Who We Are

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Judging.  Assuming.  Speculation or presumption.

I am totally guilty.

I have judged you, in one way or another; and for that, my friend, I am truly sorry.

After reading this post a while back, I was painfully aware of how I have even subconsciously judged others.  I know how awful I feel when I am judged; actually one of the things that irritates me most is when I feel judged by someone.  Sometimes it’s easy to brush off and not care– other times it marinades for a while and cuts deep.  You see– we may have reasons for why we do what we do or don’t do, or maybe we don’t have reasons at all– but it’s not my place to judge any of that.

‘Nough said.

Why all the internal reflection you ask?

Ahhhh motherhood.

I remember sitting at a bridal shower a few years back, when Maya was just a twinkle in God’s eye and I was just a newlywed myself.  The bride was sharing with us how overwhelming registering for items was; that there was so much to choose from.  A friend next to me whispered, “Just wait until you have babies.”

She went on to explain how the choices continue to manifest to the smallest of details.  “Will you breast or bottle feed?  For how long?  Organic cloth diapers or disposable?  Homemade baby food or store-bought jars?  Vaccinations or no shots?  Demand feeding or Parent Directed Feeding?  The list goes on and on…”

I will never forget that conversation.  Although it was years before I had my little bundle of joy, it stuck with me.  What on earth?!  Did people actually spend time worrying about all these things?

Turns out, sometimes they do.

And sometimes, they don’t.  At all.

Or maybe they’re somewhere in between.

Each decision we make, whether it be a parenting decision or not– these decisions are ours to make.  Not anyone else’s.  And once a decision has been made, we should feel confident and content with our choice.

In my family, I can be known as an opinionated and strong willed person.  I have often voiced my feelings toward something with a certain level of joy or disdain.  Motherhood has taught me that those opinions and feelings are just fine– however, I am not to project them on to someone else or make someone feel wrong for doing different.

I know mothers with ten children; some who’s intention is to have only one.  I know mothers who breastfeed, bottle feed, or don’t do either exclusively.  I respect mothers who won’t touch a disposable diaper, and those who feel similarly about cloth.  I understand mothers who choose to vaccinate or not to vaccinate and can appreciate the reasons for both. Organic or not?  I know many women who feel extremely convicted about both sides of the equation.

This is not to say that I am still not an opinionated or strong willed person!  I have my feelings about many things– especially the things I do concerning my daughter– but I’ve learned that these things are what works best for our family and may or may not be right for someone else.

In other words, where the bible speaks, I’ll go to my grave standing on it.  Where it doesn’t, I have no authority to judge.

This goes for much more than motherhood, though.  The single gal who is content to be single?  Let her be.  The 30 year-old guy still living with his parents with no job?  You might not know the whole story.  The neighborhood kid who you’d swear has ADHD and no one seems to do anything about it?  Someone loves that kid and is doing their best.  It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, have 10 kids or one or none at all, have a ‘successful’ job or work as a waitress (shoot– there’s nothing wrong with that believe me!).  Stick to your guns, be confident in your decisions, live according to your convictions, but by all means– the bible really doesn’t say anything about vaccines, does it?  Or about organic food, right?  Or about how you choose to save for retirement or what loan you use to buy that house.

So this Thanksgiving and holiday season, give grace because you’ve been given so much grace first.

Don’t roll your eyes or judge your fellow woman when she shows/tells you about her significant other, engagement ring, cloth diaper service, gourmet homemade or fast food drive-thru dinner, kid’s doctor’s appointment, or her manicure.  It might not be how you’d do it, and that’s okay.

Because you, my friend, are a daughter of the KING!

You belong, you are cherished– you truly are a princess.  You are wanted and loved.  You are being pursued by the ultimate artist of the universe and He looks at you and says “It is GOOD!”  You are His beloved.  There is none like you, and girl– there is none like Him.  He will never let you down, give you up or give up on you.  He chose you and He’ll never forget.

Don’t forget who you are.

