Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Find Your Tribe

This past week I celebrated 35 years of life.  My people rallied and gave me a great week with cards, gifts, notes and acts of kindness.  My husband sent me out of town with my some dear friends and we had a weekend away that included a lot of laughter, a Branson Christmas Variety show, shopping, Christmas lights, chips and queso and lots of girl talk.  It made me so thankful for my TRIBE. Let me tell you about my people.


Years ago I prayed.  I prayed for God to send me authentic women.  I longed for deep friendships in my local community.  I have lots of friends spread out all over the country (and world) and I cherish them dearly.  What I was longing for was people here where I live, to do life together.  A connection deeper than the glaze over of "how are you" "I'm fine".  Though I was surrounded by people all the time, I still felt lonely. So I prayed.

Then came one friend. Then came two. Then three. Today I can say I have a tribe of women who are fierce for me.

Through what I will call tribal living I have seen change in my life.  I have been and am being refined. I have been cared for and comforted. I have learned more, I have lingered longer.  My walk with God has been so sweet and so good. I have leaned in to prayer and study more than ever.  These women, this tribe, they have set me free from perfection and performance. They meet me where I am and lift me up when I need lifted.  God has used these authentic relationships to reveal pieces of me that need mending, shaping and refinement.  God has shown me his grace, love and provision through these women.  He has taught me how to love outside my comfort zone and how to say I'm sorry even when it was really hard to do.

My willingness to open myself up to authenticity has allowed for some of the best years in my life.  Not because they have been free from hurts, difficulties and trials.  Definitely not!  These last few years have been trial, after trial, after trial.  God provided helpmates for me, to be real with, to hold fast to truth with, to hold me accountable and encourage me to seek first the kingdom for all things.  Not to seek them, but to seek the kingdom.

Tribal living has become life for us.  We do life together.  We feed each other when life gets crazy. We unpack boxes for each other. We take each others kids when we need date nights.  We break bread and drink wine around tables in our homes.  We hug and we cry.  We worship and we pray.  We are fierce for each other and do life together in abundant grace not in judgment.

We also open ourselves up to be the tribe for others.  Beth Moore reminded us in one of her studies that you can't be turned inward with your people all the time, we must not be shut off to the other people out there.  So, we turn outward, we care for others, we bring others in and teach them how to be authentic.  We cannot be an elite club of women, we have to be inclusive, as women we should always be working on this.

This weekend and recently, my eyes have been opened to see that this is the exception not the rule. It seems that women think that they have to have it all together. It seems that we have a hard time being friends with each other. It seems to be that we would rather compete than cheer-lead.  Ladies, there is enough for everyone. There is also enough competition out there in the world, let's not compete with each other.  Let's hold each other up to success.  Let's choose authenticity over fake. Living authentically with each other, doing life together, cheering each other on and offering one another all the grace. This is where it's at girls.  I promise once you break down those walls you will never want to build them up again, not ever.

May I encourage you right where you are to begin praying for authentic relationships with other women. To break down walls with each other and do life together.  It may hurt sometimes. It may not be easy.  You may not always agree.  But if you fight for it it will become some of the most beautiful things about your life here on earth.  Community, unity and tribal living has offered some of the best moments of my life.  I pray that you will find the same.  I have so much more to say on this topic, maybe a study of community will be in order here. Until then, who can you build an authentic relationship with in the new year. How can you break down the walls and reveal true pieces of yourself to help another woman struggling? Maybe it's as simple as asking someone to coffee and truly getting to know here or maybe it's taking a leap of faith and starting a prayer group. I can't wait to hear how this changes your life!  Keep me updated!!!!

You are worthy of really good people in your life, who see you as a woman who is fearfully and wonderfully made in His beautiful image.

