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Remembering My God-Fearing and Most Loving Great Grandma

This woman on the right was my beloved and Godly great-grandmother. I came across this picture today and just started bawling. As a child, there were very few people in my life whom I felt loved me, felt safe and secure with, or who gave me a sense of true love and peace. This woman, although I didn’t get to see her as often as I wished, was all of those things to me. She had the most tender and loving spirit! She prayed and spoke of God’s love every time I was in her presence. She amazes me to this day, because there weren’t Christian counselors available to help her through her past pain and grief, and she certainly had a lot, yet… She was the epitome of spiritual healing! She was filled with the Holy Spirit!

Today, I thank God for placing this Godly woman in my life! I think sometimes, you don’t realize how much you love someone until you’re much much older! I sure loved her and can’t wait to spend eternity with her in Heaven. She died about 10 years ago and it’s been a long 10 years without her on this Earth! I fall way short of the Godliness, tenderness, kindness, gentleness, and love this woman beheld… But, I sure hope to somehow follow in her footsteps, if even only a little.

One of my favorite memories of her was when I was 5 years-old. She lived about a mile from my school and I didn’t want to go home after school. Therefore, I walked on a busy road by myself to her apartment building. I knocked on her door and the look of surprise and concern was obvious. Unlike everyone else in my life, she didn’t scold me, yell at me, hit me, or shame me. She received me! She showed me love! She fed me a snack, talked to me about how much she loved me and how she didn’t want anything to happen to me. Then in love she walked me home, held my hand, and she never told my mother about the incident (because she knew that would mean trouble for me). I have very few memories from ages 5 – 8, but I remember this in vivid detail. Mostly, I remember the extreme love and tenderness I felt, as it was a rare feeling for me as a child.

Thank God for someone special in your life today, even if it means going back in the past… even if it means you have to cry over the memories! Show someone intimate God-fearing love today, people forget a lot of things, but they never forget feeling loved.

Blessings, Crystal

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

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Train Up A Child

Look at these boys… They are so big now! This is a reminder that my kiddos do not belong to me… They belong to God and he has an amazing purpose and plan for their lives! I am learning that I must not cling to hard or hold them back out of fear of letting go. I am continually reminded that my place is only to train them up, point them to Christ, and guide as they walk in the life God already has planned for them!

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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In The Midst of Failure

Do you ever have days when you feel like a failure? Today was a day like that for me… All day I struggled with feeling like I was failing God, myself, my husband, my children, my clients, and even my friends. Then I rode with my 17 year old son, to pick up the other kiddos from school. His Bible study book and Bible was sitting in the middle of his truck. Suddenly, God’s still small voice hit my heart like a firery dart…

“This young man, that you raised loves Jesus! He is sold out to follow me, His Lord & Savior.”

As I fought back tears, I realized that at my core I am a wretched, unorganized, and selfish sinner. I know my self, all too well! I know my weaknesses, my selfish thoughts, and my inadequacies better than anyone. I fail all too often (especially as a wife and mother)!

God used this simple reminder, to jar my negative emotional thought patterns. Suddenly, for the first time all day, my heart felt a hint of joy! God reminded me in the midst of my own self-induced pitty party, that I am doing something right! I am teaching my children about God! Somehow, despite my many failures God is working in the lives of my children! I am so thankful that God and is filling in the gaps of my personal failures!

Perhaps, I don’t have to be perfect! Maybe, I don’t always have to always have it altogether! Could it be, that God uses our brokenness for his glory?

[To think; All day I sinned! I fretted! I worried! I cried! All day, I allowed Satan to taunt me! failed to open God’s word!]

Despite, all of this God still showed up and reminded me of his unconditional love! He showed up to “love” me out of my own selfish whine fest! I am thankful for God’s gentle reminders of his love and goodness!

Friends, all we have to do, is our best and have a true desire to introduce our children to God! God will do the rest! When we teach our children to love and serve God, we have done the most important thing, right? Isn’t this the truest and deepest desire of every Christian mother’s heart?

Most importantly, God does not expect us to be perfect! He knows it’s in our weakest moments, that we hear his voice loudest!

Deuteronomy 22:6 “Raise up a child in the way they shall go and when they are old they shall never depart from it.”

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Perhaps you needed a reminder of God’s unconditional love today!

