August 17, 2017

True & Able

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

Gods heart whispers, “I’ll be there, because I can’t imagine moving forward without you.” (Matt. 18:12-14)

 

img_8485

Stop spending so much time worrying and living in fear. God is Sovereign. Ultimately, every problem you have is HIS problem. Have a ton of bills? Remind God they need to be paid. You do your part, He does the rest. Got a difficult boss? Thank God for them! It will change your attitude and even if your boss doesn’t change, your heart will. God wants to bless and protect you. So often us people try to do everything ourselves. He isn’t going anywhere. He is committed to you through thick and thin. You are not just one, you are HIS and you are like a priceless and precious gem.  I don’t think He’d have it any other way. By your side forever and unashamed. Where we lack fortitude, God has abundant meansures and rivers without end. Your courage has merit, but His Strength has no end. What a Wonderful Friend.

Youre going to make it.

~Nicole

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13

August 3, 2017

Joy is Loves Measuring Stick

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:28 am by Broken & Brave

“Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.” Is.60:5

IMG_0753

What does it mean to have joy? To love is to have one’s heart set afire with joy. Exuberant joy reaches through the narrow crevices of soul, entangling the senses and provoking the mind to delicate things…things that stir us…things that move us. Joy exudes out of us through the soul. In the words of Mother Theresa, “Joy is the net of love by which you can catch souls.”

Joy, I believe, is so different from happiness. Joy comes with the deep satisfaction of loving others through serving them. We can serve people in so many ways. Someone once told me that “love is in the details”. That resonates with me. The possibilities to love through the details are endless. How beautiful. Spend sometime today purposing your heart to love and serve God first, then sacrifice yourself to love others more and place yourself last. For truly, the least become greatest in the kingdom of God even when they don’t desire such a seat of honor. ~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

IMG_0570

May 23, 2017

Sing🎼

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

When it’s warm at night I enjoy the windows open. Houses can get so stuffy. Fresh air is sometimes all we need to increase our comfort. The past few nights I’ve done just that, only to awaken to a choir of zealously singing birds. I mean a lot of them, all singing together, but singing something different…with great fervor!

Have you ever noticed that birds sing more intensely in the morning? It seems they are super happy and excited to greet the day! Are they God’s original alarm clock to humanity to help us get up and get going? These are things I wonder.

I realize I wake up every day a bit like how these birds do. I am an early riser. I like to be up while everything and everyone is still quietly resting. I feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for what the day may bring. Even on days that are very full or I have a dreaded task ahead of me, I somehow still feel good about how it will all turn out.

This is not my natural mindset or temperament. My personality is a mix of temperaments. I am mostly phlegmatic (faithful and loyal) with a touch of the others and more than I like to admit of the melancholy temperament. Melancholy tempered people are usually very organized, dependable, and on task, but they also tend toward pessimism over optimism. I naturally have that.

But I believe the negative personality attributes of any temperament are only temporal when we have Jesus and a decided heart.

I decided many years ago I wanted to change my mindset. So I did. I took decision and then I managed that decision every day and then it became my new habit. I grabbed Philippians 4:8 and made it my anthem. It became the song in me.
I also owned Philippians 4:6,7. Not to forget 2 Cor. 10:5-7.

Do you know that if you hammer a nail into a tree that tree won’t die?
It will continue to grow. It will grow around the nail and absorb it, the nail becoming apart of it. The same is true for us. I nailed these scriptures to my mind and I began to grow. They sank deeper into me becoming a part of me and their roots are tangled in my heart now, not just my mind. I have ownership of them to the level that I no longer consider myself the person I used to be, the non-morning person waking up grumpy and needing isolation until I was ready to face other people and my day. Does this sound familiar? I think it’s the morning ritual of most Americans or there would not be such a demand for coffee and shirts and mugs glorifying it’s morning ritual miracles.

IMG_9879

I made the decision to change more than a decade ago. I decided and then I took action to manage that decision. I trained my heart and mind to comply with the Word of God. As Believers we need to be like those little birds outside my window. Happy. Joyous. Infectious with optimism. It’s not natural to humanity, especially when conditions are poor. We serve an unnatural God and we must be as uncommon in our approach to life as He is! It will get you noticed and those the Holy Spirit draws will come in and discover for themselves, with Jesus we can always succeed, be free and be happy.

Let us wake up every day and say,
“Lord, what will be my anthem today?”

