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Hi There, my name is Kristal. I hope that my words reach you in whatever stage your in in life, maybe some will be relatable, maybe some will touch your heart, maybe some will make you mad, some that will make you laugh. Maybe some will encourage you and empower you. I love God and all that He does for me daily. Through this walk and pilgrimage I will find my voice, and share. Feedback is welcomed. Subscribe, comment, like and share.

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Life Worthy of Living<

We all have experienced loss. Loss of people in our lives, loss of those who have touched our lives, loss of pets, loss of friendships, loss of jobs…. all sorts of losses right?!

There is a loss that I want to talk about. Recently, I have loss someone who has touched my life. Pretty unforgettable human. The lives that this person has touches is pretty huge. Their passing won’t be remembered nearly as much as this persons legacy. This person LIVED!! I mean really lived. This person had great friends in their life, a wonderful family, memories, and has seen the world, and experienced things in their life that were wholesome and amazing. This persons memory and legacy will live on through their family, friends and all others who were touched by his presence.

Losing someone is one of the hardest things we experience emotionally. That is my experience and my opinion. In this loss of this bright joyous light of a person, it made me take some time to reflect…. I was taking personal inventory of my time. My only asset in this life.

Time is an asset that we all have moments taking for granted. We don’t know when we will be called home, we simply don’t know. But we live our everyday lives in our normal routines. I can’t and won’t speak for everyone for this matter… because we all live how we do.

For me though, I needed to take the time to reflect, process and pray. As I was looking back on my own life, I realized somethings. I have done some pretty awesome things. Although, I didn’t travel the world in my twenties or setting my sails for winning the corporate ladder… I became a Mother and then a wife. That is where my adventure started. I am so lucky that I am able to have that adventure because there are so many that are unable to. I was blessed with a daughter who will be graduating High School a year from now, and two sons. 17, 15, and 12. They are very much a part of my adventure. Never really a dull moment to say the least. Every child is an individual and man they are definitely mine. They are great kids.

There are some of my friends who are now starting families and my hat goes off to them because I don’t think I could do it in my thirties. I don’t know if I would have the energy. (As I giggle to myself) But the one thing that I do enjoy is watching how my children develop into the humans that they will be. It’s hard to watch them struggle at times, and its an absolute joy to see them thrive in what they are passionate about. And even though my daughter is going to be off into the world next year, I encourage her to see the world with new eyes. To do the things that make her happy, and that can be scary. To make memories. I am not sure what I will say with my sons yet. But rest asured that I will have something to say.

I don’t regret having children early, there are so many people who have asked me if I do. The answer is no. I enjoy that I am a young mother. I am not to sure if my daughter is okay with it at times when people think we are sisters or best friends. I wish I could describe her face when people give those compliments. It’s a look of ” isn’t it obvious she is my Mom?” Or when her friends come over they forget that I am an adult. ” Keeley’s Mom you’re welcome to hang out with us, you’re so cool.” Thank you but no…. The things they talk about are things I don’t want to listen to all the time…. silly kids. My boys are amazing too. The one thing we love to do, is laugh, sing, dance, play harmless pranks on each other. All of us just enjoy each others company. I love that God has chosen me to be their Mom and I am blessed to call them my children.

Family is such a huge thing for me. My father wasn’t around a whole lot, but my step father was. He raised me. My Mom and my step mother are huge parts of my life. My Granddaddy was my dude that I looked up too. My Granny Gail was wise and really someone I wanted to make proud too. Not to mention all my aunts and uncles that played vital roles in my raising. Family is awesome.

Since having my children I did move back to my hometown to raise them. They get to have that close community sense. For all those who grew up here in Los Alamos know exactly what I mean. It is Mayberry on a mountain top if Northern New Mexico. It really is a whole different place, but it isn’t the place where I want my kids to stay forever. I want them to see the world and experience new things in life. To travel and experience new cultures, to have cross-country road trips, to experience life in a new way.

Which brings me to this place in my own life. What are my plans… there are times where I feel that I am growing up at the same time as my children. I will be 41 when my youngest graduates high school and is off doing what he wants to do in life. So that leaves me here in this moment…. what are my plans? What are my plans now that the kids will soon be off doing their own thing? Who will I become?

So I am sitting here, and I am finishing my college application, praying that I will get in. Seeing the big world for what it is… a small dot in a mass of space and time that I have yet to explore myself. I feel like I am 18 again and trying to figure it all out but I love that I am now in this place, because the world is at my feet, I just have to make the choice to walk. Allow God to guide my steps. I feel inspired to live a life worth living.

To experience new things. To start checking things off my Bucket list and live!! I mean really live!! I want to add more feathers to my hat, I want my grandchildren to see that Memaw ( Thats what I want to be called when that day happens.) did awesome things and did it fearlessly, that I never stopped chasing my dreams, that I never gave up no matter how hard it got, that I loved with such deep love, that I cried with hope still in my heart, that I love Jesus and followed Him until the very end. That I wasn’t afraid to go into scary places and pray for and with others, that I walked around with joy in my heart and passion for life and even the worst parts of mankind couldn’t touch or taint my perspective of people. That one-act of kindness goes a long way, forgiving others quickly because you don’t know what they may be going through and maybe they need you to be that one person to let them know that they aren’t alone and that all things are possible, that I was able to conquer going into the ocean or try skydiving at least once in my life. Or that I was able to be successful when NO One believed that I could do the impossible because my dream seemed so big to others… never forgetting that when I felt alone that I was never alone.. there was two us walking that journey together… Admitting when I was wrong and accepting that I was perfectly made, that even when I stood alone a lot of times in my life that I never backed down from adversity and opposition. That even when my thoughts and beliefs were much different from others that I didn’t allow the enemy to take my confidence, that I was teachable and willing to listen and learn. That I wasn’t perfect nor did I want to be. That I didn’t really like hot weather unless there was a pool, that I had to have my favorite smells surrounding me, that I worshipped God with all that I had and didn’t worry what others thought because He was receiving my love in those moments. That I was all for playing outside when its raining outside, I wasn’t afraid to laugh to hard or loudly, that I wasn’t afraid to sing a little louder than others, or hug a complete stranger. I want to be remembered for how I lived my life not how I died, because I know that I will be with Jesus and I will be waiting for all of you on the other side. I don’t want anyone to really mourn me, but I would love for everyone who I may have impacted in this life to do something that you may not have ever done before, remember me in how I lived, laugh, sing, dance, write, hug, love, hope and care, respect and gosh darn it…. LIVE!!!

I know that God didn’t create me to fit into people’s boxes. I know that more than ever now in my life. Almost everything that I have done and accomplished in life wasn’t because I was able to fit in someones box of life. I was made for something much bigger than I think. This loss has changed something within me a little more… I can’t imagine how his life and the loss of his life has changed others since the news came. My first thoughts were of his sisters, wife and child and his best friends.

