July 31, 2018

Mood…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:15 pm by Broken & Brave

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When you want to be great, you surround yourself with greatness…

So…I’ve never been a fan of distance running. I might even say I hated it. I’ve never been one to participate. In High School, Presidential Fitness Badge, I could do it in the required time, but outside of this, it did not happen.

But last winter I could feel the Lord bring this subject up within my soul. I began to dream about it. I could feel it stir like a pot of boiling water. I had to work up the nerve because I knew what was coming—my Lord wanted me to run.

I’ve always loved the line from “Chariots of Fire” where Eric Littel says, “When I run I can feel the Lords pleasure.” I’ve thought this for quite some time, but not about distance running, about sprinting.

I love sprinting. Love it. I’m not necessarily fast. I have short legs. But I am definitely quick. And, yes, there is a difference. I have always been in awe of track and field athletes, especially enamored with the female sprinters. When I went to the Olympics in 2000 both of my flights I flew alone, but was with the athletes and media. I enjoyed the athletes much more than the media (I have a few stories there—if you know me ask me sometime).

On my return flight to America I was next to Gayle Devers in line. GAYLE DEVERS!!!! I am not one to be “star or fame struck”. I don’t impress easily. People are people no matter who they are or how they roll. But Gayle was phenomenal as an athlete and her physique! Her shoulders we’re like rock hard boulders and she wore this little tank top and it took everything in me not to ask to touch her shoulders! I know it sounds weird, but when you are in love with bodybuilding and fitness and athleticism you appreciate a fine physique, male or female. Plus, Ms. Devers showed everyone who was boss. She was amazing and fast and competed well into her 30’s, exceptional for an athlete at that level of competition. Pure gift and excellence.

So picture me…only runs for a physical fitness badge in school suddenly deciding to run and gets her aging frame once again to do something new and to aspire to be pretty good at it.

So I began…

Monday was decided to be my “running day”, distance anyway. Until last spring I had never run more than one mile at a time. So I decided a certain loop around the neighborhood (lol, I don’t have many neighbors I live in remote country) that was 2 miles exactly. Felt pretty good about that. Then I decided another route that was 2.25 miles round trip. Felt good about that too. I began to become aware that even though I wasn’t super fast, my cadence wouldn’t win any races, but I was consistent. My pace stayed and I didn’t stop.

I’ve always been pretty good at pressing through. I am ever grateful for the gift of self discipline. I know I have it. I also have a life long ability and mind to push through pain and I have a high pain tolerance. Grateful for both.

But when you want to be great, you surround yourself with greatness…

That’s when I decided to ask my son to run with me.

I was excited to have this bond with my eldest boy. This kid has been a distance runner since he was very young. I knew by the age of six he had a gift to endure. I’d take him to the track while I sprinted and he’d kill time by running laps. Lap after lap after lap. I was in awe of how many laps a six year old could run. I knew then he was a distance runner.

But when we got out on the road I felt my comfort zone grow. This kid runs twice a day, probably a total of 6 miles a day. Then he lifts weights right after his second run. Every single day except maybe Sunday.😳

So here we are, out on the road. I usually hate it the first quarter mile, but then everything gets warm and loose and I feel good—I’ve got my groove. We get to the half way point of my normal run and he says, “let’s go right and take the big loop.”

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?!!!

This means if I say, “yes”, we are running a minimum of 3.5 miles. For a seasoned runner this is nothing, but for me, who has never open road run further than 2.25 miles—its a big deal. But I felt excited. I was with my son. I knew he would push me and I’d grow. I knew he’d stretch my comfort zone but we’d do it TOGETHER. Not only would he help me believe I could run 3.5 (and have confidence to run a 5K race), but he’d challenge my pace.

The speed of the leader always sets the pace for the pack.

I don’t want to lack. If I’m going to do something I want to do it well and work at it until I excel. That’s just my nature. I crave excellence. Jake pushed me. Poor thing had to run slower than normal and even walk a bit to make sure I caught up.
But it made me run faster and push a little harder because he was setting the pace.
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At the end of it all I felt fantastic and very accomplished. I had done something I’d never done before. Running on the open road is so therapeutic. An active way to worship for me. Jake was gentle and kind as I knew he’d be, because that’s his nature.