Infect the world with Joy today! ~Nicole

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

May 19, 2017

Precious & Priceless!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:16 am by Broken & Brave

You are a precious commodity. God has invested too much into you to allow anything to happen to you.
God is for you! So get up and on your feet and greet the remainder of this week with the mindset of Joy, Anticipation, Enthusiasm and know that what you make of it will be a joyous Celebration! Blessings! ~Nicole

 

April 25, 2017

Nostalgia

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:39 am by Broken & Brave

Sit back for a moment. Ponder with me. Think for a moment…what familiar thing arouses your senses of happier things? Times or experiences in your life that make you feel good inside? Do you have a familiar sound or smell or sight that makes your heart warm? Think about it for a moment.

I was driving into town yesterday and saw a plastic bag in a tree. Have you ever noticed plastic bags in trees? It’s quite common actually. I used to never notice them.

When I see a plastic bag in a tree I think immediately of my Mother-In-Law. My Mother-In-Law is well advanced in years. She is old enough to be my Grandmother rather than a Mother. My husband is the youngest of four and his oldest sibling is close in age to my parents. My husband is a great deal older than I. So many of her habits, traditions, etc. are different than mine. Both because of her generation and her location, New England.

Years ago while driving with her up the east coast she told my oldest, who was like 3 years old at the time, she wanted to play a game with her. They would spy out plastic bags in trees as we drove a rather long journey. I said nothing, but was thinking to myself, “A bag in a tree? What? This will be a short game.” I was shocked when I kind of played along and there were tons! To this day I notice bags caught on tree branches and I inwardly smile and think on my Mother-In-Law and her little car game.

Did you ponder with me a bit? Did you think about it? Do have things that bring back fond memories? A sight, a sound, a smell?

I have a fond memory of the smell of bleach. Yep, bleach. I love the smell of bleach. It’s a potent and powerful smell, but to me it reminds me of walking in the front door after walking home from school in my childhood. I was fortunate to have my Mom at home when I was a kid. I grew up in a clean and tidy house. I think my Mom cleaned house everyday. So when I’d step in the house, it would be that clean smell of household bleach. I guess some kids came home to the smell of fresh baked cookies, but I loved the smell just the same.

So go ahead, your turn to play. Nostalgia is a glorious thing to cause a smile to erupt on your face. No one ever need know why you’re smiling. The smile will be contagious and inviting and others will smile along with you. Take a moment and think on your favorite smells, sights or silly things that mean nothing to others, but carry fondness of heart to you. These are things to cherish.

Have a Glorious Day…

April 4, 2017

Incredible Belief

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:10 am by Broken & Brave

Belief…
It is the dwelling place of Hope. Though it takes courage, don’t be afraid to dare to Believe.

Belief…
Bold
Encouragement
Living
Itself
Everyday
For others
I Believe in You! Now, go with belief in yourself. You CAN do it! -Nicole

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in you.” Psalm 5:11

IMG_1695

March 29, 2017

Light & Life

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 6:29 am by Broken & Brave

IMG_4628

“Peace, when ruling the heart and ruling the mind, opens in both every avenue of joy.”     ~Sarah W. Stephens

As the body of Christ we are to have both unity and diversity, but all should be walking in intense levels of peace and joy. If you have yet to discover joy or its source, I hope this little diatribe will help you.

“Therefore with joy you will draw water from the well of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3

Joy is not the same as happiness. Joy flows from the soul despite conditions of life. When things are good, we have joy and happiness. When things are not so good, we may not have outward happiness, but we can flow in continual joy. True joy spills out onto others. We don’t just talk of joy and walk around sour. We have a sweet disposition that encourages others without requiring any words spoken. It is like a pleasing aroma that fills the air.

So how do you get there? You must fix your position. Stop focusing on the things not well in your life. Focus on your blessings. Everyone has a blessing! So find it, something to be thankful for. Maybe you struggle with gratitude? Ungratefulness is the most slippery path to misery and is the opposite of joy.

It will take work.

•You have to focus your mind on good, not evil (Phil. 4:8)

•When your thoughts stray, you quickly correct them and bring them back in alignment with something you might look forward to or something that brings your heart a light and life giving countenance.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Anything that produces light and life to your heart, think on these things. It could be your kids, your pet, it could be a favorite blanket you get to snuggle under after a long day. It could be how good you plan to feel after eating the healthy meal instead of the fast food. Example, I had a client last night tell me of the length and stress of her day. She has a very prominent position in my community with much responsibility. She was exhausted and almost skipped her workout, but decided she would feel better after if she went and she did! She looked forward to the “after” satisfaction vs. the exertion of the workout. She found her joy.

“In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

You’ve got the idea. Once you find your joy you will know it. It will spill over on others like a gentle stream of refreshing waters. You won’t have to force yourself to smile, it will just glide across your face effortlessly.

