Tag Archive | new seasons

Moving By Faith

Yesterday I made the move.  And it was right after I spent the holiday out of town with dear friends. 

I had packed everything ahead of time because I didn’t want to be stressed the night before trying to get things together (after my flight got in).  I am a great planner and I knew planning was going to be key to getting ready for the new season.  Still, there are some things you simply cannot plan for…

The night before the move, my good friend picked me up from the airport and we enjoyed our fleeting moments together.  She will be entering her own new season soon which also involves moving so I am savoring all of my time with her.  She agreed to spend the night and we started the next day at 7 am.  I needed to pick up the U-haul truck and make it to my house by 9am.  We were making good time and decided to stop for coffee and breakfast.  Little did we know we were going to need the sustenance!  I had a few other friends coming to help but I was relying on the movers I had hired to be the real muscle.  In the past my mom and I always hired movers.  We did this because we did not have family, or men, to help.  We were always doing things on our own and independence was ingrained in me at a young age.  I had friends who had large families and men in their families that would help them relocate.  I always envied that about them…

Well about 30 minutes after my friends and I started moving I realized the movers I had hired were MIA.  I called them and was initially told they had the wrong time down (even though they were the ones who had chosen the time).  Then I was told they were stuck in traffic (which I knew was a bold face lie because we had been out and there was no one traveling the day after Black Friday).  So I cancelled the movers and my friends picked up the slack.  They were amazing.  For 2 and a half hours we created assembly lines, passed boxes to and fro and took trips back and forth between houses.  We even stuffed ourselves in the front of a U-Haul truck due to lack of space!  (Shout out to Lo for being a real G) LOL.  And the crazy part about it all is, WE HAD FUN.  We laughed and sang to the music and talked.  It was a great time of fellowship and comraderie and I knew it was the Father.  He was giving me people.  He was giving me a longtime desire of my heart.

There have been several things that have happened in this moving process that has shown me His love and one of them is His use of people.  There were some things I simply could not plan for and He has shown me He is the ultimate planner.  People would pop up at just the right time.  My neighbors who I needed to borrow plyers from.  My pastor who’s time is already limited and yet has made it a point to fix anything at my house and breakdown the large items I need to get rid of.  His sister who has been so much like a mom to me in this season has been present to look at houses and rejoice with me when I found the right one.  My friends, who cleaned the house and helped me physically move.  My realtor who took some appliances I needed to dispose of last minute (not to mention the one who actually found this house when I had given up).  Even my personal trainer who was squeezed in front of the U-Haul who I’ve only known for 2 months.  People, people, people.  God has given me people.

God will fill up the lack.  He will provide and meet the need however He so chooses.  And this is how He has chosen in this season with me.

There were some hard times this week emotionally.  The holidays usually are hard for me and now even more so.  I am still working through my grief and disappointments.  There are changes in my relationships due to the new seasons.  There are changes in my relationship with God.  But every morning I wake up in this new house and I feel His peace.  I walk upstairs and my breath is taken away all of over again.  This house is symbolic of hope for the future.

My friends and I are walking out a different path then those who are not chosen.  We struggle with how different it is.  We so want to be “normal”.

“Singleness is getting awkward,” she said.  I laughed but I knew it was true.  It has been awkward, I thought.  I am a little older and so I knew that that played into my perception.  It is also painful, I thought, but didn’t share.  I didn’t want to project my pain onto her although, I have so appreciated that I have been able to be completely honest with her in my journey.  I have so appreciated that while others transition into building families and focusing on their loved ones, I have people around me who are still in it.  They are still walking out this path of waiting.  It is comforting to have others who understand and empathize with the journey.

I am grateful for how the Father has moved in my life.  He has been very intentional with what He has blessed me with and the opportunities He has given.  He has also been intentional with what He has not allowed.  Only He knows how we are wired.  The intimate desires of our hearts and what will bring about His best in us.