God delights to wait for you. He isn’t in a hurry and He doesn’t mind slowing his pace if he needs to. He waits for you. He knows the cadence you can take and the discipline within. He plans the course and intends for you to win. You may not run a 5K or have a son who’s running legs takes your breath away—but there is a God in heaven who can. Few things in life will leave you breathless is the most amazing way. Enjoy the opportunity when you can.

Because when you want to be great, you surround yourself with greatness…

Life is like a run, feel the experience with pleasure.

~Nicole

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Forager of Hope

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 7:30 am by Broken & Brave

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Forward Thinkers are Pioneers who go before and usually carve a path for others to follow along.

God goes before you.
He blazes a trail.
He clears the path.
He is a Mighty mountain mover.
He makes ways where there are no ways.
He makes highways in the wasteland.
He brings beauty from ashes.
He has enough love to fill the heart of the masses, yet is ever powerful to overcome your circumstances.
Join Him on the road less travelled.

Going first requires sacrifice, but take my advice, the view is nice.
Is there something in your life God has designed for you to carve the path for others? How can you reach out to people today and make their day go smoother?

Sometimes, all it takes is looking outside of our own life, our own needs, our own perspective and we begin to see that we are planted in something much bigger than ourselves. It is the place where Legacy dwells. Embrace it! Eternity is far too big or grand to waste your Inheritance on temporary gain or comfort. Come to realize and know just how big God’s bigger picture for your life is.

You are Anointed, consecrated, elevated by Celestial Beings and being carried to your destination. You will arrive right on time precisely where you need to be—unscathed by the Enemy…unharmed by adversity.

Adversity will actually help make you stronger and more resilient than you could have ever envisioned. Then God will have successfully encapsulated His Tender and Gracious Heart in your flesh covered by a thickened, tough, strong, vehicle of Power built to drive absolutely anywhere it needs to go.

You are a Pioneer.

Let God steer and trust it all to him. He is right beside you guiding the Path and paving the terrain by His Divine insight and wisdom. You’ll come out on the other side with a grand win and the right people will be right beside you cheering for you.

~Nicole💞

July 29, 2018

Spirit of a Champion

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:26 am by Broken & Brave

Spirit Of A Champion

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God will never assign you merely to lead a pampered life. He may lavish blessing on you. He may even pad your bank account. He can protect your health and place you in a family. He will do it because He loves you, but there is a catch.

When it’s your soul blessing you crave most those satisfactions won’t last. He wants blessing to flow through us, not just be stored up and guarded by us.

The greatest entities and peoples in history were forged by the fires of adversity. He already knows He loves us, but what level of blessing can He entrust to us to do with it as He wills? What have you been given? Life itself is a gift. Share the blessing of who you are with others. Shine bright. When your eyes are honed and focused on His Light you aren’t so worried about anything or anyone else.

A commitment to a Champion Life will be challenging. You must hold yourself accountable to a higher standard. Your standards will make others uncomfortable. Raise the bar anyway. Younger ones are watching and deciding where they will set the bar, expectation and anticipation for their life, too. They may just be using you to decide the plump line.

Be a Champion!

~Nicole

“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.” 2 Cor. 8:7

July 28, 2018

Fatal Blow

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:14 am by Broken & Brave

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“So may all your enemies perish, Lord!
    But may all who love you be like the sun
    when it rises in its strength.”

Judges 5:31

The book of Judges tells us one story of Deborah: Judge, Mother and Prophetess to Israel. It also tells us of a Warrior; Barak who lead Israel’s armies. And lingering in the backdrop like a loosely fastened tassel—a tent dwelling woman named Jael.

Who is Jael? Jael is no one of reputation or fame. Jael barely has more description to her story than a first name. Jael was a woman who was from a nomadic people—having no home. But God rose the hand of this fearless woman and used her for a mighty and long overdue miracle of God.

The people of Israel had been under the heavy hand and oppression of a man named Sisera for twenty years. The people were weary, depressed, craving rest and probably saw no hope of ever receiving it.

“Where was God anyway?” May have been the general feeling.

But Deborah roused the ambition and courage of a man named Barak—leader of the armies of Israel. This Warrior with his weapon and Woman with the Word rose up and took a stand believing God would deliver them, and He did.

Can you relate to Jael? Have you ever felt a bit like a nomad? You have your place, your life, your routine, but how does it all fit into the scheme of society? What is your role in the community? How could God ever use you to make a decided impact?

Let me tell you friend, you can. God delights to take the weakest, meekest and most humble of circumstance and then put it on Holy Blast showcasing His Mighty Hand. Just as Jael took a tent peg and hammer and struck Sisera with a fatal blow—so can you take fatal blows to all the Enemy uses to a-sail you.

