October 8, 2017

Faith Can Flex

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by Broken & Brave

You have tremendous muscle memory…not just in your physical frame, but also in the depths of your heart, your spirit.

You’ve maybe heard it said your faith is like a muscle. It must be stretched, pulled, contorted and bent before it can shape and mold into something you can believe in. But here’s something maybe you haven’t considered…

When you go through a trial and endure the rugged terrain of a wilderness experience…when your eyes have strained, but you have failed to see because the intensity of your trial too ominous…so dark. During these wee hours of heartbreak and pain is where your real strength is made and when you make it to the other side not only are you breathing, healthy, alive, but your faith has survived. Then, during seasons of comfort or even mild seasons of distress your faith remembers where’s it’s been, what it’s done, and how you’ve overcome, and you handle it all just a little more effortlessly. Your stoicism will give others who lack faith hope and create room for them to breath, gain relief and make it, too, just as valiantly.

You have tremendous muscle memory…not just in your physical frame, but also in the depths of your heart, your spirit.

Let’s Flex!!!😉

~Nicole

“For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21

Advertisements

October 5, 2017

Abigail’s Wisdom

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by Broken & Brave

Broken & Brave

“She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 1 Samuel 16:41

I’ve been reading about the women in the Bible with some friends. Right now I am studying Abigail in particular. I find her fascinating. Her story occupies a brief span of time in the Word, but it is packed with pivotal truth in action that possibly directed the future of King David. I find her to be a source of God’s Divine intervention practically played out in the life of a King.

Let’s put our feet in Abigail’s shoes for a moment. If you don’t know her story it’s found in 1 Samuel 25. Abigail is said to be both attractive and intelligent. She was a sensible women with a level head. This alone is admirable considering women…

View original post 462 more words

October 4, 2017

Gaining Ground

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:38 am by Broken & Brave

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of The Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” 2 Cor. 3:18

Recently I’ve changed up my personal training and nutrition routine a bit as I press toward some goals. I exercise not because of vanity, I train because I enjoy athletics. Fitness is my sport. It challenges my mind, my body, my strength and makes me stronger, focused, and flexible. I love to sprint and have done so for years. On occasion I enjoy wind sprints. I attach a harness to my back that has a small parachute. As I run the parachute lifts and gives me added resistance making the sprint more difficult–on purpose. I know that when you do something with frequency you get better at it. I don’t want to be content to stay the same. I’d like to see how much more pressure I can add to my physical frame. It not only strengthens my ability, increases my heart capacity, but it toughens my resolve.

In just the past few weeks I’ve seen and felt some physical fruit of my efforts. I feel stronger and more flexible and could really notice out on the track. The stronger and more flexible I become, the more capable I am to run greater distances with fewer strides.

IMG_1057

And so it is with life. When we rely on God and press ourself into His Presence and His Word with a steel-toed, dig in devotion we will eventually see some real fruit in our strength, mental/emotional tenacity and clarity and our flexibility will gain us territory in heavenly places.

Work your heart muscles today and run toward Gods Grace…You’ve got some ground to gain and territory to take. Whether it’s out on the track or the life goals you seek to advance…God is beside you, lifting your lid of possibility, becoming the winds that carry you from beneath and He is recognizing your every good effort to persevere and progress. His reward for you is amazing!  So don’t give up. Stop settling. No more regretting. Just pressing in so your best life can begin. You’ve got ground to gain and won’t you look amazing doing it! His love and grace dangle from your frame.

Go get it!

~Nicole

October 3, 2017

Intensity

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:21 am by Broken & Brave

What are you believing?

The future is inside of you. You must see it with your heart before you can believe it with you mind. Then you will walk it out in your life.

IMG_1154

Arnold Schwarzenegger became legend as a body builder. Not only did he have an extraordinary work ethic, but he had extraordinary belief. At one competition he was up against Lou Furrigno, another famous top competitor. Lou told Arnold before the show that he looked good, but probably not good enough to win. Arnold replied he felt so confident of his win that he had already called his Mother in Austria to tell her he had won.

This is the mindset of a Champion!

It doesn’t matter what you are pursuing. It could be to encourage you child in 1st grade phonics.

To overcome, carry on and finish strong we each must have intense BELIEF in better things.

