Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Truths...and a little of "It Takes A Church"

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” -Proverbs 18:24

Back in February I had a one-of-a-kind experience. My husband and I, along with our pastor and some friends from church, filmed a reality TV show episode on the new show called, "It Takes A Church" on Game Show Network. Yes, you read that correctly. It still feels a little surreal even to write about it. During those days of filming, God had been pressing and speaking to me so passionately about being aware of the words I speak. For three days I had a microphone strapped to me – we referred to it as “My Holy Spirit” – but oh how true. Shouldn’t we all walk around with a constant reminder to be watchful of our words! It has been years since I’ve felt this submerged in “the world” by being with Hollywood crew and producers, trying to speak truth and life – and not making an idiot of myself on national television!! What a challenge and eye-opening experience! So take a minute and think about the people around you, your circumstances and your opportunities that can be affected by your words. Those hurting and in need a word of encouragement – “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24. Or someone that needs to hear something God has placed on your heart – “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25-11. Maybe there is someone that needs or deserves your praise – “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2.  Then I think about the times my words have caused damage – “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18. Or when I am upset about something or with someone or one (or all) of my children – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19. What a great reminder that we have the power of life and death! How are you using your words today? Join me this week and let’s all strap the Holy Spirit to us as we use our words to bring life around us! Heavenly Father, you tell us in your word that the lips of the righteous know what is fitting – help me Lord to stay in tune with your Spirit so that I can acknowledge that very thing. Bring me so close to You that I know immediately what words to use and the words to hold back. Amen.

Our episode aired on June 12th, so for months I had been holding my breath, nervous on how they would edit and praying, “God, if I’m going to look like a fool, let me look like a fool in love with You!” We loved the episode – and I might be a bit biased, but I’m pretty sure my husband stole the show. I’m so happy that his humor shined through. Boy, I sure love that guy! Here are a few pictures with the cast, crew and producers from the show!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

It never gets old...

I still can't believe that my second book, A Rescued Hope, has been released! I tell ya what, this excitement, nausea that gets caught in my throat from the anticipation of wondering if people will like it, and the joy of once again reaching a dream ... never gets old! It's wonderful and I am so humbled that God would use me in such a fun and rewarding way.

The book has been out for a couple of weeks and reviews are starting to come in!! Here are a few...

"After reading "A Rescued Heart", I was super excited about getting my hands on the sequel, "A Rescued Hope", and it did not disappoint!!! I could NOT put it down!!!! I love getting to know some of the other characters while still getting to read about Matt and Ava! This book takes an unexpected twist that had my saying out loud, "Oh my word!!!!" This will be a re-read book just like the first one, and can't wait for the 3rd book already!" :)

"Loved this book! Very easy read. Gets you hooked in from the start. Love it when a book starts right in with the action. I can not wait for the next one to continue getting to know the characters."

"Loved it! Such a great story, I couldn't put it down! Enjoyed the first book too and can't wait for the 3rd book!"

"I read Natalie's 1st book, "A Rescued Heart" in three days. The sequel did not disappoint! It was so great to see where Matt & Ava were and to learn about some new characters, as well. There was love, action and adventure. Definitely some parts that had me on the edge of my seat! By the last page, I was ready for the 3rd book! I can't wait to see what happens next!!!"

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sleep is for the birds...

"When is the second book coming out?"
Can I just say how much I love this question!!! The goal is early next year, so I am working like a mad woman in my spare time to finish up my last few chapters in the second book. I have now entered the world of deadlines - and I love it. I had four years to write the first one...I have four months to write most of the second one. Holy pressure, Batman! For the first book I just wrote whenever I felt like it...now I have to make time in my schedule and plan writing days! One Saturday my hubby took our boys on an all day hiking trip and a friend took my little princess for the day, so I devoted my day to writing. The picture below shows where I parked my behind for the entire day and created over 4,000 words.
Despite feeling like I needed to make a chiropractic appointment, it was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am LOVING the second book and have enjoyed watching my characters' relationships unfold as twists and turns keep them on edge all while they search for hope, direction and God's will for their lives!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Beginning of Forever

