August 16, 2017

Love In The Details

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 5:51 am by Broken & Brave

I recall a time several years ago my Dad came over to work on an electrical issue that had come up. There he was, bucket of tools in hand, on my porch at 8:45AM.

My whole life my Dad has done things for me. I know it’s how he shows love. I mentioned in my post yesterday how when I was a young adult my Father would say, “Nicole, bring your car over and I will wash it for you.” What I knew he was really saying was,

“Nicole, I love you.”
Others might have seen a man with a bucket of gadgets on my porch that particular morning, but I saw a man with a bucket of love.

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There are 5 love languages or 5 ways to communicate love to others. We speak the ways that are most meaningful to us: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gift Giving and Physical Touch.
My Dad is a helper, so of course, he expresses love through service/helping. Mine is words of encouragement and affirmation, so that’s how I usually love first. But here’s what I know…people feel most loved when you speak the language of love THEY prefer. Some people need a hug or touch on the shoulder, some need time together most, you get the idea. Pay attention, someone may be reaching love out to you today in a way not easily discerned. As each of us grows in our ability to love, we become better at speaking ALL of the Love languages.

Be a blessing…you are loved.

-Nicole

 

 

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

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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

June 20, 2017

Bold Love

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:47 am by Broken & Brave

Boldness comes from God.

“…and for me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mysteries of the gospel…that I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Eph. 6:19

When I was a young girl I loved being tucked in at night by my Father. My Mother usually took care of this, but I have young memeories of asking for him to come when she was done so he could tuck me in. He would come and make tiny little tucks in the covers completely hemming me in. I’d be on my back and the covers would wrap underneath my body holding me like a mummy. I was delighted! I remember trying not to move because I didn’t want to undo the tucks that had been made. I found security and comfort in this form of love expressed by my Dad.

All of humanity seeks comfort. It doesn’t matter what theology you believe or what you believe regarding the universe. We all seek comfort and long to feed our soul.

All desire comfort.

We enjoy comfortable clothing, shoes, houses full of comfortability. Our dream car provides a comfortable ride as we sit comfortably inside. On a hot summer day we look for the comfort that an air conditioned building can bring. If we don’t have any of these comforts, we desire them.

How do you comfort your soul?

All have an innate desire to feed and nourish our soul. Some nourish it with religious activities. Some meditate, some feed it with various forms of witchcraft. For others it is a simple faith in a Divine Intelligence. For many, it is the god of self.

There is a Divine Intellect who spoke all of creation into existence. His mere breath provides Light and Life, comfort and rest on our priveledged planet that sits perfect within our solar system for optimal Light and temperature to sustain us and give us comfort. No other planet has the same benefit as Earth.

This same Sovereign Benefactor provides Love. If you’ve experienced it you know what I mean. When you step into His Love it’s like a perfect fit. Nothing else you’ve ever tried could or has felt so complete. Tiny tucks of heart securing you in your place. What will you do to love Him back?

How can you share such a love with the world around you? Nothing has the power to protect, to heal, to restore, to even create like the Power we generate when we yield to love. It will give you boldness as it stirs you and completes you. It will give you courage. It will move you into uncharted territory where you have dreamed of going, but maybe have lacked the fortitude or opportunity to act upon your dreams. This love produces a kind of flow inside that radiates and makes you feel alive.

What will you do for love?

Step out in faith. Security is not found in your comfortability.

Security is found in Love.

Love Strong.

Love Bold.

Love Up…

~Nicole

June 17, 2017

Greater Blessing…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:15 am by Broken & Brave

Your life has meaning and significance. Though some seem to struggle more than others, this too has purpose. God is always fixated on you greater potential and greatest blessing. Sometimes the greater the struggle is indicator the greater the Treasure He has deposited in your heart. So do not be discouraged. Every breath you take is God’s gentle reminder…”You are validated, impactful and important.” ~Nicole

“…do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13

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May 11, 2017

Search, Create, Pray…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 7:44 am by Broken & Brave

I look about my country and I see so much Divide. I see people outraged. I see people filled with anger and hate. I see others full of self. Others broken and forsaken. But that’s what I see with my eyes–
When I look with my heart I see all the same…people in pain, hurting, and lacking proper love.