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- Pray hard ladies, you will have to fight for this at every turn because UNITY in women is so very glorifying to God and feels impossible at times!  Pray harder, fight for each other it is worth it! I promise...
PPS- please share this, like this, subscribe and let's be in a tribe together!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rescued



When I was a little girl, well maybe not really little, but as I am about to begin year 35, the younger me looks younger and younger.  When I was younger, I was on vacation with my parents. We were in a hotel pool outside in whatever state we were visiting (I'm so old I can't remember).  I was playing with my brothers and turned around to see a little girl, maybe two or three, drowning in the pool.  I swam over to her and simply stood her up, as she was just on the steps of the pool, all she had to do was stand up and she was ok.  She was still chocking on the water as her mom rushed over. They didn't speak English so I couldn't understand her mom at the time, but I believe she was thanking me.  I was reminded of this today as I was recalling a recent message my friend Andrew gave at church. I don't remember all the details of his message, I mean I'm a mom of three I barely remember my own name, but one word keeps coming back into my brain: RESCUED.

Did you know that you need to be Rescued? Did you know there's a rescue plan for you already played out and in place?

Some of us don't realize it but we are drowning and all we need to do is stand up.  It seems like we like to have the feeling of drowning sometimes.  As I looked at my December calendar this week I paused.  I have something every night, every weekend, everyday has a commitment.  So much for a season of peace.  Maybe I like to be drowning in a sea of busy, maybe it's hard for me to have silence.

For you it may be something else.  Maybe you're drowning in a sea of bad relationships, ones in which you give pieces of yourself away, so much so that you feel there is nothing left. Maybe you are drowning because there is nothing left anymore to hold you up.

Or others it may be work and accomplishments.  You work all day and all night to build up an empire because that, that is what will show that you have great worth. Your net value.  You are drowning in a sea of accomplishments that when they are the only thing left could never withstand the weight you carry.  Pieces of paper can never pull us up out of the water.

And today one of you is reading this and you are drowning in life.  All you do is give yourself away over and over and over again. To your spouse, your kids, your church, the PTA, nonprofit work, fundraising, book writing, blog posts, praise team, ministries, caring for the needy, caring for the not needy, that ailing parent who takes it all out of you, your child who has cancer...and so on.  Today you are siting here with your head under water, chocking on just regular life and it overcomes you completely.  Nothing is holding you up anymore, only weighing you down to sink further.

To all of you I say, stand up and be rescued.  God has put it within you already.  Once you lay down your life to him, the Holy Spirit dwells within you and that is your rescue dear friend.  This season of Christmas is celebrating the middle of the rescue plan which began in Genesis, was predicted in Isaiah and came to fruition in Matthew-Mark-Luke and John.  Jesus is your rescuer.  He swam over because he saw you gasping with your head under water.  He has his hand under your arm holding you, now you need to stand up.

You are his rescue plan, stop drowning in life and let him lead you up out of the water, dry you off and set you back on solid ground. Life will still fill up, calendars and work and family will still be vying for our attention, but your focus will change.  Serving will become a call, loving will be challenging but worth it, work will be to glorify God and relationships will be tricky but beautiful in his presence.

Stop drowning, stand up, and be rescued.

Your rescuer came here with you in mind to fulfill a prophecy of life, death and resurrection; so that you could spend eternity with him because he loves you. You dear friend, are his daughter (son), beautifully made in his image and fully worth the RESCUE.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dear Younger Me: An Assault Survivor's Journey Through Healing

Fall is a busy season for me.  Work is busy, ministry is busy, my family is busy. We have been running around from here to there every day this month.  So it's been easy to push aside a pending date.  A date that could be a big deal but also could be shoved to the side fairly easily, since there are so many people who don't even know. 




However, in this season of life I am more than for transparency.  In this season, this busy season, I am so for the scary share. In this social and political climate, I am so for telling the story about the day, ten years ago last week, that a man forced his way into my home and violated me.

