Esther 4:14

Today Nickkie&Co. turns 4 years old & although I will extend myself some grace, I recognize where I have short changed myself & what this platform represents. I created Nickkie&Co. to be a voice for those still looking to step into theirs. With all that has been going on, somehow, I have let life stifle me of my most fierce weapon, the reason why this platform has been so powerful & why it even exists.

I let life silence my voice.

My voice is my light.

I actively live my life deliberately making a decision to make an impact on the life of another. However, at some point I made a conscious decision to stop doing so. I let the chaos of the world take my peace, the things that bring me comfort & the motivating factors that propel me to keep going. So today, I encourage you to not only extend yourself grace but to remind you to never let the happenings of the world rob you of your light. Your light is so beautiful & unique & it would be horrible if the world never got to experience it again.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the things that are happening around us that we forget that we need our light too. Don’t be the reason it’s dull. YOU need YOU too. Actually, this is the time when WE & YOU need YOU most.

You were created for such a time as this. -Esther 4:14

Happy New Year Everyone & Happy Birthday to my love child, the platform for my light.

We have some work to do.

Choose YOU, First. Always.

If the pandemic put anything into perspective it is that life can be going at a 100 MPH but at any moment life can put you right on your arse. Many of us were forced to reflect & re-prioritize our goals and the things most important to us.

Prior to the need to isolate- we often put our families, our self-care & individual goals to the side for the sake of our employers, careers &/or ambitious long- terms goals that kept us from being present in the moment. We attached our self worth to our titles, our employers, our bank accounts or the various things people have said to invalidate us.

Being forced to slow down & sit still has given us the ability to pay attention to what really matters. It resonates with us now that there’s so much more to life than titles & the superficial things that kept us motivated & inspired before. We understand now that once our life is over the only thing left behind is how we have made people feel. What will be left is solely that memories people have built with us.

So today —

I boldly state the obvious —

Eff anything that limits you from being who you are supposed to be for you, for your family & your loved ones. That job will replace you, that ex will continue to hinder you & that toxic friendship will limit you. Though the time has been put in, it doesn’t mean you need to keep sowing the seed.

Plant elsewhere.

Stay where you are wanted. Stay where the vibe is alive. Stay where there is joy & comfort. Find peace & sit in it. Prioritize the things that matter to your soul first. All the other stuff will come. As we enter the time of gratitude, be grateful & give yourself grace. Anything not aligned with your soul is not for you, regardless of how good it feels. Keep focused.

You Made It…

Hey Loves,

Today is the start of a new week. Despite all that happened last week, we made it. You made it. That alone is something to be grateful for. As you maneuver through the week, keep in mind that you did not allow last week’s obstacles to defeat you. You did more than survive. You made it until today & you will keep on making it.

You are awesome.

Strong.

Empowering.

Inspiring.

Safe.

Alive.

Enough.

That alone is enough. Keep thriving baby. You got this.

Sunday Morning Jumpstart…

Let’s start the week off with some affirmations!

I will devote the first 15 minutes of my day preparing myself mentally, spiritually & physically for the day.

I will be gentle & kind to myself when I make a mistake.

I will embrace each error as an opportunity to learn, readjust & reflect.

I will show up for myself, in my best state, every single time.

I will vocalize & remove myself from situations or things that make me feel uncomfortable.

I will not walk in shame & I will stand firmly in my truth.

I will laugh often, anger slowly & rationalize before reacting.

I will be proactive & engaged in the things that matter & benefit me.

I will evaluate what self-love means for me this week because I understand that it varies based on my current state.

I will not accept mediocre engagement but will open myself up to new opportunities.

I will be the best version of myself, for myself, first & foremost.

I will evaluate how each situation makes me feel but I will not dwell on the things I cannot change.

I will radiate the energy I am deserving of.

I will find balance between my spiritual, business, financial & social life.

I will find time to do something to enjoy myself even when it doesn’t appear possible.

I will listen to what my body tells me & I will take heed to what she needs.

I will not receive the negative projections people will try to put on me. However, I will recognize that many things we experience are often larger than us.

I will be kind & will make a positive influence in every room I walk into.

I will stand firmly on my no’s & confidently on my YES.

I will live my life confident in who I am & the light I shine in the world.

