Sunday, June 28, 2020

There's Something about the Water

There's something about the water that allows me to box up all my cares and give them to God. When life gets heavy and I need to let go, I go to the water. Salt water or fresh water, it really doesn't matter. But looking out over the water brings peace to my soul.

Kayaking has been a special pastime for me for a few years now. However, because of a frozen shoulder, I wasn't able to paddle for the past couple years. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the lake kayaking and it felt good. Getting out on the water, feeling the breeze in my face and the hot sun beating down was restorative.

As I paddled away from the shore, my heart turned to the Lord in prayer for many cares and pains that were on my heart. It felt like freedom to pass those things to Him. We had such a sweet time of fellowship!

Sometimes, life just sucks. There are so many negative things. There are unfathomable hurts and pains that seem to crush us beneath their heavy load. I was talking to the Lord about them, when He gracefully interrupted me and asked me to be still.

I surrendered to His call and allowed His beauty and peace to soak in my soul. I paddled up the lake and it was smooth and I seemed to speed right along. After a short time, I stopped and just soaked it in. I relaxed my paddle and listened to the water lapping on the kayak. The birds chirping on the shore. The noises of people in their yards at the lake. The wind blowing through the trees.

All this helped me focus on the God of the universe who created all of it. Who knows all that is going on in our world, and all that is going on in mine. The thing that continues to amaze me is that He cares about all of it. I simply rested in His goodness and mercy. After some time of rest, I began to paddle back.

I was in a place in the lake where you have to work hard to get moving. The wind was blowing against me and the current in the lake was pushing against me. In that moment the Lord nudged my soul. "When you are in sync with Me, listening to Me and following My way, willing to surrender everything to me - you will cruise along. But when you forget Me or ignore me and try to do it all alone, You will struggle and fight."

"Be still and know that I am God," Psalm 46:10 continues to roll through my mind and soul. Do you have a place where God speaks to your heart? Are you tuned in to God when the world around you is crazy and everything seems to be falling apart? Are you willing to surrender everything and follow Him?

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Ordination Memories

Time sure slips by. This is my 100th blog post! Now that would be something if they hadn't been spread out over such a number of years...but hey. Life happens.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Never did I ever imagine that God would call me to ordained ministry and that I would accomplish that goal, but last year, on July 12 I did!

I was one who was late coming to faith. I was thirty-two and a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of three girls when Jesus reached way down and plucked me out of the muck and mire and welcomed me to His family, forgiving me and restoring me to wholeness.

As I grew in my faith, I devoured the Bible and many Christian books to learn and grow in my faith. I had a lot of ground to cover. Time was flying by and I was already behind.

As I grew in my faith I began teaching, leading worship and Bible studies. As I did, I was growing and passionate about Jesus and He called me to write what would become my first published work to help people grow in their faith.

As time went on, I continued writing, then He called me into ministry. This call took some time to process and accept. Long story short, I finally surrendered to His call in January 2012. With encouragement, I decided that whatever it would take, I would follow the call.

The road has been rough, with many pitfalls, setbacks, and discouragements. Yet, there were people along the way who encouraged me and prayed me through. July 12, 2019 will be an Ebenezer Stone in my life and ministry. Without the Lord, I certainly wouldn't be here.

I look forward to sharing the love of Jesus each and every day to whomever I can. May the Holy Spirit direct me and give me strength to follow His call as I praise God and live in the fullness He provides daily.

Following are some pics from Ordination Day.

Rollie and I before the Ordination Service. I was ordained with 7 others that day!

 Ordination Service was surreal. Something I wasn't convinced would ever happen. 

During the one-on-one words from our DS Rev. Peter Moore to each ordinand, he used the word persevere to describe my journey. What a timely and perfect word I will treasure as I reflect and remember!!

Photo from the receiving line after Ordination.

Honoured to be Ordained in the year Rev. Arnold Stairs was recognized for 70 years of Ordained ministry in The Wesleyan Church. What a joy to hear all about his ministry and witness his humility and heart for people. Being 47 when I was ordained means I won't likely see 70 years of service!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

What's New?