And don’t forget who she is.

Who we are!

We are all different, yet created in His image; sisters– and better yet, daughters!

Whether you’re an organic foodie or could care less, let’s not judge our sisters.  We are family, after all.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Cheers to all of us, doing the best with what we have for the people we love.  🙂

I saw the following video on facebook a few days ago, and thought it went perfectly with this post… It’s a quick 3 minutes and I’d encourage you to watch.  Don’t forget who we are!!!

This post is an edited version of a post that was first published in February 2013 on my original blog (I say ‘published veeeeeerrrrrrrry lightly as I’m certainly not a professional or anything– I simply clicked ‘publish!’ :)) and it’s as ever true today as it was then.  Thanks for reading!

Rachel Signature

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This Blog Isn’t For You

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So we blew up the blogosphere this last week…

Like for real, and entirely on accident!

And as Rachel and I watched the number of daily visitors grow on our blog – doubling, tripling, and so on…  and so on – I realized something new about myself…

Success isn’t my scene.

While it makes me momentarily want to dance on the table in excitement, just as quickly, it had me rocking back and forth in fetal position, scratching my eyelids, and taking an oath that I would never write again.

Throughout the week, it’s entirely possible that I made a few frantic phone calls to Rachel, where we weighed our options, and questioned whether it would be best to just shut down the blog completely (no really… we were THAT freaked out!)

And yet, interestingly enough, here I am once again.

Only took 500 gallons of chamomile tea to calm my escalating heart rate, and another trillion prayers to the Lord Almighty, but I am here!

But due to the attention we got this last week, and taking into consideration the many feathers I ruffled ( because apparently people don’t understand the disclaimer: “I know this post will offend people… and for the record I am not sorry!”) I thought it might be fitting to clarify a few things:

Yes, I am a pastor’s wife. And no, that’s not a title I can live up to! Being a ‘Pastors wife’ is in no way my identity (you won’t here me ‘name dropping’ that in posts to come…) And whether you choose to believe it or not, I am a human being  just. like. you!

I am not über spiritual- In fact the Real Housewives of New Jersey and I have an ongoing date on my couch every week (and if there are wheat thins and chocolate covered acai berries involved, then all the better!) Admittedly, I curse on occasion for emphasis, and I make a MEAN margarita!

That being said, while it’s entirely your choice whether or not you hold me to the unrealistic standard of what you believe that a Pastor’s wife should be, if you choose to do so, I can say with 100% certainty that I will fail. Miserably.

And when I do, it’ll be your fault for putting me on that pedestal -not mine!

And if you don’t like that, then this blog is not for you.

I also am by no means the picture of a perfect parent. I secretly despise the playground, too often turn to the plethora of take-out menus for dinner at night, and it’s entirely possible that the first music my daughter ever heard in the womb was a Black Eyed Pea’s song, that my husband and I had methodically picked out!

And if you don’t like that, then…

well, you get where I am going with this!

I love the Lord deeply with all that I am. And whether or not a relationship with Him is what you desire, you hang with me long enough and it’s likely my faith will be contagious.

So a word of caution: If that is something you are extremely opposed to, then this blog might not be for you. (Although, I secretly hope you will stick around anyway!:)

If my grammatical errors anger you to the point where you feel the need to comment about them, then I am sorry, but it seems you have confused me with a real writer!

Simply put, I am a stay at home mom, who – what I lack in hobbies, is made up for with dishes in the sink! I struggle daily to get out of my pajamas, and am always scrambling to get my weekly blog post done in time while my two year old crawls all over my limbs, feeding me fistfuls of goldfish crackers in an attempt to get me to impersonate the cookie monster (which for the record, I have no shame in doing!)

All that to say, if you are looking for an eloquent speaker or errorless presentation, then this will never be the blog for you!

As for me, I will cling to the hope that if God can use simple farmers, despised tax collectors, and even sons of prostitutes to bring Him glory, then surely the Lord in all of His greatness, won’t even bat an eye at the mish-mash that can be my english!

