Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Beautiful Plan

It seems like this time of year we are looking back at our year and evaluating.  Well this year I am looking back on my life and evaluating.  I turned thirty this month, I know I know it's shocking since I make thirty look SOOOOO good. :) As I am reflecting on the 3 decades that are now my past I am amazed by the growth and change I have experienced, especially in the last ten years.  It's crazy how much my life has changed in a measley ten years.  Here's the break down.  Six years ago, this Tuesday the 20th, I had a baby. I was single and scared to death.  At the time I asked God why?  Why did He give me this baby while I was alone, poor, and affraid? I just knew I'd be single forever, because how would I ever find a man who would love me despite my past and love my son as much as me. I questioned His plan for my life.  Six years ago God blessed me with Cohen and completely changed who I was.  3 years ago I was ending one of the worst and most distructive relationships of my life.  I had been dating a man who was emtionally abusive and controlling.  Again I asked God why.  I thought that I supposed to be with this man forever, I thought I was going to be the one to change him, but luckily for me God's plan is greater than what I could ever have imagined for myself.  Just weeks later, that January, I ran into a man i'd a met before.  I married him.  3 years ago God took a man out of my life, to give me the right one.  2 years ago this month, Cohen and I were in a roll over car accident that we could have easily died in. And as I looked at my totalled car and all the wreckage and looked at my son un touched I cried out to God, and thanked Him for his protection.  I wondered why was I so blessed that He saved us?  What was His plan for our lives?  2 years ago God could've taken me to Heaven, yet I stayed.  1 year ago last week, I was morning the loss of a pregnancy.  I shook my fist and pouted at God, why aren't you giving me what I want!  One month later we were pregnant with Dylan and God said very clearly to me "It is in my time, not yours".  This Christmas I literally have it all.  My children are healthy and thriving, my husband and I are blessed to have each other and God's plan is in full effect.  Why have I ever questioned it?  Why do I think I know best, when I have all of the proof that I don't right in front of me.  Nothing that I wrote about tonight happened because of anything I did on my own.  Psalm 27:14 says "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord".  It's so easy in hind sight to say that and know that, but I am trying hard to do that now.  There is so much disapointment in life, so much opportunity to ask God why, and sometimes it just seems like too much.  God knows the end result though, His plan is the master plan and it is so good.  I promise you, if you wait for Him He will deliver.  He has no intention of leaving you high and dry.  A popular quote says "If He gets you to it, He'll get you through it."  And that my friends is the truth.
If you are struggling this holiday season with those hard things in life.  If your heart is breaking for whatever reason.  Know that this is just a season in life.  That there is light at the end of this tunnel, but that there is a Savior there to walk with you through the dark times.  Jesus loves you and if you do not know Him as your personal Savior now is the time.  Call out to Him, He is there. 
Friends, Merry Christmas. You are a blessing to me and I would like to be a blessing to you this year.  Please let me know if I can pray for you or help you this year.  And continue to remind yourself that you are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made by your creator who loves you with His whole heart!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Up and Looking Forward

November 14

I had the honor and the pleasure in attending my Aunt Carol's 50th birthday party this weekend!  It was a wonderful experience, not only because we got our family together from all over the country, but because of what it represented.  Carol's party really got me thinking about what my first fifty years will look like?  Hers was filled with laughter, love, passion, and most importantly an life visibly imprinted with God's love.  As I approach the big 3-0 I find myself wondering what will people say about me at my 30th-50th-100th?  What will I be remembered for?  Will it be my love for Christ and passion in spreading His message?  That's what should be said about me, right?  That's what I am here for.  To live a life that is an example of His love and that brings the people that I come in contact with into His family of followers.  Will my children and loved ones say that I was responsible for feeding them not only the food they needed but the word of God?  Gosh, I just felt like hearing all of the amazing things said about my Aunt and knowing the life she has led thus far, really made me feel like I still have some work to do in my own life.  Knowing that I am a work in progress is the beginning, changing course and staying on course is the middle...what will the end bring?  Only God knows, but at least He gave me the bBible as a map. :)

This week, think about the life that you are leading.  What have your first 20, 30, 40, 50 years shown about you?  What do you want your next 20, 30, 40, 50 years to look like, sound like, and feel like?  Who and what do you put first?

