August 17, 2017

True & Able

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:28 am by Broken & Brave

Gods heart whispers, “I’ll be there, because I can’t imagine moving forward without you.” (Matt. 18:12-14)

 

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Stop spending so much time worrying and living in fear. God is Sovereign. Ultimately, every problem you have is HIS problem. Have a ton of bills? Remind God they need to be paid. You do your part, He does the rest. Got a difficult boss? Thank God for them! It will change your attitude and even if your boss doesn’t change, your heart will. God wants to bless and protect you. So often us people try to do everything ourselves. He isn’t going anywhere. He is committed to you through thick and thin. You are not just one, you are HIS and you are like a priceless and precious gem.  I don’t think He’d have it any other way. By your side forever and unashamed. Where we lack fortitude, God has abundant meansures and rivers without end. Your courage has merit, but His Strength has no end. What a Wonderful Friend.

Youre going to make it.

~Nicole

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13

August 16, 2017

Love In The Details

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 5:51 am by Broken & Brave

I recall a time several years ago my Dad came over to work on an electrical issue that had come up. There he was, bucket of tools in hand, on my porch at 8:45AM.

My whole life my Dad has done things for me. I know it’s how he shows love. I mentioned in my post yesterday how when I was a young adult my Father would say, “Nicole, bring your car over and I will wash it for you.” What I knew he was really saying was,

“Nicole, I love you.”
Others might have seen a man with a bucket of gadgets on my porch that particular morning, but I saw a man with a bucket of love.

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There are 5 love languages or 5 ways to communicate love to others. We speak the ways that are most meaningful to us: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gift Giving and Physical Touch.
My Dad is a helper, so of course, he expresses love through service/helping. Mine is words of encouragement and affirmation, so that’s how I usually love first. But here’s what I know…people feel most loved when you speak the language of love THEY prefer. Some people need a hug or touch on the shoulder, some need time together most, you get the idea. Pay attention, someone may be reaching love out to you today in a way not easily discerned. As each of us grows in our ability to love, we become better at speaking ALL of the Love languages.

Be a blessing…you are loved.

-Nicole

 

 

August 15, 2017

More Than Mundane

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:19 pm by Broken & Brave

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So…today is an extraordinary day. I’m actually having an exceptionally wonderful week. It’s only Tuesday, but my optimism is high that each day will only prove itself worthy of my time.

Today is exceptional because my daughter is on her way home. I don’t get to actually see her until tomorrow morning…but she is on US soil! I spent the early morning hours of today texting with her as she prepared to climb on a flight headed from Dublin, Ireland to the good ol’ USA.

This kid grabs my heart.

You always dream and plan and pray for quality relationships with your children, but when they’ve become a young adult and you look up after pouring into them, being consistent and purposeful in raising quality humans to share with the world….well, what God has given me with her has more than exceeded my expectations.

Id say I’m anything but a “helicopter parent”. I may have even been a little too hands off with her. Oh, she knew the rules and boundaries. Those were always concrete. We never backed off either. But I tried and still try to raise kids that can think for themselves, step outside their own self interest and make decisions that are for the greater good. Teach them to be ambitious and give it all you got…believe big…be a hard worker…but do it all while resting in God. I desire to raise kids who can take care of themselves. Kids that possess quality deductive reasoning skills.

Anyway, my oldest is on her way home today. Briefly yesterday morning she and I spoke on the phone. I realized immediately and even surprised myself a bit with how absolutely and incredibly wonderful it was to hear her voice. I had only texted and emailed with her all summer. To hear her voice for the first time in months was more emotionally provocative than I expected it to be. Then, I experienced the same thing at 2 a.m. this morning. I got all misty eyed thinking about the joy I felt inside for this young woman who is so mature beyond her years. I think she’s been 30 since she was 3. She laughs when I say that, but we both know it’s true. Incredibly responsible. Yet she has a joy and laughter that can encourage any soul. She speaks words that edify and grab hold of hope and lighten everyone’s load. She’s good for me. I am grateful and enormously humbled to know God picked me to be her Mother.

