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Journey to God’s Plan for My Life

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2nd Week Long Intensive at Liberty University…  After this class I will be halfway to earning my degree.  30/60 hours completed!  The journey is moving right along.  

Sitting in Lynchburg, Va preparing for my second week long intensive course.  I am excited to be here!  God wanted me in this session, during these specific dates, and I am looking forward to seeing what He has up His sleeve.  I already have the sweetest, funniest, and amazing future counselor as a roommate and another friend from my intensive course will be in my class and staying at the same hotel.  I will get to learn from the same wise professor Dr. Dumont, that I was honored to learn from in my last intensive.  God is already working!  He has something big planned and I can’t wait to find out how He reveals Himself this week.  If it is anything like the last intensive I took, I think I’m in for awesome and overwhelming experience.  I hope I cry less this time than I did in the previous intensive! However, the tears that bombarded my facial expressions in the last “Counseling Techniques” class, birthed abundant and pure healing in my soul.  If tears are required to continue my path to healing and essential for making me into a Godly and effective counselor than so be it!  I am on a journey to following God’s will and becoming exactly “Who God wants me to be”.  

 

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What If I Were Told?

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When my daughter was a mere infant, just days old, I made up a special prayer song for her.  It goes something like this, “Dear Jesus, be with Caroline.  Watch over her and keep her safe.  Dear Jesus be with Caroline, watch over her and keep her safe.  Help her grow to be Christian and to love and obey the Father.  Dear Jesus be with Caroline watch over her and keep her safe.”  Every night for 2 1/2 years the two of us sing this prayer, it’s pretty cute as she folds her hands and sweetly sings in her little tiny girl voice.  We sing several other songs, many of which we’ve made up.  However, every night I tell her, “Caroline you are loved!  You are so special!  You are loved!  Mommy loves you!  Jesus loves you!”  I want her to know more than anything that she is loved, cherished, and special.  

Tonight as I lay there with my little girl, I thought to myself…

What if…  I was told I was loved everyday?

What if… I was told I was cherished daily?

What if… I was told I was beautiful everyday?

 

How would I be different today?

 

Would I be more whole?

Would I fear rejection less?

Would I be more confident in who I am?

Would I be a better mother?

Would I be less sensitive?

Although, I ask myself these questions.  I realize there is no real answer.

 

I know one thing…

I NEVER want my children to ask themselves these questions.

 

I will tell them everyday, every hour, and at every opportunity.

How much they’re loved.  

How much they’re cherished.

How they’re truly special. 

 

I want to give them every “healthy building block” I can pass on to them.

Life is not easy!

Life hurts!

Life has a way of throwing massive curve balls!

 

I want to prepare my children for the world!

I WILL tell them of my love!

I WILL tell them of God’s love!

I WILL hug them… kiss them… cuddle with them.  

All the Time!

All the time!

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Tender Moments that Melts a Momma’s Heart

It’s the simple moments of parenting that catch my attention.  This morning my six year old got out the crayons, drew me a picture of the Bible (I didn’t know it was a Bible until he told me), but the picture melted my heart.  On the front of the Bible it said, “I Love My Mom”  -the bible.  With a picture of my little man and his mom at the bottom.  

It is these precious moments that encourage my heart and make me happy to be a mommy!   

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Other precious moments, where my two youngest children, are hanging out at the table watching Daniel Tiger together, coloring, and just being friends.  These are the tender moments a momma lives to see. 

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These are the moments that too often get overlooked but when I take time to STOP and absorb the everyday tenderness, I realize how truly blessed I am!

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

Mathew 19:14 “Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

 

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Thanking God For the Petty Frustrating Things of the World

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God’s word is comforting my spirit today and reminding me of what is important… His will!  Thought I would share the verses God spoke into my weary spirit this morning.

 

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world”

 

Words from my devotional this morning, reminding me to focus on what is important and to simply trust in Him.

 

“Learn to love above your circumstances.  This requires focused time with Me, the one who overcame the world.  Trouble and distress are woven into the very fabric of this perishing world.  Only My Life in you can empower your to face this endless flow of problems with good cheer.   As you sit quietly in My Presence, I shine Peace into your troubled  mind and heart.  Little by little, you are freed from earthly shackles and lifted up above your circumstances.  You gain my perspective on your life, enabling you to distinguish between what is important and what is not.  Rest in My Presence, receiving Joy that no one can take away from you.”

 

I will be honest, my spirit has taken a beating this past 8 weeks, through a crude professor and other personal life struggles.  I suppose, getting through this counseling program, is part of God’s way of building and redefining my character and purifying my faith.  However, I will admit, right now this purification process is painful, almost too painful!  I press forward, Philippians 3:12 -14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived, at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  

Dear Lord,

     There is so much about this life that I can’t make sense of and right now you know my heart is enduring much pain.  Not sure why you have allowed so many tough and emotionally tough circumstances to come at me the past few months, but despite it all, I trust!  I know I can’t understand it all right now, but I know from past experiences that you are building my character and allowing situations to make me the person you desire me to become.  So, the process is painful!  I press forward knowing that you are right there with me.  I do ask, that  you protect my fragile heart in the process, I do not want my heart to be hardened and embittered in the process.  I need your peace so desperately in the process.  Thank you that you are always there!  Ready to pick me up and comfort my weary heart in the painful life struggles I trudge through.  Lord, I know you have already attainted Victory through your son!  I pray you guide me into the path of living a victorious life, The victory only achieved through a life of serving and honoring the King of Kings!