To you all who were impacted by Ethan’s life I have this to say…. may not be the last thing I say…. but here goes:

Do something amazing today

Remember that you are loved

Remember who is was

Laugh

Call that old friend you’ve been meaning to call

Take that trip you’ve been putting off

Start that family

Start that career

Chase after your dreams

Hug your children and kiss them as many chances you get

Don’t be afraid to stand alone

Love

Have faith

Sing with all your might

Make that coffee date

Learn something new

Be silly

Remember all the good times

Make new memories

Take pictures

Allow God to mend your hearts with His silver thread of love and hope. Know that Ethan is doing Ethan stuff in his eternal life and He is waiting for you on the other side. Cry as much as you need, and laugh. Allow yourselves to be filled with great love, hope and laughter through this time. Gods great healing hand is in this with us all. I pray that in this time that ties are mended, the broken are mended, the tears of sadness and mourning turn into tears of joy and love, I pray that there is salvation and change, and a new beginning starts here. I pray that this moves you to a place of redemptions and peace. I love each and every one of you. I leave you with these scriptures.

” The Lord is closest to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” Psalms 34:18

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

” I will lead the blind by the ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths. I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

Ethan was a funny, joyous, bright light in darkest days, he was a philosopher, saw the world with a much different set of eyes, the friendships he had are fortified in love, fun and compassion. He traveled the world, he loved, he impacted so many lives, he simply lived. His gift to us was that.. He lived and made us laugh. Thank you Ethan for this wonderful gift. You are remembered and will be remembered. Thank you personally for this moment and inspiration. May your adventure start in a new fresh way.

When One Door Closes… Well You Know the Rest

Well the seasons are in full swing of change. For the last nine in a half months I have been shaken, bent, twirled, turned up side down, beat down, and other description words that are in connotation of character building seasons. The enemy even tried to uproot my faith, boy did he mess with the wrong follower of Christ Jesus. I think he forgets that Christ already defeated him and that HE has given me the authority to cast out Satans crazy. #NotTodayDevil

So lets recap.

My children hit a season of crisis. My daughters abuser is sentenced. Daughter goes to get the treatment that she needs in order to learn how to cope and manage with said trauma. Friend ends up getting arrested for a crime on the same day daughter goes to treatment. Other daughter ends up leaving to live with her Biological Mother. Weird friend who claims he was trained from Santa Claus for the Name of Jesus. #WhatInTheWorld. Personal business hits rock bottom. Friendships lost. Money problems hit the fan. Car breaks down times two. Sleepless nights. Those are the highlights for the most part. I love you all but some of the things are to be private. Haha

When this door to that season cracked open… wait.. it burst right open!! From the moment I was leaving for my trip to New Orleans. Literally fifteen minutes!! My sweet Buttons (My SUV) was stolen by one of the kids. All my friends that were in the car just waited to see what I was going to do. The opening of questions came. I can laugh about it now but then I knew they were like ” Uhmmm Kristal what are you going to do?” Two of the gals that have known me a long time we’re just kind of laughing because they know how I am. They knew that my children would be having a coming to Jesus moment with me. But I needed to keep time of travel and we were set back thirty minutes. If you don’t know I am a time person. TIME TIME TIME. Gotta hit that time window just right lol. Anyway, then while I was in New Orleans I saw a new side of some friends I have never seen before. Like ever. So my eyes were opening to something that was going to happen in very soon weeks at this point. I had no stinkin idea what was about to hit me. NONE what so ever. #BoutToCrashIntoABrickWallPeeps

When I say that one event happened after another I mean that. One right after another. Sometimes within the same hour! But let me tell you something. Although, all these events were happening God was 100% in the middle of everything doing some major heavenly heavy lifting. I made some mistakes along the way. The one thing that saved me from the get go was the following.

On one of the days that two major events happened in the same day, within two hours from one another. When I got home. I didn’t really talk to anyone. I walked to my room, closed the door sobbing and absolutely feeling broken. I grabbed my Bible and opened it to Proverbs. I knew that through all the tears what was happening supernaturally and The Holy Spirit was able to set me up for success by the simple action of making the choice to open my #BIBLE. Amen!! All the answers that I needed where in my life manual. Every single feeling I was having and how to calm the storm was right there in my Bible. Everyday, sometimes for hours I was completely engulfed in The Word.

I needed to know if how I was managing the situation with my children in a Godly way, and what He deems as such. I mean everything I needed answered or needed wisdom and guidance on was all there. Then how to move through this fire place. All was answered.

It was the first time in my life I made the conscious choice to talk to God first before saying or doing anything. I was in a state of full firey darts flinging at me at all sides. The one thing I knew I had front get go was my faith. #Faith yes!! My faith is so deeply rooted and what was spoken and shown to me was this tree. This tree was deeply rooted, and full of branches and some green for leaves. This tree was being pruned, and shaken. Anything that fell from that tree wasn’t suppose to be there. Some of those branches that were cut were hard but surrendering the sculptor to do what He needed to do to get the tree just as He needed to be. I was shown that no matter the storm, no matter how many leaves or branches came off that tree, That tree would only sway in the storm winds. It would only be slightly bruised, and dinged up but the tree won’t break!

I didn’t freak out, I stayed calm and knew that I was going to be okay. Mentally, physically, and spiritually I was going to be just fine. I accepted this truth and put on my figurative knee high boots because these storms waters were about to get really high before the storm recedes. I also knew that the blessing was going to come after the storm. I just had to obey, dig deep, lean on Him, seek His face, and hold on. I hold on for dear life.

I dug deeper in my prayer life. I asked God to plant the right people in my path that He wants for me. I confessed. I forgave and will always forgive as often as they all come. I asked for forgiveness from Him. So as I continue in all His blessings He has given to me in this stormy time of my life, I just want to say how grateful I am of His faithful relentless love He has for me. How is protects me. He absolutely loves me to bits. It’s mind blowing.

So during this time… Our SUV’s breakdown and or about too. Robert is out there in the driveway kicking his car, throwing things and yelling at it as if that is going to fix it. Haha I calmly walked away and applied for a loan. I have never applied for a loan much less bought a new car before. I was so scared. I wanted to fix the problem and He knew of this great need at this moment in our lives. I applied for the loan and within seconds we were approved. Now I have to tell Robert the news. I knew it wasn’t going to go over very well. The money was already in my account. I was going to buy that man a new truck that day whether he liked it or not. When I told him, just like I expected he freaked out with a thousand other questions. At this point I filled with joy and laughter to be honest. because He knows the needs, I dont have any doubt what so ever that we find the right truck for his need. And sure enough. I was lead to a website, found the truck and its sale price was lower than what the loan was for, surely that was for a reason. Robert doesn’t believe it. I call the dealership and they are shocked that I called about that particular truck because it was literally dropped off and into their inventory within that hour, and it was currently being inspected. I told them that I was buying that truck today and I would be there within a hour. Robert couldn’t believe what was happening. I’m not going to lie but he was reminding me of Doubting Thomas. Still I knew exactly what was happening. God was at work here. When we got to the dealership, we went to the back to see the truck. Rob was all in that trucks business because surely this is too good to be true. This truck even has the side tool boxes and other storage spots. Y’all it even has air conditioning. Something either of the cars had. That in itself is a blessing. So Robert is happy and praising me on such a good job. Silly man that was all GOD!! On a side note, just before we got there my beloved Buttons knew what was happening. I was trading her in for this gift. Do you remember the meme of where Jesus is asking the little girl for the teddy bear while concealing the bigger teddy bear behind his back? And she tells Jesus ” But I love it.” It was kind of like that. I loved Buttons and all her quirky ways. Right at the light across the street from the dealership she dies in the intersection. I speak loving words over her and she starts right up and we reach the destination safely. I tell her all the good she has done for me and family. She was about to get a face lift and go to another family and that is where she will bring them joy too.