I have changed a lot in this season.  Life does that.  While some may think it is not for the good, I disagree.  I think we need to be balanced out in our perception of life.  I think we need to understand the sufferings of humanity to understand the compassion of Christ.  If we don’t go through dark times we will never be relatable.  I have had to learn how to be relatable.

Thank You Father for how You have moved in my life.  Thank You for showing Your Hand and making it known that I am Yours.  Even when I feel alone.  You are always there.

SHALOM

 

Home Sweet Home💕

This weekend I got the keys to my new house. I am still in awww. It does not seem real and I keep marveling at how FAST everything happened. My friend asked me last night what were my first steps of obedience that led to this gift? Thinking about it for a minute I shared about making the decision to move in with my mom. That was such a leap of faith. At the time I had been living on my own for 10 years. The place I was residing in was quaint and cute and comfortable. I had no real reason to leave and was enjoying my time in that city. I was also enjoying my time with a new roommate.

But when my mom asked me to live with her to help her financially to transition from her job I said “yes”. My friend marveled at my response and felt like it showed great faith, but for me I had heard God. How is it faith when He is making it clear what He wants? Either way that was one of the best decisions I had ever made. I had no idea the Father was giving us time.

After her passing I knew He would be sensitive to my time in the home we had shared. I was in no rush to move even though I knew eventually I would. That house served as a great comfort to me in my grieving process.

The next step of faith was probably choosing to end my lease and pay month to month. My pastor suggested it and although I did it I still thought it was very unlikely that I would move anytime soon. I just new I was overpaying and would need to move at some point. There were a few things going wrong with the home and they were indications that I could not stay there. The desire of my heart was to have my own which would also fulfill legacy.

And then I met with my friend’s realtor who I had underestimated. I did not know what a jewel she was and how divine our connection would be. I had given up on the home buying process and she was the one who kept the faith. She was the one who found my home.

“So how did you know this was it?” My friend asked. “I didn’t.” I replied. I explained it was everyone around me. It was the open door after open door. It was seeing God’s hand in the people and the process.

I fully expected to fall in love at first site with my house. There was one house in particular that I did that with. I was so giddy over that home I couldn’t sleep the whole night. But the day before I was going to put my offer in it was taken off the market. I was so hurt. It wasn’t mine.

“So when did you fall in love?” Another friend asked. “Now,” I said. I am falling in love now. I go from room to room in joy and awww. I discover so many little things that bring me joy and make me smile. I can feel the Father smiling with me. It is like He is discovering through my eyes. It is new to Him because it is new to me.

This home brings me comfort. It gives me rest.

I asked the Lord why did He choose this one and not the other one? “Intimacy”, He said. This home is more intimate. It feels like it is embracing me and hugging me when I am in it.

I am so blessed by the people and the process of buying a home. God is truly in all things. And now for the first time in 3 generations we are homeowners again.

May He receive all the glory in this home and may it be used for His good purposes.

SHALOM

An Open Letter To My Roommate

Tonight will be the last night we sleep under the same roof together. Ever. (Insert sad face.)

I remember our first meeting and how I knew God wanted me to connect with you.  I had no idea back then that you would be in my inner circle.  That for nearly a year you would be a confidant, a friend and a vital prophetic voice for me in this season.  He has used you in so many ways…I’m sure you are unaware of all of them.


I needed to heal in my home, and I did while living alone, but then you brought a whole other level of healing.  Maybe one day we will get to know exactly how much.

I remember driving to our first get-together, feeling so empty, and at the same time so full with God.  “I have nothing to offer her Father.  I don’t have the testimony I would want at her age.  All I have is the cross”.  I spoke these words out loud during that drive and when I met you it became clear to me that the cross was all you wanted.

You are an amazing woman Lianna Mueller and if my blog was created simply just to meet you, well, then its purpose has been fulfilled.  I tried my best to be transparent in this journey of the cross.  I did not want to falsely portray what being disciple is.  It’s hard.  It’s really, really hard.  But when you’re chosen you have the grace and supernatural ability to lay down those things so dear.  Over and over again.

