Monday, November 12, 2012

Luke 11:28

My confirmation verse is Luke 11:28~ "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it." I have tried to live by this verse and make sure that I am applying it to my life through regular study of the Word and praying for discernment of God's will.

Lately though, I have been wandered far from this... On two different occasions, I have pulled Psalm 37:7 out of our Stephen Ministry blessings basket, which says" Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." Another time I drew Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew thier strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shay run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."   Do you see a theme here? God is obviously trying to teach me about PATIENCE, and yet I forge ahead (for a variety of reasons) with my own plan and ignore God's word. So often I pray for a burning bush or an obvious sign. I don't know how much more plain this could be and yet I still turn away- how like the stubborn Israelites I am.

I pray that God would give me the strength and courage to heed His word and to obey it; that I might be able to abide contently in the Lord until His perfect timing is revealed, especially if it is contrary to my own will!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Shack

Ok, So I know I'm late to the party, in that the book, The Shack by WM. Paul Young was wildly popular several years ago and I'm just now getting around to reading it. Like Eat, Pray, Love, I really felt God speaking to me through this book. Here are a few quotes that spoke to me the most.

"Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me." ~The Holy Spirit to Mack, pg. 132

"Freedom involves trust and obedience inside a relationship of love." ~The Holy Spirit to Mack, pg. 139

"Women in general will find it difficult to turn from a man and stop demanding that he meet her needs, provide security and protect her identify, and return to me...women turned from us to another relationship" Jesus to Mack, pg 157

"I don't wonder what you will do or what choices you will make. I already know. Let's say that I know it will take you 47 situations adn events before you will actuallly hear me, that is, before you will hear clearly enough to agree with me and change. So when you don't hear me the first time, I'm not frustrated or disappointed, I'm thrilled. Only 46 more times to go." ~Papa to Mack, pg 203

"people are tenacious when it comes to the treasure of their imaginary independence. They hoard and hold their sickness with a firm grip. They find their identity and worth in their brokeness and guard it with every ounce of strength they have. No wonder grace grace has such little attraction. In that sense, you have tried to lock the door of your heart from the inside." Papa to Mack pg 206

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

maybe it's me?

Those of you who know me well, know that I am an extrovert to the extreme. I LOVE being around people. I draw my energy from them. I really don't like being by myself for very long periods of time (I think way too much when I am alone, and that is NEVER good). This allows me to flit pretty naturally between a whole bunch of social groups. I am comfortable talking to anyone and everyone. Left alone long enough, I could make friends with non living things, even the wall.
Another thing about me is that I love to help people and feel useful (read: people pleaser extraordinaire). This is usually a good thing, but can lead me to overcommitting myself and not really spending quality time with those whom I really care about because I want to help everyone and I want to be liked by everyone. On any given day, I can have 12-15 metaphoric plates spinning, and in my efforts not to drop any of them, maybe I pay them all the minimal amount of attention to keep  them spinning, without recognizing the masterpieces present in each individual one.
When I get really stressed by all of these committments, I tend to focus too much on my to-do list, checking things off my list and friendships can sometimes get pushed to the back burner, which is tragic and detrimental.
There is this crazy vicious cycle that always ensues. The friend finds someone else to call their best friend. They start hanging out with that person or group more and more, and with me less and less. Then my feelings get hurt and I start to feel really bad that I've lost the friend (always completely unintentionally). Now don't get me wrong, I know I can still can count on that friend to be there for the big important stuff, or if I really need them, but it's the stuff of their daily lives that I miss; the things we used to share so readily. I take honest and uncomfortable responsibility for these changes in friendship. I'm not one to blame others, I think I blame myself too readily. But I can't help but think it's not the whole picture.

I think the most frustrating part is the part that is not in my control. Yes, I can control how much effort I invest in people. I also have control over the committments that I take on and I am working on being more assertive at saying no to things. But so much of friendship is dependent upon proximity and shared experience and I can't control those things. Naturally, you are going to get very close to the members of your teaching team because you share kids and a hall way. If you share a space with someone, you're probably going to tell them more about yourself due simply to the fact that they are right there. If you have significant experiences in your life, you are going to seek out those people who have had similar experiences because you feel like they really get you (i.e. getting married, having kids around the same age, or a troubled younger brother).
While lack of quality time is certainly a contributing factor to the decline of some of my most treasured friendships and something I can change; I can't change the fact that friends at my school view me as "one of them" (them being admin) instead of "one of us" since I took the position of reading specialist at my school. I can't change that many of my friends have gotten married or now have kids, things I don't share.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love

Back in April, I finally read a book on my list that spoke to my soul and touched me to the core. I felt like Elizabeth Gilbert was in many ways writing the story of my life (minus all of the traveling) as she chronicled her search for balance. I know it's not a new book by any means and I even saw the movie before I read the book, which is not something I generally like to do but Eat, Pray, Love captured perfectly some of the emotions that I have been feeling in the last few months... I only wish I had read this book sooner!!!
One thing she said has stayed with me, like a haunting dream, even a couple of months later. It was like she took this feeling directly from my heart and put into words something that I couldn't verbalize on my own...
              "I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.” 

