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    Niki is a Brit in the USA, a rectal (yes, rectal) cancer survivor, pastor’s wife, tea drinker and teller of bad jokes. She’s all about meeting you when life’s not fair so you can breathe again and offers encouragement, practical resources and a large dollop of reality on her website. She’d love to connect with you there if she can’t hug you in person. Her work has appeared in Christian Today, RELEVANT, Woman to Woman (Premier Radio), ForEveryMom, and Living By Design Ministries. When she’s not speaking, writing, running trails with her Doodles, or failing to keep up with her three teenagers, you can find her with a nice cup of tea trying to figure out which remote control actually turns the TV on. Grab her FREE Audio Download How to Handle Anything Life Throws at You, and discover three strategies to give you the trust and confidence to thrive, not just survive, right where you are. Connect with Niki: Website www.nikihardy.com Instagram @niki.hardy Facebook @NikiHardyauthor  Sponsors BeautyCounter - BeautycounterAngieE@gmail.com Three Twelve Market Kristy's Custom Designs ...


  I'm starting a podcast, and to say I'm excited would be a stupidly ridiculous understatement. The title of my show is "In This Skin," and the premise is this: there are far too many of us who are living timidly and in denial of who we really are and how we were really made. We are self-conscious, wishing we could change and become the idealized versions of ourselves we imagine but never publicize. We aren't comfortable in our own skins. We aren't comfortable, so we try like snakes to shed our skins and emerge in something new. We compare ourselves to those we see and admire, and we become like David trying to wear Saul's armor. We behave like chameleons, changing our colors according to our surroundings. It's maddening, it's frustrating, and for the most part, it's something we never even admit is happening. Here's what I know. I am nearly 40 years old, and for the vast majority of my years, I wanted to be someone other than myself. I wanted other people's talents, their lifestyles, their personalities, and their bodies. I measured myself against the images they projected, and I always found myself lacking. No matter how hard I worked, no matter what other...


  Her soft voice came through the speaker on my phone, telling the podcast interviewer about the hardest years of her life. This woman has moved overseas, adopted orphaned children, begun a non-profit ministry, and written bestselling books about faith. If anyone shouldn't admit having certain questions about her faith and her God, it seemed she shouldn't. But she did. "Is a God who allows these things really good? Where is God when the worst things happen? Can I really trust Him when I don't understand?" I knew just what she meant. Our hard questions don't mean we don't believe, but they always reveal the depth of our faith. And, I've learned, they can deepen our faith if we have the courage to voice them. Suppressing them leads to a shallowness in what we believe. The questions we're afraid to voice hide our fears of what might be. Question: "Where are you, God?" Fear: He has left. Question: "Why did you choose not to answer my prayer?" Fear: He doesn't love me enough to answer. Question: "Why are you allowing this tragedy into my life?" Fear: He doesn't care that it hurts me.   This woman wrestled with God and came out changed. Stronger. More confident in her...


  It’s the calm before the storm. Or maybe, really, it’s the storm before the hurricane. It’s the week before the kids come. This week, you will decorate and plan and move furniture and make copies, the weight of expectations heavy on your shoulders and the overwhelm of to do’s at the forefront of your mind. This week you will work like crazy, wishing there were more time and wondering what this year will be like and who your students will be. Next week, children will fill these halls and sit in your classrooms, and they will look to you expectantly. The expressions on their faces will all be different, to be sure, but the emotions will have similar roots. “Will I fit in? Will they like me? Will I be safe here?” You -- yes, you -- hold the answers to their questions. While you are busy making name tags and creating seating charts, the world is entrusting you with its future. You are entrusted with the world. Each child you see on Monday morning is a piece of the collective future we will face. Each child who looks to you for acceptance and safety is a person who will make our world better or worse,...