I Am Not Yelling!

Apparently, I have a tone. I’m not sure when my voice takes a turn from natural to scary. I don’t even feel it coming into play. Everything seems to be going alright when all of a sudden my peace begins to vanish. My countenance begins to change. I don’t think it’s a very pretty sight.

My young son sure knows when the change has happened, and He is quick to let me know that his world is not all right at that moment. He wonders what happened to my voice. He questions if I am ok or not. This is interesting to me because I don’t recall my older children asking me this (I can be forgetful, too). They just knew that mom meant business, and they’d better straighten up really quick.

 No mom wants to walk around her home sucking all the peace from the air. Notably, that is what seems to happen isn’t it? You’ve heard this saying, “If momma ain’t happy, then one’s gonna be happy!” I wish I could say this saying isn’t true. The truth is we carry so much weight with our words, gestures, and sighs. Check this verse out:
“The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6 
Ouch! Verses like that one sting. I don’t want to defile my body. I don’t want to destroy everything in my path by my words. I want to edify and build up, not tear down. I want to be a peacemaker in my home. 
I know I can’t do this perfectly. I know I can’t begin to do this without the grace of God. I can’t do this without being immersed in the word of God daily. Ladies, I forget, and I forget often. I need help with my thoughts and the words that come out of my mouth.
Thank you, Jesus!
I hope my son begins to see a difference. Not because I have it all figured out, but because his mom is being changed from the inside out. 

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me the way You do. Teach me how to show the same grace that you extend to me on a daily bases. Thank you for revealing things to me, so I can continue to grow in Your righteousness.

“Therefore, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romans 14:19

Thank you so much for loving us……

I don’t even know where to begin. Aug. has come and gone, and it has been quite the month for the Crosby’s. We have so much to be thankful for. The celebrations seemed as if they were never ending during this month; however, I could not have done it without many hands and the willingness of others to help bring about celebration, joy, and jubilee to our family…

First, my husband celebrated his 50th birthday. What better way to celebrate than to go the the lake for a day of swimming, jet skiing, and eating s’mores by the camp fire; however, we had no idea that the lake was going to be nearly dried up and it would practically take carrying the jet skis past the deep mud to get it into deeper waters. We had no idea that getting rained on would be considered a blessing to cool us off from the hot blazing sun because we had no shade. Thank you to my friends who stuck with us on this day of uncertainty so that in the end it turned out to be day that my husband would remember for a long time.

Friends that are family…

Second, baby shower for my daughter-n-love. It was such a sweet time. A big thank you to all who came and showered her with gifts and love. It was kind of surreal to me, because those who know me well know how long I’ve been anticipating becoming a grandmother.The day was finally here! All my many prayers for a new legacy and deep firm roots in my family were continuing to be established through my first born son. Not only was I being blessed with a new grandbaby, I was also blessed with my precious granddaughter, Sawyer. Bonus! God is good!

Children are a blessing from the Lord and so are good friends..

Finally, this one is bittersweet. I was amazed at all who showed up to help celebrate and send Meranda off to college. We even had family come in from Detroit:) The day started off with rain, but with a lot of pleading and tearful prayers-all mine… ( Yes, the main reason was I didn’t know how I was going to squeeze 70 people into my house 🙂 The weather cleared up and it was tons of fun. Thank you, Jesus! So many of you helped shape my daughter into the woman she is today. As she steps out into the world, she will carry the kind words of encouragement, the love of many, and her faith in Jesus that has been enriched and strenghted because of you. As her mom, I am truly grateful.

A friend loves at all times….

As you can see so much to be thankful for. The cherry on the top was after, Evaleigh Denise Crosby, was born to Anthony and Emily on Aug. 19th. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend everyday at the hospital with the happy couple, and I was able to travel home with them and spend 8 days loving on my grandbabies. Oh, Jesus, I don’t deserve any of this; however, I am thankful that through Your grace You see fit to bless me anyway.

Mother’s Day Blog!

