A Daughter’s Trust in A Crazy Momma

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve homeschooled my daughter for the past 2 years. She will be going back to public school in the fall, and I’ve been soaking up more opportunities this summer in spending time with her. Quality time, without electronics, limiting time with her “friends”, lazy days at the pool, taking nature walks, and having some really in-depth talks. (Oh and UNO, because nothing says quality time like a few good competitive games of UNO.)

Playing UNO with my daughter.

Playing UNO with my daughter.

Yesterday evening, we went on a spontaneous hike after a few thunderstorms we had, and it soon turned into a memorable adventure.  Because we didn’t plan to go hiking, we weren’t prepared with the essentials. We both had on flip flops, no water, no sunscreen or bug repellent, just hearts searching for fun and excitement. Usually my daughter is very apprehensive, but for some reason yesterday, she wanted to keep up with her crazy momma. (me). So we headed down this wet slippery cliff, to get a better view of the sunset and beautiful skies.

Our sunset view

Our sunset view

All of a sudden as I’m helping her down, with one hand holding hers, and the other to a weak branch, she says, “Oh, I have to pee!!!” “I have to pee really really bad.” Well, being a country girl came in handy, because I told her we must make it down this cliff, and then she can go in the woods.

We make it down half tumble/half walk. She does her business, and I’m taking in the beauty of the sunset, and nature…just taking in the awesomeness of God through His creations. She threw rocks, and we both search for things to take pictures of, and she starts to eat a leaf. (don’t worry it’s an edible leaf, she learned about last year from the local rangers).

We were like Thelma and Louise, her and I. It felt great, and I love spending time with her like this.

Soon it starts to get dark and we see a pair of abandon blue plastic gloves down the slope and a little trash, and it appears someone may have been there. Of course our minds race with mystery and fear, so the adrenaline kicks in and we start making our way up a slippery cliff.

Now, that was a challenge, but you know what, we had to work together to make it up there safely.

She had to listen very carefully, because one wrong move would have had us both falling back. She was very anxious, but I saw something in her, I saw determination with a calm exterior. At one point I had to leave from behind her, while she’s holding on to a branch. (I needed to get in front so I could pull her up). This is where it really “hit” me. Why she was able to stay calm, and even allowed me to leave her hanging to a branch, so I could pull her up.

 She TRUSTED me.

She trusted my words, and her actions yield to my instructions. It’s not easy building someones trust, and I’ve spent 7.5 years building it with her. See, I’ve been having a little anxiety over sending my daughter back to school. Anxiety because I can’t control the evil she may be exposed to, anxiety that she may not make the right decisions, and anxiety that she will gravitate to teachings and ideologies that are a contradiction to the word of God.

I believe the Lord used this whole adventure to teach me few things about my daughter,

1.She trusts what I say. Even if it doesn’t feel like she does. Sometimes as parents we think they aren’t listening, but they are and they are also watching. It’s not easy building a foundation set on Christ, and sometimes I wonder if I’m saying or doing the right thing. I love that God set my heart and mind at ease, and gave me a small glimpse of how very much my daughter does in fact trust my words.

2.Her passion will come from Him. As I mention before, my daughter is very apprehensive when trying something that she deems as dangerous and I view as an adventure. I always feel like I’m forcing her to just try new things, and have some passion. Yesterday, she was a different girl. She just threw all caution to the wind, and did “it”. I really just want her so badly to have a passion for God. Not religion and to be this perfect little girl, that says all the right things. No, I want her to be authentic, compassionate, yet unwavering and firm in her knowledge of what the Bible says. So I learn that passion is not something I can teach, either she will have that “spark” and go forth declaring the good news with fire and light or she won’t, and I can’t control that, no one can, but God.

3.I entrust God, with my daughter’s heart. Yet again I learn this lesson. Yes he has given me my daughter to mold and help shape her heart, but ultimately He is in control, and has authority in the heart of my daughter. I have to trust Him, to protect and shield her when she’s not within my sites.

I love that the Lord give us teachable moments, when we least expect it, that He takes delight in spending time with my heart, shaping it, molding it, crafting it all to display His glory.

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PICTURES FROM OUR HIKE

Cobweb we saw

Cobweb we saw

Snail

Snail

Leaf

Leaf

I’m Back….

Hey y’all!!

I know I’ve been gone and it must seemed like I just dropped and fell off the planet. I was supposed to post the 3 day series on friendship almost a month ago, but life happened and I took a much-needed visit to my hometown in Virginia.

I updated my Facebook page on the first day I was back and this is what I wrote.

