Monday, October 11, 2010

Come on over

Hello friends and family I am super happy to invite you to come on over!


Because of the talent of some super smart computer guys I now am located in one convenient location!

My website:
www.livingmylifeonpurpose.com

The super smart computer guys were able to combine it all into one nice package!

Thank you super smart computer guys!

Can I just mention that they also spent time via email and the phone 'trying' to train me?!

Which means they were trying to 'install' some computer guru stuff into this chocolate loving, shoe wearin' girlie mind of mine...not easy stuff.

Anyway the applause goes out to them, the guys at Five Talent.

So I will be officially over there now.

www.livingmylifeonpurpose.com


So if you have been installed with some computer guru stuff and you know how to get over there...great come visit me!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Visitor

Hello friends!  There are so many times I wish I could remove this screen and spend time with you face to face...especially over some super yummy Oregon Chai and maybe some chocolate chip banana bread!!  Yum!  Oh and especially right now boy do I need some company...if you haven't heard I am out here in this place called the wilderness...I know some of you are truly tired of hearing about it...imagine living it my friends?!?!

So if there are undertones of me whining in this post...well then have a sympathy moment for me and then move on.  (Smiling and thanking you across the screen!)

So out here in the wilderness I am truly soaking in some student -teacher time.  Me being the student and my Creator teaching some most amazing details.  I am hearing Him, seeing Him and experiencing Him.  He is all over this wilderness...shouldn't surprise me since He is the Creator of this place.  As I find myself months into 'this place', that's what I am calling it, 'this place'.  Some call it a season.  So you can if you like, but all I know is I am NOT calling it home.  For I am passing through.  I am purposefully going through it.  Learning, hearing, changing, shifting, renewing, resting, growing, repenting, all of the above I will do and more in 'this place', but I am not calling it home!

Being here gets lonely, especially for me, a people person like no other.  I enjoy people.  I enjoy seeing them, hearing about their stories, living vicariously through them as they go on vacations, I truly enjoy people.  So being out here in 'this place' gets lonely.  Now don't get me wrong and please hear my heart on this, I know God is with me, for He truly is the air I am breathing out here, and it is of NO disrespect or am I in anyway dishonoring Him.  But in my humanness I am lonely.

Being very small in comparison I have personally been able to experience what Jesus must have felt like in the Garden as He prayed for His Father to take this whole dying on the cross thing away from Him.  Loneliness is loneliness.

Last night I had a visitor.  Someone who has known me for many years. He has had a front row seat to view some serious life shifts within this shoe loving girl!  But he hasn't only been an observer. Rather he has been an investor into my life in many ways. 

Last night God allowed me to have a visitor out here in the wilderness.  And the visitor came, he stayed and he prayed with me.  I am praising Him for an Engineer who will trek out and meet a girl out here for a visit!

As I remain in Him I am trusting that He knows just what and who I need, and just why and when.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And now Go Home!

If you read the blog yesterday then today’s blog will make a little more sense to you, I hope!


 
I thought I would clarify a few things from yesterday. Not necessarily for you, most likely for me. I tend to think things over…its not always a positive thing…my thoughts can go on and on! (Engineering nodding in agreement)

 
So yesterday my heart was filled with the realization that God has called each one of us home.

 
Home being a personal grace and love filled relationship with Him.

 
Now one day I know we will be going to eternity to live with Him, but that’s not what yesterday was about.

 
This relationship is about living today with Him.

 
This is more than religion, more than church going, more than a Christian checklist.

 
This is relationship.

 
And if you haven’t gone home, I am praying He is speaking to you and that your heart is hearing Him.

 
It truly is why we were created. It’s our purpose.

 
God wanted us. He wanted us so He created us. He loves us and wants us to know that, see that and experience that. And for that to be we need to be in a grace and love filled relationship with Him.

 
There is something truly amazing when you get things in the order of right design.

 
When you go and meet with your Creator and you commit to being in a grace and loved filled relationship with Him life has a way of working itself into a rhythm. A divine design.

 
Does that all make sense up to this point?

 
Once you are there living in relationship with Him, your starting point, He will then direct you in the next steps. But friends you can’t jump into the middle of this thing called life and expect anything to flow, work out or run smoothly unless you start with Him.

 
He has to be the starting point of your journey.

 
You have to ‘go home’ first.

 
When I truly sensed I was getting this deep in the core of myself. A realignment of my priorities. Which I truly feel He is so graceful to help us do I heard Him speak again.

 
“And now go home!”

 

 
And in the midst of doing life. Making breakfast, filling the washing machine, feeding the dog, delivering my oldest to school, it hit me. I am to be home!

 
God had my attention.

If I wanted the marriage He designed for me to have:

 
  • I was to be there 100% for the Engineer. I was to be all in for him. To be his listening ear, to be his encourager, to be everything he needed his wife to be.

 

 If I wanted to be the mom that our boys needed:

 

  •  I was be fully devoted to the boys. To be available, ready, and willing.

 

 

If I wanted my family to know and experience Jesus:

 

  •  I was to serve my family.

 

And I can I just say that I know myself pretty darn good to say I SO would not have been ready for Him to tell me to ‘go home’ if I hadn’t had ‘gone home’ to Him first.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Friends it’s just a new deeper level of God reminding me of my priority list.

 
My relationship with Him.

 
My marriage.

 
My role as the momma.

 
I have the honor and privilege of doing life with one amazing Engineer and two super fun boys…and the joy of that hits me more now than ever.

  
All because I went home!

Can I ask you a bold question today?

 
Are you home?

 
No really, is your mind, heart and soul at home?

 
How is your marriage?

 
How are your kids?

 
How is the health of your family?

 
Just maybe God is calling you to come home to Him so He can say

 
“And now Go Home!”

 
I am praying with and for you friend!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Go Home

The whole point of this blog is so that people can come here and experience God.


And these past few days it has been on my heart and mind that the point of my life is so others can experience God.

Does that make sense?

Really the point of me living my life on purpose, is so that others can see that God is real, amazing, holy, perfect and divine.

Now read that correctly…not that Nichole is amazing, holy, perfect and divine. But that God is!

That God can take a real broken girl and work in her and through her to show off his amazing, holy, perfect and divine self.

Sitting with Him in these past few months has overwhelmed me in many ways. One in which I truly think I never want to leave His side again…meaning I don’t ever want to be running so far ahead that I can’t hear His heartbeat, feel His hand upon me, or know His voice!

Sitting with Him has me in a really teachable spot in life, and with that teaching He has opened my eyes and ears. I have been made aware of some areas in my life that needed some work.

All of the above is to prepare your heart and mind for what follows in this post, so please know that I am not ‘preaching’ at you, I am sharing what’s going on in my life and just maybe someone else out there needs to know. Needs to know so they can be encouraged to hear Him, to grab His hand, to allow His grace and love to pour over them.

The other day I heard this come out of the mouth of Beth Moore…

“He wants you home”

And as soon as my ears heard it my heart confirmed it was from my Jesus!

Those four words above are so packed full. Packed on purpose. Packed by His hands, and when you hear them friend know that if they meet your precious heart that they come surrounded in grace and love.

“He wants you home”

We were created for one reason, to be in relationship with Him. That’s what this whole life thing is all about. I know there is a lot competing for your attention, jobs, family, finances, health issues, stress, and more stress. But will you take a few seconds and hear your Creator…

“I want you home”

Like I said above those words moved me when I heard them. They moved me closer to His heart. Because I realized its where I truly desire and need to be.

I am praying right now that if you are done,


Running


Searching


Being lonely


Trying it on your own


That you will join me in hearing His Words to us.


“I want you home”


And because I believe we both need the time to fully process what He is asking of us. I am going to pause right here.


Please join me in thinking about His request, pray it over, I would love to join you in prayer so if you want leave a request!


Know you are loved on purpose!

Monday, September 20, 2010

One in a Million- Part 5 (It's the last one!)

Thank you so much for joining me on the blog to review One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. Today I will wrap up this little series but I can’t say the packaging and bow will be all pretty, why? Well because things just don’t feel all pretty and well presentable right now.

