Saturday, December 27, 2008

Healthy Boundaries Instead of Brick Walls




Finding anything positive in a boundary is hard for me. I have always viewed boundaries as something very negative and offensive when it comes to setting them in friendships or relationships. However, once I started to understand that healthy boundaries are meant to create a healthy balance in relationships opened up windows of new perspective for me. I am dealing with some things right now that involve setting some relational boundaries in my life. These boundaries are not meant to harm or bring destruction into a relationship, rather, it used strictly to communicate that I am not to be taken advantage of and will not be manipulated or controlled because I live my life differently than some. This is probably the hardest thing that I have ever tried to do in my journey with Father. I prayed several times and pleaded with Father to give me another way around this. It is not easy to set boundaries with someone who I was close to. I feel though, that Father is not giving me another way around this and I must face this head on… Boundaries aren’t meant to be set forever, but, until Father releases me to gradually take the boundaries down when it is time. It’s like taking a break in a courtship or dating relationship, but with a friend. I am still a little wheezy thinking about it, but I know in my heart that it has to be done. Please pray for more guidance and continued peace along with this decision. It’s not going to be easy, but I know I can make it through with Father’s help!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Broken Soul & Shattered Dreams



Shattered to pieces am I that lay beneath the surface of my broken soul. I have to admit, I don’t have it all figured out. I have lost thoughts of old, when I thought I did, life seemed controllable, until I found myself falling to pieces. Who will pick me up when I fall and can’t see inside this broken mess? I had ideas of what these dreams would become, and it seems that they have come undone. Dreams are but thoughts, and thoughts are but a memory that once was, that now will never be. Did I know back then who I was and who I would become? Did I know that this change in me would break ties? Why does this brokenness dig so deep? Why does it have a grip on my life that seems to have no end? Did I do what I was meant to do? Say what I was meant to say? Be who I am meant to be? Oh Father I must know Your heart concerning mine, for it is You that defines me, even when I a broken, You are there. Don’t let guilt take my time. Erase the doubt that draws it out, and shows no mercy. If nothing else, use the brokenness to grow me and teach me according to your grace that covers and sets me free.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Escaping The Grip Of Guilt



Guilt is something that is hard to escape from for me at least. I always find myself falling into a guilt trap over things. I know that Father does not use guilt to bring us to repentance, but it seems that many think He does, and therefore that belief gives them the right to use guilt over others as a weapon to see conformity and or shame in order to make themselves feel better. Does it work though? Feeling the need to use this painful, and yet destructive force against others so they will feel better only damages the one who is pointing the finger … Do they really feel better in the long run? This way of feeling better about one’s self is short lived and does not last but in the moment of thrashing someone with hardened guilt. We seem to misuse guilt in our own lives. We make ourselves feel guilty for not ‘doing’ certain things, or not ‘doing’ what others expect of us. It’s pretty typical to feel this way, and it is so hard to break, but in order for us to break free from its binding grip, we must not allow guilt to touch us. Even if we do something that was not good, I think Father will use conviction for a change of heart instead of guilt, and yes I believe that there is a vast difference between the two. Guilt is basically drowning in our own sorrows over our wrong doings, and conviction is taking responsibility of our wrong doings, asking Father to forgive us, and MOVING ON! Easier said than done, but I know that for our own good, we must not allow guilt to rule, but grace and freedom from this bondage in our lives. I think guilt hinders growth and maturity in my spiritual life. If I am always stopped with a guilty heart, I can’t move on until I allow this guilt to flee. It is within in us and with Father’s help that we don’t live in guilt over anything no matter what it is because the more we do and the longer we stay there, the longer it will be until we return back to Father’s reality, which is grace and complete forgiveness, or in some cases just nonsense for making ourselves feel guilty in the first place. I no longer want to allow guilt to play a role in my life. It can really take a tow on my heart if I allow it, but I know that Father is setting my heart free from guilt’s grip and is reminding me daily that I don’t need it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trapped




Pain, doubt, eagerness, frustration, guilt, trapped in a world with only these. You want to get out, but you know there are risks involved if you try to escape. You become doubtful, and then you know it is hopeless because guilt becomes your next best friend when you are in doubt, and then pain is your closest brother because you are trapped in guilt. It’s a vicious cycle that has no end. Stranded, forgotten, and abandoned, you feel alone.

We go through life always finding ourselves trapped in something. Is it something that keeps us away from exploring the unknown? Is it fear that keeps us away? Keeps us trapped inside our own comfort zones? We are afraid to not be trapped. If there wasn’t pain, doubt, and guilt, what would be holding us back from what we desperately want to experience but don’t have enough courage to look freedom in the eye? To taste and see what is better than what we’ve always known.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Living Beyond My Feelings

There are some circumstances that come up where I either choose to react according to how I feel about the situation, and sometimes I am not as in tune to the Spirit as I need to be. Something came up today that brought me to question if my feelings held any valid weight to any decisions I make in my life! I know Father will use his Spirit to guide me in directions where I would rather not go, but it is necessary for me to explore His route rather than my own. I ask Father today to allow me to live beyond how I feel about things and trust Him in those situations and to do what is necessary to build my character in Father. Then after I prayed, my mind filled up with memories that were attached to the situation and my feelings wanted to get back the control. I don’t know if this applies to all situations, but I know for me, I am a feel doer, if you know what I mean. I don’t really keep record of the times I do things based on how I feel about them, but I know that I do that a lot. I consciously I want to make an ongoing effort to allow the Spirit to lead me and guide me in all directions even if my feelings aren’t on board. I sometimes seem to use my feelings as excuses and escape goats for getting out of things even if I don’t realize it! Or I find it even worse when I play like my feelings are justifiable in regards to what Father thinks. Sometimes I am WAY OFF! I think we all learn as we go, and if we have a desire to find out what Father wants, we also have a will to allow him to lead us not based on how we feel about things but based on the right directions we need to go that is for our own good. Easier said than done, but, I know that Father knows better than I do in all situations and to ignore Him based on how I feel is pretty much stupid. However, it’s definitely a learning process, and I am growing in the midst of letting my feelings go and holding on to the One who has my best interest in mind!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Intentions of My Bloody Heart

I like to explore the depths of my heart; how I view things and find significance in my thoughts regarding my purpose and the intentions of my heart. I think sometimes people tend to think they know or understand the intentions of my heart, when in reality if I have a hard time knowing and understanding all the intentions of my own heart why do some think they know them better? For me, I go through stages of understanding things that Father shows me and even my developing beliefs and when those get questioned, I get scared, and uneasy about everything. People’s words, especially those closest to me really make a difference even if they think they don’t make a difference. My family knows me well enough to know that I am very easily influenced by what they think! I can’t lie, I really feel like I take their thoughts and advice seriously. They are important to me and what they say really means a lot to me. Sometimes I have a hard time articulating my position on issues especially in face to face conversations, and sometimes sound like I have fallen off the deep end on some things, but the problem is, is I just have a hard time getting my thoughts through my mouth and usually things will come out flaky. Oh, but when I blog, things for the most part come out loud and clear. I don’t know why really, but I guess having time to think about things, helps me get them down in writing. Well, let me just say some things about the issue we discussed during my recent visit to my parents house. We were talking about cussing and were going through each cuss word and talking about their origins and meanings. Okay, I know this doesn’t sound like a nice and perfectly clean conversation, but then we started talking about the convictions that come with it when we use these certain words. In this particular discussion, I had a hard time articulating my heart and the intentions of it. I for one, cuss on a very minimal bases, and find that I don’t keep track of the cuss words I say when I say them, I find that if I try to keep track and be on top of every word that comes out of my mouth, I will get sucked back in to the track record that Father doesn’t even care about. Yeah, I do get convicted at times and when and if I slip up, I ask Father to forgive me, and move on, instead of living in guilt over it. I don’t think it’s worth the time to live in guilt over hideous words that will soon be forgotten. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I am in a habit of cussing, nor would I say that I keep a tight tongue either. I won’t normally cuss in front of people especially those I don’t know, but find that I have a loose tongue in front of those that I feel unconditionally loved by. I posted a blog the other day that talked some about if my heart is in the right place then I would not want to do these things. It’s true, when I usually cuss, my mind is on fleshly things and in order to change, I have to get my heart and head in the right place to find my pure sanity in Father. So in regards to the intentions of my heart, I ask Father daily, (or most days) to give me a pure and grace filled heart and mouth. I do slip up and make mistakes, but I know in my heart that Father finds favor in me, and I want to speak words that confirm that.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

