May 27, 2014

Sounds Sticky To Me!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:48 am by Broken & Brave

“No mountain too high

No valley too low

That You cannot overcome” (Reign Forever lyrics)


There is no place you can go, that the Lord does not know, because no matter how you feel, no matter where you have been, no matter your situations in life, He has traveled the road with you, all along.


Have you ever stepped in gum? I know you have. Have you ever stepped in gum on the pavement on a hot summer day? The gums been there a bit, but the heat of the day and the pavement makes the gum ultra elastic and gooey. You try to pull your foot away only to string the gum along with it. Ever seen that? It’s the best visual I can think of to describe in this moment how God desires His kids to be together. He wants us so unified that even in the hottest and stickiest situations we stick together.


One of the greatest joys in life is our children. If you don’t have children, look forward to it. If you cannot have children, but long for it, I know God has a special plan for you because the desire is there, so continue to long for it. One of the sweetest memories of parenting for me is when children are small, and they lie upon your chest. As you breath, they giggle at your chest moving up and down and the listen to sound of your heartbeat. Inhale…exhale…it only takes a few moments as they fall asleep to feel your breathing and theirs begin to fall into the same cadence. So it should be with the Church. Our hearts, minds, spirits and purpose so yolked together we practically breath in synch.


I have said it before, but it bears truth now, my whole life I have been wired for relationships. ALL people are wired for relationships. God designed us for community, friendship and intimacy. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden and he wouldn’t have given Eve. I’ve always been wired for relationship, the ability to get along with most people. Only, I didn’t ever realize this until I was an adult. I am an ultra soft- hearted person. I tend to see the best in others, I am not really prone to jealousy or competition, never have been. So much so, that I struggle to understand it. Never had any trouble letting others shine bright, never desired the spotlight. In fact, I prefer not to be in the spotlight. But because I am very soft hearted, growing up, I had a lot of wounds inflicted on my heart that I didn’t realize because I would just “grace it over” and keep going. This sounds good in theory, but by the time I was a young adult I found I was becoming very reluctant to let people in. I guarded my heart so closely that I didn’t make new friends. Oh sure, I was friendly, somewhat social (but only somewhat). I did a lot of “surface relationships”, but when a person wanted to truly get to know me or spend time with me, that was it, relationship over. It wasn’t that I had anything to hide, I was just afraid. I was afraid of having my heart broken. Well, when you are wired supernaturally for relationship, God’s not going to allow you to dwell in that place for very long before He begins to tap on your shoulder and ask you to change. Isn’t He so good though? He takes His time, He is patient and gentle. His Holy Spirit comes in and spotlights a situation or characteristic, a hurt, and He brings revelation but then He also brings the solution. For me, it was a friend like non other. Again, I had lots of “friends”, but because I am wired for relationship most of my friendships were focused on “them” and what I could pour into them, they weren’t truly mutual. In fact, I had one such relationship that was a tremendous amount of work for me. I tried very hard to keep it healthy because I was related to this individual (I am extremely family loyal! EXTREMELY) until one day the Lord simply, clearly, and directly told me, “You cannot make them want to have a relationship with you…don’t be afraid to let them go.” So I did. That was very hard for me for the depth of my love, but what I discovered was that all the energy I was placing into making someone happy, who I couldn’t make happy, was using the energy and ability God had placed within me. Once I let go and allowed God to direct my relationships I found a whole new level of freedom in Christ.


This is when God started to really bring people into my life who were completely like-minded and possessed a kindred spirit with me. This is the part that may step outside the box of how you view relationships…most of my friends are Christians, even the ones I had to let go of. See, even though God calls His Bride to be yoked and united as a collective Body in Christ, we are not all truly yoked of heart. I had a Believer once share with me that all they wanted from their faith was to get into heaven. Ok, that’s awesome. However, I personally want so much more from my relationship with Christ. I view salvation as the starting gate of a great race and I want to press on toward the prize of deep intimacy and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Remember, if I am wired supernaturally to be pretty good with relationships then it is only natural that I would desire the deepest friendship with my Creator! I don’t just want to be in the outer courts of His Temple, I want to dwell in the Holy of Holies…the inner sanctuary! I know that to dwell in such a place of deep intimacy with the Holy Spirit it is going to require deeper obedience, deeper brokenness, deeper purpose and deeper praise. I want to go in deep! This desire doesn’t make me more spiritual than the believer who isn’t looking for this, but it does make my choices different from theirs and their choices different from mine…and that’s ok.


