July 29, 2017

Kids & Oars

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:46 am by Broken & Brave

Parenting is a bit like an oar. Study the oar, it is a plank of wood that has been sanded and softened, yet is durable, resilient and strong. The sanding is all over, but the edges are where it is best shown the curves and soft edges of its grooming. This is so when the oar is pulled through the water it cuts right in smoothly instead of choppy or hard. It makes the experience more enjoyable and comfortable for all who transport in the boat or canoe.

As a parent the first five years are for structure and foundation. Without a solid foundation trouble will be inevitable. Have firm and strong rules in place. Be consistent with their application. Be hands on and involved as much as possible. The middle childhood years it’s important to still do as the first five but boundaries are instilled by now and in place so less time is devoted to discipline though it is still present. Teen years we become coaches. Kids know what is expected and are given more freedom to explore who they are and what makes them happy. Direct them toward the discovery of purpose, dreams and aspirations.

When we need to be authority in their lives we need to be clear. But the soft edges, like the oar, come with delivery of truth and how we administer it. Is it coming from a place of love or is it our own need to be in charge? One of the best things my own Mother taught me was to say yes as much as I can so when I had to say no they knew I meant it.
Finally, as parents we can’t play favorites. Favoritism will bread jealousy and competition in family. It will tear unity apart. You may have a personality that gels best with one kid more than another-but every child needs to be your favorite. Hope this helps someone. I’m not an expert, but I’ve definitely had lots of practice getting it right. Your kids love you! ~Nicole

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6

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July 27, 2017

Wait a Minute!

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:52 am by Broken & Brave

Have you ever had to wait for something? Maybe you had to wait for someone? When I was a girl we went to church on Sunday. My Dad, being a very prompt and punctual fellow, would be ready well before my Mom. As she finished preparing herself for the morning my Father would sit in our living room and play records on the record player of various worship tunes. He would sit at the end of the couch and just softly sing.

Sometimes when we have to wait we become impatient or disinterested in what we were waiting for. We give up. We take a new road. But we can all learn from my Father who chose to wait patiently for the appointed time by singing a song of Worship and lifting his heart to Him.

God knows right where you are today. You may be facing a health crisis, financial crisis, waiting to hear about that job interview or just longing for a change in a dry season of life. Worship your way through. The King of Heaven has got you. ~Nicole

“Blessed are they that wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18

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July 26, 2017

Love…On Purpose

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 8:53 am by Broken & Brave

“…the Banner over you is Love.”

-Song of Songs

Loving people is a skill. It is so much more than an emotion. It is a principle, consistently applied, day in and day out. If you have self discipline, then you can have self control. If you have self control, then you can have freedom. If you have greater freedom you have greater ability to move in Love and extend freedom to others around you who can bask in the glow of the Love that you show.

Exercise the self discipline to have self control so you can grow in your ability to truly know how to show Love to a world around you that is desperate for the real thing.

There is a Banner over your soul, waving elegantly,  yet secure like a Canopy of Unwaivering Loyalty, Grace and Favor.

The Banner over you is Love❤️…
-Nicole

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July 24, 2017

Well Watered

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:44 am by Broken & Brave

Start the first part of your day with water. Water your physical body and water your soul. Where living waters flow, you will never walk away thirsty. ~Nicole

“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Proverbs 18:4

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July 22, 2017

Rejuvenated

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:19 am by Broken & Brave

Why be content to run?

Spread your wings, Eagle, and fly!

Many years ago I was hiking with my husband on a high trail that overlooked the Connecticut River. As we hiked we received the extraordinary and rare opportunity to witness an eagle leave her nest, just at our feet, on the side of the mountain. She spread her wings and soared over the valley below. It was spectacular to see an eagle so close, but to actually see the span of her wing from above her, not beneath. I recognized in the moment what a gift it was and I stopped to drink it in.

After having a very wet winter this year, the summer has been bright and sunny and hot! There is something magnificent about the sun’s rays…they heal.

Did you know a wounded eagle will perch himself on the highest rock he can find and bake himself in the sun to cure what ails him?

Oh, how we can learn from the eagle! The Rays of God warm the heart, heal our wounds and cure our disease. But we must bask ourselves in the Radiance of His Glory. This will require getting closer to Him. Climbing higher to meet him. Not climbing like Corporate America, but by taking the “high road” leaving our comfort zone and ordinary behind. Get uncomfortable, stretch your limits and climb! There are Heavenly Rays waiting for you!

If God can do whatever He wants and has no limits, why wouldn’t He do big, limitless things for you?

~Nicole

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?…The Creator…neither faints or wearies. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up on wings like eagles…”

Isaiah 40:28,29+31

July 21, 2017

Love Leads…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:41 am by Broken & Brave

Weight is not gained in a day, nor can it be lost overnight. Great progress comes with time, commitment, consistency. The same is true for the human spirit. Habits, behaviors and deleterious thought patterns CAN change but only with care, commitment and dedicated perseverance.

