About Me

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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February: Faith, Friends, Family & Funny Babies

Wow - how is February almost gone? I feel like this month just started & already it is about to take a bow & we'll move right on into March. I guess February went by so fast for me because I was busy having fun; you know what they say about the way time moves when you're having fun, right? Because it flies! Anyway, I don't have a real point to this post, it is mostly just about getting caught up with my life - maybe with some amusing anecdote's in the mix. So...here we go!

I started off my February with DiscipleNow weekend. I always feel the need to brace myself for this weekend because I am such a big fan of sleeping & that is just not a luxury you are really afforded on a DNow weekend. I'm sure I got more sleep than most people; the past 4 years I've been with the same group of girls & they seem to value sleep as much as I do. Smart girls really, quite brilliant. The theme was Comm:Unity & was all about establishing relationships with people - you must first have an intimate relationship with Jesus so that you can begin to build those intimate, lasting relationships with other people; the kind of relationships where you can discuss your faith openly & truly be accountable to one another as Christian brothers & sisters. The whole weekend really had me thinking, but on Saturday night the speaker (who's name I cannot remember...all I know is he spoke so fast my head wanted to spin) put a familiar verse in a way that I've never thought of before. Check this out - put your name everywhere the word Love is; or where my name is:

  Natalie is patient and kind. Natalie is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. Natalie does not demand her own way. Natalie is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged.  Natalie does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Natalie never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The speaker talked with us about how we should use that verse to evaluate how we acted in our daily relationships - and let me tell you, I fall short. Sometimes I can be kind, I try not to be rude...but when I really start looking at the other things - There are days when I can't wait to tell anyone who will listen how I was wronged. And don't even get me started on that last line because there are so many days when all I want to do is give up because the faith & hope I have are completely drained because of my circumstances. Thank goodness I have a Savior that is always faithful, a Savior that never gives up on me, no matter the circumstances that I am in. He is always with me, always. So, I keep the words of the speaker with me & try to work on being the person in the verses above - so I can build relationships with others.

I absolutely loved me girls - there were only 3 of them; my trio of trouble. Which was so far from the truth, but I just liked calling them that. They are each one such a special woman of God & I was so blessed to spend time with each one of them, even if just for a short, sleep deprived weekend.

Senior Girls & Me!
Thankfully I recovered from DNow throughout the next week, because the second weekend in February brought a visit from two of my favorite people - Kristen & Lisa! Two of my sweet friends from Jackson! I've known Kristen since Jr. college when we were in chorus at MCC, we even managed to live with one another for 2 years while we were at Southern & came out on the other side better friends than when we started! I met Lisa through Kristen/the BSU at Southern & was immediately into her & her crazy, infectious personality. I'm so blessed to have them both in my life & call them my friends. We all have crazy schedules - I think they may have the crazier schedules than myself, but we managed to find a weekend when we were all free & so they came to spend some time with me. We had a blast just catching up with one another, eating junk food (actually not that much junk food) & watching a girly movie. Lisa & I introduced Kristen to the awesomeness that is the show "Once Upon A Time" & we might have created a fan. We spent Saturday poking around some shops, eating at Cater's Market & seeing the movie "The Vow". It was so much fun & I can't wait till we can all get together again.

This cereal had flakes...like us, ha-ha
Valentine's Day - or Singles Awareness Day as I like to call it, came without incident or thrill. I'm sure for so many people in the world, it is such a wonderful day to celebrate the love you have for your significant other but I'm always acutely aware of how very single I am on Valentine's Day. My wonderfully sweet parents sent me a fat padded envelope full of wonderful things & I even got a surprise at work - so it certainly wasn't a bad day. I'm just waiting for that extra special Valentine's Day, that is bound to come someday.

Not bad for a single girl....

