Tuesday, November 24, 2015


3. It’s the HOLIDAY SEASON- and who DOESN’T want to master a new look for all the fun gatherings during the season?! I know I like to look back in photos and say, ‘dang , I looked good’… I want you to feel that way too! #Confidence

2. I don’t fit in your clutch or purse- As much as I wish I could be the makeup fairy and fly around to all of my favorite beauties to give you a touch up here or apply some falsies there- I can’t- so the next best thing- is for you to be empowered (and empowered with TOOLS)  to do it without me there!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Me?! An Idolater?!

It was a little over a year ago I was challenged in my heart to admit I was an idolater.

Out of all of the things Paul called out “adultery, fornication, witchcraft, hatred, murders, and idolaters” (Gal 5)… I wasn’t doing any of them…

 or was I?

A friend of mine had attended a conference where she purchased a book called Idol Lies: Facing the Truth About Our Deepest Desires by Dee Brestin

She defined 3 main idols that we can have:

Control / Power

Affirmation / Approval

Comfort / Security

I happen to love food… particularly coffee, and anything cake like. Doughnuts, cake… cake doughnuts… even brownies and cookies.. chocolate…mmmm… I enjoy good chocolate.. just being real.

Even as I write this… “love”…. Maybe I shouldn’t use this strong of a word for food anymore?

That warm gushy feeling inside when I think of a delicious warmed, fresh out of the oven chocolate chip deep dish cookie from Broadway Pizza topped with ice cream hot fudge and whipped cream!?... mmmm, yummy right?

It’s the feeling you may have just gotten by reading that. It’s the feeling associated with a thing. A created thing. Albeit a delicious, created thing… still- why do I feel an emotion when I partake of something like food?
IN FACT…Why do I feel an emotion when I partake of something like food…. ESPECIALLY when it isn’t even healthy for me? …

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying treats are evil… but I’m admitting something to you.

One of the deeply hidden, ugly, nasty, rotten roots in my heart has been an idol of comfort- and it looks really good- like the cookie I just mentioned a minute ago. But Jesus showed me how ugly it really looks in my heart. In the Spirit realm.

You see, I began to notice a pattern… anytime I would get in a very stressful situation, or I would have an argument with my husband, or I would feel anxiety or stress from a circumstance… I began to notice that the first thing I would do, is resolve that what I deserved was a treat!

That’s right! Dang-it! I deserve a GIANT piece of CAKE for what I just went through! And I’ll just go eat it in secret, and no one will know! But I’ll have a little pity party- complete with confetti frosting…

And I found myself actually indulging in eating to find my comfort.

Then, later… once I regretfully finished my “desert” that only made me feel 100 x worse… I would ask Jesus to comfort me…

You see… He wasn’t my first love. I had committed the greatest sin of all. I hadn’t loved Him most. And my actions were living proof.

If I had TRULY loved Him most- I would have RUN to His arms first, told Him how badly I want the cake- and how icky I feel inside- and He would wipe it all away. Because that’s what He does. He honors us when we take Him at His Word and put Him first.

Seek First His Kingdom and His righteousness, and ALL these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

It began to sink in that I actually had a comfort idol. It manifested in different ways. Food wasn’t the only way.

Here’s something that was really tough to uncover…

I liked my morning time. I would wake up early (6am), grab my devotionals and my Bible, brew myself a cup of coffee and sit by my window to have some time with Jesus. Sounds perfectly good right?!

But the frustration that would come over me if my little one would come walking right out 5 minutes after I sit down would overwhelm me. ‘How can I possibly seek You, Lord if I have my child in my lap and now he needs me?! I just can’t get anything done!’

I began to see a pattern. If I was doing this out of routine and “comfort”- Lincoln would, no doubt, come out almost right after I would sit down. And my time would be, what I thought at the time, “interrupted”…

If I was just up, and purely enjoying The Lord and His presence. Asking Him what He’d like me to read, listening FIRST, and actually seeking Him for Him- I would have the most amazing, incredible, drawn out times of devotion to Jesus I’ve ever had. I would hear Him clearly speak to my spirit. And, I kid you not, the MOMENT I was finished, Lincoln would come out of his room, in perfect time.

The Lord taught me that my heart had to be right if I wanted the honor of alone time in His presence. Also, I believe He was testing me. If I can’t even love on my son, and appreciate the gift God has given me, even if it is seemingly “interrupting” my time …( in truth- time to myself… not necessarily with God)… How am I even loving God truly?

My motives were all wrong sometimes- and those times- He would not bless.

