Dear Nathalie, You Inspire Me

I have a bright, determined best friend named Nathalie. I have known her since we were 1Ls in law school. We both signed up to be on University of Miami’s roommate list. As fate would have it, we found each other.  Loyalty runs through her blood, so we have been best friends ever since.  It’s been a lifelong friendship of good and bad, up and down; all erupting with hilarious laughter; because after all, life really is that funny.

I mentioned that she’s bright, and also witty.  I mean that.  No matter what the table conversation begins or ends with, she lays down questions about world politics, sex and marriage, life’s hits and misses.  In the midst of conversation, she reminds her closest friends how good it is to have each other, after all this time.

When you have been friends this long, you can blame each other for stuff from time to time.  Nathalie still blames me for her divorce. She says that, since I didn’t show up to her wedding, I cursed the whole thing.  Lucky for both of us, she has two beautiful children that proves her marriage was necessary. How could we live without her sweet babies C and R?

Using one of her phrases, all this to say, she has an awesome annual reading habit.  For as long as I’ve known her, she reads 12 darn books per year. She picks them out and gets them read, one per month.  That would explain her ability to lead interesting conversation anywhere with anyone. Something I will strive for, probably, for the rest of my life.

In honor of her, and because of my admiration for her, I am inching towards 12 books per year.  In 2015, I covered approximately 9 books.  I didn’t finish two and I can’t count bible study guides.  I revisted some of the books I read and chose a quote to share with you.  Whether you are well read or not, or even whether you aspire to be, enjoy these literary patches that made up my reading quilt for 2015.

That’s how we get to know each other – we tell each other our struggles and victories. We talk about our past and how those pasts have shaped us and changed us into who we are today. We talk about the experiences in our lives that affect us, and we talk about the ways other people throughout our lives have changed as too. We speak.  Speak, by Nish Weiseth

If you are worried that your art is a waste of time, perhaps you need to redefine success in art. Are you becoming more fully yourself? Is there someone else who believes in you or has been inspired because you were living life more fully alive? Are you learning what it means to depend on God in ways you’ve never had to depend on him before?  A Million Little Ways, by Emily P. Freeman

Could it be possible we have it wrong? Maybe success isn’t in believing I can do anything but in knowing I can do nothing. My limits – those things I wish were different about myself – are perhaps not holding me back but are pointing me forward to pay attention to my small, eight-foot assignment.  Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman

I am of the opinion that the thoughtful arrangement of your daily and weekly calendars is one of the holiest endeavors you can undertake. Drafting a new, proactive, holistic schedule is tantamount to writing a whole new script for the next season of your life. Your calendar plays a critical role in determining who you will become as a person, as a Christ follower, as a family member, and as a friend.  Simplify, by Bill Hybels

I once heard somebody say that God had closed the door on an opportunity he’d hoped for. But I’ve always wondered if when we want to do something that we know is right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He wants it for us and it honors Him.  Maybe there are times when we think a door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances, God wants us to kick it down. Or perhaps just sit outside of it long enough until somebody tells us we can come in.  Love Does, by Bob Goff

Listen to what God keeps bringing to your attention, what he interrupts your thoughts and your days with. In those things you will recognize his leading.  Undaunted, by Christine Caine

Realizing our inability to earn righteousness isn’t meant to be a rat wheel to run on. The depravity of man is only the realization of the hollow, the need. Depravity should only imply that we can be filled with God. I wish I had known.  Wild in the Hollow, by Amber C Haines

You gotta cue the eagle. I discovered that, in moments when I was stumbling, if I called on the Lord and strengthened myself in the name that’s above every name – the name of Jesus- I could arise from a heap on the floor with renewed power. The Holy Spirit would energize me and give me what it took to keep peddling through the pain.  Through the Eyes of Lion, by Levi Lusko

By Sasha Katz



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