And given the chance that I get a negative comment – or give or take a few HUNDRED like last week! 😉

I will not respond. Ever!

I know, I know…  you are “being pressed by the Holy spirit” to tell me how wrong I am and what not, but regardless, that’s just not me. It’s not that I don’t respect your opinion, it’s that I don’t write to please you – or anyone else for that matter!

I write because God has laid it on my heart to be unapologetically honest and courageously me! To be vulnerable enough to share my weakest, and rawest thoughts so that He can meet me there and transform my heart to be more like His. NOT to merely write for His people; their praise, their public acclaim, or to address their criticism!

So if you are looking to debate with someone or are itching for a feud,

This

Blog

Is

Not

For

You.

Phew! Now that we got that out of the way – and since we have weeded off all the haters by now –  may those of you who are still with us, continue on this journey of true authenticity. The kind where we aren’t afraid to publicly declare that our kids are making us cray cray, that our spouse is one- dirty- q tip – left – on – the – counter away from sleeping on the fire escape (like, indefinitely!) and to address that more often then not, we struggle with feelings of being not enough; enough of a provider, enough as a spouse, enough as a parent, and at times, even enough as a CHRISTIAN! Gasp! I know, its scandalous I tell you!

Together, I hope we can learn to lean into Christ for all that we need, learning to love Him and trust Him more, so that with His strength we can embrace the (at times craaaaazy) life he has laid out for us!

We will be your guides, and although we can’t promise perfection, an agreeable nature (or in my case, savory language 100% of the time) you do have our word that we will be honest and raw to the core, in hopes that one day you too will be able to do the same!

And if THAT is what your soul has been so desperately longing for, then I am so happy to announce that this IS the blog for you! And we couldn’t be happier to have you on board!

But before I go I must publicly declare…

that I, Krista,

do solemnly swear,

to never curse a crockpot ever again! 😉

There. I said it. Now can we all just get along?

Krista Signature

Why Are You Moving Again?!

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We are moving (again) this week.  We are packing up this 3000 sqft rental house and moving to a 1200 sqft duplex.  It’s much more affordable, cozier, and definitely smaller.  Part of me is extremely sad to leave this grand ole house, and part of me is crazy excited about not having to spend $400/month on heating it this winter!  I’ve been packing for a couple weeks now (necessary when a toddler is in tow!) and it’s begged the question from friends and family…  Why are you guys moving again?

Why?!

There are a multitude of reasons we are moving.  Our landlord wants to sell the house, we simply don’t need 3000 sqft and six bedrooms, the cost to heat this place is outrageous, we can’t afford to purchase the house nor do we plan on buying while we’re in New Jersey…  But the number one reason we’re moving?

We want to prioritize expenses that reflect true priorities in our life.

Sure, our home is a huge priority to us, but not at the expense of being house poor.  The rent on our current rental is more than we want to spend.  While it was fine for a year, the fact that our landlord needs to sell was just the kick in the butt we needed!  So we adjusted our budget to reflect a significant reduction in the amount we spend on rent.  It’s freeing to know that money isn’t being tied up in having a roof over our heads, rather it’s available for other priorities.

Other than God and our marriage, our number one priority is Maya.  We value having a parent at home with Maya rather than sending her to daycare, and reducing our rent gives us better ability to make this dream a reality.  While it has taken a while for David and I to come to a common ground on this, we value the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment being home with our girl provides.  I know this situation isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for us!  Saving money on rent makes this a more comfortable decision too.

It also gives us the ability to save, save and save.  We currently have two mortgages back in California, and we’re working towards paying down so we only have one.  This feels like a slower process now that we’re on one income, but cutting our rent gives us more margin to do this!  Wahoo!

