June 30, 2018

Balanced & Tranquil

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , at 6:50 am by Broken & Brave

Homeostasis is defined as “A state of equilibrium, as in an organism or cell, maintained by self-regulating processes.” When our life is balanced and even keeled we exude a sort of peace and continuity of soul others would like to own also.

Just as our body maintains homeostasis with proper health, we can influence internal status with our nutrition choices. When something like our electrolytes and mineral balance gets out of sorts, we can supplement it to get it back right where it belongs.

We can do the same thing for our heart, mind and soul. Feed yourself good things, positive uplifting words. Drink the Wisdom of God from His written Word. Exhort your mind by spending time in prayer and quiet meditation on the Creator who is everywhere. You get the idea. He will help you find spiritual, mindful and emotional rest and balance. He is the only true supplement you need and a crate full of hope and tranquility is what He brings.

You’ve got a lot to look forward to so,
Look up! ~Nicole

“God has ascended amid shouts of Joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.” Psalm 47:5
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May 22, 2018

Look Up

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

I was doing some writing this morning that took a little more time and research. I was browsing through my notes and came across this piece I wrote some four years back, I guess. Thought today would be a good day to share it.

Time is a funny and precious thing. We waste so much time searching for treasures, searching for happiness, contentment. We waste so much time on empty entertainment and idle cares and concerns.

Look up, Beloved. Look up. Climb into the lap of Abba Father. Allow His Love to wrap around you and cloak you and lavish you with encouragement, exhortation, praise. He sees your every attribute, ability and He even sees all of your future victories. No one can hug like Him. Be held today. Whatever you face. It’s going to be okay.

“Look at me. Look at me.” Said my 3 year old as I was distracted by something else when he clearly wanted my undivided attention. So, I stopped what I was doing and I looked right in his eyes. When I did, he said, “I love you.”

Isn’t this such a perfect analogy of how The Lord desires our hearts focus? We have a lot to do and many times plans fail or we just don’t know what to do…but God is ever true. He knows what to do every time. Every hill, valley and mountain top experience he knew about ahead of time. So if he knows everything, is surprised or caught of guard by NOTHING~then I think it’s safe to say he has a plan. Sometimes we just have to get our eyes off the distractions…look to his face and allow him to wrap himself around us and say, “I love you.”

He’s never going to let you go. Relax in his grip. I hear he is pretty strong.

Hold tight. Rest easy… Absolutely everything is going to be alright. You’ll see…

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:8
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May 9, 2018

Disciplined Kind of Fit

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , at 10:52 am by Broken & Brave

This morning I ran an errand for my boys. We don’t place our recycling at the curb, we take our water bottles to the recycling center. The funds we make from the collection at the recycling center is usually somehow donated to a fun activity for the kids. Everyone helps collect, press and store the bottles and the men usually make the trip to the recycle center–but sometimes I go and that’s what I did today. My high school boys get extra credit in science at their school for recycling and then turning in the receipts to their teacher. Receipts are due Friday so I volunteered to truck over to the center to acquire the ever coveted “extra credit slip”.

As I opened the back of the truck I realized that I don’t usually handle the oversized–enormous–plastic bags myself. Someone of the male persuasion usually helps me. But today I was sans kids and all alone. An employee kindly came out to assist me. He told me if they had been sorted and didn’t have any water remaining I didn’t have to transfer them into the green trash cans. I was most appreciative and expressed my gratitude. I told him what I just shared with you about my visions of spilling bottles everywhere trying to manage the top of a very full and very large trash bag. Then he said something interesting that I paid no mind to at first…but later on it got me thinking and now I sit here writing this blog.

He simply smiled and stated,” Oh, you’d be fine. You look pretty fit.”

That was that. I recycled my bottles, got my receipt and then left. On my way home I stopped for a little gas. As I walked to the counter to pay I remembered what the gentleman said about my looking fit and then these words penetrated my head…

“When you are physically fit people notice. When you are spiritually fit people notice.”

