Getting 2017 Started!

Happy New Year! Are you ready to see what 2017 holds? I know some of you are ready to leave 2016 behind in the dust. Yeah, I’ve had years like that, too. However, this picture I posted holds a whole lot of truth of what God can do with all of our mess. He turns it into something good. We might have to search for it on some days. We might have to walk minute by minute to feel the effects now and then. We might have to trust and believe when all hope seems nonreaching. But the goodness is there none the less.

My word (or I should say phrase) this year is ….open hands. I’ve come to a place where I am tired of “trying to figure it all out.”  I want to position myself where I’m so in tune with my Savior (John 15). Having open hands will cause me to be or do exactly what I need to be doing.  I want to walk so close to Jesus that if He turned around, I would bump into Him. Hey, you want to join the Congo line?:)

Jesus started a great work in each of, Ladies. May He continue His transforming work in each of us:) Phil. 1:6

By the power of the Holy Spirit, direct my steps, Lord.

Twenty Things I Love about You….

I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly. I remember almost fainting when your dad and I found out we had given birth to a girl after four boys. I remember uncontrollably crying when you released my hand to run into your first day of preschool. Throughout the years, I’ve sat through numerous dance recitals, and I’ve tasted some awesome food as you experimented with cooking. I remember the bittersweet feeling that overwhelmed me as I dropped you off at college. Now you are twenty! I praise God every day that He blessed me with my little girl. I am so proud of you. These are twenty things I love about you:

My only daughter
– Strong-willed (which allows you to stand firm in the important things)
– Very detailed (which means you see thing I often don’t see or remember:)
– Compassionate
– A good baker (Your brothers are giving a loud AMEN!)
– Patient (which enables you to hang on to a gift card for life)
– My TV buddy
– Encourager (Thank you for always being my biggest encourager)
– Heart that continues to seek after the Lord
– My shopping buddy
– Highly favored by your brothers
– Someone I look up to (Yes, I look up to you)
– Humble
– Beautiful inside and out
– Creative….very creative
– My sushi eating buddy
-You allow me to speak wisdom into your life
– Smart
– A friend to all
– Bossy (A note from Brandon: You are my sister and even though you boss me around I love you.  I love you just the way you are. God blesses you and so do I.) 

Love you! Happy 20th Birthday!

As for Me and My House

This (blurry) photo that I took last week of my son standing there with his friend’s arm around him warms my heart. I don’t know why they were standing there like that, but it spoke volumes. You see, there is still good in this world. Love still trumps all things. I am finding it easier now-a-days to want to watch the news or read the back and forth of FB and let my heart get bitter; However, I know without a shadow of a doubt there is a better way ~ grace, love, peace, hope, and prayer.

My friends, we can’t fix everything, but we can begin in our homes. We can begin to let the power of God mold and shape us. We can be an example to our children, who are watching. (I often here my son repeating the things he hears me say to his friends. His view of this world is coming from mine and my husband’s views).

Think about this today: By the power of the Holy Spirit, we get to align out hearts with God’s. We get to walk so close to Jesus that people around us see Him through each of us. There is still goodness in this world because GOD IS GOOD! We can proclaim with boldness….”AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

Grace With Skin On


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He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. Is 40: 1

Processing seems to be the theme of my life at the moment. With a whole lot of transitions happening the last few years, I’ve found myself in a place of thought. I am glad I am a work in process. I am ok with that because that means my God is not through with me yet.
Rejection is hard. There I said it. I let the words roll off of my lips. Or, it is maybe the feeling of rejection. Maybe, the feelings are all a lie. But for a brief moment, they felt like the truth.
That is what I felt the day my mom was stepping on an airplane to go live back East with her family.
Suddenly, I was no longer a 47 year old woman standing there in the middle of the cold airport, but I was a 6 year old little girl standing in a dark alley gripping her mom’s hand, while she placed all she could fit in a few suitcases to be shoved in the back of a car. In one quick moment, I was leaving behind grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my dad. (I’ll talk more on this in another post)
Forty years has passed since that night in the dark alley; now my mom was loading on an airplane to head back to what she calls home.
Processing…
Where does my identity originate? It’s often the hurt and pain of circumstances that want to stick a label smack on my forehead.
Unloved. Alone. Not Worthy. Orphan
I had a choice in those brief moments while I was standing in the airport. I could stay stuck, or I could believe God had a plan and a purpose for my life. He knew this day would come. Because nothing I went through or currently was going through was outside of my Heavenly Father’s grip or sight (I’m kinda relating to Joseph right now, who ended up in Egypt).