Life is being lived in the middle of the wilderness. A place that is totally foreign to me. I am not calling the lessons, I know it’s NOT a new concept for some, but for me, it’s a hard walk to walk right now.

There is a lot of change going on inside this girl…and all I can say is that thankfully I am in the wilderness cause it doesn’t look so pretty!

I have shouted and yelled a few times,

‘why in the world do you think I can handle this? And now of all times? Really?’

I have to be totally honest with you, there have been times I want to run so fast out of this wilderness…I have spent time (maybe even wasted some time) looking for the quickest out.

And yet when I see the outs, all of them point back to Egypt and the past and there is just something, something that doesn’t quite fit anymore with that place.

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14

Does that mean something is working out here in the wilderness?

Does that mean that just maybe my heart is tuning into I was meant for something different?

A Promised Land.

Even though I am experiencing a ‘feeling’ of loneliness out here in this wilderness I know I am not alone.

For out here I am sensing His presence in ways that I haven’t before.

I am tasting a food that I have never tasted. Food that was hidden out here in the wilderness for me all along.

The presence, the teaching, the food it’s all good.

But again I would be fooling you and myself to say that the wilderness is a vacation.

You see out here I am also more aware of the enemies workings. The enemy has tried yanking on emotions, messing with my mind, tweeking with my health, oh and the list goes on…the enemy must know how great the Promised Land is because he is trying to keep me from it.

Journal Entry while reading One in a Million:

Lord help me not rush through this season of sitting with You. As I was reading One in a Million yesterday the message that is sticking with me, is to NOT want the Promised Land more than I want You. Lord I want to learn a lot in this season. I want to know Your Word more, I want to build faith, I want to strengthen my perseverance, I want to trust You more, I want to learn to continually pray w/out ceasing, I want my thoughts to be pure, I want self- control, and many more things. But Lord MORE than anything I want You. I want to know You more. I want to learn who You are. I want to know Your characteristics as my God because I experience them. Lord as I type this I know with this wanting comes ‘a need to live it out’. Help me know this is not about earning, striving or doing it myself. Rather a life that is fully surrendered to allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to carry me! Please Lord!


Friends this has been a great book! I highly recommend it. But more than the book I recommend time with your Creator. A God who loves you more than anything. He wants to spend time with you. Please may I encourage you not to be afraid of the wilderness.


Journal Entry while reading One in a Million:

As I finished the book, One in a Million last night there were so many times I felt You loving on me. Speaking right to my heart. Whispers of encouragement, confirmation, assurance. Reminding me to stand strong and hold on tight to Your hand. Thank You Lord. I praise You for the peace You have filled my mind and heart with. A peace that speaks and says God knows and it’s all right. Everything is all right. This season of life is all right. Because You see and know and You are working. I pray Lord for the continued over powering of the Holy Spirit to flood my mind and heart, and remind me its not where this is taking me, or what’s happening next, or where I need to be going, but that I am with You. You! It’s about being with You, hearing from You, listening to You, applying what You are telling me, living in relationship with You. I pray Father God for a strong focus on what truly matters. A renewal of what You have called me to. Being in relationship with You.

A Prayer:

Lord we want to see You… to hear Your voice, the voice that has called us to abundant life. Lord I pray hard right now, a passion burning inside me, more than anything I want others to find You, fall in love with You and decide to run after You with everything they’ve got. Lord that the world would grow dim to us all. That we would know deep in our hearts a love that is like nothing we could ever understand, a love that truly gives us each breath, and a love that carries us to each moment. Your love. I know I don’t deserve it, can’t earn it, and will never truly wrap my little head around the why You give it, but Father God, thank You. Thank You for loving me. Purely, passionately, intimately. Loving me in moments that change my heart for the next. I love You, because You enable me too. Thank You Jesus for being the mediator, for standing in my place, to make this moment with You all possible. I love You, Amen


Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One in a Million- Part 4

Thank you for joining me on this soul reaching look at the book, One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. It’s a great read! And I am so thankful my sweet and precious friend returned it to my doorstep when she was finished with it so I could continue on from page 88!

We have established from last time that everyone starts in Egypt. And maybe some of us even left a foot in because of comfort.

We were created for a breath taking relationship with our Creator and yet many settle just this side of it.

Why?

To truly experience and live the life we were designed for, we have to leave.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16

We have to leave and walk into the wilderness.

I am grateful for a love so amazing that not only does He want to deliver us from Egypt He want to bring us through the wilderness to develop our character, the very character He created us to have.

And when He develops our character He brings us fully to Him, our destiny. Our abundant life, an intimate grace and love filled relationship with Him our Creator.

I am praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to tug on our hearts, to move us to take the steps and to carry us on the journey.

Friends this is more than religion.

Many Israelites walking around in the wilderness had religion mastered.

But two had a relationship

A relationship that made them one in a million.

I have spent some hours in this wilderness and friends there are long minutes. There are long hours…that eventually lead to long days.

Some long lonely hard times. I know I am trying to sell you on this whole idea to leave Egypt and encourage you to walk into the wilderness…but I am being completely honest…it’s not a trip many are willing to make. And frankly you will be considered weird by many.

“I must admit, it’s been quite a surprising journey. But once my appetite had been whet, there was no turning back. I was ruined. Mundane Christian living would no longer suffice. Not then, not now and by God’s grace, not ever again.” (One in a Million, Priscilla Shirer)

And your wilderness journey will not look like another. Because it was plotted out specifically for you. Details all put in place for you to experience God. And when those details start to be lived out, you will find yourself in the middle of the wilderness…


And it will hit you that you are NOT in the wilderness to identify all the tree species. You are NOT in the wilderness to create the best over the campfire dinner. You are NOT in the wilderness to critique the journey of all the other wilderness travelers.

The purpose of the wilderness is:

To hear Him.

To experience Him.

To fall more in love with Him.

It’s all about Him.

It’s not about pitchin’ a tent or fit for that matter.

It’s not about when you will get out.

And really it’s not about what is next.

It’s about the now, being in the now with Him.

The wilderness is not our design. We don’t get to draw the map, or call the turns. We don’t know the timeline. And we really need to be okay with that.

When we purposefully allow His grace to bring us completely out of Egypt, and allow Him to wrap us in His love, trust that He has great things for us; we will walk peacefully with Him through the wilderness. We will be intent on reaching the Promised Land.

And friends that’s living life on purpose!

“The magnificent obsession of the Jew was to experience the Messiah, to witness the ushering in of the kingdom of God with all its promised benefits.” (Jesus Christ Disciplemaker, Bill Hull)

Please join me next time as we gaze ahead on the Promised Land.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One in a Million- Part 3

I had just tucked one of my little ones into bed, the Engineer was finishing with the other. I found my book, my quilt and my oversized chair. I turned on the lamp that sat next to the chair and I started reading. Reading a book in which I knew I would find my Jesus. And boy did I. I was enjoying this book so much that I felt the ‘need’ to highlight some lines, some quotes, and some words that would need to be re-read. And yet I also felt the importance not to highlight. Why?

Not only was He to be found in the pages of this book, but more importantly He was to do some most divine work. As I read page after page I could hear Him whispering about how my friend needed this book. And I could hear myself too, yep she sure does it will be a great book for her to read, and I will pass it on when I am done! You see I might look old enough and mature enough on the outside but I struggle with sharing. I don’t like to share my oldest boy with his school for 6 ½ hrs a day…and in this moment I really didn’t want to share my really great book!

So I kept on reading and Jesus kept being right there. As I was reading I was learning so much about how I had to leave Egypt, not just one foot, but both. Both had to go. Both feet had to journey. And my eyes had to be fixed on Him, and my hand had to hold tight to His. For leaving Egypt meant I was headed into the wilderness. To sit with Him. I had to leave my way of doing things. I was very comfortable doing it all my way. Now hear my heart on this. Yes I am a Jesus loving girl and I do follow hard after Him, but I had ever let Him have me completely. Why? Because I was busy running. Running for Him…I know you will start to see all the craziness of me mixed in here. It was for Him…but not fully fueled by Him. Silly how a pride control issue girl can get in the way but it happens. Leaving Egypt meant I would be leaving my way of doing things, marriage, motherhood, being a neighbor and friend, and ministry.

