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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Getting into the Rhythm even when you dont have Rhythm

Last Sunday durning my church service, My pastor was teaching about the Rhythm of Christmas. I felt it was interesting when he was teaching this in the following perpestive. I wasn’t sure how the music lesson was going to tie into Jesus. I loved the whole thing. I learned that I may never be a drummer, and I would be that one band member that would always be a little off. I used to play in Orchestra our conductor kept our time along with our foot, but I am not sure that it was really a proper etiquette in orchestra; I’m not really sure, moving. Orchestra I understand, but if I were to learn to play the drums I would have to have mass amounts of practice and lessons. Over and over until I got it and it was second nature. Which makes total sense when we apply it to everyday in our lives. Eureka I got it!!

I am one of those musically inclined people, if you want to call it that, I am that person that can hear it and play it to hear a mistake or something is off. I also learned that not everyone has that gift, just like I don’t posses the gift of being a drummer the keeper of time. So keep this in mind as I go through this moment. On a side not I am in constant reminder of the anchor… I need the anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) Jesus is my anchor and reminder to go at his pace, or to slow down and stay grounded with Him.

After church and getting my daily bread, I look back on my notes and the scriptures and I try to apply it to my life. Like really apply it. In this case, how do I stay in sync with God and how can I use the reference to music to understand and apply it.

Here’s my take. When I LISTEN to music, I am able to HEAR the conversation between instruments and media used to create the SOUND. Then I am able to COMPREHENDED what the singer or artist ( If there is one) is interpreting for us to be able to hear what the conversation is all about. Maybe its weird but that is how I hear music. When its a song that touches me, its because I am able to hear the entire conversation of the song and it touches my heart. You know the mood, the feelings, the story. Or I am able to take on my own interpretation of what the song is trying to say. In another words, I am digging in deeper and hearing all the sounds of the story being told.

Have you ever been in a mood that you couldn’t quite put your finger on, and you’re searching for a song to match what you’re feeling and you just can’t find that song? Yeah me too. Sometimes I feel that we can get that way in our lives. Nothing seems to sync up just right and we search and search to feed that moment. To satisfy that hunger. To make sense of what’s happening right? Bear with me. God has a reason for this, and sometimes He is moving the band around, but it is still playing great music, even if we can’t hear it like He does. God calls us to have a relationship with Him and Jesus is the heartbeat. ” He started the heartbeat of Jesus.” Y’all, when my Pastor said this, he put his hand to his chest , Thump thump…. thump thump…Je-sus Je-sus …. Je-sus Je-sus… That made so much sense to me. The gift that God gave me was redemption through Jesus. My thump thump… Talk about mind blown. God is love. Love is God. We often refer to the heart as love. Jesus equals your thump thump. I know right! I know that not everyone will see what I mean here, but this is how it made sense to me.

So my heart calls me for a purpose. So many of us, don’t listen to music the way I do. I know I am not alone, but my perception may not be like others. But we still are all a part of the same band bro. I am just not the drummer. Each of us have a different role to play and a different purpose. So how do we get our lives in sync or rhythm with Him? Well, its a choice I think. I know that I chose to listen to what He is calling me to do. I know that I am to write. That is all I know. I have to listen closely to what I am being guided to do. Even though it scares me, I may be lead by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV) I may not see the results right away, or hear the music playing at the moment, But I LISTEN to what I am being instructed to do by SOUND so I am able to COMPREHEND what I am to do next and know that the music is going to be awesome. We all have a purpose to fulfill. I know that when I was called to write I had no idea what or how everything was going to work. It turns out that me Knowing isn’t my current instrument to play, my instrument is to be obedient and write. Do the work to practice everyday, some days are harder than others, but I am practicing until its my second nature. Just like so many other things in my life at the moment as you may have read yesterday. I need to do the hard work to get where I need to be in accordance to what His will is.

So the last thing I wrote in my notes was this ” How can you get better Rhythm?” Well, I made the choice to change, to allow Him to do what He needs to do. There is a reason for me to have the purpose in this life because it’s going to matter to someone else that He puts in my path. We get out of sync because of sin and to align with God its going to take a lot of practice. I dont have the exact words that my Pastor used but I feel that I am pretty close. I dont know about you but I certainly dont like going through a hard time alone, I rather have a partner, brother, sister right next to me, and Jesus is right there beside me too, even if I can see Him. I know that He will never leave me as long as I reach for His hand.

My previous blog post, is a glimpse into what I am doing to stay in sync, its hard work, and its a lot of practice but by the grace of God, the support from Jesus,and guidance from the Holy Spirit, My journey doesn’t look so overwhelming. And just like any relationship there’s a lot of work and practice there too. It’s hard for us humans to really understand God’s love for us. Like we can’t even fathom the love He gives us and or many of us don’t even know what that would even look like. but maybe that is for another post later. Nevertheless, He wants a relationship with us. If you could text Him everyday like you would your best friend, would you and what would you tell him? That is what He is wanting. He loves you right where you are today, and who you are today. He is the most trustworthy friend you’ll ever have. He is the dad you can tell EVERYTHING too, and will still love you at the end of the day. So what part of the band is He calling you towards? Are you willing to take His hand and walk with Him through this process, even if its scary? Are you ready to start? Well I encourage you to pray on it ( have a conversation with Him) and I will do the same. We aren’t perfect beings, I am perfectly imperfect made by Him and He loves me faithfully, even when I let him down by my shortcomings but I will continue to the work and practice.

