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Nichole Boggs

Younger Generation and the USA

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Over the last 3-4 years our oldest children (Madison, Morgan, Mallory, and Meghan) have been saturated in American History. Just this year, we introduced World History to the oldest two. The curriculum that we chose in the beginning of those years is heavy on literature and introduces them to all sorts of wonderful books that they have devoured. Little did I know, over that span of time, something was taking place in their hearts. Particularly the oldest, Madison.

It was a normal Boggs household day full of cooking, cleaning, schooling, and entertaining little ones. Madison had been downstairs in her bedroom for some time. She “arose” and when I finally took a second to glance her way, I could tell that she had been crying.

Madison loves to read. She loves mysteries and drama. But, what she has really come to love are books that are based on a factual events. History. With history comes the truth of very difficult times. She had our permission to put any book away if it was too much for her. But, she couldn’t. Something had began to stir within her. She was awakened to the amazing reality of the blessedness of the this life we have been given in this land that we live.

I found out her tears were not from the sadness of the book, but more so her awareness of the HUGE sacrifice given throughout time on our behalf. She was saddened to think (in her very young mind), that we could very possibly be squandering away that most precious gift.

Without trying to further articulate her thoughts to you, I will let her do it herself in the way of a short story she recently submitted to a writing contest. She was only able to communicate her heart in 1,000 words. I know for a fact that there is so much more she could have said. She is 14. She gives me hope, because I believe if we are faithful as parents to give a thorough understanding of our rich history to our children, we may very well have a younger generation who are willing to fight to keep alive the moral, religious, and constitutional heritage that we have been given.

 

A SACRIFICE TO LIVE FOR
By Madison Boggs

It started out like any other day, with trees swaying to and fro, tall grass rolling in the wind like waves in the sea, and then one telegram turned that beautiful day dark and black.

I ran down stairs to prepare lunch and while cooking fried chicken, I was reminded of the last time I had made it for my brother Tom. It was before he’d left to join the war, but now he was stationed in Germany, and I worried about him constantly.

My thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door, and after wiping my hands, I went to see whom it was. I opened the door to see an army officer standing with a yellow telegram in his hand. My throat clogged with fear, my body stiffened, and panic was setting in. I opened my mouth to call mother, but nothing came out.

With a solemn face the army officer held out the telegram.

He asked,  “Are your parents home?”

After shaking my head yes I managed to muster, “Mother!”

Mother ran in, took one look at the army officer, and one look at my ghostly white face. “Oh dear God, no!”

The army officer handed her the telegram saying, “I’m truly sorry ma’am.” With that he left.

Mother led me into the kitchen, where she called my Father and my sister Sally down. She mumbled something about Tom, and then broke down into a stream of sorrowful tears. Her body shook with each sob. I stood panic-stricken.

Father took the telegram from Mother’s trembling hands. He swallowed hard and read.

We are sorry to inform you that

Lieutenant Thomas Arnold

died in action May 30, 1943

With those words I felt the room getting smaller, my head spinning, and darkness was closing in.

I woke up to find myself in bed, with confusion confining me. But, things quickly came rolling back as Father walked in, his face white with dark circles under his eyes, a dead giveaway he hadn’t slept a wink. I suddenly remembered what happened yesterday. My brother was dead. I felt my body go numb. Father came and put his hand over mine.

“Oh, my dear Kate.” Father said.

I looked at his face, full of worry and concern, but more than that was sadness.

My numbness left. Tears I had been holding in streamed down my cheeks. I started to sob uncontrollably. My sadness intertwined with anger at my brother for leaving, at Father for letting him, and at the war! Father’s eyes filled with sympathy, which only made it worse. I didn’t want his sympathy, I wanted my brother!

Father wrapped his arms around me. I clung to him tight, afraid to let go. He was silent, letting me cry. I felt my heart truly breaking. Finally after crying till I could cry no more I looked at Father. His teary eyes were filled with love.

“I don’t understand why he had to go and fight. If he had stayed, he’d still be with us.” I whispered.

“He did what he had to do. You might not understand now, but one day you will.” Father replied, handing me a letter.

I looked down to see whom it was from. I saw Tom’s familiar handwriting.

At my questioning look Father said, “He wrote that the day before he died.”

