Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The beginning of this year I found myself in a new city away from things that were familiar to me. We knew it was Your will to move up here, but I honestly found myself very upset, angry, depressed, and disappointed. How could You take us away from our family, our friends, our house, our church, my ability to work using my college degree? As I spent some ugly time rolling around in those "why" questions and making myself miserable, You in all your amazing grace kept whispering to my heart, and in the moment of me being still, and listening I heard you say, "Nichole I had to take those things away so that I could give you more of Me" ‘Wow, You really do know me don’t You?’ Early on this year You crossed my path with a sweet girl from the south, who said Your words to my heart, "Nichole when I got to see the real you I knew I would like getting to know you." Yes she said those words, but I knew they were straight from Your heart! It is the message You have whispered to my heart from the day You captured it! "Be the one I created you to be!" Thank You for giving me such an amazing gift in the month of February, You unwrapped a gift that You had actually given to me many years ago, the dream of speaking, and re-presented with the right purpose, speaking for You! For You have spent this year dancing with me in fields of grace. A grace that is so needed in my daily life as wife, mom, daughter, friend and sister. Teaching me how to live. How to live every moment and take my steps intentionally. Giving me Your eyes so that I can see those around me how You do. Then nudging me and saying…’go ahead and love all over them’. A love that really isn’t me, no its just the overflow from You! And did I tell You just how much it tickles me to see You love on people? You are amazing! I did many things out of obedience. An obedience that didn’t look or sound so pretty many times. Which makes me stand back in awe that You are that good to work through my feeble attempt at obedience. Oh and in the process learned that it is all in Your beautiful design of just how a relationship with You flows. From obedience I learned that respect, patience, love, endurance, perseverance, commitment, and submission will be woven in at just the right times…thank You! I fell down quite a few times, with the skinned knees came tears, pride removal, honesty, and obedience. Thank You for each one of these times. Thank You for not taking me out of any of the circumstances of this past year. Thank You for holding my hand, wiping my tears, and whispering to my heart, "there is purpose even in this." Thank You for blessing me with the most amazing man, the most loving two little boys, and a network of family and friends that allow You to use them. Thank You for friends I have made over this past year via this blog that You created and You orchestrate. Friends who You are doing some amazing things through. You are helping them to fight for their lives, run their homes, and spread Your love. Thank You for the blessing of each person I have met through this blog, because it is an opportunity to see You work!
Lord that I can say at the end of this year, "I am not who I was!"
Thank You for loving me so much that You make everything around me about You!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today marks day 40 of a journey we began back in November. We began with a question. For some of us there was a definite answer to that question. For others there was an answer that led us to ask another question, and there are still others standing barefoot listening to His voice as He reveals an answer. This journey did have a beginning, however I am happy to state that we will not see an ending until He has completed the work in us that He needs to do. He is a God who completes every project He begins!
So don your t-shirt and wear it with pride
"I am a work in progress!"
And friends this work is nothing you can do. No, your job is to submit and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. And hey for me, I even need help with the submission part! Yes this girly needs help.
I know that beginnings can be scary things, because they might have followed an ending of something else.
The ending of a marriage.
The beginning of living without a spouse.
The ending of a house full of children as they head off to college and get married.
The beginning of motherhood.
The ending of a career.
The beginning of living with a disease.
The ending of a relationship.
The beginning of a relationship.
We must turn all our beginnings and even our endings over to Him and allow Him to bring purpose to them. For what looks like nothing to us is something to Him.
From a chaotic mess to an organized system
From a pile of ugliness to a beautiful display
God was there in the beginning and He has already been there to write the ending, so trust Him that the journey has purpose.
May we allow Jesus to be our beginning and our ending.
Update: Please email me if you would like to share about your 40 day journey. I know some of you have some great lessons we could all learn from!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you are new to the blog, Welcome! My friends and I have been on a 40 day journey that we started in November during a Friday Challenge.
We started by asking God, which led us to seeking Him. Seeking His answers. This journey has not been easy for most of us, but well worth it! What started off with one question has led us into a much deeper relationship and understanding of who God is. Amen! We have had some definite barefoot moments. I do have to admit though currently I am journeying with these on my feet…to keep my tootsies warm!
All of our journeys have looked so beautiful and so different. For that reason I could stand in awe of our Amazing God.
There is purpose in the journey. Our journey is not going to be completed in 40 days, I believe this time was spent in serious focus to get us moving in His direction. Our journey might seem long and painful, but remember God isn’t just keeping us breathing, He is preparing us to live in service and devotion to Him.
We are on Day 34 of the journey, and I continue to pray with you and for you. Knowing God will reveal more of Himself to you!
