Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm Moving! Come See My New Place!

I’m so glad to be blogging again! I took a blogging hiatus while my new website was under construction. It has taken me a while to get it just right, but it’s finally coming together! I’m so excited for you to see it! The way this will work is I’ll post new content on my new site. On the old blog, I’ll post a link to the new blog post. I will only do this for a couple of weeks so be sure you make it over to the new site fairly quickly. I’d hate for you to miss out!

First, I need to give a shout out to my friend, Tricia Kauffman, who took awesome pictures of me and has been instrumental in helping me ascertain my business cards and taking pictures for my promotional material as I prepare to go to my first “big” writer’s conference. If you need photos taken, she’s your girl! Hop on over to her website and like her on Facebook! She also has a blog if you’d like to catch her there.

Second, I need to thank my friend, Ryan Parsons. Without his help this project would have surely failed. He walked me through the entire process. He has the heart of a teacher and I appreciate all he has done to make this a smooth transition. He offers a lot of services and is well versed in the language of social media. If you’d like him to bring you into the twenty first century you can find him here. He’s also on Facebook and Twitter.

And finally, I’d like to thank YOU, my readers! If it weren’t for you, I’d have no need to expand my site. When you get a chance, jump on over to and sign up to receive posts by email. Once you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll automatically receive a notification when new posts are available for comment.

I also have a Facebook fan page, as well as Twitter @MNicholeHall, and Pinterest accounts. If you are inclined to follow me there I’d be much obliged. Becoming a published author in this day and age is no longer about just writing a good book. It’s about forming relationships and communicating with those who read my work. And that’s where YOU come in.

My goal is to bring you material that will encourage you, strengthen you and give you hope when your circumstances are beyond your control, and too much to bear alone. I want to walk with you, sharing your burdens and rejoicing in your accomplishments. May you be blessed as we glorify Him, lifting one another up in prayer on this journey called life.

Question: What topics are close to your heart? And what I can pray for? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Despite Life's Plans

Today I want to talk about my girls. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a twelve year old and an eight year old. Both of them have grown up in the midst of my illness. As a result my eldest is extremely responsible for her age and more mature than most. My youngest is one of the best little helpers I know.

Both make a strong effort to keep the house picked up and pitch in when I need extra help. Because they’ve learned that just because mom is down, the world doesn’t stop turning. And when the going gets tough, we pull together as a family and make it work.

When my children were preschoolers and carrying much more than they should have to bear, I often wondered if my illness would hold them back. If it would stunt their abilities, simply from not me not being able to physically get them where they needed to be.

It was the natural guilt of a mom consuming me to fear their childhood was being stolen. But the Lord, as He so promises, provided good things to prosper. I’m convinced that my twelve year old is full of love and has a servant’s heart because she learned from such an early age what it means to take care of others.

And my eight year old is learning to be less selfish everyday as she discovers what being part of a family is about. What amazes me most is that the Lord has many ways of accomplishing His goals. And just because my life hasn’t turned out exactly how I’d planned, the Lord still accomplished what He set out to in my children.

In what ways has the Lord accomplished greatness in you or yours when life didn’t turn out as planned?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How BIG is your God?

This week Satan has been hard at work. Not so much in my life, but in the lives of those who surround me and in the lives of those whom I love. Each day the enemy tried harder than the first when his attempts to destroy didn’t surpass the Lord’s power to overcome. And each day, my heart grew weary as Satan planned another attack.

But the Lord put the words on my lips and the actions in my heart to guide and minister to those hurting. And as the Lord used me to walk them through their tunnels of darkness I felt my purpose grow another level. I’m learning to embrace every opportunity and form relationships with those He sends my way.
Some of those I ministered to I’ve known for years and others I hadn’t known at all. It was by God’s grace and power a friend of mine told my story to another, bringing encouragement and inspiration to a weary soul. This weary soul approached me with gratitude and thankfulness and a new friendship formed.
I am in AWE of the power of the Almighty.
I’ve seen firsthand just how BIG the Lord truly is. I’ve known it in my mind for years, but my heart experienced it this week. So never doubt what the Lord is doing in your life with the talents He has given you. Do some soul searching, discover your talents, pray for opportunity and then embrace all that He brings before you.

