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

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August 22, 2017

More Than Enough

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:29 am by Broken & Brave

Life is full of rich analogies…

 

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When I was either 12 or 13 years old I injured my knee. I believe it was the end of summer and just the beginning of 7th or 8th grade. I was having a marvelous day. The Jr. High group at my church had taken us kids on a bike ride into the country side just outside town from the quaint little community I lived in. It had to of been a 10 mile, one way bike ride. Our destination was the home of a family from our church. We headed out on our excursion in the morning hours and spent the day playing games, planned activities of all kinds and having a barbecue. I’m pretty sure they probably discipled our hearts some about God, but my greatest memories are the fun I had on this particular day. I honestly think, as I reflect on it now, I can still feel the numbness of face that comes from smiling really big for an extended amount of time. I can remember the bike ride, being on my bike on the country side in a long line of kids. I can still feel the peace and joy that resonated within.

When I was a kid I loved riding my bike. Back then you could ride everywhere, all over town, and not have a care in the world of anyone bringing you any harm.

I mentioned in the first sentence of my diatribe that I injured my knee. Well, despite the enormous glee I just described to you, it was on this very day that my injury occurred. I was involved in a very intense game called “water balloon fight”. You can imagine how this game went. No special rules, just a bunch of kids laughing and running and intending to throw balloons filled with water at their friends. Great joy. I had a balloon in hand and was running on some very slick grass. I was barefoot, of course. As I turned for some reason I found my legs were no longer under me and I was on the ground. I was experiencing deep pain radiating from my left knee. I recall lying on my side holding my knee when everyone came and gathered around to stare at me. In that moment I decided to take a look at the source of the pain and I removed my hands slowly to see that my patella was no where near where it was supposed to be. I had dislocated my knee cap.

I have no idea what inspired me to do what I did next. I had no prior education, experience or training, but I reduced that knee cap myself.  I probably had little help from God. But I moved my hands against the leg and extended my femur just so as to cause the knee cap to slide back into its home.

This is where the fun of my day ended. I was carried to the house and watched the kids continue their fun from a window seat view as I waited for my parents to come retrieve both myself and my bike that afternoon.

Despite the pain and the awful leg brace I had to wear for several weeks…to this day the memory of this particular day is and will always remain a great day full of great fun. Never once did I ever regret going or getting involved in that water balloon fight. Great fun and great memories were made.

A dislocated patella isn’t tragic. They happen a lot. Despite being extremely painful, once the knee is reduced the pain ends immediately, just like in child birth. Time is required to heal because the ligaments around the knee were damaged, but life goes on and the leg will be just fine.

Here’s where I find a rich analogy to reside…

Look at the seemingly insignificant location and necessity of the knee cap. It doesn’t seem to be of super importance at all. People don’t write songs about them. They rarely (but not never) get broken. It’s not like it’s a vital organ who’s function and health is central to life and bodily function. It’s just a knee. Most people don’t find them very attractive even. Some people are self conscious about them. But look at the important role this little one plays in balance and our ability to stand tall and move upon our legs! Without that little one hovering in its place our knee joint would have no armor. Our ability to bend and extend would be lost and without stability. Yes, that little knee is quite important you see!

Do you ever feel a bit small or insignificant? So where would the world be without you? Where would your family, your community, your church be if you weren’t tucked right where God wants you to be? Who said you weren’t important? Who said your life didn’t matter? Who said your role in life was small, insignificant or even ugly? But if this is how you’re feeling I want you to know how wrong your thinking is.

You’re life matters.
There is a place amongst others specifically designed for you.
In God’s family there is a place in the family for you.
You are needed.
You are valuable.
You are necessary.
The rest of us couldn’t do what we do without you.
You add supplemental strength to others.
You provide comfort to those around you even just by being present and hanging around.
People in your life can’t imagine their life without you in it.

You are more than enough to handle life’s obstacles, embrace life’s pivotal moments and wrap yourself around every pinnacle point of blessing.

Don’t feel out of place. Don’t walk away from the spaces in life God has carved for you to occupy. You may not always understand his plans or how things are working out…but God promises to work them out to your favor.