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Isn’t it true? I’ve been on a fitness journey that began when I was 13. That’s when I had my aha moment and realized that if I wanted a different health history outcome and legacy than the one I saw happening on one particular side of my family, then I had to do something different. So began my fitness quest. I didn’t get where I am now overnight. I had a lot to learn about fitness and nutrition. So I went to work. Because I was interested I didn’t mind the work. I tried and failed–a lot. I’d advance and sometimes I’d find myself taking a few steps back. Then I’d have seasons where I’d plateau or coast on any success I currently possessed. But my hunger and drive never subsided and I’d find myself setting new goals and exploring new roads. Being pregnant as many times as I’ve been pregnant presented other new challenges as far as fitness goes. But I never abandoned my goals. I just readjusted my sails and pursued my course always and assessing and addressing my priorities. Never wanted fitness to interfere with my loved ones. They came first. But I also knew a fit Momma is a happy Momma and she is better equipped with stamina and endurance and tenacity to handle anything Mom life can throw at you.

It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to be fit enough for it to be obvious I was into fitness. I wanted to express it with my results, not anything I said. That my fitness would speak for itself, no words required. It took time because though I’ve been physically fit and strong a long time, my nutrition discipline took time to build a solid foundation. But I persisted without exception. I always knew it would happen for me, God had put the desire in me that never faded or waned. And then it happened. My goal is what I became.

I still have goals, still reaching, pushing, building on the foundation God has given me. But I enjoy the fruit of my diligent efforts. People often comment to me about my fitness even when I don’t realize I look all that fit.

So as I left the gas station reflecting on all of this it also occurred to me this same fact, when you are physically fit people notice…it has application to many aspects of life.

When you are physically fit people notice.
When you are emotionally fit people notice.
When you are mentally strong people notice.
When you are spiritually fit people notice.

I spent much of the last week studying in my Bible about Rebekah, the woman of the Old Testament who married Isaac and ushered in God’s Promise. As I studies the theme the Lord overwhelmed me with was “Discipline”.

What discipline this young woman had to REST in her father’s care, serve as a daughter of noble worth and step into her place in Destiny! Her faithful and disciplined trust helped usher in the Promise to Abraham’s Sons!

It takes discipline to become physically fit.
It requires discipline to control your food choices and become nutritionally fit.
It requires discipline to draw closer to God and exercise our faith, strengthen our understanding of his pure and matchless grace and to be Still and bask in His warm yet gentle embrace.

Spend some time asking in prayer this week how you can apply greater discipline to your Christian life and fulfill God’s perfect plan and purpose for your life!
Because when your fit you will get to eat the fruit of your discipline!

~Nicole

April 5, 2018

Dreamer

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:52 am by Broken & Brave

“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:27

Do you own a shovel?

Shovel out the contents of your heart. Quite the visual, isn’t it?

We can’t actually take a shovel and dig out our heart, and if we wanted to we’d have to ask someone to help us do it, but of course, we would most likely die.

But isn’t that just what God wants? To “dig out” all of us so that all that remains is Him? Don’t we sing it, pray it, “search my heart of God, less of me and more of you”…

I’ve been on His beautiful journey with the Holy Spirit. I’ve been a Christian most of my life, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that He awakened my soul to something more. The Eyes of His Spirit. And these eyes are like Night Vision Goggles.

The Word says His eyes roam to and fro over all of the earth keeping watch over both the wicked and the righteous. (Proverbs 15:3;
2 Chronicles 6:9)

But God has gifts to share and some of His gifts are the Eyes and Ears of His Spirit. In the Old Testament they were called Prophets or Seers. In the New Testament Acts Chapter 2 tongues of fire came and licked the people and they became filled to overflow with the Holy Spirit.

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“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.”

Acts 2:17

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I dream.

I have been one who dreams all of my life. I don’t just dream a little. I am a prolific dreamer, every night multiple dreams a night. But some dreams are more pressing and urgent than others. I am also a Dreamer, but they are not the same thing. One is an active recipient of instruction, wisdom, information/knowledge, discernment of principalities and guidance for intercession via the tool of dreams. The later is someone who is Visionary and can see with the minds eye what they want to see or God has shown them regarding the future. Many people, Christian or not, operate in the later of these types of Dreamers as they are leaders who “cast vision” for others to follow their lead and then they make the plan a reality. A visionary can see an old decaying house, but with the eyes of their imagination, they see its beauty and potential and what could be with the right amount of love. And many also create, cast vision or do something successful based on something “they saw in a dream”. I think this happens a lot with creative people.