If you feel so inclined post your talents and how you plan to serve in the comments. I’d love to know how the Lord is working in your life or using you in the life of others.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Deciding on Purpose

Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Hashimoto’s Disease requires planning and decision making. I am not great at either one, but I have learned to let my "yes be yes" and my "no be no". Trying to juggle life as a wife, a mom and a writer requires many decisions. If I take my daughter to her softball games will I be able to get up for work the next day? If I choose to spend the day writing when will the dishes get done? If I attend game night on Saturday night will I be able to get up for church the following Sunday? If I spend a couple of hours deep cleaning the house on a Sunday afternoon will I have enough energy to go to small group?

What I have learned is that when I say "yes" to one thing I say "no" to something else. With each opportunity I ask what takes priority. What can wait? What cannot wait? Which is a need? Which is a want? And who will I say "no" to?

It’s not easy because I don’t want to tell anyone "no". But contemplating the possible outcomes brings me to the conclusions benefiting my family the most. Often I attend softball games once a week rather than the scheduled two days (my husband takes her the other day). The dishes are pushed to the back burner until I realize we have three clean forks for dinner and we need four. I have yet to make game night as church service takes priority. And I’ve come to the decision I need to pay someone to deep clean my house!

All of this is to say when you make choices in your schedule and your life, make them on purpose. Because when you decide on purpose, I have found there is less guilt attached to it. And as a mom who has suffered from “mommy guilt” in the past, any preemptive strike in this area is worth it.

So tell me, how do you balance life with your time and energy? What practical decision making techniques do you use? Do you always say yes? Or do you make decisions on purpose?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who are You in the Face of Conflict?

Last night in our [pre]teen parenting class we discussed conflict. More specifically we spoke of conflict with our children during the difficult years of adolescence. Conflict in families is perhaps the most common area in which we see disagreements, and for some people where we see fewer resolutions.

As a writer, conflict is my world. There are no good stories without conflict. It’s the glue that holds the pages together and the element that keeps them turning. As a reader, I look forward to reading what obstacles the hero overcomes but more than that, how he overcomes them.

But in the real world, conflict is very much a part of our lives and not quite as entertaining. Some people are like the hero in the novel, overcoming the obstacles achieving their goals. Others are like the nemesis who realizes they’ve caused the conflict and repent redeeming themselves. While the true villain causes a mountain of conflict and justifies his actions never believing he did anything wrong.

So how does the hero overcome conflict? In books, most often by outsmarting the enemy or using the villain’s weakness against him. But there’s always a transformation within the hero that takes place. Where he digs deep and finds a way to stand tall gaining the courage needed to do what’s right in the face of evil. And like life, it’s never easy. It’s always scary. But worth it in the end.

So how do you handle conflict? Are you like the hero constantly struggling but gaining ground inch by inch? Or like the nemesis who enjoys stirring the pot and then afraid of what he’s started hoping to have an opportunity to switch sides? I’d venture to say no one will fess up to being the villain as they most often don’t see themselves as such and that’s just the way Satan likes it.

So as you deal with conflict in your lives remember the Lord has given us rules to follow. When we correct with love, confess with shame and forgive with compassion it makes it easier for us all to be the hero.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forgiving Beyond Measure

Early in my Christian walk I thought forgiveness was easy. Friends ask for forgiveness and I give it. Simple as that. But as my journey progressed I learned that forgiveness is not so easily given or obtained. As one who has been hurt many times through the years and held many a grudge, I’ve come to realize forgiveness is a process. One in which I cannot do alone. I think most would agree that human nature is to “live and learn”. And so when I get hurt my natural instinct is to be more cautious and careful the next time around, shielding my heart from the pain that inevitably follows a betrayal. 

But the Lord calls us to live beyond our natural instincts.

 Colossians 3:13 says to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.  And in Matthew 18 when Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother the Lord replies, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times”. But you and I both know that is easier said than done.  When I am betrayed by those I love the wound is that much deeper. And if the wound is poked and prodded it will often leave a scar. Throughout my journey to forgiveness I’ve found in Matthew 26 that Jesus himself has been betrayed. By one of the twelve. The twelve he spent most of his days with were as close as any family He had.  These were His friends, His family, and His beloved.

I am comforted knowing that the Lord Almighty through His son Jesus knows by firsthand experience how I feel in the midst of betrayal. He understands the humiliation, the loneliness, the anger, the bitterness and the reluctance to trust again. He’s been there. And so when I go to my Father with a heavy heart, I hand over the hurt to the ultimate healer and beg to be merciful in loving those who have caused me pain just as Christ has done for us. In closing, I challenge you to begin your own journey to forgiveness with the Lord and let Him restore you completely.

**This article was originally published on the World Bible School Blog. That blog is no longer functioning so I wanted to share this article with my followers here. Enjoy and may you be encouraged.