life

Life for our little family could be changing very soon. On Friday we are going to find out where our next two years of medical school will be. This is crazy.

What’s crazier is I love it down here in South Florida. But it’s not the town that I love. It’s the people. It’s our church. It’s our own little place away from both our families that we get to call home.

I’m truly going to miss it if we end up being called to Orlando, Largo etc.. I am SO happy this is completely in God’s hands. If this wasn’t a lottery I would actually find it much more stressful. Richard would disagree. He wants Orlando more than anything. I just don’t want to be the one to decide.

The anticipation is killing me though. It wasn’t bothering me for a long time because I thought we wouldn’t find out until February. But Richard comes home one day and tells me we find out this Friday!! YIKES!

We are just praying for God’s will in our lives. I don’t want to be somewhere that is convenient and comfortable if it’s not accomplishing God’s will for our life. But what is comforting is there is NOTHING we can do to mess up His plan for our life. Even if this wasn’t a lottery we would still be unable to mess up.
anyways. i ramble. If you find yourself thinking of us…this little family with little hopes for our future…would you please pray for our future. That we would be content.

That’s my word for 2011: Content. 🙂

God bless and have a great rest of the week!

love,
crystal

January 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

oh and also

i especially don’t like blogging when my pictures don’t always show up after working on a post for weeks. yes weeks. because I don’t maintain it takes a lot of catching up. Don’t worry. My next post will most likely be when we are prego with baby #2. That’s how long it will take me.

love, crystal

January 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

blogging…more like bleh-ing

i don’t like blogging. i stink.

January 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm Leave a comment

a glimpse of the Almighty

Lately, I’ve really been experiencing the beautiful tapestry of God’s word in my life. What does that fancy talk mean? Well between Sunday sermons, Monday night Elijah study and BSF’s inductive (to say the least) study of Isaiah, God has been weaving a central theme of His holiness in my life…and what exactly it should mean to me…and how it should affect me.

“How could I be in Your story, the God who was and is and is to come?” -Everything is Different, Shane & Shane

I was in tears the entire sermon on Sunday and it was such a precious morning of tears for me. I had just been reading in Isaiah 6 with BSF and Isaiah describes the vision of the Lord Almighty on His throne…but I’ll come back to that. That following Sunday, Tom preached about Revelations 4 which is very similar when describing God on His throne. He explained how in times of trouble, when life if rough, when it’s the worst it has ever been…we still must praise God. And the only way we can do that is by seeing who He truly is…Holy. As he preached through the scripture, tears rolled down my face as I envisioned my King…my Father. He is my Daddy. The only one I’ve ever been able to call that. What a perfect Father. My Abba. He is so worthy of my affection. He is a King! Look how He is described:

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:1-4

I can sit here all day and talk about how awesome He is. I could go on and on about how real He is. He is the lover of my soul and He has won my heart. I’m so thankful to have this glimpse of my Maker. Only by seeing His greatness and relying on Him am I able to make it through this crazy world. This world full of sin, death and hatred.

Just as I begin to believe that all is lost and this world will never be able to endure I am reminded numerous times that God is sovereign. When God turns away from His people that have chosen to turn away from Him, it isn’t devastation…it’s about redemption. Throughout the Old Testament His chosen people consistently turn away from Him and He continually redeems them. There is wrath and suffering but not because God is vengeful but because “His wrath and judgment reflect the response of His holy character against sin in all of its forms and impurities. It is the whole being of God opposing all that is evil, unjust, unfair, and unrighteous.”-BSF study. How else could we call Him Holy?

Holy- that which is separated, set apart, treated with special care, withheld from ordinary use, belonging uniquely to the Lord. The opposite of common or ordinary.  (BSF study)

Anyways…so what’s my response to this? Well naturally I begin to feel unworthy. Compared to Him. God doesn’t desire for me to beat myself up about this though. But I still do. The way Isaiah reacts to seeing his King is exactly how I think I would.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5

I would immediately recognize my faults. I have to consciously work to not stay in this place. Every. Day. I battle doubt, negative thinking & believing I don’t deserve grace because I am attacked daily with lies from this world that I’m living in. It completely reminds me of one of my all time favorite songs written by Shane & Shane “Embracing Accusation“. It’s easy to get caught in what I do wrong. But bottom line….Jesus Saves.

And that’s what the next verses show.

With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:7

God provides an atonement for us. Jesus.

This glimpse of the Almighty has given me confidence. I feel better about my desire to do women’s ministry one day. I constantly worry if I’m doing what I want instead of what God wants. This worry comes from my experience of trying to do what I think is the best choice instead of consulting God on what He thinks and where He would have me go with my life.

Anyways, when you get a clear glimpse of who you trust with your life you begin to grow. I feel confirmed that God has me here in Fort Lauderdale with all the time and opportunity to get immersed in His word and learn from many wise women around me at Rio Vista. I am learning so much…but more importantly I’m falling more and more in love with God. He is so perfect. I can’t explain it. But His word is truly affecting every part of my life. Who He is makes me feel alive.

