30 September 2013


Around my blog, things are simple. Things aren't complicated. I try to be as authentic as possible, stretching myself to be vulnerable, generous, wise, and funny.  

EVERYBODY at influence told me that I'm funny. Sometimes when I wasn't trying to be funny. I also got called a dork a lot. Welcome to Nadine.

I'm the girl who sits on her bed at night and asks God to explain what a gospel approach to having a crush on a boy looks like. If you don't believe me, you should have been a fly on my wall last Monday.

That's me.

I'm the girl who had a friend over a couple weeks ago for the first time in a while (the friend, not having somebody over - that's all the time) and she laughed at me because of how much of a verbal processor I am.

More or less she said this to me: So basically you've run this thing you're thinking through through like a thousand people. And we've all said the same thing.

My answer was akin to, not a thousand, just like six.

But that's me. Constantly running my ideas by a thousand or so people, just to be sure that I'm not an idiot. One thing I learned at influence is that maybe it's time to learn how to make some of my own decisions.

So when you pop by this space, expect that girl.

Don't show up expecting perfection or a thousand tips to better your life. I love writing and love sharing, and hope to inspire and encourage, but more so I hope to point out that it's a whole lot easier resting at the feet of Jesus than it is attempting to carry my own burdens.

My most important rule that I have for my blog is grace.

Grace to make mistakes, to miss days, grace to write about the good and bad. Grace to share pretty pictures and the pictures that are a bit messy.

Because that makes life a whole lot easier, and blogging a whole lot more fun.

Pop back tomorrow to hear a little bit about the influence conference, and to hear something that might surprise you. That is, unless I wimp out and change my mind.

If you want to take a look at my weekend in Indianapolis, pop over to my instagram to see approximately a zillion photos from the weekend.

26 September 2013

25 September 2013

It's okay to be all over the place.

I wrote these words a season ago. Some days they're relevant to me and some days they are not. Maybe they'll be relevant to you today.

Sometimes you sit down at your computer, after a long day. It wasn't a bad day by any stretch of the matter, but it was a long one.

You determine in yourself to finally sit down to write the post that is on your heart.

You sit down. You log in. You start typing.

You're a paragraph in and you realize you haven't shared the story you meant to share.

You hit the delete button and start again.

You write some eloquent pretty words but yet again find yourself tapping the delete button numerous times.

This pattern continues, and your typing seems to match the emotions you've been experiencing in your non screen time life.

You find yourself sharing a happy tale, one where things are bright and cheery.
You find yourself sharing a dark tale, where the words are heavy and the tone is bleak.
You find yourself sharing a realistic tale, the kind where the optimist and pessimist reach a happy medium of a cup that is not full or empty, but is simply shifting.

You let yourself take a break from the stories and just lie on your back on your floor, letting tears flow.

You let yourself take a break from the stories and tell the kind of joke that leaves your own side in stitches.

You realize that all of the things aren't matching up.

But you hit the publish button anyway, because maybe somebody needs to know that it's okay to be kind of all over the place.

24 September 2013

{a walk through} psalm 77

It's girl behind the blog day! I love this day. Mostly because I love talking, so videos are fun for me. awkward.

Anyway, this month we're linking up with Ashley and Megan to talk about comfort zones. So click on over to their blogs to link up, and be sure to let me know my most awkward moment in the video.

My the last time I stepped out of my comfort zone was on Sunday.  Just in case you were wondering.


Are you linking up as well? I hope so! This take was take one thousand. Well, not quite that high but pretty close. I had one other good take but it cut out midway. Awesome.

You should link up. It's a super fun way to get to know some more bloggers. I'm like 80% sure that I might have met Megan through this linkup.

23 September 2013

worry is not our call

This post was initially shared back in February of this year. These words serve as a good reminder to me - I don't need to worry.

In a nice evening conversation with a sweet friend recently, she mentioned a specific moment in her life when a certain worry had begun. It's no longer an issue in her life but it put an thought in my head, and now defines how I consider worry.

