Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Thankfulness: A Deeper Look

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 
- Psalm 100:4 

November has become the month of thankfulness. We see many people sharing what they are thankful for each day on social media. Not only does it make me smile but it also helps me to remember to count my blessings and live a life of gratitude.

Here are some definitions from google to gain some understanding of what it means to be thankful.

Thankful is defined as being pleased or relieved. Also, as expressing gratitude or relief.

Gratitude is defined as feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness.

Relieved is defined as no longer feeling distressed or anxious. 

I look back on the times I have listed the, "Today I am thankful for," things and wonder am I looking deep enough. There are all the obvious answers, God, life, salvation, spouses, family, fur babies, the Bible, etc. Those are wonderful and blessed things and we should be thankful for them. Sometimes we stay too long on the surface and regurgitate what we know others want to hear. What about being thankful for some deeper things? Maybe even some things that may not seems worth thanking God for. The hard times, trials, illness, etc.

So today, I want to look deeper and pull out some of those hard things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for:

The times my heart was broken, it taught me that not every person was the one who God had for me.

The panic attacks and anxiety, it has forced me to ask for help and learn more about myself.

The pain of fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other issues, it has forced me to slow down and learn how to take care of myself.

These things have also taught me to be more compassionate and empathetic.  It has taught me to be more understanding and not to jump to conclusions. Not all illnesses are visible.

Can you think of a "not so good" thing and find a way to be thankful for it?

For the Lord  is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
-Psalm 100:5 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October Comes to a Close {Day 31: Close}

As October comes to a close
I wonder what did I accomplish.
I saw the leaves change colors
and some of them fall.
I notice the beauty in the rain
and gray clouds.

I lost two beloved pets
the heartbreak is intense.
They are like my children
not many understand.
Their love and personalities
all unique and amazing.

More self awareness
and tools to ground.
Learning to filter out the noise
and negative energy.
Recharging and reconnecting
with myself.

Flared days and brain fog
from bed to recliner.
Ice packs and heating pads
fuzzy socks and warm leggings.
Pillows for comfort
And fur baby snuggles.

Online book and Bible studies
Begin and end.
Lessons learned and
Friendships made.
Anticipation for the next one
Brings me hope.

Postcards and letters
Mailed out.
Brain dump journaling
And blogging.
Sharing my thoughts
In hopes that it encourages someone.

As October comes to a close
I know it may not be much
But I have accomplished
Some things.
This gives me motivation for
The opening of November.

We Have Been Given A Voice {Day 30: Voice}

Adonai, in the morning you will hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my needs before you
and wait expectantly. 
~Psalm 5:3

We have been given a voice 
To pray to God,
To share His truth,
To speak kindness.

We have been given a voice
To speak life,
To encourage,
To inspire.

We have been given a voice
To speak up for ourselves,
To share our hurts,
To share our dreams.

We have been given a voice
Don't hold back,
Don't shut down,
Don't shrink back.

We have been given a voice
Find yours,
Use it,
Stand strong.

We Are Better Together {Day 29: Together}

Just as iron sharpens iron,

    a person sharpens the character of his friend.
~Proverbs 27:17

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who is honest,
and will tell you when you are wrong.
With love and respect
helping each other grow.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who is loving,
understanding and compassionate.
Who will listen
and hold space for you.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who will pray,
share the scripture and encourage.
Who will study with you
and teach you to learn on your own.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have friend. 
One who to laugh with,
share you dreams and goals.
Who will inspire you
and push you to move forward.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who loves God,
follows His commands and walks that path.
Who will hold you steady when you stumble
and pick you up when you fall.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who knows you well
can tell when you are happy or hiding behind a fake smile.
Who will let you cry or sit in silence
with no judgment.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who prays for your marriage,
believes in your bond.
Who advises in all truth
and reminds you of its sacredness.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who is also your soulmate, 
and your lifetime love.
Who stands beside you 
as you both ride out life's storms.

Oh, How Sweet it is

 to have a friend.
One who makes calms you
and cheers you up when you are down.
Who reminds you to rest when pain is high
and brings you coffee with a smile.

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
One who loves you as you are
and tells you every day.
Who prays with and for you
and believes in you. 

Oh, How Sweet it is to have a friend.
Those that God knows you need
and need you.
Hold on to them
treat them as you want them to treat you.