Blessings, Crystal

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Freedom & Joy Is a Byproduct of Complete Surrender

I am feeling thankful tonight! For a God who saved my soul! Blessed me with the most amazing husband, four wonderful children, friends who have my back, a dream job helping lead people to God, and a church home that is loving, accepting, and most important Biblically sound and God-glorifying! Life is hard! Everyday is full of new challenges! I never walk alone! I often complain and too often get caught up in petty, unimportant things… Too often focus on “me” rather than those I love! I am thankful to be in a place in my life, for the first time, where I can really be me… For me! To be accepted when I am happy, sad, full of fear, emotional, joyful, broken, and even when I am distracted! For the first time in my life, I feel being me is okay! There are people who don’t care for me and that’s okay… I don’t live to please people! I live to please God! I am servant of Christ! Philippians 1:10 Thus, I am enough! Because… God says I am enough! God made me, me! He continues doing a new work in my life and everyday I am a little more whole than the day before. Everyday I continue growing in my relationship with God. Healing is not a destination, it is a journey! A journey I choose to walk with God! With God at my side and the amazing people he’s blessed me with along the way, I can praise him each and every moment no matter the circumstance! Take a minute to thank God today! He is soooo good!

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True Love Lasts

After a week of being apart from my best friend, he is home and my heart is complete! I will never enjoy the time he’s away teaching abroad and I know it will most likely always be hard on me. However, I will forever cherish the time apart, as a reminder of the depth of our love and how wonderful God is for allowing me to spend life with my best friend and soul mate! God’s perfect and beautiful plan for marriage is amazing and fulfilling! Never, settle for less than God’s best for your life!

Blessings, Crystal

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Back to the Grindstone; A Little Extra Motivation and Passion

After over a week off, I have slightly been dreading going back to work tomorrow. I’ve been dreading the having to wake up early, pack lunches, and preparing to return to the day to day grindstone of everyday life. After 10 days of resting and catching up on life, I find myself less than excited about going back to the mundane routine of work and school. Honestly, I am dreading going back to the everyday tedious pursuits of living in an extremely hurried and tiresome society. I love days filled with little to no routine, hanging out with family and friends without a time crunch looming over like an unwelcome cloud. All vacation time must come to an end and everyday life shall begin.

Tomorrow I head back to work! Honestly, I have been trying to pump myself up all day in preparation for going back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but seeing people in pain and managing BIG problems in people’s lives can be overwhelming at times. I’ve enjoyed time with my children and extra time to catch up on much needed household projects! I’ve enjoyed having time to regroup my thoughts and the ability to fully focus on God, my family, and my home!

I’ve been working all day trying to get myself back into the “helping” mindset. Amazingly, God knows exactly what we need and when we need it and today he used a message from a dear friend to motivate my heart back into desiring to head back to work. Out of the blue, a dear friend messaged me and gave me real life examples of how God is working in the lives of his children! Specifically, how God is working in the live’s of people, I work with. This message brought tears of joy to my eyes and fueled my weary spirit with passion and motivation to get me back into the right frame of mind.

I am continually amazed that God chooses to use me and the Godly people around me, to reach people for the gospel! He chooses to use little old, imperfect, broken, and completely flawed me. Reminds me of a sermon I heard yesterday while driving home, by one of my all time favorite preachers, Adriane Rogers. Adriane Rogers “God will use any vessel that is totally surrendered, for His glory.”

Many of my local friends have been on spring break this week and the buzz around church is… “Man, I am not looking forward to waking up at 5 a.m., going back to work, packing lunches, etc.” I get it!

A little extra passion and motivation for you today. Friends, we are missionaries In whatever capacity he’s using you. God, will use you, he desires us to be fishers of men! He will provide the needed strength, energy, and wisdom needed to conquer the tasks ahead. {Even the having to wake up at 5 a.m. part!}. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!

1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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Unexpected Moments

Literally hit every light from beginning to end on the way to work today! Found myself convicted at the last one… Rather than fretting about being late at each light, I should have utilized the extra time to pray and draw closer to God. Don’t make my mistake today… Allow extra moments to draw you closer to God! You won’t regret starting your day with talking to the maker and comforter of your soul. You will regret fretting at every single light, trust me!

Mathew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Blessings, Crystal