December 31, 2014

2014 in review

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:23 pm by Broken & Brave

My pen is my sword- a gift given me by My LORD. I plan to continue to use it for HIM. Blessed, honored and humbled by my continued growth. Thank you for reading and trusting me to fill your heart. ~Nicole

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 29, 2014

Give and Take

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:02 pm by Broken & Brave

In 2001 my heart grieved as a mentor who greatly impacted my life passed prematurely. Yet, the mark he left on my life still remains. Within a week of his passing a dear friend who walked through terminal disease received a miraculous life saving double lung transplant.
God gave and God took away.
Both lives still impact me today. This Christmas time I’ve been crying empathetic tears for friends who lost a loved one to the grave. Yet, several I know announced a baby on the way or introduced a child into the world.
God gives and God takes away.

Life is here today and gone tomorrow. Seasons change, but whatever God does remains. Your physical body will one day perish, but the mark you leave is an imprint, a legacy, that is timeless. You are leaving a lasting mark everyday. Let’s stain the hearts and lives of others with beauty. ~Nicole

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…” Ecc. 3:1

December 22, 2014

You’re As Good As #1

Posted in true story tagged at 1:39 am by Broken & Brave

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:48


My husband has been coaching young athletes at all levels since the 1980’s. He is very good at what he does. He is an extractor of the amazing in human potential. He can spot raw ability and all it’s potential and help a person develop into something even beyond what the individual knew was possible for themselves. He is a hard coach. He expects a lot. Most athletes either love him or hate him, there probably isn’t much in the middle. He understands that his job is to help them achieve, not necessarily be friends. This post is about one such story of a young man who didn’t like my husband much, but grew to be thankful for and see how much John loved him. I’m talking about a young man who was a walk on college basketball player who rose to the challenge and became a #1 NBA draft pick.

I’m not a high level coach, but I have lived with one for 20 years now. Much of how he expects excellence in sports carries over into every area of his life, including his home. My husband will challenge you to be your absolute best without cutting corners, but he is also a man who if he were wearing his last shirt and you needed it…I know he wouldn’t hesitate to take it off and give it to you (attributes that endeared me to him).

It was the late 1990’s. John was still working in Division 1 College Athletics as a CSCS (Strength and Conditioning Coach). He met a young man who was new to the school’s basketball team and would be working closely with this fellow for the next several years. It didn’t take long for John to realize he had, what he said to me, “a Greek God” on his hands. Not only was this man big, he was strong, he was fast and had stellar athleticism that could adapt and learn quickly. This kid was not only a walk on to the team, but this kid had never played basketball a day in his life. The son of a Nigerian Ambassador in England found a basketball in a closet and began to read about the sport and thought maybe he could play it. Play it he did, for a number of years in the NBA when all was said and done.

My husband was hard on him, harder on him than any of the other players. He pushed him. He expected. He reminded him of the expectations and he was in the player’s hip pocket. After several months of this push for absolute everything in the weight room and with the speed quickness drills, the ball player finally asked John why he hated him so much and why he was always picking on him. John took him into his office, sat him down and asked him a few questions. While pointing his finger toward the glass window out onto the weight room floor directed toward the other team members, he asked those questions that sounded a little something like this:

John: “Who else out there is as strong as you?”

Players reply: “No one, Coach.”

John: “Who else out there is 7’ tall?”

Player: “No one, Coach.”

John: “Who else can move with speed and agility like you?” Player: “Well, no one, Coach.”

Then John looked into the young man’s eyes with that piercing intensity that John is known for and said to him, “You have more ability, talent, skill and potential than anyone else on the team. It’s my job to help you find the maximum ability you’ve got locked inside of you. It’s my job to push you to the next level and watch you become the NBA player I see inside you. To whom much is given, much more is required.”

The young man just looked at my husband, eyes wide, as though he just learned something about their relationship that was a bit deeper than he had previously thought. Though the practices stayed tough, their relationship changed after that. The player understood why John was so hard on him and he embraced the challenge to reach his own potential. He put in the work, and when the time came he began to be heavily courted by the various NBA teams. Post season his last season of ball he chose to train with John one on one as John taught him what the teams would be looking for when they flew the player in to be “reviewed”. He accepted John guidance and he blew all the teams he visited out of the water with what he could do. A few short months later he became the #1 drafted player in the NBA draft.

At the basketball banquet that year the player had a chance to speak to his coaches, his team and all their parents. He specifically addressed “Coach McBride” and admitted he really hated him at first, but over time realized how much John’s tenacious work ethic, instinct, and vision to see the man’s potential helped him immeasurably to get to where he was. He personally thanked John right there in front of everyone.

