The Hard Work Has to Take Place

I always hear it said, that anything worth having is worth putting in the hard work for. Which makes sense because easy come, easy go. But still to a degree, I just don’t like doing the hard stuff. I’m shamefully lazy with my work. And I can be better. I mean, at this point, I don’t have a choice. More and more my writing is starting to mean more to me, so more and more I need to invest more into what I’m doing. Yes, some days may not be as productive as others, but I need to at least make some kind of effort, even if it’s just an idea jotted down.

I’ve set myself up with a lot of work to do. Not just with my writing, but with my art as well. And giving birth, will momentarily bring a lot of this work to a halt in December, but the groundwork is being laid out. NaNoWriMo is next month, so I’m pretty excited about that! Last year, I wrote a fictional novel. This year, I’m going for nonfiction! And I’ll probably be way more committed in the writing process this year because what I’m going to be working on is very near and dear to my heart!jordan-whitfield-112404-unsplash

I just need to stop being a bum about my writing. I just need to stop being a bum about my creative endeavors in general. I’m growing up. And though some parts hurt, other parts feel good. In the end, I’ll be better for giving myself swift kicks in the butt when I’m slacking!

 

Gearing Up

So, I have some work cut out for me, especially since NaNoWriMo is next month and I fully intend on participating while still preparing for the arrival of my second born! December probably won’t be a big writing month for me, unless I write enough material ahead of time and schedule posts throughout the month. But for October and November there will be a lot of writing because I have planned a lot for myself.

For starters, I plan on doing blog posts based on the book that I will be attempting to write during NaNoWriMo and those blog posts will be for November. It just seems fitting. And then I started another blog specifically dedicated to my poetry because I love writing poetry. Poetry was my first love and I want to get back to that. So I will be sharing poems from my past as well as newly written poems.

I’ve set up a lot of work for myself. But I’m okay with that. I want to write more and I want to have fun in the process, so I will. I take myself too seriously when it comes to my writing and it’s not that deep. If I want more out of my writing, I need to expect more of myself when it comes to my writing.

 

Blogging Milestone

                                                                                                                                                                       adi-goldstein-717516-unsplashYesterday, I reached 100 followers!!!! Yay me! I set that at as goal at the beginning of the year, but didn’t think I would actually achieve it! Maybe I should have more confidence in myself. I guess the next big goal is 101 followers and then I’ll just take it one follower at a time. But in having achieved 100 followers, I’m seeing that it’s definitely important for me to start investing more in my writing. So, I will. I mean, I’ve figured out a style that I’m comfortable with in my writing. I call it “random as hell”, but really it’s conversational. Anyone who’s had a conversation with me knows, I can be pretty random!

I fully intend to invest in my craft more. I’m also going to stop forcing posts. I always want to try and have a post for every day, but the reality is, that doesn’t always work out in my favor. Now, my daughter is gone with her grandparents for the next few days, so I’ll definitely have the opportunity to crank out some posts and get them prepped and ready to go.

I’m proud of this achievement and thank you to my followers for making this achievement happen! There’s much more to come from me in the future.

 

New Leafs in Life

So, I just want to become a better person. Not even in the way of taking it one day at a time because a lot can happen in a day. Maybe more like one situation at time. I learn more out of situations than making it through an entire day. I mean let’s face it, some days we do nothing except lounge around. That’s relaxing and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But being more intentional about what I do is something I can work on. Why am I doing this? What is my motivation behind it? Am I being authentic or am I trying to make myself look better than I actually am? I just want to be more humble. I want to be more in touch with reality. I want to enjoy the journey to my destination instead of just trying to be at the destination already.

Oh yeah, comparing myself to people based on their social media feeds. Those days are behind me too! We all live our best lives in different ways. Right now living my best life is surviving this rollercoaster pregnancy and keeping my daughter from electrocuting herself by way of attacking the television.

Leaves come and then they die! That’s life! So when the new leaves come along, take them and enjoy what it brings. At least that’s what I plan to do!