In his arms you will find perfect care and he keeps track of even the tiniest of details in your life.

He will always treat you right.
He loves you after all and believe it or not, God needs you just as much as the rest of us do.

Life has a hand carved space just for you. You may be the deciding factor, just like a knee, to keeping balance and leverage in something much bigger.

Find your place.
Rest in that space.
The rest of us would fall apart without you…

~Nicole

“You are the body of Christ.
Each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Cor. 12:27

August 21, 2017

Multiplication Anointing.

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

imageSometimes, when life gets hard you have to work harder so you won’t quit. Don’t you dare give up! Life has rich blessings waiting for you on the other side of every struggle.

God sees you through. No season too lean or dry for Him to use it to lift you high. He’s setting you up for blessing.

Do you trust Him? God is the Driver of your Destiny. When He is in the lead you can overcome anything. Blessing is in the atmosphere.

Whatever the struggle, you’re going to make it through! Victory looks too good on you!

Don’t you dare give up.

If you’ve still got breath in your lunges and blood flowing through your veins…It isn’t over yet! So, take care, You. You’re season of blessing isn’t through. In fact, it truly has yet to see its greatest break through.

Get Charged! Your worlds about to be enlarged!

~Nicole

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

 

July 22, 2017

Rejuvenated

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:19 am by Broken & Brave

Why be content to run?

Spread your wings, Eagle, and fly!

Many years ago I was hiking with my husband on a high trail that overlooked the Connecticut River. As we hiked we received the extraordinary and rare opportunity to witness an eagle leave her nest, just at our feet, on the side of the mountain. She spread her wings and soared over the valley below. It was spectacular to see an eagle so close, but to actually see the span of her wing from above her, not beneath. I recognized in the moment what a gift it was and I stopped to drink it in.

After having a very wet winter this year, the summer has been bright and sunny and hot! There is something magnificent about the sun’s rays…they heal.

Did you know a wounded eagle will perch himself on the highest rock he can find and bake himself in the sun to cure what ails him?

Oh, how we can learn from the eagle! The Rays of God warm the heart, heal our wounds and cure our disease. But we must bask ourselves in the Radiance of His Glory. This will require getting closer to Him. Climbing higher to meet him. Not climbing like Corporate America, but by taking the “high road” leaving our comfort zone and ordinary behind. Get uncomfortable, stretch your limits and climb! There are Heavenly Rays waiting for you!

If God can do whatever He wants and has no limits, why wouldn’t He do big, limitless things for you?

~Nicole

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?…The Creator…neither faints or wearies. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up on wings like eagles…”

Isaiah 40:28,29+31

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

July 2, 2017

Chiseled

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:54 am by Broken & Brave

“Judge me not by physical size or appearance, but judge me by the size of my character.” -Cornelius Kilgore

I loved this quote.

Everyone has moments of scrutiny. We have each been judged and we have each spent more than a moment of our life having judgemental thoughts of others-people, situations, ideas. I believe many judgements prove to be nothing more than lack of understanding or information.

I have been ever grateful to all who have verbally offered praise or congratulations on my efforts to compete in Figure/Body Building. I am thankful that the praises have outweighed the gasps, though I have had to endure vocally concerned people who think I am “sinning” by my sport selection.

I appreciate the sport and all that each competitor brings to the stage. The discipline and focus required is extraordinary.

Above all else, my God is extraordinary.

He shapes and fastens our heart in place and desires to sculpt each one…hand carved…in His likeness. All my training and sculpting of the flesh to resemble lean lines and hard curves would mean nothing if I did not allow my Maker to chisel my heart and destroy my flesh…making my heart softest of the soft and broken for what breaks His.

Be at peace today, whatever you face, for you are hand crafted in the Image of the ROCK. -Nicole

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June 29, 2017

Harnessed for Glory

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:38 am by Broken & Brave

You are a sculptor.
You are an Artist.
You are an Inventor, Creator.
You live an Inspired Life.
You’ve been given Today.
You can handle anything the world throws at you. You are well able to grab it, lasso it and take control of all the glory contained in it.
Take inventory right now of all the things in your heart that make it flutter and your eyes twinkle. All the possibility, dreams and potential.
Harness it and take it for a ride!

