I Left.

“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” -Proverbs 29:25

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I have a nasty habit that I am trying to work on.

I desperately desire the approval of others.

What a truly disappointing and dangerous ^ situation to be in.

We will NEVER be able to make everyone happy. It is literally impossible.  So why do I still want that to happen when I know it never will?

I held back so much for so long due to this. I watched where I stepped. I tried to watch what I said. I put off living in order to try and make others happy.

But the thing was, it was never enough.  & it will never be enough.

So.

I left.

I left the people who did not make me feel like the person God made me to be.

I left the situations I knew I would never grow from.

I left the fear of wondering what others would think of me.

I left behind the life I had been putting on hold to make others approve of me.

It’s been the craziest thing, y’all.

I have had people come straight out of the woodwork to tell me they read my blog posts and think I am a hypocrite.

I have had people cut me off because I do not live the life they believe I should live.

I have had someone tell me that they can’t believe I have the audacity to call myself a Christian.

& I have never felt so free. Or happy. Or incredible.

You see, it does not matter what they say.

Because Jesus.

He calls me…

HIS BELOVED.

CHERISHED.

CALLED.

BRAVE.

EQUIPPED.

LOVED BEYOND MEASURE.

I am His.

In my leaving, I found Him even more.

I remembered His goodness and His ever exquisite love for me no matter where life takes me or what others think of me.

The haters will come and go, but His love for me is here to stay.

-Kristin

 

 

 

 

Not Our Fight.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12

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I am a fighter. With every inch of my being I am a fighter. I have fought for every single thing I ever thought I could lose. Every relationship, friendship, possession. I fight.

But as I grow older, I realize how not everything is worth fighting for.

How spending time, effort, and energy on something or someone that is no good for you can kill you slowly.

It is becoming the hardest/best decision I have made yet. & one that has involved the most growing pains. It isn’t easy to change yourself. To change everything you’ve ever stood for.

But God did not make me to be a weary soul. Worn out by fighting for things I have no business being involved with. He did not make me to be angry and hurt by trying to make things work that just weren’t meant to.

He made me to be a fighter. But for the things worth fighting for.

The things I can feel in my heart that are worth it. The people that I know need my love. That which brings me joy and/or makes myself or others better.

Sometimes we (or maybe just me) imprison ourselves with the belief that if we don’t fight, we are bad people. Good people fight for everything, especially others, right?

But that belief could not be further from the truth.

Fight for what you know is right. But don’t push yourself to do those things that you know are not. No matter what others say or think. Don’t waste your time on that which was not meant for you!

Focus on where God is leading you, and you will never be led astray.

P.S. I am still learning to do this myself. ❤ ^

-Kristin-

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy Love.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”-Lamentations 3:21-23

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I wrote a blog post a few months ago about how nervous I was about getting another dog since having my dog, Beck, pass away suddenly last year. I was afraid I would feel weird about getting another dog as if feeling like I was replacing him, and from the comments people wrote to me, many others have been in the same situation.  It is hard to explain if you’re not an animal lover. Our pets are so much more than just pets!

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Beck as a puppy

But then, the puppy came home and it has changed my life forever.

Maverick Beck came home on June 2nd. He was a little black fuzz ball that ran around nibbled on my toes, and tried to eat everything in sight.

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I called out his full name so many times, because you know how puppies are naughty, and every time I would have to say “Beck” and it was a reminder of my pup.

Beck may have left this world, but he never left my heart or memory.

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I spent a lot of time wondering why Beck went home so early and in such a painful way. I don’t think I will ever understand why on this side of Heaven, but I accept that there must have been a reason and a good one at that.

But Beck was able to give me the most beautiful gift through all of this. I was able to see how deeply love can exist. It can survive any storm, any battle, even death.

I think I can deeply, deeply love Maverick now because I experienced such love with my Beck. I appreciate Maverick even when he bites my feet. I have patience with him even when he screams to go outside at 5 am because I am aware of how extraordinarily lucky I am to have him in my life. I remember not to take him for granted because our four legged friends are only here with us for so long.

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Maverick brings me joy, happiness, and has taught me so much more about myself (already) than I thought possible. He’s my boy!

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I am incredibly thankful that God has allowed me the chance to love and learn from my two sweet pups.  Heaven is for real and I know one day I will see my Beck again, and I know He is looking over my Mav. ❤

-Kristin

Skeletons.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”-Ephesians 2:8-10

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We all have skeletons hiding in our closets.

Affairs. Addictions. Cruelty. Pain. Lies. Jealousy.