As a Christian I am bothered by what I see. It penetrates me, heart and soul. The enormity of the responsibility to make an impactful difference in my neighborhood, community, city, state, nation is mind boggling to me. Is our heart truly broken for what breaks God’s heart? Here are some action steps if you want to make a difference- in your own life and others-and you see what I see:

1. Search our hearts. (“O, Lord, you have searched me and known me.” Psalm 139:1)

2.Create a clean heart in us oh Lord. For when our heart is saturated with the Love of God it is pure. By searching the Word of God we obtain the pathway to his heart-but it is Love that binds, heals, and delivers. (“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10)

3. Pray. We must pray and be watchful. (“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14)

4. Listen. We must be attentive and listen as the Spirit gives personal directives on we as individuals can be an Agent of Change.
(“Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 1:32)

5. We must give people a hand.
We must help where and how God directs us. We cannot do everything and clearly there is a lot to be done, but we can do that something that God has specifically asked of each of us. (“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16)
In our life our hand is attached to something. If it isn’t it is useless. The hand is attached to an arm, some real muscle to push through with a person. The arm is attached and leads to The Body. The Body is the Chamber for the very Heart and Love of God. Once a person is lead by the hand, they can get to the heart and meet the Power of Unconditional Love and that is where the Miraculous begins to take part! A hand all by itself is helpful, but not impactful. Impactful change occurs when a person is saturated in healing Love. The anger and hatred subsides. Growth and healing occur. Forgiveness replaces resentment. A maturing of the soul that comes by intimacy with God. A person is set free from the roots of their pain and their life is changed.

We give a hand, but we must do it with heart. Just like parenting. As a parent I meet the needs of my children practically-food, clothes, etc.-but they need time, attention, accountability, long suffering, wisdom, guidance and lots and lots of love. They need our heart.

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart. Invite Him to come in like your heart were your home. He will sweep it clean, clear the clutter and messes, decorate the halls and walls, and He also will sit and enjoy you, just you, as He lovingly admires and enjoys spending time with you. He changes us each from the heart and this changes our perspectives to match His. His love is full, complete and so very sweet.
He is such a good, good Parent.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
John 15:12

April 12, 2017

Equipped & Fit

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

“The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

Exodus 15:2

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Whatever YOU are to do, YOU have been equipped with POWER! So many people miss out on their own destiny because they approach it with insecurity. Here are some things people say, “that’s easy for you because…”, “I could never do that because…”, “But they do this or that better than me or they are prettier than me or maybe smarter than me.” Nonsense! No matter your past, present, education, cultural influence, you have been predestined! So hold your position! You are where you are for a reason! God will equip you with the right resources and people to assist you in what you are called to do with absolute excellence! You are Beautiful, Powerful, Strong, Tenacious! Let’s face it, you got it going on! Now Believe with all you’ve got! ~Nicole

December 13, 2016

Friends Forever…

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

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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

July 24, 2016

Action Steps of Courage

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:59 am by Broken & Brave

Your Courage Counts;
Don’t be Overwhelmed

A step forward can be great gain when we use it to give Glory to His Name. You’re steps are Chosen. His Path for you clear. He has seen each one before you ever took one. Think about that. Have confidence in that! You can only bubble over with the Hope and Glory knowing you will have a Banner Year! No matter what you face today-it is building in you a foundation for brighter days…if you will just keep going!

Hope has an anthem and it sings in my heart. What is it that Hope has infused in your heart? Sing it! Use it to make a difference. God put you here to add value to the world. Do not count yourself out. Do not discount your value.

