Will You Notice?

20140429-114158.jpg

Hopeless. Discouraged. Too far out of God’s reach. Trapped. Bound in chains. No possible way out.

You have screamed, you have cried,  been let down and given up. You have begged for God’s deliverance, and pleaded with him to leave you alone in the same breath.

…But will you notice?

Peter was in the same spot…
Though he had people praying for him day and night, it couldn’t have felt like it! He was imprisoned, and taken captive by the same people who had just murdered his friend. Each of his wrists were fastened with chains, all while guards stood on each side of him watching his every move (There were even guards guarding his guards!)

Peter’s circumstances were the definition of pure and utter hopelessness!

That is, until… “there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of The Lord stood before Peter and said “quick! Get up!” and the chains fell off…“Acts 12:7

Surely Peter noticed! ….Certainly he saw his miraculous deliverance in action!?!…. The answer to every prayer he cried out to God in the darkness of his cell!?!? …. The very chains that bound him to a complete and utterly hopeless future just falling to his feet!?!

But it says, “…Peter left the cell, following the angel. But at the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening!”

The angel then led him past the first guard post…. The second guard post… And then to the iron gate leading to city -leading to his freedom!

But still, Peter didn’t notice!

Only when the angel had disappeared, and Peter had been completely delivered from his circumstances did he finally come to his senses!

“…It’s really true! The Lord has sent his angel and saved me…”

Duh, Peter. Duh…

But let’s be honest, me and Peter have more in common than I’d like to admit!

I could never have known that today I’d be bound by chains and enveloped in darkness. I had promising plans and ‘happily ever afters’ in store for my future, and absolutely no inclination that the life I loved – the life I had once dreamed of- would seemingly fall apart in a single moment.

Like Peter I have people all over the world fervently on their knees for me. (And god only knows, how many prayers I have cried out to Him myself…)

But like Peter, will I notice my deliverance?

….Will I notice that what rocked my world and broke my heart on a Friday, would have debilitated me forever had I found out just a week later?

….Will I notice that just days after my world came crashing, that I had a previously scheduled trip to go home and be with my family – more specifically, my Mama – the person I needed most at that time!

….Will I notice that while my best friend, my confidant, my soul sister (aka Urban Hallelujah’s finest, R-to the-ACHEL!) moved far FAR away from me just over a year ago, that by some crazy turn of events I would end up moving to the exact same area – all the way across the country, completely unrelated, and just when I would need a shoulder to cry on!

Or will I just chalk that all up to coincidence?

What’s it going to take for me to come to my senses like Peter?

What is it going to take for me to notice God leading me out of my most dire circumstances? His deliverance that doesn’t come a moment too late? His impeccable timing and his life-breathing gifts? The events He puts on the calendar long before I am able to fully comprehend their purpose?

Like Peter, we have prayed fervently, and complied by following The Lord,

…And like Peter, our God WILL save us!

The only question is, will we notice?
Krista Signature

When You Fear God Is Done Listening

 

blog

At the exact moment you fear God is done listening to your pleas late into the night…

you read verses like this:

and you pee your pants.

Luke 18:1-8

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 

“There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy! I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”

Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!” 

So may we continue driving the Lord crazy, er… wearing him out, …I mean, PRAYING this week!

God knows this is SURELY something I can excel at!

Krista Signature

 

It’s Not God’s Fault

white river falls

I enter stage right and take the platform. My heart is pounding, and my hands are clammy. All eyes are on me. As I fumble to adjust the microphone, my eyes lock with yours, and a deep sigh escapes me.

“….How are we doing so far?”

I look out at the audience who were all crazy enough courageous enough to join me in my 30 Day Challenge– A challenge to quit thinking, quit talking, and quit trying to solve our problems! To instead, give it to God and ask him to show up and do a miracle in 30 days!

My eyes catch a group of you who respond to my question by sporadically jumping up and down and whoo-hooing like you are front and center at a Katy Perry concert… If this is you, you already feel God working in your life, and can barely contain your excitement for how He will continue to show up for you throughout this month!

I am with you!

