The Finer Things.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”-Proverbs 17:17

blog1111

One of my favorite things to do is share the good things I see in others.

Today, I want to share another blog with you that is run by one of my new friends, Andrea Engler.

Andrea is a lover of Jesus, wife, new mama, traveling addict, savvy saver, and a fellow fan of wine. 😉

blog222

Even though I am not a mother, I really enjoy the posts she has about life with her babe. Including the highs and lows.  Isn’t transparency just the best thing ever?! It reminds us that we are all in this together and that we are never alone.

So if you are looking for…

-ways to save money (big time, I mean seriously check it out: she and her husband paid off like $20,000+ dollars of debt)

-real stories of surviving mommy life with your sanity

travel tips and tricks

Then you have got to check Andrea Lately out!

I promise it is something you will not regret. 🙂

-Kristin-

 

Not What I Asked For.

“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

It has been a trying time for me lately. It has been one of those times when new circumstances are triggering old memories that bring me great pain.

It has been hard to fight those negative feelings off, and really hard to keep reminding myself that those memories are just that: memories. 

They no longer are apart of my current life, yet they will always be ingrained in my head. Sometimes, it is hard to remember that you can still have memories, but they do not have to hold you captive.

I often think to myself that this is not what I asked for out of life.

I did not ask for pain caused by the hands and choices of others.

I did not ask for nightmares that were real.

I did not ask for my family to be torn apart.

I did not ask this.

But here I am. I went through all of the things I did not ask for. & I am surviving and thriving. 

Thank you Jesus, because I am a walking miracle. 

I think sometimes we need to be reminded of these painful times in order to remember how desperately we need God and His Grace.

That maybe we need the reminder as a reminder to be kind to others who are going through similar circumstances.
That possibly, God is bringing us through a storm of painful memories in order to show us how deep His love for us really is.

So, as a wrestle with these memories, I am going to try to remember myself that negative memories do not always have to bring pain.

-Kristin-

Dive In.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” -Colossians 3:12-14

 

Sending love & blessings as always,

-Kristin-

 

 

 

j

This is My Story.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13
pic7
One year Paleo. ^ 🙂

I have had so many people ask me about this crazy thing I do called the Paleo diet.

 

4 years ago I was living in Orlando, going to college at the University of Central Florida.  I was living in a school affiliated apartment with three other girls, and I was really enjoying life.  Though, I was having a lot of body issues.

 

I had suffered with eczema since I was 15 and it seemed to get worse the older I got.  Then, it seemed like everything I ate made me sick.  I would bloat up and either puke or have other digestive issues. I had constant headaches.  Seasonal allergies were intense.  It came to the point where I did not know if I would ever be able to live a normal life, because I was always having to rush to the bathroom.  While hiding my hideous eczema, and trying to find a way to deal with the headaches.

 

So I started researching and tried a bunch of different fad diets for a few months.  I kept a food journal.  I bought expensive whole wheat bread.  I tried to exercise more.  I tried to drink more water. Nothing worked, and I was so discouraged.

 

I am not typically a person who goes to the doctor, but I had finally come to a point where I was ready to go.   I told him I believed I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and told him it was absolutely ruining my life.  I was afraid to go out.  I was always looking for “emergency” bathrooms, and avoided eating entirely if I knew I was going to be in a place where there were no bathrooms. I also avoided going places where I had to wear a bathing suit because of my skin.

 

He suggested we do a blood test and the next week I came back and he read me the results: “You are a healthy 21 year old. There is nothing wrong with you.”  And I cried.  I did not understand why I could feel SO bad, and yet have nothing wrong with me.  But then, he said something that finally gave me hope.  He believed me.  He believed that just because nothing showed on the blood test did not mean I was not sick.

 

He said he believed I had something called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which is a mix of bunch of different things: food sensitivities, allergies, skin conditions, exhaustion, and headaches included.  He suggested that I read this book called “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolff and take L-Glutamine every day. He said this would be a massive lifestyle change and I would never be able to go back to my old ways.

 

This suggestion changed my life forever. In the best way possible.

 

For the first three months, I stayed STRICTLY on the diet. No grains, sugars, alcohol, dairy.  & I went through so serious body changes. I was angry all the time (seriously, it was withdrawals).  I lost a ton of weight. The first month I actually was actually late for my period which had never happened before, and it was all due to this huge lifestyle/diet change.