I have spent the last few weeks bogged down by lack of sleep, the fatty frumps, and the emotional roller coaster that a new baby brings.  I am moving up from that place to start working on my next 30 years.  Much love and luck to all of you who are looking up this week...keep looking UP to Him, He is always looking down at you.

And remember, you are Beautfiully and Wonderfully made in His image so you already have a jump start to fabu-la-city ;)

~Chrystan

*I am dedicating these thoughts and this Blog today to my amazing Aunt Carol Haynie, who shows me consistantly and without fail how to be a Beautifully Made example of God's love and light.  Thank you for being a great Aunt and sister in Christ.  Here's to your next 50+ years!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Get Yo Blessing On!

Sunday September 4, 2011

It seems like there are times in my life where I feel God is blessing me and there are times when I feel like there's not a blessing in sight.  It's like I am standing in the dessert with not even a drop to drink.  I am sitting in the rocking chair in Dylan's room staring at his bed thinking of all the dreams that have come true in my life this year, reminding myself of all of the blessings.  In the past year I gained a husband, a step-son, an amazing extended family, and am just days away (hopefully) from adding a little boy to our crew.  There are people that go their entire lifetimes without having any of the blessings that I have received in just a years time.  As I sit here, thinking of all that, I am almost ashamed that I ever even have the audasity to complain or grumble.  It reminds me of the Isrealites in the dessert for all those years.  They were hungry and were fed, they were provided for and yet they always wanted more.  How is it that it's just never good enough for us?  We are always checking things off of our wish list and looking to God saying "Okay thanks for this, but now I want..."  At what point in life do we actually take time to sit and enjoy God's presence in our lives through the many blessings that He has bestowed on us?  Adam's Grandma, who I became very fond of these last few years, passed away this spring.  Roxie did so many things right, but one thing that comes to mind today is her ability to acknowledge and enjoy every blessing that God gave to her.  She was constantly reminding us what a blessing we were to her, how we were all her angels, how everyday was a gift.  There are so many reasons I look at her life to keep mine in check, but her outlook of God's provisions and blessings for her is always in my mind.  As I close this thought, I start back at the beginning, it is not that there is ever a time where God is not blessing me, it is only at those times that I am not looking at the correct picture.  God's blessings and love are all around us.  We are drowning in it daily.  It is only our near sightedness and humanity that clouds our vision and doesn't allow us to see the love that he bestows on us every minute of every day.  This week, I know I will find myself grumbling about the many negatives that come in the nineth month of pregnancy, I believe that God gave me this thought today to allow me to pull from this reminder of all my blessings, so that I can wrap myself in happiness and love instead of discontent. 

Thank you God for the blessings I see and may not see.  Thank you for the blessing of your love and the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, without which we would not have a relationship with you.  Please walk with all of us this week as we seek after your plan for our lives.  Help us Lord to be a blessing to one another. Amen.

May God's blessings and love be overwhelmingly evident in your life this week and in weeks to come. 

Much love to all of my Beautifully Made sisters and brothers in Christ,

Chrystan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life in the fast lane

