The Story of Safety in Death

I want to share something that Jesus showed me that I feel a little protective of. I simply typed. It’s unedited. In sharing this I’m not implying that the road ahead is going to be easy. I’m very much grieving and hurting. However the healing has so much more power than the grief now!

I always thought it was a little “unique” that when I saw Heaven in my mind it was from a child’s view. The vision I’ve had has always been me as a child playing with the other children who have died. There is a silver swing set with ivy growing on it. Off in the distance are all of the adults around a table feasting.

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I’ve also thought it to be odd that I had a deep sense of wanting others to be saved. Even as a child before I had become a Christian, I would try to evangelize my friends. There was a deep desire to belong to Jesus and go to church. For years I would dream of being a “church person”.

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Recently in weekly therapy I was asked about my testimony. I found that I couldn’t articulate it as I once had been able to. I found myself growing angry and embarrassed as the details swirled into a messy concoction of “WAIT A SECOND! AM I EVEN SAVED?”

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Then I went to a different type of counseling and for the very first time I got to SPEAK my story in it’s entirety from start to finish. Not only were the beautiful parts shared but the ugly,the sin,the heartbreak,the beautiful,the redemption,and so much more! For the first time in my 31 years of living I was able to be myself and I was ACCEPTED. I was completely BELIEVED and SAW in a way no one has ever validated me before. It was a huge breakthrough for me. I in a physical,spiritual,and emotional way broke right in that tiny office with a friend and a complete stranger my my side.My body felt all at the same time both the agony of suffering and the freedom of not having to carry this weight alone anymore. I thought this was the most extreme experience I could possibly go though…

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Having the bondage broken of being raped at age 3 and forced by threat of death to preform sex acts at age 15 was in fact powerful. I do not want to gloss over this fact. I simply don’t have words enough to convey what it was to hear the words(I can’t remember word for word) “Nicci, I believe you. You didn’t want what you were forced to do. He hurt you. He took something from you.”

The first picture is me around 15.

My 15 year old self had to show up to youth group the next evening after being violated. Her friends having heard part of the story from the guy wouldn’t stop talking about it. They thought it was my fault…it wasn’t. When I say the bondage that has been locked in those secrets, was released..this isn’t something I’m saying without great feeling of resurrection of Christ’s power over my life. But. The story doesn’t end there!

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Jesus in a prayer showed me that little 3 year old Nicci died when she was raped. Not at all because she was bad or did something wrong did she enter into her eternal safety. He took her away to protect her. He loved her so much! He delights in her/me and still loves me. Nothing can or will separate us! Her body laid on the bed and went on with life but her spirit was forever saved and safe in her home in heaven. He showed me the play set,the children who had also died,he showed me His love for me and His church, and everything I needed to see to know He did this to protect me. I was His and was always going to be His! Sure getting baptized and choosing was a great opportunity but I was placed with the other children who lost their lives young too. Jesus is freedom! Jesus is pure love. Jesus is nothing at all like the damning to hell if you screw up vision I had of Him because of false teaching/skewed views. He is full of strength and power to defeat evil in our lives but also loving and full of grace to to provide coverage for where we trip and fall. He knows our full story…and yet He still reaches His hand out to us. All we have to do is take His hand into our own! Jesus is safe. He will never ever hurt us. He is our protector. He is everything!

He is my king!

Walmart is just Walmart

Looking around there were moms of every type. Thin moms,heavy moms,pregnant moms,quiet moms,and very very loud moms. There I was the only “Just a babysitter”. All of the moms seemed wealthy to me. Perhaps my perception was off because of my own financial situation or because of the area of town I found myself in. Whatever the case may be I felt intimidated. Instantly no matter the fact my homemade dress would cost $80- $100. Forget the fact I’ve been taking care of children longer than some of these mothers. I felt less than like I was not worthy of loving these little children in my care. Of course that isn’t the truth because the truth is that you can love and care deeply on so many levels. It’s what we(I) was created to do. There is no separate category for keeping little people safe physically,emotionally,and spiritually.

I am someone who notices peoples clothing. Not particularly interested in fashion but rather deeply intrigued by what people choose to wear. Colors excite me and shapes,lines,and forms are visually pleasing. I notice and take note of how someone puts their outfit together.

I haven’t crafted the art of flawless organizing a look into the perfect puzzle pieced picture yet.