There Are NO If, And's or But's About His Love

I once heard that going to church was like having a boring office job and I believe in the same conversation I heard this person say that church was not intended to be fun, just like a desk job. Didn’t really think about it during the conversation, but what I should have said in regards to that comment is, going to a church that is just like a boring job does not seem like it would be life giving, or enhance your relationship with God at all. It seems lifeless and if that is the case, than what is the point other than fulfilling man’s obligations to attend a building? I find it quite interesting when so many people do certain things just because they think they are obligated to do so. And who makes them go but themselves, and to what is the purpose other than to complete a task or fulfill what they think is required of them… In comparison, going to work is exactly the same as attending a church building unless one is getting real life from their congregation and find it fulfilling. I remember telling my brother that I thought going to a church was boring and had become more of a pressure to conform to those who demanded it than anything that had to do with my personal relationship with the Lord. Getting off of the performance track in my life and stopped keeping up with my perception of God’s love was a hard transition for me. It seemed to be ridiculously hard to just let things go without living in guilt or fear in regards to how much Father truly loved me. I was raised knowing that God loved me unconditionally, but somehow there were always conditions attached to his love and always if ands and buts attached to his love for me. It’s funny, but I am reminded of that Christmas song, ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’, “He see’s you when you’re sleeping he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so you better be good for goodness sake.” In other words, you will be rewarded ‘if’ you are good, and ‘if’ you’re not, than you will get punished and get nothing. This perception of God I deal with all the time, I know Father is a forgiving loving God, (but) when it comes to the mistakes I make and when I blow it, there is fear that tries to take over all the loving thoughts I have of Father. This is when grace comes into the picture. Father knows when we are to mess up and already has forgiven us. This does not mean we are to go ahead and do what our flesh wants, but if we are truly focused on our relationship with our Father than that should be enough incentive to NOT do ‘bad’ things. Yeah, we all will from time to time, but if our heart’s are in the right place than there is not pressure to try to be a good Christian because we are already good in his eyes because of his grace he has bestowed upon us! Awe, now comes the freedom from the pressure to try, try, and try again! I have come to a place in my journey where I no longer try anymore. Frankly, it’s just a waste of time because I know I will never ever, ever be good enough for God, but through his grace and love I am accepted for who I am and that includes my mistakes!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gathering Perceptions from All Angles

How can so many people have different viewpoints about the Lord and how they all believe what their view speaks, but if everyone thinks that they are right about what they believe about God concerning things about the future and end time revelation stuff, doesn’t that make the rest of those who don’t agree wrong? Is there a right and wrong answer to those things specifically or does it fluctuate among perception of what each person believes? This can also apply to several things in life! Sometimes when my beliefs are questioned or the reasons why I do things in certain ways are being questioned, I find that I too will question or perhaps get a little weary about how I am choosing to think about things. I seem to be a little too sensitive to what others think about me or the way I live(once in a while). I know in my heart that I should test and compare things to what Father has said in his word and allow the Holy Spirit to ultimately lead me and guide me according to his righteousness, however, there are a lot of people I know who probably test and compare things with the word, yet do things completely opposite of me. In regards to relationships, this can become a huge issue I have found that it can cause uneasiness and perhaps even broken ties because of the right or wrong factor. This somehow becomes more important than the relationship and one or both parties won’t be willing to find some kind of common ground among the two. I have always put it this way, always agree to disagree and when advised, take the good and leave the bad. In other words, take things that will add life to you that which is helpful and will assist growth in the Lord and leave the rest that you may feel otherwise about. How do you handle when given different perceptions on different topics?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Have I Become Scum of the Earth?

1 Corinthians 4:12-13
When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.


Not just refused by the world, but what about by those who share the same faith and those we call brother and sister in the Lord? Is this normal? Does this really happen? Yes, unfortunately this is true for some. I can only speak out of personal experience, and I have to say that perhaps some Christians aren’t as holy as they think or are cracked up to be. I know we all live out of the flesh now and again, but what I can’t understand is how can some Christians justify this kind of behavior as something that had to be done? I find that this behavior can destroy and bury relationships to no end. Not taking responsibility for ones actions and pouring the problem on the other person is what I call slanderous; forgivable, but slanderous. I have come to a place in my journey where I find myself to be scum of the earth, not to sound too self righteous, for that is not where my heart is, but I find this all to be a huge growing experience for me in my journey with Father. It’s been a painful, yet in some weird way, satisfying experience. Somehow I may be treated like scum of the earth, but I find that Father is still there by my side and through it all, I find my feet on solid ground. I can’t say I have arrived, hardly, for this thing we call life is a journey and through that journey I am growing and will continue to do so until Father takes me away!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cooking Up a Storm

This weekend Jonathan and I are house sitting at the same place we did almost 2 months ago. It is so, so nice to be in a house with a full kitchen. I have already made our first meal. Shepherd's Pie and it turned out to be really good! I love to try new recipes, and take full advantage of the kitchen space in this amazing house. They have a huge oven, it is like a restaurant size along with plenty of counter space to chop things up!!! I imagine if I had a kitchen with a real stove and plenty of room, I would cook up a storm so much more than I do, but without the room comes no motivation to cook! I never thought I would like to cook, until I found myself living in a small studio apartment with only a sink and a college size fridge. For some reason after we moved in, I now have this desire to cook! Lol, kinda funny I guess knowing that beforehand when I had a full size kitchen, I really didn’t take full advantage of it. Well, I was working full-time back then to so that makes a difference on the energy level. Anyway, yesterday I made a menu of things that I am going to cook for the days that we are here, and today I got all of the groceries, so it will be really fun to explore more cooking adventures. Last week I grabbed a Martha Stuart Cooking magazine and I also found another cooking magazine that has so many recipes in it that I got sticky notes and picked out the ones that looked good! It shall be interesting for sure to see how the rest of the food items will turn out! Well, I am going to go and have some pumpkin pie now! (Store bought) hehehe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Divine Inspiration

I think sometimes that in order to write a blog, I must become inspired, either in thought or through events that take place in my life. And maybe it’s that inspiration that motivates me enough to write and may sound more interesting to my readers. I have this quiet hope that someone out there, or whoever reads my heart, will become touched in some way or another. It’s quite encouraging to me that Father will use me and how I am growing in Him to encourage others. I definitely hope this is so; I never want to come across judgmental, harsh, or brutally wrong to anyone. However, I don’t also want to feel bound in any way or to lose the voice that God has given me to speak my heart out loud. Sometimes for me it is easy to go off on a whim about something that is bothering me and in those times I am a little more dramatic than normal, but I think its fine to speak my mind. God didn’t give me these divine inspirations to just keep them buried beneath the surface of my heart, no; in fact I now know that through the heart, the mouth speaks, and so that is what I do and have no shame in doing so.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Will to Forgive

Sometimes I struggle with making the choice to forgive those who have hurt me, and have taken life from me. I have been dealing with these thoughts of forgiveness plus the stirring of the flesh that wants to build up bitterness and rage at the same time. Oh how I wish it was easier to be more like Father. I have that desire to become much more like Him than I am. I want so bad to let go of all the desires of the flesh and walk away from my pride and take hold of unconditional love and acceptance for those who don’t accept me or love me back. If I could just set all of the negatives aside, and hurtful gesture that were thrown at me and look past into the heart who may be crying out for just that; Unconditional love that Father so gracefully portrays to each and every one of us regardless of our sin. When I think of complete and pure forgiveness, I think of Jesus at the cross, when He was beaten and hung on the cross to die. He died for those who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross; if only they would come to Him, he would wipe their slate clean. If only they could see the love He had for them. In my latest blog post I posed a question about forgiveness. I asked how someone could forgive another if they haven’t asked for forgiveness or even if they think they didn’t do anything wrong. I think if Jesus had the will to forgive, than somewhere in my heart, deep down in a little corner, I do too. Even if it isn’t much of a will, it is something that can grow into great forgiveness. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." I need to give my friend that forgiveness and love even if she doesn’t deserve it. I am not going to deny that this is very hard to do, and requires a lot of God in me to be able to love and forgive this much. The past couple of weeks through what happened are I believe a Transformation of my heart because I am willing to make that choice to forgive her and love her. Even if I have to make that choice every day, I am willing.

