Can you tell us a little about yourself? Born and raised in London, England, I now live in Charlotte, NC where I struggle to wrap my head around why anyone would ruin a nice cup of tea by putting ice in it. My husband Al and I moved to the US eleven years ago with our three young kids to plant a church and have found ourselves building roots and deep friendships here.After losing my mum to cancer and then watching my bright, vivacious sister die of the same disease, my own diagnosis just six weeks later shattered our world. My cancer was rectal cancer. It’s not sexy and it doesn’t come with a pretty pink bow, so deciding to talk about it openly has been both hard and healing, for me and others. Now I joke that when you’re told you have rectal cancer the bottom falls out of your world, and then the world falls out of your bottom! Five years on I’m cancer free (Yeah!) and I write and speak about finding more - of God and the life in all its fullness He came to give us - when life hands us less. I truly believe life doesn’t have to be pain free to be full and I’m releasing a book in the fall of 2018 that’s a practical guide to finding that fullness, no matter what life’s thrown your way. When I’m not writing or speaking you’ll probably find me outside somewhere; on the porch with a cup of tea, running trails with my two crazy but adorable Golden-Doodles, or on a walk with a friend. I’m an extrovert who hasn’t met a silence she cannot fill but who’s learning those silences are precious if I can just sit still long enough. Coffee or tea? Well that’s a silly question!! Exercise or nap? If I can be outside then definitely exercise - a good walk or a run in the woods will revive this tired bunny. Cake or pie? Cake!! To go with the tea at three o’clock. High heels or sneakers? Most of the time I’m in trainers (that’s what we call sneakers in England) and stinky workout gear, but when I actually shower and put real clothes on I do love a low heeled boot. Vacation or staycation? I’m not good at resting at home - there’s always something or someone that clamors for my attention - so sweep me off to some far flung place and I’m yours. When I left college I travelled around the world for a year and I’ve never managed to shake the traveling bug. I’d love to go back to Africa. Early riser or sleep in? I’m a skylark not a night owl and always have been. It’s useful when school’s in but it drives me bonkers when I just want to lay in bed and snuggle. Read the book or watch the movie? Book all the way!! I’m that annoying person who sits through the film muttering “The book was soooo much better” and “it wasn’t like that in the book.” Dogs or cats? Dogs for sure. My dog Chester hardly left my side when I was going through chemo and radiation. I love their unconditional loyalty and relentless love. Introvert or extrovert? Hmmmm. Let me verbally process that for twenty minutes! EXTROVERT all the way, but I’m diggin for my inner introvert. Country living or city girl? If I won the lottery I’d have both a city pad and a mountain home. Until then, city with frequent escapes to the wild. Note to self: buy a lottery ticket! Do you have any hobbies? I’ve just got hooked on hand lettering. It’s really helping me sit in silence. When my hands are busy my mind can wander and I can just be. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? The book Essentialism by Greg McKeown is challenging me to pursue less in order to be more productive and find time rest. It’s blowing my mind. When it comes to watching we love our British TV series on Netflix. I’m assuming you've watched The Crown and Downton Abby (coz if you haven’t, well, we need to talk) but if you want something grittier try Broadchurch, The Tunnel, or Happy valley. They are modern day police detective series that aren’t gruesome but do deal with some heavy stuff. What are you passionate about? Firstly my hubby, kids, dogs and church. Secondly helping women live full, abundant lives, even when life stinks so much you need an industrial strength air freshener just to get out of bed, and lastly, I’m passionate about finding humor and grace in the darkest place. Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh and the horrendous. What/where are you writing? I write on my blog and I write to speak. I’m about to hide away in a cupboard and write my book. I’m planning on releasing it autumn 2018. Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? In November I’m having a Thrive Party over on Instagram which will be loads of fun and terribly inspiring. It’s a month of photo prompts to share the good stuff in life no matter what we’re going through. Come and join in! #MyFullLife How can we connect with you (website, social media, events)? Website http://nikihardy.com/ (lots of resources for when life’s a pain in the rear!) Instagram https://www.instagram.com/niki.hardy/ (November’s going to be super inspiring!) Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NikiHardyauthor/ (I do a FB Live every Thursday @ 10.30am EST - come and find me!) Twitter https://twitter.com/NikiBHardy (tweet, tweet!) What is an area that you’d like to grow in? Learning to rest, unhurry, and not put unrealistic pressure on myself. I’d also love to grow more in community. You’d think as an extrovert I’d be drowning in community but I also have alarming tendencies to go it alone and just make it happen. Community is so valuable for support and accountability. How can we build you up? This makes me feel so loved and seen, thank you. I’d love it if you shared my writing with people who are going through some tough stuff and need encouragement and practical tools, and if you fancy hearing this accent in person do send my speaking details to the head of your women’s ministry. Finally your prays would be wonderful. Less me, more He! Is there a parting thought you would like to share? When life is tough, really tough and painful, God hasn’t forgotten you, isn’t mad and you, and won’t leave you. When I was really sick all I could do was breath in Jesus, breath out fear, breath in Jesus, breath out anger … He longs to comfort you and sit in your pain with you. If you need practical help to find God and His full life, my 7 Tools for Thriving, and not Just Surviving, When Life Falls Apart is wisdom from “thriver’s who’ve been where you are. You can grab it HERE.
During my young adult years, I lived as a prodigal running from the church, and essentially from God. But in Killeen, Tx, I dedicated my whole life (and self) to Him. In those days, I jammed out to DC Talk’s, “Into Jesus,” and Rich Mullins,“Awesome God,” and studied a Life Application Bible as big as an encyclopedia.
