Monday, December 22, 2008

How could God love me so much?

Really, how could He love us so much?

It is coming very close to Christmas and I have been hearing a lot about the Christmas story. I have heard it all my life but never in the perspective that I have been hearing it lately. You all know the story too I'm sure. Jesus was born to a virgin in a manger etc. etc.... but there is more to it. More meaning than just the birth of Jesus. There is significance to the story that I have never heard about, or rather, it was never the focus of the story so I never got it. So here is what I have learned recently, and the revelation is life changing.

Luke 2:8-11 (NIV) (Bold-ing added by me for emphasis)

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.

So can you get what I'm emphasizing here? Two things this year have been pointed out for me that I never really focused on before and I made the text of those things bold. The first thing is that Jesus was born for us, not as a friend, not as our "homeboy", not as a dictator, or as ruler, but as a SAVIOR. He was born to save us. The other thing is that He was sent for good news for ALL people. Not just a few or chosen people, but for everyone. Everyone who comes to know Him will be saved AND it is the heart of God that everyone come to know Him. I don't know about you but I think that is pretty profound.

Something else I have learned through the talks about the Christmas story:

Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

So we know that God did this amazing thing for ALL people, He sent Jesus, His only son, as our Savior. Something to take from this is also that God does not do things because of our behavior, he sent us a Savior despite of us. We can always be better but God loves us regardless. When we make the relationship with God about our behavior we make the relationship about us and not about God. We need to make it about God because get this,

Glory to God = Peace on earth.

Do you see it? This is what the Christmas story says. If we realize that God loves us so much that regardless of what we've done he still sent us a Savior and we make the relationship about God we give Him the glory He deserves. If we don't give the glory to God we miss the peace that comes with that. When we give the glory to Him there is peace in our hearts. The peace is available to ALL people because God's favor is for everyone.

I don't know about you but I think that it is so amazing that God loves me so much. I don't understand it but I am thankful for it and I accept it as graciously as I can. :)

I give thanks every day for the love of God. For everything that He provides. All I have is because of the Lord's mercy and love. Regardless of my circumstances, regardless of what I have done or do, I am thankful and full of joy and peace because I know I am loved by God. I know I can rest in that peace forever.

These are some "peaceful" words...

By Nicole

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We made history today and I was a part of it!

Today we elected Barack Obama to the presidency, as this nation's 44th president.
He is 47 years old, a democrat, and African American.
I think that this is an amazing thing and I am proud of our country for the move forward.
I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

I know there are some issues that are of concerns to those of us who are Christian and I understand that many of my friends are going to be upset by the outcome of this election. I have my own thoughts but, what I can say is that I am excited to be a part of such a monumental election, one that our children are going to study and learn about in history books one day.

I pray for Obama's safety. I pray that God gives him wisdom and strength to lead our nation. I pray for his family and for his cabinet to support him and help him do what God leads him to do.

I am so excited. I realized today... I will say to my grand children someday... I elected the first ever African American president and that is a super cool thing I think. It isn't just that though, its more than that, but the historic part of it is pretty neat.

These are some "historically exciting" words...

By Nicole

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Emily's Halloween Costume 2008

This is a video of Stephanie trying Emily's Halloween costume on. I find it HILARIOUS!

These are some "hopping" words...

By Nicole

Friday, September 26, 2008

More pics of Emily

Emily is such a little angel. Most of the time she is all smiles.

Her newest trick is pulling herself up on anything. Here she was on the couch and pulled herself up to look behind it. She is crawling now and she has the funniest way of doing it. She crawls with one foot constantly underneath her. I think she does it because she is just so eager to walk.

A friend of mine was kind enough to give Matthew and Stephanie a bunch of clothes for Emily. This is her new bathing suit thanks to Stu and Stella.

On Mondays and Tuesdays I like to go over and spend some time with Matthew and Emily. We play cards and sometimes backgammon. Here Emily was supposed to be helping me beat Matthew. She isn't very good though cause we lost all 5 games!

