this is true for myself. I can give grace to people all day long. I know they are not perfect, and I always see the best in people before they see it in themselves. So why don't I do the same for myself? Why don't I know that I cannot be perfect? That I am human just like everyone else. That I have flaws, I have emotions, I make mistakes, and that is all okay. Why don't I see the best in myself? Why don’t I believe in myself? Why am I so hard on myself?

 
We are our own worst critic. We are hard on ourselves, but that doesn't do anyone any good.

 
Think about this… if we give grace to ourselves and allow ourselves to be human, love ourselves, how much more would we be able to give grace and love others?

 
Think about that for a moment.

 
There is something in this thought. If we all started taking care of ourselves in all aspects including personal development, exercise, eating healthy, being filled spiritually, how much more would we be able to give to others?

 
I have been discipling two girls from my church, and there was one point I was not being discipled myself. I saw the effect it had on me as well as the girls. I was not taking care of myself and as a result I was feeling drained and taking on burdens that were not mine to take on. I was not doing myself any good and was not able to serve and give my best to the girls.

When I found someone to disciple and mentor me that all changed. I am now able to give my best to them because I have someone pouring into me and giving me support. It’s a game changer!


Compassion means to suffer together, but what about the idea of self-compassion? Have you ever thought about giving yourself compassion? Being compassionate is tuning into other people in a kind and loving manner, so what about doing this for yourself? This will not only change your personal life but your business and career. You are the core of any relationship personal or business. You need to be confident and love yourself before anyone else will, besides God. He loves you no matter what. You cannot earn his love. He gives it to us unconditionally.

 


Tips to self-compassion

  • Find a mentor
  • Give yourself grace. You are not perfect
  • Welcome mistakes and turn them into success
  • Personal development whether that is listening to podcasts, reading a good and helpful book

Live A Great Story

This time 2 years ago I was flying back from being gone from home, gone from the states for 11 months. I was on a plane coming back from traveling to 11 different countries with 43 incredible people. This was a life-changing experience to say the least. One of the leaders on this trip told us over and over to “live a great story.” This saying became a common phrase among the group. When we were put in an uncomfortable or unknown situation or had to make a decision to do something we would tell each other and say to ourselves “live a great story!”

 


What does it mean to live a great story? To me it means to live a life that matters, a life full of adventure, a life out of our comfort zone, a life adding value to others.

 


When I was on this 11 month trip to 11 different countries I did things I wouldn’t be able to do in the states and also things I wouldn’t have done until now. I rode in the back of multiple trucks, took public transportation everywhere including very crowded buses and tuk tuks (taxis in Southeast Asia), chopped down trees with an ax, ran a medical clinic just me and 2 other people, went into bars in the red light district to talk to bar girls and offer them hope, laid with a tiger, played with street kids, you name it! I was stretched, but I have many amazing stories some very hard and some very fun! During those 11 months I was “living a great story.”

My A squad family from the World Race 

My A squad family from the World Race 


Since being back I have tried to do the same thing! Even though I don't do things like I did in other countries, I have stepped out of my comfort zone. I have partnered with an amazing billion dollar company, I have invested time and money into John Maxwell’s coaching program, I have gone to conferences around the states to better myself and my career, I finished and took second place in a triathlon, and I have hiked Mt. Whitney (the tallest mountain in the lower 48).

 


What are you doing to live a great story?

 


In John Maxwell’s book “Intentional Living,” he talks about how important stories are. Stories inspire us, connect us, fire our emotions, give us reason to act, give us pictures of who we inspire to be.

 


Are you living a life that is inspiring to others?

Are you living a life of significance?

Are you living a life that matters?

 


This is all a choice. You have to choose to live a great story. You have to choice to step out of your comfort zone, to take risks, to invest in yourself, to say yes to opportunities. Live a life adding value to others. Everyone wants to be missed when they are gone. Right? Then live a life that will cause people to miss you when you are gone one day. Leave a legacy.

 


Are you LIVING A GREAT STORY??

8 things that may be keeping you from growing

Do you have a growth plan?


This is a question we don't normal ask ourselves, yet it is very important to better ourselves as humans.

 
In John Maxwell’s book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,” he gives 8 “Growth Gap Traps”, meaning misconceptions of belief that are keeping you away from growth.

