Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Celebrating Womanhood

I am really excited to share this blog! I want to celebrate WOMANHOOD! This is a topic that has been stirring in my heart for months! It's obvious that there is a war on identity. Turn on the TV, radio, or look on Facebook and you will be inundated with this cultural war. Another reason why I wanted to share about this topic is because it seems like the only way to be a "woman" in our culture is to flaunt sexuality. I was watching an interview recently about a Disney starlet (who I LOVE by the way) about her new music she is releasing. She described it as "coming into her own sexuality as a woman" and I asked myself, "what does that have to do with her music?" After hearing this I started thinking about how I want my daughter to view being a woman and what I want to define her. We need to understand and celebrate who God created us to be physically, spiritually and mentally.

So what does it look like to celebrate Womanhood? Here are just a couple thoughts I have been meditating on the last couple of months on the ways I feel Godly Womanhood should be celebrated:

1) Womanhood celebrates the fear of the Lord.
Psalms 139 tells us that we are "FEARfully and wonderfully made!" I love Proverbs 31:30, "Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceptive but a woman who FEARS the Lord is to be praised." That's crazy deep! The word "fear" in these scriptures means "to have a reverence, a respect" for the Lord. You were created beautifully. God made you in awe and respect. When we let the Lord define our identity it brings forth a security in the core of who we are.  It allows us to freely be who God created us to be. He wants us to celebrate the beauty that He has given us. So rock that cute outfit, and let the Lord shine through you!

2) Womanhood celebrates being Timeless.
You are a class act. A woman who loves the Lord never goes out of style. You have legacy. One great example of a timeless woman in the Bible is Mary. Through the last 2,000+ years her surrendered heart and life still inspires many. She was a daughter, a wife and a mother. Audrey Hepburn said,"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years." You are timeless.

3) Womanhood celebrates being Fruitful.
God created women to be fruitful- naturally and spiritually! Being fruitful at the core means duplication and multiplication. God wants us to imitators of Him by allowing the fruit of the Holy Spirit to manifest in our lives and gifts. In being spiritually fruitful it impacts everyone around us: husbands, children, coworkers, friends, family members, etc. It also helps us reach our God given purpose. God wants us to be fruitful and multiply the talents He has given us, like the Parable in Matthew 25. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. Against such there is no law." Let's celebrate being fruitful!

Woman, you are important. Woman, you are timeless. Woman, you are leaving a legacy. Woman, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Woman, are you needed and powerful. Woman, you are CELEBRATED!!! Xoxo

What are your thoughts about being a Godly woman in today's society?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What Season are YOU in?

Ecclesates 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Lately I have been thinking about seasons. Obviously because it's fall and all the leaves here in Tennessee are turning beautiful colors and just having a baby, but I can hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit asking me, "Do you know what season are you in? Are you trusting ME in this season? Are you enjoying this season?" I think too often we take for granted or try to rush through the seasons of our lives to try to get to where we want to be when our purpose for the next season is tied to the current season we are living. Lisa Bevere says this about seasons, "Everything in life is seasonal. Purpose is tied to timing." I've had so many amazing changes this year- we've moved, had a another child, I am a stay at home mom currently and it's been incredible. It's a NEW type of season for me! It's had me asking the Lord for his heart for me and my family as I am navigating daily life. I don't want to miss the purpose of this season or the time I have. Each season of life is special. I am learning to cherish every moment, poopy diaper and late night!

There are so many seasons in life. Here are a couple of examples, think about them:
  1. one of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) which can represent growth, preparation, blooming, dormancy, etc.
  2. a period of the year characterized by particular conditions of weather, temperature, etc.:

the rainy season.
  3. a period of the year when something is best or available:

the oyster season.
  4. a period of the year marked by certain conditions, activities, etc.:

baseball season.
  5. a period of the year immediately before and after a special holiday or occasion: Christmas season.

So how do we know what season of life we are in and enjoy it?

1- We must understand and discern our current season. That will bring clarity to the role God currently has for you. I was in the church a couple Sundays ago and the guest preacher asked the congregation a great question, "Have you ever wondered why God did not create man on the 1st day of creation but on the 6th day?" I had never thought about it before but his answer blew my mind! He went on to share how we serve a God of preparation. A God of perfection. The God of Set-ups. God was creating and setting up the perfect environment to bring man into. If man would have been created before the Earth it would have been premature. We must understand that God has us in the season we are currently in to enjoy it while He prepares us and our next adventure.

2- Get a heart check. 1 Samuel 15:22 says that, "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." We gotta check our hearts! A stinky heart holds back good things and our complaining can hurt us. We must let the Lord check our motives and attitudes. Our attitude always determines our altitude. We need our hearts to be in line with the Holy Spirit.