Be Decided! ~Nicole

IMG_1156

September 30, 2017

Spiritual Anorexia

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:44 am by Broken & Brave

We live in such a superficial society. Appearance is everything and vanity is it’s chief council. There are countless strategies available to make us look and feel great. Everything from head to toe–you’re covered if you’re willing to spend the time, money and energy to consume what society is selling.

Sustenance is an interesting thing. I have noticed over many years of my recent life that the more affluent circles of our nations population base are overall more physically fit with healthy weight management. There are exceptions to this, of course, but overall this population of people looks pretty darn good. Most likely this is because they can afford it. Healthy foods cost more than packaged and processed foods. Gym memberships and personal trainers or high end, small, semi-private group training/classes are the trend. The higher end society is looking for something customized to the detail and complete and they are willing to pay money for it.

I think the more affluent community understands that–like it or not–your appearance is your business card. It can take over eight encounters with a person to change a negative first impression according to a recent study done at Harvard. So how you look, how you present yourself and how you treat/handle others plays a large roll in how successful you will be at pretty much everything.

As a trainer I’ve primarily worked with the more affluent community. I used to do personal training programs with a few “buddy packages” (you and a friend kind of thing), but now I’m almost exclusive small, private group training. I still carry a small stable of one on one clients, but have found myself more and more lately turning those opportunities down. Primarily because I just don’t have time. My family is a priority and my plate is full. So I now focus on small groups of committed individuals who are teachable, coachable and willing to work.

I am a health advocate. An advocate is an ardent defender of people and purpose. It is the purpose God placed inside me to use health and fitness as my ministry.

• I’m focused not only on improving strength, flexibility, overall health and vitality, but I’m all about equipping others for victorious living.

•I’m all about disease prevention and holistic natural applications of sustenance, rest and movement all packaged in each individual unit.

•I’m about casting vision for the woman who wants to hang with her kids at Disney well in her elder years without needing to sit down a lot or rent a wheel chair just to enjoy the family fun.

•I’m about not being on a myriad of prescribed meds that has people so frightened to even take a multivitamin because it might interfere with there drugs.

• I’m definitely about empowering females to believe in themselves and create a deeper awareness of how wonderful their form is and what strength they possess (physically, spiritual, mentally) and how to harness it.

I recently had someone who I’d been helping along their health journey tell me they had decided to go in a different direction. I had functioned as an unpaid source of council and help. They came to me asking for mentoring so I helped at my own sacrifice. It’s difficult for me to say no to someone who is ready to change.
They had sort of eluded to their shift in direction, but I actually found out about it another way and so I specifically asked them about it.

I tried to be as positive as I could be. I wanted to thoroughly communicate love, grace and humility wrapped up in a compassionate spirit. It was challenging for me to listen quietly because I knew as they were sharing the less than stellar decision they were making. I agreed to pray for them and encouraged them and left the situation positively so they knew I loved them and the door was wide open should they return again.

Relationships of a mentoring nature can be difficult. There is the temptation to personalize and take ownership of the results, successes or failures of other people. But it is not our personal responsibility to fix the world. I cannot fix my friends deleterious habits or choices. I can guide, love, protect and direct–but ultimately it’s their life and they are free to make whatever choices they desire. As the mentor we understand that at the end of the day we leave everyone and everything at the base of the Cross. We did our part and that is all we can do. Then you just pray that the time and energy and sacrifice you put into them will stick and something good will flourish from it.
It could be easy to rehash all the sacrifice and time you’ve invested. The temptation is to feel a sense of disloyalty or lack of gratitude. But that’s not necessarily true, so don’t swallow that bait.

These practical truths I’m sharing with you apply to all of life. We are all leading someone, somewhere by our conduct, life and example. We are living breathing sustenance to someone else’s soul.

I am fortunate in all my career I’ve only ever encountered one person who I detected may have an eating disorder. In this case, it was anorexia/bolemia. I know the clues to look for, but that was years ago (totally different story from the one I just described). But when I look around society I see many, many in every age group, race and economic category who suffer from a sort of spiritual eating disorder. A Spiritual Anorexia. They are starving to death because they don’t eat the right things. I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about thought patterns, focuses and methods to comfort their own pain. Soul Sustenance. I see people also who see the Truth, whether it is about themselves, God or others, but they refuse to eat it.

