Tuesday, May 31, 2011


i have been challenged for real lately: do i truly believe in unconditional love?
i mean we all want to say that we would love someone, whether it be a friend, mate, or family member, unconditionally. without ANY conditions. in every situation. in every single hurt and state of sorrow. if they hurt you in a way that is seemingly inexcusable.
what are your conditions?
for me, i feel like it is a lot easier to accept another person unconditionally, excuse the behavior of someone i love, than myself. they can hurt me, but i can't fail myself. when i see sin in my life i haven't noticed before, to me its inexcusable, and i'm really good at beating myself up over it.
others can be faulty. but not me, i have to be perfect.
otherwise i guess the world will end.
i am way too hard on myself. and i'm not preaching a love thy-self before God message, but i seriously have issues accepting that i sin, and that i have faults. with loving who i am, where i am. 
does God even really love me like that? He loves the sinner, unconditionally but hates the sin. its hard for me to believe this and sometimes the lies of satan are way too loud. it's putting a double standard on myself--others are allowed to fail, but i can not.
in my sinful heart of hearts, i believe i excel at legalism. i mean i can win an award at "doing" things for God. i can be more spiritual, volunteer, encourage people, better than the best. i really excel at looking like i have it altogether.
someone once told me legalism in religion is a lot like tying a ball and chain to your leg that's already been cut by the Grace and Mercy of God.
let go of the freaken ball and chain already natalie.
all of those works don't matter anyways. all of that "i have it altogether" guess what, it doesn't exist, and it means nothing to God, in fact it's bloody rags to Him.
dirty bloody rags.
and that's the crux of it. getting in college and realizing that i have "issues," that the dream of perfection i 'seemed' to have attained by being the 'perfect' one in highschool is a bunch of baloney.
and yet for all of that, God loves me still.
i don't know how, but He does.
The most quoted verse in the Bible at weddings:
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, etc...... 
love keeps NO record of wrongs.
so then why in the world do i keep a record of wrongs about myself yet, i can excuse others quite easily?
why can't i accept the GRACE that the Lord has lavished on me? and why can't i extend His grace to myself?

and looky there, i'm beating up on myself for not accepting the grace of God.
you see, it's a vicious, tricky cycle.

God never said it wouldn't be hard, but He did say it would be worth it.
and if by going through this challenge i find a greater understanding of Grace and unconditional love, then i know this spiritual challenge will be completely worth it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

go-to move

do you have a bag-of-tricks? something to lift your spirits, when you feel blue, green, or whatever color other than the the sunshiney, giddy, yellow that we so much desire to be in every moment of every day.
when i struggle with 'not-enough' syndrome, i go to ephesians 1. its my spiritual go-to move, or my bag of tricks.
something to remind me when i'm tempted to believe the lies of Satan and of myself, and forget who God thinks i am. 
i'm not going to quote the entire chapter, but you can read it here. instead i'm going to show you what God thinks of His children. not everything He thinks of them, but 11 verses i have held on to when i've had the not-good-enoughs.
here we go.
Ephesians 1:3-14 tells me that in Christ I am-- blessed, complete, chosen, holy, blameless, loved, predestined to Himself, adopted, daughter, treated kindly, given grace, redeemed, forgiven, grace-lavished, an inheritor, given a gift, in Him, sealed and secure with Him, God's own possession.

all of that, and that's only 11 verses in the entire Bible. 
take that you plague of self-worth. my bag of tricks, my go-to move trumps any and all the blues you can hand me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

these boots.

are made for walking.
i feel like a grown-up. and its freaking me out.
let me catch you up on the past couple of weeks.
i have begun training for a half marathon. i get up at 4:45 in the morning. i run from 3-6 miles four times a week. the goal is a savannah marathon in november. so far its been really great. i've been training with wonderful, Godly women who are encouraging and fun to be around. its the earliest i have gotten up in a while, but you know, i need to do it. and its kind of fun in a weird disciplinary kind of way.
sometimes i do have to ask myself "what would a marine do during this last mile? keep going!!!! I AM A MARINE!"
no, i'm not kidding. today i used my ipod, which was convenient and hilarious when i realized the 'workout jamz' playlist on stanley. stanley's my ipod, again not kidding. beyonce's 'all the single ladies' is fun to run to, but a little distracting when i began the choreography on mile three.
note to self.

