Hi loves! I am SO thrilled to be starting our Flourish Flock Feature Series- Living Intentionally After Loss.
This topic is near and dear to my heart after experiencing numerous forms of loss in my own life. And, I know many of you have too! Please know that we are not only talking about the loss of a life, although that will be shared; we are talking about ALL kinds of loss- loss of a dream, a relationship, a job/finances, a child, a marriage, a parent, a sibling, faith, peace and more.
You can plan on finding these Features every Thursday here on the blog- I hope they are a great encouragement to you!
I had the absolute privilege of meeting Natalie through a mutual friend on Instagram about 9 months ago! Since connecting, I've had the gift of doing a good bit of life with Natalie and also been able to get involved with the cause below that she shares is close to her heart! I hope you enjoy reading my interview and that your heart is encouraged!
Share where you currently live and where you grew up:
I live in Atlanta, GA with my sweet husband, Jason, and our two kiddos, Joy (6 yrs old) and Jon Paul (2 yrs old)! I’m originally from middle Georgia but moved to the “big city” when I got married almost 10 years ago! I can’t imagine living outside the city now!
Share about your family/your job/your living situation:
I am a former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom! I loved teaching but it just made sense for me to stay home once we had our daughter. It hasn’t always been easy but I do love my job!
Share your favorite book and/or podcast:
Share your favorite quote and/or Bible verse:
One of my favorite Bible verses is found in the book of Habakkuk which basically says that although so many things are going wrong, I can still be filled with joy in God my Savior! (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Share your favorite beverage:
My favorite beverage would have to be coffee! My husband says I just like sugar and cream with a splash of coffee! Either way, coffee is my jam!
Share one of the biggest losses you've experienced:
I think one of the first losses I experienced as a young girl was the divorce of my parents. I can recall finding my mother outside on our deck crying, telling me that my dad wasn’t coming home. I was only 8 years old at the time so I certainly didn’t understand all that was going on but I knew life from that time on wasn’t going to be the same. I had no clue how that loss would affect my life for years and years to come. Because the example I saw for marriage wasn’t healthy or stable, my view of marriage was distorted. I ended up married at a young age to a guy from my hometown and in less than two years, we had filed for divorce. It was a dark time in my life. I felt unlovable and unworthy. But God…
Share some of the choices that have been most helpful in continuing to move you forward and supporting you while you are healing:
I sought counseling after my divorce and after hitting “rock bottom”. Through counseling I learned so much about myself and my past… how it didn’t define me. I wasn’t held captive by my mistakes and Jesus would forgive me of my sins. The lies I had believed for years were finally brought into the light.
Share some ways you have tried to incorporate laughter and fun in the midst of the hurt:
I am an extrovert so being around people has always brought me laughter and fun! During that season of my life, God gave me some really amazing friends that were like family to me- they loved on me and allowed me to just be myself.
Share how this experience has been instrumental in leading you to where you are today:
I believe that God wove my story together to give me the passion for seeing families whole and restored. I was introduced to CARE for AIDS through some friends and their mission is all about orphan prevention! It immediately spoke to my heart. After lots of prayer and conversations, several moms and I created Families for Families. We desire to equip and encourage families here in the US to have conversations with their kids about loving and serving others!
We send out a quarterly, interactive, free newsletter that is filled with a story of a family that has been through the CARE for AIDS program as well as kid-friendly virtues, Bible verses, conversation starters, simple prayers, and ideas for a Love & Serve Day at the end of the quarter. Our prayers is that after reading about a similar family in East Africa and discussing the virtues, verses and conversation starters, families will put their ideas into action!
Share any tips/advice/love for others who have gone through something similar:
You are worthy. You are loved. It may not feel like it at the time but God made you and loves you regardless of what your past (or present) may look like. And, even in the pain, God has a plan. He doesn’t give up on you and will complete the good work He began! In addition to this, find your people. This can be hard but put yourself out there and when you find them, be intentional about spending time with them!
Don't forget to sign up for the FREE, interactive Families for Families newsletter (scroll to the bottom)!