Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarah.

2 months have passed and this by far has been the hardest week I have endured here.
My heart has been filled with a raging sea of emotion.
Anger, hurt, betrayal, pain, sadness, helplessness, confusion.

Then Friday night we were told that one of our believers new born baby had only two hours left to live...

We all came together and prayed and prayed. I cried out more to Jesus that night than I think I have in my entire life. I just kept saying, "PLEASE FATHER! PLEASE!"
The whole church came together and prayed for this baby's life. Who knows how many tears were shed there in that room.

I felt so selfish. All week I had been feeling depressed for myself and then there was this baby who was fighting for her life. Oh Natalie, how selfish you are. You have no idea what pain is.
I could not stop thinking to myself.

I stayed up all night praying in the church. My knees hurt like crazy and I was beyond exhausted, but I knew that I just needed to keep praying, until my heart gave out.
In the morning while I was walking home I thought, "Tonight, I became a real prayer warrior."

Hours passed and we got news that she was doing better.

In the morning I just kept praising and worshiping Jesus for this miracle He had done.
We went to see her in the hospital and she was looking better.
I remembered seeing her the first day she was born.
I looked at her precious body and I remember crying.
Not exactly tears of joy, but tears of sorrow.
This new, blameless life had come into such a messed up world and my heart broke for her.
I prayed that she would do something great in her life, that God had a better plan for her.
I remember exactly in my heart saying this,
"Make her like Mother Teresa, make people remember her name, Father."

About two hours after we left the hospital I came home to a house full of anguish.
Everyone was crying.
I could not believe it. My heart could not bear to believe it.
"Jesus! Why?! How could you take this life?!"

Fast forward a few hours later:
Everyone packed in cars on the way to the grave site after praying.
Sobs of sorrow coming from a heartbroken mother in the back seat.
The lifeless baby in the arms of her father.
Aunt Becky and I squished in the front seat.

Softly the sound came from next to me.
A hymn I recognized from when I was a small girl growing louder.

"It is well, it is well, with my soul."
I couldn't tell you how I remembered the words after all of these years, but they came to me.
I joined my Aunt Becky in singing and we didn't stop until we got there.
Old hymns flooded our mouths.
Putting joy back into our hearts.

In that moment I saw baby Sarah, no longer in her father's arms in the back seat, but in Jesus' arms in Heaven. No more pain, no more suffering, she was there.

Please pray for Sarah's parents. This is what I beg of you.
I could never imagine the heartache of losing a child.

I pray that tonight, all over the world, whoever is reading this blog, remembers little Sarah's life.
What a precious beam of sunshine she was to us, only lent for a short while.















Always choose to love,
Natalie Grace Donald

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every breath is a second chance.

The past week has been rough.
Satan is attacking me in many ways. My children, my friendships, my heart...
I felt anger this week, betrayal, hurt and more than anything sadness.
I feel like for the first time in my 19 year old life, I need to start building up walls around my heart.
I feel like no longer I can wear my heart on my sleeve, no longer I can trust...

Pigeons are ugly creatures. Am I right? They are annoying and they are always coming into the house and scaring the living daylights out of me.

They make me absolutely crazy.

Today all I wanted to do all day was lay in bed and cry and miss home.
I know, pathetic, right?
I decided after awhile to go on a walk.
As I was walking I prayed and prayed.
Then I remembered the line in my favorite song,
"All of my life, in every season, you are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship."

So there I was, walking down the dirt roads of India, singing my heart out, praising to the Lord.

I cried out, "Father! Please have justice! Show me you are here! Show me you have victory over this place! Show me that no weapon formed against me will remain!"

I finally ended up back home. I sat in the garden for hours with my eyes closed just crying out and singing to the Lord. People kept trying to talk to me, but I just kept my eyes closed and kept singing.

Even though I was praising, I still felt so angry inside (a recent emotion for me).

Eventually I opened my eyes.
I looked up to the sky... out of no where, a single white dove flew onto the house.

The many black pigeons that were crowding the window sills and roof all flew away.
And there is was, a breathtaking white dove, starring at me as I was singing,
"God is my victory and He is here!"
Tears filled my eyes and I started laughing with such joy.
I just kept laughing to myself.
So much so that my cheeks still hurt writing this.

Hope.

