June 15, 2019

When Life Hits Hard: START SOMETHING!

Posted in health and wellness, leadership, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:23 am by Broken & Brave

Have you ever read Psalm 42 in its entirety? It’s the heart of young David being poured out to his God.

“Deep calls to deep

at the roar of your waterfalls;

all your breakers and your waves

have gone over me.

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,

and at night his song is with me…” psalm 42:7-8

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls. Wow. Can you feel that? Because I don’t just read it, I can feel it. If you have ever been in the surf of a beach—either on a board or body surfing the waves, you know what a swell can look like from underneath up close to it. Daunting. You don’t just see it lurch over you, you feel it coming, you hear it…just like David said, as a roar.

Have you ever been blind-sided by pain? Pain so deep you wondered where God is? Did he forget? Did he have something more important to do? Am I forgotten, or worse, forsaken? Why do we go through the trials we do? Why do some lead simple lives that are relatively uneventful while other live lives rich with activity and hardship? Life can bring drama, whether we signed up for it caused it or not, and it can feel like a tsunami swell headed straight toward us.

My husband and I have been apart of AdvoCare since 1995. This company impacted us supplement and nutrition/performance geeks 24 years ago. We both immediately fell in love with the products. I feel in countless ways AdvoCare was used by God to open up the marketplace and bring cutting edge nutrition in an era (the 90’s) when phytochemicals and their uses were being explored and discovered. Nutrition science was advancing at alarming rates. It was great. AdvoCare always stayed true to their word to improve the products as the science allowed.

We weren’t looking for it to be a business…that was something God did. We had been so impacted and our lives richly touched for the better we passionately shared with our family and friends who also experienced the same results we did. Before too long we were receiving calls from the company to congratulate us on our success and bless us. I had no idea what was happening. I just loved the products. But within a year I’d know myself to be pregnant with my first child. I was working two jobs (aside from our earnings in AdvoCare) and wanted the option to stay home. I kept praying for my husband to get a raise or hired as an athletic director somewhere (he was in Division 1 college athletics at the time). But every time I’d pray, I’d hear the Spirit of God say in a soft and peaceful voice, “AdvoCare”. In fact I continued to pray and finally after hearing the answer three times I also felt the Spirit quiet me to not ask anymore-AdvoCare was his answer.

Five children later we were still strong with AdvoCare and had built incredible relationships with people all over the country. AdvoCare is a true blessing to our life, and will remain to be so. The business structure may change, but the products remain. My earnings as commission won’t be in my bank account any longer the same way, but the friendships I keep. I will keep using and sharing and loving my AdvoCare. I want it that way. My God wants it that way, and I know Charlie, the founder of AdvoCare who passed away in 2001, he’d be honored by the Legacy we’ve all made.

The richness of leadership training and mentorship I received from AdvoCare is priceless! Charlie believed in building people (we build champions). And he put his money where his mouth was. Extraordinary leader and example. Mentorship from John C Maxwell and Leadership 2000. Norman Schwarzkopf, various sports heroes, Olympians, professional athletes and Andy Andrews, Jon Gordon, George W Bush (twice!), George and Barbara Bush, Bob and Elisabeth Dole, Alan Keyes, only to name a few! I gleaned so much from all of them. I learned a lot from Charlie himself.

So, we didn’t just loose an income, we lost a community, a culture, a family. Though the relationships remain, they will change just because. But God has used Charlie and his little Dallas based company to START SOMETHING.

And start something he did. We each, 100,000 distributors, are now being directed by God in different directions. Some remain all in AdvoCare building a retail business, some to other companies, some to nothing and some in full time ministry.

God gave us personally clear direction immediately. I am so grateful God didn’t make me wait in the hall on this one. The door closed suddenly, but God has directed.

John and I remain faithful to our AdvoCare brand. There is no doubt these products are good and are helping people. We will share them and use them. But while John will be as much support as he can be with AdvoCare Sports Advisory, I’m stepping out and trying my own to replace our income lost with DNA based nutrition. Anyone in nutrition knows this has been coming a while. We’ve come to the reality that we can use DNA testing to pinpoint specific nutrition needs for health and wellness and even fitness and weight loss goals. Cutting edge once again. So I am becoming like a two brand shoe store. I will share both product lines with my customer and clients for added blessing of finding the best fit for their needs (never mine).

John and I have always been a Holy Spirit Marketplace ministry operation. We do business as God leads. We get in peoples lives and help them mind…body…spirit. We love hard. We do life together. The name of my new business is ID Life. So far I am loving the product line. Compliments my other products very well. I’m nervous and excited. This is my baby. John has always been the leader. He has always taken care. I feel the Holy Spirit pushing me out of the nest to spread my wings.

So I am encouraged by David. He saw many and deep trials. He faced many giants, but he defeated every one.

I have faced many giants, and overcome. I am facing many giants right now, but I will overcome. I will stand firm and still and watch that tsunami wall of water as it comes for me turn into a drip of water right before me…unharmed. ~Nicole

“By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,

and at night his song is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life…

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.”

Psalm 42:8 & 1

Visit my website at:

Nextlevelteam.idlife.com

Sign up as a customer (free) and contact me and I can help customize your needs!