 

BUT, I had never ever ever felt better in my life than I did after my body started accepting this healthy change. I know longer had the problems I did before and I was finally at peace. I was no longer afraid to go out anymore. I was no longer a captive to my own body.

 

I read tons of books about it, and it was so eye opening.  All of the food products I had eaten most of my life, had slowly been killing me.  The best book I read was “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolff, because I could relate to him and his story so much.  He too, had gone through what I had and had tried everything to fix himself but nothing worked, until Paleo.

 

I write this kind of different post not to tell you that you need to try the Paleo lifestyle, but because I know there are many out there who wonder what it is.  There are lots and lots of fads out there, but Paleo works y’all.

 

What is holding you captive right now? & how can you be set free?

 

-Kristin-

Magnificent.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

blog7.jpg

When we look back on the lives we’ve lived, I think we often remember the best days and worst days of them.

For me, the best so far have been graduating from UCF, days spent with my family, sleepovers/trips with friends, and finding the Lord.

But there have been two that will forever stick in my mind as the worst. The terrible day in December of 2013 that I watched my family fall apart. & The night of October 6, 2016.

On October 6th I found out that my beloved dog had died after a week of crying and praying that he would survive. Then Hurricane Matthew hit.

I do not know how to describe the absolute pain and anxiety I felt on that night, but if you’ve ever had a sleepless agonizing night like this one you’ll know what I mean.

I had a full blown panic attack.

The power shut off. The wind was whipping and the house felt like it was going to blow away. Memories of my dog as a baby flooded my mind.

& I lost it.

My friend Michele was kind enough to call me and talk me down, because I felt like I was to the point of not being able to breathe.

If Hell on earth is a real thing, I know I experienced it that night. The Devil knew I was vulnerable and attacked me with his lies. Telling me I would never be okay. Asking why a God who loved me so much would seem to just ignore my prayers. Implying that I wasn’t worth God’s time.

But sometimes you just have to remind the Devil of where he lives and what his future is.

God is great. When we’re having the best days or the worst days of our lives. He is great and loves us deeply.

He is with us always.

What a beautifully, incredibly magnificent thing that is.

-Kristin-

Friendly Fire.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

 

IMG_1029.JPG

 

 

I have always struggled with relationships. If you don’t know about that part of my life, just read my old posts and you’ll understand why I say that. 😉

 

Though, I have never really struggled with friendship.

 

Friendship has something that has always been easy for me.

 

Until a few years ago.

 

I easily make friends with others, and typically I keep these friends for a long time even if we do not see each other often. It has been great and I feel blessed that I have been given the gift of typically easy friendships.

 

But….

 

I have had some of my very best friends treat me like absolute crap. The kind of nastiness that makes you rethink your whole life and wonder what you could ever have done to have someone say something so cruel to you. To have someone treat you like you are dirt. Someone who you announce to others as one of your best friends.

 

I have spent a lot of time beating myself up over the few friends I have had that I have had to walk away from, and those who chose to walk away from me.  & in 2017, I am choosing to no longer allow myself to dwell on this negativity.

 

Sometimes, people just grow apart. And that is okay.

 

Sometimes, people just are unhealthy for each other and you have to walk away to save both of you. And that’s okay.

 

Sometimes, you just have to love people from afar. And that’s okay.

 

No one deserves to feel beat down by people who call them a friend. Kindly walk away, love them from afar, and get some friends you enjoy being with!

 

Life is lived best beyond our comfort zone.

 

-Kristin-

Bold.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19

IMG_5280.JPG

 

I sat in a bathtub and listened to “By Our Love” by For King & Country and uncontrollably sobbed.

 

Loving people as Christ has is literally the hardest thing I have ever tried to do and I have had to suffer the consequences of it. I feel like a failure. I have let people down. In my intentions of loving others, I have hurt others. & that is an extremely hard pill to swallow.

 

I am an imperfect person who struggles deeply with doing the right thing.

 

I am not impulsive. I will wait and pray on what is right. I pray to God to reveal to me what is the right thing to do. Honestly, 100% of time what I feel is right is against what most people believe is. It is like being thrown into a pit of fire, surrounded by lions, encircled by traps set by my worst enemy.