My son, Anthony, and I wrote this. The first part is his, and I wrote the second part:)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. – 2 Tim. 1:5

The Apostle Paul opens this letter to his young disciple, pastor, and friend Timothy, He starts with a moment of thanksgiving for Timothy’s sincere faith. He thanks the Lord for Timothy and his call to serve God’s people. He’s encouraged by Timothy’s faith and states that this faith also dwelt in His mother and Grandmother. What an amazing thing for Paul to stop and thank God for! Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s mother and grandmother respectively) are mentioned in the Bible…for being mother’s of faith! This should also encourage us as parents as we see the importance and value God puts on motherhood in this text. And as Timothy heard this, I’m sure he remembered back to the times when his mother would always seek to point him back to the arms of the Lord. And I’m sure he himself was thankful for this. As I look back at my own story, I can relate to this emotion. I look back at my own mother who always sought to lead her children back to the redemptive story of God. I remember when she did this with a great smile on her face, as she would see her kids become leaders in the church, read their bibles, get baptized etc. But I also remember the times when the fruits of her faithfulness weren’t so evident. I remember the times when things got so hard and frustrating, she would have to go upstairs, and lock herself in her room for a bit. I’m not sure what went on behind those doors, but I’m sure it involved a lot of tears and a lot of prayer. However, what I remember most was her coming out of her room, going back to her kids, and still reminding them of the cross. She endured. All that said, I know she would not stand and take all of credit for that endurance. I know she was able to show her five kids this sincere faith because she knows that she herself is the daughter of the one who gives the faith, strength, and ability to do anything. She knows it takes being loved by a perfect parent to strive to be a mother with this genuine desire. She knows all she’s called to do is point us back to God and He’ll be in control of the rest. This open handed, on my knees, faith I’ve seen in my mom throughout the years still encourages me as a husband, father, and pastor today. I’m thankful she didn’t give up. I’m thankful she didn’t say “what’s the point.” I’m thankful she never truly forgot her identity. Because like Timothy, I am excited get to serve the Lord through the sincere faith first shown to me in my home.

Pastor Anthony Crosby-Family Ministries Pastor 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. – 2 Tim. 1:5 
As a mom of 5 young children, when I first read this it brought up mixed emotions. The first one was fear of my inability to raise these children I had been given…not to mention, raising them in the Lord. However, the next emotion was hope. I was filled up with hope that it was possible to teach my children the truths of God’s word, and they could be called to follow Him for themselves one day. From the time I accepted Christ into my heart, I’ve (along with my husband) had this deep desire to pass on a new heritage of faith to my children and the next generation. The good news I discovered over the years came in the fact that there wasn’t anything I could do to produce this life of faith myself or my children. It was/is all about an abiding relationship with the Lord. He alone could do the required work. You see, it was in spite of me. All It could do was trust, seek and rely on the fact that my God could do whatever work needed to be done…but to our flesh, that is not the sound advice we want to hear. We seek quick solutions. We want the a,b,c’s on how to do things. However we need to know with all of our hearrts that we alone can’t do it, but our God can! Here’s a couple of things He’s showed me along the way.
Ask….”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God..” (James 1:5). As I’ve stated, we can’t do it without Him. Ask God to begin the process. I had no clue how to raise children in the Lord, but I had a desire to know my God more through His word. I believe God knows and hears the desires of our hearts, so when we ask Him to begin the process of starting a new legacy in our family. He can start right where you are. He can start with you. Pray! Pray! Pray! It works!
Be the example…Now, I am not talking about perfection. I am talking about letting your children see your relationship with Christ lived out in the open. They don’t need to see a perfect mom. They need to see a mom in a genuine relationship with her Lord. Let them see it lived out in the daily life. Let them see that you live in your Heavenly Father’s grace and mercy each and everyday, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let them see that you believe that your God is big enough, wise enough, rich enough to supply all your needs.
I know there are others who join me in the unique season I am in right now. I am a grandma while at the same time still raising a young son. I’ve also seen first hand how my God can take a life that is utterly broken and lost and make it whole. I’ve seen how He can hear the prayers of a mother crying in a closet and take and guide her every step of the way. My prayers for the next generation are really still the same. I pray my children will seek hard after the Lord. I pray all my grandchildren and generations to come will be rooted and grounded in the love of Chirst. I pray they will know His love that surpasses all understanding.
My sisters, you can believe without wavering….trusting and knowing God will use every detail of your life to bring about His purposes for you and your family. Nothing is wasted. Who knows, maybe God is using you to raise up a “Timothy” right now.
Denise Crosby

