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

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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.

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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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 3 Wait… I have a Dad too?

So by the time that I was five years old. I have experienced so much already. There was a moment in my moms daily life with that she decided that it was time that my dad start being in my life too. My mom had this moment of recognition when my sister left for her dads again. She said that I was standing there at the door as usual and I guess I told that I must have a dad that loves me.

This actually broke my mom’s heart. She recalls the moments as tears are filling her eyes. She did a very selfless act and tracked my father down.  She had to go through many of people that have hurt my mom because of my dad. As she tells me more about the story I see a woman who has been deeply hurt and has kept those things to herself. She tells me that even though she would have rather raise me alone than to share me with my father.

I didn’t know the full extent of why she felt this way about my dad. I was young my mind isn’t going to understand adult issues. I know more now and it is so much more than what I expected. I will say this though. You have to love someone so much to hate them as much as my parents hated each other.

So back to the selfless act that my mother did. She tracked my father down and arranged a visit. I would soon be on a plane flying to the big D! Dallas. What a wondrous place.

You know for a young child who just discovered that she actually had a father I was more in awe that I had a step mother. Man was I lucky girl that summer. So many new things happened to me that I may have been on an overload of information.

I mean I flew in a plane for the first time. My mom bought me gum for the flight, she packed me things to do, and made sure that I had my name badge draped over my neck. Thinking about it from as a mom now, I will be honest, me sending my young child on a plane alone would be F-ing scary. That is putting a lot of trust into many people to take care of your child. Blind trust= faith on a whole other level! I earned my wings. You know the plastic wings that they hand to all children who fly. I always sat in first class. I remember just enjoying peanuts looking at all the clouds. I actually thought that the clouds would actually feel like pillows and hold me up. I later shared this thought with my sister and she ruined that for me . Haha, she told me that I was stupid for believing such fairy tales. That if I were to ever touch or sit in a cloud that I would fall to my certain death.  ( you see what I mean by not having a tribe to keep me accountable) Even though she was right, I still wouldn’t back down from what I thought.

Flying then was a true fun experience. All kinds of people, all around all the time. Coming and going. I now am one of those many people who are going to and fro. I was lucky that this was happening. Although, I didn’t know it at the time. I was just excited that I had a dad waiting for me on the other side.

I came out of the terminal with the tall lady holding my hand and she securely handed me over to my father. He held me tightly, I savored this moment. I was being held. Just think about that…. being held. Can you feel the security and the affection that person holds for you. You are wrapped in their arms and the whole world is quiet for those moments. Think about how many times a day we don’t hold each other. Well for me as a child I craved those things. I craved being held and cuddled with. To be kissed. I didn’t have that with my mom. That was something that she wasn’t raised with. I often think how many times in her life she just needed to be held and shown that she was loved with a simple gesture. That thought alone brings tears to my eyes.

He let go of me and pulled his wife close to him and I met my step mother. We clicked immediately. She presented me with a gift. A wind up ceramic clown. I still have that clown. It is very special to me. It went pretty much everywhere I went that summer. I got to spend a lot of time with them both, and so many others from that side of family. That summer I spent a lot of time in the pools, eating the most delicious ham sandwiches, riding in a Model T Ford truck, playing with my cousin Amanda in the Ft. Worth heat, having carmel popcorn with my Granddad and learning how to sew with my Granny, and lastly crying all the way to Wichita Falls to visit Granny Burt.

So many hugs and so much affection. So many gifts. I belonged with these people. You know things made sense to me. The way they spoke me, or corrected me, I felt secure. My dad was a funny guy. He played with me. He showered me with simple things like just holding me until I fell asleep. My step mom painted my toes, she made jokes about how men were pigs and ladies are ladies. The voice she said it in made me laugh every time. We would take showers together and we were two hams, singing as loud as we could. She showed me how to take care of myself by loving myself. I would switch back and forth between everyone for all this love, but I was never far my dad. I would soon have to return back to my mom.  I wish I could stay here with them.

Little did I know all the complications that were going to come from these moments with my dad. Not only for myself but for my mom too. When I came home I was full of life and couldn’t shut up about all the things that I did that summer. Things were so different between the two houses. HUGE!!! Even though my mom was supportive of my experiences, she would be waiting for the other shoe to fall with my dad. I am sure that it was a constant worry for my mom now that I spent time with him

I would eventually talk about my dad all the time. I didn’t know that I was causing my mom stress and anxiety. Maybe jealousy and feeling like I was an ungrateful child. Then visitations seem to be a regular thing now and my mom was getting a little more frustrated with the topic of my dad. I started really acting out. But not only just because my dad was in the picture but I started trying to figure out why my parents acted the way they did with me and how it was confusing to me. Who was I? Who were they? Who were they to me?