Father, only you can give me the strength to love like you love, and to forgive like you forgive. I want to be like you Father, continue to give me that will to be more like you! I love you Abba!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Off To Texas!

I am gone for over a week to visit my best friend from growing up in Midland Texas! I am really excited because this is the first time I have gone on vacation by myself since I was married so I am really excited to get to go on a trip by myself! Traveling is so much fun, I love to fly and feel so cosmopolitan. Sipping my drink in the plane while I read Vogue Magazine! Lol, no, but it is fun to pretend at least that my transportation is a plane and I do it all the time! Well, I hope everyone has a great week!!! Ohh, get out and vote!!! Every vote counts!

God Bless!

Love In Freedom, Nicole!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wanna Chat?

I have been thinking that we could try to get together and chat soon...

I am not sure what day, so how about you all shout out a date in the next weekend or week and we will see what works out!!! It will happen!

Let me know!!!

Can't wait to catch up with everyone!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Matthew



A little bird told me that it was your birthday today!

I hope you have a marvelous day,

filled with God's grace,

filled with amazing joy

filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding!

You are such a blessing and I am so glad you were born!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fear Based HYPE


It’s easy to get scared in this world with the unpredictable economy we are living with these days and all the hype it has gotten in the last month. Things seem a little uneasy when we think we won’t be able to make it financially in the months and years ahead. I watch too much Fox News to not be scared about this crisis. I have heard several case scenarios that would scare anyone if they truly believed every word they heard. How we are going into the second greatest depression, or a huge recession that will leave us high and dry financially, and blah blah blah blah. Okay, the mass media has been really good to put fear in the hearts of people. It’s their job, they are paid to make news, and what is news if it isn’t bad anyways? They of course will explode every last detail of bad news they can come up with and give these scary scenarios to spike interest in what news they have, even if it’s struck by fear, people will still be worried and listen to what they have to say. It’s good to be cautious about what is going on in the world and this financial crisis that hit wall-street not too long ago. However, I have to always think back to who my provider and protector is? Is it our jobs? Is it our finances? Is it our home? Is it our possessions, or our greatest assets we have? ABSOLUTELY NOT. My Father is my provider and my protector and it is His job to take care of us and provide what we need on this earth. I have to remind myself that Father is bigger than this problem, or any other problem we may face. He is BIG enough to take care of us. Even if all HELL breaks loose, God is still big enough to rescue us and provide what we need. My trust is no longer in this world but in my Father who cares deeply for me! So, chin up to those who are down and out about this whole financial crisis, Father is big enough to take care of you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thoughts Roaming Inside Nicole's Head

I always had a hard time relaying my opinions, thoughts, convictions and really just the way I live my life. I always stumble over words, trying to get my point across or ideas to mean something other than nothing to some. It’s hard to explain to a person why I don’t go to church. My faith is not based on whether I go to an institutional congregation, although when I was attending, that was my life or where I put my identity. However, I have become so disillusioned by all of that which used to grab my attention in the institutions. I used to think that going to church kept me out of trouble, or grounded in so much good. But now, I feel the opposite. It’s not like going to church is now looked upon as a bad thing, or in my case it wasn’t bad, but, it sure hasn’t been as productive as one would think… Even that isn’t a good way at looking at it. No, I think that in my case, as like some, the institution is now looked at as a system in which takes from you then gives or adds life. In order to be a part of it, you must give something; money, gifts, time, effort. This giving wasn’t focused on God, nor was it for God, really, it seemed more for keeping the institution running… Like a business, in order to keep it open, you must put forth money, time, and effort. This is what a lot of churches look like in America. I don’t think I have ever attended an institution that didn’t want something from me. This isn’t really how the body of Christ is supposed to run, nor does it really produce real family life with other believers either. It’s focused on how much you ‘do’ or ‘give’ than on whom you are in the family of God.

Here are some questions to ponder on…

Are you experience true family life with other believers?

Are you attending an Institutional Church because you think you have to in order to be right with God?

How deep are you willing to go with God?

I think about these questions a lot. I thought at one point that going to church was the time to sit down, listen and not speak. No real transparent deep fellowship happened even though these church settings such as this were called fellowship! I did used to think that in order to be right with God I had to go to church on Sunday. I think I found times outside of the church walls deeper times with God than inside. Even though it felt like church was a time set aside to spend time with God and go personal. I hardly did, I just sat there and listened half-hazard like.

House Sitting

Yesterday as I was housecleaning at one of my client’s house, as I was leaving he asked if I could house sit while they are out of town for a week. I was so excited because I could use some extra cash and who wouldn’t want to stay in a beautiful huge house that has many luxuries for a week! Wow, it is so amazing. Their house is way up in the mountains surrounded by forest, they have a hot tub, and a large flat screen TV with dish network. What a great unexpected surprise to wake up in this beautiful mountain house. I told Jonathan that it feels like we are on vacation and we are getting paid for it!

Praise Him!




Vinny


Eva










Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Reflection In Time


The first note in a new song always catches me off guard. Then following are the next several notes that run smoothly in its course. I pause and listen, waiting impatiently for the chorus, and once I hear it, I am nothing but satisfied and currently find myself in my past remembering my life as a child, once as a little girl who lived in a happy home, completely satisfied. What did I think about back then? What do little girls think about? I was always in a hurry to grow up. The older I was the more things I was able to do, so what I thought, but what about my innocence? Was I to know it would be damaged or taken from me when I was older, or losing a life that was so near to me that I couldn’t imagine life without him, until he was taken from me? My mind was back then, filled with butterflies, flowers, dreams, expectancies of what life would bring. Never to think that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Pain, loss, dreams fade, events take place that literally can and will catch you off guard that will take months and months, even years to re-define and find yourself again. And so it goes for me, if only I could have put the brakes on time, and slowed things down so I would be able to take a good look on where my thoughts were taking me, and what exactly I found to be important in life back then as a child. What were the things that built my future to make it reality today? Events, memories, family, God? What does God think about my life? I can remember that he never left my side, even if I felt like he wasn’t there. He was somewhat quiet, never in a hurry to speak, and always was patient with me, even as a little girl, when I was not listening or obeying my parents, he would sit on my bed with me and just be there with me. Did I realize his presence back then? I was always told to pray, but talking to God was more to me than saying a prayer. I would write it down, so it would never be lost in the void of time, but always there to reflect on where my heart was and where he was in it. My past is just a reflection of notes that were played, and how the song sounds as a whole. But this song is not over yet, for it still has more notes to hit, and choruses to play and the Orchestrator of life is who will define me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Pierce In The Darkness



If you were in a room that was pitch dark and only a tiny speck of light was peeking through, wouldn’t you be fixated on that one speck of light than on the darkness that surrounds you? In each person there is, I believe, that one speck of light hiding in the depths of their souls. Even if their entire life is filled with sin and evil, don’t you think there is a chance that they may have an ounce if not more, light and goodness buried in their hearts somewhere. In the Gospels, many times Jesus did what no other Jew had done, He talked and ate with sinners and treated them like his own. He took the time to talk with them and be there for them like no other. That goes to show that Father saw good in them, and knew that they would turn away from their wrong doings, not because Father was forceful and condemning, but because He loved them unconditionally and He showed this to each and every one of them. He wasn’t afraid of their sin or what they have done, but expressed by his actions that nothing else mattered but how much he loved them. I want to be like that, I want to shine light on the good in every person and not allow their sin or things they do to get in the way of putting forth light on the good that is in their hearts. In this day and age, we are so fast to judge and put forth speculation on what their heart is made up of when we don’t even know them. If I am a disciple and called to bring people to Jesus, I wouldn’t get very far by conjuring and pushing people to God by putting utter fear in their hearts and manipulating them to come to Jesus… Fear is not the tool that Father uses to draw us closer to Him. It is out of pure and unconditional love that draws us closer to Him. He uses the power of love that points out the good that we have in our hearts and always acknowledges that we are good in the worst of situations that we may find ourselves in. Never does He use guilt and manipulation to bring us to repentance. I want to find that speck of light in everyone’s heart, even if it is hard to find.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Walk Or Not To Walk!