She’s just always been an easy kid.

She makes my heart swell enormously big.❤️

I just finished washing her car outside. She has a small car, so washing it was no trouble. But it reminded me how love is in the details. Then I thought of my Dad…

When I was young my Dad would always do little acts of service to show me love. He would frequently, when I was my daughter’s age now, tell me to bring my car by so he could make it shine.✨

My heart is so full today.

I have so much love for my family. My kids touch me…I am fully aware with how incredibly blessed I am. There is never any gift better than quality relationships.

Life is an incredible journey, not one grand occasion, but a collection of moments to be treasured, decisions to be made and opportunities to be discovered. Seize each day, for it is a new day and so much rich opportunity is there to be found if we only dare to break the mold of the mundane, the commonplace, the ordinary.

Don’t you know you are anything BUT ordinary!~Nicole

August 13, 2017

Who Am I?

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:54 am by Broken & Brave

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Who Am I?

Who am I, Lord, that you would even notice me? Who am I that you should swim across all of eternity just to be with me? Who am I that you should walk through the flames taking my sin, my blame, my shame all for the Glorious honor to call my name? Who am I that you should love me so deeply?

I don’t know why you love me so completely and so deeply, but I, of course, am so glad you do.

When we reach a place in our courtship with heaven that we don’t need a lot of other things to find whole and solemn rest we have found a place in his heart that provides all of that. It is a source of true and abiding rest that carries itself so uniquely.

All my trials, all my troubles, all the problems my life has afforded me–and I have been through far more than I’ve ever shared publicly or even personally to others. Yes, all of that, did something extraordinary in my heart. It drew me in closer. It was God who actually began drawing himself in close to me. I just let him.

I was thinking about this a lot yesterday. Despite the intensity of everything I have endured in my life, my love and appreciation for God and His Goodness only grew more. I consider that fact alone to be supernatural. Why do some grow colder and harder from extremes and life’s duress while others grow in gratitude feel enormously blessed despite circumstances?

I know it all comes down to the heart. Heat purifies. Heat causes impurities to rise to the surface. Heat exposes the real us. We all have dross. We all collect moss in the chambers of our heart. If science teaches us that man only uses a small portion of his mind, I can only conclude by vehicle of common sense and deductive reason that the same is true for our heart and our emotional quotient. Some are blessed and able to love bigger than others just as some are blessed with incredible minds. The heat of trial only brings out the luster and shine.

No matter who you are.
No matter the crisis, the pain, your situation…
God is there.
He hasn’t forgotten to take care of you.
He has real and true beauty hidden in his heart for you.
Cling to him now. Open up your heart a little bit deeper for him. The Peace, Joy and Comfort will cause your heart to grin. He will quench your need like nothing ever has before. You will feel both content and thirsting for more. I call it “soul thirst” and he’s got a well overflowing with handsome riches in store for you.

Go ahead, open the door, let him in. Invite him in. Allow him to take his rightful seat in your life. I promise it will feel so good inside. You will know a pure and perfect pleasure as never before. He will widen, broaden, deepen your capacity to receive, be and show love as never before. You will feel good and others will notice it upon you.

He’d swim oceans for you…
His love is this True.

~Nicole

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.” Psalm 19:7

August 11, 2017

Suit Up!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by Broken & Brave

People work, strive, plan, creating and attempting to create something every human soul craves…security.
We put money aside for retirement. We save. We budget and bargain shop stretching our dollars as far as they will go. We buy insurance for every imaginable detail of life.

But as long as you live you will need spiritual security. You will need your armor. Life is full of the unexpected. We don’t live expecting bad things or troubles to come, but we know we live in an imperfect world. We know better than to fantasize about a pseudo-eutopia. When we place our security in the right place, the correct Source, we know we are protected.