Robert picks out new shoes for his truck and a couple of hours later we have signed papers and keys in hand. Now, we emptied all of the contents of Buttons. Or so I thought. So my daughters competitions gymnastic Leo’s were in there still. I even asked the guys if they got everything. Of course they said yes. Long story short, after a few phone calls and a very disappointed daughter, I got a phone saying that they were able to find the bag of Leo’s and we can pick them up. So don’t tell that isn’t God’s work. And excellent customer service!!

So here is another blessing. After some time away from my church family. I was able to have a meeting with my Lady Pastor. We sat down and had a heart to heart about somethings and we were able to hear each other’s out and where things were at that time. In same time my daughter was still rocky but she needed a church family to be in her life as well. So we started going to church again. My home church. It felt so nice. The enemy was telling me bad things before church that first morning going back. It was so nice to get in the car and drive there that morning. I worshiped with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My empty cup was being filled. My very own revival is being restored. #ThankYouJesus My daughter ending up coming up with me the next time. She would wear her earbuds while in church in defiance. That was until God spoke to her directly. Our Pastor was delivering his message that morning something amazing happened. He mentioned a song Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks. My daughter is slapping my arm, and I turned to her and right when he was talking about that song that very started playing on her phone!! She dedicated herself to church from that moment on. She stays involved her in youth group. The stirring of God within her is a blessing not only to her but to me as her mother. She recently was baptized in front of our entire church family. #Blessed #NewSisterInChristJesus

Now for me, I have always wanted to be a part of my church family and serve in the way God wants me too. I have had a habit of running towards goals instead of walking with Jesus and his pace. So He would remind to walk, to trust in his work and what he was planning. I absolutely love the ladies in my church and as I dove into the very first Bible study with them, I have gotten the privilege of getting to know these wonderful women. The study was amazing. Then we started the last Bible study for the season, and I was so honored when I was asked to close out the session in prayer. That was a huge thing for me. I felt so humbled and honor from that moment. I was able to help in the upcoming events that the church was doing. I feel like I am serving right where God wants me to.

I love my church. I love serving in new fresh ways. It has been a huge blessing. In spite of all the crazy things that have happened and will happen. I have learned valuable lessons that God presented to me when the storm was all around me. He used the attack that was on me and my family and worked it for His Glory and he worked it out for good. I was able to stand firm against opposing opinions, I was able to stand firm in my faith, I was able to stand in my weakness because He made me strong. He makes me strong. I have a new fresh start at something, new growth on those branches.

There are other things that He has taught me that I have a subject about at a later date. There was a time where I was trying to fix a situation and I was reminded to get out the way and let God do his thing because I wasn’t called to fix anything or anyone. So in that time as you found out last week that I applied for a job. I wasn’t sure at first because of the feeling I was having about it. Today I finished part of training for that job, but the momentum of this new thing that is happening is pushing me in a new way. IF you haven’t figured out yet, once I have tunnel vision on something there is no stopping this train of awesome called ME.

I love how God has used these situations for my good. Seriously, things that I doubted about myself. When I was rejected, opposed, judged, alone, scared and so many other things. He showed me that I was truly in fact accepted, that I wasn’t wrong and I was wiser, I wasn’t alone and that I was fully dependent on God. And with God with me under his protection, I was no longer scared and I was safe. I am embracing this new growth and seeing where it will take me. I have embraced this walk as a learning thing, and grew that much more in my faith.

If you are going through something right now, I encourage you to hold on. The blessing is coming. Just keep holding on. Don’t let go dear one. Don’t let go. Open your Bible and seek the answers. Prayer hard and boldly. Lean on His understanding and not your own. Take care of yourself. Take the time to see the blessings in the storm. Don’t focus on the bad that is happening focus on the new growth that is taking place. Look at it as an opportunity of learning something new about you and your situation. Hope. Faith. Love. Surrender it all to God. He’s got you. You’re loved, you are able, you are amazing, you’re stronger than you believe, You’re stronger with Him than alone, and you matter. You are valued, you are forgiven.

Side note… about a month or so ago I received a phone call from my Mom and Step Dad bought me a car. God knows your needs and He will provide!! When we bought the truck it was for Robert so we were down a car. Talk about blessings from Him. I’m grateful for my parents and all that they have done for me. They are so incredibly loved by me. God knows. #ThanksFather #ThankYouParents

Take care..

Kris

It’s Just One of Those Days

When I started this post today, I was probably half way done and a few thousand words in. I took a brain break, like literally. The words just didn’t seem right. If that makes sense. So I took a break in frustration and not really knowing what is going on. I went outside with the dogs on this fine summers day, or so it feels anyway. I turned on the hose and watched as one dog ran from it and found her safe place on the deck, while the other tries to eat the said watery attacker.

My dog tucker is an American Bulldog and Kona is our rescue from a local shelter. Tucker is four years old. He is such a goofy dog. For anyone who has ever owned a bully breed knows the silliness that can come with having them around. They are full of personality. I picked Tucker out from a picture. I fell in love with him instantly. When we picked him up he was a 20 pound pink skinned white rollie pollie 8 week baby. He now is over a hundred pounds of hunky love. He was our little piggy.  He has that squishy face that only a momma would love to bits. And I sure do love him.

On days like this where things aren’t always flowing I know that my furry companions are there for me. As I watched Tucker play I was present and completely in the moment. I took in the breeze as he snorted his way through the water. Giggling as if the world just disappeared. For once today my soul was still. All the things that I was thinking about were nothing but a distant memory.

I was able to be grateful for the water that is there for me to have that moment to play with my dogs. Grateful that I have a yard to have dogs to roam around in. To have an apple tree, that gives fruit and shade. To have a deck to see and enjoy the view of distant mountains. My Favorite Worship Jams playing in the background. This is what I was in need of all day and I didn’t even know it.

When I was waking up this morning, I woke up with a lot already on my mind. Usually, I wake up singing a worship song in my head, but not today. Today, it seemed to be an endless list of questions, what ifs, and worries. In the middle of that endless list I could hear Jesus saying Be Still Kristal. I got out of bed and repeated what I just heard. Be Still .. Be Still Kristal. I took a shower, and still my head wanted to fight me. I pushed the thoughts back and practiced being still. I dressed and tended to my normal duties. Looked at the mounds of things I needed to get done, the lists of people to talk to, and this blog post that was to be up yesterday. I was feeling overwhelmed, with an underlining issues that I am not aware of.

I sat down, and started writing and nothing was flowing because I was so distracted by the swirling madness in my head. That is when I took that brain break. To watch the freedom that each of my dogs have brought me joy and I was fully in Be Still Kristal mode. This is such a gracious thing that God has given me today. It was an unexpected gift.

He always knows what it is that I need and I am so grateful for His faithfulness to me. Otherwise, the right words wouldn’t come if I hadn’t listened to what He needed me to do. He was asking me to Be Still because I was all over the place. Something supernatural is changing within at all times. When life comes to a fast paced situation its difficult to just be still. It takes practice and to do it on purpose.