Wow! It has been a very long time since I've been blogging. So much has happened and I've been extremely busy, but I've decided to return to share some things with you. Some things I've learned, some things I've experienced, some wonderful things God is doing in my life. But, luckily for you, I will not share them all at once. 😊

One blessing that has stayed with me is the power of God and His transforming power in my life. 

Since I last wrote, our middle and youngest daughter have graduated homeschool high school and our oldest graduated University. All three of our girls are now women. During that time, I completed my studies, my internship, two years of ministry training, and ordination happened! How did we get here? I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through the last years without His peace and presence.

I've ventured out of my comfort zone on many occasions and have embraced the call God has placed on my heart: prayerfully I will tell you, sometimes kicking and screaming a bit (total transparency). No matter what has happened nor the hurdles I've faced, I have never been alone. Through it all there has been One who stays so near. The presence and power of Jesus has been with me all the way.

Have I always felt His presence? No. But even in those quiet and seemingly dark times, there has always been a sliver of light. Yet, I have only found it when I have intentionally looked up.

There were days I didn't think I could look up, yet His words that I have hidden in my heart (Psalm 119:11) remind me that He is near. His promises to me, keep my heart focused on Him even when everything seems too difficult because He promises never to leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

How are you doing? Are you questioning Him in a dark and lonely space? Are you soaring on the heights because of all the blessings He is pouring out? Wherever you are, whatever state you find yourself in right now - praise the Lord. 

"Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus," (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).

Be blessed, Natalie

Friday, October 7, 2016

Breathing Thankfulness

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

In this time of year, with Thanksgiving just around the proverbial bend, leaves falling from the trees, days shortening, and much cooler nights, we tend to be torn. Our desire is to be thankful, yet we complain about the cold, darkness, and falling leaves. What if we change our ways? What if we take Paul's advice and make the choice to always be joyful, always pray, always give thanks? What would happen?

From personal experience I can tell you that a person can choose joy. There will be moments of sorrow, but those moments don't have to last forever, nor do they get the choice to drag you down. We can choose. Hold on a moment - for those of you who are thinking "Yeah, what does she know?!" I've been there. I've suffered seasons of depression so bad that suicide looked the only way out. I've been in seasons of abandonment, depression, loss, grief... However, these things DO NOT define me. Nor do the negative things in your life define you.

In this verse is a key that unlocks the door to joy - thankfulness. When we are thankful to the Lord for the things in our life: good, bad, and ugly, He begins to do a work within us that words cannot describe. Remember, there is nothing that you will go through that God does not know about and there is nothing you will walk through that Jesus doesn't understand. If you have surrendered your whole self to Jesus and accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, you have the Holy Spirit within you and He will guide you. Do not believe the thoughts or voices that tell you 'you are alone' or 'nobody cares' or any other negative lie.

Jesus came to this earth - leaving the perfection of heaven behind - to be our example. He grew up, suffered and died at the hands of other people. In this world things can be tough, but when Jesus is on our side, we are victorious even if it doesn't feel that way. You are not alone and you are loved more than you will ever know. Remember, Jesus' story doesn't end at the grave. He rose from the grave defeating death and hell. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and is interceding for each and every person who calls on His name. You are not alone. You are not forsaken. Choose Jesus and choose joy.

I want to encourage you this Thanksgiving and each and every day forward to choose joy by choosing thankfulness. When you're happy, thank Jesus for something. When you're angry, thank Jesus for something.When you get down, thank Jesus for something. Look around, it isn't hard to find things to be thankful for. Make thankfulness a habit. What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Wow! Time has flown by since I last posted. God has been moving and doors of ministry have opened for me that are amazing. Some of you may know of my call into ordained ministry. I have been studying since 2012 in preparation for ordination and it is a process. To date all of my class work is done and I have begun my internship at Yarmouth Wesleyan Church in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

What a joy to be in the centre of Jesus' calling on my life. To have a place to learn and grow in preparation for the next step is amazing. For the Lord to go ahead, and prepare the way has been awesome. The team He has put together and brought me in to work and do life with is tremendous.

