Thursday, January 26, 2012

Art of loving

There is an art to loving with open hands
it’s the art of being okay with not knowing

Its gradually relinquishing control
it’s the art of feeling the ache but trusting the Lord

It's scared to the core of all the what ifs
It’s the art of being okay with who we are

it’s the letting go of all we had planned
it’s the art of believing that He has something better in mind

it’s the tearful nights and stressed out days
it’s the art of being transformed through the pain

There is an art to loving with open hands
It’s the art of giving all our love even when it doesn't come back

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is Love?

What is love?
It could be tears falling down like the
It could be a smile going from cheek to cheek
It could be a whisper when you are still
It could be loud like a trumpet shrill
It could stay for a while
It could leave you in an instant

It could bring intense heart ache
It could bring you overwhelming joy
It could snuggle up really close
It could leave you without hope
It could make you long for more
It could leave you alone and torn

What is love?

How can it be so good, so bad, sometimes in between
One day its rosy the next day its bleak
What was once soaring high and mighty
are now the fallen pieces we are finding

Although love can be all these things, there is one love that keeps on trying
a love that can make something out of the good, the bad, and the in between
It’s more than a feeling and more than can be seen
it's an amazing grace that rescues when can't lean on our own understanding of what love means

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In this for love

When I look at others I don't want to envy what they have, I want to praise you for what I have been given.

I don't want to pray to get something, I want to pray so you can know me.

I want to see you everywhere, not just when its convenient for me.

Lord I want to be in this for the love, not the blessing.

Somehow refine this selfish heart of mine to see things as you do.

In the bitterness built up from hurts, soften me to find compassion again.

Lord let this life of mine be used to be there for others, and not just my dreams

Turn my "I"s and "Me's" into they and their needs

Lord I want to be in this for the love, not what is in it for me.

Overwhelmed with this need to pursue all the things I want to do, I find myself discontent. That is what happens when we put too much focus on what we want to do. I want to take the emphasis off me and humbly submit my life to the Lord. When our sights are set on the

Lord, he overwhelms us with peace because he takes off the pressure and lets us rest in his assurance.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be Present

Do you ever get that frantic feeling when someone is spilling their guts about what they are going through and you know when they finish talking you better have something life changing to say to inspire them or encourage them. When my friends are having a hard time I want to help, I want to say the right things, I want to make a difference. I often find myself talking to God, "Lord how can I encourage this person?" "Can you help me articulate something brilliant to say to my friend that I haven't said a million times before?"

In my frantic searching for something life changing to say most times I miss out on what my friend is saying and I forget the most important thing is really simple. Being present, I start to underestimate the power of being present. I can't tell you how many times that I've been alone at my apartment and just wanted someone to be there. Not to offer a word of advice, not to have an answer to my question, but someone to just to be there. Sometimes the best thing we can offer is not words but our presence.

Being present takes time, it sometimes means sacrificing other things to be there but sometimes that is just what we need to do. I think of that often when I think of my son, I want him to know that I'm there for him, that he can count on me. There will be times of course when find ourselves alone, but when we are and those hard times come, we will remember those who made themselves available and took the time and somehow we feel their presence never left.

This is a picture of a dear friend of mine with my son. One of my favorite pictures ever, he took the time to be present.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Turning Someday into Today

Hey!!! Check me out!!! Over here!!!! ya me....... I grew up that shy, geeky, frizzball, brace faced awkward girl. I blended in, was nothing special. Every now and then I would say something humorous or profound and people would look at me in wonder that I actually had something to say. Those times were few and far between but when they happened I felt like I made a difference and I had a voice. Then the moment would pass and there I was again on the sidelines hoping and waiting for my chance to be someone someday.

Well guess what? I still find myself waiting on someday in a lot of ways. Still daydreaming about my future and what it will be like and how once I get there I will have it sooo together. Lies, lies, lies....its seems almost unfair that at such a young age we buy into these lies and get stuck forever in this fairy tale idea of life. Movies, I blame the movies:). Here is the thing, I'm putting my foot down on these lies the enemy feeds me with some new ground rules, I'm going to start making an effort to live for today and stop waiting on someday.