YOU COUNT in countless ways! ~Nicole

“Seek the Lord, and His strength; seek His face evermore.”
Psalm 105:4

July 2, 2016

Message In A Bottle

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:42 am by Broken & Brave

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,” Acts 3:19

You are The Bride of Christ.

You have been carved from His Tree of Shame & Humility.

I woke at 3am. Wide awake like I’ve enjoyed a full night sleep. Though I did crash from exhaustion early last night, I always know my  Beloved, my Savior, my Treasure is up to something when He wakes me at Night. I love the ministry and mystery of the Holy Spirit…

Now that you know I was reading at 3am you won’t be surprised by how I received the inspiration for this post…

The Lord whispered to my heart the above penned: “You are the Bride of Christ. You have been carved from His Tree of Shame and Humility …”

I began reading many scriptures regarding shame and guilt. Every human deals with regret on some level, some more than others. I was trying to capture the essence of where God was taking my pen when I read Acts 3:19. My 3 AM eyes saw, a bit on the groggy side, saw “…that your sins may be bottled” instead of “blotted”.

I immeidately had a vision in my imagination of pirates or a sea adventure where someone is distress places a note in a glass bottle, hurls it into the sea with hopes that it will be found and their life rescued or spared from tragedy…

I immediately thought of Micah 7:19 which assures us that our sins are tossed into the sea never to be remembered again. I like to call God’s Sea “Forgotten”.

Think about it.

A note written and then encapsulated in a bottle and tossed into the ocean is nearly impossible to retrieve. Only by the miraculous touch of heaven could such a thing be found in a timely manner to rescue the distressed and distraught sender. Only God could do such a thing-which makes the story all the more an adventure and thrilling and you sit on pins and needles as you absorb it. That’s what makes the story exciting. What will happen? How will it happen? When? But surely it happens and the story never disappoints.

What weighs on you? What tugs on your heart and mind? What sensitivities are hidden within? Are there dark areas of your heart waiting for this post to shed some Light there in to rub it clean and set you free in your thinking?

You have many needs in your life, but you have no need to walk about with shame in your life. What is shame anyway? Shame is rehearsed memories of old sins within yourself or against yourself or against others. Shame can make people feel less than or unworthy. Shame shuns and isolates.

Shame is not from God.

Christ came to take your grief so you could live a triumphant and Joy filled life. 

You were once bound with sin. But Christ nailed it by the Power of Love and killed it. Once that happened our shame was bottled and tossed, as though it were lost at sea never to be retrieved again because your Rescuer has no need of it. He will not even look for it. He has already forgotten it. Instead, He is completely fixated and focused on you.

So let go of that old stuff, don’t let it build a filter of how you see and perceive the world around you today. Sure, you’ve had hurts, setbacks and disappointments. But that was yesterday. God is beside you. Allow His Heart to enfold you into His Banner of Love. It drapes over you that He might sing praises for all the gold He sees your heart holds. Unlike that bottle, you are a most prized possession in His Kingdom. Allow Him to compliment your life. ~Nicole

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June 15, 2016

Lady In Waiting

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:03 am by Broken & Brave

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

Love is patient and kind. It looks out for others. It thinks of itself less and others more. Love is gentle and quiet yet possesses all the roar of a lion or the fiercest ocean at storm. Love does not compromise and it is pristine. Love is all things classy.

Esther, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, three women who I imagine knew how to keep it classy as they loved beyond their capacity to understand. They did it for the good of their common man. They lived a life worthy of esteem to be an example of Proverbs 31 woman kind of living.

Class is elegant. It is a disposition that maintains a posture of peace and position. It is regal in its own sort of way. It understands the beauty found in simplicity. It is meek and humble. It is gentle and easy, yet it is a yolk of the Lord not easily handled. It is costly like precious metals and gems, and it shines with brilliance.

The best kind of bling isn’t found in a ring, but in the heart that possesses the sweet residue of Heaven. Hold you head high today, Ladies. For you are each God’s Lady in Waiting. He’s got goodness in store for you. I believe in you, too! ~Nicole

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