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Generational Bondage & It’s Longterm Effects

You’d think after 25 years of not living amongst my family members, I’d no longer be triggered by the level of hatred that is my childhood family. The level of hatred and dysfunction breaks my heart. Seeing my niece lifeless on that bed and family members outside her room bickering and being hateful to one another, made me want to vomit. Which I almost did! So, I say my peace to my niece and my husband and I pray over her and head back to Indiana. Why? Because I can’t handle seeing the level of hatred and the hopeless interactions that marks my family of origin. So, I stay away! As much as possible, I stay away!

In fact, every time I have to endure my family, I have panic symptoms. I have to push down the adrenaline that suddenly rushes through my body, sending my entire body into flight or fight. I no longer fight, so “flight” is engaged like a jet ready for takeoff. The “danger, danger, danger” alarm that goes off each and every time, is due to the years of neglect and abuse. I see my childhood family members, and immediately want to run away. I want to change my phone number. So many times, I’ve wanted to completely cut myself off from the people who have inflicted and continue to inflict the most harm to my sprit from the earliest years of my life.

In these moments of wanting to run away, something deep inside reminds me that I am not here for me. God has a plan and desires to use me! Seems crazy that God chooses to use me to minister to my family, as they obviously do not want to hear anything from “Goody, goody,” (my nick name my family gave me when I became a Christian at 15 years-old) me! Which is interesting, because very rarely do I feel “good”… I usually struggle with feelings of insecurity, not being enough, or being flawed. Regardless, I struggle understanding why God chooses to use me to minister to my childhood family.

Yet, I am called to minister to the people who reject me, belittle me, and hurl insults! Reminds me

of Christ’s plight and helps me to understand that he can identify with my heartache. Knowing, I am

called to minister causes such conflict-ion in my spirit… So, I will sit and wait for God to tell me to move! I will go when he INSISTS I go… but until then… I will remain here in the life where I feel loved and can easily love! I will continue to live for God, to the very best of my ability! I will work at becoming the most Godly and loving wife, mother, friend, and counselor I can be. This, is in my control! Where he leads, I will go! Until then, I’m going to pray fervently and wait on God! I am going to try to surrender the pain, worry, heartache, and uncertainty to God. I am going to love my family! Because, this is what is in my control!

“Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, mind, and soul. Lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways acknowledge him and he will guide your paths!”

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Who’s Approval Matters?

This verse changed my life around the young age of 17. It was at this point, in the midst of trying to please everyone around me, that God lead me to this truth. “Being a people pleaser”… Continues to be a struggle in my life, thankfully the struggle is getting easier each year! As my faith grows in God, my need for people’s approval lessons! Galatians 1:10… Is one of the most freeing verses in my life! I am thankful for this vital lesson that God continues to teach me throughout my life!

Blessings, Crystal

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Happy 19th Anniversary to My One True Love

Happy 19th Anniversary to my one true love! Our love has grown tremendously over the years and I am ever so grateful.

Over the years we’ve experienced countless joys & trails. The joyful moments have held us together through the trials. God has used the trials to make us more Christ-like as a couple. I cherish the joyful moments and I thank God for the trials! It’s the trials, that although painful, act as the glue to instill greater trust, unconditional love, and grace into our relationship!

I am so proud of the man you’ve become! It has been an honor to watch you through the years! I admire your many accomplishments in life, in your career, in our marriage, as a father, and mostly as a believer growing in faith and dependence on God! I loved you as a young girl and I love you so much more now! We’ve literally grown up together and I thank God for choosing me to be the “girl” that gets to be your lifelong sojourner!

Today, I celebrate our love! Today, I praise God for the gift of our marriage! Today, I pray for many more years to come! I love you, Robert!

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Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

There is no fear in love… Perfect love drives out fear! Love how comforting the words of God are to the fiber of my being. Thankful for the consistent & solid truths God reveals to my heart. Always in awe of His mighty ways, his unconditional love, His patience, and how He’s an ever present help in times of trouble!

Are you struggling with the fear of uncertainty today? There is hope in Christ and in our relationship with God the Father, there is no fear!