Worry is planted.

But it doesn't have to grow.
Similar to the farmer sowing the seeds, shared in the Gospel and speaking of how everyone reacts differently to hearing the Truth of the Gospel, I now see worry as that.

The difference being, I never want to let it grow. I want the seed of worry, when it pops into my mind and thoughts, words and actions, to immediately die and to not even touch the dirt of the ground.

Scripture speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. Last summer, God clarified some things to me. I was being asked to fulfill things I couldn't and He comforted me with the truth that there are specific fruits we are meant to see in ministry.  

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

Those are them. Those are what we're meant to see in our ministry. Worry is not a fruit of the Spirit, which means it's not something we're meant to seek to have. We need to destroy it when it comes up and drop those worries at the feet of Jesus.

Based on conversation with any girl I've ever met, I'm pretty sure that we all like to over analyze and fret. We love to think things through, and I really truly believe that is not our call. It's okay to think about things, and to analyze things, to work hard, and to plan well, but there is a reason God told Martha to stop working and praised Mary for seeking Him.

Martha said "what does Jesus need? ME."
Mary said "what do I need? JESUS."

We need Jesus, not more things to do.

God doesn't even make us hoist up our worries to the hands of Jesus. We get to drop them at His feet, at the bottom of the cross. Wow. That is amazing to me.

We're called to many things as followers of Jesus, but worrying is not a call on our lives.

19 September 2013


I'm linking up with five minute friday today. The prompt of she inspired these words.


Something in me always hesitates when I start to share about being single. Something called fear crumples my words and makes me delete the already typed words. Single girl thoughts typically arrive as I lie awake at night, longing for different moments.

I've felt compelled for weeks, maybe even a few months, to share more. To share deeper and longer, wider and higher about the complex mystery that makes up my heart.

I'm not quite sure how a word prompt of she is the thing pushing me to share, but I might as well.

There is a song that I wrote just about two years ago called wither. I shared in that song my hurts of a girl who had so recently had her heart broken. (It's also my favourite song that I've ever written)

Since then my heart has been broken numerous times, but all the boys have been oblivious. Isn't that like the biggest hurt of all sometimes? The oblivious hurts. The longings that nobody knows about. The boys who we crush on for weeks and months, who we pray for daily, about whom we seek genuine wisdom from above about?

I'm done being silent. I hesitate to get loud, but maybe it's time I start using at least an inside voice on the topic of singleness.

Because I know I'm not the only one crying in my bed at night, and that I'm not the only one who sometimes goes week upon week without missing the hypothetical boyfriend.

I think there is a balance, a sweet trust that is built.

I've texted my sister Kirsten something akin to this before:

Is it normal to trust God fully about my future in relationship and yet also really really want something to happen really soon?

I'm still learning that balance, that sweet trust. I haven't arrived, but I'm certainly on my way.

How's your story? What's your story?

One of my most visited posts is this one here, which is all about ways a single girl can pray for her future (hypothetical) husband.

{a walk through} psalm 76

I live in a city with a mountain view from practically anywhere. If it's not the mountain, it's the seas. If it's neither of those, well, you just need to climb on top of a building so you can see the mountains and sea.

Mountains are so majestic. They actually are majestic. They're huge and big, powerful and commanding. I love a mountain view.

God is more majestic than the mountains, more beautiful than the sea.

18 September 2013

a more realistic meet and greet.

Amidst my Monday, I found myself reading these words by Hayley Morgan (aka the tiny twig) that she wrote last year before the influence conference:

" . . . most likely the girl you perceive behind the blog is a little different and a little more vulnerable in real life."

I recognized a lot of my fears in that statement because I'm genuinely nervous about going to influence.

See, when I found out back in April that I probably wouldn't be able to go the conference, I was very sad. I cried and I mourned, and I found my peace knowing that at least this way I wouldn't be disappointed.