The Simple Things

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Our family had just finished up our one week fun-filled vacation, which included 3 days at Disneyland, 2 days at the ocean and two days of travel. Due to a limited budget, we had to be very creative in how we were going to do this money wise. We decided to pull our travel trailer, which would allow us to stay at cheaper rates via a campground, compared to a hotel. I made a food menu and packed all the meals for each night. And because the five of us could not fit into our 28 foot trailer, we had to bring a tent. Did I mention it was the beginning of December?

Is that roughing it or what?

In my spoiled-american way of thinking, I was roughing it (Please don’t think any less of me). I didn’t have the nice fine hotels that I saw other tourist getting dropped off at as we rode the shuttle back to our campground. I didn’t have the cash, and I wasn’t willing to use credit cards to purchase the over-priced food and souvenirs I saw others around me buying. Not us, we headed back to our campsite to eat our sandwiches. Did I mention I didn’t even have running water in the trailer? The waterline broke the first night in the trailer, which meant I had to cook outside and go out and “fetch” the water every time we needed it. How about this, while my son was sleeping in the tent, someone came in while he was sleeping and stole his Verizon pad and his ipod, not to mention, my husband’s bike. Now I know you really are going to feel sorry for me. The neighboring RV’s around us were luxurious and had multiple slide outs, while our travel trailer only had one slide out. I know I sound pretty sickening…

Bear with me….I come around to my senses…

How did I get to this place where I rated the value of my life on what my materials consisted of? Is the degree of my worth, or that of my family, based off the assets we walk around with? As I began to refocus my thinking, I began to see the joy in the mist of the simplicity of life (And, I know maybe not even what some would call simplicity). We were forced to lay aside all the electronics and simply listen to each other. My third son quickly discovered that I was the Yahtzee champion of the world. I didn’t rely on Facebook updates and Instagram pics to keep me entertained. We got to spend every evening while we where at Disneyland watching the fireworks boom over our heads. We spent the evenings sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. I was living in the simple moment of life realizing that time was going by way too fast.

Nobody, at first glance, probably walked by our “homestead” at the campground and said, Wow! Look at the nice luscious trailer! But if only they could see the precious memories that were being made inside, that life isn’t measured by how much money is in the bank or what kind of “big people toys” one owns. I needed a good shaking and a wake up call. I’m embarrassed of were I was letting my thoughts take me. However, I know I am not alone. We are all so consumed with so much. And if we stopped to slow down long enough, I think we would see that we are focusing on the wrong things.

What are your thoughts and lifestyle saying about you? Where is your focus?

Blog post: What is Your Lifestyle Saying?

Motherhood: What I Learned

My husband and I have some pretty amazing children. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a mom now for over 24 years. I had no idea what this motherhood thing was all about. But my journey was sure filled with twist and turns around every corner. And in the end, I came out stronger, even with every scrap and bruise. He was transforming me. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

There will be days when you’re so tired, you feel like you’re going to break. But you don’t. Infact, one day you will look back and see you actually grew and where stronger than you thought.

You will do anything to protect your child. Let’s just call this attitude, Mama Bear.

Your heart grows with each child. It doesn’t matter whether you have 1 or 10.

You will often feel like you are failing and ruining your kids. (Did I say, OFTEN?)

Daily, you get to teach your children about grace and forgiveness through your own life as you seek to work imperfectly by God’s grace. And there will be plenty of moments of seeking to extend grace and to seek forgiveness.