Emily really likes lounging in her swing. She props her little leg up and gets comfortable. She just hangs out and enjoys the rhythm of the swing. She looks so funny sitting like that because its such a grown up thing to do. I do that all the time and it is cute to see my niece doing it.
Matthew, Stephanie and I all have blackberry phones. Its nice because we can send pictures to each other with ease. One day Matthew sent me this picture.
He said that she played under there for over half an hour. She is so funny!

Oh.. I love this picture. It shows so perfectly how cute and smiley she is.

Stephanie's mom took this picture. I love how she looks like a baby from a magazine.

Thats more for now. Hope you enjoyed them :)

These are more "photographic" words...

By Nicole

My little Niece Emily

Emily is my 7, almost 8, month old niece. She is the love of my life and such an amazing gift from God. Here I am going to share some of my favorite pictures of her.

My mom was giving Emily a bath in the kitchen sink and she was so stinking cute! Here I picture her saying "what are you doing with that camera? Can't you see I'm not decent?"

And here she says;
"Give me that camera!!"She is teething right now so she really likes to chew on things. Uh! I can't get over how adorable she is. Sometimes when I am holding her she tries to knaw on my shoulder. We have fun playing a game where I put my finger in her mouth, she bites it and I yell "ouch." She giggles and wants me to do it again.
So I only have 3 photos on my computer at the moment. I need to email myself pictures from my phone and then I can post more.

These are some "photographic" words...

By Nicole

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I am frustrated with something and need to vent about it.

The key issue I feel here is entitlement and those who feel they have it.

Drivers in their expensive cars who cut you off or turn right in front of you in a parking lot.
People you know who get mad at you and treat you poorly because you excel in something they don't.
Strangers who feel the need to treat you like you are less than nothing because of the position you hold.

All of these situations come about because these people feel entitled. They feel entitled to the way of the road, entitled to hold a higher position than you because they've been doing it longer, entitled because they have a job that doesn't require manual labor.

Entitlement is the poison that causes issues in this nation. We all feel so entitled and so worthy but really none of us are. If we didn't feel entitled we wouldn't treat each other the way we do. We would care more about our neighbors. We would do more for others and less for ourselves. We don't do this though because we feel entitled!

I have been wanting to vent about this for a long time. Every time I run into a situation where I get frustrated with how I am treated. I think of why it is happening and all I can come back to is entitlement.

I am in no way perfect and I know I can treat people poorly. I am trying though and offering my faults up to God. I am trying to be a better person. To do more for others and less for myself. To feel less entitled and more thankful for what I have, because I have a lot. I have been blessed and I need to share my blessings with others.

Thanks for letting me vent... I felt entitled to do so :p

These are some "entitled" words...

By Nicole

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Words of Encouragement

Here I will post God's words of encouragement to me and all my fellow Christians who are in a similar situation as I am with regards to the heart.

- Psalm 36:5-10
5Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies, 6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the great deep...
7How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among [women] find refuge in the shadow of Your wings. 8They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights.
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. 10Continue Your love to those who know You, Your righteousness to the upright in heart.

- Jeremiah 31:3-4
3..."I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. 4I will build you up again"...

- Psalm 45:11
The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for he is your Lord.

- Hebrews 13:5-6
5...Be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." 6So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid."...

God's love, faithfulness and protection are eternal. I don't really need any other love because I can take refuge in the knowledge that He loves me and has loved me forever. He will always be there for me and even when I fail he will build me up again and never forsake me. He thinks I am beautiful and knew me before He created me. I have failed many times and am constantly longing for a love here on Earth, but really, I need to focus on the one love that will never leave me, the love of God. His love is the only love that will truly last forever and I know he has a perfect plan for me. If he has a love here on Earth for me, it will come in His perfect time and I need to trust that He will care for me.

- Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is my desire to transform my thinking and to be content with His love. I will try my hardest to do so. I will take refuge in the knowledge that even if I falter, like I know I surely will, He will always love me and will always receive me with open arms.

