Monday, April 23, 2012

Until I...

"This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed." ~ Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

It seems fitting that this verse is today's scripture to add to my 2012 collection of scripture cards.  It fits perfectly right where I'm at.  God has given me a vision... multiple visions actually, but with each vision comes a specific time.  Do I know that time frame, do I know at exactly what day, time, or hour the vision will come to fruition?  No, I don't.  And I'm realizing that there's so much freedom and excitement in not knowing what, when, where, or how.  It's just been in the last month and really in the last couple of weeks that I've stumbled upon this peace.  In fact I had the privilege of sharing this with a dear friend today, telling her that in the midst of all I've seen and been surrounded by over the last year, and more specifically over the last 8 (almost 9 months) I realize I am incredibly blessed.  God chose me that I may still be single at the wonderful age of 30!! That I may have the joy and privilege of cultivating relationships, meeting new people, and watching as God is using those He's brought into my life to sharpen me and push me closer to Him.  And unfortunately for some of those He's brought across my life path, they may never know the impact they've had on my life.

There is a hope and dream deep within my heart that desires to share my life with another, to have the joy and experience of brining life into this world and following God's will that my future husband and I may be able to raise our kids as children on fire for God, that they'd always know His love and that He indeed has an amazing plan for their lives.  But with that said, I don't want it to be an idol, that I make it my goal in life and miss out completely on all God has for me right here... right now!

Remember those scripture cards I mentioned earlier... it has been a tough resolution to maintain, but here is a glimpse of January 1, 2012 thru today (April 23, 2012)...

Each of those cards is digging me deeper into God's word, and each has a corresponding prayer on the back side, that I may truly live out God's plan for my life and walk out His promises for me within His word.  In addition to the cards, there's one of my greatest joys and passions... singing and right now worship music is on continuous repeat in my car, on my iTunes, in my head.  I leave you tonight with the parts of the song on repeat as we speak...

Yeah, let me fall down at Your feet
Feel Your presence all around me
Don't let go until I am closer
Closer than I've ever been

Until I find myself in all Your glory
Until I'm weak enough to seek Your strength
Until I know that I am held by mercy
Until I am closer, closer than I've ever been

So break this heart of mine if it means
That I'm letting go by holding on to You

~ Mark Schultz, Closer Than I've Ever Been (2011)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stop This Train... I Wanna Get Off!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

It is 19 days into my Make Me Over month and it has not been as I expected... imagine that ;)  It actually started off with a couple of punches to the heart, but as the days have gone on, as the processing continues I find that I'm much stronger than I give myself credit for and I've been pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns that have occurred with "going with the flow."  In fact, my deactivation of Facebook as part of this deal in April has been such a relief that I'm considering carrying that over into May.  We'll see, I'll have a better idea when I get back from Germany on the 6th :)

That's my quick little update for you on how it's going, in case you were wondering.  But the reason for this blog entry is simply the power behind music.  Random, I know, but welcome to my world.  I'm a huge music person, and it's not so much about the music as it is words of the music.  For instance, here are a few song lyrics that have been on repeat in my head over the last 2 1/2 weeks.

"But you went away, how dare you, I miss you.  They say I'll be okay, but I'm not going to, ever get over you." ~ Miranda Lambert, Over You

"He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate, don't stop this train.  Don't for a minute change the place you're in.  Don't think I couldn't ever understand, I tried my hand." ~ John Mayer, Stop this Train

"Like no one would even notice, if you left this town, and never looked back.  You walk outside and all you see is rain, you look inside and all you feel is pain.  You don't know it yet, but down the road the sun is shining, In every cloud there's a silver lining.  Just keep holding on.  And every heartache makes you stronger, but it won't be much longer.  You'll find love, you'll find peace, and the you you're meant to be. I know right now that's not the way you feel, but one day you will."  ~ Someday You Will, Lady Antebellum

Take what you will from what you read, but I think you'd be surprised the work these songs have done on my heart.  In spite of the fact they are all secular songs.  That last one was inspired by an unexpected conversation I had with an old and dear friend this past weekend.  In trying to explain the recent happenings in life, it became very clear that we don't always understand in the moment why things happen and on some occasions we never understand... we just endure and move on.  And unfortunately in the search for answers all we find sometimes are more questions.

