July 29, 2019

Alpha & Omega

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , at 6:54 am by Broken & Brave

He is there, Sovereign, Solid and True—

He is the Creator,

the Besotted,

the Ancient One.

He is Spirit.

He is Mystery.

He is Chivalry.

He is all of these and more.

He is the Beginning.

He is the End.

He is the First.

He will be the Last.

He will live on forever.

Infinite.

Strength.

A Conquering King. . .

And boy, oh boy, He is clever and thinks of everything!

http://brokenandbrave.com/soul/alpha-omega/

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July 28, 2019

Posted in Creative Writing/Poetry, Inspirational tagged , , , , , at 5:50 am by Broken & Brave

Even the night sky shines with grace and Splendor.

http://brokenandbrave.com/mind/the-sky-is-sprinkled-with-hope/

July 14, 2019

Adored

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

What if I told you that you were someone worth knowing? Would you believe me? Read the attached quick link and drink in the water I bring.

You are Lovely…

Nicole

http://brokenandbrave.com/uncategorized/adored/

June 14, 2019

Edify. Encourage. Exhort: God can use dead things

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , at 6:43 am by Broken & Brave

The Lord has really been swirling my thoughts in my mind to King Solomon lately. . .

“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” 1 Kings 10:23-24

Notice in this passage that the people came to hear his wisdom, not to see his riches. Solomon was as great in riches as he was in wisdom and vice versa. But it was His wisdom that brought him favor from distant lands who sent gifts to him and he was equipped to build a house for the Lord.

God is always a step or two ahead of us. Our minds are finite. Let’s back up a bit in this man’s story. Well, let’s back up to his father’s story-King David.

King David—a man who was a bit of a scoundrel when you look at his actions and choices. So what made him so special to the heart of God? His heart. Ultimately David desired God deeply and in purity. God can work with that. So David has messed it up with Bathseda. He got her pregnant and then tries to cover it up. Finally, when all other ideas failed, He places her husband out to the front lines of battle making her a widow so he could marry her. But something happened, Nathan the prophet came and told David this wasn’t good and that as consequence the baby was going to die. David was beside himself with grief. The scriptures say he wailed and wept day and night and didn’t eat. None of his servants could console his grief.

He prayed and prayed and prayed.

Then when word came the child had died, he got up washed his face and ate. His entire household was baffled. What was his reply? He considered that perhaps the Lord would relent and spare the child, but once he died he knew he was gone and couldn’t influence Gods choice. So he got up, bathed and worshipped some more.

“While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Sam. 12:22

When we are in the midst of our deepest grief and our most intense battles God can be found still. In the stillness of our heart and the recesses of our mind we must pull to the forefront that God is always good. God will sometimes shut doors, allow dreams to die, business ventures to fail and relationships to become strained or even end, so He can gain a greater audience in our heart. We may already be intimate with Him, but He has designs on abundant rivers to flow of Pure Gold.

David comforted Bathseda and she conceived again. This time she gave birth to Solomon, the very one we began this devotion with.

What can we take away from this unusually sad story?

Sometimes you’ve just got to let the baby die (metaphorically speaking). Once it dies, don’t look back. God will meet every lack and make way for the preparation for your own personal Solomon. So hold onto your dreams in the bigger scene of life—but know that God will take down every giant in your life and will anchor you to His Golden Path. Do not mourn for what is no more. Cherish the wisdom you gained and know that God is decided upon your heart. When you burn purely and deeply for Him you’re going to win at whatever He wills for your life.

Hold tight. There is a fortress of goodness awaiting, a warehouse of wisdom and a story worth telling–

And they will come from miles around to hear your words.

Edify. Encourage. Exhort.

Wash your face, be happy, Worship.

~Nicole

June 10, 2019

Grace, Gratitude & Growth

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , at 7:04 am by Broken & Brave

“How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You

To dwell in Your courts.

We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,

Your holy temple.” Psalm 65:4

You are exceptional.

God knew why he picked you all along.

His Providence Prevails.

You have a style and way all your own. You are needed, right here, right now. You have much to offer. You are loved, cherished and greatly esteemed. But God knew all of this when He created you.

God will never ask you to do something He hasn’t personally equipped you for. Your struggle builds who you already are. You are His canvas and with yielded intent-He can create a masterpiece of you. He wants to display you proudly for His view. Believe it or not, He longs to look at you like His favorite work of art. Do not deny Him the gift of bringing out your colorful hue. Organic are God’s thoughts toward you.

When we release what’s in our hand, God replaces it with something even better!