Your peg and hammer—the Word of God and your Voice. You possess immeasurable power to drive a fatal blow through every obstacle before you. God is a God of favor and He adores you. So don’t worry. Do not fret. Feeling weary? Well, lean into His deep shoulders and watch His heart and frame cradle you. God has it all!

Rise up Champion! Your enemies are going to fall!

~Nicole

July 27, 2018

Not So Little

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:12 am by Broken & Brave

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Do you ever look around at your life and wonder, “How did I get here?” As in—where has time gone? Recapping how time has flown and how our time has flowed. So many memories and experiences encapsulated within my mind and heart.

I’ve been finding myself drifting to these sort of thoughts a lot recently. Not intentionally—but I will observe something or something will be shared with me and I begin to recall a season of time past.

Yesterday I ran some errands in the morning and one found me in a local book store picking up some reading for my two youngest. I guess I had just caught the tail end of story hour at the bookstore. Young Moms who all looked no more than 20 were there with their infants and toddlers. They let them explore while the Moms connected and bonded with each other. I was looking for a specific book in the biography section and couldn’t help but overhear two Moms discussing some baby product of some sort and where they found it and why they liked it.

Man—I’ve had a lot of babies. Now my children nearly all of them grown. I’ve got one tiny gem God knew I needed more than I ever could’ve known, but he’s even growing fast.

I love the varied seasons of life. Some windows of time feel as though they were such a long time ago and then others, even further back, feel like yesterday.

Life is such a beautiful gift. God packages things so well. It’s not what you do in life that matters—it’s what you create.

It’s not what you accomplish in life that matters—it’s who and how you celebrate.

It’s not the rough terrains of life that we should highlight—it’s the glorious sunshine, the magnificent sunset, and the events that cause the fireworks of delight in both our heart and our head.

God is such a Sojourner of Hope and when His Hope is properly encapsulated within us it bursts out spreading hope everywhere we go.

There are features of this season of life I could do without—but I know God has merit and purpose for all. And the day I promised to give Him my all, I meant it—My All, Lord, my all.

Have you given the Lord your all?
It’s easy to declare it, but I have found in the hardest moments of my “committed all” I have seen many well meaning believers fall. Not fall away, but not falling toward. Life is about always moving toward God. I want to always move toward. Sometimes we rest and sometimes we move.

When we are faithful in the little by little…little by little, though we still feel stuck in the middle, we begin to grow strong feathers that fill our wings just like the eagle. Then we can reset with no regrets because we know we have been faithful with the little.

God is not a God who disappoints.
He intends to shatter your every expectation with glorious adulation.
He is Strong. He is Tender. He is Gentle
And life with Him is so uniquely eventful!
Never a dull moment! Take all of your adventures with Him. Allow your Joy Journey to begin. God is Awesome.

God will have a specific reason for everything He asks us to do. It may not translate how we want or expect it to, but He is committed to the grander purpose for you.

I just read a devotional about how someone told the author they were being called to write, but they couldn’t begin because they had no publisher or time.

When God calls us, we make time. God called me to write a book in 2012. So guess what I did—I began to write it and sometimes I had to get up in the earliest parts of the day to work on it because that’s the only time I could have peace and silence. I finished that book and when I explored publication I received an offer and the Lord told me to decline it—it wasn’t time. I know now why (maybe the reason for the why was more than one)—it wasn’t finished. Another entire portion of the story God was painting in my testimony hadn’t been lived yet. I don’t know when I’ll publish it. I’ve currently got three potential books I could publish today. But God is not calling me to publish today. For me, there is something enormously therapeutic and cleansing with the release of the ink in my pen. For me my pen is a glorious form of worship. Writing that first book was a book of freedom. It was used of a God to release things deep inside of me I had never explored. God is amazing.

You never know the doors He will open and the doors He will close, but you can rest assured. When you are faithful to His lead He will always be faithful to your needs.

Be Blessed in His Care and Rest—-

Nicole~

July 26, 2018

The Gift

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:14 am by Broken & Brave

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You possess IMMEASURABLE worth and you are worth every ounce of BELIEF possessed!

So maybe you’ve been hard on yourself? Don’t be…
Discouragement is your enemy, don’t let it in.
Don’t quit.
Don’t settle for second best.
Don’t take the highway because it’s easier with fewer bumps.