 Two are better than one, in that their cooperative efforts yield this advantage: if one of them falls, the other will help his partner up — woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up. Again, if two people sleep together, they keep each other warm; but how can one person be warm by himself?  Moreover, an attacker may defeat someone who is alone, but two can resist him; and a three-stranded cord is not easily broken.
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Sing a Song {Day 28: Song}

Music has always been a big part of my life. when I was in 3rd or 4th grade I had this little white boom box with a strap. I would take it to school and walk around the playground jamming Bon Jovi or something like that. Every day after school I would go straight to my room put on a cassette and read a book or do homework. At night I would put my boom box on my bed with a stack of cassettes to listen to, so I could fall asleep.

I love all the old hymn book we sing out of during church service. There is something about those old songs sung accapella with a group of people. It puts me in the presence of God! Every summer that I went camping with my uncle, aunt, and cousin we would sing out of our devotional folders around the camp fire. It was such a perfect setting to sing praises to the Lord. 

I have so many favorite songs. So many that hold meaning for me and take me back to different moments in my life. Some happy and some sad. Some bring back memories of old friends, birthday parties, summer time in the country, school, late night phone calls with friends, sitting at the table writing letters, family gatherings, and cruising around town. 

Memories of music from elementary. I was a 80"s hair band, rock, metal girl. I love guitar! 
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin' on, we got to try
Holdin' on to never say goodbye

My favorite hymn: This always reminds me to pray and that I am never alone...He walks with me.
I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear, falling on my ear The Son of God discloses And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am His own And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known

This song reminds me of riding around with my husband delivering the newspapers.
I got a pocket, Got a pocketful of sunshine I've got a love and I know that it's all mine Oh, oh, oh Do what you want, But you're never gonna break me, Sticks and stones are never gonna shake me Oh, oh, oh

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Made Whole In Love {Day 27: Whole}

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten  Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 
- John 3:16 

Made whole 
In His love.

No requirements 
Just acceptance.

He filled the void
Nothing else could.

Prayed for earthly love.
Almost gave up

Then a smile 
Laughter and holding hands.

Two become on. 
Made whole.

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
- Ecclesiastes 4:12 

Just a Moment {Day 26: Moment}

" the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
A new creation.
Best moment in life.

Fourteen years old,
Sure of this decision.
Ready to join.
Take up my cross
Become family.

In a moment
My life changed.

Of salvation so sweet.
Never turning back,
Never losing sight,
Focused on the One.

Time passes.
Moments of

Holding on
Even if by a thread.
Crying out
He hears,
He pulls me up.

Ups and downs.
Going off course.
Losing balance,
Blurred focus,

Remember Gethsemane
Pray in the garden
He walks with me
I am never

Moments of

Moments of

These and more
Make up a life.
The good
The bad
All lessons.

Moments of
True love.

Moments of
Counting years
Hoping for more.
Making memories.
Holding hands.

Moments that
Make a life
Living and

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Capture a Moment {Day 25: Capture}

A moment in time.

Flood our minds
With memories.

As we gaze into
Our young faces
Nostalgia hits.

Riding bikes,
Jumping rope,
Playing kick ball.

Learning how to do a cartwheel,
Hanging upside down,
Swinging on the monkey bars.

Camp fires,
Shooting stars,
Cow slime.

Dear diary,
Band posters,
Black painted walls.

Best friends,
Sleep overs.

Phone calls,

Heart break,
Scaling the edge.

Purple lipstick,

Silver blade.

Putting up walls.

Losing trust,
Holding on,
Then letting go.

Mount Calvary,
Wondering why.

Growing up,
Fork in the road.

Good decisions,
Bad decisions,

Making a way.

Soul mate,
Lifetime love.

Capture moments
In life.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Paw Prints on Our Hearts {Day 24:Brief}

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 
- Matthew 5:4 

Your time with us was brief
But the impact you made will last a lifetime.
Fox and Trevor, 
We will love and miss you always.

Cute faces,
Sweet souls,
Loving hearts,
Wrapped in soft fur.

A gift from God,
To watch you run and play,
Cuddle with your dad and Samson,
To hold you close and hear you purr.

With broken hearts we mourn,
We pray for answers, 
Rely on God for comfort, 
Knowing you are running and playing
In that heavenly place.

Trevor, Fox, and their dad Neville.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Common Love {Day 23: Common}

"A common love for each other
A common gift to the Saviour
A common bond holding us to the Lord

A common strength when we are weary
A common hope for tomorrow
A common joy in the truth of God's word"
~Charles F. Brown

A common love
In a time of hate.
A common love
In a time of selfishness.
A common love 
In a time of fear.
This is what we need.

A common gift
Of compassion. 
A common gift 
Of kindness.
A common gift 
Of mercy.
This is what we must give.

A common bond
In peace.
A common bond
In forgiveness. 
A common bond
In grace.
This is what we must have.