 

Nothing I say will ever suffice. No one believes a word I say. Everyone grows a deep anger for me that turns into hatred. There is really nothing I can do about it once I have chosen to take the path I believe I have been called to take.

 

There is no turning back. It is painful and difficult, and as my friend Rachel calls it, it is freaking BOLD.

 

I am struggling with remembering that I do not need the approval of everyone on this earth. I am struggling with doing the unpopular (and hardest) thing. I am struggling with accepting the consequences that come with these actions.

 

The thing is though that even though I feel like I am alone in this pit of fire, surrounded by lions, encircled by traps set by my worst enemy, I am not. For God has gone before me.  The battle was never mine, but His. He will douse the fire. Feed the lions so they have no use for me. Disable the traps.  So I can walk out freely.

 

So I will continue to love the unloved in the most imperfect of ways, even if they are not able to understand it or not see it the way I do. I will love even when it is not accepted. I will let go of the hatred that is thrown my way. I will keep silent the nasty rebuttals I have been holding onto for so long.

 

I choose to boldly love even though it hurts.

 

-Kristin-

The Wolves.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”-Matthew 7:15

 

thewolves.jpg

 

If you are a church going person or ever have been, you have heard in sermons about how we need to be close with people who are on fire for the Lord. That we need to surround ourselves with those who will lift us up, be real with us, and show us God’s love.

 

BUT.

 

We have to be careful. There are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to infiltrate our lives, and will act like this, but their intentions are not good. You often find out months or even years later who they really are.

 

We are all imperfect and will struggle to be good, Jesus loving friends sometimes (I know I sure do).  Though, if our intentions and efforts show that we are trying that is really all that matters.

 

I am talking about people who flat out are NOT the kind of people who have good intentions.

 

I have met so many people from all different parts of my life, who swore to be totally for the Lord. Recognized as a great lovers of Christ, I believed these were good people to be around. Although unfortunately, I found out later with all of these individuals that it was all an act. You cannot keep up the act forever. The nastiness came out. The judgment came out. They start to question you for your beliefs.  They are just not at all the person they once portrayed themselves as.  The intentions had never been good, they had been for selfish gain.

 

I was fooled. I gave in too quickly in each situation, and it has left scars on my heart.  I should have been more careful because it rocked me in the end.

 

We all should be more careful.

 

Even more important than that, we have to make sure that we are not becoming the wolves.  It is easy to give in and use God as a way to get things from others.  Like really easy. The Devil wants us doing his dirty work. Let’s not give in y’all.

 

Let’s love people for real. Let’s lift them up because it’s what we’re called to.  Let’s show God’s love because we want to.  Let’s be the light in a dark world.

 

I am tired of being tricked by the wolves, and having to fight becoming one myself. But aren’t we all?

 

I choose to trust in the Shepherd to guide my heart in the right direction.

 

-Kristin-

Lost.

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments.”-Luke 23:34

 

“Losing” by Tenth Avenue North 

 

I always have liked the famous quote that talks about how we should be kind to everyone because we do not know the battles they are currently facing. It is a good reminder that we all need to have patience with each other.

 

Easier said than done though right?

 

I find myself often dealing with the pain of people not having patience with me because they do not understand what I’m going through.  They do not understand the decisions I’ve made, because they cannot see my prospective of the situation. They become angry with me, because I don’t match their ideal way of living. They push me away because it is easier than to wait for me to catch up to them. They forget that I am not perfect, and that I make mistakes.

 

And it hurts.

 

In life, people have made me feel abandoned, slandered, crushed, humiliated, angered, saddened, frustrated, bombarded, rushed, judged,and overall just misunderstood.

 

My first thought is often “How could they do this?” and then the pain and anger consume my mind. Until I stop and think…

 

When was the last time I showed someone kindness and patience when they did something I didn’t agree with? When was the last time I showed someone God’s Grace when they didn’t deserve it? How can I expect others to have patience with me when I do not even show it to others myself?

 

I do not typically like New Year’s resolutions, but I think I have finally found one I want to try. I want to have more patience with others, even when they struggle to have patience with me.

 

Lord, give me the strength to forgive others. Please Lord, give others the strength to forgive me.

 

Who is needing your kindness, patience, and forgiveness today?

 

-Kristin-