August 23, 2017

Besotted

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:28 am by Broken & Brave

Have you ever heard the story of  “Cyrano de Bergerac”? It was a play written in the late 1800’s about a man named Cyrano. Cyrano was a soldier in the French army. He was extremely gifted and talented. Cyrano was a passionate and strong-willed man known for many pursuits and ambitions. He was known as a magnificent duelist, poet and musician. However, Cyrano had an enormous nose. The size of his nose, so caused him to doubt himself, that he felt he could not dare to dream of love. He was hopelessly in love with his cousin, Roxane, but never dreamed that she would ever have interest in him. He had so much self-doubt of his appearance that he failed to acknowledge his own worth as a man by the measure of all he was gifted in. He didn’t feel he was good enough to have her love.

Do you ever feel like Cyrano? Isn’t it true we are our own worst critics! All of us, not a person is excluded from this sad truth. I imagine this is because we know ourselves the best. We know our own private thoughts about ourselves. We remember every hurtful word ever spoken over us. We know our darkest secrets, or maybe not so dark secrets. We know our every flaw and shortcoming. Sure, we are aware of our strengths as well, but most people, even if they never verbalize it,  do tend to measure themselves by their areas of weakness. For some people this painful awareness becomes a major stumbling block to true victory in life, much like Cyrano. Let me now transition to another man by the name of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah, like Cyrano, was a man of action. Nehemiah was not a soldier like Cyrano, but he did serve a King. In fact, Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the King of Persia (Neh. 1:11). Nehemiah was of Jewish descent and longed to go the aid of his people who desperately needed help rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah sought the King and received permission to go to the people and build a wall. What he did was so much more…he built an ever-enduring legacy of leadership amongst a people who were broken down in heart and spirit. A people much like Cyrano.

What was the difference between Nehemiah and Cyrano (aside from one being a character in a play and the other an actual figure in history)? Nehemiah revered his King, but he also knew that he had FAVOR with the King. History states that Nehemiah was very frightened to speak to the king of this matter, he prayed, mustered up the courage, and acted despite his own self-doubts.  There is a King in heaven who favors you! Would you like to know how?

Yours is a heart that intoxicates Him. When we seek him out it’s like clouding the judgments of man, which tend to be harsh, but opening the gates that release healing waters. Waters so pure and clean a path is carved in the darkness for God’s pure light to pour out with such force that it breaks free all who are bound by captivity. The result is freedom from the past, freedom from broken heartedness, freedom from heaviness, freedom from pain. So may I ask, “why are you so hard on yourself?” Maybe it’s time to look fear in the face and just stop being so afraid. It is time to stop being like Cyrano, focused on his nose attached to his face, and to look out and beyond to future things. Who said you weren’t enough? Why can’t you be a person after God’s own heart? You can have favor with both God and man. Favor is favor and is as blind to flaws as romantic love.

God is respecter of no man, but lover of all. We do not need to earn his Favor. We do not need to convince him to love us. Imagine, for just one moment that you, too, were like Nehemiah. You are cupbearer to the King. What kind of drink offering would you bring?

He longs for your praise and adoration of who He is. Not because he has ego that needs to be engaged, that’s not it at all. Journey through your imagination with me for a moment and dare to dream of a love so deep because the Lover of your Soul is enamored with you. You don’t have to hide your flaws and imperfections because he knows them, each and every one. His eye and mind are on something entirely different. He is captivated when he catches your gaze and He is enamored by your smile. Like a mother with a newborn child, she glows with radiance as she looks upon her child. She knows the child isn’t perfect and the child will have setbacks and failures in life. SHE DOESN’T CARE. All she is focused on is the love in her heart and the desire to care for and nurture a love so rare it must be Divine, it must be Sincere, for why else would her heart swell? Why else would her joy be so grand? Why else? She is in love.

When we pray to God and offer simple gratitude, our heart to his, it is like a fragrant flower releasing its sweet pollen…an aroma so pleasing… our prayers to Him. Your prayers do not have to be long or wordy. There is no need for big words, religious rituals or even a hint of eloquence to our speech. It simply needs to come from our heart. Try it and see for yourself. You are the one who will feel blessed and lifted up. Your mood when heavy will lighten. Your perspective will begin to brighten. Your heaviness of heart will dissipate. You may begin to believe in yourself and see past the nose upon your face into the realm of unlimited potential.

You are a glorious crown in the hand of a King. There is no shame, no defeat. No awkwardness of appearance like we see in the example of Cyrano. There is only a covenant of Love He desires to keep. So, approach His Throne and approach others with the confidence of Nehemiah. God loves you and longs to lavish grace and tender mercies upon you.

He is besotted.

Blessings be yours this day, and forevermore. -Nicole

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August 8, 2017

Cluck or Soar?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:59 am by Broken & Brave

You can cluck with the ducks or soar like an eagle…

It’s easy to have an opinion. Criticism is never difficult to find and it’s very easy to get sucked into negative words, gossip and here say. But when we gather together and complain we become like a crowd of ducks clucking. Quack! Quack! Quack! It could get old listening to that and it does little productive outside of weighing a person down to the point they might drown in negativity.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer clear skies and space to fly. I’d rather soar with the eagles than cluck with the ducks.

“When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the Eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the cloud.” ~Unknown

We see examples of ducks and eagles in the Word of God:

•Joshua and Caleb=eagles; they spied out the promise land and said it was flowing with milk and honey and they could take the Giants. Ducks=everyone who spied with them and said it wasn’t possible. (Cluck. Cluck. Cluck.)

“Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.”

But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” Numbers 13:30-33

 

•Gideon was an eagle because he believed God when He was told he could take the battle, but only if he released all kinds of soldiers first and did it at a deficit. The ducks? Everyone who agreed to leave the first round and told Gideon they were too afraid and didn’t want to fight.

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’lJudges 6:12

•David was an eagle. Even as a young boy he had the stellar confidence in God by his side and knew he could slay a giant. The ducks? Everyone at the battle field who stood around trembling and doing nothing, including the King.

“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.'”
1 Samuel 17:32

Sometimes eagles have moments when they are squeaking a bit like a duck. They have moments of doubt. That’s ok. It’s normal. It’s about picking yourself back up and pressing in. Elijah did. Immediately after performing a huge miracle he ran and hid in a cave because he heard Jezebel the wicked queen of Ahab was hunting him. After refreshing himself with some Living Water in that cave he pulled himself and his courage together and roared as he soared to the battle line. He defeated Jezebel with God’s help. He had to do nothing, she fell from her balcony. But he never gave up.

“Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had killed the prophets. She sent a message to Elijah: ‘You killed my prophets. Now I’m going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.’ Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah.”

1 Kings 19:1-3

 

Many start strong. Many want on board when life is good and blessings are abundant. It’s the true warriors, God’s eagles, who continue to rise and fly when opposition and adversity is high. They have their eyes fixed on what’s ahead. They have vision and courage to cut through the storm and find sanctuary above it. They rise above, every time.

Many begin well, but fail to finish well. Stay your course. It doesn’t matter what the situation and circumstances around you look like. Sometimes we know God is up to something big when the stakes are high and we are called to rise and fly like we never have before. We know He has priceless and precious blessing in store and wants our hopes grounded and rooted in Him. He desires us prepared and equipped for the responsibility of it all.

Remain strong and resilient.
Fortitude resides within you.
Finish well.
Finish strong.
Block out the noise of those ducks who are complaining.
You are special and unique.
You were made to fly.
Spread your wings, now, give it a try.

Your best is yet to come.

~Nicole

“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

 

July 5, 2017

Sing…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:16 am by Broken & Brave

God is so insightful. He sees all. He knows all. He cares for all. He is like a vault, trusted, safe, a sure place of security to all we hold precious. So why do you not rest your investments with Him?

Everything you endure in life will prove to turn your sigh into a song. It will not only make you strong and infuse your own hope and resilient ability to cope with a number of adversities, it will do so for others. Every life experience has the ability to turn someone else’s sigh into a song.

It IS possible to cast your every care on Him. It IS possible to see His hand in everything. It IS POSSIBLE to rest and relax in peace in the midst of pressure. Once you find this place of tranquility it is like your own island by a stream. Quiet. Beautiful. Warm. Inviting.

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People travel the globe looking for a place to rest and refresh. But a troubled soul won’t find rest no matter where it goes. Make His heart your home. He will cradle your soul like a hammock. He will quench your fears and dry your tears. His is a beautiful Oasis. In this place of rest the only sighing you’ll be doing are ones of relief within a heart that is content. Blessed.

When you learn to trust God fully, seeing His hand in everything, He will change your sigh into a song.

~Nicole

“My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

May 26, 2017

Kingsize Love👑

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:35 am by Broken & Brave

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

A deep love for God is received by His Grace, but as we show our love back to Him we follow Him where ever He leads. If it be through treacherous terrains, sleet, storms, tornadoes, or a scorching dessert sun…this is the road less travelled that leads to His Treasures of Heart. It doesn’t matter how it “looks”, we merely “Go”.

Moses, with his back against the Red Sea was on the road less travelled and he was delivered Triumphantly.

David had to hide in a cave to preserve his name, but not a stitch on the hem of his gown was prevented from bringing him a crown.

Esther presented herself before a King, knowing full well she may surely perish…but she didn’t.

And God Himself wrapped up in Love for you that ran so deep, He crawled through a Cross to be near to you. But his soul the grave couldn’t keep.

That’s the kind of thing True Love will do. ~Nicole

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May 28, 2016

Expect It…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:30 am by Broken & Brave

A small child learning to walk may fall 50 times for he or she succeeds to take a handful of steps.
A kid learning to ride their bike may wibble and wobble and even fall over, but they keep getting up.
They say if you fall off of a horse you should get right back on to eradicate any future fear of riding.

How do you know this is not your year? Though we may fall. We may fail, we may not see the fruit of results God has purposed within us, we don’t quit. We don’t give up. We keep going. Everyday is full of success and some of that success goes without you ever knowing who you touched and how you changed their life. You MUST dwell in a place and space of perpetual expectation and anticipation of a blessing. Know it’s coming. Feel it in your gut. He is a God of Big things and He is willing to move heaven and earth for you. Believe~

💗Nicole

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

 

April 26, 2016

Smart Cookie Committee

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , at 6:30 am by Broken & Brave

Its hard to be a smart cookie when you have a “crummy” attitude.

I love this because when my daughter was small my mother would always tell her, when she did something well/using her head, “you’re a smart cookie.” It’s kind of an inside joke with us. But isn’t it true? It doesn’t matter how gifted, talented, smart, funny or clever you are. If your attitude stinks everything you work so hard to hold together falls apart, just like a crumbly cookie.

Turn it around today, sing praises when you feel like complaining. Give thanks when you want to point fingers. Rejoice when you want to cry. You’re going to be alright.
-Nicole

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”

Proverbs 12:25

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