A common strength 
In encouragement.
A common strength 
In honesty.
A common strength 
In prayer.
This is how we serve.

A common hope
To hold onto.
A common hope
To believe in.
A common hope 
In miracles.
This is how we overcome.

A common joy
In laughter.
A common joy
In God's beauty.
A common joy
In friendship.
This is what helps us push through.

Help me, Lord! {Day 22: Help}

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
- Psalm 22:19

Help me, Lord!
Keep me going
Keep me hopeful
Keep me focused.

Help me, Lord!
Show me the way
Show me how to overcome
Show me how to filter out the noise.

Help me, Lord!
Speak so I can hear
Speak so I can understand
Speak so I can heal.

Help me, Lord!
Be my strength
Be my fortress
Be my shield.

Help me, Lord!
Be my protector
Be my peace
Be my rest.

Help me, Lord!
Guide me on my journey
Hold my hand when I stumble
Pick me up when I fall.

Help me, Lord!
To be peaceful
To be kind
To be compassionate.

Help me, Lord!
To be understanding
To be forgiving
To be encouraging.

Help me, Lord!
To be gentle
To be mindful
To be loving

To me.

Help me, Lord!

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
- Psalm 121:2

Re-Start Believing {Day 21:Start}

We all want to believe in something.
We all want to believe we can do great things.
In the beginning maybe we do believe.
Then we forget.
Lose sight.
We stop believing.

Maybe it is time to
Re-start believing.
Recharge the batteries,
Reflect on the beauties,
Remember the miraculous

A pledge
A promise
To self.
Start believing
It will get better.
Start believing
Every day is a new beginning.
Start believing
In your abilities.
Start believing
You want to live.

Start speaking
Positive affirmations.
Start speaking
Life to your tired soul.
Start speaking
Love to your worn out heart.
Start speaking
Great things into existence.

Start trying
New things.
Start trying
To accept yourself.
Start trying
To understand yourself.
Start trying
To heal yourself .

In the believing,
In the speaking,
In the trying,
You start becoming.
You start growing.
You start seeing the wonderous beauty
That is living.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Audience of One Please! {Day 20:Audience}

An audience of one please!

I skipped public speaking in college because it terrified me! I was already battling anxiety and panic attacks, so there was no chance I was going to sign up for that class! I remember the days I had a presentation to do in front of a class, even a small one, I was unable to get out of my car without panicking. It got so bad, I had to drop out of college more than once. I would like to say it has gotten much better since then but it hasn't.

I dream about standing up in front of a crowd and giving my testimony of how far I have come, what I have overcome, what I have learned with God's help. I dream about teaching a Bible study class for a small audience of women, not online, but I just can't. 

My cell phone and social media have become the audience I can address, sometimes. Even then, my hands shake, my heart races, and I overthink every word.

An audience of One please!
The One that matters. The One that guides. The One that saves, shows mercy, and extends grace when I stumble over my words or make a mistake. In front of this audience I don't have to fear ridicule, shame, or being made to feel stupid.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.The Lord  is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
 - Psalm 34:17-18 

Who am I? {Day 19:Who}

Who am I?
The obvious,
I am Crissy.
A woman.
You get the idea.

I still struggle
To find the answer.
A Believer in God.
Fur mom,
Pen pal.

All of these.
Is there more?
A day dreamer,
In chronic pain,

A lover of
Rainy days,
The moon,

Just shy.
If I trust.

Lack of
Work in progress.

God says,
Fearfully and wonderfully made,
Strong in Him,
Given a purpose,

Who am I?
A mixture
Of all these things
And more.
A failure,
An overcomer,
Not good enough,
Human on a journey.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Searching for the Best {Day 18:Search}

In search of the best.
The best life,
The best clothes,
The best shoes,
The best house,
Just the best.

The struggle is universal.
Everyone wants it.
Some will push,
Step on,
And hurt others,
For the best.

I searched.
I struggled.
I pushed.
Came close to stepping on,
Probably hurt someone,
For what looked like the best.

There is always something
The best is

Or is it?
My search changed,
Lead me to a place
I didn't have to struggle to reach.
It is filled with love and peace,
Grace and a Savior.

He is the Best!
The Answer,
The Way,
The Truth,
The Light in the dark,
The Giver of life.

Where will your search take you?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Learning the Pause {Day 17:Pause}

I kept looking for the pause button.
Just a short rest,
Time to recharge,
Change perspective.

I filled my days with busy.
This was the way,
The world said so,
Keep pushing,
Don't stop.

The pause button is illusive.
In my sights,
My heart says,
Reach out,
Take a breath.

