October 16, 2018

Embody

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , at 6:58 am by Broken & Brave

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Embody~
to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form: to embody an idea in an allegorical painting.

We all stand for something in the depths of our heart, mind and soul. What is it you stand for? How does what you stand for exude from your soul?

If your soul could speak what would it say? How would others relate or be moved to breathe more deeply by the words it would speak? Would those words be spoken soft or sweetly? What would they evoke in the heart, mind and soul of others?

Your life is a message and it just might be providing a road map for others. You have influence every single day. You have the ability to control how you think, what you do and what you say. You can know that everywhere you go you are a walking sign board for the Lord.

You can make a fortune owning billboards.

…You know, those tall walls of advertisements you see on highways and around town. We know a fellow who purchased tons of them in Vegas and is now one of the richest men in that town. He rents those boards and makes a mint so others can use them to influence with marketing…buy this…do that…go there.

But you, my friend, are the very same thing. You have influence. You can stand tall and know who you are in Christ no matter the dimensions of your physical stature or positional stature. The greater the platform the greater the reach, but this shouldn’t stop anyone from knowing the intense influence they possess in every day life. Your life has merit and influence.

How can I influence?

By doing what you need to do with superb effort and heart. By smiling and showing yourself friendly to strangers and familiar faces. By displaying kindness, service, sacrifice, encouragement to whoever God puts in your path. As His grace emits from you you are illuminating the path, the heart, the hope of others. You may never know the Power your words, your disposition, your pleasantries contain.

Never think too little of yourself and never think yourself too little. Walk meekly, with humility and all the while a stoic sense of duty to represent the King well. He will shine through you so the world around you can know Him.

Embody your Savior…you add a certain flavor to this world that couldn’t be the same without you! ~Nicole💗

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

2 Cor. 3:18

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October 14, 2018

Eyes Wide…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:44 am by Broken & Brave

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“I could do it with my eyes closed”

Have you ever heard this expression or maybe even said it yourself? It implies a certain level of mastery at any given skill, art or ability. It suggests the activity is so second nature to a person they can do it well without even seeing what they are doing. They feel it. They know it. They own it.

How about trusting God?

Trusting God is a bit like doing something with your eyes shut. You can’t always see what He is up to. You may not understand what he wants you to do. The directions may not be clear. So you try to comply, but maybe it feels a bit like your hands are tied so you’ve just got to trust.

So don’t rush. Don’t force something. Just appreciate the Lord’s timing. He will encourage you through. He will support you. And despite Him being Creator of the Universe and all—He will serve you. He is he is humble and gentle—
Kindness is His mantle.

He’s just awesome like that.

So practice faith today into a well developed art even if you must do it with your eyes shut.

He is a light to your feet and a lamp to your path. He knows the road to go and every curve of that road. Every bump, hill and valley. He can navigate it all.

His eyes are always open and always watching you with faithfulness so true.

~Nicole💗

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

2 Cor. 5:7

October 10, 2018

Deposits

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , at 7:33 am by Broken & Brave

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When you’ve planted seed you don’t have to worry about a thing. God can be trusted to bring to fruition that which He intended the seed for in the first place.

Have you ever had the Lord lean deep into your heart and ask you to do something that made no sense to your common sense? But there He was, His Faithful and Holy Spirit, whittling away at your rationale and poking holes in your well thought through intentions and gleaning something that wields strength from outside of common sense in the realm of the unknown…the faith zone.

The faith zone always resides well outside your comfort zone. It is there though—a portion of your soul committed to grow. The seeds of Hope planted at Calvary rest inside you deep.

Water your heart.

Nurture your mind—

stimulate it if you will—but don’t put your souls direction in its hands. Your faith must lead by command. Your heart holds the keys to your destiny. Where your heart is your life will surely follow.

Allow God to direct your heart.
Set your affections in Him.
He has the power to hold your gaze and lock arms with you as only the Creator of everything could do. He has designs on your life greater than anything you could create on your own.

Concede. Rely on Him for everything. Follow your heart…it has merit.
Dig deep—it has caverns and depth you perhaps haven’t ever reached. God wants you to explore His heart so He can build your faith and create for you a space of utter fullness of contentment. Vastly content and happy. Living by faith is the only way to fully access it.

Seeds have been sown in the garden of your heart. When God looks at you He sees a lush field of evergreen trees, vines with fruit clusters, hope divine and glorious blooms specifically designed to besot you.

God has plans for your life. Are you trusting him completely? Are you more reliant on common sense than His Power And Goodness?

God’s got you. Allow the luster and shine of His heart for you break through.

You have been earmarked for Glory.♥️

~Nicole

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

October 5, 2018

Strength For You Today

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , at 6:34 am by Broken & Brave

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Exhortation…

Beloved…I know what the Lord is up to. He is equipping you for your Calling. He is building stamina, fortitude, and the ability to dig deep and keep going. You already have all of these virtues…but he is molding you to a new level of abundance in each. I am so excited for you!!! I will pray you through…but get excited, God must have amazing and wonderful plans for you!❤️

God sees and knows every detail of struggles you are going through.
He is with you, guiding you, strengthening and protecting you through it all. By it, learn to trust more deeply in Him.

You are Beautiful. ~Nicole

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

May 3, 2018

Strong Heart

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

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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

March 29, 2018

Poise and Posture

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

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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✨


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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
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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”.
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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?
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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.

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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

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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

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