Disappointed in the conference?
Disappointed in the people I would meet?

No. Disappointed in the fact that I can never measure up to the girl I measure myself by.

I've never met the girl that I measure myself by, most likely because, actually fully for sure because that girl doesn't exist.

She can't exist.

I'm nervous that I'll offend somebody by not knowing or remembering their name.

I'm nervous that I'll share too much, too little, or too something.

I'm nervous I'll say something that will cause somebody I respect to no longer respect me.

I'm terrified about my business cards. I'm terrified because the girl in that picture is wearing bold lipstick and a bold headband, and most days I really just like drinking my coffee and not leaving a lipstick stain. I'm so scared because I'm really not as cool as the girl in my own picture.

I'm also feeling a bit wounded already, and I know I am going to come into the conference feeling really tender to the touch. I'll have just packed up my apartment the day before and when I come back from the conference I'll move the next day.

I've been ready to take down my conference meet and greet since before I even posted it. I feel like I shared this confident girl who has a put together life, where actually I'm constantly at battle with my own thoughts, and have never had to take every thought captive in the same way that I am now. I'm tender and hurt, and feel like every 8th word hurts my feelings right now. So much so that if I knew how to disable my comments I would, simply because I know that even kind words hurt sometimes.

Maybe you're feeling a little bit like me. You're scared you'll forget an important item, or that you'll say a name wrong. (P.S. My name is pronounced Nay-Deen, not Nah-Deen. P.P.S. I'll give you grace if you don't say it right. I promise.)

I want to wrap this post up with a pretty bow, with a truth like: we're going to be okay.

I know that truth, and you know that truth, so we have to cling to it. AND it's okay if we come to the conference and disappoint everybody. It really is okay. I'm planning on disappointing at least myself, so welcome to the club.

All of this to say, Haylie is right. The girl typing our blogs is more than likely a little less put together than she shares.

So I'm excited to see you at the conference (and if you're reading and not going to be at the conference, I'm excited to see you someday), and if you're feeling a bit tender and broken, we can sit together. We can laugh together, cry together, and I know that I'll more than likely do something silly. I just do that sometimes, usually if I'm feeling overwhelmed or excited - it's to differentiate for me sometimes. Or if you're feeling just super great about yourself, maybe you can pass along some wisdom to the girls like me who sometimes just feel a little bit unprepared.

17 September 2013

{a walk through} psalm 75

Worship through the alphabet

I've shared this idea before, but it's been a while, so I am sharing it again.

On the days when I'm feeling particularly ungrateful, I go through the alphabet and spend the letters giving praise to God, or seeking His will, or thanking Him, or asking Him questions.

I list out 26 things (eg. a is for Abbey my friend who just had a baby, G is for Grady my nephew who is too far away from me right now, M is for Mom my mom, duh, S is for Soraya my former co-worker whose husband lost his job, W is for Westside my church, and everybody had better be praying for their church okay???!?!?) and it takes me a long time, but by the end of it, I always feel very aware of God's presence.

I feel grateful, I feel heard. I feel just a little bit more wise, and I also feel like maybe, just maybe, things are going to be okay.

How do you seek God's presence when you feel ungrateful? How to you call your heart to a place of gratitude?

10 September 2013

hugs and fist pumps

I love a good linkup. Especially the kind where I get to meet everybody who is linking up in two weeks. SAY WHAT?!?!

So, remember when I had a fundraising giveaway? Remember that fun thing last week? Well, let's just say that people are generous. I am going to the influence conference!

Thank you dearly to those of you who gave, and to those of you whose prayers prompted those people to give.

It was incredible to open up my email time after time, click the email, and see an amount given. I was humbled, inspired, and now I'm simply grateful and happy.

The ladies planning said amazing conference are hosting a little linkup for conference attendees.

