Photographic.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”-Matthew 28:11

uno

I do not have a photographic memory. Yet for some reason I have the worst moments I have experienced seared into my brain. I remember exactly what that nasty text message or email looked like. I can see what that person looked like as they gave me horrible news.  I can see the look on the other person’s face as they found I had let them down.

I know exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing when these things happened.

I remember all the feelings: devastation, anger, disappointment, confusion, frustration, futility, and injustice.

Sometimes I visit these memories, and they make me feel all those emotions again.

It not only physically, but emotionally exhausts me.

& I have come to the realization that I do not want to be that person anymore. 

I want to change my way of thinking and processing. I want to focus on the good. I want my memory to change from remembering the bad so deeply to remembering the good times so intensely.

My mindset must change.

I have to CHOOSE to focus on the good. I have to CHOOSE to be in those moments when they happen and be grateful for all the amazing things I have chosen to look over in the past.

I want to choose peace. I want to choose goodness. I want to choose God’s mercy and grace.

What do you choose today?

-Kristin

 

Sweet 16.

I am being given one of the coolest, craziest, scariest gifts ever: I get to turn 26 this week.

I am reflecting on the last quarter century I have lived and am in disbelief of how fast life is going.  I really feel like I was just in high school a minute ago!

I loved high school (for the most part). I do not think it is necessarily an easy time for anyone and is kind of crazy, but I mainly think about it fondly.

But.

I wish I could change some things.

If 16 year old me would listen to the present version of myself I would have so many things to say:

Do not let it beat you down when things don’t go your way.

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (NIV)

Your parents have your best interest at heart: always.

Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV)

Follow your dreams-no matter the cost.

1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (NIV)

You will always end up where you were meant to be-even if it is not where you thought you’d be.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NIV)

Love others for who they are, not who you would like them to be.

Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

God is real and so is His love for you.

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

What would you tell your 16 year old self if you had the chance?

-Kristin

 

 

Voluntary Prisoner.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”-Psalm 51:10

5

Why is letting go so difficult?

Sometimes it seems so much easier to hold onto something than to let it go.

I have been in multiple toxic relationships that I somehow thought were better to keep than to just let go of. It never ends well, and it usually ends worse than it should have because I just could not let go.

Recently, I have been dealing with toxic friendships.

Friendships that I should have let go of a LONG time ago, that I instead chose to continue with. As with the relationships, they are ending more painfully and way worse than if I had let them when the time came a while ago.

But I chose to ignore that knowledge.

Psychology Today describes a toxic friendship as an “unenviable position of being mistreated by (someone they consider to be) a friend” (Betchen, 2013). You know you are being treated unfairly, but you choose to stay. Even worse, you may even know that you are the one who is treating someone unfairly and you choose to continue to mistreat them. Ever been there? On one side or the other or dare I say…you have at one point or another been on both sides? Me too.

The more we try to hold on, the more painful it becomes. It’s like holding onto a pot as the water in it slowly comes to a boil. It starts off okay, but then slowly it becomes hotter and hotter and more painful.  If we let go as soon as we feel that the heat is becoming too much to bear, and we know that it is not going to get any cooler, we may have some burns but we are not too scarred.

But, if we wait.

We end up with so much pain and horrific scars that never go away. They will eventually heal up, but they will form a scar that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.

God did not make us to be weak people who allow “friends” to walk all over us. He also did not make us to be bullies who walk all over people and still have the audacity to call them our friend. If you find yourself in either boat, it is time to reevaluate. If you know both parties are not willing and/or able to fix it or you have tried and it did not work: let go.

I feel like people think you are only strong if you suffer through things that you do not need to and basically kill yourself trying to save something not worth saving. But true strength is found in recognizing that it is time for endings and new beginnings.

Let it be. & be free.

-Kristin

References

Betchen, S. J. (2013, January 09). Toxic Friendships. Retrieved December 28, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/magnetic-partners/201301/toxic-friendships.

Then You Will Be Happy.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13

4

I had a fabulous Kindergarten teacher. I may not remember a lot of things from my childhood, but I remember being in her class more than anything else. I remember the stories she read to us and all the amazing activities we did.

The one story I remember more than the others was the book called “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

If you haven’t read it before, I really suggest you do…but the premise of it is that a gigantic tree takes care of a little boy’s needs/wants for his whole life.

The boy comes to her often as he grows older and says he needs certain things, so she gives him her branches, and her trunk, etc. until she is just left as a stump.

She never asks for anything in return except for him to be happy and even let’s him just sit on her stump when he is old and gray.

She shows this person incredibly selfless love.

& in this story, she reminds me so much of God.

How He gives, and gives, and gives. That all He asks in return is that we believe that His son Jesus died for our sins. That He too, just wants us to be happy.

Selfless love can change the world as long as we are open to not only giving it, but accepting it as well.

-Kristin

Happy December.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”-Isaiah 12:3

santa

Oh, December. How much I have missed you!

This is by far my favorite month of the year. Filled with worship, happiness, joy, Christmas movies, chilly nights, gift giving, and fun.

December is such a fun month. For me at least.