3- Be prepared to be content and also get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes being content comes in all forms. We must be content with changing all those poopy diapers and also be content with the promotion the Lord brings our way. Before we can move onto a new season we must be ready to get out of our comfort zone. We can't move to new things if we refuse to be uncomfortable.

4- Learn to trust the Lord in every season- good and bad. When I was believing the Lord for a healing in my body this was hard for me. I had to come to the conclusion that God was good- no matter what and trust Him. When we can trust Him no matter the outcome or circumstance that's when we are covered by His grace and freedom reigns in our lives! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Enjoy your season! Enjoy one another! Enjoy your life :)
Xoxo, Natalie

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Changes Everything

Love changes everything. One decision by mankind, eating a piece of fruit, in a garden one day changed the destiny of the human race. We had life but chose death. One decision by a loving God changed our fate and gave us redemption in the name of love. Now we have the choice to chose life or death again. The most famous scripture of all time says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16 God's heart towards us is motivated by love. That's why He came to redeem and save us.

Love changes everything. The most radical example of love changing everything in my life was definitely having a baby. People would tell me all the time that you will never understand that kind of love until you have your own child, and it's so true. I would do anything for my daughter and I always want the best for her. Even when I have to discipline her it's motivated out of love. She just learned how to climb up on the couch and thought it would be a great idea to to just walk off of it- Yikes! So I've been having to teach  and discipline her to understand that she needs to sit on the couch and not stand... Why? Because I don't want her to fall off and hurt herself! When I look at my little girl and the love I have for her, it amazes me to think how much more God loves us! He literally loves us unconditionally and more than we can ever understand. The God of the universe loves us and the Earthly love we experience fails miserably compared to the love He wants to lavish on us all the time. When He disciplines us, HE loves us. When we're hurting or happy He loves us. When we're acting selfish or completely generous He loves us- no matter what. Our Heavenly Father is abounding of love, mercy and grace.

This Valentine's Day I hope you know how deeply you are loved and treasured by our Heavenly Father. He wants you to know, feel, and get a hold of His love for you! His love changes everything.... And you'll never be the same.

Xoxo, Natalie

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Bye Blurry Vision

    Focus.  A central point. Attention. The clear and sharply defined condition of an image. To concentrate. Clear vision. There's a saying, "You become what you focus on." If that statement is true, what are you becoming and maybe an even better question is who are you becoming. Are you becoming like Jesus as you rest in His presence while trusting Him? Or are you becoming a worrier being consumed with problems? I know for me this season, the Lord is really challenging my focus, what is captivating my attention, and who I am becoming. I need His focus like never before.

    I wear glasses for reading, driving at night, working on a computer, for far away objects... ya know for some important necessitates in life! I do not have to wear them all the time but they help bring clarity so I can make out details of objects around me and be able to focus on things I could not see without them. I remember the first time I put my glasses on, it was like a whole new world. I was on the 4th floor of a very tall  building. I remember looking a bunch of trees and being able to make out every detail of the leaves as they were blowing in the wind. Before glasses they were just lumps, nothing special, but when I put on my brand new glasses- Wow! It was like I was seeing trees for the first time in years. I could read signs far away that were blurry before and the worst part about it was until I put glasses on, I didn't know how blurry my vision was.  I couldn't believe the details of regular life I was missing out on! My vision was blurred and my eyes physically could not focus.

    I believe the same is true with our walk with Christ- and believe me, I am preaching to myself! When we are not focused on the Lord, things become blurry. Life becomes out of focus. We can get confused about the simplest things. BUT when we begin to look at life through Christ's perspective, His eyes, His perfect 20/20 vision,  all the sudden everything becomes crystal clear and in focus. Sometimes we do not even understand how blurry our sight is until we start looking with Christ's eyes, like me and my glasses. I didn't even realize what I was missing until the first time I put my glasses on and could actually see! When Christ becomes the center of our focus we begin to have peace with situations we might still not understand. It's easier to love those around us. We forgive quicker. Financial issues are not so scary. We have unspeakable joy. When we chose to focus on the Lord with our whole hearts, things of this world become dim and we can see with clear, heavenly vision and perspective. My prayer for you (and myself) this season and the beginning of 2015 is that as you focus on the Lord and rest in His presence you will begin to see things differently- you will be focused on the author and perfecter of your faith and that He will do just that- perfect everything that concerns you because HE loves YOU!
Xoxo, Natalie

"Therefore having being surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, FIXING OUR ATTENTION ON JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who in view of the joy set before Him, endured the cross, disregarding it's shame, and has set down at the right hand of God." Heb. 12:1-2

"SET (FOCUS) your minds on things above, not on things that are on Earth." Col 3:2

"You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains FOCUSED on you, because he remains in you." Is. 26:3