Reducing our rent expense also provides us more of an opportunity to give.  Let me tell you, we are still on a looooong journey of learning what it means to really be generous and give.  We donate time and things and give some money, but we have a lot to really grasp on generosity.  It’s not so much about how much, what percentage or the dollar amount we give, but about fully trusting God to provide for our every need and putting him FIRST.  We have a lot of work to do in this area.

Tomorrow we get the keys and sign more papers and begin moving boxes.  Yes, we’re moving again.  And this is why. 🙂

Rachel Signature2

You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea

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My latest pet peeve is THIS.

Every time someone living outside the city attempts to ‘minimize’ what it’s like living in New York City, something dies in my soul!

“Oh, it’s not thaaaaat expensive…”

“it can’t be thaaaaat busy…”

It’s the emotional rage equivalent of telling a person who works out hours every single day, and limiting it to the fact that they must just have really good genes! When they go on to explain how hard they work – the laziness they push past, the determination they have to possess, the self control that it demands – the response again is, “nah, that cant be it… you must just have good genes!”

For the record, I don’t have good genes. And living in the city DOES NOT come natural to me.

And I can’t help but think, that when I am searching the city over, and aggravated to the point that I am yelling in pig-latin in the bulk spice aisle of the grocery store because I can’t find nutmeg for under $6.99, or the cheapest loaf of white bread I can find is on sale for $4 and went bad YESTERDAY! That you are right…  I must just be making this ISH up! $$$$$$$$$

crowded-subwayThat when I pack into a subway car that has you crammed like sardines, and I find myself apologizing to my daughter for all the miscellaneous crotches in her face, or stand in the check out line at Trader Joes that literally wraps around the store, TWICE! That it’s true, its not thaaaaat busy… compared to Black Friday!

So for all those, whose opinions are flooding me like a southern downpour, the truth of the matter is, you think you know, but you have no idea!

Is it just me, or have I gotten feistier over the course of the last 8 months? 🙂

You see, living in Manhattan is hard to describe…

At the exact same place outside your apartment that you saw Tom Selleck 30 minutes prior, now lies a man passed out drunk infront of your building, making it so you can’t leave your apartment until a ‘Good Samaritan’ walking along the street literally picks him up by his coat, and tosses him to the side so you can get through the door.

Our children’s pediatrician is on Park Avenue, we take morning strolls through central park, with each step, listening to the Kings of Leon rehearse their songs for a benefit concert somewhere in the park, and have seen both the President and the Rockafeller christmas tree being police excorted outside our apartment building (one being more exciting than the other depending on your political stance!)

And yet, we take public transportation to go trick or treating, have bruises up and down our left leg thanks to carrying our kid in their stroller down the subway steps, and are forced to store our summer clothes under our beds during the winter due to lack of space. Seriously, if I only had ONE more closet…

We get yelled at every time we put out basket of groceries on the conveyor belt at the store (for reasons we aren’t quite sure), and are tainted enough to believe that the only plausible explanation for someone being nice to you is that they have every intention of mugging you.

We live and breathe by the saying “You are only in trouble, if you get caught”, rarely make eye contact, and know the homeless people in our area more than our neighbors (and if you are like my family, you nickname them!)

There’s ‘The Spitter’ who for whatever reason spits sporadically  (you can hear her before you see her), “Two-face” who sweetly asks for spare change- puppy dog eyes and all – but then curses your existence as you walk by, calling you the likes of ‘ungrateful’, and ‘selfish’ with a few f -bombs tossed in there for emphasis.

Then there is the man that sits on the corner of the street outside our apartment – rain or shine – in a wheelchair and NEVER asks for money. Who we later came to find out isn’t homeless at all! He actually works for the paparazzi, and like clock work, sits outside the restaurant below our apartment, watching for celebrities going in and out. Who, now that I think about it, probably doesn’t even really need a wheelchair! 

New Yorkers also eat out a TON – 58% of them eat out AT LEAST once a day! (And it’s likely that we know lots more random statistics just like that!) We also have lofty ‘food goals’, like to try a cronut (the croissant- doughnut hybrid that has taken the city by storm!) or to ‘taste’ every country in South America, just because we can!

