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 24, 2017

Focus

Posted in Devotional, Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:06 am by Broken & Brave

 

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with Thanksgiving.”
1 Timothy 4:4

It matters not if you can’t find the way, or see the way, or how in the world the Lord can make a way. If your eyes are on the doubts and questions, it’s going to be out of focus like a lens of a camera before it locks in to the Center of the frame. God has extraordinary ability to create fabulous and outstanding things out of…well…nothing!

He created the Cosmos from His spoken Word. He simply said something to the effect, “Be…” and out poured His Inspiration and Creativity. Just look at the beauty, capability and design of woman. The first one was made from a rib! See- God can do whatever He wants to and it is by His divine light and grace that created focus and just like a car key in the ignition He’s got ambition to do incredibly things…just. for. you.

So keep the apple of your eye laser focused on the Giver and watch Him betroth your heart with a tender clove of His Goodness, Strength, Love and Mercy. His gift will be a Creative Miracle and He will Shock and Awe you as He woo’s you lovingly. And that’s how True Courtship is supposed to be. If He hung on a Tree of Love for you, don’t you believe He will see your trials through, too? He loves you.

Be blessed this day in good measure and may the grace of heaven lock arms with you giving you mastery focus on all you think, say and do.

~Nicole

(graphics by aestheticallyalexandra)

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November 20, 2017

Explore

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , at 7:39 am by Broken & Brave

The Lord is Beautiful. He is Magnificent. How can one so Majestic, so Powerful- Extreme and Supreme- be so kind and gentle and tender with me? But this is exactly how He’s been.

I’ve been pondering His Goodness as He guides and directs my life. When you Purpose your choices to live by faith, yielding to the lead of the ever Amazing Grace of Heaven, you make decisions based on His lead not your own. I sometimes find myself making choices and choosing paths I wouldn’t have considered on my own for various reasons. Sometimes when I embark on His lead and take those steps of faith I am tentative and wondering, but I have enough experience with this- my faith is secure enough to go anyway and obey. Then I usually find myself saying, “I’m so glad I listened and obeyed.”

God sees what we cannot. He has a rooftop view of all of Eternity. The Universe is His footstool. He can see both the future and the past and knows exactly where you are at-both physically as well as emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. He will meet you there every single time. Without fail.

When He guides you to a destination He will make a promise. He will give you something to hang your hope on. Frequently there is some pain and refinement between point A (where you are now) and Point B (the Promised Land). But I dare say, the fire of affliction and the sting of Adversity are worth it. For the glorious fruit that is birthed in your own personal intimacy with the Father is loveliness like non other. Nothing compares to friendship with God.

I’ve recently competed in two figure competitions. I went into the competition season training and preparing, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was tired and weary in general because of the demands my day to day life had to offer. I knew the extra umph I was going to have to muster up if I were to register and compete in a show. There He was, that sweet whisper in my ear, telling me over and over again that I wasn’t done and in fact I had only just begun. So as I searched for something to commit to nothing was working out. This is when I was lead to explore new paths. A new road became known and I ventured into an organization I knew nothing about. I have two friends who compete in this organization so I contacted one and asked some questions. I dove in headlong and committed to one of their biggest shows.

I enjoyed that experience very much…in fact, I enjoyed more than any other show I had ever done before. There was to be another even bigger show the following week in Las Vegas. I wasn’t registered, but the Spirit had already given me the heads up I would qualify to compete and he wanted me to go. It was a tough commitment because I only had a few days notice to get registered, book a hotel, make arrangement for my children…a lot of last minute work. When it’s God is always runs smooth and this is how it went for sure.

Before I committed I sat in church on a Sunday, the day after the first show. As I sat thinking about if I’d go or seeking God to lean in my heart once more so I could be sure of the steps and the expense it would bring I was also listening to my pastor preach. Suddenly, I heard the Spirit of God move in my heart and said, “It would be a mistake for you not to go.” I got out my journal to write His words down and as I was writing it was as though the voice of my pastor were carried in a wind tunnel right to my head. It was supernatural and powerful and I knew God was giving me ample confirmation to sustain my faith. The pastor was saying-just as I was writing the words down…”it would be a mistake not to go.” –pastor said, “I’d rather try and fail than be successful at doing nothing.” Even though he was half way across a large room, his voice spoke like he were right next to me. That was God.

