My Hope Warrior Interview From Flare Up Hope


I am so honored and humbled that the beautiful, Jacklyn from Flare Up Hope asked to interview me for her Hope Warriors section of her site.  Here’s the link to the post to read it!

She asked really great questions!  EX: What do you remember most about the day you were diagnosed? Looking back, if you could tell yourself one thing about the diagnosis you were about to receive, what would it be?     What has been the best thing that has happened so far that would not have happened if you did not have your chronic illness?      You’re in the waiting room about to leave after a follow up visit with your doctor. Someone else is in the waiting room and they were just diagnosed with a chronic disease. They catch your eye and then ask you “How do I get through this?” What do you say?   As well as a list of rapid fire questions!

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Hope Warrior- Nicole

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When God Is Silent But The Silence Is Deafening


There has been a resounding theme to the podcasts, devotions, Bible readings, and homilies I’ve been exposed to lately…hearing God in the silence.  Over and over from multiple sources I keep hearing/reading that God speaks to us most clearly in a still, small voice, in the silence.  Here’s the thing, I KNOW THIS!  I have experienced it often and it’s utterly magnificent!  But lately, the silence is deafening.

God has been silent recently and the silence is wearing me down.  I know what to do.  To persevere through it by continuing to pray, spending time with God and receiving the sacraments. But that doesn’t guarantee that God will automatically be vocal again.

Sometimes God is silent to teach us and help us grow spiritually.  It can help magnify things about ourselves that need to change.  If we allow it, we learn to lean into Him even more BECAUSE He is silent.  We learn to place our trust even more in Him.  We learn to wait with patience, a virtue.  We learn humility by realizing that it’s not our own strength that we get by, but God alone.

I have been struggling this last month with being in silence.  I tell myself to listen for God’s voice.  I try to quiet the noises in my head, but then things bubble up that I don’t want to hear.  See, the devil likes to trick us and tell us lies that aren’t true. For a moment I start to believe him.  I pause, recognize it’s him and say a prayer to not believe the lies of the evil one.  But the silence is still too much for me to bear.

I have unanswered prayers that each day seem to grow further away and the heartache of it makes me want to shut it out.  THIS IS PRECISELY THE MOMENT I AM MEANT TO LEAN INTO IT.  Let the pain, the hurt, the confusion of it all just pour out.  Give it all to Jesus, because He understands our pain.  He died on the cross to bear our pained be one with us.   Do you ever have those moments where the flood gates open and the tears flow like a river?  You cry, begging God to answer your prayer.  Lately my prayers have even gone something like this “God, please just tell me if the answer is no!  Just help me to understand so I can let it go!”.  Silence.  Deafening silence.  I wipe my tears and let the pain sit for awhile and feel it.

There is a saying I hear often that I never quite understood until recently…  “Offer it up!” It just never made sense to me.  Until now.  Now I get it.  I have to learn to truly offer up my suffering to become more in union with Jesus’ suffering on the cross.  We all have our  own, different, crosses to bear.  I’m getting there, I’m slowly learning to ‘offer it up’ and unite my suffering with Jesus’.  I can be a slow learner at times.  Thankfully God is patient, especially when I am not.  Sometimes, silence is the best answer to my prayer of “Just tell me if the answer is no!” because it’s hope that maybe, just maybe, the answer is “yes, my child.  Be patient because the answer is yes, but you aren’t ready yet and I am making a way for you.”

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.  Romans 12:12

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What’s Up Wednesday #7


I-am-on-a-roll!  Ok, maybe not totally…but two posts in a month, yay me!  I don’t know about you, but summer flew by way too fast!  My kids start school in less than two weeks. I’m still on summer vacation mode and trying to squeeze out every last bit of summer I can with my family.  In the last 6 days we have been to a dairy farm and the zoo!  I made it a goal of mine to do at least one “field trip” a week with them this summer; as well as attend Mass at least once a week on a weekday.  I think for the most part we succeeded!

A few days ago I dove into a lifelong goal of mine to read the whole Bible in less than a year.  Pinterest didn’t fail me with a quick search for a Catholic one year Bible challenge. I’m three days in and about 4 days ahead.  While I’d love to be an overachiever and get it read in 6 months, I know life happens so I’m giving myself grace.  Anyone up for joining me in this challenge?  If so, comment below and we can support each other!