You my friend are chosen.  And I am so honored to also have been chosen to be written into your story.

And then you brought along Benny, and I was touched, knowing that this too was an answer to a desire I had buried.


There were so many funny moments and late night talks and encouraging words and prayers.  You are a gift and I’m so happy to have been able to experience who you are to Him.

You are a reminder that even when our story doesn’t look the way we want it to, or think it should, there are still great surprises around the corner.  There are still fingerprints of the Father’s love and care as we courageously move forward on this unchartered path.

My prayer for you is that you will grow in security and confidence in who He created you to be.  That He will keep molding you and shaping you and showing you destiny, promise and purpose.  His ways are not like ours, but they can be so much better.  Let Him draw you in with His love until you are face-to-Face with the Creator.  When you do, you will see that His Face is actually a reflection of your true self.

Many blessings to you in your next season and may He give you the very desires of your heart.

Love always,

Your sister and friend,

Nicole.

Beginning to Bloom

Tis the season for transition.  For moving.  For meeting new people.  God is opening my heart.  He is opening me like a flower that is blooming.  The season is changing.  There are lots of prophecies coming forth.  Lots of confirming words.  Lots of things to look forward to.  I share my struggles with my sisters.  With my roommate.  With our cat.  I’m going to miss him when I leave, but I’m grateful they will not be too far way.

After five years I’ll be saying goodbye to my landlords.  The same ones who came to my 30th Zumba party and my first book release party and gave me a job when I was laid off.  Such love.  Such favor.  Such family.

I’ll be saying hello to the woman who raised me.  The woman who needs me in this hour.  The tables have turned.  I am honored to be there for her.  I recognize the sacrifice that is shown on my part.

Sacrifice displays love.

There is a sacrifice of another sort in my belly.  It has been there for quite a while.  He has been there for quite a while.  And even in the messy way I have responded to the sacrifice, He, like a loving Father moves towards and not away.

At His nudging, I practice opening my heart.  I practice having conversations and being open and letting new people in.  I do this because I realize the only way we can receive a gift is to open our hands to receive it.  Open our hearts to receive it.

Hoster-Flower_Blooming

It is almost June.  It is almost summer.  The season for blooming is here…

Father give us grace and courage to be open.  Give us grace to bloom.

SHALOM

Back To The Beginning

In just 2 months I’ll be moving back in with my mom.  Whew.  To say that I am shocked by this prospect is an understatement.  The shock is probably only slightly overshadowed by my pushing my mid 30s and life looking exactly the opposite of what I pictured.  But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  My roomie has the same shock and she is 6 years my junior.  My besties have the same shock and we are all the same age.

This weekend I drove around the new neighborhood which is not too far from the old one.  I talked to old friends I have reconnected with in this season.  So much of the new resembles the old.  It’s weird.

I am reminded of a revelation God gave me a few years ago after a big test.  He said my life was like a helix.  It wasn’t that I was walking in circles over and over the way I felt I was.  Instead, I was moving forward in a circular motion.  It seems living with my mom again is a part of that same pattern.  No matter how hard I tried to make choices that would position me in a certain place at this point in my life (husband, 2.5 kids and dog), I still ended up here.  Back to the beginning. 

We went to church for Easter (mom and I).  I know this is a new beginning for her and I’m blessed to be a part of it, I just wish it hadn’t cost me so much. 

On Easter I was reminded of why it costs.  It costs us because it cost Him.  We are not above the teacher.  We are not above our Master.  If He sacrificed, we too shall sacrifice.

