Giving up Control

by Carol Nicholls

Image by Brook Ward
Flickr.46923613741_c77a74c133_CC BY-NC 2.0

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. II Timothy 1:7

Facebook was alive with disgruntled fans. Super Bowl just didn’t really seem “super.” Neither team was doing anything amazing. “Boring…I’m going to bed,” one fan wrote. Fans urgently wanted their team to win. From the players viewpoint, however, the strength of both defensive teams was clear. Both quarterbacks were analyzing, trying to find a weakness in those defensive lines.

These were two strong armies clashing face-to-face. Boring? Not to them! Read the rest of this entry »


by Carol Nicholls

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

My brother Bobby and I were in the kitchen helping wash up the dinner dishes. Mom had shut the kitchen door that led to the rest of the house. The doorbell rang, Bob and I ran to the closed door and put our ears as close as we could. “Ho, ho, ho” said a man’s voice. Dad said, “Welcome, please come in.”

“Have Carol and Bobby been good this year?” Santa asked. Just then Mom made a huge clatter with dishes. We couldn’t hear what Dad had said. Our anticipation turned to frustration!

In a little while Dad opened the kitchen door and we went into the living room. Right in the middle of the room was a blue Schwinn bicycle, a giant bicycle, an adult bicycle. And…it was mine. Frustration and anticipation became jubilation! Read the rest of this entry »

Tomato Soup and Saltine Crackers

by Carol Nicholls

But my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. Philippians 4:19

I couldn’t face it, just the smell was repulsive. For more than 10 years tomato soup and saltine crackers, an American staple, was not allowed in my home. The whole issue began when I was 18.

Six months after high school graduation I packed up my earthly goods (not a lot at that age), left them at my mother’s apartment and headed for the Los Angeles airport. Read the rest of this entry »


by Carol Nicholls

Image by Leland Franciso

In the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!

Psalm 94:19 (Amp)

There is a whirlwind of activity in my family this week. My firstborn grandchild is getting married next Saturday. Along with all of the planning and making sure everything gets done, daily life goes on. Jobs still need our attention. Meal preparation is a task that can’t be put off. Clothes still need to be washed, and so it goes. Cramming extra activity into an already busy schedule can soon give birth to ANXIETY.

The Bible asks, “Who of you by being worried and anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life?” Matthew 6:27(Amp)

Anxiety is a useless emotion in God’s eyes. Yet, it makes its presence known almost every day. Anxiety can be a vague feeling that “all is not well.” It can also become a life-crippling force.

“So, do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries of its own. Sufficient for each day is its trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (Amp)

How do you face anxiety? God says it’s futile trying to resolve anticipated problems. Thinking about them to gather facts is a wise way to be prepared. But, anticipating negative consequences will only lead to panic attacks.

The mind and emotions are the battleground. There are thoughts that lead to peace and there are thoughts that lead to fear. Take a good look at your thoughts. Are you dwelling on a potential negative? Why is that negative more powerful than a positive thought? Usually that is because we can see the outcome of the negative thought but we have NO idea how anything good could come of the situation.

Most of us have bought into the lie that we are “all-wise” and can, with enough effort, solve every life problem. When we can’t see the solution, anxiety sets in. Doubt, fear, insecurity, what other emotions are plaguing you? When we follow God’s advice and take every thought captive we can stop them before they become an emotion. Write them down if that helps. Then ask God to show you that thought through His eyes.

“..now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectations are in You.” Psalm 39:7 (Amp)

Father, I am oh so human! Anxious thoughts are always lurking in the back of my mind. I want to trust You with my whole heart. Your word says Your plans for me are for good and not harm. As I turn my anxious thoughts over to You, please, show me Your heart, grant me Your peace moment by moment through today. And, when tomorrow becomes a new today, show me Your way again. Amen

I Don’t Fit….

by Carol Nicholls

Image by gosheshe
Flickr.com_3288921135_0b2213d20b_CC BY-ND 2.0

 Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Lamentations 5:21 NLT

The table is covered with jigsaw pieces. On the cover is a beautiful nautical scene that should be recreated when all of these pieces are put together.