Firm on His promise I'll stand.

A fews girls came outside the house and looked up and just kept saying,
"Wow! Look! I cannot believe it," pointing to the white dove.

And I just sat there with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes,
and a promise of hope in my heart.




"So, you believe because you have see with your own eyes. Good! But better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing!" -Jesus

"They return at evening:
they make a noise like a dog,
and go round about the city.

Behold, they belch out with their mouth:
swords are in their lips:
for who, say they, doth hear?

But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them;
thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
Because of his strength will I wait upon thee:
for God is my defense." -Psalms 59:6-9

Monday, October 25, 2010

Found.


I’m 19 years old.

I’m quirky and I’m weird and I’m way too silly and I sweat the small stuff.

I can be annoying even to myself sometimes.

I like to dance in the rain until my clothes are dripping wet.

I’m not a realist.

I have fragile strength.

I am determined not to waste my last month of adolescence and all it’s glory.

I find beauty in broken things.

I find even greater beauty in broken things that are pieced back together.

My mouth usually gets me in trouble and I use far too many run on sentences and I frequently will steal song lyrics and insert them in my blogs.

I try to follow the advice of my heart (thanks to that fortune cookie I ate over a year ago).

I’ve weighed the cost of losing the world, but gaining my soul.

Have you?

My name is Natalie Grace Donald.

I am found.

And everything I once held dear, I count it all as lost.

Living with arms wide open,

Natalie

Trading my sorrows.

I for real need to catch up on everything.
but i guess they're kinda worth all the extra work.
my babies. :)









Living and Loving,
Map Didi

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My prayer.


"Mary Khourby
17 years old
Damour, Lebanon
1975-1992

Mary Khoury and her family were forced to their knees before their home. The leader of the Muslim fanatics who had raided their village waved his pistol carelessly before their faces. His hatred for Christians burned in his eyes. "If you do not become a Muslim," he threatened, "you will be shot."

Mary knew Jesus had been given a similar choice. "Give up your plan to save sinners, or You will be crucified." He chose the cross.

Mary's choice was similar. "I was baptized as a Christian and his word came to me: 'Don't deny your faith.' I will obey Him. Go ahead and shoot. The report of a gun from behind her echoed in the valley and Mary's body fell limply to the ground.

Two days later, the Red Cross came into her village. Of all her family, Mary was the only one still alive. But the bullet had cut her spinal cord, leaving both her arms paralyzed. They were stretched out from her body and bent at the elbows, reminiscent of Jesus at His crucifixion. She could do nothing with them.

More words from the Lord came to Mary. Even though she was now handicapped, she knew God had a plan for her life.

"Everyone has a vocation," she said. "I can never marry or do any physical work. So I will offer my life for Muslims, like the one who cut my father's throat, cursed my mother and stabbed her, and then tried to kill me. My life will be a prayer for them."

Talk, Dc. Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs - Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1999. Print.


So maybe you're not facing the same persecution as Mary, but I pray that when you read her story, something sparks in your heart.
I pray that you can still love your enemies, even through persecution.
I pray that when you hear something that's not pleasing to God, or say something, or even do something, that you will listen to the rapid pounding in your heart and know that it's the Holy Spirit trying to help you make the right choice, even though it might be a hard one.


I pray that this video of me dancing with my loves, brings you as much joy that it brings me.
:)

video

Natalie Grace

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unashamed Love

"Her Last Prayer
16 or 17 years old
Asia
1970's

The communist soldiers had discovered their illegal bible study.

As the pastor was reading from the Bible, men with guns suddenly broke into the home, terrorizing the believers who had gathered there to worship. The communists shouted insults and threaten to kill the Christians. The leading officer pointed his gun at the pastor's head. "Hand me your Bible," he demanded.

Reluctantly, the pastor handed over his Bible, his prized possession. With a sneer on his face, the guard threw the Word of God on the floor at his feet.

He glared at the small congregation. "We will let you go," he growled, "but first, you must spit on this book of lies. Anyone who refuses will be shot." The believers had no choice but to obey the officer's order.

A soldier pointed his gun at one of the men. "You first."

The man slowly got up and knelt down by the Bible. Reluctantly, he spit on it, praying, "Father, please forgive me." He stood up and walked to the door. The soldiers stood back and allowed him to leave.