But for some, it is the most dreaded time of the year. & If we are to call ourselves true lovers of Christ, we cannot just act like these people do not exist.

They are the ones who plaster a smile on their face while coping with the loss of their family member and realizing this will be their first year without them.

They are the ones who lash out quickly because their loved one is incarcerated and there is nothing they can do to bring them home for the holidays.

They are the ones who avoid the holiday parties and activities because it makes them feel even more depressed because they feel so alone.

They are the ones who cannot sleep at night because they do not know how they will afford presents for their children for Christmas.

They exist. They suffer. They cry. They break down. They lose it.

Because December is not always the happiest time many of us think it is.

If you know someone who may be having a hard time this time of year, please just reach out to them. Offer a hug. Offer a smile. Offer a hand. Offer a prayer.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus does not always have to be extravagant, sometimes it truly just takes being willing to stand on your feet and hold out your hand.

Let’s try to truly make this one a happy one for all!

-Kristin

Onward.

“The righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.”-Job 17:9

Letting go.

Why is it so hard to let go of people?

They choose to walk out of our lives. Or do something that requires us to walk out of theirs. Or we realize the relationship is totally toxic so we have to try to get out now before it destroys the both of us.

Letting go may be necessary, but it’s not easy.

I remember hearing a sermon once that had to do with purity. The person explained that having sex with someone was like gluing two pieces of wood together. When it’s not your spouse and you break up, it’s like pulling those two pieces apart. You may be able to separate them, but those two pieces will never be the same again. They may have pieces of one another stuck to each other and they are left forever changed.

That sermon reminds me very much of what it is like to lose a friendship as well.

You get to know each other well and become “stuck together like glue” and when the friendship ends, the two of you are both left scarred. Left with the memories of your time spent together, and the longer the friendship-the greater the damage.

This is why letting go is hard. You’ve got pieces of them stuck in your heart, and that is incredibly painful.

But, God. But, Grace.

He heals all wounds, and as that sermon explained to me, He’s got a sander.

He sands down the extra pieces so that we can live without the constant reminder of the pain. He sands it down so we can let go and heal.

It does not mean that we go back to being the exact same person we were before-we’ve been broken and sanded down, and due to do that we will be forever changed. Though now, it does not hurt as bad.

I thank God for His Grace because trying to let go of certain friendships/relationships has been so hard.

But, thanks to God I think I’m finally ready to let go.

-Kristin

Let’s Talk.

Communicating.

We do it every single day in one way or another. We speak to others in person, call them, text them, email them, contact them through social media or communicate with them through our actions/body language.

We communicate about so many things that we think are important.

But we often find it so much more difficult to talk about the most important thing: Jesus.

Why do we find it so hard to talk about this?

Because we are afraid of the the rejection and judgment that can come from speaking about Him.

It can hurt and even embarrass us when others don’t react the way we wish they would.

But do it anyway!

Speak up. Tell others what you know about Jesus and the love that He gives to all.

He gave all for us, why not give up some of our fears for Him?

Let’s Talk.

-Kristin

Big Time.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”-Psalm 13:1

I feel it’s necessary to explain where this gorgeous picture was taken. 

I drove 45 minutes, and literally climbed over two fences (and past a few “keep out” signs) to get here.

I did it not go for the view, but in an attempt to get an ex boyfriend I desperately wanted back in my life.

We were going fishing and though I was exhausted and worn, I put in every ounce of effort I had left to make it out there to be with him.

& it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t get that guy back. I left with an even sadder heart and this picture as the only positive part of that evening.

I gave it my all and nothing came of it.

That hurts more than anything doesn’t it?

When we give things our all and feel like nothing comes of it, even worse that God is absent from our struggles.

We cry out in frustration: WHERE ARE YOU? I DID MY BEST, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Often, we think the deafening silence we hear in return is a slap in the face.

& on that day specifically, I felt that way. 

I knew that this God everyone spoke of must not exist, or must not have cared about me because how could he? Wasn’t he supposed to come save the day?

At the time, I didn’t understand that God is a God of love. That even though I couldn’t see it, He had to let me struggle through this time so I would not continue to go back to this unhealthy relationship that was not good for me.

I needed it even though it hurt! I didn’t realize it at that time and it took me a very long time to see it.

If you’re struggling today, I get it. 

I get the pain and heartache and feeling that God is not there or that maybe He doesn’t even exist.  But friends, He does. He’s there for you even when He doesn’t seem it. & He will love you through it all.

Take heart today y’all. He loves us big time.

-Kristin 

Grateful Hearts.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped, my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”-Psalm 28:7


There are so very many situations in life where we will find it hard to be grateful for what we have.

We may feel we have lost so much that we cannot see what else has been left. We cannot see that what has been left is something wonderful that we had never been able to truly see before.

I know I’m often guilty of this.

So focused on what is gone, that I forget how lucky I am to have what is still here to stay.

Though, I have noticed that the more I choose to be grateful; the happier and more content I am.

The more downtrodden I am about what is gone, the more absolutely miserable that I am.

It has made me start to realize that many things that happen to us are out of our control, but how we react to them are totally up to us.

We get to choose today.

We can choose to be happy or downtrodden.

What is your choice?

-Kristin