Bubbles, Birds and Bible Stories!

 It was 8:30 in the morning as I sat on my front porch basking in the Son while soaking up the sun, my eyes catch my boy blowing bubbles, and his excitement of such simplicity at the age 14 is a gift from God.  We have learned to live in the moment taking in every experience looking for the creators handprints on all we have and do, even soapy man cub hands.  His excitement makes me excited, I whisper a thank you to God above for the simplicity of being still, and the profound gifts that come from slowing down. 

  In that moment I also  found myself thanking God  for the birds I believe he sent to my porch to sing a special song to my soul, a reminder that all is well in this season of stopping and healing for my body.  Years in the making of being OK without being about doing. 

  I open my bible, looking for a great life lesson that will resonate with my own life experiences in the moment.  I love the history, poetry, conflict, restoration and redemption that run through the ancient teachings.  Today I fell in love with the writings in Hebrews that remind me of the faith it takes to walk away from the past and into the future.  I grasp on to the ink on the page and think WOW!  I could have written these stories.  A reminder that the human heart the human condition is the same today as it was yesterday.  Those with profound faith were those willing to walk away form everything they knew and follow the spirit of the living God.  The ink speaks of true worship then and now that happens in the kitchen, prisons, streets and for me my front porch.

  I felt like my ancestors who had gone before me.  Leaving the land I had only known,  entering into a future I could not see.  As a woman who left that land a long time ago and  is not tied down to the chains of her past anymore, I have to firmly but gently remind those who love me the most not hold my past against me, even if they are only joking.  “Do not send me back to Egypt with your words.”  The power of claiming something aloud can cause someone to allow chains around their life, I say, “NOT SO,  I will not go back.”   It is a choice and I say “do not even joke about who I use to be, do not treat me like I have not been healed and set free!”

  The best part about not living in the past is the freedom to speak my truth in love to others and ask them to stop.  God is good and He is about setting us free.  I do not think the people in my life who love me the most intentionally go out to put me back into prison but that is the power of  spoken words.  So with gentle thoughtful intentions, I must commit to myself to think before I speak, knowing that I too can carelessly send people back to Egypt with the words spoken from my mouth.

  Today I thank God for the freedom that came with “it is finished.”  I thank God for early morning moments on the front porch with my boy, bubbles, birds and bible stories.

Just for today, can you look for HIS hand in the simple spots in your life?  
Can you be still long enough to navigate through your own noise and know His voice?  


Belly Flopping Into My Fear....

When Scary Became My Story

  Getting over my fear without doing anything scary was like trying to learn how to swim without getting wet.  It was not possible.   I spent the first decade of my marriage reading all about relationships, parenting, communicating, faith; the list could go on.  Yet, I never truly allowed myself to swim in the ocean of experiences.  I never learned to treed in the water of despair or even dog paddle through my pain.

  I lived in a state of constant fear, believing I could first learn how to swim with out getting in the water.  I feared I would drown in my own experiences, triggered by the things in front of my face, namely relationships of all kinds. Rejection was like a wave that whispered in my ear and prevented me from entering into the pool of life.  I could explain to others how to swim, dive, dog paddle and float.  I on the other had was only good at on thing, the belly flop, no amount of book knowledge was going to teach me how to swim, and getting wet was the only way. 

  One day while standing to close to the edge of the water I found myself face first, belling flopping into my fear.   I was splashing around unable to catch my breath, almost drowning in the depths of my discomfort.  In the matter of minutes, I was forced to sink or swim, the choice was before me, life or death.  I waved an invisible white flag, silently hollering for help, hoping that someone would see that I could not swim.

  The hands of my husband reached out to me; all of a sudden, I was facing my greatest fear, I was scared that he would find out that I was a fraud.  Two choices presented themselves before me,  I could go down as an accidental drowning victim or allow myself to be fully known, exposed to the truth that I could not swim, the waters of  my life were taking me down.  In a moment of clarity, I gave myself permission to take his hand.  A decade of deceit was coming to the service and the truth was about to be revealed.   I had pretended to swim in the sea of life for so long that I had even convinced myself I knew what I was doing, until that fatal day when my husband found me almost dead.

  As he rescued me from the waters of my life, it became evident that the fear of rejection was false and the evidence before me was real.  The very same hands that pulled me out were holding me tight; he did not reject me but embraced me.  He did not laugh at what I did not know but was willing to help me learn how to swim (live).  This was the moment in time, when the scary became my story and I faced my greatest fear.  Getting over my fear without doing anything scary was like me trying to learn how to swim without getting wet, it was impossible. Today, almost nine year later, I can honestly say, “I can swim.”
  This article is dedicated to my husband.  The ancient teachings instruct us to live life together.  Two are better than one, if one falls down the other can you up.  Thank you Tony for being my hero, my husband, my friend.  You have taught me how to live in the moment while trusting God with our future.  Not only did you become my lifesaver but my life preserver.  You are truly an amazing man of God and I thank Him everyday for you in my life and the way you point me back to Him.

