Are You Making A Significant Impact?

So twice this past week I got insomnia. The second was the worst because I literally didn’t sleep at all. I pulled an all-nighter, just awake in bed, and finally I just gave up and went to the living room.

I think I’ve been looking too much at likes on Instagram; checking my goodreads page for my book to see if I got any new reviews and if people are liking it; checking my blog, seeing if people are liking any of my posts; checking my Wattpad to see how many reads my stories are getting and if anyone has voted for it, etc., etc., etc. That sleepless morning, the thought hit me in prayer that I’m believing I’m not significant or being useful for God if I am not doing this online thing or my books etc.

My mind and heart need renewal because what would I do without the internet? What did the godly women of old do? Submitted to their husbands, loved them and their children, and took care of their household. Period. Seriously. Wow.

I’ve bought the lie that if I’m not doing all the other things then I’m not making an impact for the kingdom; that being a faithful wife and mother is not enough.

After praying about it, God reminded me of the passage we named Arrow after, a passage I had forgotten…

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”

Psalms 127:3-5 NKJV

Maybe that’s you: you believe that you must be this or that and do this or that to be significant and make an impact for the kingdom. But all you have to do is choose to love Jesus and others. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past, God removes your sins from you as far as the east is from the west. What matters now is what you choose to do today. That is why, “God’s tender mercies are new each morning.”

Every morning is another chance to walk in God’s will. And the beautiful thing is that it’s simple: Love. Choose to love.

And love takes sacrifice. Choose to deny yourself and love those around you. That is all God asks you to do. Love Him. And love others. He doesn’t ask or expect anything more than that; He doesn’t care about riches or how well you can speak or quote scripture. He only cares about if you are loving Him and others.

I don’t care how much you serve or what ministry you lead in. At the end of the day, if you just choose to love God by obeying His command to love others, firstly being your spouse and children if you have those, then God is pleased.

Loving Him and others is extremely significant to Him. In fact, it is the fulfillment of the whole law. Even if you didn’t know every rule God has ever given, if you love Him and others, the Scriptures say you’ve fulfilled the entire law.

I pray in Jesus’ name we come back to that simple truth. Yes, it can sound childlike and not super deep and mystical, but that’s just how God wanted it: He made His will so simple that yes, even a child can grasp it.

Love you.

-Natasha

Fat Shaming Vs. Beauty Vs. Reality

Hey precious ladies. First, let me say being cruel or unkind or mocking someone because of their appearance is foolish and, well, mean. God via the Bible has lots to say about kindness and the words we speak.

I’ve seen plenty of what I believe to be beautiful plus-sized women who look great and healthy. Call them, “curvy” or “voluptuous,” they’re not “skinny” and that’s totally okay!

But just as there are some who are unhealthily skinny, there are some who are unhealthily overweight.

For example: I have a grandmother who is obese. She was always “big-boned” which was fine. I believe she lived a healthy life in her earlier years. But then she got remarried after divorcing my grandfather…

Her second husband, “Liked fat women,” so he encouraged her to eat up and eventually, she became 200+ lbs–and the number has climbed and climbed. Nine years ago, she almost died from a blood clot which had to do with her weight and immobility. Currently, my grandmother is basically bedridden. With swollen legs, very heavy and hard to move, getting out of bed is a serious workout and she’s fallen more often because of muscle weakness (again, laying in bed means no real exercise of her limbs and without strengthening by means of use, eventually, our bodies grow frail).

She’s been eating better, thanks to my sister who cares for her and has been trying to help her lose weight so she’s more healthy and mobile. But there are people in the family who say to let her be because she’s happy. In reality, she’s quite the opposite, and though eating junk-food and however much food she desires momentarily releases happy chemicals, doesn’t mean she is truly happy and if anything, it sure is a cheap happiness in comparison to the simple but greater happiness of being able to move around and do necessary things like walk to the restroom, bathe, and not be bed-bound. She’s terrified of falling and has grown all the more bound to her bed because of it.

Many Americans are what doctors call “obese” or unhealthily overweight. You don’t even have to be visibly that “fat” in order to have clogged arteries, diabetes, and the like, but the point is that, at a certain point, “fat” can be more easily defined as unhealthy or potentially unhealthy and when a person is medically obese, encouraging them to stay that way, applauding it, etc. isn’t helpful, but harmful…

How many young people suffer from asthma and diabetes, or die prematurely from a heart attack because of fat build up? Again, I’m not for mocking anyone, but I am for being lovingly honest and offering solutions to what sometimes is just ignorance of how unhealthy certain stuff really is, and the addictive chemicals and whatnot in those foods that keep you coming back for more, or often, over-eating stems from deep, unresolved issues so encouraging the person to continue being unhealthily overweight is also encouraging them to ignore the deeper reasons as to why they’re placing their comfort in food.