Anorexia is ultimately a spirit. It goes after the mind and influences the decisions of the individual causing them to believe skipping meals is somehow the answer to their problems or the solution for controlling their world. Spiritual Anorexia functions the same way. Distorted truth and a reflection of self, others and the world around is skewed. I imagine there are many people who suffer from both, spiritual anorexia and the physical manifestation of the disease. After all, if it is a spirit, it’s going to do as much damage to the whole of a person as it can once its invited inside. Satan’s objective is to steal, kill and destroy.

We are all mentoring others each and every day. What you say and do carries tremendous value and when you know this and take it serious–understanding the big picture of your life’s objective, then you can make a positive impact that will last.

Consider yourself a seed carrier. You are scattering it everywhere. Some seeds will do nothing, find no home to imbed themselves in. Others will find fertile soil of heart with just the right conditions to flourish and grow, while others will only grow so much then stop. This is not up to us to decide who will do what. All we can do is love, avoid personal feelings of hurt, and carry on knowing you’ve done your part and others may enjoy a higher quality of life because of the mark you made upon their heart. Leadership does not come without great personal sacrifice.

Feed your body the right stuff so it will last.
Feed your heart and mind the right stuff so you will surpass any form of greatness you’ve experienced in the past.
Feed your soul Truth, Love and the Inspired Word of God. It is Pure and Good Sustenance from Above.

And never forget…

Take Joy in the Journey…

~Nicole

September 27, 2017

Reborn🌹

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:59 am by Broken & Brave

 

Never Had a Better Friend

The Lord has striped me in many ways.

Yet, He preserves each and every one of my days.

He took away so much that mattered to me

and in the process grafted me more tightly into His Tree.

He drew me near and showered me with blessings from above.

He gave me increase in my capacity to Love.

He showed me His devotion and care

Yet I know He will not only stop there.

He took me as a seed and planted me in the Earth.

He provided the water of Salvation in Jesus

giving me second birth.

He rose from the grave and captured my soul.

So who am I to complain or be afraid of any foe?

He crowned me with splendor and His Grace crowns my head.

He asked me to walk this earth in an effort to revive the dead.

So many are abandoned and left without Hope.

Without Jesus they are left with no strength to cope.

They turn to drugs, violence, suicide and sin

Never gaining the purity of heart that can free them from within.

Who am I to complain when troubles cross my path?

For I have access to the very Throne of the One giving me life that will last.

Blessed Jesus, my Savior, Companion, my Friend

Who could turn from you, ignoring the battle within?

There is a day to day struggle that occurs

With in the hearts of all men.

Without Jesus, we are doomed to failure

in a battle that has no end.

Seek Jesus, the Savior, a Friend to all man.

Only He can take a shattered life, put it back together

And make it whole once again.

Seek, Jesus, the Savior, who was crucified and rose again.

He knows of your suffering, your loneliness and can take it from you, putting your misery to end.

Seek Jesus! Seek Jesus! I have never known another to be such a great Friend.

~Nicole

September 26, 2017

Fortitude

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:12 am by Broken & Brave

Life is a delicate balancing act. You’ve got fortitude and strength. You have power to hold it together. Though gravity and outside forces pull against you and try to force you down, out and in directions contrary to the Destination designed for you- you shall not break. You may bend, and bending is good for it demonstrates a spirit of unity toward all that is good…

You will not break.

Dig Deep, Beloved…for loved deeply is who you are.

Live a life made Complete and shine brighter than the stars.

Iron sharpens iron…

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

IMG_5128

September 25, 2017

Prose

Posted in Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , , , at 4:06 am by Broken & Brave

John Keats was born 31 October 1795 and died 23 February 1821.

Despite the lack of length and breadth of his years…they contained depth few of his age could relate to. Mr. Keats is considered one of the greatest romantic poets in history. His rankings summit to heights alongside peers of the likes such as Lord Byron and Shelley.

The tragedy behind this man’s life is as poetic as his pen. Keats only knew publication of his works for four years before he died from illness in Rome at the age of 25. The work of Keats was widely criticized by critics of the day and he had a hard time associating publication with success.

The pain stole his flame and he didn’t write anymore…

Today he is considered a man who had a deep impact on literature and influenced a broad range of literary giants throughout the ages to follow him. His works are widely studied as Literature and Scholars consider his poem “To Autumn” to be close to literary perfection as any poem ever was.

Keats died feeling he was a failure of a man…
Even though the pain stole his flame,
his pen lived on.