  • Who do you have in your life that would reach out and rescue you if you were drowning in despair?
  • Do you deal with false fear appearing real?
  • Who do you know that would teach you to swim rather then swim for you?
  • Do you struggle with pretending to be at the cost of loosing your life?

  We were created for community for this very reason, for this season, for this lifetime .  God did not expect us to live this life alone.  We need one another.  I challenge you today,  if you do not allow yourself to be fully known, then it is the time.  Give yourself permission to be exposed, invite safe and healthy people into your life to teach you the lessons you need to learn.  The fear of the unknown is scary but drowning is even worse.

@The Front Porch

This Is The Day.....

The sound of the birds chirping in the trees and the sight of the sun bursting through the backdrop of the homes made me smile from my seat.  I think to myself, “Could there be any better way to start my day?”

As I sat on my front porch at dawn, smelling early morning scents of wet grass, roasted coffee and blooming rose bushes, I decided, "no," this is the best way to enter into my day. 

Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad. Gratitude for what was and what will be is the theme of my moment and the fuel that keeps me going.

I thank the sun, greet the birds and drink my coffee all while thanking God for the moment I melted into. 

If you are ever up at the crack of dawn come  break the day in with me!

Fresh Fruit.......

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. (John 15:16 NLT)

God did not say He appointed us to go build churches but rather produce fruit. He did not tell us to go but be. To produce lasting fruit means that it requires us to pour into, cultivate and care for other people. Relationships are not to be treated like businesses, we do not need a marketing plan to produce fruit, and we need time, space and pure love.

When we spend more time on things then people, we produce a false image of something that appears to look like the real deal.  Nevertheless, when we choose to dig deeper into religion, many times what we will see is anything but relationships and fruit producing people.

Programs do not trump people, ever, Satan knows our weaknesses and business is one of them. Building keeps us busy and prevents us from producing fruit. Yes, many good works are happening in the name of faith but how much fruit is being produced.

Arrogance is birthed out of building, but we do not have to rely on Him choosing us for such a task as that. He makes it clear that He chose us not the other way around. When this is happening, the Father will give me anything I ask for. As I continue to choose to pour out instead of build up I am finding that the real deal is in the relationships forged out of the cultivating and caring for. 

I will remember daily that I was picked for this purpose of producing lasting fruit. I will not look at producing programs but rather connections. I will remember that as a chosen child of the king that He will give me what I ask for and that I can wait in joyful expectation. 

Thank you Father for the way you have shown me what the counterfeit looks like. Thank you for choosing me to be like a farmer, pouring out and into the lives around me. I trust you with the desires of my heart knowing that you will not deceive me or let me down. Your love is pure and I can count on you every day.

Life Was So Much Easier.....

"Life was so much easier when rubber duckies made her smile more then half grown men."  I know that victory is birthed out of adversity and faith out of the struggle but my mamma heart hurt when my baby girl’s heart is breaking.

She sat in front of me, tears rolling down her face, a whopping 16 years under her belt and all I wanted to do was lock her up.  It was not one thing in particular that had caused me to want to throw away the key.  Rather an accumulation of miscommunication between her and the half-grown man she had started to give her heart away to.

I knew in that moment that she did not need another lesson from her mama, I was learning to listen more and talk less.  She needed a shoulder more then advice.

I watched as my daughter shared her heart openly with me, trusting me with her struggle and her pain.  I bit my tongue so hard; I thought that at any moment I just might taste blood.  Everything in me wanted to tell her what to do and how to do it. 

Knowing from my own experiences, she did not need that kind of response.  She needed space to share and silence to follow the leading inside of her own soul. 

I have spent the last several years praying for this process, letting go so she can grow.  I have not always been very good at releasing her when she needed it the most.  This day was no different; I crossed the line and gave some advice.

What impressed me the most about her response to my actions were the way she respectfully came to me afterwards and said, “Mom I just needed you to listen to me.”  Ouch, that hurt, I knew I had overstepped the line of listening and I immediately asked for forgiveness.  

Of course, she was quick to forgive and forget and once again allowed me into her pain and her struggle.  She is learning to navigate through the teen years.  She is trying to learn how to communicate without relying on electricity, texting or Facebook.  This does not fly in the face of most teenagers today but she is doing her best to realize the importance of true communication.