Others of you are somewhere in the back. I can’t make out your faces because you are rocking back and forth in fetal position, and are murmuring things under your breath that I can’t quite make out. You desperately know you need to quit, have courageously decided you were going to quit, but equally question whether its humanly possible… If this is you, you likely know exactly how many more days, hours, and seconds are left of your 30 day challenge (I have 16 days, 11 hours, and 46 seconds!) You have also likely gone to bed before the sun set a handful of times last week, because you realized if you couldn’t talk or think about your problems, than really…what is there left to do?

Deep Sigh. I am with you….

Then there are those of you who are breaking for the doors the second you see me hit the stage. You have already adamantly thrown up your hands and QUIT ‘quitting’ and have yet to decide if you are more mad at me for suggesting such ridiculousness, or at yourself, for in a moment of bad judgment, following suit…. If this is you, then you’d likely come hunt me down if it weren’t for the fact that I live with 8.4 million other people, and the chances you will ever find me are minimal, at best!

I get it, I do. The truth is, I’m kinda ticked at me too!

So I’m with you…

ALL OF YOU!

And have danced between all 3 emotions, over and over! In the last 4 hours!

But no matter where you are at, or what you chose to let go of last week-

You should know,

It’s not Gods fault.

In the last couple months, I have been anything but shy about airing my frustrations with the Lord. In my desperation I have demanded answers, questioned why, and wondered what I could have done to deserve this. If you recall, it was only two weeks ago, that I screamed at God, punched pillows, and made no apologies….

But what I realized this week is that my current reality is not the ‘Divine torture chamber’ that I made it out to be! (Torturous, yes.. Divine, no…) and that the answer to every question I screamed and sobbed into my pillow late all those nights (and of course, before I ‘quit’ all that!) was right there all along…

in James 1:16-17  it says,

“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

My most poignant questions had asked God: …Why me? …Where were you? …Why would you do this?

The Lord’s response: You got it all wrong my child… I am good. my plan is perfect. I am the creator of all beauty, and though your circumstances and emotions may change (often abruptly) I never will.

I believe this verse begins with a warning to not be misled, because He expects that some day we will be! That when things go disastrously wrong that He knows we may lash out at Him in response…. That we may demand answers and throw punches…. That we won’t know where to turn or who to blame…

…And that ultimately, we will get it all wrong!

You see, the last couple of days have been a disaster; a barrage of spills, and toys! …Bubbles were dumped on the rug, UNO cards were found in my bed, pennies were eaten, and it seemed like every stuffed animal got a ‘bath!’ (…and yet, now that I think about it, I don’t know if my daughter ever did!)

When I couldn’t bear to step on, yet another Lego, and was one more “uh-oh Mama!” away from losing my – already dwindling – sanity, I made the decision to shut it ALL down! No more tv… no more “shnacks”… and FREAKIN. NO. MORE. TOYS!!!!

To be expected my 2 year old threw herself on the ground, kicking and screaming in refusal. Once her yelling had died down, she then proceeded to sulk and roam around aimlessly, not knowing what to do with herself amidst the space and silence.

Moments later though, and too my surprise, her whimpering turned to laughter!

I looked to find that she had ascended her Father’s back, and had completely transformed him into a “Ca-BYYYYY-Oh!” (learning also, that if you kick him under the ribs that he will indeed, go faster!)

I watched as she squealed in delight, taking turns between riding him like a horse, and plopping into his lap to glide down his legs like they were a slide.

That day my daughter learned something new (and wildly entertaining) about her father! Something she may not have fully grasped about him, had she kept pouting, or the distractions been present.

We have the same opportunity, in each moment, and through each emotion, of this 30 day Challenge!

And while I hesitate to kick my Heavenly Father under the ribs (…though I secretly wish He would move faster!) I have found that it often takes quieting my distractions, and putting my ‘mess’ in it’s place. It takes adamantly deciding to quit questioning, quit kicking and screaming, and – for the LOVE – to quit sulking, so that I too, can learn more about my Father.

To learn something I had all wrong…

That while our circumstances are unquestionably bad, our God is forever good in spite of them.

While our emotions may change on a whim, that our God never will.

And while He often allows pain and uncertainty in this life to come, that we can be just as sure His goodness and perfect plan will follow suit.

So don’t be misled…

It’s not God’s fault.

Krista Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Quit (And Why You Should To!)

I QUIT

I am an above average quitter. In my years, I have quit a variety of things, not limited to cheerleading, playing the flute, couponing, and subscribing to Netflix. 4 times!

