May 3, 2018

Strong Heart

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

IMG_2617

The only people who fail are those who quit. Don’t quit!

Some people don’t have to work very hard and things come naturally to them while others work extremely hard and the results come with great difficulty. Have you ever wondered about this? I see this a lot in my competitions. Girls who don’t train very hard and don’t stick to their diet, yet they walk away with a trophy. But this concept applies to many areas of life. It could be a Valedictorian who rarely studied, the person who finds a job in a day while you hunt away. The list goes on.

Some may say it seems unfair, but don’t allow your heart, your mind nor your attitude to droop. For anything you deem important enough to put your heart to and it falls in line with the inspired Word of God, then God cares about it too and He is with you making way for you. Sometimes the Lord places purposes in our heart knowing the challenge it will bring. He will use it all to build stellar character to the pure of heart. So don’t quit. Never give up. You must be decided and possess absolute belief that the God who put you to it will see you through it brilliantly. What do you gain by quitting? You become like those work not at all and nothing comes to them. But when you work hard and discipline yourself the rewards received by far outweigh any title or trophy. It’s about becoming the best you can be and self worth and dignity. ~Nicole

“So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”
1 Cor. 9:24-26

Advertisements

March 29, 2018

Poise and Posture

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

IMG_9666

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✨


#nikkimcbfit

March 21, 2018

Speak Life

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:21 am by Broken & Brave

YOU are set apart. That means you are created, prepared and reserved for something special. God always has His eye on you watching your every move-not because he means to punish or extract something from you-but because He treasures you and He keeps inventory of the things He cherished most. He adores you and His thoughts toward you are adorable. So, you have been set apart. Let His love devour your fears, cares and troubles. Though storms may come, you will never be overcome. He is holding you now. ~Nicole

“I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage.” Joshua 1:5-6
IMG_1820

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”.
IMG_0514

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?
image

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 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.

IMG_1523

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

February 27, 2018

Suit Up

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:14 am by Broken & Brave

Are you working toward your potential?

“Soldiers don’t get tied up with the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.” 2 Timothy 2:4

IMG_0836
Your DNA, the very essence of all things you had been hard wired before another soul on the planet knew you-including you. But God knew you. He knit you together in the secret place and positioned you in a woman’s womb and blessed her with the honor of being your mother.

What an honor motherhood and gestation really is. I remember being pregnant and watching my belly roll like waves of the sea as a little one tossed and turned beneath the surface loaded with potential. The inquisitive thoughts flood the mind, “Who is in there? What do they look like? How will their personality be?” Then I began doing things this way…I began speaking prophetically to my belly. I spoke destiny over my child. I spoke possibility. I declared all that could be possible for them and I invited the Lord into this prayer and asked him to join me and lead me in my prayers.

It’s been fun watching my children grow and to see many of the dreams, visions and prayers the Lord gave me for them unfold and become reality. I’m observing three of my children reach mile stone break through’s in their physical, spiritual and intellectual development right now and it’s wonderful. There is nothing that blesses more than for a parent to see their children succeed and hopefully supersede anything they could ever dream of accomplishing. At least, that’s how I feel. Just the other day I was speaking with my Dad on the phone and he told me, “Nicole, with everything you’ve been through (for the last several decades have been rough), God sure has blessed your children.”

I couldn’t agree more…But this too, was the prophesy of God unfolding. The Lord made a promise to me when I “signed up” or was enlisted into his army of stealthy soldiers. He spoke to the quiet recesses of my soul… “No matter what I ask you to walk through, I promise to bless you, but nothing will exceed what I do for your children.” Legacy. I see Him fulfilling his vow to me all the time. It makes all the obedience worth it.

What about you? Do you have promises of God still tucked in your heart that maybe should be pulled out and dusted off? Did you get side tracked somewhere along the way? How about your kids?

Do not fret or worry if they are not doing ok. God has got great plans for them. It’s never too late to choose the right path, surrender your will, your life, to the One and only Love that shines enormously bright. You are Radiant beyond description. God has locked so much worth inside of you. This is why life has tried to stomp it out and make you forget the brilliance embedded within.

Sparkle is what you were made for. Greatness is what you were designed for.
Wholeness, worth, longevity and strength–all the things God fortified in you just like a well balanced meal.

Feed your soul the right things. Feast on the promises of God. Don’t let the gospel of Christ slip through your head without affecting your heart.

Step out stoically into your Divine Inheritance and believe for miracles in the lives of your children. There is a revival brewing in you and it is good to anticipate what God can and is willing to do.

Suit up soldier. Remain faithful to the light that has been given you. Conquer sin. Vanquish deleterious mindsets. Overcome. Overcome. You shall overcome. All the while never ever forgetting to have fun. Life is Beautiful. God wants to see you enjoy yourself in it. ~Nicole

February 25, 2018

Risky Heart

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:47 am by Broken & Brave

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~William Faulkner

Yesterday was a day of Celebration! My son was accepted to his college of choice. Looks like we have another Tiger in the family. My oldest, and only daughter, is graduating from college in May (she did it in four years!!) and my oldest son will take her place and represent well for our family on that particular college campus.