What a beautiful day today on this warm autumn summer-like day! I must get out and walk for these days are quickly passing me by, that in the next month or so, it will be snowing. Don't want to be lazy again. That is what I have been being since I wrote that last blog, but I will spare you and not take a picture of myself this time! Tis' time to enjoy what Father has given me, a nice warm day to remind me of his warm and amazing love. Trying to keep my head high and remember Him, for it is a process sometimes!

Monday, September 29, 2008

candycoatedwaterdrops

What is this
Mass confusion
This crazy way we're living
This emptiness we're passing out
Like candycoatedwaterdrops
I'm spilling out my thoughts
You're spilling out your guts

And I can't help but stop and think that

If the world stopped spinning
If the end was beginning
Would you even notice if I wasn't there?
If the world stopped spinning around

"all that's worth dying for is already dead"
An empty religion you've learned to accept
When nothing means everything, your
Daily routine
You go through the motions like a
Helpless machine

You're spinning 'round
You're spinning 'round
But I can't help wondering
You're spinning 'round
You're spinning 'round
But I can't help wondering

When the answers to everything are right
In your hands
You lose your conviction, but you can't
Help standing
On the one thing that held you for so
Many years

You ask for forgiveness and hold back the
Tears

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finding Who I Am Outside Of What I Do

Why do I feel like I have to give an explanation to everyone about how I live my life and what exactly I do? I feel like this pressure to do so is coming from me and not anyone else. Letting the skeleton out of the closet is hard, I guess I feel like it keeps me grounded and real about how I present myself to others, even though no one is demanding or even wanting an explanation of what I do.

1 Corinthians 6:12

Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything.


I love this scripture because it points to several important facts; whatever I do does not make me, it is not a part of who I am. Just like a job or a career. I will not take my job with me when I die, nor will I take what I do here on earth with me either. Also, it will not overtake or master me. Now, I have done some pretty dumb things in my life as I am sure pretty much everyone has, but I don’t think that what we do will surpass who we are or become who we are. I remember when I was a nanny, Emma and I would drive past a prison on our way to this children's art studio, and almost every time we would pass the prison she would say, ‘bad people live there’. I would tell her that I believe that the person isn’t bad but their choices that they have made were bad and now they have to pay the consequences and go to ‘time out’ for a long time sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that the person themselves are exactly bad, but what they choose to do. Why do people focus on what other people do instead of on their hearts and other good upright things they do? Why does it seem like evil always has a spotlight on it and we never get to see the good people do? It’s like the news stations. The news media always puts a spotlight on the bad in the world, such as, the crisis of the economy, the hurricanes, destruction, death, and evil people do. The old saying goes, ‘good news isn’t news’. That’s how most of us were trained to observe the human race; we put people into categories and put labels on them based on what they ‘do’ even when we don’t know them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lazy Dayz

Today I feel lazy! I don't feel like doing laundry even though it is piling up to the ceiling. I need to clean our house because we may be having Jonathan's sister over this weekend, but, I have no motivation to clean or tidy up. I slept in really late this morning and I try not to feel guilty about it. I must needed sleep, but I didn't even have any motivtaion to even get out of bed. I guess I have been busy working the last two days, and always seem to stay up way too late. I seem to be out of it today, and don't even feel like walking like I normally do. I haven't walked once this week. What is wrong with me?! It's getting colder out, but not that cold, I guess I have really no motivation to do anything...

Well, I guess I need to get off the computer, turn off the tv and purhaps find some motivation and go do laundry. Ugh



Friday, September 19, 2008

Loving Him Fearlessly

When I was a child, I lost my father at the age of 10. I still remember the moment I was told he left to be with the Lord. It was 4am in morning; it was dark, it was cold and I was scared. My mother was at the hospital when he died as my brothers and I were currently staying with our Pastor’s family while he was in the hospital for about 3 to 4 months straight. The moment that news broke that my father died. It didn’t really occur to me what actually happened until I found my brothers in the big house we were staying in to confirm what happened to our dad. I then remember distinctively that I became very afraid. Scared of the dark at ten years of age is typically normal I guess, but not just that, it was seemingly much colder and darker that day. I was lost, afraid, and felt alone.

Death has always been a scary word to me, but not just the word alone but its meaning. It was something that I always portrayed as something of the unknown that was dark, gloomy, and its foundation to me was known as fear. Until recent, I have felt like those memories, those feelings have followed me around like a ghost. I was raised as a Christian, but that really didn’t help me. I knew God was light, and He was good, but I still felt left alone with those memories and the dark to keep me company.

Last week I felt a large cloud of darkness and memories of death lift from my spirit. I went for a walk the other day, and never felt so spiritually connected to God before. It was something unknown to me, but something that I have dreamed of. I have always seen my relationship with God in a physical way, always trying to find that connection in the flesh to the Spirit of God. It has always been something so unnatural to me. Even though I knew I had a relationship with Father, there always seemed to be that cloud always hovering over me and stealing my joy, stealing my confidence in knowing that I was Father’s and He was mine. I have always known that, but I was still afraid. Scared of losing that and finding myself in the dark, alone, with only death by my side. What loss, what discomforting thoughts that would try to capture my attention away from Father, and his love and His amazing grace that IS covered and drench in LIFE. I came out of fearing God, to loving Him fearlessly, and an understanding that the end result of my life on this earth will be finding myself in Father’s physical presence for Eternity and knowing that in that moment and for the rest of Eternity, death will no longer have its grip on me and darkness and fear will no longer exist. Wow, such a mind-blowing thought that has freed my heart from memories and thoughts of loneliness, abandonment, and death. In recent days, Father has taken the place of my fears and the memories that were tied to it. Father has filled in that gap. Not that He didn’t before, but once I felt this spiritual breakthrough last week, I know in my heart of hearts that death, darkness, and fear no longer has a grip on my life as it once did for many years. I know while I still physically exist on this planet, that the evil one will try again, to take that amazing peace I have in my heart away and fill it again with destruction and lies as he has in the past, but I now have this abundant confidence and strength that Father constantly has been giving me in recent days. I am no longer afraid in Jesus Name!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Season of Change













As I walk down the quiet sidewalk, I notice the streets are embraced with color. As the sidewalks are starting to get covered in leaves and the colors of the trees fluctuate between golden-yellow colors to a red color. Mostly a yellow-golden color as autumn has not yet reached its peak and has yet more colors to experience. The breeze has a nip to it, nothing like the crisp of the autumn breeze with a warm drift to keep one cool in the still yet strong rays of the sun. I ponder on thoughts of change once I start to notice the change of season. Autumn shows its beauty and grace in many ways. It allows one to grow accustom to colder temperatures, but yet gives days that are summer like. Those days can lift one’s spirit high from the dimness of what cold can bring, but allows a cool down from a hot and gleaming summer that is only drenched in sunlight and heat. The season of autumn always takes me back in time, growing up and playing in the leaves as a child, or picking colored leaves and making collages out of them. Autumn was a time in my life when things were quiet and still. No big events took place or sudden loss or rare incident. Pleasant, were the days of fall when life had no big worries or doubts, but a wonderful sense of enjoyment and satisfaction of the season.

The Hell Fear Factor VS. Peace & Satisfying Life With Father

I have been pondering a lot lately on what it’s going to be like to live with Father in the spirit realm. When there is no longer me on this earth, when it is only my spirit with my Father and how extremely different that’s going to be. I think I will still be me, but the transformation that will occur once my flesh is no longer and only my spirit body exists. It is somewhat freaky to think about, but I am no longer afraid of death. I am no longer afraid of God. I now feel completely at peace about leaving my flesh suit behind and find that my spirit will meet Father. I almost think that living as a spirit being will be more natural and finding my identity in God will be more visible or easier to live in. I was raised with the thought of dying was a fearful thing and God was a figure that would scare the hell out of you if you didn’t believe in Him. People would use hell as a weapon for us to conform and come to Jesus on bended knee. That strategy does NOT work, because through that, God is only looked at as an angry mean God who will wipe people off the planet if they don’t go to Him and repent. The thing that I am more scared of than that is the ultimate thought of not having relationship with Him. It’s not really hell that scares me, but the total separation of not being close to my Father that scares the daylights out of me. I have full confidence that I belong to God and I know that I am in His arms and nothing can or will separate me from Him at this point, but furthermore, the fact that others out there don’t realize how much their Maker desire’s them and wants to be close to them is literally spiritually threatening. Recently I have watched some You Tube video’s on people being raised from the dead and others who have had dreams of going to hell and how relevant it was not being able to have any relationship or dialogue what so ever with Father, but not only that, but the worst fears one has ever had will happen there in hell. That’s hard to think about, but the way this guy explained it, it became so real to me that I haven’t forgotten that. Not that I am fearful of hell in itself, but not being able to be with my Father is now the worst thought I think I have ever had. Having security in Father’s love is I think the key to living a satisfied and amazing life with Father on this earth. If one is always stepping on egg shells through life because they think God is an angry and condemning God, then what a life, living in fear of God does not sound pleasant or satisfying to me. It sounds awful and I almost find that those who don’t even know God are better off. Not that they are right either, but they definitely don’t have as much as a fear factor attached to life compared to those who can’t live in complete peace and harmony with Father.