Distraction by the busy.
The pause
Slipped by,
Kept pushing.

My body forced a pause.
Brief moments of
Lapsed time,
Left wondering.

More force for the pause.

I took the leap
Then pushed.
Tried to fix.
Didn't allow the true pause.

There is a day,
To pause.
Sabbath rest.
Sabbath peace.

I now take that pause
Work in progress,
Learning the pause,

Just Pray {Day 16:Pray}

To pray is to hope,
To pray is to have faith,
To pray is to believe,
To pray is to communicate
with the One who knows.

Prayer is powerful.
Powerful enough to change our perspective,
Powerful enough to calm our fears,
Powerful enough to bridge the gap,
In Yeshua's Name.

Prayer helps me sleep,
Prayer helps me stay awake,
Prayer helps me endure the pain,
To hear, one day, "Well done."

Prayer brought me our of darkness,
Prayer brought me to true love,
Prayer brought me to forgiveness,
Nothing else would do.

To pray is peace,
To pray is strength,
To pray is grace,
It brings us to that sacred place.

To pray is honesty,
To pray is listening,
To pray is communication.
The ultimate love story.

When? {Day 15:When}

When will I be okay?
When will I be able to accept those things I can't change?
When will I love myself fully?

I would like to believe this will all happen soon.
I would like to believe that I can fix everything.
I would like to believe that when all that is done, I will love me.

The past and future collide,
The present is chaotic
With why's and what if's.
With when's and if only's.
With once this and that happen.
When will the smoke clear?

When will I be okay?
Okay with being me,
Okay with my struggles,
Okay with what I see in the mirror.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Just Ask {Day 14:Ask}

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. - Luke 11:10 

I asked for strength,
He gave it.
I asked to be saved, 
He saved me.
I asked to understand,
He gave me wisdom.
I asked for answers,
He spoke through His Word.
I asked for love,
He poured it down and filled me with it.
I asked for hope,
He shared what I needed to hold on to.
I asked for help,
He made a way.
I am still asking, 
He is still providing what I need.

Have you asked Him?

Talking To Cleanse The Soul {Day 13:Talk}

Stringing words together,
Forming sentences into
Long conversations
Lasting well into the night.
This is the type of talk I love.

Sharing our dreams, goals, beliefs
And what lies deep in our souls.
Sharing with one who truly understands
One who will not try to fix
Advise or roll their eyes.
Just listen
Just understand
Accept all of me
And share themselves .

A talk like that
Refreshes the heart
And clears the mind.
A talk like that
Opens new pathways
And helps us get a glimpse
If only for a moment
Into each others lives.

I have talks like this
In my mind
In my dreams
But not so much
Out loud.
Fear binds my tongue.

God hears
When my heart cries out
When my mind has jumbled thoughts
When my soul speaks.
That's enough.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Praising In The Darkness {Day 12: Praise}

In the darkest of days I catch myself waking up singing a praise song in my head. It may be on I heard the day before or one I haven't heard in years. I am grateful for those mornings because it reminds me of where my focus needs to be. Especially when I am overwhelmed with life.

This is something I do only in the presence of my husband or alone - I break out in song at the most random times. When we used to work for the newspaper we would go out delivering together and when our radio didn't work I would sing bits and pieces of songs as they popped into my head. I think I drove my husband crazy! It helped me though. It helped to relieve stress, let out some feelings through song, and most times lift up some praise to God.

Music has been a huge part of my life. I was the kid, teen, young adult, 40 year old woman (now) with headphones on listening to the most eclectic mix of songs you can imagine. I used to make mixed tapes and cds based on what I was feeling. One cd I remember started with a hard rock song, then a Spanish pop song, then a Christian praise song, and on it went like that. Every moment the was something different. A different emotion ran through me as I listened and sang each word. The song didn't dictate my emotion, my emotion dictated what song I would listen to.

Recently, I have tried to add much more praise and worship music to that list. Much of that is based on where my focus is most days, on God. I know that no matter how dark the days get, He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory.

Here is a song I have been singing in my head when I wake up. I hope you like it!

Shalom Aleichem

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Doors Lead to a Great Many Places {Day 11: Door}

We walk through so many doors in life. Some lead to magnificent places and others lead to horrible ones. I have walked through doors that led to new jobs, meeting new people, and fun. I have walked through doors that have led to loss, hurt feelings, and panic. 

As a matter of fact I just found a story I begin writing in 2000 and it reminded me of a door I walked through accidentally and it was quite hilarious. I was 17 years old I believe and it was my first summer staying in the dorms of our local university as a part of the Upward Bound program for High School students. I met one of my best friend's there and it was her door I ran through instead of mine.