Try to remember what it felt like to be a kid in a candy store. In-vision the gleam in the eye of a little one gazing at packages beneath a tree, wondering with amazement, “what’s under there for me?” Gods got gifts in store for you that you’ve never even dared to dream for or asked for before! How cool is that?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace”…(Rom. 15:13)
so much so it would be like Christmas in July!

Stick with the road less traveled. If that Dream planted in your heart was cheap then the price wouldn’t be so high. God is not denying you or hiding from you. He’s just making sure your ready for a blessing of this magnitude. You’ve never seen anything like it so HOLD ON…IT WILL BE WORTH IT! ~Nicole

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentation 3:23

July 25, 2018

With Great Heart💛

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:22 am by Broken & Brave

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Did you know…

We have as many neurons in our gut as we do our mind? It’s true! This is probably where the term “gut instinct” originated. At conception we are but a small collection of blood and tissue and membrane that has the DNA to become something great. Everything we need is already there—our organs, our vascular system, our skeletal system and neuromuscular construct. As it is clustered together it begins to grow and develop and over time those neurons separate and some become our brain and some reside in our gut. Did you know the heart beat becomes strong enough to discern at only 21 days past conception?

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” Maya Angelou

Have you ever “just known”? Call it instinct, call it discernment, call it the Holy Spirit, but you’ve experienced it before. Our gut instinct is not always correct, but using it is a developed gift. I’m not saying abandon your head, I’m saying don’t discount that still small internal influence of God that just may reside down low. If we make every decision based on what we believe we can do within our mind—we just may miss out on God’s greatest adventure for our life because in our head, it didn’t make sense.

“Here’s the thing: God doesn’t shout at us, but He whispers to teach us how to hear. It’s the still small voice of God. He doesn’t shout at you, He whispers. He doesn’t speak to your head. Why would He speak to the hardest part of you? Seriously?! He doesn’t speak to your head. He has never spoken to your head. He will never speak to your head! He is in your heart. He speaks in you, not to you.”
(Graham Cooke)

You are one decision away from having a fabulous day, a wonderful life, a beautiful encounter with Heaven. It is all about the heart, the softer the better, it is within the heart the Lord can measure out ample portions of Goodness and Devotion to you in such a way you are able to drink it in and it will change just about anything.

Have a Lovely Day. ~Nicole💗

July 23, 2018

Magnificent & Different✨

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:00 am by Broken & Brave

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, be or achieve…do so excellently. But don’t wait to jump in with both feet when His time is right. God likes to stretch us a bit and make us grow to fit into the new and improved bigger us. No matter what size you are on the outside, your heart is measured on a different scale. You may never play a sport, walk onto the field or win the championship game for some big league…but you can be a Champion to many who think you matter and you can make their lives better. You’re a Difference Maker so be alright with being “Different”. Different is Magnificent! ~Nicole

July 21, 2018

Branded

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

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I just read an interesting article about how Jennifer Anniston who made a million dollars per episode of the iconic hit television series, “Friends”, has actually built most of her wealth doing advertisements. She is one of the highest paid female actors, second highest paid female movie star. Why so successful making commercials?

She is like-able and relatable. Elle magazine said,

“Authenticity is key in this business,” Park says. “A successful endorsement is when the talent embodies the brand, and you believe that person uses that product or service.” As for Aniston, “her brands are aligned with who she is, or who we think she is. It’s completely reflective of her lifestyle.”

“A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.” Ecc. 7:1

What is my personal and professional brand? Are they the same? Do they align around the glory of God? My brand integrity is based on my promise to be who I claim to be. (Os Hillman, Wisdom Hunter’s)

As God leads you in new directions, or even as you continue on the path you are already on—your Hope Anchored fiercely to Christ—

Know that the blessing was with you all along.

Sometimes He gives us side trips and set backs because he intended for others to come along with us. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But what God has meant for you—is for you. Brand yourself well and the competition becomes irrelevant. Brand yourself with stoic faith, grace, kindness and compassion for the human race and watch doors open for you like never before.

God’s got a bunch of kids He adores and you are one of them. He has branded you with His Loving-Kindness. His Compassion’s fail not. His Joy, Love and Peace always hit the spot! If you are a child of God, you possess a critical component to His marketing plan for Heaven. Have we used our brand well?

Be Blessed! ~Nicole

July 20, 2018

Cluck or Soar?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:30 am by Broken & Brave

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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

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