natalie hagen

You are enough. Your mistakes do not define you. Your past does not dictate your future. Your capacity to love can always get bigger. Show yourself grace when you’re tired and feeling alone. You’re not alone; you are loved and there are second chances. I am thankful for those second and third chances; I am thankful for grace.
—  njh

Every time that we rise to face the day, we are also faced with a choice. We are faced with a choice to either meet the day with great expectation and excitement to see what God will do, or we can chooses to be lazy and live it out as it comes to us.

Each morning we are faced with a choice. We can either thank God for waking us up and bestowing His grace upon us, or we can just get a move on with our routine and take things for granted like most people tend to.

Each new day, we can either start off with prayer and reading God’s word, or sleep in just a few more minutes and rush out the door, not making time for anyone especially God.

You see, every day we are faced with choices. Small ones. Sometimes choices that don’t seem to matter that much, but they do when they turn into habits. Soon sleeping until the last possible second and rushing out the door is normal for you and there is no time to spend with God to start your day. You stop thanking him for blessings and opportunities and start demanding more and question why you haven’t “gotten it all” yet. What could be simple actions to start each day with, turn into mundane tasks that break our current cycle of “stay-out-late-sleep-in-rush-off-to-work” schedules.

But… Don’t you think we owe our Creator and Savior a little more than that?

Shouldn’t we be excited to get to spend a little time with Him each morning, ready to soak in wisdom that will help us face the day? I think we owe Him that much.

Just think, once you start and create a habit of devotional time with God your life will start to change. Maybe not drastically at first, but in little ways you’ll start to see His grace, His love and His wisdom showing up in your day-to-day life. What an amazing blessing!

So today, I encourage you to take some time to thank God for your blessings, share your heart’s concerns and desires with Him, and seek His wisdom for all that life throws at you.

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Devotional Series: A New Day (#wtsdevo grace) 

 Posted by: Natalie \ Personal // Walk the Same

Read: Matthew 6:25-26 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”   Life has many outcomes. It is a huge journey for all of us. Finding God’s will is something that every Christian longs to do, but the way they go about it can vary. Unfortunately, with this journey comes hardship. There are a few holes we need to jump over and a few rocks we need to walk around. There is the unpredictable. It is life, and we are human (meaning we are completely incapable of knowing what lies around the next bend in the road).   These verses in Matthew, God tells us that we need not worry. Whether we have food or clothing, it shouldn’t be something that we worry about because He is caring for us. What good does food and clothing do if we don’t have the saving hand of God in our lives, directing our steps? They are trivial in comparison. The God of all power, all wisdom, all strength, all creativity, all hope and life and truth and justice, this God loves us and cares for us more than the birds. The birds are taken care of and provided for daily. Don’t you think we can give the make of the universe a little credit, a little lee-way when it comes to his taking care of us? The ones formed in His image?   Yes, there is sin. Yes, there are trials and hardships. I expect that we will worry. But we need to keep in mind that it only takes away time from our lives. Worrying just gives us a pointless activity to take up time that we could be praying, rejoicing, reaching out to others, and living life! How wondrous and majestic is our Savior, who takes care of us in all circumstances? What a reassuring piece of passage. We need not worry. We are taken care of. He sees our needs and will provide!   At times we feel alone and lost and as if this verse wasn’t meant for us. ”God will take care of me?” Yes. He has His timing and He knows exactly what He’s doing, and what we need. We just need to trust in Him and we’ll see His work being carried out and His beautiful plan being unfolded. Trust in Him, and don’t let worry take over your life. There is no need.  

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Devotional Series: Why Do You Worry? (#wtsdevo worry)

Posted by: Natalie Personal // Walk the Same

Change

1 Thessalonians 5:11- “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”

Sometimes, confrontation can be scary. Telling someone that they’re living in sin, calling someone out on inappropriate behavior, or addressing an issue that’s been pushed under the rug can be a very hard thing to do. The behavior needs to be changed. The attitude and perspectives need to be changed. Change and confrontation are super intimidating at times but they’re so necessary to spiritual and emotional growth.

We are called to encourage others to be the best they can be. Being your best often involves change and improvement. As we go through this life we are affected by things and we grow, so why not help each other grow in faith and love and our own walks with Christ? 

When there is a problem, change must follow close behind in order for the problem to be resolved, because when something is ignored it rarely gets solved.

“We change when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing.” This quote is such a key component to Alcoholics Anonymous and can be applied to so many other situations. We need to feel the need to change and the need to improve because then we’ll embrace it fully and have as positive of an experience that we can through change.

When a relationship has love, but no truth you’ll either stay comfortable or become more immature. We need to build one another up or call one another out in love. Confrontation is key at times to promote growth. Without a truthful and loving confrontation, real growth is less likely to occur. Especially as we are growing up and becoming adults, or starting new jobs, or starting relationships, we need to keep in mind how important it is to experience change. When you need to confront someone, or when someone confronts you, remembering that it will benefit you and the relationship you both have will make the process easier.

So do not be discouraged. Build each other up and speak with love and truth. Never hold back because it could end up harming the person or friendship in the long run. Be honest and encouraging for growth and positive life change!

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Devotional Series: Give Thanks(#wtsdevo a thankful heart)

Posted by: Natalie Personal // Walk the Same

So speaking in chapel went well and I am just so so blessed to be surrounded by such a great support system of family and friends :) God is so good and I cannot wait to see how the rest of this year unfolds. I thought I would be upset that a few people didn’t even bother to watch my message, but I don’t even care. I am just so full of peace and joy that God was able to speak through me and teach me a few things as well!