But, the times when I was solely focused on my King, were blessed beyond measure.

It was that idol. That idol of comfort.

The comfort of being in solitude. The comfort of no noise, and no work. The comfort of being alone for just a moment. The comfort of doing whatever I wanted, for me. Having my thoughts to myself, uninterrupted.
Again, there is nothing wrong with having alone time, or taking care of yourself, and there is definitely nothing wrong with having time for devotion to Jesus… but what I am getting at here is the heart behind it.

And I am thankful that Jesus so graciously showed me the nasty roots in mine.

I am currently working on forever uprooting them.

What does God say we should do with our idols?...

1 John 5:21 “Little children- keep yourselves from idols, amen.”

Galatians 5:20 (that verse of what not to do I mentioned earlier?...) Idolaters… they shall not inherit the Kingdom of God… By the way, this is not talking about going to heaven.. our salvation is in Christ alone- by His grace alone. But I don’t want to miss out on what the Kingdom has for me now!

Colossians 3:5 “So KILL (deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members… for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God.”


I am not perfect. I won’t pretend to be. And even once I get rid of this comfort idol once and for all, I will always have more to work on. But this journey has been an intense one.

In fact, I believe God wants to deal with me on this so strongly He brought my family and I on an intentional journey just within the past few weeks.

Now, I believe there are many reasons for the journey we were on as a family, but I am going to deal with the topic I am already on.

The idol of comfort I am currently uprooting.

The good and sovereign Lord allowed my family to go through a 2 month period of not having a home.

Through a series of circumstances, when we thought we had enough time to find a home, thing, after thing, after thing, continued to fall through.

The average person would have looked at us and thought a number of various things.

That we were irresponsible, that we were idiots, that we need to get our crap together, that we weren’t trying, that we ‘should have’ this, and we ‘should have’ that… etc.

In all actuality,(even though this process has driven us to make some other personal changes in how we do things), I knew from the beginning- God was doing this for a purpose greater than I can even understand right now. And greater than most people would be able to understand along our journey.

Why would God allow us to be without a home, you ask?...

Technically He didn’t…

Well, technically He did, and technically He didn’t.

But you can read more about that in my other writings about our journey…

He took care of us the entire time.

We never went hungry, we never went without a roof.

But let me tell you something… it was EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Hmm… uncomfortable.

I think one of the first things one of my very closest friends told me was, “It’s almost as if God is stripping you of all of your comforts!”…


I knew what she had said was right!

That was ONE of the BIG things that our awesome God was doing. Now, I’m not saying He was punishing me, or saying, “FINE! I’m taking away all of your comforts! Boom! You’re homeless”…

But, I think that He was answering my prayers… You see- over the last year or so, I have been intentionally more prayerful.

I have been diligently asking The Lord for discernment, and letting Him know- if it’s not YOU – I don’t want it!

So I was very diligent in asking Him to close EVERY door that was not of Him… And let me tell you, He was not shy in closing every door… for two months straight…

At times it got discouraging. I was tempted to worry and fear what others were thinking and saying of me, my husband, and even my faith.

But I KNEW…. To the CORE of my being…. I KNEW, that God was in this, and HE was guiding us… we just needed to stay the course and stay patient.

I had days where I would burst into tears and just weep out of frustration, hurt feelings, feeling rejected, like a failure, like a leper.

I am human.

But God sweetly continued to remind me that He was holding us. And I trusted Him.

And even after door, after door, after door, after door, after door… (there were a lot more doors) was closed… Here I am, typing on my computer, in our home that God has given us. I am blessed.

Because, there was the one

The one door that God opened, and In His perfect timing. Almost 2 months to the day. I could not have planned this if I had tried. God needed to show His hand.

It was after all of these doors continued to close, that I began to beg for an open one- THE open one… and He continued to reassure me, “it’s coming” … and sure enough, it did.

I also recognize His hand in this because, the area He has planted us is not where I would have chosen. I figured it was a bit too far north of where we would typically work etc…

Within one weekend God showed me that not only are we directly between both of my parents at equal distances, but that we are only 10 minutes from our church, and only 5-10 minutes from countless friends from our church family whom we love dearly!

Can I just tell you, that in our 8 years of being married we have almost NEVER lived in the same city as our friends. If we did, there would be maybe one friend that one of us really loved, or enjoyed being with sometimes, but never couples, and families that we all enjoy being around.

