Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring is around the corner!!!


Spring is around the corner!!!
 
I know you can't see it yet with all that snow on the ground, but it is... it's coming!!!!
 
 
God has been so faithful with the guest blogs this last year. During the summer I was running with three prepared posts each week ready to go. Then the last portion of Guest blogs, God had one ready in advance for the goal of one a week. It amazed me every time I even slightly worried with what was going to be posted, God would touched the right heart, with the right words every time!!
 
Through those blogs we have had an incredible time getting to know soooo many of you beautiful women!! I am so excited for the future of each of you!!! Seeing so many passionately pursue God with all of your hearts has encouraged me so much and pushed me to continually look deeper into my own journey!!
 
It has felt like God has been building in me through all of you a challenge to write again... and not because... I want to... something I LOVE LOVE LOVE about the concept of the guest blogs is that the focus is not on me but the AMAZING stories from YOU!!! I feel as though every time that the focus is on me I become quite aware of all the areas in which I need to grow as a lover of God. But maybe that is why it's my time again.
 
Tomorrow is March 1st and God has challenged me to invest some more of myself and my journey into Passionate Women. So a new season is here yet again for our blog!!!
 
Not sure at this point what it's going to look like yet... but please join me in prayer as I listen to hear from the Holy Spirit to write what God has been doing in my life through out the next few weeks.
 
Please continue to follow along and be a part of the blog through commenting. If any of you have something you would like to share in the form of a guest post feel free to still pass it along!!! (nicoleandadam@hotmail.com) Although the focus won't be on guest blogs for a time, I still would love to include a different voice and perspective each month!!
 
Love you all lots and lots
Nicole

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Fairy Tale by Ariana deVries

Well pretty cool to be able to post this!!! Ariana deVries has been in my life for a while now. From her being a young wide eyed teen, wondering what the future had to hold, to a beautiful confident wife and mom!!! It has been a pleasure to see her grow and I am so excited to see the future unravel for her and Scott. Ariana initially wrote a blog for me and I read it... it was good. But there was something that I felt that God had more to speak through her. I felt a pause... so gently I messaged her and told her what I was feeling. Her reaction was another example of a young woman willing to hear God through others and be challenged to dive deeper into what the message that is to be written!!! So this is her revised blog. And I think such a beautiful way of expressing her journey and what God has been doing in her life. We are all imperfect people in an imperfect world but with God our lives can shine of his presence and glory!!! Praise the Lord for the Journey we are all on!!

Ariana. Our relationship has grown from a mentorship to a friendship. And I am blessed to continue living life with you and your lovely family! You are part of our journey, and I love being part of yours. Continue to keep your eyes locked on God embracing the calling you have on your life and the dreams that He is birthing within you!!!




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A Fairy Tale
By Ariana deVries
 



Have you ever felt like you didn't have much of a story? Like your life hasn't been bad enough or you haven't gone through enough struggles to feel as though you are someone worth listening to?

Have you ever felt too good? Like you're somehow a confused angel who landed on earth but you don't know it?

Probably not. But then again...maybe you have.

Sometimes, that's how I feel. Absurd. I know.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. Far from it, actually. I just know that for as long as I can remember I've been labelled as the "good kid", "perfect" and "an angel".

I also know that God and I have been buddies since I was 3. We haven't always been super close relationally, but I know He's been right with me and will be, forever.

I'm pretty sure that has something to do with it.

So. To refute the lies, here is my story. Because I know I have one. It's just a little different.
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There once was a sweet, roly-poly little girl.
She had a heart of gold, hair of stunning red, freckles of many shapes and sizes, and a smile to cheer any soul.

When she was 3, she was adopted into a new family. It was the family of a king, and she was now a princess.

But, the little girl didn't know that. All she knew was that she loved this new Daddy very much and wanted to spend the rest of her life loving Him.

The little princess spent many a day in the presence of the king, enjoying his company; laughing with him, crying with him, dancing with him, singing with him, eating with him and simply being loved by him.

As the little girl with red hair and freckles grew older, she sometimes forgot about how much she loved spending time her daddy. She figured she didn't need him for everything anymore.

She was wrong.

One day she was out riding on her beautiful white horse, when she fell and couldn't get back up. She was afraid and did all she knew to do; called for her daddy amongst the tears.

