December 31, 2016

A New Year Blessing

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:55 pm by Broken & Brave

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Be blessed, One and All.
Be blessed, in the big and the small.

Pray believing what you pray.
Because miracles happen every day.

Believe that every day could be like New Year’s Day…full of Hope & Belief.

Have a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Joy-filled Holiday. Happy New Year.

With Love, Nicole

December 30, 2016

What’s Your Name?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:44 am by Broken & Brave

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So, growing up there weren’t a lot of other “Nicole’s”. I was usually the only one until maybe high school I knew one other. But everywhere I went when I had to give my name, if it was being written down by another, they would try to put an H in it making it “Nichole”. I was frequently correcting people and reminding them there was no H in my name. My last name was even worse. People would slaughter it trying to pronounce it–very long name with lots of vowels–and that’s the “Americanized” version! I would endure a barrage of questions about its origin. People loved to try to guess “what” I was. I had a teacher who would always make jokes to me about Russian vodka??? I guess he though I was Russian. I had another instructor who was positive I was Scandinavian because of my light hair and eyes, but ability to tan deep.

Most thought I was Scandinavian…Swedish or Norwegian. All incorrect.

People may not get your name right. They may mistag you with labels and descriptions of their perception of you. But that doesn’t have to affect the beauty of who God created you to shine through. God knows you! He knows your name. He knows your heart. He knows every detail about you and His heart is blessed by you.

Life has a way of labeling us…we all have a number attached to our name for goodness sake (social security), but God knows who you REALLY are. Sink back in His comfort like an easy chair…his love for you is beyond compare. ❤️Nicole

December 28, 2016

Shaken But Not Stirred…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by Broken & Brave

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In the region of Northern California those who reside, as I, in the Central Valley, can look toward the coast and see a large mountain called Mount Diablo. To the east we see gorgeous Sierra mountains. The Sierra mountains have been shaking and rattling with earthquakes since last night. Makes me think of the infinite power of God. No matter how ominous a situation may seem, how difficult a job, no matter how large your obstacle or far off your destination may seem when pursuing a goal or a dream…God can shake it at the foundation and make it lay aside carving a path of Hope and possibility for you.

“The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before The Lord of all the earth.”
Psalm 97:5

There is no task the Lord’s arm is too short for. He can do it!
~Nicole

December 27, 2016

Filters…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:47 am by Broken & Brave

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“The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” John 7:38

At our old house we had a water purification filter on our kitchen sink. It really did a great job of cleaning the water and enhancing the flavor, but the filter had to be changed after a while. Once the filter was made new, the water tasted clean and looked clear again.
The same is true with our mind, heart & spirit. We need to fix our eyes upon The Lord, drink deeply of His Word. We need to continually be cleansing our hearts and asking God to change our mindsets…change our filter. All of life is interpreted by the filter you choose. Everyday is a new day to dream a new dream…set a new goal…experience your world with awesome wonder and gratitude to be alive. You don’t have to wait for the New Year to change your “filter”. You can begin today! ~Nicole

December 26, 2016

Wrapped Up

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:44 am by Broken & Brave

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God has a place prepared for you this day called Beautiful. Wrap yourself in it and he wraps himself around you. Present your requests to Him and let the word of the Lord sink in. He is not too big or busy for you. Even your simplest request is his delight to accomplish for you.

Many years ago, on my journey to learn how to live by faith financially, it was a very lean season and every penny was accounted for. I had been wanting a new coat and was in need of one. But truly, I live in California so it is not severely difficult to get by without it. So I asked God about it and requested to be blessed. When I have a need, great or small, I generally tell no one. I prefer stealthiness. This way is more exciting for me to see the provision complete in God. Myself and no one else will be able to say I manipulated the situation or made it happen. (Don’t get me wrong, there is definite benefit to praying for each other and sharing requests, but not always.) Well, God showed up in glorious measure. I have a dear friend who lives in another Nor Cal town whom I only see a few times a year. She called me up and told me her husband had taken her on a shopping spree and she had not tried on anything she got in a major U.S. Fashion renown city out of state. She had selected a coat that was far too similar to one she already had and wanted to give it to me. I was delighted! Not just because of the thoughtful generosity of my friend, but I could see God was answering my prayer in it. Not only did He lean on her heart to grant my request, He did it in absolute style and elegance. This coat was much fancier than anything I would have bought. I felt a bit decadent in it. But every time I wore it I was complimented and this again, was a reminder of God’s Goodness.