I am a sucker for romance books and movies. One of my favorite parts is how the couple meet. I don't know why, I just do. My sister and I talk about this a lot when our husbands give us a hard time about watching said books and movies. "Why would you want to invest your time in this when you know they are going to get together in the end?" Sigh. It's.all.about.the.journey. Right, ladies? And that journey has to have a beginning, and I love how it all starts! In my book, A Rescued Heart, the main characters meet when Matt (a police officer) visits Ava's (a kindergarten teacher) class for professional day.
So I thought it would be fun to share how me and my husband met...
This picture is of us on January 1, 2002. The story has many bunny trails, so I will just sum it up. We met at church. I had been doing mission work in Ecuador and came home about mid-December. While I had been gone, Greg had started attending. After returning I had been asked to MC our annual talent show for New Year's Eve with a couple friends...and Greg. Notice the shirts? One of our skits was The Newlywed Show and we were the lovey-dovey couple (enter giggle here) I may or may not have worked my magic to make that happen. Anyway, we started spending  a lot of time together because he had become friends with my friends and with working on the skits, so by New Year's Eve, I was smitten. The dude was funny and got my humor. He had crazy-mad skills playing the keyboard. Super good looks (I still remember this picture and thinking "Oh my goodness, he has his arm around me. Sigh...). He had a solid, awesome family - strong faith - deep character and he loved Jesus! What more could a girl want:) So we started dating shortly after and I knew within two weeks of dating that I was going to marry him!!! At the end of July he proposed and we were married on February 7, 2003.
Here we are now, 10 years and 3 kids later, more in love than when we said "I do."

So now it's your turn! I would love to hear how you and the love of your life met!  Leave me your story in the comments.  Thanks!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Book Signing

I had my very first book signing on September 14th. Yes, as you take your mental field trip back to September, it was three weeks ago. I wish I could blame it on a volleyball tournament, life, deep cleaning my house, writing book #2 and a hip surgery...but I'm just horrible at blogging. Definitely room for improvement!

But being late posting doesn't take away from my great experience and the fun I had. Mummphy's Book Nook in the Concord Mall hosted my book signing. The owner was so nice, helpful and such an encourager. If you have a chance to check out his store, please do. He is a very nice man that deserves his business to be blessed!  A couple things from my day. I very much enjoyed talking with the people that walked by. I was surprised by how many people stopped and asked me questions about how I got published because they want to get a book published. One thing I would have done different and was a huge learning moment for me - I wish I had given a book away. One of the cleaning ladies walked by and was interested in my book, but it was too much for her. After she left, I was so upset at myself because I should have given her one. Maybe she needed a blessing that day, maybe she needed to read the words, maybe I needed the stretch in my walk with the Lord. Just a reminder to set our hearts and eyes on the Lord so that we don't miss any opportunities He puts in our path.

I had some fun visitors. Thanks to my family and friends that took the time to come see me. I really appreciate it. I also enjoyed my little princess above sitting with me. I mean, how could you turn away from that face?!?! My boys were also there, but too busy checking out the train near by to hang out with me.

Last, but not least. My hubby. My own personal Superman. Not only is he my biggest fan, but he goes out of his way to bless me. So while I was at the book signing, he cleaned the entire house, took care of the kids and brought them to see me. I always tell people its easy to write romance because I have a great example. Well - it really is true!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #7

We made it! The final blog tour stop is here. It has been so much fun and I appreciate those that have followed along. This stop is held by a friend of mine, Helen Gentz. And this is no ordinary stop, oh no! We spiced things up. Besides me answering two frequently asked questions, you will also read a few reviews and can enter for a book GIVEAWAY. Click on the link below and check it out!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #6

Hey y'all...just practicing my southern drawl in honor of my blog tour host...today's stop is with the famous Kayla Aimee. At this stop we spiced things up with a Google Hangout video chat as Kayla Aimee so kindly did a book review/interview about my book. She is hilarious and we had so much fun figuring things out while being our normal non-serious-stay-at-home-mom-fever-do-something-besides-make-food-change-diapers-do-laundry selves.  Enjoy :)