The Winter Trees

““At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.” Job 14:7-9 NIV

Today I looked out, stopped. Took a pic. Love the winter SOMETIMES! Saw the flurries coming down and it looked magical. Even through the glass staring out at the bare trees, they spoke. Deep. So deep.

Skies the limit!

I love trees, its more than a logo for me;

Or a ministry. It’s something God created.

They grow together.

They are beautiful, expressive;

Maybe like sisters :-/

Sometimes that can hurt;

One and another;

But mostly an expression of sincere love.

Something lasting. Wonderful.

Love that took time.

Love that has depth.

Deep, deep roots.

Because of the authenticity,

There is a reason they never look fake.

There is no pretend.

They could never know how not to be trees.

In every season they display its true nature.

They wilt up in summer.

Blossom in spring.

Change colors in autumn.

Only to prepare for the stripping that winter will cause. It can be brutal. It’s a season to pass through for trees.

But truth be told,

Even when the conditions change around the trees

It still has strong roots, so they go through each season again and again.

Always remained.

Whoever said the life of the trees would be easy.

That’s how I have to believe about sisterhood.

We’ll get through this season and the next.

And always be the most expressive, unique and strongest trees.

With love,

A sister forever ♥️

Sharing a simple poem.

~Chrizzy

Wedding Aftermath

Never in my life have I been so completely spent. Never could I have prepared enough for the steps leading up to this moment. Never could I have thought that these things would rip apart my heart and sanity at the expense of achieving happiness for others…. EVEN THEN…. it wasn’t enough. For I could never please everyone. I could anticipate that truth. I was focused on the two. I was focused on the goal. Gladly stated, I would say we successfully achieved just that.
They wed.
And it was epic.
It was the wedding of the century.
Winter Wonderland was accomplished.
The vision was carried out.
Everyone was undeniably blown away in some form or another.
So I decided.
I lived, loved and laughed in my own way.
I enjoyed the moment that I could free my mind of everything else that was still pressing against my soul during this time of detachment. Loss of connection. Loss of what I thought was in some capacity completely mine.
Who could understand that but a mom like me. A woman like me that cares too much and cares too deeply. This internal thing, I can’t even articulate well. Its the best of both worlds. But I found that far few that would make me smile. The few that would make me laugh. The few that would extend the perfect words specifically to me in that moment of frustration and perfection colliding.
Who could know such anguish? My thoughts waged war–like never before. I wanted to crush my head to stop the severity and consistency of the never-ending thoughts bombarding my core.
It was changing my being. I couldn’t even speak, sleep or do anything fully functional.
And just when you want something to be over, it only becomes the beginning of your reality.
Everything changes. Even you.
Life’s tough. It’s heavy. Perplexing. And it keeps on moving. How can I break the things that are breaking me?
Its time to leave the places that drain your soul. How can you keep pouring out when everything inside of you has been pulled out? Let me just keep to this script right now. Because everything else is just passing me by. Let me focus on the things that will keep me whole. I’m gonna do what I can to rest. Rest my mind, rest my peace, rest my state of being, rest my world of creeping chaos. I’m gonna be intentional about that as I said on Sunday… #sorrynotsorry

But you must stay focused and be alert at all times. Tolerate suffering. Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you have been called. For I am already being poured out, and the last drops of this drink offering are all that remain; it’s almost time for me to leave. I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing. I look forward to what’s in store for me: a crown of righteousness that the Lord—the always right and just judge—will give me that day (but it is not only for me, but for all those who love and long for His appearing).
2 Timothy 4:5-8 (VOICE)

The Struggle Is Where You Learn

Dear Christina,
I met you at the conference in Charlottesville; I started reading your book the same day that you tossed it on my lap as you were speaking at the conference on Elizabeth in the Bible. I read it in two days. I wept, I stood up, I curled up with it in my bed, I lifted my voice to the Lord, I personally understand every word and gut wrenching sentiment of your book.  I have survived the unthinkable as well, even death at my door.  I found myself in every page.  Your words Christina, ring our mercy and strength.  I thank you for your book.  Love and prayers…

It is testimonies like this where I can feel that peaceful affirmation that when I sowed it–it was right! I love sowing my books–sowing the words that God gives me. Because every storm we face tells a story.  It paves the way for others. I am sure many of us would wish that we wouldn’t have to struggle. We want everything easy, quick and given to us with no real effort. That is the ideal.  But it doesn’t really happen that way.  In fact some people struggle even more than the average struggle.

I was speaking with my new beautiful boss and she tells me this….

“The struggle is where you learn!”

I said, “Wow! I am writing that down. That was a deep statement!”

