May 14, 2019

Arms to Comfort & Carry

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:44 pm by Broken & Brave

God’s Arms are never too short for even our greatest burdens.

Called to Arms!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Hebrews 6:19

Do you know how valuable you are?

Ships have anchors. Anchors serve a purpose…they hold the boat in place. An anchor can steady a ship out at sea during a tumultuous storm. An anchor can hold a boat in the bay of crystal blue serenity. An anchor provides safety, security and protects the owners investment in the vessel. It will also protect the lives of those in care to the vessel.

God desires you anchor your heart to His. You are valuable to him. He has greatly invested in you. He enjoys to be in your company and to reflect on the scenery…YOU! Allow yourself to Hope for the greater in your life. Begin to take a few risks for the better. Dare to trust and believe God has your safety and security in mind. He isn’t going to let anything happen to you. He will always protect and provide. You can trust Him! ~Nicole⚓️

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May 2, 2019

Willing To Be Well

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:36 am by Broken & Brave

You must have a willingness for wellness…

It is but too true, we are what we eat. We are what we eat, but not just the food we eat.

Our eyes are truly the window to the soul. That is why I’m such a big believer in looking people in the eyes. The eyes can tell me a lot about people’s hearts. An element of discernment I most admire. Not creepily looking people in the eyes, but when speaking to people, eye contact. It not only shows others you appreciate and acknowledge their presence, they have your attention, but it also communicates they have value. It does something else to—it says a lot about you.

I understand that in certain cultures it’s not polite to look others in the eyes. Especially women to men. So be aware and gracious in this. There will be times when looking people in the eye is not healthy—you must discern the above prescribed. But looking people in the face is marvelous act of humility and grace.

“Do the deeds of love for Him, to Him, following His steps…” ~Edward B. Pusey

Wellness is so much more than what you put in your body nutritionally. It is also what you allow your eyes and ears to feast on. What are you looking at? What are you watching on television, is it fruitful? What are you listening to, is it edifying?

Wellness is how we treat our bodies as a whole. Mind. Body. Soul—it is all connected.

For example, here is a common scenario for many…

You hear something or something is shared with you. You did not hear this for yourself, second hand of course, you didn’t hear it with your own ears. You believe what you have heard as though it were gospel truth. That’s not healthy.

About one or two weeks ago I had a woman I don’t know at my church come up to me and be friendly, and not meaning anything at all, I do not believe she was malicious with intent, she asked me a question about myself and my family. I was sort of shocked with what she asked. I immediately corrected her impression, telling her the answer, then I asked her why she thought this? She began to tell me of the person who told her (thank goodness she did not name names, I don’t want to know)–so she thought it was true. I’m not going to lie and say my feelings weren’t a little hurt. It was kind of ridiculous to me what she said, it wasn’t mean, but ridiculous. And she just gullibly believed it because well, if someone said it it must be true, right? This is why I have always been a huge believer in going to the source. If something seems off or your not sure, press forward and validate it by asking just as this woman did. Though I didn’t care for what she said I appreciated that she asked me about it.

You are what you eat so be careful what you receive—it may not be absolute truth (even if it comes from the mouth of someone you trust or love).

Here’s another plausible scenario–

Let’s say you hear something or see something that bothers you. Maybe you struggle with envy or covetousness and you see someone else with something really nice and you get yourself in a tailspin or pity party. You then decide to remedy your emotions by comforting yourself with some food. No condemnation here, many, many people do this. This is about teaching, not judging. Next thing you know, you feel bad because of what you were already feeling, but then you also feel bad for what you just ate!

Your wellness is all connected, so be careful what you see…be careful what you hear or listen to…and be careful what you ingest.

What we ingest on any level (mind•body•soul) has the ability to affect how we think and how we live.

“To know Christ is the way to grow in holiness. Christianity is not a religion of rules. It is a religion of Divine Example.”

~George Hodges

Treat yourself right. You are amazing! God designed you with tenderness as His intent. The world maybe has given that tenderness some rough edges, but just like the edge of the oar, you were made to cut through the waters with strength and softness. You’ve been designed to go places and God desires you happy, healthy and whole. In you He sees His complete work. Nothing left for you to learn or for you to grow in. You have already “arrived” successful and thriving. Now we enjoy the pleasure of walking out this glorious destiny by design—one day at a time.

