Encouragement for a Weary Heart · Trusting God · Uncategorized

Love You With The Truth

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You say, “I have a problem with the “traditional” Christian!”

You say, “Christians are all hypocrites, judgmental, and legalistic pharisees!”

You say, “I don’t go to church because Christians are all fake!”

You repeatedly speak of your deep dissatisfaction with the church body as a whole.

For months, I sat and listened to your hatred toward the church… The very Bride of Christ… My brothers and sisters in Christ.

Listened to you rant and tear down EVERYTHING about the church.

Your words were deceptive…  Eloquently sweet.

Quoting scripture with every breadth.

I “never” fell for the deception.

You never pulled me away from my church family, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I wanted so badly, to be “that” Christian.

“That” Christian who could still love, despite your contradictory beliefs.

I wanted to lead you to the truth in devout love.

More than anything…  I wanted you to know you were loved.

I allowed you to speak.

I listened intently.

I told you of my sincere love.

I encouraged you in your daily walk.

Yet, the time came.

I knew it was time to speak TRUTH.

You ask me to believe in faulty and Unbiblical “New-Agey” beliefs.

I tried with everything within me to be gentle, yet firm, all the while reaffirming God’s unconditional love and my devotion and love.

I knew it might anger you.

I knew it might’ve meant the end of our friendship.

However, I knew the TRUTH needed to be spoken.

Your response was INDEED intended to shred… to rip apart… to tear apart my character… to take away my peace.

Momentarily the tears rushed in an overwhelming flood of hurt.

With each mean spirited e-mail, each hateful text, and each contradictory statement.

I realized…  The TRUTH in fact challenged.

The TRUTH caused gnashing of teeth.

The TRUTH hurt!

I forgave instantaneously.

The words of the Father, echoed from the cross…

Luke 23:34, “Forgive them for they know not what they do!”

I trust…  God is in control.

Our friendship was a divine intervention.

God’s plan not yet revealed.

How do you love someone so much, who attempted to inflict such hurt to your soul.

Christ knows the “epitome” of this hurt!

Pray for your enemy, not what I’m doing.

I’m praying for a friend.

Praying…

“God send her a better friend than I!”

Casting Crowns new song “Love You With the Truth” is quite fitting for this post!  I will pray for this friend!  I will sing this song with fervency.  Knowing God loves her more than I!  Please take a moment to listen to an amazing song about speaking the truth in love.

I love you friend!

Blessings,

Crystal

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Unity in Spirit? At a Christian Concert? I think… YES!

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Sitting in a big auditorium…

Waiting for my ALL TIME favorite group to take the stage…

I take a look around and I see thousands of people.  

Looking around, I think to myself “These are my brothers and sisters in Christ.”  

Looking to my right and I my sweet young friend…

She smiles big…  The Lord’s love… beaming from her eyes.  

I can’t help but hug the sweet spirit within her.

To my left at a woman I never met…

She returns the same sweet smile…

Never met, yet an instant bond unites our souls.

I love this woman…  I’ve never met.  

Standing in line waiting for the performers to sign my Bible.

A kind couple stands behind us.

Strangers but not really strangers.

Returning the same smile.

But so much more…  Deep and beautiful conversation.

Everywhere I look…  

Beloved brothers…  

Beloved sisters…

Strangers sharing verses on their iPhones.

Beautiful encouraging verses… 

Sent straight from above…  Uniting souls…  United by the Holy Spirit.  

Could this be the unification of the spirit?

Could this be the cause of the overwhelming joy I felt at the concert? 

Could this be a taste of Heaven…

A taste of the angels singing in perfect harmony to the Almighty Holy Creator

I think…  YES!

Philippians 2:2 “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Blessings,

Crystal Ridlon

 

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Thank You For Making My Birthday Special

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One day ago…  I celebrated my 36th birthday!  A day later…  I sit an ponder the overwhelming love I felt by my husband, children, family members, and friends.  My husband…  Portrayed his love for me in so many tender ways, allowing me to sleep in, saying “Happy Birthday”, right at 12:00 a.m., taking me to lunch, and making me a beautiful candle lit dinner!  In general his attentiveness and attention towards me was beautiful! Sharing our love together, in celebration of the day I was born, was an astounding blessing!  Our marriage is not perfect, we have our share of self-centered disagreements, desires, and motivations! However, in a world obviously lacking the meaning of true intimate love, our love is absolutely perfect!  There is no love more beautiful, than a love of two people dedicated to loving and serving a Holy God together!

My children…  Awaken to a desire to celebrate.  Some of their eagerness could be due to the anticipation of the evening cake and candles, but it was so much more.  Four little people from my very womb…  Their hugs reveal a new level of tenderness.  desire to serve their momma.  special gleam in their eyes!  These little ones really really love me!  My heart be still!