There was a mom there that looked so beautiful. Not a hair out of place. The rich color of her jeans contrasted the white sweater she was wearing. I thought she needed to go have her picture taken she just screamed “rich house wife spending the morning with her kid.” Her sweater was the cutest sweater ever an I wanted to compliment her on it. Unfortunately my brain distorted reality enough and had told me “Nicci you can’t talk to her. She knows you’re just the babysitter. She’ll be polite but you’ll be annoying her. Plus you couldn’t afford that sweater anyway. She’ll know that and you’ll know that and you’ll look like a fake. Just go do what you’re paid to do and be quiet.”

I never did talk to her. I wonder now if I wouldn’t have let lies get in the way if I would have brightened her day?

The next day I went grocery shopping at Walmart. Being the seeker of visual beauty I stopped by the clothing section. I wanted to see what was hanging in the rows and rows all color organized. Ah it truly is satisfying to see organized color. I went over to the clearance section and do you know what I saw? Yes….that perfectly white with ruffles on the sleeves sweater! My jaw dropped. That woman’s sweater was $12..$12 people! Not $50,$80,or $150. She shopped at Walmart just like I do.

In that moment I re realized no one was better or worse than me. Walmart is Walmart and you can be rich or poor and still wear same outfit without anyone knowing. My low self esteem had only hurt myself by holding me back from expressing the words I wanted to say,the connection we as humans need,and even possibly making a new friend. I may “just be the babysitter” or “not have a full time job” but just like a sweater from Walmart is a sweater from Walmart so is a poopy diaper a poopy diaper and living life is living life. We are all just people and we all have value.

Who are we to…

In today’s society we the church are facing some things that feel uncomfortable to us. We are all too tempted to to draw the lines of “us vs. them” before we ever take the time to know who “them” is. We forget that nothing is new under the sun and we are not seeing anything that the church throughout history has not seen. 

I’d like to caution that we do not wrap ourselves up with holy bubble wrap in attempt to protect ourselves and our children from “the world”. Certainly let us set healthy boundaries when needed but before boundaries are set,opinions formed,or fear enveloped let us first educate,have conversations,and seek truth. 

What I see in the Bible is a King Jesus that came to earth as a human. He experienced life just as we do. He had disappointments,fears,joys,and relationships. I saw my king eat with tax collectors,be washed by a prostitute, fellowship with a complainer,love a murderer,and die for me…with the struggles I don’t even talk about. 

What can we learn from our king Jesus and his life here on earth? Do you think He’d avoid the grocery line with the transgender cashier? Would he refuse to allow the adulterer into His home? When he saw the homeless on the street did he look away and say “That person is on drugs. My hard earned money isn’t going to them. I’ll find someone more worthy!” What I see from the Word of God is that ALL mankind was created in the very image of God Himself. I see that our king laid down His sinless life not only for those that tried their best to honor Him but for those that blatantly mocked Him. When I see people that are different than me I try though I admit I fail too at times, to see who Jesus sees. 

 I don’t think we are going to show people who are stuck or struggling with sin a serving Jesus or a loving Father by being critical or denying love to those around us. Who are we to pick and choose who is worthy to be in relationship with? Wasn’t it our Jesus that said we were to be salt and light to the world? Wasn’t it commanded to go into all of the world bringing His good news. Much more fun and  attention getting are the trips around the world (needed and vital if called) but I can’t help but wonder if our mission field right in our own communities is of more urgent matters. I’m talking right in our churches then moving outward to the grocery stores,the streets,and wherever God leads us. 

I don’t see a whole lot of distinctions made between different types of sin. When we are willing to commune at the table with the local gossip that looks like we do but refuse to even make eye contact with someone in the Lgbt community we are in fact the very type of individual our king Jesus spoke strongly against. Hypocrites in the sin balance. 

How would our relationships change if we knew what each person in our own fellowship truly struggled with? Would we draw those same lines or would we have compassion and love ? I think we’d walk along side of them as we all prayed diligently and sought truth. I propose that we extend that same love,those same fall on your face prayers,and seek in relationship with the world around. It really doesn’t have to be an “us and them” kind of life that we live. Instead it could be a life of growing,learning,seeking,and sharing together as we figure out life together guided by the Spirit. Remember Brothers and Sisters that you too whether raised in a Christian home or not were once outside of the kingdom and it is ONLY by the love and mercy of God that you were saved. Don’t think too highly of yourself because the word says pride comes before the fall. Stand strong in the truth but remember that Jesus looks at you with the Sam eyes that He see those around you.

