Getting to Know You: A Chat with Nicole Nelson

Tell us a little about yourself and your family and where you live/serve.

My husband Tom and I serve at UC Davis. We have a 6-year-old son Micah and a 3-year-old girl, Ellie.
Tell us an unusual thing about you.
I gave birth to my daughter in the front seat of our van an hour after they sent me home from the hospital. It’s a fun story to share, especially when an unsuspecting passenger is riding in the front seat for the first time 😉
Favorite post on the blog so far and why.
Well the first one that comes to mind Sherry talked about sharing our whole picture we envision when we say something. I too often say only one piece of the picture I have in my head assuming that everyone else is thinking the same as me and then I get so frustrated when they do it wrong! 😉 And how it applies to my kids. I have to show them what it means to clean up. I have to give them the whole picture. I keep remembering that this week as I speak, am I being clear? Will they know what I mean or am I unfairly assuming they will get it?
How did you decide to come on staff and how long have you served?
My husband was doing children’s ministry and I was working full time. Tom desired to go deeper with people. And we both desired to serve together but just wasn’t possible with our two very different schedules. A parent of kids in Tom’s ministry was Mark Case who was at the time the campus director at Cal Poly. He shared what he did. Tom was excited but didn’t think I would be interested. But the Case’s vision of meeting in their home, one on one with students sharing life together really appealed to me and thanks to God’s clear leading we moved forward in it.
What does ministry look like for you right now? What is your involvement with campus if any?
Attending staff meeting (helps me get to know staff, hear about events and know how to be praying, not to mention just getting to be around adults!). This year I am meeting with two seniors, most weeks will be meeting them together.
What do you wish you had more of?
Patience and energy. Books…. and time to read those books 😉
What keeps you going?
Down-time. I’m a big introvert so need time to refresh. Having moms to share with and to seek out advice from.
What are your giftings? What do you enjoy most about ministry?
In the spiritual gifts tests, I usually get faith and mercy. But I’m also a strong admin and J. Its an odd combo. I enjoy getting to share the bible with girls, I really enjoy the Old Testament and seeing how those stories cast Jesus’ shadow. Whether it’s foretelling of Him, or showing our need for Him.
How do you keep growing in Christ?
I’m part of a great moms group, we go through a book (slowly) together and meet weekly and talk and pray as much as we can as the kids run around. My own time in the word, lately scripture memory has been great, the verses come to mind later in the day and I can have a mini quiet time meditating on them no matter where I am.
How do you keep your marriage thriving?
We try to make time together after the kids go down at least one night. We try to communicate well and keep in touch throughout the day via text message. We share our google calendars so we know where each other is so expectations are clear. It’s always a learning process especially as the kids grow and their needs change.
How do you involve your kids in your ministry and students with your kids?
This summer the kids and I were there at the beginning of bible study then headed home. Sometimes my kids come along with me to one on ones or I have met with girls during my sons soccer practice. We try to attend Fall Conference. Tom will occasionally take Micah to Nav night or onto campus. Still a learning process of how to get them involved while also being safe and giving students privacy.
If you were made President of Navs tomorrow, what would you do first?
Surround myself with many of the Nav leaders we currently have to get advice! Encourage the work the Navs has been doing to help Nav wives receive training and mentorship by getting more staff and resources to help. I feel like we are really starting to head in a good direction there. Would love to see some localized STP’s to teach students how to become a part of their community which will continue the rest of their student career. How to serve at church, to get to know and interact with people that are not in college.

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