 
Assumption Gap- “I assume I will automatically grow.”
Knowledge Gap- “I don't know how to grow”
Timing Gap- “It’s not the right time to begin”
Mistake Gap- “I’m afraid of making mistakes”
Perfection Gap- “I have to find the best way before I start”
Inspiration Gap- “I don't feel like doing it”
Comparison Gap- “Others are better than I am”
Expectation Gap- “I thought it would be easier than this”

 

Is there a gap that you resonate with?

For me I struggle with the mistake gap. I have let the fear of making mistakes or failing get in theway. But I will not grow and learn if I don't try, put myself out there, take risks, and step out of my comfort zone. Honestly, whenever I do step out despite my fear of making a mistake, great things come from it! If you don't take action you will never know how to improve and you will never grow.

 
In order to grow you must be intentional. What does it mean to be intentional? The dictionary defines the word as “done in a way that is planned or designed.”

 
With that definition in mind, to live intentionally means to live life with a plan and on purpose. We were all created for a purpose. Do you know what your purpose is?


In the book “Intentional Living” by John Maxwell he states, “People who live intentionally jump in and live the story themselves. The words of physicist Albert Einstein motivate them: ‘The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.’”

 
Are you ready to do something about your life? Are you ready to take action and be all you were meant to be?


If this is something you would like to move further in and step out of your comfort zone I am starting a group to go through the book “Intentional Living” by John C. Maxwell to discuss what it means to live a great story, to live on purpose, and to live with intention. Do you want to step into growth? This is a perfect place to start!

 
Contact me for more info hello@nikkiromani.com or go to the home page and fill in your name and email. I look forward to starting this growth journey with you!

What is Your Purpose?

As I was sitting in my quiet time this morning this is what God shared with me and He wanted me to share it with you...

“I created this world for you to enjoy and explore and not many people take advantage of it. They get stuck in their ways and get stuck in their job but that’s not what I created life for. You were created for much more. You were created to enjoy the life you are in, not to suffer from it. You are not living out your true calling and purpose if you feel like you are drowning. That’s when you need to turn to me and give me your burdens and your worries. They are not for you to carry. I will take them from you because I want you to enjoy life and not be miserable. Something must change if you are miserable and hurting. I have the answer for you. I am the everlasting Father who loves you with an unconditional love. Do you know what that means? There is nothing you can do to win or lose my love. I love and will love you forever. You are my child. I created you and knit you together in your mother’s womb. You were made with a purpose. Now you need to live out that purpose and don't waste it away. I made you for a reason. Do you know what that is?"

 GOD

 


And then I opened up my Jesus Calling devotional and this was today.....

 


“In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care. Entrust to Me everything that concerns you. This clears the way for you to seek My Face unhindered. Let Me free you from fear that is hiding deep inside you. Sit quietly in My presence, allowing My light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you.

“Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life. Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it. Instead of regretting or resenting the ways things are, thank Me in all circumstances. Trust Me and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.”

 

God knows exactly what we need when we need it. He loves us and he cares for us. What is making you resist him? What is holding you back from receiving the life he has given you?

God wants to join you on your life journey! Where are you going and are you inviting him to go with you?

 

Just Keep Swimming (facing your fears)

I think most of us have seen the movie “Finding Nemo” when the character Dori sings “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” In the movie “Finding Dori” we learn why she sings that song. She is a small young fish and sings the song with her parents when she is learning how to swim and she continues to sing the song when she is facing her fears.

 
We all have fears that we must face. Whether we are a small fish, a child, or an adult, we all have fears. “If you don't look at fear as your enemy it will one day defeat you” (Havilah Cunningham). You are either driven by fear, or overtaken by fear. What will it be for you? If you let fear defeat you, you will not grow or become the person God made you to be. You can either step forward into growth or step back into safety. What will it be for you?

 

There is a spirit of fear that wants to dominate everything in you. It is Satan’s way of stopping you from doing the powerful things God created you to do. Will you let him stop you? Will you let him win? What happens when you face fear? What if? What would you become? You will not know unless you do it, unless you take action. It will not be easy. Facing what you are afraid of is NOT easy, but you will never know who you could be or what life has for you if you don’t.

