Are You Stuck?

I led a women’s bible study prolly a couple of years ago. Its one that kinda helps everyone get involved with question cards, not study questions but more life questions. One of the questions was “How have your “STUCK” places affected your marriage, family, or your friendships?” Obviously there were many answers to this but I think one common answer with us all was that being vulnerable with others and how hard that can be. Taking off the mask so others can see the real you can be difficult but it can also be freeing.

Are you stuck in your brokenness, your pain, fear, or disappointment? I have been there my friend, I know how hard it is. But the trials we go through, the things that no one knows about, all those hidden things. The things your ashamed of. We are not meant to go through life alone, that’s what the enemy would like you to think. I for one can isolate at times. But friends we are built for relationships. We need a good support system, people we can trust to help us through our dark times. I know it’s scary taking off your mask and being vulnerable but sweet one, it’s so worth it. I have stuffed my voice and feelings for so many years which helped cause an eating disorder and feelings of unworthiness, rejection, fear, and shame.

His word talks about how He comforts us in our trouble so we can comfort others in theirs. So our pain is NEVER wasted!! God has a plan and purpose.

At times it feels as though you are just dying on the inside and can’t see a way out I’m sure you can relate on some level. But that’s when you gotta go deeper and draw closer to Jesus. You may have been waiting and praying for something for a long time. A REALLY REALLY REALLY long time, man I’ve been there too but God is still there. He’s there in your darkest times. He still sees you, and He still hears your cry. Don’t give up precious one, draw closer to the throne!

Lately, I’ve been going through something extremely difficult with total transparency, I’ve been very angry, hurt, disappointed, so much jumbled up on the inside. I noticed there’s also been a feeling of powerlessness, which I think has caused some anxiety. Anxiety alone can just wear you down. Something I’ve never really struggled with. That’s me below sometimes right now, LOL. I mean at least I can laugh about it.

There is nothing I can do to fix the situation so I’m walking through this releasing my feelings as I go and often, LOL, and just praying. I know God has heard my prayers but sometimes the answers we get are not the ones we want. But when we pray for God’s will and for him to reveal what’s hidden and he does, then we have to be prepared that we may not like what we see. But nevertheless my God is with me ALWAYS! Weary or not, He will strengthen me. He will perfect that which concerns me. I’m learning more, trusting more, and in this situation there’s NO WHERE to go but Him! He’s the ONLY ONE WHO CAN FIX IT! He’s the only one who can bring me/us peace and give me strength and bring peace, healing, and restoration!

So if you’re in that place my friend where you’re overwhelmed, stressed to max, tired and you just can’t take it any more well you’re in good company sweet one, I’ve been there too. I know others are there or have been there but more importantly JESUS IS THERE WITH YOU and He’s waiting for you to take off the mask and just call out to Him and sometimes all you can get out is “Jesus, I need you” and that’s ok. His heart responds to that precious one.

In my devotion this morning I came across this verse which I had read a many times before but not this version and oh it just so spoke to me.

Corinthians 12:9

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

I love that!!! “Pitch his tent over and dwell upon me.” Gosh I don’t know about you but man I sooo need that now more than ever! More grace, more favor, more of his loving kindness, more of His mercy, more of His strength and power in our weakness and our lives!! Lord I need MORE OF YOU, less of me! Jesus I take off my mask and I ask You to pitch Your tent over and dwell upon me.

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

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God Has An End Date To Your Suffering

Good morning sweet friends! How are y’all doing? How has you weekend been? I’ve been a wee bit puny but making it, guess the Lord wanted me to rest this weekend LOL.

Seek God’s will in ALL you do, and He will show you the path to take. Proverbs 3:6

God has prepared your path precious one! I have seen God move and do so much. It just amazes me! He is concerned about what concerns you and longs to bless His children and bring healing and restoration to your lives.

Even when you’re in the throes of heartache, pain, sadness, hopelessness….whatever it is you’re going through it’s easy to feel like it will never end. BUT God has a plan and even an END DATE to your suffering sweet friend. Breakthrough is coming!