“I’m backkkkk in Charlotte!!! I have very mixed emotions. I feel different, weird, out-of-place, yet at home, refreshed and…..okay. I’m okay. Okay is the only word I can think of here. I left the country, and you may not believe me, but my family is a witness, I started driving slow, even below the speed limit. Life was slow, easy, life was simple and good. I wasn’t in a hurry to zoom pass the tractor. I got one mile into the city, and BAM! traffic, a car coming off an exit races me to get in front, I back out of a store parking lot and the person rushes to blow pass me, so I can’t get in front. I tell this comparison in saying, this is the stuff that hardens you in this city. NO ONE GIVES A DANG, IF IT DOESN’T BENEFIT THEM IN SOME WAY. It’s this self-centered attitude. The rush to get to nowhere in a hurry, and if someone is driving slow, it’s sure as heck ain’t because they like the slow life. It’s because they are texting, talking on the phone or just so mentally wrapped up in thoughts, they don’t notice or know a small smile, wave and a “hey y’all” is good for the soul. I feel suffocated, yet excited to breath and take in life. I’m excited about working in my yard, time to trim the hedges, put down mulch and watch my hydrangeas bloom. I missed my friends here, yet I don’t know what to talk to them about. (I can’t explain my experience home). It’s this love that hits pass the surface, into something deeper. It’s not suppose to be put into words, it’s suppose to be experienced. I’m eager to do my yearly cannon ball in the neighborhood pool, yet ready to run into the woods at grandma’s house. I know I’ll adjust back, and before you know it, my car will be hitting 80 mph. At that point, I’ll know that I harden just a little bit from this city. Now and then I like to give a peek into my heart and deepest thoughts, here’s your peek.”

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That was how I felt on day 1 of being back, and things have gotten much better.

We had VBS (vacation bible school) at church and I was able to find so much joy in leading a small group of 8-9 year olds for the week. Every so often,  a child comes along and you see that “spark” and passion of really knowing and having depth into who Jesus is to them. I had the pleasure of witnessing one girl, whole heartedly commit to a life with Christ and asked to be baptized.

So, it’s not that I don’t like Charlotte because I do, but I’m a country girl at heart, I like open fields, wild flowers, non perfect lawns, corn fields, a view of the clouds in the sky without having to peEk over a building, I love the cool southern breeze sitting on the porch. I like being close to family and ole friends, long story short, I liked that feeling of DEEP LOVE.

Anyways, I am inspired by my visit, and motivated to share with all of you. God really drew me into Him and I feel refresh.

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Open Invitation to the Weary Women

Open Letter to the Weary Women

It’s after mid’ night here on the East coast.
I’m up in prayer over many women tonight, including myself. I’ve seen so many social media post today of broken weary women.

Life can be hard, Please know He cares. Your tears are precious to Him. Don’t be anxious for tomorrow’s worries. Find rest in Him.

I know what it feels like to be burden with an issue.

Trust Him, don’t trust a situation that can passover, in it’s season. My heart goes out to you. The pain is too heavy for you, but it’s not too heavy for Him. His promises are a sure thing.

I’ve tasted of His good fruit. I’ve walked deeper into the waters of faith, and yet He calls me in deeper.
I can testify as a sure witness, HE WILL GIVE YOU PEACE IN THE STORMS OF LIFE.

I’m just another sister in Christ as yourself, and as always…

ANCHORED IN HIM,
Crystal

Two Angry Questions, One Bold Loving Answer

“Why do I need, You Lord?”

“What can You do for me?”

 Those were the two questions my heart was crying out to the Lord, in my emotional hurt, disappointment, anger and unmet expectations, on a breezy summer evening, while I was driving home.

God was silent; I didn’t hear anything, just the sound of my broken heart’s cry.

I was feeling defeated, empty, and I was drowning in a sea of emotional turmoil.

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 I asked again, the next day, “Why do I need You?” and “What can You do for me?”

Again, I was met with silence. I became desperate, and begin to demand a response from Him.

This routine, continued for a week. I was practically shouting those questions from the depths of my soul from frustration, and I was repeatedly met with silence.

My unmet expectations of God, and His silence, was causing me to become bitter towards Him, and with life.

 “So there”, I thought to myself, “I am done with Him.”

I was ready to walk this life, doing whatever I wanted according to my feelings. Besides, if He wasn’t going to listen to me, than I was going to abandon Him, and not listen. (How foolish of me, to think, that I can “abandon” God).

It was now the end of that week. I arranged plans with a dear friend to meet at the neighborhood pool, with her two daughters and my then 3 year old daughter (today my daughter is 7).

Although, those two questions were still lingering in my heart, I was still going to attempt to drown them out, by basking in the summer sunshine, the cool water of the pool and time with my daughter and friend.

Once there, at the pool, I was able to have an enjoyable time, and purposely decided to forget about those questions.

Now, there came a time, which we started to play a game and I was tossing all three little girls (with life jackets) up in the air, is when my then, 3 year old daughter became upset.

She became jealous, and only wanted her mommy, to toss her, and according to an upset 3 year old, it wasn’t “fair” that she had to wait her turn to be toss.

She became angry that I didn’t respond to her demand, and decided to get my attention, by getting out of the pool and removing her life preserver vest.

I took a quick dip under and when I came up, from the water, I notice my daughters’ life preserver vest and arm floats, floating in the water, but I didn’t see her.

Panicked, my eyes, searched to the edge of the pool, and there she was about to jump into the 4 feet of water, not knowing how to swim.

