Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Trusting God

Maybe God’s “No” Actually Means “Later”

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We plead to God…

“Lord, give me this desire!”

His response {most often} fails our instantaneous expectations.

Do we assume… His answer is “no”.

When maybe…

His answer is “yes”… but “later”.

Do we trust his word…

{Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.}?

Is it possible?

God loves us… More than we love ourselves.

Could it be…

He longs to teach us… To grow us… To mature our reliance on Him?

Could it be…

His timing is perfect?

Could it be…

We’re accustomed to having our way… Right away?

I’ve always desired to have a little girl.

A daughter to love…

And to love me back.

A daughter to establish the mother/ daughter bond…

I’ve yearned for so long.

Three pregnancies…

Three times… {It’s a boy!}.

I trusted in God’s sovereignty.

I was filled with complete gratitude…

And ultimate joy for the gift of my three adorable and sweet boys’.

Three was our “final” number. {or so we thought}

Yet… The desire to have a daughter was relentless.

I prayed… “God please take this desire away.”

The desire remained… And continued to grow stronger.

I recall praying… “Lord, if you want me to have a little girl… Your going to have to put her on our front door step.”

Soon after… A pregnancy test revealed… “You are pregnant.”

Nine exhausting and nauseating months later.

We received the blessing of a {perfect} and {healthy} baby girl.

Today… This {little girl} fell asleep in the car on the way home.

My five year old boy,

Genuinely hugged… Gently kissed… Softly rubbed her little forehead as we carried her to bed.

As tears dripped from my eyes…

I thought to myself…

“This is why… God said…”No, not yet.”

His answer was never “no”… but… “later”.

His answer was… “Yes… Give me time… Can you… Will you… {trust me}?…

I have a plan more {beautiful} than you can imagine.”

The mental picture of my rough and tumble boys so tenderly {loving} on their baby sister…

Is precious… And was {absolutely} worth the wait.

These three big brothers…

Protect their Baby sister… Play with her… Tickle her… And {literally} treat her like a princess.

These three {rowdy} boys have been given an awesome opportunity…

To learn to love God’s gentler spirit.

To learn early in life to protect… care… love and appreciate the beauty of a woman.

This little girl… Will never have to wonder…

“Am I loved?”

She is showered with affection.

She will know the love of a Godly daddy…

The love of three brothers who adore the {princess} pink ground… She walks on.

God’s plan… His beauty… His “later”…

Has proven more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

Friends… Can you think of a time, when You thought God’s answer was “no” and you found out later His answer was actually “later”?

Encouragement for a Weary Heart, Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting

Lessons From a Five Year Old

My son Daniel was playing at his friends house yesterday afternoon.  His friend’s mother is one of my best friends.  My cell phone rang and it was my friend.  She said, “Crystal, I don’t wan’t you to freak you out but I need to call 911 for Daniel.”  Her son playing around threw a music cymbal and it hit Daniel on the nose and up towards his eye.  I could hear fear in her voice, despite the fact that she was trying so {very} hard to remain calm.  Her four children were frantic on the other end and Daniel was hysterically crying.  Needless, to say… I jumped into gear.  Jumped in the car and sped through town to get to my sons side. To make a long story short…  He ended up having to be sedated and a plastic surgeon was called in to repair the damage.  It was a traumatic experience for my little guy.

Here’s the lesson I learned from my five year old.

Please take a minute to watch this video before continuing to read this blog post.  You will be blessed… Trust me…

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152425525782195&set=vb.553627194&type=2&theater

 

In this video he’s just coming out of sedation.  He told me that his friend threw a {torcher} at him.  A {torcher} is Daniel’s made up word for cymbal.  I asked him, “You still love him?”  His response was a pure example of the love we’re supposed to have as followers of Christ.  He says, “Yep… He’s still my best friend.  And even if he throws something else at me, he’ll still be my best friend.”  {Tears}

I’m amazed at the depth of his love for his friend…  I’m amazed with his simple childlike love…  His astounding childlike faith…

Friends, if only we could be more like my five year old.  If we could so easily forgive… Forgive people for their humanly mistakes… and their frailties.  This world would be a much more enjoyable place… friendships would be deeper… families closer… marriages stronger.

When people inadvertently throw {torchers} in our direction.  Can we forgive their mistakes?  Can we allow people to be human?  Can we love them with the love of God?

Some of the most astounding life lessons… I’ve learned from God’s little people.

