Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2-Marshmallow World Installment 1

How can a person go 50% off Christmas shopping when they’ve got a mystery on their hands?

Every night since Christmas, Regina has been throwing pieces of paper at me with names of people who could be my ‘Secret Santa’.

You see under my tree there was a gift with no one on it. It was a necklace with a Christmas tree on it. No one spoke up and said it was there’s so Regina got some idea in her head that it was some boy who was too shy to say anything.

“Natalie! Earth to Natalie!” My mother called. I snapped out of my thoughts.

“How much wrapping paper do you think we’ll need this year?” Momma asked.

“I don’t know. Get a few,” I said. Momma sighed. She hated unsure answers.

“Five, six,” I shrugged.

“Something’s bothering you,” Momma said putting seven rolls of wrapping paper into the cart.

“A lot has changed these past weeks,” I said. Momma looked at me. I hoped that she wouldn’t start hugging me in the middle of the store or that I would start crying.

“I know, honey. God has blessed me with such a daughter,” Momma smiled. She gave me a quick hug and moved on to the bags.

“So are you going to stay up tonight?” Momma asked me. With all the snow we got, Momma didn’t feel comfortable going shopping until it stopped snowing (which just happened to be New Year’s Eve). And so did the rest of Massachusetts since most of the stuff was still there.

“Regina talked me into it,” I sighed.

“You don’t seem too thrilled,” Momma said looking at boxes.

“Mr. Stewart is letting Emily and Timmy come over to watch the countdown,” I mumbled. Momma gave me an understanding nod and winked at me.

“I’ll have Steve carry you upstairs so you and Regina can watch the countdown in my room,” Momma said.

I’ll have Steve carry you upstairs. Ugh. Why did that bother me so much?

“Look, fudge tins!” Momma shouted. I winced. How embarrassing is it for your mother to shout over fudge tins?

“Doesn’t this one look just like your old one?” Momma asked. It really did look like it expect mine had a snowman on it and not Santa.

“Do you want it?” Momma asked me. For some reason fear overwhelmed me.

“You don’t have to get it if you don’t want it,” Momma said.

“Can’t breathe,” I muttered.

“It’s just a tin,” Momma put it back on the shelf. I felt dizzy.

“I’m gonna be sick,” I said. I ran to the bathroom and threw up.

“Natalie, are you all right?” Momma asked.

“No,” I said.

“I’m calling 911,” Momma said in a firm voice.

My heart was racing. I felt like I was about to choke. Was I going crazy?

“Come on, honey. We’ll get you to a hospital. Everything is going to be fine,” The EMT said to me. I didn’t believe her. I was going crazy. I truly was.

“She’s having a panic attack,” The EMT said to Momma. “Do you know what could have triggered this?”

“I do,” Momma sighed.

For the next two hours it was nurses, doctors, and people assuring me that everything was going to be ok.

“What’s wrong with me, Momma?” I asked.

“Nothing is wrong with you!” Momma shouted. “There is something I need to tell you thou.”

“What?” I asked hopping I wouldn’t regret asking.

“That tin we saw? It’s just like the one your father gave you the night he died?” Momma asked.

I nodded not wanting to remember it at all but that moment in my life was picture clear in my mind.

“Well that car accident? It was no accident.”

Posted in Spotlight

COMING THIS JANUARY: SPOTLIGHT

Life is perfect for Roberta King. Her father is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, she has everything she wants, and she doesn’t have to deal with the press and is never in the SPOTLIGHT. But when her father dies, she suddenly finds herself thrusted into the SPOTLIGHT. From movie offers to not even being able to shop without a camera in her face, Roberta’s normal life turns into a celebrity mess.

Posted in Natalie

COMING SOON: Natalie Part 2- Marshmallow World

Coming Soon: Natalie Part 2-Marshmallow World

“God, all I want is for my life to go back to being sweet.”

Natalie may have found a place to call home but it’s not as sweet as her old home was. With starting a new school, mystery gifts, a broken foot, a surprising proposal, and ugh……Emily (and Darcy too), life is far from sweet for Natalie. As Natalie’s mother’s (and father’s) past slowly unfolds, Natalie tries to make a Marshmallow World out of a crazy Sour Mess?

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Matthew 2
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 1-Christmas Dreams Installment Seven

I woke up on Christmas morning and sighed. Christmas was my favorite time of year but right now I didn’t feel too merry.

I looked around and saw that no one was in their sleeping bags. Maybe I had slept late. I looked at the clock. It was only seven. I took my crutches and hobbled into the restaurant.

“MERRY CHRISTMAS, NATALIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I looked around. Everyone in the town was crowded into the restaurant. There was a little Charlie Brown tree in the center of the room. There were a bunch of presents under it.

“And yes, Natalie, all these presents are for you,” Mr. Rivers said. I started to cry.

“What’s wrong, sugar?” Mr. Hank asked. Everyone looked at me like they were worried about me.

“Nothing!” I cried. “I’ve never felt more loved in my life . I’ve barely been here and I haven’t had the best attitude but you still did this for me. THANK YOU!!!” Everyone smiled. Momma came and gave me a hug.

“Natalie, I think its safe to say that everyone in this room cares about you,” Ms. Donna said walking up to me. I looked over at Emily who did not agree with that.

“Thank you!” I shouted giving her a hug.

“Don’t thank me. Darcy came up with this idea,” Ms. Donna said. I hobbled over to Darcy.

“Thanks,” I smiled. Momma raised her eyebrows at me.

“What?” I asked.

“You and Darcy are under the mistletoe,” Momma smiled.

My eyes bugged out. Darcy gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“Good enough,” Momma said. “Now open your presents!”