My wonderful Mom came to visit me on February 15th - so glad to see her. I'm not even gonna lie. I'm doing pretty good with this whole living on my own thing, but it sure was nice to have a Momma to be sweet & take care of me for a few days. We did all sorts of things - went shopping, went to see "This Means War", bought groceries, got a pedicure, ate out (a lot) & just spent time chilling. All of those things were awesome but it was the little things that were nice too, like watching "Castle" with her on Monday night & being amazed or surprised (or shell-shocked, because the promo said we'd be left shell-shocked) with her, instead of having to wait for her delayed reaction via text message. I think one of her favorite parts of the whole visit was getting to see the sweet babies in the nursery & see how much they have changed. She just loved & cuddled on them as much as she could - it's very apparent where I get my love of little kids.

Mom & some of her new (old) friends.

The last thing I really want to write about is all the precious, adorable, funny babies that I work with on Sunday mornings & Sunday nights at my church. Being the nursery coordinator can be insanely stressful sometimes, but spending time with all the sweet little ones in the nursery usually makes up for the stress. I have heard some of the funniest things from some of the sweethearts in the nursery & I thought I'd share them. The first funny that I have is from a sweet little girl - every week when she gets to church, she asks over & over again "Where babies?" She is so set on having a baby to play with & even when you ask her other questions, she just looks at you like you're crazy & asks you again "Where babies?" I love it! :)

Another funny came from a two year old on Sunday morning. We were talking to the kids about what their favorite fruits & vegetables were & one little girl kept quietly whispering something to herself. I finally pried the answer out of her & when I asked what she liked, she said "I like chocolate". That is a child after my own heart - forget grapes or carrots, bring on the chocolate!

Lastly, a few weeks ago a little girl was telling me what her whole name was - she told me she was using her "all 3 names" & rattled off her first, middle & last name. Then she scooted close to me & whispered ominously "when Mommy uses my all 3 names, it means that I'm in twouble." Hahahaha! I love little kids. They can be brutally honest & incredibly endearing all at the same time.

I suppose that is all for now. Can't wait to see what March has in store, although if this crazy weather is any indication it is going to come in more like a lion than a lamb. Oh well, bring it on!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Broken Pieces

So - this post will probably be short & sweet, but it definitely has a point. I'm a firm believer that the Lord can use anything & everything as a means to speak to a person. This morning I was listening to my Adam Lambert CD (let me assure, the last place I thought I'd get some kind of deep thought) & I was listening to a song called Broken Pieces. The lyrics of the song just really began to stand out to me & as I listened to them, I was so humbled & amazed by the love that Jesus Christ has for us. Let me write some of them here & maybe you'll see what I mean.



-Broken pieces, break into me...
so imperfectly what you should be...

-I know the battles..of chasing the shadows...of who you want to be.
It doesn't matter, go on & shatter, I'm all you need.

Those were really the lines that stood out most to me. Because while I'm sure he is singing about the love you might have for a significant other, that is the kind of love that Jesus has for us. He only asks that we come to him the way we are - even if we are broken. Only Jesus can take the pieces of our life & make us into the whole creation that he means us to be. I get so caught up in being the person I feel like I need to be to please my family, my friends, my boss...to please the world. The only person that I need to please is Jesus & all he asks of me is to give him the broken pieces that I have & let him mold my life into the perfect plan that he has for me.

I need to be reminded of that all the time. I'm so concerned with trying to be in control of things & make sure that no "cracks" are showing in the facade that I keep up. The face that says that regardless of what someone might say to me or what someone might do, I can keep it together & put on a perfect show. None of us is perfect & the Creator of the Universe made us that way - so that we would need him to put together the pieces. It's amazing the things the Lord can use to remind me of little things like that. Of course, the Earth is the Lord's, as in everything in it - so maybe if I paid more attention to my surroundings, I'd hear his voice in lots of other things. Just thought I share that.

For anyone interested in listening, this is the link to the song - the lyrics as a whole really speak to exactly what I wrote about above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLhqkCzDbj0

Enjoy!