Thank you for reading today. Please feel free to comment, like and share. Please subscribe and don’t miss a beat with me!

Lastly, here is a funny picture of my American Bulldog Tucker. He just turned 4!!

Chapter 5 Time

Being with my father made so much sense to me now. I was talking with my mom just over the weekend and she said something that was so profound to me. She told me that I have always been different. I am not the type of person that fits into a cookie cutter box. She said the word weird in there too. Haha but that is actually a fair statement to have to be honest. I know I am different and occasionally weird. I hear that from some of my closest friends. Some actually come out and say that I am weird and some use the term funny. But the one thing she said that really hit home was that she didn’t have the time to give me to nurture that part of me. Being with my dad I was essentially the only child.

My father had my two brothers from a previous marriage.They were pretty much adults when I came to live my dad. I didn’t see them much, but that was something that was out of our control as far as sibling control goes. I guess the point that I am trying to express is that my father had the time to give me. Although, My step mom was the one I spent most of my time with along with my grandparents. I love my Grandparents. Granny and Granddaddy. They all had time for me, and they did nurture those things about me that are ” weird.”

I don’t know how to be a “normal,” human who does things that are expected of them. I am not that person. I have always known in my heart that I am meant for so much more. I wasn’t given the gifts that I was just to let them fade away into world of “Hopes and Dreams.” I am not afraid to do the things that are outside the box. So many of us don’t reach what we are really meant to do. Most people do what the world expects them to do. I do what I am instructed to do by my creator. In an other words I listen to my heart. Or as my mom said over the weekend that I go the beat of my own drum and I take that as a compliment. So many times my mom has said how she wished she would have done what she  dreamed of. During the course of this last year alone, I have had so many questions about life, and what my real purpose is. I am one of the lucky ones that knows what I am meant to do. I just have to do the work to accomplish that. I am blessed to have the opportunity to make that happen. I have thought many times over if things hadn’t turned out the way they had, would I still have this same revelation. Probably but I wouldn’t execute it because I was defining my life based on what the world wants me to do. You know the routine.

  • Get up and look presentable for the world
  • Make the coffee
  • Go to work and make a small difference in the world
  • Secretly hate the job you have
  • Remind yourself to be grateful you have a job
  • Pay bills
  • Secretly die inside wishing you had done something different in your life

Yes, that was a low of lowest of lows of what some people deal with everything. I can hear the same things said when I bring something like that up, because people tell me all the time that not everyone has the luxury of writing a book like I do. Or whatever else they have said. Or the other half who tell me how blessed I am and how it inspires them to do something they have always dreamed of doing. Well Let me tell you something.I used to be that person who struggled with paying my bills on time, working dead-end jobs, or working really good jobs and something happens, being a single mom for a little while. I know the struggle but my dreams haven’t changed and it’s because with my father I was given the attention I needed to hold on to what I have wanted to do all my life. That is to write. That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle to accomplish those same things as the next person. I don’t judge people because its not my job to do that, and furthermore I don’t know what they are going through. They may have some things that they are going through just like me. You just don’t know what people are going through is all I am saying.

While with my father, he and my step mom bought me my first journal. I have written in a journal but it was a notebook and I would end up using it for something else. So before we went on vacation in Jamaica, I was given that journal. That was the start of the actual life story being put into paper. I was encouraged to write about everything and anything, and what a better way than in Jamaica. I still have that journal, and all the memories of going to Jamaica. Y’all let me tell you if you haven’t gone there GOOOO!!

I had so much fun there. I was afraid of the ocean. I am way too small of a human and that is poop ton of water. NO thank you! I still don’t like the big bodies of water. My dad did take me swimming in the ocean. I didn’t get far in the water because I was too scared. I am okay with that. I respect the ocean. Haha. I enjoyed writing about the canoe ride my step mom and went on. It was so beautiful but I was humbled that day. We had made a pit stop along the river. There was a swing on a tree there. So I sat on the swing just so I could admire the clarity of the water that was beneath my feet. That was until I was so far in my own mind about all the stories I had going in my mind about the water. It was so beautiful as it covered my entire body I felt one with the water in that moment. I felt the sand between my toes and how warm the water was. I came up for air and got out of the water. I had fallen in and now soaking wet.