These are some "encouraging" words...

By Nicole (And of course God)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Watch out, I'm going to brag a little...

I had to take the PRAXIS1 exam on August 16th. I wanted to push it back because I hadn't had time to study for it but I missed the "48 hours in advance" time. So I went and took it and did alright on it.

I got my results today and I am totally stoked!!!

Out of a possible score range of 150-190 I got:

Reading -> 184
Writing -> 180
Mathematics -> 188

The rad thing about this is the average performance range:

Reading 174-181
Writing 173-177
Mathematics 174-183

I did above average on all 3!!! Woo hoo! :) I am so happy right now. Even though it's just the PRAXIS1, and not a big deal test, I still like knowing that I am smarter than the average bear. Yeah, I know that is silly of me and that I am tooting my own horn but hey, someone has to do it. I'm patting myself on the back.

These are some "bragging" words...

by Nicole

Monday, September 8, 2008

I didn't protect my heart

So I have been trying my hardest to be a Godly woman. To be a woman of honor and class who respects men and honors God. I try to dress modestly so as to not provoke a wandering eye and I try not to flirt, although I'm not very good at that when I'm working.

One thing a single gal of God should also do is protect her heart. I have avoided becoming involved with men whom I know are not Godly men. The atheist for example, I didn't get involved with him. I know I should only become involved with men who are "equally yoked" because I want a man who understands where I am. I was doing a good job of that until my ex popped back into my life. I was doing just fine by myself until he decided to text me out of the blue. Last time I had talked to him he never wanted to see my face again. Well, apparently he changed his mind and we started talking again after almost 2 years. Now my heart is broken and there is no one to be mad at but myself. I failed at protecting my heart. Now I need to rebuild the protection I had previously and get better at knowing when to let someone in my life. What an idiot I am.

It sure is a good thing that God loves me regardless and that He looks at me with fresh eyes every minute. I am blessed to know that I am forgiven for not being a Godly woman by failing to protect my heart. I know better now and will certainly avoid that again! :)

These are some "humbled" words...

by Nicole

Friday, July 25, 2008

It is worse than I thought

Lord, I pray that you watch over my friend. Help him to see You and your omnipresence in everything we see and do. Life is an amazing gift that You have given. How can someone look around them and see all that You have given and not believe? I pray that You make your presence known, that you use me how You see fit and that You help me to see what I need to do. I want to be a light. Please help me find the words to express Your will. I think I need to say something soon. Please guide me and help me to know the path I am to follow. I want to do your will. It is worse than I thought, bigger than I, and I need Your help. I offer it up to You. In His precious name, Amen.

These are some "frightened" words...

By Nicole

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 7th was a glorious day...

On July 7th, 2008, God blessed me with an amazing gift.

The closure to a horrific miscommunication between myself and a dear friend.

Again He has shown that He has perfect timing and only in His time will your problems be resolved.

I have prayed for this daily for the past 10 months.

And now my prayers have been answered and I can finally rest in peace without the pain I so foolishly have been holding on to.

These are some "thankful" words...

by Nicole

Friday, July 4, 2008

It has been 3 days...

I have not had a decent sleep in three days.

I have no idea what is wrong with me.

Every time I fall asleep, I wake up in pain.

I'm stressed and this isn't helping me.

I want to heal but I am sure the lack of sleep and stress isn't helping that either.

I am trying so hard to give my worries up to the Lord because I know they are bigger than myself and I know that He will provide all that I may need.

It is difficult though.

Pray for me...


Don't forget.

These are some "tired" words...

By Nicole.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The first blog...

I am not sure why I set this up. I guess I thought that it might be a good outlet for my feelings, kinda like a diary, only one that everyone can read. I am also not sure how I feel about this fact. There are things that I would like to write about, that perhaps deep down I want people to know, but really I don't think people should know.


These are some "first" words...

By Nicole