"Okay, you!" the soldier said, nudging a woman forward. In tears, she could barely do what the solider demanded. She spat only a little, but it was enough. She too was allowed to leave.

Quietly, a young girl came forward. Overcome with love for her Lord, she knelt down and picked up the Bible. She wiped off the spit with her dress. "What have they done to Your Word? Please forgive them," she prayed.

The communist soldier put his pistol to her head.
Then pulled the trigger."

Talk, Dc. Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs - Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1999. Print.


"Jesus is everything."
Mother Teresa


give me faith like them, father.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Inside the brain of Natalie Donald

Recent thoughts:
You know you are REALLY learning a language when you start to think in the other language. The prodigal son makes me cry even in Hindi. There are also tears of laughter when my one year old cousin is lifting up her dress in front of the whole audience during the drama. I miss English. I think about Greece way too much. My body and flesh misses the US, but my soul has never been more nourished.
Prayer Requests:
My family. Here and in the states. I love to walk here. It is my daily exhilaration and my adventure. But recently, I have been experiencing some pain in my legs.
Symptoms:
1. Aching from my femur bone to my toes. Not unbearable (don't worry Gram), but annoying.
2. A surprising feeling from time to time as if someone is throwing scalding hot water on different parts of my legs.
Weird.
Pray for my Karuna Kids: Zarina, Gideon, Dinesh, Pranav, Real, Pushpa, Robin, Dena, Hetal, Kanta, Princey, Snehal, Stella, Maryum, Caleb, Lukesh, Ashish, Naresh, Rueben, Rahul, Kusha, Keshia, Mukesh, Pooja, Sumitra, Joshua, Asha.
A prayer of thanksgiving:
I have a friend here. We are very close. I shared with her my spiritual gift a few weeks ago, and she confided with me about her family. She told me that her dad had been struggling with alcohol since she was a little girl and it had affected her entire family. So every morning in my prayers I had been including my friend's dad. We woke up at 5 AM yesterday morning and prayed for him. A few hours later, she disappeared and I couldn't find her. She eventually came downstairs and had tears in her eyes. She said, "Natalie! I'm so sorry to keep you waiting! That was my family! My dad woke up this morning and wanted to go to church! He went and gave 5,000 rupies for offering and said he wanted to give up drinking! My mom and sister were just on the phone crying with joy because for once he didn't scold them for going to church! He's changed!"
We both laughed and cried and just kept saying, "Praise Jesus!"
I said to her, "See, our God, He answers, and He's still performing miracles today!"

Lately, my inbox has been filling up with praises and compliments about my blog. Some say I'm inspiring them, I'm a hero to them, I fill their eyes with tears, and change their hearts. This is so beautiful to hear. But often times, I feel like the antonym of all of those things. This week, I'd like to devote a blog everyday to the REAL heroes. The ones that have stories that should not be kept silent. THEY are the ones, deserving and worthy of praise, not I.

Starting with:
"The First Jesus Freak

Stephen
Jerusalem, Israel
34 AD

Across the courtroom, the young man on trial continued preaching. The jury fidgeted nervously as he told of their religious heritage and forefathers. What did Abraham and Moses have to do with this Jesus? Another young man in the audience, about the same age as the defendant, seemed not to be listening. His mind was already made up on the matter of this Jesus follower. The crowd of Jewish leaders however, grew more agitated at every word from the young defendant.

Suddenly the preacher turned to the audience, "You stubborn and hard-headed people! You're always fighting against the Holy Spirit, just like your ancestors did They killed the prophets who told about the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have turned against Him and killed Him. You have received the law of God, but you have not kept it."

When the crowd heard this, they were even more furious, but the defendant ignored their growing anger. His face glowed like that of an angel, and he stopped talking and pointed at the ceiling. "Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

This was too much. Yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him. They dragged him out of the city to stone him. He continued preaching all the way.

The young man who had been in the audience, one Saul of Tarsus, followed after them. He stood a short distance away from the defendant, looking steadily at the sky as the mob grew larger. The cries grew more heated now. A man handed Saul his coat, then stopped to pick up a stone as though waiting for a signal from Saul. Saul lowered his gaze, then looked directly into the man's eyes and nodded. It was time to silence the young preacher.