Not only this, but we are ending up saving hundreds of dollars per month now that we live where we do, and we feel as though we have majorly upgraded

God knew. He knew exactly what we needed, but He needed to prepare our hearts, and our home 

I was reading in my Oswald Chambers devotional tonight, and it actually inspired me to write this piece…

Here is an excerpt: My Utmost for His Highest: July 16

“Matthew 7:11 ‘…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!’

…Keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything. (we must) maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

… God is there. . . . remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!”. . . it will be natural for (us) when difficulties and uncertainties arise…

…you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. . . God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry? . . .

At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He’s not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. . .

Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. “ask, and it will be given to you. . . “

Be encouraged, friends.

Be blessed.

And always remember, to GLOW from the inside out.

Love, Crystal

Friday, October 24, 2014

Loaves & Fishes... OR... Salads & Wraps....

That night was a night I will never forget. 

I’m not sharing it to boast, but I share it because I believe God wants to reach every single person on this earth with His love. He wants you to know- His love for you is deep… and I believe God goes to great lengths to get us to see His love (even through small acts of kindness or great ones) and to know personally that He does in fact have a passionate heart for you- for each individual.
He goes to great lengths- and I believe that He can truly reach with long arms when we respond to His call in the littlest things to the largest things. 

Last Friday night God called “the foolish things”… “The weak things”… to confound the wise and mighty… (1 Cor. 1:26-31)

Let me begin with a little background before I delve into the night’s events!
I am a part of a Women’s Ministry called: Destined Women. Once a month we have a “soaking” night. If you aren’t familiar with what that is, it is a night when for 2 or more hours we get together to “soak” in the presence of God. We play continuous worship music, pray, read in the Bible and just enjoy the presence of God and each other.

A week ago Friday was that night. On my way to this event I stopped to read the Bible and prepare my heart - and as I sat there and read, and prayed- I felt the heart of God drop into mine- and just had a burden to help people really know how much God loves them- and that He wants to walk with them in their everyday life.

A couple years ago I went out in Minneapolis and helped Piercing Hearts ministry hand out blankets and food and HUGS to people less fortunate- anyone who God put on our hearts to talk with, pray with, and give to.
My remembrance of this event stirred in me and I told God how I missed it and would love to do something like that again…

Throughout the night I felt God continuing to speak to me through prayers of my sisters, and through the still small voice inside that God is doing a new thing… This past week God had also put this verse on my heart: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches the deep things of God.” 1 Cor. 2:9
I’ve had people pray over me, recently that God is sending us into a season of change, and He has confirmed to me He is doing new things.

Sunday I got to spend the entire day with my dear friend, Anna. Anna is a part of Destined Women with me. First, she and I went hiking on some beautiful trails to enjoy the majesty of fall and its brilliant colors. We spent our time praying and thanking God for how incredible He is and His creation is. Later she took me out for a dinner date to bless me, because that is the kind of beautiful heart she has.

In fact, just the other week she was able to bless a man who was less fortunate, with a meal and a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. (Like I said, beautiful giving heart.) I remember telling her God would multiply the seed she had sown- she didn’t do it for that purpose though. She did it because The Lord had impressed it upon her heart to give to someone who maybe needed a pick-me-up. Maybe he needed God’s love through that cup of coffee and sandwich.

That night, I believe we saw the fruit of that seed bloom.
After our incredible night of fellowship over a beautiful dinner- talking about all of the amazing things God is doing, and casting anticipated vision of what He will do, we then of course decided to go for a cup of coffee together- (we share many passions- coffee is just one)
The nearby coffee shop was already closed, so we headed to the one across town- actually- it was the one where she had planted the seed of God’s love with the man who needed some nourishment.

Not having done this before, we asked specifically for each barista’s name and looked at their small “bio’s” sitting on the wall to get to know them a little-
Our excited chatting more of the vision and destiny in our lives and all that we anticipate God to do, quickly led to closing time at the coffee shop.
One of the barista’s we ‘befriended’ came over, I had assumed to tell us it was closing time- when in fact she instead said that they had a surplus of food they were going to have to just throw away and she couldn’t bear the thought of it. She asked if we would like any. We initially gladly accepted thinking our husbands could finish off what she had- but then she warned us they had much more than we originally thought.
2 large grocery bags FULL of salads and sandwich wraps!

Anna and I didn’t know it at that moment- but God gave us each the exact same thoughts- we would be handing them out to people. Giving them to whoever God chose to bless that night with a healthy meal.
We took the bags out to the car where we started to call local shelters- but there was wrong numbers, and no one answering… after several failed attempts the conviction grew in my spirit that God meant what He showed me in my mind…Anna and I looked at each other and in agreement told each other that we believed God said to hand deliver each one…
We prayed and asked God to help guide our travel through the night to deliver the food to the exact people He wanted to reach. We asked that He would have the exact people out that He wanted to touch, and that He would prepare them to receive the blessing of a free healthy meal.

