I've Got a New Man…

So, it  turns out I was right about Thursday. I did have a baby that day.

After 15 hours of labor, including crying, screaming, sheer elation, along with no drugs and no epidural, I got to meet my son…

…Introducing Beckett Samuel Benjamin Cottrell (I know, it’s quite the name, isn’t it?).

He was 7 lbs and 11 ozs. 21 inches long. 12 days early. And completely perfect.

Allow me to show him off…

I'm Having a Baby….Today

It’s finally here–the time for me to have my baby. I’m expecting our little bundle sometime today, probably this evening.

I’ll be out of commission for a brief time, but don’t worry. I have posts ready for you all, as well as some great guest bloggers in the next few weeks.

Thank you all for your paryers, support, love, and friendship.

Here’s to Cottrell baby #3!

What is the Purpose of the Church? Part 2

Yesterday I posed the question: What is the purpose of church? It seems, at least based upon the comments left, that many of us agree on the answer to this question.

Yet, as I set out to write this post, I did a little research to see how others answered this question. There are wildly varying answers, to be sure. After a quick Google search, I found thousands of articles and blog posts asking this very same question, each with a different answer.

Some say that the purpose of the church is to evangelize. Others say that the Great Comission sums up the Church’s purpose. Even C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity says “the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs.”

But dare I say that I disagree with C.S. Lewis…because I do. I don’t disagree entirely, but I think the sole purpose of the Church is something different… Continue reading What is the Purpose of the Church? Part 2

What is the Purpose of the Church? Part 1

Depending on who you stop on the street, you will most likely receive wildly varying opinions to the question “What is the purpose of the Church?”

Is the Church meant to do good? Feed the hungry? Care for the orphan and the widow? Is the Church’s purpose to be a light to a dark world or to edify the saints? Does it have to be one or the other?

As my husband and I are venturing into the new world of house church, we have been “talking church” and this question inevitably came up. We have also met some resistance from other Christians (big surprise) who question the practice of house church because they feel it falls short in the area of evangelism.

Which also begs the question: Is the Church meant to be an evangelistic tool? Perhaps a better way to phrase the question is this: Who is the Church for, us or them? Continue reading What is the Purpose of the Church? Part 1

Thoughts on Turning 31…

Want to know how I feel about turning 31 today? Well, basically I think it sucks. I hate getting old and this birthday makes me feel old.

Not to mention the fact that I am enormously pregnant right now, expecting baby Cottrell at any moment.

I was scared to death to turn 30 last year. I had a mini breakdown. I wish I could be like those women who effortlessly grown older and sing of the virtues of old age. Women who make 40 look like 17 (Demi Moore…the ageless wonder) and who treat birthdays as just an excuse to order another cocktail.

But alas, I am not one of those women. I feel the pang of growing older because it forces me to examine what I’ve done and sadly, what I have not done. I tally all the things I’ve yet to accomplish and feel like time is moving too fast for me to ever really accomplish them all.

But then I pause and look at my life and its richness and fullness. I am overwhelmed by the love of my God, my husband, my children, my family and friends. I am drenched in acceptance, openness, and the daily beauty of being a mother, as difficult as it is some days.

This last year proved to be one of ups and downs, great opportunities and some loss, all the while God has faithfully stood at my side and upheld me. This time last year, I was just beginning Modern Reject not knowing what I was doing or why. Now, however, so much focus has been placed before me…so much clarity and resolve.

I hate that I’m officially in my thirties. I hate the way saying “31” makes me feel, but I love my life and am thankful for every moment of it. I love that God will never ever say, “You’re all done Nicole. Nothin’ more to learn here.” I love that birthdays are markers of not only where we came from, but where we are headed…and for those reasons, I love turning 31.

The Dangerous Christian

The Dangerous Christian

from the archives

When you think of danger, what comes to mind? James Bond? Racing cars? A haircut at Great Clips? Or perhaps the ever-gripping-television-phenomena, Ice Road Truckers?

When I think of danger, I think of “Mayday, mayday! Get out of the way!” To me, the word danger signifies a potential danger, something to come. I tell my kids not to cross the street alone or to touch the stove because it is a “danger.” It is the trouble that could come from not obeying the rules.

The word “danger” and Christian are not often associated unless someone is, unfortunately and incorrectly, stereotyping Christians. Christians are thought to be kind, gentle-natured, loving folks. Or they are portrayed as hypocritical, judging, fundamental, big-fat meanies. But can a Christian be dangerous and should they be? Continue reading The Dangerous Christian

Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

I’m starting a new series called: Confessions. Clever, huh? No, not really, but the purpose is to confess so many of the things I personally struggle with, keep hidden, and daily battle. My hope is that you all will join me in my confessions (Tell me I’m not alone) not to call you out, but to remind one another that we are all in constant need of His grace and mercy.