God has asked me to ask you to share some fruit of your journey with others. He has asked me to open the blog at the end of the 40 days for you to share. Remember that what you went through brought you closer to the heart of God, and just what if there is someone else out there that NEEDS that same journey. Yes I believe the journey will look different for them, but they may need you to help them start their journey! If you feel led to share, please email me. I love to show God off and the work He is doing!
Jesus loves you!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Our second little guy came to us as one of the greatest Christmas gifts. He was born in the month of December. Three years ago I remember living in great expectation of meeting this little one who God had designed on purpose. I remember trying to fathom how Mary felt knowing her responsibility far outweighed mine...for she was carrying Jesus!
I know many friends and family members who also celebrate their birthdays in the month of December.
One being Miss Savannah! This is one of Cindy's precious girls (http://armygirlsx4.blogspot.com/). Savannah is not feeling so great...so please pray for her to feel better on her birthday!
Happy Birthday to you Savannah!
May you feel like the princess He created you to be! I love you!
May we understand that great gifts come in small packages...in the forms of little babies that can change our lives!
Friday, December 19, 2008
For the regulars…there is no Friday Challenge today…instead we are celebrating…
My 100th post…and He deserves all the glory for this blog.
I dedicate this post to my best Friend. He rescued me from my past to be in relationship with Him and He is teaching me how to live in the center of His grace and love.
We all have been called by the One who can cut the chains of slavery that bind us, the One who created us to live free. The One who paid a very large price for our freedom. He desires more than anything for us to live in this freedom.
who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time 2 Timothy 1:9
God sent His son Jesus on purpose. Jesus lived His life on purpose, and died for a purpose. That purpose is YOU. He came to save you from slavery, slavery to a life of sin and misery. He came to rescue you.
God asks us:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Once we accept our free gift of salvation blanketed in His amazing grace, He guides us in a beautiful relationship, bringing us close to His heart. He uses His word to reveal to us our purpose.
There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes and training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (The Message)
We need to believe we are who God says we are. We are a new creation and need to be living in that every moment.
God works in ‘all things’-not just isolated incidents-for our good. Not everything that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill His purpose. Once we are in a grace and love filled relationship with our Creator we are called according to His purpose. God has given us a new perspective, a new mind-set on life. He is teaching us to trust Him, not the people and things of this world; we look for our security in heaven, not on earth; we learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because we know God has a purpose, an eternal purpose.
May we allow Him to redeem us from our past, and to restore and renew us to live our lives on purpose.
Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (The Message)
Monday, December 15, 2008
In his book John focuses on a central theme, love. John shows us how the One who is love loved others. Jesus shows love to others.
"A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
Jesus was not sharing a new commandment ( Leviticus 19:18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. ) rather He was sharing a new concept to be living examples of Jesus' love.
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." John 13:35
Love is more than a warm feeling. Rather it is a heart overflowing with the presence of Jesus's love that overflows onto the people around you.
Helping someone when its not convenient for you
Giving to someone when it hurts
Expending energy on someone else and their welfare rather than your own
Taking the hurt from others without complaing or fighting back
This kind of love is not something we are capable of. It doesn't come from us, rather it comes through us... from the Source.
My friend Kala called me this morning and asked if I would be home today so she could bring me something. The door bell rang 30 minutes later and I opened the door to a warm beautiful smile, two gallons of milk and cheddar cheese! As tears welled up in my eyes, she says..."I knew you could use the milk and the cheese was on sale"
Oh Lord I don't quite get the depth of Your amazing love, and I am always amazed at how You work. Thank You Father for using Kala to love on our family today! Amen
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thank you so much for your prayers for me and my family. For you have all prayed not knowing the details of the circumstances...yet knowing and believing in the God who does!
Wherever you may find yourself today:
As a wife or husband
As a daughter or son
As a parent
As a friend
As a co-worker
As a neighbor
As a teacher
are you being sincere?
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. 2 Corinthians 2:17 (emphasis mine)
Now I know this verse above is speaking to preachers and teachers of God word. Those who have been called into ministry. It is speaking to preachers who were going around sharing God's word without understanding or caring about what happened to their listeners. They were not concerned about building up the kingdom of God, they were in it for the money.
Do you believe that you are to speak for God?
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
I believe we are all called to speak for God. It starts wherever we are and goes wherever we are. In our homes, with our families, friends, and neighbors.
So the challenge today is to:
How should it sound when you speak for God? Sincere. From a heart overflowing with His love, grace and comfort.