Marriage would be different.

Motherhood would be different.

Church would be different.

Nichole would be different.

I stopped reading on page 88.
I go to bed that night with my book resting comfy on the nightstand. I turn off my light, talk with my Jesus and rest. When I wake in the morning I head out to the back porch to let my Ellie girl outside (the dog) and as I step onto the back porch it smelled different. Different good.

I had walked into something different. I had taken steps. And there was something inside me that felt so good about it. Felt right.

As I stood in my kitchen making breakfast for the boys again I heard my Jesus. And again He was telling me to share. Share the book.

You see I truly believe that I had to leave Egypt.

I truly believe my friend had to leave Egypt. Not in a judgmental way as I thought anything bad of her. No not at all. Rather because I truly love her so much and want to cheer her on to ALL that God has designed for her.

I took the book to her. Stood on her front porch, hugged her neck, told her I love her and handed over the book.


The book that I hadn’t even finished yet. A journey I had just started myself. And yet I knew it was all worth it. So worth it that I want others to come.


Today I have the honor and privilege of introducing you to Sabin. My friend. A friend who truly lives life. She has read the book and below is sharing a piece of her heart with you all. Please all Jesus to meet you in these words below. Allow it to encourage you to leave Egypt and come on this journey.


"Have you ever dreamed BIG? I mean really BIG? Let your mind wander, fantasize about the possibilities, become giddy with anticipation, kind of BIG? My husband and I have. We have dreamt just in that way about having more children. We have one incredible little boy and would desperately like to add to our family. Therein lies the problem. With desperation comes skewed thinking. Somehow worship of the Lord falls way down the ladder of priorities only to be replaced by worship of conceiving. In the amazing book, One in a Million, we learn the Lord will come and claim back His rightful place.


Our dream of having more children seemed so close. Then the heavenly whispering of a Father to His child began, "Do you trust Me?" and "Are you willing to submit to My will even if your dream isn't part of it?" Over and over again I heard these questions asked of me, and over and over again I responded with anger and fear, "If You love me so much WHERE IS MY BABY???" Hot tears streamed down my face most days. Indignation that He wasn't "fair" clouded my view. I was so close to the situation I couldn't see straight, I couldn't hear, or perhaps I wasn't willing to listen.


My dear beloved friend Nichole knew of this journey and this pain and brought me One in a Million at the exact moment God told her to. The moment He knew I was ready to hear, listen and obey. One in a Million is a story of courage. It is YOURS and my story of being claimed by Christ for freedom and abundant living. To journey to the Promised Land that HE has chosen for us. It is a story about the journey He walks with us to get to the Promised Land of our lives.


I choose to follow God irregardless of whether my dream of having more children comes true. I choose Him. I choose His perfect Will, perfect knowledge, perfect guidance, perfect love, and perfect desire to create me into His perfect image. It will be a journey, with great highs and great lows, but He will be there with us the entire way.


Dare to dream and live BIG! He is waiting for you."


Sabin


Meet me back here next time when we talk a little bit more about the wilderness!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One in a Million- Part 2

I come here today to type and share my heart. Which if you know me is always full. Full of emotion. Full of questions. Full of concerns. Full of life. Full of ‘stuff’ that always needs her Jesus to wrap around it and present it to you. So please know that this presentation today is just that. My heart, that I am praying He presents to you. Because in all my humanness I will mess it up. I will not type the sentence with the proper structure (sorry Engineer), I will not use all the right and fancy words (sorry to my writer friends), and I might not make sense.


We all start in Egypt. We are all born slaves. We get used to Egypt. We are comfortable with its smells and sounds. May I dare to say we like what we found, well maybe not like but we know what to expect. The routine, the pattern, the consistency, the lack of change.

And yet Egypt is very personal to each one of us. It’s different, just as different as our DNA. Yes there are chains and bondage. But my chains have a little bit different ‘clink’ sound to them. Not better, prettier, easier…nope chains in Egypt are chains.

Chains that when move call out the sounds of,

Fear.


Mistrust.


Pride.


Selfishness.


Guilt.


Addiction.


Religion.


We were made to live free. We were created to live without the chains. And yet something keeps us in Egypt.


Afraid of the wilderness.


Too tired to walk the journey.


Embarrassed of standing out.


Worried we won’t know which way to go.


Comfortable with the smell, taste and view of our little lot in Egypt.


Making the decision to allow Him to deliver you is big, it’s huge. Allowing Him to remove the chains, grab your hand and lead you out of Egypt is huge.


So where do you find yourself right now?


Are you still in Egypt?


Are you allowing the culture of false beliefs and lies to keep you in chains? Do you have a white knuckle grip on your life plan? Are you depending on a person, place or thing? Are you bound in debt or a career?


Do you believe that He is standing there right now ready to free you? Free you so that you can walk with Him. Walk purposefully towards the Promised Land. A land you were created to live in. A land that will look nothing like Egypt, on purpose.


I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10 (The Message)


Will you join me next as I share what happened when I found myself on page 88 of this book?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One in a Million- Part 1

Have you ever had times where you just think that it couldn’t possibly get any better? Stay with me for a few here…seriously if you came and parked yourself with in the little house we call home you would see that life is not simple, easy, normal, but rather chaotic, unknown, confusing, and hard at times. And yet I truly am standing on a rooftop right now shouting loud...


Woo-hoo!!!

Why?

Because the God of the universe reached down and worked out some most amazing details.

Why?

To show me that He loved me.

A love that had been there all along.

But you see now that I have sat down, purposefully allowed Him to quiet me I am experiencing this love, His love in a whole new way.

A love that feels different. A love that is all consuming, for no matter what the world has going on, I am feeling peace.

A love that smells different. Fresh, new, making me want to breathe it in deeper.

So what are these little details that He worked out?

I found myself coming home from She Speaks at the beginning of August to a book that had arrived while I was gone. A book titled One in a million by Priscilla Shirer. How this book got to my doorstep is all God. I had no idea this book existed, let alone what words filled the pages.

So I started to read this book… a book that was written for such a time as this. A book that would remind me of who God was, why He created me, and what I was supposed to be doing about it.

The full title of the book…


One in a Million journey to your promised land.

You see I have a God who knew He was going to call me to sit. He knew I had to leave Egypt. All of my attachment to Egypt had to be left behind. No phone lists, no scrapbooks, no nothing. I had to leave! He knew I was to come sit with Him in the wilderness. He knew I had to be prepared for the journey.

For there is abundant life to be living out…and He need this time to remind that’s what living life on purpose is all about!

Friends I am excited to share the next few blog posts with you about this book. I will be sharing also about a super awesome friend who is on this journey to the promised land with me, and how when God gets a girl in a certain spot He takes her addictive personality and points it in the right direction and then watch out!!!

Seriously!

If there is abundant life to be had, I am going after it!

Will you join me?


Come join me here for One in a Million- Part 2 next!


Til next time, it is my honor to introduce you to Priscilla Shirer, please watch this video as she talks about her book, One in a million.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

11 Years has done it

So what exactly can 11 years do?


Well it has taught and shown me quite a bit, but today I share a just a few of the highlights!

That we both have a fetish with shoes. Mine is to accumulate as many as possible, his is to find just the right pair and stick it with until eternity.

That one of us a thinker, the other is a doer.

Has showed me it’s not where you start, but where you end up.

One of us talks, one of us listens.

That when you buy a certain brand of vacuum that you will end up fighting over who vacuums the floor, because it’s just that much fun.

That submission truly means allowing the other to have a coffee pot inside the house, even though the other one can NOT stand the smell of coffee.

That when you mix our DNA you get such a mix of interesting personality and character traits that show up in the form of two amazing little boys.

That it’s not always what you are eating for dinner it’s the company across the table that matters.