Give up on fear; it won’t lead you anywhere, but only farther away from Father and away from a satisfying life with Him here on earth.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Change

What can I say, I guess I was ready for an all around change in my life. Hair, Blog, and my Studio Apartment. I have been organizing my house and getting ready for the cold to start moving in and taking over outside. I organized our little storage space in our little place, and took all the camping gear to our other storage unit and brought back our winter coats and clothes. Then I thought I was getting tired of the way things looked on my blog so, I had to give it a change. Haven't taken the time to just blog in a while! I miss it. I have been, I guess, taking time off unintentionally. I usually will blog when I am inspired to write, but haven't had the motivation or inspiration to write in a while. Anyway, hope you all like the change, I was ready for something different! It reminds me when I was a kid. I would re-arrange my bedroom at least every other month until I got sick of the arrangement, I would just turn things around and make it look and feel different. That is what I do with my blog I guess! Re-arrange and change things around every once in a while for a fresh clean look and perspective.

Hope you enjoy!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Going Short

So, I cut my long hair off for the first time since I was 12. It was scary, nerve wracking, exciting, freaky all at the same time. But for the most part I was more nervous about Jonathan's reaction because he was in love with my long hair, but come to find out he loved it... PRAISE GOD! I prayed hard that he would like it!!!! So, going short was rather easy for me considering how long its been since I have tried short...












Like it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Freedom Found In Grace

What if grace didn’t exist through the Resurrection? What if we were only made just to be thrown in hell because we are sinners? A lot of what if questions start to creep up into my mingled mind to take precedence over truth and reality. Just recently in our dialogue chat on Friday evening, Manuela, Matt and I were discussing what life would be like without grace. We basically concluded that we all would be in hell. Well, then, I started thinking more in-depth about what this conclusion was, horrible, depressing, and pointless to me; until I started putting the puzzle pieces together. It actually would make sense (if) the grace of God was nonexistent and the sacrifice He made on the cross never happened. However, Through the Resurrection, grace and love abounds. I believe that Father created us to be his companions on the earth and to live and love Him as He would love us. Beautiful picture right? Well, then here comes satin the deceiver and father of lies. Who would then destroy what was good and deceives Eve to disobey God and then sin is tossed and thrown on the rest of us. We are now sinners, all of us. We could no longer be close to God as was planned. Or was it planned? This is a sentence I used in our dialogue. “Why did Father make Adam and Eve KNOWING that they were going to hell in the first place? The bible says Father is all knowing, so it wouldn't make sense to make 'people' in the first place IF the whole purpose was to throw all of them in hell”. Well then the more I thought about it, if He is all knowing, then He knew about the Resurrection and how grace would set us free. He knew that was the only way to free us from sin. Our sins have been washed away and now that we are free, Father can now be in relationship with us just like in the beginning, whoever accepts Him and desires him as He desires all of us. I get it, now that Father went to the cross to deliver us from an eternity away from Him; it is now our responsibility to come to Jesus now that we have a free will. He wanted us to want Him; He isn’t demanding us all to love Him, but to choose on our own to want Him and to love Him. That is why we have a free will. If that wasn’t the reason why, then He might as well have made robots who automatically loved Him and who bow down to Him. But I think Father is more concerned about being in relationship with us than making us do anything. We were made to be in relationship with Him, and now that we have that choice, He can really know who want to be with Him. One verse in scripture has captured my heart since the moment I started to realize how important and significant Grace is in my life, but most importantly, being in relationship with Father; for that is why grace exists in the first place.

Galatians 5:1 It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Praise Him for Grace!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Guilt Free

Lately I have been getting down on myself for not feeling like I am giving of my time to people and or doing things on a larger scale, such as reaching out to the poor, or giving my time to help others in any way. I get the feeling like I am not ‘doing’ enough to contribute to people’s lives. Sometimes I wonder why I think it’s my responsibility in the first place, but I have always been a person who thought that I need to be that person to fill in the gaps with giving of my time and offering my service without expecting anything back! I am really been asking Father to help me distinguish between his voice and the enemies voice that just wants to give me a guilt trip so that I would do things out of guilt and self obligation. Yesterday I was listening to a God Journey podcast that was talking about someone who was so passive that they didn’t do anything even for their relationship with Father, compared to someone who does too much that maybe Father isn’t even in it! I want to be in the middle of these; I don’t want to be too passive and not contribute and give, but I also don’t want to just give and contribute out of obligation and overdo it where I have nothing left to give to Father because I already have given all of my energy to others. Having a healthy balance between the two is what I desire. I don’t want to feel like I have to do things in order to find more favor with God. I know that line is so far-fetched and frankly upsetting because I know by Father’s grace that I don’t have to do anything to win his favor because by his grace I already have it! Anyway, I feel relieved that now I can feel freedom to pursue and contribute my time without any anxiety to make something happen, but to just be and give freely.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wanna Chat?

Hey Guys,

Manuela and I were thinking about chatting again this coming week or weekend?! I was thinking either Friday evening or Sunday evening...

Times could be 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern! Please let me know what day or even times(Friday OR Sunday) you would prefer and we could take a vote on it! I am open either night! It doesn't matter to me! Looking forward to some more great conversations!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making History Happen!




I have never been excited about politics, but for some reason I am very excited for the Republican presidential ticket up for vote this November. The McCain campaign’s choice of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee is a risky, yet intelligent move on their part. This is the first time that I have observed and appreciated a well thought out and executed strategy by the Republican Party.

Getting to know Sarah recently has been great; I have read and listened to her first speech, which has brought me great excitement and has caught my attention. I think that she is the perfect match and what we need in the Republican Party. She has more experience in politics than Obama, yet she is not as well known as Hillary in the political circles. I think her status is what will give her attention on the national political stage. She is definitely not a celebrity politician. My first reaction to this pick was asking, “who is she”; I think a lot of people have been asking the same question. She will bring a refreshing outlook and stance to the Republican Party as we get to know her better and hope to find that she will become the first woman in history to be our Vice President.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pain In Loss

What does it take to rid pain? I can bury it beneath the already hidden wounds that are stashed away in my heart just waiting to be dealt with. But then I don’t deal with the pain because, well, it’s painful, unpleasant, and brings such harshness to a numb, but seemingly fine reality. But I feel stranded because each new ache brings up old ones and somehow they are all connected to things that just happened in recent days. I told my brother today that I wanted to dig a hole, climb into it and never come out. This morning I found out that my childhood dog past away last night due to spleen cancer. There have been many, many memories connected to him. His name was Duke! The Grand Duke of Hop Canyon, (the place where my parents live). Many days I would wake up and find Duke just waiting at my bedside for me to get up and pet him. He was that kind of dog, waiting to love us and always was there wanting to play, or go on a walk. He was always there, and now he’s not. One might think that it was just a dog, but not me. He was my dog, our family’s dog, a part of our family. He would always go outside and find large sticks to drag around and collect. Some of them weren’t even sticks but almost as large as tree branches, as he would drag across the yard as his head was bended due to the weight of the branch. My Mom has written a great blog post about him plus she has pictures of him if you want to go check it out. Her blog is (Blog When I Can) it is the second to last blog link on my blog roll! Most of the day I mourned for my Dukey, but while I was crying today, I was reminded of recent pain our family have been going through concerning family relations falling apart. I feel broken and helpless and I just can’t hold it together any more. All of these wounds are connected because each pain ends in a loss. And those losses have taken their tow on my heart. I feel like I have many holes in my heart that are yet to be mended, and I am losing energy to continue. I asked God to help me deal with the pain, and today he grieved with me. He held me and said it was okay to grieve, for that is a part of releasing and accepting what was to what is. Then I thought about what Heaven is going to be like; there won’t be any loss, any grief, pain or past wounds that add up throughout a lifetime, but a God waiting for me to get there to love on me even more when I am in his presence, just like Duke used to wait for me to get up. He will be greatly missed.