Stephen, the defendant, continued despite the crowd's jeers, because the Man he was telling them about was so important to him. He couldn't stop talking about Him. Several more men had now removed their coats, handed them to Saul, and began gathering rocks, many of them so large that the men had to lift them with two hands.
"We don't want to hear about your Jesus anymore!"

A rock sailed past Stephen's head. He stopped speaking long enough to duck it, dazed for a moment, then he stood to continue. The second rock caught him near his temple, and he fell to his knees. Another hit his shoulder. Then there were too many to count.

"Let this be a lesson to all who would proclaim this Jesus!"

Another stone found it's mark. Then another. He couldn't open his eyes for the sting of the blood. His clothes were torn by the blows and blood dripped freely from the tatters. He began to pray, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he scanned the crowd until his eyes locked with the young man who held the bundle of coats.
"And Lord," he continued,"do not hold this sin against them."

When he said those words, Stephen died.

Slowly men gathered their coats from young Saul, who was soon alone with the body of the young preacher. Saul had come to Jerusalem to help silence the growing craze about Jesus of Nazareth. despite his hatred, he could not shake the young man's words and how fearlessly he had faced death.

Saul did not persecute men like Stephen for much longer...Eventually he became Paul and wrote a good part of the New Testament."

Talk, Dc. Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs - Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1999. Print.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

what it's all about

monday morning i woke up really early.
i sat outside and closed my eyes.
for maybe an hour i just sat in silence.
i asked jesus the question," jesus, how can i show you how much i love you?"

the response spoken to my heart was a feeling i can't explain other than with these words,
"love them, as if i were here, as if i were here loving them. show them the love of god."

so, i told my aunt, "everyday, i want to spend time with the karuna kids. every single day."
so i apologize for my lack of bloggage, but i have been spending time with my favorite kids.

playing red rover and other games until exhaustion (map didi exhaustion, of course)


introducing them to my favorite raspberry dolly (if i was a billionaire, i would buy them raspberry dollies everyday, i decided)

writing them love letters.





painting faces.


today we played soccer and we're going to watch avatar. :)
everyday is something new.
pray that god continues to use me to show his beloved children his love.

if you think of any more ways to love, please feel free to email me them.
as always, they are greatly appreciated it.


love always,

Me :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's Your Passion?


Recently, I have taken a class asking this very question, "What's your passion?"
My aunt is teaching it and I absolutely LOVE it!
I think it will help me not to worry so much about my future anymore...
Maybe I'll even figure out what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life.

The book asks you a series of questions, one being:
"If I were to mention your name to a group of your friends, what would they say you were really interested in or passionate about?"

I asked my teacher (aka my aunt*),
"What if I don't know what they would say?"

She said, "Then maybe you should ask them."
So that is precisely what I did and these are what my closest friends said:
1. "Jesus, loving people, and romance novels.
2. Jesus. Helping people. People-pleasing.
3. Jesus. Loving people. Kids. Social justice. Making a difference in the world. You are living out my dream..to live with the poor, in the dirt, loving them back to life, showing them hope, sharing their tears, holding them when they're sick or dying, praying with them, living life together, Jesus. I'm crying just writing this! You are my hero, Natalie Donald. Your heart is beautiful. You are so courageous. You are a world-changer, planet-shaker. God has not only called you, but PICKED you,CHOOSEN YOU, to India for a purpose! You are completely qualified to fufill God's call on your life. Wherever you go, wherever you're living, that place becomes an embassy for the Kingdom of God, because you are a citizen not only of earth, but of heaven.
4. Jesus. Making people happy. Making a difference. Doing more thank just surviving...actually living. People in general (who they are, what makes them tick). Spreading love :)
5. Fixing broken hearts. I remember Fall 07. You brought me back to life.
6. Photography---- you always take the most beatuiful pictures you got a good eye plussss you love capturing life and its beauty and then showing the whole world what at first they maybe didn't notice.
Leadership---- it seems no matter the situation people choose to have you as their leader, president, captain and you never let anyone's expectations down. Also, you having so much trainning for this from your whole life.
7. Counseling.
8. I would say that you are very passionate about God. About how He works in peoples' lives and how He works through you. You have this communication with God that I have always been jealous of. It's like you guys are on the same walkie talkie frequency like 95% of the time. It's amazing. And then I realize how strong and amazing you are and have to be in your faith in order to hear and be heard by God.
Your passion is people: helping them, loving them, connecting with them, cheering them up. And you're amazing at it. You have this light about you and this ease and "grace" with people that you don't even know you have.
You passion is for your friends. Those you love and those you do not yet know. You have this humongous heart and you want to share it with everyone.
You're interested in boys, but you're passionate about one in particular whose heart you will always have, God.
Natalie Donald, you are strong and beautiful and courageous. God uses you and tests you because He knows that you are His daughter and that you can handle it. You stand strong in tough times and are one of the first He will grab when He comes back.
You are passionate about life and living it to the fullest and experiencing everything. But you are also passionate about life after death and wanting everyone you love to be there with you.
You are passionate about helping everyone, especially those in India who are blessed with the Nat Don teachings and influences to learn about Christ.
9. You are passionate about helping those in the margins of life that get forgotten about. You have compassion for the poor and homeless. You love those who others forget about. You have a passion for teaching kids about God. You have a passion for taking care of the kids. You have a passion for helping the hurting. Lastly, you have a passion for spreading the gospel and love of Christ.
I could see you as the following: teacher, social worker (both old and young), counselor, and social justice advocate. Anything you put your mind to you can do. Hope this helps. I am glad you are doing this. Make sure and write these down somewhere and refer back to them when start to struggle. It helps to look back and remember the things that others see in you."