That when you stick a girl who likes do more playing than working in a room with a guy who likes to get the job done it can make for an intense time of some room painting.

It’s taught that jobs, people, houses, cars, clothes, tv shows, churches, finances, and hair color can all change.

That there are seasons when one steps up while the other takes a breath.

It’s shown that one of us is good at checkers once she knows the rules.

Has revealed that he is just wild at heart and is leaving a great path for two little boys to follow in.

The main thing 11 years has done, it has shown that you can take an emotional shoe loving girl who lives live a little chaotic and pair her with an Engineer who is solid, dependable, amazing and knows how to run stress analysis tests and get a marriage.

A marriage that when lived out on purpose is done centered in His grace and love. A marriage that could only be, because of Him.

For what He brought together, He makes possible!

11 years has done it, it has made me MORE in love with my husband. And knowing that it has brought me to this place, this spot next to him, I would do it all over again.

Happy 11 years Babe, I love you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Different Colored Prayers

Update:  Thank you for your prayers!  My father-in-laws surgery went well. And he is healing up!  Know that I am praising Him for the amazing prayer people you are!!!



Thank you so much friends and family for joining in and lifting prayers yesterday for Elaine.

Today I come again to request some more prayers...these ones are of a different color...as I know my father-in-law is truly strong in his manhood...he doesn't tend to sport pink to often.  But he does believe in the power of prayer, and so do I.  So please join us in praying today.  My father-in-law is having surgery today for his heart.  I am praising God, the Creator of his heart this morning knowing that He has everything taken care of.  I am praying for peace for my father and mother-in-law.  Praying for doctors, nurses, hospital staff.  Praying and knowing God has all of this in His Mighty Hands!

Thank you for being a praying people.  Thank you for living life in the everyday moments!

Knowing God hears your prayers, and praising Him for you today.

On Purpose!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some Pink Prayers for Elaine

Hello friends and family I come this morning wearing pink and praying!  I would like to ask for you to join me...okay men you don't have to wear the pink but please join me in praying for Elaine and her family.  She is a beautiful woman of our God.  And she needs a rally of prayers lifted to continue to carry her on in peace.  Today will be a hard day. A day of not fun earthly moments.  But I believe God and all that He is, will be with her and her family, and these earthly moments will be showered in peace, love, grace and comfort. 

Thank you my friends for praying on purpose! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Come on Mom!

Have you ever had a moment in which you experienced your mind was in one spot and your heart in another?


I find myself in many of these spots, and a lot of them have to do with being a mom.

Yesterday was my last day of the summer with the boys.

Us three together. Sleeping in. Eating breakfast. Taking our time in the morning.

We went down to the greenway, a path that goes along the river. The boys rode ahead of me on their bikes.



And as I walked behind them. I saw a picture of where my mind is, up there watching them ahead of me living life. And I felt my heart. Way back behind them not quite caught up.

Every once in awhile the boys would stop on the path and holler back at me,

Come on Mom!

Cheering me on to catch up to them.

This morning I do another year of sharing my oldest little boy for 6 ½ hours a day. Yeah I kindly call it sharing. Because that’s what I am learning how to do. Any maybe you would think that after a year in Kindergarten last year I would be much better with this whole sharing thing, but nope, I’m not.


One six year old little boy is ready to do 1st grade.

He’s the one being brave and courageous.


He’s hollering back at me,

Come on Mom!

Cheering me on to catch up.

Do I feel odd about this?

Nope, I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be. Living life, learning each step how to be his momma. And praising my God for a most amazing little boy whose heart is filled with more grace and love than I will ever understand could possibly fit into his 40 pound body.

You see my mind knows I am to cheer him on to the life he was created to live out. And I will.

Because I am his mom.

And I hear a greater voice cheering me on from above,

Come on Mom!

And I know God will catch my heart up if and when it needs to happen.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's the same girl

"Momma look at me."  as a she twirled around in her fluffy dress and her princess high heeled shoes.

"Hey dad did you see that?" as she swung the bat as hard as she could.

"Maybe, just maybe he will ask me to dance." as she waited at the 8th grade dance for him to ask.

"Are they out there?" as she scanned the audience for a few fans from the high school stage.

A college diploma, a wedding ringed finger, a career, a house, a baby, and another baby, still the same questions, still the same dance, still scanning the audience.

It's the same girl.

There came a moment in her heart when she realized that He saw her, He knew she was out there, and He had been asking her to dance for a very long time.

So she is dancing with Him.

But her heart can still find itself straining to hear, see and notice what others are thinking and saying.

So she asks Him today, turn up the music, please, drown all of the rest out.

The same girl needs to be overtaken by Him.

Him leading this dance.

The same girl needs to know that His love is what she was created for.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Something's Changing

My location, my height, my blood pressure, and my perspective is all changing.

For I am no longer running full speed ahead but rather sitting at His feet, and trying to allow His peace and calmness to surround me.

I am sitting and so my height has been shortened, this is truly a God thing, I would like to say I put myself here because wouldn't that be a good Christian girl answer, well I didn't.  But I can say this morning I am SO thankful He has humbled me.  No not punished me, humbled me, and sat me down so I can listen and learn.

And as the days go on I can sense that my rhythm and heart beats are slowing for there is balance being sought.

And in the short amount of time that I have been here I am truly seeing things differently.

For I was choosing to strive over serve.

I was trying to make things happen instead of join Him.

I was avoiding instead of obeying.

Not healing is truly staying captive and remaining in Egypt.

Taking steps to healing is walking towards the Promised Land.  Its not the speed at which you are traveling, but the direction.

Did you know that the Bible is filled with real people who lived in relationship with God?

And friends it's their relationship with Him that allowed Him to work in them and through them.

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:8-9

Noah didn't go off and build a boat and then come back and ask God to use it.  Noah was in relationship with God and God was able to use him.

In Exodus 3 and 4 we see God choose Moses to be the leader of His people.  Moses didn't prepare for years on how to be leader.  I believe Moses in all his humanness said yes to God and then allowed God to work through him.

Then there is David, not even his own family thought him worthy of being a king. (1 Samuel 16)  But God, God knew David was a man after His heart. (Acts 13:22)

I don't think Esther knew all that her title as queen of Persia would entail.  But she trusted and loved her God.  The book of Esther shares a beautiful story of a woman who was obedient and allowed her God to use her, and that is just what He did, in His perfect timing and way.

Oh and if we dare think that we have to get this whole relationship with Him mastered before He chooses us or uses us, think again. 

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9

I don't think Matthew was sitting there preparing for Jesus to walk by.  But I do believe that Matthew's getting up and saying yes was the best decision he ever made.

And Mary, another one of God's girls. 

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. Luke 1:30

How did she find favor with God?  Just being, being in relationship with Him.

And because of that relationship He was able to find her willing to be used by Him.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."  Luke 1:38.

Something is changing for me.

A whole new focus, smell and place of being.

For I find myself not somewhere I would have taken myself, but truly enjoying being here.
 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

While I am sitting

Hello friends, thank you so much for your precious prayers and words of encouragement. 

Something my Pastor said the other night, well actually lots of what he said the other night is sticking with me, but one thing I will share this morning,

This really does sound like a God thing Nichole.

You see people who I live life with know me, they know I am not a 'sitter'.  And people who know God realize that many times He asks us to do things that are not in our girly red shoe wearing nature to do on our own.

But friends it SO tickles me to say that I have already in this 'short', but what truly feels like a very LONG season of sitting...ha...I know I am just getting started but I have to be honest with you all!  I am seeing and experiencing God in new ways.

The week or so before I left to go to She Speaks I was contacted and asked if I would like to read a copy of Priscilla Shirers newest book, One in a million and I found myself sitting the other day and picked it up and started to read.  There could NOT be a better time for me to have started this book.  Oh friends, it is the book that God has used to again confirm my reservation for this season with sitting with Him.

I want to share a little excerpt from this book;

It's easier to remain in the safety of where we've always been, doing the things we always done.  When the heavens open, when the wind of God's Spirit and the rain of His presence shower down upon us, we're uncomfortable beneath the torrent of the unfamiliar.  And so we run for cover-back to the comfort zone that has kept us from really experiencing God as He now wants to be experienced.

