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

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

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!
Monday:
SCRIPTURE//HelloMornings


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. 
xo
Natalie

Hello Mornings

This post was supposed to be part of a series I meant to start on the blog this week—bah humbug, then I got sick. So we’re starting that NEXT week!

BUT I had to post this one today because Today is the LAST day to sign up for HelloMornings!

HelloMornings are online (twitter, facebook, or instagram linked) maximizing-mornings, scripture-reading, exercising, planning, and living Godly lives accountability groups. And these ladies? So legit. Each group has one or two “Accountability Captains” and we check in in the mornings, read our scripture for the day, and discuss and pray together. I started with the summer session and it has been life-changing. Truly I can’t think of a much better way to start my day!

There are a few spots left in several groups, so I highly encourage you to sign up and join us! Click here to find a group! And if you need help, feel free to email me 🙂 I’m not leading a group right now, just a participant, but I’m happy to help and point you in the right direction.

He is our Establish-er

Ya’ll I saw someone wearing this same exact shirt at the library. With jeans. 
WITH JEANS. I mean, c’mon. I decided my shirt deserved some stage time with a pretty skirt, shiny shoes, bling ring, and a bow in my hair. I’m a good momma to my clothes like that.
{full disclosure: i’m sure i’ll wear this with jeans at some point and in fact have worn it with my hot pink jeans but that doesn’t make as good of a story, ok?}
Anyway, I have a question. Is establish-er a word? Like, one who establishes someone or something? 
No matter. 
Let’s pretend it is.
Because God is our Establish-er. 
Amen. 
xo
Natalie