**side note** Pro Nadine tip: I don't know how to pack light

2 things I'll definitely bring with me:

1. A new and ready to be filled journal alongside a few pens. I love note taking, and apparently it really helps me remember. In my last community group at church, the leader would call on me if we needed to know exactly what the pastor said about something because chances were, I'd caught it.

2. A lota lipstick. I don't know if I'll be as brave at the conference as I am on instagram, but I am going to try to wear lipstick at every moment. Just don't take a picture of me mid meal or coffee when 47% of my lipstick has washed off. #awkward.

2 things I'm looking forward to:

1. Hugging Jessi Connolly. I'm not kidding. When I found out a few months ago that influence wasn't going to happen, my sister said "well can't you just go visit Jessi"? I texted Jessi, she said yes well I think her words were more "you don't have to ask me that, just come". Sorry J. Maybe next year I'll come join the Connolly clan.

2. Fist pumping Hayley Morgan. Also not kidding, these are my top two things. I emailed her husband this week about something, and I asked him to fist pump her. When I know Jessi will be with her, I ask her to fist pump her. So. I'm excited to fist pump her all by myself.

Random fact: my biggest fear about the conference is that I won't recognize people in real life and thus offend them. But fears are silly, so if I forget your name, forgive me, and I'll do the same for you. Yay.

I am so excited to learn strategy for my blog that will point me to Christ, which will cause me to write better content, which will cause people to read that content and be pointed to Christ. I just want everybody to know Christ.

Oh friends, I am so excited to learn and pray, laugh, cry, smile, joke, talk long and deep, and just everything with each of you.


 Will I see you at influence? If not, what are you excited about this fall? I'm excited about influence, and the fact that two weeks after, I'm off to Mexico with my family. Yay for that!

{a walk through} psalm 73

My testimony

As I started looking at this Psalm a while ago (I tend to be about ten Psalms in advance, not necessarily with my posts written, but with the verses and graphics made), I couldn't help but find myself in verse 3.

For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

I've shared this story in small portions enough that I don't feel a need to drudge it out again, but, a few years back, I walked away from the Lord. Not because I did not believe in Him but because I wanted to serve myself.

I spent somewhere between a year and two years juggling selfishness and Christianity. And it's all because I was envious of those I saw around me.

So this verse, it's all too familiar for me.

Eventually, Jesus broke me to a place where I decided that I had to choose one or the other. I could no longer do the balancing act of a good Christian when I was at church and a girl who had no desire to live for God every other moment.

I moved cities and let Jesus welcome me back.

The end of this Psalm is sweet to me.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
        you hold my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
        and afterward you will receive me to glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but you?
        And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
        but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:23-26

Because of the goodness of the Lord, He is the strength of my heart, and He is my portion forever.

What's your story? What did Jesus save you from?

09 September 2013

she needed to break

no fear

He spoke softly to her, because he noticed that she was so close to tears.

He paid careful attention to the details of her heart, to the words that were unspoken, and to the laughter she used to hide behind.

He knew that if he spoke too loud, she would break. He knew that if he used emphasis on the wrong words, she would break. He knew that she needed to break.

But he didn't want her to break the wrong way. He wanted her to break while she was in his arms, and in moment when she knew that she was in his arms. He didn't want her to feel all alone.

He stayed near. Consistently. He was near at all times, and she found deep comfort in him.

He listened. He knew that his words were valuable to her, but he patiently listened. Because he listened for so long, she eventually slowed her words and listened to him.

Finally he spoke. He spoke of his love for her and for her heart. He spoke of how he had never been far from her. He spoke of millions of years in the past, how even then he had been near.

So she stood.

She broke. She fell into his arms, finally let her eyes open, and let the tears fall. He held her close, never letting her go.

He took off the shame that had clung to her.
He took off her fear because she had no need for it anymore.

She was free.

He is Christ.
And she is me.

06 September 2013

big drops lightly tapped the pavement

I found myself near the seawall. I went down to it, and started the walk.

