Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Praise God

Sweet Contentment

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This morning, I am lying in bed, the house filled with the sound of pure silence and my husband (the worlds best daddy) is quietly playing with the children somewhere in this house. He thinks he’s letting me sleep in (which is the SWEETEST thing in the world), but I am wide awake contemplating life. I’m absorbing this awesome feeling of contentment, I feel right this very moment. Everything is perfect! Peaceful home, sunshine gently beaming through the windows, quiet children, madly in love with my husband, blessed with four of the sweetest kids, and a home that makes me smile everyday!

In a few minutes, the bangs and thuds will begin above my head in the playroom. The whining, screaming, squealing children will emerge, and this peaceful feeling will be threatened. However, right now this feeling of contentment is pure bliss! A simple moment, often taken for granted, is permanently etched on my heart and on my blog.

Well, gotta go… The cabinets are now slamming, piano playing, and the sound of a herd of elephants above my head is my alarm to… Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!

Happy Saturday! Take time to allow yourselves to feel moments of pure and radiant contentment and say thank you to the Father in Heaven, the giver of all good gifts!

Encouragement for a Weary Heart, Praise God, Trusting God

“I’m Here”

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Friends,

Have you ever had a terrible, rotten, and no good day? It seems everything that could go wrong, goes wrong. A few weeks ago, I had one of those terrible, rotten, no good days. The pressure of life just kept piling up. Finally when I reached my limit, I retreated to my bedroom and bawled like a baby. The tears fell and continued to fall. I laid there and asked God, “Why? Why do I have to feel like this? Why do I feel so alone? Why?” In the quiet of my bedroom, God answered, “I’m here!” He could have spoken a thousand words into my soul. However, at that moment, all I needed to hear was, “I’m here!” There are times when I feel like, I don’t belong, and I don’t fit in. You know what? In those moments, the most calming words to my soul are “I’m here!” We need to know, we’re not in this all alone. We need to know someone has our back. In those precious moments, God calmed my soul. He comforted my heart and made himself real to my weary spirit. Friends, He’s there, He’s really there! He’s always been there! He’s ALWAYS there. even when we feel like He’s not, He’s there! Do you need a reminder today, that He’s there, your not alone, and He’s got your back?”

“I’m here!”, God

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

John 3:16,”For God so loved the world that he have his one only son, Jesus, so that whosoever will believe in His name, shall not perish but have everlasting life!”

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

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, 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, Learning to Love Your Husband, Motherhood, Parenting, Praise God, Trusting God

Follow Your Dreams

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God has been preparing my heart for the “counseling” mission field. God placed this desire within my heart many years ago, and has been preparing my heart for this mission. In the past year, this desire has become a continual nudge within my spirit. Once I realized my desire was a “holy desire”, a “calling” from God, I spoke with a Godly mentor, my counselor, about the restlessness going on within my heart. She told me it was time to put some “feet into my prayers”. She said, “God wants you to take the first step in obedience, He wants you to walk through the first door. Don’t attempt to walk through all the doors at once, He hasn’t opened those yet. Take the first step, first!”

That evening I spoke to my husband, and he agreed it was time for me, to take the first step!

Once I heeded the call, I applied to graduate school at Liberty University. Everything happened so fast, and all my dreams were suddenly put into action. I’M A GRADUATE STUDENT!

Friends, this is a dream come true! Getting a high school diploma was a big deal in my family. I was the only member in my immediate family who received a college degree, and now God has prepared my heart for a Masters In Marriage & Family Therapy. I am truly humbled! Who would’ve know that this little blond headed girl, would overcome such adversity, and with God at her side, “Counsel, His sheep.”

I can’t see into the future, but I can tell you, “I LOVE MY CLASSES!” I love what I’m learning and I can’t get enough! For now, this is evidence that I am right where God wants me.

Graduate school is a huge endeavor! First and foremost, I am a wife and mother, and it is my prayer that God will help me succeed in all my duties! So far, so good!

Prayers much appreciated as I endeavor this new challenge! God is so good!!!

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Praise God, Trusting God

New Years 2013

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Today is New Years Day, 2013. On this day every year, people all around the world, contemplate the prior year. It is human nature to “want” to be better. No matter where we are in our lives, we honestly have a part of us that desires to be better.

I am thankful for this special day! Every year I ponder and revaluate my life. What all did I do? Did I succeed? Was I active or lazy? How was my relationship with God? Can I see spiritual growth in my life? Did I reveal strong love to my husband, children, family, and friends?

Each year I take a “time out” to focus on the coming year. How I can make my life a little bit better? Although I have many resolutions, one remains the same year after year, day after day, and moment and moment. Have I grown closer to God?

Today, January 1, 2013, I resolute to…

1. When writing the date on letters, checks, etc… I WILL NOT write the wrong year. I have the hardest time training my brain to write the new year. (This one’s a long shot, but it’s my resolution)

2. I truly desire to read my Bible every single day. Even if it’s only a paragraph, although I will aim for a chapter or more. My Bible will have it’s new home on the island in the kitchen. As a reminder to read God’s life giving words daily.

3. I will be more mindful of the time I’m spending on the iPad’s, iPhone, computer, etc. At times I feel life is passing me by, simply because I have my focus on a lit up screen. I am reminded that “life” is the most amazing screen, and I choose to spend more time enjoying God’s aesthetics and the people He’s placed in my life.

4. My body is my temple, and I choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Each year this is at the top of my list. Several times I have accomplished this goal to some extent. This year it would sure be nice, if I could top the previous years and lose a considerable amount of weight.

5. To continue serving God, and trusting Him in each situation. To make God more the center of my thoughts and heart. To respond the way God would, and love the way He loves. To become more like Christ!

Readers, What are your thoughts on 2012, and what are your resolutions for 2013. It is my prayer that God is at the center of your heart and mind. Always remember that God loves you, and desires the very best for your lives.

Jeramiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans for you to prosper and never to harm you. ”

God Bless,
Crystal

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

Praise To God and Count Each One Of Your Blessings

My son, Robby, wrote this poem and shared it with me tonight. I asked his permission to share it, and he said I could. I love the cute thoughts of young and innocent children.

Here at my desk thinking.
I have a lot of blessings in my life.
I turn and start to work on my Legos.
Then I say to myself, this is a blessing.
Most kids in the world need a home, they would do anything for it.
I come back to my desk and look through all my things.
My Christmas lights still hanging in my bedroom window.
My parents below me in the living room on their iPads.
My baby sister and brothers sleeping.
All these things are blessings in my heart.
Praise to God and count each one of your blessings,
But not count your greed.

Written December 27, 2012
By Robby Ridlon IV

I couldn’t have said it better. This Christmas I am reminded of all the blessings in my life. So thankful for this simple reminder, from my sensitive 10 year old boy, who loves The Lord and his family.

Praise to God and count each one of your blessings!

God Bless,

Crystal

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