You name it, we all have some (maybe even all) of those things stuffed in our closets. All we can do is hope that no one will open the closet doors.

It reminds me of when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree from the Garden of Eden and tried to hide from God when He came looking for them (Genesis 3).

We hide, like them, because we know it is not right. We hide because we are ashamed and embarrassed. We hide because we believe it is easier to shove those things that bother us in a closet than to just let them out.

But it is not easier.

In fact, it only seems to make life harder.

It makes us anxious and always having to make sure that closet door is shut.

But truly with God…we don’t need to keep checking to make sure our skeletons aren’t showing. Just as with Adam and Eve, He KNOWS every single thing we have done. All the good and all the bad.

Here’s the thing. HE LOVES US ANYWAY.

His Grace exceeds all that we do.

So whether your skeleton is something that you can change, or something you cannot: take heart and rest in knowing that you are loved and accepted despite the skeletons you try to hide.

-Kristin

My Neighbors.

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”-Matthew 22:37-40


I have lived in my home for almost three months now and has been the greatest blessing.

I’ve found my home finally and I’m so thankful!!

This house is great but I honestly think the best part about it is my neighborhood. It is quiet and peaceful here. People don’t make loud noises all night and I don’t wake up to the cops raiding someone’s house nearby. It’s been incredible!

My neighbors (the ones closest to the house) are all older and they’re the best people ever. They invite us over all the time just to hang out and let us (even the dog) use their pool whenever. 

Seriously the nicest most welcoming people ever. 

& I want to be like that. 

I want to love people just because they exist. No reasons, no selfish motives, no anything. Just straight up treating my neighbors (aka everyone) with love and respect. 

I want to love because I am so very loved myself by the Big Man Upstairs. I want to show His love through me. 

I want to love those different from me. Those who disagree with my lifestyle. Those who have hurt me. Those who I have never taken time to know.

Let’s set the world on fire and love our neighbors (even the crazy ones) just because.

-Kristin-

Bulletproof.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.“-Isaiah 43:2

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Photography Credit: Sarah Schrader, SJ Photography

Comeback stories are very popular and are often picked up to be recreated into books or movies. We as a society love to watch these comebacks.

I think it serves as a reminder that no matter how far we stray from the path we always have thought we’d be on we can always find our way back, or even better find a much better path.

I am my own favorite comeback story.

When I tell others my testimony, I think many times they believe I must be exaggerating because the story is ridiculous. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, it is so true.

I do not come from a bad background. I cannot say I had a bad childhood. I honestly had a great one where I lived in a nice house and my dad worked and mother stayed home with my sister and I. My parents attended my school and after school functions and made me know I was loved.

That amazing lifestyle changed though when I was 21. My family was literally ripped apart before my eyes. An affair happened that would change my life forever. At the same time, I was experiencing the toughest break up I have ever gone through. I was also driving long distances to go to my internship experiences and my final college classes and it was wearing me down. I literally had no idea what I was going to do for the time being and for my future. I came very close to quitting school entirely because I felt like I was drowning.

& no one knew.

I remember screaming every day. In the car, into my pillow, driving to the beach at midnight to just scream without anyone knowing.

I used to drive to the worst parts of town at night almost in a sick way hoping something would happen to me (it makes me cry to even think about this now).

I remember just wanting to die to end a deep pain I never knew could exist.

I could not handle accepting what others had done to me that I had no control over.

I did not understand how I could live with the serious mistakes I had made in life.

I hated myself for continuing to make decisions that I knew were destructive.

I had hit rock bottom and it was so deep I could not see any kind of light. Any kind of hope. Any kind of anything.

But Jesus, y’all.

The one I did not believe existed. The one who I thought was a fairy tale.

He saved me.

He came into my heart in an absolute literal way and told me that He loved me. That He has always been there for me. During every good and bad time, especially the tough time I had been through recently. The greatest peace I had ever felt came over me, and I finally saw light from the depths of the rocky bottom I was in.

People say we shouldn’t define ourselves by the past…but my past does define me.

It shows that even the worst of sinners, even the non-believing, angry, lost, hopeless ones, are so incredibly loved and cherished by God.

He gave me the comeback story of a lifetime. I wouldn’t be who I am without those terrible times. I wouldn’t be who I am if He had not chosen to intercede at JUST the right time.

He has strengthened me beyond my wildest dreams. He has made me bulletproof.’

I am the comeback story that proves that no matter how deep we fall, His love for us prevails every single time.

No matter what.

-Kristin-