Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 looking forward

It is that time of year every makes new years resolutions. For me, I never remember them past March. So this year I am going to use songs that I hear on the radio to help me remember my 2018 goals. Here we go!
1. I desire to become a better prayer warrior. 
"You'll never stop me I'm a warrior
When I fall down I get stronger
Faith is my shield His love is the armor"
~Warrior by Hannah Kerr
2. Be true to who I am in Christ -no matter what. 
"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me" 
~ This is Me from The Greatest Showman
3. To praise God no matter what happens.
"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul"
~It is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford, 

Above all everything make awesome memories with my family. That is probably the most important one of all! My prayer for you all (and myself) is that we would be sensitive to God`s will and leading in our lives.  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dear Uncle John

Dear Uncle John,
     It has been 5 years. I can say the pain of losing you ever really goes away, but there good time a bad. Lately there have been more of the good times, like this year when your great neice and my niece Ava was born. Man, would you love her! But sometimes the pain of losing you comes, washing over me like a huge wave. Yesterday was a mixed day. Yesterday I went to New York to meet up with a friend. From the time I was in the tunnels pulling into Grand Central station you were on my mind. It started with thinking about what you said about the size of rats in NYC!! As I walked around New York with my friend I remembered the time you took Abby and me to the city with Uncle Tom and Aunt Lisa. We had such a great time that day! You would be proud of me, I think, we only got lost once. But with my friend's and my track record with getting on the wrong bus it was bound to happen. When it came time to pick a place to find dinner, I wanted so  to call you and ask you for help, Where to go and where not to go kind of stuff, but I couldn't. The other time I really wanted you there was after I left my friend, her bus stop was no where near Grand Central station, and walked back to the train station. I want you to make me feel safe, oh felt a level of safety but nothing like where you were with me. As I drove home from the train station in New Haven that night I decided when Ava gets a bit older (and any neices or nephews that come a long ) I am going to take them to New York like you did with me. My desire is to be an aunt like you were a n uncle.
      Merry Christmas,
                  Nathalie

Sunday, October 22, 2017

worth

      Over the last two days I have struggled with self worth and my value as a person. I though I need to take care of some one or something to give me worth. I thought after an argument with someone I care about and struggling with when my scene of worth would come from I considered getting a pet bird, yup a cockatiel to be exact. But today in church we covered the story of Zaccheus. Now this man was hated by everyone around him. His own people saw him as a turn coat, he was a tax collector. In New Testament times Tax collectors lined their pockets by lieing about the taxes owed. To add insult to injury Zaccheus was short in stancher. We are told in Luke 19 that Zaccheus was the chief tax collector, in modern vernacular the worst of the worst. But Jesus Christ still went to Zaccheus` house to share a meal and grant salvation to the man in the eyes of all those around was worthless. When we live for money, fame or anything we turn to those things for our worth and  fulfillment we never find it. But if we live for God, we turn to Him for our worth and fulfillment we find it. How can you not find worth in living for a man who died for you? If you are worth enough to die for how can you not value yourself? In this day and age the world tells us that we are to find worth in our job, wealth,  family or a relationship. Those things are fleeting, temporary but if we find our worth in God and his sacrifice on the cross it last.      

Monday, July 24, 2017

Leah, from Jacob look to I will praise the Lord

Today in church I heard a sermon on Leah, Jacob and their kids. Did you know that names are important? Especially in bible times. Think about it, God changed Abram to Abraham, from Father to Father of Many.  Isaac means "he laughs" , Jacob means trickster and Esau means Hairy. When it came to naming of Leah's and Jacob's kids, Leah picked names the expressed her hearts desire. When she had her first boy she named him Ruben which means Look. In using that name Leah is saying Jacob, husband, look at the son I have given you! Talk about bad names.  Leah named her second son Simeon which means Heard. Leah with this name she is saying The LORD heard me and now Jacob will love me. Leah named her third son Levi which means attached. Leah was saying "I have given Jacob three sons now he will be attached to me." But when we come to Leah's fourth son she named Judah meaning "I will praise the LORD". Leah went from focusing on Jacob to fill the need of love she had to finding it in the LORD. Leah is oft overlooked when the story of  Jacob, no fault of hers. She was not considered beautiful in her culture; in fact her name means cow or weary. Leah lived her entire life in the shadow of her beautiful sister, Rachel, only to be forced into a marriage with a man that love Rachel! God did not compare Leah to Rachel, insted He compared Leah to His son and loved her! When Leah compared herself to her sister she was disappointed, but when she stopped fighting for Jacobs attention she found peace. How often do I do that? To this day I am constantly comparing myself to those around me, especially  my sisters. I let myself be distracted and disappointed with how I am not like my sisters that I lose sight of what makes me special. The devil tries to convince me that I will never be as pretty as Hannah,  happy as Abby, confident as Samantha and as determined as Rachel. These thought try to shove out the facts and truths God tells me. God tells me He loves me as I am, how He MADE me, that He has a plan for me and that He sees me in light of His son. So stop trying to be someone your not, remember who you are in Christ and that nothing can make Him stop loving you.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Slow Learner