I had bad luck with water where ever there was water. Side story here. Almost all ( minus one) the field trips I had in Texas that involved I fell in somehow. I was accident prone when it came to water. We were on a field trip to the space/science museum in I think Ft. Worth and there was this huge landscape of water but you could walk on the sidewalk thingy’s ( I don’t know what they are called) and I was proud of myself that I hadn’t fallen in. My step mom was there on that trip, she even warned me not to run like the other kids because I would fall in. I didn’t listen. This game of tag was awesome!! But I fell in!! I was covered in this weird green and white sludge stuff from all the plants that were growing there. Oh and WET!! I was used to the embarrassment of being wet during the rest of the past field trips, but not this one. Mystic mom asked the staff there if they had something I could wear instead. Guess what they did. A beat up old NASA jumpsuit. I had to undress there and put that on without shoes. I was grateful that she did that, but now I had a new thing for everyone to talk about. The electric light show was next on the itinerary. I was paranoid the whole time that I was going to get shocked because I was wet. Insert your favorite eye rolling emoji here because what did I know. That is why we were there right?! To learn these things from the professionals! Ok back to our regular scheduled program.

My step mom made the same face when I came out of the water! Haha oops. We boarded the sugar cane stalk made raft and continued forward, and out of no where on both sides of the river, children and women came running to the raft to sell their self made things to make some money. I didn’t understand. I asked my step mom why they were dressed in basically rags and shirts with holes. She told me that they were very poor and they are trying to make some money. While this was all happening the raft operator was yelling at these kids to get away, and pushing them.

I was given a Jamaican 100 bill. I gave it to a little girl who had wanted to sell a raft made of sticks.She gave me flower she just picked from the side of river as a thank you. Who knows if it actually helped but I was given the chance to think if I wanted to give it up or not. I chose to give it to them. It was so heartbreaking to me. Homeless here in the US is bad but it looks totally different there in another country. Homeless and less fortunate all have one thing in common. They need help. I want to be that help for that family.

I was told later on that in Jamaica that you are either rich or poor. There is no in-between for them. And so many of their people are poor end, but they are a happy humble people. They touched my heart more than they will ever know. I was going to save that 100 bill as a keepsake. Even though at the time it was worth four dollars in the US. To me I did the right thing. I have always gave when I could even when I couldn’t.

It is for those moments I am grateful that I was given the chance to give. I am often criticized for being a bleeding heart but that is who I am. That is something that won’t change about me. #notsorry My father and step mother I think were proud of me. I am not sure but I am proud of myself. I hadn’t seen anything like ever since that time.

So time, because that is what I am talking about here. The time that my father and step mom gave to me was not ever wasted. I learned a lot of things about who I was in those moments, and because of the time given I was able to really grow. Time is still an issue for me. I see time in a whole new way these days. Well maybe not new but in a fresh way that I try not to waste it. Time is the only asset we really have on this planet. Why waste it on things that are out of our control, or on things that don’t make our souls happy, or on things that we have no business being in? That is how I see time. I see it as I have one go at this thing, I was blessed with new ways to see this blessing and doing the things that mean something to me and serve others. Life is to have a deeper purpose than your every day-to-day task lists. Leave room to live! Leave room to experience things. I can’t wait for those things to come my way. I love that I know in my heart that they will happen for me because of my hope, faith and love of my dreams. I am practicing everyday to experience small pieces of my dreams come to life.

My writings to you are a gift. Not only for you but me too. It really all started with that one journal. The first of so many. I give it all to God. He made this season in my life at that point a place for me to grow. That is why everything happened the way it did. I am so happy to hear that mom over this last weekend said what she did. I feel like that was the first time that she really acknowledged in a positive way who I am. I feel that part of her is really happy that I am who I am and she’s unashamed of me, more over that she is no longer feeling shame for not being able to provide that to me as a child. Which is huge to me, because that is the last thing I want my mom to feel. Her seasons with me weren’t easy life lessons, and my father had seasons of teaching me in new ways to grow. Both were equally important.

At the end of my time in Texas my father showed me part of his shame that he carried. He and my step mom were getting a divorce. He blamed me for it, and that I would be moving back with my mom. Before I moved back with mom he showed me an ugly side of him that I haven’t ever seen. He threw their divorce/ custody court papers in my face. Like I knew what all that lingo meant?! I sat there crying as he slaughter my moms very existence and how I am just like her. I just ruin things. I think I may have been triggered or something because I just couldn’t hear anymore awful things about my mom. I just yelled that I wanted to kill myself. I felt that I was the biggest mistake to my parents. It was because of me they hate each other, and why their lives are so hard.

So my dad went into his room and came back with a small revolver in tow. He handed to me and said then do it. Just pull the trigger Kristal. I looked at the gun and then him. So many new questions are going through my head. I don’t know who to believe anymore. I don’t know who to trust. One thing is clear my dad was crazy thinking this was a good idea to hand me a gun. I don’t even know how to use it much less kill myself with it. I thought he was crazy at this moment. I went to my room and died a little inside and probably had a panic attack.

He later apologized for his actions and believe it or not that was not traumatizing for me as much as you think it would. What was traumatizing was the crappy things said about my mom. I knew at that moment that they both had put me in the middle of their crap. I vowed from that moment forward I would never put my kids through such a thing when I had kids. Secondly, I would be moving back to New Mexico with my mom. She is now married to a great man at this point in her life. Maybe things would be different now. I would be starting middle school after that summer. We said our goodbyes and I was sad and happy. I knew that might be the last time I would see my step mom. She means so much to me. I unconditionally loved that woman and I would see my dad soon.

I was back on the road to New Mexico with my sister and my mom. A new chapter begins.