another reason why i'm lookin all growd up is that i applied for an internship.
and got it. and its for an economic development team. i go to business meetings, i create mission statements, maps, and research aspects of the team. i have business clothes. i have slacks, and high heels.
i have shaken i don't know how many hands. i have my own work laptop.

it creeps me out too.

but i have learned one really cool thing through all of this.
i am extremely competent. like, holy moley, i can do this.....what?...
our verse from a middle school bible study i help lead is 2 cor. 2:5
"not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves but our sufficiency comes from God."
that competency i was talking about, all God.
i was laying in bed the other night, just thinking how well i have adapted in a position that i am completely unexperienced at.
and the reason is that God is my sufficiency. He has literally prepared me to be comfortably adapted to a real world job.
i have and will make mistakes, but all in all, i don't feel overwhelmed. i actually enjoy in an adult sort of way the gettin up at 4:30, running miles, then showering, getting ready for work, collecting a paycheck, and being respected by men and women who are much more experienced, mature, and knowledgable than me. my boots are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do.
all credit goes to God, for i know that none of my adaptation to this working' girl's life would have been possible even two years ago.
thanks for bringing me to this place Lord. all the glory and my sufficiency goes to You.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

giving away my sister.

happy one year anniversary to the bestest sister i've ever had. and the bestest brother-in-law in the entire world.
i had the thought today, babysitting jairus and hanging out with my sister....i'll never just have my sister again. never going to be just the two of us.
yeah, you're probably thinking, "duh, dummy, you didn't figure that out when she got engaged?"
yeah i did....and don't call me dummy....it just hasn't hit me until now.

november 2009 i took these.
a young couple in love, on a mission to save the world. 

or at least try to.

they met at college. he from new york, she from florida. God crossed their paths and gave His "okay" nod to that friendship.

they talked, they listened, they loved, until God gave another lil nod, and Jordan popped the question.

a wedding, documenting perhaps the best days of our entire lives, a week of adventure, bonding and above all else, fellowship with one another. as christians in a huge bridal party who love each other, and accept each other, and come together to give witness to the most beautiful wedding i have ever seen.
and i'm not just saying that because she's my sister.
it was a fun, holy, beautiful wedding.

off they traveled to colorado. and montana. and idaho.
and a few months down the road, this happened.
which usually yields a little nugget showing up in our front porch. it was a stork, they say.
jairus. which means God enlightens. and if i do say so myself, God has truly enlightened this couple for His glory, and other's edification.

my sister has always been a blessing to me, but not only me, others around me. i used to get identified by being sara's sister. "oh i love sara! she's amazing!" they would say. all of them
it got old after a while.
then i began bragging about it.
like "hey you know sara, thats my sister."
[still same reaction from them]
"yeah she is. she's great."
so here's to your new life and family, sara. though selfishly i wish we could go back to the high school, horseback riding, camping out, and dancing in the rain days with just the two of us, i know you and jordan and little pringle-lip jairus have it good. and because of that, it's all worth it. and i think i'm okay with that.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


this is a hilarious blog.
i apologize if any of it is sketchy, but i just found it, and it seems to be rather clean.
visit -- Verbal Vomit here!--

are you ready for a great week! be blessed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

but i don't wanna.

i know i got some work to do.
and i don't wanna do it. in the personal growth section of my life, i've got some serious work to do.

