January 13, 2018

Perfect Sense

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:05 pm by Broken & Brave

God Sense vs. Common Sense-there is a difference!

I’ve told this story before but it’s a favorite because there is a definite cause and effect of unity and obedience.

I dream.

I see events and gain knowledge of things I have no way of knowing in my dreams. It has been this way since my childhood. Sometimes I see facts as they are and sometimes I see future events and then watch them transpire.

Here is an example…

I dreamed of a young family and saw them without money and were about to be evicted from the home they were renting. I knew them well enough to call and ask if my dream was true. They said, “yes.” They only had a few days to find several months rent and they did not have it. John and I prayed. We didn’t have that much money extra but felt we were to help them. So, we paid their rent and got them caught up. This created need for us as the funds I gave were drawn from my budget, not from a surplus. The first being a need for groceries.

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I prayed and told God that my obedience got me in this situation so he needed to feed us. I literally prayed and gave Him a short list of items that could get us by until payday.

Within a couple hours a friend came knocking on my door stacking groceries on my porch. She looked at me funny as though she felt she were crazy. She said, “What is up?” As she headed back to her car for more food. I hadn’t told anyone of my need for food. I confirmed that she was hearing God and she wasn’t crazy. She told me, “It was so strange”.
She was leaving Costco and everything in her began to compel her heart and mind toward me and she knew she had to go back in and buy me food. She hadn’t done anything like this before. As she walked down the aisles she prayed and asked what to buy because she had no clue. She just followed her gut feeling so to speak. Don’t you know she purchased every single item on my grocery list made out to Heaven.

Obedience to God’s “gut feelings” or “still small voice” can bring answered prayer to another’s need. Never let our delay be another’s denial. I heard and answered another’s need then God covered my back and took care of my need. God’s Army is a team, each of us yolked to each other as a marriage of Spirit.

Trust God with your life!

~Nicole

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Matthew 6:26

“I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves him; nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry.” Psalm 37:25

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December 6, 2017

ALL

Posted in Inspirational, Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:01 am by Broken & Brave

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Lord,

How can I adequately sing a song of praise to you? How can I properly change my heart to execute your Goodness, Mercy and Love?
There is no one like you…
Not on the earth.
Not under the earth-
Nor can one be found in the sea or within the heavens.
You alone are ALL.
Because you are ALL- and that means everything, there could never be another like you.
May your pen change me,
Mend me, mold me, conform and transform me into your likeness daily. Not to try to be you- but to be a living, breathing reason for another to believe in earth, just as every angel does in heaven.

Angels do exist-
and sometimes they are no more than Heavens gentle kiss on the life and the bliss of human hearts that may at one time been broken or cold.
You reach…
You touch…
You create beauty is us…
We never grow old.
We are made new, through and through.
Each day we are brand new.
You don’t recycle us – you actually create new life in us and this is a glorious thing.

May the kiss of heaven be with you this and every day…
Creating magical memories and miracles –
Profound miracles along the Way.
Love is the Greeting Card of Heaven. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

~Nicole

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November 4, 2017

Resisted

Posted in Devotional, Prayer of blessing tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:35 am by Broken & Brave

IMG_4971Some of the biggest and best accomplishments this world has ever seen have been done under extreme duress and adversity. Airplanes rise against the wind not with it. It is the wind against a sail that makes the boat go.

Don’t turn back when others speak skepticism and lack. Don’t confuse wise and Godly instruction for criticism and do not mistake criticism for wise instruction. If it’s not with pure & loving intentions it’s not God. Sometimes even well meaning advice can be sincerely wrong. It’s easy to criticize. I’d rather be known as one who believed…

Heaven believed enough in the mere idea of you to put its candle in your soul to dwell…to grow…to beam and to glow. All of Heavens Pardon lavished Grace upon your life the moment it started. There is nothing you face that isn’t laced with amazing grace and full of beautiful pearls of Goodness and Blessing.

Believe big today! God’s got marvelous and glorious things for you to do, even in the mundane. Even in the darkest moments, the days that seem harder than hard and little encouragement to persevere in sight…this is where heaven glory spreads its wings and takes flight. God knows the incredible strength he has placed in you. He knows what you can take even better than you. He knows you can shift into a whole other gear and the air will clear and your abundance can take flight.

