Thursday, December 31, 2009
As I sit down to write this letter to You, not because You need a letter to know everything that is on my heart, but rather I give it as an offering of praise and thanks. Thanks to You my Lord for all that You have gracefully and lovingly went through and endured with me this last year. I know that truthfully You didn’t endure because You are bigger than that, but from my point of view I can imagine working with this prideful stubborn girl there were moments You felt Your temper rising and You endured.
I come at the end of this year to ask a question,
How did we get here from there?
This year has been a journey. A journey that I did NOT think I could endure. Stops that lasted too long for me. Visits that I was not mature enough to make. Times that I just knew my heart would break.
How did we get here from there?
I don’t know. I don’t know how I am sitting at Your precious feet right now in this moment.
Some might call it religion. Not me.
Some might call it obedience. Not me.
No rather my heart is whispering,
Nichole its grace and love. You don’t have to know understand it, just live in it my daughter.
How did we get here from there?
Your grace has brought me into this location.
Sitting here in a relationship with You.
Now that my Lord is one place I want to stay.
So when all of me wants to know where I am going this next year,
I can honestly say, I don’t know.
As I am here with You, I hear You ask,
Are you ready for this next year?
Ready? No most likely not.
But I do want to go there.
There with You Jesus.
I love you!
Monday, December 28, 2009
What Happens When Women Say No
Together we have visited quite a few things that we need to say no to in order to keep focused on our purpose for being here.
This morning as I was reading and spending time with Jesus. He so graciously and loving me led me to a place that I just have to share with you.
I was reading John 4. Jesus visits the woman at the well. A very thirsty woman. Very much like me! He goes on to share with her about how He has some water that will take care of her thirst.
This morning I revisited some of the ways that I have tried to quench my thirst.
I have tried to fill that thirst with so many things over the years, my parents approval, shoes, buying stuff, food, chocolate, friends, relationships, achievements, accomplishments, getting atta girls. The list goes on and on.
Friends will you join me on this Monday morning; this week that leads us into a New Year.
Will you join me in finding out
What Happens When Woman Say No
To bottled water.
The bottled water of this world.
Friends I know and believe that our God cannot be contained. No rather He is an out of the ‘bottle’ if you will God. Who wants to not only quench our thirst, He wants to over fill us so that we are overflowing on to those around us.
May we know in this moment on this Monday morning the truth of His word:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Girlfriends have you thirsted this past year?
Do you need something more than what this world can give you?
Is the bottled water just not working?
Let’s go to Him. Let’s be serious about allowing him to fill us up, what better way to start a New Year!
I am praying friends, trusting and knowing He sees and is there to meet us at the well.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Have you ever reacted impulsively and later wished you would have waited?
Have you ever spread the news of a story that wasn’t yours to share?
Have you ever pouted?
Have you ever competed with the girl next to you when she wasn’t competing with you?
Have you ever been so caught up in your own life that the world around you was falling apart and you didn’t even notice?
Oh friends I wish I could come here today and say that those questions above are just that ‘questions’ I created with some creative thinking on my part. But rather they are all things I have lived out in my life.
There is a place He wants to take us. It’s somewhere we only get to, because He takes us there.
He comes and meets us right where we are at. The common ordinary everyday moment and ushers us into an extraordinary living life on purpose moment.
What Happens When Women Say No
To being common?
Girls we can’t there on our own. But the first step to getting there is saying no to being the common woman. And saying yes to God. Saying yes to Him creating us to be the uncommon woman, the extraordinary woman He has created us to be.
How would this change the world?
Oh girls just imagine with me.
What if our words were all ran through the filter He has given us?
Is it true? Necessary? Kind?
Just what if we truly trusted in Him to provide everything we need. And not trying to accomplish, accumulate and acquire everything our way and in our timeline.
What if we refrained from conversations that involved someone else’s story to share? Refrained from listening and taking part.
What if we refused to waste His kingdom building time pouting, sulking and complaining, and got to work for Him!
And what if we truly started living for Him and only being concerned about what He had for us, and not her.
Just what if we got so enthralled in what He was doing that we had the time of our lives?