Then he slipped out the door leaving me with what you could call my final hour with Tom.

With shaking hands, I opened the letter. Tears threatened to fall, for I knew this would be the last letter I read from Tom. Silently I read:

Dear Kate,

I cannot tell you how much I miss you. Your letters brighten my days. We are getting ready for the battle tomorrow, and I feel I must write to you for I might not survive. Please understand that if I die, I died fighting for a cause, and I’m okay with that. I’m fighting in this war for our next generations, so that they will live in freedom. I love my country and I honor the sacrifice that our men made when they fought to be a free country.

Tomorrow I will raise our flag high, for it is America and my family that I fight for. I fight for the children yet to be born, so that when they come into the world they will be born in the land of the free. There is evil and it’s up to us to fight it. You and our family give me the courage for what I will face. The ugly face of death makes me want to tremble, but I will stand tall. Most of all I’m fighting for the ones that have lost their lives for America.

Kate, there is one thing I ask of you. Will you live for the ones that have died? Live out their courage so it will never be forgotten? Live for the ones still fighting? Please don’t grieve long for me if you receive word of my death, for now you know what I have died for. You will have battles of your own. You will have to fight the grief and hardship. I know you will fight with courage.

Take care of Mother and Father for me. Share the letter with the family. I love you all more then words can say. Live for the sacrifice that all us men are making.

Your loving Brother,
Tom

As I closed the letter, a new set of tears began to fall. He died fighting for what he believed in. He was right, I do and will have battles of my own, but this sadness wasn’t going to win. Tom wouldn’t want us to feel sad, he’d want us to understand. I got off my bed and went to share the letter with my family. I had a battle to fight, and I would win for Tom. I now understood, it is a sacrifice I will live for.

 

Whoever wants the next generation will get them,
Nichole

To Train Up a Child

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The last few weeks I have been pondering a lot about the idea of training. I have thought about the training of the body, the training of the mind, and even the training of a child.

When I found out that we were having our eighth child, I knew myself very well in that, although I would have loved to have a painless (for the most part) birth, I would inevitably opt for another natural one. Our seventh (Maleah) was our first home-birth, and the longest labor of all. It was also painful. I began to lose control and panic at the end.

I knew with the birth of our eighth child I didn’t want that, so I read a book and decided to take the doctor/author up on his idea of training my body for birth. Much like a person would train for a marathon before actually running one, a woman has the opportunity to train herself for her big day as well. I began to train physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

The results? I barely made it to the place where I gave birth. From start to finish (the first moment I thought I may be having a real contraction) was about 2 and ½ hours. I was able to stay calm and relaxed. There was one moment that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. God used Keith to speak sweet reassurance, and immediately after that it was time to push. I would have given birth with one push if they would have let me!! But, I submitted and waited until the second contraction to push our little Mercy into the world. It was the less painful of any of our natural births by far.

You are wondering why I am telling you this, aren’t you? Well, recently I decided to begin to not only add regular cardio type exercise into my life, I wanted to begin to train again in such a way that I built strength. 5 days out of the week, my older girls and I walk/jog for 30 minutes and then do 10-15 minutes of Pilates a day. Every day working on a different part of the body. Sounds easy? I felt like throwing up during the first few days!! They make it look so easy. Now in week three I am no longer feeling sick, but a little stronger. It is still very hard, but we are not giving up and it feels great!

As I thought about these two areas of training, I realized the importance of training up our children at a whole new level! As we were praying together and reading scripture yesterday morning, we were asking God to give Keith wisdom with his scheduling. We asked that He would grant him joy and peace in the midst of stressful times. We prayed that Keith would be able to relax and find rest in the Lord. I looked over at my boys (7 and 5 years old) who know so very little about the commitment of a schedule, the stress of life, the responsibility of providing and caring for a family, and my heart went out to them.

I found myself wanting to bring them over and coddle them. No, I don’t want them to grow up. Life is hard. A blessing no doubt, but still so very hard. Will their wife support them and lift them to the Lord? Will she be a proper help meet to lift their arms when they get heavy? I don’t know. What I do know, is right now, it is my responsibility along with Keith, to train them up to be men who can lead, love, and live righteously.

