I Miss Being a Missionary

Last summer, I took a gigantic leap of faith. It kept me up many nights, wound its way into nearly every conversation with friends and family, and encompassed my thoughts for months on end. The question was simple:

Should I go on a mission trip to Nepal?

When my aunt asked me about going, my immediate answer was an enthusiastic YES. Of course I would go to Nepal, on a mission trip, with my aunt and three cousins. YES, YES YES!

As time passed, however, I began to unravel what that yes would mean. My boyfriend and I had just quit our careers and started a small business together, which was growing rapidly and took up the majority of our day, every day. I had only recently began going to church in the last two years or so, and had even more recently accepted Jesus into my life. The answer to one question – should I go to Nepal? – led to many more questions, which dug very deep into my faith and self-worth.

Can my business survive my absence for two weeks? Can my relationship survive my absence for two weeks and double the workload? Am I a good enough person to do this? Am I qualified? Am I ‘Christian’ enough? Will everyone think I’m an imposter?

I did not grow up going to church every Sunday. I was not a youth pastor or leader, nor had I made regular appearances at small group. I thought that my dark past and former life would make me the weakest link of our group, the odd one out that wasn’t really qualified to work for God.

I was terrified, but I stood by my YES, raised the money, and prayed.

When I met our team, I fell in love. I clicked with everyone right away, and immediately felt warmth, love, and acceptance. I still had my insecurities and fears, and I hoped they would slowly rescind as we started working.

What happened was the opposite – they grew very loud, and then went silent. I worked through each of them like a puzzle, recognizing the small signs and miracles God was working through me. I discovered that my past and weaknesses and scars made me stronger, more sincere, and easier to connect with – they were, in fact, my strengths.

I have never found my feet more beautiful, my steps more purposeful, or my days more blessed than those hot, unpredictable, chaotic days in Nepal. I discovered more about myself and my purpose in those two weeks than I had in my entire life. I could finally see myself clearly, as if I could step away from my life and peer at it through God’s eyes.

I saw my humility, my beauty, my heart, my power. I loved every minute of it, and still reflect on those days. I miss my team with all of my heart. I truly miss our late-night prayers and psalms and self-reflection, and I’m eternally grateful for this experience. I miss it, every day.

So yes, I was qualified and ‘Christian’ enough – because that’s not really a thing. We are all anointed to do the Good Works, y’all. And yes, my business and relationship survived my absence – in fact, they both blossomed. Months later, we’re still struggling to keep up with our growing business, and thankful to God for every client and encounter that comes our way.

Where God guides, he DOES provide. In bringing me closer to Him, he’s brought my dreams closer to me.


Lifting · spiritual

You Don’t Need a Makeover: Food Freedom Friday

You don’t need a makeover.
Yep, you read that right – no matter your weight, size, shape, gender or age, you DON’T need a makeover. The fitness/diet industry does. 

Imagine if you had a store that sold a single size of clothing – or offered a single, specified entree – or if Jamba Juice offered ONE smoothie?

It’s illogical to sell one specific item because we all know people are different. Some people like berries, some people like citrus fruits. Some people are short, others are tall. 

Yet, the diet and fitness industry gets away with selling us a single ideal per gender – a tall, muscular, chiseled and well portioned man, coupled with a slender, yet muscular, yet still distinctly feminine woman. And they make billions of dollars a year on the mere fact that the majority of the population is physically incapable of achieving the image they’re selling.

If you sell an unreachable image, customers will never stop buying. If we all looked perfect, why would we buy powders and pills and capsules and workout programs? There’s no money in the achievement; there’s money in the chase. 

So no, you don’t need a makeover. Healthy eating and exercise do yield a wonderful breadth of benefits, like increased energy, deeper sleep, higher dopamine and serotonin levels, better focus and cognitive function, improved digestive health, and the list continues. But being healthy looks different on every. single. person. Be you, and be healthy if you choose – but don’t let clever marketing and photoshop make the choice for you.

spiritual · Veg/Vegan

Finding My Path & Purpose


Life has been a blur these days. If you haven’t noticed, my posts have been few and far between, yet so much life has happened between the cracks. I’ve quit my dream job as a Development Coordinator at a non-profit, and started my own business with my boyfriend. I went to Germany with my family, embarked on my first faith-based mission trip to Nepal, and have gone vegan. I’ve changed up my life, and every step has been for the better.

Going to Nepal absolutely deserves its own post – if not several – but I will say this: it was incredibly humbling and healing. My faith and relationship with God have deepened and strengthened, and I felt my head clear and my heart open to the path and purpose God intends for me. Part of that includes having confidence in my business endeavors and the abilities I’ve been gifted, and cultivated in the professional sphere.

Another part of my deepened faith is a recommitment to veganism. In working to make a positive impact in Nepal, I had a difficult time coming back to normal life in Hawaii and working for myself. I wanted to keep working for good and for God, and reducing the harm I contribute to is one way to do so.