I knew my heart was feeling a little bit fragile, a lot bit encouraged, a tiny bit discouraged, filled with fear, filled with anticipation, filled with uncertainty, filled with hope.

My heart was feeling pretty full. Too full for my liking.

I walked and I talked quietly to Jesus. I held my phone up to my ear for a second to pretend that I was on my phone, and decided I'd rather just look crazy.

I walked and I talked and the rain started to fall.

Normally I hate rain. Actually always I hate rain. Well, not always. But if I have to be in the rain, I hate the rain.

The rain didn't bother me.

Big drops lightly tapped the pavement.

The rain drops created a quiet symphony.

I walked a little bit quicker, unsure if the rain would suddenly downpour.

I stopped to take a picture of a boat. It seemed so picturesque yet also unattractive.

I continued my walk and came across beautiful flowers. I slowed my pace to stop and just really look at the detail in each individual flower.

I was reminded of the verse that speaks of considering the lilies of the field, how they're clothed even better than Solomon (who apparently was clothed VERY well), and how God cares more for us.

I felt my heavy weighted heart lighten just a little bit.

I walked away from the flowers and made my way along the seawall.

I stopped soon again to capture an interesting looking patch of land.

I kept walking for a while, pausing when I had a good view to continue my reflections.

Jesus why did I have to lose my job?
Jesus why did my roommate have to move?
Jesus why do I have to move?
Jesus why do the dreams I have for my life never seem to come true?
Jesus what do I do now?

I continued my walk, stopping again quickly to capture a beautiful set of yellow flowers.

An interesting (read:sketchy) man made a comment to me as the flowers happened to be right in front of him. I just smiled at him like I do whenever I feel uncomfortable.

I kept on walking.

Pausing for pretty flowers.
Letting go of my questions and simply letting my heart hope.

I sat on a bench and faced the water for a while.
I stopped thinking and reflecting for a while, and just rested.
Not from a physical tiredness, but a soul tiredness.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He is near to all who are weary.
He loves the tired.
He holds the fragile.
He understands the sad.

05 September 2013

{a walk through} psalm 72

Blessed by the Lord

Will you help get me to the influence conference? Click here to see a raffle worth $500.   

03 September 2013

{a walk through} psalm 71

Will you help get me to the influence conference? Click here to see a raffle worth $500.

A few months ago, I watched a dear blogging friend walk through a tough season. She didn't necessarily tell me that, but when you care for a friend as much as I do for her, you start to notice when they're not quite themselves.

As I got ready to head to worship practice, I sent her a text saying that I would be praying comfort over her as I worshiped the Lord during worship practice.

Practice always begins with a time of prayer. It's a sweet time to just ready our hearts before we bucker down and make our instruments sound beautiful.

We went around the room, and everybody shared request that were deep, heavy, and hard. I realized that we'd be praying comfort over each other as well.

Somebody started praying, and I grabbed my Bible app to find something to share. I typed "comfort" into the search bar, and Psalm 71 showed up.

I read it aloud, the entire thing, and just let it settle.

It really is a beautiful Psalm.

After reading it, I looked up to my music stand, and felt sweet joy fill my heart. One of the songs we were playing was one aptlyt titled, Psalm 71, written by a friend of mine who serves on the worship team as well.

It was one of the most beautiful moments in a week where I felt like everybody was hurting. I felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit weave love into my heart.

I texted my friend later, sharing with her her the sweetness of the Lord.

I normally simply make a graphic for one part of the chapter, as I have done today, but I also encourage anybody reading to read through the entire Psalm. It is rich with good comfort.

My favourite part is this:

Does God allow hard things?

Over the past couple years, I've started to have a better grasp on suffering, on how God allows it, and how He is still sovereign, regardless of anything that may happen. It's the type of grasp that I don't quite think I can understand, but yet I also know it completely.

I know that God is good at all times, I know that God is just at all times.

I know that God has made me see troubles and calamities, and I know that He will revive me.