I started asking questions. It was like the pandoras box of things that I was to young to really understand what their points of view were. I did gather one thing, they hated each other.

My mom decided to transfer all of us kids to a different school district. A much nicer school system I might add. I for the most part fit in with those children. They were a lot like me as far as witty, smart and just well rounded of awesome. I am biased though, I really liked all the kids there and the teachers.

My previous school wasn’t so nice. Kids there had a different set of codes to live by. It was survive or die. Roughing it out kinda of thing. School of eat or be eaten. haha Even the teachers were so unhappy there it felt like. They didn’t as attentive to students. For instance I was telling my second grade teacher about my mom and nothing happened. I am not saying that I wanted my mom to get into trouble, but we were learning about ” good touch bad touch, and ‘if anyone is hurting you at home, we are here to help’ or ‘ Stop child abuse.”  with a toll free number to call. So really I was just taking my education that was just taught to me in class to reach out to someone. But at this new school I wasn’t going to say anything. I just might make some friends. Which I did, it helped that I had a cousin who was going to the same school.

What made me kind of uncomfortable was that I was not as smart as these other kids. I struggled, and this was too much for my mom. That is what my perception is anyway. I learned how to spell Knock after my first time encountering vocab night with my mom. Haha Oh my gosh the stories about vocab nights. My mom was something else when it came to education. She made it very intimidating to ask for help. Anyway I am getting off track a little bit.

So I had this math teacher. Ms. Davis. Man she was a great teacher. Intimating at times only because I didn’t understand the operations that she was teaching. She observed a lot. That also made me weary. She asked me to stay behind in class. I was actually scared. All my class mates left to go to lunch and I was stuck here with her. I wonder what she is wanting from me.  So many thoughts were running through my mind. This whole situation is making nervous.

She asks me to sit down, and she asked me if something was wrong. Well that is a loaded question. I didn’t know what to say. Then she asked me why I was behind in math and turning in my homework. These were hard questions for me. I was a little defensive. I didn’t want to say that night before my mom got mad at me because she didn’t understand why they were teaching pre-algerba to a third grader. Needless to say I hadn’t turned in my homework because I don’t get and can’t ask for help at home. Then she hit me the what she really wanted to know.She asked me if I was being abused at home, and not to be afraid of saying anything. That I was safe.

Well this is a moment of discernment for me. Do I trust that this teacher is really going to help me or is she going to be like the last teacher who caused more of an issue for me? Those questions were tossed in my head for too long, because the subsequent statements of encouragement helped me in my choice. I decided to talk about it. After telling her my life story with my mom, she comforted my the best way she could. She empathized with me the best she could. She gave me affirmations that it was a good thing for me to have told her. She also told me that she had a feeling that something was happening at home.

Later on that day, I was talking to two other people in the office about what I told my teacher, and I just told them everything that happened. That mom was so pissed at me because I didn’t make it back to her boyfriends house when she asked me to, so she left me there and went home. Which was in the next town over. About 30 minutes away. You would think that I would be used to her leaving me but it was something that never felt good. When she drove all the way back to get me and she was furious with me. She made a lot of blind threats with the exception of being grounded. She took away dinner from me as well. I know now that she was pissed but then I just thought that she meant what she said. I mean its not like my mom and I had a solid foundation of trust. So in that office I was singing like a canary. I just thought WOW someone is actually listening to me. I didn’t know it was CPS!!! oopsie my bad.

I went to the library to wait for someone to pick my up, and when I saw my mom. She was mad and I didn’t know what about. That is when I found out that those people I talked to called my mom and told her that she was being investigated for child abuse. This was F-ing confusing to me. Who do I trust??? Who am I? I mean think about it…. I get in worse trouble when I am being honest, but nothing happens when I lie? Who, what, where how am I do be??? Who Am I Really?? For crying out loud there is no winning. I am just not worth this trouble, because that seems to be all that I am at this point in my life. I am confused as to what is right and wrong.

I was honest with CPS about everything I said to them. I am a great story teller, so maybe I made the impression that I wasn’t suppose to? I don’t know, I just know that my mom blames me if she loses her job for my “false” story to these people. I mean I told them EVERYTHING!! Then she lays it on me…. KRISTAL YOU ARE MOVING WITH YOUR FATHER. I CANT HANDLE YOU ANYMORE. I AM AFRAID I MIGHT JUST KILL YOU.

