Uncategorized

This Life of Mine

This life of mine, wasn’t in my cards.

A heart filled with God’s peace and joy, a husband who loves and adores me, and my four beautiful and happy children.

 

This life of mine, more than I could have imagined growing up.

Constantly living in fear, my youth was stolen.  Taken in a dysfunctional frenzy.

 

This life of mine, I only dreamed of, wished for, and earnestly prayed for.

Pain… sin… Anger… Oh the anger that surrounded those I needed to love me.  Those who knew not, how to love.

 

This life of mine, purely a gift from above.

The family I lived with as a child, still living in darkness.  Pain… hurt… rejection… screams from their eyes.

 

This life of mine, God saved, changed, and drew to Himself.

God revealed his light to my heart, I earnestly sought, reached, and yearned for His love.  I needed… God’s light, to guide my broken and fragile heart.

 

This life of mine, a life many long for… yet few ever acquire.

Wholesome love from God, my husband,  children, family, and Christian friends.

 

This life of mine, a pinch me I am dreaming… Kind of life.

I no longer grope through pitch black darkness.  No longer destined for a life of self-destruction.  No longer “that” little girl, from “that” family.

 

This life of mine, a living… breathing, present day example of God’s miraculous nature.

God literally plucked me out of my family’s dark, saddened pit.  Saving my soul from a frightening… utterly heart wrenching future.

 

This life of mine,  A Life of hope … filled with joy… peace… and love.

Love reaching out to me from every direction.  God’s constant hand guiding my heart… a handsome prince, who walks beside me… four of the most beautiful and wonderful children this side of Heaven.

 

This life of mine, For which I thank God… Praise God.

I give God all the credit.  My life’s joyful mist… Leaving a legacy of God’s love unto future generations.

 

Jeremiah 29:11″For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to have a prosperous future, and NEVER to harm you.”

 

Thank you Father for rescuing my soul.  Seeking my fragile and broken heart.  Thank you for daily leading me into true God sized healing.  Moment by moment… my heart sings praise.  You Father, are my daily counselor.  Leading me unto a path of true healing, and making my heart a resemblance of your love.  Lord, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for my loving and Godly husband, and my children who love me unconditionally.  Thank you for surrounding me with Your followers, who lead me to the cross on a regular basis.

I’m a true believer, You have saved my soul… And made me a “forever” believer!

Your Beloved Daughter,

Crystal

Family Bonding Time

A Day at Apple Works

Fall is my favorite time of year for family activities!  I love taking pictures of leaf fights, picking apples, and everything autumn.  I love the changing and vibrant colors of the leaves.  I couldn’t resist sharing these pictures of my cute kids experiencing “the beauty of fall”.

Sweet Caroline.

 

This is my pumpkin!

Robby chose a cool pumpkin.

This pumpkin is heavy.

Amazed by the pumpkin patch.

Daniel insisted on this green pumpkin.

 

Family picture.

Little Daniel.

Daddy and his girl.

Awww…. Look at those eyes!

My little people.

She’s so happy.

Caroline is getting big.

 

Caroline absolutely loved the goats!

She’s in love!

Motherhood, Parenting

God Speaks To My Heart: Through A Boys Devotional, In The Side Pocket of A Mud Grimed Travel Bag

PhotoI

I just arrived home from picking Robby up from his two day camp experience at Bradford Woods.  It’s a long time tradition for all 5th graders in Bloomington, In to attend this camp.

Currently he’s taking a much needed shower, and I’m looking forward to hearing more highlights from his trip.  Robby and I are going to dinner tonight, his choice, to talk about his exciting trip.

After I sent him off to shower, I (like any normal mother) frantically began throwing all his smelly clothes into the washing machine.  As I held my breath, and attempted to empty his bag, I found his devotional.  Tears spilled from my eyes, deep pride welled within my soul.  This devotional was a sign, from God, “Crystal, you and Robert are raising your kids, to walk in my steps.  Great job!”