Some of the things that are on my mind were about an upcoming job. Something wasn’t sitting right with me, obviously right. It kept me up and really making me think of life choices. I know that I am in a place where I have the opportunity to chase after what is meant to mine.I realized after watching my lovely dogs live out their simple joys, made me question if what I about to do was the right choice.

I have to make the choice based on what is the will of God and if this is something I want to do. Making this choice shouldn’t ever feel like it’s a bad thing. Like ever. I feel as if I do this that it was for other people’s approval not my own. I would be doing it because they wanted me to. I can’t explain what this feeling has been for me, but the words that come to mind are chained. I feel chained. I simply don’t like that. Not one bit. Not even the kind of chained where it would be to settle for.

I would do what is expected and give that job my 110% because that is who I am. I will manage to accomplish what I need to do there, and seek His face in the moments while I am there. I am not called there, but I will be there in present. I will do my very best every day and come home and rock out my true calling and passion.

After talking about it, and a lot of tears. I just laid it all out there. I applied for a jobs that to put a band-aid on an issue. To ease the stress of others while I do what I need to do to finish this book that I am writing. I had to hold myself accountable for those choices because I made the choice not seeking Him first, I was trying to fix a problem that wasn’t really mine to fix. No one asked me to fix it, I was asked to listen and be a support.

I have a lot of people who have opinions on how I need to be. To be quite honest, that has never worked out well for me. I wasn’t ever brave enough to say what it is that I wanted to do, or felt called to do. I have put in on that back burner and tried to conform to what others wanted me to be. That isn’t wise. I won’t ever blame someone for a choice that I made. I made this choice because I thought that is what was expected of me and fell into an old habit out of panic. I feel awful about it. I feel that I can do this job and manage all my other activities as well as finishing my book. #WalkingInFaithBoo

Someone told me today ” You’re talking a lot about it but you need to just do it.” Talk about a show stopper. It’s a oldie but good one. I paused for a moment to allow it to sink in and process fully. Of course I applied it back to this person, then a joke ensued but then it all came full circle. I need to establish that boundary with myself, continue to trust in Him, be obedient to what He is asking of me, shut up about it and do it.

I fell out of routine that I was doing before, rough waters in seasons can do that to anyone. However, this situation has brought it all back to me to be accountable. That No MATTER what comes your way,  you will have to embrace the unexpected, stay faithful to Him, and do what you got to do. Of course all sorts of things are going to come your way when you are doing things that are not the norm to some. God didn’t ask for my resume for me to do the job, He offered this and promised this despite my lacking. He will equip me with what I need. I also needed to stop searching for something that people just can’t provide. I was putting my anchor where it doesn’t belong when it comes to this part of my pilgrimage.

I thank God for the greatest message this morning. Be Still Kristal. Be Still. I give thanks to my doggies because they helped in making that happen in the most unexpected way. I was reminded who I am and what I am meant to do. I thank the listening ear today. I am thankful for the cleansing waters of my tears as I worked through that swirling mess. It may not seem like such a huge issue, but it was to me. I don’t like being doubted, more than anything I needed to held accountable with myself, and not fall into an old trap. TRUST IN HIM IN ALL THINGS!!!

Through these very simple things that we all can do, can and could be the reset that you needed for the day. Of course the enemy is going to find ways to knock you off where you’re suppose to be in life. The more you get closer to what God wants for you in this life the more the enemy will try to tear you away from God. Of course these things were going to happened because I was on the verge of a breakthrough today. The enemy wanted to confuse me and scatter things about, but He asked me to Be Still. Once that happened God was able to minister to me in a way that only he knows how. I giggled, worked out through something, enjoyed singing, watering my Tucker while Kona watched from a safe distance.

So many things were made clear. How awesome is He.

Feel free to comment, like and share. I would love to hear from you.

 

Here is my playlist for the day today. It is my go to.

Kristal’s Favorite Worship Jams

 

 

Hey there… It’s been awhile.

It’s been awhile since I have written. It tends to happen when something big happens in life. In my life that is. I have to process things and spend a lot of time with Jesus. It’s a process of what ifs and why’s and then a lot of forgiveness. So what have I been up to since the last time I have written you ask?

After the sentencing hearing, I had spend a lot in time in prayer. Seeking answers and actual direction of where I am to go next with the knowledge that I have gotten. This new fresh wave of information of how fallen the world really is. How there is so many broken people in this world. Just because I am Christian doesn’t mean that I am perfect or anything, it means that I rely on Jesus to walk me through my issues. I have plenty of things that need to be worked on too. That included the brokenness that I had that day I walked out of that court house. But there was something great that happened in all that processing work, I forgave. I didn’t lean on my own understanding of the situation, but instead trust God that he is working it out for the good. I also started working on bringing some awareness of the dangers our children face in this fast world that we all live in. I had to let go of some controlling things about me trying to protect and reel in that passion a little. I can’t come guns a blazin on a soap box. That isn’t good ya know. I had to take personal inventory of where I was emotionally, mentally, spiritually and whether I am taking care of myself too in all this.

I leaned on the Word, Church and my church family, my friends and family through that time. My passion for bringing awareness won’t ever stop, I just needed to find a better approach to bring awareness. I want to help educate parents and be a soundboard of support. The same way so many others were there for me.

Another thing that happened while I have been absent was a great Bible study by Beth Moore, The Patriarchs. Wow, talk about being filled. I have a hunger as it is already for the Word but to go into such depth was so good. I have the most wonderful opportunity to meet new women at the study and get to know them. I’m so incredibly grateful for those moments and the moments to come with these ladies. They are my tribe. Not to mention the new friendships that I have been so blessed to have currently. I mean seriously awesome Women. They have been so there for me in a real honest way and so welcoming and some have been so impactful in my life and didn’t even know it. So here is a small shout out to some of those women. Dee, Tara, Ramie, Julie, Melanie, Lanessa and Lindsay. You ladies inspire me, motivate me, edify me, teach me, pray with me and for me, support me. I respect you and admire you and love watching all the great things that God has done for you, and all the great works you’ve done and called to do. Seriously amazing women. I’m super grateful that God chose y’all to do life with in some way or another.

Of course I’m still very much going through a difficult season but I try not to focus on all the negative, instead I focus on the work that He is doing within me. The stretch and squeeze to be a better person. I welcome these moments because I know that he is with me and walking with me through this very tough time. There is nothing easy about this walk, but I seek His face in these times. I have faced fear so many times since August, and it still doesn’t feel easy doing it. Because each time I have faced fear it has come in a new way. I know that God is working this out for my good however that looks like. He knows what is best for me and I don’t dare take that from him. Instead, I welcome the teaching moment. For instance, talking in open court was so scary, and allowing the words come out of my mouth was so incredibly hard. Or watching my daughter falling a part and feeling incredibly helpless in those moments and not knowing where to go with those emotions for myself. Or watching a close friend of mine being arrested and watching relationships fall completely a part and being judged myself alone for being a friend to this person. Or only having $40 to put food on the table. Or being blamed for things I have no part in whatsoever. Not once did I blame someone for what I was going through. Instead, I opened my Bible, my life manual. I literally searched high and low for comfort and instruction. I got it too. I trust God in all areas of my life. And I mean everything. Even through my tears of doubt, sadness, frustration, helplessness, I mean you name it. I have encountered every stinking emotion through this season, and still do at times. But the one thing that was given to me every time, was that I was not to be afraid. He was doing a great big pruning in my life and still doing so. I mean I have questioned myself on every bad thing I have ever done right down to stealing my favorite candy bar when I was six years old. And when I was praying about stuff and I am pretty sure I didn’t leave room to listen a few times, but He always finds a way to get to you doesn’t he? He will leave the 99 to find you boo boo. “Trust God and do good,” was a great reminder as I watching Joyce Meyers on the YouTube. So simple and yet so profound. And that was an answer I needed to hear right in that moment.

