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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Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back From Being a David In a World Filled With Goliath’s


There is an old saying that people don’t change.  I strongly disagree with that though.  People can and do change!  Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse but we all change.  Sudden change can be hard, but oftentimes it’s necessary to become a better version of ourselves.  This has been something weighing heavily on me lately.   I am changing into a better version of me because of my faith.  Old parts of me are dying.  Praise God for that because they were things I didn’t always like about myself.  Like the prayer “Lord empty me of me so I can be filled with you.”  It’s referring to the sinful parts of ourselves, not us as a whole.  God doesn’t want us to be a different person. He made us and created us, but the sinful parts of us need to go.

I’m finding the courage to navigate a newer side of myself that wants to be bolder in my faith.  Like writing these blog posts.  The human-ness in us wants to be accepted and liked.  Sadly, writing about God isn’t always popular, so we tend to shy away from talking about it or writing about it.  Then one day God grabs you and shakes you and says wake up!  So the groggy eyed Nicole got up every morning during Lent and spent the first part of the morning sipping hot coffee (because it’s early! DUH!), praying and doing devotionals.  There’s a funny thing that happens the more you pray…it makes you want to pray MORE!  God fills those empty parts of you with all HIS goodness and love and you start to feel whole and loved and happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happy person by nature but this feeling is something even more, and it literally fills you to the brim!  Lent had a profound effect on me this year.  Holy week tore me up, spit me out and made me radiantly new.

Yesterday morning I was in the middle of a devotion and felt drawn to write something down.  I grabbed my prayer notebook and wrote.  What’s funny is this post is actually one I’ve been wanting to write for a few weeks but the words always evaded me.  I knew when the time was right, it would come to me.  These next few paragraphs in Italics are what I wrote. Word for word.  I pray that they reach someone and speak to you in a way they did to me as I sat in prayer.  As I finished writing, right at the minute I had to wake up my girls, I set my notebook down and had such a sense of peace about it and knew this post was ready.

Do not be prideful that you lack the ability to change because of fear. Fear of people looking at you differently.  Fear of losing old “friends” whom live a different sort of life than the one God intended for us.  Fear of being seen as different.  

It’s just like when someone changes their food choices in a permanent way.  For instance… just because the old you would drive through McDonalds, but the new you wouldn’t dream of it!  You don’t stress much about making the change because you know it’s better for you.  You feel better for these changes so you keep at it.  Spiritual changes are no different.  Getting rid of old sinful ways, like bad food choices, will improve your life.  You start to feel better!  God never promised that it’d be easy.  Jesus said “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”  Mark 8:34  That cross led to eternal peace and happiness in Heaven.

Think of it like this, when going to a party many times when following a Paleo diet there aren’t many food choices.  It can be awkward and difficult to navigate the buffet and stick to your lifestyle.  We don’t want to be embarrassed by being different or make the host feel bad, but we stick to our diet anyway.  Why?  Because even though the food may taste amazing at that moment you know that deterring means you’ll feel awful later.  Just like sin.  It might feel good at the moment but later on the guilt, the shame and the hurt hit you and you feel awful.  

So why is it so difficult to stick to your beliefs as a Christian?  If you can do the hard work for your health, make the hard choices, and stick to your guns by not eating unhealthy foods, why is it so hard to stick to your Christian beliefs?  Your spiritual life is on the line.  Eternity, not just the time you’re here on this earth.  It is hard to make changes and be a new person on your quest for a close relationship with the Lord.  We’re human and we fail often.  But we’re not defeated in that sin, we need only go to God for true forgiveness.  Just like with food.  One day we may indulge and eat something we know isn’t the best choice, but it doesn’t mean we totally give up and go back to our old ways.  We start again at the next meal and do better.  