We set out on our journey. Anna turned to me and said “let’s see what KTIS has to say?” haha well wouldn’t you know it- the first words were from a song by Toby Mac… “TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT- for the sinners and the saints- two worlds collide- in a beautiful display”
Isn’t it funny how God can use songs on the radio, at just the right moment, with just the right lyric to speak into our lives? We took that as absolute confirmation that God was saying, “GO”… “tonight is the night!”

I was thinking in my mind to go down to a street that I knew minister friends of mine had gone down before, but then God dropped a different street on my heart. When I spoke it to Anna she said that was exactly what God put on her mind too! So off we went, looking and praying for souls who needed some food, and God’s love!

It was an incredible adventure. We were able to bless a young couple, an older lonely looking woman who was moving in a U-Haul- (she had a lot of trash in the front, it looked like she may need a meal), a young man coming home from work who had only had French fries to eat that day, another young man walking home listening to gospel music, another young man walking home from his third job that night, and a young pregnant woman walking home! We were also able to have 3 people say no, but told them we would pray for them, and we did… Our hopes is that God would continue to pursue them and show them in small little ways and big extravagant ways that He truly loves them and is reaching His arm out to let them know He is with them.

Some people might look and say this is foolish… “a salad??” “a wrap??” “Why didn’t God just give them $1000? Or something that would last longer?” … but I believe that God went through extravagant lengths that night. And like I mentioned earlier… God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise…

Here’s how I see it…

He prepared extra food at the coffee shop that would not be consumed that day… He drew 2 of His willing daughters to the specific location at just the right time. He moved on the Barista’s heart to donate the food instead of throw it away. He placed the SAME vision and SAME conviction on each of our hearts with where to go, and how to give this overabundance of food. He protected us and covered us the entire time- where we normally could feel fear of the unknown, we felt the compete love of God for the people He wanted to reach out to that night. The gas needle didn’t even budge on the car we were driving while driving all around the city and back home.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6) …. But faith without works is dead (James 2:17)… Last night we headed out on an adventure by faith, with our Heavenly Daddy, our Protector, our Provider, and The Maker of Heaven and Earth, The One who loves you greatly. He was glorified… We could’ve fed our hubbies who had plenty that day, but instead I believe we reached the needy, the poor, the dry, the weary… whether in pocketbook or in spirit. And I pray that God loved on them through our actions. It’s time to rise up and be the hands and feet of God.

Looking back on our entire day, I realized that my day had begun in church, being prepared beyond my realization at the time by the song that sang this:

Let us become more aware of your presence
Let us experience the glory of your goodness
Holy Spirit you are welcome here: come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God is what are our hearts long for, to be overcome by your presence Lord.

I believe God was preparing my heart from the beginning to become more aware of His presence, to experience His goodness through reaching out as His hands to the people around me, and I believe The Holy Spirit filled the atmosphere that surrounded us as we reached out with smiles and hearts full of love to each and every person that needed that touch of God.

By the way… on the way home, we never saw another single soul walking on any of the streets… 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunrise... Awake My Soul

The warm sun gently cradles my face
The birdsong fills my soul with melody
The smell of the dewy glistening grass envelopes my lungs with peace
The perfectly gentle breeze caresses my skin
A kiss from The God of The Universe as He fills my entire being with His peace
A gift from The God of the Universe as His creation slowly begins to awake once more.

 If I were to walk with God in the flesh right now... I thought... How would I be? .... I would become as a child.
Full of wonder and curiosity. Full of joy. Simple. Pure. Honest.

 He would walk with me. Smile at me. Find joy in me and our talks. He has forgotten my sins. He chooses to forget. Even as I ask for forgiveness for the things I've failed in. He doesn't know my faults. He is a gentle, loving Daddy.

Am I angry with Him? No... Do I jump at the opportunity to blame Him or tell Him what He's done or not done? ... No....

But He tells me. It's ok if you do...because He is full of compassion and understanding. He knows our struggles. He knows the weight of them. And He cares.

But for me.... My soul is filled with peace just at the opportunity of being in His presence. I become humble and childlike.

I am covered. Protected. Precious. Cradled in His arms as he holds me against His chest and assures me of His love for me.
I cry. I tell Him. Daddy... So many people hate you. Hate others. They don't know you. How I wish they did. How I wish they could experience your love like I do.