I later shared this story and had someone tell me it was wrong to ask God for a coat. I couldn’t disagree more. He is an intimate friend who cares about our every need. Do not concede from sharing the deepest region of your heart, your love and your needs from him. He is there for you only as much as you want to let him in. Let this new year begin with you beginning again to embark on a deeper level of commitment to your confidence in Him. He will keep you going. ~Nicole

“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17

December 18, 2016

Holy Cross

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:09 am by Broken & Brave

The high road is this way…

In my young married life–a season of the growth of my soul– I remember struggling with something and God helping me to learn to handle it. I remember having a dream of me carrying a cross just like Jesus did. Only I saw something in this dream that looked like a large hand reach down from the sky and gently pinch the large cross on my back as though it were only a stick and began to gently lift so the weight in my back gave some slack.

This is the beauty of God. We sometimes go through trials that aren’t necessarily because of poor choices. Sometimes things just happen. In those times remember that it is no shock to God. He will carry you through it. You may feel like you have to carry the burden, and endure some pain, but to God it’s only a stick and He carries it too. The cool thing about God is He can out lift you…He will always carry the heaviest end of your burden.

He has got you. No worries…Nicole

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’…”
Isaiah 30:21img_8218

December 17, 2016

Intentional

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:55 am by Broken & Brave

With God, “What’s done is done” might not really be done…

All through the Bible we see amazing stories of how someone blew it and then God showed up with a miracle and saw them through it. Who you are is not dependent on what you do! Who you are is a result of to whom you belong to! You’ve been created by a King to do amazing things! You do your part and God does His…
I think there is a lot to be said about God’s willingness to reward our faithful efforts. Despite mistakes, mess ups, and days we just plain miss it. When He knows we are truly trying to follow His path, He is quick to fix it. So every goal you have ever set for your health and fitness or every other aspect of your life–it’s not too late. It’s not forsaken, it’s not beyond you or behind you. He is still with you and if you keep going–so will He! You have been forged from the Rock. You MIGHT as well be granite because you are ROCK SOLID !

God is Intentional about your Redemption! I think that’s pretty incredible. ~Nicole

“The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” JOHN 11:28

December 13, 2016

Friends Forever…

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:56 pm by Broken & Brave

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Yesterday, out of the blue, a name from my past erupted in my mind…

It was the name of a woman I knew many years ago. I didn’t know her well, but she was a customer of mine through my nutrition business. She lived here in my city and I’d visit her at her home a few times a month to deliver vitamins to her.

She was advanced in years and seasoned in life. She lived alone, though she had family, none in town. She was still working as a CNA nurse a few days a week. If I had to guess, I’d say she was in her late sixties to early seventies. Though I confess, I am not so good at guessing people’s age. What made it even harder to decide was her nationality. She was an African American women and being such, had such gorgeous skin, it makes it even harder for me to figure it out.

This woman was full of light and life and I found her beautiful and breathtaking. She had deep and strong faith in God. When I would visit we would sit…

She would talk and I would listen for well over an hour every time. We did this for several years until she seemed to just disappear. I could no longer find her or get a hold of her.

Our time together I will never forget, like a sweet and special gift that struck a melody in my soul.

She was so transparent with me about life and faith, disappointments, wisdom and grace. I guess I must have been in my late twenties when I knew her. She would share stories of her life and raising her children. She would show me pictures, lots of pictures. I guess maybe She enjoyed my company, too. This makes me smile.

Her husband had passed, she’d share of him, too. She’d been living alone for many years. She said it is quite lonely, being alone, but she twinkled and had a gleam in her eye every time she would remind me that with Jesus she knew she was never alone even when she felt loneliness creep in. She then told me some advice that has stuck with me for life…

I think what she shared might help you, too, and that’s why I’m sharing this story with you. Eva, that was her name, though she was alone she knew how to sit at the Throne and gather friendship and comfort from Heaven. She told me that every night, she’d lie on the couch with her Bible on her chest, reading, singing, praising and praying. She talked to God as though she were talking to her very best friend. She would do this for hours and she confessed that on many nights she would fall asleep there and get her nights rest.