New Ground Rules:)

Change my thought life today and hold my thoughts captive to the truth by remaining in the word

Transform my life today by repenting and turning away from my sin

Be the best me I can be today, take an extra few minutes to do my hair and makeup ( single mom here!;)

Make a concious effort today to say a kind word to someone, anyone...even a stranger (being shy this can be a challenge) or do something thoughtful that someone may not expect

Take steps today to make my dreams come true (even if its scary to put yourself out there)

Call that friend today to setup a time to hangout

I have to admit it feels good to write today in these new ground rules. My encouragement to anyone else that lives for someday is that they stop believing they will be someone someday when the reality is today. Today is the start, today you are someone beautiful, today you are someone who can make a difference in a big or small way, today you are forgiven, today you can be the person you want to be. I think the first thing on my list is the most important because that is where the lies start. Our thought life, be kind to yourself and what you tell yourself. Whatever is pure, lovely and true keep your thoughts on those things, it will make a difference.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I hate being lonely. That empty place where it seems the whole world walked out or no one understands you. That desolate land that can have you searching for answers to why you are the way you are, or why people are what they are. Sometimes we are too numb to even care about the answers anymore.

I don't think anyone likes feeling lonely and my heart breaks when others around me feel that way. Whenever I'm going through a time of lonliness I find my heart to be completely humbled and defenseless. I find my heart longing for a miracle, for something to rescue me. When nothing changes and I'm stuck in a pit of despair and hopelessness I wonder why its happening to me.

Lately I've been going through this and my perspective is starting to change. In our loneliness maybe God is trying to get our attention, maybe he wants us to know that he understands, maybe he wants us to remember who we are to Him. Maybe it takes the yearning that loneliness brings for God to show us who we are now and who he wants us to be. Maybe it takes loneliness to be in need of our Savior and to know we may feel lonely but we are never really alone at all.

Maybe I made all these mistakes so I could be lonely
and in my lonliness I can face who I am
and as I do I know I can't face it alone

Maybe this is where I need to be to feel again
and in my loneliness I let the tears fall without anyone to see
and as I pour out my heart I become vulnverable

Maybe this is where I come to face to face with my fears and failures
and in my lonliness I discover what unconditional love is
and somehow I remember that he understands

Maybe this is where I find there is something alive in me still
and in my loneliness I am given grace to be someone new
and I find relief from trying to do it on my own

Maybe this is what it takes to deal with my brokenness
and in my loneliness I find that there is beauty that can be restored
and I find new strength to keep moving forward

Maybe I had to be deserted to be found again
and in my loneliness I find I was never forsaken
and I realize that I may have felt lonely but I was never really alone

Inspirational Verses for Loneliness

Psalm 142:5-7 “I cry to you, O LORD; I say,“You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” (NIV)

Psalms 27:10“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (KJV)

Lamentations 3:24-25 “”The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” (NASB)

Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (ESV)

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Past

There was a time I was afraid to look you in the eye. A time when I thought you had gotten the best of me and there was nothing left to offer. You reminded me of all my selfishness, all my mistakes until I lowered my head in shame again and again. You know me well, and want to hold me captive. You want to keep me under your thumb without a chance to move forward. As soon as I take a small step you come fighting with your brutal lies and remind me of all the times I failed. Then once again I crumble, defeated, and my heart becomes heavy and burdened. I'm stuck in a room with four walls and no door, the corners folding in on me until I can't breath.

But today is different, today I can look you in the eye. You may have gotten some of me but you haven't got the rest of me. There is a best in me that you have never known. I learned alot from you and I'm ready to move on. I know there will be times when you will come swinging, ready to fight for my attention but there will be no more lies because I have come to know the truth. You see, I have become a new creation. I laid down the old me and put on the new. Who I am has been changed by my Savior who showed me the door, the four corners are no longer folding in, they have disappeared and now I'm free from the past.

My Past

I come from a past of making alot of bad choices. There were times I thought I could never move forward because I didn't believe I was worth anything or that I could ever change. There were times that I thought if only I could get someones approval than I could move forward. I realized that I could stay in the past forever because I ran out of my own willingness and worth. I found myself at the pit and there was only one answer. The answer was forgiveness. To truly believe that the Lord came here and died on the cross so I could be forgiven regardless of my situation and mistakes.

He reached out to me with open arms, he took me in and showed me that I'm worth something. He showed me that he can wash me whiter than snow and that he can truly make beauty from the ashes. I know this is a heavy post but thats the thing about the Lord when you discover the truth, it shakes you to the core, he transforms a persons heart until its overflowing with thankfulness so much so that there is nothing you can do but share it with others and hope that you will inspire someone, especially someone who is hurting.