Ten years ago, I was the single momma of an almost one-year-old little boy.  Struggling to work it all out, I spent most days wondering how I would ever do all the things that required two parents as just one.  On this particular weekend, my son was out of town with his dad.  I was working a big event for my job, an event that left me exhausted on a Saturday night in October.  All my friends were going out on the town, but I was tired and reluctant to go.  "Just come out for one drink," they pleaded. "You don't have to stay out all night." So, I dragged myself out for "one drink." The bar was loud; there were so many people there. For a while I tried to be in the moment--it was a night free from the obligations of motherhood. I should enjoy myself.

However, as this night wore on, there was a guy that just wouldn't quit.  He was not in the business of hiding his interest in me, and I was not in the mindset to fake my interest in him.  Finally, after multiple attempts to shake him off, I decided to just leave. I was tired anyway.  Here's where I made a mistake. I told this man that I was tired from a long week and day of work and was headed home. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I played the "it's not you it's me" card and made my way to my car. In hindsight, I would have been more aware, but who would have known the next series of events?

This man followed me to my townhouse. I was completely unaware. He knocked on my door and I, unaware and naive, answered it. This man, despite much begging and pleading from me, raped me in my cute little yellow townhouse, where I lived with my ten-month-old. There on the stairs in my home, I was violated and robbed of any peace of mind a single 25-year-old woman could have. 

So why now? Why should I share this now?  Ten years seems like a big anniversary to me. Most ten-year anniversaries are celebrated with jewelry or a big vacation, popping the cork of a well-aged bottle of champagne. Last weekend I didn't have time for all of that. But today, in celebration of surviving all that your body, soul and mind go through after a rape, I want to share what God has taught me through this. I want to impart wisdom given to me through this terrible event.

1. Be Aware: Ladies, daughters, teens and girls.  Be aware of your surroundings and what you
say. Rape is never the fault of the victim, but you may be able to protect yourself from this happening if you are aware of what is going on around you, and aware of what you say and give away in conversations.  You cannot be too aware of what you say or do--maybe ever.

2. Tell Someone Right Away! Afterwards, I was literally in shock. I was so shocked that I showered and went to church first thing the next morning. Throughout service I began to shake violently. I couldn't stop crying. Even through lunch at my parents' house, I was just crying. My dad was leaving on a business trip; they had so much going on and had already done so much for me. I just couldn't tell them. I was frozen in time. Finally, a friend convinced me to go to the hospital. There they completed a full rape kit, which was like being violated again. HOWEVER, this man's DNA is forever in the system. If this ever happens again, the report will come up and he will be held responsible for his actions. Tell someone. Don't hide. They will help you. I had three friends who rallied with me that day. One took me to the hospital, one picked my son up and brought him home, and one stayed with me. I was so scared to tell; it was so hard. I get it, but telling is a part of the healing process. You must process or you will not heal. I am forever thankful for the women who came alongside me during this time. It has actually taken years for me to tell my parents. It was so hard, but once I did, I felt more free. You can do it.

3. It's Not Your Fault and It's Never Ok: We have a candidate running for office that has bragged about violating women. We also have another candidate whose husband violated women while in office.  This is not okay.  No man should ever be trained up or told that this behavior is her fault, not his. That she shouldn't have worn that dressed or kissed him that way. That she really wanted this. No woman wants this. It's not okay, and it's not your fault.  Anyone who says so is wrong and also needs help. Let us commit to raising up our boys and girls to understand the difference and act accordingly.

4. Healing Will Come: Ten years later, God has healed this hurt. Actually a number of years ago, God worked in my life to show me how He cared for me during this time. For a number of months after this event, I hit rock bottom and stayed there. Without a child to care for, I don't know what would have happened to me. Somehow, some way, down in the deepest darkest place of my heart, I found some light and God lifted me up. It took years after that to process what had happened and to allow myself to heal and feel safe again.  I moved, which helped.  I realize we can't all move, but before I moved, I completely changed my furniture, my sheets, my home layout, even my hair. I then changed my heart and sought the Lord with my sorrow.  Again, this took a lot of time and processing and some therapy, but it happened. (This falls under the stages of grief.) I also have some PTSD. I cannot watch rape scenes on TV or in movies.  The word "rape" makes my ears burn. These are things I can't stop, but I do not let them run my life. I can only say, God cares. He sees you in your hurt, and He will love you through this if you'll let Him.