But then there is the Intercessor. The Prophet. The Seer.

I have had eyes that see and ears that hear my whole life. But I didn’t necessarily know what it was. As a young person the realms of darkness began to torment me, persons without bodies, two dimensional dark forces who sway the Night would harass me. I had no one to talk to about it. I told my parents, but they didn’t understand it, because they didn’t ever experience anything like this personally.

These tormenting moments came in waves. But during my mid twenties, when God awoken me to something deeper-was the absolute point when these forces came against me in enormous measure. I had done nothing to encourage it. I have never dabbled in witchcraft…AT ALL! I’m too sensitive spiritually and had zero attraction to anything like that. But it was in this season that I also began to receive forces of Light and Life in the same way I was experiencing the darkness. And the Power of God Infused me and I began to realize for the first time in my life I had a spiritual, Biblical gifting called Discernment of Spirits. For someone with this gift, depending upon how strong the gift is in them (we can have gifts in degrees much like someone can be good at basketball and someone can be number one draft pick NBA good at basketball). So, depending on these variables, someone with this gift, or me anyway, experience and see the unseen world just as much as they see the natural world. Both are operating all around each of us everyday. The thing is–that all sounds kind of weird, right? Well, experiencing it can also be kind of weird. I have realized more and more there are people with these experiences sitting right next to us at work, or school or even our churches–but they don’t understand what they are experiencing and are afraid to talk to anyone about it, because quite frankly, it’s hard to describe and most just don’t get it. I can’t remember what year, google it, but Neil Anderson (who writes a lot about these topics) took a poll at Biola University and over 70% of the students expressed that they had experienced tormenting spirits or tormenting dreams.

God has been drawing such persons to me in ever growing measure recently. I was speaking with a Mom who reached out to me last week about her daughter who is experiencing some torment the same way I did as a 17 year old girl. What a joy to be able to Biblically guide her on how to handle and dismiss it with our God given Authority, but also clues as to maybe why she was encountering it or being targeted. Oh how I wish I’d had someone when I was 17 to explain all this to me! I was also able to share from my own personal experience.

Is this you? God has got people who can help you. All you really need to do is PRAY. He will send them to you. Be alert and pay attention, but even if you aren’t, God has a way of blessing us despite us! When I was in my mid-twenties, that point in life where I really began to break away from the chains of fear these spirits were trying to put on me and I began to learn the incredible Sword of Spirit I had been given, he was putting older women all around me who were seasoned veterans of the faith, prayer warriors, Intercessors, Seers, Prophetic who knew who they were in Christ and knew how to slay!! It was like for the first time in my life a thirst was being quenched in the best way. I was receiving wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

I used to always ask God, “Why would you gift people to see what we don’t really want to see? These beings are invisible for a reason!” It was all kind of creepy to me. But as I continued to grow, had women who helped me to understand that I had revelatory dreams and how to interpret them and then the discipleship of my own time with the Word and the Holy Spirit I became ever familiar with how the Voice of God spoke to me personally through dreams. I began to realize the weight of responsibility that came with these gifts. I realized how beautiful these gifts were because they can be used to protect people. Especially, for me, how I can use them to protect my own children.

This is all quite Biblical. Joseph’s gift of dreams and their interpretation made way for him. Jacob dreamed and saw in Spirit. The Apostle Paul said he travelled, but didn’t know if it was in Body or out of body. And Jesus himself told his disciples they would do everything he did.

I believe there are Seers everywhere. People gifted with Eyes of the Spirit, and the more refined and groomed the gift, the more emptied out we become, like our heart has been dug out with a shovel, the more room for the Giver to freely operate the gifts within us. We become more dependent on what God shows in the Spirit than anything else. And this is the substance of faith and it’s also the foundation for Creative Miracles. But that needs to be a different blog.