So when the path your on seems so dark, painful, and lonely remember precious one He’s still there, He’s with you always. He will never leave you nor forsake you!

God doesn’t cause the trials but He will use them for our good. Steps we can take to come out of our darkness and pain.

1. Rely on Him.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:9

Trials remind us of our great need of God and how we cannot function apart from him. Sometimes the trials seem long, lonely and dark, but there is no place, no pit to dark or to deep that God can’t reach down gentle pick you up.

2. Be patient.

Blessed is he who patiently endures trials; for when he has stood the test, he will gain the victor’s crown–even the crown of Life–which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

It’s all in how we wait for God. Sometimes I think He’s waiting on us to do our part and if that’s the case then we need to be proactive and do what it is He wants us to do.

Other times we really are waiting on God, when we know how much God truly loves us and that He indeed hears our prayers, then we can wait with a confident expectation that he does want what’s best for us and our families and in His perfect timing it will come to pass. But if while we wait we are grumbling and complaining, we can expect to go around the mountain another time just like the Israelites did. Learn to wait well my friend. God knows exactly what we need, when we need it!

3. Be steadfast.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3

The bible talks about how suffering produces steadfastness in us. But man sometimes it’s that “suffering” that feels like it’s gonna kill us, doesn’t it? Sometimes I feel like “Lord can you take thesufferingsomewhere else, LOL.

But seriously, I know this is hard believe me I do but we need to learn to be thankful even when the trials come. This where leaning in comes in. When you’ve waited for that baby and it hasn’t happened….yet. This is God’s opportunity to do something really big in your life and give you an amazing testimony. Your leaning in trusting God, be thankful He’s at work on your behalf. Be thankful when your sick and it takes a long time to find answers or for your healing to come, there’s something to learn while your miracle is on the way. There’s also someone you can help. Be thankful when your so depressed you can’t get out of the bed, I know it sounds silly but it’s God’s economy. Call out to God in your darkness. Ask Him to bring friends and loved ones who understand but also in your pain reach out to others hurting while your waiting for your healing. Be thankful when you have family members making wrong choices and you are powerless to change it, this gives God an opportunity to show himself strong. Trust that God has them in the palm of his hand and he knows exactly what they need to come back to Him. Pray! Pray! Pray!

What James is saying is to be thankful when trials come because our faith will be tested. When your faith is tested perseverance comes, and as we endure for a time we will become steadfast.

4. Comfort others.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God will turn your mess into a message!

“What you went through will not be wasted, God saw each tear. He has a plan for your life!! But He says, don’t stay on the sidelines of life, I have rescued and healed you for a purpose. Use your message, comfort one another, for people all around you are hurting. They are going through trials of their own or maybe the same thing you’ve gone through. Someone needs what you have.”

5. Speak life/God’s Word

Death and life [are] in the {power} of the tongue, and those who love her will eat of her fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Call those things that be not as though there are!! Yes my friend it’s time to do spiritual warfare with the words that come out of our mouth!! Is what your saying in agreement with God’s word or are you complaining about your problems and situation instead going to THE ONE who can solve it? Complaining only makes our problems seem bigger, never ending and hopeless. Use your faith and words to speak LIFE.

Our words our soooo powerful!! The are like containers, they either contain life, faith and blessings or they contain death, doubt, unbelief and cursing.

Choose on purpose to renew your mind and speak God’s word and positive things from your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a hopeless situation turns around when we allow God in and change our perspective. God IS BIGGER than any problem we have and the battle belongs to Him so Let go and Let God!

6. Pray

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The POWER of prayer, let it be UNLEASHED in your life!!! The word UNLEASH means to release from a leash or restraint. cause (a strong or violent force) to be released or become unrestrained. Just think about that, if we pray for God’s Power to be UNLEASHED in our lives, our family, our cities, our country and our world how much different things would be.

His resurrection power IN YOU can do amazing things!