Sometimes we must remain patient and wait. And sometimes He does it immediately. But either way, when you know in your heart beyond any shadowy dark place what awaits on the other side—you tackle any terrain resisting fear, in-trepidation or intimidation and yield fully to God’s plans for your life. There is beauty in surrender.

Hold tight. God knows exactly what He is doing. He is the God of Perfect Timing. The gates of hell oppose and oppress because they’ve become a hot mess with worry over the threat you bring to their darkness. Take it as a compliment, your Lord sure does!

Have a Marvelous Monday and I pray all that is mediocre in your life would step aside and make way for God’s Great Love and Success.

Today has the power to be like none other. Follow Heaven’s lead!

~Nicole

June 8, 2019

Helpmate

Posted in Inspirational, leadership tagged , , , , , at 4:13 am by Broken & Brave

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Genesis 2:18

It saddens my soul to see modern day society take empowerment of women to an extreme. I believe it to be extreme anyway. We went from women having no voice, no privilege and therefore no special song in their heart to now she feels so Warrior strong she doesn’t even need a man. In fact, she competes with him and maybe even envies him his God ordained role.

Not so for me. I am ever grateful for how God has uniquely wired me. I was raised by a strong, outspoken woman. On countless levels I am grateful. In the natural I never really felt strong and definitely not outspoken. But somewhere along the way God meshed and molded me and gave me something to say. He grew in me a backbone and a resiliency and questioned me. The Lord literally asked me, “Who said you weren’t a fighter?” As in, His Woman of Splendor and Wonder, His Warrior Bride. He has used countless upon countless circumstance to build up a resilient heart within me all the while very organically nurturing the dominating instinct of Lover in me. I have always known I’m a lover over being a fighter. But now I believe God has shaped within me ample portions of both.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about the love of heaven and its ability to spill out over humanity. In this particular post I’d like to share my heart about being a tremendous woman of strength and worth and also maintaining the beautiful balance of being the ultimate helpmate to your spouse. How to be strong yet ever able to maintain softness.

What is a helpmate?

Here’s a shortlist of do’s and don’ts I’ve compiled (it’s mostly do’s so let’s get those nasty don’ts out of the way first)

What not to do:

I am not my husbands mother.

Don’t give your husband another mother. He already has a mother and good or bad her job is not yours. He doesn’t need you nagging him to pick up his clothes or whatever your hot button is. He doesn’t need you to tell him he didn’t do it right. Grace it over sweetheart and learn to focus on one positive when he is annoying you with oddities or quirks. We all have them!

I am not my husbands critic.

At least 98% of his day is going to be loaded and surrounded with negative circumstances, problems or criticism. Let’s not be added to the list. I know it can be hard, Ladies. We are hard wired to nest, nurture and raise our babes, but in this case it’s not our job! It’s God’s job to make your husband the man God created him to be. It’s our job to stroke his heart lovingly so he will be empowered to believe all God expects for him! Your man may look strong and able. . .

Let’s face it, his strength was one of the things that attracted you to him. So, of course, he is strong. Empower it.

Ok—negative short list over. Let’s move on to whom and what we are for our loving human.

I am my husbands Confidant.

“Her husband has full confidence in her

    and lacks nothing of value.”

Proverbs 31:11

A husbands confidence shoots through the roof when the woman he adores is by his side backing him up. There will be no strong tower or ominous task he can’t navigate when his wife is there celebrating her belief that he can do it. It’s our job to verbally affirm him in all the reasons why. Speak life into him–he needs to hear it on a regular basis. Even Rahab understood this concept. She encouraged the spies from her high tower located in the cleft of the wall to the city she inhabited. She gave them the cue and encouraged these men that their God was with them and it was the right time to take the fortress.

(Joshua 2:8-9)

A woman of worth understands timing.

Give the man some room to breathe! For goodness sake. . . the guy has a lot of pressure and demands placed upon him. I know you need a break, too. I know you get tired, the kids gets antsy, you need serious girl time to unload those 40,000 words you need to speak each day. But honestly—it’s not his job to absorb all of that. This is one reason why God has given you the beautiful gift of girlfriends. Make windows of time for self care so that when it comes to caring for your husband you are equipped and prepared. You are his helper, but you are also called to be his Oasis. Understand that the moment he walks in the door or on days he seems to be particularly stressed is not the time for you to become a hot mess. Learn the sacred art of timing. When we grasp this one we will know when to be quiet and when to speak up. When to advocate our own voice and opinions and when to just listen and let him lead.

“but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:4

Ladies—there is a blessing in letting him lead…even when you don’t agree. God will honor you for honoring him. There is beauty in submission.