& lastly, I will love freely however my heart sees fit.

Everything is A Choice

Remember Loves,

This week is yours to do what you want with it.

It is up to you to make active choices to —

Be happy

Be confident

Start fresh

Love without conditions

Start establishing boundaries

Make intentional & deliberate decisions that elevate you & others

Learn something new

Make someone smile

Engage in positive conversations

Tackle unforeseen obstacles

& tap into your tribe, if needed.

(because you shouldn’t go through life alone)

Life is all about choices & often we get so caught up with what is in front of us that we forget that every decision we make, every action we take, is an active choice we choose to make. We have to be willing to accept that although there may be instances where choices are not clear; how we react to any given situation, whether good or bad, is still a choice.

You are too powerful to not recognize that you have the ability to make a choice in everything you do. Just take a moment, sit back, be slower to react & pick the option that bests suit you & what you stand for. Determine if whatever you face (whether good or bad) deserves the energy you want to give it.

Make every choice count.

Friendship; God’s Reminders.

Today is a reminder to consistently have people around you that pour into you. Amongst my friends, it has been very evident that the past few months things have been pretty difficult for me. I am blessed that in their own way, they have been there in different capacities; capacities that have exceeded my expectations. Many people tell you they will be there however, I am truly amazed at the capacity people have been. Without a thought, without a question & without missing a beat, they have been there.

As time progresses, I am reminded that meaningful friendships help make life rich. Unfortunately, society has made us think that isolation for the sake of success is normal. Instead of creating sustainable & healthy relationships with the people we love, we have started to put our professions, finances & material desires first. Although those things do matter, the amount of love you receive & the memories you create with the people you love are most important.

Life has a ton of things to remind you that it’s worth living. God put intricate details into everything he has created & in the midst of chaos, if you’re open to it, you will notice things that will make your heart smile. That is how quality friendships are; God’s gentle reminders that it is going to be ok. Regardless of how hard life can be, there are still people here that love you. When you find yourself most ugly, there are people who see your beauty as it is, who love you & are willing to run the obstacle with you.

I pray you have been open enough to receive & recognize these genuine relationships in your life. I pray that you understand that all obstacles weren’t made to be tackled alone & sometimes their willingness to step in takes away the burden of having to do it all alone. I have been immensely blessed because my loved ones made a conscious decision to seek me out when I felt isolation was best. Their interference allowed me to look at the brighter side of things & although things are not perfect now;things feel a little better because I am not alone.

I want that for you. Feeling supported makes a difference in our ability to tackle the things that are stressing us. So if you have a “healthy” someone that wants in when you’re struggling let them in. They see your worth when you can’t & will love on you when you feel unlovable.

It is quite simple, really. Life is too short to go through it alone. So, don’t.

Stay Encouraged…

It’s very difficult to look at the bright side of things when everything around you seems to be falling apart. However, although things may not be the way you have desired them to be it is important to stay encouraged, have faith & keep yourself encouraged as things get better. Despite any obstacles or inconveniences you may be facing; keep these affirmations in mind to boost your morale when things get a little tough.

I will not over extend myself.

I will determine what needs my immediate attention & plan accordingly.

I will not take on anyone else’s emergencies as my own.

However, I will be available, as a friend, if I feel I am capable of doing so.

I will feed into myself spiritually when I feel “off” & spend time with myself to process how I am feeling.

I know that whatever I am going through currently is temporary.

I know that people will come through for me when I need them.

I understand that “you are not alone” is not just a statement. Most people will step up in their capacity.

I am loved immensely, even if I may not feel like it.

I will not diminish my accomplishments because things are hard now.

I will not let social media define my success.

I will not let my employer take more from me than I can give.

I will be deliberate with putting time aside for myself.

I will listen to my body when it tells me I need a break.

I will not take life so seriously that I can not take in the moments.

I will cry if I need to but I will laugh in fullness.

My problems are resolved in advance & this time will pass.

People may not know what I am experiencing but they will understand that I need time.

What I have put back into the earth will come back full circle & I am blessed for that.

I am my own superhero & that’s all I need to be.

But just like any superhero, I am entitled to some time to rest.

I am in charge of my emotions.

They are not in charge of me.