I know that even from the deepest pain, the largest hurt, and the largest burden, He will bring me up again.

I know that no matter what happens, my trust is in Him, because when my trust is in Him, my burdens lessen, my anxieties cease, and my joy floods up.

He will comfort me again.

And, He will do the same for you.

02 September 2013

Will you get me to the Influence Conference?

In May of last year, my internet life started to change.
I tweeted an article about Darling Magazine. The Be.Loved Blog favourited it and followed me. I clicked on over, saw what the blog was about, and noticed they were looking for writers, and submitted my name.

Soon after, I was asked to join the team. The founder, Kymberly, lived not to far from me, so we met up for an afternoon. We brainstormed ideas and just go tot know each other.

Either before or after that meeting, there was an online meeting. There, I met some amazing girls: Margaret, Ashlee, Amanda, Kymberly, and I cannot remember if the other writers were in the meeting. I don't think so. I connected with each and started following them on twitter.

Either in a video chat or on twitter or in an email, who knows it's a long time ago, Margaret mentioned that she wanted to go to a blogging conference in the fall.

The conference was called the influence conference.

I looked it up, and knew I was meant to go. I knew it.

I prayed about it, but just kept hearing no. I fought the no, but couldn't get the no out of my mind

Through reading about the conference, I found about some great people named Jessi, Hayley, and Casey. I started reading their blogs, and fell in love with their hearts for the gospel.

I connected especially with Jessi, and over the course of the next few months, we worked together to make my current blog design happen.

Long story short, I didn't go to the conference, though I did blog about it, but I did buy a founding member membership to the Influence Network.

Since January, I've been very active in the network. I really and truly believe in the mission behind it, the heart behind it, the truth that reigns over it - that Jesus is Lord.

I've wanted to go to this years conference. I was going to go, planned to go, all of a sudden wasn't sure if I could, thought I could, definitely couldn't, and then all of a sudden as of this past week - I can go again.

I emailed Ashley last week about sponsorship getting me there and she graciously told me that I needed to ask for help.

I decided that meant I shouldn't go, because I wasn't willing to put my pride aside and ask for help.

On Saturday, after a good and long conversation with my Mom, I tweeted asking for help.

Within twenty minutes, I'd had three friends let me know they wanted to help.

I checked my email and saw a friend who said she'd been thinking of me all week and really believed I'd make it.

This story is so beautiful and I wish I could tell every aspect.

I want to tell you how Shannon got a room by herself and her sweet baby, and how she decided to let me stay with her for free.

I want to tell you how numerous bloggers have given items so that I can create incentive for people to give to get me to influence.

I wish I could share more elouqently how much I believe in the network, in the conference, in blogging in general, in twitter, in instagram, in advertising, in so many things, but I can't.

I can tell you this though: I love Jesus. I love that He saved me from a life of sin so that I can have a full and beautiful life. Where that life's goal is to give all of my worship to Him, to love Him with everything to have, and to be a really good neighbour to every single person I ever get to meet.

I know that there is a lot of junk and darkness all over the internet. Just as much as I know that, I know that it doesn't have to be dark everywhere. This blog gets to be a light. My twitter feed gets to be bright. My instagram gets to shine. Darkness doesn't rule.

So friends, I am grateful that you've read this far. I'm even grateful if you just skimmed everything to get to the bottom so you can enter the giveaway. And I'm just as grateful to the friend who gives $200 as I am to the friend who gives $2. Both are huge to me.

This situation, and in general, my life over the past week, has humbled me, called out my pride, and questioned my identity.

There are a lot of reasons that fall into the "why I can't afford influence". If you feel a need to know, you're welcome to email me and ask, or you can just trust me when I say that life gets hard sometimes.

My identity is in Christ. And one thing He freed me from was fear, and so I am going to confidently ask you a question:

Will you get me to the Influence Conference?

Click HERE to get to the giveaway!