Time Well Traveled

Here we find ourselves at the end of another year. With God’s abundant grace we have will be given a new year with multiple opportunities. I know for myself this year has been a year of change,growth,and exciting new doors that have opened and some that have closed. I’m not unique in reflecting on the year that has passed. Many blog posts and conversations will be focused on this passage of time. I’d like join in and reflect on the awesomeness of my God in His love and care for me in this past year.

Moody Clouds!

January: I found myself preparing for my newest roommate to move in. Having the privilege to live and work along side Roxy was a joy and blessing.

February: I discovered that although for many many years I valued St. Patrick’s Day as my favorite holiday it actually turns out to be Valentines Day. I wear pink,bought a heart shaped pizza,and my parents sent me beautiful flowers. What more could a woman ask for?!? Alongside my new found favorite holiday, I celebrate in my heart the day I fully came into submission and surrender to my Lord! It fills me with all sorts of large feelings I will never be able to put into words. My life removed from God is worth nothing. That is cause enough to praise His name! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/they-call-me-a-fool-he-calls-me-his-bride/

March: This month was filled with birthday type stuff. I turned 27 and started a new year of life.

April: I boarded a small six passenger airline and headed with a team to Florida to serve at a family healing camp. My heart grew like the Grinches heart grew while I spent time with children and families effected by RAD(Reactivate Attachment Disorder). I would never of called myself a “kid person” sure I love teaching and such but something changed in seeing parents literally fighting for the lives of their children. We are called to care for the widows and children and I can do that by supporting these awesome families that are growing little hearts that have been hurt.

May: The end of a challenging school year ended and honestly I was so thankful! A much needed break was in the horizon. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-god-not-the-amish-romance/

June: Annual meeting was a delight because I got to connect with many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a vision that takes place in my mind when we are gathered around the communion table seeking to do the will of God. We are each humbly waiting for that day that we are one in the consummation of the marriage with Christ!

After annual meeting I packed my bags for a week of Training/working in Canada with a raddlet (kid with RAD). Whew no amount of time would allow me to tell all of the stories. Fear,excitement,drama,smells,and friendship blooming we’re all words I’d use. Originally I was planning on heading to Georgia for about a month but the child needed different care so I headed home with a switch of plans.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/passport-prayer/

July: This was the most boring,lonely,horrible month ever. On the tail of the disappointment of lost opportunity I was in the house completely alone for a good portion with absolutely nothing to do and no motivation to find something to fill my time. I’m not proud of July but God uses it to draw me closer to Him. I had a lot of one on one talks with Him and my Bible was opened on my lap more than it wasn’t. I found comfort in bringing my Bible to bed with me each night as if a security blanket.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/diary-post-a-few-thoughts-on-boredom/

August: I went to Kansas for a weekend that I can honestly say was one of the best weekends of my life! I felt so loved by my friends Lana and Monica as they had carefully planned a to do list of fun for us. We did so much but beyond that we grew a little closer as friends. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/find-me-in-the-woods-among-the-trees/

School started and instantly I could “feel” that it was going to be a good year. I have yet to be disappointed in how the cookies have crumbled.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/a-fresh-start-with-a-rainbow-of-opportunities/

Yes, I was terrified but it was worth it!

September: We (at school) really started to feel our routine set in and the normal school days began to flourish. I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to work among fellow followers of Jesus Christ as we labor for the kingdom of God! I started doing therapeutic respite in my home and I have been enjoying the process so much! It’s a unique challenge and requires me to be on my A game 100% but oh so worth giving these wonderful parents a small break from having to be the superhero for a few days. I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to support these awesome parents! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/its-a-sloths-life-pajamaspity-partiesand-pee-peevpants/

October: My teeny tiny nephew came into the world with many prayers and much love. His arrival has been a highlight of the year for sure! Each new babe is a special miracle from God. Let’s hold our children a little closer this year as we realize some children never get to feel the love that yours does. Let’s pause to pray for the hearts of the neglected and abused children. Oh Lord you do care and hear their cries!

