the Standard

the STANDard // January 2015

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peace

happy new year!! are you ready to move forward? we GET to move ahead!!!  I mean really, we have no choice. well, wait. I suppose we do, in a sense. we can choose to cling to rusty idols, harbor past hurts and nurse old wounds. but the reality of every one of our lives is that time marches on. clocks tick. days pass. 

I'm well aware of the stress that reality might create in some. I'm well acquainted with the anxiety that comes with pressure. I'm also conscious of the bondage we create for ourselves as we hold on to things in our hearts that God wants to help us break free from. 

what does moving forward mean for YOU? what do you want it to look like? I highly recommend some time alone in the next day or two.  even if it's just while driving. turn off the radio and talk to God. let him talk to you. listen.  

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for me.... I have big dreams. some new, some that have been bouncing around in my head and heart for some time. ALL nearly impossible!!! therefore they make me equally giddy with excitement and lightheaded with fear.  moving forward seems utterly hopeless some days. 

but as I get older and allow God to adjust my perspective, I'm seeing that often I'm in my own way.  my bondage is often self inflicted. I'm laser focused on me. when I should be looking at JESUS. I think I'm  doing everything I know to do to get out from under the weight of the fear and come to find out, I'm holding it with my own hands. really, all I need to do is let go.

at a church i visited recently, a father sat in front of me holding his little girl.  she was happy, but she was squirmy. she wanted to be in her daddy's arms, yet she was wiggling and flailing and just wouldn't be still.  she couldn't get comfortable. because she wouldn't rest. 

I saw me.  I get squirmy in my heavenly father's arms. I want to be there... but I can't sit still what with all my dreams and worries and such. 

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what I'm coming to is this: peace.  I need it. I need it to breathe and dream and move forward. I need it to rest. I need it in order to take steps; even small steps toward what I believe are God given visions and dreams, callings and purpose. and small steps matter. they count. it might take more of them to get where we are going, but we'll get there all the same. 

at Christmas we read that JESUS is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of PEACE. (Isaiah 9:6)

in Phillipians 4 we are told that the PEACE of God, which we can't even understand, will guard our hearts and minds when we present our requests to Him.

in Isaiah 26 it says that God will keep in perfect PEACE those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in him.

in Ephesians 2:14 Paul says....

...He Himself is our PEACE...

I won't move forward into this year without Him. I won't dream or decide or do without Him. all my other resolutions and intentions hinge on this one. 

my STANDard for the first month of this new year is

 Ephesians 2:14

...He Himself is our PEACE...

I hope you'll join me again this year in memorizing and mediating on a verse or passage of scripture each month.  

the STANDard cards continue to be available for purchase 10$ + 2$ shipping/handling.

simply send your payment via PayPal to officialcrystal@gmail.com

here's to beginning again!

 

photos from Paris:2014

the STANDard // september

 

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this time last year i wrote my STANDard for September, my birthday month...which i typically treat as my own personal new year... with anticipation and a measure of excitement as I chose Psalm 138:8 as my verse for that month, but also as my "plumb line" for my 44th year.  it says 'the Lord will fulfill His purpose for me...'; little did i know that Gods idea of timing regarding the fulfilling of purpose would drastically differ from MY idea of timing.  this time last year we'd finished, and funded, our kickstarter campaign and I was chomping at the bit to get that project underway. i just assumed that God would be fulfilling that purpose any minute. however, here I am a full 12 months later, with progress having been made, but no finished product.  it's been frustrating, to say the least, mainly because I've struggled to put my finger on exactly what the hold up is.  I guess that's because there've been countless transitions, shifts, changes and obstacles.  multiple hold-ups, too many to name.

what I've come to is this: my ways aren't His. my timing isn't His.   Gods timing IS perfect though.  and HIS ways are far and away better than mine.... even though most of the time I'm pretty sure i do all i can to impose my timeline on him.  with each transition that i question and every obstacle i try to find an easier way around, I'm learning to trust. learning to bend.  learning to surrender.  learning to listen.  

I've chosen Psalm 4:5 as my STANDard for the month of September, but also as the verse i plan to stand under for the next 12 months...my 45th year of life.

'...offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord'

first, i want to surrender with pure motives. it means acknowledging Gods desire for me to be willing to give up certain things in my life that keep me from actively pursuing and running hard after him.  letting the the full weight of the Word convict and correct me.  allowing the Master gardener to prune the branches of my heart in order that I might grow into the woman of God I'm meant to be.  

second, that i would trust God more and more. like Abraham, i want to be willing to surrender and sacrifice even that which i hold most dear because I'm convinced that God loves me and that I can trust him.  i want that faith to be continually cultivated in my heart  so i grow, gain strength, and increase in wisdom.  

isn't it just incredible that God invites us into relationship with him and then allows us to keep growing? to see things more clearly as we get older? it's as though we get glimpses of his plan and purpose along our journey to keep us climbing, keep us motivated to climb higher.   

my husband and i are heading into a milestone season of parenthood, the empty nest.  having raised 2 kids that are now both living outside our home, we are faced with a very big 'what next'! this transition will undoubtedly require both sacrifice and trust as we seek The Lord for His guidance down this new path.  in addition, this new record I've been working on for nearly 2 years WILL be completed and released during my 45th year! and that will require it's own sacrifices and countless opportunities to trust.  I'm convinced, though, that no matter what...there is no better way to live, no greater joy, than the life of faith. 

Psalm 4:5

'...offer right sacrifices and trust in The Lord'