As a wife it’s my job to meet my husbands needs.

I think men are amazing, but also extraordinarily simple. This doesn’t mean they are not smart. Quite the contrary, they are so smart! They can do amazing things that leave me breathless. Wow. How awesome the unique ingenuity Gos used to devise and create his masterful plan in the capacity of man! But in simplicity here’s what I mean. Men have two hungers (do I have to spell it out?)—feed them both. Remember, you are his oasis. Some men have a more voracious sexual appetite than others. It’s your job to know and understand which one your husband is. You don’t have to be his sex slave, but understand that by agreeing to be his spouse, you agree to be the reason he comes home at night. Give him a good reason. He needs that release physiologically. A healthy marriage contains a healthy sexual dynamic and there is a spiritual bond in this oneness. Never ever use sex as your weapon! Do not withhold to acquire what you want from your husband. That would be manipulation and it’s just plain cruel.

I am my husbands advocate.

“She brings him good, not harm,

    all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:12

Being an advocate means we are protector. Protect your husbands heart. Help him to guard it. We can do this by praying for him, but we also must bless him. Bless him with your words. Instill faithful reminders of his worth. This can be simple little reminders throughout his day of the things he does that we appreciate. Things from how he protects and provides to how he keeps the lawn mowed or makes your coffee in the morning. And maybe your husband doesn’t do these things. Maybe your marriage is strained and you feel you are carrying everything—both his role and yours. Well, Beloved, God can open a door to your heart and empower you to find something to praise. I’m not speaking of empowering abuse or enabling poor choices. But speaking words of affirmation that daily remind him you think he is a great person and you are still glad you found him.

Relationships can be hard. Marriage can get tough. But when we walk in humility, grace and patience we can extract something of enormous value in all of our relationships, not just man and wife. He took you to his side for a reason. Invest in yourself so you can honor him with a daily effort to remain his purpose and reason. Men are defenders by nature. Let us be someone worth defending.

Drink deep of the Word. It’s a love letter sent from above from your first love. He is your defender and knows your worth even better than you. Allow his love to wrap around you and pardon your shortfalls and mistakes. He loves you with unspeakable joys no human heart can truly fathom. Just accept it. And as you do something Gorgeous will begin to cascade over you and the dew emitting from you will quench your husband’s hurts and unfold his heart.

What an honor to serve our husbands in love as a strong, yet ever tender and soft, helpmate.

“Her children arise and call her blessed;

    her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,

    but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

Proverbs 31:28-31

Blessings~

Nicole

June 6, 2019

My Best Friend, Faithful

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , at 7:04 am by Broken & Brave

There is one word to describe my best friend—Faithful.

For years, as many back as I can remember, I have wanted to be a friend like none other. I desired deep connection and friendship as well, but God always orchestrated my circumstances to see what could only lack outside of Him.

I adore people. I know I possess a unique ability to see the best in others and an even more peculiar ability to place my perspective in the position of others to try and see from another’s perspective. It’s the best judgment free place to give grace and understanding.

I spent probably the first 20 years of my life somewhat afraid of people. It was a subconscious fear I didn’t know I had until a moment came in my life when I suddenly realized this. So for the last several decades I’ve worked to illuminate those fears.

Many times fear is founded on past experience. Temperament also gets mixed in—mine being more meek and timid by nature. The more hurts and abuse we endure, the more guarded we become from letting others in. That was me for a long, long time. But as I shifted my gaze upward and became consumed with something deeper—I also shifted my focus on relationships. Though I still desired some particular points of substance, I realized I had a responsibility to be that portion of substance to every soul around me. I no longer focused on what I desired from a relationship (not 100 percent, I’m still human and have wants and desires), and began focusing on what I could bring to every relationship. I chose to create an environment where everyone around me that I encountered could have a touch of God’s Love and a Sweet Kiss of the Comfort’s of Heaven. The deeper I sank into the arms of God, the easier it became to flow naturally and become a friend others never had before. I decided to become the friend I desired myself.

My Friends, there is a friend who sticks closer than anyone or anything you could ever desire. No matter what you face, He is Constant. He is a Stream. He will walk on water to get to you and carry you through every little or great thing you could go through. No obstacle too cumbersome for you for His mantle and yolk rest upon you giving you rest in the midst of every storm. If your heart is forlorn and lacking in any way. Pull up a chair and sit with you Heavenly Father—His Love will Guide and always take you farther. You won’t have to pour yourself out. You will only have to drink Him in as He pours Himself out like a Refreshing Drink Offering. He is a faithful friend.