You see I wanna be that kinda of woman.
Not because of who I am. Not because of what I am doing. But because of who He is.
Mary, a young Jewish virgin girl, most likely poor, all characteristics that would make her seem completely unusable by God, especially in her day, but God chose Mary for the most important acts of obedience. Everything about God choosing Mary was purposeful. Mary was not qualified. It was God who saw her heart and knew Mary was willing to be used in His story.
Until Gabriel visited Mary her everyday life was pretty ordinary, comfortable, and safe.
Because of Mary’s obedience and submission, God was able to restore a relationship with His people.
He is able to take a young Jewish virgin girl and change the world in an instant with a baby being born on a dark night in a smelly dirty stable.
You see it’s not about the who, or the where or the what, it’s all about who He is.
He is able to take this 5’4” blonde, left-handed, girl who is ordinary and make her the extraordinary He needs her to be.
I have been blessed by the book, the Uncommon Woman by Susie Larson. I highly recommend this most amazing book. Susie helps usher you into our most amazing Creators presence for a very personal and intimate look at the extraordinary place He has for you.
He is not able to do this just with Mary, or me, He is able, more than able to make it happen in your life too.
What do you have to do?
Say no to the common, grab hold of His hand and allow Him to lead you to the uncommon and extraordinary place!
Thank you friends for joining me on this series. I am more than blessed by your presence. A presence that assures me, we journey together on purpose, He meets us each where we are not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time this week knowing He is with you, on purpose!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Hello friends! How are you today? I hope from Monday’s blog we all have taken some time to slow down and truly think about what we are doing and why. I would like to ‘piggy back’ onto the blog post from Monday and ask,
Hey Girlfriend is that your spot?
Think about all the different things you are doing?
Seriously make a list if you need to.
Your job, (now for some of us its not something we can submit a resignation to…that whole mom/wife thing isn’t up for quitting, sorry Girlfriends!)
President of the PTO.
Sunday School Teacher.
Water Aerobics Teacher.
Book Club Leader.
Small Group Facilitator.
Women’s Ministries Leader.
Girl Scout Leader.
Volunteer of Everything!
Now look back over the list you just made. Make some notes right next to what you listed and answer the questions below. Please know friends I am doing this right along with you!
Why are you doing what you are doing?
How is your attitude when doing said task/job/position?
Do you enjoy it?
Now please don’t get me wrong, we all have things we need to do, or sometimes have to do because we are supposed to be “mature” girls, but I really want us to think about this. I am asking these same questions of myself,
Are you spot filling?
Are you doing it ‘because no one else is doing it, and it won’t get done if I don’t do it’?
Am I taking someone else’s spot?
Have you been guilted into filling that spot?
Are you a people pleaser?
Is it on your good girl Christian checklist?
Are you trying to earn yourself some extra credit Jesus points?
Girlfriends just what if some of the things, or maybe all of the things on our list are keeping us from something?
What Happens When Women Say No
To spot filling?
I have recently read Cure for the Common Life: Living in your Sweet Spot by Max Lucado, this is a terrific book. I highly recommend it…it will help to cure you of spot filling and direct you right to the purpose He has for you!
Do you know your strengths? Weaknesses? What do you like to do? What has always been your passion?
Are you living in your sweet spot?
The very place God created you to live.
My sweet spot doesn’t look like yours, and that’s okay. This right here girlfriends would help us all quit playing the comparison game!
Friends will you join me today in trusting that He doesn’t just have a spot for you, no rather He has a very purposeful hand picked sweet spot with your name on it.
May we grab His hand and know He will lead us to it!
It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11 (The Message)
Monday, December 14, 2009
As I sit here on this Monday morning I am overwhelmed, tired and feeling way too busy.
What to do about this?
What do I want to do about this?
I know from past experience that when I don’t do something, something will be done for me.
What does God want my day planner to look like?
Does He truly want me ‘cramming’ so much into each and every day that my priorities are no longer in sync with my purpose?
What I am doing this morning is looking at day planner, and if you want to join me here are some of the questions we can ask ourselves,
Look at your calendar-too full? No free time? What about spontaneous events, is there room for them?