With His word stirring conviction within me, I prayed, "Lord, let it rain, and give me the courage to stand under the heavens when it does.  Cause me to be willing to go where You take me, even if the path is unfamiliar.  Tear down any man-made religious walls that may keep me from seeing You fully.  Forgive me for always running back home."  I knew He was preparing me for a new path.  I needed to be open to receiving it. (One in a Million, by Priscilla Shirer, page 42)

Friends God has a promised land for each one of us.  Are you willing to step out and say yes to Him?  Oh please know that I totally understand the courage this takes. 

Are you willing to take the journey that leads straight to His heart?

I would love to pray with you and for you today.  Please either leave a comment or email me.

May you know today that He has called your name, He desires to hold your hand, and He will lead you to the promised land, but He needs your answer.

You are are loved on purpose!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reservation Confirmed

A few months ago I heard God calling me to sit. And at first it was Him just politely asking me. Truly out of love for me He knew I was not balanced and needed this time.

You see I am a runner. And running comes easy for me. I run passionately, sometimes so passionately I am up ahead of God. Not a good place to be!

Well in my ‘not’ pretty fashion I fought Him on it. I whined and complained. “Why do I have to sit, while everyone else around me gets to run?” I argued and stubbornly kept running.

I defended my running. I was still running for God. All the things I was ‘doing’ and running about were for Him. Justified running.

And yet my running was not what He wanted.

There will be times in our lives when He pulls us aside so we can listen.

He pulled me aside alright…He took me over 2000 miles from my comfortable home and surroundings. He knew what it would take for me to be still enough, quiet enough and maybe even readied enough to hear more about this whole sitting season.

Why was I fighting this whole sitting thing?

One because I am a runner, running is comfortable for me. It involves movement, other people, it’s fast paced and it’s not quiet.

I pictured this sitting as more of a punishment. It was a timeout. It was away from people, away from the action, it was too quiet and it would be lonely.

And boy did I find it WAY ODD that I was at a Speaker’s Conference…and to be even more honest I found it kind of humiliating and mocking.

Why am I here then if all I am going home to do is sit?

But God.

He kept pushing on my heart. He kept interrupting my thoughts. He kept pouring His grace and love on me.

And You know what I finally heard on Saturday…Saturday July 31st 2010?

Nichole I am here with You. I will be with You during this sitting season. I have reserved this time for You. It’s going to be Me and you together. I have some things I want to tell you, to teach you, and you have some healing to do. I will be with You every minute. This is all good, I promise.


Oh friends I know that maybe some of you reading this or even those who have heard this in person were totally able to see this coming. And I thank you for your patience and grace…it takes me longer to get most places…something called pride gets in the way!

Can you just picture the scene, tears running down my face, cute little red shoes, standing the hall of a very beautiful hotel in North Carolina, with a dedicated woman of prayer, Luann Prater with her arms around me, truly interceding, and me knowing for the first time…

He has asked me to come sit with Him.

I get to sit with Him!

This is not a punishment. This is a God reservation.

One that He planned. One that He set-up and reserved for us.

And it was in that hotel hall that my heart truly shouted,

Reservation confirmed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Who would have thought?

So seven days ago I heard these words....

"Your reaction determines your reach"

These words came from a very motivating Lysa TerKeurst...but more than motivation...came the nudge to actually live them out.

And friends today I find myself...seven days later needing to do just that.

Live them out.

My Jesus knows that it will take all whole lotta Him to keep this girly from throwing down a fit, pouting, and trying to do it her way.

My Jesus also knows whose watching, waiting and wanting to know if He really works.

So I am begging Him today to take over my way...and do it His way!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last Thursday

So its been a week since the whole She Speaks experience started.  I have unpacked the suitcases...but my heart is still so full I am not sure I will ever be able to put into words what He has done in me, and for me...I just hope and pray it comes out through me!

Last Thursday morning my boys and the Engineer got up super duper early and took my little self to the airport...and just maybe they had to practice grace when I forgot something at home and the Engineer had to turn the car back to home to go get it.

So up in the air I go...and it was in the middle of the super busy Seattle airport that God started my heart journey with Him for this specific trip.  He and I found ourselves together in Luke 13.  Now that chapter has some great stuff...but one verse that truly loved on my heart in such a girlie way and helped set the stage for a most amazing weekend...



Then He put His hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Luke 13:13 (emphasis mine)

You see my Jesus had to take my red shoe wearing self over 2000 miles to truly get ahold of my heart.  To pause me to listen, and to remind, repair and renew some stuff!

He has most definitely put His hands on me!

Thursday night in an answer to prayer and a wish, hope and dream that I held tightly to in my heart...I got the honor and privilege of hugging Miss Cindy in person.  She is one of the most beautiful and Jesus shining girls I know.  In the moment of hugging her neck standing outside the Charlotte airport, I felt our Jesus laying His hands on us and in that moment love was felt, hope was experienced and praises lifted. 

I would have traveled over 2000 miles just for that moment with Cindy...but God have even MORE for me.

I will be back to show how over the course of a weekend His hands were on me!

May you know today in this very moment He thinks of you and love you immensely.

Have a great day, on purpose!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Exhausted

Yeah that's what will happen when you take your Northwest residing self all the way across the country to a state in which things are sticky and wet, sweet tea is served at EVERY meal, and sweet women are speaking in a way in which life seems much sweeter and calm!  There was so much packed into this past weekend at She Speaks.  I met so most amazing women face to face...and that in itself was a huge gift from my Jesus above.  There is so much to process and unpack...great conversations late at night with a roommate, meeting some women who have truly not followed all the rules...just a Jesus, sessions packed full of great wisdom and insight on how to balance this whole ministry thing, and being that I am truly a little tired, or rather Exhausted...it will take me a few days to let it all make sense.

And just maybe one of the many pairs of shoes I hauled clear across the country has left its mark on sore blistered left foot! Say nothing Engineer...say nothing!

So today I am saying thank you to the women (and sweet and precious Miss Zoie, Miss Alexa, Miss Savannah, and Miss Madison too)who hugged my neck in person...you are all beautiful and I feel honored and blessed to have lived a weekend with you!

Thank you to all who made this possible, airline tickets, prayers, financial assistance, encouragement, yard sales, words of wisdom, clothing and jewelry, and time!  You have invested in the work He is doing, and I am forever grateful and thankful!

I will be back...once I have processed and unpacked...and once my eyes are open for longer periods of time...and once the blister is less painful.

For now...I am off to live life with an amazing Engineer and two little boys, whom I love and adore!

On Purpose,
Nichole

Thursday, July 29, 2010

She Goes

I am sitting here in red shoes typing in the comfort of the airport...on my way to She Speaks...woo-hoo!  Me and my little red shoes are MORE than excited.  Excited to experience and see God in some huge ways in the next few days.  Excited to hug the necks of some most amazing women.  Women who I have been very fond of from a distance...and now I get to love on them in person!  Yeah.  Part of my heart is still at home with one Engineer and two adorable little boys...so will you join me in praying for them.  Praying for them to bond, have super fun times, eat boy food, and to know that I love them.  Thank you friends for living life with me.  I love you, and am praying that you have a super duper day! 

On Purpose,
Nichole

ps.  Just so you know TSA (airport security) does NOT count how many pairs of shoes you pack!  That I am sure qualifies as a form of grace!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What do you want?

Hello and welcome to the blog. Friends thank you for stopping in. I have to warn you that life anywhere around me is a tad bit chaotic these days. So first you can lift praise that you are not the Engineer and his two adorable little prodigies. For I am truly lifting praise to God for them. For they are dealing (or rather coping) in such amazing ways with this momma who is very low on patience and high on tears, emotions, and stress of all sorts! The Engineer and the boys have been helping, encouraging, and praying me through this, and I can’t thank them enough.

This morning something the Engineer said right before he left for work led me into a conversation with God.

