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

Thankful For An Amazing Vacation

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We drove all day yesterday and returned to our home sweet home at 7:30 p.m. We had an amazing vacation and I can’t stop praising The Lord for the wonderful memories we made as a family. Leaving the ocean was hard! When I’m standing next to the ocean with my family, watching the sunset, God feels so close. I feel His awesome power as I stand next to an almighty ocean. My heart experiences a peace that surpasses all understanding, standing there hand in hand with my helpmate and my sweet little kids. I’m reminded of the blessings in my life! I’m reminded of why I live to please my Father! I’m reminded of His goodness! I’m reminded of the Giver of life!

Thanking God today for the gift of His Son, my life, husband, children, family, friends, and His beautiful aesthetic creation! My heart is filled to overflowing!

Blessings,

Crystal

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Encouragement for a Weary Heart · Trusting God

Living a Victorious Life Through the “Almighty Counselor”

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I look in their faces… No matter how hard I try I can’t see their hearts.

So many people… So many souls.

Their eyes are a window into their souls.

Usually… I can read the emotions of the eyes.

In their eyes, I can see anger… Fear… Sadness… Joy.

I can’t see “why” their feeling, what their feeling.

No matter, how hard I try I can’t “know” their hearts.

So many people… Only one Holy God.

How can God know each and every single human heart.

How is it He truly cares for me… For you… For all the souls on this Earth.

Again… I don’t know how He does it!

I just know… “I’m glad He does!”

I pray… Lord, “Teach me to be a counselor.

A Godly… Understanding… Encouraging… Loving counselor.

Give me a supernatural understanding through Your Holy Spirit.

Help me to love your people… In a Godly and unconditional way.

Help me to look beyond their quirkiness…

To “truly” see a glimpse into their heart…

Give me an understanding of their spiritual condition…

Guidance to speak your words… Into their spirits.

Lord… When your people sit before me… Yearning for “healing”…

Speak through me… Speak into their hearts!

Lord… Help me… To help them…

Live a victorious life, through an intimate relationship with you, their Almighty Counselor.”

Family Bonding Time · Motherhood · Parenting · Praise God · Trusting God

Heaven By The Sea

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Together we stroll…
Her tiny hand, holds on tight.
Walking beside the ocean, she giggles as each wave catches her feet.
Her stature tiny, in comparison to the vast… powerful body of water.
Yet, she’s not afraid.
She is filled with giddiness.
Together we sit, staring out at the sea.
The two of us watch as the Seagulls soar above.
Once again, we stand.
Holding hands we continue our walk alongside the beach.

I long for her to know Christ’s love.
I desire for her to feel the loving presence of the Holy Spirit.
I want her to fully grasp how deep and wide the Father’s love is for her!
Her favorite song escapes my lips,

“Jesus, loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but, He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so!”

She sings along, the sound of her little girl voice harmonizes with the sea.
Emotions fill my soul.
Love… Unconditional love.
Joy… Pure joy.
Peace… Calming peace.
Gratefulness… Praising God for the blessing of my little girl.

I pick her up… Her two year old body squeals in excitement.
I want nothing more for her to comprehend the depth of my love for her.
I look into her big blue eyes and whisper…

“Caroline… Look at mommy!” She looks into my heart. Tears of joy fall off my cheeks and return to the ocean. “Mommy, loves you so much!”

Just shy of two years old, she has a supernatural understanding.
She looks up at me… Rubs my hair… Looks into my big blue eyes and say’s, “Loooooove you, mommy!”
She rests her little head on my shoulder and gently hugs her momma.

Suddenly… I’m in Heaven.

I pray…

“Lord, thank you for answering my heart’s desire for a daughter. Thank you for going above and beyond and blessing me with the sweetest little girl. You knew she was the perfect little girl for our family. Lord, forever freeze this moment in my heart and mind. Although I will always long for Heaven, I thank you for providing moments of “Heaven” on Earth. Thank you for the tiny glimpses and reminders of what awaits us in our Heavenly homes.”

Family Bonding Time · Parenting

Reasons We Love Our Dad

Reasons We Love Our Dad

*He spends time with us.
*He makes us laugh.
* He’s silly
*Takes us sailing.
*Does lots of fun things with us.
*Goes to our school stuff.
*Gives us hugs and does “motions” with us.
*He plays with me.
*Plays good music.
*He encourages us and makes us feel special
*He loves God
*He teaches us about God

Robert,
You are the best husband and father. We are more than blessed to have you as our provider. We love you! Thank you for your hard work and desire to be the best daddy!