And given the dire situation that you ever find yourself needing to impress a New Yorker, it’s as simple as making something- ANYTHING – homemade! Seriously, it BLOWS. THEIR. MIND. every time!

Our bible studies have people skyping in from around the country (one even in Afghanistan!), our playdates go down at playgrounds not in homes, and interestingly enough, I’m in a car so little, that I actually get car sick every time I am in a taxi.

531966_520585242644_227592518_nAnd sure, I could trade my NYC life, for granite countertops, and a walk-in closet elsewhere. I could have impeccable customer service, and cheaper produce at my fingertips… but even then, the cost would be far too great!

Because I’d be trading my new-found courageousness for comfort, and my city experiences for mere suburban luxuries.

So I have decided…

Suburbia, you can keep your fancy cars, your garbage disposals, and the expectation to have an even number of kids,

because although living in the city is mind-boggling expensive, swamped with people, and stretching me thin to the point I am nearly translucent,

Even still, I want to be a New Yorker!

For today, at least 🙂

Krista Signature

Holiday Hosting: Secrets I’ve Learned

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Yesterday I went to the mall to try to catch a glimpse of Giada (she was doing a book signing at the Williams-Sonoma, and no, I did not even see her.  I saw 400 people in line, though).  The mall was already decorated so beautifully for the holidays.

And you know what?

I LOVED it!!!!

I am sooooo excited for Christmas this year I can barely stand it.  Last year we were in a sea of boxes and packing paper; this year will be somewhat of the same but I don’t care!  We are going to make this holiday season FUN.  We’re going to make an advent calendar with fun holiday activities and put up a tree with lights.  We will bake those Christmas cookies!  We will put up the twinkle lights and revel in their sparkle.  We are not hosting anyone this year (we’re going to California, wahoo!!!) and after a summer filled to the brim with visitors and guests, I must say I’m not disappointed. 🙂  But the other day I was reflecting on the times we have had guests and the many, many times we’ve BEEN a guest for the holidays, and I’ve realized there are a few secrets I’ve learned from some incredibly wise women.  So take the following as not advice, but as things I’ve observed have worked when hosting for the holidays:

1.  Invite, but don’t pressure your guests.

I know you might be thinking, hmph!  I never pressure anybody!  That’s lousy!  But I’m serious here.  During the holidays and especially when someone is staying with you for a weekend, it’s easy to plan a lot of activities.  Lunch at the cafe, shopping, a movie, dinner at the town hotspot, a play at the local theater...  All of these are fun things, yet sometimes guests just want to relax.  Let them.  Invite, but don’t pressure!  They will feel more at home, they’ll feel loved– they’ll feel like they won’t have to be rude when excusing themselves because you already gave them a choice. Most likely, they’ll participate more often because they know they won’t be roped into doing everything– that they can bow out without guilt.   They will feel comfortable and that’s really what you want when hosting overnight guests, right?!

2.  Plan one activity per day for structure, but be flexible.

I learned this from one of the best hostesses I know, Kathy O. who is my husband’s great aunt.  We’ve stayed with her for a couple long weekends and for a few thanksgivings as well, and let me tell you, this woman could write a book on hostessing!  Her home is this peaceful, relaxed haven.  One thing she always does when hosting overnight guests is plan one activity per day.  One day it might be going out to breakfast, the next it could be going down to the city to walk around and see the lights.  Another it could be to visit downtown Kirkland and grab a quick dinner.  The great thing about planning one activity per day is it gives you structure, but flexibility to do other things.  Your guests will know what is going on for the day but won’t be overwhelmed with too much crammed in.  And if there’s no pressure, there’s flexibility to change things up.  I’ve learned having structure while being flexible makes for a relaxed visit for everyone and gives you plenty of down time to just spend time together!