How about you?

Uncategorized

Are Your Blessings Stressing You Out?

Our home is surrounded with landscaping.  I didn’t create the landscaping, it was an added benefit to buying the house (or so I thought).  The spring after moving, the weeds began popping up EVERYWHERE.  Two springs later, entropy began to conquer our previously beautiful landscaping.  Let me tell you… I’M NOT ONE WITH THE EARTH AND I’M NOT A “GRANOLA EATER” TYPE PERSON, IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.  I scream at the sight of bugs…  And worms… Oh, my!!!  I am a Martha at heart (on the inside of the house), but weed pulling (gross… not me).  Yesterday, my husband pulled in the driveway, coming home from work.  He stepped out of his jeep as I’m stressing about the weeds taking up residence in our landscaping.  I’m sweating, dirt ridden, and fully grumpy.  He walked up to me a smile beaming across his face.  He says, “Do you know how blessed we are?”  Ugh… I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling {fully grumpy}, the last thing I want is someone telling me how blessed I am.  He continues, “We have a beautiful home, four wonderful children, a happy marriage, I have my dream job, you are a graduate student, and we live in a beautiful neighborhood.   We have so much to thank God for!”  {Grumpiness replaced with guilt.}  I return his hug and look up at him and say… “Funny, how our blessings can be so stressful!”  

We continued to work on the yard, as I’m thinking… “We really need to hire a landscaper!” {not thinking, but stating out loud to my husband}.  We completed the front yard, the finished product was beautiful and wonderfully rewarding.  We ate dinner as a family and put the kids to bed late (because we were having tremendous fun),  After putting the kids to bed, my husband (Robert) and I walked around the house after a fresh spring rain, we observed our home and felt entirely blessed with God’s goodness. 

Question…. Are your blessings’ stressing you out? 

I’ve been pondering this question all day.  My husband is my best friend, my lover, and soul mate, but at times he stresses me out {hate to break this to you honey!}.  My children are wonderful, funny, cute, adorable, but at times being a mother wears me out.  I’m living in my dream home but the weeds continue to grow, the sinks continue to clog up, the insects still find a way to get in, and the struggles of home ownership persist.  

I have come to the conclusion that all blessings are stressful at times.  Except for one… {God}… God has {NEVER} stressed me out.  I need God… {We all need God}!

If I keep my eyes on God, I will appreciate the blessings in my life, and {guess what}…  The consequence?  A much happier life for me, my husband, my children, and everyone I come in contact with.  God’s love in contagious… infectious!!!  

Friends, let’s focus on the {Giver} of our blessings!  Let’s praise God for the blessings in our life and {maybe} infect the world with His love!!!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:12

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Pure Joy Beaming from Four Tired Little Faces

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Today was another day abounding in blissful blessings. A day when it was {good to be alive}! Everything was perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my little ones. We spent the morning cuddling in bed, headed to the park to meet up with some friends, ate Subway for lunch, enjoyed a nice long afternoon nap and {cuddle with Danny Panda (my five year old boy who {loves} to cuddle), went to the older boys’ school carnival, evening outing to the park, and came home and ate ice cream on the picnic table outside. This is simple run down of our {amazing} day! Driving home from the park I looked in the rear view mirror and saw {pure joy}. I soaked up the {joy} of the moment, and attempted to store the precious moment into my long term memory. Joy beaming from my little ones’ tired little faces. {JOY}!!!

I can’t recall how many times people out in public have asked me, “Are they all yours?” I kindly respond, “Yep, all four… And I love it!” {Most of the time}

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” James 1:17

Blessings,

Crystal

Family Bonding Time, Learning to Love Your Husband, Motherhood, Parenting, Praise God, Trusting God, Uncategorized

God’s {Perfect, Pure, and Real Love}… Walking… {Right in front of me}

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Am I the only mother who continually compares my self to {all} other momma’s in the world? Am I the only mother, who feels regular guilt because I’m not participating in arts and crafts with my children? Am I the only mother who feels immense pressure to be like {her}? I dont look like {her}, I’m not as {well-liked} as {her}. My house isn’t near as clean as {hers}? Why can’t my body look like {hers}.

Am I the only mother who fails to see myself through God’s eyes, rather than through the eyes of my worst critic {myself}? Am I the only mother, who desperately needs regular reminders of God’s love for {me}?

Is it possible…?

