Books and Looks: Homeschool Conference Speakers

13765793_1831644557058429_4558556298217963575_o

Books & Looks: Homeschool Winter Conference

Current List of Speakers

Tamatha Davis

Area Manager, Classical Conversations

Mathew Paul

Financial Coach, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

Nicole Huffman Hollins

Black and White Face

Home Education Attorney and Consultant

Nicole Huffman Hollins is a local homeschooling parent and 15-year Texas attorney who specializes in matters affecting homeschooling families. As a big advocate for home education, Nicole founded the Central Houston Homeschoolers Association in order to connect the homeschooling community for fun, yet educational, activities. For more information about CHHA, please visit HoustonHomeSchoolSpot.com.

Bios Coming Soon!

My Yearly Fast, Being Mad at God, a Crisis of Faith, and My Sexual Healing Journey by @NowWithNicole

“I believe; help my unbelief.”

Each year, I go on a spiritual fast to refresh, refocus, and connect more deeply with Yah. Though I typically do this particular fast during September, this year, He had me do it in February. Before the prompting by His Spirit to enter into a fast sooner rather than later, I knew something life altering was going to happen. It always does during my fasts. 100% of the time. It never fails that He affects my life in a dramatic way. At first, I thought He was going to speak to me about my business. There were some current matters for which I had been seeking Him in prayer. Some were material, but most were spiritual and mental. I needed a serious mind shift. Additionally, there were other things things happening in my life- one I had been struggling with for years- that had managed to bring me to the point where I was experiencing a crisis of faith.

At the beginning of the year. I was beginning to get very disillusioned. I started to believe that I had prayed for so long for a number of things and they never happened. Those things I prayed for had nothing to do with natural matters but peace in my Spirit. That peace seemed to elude me. At the end of last year, I had taken to praying Mark 9:24, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” I was at a really low place. I was in the midst of what seemed like 100 storms, plus I was down on myself for having to pray that prayer. After all, real believers have big faith at all times, about all things- right? At least that is what many in the buildings teach.

I began to think God was not listening. Why did He not care about the spiritual pain that started to express itself physically?  I prayed for years, more than a decade, that He would take away this thorn I had. Although many events have happened to me over the years, there was a specific part of my sexual abuse healing journey that had been a thorn in my side, and I did not know why. I had been healed in all of the other areas. I was able to minister and help many people with their healing in those areas where I had been healed. So, why did I keep experiencing this one side-effect that would not go away? Why, LORD? Why?! I cried, pleaded, fasted, everything, for over 10 years, and nothing happened.

I was tight with God…

Not tight as in close, but as in boiling ,white hot mad. It’s okay. I can say it out loud, because He already knows. I felt that I had already suffered the abuse; why did I have to keep suffering this one particular consequence of another person’s depravity? I was angry and hurt. I felt abandoned. I was reeling from discontent and hopelessness. I began to doubt He cared or that prayer worked. My feelings were so strong and palpable. Just as the father cried out with tears to the Father, I cried out to He who is named Faithful. It was my belief that He was who He says He is that allowed me to keep going and not lose my faith, even though I had doubts.

Finally, it was a couple of days before the fast actually started when He revealed to me the purpose. I was in shock, because I had given up hope and decided to stop praying for a healing. I had resigned myself to having to live out the rest of my days dealing with the aftermath of my abuse. However, God said, “It is not so.” The thing He wanted me to fast over was the exact thing that had plagued me all of these years. For the first time in year, I felt hopeful. I have fasted at least once a year for many years, for many reasons, but something told me that this one was going to be different. That may end up being the understatement of my life.

The Removing of My Thorn

First, it was one of my more intense fasts. I had not followed these guidelines since going through my big storm of 2008- seven years ago. It’s interesting that seven is also the number of completion. Second, I knew He was going to make a huge revelation. That is more than what happened. I started to see with fresh eyes as I moved through the book He brought into my life almost 2 years ago, “The Sexual Healing Journey” by Wendy Maltz. In 2003, I was not ready for the totality of what He wanted to show me about my healing journey through the book. In 2015, He decided that it was time to use it to reveal why He had not removed this one pesky thorn. He kept it there for my protection and growth.

He used it to deepen my love for Him, for my family, and my calling. My thorn was not just about me, it was about His ministry He has for me. He could not remove it before time, because I would not have been ready to fulfill his purpose for that thorn. The ultimate reason for my thorn was for His glory. It was not for my pain. God was not mad at me and punishing me. By not revealing some things about my sexual abuse history and stopping some of the side effects of this past crime at an earlier point, He was both protecting me and training me. He used those years to prepare my spirit for the truth and broaden my ministry territory. I was relieved, but it gets better.