So, the other night I had one of these dreams, so vivid and real it was like I was actually in it. When I woke I was so disturbed by what I saw, but I received no revelation of the meaning. Sometimes my dreams are literal, as in this event is happening or is going to happen or has already happened. Sometimes my dreams are more figurative and symbolic. Sometimes they are a combination of both. So I usually spend much time in prayer and worship to receive direction on how to pray or proceed with what God has given me.

In the dream I saw a house, I saw the neighborhood, I saw a fire. I saw one house on fire and I could see the depth and intensity of the heat. I could see the flames licking at the community it was in. I saw specific people in the house. But I saw more…

When I woke I could not return to sleep for the dream was intense and so clear. I prayed. I asked God, is this symbolic for a move, a wave of the Holy Spirit? Or is my dream an actual fire? He never told me…until later the next day.

Someone at my church shared and what they described was like she was telling everyone my dream. I felt so grateful in that moment, not only for their safety, because it had indeed been a real fire, not symbolic, but for my own personal request to God for revelation of the dream being answered. It’s hard to know what to say in those moments.

I said something, because I saw more, but felt the need to hold back. But God is so unique-I realized later why he had shown me what he showed me. I had someone approach me in the parking lot and began to ask me about seeing things in dreams. They began to share their experiences and wanted insight. I was happy to explain and then pray with them. I know exactly how she felt. It’s so freeing when you find out “why?” !

As I got in my car my little one said, “THAT was a long talk.” I said, “Yes, it was”. It was like 10 minutes, lol. But in my heart I loved on my Jesus. He’s been mentoring me a lot lately about how His Love is willing to leave the 99 for the One. I told him I’d gladly love the one…hands down, every time. I know how that feels…to be the one.

God has got Intercessors. People He assigns like Watchmen on the Wall of Compassion. They receive from the Spirit and they wield weapons of warfare against dark forces and principalities that stalk the Night looking for people to rape, pillage and destroy. But God! Is Mighty and Valiant to save and He alone does the saving and revealing, but rest assured, His stealthy warriors are out there looking out for you. And if you have connected to anything I’ve said like God has taken a highlighter pen to your heart and my words have cut through, then this post is for you. God has put gifts in you and let this post be the catalyst to your seeking Him deeper and receiving the answers to your prayers and your experiences. He has more than enough wisdom, knowledge and understanding for you. His Mercy always shines through. He’s got you.

~Nicole

Here are a JUST A FEW resources for review on the topic of Demons, Dreams, Spiritual Warfare, and various other “Power Gifts”:

•Neil T. Anderson (author)
•Derek Prince/DPMMinistries

March 29, 2018

Poise and Posture

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , at 7:09 am by Broken & Brave

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I look at this photo and cringe a bit. It was from my second show ever (which was only two weeks after my first show). I had minimal clue how to pose. How I’m standing I look all blocky. If I would’ve opened up my hips, stretched my torso and pulled back my shoulders more it probably would have meant higher placement than what I got. But then I look at this and liken my posture to the heart. Do you ever block your heart in, standing “strong” but it becomes rigid? You may think you’re doing great, but what others see is closed, don’t approach me. But let me tell you ladies this, you have been created in the image of God. That makes you capable of reflecting his love, truth, strength, dignity, goodness, wisdom and Beauty. And beautiful you are. You don’t need a fake tan and a stage to sparkle bright! Whatever ailes you, own that night and use it as the backdrop to Canopy the Bright that you Shine! You are too gorgeous to hide that shine. ~Nicole✨


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March 27, 2018

Learning To Hear God’s Voice

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:09 am by Broken & Brave

Just in the past two days on different occasion I had two different conversations with people who came to me, sharing their heart, and then they asked the same question …

How did you come to hear God’s Voice so clearly?

A few weeks ago I had another woman ask me, “How do you learn to hear God’s Voice.”

Well…all are good questions and I believe it should be a foundational question in the life of ever Believer of Christ who understands the absolute imperative function of the Holy Spirit. Though the answer to their collective question cannot be answered in one sentence. Hearing God’s voice is something that develops over time. I cannot speak for other people’s ear for the Spirit, I can only speak from my own experience and the Biblical truth that God has so generously poured into my Spirit.

