Category: Blog

Wordless Wednesday: Goals

Goals, goals, goals, goals, goals (to the tune of Rihanna’s Work) 

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SOMETHING NEW: a short story

The first streams of light began to shine through the gray clouds in the distance. The scent of the ocean air tickled my nose. My body felt warm enough under our makeshift blanket. I was grateful I rememberedΒ my fuzzy socks to keep my toes warm. We leaned into each other. The exhilaration of something new sending chills up and down my back. I could feel his warm breath against my neck and smiled.

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FREEDOM: a short story

Hello my lovelies!!! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. I apologize for my absence. Trust me, it’s been an interesting few weeks or actually couple of months.Β  I needed the break.

I was feeling guilty and a bit neglectful of my blog and readers so the other day I just had to pen some lines. The urge to write struck. I hope you enjoy the short, short story I wrote. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below. Let me know if you would like more short stories. Also keep an eye out for some posts on my travels to Europe and St. Augustine… thinking of trying my hand at some travel blogging. I’m excited to share my adventures and shenanigans. πŸ™‚


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HELLO 30!

This Friday I am entering a new stage, a new phase, a new age bracket!!!
I will be turning the BIG 3-0!!!!!
So many thoughts!
So many emotions!
So much pressure!
I’ve been so blessed.
Yes, I’ve seen hardship.
Yes, I’ve seen struggle.
Yes, I’ve seen heartbreak and heartache, disappointments and disillusions.
But I have also seen endless mercy and grace.
I have seen indescribable joy and happiness.
I have also experienced love beyond measure.
I can honestly say that I have LIVED, LOVED and LOST.
I know my story is far from over but I am also glad that certain chapters are being left behind in my 20’s.
I am grateful that I am not the same person I was 10 years ago.
I am grateful that in spite of my complicated and hard headed ways my family has always stuck by my side.
I am grateful that my dearest friends have never turned their backs on me and I look forward to growing old along side them.
2/3 in the club…  Triple D, you’re next!!!
A letter to 30…..
Dear 30,
I am ready! I am ready to welcome you with open arms. I am ready to see what you have in store for me. I am ready to experience all the new adventures you are planning. I can’t wait to accomplish brand new goals and achieve all of these new dreams. I am excited to continue growing and becoming the women of purpose God designed and created me to be.
Oh 30, you have a good rep with my older friends… they only have great things to say about you and I believe that you will have the same effect on me. I hope you’re ready, because I’m hitting the ground running!

With really high expectations,
SUPERSTARNAT

Birthdays over the years

HELLO COMMUNITY SERVICE

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own problems. In our own personal day to day struggles that we forget of the hurting people around us. I think it’s completely human nature to focus solely on #1. And by #1 I mean oneself. This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to share in a community service project with my sixth graders from Tribe Fusion. We went to Feeding South Florida and participated in what was about a two hour shift. During these two hours we sang along to popular songs while sorting nonperishable goods into large piles of the same types.
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FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA 02.21.15

[All the drinks in this huge box, all the condiments in the next, don’t forget the peanut butter goes with the canned foods because of its long shelf life.]

It was a fast paced activity. The more we sorted the better. We went through quite a few really large boxes and had to keep swapping them out for empty ones. It felt great to see my students wanting to partake in an activity that would benefit someone else more than themselves.

Sometimes all we need is to take our eyes off ourselves and open them to see those around us who are worse off. Those who have less than we have. Those who lack family, loved ones, work, a home, or food.

Doing this will help us remember how blessed we truly are.
Let’s have grateful hearts.
Let’s choose to be givers and help in whatever way we can. For some it’s as easy as giving a monetary donation and for others it’s giving of your time.

Regardless of the method…. do something! Get active and give back!
Proverbs 22:9 Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.

HELLO REMINDERS

This weekend was awe-mazing!!!!
I felt totally and completely in my element! Sweet spot, if I may.
I did something that I absolutely love to do.
Something I was born to do.
I felt that I was living out my purpose.

This past Saturday and Sunday I got the chance to teach at MSM WKND. 
MSM WKND is the middle school “Sunday school” at my church, Church by the Glades.

Leading up to each service my nerves would get all riled up. The anxiety would want to eat me alive however the minute I walked up to that podium and addressed that room full of middle school students nothing else mattered. I just had to make sure those students heard the message God placed on my heart for them to hear.

A Valentine’s Day message of course!!!
The title of my teaching was JESUS IS BAE.
It was so fun to teach God’s love in a relevant way. It was so important to me to address my students in such a way that they would understand.
Using their lingo to grab their attention.
Incorporating Youtube celebrity Miranda Sings.

I’m so extremely grateful to my Middle School Director for giving me the opportunity to speak to our students.

I promise you this weekend has confirmed the dreams and plans that God has been laying upon my heart. These two days of teaching middle schoolers about God’s love has reiterated the fact that my dreams are lining up with God’s design.