Sweet child

I got on an airplane for the third time this year for an adventure of a lifetime! Myself along with my brothers and sisters in Christ went to Germany to meet up with more of our family in Christ to support and have a love feast in their neck of the woods! Oh what a joy filled experience unmatched by anything I’ve ever been a part of before. This was the moment I got what I really was a part of. My fellowship is my everything here on earth to me.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/spaghetti-loving-people-in-germany/

Brother and sister in Germany

November:This month was a fun one! Myself and three other women rented a cabin in the woods in Holmes County to find some R&R. We did all the usual things that you do there with the addition of spending a day doing fun crafty things! Somewhere along the way in the summer I took up painting. It’s a skill I hope to expand to bless others as I write letters that will bring encouragement to those that get them.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/handwritten-letter-a-lost-art-or-not-needed-anymore/

December: December=eventful!

My friend Lana came out for the weekend so we could…well let’s just say check your mailbox in the next week. We had more laughs than I knew could happen! Friends sure make life fun!

I had the opportunity to be perused by a godly man in another fellowship. It was a fun opportunity that turned out to not bring peace even though it was fun while it lasted. Who doesn’t want to be valued by someone here on earth? It was a growing experience bringing me to face my vision for my life and how God has continued to call me to be faithful in all things.

I am traveling home now after a week in Missouri and Kansas. Things like Christmas,sickness,Cheesecake Factory,bonding,and large sloths are the words used for this trip.

Now we find ourselves back at January where I began a year ago. I can’t tell you what the next year will hold but my prayer is go a steadfast commitment to my Lord and Savior as I continue on my pilgrimage in the kingdom of God. I hope I meet many new friends and strengthen relationships with the ones I already have. This year has brought many Mountain View moments and yes, a few moments where I stood at the bottom of the mountain wondering why I had to start again. I can say without any stretching of the truth that the climb was worth it!

The sun rose and set every day of this past year and I got to enjoy most of them as I did life. Oh the gift that is a new day! Let us each wake to look for the gift God has given us then let us fall before Him in praise!

I love you all! Much love dear ones. If you haven’t found yourself at the foot of the cross casting your sins away, I urge you to cry out to our sovereign Lord to help you to do so! This life here on earth will vanish and we will each face eternity. I want you each to face it looking at the face of Jesus at the wedding of His people with Him to never be separated. If I can help you by answering questions or praying along side of you please let me know. We are not promised another day on this earth. Make your choice now. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/why-i-deserve-to-go-to-hell-but-i-wont/

Pilgrim Nicci

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Why I Deserve to Go to Hell but I Won’t

Are people generally good? Do people do the best that they can? I believe if you were to ask random people on the street they would say yes. I say no. Here is why. Genesis 3:6-13 depicts the fall of man and his response. Those of us that label ourselves affectionately Christians know the story like the back our hand. I’m not saying humans are not generally good because Adam and Eve fell,all though that is part of it. I would argue that it’s because of their response to that fall. Let’s take a slightly deeper look. They ate of the tree off knowledge of good and evil and their eyes were opened to their nakedness. Now here was their opportunity to fall before God and beg of His mercy but that’s not the choice they made. Instead in attempt to hide themselves they sewed fig leaves together. When God confronted them yet again there was the perfect opportunity to throw their hands up and confess their sins. Did they? No, Adam turned the blame from himself to not only Eve but God who created Eve. Oh dear Adam would you have played your cards differently if you would have known the ramifications of your actions? In my heart I would like to think so but I know better.

How do I know what Adam and Eve would of done if they knew the consequences? Simply put, I’ve been Adam and Eve before. I know the tragedy of realizing my sin even though I may have not known that I was sinning. I know the reality of choosing to sin willingly. I even know the pit in the stomach feeling of trying to cover up my sin. I know all to well that humans, specifically Nicci is not good.

Let me share a little bit of the reality of my sin with you. Now if you ask my mom or maybe even people that have known me fa while they may not know my inner heart or the depth of my sinful nature. I am not sharing this to make myself look bad or to bring glory to the person that I once was. I desperately want to call sin what it is and to share that there is redemption available. So let’s pick up when I was thirteen going on fourteen and then the early months of fifteen. I’d say I was the average middle school student. I was pretty innocent and I loved my parents. I was really excited to be going to a new school and moving to a new area,one close to my then best friend! The only thing not so normal about me was that my family was essentially homeless. We lived in a motel and would off and on for a long time. In some ways it was like an adventure and others it was drove me to try to fit in or to be as “good” as my peers.