**

Fresh snow started to fall just as we sat down to eat Christmas dinner. Everyone had come together. There were turkeys, hams, prime ribs, and some chickens. We had a bunch of sides.

“I think we should do this every year,” Nelson said looking around at all the people talking and just being happy. I nodded.

I looked around the room myself. I suddenly felt like I could call this place home. Could I fit in here? Would anyone like me?

I looked at the table where I was sitting. Regina, Nelson, Erin, Claire, Victoria, and even Darcy were sitting here with me. These were my friends (well I was still working on Darcy).

My mother walked up to the table I was sitting at.

“Did you all get what you wanted for Christmas?” Momma asked.

“All I wanted for Christmas was a place to call home and I just might have found one,” I said hugging Regina.

THE END

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Luke 2:1-10

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration whenQuirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,     and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christtook place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie:Part 1-Christmas Dreams Installment Six

“Great. You kids stay here. I’m going back to the B&B for help,” Mr. Steve said getting out of the car.

When he was out of sight I opened the door. I was hit with cold air.

“What are you doing?” Darcy asked me as I tried to get out with my crutches.

“I’m doing what I got in this car to do,” I said slamming the door.

“But Mr. Matthew said to stay in the car!” Darcy tried to scream over the howling wind. I hobbled off into the woods and then I realized this was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Why should I be out here looking for the Stewarts in unfamiliar woods during a blizzard?

Cause it’s the Christian thing to do My mom’s voice rung through my head. Once but when I was young this boy pulled my hair. I wanted to never speak to him again but my mother told me that that was not Christ like.

I sighed and watched my breath in the wind. I started to shout over the wind but that seemed nearly impossible. Then I heard gunshots.

I almost fell over but I realized that the Stewarts might have heard me calling them and were signaling that they were there.

I walked closer to the gunshots and found Emily sitting in the snow with three coats on. Timmy and Mr. Stewart were holding guns and had no coats on. They looked freezing.

“Oh, great! It’s just her!” Emily shouted.

“Do you know where we are?” Timmy asked me.

“No.”

“Did you make markers?”

“No.”

“So, you’re lost?”

“I wouldn’t say lost.”

“Ugh! Why don’t you just go back to Florida?” Emily shouted.

“I think we’re still in Florida,” I said.

“UGH!” Emily screamed. She pushed me. I fell into the snow. I gave just a loud of a scream as I had when Ryan grabbed me.

“NATALIE! EMILY!”

“DARCY!” Emily screamed back. That was the last thing I remember before everything went dark.

**

                  “THAT’S HOT!” I screamed. I found myself in my Momma’s room on her bed. There was a washcloth on my arm.

“Glad you’re up,” Momma said startled. I tried to breathe.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Word in this house is that you’re a hero,” Momma said putting another washcloth on my arm.

“Hero?” I asked.

“They say you gave a horrible scream and that they found where you were when you screamed,” Momma said.

I was surprised Emily didn’t take the credit.

“Now about you getting out of the car,” Momma said. I gave a weak smile.

“Well I guess since you’ve saved some lives it’s ok,” Momma smiled. I gave her a hug.

“Why are putting super-hot washcloths on my arm?” I asked.

“You got your first ever case of frost nip,” Momma said. “Donna said to just put some hot washcloths on your arms and it would go away.”

I sighed.

“You never told me what you wanted for Christmas,” Momma said. “And Christmas is Tuesday.”

“What I want for Christmas is a place to call home,” I mumbled.

“You want a Barbie home?” Momma asked surprised.

“Never mind,” I said.

“There’s nothing you want?” Momma asked surprised.

“Not that I can think of,” I said.

“I know our sudden move has been difficult for you,” Momma said. “And I know you want to go back to Miami and I know you wish you’ve never come here but we’re here now and there’s no turning back.”

Momma got up and left the room. I put my head on the pillow. Why can’t we just go back to Miami and pretend like this never happened?

“Why God?” I asked and then I cried.

**

                 “There she is!” Mr. Rivers shouted as Mr. Steve carried me back downstairs.  Just about everyone in the town was down there and they were clapping for me.

“What you did today was very brave,” Mrs. Rivers said giving me a hug. I smiled.

“Who’s hungry?” Ms. Donna asked. Everyone walked into the restaurant and sat down. As I tried to eat my beef carrot stew just about everyone came up to me and told me how ‘brave’ I was.

“Hi Natalie,” Timmy said walking up to me.

“Hi Timmy,” I smiled.

“Thanks for what you did today,” Timmy said. “Most people in this town wouldn’t risk their lives for a Stewart.”

“Oh, I can’t believe that,” I kinda sorta lied. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did want to go save Mr. Stewart and Natalie. Timmy seemed different.

“Believe it,” Timmy said sitting down at the table where I was sitting with Regina and Erin.

“Well it was the right and Christian thing to do,” I said. Timmy smiled.

“My family doesn’t have a reputation for doing the Christian thing,” Timmy said. “Everyone in my family is stubborn and does what they want even if it’s wrong. So I just want to say thank you for actually caring enough to do the right thing.”

“It’s not a problem,” I shrugged. Timmy smiled.

“So how was it out in that blizzard?” Erin asked.

“Cold especially since Princess Emily kept complaining how cold she was and Grandpa made me give her my coat,” Timmy laughed.

I laughed too and let my eyes wonder over to the table where Darcy and Emily were sitting. Emily seemed to catch my glance and eyed me.

I turned back to Timmy who was telling the story of how Emily kept complaining how cold the snow was and that she didn’t want to stand.

I then started to think about Christmas this year. What would it be like? I looked out the window. My first white Christmas was also the first time I wished Christmas wouldn’t come.