Not only did He show me the reason for the thorn, He also revealed to me things my conscious mind had not been ready to handle before this fast. Over the last two years, there were shady glimmers of past events, but I put them out of my head. I was not ready to accept those things were apart of my story. I had already dealt with enough. I did not want another thing with which I had to face. I did not want to know that those events were the reasons for my Decades of Tears. Nevertheless, the Lord said otherwise. He decided I was ready for this piece of my sexual abuse history and healing to fall into place. Though the memories that came and the process undergone during the fast was painful, it didn’t break me. It made me feel stronger. I no longer had that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. I thank God that He waited.

I am grateful that He took His time and protected my tender spirit until I could handle the ugly truths. I am grateful that He made me live “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I shall fear no evil.” The past decade- really my entire life- has been difficult. Many times, I felt it was unbearable. But, God. He is faithful and He used the pain felt during the fast to set me free. Pain has a purpose. He turns our ashes into beauty.

Follow Nicole on Twitter at @NowWithNicole

The Woodlands Mom Expo- February 6-7, 2015

Houston, Are You Ready for The Woodlands Mom Expo?

If your family is in the Houston area, you must plan attend The Woodlands Mom Expo taking place February 6-7. This extraordinary family event features fun activities, product exhibits, an emphasis on fitness, and the opportunity to address your mommy blogger dreams. The Expo was founded upon the principal of supporting women in their journey through motherhood. The 2015 event entails Woman’s Show, Health Fair, and KidFest. They have something for the entire family. The moms have the chance to network with other entrepreneurs at the Mompreneurs of America Networking Coffee Break, and they have the opportunity to learn about the essence of blogging during the Blogger Bonanza.

The entire family will enjoy this day filled with music, story times, health demonstrations, a cool diaper derby, and last- but certainly not least- a live demonstration at the sponsored play zones. The lucky kids get the opportunity to play at the Little Gym,  My Gym, and Pump It Up Inflatable Party Zone exhibits. I wonder if they allow adults. If so, that’s where you will find me after the Blogger Bonanza Panel on Saturday, from 2 pm- 3pm. Hope to see you all there!

The legal stuff

*Disclaimer*

I have not received a payment to endorse this event. I have received a free admission ticket and I will be participating in the Blogger Bonanza Panel.

Speaking of free tickets, grab yours below!

http://miriamnicolehuffman.com/woodlands-expo-2015

The pic says, “Click me.”

Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction- Part 2

But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Part one of Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction was written in response to a question on an unrelated message board.  The question was, “Are vision boards demonic?”  My answer was, “It depends….” The article proceeded to address popular Scriptures used by proponents of using vision boards and The Law of Attraction to achieve success.  It also discussed the alternative of a Scripture Board for those who are followers of Christ.  The video, “Christians, Vision Boards, and the Law of Attraction,” digs deeper into this topic and touches upon a few Scriptures that give Christians instructions on how to view material wealth.

Christians, Vision Boards, and the Law of Attraction

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest…

In addition to the Scriptures referenced in the video, when it comes to on what things we should meditate, Philippians 4:8 tells us

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Material wealth, perceived needs, and our desires did not make the list.  If you are interested in learning more about how to put The Vision (Christ) back into your vision board, please contact us.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33 

Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards and The Law of Attraction- Part 1

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Are You Jealous for Your Name?

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry and Now With Nicole will be hosting a series of events in honor of Relationship Wellness Month. One of our events includes a study on God, jealousy, and how it applies to how we treat our spouses. This is the second blog post in our “Jealousy” series notes. It continues our exploration into what the Bible says about God and jealousy. As with Part 1 and Part 2, I am sharing the notes as a precursor to our forthcoming celebration. All notes in this series will be referenced during the official events in February. Just as the notes in the previous posts, these are raw and unedited. I will continue to share my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage Part 3 Notes

7.) I Kings 19:10

KJV- And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

NASB- He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Zealousness /jealousy brings about faithfulness. Elijah’s zeal caused him to be faithful to the LORD. We should have this type of zeal, this steadfastness for our spouses. This type of zeal is giving of loyalty, not demanding of it. This type of zeal makes us want to do right by the person for whom we are jealous.

8.) I Kings 19:14- Also see I Kings 19:10

KJV- And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

NASB- Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Zeal for the object of your affection helps you to stay faithful. It caused Elijah not to stray and go after other gods- even when “everyone else was doing it.” In the marital context, zeal for our spouses causes us to be faithful and not go after things that will destroy our relationship with our spouses.

9.) Ezekiel 39:25

KVJ- Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

NLT- “So now, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will end the captivity of my people; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealously guard my holy reputation!

