joy soaked words

finding my way

Month: February, 2018

when heaven and earth met.

Jesus is so freaking in love with us, with us. We didn’t have to and we don’t have to do anything to make him love us more, HE JUST DOES.

I was listening to a podcast while I was driving back to school yesterday after a week off. The podcast was about the Father’s heart for us, and his chain breaking love. He began to speak about when heaven and earth touched for the first time. He described the mud that God gently picked up and formed into man. He described the moment when his lips touched the mud, the kiss of life. When heaven and earth met, crazy things began to happen.

He started talking about creation, and the beauty that surrounds us. He spoke of the trinity singing 3-part harmony to the creation, and the creation singing back. The creation singing his glory, because he is good.

We are part of this creation singing back his praises.

I was standing beside a friend singing worship, and she slipped off her shoes. She leans over to me and said: I always take off my shoes before I worship, I feel like I am standing on holy ground. I know that Moses took off his shoes before he fell before the burning bush, as a sign of respect and holiness.

We are standing on holy ground because it was created with words spoken by our Father. Spoken into the darkness, into the emptiness. The vast emptiness. There was nothing there, and then there was everything.

God is good.

I wrote this a couple blogs back, that I wouldn’t stop stating how good God is.

God is good. Am I right or am I right?

He gives us these incredible dreams and passions. He is overwhelmed for love for us.

When I was still in Mexico, one of my teachers as us to pull out a piece of paper and put pen to paper. To begin to write what the Father was saying.

I put pen to paper.

I began to write. 8 pages double sided later, blisters on my hands and cramped muscles, he wasn’t done speaking.

He is still speaking. Always. He keeps on teaching me, showing me how good he is. How faithful he is.

Lately he has been teaching me about my plans vs his plans. How they don’t often line up, but his plans are so much better than mine.

If you would have told grade 3 Natalie, that she would have dreams to write a book, and to study English, she would not have believed you. She had her eyes set on being a nurse.

1st year university Natalie is now studying English, and she has her eyes set on Jesus.

I will keep putting pen to paper. Actually pencil, because I hate writing in pen.

I will keep coming before Christ to remove my shoes and listen to what he is saying.

I will keep reminding my readers and myself, how good God is.

Blessings + hugs,

Nat

mexico + canada nat

The Mexico Nat, was so carefree and daring. She didn’t let the language barrier stop her from reaching out and loving people with all she had. She didn’t let the calories stop her from eating mocha cake and tacos. She went to Mexico thinking she knew God. Then God was like nope you don’t really know me, but let me show you how to know me. Now, she knows God with a passion, passion that doesn’t burn out with each passing day. Mexico Nat missed Canada Nat like heck.

Canada Nat is full of the same kind of passion, but instead of mocha cake and tacos it’s kraft dinner and brownies. It’s late nights in dorm rooms and friends from Africa and the Bahamas. She still pours her heart out in the blog. Canada Nat misses Mexico Nat like heck.

I remember flying to Mexico and wanting to have the pilot turn around because I was so scared. I remember meeting jewel on the plane, and knowing I had made my first friend. I remember not being able to handle the spicy tacos in the beginning and not being able to get enough spice at the end. I remember sweet Jesus and dream filled conversations as we hailed taxis and downed lattes at looney bean.

I wish I could go back. So badly. I want the sun on my face and the sounds of waves crashing to wake up to again. I know I’ll go back again to visit the place where I really began to know God.

I don’t want to live in the past.

The past is so full of sweet sweet memories, and life lessons learned. Growing times. Stretching and often full of tears. God rescued me.

I want to live in the present. I never want to be so caught up in the past that I miss the beautiful things that are always happening around me.

The memories are sweet.

But so is the present.

I wrote this blog posts on the notes on my phone. I don’t have access to my laptop right now, and I didn’t want to forget what I was writing about.

