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Somewhere along the line some religious folks decided that every magical story (other than their own) was evil. Why? . I mean. Sure. There are some humans out there using voodoo dolls to promote ill will and others selling illegitimate potions to get rich quick. Of course, there are also religious folks who use the power of the mystical origins of their religion to promote their own evil and often harmful agendas. (This happens in Christianity too, no?) But the majority of mystical/magical stories are about hope, faith, strength, goodness, mercy, and beauty. And the majority of people promoting them are doing so in order to share that hope and goodness with those around them. . Jesus is my #1 mystic. But I don’t have to shame others in order to hold tight to my own truths. More importantly, I think that when we’re struggling to grasp a teaching or a lesson, God often shows up where we’d least expected it. And so we should be listening. Even and especially to those we perceive as “different.” . Magic and mysticism don’t have to be things of the past. Give them room to show up in the present. Allow them to look differently than you imagine, than they did during Jesus’s time. Recognize them in your intuition, in “coincidences,” in the miraculous stories that happen every day to people of all colors and creeds. . If it is beautiful and good, let it be from God. I imagine God is far more diverse than we give him/her credit for. . Happy Monday, friends. . Love, and live a magical life. . Natalie



Going to sit with this one for a few days.



If Jesus believed in anything, he believed in showing up for those in need —the hurt, the sick, the homeless, the stranger, the misfit, the wanderer, the broken-hearted. . Today ( #givingtuesday ) is a perfect day to follow in his footsteps. . If you’re looking for somewhere to give, you can find a couple of my favorite organizations below. They’re well vetted, have stellar programs, and spend their funds wisely. . Local/AR Our House @ourhouseshelter Empowers homeless and near-homeless families and individuals to succeed in the workforce, school, and life through hard work, wise decision-making, and active participation in the community. . National/International Direct Relief @directrelief Humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. . Love big. Give generously. . Natalie



In the south, I think we’re particularly prone to performing. And by nature, I’m particularly prone to perfecting. So this quote hit home. . The key words for me here are “driven by.” Because the truth is that some projects are worth perfecting (to a point) and often times, duty, responsibility, grace, generosity and mercy require performing (within reason). So where’s the healthy fine line? . I think it lies in what our need/desire to perfect and perform is “driven by.” . Often, we perfect and perform because the work we’re doing is especially important or because loving and showing up for others can demand a bit of artistry. In those cases we’re driven/motivated by love. . On the other hand, we sometimes perfect and perform because we believe that if we are imperfect, we are unlovable. By desperation, doubt, neediness, and insecurity we are motivated to act inauthentically and show up in a way that we hope convinces others (and most importantly ourselves) that we worthy of love. . Of course, we are already loved. That’s the beauty of believing in a big, gracious, good God who doles out love irregardless. . We need not perfect and perform to receive it. We simply must convince ourselves that it is so, and then let our actions be motivated by that —big, authentic, unabashed love. . Love is, after all, where true growth happens, where joy springs forth, where we flourish and rise to the occasion. Love is where we have room to fail and start again, to receive criticism without crumbling and to stand alone when necessary. . This season and in the year to come, I pray we can be aware of and intentional about our need and desire to perfect and perform. In the moment asking, why am I doing this? What good will come? And what is my motivation? . . . Let it be love. . Natalie . . @annvoskamp thank you for speaking this quote into the world. 🙏💙