5. Overcome Evil with Good: If you have been raped, may I give us all a pep talk? It's easy to stay in the place of pain and sorrow over this, to live in the shadow of shame, and to protect ourselves from the hardship of sharing our stories. I encourage you to seek healing so that you can, in turn, share your story. Why share your story? To prevent and to empower. My prayer is that, through hearing this story, a man might think twice before making a crude remark about rape or assault. Maybe a girl will put her head up when walking to her car and prevent an attack. There might be a woman reading this right now who has been living with shame from a rape that was never her fault. Maybe she will be freed in these words, knowing there are others of us out there. Evil must not win here. God can prevail in the stories of survival and healing. I am no longer a victim of this; ten years later, I am empowered and free. I pray this for all of us.

It's not that I don't have hard days, but they are few and far between now. I am married with three boys and a life that I could never have dreamed up in a million years. I know that's not the case for all of us, and this life did not come easy.  Yet I am more than thankful to sit on this side of the computer, telling you the hard truth about sexual assault and encouraging you to share and to fight for women across the world who are hidden in the shame of this terrible act of selfishness. There are many ways to stand up to sexual violence:

1. Teach your daughters the dangers and how to be aware.  Open the line of communication so
    that if, God forbid, anything ever happened to them, they would come to you for help and
    healing.
2. Teach your sons to respect women always. That no means no no matter what.  Train them up
    to know that violating a woman is never ok. Ever.
3. Support a local abuse victims program. (Here in KC we have Hope House.)
4. Let it reflect in your vote. (Prayerfully consider your candidate, is all I can ask.)
5. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the words of others.  Be aware that this is not a problem that is going away.  Guard yourself and impart wisdom on the children, teens and singles in your life.

Finally, I want to say to men: if you have committed an act of sexual assault or sexual violence, there is healing and hope for you at the cross, too. There is healing for you there. God forgives. You just have to be willing to admit your sins and ask for His forgiveness. I have forgiven my attacker and hope he has repented and changed his ways, or will do so. My true prayer is that no other woman would fall victim to his attack again. 

This was a hard blog to write. I ask that only words of encouragement for myself and others who have fallen victim to this terrible act be written in the comments.  I do not share this for sympathy; I share it to empower.  Please help me celebrate my ten-year anniversary by sharing this, so that others may hear and know.  Here is a song that I have been listening to and thinking about the healing that has accured for me over the past 10 years, maybe it will help you too:



God made us beautifully in His image. He is the Great Physician who loves us dearly, and He alone can heal all the hurts.

Much love,

Chrystan

PS- I'd love for you to hear more from me and how God is working in my life.  Please subscribe to Beautifully Made by clicking FOLLOW!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sit Still Look Pretty

I am a passionate soul. I think when God created me and blew life and breath into my bones he might have added a little bit of fire.  My poor parents.  I can imagine that trying to raise a girl with all this fire, passion and emotion felt impossible more than once.  Bless them and all of the grey hairs and sleepless nights I gave them.

Now that I am an adult, doing adult things, I have come to realize that this emotion, this passion, has allowed me to survive.  It has brought me through single parenthood, addictions, dire times, abuse and through extreme depression. Somehow God turned all that into good and fueled the flame that he placed inside me, even when I wasn't seeking him.


There are so many people in my life that do not share my exuberant passion.  They are more of a straight and narrow stay on the safe path of life people.  Bless them all.  We cannot all be the same.  There have to be all kinds of people, otherwise the world would either be very dangerous and wild or very quiet and boring.  We are made unique for a reason.