I also don’t usually dedicate my blog posts. Today, I want to dedicate this blog post to a very close friend of mine. Somebody who showed me what it means to not care what people think. Who shaved all her hair off because she always hid behind it. Who laughed non stop and skipped intersession with me to eat Nutella and dream together. Who is so passionate about Mexico that she did her outreach there. I’ve never met someone quite like her, one who loves her city more then anything and was always open for hugs. Maggie, I miss you like heck. I know I’ll see you soon.

Hugs + blessings + His grace,

Nat

love tanks

In the words of C.S Lewis, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless he sees that it is good for him to wait.”

Now in the words of a close friend, “He’s not keeping us from something, he’s keeping us for something.”

Those are some powerful words.

The greats started at the bottom. They kept showing up. They messed up. They started over and kept fighting for what they wanted. They kept fighting for what they wanted.

I don’t know why I’ve ended up here. At Redeemer, studying english when all my life I wanted to be a nurse. I’m waiting to see what else God has in store because I know he is heckin excited to share it with me and I am heckin excited as well for him to show me. “He’s keeping me for something.”

Also, I wanted to jump on here and talk about how thankful I am for the kind of friendship that makes your love tank so full. My love tank gets so full sometimes that it spills over into tears because I am just so darn thankful that I have friends like I do. They get my weirdness, and in same I get theirs.

Love tanks are cool. Make sure you let yours fill up.

I know that Jesus is doing some really cool stuff here. What a freaking cool honour that we get the chance to be apart his kingdom mission here. At Redeemer, I can sense his presence everywhere I go, and He is seriously moving on that campus. Woah, Jesus is cool.

I am absolutely loving being at home this week and having the opportunity to rest. There’s something about home that is just so full of rest.

SO.

God is good.

We have established that fact and I will always remind my readers as well as myself that God is good.

He is also good in the waiting. He’s keeping us for something.

Make sure your love tanks are full. Overflowing kind of full.

I don’t know bout you, but I am heckin excited for God to continue to move.

He’s good.

Blessings and hugs,

Nat

good. better.

This life is so beautiful. So full of joy and laughter and Jesus and everything in between. I turn twenty in a couple of weeks, and the fact that I will be halfway to forty makes me a little scared inside but these past twenty years have been incredible. So much growth. Literally too.

I am home for reading break, I packed my bags, dropped my fish off to to have a sleepover with a friend, grabbed my camera and hopped in my car. Planning on reading a stack of books that have nothing to do with my english degree and sitting by the warm fire for hours on end. Resting. It’s been a busy week, and to come home to an actual home as much as I love my dorm and the girls I live with, it’s a huge blessing. I am so glad I only live an hour from home, and I have the opportunity to come home whenever I want to.

Home to me is incredible. Having a place to call home, a family that makes me laugh continuously and friends that live just minutes away. Another special part about home for me, is I have never moved from this little farm in the middle of nowhere. The first time I ever had to move was going to university, and that was more than anything just moving away from my family, friends and the only place I had only called home.

Driving home today, I was reflecting and thinking about this past year and how awesome it has been. I was having kitchen chats – aren’t kitchen chats the best? with a friend the other day and we were talking about how God takes away the good, because he has something better in store.

He takes away the good, because he has something better in store.

I’m so dang in love with Jesus. With this life.

I feel like my entire perspective has changed in the past couple of months.

I have such a heart of gratitude. So dang thankful for everything that has happened and is happening.

If you need me this week, I am planning on curling up with a book, numerous cups of good coffee and snapping some pics. Spending time unplugged and sweet sweet times filled with laughter and friends. This week came at the perfect time, as we are about halfway through second semester and I needed a long break. I’m so content.

This life is beautiful. May I never lose the wonder that I have.

Bless up fellow humans.

Hugs and blessings,

Nat

keep showing up

I have a terrible habit of opening my wordpress instead of writing the paper that are due or studying for my midterms, but I don’t want to forget what I was going to write about.