singleness may be considered a plague to some, but God uses it in a way to bring me closer to Him and to get me busy working on myself.
"and the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but the one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. and this i say for your own benefit; not to put a restrain upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. " 1 corinthians 7
does God love marriage? heck yeah! does God love singleness? absolutely.
singleness isn't meant to be a plague or time to sulk in loneliness and what-could-have-beens.
its a time to work on me. its me and God time. only us.
a time to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord before i have devotion to the Lord and my husband.
lately God, has shown me areas in my life where i need His help in pruning. there is blackness, there is hurt, insecurity, and other things i need to work on before i become 'distracted.' these things are hard, they pierce, and they are very real.
but i need to get rid of them.
but i don't wanna. my plans were to have this summer care free, lazy, and whimsical. to be rejuvenated by relaxing days at the beach.

then God said, "daughter, you're doing work this summer. on yourself. you can still relax, but you have undistracted time right here where it can be just you and Me kid. and I'm going to use this time to your advantage, and my glory. I'm going to sharpen and prune you. I'm going to get rid of the things that don't look like Me. I'm going to heal you this summer."

fine, God. you're right, a part of me doesn't wanna, but you're right.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

lasting forever.

its summer. which means burnt behinds and lazy days on the beaches.
which means rainbow umbrellas large enough for a small family. and days when it would be okay if they lasted forever.
summer water here is just cool enough for swimmin, but but too hot for it to be uncomfortable. i think the right word is "perfect".

today's finds of course include shells, but it was the first day i did not do anything productive. homework, housework. it was weird. i haven't done this in a really long time.
i feel lazy and perhaps a little bit guilty, but i did do a load of laundry.
it has yet to be folded.
its good, these times at the beach, these lazy summer days. they are needed periodically. i'll look back on them and wonder why i worried about anything. why i felt like the world was ending, all too often.

a saying rings through my ear, nothing ever lasts forever. things may be bad for right now, but nothing ever lasts forever.
however, if today's beach day could, i would be okay with it. i jumped in the crystal clear water and spread my arms and legs out and just floated. it was cool, breezy, and warm all at the same time. a moment passed and i thought.
you know what, i would be okay with drifting out to sea right now. forever.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 things to cure summer boredom.

1. go here to this blogger. 
its DIY fantast.
unless you hate diy projects.

2. always shorten words whenever possible (see #1). and put y's or ies on the end of everything
but don't make it a habit.
that's bad for interviews and meeties with your future inlaws.

3. have a baby. or make someone else have one.
its worth it. 

4. beach it up and become a shell collector. 
even if you look like a tourist doing it. 
but don't take the ones with the crabs still in them. that's animal abuse, and i do not approve.

5. celebrate a first year anniversary.
even if its not your own.

6. watch all 6 seasons of alias, and pretend that you don't have a ninja-type beat-down plan for any intruder that jumps out of the bushes when you are walking to your car.
i carry my car key like a dagger. try me. 

7. create a listy list of top ten things to do when you're bored during summer on your blog.

8. blog.

9. read a book for fun, rather than for work. 
i know. mom said that this would happen.

10. comment and let me know what book i should read for fun.
enjoy the summer. its finally here!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


new baby

new daddy

new family

new mommy

new auntie

new grandpa

new nana

new grandparents

happy for the newness in our lives.

Monday, May 2, 2011


so, reading the bible last night, going through the book of john and i'm at the part of the last supper.  john 13.
i notice two separate times, the divinity of Christ. not because He blatantly says He's God, but because He shows a supernatural ability to forgive, and to work peace among people that clearly despise Him.
sitting there reading:
saying to myself, "okay so they were reclining at the table, Jesus was teaching them, and then He washes their feet. i get it, its a sign of Christ's humility, service, etc..."
"wait"  i thought, "Christ had to have washed judas' feet too. judas was there too."
"holy moley."
never thought of it that way. 
i try to picture myself in so-and-so's shoes when i read the word, expecting to learn something from their experience. this time, i placed myself in Christ's shoes, except, hey i'm not God. 