Resist being too hard on yourself as you resist being too hard on others as well.

There is balance in living.

Your life is worth giving.

Receive all the spoils of heaven and God gives to you.

I hope my pen has encouraged you like water to a thirsty soul,

like sunshine on a clouded day, like nourishment to hungry flesh, and like a river whose waters rush with elegance to the Source of all of Life.

We are the Bride of Christ—

Let us, together, dress for the occasion.

Blessings~

Nicole

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

March 14, 2019

A Word Called Loyal

Posted in Devotional tagged , , , , , , at 6:55 am by Broken & Brave

A Word About Loyalty—

Dictionary dot com defines loyal as this–

  1. characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.: loyal conduct.

Loyalty is not something you arrive at, loyal is something you are. Loyalty doesn’t birth in a trial, the presence of loyalty manifests within the trial because it was already there, prepared and ready.

“Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.”

1 Chron. 29:18

Loyalty to Heaven is not confined to outcomes, but the stoic reminder that we know where we have come from.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were loyal and God showed up and delivered them from the fire.

But sometimes it doesn’t turn out this way. Sometimes God delivers us through the fire and we become purified in the process, refined. But what about when we are loyal and deliverance eludes us?

Great heroes of the faith such as John Hus who in 1401 was striped naked and executed for preaching the gospel. He was commanded to quiet his voice, but he refused. Not only did he lose his life, he was abused and shamed just prior.

When I was in Israel a week or more ago we finished our trip at the Holocaust Museum. Story boards and videos covered the walls of countless halls. Too much content to absorb it all–but one story really pierced me.

As Jewish women were executed they were told to line up in a man made hill, shot, then their dead or dying bodies would fall backward into a huge trench already being filled with the bodies of those who were shot before. Piles and piles of human flesh–piles. It nauseated me to think of the brutal murders of innocent people, but what takes it to a new level of disgust for me is how the people were tortured and shamed. If you’ve ever remotely been through any kind of public or personal shaming you understand how emotionally abusive it is. But to be shamed to the level they were for just being themselves hurts my heart like little else. These women, just prior to being shot were instructed to strip down to their underwear. Then they had to walk across a field to the location of their execution. Once arriving they were told to line up, take off the remainder of their clothes and stand naked waiting to be shot to death.

Sometimes God doesn’t deliver through the fire. Sometimes He delivers into Eternity.

And sometimes the end result is a Lake of Fire for all eternity if you have never met the Holy Savior your Sovereign Creator or accepted His priceless gift of friendship.

If this is you…

If you are going through a fiery trial so hot you can barely move…

If the flames of affliction lap so hard at your face you are having a hard time even looking up…

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior…

This post is for you.

I speak with authority as one who has been to hell and back multiple times over. I know the heat of the fire. I know what it is to endure a plethora of fires that one day I may record, but for now my memory is where to hold.

Even now I can barely breath because of a trial I must endure quietly. And in the midst–I wonder where my God is. No matter how my trial will unfold I know I am loved by a God above who isn’t finished with me and will use the territory I have collected in this journey to rescue others as He rescues me.

Do not lose faith.

Do not lose Hope.

Do not give up.

Your trials may feel very hard, but remind yourself, Beloved–the Holocaust was hard, how does that look in comparison to your trial?

Be Encouraged:

You…are…Loved.

You are not alone.

God has blessed you with a sharp mind and a heart that beats pure gold.

You have what it takes.

Remarkable is all that is within you to do.

You’re trials are not in vein conceit. They have merit and purpose to bring God glory. What an honor to suffer for Him.

Surround yourself with people who know a little something about tried and true loyalty just as God surrounds Himself around YOU. I am praying right now, Beloved, that you might receive a break through in the fire.

~Nicole

January 25, 2019

My Snuggle Bug

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , at 7:27 am by Broken & Brave

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Yesterday was my son, Andrew’s 8th Birthday. I love Andrew immensely. Andrew is significantly younger than his siblings. I endured all kinds of comments when I was pregnant and he was an infant. Yes, I know how these things happen. I was an older Mom when I had him.