Often times, I beat myself up.  I ponder all the things I need to do better.  Right now, I feel pretty good!  I’m honored to be raising a boy who chooses to take his devotional to camp.

Today… God spoke to my heart.  Not through an audible voice, a song, or even a quiet… still moment.  Through a simple book… in the side zipper of a mud grimed travel bag.

Thank you, Lord!  I’m blessed to be raising an amazing young man, who has a heart to serve, please, and know you more.

Motherhood, Uncategorized

Thank You God, For The Blessing Of My Daughter

The sun is radiant,
This day perfect in every way

Quality time spent,
With my  Beautiful and Fun baby girl.

Aimlessly she wanders,
Carefree… So full of life.

Each time she smiles,
My heart leaps for joy.

Her smile is life-altering.
Candy to my soul.

Entered the world,
Bright eyed and aware.

No tears,
Only enthusiasm and excitement.

Looking… Expecting… Discovering….
The gift of her life.

Such a happy girl,
Plenty of hugs to share.

She never meets a stranger,
Waves “hello” to everyone we see.

Each time she laughs,
God’s love blisters through my entire being.

This bond between a momma and her little girl,
A gift I will always treasure.

Thank you God,
For the blessing of my daughter!

Uncategorized

Rotten “Ugly” Guilt or Godly Conviction

I had been married for a year and a month.  I had spent the weekend away from my husband, visiting family.  My cycle was late, but I penned it to stress.  My emotions were everywhere.  At some point, my thoughts convinced me I might be pregnant.  I drove to the pharmacy to purchase a pregnancy test.  I decided to follow the instructions (I guess, this is something you only do when you take your first test), and waited until morning to take the test.  All night I couldn’t sleep, and could tell I just wasn’t feeling like myself.  Around 5:30 a.m. I decided, “It’s now or never!”  Three minutes later, my life changed forever.  Unsure how to organize my emotions, and calm my beating heart beat,  I walked into my good friend Terri’s room, and woke her up.  I’ll never forget siting on her bed, and telling her the result of the test.  At first she laughed, as she found humor in this new life-altering information.  After her snickering came to a halt, her face turned serious.  I’m not sure what changed her demeanor, whether her memories took her back into history, where they placed a chubby baby girl in her arms, or she realized she wasn’t being sensitive.  She looked at me and said, “Welcome to a life of feeling guilty!”  I’m sure she said  many positive and encouraging comments in our 30 minute conversation.    However, all I remember is these six words, “Welcome to a life of feeling guilty!”  This thought scared me to the core, I couldn’t fully comprehend the meaning of  welcome to a life of feeling guilty.  As our conversation ended she said, “You better go call your husband.”

These words ring true after 12 years of marriage,  as I raise my almost 11 year old tween,  and four amazing children later.  My friend was absolutely correct in her words, in her attempt to aid me into the path of motherhood.

Everyday as a mother, I experience guilt.  Guilt in different extremes, for different reasons, and even when I know I’m doing the right thing.  I’ll take the risk of being real, in the hope some of you mothers feel guilt in similar situations.  I feel guilt for not feeding my children enough fruits and vegetables, guilt for sending them to a public school, for not having the right personality to home school, for saying “no” when my children want a toy from Target, and for making my picky eater, eat the meal I prepared.  Often times I “know” what I’m doing is for the best, but I still feel guilty.  I feel guilty when my children get their well check shots,  when I take them back to their beds, when they are begging to sleep in mommy and daddy’s room, and especially when I know I  need to discipline them.

What beguiles me is why I feel this constant guilt?

Often I feel guilt, when I should feel guilt.  I should feel guilt when I have sinned against my children, and have not obeyed God’s word, in my mothering interactions.  As a Christian mother, this comes in the form of conviction.  Often it’s difficult to discern Godly conviction and plain old rotten guilt.

In my eleven years as a mom, I have asked myself many times, “How do I know if this is Ungodly guilt of Godly conviction?’

“Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

I have realized when God is convicting my heart, I have a relentless need for repentance.  As God digs deep into my soul, I realize peace will only come when I have dealt with my sin.

As I attempt to make peace with God and my children I follow these four steps.

Four Steps to Mending My Mothering Sin, “Making Things Right With God and My Children”

(These steps can be used when dealing with all sin, but for today’s purposes we are focusing on our children.)

1. Admit my sin to God.

Ask  Him to help me in this tough job of motherhood.  Ask Him to help me to be a Godly mother.  Depending on the gravity of the situation this may be a quick, “Wow, I messed that up!  Lord, can you help me with this in the future.” , or “God please forgive me, what was I thinking, how can I make things right with you, and with my kids.  Please forgive me and help me to be a better mother.!”

2. Ask God to forgive my sin toward Him and my children.

A year ago, I was a downright awful mother.   Whether it was a result of my hormones, or just a bad day, I don’t know.  I went to bed, and God immediately began working on my heart.  I bawled over my sin, as I recalled scolding them that evening.  Their poor little eyes frozen in my heart, simply broke my heart.  My Godly sorrow brought repentance.

3. Ask your children to forgive you.

I am the mother of “I’m sorry!”  I must apologize often.  Last week, I snapped at my four year old for peeing in my bed, and he ran off in tears.  I hugged him and told him I was sorry, and that mommy was frustrated because I had to change my clean sheets.  The same evening he was doing another childlike antic, and once again I snapped at him.  He ran to his room, in full blown sobs.  I mean this was serious.  He wouldn’t even come down for ice cream.  I sat him up on my lap, and literally hugged and lavished apologies all over, until his crying stopped.  I told him, “Mommy had no right to snap at you, and I love you so much!  Can you forgive me?  I don’t think mommy deserves an ice cream because I was naughty, what do you think?”  My little guy extended grace to me, he hugged me back and walking me into the kitchen to retrieve our ice cream.   Our little people are quite forgiving, we must simply ask for their forgiveness.    When we admit our sin to our children, and seek their forgiveness, we reveal the depth of God’s love, forgiveness and grace.  As a result, we reveal the depth of our love for them.

4. Seek to be a better mother everyday, and learn from our mistakes.

This job of a motherhood is not easy.  We need God, we need wisdom, and we need creativity.  I realize first hand how hard it is to find time to read God’s word, pray, and read parenting books.  However, if we are to become Godly mother’s we “MUST” know God’s heart.  We need all the wisdom, knowledge, and parenting tips we can get our hands on.

Here is a list of sources which enrich my walk through motherhood.

1. Prayer.  Constant prayer… Never ending prayer.  We can pray… all the time.  We can pray while folding clothes, nursing babies, playing outside, driving to appointments, doing the dishes, cooking dinner, we can pray almost anytime.

2. The Bible .  If we want to have the heart of God as we rear our children, we must read and study His word.

3. Parenting books.  The shelves in the Christian section are full of amazingly helpful books, written by parents having experienced the same experiences.

A few of my favorite are… The Power of a Positive Mom, written by Karol Ladd… The Five Love Languages of Children, written by Chapman and Campbell, Bringing up Boys, written by James Dobson… Creative Correction, written by Whelchel… One of my favorite author’s is Dannah Gresh, you can’t go wrong with any of her books.

4. Church, Bible Studies, Mom groups, Sunday School, Christian play groups.

Christian fellowship is essential, as we attempt to raise our children in God’s word.  Not to mention… It’s a blast to be a part of good Christian communities.

5. Focus On The Family, James Dobson.

Here is the link to my favorite website.  I have a daily podcast app on my iPhone and iPad.  You can choose from a large array of topics.  God has used these podcast’s to directly speak to my heart, and I have attained insurmountable wisdom through these daily broadcasts.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/broadcasts.aspx

I would love to hear from you?  How have you discerned rotten ugly guilt over Godly conviction?  What are other helpful Christian parenting sources you encountered along your path of parenthood?

God Bless,

Crystal