50 Things to Do When You’re Sad and Lonely

I saw an article on Facebook the other day that said June is the month when the most breakups happen. And two days later I got dumped. Big time.

I’ve had my share of heartbreak, or more than. And I’m going through it again right now. My boyfriend of almost-a-year broke up with me a week ago today. So this is for me, just as much as it is for you…things I’ve learned in past heartbreaks and things I’m learning now that help ease the pain a little bit.

There’s no way to erase the pain of feeling sad and lonely. There just isn’t. Trust me, I sure wish my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked on life. But these things help refocus you, redirect your heart, help you laugh, leave things behind, and learn to do life better on your own.

See a breakup takes things from you. It just does. It takes your self-esteem and self-confidence. It takes your sense of security. It takes away a circle of influence and friends (his family, his friends, things you did together). It takes away the things that filled your time (evening walks, television shows you watched together, plans you probably still have for future dates that make you incredibly sad). My boyfriend and I had all sorts of summer plans, both firm and loose. The friend’s wedding in Maine (firm). Going to watch a Little League baseball game at the ball field down the street (loose). Going camping!!!! (loose) The vintage camper rally (firm).

These things won’t be happening. But the things below? The things below will. The things below are firm plans. I WILL do them, my heart MUST do them, my summer will not be torn apart by a man who doesn’t want me, doesn’t love me. How dare he, I say. How dare he decide he doesn’t love me. And then I say…yes, actually, I’m glad he dared. I’m glad he did because I loved him, but I do not want a man who doesn’t love me back. I deserve more than that. So do you.

These things give life back to you. They give love back to you. Take heart, dear one…you might be sad, and you might be lonely, but you are no unloved or unworthy. Never.

I painted this and it’s taped by the lightswitch on my way out the front door
“But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”
 ~Rumi 

1.) Buy Happy Pretty Messy (read, review on Amazon ;))

2.) Try your hand at baking macarons.

3.) Change the sheets. It always makes you feel better. If you have some money to splurge, get a pair of Egyptian cotton sheets. You’ll feel like a princess.

4.) Throw away his toothbrush. Or use it to scrub your dirtiest bathroom grout and THEN throw it away. That’s what it’s good for, and what it deserves.

5.) Have a tag sale. Sell all of the things that remind you of him, clear out clutter, make a few extra bucks, talk to some people, and it keeps you busy on a Saturday morning.

6.) Try blue mascara. It’s fun, I like it, and it’s $3. See if anyone notices. He certainly wouldn’t have.

7.) Watch the Bridget Jones’ Diary trilogy and cry your heart out.

My poetry in a German literary magazine

8.) Write some poetry. About how horrible he was.

9.) Clean out the kitchen cupboards.

10.) Clean behind the refrigerator.

11.) Watch this video.

12.) Blast “I Will Survive” and dance your heart out.

13.) Host a tea party.

Me and my Grandma, one of my biggest fans!

14.) Call your mom, dad, grandma, aunt, uncle…call your loved ones. Hear their voices.

15.) Go to the water. Whatever water you can get. In order of preference Ocean>Lake>Pond>Bath>Shower

16.) Send postcards to a few family and friends. They’re a novelty item now.

17.) Buy new, ridiculously soft, incredibly fluffy towels.

18.) Drink a cup of tulsi tea. It reduces stress and balances mood. I’m drinking one right now as I write this.

19.) Get a hot water bottle if you don’t have one. I highly suggest heart-shaped! I can’t survive without mine for snuggles.

20.) Invest in a weighted blanket that helps you feel like you’re being hugged. It reduces anxiety and stress.

21.) Spend an afternoon volunteering at the local pregnancy center, food pantry, women’s shelter, career help center, Boys & Girls club, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, animal shelter, etc. VolunteerMatch can help. Bonus: You often get free t-shirts when you volunteer 😉 I have a few from building playgrounds for schools, doing Habitat for Humanity, and more, and I love them.

22.) Go to church.

23.) Read Susan Branch’s blog for a taste of the simple things in life.

24.) Check out a pass from your library to go to a local museum for free. Most libraries offer free passes to local museums nowadays, and you can reserve them ahead of time online.

25.) Make some money on the side by signing up for Swagbucks or eBates to pad your budget.

26.) That thing you do, that everyone always says you could sell? Sell it. Use Etsy, eBay, CafePress, Shutterstock.com, local Facebook groups, and in local boutiques.