God is so clever and kind. He not only wants to give us the desires of our heart, but He also gets a tickle blessing us with favor and gifts we don’t ask for. He just loves to give more…

“Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

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June 18, 2017

Heartbeat of a Winner

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:20 am by Broken & Brave

You are a Winner!

Champion does not mean first place-first prize.

A Champion is an ardent defender of purpose and people. God is your defender. He is ardent, unwavering, in his devotion to humanity. You count on him to do what only he can do and he will do it for you. You can trust him! Many times we SAY we trust him, but then we continue to take care of everything ourself. We believe he will bless our effort and that’s the extent of our trust. But what about trust that reaches beyond borders into unchartered waters and He alone is your compass or map? This is an entirely different trust zone.

You never go alone. You can count on him to help you win. Winning is about overcoming all that holds you back within so you can go out and help everyone around you. Glorious! ~Nicole

“When you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly answer.” Isaiah 58:9

May 3, 2017

Take Heart❤️

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

Do everything with heart.

Perseverence seems to be a breeding ground for depth and tenacity of heart. The more you have to work for something or wait for something or sow patiently into something, the more you will value the reward.

Because of the nature of my family’s profession we see a lot of extremely talented people throw their talent away because they lack heart. When everything comes effortlessly to you, you have no value for it. You won’t realize how blessed you are. You will tend to think less of others and fail to understand why it doesn’t come easily to them? I’ve seen this in young athletes time and time again.

You want to see the sparkle in my eye? Show me the person who has overcome incredible obstacles and achieved a goal, pursued and subdued a dream or accomplished something that seemed out of reach.

They did it with heart.

I don’t consider myself to be a person of enormous success by the worlds standards. I do, however, know everything I have overcome and how much I have stretched my comfort zone to expand myself, my heart, my courage and my journey.

What does your journey look like? What obstacles has life afforded you that you have overcome? Are there still regions of your heart and soul yet to be explored? What are you waiting for? The people who live the most fulfilled lives, full of passion and purpose don’t necessarily have all the right conditions…they just took heart and gave it their all.

God can do whatever He wants, however He wants and He can use whomever He wishes. I believe he wants to use you. So if you are going through it, you may just be paving the way for others to have a smoother trip. He knew you were strong enough to go first. He needed someone who could blaze a trail into the “never been done before”. It could be your health journey, your education, job selection/career path or something else. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. If God has impacted you to move, then move. He will take care of the groves in the road and His Mighty plan will unfold! Triumphant! ~Nicole

“Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.” Is. 62:10

Don’t  forget…you’ve got heart.❤️

April 21, 2017

Delighted by Design

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:02 am by Broken & Brave

When I was a young girl I truly enjoyed drawing. I could spend hours with pencils and pens creating on my sketch pad. By the eighth grade I thought I’d like to be a Graphic Designer. In High School my Mom and I would joke about me getting a job working for Hallmark one day.

I never became a Designer in that sense, but even at a young age the presence of God’s direction on my life was evident. He was there guiding my interests. I think if I worked for a company like Hallmark today it would be with my pen, but for the content not the cover of the card. But as one who creates…we take delight in what we come up with. Sometimes it’s a struggle and needs refinement, other times it flows effortlessly communicating the content of heart, but the final product is celebrated. Creation is Beautiful on any level.

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Life has a way of happening. We chart our course and we dream, of course…troubles, roadblocks, obstacles, disappointments set in. Sometimes as we mature we change our focus or it become more refined. But through everything God has a Masterful Plan. He is holding your hand even when you can’t see Him or feel His Touch. He loves you so much, He adores you.

Wherever you are at today, however your life looks, know this…
The Heart of God adores you. Can you not feel His Pleasure? Take some time today, CREATE IT, and DELIGHT in His Love.

All of Heaven is Delighted with you.
~Nicole

“For the Lord your God is living among you, He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17

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