Wait for the Lord, behave honorably, never lose hope, maintain courage. To fear is to doubt God. Trust Him. Steadily offer your heart, mind, body, soul to the true and secure anchor for it all. Bonafide child of God. What are you so worried for anyway? Never give up! This is what it means to truly live by faith. You possess past grace, present grace and there is future grace for you as well. Grace is not just God’s favor and protection, it is also him causing good things to happen for you. He brings the blessings to you. So suit up soldier and relax in his Grace! He’s got you. ~Nicole

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God…”

Ephesians 6:10

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August 10, 2017

By Design

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:27 am by Broken & Brave

“You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”
-Michael Jordan

Fill yourself up with good stuff every day. Invest in yourself. It will be a quality investment yielding a multiplied return over and over. Not only enriching yourself, but spilling over into the enrichment of lives around you near and far. You never know who your life will touch-so be ready at all times. Commit to excellence in the least of things and the greatest of times. God is on your side. He can take your tiniest effort and explode it exponentially MAGNIFIED BY DESIGN!

Students of Life learn something new every day. Challenge yourself. Surround yourself with people who will add value and help you become more. God will use it to open for you doors that you never imagined to knock on. Life is a gift, have a zest for living! ~Nicole

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph. 2:10

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August 9, 2017

Story Teller📚

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 5:11 am by Broken & Brave

I don’t consider myself a blogger.

I am a writer.

I am a writer who happens to have a blog account and on this account I share a little glimpse of the pieces I write.

I was thinking about this and all the different ways people who write do so. Some write and their pen is a compilation of all they have researched. Some write songs or lyric of sorts.

I write stories.

I suppose if I wanted I could write a story like a novel. I’ve not done this except maybe a short little story in elementary school. I have on more than one occasion wondered how I’d be at this kind of story telling? Could I write a novel? Maybe someday I will, I think I’d enjoy the process, the progress, the challenge. As for now, I tell true stories. I tell my stories.

I recently wrote about a few experiences I’ve had in my life. I shared these pieces of work on my blog site. When you bog frequently you begin to accrue a following of “bloggers”. People who write or blog and follow other bloggers. So I began tagging and organizing my posts making it easier for people searching a specific topic to find what I’ve written. As a result my blog has really grown and I have a faithful following of people who seem to enjoy my stories, encouragement and writing. Some of these people I know, some I don’t.

Recently I had a few bloggers ping back my posts, the few I am mentioning now, with a link to all the scriptural support for the stories I have shared. It was kind of fascinating to read the in depth, precept by precept, recitation and application of the Word. I was a bit fascinated by the attention and time committed to the writing of this source. God has gifted people who can dig and research and create an organized and simplified search through the scriptures on any given topic.

As I mulled through these thoughts in my mind I contemplated how some write facts or just information. I write stories. My life is like a little playbook of all the miracles and wonders and stories of the Bible in a present day setting. The person who ping backed gave enormous scriptural application for my testimony.

Here’s the cool thing about a story…your story. It is YOURS. Nobody else’s. It cannot be taken from you. It cannot be refuted. It’s your story.

See, if we truly and fervently want to see people impacted by the Gospel we need to become champion story tellers. I’m not talking fairy tales and folklore. We don’t manufacture fiction.

I’m talking about testifying.

Here is a simple format:

This is where I was in life. This is what I saw. This is what I did and this is where I am now and where I see myself going.

Christians need to have the full version of their testimony, but they also need an elevator version. They need to be well equipped and trained up in how to share their story with others. I think if more Christians focused on sharing their story, they wouldn’t feel so timid about sharing their faith. Because they are simply sharing their story. It releases the pressure of “am I witnessing correctly?” or the recipient, “are you proselytizing me?”.

Everybody loves a good story.

Everybody loves to hear something encouraging that has happened. It secretly inspires and encourages others, even if they never tell you. I guarantee they walk away with a piece of gratitude for the deeper level of Peace your story released in their heart.