Therefore, today, I am choosing…

To be happy…

To be optimistic.

I understand that all things happen as they should.

All things have a divine order.

I will not beat myself up for not keeping up.

I am going in the speed I am supposed to.

Life will turn out to be better than the way I ever imagined.

I will buckle down, have faith & love the journey.

The journey, although not always how I want it to be, is mine.

It is beautiful.

Life Isn’t A Coincidence…

Life has a way of giving you confirmation for the things you aspire for. However, many of us spend so much time focusing on our routines that we fail to slow down & pay attention to those nuances that serve as confirmation for the things we desire. As I get older, gain experience & begin recognizing the power of manifestation; I am learning that everything comes around full circle— every action has a direct consequence, every desire has the ability to be more & most of us miss opportunities that are right in front of us because we are too busy NOT looking & not maximizing on the opportunities in front of us.

Therefore, today we begin being intentional. We start manifesting with expectation. We begin lacing our expectation with confidence & become readily available to receive. Every action step we take will give us favor. Every word we speak will gain the attention of the person who has influence. Every room we step in will be an opportunity to showcase ourselves & every door we close, readily prepares us for another to open. Today we stop selling ourselves short, stop thinking we aren’t enough & we stop missing out on our dreams while making someone else’s come true.

Nothing we experience, nothing we aspire to be, nothing that suddenly inspires us happens by coincidence. It is in God’s divine timing, his deliberate mission & our ability to identify the things that are for us that will allow us to take heed of our greatest desires. The foundation has been established. It’s on us not to lose on it.

Taking On More…

Sometimes it feels like we are biting much more than we can chew. I know many times we feel like we are running a race on a hamster wheel, against ourselves. Because when one thing is sorted out; another thing happens. I personally have been feeling that way lately & it has been extremely uncomfortable. These past few months, I have been very transparent about being in one of the most unique & uncomfortable faith tests of my life. If I were to be honest, I hate it. But my faith (hence, the current faith test I am in) tells me it will all be sorted out & God holds me near. I am sure, with the current times, many people are feeling much like I am; especially with the holidays close & our inability to gather in the ways we are use to.

Normally, I will start talking about how we are going to get through this time & that God will not put us through anything we can’t handle. Although that seems promising & sounds good; I recently heard a different perspective on this. Pastor Tony Evans told his congregation that often times, God gives us more than we can handle because it helps shape us into the very person we are supposed to be. This resonated with me because every time, in the mist of my chaos, God met me. Every time, when life was too much, God has shown me that he was able to relieve me from the stresses that were too difficult for me but never too difficult for him. My drama has taught me empathy & has molded my ability to encourage those who will be where I am; after me. Because the truth is, our testimonies are not for us. They are for someone else. Someone who will be in the same place we are in now; who is having a difficult time getting through, moving forward & functioning solely on faith.

I am able to write these memoirs every week because they are MY experiences meant for YOU. Life is a classroom; sometimes you will be the teacher & many times the student. We just have to be willing to accept the role we are assigned in that particular time of our lives. Our ability to be the teacher to someone else comes from being the student, failing the test & trying again. Therefore, along with the theme of every other memoir, I am going to remind you that this obstacle is temporary & that your life has purpose. To give up & to lose faith is not only a disservice to you but to the lives of those that will follow after you. Even when life gives you too much to chew, know that you are not chewing alone. There have been other people where you are now & God stands with you in the midst of it all.

You are history. You are a story. You are a trailblazer. You are power. You are strength. You are light. You are life. You are love.

Beautifully Imperfect

Hey, loves! Today is a pretty exciting day! Nickkie&Co. has not had a Guest Inspiration in quite a while. However, a long time friend & fellow woman in Christ, Quiomayra Figueroa, has offered her Testimony to share with us today. She brings forward the conversation that religion & a relationship with christ are NOT the same thing. In fact, relationship is so much more. Tune in & check out the brief summary of her journey. It might sound a lot like yours. Thank you Quio for your testimony.

My name is Quiomayra Figueroa and I am 31 years old, born in Camden and raised in  Pennsauken, New Jersey. This is my story of a born sinner saved by an awesome father God in heaven. 