Now we can offer help and support without openly embarrassing someone. We should be able to voice any concerns if it’s done so with the genuine intent of helping another person. I appreciate those who are honest with me about my issues and sins and offer advice and help me get through. No one is perfect, but man, the honest words and assistance of others can be such a blessing.

So yes, let us be kind to one another, but let us also offer support and help those whose weight has gotten to the point of being problematic to their health, rather than encourage them to continue embracing an unhealthy lifestyle. Not everyone desires to be helped, but we still love them anyway. Our love shouldn’t be dependent upon a person taking our advice or not, love is unconditional, but it also gently speaks the truth.

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What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment. ❤

Being Single Is Better Than Being Married

You may be thinking: Giiiirrrllll, what are you talking about? 

Allow me to explain. I just read:

“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord. But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.”-‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:32-40‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Single sister, do you believe this? If not, what idea about marriage is preventing you? 

Ask yourself. Is it the desire for a special romance? The sense of being wanted? Feeling beautiful? 

These desires aren’t necessarily evil, but they can be selfish and misplaced. Do you know these longings can be satisfied by Jesus? Do you believe that? If you don’t, then you haven’t experienced Him fulfilling those needs yet. And He can. Nothing is too difficult for Him and He actually desires to! He desires you.

Do you know that He designed you, weaved you together while you were created in your mother’s womb? 

When no one had yet to lay eyes on you, His eyes were on you. He literally was forming you. And even beyond growing your body from a fertilized “egg” to a human body with limbs and a brain, He was giving you specific personality traits that would aid in accomplishing His will for you. 

You Then He breathed on you. Literally breathed His own breath of life into you and with that breath, gave you an eternal spirit. That spirit remained with you from the moment He gave you life in the womb onward. 

Your unique, everlasting spirit reminds you there’s more to life, that there is a hereafter. That there’s something, someone bigger than you out there. It’s a “God-shaped” hole that can only be filled by the One who gave it to you. 

He is a romantic God. He is the Creator of love. Not Hollywood. Not man. The bible says God Himself is love. Love started with Him and it comes from Him. 

He is the first to rescue a man and a woman in distress. He is the Savior. He is a Prince. He is a King. He is a Father. He is a Husband. The bible says all of this about Him. 

So if you believe the bible is true, then choose to believe He is these things for you. Ask Him to show you He is. Ask Him to help you believe this. If there is one thing I’ve learned from my eight years of following Jesus is that He hears and answers. 

Don’t let the devil distract you with the cheap counterfeit version of Love Himself through romance novels and films, or your girlfriends’ relationships and flings.

Open your bible, go to the New Testament and let Jesus show you what real love looks like and how much He loves you

If you give Him a chance to woo you, you will become ever stronger, and more confident and content in your relationship with Him and His love for you. Then you won’t be so down about your singleness. You wil have joy despite it. He did that for me and He can do that for you.

Much love,
Natasha

Finally, A Romance That Never Ends

 

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you. Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”-Isaiah 54:5-10
God is the Author of romance. He is the embodiment of love; He is love personified. When He speaks, it is from a source of pure, unadulterated, all-powerful, all-consuming love. There is nothing more intoxicating than God’s love.

Before midnight, February 22nd, 2009, I was intoxicated by what I thought was love. The affection and attention I received from guys controlled basically everything I did in life. My desire for love was so great, it influenced all of my decisions from the moment my eyes opened each morning. I would spend at least forty-five minutes on my hair and makeup before leaving for school, and my outfits had to be sexy.

Every weekend I went places with a motive: to find a hot guy and reel him in. I was always seeking attention, affirmation, and adoration from guys I liked. If I didn’t get what I wanted, and when things fell apart, it always made me sorrowful. My relational status dictated my demeanor and my outlook on life.

I was so consumed with finding “the one,” I was so lost in the feelings, the emotional high, the pleasure of being desired, that I had no idea it was an idol; guys were my god.

I worshipped being wanted.

I told people I was a Christian; I thought since I believed in Jesus and prayed that I was good. I was totally oblivious to the fact that I was breaking the very first of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me.” A “god” or an “idol” is anything you love more than god, anything that controls you, anything you can’t let go of. I allowed romantic relationships with guys to grab a hold of my deepest desire and greatest need and try to fulfill it. Obviously, they never did.