The one thing I can say is this, through all parts of my life and all seasons, I will always rely on Him.

I have been diving into the new book by Christine Caine called Unexpected. And let me tell you …. this book is so right on. She talks about #EmbracingTheUnexpected. Because of course the unexpected is coming!

She talks about her own story and the overcoming of hardships in her life, and there are other people in the book that share their stories of how God has been sooo in the middle of the pain, chaos, sadness, I mean you name it. Fear, I mean the list goes on and on of all the crazy emotional roads we can go on, but more importantly how God was totally in the middle and working things out for their good. Anticipating the unexpected and trusting in God in all of it, really releases a new kind of management in the situation. We dont have to rely on ourselves to get through the situation. We have to do work of course through those moments but God does all the heavy lifting. What is super amazing is that He knew it was coming and knows the end result. The victory is already won, the path was already made straight, He knew all the players and how it was going to turn out. You’re job is to hold on tight, scoot close, press into, TRUST HIM as he stands with you, walks with you, and delivers you out of the situation. Even when you encounter a situation that is NOT Gods doing He WILL give you an exit out of the situation, and still use that situation for something great and good. HOW wonderful is HE!! I mean seriously. He is AWESOME!

There are so many times that I wish I could share in detail of what I am going through so that maybe someone would understand how He has gotten me through so much and still does. Like I keep telling myself this season will be over soon, It’s coming to end and then something else happens. Now I just giggle and accept and dig in and on the days that its not so easy to giggle I seek Him first. I used to be afraid to ask for God’s mercy, but he knows my heart better than I do. He knows exactly what I can handle, and He makes me strong in my weaknesses. He has a purpose for me and my life. He knows what I am doing, and He knows where I am going.

I have been blessed in that a couple of years ago, before my deliverance was complete, I asked Him to show me a glimpse of what my future was. I will never forget what He showed me that day. But I did, but not in the way that you may think.

Genesis 12:1-3 is where God was telling Abram (Abraham) of a promise. He told Abram that he would become a great nation. That is the short end of it. Even through all that Abraham gone through there were times where fear was very much there too. At times there were moments that they would forget that God has given them their promise when in the midst of the chaos, then they would remember and have an Oh yeah moment.

This is so relatable to me because I have been blessed in that God showed me my promise and I forgotten that when I was knee deep in yuckiness in this season. And the more I got to know Gods Word I felt more at ease because He already showed me where I was going to be, but I still have to go through things. I have learn what He wants me to learn. I still have to trust in Him in all ways good and bad and all things in between. There are even things that I have had to accept radically and trust that it was the right thing. I have had to learn that I don’t need to take everything on personally, that some journeys are for that other person to go through and its not my place to fix it. Or when I was called to help someone I was scared to help. Learning balance and making that active in my life. To fully step into my calling and declare it. He didn’t ask for my qualifications, He asked me to trust.

For instance, I am a writer. I know that I have a lot of work I need to do to be a better one, but I was called to write. I can’t tell you how many times that writing has come up in my life. The first real writing I started doing was when I was twelve on a vacation to Jamaica. I have been writing since. Not only that, I talk all the time. I have to be mindful to not talk so much. My first words were shut up, so from the very beginning I was different and meant to be so. I am not sure how God is going to use that but I know he will. #KristalTalksTooMuch I was called to be this way. I am more comfortable in my skin today than I have ever been. That’s because of Him and trusting. But I wasn’t given these gifts to stay quiet about them. I haven’t been comfortable talking about myself as a writer until recent times. There is a reason for that. I was afraid of being judged and rejected. And through this season I have been rejected a lot and judged, but God was there for me and made me strong. He showed me that I am stronger with Him and in fact that I don’t always have to be liked to be accepted because my anchor isn’t in their opinions and rejections. My anchor is in Christ.

I choose not to doubt myself anymore. I choose to believe. I choose to move forward and not stay stuck like the enemy wants me too. I choose to believe that God is going to use my uniqueness for good because He is good. I choose to believe that God loves all of me. I choose Him.

May you experience the Love of Christ, then you’ll be made complete with all the fullness of Life” Ephesians 3:19

He is life. He is love. He is I Am.

Finally I can speak about it… It’s time to Rise UP!!!

I can finally talk about something that is close to my heart, that has affected so many people. I am finally going to open up about a very sensitive subject. I will talk about my story then go from there. Buckle up buttercups.

Like so many young women in my age group, and maybe its still a thing, but I wanted to wait to have sex until marriage. At the age of thirteen that was stolen from me by a young man I was going to end up going to school with. I can tell you all the things that I lost that day, my virtue was taken from me, my friends turned there back on me, I was quickly isolated, and I lost my boyfriend at the time. I was made fun of a lot and I was isolated and forced to find different group of friends. That event that happened in my life doesn’t hurt me anymore, because I have been healed and restored from that time. God was able to turn that bad situation into a good one.

So lets fast forward to present day. I now have kids of my own, and the danger of predators is on a whole new level. The world that all kids live in is a fast moving one. There is social media that has brought on a whole different disconnect and connect to people. From my experience there are a lot of kids that are not really into the connection of face to face interaction with other people. Especially new people. It is easier to connect to someone in what they think is a safer place over social media or other media as long as its not face to face in the moment. Talking on the phone is also taboo to them unless its their friends. My teens think that I am “Old School,” and that all of those things are old people ways. No one talks on the phone anymore, no one does weird old people stuff like that anymore. Nevertheless, I have tried to get my kids to be smarter about this day and age of things. Like don’t send “Nudes,” ever because those will never go away. Don’t be forced to do things are not wanting or ready to do. Make safe choices when you are away from home, and don’t ever feel that you can’t reach out when things go bad. That’s just to name a few. Now keep in mind that I am a young mom, and the age difference between me and my oldest is 17 years. That isnt really anything. I am aware that kids will do whatever they want in the moment it happens. We all want to believe that our children are going to use the tools that we have given them and make good choices in the moment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

So I am one of those parents that goes through my kids phones and rooms and whatnot. One day some time ago I went through my daughters phone, upon going through her phone I discovered a very disturbing text on her phone. It was through Snapchat, I didnt want to confront her while we were celebrating a holiday with family. I wanted to wait until we got home to ask some very hard questions. Unfortunately, she opened the message right after I did and other family members saw that message as well. Which started a very hard discussion openly. I sent her away after giving her a hug and letting her know that we will be talking about this when we got home. From that moment on there was a changing in our lives.