This week I get to do something that I was made to do.  I get to be free. I get to be me.  I get to stand in front of a room of women and lead them in worship and prayer.  I get to take my passion and infuse it into their sweet souls.  I get to lead them into the throne room, what an incredible honor.  Each week on Sunday mornings I stand before a group of people and play a role in leading them in worship but it is a bit different. I have to stay in a safe box. I can't talk out of turn. I can't sing a praise song at the time there was supposed to be a hymn. I can't raise my hands a certain way or even have a posture of prayer on stage because that would shock the masses.  Everything has to look and feel the same every weekend and that is one tall order for this free spirit.

This morning, after a night of practicing for Imperfectly Brave Worship Night (that's this Thursday) I was overcome by emotion. Last night I was so free.  I was comfortable in my own skin, I was beautifully functioning as the fiery passionate little daughter that my good Father made me to be.  I didn't have to fit into a mold, I raised my hands freely and bowed my head while I sang.  I was overcome with my Fathers love in song.  It was beautiful.


Earlier this week someone who means so much to me used my passion against me and it really hurt.  I closed up immediately and shut down.  Last night I was set free, reminded that I was not made to fit into your mold, her mold, his mold, their mold.  I am not a sit still look pretty girl.  I am filled to the brim with fire and love, mixed in with extreme compassion and grace all granted to me through my relationship with the Savior of my soul.  God will call me to function within his plan for me. I cannot be a robot, I cannot look like you and you should not look like me.  You are called to be you, to chase after Jesus in the way he calls you to.  I am called to love passionately, to go do, to pour into people and bring grace to them in all the ways I can. We are all called to worship, to love well, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus in obedience to his word. I may do that with the passion of 1,000 suns, you may do that in a more reserved way, but let's both decide to do it anyways.

I am learning to embrace my passion, maybe even reign it in at times in order to also appreciate the way others do things too.  Thursday night this Cinderella will break free from the walls of this tower and step out free from the shackles that are placed on her by the world around her. God will fulfill a need in her in that place, that time that only he can.  Then she will go back to her call to obedience trying to bloom where she was planted.

I hope this week you allow someone to bloom in your presence, maybe just maybe, you will catch their fire.

"And let us consider how we many spur one another on toward love and good deeds..."
Hebrews 10:24

Much Love,

Chrystan

PS- This song nails it not in the context of a relationship for me but in the context of being free to be who I am where I am.
"Sure I'm a pretty girl up in a pretty world, but they say pretty hurts and
I don't wanna sit still look pretty..."




Thursday, May 5, 2016

Play Like A Girl

I've written and erased and re-written this blog about 5 times over the last week.  I can't seem to get it right, here's my last attempt to tell you what's on my heart.

Once a week I take off my business owner clothes and lace up my soccer cleats.  The roles are not that much different for me.  In each role I have to fight and hold my own.  In each role I'm frequently the only girl in the pack.  In each role I have to prove myself.


I am so very competitive and so very aware that women in powerful roles have to prove themselves worthy of standing on their own.  Worthy of running with the boys.  There is a smaller percentage of women business owners in the world.  We are small but fierce.  On or off the field I am a fierce competitor. 


There have been times in our history where being a strong woman was frowned upon. There were times in our history where strong women were almost too vocal.  I believe there can and needs to be a great balance here.  Did you know that the ministry of Jesus included women which was mind blowing for the time that he walked this earth? Strong, bold, fierce women are all over the ministry of Jesus, and in fact all over the Bible.


Last week, I had someone tell me "it's just business, there's no emotion here, it's just business"  I called my friend Mendy, frustrated with myself. Frustrated because I try really hard to run with the guys in business. I don't want to ever be viewed as lacking or weaker.  This interaction made me feel lacking and weaker but my homegirl Mendy (another female entrepreneur) reminded me of the beauty in women business owners. How God uses his creation in women to do great things.
May I remind you of Deborah in the Bible (2 Kings) and Mary (mother of Jesus) Rehab (prostitute who played an amazing role in the Bible and the story of Jesus) ya'll the list goes on and on.  We are useful. We are important.  God can and does use us to his glory.