Your Daughter,

Crystal 

 

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Happy 12th Birthday Robby

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Happy Birthday Robby!  

12 years ago, you were first placed in my arms.  You were the most beautiful little red-headed baby I had ever seen.  I looked at you perfectly round cheeks and your thin baby soft red-hair and realized for the first time, “I’m a mom!”.  I instantly loved you!  Loved you with a love so deep and strong, it amazed me.  The sudden “overwhelming” sense of responsibility I felt in those precious few moments of hearing my very own baby crying, excited me and scared me!  I knew that the rest of my life would be dedicated to loving and protecting you!

Robby I wish I could say that you made my transition into mother easy, but I would be lying.  You were one tough baby!  The moment the doctors laid you on my chest, you began screaming.  Patient, you certainly WERE NOT!  God’s given “Mommy’s” milk, didn’t meet your expectations for a quick tummy filling up, so you screamed until the nurses broke down and gave you a bottle.  The bottle became your preferred nourishment and it broke my heart!

The moment we walked into our humble little home, you began screaming.  When you were hungry, you were downright HUNGRY and you wanted to eat RIGHT NOW!  I can’t count how many times you screamed and held your breath until you passed out, waiting for your bottle, which never took me more than 2 minutes to make.  

Mommy and Daddy didn’t sleep more than a few hours at a time, until well after you turned 3 years old.  Daddy and tried to let you scream it out and we soon realized this boy can scream, one night you screamed for 3 hours and still would have continued to scream had I not taken you out of your crib.

When you were 5 months old, yes truly 5 months old, I was trying to clean the bathroom and you kept scooting into the bathroom.  I put up a gate to keep you out of the bathroom, you began kicking that gate, and I’m not kidding you, you kicked the gate down.  

At 13 months old you crawled out of your bed and you never took a nap again!

When you were almost 3, you fell asleep in the hallway.  Daddy moved you to your bed at 12 a.m. and you woke up throwing the biggest 3 hour tantrum and flat out refusing to get in your bed.  That morning, mommy finally went to bed at 6 a.m.

Let’s just say you my son, you had ONE STRONG SPIRIT!

Robby, I thank you for those tough days!  I thank you for the stress and the tears often pouring out of this momma’s eyes.  You Robby, made me a “good” momma!  You taught me what it meant to be a mom!  You forced me, literally FORCED me to run to God for help! God came through for me many times and provided much needed answers as to how to deal with your tough little spirit.

Looking back, I wish I knew then, what I know now!  I wish I knew how to laugh, when you ran through mud.  I wish I knew how to divert, instead of fight to teach you obedience.  I wish I knew how to STOP and just hold you when you threw massive temper tantrums, instead of throwing a bigger temper tantrum with you.  I wish I would have looked for more opportunities to tickle away your fierce determination to touch a knick-knack, instead of smacking your tiny little hands to teach you the meaning of “no”!

Robby, I was new at this whole mom thing!  You my son, being the first born were the guinea pig, and we’re learning through parenting you.  

Robby you turned 12 today!  Today we enter another unknown, the teenage years!  I pray that God guides my mothering skills and I offer more grace and patience throughout your teen years!  I also pray that you don’t prove to be as difficult of a teenager as you were a baby and toddler!  

Robby, I am so proud of the responsible boy you have turned out to be!  You are determined!  You are a hard worker!  You have a special heart for obeying and pleasing God!  Your not perfect, but the few times you’ve done something wrong, I’ver personally observed your grieving heart.  You grieve over sin and want more than anything to please mommy and daddy, and most importantly deep within your heart is a true desire to please God.  I love this about you son!  I pray you never lose the genuineness of a heart so dedicated to pleasing your Savior!   

Happy Birthday Son!

I love you, Always!

Mom

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All Of Me Belongs To Thee

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Hymns play softly in the background.

Singing praises to the King!

This heart of mine filled with joy.

God is good!

 

Looking out the window.

I see the breeze gently blowing through the trees.

I see the light of Heaven shining on branches.

The branches reaching up to Heaven.

 

Hymns continue playing…

My heart filled with awe for my Savior.

 

Alone in my tranquil bedroom.

Like the branches of the trees,

My arms raise to praise the Father!

In reverence to His holiness, His goodness, His faithfulness!

 

My heart cries out inside me,

“It is well with my soul!”

“Have Thine Own Way, Lord!”

“I surrender all!”

“Because He Lives!”

 

Hymns of healing, God placed within the heart of men.

Hymns…  Powerful hymns…  Heavenly Hymns.  

Hymns providing peace…

Hymns breathing God’s love deep into my heart.

Hymns that walked saints into the arms of Jesus!

 

Heavens light,

Shines into the deepest places of my heart.