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- As with Elijah’s jealousy, this type of jealousy/zealousness causes us to do the right thing. God restored His people, because he wanted to protect His holy name. He jealously guarded his name. He believed in integrity. Likewise, our zeal for our name, for our integrity, should cause us to do those things that are right in His sight. Furthermore, as His sons and daughter, our number one goal should be to not make His name look bad while we are out doing things that do not look like they are of God. When we care about His name and our name, we are careful to protect it. We are jealous over our name. Applying to marriage, if you are jealous over your name, this should result in you not wanting to do anything that taints it. This should cause you to walk circumspectly and not want to even risk getting ensnared by your flesh. This speaks to me that jealousy isn’t just some “silly” emotion felt by an insecure person, but jealousy is something that helps us live our lives as God’s Spirit leads us to live. Jealousy is so much deeper than what the world tries to sell. It’s not merely a trifling emotion. Jealousy is a part of God’s protective character, and we should desire this trait in our relationship with Him and our spouses.

End of Part 3

Follow the Series:

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

photo credit: Rachel Hendrick via photopin cc

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Protecting Our Husbands and Wives

*Formerly Part 1b*

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry and Now With Nicole will be hosting a series of events in honor of Relationship Wellness Month. One of our events includes a study on God, jealousy, and how it applies to how we treat our spouses. This is the second blog post in our “Jealousy” series notes. It continues our exploration into what the Bible says about God and jealousy. As with Part 1, I am sharing the notes as a precursor to our forthcoming celebration. All notes in this series will be referenced during the official events in February. Just as the notes in Part 1, these are raw and unedited. I will continue to share my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2

4.) Deuteronomy 5:9- Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,….

Strong’s Reference- 7067- See Notes Part 1 

Thoughts- Yah is very serious about us not falling to idol worship. He warns us about this many times. This shows His concern; care for our relationship and for our safety.

5.) Deuteronomy 6:15- (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Strong’s Reference- 7067- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Once again, we are warned not to worship other idols. In verses 1-14, Moses is telling about all the good things that the Israelites had because God gave them to them. He told them not to forget Egypt. Don’t forget the slavery from where He has taken you. He gave them all of these good things. These were not things they would have had on their own. Was it too much to act that they be faithful? Is it too much to ask that after He blesses us with so much that we be faithful? This passage warns us not to provoke the Lord to anger. Traipsing around with other gods, playing with fire is an example of provocation. The Bible tells us in other Scriptures not to provoke people. In society, there are laws about provocation in criminal law matters. Provocation can be a defense to lessen the penalty of a crime that was committed.

6.) Joshua 24:19- And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

Strong’s Reference- 7072- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Reading in context, we should not say that we want to be in fellowship with Yah if we want to serve or continue serving other gods. We should not say that we want to worship Him and keep these idols. By doing so, we are provoking Him to anger and the consequences will be our fault. This is interesting because often we want to do what we want to do. We make ourselves our own idols by following our ways instead of God’s ways. Then, we get mad when we suffer the consequences of not remembering that He is a jealous God. Why are we provoking Him? Why do we put ourselves into situations that He warns us against hoping that He will save us? The saving part comes from the warning before the path to destruction.

End of Part 2

Follow the Series:

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

photo credit: Rachel Hendrick via photopin cc

Homeschooling From Love and Faith Instead of Fear and Ego

This past weekend, I was telling my husband that I was considering giving Jam a break this week. He’s been working really hard. More importantly, I am in constant prayer that the Lord guide me in our homeschooling and that I do it out of love- not fear. The truth is, a part of me does walk in fear because the only time his father and I are usually on the same page is when it comes to caring for him. While I have wanted to homeschool since day one, life events took us down the path  of Christian education. I decided that since I was then a co-parent, if I could not educate him the best place was a private school.

In August of 2014, God told me it was time to pull him out. It was a scary proposition given that it required me really staying away from my former corporate job instead of waffling and going back ever so often for a quick economic boost to my entrepreneurship endeavors. Further, I dreadfully thought about a father’s response whose attitude about most things is so different than mine. I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed without a fight. I know it was a move of God. Nevertheless, I worried.

“Above all else, my goal is to train up this disciple. That is a mission that is bigger than any school subject or passing a test.”

Never mind that God has seen me through so many trials and battles, I walked in constant fear that things would change. I can tell myself it was because of our history, or I could tell myself the truth- it was about my lack of faith. Due to this lack of faith, I spent the first close to six months schooling in out of my ego. I wanted to make sure he had tons of written “proof” that he was learning and he did need to be in an institutionalized school. Since I’m being honest, I needed proof that I had made the right decision by suggesting we pull him out of the private school. All the work- and extra work- we did was to show that homeschooling was the right choice. In my pursuit of home education excellence, I would sometimes forget why God led me down this path in the first place. It was not to compete with an institutional school. It was not to show that I was “better” in human eyes than formal school educators. The purpose was for discipleship. Homeschooling is a ministry that is bigger than me. 