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Destiny's Story

Destiny, our daughter, is celebrating her 1st Birthday tomorrow! If you have met our precious baby girl, you know she is special. She is so sweet, kind, loving and beautiful. She is our daily reminder that we serve a miraculous God. Many of you may not know her story so in honor of her 1st Birthday tomorrow I wanted to share it with you all. I hope it touches some hearts and brings hope, healing and faith :)

We had her name, Destiny, picked out before Marco and I were married. That's how much we knew one day we'd have children. Two years after being married in 2008 I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome- which I still don't believe I have but that's a different story.) My hormones were very imbalanced & my cycles were very irregular. For many years I thought something was wrong with me and wondered what had I done to not be able to have children until one day I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, "I open and close wombs as I please. Was there something wrong with Sarah? Rachel? Hannah? Trust me, I am in control." That gave me so much peace. Over the next 5 years I had many trips to doctors offices and many prayers were prayed for healing in my body. Numerous doctors told me that it would be super hard, maybe even impossible to get pregnant because of the PCOS and my imbalanced hormones but I didn’t even give that a second thought. I knew one day I would have children when the Lord wanted me to. I started working with a natural health doctor. She also diagnosed my thyroid problems and I became gluten free. 

While walking through this process, I started to write a lot of songs. Two in particular were “LOL” and “Turn it Around.” These songs became anthems for me as I was believing for healing. We even shot a music video showcasing health care issues believing for a healing in “LOL.” Ask me for more info about that story later :) Anyways, these songs really helped me live in faith while believing for a miracle. For years I was working with this doctor trying to get all my hormones balanced so I would have regular cycles so one day I could have babies. I had numerous testings done for years. 

In early 2013, I had a doctors appointment to review some lab work because I had been feeling weird for a couple of weeks. I came in for my results on a Thursday. The doctor told me that she did not know what was wrong with me and that my lab results had gone crazy. She said she couldn’t help me anymore and that I needed to see a specialist because from these lab results she didn’t think I would ever be able to have children. BUT I knew something was different! Something was going on in my body. So that Sunday I decided to buy a pregnancy test. I knew coming home from the store that day I was pregnant. I did not care what the doctors said. I did not care what my test results said. I knew that God had touched my body and that He had healed me! My faith was not in doctors or what they said but in my miraculous, healing Jesus! After 5 long years of praying and believing for God to supernaturally touch and heal my body, I took 2 pregnancy tests and they were both instantly positive! It was after 8 years of marriage. I was in such shock that I needed to see the word “Pregnant” on the test so I went and bought 2 more tests!!! And all 3 tests were positive! It was crazy because we weren’t not trying to get pregnant. We were trusting that in the right timing the Lord would give us children, and honey that surprise was the right time! The first appointment I had at the doctor’s office they estimated me being 8 weeks pregnant but when I followed up that next week with my OBGYN I was 15 weeks pregnant!!!! God is so good! He gave us our little Destiny Renee that year October 22, 2013.

 A couple of other Testimonies:
1) A couple of weeks before I had the baby, I was getting scared of labor and God gave me a prophetic dream of Destiny- what she was going to look like, her smile, her sweet personality. I remember waking up from that dream so happy. She looked exactly like my dream.

2) I was 4 months pregnant while recording the "LOL Remix" crying in the booth because of the faithfulness of God and coming full circle. I was recording a song that was a fulfillment of what I had wrote as a declaration of faith. God had totally remixed my life!

3) One year to the day of recording "The Perfect Gift" on October 22, 2012 I had Destiny October 22, 2013. God truly gave me "The Perfect Gift."

I want to encourage you. God knows your story. He knows what you're going through. He has a plan and He is good, faithful and trustworthy. What He did for me, He can do for you!
 Let me pray for you:
Jesus, I thank you for all my brothers and sisters reading this. You know what they are going through. You know their situations and circumstances in every season of life and from every walk of life. I declare healing over their bodies for every disease no matter what it may be in the name of Jesus as the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy! I thank you that "He who promised is faithful" and you will complete EVERY promise you have made to your people NO MATTER the promise, NO MATTER how big or how small. By your stripes twe are healed and I thank you for touching them now. I also thank you for being our joy and strength. We declare your faithfulness over our lives. We love you Jesus and thank you for working in every life right now. In Jesus name, Amen.

I love you all so much my friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xoxo, Natalie

Here is the video for "LOL"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

7 Hebrew Words for Praise

Hey Villagers! I am so excited to be sharing this blog with you all. It's really encouraged me studying the 7 Hebrew words for Praise so I wanted to share it with you! I truly believe Praise and Worship changes us because we are in His presence. In His presence there is fullness of joy, everything is at peace. The world is alright. We are in communion with the Lord who is our life source. Sometimes in different seasons we can we feel stuck. Maybe we need a breakthrough. Maybe we need encouragement. Maybe we need a healing or just a simple touch from our Daddy God. That can be simply found when we begin to praise and worship our Lord! You don't know how to praise Him? Check out these different meanings for Praise:

1. Halal
Hallelujah means “Praise ye Jehovah”. Halal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word "Hallelujah" comes from this base word. It means "to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish." To be crazily affectionate about Him with entire being! A good example is how David danced before the Lord in 2 Samuel 6.