So as Isaiah receives this glimpse, this atonement…he is now made clean and ready for “duty”. You get a glimpse and you realize your need for God and you surrender your life. Then God calls you to something amazing. Amazing is defined differently for everyone. And yes…my little life here in South Florida IS amazing. My “little” calling is huge. I feel like I’m being equipped for greatness. Not my own greatness. But to glorify God in the way He has planned. He is readying me for something. Maybe it’s not women’s ministry, but this time in my life is precious to me. It’s preparation for something.

So I decided I can apply this scripture in my life to confirm that I am taking the right steps to following God’s will for my life. There is no magical equation by ANY means. But this is just how God is meeting me where I’m at. I needed to be affirmed that I’m where He wants me…not where I think I should be.

Anyways, here is how I broke down the application: (Maybe you will find it helpful in your life too??)

Again this isn’t the only way to discern God’s will. Nor am I an expert. Maybe this is the wrong way to apply this scripture so literally in your opinion. But this is just where God has me. Sorry to reiterate that again but I want to ensure you know my heart on this matter.

Praying & Observing to confirm God’s will & calling

  • He will give me a high view of Himself

-Do I see Him exalted in my life?

-Am I recognizing myself as His servant?

  • He will give me a sense of need

-Do I recognize that I need Him?

-Do I see the need of the people?

*Humility: Do I know and recognize that I have the same need and that I

am no better than they are.

  • He will cleanse me before He calls me

-Have I repented of all my sin?

-Pray that God has revealed unknown sin to me

  • He calls those that are humble and willing

-Am I being prideful? Do I think I’m better than the people God has called me

to minister to?

-Pray that God confirms humility in me

-Pray that when I’m called that I recognize the invitation & I am willing & not

afraid.

-Pray that I am watchful to His “rhetorical questions”(Isaiah 6:8) that He

knows the answers to. His way of stirring my heart to action.

  • RESPOND “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

October 19, 2010 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

firsts

Time has flown by. So fast that I can’t even blog quickly enough to keep up (sike! i’m just a bad blogger). So here is a very small summary of our summer and family firsts!

May 20th- Randall’s first plane ride & trip to Texas.

June 7th- We had our first anniversary together since Randall was born! We celebrated 2 wonderful years together and got to take Randall where we said “I do!”

 

love love love

 

 

at the "altar" where we said "I do"

 

 

 

June 12th- Carter & Jessica’s Wedding: My mom and Richard’s mom came down to watch Kylin & Randall while Mark, Ashley, Richard and I went to the wedding festivities! We are so blessed to have mothers that are so servant hearted.

 

it was hot to say the least

 

June 22- Randall’s First Trip to Disney. This will definitely be his first of many considering how often his Daddy went as a child. I’m sure Hunny & Papa will be taking him there far too often 🙂 Here is a slideshow of the fun!

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June 25-July 2: Edisto Week

 

Great picture of Daddy & Son

 

 

Our Little Family

 

 

hilarious...but seriously...Uncle Bill is the Randall Whisperer

 

 

Randall with his Uncle Mark

 

 

 

Randall chillin' with Uncle Jon in the ocean

 

sunset

 

cuties

 

 

gotta love the jean diapers

 

July 31st- Richard’s Birthday & My Family comes into Fort Lauderdale for vacation! What a blast!

 

the boys playing games (Richard and my nephew Kevin)

 

 

Me and the Rand Man on the beach

 

 

not excited to be put down

 

 

the whole family at Oasis. The swinging bench restaurant. it was fun!

 

August 11th: Surprise & Last minute Trip to Texas for Lauren to get engaged!!

 

🙂 The happy couple 🙂

 

 

so happy for her!

 

 

Randall with the excited couple

 

August 30th-Sept 3rd: Ashley & Kylin come to visit and redecorate our place

 

cuties

 

 

Before Ashley and Before baby proofing!

 

 

3 trips to Ikea in less than 48 hours later...

 

Sept 3rd-Sept 6th: Orlando trip for Labor Day weekend and Family Fun

 

Fun in the Sun!

 

 

Randall's first boat ride

 

 

we just adore him

 

 

just lovin' the boat

 

 

cuddling with Daddy

 

 

happy boater

 

September 16th-19th My 26th Birthday and my best friends come to visit me!

 

got a pedicure with my girls

 

September 23-28: Trip to Texas to do some wedding business for LaLa. Randall’s THIRD trip to Texas and he was only 9 months old!

 

so handsome

 

 

Randall and Chad relaxing watching some football

 

October 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm 2 comments

Elijah

I just started a very exciting study of the prophet Elijah with Rio Women on Monday nights! I’m so blessed to have this time in my life where I can get serious about God’s word and learn so much to eventually (and hopefully if it’s God’s will) use  in women’s ministry. I feel the desire to do ministry, specifically in women’s lives, but I definitely need some equipping and I’m praying according to God’s will that this would be His time to equip me in His word and surround me with such experienced, wise and godly women like I’ve encountered at Rio Vista. I’m not a great writer/speaker, (as you can tell by my previous run on sentence…oh wait…here comes another one) but my heart is to share my experience and life with other women to glorify God and show how great He really is to His beloved bride. 🙂

One of the questions from the study was:

“What does Elijah’s announcement to Ahab (1 Kings 17:1-see below) tell you about his confidence in God?”