There will be days you feel like giving up……claiming God chose the wrong woman for this job…Than a good day comes and you realize you’re right where God wants you to be.

You learn that a loving, committed relationship with your husband matters. 

You get to a point where you realize you can’t do this mothering on your own. You need God’s strength and wisdom daily. And the connection that other “mommy friends” and “older women” bring.

You learn that walking by example goes a lot further than just spouting out a bunch of rules.

You realize you aren’t the same anymore. You are changing and growing and maturing along the way. Every decision you make impacts the life of your child.

As your children continue to grow up, you learn that you can’t be their “Savior”. Your child needs the have their own faith and walk with Christ.

You learn quickly that you can’t protect them from everything. And one day you will have to release them into the world. You will wonder if you taught them enough. You didn’t! But God is continuing His work in them. Our prayer can be that they would know and believe in Jesus with their whole heart and strength.

A mother’s faith is what unlocks the treasure of mothering. I’ve had many different emotions throughout my years of mothering. It’s through my faith that I am doing something far greater than I can ever accomplish on my own, this gives me great joy! I have been given the special privilege of raising God’s child….He chose me!…He chose you!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

Crosby Gram 2013

Well, another year has went by without me getting a decent family picture taken. I keep meaning to get that done! However, I am grateful for the many memories that we have made this year. I am grateful for the growth that has taken place in each of our lives. I am grateful that many of you are apart of our lives. Most importantly, I am grateful for my Lord and Savior. He came so we could have life in Him.

Merry Christmas!

Here is alittle about us:

Mark continues to work hard supporting our family. When he is not working or fixing cars, he is busy helping to lead a Financial Peace University class at our church. God has given him a deep passion for helping others to get out of debt and live debt free. It is also not uncommon to hear him running around the house making alot of noise playing with Brandon, which drives me crazy….But, I love it at the same time:) We celebrate 25 years of marriage this coming year!

I (Denise) am still pretty much doing what I have been doing all these years. I am on my 12th year of homeschooling. I continue to mentor women at our church’s MOPs group. When I have time, I write on this  blog. I thank God everyday that I am a work in progress, and I am grateful that He is not done with me yet.

Anthony, who is now 23 yrs old, is on his 2nd year in Elko, Nv. He is a pastor in training and the director of family ministries with the Living Stones Church in Elko, Nv. God is using him to touch many lives with the Gospel of Christ. He leads the kids, youth, and the college group at his church. He is currently working at a radio station. He still loves nachos.

Chris is 21 years old now. He moved out to be on his own a year ago. He still manages to come by to visit his mom. He has been working with his current job for about 3yrs. He still loves to mix up his beats. Here is a picture Chris with his mama. My mom and step-dad came to live with us about a year ago.

Cory turned 18 in March and graduated in June of this year. He continues to pursue music with his band called Under Cities. He will be leaving on tour this January. He enjoys singing and playing worship at our church. He and his dad love to spend time in the garage working on his car. It is not unusual to have a group of his friends over playing video games.

Meranda is now 17 yrs old. Most of her time is spent doing school work trying to keep up her grades in her honor classes. She continues to dance. She even did her first solo this year. She sews in her spare time; infact, she entered her first fashion competition this year and won first place. We are already starting to visit some colleges that she wants to hopefully attend come 2015. I guess a lot of time will be put into filling out scholarship applications this coming new year. Where did the time go?

Brandon brings such joy to our family. At 6 years old and being the small person in a house of big people, he holds his own. Imagine a six years old fighting with a teenager; it is possible. Brandon enjoys going to his weekly homeschool co-op where he is taking karate and doing a Lego lab. He mostly loves going to hang out with his buddy, Toby. He loves Wednesday night because he gets to head to Awana. Infact, he won first place in the design category at the Awana Grand Prix. He also loves to play video games, but it is also not uncommon to find him curled up reading a book. 