August 13, 2011

Everybody knows the chorus to the old song Life In the Fast Lane.  "Life in the fast lane, surrely gonna loose my mind..."  and I feel the pain of life in the fast lane right now.  I have spent the summer running around going here and there and everywhere.  Trying to keep my crazy work life from spinning out of control, while hanging on dearly to my home life.  Cohen started Pop Warner Football this month, and let me tell you, that is a huge commitment for a family.  It literally takes the entire family Ferrell and Fuller to keep that plate in the air.  Adding on top of that baby classes, kindergarten orientations, family visits, out of town trips, Tanner's tennis events, and working an average of 50 hours a week this summer is just about enough to send this pregnant girl over the edge.  At what point is Life in the Fast Lane too much?  When do we stop? When do we finally say no?  Does it always have to be when we are loosing our minds?  At the point when we have begun to scream at our kids, or be short with the staff at work or blame our husband for our lack of control?  As women we tend to spread ourselves so thin.  We always want to help each other, to be involved in our churches, have our kids in all the sports and activities they want to be in, but also have a full time job and a family life.  Sometimes it's just too much.  I have recognized in myself this summer that I need to find a way to say no sometimes.  To put my sanity, my family, and my relationship with God at a much higher level of importance than all that other mumbo jumbo that seems to be constantly taking center stage.  He says "Be still and know I am God".  So that is my goal over the next 5 weeks, in preparing for this HUGE change in our family, I need to be still so that I can hear my Savior calling and calming me. 

Friends, have you overloaded yourself this summer?  Do you need to say no to something to allow more time for Christ in your life?  He calls us to Him, but sometimes we are just too busy to hear.  I encourage you over the next few weeks as we enter into the fall season, to be still with me and join the sanity train for a while :)

Being Beautifully made doesn't mean we are called to be perfect.  It just means we are a Beautiful work in progress.  Blessings to you my Beautiful friends.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In His Image

Genesis 1:27
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

I am constantly having to remind myself lately that I am made in God's image.  That even though I am a human incubator and at a weight I choose not to disclose, that God made me beautifully in his image.  It's very strange to be a pregnant woman, for many reasons, one being people's word choices.  Most people are very quick to tell me how good I look right now, which has me wondering, Do I really look good, or is that just what you tell a pregnant woman so she doesn't have you for her next snack?  Then I have these awful people who apparently have never been pregnant or have never known a pregnant woman because they say things like "Wow, you're huge" or "You're so big for being due in September".  Which leads me to my thought for this post, with so much focus on my size and how good I supposedly look or how GIANTLY huge I am it's hard to remember that God made me in his image.  That I am designed to have children.  That he thinks I am beautiful everyday.  Even if I have cellulite on my thighs, even if I don't loose all my baby weight, even if I am skinny and toned, he loves me the same no matter what.  I am so thankful for that love, because I really do not give myself that love.  I am very weight focused and weight sensitive.  I have struggled with my size mentally, emotionally, and physically since that awful kid in grade school called me thunder thighs.  And Jesus battles with me over this, he is constantly trying to tell me I am Beautifully Made and I am so clouded by society's definition of Beautiful that I can't hear him say, " You are mine and you are beautifully made in MY image".  I am trying to make it a point to tell myself that everyday, therefore, reminding myself that even though maintaining a healthy and nutritious lifestyle is very important, that there are other things that are way more important. 
You friends are also Beautifully Made in His image.  He loves you no matter of your size, your color, your race, your gender.  He is the almighty creator, he knew exactly what he was doing when he made you.  All he wants is your heart.  Give your heart to him, and he will show you everyday that you are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made and that he loves you just the way he made you. 