We all play a key in the Body. I had a fabulous experience on that trip and I agree, I would have missed out horribly on so many things for now and the future if I had held back and not gone to Vegas. But even more, my Pastor was faithful to follow the lead of the Spirit in ministry and God used his voice as a source of supplemental confirmation for me. You never know how God is using your life.

On my trip I met some amazing new friends and reconnected with some old ones. But one little gal in particular I am praying for and getting to know. I know our meeting was a Divine Appointment and I can’t wait to see what God does.

I guess my take-a-way for you today is don’t be afraid to try. Don’t hold back when you feel the Lord nudging you in the back. Release inhibitions and bring your will, your reason, into submission. God sees what you can’t. When we take steps of faith He is as close as our face and gives us ample opportunity to trust His lead. The better you become at doing this, the more He will lead you into situations and opportunities that make no sense in the natural and may seem ominous and scary. But trust me, these are the moments when His Greatness won’t vary. He will explore it and expose that same Greatness He has locked in you–even you will be blown away at all the amazing He does in you and through you. He’s always got you…and that’s a Promise.

Walking by Faith is opportunity for Grace.

~Nicole

November 16, 2017

Future President🌟

Posted in Prayer of blessing, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:04 am by Broken & Brave

It only takes one person to believe in you to Light your Purpose afire.

When my daughter was little she had a t-shirt that said, “future president”. All my little ones inherited this shirt & as time went on I began telling ppl when they met my babies, that they were a future president. Most ppl would laugh like I was being funny…while I wouldn’t laugh, but would just pause and smile. I was declaring purpose over them.

President of what? A corporation? A club? The country? ….Yes.
I was declaring leadership over them.

Others may not have recognized it but God did. I didn’t let another’s lack of vision prevent mine. By the time I had number four, Joel, I had ppl telling me he looked like a president (he was a baby!) true story. All it takes is one who sees all you can be & speak it faithfully.

You are a diamond for for polish. Shine, let is shine…Brilliantly. ~Nicole

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November 11, 2017

Internal Bling✨

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:09 am by Broken & Brave

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

1 Timothy 6:6

Several of my devotions this a.m. contained threads of “contentment” laced throughout. It prompted an internal grin that flowed from my soul as I read each–for this is truly how I feel right now.

Yesterday I competed in the largest bodybuilding show I have ever competed in before. There are at least 326 athletes in this event so large it must span the coarse of four days and drew teams of athletes from all over the world. As I stood on the wings of the stage in prejudging yesterday I looked about (as I held my stage stance shoulders up, lats wide, torso twisted and legs charged…all in 5 inch heels on a slick floor of course)…I looked about the ladies who graced that stage with me. They were stunning. Beautiful form and symmetry, everything in place. Each had a personal style and grace no one could replace and I thought to myself. “Nicole, you are here.” It didn’t matter how I should finish, I was blessed.

Backstage everyone looks amazing, but once you get those bodies out under the stage lights you see fairly quickly who maybe shines the most bright. I knew the gal who posed right after me would win it. Her symmetry was on point for everything the judges are looking for. As she took her place by my side I whispered as I threw her a smile, “Your stunning”. She almost cried right there. Even the most beautiful of women need someone to believe in them and encourage them and love on them. Of course I love to do that! She did win and she won big–became overall winner and is now a Pro. But what I love is the humility of her soul. A sweet little lady from Hungary took home the gold.

As I reflected on my fourth place finish I felt joy in my soul. I am learning so much more about this sport and myself every time I take the stage. I know the source of my strength and worth isn’t in how high I place, but in knowing I’ve done my all and have pleased my Lord. I look around and see many of these women put their entire self worth in this thing…I’m praying for Divine Appointments to speak life and scout out the beauty and shine they bring to everyday life.

You may never aspire to compete in Figure, but you bring a shine to the world around you. There is a special kind of bling that only Jesus can bring and it’s locked like a pure gold medal embedded inside your chest. Let it rest within, shine within and draw others to the incredible light of Christ.

