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.

Take Heart

These days, it’s a daily struggle to keep all of my heart here. To keep it present. 
Half of it is still living a small-town-happy past life, and the other half is living a city-struggling-memories life.

 I have so much more empathy now for anyone who moves. The next time a new girl comes up to me, I will say, “I will be your friend! I will sit with you at the lunch table! I mean, get coffee with you!”  
{this section refuses to get on the ‘centered’ bandwagon tonight for some reason…}

Also, I have only unpacked about 20% of my closet, and I haven’t figured out this “why my hair looks so terrible here most days” thing yet, so I’m really limping along here with style posts. Good thing this blog isn’t just about fashion 🙂 
PS> I had to wear this leopard coat because it was snowing. Again.
Wait for the Lord! Be strong, and TAKE HEART, and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14
Have a great week! 

Falling

This city has yet to really impress me.

But this weekend…well…I might be falling for it a little bit. 
See, I realized something. 

This city owes me nothing. In fact, it has no idea who I am. It won’t draw my name out of a hat and invite me to hold the golden key to the city. 
I must fall for it. 
I must find the moments and the places that make me come alive here. I must find the space I wish to inhabit within this city, and I must inhabit it. 
No one else can give that to me. 
I have to thrift it along with vintage clothes, write it at coffee shops along with poems, and I must embrace it along with my family. 
In time, I will snowshoe along the banks of its frozen lakes, and I will think quietly in my heart:
I have found peace. 
And I have found a place here.

Possibilities

In a new town, everything seems like a possibility. 
I kid you not, in the past week, I have Google-d and decided I was absolutely going to try rock climbing, trampoline exercise classes, and being a mystery shopper. 
See, the problem is, there’s a disconnect. I can’t recreate my old life here. I must become a slightly, somehow different version of myself, just by the nature of moving. And while everything seems to be a possibility, I don’t want to lose my center of gravity either. 
Who are we kidding here? A trampoline exercise class would make me, at best, extremely dizzy and probably motion-sick.
So I guess I’ll keep on working on it.
And in the meantime, there’s still a small chance I’ll see you at trampoline exercise class. 
What?!

Empty Hands

Here I am, in Minnesota. It started snowing as we unloaded my car 🙂 An appropriate welcome.

Here I am, with empty hands.

Empty hands because I am beginning again, and beginning again means opening hands that held so many good things and memories to make room for new things. I have no idea what those new things are….no idea at all.

And then I got to thinking, what if my hands are empty, not to receive again, but so that I can have two empty hands for serving. For helping. For literally digging in to community.

What if my hands were filled with goodness, love, friendship, growth, and all of those good things, filled to overflowing for awhile to give me the strength and courage to live with empty hands for awhile. It isn’t easy to keep hands open and empty. We are always wanting, always reaching and grasping and taking. It is human nature. I am no exception. But God showed me the image in my head: a beautiful and lovely image of hands reached to the sky, touched with grace, mercy, and strength… held up day after day in front of God, on bended knee, offered to Him for His use and good purposes.

Maybe “empty” hands aren’t empty at all.
Not empty at all.

Bittersweet

My dear church family threw me a party with the theme of Bittersweet. You know? The beautiful fall vine/berry that is red and orange? I’ve always loved it. 
Photo by Chelsea of Frolic Blog from Here
And of course a “Bittersweet” theme is just perfect for a farewell party this time of year. They had orange tablecloths, vases full of bittersweet, and the most beautifully decorated cake with Bittersweet piped on. So pretty! I was totally a crying mess.
Cake decorating skillz by one of my favorite people from church!

Hmmm…

My cousin had this darling polka-dot dress and I just had to ask her if she’d mind if I got one! Isn’t it the cutest!? 

Of course, I had to have the party earrings—the bling, if you will, to kick this outfit up a notch.
It’s hard to leave such precious friendship.
But everyone has really sent me off with a lot of love (and photographs, handmade presents, little travel things, chocolates, and more) to carry me forward.
Bittersweet, indeed.

Dreams & News

You know how sometimes God softly beckons your heart, and whispers to you a dream? God has given me a whisper-dream from the time I was a little tiny girl. A whisper-dream that I hope, with His grace, I can nurture into a reality that is bigger than anything I could imagine on my own, for His glory. I’m moving back “home” to Minnesota to be with family, where I will be working towards my lifelong dream of starting a bakery. 
I know it won’t be easy. To be honest, God usually calls us to difficult things, don’t you think? But the best part is, He gives us the grace to get where He wants us going. I sit here humbly, honestly, anticipating many nights of tears and frustration. Nights where my dream takes a totally different direction and I have to struggle with my vision versus God’s. Days of schlepping back and forth, days of burnout, days of aching wrists and back, sweat from painting, hammering, and creating. 
We pay a price to follow our dreams. But what if we look at it as payment in kind, perhaps, for an opportunity to be all-out for our dreams, to be stretching ourselves into fully blossoming…putting our pennies in the piggy bank so that, down the road, we can crack it open and find that we’ve invested in something much bigger than ourselves, and much more beautiful. I know this won’t come easily. I know that we’re talking years of sacrifice. I’m signing up for something that I’m sure I’ll question time and time again. But my heart and spirit tell me: now is the time. God has ordained me to spread my wings and fly, to His glory. The past few years have been a wonderful training ground of sorts. I feel incredibly blessed to have developed a strong support system, to have gained maturity and experience, and to have sat at the feet of people so well-versed in following their dreams. It will be difficult to leave this life I have here of people, places, and memories that I dearly love. I do not let go of these things lightly; no, indeed, I will always carry them with me. But there are so many people saying, “Go, Nats! Now is the time!” with affection and tears in their eyes. That makes me feel so utterly loved and empowered. 
So now, I will pack my Subaru with baking pans, vintage clothes, and so much love, and head back to my Swedish roots. 
“Sometimes right back where you started from is right where you belong.” ~Leigh Standley 
Indeed, and I cannot wait to begin “belonging” again in Minnesota.
I am so excited to set down roots and wait for them to “flour”–oh I couldn’t help but throw in one baking pun, you know me.
🙂 
And so it begins…