 
I was asked why I go on so many trips, and do so many activities and adventures. And my answer is this, there is so much on this earth to experience and so many places to go, why not try to do as much as possible?! I said yes to an 11 month Christian mission trip to 11 different countries. I was scared. I was afraid. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I did it anyway and I am here to tell you I do not regret going one bit! I am so happy I was obedient to God. I grew in ways I would have never if I didn't step out of my comfort zone and face my fears.

Our job is to be obedient and say yes to the opportunity in front of us even if it scares us. There is anointing that comes when you obey God. And when we obey the supernatural will happen. And I experienced just that. God gave me an anointing over my life and I experienced miracles, and went on many adventures.

 
I have run and finished a half marathon, completed a triathlon, hiked Half Dome in Yosemite, training now to hike Mount Whitney (the tallest peak in the continental America), went shark cage diving, laid with tigers, rode an elephant, went on a safari, went volcano boarding. I’m not saying this to brag of all the things I’ve done. This is a result of saying yes to an opportunity, facing fears and going for it. I accepted the challenge of training, of leaving the country for a year and in return I was able to do all this and more!  

Thailand on the World Race

Thailand on the World Race

South Africa on the World Race

South Africa on the World Race

Half Dome, Yosemite CA

Half Dome, Yosemite CA


Are you going to “just keep swimming” or are you going to let fear defeat you? It’s up to you.

The Grieving Process

Athletes, I’m talking to YOU!

 
Are you playing a sport you absolutely love? Are you dedicating your life to that sport? Does it take up the majority of your time? What happens if it’s taken away from you? What if you get injured, retire, or are unable to play the sport you have put so much time and effort into?

 
What's next?

 
I am here to say that your life is NOT over when your career as an athlete is. It’s only the beginning of a new chapter.

 
I have been there. I am an athlete and I suffered an injury that brought me to my wits end. I had to miss many weeks of college, and could not play my sport for an entire season.


I have had the joy and privilege of playing volleyball starting when I was 12 years old. I have played volleyball every year, except one, and I continue to play to this day.

 
The one year I was unable to play, I was a sophomore in college playing at my school. It was winter season and a friend and I decided to go snowboarding. Little did I know that day of snowboarding would change my life forever.

 
I grew up skiing on the slopes and switched to snowboarding at the same age I started playing volleyball. Needless to say I have been snowboarding for many years. On this particular day I was speeding through and ended up catching an edge and went flying about 30 feet, rolling multiple times and ended up on my back. During my fall I broke my humerus (the upper bone in your arm) in half. From that moment on, my life would be different.

 
I went through the grieving process. I started with denial. I would wish that I was in a bad dream and wake up and my arm would be back to normal. I didn't want to be in a cast and not be able to use my arm. I would close my eyes hoping the cast would be gone with I opened them. (Sounds crazy I know, but I was desperate.)

 
Then I became angry. Angry with myself for not being more careful. Angry that I went snowboarding during my volleyball season. Angry that I broke my arm!

 
I then started bargaining telling myself, “if only I was a better snowboarder, this wouldn't have happened.” “If I didn't go down that run, I wouldn't have fallen.” I was bargaining with God asking him to trade for things in order to heal me. Trying to figure out a way to make everything back to the way it used to be.

 
Once I realized this was my reality, I went into depression. I was so frustrated, and unhappy with my circumstances, unable to sleep well because of the position I had to lay in due to my arm being in the state it was in (to this day I cannot fall asleep laying on my back because that’s the position I had to sleep in for 3.5 months with a cast and then a brace. It brings back memories.) I would mope around feeling sorry for myself. I was unable to participate in my clinical at school (being an athletic training major it’s very hands on. I cried in one of my clinicals), I was uncomfortable, I couldn’t do my own hair. I had to learn to brush my teeth, eat, and write with my left hand. I was not myself.

 
By the grace of God, and the prayers and support of friends and family I began to accept this was my state and I needed to start dealing with it and try to see the positive in it all. I began looking at my situation as a way to connect with other injured athletes. And to this day this is what I believe the reason is for me enduring this injury. I am now able to connect with injured patients and athletes on a deeper level because I have been there! I know what they are going through. I am able to empathize with them!

 
And this is why I tell you this. I empathize with you for what you are going through. I know first hand what it’s like and I want to help you walk through the grieving process and help you to discover your identity is not in what you do, but in who you are. We are in this together.

