December 4, 2017

Inspired Life

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:53 am by Broken & Brave

Everyone who knows me knows my passion for health, fitness and nutrition and their impact on quality of life. I know it was God who stirred this passion and purpose in me. I didn’t play a lot of sports growing up. I wasn’t on a bunch of teams. No cheesy photos of me in a uniform. I cheered throughout high school and swam one year on swim team to stay in shape. But this deep desire was in me to be well, eat well, do well. I had no outside influence for this. My family does not share my passion for health and fitness. Not a coach, mentor or teacher telling me of my potential. I was almost always picked last or next to last for everything. My drive was all God, all spoken internal. I was 13 years old and was already thinking about lifelong wellness and disease prevention. Only God can do that. What 13 year old thinks of such things on their own? I never had mentors to pull me under their wing. In fact, most of my entire life I had the opposite. I was told I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or didn’t do it right. For a long time I believed it.

I love to sprint for cardiovascular fitness and to stay lean. Almost year round I will squeeze in a quick 10 minute sprint routine at the start of my day. Most days I now use the track at my kids school. The grounds keepers at the school have a little girl who is sometimes there waiting for her parents before being taken to school. My first encounters with her she was bashful and hid away when she saw me. But over time she popped herself out to be seen, but still, very far away. But little by little she would come watch me run.

One morning I got to the track to feast my eyes on a little 8 year old girl, who isn’t in the best of shape or weight, out on the track running her sprints.

Every sprint I’ve ever run, every bit of effort to encourage another I’ve ever given, was in that moment completely worth it. I had prayed just that morning if God would please use me that day to inspire another life higher. I specifically prayed for that little girl and that she would be inspired by me. God is so good, so faithful, so kind. I still pray for that little one, she talks my ear off now. I pray that she would find her drive and live her life to its fullest. Blessings for a glorious day. Your life an Inspired Asset of Heaven.

As we run, we pray and God makes the way.
-Nicole

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Heb. 12:1

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November 19, 2017

Advocate

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:40 am by Broken & Brave

I am always advocating healthy eating, exercise and proper rest. In the fitness industry we are known for measuring biceps and waistlines, but as I hope you know, I advocate making healthy choices because you are valuable and the worth of your life is enormous.

But the worth of your soul is more.

We may measure our physiques in the fitness industry, but these things are not the measure of your worth. God is always measuring our hearts. When you know God’s created you with a big heart He will walk beside you, training you, encouraging you, speaking all the blessing your life brings to humanity as He stretches and strengthens and bends us a bit. He sees the amazing “future you” and He sees the “beautiful current you” all at the same time. He creates the way for it all to line up and fit just right. Beautiful Soul is a suit that is worn lovely by you and when God hems it in it’s a custom fit. He means to mend, bridge and build every area of lack so that your big heart can be filled to overflow with all the good of Heaven don’t you know?

I write for who will receive my pen. My heart is to ultimately see you happy, healthy and thriving with your beautiful life…I never want you to be merely surviving. You were created for so much more. God has planned for you so much more.

~Nicole

“Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41

August 25, 2017

Red Fern🍂

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:47 am by Broken & Brave

 

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“How fast does a red fern grow?”

These are the words I would hear in the quiet of the night.

The first time I heard this question, in my spirit, was February 14, 2001…Valentine’s day. I find this so unique because as I reflect back upon it now…I realize it was in the beginning of a new season of soul for me. The Holy Spirit was beginning to “court me”.

For me, the girl who doesn’t really impress by canned holidays like V-Day…I still love the irony of it all.  God know my heart so well.

It’s the attention to detail I love.

After this experience on Valentine’s Day, I didn’t hear anything of it for another six months. “How fast does a red fern grow?” I would hear it again while performing the mindless little tasks of the day.

“How fast does a red fern grow?”

“Lord, you have asked me this before” as I recalled to myself, but enough time had lapsed that I had forgotten all about the puzzling question. Then, I heard this question over and over at random points of time over an approximate 18 month period. I would hear the question run through my mind, but then nothing, no additional comments came with it. The whole thing got me curious and more than just a little perplexed. I never bothered doing any research on the plant. I would only reply in prayer, “I don’t know, how fast?” I will be honest, I would also wonder why this was important and what it had to do with me. However, I am sharp enough to know that if the Lord was whispering it, it was for a purpose and it had complete relevance in my life. Then it came…the question once again, asked in the same manner it had been asked every time before, “Nicole, how fast does a red fern grow?” Only this time I heard more. You better believe, when the Lord whispers something perplexing into the stillness of your heart and then permits it to linger there for a time, you pay attention when it arises again. I quickly got my journal and pen…

“How fast does a red fern grow…as fast as I tell it to.”