Pray today for a spirit of love that casts out all fear! Pray today for peace of mind and quietness of soul! Pray today and thank God for always being present in your life! Read truths of the scripture to help us cast off any spirit of fear. Blessings, Crystal

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Because He Lives… All Fear Is Gone

Battling fear and uncertainty has the potential to possess you, to steal your joy, and make you feel like your losing your mind. I love this verse, because we are reminded that “God” alone is to be the stronghold of our life! We all struggle and need the hope of Jesus Christ. As I read this verse, I was convicted, because I have fallen into a trap of feeling fearful often. I do not want anything to be the stronghold of my life, especially not fear! Satan uses fear to wreak havoc on our minds and souls. I am seeking to replace any stronghold of fear in my life, with God! God alone is the stronghold of my life! When I keep God as the stronghold of my soul, all fear is gone. God always has a way of leading me to the perfect words from His word to speak into my hearts and brokenness!

This past Sunday, I sat in church and we began singing the old hymn “Because He Lives”! As the words on the projector ahead read “Because He lives … ALL fear is gone!” The dam of my soul broke and the tears flowed like a never ending waterfall. God simply reminded me the most profound and basic truth; Because of Christ’s death & resurrection… I DO NOT have to live in fear! I can rest knowing that God has always been, will always be, and will forever be in control of everything that happens in this world and in my life!

If your struggling with fear today, you are not alone! Me too! However, we absolutely do not have to continue battling fear… We can live in peace, joy, and hope simply because Christ arose in victory over this world’s greatest enemy!

Blessings, Crystal

“Because He Lives”

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;

He came to love, heal and forgive;

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living

Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby

And feel the pride and joy he gives;

But greater still the calm assurance:

This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living

Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river

I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;

And then, as death gives way to victory

I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

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Remembering My God-Fearing and Most Loving Great Grandma

This woman on the right was my beloved and Godly great-grandmother. I came across this picture today and just started bawling. As a child, there were very few people in my life whom I felt loved me, felt safe and secure with, or who gave me a sense of true love and peace. This woman, although I didn’t get to see her as often as I wished, was all of those things to me. She had the most tender and loving spirit! She prayed and spoke of God’s love every time I was in her presence. She amazes me to this day, because there weren’t Christian counselors available to help her through her past pain and grief, and she certainly had a lot, yet… She was the epitome of spiritual healing! She was filled with the Holy Spirit!

Today, I thank God for placing this Godly woman in my life! I think sometimes, you don’t realize how much you love someone until you’re much much older! I sure loved her and can’t wait to spend eternity with her in Heaven. She died about 10 years ago and it’s been a long 10 years without her on this Earth! I fall way short of the Godliness, tenderness, kindness, gentleness, and love this woman beheld… But, I sure hope to somehow follow in her footsteps, if even only a little.

One of my favorite memories of her was when I was 5 years-old. She lived about a mile from my school and I didn’t want to go home after school. Therefore, I walked on a busy road by myself to her apartment building. I knocked on her door and the look of surprise and concern was obvious. Unlike everyone else in my life, she didn’t scold me, yell at me, hit me, or shame me. She received me! She showed me love! She fed me a snack, talked to me about how much she loved me and how she didn’t want anything to happen to me. Then in love she walked me home, held my hand, and she never told my mother about the incident (because she knew that would mean trouble for me). I have very few memories from ages 5 – 8, but I remember this in vivid detail. Mostly, I remember the extreme love and tenderness I felt, as it was a rare feeling for me as a child.

Thank God for someone special in your life today, even if it means going back in the past… even if it means you have to cry over the memories! Show someone intimate God-fearing love today, people forget a lot of things, but they never forget feeling loved.

Blessings, Crystal

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

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Train Up A Child

Look at these boys… They are so big now! This is a reminder that my kiddos do not belong to me… They belong to God and he has an amazing purpose and plan for their lives! I am learning that I must not cling to hard or hold them back out of fear of letting go. I am continually reminded that my place is only to train them up, point them to Christ, and guide as they walk in the life God already has planned for them!

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”