Praise (halal) ye the Lord, praise (halal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (halal) the name of the Lord. Ps. 113:1-3

Praise (halal) the Lord! Praise (halal) God in his sanctuary; Praise (halal) him in his mighty expanse. Ps. 150:1

Let them praise (halal) his name in the dance: let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp. Ps. 149:3  

2. Yadah
Yadah is a verb with a root meaning, "the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand." This kind of praise and affection wins battles, like Moses with Amalekites, Aaron & Hur Ex. 17 or 2 Chron 20:19-21 Jehoshaphat was under attack and he let forth lifting hands in expectation.

 Give thanks (yadah) to the Lord, for his lovingkindness is everlasting. 2 Chr 20:21

So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will (yadah) lift up my hands in thy name. Ps. 63:1

Oh that men would praise (yadah) the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men. Ps. 107:15

3. Towdah
Towdah comes from the same root word as Yadah. Towdah literally means, "an extension of the hand in adoration, or acceptance." It is used for thanking God for "things not yet received" as well as things already at hand. Like a little kid holding out hands to receive gift from parents. I tell ya, when my baby girl holds out her arms to me in affection, there is nothing like that kind of love! It's thanking God before victory.

Offer unto God praise (towdah) and pay thy vows unto the Most High. Ps. 50:14

Whoso offereth praise (towdah) glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Ps. 50:23

4. Shabach
Shabach means, "to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph,
to connect, to exclaim." An example of high volume praise would be the battle of Jericho... What does victory sound like to you?

O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy (or triumph). Ps.47:1

One generation shall praise (shabach) thy works to another and declare thy mighty acts. Ps.145:4

Cry aloud and shout (shabach) for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. Is.12:6

5. Barak
Barak means "to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration." When used in the scripture it means "expecting to receive a blessing from God." There is something so awe inspiring and humbling when we bow down to our Maker. It’s a beautiful place of surrender and adoration, a place we hide ourselves in Him.
O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel (barak) before the Lord our maker. Ps.95:6

Then David said to all the assembly, "Now bless (barak) the Lord your God." And all the assembly blessed (barak) the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king. 1 Chr 29:20

I will bless (barak) the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Ps.34:1

6. Tehillah
Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means "the singing of halals, to sing; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit. God is enthroned on the praises." This is the kind of praise God dwells in! Isn't that freakn' exciting?!

Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel. Ps.22:3

Rejoice in the Lord, o ye righteous, for praise (tehillah) is comely for the upright. Ps.33:1

To grant to those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise (tehillah) instead of the spirit of fainting, So they shall be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Is.61:3

7. Zamar
Zamar means "to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise; a musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments harmoniously. Ps.57:8-9

Be exalted O Lord, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise (zamar) Thy power. Ps. 21:13

Sing to Him, sing praises (zamar) to Him; speak of all His wonders. 1 Chr 16:9

Awake my glory; awake harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord among the peoples; I will sing praises (zamar) to Thee among the nations. Ps. 57:8-9

Ok guys! Well there you go! I hope this blessed you and that you get your Zamar and Yadah on today!!!! Xoxo

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Comparison- The Thief of Joy

Hi Villagers!!!!!! How are you all??? So I have a question for you today... Have you ever compared yourself to someone? As a creative person, I would be lying if I said I never compared myself to others. I heard someone say the other day “Comparison will make you discontent and insecure because 1) you are not where others are or 2) make you prideful because you see where your at and others are not.” This hit me so hard! Right between my comparing eyes! What a false sense of identity! True security and identity comes when you have absolutely NOTHING to prove and you content with the fact that you are a child of God, nothing more and nothing less. Psalms 139 talks about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made in our mother’s womb. Never does it say that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by what others think about us or because we have arrived in the world’s eyes. The success of heaven is completely different than the world we live in. It’s time that we become secure in who we are in the Lord and make room for others. I believe there is a time coming where generations will be more concerned about letting others shine than ourselves. There is room for everyone. Think how differently this world and our culture would be if we were so secure in our own identities and callings and made room for everyone’s gifts to be seen. Our churches would be different. Our music would be different. Our friendships and families would be different. Our movies would be different. Our whole culture would be different. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and take a good look in the mirror. God made you just the way you are! You are beautiful, you are talented, you are intelligent, loved and best of all you are one of kind. Now shine bright :)

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matt. 7:12 (The Golden Rule)