Before long, he was at her side, gently lifting her into his arms. He wrapped her in a warm embrace and told her he would never leave or forsake her. As the princess melted into the king's embrace she realized all pain was gone and she wasn't afraid anymore.

She looked into his eyes and knew without a shadow of doubt, she was loved beyond measure and absolutely nothing would change that.

Several years past and the king's daughter fell in love with a handsome prince. They were married and  soon after welcomed a tiny bundle of joy into their lives.

Though many people said being married and being parents would be tough (and if you don't fight, you're advice is not worth listening to), they knew otherwise, because they spent time in the presence of the king. Their lives were very blessed and their precious baby learned to love the king too.

The beautiful princess never liked to let a day pass where she didn't sit at the feet of her daddy. She was always welcomed, and never felt shame or fear.

And she knew that nothing would separate her from his love.
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As the story goes, some may call this a fairy tale. Others, outrageous. But I like to call it mine.

The family of God. Where all are welcome and no one is denied adoption. Where life is amazing, but not perfect. Where love abounds and grace is lavished.

My name is Ariana deVries and I am the daughter of a King. I am deeply loved and highly favoured.

And I have a story that is still to be continued...
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"I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:39 MSG)
 
 
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If you have any questions on how to find God, or how to embrace a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Please Email me at nicoleandadam@hotmail.com I would love to be able to pray with you and express the heart of our father and His desire for your life. Love, Nicole


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"RESTING IN HIS FINISHED WORK" By Tammy Etich

In the summer I had the pleasure of a play date with this incredible woman! Tammy Etich, has such a powerful and exciting testimony of how her and her husband Menahem encountered God in their little apartment so many years ago. If you know her.. be sure to ask her how they came to know Jesus, like I said powerful story!!! After meeting with Tammy I felt so impressed to ask her to share on Passionate Women! To my excitement last week, she finally had a chance to put the finishing touches on this blog.  The last couple sentences were so powerful, I am going to lead off with it also "I encourage you to stop trying to make it all happen through your own strength and wisdom. Cease from trying and start trusting the Lord. Let Him work in and through you to overcome your challenges accomplish your dreams and fulfill His plans and purposes for your life. When God does it with His wisdom, power and timing, it can only be perfect!"

Tammy, your heart and desire to serve Jesus Christ is so incredibly evident in your life. You are an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing this post it challenge me and reminded me again!! I printed off just yesterday a big sign to put on my fridge. "God birth a vision of a bigger dream for me that fulfills the calling for my life that YOU desire for me!!" Huge blessings to you and your family as you continue to walk out the calling on your lives. Dream big guys, dream big!!!!


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RESTING IN HIS FINISHED WORK
By Tammy Etich

If you were to ask me a year ago if I experienced condemnation on a regular basis, I would have said no.  I was seemingly going through life thinking that condemnation was not a problem for me.  I knew that God loved me and that he wanted to bless me.  But why was I not always experiencing His blessings in my life?

My journey on living a life free from condemnation and resting in His finished work began while I was pregnant with my second child.  My first childbirth didn’t go the way I expected it to go and I experienced a very painful three day labour which ended with an emergency c-section.  In my heart, I had a strong desire to give birth naturally but the doctors said after my first delivery that they recommend doing c-sections going forward.  So my husband Menahem and I got into the Word and discovered God’s promises regarding childbirth as well as Jackie Mize’s book “Supernatural Childbirth”.  I was standing firm on His promises and believed for God’s supernatural power to take over in my body for my son to enter this world naturally, supernaturally!


Well, when I was about 7 months pregnant, all of these thoughts of doubt and condemnation (although I didn’t know it at the time) starting going through my mind.  What if I didn’t pray enough, what if my faith is not strong enough, what if I didn’t take my confessions often enough, and so on.  One night I was sitting down talking with Menahem about this and I concluded that maybe we should just believe for a supernatural recovery from a c-section because I didn’t want to put my child’s life in danger and I surely didn’t want to go through the same experience that I had with my first childbirth.  And he said something that was so simple but exactly what I needed to hear. He said your words keep saying "I" instead of "Him".   If it's going to be a Supernatural Childbirth then God is going to take care of all the details and it will be because of what Jesus did and not what you did.  

His words were so simple, but a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders.  By his words, I was repositioned from a stance of self-righteousness to a stance of GRACE. 