10. Here is what my class thought:
I will keep you updated on what my results are as far as my spiritual gifts and where I can be used in life to bring glory to the Most High King (aka my dad). :)

But today I challenge you to do the same. Figure out what your passions are, don't be scared to ask your friends, and when you figure them out don't let anything stop you from doing them.

Everything in your life should be leading to that same desire.
As for me, "Restoring love and joy to those who have lost it."


With a heart full of thanksgiving,
The girl who has no idea what she is going to do with the rest of her life.
(aka Natalie Grace Donald the first, aka Map Didi)


P.S.- I am totally and completely open for suggestions ;)

P.P.S.- I apologize for the excessive AKA's in this particular blog.

Monday, October 11, 2010

until my heart caves in.


if you read nothing else from my blog, i hope you read this:
He loves you.
despite everything you've done or everything you're going to do.
He loves you more than anyone ever could.



i needed a reminder of that today.

i figured maybe you did too.

-ngd the 1st

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"What will people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak?"

Lately I have been censoring my blogs, due to my nervousness...
"People are gonna think I'm crazy if I tell them this."
Thoughts like this have been flooding my brain daily.
Mainly because I used to be one of those people...
Until I came to a place where everyone around me worships false Gods and idols.

But today I choose to share.
And tomorrow.
And the day after that.
Because that's what we're called to do..
To share...even if people may think we're crazy.

Warning: If spiritual warfare freaks you out...please stop reading here.

Last night I spent some alone time with God on the roof. I sat there for a long time just praying, “Lord, let me hear you. I’m listening. I just want to hear your voice. I want to know you’re there.” After a long time of silence I went back in my room and fell asleep.

In the night, I was awoken by loud noises. The noises were so loud I sat up in bed wondering if I should leave my room or not. It sounded like creatures. Barking maybe? Growling maybe? But more vicious than that. Sometimes in Arizona I would be woken up in the middle of the night by coyotes finding their pray. But this was something different. There must have been a multitude of them... I listened for a long time, thinking, “Someone else in the house must hear this.” The thing I remember the most was that it sounded like they were trying to get inside. There was banging against the window over and over again, I was sure they were going to break it.

I woke up really early in the morning and went downstairs. I asked everyone who was awake, “Did you hear something last night? Like maybe many dogs trying to get into the house? They kept banging against the window. They were SO loud.”

No one heard anything. And there was no window there, only metal rods.

It was like they were right outside of my bedroom.

Right before I went to sleep I memorized this verse,

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,

but against the rulers, against the authorities,

the cosmic powers over this present darkness,

against the spiritual forces of evil

in the Heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12

There was no glass.

It was the sound of God.

I heard You.

Protecting me.