Is your family-spending time together? Eating together? Supporting each other? Communication? Time to relax and play?
Look at yourself- tired? Sick? Healthy?
“We can’t do 1000 things to the glory of God” We can do a few. (Beth Moore; Esther video)
Maybe we do have too much going on!
Are we always saying yes?
No quality time spent with our families.
Always tired, stressed, and un-healthy.
Life is chaotic.
Are we truly sensing be peace in our lives?
Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. Joshua 3:9
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
…the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is needed… Luke 10:41-42 (emphasis mine)
What do you think that one thing is?
Friends I am praying this morning and truly seeking that one thing. My Jesus the very one who took time in His schedule to make a relationship with me possible.
What Happens When Women Say No
To over scheduling.
May we be so bold this day to say NO to the things that are not on His agenda.
May we be willing to abandon our agendas, our schedules, our day planners and become apart of His agenda, living in His schedule, and His daily plan!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Would you agree with me that we live in a society that encourages us to earn our way?
Have you ever thought about what you are currently trying to earn?
As I sit and type this in the comfort of my little home, I have just kissed the Engineer goodbye as he is off to ‘earn’ a living.
Over my years, not that I have been around real long or anything…HA! But long enough to see people ‘earning’.
Earning grades, earning applause, earning awards and recognition, earning consequences.
The one thing that makes my heart sad is when I see us trying to earn salvation.
I have personally seen it in my own life.
Kay Arthur asks in her book Giving God Our Obedience:
“Do you realize how much God loves you? He loves you so much that His Son left heaven, came down and confined Himself to the womb of a woman. He was born a human being; God in the flesh.”
His birth story is packed full of purposeful details that led Him to live out His story in such a way that led Him to a cross, for a very purposeful moment.
I choose to believe that if salvation could be earned, we wouldn’t need Jesus.
And I just somehow can’t seem to make that ‘write’ into the story He has already written.
I have seen what it looks like for me to try and ‘earn’ my salvation.
There where times in my life where it looked more like a good Christian girls check list,
Bible time check!
Prayer, and prayer for all those on ‘my list’ check!
Prayer before each meal check!
Listen to Christian music check!
Went to church check!
Was a good wife, mom, and friend check!
Now girls don’t get me wrong, these are great things, and when done out of the right heart, they are meaningful, and beautiful. But it all goes back to how I see God. Do I truly treat Him as a ‘something’ to do? Or do I live in relationship with Him because I truly believe and know He is with me. He is with me in every minute of my day. Am I acknowledging His presence? Am I standing in awe of the reality that He has chosen to be a part of my everyday?
There are times in my life where I was focused on pleasing God, instead of living in relationship with Him.
As I sit here this morning I am reminded and encouraged to quit trying!
What Happens When Women Say No,
To trying to earn salvation?
Just maybe it looks like a most beautiful grace and loved filled relationship with their Jesus!
Monday, December 7, 2009
If we say we accept the grace He has for us…how can we limit His grace to not flow completely over us, through us, and into the deepest parts of who we are?
His grace is perfect…and when we allow it to change us…we are made perfect in Him.
To become perfect in Him there are things on our part that we need to be aware of. Decisions that will lead us to make choices. Decisions that are deeper than lipstick color, hairstyle and what ‘fit’ of jeans work best for us…decisions that will cause us to live out in that arena He created for us…the one that has His signature all over it…the one He purposefully designed for us. The one that is unique, dynamic, beautiful and amazing!
Girlfriends there is something that keeps us from that arena. His spot for us!
Do you know what it is?
It’s a lie.
One of the No’s we have to be willing to say…is No to living in bondage and slavery with the enemy. The very enemy who desires to see you suffer. The enemy who will continue to fill your head and heart with lies, lies that keep you from knowing you are created on purpose for a purpose.
Girlfriends a lie is a lie!
What mis-truths/lies have you been burdened with?
You aren’t adequate?
You are not capable?
You are not worthy?
You will never be acceptable?
You are not beautiful?
You have made too many wrongs choices and mistakes?