(I may look happy in this photo, but this must have been my denial phase...thinking it was going to magically disappear.) 

And let me tell you, I went through physical therapy, worked out really hard and was able to play in the next season of volleyball, and every year after. AND I still absolutely LOVE snowboarding and go every year!

If this is something you really resonate with, I have created a course on the Grieving Process. I walk you through step by step. You can check it out here 

Life vs. the Game

For 2 weekends in August I have worked at a soccer tournament as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). Some may be asking what that is and that just means I was on the medical staff as a first responder tending to any injuries the players had that were acute or chronic.

 


Teams from all over the states in addition to a team from Mexico participated. The first weekend the players were 13-18. There were college coaches scouting for their future players. The intensity was high. Some of the student athletes were already committed to a team, while others where giving it their all to show the college coaches their skills and efforts.

 


The second weekend the younger’s played ranging from ages 8-13. There were parents lining the sidelines and the intensity was still very high for these little players.

 


As an ATC, if a player goes down and I am called onto the field the athlete is in my hands and I have the responsibility to care for the immediate needs of this athlete. I have seen fractured caller bones, sprained ankles, broken wrists, legs, bloody and broken noses, you name it, but the one injury that you never want to mess with is when it involves your brain.

 


I have seen many athletes have blows to the head and get knocked flat on their face, or get whiplash and hit their head on the ground, or go head to head or elbow to head and the outcome is most likely a concussion. I have come across one too many coaches, players, or parents who try get the athlete to go back into the game because it’s “important.” But let me ask you… is your life important? Would you rather sacrifice your life over playing in one more game?

 


Athletes are stubborn. They are some of the worst patients. I can speak for myself because I am one. I once broke my finger but refused to stop playing volleyball and now my finger is curved because I didn’t take care of it. Athletes will play through the pain if it means one more win or one more attempt at winning, but really is it worth it?

 


Athletes are all about the moment. But what happens after?

 


During the tournament I worked last weekend I was called onto the field after a player was hit in the head hard and fell to the ground. When I ran over the coach was already there. I started to make my assessment and ask the player if he was ok and how he was felling. The coach started answering for him. I continued to ask the player questions and I specifically asked him if his head hurt and when the player started to say yes, the coach nudged him and answered with “No! He is fine.” I looked the coach in the eyes and said, “The head is not something you want to mess with and if your player has any pain whatsoever in his head we need to take that seriously.” I was irritated and upset. I am on the field and it is now my job to take care of this athlete.

In that moment, the coach was more concerned with “winning” than with making sure his player was safe. This is NOT okay. This is a human’s life we are talking about. And the sad thing is, this is not the only time I have seen this happen. It happens way too frequently and people are becoming permanently damaged whether physically or emotionally because of it.

 


I tell you this as a precaution and to remind you that your life and anyone else’s life is important. WAY more so than any game, match, or meet.

 


I know how it feels. I was a competitive athlete. It is really is hard to think long term when you are in the heat of the moment. But let’s not only think of our lives, but the lives of others around us. We can still play the sport we love, but when it comes down to it, choose your life over the game.

I am here to help you!

Stuck Inside a Maze

Last year I had a dream that I was stuck inside a maze and I was running for my life. The maze was dark and I didn’t know where I was going. Running into dead ends and feeling as though something was going to jump out and get me. I told this dream to a friend of mine and he directed me to pray and ask God to shine light onto the maze and guide me through it.

 


Looking back, I see that is where I was at that point in time of my life. I was trying to figure out what I was doing with my life and felt like I was hitting dead ends and not knowing what God had for me next.

 


I had this dream in December and in February was introduced to the coaching program that would lead me to where I am today! I feel like I am out of the maze! Once I got myself out of the way and let God lead me, he really did lead me out of the maze and onto a path that is lit, open with fresh air and a flower field all around me.

 

This is how I feel now. I feel like I am walking on this path with Jesus. I cannot see far in front of me, but I have a peace and a comfort knowing I am exactly where God wants me to be.

 


I am breathing in the fresh air and feel at peace as to where I am going.

God has a path for you too. Are you getting yourself out of the way and allowing God to take you on the beautiful path he has uniquely made for you?