Father, please heal the pain and pour your love upon me as I seek your face for comfort and as you help me deal with losses that I have dealt with in my life. I know God that pain is inevitable in this life, but I also know that your love and healing hands are too, and you can use each loss that I have experienced to build and bring me up to be a woman who you call daughter. I love you Papa…

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pursuing Your Passions

Hey Bloggers!

My friend Laura has started an outreach called ARK Adventure and it is to find people who have a desire or a passion to make a difference in the world and make that desire come true. She is a very gifted and passionate person and has a website for this outreach that also has a blog that is connected to it. I highly encourage and recommend checking it out...

I have a link to her website on my Great SITES roll called, ARK Adventure...

In Freedom, Nicole!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Replacing Religion With Relationship

Where do we draw the line between being in relationship with our Father, and becoming drenched inside of religion that we lose sight of Father in the first place? Some are so prone to think that God gives them the authority to rule over others that they never question or think twice about their own personal relationship with Father. It seems like a fake and sad alternative it if you ask me. It may not even occur to them how it affects others (who they are ‘shepherding’). Somehow this picture of how some leaders and pastors live does not match up to what Father had in mind. One would think that they would have their relationship with the Lord be first in their life and not their ‘ministry’. Perhaps there is a huge misunderstanding of what a relationship looks like to them. They may find that their relationship with God is their ministry. Even those who see themselves as servants in the ministry find that they are only in it for their benefit because in the long run they will be seen as righteous and steadfast to those around them. But to me, this doesn’t make sense anymore. Being in relationship with Father is not a to-do list. He is not a system to collect brownie points from so I won’t become a janitor in heaven. Very skewed look on what it means to be in relationship with Father and WOW, if you really think about it, some who actually think this way are MISSING so much of what Father offers and wants with us. He doesn’t want to take from us but to add so much more life to how we live and with that said, no wonder why there are so many out there missing a real deep relationship with Father because some can’t even think that he is even approachable. Some have put this image in heads that Father is only after us to do hard work for ‘the ministry’ and he is only interested in the business side to relating. Wow, this can get complicated and confusing, but if you really want to break it down, take all of that other stuff out of the picture- ministry, hard work, and the excuses behind all of this and what does one have left? Just you and Jesus, that’s it. Nothing to hide behind or excuses to justify one's empty heart. I like to look at my relationship with Father like I see my relationships with my family. In a family there are several dynamics to these relationships. The way we communicate and show appreciation and love for one another, and how we usually aren’t afraid of being ourselves, we are who we are and have a place in the family that cannot be taken from us or be replaced by another. Not all family dynamics are good or like this so I can understand that some may have a hard time seeing this to be true. But if you stop and think about your relationship with God, do you feel like you can be yourself and you have a place in your relationship with God? Than that is the first step to being real. Not being afraid of Father’s love and being you and finding that a relationship with Father does not require the typical religious riff raff that only adds more heartache than anything is the beginning of a relationship with Father!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tapping Into My Heart!

Right now I am writing a blog…. A blog that contains where my heart is and what Father is saying to it. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed in thought with other things that have absolutely nothing to do with Father and my heart right now in this moment that I get completely sidetracked and never find time to tap into my heart and what Father is telling me… Sometimes I think it is okay to ‘relax’ and not feel like I always have to be in the moment, but I find that when I am in the moment, I am alive, and awake to the sensitivity of the Spirit, and when I am in this state of being, I find utter contentment and satisfaction of peace. I am beginning to give myself a break in regards to just allowing myself to find that moment whenever I do and not become so oppressed because I haven’t found that moment in a while. Learning how to live freely and hopefully find Father in the midst of my busy thoughtful life on other things. I don’t think that Father is up in heaven shaking his head because I haven’t given him any time in thought or find my heart in the moment, but I do think that He is there waiting patiently when I finally do come across my heart and where he is in it. God’s yoke is easy and his burden is light, but sometimes religion can take that verse and erase it, and I find that it’s that verse that allows me to rest wherever my heart is, and that I don’t have to feel like I can’t keep up with the Spirit, and I am always one step behind, but it tells me that Father is easy to find and has no angst against me because I haven’t found him in a while. What a blessing to know that being in relationship with the Lord is not a rat race, but a restful one and we can just be who we are and not have to do or act accordingly to what we ‘think’ is expected of us. Praise Him for rest!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Complete Bliss in Fine Dining

One thing that I find to be very enjoyable, romantic, and amazingly breathe taking is Fine Dining. The atmosphere in a restaurant that brings forth complete comfort and delightfulness gives me immense pleasure. This may sound a bit strange to some, but I really enjoy eating out, not just for the sake of eating out, however, but having expectations of leaving a restaurant with an experience that will make a lasting impression in my mind for a very long time to come. If one is going to spend a large portion of money on food, my philosophy is it should be the best with the essential ingredients of Fine Dining. That includes an enormous list of exquisite entrĂ©es that have fine details in the explanation of each preparation – A Wine list of variety and excellence – A server who shows great appreciation for you as a guest at their restaurant and who will treat you with the utmost importance and respect. Who will not rush or distort one’s time as they enjoy their meal – Dim lighting to fit the softly played music in the background that will add excellence to the ambiance and comfort in the restaurant; such as, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Bub’le, or Frank Sinatra that will truly add life to a Fine Dining experience.

I must sound snobbish, but it is truly a hobby of mine to explore Fine Dining and have many experiences that I will remember forever. I praise Father for some very amazing experiences and entrees that I was privileged to enjoy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcome Jonathan To The Blog World

Hey All Bloggers out there...

My sweet husband, Jonathan has entered the Blogsphere and I wanted to share with you his blog... I hope that you guys will check it out!

It is not posting as a link so you can just go to my blogroll and look at it there!

The link is called: Stop Qwerty

In Freedom, Nicole!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Today I was walking and I saw a bumper sticker that said: “Don’t believe everything you think.” I really had to think about this one for a few minutes. My thoughts are scattered half the time, but what I have found to be helpful is not basing every thought as fact and finding room to question, even question all my thoughts. When I do this, I find that I seem to get a lot out of questioning things than actually having answers. I have always thought that when one is open to discuss what they ‘think’, it is always based on their opinion and the way they process. Or when someone is in conversation and you say, ‘I think’ means like maybe or perhaps. I like that one better, not knowing for sure and always being open to two or three different possibilities. I have a hard time basing my thoughts and opinions out there like it is the truth and nothing but the truth, because if someone out there finds opposition in what I ‘think’, things could get hairy real fast. I tend to be shy of conflict but I am not saying that people shouldn’t have the freedom to speak their minds and what they believe, but I think the quote really says it all. I think our thinking changes with time, and in this journey I can’t say that I think the same as I used to, quite differently actually. I don’t think that I have now arrived either; I am still learning and thinking. It is a huge process that will probably last my entire life and I think that is a HUGE part of this journey. Thinking is a big reason why I like to go walking. I really get lost in thought when I am out in nature, breathing fresh air and become overwhelmed in thought. I think it’s like a release of pressure and angst for me to be able to think while I walk. I don’t know, but it is something I really enjoy. I think Father has given me thoughts and processed feelings to find the truth, but not everything I have thought of before is based on truth or what I believe. Yeah, I just let the skeleton out of the closet and confessed that I am not perfect, nor are my thoughts. I think this is when the H.P comes in and helps guide my thoughts and confirms truth in my heart, and that is where my beliefs are anyways.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who Wants To Chat???

Hey guys, I was thinking that we haven't talked for a while and wanted to see if anyone was interested in chatting again. I was thinking this Thursday evening at 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern... (Joel, I hope you get this in time and are available)sorry to single you out bro... Also, if anyone wants to change anything with the time or day, just let me know what will work better for everyone!

Looking forward to some more fellowship...