Each Thursday I join a group of guys out on a field to play a sport that helped mold me into the fierce woman that I am today.  I am the only girl that plays.  I fight hard.  I hate loosing the ball and they know I will fight hard to get it back.  I am competitive and I play hard.  I play like myself, not like them.  Who I am as a player is uniquely different than who they are as players. Men play differently in soccer and in life.  God made us uniquely different. I am happy and thankful today that I play like a girl.  I am happy blessed and thankful that God molded me into the amazing women of faith and grace that I am today.  I may not play perfectly, I may play with intense passion.  However, today I stand in front of you a mom of 3 boys, a loving wife, business owner to a rapidly growing business, woman of faith and leader in ministry that says, play like a girl and love it.  God uses his women for some pretty great things!  Teach your girls to play like a girl too.  To fight fiercely. To stand boldly.  To be unique. To be an individual. To be a sister loved by God.  He loves his girls and uses them often to make advances in his kingdom. Go boldly and bravely towards him, he will show you how to fight.  Girls, he has made you FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY in his perfect loving image. 

Never forget that you are a daughter to the one true king if nothing else today, stand tall and firm in that and teach your girls to do the same. To play like a girl...

Much Love,
Chrystan


Monday, March 21, 2016

Renewal


RENEWAL: The replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run down or broken.

The wonderful thing about this time of year is renewal.  One would think that that time would be the New Year, but I beg to differ.  Spring is renewal for me, the replacing of the worn out.  I have seasonal depression so I find myself in what feels like a hopeless rut for about 3-4 months of the year (my poor husband).  I just feel blah. I get chubby, grumpy, sad, and difficult. I try to find joy in so many places but joy does not come.  Through prayer I survive this every year.  This year was better than the last few.  I took vitamin D and combated it in every way I could.  Now I get to stare fully into Spring knowing the next part of the year will likely be easier to manage.

I am a woman all about renewal.  I roll well with change.  I like to try new things.  I embrace new ways of doing things, new schedules to try, fun workout classes to attend and basically just love to dive right in!  For some of you the thought of all of this is making it hard to breathe, I understand we are not all creatures of change.  During this season of renewal what I want to remind us all of is the renewal that comes with our life in Christ. If you are a believer you get to be reminded of something so precious this week.  The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate representation of renewal.  In Revelations 21 we get a picture of this:

"Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. he will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."


Can you just imagine, all the new things!!!??  He makes all things new!!!  You, me, your family, your church...newness.  If you surrender your life to him you are made new in him.  There's nothing he can't fix in your life there's nothing lacking in him, he brings beauty even in despair, he brings life even in death. Renewal at it's very best.

 Just like Spring is bringing in new blooms, green grass and lush gardens full of life; God is bringing newness to his believers each and every day.  Allow him to work in your and through you. How can you do this? Surrender your life to him and run hard after his promises and words (read the Bible, be in fellowship, tell others of his love). Sprint to him sweet girl, he will make you new.

Be renewed this week friends.  Allow God to show you his new things for you.  Allow him to take you by the hand and show you all his goodness and believe me HE IS GOOD!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

In Sickness and In Health

I have been out of order for the last 10 days.  Sick as a dog.  What started as a sore throat, morphed into some of the worst pain I have experienced.   I couldn't eat, sleep, read, work, listen to music, drive or even play.  I was down. The infection that was initially in my throat made it's way into my ear and on a flight home from Austin wrecked havoc on my inner ear canal.  Ear pain, THE WORST! Finally, I have been granted some relief today after being loaded up on steroids yesterday.