Every day, taking the necessary steps. Every day, pushing through. Not giving up. Not giving in. Not giving out. Even when we feel we are going to hurl. Even when we are discouraged. We will sweat, we will tire, we will fall down, but we will get back up! And, by God’s grace raise up a man. A man of God.

Training = No pain. No gain.

God help us. Without You, we can do nothing.
Nichole

Rise Up!

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Picture this…

My little Joshua has grown into a fine young man. Strong. Courageous. A man of great integrity. He has been called into a battle. The very first hard battle of his life. His victory is determined by whether or not Keith can keep his heavy and burdened arms raised up.

Keith loves Joshua and would do anything to see him win this battle. He has done all he can. Taught him and trained him. Loved him and disciplined him. Laughed and cried with him. He has done life together with Joshua. And, now it is his big day. “Keep your arms up, daddy!” Joshua says as he looks back and sees his father’s arm raised high. The battle is on! He is doing well. Making good decisions. Seeing God’s favor in his life. After a little while Keith’s arms are getting heavy. They are drooping. He just can’t keep them raised any longer.

Joshua begins to experience defeat. He is losing, and people around him are suffering because of it. “Oh no, here is a chair. Sit down and I will help you. Girls, come here! Your daddy needs us!” I recognize his weariness and Joshua’s struggle. I don’t want him to lose. Neither one of them. I position myself on one side and the girls rally together on the other. Over time, as we thank him, help him, forgive him, and pray for him, we begin to see those weary arms gain strength. They begin to rise up. So high, even, that as a discouraged Joshua looks up he sees his daddy’s arms higher than before, and Joshua wins the battle for generations to come.

 

prayer-on-my-knees

 

Sound silly or sound familiar? That is what Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17. They were his arm lifters and the Israelite army under the leadership of Joshua defeated the Amalekites and generations were affected.

Ladies, you may think I am over-dramatizing things a bit. But, I believe with all my heart that it will take us and our children to raise the arms of the men in our lives by thanking them, helping them, forgiving them, and praying for them so that we create such an atmosphere that the generation behind us can WIN and experience REAL MOMENTUM like never before!

Nichole

STOP! Do These 3 Things 1st! – Part 3

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I would like to share a personal word of testimony with you. Keith and I had been married for 13 years while I was sitting under a message on bitterness and how it coorelates with unforgiveness. The Holy Spirit illuminated the fact that I had gone all of these years (our eighth child was only 3 months old) blinded to the unforgiveness in my heart toward my husband about something that happened before we were even married!

I did not realize that the reason I struggled with trusting him and my own insecurities really pointed back to my unforgiving heart. We talked in great depth together about the situation and for the first time, I really was able to let go and forgive. It was not something done to me in particular, but I took it so personal that it affected our marriage negatively for 13 years!!

I had passionately loved Keith (or so I thought), but I had not really unconditionally loved him by offering the same grace to him that God had and does offer me. You see, I was like the man in Jesus’ parable, who, after he was forgiven a great debt, went out and beat his fellow slave because he owed him some paltry sum. My own spiritual immaturity kept me from living a free and fulfilling life with my husband.

I cannot say it may not rear its ugly head again, but so far I believe I was able to release Keith from that guilt and shame that only I kept placing on him. God had already granted it to him.

So, that brings me to my third point. Before you can truly pray effectively for your husband, father, son, etc… you must forgive them.

It won’t just be big things to forgive them for. It will be the little things too. Like unmet expectations. Hurtful words. Lack of affection. Feeling unappreciated. Lack of leadership. Seemingly unanswered prayers. When you pray and your heart holds resentment that he isn’t or hasn’t become the very thing that you are praying for him about you must forgive him.

Release Him. Take the pressure off of him. You may never forget the wrong done to you, but for your own emotional healing and wholeness, you must let go of the offending one and begin to “return good for evil. “

Now you can thank him and help him and pray for him. He has the potential now to rise up! To God be the glory! May God help us.

Thankful for the forgiveness granted to me on a continual basis, so I can give it to others,
Nichole

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of STOP! Do These 3 Things 1st!

STOP! Do These 3 Things 1st! – Part 2

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Is there a lady out there who has thanked God about something that directly relates to the man in your life? How about thanking him personally? If not yet, please do it now!

After you do that number one most important thing, then I want to share with you the second thing that I pray you will say before you begin to pour your heart out to God about specifics in the life of your husband, son, father, etc…

 

BECOME HELPFUL TO HIM!

Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD, God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'”

1 Corinthians 11:9, “Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.”

God is so good in His design. He really is. Why do we as people try to mix it up? Confuse it? Water it down? Downgrade it? Because that is exactly what the enemy desires for us to do. If he can get us off track in our specific roles that God lays out clearly in His Word, then our guys lose momentum and our families and churches suffer.

God designed us to be a helper. Before you brush this off, consider the fact that God calls Himself a helper. One who comes alongside and helps carry the load. One who makes it a priority to seek out ways to help another’s life become just a little easier. One who fills the gap. One who brightens the day. One who makes sure needs are met. One who builds up and doesn’t tear down. One who speaks the truth in love. One who esteems others as better than herself. One who motivation is not selfish ambition. One who is gracious and kind. One who lays down her life for another. One who considers her role and resolves to take it seriously… for eternity’s sake.

So, instead of thinking…”How can he help me today?”, let’s begin by asking God, “Lord, how can I help him today?”! And, then ask the Lord to empower you to do it.

In our girls bedroom hanging above their mirror are the words “ABSOLUTELY NO NAGGING.” It was Keith’s idea to hang it in there. Why? Because we as women have a tendency to nag and he knows that from experience! Now, don’t get mad at Keith. It is biblical. God tells us several times in His Word that women often are nags and it would be better for the man to live on the corner of a housetop than in the same room with that kind of woman. I can sense God’s heart really going out to that man.

Our guys are not perfect. Never will be. The sooner we realize that, the better. Instead of nagging, belittling, mothering, and complaining, why don’t we begin to hush and help them.

How can you help your man today? God will show you! May you be willing.

This is a question that you will need to be mindful of all day. There will be opportunities to be helpful just waiting for you. An example of that for me is Keith has been telling me he needs my help in the start of our new ministry. I have been like, “Yeah, yeah. I am with you. I will help you.” Then, I go into the next room, assume my normal responsibilites and not give it much more thought.

Until I finally decided to go to him and ask specifically how I could help, I wasn’t being much of a help at all. For me to be able to give him 30 minutes to an hour or longer of my time means I have to readjust my schedule, get older children to watch the younger, stay up a little later at night, etc…But, in doing that, guess what happened? Keith moved from feeling like he was 9th on my list (he has joked and said he feels a lot of times like he is last after the children) on up to the top. Men know when they are last and when they are number one. They take on a whole new countenance when they reach the top!

So very thankful that this day is a new day to be a godly helpmeet to my husband and model that for my daughters and practice that on my sons,

Nichole

STOP! Do These 3 Things 1st!

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Last week I shared how I have been praying for the three most important guys in my life in such a way that I have never done before. It has been such a blessing! Instead of beating myself up about not doing it like I should over these years, I am embracing this great opportunity by making a commitment to do it every day right now.

When God allows the opportunity for me to speak into the lives of women, I have been able to encourage them in this area. “Pray for the men in your life!” But, really that is the last part of my message to them. I have come to realize that if we really want to see momentum in the lives of our men in a way that glorifies God, then there are a few other components that I personally believe are vitally important.

As I hand out the 31 Days of Prayer For Your Husband Prayer Guide* (or in your case, a copy that I pray you print out using this link), I tell them at the very top there are three things that I want them to write down. I encourage them to do these before they actually pray a single thing over their husband, son, dad, or brother.

Today, I want to share with you the very first one.

 

THANK GOD FOR HIM!!

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, God tells us to give thanks in all things. I realize that if I cannot begin to give thanks for my husband then my spirit may not be prepared to pray genuinely.

I have a tendency to look at the negative and dwell on it. It has been hurtful in my marriage and in my parenting. Recently, Keith and I had a heart to heart. If there was a scale set before us, the negative comments would outweigh any thankfulness or encouragement I have given to him over the years. That deeply saddened me. I made a decision that day to see it change. For me, that means I must be intentional. Sometimes I am appreciative and thankful, but I don’t express it.

So, the very first thing I do whenever I come before the Lord to pray for him is thank God for something in Keith’s life. It may be something he has done for me or the children. It may be a character quality that he is strong in. It could be a number of things. Or, for some, it may only be one thing. In that case, thank God for that over and over. You will at some point find something else to be thankful for. It is a start!