Cool. That was probably the best news I have heard! I didn’t get to say bye to anyone. She literally put on a plane the next day. haha Things changed for us both. I feel that she made a great choice.

I know I talk more about my mom from my early years. She was the one that was there. She was the one taking care of me. I feel that sometimes kids take things out on the parent that is actually there everyday. They take them for granted. That is my opinion. I am not saying that the things I am talking about define my mom. My mom is my mom. She gave me life. Very cliche I know but its the truth. Now that I know my dad, I feel that the grass is greener on the other side. That just shows that I didn’t know what was really there for me on that other side. Almost everyone has had those moments of thinking of the grass is greener, but that is because of something they are lacking, or things that were presented to be better with that person or people. Whatever it is. In my case it was my parents.

I mean I have only known my dad for a small amount of time. The time that I had with them was brief. That is not how life was going to be all the time. I didn’t know that. Before I left my mom, brother and sister my mom told me that I have put my dad on a pedestal and I would learn who he really was. Of course she was angry, hurt, feeling betrayed, sad, rage, disappointment and relief. This was new start for the two of us. This was another selfless act that my mom did and something she needed to do for her own sanity. I know I didn’t help her condition. I feel that my mom like so many others back then didn’t talk about depression, postpartum depression, or any mental illness. I mean a lot of people did NOT talk about that sort of thing. Unfortunately, that still is the case.

My mom was raising three kids on her own, with little to no help from our fathers. She was our soul provider. She took the brunt of everything that happened. The sad part is that  we didn’t know what was going on with mom. My mom was carrying the weight of her world and I was just focused on mine. I feel that she was suffering from all these things and said nothing. Just held it all inside. Then lashed out. She didn’t have an outlet maybe? I am not sure if there were real help or tools to help with such things.

I know for me what helped me through all of this up to this point was God. My dad had given me a bible. My Grandparents from both sides and my dad taught me things about God. He seemed totally trust worthy. I talked to him all the time when I younger. I would tell him how I felt like a curse. How I just wanted my mom to be happy. I wanted to see my dad. How I wanted to be loved and cherished. I wanted to be worthy of love. I would talk to him like he was my friend. He guided me. I would open my bible with no real understanding of His Word, but man I was hungry to know Him and I didn’t even know it. I really saw God as my friend.

 

Chapter 2: Divorce Rate of Shoes is High

As I move forward in this moments of my early childhood. I have had to reflect on some things over the weekend about my chapter 1. I was feeling so incredible vulnerable and naked. I had this moment of panic that EVERYONE was going to see this. Which is kind of funny because I am writing a book to where the public is going to read it at some point.

I felt a great overwhelming support from all my followers both new and continued. Not much about the past is ever really easy. There are moments of love and laughter. Good memories that have stuck. I just don’t want you all to think that I am stuck in the past because I am not stuck there. Thank goodness right. There are not many of us who would choose to go back to the past. I mean, sure we make jokes about things we would change. Thinking about it though. I see the grace of God that has been with me the whole time.

Grace and forgiveness. I think that is where I want to take us today.

So there was this one weekend my sister went to her dads. It was my baby brother, my mother and me. I was playing in my room when my mom entered the doorway. She told me to get my shoes on that we were going to the store to get ice. So I got up and started looking for my shoes. Well I was looking and would find one shoe but not the other. Find a separate shoe but not its partner. I mean looking back at it now I can kinda giggle. I mean who loses one shoe? Just one shoe of each pair of shoes I had. Leave it to me to accomplish this flawlessly.

My mom however at the time didn’t think it was such an accomplishment. I heard her footsteps coming to my room. I am starting to feel stressed and scared. She said ” let’s go,” which turned into ” where are your shoes?” to “you have a minute to find them or I am leaving without you!”speech. The absolute terror I had in my heart that my mom was leaving without me was so overwhelming that I just started crying. I tore through everything I had in my room. She came back in without my brother on her hip this time. The look in her eyes scared me. For the first time I am actually scared of my mom.

She pushed me so hard that I hit the back of my head on the wall as I fell. Then the assault that came after that, I was in shock! As she furiously hit me I was crawling to find my shoes which was only pissing her off even more. I was a moving too much but that didn’t stop her assault. It didn’t stop the rage that she had against me. I just wanted to please her and find those shoes so she would be happy again.

The hot tears running down my aching face. The stiffness I felt all over, but yet I am still tearing a part my room just proclaiming that I can’t find any of my shoes. She is yelling at me and I can’t hear anything she said until at the end. ” You better find a pair of shoes by the time I get back, OR else!” as she points her long finger at me. She and my brother walked passed my window, and they drove off. I cry even harder now. She left me. She left me because I am a bad child who has lost all her shoes.

