Hi, I'm Nina

Hello ALIVE Blog Readers! I am Nina.

I'm an ALIVE member, Bible study leader, and very loud worshipper. Sorry if you've ever stood next to me. —I am the person who constantly sways.  

If it wouldn’t be distracting, I would totally interpretive dance through the aisles.

I love singing, and I love worshipping! I especially love that the music here at ALIVE is loud enough where I can belt at the top of my lungs and I am drowned out by the music.

I am so excited, honored, and encouraged that I get to share with you all a little bit about me and my journey through life with the Lord. Now that we are going to be friends, you should know a few things about me:

I am a huge fan of lists.

- They are a wonderful way to get a point across quickly. When in need of intense organization or clarity, this girl brings out her color-coded pens, planner and notebook, and sets about with those lists. Prepare for lots of these in upcoming posts.

- My dream job is to become a professional blogger. I have been blogging on and off since I was twelve. I now blog 2-5 times a week at Hugs and Lattes about life, faith, and positivity with a twist of humor.

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- Other job aspirations include writing a book, teaching Literature at a university, and fulfilling my potential to play Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Glenda in Wicked

- I am originally from Indiana but had 7 addresses by the time I was 10. My parents dropped us in East Tennessee in 2003. I have grown to love the mountains and find Southern accents and friendliness to be comforting. Even though some may say I am a "country girl,” let me tell you: I am not.

I have accepted that I am Southern.
I will not accept that I am country.

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- Besides, I only have a country accent when I’m tired, angry, or sassy. Speaking of accents, I can slip into various accents at almost any time. My favorites are New Zealand, British, and Minnesotan. 

- As the oldest of my 5 siblings, I have both embraced and resisted the fact that I am a “role model” to my younger brothers and sisters. The best thing about being the oldest is that I have five people to boss around. —and who are built-in best friends and the best support system you can imagine.

- I. LOVE. Lattes. It’s inconvenient for my wallet that I just so happen to pass by a Starbucks on my way to church. I can get down with just a plain latte, but my personal favorite latte has Jamaican rum, Irish Cream, (the flavorings, not the actual liquor) and Dutch Chocolate. My best friend made it up and she calls it, “The Single Lady.” Seriously, you should try it.

On a more serious note, I have a heart for anti-trafficking. When I was fifteen, I heard a teenage girl share a testimony of how she was raped, but that she believed she was pure through Christ. In that moment I heard a voice say, “Christina, take care of my baby girls.” God is that you?! “Christina, take care of my baby girls" the voice repeated. In case you didn’t know, my real name is Christina. I go by Nina because as a dramatic nine year old, I decided Christina was too long and proper for my spunky self. So I changed my name. But I digress; I knew this was God talking to me because when I talk to myself, I never call myself Christina.

In college, I helped start a campus chapter of International Justice Mission and spent a month in the Dominican Republic living and loving on girls in a safe house. Remember how I said I wanted to be a professional blogger?

My ultimate goal is to write a blog sharing the stories of women, men, and children coming out of slavery.

- Most importantly, I love Jesus and I want to love people like Jesus. This is way easier said than done and when I do it on my own, I fail every. single. day. Loving people like Jesus is Rough with a capital R.

When we love people like Jesus, we are opening up our hearts and saying, “I want to share life with you. Here is my hurt and here are my triumphs. Here is who I really am, take part of my life, and let me take part in yours. I will love even the dark corners of you.” The more I grow in my faith and with people, the more I realize that true friendship, true community, and true faith requires intense vulnerability, unending hope, and forgiveness.

Vulnerability, unending hope and forgiveness are three major things I want to share with you all as we go through this journey of life and faith together.

Until next time,

Peace and Lattes