Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Bursting at the Seams

Source: mojomechanics.com via Natalie on Pinterest

As I sit down to write this morning, I wonder if what I'm going to say is actually true for my life. I don't want to be a hypocrite.

Yesterday, our church youth pastor got up to tell about the special worship service taking place on Wednesday night, just inviting people to come and giving us a tiny taste of what the evening was going to be like. One mid-twenties guy is going to be sharing His testimony. I don't know what has gone on in his life, but it was evident that he is so in love with Jesus that he is "bursting at the seams." His passion was contagious.

I wonder how many of us are "bursting at the seams" with Jesus. Have we given way to a ho-hum attitude about God, or are we so full of Him that we can't help but bubble over with His love and excitement?

People can tell.

Are you going to live a life of passion and excitement?

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  -Revelation 3:15-16

How do we acquire this "bursting at the seams" passion? I know for me, there's so much out there to distract me from what is really important.

Are we pursuing God with our whole hearts? Are we putting Him first in our lives? You can't love someone that you don't know.

Everyday, we have choices to make. Are we going to grow in our relationship and passion or are we going to choose to live for other things.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."  -Matthew 6:24


love.
Natalie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing


As promised, here is the recipe for Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing- perfect for this marvelous time of year!

PUMPKIN COOKIES (Yield: 3 dozen; more if you make them cute & tiny like I did)

-2 cups flour
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-1 cup butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1 cup pumpkin
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

BROWN SUGAR ICING:

-3 TB. butter
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-4 TB. milk
-3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 cup powdered sugar (may need a little more if it's not thick enough)

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and pumpkin. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the batter. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly brown (they should feel semi-firm when you touch them- if you don't bake them long enough, they will be extremely soft and messy!)
ICING: Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small saucepan, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool (an ice water bath makes it cool quickly). Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.


I like to add pecan halves to some of them. It makes them pretty :)


SHARE & ENJOY!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

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love.
Natalie

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trunk Show (Eeeeep!)

If you follow me on facebook, you may have seen that I was designing postcards for my first trunk show a few weeks ago. Well, I am happy to give you all the details now!! I know many of you aren't local, but if you are, I would LOVE to see you!


I'm so grateful to Beginnings Salon for allowing me to set up my wares!   

Did you notice that there will be homemade cookies? :)

Apple-Walnut with Vanilla Glaze

Pumpkin with Brown Sugar Icing (pssst! I'll be sharing the recipe for these tomorrow!)
I'm also making my dad's favorite cookie- Maple Pecan.

If you stop by, you can expect to see pottery jewelry, dinnerware, and home decor items, including pieces that are not yet in the shop! Hope to see you there!!

love.
Natalie

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Hope




Source: 500px.com via Natalie on Pinterest
What have I in this life
But the love in Your eyes
This empty world will one day fade
And only Your truth will remain
Jesus, all I have is You
You’re the hope I’m holding to
I might weep but still my faith
Rests in You

As the heavens hold the skies
It’s Your hand that holds my life
And Your love will lead me on when all else is gone


As soon as we take our eyes off the One who holds our life in His hand, we will undoubtedly become disappointed and discouraged. Only He can fill every need.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm."  -Psalm 20:7-8

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  -Isaiah 40:28-31
love.
Natalie

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkins, Apples, and All Things Fall


You know what I hate about fall? The ghosts, skeletons, and all things "Halloween" hanging in people's yards. I don't get why people like that stuff. Want to know what I like about fall?

Visiting pumpkin farms and taking goodies home with me to decorate!...

Don't these pumpkins look real? They're clay, made by my former pottery teacher!

Stoneware Herb Markers by NSPottery
I got a blue pumpkin!! :)
Large Rustic Cream Stoneware Pitcher by NSPottery

Annual father-daughter dates to an apple orchard...


And pretty leaves (boots, too, of course!) :)


What do you like about fall??




love.
Natalie

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Braided Headbands


Recently, my cousin went through her closet, getting rid of things that she doesn't wear anymore and let me look through them. Nothing much fit me, but I decided to finally try making some braided headbands like the ones that I've seen on pinterest. I didn't follow any one tutorial, but this blog post was a big source of inspiration.


I made this turquoise one first. I cut 2-inch wide strips from a t-shirt and braided them together. Since I'm not handy with a sewing machine, I just used hot glue to fasten the ends together and covered them with a piece of fabric.    


Next I made a gray double headband inspired by this blog post. I cut the fabric in 1-inch strips and made two braids. Again, everything is fastened together with hot glue in the back.


The gray one is my favorite! It seems to make my eyes look extra blue and I like the double braid! I have a few other shirts waiting for me to chop them up, and I think I'm going to try one with three different colors braided together.

Giving new life to old items is fun! Have you made anything using something old recently?

linking up with the fabulous Natalia and Gussy



Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
love.
Natalie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beauty- a guest post by Megan Berkey

Hi friends! I have an awesome guest post for you today! Megan and I actually went to high school together(!) for two years, and I can truly say that she is a beautiful woman of Christ! We haven't seen each other for probably at least six years, but it's been fun to reconnect in this bloggy world!

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What's up NS Pottery Readers?!? I'm pumped to be here today with you. I was flattered when Natalie asked me to guest post...don't tell anyone, but this is my first one and I'm kind of nervous =)

I want to talk to you today about beauty.

A word that should be filled with joy, conjuring up memories of sunrises, scenic gorgeousness, or times when our own beauty was noticed, appreciated or celebrated. A word that should evade a feeling of warmth and possibly produce a blush creeping up into our cheeks.