As the day came to an end all I could think about was how much simpler life was, when rubber duckies made he smile more then half grown men.

Train a child in the way she should go 
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Dear God,
Please help me to be a better listener.  I want to rely more on you then on my emotions.  I trust the process of letting go; I turn to you today to seek strength, and guidance knowing that you will lead them like you led me.
Your Daughter

My Legacy.......

How do you want to be remembered?  A legacy, something that is handed down, handed back, handed to.  Our legacy, what we leave, it will be what the world will see.  Remember, it is not what’s caught but taught that counts.   What we leave behind when it is all said and done, that is what the world will see.  When it is over and you are no longer here, what do you want the world to say about the person you were?

For me, what I want the world to remember for the world to say, she was a woman of faith who lived in the moment while trusting Her God with her future.  I want them to whisper, speak out and say, she loved deeply, forgave quickly and giggled a lot.

When my life is through and my days are done, when the world looks back at my life, my legacy I want them to say, “She wore Jesus well, walked by faith and did not compromise in what she believed.”
When it is all said and done when the world looks back and examines my life I want them to say “She was a friend to those who others ignored.  She shared what she saw and saw what she shared.  She never gave up or gave in and she, ( who was me) was willing to enter others pain while allowing others into hers (which was mine mine).”

When looking back over my life, I want the world to say “she loved the unlovable (she was one of them), reached out to the forgotten (she had been lost) and found the suffering (because she had walked in the way).

I want them to say she was available and intentional and made herself present for the people around her.”

When looking back over my life I want the world to say, she prayed more, listened often and spoke less about herself and more about others.”  They will say, they will say, “She was not a fixer but a facilitator; she loved, accepted and encouraged everyone.”

When looking back over my life, I want the world to say, “She ran her race and cheered others on in theirs. She took a breath, paused for a moment and slowdown to reflect on HIS love daily.”  A love that she learned meant that she was never lost or alone ever again, a love that stretched out HIS arms and said, “I love you this much, it is finished.”

When the world looks back over my life, when it’s all said and done, I want them to say, “She chose to be about His business while minding her own, she was accountable, authentic and often times outrageous.”  “She celebrated out loud, cried, sang and danced everyday.”

When my legacy is on the line and the people start to talk I want to hear them say, “She held, hugged and kissed those she loved.”  I want them to say “She let you know she loved you and always found the good in everyone she met.

When the world looks back over my life, when my legacy starts to unfold and my time on earth is through, my prayer is that the memories of me will be of a women who was never be to busy to give an ear, a shoulder or a hand.

I want the people to say, “She supported, sponsored and collaborated with others to create authentic community one connection at a time, known as the front porch.” They will say, “She believed that two were better than one and lived out her belief.” (Every single day)

When looking back I want the world to remember that my greatest legacy came from living in the moment while trusting my God with my future. They will say, “She was a woman who loved from thanksgiving and walked by faith.

So I say to you today/tonight, if your time on earth were through, if your days ended and your life was cut short.  What do you want the world to remember you by.

Cris Nole

Not In Your Doing....

Whispers from the Heart of God...

Day 29

It is not in your doing that you have received me but in my choosing.  I breathed my spirit in you, like my first set of followers, when you where broken and doubted me the most.  This is part of my message so that no one will boast.

Receiving and taking a burden or a blessing.  Though these two look alike, they are different.  One comes with humility and the other with pride.  

When you were at your lowest, when you felt like you had nothing to offer that is when I was able to use you the most.  Growth happens and giving is done when I capture the heart of the ones I have chosen.

It is not that I need you broken as much as you need you broken or you would be in danger of believing your freedom and faith have something to do what you had done.  Your brokenness is an insurance policy to protect you from the pride that could lead you back to the dark places I pulled you from.

Remember these truths, when your out in the world, I show up best in your weakness and Satan attacks your strengths.  

My spirit in you is where you will find your strength; I chose to choose you so that no one could boast.

I breathed on them and said, “Receive the holy spirit.”
                                                                      John 20:22

Love Your 

Be Still....

Whispers from the Heart of God…

Day 28

If you cannot hear me, it is time to be still. I am speaking to you ever so softly.  Pull away, push back and relax in my presence.  This will not only give you the ability to hear my voice but it will be good for your soul.  You will find peace when you press into my presence.  

Many say they follow the way, they live for the simplicity of a life filled with faith, the way I created them to live.  However, look around; what people say and what they do are two different things.  My people are exhausted, over worked and rarely say no when asked to do.  I did not create you so that you can work yourself to death.  

You will hear me in the song of the bird, the sight of the early morning sunrise and the laughter of the children.  I am all around you; I speak to you through all of my creations. Learn to tune into the silence, my spirit will connect with yours when you are still.