A grown man asked my daughter to send nudes to let him know that she was safe, and a picture photo of a grown couple working out with a caption saying ” this could be us but I would get a boner.” Now ask yourself what would you do? Where would you start? What would you ask your child? How would you feel? I will tell you exactly what I did, and what I felt, what I asked, and what my journey has been since then.

This has been a journey I have been on for quite some time now. When I saw these, I was in shock. Composed on the outside but shocked. Like was I really seeing what I was in that moment. YES I was!! This was happening to my child. This is happening this is really happening. What am I going to do and say to her? There was a plethora of feelings and way more questions than answers at that moment. But the one thing that was constant that I have to do something. So after a very hard discussion with my daughter and reading all the messages for nearly two years, of grooming, my mind was firm on what I was going to do. I comforted my daughter as much I can. I asked her if she was ever going to say anything to anyone about this and she told me NO. I’m sure so many of you are asking yourself, ” Kristal you just said that you are a parent that goes through your Childrens things, and this has been happening for nearly two years.” Yes that is true 100% but my daughter wasn’t living with me at the time. She was living with her side of the family. To whom were very close to her abuser. The very same people who blamed her, called her a liar, and eventually kicked her out of the house, and she came to live with me. But that is getting ahead of the story.

She saved their conversation over Snapchat for that time, the only thing that isn’t saved are the videos that come through. In another words, the Snapchat video are meant to not be seen again once they have been played, there are times when you can see the video again, but its only once more. And That’s it folks. Now, to disclose another tidbit about this man. This man had been a part of her life for a long long long time. He was the best friends of her family on that side. He was also in law enforcement. I will say right here and now, That I support police and all law enforcement. One “bad apple,” doesn’t overshadow the great works that law enforcement does everyday. You don’t have to like my opinion and I respect that. So what he had done was use her bad living situation as his way in. He used his authority status to build a deeper relationship with her. Hence grooming her, he had her isolated in a relationship via social media. He would visit her and her family on that side, and even help them out by helping buy food and pay for their rent. He would counsel her when her home life on that side got physical or mentally overwhelming or abusive. As their “relationship” grew he would say things like ” Just ask your parents how good of a man I am, I will always be there for you.” Or He would say ” Just remember that I love you, and you do have a cute butt, have a great day” So things like that, it went on and on, he would send memes that were relatable to the things or characters that my daughter liked. Overall, he was waiting for her to give him permission to “Be” with her. I asked hard questions like, Is this consensual? How does this make you feel? Her response was this, Its doesn’t make me feel good, I feel awkward when he sends things like that Mom thats why I started saving the messages because it feels wrong, and I cant tell anyone at my house because they are close friends with him, they will take his side. And he is a cop mom. That’s why I changed the subject or not talk for a bit to him.” Talk about heartbreak. She was completely alone. Then she disclosed that he also befriended her friends. I later found out that he also befriended another family member of mine. They were the same age as my daughter at the time.

She trusted this man at first. She would consider him an Uncle to her. That is how she identified him. He had no familiar ties with her what so ever. But lets face it, that is what Sexual predators do. They become a part of their lives intimately, groom them, create a trust between them, isolate them in some fashion.

So here I am with this information, now what to do with it. Here’s what I knew then.

  • He is a police officer
  • He is grooming my daughter
  • He is sending inappropriate messages to my daughter
  • He lives in my area
  • He is extremely close to her family on that side
  • She is isolated and will not have support on that side of the family
  • He has no intentions of stopping
  • She needs help, needs a voice to help her, I need to be that voice.
  • I need a plan of action

The next steps had to very careful and delicate. I had to reach out to someone I trusted and I needed courage. I reached out to someone that I trust with my life. They reached out to someone they trusted, and I said nothing to no one else. I met with a Detective the next day, and told the whole story of all that I knew at that point. I then called the department where this man worked and talked to his boss’s boss. I went as high as I could to tell them what was happening. That day I had a State Policeman who specializes in this realm and his boss sitting in my kitchen. There was a point where, I saw the disbelief on his bosses face and what looked to be confusion. I was asked what my intentions were for speaking about this. My answer was this. If he isn’t doing anything wrong then the investigation would show that, but if he is then I am bringing awareness to the situation and bringing it out of the dark and into light. People like him are sick, but I am not doing this for him, I am doing this for my daughter, and her friend. If he is doing this to her he is doing it to others. This is much bigger than just my daughter. If he is doing something this is for the victims of his past, present and future. No matter what, it needed to bring awareness.

Someone needed to be the voice. I learned that some of the laws for such an event like this are very gray. There are a lot of loopholes. He would eventually would “resign,” from his job, which set off another set of events for my daughter and her departure from that side of the family to live with me. He was not to talk to her, and yet he still did and in a group message with her parents on that side of that family. The last thing he told my daughter was this. ” If you want to talk to me, you will have to say ‘In regards to the family,’ and when you turn 18 we will resume our relationship.” She didn’t respond. My blood boiled.

Nothing was done at that point in regards to the texts because there is a huge gray area pertaining to such things via media like that. Soon thereafter, someone else came forward about him and regarding physical touch. Molestation. My daughter came forward as well. He touched her too. Keep in mind that a lot of victims do not come forward or it takes a lot of time for them to come forward. There is a lot of work that has to happen in order for anyone to feel safe to open up about it.

So, he would soon be arrested very publicly. There was even a live fb feed of his arrest. I did all that I needed to do to ensure that my daughter wouldn’t see it, but her step mother called to let her know that he was just arrested. Now she falls a part even more. I will get to that in a moment. In the moment of watching this story, our story on the 6 o’ clock news was a tough pill to swallow. No one tells you what it feels and looks like on the other end of things. No one can tell you what to expect. No one. It was the talk of the town, and I cant tell you how many people I came across that just wanted to talk to me about this case and couldn’t say anything or even let on that I was involved. I had to put on a very convincing mask and learn to have none committal answers. Very few people knew what actually happened or was happening. There still is some misinformation that surrounds what actually happened.

Well now this is all happening, I called the school and got some resources in place for my daughter including a therapist. Keeping her involved in the community and building a life here. But lets face it. Once her school peers found out at her new school that was it. You have no idea what its like to watch your daughter, or child fall a part because she feels so much shame and guilt. She blamed herself. She was told by peers that she enjoyed being touched by older men and to just accept it. Kids can very cruel to someone at times. Hearing her cry over the phone because her peers said certain things. Or some of her family blaming her, that she should of kept her mouth shut or lie to make it all stop because this is all her fault. Now mind you, she didn’t say anything, she was going to live with this darkness the rest of her life. I said something initially, I made the choice to involve police, I made the choice to speak. Not her. She asked me point blank” Mom what did I do to deserve this? Do I dress in a way that makes me a target? Why did he do this to me?” I would build her back up. But it wouldn’t last because her self worth, self esteem, her hopes, her dreams, her life was torn down to nothing. To a point where she has selfed harmed, and even attempted suicide more times in the last 9 months, because there is a constant reminders all around her, there are triggers all around her. She will do good for a little bit then it comes crashing again. No one ever wants to talk about how things like this affect someone. I am not afraid to talk about it, this is a life sentence for those who are victimized. LIFE SENTENCE!!! This is something she will have to work through the rest of her life. Rest of herrrr life!! A sexual predator doesn’t care about how it hurts their victims, they are seeking their sick pleasures. They don’t have empathy for what they’ve done. NONE!! The impact this does to a victim is overwhelming. The hard work for the victim and their families is overwhelming. So why am I talking about it now?