Shielding me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Name

Map Didi: root; When my cousins first came to the US they were obsessed with Dora the Explorer. Which is understandable, they know what it's like to be a foreigner in another country not their own. So when they were young they had a very difficult time saying Natalie. So I said, "Just call me, Nat. It's easier." Indians have a hard time with their N's. So, they just heard Map on Dora and said, "Hey! That's our cousin's name! Map!"

So "I'm the Map."

Didi: root; means sister in Hindi.

Everyday I am flooded with love letters. They make me so happy. Here are just a few of them.

"I love Map Didi. My Map is nice. My Map is like (ship?). Rose are red. Sky are blue. Gras are gras. But you are my supper star." Haha!

Lately, I've had a random prayer in my heart. It is a hope and prayer that my future husband thinks I'm MOST beautiful when I'm praying or worshiping Jesus.
Last night after church I was slipped a letter from one of the Karuna Kids.
It read, "I think you are so beautiful when you pray and praise Jesus, Map Didi."

My heart is so happy today.
Map


P.S.
There is another nickname I would like to tell you about.
I'm not sure where it originated, or why for that matter,
but I love it.
Everyone calls Petra "Boob" or "Boob-a-lee!"
Haha!
It makes me laugh.
She's our precious little Boobalee.

"If you're gonna live in India, you're gonna develop some thick skin."

There are a few things I would like to share with you.

I will separate them into 2 different posts because frankly if I write them both in one it will seem as if I've written a novel (and that wouldn't be good).

I'll begin with a follow up from my last blog.

That teacher approached me last night and asked me to come to his office in the morning to have a word with him.

Yikes.

I was up for a long time praying.

I am really not so good at confrontation.

At all.

I prayed,

"Jesus, what do you want me to say to this man? What if he just gets angry with me again? I don't want him to belittle me, but you know how frightened I am to stand up for myself."

I knew that my words could take away his job.

I kept dwelling on my words.

Last September, my words sent a man to prison.

Last October, my words made a man lose his job and have sexual predator written on his application for life.

I was feeling so terrible about it, then I heard a voice deep inside...

"No, Natalie. It was THEIR WORDS. It was THEIR ACTIONS. Not your's. Speak the truth."

So I walked into the office this morning...chai spilling all over myself because of my shaky hands.

"Please Holy Spirit speak through me. Please help him not to tear me apart or make me cry again."

The man sat down and said,

"I was awake until 1 AM last night. Since I have disturbed you, I have not been able to sleep properly. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. Those kids, they want you, they need you, not me. What can I do to be better? What can I do to change?"

Sheeshola.

"For real, Father, is this really happening? Did he just say those words?"

I was stunned. Then I spoke, I don't even remember the words I uttered, but I know they had weight, they had truth, and they spoke to his heart.

I think I said something along the lines of this:

"I never want you to feel as if I'm judging you. I just want you to know that your words broke my heart. Those children, they are never going to learn if you tell them, "you're not smart enough, you're not good enough..." Never. The beating and the slapping and the embarrassment, it needs to stop. What is it doing to help them? Nothing. More than any education, these children need to be shown love. I understand discipline is important, but it can be done in a much better way."


We came to an agreement that I was going to help change things. I came out smiling, knowing that whatever I just said in there did NOT come from me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Always picking up the pieces.

My class :) My Karuna kids

Scenario:
Sitting in my daily class (my favorite part of the day), teaching the students and working with my cousin on reading at my desk.

Teacher walks in (male): " She will never learn to read! You're not even helping her!" ETC...

He was just shouting nonsense. I don't even really remember what he was saying.
But I got angry.

So me: "How do you ever expect her to learn if you're just negative?! Beating them, shouting at them, telling them how dumb they are! You really think that's going to help them?!"

Teacher: "In India, love won't cut it. They only learn from shouting and beating, don't you understand? You will never become a teacher in India."

Me: "(the Indian gesture for you're making me crazy) That's not the only way..."

He left the class and I started crying and apologized to my class.
They just kept saying, "Please don't cry Map Didi, please don't cry."

I am not used to talking back to my elders. Disrespect is one of my worst fears, in fact.
I was shaking from the inside out.

Maybe beating and slapping and shouting and yelling and pinching works for some people.
Maybe that really is the only way they can learn.
But I don't have it in me.
I'll never have it in me...
Natalie Donald's teaching methods do not consist of anything but praises, candy, and the occasional, "Okay...let's try sounding it out one more time."
And I'm okay with just that.