Live all of life with great fortitude! ~Nicoleđź’—

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

2 Tim. 3:16-17

 

September 10, 2017

“Charming Gardener”

Posted in Prayer of blessing, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:22 am by Broken & Brave

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

~Marcel Proust

When I see a beautiful garden I often think of all the work that went into planting it and keeping it weed free. People are much the same as a garden. Healthy, secure and strong relationships require much tenderness, love and care. People must be nurtured just like a garden.

Your heart is a garden to house your soul…just like a green house full of moisture and beautiful foliage is a heart fully yielded to the Master Gardener. He loves you -heart and soul- and would never do anything to hurt you. It matters not the adversity you’ve known in life, whether great or small, He was there with you through it all because of his great love for you.

The Banner over you is Abiding and Loyal Love. Bask in His Goodness today. ~Nicole

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August 29, 2017

Faithfulđź’—

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 4:47 pm by Broken & Brave

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful; he cannot deny himself.”  2 Tim. 2:13

This verse has really been on my heart all week. I have always liked this verse. I have so many verses embedded on my heart with special significance because they were embedded in a season or time I needed them most. God showing me His Faithfulness, to teach me His Word through experience…the best way to learn usually.

My whole life I have been a faithful person. As a child, faithful to my parents, my brother, my friends, my teachers. As an adult faithful to my work, my interests, my husband, my children, my church, my family.

So, I’ve been thinking about how God is faithful. What does it mean to be faithful?

Faithful- Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal. (work cited, Dictionary.com)

God is faithful…

My thoughts go deeper still. My whole life I can hold relationships together. I can bind people together, smooth over offenses between people, get along with pretty much anybody. I realize, more and more, how I learned about faithfulness from my parents.  At a young age, the roots of this  verse on faithfulness were imbedded in my heart without my brain even knowing it. I received this and understood this because my family was faithful. We had our troubles, like all families do, but we had a really good dynamic and a solid and stable foundation. I could trust it. I could trust my family to be there for me, to cloth me, to provide for me, to love me. I had never known any different. I guess I never really thought about this before.

I love people. I love to encourage them. I love to inspire them. I love to stoke the flames of their passions and believe for their own personal best. It is an area that God has asked me to be and remain faithful toward all of humanity. It is not always easy, but it is my glorious honor to try…

God is not only Faithful, He is incredibly Kind. He knows that something as seemingly simple as encouraging others can be difficult at times. It risks itself by being vulnerable, honest, transparent and subject to enduring rejection or having people not necessarily appreciate being encouraged.

But God, yes, my God, is so good, gentle and kind. See, it shouldn’t matter if I ever know if my exhortation makes a difference for anyone at all. The Word says we obey because we are supposed to. Obedience is a form of reward we can’t entirely understand. Obedience is a form of protection in this world, but it’s a reward system we won’t truly understand until we enter the next.

This is where His Kindness comes in. Because I’ve been faithful to encourage, He is continually encouraging me. Right when I need it, people are writing to me, messaging me and cornering me to tell me how it feels like I write just for them. Like God is leading my pen to encourage and help them personally.  Many say they read everything I write. Sometimes this surprises me a bit because I didn’t know they read what I wrote at all. They don’t have to tell me, but they do, and that’s just God again using them to bless my heart through and through.

My entire life I’ve had people, situations and peers communicate to me I was not worthy. Worthy of their time, their attention or their friendship. I’ve experienced these things to unusual extremes since the early age of 5. I have endured more female shunnings than I care to count. It wasn’t until my late 20’s I learned it was all allowed for His Glories sake. It gave me a heart for the broken, the outcast, the rejected, dejected and forsaken. He used it all to put a level of healthy lowly thinking in me. Instead of making me hard, it made me more thoughtful of others and less of myself. Insurance against pride or any level of haughtiness or self indulgence. With that being said, I consider it lovely because I deeply desire to be all God has designed for me. Through it all I have learned to allow Him to embed His dreams for my life deep inside. I surrendered all of my dreams and ambitions long ago and listened as He scripted and penned His Designs on my life. I guess it’s called, “Surrendered”.

I can’t think of a place I’d rather live.

I know that as a Believer, I will never truly be able to surrender my flesh until I learn to surrender my heart to the King of all kings.

Seek Him…

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that Name.

