Thursday, June 16, 2016

Let's Stop Counting

The more time we spend counting things, the more we will start to feel like we just don't measure up.


Let's be honest. We spend so much of our time worrying about numbers:

How many followers we have on Instagram
The number of people who have read our blog posts
How much we weigh
The amount of money in our wallets
How many likes we get on a post
The sizes written on the tags of our clothes.....

The list just goes on and on.

Sure it's helpful sometimes, and yes we need to be aware of many of these things, but my goodness. It's like our society is obsessed with numbers!

The truth of the matter is that counting leads us to comparison, and comparison steals away our joy.

It's alright to know how many people like our pictures, but somehow that turns into knowing how many people liked our best friend's pictures. When our number is smaller, it's hard not to feel a little bit discouraged.

Likewise, it's totally fine to watch your weight, but the second you start to feel down because the number you see on the scale is higher than that of someone else you know, suddenly counting isn't so healthy anymore.

Your worth has never been nor ever will be defined by a number. Ever.

So what if we just stopped counting?

I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Yes, we should still manage our money and stay healthy and (try to) be on time and do all of those great things, but let's restrict the counting to things that matter most.

Let's stop counting followers, and start following.
Let's stop counting friends, and just be friends.
Let's stop counting others' blessings, and really be grateful for our own.

Instead of counting things, maybe we should just make things count.

When it gets down to it, we only have so many days on this earth. We can spend them comparing and complaining, or we can spend them celebrating this beautiful world and the beautiful people that share it with us.

Let's make memories and be happy. Let's enjoy and be friendly.

But let's not count so much. Fair enough? I promise we will all smile a little bit more and worry a little bit less :)

xoxo
Natalie

Monday, June 6, 2016

His Ways Are Higher




I  have this idea in my head of how my life should be going at any given moment. Often, my life feels way out of alignment with that idea, but other times, it feels absolutely perfect.

Things are going great. Everything is the way I feel it should be. Life is rainbows and butterflies...

And then out of thin air, some darn trial will fall out of the sky and hit me smack in the face.

Now, I know that trials are good and help us to grow. I always come to terms with them, and I am eventually so so grateful. In the moment? Well, I hardly ever immediately feel that way.

It is SO easy to question why a loving God would "ruin" a perfect fairy tale with a vicious dragon. Why would he send a storm on our happy, sunny little picnic? Why would he allow heartbreak and confusion and fear to set in when he could have left us feeling so content???

To be honest, I don't always know.

But I know that God knows. 

I don't always know the details of His plan.

But I have to trust in His plan.

If I lived my idea of a perfect life, I would probably have many happy moments, but as I live His idea of a perfect life, I know that I am so much more incredibly joyful!

In this sense, His concept of perfect is much difference than ours, but of course it is! Heavenly Father is the only one who is all-knowing. If anyone knew the perfect way to string together a series of happy and sad moments to create a life perfect for each of us, it would be Him.

His ways are higher.

Even though my way seems like it would save a few thousand tears now, I know His way will eventually save us millions of tears.

Things will not always go your way. Hate to break it to you, but that's life.

We must remember, however, that things will always go His way.

It takes a ton of faith to follow a path that is not always immediately clear, but I know that as we do, we will be led to the most glorious future. It will not be the way our mortal minds imagined it, but it will be prepared for us by a heavenly being who only creates perfect endings to our fairy tales.

In the words of Gordon B. Hinckley, "It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence."

xoxo
Natalie

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Letter to the Mothers of the Boys in My Life

Dear Moms,

Now before you run away thinking this is just some strange post by a boy-crazed teenage girl, please oh please give me a chance.

I just wanted to thank you. All of you.

In a world ridden with immorality and disrespect, I am so grateful to know so many good young men.

Your sons are kind. They are honest. They are compassionate.

I see them care about others. I see them offer to serve in a million ways, even and especially when they don't think anyone notices. I see them stand against that which is bad and choose what is righteous and clean and good. I see them choose to not look at inappropriate pictures. I see them avoid bad media. In today's crazy world, that is HARD, but your boys are so strong.

They are examples to me, and it is because they have moms like you! (and some great dads, too ;)

Thank you for teaching them to be gentlemen. Thank you for teaching them to love. Thank you for preparing them to one day be wonderful fathers and incredible husbands.

They love you so much. Sometimes we teenagers forget to say that, but I can see it in their smiling eyes when they talk about their moms. They are so proud to be your sons!

Please tell your boys that even when we are bad at showing it, we are amazed by their goodness and courage and strength. We don't tell them enough, but we respect who they are, and we love what they do. It makes my heart so happy that they surround me with so much goodness despite the wickedness that is coming from every side. 