Special phone calls from family members and friends…  Just saying, “Happy Birthday!  I love you!”  Speaks hidden volumes of meaning into my soul… “Your birthday is special…  Because “YOU ARE SPECIAL!”  Simple Facebook messages, text messages, and e-mails…  All in an attempt to say, “Your loved!”

I felt loved!  I felt treasured!  I felt special!  

Today’s blog post is dedicated to saying…  “Thank You!”

Thank you Robert (Husband), Robby, Christopher, Daniel, & Caroline (Children), family members, text messengers, card senders, and Facebook messengers for your “Happy Birthday” accolades and sentiments!

Thank you for making me feel loved…  treasured…  special… and important!

I forward Paul’s writing to each and every one of you, who made me feel loved and special on my 36th Birthday…

Philippians 1:2-6, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!  I thank God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I Love You All!

Blessings,

Crystal

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Relinquishing My Human Need to Control and Choosing to Trust!

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If your like me, you like to know that you have control over circumstances, people, and events that happen in your life.  If there is one thing I have learned in this life, it is that I have “very little” control!  The past few weeks have proven this true.  Things continue happening all around me, leaving me feeling helpless!  

My grandmother fell and had 8 staples in her head.  My grandmother’s body is aging, growing feeble, and the realization that her time on Earth is nearing it’s end, is heartbreaking.  I can’t make her body better!  I can’t keep her from falling!  I can’t make her memory not forget!  I have no control!  

I can’t make my child’s speech teacher, who has helped my son tremendously, remain at her job!  She has proven over the past year to be an invaluable resource in helping my child.  Once again, I have no control!  

I can’t force my professor to do his job correctly, thus causing extra hardship and stress on my life!  It’s out of my control!  

As I sit here struggling with things I have no control over, I ponder, “What can I control?”  Pondering the areas where I have some control, doesn’t make me feel much better.  

I could eat well, workout, and give my all to losing weight, but “ultimately” I can’t control the scale.  I can call my grandma everyday, I can drive the 5 hours home to check on her, but I can’t control her health conditions.  

I can look for a different therapist for my son, I can walk him through the disappointment of saying goodbye to someone he’s grown to care about, and I can find him another therapist, but I can’t control his inevitable sadness.

I can complain to the university about the lack of determination on my professor’s part to do his job, but I can’t make him do his job properly. 

This is down-right depressing, I know what your thinking!  I am thinking the same thing…

As I sit here, I begin thinking, well than, “{What can I do?}… 

Friends, It all comes down to one word….  {TRUST}.  

It’s all I’ve got…  My {faith}!  

I can trust in God!  I can pray!  I can ask God for guidance!  I can ask Him to protect my grandmother.  I can pray for his guidance, for his comfort, and for his peace!  

Philippians 4:4-7 states, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow, It’s as if God is speaking this directly to me.  Actually, He is!  He is speaking these words to each and everyone of us!  He knew this life would prove difficult!  He knew we were weak!  He knew our hearts would be broken!  He knew {WE NEEDED} Him!

Today, I am thankful for God’s word, speaking directly into my weary heart, just when I need Him the most!  He’s always there!  He is strong enough to {control} our load!  He never expected us to carry our loads alone.  

Today, I am handing my weary load over to Him.  I am placing my heart, marriage, my children, my grandmother, and my schooling in His hands!  I will seek Him for guidance and peace!  I will relinquish my human desire to {control}.  I will {TRUST}!

Blessings,

Crystal 

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In The Morning When I Rise, Give Me Jesus!

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My house is sooooooo quiet.  In a 2,000 square foot house with four children, silence really stands out!  This morning I woke up at 4:30, I just WOKE up!  Wide awake at 4:30 a.m.!!!  I laid in bed and tried with all my might to fall back into deep sleep, but all my attempts failed.  Thus, I got out of bed, made a cup of coffee, and was suddenly filled with utter peace.  Looking around my silent house, the knowledge that the 5 people I love the most are healthy and blissfully ASLEEP, fills my heart with complete gratitude.  

This awesome peace I feel at this very minute, stands out as a symptomatic response of true healing in my life!  You see, my childhood was quite painful.  At the age of 15, I found Jesus in a little Baptist Church down the street from my home.  Shortly after meeting Jesus, God allowed me to move out of my childhood home, into a wonderful family’s home from my church.  Once I was removed from my childhood home environment, the realization of the damage of many years of abuse and neglect, hit me like a Tsunami.  In all honesty, it shook my world!  This peace I feel at this moment, was not a feeling I EVER felt in my childhood, teenage years, or even my early adult life!  