~Nicole

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Eph. 3:16-17

Prayer of Exhortation:

Lord—

I want to drink deep from your Cup of Love. Bring new life to the barren areas of this life. The Night may come, but so does your Moon reflecting your Glory and making room for our feeble eyes to see what we need. . . Simply more of you. Sustain us this day and every day—day by day, as we sip from you, devour you and allow you to quench our thirsty souls. It’s you we adore. You are the Forecaster of our soul. It’s you we adore. You are better than New Wine—May we drink deep, day and night and only be left craving you more. It’s you we adore. Thankful for this day—let every word we say impart a measure of your friendship and goodness to all we encounter. Amen.

June 3, 2019

Words of Worth

Posted in Inspirational, leadership tagged , , , at 8:06 am by Broken & Brave

Jesus was sent to earth on Assignment. He was sent to set humanity free. The world judged, condemned and crucified Him.

They thought they had been sent to teach him something, but in truth Jesus has been sent to teach them.

Never confuse the stripes left on his back as any kind of lack. The Savior, my Lord, took the high road and that road lead to a place called Golgotha.

There is Power in both the spoken and unspoken word. What’s not said in the Bible is just as relevant as what is said. Go deep with me for a moment. I’m not suggesting to add to the Word of God. But maybe explore a new mindset in how you read it?

Why does God choose the words chosen and stories told? Some stories go into deep detail while others have us hinged to know, yet the story is told with vagueness and ambiguity. Why?

Because my God is a Lover of Deep Mystery. He wants to compel and draw us in. The deeper in we go the more we become loved by the Book as it reads us.

His mystery is the chemistry that stirs my soul.

Explore the Word with eyes of adventure and a heart open to the unique creativity of a Maker who’s ways we will never figure out. His words are weighty. His words are Lovely. His words are Life giving and healing waters. When I soak them them, I am blessed and refreshed.

Last few weeks have been a whirlwind for my family. Just like that, many sudden changes. Though there has been a lot on our plate to manage and juggle, mostly helping others who went through the same thing manage their heartache and pain—we had a business dissolve just like that leaving thousands of people in need of a new job. These jobs lost were very financially lucrative. In fact, over the last five months my family has lost our two largest income streams. But we’ve been groomed for faith living. We’ve been ok. And God, in all his unmatchable kindness prepares us for it all. He showed us that it was coming before we knew a single thing. What a loving King!

On top of lots of change and having to hold a lot of hurting people, we were moving to a different town. Moving is difficult, but compound it when you think of moving a very large family. It feels a bit like Abraham touring the dessert.

It was a difficult and time consuming move wiggled in around work, kids and sports and birthdays. I mention this because for a solid week the Holy Spirit released me from writing and when I did write it was for encouragement for a hurting people so I mostly wrote text messages and emails.

On my social platforms I do a lot of writing and encouraging… I was surprised to have a lot of people calling me and texting me asking how I was and if they could pray for me. Some knew about our changes and some didn’t they just saw I wasn’t posting.

Then it was like a lightbulb over my head—What I didn’t say was speaking to them just like when I had something to say. My lack of presence was speaking!

Communication is a funny thing. I ensured everyone we were good, but I would love the prayer because I was truly digging deep to be what these people needed in a time of despair. And of course, for clarity of direction for our own life.

Our words carry power.

The things we are proven consistent in carry weight—even when we don’t realize it. I realized last week the power God had given me when I obeyed and stepped out in faith to write, journal, inspire, blog online for all this time.

Last week I had well meaning folks I love, but whom I always have trouble getting a hold of reach out and try to be my source of comfort. It didn’t really sit well. I appreciated their effort, but the foundation wasn’t right, they hadn’t been there for me on lesser things so why now? But God used it to prove to me over and over how important consistency is.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with your consistent love.

Thank you for molding my heart to your hand and carrying me on the days I can’t carry myself and also the days I have to carry myself and countless others. Thank you for making every transition in life a meaningful and joyful move. Thank you for the love of others you give us—we need each other. And thank you for laying the sure foundation, my cornerstone of Hope. I wouldn’t change your design on my life for anything. And thank you that I am done moving! Amen.

If this prayer or blog resonates with you at all, then grab it and pray on it asking the Lord to reveal what piece He wants you to have from it. My pen it not my own. It’s important to not confuse the messenger with the message. It’s His pen, I just do the writing with the unique and creative love language God has given me. Not everyone will like it, but this is for those who do.

~Nicole

“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—“ 2 Thes. 1:5

June 2, 2019

Blue Fire

Posted in Inspirational, Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , at 7:32 am by Broken & Brave

Blessed are the tender feet and kind eyes that the Lord could never despise.

