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I am so guilty of this. I’ve justified it by turning up my nose at the same behaviors Jesus spent the bulk of his time judging —extravagance, greed, religious bigotry, snobbery, elitism... But for the last couple of years every time I say something bad about someone else or even think something bad about someone without digging into why they have done or said the thing and/or why they may behave in that way, I’ve felt an enormous tug at my conscience, as if God were saying, “Nice try, Natalie, but you know it’s not that simple. Shame on you.” 😬 . What I’ve come to believe this week is that there is never a good reason to snub your nose at anyone. Not someone with starkley different political ideas and agendas, not someone who has done awful things in the world, not someone who is selfish or derranged or bigoted, and certainly not someone based solely on religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference or race. . To do so suggests that if we had lived the exact same life, had been born in the same skin, had the same parents, genetics, experiences, physical attributes, IQ, and traumatic experiences, if we had encountered the same people in the same environments, that we would somehow have made different choices, better choices. To judge someone else suggests that the spark of life, the energy that God breathed into you or me, is somehow superior to the life he breathed into someone else. . And, in my humble opinion, that simply is not true. . I don’t mean that we should spend time with toxic people, that we should condone or enable wrongdoing, that there shouldn’t be consequences for bad behavior. I simply mean that we shouldn’t prop ourselves up on the real or perceived faults and failings of others. . I want to spend a couple days talking this through. Sharing what I’m thinking and learning about it and how I think it’s all tied to self worth, the check lists we make in order to make ourselves feel valuable, and where I believe our value actually comes from. . Along the way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, even and especially if they differ from my own. . So, more later. . Happy Friday. . Love, Natalie



Whatever it is, let it be. Sit, eyes open, in its midst. . Relish the good. Anguish the bad, and wait patiently or perhaps uncomfortably in all the spaces in between. . Allow the present moment to be and for you to be in it. . For God is there, breathing in and out with us, whispering that we are worthy of joy, resilient enough to weather pain, brave enough to take the next right step, and smart enough to know when to be still and listen. . And if we falter, the Divine is with us still, on our journey of trying and trying again, until we understand how to move forward, or get curious and ask questions —until we’re ready and able to find a better way. . This week I pray we can let go of 2020 expectations and just show up one day at a time. Then, in all that showing up, I pray we remember we are loved, just exactly as we are —all messes and glory. . It’s good to be back with you. . Love, Natalie



See you the 2nd week in January. ❤️



proceed with love. ❤️