May we be sincere in our thoughts, words and actions.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The past few weeks have been a very rough game for us. We are wearing all the right equipment and yet we are ready for a timeout…please ref blow the whistle!! It is very clear to me that the other team doesn’t play by the same rules. Yet God has whispered to my heart, ‘yeah I know that, but remember you are on my team and I wrote the “rules”’ Yes the game is hard, so skate hard! For we have been checked multiples times up against the boards and the game is not over yet.
Have you ever seen Scripture lived out? I have and it has to be one of the most beautiful things. For my husband is doing just that. While I am ready to rip off my gloves and starting swinging…oh and yelling…and pulling the jerseys over the heads of the opponents…he is keeping his gloves on and turning the other cheek! My teammate is living out Gods grace…thanks babe for teaching this rookie a few things!! For my husband knows the game, and he knows when to play by the rules!
We are committed to play this one out, as we know that we get more than the Stanley Cup in the end…we get to sit with the Coach and have one huge after game party!
Thank you for sitting in the stands, cheering for us!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Our family needs prayer.
This is part of a pride removing process to even ask for help and prayer. But I am stepping out in faith and asking.
Please join us in praying...for we are praying hard...and we are expecting and believing He will answer! Our God knows the details and He knows how the story goes.
I thank you, and my family thanks you! Love to you and praises up to Him!
I want to share this song with you, as it deeply touches my heart!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Warning: These feet are not pedicured, they are blistered and dry! However these feet are Bare Naked and standing in the presence of God.
Friends for it is out of the need for pride to be removed, relationships to be restored, lessons to be learned, hurts to heal, new experiences to be lived out, lifes to be changed, joy to be delivered, and ministry to move that these feet of mine are Naked!
I am praying for those of you who are joining me on this journey. I am praying for you by name, Heather, Susan, Edie, Pamela, Joy, Sue, Laurie, and Kristi. I am praying and knowing that God knows why your feet are Naked, or need to be Naked. He knows and He cares! He loves each one of you so much. We are on Day 18 of our Journey...Keep Moving Friends God's Waiting! It's not too late to join us on this 40Day Journey of seeking, expecting and believing! I would love to have you join and I know He would be tickled to love all over you!
May we keep seeking Him on purpose!
Friday, December 5, 2008
What does it mean to be barefoot before God?
The Commander of the LORD’s army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:15
Have you been barefoot before God?
When we come seeking God we must be barefoot, there must be nothing in the way of experiencing His holiness.
When was the last time you were barefoot before God?
Please join me
Allow Him to remove our shoes.
Allow Him to cleanse our feet.
Stand in His presence barefooted in reverence and awe.
You have shown me the way of life,and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’
In His presence we will experience everlasting joy.
May we want to know more about Jesus and keep walking barefoot in His presence.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
One of my most favorite things to do...is to let others know that Jesus thinks they are terrific! That Jesus adores them...loves them to pieces...and wants to hold their hand as they journey through life!
My friend Cindy (http://armygirlsx4.blogspot.com/) goes tomorrow for her 5th round of chemo and she needs us! She needs us to love on her...pray for her...and fight with her!
I have a bracelet to send you to join our Pink Power Team...so let me know where to send it and it will be on the way. We NEED to cover all 50 states!! Spread the word...include your family and friends!
I love you and more importantly our Amazing God up in Heaven thinks you are so worth loving!!
See you tomorrow for a fun and creative Friday Challenge!!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
"Were the cookies worth it?"
1.They were english shortbread cookies covered in chocolate. The box contained 6 and there is no evidence of them ever being in our home...not a crum.
2. Karen (Alaska Airlines) laughed so hard while on the phone with me! I sure hope it helped her get through her other "crazy" calls with the other frequent flyers! She totally could relate with the engineer, or maybe she has been married to one a lot longer than I have! She also thought it insane that FedEx would want me to scoot all around town with the box of cookies trying to return it.
3. The joy of seeing my engineer and his two little engineers in training sitting around a table eating cookies, laughing, and saying..."thank you mommy for asking Karen if we could have the Christmas cookies!"
The wife of the engineer knows that what is given out will come back to her. Does a box of cookies snagged from Mr. Previous Homeowner via a 20 minute phone call with Karen at Alaska Airlines earn 1 new pair of shoes or 2? I am waiting while the Engineer runs his calcuations....
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Some of the things that I do know about my engineer:
**God wired his DNA to be an engineer. He works as an engineer, sleeps as an engineer and functions in our marriage as an engineer.
**State Problem **List possible Solutions **Implement Solution
**Hanging pictures in our house includes the following tools: level, stud finder, appropriate nail/screw dependent on weight of item to be hung, hammer and/or drill dependent on item to be put in the wall. This procedure is calculated precisely my friends!
