I'm very nervous and excited to start this blog! It's something I've felt like I was supposed to do for a while now but kept putting it off with the good old "I just don't have the time" excuse. (Justifiable somewhat considering I just became a stay-at-home mom of a 2 1/2 year old and nearly 4 year old and I'm pregnant with #3, but an excuse just the same.) Funny, isn't it, that the things we know we should be doing seem to wind up the easiest to put off until another day. And me - being a writer practically since I learned how to put a pen to paper - this should be like breathing to me. And yet it is not.
Yesterday I finally got myself in gear. Sort of. I got everything set up and then decided once again to put off writing my first "official" blog entry. Later, however, while I was reading my Bible, I heard that wonderful still small Voice say to me, "Yes, but since when has time kept you from doing anything else?" And through my mind flashed the realization that so many other wonderful accomplishments in my life have taken place at a time when it seemed completely impractical almost to the point of impossible. I finished my first book when my oldest daughter was 7 months old; I completed my Associates in bible college when my younger daughter was 4 months old; the list could go on, but really, why should it? I think you see, as I did, that "not having the time" seems almost to be that catalyst that sends me into 'go mode' and helps me accomplish those things I set out to do. (It must be the former journalist in me.)
And so here I am, taking this first major step and putting myself out there. I don't know a whole lot about the blogging world, but I'm excited and ready to learn. I have a heart and mind full of things I'd love to write about, but while I get them sorted and better suited to post I'll just tell you a little about myself and my heart for this blog.
My world: my husband Andrew, daughter Olivia (almost 4), and daughter Cecilia (2)
My name is Crystle. I've been married to my wonderful husband Andrew for nearly 7 years. We have two beautiful daughters, Olivia Jane and Cecilia Grace, as well as another little girl, Micah Elizabeth, due this October. I have an amazing family and I'm incredibly thankful for the life we've been blessed with. We've already had our share of trials, but God is so faithful and has brought us through each and every one, stronger and more closely bonded to each other and to Him in the end. That very thing is what inspired the name for my blog, Laughing at My Future.
A while back, we were going through what felt like a never-ending dark time. It seemed like the tapestry of our life was being unravelled from every possible angle, and it was nearly suffocating. One evening after church, I spent some time counseling with my pastor's wife (a spiritual mother to me for basically my entire life). Finally being vulnerable to someone, I let myself go, crying and admitting how difficult it had become to hold my head high and not feel like a failure. It was becoming crippling and I couldn't stand how it affected me, especially as a wife and mother. She cried and prayed with me, taking time to remind me of the faithfulness of our God, even of the times He had already proven Himself present in our lives during this particular time of trial, and brought me to some Scriptures to lean on when I felt like giving in. One of those was Proverbs 31:25. The New Living Translation says this: "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." She pointed out that the most important thing I needed do is to relocate my joy, for in that would be strength to press on without fear of what might or even would happen in the future.
That was about a year and a half ago, and it has changed my perspective on everything - the approach I took to walking through the struggles we were in at the time, as well as the filter through which I have processed everything that has come at me since then, even up to now. I spent (and sometimes still spend) a lot of time crying, at the feet of my Savior, trying to earnestly learn to walk in confidence that He is my Source. For everything, GOD IS MY SOURCE!!! And in the re-realization of that, I rediscovered not just happiness, but true joy. The same wondrous heart and mindset that Paul describes in Philippians 4, when he exhorts the church about rejoicing in the Lord, not worrying about anything, but praying about everything with a thankful heart and the peace that comes as a result.
This has become a vital, central truth in my life, something that I remind myself of multiple times a day. It is the reason that generally when you see me I have a smile on my face, and it is genuine. It is the heart message that I would love to pass along to whoever reads my blog - that through it all, we learn to laugh in the good and bad, in times now as well as to come. Maybe that laughter is mingled with tears, the important thing is that it's there just the same. I also aim to bring humor along with hope. I am who I am, and I finally don't mind sharing who that is with the world, because it's what I've been called to do. I'd love to inspire you to both find and walk in that same kind of joy and confidence in your own life.
I don't plan on this blog necessarily being a "preaching platform," I just feel like God has placed it on my heart to share what I know, love, and learn with others, and to do it in my own communicative style. (Which means I plan on cracking some jokes, people, so get ready!) Once again I invite you to share this journey with me, and I'm excited to see where it takes us.
Until then, I'll still be laughing. :)