Hi! I’m Nicole, a Jesus-loving Midwestern girl who married by best friend Josh in 2007. He is my hero, and my perfect opposite. I am constantly amazed at how God matched us up. I am so honored to share this adventure called life with him.

I am a perfectionist by nature who loves goals, order, list-making, and efficiency, but God challenges this all the time. Take, for example, the 9 moves we’ve made in 3.5 years of marriage : )  I am also unfailingly curious, and sometimes that gets me into trouble. However, that curiosity, love of life stories, and my INTJ personality work well together as I attend graduate school to earn my master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. It has taken some twists and turns to end up here, but I have no doubt it is God’s plan for my life right now.

After growing up in an incredible family that fostered and adopted, and then serving overseas as a missionary, it’s only natural that I am passionate about orphan care and adoption. I often say God has wrecked my life with compassion. I have no doubt orphan care and adoption will be a big part of our future; right now we are just waiting to see how. Although we love babies and children, we don’t have any of our own, yet. We are afraid that once we start, we will start collecting them like other people collect spoons or stamps or souvenirs : )

Living in Africa changed my life forever.  I learned about love and loss, faith and doubt, joy and depression.  I prayed and surrendered and clung to Jesus like I never have before.  I realized the source of my homesickness was not cultural, but inbred.  I saw in a different way what it means to love like crazy.  Africa allowed us to discover which of our values are cultural, and which are spiritual.  It made us even more committed to living radically, dangerously, and solely devoted to Jesus.

We are on the long and sometimes slow journey toward simplicity. For us that means resisting consumerism and technology, making many things ourselves, paring down our belongings, buying second hand, and lots of frugal living. We aren’t militant about it, but we are on a quest to find what works best for us, and I try to share here what that looks like.

I am naturally future-focused, but am trying to live in the present for fear it will pass me by. I favor summer, but the season I miss most when I can’t have it is fall. I love sundresses, painted toenails, glitter, aqua, cinnamon, beachcombing, sunshine, warmth, vintage fabric, silence, puddle-jumping, crafts, homemade tortillas, rock climbing, travel, military movies, fireflies, gingerbread tea, cheese, hiking, the smell of bleach, upcycling, sparkly things, quilting, colorful buttons, playing piano, and bare feet. I dislike apathy, being cold, dishonesty, and laziness.

I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus. My purpose is to learn God’s will for my life, and to do it obediently. It is so often different from mine (and more difficult), but always better. I sometimes fear the suffering and sacrifice that go with it, but I know His grace is sufficient.  My goal is to glorify him, and to love and serve His people. I want my life to be a complete and utter waste if Jesus isn’t real. Because I believe He is who He says He is. I know, in the depths of my soul, He is worthy of my trust and my praise and my devotion.

Thanks for stopping by, and welcome to Called to Love Africa : )