Eva had a truly gorgeous soul. My heart was deeply attracted to hers. The Bible says that deep calls unto deep (Psalm 42:7). I think this passage of scripture has layers of depth in its meaning. One being, we are Spirit and kindred spirits draw tight despite differences in life. Though she were much older than me and our life experiences and cultural differences were vastly different. We had a common fondness for Heaven and a love for its King.

People all around you everyday are busy, and involved and doing many things—but they are still feeling alone. You can be amongst many loved ones or people and still feel alone.

Loneliness is heightened for many this time of year. Lost loved ones remembered, heightened sense or awareness of being alone in the holidays for those with little to no family. I feel your heart and God hears it as well. I know this is why He asked me to strike my pen. To offer you Hope and encouragement for a full heart and soul and the knowledge that you are never alone. God loves you and is with you.

So if you are feeling a little blue, instead of gloom and tears (those are needed and ok at times), lift your eyes to heaven. Speak to God and tell him how you are feeling. He can hear you. Talk like you would to a friend. Ask him to lift your heart and take your pain. Ask him to comfort you in a way that removes a sense of loneliness. The Bible says that if you search for God, you will find him ( Proverbs 8:17). He will show himself to you and He will do it in a way unique to your life and experience. He’s personal and special like that.

God cups your heart in His hands and He makes no demands. He just want to comfort you today.

Be blessed. Be encouraged as Eva encouraged me…

Merry Christmas….

-Nicole

December 12, 2016

It’s Just Stuff!

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , at 4:46 am by Broken & Brave

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It’s Just Stuff!

Last week I told the story of my carpet in my first home and how over time even my fancy vacuum/carpet shampooer couldn’t lift the spots. Go back and find it in my thread if you missed it.

The thing about cleaning a carpet is that you eventually have to do it again. The same is true for laundry, dusting, organizing/filing and gardening or yard work. You have to maintain what you have accomplished. Once you become decided about something it becomes easier to manage the decision over time. I had decided to care for my property.

So what I didn’t share is another decision I had become decided on that God holds me accountable to everyday. I count my blessing, but I do not hoard them. This one is tough. In the United States we have so much stuff! When we sold that house in 2004 (that’s another story for another day!) God leaned heavy on my heart to give a lot of my things away. One of which was my $1,000 Kirby vacuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. I donated it to a single Mom who had nothing. I haven’t had a fancy vacuum since. But guess what, I haven’t needed it either. I’ve had wood and tile ever since. But I didn’t know that when I gave it away. When I gave it I simply trusted God and obeyed. If I was faithful to give this woman what she needed God was going to be faithful to give me what I needed. My confidence was placed in God, not the abundance of my possessions.

He already knew I didn’t need it anymore and he used it to bless another and open hopes door in a young Mom’s heart that God cared for her every need.

I share this story not to look generous or awesome. Most things I do with my resources or money I don’t share. We give for God to see, not others. I share this story so your heart might blossom into deeper levels of sacrifice and dependence on God. He blesses us, but at times He will ask us to release the blessing to others. He is quite the Economizer.

Do you have an abundance or excess in your life? Are there things you could be giving away or giving up so another’s comfort level might go up? God doesn’t want us to hoard our blessings. He gives them for our enjoyment and comfort, and at times He asks us to release it for another’s enjoyment and comfort, too. It’s between you and God what He leads you to do. -Nicole

“I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread.”

Psalm 132:15

December 11, 2016

Shine Your Light

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:26 am by Broken & Brave

I was reading through some old blogs looking for a specific topic and came across this piece. I had forgotten all about this story of mine. I felt it was a good time to reshare because most people are shopping a bit more for the holidays. Don’t forget to be kind and courteous despite all the extra crowds which can cause annoyance and fatigue. Keep your Peace and launch a smile at everyone you meet! It just might be your “Becky”. Read on a see what I mean…

Broken & Brave

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Many years ago I went through a span of time when, anytime, I needed to go shopping for an item of clothing I felt incredibly compelled to demonstrate loyalty to a particular little dress shop in town that specialized in petite sizes. In fact, for about two years time I went into this shop every two weeks to browse; sometimes even once a week. I did not always purchase, but I “window-shopped” just the same.

I know for many people this is ordinary and nothing particularly worth writing about. There is something unique about this story and I believe, I know, the hand of God was all over it! I have never been much of a window-shopper (unless it is shoes or watches/bracelets. I have a love for both)…

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