Gift

Thank you Father for not allowing me to stagnant any longer in Ohio. Thank you for forcing me to move so I could be walking with you again! I only know what the earth to heaven relationship with is like. With the separation of the physical aspects of your love removed. It is powerful and all consuming! I can only imagine what it will be like…in eternity with any limitations gone forever! Maybe today Jesus…maybe it could be today that you choose to take us home! I’ll be waiting and watching…

Gluttony and the Ant

A story for you!
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For a couple of days now I’ve noticed random ants in my apartment. Big,black ants. They’ve been on my floor,in my sink,and on any dishes I didn’t get taken care of. I’ve cleaned and cleaned and cleaned! Perplexed by these ants that were not like any ants I’ve seen before, today I finally bought something to kill them with. Only one problem….I couldn’t find any ants this afternoon. “Where did my ants go? Did I imagine them? Did I just dream them up?”
I went to organize my fruit bowl only to discover where all of my ants had gone! There nestled in the juicy,sweet,fruit were dozens of now dead ants. They had enjoyed the merriment of the life of gluttony and now have paid for their indulgences with their life.
I had to wonder about the parallel between my own gluttony and these giant ants. Ants are known to be diligent workers and strong yet perhaps in this scenario not so wise! How much am I like these ants when I choose to binge? I work,work,work! I work to serve in my jobs.I work to help others. I work on my nutrition. I workout in the gym. I work to have a good mindset. I am working hard! I’m no longer the grasshopper that wasted his summer away only to be found desperately hindered come the winter. Yet in all of my hard work I allow my pride,gluttony,and selfish desires to entrap me for a moment of pleasure, to numb what I don’t want to feel,or in most cases to fill the void that boredom brings. Sweet temptations can turn bitter rather quickly as it begins to rot. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to encase myself in a life that will indulge my pleasure for a moment only to turn on me and take pleasure in my death. I want a life that supports life,peace,and purpose without the fear of when then next binge of failure comes. I don’t want to be found surrounded by cages of my own making but rather by a life well lived. The ants have eaten themselves to death but I refuse to allow myself to be like the ant.

Spilled coffee

No one wakes up in the morning with the hopes that they’ll spill their coffee all over the floor. No one..I mean no one. However as it would go, you clean up the mess,pour a little bit more,and you move on. My life looks nothing like I imagined it to be. It’s far better in a lot of ways. I never imagined that I’d drop out of high school in the 9th grade. I never imagined that joining a “plain” fellowship would be so much cultural work. I never imagined I’d get all of my dreams only to find they weren’t what I wanted at all. I never imagined having to escape an abusive apprenticeship situation. I never imagine that I’d be fired. I never imagined that I’d know what having daily panic attacks was like. The list goes on and if I chose to focus on the negative, I’d be forever stuck allowing “the spilled coffee” to ruin my day. Instead I fill my personal life cup up with the positive. I never imagined that someone would love me even for a little bit. I never imagine that I’d have the opportunity to help weary families. I never imagine that I could love to teach. I never imagined that I’d like to eat vegetables. I never imagined that I’d lose 50 pounds. I’d never imagined that others would look up to me. I never imagined I’d be taking classes in the fitness field. I never imagined so many things but now I imagine my future and it excites me!
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So what are you going to do? Will you stare at the spill coffee on the floor or will you clean up the mess,pour yourself some more,and move on with your day? The cup is in your hands. Only you can take a sip of imagination. No one can do it for you. #imagination #transformation #spilledwords #coffee #future

Things that people that are overweight deal with that people who aren’t overweight don’t know/understand.