He tells me that so does He. He loves them all so much. He doesn't look at what they've done wrong. He doesn't see it. He sees the hurt and wants to heal it. He longs to take away the tears and the pain. But this is the price of free will.
And so He will do everything He can without violation of it.... If they would just let Him in... Into their hearts.

 They'd find the peace they've been looking for. The rest that comes from His warmth and love.

 He smiles at me. He tells me we can take walks like this every day. It is up to my free will to decide.

The dewy grass becomes more fragrant.
The breeze seems to awaken my soul.
There are people who need His love. How can I help?
Will I walk with my Daddy and be a conduit of His beautiful love that I know so they can walk with Him too?
The choice is mine. I hope I do.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I may not be a Philosopher but I do know WHO LOVE is . . .


When you fall in love… love them NOT just because they love YOU well… but because of how well they love OTHERS…. We are called by GOD to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves (LUKE 10:27) … And when you can love someone who truly loves others well- you are in good hands. . .

Some want “love” for their heart so badly- they are willing to crush another’s heart just to get it. . . THAT is NOT love…. And I've seen it over and over again in other peoples' lives- in my extended family- and in my past have even experienced these things.

God’s word says that real LOVE is. . . (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Patient, (that has to do with waiting... which is VERY hard for me haha) Kind, it rejoices in TRUTH 

LOVE NEVER…. EVER… envies, is possessive, boastful, haughty, inconsiderate, unbecoming, selfish, grudging against others, does NOT rejoice in injustice. . .

That means when there is jealousy, envy, manipulation, pride, or arrogance, and ESPECIALLY self-seeking behavior (boy is that one hard!) … there is something off… God did not intend for REAL love to be this way. :)

If you find yourself experiencing things that love doesn’t do… remember that it is our human condition – it is natural- it happens every day.  (Romans 3:10) & Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? --- so to follow your heart can be extremely deceptive.

But the good news is we can follow after God's heart and find real love :)

Real love comes from God and when we love others the way God loves us… is when true love can bloom.

But here is the even better news. GOD LOVES YOU… Not only that but GOD IS LOVE~ (1 John 4:8) And He equips us to experience LOVE … REAL LOVE… how He intended… :) And we have access to that! (that's exciting- since in it of myself I have not the true power to love how I ought to)

I pray that God would help me love RIGHTLY every day! And that I would love not only my husband rightly- but the world around me as well. This is something I cannot do without God. J

I must add that these truths above stem from my study of Love in the Bible. It's something I try to do often- because it's easy to lose site of how love should operate when you are married (and the day to day's can really get to ya!) 

 :) It's SOOOO hard to be selfless.... but that is God's example to us... (even if you aren't married- relationships are tough!) But I have seen people in my immediate and extended family experience hurt in love- as well as friends' and their families- and it has been on my heart to bring encouragement to them- that love can be restored!

As many of these situations have impacted me or my friends personally- I think it's important for us to know how love should really look- and strive each and every day to try and model that as best we can :) With God's help!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Romance Me" . . .


There is one thing I know for sure- and it is that no matter where you are in your walk with The Lord- weather you are just starting to think about church- have walked away from Him completely or know Him intimately... HE WANTS YOU!

He desires to develop a relationship with you.

He loves you- He perfectly knit you together in your mother's womb and created you to be a spectacular unique individual to do incredible things that you've never even dreamed possible!

I'd like to share with you one way in which I draw close to God... In the book of James it says "Draw close to me and I will draw close to you"... or basically- try and get to know me and I will reveal more of myself to you. God is a man of His word.

SAY WHAT?. . .

Yes, there are times when I feel distant, or I get "lazy" in my "walk with God" (Christian-ese for my relationship with Him)-- and this is something I do that really jumpstarts my heart!

Either in my spirit (or my mind) or out loud I will say...

"Lord! ... Romance Me!"

To some of you this might seem odd, or you may feel uncomfortable by that. And that's ok. But I will tell you why I love this, so.

I started "dating" Jesus in my college years.

Someone had told me they read a book "I kissed dating goodbye" I never read it, there were some other books that were on this topic of being a woman (or man) of God and instead of (in my words) 'wrecking' your heart with torn relationship after torn relationship-- focusing on building your relationship with Jesus and waiting for Him to bring someone special in your life that is willing to court you.


Well- what I found interesting was this "dating" Jesus idea that I heard of... I had thought it seemed a little weird, but I did love Him and I was so grateful for all He was doing in my life that I thought I'd give it a try.