All mother’s struggle to some extent with self-worth. All mothers desire to be the best {mothers} they can be. All mothers need encouragement. All mothers are their very worst critics. All mothers are imperfect? All mothers need reminded of God’s love.

Friends, this morning I was {once again} being my worst critic.

Walking around the house, my thoughts continually pounded down my spirit…

Your house is a mess. Why don’t you play with you kids more, like the other moms you see on Facebook. Why don’t you look like… why don’t you portray yourself like… Why can’t you be more like {her}?

This is honesty friends. These were the thoughts whirling around inside my head {this} morning.

Finally…

I put my kids’ shoes on, my shoes on, and we went on a {peaceful} walk. Walking in God’s creation… God’s love hollers through the trees. {I Love You, Can you hear me? I said, ” I Love You! Are you listening… to me? I {really}, love you!} His love reaches my senses, through the cool and gentle breeze that blows over my skin.

His love, literally surrounds my senses…

I inhale the fresh… spring air… God’s fuel… for my weary soul.

I exhale… bottled up stress.

I let it all go… the comparisons, the negativity, and the desire to be more like {her}.

Suddenly… I {really} see in front of me.

My five year old boy, is walking, hand in hand with his baby sister.

A picture’s worth a thousand words!

I snap a picture.

God’s reminder… of his love!

Suddenly… I don’t want {her} life!

Realization…

{washes— over my entire being}…

I’m living a dream…

Right now… in this moment.

In my home. Beside my husband… With my beloved children.

This is {Heaven}… on Earth.

Thank you Father, for the reminder of your love. For speaking {beauty} and {love} into my spirit. For continually blessing me, and the constant reminder of the blessings surrounding my life! Friends, if we have life… if we have breadth… His blessings… are never far. We just have to stop looking {around} and simply look… [up]!!!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:12

Encouragement for a Weary Heart, Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Trusting God

If I Withhold Faith, I Will Behold No Hope

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A couple of nights ago, I was sitting in the living room, surrounded by my family and guiltily stressing about my graduate level research papers. Earlier, that afternoon I had noticed a friend requested prayer for her daughter on Facebook. Despite, my stress over my research papers due that evening, I continued to check Facebook for further updates on the condition of my friends daughter. I opened Facebook, in the midst of blood beating anxiety over the completion of my papers, and the status update I read [literally stopped me in my tracks].

My mind couldn’t grasp the information I had just read. [Thinking, surely I read that wrong, I read it twice, and three times.] My friend’s sweet, beautiful, and tender two year old daughter had been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. Emotions welled within me, and I couldn’t make sense of such sadness. The thoughts whirling within my mind, included anger… fear… unbelief… anxiety… and uncertainty. A world of chaotic emotions washed over my soul. A whirlwind of emotions that I couldn’t even begin to describe in written word.

I put down my computer, and retrieved into my bedroom. I phoned a close friend. The two of us talked, planned, and prayed for our friend’s family. This friend, is one of those friends you can call, and can make your sadness, fear, and stress seem frivolous. [Not this time!] She couldn’t make it better, I couldn’t make it better, and the two of us together couldn’t make it better. Once we realized our words… pretty much were helpless… we decided to end our phone call in prayer.

We prayed! I’ve prayed continuously since the moment I heard the disheartening news. My family prays together. We’ll continue praying through the months that lie head. [Prayer… It’s all we can physically do. This situation is out of our control.] So we pray!

I am a strong believer, and faith in God comes as natural as the air I breathe. [Not this time.] [Not the evening, I was sick in bed with Pneumonia and read on Facebook, that my college roommate lost her husband and two of her five children.] [Not the nights I sat next to my little ones’ hospital beds.] [Not the evening my husband was stuck in Tokyo, during the largest Earthquake in 100 years and I wouldn’t find out for many hours that he was safely flying over the Pacific.]. During these moments I have to [choose] faith.

Throughout my 20 years of being a Christian, I have experienced difficult times. Times when my immediate inclination was fear, anger, and unbelief. During these times, I realized… I have nothing else… [But faith]. So… I place my trust in Him. After all, he has never let me down! When trials come rushing in my direction, and my view of Heaven is diminished from fear, anxiety, and disappointment, I will rely on Faith. [Faith… Even when chosen, out of desperation], has never let me down.

[God has NEVER let me down!]

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71

Now the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5:10

Human suffering is universal; no one escapes. It is ubiquitous!

If I withhold faith, I will behold no hope!!!

Blessings,

Crystal