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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Broadening Horizons. 

Today’s post is a little different. It’s something that is on my heart right now. I feel inspired and must share. 
A year and some change ago I attempted suicide. Yes let that sink in a little bit. It happened. I finally hit that low. And I will say this. When that sharp object was slicing through my skin I was so calm and everything around me was quiet. Peaceful. 
So many people are curious as to why someone would want to commit suicide. Which is usually followed by harsh statements on how selfish it is and how much pain we would put our family through. I can only speak for myself but when I heard those things it was only solidifying why I was attempting suicide to begin with. 
Suicide ideation is such a crappy term. I learned about this term as a few others to add into my mental illness resume. I say that very facetiously. I was given a diagnosis shortly after I was put in a very nice treatment center. 
I was angry at first that I was put there. I agreed to go after I was already forced. Ha-ha. My condition got so bad that I couldn’t even talk on the phone or go outside. I couldn’t talk to people. All those things and so much caused me so much stress an anxiety that it would send me into a fit almost with just the thought. 
So what got me to that point you ask?
Well it was a few big things that happened in succession in a course of a year. All starting with the end of a job title and being promoted into another job title. To being away for three weeks away from my family for training. Then to been so busy at work that I am not home. Then my grandfather passed away. That was the beginning of the end for me. 
So many things that felt so unbelievable was happening all at once. I didn’t realize that I was experiencing PTSD. That every single thing that happened to me and my family that year was all recall of things I had suppressed. I thought I had a better handle on my life than that. I mean you all will know more of these things that triggered me soon enough. 
After I have attempted suicide I felt like a newborn and not knowing a F-being thing!! I didn’t know who I was anymore. Who am I? Every day since then is a new day and new way to see the world. To not deal of things of the past but to keep moving forward. 
But the question remains the same or the attitude that comes why I attempted suicide. How could I possibly do that to my family and my children. Well the answer is simple. For me anyway. It was because I believed so strongly that I was the problem and the cause of problems. In my mind if I am the problem I will get rid of the problem. 
Although I am super grateful that my family supporting me and still do from that moment but I still had to take the steps myself to get better. 
I had to make a real committed choice to get better and believe in myself in my journey that I can do this. After a fews days into treatment I had hope. That was until I got my real diagnosis then I was pissed off but it’s only taken a year to say that and accept it. Ha-ha I agreed with most of the diagnoses but not the big one. I won’t reveal that now but it’s still too fresh for me. 
But for now every day I make a choice to get out of bed, to eat, to developed my skills, to learn who I am, to take care of others, to get guidance, to ask for help, to make new friends without fear of rejection or abandonment, to approach life with new eyes, to pray and give my worries to God if I have worries. All those things are choices. Every day is a new fight for my life. This is not always an easy road of recovery but I am recovering. I have good days and bad moments of parts of the day. 
I am learning that I literally have the whole world to explore. I have life!!! Life to broaden my world. I have been given this life to live it as full and complete as possible. I have been given tools to use to do exactly that. 
Some things that try to hinder this process is other people. Other people who may not know me and people that do know me will discourage what I want to do. It sounds too unsafe and not traditional way of life. I am a writer. You know how long it has taken me to say that?!!! But when I would try it on other people would tell me discouraging things. ” That’s not going to pay the bills!” Well you know what neither is me being jobless because I don’t fit in. It’s not what I am meant to do. 
I may be really awesome at my job but that is not what I am supposed to do with my life. God has shown me a piece of my future. It just made my mustard seed of faith grow larger and even more since that moment. I trust that God knows exactly what I am to do with my life. It’s my job just to obey and do. Life makes sense to me now. 
God has told me to write. Just write Kristal. Every time I have talked to God about my worry of making money to live he reminds me to trust in him, that he will provide just write Kristal. Or if I ask him if I am good enough. The love that washes over me tells me that I am and just write. 

I haven’t been so secure in a choice that involved my career but this makes sense to me. It fits who I am. I don’t quite know who Kristal is yet all the way but I can tell you that my past doesn’t define who I am. My past is what I have gone through. And it’s my testimony that will help someone else. It’s my testimony that I didn’t get this far on my own. I was given a new beginning by allowing my old me to die that day that I attempted suicide. That person does that day and Kristal is emerging from that moment. Everyday I have learned so much about myself. 

I had so many people come into my life to help me get to God. I will explain that also on another day. But today I am just In Awe that I have a life to experience and experiences awaiting for me to arrive! And also that I have to guard my heart, discern, and do all things for the glory of God. 

I am sure that this sort of topic makes some people uncomfortable. But maybe just be open minded and see that He changed me and saved me. And look right now I have been adding to my growing bucket list. My world is expanding. Growth is great!!