27.) Consign some of your fancy clothes for credit, or “free shopping” as I like to call it. If you don’t have a local place, check out TheRealReal for designer clothes and ThredUp or Swap.com for regular duds.

28.) Get some new clothes with a purpose. Shop on Schoola where they donate profits back to schools. You can actually see which schools  will be getting the profit from what you purchase.

29.) Reach out to mentors and people in your life you admire and ask them to write you recommendation letters. Of course a breakup always spurs thoughts of career change, but even if it doesn’t, these letters are good to have on file and will boost your confidence.

30.) Write a book. Seriously.

31.) Spend time with kids. If you or your friends don’t have kids, or your nieces and nephews don’t live nearby, volunteer or get a part time job at an after-school program or daycare. Kids are good fro the soul, make you laugh deeply, and offer love freely.

32.) Read books before they actually come out (called a galley) for free by reviewing them on NetGalley.

33.) Pre-order my next book The Self-Discipline Handbook. It will arrive at your doorstep in January when you’re ready to take over the world again.

34.) Get a new, amazing bra that makes you feel VA VA VOOM. My friend Kimmay can help! She’s been on national television multiple times helping women find the perfect bra for them, and how they are more than just numbers (age, bra size, clothing size, number of kids, income, etc.) She’s amazing and will rock your world.

35.) Watch Little Women, the Winona Ryder version from 1994. This is my go-to “need a cry” movie, it’s heartwarming and heart-wrenching, beautiful and bleak, and it always warms my heart and inspires me, particularly in winter.

36.) Go to an event at the local high school. Support the football team, booster club, drama club, etc. Most high schools put on superb plays and concerts, and the cost of admission is low and supports the school.

37.) Spend the night away from home, but not alone. Being in your own comfort space feels good for awhile, but eventually you need to remember what it’s like to wake up in a new place with new possibilities. Ask a friend if you can borrow their guest room for a night, or grab a friend and go on an overnight adventure.

38.) Get a new welcome mat for your front door.

39.) Paint your nails the color the exact color the QUEEN uses!

40.) Sew yourself some new pillow cases. It’s one of the easiest projects, you can do it in an afternoon, and you get to go shopping for cute new fabric.

41.) Listen to this song on repeat. Preferably while writing poetry. “You don’t need to change a thing about you…the guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind.”

42.) Follow george_and_charlotte on Instagram for doses of the incredible cuteness that is George and Charlotte, Prince and Princess.

43.) Make yourself some cute bath products, such as my mojito lip scrub and lavender-lemon lotion from Gifts in Jars.

44.) Re-read Happy Pretty Messy. I need to read this book to myself like, daily. And I’m the one who wrote it.

45.) Set up a slackline. I talk about it in Happy Pretty Messy and it’s easy to do, and one of my favorite things.

46.) Treat yourself to the best of the best of chocolate and wine for a little bit. Splurge, indulge, enjoy.

47.) Make a list of the things you like about yourself, big and small. Things he didn’t notice. Things like the curve of your tummy to your hip and the way you make coffee in the morning because you’ve perfected the pour for the pour-over coffee.

48.) Accept every invitation that comes your way. You need life right now, and adventure.

49.) Drive for 2 hours. Go somewhere. Go anywhere 2 hours away, just do it.

50.) Rest in the knowledge that if he couldn’t see your beauty, your worth, your radiance…if he wasn’t willing to do anything for you, if he didn’t engage emotionally, or didn’t put you first, or didn’t think you were good enough, HE wasn’t good enough for you. YOU WIN. He loses out. He lost you.

This hurt won’t last forever. 
YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. 
Shine even brighter into the world, you beautiful thing, you.
Published
Categorized as musings