I truly believe most people can hear God’s voice their entire life. Maybe this is why we are told in the Word to come with childlike faith?
Then I think, how can we not hear him? He is speaking to us through all of creation, our conscience, and a vast array of other vehicles. The problem is we aren’t paying attention. We don’t discern. We aren’t listening. We fail to understand who He is and what He truly looks like–so we dismiss his voice.

But it’s even more complex than this.

There are a million competing voices all around us and most of all within our own mind. See–the enemy knows that a mind that lacks peace, rest and protection is his. If he can rule your mind, your thoughts, then he can rule your actions. This is what it means to take on the mind of Christ. To take his yolk upon us. To think, see and feel as Christ is–a mind at peace. A mind that doesn’t toss about like a raging sea. There is a calm and tranquility about one who has the mind of Christ. But we don’t get there overnight. It is a process of cultivating our everyday existence around Christ.

The Believer of God won’t be able to walk in their Divine Life Assignment to his full intent until they get to a place in their walk with Christ where they not only wear the Armor of God all day everyday, but they have charge over their mind. As you purposely grow your walk and cling to the Cross as you tread through various trials, set backs, obstacles and persecutions of the enemy on your faith, you become very intentional about kicking Satan out of your mind. Once you learn to rule your mind, God will begin to give you dominion to rule your life. You have already received the inheritance of dominion when He allowed himself to be tacked to a stake for the whole human race. That’s the day you received dominion. It is an unfortunate truth that few believers ever grow deep enough in their Identity as a Child of God and what that entitles them to–so they stay stuck wallowing in the very simplistic concept that God actually loves them and may even like them. He is committed to them.

Being intentional requires deep effort. You’re going to have to learn how to do real, deep and consistent work. Two examples, one a practical spiritual application and one an analogy. First, the woman a few weeks ago who asked about how to hear God speak also, in nearly the same sentence, told me she never read the Bible on her own because she just didn’t have time. I know her story represents the same story as countless others. Let me tell you, when my child calls me on the phone, I recognize her voice (once upon a time we didn’t have caller ID technology). She doesn’t need to tell me who she is because I know her so intimately and closely I don’t need to see her or touch her to recognize her. The same is true with God. The more time you spend working on your relationship with him via prayer, reading the Word, being still, worshiping and INVITING the Holy Spirit to come, then you simply pay attention. You LOOK for him to show up in every moment of your day and you RECOGNIZE him. You EXPECT Him to show up. You can even prayerfully tell God just this,

“Lord, help me to recognize you in every move you make in my life and to discern your voice.”

Secondly, I have a friend who is working hard to better her life. She has re-enrolled in school and wants to get a degree despite having been out of school a long time and having a family. She works full time. She has children who have schedules. She is purposing herself toward a better future. Do you know there are people telling her to “slow down”, “smell the roses”, “quit pushing hard”. That, my friends isn’t the voice God gave her. God encouraged her and opened the doors for her. These competing voices are the collective voice of mediocrity. Mediocrity really says, “Stop doing that because your making me feel bad about my own life.” Or “I’m not apathetic, she’s just imbalanced and tries to do too much.” This is a practical application where you can begin to practice and discern the correct voices.

To ensure a secure mind you must cover it with scripture. Read Ephesians chapter 6 over yourself, out loud! Why out loud? Because you will hear it, you will be declaring over yourself, and the enemy of your soul will hear it too. Remember, the devil and his dominion can plant thoughts in your mind, but it doesn’t mean they know what you’re thinking. They cannot hear your thoughts. They merely make a calculated guess based on a lifetime of observing your behaviors. So when we speak the Word it is like taking the Rhema word, the Sword of the Spirit, and slaying those giants who set out to assail your mind.

God’s Voice is for everyone. Some spiritual gifts require a flowing of a finite intuitive ear for His Voice, but every Believer is equipped with the Holy Spirit and has access to all the assets He has provided.

I hope this helps someone today.
Today could be the first day on your journey to deeper encounters with God.

