We committed to spend today behind the scenes before setting the rest of the stage! We'll first introduce our selfless and fearless leader, Natalie McGehee. (We call her Mama Nat!) She has graciously entrusted the joy of keeping this blog community honest, engaging, relevant, and active to Liesel Araoz and Natalie Gibb. We, Liesel and Nat Gibb, will open up discussion by writing on the blog from time to time, but mostly we want to be behind the scenes, introducing our guest bloggers, conversing with you through your comments and emails, praying for you, celebrating with you and getting to know you more!
Natalie McGehee is a wonderful wife to Doug. Together they are the extraordinary parents of two grown daughters and one son who recently ushered them into grandparenthood. She is truly the visionary, hands and feet that make Overflow what it is. She has one of the most beautiful souls with a tremendous heart for women who are parenting on their own. She is a woman of details and hospitality. God showed her the dire need for single moms and their children around the city to have a special invitation to come drink deeply from the well that never runs dry in Jesus and Overflow was born. She is incredibly creative and practical at the same time. She pursues and practices excellence. She speaks Truth into our lives, prays for us, and empowers us to be the women that God created us to be. By "us" we mean all women who are parenting on their own and reading this- and really every woman in Natalie's life's orbit. To know her or be known by her is a blessing that unearths God's potential for your life. She is a true servant of the Lord and humble beyond words, but she let us write this so we get to gush a little because we love her so! She loves you deeply and fiercely, and she is always trying to creatively and passionately deepen and strengthen the community of Overflow. She will pop in from time to time here to encourage you, but know she is always praying for you.
Natalie Gibb is a mom to two amazing boys, 13 and 8. She has been a single mom for four and a half years after the death of her husband and the demise of her marriage. She was raised in the church but never knew how deeply personal our God could be until the death of her husband. In that moment Jesus completely turned her life of chaos, sin, and destruction into a life of peace, redemption, and purpose. She has a passion to help those who find themselves in the pits of this world to grab hold of the hope and help that a personal relationship with Jesus can bring. There is such freedom in surrender to His will for your life. Natalie knows this and prays daily that this be her testimony. She gives all the glory to God for taking a broken and totally abandoned sinner and turning her into a beloved child of God.
Liesel Araoz parented a beautiful daughter alone for five years. It was through this incredible life that she grew to understand faith, hope, and love beyond just swirly words on feel-good wall art in peoples' dining rooms. Understanding that she could not offer her little girl a healthy life that she didn't have, she sought Jesus for healing her heart and mind. He began rebuilding the ruins of her past, trading ashes for beauty, healing wounds from abuse, delivering her from addictions, bad relationships, and a life of deeply rooted anger and rebellion. She uses the saying "keep it real" a lot in life, because healing is a process that needs us to check the myth of human perfectionism (aside from Jesus, hello?) and masks at the door. She is deeply passionate about discipleship and women finding full restoration, identity, joy and refuge in the Truth of who God is and who He says we are as his children. She prayed for the Overflow ministry before it had its name or even a church to be birthed out of! She loves this community with all she's got and then some. She gets really happy about coffee, fresh new journals, new books and sending or receiving handwritten note cards via "snail mail". She recently wed her outstandingly wonderful man and best friend in April of 2015. "Blended" together they have an 11-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter.
We know and you know that every family's story is different. Regardless of how we got here, this is where we are, right? Let's be present in our story today, even if it's hard. Trust that the Lord has goodness in store for you and your children where you are right now. It won't be what it is today forever. Every choice you make, especially in your attitude, effects the rest of your days in their entirety. If you feel you're stuck in your story, call out for help. He will not leave you where you are, and His arm is not too short to reach you. "The struggle is real" as they say and we know. We want to hear your story, and we'd love to know how we can be praying for you!
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the mud and mire,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.