I was thinking a lot about risk taking this past week. Over the years God has really stretched me, asked me and even declared my obedience to be one of a risky nature. He’s taken me to some extremes, and even asked of me bold and daring things when my circumstances and life were their most lean. But in it, I saw Him dial in my heavenly support line and deliver the answer right on time.

IMG_9763

I guess my kids have grown learning and observing this kind of faith, and for that I am grateful. See, at the time I was doing the ridiculous, despite what peers and even my own family thought, something more important was happening even above and beyond my own faith growth. My kids were learning to watch Mom and Dad and listen to our unwavering belief and then they could see the miracle! Risky faith trust is their norm. What stretched me, is the normal comfort zone for my children. I love that!

So when my son was applying for colleges we asked, “Where do you want to apply?” He had one answer and one answer only. He didn’t want to go anywhere else. He only wanted to apply once. All in. Plan A all the way and no Plan B until it were of absolute necessity. I told him if that’s what burned on his heart then God would make the way and though we didn’t know how it would turn out we knew God’s will for my son’s life would prevail. He took a calculated risk and it paid off!
image

Isn’t it the same with God? He sent his son to take a calculated and risky step of faith to overcome all of death, Hell and the grave. He took on your shame and allowed it to be nailed to his frame. All in the name of love. He was fully aware that not everyone would love him back or even believe in what he did…but he did it anyway that you might live.

Risky Faith is the only kind of faith there is. God is still glad he took risks for you today.

~Nicole

February 15, 2018

A Home for your Heart

Posted in Inspirational, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:16 pm by Broken & Brave

“Come Home”. Don’t let the cares of this world draw you aside from the Presence of God. He possesses an infinite amount of comfort, care and every thing you need in this life. Draw back in His heart, rest in His Word and settle yourself through prayer. He is waiting for you there…so come home. Allow God’s heart to be your home. New or old, it is as precious as gold.

Imagine being gone on a trip or somewhere far from home. You miss your comforts and familiarities and you even miss sleeping in your own bed. When you arrive there are your loved ones, those with whom you do life. This is how it is when we rest in the Lord. It feels like a homecoming. ~Nicole

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
IMG_0753

January 31, 2018

Fan the Flames

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:17 am by Broken & Brave

Because she knew the fire came from within her, she would not be Benedict. Be the Fire.

Fire Starter…

Be a Fire Starter. When you look at people, interact with them, look at them beyond what can be seen with the natural eyes.
In life people will disappoint you, hurt you, fall short of your expectations …but a fire starter sees past all that, never allowing offense, regret or dislike hold them back. A fire starter sees a flicker down deep of possibility that resides inside of everyone. Fan the spark so it becomes a flame. Do it with love, friendship, forgiveness, humility & affection. Respond rather than react.

The Enemy of your soul may desire you to become engulfed with flames, but there is one who is Greater, Grander, Brigter still. He burns hot and burns with a Hope that smolders with Glorious Hope. His Voice is one of Truth and it is right along side you every day to point the way, remind you that it’s ok and He’s got a way paved that with create a glorious marker on eternity. He knows you are a fire starter and the fire He has begun in you will not go out, but will burn for all of eternity.

Fire Starters…

-Nicole
IMG_9198

January 7, 2018

Accomplished

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:59 am by Broken & Brave

It is not uncommon for people to project their own struggles, fears, insecurities onto others. It is important to remember that we don’t all struggle the same or think the same. One man’s worries may be another man’s victory.

When I was in college I had a friend from High School who had dropped out of Junior College and began working full time. She had a great job and was making descent money, but her heart’s desire was to return to school and obtain a degree. She had tried to re-engage her academic pursuits a few times only to drop out again. She decided that she wanted to move in with me because in her mind, if she surrounded herself with what she desired she would successfully move in that direction. I had already three years of college under my belt and went to school with a full load while also working a part-time job to help support myself. So, I thought it was a wise idea for her and so I agreed and she moved to my college city, found herself a job and enrolled in a few classes at the neighboring junior college to the university I attended. I’d like to say she stayed the course and quickly advanced, but I can’t. It was a rough terrain for her to reframe her discipline and push through- but over time she did it and excelled in her academic pursuits and is now in a very specialized profession making excellent money and doing something she loves.

Surround yourself with what you desire to achieve or become.

That’s why unity is so key. We can all help each other Overcome. As a True Champion we become willing to place trust in our fellow man. We surrender absolute control and place confidence in others as we go…

Every relationship has propensity to bless your life in countless areas. One friend may excel at one thing while another friend does well at something else. If we hem ourselves together with the glue of loyalty and longevity there isn’t anything we can’t do!

Great things in store for you! God will bring you what you need to achieve every goal or aspiration on your journey. Remain dependent and faithful to Him and a Radiant Joy Journey will begin! These are exciting times we live in!

-Nicole

Next page