Sunday, November 05, 2006

Just a little hint...

You might think from my lack of new listings on ebay or in my Etsy Store that I haven't been doing a whole lot these days, but the truth is, the less you hear or see from me here, the busier my life has become.

Last week I returned to the work force full time. My art has had to take a back seat to "reality" and reality is, my husband has been out of work since July and has had nary a nibble on any of the millions and billions (only a slight exaggeration!) of resumes he has been sending out, so back to the world of working outside the home I go.

I have managed to spend quite a few hours in the studio this weekend working frantically on 12 Christmas gifties for another swap with online artist friends. Sooooo.....since the swap is a Christmas exchange I can't show you pictures of what I am making but, I've posted the photo above as just a little hint. Hmmmmm....what could it be? What could it be? I'm not going to tell, but if you'd like to read more about the swap and keep tabs on its progress, check out the blog that our swap hostess Lelainia has put together: Twelve Days of Christmas. Good stuff!

Along with the challenge of being back at work full time, my health has taken a dive. Just as I was beginning to feel great on my new gluten free diet, I began having some weird and serious head and heart problems. A trip to the doc who treats me for Lupus and Connective Tissue Disease left me with one of 3 possibilities. It could be "just a migraine" (a really long migraine unlike any migraine I've ever had before, but still in the realm of possibilities), it could be MS, or it could be a blod clot. This week I get to have an MRI and make a trip to the neurologist, who will hopefully solve the mystery for me. I don't know what I'm more afraid of, that it will be something serious, or that he will scratch his head and say he doesn't know what it is.

If I didn't believe so strongly that God is real and sovereign, I might be cursing my rotten luck and the terrible timing of it all. But I don't believe in luck, I believe in Jesus, and He knows me better then I know myself.

I'm pretty sure He knows how fickle I am.

If I weren't having health problems this week, would I remember to pray for others who are ill? If we weren't having financial troubles, would I remember to count my blessings and pray for those who are much worse off then we? If my kids weren't real kids, with real issues, would I remember to pray every day for them or their friends?

If I didn't believe so much that Jesus loves me just the way I am. With all my flaws, with all my health issues, with all my (many, many, many) imperfections, I wouldn't be sharing any of this with you. But Jesus was a friend of sinners, he was the friend of the lepers, the tax collectors, the outcasts. He didn't expect anyone to clean themselves up before they could come to him.

This morning in church the worship team sang a new Casting Crowns song titled "Stained Glass Masquerade". It speaks volumes about how we present ourselves to others and what a relief it would be to be real with each other.

I hope you are having a great week, as a matter of fact, I hope you are having a great life. But if you are hurting, if you are ill, if you have a broken heart, or life has just gotten to be too much to bear, please know that you are not alone. You are loved by the one who knows you and loves you best. He is more then enough to see you through. Reach out and talk to somebody about it, take a chance that you won't be rejected for being real. And even more important, talk to God and ask him to see you through the storm. He is more then faithful.

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feeling so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the heart again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay


  1. Crystal, I am sorry to hear that your health has been trying of late. And I'm sorry to hear that you're back to work, but I know you are doing what's best. I am inspired by your strong faith and testimony to our Lord. I have also had a day of wondering why I have some of life foibles that I have--and have come up with similar answers, most notably to help me not be so legalistic and to remember to be compassionate to others. I received a heart wound from a very dear friend today and I don't think she even realizes. While reaching for the phone to call her back, I prayed instead and know that the Lord will use it somehow, someway for good. Stay close to Him, dear sister because we know that drawing close to Him, draws Him close to us. And that's RIGHT where we want to be! Love you! --LaRinda

  2. Thank you for that beautiful message! I am hoping that you feel better soon and that your tests are all okay - that they give you answers and a solution!!

  3. Sorry to hear about all your woes! I've been secretly kind of jealous because I haven't been motivated for art lately. It just goes to show we shouldn't compare ourselves to others.

    Have to go check out that song now--Thanks!

  4. hi Dear I am so sorry to hear about all the work and now health issues! I will keep you in my prayers and know that all will be ok when you see the Dr and it will be something simple like stress!!!! stress can do a lot of physical things to you besides the mental anguish so hang tough Crystal dear and think as postive as you can and of course let us know what they come up with!!! and do art when you can to help lift your spirits!!! big hugs Linda

  5. Thank-you all for your prayers and well wishes. Today I received a surprise in the mail from a fellow artist and another nice e-mail from a customer as well. It just warms my heart to know there are so many caring people in this world!

  6. Crystal, your posts never fail to inspire me personally and touch my heart. If you weren't feeling badly, you wouldn't have written this post and I wouldn't have been reminded that God grows, not only us, but others through our trials. It's all good Crystal! I'll keep you in my prayers.

  7. Wow, Crystal..what a beautiful and touching post. It's such a good reminder to all of us to be thankful for the things that we HAVE, not what we want.

    I'm sorry to hear that you and your family are going through some tough times, but this soon will pass. Sometimes I think that we are put through these tests in life to help us remember our faith. I will keep you all in my heart and prayers.

  8. You call this a hint? I want to know what is in those packages right now!

  9. Crystal, words really just can't express my deep admiration and respect for you for what you share here on your blog. I don't comment much, but know that I am regulary here, looking, admiring, being inspired, awed, and encouraged.
    You are in my prayers, sweet sister. Please keep us posted.

  10. Crystal...I have some similar health issues. Email me :) My linkie to your email doesn't work. (It is my computer)

  11. Crystal, you are such an inspiration to all...and I am honored to know you. Thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family. Debbie