Keep Shining

“Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine…”
As a culture we have this really messed up pattern of behavior where we tell people to SHINE (be  famous, stand out from the crowd, stand up for what they believe in, etc., a concept I read about in this article about L’Wren Scott’s suicide, I think) and then as soon as they stand up we throw rocks at them. Why do we do this?
Most of the time we’re afraid that someone else is shining more than we are or might be taking away some of our own glow. And it brings up our own insecurity/failures/past/wounds. So we deflect and find comfort in defense mechanisms such as demeaning the efforts of those who have found their place in the world. 
Stop. Stop now, ya’ll. 
There’s enough to go around. 
We all bring something different to the table, I promise.
That’s a beautiful thing.
How about instead of throwing rocks at other people, we reflect on what those rock-throwing-tendencies say about the state of our own hearts, and humbly admit that we might have some work to do. It takes ownership of faults and our own failures. This is hard heart-work. But it must be done. Oftentimes it must be done over and over and over. For the health of our own hearts, it must be done. I promise you, you’ll never shine to your own full potential while still holding on to a mentality of rock-throwing.
And then, in humility and selflesness, let’s applaud those who shine. Let’s use them as inspiration to be braver in our own lives, to throw off our insecurities so we, too, can shine, and light the world with our collective glow. 
Wouldn’t that be a beautiful place to live? 
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” ~James Keller

*P.S> If people have been throwing rocks at you lately, like a few people have been in my life, lean in to it. First of all, consider the source. If you deem the source someone in your inner circle whose opinion and voice in your life you value, then you can dig deeper. If not, release it from having any say in your own heart and pray for the other person. The hard thing here is that you might realize someone you thought had your best interests at heart, didn’t, and that hurts even more. 
If it is from someone you value, say to yourself, “What here has merit?” examining the situation, your own heart, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Strip it down to the essence of what you can work on, and use the rest as motivation. Looking back on my life, the naysayers were actually the ones who helped me access my deeper inner strength when I was struggling.
Shine on, you gorgeous thing, you!   
xo
Natalie

You Make it Beautiful: Happy Spring

beautiful early-morning spring light through my curtains.

It’s Spring. And my heart struggles with this, in a strange way. I know normally Sunshiney Natalie would be screaming from the rooftops (especially after a maple latte this morning) that it’s SPRING YA’LL!

But really my heart is just in a little bit of a no-not-Spring place. Just a bit of a “let me stay here, buried in snow, I’m fine…really…” sort of half-smile place. More like the several inches of snow we got last night and the gray day here with my candle and vintage lamp and a warm mug of goodness in my fleece pajama pants (yes, still, at 11am #writerlife) snuggled under a blanket that has Love written in several languages on it. Just a little bit more of this.

I’ve been thinking lately of when I was little, how I spent so much time in my room quietly creating, happy as a clam to be in a cozy space creating beauty out of nothing more than glitter and gluesticks and paper and words. I would write all sorts of little storybooks and set up a shop to sell them to my mom for a nickel each. Just a happy little quiet Natalie-heart.

And then life. 
You know what I’m sayin’? 

Today is one of those days where I feel that unequivocally, life pressed down on top of my heart. Anxiety, selfishness, fear, bitterness…not so pretty.

See the truth of the matter is, I have a tender heart. I have a poet’s heart underneath it all, when we get down to it. One that sees pain and the quietness and the joy of life and takes it in deeply. A heart that has been wrecked with pain and brokenness.

These soft hearts like mine don’t just bounce back quickly. It is a bit more fragile. A bit more malleable. A bit more attentive and empathetic and a whole lot softer. It still hurts now and again and I face the thought of blooming into spring one more time with trepidation.

But I’m thinking how I don’t want an “And then life” life. Not worldly-life. I want heart-life. I want quiet-beauty-inner-happy-deep-well-soft-heart-poet-eyes-take-it-all-in-and-bring-it-back-to-life-and-breathe-it-out life. A happy little quiet Natalie-heart.

So I guess that means I do want Spring. The beautiful, life-giving, revival of Spring.  To breathe that in again and let it fill me. To sit with that for awhile, to heal and slowly be brought back to life.

“You take brokenness aside and You make it beautiful.” Amen.
 
Happy Spring, my dears! 
xo
Natalie

Monday Mid-Day

Ya’ll this verse is just SO on my heart today. What a beautiful reminder of how good and gracious our God is! So much hope. #allthetime
{hover and click the pink heart to pin!}
This beautiful song is also on my heart this morning…”You have called me higher, you have called me deeper…” so when we’re ready to get sent in that right direction, we can know He is whispering in our ears the entire time, sending us with love and grace and never alone.
Today, I am praying over this blog and everyone whose heart finds the way here. I am praying God blesses you, gives you rest, and sends you off to find your place in His great big beautiful story. 
You’re playing your part magnificently, darling!
xo
Natalie

Restless by Jennie Allen

So I just finished this book. And it wrecked my heart in the most powerful, beautiful, messy way. Really laid me bare in my heart in perfect timing. I’m starting B-school  (an online business school) today, and I have been really struggling because I had so many ideas and I wasn’t sure which direction to go. Needless to say, I was Restless. But then this beautifully designed book arrived at my doorstep on Friday afternoon, right around the time I had finished my deadlines for the week. I picked up its matte cover, which felt so nice in my hands, and read a few words. These words, on the very first page after the title page, the Dedication page: 

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” ~Saint Augustine
God, You are home to me. Take these words and light fires that cannot be put out-for Your fame on this earth in our time. 