I knew who God was but never really had a “relationship” with the Lord, it was more religion than anything else. I grew up in the Catholic Church; that’s where the foundation started but it didn’t continue. The seed was planted in me by my parents to know who God was and that Jesus died on the cross but never really experienced or understood the importance of having a relationship with God, to understand why Jesus died on the cross for us, and to be thankful and devoted like I am now. Back then what I knew about being a Christian was to “do this do that” and “if you don’t follow these rules you are going to hell and God is going to punish you”. Because of that, I didn’t have a desire to seek the Lord because I thought I had to be perfect. I didn’t fully understand why God allowed things to happen in this world and why I had to be a part of it; I didn’t believe it at the time because a lack of understanding.

I then started to do things my way. I went to college to do something that I was passionate about to help people and the community I grew up in; I went for criminal justice. In my college, I didn’t really experience the partying scene in school but I experienced it outside with the group of people I grew up with. I did what I wanted and what I thought was “living life”. I was partying, drinking like crazy,  and going out to the clubs all the time. Looking back now I basically got myself into a lot of situations that I could’ve avoided that were dangerous. Thank the Lord he had me covered. I was also not in the best relationship.  I don’t blame the person I was with because we obviously weren’t meant to be and that’s okay. I remember after graduating college I  was in a relationship for four years with a man I thought I was going to marry. While we were together I started to seek the Lord with a couple of my family members due to situations in my family; we decided to go to church and I loved it. I kept attending and curious about God; wanting more. I was baptized and I made that declaration to the Lord that I was going to follow him and change my life around but I wasn’t fully dedicated. At this point in my life I became a “luke warm Christian” with one foot in and one foot out. I didn’t want to let go of my old lifestyle; not fully trusting the God. I thought my life was good; I had a boyfriend, we lived together, working in my field of study, and got a dog. In reality though, things were following apart. 

Just like on social media, people post what they want you to see. Who post’s up their failures or what’s going on in their life? My relationship with my boyfriend at the time failed, just like  people in my life that love the Lord and prayed for me, said it would. I am not bashing the person I was with; but our situation. I knew that I was doing things out of God’s order. The relationship ending helped me to take the rose colored glasses off my eyes. I was able to be like you know what God “ I’m TIRED of how I’m living, TIRED of the partying and the drinking, TIRED of the failed relationships, TIRED of being mad at the world with different situations, trying to be in control and not getting good results. I decided that day to just say “I’m done” and I started to really seek the Lord a different way; on his terms because in the past I didn’t handle problems well my way.

When I was in high school during my senior year and part of my college life I handled situations so differently, unhappy and depressed. I would literally shut myself from the world, not wanting to be bothered by anyone. I would lock myself in the room, sleep all the time and I wouldn’t have an appetite. I remember my mom knocking on the door in my room to check up on me and  I would not let her in. I went from weighing 135 to 105 real quick; at my worst. At a certain point I snapped out of that depression in which God delivered me from and I decided to leave it in God’s hands! Once I made that decision to follow Christ wanting his peace and his joy, I ended up finding another church home; not because where I was wasn’t a bible preaching church but because I needed something different. Where I attend now has helped me to grow in relationship with the Lord and not just what people call “religion”. I get to learn who God is as our father and our friend. I have a community of family who know and love the Lord just like me that I can be accountable to. Because let’s face it, nothing is ever going to be perfect; we are human with real problems. Just because we are followers of Christ doesn’t mean we are not prone to trials in this world because we decided to take this step. That’s a promise from the Lord that we will have to “face troubles but to take heart because he has already overcome the world”(John 16:33) when he died on that cross for us. That’s the beauty of it! We are going to fail in some way, shape or form. I feel true conviction when it happens which is good, but as long as we continue to trust the Lord and give it to him, he will help us, he will show up and he will change our lives like never before! 

God wants to meet us where we are; that’s where he can work in us. We don’t have to come to him perfect. He tells us to draw closer to him and he will draw closer to us (James 4:8). Because of that decision I made a long time ago, to accept this invitation from the Lord to follow him, my life has never been the same. Life’s purpose that he has for me and you is to encourage people, to allow them to see the love of Christ and to tell them the good news about him. It’s the whole point of life, to love God and love people. 

I didn’t desire to seek the lord because I thought I had to be perfect.