Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RELEASE DATE!

It's Spring Break here in our house--- and Mommy is out of her mind busy! Thus the reason for a wimpy blog post today.

Forgive me for being completely void of dazzling words (not that they are normally dazzling) or witty wisdom (HA HA HA-- yeah probably not found here anyway too) but, yeah, this post is gonna be lame.

Well, not TOTALLY lame.

Because one of the reasons I'm out of my mind busy is that I have a official RELEASE DATE for A Side of Hope.

I've put it off, making excuses, but I'm putting it off no longer!

I said it would be out this month, and by golly, it will!

MARCH 31st!

Yup.

End of the month. Last day. By the skin of my teeth, but it will be out!

I'm so excited to introduce you all to Tilly and Adam!

Did I tell you Adam is a doctor?

Yup. He deliver babies. He's pretty cool!

So yeah. Mark your calendar! We'll have a GRAND ol' party here on my blog that Tuesday to celebrate, complete with giveaways and all that jazz! If you'd like, you can sign up for my newsletter (see link ---> in my side bar on this blog to sign up, as I'll be sending out an announcement newsletter!)

If I haven't said it recently, let me just say. I'm SO thankful for each and every one of my readers, both my blog readers and my book readers! Your support means SO much to me!

Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Surprise Wednesday Post

SURPRISE!

I'm posting on Wednesday. I know, I know, I'm walking on the wild side... off schedule posting and all.

*ahem*

But anyway, I noticed that Amazon has the PAPERBACK version of A Side of Faith for $3.99 vs its normal $6.99. It RARELY goes on sale (like, first time ever) so I thought I'd spread the news in case anyone was interested!

Since this is Amazon's lowering of the price, not mine, I'm not sure how long the sale will last, but just wanted to spread the news while it was going!

And as a matter of fact, they've also lowered the price of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance by a few dollars over the last month too, so it is $11.92 instead of it's retail price of $14.99.

So happy reading, and hope you all are having a very awesome Wednesday!

Blessings!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Real Things I Hope For

I'm having a weird day. Nothing super bad, just blah.

Annabelle woke up early (read: mommy is still super tired...)

Feeding therapy went just okay (read: no weight gain and not any real progress--she's had HUGE leaps the last few months so I've been used to major progress every session...)

Migraine (read: pulsing, throbbing head)

Stressful phone call with government agency that I really really really wish I didn't even have to deal with in the first place (read: called hubby after I hung up and cried and sobbed all my frustrations to him, literally, while he was on his lunch break... probably didn't really help HIS day much...)

And then I realized today is blogging day, and I hadn't written anything.

My plan had been to have a "serious" version of things I hope for, as opposed to my mostly magical dreamland list last week.

While at the moment I'm feeling a bit down, I'm reminding myself that hope isn't always a feeling, it's a promise from God. It's something to be clung to. It's one of three things that when NOTHING else is there, still remains.

So maybe it was a good thing I hadn't written my post yet.

Maybe I NEEDED to write my hopes down, to be able to remind myself the value of clinging.

So here we go: Krista's serious list of hopes...

I hope my kids see a glimpse of Jesus through me every single day. I fail daily, I'm never perfect, but I really, really hope that despite my failures, God will get glory and my kids can follow the light of Jesus I let shine through me, even though there may be days that the light is a bit dim.

I hope God is glorified through every word I write. Yes, every single one. Every blog, every book, every Facebook post. I hope that God uses them, even in their imperfect state.

I hope God will turn our surviving into thriving. In so many ways, not just financial, but that too. I've been in survival mode for 5 years almost, and I'm ready to thrive again. I think we go through seasons in life, sometimes when we're grasping at the side of the cliff just to barely keep a hold, when we're eating ants and spiders just to survive (okay, not really... YUCK...) but we learn SO MUCH through those seasons. It strengthens us. But I also think we have seasons where God uses us, when we are thriving. I felt God's promise that if I will be patient and trust, THRIVING is in our near future. I'm hoping in that.

I hope my marriage will continue to grow stronger. I love my husband with all of my heart, and we've been through a lot of crud the last few years. A lot of marriages have crumbled under the stress that we've had, but because GOD was always our center, we've clung tight and we're still going strong. But even marriages get battered when the storm has crashed against them for so long. We're definitely strong and weathered, but I'm praying God shines some sun on our marriage as well so we can THRIVE in that too. Yeah, I'm liking the word thrive today!

I hope our family stays HEALTHY. I'll be honest. I've focused so much on Annabelle and HER health for so many years, mine has kinda gone by the wayside. I need to fix that. I'm tired all the time, I push my own pains under the rug, and yeah, I need to not do that. But I have a lot of hope that we are on the path to WELLNESS, and you know what? Annabelle has been SO healthy this past winter, and God has totally shown up and taken care of her, and we are OH so thankful!!!

I hope that I will be filled with God's love. Toward my family. Toward friends. Toward my church. Toward people who really irritate me and make me cry after I hang up the phone. Toward the least of these, AND the greatest of these.