I have also quit Jillian Michael’s Level 2 more than I’d like to publicly admit, and am known to quit checking my voice mails once the number gets too high (…currently there are 9!)

I also semi annually (Read: Every other week) consider quitting writing. Like, forever.

But this last week I quit something I will never regret.

It started when I avoided a phone call from my dad.

I knew he was just checking up on me, but I literally COULD NOT talk about this any longer – Not about my problems, not about what I feel I should do in the future, and/or when I should do it… Notta! Even small talk was out of the question!

“That’s exactly why I need to talk to you,” he responded, “I have an idea…

He had my attention as he began to describe an intriguing idea that was as profound, as it was nutty.

… An idea to QUIT!

To throw your hands up, and give up! To quit talking, quit thinking, to even quit WRITING about my problems! …Don’t lie, you just let out a sigh of relief… And if it makes you feel better, I’m just as sick of hearing my sob story as you are! 😉

You see, people all over the world ‘fast’ from things like Facebook, vanilla lattes, or the likes of Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts, but that night my Dad and I made a decision to fast… from our PROBLEMS!

Even further, we are asking BEGGING God to do a miracle in our lives in the next 30 days! Because boy, do we ever need one!

Every time our trials creep into our minds (which is on average every 23.6 seconds) we will do our best to stop thinking about it and give it to God and ask Him to work a miracle on our behalf…

Every time those closest to us check in and ask how we’re doing, to ask them instead, to lift us up in prayer every time they think to ask…

Every time the panic sets in, and our hearts get restless… when we can’t make sense of this mess and can’t help but question what God is doing… we will throw ourselves at the Lord’s feet each and every time, in hopes that by the end of the month we will see Him more clearly.

In James 1:5-6 it says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give it to you…”

It’s simple, just ask! And in my case, if you need 5 TRILLION TONS of wisdom ask over and over, every second of every day, for 30 days straight! 😉

It goes on to say, “…but when you ask Him be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver.”

The only requirement to gain the wisdom that we are so desperately searching for, is to trust IN GOD ALONE – Not in our common sense, (which I pride myself in) not in our preferences, our ability to ‘fix’ things, or make good decisions. Not in our closest friends, our parents, or our spouse. In Christ. PERIOD!

In the last couple months I have found this to be true, because while I have an amazing support system in my life (and equally amazing blog readers!) in spite of their undeniable love and support, constant phone calls, great advice and care packages, (Double Stuffed Oreos anyone?!) I am still just as stuck as I was before, and haven’t budged even in the slightest!

While I ultimately desire the life the Lord has for me – and while in the past I have followed Him devotedly – this current journey He has me on, has me traveling uncharted territory, out of my comfort zone, and even more, against my will! I am scared to death, and let’s be honest, if there were a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, I’d play it… Like, yesterday!

So the question is, if I’m up against the wall, with few options and even less hope…

if I’m paralyzed in fear and at the end of my rope…

Than seriously, why am I still trying?

Why not quit?

Why not give it to the one who is far more qualified to get me out of this blunder? The one who doesn’t tremble at the magnitude of the mountain I’m up against? The Lord isn’t surprised by the state of my life, He knew I’d be right here… right now… and that I’d want to puke! Even more, He knows when deliverance will be at my doorstep! (Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later!)

Our God is more than capable to do a miracle in 30 days!

… But will He?  That is the question!

One thing is certain, God can do more with our problem in 30 days than we can!

So join me in quitting….

Join me in putting our lofty dreams, big decisions, and looming deadlines on the back burner! To quit keeping ourselves up late into the night and talking ourselves TO DEATH in an attempt at doing this in our own strength! And instead give it to the Lord and ask Him to guide our every step – our every thought – for the next month!

And while I have no idea what is going to happen in the next 30 days – or even worse, what I’ll do if He doesn’t show up! (Don’t be surprised if in a month I post some bogus recipe for homemade laundry detergent or something!)

…I know that if I don’t take this leap of faith today, that at the very worst,  I will be exactly where I started yesterday.

And so I have nothing to lose…

I quit.

Krista Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Meltdown” A Memoir

meltdown

It started around 9am, Just long enough for me to sit down with my cup of coffee and take a deep breath in the name of starting (yet another) day.

… And then it began.