In Freedom, Nicole!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Unleashed

Lately, Father has really opened my eyes to what I think Father sees in me and who I am. I used to allow people to take advantage of me to the point that I was ALWAYS available to hang out whenever it was convenient for them and when they wanted to. I thought that this was the way to make friendships and allow doors to open for realness in relationships. I now see that this actually does more hindrance to me than it does any good for any relationship. I have put on the brakes and in the process of figuring out how to be the realest friend I can be to people I feel I can be free to be myself with. I have friends who don't allow this to take place so initially I just don't try anymore. I have given up trying to please and be who others think I need to be and becoming unleashed from people's expectations and demands. I am tired, and find that I put way too much effort in people who don't honestly care. I have done this for a huge part of my life and Father has given me the freedom to close those doors and not become a tool for someone to use for their advantage all the time. Now I can't say that I am good at telling people no, or having the power to say what I want or need, but learning how to do it with love and kindness and out of respect for them and myself. This process is not easy for me because I have trained myself to allow people to take advantage of me and in the long run I end up getting hurt. Father is really helping me be strong in this area of life but at the same time have the balance of love for people who don’t necessarily love me back. Furthermore, Father has really started bringing people into my life through cyber space that are going through pretty much the same things that I am with friendships, and I really think the timing for such friends couldn’t be better. We have been corresponding for about a week now and it has really been blessing me to because I can be myself and I don’t have to put on a front and that allows this relationship to be so real. Don’t really have any friendships like this and it truly has been a God thing… So, I am becoming unleashed and learning that I have the freedom to me who I am without feeling guilty or bad about a darn thing…

That my friend is FREEDOM-

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fear Sucks

I don’t quite know how to say how I feel. I get stuck in regret and frustration that I lose sight of Father’s unconditional and abounding love that portrays every ounce of Freedom that I have ever imagined. I think about what life would be like if fear didn’t exist. That is what Father looks like to me, so perfectly loving that there is NOTHING I can do to lose that. No fear of rejection, no fear of not being accepted. I have already been chosen by my Father, and evil himself cannot take that away from me. I have dealt with a fear of rejection pretty much my whole life… I am scared not to be accepted by others or people who I pursue in a friendship with. I have been burned many times and I get scared of putting myself out there and becoming vulnerable again just to get stomp on, like an ugly nasty beetle. I am learning the appropriate ways in going about relationships. I guess I would call it the ‘smart’ or ‘safe’ way of going about friendships, or maybe it’s more of a reserved way. I feel more guarded and cautious, but to me, it isn’t natural or it hasn’t felt normal yet. I wish that fear had no place in my life, but I feel like it has a hold on me that I can’t be who I am without offending someone or stepping on toes. What if all humans loved like Father loves. Wouldn’t the world look a lot different than it does today? I believe it would. I know fear wouldn’t have its way with me if there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. I find it incredibly difficult now to love without any reservations or caution. I think it’s like loving, but not fully understanding the depths that love can have if only it was free to do its thing. If that even makes any sense. I think what I am trying to say, is I love people, but with limitations. Like, there are some who I won’t allow myself to be close to because of what could happen and what has happened in the past. I can’t put myself out there. However, Father does, He isn’t afraid of rejection even though he probably gets rejected every single day. How could I possibly be like that? How could I open that door? I am not that brave, nor will I ever attempt such a venture. My hearts cry is to be real and to love ALL people like Father does, but it cannot be done by my own might, for I have tried to gain acceptance, but end up alone in the end.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Leaving Expectations Behind

Jonathan and I went camping with some amazing people this weekend. One of them was a friend I met when I was young and we went to the same congregation. Now we are all adults and married and were reunited years ago and started getting connected again after so long. Through her, we met several other couples that they know and there were a total of ten of us camping and it was such an amazing experience getting to know some wonderful Christian people. I honestly haven’t had an experience like this with Christians in a face to face setting before in a long time. There was such a feeling of Father’s presence. We may not all be in the same place with Father, but I am beginning to understand that Father can take anyone and put them with anyone and unite them in His Spirit. On Saturday night we were all sitting around the camp fire and started to sing to Father where it was unexpected and unplanned. I came away from that so filled with Father and amazed how the Lord can just make that happen when we are in tune with His Spirit like we were. I loved it! I remember before we left on this trip that I asked Father to just take away all expectations that I may have of the trip and just be who I am and allow Father to lead and guide us together as His body. Guess what? It happened. I really felt us completely united whether or not we attend the same church. I am so blessed that I had a chance to be a part of this unity and were able to meet and enjoy these amazing individuals…
Praise Him

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chat Time Again???

Hey guys, it's been a long time coming and I just got a request from Manuela that we need to have some fellowship time so I am seeing if anyone would like to get together some time this week! How about Monday or Wednesday night this coming week at 5pm pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, and 8pm Eastern! If these days do not work, give me a shout out on this post and request another night... I am available any time this week in the evenings so let me know. Hope everyone can make it. Sorry for such a short notice... I think it would be amazing to have some good conversation and helpful!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Stages That Are EXPECTED

I have a couple of friends who are pregnant. One friend I grew up with and have been close to for many, many years, however, I find it hard, irritating, and uncomfortable when things in life, such as a pregnancy or marriage or some life changing event can separate and categorize me differently from where they are in life. I feel like in order to measure up and relate to them I must be in the same boat as they. Right now I am not talking about religion, but about stages in life and where one is. I feel like the relationship can never be the same until I jump on the pregnancy band wagon. I am not there yet, I actually have thought about the possibility of never having children, but the pressure of this stage is so relevant that it freaks me out. Being pressured into doing something, especially if it is a huge life changing event makes me want to run SCREAMING the other direction. I find it hard now to relate to these friends of mine who are in different stages in life. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand the differences, but that does not make me want to ‘do’ as they do either. The voices in my head tell me, to get over myself and join the club of expectancy, and the other voices tell me to ignore and go on with life. What voice in God’s though? It is so hard sometimes to distinguish the voices. Maybe non are Father, and I just make them up as I go along. Who knows? I am pathetic. I get really edged up about this that I just want to move to Bermuda or somewhere so so far away that I won’t feel pressured or taken over by the expectancy of others. I grew up in a church that everyone was raised homeschooled and the girls my age weren’t really encouraged to go to college, but get married and raise children. That was the norm and it felt like it was expected of us. I went to college, got married, but I am not about to go have children because everyone else is having them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No Ones Watching

When no one is watching, doesn’t that give some the freedom to do certain things they wouldn’t normally do when certain people are keeping tabs or watching what we do? We get so concerned with what others think about us and what we do, and in the midst of this, we forget that the only thing that matters is that Father is watching us and He cares for us far more than people do. This happens more in religious settings and congregations than anywhere else. Growing up in an institution, it becomes very noticeable because I used to put on a show in church sometimes, and then when I wasn’t there, go out and do something that was not of God in the sight of some who would forbid certain things. I am sure a lot, if not everyone, has done something that has caught eyes and bad attention that forces them to fake it and hide in some cases. However, everything changes when our focus becomes more on Father and living for him every single day. We began to notice how we behave when we care that God cares for us, and we start to realize that God may not be too keen on some of the things we do, instead of caring so much about what so and so would think and act upon that by acting differently in front of them, we care more about God and use his PERSONAL conviction to lead us and guide us… See the difference? Then we are free to NOT care what others think and who is watching us because ultimately God is our personal leader and is big enough to be God in our lives… It’s hard to stop hiding but we can do it, if we stop caring who see's us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Knowing God Personally

Do you think that it has been possible that a Christian has lived their entire lives not knowing who God truly is to them? They may have given the knowledge of all the details of the bible and what it intales, but has no reality of having an intimate relationship with God. Wow, can you imagine going through your whole life as a Christian not having a relationship with Father? I would not see the point of living as a Christian without truly knowing God personally. I think that if one only speaks as a Christian who does certain things as a 'Christian should' does not give the spacific details to the importance of what being a Christian is all about.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seeing God For Who He Truly IS