“So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?” Ecc. 3:22

There’s is one whose heart I liken to Keats…He is my Lord and Savior whose poetry penned within my heart caused it to sail upon a gusty wind of His Holy Presence…His Holy Spirit. My life inspired by His message. I take to heart His Holy Example on how to live and love and sew kindness and Faithfulness to my fellow man.

Jesus came to bleed and cancel my need. He was struck and beaten for being different. He was sifted and sorted and his frame was contorted. They tried to kill his flame and though his body was broken-I imagine his heart was too…he continued on and finished it without ever refraining from loving through and through.

You may find situations in life leaving you without pardon. Don’t allow your heart to harden. Don’t allow the pain to steal your flame. Jesus is the master key and his keys unlock everything. Don’t seal yourself in…allow his touch to heal you within .

God will always bring Beauty for your Ashes. Keats may have never known the praises of his prose…but I have no doubt he enjoys praises from Heaven and has forgotten his foes.

The Lord Bless your good Inheritance.

…Nicole

September 23, 2017

Polished with Shine✨

Posted in Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:41 am by Broken & Brave

I know many people going through trials they cannot fathom. I pray this encourage you today.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverb

“Open the eyes of my heart Lord.”
To see, to hear, to learn and grow.   There’s love in discipline.
Beautiful is a heart that accepts reproof.

When we realize sometimes we struggle not because we are being punished, but rather we are being loved. There is beauty in forgiveness, humility, meekness, gentleness and all the Fruit of the Spirit.

God is not mad at you or punishing you. He is skillfully loving you into the creation He destined you to be. You may suffer, but it is only temporary. Cling to Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of the three is Love and it hung on a tree for you and for me.

Take care, Beloved. God knows your heart. He sees the multitude of your tears and all the years the locust has eaten. His sleeve is big enough to dry every eye and bind every wound. God is close to the broken hearted…in fact…

His greatest vessels for use are those who have known a broken heart.

That’s where His Love truly begins. You are going to be ok. ~Nicole

IMG_7501

September 21, 2017

Divine Design

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:31 am by Broken & Brave

Man gives titles, God gives mantles

Your identity is not in your title or job description or physical appearance. Your Identity is etched within a Cross…

My husband has a look alike. I suppose the other man would say he has a look alike as well. For maybe the past ten years my husband is chronically told he looks like a specific actor by the name Kevin Sorbo. When we first heard this we had no idea who the man was, despite the fact he had a hugely popular television show in the 90’s and maybe early 2K. It was so blatant, and still is, that my husband has been approached for his autograph in restaurants.

A few years ago Kevin was the speaker at the leadership prayer breakfast here in our home town. We usually go to this event, but for sure we weren’t going to miss this one! I was so curious to see for myself if they really did look a like in person up close! You can make anything or anyone appear a certain way from a distance. Up close, in your face interaction with people is where you see the real deal.

Sure enough, I was in shock almost, they look incredibly alike. You would think they were brothers so striking were the similarities. Apparently others thought so too because Kevin already knew all about my husband when we were introduced. He had been told of his twin in Stockton.

As we left the venue a woman approached my husband and thanked him for coming and what a great word he had just delivered to the audience! It was hysterical!

Here’s the thing…my husband likes Kevin Sorbo. My husband has a similar stature, build and look as Kevin Sorbo. But in no way shape or form does my husband want to be Kevin Sorbo. Who would ever want to be a knock off when you can be your own real thing? It makes me think of handbags for women.

I kind of laugh at designer knockoffs. What’s the point? Some of the value of an original is the quality in the craftsmanship. I actually own a Gucci handbag. I notice the difference in the depth of the quality over some other handbags I own. It was an expensive bag. My husband purchased it for me as a gift and I enjoyed that gift. But I have no interest in buying more knock off Gucci’s. Why? So others can be impressed? Who cares! If it takes a knock off to impress someone then they aren’t worth impressing. Gravitate to people who are genuinely impressed with your qualities. Be your own designer original. You may not be a celebrity like Kevin Sorbo, but Heaven celebrates you every day.

You’re an original…own it victoriously!

~Nicole

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

(This photo gives you a feel for the true size of Kevin. He is clearly bigger than my husband and my husband is 6’2″ at 225 lbs. Both men are larger than life!)

IMG_3522

Previous page · Next page