Our entire family was going through the trial of our life. We were enduring the lawsuit from hell with a man who taught me a lot by default about fraud, malice, oppression and how to “work” the court system. If this weren’t bad enough the person was stalking and threatening us at our home.   My stress levels were so high in this season that my hair was falling out in clumps.

When I discovered I was pregnant I wasn’t sure I had the stamina. So much stress. Such an awful season. I felt horrible for having these feelings. i was worried my stress levels would harm the baby.

But can I say, in light of New York’s mandate regarding the unborn, Andrew is what held me together in a most horrific season of my life. When he was an infant he would stroke my hair as I held him and he would gently fondle my eye lashes. I couldn’t believe how soothing his little touch was. He was and still is the most gentle natured little gentleman. He speaks tremendous words of affirmation to me daily to this day. He seems to be smitten with me and reminds me of my beauty every day. I have zero doubt of his feeling toward his mom. His love belittles my fears and builds me up. This little guy has the same love language as me. He knows how to speak to me, naturally. God knew he was exactly what I needed and how to time his entrance to my life.

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So be encouraged. There is no such thing as a crisis pregnancy or bad timing. God knows. I think my little one is the one secret ingredient God used to keep me from becoming totally undone in a most horrific season of soul. I adore this little boy more than any could know. Speak life. Breathe life. Protect life. The unborn are our most precious gifts…

That’s all, Have a good LIFE.

~Nicole

Pray for America:

God, please help us as a nation. We have become undone by the influence of the Dark One who roams about deceiving. Forgive us. We don’t know what we are doing. We need you, God. We need your touch in America. Open our hearts. Open our eyes. Remove the veils. Love prevails. Kiss us gently upon the heart and massage us back to health. We have become undone. Amen.

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November 27, 2018

Poetic Prose of Praise: My Father’s Garden

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:30 am by Broken & Brave

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My Father is a Gardener and oh how my Garden he does keep.

He nestles himself—
Heart and Soul with my petals.
He reaches through my stem until he gets to the root.
The roots are the very essence of who I am.

I love how I’ve been planted in his garden.
There is no other garden where I would like to be.
Here in his chambers I am free to be me.
He is the key that unlocks the goodness in me.

He is Master Gardener.
He knows exactly how much water I need.

Saturate me.

He is Master Gardener.
He understands the perfect amount of attention and sunshine I need, complimented with the right amount of shade and coupled with a little extra room to breathe.

Satisfy me.

In my Father’s Garden are many rooms. He has a home carved and secure for me.
Grafted in to His Tree called All Things Lovely.

In His Arms I long to be.
In His Arms I love to be.

I am secure.
I am free.

I am a flower in my Father’s Garden.
He hand picked me.🌺

July 16, 2018

Little Can Be Big With God

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 7:29 am by Broken & Brave

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“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

He is constant.
He is continual.
He is Penial.
He is Purposeful.
He is large and in charge for every care right down to every little hair of your head.
His Love is in every detail.
Without fail.
You’re going to prevail.

When you’ve done all you can…stand.
Little things can pack great power.

Get excited!

Today is the day the Lord has made, REJOICE! For every good thing He has ever done for you is only the beginning of His heart for you. Any tenderness of God you have felt in your life…little or a lot…God wants you to hear this:

“I have only just begun to hug your heart.”

Heaven’s got a Champion and he accepts you as you are.

Come just as you are…

When you begin to realize the depth of a love like that you can’t help but rejoice! ~Nicole

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all.” Phil. 4:4-5

June 7, 2018

Fences with Flowers

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:07 am by Broken & Brave

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about my time. My schedule is full and I deliberately try to pack it to maximize it, yet know when to quit and say “I can’t do it.” Because a lot of people can pull at our time. I really want to help people, but God is releasing me to be incredibly selective about who gets my time. I already thought I was being pretty selective in this manner, but I guess He is refining the list again, preparing me to be most effective where I am called.

