Inspire Your Week

“We were all made to live, love, and
dream courageously. He has given us
brave spirits and hearts that long to
take part in adventures with Him.”
One of my dear friends, Katie from Letter Bird Art, is such an encourager. Such a beautiful heart. She has written an ebook titled An Inspired Life, and I want to tell you just how awesome it is! 
Katie seeks to “live an inspired life full of possibility” and in the time I’ve gotten to know her, I can say that this truly sums up her life…inside and outside, she is so beautiful! Her blog, A Place to Dwell, never fails to put a smile on my face and a bit of an inspired spring in my step and living. 
I was blessed to read Katie’s new e-book, An Inspired Life, a few weeks ago. It has drifted through my mind often since then, particularly the Prayer Prompts. I used my pink Moleskine to take notes on the great questions Katie’s asks to help you see, refine, and dream with God over the current season in your life. There is a call to both embrace it wholeheartedly and yet never let go of patient and hopeful expectation on the Lord. 
Just look at these inspiring chapter titles: 
~Seeking & Becoming
~Fully & Fearlessly
~Leaning & Dreaming
~Marking & Remembering 
~Embracing & Creating
~Celebrating & Sharing 
Sounds like a pretty full, wonderfully inspired life to me! 
It’s probably a short work-week for you, meaning hopefully you’ll have lots of lounge-around-on-the-couch time. Why not download Katie’s book and use that time to be inspired to dream with God? 

Katie is offering, today only, to kick off the holiday week, a 25% discount on the book! You guys, you’ve gotta snag this NOW! For real! You won’t be sorry. 
Use the code: GETINSPIRED to knock the price down from $9.99 (still a total bargain) to $7.50 (a REAL bargain!) Shop Here!

Thanks so much, Katie, for writing this book, for LIVING this book, for making me smile, and for sharing all of that with us through your words! 

Revitalize Part 1

{good ol’ dr. seuss}
Hey guys? I think this is a really important series I’ve got planned for this week. For you and for me. Lately I’ve been giving some extra attention to my health and well-being to revitalize my spirit. It has been a hard year or two for me, but this year (and summer especially) I got my feet back under me and I’ve started feeling my heart come back to life. It’s scary, difficult, exciting, and wonderful at the same time, and utterly necessary. As Dr. Seuss says, “Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” But I’ve got some tips to share what is working for me!

Starting my day with scripture immediately has changed my morning and my days for the better significantly. Reading God’s word FIRST thing in the morning gives me a sense of purpose and direction for the day, something we are often searching for when we’re ‘slumped.’ My pastor mentioned this idea first, and then I met HelloMornings online. HelloMornings are online accountability groups for morning scripture reading (and exercising and day-planning sometimes, too!). The groups check in daily online and read scripture together, share thoughts, and pray. Even though we are spread across many states, we invest in one another’s lives and encourage and uplift each other. It is a great community and it has profoundly impacted me this summer. I am so stoked that the fall session starts TODAY! I’m afraid all of the fall groups are full, but keep an eye on their blog, hashtag (#hellomornings) and my Twitter (I love our conversations on Twitter, ya’ll!) to follow along. You’re sure to glean some wisdom. And join us in the winter session! You can also try YouVersion. It works for a ton of people but I never really got the hang of it, maybe because I don’t have a tablet or smartphone. I find that starting with something online makes me all the more excited to dig into my actual Bible and physical devotional. In any case, I highly suggest a routine that starts with God’s word first and foremost. It might mean getting up a bit earlier, carving out a bit of quiet time before the morning rush, but I promise you, it’s worth it. When He is speaking into our lives, we’re bound to feel our hearts coming back to life. 

Kick it Up a Notch

Some days you gotta kick it up a notch, y’know?
Grab the coffee and head out into the world with the most energy you can muster and see what becomes of it. I’ll bet my bottom dollar it’ll be beautiful. 

peplum top: charlotte russe//skirt: target//sunnies: gofish//necklace: h&m//shoes: c/o blowfish

A Casual Outfit and a Story

This is a basic, everyday outfit. It’s my “go-to” sort of outfit when I have to rush out the door in a hurry. Jeans, cute tee/tank, cardi, and fun scarf. 

Cute studded sandals, good jeans from Anthro, cute polka dot tank top, J.Crew cardi with nice buttons, and funky scarf. So easy, and all thrifted/tag sale-d except the sandals, which are F21.


Yesterday I was able to spend a leisurely evening with one of my best friends and her two little boys. I sure got a pretty good fill of little-boy hugs! Her oldest boy would just look at me adoringly, this little boy on the eve of his 3rd birthday. His eyes shone as he sat next to me, put his hand on my shoulder, then patted me on the knee. “I am so glad to be here with you,” he said and gave me another big hug.
Later, this sweet friend of mine and I sat on my living room floor, two bottle caps popped on the floor at random trajectories, two Apple-Ginger hard ciders propped on handmade coasters. I felt so happy in the cozy cocoon of my small apartment, made entirely Natalie-like over the past handful of years. Sharing it with a best friend and her two darling boys (asleep at this point) made my heart feel so full, you know? So full of love, of questions, and of the future..but mostly, it felt filled with the presence of the holy spirit in this quiet evening of sister-hood. Utterly blessed and grateful. We chatted in that tumbling-rambling way that happens when two best friends haven’t seen each other for months. One topic was topsy-turvy onto another topic, as we animatedly shared life in a way that can’t be replicated online. It was so wonderful to experience that blessing of friendship from God. It feels so rare these days.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dig in to life! Send roots deep down, invest in friendships, and really connect in real life. 
Goodness if it isn’t soul-filling!