The evil one has wiggled his way into this world. He has disguised himself as the truth and has deceived others into following him.  He is loud, arrogant and obnoxious.  He is demanding of your time and values more.  He will eat you up with expectations that you will not be able to fill.  Once you cannot be all he has called you to be, he will then come in for the kill.  He will condemn and call you names until you role over and want to die.

I am about abundance, which is not the same as more.  You will find your greatest joy in less and your burden will be light.  You will know the real deal only when you choose to be still.  You will live in freedom only when you let go.  Do not be deceived.  I will and do love you not because of what you do but because of who’s your are.

If you cannot hear me, it is time to be still.  

Love Your

Call On Me...

Whispers from the Heart of God...

Day 27

Call on me and I will be there.  Do not get ahead of yourself.  Trust in me and where I have you and I will lead you.  Do not worry about the ways of this world.  I have not called you out of the darkness only to tie you down to obligations.

My desire is for your devotion, for you to freely love me, not from fear of rejection.  I will not leave you even when you walk away from me, I am a breath away.    

My plans for you are that of a hope and a future.  These plans play out when you focus on my face rather then your failures.  Living in the moment while trusting me with your future, there is where your hope will be. 

The journey is not easy, it will not always make sense but your passion will be present when you walk in my way.  Love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, you can do this!

Every word you speak should be evidence that you are my child.  Your gentle conversation, your deep convictions and your outrageous love for the least of these will give you the freedom you need to live out the message of your heart. 

When you are tempted to add to your plate, make a name for yourself and show off more then show up, cry out to me, I will shine light on your why and your ways.  Remember, it is not that I do not want you to be known, I just know the danger of and the cost it takes when fame becomes the carrot and you loose sight of me.

Call on me and I will be there.  Stand strong, be still and do not get ahead of yourself, you are right where you are supposed to be.

Love Your

Lessons Learned...

Whispers from the Heart of God....

Day 26

It is never too late to learn a new lesson, travel a new road or make a new memory.  There is more then one way to live, do not get stuck in your thinking.  Change and choice are the excitement that comes when you follow me.

Look around, what do you see?  There are many places, people and things for you to embrace.  I created you to experience life to the fullest.  My way is not what you think; my ways are not your ways.  I am like the wind, one minute blowing here and another minute blowing there.

Every new moment is an opportunity to make a memory.  I am in those moments if you let me.  I will give you gifts that only you can see.  Tuck away these lessons you learn through the memories you make and you will have an amazing journey.  You will fall but I will help you get up, reach for me and see.

Do not try to catch me, I will carry you.  My spirit will lead you if you will let it.  Do not try to control me or you will find the burden to heavy for you to bear.  Your mind cannot make sense of what I am doing, but your spirit knows exactly what to do.  Trust your heart, follow me and see.  Do not let fear keep you from change and choice; they will be the wings that allow you to fly.

On this journey you will experience Jesus, look for Him among my people.   My people are found among the orphans, the widows; the prisoners just to name a few.  Go find them among the least of these and you will find me. 

Remember, it is never too late to learn a new lesson.  I am like the morning sun, though I rise everyday, I still start something new.  My lessons are amazing and you will learn if you let me lead.   

Love Your

The Truth Of Two.....

Whispers from the Heart of God…

Day 25

Do not ever forget this truth, two are better than one, I show up best among the two.  You will experience the best when you are willing to give and not just take.  You will taste my goodness when you travel this road of faith with two or more.

I created you to be among each other, to share openly and naturally.  Do not pretend; do not make yourself look bigger or better then those around you.  I am not asking you to sit back but rather to be still.  Look for the good in others and always give your best. 

My truth of two will help you when you fall and you will find you gain more from your work, do not forget this truth.

Love Your

You Are Not Crazy.....

Whispers from the heart of God...

Day 24

You can be angry and love, you can cry and laugh all at the same time.  You are not crazy when you feel more then one emotion at a time; that is how I created you to be. 

I have told all my children that in this world, you will have trouble but it does not mean you are weak or less of when you do.  I do not expect you to be perfect just to participate in the life I have given you.

I do offer you perfect peace and love, which can cover all the pain and hurt that you have and will go through.  Do not run from your feelings they make you who you are.  Embrace your emotions and dance with your dreams.

Do not be discouraged when you face trials, they are only temporary.  You will find peace in the middle of all your pain if you choose to persevere.

Walk straight up, straight forward and straight into my love for you.  You have confidence and courage when you trust in me with faith like a child.  I will take care of your heart when you are hurting and I will laugh with you when you are laughing. 

You can feel more then one emotion at a time, you are not crazy and you are not alone.

Love Your