Soon enough school was in full swing and I was making more friends. One day I got a note from my best friend that was from the guy we dubbed “the curly headed kid”. I didn’t know him but my friend and I would watch him and his mass amount of curly hair get on and off of the school bus each day. In this note was an invitation of sorts to our school dance. To say I was elated would be an understatement. I remember that night as if it happened yesterday. It was so fun and was nearly movie perfect. I could almost imagine the cast of high school musical break out in song at any moment. Yes, it is a fun and thrilling memory. Needless to say as time went on our relationship grew (as much as it can at age 13/14. I mean come on.) and we didn’t remain pure. Despite the fact him and his mom attended Church every Sunday and my mom would drop me off too. I had a desire to follow Jesus but had no clue how to do that. We were fairly active at that little local Methodist church. Unfortunately because of our impure relationship we often times were lying to our parents and that made me feel worse than the after effects of the sexual relationship did. I’d walk home knowing what I was engaging in was wrong. Slowly my time spent with this guy turned from fun or at the very least what I thought was normal to heartache and despair. We’d go to the local Dollar General and he’d steal stuff and I knew it. He’d get more rough with me and I’d start finding bruises on my body that happened while he was “teasing”. All these too big of emotions coupled with my teenaged hormones being out of wack caused me to cut…well what ever you call using a sharpened stick to harm yourself. I had no real desire to hurt myself but I knew tons of other girls did it and I read in my teen books of the angsty characters did it,so why shouldn’t I try? I felt sad and my boyfriend was no longer hurting me in private but now in public too! It all came crashing down one day when he kicked me into the other seat as I was getting off the bus. I retaliated and punched him back and called him a filthy name. The cops were called and of course I was the one to get reprimanded. The bus driver didn’t see what he had done only the punch I threw. Unfortunately I had deleted all of his possessive and hate texts because I was terrified of my mom seeing them. My whole life was one big mess and not a lot of people knew about it. I was dressing the part of a over sexualized teenager during the week and going to church on Sunday. My sin was monstrous and I deserved to go to hell.

“Sexy” expressions are what is displayed on nearly all of my pictures from that time

What we wear does change our actions

I’ve never typed that nor have I shared all the details of that time in my life. I suppose my mother knows more than most and I’m glad through it all she stood by my side.

So how does a filthy beaten down sinner escape hell? How does a person even begin to wash their dirty laundry in their past baggage? How do they lay their baggage down and walk away from it forever? Simply put,YOU don’t. Magnificently though God does! So although you,me,and lots of other nasty sinners have rotting past and there is no escape there is a savior! John 3:16 says For God so love the world (you/me) that He sent His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish ( go to hell) but have everlasting life! Isn’t that absolutely amazing news? Doesn’t that make you want to leap for joy? It does me. So Jesus in His time here in earth detailed how a person can inherit eternal life through His life,death,and resurrection. His overarching message was that the kingdom of God is at hand. He showed us very clearly that being in a relationship with Him was so much more than get out of hell free card. It had some requirements and some duties that we must fulfill. You know because after all we are not naturally good. We desperately needed Him to spell things out for us. You see once Jesus’s blood cleans a person all up and the Holy Spirit comes to make it’s abode in us the requirements of kingdom life really are not a burden. They are in fact a joy to carry out. Now I’m not going to lie and say they are easy because sometimes simple stuff like loving my neighbor is hard. That’s where His grace comes in. We won’t ever be perfect and we will have a free will and Jesus knows that. Through our repentance and patterning our lives after His, we will become His disciple. Day by day the gap between you and your past will grow so vast that it’s not possible to cross it to the person that you once were. That in my opinion is where the assurance of salvation is apparent. You no longer see yourself how Satan wanted you to be but rather how God see you! Trust me when I say that Satan will tell you that you are worthless and trash. That you will never be far away from the label of your sin. I’m here to tell you that yes sin is absolutely unacceptable in the eyes of God. It does make you wrenched and nasty. However the relationship you enter into as a baby Christian and journey through into disciple is a purifying process and NO ONE can stake their claim to your life except Jesus Christ!