So I went to a coffee shop and I brought a devotional book a journal and I began to just have a "conversation" with Jesus.

That night, I truly fell in love.

I felt God's peace all over me. It was like a warm blanket of comfort and joy like I had never felt just enveloped my entire being- body, soul and spirit.

That was only the beginning.

Since then, I've had incredible experiences with my "Jesus dates".


My favorite times are sunrises with Him.

I'd get up early before sunrise, and either take a walk (when warm out) or take a drive to my favorite coffee shop- and as I'm driving (and still waking up) I'd just yawn and start our conversation with "Good morning Lord! How are you?" and just smile and feel Him smiling back at me.

Then I'd ask my question, "Lord, will you romance me today?!" And time after time there would be something wonderful shortly after I'd ask.

A beautiful sunrise with vivid colors peeking up just over the hill as I was driving.

A rainbow in the only part of the sky that was sunny with a beautiful eagle flying right under it!

Or some beautiful scenery that I'd see while out and about that was just PERFECT right at the time that I needed it. And I felt like it was orchestrated just for me every time.

Nature is only one way He would romance me. This is why I fell in love. Because I truly felt Him saying. "This is for you"

Maybe just as I'd ask Him a barrage of songs would come on the radio that would directly speak to my heart.

Maybe it would be a person He would send my way to give me the words of encouragement I needed at that very moment.

And many times it was His Word. The Bible. . . I'd bring it with, along with my journal. And After I'd ask Him to romance me, or show me something wonderful He'd like to say to me that day. . . I'd open my Bible up at any page and trust that He'd speak, and He would. It was as if a certain part of that entire page would just illuminate and leap out at me- and guess what? It would romance me! It would speak right to my heart- pertain to something I was just thinking about, asking about or going through... My God is not dead, He is surely alive.

One instance not long ago I remember: there were several songs on in a row about God's beauty. I was singing along with the radio about God's beauty- to Him- and I just remember driving and having the warm sunshine touch my face and I felt like He was telling me, "I am in awe of your beauty too, Crystal"

THE CALL . . .

When the King of the Universe is "enthralled" with my beauty, my heart will melt. I am being romanced by The King of Kings.

I think the importance of my journey of asking God to 'romance me' is that- this is how He has revealed His love to me.

His love is unlike the love we have with other people.

There is so much more to it.

And all of the deepest desires of my heart can be answered when I simply ask Him to romance me.

I want to encourage you as my readers, and challenge you- this week- just ask Him... "Lord, will you romance me?"

I'd love to hear how God romances you!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Carry Me. . .

A part of life is facing the ups and the downs.

Everyone must go through different seasons in their life.

It's how we handle each season that builds   and   proves our character.

It can be difficult to have our faith tested by the fire of trials. And even more difficult when you've been thinking you were stronger than this all along. It's humbling.

During trials our faith is tested, our patience is tried, our endurance is stretched-- we are in the valley...

And the magnificent thing is-- that every single time I have found myself in a valley... Even when I feel so alone. I feel forgotten, rejected, hard pressed on every side...

When I call His name... He is always there...

In fact- even if I've reached a point where I doubt His companionship through my adversity- When I call on Him... His perfect peace consumes my heart-
and I can feel Him telling me-- 'Of course I never left you.' 'I have been with you every step of the way.'

It's at my broken point where I've been crushed on every side sometimes by life- sometimes by my own poor decisions...-- no matter what-- when I call on His name... He is there...And it's not that He had ever left my side... more than anything it is that I'm too preoccupied with the troubles that surround me- I forget He is right there- waiting for me to look to Him...

I'm reminded of the footprints parable.

I am never at a point- no matter how wonderful my life- or how trying my situation- where I don't find that I need God.
It is during the high times that I think- how could I NOT have a life knowing you?! Look at how I am so blessed!! And it is at my lowest points when I think... if I did not know you-- I would not be able to endure this much burden... because He has promised to lift and take it away- and actually carry it for me... And He always does...

Its hard to believe in the midst of trials- but I know that through each valley in my life- that my character sharpens and improves and that my love continues to grow deeper for my Lord.

He .... is.... FAITHFUL-

And maybe today, you need to know that you are not alone.
If you feel abandoned... I encourage you to try and dig deeper and call out His name... He WILL be there... He has never left... sometimes we don't realize that our own ears have been bombarded with the lies and pollutants of the world... and all along He is sweetly whispering- 'I'm here... I'll never leave you...'