*any orders placed with IDLife will earn income for myself and this blog is my personal story and opinion/experience. I don’t make medical claims or income claims.

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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 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

May 27, 2019

End Times Army

Posted in leadership tagged , , , , , , , at 7:51 am by Broken & Brave

The Call to Lead

The world doesn’t need any more cheerleaders. It needs leaders. Leaders who serve. Leaders who elevate others above themselves. Leaders who are dead to themselves and fully open to God. Leaders who lead people who know their leaders would let you walk across their back because the leader isn’t afraid of sacrifice. Leaders who aren’t afraid to hold those they lead accountable and know they need accountability themselves.

The world needs leaders who have a crystal clear and concise message. They can look you straight in the eye and keep their pupil laser tight because they have passion and confidence and tell the truth.

The world needs leaders who empower the people.

Nehemiah was a leader like that. He left the comforts of a palace and the favor of a king to help God’s people rebuild themselves. The people had been in captivity (Babylon) so long they had forgotten. They had forgotten what the Bible said. They had forgotten who they were. They hadn’t the strength to wear their armor and protect their blessings. Nehemiah came and showed them how. He read them the Word and told them the Truth. He equipped them and showed them how to fortify their walls and how to keep Sanballet and Tobiah out of God’s Temple. He taught them to stop extorting and taking from one another. He taught them how to be a team and work together. He taught them how to build.

God is raising up men and women like Nehemiah today. People who know who their God is and know who they are. They have a pure heart and a right motive. They are equipping and leading and teaching people how to live a victorious life. They are willing to sacrifice, even lay down their own life (personal rights and freedoms) for a cause greater than themselves. They are the Pure and Spotless Bride. Though they be a Remnant, God is using supernatural means to connect them one to another no matter what region of our nation they reside.

God is coming for a Radiant Bride.

Her garment is gorgeous, but it is heavy (costly). It can only be worn by those who’s hearts are steadfast and heaven’s mantle has prepared for the task at hand.

God has a plan for your life. He will provide the Sacred Appointments and Leadership required to advance. When you advance—hold your stance. For the greatest blessings prove to be faiths greatest test. Prove to be set apart and resilient. Stoic in the faith. Let God set the pace and you will overcome.

“Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits.

“Remember me, O my God, for good.”

Nehemiah 13:31

Go forth a be equipped.

God alone sails the ship.

~Nicole

May 26, 2019

My Heart Be Still!

Posted in leadership, Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:10 am by Broken & Brave

When it is of the Lord—

God will always speak to your potential. He sees your true identity. The one washed in His Perfection and groomed for His Love. When God leads you into deeper levels of intimacy or higher levels of achievement, doing what you haven’t done before, though you may be challenged the challenge will be laced in love. The leadership of heaven leads with love. When the Holy Spirit convicts your soul to make changes or repent it will still be laced with love. When it’s God you ultimately feel better about yourself even when His finger is stirring our hearts. Stirring can be uncomfortable—but discomfort only lasts a night compared to the unspeakable Joy that overtakes your life.

The best way to be happy, find joy, and live a life marked by resilient, stoic and magnetic faith is to allow the Lord to examine us—

heart, mind and soul.

We bow down before our Maker. We humble ourself before our King. We drink of His Healing waters and we ask His Love to purge us of all that is not of Him.

Self examination can be challenging. Love can be painful. Loving others and ourselves requires a sacrifice.

Love until it hurts until there is no more hurt and only Love remains. (Mother Teresa)

Love washes and cleanses. Love gives the blind new eyes to see. Love rejuvenates the soul and gives the heart occasion to sing. Love is the Guidepost on your darkest of nights. Love is the still whisper that quiets your soul at night. Love is gentle, patient, humble and kind. Love engages.

Guard your heart, Beloved. Drown out the noise. Listen, intently, to the Voice of the Holy Spirit. If the words contain wisdom is one thing, but if the words of wisdom are laced with scriptural Love then they have been hemmed above and you will have a certain degree of edification in your soul.

Discernment is a tremendous blessing. Walk in wise counsel of the Holy Spirit. Life may be pulling you in many directions and giving you all sorts of advice. Be gracious-but only do as the Lord leads you. Unshakable pardon He makes everything right. He sees what we cannot. He shakes the earth and loosens the fruit from the trees. Every knee will bow eventually—that’s my King!

~Nicole

be still my heart

An exclamation that something is too exciting or overwhelming for one to bear; literally, that it is causing one’s heart to beat too fast. (Dictionary.com)

Prayer of Penance and Praise:

Abba God-

What a magnificent Father you are. You are a good Dad. You are gentle. Your eyes are kind. You soak up our laughter and you help us achieve and get after all the grand things of this life we must do. You do things with sway and ever abounding excellence. Engage our hearts to excellence in you. Keep us still just for this one profound moment. Your love make way to the roots of our identity. So then all that would flow from us, through us, over us would nourish us richly like liquid gold. Your love is like no earthly love ever known. You delight in your Created. Give us new eyes. Forgive us our small thinking and toughened hearts. Increase our capacity to give and live in love. Thank you for the sting of the Cross and the pain you endured just to prove your great love for us. We catch it today. We love you! Amen.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

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!