When someone wants to do something, nothing can stop them. When someone isn’t sure about something, nothing can make them.
Everything comes down to Desire.

The prayer, Beloved, is that one day you will see inside yourself all the character, integrity, strength, honor and Kingdom Glory that I see.

Time is a precious commodity. Be wise how you use it.
Spend it? Waste it? Or did you INVEST it?
And be careful who you give it to. Others will rarely value your time. It’s ok to say no to people and put stiff borders around your time, resources and abilities. It’s ok to protect your investments in your own health and happiness. But isn’t this counterintuitive to the Christian life? Aren’t we supposed to give? Supposed to share? Supposed to help? Of course we are. But we will never be all to all and if we try we are surely going to fall! Not everyone will like your no, but the yes’–just watch them flourish grow and the roots sink deep!

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“If you’re chasing the masses, you’re almost certainly heading the wrong direction. The masses are ignoring you. It’s the weird who are choosing to pay attention, to seek out what they care about.” Seth Godin

It doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter what other people do. It’s all up to you. You know in your heart the path carved, the direction to take. God will work with your deficits, areas of limitations just as well as your pluses! And though we have fences, decorate them heavily with flowers. Though we have borders, people will feel the softness of your presence, smell the aroma of your garden and delight in your company.

With proper courage your Divine Destiny will make true a happy, edifying and satisfying life for you. Be strong! God’s got you covered. ~Nicole

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

May 29, 2018

Warrior

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

It is either in you…or it isn’t.

In the end, the deepest passion, rooted in absolute valor may be planted within One who doesn’t “look” the part.

ONE.

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

There is a Warrior within you.

Life is an incredible journey, not one grand occasion, but a collection of moments to be treasured, decisions to be made and opportunities to be discovered. Seize each day, for it is a new day and so much rich opportunity is there to be found if we only dare to break the mold of the mundane, the commonplace, the ordinary. Don’t you know you are anything BUT ordinary!

Uncommon are the Warriors and they are always uniquely groomed in uncommon and unlikely circumstances so God can demonstrate how effectively He means to use them for Holy Combat.

You are girded and equipped with everything you need to succeed. He will raise your hands as Moses’ hands were raised to praise by those God has placed around you. (Exodus 17:12, 13)

Praise God for His Goodness. Hunger for his Power.

“for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thes. 1:5

Your desire for more of Him will not be denied. The Warrior within is a zealous and stoic kind.

The Bride of Christ is dressed pristine, pure and white, but His Bride is also a Warrior.

Do not be discouraged.
Don’t give up.
Look up and give a shout of praise.
You are Heavenly Made.
Perhaps God sees strength in you you don’t even know about yet?

~Nicole

“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:12

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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

May 2, 2018

Strong

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:05 am by Broken & Brave

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To be physically strong, you must do physically strong things.
To be spiritually strong you must do spiritually strong things.

These are both two different things-
yet, they are connected and can be the same thing.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Eph. 6:11

Never lose your Hope.

Sometimes even when you are trying to do the right thing, wrong things happen. Tis true for everyone. Do not become discouraged in your efforts to do well.

Finish Strong.

The only people who fail are those who quit. So if you don’t quit, you win. Win what? Well, that depends, but the prize is never about “beating someone” unless it’s an athletic event. Winning is about personal growth, discipline, expanding personal potential.

Winners know how to manage their complaints. They understand that negativity will sabotage your own ability to persevere. So, instead of recapping past bad experiences in fear of their reoccurrence, recap your miracles and declare the reoccurrence of the good! God means for you to win! So don’t quit!

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

Finish Strong.

God knew how your life would look all along. He’s got you!

When you are in the world-but not of it-you will feel the pressures all around. Ah, but God, He will give Grace to rise above it. Beautiful.

God causes my heart to marvel every single day.

YOU have the brave heart as that of a lion; the absolute ROAR of the Father ignites in your soul. Rise up Champion! For you, Gods got MORE! Do you believe it? How much is an abundance anyway?

Follow your heart, it has instinct. Take courage, dreams have lofty price tags. Follow your path, it is your own.

Nothing will be impossible for you…
So go ahead and ROAR!

~Nicole

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