There is a God in Heaven and He is ever Faithful to love you. Open your heart and give Him a try. The things He calls us to surrender usually turn out to be something we didn’t need to begin with. And if we do need it, He is faithful to return it to us in His good time. He is Faithful and Loyal and all things Lovely.

You are Loved.

Kind of an unusual post today, but I know it is for someone. If you are feeling alone or unsure, keep your chin up, God has not forgotten you. His Faithfulness will never disappoint.

…Nicoleđź’—

 

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

July 12, 2017

Old Faithful

Posted in Devotional, true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:50 am by Broken & Brave

It is humbling to believe the King of The Heavens would even notice me. So, I give Him Center Stage. He is Worthy of my praise.

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5

My experience has shown me over and over again that extreme obedience brings extreme blessing. We don’t obey for the blessing. We obey because we love God. But God is good in tangible ways, too. So He reaches down for me and pulls me close. Sometimes the best analogy I can give of how He blesses me is a courtship. Like he is a beau wanting to impress me so He peacocks around and showers me with gifts and well. I am presently experiencing some of His extreme blessings right now. My heart swoons for Him, my Sacred Romance.

Extreme obedience brings extreme blessing.

God is ever Faithful. Always dependable. He can be counted on and will never count you out. The Joy of His heart reminds me of a story…

We always took family summer vacations growing up. Camping was big for us. We’d always go to a lake somewhere. We had vacation friends we took trips with. Most of them had ski boats so we would camp out and water ski all day every day for a week. I loved skiing and always had great fun. I guess I’ve always been a water and sun lover. But we had a few vacations that differed and were ultra memorable. One was Christmas in Hawaii and the other was a trip to Yellowstone National Park and every interesting stop along the drive. I think the trip to Yellowstone was my all time favorite family vacation. I want to take my own children to visit.

There are many natural hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone. But the most famous is Old Faithful. Old Faithful received its name for its highly predictable geothermal feature. This geyser erupts every 44 to 125 minutes (approx. every one to two hours) at anywhere from 106 to 185 feet lasting 3-10 minutes. It is beautiful, spectacular if you will. The outer perimeter is lined with benches so you can sit and wait for the next eruption. Glorious view.

Have you ever settled in a vista point and taken in a truly spectacular sight? It is so impactful and brings delight to the eyes, the heart and even soothes the soul.

This is how God looks at you don’t you know? It’s true. His love is adorable.

God cares about our habits…
He desires our Faithfulness.
He desires our obedience.
He knows the blessings that come when we faithfully obey.

Make trusting him, leaning upon His good shoulder, drinking in His Mighty and Majestic Presence a habit in your daily life. You will erupt with Rivers of Joy.

Victories are sure to come.

~Nicole

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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

April 5, 2017

The Path

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:25 am by Broken & Brave

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About five or six years ago my husband decided to go on a hike up in the Mother Lode of California to spend some time in reflection and prayer. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
We love to hike and though we don’t go as much as we used to-it’s always been something we enjoy together. On this hike, he was gone a very long time and I began to feel a little concerned. John has always been really good at checking in and he tends to call me a lot in general. I hadn’t heard from him all afternoon and he was most likely in a spot with no cell service.

Late that afternoon I finally got the call. He had found a spot with some cell service and phoned to check in. He explained to me that he had gotten lost on the mountain and was having a hard time finding his way out. But he wasn’t afraid at all. He explained he had his water and a jacket and had a plan if he got dark before he got out. He gave me instruction of what to do if he got stuck. I was scared and angry all at the same time. I was frustrated with his sense of adventure and refusal to stay on the carved hiking path.

He called about an hour later to tell me he found the road and his way back to his car. He was safe and on his way home.

What do we do when we seem to have lost our way? How to we handle life’s unexpected detours and setbacks? Do we handle it like a champ or do we get frustrated scared and begin to panic?

When we stay plugged into the Source of all life and drink deep of Living Water we can make our way through an obstacle, road block, mountain terrain or storm. We find our way because He is faithful to guide our path. There is no circumstance that can give God a setback. He always had a plan and always knows the Way. Drink in His Word, spend time in prayer. Seek His face and He will be faithful to meet you on this road less traveled-safe and secure and with a plan in hand. He’s got you! ~Nicole

1 “Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.”
Psalm 16:1