3.  Open House

My mother-in-law is the queen of open houses, and I’ve learned from her that this kind of ‘party’ can really be a relaxing yet super fun way to connect with lots of people at once.   If you’re hosting guests who have a lot of people to see, or if YOU want to connect with lots of friends but are hosting guests, having an open house is a great way to do both.  It’s impossible to visit with everyone during the holidays for a 1:1 meal (and that’s just too much food anyway!), but an open house allows for multiple people to connect when time is short or when schedules are tight.  Don’t think you have to go all out, either.  A few snacks (nuts, veggies and dip, cookies– all things you can get at Costco!) and a signature drink (cocktail, hot chocolate, wine, or non-alcoholic spritzer) is all you need.

4.  Keep breakfast simple.

When hosting, you never know when your guests will wake up.  Heck, when you are the guest you want to be able to sleep in!  Keeping breakfast simple by having cereal and milk, or yogurts on hand or fruit ensures guests or yourselves can eat whenever they wake or whenever they’re hungry.  I love my coffee maker that has a timer so it just brews on its own!  We literally wake up to the smell of hot coffee.  Keeping breakfast simple just gets the day started with ease and sets up the rest of the day for fun.

5.  You DON’T have to have a big house to host, you have to have a big HEART.

I’ve mentioned before that hospitality is only as big as your heart is.   You don’t need a big house to host a couple or even a family for the weekend; you need a heart that is willing!  People don’t expect a huge hotel bed with turned down sheets in the evening.  They simply need a place to sleep!  Guests don’t need a jacuzzi tub, they need place to shower and wash up.  You’d be surprised that most people don’t expect lavish acommodations, rather, they’re happy to just spend time with you!  Most would be happy to have a blow up mattress on the floor if need be!  Open your heart in your house, and your guests will feel at home.

Whether you’re hosting or being hosted– or just simply enjoying the holiday season, enjoy it.  It’s supposed to be fun and JOYFUL.  No matter what you do, put your family first and enjoy them.  Thanks for reading.

Rachel Signature

Misconceptions of a Godly Woman

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I realize that this post may offend certain people: Good people, who I would probably really get along with otherwise…

But for the record, I am not sorry.

Last week’s post Worthy of Rubies was me, buttoned up in my ‘Sunday’s best’ and smiling pretty. But over the last couple of days a fire has come over me and I can’t keep silent.

You see, I hate when women stand before other women and use their platform to hide behind facades of ideal marriages, perfect specimens of children and strong opinions on the likes of breastfeeding, vaccines and church politics…

I cringe when the Kim Kardashian’s of the world pose half-naked in an attempt to prove that they are still sexy, when any ‘real mom’ feels like anything but!

When friends on Facebook post statuses like “ …Made 6 loaves of banana bread, ran 12.8 miles, fed the homeless, and saved a cat, and was still able to get home in time to make homemade apricot pork loin and apple crisp for dinner tonight,” while the rest of us are left wondering how we even made it out of our pajamas today?!?

I don’t know when being sexy and domestically superior made us more of a woman, but let me challenge you with what I believe is the #1 Misconception of a Godly Woman…

Years ago I took a class in Bible College that still to this day gets my blood boiling. It was a class called Christian Womanhood.

Three times a week, hundreds of college freshman ladies piled into the auditorium, who if they were anything like me, anticipated by the name of the class ‘Christian Womanhood’ that we would come to understand what it truly meant to become the godly woman the Lord desires for us to be.

Most of the girls attending the class would one day go on to become pastor wives, missionaries, and christian school teachers; women who would have the potential to impact other women, communities and the World in POWERFUL ways!

And yet, THIS is what we learned…

– How to execute a wedding. Complete with rehearsing a mock wedding in which each of my peers played a ‘part.’ I however, sat in the audience (on the groom’s side if you want to be specific) uninterested, and unapologetic … I mean, seriously? 

– The importance of making dinner for our families each night, and the convenience of using a crock pot. …Yep, it happened.  

– Why we must only read the King James Version of the Bible. But I have no notes on that lesson because unashamedly, I tuned that one out!

