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Natalie Rudd

A New Year. A New You?

The pressure is on. A new year has been ushered in. What will be different for you this year? Will you continue on the same path, with the same thoughts and behaviors? Or will you venture out of your comfort zone and grow leaps and bounds to build a better you?   I was recently stretched beyond my personal and professional comfort zone! I felt like the.
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Faith Column: On Waiting

I recently drove to Washington, D.C., for a business trip. The drive there was perfect. I felt relaxed. The weather was good, and there was very little traffic. However, once I got into the city, everything changed. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic, people weaving from lane to lane, and the traffic stood at a standstill for 10 minutes at a time. My GPS said I was three minutes.
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Faith Column: On Living a Life of Joy

A beautiful two-story house is nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac on a private, wooded lot. The house has a grand foyer entrance, four bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, an attached three-car garage and a beautifully manicured lawn. It is absolutely breathtaking to see. On the outside, it appears to be the perfect place to call home. But a closer look and a peek through the windows reveals.
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Just a Little Nudge

One day, while walking my dog, I noticed a tiny bug on the sidewalk. Somehow the little guy had gotten turned over on his back and was desperately struggling to turn back over, with all his little insect legs flailing in the air. It appeared to be a hopeless case. As I glanced down at the tiny creature, I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s too bad”.
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No Place Like Home

A coworker just walked in my office and said, “It is nice to have you back!” to which I replied, “It is good to be home!” You see, I started another job this past January, but it wasn’t actually a new job, because I had worked in the same department back in 2006. I left in 2008 for a couple of years to explore other career.
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Growing up, I often heard my father say, “Keep your faith strong and your hopes high!” As a little girl, I didn’t quite understand what this expression meant, but I always loved to hear him say it. As an adult, I came to understand how important it was to “keep my faith strong and my hopes high” as the disappointments and challenges of life started to.
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The Free Gift

Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? I certainly do, and so does everyone else I know! Gifts have a way of making us feel loved and special. Throughout the years, I have learned an expensive gift doesn’t necessarily make you happier. In fact, the best gifts I have received have been relatively inexpensive, but it was the thoughtfulness behind the gift that warmed my heart. We all have.
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Trust the Process

Trust the Process Have you ever played Solitaire? For those of you who have not, the goal of the game is to get all of the cards from seven piles into four piles. The cards in the seven piles can be moved by counting downward and alternating colors. For example, a red five of hearts can only go on a black six of spades or a black.
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The Perfect Gift

Did you make it to the Black Friday sales? Or, did you start your shopping on Thanksgiving evening after the food was put away and the kitchen was cleaned? Perhaps you were like my girlfriends, who started shopping on Thanksgiving evening and continued until 6 a.m. Friday morning. Then, they stopped briefly for breakfast before starting again. Oh, the joys of the holiday season! In our busyness.
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Storms Take Us Higher

Have you ever had a friend that just changed on you? You know, they just flipped the script on you. You thought everything was going well, then all of a sudden things changed. You sat back and shook your head in disbelief. That’s what God just did to me. I thought I knew him then he flipped the script and took our relationship to another level, without.
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Faith: Are you making your problems bigger than life itself?

I'm writing this in the midst of an unexpected health crisis that seems to be filling my heart with anxiety and my mind with chaotic cluttered thoughts. And if I continue on this path, I could make my situation larger than life itself. Are you guilty of that, too? Are you making your problems bigger than life itself? Bigger than God? If I think back to my column.
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I love the saying: “If you worry you ought not to pray and if you pray you ought not to worry.” Simple, yet profound, instructions for us to follow. But what exactly is prayer? The definition that resonates best with me is that prayer is the seeking of God’s presence; it is going before Him. Sometimes we go before God with a joyful heart and sometimes with an aching.
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Our Words Matter

Do you find yourself complaining about your personal situation from time to time? Do you say things like, “I can’t do that” or “I’m not talented enough” or “I’m not smart enough” or a thousand other things you think you “can’t” do? We often speak these words without being mindful that our words have power. With our words, we either speak life into our situations or we speak.
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I can’t dance.  I have absolutely no rhythm.  But, I love to dance anyway! I mostly dance in front of the mirror or in the car (embarrassing my daughter!) and I love to recall the memory of a couple slow dancing at a party or wedding reception. I love how they seem so connected, gliding smoothly across the dance floor looking into each others’ eyes as.
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Putting God First

Many years ago I remember sitting in church and crying. A friend passed a small card over to me and said, “I don't know what’s going on, but this should help.”  I looked down at the bright orange card and smiled when I read the words, “Keep God in the center.” My friend was right. I did feel better. Often times we become distracted by the world and are.
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