Construction.

Those of you who know me, know that I am truly one of the most chill human beings. Like chill to the point that I don’t even flinch when my wedding was running 45 minutes late, or when my daughter eats potato chips off the pavement in NYC!

… But THIS. This loud drilling outside my window that was literally rattling every sq inch of my apartment had me struggling to hold it together!

I tried to stay calm, and tried with all my might to distract myself …when the drilling was in the living room, I looked at it as a great excuse to get some dishes done in the kitchen… When the drilling followed me into the kitchen, I moved into the bedroom to fold some clothes…

But without fail, the drilling followed me EVERYWHERE!!!!

I held my composure beautifully

… until nap-time!

If you aren’t familiar with this nap-time that I speak of, it’s the mom’s equivalent of ‘Girls Night’ minus the blood orange margaritas and the little black dress! Nap-time is oftentimes a mother’s only time to unwind, to feel human again (if only for a moment) and to simply do whatever the heck she wants! (Can I get an amen?!?!)

However today’s nap-time would be experiencing a ‘remix’ of sorts thanks to the drilling that was going on IN HER ROOM!  And while the ‘original nap-time tune’ was MUCH more to my liking (and may or may not have included watching reruns of Sex and the City and attempting to apply fake eyelashes…)  I embraced it as much as I could muster, and turned on every fan in an attempt to drown out the sound, and brought my daughter into my room to lay down with her.

As if on cue, once my daughter had finally fallen asleep (…and my hand literally felt like it was going to detach from my wrist from rubbing her back for so long…) the drilling began AGAIN!!!

This time

IN

MY

ROOM!!!!

Insert: Full blown meltdown.

It is during that meltdown – and somewhere between thrashing around, and violently punching pillows – that I screamed out in frustration and said these exact words out loud to God…

“WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME!?!?!”

As soon as the words left my lips, Him and I both knew I was talking about much more than just construction! The words I said were few, but loaded!

They confronted God head-on asking,

WHERE ARE YOU?

WHY DID YOU ALLOW my heart to be broken? 

I have followed you DEVOTEDLY, I have loved you PASSIONATELY… WHY would a “God of love” allow this to happen to ME?!

Though it was far from pretty, this was the first time (in a long time) that I had spoken directly to God. Like Reeeeeally spoken to Him!

You see, I had said my ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s’ and prayed before asking to pass the salt at dinner… I always bowed my head (without peeking) during church, and have thanked Him endlessly for the apartment He gave me… but even still, I had yet to confront God about the current state of my life – the seemingly irreparable state of my heart!

A little harmless construction was all it took for me to be truly honest with the Lord…

The question is, What’s it going to take for YOU to be honest with the Lord? 

Jesus says, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-19

Though we may not realize it, our God doesn’t turn away from our heartbreak, our tough questions, and at times our confrontational attitude. On the contrary, He invites it!

He goes even further to say (directly to only me of course, and to my current state of unwind)  …Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”

Come to me… I will give you rest.

Let me teach you… I can be trusted.

I don’t know about you, but I so badly need rest… and even more, someone I can trust.

And though last week, we may have admirably decided to stop running FROM God, I realized that it’s just as much about running TO Him…

To throw yourself at His feet when life gets ‘noisy’ and problems arise at the most inopportune times. When there seems to be nowhere to escape, and problems seemingly follow you everywhere!

To come to Him, raw, messy, and unedited. Ask the tough questions. Scream. Cry. Demand answers. Punch Pillows, and say things that would get you kicked out of church!

Our God can handle it, ALL of it! No matter how ‘heavy’ the burden!

… And once our heart rate levels out and our voice lowers, (apologize to the pillow…) and let Him teach us.

Let Him teach us to love, to trust, and to pick up the broken pieces once again.

Let His strength take the weight that is crushing your spirit, the burden that each day threatens to tear the little you have left from your grasp. Let Him speak words of ‘gentlesness’ in a world that has unapologetically dealt it’s harshest hand. Let the God who was miraculously raised from the dead, work on your behalf to breathe life into your weary soul, and rebuild all that has been unfairly stripped away.

You see, it’s just as much about not running FROM God, as it is to decide – with every ounce we have left – to run TO Him!

For Our God can be trusted…

So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. -Isaiah 30:18

Krista Signature