Now he could have encouraged me to just spend more time with God and decide to take my confessions everyday from now on which is right in a sense, but it would have left me in my own works again and I surely would have disappointed myself and disqualified myself for His blessings.  And even if I would have done all of the spiritual things that I thought earned me the right to this miracle, I still would have thought it wasn’t enough.  Why, because our works will always fail us.  Now going forward I still spent time with God and in His word but I wasn’t doing it to try to get a supernatural childbirth.  I was now fellowshipping with Him in His finished work for me and laying down my life into His hands so that He can move and work in my life.

It’s all in our stance.  You will either stand by your works or rest by His grace.  It can’t be both.  If it’s your works, you will reap the rewards of your works, but if it’s by grace, Hallelujah, it will be grace filled rewards!  I chose to rest in His finished work.

When we step aside to rest and allow the Lord to work on our problems, the results are marvellous.  When we cease from our self-efforts and rest in Him, He can bring forth beautiful outcomes for us because everything that He does is wonderful!

A few weeks later, I experienced the most wonderful supernatural childbirth of my son Elijah who was born natural without a c-section or any type of pain management. They could not understand how it happened but we knew God was ever so mighty in that hospital room that night working His grace and favour all over my body and it wasn't because I was so spiritual or because I prayed so much or because I took enough confessions, it was all because of JESUS!!!

Ephesians 2:6 says “And God raised us up with Christ and SEATED us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”.  Sitting is a position of rest.   Many of us want our problems solved first before we adopt an attitude of rest. 

You allow Almighty God to work in you, through you and in your circumstances when you rest. Sometimes, it may seem like He is not doing anything when you rest. Don’t be tempted then to move out of that position. You can’t do more than He can! Stay seated—at rest—knowing that He is working behind the scenes, causing all things to work out for good!

The supply of His grace, health, provision, peace and whatever we need is always flowing toward us because of the cross.  But when we worry and strive to solve the problem ourselves, we choke that supply.

Now does this mean that we don’t do anything?  Surely not.  Whatever we need to do, we do with an inward rest, without worrying, knowing that He loves us, is in charge and is for us. 

You see before this revelation I was carrying this weight of believing for these wonderful things that the Word promises us but I just kept feeling disappointed in myself when I wouldn’t do what I felt needed to be done and not seeing the desired results.  I was being so works conscious rather than grace conscious.  I was trying to earn what Jesus has already so freely given us. 

All we need to do is spend time fellowshipping with Him, discovering His great love for us and what Jesus accomplished on the cross.  The more I do this, the more I get to know God as my loving daddy whom I talk to about everything.  I love Him so much and I’m able to open myself up to experience this love and His great blessings because I’m no longer trying to earn it.

I encourage you to stop trying to make it all happen through your own strength and wisdom. Cease from trying and start trusting the Lord. Let Him work in and through you to overcome your challenges accomplish your dreams and fulfill His plans and purposes for your life. When God does it with His wisdom, power and timing, it can only be perfect!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beauty Revival! By Jannah Kitzman

I came across this post just a couple weeks ago and it struck me.... WOW... What a powerful message and a challenge to myself!!! How many times have I looked at someone who has the "perfect" figure after child birth and in a sense rebuked them or rolled my eyes. Man... that is horrible!!! What a challenge to really embrace everything about myself from every stretch mark, to extra pound and see the beauty in who God created me to be and look like, then to let go of all the negative thoughts.

I am just getting to know Jannah Kitzman, in little waves when we end up at the same event... but after this blog.. GIRL!!! I would love to sit down and hang sometime!!! What a beautiful journey I see you on.

Thank you Jannah, for being willing to share. I got A LOT out of this post and know that many will be challenged also. Blessings as you head into a new season of baby #2. It's an absolute joy to fill your home with little cooing treasures!!! I look forward to connecting in the future and getting to know you better!!!!


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Beauty revival!
Jannah Kitzman



It’s so hard for me to listen to the stereotypical, negative aspects of bearing and birthing a little baby nowadays. I know I don’t have much of an understanding of how it feels to be left over weight, stretched astronomically with the marks, or internally turned into a hallway, because I never experienced the severity of what pregnancy can do. I never screamed or had any pain, and didn’t need a single drug to help me through. I'm not boasting, believe me i still had the pressure and hot sensation they describe, and ripped completely from my v to my a, I just simply had a higher power watching over me and protecting me from the lies of this world, and believed that i could receive the gifts of a supernatural child birth.