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24

God is pouring out power through His Intercessor.

His Love is endearing.

It is a blue flame.

It licks the surface of the earth.

It clears, it cleans and it melts away every stain that keeps the hearts of humanity far from Himself.

If God can outline the sun with flames that do not consume it, only illuminate it…How much more does He do for you? God never forgets. He is completing a glorious work in you.

He is decided. He is Hope filled. He is the Anticipated Creator of all things worthy.

As we walk close to the flame, we experience its warm. As we abide in it, trust it, savor it, knowing we will be consumed by it, but never burned from it, we begin to put off a pleasing Aroma much the same way a scented candle would release a fragrant perfume.

It becomes evident, in this Glorious position of Grace, Peace and tranquility, that we becomes an Inferno of Hope that possesses power and passion- just like the intense heat of the flame- to help others cope all because we embraced Hope.

The air is thinner on the mountain top. It is uncomfortable to live so close to the flame. Not everyone will go with you. But those who do will stick by you like glue. ~Nicole

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the earth shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Lord—

Nothing escapes your attention!

Today is yours…

flavor it with a Sweet Scent.

Flow healing waters on every heart, mind and soul.

Let us not fail to turn to you alone first for our everything.

You are the Source.

You are our Hope.

You are the Sanctuary.

You are the Refuge.

You are Strength.

You are Virtuous.

You are a plethora of love shown in a garden variety of attractive hues. You are. May we never forget you loved us best. Amen.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Romans 1:19

May 24, 2019

Start Strong Finish Stronger!

Posted in Inspirational, leadership tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:44 am by Broken & Brave

Many people start strong, have stellar intentions and are highly excited and motivated to do great, to become great and even a pure intention to bring great glory and blessing to God. But what I have observed and am painfully aware of is that not everyone finishes strong who started strong. See—just like the Israelites in the wilderness—it is the long strength in between, when things get tough, rough or lean that there becomes a separation between those with deep conviction of heart and stoic grit to get after it and those who gain, complain and remain and don’t finish the race.

When God makes extraordinary promise He puts His stamp of love on it, but He rarely tells you what has to come in between to properly prepare the conditions of the scene and our hearts for the responsibility the blessing will bring. God is always actively preparing me and preparing you by the tests and trials we walk through. Will we be faithful? Will we be stoic? Will we possess and broad smile and winning attitude? Will we do everything without complaining?

Murmuring got the Israelites into a lot of trouble. I believe a big reason why, when the Israelites were to take the fortress of Jericho, they weren’t to speak at all as they walked around the walls. God knew it would only take one to speak a complaint or a fearful or doubtful thought to crumble the courage of the entire body of people. He needed what started strong to remain strong.

How about you? Do you have days of discouragement and doubt? Sometimes we have confidence in God’s promises, but our desire to follow through grows thin. Those are the days you have to dig deeper, maybe even lose a little sleep, just to spend ample time sitting at your Maker’s feet allowing Him to literally care for your cares and encourage your soul like a parent holding their child.

When I think about the number of people who have passed through my life because they quit—it is a painful thing. Many a people I loved dearly walked away simply because they just didn’t have the stoic faith to walk in extreme obedience to God. You can see the same thing in training others physically. All have goals, dreams and desires, but over time the crowd thins out and those with the deepest resolve and strength are the ones who keep going despite the odds against their success. Life happens—it what you do with the obstacles and how you handle the setbacks or delays.

A Champion doesn’t allow these things to derail them. They understand God might be using them to set a grander stage. The tougher the terrain, the longer the wait, the more the tide rises, the more evident it becomes who is really with you and who isn’t. Here’s what I know—God never quits. Every bump or hurdle He is right beside you helping you get over it. So whatever is holding you back, get over it! Gods got it and He’s got you, too.

Think of all the Israelites who never saw the promised land because they grumbled, complained, whined, doubted and quit. But God preserved a remnant and this remnant finished it and tasted and saw God’s Goodness to the end right smack dab in the center of a “land flowing with milk and honey”.

My experience has shown me over and over again that extreme obedience brings extreme blessing. We don’t obey for the blessing. We obey because we love God. When you love someone you want to please them. But God is good in tangible ways, too. So He reaches down for me and pulls me close. Sometimes the best analogy I can give of how He blesses me is a courtship. He is a beau wanting to impress me so He peacocks around and showers me with time, attention, blessings….my heart swoons for him, my Sacred Romance.

Extreme obedience brings extreme blessing.

Start Strong, Finish Stronger.

~Nicole

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13

Now Worship Warriors!

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