Say for instance you realize you may partake in some sort of activity that you know is wrong. Whether it’s drinking in excess, gossiping, premarital sex, drugs, cussing, etc., and your friends are used to you doing these things, or they do these things.  How do you go about changing this cycle and telling them that isn’t who you are anymore?  There is a massive fear of being rejected for these changes.  MAKE THE CHANGES ANYWAY.  Do it for yourself, your happiness, your inner peace, and your eternal destiny.  

If your friends are true friends they will love you and support you through the changes and when you become the new you.  If they abandon you, make fun of you, or challenge you then maybe it’s time to look for some new friends.  Be willing to be the one that stands out from the crowd for your faith. Be brave!  

David stood up to Goliath because he knew God was on his side.  God is on your side too.  Be a David in a society filled with Goliaths.  After all, we all know what happened to Goliath.  

In High School I was once called “one of those God freaks”.  I blurted out before I knew what I was saying “No, I’m not!” but then instantly regretted saying it.  I didn’t get a chance to defend myself because the kids (one of them was supposedly a friend), walked off laughing.  It’s been 19 years and I still remember that moment.  It’s high time I quit living that way, denying my love of God by being private about it, and start being brave to show that I love God.  I’m working hard to be a better person and change into a better version of me.

I pray that if you know this feeling too, you look inside and find the strength to be brave and be a David.  I’m not suggesting being pushy with your faith.  What I am saying is to not be afraid to be the new you.  Be the you that tries hard to avoid sin, even when everyone you’re surrounded by is doing it.  Don’t be afraid to divert a conversation that you know is heading in a bad direction.  Don’t be afraid to turn down that extra drink, that date that you know only wants one thing, or suggesting a different music station.  Be you.  Unapologetically you.

Changing Things Up a Bit on PaleoHope


It’s a good thing I don’t get paid to blog because I’d be broke.   I’m not good at being consistent with it.  I can go for months without posting then post three times in a week.  I love that I have the freedom to write or create when it hits me though.  So, I’m thankful this is a hobby and not a job.

What have I been up to the last few months then that has kept me away from my blog?  Well, a lot of stuff.  Nothing earth shattering to keep me away this long except for the simple fact that my life is evolving.  I’ve been struggling with how to write with what’s on my heart when what people expect to read here is recipes and health related articles. With that being said, I haven’t hidden the fact that my blog name is not just Paleo but also Hope-as in “Hope in God in all things”.  I’ve been feeling the urge in my heart to write more about this side of it.

I am guessing I will turn some people away with my writing about God…that’s ok with me.  I will not deny Him (Matthew 10:33).  That’s the cool part about writing your own blog, you can write about whatever YOU want and if people read it, awesome!  If they don’t, that’s fine too.  I write not just for others but also as a form of release and creativity for myself.


I’ve struggled with how to go about adding posts that are strictly about God when this blog isn’t just about religion/faith.  The more I pray though and the more I read the bible, the less complicated it seems.  I need to not worry what others think and do what is right for me.  I have many doubts in myself…I’m not a theologian, I don’t know the bible front to back, I don’t know a lot!  I’m a sinner, I’ve been broken, and yet I remind myself…we all are.  Maybe, just maybe the words I type will reach someone in a way they need and God will use me as his vessel to help someone.  Even one person.  That is enough for me to push on and type without fear.

I can’t tell you how many posts I will write in a month and how many of those will be about food, health or God, because like I said above I am not very consistent with it.  But what I can tell you is that I will be writing more about my faith and if that’s not something you want to read about then that’s ok.  You can choose to keep following my blog and only read the Paleo type posts or you can choose to unfollow.  I have a heart for God and I have been feeling an intense calling to share some reoccurring thoughts so expect that soon.