I have a tendency to do this too-romanticizing and idealizing a guy until I am blind to the real person and can only see the pedestal version that I have created. I am the very definition of a hopeless romantic; I consume more than healthy doses of romantic comedies and happily ever afters and I am always the biggest cheerleader for relationships (mine and others) even when it might be healthier if the involved parties went their seperate ways. This optimism causes me to go overboard sometimes (ok all the time) because I want so badly for things to work out. I spend hours agaonizing over my relationships, deciding on the perfect card from Hallmark, or the perfect just because gift and I go out of my way to make sure the guys knows how awesome I think he is. This optimism helped me move 1,500 miles from my friends and family to Houston, TX. This optimism has led to more heartbreak and tears than I would like to acknowledge.

In some ways, I think this optimism is vital to a relationship. It is what keeps me wanting to put forth effort even after the "honeymoon, lovey dovey phase" has ended. It is what helps me to sacrifice my needs for his. Yes, I know this optimism can be overwhelming and even smothering to guys because I don't know how to reign it in and it is probably the reason I almost always end up with a broken heart, but it's not something that I will give up, because maybe someday there will be someone who will appreciate that I see the best in them and will want to work at being the person I see, just as I will work to be the person they see.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No carbs

For as long as I can remember, I've been an emotional eater. I have any emotion (good, bad, ugly) and I eat. For the most part, I try to eat pretty decently, but when I'm on an emotional downswing, I turn to carbs to try and pacify those emotions... the bread basket, pizza etc. While these things are temporarily satisfying, they ofen leave me feeling worse emotionally than I did before I ate them, so then I go back for more. I can eat an entire breadbasket at a restaurant before my meal arrives and then still eat my meal and most likely dessert too.

So for Lent this year, I decided to give up carbs, specifically- bread, pasta, pizza, potatoes and rice. This is my first foray into giving something up for Lent. Being a Lutheran, giving something up for Lent isn't mandatory, but it seemed like a good thing to do. I was super excited about the weight loss possibilities, as well as breaking my emotional dependence on food.

I'm 19 days in and I have to say that this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do!!!! I have been pretty fanatical, but I have to admit there have been a few slip-ups. Old habits die hard!!! This week has been especially difficult as it is spring break and I am home all day. Being at school has actually been good for me, because I'm often too busy to think about eating except at lunch time.
 I haven't really noticed anything in the weight loss area, but as a good friend informed me, I needed to cut out fruit for the first two weeks also since it is high in natural sugars, so that my body gets used to burning the fat it has been storing... maybe that will be my next step.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Amazing Grace

This morning during church, we sang Amazing Grace. This is one of my favorite songs, so of course I sang with gusto and joy (despite my complete lack of ability to sing on key). I know most of the verses by heart, but today I was completely struck by the opening line of verse 4- "The Lord has promised good to me." With that simple line, I felt His peaceful presence come over me. On Thursday and Friday, I was feeling completely flawed. I know God has made me to be a unique individual, but I was feeling like me wasn't good enough, that the world in general didn't value me. With that simple and yet profound opener to verse 4, I was reminded that God does indeed love me very much, He does care for me and that He has made me unique for a reason, even I don't know that reason yet.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Amazing Grace, at least beyond the first verse, here are the words of the hymn in its entirety. Maybe it will provide you with some peace too...

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a fine line...

In the last day or so, I have been comtemplating the fine, often gray, line between going with the flow/choosing your battles wisely/being true to yourself.

It's obviously very important to any relationship, whether romantic, or platonic, or even between teacher and student to be able to choose wisely. None of us is perfect, so how can we expect others to be... Life becomes a constant, miserable battle if you are nitpicking at everything.

It's undeniably important to be able to go with the flow, as life never goes exactly as we envision it,  no matter how carefully we plan!