Being down is for the birds.  Not my favorite thing, I don't do forced relaxation well. I have too much to do to not be doing something. I run a home, a business,I'm part of a growing women's ministry, I have my blog, I have my Church body, I have many roles in the Church, I have bible studies to do and bills to pay.  I have all the things.  I cannot be down for 10 days.  I mean who can?  So, I aggressively prayed and frantically pleaded for God to take all this sickness away. To make me feel better. To relieve the painful pressure in my ear, I was seriously in mind numbing, mind loosing pain ya'll.  He, however, did not choose that path for me.  Instead he sent me love.

Love the poured out all over me these past 10 days.  No, Jesus did not show up at my door step and give me a big holy hug (but can you imagine, I would be geeking out!) But instead he gave me a husband who poured himself out for me for 10 days.

He did all the things. He transported kids, cooked dinner, grocery shopped, held me while I sobbed in pain, he drove me to the ER where he had to endure me screaming and crying and snotting and puking and shaking and more.  He sat with me in the hospital and kept me calm. He was my calm in the storm.  He was unconditionally loving me in all the ways I have prayed my husband would. He was romantic. He was caring and also stoic.  He was on my side and by my side.  He waited on me hand and foot, even laying out my pills for me when it was time. He came home early from work just so I didn't have to be alone.

Let me tell you, this is God's great work in my husband. My dear sweet man is not known for being caring and nurturing, he's a true man's man. A rub some dirt on it and get back out there kind of man.  So if you are reading this and feeling envious and jealous I want you to read the following and apply.  I have prayed that Adam and I would learn to love each other the way each other needs to be loved. That God would teach us how to serve each other well.  After 5 years of marriage, we are still working on this.  If you long for this in your life, you must be willing to pray about it and to change the way you are serving to reflect the needs of your spouse (or spouse in waiting).

God saw favor on me by equipping my husband to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park. To be the hands and feet of Jesus, to serve and love me well. Though I'm not sure I would EVER repeat this week again, the silver lining and blessing in it all is to have been cared for and loved well by the man God gave me for so many reasons that I could not begin to list them all.  Sometimes we wonder why God pairs us with these men, we could not be more different right?  But when the rubber meets the road, when the tough things happen, they balance us out and we get to move forward together.

If you are in a season a tough times in your marriage, can I encourage you to pray about your role in your spouses life. How can you love them well? How can you serve them best?  It's probably not the way you want to to be served, but do it anyways.  I promise it will reap great rewards, if even just within your own soul.  Bring those things to the Lord, he will guide you if you let him. After all, he made you in his own image FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY and so BEAUTIFULLY designed to love and serve others.

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- I am not the perfect spouse, I am self preaching here as well!  Thank the Lord for grace and new days to try harder to live out my vows well!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Anticipation

Anticipation, it's a whole thing.
It's expectation.
It's waiting.

The actual definition of Anticipation is a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen.  One may anticipate their wedding day or the day they graduate. I would definitely say that we anticipate the arrival of a new baby and would even go as far to say we anticipate the day that baby says Momma for the very first time.  We anticipate love.  It is almost a sense of looking forward to. To wait in great expectation.
Great expectation.


Right now I am sitting here a day away from the realization of a dream. I am packing my bags and heading to Austin, TX (You know my love for Texas!) To take part in the women's event that changed the dynamic of my relationship with God forever.  Two years ago this event set me on a path that is moving full steam ahead in the direction of Heaven.  I am off to Austin with 2 of my dearest friends, on an adventure that I dare say will be full of joy, laughter, tears and forever memories.  Great expectation! The anticipation is almost killing me over here.

One thing I want to blow your mind with today, is that there is one who waits with bated breath and great anticipation for your arrival in his courts.  This past year I worked through the Children of the Day study by Beth Moore (life changing Bible study I HIGHLY recommend)  In her live teaching portion she set my mind to explode when she pointed out "Time is not running out to God, time is running up. It is running up to the time when he is reunited with his children"  I mean can you even imagine?  This takes my breath away.  The God of the universe. The God that created the air you breathe, the sun that rises and sets, the world...all the things...he waits in anticipation for you.  He counts up till the time you return to him.

