Natalie Ogbourne

Field Notes

for engaging the landscape of your life by faith

Gifts and Graces | Spring 2022

One practice I use to keep me oriented to the features of the landscape of my life is to list the season's gifts and graces. It's a simple way to fix my eyes on the good so I can do my part to foster a hopeful perspective and healthy mindset. The list is intended to...

One Way We Find Our Way

“This way, Babe.” Late the night before, my husband, J, and I had checked into a hotel in Nebraska. Now it was morning, time to resume our road trip. I stepped out of our room and turned to the right, which, apparently, was wrong. “Really?” I asked. I was sure this...

How We Build Strength for Tough Times

“It’s easier if you walk along the edge,” my husband said. We were taking on unfamiliar terrain. I knew how to hike the packed dirt trails in the midwest and the mountains. But in Utah’s high desert where my KEENS tossed up a spray of sand with every step? Not so...

Winter Gifts and Graces

Of the practices I use to foster a hopeful perspective and healthy mindset, keeping a list of the season's gifts and graces is the simplest. Somewhere along the line, I started rearranging it into a bell shape and now I can't really stop. This season's gathering of...

Now is Not the Time to Wait

Now is Not the Time to Wait

Every winter, I direct a troupe of middle and high school actors. From the very first year, there has always been that rehearsal. If you have ever worked with a group of kids, you know what I mean: mass distraction, constant talking, and management issues of all...

Gifts and Graces | Fall 2021

Gifts and Graces | Fall 2021

  I have a long history of believing the way it is today is the way it always will be. This is especially true when I find myself traveling tough terrain but it spills over into easy stretches, too. Maybe you can identify.  As a mindset, it doesn’t serve well. It...

Choosing an Adventurous Life

Choosing an Adventurous Life

Two Octobers ago, I paused on the bank of the Gardner River and wondered just exactly why I would choose to be standing there in a swimsuit in twelve-degree air. We’d been there before–at least, my husband, two older kids, and I had. At that particular stretch of the...

How to Guard Your Heart

How to Guard Your Heart

A long, long time ago—forty years last month—my parents took my little brother and me to Yellowstone. If you’ve read around here long, you know my life has never been the same. (Thank you, Mom and Dad.) One of the sights I most remember from that first visit is...

One Easy Way to Miss Your Life

One Easy Way to Miss Your Life

We walked out of the bustling hotel lobby into the stillness of a crisp mountain morning. It was the end of September, well into the annual elk rut. Gone was the previous evening’s circus of bull-horn-brandishing rangers trying to keep space between territorial bulls...

The Real Risk of Rushing

The Real Risk of Rushing

Between the morning’s family-friendly hike around Trout Lake and the afternoon’s challenge trek to Sepulchre’s summit, we traveled through Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. We knew this place well. At least, we knew it when it wore the colors of fall. But this was May, and...

Why Do We Keep Going?

Why Do We Keep Going?

My husband and I set off into the woods at a brisker than usual clip. Sooner than I hoped, the trail made good on its short-but-steep reputation. After a short lag, my steps slowed because there was no way I could keep that pace at that grade all the way to the top....

Sometimes It’s Not What We Think It Is

Sometimes It’s Not What We Think It Is

About a year ago, I spent the morning disc golfing with my husband and our kids. This meant I was out with my family (which I love), on a path through the woods (which I also love but not as much), trying to hit a target with what amounts to a heavy frisbee (which I...