Whoever coined the phrase, “You’re looking for love in all the wrong places,” was quite wise. I was looking for love in the wrong places: broken, fallen, sinful guys. They didn’t know the Author of Love, they didn’t have him in their heart. They could never love me the way I so desperately wanted them to. There was only one Man who could love me the way I needed to be loved: Jesus.

On February 22nd, 2009 I finally awoke to that amazing truth. My last heartbreak jarred me. I had been inching closer to God, but that day I collapsed into His arms, and this time, I didn’t want to let go. I was done. I knew what I hoped in­—the relationships I had dreamed of—were just that: dreams distracting me from the truth; the truth that my real dream Prince was there all along, waiting to sweep me into His adventure, into His great romance, and fulfill all of my desires.

I stopped searching for love in guys and began finding it in Christ. 

His love was so sweet, so tender, so healthy, it healed me in literally six days. I no longer needed attention from a guy, or a boyfriend. I was single and happier than I’d ever been. Almost seven years later, and I am still more joyful than ever, in love with my Redeemer, my first Husband, my King, Jesus Christ. I was carried into a divine romance, and by God’s breathtaking grace, I will enjoy it for all eternity.

Have you been captivated by God’s love? Do share in a comment when your divine romance began and where it has brought you. If you have yet to experience God’s intoxicating love, I pray you consider what the idol is in your life, lay it down, and seek Christ. You will certainly discover all that you’ve ever needed is in Him. If you need prayer or encouragement, feel free to email me: BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com

Why Do All My Relationships Fail?

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Wanting to be wanted. I’ve been there. I used to dress sexy. Ironically, I was trying to reel in “the one” but all I was reeling in were sharks, toads, and wolves. Little did I know, my outer appearance displayed a very different message to the men crossing my path. I remember once I was in the mall and a group of men started yelling about my behind. Though I had specifically chosen to wear those skin-tight jeans because I thought they made my bottom look bigger, I got so angry at their attention. I cussed and yelled at them, but really, I had spurred them on with my attire. How I was dressed sent the message: treat me like I’m an object for your pleasure, rather than a woman who is worthy of respect.

Now my heart breaks when I see women doing the same thing I used to do, hoping they’ll find love someday. I’m sure like I experienced, they keep getting let down. They’re going about finding a man in all the wrong ways yet wondering why it never works out.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

I remember really liking this young man when I was in high school. During an online conversation, based on my sexy profile pics, he felt comfortable enough to tell me he had masturbated to my photos. I was quite disgusted. Here I was thinking he could become a long-term boyfriend, yet he was already thinking about having sex with me because of my photos. He wasn’t thinking long term at all.

I had another boyfriend who was also pretty honest. This guy knew I was a virgin and didn’t want to be intimate, and so he told me he’d try really hard to wait. He waited two weeks and then dumped me.

As you can imagine, I was pretty discouraged about my vicious relationship cycle: frog after frog. No guy could love me like I loved them. I remember looking in the bathroom mirror and saying, “I’m never going to get married. I’m just meant to be single the rest of my life.”

A year or so later I gave my heart to the Perfect Man: Jesus. He not only healed my broken heart, but I suddenly had hope again that I would someday marry. I just knew that I would one day, and that until then, I would wait. It wasn’t but two weeks later that I met Jonathan, the man who is now my husband. He feared God and loved Him. The first four months of our relationship, we didn’t know how to protect ourselves from temptation, and stumbled more than once. We’d always cry and feel terrible, do good for a while, then mess up again. But God knew we didn’t want that for our relationship. We knew it was wrong and desperately wanted to please God.

During that time, God persisted in trying to tell me about courtship, but I kept forgetting. After going on a mission trip, everything changed. God put a pastor in my life who would eventually become a mentor to Jon and I, and the Lord had a Christian sister give me a book on courtship. We now had the wisdom on how to stay pure until marriage, and by God’s grace and Holy Spirit, we overcame. I’m very blessed and beyond thankful to say that although I wasn’t completely untouched until marriage, I was a virgin until my wedding night.

I know not everyone reading this is a virgin, but do not believe the lie that you are now damaged goods. When you repent, Christ sees you as a new creation, His pure daughter who He indeed wants/commands his son to wait for until marriage. God wants to protect your purity, to guard your heart until the right time. He doesn’t condemn premarital sex and all other forms of sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman for no good reason. He does it because He loves us and knows what’s best for us. If you think you know better than God, that’s some serious pride, and God resists the prideful but gives grace to the humble. If you agree with God’s word, which says fornicators won’t receive the kingdom, and you desire to obey Him because you know He is worthy of your devotion and love because of all that He’s done for you, He will lovingly guide and teach you how to please Him.