His sentencing was yesterday, and he was facing 25 years in prison for what he did. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, and 16 years of probation. Let that sink in a little bit. How does that make you feel? How does that sit with you? How does that sit on your heart? How would that sit with you if it were your child or children?

And with good time up to 85% means that he will spend less than that in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. How does that make you feel about the protection of our children? A person who is in possession with a drug gets more time than someone who sexually assaulted your child. My fight for this didn’t end yesterday. The chapter of that event closed yesterday, but my fight has not stopped. Its just the beginning for me and as for my daughter, the fight is everyday. Everyday she will fight for her life. Everyday she will fight to have a happy, healthy life where she will know that she is loved, worth it, and enough. She will fight everyday to know she Who deserves great blessings and beautiful life and love. My heart broke yesterday but yesterday standing in front of the judge saying what I needed to say, and I almost felt that I stood alone in that moment. I know there were others who felt the same way I did, and would have said more than I did. I know I wasn’t alone in fighting for justice for not only my daughter but any others. I was empowered to say those things because I needed to be a voice. I will still be a voice and I will continue to make awareness to everyone I can. Its time we rise up.

If you are a parent reading this, I encourage you right now, to learn all that you can about social media and what your child is doing. This includes not only social media but gaming. I encourage you to ask those hard questions. I encourage you to get involved. I encourage you to speak out and up. If you are someone who has been victimized, I am so sorry, I know what you are going though, I will empower you to reach out and say something, your story matters. You don’t know how your story will reach others to help them and empower them to stand tall and keep fighting the good fight of healing and restoration. You are worth it and worthy of great things. I encourage everyone to read and research all that you can about this. Its real and it really happens. More than anything you’re not alone. You need to have support and you deserve it. We can turn victims into overcomers and survivors. We can make a difference. Feel free to reach out to me.

My Christmas Card 2017

Merry Christmas everyone. We are just 9 days and some change away from 2018. I know! I can’t believe it either. I feel like the year started with a new beginning of a year of change. Yes the year of change. The year of growth. I know for me it has felt that way. My 2017 year started with quite a wake up call for me as a mother. I was given a load to carry and to see it through. That was my assignment. It was the start of many hard loads to carry. I knew I had to speak up for the one for the many. Due to its nature I can’t yet speak about it. But it is definitely something that I will tackle when I am told that I can. It was a situation where I was on the outside looking in, like ” This happens to other people, and now I know what other people feel like.” It was scary at first, but I overcame the fear of opening my mouth and saying something about it. I look forward to sharing that experience with you all in the future.

Then my daughter and step daughter came to live with us full time. We went from being an empty nest to having company. It was an exciting time for everyone. We were all getting to know each other and how things work in my house. Rules, boundaries, limitations and expectations. For awhile it worked like well oiled machine. Everyone knew what they needed to do and when. Then a quick shift happened. And that is when the new assignment came… survive! Hahaha. I have three teens and two pre-teens. I am a full believer in it takes a village to raise kids. If I had to go through this alone I might end up back in rehab. I’m joking. There are some moments where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I have learned a lot from my two teen daughters. Adolescents are toddlers with hormones. I mean that with all sincerity in my heart, but dang!! I learned that I really have to rely on Him all the time, otherwise, things might have gotten worse. But He doesn’t give us more than what we can carry right?! (John 16:12 NIV) He is pretty mindful of what you can carry, and He is able to help you grow through the rough stuff because He walks with us in all situations. I had referenced to the book of Proverbs a lot. To ensure that I am doing all that I can and I am being a good mom regardless how many times I was told otherwise. Which was a lot!! But I stayed within my faith first, and worked through it in confidence that I was doing the wise thing. I was super unpopular within these four walls, but in my heart I was okay with that. Teens in this day and age have a lot of new things thrown at them; much different than even seventeen short years ago. I so badly want to talk about everything that has happened, but what I can tell you is, It was a lot of darts at my back, my home, my kids right down to the dogs. It is a lot calmer, but nowhere close to being calm or peaceful. Having teen daughters so close in age is HARD!!! Like you need to be expert level in parenting. Especially since both girls have grown worlds a part. There is a lot of people affected, and we all have to work together in our own to make something work. I trust in my faith that we will work through it and we will survive. It takes a lot of work to keep the peace. A lot of letting go of certain things, and a large village. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of separation, but I feel that is temporary. God is working in everyone in their own ways. I learned to talk to others about what’s going on. Community is so important. I learned not to “Throw in the towel.” thanks Mom I learned how to step back when and where I needed too. Not an easy lesson to learn. I also had to learn was am I doing this for myself or for them. Was I wanting credit for knowing everything or was I maybe insulting the other adults in the same situation as me? It made realize that I need to really put myself in check at times, and allow somethings to happen. This has been the biggest part of my year, focused on the kids. I am blessed to have all my children, and my step children … even if they don’t know it, they were an answered prayer. So thank you Lord. Regardless of what they are going through I love them, and want nothing but the best for them.

Then I went to New Orleans for a few days, and was gone for about a week. It was a lot of fun, and which I then start noticing a new trend of things. Like my eyes were starting to open to a new light. I realized how much fun a road trip is across a thousand miles. Almost getting the Zika in Arkansas, the skeeters there are HUGE!! I was tired and I just shouted that in the middle of an empty convenient store. The poor clerk couldn’t stop laughing. It was also the middle of the night. In parts of Louisiana they farm their corn in sideways. It’s always wet, which is nice. I don’t mind that. That’s just some memories. I really wanted to go to Duck Commander and didn’t get to this time, but maybe next time. I also realized that my friend Kateri and I really didn’t sleep a whole lot. Haha. But I learned that I want to get to know so many people, I want to forge strong friends with others that I look up to, gals who are liked minded, I want to make memories with some new friends that I have been too afraid to tell them, ” hey I want to be your friend, want to hang out sometime?” That has been happening lately, and it feels good. This was a turning point for me in this year, when I came back from New Orleans there was a fast lane of life headed my way and I had no idea.

What happened in all that time from August to present has me even know in awe of this year and all that I have endured. Both good and bad. We were blessed with getting a new truck after a long time of not knowing if we could. We were blessed with that gift and that payment. Haha but now we have a reliable mode of transportation. I was sad to see buttons go ( my old ford) but it was time. Now we have Peter, the new white truck. I am taking better care of myself. I am looking fear in the face and telling it to kindly move because it is hindering my journey. I am going back to church, which is a blessing in itself. I am putting myself out there, and accepting when a door closes on something not to go back to it. It’s closed and it has served its purpose. I am getting better at saying what I mean when I say it. I hope to learn more about my gifts that were given to me. I was reminded of my purpose, which is to write, and write some more. Learn more, experience more, take care of myself in order to take care of others, love, be compassionate, be assertive, discernment and really getting my life back. It was highjacked for a little bit. But man to end this year like this is a blessing. I know that I went through this to learn these things and so much more. I am a better person for it. I mean I am really taking care of myself in a new fresh way. I am losing weight, both physically and in all areas in my life that I needed to lose some weight. I mean I inspire myself sometimes, ” Good job Kristal for treating yourself good today.” I am becoming disciplined in a new way. I know that all that I have gone through good and bad was setting me up for something in the future. I really believe that. Life is so much more than the enemy darts coming your way. (Matthew 6:25 NIV) I know I am taken care of. Love yourself that way you can love others the same way … Would you treat someone the way you treat yourself? (Matthew 22:39 NIV) I know I wouldn’t treat anyone they way I have treated myself lately…. So I take care of me first, and I don’t feel selfish for it. Because I know I am in a much better place to help others when the time is right.