I shared with you quite a few months ago that God was indeed prompting me to homeschool my daughter for kindergarten. I shared how scared this made me, not only because I question my own abilities, but also because I never wanted to be labeled as a “homeschooling mom.”

That’s right. I’m vain. I’m selfish. Mostly, I’m vain. I so desperately wanted to avoid all of the homeschool stereotypes: denim jumpers, long hair, mini-vans, scrapbooking, soccer practice.

But alas, I submitted to the Lord and it’s official…I am a homeschooling mom. So maybe you’re wondering, is it really as bad as I had suspected? Am I already feeling the need to bake cookies and cloth diaper my babies? Well, you might be surprised…. Continue reading Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

Jesus and Your Cash: Is it Really His?

Most Christians are really good at saying “Yes, all I have is His,” and what we are saying (or what we pretend to be saying) is that our “things” and our money ultimately belong to God.

We make grand gestures about it all belonging to Him. We talk about the fact that our earthly possessions are just that…earthly. We nod our head in conversation with other believers about our financial responsibilities. We use words like “tithe”, “give”, and “steward.”

But when do we really give? And how generous is this so-called giving? Does it make us uncomfortable when we fill out the check or do we not give it a second thought? Do we tithe our 10% consistently? Or forget that, do we tithe above and beyond that 10%? Do we tithe even when our rent or mortgage is late and our fridge is empty?

Is our cash ours or is it really Jesus’? Continue reading Jesus and Your Cash: Is it Really His?

Favorite (5) Things

So I’ve been thinking…should I continue with Favorite Things Fridays or kill it? I guess I could have taken a vote and just asked you guys, but I never got around to it.

All that to say, I’ve decided to continue Favorite Things Fridays except that from now on they won’t always be about one topic. Today, for instance, is the first of what will become many–5 Things I’m loving this week and those 5 Things will be anything from posts I’ve read on other blogs, to motherhood tips, to gear and gadgets I like.

Without further ado, today’s Favorite (5) Things…

1. Desktop wallpaper- I haven’t changed the wallpaper on my computer ever. It is the same image it has been since I first got this computer, one of the free images that’s included. Boring.  I decided I needed to make a change. Which leads me to The Fox is Black, who hosts the Desktop Wallpaper Project, a collaboration with graphic artists and illustrators to offer unique, funky, and even brilliant wallpaper for your computer.

I especially love this retro city image from illustrator Ben Newman:

2. Color Lovers- If you are anything like me, color is important in your life. I stress over paint samples and paint chips on my home’s walls. In deciding the colors to be used on Modern Reject, for instance, I was picky and particualr. My husband, who is in marketing and branding is also a lover of color and understands its necessity in branding efforts.

He introduced me to colorlovers.com, a virtual superstore of every imaginable color palette one could dream up. There are color palettes for home, decor, web design, fashion, crafts, business–you name it.

3. Yum Berry– I’m not sure if Yum Berry is available everywhere, but it is here in Scottsdale and let me say that this self-serve frozen yogurt spot has become my new obsession. Their chocolate flavor has helped squelch many a chocolate craving for half the calories. Thank you Yum Berry. I heart you.

4. Hello Bar- Modern Reject is set to undergo a small re-design in the very near future (more on that soon, so stay tuned). One element in the new design that is up for discussion is the wonder of the Hello Bar. It is a notification bar that would drop down on the top of this site. I know, I know, usually I find these things extremely  obnoxious, but this little guy is simple, streamlined, and customizable. We shall see if it makes its way to Modern Reject.

5. Pinterest- I know I’ve mentioned Pinterest before, but I’ve just got to do it again. I so love this site and their iPhone app. The hubster says I’m obsessed, well maybe I am, but I’m not worried. I’m pinning. (You can find my pins here. Follow me on Pinterest, as well.)

What have you been loving this week? What has been floating your boat, so to speak?

Who Has it Easier, Men or Women?

Wednesday is upon us, which means it time to talk about men and women. Shall we…

I’m sure that for many of you, just by reading the title of this post you could come up with a quick and simple answer. You might already feel passionately about this topic.

There are usually those who are certain that men have it easier. Better jobs, higher salary, gray hair is distinguished. There are also those who are convinced that women have it easier: They have sex on their side, can find a man to “take care” of them, and are able to de-board crashed planes first.

I’ve written in the past and asked the question: is it really a man’s world? But today’s question is: who really has it easier, men or women? Continue reading Who Has it Easier, Men or Women?