It was also in this class that we did an in-depth study of Proverbs 31 in the Bible. Which wasn’t bad per se, but due to all of the above and the fact that I actually paid for this nonsense of a class, I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know that still to this day I have a physical aversion to any of the topics covered in that class, including the beloved Proverbs 31 woman!

Interestingly enough though, my husband came to me last week and asked me to write a devotion for our church (on you guessed it – Proverbs 31!)  And in all honesty I fought him about it HARD, completely downplaying the significance of it in the Bible!

And yet as I pored over the chapter myself I realized something I had never seen before, something I can assure you was NEVER taught in my class all those years ago:

Who can find a capable wife?… She is energetic and STRONG…  She has NO FEAR of winter…  She is clothed with STRENGTH…

Proverbs 31:10, 17, 21, 25

The Proverbs 31 woman is a lot of things- domestic and lovely, successful and well-respected. But most repeated, she is STRONG! Not anything like the passive and weak woman we are so often encouraged to be! She has no fear of winter – the difficult times to come – and is not limited to planning weddings and using crock pots.

65 (1 of 1)It got me thinking go the times I have had to be strong…

When 2 years into my marriage, when we should have been comparing paint swatches for the living room and eating breakfast in bed (or whatever it is that newlyweds do) but instead we were battling it out in screaming matches and trying to decide what we would do with the house in the event of a divorce.

…When The Lord asked me to forgive my husband, and even more clearly, when I begged God kicking and screaming to let me move on. To give me permission to break ties with the man I was petrified would hurt me once again! But how the Lord never wavered.

How I was furious and shaken but STRONG when to choose to please the Lord above all else and embark on a journey to learn to love my husband again.  And for the record,  I am so incredibly glad I did!

How years later, we faced an unimaginable tragedy in our church while my husband was away at summer camp. How I wanted nothing more then for my husband to walk through the door, so I could immerse myself into the comfort of his arms, allowing myself to freely fall into a heap of tears with the one person who shared my mutual heartache. And how it never happened…

Because upon returning home, my husband made only one request: we not cry. How instead, he wanted to watch the news footage covering the accident over… and… over… and lay on floor and listen to worship music until late into the night. How he needed me there, and how more than anything he needed me to be STRONG!

How impossible it felt (how impossible it would’ve been apart from the Lord!) but how I sought hard to find my strength in Christ, relying on Him wholeheartedly for my comfort so that I could be strong for my husband so that in return, he could be strong for so many others as their Pastor!

In those moments, Oh, how my soul longed for a woman to have opened up and spoken to me as a college freshman about THAT! To have a woman stand before me, vulnerable about her overwhelming fears and unworthiness, but speaking on behalf of God’s immeasurable strength available to us in spite of it!

And so if I could teach a class on Christian Womanhood and if all of you reading were my exceptionally lovely students…

I would tell you that the most breathtaking picture of a ‘christian woman’ is not merely a sweet, modest, well-spoken domestic goddess, but the woman whose strength and unshakeable faith lifts up all those around her despite her circumstances or the ‘winter’ she has found herself in. (Prov. 31:21)

I’d tell you no matter how beautiful of a bride you make, that one day your marriage may feel hopeless. And to remember when that day comes: it’s not a direct reflection of the INADEQUACY of you, but the potential GREATNESS of God if we allow Him to restore the broken pieces left of our hearts, and our vows.

That one day, the strong men we marry may need OUR strength to – literally and physically – pick them up off the floor. And that it won’t be a damn crock pot that will save the day, but the fire deep within us to FIGHT for our marriages and for our husbands to be the godly men that the Lord desires them to be!

Because the truth is, EVERYONE can let us down. But by choosing to find our strength in Christ, there is NOTHING God can’t grant us, and NOTHING He cannot restore! We need only to turn to Him, for He is the only one capable of giving life to our broken hearts and the strength we need to keep holding on.

And it would be as simple as that.

Class is dismissed.

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