I pray you surrender to the only Man who has died for you to make a way for your forgiveness, freedom and redemption, so that He can spend eternity with you and you with Him, basking in His joy and love. No man will EVER love you as much as Christ does, though a true Christian man can love you like He does and seek to honor God by honoring you.

So please ladies, if you are stuck in the cycle I was in, I pray you repent. Trust me, going about relationships the way Hollywood tells you to simply doesn’t work. You’re only going to keep wounding and scarring your heart. Let Jesus heal you like He healed me. The only thing you’ll regret is not having done so sooner.

The Best Gift A Married Couple Can Give Their Children

The other night Ron Hutchcraft from Moody Radio taught something about marriage that left me and Sir Jonathan literally saying, “Wow…”

You know what is the best gift you can give your children [besides the gospel]? To love your spouse.

Ron said that often times in a marriage, if things get tense, the couple shifts their love toward their children. But like another pastor once taught, a husband and wife are not one flesh with their children, but with each other. Your love for one another should overflow to your kids. In that covering of mommy and daddy’s love for one another is where our children find the most security. If the love is getting overshadowed, that is also where they become most insecure and that insecurity can manifest in various destructive ways.

Psalm 127 says children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord. They were never meant to be a distraction or burden for a husband and wife. We mustn’t let them come before our marriage, our one-flesh covenant union. The priorities are to be God first, spouse second, children third. If any of these priorities ever get out of order, chaos and ruin quickly follow.

By God’s grace, my pregnancy hasn’t been brutal in the slightest. I haven’t gone nesting-crazy yet, I’m excited for baby, but not obsessing over his arrival. However, I know when he is here, the demands for both my time and energy are going to skyrocket. But I must remind myself that no matter how much our baby needs me, my husband needs me too. I pray I am able to keep that truth in perspective and care for our little one as best I can, while also continuing to respect and love my hubby as best I can.

Do pray for me. I will continue keeping you all in prayer. I’m here for you, but most importantly, Christ is always with you.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

Are you a wife and mother of young children, or have already raised your children and can relate to this topic? If you have any words of wisdom, encouragement—or warning—feel free to share them in a comment. As iron sharpens iron, so one believer sharpens another 🙂

How To Know If You’re Beautiful

You’re beautiful because God crafted you. You’re beautiful because the All Beautiful Creator of this insanely gorgeous universe knit you together. The Artist of all artists painted YOU. You don’t need to get dolled up and post a pretty selfie to prove you are beautiful. In fact, many women who American society would consider NOT beautiful are exactly the women God deems precious and beautiful; plain, humble, gentle, submissive to husbands, women who adorn themselves with good works rather than lavish makeup and accessories.

I challenge every sister in Christ to delete the selfie they think they look most beautiful in, the one with the most likes, and to not repost it. Why? Because I think many of us women deep down post those pictures because we feel good when we get attention for them, but it’s vanity, pride, and truly a cheap high.

Christ thinks you’re beautiful when you wake up first thing in the morning with messy hair and bad breath—He NEVER takes His eyes off of you or forsakes you, not for a moment.

And honestly, you do not want a guy who is hitting on you just because he thinks you’re hot and fantasizes about you. You want a guy that sees how you live for Christ and is attracted to THAT. Sometimes sisters wonder why all they attract are wolves, users, dogs, unbelievers etc. and to them I say, “How are you presenting yourself?” Are you posting sexy pics with cleavage shots, or bathing suit shots, or close-up lots of make-up shots?

A girl recently did a study and found that when she had lots of make-up on, she attracted nasty guys coming on strong. When she posted pics without make up, the guys maybe mentioned she was cute, but were more interested in who she was and what she was into rather than how “hot” she was.

Holiness attracts holy men. Worldliness attracts worldly men. And let’s face it, “the lust of the eyes” is worldly. You want a guy who is attracted to you because of who you are in Christ, not because of how good you look. That guy is WAY more marriage-material. In fact, the other guy ISN’T even marriage-material.

If you’re sick of attracting the wrong guys, I encourage you to take a good look in the mirror. Are your clothes real right and make-up just right? Or are you truly modest and simple with your make-up? Just something to think about.

Much love princesses,

Natasha