Actually, the upper left corner is almost done. But I am pondering a piece in my hand. The colors don’t seem to be right no matter where I look. A piece that will fit into the notches has not shown up. Oh well, sometimes it takes awhile to figure it out. Just put the piece down and keep on working.

Several hours later (I am not really good at jigsaw puzzles) the scene is completed, looking just like the box cover. There on the table is one lonely piece. Read the rest of this entry »

Pulling Up Roots

by Carol Nicholls

God said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”  “He went out, not knowing where he went.” (Genesis 12:1, Hebrews 11:8)

Destination: The place to which someone or something is being sent

Very few of us leave our homes without a destination in mind. If you are chronic about saving time and gas, like me, all the stops for a trip are written down, numbered and the list comes along in the car. With all of this going out and coming back, our lives revolve around our home-base, the spot where we have taken root. What would happen if our “roots” were pulled up and we suddenly, like Abraham, became transient? Read the rest of this entry »


by Carol Nicholls

Image by Janae Juahal
Flickr.com_15665823144_fc7f01c938_CC BY-ND 2.0

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Transition, such a simple word, but it can create havoc in the routines of life. Over the years I have discovered that I don’t do “Transition” gracefully. Even simple things like going off Daylight Savings Time throws me off kilter for a good two weeks. More complex things, like a new job or an impending move, render me useless. It is like I am at Point A and I can see Point B. I am glad the change is going to happen. Between the two points is a huge black abyss. Stepping out into that uncertain area of darkness is more stressful to me than the potential of doing nothing to make the change happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Are the Worms?

by Carol Nicholls

Image by Andy Langager
Flickr.com_4711980319_a417dcf16b_CC BY-ND 2.0

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.” John 5:8

Have you ever picked up a perfect apple, bit into its sweetness and then found half a worm? Suddenly that bite of deliciousness makes you gag! Or, perhaps, your computer is working fine until the next time you turn it on and the internet refuses to connect. After a lot of frustrating work you discover it has a “bug.”

It’s amazing how many times what starts with joy ends with irritation and disappointment. There’s the shiny new car that becomes a lemon; next door to the wonderful new home you purchased resides a noisy, rude neighbor or relationships that begin with hope, suddenly end with bitter disappointment.

When you think about your life, how many things have not worked out and left you wondering what went wrong? Is there someone or something that just rubs you the wrong way for no apparent reason?

Deep inside, like the worm in the apple, there is a reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Life’s Storms

by Carol Nicholls

Image by Gerogie Sharp
Flickr.com_photos/georgiesharp/8198287851_CC BY ND 2.0

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

An SUV is rising several feet into the air landing yards away from where it had been. A tornado is lifting homes off foundations depositing them in tree tops. The effects of powerful storms can be seen almost nightly on television. Sadly, there is an “entertainment” value in watching these events. We all seem to be voyeurs to one degree or another. None of it seems to be real viewed from the living room couch.

Reality sets in when you walk across land recently consumed by a firestorm. The stark spine of a chimney stands where just days ago people cooked dinner, watched TV, mowed the grass. Nothing is left but ashes. Fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, avalanche, mud slides…how many kinds of storms are there?

Natural storms are devastating but the likelihood that they will directly affect us is small. However, life’s storms are even more destructive and most of us will face them multiple times. Read the rest of this entry »

Path of Promises

by Carol Nicholls

Praying by Melissa Bube
Flickr.com_11564567_02193e411e_CC BY-ND 2.0

All of the promises of God in Him are yes and in Him Amen.  2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

“Every promise in the book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line…” Those are the words to a simple song I learned in my youth. It has taken many years to really grasp the true meaning. Promise, according to the dictionary, is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or assurance that a particular thing will happen. In childhood I became very cynical about promises. My parents were very good at thinking out loud. My childlike trusting heart believed their words were promises. More times than not, I was disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

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