Well that is it for us. I am grateful that you take the time to stop by and read my blog. I pray favor and blessings over your family in the coming new year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Modest Touch

Why is it that when we as women hear the word modesty we instantly get this funny uncomfortable feeling in our gut?  I think we automatically go right to envisioning our shirts buttoned all the way up to our chin, we see our skirt touching the tip of our shoes, and we see our hair pinned up in a bun, with no makeup and jewelry no where to be found.

My little disclaimer: I am not writing this to point an accusing finger. I am not the world’s new appointed fashion police. I have had the question about modesty come up a few times, so I’m writing this in hopes of giving exhortation: the giving of earnest advice or encouragement. I believe all of God’s Word is meant to guide us into all truth, and Jesus said He would send a helper (the Holy Spirit) to help guide us into this truth (John 14:26). Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but He came to save the world-all who would believe in Him (John 3:17). Satan brings shame not Jesus.We are free in Christ.

With that said, here are a few suggestions that I have gleaned over time from the bible and wise women God has placed around me:

1. First off, we need to know how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. In Psalms 139, God tells us that all our days were fashioned for us, when as of yet there were none of them. God know every hair on our head. He knows every imperfect blemish that is on our body, and He loves us. We have to stop letting the world determine what is beautiful and acceptable. God gave us everything that we have…..body type, hair color, skin color, height, and personality. We don’t have to masquerade around pretending to be someone else. A strong woman is someone who can be who God created her to be.

2. Now, let me just jump right in this one…. My sister in Christ, we can be either used to build up the godly men around us or we can be used as a stumbling block. We know we are wonderfully made, we don’t have to flaunt all our stuff around trying to get attention.The men in our church and around us struggle with this all the time, and it is bad enough that it is plastered all over media and the highways. Does it have to be their sisters in Christ causing them to stumble? And by the way, there is certain clothing to be worn in front of our husbands. But other women’s husbands and sons don’t need to be seeing it. And I must add, this would include the things we post on social media, too.

3. As moms and older mature women of God, training our daughters and other girls is a privilege we have. As I think about it, I can’t think of many women who were stirring me in the right direction as a little girl and young woman. Now that I have my own daughter, I take the job of raising her very seriously. If we as Christ professing women don’t take our walk seriously, how can we expect our daughters and generations ahead of us to. Teach your daughters what is appropriate, set boundaries on what you will allow them to wear and not wear. Here is a tip….if you don’t want your daughter wearing certain clothes at 13, don’t put her in it at the age 3. Be the example in your own dressing attire and conduct….while at the same time allowing them the freedom to be who God created them to be, which is a unique, beautiful child who He has great purpose for.

4. Lastly, knowing our value in Christ goes along way in walking with true confidence as women of God. I truly believe our creator cares about our insides a lot more than our outsides; however, what is going on in the inside is often displayed on the outside. Like I stated already, I am not walking around with a comparison stick trying to set a list of rules. I think we as women have enough of that. We need to love each other and encourage one another to pursue Christ in every stage of our journey. He is the only one who can transform lives.

I am personally so glad that Jesus loves me just the way that I am. I am beautiful in His sight, and I can take pleasure in glorifying Him. I am glad I don’t have to be perfect, because He is. I can seek Him in every walk of my life.

May we press on together:)

Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold or putting on fine apparel-rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 
1 Peter 3:3-4

A Gift from God

I usually write or post a poem for Mother’s Day; however, I didn’t get around to it this year. I was too busy being a mother instead (As a mom, I am sure you can relate). That said, one day I was sitting and having some quiet time and this memory popped into my head. It reminded me of God’s faithfulness and how He cares about the desires of our hearts.

