Wednesday, January 8, 2014

a word like roar.

So you would love Meg; she is wonderful and whimsical and currently studying at Belmont. If you attend Belmont too, you really, really need to make this girl one of your life-long-forever college friends because I'm not kidding, she's fabulous.

Meg told me that she had a painting in her dorm room based on a quote here on the blog. (This, you should know, is not why she's fabulous. She's just a wonderful person in general. But the painting is so lovely, that I couldn't wait to share.) And then she showed me a picture ... and I was overwhelmed by all the pretty.

This is the work of a lovely artist named Lauren Holley. (And this is Lauren in the picture, holding her creation.)

I LOVE IT! I am honored that quote was art-worthy! And I'm so happy to know it's in a dorm room.

Thank you for sharing this with me Lauren and Meg! I'm nuts about it! Hugs to you!

I think I wrote the post with that quote two years ago, when I picked "roar" as my word of the year. I picked it because anxiety is such a constant force in my life. And even though I've dealt with anxiety long enough to know how to manage it, I still have a hard time finding my brave sometimes. Being shy is a crutch I lean on a bit too much, I think. Please don't misunderstand me: it is perfectly, wonderfully okay to be shy. But it's one thing to be shy because that's who you are, because you connect better with one or two people then ginormous groups, or because you need a little space, or you're contemplative, or need to acclimate to a new situation before you dive into it. All that is lovely. But too much of my shyness blooms out of insecurity, I think. And my fearful trepidation was causing me to miss out on some great things. So I made Roar my word of the year. And that was even before Katy Perry made the word cool.

Here's a fun note: I don't know why Lauren decided to paint the quote on a hot-air balloon, but a hot-air balloon is a key part of my novel.

Slight tangent: In a plot-twist I couldn't have expected ... I'll be in several new places this year, talking about the novel. I get to participate some incredible events in the coming months, including ALA, which I have dreamed of attending for so long. I get to talk about Felicity's story with people who love books, and who love to connect the right book with the right reader. I am thrilled, and so grateful. And yet it's still a conscious decision I have to make to push through the sinky-swampy fear.

Somehow, little by little, it keeps on happening.

If there's anything I've learned in the past two years, besides how to pop my hood with pliers (because my car is old and the hood latch is broken), it's this;

Just on the other side of my fear, there's nearly always a view so beautiful I can't even believe it. Some dreams are worth roaring for. Absolutely.

I hope you roar at 2014, sweet friends. You've got it in you. You truly do.

Did you pick a word as your theme for 2014? I'm thinking of the word curate. I don't like the sound of the word, but I really like the meaning. 


  1. Replies
    1. I love it! Next, I'm posting my gorgeous new hand warmers. : )

  2. I've picked a word for the last two year, three years including this one, and this year I went for all or nothing. My one word is BRAVE-HEART, hyphenated I know. ;-) I had to. I need to be a bit braver of heart, instead of letting the fear eat me alive day after day. Last year I EMBRACED everything that came my way, but I found it difficult to do because I was still choking on fear abound. Anywho . . . I love the quote and the word and the hot-balloon-artsyness, and I cannot wait for A Snicker of Magic!! All is love. <3

    1. I love to hyphenate things! :) And Brave-Heart looks beautiful that way. What an amazing thought, that there are times we can shed off the Piglet-ness and align the sensitivity with a little bit of drive and gumption. That's so fabulous. Can't wait to read how it plays out in your life!

  3. So two weird things about this post.
    1: roar is actually my word for 2014. I picked it for the same reasons mainly. I am anxious and shy and I just transferred to a new college and yes. I need to roar this year. :)

    2: I know meg and Lauren! Lauren is actually a very good friend of mine. Both of them are wonderful girls.

    And this quote is most definitely worthy of a painting.

    1. You know Meg and Lauren?! What a small and wonderful world!!! I'm roaring, too. When you crutch on shyness, like I tend to do, it's a word that's always worth embracing. :)

  4. This post meant a lot to me, especially the paragraph beginning "I think I wrote this post two years ago," because I have always struggled with shyness, and I know that most of it comes from my own insecurity. It has improved drastically since my first year in school (8th grade - before that I was homeschooled), because I realized somewhere along the way that my "fearful trepidation was causing me to miss out on some great things." And somehow, "it keeps on happening" for me too. :)

    Your writing has had a great impact on me. I love reading every one of your lively blogposts; Paperdoll is the best book for Christian teens I've ever read; Snicker of Magic is at the top of my birthday wishlist; and I always flip straight to your column in Sisterhood each month (I heard you aren't going to write for Sisterhood anymore after May - is that true? I'm going to be so sorry to see you go!!) Thank you for all you've unknowingly done for me! :)

    Keep writing Natalie! <3
    ~ Laura

    1. Laura, you are so SO sweet. Thanks for this lovely comment. I'm right there with you on the fearful moments. And like I said, shyness is fine. But insecurity is one of those things I'd love to shake off, as much as I can. And maybe it's okay if there's always a touch of it there. Just like I told Sarah, you're going to get more and more confident :)

      I won't be writing regularly for Sisterhood after May, but I'll still do articles for them occasionally. And I know the girl who'll be taking over the column. Her name is Emily and she's incredible! I'm so, so happy to know they've encouraged you though. Thank you for this note. You made my day :)

    2. Thank you so much for your sweet reply Natalie! You just made my day too. :) Yes, I can feel my confidence growing all the time. I'm at another new school this year, but I have hardly been feeling shy at all. In fact, I have a lead in the school play, which is totally new for me, and I am so excited to see what I can do. I can really see God answering all my prayers and helping me be secure in who I am in Him.

      I'm so glad to hear you'll still be writing for Sisterhood sometimes. And now I'm excited to read Emily's columns too. :)


  5. Hey Natalie, thanks for that. I needed to hear it. I've been following your blog off and on for a while now. A few summers ago some jr. high kids and myself went through your book Paperdoll. It's a book I need to go back and read again. Keep writing and dreaming. Can't wait to read "A Snicker of Magic".