Because of Christ we’ve always got the win.

~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! ~Nicole💗

“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

 

November 3, 2017

The Check List🔏

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 8:30 am by Broken & Brave

I tend to be task driven by nature. When I was in my twenties I began to realize a shift in my heart. I was noticing that keeping a list and scratching things off was very productive and satisfying, I also saw that the greater my list grew the more overwhelmed I began to feel. As my responsibilities shifted from only being responsible for myself to being responsible for my growing family I had to relearn a healthy balance in this. I began to lay my lists before the Lord. I began to seek His guidance for every day. I realized many times what was important wasn’t a priority for God. As I began to release grip of my goals and their deadlines I began to feel liberated, less stressed and more alive. I was now learning to experience Joy in my Journey. Fast forward to now–all who know me well know that if I’m invited to something or asked to participate in something (even if I’m absolutely wanting to do it) I always respond “I don’t know, I need to pray first”. Sometimes God asks me to do things my schedule doesn’t seem to fit and it ends up flowing beautifully. Sometimes what looks like an obvious “yes”, He says “No”.

Being God Sufficient not Self Sufficient means we don’t always have to work more to bridge the gaps. We just need to trust more that God is our Source for every lack.

“In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9IMG_7157

November 1, 2017

Cut from Above in Love💎

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , at 6:41 am by Broken & Brave

I am a big fan of the idiom, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

In fact, I am always reminding my boys of this saying and it’s meaning when I observe how they sometimes treat each other when one is not doing what the other wants him to do. They will try bossing each other, or get curt with their tone of voice or even come across demanding at times. I know they are children, and they are learning etiquette, manners and the like.

I want them to be gentlemen, little gentlemen in training now…so in time, each one, will become a True Gentleman when grown. They will get it, but it is my job as a parent, to teach them to be kind, use positive words, encouragement and asking for help, not demanding it. I also want to instill in them how praise can go such a long way to making others feel valued, appreciated and needed.

These are practical steps that omit a pleasing aroma of Agape. Of course, we apply these truths to ourself as often as we can…for little lives learn by what we do, not what we say.

I shift my gaze to my culture around me and see people who have forgotten how to love. Our society as a “melting pot” has forgotten how to meld and gel together. People seem agitated and frustrated and angry. But when you encounter this remember, they are probably really hurting. They have forgotten the focus of their gaze upward and have become focused on the wrong things. Some are just bent this way and some have experienced a slow ebbing away and not realized what has happened. Be gracious. Display gentlemen and gentle lady like demeanor. Smile at people even when they frown. Be kind and approachable even to the rigid and recoiled. Chances are most won’t change from their encounter with you, but one might. You don’t know who it will be. Rise above, Ladies and Gentlemen. I think that Old American polished Gentry still exists in the heart of humanity. Let’s not quit on each other…just like you wouldn’t want your kids to give up on each other. God’s got a big family called Humanity and had loaded His Hope within.

We are all His Diamonds in the rough.

~Nicole

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October 19, 2017

Unfair or Foundational?

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:07 am by Broken & Brave

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 to 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 and 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

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October 14, 2017

Best Yet…(don’t forget)

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:28 am by Broken & Brave

“I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2

Everyday can be the best day of your life if your hearts mindset is right. Whether you have grand plans or daily chores, when you do it all for The Lord it can be amazing! How do you do it all for The Lord? A lot of that has to do with expectation.

If you crawl out of bed sour and grumpy every morning you are expecting sour grumpy mornings every night before you go to bed. Just because that’s how it’s been in the past doesn’t mean today can’t be a new day! God gave you this day and whatever you expect from it is generally what you will get. If you expect conflict and trouble, your attitude of heart just may be projecting conflict and trouble. If you are expecting a good result from tasks or obligations you may not want to perform, your attitude will be brighter in the midst of your work and this will be like a pleasing aroma attracting others around you.

Get up each day DECIDED that you will have a good day and circumstances and others are going your way! What we perceive and believe is usually what we receive. Change your outlook and watch how the flow of your day goes…Life is an EXCITING ADVENTURE! ~Nicole

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