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The Christian “F” Word

This is revolved from a fellow blog friend. Her message is profound and one I feel everyone should hear. “Lessonsbyheart”

Lessons by Heart

Barely making eye contact, Johanna* quickly looked past me as I entered the building and asked, “How are you?”

Slowing down a bit, I responded, “I’m dying of cancer.”

She never batted an eye. “Oh, that’s nice, dear.”

Really?

(I’m not dying of cancer – just so you know!)

This was part of an experiment I’ve been running, curious to see how people would respond. Most of the time, when folks ask “How are you?” they’re doing the “polite” thing. Very few actually give a rip.

On the street, polite disinterest is to be expected. When I find the sense of “don’t bother me with the details, just give me the standard answer” among my church family members, I am saddened. Because we have the “mind of Christ,” His tender-hearted care must be evident, one would think.

My goal is to become genuine. Therefore, if I don’t care, I don’t…

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What Is “True” Friendship

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The picture above is my friend Toni Christianson. She is one of several “true” sister friends, God has blessed me with.

I’ve heard it said, “If you have one true friend, you are blessed.” I have been blessed with many wonderful “true” friends. Friends, who I can count on to lift me up before the Lord and whom I can encourage in their daily walk with The Lord.

What is a “true” friend?

Many of us have friends and acquaintances. Yet… Few or no “real” friends. You can be the most popular person in the world and still have no true friends. Hmmm???

A friend loves at ALL times.
Lifts you up before the throne in prayer.
Lifts you up in midst of other people.
“Never” tells your deepest secrets for self-gratification.
Cherishes your good qualities.
Forgives your mistakes and allows you to be human.
Friends, pray with you.
Friends trust you.
They listen and withhold judgement.
A friend will never speak negatively behind your back… Never!
Their always willing to help you out in a pinch.
Never lies to you.
A friend really loves you… Is not afraid to tell you so.
Respects your value system and convictions.
A friend likes you for who you are.
A friend accepts you just as you are.
A friend really “likes” you. {This means they don’t complain about you or secretly think bad thoughts about you on a regular basis.}.

What a friend is not.

Easily angered.
Unforgiving.
Someone who’s willing to speak against you to other people.
Someone who is overly critical.
Someone who belittles you in the presence of others.
Someone who gossips about you or to you.
One who fails to lift you up to the Father.
One who fails to lift you up in the presence of other people.

Friends are genuine people, people who love you for your good qualities and your imperfections, accepts the person you are, someone close or far away who makes time for you, regularly encouraging, eager to take your hand and pray to the Father on your behalf, and lifts you up in prayer on a regular basis.

Some people seem to know everyone and seem to know everything about everybody. However… This isn’t indicative of one who has “true” and “lasting” relationships.

These relationships will leave you with little time and an inability to build and maintain life-long, contented, Godly friendships.

Oh by the way, if you truly desire to have “real” and “uplifting” relationships, there is one important condition… Ready?

You have to be a “real” friend. “True” and “genuine” friends are attracted to “true” and “genuine” friends!!!

Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.”

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one but this, that he lay down his life for a friend.”

God has been speaking truth into my heart about being a more genuine friend… A more genuine person. I think overall I’m a good friend, yet, I have so much more I need to work on in the area of friendship building. Most importantly, God is teaching me to talk more to Him, and to make Him my go-to person.

It’s my prayers that this blog encouraged you to be a better friend and the process of building healthy and lasting friendships.

Blessings, Crystal

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13th Anniversary

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Thirteen years ago I walked down the aisle, toward my future. I’ll never forget the look in your eye as I walked down the aisle and became your wife. We promised to love one another for better or worse. We’ve kept that promise… Although there has been a little “worse” there has been so much more “better”. Walking by your side, Robert… Has been “better” than I ever imagined. I am honored to be your wife and so happy to raise our sweet and funny four kiddos with you. Thank you for loving me! Thank you for supporting our family! Thank you for being a Godly husband and daddy! I love you!

We bought each other bikes for an anniversary gift. I look forward to family time, cruising around on our bicycles! Happy 13th Anniversary, Robert!