Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God's plans are, by FAR, way better than mine...

Wow!! I must say....I am completely AMAZED by God's goodness to me (to US)!! Most people know what happened two-and-a-half years ago when my husband lost our job and things just kinda spiraled out of control. Not "kinda", but MAJORLY spiraled out of control...Throughout these trials in our life, God was working on me and teaching me the value of trusting and relying on Him 100% COMPLETELY! I won't lie...I struggled with that! I was like Peter from the Bible...I started to look at the mess and storms of my life and took my eyes off of Jesus and I began to sink. My marriage with my husband was struggling...we were just barely making it. These were times that we didn't know what our future would hold.....but, God did!

God knew, because His hand was on it all!!

On August 1st, 2011, my husband started a new job that just fell into His lap. So much so that I knew that it MUST be God! This job pays him $8 more an hour, allows David to get overtime, and, the best part......BENEFITS!!!!! Awesome benefits!!!! This is such a huge answer to prayer!! He will also be doing jobs where he will be sent to work in other countries!! We are sooo blessed and have realized over the course of our hardships that Christ is in control and takes care of us!! He has grown me and has brought David and I closer together in our marriage and is providing for us. We are still short saling our home, as we are too far behind in payments, but we understand now that it's just "stuff" and God has something way better in store for us!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

A New Me...My OWN Me!

Disclaimer: This is therapeutic to me and is not meant to be taken as a "bashing" on anyone (except maybe ME)!

There are some major things weighing heavily on my mind, lately, and I just feel like talking about them. When I look back on how I was raised, the environment I grew up in, and my life now, I really get frustrated...mainly at myself, since that is who I am responsible for. I saw a quote recently from Rick Warren, who stated, "You are a product of your past, but it doesn't have to be your present..." And, that struck a chord in me...Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't grow up in a home where there was any sexual or physical abuse going on, but, I KNOW that there are things that was said and done that made me into who I am today...some good, some bad!

As some of you may know, for as long as I can remember, I have always had a very strained relationship with my mother. I mean, if I can be honest, when I hit my "teenage" years, no, I wasn't always the easiest child to live with or love for that matter. I don't know if it was hormones or the fact that JUST before that stage in my life, I was bullied and treated like scum at school....OR the latter! All I know is, my mom and I have clashed ever since I was able to talk...

The problem that I struggle with now is.....working on NOT becoming the very thing that I despise in my mother! I don't ever want to become so impatient and angry with my kids that I would ever refer to them as a "brat", no matter how "bratty" they may be acting at the time. I never forgot that.

It seems like the more time progresses and moves forward, the more my parents want to make me more of an "enemy" than their friend or daughter. If she felt compelled to choose sides between one of my siblings and myself, she will choose them EVERY time....even when I am in the right. Even my aunt said some really hurtful things about me to my mother and she did not defend me. That hurt more than I think SHE even knows....even though I have tried to explain it a million times. When did I NOT become worth defending??? Or was I ever?? Did I deserve to be thrown up against a locker with a pocket knife held to my neck at 12-years old?? Was it something I did or said that made it okay for my ex- to grab me by the neck and throw me up against the car and push me?? Did I deserve to be called a "Brat" my whole life?? When does it end??

The sad thing is....the very things she despises in me is the VERY thing she, maybe it's not ME she hates.

Please don't misunderstand this blog. I am not writing this to demean or insult my mom. She is who she is and I can't control that (which, I admit, is REALLY frustrating...), but, is it safe to say that I don't want to be like her?? When does it become NOT "honoring" your parents anymore by saying that?? But, I see things that I have gotten from her and trust me....if you know what I'm talking about and hate that about me, then just know, I LOATHE those things a thousand times more and I can guarantee you...I am more critical about myself than anyone can ever say to me.

Maybe, I'm a little gutsy in writing this blog, but, when I have everything written out, I can better gather my thoughts and feelings.

I don't know if you have ever felt what I am feeling, but, it's a daily struggle! And, I can't finish this blog without mentioning the awesomeness of God in my life! He is not finished with me, yet!! He loves me no matter what!! He is so in love with me that He will not let me stay this way....and, I have to say....I am SOOO in love with my Jesus!! Thanks, Daddy, for loving and accepting me for who I am!! I would NOT be here today if it weren't for Your grace and compassion on me and my life!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two's...Terrible or Terrific??

I hate it when people ask me if my son has hit the "Terrible Two's", yet. What does THAT even mean?!?! We were out to get my son's haircut and other errands when I was confronted with that question. My response?? "He's a great kid!" How else was I supposed to answer that?? I mean, Cobin is TWO, so he is going to think, act, and behave like a two-year old....if you find that to be "terrible" than you may be missing out on one of God's greatest blessings in this life.