Much Love,
Chrystan

Monday, June 20, 2011

Abundant Blessings

"I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things."
Isaiah 45:7

It is hard to believe, after what I saw in Joplin, that my loving Jesus would ever have a hand in such destruction.  The devastation in Joplin is emense.  It is blocks upon blocks and miles upon miles of rubble and destruction.  There are many that would say, why would your God do such a thing?  Or what kind of God do you serve that would let people, even infants die from this horrible storm?  It is not that I don't have those concerns, that the same doubt, those same feelings of saddness and maybe even distrust of God's plan for all of this don't creep into my brain.  In my time helping with Samaritan's Purse this weekend (the disaster relief team set up at Forest Baptist Church) I pondered this topic at great length.  Adam and Tanner worked first hand, out at the houses in the striken neighborhoods clearing debris, while I worked at Mission Joplin the "food-pantry" set up for tornado victims.  As I heard the stories from my boys and my church family that was there, I felt such an overwhelming sense of saddness and hurt for these families.  I can tell you many stories, but the one that truly broke my heart Adam told me.  They spent their afternoon clearing debris from a house that was half standing and half complete rubble.  After they are done at a site, Samaritan's purse has the crew sign a Bible for the family and pray with them.  This gentlemen was asked to tell his account of May 22.  Emotionally he began telling of how he and his family saught shelter at a neighbors house and were lucky enough to all be ok.  When the storm was over, he came out of the house and began walking down the street checking to see if anyone needed help.  Sadly, he reconted how just down the road he came across the body of a dead infant.  An adundance of devastation for these people.  I just can not imagine, how do you recover from this?  How does your faith stay strong?  When you only hear and look at the bad things that happen and awful tragedy of it, all your faith can be shaken.  You could easily see only what God did or didn't prevent.  When I was there though, the most overwhelming thing was the love and devotion that these people have for each other.  I saw a community of believers coming together and commiting to showing Christ's love and goodness to everyone they could.  Forest Park Baptist is full of the most incredilble men and women.  They have truly sacrificed and commited to helping everyone in their community as much as they possibly can.  Those who can't do heavy labor work in the pantry, or put kits together, or cook or clean or simply pray for their fellow man.  I was inspired and can officially say that I saw the face of God this weekend. I saw and felt a love that I would only hope that my church and my community would extend in such a situation.

In closing I can't say why God allows such disasters, I failed Christian Theology the first time and barely passed the second, but I can say this;  God uses bad for good.  He is growing this community into a people the believe and trust in his plan.  I thank Him for our time in Joplin and for the affect it had on my family and my church family.  I pray that he will do a good work there and that we will continue to have a heart for them, to pray for them and help in any way we can.  I am emensely thankful and overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings I have in my life.

I will leave you this week with a thought, how do you shine God's light? Do you praise Him in the stormy times as well as the good times?  What can you do to reach out to those who are in need? Have an affect on the people you come in contact with...

Show them that you and they are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made,

Chrystan Michelle

Monday, June 6, 2011

Honk to Heaven!

So here's the thing.  I am not a creature of habit.  I am not one of those people that crave regularity, that need to do things the same everyday.  As a matter of fact, I pretty much crave change.  My life is in a constant state of change and yet it all seems to stay pretty much the same.  I have lived with my share of the OCD flavor- and yes college roommates you know who you are-and I am deffinately their worst nightmare.  It's funny because I find myself always trying to re-invent myself, not really change who I am, but make who I am better and more efficient.  This weeks quest is to begin writing again.  So I went out and bought a great journal and now here I am blogging again.  I now realize, in my ripe old age of almost 30, that this is my therapy.  Re-inventing and bettering myself is how I therapize and survive.  So here is my new blog, Beautifully Made, it is my new outlook and my newest adventure.  More about what's going on in this new bride, step-mom, mom of a Kindergartener, and soon to be re-mommed in roughly 3 months.  This is the beginning of my new journey...

The latest and greatest things that have been coming out of my 5 year old's mouth are nothing short of daily reminders of God's hand and blessing in my life.  Cohen says the darndest things!  For example, everytime we drive down the road we pass Grandma Roxie's house.  We used to honk at her so she would know we were driving by.  Cohen the other day said, "Mom, honk to heaven, honk to heaven for Grandma Roxie to hear".  You see, Grandma Roxie went to be with the Lord just a few months ago and Cohen has really had a hard time with it.  But now that he is understanding more that she is in Heaven with Jesus, he insists we honk to Heaven so that she know we are thinking about her.  Cohen is constantly teaching me what it really means to have faith like a child.  When I look at how loving, how trusting and how much he is learning to love Jesus I have to stop and remind myself that this is what we are called to do.  Jesus calls us to let down our barriers and have a child like faith, to drop what we are doing and come listen and follow him.  In the busy life, in this busy day I am learning more about taking time to be with my Father.  To have a Cohen like faith, to drop my guard and honk to heaven!

You too are Beautifully Made,

Chrystan

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