The Engineer:

“Nichole I see you wanting this so bad, and you are trying so hard, and I think that’s why it’s not happening.”

Stay with me for a few here and this will all make sense…or I hope so!

So after the Engineer heads off to work I sit on top of my bed with my Bible on my lap and I begin to read Psalm 141

O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:1-2

And I hear God reply;


“What do you want?”


And I respond:


Well I don’t want to be so stressed and overwhelmed. I don’t want to be making my family suffer through this. They weren’t called into ministry, why should they have to sacrifice?

And God asks again;

“What do you want?”

And I respond:

I want a 3 minute and a 5 minute talk for She Speaks. God you remember its next Friday night right?

And He responds;

“Nichole do I need to remind you that I created the entire world in 6 days!"


And to be perfectly honest now I am getting a little upset and thinking 'God can’t you not see the stress, the chaos, the un fun times that I am having and my family is going through. I am lacking in patience, kindness, niceness and any or all other good girl qualities right now! '

And then He asks real quietly again;

“What do you want?”

And from deep inside my heart I scream out:

You God I want You. I want more of You.


And it is these next few moments that I realize that more of Him is all and everything I need. More of Him will push aside the stress, the chaos, and the ickiness that surrounds me!


I am praying this morning and asking for more of Him to wash over my heart. For I want my prayer to be;

But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign LORD; in You I take refuge. Psalm 141:8

Part of me wishes I could say that in these moments of working on my heart that He also wrote a 3 minute and a 5 minute talk and zipped them to me Air Mail from Heaven, nope.
—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

I am just a girl, desiring to live life so close to Him that all the world can say is at least she knew and breathed her Jesus.

May the work of His hands continue!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Are we there yet?

“Are we there yet?”

Do you remember asking that question as a little kid?

Or maybe now you have been on the receiving end of that question as a parent or grandparent. I have answered that question a few times in my journey of motherhood. I am blessed to be able to say now to my little guys…

“Boys only two more Backyardigans and we will be at Nana’s house.”

**Backyardigans are little cartoons and are usually 20 minutes in length.

Most of you here reading today did not have the privilege and blessing of such a distraction on a road trip. We toughed it out…right?

Lately I have been asking God this question,

“Are we there yet?”

When I ask this question it truly is loaded with a whole lot, I am a woman and wired completely so that truly shouldn’t shock you, well maybe the shocking part is that I am bold enough to ask God a loaded question!

Anyway I have been asking Him this question and its meaning is packed with,

“Have I arrived at the point where I will not struggle with pride?”

“Haven’t I made it to the destination of not trying to tap dance for You and get Your stamp of approval?”

“Did I miss the stop points on how to do this whole relationship thing? Because I still don’t have all these earthly relationships mastered, nor the one with You?”

“I must have missed a turn off or exit somewhere, I feel like I am going the hard way.”

“Is the road closed that is leading to the ministry You have called me to, why are we going a different way?”

This morning as I read 2 Corinthians 3 I am reminded of the major distances between the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament people traveled on roads focused on rules, rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices. While the people of the New Testament had some new paved roads to travel on. The signs along these new roads shined with grace, love, relationship, and freedom.

God whispered to me this morning in 2 Corinthians 3. As I am reading of the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament. I hear Him say…

Nichole you are performing, trying, doing and going all in the old ways. You are back there driving on those roads. You are caught up in the old way of doing it, there is a new way. A new way in which I have made for you, a way that is surrounded with freedom, grace and love. A new way that focuses on being in relationship with Me.

Friends I have found myself with a veil of pride wrapped so tightly around my eyes that I can’t even see where we are going.
I have removed the veil for you Nichole, that’s what Jesus did for you. You don’t have to do anything! Just be with me, enjoy the ride and know that when we get there, it will be on time.


“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

P.M.S.

P.M.S.


Pretty. Much. Stressed.

My head is a whirlwind of thoughts, and chaos these days!

Why you might ask?

I am prepping for a conference next week, making lists, lists of what to pack, lists of what needs to be done before I leave, lists of what to buy for food for the boys while I am gone, weeding the yard, scrubbing toilets, cleaning floors, trying on outfits, prepping my talks, feeding the dog, trying to be a momma to two energy filled boys, making meals, remembering to brush my teeth, trying to get enough sleep, trying not to procrastinate, prepping for the oldest little guys birthday, trying not to forget back to school is just around the corner, checking the mail which leads to stress when envelopes get opened and bills appear from out of nowhere, thinking about whether my eyebrows need to be tamed, still working on being the supportive, loving submissive Engineers wife, oh and did I mention it’s the week in which hormones are in a bouncy house having a hay day?

So there you asked!

Oh wait that’s right you didn’t ask, so why in the world share all of it…especially in such a public forum?

Because as I re-read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 this morning, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any troubles with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

I am reminded it’s not about me and my story. It’s not about me being worried about being misunderstood, embarrassed, or ashamed. It’s all about Him and His story. I am trusting and believing Him this morning. He has some love and grace to give. And maybe, just maybe that person clicks on today and gets loved on…now that will make this all worth it!

For what we go through in this world cannot separate us from the love of God.

Nothing can.

Not hormones.

Not our own agenda.

Not our sleep deprived minds.

Not our dogs, toilets, weeds in our yard.

Not our lack of parenting skills.

Not our bills, money, and credit cards.

Not even our out of control eyebrows.

“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

Nothing can.

Friends that is a promise that is filled with God, back by God and will be fulfilled by God.

May you hold tight and know that today.

May you know that in the Pretty Much Stressed times of your life you are still surrounded by a God who loves and adores you and that this is part of the story and He will tell it when and how He needs too!

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Monday, July 19, 2010

Same Place

Do you have a favorite place?

A place that you go to that just works for you?

I think in my life I have tried many of 'places'.

But there is truly one place that when I am there I find the most joy, the most peace, the most love and grace.

That place never moves.

That place is the same place.

A place to do life.

A place to work things out.

A place to celebrate.

At His feet surrounded by His Presence.

A place filled with love and grace.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Not me...but Him

There have been some minutes, moments, days lately that I have been a little overwhelmed and stressed.  There is alot going on...and doing life purposefully takes energy and commitment.  And sometimes I get lost and the focus gets blurred.  I get lost in pride, emotions, and selfishness.  I find it hard to see the ultimate purpose.  I want to just not play anymore...the game is too big.  Leading takes courage.  Listening takes patience.  Obedience takes trust.  Being strong takes strength.  All of these things are not in me. 

So the other day God in all His love and grace reminded me.  Its about Him.  Its about loving His people.  Loving on them for Him.

I know He asked me...but without Him it won't happen!

Friends He has asked you too!  He needs all of us to love, love the lost right into His arms.  But will you join me today, listen to this song, and remember what it takes to love all comes from Him!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Better late than never

Hello!  Well I come to say thank you for extending grace and waiting so patiently.  I have found myself enjoying and celebrating life with the Engineer, our T- Squad, friends and family members.  This celebrating has had me in the parks, by the pool, and traveling out of town. 

I also come to announce the winners...better late than never right?

The winner of the signed copy of Joyce Meyers book Eat the cookie...buy the shoes is Kati M!!!

Congrats Kati! I trust and know Jesus will love on you through this book.

And the winner of the $10 ecard for Zappos.com is Cindy!!!

Congrats Cindy...have fun picking out some cute shoes for your feet!

Again thank you for your grace and patience!

May your day be filled with some great summer moments!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Discipline Yourself to Celebrate

I am singing, “I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah Another day of living, I just want to celebrate another day of life” ( lyrics by Rare Earth)


Hello! Welcome to the blog! I am SO glad you are here today. We are celebrating!

We are on the last Chapter Discipline Yourself to Celebrate of  the Joyce Meyers book Eat the cookie…buy the shoes.

And I want you to do just what the title of this last chapter says…and join in the fun today!  Oh and spread the celebration...invite your friends to join in!

This book has been all about learning how to lighten up and not be so strict with ourselves, seeking true balance, celebrating and learning how to reward ourselves for progress.