Heavens breeze,

Swiftly takes my breath in an awesome moment of pure contentment.

 

All my heart…  Praises the one glorious God!

All my heart… Sings praises to His name!

All my heart… Surrenders every desire at His feet.

 

All of me, Belongs to thee!  

 

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Happy 6th Birthday to My Sweetest Little Daniel Man

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Daniel,

You are six years old!  It seems only yesterday, I held your tiny little 6 pd 15 ounce jaundiced body in my arms.  Little boy…  What can I say?  

Your life has brought so much laughter, joy, and love into our worlds.  You older brothers were never big cuddlers, but you were a cuddler from the moment the Dr. first placed you in my arms.  Still, you love to hug and show affection.  You still love to take afternoon naps with mommy and always want me to rub your back.  I call you my “Little Love Bug”, because you are!  Daniel, as long as I can remember you have called me momma and at six years old you still call me “momma”.  Every time I hear “momma” come out of your mouth it melts my heart!  You, little boy melt my heart!  

Daddy nicknamed you Danny Panda and what a fitting name for you.   Our very own sweet, cuddly, and adorable panda bear.

Daniel, Mommy loves you so much!  I am so thankful God chose to put you in our family!  

Happy Birthday, little buddy!

Love Always, 

Momma

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Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

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Today I wanted to pass along a simple message…

To be loved, you must love!

To have friends, you must be a friend!

To have a thankful heart, you must be thankful!

To be served, you must serve!

To feel close to God, you must spend time with God!

These simple messages are in fact “SO SIMPLE!”, yet, we make them “terribly complicated”.

In my life and in my observations of others, I see people desperately longing for love, thankfulness, friendship, to be served, and to be close to God.  However, we fail to do our part!  We fail to love, serve, be a friend, be thankful, and spend time with God.

Maybe, the very thing that is causing our very own sadness, pain, and emptiness, is our very own failure to… “Do onto others, as you have them do onto you!”

If you want to receive encouraging notes, send encouraging notes!

If you want true friendships, be a true friend!

If you want to have a thankful heart, be thankful!

If you want people to bring you meals when your sick, bring meals to others when their sick!

If you want people to love you, love them!

God said, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you!”

Mathew 7:12, “So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…!”

Blessings,

Crystal

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Life Is Worth The Living, Just Because He Lives!

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Words fail me this evening, but my heart is full of the emotions of life.  

At times…  I can’t seem to put into words all that I’m feeling.  I can’t seem to make sense of everything that is going on around me. I can’t seem to make sense of relationships gone awry.  I can’t seem to make sense of the betrayal of one very dear to me.  I can’t seem to organize all of life’s situations into a puzzle that easily fits together.  

At times my life’s puzzle appears perfectly pieced together and other times the pieces of my life’s puzzle seem scattered everywhere.  

I like for life to make sense. I like to easily be able to organize everyday life and understand the meaning behind the trials I face.   I like for relationships to run smoothly.  I like my marriage conflict free.  I like my children to always behave as perfect little angels.  

However, it during these times…  When my life’s puzzle pieces are utterly scattered.  When my heart and mind fail the ability to make sense out of life’s circumstances.  It is during these times I realize my deepest need for a Savior.   

It is during these times…  I sprint into the arms of my Father in Heaven.  It is during these times my Bible screams to be picked up.  It is during these times I cry out for God’s comfort.  It is during these times I seek wisdom from above.  

It is during these times…  The Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf.

Romans 8:26 & 27  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

It is during these times…  God reminds me not to worry.

Mathew 6:25-34 “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?  or ‘What shall we drink?  ‘Or what shall we wear?  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

It is during these times…  God tells me that He loves me.

1 John 4: 9-11 “This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

It is then…  I know…  Even when life doesn’t make sense…  God is in control!  He loves me!  He will take care of me!

He REALLY loves me!

Suddenly… “Life is Worth the Living.  Just because He lives!”

 

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Sensitive, Spirited, & Tender Hearted

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People say… I’m too sensitive.
You know what? They’re right.

I certainly am sensitive.
My heart feels deeply.

What does it mean… “To be too sensitive?”

Could it mean this heart easily beats emotion?
Could it be the sensitive spirit of The Lord?

The power of the Holy Spirit beating deep inside.

People say… I’m too spirited.
Maybe they’re right.

I’ll be the first to say I’m spirited.
I love to talk and laugh; and I usually don’t know when to stop.

What does it mean… “To be too spirited?”

Could it mean allowing the Holy Spirit’s joy to shine?
Could it mean living a life that reveals the true joy of the Heavenly Father?

People say… I’m too tender hearted.
It’s true.

Movies… Even slightly sad movies easily choke me up.
Everyday living… The joys… The trials… The blessings.

What does it mean… “To be tender hearted?”

A tender heart is a sign of Christ living inside a Human soul.
The rain… God’s tears overflowing from the most tender and biggest heart.

Proud to be sensitive.
Proud to be spirited.
Proud to be tender hearted.

To feel deeply the joys, trials, and blessings from a life of one who is loved unconditionally by the most loving Father.