For me, the prayer guide and the verses opened a whole new outlook on Keith’s life. I began to see things that were very good that I had not noticed before. More things to thank God! Thankfulness is important because it softens our heart toward our husband and it changes the direction of negative thinking into positive thinking that can bring forth change in our own hearts.

Don’t forget to express this thankfulness to them as well. It will do wonders for them. I promise you that!! Men thrive on affirmation and encouragement. Simply knowing that they are appreciated lifts them higher and helps set them on a course for victory.

This morning I thanked God for a husband who is sensitive to the spiritual needs of our children. I thanked God that my son, Joshua, has had a heart that is becoming tender to the things of God. I also thanked God for Stephen’s sweet kisses and sweet blue eyes. Whether the thankfulness is a result of spiritual or physical things is not the issue! Simply being thankful is the issue!

Ladies, we must become thankful, thankful, thankful. It will change our life. It will influence everyone around us.

Who are you praying for? Young ladies, begin to lift up your earthly father, your brothers, your future mate. Grandmothers, begin to lift up your husband, sons, and grandsons. Thank Him for them, but don’t forget to thank them too.

Our family has a great reason to celebrate and thank God this morning! Joshua, who came to his daddy in brokenness and repentance last night, gave his heart and life to Jesus as Keith counseled him and God’s Holy Spirit drew him. We have been praying and waiting on this day for quite some time. It was perfect and special in every way. To God be the glory!!

Thankful for my new little brother in Christ… now that is REAL MOMENTUM

Nichole

*© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com
Info@ReviveOurHearts.com

Prayer Is Key to REAL MOMENTUM

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I can’t believe I wanted to turn the heater on the other morning and it is the middle of May! As I bundled up with my sweater and cup of coffee, I was overcome with great praise and thanksgiving as I prayed over my husband and two sons.

The specific prayer this morning was for God to help them grow in wisdom and grant them favor with God and man.

I begin to see how God has already been doing this in the life of my husband and I so desire it in the life of my boys as well! The Bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and he gained favor with God and man. I put Keith, Joshua, and Stephen’s name in that verse. Later, I go on to read where good sense gains favor with man. How do we gain good sense? In Psalm 19, Scripture tells us that the Word of God is pure and will make the simple wise!

Interesting that my alone time before The Lord in my commitment to pray for the men in my life and then in another time where I brought our children around to encourage them in the Word, that God would connect the two times and I would see how gaining favor with man directly correlates to gaining the wisdom of God! There will be people in our lives that see it and appreciate it and we will be blessed because of it!

I am having a wonderful time laying the three most special guys in my life at the feet of Jesus on a regular basis!

Want to join me?

Even if I never see change (although I am!!!), the change may very well take place in me.

May I leave you with a most meaningful testimony that I have received? I pray it will stir your heart to begin praying for your husband, son(s), father, brother(s), future husband, future son-in-law’ etc.. like never before!

 

May 9, 2013 | “Keith- my husband didn’t get to attend the REAL MOMENTUM Men’s Conference at Screven due to his work schedule, and for that I am very sorry. However, he has been greatly affected by the message that Nichole gave to me that Sunday morning. :) Stevie and I have been married for 18 years, and serving the Lord together for 16 of those years, but we have never experienced God in our marriage the way we have since I heard Nichole speak. For the past 10 days I have been thanking my husband (for things that I never really noticed before) and I have used the 31 Days of Prayer Guide* that Nichole passed out. I’m shocked at how different my thoughts and actions have been towards him over the past 1 1/2 weeks. I’m equally shocked at how he has responded. I really can’t put it all into words– ‘A transformed Christ centered marriage’ are the closest words that I can find to express how those 2 simple acts have worked in my life. Please share this with Nichole and let her know how VERY MUCH I appreciate her teaching me and the other ladies how to show Christ like love to our husbands. Thank you both for sharing your lives with all of us.”

–Joy Sanders, Georegtown, SC

 

I will share later this week on two very important things to team up together with so this time of prayer becomes a power packed commitment that will change your life!

Praying for REAL MOMENTUM that transforms families and churches to the ends of the earth!
Nichole

*© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com
Info@ReviveOurHearts.com