You know what? Grace lived out in the daily life is beautiful and hard all at the same time. Grace is causing me to open my heart-felt wounds and allow my Lord to come in and heal them.

Grace is allowing me to love and forgive those who have wronged me, even when the first response is to scream like a six year old little, girl and say,” This is not right!”
I get to live a life chosen, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven.
I was able to step back and calm that hurt little girl and let her know that everything in its time is working out. God had/has a plan all along.
I had a hard time writing this because I wanted to wrap it in a perfect, neat bow. However, life is messy sometimes. The process isn’t always perfect and pretty. Comfort comes from knowing that there is growth, healing, and a purpose…. Nothing is wasted.
Thank you, Jesus!

Talking as a Black Man

My son, Pastor Anthony, wrote this on his blog, and I wanted to share it because I think it speaks volumes.   

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Race. It’s hot button issue right now. I guess it has been for has long as there’s been diversity in the world; however, with where the American climate is right now on the topic, I figured I’d share my perspective. No, I don’t want to argue about your hashtag or read you a list of statistics. That’s not the tone of my heart going into this blog. I simply  want to give you a glimpse into my experience as a man of color. What you decide to do my testimony, is up to you.
Through the grace of God, and the hard work of my parents, I never had to grow up in an environment common to most young African American males. I never had to worry about gang violence. I never had to worry about which route was the “safe” way to get home from school. We didn’t live in poverty. I was never blatantly discriminated for my race; I don’t recall falling victim to any hate crimes. I’ve had people call me “that word” before. I’ve had bottles thrown at me from moving cars as I’d ride my bike along the side of the road. Just the other day, I went to visit a building for work and the owner confused me with another man of color when I corrected him he simply stated,”oh well, you all look the same anyways, right?” I’ve had stuff like that happen…but none of the “bigger” realities of African-American youth made up my story. And so, I’m not going to sit here and try and fabricate something for the sake of an engaging blog post.
So, you may be thinking to yourself, “what’s the issue, Anthony?” You may be thinking, “see this is a great point! Those thug black people who are getting shot on the news must be asking for it because you’re not like them Anthony and nothing like that had ever happened to you! You’re different!” You may be thinking these things or you may have had those thoughts before (especially if you’re friends with me). However, in those statements lies what I want to talk about.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard “Anthony, you’re not really black. You’re the whitest black guy I know” growing up, I’d be one rich brotha. What people mean when they say this is, “Anthony, you don’t act how your race is supposed to (sometimes stereotypically) act.” And the truth is, no I don’t fall in line with what a lot of the African American culture represents. I’m a heavy metal listening, Toms-wearing, longboarding, man with a degree in English and the dance moves of a three-legged cow (as my wife would testify). I am who I am, and I’ve never tried to be anything or anyone else. However, there has been assumptive stigma put on that kind of thinking…because I don’t “act black” I’m immune from the realities of being a minority in America. This is simply not true and (I love you, my Caucasian friends) comes with some ignorance.
I remember when my family moved to the North Reno area (I was around 12). We moved into a quiet suburb, which was nice. However, one of our neighbors, down the street, hung a confederate flag over their house. I remember my mom cautioning us about this because the way to the local skate park and 7/11 involved walking past this house. “My family was nice!” “They would like us if they knew us!” I remember thinking…what did we do to deserve the feeling of having a knot in your stomach every time we would ride our bikes past that house, I thought. When I’m in the grocery store with my (white) wife and I catch people giving us looks, I know it’s not because we scored a killer deal on new sippy cups. When I’m driving and a cop is behind me and the thought goes through my head “be extra careful…you are black.” Even though I’m most likely driving to or from church and the cop behind is probably an awesome man or woman…the thoughts still surface. Why? Because at the end of the day, no matter how I talk or how I spend my free time…the color of my skin is still black, and there certain realities that come with that. I will have to pray for my children has they grow and head out into the world in a certain way because of their race. I will have to pray for my step daughter in a certain way because of the dynamics of growing up with a parent of color. It’s simply not as open and shut as “you don’t have anything to think about because you don’t act a specific way.”
Again, my desire isn’t to start a debate or accuse all white people of “not getting it.” I simply wanted you (the reader) to step into my shoes for a couple of minutes. Maybe you do need to seek a true understanding of what living as a minority looks like. Maybe you need to have real talks with your friends of a different race than yourself. Maybe you need to guard yourself against speaking too quickly when it comes to these sort of matters…especially if you’re not willing to do the work on the relational understanding end. Like I said earlier, what you decide to take away from this is up to you. For me, I think of all of this and I enter into a place of worship. Why? Because despite or even in spite of my race…heck even my actions, I am loved deeply by Jesus. Jesus, the son of God who’s grace and hope is for all colors, all races, all backgrounds, all heights , all weights, and all nations. I worship because, in His eyes, I’m not labeled as a “black guy” I’m called His friend, His family. In Him, that’s my identity.