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.'” 1Kings 17:1 (NIV)

Well, it tells me that Elijah completely trusts God. More significantly for me, I realized that he knows his God’s power!!! There is more important things to know, understand and realize about the significance of that statement Elijah gives to Ahab, but for conciseness’ sake I am sharing what hit me the hardest through my studies.

This made me wonder, “Do I know my God’s power?” Holy cow. I’m sure I don’t. But it sure makes me stand taller today in confidence, because my God has revealed/reminded me of His awesomeness.

I love having a Father that stands in front of me to guard, protect and guide His little girl. I also feel honored if and when I am ever called to women’s ministry, or any ministry for that matter. It will be God’s will, God’s timing and He will be the one that brings the power behind it!

Praying God’s blessing on everyone today. Thanks for reading 🙂

September 14, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Puzzle Piece-an old post (7/27/10) that i never published

This past Sunday at church, I was able to pay attention to the sermon for the first time since Randall was a newborn. I put him into childcare and got to hear a great message from the story of Joseph’s life.

I always find it difficult to not try to secretly take control over my life everyday. Of course it’s never the case since God is in control even when I think I am. But life IS so much better when I surrender my life wholeheartedly to the Lord. When you wake up and say “God, this day is yours…not mine”  it always turns out best. So, yeah…I try to keep short accounts with God all day long to keep my mind…well…really my heart….where it needs to be, In God’s Hands. Am I successful everyday? Absolutely not. Thank God for his mercy and grace with me.

I’ve always used the same analogy with regards to “trying to take over/control my life”. I always picture me coming over God’s shoulder while He is painting this beautiful picture that is my life. As He is painting, I say “Why are You doing that?” A fair question in my mind at the time of my disobedience and unwillingness to trust Him. “Well wait, stop…no I don’t want that. That doesn’t look good?…that hurts…wait, why are YOU doing this…WHY??”

It’s a pretty good analogy in my mind to remind myself that I don’t see the whole picture that God is painting. I don’t know what the next day or season of my life looks like. Ever. But God does. He not only knows, but He is also doing what is best for His glory and for me. Me, the little girl He calls His Beloved. He wants nothing more than to love me and have a personal and intimate relationship with me. speechless.

but not for long, b/c I need to get to my point.

So our pastor spoke about how God’s design for life here on earth is a puzzle. GREAT! I LOVE puzzles!! (right Ashley & Jessie ;)) He continued to explain that we each are one piece to the puzzle of his master plan. Seemingly so small, but the puzzle is not complete without you in it.

So, I’m lovin’ this sermon. I’m relating to his wonderful analogy. Then I begin to realize that my analogy kind of stinks. Comparatively speaking I guess. But, I realize that not only is it ridiculous for me to stand over the Master and Creator of the universe and ask Him why he paints this or that…It’s ridiculous because I am the paint on the canvas, not at all knowing and understanding enough to STAND over His shoulder and see what He is painting. I’m living it. I’m the paint..or the canvas?..haha I sound crazy. It would be like a puzzle piece jumping up on God’s shoulder to take a look at what the entire puzzle is looking like. Doesn’t make any sense because puzzle pieces can’t do that. Even though I know it won’t work, I try to understand…I try to control…I try to beg Him to reveal everything or something to me-this little puzzle piece of a girl. His plan for me is not to understand the plan but to trust in the plan…in Him. That He does have EVERYTHING under control.

********Today (9/14/10) I just read the perfect scripture to attest to this post in Romans 9:20-21:

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why do you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? ********

One day, I know we will get to see the whole puzzle complete…the whole picture painted…forget silly analogies that probably don’t make any sense. one day. i get to see my Heavenly Father and spend eternity with Him and His son Jesus…who died for me.

I trust and believe that God has a timing for my life and the world that is so much bigger than me. I like being small. I like seeing a few specks or spots on a puzzle piece and not understanding what part of the puzzle I am exactly. I love the mystery that is the Love of my God. (someone remind me that I said this later on when i’m having a meltdown about my future)

I’ve had this on repeat while writing this post:

Worthy of Affection- Shane & Shane

Deliverer you brought us out of the miry clay
You set our feet upon a rock and you made us say
Holy is the Lord
We would declare your thoughts about us one by one
It’d be too many to count so we simply come
And sing of your great love

So we sing..We lift our hands and sing!

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

We are the broken down and we are the beaten up
But what could stop us from a song of unending love?
Holy is the Lord

You are the treasure, the hope, the Bright and Morning Star
You are the lover of our soul and you’ve won our hearts
We sing of your great love
So we sing
We lift our hands and sing!

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

Worthy are you Lord
Worthy are you Lord
O worthy are you Lord
Of all Praise
All Glory to you Lord
All Glory to you Lord
All Glory to you Lord
Forever More
Forever More

You are worthy of affection
Your the radiance of all of His glory
Let adoration fill this place
You hold everything together
By the word of your immovable power
We sing a song of praise!

Holy are you Lord
Holy are you Lord
Holy are you Lord

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i love you Jesus.

September 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm 1 comment

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