1)Needing to use two bath towels or ordering an xl bath towel to be able to completely cover yourself. Only just now are regular towels fitting me!
2)Having your rolls/flaps of skin sweat/smell/stick/get sore. I once got a boil under my belly flap when I was a teenager. So gross and painful! I have a scar from it!
3)Not being able to take care of basic hygiene like clip your toe nails or wipe after going to the bathroom. Not my experience but I have people reach out for help all of the time that have that struggle.
4)Always being afraid that a chair won’t hold your weight. this is still a fear I have.
5)Being asked if your pregnant
6)Never being able to go shopping with your friends for clothes. It’s not fun needing to be in a completely different section of the store or events different store.
7)Being afraid to eat in public because people judge you so instead you wait until you get home and then you binge. Hello eating shouldn’t be only for skinny people! Also food will NEVER fix an emotional need.
8)People assuming that you’re lazy and have no dreams in life. ALL OF THE TIME!
9)Chub rub aka legs rubbing together like two sticks creating the worst hell fire that you can imagine. Such a pain! I personally buy slip shorts.
10)_ comment your own experience.
For myself I didn’t even know the mental weight I was carrying around having to hold on to all of these stigmas,fears,and realities of my own unhealthy life. It wasn’t until I became “Stronger than my excuses” that I could start living my life without most of these things holding me back. This shirt was a gift a size xl. I saw it and mentally thought “Oh bummer I can’t wear that yet.” Because in my mind I still think I’m a size 3x…I’m not. In a good majority of clothes I’m pretty close to an xl! I decided to just try it on IT FIT! Today I want you to try to pick something either from my list of things that mentally hold you back and I want you to make it your goal to bust out of that physical situation so you can be mentally free! Let me know.

Snippet:beauty

thelfiethursday

Recently I had a conversation with someone about our clothing choices. She said something to the effect of that we as women should make the room when we enter more beautiful. We don’t need to be beautiful to draw more attention to ourselves but rather a gift to those who enter. That can be in our physical beauty as well as the beauty we share in hospitality,compassion,or any other trait we possess.
That conversation has stuck in my heart over the past few weeks as I’ve mulled it around. I have a firm conviction that we are to dress in a way that respects ourselves as well as others but this took my thought to a new level. “What if the spaces I enter,I could bring beauty to?”
I can get into a rut of haphazardly getting dressed,forget my sweater,not seeing the need for a coat,and well my hair is in a bun so who cares what it looks like…I’m single and no one wants me anyway. Is that respecting myself? Is that respecting others? Do I make the places I go more beautiful? I’d have to say no. I started trying to be more prepared over the past several days and weeks. Some days more than others. I’ve dressed for success and I’ve seen a huge difference in my attitude. I’ll probably never stop wearing my tennis shoes even if they don’t match and are ugly but they are comfortable and practical. However by being put together I’ve felt beautiful and in return I believe I have made wherever I go a more beautiful place!
What do you think about this thought of women making the spaces they dwell more be?

Worst Year For Some, Best Year For Me

January to January (err…Drcember) 365 days, and many moments that made up the 2020 year. For many, this year will go down in their life history book as the worst year of their lives. With Job cuts, loss of loved ones, and total or partial isolation. 2020 has brought to the forefront of the depravity that our world faces. Even for those of us with a hope in Jesus Christ, there may have been at times an eerie feeling of possible doom up ahead.

2020 will not be marked in my book of life as the worst year of my life. I can say with unshakable certainty that as of this moment when this is being written that 2020 was the best year of my entire existence here on earth!

Sure with the onset of the “big C-corona virus” there were moments of asking myself “what is right? What is true? How do I personally choose to move forward as the world around me is locked inside in fear?” I don’t feel the need to share my conclusion with you all at this time. However, I want to share what 2020 has done in my life.

If you have followed my journey for any length of time, it is no surprise that 2020 has been a year of transformation. I’m January I let go of the strongholds of anger in my life. releasing them from my hold subsequently allowed the chains of being entangled with bondage to slip away! For sure I’ve had to let go over and over again because my fleshy human spirit tries to grab for them once again. The Lord’s goodness and mercy have found me victorious over this sin!

February before the country went into lockdown I attended my fellowships Titus 2 day. This is a day centered around women teaching women. I had not gone out around mixed groups among my fellowship since I was fired and my life crashed. The day was joy-filled and full of peace! One particularly exciting moment for me was being able to fit into a dress that had been so tight before just the July before!

By March we hit lockdown right in time to celebrate my entering into my 29th year of life. It was an enjoyable day with the couple I live with including weight watcher friendly foods. 29 has been very good to me! I can’t wait to see what 30 will hold!

Apr, May, June, and July all seem a little blurry as they say. I’m sure I did things I just don’t know what! I mainly focused on my overall health journey. I found that my sleep cycle has stability, I have mostly joyful days and very few days that I feel down! I wake each morning ready to greet the day because “This is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

I spent the month of August working in Georgia with a family with children that have RAD. This was a tremendous opportunity that opened up further opportunities to return to their home in the future (including right now over Christmas as I write)! I’m thankful to get to do what God has for me and what I love to do. More importantly, I’m thankful for the friendship that can come in unlikely situations.