I am a real girl and I realize first hand there are unexpected and unpleasant things in the day to day life. An unexpected bill comes in the mail, something breaks, the car needs to go to the mechanic, a 4 year old tries to demonstrate he has the same DNA as me when it comes to stubbornness.

Day to day life my friends is why we need to celebrate. And when we learn the fine art and balance of celebrating it will help us not to feel so overwhelmed with all the unfun stuff we have to deal with.

It is NO coincidence that we are celebrating today…why you might ask? Well being a girl who chooses to believe God is purposeful and intentional…He has us here today celebrating…and He purposefully planned it on a weekend that is all about celebrating freedom.

Friends there are things that cause us to be sad, mournful, disappointed, upset, frustrated, mad, angry, overwhelmed…did I cover them all? But our focus shouldn’t stay there.

God sent His Son to die on a cross for us. For us to experience true freedom. Our focus should not remain on the sadness and death that was displayed on the cross, aware of it, yes, but rather we should go on…move on to celebrate the freedom we have and celebrate it and live in it each day!

The last chapter of Eat the cookie…buy the shoes is packed full of some super great encouraging and motivating advice on learning how to discipline yourself to celebrate.

So being a girl who lives on purpose…we are celebrating today!

The Book




First of all there is a signed copy, yep by Joyce Meyer herself, Eat the cookie…buy the shoes. A huge thank you to Joyce Meyer Ministries and the very generous heart they have!






The Shoes



Second of all there is a Zappos.com $10 ecard to be given away!!


This is a fun picture of my Red, White and Blue shoes!





And the great news is that everyone wins this:





The Cookie



Third here is a recipe for “double doozie” cookies. Now I am not sure that this is the exact recipe for the ones Joyce refers to celebrating with at the end of the book. But by reading the recipe and seeing this picture…its looks and sounds worth of celebrating with in my book. The boys and I will be making these today and eating them up! Yum!



"Double-Doozie" Cookie Recipe

FOR THE COOKIES:

1 cup softened margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup M&M's
FOR THE ICING:
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together margarine, baking soda, granulated sugar, brown sugars, vanilla extract and pudding mix. Add eggs. Gradually add flour (may need to add a little more as dough needs to be stiff, but not too stiff). When mixed well, add chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet. After cookies have taken their form, place the M&M's on top and edges.
Total bake time is 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

While cookies are baking, make icing:
Mix together confectioners' sugar, butter, shortening, milk, hot water, salt, vanilla and almond extract.

Apply a layer of icing between two cooled cookies to form a sandwich.

These freeze well!


Join in the celebrating…leave a comment and share your favorite pair of shoes…your favorite cookie! There will be two winners, one for the book Eat the cookie…buy the shoes and one for the Zappos.com ecard. I will draw the lucky winners next week and announce!

The only thing that would make this celebrating even MORE fun…is eating these cookies in person while wearing our favorite shoes!

Friends doing life with you is always great and amazing. Thank you for walking alongside and seeking balance and celebrating.

Choose to celebrate with me and sing along…

“Celebrate good times, come on!
Celebrate good times, come on!
There’s a party goin’ on right here.
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you!” (lyrics from Kool and the Gang)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Celebrate Discipline

So if you are here reading this blog with a title Celebrate Discipline first of all I applaud you and second know I am praying for both of us. I am praying we will hear His message for us today.


"The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!" Revelation 3:19 (MSG)

Celebrate Discipline is the title of chapter 16 in Joyce Meyer’s book Eat the cookie…buy the shoes.

We need to have discipline in our thoughts. our emotions, and our willingness to allow Gods will to become our will.

Now before you write off discipline as a naughty word…go with me for a few minutes here.

There needs to be balance between discipline and celebration.

“Discipline helps us to be what we say we want to be and have what we say we want to have, but never will have without it.” (pg 163)

Celebrating discipline has to be learned.

Discipline should be a tool, not a master over our lives. Again there is balance and swinging too far to one side makes discipline to heavy.

Just as having no discipline makes for a mess.

The enemy has deceived many of us by allowing us to think we can never live in balance by celebrating and be disciplined all at the same time.

• Have you ever thrown a pity party stating you can never eat dessert but everyone else can?

• Have you ever called yourself an all or nothing kind of person?

• If you open the bag of chips can you stop at one?

• Can you walk into the bakery section of the store?

• Do you bypass the shoe section of Macy’s?

• Have you ever felt like you will never be able to stick to a healthy eating plan? A workout routine?

• Do you set goals for yourself? Do you achieve them?

• Have you ever defended your choices as habits that you can’t break?

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (emphasis mine)

God created us to seek balance and then live in it.

How do you see yourself?

Do you have self-control?

Have you ever felt like a pin ball bouncing around allowing emotions, the number on the scale, the check book balance, or current circumstances to move you?

“If you will see yourself the way He sees you (finished) then you will become what He says you are….He calls us disciplined and self-controlled and we must have that godly image if we want a life of freedom.” (pg 166)

Do you believe discipline is freedom?

I am truly living in a season of life right now where God is teaching me about balance. And seeking it in all areas of my life. I even believe God is using the Engineer to shout the mantra…’balance Nichole’…and He has this phrase on repeat for me!

“Jesus challenged His disciples to come out into the deep to find what they truly desired. (see Luke 5:4)" (pg 169)

I love the image of coming out in the deep!!

Going out into the deep with God means you are wanting more of God in your life and that you are willing to experience Him!

The purpose of discipline is to make us more like Jesus.

Jesus is an amazing role model of balance.

“True spiritual disciplines should make us more like Jesus, Who is humble, gentle, meek, and lowly, and yet at the same time is mighty, powerful, and a victorious warrior.” (pg 171)

Balance is not about oppression or manipulation. Balance was created so we could truly experience the freedom of a grace and love filled relationship with our Creator.

Discipline should always be a self-ish thing. Discipline is a one on one thing with God. It is NOT my job, role, or purpose to discipline anyone else. My convictions are not everyone else’s.

Self control should always focus on self!

The power for discipline and self-control is fueled by God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things )there is no law.


Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (NASB) (emphasis mine)

May we come to see that when we allow His power to work in us and through us there will be many great moments to celebrate!



***We will be finishing this book on Friday. I have so enjoyed this seeking balance journey with you. I am thankful God used Joyce Meyer to speak love and wisdom to my heart. Please join me on Friday for some celebrating. And there just might be some cookies and shoes involved!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Give God Your All

I am a stubborn girl. And I often find myself sitting in a time out chair hearing from a gracious and loving God about how if I would sit still, listen, truly hear and then go out and do it His way, life would be a little less, okay way less crazy and chaotic.


We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.


He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. Colossians 1:15-20 MSG

I found myself in Chapter 14, Give God Your All of Joyce Meyers book, Eat the cookie…buy the shoes realizing that I still am trying to do some stuff my way. And that I have to let go and give up some things in order to live completely in the freedom He has for me.

Did you know that living in this peaceful place of freedom, surrounded with grace and love is so not where the enemy wants us residing? No rather, the enemy wants life to be crazy filled with worry, doubts, and fears. The enemy loves to see us on an emotional roller coaster. The enemy desires to see us fighting for our own way, and resisting Gods way.

Living here on earth is not easy. For we can see the people around us which I think makes giving God our all that much more difficult. Give God our all truly is a sacrifice. A learning to truly be submissive to Him and not this world. You see we are surrounded by people who will okay us, praise us, approve us, and applaud us. But what if what we are doing is okay for them but not God? I know this is a very deep question, especially for a Monday, but I am going there my friends. There are times when we cannot be a God pleaser and people pleaser at the same time. That giving our all to God needs to trump the things of this world every time!

Have you given God your all?

Does God have all of you?

You see the amazing thing about God is that even if we don’t give our all, He will still accomplish His will. Yep thats right! Our refusal or disobedience or fear of trusting Him doesn’t keep Him from working. Rather the truth of the matter is, we will miss out on God’s best for us. Friends this is big right here! God didn’t stop at just saving you on the cross, He went on and designed a personal and intimate grace and loved filled relationship for you. And He wants you to experience!