 

Shattered Perceptions

I’ve been a Christian since I was 19. I wasn’t always the greatest Christian, but I’m getting better by the grace of God and His grace alone. I mean, yes, the Holy Spirit is an aide in this process, but when I pray, I pray to God to help with being obedient. And then sometimes I still do what I want. But like I said, I’m getting better one moment at a time…jez-timms-207948-unsplash

There have been three times in my life that my perception on Christianity has been shattered. The first time I was around 20 or 21 when I left the traditionally black church I grew up in and started going to a nondenominational church. It was more than a culture shock, it was a faith shock! The church I grew up in had all kinds of rules and traditions that later on in life I realized either had nothing to do with how Jesus did things or stemmed from slavery. I mean the sermons were doctrinally sound, but everything else made church a drag and I didn’t like going. Not only that, I watched how people who made a big deal about being in church on Sundays lived their lives during the week. Now, I’m not perfect, but one thing that has always irritated me is a person telling me what I should be doing while they are doing the exact opposite. I grew up in a church that always talked about what you shouldn’t be doing if you’re a Christian. Crazy enough, when I started going to this nondenominational church, everything I was told I shouldn’t do, I saw these Christians doing. Pastors had tattoos and were preaching with an ESV Bible and had their sermon notes on iPads and MacBooks. Pastors aren’t supposed to be able to afford those things. I made friends with people who drank beer and ate pizza before getting into deep discussions about Jesus. The foyer has a kiosk where you could get coffee, water, soda, snacks, and the sanctuary had stadium seating with cup holders. People who didn’t even know me would greet me and genuinely ask if I needed prayer for anything. Granted, this was new to me and a bit off putting, but I quickly got used to it. For the first time in my life, I was able to use the word authentic in the same sentence as Christian faith. I saw an authentic faith lived out by people who weren’t afraid to share their story and were even less afraid to share the love of Christ. This church introduced me to grace and helped me get over legalism. This church made me excited about Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. I felt like I was in a community where I could be myself and thrive. And I did!

shelby-miller-640804-unsplashMy second shattered perception came when I started dating my husband. Let’s just say I was a little mad at God on this one in the beginning because what I told Him I wanted in my husband and who he brought me were polar opposites. I wanted a God-fearing man who would lead the family in Bible studies and prayers and would attend church every Sunday. What I got instead was a man who said, “I’m an Atheist.” Big red flags, must push him away. Now, seeing as how he’s my husband, I failed at getting rid of him. Once people realized I was a Christian dating a non-Christian people started putting their biblical two cents in. They said God wouldn’t have something like this for me or they just couldn’t understand or live their life like that. Well, to start, people are really good at putting God in a box, myself included. We’re also good at assuming everything we go through is solely about us. But a few things have happened since my relationship with my husband began. I got a personal taste of how Christians behave that put a bad taste in my husband’s mouth and left him with some deep seeded issues to work through. Issues he’s had for more than half his life. I got a reality check from him of how I came across as a Christian and his words broke my heart because where I thought I was doing a bang up job of representing Jesus to the world, I was failing miserably. Only, he was willing to call me out where other people kept encouraging me. And lastly, the man who once said, “I’m an Atheist,” is no longer in that realm of thinking. No, he’s still not a Christian, but he’s asking questions, he’s open to having conversations, and he’s not hesitant about hanging around other Christians. There is a night and day difference in his thought process about a lot of things. And that has nothing to do with me. After almost ruining the relationship a number of times, I just put everything in God’s hands, like I should have done from the very start. My husband has never made a big deal about me blessing our food before we eat and when I kneel beside our daughter’s bed to say bedtime prayers, he’s right there next to me. I don’t know what God has in store for my marriage, but I like where it’s going because we have both grown. I’m way more aware of how I come across as a Christian. And my husband is realizing not all Christians are terrible. And an even bigger lesson is the opinion of man will never and can never trump the will of God.