As I write this out I am sitting her reliving this moment. But lets look at what is really happening here to all of us. There is stress, trauma, fear, rejection, shame, guilt, disappointment, sadness, breakdown of trust and abandonment. There is pain there at the time. Physical pain. My goodness my head hurts so bad, I am finally calming down. You know that cry that is so bad that at the end you can’t  get all your breathing under control and you make that noise. You know that noise. I feel my eyes getting heavy. I just want to sleep now. I hurt all over but I need to find those shoes. I am full of fear that I won’t find them by the time she gets home and she will hurt me again.

But my eyes are so heavy and there is no where else to look. I have found every shoe I own. I have them lined up neatly, but I don’t have their partners. Maybe she will be happy with what I did do. I just need to close my eyes. I hurt…* Car door slams shut* I don’t move from my bed I don’t feel so good. * front door opens and shuts*  She walks to my doorway. I am so scared but I can’t move. I have accepted my fate with my mom. She looks down at me and asked me if I had found my shoes. I told her no. The hot sting of tears are forming and running down my cheeks. She throws the bag of ice on my face, and tells me to put it away and that I am not to leave my room.

I just lay there and cry. She hates me. I must be a horrible person. I wait to hear her door close on the other end of the house. It is safe for me to go out there to put it away. I go back to my room and lay down. The whole thing plays over and over in my mind. I can’t stop crying. Over and over as it was playing I am just telling myself that I was just not a good kid and my mom doesn’t love me. I cried myself to sleep apparently because I woke up in fear when I heard my mom come to my room telling me dinner was ready. I think it was hard for my mom to look at me after that happened. I was covered in bruises and I was sporting a pretty impressive shiner.

Oh my goodness the pain is too much. My whole face and body hurt. I am unsure how to be around my mom. I suppose anyone would be after something like that. It was almost like I hit the save button on what not to do. I will say this, I have not lost a single pair of my shoes since then. I have been very diligent and mindful as to where I put my shoes. In fact I have developed a great habit, I will literally take off my shoes in front of the door, or in the middle of the room. Man it irritates everyone except me. I am totally laughing about it as I write this out. The frustration on everyone’s face is comical at times, but I know where my shoes are. Unless they are moved by someone then I am on the hunt.

My mom and have talked about this incident a few times and we don’t ever talk about the details of the abuse that happened that day. I see the pain she feels when she recalls the moment. I see the emotions that she goes through as we laugh and giggle about me losing one shoe to every pair of shoes that I owned.She ended up locating most of my shoes from all over town. School, neighbors houses, the babysitters.

I see that she has shame and remorse about what has happened. I know that she does know what she did and how it has shaped my life. But at the same time my child self doesn’t know what is going on in her path. My child mind tells me that my mom hates me and that I am no good.

I feel from this moment in my life as a child this incident was the crack in the vase,if you will. I feel like the first time you do something that is intoxicating you have made it ok to do it again. I can tell you every time that she beat me. The things she would say to me, and how that affected my daily life. I know the things that stress her out and not to do those things. Some of the things that happened were excessive punishments. To put it mildly. I remember the first black eye she gave me. That was the only time she ever said sorry to me. I feared those footsteps to the back of the house. Because I knew that they were coming for me. Every bad thing I ever did was going to be beaten out of me into submission.

There was this time that she just got done doing laundry and she would always have all our piles separated neatly. Shirts, pants, dresses, folded socks and underwear. She would ask us,my sister and me, to please put them away.Not me. nope nope nope. Almost everything I did was half done. Thinking about it now,I I did it because I wanted to. There wasn’t a hidden meaning to me not doing it, I just didn’t want to. That it was just too much work. In reality it really isn’t. She did the hard work. We can empathize when it comes to laundry. Anyway there was the first time that she asked me to bring her my dirty laundry.

I kind of panicked a little bit. I hadn’t picked up my dirty room nor my laundry but if I don’t produce that laundry basket I am going to get my ass handed to me….again. This was a weekly thing that we have done. It was a habit now, I do something bad, Kristal gets her ass handed to her. Oh Kristal didn’t do the dishes correctly like she wanted, Kristal gets her ass kicked again. Anyway, I hadn’t put away the clothes from last week away. To me here is the funny part, and this is something that I still do to some degree. The clothes that were left behind was one jacket that I needed hang, which was literally a foot away from the laundry basket. Two shirts and a few pair of leggings. Still folded, I stuffed them in-between all the dirty clothes. I casually put the laundry basket where it was to be and walked away.

