24 December 2010

Reflections, Religious in nature.

The muse has hit I think as I've been wanting to write more often.  I don't normally write like this, I don't usually have the time either, but I've had some compulsion wanting me, and forcing me to bring my thoughts down on, well data, no longer paper.

I blame Tara.  Her love for writing I think renewed my interest in it.  I am not even half as good as she is with words, but still meaningful in their own way.

I just got back from Target, it was on my way home that this idea came to me.  Driving down 528, with the heat on my feet and the window down, feeling the cool air blow on me.  Watching the cars go by, looking at the beautiful, clear Florida sky, and the trees as I passed them, it got me thinking.  How beautiful is our world?  It's Christmas Eve, one of my favorite times of year.  It's not my favorite because of the presents, or the joy I get in watching my kids open presents from Santa, but because we celebrate the birth of the greatest man in history.

I feel that I'm fairly logical in nature.  I'm not a science enthusiast by any means, but there are certain things in science I enjoy.  I prefer to look at facts, then personal opinions on things.  I like dealing with facts, they are unchangeable.  I started thinking about the facts surrounding Jesus's birth, life and death.  Facts that cannot be changed, that prove who he was.  Thinking logically, you cannot deny what he did.  The only thing that is based on opinion is on how, and if He is who He said He is. People recording all the miracles he performed, people who had every reason to discredit him, and yet, they recorded his good works.

One thing I love about homeschooling my kids is the ability to share with them the works of the Bible every day.  Every day we learn something new about God, Jesus and the Bible.  I can encourage their love of God and Jesus as much as they will allow me.  While I will not make their minds up for them, and will in fact encourage them to look at all the facts as they get older, I do hope that the foundation I give them now, giving them the facts that I have available, they will learn to love God as I do, and have that relationship with God that I do.

Jesus was not just some great man, He wasn't even completely a man.  He was the son of God, God himself. He IS our salvation.  Without Him, without God, we would be lost.  I have always believed in God, and although there was a short time in my life I chose to live without him, my belief in Him never perished.  There's too much proof in my life that He exists.

I don't usually make new years resolutions, however this year, my resolution is to try (because life always seems to get in the way) once a week to write about God's presence in my life for that week.  I want to write about where I saw Him in my world, or how He has affected my life.

I'm going to end with a prayer:

Father Almighty,
Thank you for the life you has provided me, for my family and friends who have brought such joy to my life.  Thank you for my children, who are wonderful gifts from you, and a testament of your love.  Lord I pray that you continue to affect my life in the positive way you've been doing, and that you continue to provide me with the tools I need in my life.  I feel grateful to you Lord, that you have been such an amazing presence in my life, that you've never left me alone even when I've turned my back on you.  Lord, I thank you a million times over for sending your Son to earth for us.  I may not be worthy, but I am blessed by your love for me.  I am amazed by the peace and calm you provide in my life, and I know that I am a better person because of your influence in my life!

In Jesus Christ name I pray.

16 December 2010

Sometimes I feel like my relationship was never normal

Looking back at how our relationship started, when it started, how old we were when it started, the chips were stacked against us.  Statistically we *should* have failed.  I met him when I was 15 years old.  I didn't even know anything besides his name and who a handful of his friends were when we started "dating".  I knew he was possibly the cutest boy I'd ever seen.  He made me forget all other crushes I had at the moment (a total of 2).

We both sabotaged our relationship in more ways then one throughout most of it, in fact, really when I think about it, our "real" relationship, that moment that I think both of us decided this was forever was when I got pregnant with James.  However, we could not have got to where we are in our relationship now without all the pain, heartache and fun of our "earlier" relationship.

By the time we stood in front of his grandfather to say our vows to each other I felt like I married him years ago.  I waited for our relationship to change dynamic after we said those vows, but we were already living together, for more than a year, we had a 9 month old son together, and when we went home that night, it was the same as every other.  The only thing that changed in my mind was that now, when I scribbled "Crystal Strickland" on papers, it was true, that was my name, not just wishful thinking.

It's amazing how much Michael and I have gone through together, not all of it would I want to remember, but I also think those times are important.  They helped shape our relationship.  I can't even express how exactly I feel about him.  He was amazing enough when I first met him, with his goofy socks, and alien "humans suck" shirt, to now, knowing him as well as anyone could.  He's still amazing, but he blows me away sometimes.  His generosity, his compassion, his geekiness.  I love everything about him, even the things that drive me up the wall, like his need to start reorganizing things and then getting distracted and leaving it half done.

Michael loves simply, easily.  He gives his all.  It's not complex and there's no hidden motive.  He loves you, he tries to take care of you and make you happy to the best of his ability.  It's different from the way I love, but in no way less pure.  That was one of the lessons I had to learn, and so did he.  We had to adjust to having someone love us in a way we don't necessarily understand.  I couldn't relate to just simple love, I'm consumed by it.  I still am.  Every fiber of my being loves him.

My Michael, my husband, my lifemate.  I am excited to grow old with him, am proud that I chose such a worthy man even when I was hormonal teenager. I'm proud to say that I'm married to the man I lost my virginity to ;).  I'm glad I never stopped believing in him, and the love we shared, it would have probably been easier to just let go.  Okay probably not, since I tried that and it threatened to overtake me, but sometimes it seems like it would have been.  So many times I felt that trying to make our relationship work was trying to climb a mountain without any help at all.

My personal message to my husband is this, I love you.  Just simply, I love you.  You're happiness is important to me, you're dreams and goals are a part of my dreams and goals.  I love you, and I can't wait to be in your arms again, you are my anchor, in my sea of emotions and feelings, you're my life line.  I can't thank God enough for putting you in my path, and continuously putting you there, and pushing me in all the right directions that led us to here.