**Measure twice, cut once!
**Our home functions on "lean manufacturing". There are not a whole 'lotta extras', there is a close set of eyes on the amount of shoes, decorations, children, and purses we keep in the house!
**Faucets don't drip, floor boards don't squeak, cars don't leak, and the weed wacker doesn't smoke...and if any of the above items are out of proper functioning...then we don't play until they receive their scheduled maintenance.Please peek into my yesterday so that you can see that the engineer has an insane sense of humor and I have a deep love for him.
Yesterday the doorbell rings around 11:00am as the boys and I are eating a snack. I run out to the front porch to see a package on the bench and the FedEx lady zooming away quickly in her truck off to make more deliveries in this busy season. I bring the box into the kitchen where the boys are sitting at the bar. I am reading the box and notice it is from Alaska Airlines and is addressed to Mr. Previous Homeowner (the man that owned our home before us). "Oh no boys this isn't for us" So I pick up the phone and call the 800 number for Alaska Airlines and talk to Ryan who tells me, "Oh Mrs. Hamblin we are so sorry those are Mr. Previous Homeowners Christmas cookies and we must not have his updated address, could you please write in black marker Return to Sender on the box and then find a local FedEx drop site and send them back to us and we will try and find Mr. Previous Homeowner" So I hang up the phone and obediently open our junk drawer (which the engineer keeps very organized) and pull out the black sharpie marker and write Return to Sender on the box. As I am standing there I am thinking..."so this is how the better half lives...they get Christmas cookies from the airlines!" And in the moment I am thinking I have to share with The Engineer, so I call him at work and to tell him what just happened, and his response, "why did you call them? we are going to eat those cookies they were delivered to our house." So being the engineers wife I respond with:
The Problem: "honey these are not our cookies, our name is not on the box"
The engineer states, "well I am a mileage member with Alaska Airlines" I didn't dare point out that his measly 12,000 miles accrued in the last 12 years probably doesn't come close to matching what Mr. Previous Homeowner had to have flown to earn these cookies! To shorten this story I will move along and have you note that I think he spent his afternoon sitting at his engineer desk dreaming of the cookies in that box.
For when he walked in the door I was greeted with "So where are our cookies?" I informed him they were sitting on the counter to be Returned to Sender. He added another solution to the problem
Solution to the problem: "why don't you call Alaska Airlines back and ask if we can have this box of cookies and they can send Mr. Previous Homeowner another box?"
As I stood in the kitchen...he walked down the hall to greet the boys laughing. I thought the above listed solution was him revealing a moment of engineer humor. He informed me it was not just engineer humor he really wanted those cookies. Well friends I:
Implemented the solution: "Hi Karen, this is Nichole Hamblin and this will be the most insane phone call you will probably ever receive, but we received Mr. Previous Homeowners box of Christmas cookies today and The Engineer has spent most of his afternoon dreaming of them and he would really like...."
After dinner our little family enjoyed the 'better halfs Christmas cookies from Alaska Airlines' for dessert, and I tacked this day up to one that shows just how much I love my engineer.
Monday, December 1, 2008
We started by asking our question and seeking our answer from God.
I have to say this is Day 11 of this journey and boy has it been a crazy 11 days, and I can personally tell you that the enemy has put up a HUGE fight and thrown a lot of mud at this here Pacific Northwest girly! So you know what that means right? Watch out girls…God is doing some “incredible, mind blowing, knock the socks right off your tootsies kinda work!” And the enemy doesn’t like this so he is trying to yell to keep me from hearing His voice. The enemy doesn’t want me to see the work God is doing so he is blurring my vision. Is the enemy throwing mud at you? Well I know who I am fighting against, and the more I seek God, I know the enemy works even harder to distract me. What about you? Do you know who you are fighting against? Do you know how the enemy is trying to interrupt you and keep you from seeking God? You need to know who you are fighting against and you need to know how to fight. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
I encourage you to keep seeking God in this journey and know that you can fight the enemy, and God will equip you with everything you need to fight that fight and come out a winner!
If you are looking for Him expect to see Him. Expect God to answer you, because He will! He will answer because He cares for you. He will rescue because you are worth being rescued. He will love you because you are His. He will hold you because He desires to spend time with you. He will strengthen you and bring you hope because that’s what He does!
We need to believe God. Believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do! Believe His answer. Believe He has your best interest in mind. For He has the great eternal picture packed full of purpose, and He answers you on purpose, with purpose. Believe God!
In this season may we be seeking the One who we can expect to answer, who is the One worth believing.