I even had a very brief moment of second guessing. But NOOOOO I made a choice to hand over that laundry basket anyway. I went back into my room and moments later I heard those foot steps heading my way. I knew exactly why she was coming. SHE KNOWS!!! So she comes into my room and has the clothes. She asked me if they were clean. I lied. NOOOO mom they are dirty. She gave me that look of ” Oh no she didn’t!” commence the angry mom look. She asks me again, I lie again. Not a smart move. She walked over to the hanger and hung up the jacket yelling at me…” IS IT SOO HARD TO HANG THIS UP KRISTAL? ITS RIGHT HERE! LOOK KRISTAL! IS THAT SOOO FUCKING HARD?” Then she walks a few more feet to my shelves where I kept my clothes, and she put the leggings and shirts there and said the same thing.

I was calm and soft toned when she was yelling at me, that seemed to put the cherry on top for her current mood. She is really pissed. I am sitting on the ground watching her closely, she’s coming for me and it will be same and I was right. She grabs me by my hair and drags me to the same spot in the living room. Right over the heater vent closest to the kitchen. She would throw me there and choke me until I would pee in my pants or pass out. The rage that would come out of her was unreal.

In this case, I peed she got off me. Telling me the usual. I was worthless. How her job was more important than me, and how I can’t do simple things. I was stupid. Finally she would tell me to clean up the mess, and go to my room.

So lets talk about me as a child. I did not make things easy for my mom. Like ever. From the moment that I was born. I was independent from the get go. I came into this world when I was ready. That is what I joke to my mom about. I have always seen the world through different eyes than most people I know. I couldn’t ever conform into my moms ways and the way she wanted things. It wasn’t with the lack of trying but I felt that it wasn’t me. I mean, I would tell her the truth and she wouldn’t believe me. Its funny now because even now today she still won’t believe some things have happened. Maybe it was because the first time I went to school, I made up a very convincing story.

She was doing dishes,and she asked me about my day at school. I was in kindergarten mind you. I told her it was good until the principle hit my hands with a ruler. Oh my gosh that still makes me laugh. Who would think of something like that….. Yours truly… Kristal. She was furious, but it wasn’t at me. That felt good. I was getting positive attention. It was like a drug. That feeling wore off as soon as she said that she was going to my school to talk to the principle. Well crap. I knew I was in trouble and I think she sensed that I was lying but my story was so convincing, I still kept to my story, in fact I was adding to it. I don’t remember what I said but I am sure that it was good.

The next morning we are waiting to be seen by the principle. I was nervous as she was called in. I hear and the way she was talking to him that she was mad and really confused. They finally call me and there he sat with my mom. Thinking about now maybe wanted to be right I wasn’t lying but when he started drilling me with ” which ruler did use?” may have thrown me off. Even then I picked out the ruler and said that it wasn’t him that it was another teacher. I just kept the lie going even after walking the entire school to find a teacher that hit me with a ruler. We got back to his office and he just looked at me and said ” ready to tell the truth?” I guess so. Oh my gosh the look on my moms face after I told the truth. I know now she was embarrassed.

This was a kind of new thing for me. I was getting my mom alone when I did things like this. That is what I was thinking as she was yelling at me on the importance of not lying and how I won’t make friends if I lied and how embarrassed she was that she went in there thinking someone was hurting her child. Weird. That was weird to me because she hurt me?! Anyway I don’t remember what happened after that.

I just know that for my own accountability I did not make things easy for my mom. I was just in my own world. Things were amazing to me. Good and bad. They were things that I was seeing through my eyes and no one to talk to about these things. How was I to know when I didn’t have a balance to keep me accountable? 

I will share more stories of all the off the wall things I did that made total sense to me. But before I leave this I want to tell you something that means so much to me now.

At this point in my life, I have come to learn that any attention was a good thing for me. Not always the best choice of how I get it but I got it nonetheless. My mom was alone and so was I. But at this points I learned that The weekends were scary, and put your clean clothes away and finally don’t lose your shoes. Lastly, my mom showed me mercy that day that I lied. She made a choice to teach me a life lesson that really did stick and something I have told my own kids. Those words stuck with me. As I have grown up I have learned that forgivness wasn’t for my mom but for me. I made a choice to forgive my mom and show her grace because I didn’t know her path. I didn’t know the things she was going through as a single parent. I thought our family was normal. I didn’t know anything diffrent. My mom is a power house of a woman and I admire her.