It’s Christmas time as I write this, a time to reflect on the birth of the Christ, the ultimate Coach. He is the one who came to enable and equip us all to reach for and achieve our personal potential. In fact, his birth made it possible for us to expand our potential into all of eternity. He sees all of the possibility woven into the core of each being. The greater His Purpose for a life, the more demanding the preparation will be…just like a practice before “the big game”.

If we accept his love, care, discipline and courtship…if we do the work he has called us and equipped us to do…then we can each be a super star success story, too. I know we won’t all play in the NBA (especially me, hello, kind of “diminutive” in stature here), but when we’ve got a leader like our Lord, the sky is the limit on what we can achieve. We will only ever go as far and we dare to believe we can.

Catch God’s Vision for your life. Take hold and take the steps toward your potential and God’s promises for your life. I can’t think of a better way to say thank you to God, who emptied himself into the tiniest of human form just to give us the opportunity.

Merry Christmas…I believe in you with the same faith that Jesus does. You are His #1 Draft Pick!


December 16, 2014

Tear It Off!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:52 pm by Broken & Brave

“Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:4

God is looking for people who are willing to work around the crowd to get to His feet. When we decide we desire to live a fully surrendered life we begin the process of complete death of the flesh. The flesh is anything that holds us back from complete and absolute obedience to God’s will and plan for our life. It could be fear that holds us back, our wealth, our health, our family and friends, and peer pressure. People, in general, tend to care what others think of them. If this weren’t true salons, gyms, department stores, car dealers, and house builders to name a few- would not make the incredible money they do. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be excellent and make a good impression, but if it at all hinders us from living the fully surrendered life-the life of a Disciple versus a church going believer-then it is an idol. An idol is anything that keeps us from the will of God. The Disciple is one who is willing to pay a higher price. Sometimes, in order for God to help us overcome any fear or opinion of man He will allow circumstances outside our control to occur. These circumstances create an impression on others that is different from the truth. It could be something small or something great, either way God has been known to do such things in order to get his Disciple to the place of absolute obedience to the Call despite how it looks to others.

The man in Mark 2 is a perfect example. Think about it, in the first century a roof was enormously time costly to build and financially costly to build. To cut a hole in the roof merely so he could be lowered down by his friends to see Jesus? What did the people think? It was costly. It was unconventional. It wasn’t the way everyone else was going. It didn’t look good. In fact, it probably looked incredibly unwise, poorly planned and dangerous. It involved uncertain risk. But the man didn’t care. All that he could see was a gleam in his eye of what would happen when he got to the foot of the Savior. He desired his healing so badly he was willing to do anything to meet the Teacher. It was ugly. It didn’t look good, but oh how Glorious when he met Jesus!

What is your roof top? What are the obstacles? Are they thick like a cloud that block your view of the vision in your heart? Jesus’ had a heart that is moved to compassion all through the Bible by people who did the unthinkable just to touch his robe. These people knew that what was on the other side of hardship was worth looking foolish, unwise or even a poor steward. They knew the Truth and they persevered to receive it…Do the same. God is with you every step of the way. He has Designed and Created you to be Purpose-Intense, Risky and Dangerous. Don’t give up! Any dream worth having is most lustrous when only by the hand of the Father can it come to pass. God loves to confound the intellect of man by doing things in extremely unique ways. It’s kind of His signature card!

You’re equipped with the strength to get the job done. Get busy…you’ve got some roof tops to tear off! The best is yet to come! ~Nicole

December 11, 2014

Glorious Bloom

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:36 am by Broken & Brave

“I am the True Vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.” John 15:5

The heart of Man is like a garden. We all have weeds, but we all have beautiful foliage and flowers as well. I love gardens and always appreciate my neighbors yards when I am out on a walk. As you walk down the street a yard might look a certain way from a far, but the closer you get, the more detail you see. You can see more weeds, but also, you can see all the beautiful detail, color, shape and flower of each plant. From far off you can only see the large bushes, shrubs and trees, but up close you see the real personality of the garden. Aren’t people the same way? People always look a certain way from a distance. But you can never really make a decision about a person until you spend time with them, getting to know them, learning about them. That’s when you can decide if you care to call them friend or acquaintance. Blessed are the hearts of men and women. There is beauty to be found in each. Focus on the flowers not the weeds. Once unveiled, every heart reveals a glorious bloom! ~Nicole