You’re probably thinking, “That’s it?” I know I was. Then, came more…

A red fern is a unique, flowering plant that only grows in the deepest, darkest portion of the forest. Even though it receives minimal sunlight, it manages to get ample ultraviolet rays and nutrients. This plant is unique in nature and rarely found by man. This plant is special. All of these words flooded my heart and flowed through my pen. I was bewildered, inspired, aroused and amused all at the same time. I knew nothing of this red fern, so how was it that I “just knew” all of these facts? Were they actual facts at all?

At this point, I was definitely curious enough to do a little research. What I found was that everything I had written in my journal was absolutely true! John and I even found a photo of the red fern that was taken at Volcano House National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii in May of 1999. This is significant because the red fern was thought to not actually exist. John and I found a forum of botanists who discussed the fern and learned that there were purple ferns and autumn ferns, but no red fern, or so many thought. The fact is, the red fern is so rare and the color shows bright, but only under the perfect conditions, so the chances of capturing it by the human eye (or camera) are small.

This entire process, of hearing the Lord, receiving the insight and then finding the research was from 2/14/01-4/10/02. It was a season of my life where I was growing in my relationship with God by leaps and bounds through trial and dark things and much pain. But my God gives beauty for ashes and this was some amazing fruit showing itself in the form of spiritual gift of Knowledge. I was more than happy for all I had endured to receive such a unique and specific gift.

I do not write of the red fern to tell you of my journey to hearing God’s voice, though I believe it is important for you to know because I am asking you to trust me to encourage you. You are reading this and therefore you are giving me your time and attention and that is valuable. So, it is important you understand my experiences in hearing the Lord, not just my credibility to love and encourage your heart as I know you can see is true. I want to impart Pure Exhortation to you. Pure exhortation that first and foremost comes from the inspired Word of God and secondly comes from the Wonderful Counselor he has placed inside me.

I know God was more interested in using this fern to enlighten my heart toward Him, His Voice, His Guidance and Wisdom. He knew I had read the book as a child about the red fern and so it would strike a chord with me. He also knew I hadn’t thought of a red fern one single time since fifth grade. He knew this would stir me…stir me deep.

Me being one for analogies I immediately become contagious with them in this story.

Did you know you are like this fern that turns red? You are! Allow me to show you how.

This plant is rare, unique, SPECIAL…just as you are. The Lord knit you together in your mothers womb (Psalm 119). It was not by accident or happenstance that you should exist on this planet. You were designed with purpose on purpose. Every experience of life, both the good and the bad, are allowed and are used to shape you and develop you to grow, to shine, to add color to this world.

You are special.

You are Vibrant.

God made you and if you are in darkness, he will find you. He already has found you. He found you in all of your darkness and wants to rescue you from this pit. Whatever your pit may be. Your darkness may be any number of things, you know what it is and you are probably thinking of it right now. He wants to rescue you, like a Knight in Shining armor (men need that too you know!).

Despite a lack of light, he wants to nourish you, even in the dark place, heal you, love you and he wants to watch you grow. All gardeners love to see their botanical gardens flourish and grow!

Fix your eyes on him, Beloved, fix your eyes on him. Allow the Maker of Heaven and Earth be like ultraviolet rays upon your wilted leaves and petals bringing out your luster and unique color. He will be like a heavy moisture, just like the damp soil of the tropical rain forest. As the moisture increases, so does the shine of your leaves…your heart…your thoughts. Your countenance becomes radiant.

The leaves of the red fern will lean toward the soil around it that contains the most moisture.

Lean into Him today, he wants to soften that thing that has made you hard.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, leaning not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your path straight”

Proverbs 3:5-6

He wants to bandage that ache and pain that has plagued you. He wants to erase and change the perspective of that hurt that stung so deep as a child. He wants to raise you up and showcase you just like the Red Fern.

He sees the past, the present and the future. He has created all things and knows all things. Let him create a new heart in you. He is full of Hope for you. He wants His Hope to shine in you and through you…for there are still countless others out there who have no Hope at all.

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Shine true, Shine bright, SHINE ON in everything you say and do! His thoughts are upon you and so are mine.

Blessings, Nicole

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24