I love you.

14 December 2010

Warning, boobs/breastfeeding talk!

You have been warned, if you are offended by talks of my boos, or even worse, of the purpose of my boobs, then I don't want to hear any complaints because I fair warned you in the above title.

I've been thinking about doing this for awhile, and I've been putting it off, but lately I've felt the urge to write so here it is:

My favorite breastfeeding moments with each of my kids.

Since he was a newborn everything was new with him.  I was amazed by the bond we established, how even as a newborn he would stare into my eyes, and it made me feel so powerful, so womanly, so motherly.  I loved the way he was squeeze my breast while he was eating, and make his contented coos right before he was done.  I loved the way that when he was done he would look up at me and just rest there on my breast with heavy lidded eyes.  As he got older, the bond never left, it was *our* time together, it was special.

Jade was my hair twirler.  Even as a newborn she had to have her hand in my hair, and then eventually her own.  I would stroker her face and hair while she nursed.  I especially loved our night time nursings.  Because James was only 16 months old when Jade was born I didn't get as many private times with her as I did with James, but late at night, after James had gone to sleep it would be just her and I.  She would nurse to sleep at night, sitting on my lap while I did the school work I needed to do that day.  She would stroke my arm and face after I would do hers, and I loved waking up with her all snuggly in my arms and falling asleep with her nursing at night.  I loved how when she was 10 months old she would walk up to me, slightly tug on my shirt and say "nurse".  I love that I go to nurse her over a year.

I think Steven was my easiest baby to nurse.  We had no real problems with his nursing. Steven always approached nursing with enthusiasm and love.  I loved when he was a newborn how he'd make the "ah ah ah" sounds until he found my nipple to latch on, then the "mmm" once he got on.  He'd hold tight to me while nursing.  He was distractable, so he wouldn't always look at me while nursing, but it was fun to watch him taking everything in.  He's still my quiet baby.  I loved when he was older and he'd walk up to me and ask to nurse even if it was just for comfort.

Willow is not done nursing, but there are many things I love about it, and I know I'm going to miss it when we're done.  We had a lot of trouble starting out, and it seemed like the first 3 months of her nursing relationship was pretty painful, and she ate so much more than my others did, but it was well worth it.  She is even more distractable than Steven is which can be frustrating, but it just made me have to find a way to find private time with her even more than I normally would.  Now some of my favorite things are when she find me shirtless, for whatever reason (changing, about to shower, etc) and she looks at me like an all you can eat buffet!  How even now, when it's time to nurse she starts jumping up and down on her knees cause she's so excited!  How she holds me tight and doesn't want to let go.  I love how even if she's offered solid foods, she still prefers to nurse from me.

Since Willow is more than likely my last baby I am trying to appreciate every moment of breastfeeding.  I know that breastfeeding is definitely something I'm going to miss!

09 December 2010



That one word strikes terror in the hearts of modern day feminists.  We have to be submissive to our husbands??  What?  No, I will NOT obey him, I'm not a person to be taken advantage of.  My husband is no better than me why should I have to do what HE says, I'm my own person and can make my OWN decisions.
What people don't seem to understand is that being submissive doesn't mean giving up your own person, constantly only doing what your husband says, or losing yourself.  

As a Christian, women are called to be submissive to their husbands, but what does this really mean?  Is it a horrible and demeaning thing to be submissive?  I don't think it is, if you're living in your marriage the way God calls us to live.  I've had this talk with many friends, and family.  I've come to one simple conclusion.  Being submissive is not scary.  I have not lost myself in my husband and family, in fact, being submissive to my husband has actually made me free in many ways.  

The thoughts for this blog came from listening to the radio yesterday.  I was listening to one of the Christian stations, and the man on there was talking about how to have a truly Christian based marriage.  He never mentioned being submissive, only that in order to make a marriage work you need mutual respect, and then love.  

So what does the Bible say on being a submissive wife, and how does it apply to today? Ephesians 5:22-33 says:  22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 What this says to me, is not that we are to be doormats, that we're allow our husband so abuse us.  We still have a say in our lives, but that, just like Christ is the head of the church, just like you need a leader in all other things, for otherwise things lead to chaos, you need a "leader" in your relationship.  If both of you try and "lead" your relationship, then more often than not, you'll fail in your relationship.  Paul tells us also, that our husbands are to love us, and treat us with the same respect he gives himself.  It's not all about how we're to deter all decision making to our husbands.  Our husband is also to love and respect us, and treat us in that manner.  If they do not, they are not glorifying the Lord, or the marriage.

So what this passage means to me is simply this: men are to leave their families and become one with their wives, they are to make sure their wife is taken care of, physically and mentally and to treat her with the respect she is deserving of as a child of God. In return, we're to trust our husband as the head of our household, as God himself as commanded of him, and give him respect and love in return.  If either side is out of balance, then we're not held to our side of the commitment.  Simply put, women are not to be blindly subservient, we're not to do the husband's bidding getting nothing in return, but are in fact in a partnership with our husbands, built on mutual love and respect.

In my relationship, as a Godly wife, I respect my husband, and I love him, and I expect that love and respect back, and I receive it.  My husband takes care of our family, and me, and supports me in my wants and desires, and I do the same of him.  Since he fulfills his side of our partnership, I allow all decisions to be finalized through him, but I know that he also trusts and respects my opinion and judgement.  He'll always ask for and want my opinion, and in return, I allow him to have final say in any major life changing decision in our life, knowing that he'll do his best to look out for our family as a whole.

I am not scared to say I am a submissive wife, that I am living in my marriage in the way the Bible has asked me to.  I am not scared or ashamed of the way I live, in fact I am proud of it. I think my relationship is all the better because of it.