The clock is ticking.  I am anticipating my event in Austin, but most of all I am anticipating God's work in my life through this experience.  I cannot wait. I also cannot help but think God is more excited and waits more expectantly, staring at the gates of Heaven waiting to be reunited with his sons and daughters.  I eagerly anticipate that also, for so many reasons.

Psalm 84: My Soul Longs for the Courts of the LORD
How lovely is your dwelling place or LORD of hosts
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD
My heart and flesh sing joy for the living GOD!

What are you waiting in anticipation for? Do you feel like your life is in forward motion or is it stagnate today?  One final thought, the other definition for Anticipation is the act of preparing for something.  Are you only preparing for things of this world?  If so you may be missing out greatly on the love of a Father who eagerly awaits your return to him.  Seek him sweet girl, he awaits your arrival with open arms, abundant grace and love overflowing.  After-all, you are his BEAUTIFULLY FEARFULLY WONDERFULLY made creation.

Much Love,
Chrystan


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Underneath


It is officially winter on Ferrell Farms.  The sky is deary, the days are short, it's cold and there is snow.  Let me peel back a layer of myself and tell you I despise winter.  It is just all the things.  I don't like being cold, I can't drive in winter weather due to a car vs black ice situation that could have ended my life and I have seasonal depression so there's that. WINTER, yuck.  However, I have seen some beautiful things around me this winter that called me outside with the little's this weekend.

There was white snow on the ground around the farm this week and it has been so pretty to look at.  Except that under snow there was mud.  Nasty, dirty icky mud.  The ground was so saturated that my boots were sinking down into the mud.  Which left the snow dirty and my boots (and little boys) filthy.

The last few years I have been all in and committed to transparency.  I don't want any woman to begin talking to me, hear me speak or read my blog and think she just has it all together. I always want you to be reminded that I am a hot mess.  There is no perfection in the lines of these words.  I am 100% washed in the grace and blood of Jesus and that is the only way this hot mess steps one foot in front of the other most days.  So, I have a group of women (my prayer group that is now a part of the Imperfectly Brave movement, you can join in too!) that I am nothing but 100% real with.  This week they literally heard me talk about how I have felt so out of sync with God these last two weeks.  I told them all the yucky places while they all sat around my farmhouse table and nodded their heads.  Their pointing fingers were down, they were judgement free and they let me say all the things.  Then they prayed with me. I cry with them I laugh with them and we are so real.  From that group I have realized we just need to be so very real with each other. If we walk in perfection, there is no room for Jesus.  If I act like I've got this all under control then I can't show you that it is only through Christ that I am even keeping my head a float.

Under the snow, was the mud.  But the mud reminded me that there is life, real true growing life under there.  Snow is the precipitation that keeps our ground watered and prepared for the planting and the harvest.  The mud holds that all together till the harvest comes.  There is beauty in each role, the snow, the mud, the yucky of it all holds a beautiful picture in the end.  I want to present Jesus in a good light, I want to be washed white and I am, but then I get muddy again and there is grace.  Wash, rinse and repeat.  Perfection only takes away from the beauty of grace, and ladies grace is where it's at.  May I always be reminded of the hot mess that Jesus loves so fiercely he gave his life away for all the mess to be washed in the blood and remade into a beautiful daughter of the most high King.

I took my eyes off the prize last week and in my transparency I found it all again. In my weakness he stayed strong, sought me out and brought me back. It's not different for you sweet girl.  You can be real, there are people out there that need you to show the imperfection to see the work that the Lord has done and is doing.  May we all find grace in the muddy places, for the harvest will be plentiful.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Follow by Email

There was an error in this gadget

Translate