It was lights out and we all had to be in our own rooms. For some reason we were all daring each other to run through the hall and get back to the room before the counselors caught us. It was my turn. I went the the bathroom and then ran in my sock covered feet on the slippery hallway floor and could barley contain my laughter. Footsteps, panic, and I ran for what I thought was my door. Nope! It took me a few seconds to realize it. I even asked, "why are you in my room?" Then it dawned on me and the laughter erupted and I slipped back through the door and finally into my own room. These types of moments were rare for me. I was shy and afraid to draw attention to myself. Even now, writing this, my cheeks flush and I feel that embarrassment set it.

Now for a more serious door.  The door that lead me to salvation and a closer wall with God. I was very young when I sought this door out. Even then I was tired of this world. The loss and traumas of a childhood can do that to a girl. I heard so many times that this Creator loved me, wanted me to choose Him, and would give me a better life (I didn't understand then that the better life may come after this one). I heard the story if Jesus' sacrifice and why He had done it. How could I refuse to wall through that door!? 

It was the best decision I have ever made! Life has still been hard, traumatic at times, has had loss, grief, sadness but through it all I have hope is the One who made me and His promises. I have seen His hand at work in my life even in the darkest of times. 

There have been moments when I wanted to walk out of that door and leave all my faith behind. But I held on. Sometimes just with the edge of my fingers. It was enough though because that is when He reached out, grabbed my hand, and pulled me back up.

Will you walk through that door if you haven't already? If you have, how old were you when you did?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

How Do I Live? {Day 10: How}

About 30 years ago (10 years old) I wondered, "how I, a little girl, could live like Yeshua (Jesus)?" I went to Sunday school classes, listened to the sermons from the pulpit, attended VBS, and read my Bible.  One thing was clear, even then, love God and love others.

How do I do that? Well, in 30 years this is what I have learned:

💜 To love Yahweh (God) is to take time to get to know Him.

😇Read the Bible
😇Learn and follow His commandments
😇Pray - be in constant communication with Him.
😇Surrender your life to Him.
😇Choose Him.
😇Confess, repent, be baptized, change your life.
😇Live like His Son, Yeshua (Jesus).
😇Be faithful

💜To live and love like Yeshua and to love Him is to take time to get to know Him.

😇Read the Bible
😇Follow in His footsteps
😇Take time to be alone with Yahwineh
😇Be an example of love and goodness
😇Speak truth
😇Follow the commandments
😇Confess, repent, be baptized in His name
😇Love people
😇Be faithful

💜To love people is to see them through the eyes of Yahweh and...

😇Be genuine
😇Be honest
😇Be compassionate
😇Be patient
😇Be kind
😇Be gentle
😇Be faithful
😇Be helpful
😇Be understanding 
😇Be a light in their darkness
😇Tell them about the love of Yahweh
😇Tell them about Salvation through Yeshua

This is a short list of the things I have learned to help me answer the question my 10 year old self had, "How do I live like Yeshua?"

Your Story Can Inspire {Day 9: Inspire}

In my first blog post of this 31 day series I mentioned that I loved listening to a person tell a story. When we share our stories we can inspire and encourage others.  We can help people understand they are not alone in their struggles.

Throughout the Bible there are inspiring stories. Some help to strengthen our faith, our prayer life, and our hope. Some teach us lessons, some tell us how to live, and some give us a glimpse into the future.

One story I always think about when I feel like I am losing my hope is Hannah's. Day after day she longed for a child. She was made to feel as if she was inferior by Penninah, who "provoked (Hannah) severely to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb." Even still she held on to God. She cried out to Him, "O LORD of hosts, of You will indeed look on  the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,  but will give Your maidservant a Male child, then I will give Him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

We know that He heard her and granted her prayer. She kept her vow to God and gave Samuel to Him in service. "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted my petition which I asked of Him."

This story touches my heart for many reasons. But today I want to share why it inspires me. Hannah, even though loved by her husband, had to share him with Penninah who had children while Hannah couldn't. Penninah made Hannah's life miserable. How many of us have been made miserable by another person's words and actions (maybe not another wife, thank God, but someone)? Many times because of those hurts we lose hope, faith, and at times even stop praying. Hannah held on! She knew, in His perfect timing, she would conceive a child. She believed in the power of prayer! She cried out to Him, spoke to Him from her soul, and didn't care who witnessed her tearful plea. He granted her prayer.

We may need to wait awhile for the "yes," and sometimes we may need to learn the lesson of why the answer is a "no." We just need to hold on. Keep seeking Him out and crying out to Him.

Who will you inspire with your story?