When God designs and creates it is never just okay, or average. Everything God does is perfect, excellent and amazing.

Do you hunger for the very best? Are you driven to go for the excellent? Do you desire to keep going after more?

“People’s possessions end up between them and God, and, sadly, their possessions are more important to them than they should be. Those people stubbornly hang onto their ways and willfulness, refusing to submit to God; they end up sad, depressed, angry and unable to maintain good relationships. They are forever looking for something to fill the void in their souls.” (Pg 161)

We were created to hunger, to be driven and desire. It’s what we are going after that makes all the difference.

There is a decision we each have to make. And when we choose to make our all about giving Him our all there is a peace filled soul vacation waiting for us!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My All in All

All.


A little word with just three letters.

A little word that has me truly wondering if I believe all is all.

Do you believe all is all?

Does all continue on?

Is all completely inclusive?

Chapter 13 of Eat the cookie…buy the shoes is titled My All in All. In this chapter Joyce talks about Jesus being the Lord of All. God being Al-Mighty, all sufficient, that all comes from Him, and that He is all we need.

But friends please join me here today and truly ask yourself some questions.

Have we stopped to understand that little word, all?

For all leaves nothing outside God’s control.

As long as we believe some things are out of God’s control we cannot have a proper soul vacation because there will be something for us to worry about, try to figure out, be upset about, or try to control and change. (pg 139-140)


Something for us to worry about

  • Health. Finances.

Something for us to try to figure out

  • Ministry.

Something to be upset about
  • A broken fence, car or relationship.

Something to try to control and change
  • A church, a relationship, a ministry.

God knows all things.
If I truly trust and believe that statement above, then I need to be living life to the fullest and celebrating the way He intended me too.

God knows all things.

For this includes the big and the small.

The Subaru needing to go the mechanic. That brothers can only spend so many minutes in the back of a hot car before they need to ‘reach out’ and touch each other. That a momma driving a hot car is full of hormones, emotions, headache and can only take so much before she needs a nap!

God knows all that came into yesterday. He knows all that will come into today. Nothing surprises Him. We need to find peace in knowing He knows all. And when we find that peace, we need to live there.

There is such beauty in finding out that we are nothing and He is all. For when we truly find it, we see just how amazing He is. We come to see Him work in us and through us.
For when we find Him, and know that He is all, then everything else become so les important. Our focus changes. All becomes bigger and worry becomes less.

There is a place of rest designed for each of us. It’s found in knowing that
He knows all.
He hears all.
He sees all.

He is all.
May we seek this all. May it become all inclusive. Our minds, hearts and actions all wrapped up in Him.

Our All in All.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Priorities

Is it easy for you to keep things in order?

Do you find yourself stressed?  Overwhelmed?

Have you ever felt like you just didn't know what you were supposed to be doing?

Have you ever lost track of your purpose?

Confused?

Well as I found myself reading Chapter 12 last night in Eat the cookie...buy the shoes. I am hearing God whisper to my heart how easily we can get things out of order.

Priorities.  Its a big word packed full of a lot of meaning.

It won't take you long to look around you and be able to identify the priorities of this world. 

The priorities of this world are greatly different then the ones God has.

And I have found myself many times 'out of order'.  And last night I was reminded that there is purpose and beauty in His priorities.

Joyce calls the priorities:

Sit
Stand
Walk
Run

Sit.  Here is where we find ourselves seated with Jesus.  A place of relationship. Peace. Rest.  A place to be loved on.  Learn from our teacher.  A place to be protected.  Refueled.  Energized. 

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6

If you believe in what Jesus has done for you, and you have accepted His gift for you, then you are seated with Him right now!

Have you learned to sit and enter into God's rest?

"Faith allows us to rest mentally and emotionally.  Even our will gets a rest when we have faith in God." (pg 133)

When we sit, we experience a place of power.

A power that will make us ready to stand.

Stand. Strength. Commitment. Courage.  We choose to stand firm in faith, knowing and trusting God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.  Knowing, trusting, believing. 

We will have the energy and strength to stand, when we have learned the art of sitting.

Walk. Each step we take is a choice. Steady.  Set pace.  Rhythm. This is active.  Moving forward.  Faith, trust, and obedience needed to make healthy choices will lead to steps taken.

"Knowing is not enough; we must do and the doing is called our walk with God." (pg 136)

And when you have trained.  When you are ready.  You then will run.

Run. Intentional. Motivated. Goal. Hard.

"If you have learned to sit, stand, and walk in God, it is time to start running in and with God." (pg 138)

Personally after reading this chapter I have found myself a little 'out of order' here with these priorities.  I am praying, trusting and knowing that my place right now is to sit.  In all of my flesh I want to be running.  However I can hear God whispering to my heart how I am not ready.  To say that was an easy whisper to hear would be not truthful...but I trust God to know better than me...His way has never led me down the wrong path.  So I will find myself sitting, resting and learning in Him...it really is a great place!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Give Your Soul a Vacation

Good Day Friends!  Hope this Wednesday finds you surrounded by some most amazing things...if you aren't seeing them...then I pray that the distractions can be wiped away and you will find them...they are there!

As we move into Chapter 11 Give Your Soul a Vacation  in Joyce Meyers book, Eat the cookie...buy the shoes I would have to say this chapter was packed full of some great stuff. 

First, have you ever given your soul a vacation?

Now if you are like me I was wondering what that meant, how does that look exactly?

Joyce defines your soul as that which is 'comprised of your mind, will and emotions'. (pg 113)

Now you might be able to hear the Engineer shouting in the background..."Yep we need one of those around here...the emotions and hormones are on their next flight out of here!"  Ha!

As I got into this chapter I realized that I know how to have a 'physical vacation'.   Physically I rest my body...if you remember I have NO problem taking breaks...playing...going for walks, taking a nap, etc! 

Taking a soul vacation involves learning how to live life like Jesus.  And if we don't undesrtand that our souls we won't be a whole and healthy person.

If worry, doubt, fear, shame, anxiety, depression, stress and a mix of other emotions fill us...then our souls are not at rest, we are not at peace and not fully living out what God has for us!

Like I said above this chapter is packed full of some great stuff...so much as I would really recommend the book for even just this chapter alone.

Are you weary?  Tired?  Worn out?


Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]


Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.


For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. Matthew 11:28-30 (Amplified Bible)

I have always loved these verses above.  The first thing we need to do when we feel weary, tired and worn out...is come to Jesus!

And I struggle with this...its hard for me...its my stubbornness and pride issues.  Because for some silly reason its ingrained in me to think that asking for help or showing signs of needing help is weak!  I know crazy...but its an issue for me!

"Asking is the first rule to receiving, so don't be too prideful to ask for help." (pg 116)

It's as if Joyce is writing this chapter for me!

The enemy wants us to feel weak and worn out.  He wants to push us until we have no strength left.  The enemy wants us hearing lies, thinking foolish thoughts, saying silly things...why?  Because then we won't be enjoying life and we certainly won't be living out the joy of Jesus for others to see.

The rest we find in God is for our mind, our will and our emotions.  It is a complete rest.

When we 'yoke' with Jesus, which literally means to come together with Him, we get very close to Jesus.  So close that then He can help us balance out the things in our life...and because we are so close to Him we can then learn how He responds to every situation.

That last little bit is a very key point.  Life is messy, not always fair, difficult at times, and full of challenges, issues, hormones, obstacles and more!  But friends if you will, think back to what the life of Jesus looked like as He walked and lived it out on this earth. 

For Jesus it wasn't a matter of asking for a change in circumstances...though I am sure He would have loved that at times...it was a matter of attitude.

And friends He wants to teach us that we are to have a right, proper and good attitude about what God's purposed for us.

Hard to type...even harder to live out!

"We can change our quality of life by changing our attitude toward the small and big things that usually irritate or anger us." (pg 125)

I think those words above need to be tattooed on to my arm!

How do we get rest for our souls?

Come to Jesus.

Pray and invite Him into the situation.

He will provide rest for your mind, will and emotions as well as your body!