There are other things I hope for, but honestly, most of them fall under brackets of the above things, so I won't bore you with listing them all.

But I'm so thankful for hope today. That even among the dreary days that sometimes come, even when there is no good reason for the clouds, that hope still remains.

What about you?

What do YOU hope for today?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten ~Selfish~ Things I Hope For

Since A Side of Hope will be releasing later this month (yes, later than I'd planned, but better late than never, and better late than rushed!)

Anyway, since it will be releasing this month, I thought it'd be fun to chat about hope today--- but my last few posts have been altogether too serious, so I thought it'd be grand to kick it up on the fun scale a bit.

And how do I do that, you may ask?

OH, just maybe a quick top ten.

So, here we go: TOP TEN SELFISH (mostly real) THINGS KRISTA HOPES FOR

10.) I HOPE I can curb my current addiction to a stupid game my husband introduced me to on my phone. It really is addicting. I really should delete it.....

9.) I HOPE my house stops quitting on me. (We've had a leaky roof and a broken oven all in the last week. This is definitely a valid hope!)

8.) I HOPE I can lose weight and FEEL GREAT all the while eating whatever I want. *ahem*

7.) I HOPE Annabelle decides to actually sleep in until 7am tomorrow instead of climbing into bed with me at 2am then waking me up at 6am.

6.) I HOPE if #7 doesn't come about that we can get a bigger house and Scott and I can get a king size bed. (there really is no room for her in our bed.... as evidenced by the fact that she's fallen off 2 times in the last 2 weeks!)

5.) I HOPE everyone buys a copy of my book when it comes out. (no guilt intended--not really anyway--okay it kinda was...)

4.) I HOPE I wake up and find a million dollars laying around the house (legally...)

3.) I HOPE my house magically cleans itself while I sleep.

2.) I HOPE my kids go the whole day without fighting/complaining/yelling/crying/whining--although then I would worry about whether or not they were ALIVE or if they had been aboducted by aliens, so maybe I shouldn't hope for this one...

1.) I HOPE you all have a most FANTASTIC Tuesday and that you'll share one thing YOU hope for, selfish and/or serious!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Our War

Do you ever looked around your life and the lives of those you love and just get tired? Tired of all the hurt, the pain, the struggle? Tired of all the gossip and small fights and irritations? Tired of trying to serve God and follow him yet stumbling every step?

Yeah, I have my hand raised, even if I'm the only one.

This past week, though, God has been impressing something on my heart.

All these things in life that feel so frustrating and tend to bog me down are not the problems. I tend to tackle them trying to fix them, but I'm realizing they are just symptoms of something much bigger and much deeper.

And treating the symptom is like popping some pain killers and putting a Band-aid over a festering, infected wound. You might kill the pain and stop the bleeding for a moment, but until you uncover the real problem and treat THAT, you will never win.

Marriages are struggling, Faith is wavering, Physical and mental pain is crushing. People are being held in bondage by their past and not able to live in God's fullness. Financial ruin is real and trusting God with money you don't even have seems impossible. As I think about these things, there is a deep awareness of war.

Not man against man, because that is another symptom.

No, it's a spiritual war and the prize to the victor is the souls of man.

As I pray, there is a very real sense of a battle going on. I know there is ALWAYS a battle, but life and war ebbs and flows, and right now the guns are blazing and the swords are clashing with a feverish pace and heart-wrenching results.

What we see with our eyes are the results of that war.

Marriages lie in ruin in defeat. Faith is discarded as the devil cheers. Children are starving, both for food and for love, as demons dance. It is so easy to see these sickening victories as we look at destruction, both on a big scale like sex trafficking and homelessness, and on a more personal scale like divorce and bankruptcy.

Yet I know we serve a God who WINS. A God who is the ultimate leader into battle. I also see victories daily when marriages are restored, someone gives their lives to God, and a host of other victorious wins.

But these things we struggle with in the mean time? Feelings that make no sense, that we don't want to feel? I know for me personally, I've been going through a time when things easily irritate me, even when I have no desire for them to. When I don't show the love I long to give. When I yell when I should be whispering. When I cry instead of laugh. When I tear down instead of lift up. Those are all symptoms of the battle going on around.

I feel God calling me to stop focusing on those little things, and to recognize the greater war being waged.

It's a war for the souls of man. A war of good verses evil. And it's a war that we've been called to fight with LOVE, not with hatred. With PEACE, not with weapons of meanness. With GOD, not selfish desires.

I'm so glad I'm not fighting alone. I'm SO glad I have my family, my friends, and YOU to fight along side me. And I'm so glad I serve a God who is VICTORIOUS and who equips and leads His people with his steady, unfailing love.

So I encourage you, the next time you get overwhelmed with life and the problems that seem so steep, step back and recognize the symptoms of battle. Take up you armor of God, choose LOVE and FORGIVENESS, both things the devil HATES, and press on in battle, knowing that victory is GODS!