Gardening updates…Our garden is still thriving!  After figuring out the proper way to cut basil and keep it from going to seed, my basil plant has just exploded and I couldn’t be happier about that!  I have been making pesto like crazy and freezing it in silicone ice cube trays.  Zucchini chips keep my dehydrator running all the time but oddly every time I go to eat some 4 other little hands have already inhaled them all.  I’ll take that as a mom win.   My tomatoes are still green, but getting huge!  Our watermelons are getting bigger by the minute and we will have enough to feed a small army!  The acorn squash are nearly the size of my head but not quite ready for picking (still not golden inside (we checked a few)).  I have so many cucumbers that I started making cucumber and fresh mint infused water, with my berkey water, in a glass pitcher. So good!


Lastly for this week…I started reading the book Woman Code.  My hormones have always been a battle for me.  After I had my second daughter I was diagnosed with endometriosis.  Though I’m positive I had it many years before that.  Three years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and recently through self research I’m pretty sure I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).  So you can say it’s been a battle.  I’ll be making an appointment with my doc very soon to further discuss all of it.  Back to the book Woman Code, it’s been highly recommended by many people for anyone suffering with hormonal imbalances or a desire to keep your hormones healthy!  Something I didn’t realize until the last few months was that PMS is in fact NOT normal despite common knowledge that it is.  Women shouldn’t have to suffer these symptoms just because people say it’s normal.  IT’S NOT.


Expect to hear more from me as I dig into more research these next few months on the hormone topics!  I started charting my basal body temperature for more info my body can give me for free (minus the $10 BBT thermometer)!  Also, if you suffer from PCOS and haven’t checked out Janny Organically then you’re missing out!  Get over there and read this article she wrote that is so in depth and helpful!  I plan on printing off a bunch of it to bring to my doc appt.


Until next time…may God’s blessings rain down upon you like springtime showers.

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What’s Up Wednesday #6


It’s been way too long (like almost a year *palm to face*) since I’ve done a What’s Up Wednesday post!  Zero excuses for it.


Currently my garden is just pumping out the goodness!  Mostly zucchini. Probably because we planted a zillion of them.  I’ve been giving them away and finding ways to preserve and use them.  Zucchini bread=check. I came up with a recipe for the bread that used the pecan pulp from the milk I made.  It was SO good too!  Look for it on the blog soon!  Zucchini chips in the dehydrator=check.  Zucchini cut, steamed, and frozen for smoothies=check!  Zucchini noodles aka zoodles=check.  Zucchini sautéed in olive oil=check check check.  Zucchini fritters=check.


I’ve been getting an overload of cucumbers too!  My fave way to eat them is with grape tomatoes and my balsamic vinaigrette.


We’ve had a garden the last two years but this is the first year that I’ve been really enjoying it!!  I put in my earbuds, crank up a podcast (currently addicted to Do Something Beautiful by Leah Darrow on iTunes), and pull weeds till my back might break.  All while my chickens follow me around or I chase them away from the tomatoes.


Last Saturday my oldest daughter (11) entered the 4H bake-off at our County Fair.  It was her first year entering and she was so nervous!  Thankfully we have some really sweet, neighbor girls that have done it before and gave her all sorts of pointers.  She has to bring literally every-single-thing to make the cookies expect the oven.  She got started, we looked on and then I turned to my husband and said “OH No! She forgot the coconut oil!”  I stood back and watched as she so brilliantly thought to add extra honey.  The contest lasts an hour and when she I was finished she brought us some cookies to try.  They were perfect!!  Talk about proud mom moment!!  She got her results Monday…BLUE RIBBON!


Oh and the cookies she made were totally Paleo. For anyone who hasn’t tried gluten free baking, it’s tricky!!  Not very forgiving like wheat flour is.  Here’s the recipe she used for Uber Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These are a huge family favorite!

Product I’m digging right now… MuffinElse Paleo muffin mixes!  These little babies are so delicious!  But what’s really cool about them is they are individual packets that you pour into a mug, add water and microwave.  So simple, so good, all Paleo!  They also came out with a pancake mix that looks amazing!  I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite flavor because they are all THAT good.  And FYI, I don’t endorse products that I don’t also use and love.

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