Inspiring Women Vol. 1 - Natalie

via Getty Images 
Ladies, can I just say thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the survey last week? We had five times the number of responses that I hoped for and it was such a blessing to be able to use those as we pray and cast some vision over what Naptime Diaries will look like in the coming months. We heard a few things loud and clear: more biblical reflection, more family, more real life, and more inspiring women. I'll be sharing the results + future plans more next week, but I thought I'd start with a segment I had planned for a while now - Women to be Inspired By. 

Over the next year, I'll be highlighting and interviewing a few women who really, really inspire me for various reasons from various stages of life. Some are great bloggers, some are amazing mamas, some pastor's wives, some artists, so on and so forth. Today is a really special day because we're highlighting Natalie from The Busy Budgeting Mama AND we're also having a fundraising day in the shop for Natalie and her family today. Go ahead and read her interview and see below for fundraising details! 

A little more about Natalie: I lost my best friend through a violent act of domestic violence. It rocked my world and my faith. I have shared on my blog my experience with learning to grieve. I wrote a children's book called Mommy Has an Angel. It's a children's book for grieving mothers. 

I recently faced health issues that really were a cross for our family. After all the suffering from the pain and scariness of the unkown they were able to determine the cause and even discover, just by chance, (because of all the testing) a cyst that was precancerous and could have killed me years down the road. I'm home recovering now and so blessed by the support of my family, friends and complete strangers! It's been a very emotional and scary time but my faith has never been stronger. I had different experiences in my long hospital stay that convinced me of the power of prayer and that God had a plan for all of us! HE sees the big picture.

1. What does a typical day in your life look like? 
We just moved to Charlotte, from Pittsburgh, so our daily life is a bit different! We really felt called to be in Charlotte and took a leap of faith that it was the time and place for us to do this. This decision to move, and be closer to my family and to grow our business HAPPY MOMMY BOX here in Charlotte, was made before my health issues happened... So how we get down here was a bit more hectic than planned, but we are here, and feel such peace and are just trusting in God! Because of my surgery I'm not able to do much physically but am getting stronger every day. My mom and husband have done so much of the baby lifting and grunt work. But my "typical" days are slowly coming back!  

I'm a total night person, so of course I was blessed with children who like to wake up before the sun, just to help get me to heaven. We feed the crew breakfast and immediately we are asked when lunch is. My mom is homeschooling my nephew and my oldest daughter so while she schools the big kids, I mix blog and business work with playing with my two younger ones. Lots of coloring and taste testing of play food. Some days they play quietly and are busy little bees and I can zoom through the morning knocking off my to-do-list. Other mornings, I just have to give up until everyone is napping. We do a 10:00 snack that is never forgotten by our little snackers. (we have countdowns. They think about ten o'clock snack at bed time the night before.) We are all about trail mix and gold fish in this house. Nap time is my go-time as far as work. If you are wanting a visual of my style during this exciting day.. yoga pants and messy hair in a bun. Most days I put some make up makes me feel alive and I prefer to not scare anyone who comes to our door. If I'm losing my mind being indoors, we used to go out to a park.....or Target and IKEA. 

I can't wait to have more energy to do that with the littles, but we are easing back into that! Once we survive the 50/50 post nap melt downs (you never know) we power through till dinner and bed with playing and working. I kind of want to add in something glamorous and crafty like I style a photo shoot and do some quilting... but these days, we are in survival mode and we all kind of do a cheer when we get to bed time. I usually do some work in the evening and catch up on e-mails. My husband and I love watching netflix and texting each other in emoji language.

2. What inspires you to do all that you do?
I guess I just feel this sense of appreciation for the time that I have here on earth. I lost my best friend through an act of domestic violence.. She was a beautiful daughter mother sister best friend.. and It really engrained in me that we really don't know how long we have here to do the work that God wants us to do. I've always known from when I was a little girl that God had a plan for my life. He inspires me. He's given me souls I'm supposed to reach, I pray for them every night. and It makes me want to be open to be His instrument in every area of my life.... the mom and wife tasks and my blog and business tasks!

3. When you hit resistance, that feeling that you don't want to keep going for whatever reason, what helps you push through?
Oh yes. We all have those moments we want to text our husband  a slew of scary emoji faces followed with "can you bring me home a mocha frap before I lose my mind with these kids??" But it's in those moments I try to step back and think about WHY I'm doing what I'm doing. A lot of the time I am VERY guilty of overloading myself. I've learned that there is a thing called prioritizing. And that if you take a step back and make a list... marking down what is urgent or really important, followed by things that you WANT to do or would be NICE to helps you feel more capable and you can make a plan to actually accomplish these things that are making you angry text your husband haha. (lovingly)

4. What do you wish your followers/blog readers most knew about you and your life? 
I know I would NOT want them to know that I make microwaved s'mores more than a normal person should. Thank you whoever invented the microwave. and smores. But seriously......... I guess I would want them to know that I love the Lord. I'm married to a man and a mom to three kids and my goal is to get them to heaven. I love to be creative and celebrate motherhood. I love to dream big and hate to do laundry. I have had sufferings in my life, like so many of us, but have held onto the words my mom told me when I was a little girl, "Don't waste a single tear, offer it up for the souls that need it."

5. What is one suggestion you have for women who have an idea, business, dream, or passion that they want to pursue and they're not sure where to start?
Go buy a pretty binder and then find the pens that you hid from your kids. 
Start writing ideas!! Don't be afraid to dream big. My mom was always a list I get that from her. Make a list of tasks that you think you need to do to accomplish the idea, business, dream or passion you want to make happen! If you have a final idea of what you want to accomplish...think about the steps you concretely need to do to make that happen. I don't really work slow....I'm known for having an idea and then buying the domain that night haha. I haven't always chosen to do the projects I dream up, but I've always written them down to get them out of my head! It helps to make some first steps to get the ball rolling and help make things happen! And share your ideas with people who inspire and encourage you.... getting their feedback and their expertise!

As you might know, about once a month we dedicate a day in the shop and "fundraise" for a particular organization, cause, trip, or family. This month we approached Natalie and her family and asked them if we could raise money for them. You may or may not have followed Natalie's most recent health struggles and hospital stay, but you can read more here. Today, every single penny of profits from sales in our shop will go straight to Natalie & her husband to help pay off hospital bills and all the other expenses. 

You can follow Natalie on her blog, instagram, twitter, and facebook

Head over to Naptime Diaries Shop now, love on the Lesnefsky family and grab some scripture for your home!