It is just a rock… to some people


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I was doing science with my son the other day, and I discovered I have a new name to add to my list of titles: Rock Hound-a person who searches out and collects rocks.

 Yes, I am a lover of rocks!
I am not exactly sure when this obsession began. I know even as a little girl you could search my underwear drawer and find a pile of rocks instead of clean underwear, which always made my mom really mad.
I guess at this point I could try to get all spiritual and tell you my love of rocks has something to do with Jesus being the solid rock upon which I stand.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Ps. 18:2
This verse packs a whole lot of truth. However, I don’t think I thought about this much when I was a little girl.
I simply don’t know why I love rocks. However, I do know one thing: Do not mess with my rocks! Everybody in my family knows the seriousness of this threat but apparently the girl next door didn’t know.
You see, I was minding my own business one day while taking an inventory of my rock garden. Yes! my rock garden. Then, there it was…an empty imprint that gave an alarming clue that I had been robbed!
With one hard stare at my young son, he quickly pointed a finger at “the girl”. He threw her under the bus with one swift kick. And this 7 years old girl and I were fixin’ to rumble. Picture the scene where the cowboy walks into the salon and everyone turns and gasps, the tumbleweed rolls by…It was very intense.
I sent her home to retrieve my rock. She obviously didn’t get the neighborhood memo: Don’t mess with Mama Crosby’s rocks!
Occasionally, I am accused by some family members of stealing rocks. I won’t even go there. That is crazy talk.
In all seriousness, Isn’t our God amazing? He places these things in our life that bring us comfort and joy. Maybe, just maybe, there was a time in my young life that I needed a solid rock on which to stand. I just didn’t know His name at the time. I look around me and I see the beauty of God’s creation. We are told in Romans 1:17 that all of creation speaks of God’s glory. I will just keep right on lovin’ me some rocks:) God is good!
If you are wondering, No, I don’t talk to my rocks; however, I do like the feel of the smooth ones:) Don’t judge!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.


Come Thirsty

I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Psalms 143:6


I haven’t really known the genuine true thirst for natural drinking water, but I have known what it feels like to long and crave the refreshing thirst quenching presence of the Holy Spirit. You know the place you get when there is nowhere else to go? 

Our Father is always present when we depend upon Him and seek Him to fill us; however there are times when we let other things  have the control…bitterness, flesh, fear, sin, temptation.

  When you and I walk around empty,  it’s easy for these things to begin to take over and fill the void. We search for hope in things that cannot bring us hope. We try to drown out the pain and fear by things that cannot make us complete; instead they disappoint.

But! (I love that word:)
God is near. He is near even when He seems to be far away.  He wants to fill you to the point of overflowing. In fact, Jesus said those who drink from Him will never thirst again. Don’t settle for a few drops; seek to be overwhelmed by His presence. Let His presence refresh, renew, revive, and restore.
Good news!
Before Jesus left this earth, He said He would send a helper. The Holy Spirit would come to guide us and be a witness to us in all truth (John 16:13). So……If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have power of God residing in you-God power! Transforming power! You have been brought near by the power of the living God.
Open up your heart and receive Him. He is the only one who can do the work. There is not a self-help book around that can come close to the transforming power of God.
Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness , for they will be filled.” Matt. 5:6
~ Thank you, Lord, that You know me by name. Thank you for loving me as I am, not as I should be.~
Linked of with Live Free Thursdsay

I Will Follow…again and again

There I sat in my car on the side of the road with loud horns blaring. Through blurry vision, my eyes tried to determine if the traffic light was red or green.

