Swatting the NATS

Christa wrote this post for me this summer, but oh man it is good for any day. I have NATS (hold on-you’ll see) about this blog. I think to myself often that there is nothing here that anyone would want to read. I ABSOLUTELY relate to everything she is serving up on the blog today. As a woman, mother, friend, wife; I am always swatting NATS. This is great.

And this girl…Christa is bold, loud and funny. All that boldness and determination is also found in the way she loves, serves others, parents her children and chases after her King. We love this family.


Several times now I have tried to write a blog entry for Court, each time getting several lines on the page before the NATS (Negative Automated Thoughts) started flowing through my head.  You know the ones – the thoughts that repeat in your head telling you all the reasons why you can’t do something or aren’t good enough.  Each time, I gave up on my post saying, ‘look people are blessed enough by what she is writing, what good word do you have to give anyway?’  ‘She is a great writer, she doesn’t NEED your post, you have so many other things you should be doing.’

This morning, I was praying on my deck, enjoying the quiet morning. I was trying to put all the items on my “to do” list out of my head and just enjoy the moment.  It is rare I have a Monday morning off and to myself to enjoy.  Again, this task of writing a post kept creeping into my thoughts.  I asked myself, ‘why do you want to write something anyway?’ ‘ Why for Court?’  Then I started on the “you want the fame” conversation running through my head. Let’s face it. Court puts a post about poop in a tub and gets a thousand hits.  So having an honest conversation about why anyone who wants to post on her blog is essential to establishing motive.  All of a sudden it hit me. These were just more NATS.

Anyone who has been on a wonderful evening picnic and annoyed by the flying knats knows they are relentless and just keep coming back even if your mind is on something greater.  (BTW, no joke Court might have an oil for that.)

My brain works like this.  I plan something.  Write an entire paper or project in my head and then I go do it.  I started thinking about all the things that the Lord has done for me that are worth sharing.  How selfish I was for not putting them into words for others to be blessed by just because of my insecurities about writing, how letting the NATS win was like giving the devil an ice cream snack on a hot day.

But I don’t like him. Or all these negative thoughts.

I started a post about being a step mom- the hardest most rewarding job I have ever had.  I started a post about being Cam’s mom and the journey we have had with his Sensory Integration.  I started a post about being a mom in a mixed-blended family living in Iowa.  I started a post about being a professional working mom with active kids and a stay-at-home hubby.  I started a post about so many things – victories, blessings and yes even failures.   As you can see I am one busy-blessed momma!

Like everything in life, I was quickly interrupted and brought back to the reality.  Get off the patio,  get in and get to work.  You have a website to finish.  You have photos to edit.  You have people coming into town to visit.  You have stuff to do.  You see, we are in the middle of graduation celebrations for our son, CJ.  Last week we honored him with a party and this week we will celebrate all his accomplishments with the graduation ceremony.  It is a big deal!  Look at the statistics.  He has accomplished what only a small percentage do and has done it quite well.

Two years ago, CJ looked at his life and decided he wanted a major change.  He made the decision to follow the dreams that God had placed on his heart and moved to Iowa from Atlanta to pursue them.  He not only made the move and got into the swing of things at school successfully, he made the basketball team, the track team, was involved in church, and had a job.  Now he is graduating with honors and has varsity letters in his sport and has offers to attend three very good colleges.

As parents, we are aware we cannot take all the credit.  We rely on teachers to educate them.  We rely on coaches and mentors to help guide their leadership abilities.  We rely on God to help us mold them into the caring and big hearted gentleman that love the Lord.  We rely on pastors and spiritual fathers/mothers/aunts/uncles to help point them in the right direction when life happens. So I’d say we have all done a pretty good job.

CJ has big decisions ahead of him. Where to go to college.  What to do when he grows up.  He has great offers and opportunities lined up. He is overwhelmed.  He has NATS running through his head.  He isn’t sharing those, but I can guess what they are.  He isn’t good enough.  He doesn’t deserve this.  He will just fail.  He will only make the wrong decision.  These might not be the exact NATS, but I know he is struggling – I can tell by the way he is acting.  I have known him and loved him for 17 years.  I know this boy.  As a mother… As a fixer mom I want to make it all go away.  But I have quickly come to realize that this is not my job.  I know that he needs to fight the NATS off with the truth.  I know this because I am fighting those same NATS off myself.  This time is what God has prepared him for.  This is what he was made for.

But he is hurting.  I could easily just make the college decisions for him. What if I point him in the direction I think is right…. am I really trusting the knowledge, gifts and spirit God has given him and we have nurtured in him over the past 18 years?  Am I really trusting the Lord in him?

It is our jobs as parents to help empower our kids to live the dreams that God has placed on their heart.  If that includes going to college and playing basketball and/or long jumping.  Then our job is to simply provide them with the tools they need to be successful.  It is up to them to rely on the Lord and trust in the journey.  It is up to them to keep their eyes on the Lord.  We are just here for encouragement – not to hold them back.  We are here to remind them that they are LOVED.

Do you think Mary knew that her son would be the King of Kings, the Lord or Lords, the Savior to all?  I am sure she knew he was special, but could she see his journey?  If she could would she try to save him and die in His place?  Would she take the beatings for Him?  As a mother I’d say yes.  But if she had, would we have all been saved?  Would our sins be forgiven?  There is no way we can comprehend the plans the Lord has for our children.  Our vision of on Earth as it is in Heaven is so much more minuet than what our God has for us.  If we start narrowing their opportunities by making decisions for them rather than praying them through it we will only limit their possibilities.

Now is the time that we let go and let God.  We keep our kids prayed up and help them fight off the NATS with truths.  Giving them the essential oils they need by baptizing them in the Word of God so that when life happens – they have the foundation to stand tall and stay the course.  By being an example of trusting in the Lord ourselves, being men and women of our words not just of the moment.

If you see me at graduation or one of the boys activities and I shed a tear it is not because I feel sad.  It is because I am so filled with joy for my boys and all that God has for them.  I am so happy that God loves them even more than I do and wants what is best for them.  I am so tearfully happy to be on this journey with them.  Let your world changer go and be what God has created them to be.  Give them the tools to swat the NATS and the strength and courage to try things even if they might fail.   The most successful people have failed a thousand times before.  Think of all you have learned from your failures.  Think of how much more rewarding your successes were.  



Fast forward through the summer, I am happy to report that last week we moved my son into the college dorms and he is on his way – well on his way.  This will be the time of his life and I am super excited for him and the people of the world he will touch and change just being the man  God called him to be.  Watch out world!

Music and worship are my things.  My God given NAT swatters.  When I have a swarm it knocks them right out of my head.  It completes me and makes me feel closer to God than any other time.  It often brings me to my knees and to tears.  That is one of the reasons why I think Court is the Bees Knees.  There were several songs that speak to me.  Any will do in this situation.  But as a girl who is constantly fighting off NATS the one that covers me in oil more than any other is Before the Throne.  I like Josh’s version the best, but Shane & Shane is a great substitute.

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Joel 2:28

New International Version (NIV)

The Day of the Lord

28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.

Psalm 139:14

New International Version (NIV)

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

~Before the Throne Shane & Shane~


Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

One thought on “Swatting the NATS

  1. Pingback: Swatting the NATS - Christa A Nelson

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