This is the real me. The me that has JOY!

No,people are not good;but Jesus Christ is!

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

A Tad About RAD

What is your earliest memory? Is it something sweet like your mother teaching you to tie your shoes? Could it be your Father playing ball on a hot summer evening? Either way it probably is one That is wrapped up with love and care.

Children with RAD don’t have that privilege. You see, their memories go back to when they weren’t fed enough or when a man came into their room at night to do things to them that no child should ever know about. Sometimes it’s a memory of the smell of alcohol on the person responsible from them. Did you know that even trauma in-utero or a mother’s thoughts of ending her child’s life can cause a separation?

We say that children are resilient and to some extent that is true but what happens when a child doesn’t just “bounce back ” after a traumatic experience or abuse?

Here’s the truth. When neglect or separation from a birth mother happens it messes with the brain. When a child has a need and that need isn’t met it throws the child into survival mode. They must find ways to survive because in their mind the adult they trusted couldn’t protect them. Before I go any further I want to point out that when I’m writing I tend to share from an intentional trauma standpoint. Please note that biological children can have RAD too. It could come from chronic sickness,trauma during birth,or something totally out of their parents control. Unfortunately babies and little children can’t decipher the difference. So please note that not all children with RAD have been harmed by their biological parents.

When a child has had that bond separated (for whatever reason) they lose connection with their front part of their brain where logic and reason takes place.They literally get stuck in the back portion of the brain where flight,fight,and freeze takes place. At this point they are not reachable. They in a sense are in survival mode. Who’s going to hurt me? What can I do to keep them from loving me because love hurts. How can I be in control. How can I prove that my adult isn’t going to let me suffer? In a lot of ways in my opinion they become like an animal.

Imagine with me for a moment. You are a happy family with two children at home. Your family isn’t perfect but it is a loving environment and you think now is a great time to add to your family because of all the love you have. You go to whatever avenue available maybe its foster care or maybe an orphanage overseas. You meet your son or daughter for the first time and you fall in love. You know instantly this child is your own from the moment he/she looks up at you and says “I love you momma”. You get home and the first week is bliss. He/she seems to fit perfectly and is the missing puzzle piece to your family. Ah you can almost imagine the white picketed fence around your storybook home. Church family comes over to meet your new son/daughter. They feel invested because they have walked beside your family throughout the adoption process. They say “Oh your son/daughter is so charming!”

No sooner do the guests leave and the door shuts does the light switch of RAD turn on. It’s been on but hidden behind the superficially charming smile and impeccable manners. After all cute things don’t get hurt. The child might be starting to feel something. Something warm and fuzzy something that..could hurt them. So out of no where your child starts to be disrespectful,”accidentally” stepping on the cat, or is really clumsy and breaks things that are important to you. You find yourself walking on eggshells and making excuses to your other kids for the bad behavior. Finally enough is enough so you reach out to someone in your local church only to be greeted with accusations or pet answers. One friend might say “Just fill them up with more love.” The pastor might say “This is so normal! They are adjusting. In due time you’ll see how over concerned you are.” You feel lost and angry. The community that urged you to adopt is now turning their backs on you. The child that should be thankful for your love hates you. Your biological children don’t understand why this child gets all the attention. Your spouse gets a break at work or just plain doesn’t see the behavior. Things come crashing down one day when you are alone with your child. He/she has been raging for hours and you’re at a loss what to do. Then you hear “I’m going to kill you! I hate you!”

This is the reality of many families with children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. No two children with RAD are alike but they all must get a heart transplant and brain healing before they will ever be able to deal with their trauma and work on bonding with their family. We as the church and as communities can rally around these hero parents in several ways.

1. Be available to listen without judgement. You have no clue what it is to walking n the shoes of a parent fighting for their child’s life.