So I came home discouraged and hurt.
Replaying the "You're never going to be a teacher..." part over and over again in my head.
My 3 best friends found me crying.
"What's wrong Map?"
I finally composed myself and told them.

They took me to the market and bought me not one...but two raspberry dollies.
Sometimes it's the little things in life that are the most important, like my 3 best friends spending the little money they have to buy me my favorite ice cream just to put a smile back on my face.

Don't forget to show the people you love in your life how much you really love them.
Because even the cheery little things can put sunshine back into someone's cloudy day.
You can also tease me for how cheesy that line just was.

Map Didi


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

true love.

last night petra fell and bumped her head.
i immediately scooped her up and carried her to my room.
i set her on the bed and went to my secret stash.
i unveiled one Halloween Oreo.
the wailing ceased.

we laid on my bed together.
and she ate all the orange cream from the middle of the oreo.
and rejected the outside.
(which was fine with me, because that's my favorite part)
:)

for a long time she just touched my face and looked at me with lots of smiles.

then she began picking her nose.
then she wiped the contents of her nose on my face.
then she began to pick my nose.

and i broke the silence and laughed.
i laughed and laughed.
oh, how i dearly love her.

not true love:
i have a lizard living in my bathroom.
not like a tiny Arizona gecko.
but like a legit lizard.
i take about 2 minutes to actually walk into my bathroom.
because i have to scan every inch of the floor, walls, and ceiling for this lizard.

nasty, dude.

natalie grace donald


help me to love like you do, father:
:)

Monday, October 4, 2010

All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing.

Yesterday:
Let's talk about yesterday.
I woke up feeling a whole mix of emotions.
Pain, anger, hurt, guilt were all swarming up like a black pit inside of me.
Mostly guilt though.
I realized that I really didn't like who I was before I came to India.
People here keep calling me an angel.
But I am the farthest thing from angelic.
How can someone with such darkness inside of her, bring light to this place?
I was struggling with so much sin in my life.
I was so sad and depressed all morning.
I prayed a lot.

Then a box came.
I ripped it open like a wild village woman. Haha!
With each thing I pulled out I just laughed hysterically. All by myself.
I laughed at how all of the things I have been craving were in this box.
All from my good friend Ben. :)
I just kept thinking, "God, I don't deserve this. I don't deserve this."
I ripped open the box of Oreos and took the smallest bites, savoring each one.
I laughed with each bite at how ridiculously good this small, Halloween, orange creamed Oreo tasted.

Then my Aunt came home from the store and gave me a surprise as well.
She gave me a yellow dress.
If you know anything about Natalie, you know she loves yellow, and she loves dresses.
"It just looked so you."
I was SO happy, I put it right on.
Then I went to my daily class and sat at my desk and taught my favorite Karuna Home children.
And Robin came to my desk and gave me this:

Sometimes, I think God gives us exactly what we need, at just the right time.
Our favorite foods (captain crunch with berries, mac and cheese, slim jims, chedder flavored sun chips), a yellow dress you feel beautiful in, and a letter written straight from the heart.

Aunt Becky and I just laid in bed last night and talked for a long time.
I cried and cried. I kept saying, "I'm so sorry, I don't usually cry."
She listened as I spilled out all of the things I had been feeling.
And she helped me come to a few realizations:
God is going to do things in me.
Not just through me.
But inside of me.
And my sins, once confessed, God has already forgotten.
So all of that guilt is not from God.

I think we need believers in our lives to remind us of these things sometimes.
Things I have been taught since I was able to understand...sometimes just need to be reminded.
"He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." Psalms 103:12
I am thankful for the friends and family I have in my life.
"In this life you're my favorite part" :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mera Nam Natalie Hai


My Name is Natalie Grace Donald.
I'm 19 years old.
I grew up in a small town
(or maybe it's a city, or maybe it's neither, I'm not really even sure) in Arizona.
I enjoy listening to Taylor Swift on a daily basis.
And I have a sweet tooth.

I miss home everyday.

But my heart breaks for the people of India.
For these faces...






This world may steal their joy.
But Jesus came to give them the fullest joy possible.
Maybe I can be used to show His love.
So they too, can have an unbroken and eternal life.

Yikes, I need to be brave.