I mean, those words spoke to something so deep in my heart at a time of searching. They captivated me, and I kept reading. I read and dreamed and scribbled and bookmarked and made many many pink notes in this book and my nootebook. God freed something in my soul through this book.
Jennie’s premise is: God’s story + our threads (the gifts God has given us, what makes our heart sing, and what we’ve struggled with) + the need + The Holy Spirit = My Purpose. 
As I nervously investigated the threads of my life, and humbly held out hands and memories before God, I found the most beautiful thing. I found my purpose. 
 Jennie really leads you through a God-focused, Holy-Spirit-driven plan of action to help you uncover your purpose for God’s glory.  I shed a lot of tears and I laughed out loud more than once. I’m pretty sure Jennie and I would be great friends. 
My own purpose and dreams will take some time. But the sharing of this book? That can start right now. Jennie Allen has created something brilliantly inspired here, so touching and warm, so personal and yet downright big. Big enough to change the world. So grab this book, my dear friends, get your pink (or purple or blue or red) pen and let’s get our hearts and lives a bit messy for God’s glory. 
If you’re with me, let’s participate in this journey together AND with Jennie Allen herself! I’m SO thrilled about this, ya’ll. If you have a local Christian bookstore, I highly suggest you support them and buy this book there. It’s so important to have those in our communities! If not, the cheapest price I found was on Christian Book Distributors, or you can get the Kindle version on Amazon
THEN sign up for the live book club with Jennie Allen that happens *tonight* and the next few weeks. Week 1 is already here.
Oh friends, let’s bring our lives and our ‘threads’ before God. It’s going to be so very beautiful. 
xo
Natalie

PS> I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my true and honest opinion.

Five Minute Friday: Choosing to Accept

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday…She gives us all a writing prompt and we write, uninterrupted, with very little editing for 5 minutes. Imperfect but real… Today’s word is: CHOOSE.
{Go}

We all choose. Every single day, choosing, choosing. Which tea to have for breakfast (right now I’m loving Bigelow’s White Chocolate Kisses), how many chocolate chips to put on the oatmeal (it’s Friday–a decent handful). And the big decisions, sometimes even the subconscious ones: Choosing to show up to work with a smile on your face. Choosing to feel beautiful, even if you’ve been told otherwise by people in your life. Choosing to step out on a precariously thin limb, knowing that God is the one who sways the trees and can make you fly off that branch into blue sky dreams. These are bold choices, sometimes even reckless in the face of the world’s desires.

See God calls us to choose. We must choose. It’s one of the biggest pieces of this glorious puzzle He’s got: We choose. 
We choose to accept Him. 
We choose to accept Love. 
We choose to see with His holy eyes instead of our dusty, earthly ones.

Yes, He can love us through and through but without our choice, it is not a relationship. So, too, it is on earth, here, that we must choose, and choose, and choose again: To accept love. For the more love we accept, the more love we have to give. And that, my friends, makes the world a much more beautiful place.

{stop} 

Five Minute Friday
      Today’s Linkup

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

What I’m Looking for in the Man I Marry


Time for a word-heavy post! So grab a cup of tea and let’s chat…

I’ve been told time and time again that who you marry is the second-most important decision you make in life, right after accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Woah, hey there, that’s some kinda pressure! 