My third shattered perception has come from a Christian I’ve never met, but I’ve read his books. His name is Bob Goff. He’s all about whimsy and love. And I like that. He just talks about how we’re to love like Jesus loved. He strips it down to the bare minimum of what Christians are supposed to do and that’s love like Jesus. And I like that he doesn’t sugar coat it either. Let’s face it: people are difficult, mean, rude, crazy, and some make you just want to punch them in the face. But Jesus wouldn’t do that. Jesus would embrace them. Jesus would share a meal with them. Jesus would be with them. I don’t do things like that. If you annoy me, I’m keeping you at a distance. If you’re different from me, I’m keeping you at a distance. Basically, the more I read Bob Goff’s books, the more I get the message, “Hey Krystal, you’re doing this Jesus thing all wrong. You’re called to love the person where they are and for who they are. Let God take care of the rest.” I want to be a more whimsical Christian. Well, just a more whimsical person in general. I want to be more loving like Jesus. I want to be less structured with my faith and let things flow naturally. If I don’t go to church, then I missed that Sunday. It doesn’t make me any more or less of a Christian and Jesus doesn’t love me any more or less. Actually, He can’t love me less. He literally died for my sins, so if that isn’t the ultimate declaration of love, I don’t know what is. What I do know is, once again, a pivotal change is taking place in my life and I look forward to where it’s going to take me because it’s going to force to be more dependent on Jesus and way less dependent on myself.gift-habeshaw-453482-unsplash

My faith will never look like the next person’s faith. Because I am not the next person. I am unique in who God created me to be. I’m caring less about how people think I should live my life and becoming more concerned with what God has for me. I’m less concerned about making sure my two-year-old looks like a million dollars before heading anywhere and more concerned with her knowing just how loved she is and how much more loved she will be as each day passes. I’m becoming less concerned with my apartment being in shambles and more concerned with figuring out ways to invite people over and just let them be part of my family’s lives and my family be a part of theirs. None of this will be done overnight. I have to get through this second pregnancy before I can really tackle the things I want. But in the meantime, I can plan and prepare through lots of prayer. I’ve got this. I’ve got all of this because my life is in the hands of God and He’s never failed me or steered me wrong yet.

 

New Leafs in Marriage

Marriage is definitely a daily challenge. Not a hard challenge, but a daily one. The challenge for me is to love my husband more than I did the day before. The challenge for me is to know more about him than than I did the day before.

Marriage is also hard work. It’s a good hard work, but I’m learning it’s hard work. You don’t just say “I Do!” and then start deciding what you will do and won’t do. That won’t make for a productive marriage. At least, that’s what I’m learning.

I love my husband, otherwise, he wouldn’t be my husband. And while I say there’s nothing (legal) I wouldn’t do for my husband, I quickly do a mental run through of things I probably wouldn’t do. I Heading into my third year of marriage, I want to start changing that mindset. My husband is always going above and beyond for me and our daughter because that’s how he’s wired. I don’t mind going above and beyond, the mood just has to fit me. It’s time to start rewiring that part of my mind.

I don’t view marriage as a contract. I view it as a covenant. I have to remember that and I have to act accordingly. Most of the time I don’t do something, it’s not because I can’t, it’s because I don’t want to. That’s not fair to my husband. And I’m not saying he doesn’t have those kinds of days, but he has them far less often than I do.

 

New Leafs in Motherhood

There is an ever growing love in being a mother. Some days are good and then some days are better, but there is never, ever a dull moment with my daughter. I’m sure once my son arrives, the dull moments will become phenomenally less. But each day I definitely learn something more about myself and at present, about my daughter.

I’ve recently decided that knee-jerk reactions aren’t the way to go with my daughter. One reason is she thinks it’s funny and imitates it before repeating the very thing she got in trouble for. The second reason is because the more I observe some of her behavior, the more I realize some of the things she does, she got from me or her father. So is it really fair to get upset with her for doing something that she’s seen us do?

Another baby step on the road of motherhood. Some of the things my daughter does, she learned from her parents. That’s just a reality. And if I don’t want her doing something, I need to make sure I’m not doing it myself. Whether she’s watching me or not, I need to make sure I’m setting a positive example for her. I don’t want her to be the kind of child that has a knee-jerk reaction to things, so I’m working on getting better about my knee-jerk reactions. I’ve definitely got an uphill climb ahead of me.