I Can't Remain Quiet

Friday, January 23

My heart is so full right now. Overflowing with love. For God, for the amazing, sweetest people He has put in my life. I spent this evening with a friend talking about God, and the work He is doing in our lives, things He has shown us recently, how He is so clearly talking to us. I'm overwhelmed right now. I am so small, so broken, unworthy. I am one little person in a tiny little country in a small planet in one of the many universes and God knows my name. That astounds me. He knows me. Not only that but He knew me before He formed me in the womb. He set me apart. He ordained for me a specific part in His ultimate plan (Jer. 1:5)

 I am not worthy in being a part of His plan. I'm not worthy to be in His presence, not even as His slave, but He chose me for a specific part in His purpose. I am selfish, prideful, angry, ungrateful, wretched, and so far from being worthy. But He called me. He's calling my name right now "Natalia, Natalia" and all I can say is "Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens." (1 Sam. 3:10)

I'm sitting here in overwhelming state of woah, I have a purpose, I was set apart by the God who created all the universes and He formed me. I want everyone to know Him. I want to be used by Him. I want to bring Him honor and glory. But the thought scares me to pieces. I'm only seventeen (for a whole entire three days), practically a child, my Christian walk, is young and still very fragile. I can't talk to people about the work Jesus is doing in me. What will I say? I don't have answers to any questions. What will people think?

I spoke about my fears last night in a small group after a discipleship conference and this afternoon God prompted me to read Jeremiah.

6 Then said I: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." 7 But the Lord said to me: "Do not say 'I am a youth' For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you the deliver you".. 9 .."Behold, I have put My words in your mouth."

First off: Who am I to think that my words matter? Who am I to think that I can speak wisdom into others? When I share with others, it isn't even my words. It's all God. I can't do anything. I'm helpless, but God in me, can do amazing things.

Secondly: Try and tell me God doesn't speak to people. I don't naturally remember Bible passages, or get excited about devotions, but when I randomly think "Jeremiah" and I read the first chapter and it obliterates all my excuses for why I should remain quiet about the work God is doing in my life, there is no way I can deny the fact that God is speaking to me.

This excitement for God. This desire to know more. This passion to serve God. The enjoyment I get about seeing a friend so I can tell her all about what God showed me this afternoon in devotions. The fact that three hours about talking about God (a topic I'm ashamed to admit greatly bored me just a few weeks ago) flew by without me even noticing. This is not natural for me. This is not me. I was not on this path three or four months ago. Clearly, the Holy Spirit is working in my life, and I can't remain quiet about it any longer.

2015, Bring It

Sunday, January 4

2014 was a good year. There's no way I can truly sum it up in only a few paragraphs. So many things happened. I learned so much. I don't think I really understand the weight of everything that happened in 2014, yet.

It was the year God got my attention and began breaking me. It was the year I created the most art. It was the year I fell out of love of art and back in love. I went to El Salvador for two months. I progressed majorly in my Spanish speaking. I graduated Highschool. I decided not to play basketball. My baby sister was born. My best friend moved away to boarding school. I learned to enjoy my hometown. I watched a ton of soccer and basketball. I crossed surfing off my bucket list. I got my first paid video job. I started writing again. I made so many friends who encourage me in the big things. I chose the word "Brave" and while I'm still growing in that area, I have definitely made progress in it. I gave myself a goal of making one video a month. I only made five complete videos. But I also filmed a lot more then I would have without the goal.

For 2015, I choose the word "Trust". I want to give my plans over to God daily, and trust that He will make something way better than what I could imagine. I don't want to stress about what will happen next week and instead trust that God will take care of me. I don't want to wake up one day and feel like my whole life has been pointless and instead trust God, follow his path and let His plan give me purpose. Trust. Trust. Trust.

This year I have a few goals that I've written down that I want to work on.

1.) Letter a verse or quote that really inspires me towards something bigger every week.

2.) Like last year I want to make a video every month, hopefully I'll be more successful than last year.

3.) Read the Bible through and regularly keep my prayer journal.

4.) Get my license.

5.) Be more intentional with my relationships with my siblings.

I have this feeling that 2015 is going to stretch me, push me outside of my comfort zone, and shape me in ways I can't imagine. I'm afraid that this year will hurt like crazy, but I know that the final results is going to be something amazing. I'm so excited to see what will happen and how God will work in and through my life. 2015, bring it.

Chocolate Cookies

Thursday, January 1

These are my favorite cookies, especially around the Holidays. Soon after I came home from El Salvador I was hit with this sudden urge to cook and clean-- everything. Not a common occurrence so I took advantage of it and baked cookies, made two lasagnas and cleaned the whole upstairs. I think I got more done around the house that day then I did the rest of the month.. I am enjoying helping out in smaller increments in the kitchen. Something I missed a lot last time I was gone. Anyways, try out these cookies! They're small, melt in your mouth and fix any chocolate craving. What are your favorite cookies? I want to try them out!

Ingredients //
1 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 teaspoons of salt

Process //
Mix cocoa, vegetable oil and sugar. Blend in eggs one at a time. Add remaining ingredients. Chill dough. Make into small balls and roll into powdered sugar. Flatten slightly. Place on greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.