It stuns me to think of the responsibility and privilege and weight of being married. Godly marriage is one of the most beautiful, blessed things a person could ever enter into. It’s holy. The idea is scary-as-all-get-out sometimes, too, if I’m being honest. It’s not something I take lightly in the slightest. But I’m also just really excited about being a wife. I think it’s going to be amazing, and a role and season of life that I am excited to embrace and explore.
In light of all of this, out there in this great big crazy dating world, how does one sift through the possibilities to find the potential? I’ve done my fair share of sifting, and I’ve found a few non-negotiables for the man I marry.  
I thought I’d share with you a few of the things from MY “list” (as inspired by Ali and her list). 
1.) A spiritual leader, willingly, unequivocally, and with my blessing (Ephesians 5:22-33): This has always been something I’ve struggled with. First off, I’ve seemed to always end up dating immature Christians. Secondly, it seems that oftentimes men are not taught what this looks like if it was lacking in their own home growing up. Thirdly, I’m pretty independent and a little bit (lot bit?) stubborn, so actually submitting and wholeheartedly accepting someone else as the spiritual leader has been difficult for me in the past. But this is non-negotiable, and requires work and commitment from both parties.

2.) Equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14): I used to think this just meant “don’t marry an unbeliever” but now I have a more in-depth understanding of how God can create two people who are equally yoked in more ways that you can count or imagine. It’s utterly beautiful. I spent a lot of time (and I mean A. LOT. of time) with my mom and best friend trying to figure out what sort of man/personality type would fit with me. I’m a pretty unique person/personality type, and I’m the first to admit I’m not always the easiest one to “get” right away. But the truth is, you don’t need a “type” of man that would fit. You just need one. And God is faithful.

3.) Someone who is in a place in life where they are ready to get married (1 Corinthians 13:11): I’m not looking for a boy. I’m looking for a man. I’m looking for someone who seeks to serve the Lord with his finances, his career, his relationships, and his whole heart. I’ve dated guys who weren’t ready to get married and I’ve poured myself into them, tried to “love them” into growing up, etc. etc. Doesn’t work, friends. Let’s find men who are secure in Christ and secure in who they are BEFORE we show up on the scene.

4.) Someone who accepts me completely as I am, and yet makes me want to be a better person in all areas of life (Philippians 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8): I want to be with someone who brings out the best of all of me. I’ve dated guys before who brought out one facade of my personality beautifully. One guy I dated brought out the nurturer in me in a lovely way, yet he never got to experience passionate-about-life Natalie. I want someone who makes me want to be better for him, for God, for my family, for my friends, for my employer, for everyone I meet in daily life. Someone who has seen my weaknesses and still chooses to love me and walk beside me. “I have seen the best of you and the worst of you and I choose both.” ~Sara Kay

5.) Someone who inspires me. (Ephesians 2:10). This might not be important for everyone, but for me, it is crucial. I’ve dated boys before with whom I never shared a word of my poetry with and never spilled a drop of ink about them onto the page. To me, that means they weren’t bringing life out of me, or pouring life into me. My creative spirit and soul is one of the gifts God has given me, and I want a man who isn’t afraid to engage that. This requires emotional intelligence, something that oftentimes men haven’t exercised enough to fully develop. He needn’t be interested in the exact same things I’m interested in or see the world through the exact same lenses I do. I’m looking for someone with the time and space in their life, heart, and mind to engage with my passions and their own. 

I found my “list” from 2008…and the majority of it still rings true, though it was me-focused, rather than God-focused. I thought it would be fun to share just for comparison: 

“I want a man who knows the value of a promise. Who keeps his promises.I want a man who believes that marriage is holy and is forever.I want a man who makes me absolutely a better version of myself (not just the other way around).I want a man who has both common sense and utter nonsense.I want a man who thinks I am cute when I make a few too many stupid jokes in a day, and when I laugh a little too loudly at something in my head.I want a man who will know when I’m in just a little too deep, and will give me that helping hand.I want a man who knows that occasionally I do get in a little too deep, but usually I am just fine.I want a man who is strong enough to be the spiritual leader for our family. And by that, I also mean, I want a man who wants a family and is a “family man”. I want a man who loves me FOR my quirks, not in spite of them.I want a man who is able to see through me even when I just keep staring straight ahead.I want a man who appreciates the little things I choose, like nice towels and hand soaps; who knows exactly what I want, but surprises me still the same; who is okay with the fact that I am a major dork; who knows that I always want the honest answer even if I don’t like it; who will like to cook with me; who will sleep out under the stars with me JUST because I *want* to.