I would not want my son to be anybody else, but himself and who God wants him to be. At this age, it is natural for him to explore and test the boundaries. It is my duty as his parent to protect him from things that could harm them. However, I need to give him just enough freedom to be who he is and who it is that God is and will be growing him to be. That's not terrible at's TERRIFIC!!

How would we feel if God took that approach to us as His child?? "Oh....(sigh)...there goes Krystal again!! Man!! When is she going to grow out of her Terrible Thirties?? She is driving me crazy!!" Look back at your life in which you chose to rebel instead of listening to what God wanted you to do. There are MANY times in my life where God probably thought I was going through my "Terrible Teens", "Terrible Twenties", and maybe even "Terrible Thirties", but regardless of my selfish and rebellious attitude, God still thinks I'm TERIFFIC!!!!

Shouldn't we take on the same attitude?? Psalm 127:3 says, "Behold, Children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the Womb is a reward..." Our children is a gift straight from Heaven itself!! To look at your kids in a negative light (even in joking) can really do more damage to your child's self-esteem than you may ever know.

Let your child express him/herself in the way they want (as long as it is not harmful and/or at the expense of someone else) without them feeling like they will be ridiculed for doing so (BE that safe haven), STILL set boundaries for them (from what I hear, kids LOVE boundaries), and let's change our attitudes about how we feel about our kids. Everything we do, say and act toward them marks on the slate of who they are. They need to know that they are precious, valued and extremely loved...a gift from God!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Rocking My Son To Sleep...

OK, let's face it. It has been WAY too long since my last blog and I must say that when I posted that last blog, I was in a major funk and I just had to get my feelings out. Trust helps! I cannot and will not apologize for those feelings when I wrote it, though, because it is ALL a part of this journey that God is (and continues to) bringing me through. And, whoever said that Christians should never feel sad and/or defeated is just plain misguided and needs to read Scripture.
Just for the record, I apologize if this blog seems to go all over the place. I think my mind has A.D.D.! :o)

Anyway...I just got finished holding my 17 and a half month old son and rocking him to sleep for his nap. I could just hold him forever. The days, months and years are going by way too fast, I can't even keep up with them. But, as I was rocking him, I found myself humming....I was humming a hymn classic that goes, "I love you, Lord...and, I lift my worship you, Oh my soul, REJOICE...take joy, my what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear..." And, it hit me like a bullet in the biggest desire and prayer in this world is for my son to DAILY utter those words in his mind and heart for the rest of his life! I am truly understanding the HUGE responsibility that God has given David and me as parents of this beautiful, precious gift! I also know that it is SO important that I show him so much love and make sure that he knows that everyday!! There is nothing more in this life that I value more than the "true" things that matter in this life. To me, that is....MEMORIES!!

Family is everything to me. The memories that are made mean SO much more to me. When David and I moved into our home 2 and a half years ago, we felt like it was God's hand leading us here. We thought that THIS very place is where many memories will be made...for 20 or more years. When David lost his job and we could no longer afford our home, yes, I was devastated because everything we had dreamed of was suddenly changing and not turning out the way we had expected. At this point, I had been "living" in this house just waiting for the day that we would get the notice telling us that we only had 30 days to find a place to live and move out. I would be lying to you if I said that I never worried or struggled with "fear" and heartbreak of that very thought.

I no longer put photos up or fact, I contemplated going ahead and taking down what I DID have on the walls and start packing, not really having any clue of our fate (or, I mean, um, God's plan...yes.). But, then something hit my heart like a ton of bricks. It was as if God was saying..."Live for the moments NOW!! Don't wait! THESE are precious times. Oh, and by the way....STOP WORRYING! I got this. Just trust in Me."

Thus began my special project to myself and I decided to make a "FAMILY" wall. I took down this HUGE painting we had on the dining room wall and put up a big sign that says, "Family" and, one by one, I begin to hang pictures of the people in my life that I love...the people in my life that mean the most to remind me of the blessings of this life...the priceless treasures.

In this life, I don't want to be remembered as a person who didn't embrace what matters most and was too focused and distracted by things that, in the grand scheme of things, do not matter.

I want people to know me as a person who was afraid to break God's heart and whose ambition in life was to please Him wholeheartedly. And, I know that I am less than perfect. I don't even come remotely close. I want people to see that I clung onto Him through good times and difficult times in my life....and, I was also a person who struggled many times to make that happen. But, one of my HUGE desires on this earth is that my family understands how much they mean to me and the quality that we ever spent together one-on-one or all together was extremely meaningful in my life.

All in's not the money, the house, the job or car that matters...the only things that matter are those people in your life that mean the world to you and the memories that you make....REGARDLESS of your circumstances!! I thank God for those memories. To me, THAT is all that matters.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where do I go from here?