Yesterday was valentine’s day, and being single I thought it would be harder than it was. I would scroll on instagram and it was all couples, but I am so content right now that I didn’t mind. We ended up baking cupcakes and writing letters, and bringing them to a friend who was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the amount of school that she has to get done. This led to Jesus conversations that lasted over an hour, and we all left feeling very filled up. The super cool thing about my friendship with these two girls, is that it’s more than just friendship. They have become sisters to me, and I am so blessed by their lives. Each one of us prayed for friends in the beginning and then God brought us all together, how rad is that. Anyways, back to what I was trying to say, we were talking about how God is moving here at redeemer and in our own lives. How tired we are of the loop we find ourselves in, trying to find fulfillment in worldly things.

I’ve heard it said before by one of my favorite bloggers, Hannah Brencher.

Keep showing up.

This is so important when it comes to dreams, relationships and ourselves. We need to keep showing up, because if we don’t show up then nothing is going to happen. We need to keep showing up for God to move in our lives, in our cities and in our schools. We need to keep showing up when it comes to our dreams, nothing will ever get accomplished if we don’t keep showing up and chasing after these crazy dreams. The greats didn’t sit in bed all day and watch netflix, but rather they kept showing up.

I challenge you to show up.

Something else that God has laid on my heart is that he needs to prepare the grounds before us, before he can move. He is preparing the grounds for big things. Huge things. God sized things. We have the beautiful opportunity to watch and be apart of what he is doing, like what the heck Jesus you are so good.

What is God calling you to?

What is he asking you to step into?

Where is he taking you?

What are your dreams?

Have you been showing up?

God is good. So beyond good. I don’t know about you, but I want to be apart of what he is doing here on this earth, his kingdom mission.

I challenge you to keep showing up. I know it’s hard. I know it’s exhausting. I know it seems out of reach. I know it may seem impossible. Keep showing up. Be like the greats and keep showing up.

Keep showing up.

Nuff’ said.

I have a couple papers to write, so I’m signing off.

Hugs + blessings,

Nat

dear me.

Dear younger me,

You are probably running barefoot through the lush grass, making mud pies with julia and learning how to drive the 4 wheeler. You never did have a care in the world, life was good back then. You know Kayla’s phone number off by heart and you have to wait for your mom to get off the landline before you can call her.

Younger me, I pray you realize the potential that God has placed in your life. I pray that you learn from the mistakes you make, and spend your days laughing. I pray you learn to love school, and work hard at everything you do.

Dear younger me, I miss the carefree you.

Dear present me,

You are currently sitting in bed at university typing this blog post that you meant to write yesterday. You are loving learning, and you have finally found something you are passionate about. Grade 12 you never saw an english major in you. You were going to study social work and follow in your mom’s footsteps. Here you are, studying English. You are carving your own path, and you have this wild dreams that you need to keep chasing after. You are stronger than you realize, this past year tested everything within you and still you are here. I’m beyond proud of you. Keep laughing. Keep writing.

Dear present me, don’t lose who you are.

Dear future me,

Maybe you’ll be married, or maybe just living in a studio apartment above a storefront with a cat like you have always wanted to do. I hope that you have gone back to Mexico, and traveled to see your friends spread across this world. I pray that everyday you are getting more of a glimpse into his mercies for you. I hope you have a bright yellow kitchen and have gone on to culinary school. I hope you have opened a bakery. Call it Nat’s okay? I hope you have a baby or 3. I hope you are falling more in love with this life, and finding the beauty around every corner.

Dear Future me, make sure you have a dog named eloise if all else fails.

drive safe.

Drive safe.

Eyes locked.

His, shame and embarrassment filled.

Mine, mascara covered and tired looking.

Hands holding.

His, grasping an old cup filled with change.

Mine, tightly holding the steering wheel.

Words.

His, thank you and please drive safe.

Mine, I’m sorry it isn’t much.

Eyes locked.