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Your life is a story, your story. Share it boldly. Be willing to do bold and risky things. It builds your faith, sharpens your trust in God and gives you some pretty amazing stories that are exciting and captivating for others to hear.

People want to know God is real and that He can do all the cool miracles, Signs and Wonders the Bible espouses He can do. My life alone is living evidence He is, He can, and He does!

What is your story?
(I love feedback by the way!)

Make it an awesome day, writing your story with Him! You have been earmarked, like a page in a favorite book, for Glory!

~Nicole

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” Romans 1:16

 

August 8, 2017

Cluck or Soar?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:59 am by Broken & Brave

You can cluck with the ducks or soar like an eagle…

It’s easy to have an opinion. Criticism is never difficult to find and it’s very easy to get sucked into negative words, gossip and here say. But when we gather together and complain we become like a crowd of ducks clucking. Quack! Quack! Quack! It could get old listening to that and it does little productive outside of weighing a person down to the point they might drown in negativity.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer clear skies and space to fly. I’d rather soar with the eagles than cluck with the ducks.

“When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the Eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the cloud.” ~Unknown

We see examples of ducks and eagles in the Word of God:

•Joshua and Caleb=eagles; they spied out the promise land and said it was flowing with milk and honey and they could take the Giants. Ducks=everyone who spied with them and said it wasn’t possible. (Cluck. Cluck. Cluck.)

“Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.”

But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” Numbers 13:30-33

 

•Gideon was an eagle because he believed God when He was told he could take the battle, but only if he released all kinds of soldiers first and did it at a deficit. The ducks? Everyone who agreed to leave the first round and told Gideon they were too afraid and didn’t want to fight.

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’lJudges 6:12

•David was an eagle. Even as a young boy he had the stellar confidence in God by his side and knew he could slay a giant. The ducks? Everyone at the battle field who stood around trembling and doing nothing, including the King.

“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.'”
1 Samuel 17:32

Sometimes eagles have moments when they are squeaking a bit like a duck. They have moments of doubt. That’s ok. It’s normal. It’s about picking yourself back up and pressing in. Elijah did. Immediately after performing a huge miracle he ran and hid in a cave because he heard Jezebel the wicked queen of Ahab was hunting him. After refreshing himself with some Living Water in that cave he pulled himself and his courage together and roared as he soared to the battle line. He defeated Jezebel with God’s help. He had to do nothing, she fell from her balcony. But he never gave up.

“Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had killed the prophets. She sent a message to Elijah: ‘You killed my prophets. Now I’m going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.’ Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah.”

1 Kings 19:1-3

 

Many start strong. Many want on board when life is good and blessings are abundant. It’s the true warriors, God’s eagles, who continue to rise and fly when opposition and adversity is high. They have their eyes fixed on what’s ahead. They have vision and courage to cut through the storm and find sanctuary above it. They rise above, every time.

Many begin well, but fail to finish well. Stay your course. It doesn’t matter what the situation and circumstances around you look like. Sometimes we know God is up to something big when the stakes are high and we are called to rise and fly like we never have before. We know He has priceless and precious blessing in store and wants our hopes grounded and rooted in Him. He desires us prepared and equipped for the responsibility of it all.

Remain strong and resilient.
Fortitude resides within you.
Finish well.
Finish strong.
Block out the noise of those ducks who are complaining.
You are special and unique.
You were made to fly.
Spread your wings, now, give it a try.

Your best is yet to come.

~Nicole

“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

 

August 7, 2017

God’s Timing

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:30 am by Broken & Brave

Wait for it…..

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When God has a blessing for you it is important to wait for the full blessing in its full measure.