God has healed my childhood hurts in abundant doses!  As a child, teen, or young adult, I could have NEVER imagined the peace I feel at this moment!  

I’m thankful God awakened me at 4:30 a.m.!  This morning as my husband and four children, sleep blissfully in their beds, my heart is wide awake, praising the Father for the peace, for the joy, for the victory, I’m feeling on this darkened pre-sunrised morning!

Dear Father in Heaven,

My heart is awakened to the peace that is only found through an intimate relationship with you!  Lord, I praise you for the joy, the peace, the love in my heart and in my home!  I thank you for healing my wounded heart!  I thank you for making yourself so very real to me in the midst of my brokenness!  I thank you for changing the direction of my life at the early age of 15.  I praise you this morning!  Thank you for awakening my spirit to arise and once again REALIZE the healing that has taken root in the pit of my heart!  The healing only found through your love!  Thank you Lord, for literally plucking me out of a life destined for dysfunction!  Thank you for allowing my pain and thank you for turning my ashes into beauty!  You are AMAZING!

Blessings, 

Crystal 

I love this song by Fernando Ortega!  I hope you take a moment to listen to this amazing song!  I sing this song in praise to the Father! Click and praise the Holy Father with me!  

Give Me Jesus

In the morning when I rise,

In the morning when I rise,

in the morning when I rise,

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

You can have all this world,

but Give me Jesus!

And when I am alone!

Oh, and when I am alone!

And when I am alone!

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

You can have all this world,

but give me Jesus!

And when I come to die!

And when I come to die!

And when I come to die,

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

Give me Jesus!

You can have all this world,!

You can have all this world!

You can have all this world, 

but Give me Jesus!

 

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What Does It Mean To Love Ourselves?

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This afternoon, my little girl and I went shopping at Target.  We both LOVE Target!  As we walked to the car, her little tired eyes began to get the best of her.  I gently buckled her in her seat.  At this point, I usually buckle her and tell her what a good girl she was in the store, kiss her cheek, and look her big blue eyes, and tell her “I love her!”  I suppose, she’s figured out my routine…  Before, I could say anything, she say’s, “I love me!”  You can imagine how cute she was hugging her baby doll, and saying, “I Love me!”

A few thoughts came to me, as I got in the car and headed home.

1.)  How happy and proud I am that my little girl loves herself!  More than anything, I want her to grow up knowing she is deeply loved, by God, me, daddy, and her three brothers. I want her to love herself!

2.)  Why do I never say, “I love me!”, to myself?  Okay… So if I ran around saying, “I love me!”, people would think I was nuts.  However, God loves me!  So, I should love myself.

Me being Mrs. Analytical, I began pondering and praying…  “Lord, why is it that the words, “I love me”, sound utterly ridiculous?  God didn’t give me any profound wisdom, but I thought to myself, “This sounds like a good question for my blogger friends!”

Friends,

What do you think about telling ourselves, “I Love me!”  Do you think it is okay to tell ourselves we “actually” love ourselves?  If not, Why?  Is it a process of our spiritual walks, learning what it means to love ourselves?  Maybe it’s hard to really love ourselves, because we all REALY know our innards the true state of our heart?  Is it possible that we are too hard on ourselves?

For today’s blog…  I want to hear from you!  What do you think?  I would really appreciate your input, I think God can teach us a lot through an open forum about…  “What does it mean to love ourselves?”

What do you think?

Blessings,

Crystal

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

Thank You Lord for the Gift of Motherhood

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Sweet little girl.

A nasty old nightmare has awakened you.

Steeling our sleep.

Lying next to you in your bed…

Soaking in this precious moment.

As I wait for you to drift off to sleep…

I watch you breathe…

Caressing your baby soft cheeks.

You make my heart smile,

As you gently rub mommy’s hair.

My heart over flowing…

In this precious moment… Losing sleep not the slightest concern.

I see your youthful beauty.

As I tenderly rub your forehead. I feel your silky baby soft skin.

Your sweetness takes my breath away.

You behold such an inner beauty for one so young…

Where does your ability to love so tenderly come?

Such tiny little fingers and toes.

Yet, A heart so big for one so small.

Tears of joy escape my eyes.

Praising God for the gift…  for the joys of motherhood!

I lift a praise up to the father…

Thank you Heavenly Father for the gift of my daughter.  Thank you for this unexpected moment.  I will always cherish these middle of the night moments, the house silent, and the only one’s awake… You, me, and our sweet little girl.  I praise you for your goodness and and love!  Thank you for the love I feel from the arms of this tender sweet child you created.

Lord, Your creation is truly wonderful!

Thank you,

From the deepest gratitude of this mother’s heart!

Crystal