But how do you know when you're giving up too much? How do you determine when it's ok to let go of your plans and when you should hold on fiercely? Einstein is quoted as saying that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results..." So how do you know when it's time to let go of the insanity and draw up a new plan, because that is what you were supposed to be doing all along?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sun stand still

These last two weeks in church, the sermon series has been titled Sun Stand Still, in reference to Joshua 10:12, where Joshua asked the sun to stand still so he could defeat his enemies and God listened.During the sermons, we've been talking about asking God for the bing things, as well as the little things. Today's sermon was about Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead... Nothing is too big for God. Now, our request may or may not be granted, but we should still ask for it and if it is in accordance with His will, he just may grant it. In fact, on the first Sunday of the series, a HUGE prayer from one of the congregation members was joyfully answered. A grandson who had been kidnapped 17 years ago, was returned home to the United States on that very day- talk about God's awesome timing!

Hearing these sermons really convicted me of just how little I trust God. Yes, I ask God for the big things in my life, but do I really believe that He will grant them to me? Sadly no... I know that I'm forgiven and that there is nothing I can do to earn His favor, but there is a part of me that clings to the nagging doubt. The doubt that says I'm not worthy of such big things. I know the Lord has done many miraculous things in my life, and yet I still don't know how to let go of my heart's deepest desire, to give it over to Him and to say "I trust you Lord to take care of this in what ever way you see best, in whatever way is going to bring you glory."

Monday, February 6, 2012


During the month of January, the sermon series at church was called Once Upon a Marriage. It looked at some of the Bible's most famous couples, and the things we can learn from their marriages. Being a single gal, I of course made lots of notes about things that I hope to someday be able to practice, but there were also some excellent applications that I can begin right away, such as trusting God and his timing instead of trying to take things into my own hands (Abram and Sarai).

The last sermon in the series focused on Hosea and Gomer. For those of who don't know the story, Hosea was a man of God, a prophet whom God called to marry Gomer, a prostitute. Even though God knew Gomer would be unfaithful to Hosea, God used this as a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness and God's continual faithfulness. Pastor talked about how in a good marriage, your spouse will be able to meet about 80% of your needs, and that people often become unfaithful when they start focusing on the 20% of their needs that aren't met by their spouse, believing (often falsely) that someone else can better meet their needs.

Whether it is to God, to a spouse or to something else, I think trading the 80 for the 20 often causes us to stray. How often do I focus on what God has not given me, instead of remembering and being thankful for all the things He does supply me? Too often I'm afraid. I become obsessed with the things that I don't have until I am completely ungrateful for the ways God has provided for me, even without me asking....

So tonight my prayer is from Psalm 51- create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me.... restore to me the joy of your salvation....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Here goes nothing...

A few days ago, I was reading my friend Katie's blog who had linked up with Kelly's corner to showcase her single brother. After reading some of the posts, I thought I would give it a try.

My name is Krystle and I will be 30 in May. I've never been married and I have no kids. I am a reading specialist at an elementary school in Houston. I'm passionate about teaching kids to read and more importantly to get them to love reading as much as I do. I've lived a lot of places, but most recently before Houston, I was living on the East Coast, in Allentown, PA. I'm a Lutheran who loves Jesus and is super involved at my church. I love to cook, especially bake and very few people have the will power to my tasty treats. I go out of my way to do things for others and I love helping people. I adore children and hope that in God's timing he blesses me with children of my own, but until then, I'm content being Auntie Krystle to all of my friends kids.
  If you're interested, you can comment on my blog with your email address.

Hope to hear from you soon!

 my 29th birthday
 One of the many kiddos who calls me Auntie Krystle!

 My girl Denise and I (I'm on the left)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Riley- one year old

So, a lot of my friends write posts updating us all on the fun milestones and general happenings of their children at various stages... since I don't have kids, I thought I would post about Riley. I don't know his exact birthday since I adopted him from a shelter (and I am choosing to celebrate Feb 21- the day we became a family instead) but the shelter thinks he was born on Dec 26, 2011...

*eats two cups of Beneful Puppy food/day (one in morning and one at night)
*loves people food, especially peanut butter
*will whine if you don't let him lick the dishes
*eats anything you put in front of him

*is a huge snuggle bug and likes to sleep with some or all of his body on top of mama
*hogs the bed
*mostly sleeps through the night

*loves visiting his friends at Doggie Day Care on some Wednesdays
*could play fetch for hours
*loves to chew on rawhide bones
*enjoys playing in the backyard, especially in the craters he has dug
*splashes in every puddle he can

*when Mama comes home from work- he even jumps up and kisses me
*meal time
*stealing Mama's socks
*checking the mail with mama without being on a leash

* being moved around on the bed so mommy can have a tiny bit more space
*putting on a leash (he's great once you get it on him, but he runs away at first)

*shake (only with a cookie in hand)
*has selective hearing when mama calls him, but will always come running at the mention of a c-o-o-k-i-e