This year has been a good one. I am able to see the joy in all of it. I look forward to what 2018 brings. No matter what, it starts with me and where I am going in this journey. I look forward to writing myself a letter on my anniversary thats coming up, and I cant wait to read it in a years time. But first Jesus’ birthday shindig first.

Regardless of all the “bad things,” that happened this year, it was a great season. I grew up a little bit more, became more mature in my walk. Learned so much. Weeding your theoretical garden of life is a must. If its a weed,pull it. It might hurt but your garden will appreciate you doing it. You’ll be able to grow something new in that good soil, because you made some room. Love yourself everyday. Forgive often, maybe a lot. But live!! Not just survive to the next moment. I rather have a floaty in flood waters than nothing at all.

Kristal xx

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Talk about it Tuesday

Well, things are just moving right along y’all. I feel like I am finally getting my groove in things. I knew the season would be winding down. It has been a crazy 6-8 months of life for me. Not that I am counting or anything, and not to say that things are roses and rainbows, but they do feel not so overwhelming. I don’t feel that the other shoe is about to drop. We all have those moments right?! Like what else could happen? When actually its not our job to really know what the future holds. Today has its own problems, can’t worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:24 NIV) And with a lot of practice of being mindful and being in the present moment helps a ton with being grounded.

I can recognize and accept the emotions that come with the situation, but not be consumed by them. Now for me unlike other healthy people, it still takes me a while to work through situations and the emotions that come with that. Sometimes even days and weeks, especially if its a big ordeal. It’s the one time I actually have to fight back the old ways of coping. Like full on OCD blowout to just cope. It’s like a frantic cleaning, freak out then go back to cleaning, setting rules and limitations for everyone, then back to over doing the rituals over and over. Now, I know doing those things don’t actually help me or benefit me as a person. It does however get all the cleaning and gets the things I need or want evened out, or the trash all out of the way at once. Or I will try to read and research a something until its almost tunnel vision when I am trying to cope. It’s really unhealthy. At least now I am in a place where its not so extreme at all, I really rely on Him first, then do things in moderation until I am able to calm down, and figure out what I need to do and feel better.

So, that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. My second year anniversary is coming up with my recovery. It’s a super emotionally filled mine field at times. This year is no exception, in fact more traumatic events happened in this part of the year. Let me back up … This is the hardest time of year because three years ago is when I was going through one of the toughest times in my life. I lost Granddaddy, I was over working myself in a job I loved, I was going through a tough time in my marriage, I was going through something with my kids that I still won’t really talk about, and then my boys moved out right before Christmas to their dads, and I couldn’t hold it anymore and finally attempted suicide. Twice! That’s why its a hard time this time of year for me in a nutshell.

So the first year of recovery at this time of year, I was basically living in bed, hopeless and full of sadness. I didn’t want to shower, I was only leaving my bed to get some food to bring back to my room, all activities stopped. I didn’t even know I was doing it until I was called out about it. Then I was like “Oh, what am I doing?!” I was able from that moment really SEE what I was doing and use the skills that I was learning and applying to get myself out of bed and live. This year, there have been new events that have added to this time of year, and I was internally freaking out a bit. Because I knew going into this time of year that I can’t live in bed, or not shower, among other things. Then other things started happening and it felt like chaos!!

So I needed to put all I knew into action and use this time to really put my weaker practices into action as well. More importantly I needed to stay as grounded as possible. GROUNDED!! I needed to be the deeply rooted tree in the storm. I needed to be able to sway in the storm but stay rooted. I knew I might lose some of my leaves and branches but I needed to see the joy and that maybe I needed some pruning. See what I did there. Haha So I stayed rooted in my faith, hope and the love He has for me. Seek direction in the Word of God, and get a lot of guidance and not be afraid. Another thing was to talk about it. I searched for a therapist that could help someone in my situation, and I couldn’t find one that could help me. I can’t always take up my support systems time, so I was able to call the suicide hotline ( 1-800-273-8255, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ ) on those really bad nights. They were able to help me when I needed. Then I was able to talk with some friends about stuff, and it was nice to see things in a new fresh way. But no matter what I still needed to go through the emotional part of things and actually go through it all and at my pace. Which I am doing. I still get sad but I dont sit in the sadness all day. I recognize that I am feeling that emotion and express that and do what I need to do to cope. #SelfCare #SelfLove

So a friend of mine reached out to me a couple of weeks ago asking if I was okay, because there was a trend there where I wasn’t doing what I normally do. Once again, I was reminded in that moment to be aware of what I am doing or not doing in this time. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to call me out, and she did. I confided in her on what was on my mind and what I was going through and that my anniversary was coming up; what she said to me impacted me. She told me to celebrate it. I never thought about it in that way. I thought about it like ” Just survive it Kristal once its past you’ll be fine.” But to celebrate it… whoa my mind was blown. God was telling me something and delivered the message through her. #PraiseGodandHisGoodWork #ThanksMelinda So I what did with that nugget of good ol LOVE, was really celebrate the days coming as that date approaches. By really loving myself. I am blessed to have such great friends in my life. They are an answered prayer. He keeps on giving. So for those of you who are in a place that is hard to cope in this time of year I have this to say.

I know what you may be feeling. I may not know your situation or what you are going through, but the emotional parts I hear you. They aren’t forever, they too move on to a different emotion and it keeps going. I encourage you to get out of bed, whatever small or big reason you give yourself to make that a action happen do it. If it means, that you need to eat breakfast and smell like a clean human, and thats your motivation to get out of bed, then do it. I encourage you to reach out to talk to someone. Sometimes we just need to unload all that baggage and need someone to listen. Trust in faith that someone in your life wants to listen and be there for you, let them and give yourself the permission to allow them to do it for you. If you dont have anyone or feel that you dont, call the hotline. I think they even have it to where you can text now. Do something to make yourself feel good, like getting flowers, draw, take a bath, make some cookies, watch a silly movie. Just to name a few. Find joy in the moments that you do for yourself. And if you’re in a place where you’ve lost someone too, celebrate all the great things this person has done or made you feel while they were here. When Granddaddy passed I mourned his loss for a long time. I still cry when I think of him not being here, but I also remember all the silliness and how loving he was. That man loved me and that is what I remember and hold on too. I don’t have all the answers but I know this time of year is hard on a lot of people all around the world. If you are reading this and you are one of those people, you are not alone. If you are reading this and know someone who is going through a hard time during this season, reach out to them, you never know what your presence means to them. You might be exactly what they needed in this time of their live. Love each other, be kind and be good to yourself and each other. Be light in the dark.

With that said have a great day and smile.

With love,

Kristal

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