 


Sometimes we need someone to help us get to the path and direct us to the answers. I am available to you. I am still on a journey and there are times I feel like I am in a maze and have no idea what I am doing, but that is when I know I need to let go and let GOD.

Finding Your Passion

Finding your passion in life can be difficult. As a society there is so much pressure about going to school and getting a job. In there somewhere we are to do what we love but sometimes we don’t know what that is and we throw ourselves into whatever is available to make a buck.

 


I am a huge advocate of doing what you love and pursuing your passions, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I truly discovered what mine was.

 


I went into sports medicine. This, I later realized, was only a portion of my passion. I really enjoy the medical field but I didn’t fully come alive when I was in it. For a while I was going through the motions because I had been so far in.

 


I think it is important to get out of your ordinary, take a retreat somewhere and revisit what your dreams are. What you are passionate about.

 


For me I had to go on an 11 month Christian mission trip to figure it out. I took myself out of the comforts of America and went to 11 third world countries. I lived with the minimum, slept in a tent for 5 months, slept in bunk beds, on the floor. Took many cold showers, ate rice and rice and more rice, couldn’t go anywhere by myself, took very crowded transportation whether it be a bus or tuk tuk, carried all my belongings in a backpack. And I wouldn’t trade those 11 months for anything!

Crowded bus in Guatemala on the World Race

Crowded bus in Guatemala on the World Race

 

During those months I was pushed beyond what I thought was my limit. Drawn out of my comfort zone, and I grew in ways I could never have imagined. In ways I would have never grown if I didn’t step out in faith and do the unthinkable. This is where I discovered my passion and saw myself really come alive when I was doing peer to peer mentorship, walking my peers through challenges and rejoicing with them during accomplishments.

 


I’m not saying you need to go on an 11 month trip to figure out your passion. (but I’m biased and would say YES DO IT if the opportunity came up!) I’m saying you need to take a day or two or even a few hours to sit and really ponder your life and dream outside of the box! Don’t put a lid on your dreams!

 


If you need help figuring out just what it is that gives you life, that brings you joy, that you have a strong desire and passion for, I am here for you. I have been on the journey and I want to help others on their journey

South Africa on top of Table Mountain during the World Race

South Africa on top of Table Mountain during the World Race

Support Crew

When you are going through a struggle, transition, or life decision, it is important to have support. Life is hard to go alone. Looking back on my life, I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my parents, family, and friends. You need people in your corner cheering you on, especially when things are tough and you feel like giving up.

 


I know. I have been there…

 


When I was a sophomore in college I went on a snowboarding trip up to Big Bear with some friends. It was President’s Day weekend and so many people had the same idea to go to the mountains. I have been snowboarding since I was 12 years old so this was nothing new to me. I decided to go fast on a certain part of the mountain because I had done this so many times before. BUT I caught an edge and went flying through the air. When I finally landed I tumbled with my snowboard still strapped to me and when I finally came to a stop I was about 20 feet from where I had started. I was laying face up on the snow in shock as to what just happened. When I went to push myself up, I could feel the bone in my upper arm move back and forth, not in a place they are supposed to. I had broken my humerus completely in half (and no it was NOT funny). I had also strained tendons and muscles in my hips and was unable to walk without assistance. This was the beginning of a 3 month journey in a cast, brace after brace, a bone growth stimulator, visiting the doctor almost every week.

I was in the beginning of the second semester of my sophomore year in college and had to miss 2 weeks of school because I couldn’t walk to class and was so uncomfortable and unable to sleep. I stayed at my parents for those 2 weeks and my mom had to help me out of bed.


I was in school to become an athletic trainer, which is a very hands-on major and I was not able to do much. My dominate hand is my right and that is the arm I broke so I had to take tests with my left and it looked as though a small child had wrote it.


I thought about dropping out of school because my grades were declining due to my lack of attendance and inability to do assignments.

 


It all hit me hard.

 


At one point in my clinical I started to cry. I had tried to hold it all together, but my reality was not looking great and I was afraid I wasn’t able to pursue my dream of athletic training because of this injury.


I broke down.
Thankfully my professor was very understanding and loving and she wrapped her arms around me and told me it was okay to cry. That I had been through a lot and I had every right to be frustrated, but that I had the love and support of my classmates, professors, friends and family. Everyone was rooting for me. They encouraged me and directed me to seek God in my time of complete turmoil.