My roommate gave me a card on Easter which read, “Nicole, just as Christ died and resurrected, I look forward to seeing the resurrection in your life”.  That is what I too am desiring.  To see the resurrection from all the death.  To see the fruit from all the pruning.  To see if the wait was really worth it…

SHALOM

Practicing Say “Yes”

I’ve learned in this season I have a natural propensity to say “no”.  And not even through any fault of my own.  Simply genetics and the fall of mankind have influenced me in that way.  Without me realizing it if someone asks me a “yes or no” question I will automatically want to lean towards the “no”.  Add to that the many times I have desired harmful things and God has said “no” or “wait” or “not now”.  Can you imagine how that mental wiring has shaped my view of the Father? Not in a good way I will tell you.  Though I have known His love, fellowship and intimacy, I subconciously felt it was conditional. “Nicole, if you do this than I will do this”, is how I interpreted His “no”.  And then of course there are certain scriptures that can be interpreted the same; that somehow we will lose His love if we do not obey.  It is only in this season that that way of functioning finally took its toll on me.  I realized something is wrong here.  The way I am functioning does not line up with scripture.  The Word says we now have PEACE with God.  Why do I not have peace???

So I challenged my own view and went into a period of battle within myself.  Turns out that view rooted in fear was not just a generational stronghold but one that webbed its way all the way to my African ancestors.  And also of course all the way to the fall of mankind.

But in the midst of that battle and my own revelation of false ways of functioning, doors started opening.  They started opening in my career and even in my dating life.  Things were happening that I had desired for a long time.

God was saying “yes”.

Last night I met with a couple who hired me on the spot.  I am officially now a consultant.  I once again have multiple streams of income.  God is grooming me for entrepreneurship and as uncomfortable as it is, it is clear this is the only way for me.  I tried and tried to take the “normal” path.  I looked at my peers and did not understand why I was not receiving the benefits of these degrees.  Why was I consistently being humbled and feeling stuck?  Finally there is movement and I can start to see the shape of what He has been forming.

Who He has been forming.

So even though it makes me nervous and I have to make an extra effort to do so, when asked the question, I answer “yes”.

“Yes” I will write the book.  “Yes” I will be the consultant.  “Yes” I will go.

One of my besties visiting me…


SHALOM

The Last Few Days

These last few days I have been OVERWHELMED with people and their love. I know Christ is the One who gives good gifts and these people in my life are that good gift. In spite of my history of unhealthy relationships, drama and brokeness He flooded my life with love. My experience on this journey is such a testimony of His faithfulness. For some reason I believed a lie that I had anything to do with this faithfulness or His blessings, but no. He is faithful because He is faithful. That will never change and He doesn’t need a reason to be faithful. It is who He is.

2 nights before New Yrs I had a little gathering at my house. I served sweets and shared the slide show I made for 2015. The group that came were from various parts of my life and I was so touched they came to celebrate with me. Opening up my home was an act of faith and Im so glad I obeyed. We ended the gathering with powerful prayer and I know the Lord was pleased and heard us.  A few scragglers stayed behind and we fellowshipped in my kitchen until well after midnight. 

The next evening I kicked it with my girls and we brought in the New Year with old school 90s music on the dance floor. It was perfect. I just love when God gives you the desires of your heart😉. 

   
   
Then my good friend came over the next night. We talked for 6 hours over a bottle of wine. We talked about the past, present and future. We talked about our desires and God’s faithfulness. 

Just last night after a day of rest 2 more friends visited, one purchased 3 more of my books. I was so touched by the blessing of this unexpected ministry. To speak healing and hope to the brokenhearted is quite an honor when I myself have been so brokenhearted.

And I ended the evening with a last hurrah with the bestie from Florida. This woman whom I have known over 13 years. A woman who has loved me like a sister. I have been susceptible to the lies of the enemy regarding this friendship but am now healing and seeing truth. It is beautiful to see us coming into our own and manifesting true identity. Healthy boundaries and maturity go a long way. So does love…  I know these blessings are a result of answered prayer. He is giving wholeness and abundant life. He is preparing me for the new season.

SHALOM