Returning home I spent September and October focusing on my health journey, I started babysitting a set of adorable twins, and I continued my local RAD work. I must pause to share how thankful I am for the jobs that I have. God has blessed me richly.

November was a highlight as a friend and I took a celebration trip to Florida! I have officially lost 54 pounds and she has lost 70 and is so close to her goal! We did many exciting things that made this trip an absolute celebration. There were two highlights that I must mention! One was a bucket list experience! We got to go Up, Up, Up into the sky on a hot air balloon! We floated over alligator swampland, neighborhoods, saw the sunrise, and even smacked right into a TREE! Truly an experience I’ll never forget! The second was getting to find opportunities for exercise on our trip! We even took a run! I never thought I’d be someone to go running but here I was doing my best! I have a ways to go before it’s a regular activity! I’m proud of both myself and my friend for all of our achievements over 2020!

Here I am at the end of December spending Christmas away from my family for the very first time. Yet I feel right where God wants me. My heart is full of thankfulness for my family understanding and supporting me.

As for the coming of 2021 and my hopes and dreams for the future. I plan to take another year to be singularly focused on my health so I can freely be solidified in good physical, mental, and emotional health! I believe that if I take this journey slow that it will become a permanent fixture and not a fleeting chapter in my life book. I sometimes feel self in my self-focus yet I trust that this is part of the journey and what I need to become fully who God created me to be.

To each of you, my friends, family, support system, and everyone else. I want to thank you for being the steadfast cheerleaders in my transformation inside and out! I’d be lost without every one of you! You all have been beyond good to me in every way!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Nicci Price

Controlled

As we go through life we are going to face a number of emotions. We will celebrate the victories of overcoming a challenge with the emotion of happiness. Find ourselves in shock at the stupidity of the world. Anger is bound to bubble up at injustice. We will laugh at ourselves and with others,and if we’re lucky it’ll be full belly laughs that reach us to the core. Shame will be felt when we sin,harm others,or make a mistake. Sorrow will fill our hearts as we mourn the loss of someone we loved. Emotions are unavoidable and overflowing to every area of our life. We were given each one for a reason. I’m a firm believer in embracing the emotion of the moment but not allowing it to have control over you.

Anger in itself is not wrong.There are a number of reasons a person may become angry. It when we lose control over the emotion we’ve been given or have an emotion that’s oddly positioned it’s where it doesn’t belong that we find a huge problem. A righteous anger can inspire a great deal of positive change. Where as anger from pride can lead to harming others. It’s all in The Who and what is in control.

Let’s look at happiness for a second. What could possibly go wrong with happiness even uncontrolled? Happiness can fill us with the warmest and fuzziest of emotional feelings which leads to emotional health,living life abundantly,and seeking what will produce that over and over again. Happiness can also be manufactured from alcohol,drugs,and unsafe practices. A never ending state of “happy” loses the ability to emphasize with others,feel the depth of the other given emotions,and can give a false sense of security.

I used to ride the roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. In fact I used to get so nauseous from my own yo-yo like emotional state that I regularly wished that I was void of emotions. It would be that in one day I’d be the stereotypical example of a woman feeling every extreme emotion. For me it was very real. That or for a few days I’d be so high on life I was told on multiple occasions that I seemed intoxicated. Then for days and weeks on end I’d be so blue and down that nothing felt right in the world. Likewise others couldn’t relate to this because just the day before everything was peachy! It was not until I realized that we must have control over our emotions and that hormonal imbalances can play a huge role that I was able to find emotional freedom. Most days I wake up happy and ready for the day. I am still a human and I have off days or blue moments but no longer do I wonder if I’ll ever get over the hump of sorrow. It’s because I’ve learned how to have a healthy relationship with my emotions and also have worked long and hard to have hormonal balance.

My encouragement to you is if you find that you are seasick from tossing and turning on the ocean of emotions that you carry, seek guidance on how to control your emotions vs. them control oh you. For myself I did a lot of research,started a health journey,and sought God’s heart. For you it may look different. I bless you in finding the key to embracing with control the emotions that have been given to you!