2. Read up on RAD. https://www.nextgenerationattachment.org/store Here’s an excellent no nonsense book that spells RAD out for you. It’s only 70 pages long and chalked full of information for you to be a supporter.

3. Go online to watch Child or Rage or watch the movie The Boarder . Both give a realistic view point on RAD.

4. Send a card with encouragement or prayer to the mother of a child with RAD. You could also send flowers too!

5. DO NOT INTERACT with the children. They feed off of your pity. They know exactly what it does to their parents when they come up and hug you/show affection to you. Don’t be tricked.

6. Hug the mom and dad! Yes, I know it can be awkward, do it anyway. Do it in front of their children. This shows the child that you support their amazing parents.

7. Don’t ever contradict the parents in front of the child! Never as in ever! If you do then it gives the child room to doubt their parents capability.

8. Bring over a meal.

9. Offer to stay home with the kids while mom and dad go to church or on a date.

10. Respect the parents when they give you instructions about their child. They know their child more than you do. Often they are working with an attachment therapist and a team. Do not cause them doubt.

11. Here’s a bonus one. DO interact with the healthy siblings. They need healthy interactions and a support system too! Offer to take them somewhere fun or just hang out with them. Send them something to bring them a smile too!

After all, having one RAD kid is the equivalent to having five healthy kids. Don’t stand in the way of a child’s healing. Be the example of Christ and walk along side parents in this journey. These children are so worth the fight. There IS healing available but it is a slow process. It doesn’t just go away in a years time.After all there is no time limit on growing a heart. These moms and dads are surgeons,janitors,parents,super heroes,and Jesus to their kids. These parents are worth the fight too! Sign up to be a Warrior in the battle that is RAD. Don’t leave your brothers and sisters hanging out on the battlefield alone. With an army we can heal the broken hearted.

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

What will you be when you grow up? An honest look into a “perfect” home.


When we are children a question that is often asked is “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

For me it would change. I went through being an actress, plastic surgeon,farmer,pastry chef, a missionary, and teacher. I would go on to do three of those occupations. I have been so very fortunate to get to explore most of my dreams free of fear.

I start my school year out asking my students the question of future careers. Cowboy,mom,baker,and farmer are the norm in the elementary classroom. I look into the eyes of each light face and wonder where God will lead them. Will they too get to live the life they dreamed of? Will God direct their paths a different way? Will they get to grow up at all? I know the last question seems a little morbid or out of place.

There are millions of children every day that life is cut short. Some due to cancer and illness others because of abuse and neglect. For another group they don’t die a physical death but a spiritual and or emotional death. They are doomed to a life without Jesus stuck in homes that look good on the outside yet are anything but good when looked at with a magnify glass. These children are going to be taught that as long as they are good on Sunday’s or in public that no harm will come to them however in the very home meant to protect them there is harm being inflicted. Sexual,physical,and emotional abuse rank high in these pretty on the outside homes. You may see a love of money and business yet see a lack of love of family in the actions and words of the home. Possibly you could find harsh words. I’ve heard stories of no words at all that cause deadening silence to become the norm. Fathers working late to avoid nagging wives. Wives losing respect of their husbands because of too high of expectations he may hold. This vicious cycle will cause a child to die. He/she will be at a higher risk of falling into this way of life which really isn’t living at all.

Fathers you are the only earthly example your children will have of a loving Jesus! Mothers you are an example of the church and her obedience as a waiting bride. Parents are you willing to give your children a false view of Jesus and His bride?

I know I’m just a single gal with too much to say. I’m just going off of the stories of the people I meet day to day. In the church and out of the church. Young and old. I want desperately for each child whether still a babe in school or an adult still looking for guidance to have the opportunity to live a spirituality alive life. Parents are to be the protectors not the ones to bring death into the home. Don’t you want your children to live alive? Don’t you want them to grow up to be active citizens of the kingdom of God doing kingdom work here on earth?

Show your children an alive life so they too can go on to be all that they can be! God may very well need them to be a firefighter,linguist,cowboy,or teacher. Don’t step in the way of God’s work. He has in trusted these gifts to you. It’s not too late to start building a relationship with your child that reflects the love of Christ. Go now and make that first step.