It's been a little over a year now since our precious little boy was born and since my husband lost his job. I just have to blog because there is so much going on in my head, I just don't know how else to get it out. I have conflicting feelings going on in my head and a lot of guilt to follow that up. Six weeks after our son was born, I chose to quit my job and stay home with my baby, even though David had lost his job and was searching for a new one. Was it a wise choice or a selfish one? I feel so guilty because now, we are losing our home and are still struggling financially. My heart breaks at the outcome of our life. And, as a Christian, I find myself thinking that I need to be strong and "trust God" with everything, right? But, why can't I just be real about who I am without feeling guilty? A human...with REAL struggles, hardships, and feelings....
There are times that I wish that I could just stay in bed forever because I don't understand the seems that everything that I reach for turns to dust. I feel like a failure on this roller coaster of life. Nothing seems to be working out for us. I want to dwell on the positive of this, but, in my finite mind, I cannot grasp it. There is not much in which I have been successful in. It kills me to feel like a failure...I want to be good at something. I want to give my family something to be proud of. Instead, I feel like I am just a screw up...I don't know where my life is headed, but, I am really depressed. I need God to come sweep in and save the day...I am not sure how much more that I can handle. Life hurts too much right now!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

To Sum Up 2009...The Journey Within...

For those of you who have been in my life this past year know our journey...and, man, what a journey it has been. Just a little recap...we started the year out with a new addition, our sweet little baby boy, Cobin James, who was born January 15th, 2009. Then, about 3 hours after he was born, I was struck with the upsetting news that my husband, David, had been laid off from his job THAT day. That was tough to hear, but, I didn't want it to take away from the gift that we had received that day....our precious baby boy!!
Over the course of the first several months that followed, it was a difficult time for me. I didn't understand why this had to happen to us. Many thoughts ran through my mind..."What should be our next step?", "How could we possibly afford to take care of our child?", "How can we afford to pay our bills, mortgage, etc...?"! We prayed and hoped and prayed some more...all the while, David was applying left and right for jobs...but, still nothing!
We had AMAZING friends who helped us through this time of need with things like diapers, wipes, gift cards, etc....our church family was there for us (and still is...), also! We couldn't have felt a more outpouring of love if we tried!
But, through it all, all that I kept hearing was that I just needed to "Trust the Lord..." and that He (God) won't "forsake His children or let their seed beg for bread..." Being how I was raised in the church, I knew how the verses went...but, to put all that head knowledge to practice now? Let me be honest...that was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to learn. And, through it all, I was just expecting the Lord to come riding on His horse with His shining armour on and rescue us from these hardships and struggles. I remember saying, "there is no way God would allow us to go through this for Him to just NOT come and save the day and put things back together again".
Throughout this past year, I have gotten to meet people with worst situations than us. I visited a lady in the hospital who went paralyzed in March, who was stuck in the hospital for many, many months. I was able to be a blessing to people through different outreach projects and events. I learned that, regardless of our situation, I was genuinely blessed!
Well, after 7 months of searching for a job, David finally landed one...thank God! It was a rather lower paying job, but nevertheless, it was a job!! That means we're done, right? No more struggles....right? Ha ha...yeah, not quite...God was not done with me. There was more that I needed to learn. The "wordly" treasures that I held so dear and close?? Well, it's just stuff....and, well....I needed to learn to let go of it. So, this year, we made the decision to give it up and let God take control of it...ALL OF IT! We decided to go ahead and try and 'short sale' our home because we were too behind financially that we could no longer make payments. We decided that we just needed to let it all go and allow God to do as He will...besides, it's all His anyway, right?
I am letting go and letting God! It has been a hard lesson to learn, but, I know I would not be who I am if it weren't for Him. He is refining me into His mold, which is WAY better than anything that I could make myself! And, I know that I am not perfect, but, I am learning each and everyday. And, while 2009 was a tough year for us, the lesson I learned through it was invaluable and I would not change a thing! I had been WAY too comfortable up until that point.

I am thankful for the journey that He has taken me on. What a trip!!!!


Krystal Gracy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tough Times!!

I was not sure I even wanted to blog this as once we get through this, I will never want to think about this again. We, my husband and I, are victims of the economy. The DAY our new baby was born, my husband lost his job and a mere 6 months later, we are still in the same boat and things are more stressful than ever. Bills have to be paid and we have to eat and our son needs diapers and neither of us have a job. I was REALLY hoping to be a stay-at-home mom, but, now, I find myself filling out applications to be a server at a restaurant just to try and make ends meet. Our situation has wreaked havoc on our lives...and, while I am "trying" to stay positive and trust God, I struggle daily because I have no clue what is going to happen...and, come on, let's be honest, we are all human and when it comes to our well-being, daily I fall on my knees asking God why he has not answered our prayers. I don't really know how much more I can take. I feel bad when I express my struggle to David because I know that he feels bad about this whole, there it is, folks...I am at a loss for words as to what to do. I am hurting because even though God has provided through people in our lives, which has been amazing, I don't know how we are going to possibly pull through this. I don't feel like I am strong enough to deal with this. i really hope God pulls through for us.