Blessings~

Nicole

March 19, 2018

Hardship

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

Have you ever tried to wash your hands with only soap and no water? You can’t do it. It becomes a sticky mess.

I went and got a manicure yesterday afternoon and after the salon employee trimmed and filed my nails she told me to go wash my hands, “water only”.
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See, it’s possible to wash your hands with water only. The rinsing away of debris and even some dirt can happen with water alone-especially if the water is warm and we spend some time under it. But soap alone…not even close to the same.

This is how it is when we wash ourselves in the Word of God. It reaches in and strips us of impurities and washes away every ounce of pain, shame, regret, loneliness, abandonment, unforgiveness and resentment, sickness and disease. The Word loosens what is holding onto our heart, mind, body and soul–but its the Holy Spirit’s job to act like Healing and Cleansing Waters and wash it away completely, residue free purity.

Hardship has a way of knocking off our rough edges. Hardship has a unique way-when guided by the Lord-to purify, build, strengthen and infuse our hearts with deeper hope, deeper faith, deeper wisdom, deeper sense of purpose and resolve. The Holy Spirit activates what the Word of God has planted. Hardship also gives us experiential knowledge we can get no other way. It gives us Authority over Principalities. It gives us Spiritual Territory. Experience yields insight like nothing else.

My entire life I have been a student of human behavior. I am a watcher, a noticed, a silent observer. All my life I’ve been taking pictures with my mind, taking notes. I’ve gleaned from those I’d like to learn from. My Mom always called it my “Book of Life”. She’d say, when something good was going to come out of her mouth, “put this one in your Book of Life.” But some things were added to the book all on my own. I learned a lot, from a very, very young age what I didn’t want to do, by observation as well. But hardship…hardship yields an experience like none other.

I’ve been through more hardship in the past two decades than I could possible recount here with my little pen. I haven’t got the time or energy. I heard someone say yesterday they had a trial a decade ago and they are in a trial again now. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to have a break between trials? For mine have been deep and vast and have all overlapped with no break or relief in between. I have at times struggled to understand why God had allowed so many bad things to happen to me?
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But here’s what I know.
He has spread an enormous Canopy of Grace over my head and face and my life is guarded faithfully. I see Him bless my kids hands over fist and their spiritual maturity is vast beyond their young years. I feel the kiss of God on my face and I spend enormous amounts of time just lingering in his embrace. And for me, it has spoiled and ruined me for any other form of love-it is all lesser than His. I hear the Holy Spirit speak and his voice gets stronger and louder and more clear as each day passes. He guides me, protects me, warns me, gives me words of knowledge and thwarts the enemy as he has indeed watched my back.

I have always felt the favor of Heaven, even when I didn’t know what it was. But it was my hardship that drew me in and I learned to wear his love like a glove and I allowed his spirit to wash over my life and I have taken his experiential knowledge-wrapped in a cloak of hardship-and applied it like healing ointment to a very wounded and weary Bride.

Every time something of enormous difficulty and pain would hit me I’d ask God why, and every time I’d hear with crystal clarity, “Because I want to use your voice.” And I have been told for many years now that my voice has an Anointing for comfort on it. His Peace is attached to the words and prayers he gives me. He honors the prayers I pray for others and they receive healing-like a “Midas Touch” from heaven.

God may not bring hardship, but he certainly allows it and he is such an Economizer he will use it. He is a potter and we are his clay.

God wants His Church to rise. It is time for her to wake up.
Arise, Sleeping Giant, arise.
Your Groom awaits.
Allow Him to wrap you in love, tenderness, mercy and grace and heal you with His Word, Cleanse you with the Holy Spirit, and anchor you with His Atoning Blood.

Your hardships have not been in vain…for by it, you can spread a wider and deeper net of hope and catch those who are sinking in oceans of adversity deep.

You are a fisher of men.

Hardship is a gift, when we allow God to use it. We can only get through it with Him.