Above all else, my goal is to train up this disciple. That is a mission that is bigger than any school subject or passing a test. I recently read the 2012 article “Why I (Almost) Gave Up Homeschooling” by, Edie Wadsworth, who was contemplating quitting at the time. What God showed her in this low moment was that homeschooling was foremost about a parent’s repentance and openness to learning from Him. It is not until we are ready to die to ourselves and be the student as well as the teacher will we be able to give our kids what God wants them to have.

While I am nowhere near the point of quitting, today my son told me that I work him too hard and he needs a break. I reflected back to what I told my husband, I read the above mentioned article, and I thanked God for confirmation that I can let go of ego (fear) and homeschool from the heart. I am thankful that he stopped me before Jam started to “hate” school like he started to feel before we began this ministry journey.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Protecting Our Husbands and Wives

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry will be hosting a series of events designed to start a conversation. First, a conversation with God and second, a conversation with our spouse. Part of the series includes taking a deeper look at the concept of jealousy. The Bible tells us that “God is a jealous God.” If this is true about our relationship with God, and our marital relationship is meant to be a reflection of our spiritual relationship, what does it tell us about how we should conduct ourselves in marriage?

This post contains the notes I have so far during the study. They are raw and unedited for grammar. I will be sharing my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes

Using God’s Jealousy as an Example in Christian Marriage

*These are rough notes that will be used during February’s Relationship Wellness Month Activities. This is raw, unpolished material.*

1.) Exodus 20:5- I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Strong’s Reference- 7067- qanna (ken-aw’); from 7065; jealous. Comp. 7072.

7065- qana (kaw-naw’) prim. Root; to be (caus. make) zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) jealous or envious:- (be) envy (ious), be (move, to provoke to) jealous (-y), x very, (be) zeal (-ous).

7072- qannow (kanno’) for 7067; jealous or angry:- jealous.

Thoughts- Yah telling Isralites not to bow down to serve other gods “idols” before Him. An idol is anything you put before God, before what He tells you to do. You can be your own idol. Your relationship with other people can be an idol.

2.) Exodus 34:14- For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Strong’s Reference- 7065

Thoughts- Looking at the surrounding Scriptures, Yah is jealous because He does not want us to get caught up with the ungodly. He does not want us whoring after other gods (idols, people we should not be with, etc). He warns us to stay away from them. He tells us to not go after them so that you will not make a covenant with the people who are not of Him. Play with fire and get burned. Why not just stay away from those things that will cause us to stumble? Why do we still pursue unholy alliances thinking that we are strong enough to withstand the temptation to fall into idolatry? An idols is much more than a graven image. You can make yourself an idol when you choose to follow your ways before God’s.

3.) Deuteronmy 4:24- For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Strong’s Reference- 7067

Thoughts- In context of surrounding Scriptures, Yah’s jealousy, once again is to warn us away from danger; to protect us from idolatry. Idolatry is unfaithfulness, putting anything before God. It’s more than making or worshiping a graven image.

End of Part 1

Follow the Series:

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

photo credit: Rachel Hendrick via photopin cc

photo credit: Rachel Hendrick via photopin cc

Natural Home Remedies for Mole Removal

Nikki Versus the Mole

Seemingly overnight, I grew this baby mole on my neck. The little thing hurt like I could not describe. I was always told to leave moles alone or you will bleed to death if they rupture, but I could not take it anymore. Alas! Google to the rescue. I went in search of natural home remedies and saw that there was one that included castor oil. I figured that I still had half a bottle left over from one of my natural hair challenges, so, “Why not?” I applied the oil and covered the tiny menace with a bandage. The remedy did not call for a covering; however, I was tired of accidentally scratching the thing. Did I mention how much it hurt? The next day, I read some more about natural home remedies and discovered a few sites adding baking soda to the equation. After removing the bandage, which also hurt because I taped it to my hair, I decided to try the baking soda and castor oil mix. I was so ready to have Baby Mole disappear, that I forgot I had not showered before applying the solution. Big sigh. To the shower I went. I cautiously avoided the area until I forgot about my elixir at the very end. As I rubbed the towel over my neck, I gelt a burning sensation. The same burning I felt whenever I would touch the thing. Then, something glorious happened, I felt it detaching from my skin. When I removed the towel from my neck, Ms. Moley. I defeated the nuisance in less than 48 hours.

If you are interested in natural remedies to remove moles, skin tags (more on this later), or warts, check out this link.

P.S. I do not endorse any of these remedies. You may have a different result.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

Get in Touch

See you soon!