I’ve taken a big step back from some things in my life in order to spend more time in prayer.  If you follow me on Instagram and noticed a drop in my posting there, that is why.  It is easy to get drawn into social media and forget the things in our life that really matter most.  The people in front of me, time spent with God, my calling to be first a wife and a mother.  PaleoHope is NOT my main priority.   There are times I have to check my pride when it comes to Instagram.  Seeing how many likes a picture received, how many followers I have, etc. at all hours of the day.  I realized that is not a feeling I enjoy.  My worth is not dependent on any of that.  It’s fun to interact but I have to make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons and not for my own glory.   So for now, I leave you with this:

He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4

Food alone does not sustain me or fulfill me, and my blog will be a more true reflection of my life from here on out.  I pray that God blesses you in many ways today.

What’s Up Wednesday #5


Crazy to think November is here already!  Even better that by the time you read this the election will be over and all the horrible mud slinging too.  It is utterly painful to listen to the radio and all the ads. Almost all of them highly inappropriate for young children to hear.  Even Instagram is flooded with ads about it.  I cannot wait for the election to be over!

God bless America. We need it.

I switched this post to every other week.  Things have been crazy busy here and it allows me to really focus on giving you guys great content!  No fluff!  Since the last post, Halloween happened.  My kids aren’t huge candy eaters, but they still love to go trick-or-treating.  My solution to all this newly acquired garbage, I mean candy, was to trade them their bag of candy for a high quality chocolate bar.  My girls were thrilled and so was I!

I dressed up as a scarecrow. First time in years I dressed up. Halloween just isn’t my jam.

Last weekend we hosted my oldest daughters volleyball team for a slumber party!   A group of ten year old girls and their teen coaches came over to eat, play, and spend the night.  I made a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes to buy all the food.  It was a make-your-own pizza night!  The party wasn’t strict Paleo but I kept it fairly clean and it was all gluten free.


Here’s a run down of all the food and toppings:

Pizza’s

  • Trader Joe’s gluten free frozen pizza crusts.  They come in a two pack and have super clean ingredients!  At only $3.69 a pack it’s a steal too!
  • Muir Glen organic pizza sauce.  My personal fave aside from homemade!
  • Organic shredded mozzarella, quattro famaggio, and white cheddar cheeses from Trader Joes.
  • Nitrate free pepperoni
  • Ground pastured pork sausage
  • Uncured Bacon
  • Natural black olives
  • Sautéed organic mushrooms
  • Sautéed organic bell peppers
  • Diced Pineapple

Snacks and Desserts

  • Organic snap peas, grape tomatoes, and baby carrots
  • Organic grapes and bananas
  • Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil potato chips
  • Skinny Pop
  • Trader Joes Gluten Free Brownie Mix made with a dairy free, berry cream cheese swirl
  • Rice Krispy Treats made with organic rice puffs, marshmallows from Whole Foods, and ghee.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-this recipe will be on the blog soon!

Breakfast

  • Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin Mix
  • Trader Joes Gluten Free Pumpkin pancake mix.  The girls got to create their own design with this.  I put the batter into a squirt bottle and let them have at it on the griddle.  Served them with real maple syrup.
  • Breakfast sausage links
  • Eggs from our chickens, made however they wanted.
  • Organic strawberries and blackberries

TREATS!

My girls had a fog day off school yesterday.  I looked up how to arm knit to give my kids something fun to do!  If you suffer from adrenal fatigue or are going through a lot of stress, then try taking up knitting or crocheting.  It’s been proven to help reduce stress and heal from adrenal fatigue.  NO excuses either, you can look up videos on youtube or take a class somewhere.  Then you’re also left with a beautiful project you created!  My girls and I all made scarves and I love them!  I think we are going to make a bunch for Christmas presents.  Here’s the link to the video we used.

Our new arm knit scarves

That’s it for this week.  I will leave you with this… No matter who you voted for or how you feel about Donald Trump having won the election, the most important thing we can do now is support ALL our fellow Americans.  Many are celebrating and many are grieving.  Give love to all.  Pray for all our newly elected government officials to serve our country well.  Have faith that God’s plan is greater than anything we can imagine.  FAITH. HOPE. LOVE.