God loves the most faithful believer and is after the most wandering soul ~~~Nicole Renee


Monday, January 9, 2012

Lean on Jesus

Tonight all I want is to lean on Jesus. To rest in the peace he gives to a weary broken heart. To lay down all my dreams and desires to the giver of dreams and desires. Sometimes there are not many words to say, sometimes they have all been said. Sometimes there is nothing left to do but lean on Jesus. My heart is bent towards Christ my heart is bent towards his love, towards adoration, towards the one who can change what I can't, who can make what I can't, and who can be who I can't. Jesus, I need you, here I come to lean on the grace and love you never fail to give.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I don't know if it's just me but there seems to be this constant obsession with beauty. it's like a race to be wanted and noticed and I have to admit that I get way to caught up with this obsession myself. I find it especially distracting because I'm still single and wanting to meet the right person. I get a lot of those if only thoughts. If only I could lose a few extra pounds, if only my nose wasn't that of a roman italian, if only I looked really good in leggings, if only, if only, if only….

It's no wonder that I feel this way when everywhere I look I'm bombarded with ways to look better and be "what a man really wants". I don't think we can pick up a magazine anymore at the grocery store without seeing something on the cover about self improvement. So today this got me really thinking about beauty and what I take for granted while trying to achieve it.

As I was pondering my insecurities and how I wish I could look like Gisele Bundchen a powerful truth hit me right in my roman Italian nose, I'm taking for granted the beauty God has given me. While I'm out chasing a beauty that is fleeting and in vain I forget the beauty that dwells in me that no one else has. The Lord created each of us with a unique purpose, we are not cookie cutter images of each other. Seriously, how beautiful is it that?

We are not meant to be like anyone else. Our beauty is attained as we become what we were intended for. This is not a shallow beauty that merely wants to look good on the outside but this is a fully formed beauty that is developed through trials, tears, forgiving, being forgiven, failures and triumphs.

I don't want cheap beauty that appears to have it all together. I want transparent and life changing beauty to dwell in me. Jesus gives us freely the most beautiful things. Love, grace, forgiveness, friendship, and life. It's up to us to see the beauty in all he has given us and use it for his purpose.

When we get distracted by trying to achieve wordly beauty remember this heavenly truth

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well

Pslam 139:14

New International Version

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Take each stronghold that I have made
turn it into dust and let it blow away
beyond the horizon far from me

Replace each wondering doubtful thought
with only that which gives you praise
Teach me of your heart and ways

Lord in my weakness
you are showing me
All the ways I've lived for me

Humbly yours
I have fallen short
in my soberness I am restored

Lord, In this solitude
I'm aching to be heard
I'm longing to be seen

Through scripture I hear your quiet whisper
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you
ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you -John 15:7

Lord, Here I am
I will remain
in your word
your sweet embrace

Every lie has been conquered
you have walked in this place
In your truth there is no fear
it’s the only place I can cry these tears

Lord, Here I am
I will remain
in your word
your sweet embrace

My insecurities slip away
In the arms of redeeming grace
Out of the pit onto solid ground
This is the only place I am really found

Lord, Here I am
I will remain
in your word
your sweet embrace

Nicole Renee

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The She I Want To Be

The she I want to be
In the distance she can see herself, all the things she wanted to be. She is filled with such joy, everyone wants to be around her. She has such dignity and gentleness, there is a warm smile for everyone. When she praises it's for real, from her heart. She does not worship for others or to be seen. She worships because she is so in love with the Lord she stands unashamed, unafraid. She has a fearless look in her eyes, passionate and alive with new ideas and possibilities. When she serves its apparent that there is no place that she would rather be. She is focused in fulfilling the lives of others and she makes people feel special and loved.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could be her, the she we wanted to be. It’s a constant process but right now I feel so halfway. I'm in the balance of jumping in with all my heart and holding on for dear life to the known. But as I think about it the known I realize its jaded, tainted, and world-weary. The known is played out and nothing looks better than the she I can be. I'm ready for a new season of becoming. No more wishing I was this way or that but making it happen. I've been duped for the past few years by myself and by the lies the enemy wants me to believe. Duped into a corner of holding onto the known and not living free.

Faith and freedom
I speak of my faith, I write of my faith but I can't stop there. I need to live by faith, to walk by faith. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrew 11:1. Right now we may not see the she in us we want to be but that doesn't mean we can't be her. My desire is to let go of the known and do things different. Should I dare believe that I'm a beautiful daughter that is worth a lot to the Lord? Should I dare believe that I can brush off my heartaches and believe that God has a plan for me? Should I dare believe that I can pursue my dreams and make them come true? Should I dare believe that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see? I dare believe and can't wait to see what faith can do.