 

I wrote this after giving somebody on the street some change. The roads were messy, the snow was falling and I was very concentrated on getting back to campus. I saw him and my immediate reaction was to lock the doors and keep driving. Lone female, I didn’t want to take any chances. The light turned red and I pressed my brakes, testing against the snow. Next thing I know, I’m reaching for what little change I had, opening my window against the blowing snow and apologizing for what little change I had. “It all helps” he said as he thanked me and the light turned green.  I drove away, the roads worse as I got closer to campus.

I don’t write this to put myself on a platform. I write this to say that we need to love those who get ignored. Jesus loved the ones who people left on the sidewalks. The ones that people didn’t think were worthy of love. He loved with passion. Powerful love. Life changing love.

I was out to breakfast with a friend this morning, and our conversation quickly turned to how easily we listen to the world. I brought up that the world doesn’t like us because we are not in the world, but we are with Jesus. The world whispers lies about losing weight and needing better grades so that people will like us. Jesus tells us the opposite. He gets so overjoyed when we spend time in his presence and listen to him speak sweetness over us.

I was challenged today.

To love those who people don’t think are worthy of love. To love my friends better. To take more time to spend in his sweet presence.

Plus I am just super de duper thankful for everything that Jesus is doing in my life and I am so excited for what he is doing next that I just want to shout it from the mountain tops.

God is good. So dang good. Ding dong good.

I’m full of His joy. All his joy.

Bear hugs and joy filled blessings,

Nat

dust covered dreams

In the words of a close friend, God is good all the ding dong time and we don’t often take the time to realize it. I love the way that sounds, because the words she uses describes Christ so well. We don’t need all these fancy words to tell others about his goodness, because he is good. Simply good. All the ding dong time.

I have been wanting to write a blog post for a while now, but life has hit me in the face it seems. This past week I have been more sick then I can remember being and it sucks. I’ve learned a lot about the act of friendship, and waking somebody up to take you to emerge at 3am, that is sacrificial love. Don’t worry, I’m fine, but this week has taught me a lot. I’ve learned that I need to listen to my body when it tells me to stop, and to listen to my parents when they tell me I’m sick. I’ve spent the past 3 days in bed, and it’s been very boring, but I am finally on the mend. Thank you Jesus.

This week has hit me hard. I never expected to go to emerge. I never expected to wake up my parents @ 3am crying because I was so scared. I never expected to spend the past 3 days in bed and miss my classes. I never expected to have such low energy, it was hard for me to do stairs. God has been teaching me a lot about expectations. I expected to go into this week, finishing up a paper that was due, catching up on journal responses and readings and pouring into friends. Instead it was the exact opposite.

I don’t want to walk into the presence of Jesus expecting anything. I want to walk into the presence of Jesus and fall to my knees because he is so ding dong good. I want to walk into the presence of Jesus with anticipation instead of expectation for how he is going to move.

I also wanted to talk a bit about dreams while I have this blog open, I tend to not keep on one topic anyway if you are new to this blog.

Dreams. God has been laying them on my heart and he has been asking me what my dreams are. I have dreams. I want to have a bright yellow kitchen one day, and have a golden retriever named eloise. I want to live in an apartment above a storefront, and get married. I want to go to culinary school and open my own bakery. I want to be a mom one day to many laughing and screaming kids. I want to travel.

What are those dreams that have become so dusty, you keep pushing them out of your mind because you know you might not have the chance to ever pursue them?

I challenge you to pull those dreams out, dust them off and chase after them. I believe that God gives us these crazy dreams to reveal more of his heart to us.

I don’t want life to ever get ahead of me before I have a chance to paint my kitchen yellow, to own a dog named eloise. I want to keep chasing after these crazy dreams of mine because I know that when I do, Jesus is right there chasing after them with me.

That’s the crazy thing about Christ, he never leaves our side, no matter the size of the dreams.

So. Go pull out those old dreams of yours.

Dust covered hugs because I’m busy finding my old dreams and blessings,

Nat