If you have read my testimony, you know a little of how my journey began. I was aimlessly wondering around looking for something to fill the big void that I had in my soul.
I felt like a blind man.
I don’t know the exact date of this particular event, but I do remember the feeling that was overcoming me and I also remember it was Mother’s Day. I had just recently asked Jesus into my life. My journey was just beginning.
I was lonely and I felt unloved.
I had two children at the time. But, I felt like I had a hole in my heart. It was Mother’s Day for goodness sake and no one was making me feel like I was worth anything! My husband was not in the condition to lavish love on me because he couldn’t even love himself at the time. He didn’t know Christ, and I needed Christ’s love in a big way.
I set off for church that Mother’s Day morning with my head drooped low. When I got there, I saw something even more depressing. I saw perfect families. I saw happy moms who obviously had received gifts for Mother’s Day. (Funny, how our mind thinks this way).
During the service, there came a point when they were going to give bouquets of flowers to the oldest mother in the room, the youngest mother in the room, and mother with the most children.  I stood there watching as each mom kept sitting down as her number passed. I found myself still standing. “Surely I couldn’t be the youngest mom in the room. I am 24,” I thought to myself. To my great surprise I was the youngest mom in the room.
God knew what I needed that day.
 As I headed home that day, my head was held high. It wasn’t because my circumstances at home were going to be any different, but because something inside me had changed. God had showed up in a big way that day. I knew at that point He would never leave nor forsake me. He had me in His grip and He would not let go.
Did I mention the flowers were roses? (smile)
Dear sister, trust me when I say, “I know what deep loneliness feels like.” If you are going through a season of loneliness, please know God loves you very much, and He is near. He loved you so much that He sent His son to die for you. Look up and look around, because I know He is revealing to you just how much He does love you.
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:17

Dare to be Different Pt.3 (Revisted)

I have something going on at my church right now called “Find One.” The objective is to go out and find someone and begin to invest in their life. How often are we just passing through life not taking the time to stop and minister to the needs of those around us? It is not that we need to try to fix and solve everyone’s problems, but it is recognizing that there are those around who just need to have our listening ear, caring heart, and nonjudgmental concern. Don’t let any road blocks that you may have put in place keep you from pursuing these relationships- fear of getting hurt, fear of over-committing oneself, fear of being vulnerable and accountable to someone. I personally have felt all of these things at one time or another. However, I can honestly say that my greatest joys in life has derived from the friendships God has brought into my life. A big thank you to all of you (you know who you are) who have taken the time to invest in my life. It really can just take “one” to make a big impact on someone’s life……..Here is pt. 3 of a series I wrote a few years ago.
Be a friend like no one else:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up this companion. but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
We need each other. 
 Do you have a close friend you can depend on? Even better, are you a dependable friend? My friendships have changed through out the years. God has been faithful to provide the right friend I have needed at the right time in my life. And I pray to God I have been the kind of friend they have needed.
There is a friendship in the bible that is coming to mind. I’m talking about David and Jonathan. I’m not going to go into every detail about their friendship, but you can read the whole account in 1 Samuel 20. Boy! What an example of a friendship! Jonathan loved David so much he was willing to give up his own kingship and lay down his life for him: “For he loved him as he loved his own soul” (1 Sam. 20:17). And 1 Sam. 18:1 goes as far to say, “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Johnathan loved him as his own soul.”
 We are called to share each other’s burdens. 
Wow, finding someone you can trust who has your best interest at heart is a precious jewel to be treasured! However, when you are searching for that deep loving friendship, please be careful in not choosing someone who will encourage you in your sins. It’s so easy to find a complaining buddy, or someone who will agree with everything you say. It’s another thing to find someone who will walk through fire with you, and at the same time, be honest enough to speak truth into your life with the love of Christ leading them. And for goodness sake, don’t let gossip be found no where near you. Gossip is sinful and it destroys lives. Ok, there I said it.
I’m reminded of a book I read called Mom…..and loving it! There is part where the authors are talking about 3 different snap shots of a woman. It’s the third one really caught my attention. It is a woman who has a listening ear for a friend even if it meant her plans are interrupted. She looks at the other women with the eyes of God, being more concerned about how someone feels then how they dress. She loves the Lord. And she is dependent upon the Lords strength….. 
Yes, this is the kind of woman I want to be.
So if you will join me, lets us lay aside anything that hinders us from being the kind of friend God would want us to be. Let us invest in each others lives, and I bet you will find that you are getting way far more in return than you have every given. God is faithful and He is good!
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look not only for this own interest, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-4