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True Love Lasts

After a week of being apart from my best friend, he is home and my heart is complete! I will never enjoy the time he’s away teaching abroad and I know it will most likely always be hard on me. However, I will forever cherish the time apart, as a reminder of the depth of our love and how wonderful God is for allowing me to spend life with my best friend and soul mate! God’s perfect and beautiful plan for marriage is amazing and fulfilling! Never, settle for less than God’s best for your life!

Blessings, Crystal

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Back to the Grindstone; A Little Extra Motivation and Passion

After over a week off, I have slightly been dreading going back to work tomorrow. I’ve been dreading the having to wake up early, pack lunches, and preparing to return to the day to day grindstone of everyday life. After 10 days of resting and catching up on life, I find myself less than excited about going back to the mundane routine of work and school. Honestly, I am dreading going back to the everyday tedious pursuits of living in an extremely hurried and tiresome society. I love days filled with little to no routine, hanging out with family and friends without a time crunch looming over like an unwelcome cloud. All vacation time must come to an end and everyday life shall begin.

Tomorrow I head back to work! Honestly, I have been trying to pump myself up all day in preparation for going back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but seeing people in pain and managing BIG problems in people’s lives can be overwhelming at times. I’ve enjoyed time with my children and extra time to catch up on much needed household projects! I’ve enjoyed having time to regroup my thoughts and the ability to fully focus on God, my family, and my home!

I’ve been working all day trying to get myself back into the “helping” mindset. Amazingly, God knows exactly what we need and when we need it and today he used a message from a dear friend to motivate my heart back into desiring to head back to work. Out of the blue, a dear friend messaged me and gave me real life examples of how God is working in the lives of his children! Specifically, how God is working in the live’s of people, I work with. This message brought tears of joy to my eyes and fueled my weary spirit with passion and motivation to get me back into the right frame of mind.

I am continually amazed that God chooses to use me and the Godly people around me, to reach people for the gospel! He chooses to use little old, imperfect, broken, and completely flawed me. Reminds me of a sermon I heard yesterday while driving home, by one of my all time favorite preachers, Adriane Rogers. Adriane Rogers “God will use any vessel that is totally surrendered, for His glory.”

Many of my local friends have been on spring break this week and the buzz around church is… “Man, I am not looking forward to waking up at 5 a.m., going back to work, packing lunches, etc.” I get it!

A little extra passion and motivation for you today. Friends, we are missionaries In whatever capacity he’s using you. God, will use you, he desires us to be fishers of men! He will provide the needed strength, energy, and wisdom needed to conquer the tasks ahead. {Even the having to wake up at 5 a.m. part!}. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!

1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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Unexpected Moments

Literally hit every light from beginning to end on the way to work today! Found myself convicted at the last one… Rather than fretting about being late at each light, I should have utilized the extra time to pray and draw closer to God. Don’t make my mistake today… Allow extra moments to draw you closer to God! You won’t regret starting your day with talking to the maker and comforter of your soul. You will regret fretting at every single light, trust me!

Mathew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Blessings, Crystal

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Should I or Should I Not? Facebook Etiquette

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Venting on Facebook can certainly be tempting at times…. Friends, when we are angry and hurt, even when our feelings are warranted; Venting our frustrations on FB will not solve our problem. Let me repeat, venting our frustrations on FB will NOT solve your problem! Actually, it creates a bigger problem, with more resentment and bitterness. When your feeling offended and make a point to be understood and heard on Facebook… Your desired outcome will never be achieved. Sure, there will be a few people who agree with you, but the damage it does is permanent. I can pretty much guarantee this approach is NEVER effective.

Friends, when we post anything on social media, we should make sure it’s done with good intentions, in love, and never to “get our point” across. Let’s face it, we live in a broken world and as believers, Christian’s will face tribulation in this fallen world. As tempting as it is to respond in anger and hurt, we must respond in love as Christ. If you want people to change, respond to criticism in love… Wow! This approach has short term and long term changes! We may not see the changes immediately, but in the eternal picture we’re always making a positive difference, when we choose love over hate!

Trust me, I am not writing this as someone who has it all figured out. I am writing this post from a place having had to learn some hard and painful lessons many times, regarding posts on FB! Sadly, I’ve lost friends over posts in the past! I’ve hurt people I love, due to ill thought out and prayed about posts!

We as believers, must decide to exercise grace over hurt. We must take our hurt, pain, and frustrations to God in prayer! Hand your hurt over to God and see how quickly he changes your heart! Friends, God knows your heart! He knows how hard you try! Most importantly, he knows how it feels to be despised and rejected by men. Hand your pain over to him!

God has so many truths on this issue in scripture… One of which is… “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!” We can respond in love, while holding the same boundaries! This my friend’s, is a learned art! A practice learned by continually surrendering our hurt, pain, and frustration to God. Feeling his unconditional love and forgiveness and then being able to extend the same grace and love to others who hurt and criticize us.

Remember this truth from God’s word when people attack you or criticize you…. “Your battle is not against flesh and blood!” The battle was and never has been about you or them… This is a spiritual battle! God allows us to endure these battles, because it’s an opportunity to mature our faith, grow our perseverance, and build our character. Each conflict we endure as believers, is a way to show God’s love to the world around us! Respond to hate, with love! This is the most powerful tool, God has given to us as believers! Blessings, Crystal

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A Mother’s Love

A mother’s love for her child…  There’s no deeper love on Earth!  It’s this love that allows a mother the strength to lift a car off a child.  It’s throwing herself in front of a car, without a thought, to protect her child.  It’s the intense pain a mother feels, when she observes her child suffering from illness or injury… It’s the deep longing inside her, begging God to allow her to face the pain instead!  It’s the ability to selflessly consider their needs above her own!  It’s a mother’s love that allows her to remain steadfast under pressure, as her child begs and at times {despises} her for saying no!  