The devil has NO control over your prayers, but he might make you think your prayers aren’t being heard or that God simply does care about you or what’s important to you. I’m here to tell you that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. God does care and He loves you and cares about what concerns you sweet one. The enemy is just hoping you won’t open that pretty little mouth of yours and speak God’s Word and promises over your life and family!! But unleash it sweet friend!! Your prayers and offerings to God are like sweet fragrance.

Never doubt He’s love for you, He’s with you always carrying you, leading and guiding you.

STILL- By Hillary Scott

“You’re parting waters, Making a way for me. You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see. You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak. All You need for me to be is still”

I am so thankful He has been preparing a way for me. He is making my crooked places straight and He has an end date to my suffering. My friend He has one for you too. He is no respecter of persons. What He does for one He will do for another. Let the goodness and kindness of God overtake you.

What has God done in your life? Let’s encourage each other.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Baby’s Tribute

This was our sweet “Precious Baby” we got her from the breeder when she was 7 weeks old. She was with us almost 15 Baby and went to heaven today 3 years ago. Saying goodbye was so incredibly painful. But she brought us so many years of love and joy. When we first got her we lived in an apartment, that was torturous. Living upstairs and having to take a puppy out with 3 littles ones, that’s was a real joy!

I always joke and say I can’t believe she lived to one because she an AWFUL puppy! 🤦🏼‍♀️

The girls had these soy crayons and for whatever reason she loved them and was always eating them, so you would see her colorful poop a little later. Living in the apartment you always had to pick up their poo. Well we had a grumpy neighbor, he came to the door and accused me of not picking up Baby’s poop one day….the nerve! I said “I always pick up her poop. Did you look at it closely? Did it have any colors in it?” he looked at me like I was nuts. I said “Well if it wasn’t colorful it wasn’t hers.” as straight faced as I could be😂 He stomped off and I closed the door and laughed my head off.

Boston Terrier Fun Fact

They’re America‘s Pride And Joy.

The Boston terrier is the first official breed created in the United States. They’re nicknamed the “American Gentleman” because of their tuxedo-like markings.

Our girls being little they loved Barbies and so did Baby, LOL. She would take them under the bed and dismember them. It might sound unbelievable but she would put heads in one pile, arms in a pile, and legs in another pile. Have no idea how she did that. Needless to say Barbie didn’t last long in our house.

She ate Sean’s recliner and the legs on the chairs at the kitchen table.

Easter rolls around and the Easter bunny brings baskets full of chocolate and candy and other goodies. Well I stored them in the closet and when we got home from church they would be out. Well not this Easter. Baby found her way into our closet and she ate 2.5 EASTER baskets, YESSSS that’s 2.5 baskets full of chocolate. I just knew she was a goner. But I swear that girl had 9 lives and an iron gut. Didn’t phase her a bit. She had a happy Easter.

Boston Terrier Fun Fact

They were bred to be fighters. Coachman crossbred the English Bulldog with the extinct, white English terrier. Originally, they were a good bit larger and used as fighting dogs. After dog fighting became illegal, the breed shrunk in size.

But the best was when we moved from the apartment to a house. We hadn’t been there a couple of weeks, didn’t really know our neighbors that well when Sean had to go in the hospital for pneumonia. I had a friend watching the girls but there was Baby….what to do with her. She was prolly 8 months old, you couldn’t leave her for to long because she had to go outside. Well I had to be at the hospital I didn’t know what to do with her so I thought to myself I’ll just lock her up in our room she’ll be alright. Did I forget to mention Boston Terriers are known for their jumping? Oh and we had a waterbed at the time. You prolly have a feeling right now where this is going. Yea, so I come home 1 in the morning with the girls we walk in and feel and hear sloshing sound under my feet. Yea not a good sign, LOL. I go into our bedroom she’s laying on the bed that’s now half the normal size, but she all wet and happy. Oh the horror! It had flooded our bedroom and out into the living room area. Girls knew one the kids near us and I had to ask someone to help me and I’m telling you people I didn’t know came to help us out in the middle of the night. They helped drain the rest of the bed, pull it out and helped move boxes and stuff so things wouldn’t get ruined. Of course I can’t tell Sean, he’s sick. So we keep our little secret 2-3 more days and tell him on the way home from the hospital what had happened, LOL😂🙈 Bless!