My goal in this life is to do as much good and as little harm as a I can, to people, the planet, and other creatures alike. That includes treating others with kindness and patience, and understating where their hurt comes from. This love for other people – even strangers, far away, and very different from myself – is what’s continued to drive me to recommit to a plant-based diet. For the animals, yes, but also for the people living in communities polluted by animal agriculture, those working under harsh conditions in factory farms, etc. We all spend our time and thoughts searching for our purpose. While mine isn’t completely crystal clear, I know I’m meant to do good in any way I can. Right now, and through the rest of my days.

To more posts and positivity,

Nicole ❤

spiritual · Travel

Mission to Nepal!


There are the years that ask questions, and the years that answer.

For me, this past year has been comprised of tremendous growth and realization. A year where the struggles and challenges I’ve worked through in the past revealed themselves as hard-earned lessons I needed to learn. Blessings, even.

You know how you get on a health kick and workout and eat well for weeks, but never see the results? And just when you’re about to give up, you wake up one morning and your clothes are looser, you look fabulous and feel amazing? That day when you look in the mirror and tell yourself, I am so glad I kept at it and never gave up.

THAT exact feeling is what this last year has been for me. I’ve grown so  much in faith, courage, confidence and strength. I have the courage to love fully and the humility to forgive. I have the faith to chase after my dreams and the resilience to fight through the challenges that come my way.

It’s crazy how being broken down is the only way to build yourself stronger, wiser, and greater. It’s necessary, it’s normal nd it’s healthy; so much that I’m grateful and thankful for everything I’ve gone through.

My faith and passion for helping others has encouraged me to go farther. Give deeper. Go beyond just kindness and do something real to help others a world away.

I’ve decided to go to rural, southern Nepal in late July 2017 to help do important service work and spread God’s word and love. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but never thought I’d actually go for. I firmly believe so much in sharing the power of faith and belief to everyone I know, and helping them reach their fullest potential as individuals, a people, and as a community.

I’m reaching out to my blogging family to help fund my mission to Nepal! It’s my first-ever mission and I’m eternally grateful and excited for the opportunity to do this with my cousins and godparents. Even the smallest gift is truly appreciated and will go towards making a difference. Thanks much!



Faith Friday: Kindness


Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, the challenges you’ve faced, or your own unique experience, I think we can all agree the world needs more of it. Wars may rage, hearts break, and humans endlessly suffer, but kindness is all around us. And kindness is the powerful silver lining of human existence; that somewhere along the way of our worst days we’re bound to encounter it.

blogWith tough times like today – where our country and the world feel so juxtaposed and divided – kindness transcends it all. Have you ever had a super shitty day and out of nowhere, for no real reason, a complete stranger was nice to you? I’ve had one person – who I didn’t even know – be nice to me on one of  the worst days of my life, and it totally turned it around. In fact, when I think about that day, that is what comes to mind; the kindness. Not the terrible stuff, but the single act of kindness that turned it all around.

Peeps, I know life is rough. But kindness feels just as good to dish out as to have it dished to ya.



Happy Aloha Friday!




Faith Friday: Growing in Faith

faith3No matter what your exact beliefs may be, faith is a powerful thing. Faith empowers us to let go of control and allow our lives to play out the way they are truly meant to. Faith isn’t giving up, it’s leaning in. Faith isn’t weak, or naïve, or pie-in-the-sky thinking; faith is the way to fulfillment, acceptance, and happiness. Faith allows us to adjust, adapt, and keep fighting for what we need and desire in our lives.

Faith is something I’ve struggled with tremendously in my own life. It’s difficult to believe that God (or the Universe, or whatever you believe in) was watching out for me when everything was going wrong and my life was falling apart. When I was heartbroken and lost and wandering around in the darkness, I struggled to grasp the fact that things do happen for a reason.

It’s not just me; a lot of people seriously struggle to maintain their faith through the faith2darker times of their life. Now that I’ve made it through the dark and into the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m able to look back objectively and see – truly, definitely, and clearly – that the struggles I endured have made me into a whole, happy, healthy, positive, caring, understanding, generous, and dynamic person. I am strong but vulnerable, confident yet humble, and completely able to handle whatever life throws my way. That is what we call perspective.

Sometimes we do need to be broken down and shaken up in order to reconstruct ourselves and become who we’re actually meant to be. You don’t know yourself until you – and your faith – are all that you have.

faith1It’s weird for me to reflect on the past and see that God was with me always, like a corrective bumper keeping me along the right path. The few times I fell, it was traumatic and disastrous and so bad that it forced me to completely reroute. It’s a blessing to realize that stress and pain and strife were so, so, inexplicably worth it. I would go through the fire a thousand times more just to be the person with the perspective that I have today.

Whatever you’re going through, I know that you’ll go through it. You will come out of the other side smarter, wiser, and stronger. More powerful and even more perfect. And with a little bit of faith, it will all be worth it.