If you haven’t found joy yet, don’t be upset. It eludes countless people. My pen is simply wanting to encourage you into some action steps to find it. So if your tired of the monotony of your misery, I hope this yields a key.

Come alive with Life and Light and be vibrant in Christ! ~Nicole

March 18, 2017

Serenity

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:53 am by Broken & Brave

IMG_9127

“The Lord on high is Mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Psalm 93:4

I have a large family. I did not come from a large family so this has been a new experience for me. I grew up in a quiet home where everything was always in order, tidy, organized. I tend to be a quiet, soft spoken person. I’m not loud. But when you have five children, four of which are boys, it can get kind of crazy. I think we are overall fairly organized people, but you learn to let somethings go, re-prioritize and maximize moments differently.

Getting time alone with God is my fundamental key to making it all work. Life can pull a Mom in a thousand different directions and so much noise can fill our day and our head. But securing a quiet space in time and place will be a spiritual encounter that will usher in serenity and sanity.

Find your quiet space today. Get in that place and speak your heart to God. He has some precious promises he’d like to speak to you, but first he must know where you are.

The Lord is full of promises. Because his heart is filled with Integrity, He will honor every last one.

He will shape your Faith Shatterproof! ~Nicole

December 13, 2016

Friends Forever…

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:56 pm by Broken & Brave

img_8569

Yesterday, out of the blue, a name from my past erupted in my mind…

It was the name of a woman I knew many years ago. I didn’t know her well, but she was a customer of mine through my nutrition business. She lived here in my city and I’d visit her at her home a few times a month to deliver vitamins to her.

She was advanced in years and seasoned in life. She lived alone, though she had family, none in town. She was still working as a CNA nurse a few days a week. If I had to guess, I’d say she was in her late sixties to early seventies. Though I confess, I am not so good at guessing people’s age. What made it even harder to decide was her nationality. She was an African American women and being such, had such gorgeous skin, it makes it even harder for me to figure it out.

This woman was full of light and life and I found her beautiful and breathtaking. She had deep and strong faith in God. When I would visit we would sit…

She would talk and I would listen for well over an hour every time. We did this for several years until she seemed to just disappear. I could no longer find her or get a hold of her.

Our time together I will never forget, like a sweet and special gift that struck a melody in my soul.

She was so transparent with me about life and faith, disappointments, wisdom and grace. I guess I must have been in my late twenties when I knew her. She would share stories of her life and raising her children. She would show me pictures, lots of pictures. I guess maybe She enjoyed my company, too. This makes me smile.

Her husband had passed, she’d share of him, too. She’d been living alone for many years. She said it is quite lonely, being alone, but she twinkled and had a gleam in her eye every time she would remind me that with Jesus she knew she was never alone even when she felt loneliness creep in. She then told me some advice that has stuck with me for life…

I think what she shared might help you, too, and that’s why I’m sharing this story with you. Eva, that was her name, though she was alone she knew how to sit at the Throne and gather friendship and comfort from Heaven. She told me that every night, she’d lie on the couch with her Bible on her chest, reading, singing, praising and praying. She talked to God as though she were talking to her very best friend. She would do this for hours and she confessed that on many nights she would fall asleep there and get her nights rest.

Eva had a truly gorgeous soul. My heart was deeply attracted to hers. The Bible says that deep calls unto deep (Psalm 42:7). I think this passage of scripture has layers of depth in its meaning. One being, we are Spirit and kindred spirits draw tight despite differences in life. Though she were much older than me and our life experiences and cultural differences were vastly different. We had a common fondness for Heaven and a love for its King.

People all around you everyday are busy, and involved and doing many things—but they are still feeling alone. You can be amongst many loved ones or people and still feel alone.

Loneliness is heightened for many this time of year. Lost loved ones remembered, heightened sense or awareness of being alone in the holidays for those with little to no family. I feel your heart and God hears it as well. I know this is why He asked me to strike my pen. To offer you Hope and encouragement for a full heart and soul and the knowledge that you are never alone. God loves you and is with you.

So if you are feeling a little blue, instead of gloom and tears (those are needed and ok at times), lift your eyes to heaven. Speak to God and tell him how you are feeling. He can hear you. Talk like you would to a friend. Ask him to lift your heart and take your pain. Ask him to comfort you in a way that removes a sense of loneliness. The Bible says that if you search for God, you will find him ( Proverbs 8:17). He will show himself to you and He will do it in a way unique to your life and experience. He’s personal and special like that.

God cups your heart in His hands and He makes no demands. He just want to comfort you today.

Be blessed. Be encouraged as Eva encouraged me…

Merry Christmas….

-Nicole

Next page