I'm loving this season of separation, of revelation, of falling in love, and everything in between.  Which I guess contradicts my title, eh?  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated, scared, confused, and a little heartbroken over this season, but it has been in the midst of all that I've found a deeper calling, a deeper reason for why I'm here.  In fact it has nothing to do with me, and the further I get into this season, the further I get from my selfish self :)  I don't know what God is up to in this season, but I'm sure glad He brought me here... Praise God for the desert!

"'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,' declares the Lord, 'and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.'"  ~ Jeremiah 29:13-14

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Make Me Over April

"I've been silent instead of speaking up, Gave my advice instead of giving love
I have been unfair, faithless, and unkind, I have shut my eyes just so I would stay blind
It's not what I meant to do, 'cause I want to honor you"*

In the last week of March I hit a spiritual and emotional wall.  I found myself up against a corner, no where to turn, all I could do was look up.  I looked up in the hopes of finally being able to surrender that which I had no control and seek God fully.  I often times find myself hitting walls such as these, but that week in March was pretty bad.  I was exhausted, emotional, and had no desire to "pull myself together."  I put that last part in quotes because I seem to be an expert at pulling myself together, sucking it up, moving on, and forgetting that just as much as my patients, I too need self care.  If there were a support group for people who are notorious for lack of self care, I would be the first to introduce myself... every time.  

"Hi, my name is Cristyn and I struggle to allow me to take care of myself!"

For whatever reason, I seem to think that if I care for myself that means I'm being selfish.  I fail to fully understand what Jesus said in Matthew 22:39: "And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'"  Oh how I laugh to myself when I think of that verse, not because it's funny, but because I always think of what my dear friend's fiance (soon to be husband) says to her about it.  He has reminded my dear (and very giving) friend that the verse says to "love your neighbor as yourself, not better than yourself" (Shout out Reiner & Paula).  I love that he has told her that and that she in turn has relayed that to me.  It's so true, how in the world can I or anyone else love a someone else as ourself when we are not loving ourselves?

The point I'm getting at dear readers is that this month, this glorious and beautiful month of April is what I call my "Make Me Over" month.  At the end of last week I bought not one, but two Groupons!  That's right, crazy, zany me bought something for myself!!! I bought a month of unlimited Yoga and a couple trips to a sauna.  I've never been to a sauna, should be a fun, little "relaxing" experience.  I'm really excited!!  In addition to that, I cut myself off from social media, or at least that which I'm a part of (Facebook and Pinterest).  It's so easy when there is an App for each on my phone and my phone very rarely leaves my side.  So, knowing I never get on Pinterest on my home computer it made it easy to delete from my phone, and then I just deactivated my FB for the month of April.  I guess if you are one of my readers, and a friend on FB you now know that I have not singled you out and deleted you, but rather I deleted myself.  It's only been 4 days, but let me just say there has been freedom already, plus lots of extra time to spend seeking God and taking care of me.  PLUS, at the end of this month you will find me treating myself to a lovely vaca in Berlin, Germany for one whole week... attending the glorious wedding of aforementioned friend (the one regarding the Bible verse).  

It sounds so weird to say that I'm taking care of myself.  In the past I've just ignored myself, pushed through to the point of getting sick at times.  I'm also guilty of allowing others to take care of me so that I don't have to worry about it (one less thing on my To-Do list, I say).  It's a crazy web we weave inside our heads when we make excuses for taking care of everything and everyone else other than ourselves. We live in a world that says "GIVE, GIVE, GIVE" sometimes and although I'm not an advocate for "TAKE, TAKE, TAKE" all the time, I am a big fan of Give and Take.  

I challenge you friends, spend this month or a month sometime in the near future taking care of yourself, making yourself more of a priority (if that's what you struggle with) and see what happens.  Pamper yourself!  Girls, go out with your girlfriends for manicures and/or pedicures, or a spa day.  Guys, go out with your dude friends to a sporting event, or a rousing game of Top Golf (is that even a game?).  Whatever you do, do it for you, and be sure to tell me all about it later! ;-)

Just know that as long as God is moving in me and speaking to my heart, you'll find out about it here on Blogger... most of the time.


"Make me over, make me new, Make me a mirror, a reflection of you
Take me all apart, take me to your heart and pull me closer, sweet Savior, make me over
I am only made of your imagining, I'm dust and clay on the wind
Wash me in the river of your sacrifice, Until I'm changed, purified"*

*Make Me Over by Natalie Grant