For eighteen years, I’ve been married to my best friend who makes me laugh and finishes my sentences. Up until 2016, we homeschooled our two boys for seven years, now teenagers (with one having Asperger’s, aka HF Autism). I opened my first blog in 2009 called, If Meadows Speak. I also founded and co-led (with Amy Breitmann) a collaborative blog (now closed but still live) for Christians wounded by church, in a season without community, calledOutside the City Gates. We then co-led an online small group with (in)courage titled, Women Without Church Community.
I love small, intimate conversations, un-sweet tea, road-tripping with a camera in hand, Mexican food (extra salsa, please!), and my family. I write from my kitchen table with our mini-Aussie, Einstein, underfoot. In addition to the soon-to-be-released book, A God of All Seasons: Walking Toward Mercy, Grace, and Hope, I’ve authored, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness-Explore Boldness-Encourage Faith; and Social Media Strategies (Without Losing Your Soul),
Coffee or tea? TEA! But of course.
Exercise or nap? Trick question, there. Exercise because I NEED it. But a nap is too luxurious to pass up.
Cake or pie? Cake, gluten-free if you have it.
High heels or sneakers? High heels with great arch supports! (Also snazzy, comfy sandals are the bomb!).
Vacation or staycation? Vacay, definitely!
Early riser or sleep in? Sleep in. Is that even a question?
Read the book or watch the movie? Watch the movie. I’m a visual person, though I love to read but have less time than I used too.
Dogs or cats? Dogs (‘though we have an outdoor farm cat that is the best-est)
Introvert or extrovert? Ambi-vert. I’m energized by meaningful conversations with people! Afterwards, I come away talking like a chipmunk when I’m telling my hubby about all the wonderful-ness of the get together. But I also NEED to capture and process all that wonderful energy by channeling it through introverted time.
Country living or city girl? I’m in between as a small town girl, for sure. Right now, I live way-out-in-the-boonies country and like our place but prefer “country” that’s closer to our small town and community.
Do you have any hobbies? Um, does writing count? Add to that, photography and travel.
What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Cooper’s Treasure (documentary that’s absolutely fascinating!), just read Karin Fendick’s beautiful and poetic book, From Ashes to Glory: A Psalm a Day, and this week, I listened to the hilarious but serious sermon by, Pastor Tim Ross, titled, “Here, We Upset the World!” (from a Gateway Church’s podcast in Southlake, TX).
What are you passionate about? I’m motivated for people to be set free from bondage, as well as being an encouraging voice through difficult spiritual seasons in life (which looks different when raising toddlers versus an empty nester versus teens versus no children, etc). I’m an advocate for identifying God’s goodness, majesty (through His creation), and His gifts within others or ourselves.
What/where are you writing? My website, The Art of Fear Not is mostly a website not a blogsite, since I don’t blog as much anymore. My current focus is on longform like the co-authored book I’m launching with Amy in August, A God of All Seasons.
Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work as a social media specialist and content writer for a local economic company and am involved at my local church. I’ve also been talking to someone about revisiting a book idea we’ve discussed in the past, but that is still in the preliminary stages.
How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website: http://tammy-h-meyer.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/
What is an area that you’d like to grow in? I’m a Berean at heart so I never have enough historical background on scriptures and want to better understand things such as the cultural times of the Bible.
How can we build you up? Typically, because I’m an exhorter, I find it hard to focus on myself and even answer the question. Since I moved most every tbeyear growing up, I’m humbled by the smallest acts of kindness within this community. But if it crosses your mind, pray that I allow the Holy Spirit free reign in my life since I tend to hold back and that I’d allow Him access and control in every nook and cranny of me.
Is there a parting thought you would like to share? Don’t underestimate the power of community and supporting one another through the smallest of acts. And thanks Bobbie for taking the lead in gathering us together!
If you were able to recognize God in every hard, sacred season, how might it encourage your faith to grow? This book is for anyone who has found their spiritual life stuck in the icy grip of winter or their faith lumbering to recover from a summer’s break. Through powerful and poignant storytelling, Amy and Tammy guide you on a journey that will you to lift your eyes toward God's ever-abiding presence through each season’s challenge. Discover hidden gifts of comforting grace in darkness by night, and the radiant glow of God’s mercy by day. You will encounter stories of a God who:Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work from home and travel some for Vi Bella Jewelry. We are a job creation ministry creating beautiful jewelry with artisan centers in Haiti and Mexico. I have been honored to visit our artisans and their communities in Haiti twice over the past several years. It is an honor to work with our Founder and CEO Julie Hulstein and a team of world-changers as a storyteller and social media manager. (And I get to dabble in fashion- selecting designs and fabrics for upcoming collections) How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website: http://belovedinbluejeans.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.breitmann Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyBreitmann IG: https://www.instagram.com/abreitmann/ I run social media and marketing for vibellajewelry.com Facebook for ViBella Jewerly: https://www.facebook.com/ViBellaJewelry/ IG for ViBella Jewerly: https://www.instagram.com/vibellajewelry/ What is an area that you’d like to grow in? Bravery: I’m working with a business coach to work on consistent posting on my blog (discipline) and being bold in doing live FB videos and possibly podcasts to compliment the book launch. As most writers, I have a lot of fear that crops up in sharing the message that is on my heart. How can we build you up? Prayer, encouragement, a safe place to “practice” my brave! I was the spokesperson for the non-profit I started for years, but that was my “cancer story” I’m ready to share a deeper story- about owning being “beloved” and how that plays out. Is there a parting thought you would like to share? Thank you for this opportunity! I love being part of this encouraging, inspiring group of women!
Learn to perceive God's companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. Even when you barely believe such closeness is true. Unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but the One who also walks you through them.”
- gives you a new name
- never forsakes you
- delivers you
- redeems you
- rescues you from the pit
- Put it in your front yard
- Share the table
- Share your story