Once she turned a year old something just happened and she turned into the best dog. She stopped all her craziness and was just so good but still always kept us laughing.

Baby loved Christmas and loved to open presents. One day we got home and walked into the living room and she had opened one of the girls present, it was the American Girl doll dog. Paper was everywhere and she had chewed Coconut all up. LOL😂 I guess she thought it was hers….she was so happy.

Baby was very protective so couple years later, Baby saw a dog on our property and she didn’t like that. She darted out the door and took off chasing this dog. She thought she was a BIG DOG and she was a MIGHTY 20 lb ball of adorable muscle. Anyways back to my story, she’s chasing this dog, she’s trying to nip at his tail, and that dog is literally screaming all the way home. Baby was so fast, the girls and I can’t catch her so Sean jumps in his truck and chases her 2 streets down. Baby had chased that dog into its own garage and had it pinned in a corner. I was so embarrassed. The owner says, “Is that a boy dog?” Sean’s Like “No it’s a girl!” I was so thankful they didn’t like call the law or anything. She was just very protective.

Boston Terrier Fun Fact

It’s the state dog of Massachusetts. The dogs were first created in Massachusetts. The breed has held the honor since 1979.

After we had moved to Alabama she saw some dog in our front yard and darted out the front door trying to get it. But the most amazing one was when there was 3 big dogs on the property next to us, she caught a glimpse of them and took off running and she cleared the fence in the backyard, she looked like a reindeer I’m flight. She went chasing after them 3 dogs and they took off running away. You would’ve thought she was Kujo LOL😂

That old girl brought us so much joy and so many memories. There’s many more but these are some of the more funny ones.

I’m a dog lover and I would have a dog farm if Sean would let me. I’m holding out for a Pug or another Boston these days.

I can’t talk about Baby and not talk about Dixie, her rescued Boston sister and Zeus, her bulldog brother.

Dixie💗

We rescued Dixie. Our oldest daughter is hearing impaired and her interpreter called and said she knew of another Boston and wondered if we were we interested, she was deaf. Well of course, I said I would love to meet her. My husband grew up with a Boston named Dixie so see it was God working it all out, LOL. My hubs was out of town and the girls and I went to met her and yea we brought her home 🏠😊💗 Sean comes home the house is all quiet which is not normal and he’s already like what’s going on. He walks in the kitchen where I’m holding her and turn around and he says “What the h*** is that??? And why is it here??? LOL 😂 I SAID SHE’S OURS HONEY! God wants us to have her, remember your Dixie when you were growing up? Pulled on the ole heartstrings I did. So that’s how she came to be in our family. She was very scared, didn’t want to be near you, her fur was bad and patches missing, she threw up every time she ate or drank water, and she was deaf. But it was love at first sight, she melted my heart. I knew we had our work cut out for us but she was worth every bit of it. Over time she became the most loving little dog. Many trips and testing at the vet we found out she had a digestive disease and just needed a pill in the am and pm. No more throwing up, and we taught her sign language and she picked it up real fast. She was very smart and she was getting more comfortable and would sit on the couch and then she started following me around every where I went. Then she wanted to sleep with us. She was a completely different dog with just a little love and some care….she was such a lover too. I miss her so much. She hung around another year and half without Baby.

Boston Terrier Fun Fact

You can feel protected with one. Despite their small size, they are considered excellent guard dogs. They are very protective of their families.

Having to put them down was the hardest thing ever! When it was time for Baby 3 years ago, she was suffering so much and we just couldn’t let her do that anymore. People always say you will know. I knew for a while and just couldn’t do it but I had to make a decision best for her. So that day we gave her a nice steak and just loved on her and held her and then took her back to the vet. Just as we were there for her when we brought her home we were there for her when she went to heaven and loved on her and said our goodbyes. It was heartbreaking but she knew we loved her and we knew she loved us. She lives on in our hearts and memories.