God addressed the sting in my heart that was keeping the relationships He had for me out. He exposed it, mended and healed it and then began to really bless me with some incredible relationships. One in particular, the one friend God literally sent to me and challenged me to let her in deep. She pursued my friendship like no one ever had. I both liked it and it made me uncomfortable all at the same time. But I could literally hear the Holy Spirit tell me, “Let her in”. I would pray to God and say, “God I can’t let her in, she will be fine for a while, but then she will hurt me.” The Holy Spirit would penetrate my heart deeply and say, “I promise you she won’t. I have sent her. She is like you.” So, I was afraid to trust her, but I did trust God. So, if He said he sent her I believed him and I began to let her in to my heart more deeply. It was an awesome decision. She is the one person who knows and understands my heart best. She yearns for relationship with God as I do and we are similarly gifted. For a long time it was hard to accept her love, like I wasn’t used to having someone work just as hard on a friendship and I had always worked. It was what a healthy relationship truly looks like, mutual 100% effort. For it is but too true, “a relationship is only as strong as the persons effort who wants it the least.” When a relationship is from God there is no striving to please required, only mutual effort and blessing.


After all of that, what is the purpose for this post? We are wired for relationship, all of us. The Enemy of the Brethren knows this, so he works tirelessly to wound us emotionally at a very young age. If he can successfully wound us in our heart we callous and lose our heart sensitivity. We lose our Compassion. We lose our Purity (I don’t mean sexual purity, I mean heart Purity!). We lose our child-like faith. God has allowed me some pretty incredibly levels of brokenness, but it is good. It is good because I know the purpose (Romans 8:28) All people are born for relationship and community. But I dare say, some people have a supernatural gift to love others and help them heal emotionally. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am one such person. I don’t find anything boastful about that statement. It’s God, not me. I am just a woman, who in her youth, heard the Lord respond to her hearts cry and said, “Take me, Lord, I am yours to do as you will.” As a result, my heart truly bleeds for the broken hearted. I have eyes of the spirit that lead me to them. I can spot them in a crowd and God’s spirit in my heart cries out loud, “That one over there! I’ve got something extraordinary for them, but their heart is bleeding profusely and they need my (God’s) Love. Go to them, Nicole, and let my love flow through you onto them.”


God loves you with an everlasting love.


“No mountain too high

No valley too low

That You cannot overcome” (Reign Forever lyrics)


There is no place you can go, that the Lord does not know, because no matter how you feel, no matter where you have been, no matter your situations in life, He has traveled the road with you, all along.

No more bleeding. No more hiding. God is with you and He holds you now.

He wants to stick to you, breath with you, allow His heart to beat with yours…because he has plans for you!


He is stuck on you!




Brokenness serves a purpose, but then comes time to build.

May 7, 2014

These Are the Wonder Years…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:35 am by Broken & Brave

These truly are the “Wonder Years”…


These are the words that crossed through my mind as I was glancing at some residual homework my son had discarded to the kitchen table this week. He had printed some photos for school and one sheet of non- photo quality paper had slipped through. I looked at the pictures printed upon it, from about 5 years past. My son had grown so much, and I too quickly am well beyond the years of his middle childhood. How beautiful, each day, a gift from above to cherish, to love, to embrace the moments, to reflect on the good things in life. To be filled with awe and wonder.


Moments like these make me grateful for my Advocare business. Our part time Advocare income stream has allowed me the privilege to be there for my children. I am able to be their primary care giver. I am able to be the one to retrieve them from school. I make their dinners. I help with homework. (I remind them to do their chores). So many American’s do not have this privilege out of necessity. Or maybe they have the ability to be with their children, but their health is compromised so it compromises, in turn, the quality of their time.


Who do you know who’s life could be changed by a sample of Spark? Who needs more energy? Who is praying for an answer to financial despair? So often, WE are the vehicle, the miracle, the answer to a question or need someone else has, but we don’t notice. We aren’t watching, listening, or paying attention. We are distracted by the busy-ness of life.


What if you could put the awe and wonder back into someone else’s years?


What if you could put some awe and wonder back into yours?


I promise you, Advocare is as simple as sharing a smile. Who could you step out and help today to gain that extra mile?


It is such a delight and privilege to know you, serve you, walk along side you on your Advocare journey, whatever level that may be. How can John or I serve you today? How can we put more awe and wonder into your everyday? We are here to advocate positive change however you may need. Thank you so much for following our lead…may we ever grow and know how to better serve you.


Here is to your added awe and wonder….these are the best years of your life to be cherished all of your life. Find beauty in every experience, no matter how wonderful or how difficult…there is beauty to be found in it all.


In Health,


John and Nicole