Ever feel like you are a slow learner? I do. why must I be so slow to learn the lessons God has for me? Every time I feel like I have a grasp on trusting God with everything I get blindsided and slat I fail again. But God is always faithful and never leaves me flat on my face. He always picks me up again. He is so good. Today I had to get a credit card so that I can pay for my dog Pip to get a surgery done in a few weeks. As I dove away from the vets office this overwhelming fear of  "what in the world am I going to do" brought me to the point of tears. As I drove back to my moms to drop off Pippy and apply for the plastic card of doom, the song Bulletproof by Citizen-way came on over my radio. Right at a point I was feeling less then "bulletproof".  The chorus goes :

"I got my armor now
No fear no doubt gonna shoot me down
Now I’m bulletproof because of you You 
Because of You
And now I’m bulletproof because of you You 
Because of You
You conquered the grave
Your love Love made a way
Now I’m not afraid"
God used those words to lift me out of the valley of  fear and sorrow.  Then a bit later He was so good to use another song to help me understand the power of waiting. That song was Hard Love by Needtobreathe.  
"You know the situation can't be right

And all you ever do is fight
But there's a reason that the road is long
It take some time to make your courage strong

Hold on tight a little longer
What don't kill ya, makes ya stronger
Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love
You can't change without a fallout
It's gon' hurt, but don't you slow down
Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love  "
When you get blindsided with fear, doubt and life in general remember that God is still in control, and that He still has a plan. (still working on that!)   

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Twists and turns

Moving... Again. For the 5th time since graduation two years ago my entire life is packed into boxes, bags and cars. I have moved west then back east. The a bit west now a bit more west, New Britain CT. With each new twist and turn my life has taken me God and my family have been there for me. And not just my biological family, but my faith family​ as well. From praying for me to being there to listen to my fears to being kind enough to drive and help with the heavy lifting.  Thank you.
As I sat reading for the last time in the old apartment I watched the fog slowly disappear from the landscape before me. As it did I could see farther and farther into the distance. The thought came to mind that that is how God works sometimes. Slowly showing us just bits and pieces of His plan for our lives. But throughout all the twists and turns of life He is right there guiding us. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 121:3-4 "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Interesting fact about this passage, it is from the Songs of Ascents or Psalms of Degrees. That is to say that this is one of the Psalms that the Jewish people would sing as they went up to Jerusalem for the feasts and festivals. The road was hard and long for some. Jerusalem was set on a hill so the travellers had to climb up to the city.  History lesson​ finished, back on track. Not to open the can of worms that is free will verseus predestination. I believe that God has a path for each one of us and went we truly search our the will of God he shows us that path. Now I do not always get it right, but went I do mess up God is kind and shows me where I went wrong and how to fix it. There have even been times in my life (one fairly recent) where I have seen Him keep me and not allowed my foot to be moved. And it is hard at the moment but looking back I am glad for it. 
So my prayer for you (and myself) is that we would be so close to God at we can easily follow where he leads us.
                                          Jeremiah 29:11-13

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Answers

"Yes", "No" and "Wait" are the simplified answers God gives to our prayers. As people we love the word Yes,  hate the word No and have a love hate relationship with the word Wait. In Christian circles, at lest the ones I run in, you rarely hear about the prayers that receive a No to. Rather our church testimony times are filled with the praises for all the Yes`s God gives. This past week God answered two major prayer request in my life. One He answered with a very clear "NO!!!" Honestly, I was devastated. I wanted that thing so bad that I did not really listen to God till to late. I did not see any flashing red lights so I moved forwards. My family tried to show me the red lights going off in their eyes when they looked at the situation, but I played the part of the fool and did not listen to them. For that I am truly sorry. God is good and in control. He used that hurt and pain to show me that it was not Him that failed but Me who failed (again). In my disappointment, pain  and confusion after the No came I wrote these words to a friend of mine. "I need to know that I will be able to trust God like Abraham did with Isaac.(Genesis 22) And I am having trouble trusting His goodness."  Here I am I have been saved since the age of 3 and have seen time and time again Gods goodness, yet I doubted because something did not go my way!??!? How shallow my trust must have been! My friend replied this: "God is good. He's demonstrated that to you in the past. He is always the same, and the God that died for you on the cross is the same one wanting to wrap you in a hug right now. It's not God's fault that a person hurt you-- that's on the person himself." My friend is very wise, she pointed me back to the truth of what I know not the lie of what I was feeling. I know that God is not done working in that area of my life, but is continuity molding me into the woman He needs me to be. 
   The second prayer God answered in one I have been praying for the last 2 years.  Most of you know that since January 30th 2015 I have been suffering from near consent headaches and migraines. Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 I prayed for this to be healed. For the last 2 years God has given me the answer He gave Paul in verse 9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  To shorten that God was saying "Wait".  For the last 2 weeks I have been getting a different kind of headache every time I turned my head left, very annoying in my job. My mom said that it was most likely a pinched nerve and the only way to fix it was to see a chiropractor.  So yesterday, a super crazy plan changing day, I went to the chiropractor. He took x rays of my neck and found that one of the vertebra was off kilter, was was my jaw. He told me that this vertebra is the one whole head swivels on. The fact that it was not the way it should be was properly the main reason for my headaches!! Well that and the fact that my neck does not curve the right way. Now we get to the really awesome part, the chiropractor said that he can fix my vertebra and reduce the amount of headaches I get in about 2-3 months!! (fixing the neck will take about a year of me being diligent and working hard at it.)  So even though at the beginning of the week I doubted God and His goodness, He was faithful to restore my faith unto me and to strengthen it. So no matter what you are praying for do not forget that God is good in the No`s , that His faithful in the Wait`s , and definitely worthy of praise for the Yes`s!!