By the Water

Absolutely LOVING these verses in the Message version. With all of your passion AND intelligence, not by brute strength. 
“Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’” Matthew 22:37
because 
“Cursed is the strong on who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight.” Jeremiah 17:5
but the man who trusts in the Lord 
“will be a like a tree planted by the water, and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8

The photo of me above is during a drought season. A life-drought: a tough string of years. A time where I tried to stand by the water but I think my roots were only nourished by my tears. One Sunday afternoon, my parents and I went down by the River. The wind was blowing something fierce (can you tell by my hair?). It was a little too late in the day to be down there without a sweater. But I love this photo in front of the giant tree down by the water and the fact that somehow, somehow there is light in my eyes. 
Looking at it reminds me: 

Let’s go to the water, my dears.
If we are in a year of drought, perhaps its time to think, am I loving God with my passion, prayer, and intelligence? Or am I setting him aside and using my own strength? 

xo
Natalie

Thoughts & Things

I’ve had so many “come to Jesus” moments lately. You know the kind, right?

Because I just packed up my Subaru, all weighted down with vintage purses and baking dishes and hot pink Swedish clogs, and I drove halfway across the country again, only not back to where I started. To somewhere new. Crazy. The sort of crazy God gives us.

I feel so empty of all that I knew. So far away from home. {whatever ‘home’ means, really}

And yet, so powerfully full of the mercies of God.

I arrived here, in this sandy, red-faced tourist town, white-knuckled from driving for 3 1/2 days and from carrying baggage long before then. Here’s the thing about gripping something tightly: you have to let go of it to hold anything new. There is only so much room in my hands. I have to let go of insecurities and anxieties that built up in my time of waiting. Because God is doing something new.

I have traveled three days and nights to get here, to see something God has told me I must go see. The second I wrote that sentence, I thought of the Three Wise Men. I understand that story of the Three Wise Men much better now…how they journeyed toward a star, believing God had sent them, but not knowing what they would find. They arrived exhausted, exhilarated  and humbled…bowed before a King.

They brought Him gifts.

I think I will bring Him gifts.

I will bring Him anxiety, and worry, and fear. Those are the most precious things I have to offer right now, the things of my heart that will really be a sacrifice of praise, because letting go of them means: I trust.

I am trusting.