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)

Dear Family

Dear Family,

A big week has arrived for us and we have been experiencing big issues at the same time. The best thing that we have that is bigger than all of that is a big God that we all serve.

This is the moment where we get to all live that out and put it into practice.

Over the course of weeks and months this has been such a trying time for us all. We lost life. We lost family. We lost love and some of us even lost hope.

However, we also can say that others have gained life, gained family, gained love and some gaining more hope.

In the midst of transitional heights such as this –we experience a lot of raw emotions. This is okay. This is normal but we can’t stay in this place at all. All this is passing. Even this time may cause us to say and do things we never thought that we would do before. What do we do now? How do we embrace such great transitions? Just thinking about that as we are still healing and helping is some kind of anguish. It is never that easy for any one of us.

A pillar of our family was tragically stripped from us. Another pillar was tragically struck with illness. Others have transitioned away into their next season as this is a normal thing we embrace. Others are moving out or moving away. Some are wretched tears and others are with great celebrating. We cried, yelled, screamed, laughed, hugged…. Nevertheless, we have also said things that we probably should not have or done things we should not have. Much of what we regret but we cannot take back.

I am sorry for the things I said and done.

We can all attest to that. What can I say?  This is not going to be an easy season especially approaching the holidays.  In these next four days, perhaps we can do all that we can in the midst of our past, our pain, our purpose or any other priorities and make two people a HUGE priority this week and that is Cassandra and Matthew.

Let us love on them. Embrace them. Celebrate them. Encourage them. And help them as much as we could—but what I think they want to see more than anything else. Is that we do that together—in LOVE as a family.  A real family. Pushing aside all of our personal feelings, opinions, convictions and beliefs and work to do ONE THING ONLY THIS WEEK.

As my dear friend would always shout from the pulpit –“It’s not about you!”

It is really not.

It is about the LOVE of God and the love that He wants us to demonstrate more so even now. With all these moving parts.

I love you.

I really do.

Moreover, I hate that the enemy is using this for fuel to try and separate.  WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

LAY ASIDE YOUR SELF!!!! AND focus on the two that God is telling us to focus on in this moment.  We cannot give the enemy a foothold –because he is making it a stronghold and we know those are hard to tear down. Here is a recipe that I will say has been given to us.

Start with love. Start with hope. Let us follow the golden rule of Romans 12:12 and overcome this thing. It is our nature to act up –yes even as Christians! However, it is the Holy Spirits nature in us to make us press right through the natural into the supernatural and put on some SUPER LOVE.

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:14 NKJV

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, WEAR LOVE. It’s your basic, all- purpose garment. NEVER BE WITHOUT IT.
Colossians 3:14 MSG

As I think about this precious moment of my only daughter walking down that aisle I am in such an unexplainable state. I leave those thoughts with God. But one thing we will remember is that garment she is wearing. The beautiful white gown on this bride. Symbolic of a pure love. That is the garment God wants us to put on. Just like that and that we never take this specific gown off, not for a moment.

We conquer. We rise above. We find a way.

With love,

Christina

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