What was I thinking… a married mother of two hanging out this late at night trying to drive home after a night of clubbing?

Why was I not content with my life any longer? The nagging feeling that there was a greater purpose for my life would not go away.

Jesus was calling. And I needed fixin’

Recently, I have been reading Suzanne Eller’s book, Come with Me. And boy, my mind has been going places it hasn’t been in a long time. She challenged me to view myself as the thirteenth disciple. Me? My thoughts instantly went back to the woman sitting on the side of the road.

How could He want me?

Very few of us see ourselves the way God does. For too many years I saw myself as a girl raised in brokenness who had little to offer, even after I became a woman. God called me away from that identity. He saw me differently. He saw a woman who loved him. He saw a woman who desired to be a good mom. He saw things inside of me that I couldn’t envision.
Suzanne Eller, Come With Me

 He did want me! Yes, Indeed!

As I thought about it, I was no different than the dudes that He had already called. I, too, needed a new identity. I needed to learn to release all that I was holding on to and follow Him. I needed to remember that He could take ordinary people and do extraordinary things. I needed to walk with faith as I pushed out into deeper waters with Him.

And guess what?

My need to accept the invitation to follow Him is still a daily decision I get to make. I easily get twisted up and distracted. I forget. However, walking with my feet knee deep in the muck and mire of life, I get to claim my rightful place as a disciple of Jesus. I get position myself with Him at the table declaring I am…..

                       Established. Renewed.Whole.Victorious.Worthy

I say, “Yes!” again to leaving my broken past; my should haves, and my could haves all behind.

Many years have come and gone since I was sitting on the side of the road. Man! What a great work He has done in my life and that of my family. Sister, I have a long way to go. I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface on seeing what my God can do with a life sold out for Him.

Come With Me is igniting a renewed spark in me. Believe me, you will not be disappointed if you read this book.

Will you say, Yes?!!!

***I will be giving a copy of the book away to one random person who leaves a comment on my Facebook group page. Pop on over and join me!

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay3-D Lessons for Life

When My View is Distorted


The music is blaring as you pass the merry-go-round, but then something catches your eye. It’s your reflection, but something is not quite right. At first glance, you are short and plump and next you are tall and lean. If you’ve ever been to a carnival, you have probably seen one of those funny mirrors that make you look distorted. Looking into each mirror gives you a different shape. Some are better than others. I, personally, like the one that makes me look like I’m ten pounds lighter.

According to webster.com, distortion is a lack of proportionality in an image resulting from defects in the optical system.
I guess to put it simply…your eyes see things as they should not be.
Well, distortion doesn’t not just happen with my eyes; it happens with my thought patterns as well.

My bathroom mirror, though it is not distorted tends to act like it is. On a typical day, I bounce out of bed, and I feel like today is the day. I look in the mirror and my hair and makeup are on point. It’s going to be a good day. I say, “I got this!” Then, other days, my failures start to sneak in before my feet hit the cold floor… harsh words that were spoken, a to-do list that didn’t get done, the many balls that were dropped. All reminders of how I can’t live up to the task
At this point, it is easy to look in the mirror and see all the imperfections. The mounting confidence I had the day before has been distorted.
When the bigness of my reality seems to become bigger than my God, I will turn back to the truth.
The thoughts I think about myself begin to have an impact. In my distorted view, I start believing how could He love a girl like me. I am not made whole in His image. He does not have the power to restore me. I’ve messed up too much. He does not see me and love me as I am. How could He?
But, God!
He reaches in the depth of my soul to say He loves me. He reminds me that He loves me despite my performance. Even if I dropped all the balls and not one single thing gets done on my to-do list, or I have to ask for forgiveness for the thousandth time, His love would not budge one bit.
If I linger in the love and grace that God has for me, this changes my whole perspective.
I am righteous and chosen
I am not the product of my past
I am a new creation in Christ
I am strong enough
I am gifted enough
I am loved by God
My friend, satan attempts to blind us. We begin to see things as they really aren’t. Our reality becomes a reality of distortion. Cling to the truth of God, then the true reality will be easy to recognize.

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay3-D Lessons for Life, Shine Blog Hop