The Great is accomplished when recognize that all of humanity is a work in progress. Be patient, deliberate & tenacious to lead others by an example of LOVE.
-Nicole

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July 20, 2017

Need

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:29 am by Broken & Brave

“And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
Acts 4:33-35

Wow. What a powerful scripture. It’s a small little passage tucked into a big story in the book of Acts. I feel I have seen these verses alive in my life and the life of my family. God inclined us to sell all we owned and designated how we would gift the profit and our possessions. Extreme, I know. But I believe He used my Extreme to exemplify a few things. First, there’s no way I could have done any of that without the Holy Spirit leading. There is no way my husband and I could have been in agreement to do anything like that without the Spirit unifying ours as we walked out the death of our flesh. But, here’s what else happened. We gave in excess, but we have had times when we have received in excess. Leading up to the selling of all our property God lead us through many very lean years that were the kind of lean that was completely out of our control. I do suggest to you He allowed it so He could use it to build our trust and faith and to see what kind of God we really believed in, Him or Mammon. During that season we received anonymous and outright tangible blessing from others. We learned to give and receive as God would lead. Just like this above scripture.

We have given away more cars than I can count, but we have received a few cars as well. We have given furniture and we have received furniture. For example, when we sold our home and gave all our furniture away, when we moved to our new home (four years later) it was much bigger gift than the one we sold. The Spirit of God told me prophetically not to rush out and buy any furniture, He would fill the house by Christmas. Just pray. We prayed for beds for my kids first. Within a few weeks a small home church lead by people we know heard our testimony and their entire church decided to buy us a gift for the house. They were all 100% in agreement after prayer that God wanted them to buy all of our kids beds! They had no idea we prayed for that first! He said to wait on Him in early September. Guess what happened, house fully furnished by Christmas!

Be sensitive to the Voice of God. Be willing to give when He leans into your soul. It won’t matter if you feel you have it, can afford it or not. He makes it all work out. When you follow His lead He provides for absolutely everything you could need to complete what has for you to do. He is always working for your good. And let’s face it, living by faith is very exciting if you learn to overcome your fear of sacrifice and pride of life. You will be blessed in ways that go beyond a fiscal spreadsheet or page. Your entire family and life will experience His River deep. Ask God today to help you learn how to take bigger steps of faith to trust Him with all your resources. What does He want you to give? He’s probably not going to ask you to sell all, but He will meet you where you are at and Bless you for the desire to be a blessing to others. ~Nicole

July 19, 2017

Roar

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

We don’t always feel brave, even when conditions surrounding us demonstrate we are acting in bravery.

We don’t always feel like our Faith is Strong, even when we are boldly stepping out in Faith.

We don’t always feel like we are living or encouraging well, even when people around us seem to draw to the moisture we offer.

If this is you today or if it will be you in the future or has been you before, then this post is waiting for you at the door. Cross the Threshold and step in. Allow a Joyous Journey of Heart and Soul to begin. Flourish in your God Given Authority. He holds the Master Key to everything and it is yours.

Have you ever observed a Crescent Moon? The moon is beautiful…the way it captures the light of the sun during the thick of night. When you focus on it and study it you can see beyond the shadow to the whole of the moon.

This is how God is betrothed to you. He always sees past the shadow to the depth of your soul. He knows you are more than any feeling, thought or circumstance. He is faithful to guide your Path.

YOU have the brave heart as that of a lion; the absolute ROAR of the Father ignites in your soul. Rise up Champion! For you, Gods got MORE! Do you believe it? How much is an abundance anyway? ~Nicole

“Seek the Lord, and His Strength: seek His face forevermore.” Psalm 105:4

 

July 18, 2017

What’s In A Name?

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , at 7:05 am by Broken & Brave

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When I first opened a Facebook account I included my maiden name so people I knew growing up, before marriage, could find me. After a long while I extracted my maiden name and left my married name only. Enough people had found me that I knew by mutual friendships online people could figure out who I was without confusion on my Identity.

Have you ever had someone mess up your name? My first name is easy to pronounce and remember, but spelling it, you’d be surprised with how many people try to put an “h” in my name making it, “Nichole”. My daughters name is easy, but long-Alexandra-so all her life people call her Alexandria…no “i”, please. My maiden name was a mouthful of vowels so it was always being mispronounced. Forget about unique names with peculiar spellings!

But there is one who knows your name. He knows you through and through for he tattooed every attribute of your Identity in you. He burned it with in using His Signet ring…

God has marked you as His.
He won’t get your name wrong.

Whatever you face today, you can greet the day with a smile on your face because He’s got you and you belong. ~Nicole

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 41:3 ESV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17

July 17, 2017

Community

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , at 6:45 am by Broken & Brave

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately…

Community.

What makes people draw to you and the relationship and service you offer?

Community.

A sense of being valued and knowing you belong. Being embraced, encouraged, loved and supported.

Community.

I’ve really seen this taken deep root in my training business. I keep my client base small. I do primarily small group fitness anymore with only a few one on one training clients. But I have witnessed community bloom and flourish. My clients are so faithful. They love their workouts. They know how much I love them and they love each other. They protect their time together. They look out for one another. On days I don’t train them it is common for them to plan to meet at a local gym or go for a run together.

They are community.

I have always been riveted on the awareness that Jesus came for relationship. Life is ultimately all about relationship. Success on any level pivots on relationship.

This is Community.

I’m not necessarily confident in all things. I rely heavily on my Confidence in God and His direction within me. Here is something I am confident in. I haven’t always known this, but I know it now…

God has built me to build community.

This is something I feel I can do and am watching it happen around me. I have a deep love and value for community. Building a foundation within individuals to equip them to believe in themselves like never before and to go out and explore their potential as never before. Then, I desire to collectively link arms with each individual and teach them to do the same. This is where we can create a community full of hope and vitality.

What are you building?

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:24+25

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