There are so many other things I could tell you I’m looking for. The little things. But when it comes right down to it, the truth of the matter is this: I’m looking for someone I CAN’T WAIT to do every day life with. Who can’t wait to do every day life with me. I’m looking for the one God gives me. 
And I’m also working on a post of What I’m Hoping to BE for the Man I Marry…comin’ up soon! 🙂

So…what’s on your list? Am I way off track?

xo
Natalie

Best. Year. Ever. #boom

{feel free to pin this! hover over the image and click the pink “Pin It” heart!}

You guys. Like no joke I am BEYOND pumped to jump into 2014. You can bet I’ll be the one at the starting line, in ready position, jumping off the blocks on January 1st (actually, before, but January 1st is when all of my new calendars start so…yeah).

I’m investing in 2014. Socially, spiritually, emotionally, fearlessly, boldly, bravely, and financially investing in 2014. I feel strongly that God has called me to be *prepared* for BETTER this year.

Better
is my word for 2014.

The past two years have been full of heartbreak and the difficult struggle to get my heart put back together again, whole and healthy and ready at the feet of God. He has been ever-so gracious and patient with me, and I can see His hand all over the last few years. That Footprints poem might be cliche, but I can see it was only Him who was carrying me. Now, He has set me down on two feet, and said, “Go, now, and be better.” Be stronger. Be healthier. Be braver. I think He is calling me to fill a bigger space, to be more beautiful in heart and spirit, and to dance with Him this year. To be a better version of myself, for me, for Him, for my family, for my friends, for my boyfriend, for my church, for my employers, for you beautiful readers, and even for strangers I meet in day-to-day life. Once again, I have no idea how this word will look in practice, in the rubber-meets-the-road moments over the next 12 months. I am scared, but I am willing.  

I thought I’d share some of the resources I’m using to rock 2014. I’m just so pumped to see what God is going to do and I want to do my best to be intentional and organized (woah, hey grown-up Natalie, where’d you come from being all organized and all?) to be the best version of Natalie I can be for whatever God wants me to tackle.

These are my #PowerSheets from Lara Casey. They are designed to guide you through the entire process of defining, setting, and completing goals that give you the framework to make your dreams a reality. Go far with God! I’m loving them so far.
I also purchased an Emily Ley Simplified Planner (look at those cute gold edges!). The planner is designed to simplify your life so you have the space to accomplish more. You even plan dinner in your planner…a major time-suck and money-waster if you don’t have it written down ahead of time!

Necessities: Pink legal pad, Powersheets, Emily Ley planner, Afar magazine (to get my heart interested in adventure & travel again?), hot pink Post-Its, light pink Post-it flags, pink pen, metallic pencil, blue highlighter, striped paperclips, Martha Stewart goals binder with pink clips, tea, Good Girl Style business cards, and polka-dot washi tape. Happy little things 🙂

Other Resources That Have Informed My Heart So Far for 2014: 
This song.
This blog post.
This challenge.
This reminder.
This sermon series, followed by this one.
The fact that THIS is our God.
This goal-setting plan.
This convicting blog post.
This Twitter feed.
This organization.
This poem.
This heart-truth.

There are so, so many more resources that have been speaking to me as I prepare for the new year. I hope you find some of these helpful to you as well.

Lysa posted on her Facebook page this question: “Lysa, if you are a woman with faith then are you willing to live a life that actually requires faith?” And it’s one that has been tumbling around in my own heat and heart. 

Am I ready?Are we ready?
Let’s be game-changers and faith-walkers this year. 

xo
Natalie

Five Minute Friday “Together”

The word for today is “Together”. Set the timer for 5 minutes!

Go: 

Together is a tough word for me right now. I feel the opposite of it in so many ways. I feel left behind, left out, lonely. I am so tempted to think that God doesn’t have a plan for me, and that somehow I have been forgotten altogether.
Together  implies two.
And I am only one.
Only one in the morning when I make coffee. Only one at lunch time when I check my phone and see no new messages. I am only one at night when I crawl under my fuzzy hot pink blanket for the evening. And sometimes only one hurts. Because we always say “only” one. How many? “Only one.”
The lonely one.
But in the morning, I like to sing to the radio at the top of my lungs and dance around and at lunch time I go shopping at at bedtime, I snuggle that hot pink blanket and I enjoy eating chips in bed and watching Netflix like its my job. Maybe I can enjoy being, “one,” without the only. Nothing is missing when Jesus is involved. The fullness of time brings the blessings it is meant to, and in the meantime, this season? It’s pretty darn blessed, too.

STOP

Words were harder this week. So it goes.

xo
Natalie