Being a person who likes structure and schedule, I am learning that just when you think things are laid out nicely - a curve ball comes. No, I'm not complaining, just stating it like it is. Life is messy. There will be curve balls. It's what you do with them that matters.

I'm learning in the midst of my internship that curve balls are a natural part of life and ministry. The most important thing is that you keep moving forward. If we look at Jesus' life, He was constantly being bombarded with curve balls, but He kept pressing on. He gets it. He knows what we face day-to-day.

Amazing, isn't it? The fact that there is nothing that we will ever go through that He doesn't understand or hasn't experienced. What a God! What a servant! What a Lord and Saviour!

If you are going through a season right now that feels like a curve ball - take heart. Remember that Jesus understands and that you are not alone. Psalm 46:10 is my go to Scripture that always helps when things feel out of control - 'Be still and know that I am God'. When we know that He is in control, we then pick up, dust off, and keep on keepin on.

Keep Jesus your focus. Joy to you on your journey!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Holy Week Thoughts

Here we are in March of did the time move so quickly. We are in the days leading up to the remembrance and celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. Wednesday is the quiet day in our Scriptures. A day of reflection and anticipation for me. As I have pondered and meditated the meaning of these sacred days, I have once again entered into an awe-filled state. It amazes me that this human race that is so sinful, is so desperately loved by the One who created us. The traumatic events in Brussels yesterday is just another reminder of how lost many in our world are. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones in these tragic times. May God heal their broken hearts.

My heart also breaks for those who are on the other side of this situation. They are lost, yet believe they are enlightened. What they are dying for, they embrace and believe in strongly enough that they are willing to give their lives for the cause. Even so, Jesus died for them. Jesus came to this earth a babe, nestled in the womb of a virgin teenage girl, was born, grew, taught, trained disciples, shared His message; healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf and dumb. He didn't stop there, oh no. He then surrendered His rights, His comfort, and His freedom - all for His love of humanity. His grace-filled, boundless, limitless love drove Him to cry out in agony - pain of the sins of the world were placed on Him as He was nailed to that cross so many years ago on Calvary.

As He bore the burdens of us all, He had an important word of hope to all - "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do," (Luke 23:34 NKJV). Jesus' story didn't finish on the cross or in the grave because He arose defeating death. Today, He is alive and is interceding on our behalf. He loves us so much and has made a way that all people - no matter your background, culture, gender, age, social standing - to have a personal relationship with Him. God the Father is waiting for each of us to accept His Son as their Savior. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice - He died once for all. He loves you. He will forgive every sin when we repent of it. He has paid the price to restore you to the relationship He created you for. Are you ready to accept His gift of grace and celebrate this Easter as a new creation?

Praying for you,

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Who Is Lord in Your Life?

Is God Lord of your life? How do you know?
"And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'How long will you falter between two opinions?
 If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.'
 But the people answered him not a word." 1 Kings 18:21 NKJV
As I read this passage of Scripture, I began to ponder what God being Lord of my life truly means. Is He the One I go to when I have exciting news to share? worries that seem too big? financial burdens that seem insurmountable? a spouse or child who frustrate me? a job that is too difficult? Do I take these burdens quietly to the Lord or do I find someone to share them with and complain?
Is He my first choice when I am struggling or do I:
call a friend?
go shopping?
escape in a book?
When God is truly Lord of our lives, we go to Him first, seeking His counsel and direction. Trust me, I am not pointing the finger at anyone. As I meditated on these thoughts, I was brought to a place of deep repentance and forgiveness. Choosing God first is what I aspire to. Though I am imperfect, He's working on me and guides me into deeper truth each time I seek Him. Trusting Him with those things that are tough draws us nearer to His heart. Admitting to our failures and seeking healing and restoration is a humbling and growing experience: one I wouldn't trade for anything.
My challenge to you is to pray and seek the Lord's direction. Ask Him how you're doing and open your heart and mind to hear the truth. Only then can we truly be humble enough to be repentant and seek restoration and healing. Growth is never easy, but it is worth it.
Blessings to you on your journey into intimate relationship with Christ, Natalie.

There's Something about the Water

There's something about the water that allows me to box up all my cares and give them to God. When life gets heavy and I need to let go,...