For me, this word has not represented those wonderful things....

From the time I was young I have never been 'girly'. Far from it, actually. I cried when I heard girls couldn't play in the NFL, wore a hat every day with my long hair tucked up inside, and refused to wear basically anything but T-shirts and jeans [a fact which was celebrated in college where everyone seemed to wear pajamas almost every day =) ].

These characteristics began to shape my view of myself. I saw myself as 'less-woman' than the other women in my life. I felt embarrassed by my body and responded by continually covering it up. No one would guess my struggle because I counteracted my insecurity by having a seemingly confident personality.

The shame continued through college. When my husband and I first started dating, I wouldn't let him get physically close to me, because I thought once he saw how ugly I was, he would leave me. Honestly, I had no idea really why he wanted to be with me in the first place. But through all this, God was good. He gave me a man, Nate, that saw through my sweatpants (not literally haha), and ponytails, my lack of makeup or fashion sense. That man proposed to me and we were married for our senior year of college.

The first year of my marriage was by far the hardest year of my life in this area. My lack of trust in Nate with my body took what is meant to be an exciting time of learning about each other in marriage, to a discouraging and very emotionally draining time for me.

It wasn't until I finally told a small group of very dear women my story, my whole story, that I saw some change. One of the girls looked at me and said, "Megan, do you think you can experience victory in this area?" I honestly didn't. I thought this was something I would just learn to deal with throughout my life. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Through surrendering this completely to the Lord, continuing to speak truth to myself, and processing through with these women on a daily basis what I was thinking, feeling and dwelling on, I have seen more progress in the last year than in my entire life. There are times when I simply send out a text when I'm struggling in the moment and I know for a fact those women are praying for me.

Please, please know this: there is hope. This is not something in which you just have to 'suck it up'. These lies do not have to define your life and you do not have to pass these on to your daughters. They are not going away on their own, but you can be free. Believe that, and then act.

Check out her blog here and go leave some love!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Marriage

Source: beyondbeyond.co.uk via Natalie on Pinterest

Hi friends! So, I heard about marriage yesterday. Rather than feel like it was totally irrelevant to my life, I try to "file" it away for the future. Actually, I've been thinking a lot about marriage and relationships lately. I have been blessed by the wise advice of this girl and the inspiring love story of this girl.

I will make this quick because you really should click on those links of the above mentioned girls. :) I know as long as I am following God's will, everything that He has planned for me will come into place, including a husband. It's easy to get discouraged and even jealous sometimes of the many young happy couples around me. Sometimes I just feel left out. I've heard many times that it happens when you least expect it, and I've also seen how quickly marriage relationships can come about when you meet the right one, so I try to keep those things in mind and prepare myself as best I can.

I also know that marriage isn't meant to make us happy, but holy. It's meant to make us more like Christ himself. Husbands and wives are supposed to encourage one another and selflessly die to themselves daily. Am I ready for that kind of commitment? I pray when the time is right, I am

love.
Natalie  

Friday, October 14, 2011

How It All Started


I experienced the hardest year of my life when I was a junior in high school. I suffered from severe anxiety, and I think that is a big reason why I fell in love with the art of pottery making. I was taking Ceramics 1 that year, and while I loved every art class I had (and tried to take as many as possible), there was something about pottery that stole my heart. It was the process. It was being so wrapped up in creating that my mind felt safe.


When I graduated from high school, I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life, which is why I didn't go to college. Why go if you don't know what you would go for? That summer, I saw an article in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine about a pottery studio in Georgia, complete with colorful photos of stacks of pottery dishes.


It was my dream.


A couple months later, I saw an ad in a local paper for a pottery open house/fall show at a studio about 20 minutes from my house, so I convinced my mom to go with me, and there I talked to the owner/class instructor about classes and SIGNED UP!


Fast forward 5 years and here I am, with my own business. Sure I'm not a millionaire, but I'm doing what I love and that is worth more to me than any amount of money.


I can't tell you how many things I look back on now and can say without a shadow of a doubt that God has had His hand in all of this- working out the countless obstacles I have faced. He always has a purpose and a perfect plan.

We don't need to know what tomorrow holds. He has that all figured out for us. We just need to be faithful with today.


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Busyness- an Epidemic

I've been thinking about life and how busy we all are.

Last night at church (I help with the kids), one of the children's ministry leaders was telling me how much she has going on, how she could just "go somewhere and cry" and how it needs to stop. (Little does she know she was inspiring a blog post, hehe.)

It seems that so many of us here in America are overworked, overstressed, and rushed. We pack our schedules until we think we'll explode. We don't know when to say "no." We aren't really enjoying life and the small, everyday blessings we have. I think people in other countries are way more mindful of that. (See how the French live better.)

Are we taking the time with the Lord that we need to?

Are we spending quality time with our loved ones? (As in, not trying to have a conversation while doing umpteen other things- ya know, multitasking?)

Are we even enjoying each day that the Lord has blessed us with or are we just struggling to survive?

Source: itsdesigned.tumblr.com via Natalie on Pinterest

I'm afraid all this busyness and stress will kill us yet. We aren't created to live jam-packed, stressed out lives.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

I don't have a clear-cut solution for all our busyness, but I do know that if we chose "what is better," as Mary did, that we will have a greater sense of clarity in just how God wants us to manage our time and live our lives.


What can you cut out today to make your life less stressful and more enjoyable?


love.
Natalie

P.S. Tomorrow I'll be sharing my story about how I got started with my little pottery biz, so I hope you'll stop back!