I am very blessed to have retained my body and had it left virtually untainted by my son (I still have stretch marks they just popped up on my inner and outer thighs). The remarks about vagina's looking like animals, our bodies looking like a tiger just mauled us, or just the fact that our kiddies make our lives a chaotic marathon, are yes indeed funny in the small witty dose they come in from time to time, but I can’t help but feel as if they’re becoming more unnecessary and draining then relatable and uplifting.


I’m a huge advocate for women of all shapes and sizes, no matter how you got the way you are, to love their bodies to the utmost to ensure their minds don’t get clouded with what this world has deemed beautiful. I get very awkward when a conversation with a women who is shaped differently than me starts complaining about her figure and cursing me for mine. I don’t ever want someone to feel that I take my body for granted by resenting it or wishing I was smaller, or that they should feel any envy towards me because this world says the smaller you are the more beautiful you are. however, I cant comprehend how women can be so destructive towards themselves. Having children is hard, raising them is even harder, and this is a noble act to do. But when I finally have my daughter ( in four years after this 2nd little boy arrives), I don’t want her to get the impression that because somebody may look different on the outside that that depicts who they are on the inside. I also don’t want my sons to grow up thinking they can judge a women’s physique at all based on what I or anyone else describe as a negative part of their body. How will any of them know what true beauty is If I verbally teach them that unless I am a perfectly sculpted woman that I am not worthy of attaining beauty.

I started thinking more to myself that the more a negative thought came to me, joking or not, It was going to some how dig itself deep in my brain only to pop up in a weak moment and crush me from the inside out. I refused to let that be the case. I understand people can get to a point in there lives where it only seems like the right thing to do think or say is negative, but I also know we are our own worst enemies, and we need to encourage each other always. My mother always used to tell me garbage in garbage out. This world wants to choose who is worthy to be apart of the “normal” picture and shun all those who just don’t measure up. They bash us for how much we make, how we dress, our weight, complexion, thought process and so much more. They’re sorting through us like the farmer does with the eggs to find the perfectly laid ones and throw out the ones that are cracked, and the sad thing is we allow them to do this. This world does the same with child bearing and birth, and postpartum life. As we listen to the worlds opinion on how our lives must go, the negativity settles in and we move further from the truth.

It seems so contradictory that we criticize ourselves and each other so easily, yet are also so quick to defend ourselves from this completely unachievable perfection the world has thrown down over our society. At what point do we say enough completely to this negative thought process and begin to love ourselves fully for what we are worth.

God says we are perfectly made, and many people don’t believe in god but you can believe that you were put here somehow for a specific purpose and are perfect just the way you are no matter what happens to you externally or internally in your lifetime.

Women who have children and look as if they never have are criticized and women who gain a lot of weight or are left with a little extra are ridiculed. You’re a good mom if you look perfect after child birth, and a disgrace if you don’t! How completely evil of us to think or even condone this idea. It is a privilege to have a baby, because there are a lot I couples who will never be able to bear and deliver a child. It is also a selfless act because when we have babies we are choosing to end our task to care only for ourselves and taking on a complete role of servitude for another life. That is beautiful and no one should chastise themselves or be chastised for this, if they look a certain way after having a child or two or 8.

We need a movement, a revival of the brain and the way it has been poisoned by negativity. I encourage everyone to drop anything negative and focus on only the positive of this life we are living. Things are never going to go the way we plan, there are a shocking number of setbacks that will be waiting to strike us down at our best. But if we don’t fight for each other and the beauty in each and everyone of us no matter how we look, or our life style after babies, then we literally are letting this world rule our thought process.You may look in the mirror and hate yourself, see the things you want to change or envy another woman who you think is more desirable than you, but while your staring at yourself you are still yearning to love yourself for where you are in life. Seize that moment hold on to that perfect flawless moment of when you desire to love yourself, and simply begin. Lets face it we are stuck with ourselves no matter what we look like or how we feel, don’t completely rebuke the one person who can also be your cure for this infectious thought pattern! God also loves you and knows you’re perfect he’s just waiting for you to remember, or begin reading the truth in his words.

How wonderful to know that even if we don’t believe in him and refuse to think he could possibly be real, he will always be there loving you no matter your decisions you make or how you perceive yourself.

Lets break this stereotype and negativity, and join hands in fighting for the beauty of our individuality and character rather then condemning ourselves and each other from the outside in over things completely out of our hands.