The way we perceive God’s character, gives us permission to act and portray the same character of God. If a person has an image of an angry God who punishes and condemns people who don’t conform to his authority, doesn’t that give that person permission to be angry and act the way they see or understand God’s Image? However, the more one understands God’s true character and image of unconditional love and acceptance, one will come to the conclusion that they no longer can use God as an excuse to act nasty towards others who don’t do things they do or believe how they believe… If we think God uses fear to manipulate people to come to him, it makes sense to think we have ‘permission’ to use fear and manipulation in order to control others to conform. We tend to create our own image of God and we think God hates or is angry with someone we are angry with and that makes it okay. . . I know for me, I have dealt with anger, but knowing his true character, I think that anger comes from my fleshly desires and the dark side of me. It has nothing to do with Father and who he is in my life… The way he shows himself to me is the exact opposite of how I act or live sometimes; living with anger, bitterness, and uneasiness that is covered in fear and manipulated thoughts, it takes away the peace and love that are major characteristics of His Image. I am ready to see and accept Father for who he truly is, and that is abundant love and acceptance of me no matter how I act or live. Something within me desires to express myself through the true nature of God that will take the place of the false images of Father I once had…

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Boycott System

There is a trend in politics and also in religious groups that I find quite annoying and absurd. I think boycotting certain things like not shopping at Target because some of their sponsors support abortion, or even not buying certain items that is supported by particular groups… It’s like people think that if they STAND AGAINST something they are making a stand for what they believe, but in reality, does it really make a difference of what others think? I would get some emails from some friends that are petitioning against something and encourage everyone else to jump on the boycott band wagon. It is so funny but I hardly see the point. At some point, people think that if you ‘do’ this or stand for ‘that’ you are ‘supporting’ sin, when, in reality if I buy a certain pair of shoes that are made from a company that supports something that is religiously wrong, the focus in now on ‘me’ who 'did' the wrong by buying the item… It becomes a vicious cycle of finger pointing and is complete stupidity in my opinion. To me, it is just another system that tries to enforce itself on people, and I refuse to support the BOYCOTT SYSTEM…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unplanned and Unexpected Visits With My Father

Quiet times in our Christian circles, has become a time set aside to spend time with the Lord, but I think that if that is the only time we allow ourselves to be with Father and try to ‘make’ something happen during that time, doesn’t that hinder the possibilities of spontaneous experiences that we could have? I remember having a certain time of day set aside for Father, and honestly, I never got a whole lot out of it, it became more of something to check off my daily list, and nothing more. I remember hearing growing up that it was crucial that we have quiet times with the Lord every single day in order to be close to him. Today, that doesn’t make sense to me because why can’t I feel close to him just living and being every single minute of every single day with him? That just boils down to ‘doing’ something for God than living day to day with Father and being open to His unexpected presence… I honestly, hardly just open my bible to read, if I want to be close to Father I will read blogs, or stories of other people’s lives today to see the presence of Father in others lives, or I read good books… I don’t think I remember the last time I opened the bible to just read it. There is nothing wrong with just reading the bible if one feels like that is the way to be close to Father, but I don’t think that everyone feels the same… I definitely don’t. I find that the best times for me to spend time with the Lord are unplanned and are mostly unexpected, and through those times, I feel completely fulfilled and satisfied with what Father has to offer in my life. So, I started a new daily list, and quiet times are NOT on it!!! FREEDOM is to express myself and be who I am wherever and whenever Father and I want to chill!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Living For God Isn’t About dying, It’s About LIVING

So, I have been thinking that living for God and being in relationship with him is about LIFE, and life to the fullest. Why, then is so many focused on dying to sin and being so concerned with Not sinning and miss the reality of living life to the fullest? Not in a sinful way, but really get to experience what life is all about when we are living for God instead of trying so hard not to sin; we miss the experience of life in abundance. I think a lot of it is where the focus of our life is and whether we take advantage of just living… It’s really easy to get in that old grind of making sure we don’t slip up, but our efforts will always, every time become unfulfilled, and it reminds me of really wanting to die trying. It’s amazing how much pressure we put on ourselves so we will measure up… I have heard that our goal in life should be to become PERFECT like Christ is perfect. Who are we kidding, honestly! That to me is a waste of time and that expectation will always leave us empty handed and alone in the midst of trying, every single time… I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be who I am and live life to the fullest with Father and get out of life as much as I can without any effort on my part behind it… I want to just be, and through that, LIVE!

Monday, July 14, 2008

In My Daddy’s Arms

Today I woke up with tears streaming down my face in thought of my dad who passed away when I was ten. It was quite a surprise because I haven’t thought about him in a very long time. He has always been a constant memory, but lately, he hasn’t crossed my mind in a while for some reason. It really hit me when I was dreaming of him and he seemed so real. In my dream I saw him driving a van, and my mom and I were with him. We stopped and my mom got out of the van to go somewhere and I remember stepping out going around to the driver’s door and opening it and telling him I didn’t want him to go. I knew he was going to die. It was so heart wrenching. So vividly real, how I could feel so much pain in a dream. He never said anything in my dream to what I remember, but all I can really remember is him holding me… I picture my heavenly Daddy like this, when I am going through something tough or hard, he will come to me and hold me silently, just the thought of him holding me is the most peaceful and warmest place that has ever existed. The truth in my Father’s eyes says that he will never leave me, and the touch of his hand says he will catch me if ever I fall! He says it best when he says nothing at all! I am given a song from Alison Krauss that speaks exactly what Father is telling my heart through this dream that I had…

"It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all"


Thank you my heavenly Daddy for giving me this gift of knowing you and being with you. You are priceless and precious to my heart that I will never let go of…
I love you…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Think HUGE, Do HUGE, and Be HUGE……NOT……

I was reading one of Darin Huffords blog posts called Authentic Spirituality, it really brought several other thoughts to mind about how easy it is to get caught up in spiritual personal performance and self absorption in the midst of ‘trying’ to please the Lord, but also make a good name for ones self. That is a little twisted sounding if you ask me. I thought that when one’s purpose is to please the Lord, one is not out to get their own personal gain and attention out of it. I have tried doing things ‘for God’ and thinking, I don’t have much to offer, I have no HUGE testimonies to share of my life, I haven’t done something out of the ordinary that has a spot light on it. I don’t think anyone would think ‘my’ story is extremely amazing. But what’s more important to me is what Father sees and not what man see’s (sorry guys, no offence). I honestly don’t want that kind of attention in my Christian life with others. I would much rather have a simple down to earth conversation about Father than have it about something HUGE that I or someone else has accomplished! I also think that living for God doesn’t mean that I have to accomplish huge tasks, unless I knew that the God I served required that from me, but I know that he is simple and easily satisfied with who I am and what I do (if I do anything), and he takes all the pressure off of accomplishing huge amazements. I am a simple kind of person, or I have become simpler as I am learning how to live it more than just say it and think it! It makes me wonder how I survived the performance based reality I used to live in. Always making sure I went to church with a HUGE smile on my face regardless how I was feeling. Telling people I am great, when in reality, I was anything but great. How fake, how sad. It’s time for authentic realness in my life I am ready to dive in with all I got. I can tell you now that my life is not perfect and not pretty most of the time, but I can tell you that I am who I am by the grace of God whether you catch me on a good day or not!!!

Want To Chat Again This Sunday?

Hey guys, I could use some good conversation here soon!

How does this Sunday same time same place sound to get together to chat?

The times again would be, 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern.

Now, the next time if these times or even the day does not work for you please let me know and for the next time we can change it!

Hope you all can make it! I am looking forward to talking again!!!

Love in Freedom, Nicole!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Presence of God over the Image of God-

Yesterday when I was taking my daily walk by the river, I was thinking about Father and how living in the moment with him as I was enjoying the freeness I feel when I am close to him. I was pondering what image I have of Father. Is he that big guy up in the clouds looking down at me? Or is he my Father walking beside me through everything I go through? It touched my heart thinking about feeling the presence of Father in my life. He walks with me through thick and thin, through trial and error, through war and peace, or just a stroll down the bike path by the river. Through it all he is there! It’s a comforting thought to think that I am not alone, ever. I love it! He has a very good way to get my attention on His presence throughout the day even if I am busy doing stuff.

Sometimes I think the image I have of Father is just an idea I learned from another person, and who they think the image of Father is or what they understand him to be, but it doesn’t make sense that every single person would think of Father in the same way. It is easy to have an idea of Father than actually experience his presence, but once someone really recognizes the differences, something in our mind begins to shift our focus. We get out minds off of ourselves and what we think, and onto the ever realness presence of God. It’s exciting to see that there is a difference, and experiencing it first hand is an amazing thing.

Praise Him