A momma’s love for her child is indefinable and immeasurable!

Motherhood is filled with great intensity of emotion, as she watches her babies grow up. It’s the joy and sadness felt each and everyday, realizing her babies are another step closer to leaving her nest… empty.  

It’s a mother’s love that allows her to pull back, as they fight for independence. Sacrificing her innate motherly instinct to hold tighter… pushing down her desire to pull them closer out of fear of them flying away. It’s a mother’s love that hushes her desire for control, for the sole purpose of providing space and freedom for her children to grow into the adults God intends for them to be. It’s the tears that flow relentlessly with little understanding of the cause… questioning whether they’re tears of joy… sadness… grief… fear… or all of the above!  It’s the way a momma often wipes tears from her cheeks… While remaining on autopilot to ensure everyone and everything is taken care of for the day!

Motherhood is real! It’s vulnerable! It’s joyful! It’s genuine! It’s messy! It’s painful! It’s terrifying! It’s exciting!

The depth of a mother’s love is greater than the deepest place in the ocean waters.  It’s this love that causes a momma to lose sleep at night, as tears pour from her eyes, worrying about her children.  It’s love that pushes this mother to become the very best version of herself possible. It’s love that causes a momma to spend endless hours feeling excruciating guilt over mistakes made in raising her children!  It’s a momma’s love that causes her to feel guilt…  even when she knows she’s making the “right” decision for her child.  

Simply put… A momma never feels good enough to parent her babies!  She’s always striving to become better, stronger, more patient, and more loving!

It’s love that forces a momma to her knees, in the wee hours of the night, as she bows her head in prayer for her children! It’s a momma’s love that would fight off a full grown bear, to save her child from danger!  It’s a mother’s love that would work tirelessly to provide for her children.  It’s a mother’s love that would starve to death, to ensure her child survived. It’s the reason a mother often turns her face, as she cries, in the attempt to be strong and confident.  While, inside she feels not an ounce of confidence or strength.  It’s a mother’s love that fights for her children! It’s a mother’s love that stands up to evil, even if it means facing rough waters. It’s this love that refuses to give up and advocates for her children’s well-being.  

There’s simply no way to define the power of a “mother’s love”… Try as we might… There aren’t enough words in the English language to adequately describe a mother’s supernatural ability to love her children.

A momma’s love is unconditional… It’s an overwhelming and confusing mix of any and all emotions. A momma’s love is a well of intense emotions… that replay in repeated cycles all throughout her days!  

What can I say?

It’s a momma’s love!

Blessings,

Crystal

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Are You Growing Bitterness or Growing Faith?

Anxiety has the potential to steal our joy, ruin our relationships, and destroy our lives! Anxiety is none other than Satan himself lying, conniving, and trying to lead us to destruction! In fact, he is working harder than ever and is attacking the minds of people all around the world, in our communities, our churches, and in our own homes! Satan is in the business of preaching {stinking thinking} and we must fight him off with the Lord’s strength! Anxiety tells us that we’re worthless, we have no hope, that there is no one who cares about us, etc. If we listen long enough we will begin to believe Satan’s lies and then begin behaving in a way that creates our very own self-fulfilling prophecy.

“We think what we think… which causes us to feel what we feel… which causes us to choose what we choose!”

We get to choose!!! We control our minds! Our minds DO NOT control us!

Life will be hard at times! People will hurt us! We will hurt other people! In fact, often our own poor decisions are the very thing that causes us our worse pain! However, if we surrender our lives, our hearts, our relationships, and our pain to God… We will begin to see God use our brokenness for His glory! In fact, we may even get to the point where we can thank God for the pain we experienced in our lives! I am!!!!!

The Bible says “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world!!!”

God uses our brokenness and valleys as a conduit to increased faith and growth!

James 1:2-5 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The only requirement is that we allow God to use our pain to help us heal, rather than allowing Satan to use our hurt to build bitterness in our hearts!

The choice is always ours…

Grow our faith or grow our bitterness!

What will you decide today?

Blessings,

Crystal

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Watching Kids Become Adults… My Amazing Christopher!

This is Christopher! He is in the 8th grade! What can I say about this kid??? He’s just amazing! He helps make lunch for his little sister almost daily, he always wakes up early for school and has his brother and sister’s breakfast on the table (mostly because he does NOT want to be late for school), he is working so hard at school and his goal this year is to make A honor roll, he puts away the dishes from the dish washer daily, he always offers a helping hand, he always wants to do the right thing, he is funny, he has a caring heart, and he’s one wondeful human being! He’s our quiet middle child and he can easily get overlooked… I am learning the importance of paying close attention to this young man, he is an amazing kid… he is full of wonder and brings so much joy to my life! He’s grown so much this year in his faith and relationship with God, academics, and maturity! Watching him become an adult is an honor! I love you Christopher Lucas! I couldn’t be more proud of the young man your becoming!

Deateronomy 22:6 “Train up a child in the way they shall go and they will never deaprt from it!”