"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi

Isn't that a great quote? I love the idea of Jesus communicating his heart toward the people in my life, using me - my attitudes, my acceptance of them, my decisions to do the right thing, my joy that prevails and even grows through the medium of brokenness and pain. My decision to show love to someone not because I particularly want to, but simply because they need love.

Plenty of people have done that for me. They have been Jesus to me. And I'd like to pay it forward.

It's so different from pointing the finger at people, telling them how bad they are and how they should straighten up and fly right.

Not that there's never a place for confronting someone with the ugly truth. Knowing the truth sets us free, and truth can be ugly. But truth without love tears down. There seems to be so much truth-without-love thrown around by talking heads that claim to represent Jesus. Sometimes it makes me nauseous.

Uh-oh. I'm beginning to wax self-righteous - it takes one to know one, you know. I'm in recovery from that. Anyhoo, I'm just saying that I really want my interactions, and my decisions behind closed doors, and my pocketbook, to saturate my world with the fragrance of Christ. It's so much more seductive than bashing people over the head with my Bible.


The New and Improved Krysta's Brood! (New because there is actually new content, and improved because. . .well, it sounded good)

Okay, I'll admit it - in my frustration over being unable to pull together a visually stunning blog after two weeks of working, I stopped.

But I missed writing the random thoughts floating around in my brain. For me, writing is the process of unwinding a tangled yarn of ideas and emotions and winding them back into something ordered, something that makes sense. I never know quite what I think or why until I write about it.

Which brings me back to my humble little blog. Much has happened in the lives of Krysta's Brood in the past two months, just about all of it good. Being verbose and having a perpetual case of Mom Brain, I'll spare you all the gory details and pick some highlights:

1. We are buying a house! If you don't believe in miracles, let me share a bona-fide one with you: a single mom has kick-butt credit less than a year after her divorce. If this is not a Christmas Miracle, I don't know what is.

2. M&M gets to be a Munchkin in a professional production of The Wizard of Oz! Which is very, very exciting - although the fact that they did not comp us any tickets forced me to put $400 on the credit card to see my little Munchkin in action, putting a slight dent in the kick-butt credit.

3. I had a joyful Christmas. As those of you who have been through hard times may have experienced, the holidays can be incredibly painful. Christmas was the happiest time of my year growing up, but the past several years it seemed as though the Grinch himself had stolen my joy. I just wanted the stupid holidays to be over, so I could quit being reminded of just how far my family life had veered from what I'd planned. Ah, but this year. . . Joy, Peace, and Bliss returned in full force. God is in the Restoration Business.

Well. . . two of my girls are fighting over whose money was in the beaded purse one of them found in the dress up bin, so I'm going to go mediate before a Catfight ensues. In the interest of being a bit early for once, let me wish you a very Happy New Year!



Celebrating the End of Halloween Week

My friend Molly pointed out that Halloween used to be one day of dressing up and trick-or-treating. She says she's looking forward to the end of Halloween Week, when she can throw all the candy her kids have collected this week into the trash.

Amen, sister!

Something is seriously out of whack when we take an afternoon to reflect on all we're grateful for, offering up some generic Thanks in between bites of mashed potato; but we take a whole week to immerse ourselves in Dead Things and candy.

What if we took an afternoon for Halloween, and a whole week to meditate on all the good gifts we've been given? What if we took a week to deliberately offer our gratitude to the God of the universe, from whose hand all good gifts flow?

I'm as guilty as anyone of the imbalance. As a family, we don't do much for Thanksgiving, other than cooking rich food and making turkeys out of the outlines of our hands.

I'm always preaching to my kids about having an Attitude of Gratitude. Maybe if I practiced what I preached a little more, my kids would catch on.

Hmmm. . . .


Welcome to my blog!

a very brady christmas
Originally uploaded by SpacePotato

Welcome to Krysta's Brood - This Ain't the Brady Bunch

Happy 40th Anniversary to The Brady Bunch!
Originally uploaded by Roadsidepictures

Throw a Bone to a Techno-Dummy, Please!

I am good at a lot of things.

Figuring out computers is not one of them.

I have always found it frustrating that I cannot sit down with my computer and have a rational conversation about what I was trying to communicate, even though I inadvertently left off the extra backslash. The computer just doesn't want to listen. The fact that I did things imperfectly automatically disqualifies me from further consideration.

Reminds me of some annoying people in my past, whom I evidently need to forgive, again (moment of silence whilst I forgive aforementioned people, and aforementioned computer).

Okay, moving on.

Which is why my blog currently has no title appearing in the cute little header frame.

I've noticed that many of you out there have blogs that are just as cute as a button. I've also noticed that the headers on your cute blogs contain actual words.

Can ya help a sister out?


The 1st Annual 39th Birthday Bash

In a few short months I will reach the landmark age of 39, at which point I can no longer claim to be in my mid-30's.

Since the jolt of leaping suddenly from my mid-30's to 40 seems too abrupt, I thought I'd ease the transition somewhat, by hosting Krysta's 1st Annual 39th Birthday Bash.

Krysta's 2nd Annual 39th Birthday Bash will be held a year and two months from now.

I'm looking for ideas for a fabulous 39th Birthday Bash, and I'd be thrilled beyond words if you would post any suggestions that happen to pop into your brains.

Some ideas I've already ruled out:
1. Karaoke. I'm a HUGE Karaoke fan, but I don't drink, and somehow those two facts don't seem to mesh together well.

2. Inflatable Bouncy Things: After 4 kids, bouncing in any sort of a public venue is out, because at this point I am not willing to wear Depends anywhere, much less to my own birthday party.

Oh, and I should mention that I'm a tightwad who is saving ferociously for a down payment on a house - so the Big Budget Party will have to wait awhile.

That's it. Any ideas out there?