Same thing with Dixie, when she had gotten so bad we had to make that same dreadful decision, the one no one wants to make. We got her a bunch of Chick-fil-A nuggets and she loved them and ate them all. Sweet Dixie was the most humble, grateful, and loving dog. You could just see in her little eyes “Thank you for saving me and giving me a home.” Sounds silly but it true.

As I write this tears stream down my face. There’s a little hole in my heart and I miss each one of them terribly.

Baby and Dixie in Bass Pro Shop

Baby just chillin in my lap. Baby after Christmas dinner😂

“Luke I am your father!” 😂Zeus and Baby, he was waiting for Baby when she went to heaven. Miss them so much😢💗💙Baby and Dixie in their Auburn attire….War Eagle💙 Merry Christmas, Ho Ho Ho!Baby and Zeus twinning 😂My girls snoozing.

Girls did a photo shoot with Baby😂💗

Then there’s Zeus.

My daughters now husband bought him for her birthday but she was going to college and live in a dorm, you know where you can’t have a doggo, so who do you think got to keep him??? Yep that’d be us, LOL. He was such a sweet and funny boy.

The funniest thing he did was one day he was walking out of our dining room and Zeus had this red and white stuff all over his face, couldn’t figure out what it was until later I discovered he had been eating my wall. Yes, I said wall. But not just one wall but 2 walls, and clear all the way through LOL 😂 That’s is apparently a thing, dogs chewing dry wall. They get bored and chewing helps relieve their boredom😂

Zeus was in their wedding, so adorable!

We kept him while they were on their honeymoon. I always joked about holding him random for visitation rights. I sent them the picture below.

He passed about 3 weeks after they got married from an unknown heart condition. It was just heartbreaking. We loved him so much and I know he loved us all. But ya know when Baby and Dixie passed I know he was waiting for his sweet girls and they were back together again. Our doggos become family. They bring us such comfort, love and joy. Love and treasure them while their here just like your friends and family. They are truly a gift from God.

Benefits Of Having A Doggo

1. You’ll exercise more.

2. Reduce stressed.

3. You’re less likely to feel depressed.

4. You’ll feel safer.

5. Improve heart health

6. Improve your social life

7. Helps with disease and injury. Soothe Alzheimer’s patients, Service dogs are known to help with everything from brain injury to autism to other forms of arthritis, help increasing mobility and promoting independence.

8. You’ll be happier.

Hope you’ve enjoyed some of our family dog stories and pictures. Please feel free to share some of your stories.

God bless you,

Nicole💗

My Verse Of The Day

Have you ever felt like you just can’t take one more thing? Yea, I have too. If I’m honest I feel like I’m there now. It’s ok to not be on. There are things going on around me that are out of my control. Things that are ripping my heart out. BUT GOD….and His sweet reminders. Blessed is the man who remains STEADFAST under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the Crown of Life, which God has promised to those who love Him!

So when the heat is up and the trials keep coming, hang in there sweet friend. Remain STEADFAST. God is with you always!

Lord help me remain steadfast under trails. Help me to be stable and a encouragers day blessing to those around me even in the midst of the storm. Help me draw closer to You and trust You with the things that trouble me and things that are out of my control. You are my strong tower, my everything! I love You and worship You and I WILL praise You in this storm. In Jesus name, Amen!

Casting CrownsPraise You In This Storm
And I’ll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
That you are who you are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Beauty Of God’s Love

I love this! Beautiful picture of Gods love. God’s word changing you and me into His image.

Knowing that God loves you exactly where your at, even in all our mess. That means you don’t have to get all cleaned up to come to Jesus.

God created you on purpose, for such a time is this. YOU are his beautiful masterpiece, spoken into existence by the Word of God. That same word is refining us, and changing us every day more into his image, so don’t give up and think things are never going to change!!

God’s is always working, it may not look like it but He’s there, behind the scenes working ALL things out for your good sweet friends!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