Waiting is hard. Patience is a golden virtue. Many years ago we sold our home during the peek of the market. We sold it to a couple we knew for far less than what the current market value called for. We did this because we knew for some time, 3 years, it’s what God wanted us to do. But we didn’t know right away who we would sell to or when. When the occasion arose as God described (the buyer would ask us to buy our home. No sign in the yard or advertising required). Not only did it create a way for this couple to own their first house, but also we knew obedience would bring us a great blessing. We had a real estate agent offer us $50,000 more than we were asking them and he said he’d still sell it to them at a good price. But we declined. We knew it was a lesser blessing disguised as monetary gain.

Wait for your promises and blessings as though you were waiting on a gift paid with interest. Don’t settle for lesser treasure. Silver is good, but only second best. Trust God for a pot of Gold Treasure Chest! Waiting doesn’t always mean you’re not ready or need refining. Though refine us He does…sometimes it’s just about timing and waiting for His. ~Nicole

“He has made everything beautiful in his time.” Ecc. 3:1

August 6, 2017

Living Water

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:45 am by Broken & Brave

We live in a day of skepticism. It’s an unfortunate truth that most people have been burned, betrayed or abandoned a time or two. It’s ok, it’s happened to all of us. We live in a fallen world that has true and lasting hope in a Savior who never abandons the Hope that lends the rope of Grace and lassos us into redemption.

Because people are growing more and more cautious and calloused to the world at large, we see an ever emerging distance from the Church and organized religion. People want more and more to see, feel, Believe but are afraid. I think this is one reason why Prophetic Evangelism is so powerful and effective in this day and age. When the Holy Spirit reveals information the evangelist or person with the word would otherwise have no way of knowing it pierces the soul. It grabs the attention of the person the word is meant for. It brings a deep well of Living Water that drenches the soul and plants seeds deep into a heart that may have been growing cold. The attention is grabbed and the heart attentive, then the Lord can follow up the word given with nourishment of Biblical truth and the person is open and ready…willing to receive. Their capacity to receive has just been expanded. But this is a work only the Holy Spirit can do. He uses the prophet to speak the knowledge in obedience, but he also works on the heart and mind of the recipient. It truly is a ministry only the Holy Spirit can get credit for. And it is absolutely Radiant.

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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

The story of the woman at the well in John 4 is a captivating story of a broken and dysfunctional life that regained healthy insight as a result of prophetic evangelism. I have zero doubt the woman at the well worshipped God in Spirit and Truth and then she ran back to town to tell everyone what Jesus could do. We have no way of knowing how Belief in Jesus spread because she was filled and shared what happened to her. It undoubtedly drew people in and His followers grew. Jesus wasn’t concerned about the number of His followers. He kept his gaze on the main thing…touching lives. He relied on the Living Water His Heavenly Father supplied and the rest is history.

Despite scandal, gossip, persecution, rejection and abuse, Jesus went down in history as one of the most read about and studied men in history. He was the tip of the spear and was pierced for our imperfection and became our holy redemption. His ministry grew and it continues to grow today.

He still rolls stones.
He can still shake the grave.
He can walk on water and save you by Grace.
He loves.
He lives.
And it is His heart’s desire to give you rest for your weariness, quenching for your thirst, and comfort for your longing.
He’s a soul saver and life change. Talk about the ultimate Difference Maker.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
John 7:38

A prophetic word is like fresh water. Water will always quench–but pure, clean and fresh water satisfies thirst and nourishes like no other consumable liquid. No one wants to drink stagnant water. They want fresh. Don’t grab for just anything, be particular about what you receive. As mature Believers we check the Spirit, but we are open and ready for the right word in the right season.

God is right beside you making rivers of refreshment…streams in your dessert…and Beauty with your Ashes. He understands everything you are going through. Allow His Prophetic touch to minister and heal you. He’s got you.

~Nicole

We will always see what we are looking for. If you are looking for trouble…you shall find it. If you are looking for flaws or weakness…you shall find that, too. If you are looking for beauty…there it is, waiting for you.
Beauty truly is in the eye of the Beholder. -Nicole

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spiritand in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
John 4:23

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