Thank you for all that you do. I can't yet imagine how hard it must be to be a mother, but know that your efforts are not at all going unnoticed :)

xoxo
Natalie

p.s. Please share this with a mom you know to lift her spirits a little today! And to all you moms of teenage girls, I love you too! I'll have to write up that post later ;)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The 12 Letter Word that Changed the World

I have been thinking up this post for forever, and I finally buckled down to write it. Today I want to talk about a word that changed my life and the course of all human history.

12 letters that seem so simple but that in reality blessed all of our lives for all of time.

The word?
Okay, now I know that none of you use this word in everyday conversation.

"Hey Tyler! I'm not available next week; nevertheless, I'd love to catch a date with you when I'm free!"

Yeah, no. Don't even pretend.

But let's look into the power of this word.
Take a turn to Luke in the New Testament. In chapter 22, verse 42, we read the following:


I have no way to completely understand the feelings of the Savior at this time, but think about this. Christ was about to take upon himself the pains, sicknesses, infirmities, sins, worries, and fears of every person that would ever live upon the earth.

He never doubted his Father's plan, but I believe the Savior took a moment, as often each of us do, to ponder the significance of what He was about to do. There in that sacred garden of Gethsemane, He would suffer in a way that transcends any other mortal experience. Even He, perhaps, felt inadequate or unprepared to endure such an all-encompassing trial.

Christ prayed, asking the Father if maybe there were another way. Then, he followed his plea with this beautiful line: "nevertheless not my will, but thine be done."

Nevertheless.

He could have quit. He could have faltered, but Christ in his love and humility knew something we sometimes forget. He knew that Heavenly Father had prepared a perfect plan for his children and that He had an important role to fill in that plan.

Because He acknowledged this and chose to fulfill his vital role, we have endless peace and joy and love awaiting us. We are rescued by His outstretched hand as we choose to grasp it.

In spite of anything that may have tried to hold him back, Christ followed his Father.

We can do the same!

Often we are held back by insecurities, doubts, peer pressure, and a desire to stay in our comfort zones, but knowing our place in His plan helps us to overcome these obstacles and continue on in faith. Remembering the infallibility of the Father's will helps us to keep trusting and keep trying. Nothing in our idea of perfect could be better than that which Heavenly Father has prepared for us.

In spite of each hindrance in our lives, we too can respond to each of our Father's commands with a humble "nevertheless."

That is how we will live happily.

xoxo
Natalie

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why "She Lived Happily Today"?

I have been in love with fairy tales since I was a little girl.

Typical, I know, but I mean SERIOUSLY in love.

I soaked in every Disney princess movie like it was the last one on earth, my tiara was my favorite accessory, and my dying wish would have been to live in a castle.

In fact, here's a little throwback for you ;)


Now, I continue to adore Disney princess movies (and proposal stories and romantic comedies and absolutely anything to do with dreams come true), I love dressing up for fancy events and feeling like a princess, and living in a castle would still be the greatest thing in the world.

Okay, to be honest, nothing has changed! I am still a four year old at heart, but I have realized more as I have grown up that life isn't exactly a picture perfect fairy tale (well, most of the time anyway.) I don't always have a prince to rescue me when I am in distress, and some days, life is stinking hard!!

But just because life is hard, doesn't mean it isn't wonderful! Sure, some moments make me want to curl into a ball and cry, but other moments make me want to shout with joy and dance to Footloose around my kitchen in my pjs!

I've learned that happily ever after isn't just for the "ever after." It isn't merely some distant event that comes after we graduate and get a job and fall in love and have a family and get a house and everything we ever wanted.

It is available right now!

It is available today!

It is available to me and to you and to each and every beautiful soul on this earth. All we need to do is follow the Savior, seek for the good, and spread that goodness wherever we go. I love living happily now! (Although I have to admit that I am still super excited for the fairy tale "ever after" ;)

xoxo
Natalie

Welcome!

First of all, if you are reading this right now, thanks a million!!! I may not know you, but I love y'all to death already :)

Now time for some confessions.

I started a blog when I was 14 and loved it! It lasted for a little while, and then, well......life happened. You feel me? So that ended for a good *cough cough* 3 years.

But recently I have had 392 blog post ideas come to my head, and I realized I didn't have an outlet to share everything I wanted to! Well, we could have broken out the old blog, but I don't want to resurface anything from the middle school years.

So, I have started off on a clean slate.

New blog. New title. Just a big blank space waiting to be filled with words and pictures and ideas.

Isn't that exciting?!?

I think it is :) And I hope you do too!

xoxo
Natalie

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