~Nicole

March 9, 2018

“Gym Life”

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

If a team is only as strong as the weakest link-storms are the blessing that flushes out fair weather fans and highlights your champions…

Every time I prep for a show it’s a struggle. It would be easy to envy younger gals who have no responsibility outside their own life. Not discounting their struggles and determination at all, but if I allow my imagination to run away…They can train, meal prep and train some more without having to care for spouses or children. But envy has never really been my style. Instead, I see all the benefit in the struggle. I know I’ve got more tenacity, grit and fortitude for what I must endure to achieve my goals. I understand the carry over for every future struggle in life, within or outside of my sport.

For me it symbolizes how far I’ve come and highlights every victory won on my own personal journey. It wasn’t the times on stage that forged my determination and focus…it was every storm and decision to persist without exception in every area of my life, not just gym life. To me, that’s what Strong looks like.

What are you facing or enduring today? Maybe your struggle is the benchmark for advancement and promotion in your life. Maybe the better version of you you’ve desired can only come through the chiseled outline of the stress of this time in your life. Shaping…molding…polishing your dull and rough edges. Tap into your strong, then FLEX IT all day long! You’ve got a certain sparkle and shine all your own. ~Nicole

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March 4, 2018

One Chord

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:13 am by Broken & Brave

Right now I am steeped with the passion of heaven that floods my soul when I hear the song, “So will I” by Hillsong United. Have you heard this song?

Anything poetic, well not anything, but when I find a piece of music, a particular chord or melody that strikes a chord in my heart it releases the bountiful bloom pent up inside.

Life is a lot like an instrument.

Take the guitar, the piano or even a harp. So simple in appearance. One touch can create sound – but it is how it is touched that creates beautiful music. You have to know how to touch it. Take even the lyric. Words are a collection that create language meant for communication, but when they are hemmed together and woven just so, tangled deeply- they create together something emotionally provocative that stirs the soul.

All are given life, but not all figure out what to do with what has been given. Not all master the touch of it. But when a life is touched it knows. When a heart is touched it knows. The deeper the reach, the more gentle the touch, the more profound the inspiration and something wonderful begins to bloom, begins to glow with glorious fragrance, melody and color.

All of heaven is watching you.

You are a hand crafted and beautiful instrument. You were created with the reckless abandon of love. You were sacrificed for so that your edges could be smoothed and your surface polished to produce a luster and shine enormously approved. And oh how your heart can play! You create a melody meant to enchant the hearts of humanity and draw them like a cluster of grapes to the wine room of heaven. God has created new wine in you.

God is loving, faithful and patient. He deeply admires his craftsmanship. He touches the strings of your heart with love and inspiration. Sing his praise, for he certainly sings yours.

Nothing this side of heaven is as beautiful as what he has hand crafted within you. Play your melody, speak your poetry, captivate.

Captivate humanity and draw them to the One who created it all.

~Nicole
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March 3, 2018

Ridiculous & Awesome

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:31 am by Broken & Brave

I was the type that had huge faith and confidence in God to do ridiculously awesome things for others, but had less faith for myself. I think many are like that. That all changed in 2000 when I saw God do ridiculous amazing and lavish miracles for me for no reason other than to prove to me how much he loved me. It worked.

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John was going to Australia for the Sydney Olympics. He had just returned from a two week trip to Europe with the college Basketball team. I was home with two very small children. I wanted to go to Australia, too! But we really couldn’t afford such an 11th hour trip (the track and field trials were only a few weeks before the games and John’s athlete was paying his way if she made the team). I wanted to go but saw no way. Then I felt the Lord stoking my faith and daring me to infuse my hope. So I told my husband and he told me to step in faith and get my passport ordered. I had no clue where my birth certificate was. I hunted all over. Then I said a prayer, “God, if you want me to get my passport you have to show me where my B.C. is.” I had barely said, “Amen” when I walked past a small bookcase in my room. A book on the shelf was leaning off the edge and against the floor. Get this…as I leaned down and tucked the book back in its home the book right next to it fell out into the floor and opened to a page that was bookmarked with my birth certificate! Why I used it as a book mark and when I’ll never remember, but God remembered and made a way where there seemed to be none! God will always arrive in the nick of time! He’s got you, no matter what you’re going through! Be encouraged💗 ~Nicole

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

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