my conclusion: i wouldn't have done it. think about it long enough and you wouldn't either. 
this is the man who is going to send Christ to the cross. the God of the universe. Christ knew that judas was going to betray Him in the near future. (jn 13:26-27)
yet He still chose to wash judas' feet.
i mean, think about it. think about someone you believe who deserves to die for what they have done to your family, someone you know, you. perhaps a terrorist, perhaps a tyrant ruler, perhaps a murderer, backstabber, liar, cheater, or ___fill-in-the-blank___ with whoever you consider your enemy.
now, humble yourselves enough to render them a humiliating service, like washing their dirty grimey feet. oh yeah, and you have to have a loving, pure attitude about it.
and not only that, they're going to kill you in the future. and you know it.
even more. offer peace to that person, want to become his best friend. be completely fond of him. like Christ was to judas: offering bread to a guest at the table was a jewish custom of peace and friendship. (jn 13:26) go ahead and offer your enemy complete love, sacrifice, peace, friendship, forgiveness.

"nah-uh!" was my first reaction. i couldn't do it if i had the chance, i know that for sure. i have trouble forgiving those who wronged me already, and Christ accepted and loved and washed judas' feet knowing what he would do to Him? 
maybe that whole Christ is God thing is not so far off. 
i mean, this is an illustration of the divine capacity to forgive and to love. He did something that had to be super-natural to do. only a God could display that kind of love. and only Christ did. 


Sunday, May 1, 2011

play it again, sam.

i like having time to myself. perhaps sometimes a little too much. but finals are finally over and there's not much to do, and sometimes you just gotta relax. tonight was casablanca night with myself, and i've got to say, i'm a great date.
"play it again, sam" rick says to sam, his spunky 1940s night club piano player speaking of the sad but bittersweet love song of his long lost love.
and of course you can't forget "i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," line closing out the movie.
i shed a tear everytime.
not really, i don't cry at movies.
but if you do, i won't judge you if you're into that sort of thing. i'm an advocate.
oh and the hot bowl of homemade chicken coconut curry that is to die for. i may be addicted to it, but i'm okay with that. it made an appearance. along with its lingering smell that the roomies hate, but i secretly pretend im in sri lanka every time i walk into my apartment. you're welcome roomies...you're welcome.

last night, i saw her in concert. she's great. her name is brooke fraser. breathtaking voice, and great band. they didn't even need a bass player and they still rocked the house. and my socks.

it was fun. she was great. the night was superb. thanks for the awesome life, God.  
after brooke and the band went back stage, i stealthy made it back stage, grabbed a doughnut off of the cast/crew food table, found brooke and told her, "play it again, brooke," just like humphrey bogart in casablanca. i shot up two gun-shaped pointer fingers while offering her another go at the stage. her rather large and quite muscular personal body guard picked me up with one hand (the other taking the half-eaten doughnut out of my hand), and placed me on the other side of the barricades where i was supposed to be. he obviously hasn't seen casablanca.
just kidding, none of that happened. though i have always wanted to be apart of the cast/crew snack sessions on movie sets. they just look better than real food. i've always been jealous, its a weird quirk i always think about. that would be the reason for me ever becoming famous. "forget my lines! gimmie a club sandwich!"
ohhhhh gosh, never mind.
be prepared for the next coming weeks. i have in store, maybe some downtown sessions and relaxing and basking in the fulfilled life. Jesus is good. ill keep you posted on how He lavishes his love over-abundantly on me. hope you're week is going great. 


here's a deliciously fantastic blogger.
she lives on a farm.
she is hilarious.
and she has a hound she's a little obsessed about but knows it.
--click here to see Ree Drummond's Confessions of a Pioneer Woman--
sorry i haven't blogged lately!
school is out! love you guys.

About Me

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I'm a sister, a daughter, a student, an aspiring museum exhibit developer, an Auntie Nattles to two precious babes, and a Nanny Nats to others. Above all, I am a Christ-follower. A sister, a friend, a lover, a possession, a daughter, and a woman, redeemed and accepted by the gracious and forever love of Christ. The purpose of this blog is to illustrate the latter and paint a picture for you and I to recognize and enjoy the mysterious, glorious, and timely wonders of the Lord among you all. Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." Joshua 3:5

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