Can I just say that if you have not yet dealt with this whole lie thing, you will. Now I am not trying to scare you, but at some point in your journey you will come face to face with some lie or mistruth that tries to keep you from your purpose.
The enemy has a whole ‘slew’ of disgusting lies he uses to try and keep us from living in a grace and loved filled relationship with our Jesus!
The enemy will always pick a lie that tends to hit hard on an issue that seems to be a weak spot.
A lie is presented to us in such a way as to keep us from seeing our Jesus, the truth. The lie could be presented in the form of a fear, doubt, and worry. It could involve our marriage, health, family, children, and career. It could be in the form of guilt from the past.
I am praying with you today that God, the truth, will come to each of us in a very personal way and help us to see the lie. That He will shine His light on it, and that the light of His truth will remove that lie in all His grace and love.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
May we hear His voice and allow Him to give us the strength to say No to the lie the enemy is using to keep us from the truth!
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Thursday, December 3, 2009
There is a beginning to everything. A beginning to this series. A beginning to the world. A beginning to your life. A beginning to your relationship with your Creator. And just sometimes we need to go back to a ‘beginning’ to get a clear perspective on who He created us to be.
You see the Creator had purpose in creating women. We were created on purpose for a purpose. Women were created in the image of God. And when I truly let that soak into to my mind and heart. I start to understand that women are a ‘part’ of the image, not complete without men. You see we all were created in the image of God, and each one of us is unique in design and make up, so each one of us reveals one of the many awesome qualities of our Creator. When we allow ourselves to truly think on this, we will open up the ability to see ourselves and others how our God sees us. In reading in Genesis 2 we know that God made women and we learn just how He did it. However I really want us to see this verse:
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22 (emphasis mine)
Its in those first seven words that I find comfort in finding the purposeful and intentional God, the Creator who doesn’t just happen to do anything, but rather He does it with His mind set to it!
To spend time here on this is to set a true solid foundation. Please go back and read that bolded part a few times.
Then the LORD God made a woman.
It was in the design and make-up of this woman that something was different, something was unique, something set it her apart from the man that was already there. Something that God needed to reveal, something He needed to share. This uniqueness is called woman. It’s the whole package! It’s the mind, the heart, the soul, the hormones, the feelings, the emotions, the tears, the laughter, the need for friendships, the need for communication, the stronger desire for chocolate, the passion that can be felt when walking into a shoe department. Okay maybe some of those things are just unique to certain women…hehe!
Now go back and re-read the bolded part, and add your name in the blank.
Then the LORD God made ________________.
Oh Girlfriends I know if we truly start here in this foundation, we will be grounding ourselves in a most important truth.
God created us on purpose. It wasn’t by accident. You are needed. I am needed. We are needed. God is intentional about all He does.
"You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold. " (Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life)
From on hormone filled self to another, I struggle at really holding tight to that sometimes. I have asked many questions with tears streaming down my face.
Why the hormones? Why the heart that cares so deeply? Why the attachment? Why the fear? Why the doubts? Why the pride? Why the comparing?
The ‘why’s’ just happen to be covering up His beautiful design. The one He is waiting to reveal. Oh, there is such purpose in asking the questions. For when we truly seek an answer, He then reveals Himself in such a way as to take away and replace.
Our first stop in this series of What Happens When Women Say No, is to say NO to whatever it is that has kept us back from truly accepting ourselves as women. That’s what we are! Now I don’t think everyone struggles with this. I do believe there are women who are very accepting of who God created them to be. I am very thankful that He has placed some of those women in my life as beautiful Godly and spiritual role models.
However as I stop to think about this, I do truly desire to be 100% content about who I am and who He created me to be.
I am not a man. I am not made to think, behave, act, work, or live like a man!
And you girlfriend are a woman.
We were created in the image of a God who loves us and adores us to pieces.
Lets stand firm on that foundation. A foundation He created in the beginning. Our beginning.
May we allow that beginning to lead us to a more beautiful grace and loved filled intimate relationship with Him!
May we seek to know who we are, where we came from, why we were created and then living in that every moment!
Because Girlfriends that is Living Life on Purpose!