Seek Him and He will give you the desires of your heart has never been more true than in this moment.
A moment of renewed excitement.
A moment of reminder…. don’t forget the promises!
A moment that shouts…. “You’re called!!!” “You have purpose!!!”

My body may be exhausted but my heart cannot stop smiling! 

God is so good! He chooses to use the broken and seemingly damaged to advance his kingdom.
I accept the call!
I am broken and for many years I have considered myself damaged, but I choose to allow God to shine through my brokenness. That He may be glorified!!!!

I pray that as I continue chasing these new dreams God is revealing to me the doors may continue opening and the opportunities presenting themselves. My prayer is that I may be on my A-game, ready to say yes when the asks arrive! Ready to glorify God with every chance I get!!!

I’m more excited than ever to see what God has in store! I encourage you to go out and chase your dreams!! Don’t let your fears or insecurities get in the way of you achieving that which you were born to do!!!

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2/15/15

HELLO OBEDIENCE

What does it mean to be obedient?
Naturally I looked it up.
I thought some of the synonyms were interesting.
When I clicked on submission it had a synonym of acceptance.

We’ll come back to that in a minute first let me explain why I’m even talking about obedience to begin with.

Recently I felt God leading me to make a decision that I didn’t necessarily want to make. In fact, in similar past circumstances I would ignore the nudges on my heart and I would continue doing what I was doing without a second thought, only to end up heart broken and feeling more damaged than before.
This time for some reason I felt an overwhelming-ness.
(It’s not a word, I know; I made it up!)

It was as if I could not disregard this discomfort or stirring in my spirit telling me that I was navigating dangerous waters. In the moment I would be good. I felt comfortable and content. Afterwards, I felt uneasy, doubtful and apprehensive. This went on for a couple of weeks before I decided to ask God for a specific sign. (Probably should have prayed on it on Day 1!)
Now you may or may not believe that God can answer our prayers with specific signs but I do. And because my flesh wanted one thing and my spirit was saying another I prayed for more clarity and a direct answer.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering if I got that answer.
As it so happens, I did. Was it the answer that I wanted? NO! BIG FAT RESOUNDING NO
!!!
I started to ignore it. Just like every other time. I said to myself, hmmm maybe things can work out either way. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll be just fine.

Silly Natalie!!!

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Now I have to give myself some kudos here because I truly believe I’ve come a long way from the hard headed, spoiled girl who did whatever she wanted knowing she shouldn’t. The girl who didn’t measure the consequences and then cried her eyes out for months in some cases years because she made the wrong choice from the beginning.
I’m glad to say that this time I listened to my gut feeling. I didn’t let myself get carried away by the desires of my flesh.

Galatians 5:19 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures.”

I am NOT willing to compromise my purity.

I am NOT willing to take a path that can lead to sexual impurity.

Which is why Galatians 5:16 is so important! 16 “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

This brings us back full circle.

It has become more important to me to be obedient to my Heavenly Father than to satisfy my own personal cravings. I’ve gotten to the place in my faith journey where submission to God’s law is a priority. I don’t want to feed the flesh and reap the repercussions. I long to strengthen my spirit and reap the blessings. I choose to accept God’s will for my life above what I think desire.

I am confident that as I delight myself in HIM, my King, that He will bless me with my heart’s deepest desires. (Psalm 37:4)

Comment below with what you are not willing to compromise. What have you had to be obedient about recently?


HELLO FINANCES

Welcome back to another Bonus Monday!!! πŸ™‚
Today I want to share with you another of my New Years Resolutions….
BUDGETING!!!
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Bill Payment Checklist by: DIY Home Sweet Home

PictureMonthly Bi-Weekly Budget

How many of you live paycheck to paycheck?!? Rhetorical question… How difficult is it to live the lifestyle you want and pay all your bills?!?! Ugghhhh… It’s such a drag!!!!
At the end of 2014 I decided that I would extend my building better habits into my finances as well as my daily habits (read more here).
As a teacher in Florida I don’t make much to begin with and being signed up for summer pay makes my bi-weekly paychecks even thinner. Needless to say, the past few months on summer pay have been a struggle. In an effort to minimize the overdrafts and get it together financially I said,
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

I went online and searched for budget worksheets.
I found the checklist above. What a great resource!!! I’m always trying to remember if I paid that bill or the other and now I can check it off and know for sure that it’s paid.

I also created this document:

I couldn’t find a worksheet that had everything I wanted and most had things I didn’t need. So I made my own.
It has already been extremely helpful. I love knowing how much has to go where and how much I’m going to have left over or if I need to move things around in order to cover the basics.
Feel free to download and edit it for your needs!!!
I hope that moving forward into 2015 my finances and yours will see an abundant increase!!!
Let’s be good stewards of that which the Lord has blessed us with. That in our obedience and good stewardship the Lord may bless us with more than we could ever hope for or imagine!!!
Happy Budgeting!!!