Yet it is true! We all struggle and in those places of our struggle, He leads us through it so that we can grow through it. That is what I know and that is what I have learned on my own as well.  It is nothing that I could have learned had things been so easy for me. They never were!

At six –I had no dad at home.

At seven –we were already conformed to a life of poverty, struggle, government dependence and roaches.

At ten –I was already made fun of by every person in the school so I never could feel comfortable with who I was.

At fourteen –I was already introduced to the “hit & quit” over someone I just randomly met a night before.

At sixteen –I already ran away from home to return with a sexually transmitted disease.

At eighteen –I was already pregnant right after High School graduation.

In my twenties –I was still partying and getting high. I was still depressed and still hurting.

In my thirties –after somewhere meeting Jesus at the tail end of twenties, I would learn that Church was really not the “thing” that would keep my saved!

In my forties –I would learn that after much death, darkness and drama that I needed a serious encounter with the God of the Impossible in my life.  So I was Elizabeth too! I was the 88 year old that basically had no movement of life in me. Always left last and by the wayside and on the bottom end of life.

I kept going moment to moment, day to day, week to week and year to year only to discover that when you do that aimlessly you will always experience even MORE loss.

And all through that–what I do know now…… I got to say it…. WHAT I DO KNOW NOW! Is that God is my God! He is my King and He is my everything. He is my friend. He is the One who sustains me. He is the One that has kept me and He truly is the One that has been my Defender in every way possible –all through the impossible dark days and sleepless nights of my life.

There He would find me and there is where I would learn that only in the struggle would I have the deepest roots that I have ever had in Him. So I must say –just like the woman shared such a powerful testimony.  I now know that the words He has given me perhaps will make some want to stray more from me, but for the majority I know they are going to touch the world! ❤ I am at peace with that. The struggle is where I learned how to tell others about the greatest One of ALL!!!!

Amen

Jesus knew they had questions to ask of Him, so He approached them.
Jesus: Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
John 16:19-22

I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.
John 16:33

Veterans

It’s November 12, 2018.

Veterans Day.

Monday.

We start the week with AM prayer on Facebook Live in our MUI Prayer Room.  I woke up so tired.  I thought, “Hmm, should I just put a post up to cancel since it is a holiday! There ain’t going to be a lot of people on! We can resume Tuesday!”

It’s 5:50 am, as I am looking at the screen of my apple watch.  I continue thinking, “I could snooze. I could ask someone else perhaps. I could just skip the day. I wish my husband was here. LOL Gosh –He is so committed!”

I realize how much my husband is so committed at each passing day.  If he were here and had the opportunity, he would do it regardless if it is a holiday or not.  He is finishing up his missions trip in Chile, so he can’t do the hour remotely as easily as he can in the states.

The thing is, I do have to work.  I am not off for the holiday “Veteran’s Day!” So why should I be off for prayer! I can’t keep searching for excuses, even when my body doesn’t find the strength. I have to do it. I have to raise the standards myself and condition my body for the consistency of an ardent prayer life.

Imagine me going to work without having done prayer.  I would have made it to work but not made it to spend time with God first.  I would have spoke to everyone at the office and not have found the time to even talk with God.  I would have been eight hours at work and would not find one hour to give to God. Wow! How selfish and lazy of me. No! No! No! This is a job that we commit ourselves in the same way that those that have committed themselves for the cause of the entire country.

For Veteran’s day, we celebrate the men and women that made a decision to stand for our country.  We salute those that signed up to labor and serve for our protection.  There is a cause here.  They signed willingly for a contract that would be unwavering, uncompromising.  They sacrificed and surrendered all.

Why can’t we do this daily in our walk with God. This is what we do when we sign up for the kingdom. There is purpose, service, commitment and sacrifice…. all of this not to have religion but to have an intimate and powerful relationship with God. When we sow those acts into any relationship they become richer. Like friendships, sisterhood, brotherhood, marriages, etc., this is the same concept that we should follow to our God before the rest.

When we are not there–it matters! He is waiting to spend time with us. We have to commit. Just as I ministered in a sermon yesterday.  We have to give our all.  When the church doesn’t realize the impact of our absence, the world never will. It is time for us to go beyond the extra mile and give our very best in all that we do.

My husband is a prime example to me of that… I can tell him today–HAPPY VETERANS DAY! Because you are always serving for the life of others and that is worthy of honor.  I love you.

May God continue to raise up a generation (including me) that will be consistent, conditioned, and committed to climb higher as we set the bar for what it is to really be a veteran for the Kingdom.

Scripture Reference:
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Matthew 5:1-10 [The Message]