Over the last several months I have taken a break from the blog. I purposely have not written anything because there was such an incredible amount of processing that I needed to do in my own heart, for my own growth and healing. I took a break from writing in order to get on with some living.

So, what exactly transpired in that time?? Well, let me tell you the story...

Almost one year ago, during the Original Women's Conference, I began to think long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life... and I decided that the work I was doing was becoming increasingly unfulfilling. I began to feel my heart pull towards working with those who were on the fringe of society; the poor, the orphans, the outcast... and began to dream about how I could help bring restoration and hope to their lives.

I began asking God what He was doing in me and where He wanted me to go next. Around that same time, an old friend (Dave Gibbons) invited Taka and I out to come visit his church in Cali. I knew he was going to ask us to move out and join his team, but we had NO plans of leaving our church and starting over. I remember getting on the plane and asking Taka why we were going on the trip with no intention of taking the offer. Taka said he strongly felt strongly about 2 things: 1. we were supposed to go and 2. we were supposed to say no. He was just as confused as I was. I be-grudgingly agreed.

We arrived in California, and in no time at all, we were welcomed with incredibly loving arms and began to see the idea of church in a new light. Newsong had an incredibly refreshing view on ministry. It was made very clear that it was a church made for the outsiders... the misfits of the world. They didn't just say it with words... they were doing beautiful, tangible things to love the outcasts. I can't quite explain how my heart began to sing and my eyes began see with new perspective. God was moving in me and I couldn't put it out of my mind.

As we said we would, we came and went and told Dave that we wouldn't be returning. But, in my heart I knew that we would be back. I had found "home" and a mission that I KNEW we were meant to be a part of. For me the question wasn't "if," but "when?"

Months went by and my nights were filled with crazy... and I mean CRAZY dreams about Newsong... dreams that pulled me back over and over again. Taka thought I was crazy, but around December, he began to feel the same tugging. It was completely unexpected. We both knew that our time in Rockford was coming to a close, and that God was drawing lines for us that we never would have drawn ourselves. What happened after that was a complete whirlwind and insanely fast moving timeline that brought us back to Cali, and catapulted us into the next season of life.

To make the long story short-ish, we've now been settled in Cali for just over 2 weeks. With everything moving so fast, I've neglected to bring you all into my new life. I've wanted so badly to take all of you with me everywhere I go and show you what I see... let you in on my new world...experience each new exciting moment with me. My heart wants to burst with all God's doing and teaching me in all this. The best way I know to bring all of you in is simply to show you the best way I can... through photos! If you will, allow me to take you on a quick little jog of what I see day to day and show you some of my favorite places.

The views.
I've been completely taken with the beauty I see on my daily drives... it's these little moments I wish I could bring you on a car ride with me and tell you my heart!

Here's what we'd see if you were driving in to our neighborhood.
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Here's what you'd see if you'd hop onto the highway before work. The traffic has been a new experience for me... 5 lane highways are everywhere you go!
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Well, this is just a movie theater near my work, but I thought it was so pretty. (Or, maybe it's the fancy car in front of me...)
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Our Home

I will keep this brief, but I wanted to share some of my most favorite places in our home.

The darling little front porch I enjoy my coffee on :). I can't wait to sit here with some of you one day and catch up on life!
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Our neighborhood pool. Brooklyn is totally in her element here.
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The front room I created specifically with game playing and talking in mind... It worked ;)
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Our cozy living room.
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And lastly...

Our Church

All I can say, is wow! Newsong has truly stolen my heart. Here you will find an incredible mix of so many cultures and walks of life. Not only that, but it's also a gorgeous mix of old and new... tradition and innovation. I could talk about this for hours, but alas this blog is already too long ;)
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Soon... very soon I will post about my work and all I am learning, but for now, I'm cutting myself off.

Love you all and hope to catch up with you soon.

XO
Natalie