Looking back I don’t think I would have been able to finish the semester and graduate in 4 years without the support of so many around me. I had people praying for me, I had people to talk to about my struggles, and my parents drove 2 hours one way to my school to make sure I was ok.


The situation was really hard at the time, but someone once told me “This is only a fraction of your life and will not last forever.” And they were right. This was now 8 years ago and so much has happened from then until now.


During this struggle it was awful and I hated it, but now I see the fruit and the purpose of it all. God is using something bad and turning it into good. My broken arm was the reason I became interested in physical therapy because I had to go for my rehabilitation. And now it is the reason I can connect with many athletes and patients because I have been in their shoes. I know what it’s like to have a debilitating injury, to become depressed and feel like there is no hope, but to come out on the other side with redemption and hope for my amazing and bright future. That time of my life was only a fraction and has helped me to become the woman I am today.


It is so important to have support during a time like this and it gives me such joy to be able to be that support for others as I have had in my own life. Many people have told me they feel comfortable talking with me, because I am able to relate with them. I believe God allowed for this to happen because He knew I would be able to help many of His children walk through similar situations and be love and support to them when they may not have anyone else in their life to do so.

The Journey

There is no doubt that God has his hand on my life. Ever since I was a little girl I have been positive, encouraging, and joyful. I have always given people the benefit of doubt and see the good in them. I believe in people. I believe they can be the best they can be, but sometimes people need a little push and help to be guided in the right direction.

I have a passion of empowering people to pursue what they are passionate about, but first helping them figure out what that is. It’s a journey to figure out what your purpose is in life and how you are to add value to this world.

Here is my journey that got me to where I am today…

Starting at the age of 10 I joined a soccer program. In junior high I played all the sports offered at my school. In high school I discovered my deep love for volleyball and played year round. I enrolled in a sports medicine class and assisted the Athletic Trainer at football games. I loved this world of sports and athletics.

In college, I decided (with the persuasion of some) to declare a nursing degree. I was one semester in and the realization hit me that I do not enjoy hospitals. How was I ever going to make it through clinical? I then thought back to the days in high school when I was in a sports medicine class and absolutely loved it! I declared a Kinesiology, Athletic Training major and that is what I graduated with. Months later I took the state boards and became a certified athletic trainer.

I began thinking I should become a physical therapist so I worked at a PT clinic while taking prerequisites for PT school. When it came time to apply to graduate school, the odds were not in my favor. I didn’t get into a single school and 2 schools lost my paperwork! I have never heard of that happening! I had planned out the next 3 years of my life. Now what was I going to do?

God had other plans…

The opportunity to go on an 11 month Christian mission trip fell into my lap and doors flung wide open for this. I knew this is what God had in mind for this next year. During our training camp for this 11 month endeavor, I felt God tell me that I was going to be a leader. I didn’t know what he meant until the next day I was asked to be a team leader of 6 other women. This position was given to me for the first 4 months of the trip. I learned so much about myself, and what it looks like to be a servant and humble leader. I was put in a position to encourage and empower others, which I loved to do! Month 5 I was asked to lead our larger group of 40 people and be a squad leader. In this position I was challenged and grew in ways I had never thought I would. I planned debriefs and leadership development weekends, spoke in front of 40+ people multiple times, gave talks about different topics, did peer to peer mentorship, had some of the hardest conversations with individuals about what they were struggling with and encouraging them to push through. I was pulled out of my comfort zone and I do not regret any part of it.

Looking back I see God’s hand in this journey. He has placed the passion on my heart to be a coach for athletes. Since I have been around athletes, and am one myself, I see what happens when they are injured, or retiring, or their career as an athlete of the sport they have put so much time and effort into is done. I want to come alongside them and empower them to live a life of passion and purpose by exploring other areas of their life. There is so much more to an athlete than the sport they play.

God gave me the love for sports. He placed me in the sports medicine class in high school. He redirected me to become an athletic trainer. He placed me on the World Race in a leadership position. And he did all of this in preparation for what he now wants me to do, and that is being a coach for athletes! I am excited for this journey that is only just beginning!

My favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
God had a straight path for me all along. It just took me a couple times to surrender and allow him to lead me on it.

In Honduras on the World Race

In Honduras on the World Race