We made eye contact and I screamed, a bloodcurdling, “Jesus, NOOOO, don’t jump-“, and before I could finish my statement, I watched in horror as she leaped into the pool, to retrieve her floating devices.

She went underwater and quickly sprang up. No one seemed to notice this happening, but me.

I swam as fast as I could and as she started to go back underneath the pool water, I was able to grab her by the waste and snatch her up, before she sank.

Well, with all this going on, those two “lingering” questions, were the very last thought on my mind.

However, in that very moment, with all the chaos, my heart pounding a million times an hour, and everyone staring, God’s quiet still, voice broke inside the depths of my heart with waves of reassurance.

He answered and said, “That is why you need me, because without Me, you will drown.” ” Don’t you see beloved, I am your life jacket and without Me, you. will. drown.”

He is my safety.

Although my world was spinning, God calmed my soul and boldly answered my heart’s questions in a moment of complete pandemonium.

Needless to say, my daughter was terrified, and received a little “hard” love, when we got home.

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 My daughter’s and I stories parallel each other.

During her moment of frustration and anger with me, she decided to remove her life preserver vest and dive into the water.  She would have drowned, on her own, without my help, the parent. After, I calmed down, I told her, “Never take off your life jacket, while were at the pool.”

Just like my angry little 3 year old daughter, I decided to remove, the only safety net, secured promise in this life, which is Him.

My Father snatched me from the deep waters of myself and saved me. He gently and loving, told me to keep my “Life Jacket”, and not to face the open waters of life without Him.

I wish I could stand and say, “That was the last time I’ve ever doubted and questioned my heavenly Father, because of unmet expectations.”, because it’s not.

I’m being honest. I have been annoyed and frustrated with Him all over again.

However, in those times of emotional valleys, I don’t let that dictate His truths and His promises. I don’t “storm off”, I press in. I press into Him, and sometimes wrestle like Jacob.

He still remains my Rock and washes over my soul with powerful waves of security.

Like in Psalm 18:16 “He reached down on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.”

I am in His everlasting grip. I am SAFE!

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…No, it’s HOPE!

“It’s a bird…It’s a plane… No, mommy, it’s SUPERMAN!!!”

I think most mothers of a son will or have already heard this line repeated a time or two. Well, maybe not those exact words, but as a mother of a little boy, you may have heard some type of superhero phrase repeated in your home.

You may have, or will have a superhero theme birthday party, at least once in his lifetime.

I’m almost positive, he has or will have, at least own one pair of superhero pajamas.

In addition, your little “superhero”, may have or will, dress in his favorite comic book hero costume, for Halloween, or to simply play “dress up”.

I’m the mother of a 2-year-old little man.  The “superhero” stage has just begun, and I think he will “outgrow” this stage in a couple of years.

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Well, I did put an emphasis on the word “think”, because the revenue that the comic book industry generates, leads me to believe, a lot of  little “men”, won’t “outgrow” their fascination of a classic superhero.

For example, in the past decade, there has been multiple classic hero movies release.  Below is a chart from boxofficemojo.com, that list the gross sells, of a few of those movies, on opening weekends.

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These opening weekend gross earnings, reveal that children and adults alike are enticed by an entertaining story of a superhero.

I think people are intrigued by the main theme displayed throughout a typical, superhero based comic and the movies produced. That theme is…..

THE MESSAGE OF HOPE!

In the comics, the superhero Batman, gives a sense of hope by restoring order, from the “bad guys” in the fictitious city of Gotham. Superman was sent from a “fallen” planet, Krypton, as a last vessel of “hope”, to protect Earth. Captain America was created to defeat the axis power of evil, giving hope, during a depressing time in American history.

However, in the life of a Christian, we look to the stories of the Holy Bible, for the theme of hope.

“What is the Christian hope?”

Our hope is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. He is the Hope. He is the restoration of order, in all things great and small. He defeats our enemies. He is our protection.

“For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15 ,and

Hebrews 6:19 “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…

Jesus also, left us with a symbol of hope. No it’s not a diamond shape, with an “S” in the middle, nor does law enforcement shine a light in the sky to signal.

It’s actually quite plain. Our symbol is the old rugged cross, where He poured out the ULTIMATE HOPE.  His mercy and tender love for all of mankind, was done on that cross. He made a way, when there was no way possible.

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WE CAN BE MESSENGERS OF THIS HOPE.

Let’s face it; we live in a fallen world. People are desperate for hope. They want to know, is this life worth living. People want to feel secure, loved and accepted.

Give them HOPE, in the One that is our Hope.

One of my favorite, faithful bold messengers of hope in the Bible, which I pray my son will admire, was Isaiah.

Isaiah’s entire ministry was to proclaim the coming Messiah, our HOPE.

When the Lord asked “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah said “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

What a powerful answer! I pray that I raise my son to be a man who wants to be a messenger, just like Isaiah.

But for now, I’ll let my little Mike save the day, dressed like Superman. My deep desire is that he holds onto the prayers I whisper in his ear at night “The world is crying, they are looking for someone, something to put their hope in. Come along aside them son, and tell them of a hope named JESUS.”

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