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Beauty in our Brokenness

My hubby and I are starting to try and commit to walking/working out at least once a week together. We both have our individual time, but doing it together once a week has super helped our commitment to getting a bit healthier in 2015, as well as made the process much funner!

We were on the track and I was walking in front of him and he texted me, "Hey, this lady in front of me has a really cute butt" and I replied back something like, "Not yet, but she's working on it!"

TMI, I know, but it was fun.

Anyway, while we were walking, I was listening to Pandora and a song came on that I'd never heard before by Casting Crowns. I listen to Christian radio a LOT so not sure why I've never heard this before, but someone needs to play this song more often because it was AWESOME.

It was called Broken Together.

The chorus sings,

"Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and Ill bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together"

Seriously?

BEST MARITAL ADVICE EVER!

We always use the cliche "you complete me" but ya know? No we don't.

Two imperfect people coming together do not equal perfection. Marriage is addition, not multiplication. Two negatives do NOT equal a positive, but just means there is even more faults in the whole.

I know, real encouraging there, Krista!

But I look back on my 15+ years of marriage and think of how many times I lamented this. We should complete each other! Ying to my Yang. Peanut Butter to my Jelly. Milk to my chocolate chip cookies. (dad gum diet...)

The reality ends up being that sometimes you're broccoli and he's chocolate chips. Or water and oil or whatever opposite, conflicting analogy you want to use.

If you're looking for perfection in your marriage, you won't find it. You might have an illusion of it at first, a pretty presentation. But when the newness wears off and the tough stuff comes, it rarely if ever stays that pretty.

I look at my hubby and see... a very imperfect man. I could give you a long list of his imperfections and things that annoy the DAYLIGHTS out of me, and he could do the same about me. (His list for me would probably deservingly much longer!)

But he's MY imperfect man. I love him, brokenness and all. The moment when I demand his perfection is the moment that my marriage turns toward a destination of failure.

This doesn't mean that we don't try to get better. It doesn't mean we accept certain things that are NEVER acceptable like abuse. But it does mean we love even when it isn't easy. We help glue each other back together and smile at the cracks in our pots. Because those cracks are part of the beauty. Those broken bits make us unique, and make them ours.

Another great line in the song...

"It's going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds"


Let's Chat!  Have you ever thought of a marriage as two broken people? Any struggles you've overcome and want to share?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CHD Awareness Week 2015

This week has snuck up on me... I usually put some effort and thought into preparing for CHD awareness week but this year, I opened my eyes and saw a deluge of red on my Facebook newsfeed and was like, OH MY GOODNESS! It's this week!!

This actually makes me smile a bit.

No, I haven't forgotten about it. NO, I don't think it is unimportant. I think it is really important to spread awareness and help other kids/parents who are or will be going through what Annabelle and our family went through.

But I feel like we're finally reaching the other side of it a bit. That our day-to-day lives aren't consumed by her condition. That her heart defect no longer defines our days but it is just one of the many things that makes up the uniqueness of our family. Appointments are one every 2 months vs weekly or bi-weekly (or sometimes twice a week...) We're just finally starting to settle into a semi-normal pattern. It's a much needed one, let me tell you!

Another thing I'm contemplating this week...

I don't want my days consumed by heart defects. I want my days to be consumed by JESUS.

That doesn't mean I shouldn't do my part. That doesn't mean that we don't raise money for research and for families who are currently in the trenches, fighting for their child's life as we were not too many years ago.

It does mean, though, that we can rise above. That we can look beyond. That when people see me, they don't just see a heart momma. That when people see Annabelle, they don't just see a heart warrior.

I want people to look at me and see Jesus. It is my heart's desire. I want people to look at my sweet daughter and not see her weaknesses, but see her God who has brought her through SO much.

So this week, please pray for those families who are fighting for the lives of their heart warrior. For those parents who are weeping for the loss of their heart hero. For the doctors and nurses who are battling red tape and lack of research money to help the little ones God has entrusted into their care.

And pray for the families on the other side, that we can embrace the LIFE God has given us, even if it doesn't look exactly like we thought it would. That we can look FORWARD to Jesus and not backward on sorrow.


In honor of Annabelle and the journey God's taken her on, we have signed up, for the first time, as TEAM PRINCESS ANNABELLE for a congential heart defect awareness walk here in Nashville. I believe this is the first time this has been in Nashville, and I'm SO excited to be able to honor Annabelle's journey this way and have an opportunity to give back and help those who come after us.

If you're local, we'd LOVE for you to join our team if you're able!

If you aren't local, or aren't able to join, we'd consider it an incredible honor for you to donate on Annabelle's behalf to help fund research to help other little kiddos like her.

You can view her team page at http://events.congenitalheartwalk.org/goto/kristaforannabelle.

And if you can't do either, your continued prayers are ALWAYS appreciated.

To GOD be the glory, amen and amen!

2010...

2015....