Darling Update -Redding 2017!

No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  We have actually been enjoying life very much.  We have been in Redding for almost 5 months now, and it’s been a joyous ride!  The adventure has given us so much hope, restoration, freedom, and joy!  I promised I’d stay in touch so here goes….

Redding life is so completely different and fun!  Everyone here shouts in praise any day it rains, ha ha!  I, for one, could go without rain for a number of years, but it is quite funny to come from a place where it rains 11 months out of the year to a place where people cheer when it rains.  I got to wear shorts a couple of days after Christmas, so I’m not complaining!!!

Redding is half the size of Tacoma.  It is city-esque but very town like as well.  We have Starbucks, a mall, and just about everything a normal city has… except skyscrapers.  Seriously, the buildings aren’t very tall here at all.  Now to you, that may seem like a weird detail to mention, but I am a city girl and one can miss that scenery and night life.  The other big difference from Tacoma is that Redding is in the valley.  We have a beautiful river that runs through the city, Whiskeytown Lake (it’s ginormous!) just a few miles away, but the ocean?  That’s about 3.5 hours away.  It is a completely different look here with mountains to the east and to the west, sunshine all the time, dry air, red dirt, and loads of land.  People drive very fast here.  The speed limit is a suggestion.  I have been one to usually follow most traffic laws (yes, I occasionally run a red light or drive with expired tabs!).  People drive fast and there is no traffic.  Literally, no traffic.  We only hit traffic when we drove to San Fransisco a few weeks ago.  The Bay Area has legit traffic!

Church. We came down here because God called us to Bethel.  We knew when we started on this adventure, we were going to make our home there.  God is so good!  Bethel has not only transformed Eric and myself, but our children are thriving and growing and we love hearing their stories each week of what they do in Kingdom Critters (kid’s church).  Worship & Revival is what it is all about here.  There are healings every single service, new believers every week, breakthrough, hunger, hope restored, people set free, and constant call to excellence and health in all relationships.  It is powerful, life changing, and GOOD!! Soooo good!!  God is just good!

Some fun things we have done since we moved: drove to Arizona & back for my brother’s beautiful, riverside wedding; drove to both mountain ranges in search of snow (for the boys in the family); made the 3.5 hour trip to San Fransisco  -the Golden Gate Bridge was worth it and I can’t wait to go back!  See, city girl.  My heart started skipping beats when we drove across the Bay Bridge with the night skyline before us!  While in San Fransisco, we visited the Mrs. Doubtfire house -pretty cool if you ask me!  We have gotten to see so much family that I haven’t been with in years, and it has been glorious!!  Making reconnections, meeting all the cousins, and seeing my immediate family 5 times this year has been such added blessing!  To all those who live close to their immediate family, don’t take it for granted.  It meant the world to my siblings and me that we got to have some real time together this year for the first time in almost 4 years!

The holidays were very fun this year!  Thanksgiving was just the six of us, in our first house, and I spent all day in the kitchen.  I LOVED IT!!!  The twins are getting old enough now to realize the holidays are special.  We have special food, special traditions, and it’s all about enjoying life together.  Let me tell you, they really enjoyed Christmas!  We found our new Santa that will be in each year’s photo -Ezra wasn’t too fond of him 🙂  My parents came out from Arizona to spend Christmas with us and it was perfect!  The kids love getting to see this Grandma and Grandpa a lot more!  Ezra turned one in November and is the running-est, climbing-est, vivacious, yet sweetest, snuggly-est, gentlest little one year old I ever did see!  He is still my little baby boy, but he sure does hold his own with his three older brothers!  Our little ginger, is no longer little but is nearly the same size as his almost 5 year old brothers.  Liam lights up your day because he will spend hours asking you to read him a book -sometimes the same book over and over -but each time he crawls up on your lap and just cuddles right in.  He loves himself some I Spy!  The twins have morphed into kids.  They no longer talk, walk, act, dance, think like little toddlers/preschoolers.  Jonathan loves legos, hide & seek, building things, and wanting to know how everything works.  Jayden loves bugs, animals, dinosaurs, worms, and all things nature related!!  I’m not kidding.  He sat and watched videos of spiders for an hour the other night.  Ugh!

All in all, God has simply showered favor over us.  We all moved completely out of what we have known and planted ourselves somewhere new.  It’s the best decision we ever made.  We have made some wonderful friends that we are enjoying life with, and we even get date nights!!!  One added blessing that I knew wouldn’t have to be “stay-at-home” date nights forever, but didn’t know we would be able to have that so soon after being here.  We have been stretched, challenged, persevered, hopeful, not knowing the next step, at complete peace, worshipping like we never have before, and kept our eyes on Him.  It’s only the beginning, too!  I am sorry this is so long, but the next one won’t be!  When you enjoy life so much you forget to write it down, you’re doing something right!

Feel free to follow our story by following my blog: gingerunveiled.wordpress.com, Facebook, and Instagram: @mrskdarling.  More updates and life happenings will be coming sooner rather than later and may the force be with you!!  Okay, that was cheesy, but who cares!  We love you all!!

Krystal, Eric & all the man tribe! 2016

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Will you dance?

By day, I am a wife and mom.  On Wednesday nights, I’m an Acro/dance instructor.  With my husband working graveyard, we see each other for about an hour on Wednesdays.  As we were catching up yesterday afternoon I was talking to Eric about all of my recital preparations that are beginning to unfold in my classes.  I put on the song, “Home” by Phillip Phillips and started explaining how I was incorporating it into the dance routine when Jonathan comes running in and says, “Mommy! Come dance with me! Come on! You have to dance with me!”  In a split second I had a decision to make.  Will you dance?  I could dismiss him gently and tell him how tired I was and that I wanted to talk to his Papa, or I could go running hand in hand to the living room and dance my heart out with him.  I chose to dance.

There is nothing like seeing the joy of a child.  My son’s face lit up when I grabbed his hand  and spun him around.  He began to laugh and jump and didn’t want to stop when the song was over.  So we didn’t.  We kept dancing until we were both out of breath.

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Life is full of moments where you can choose to live in the moment, or pass it by.  Dancing moments.  This last year has presented itself many moments where I have been asked, “Will you dance?”

I am standing on the sand with a wine bottle full of letters that represent the hurts and trials I walked through in the past few years including miscarriages, disappointments, dreams crushed, relationships broken.  I can throw it into the ocean and drown them or I can keep letting that wine bottle float back to me, a thorn in my side that won’t go away.  Will you dance?

My husband’s job closes its doors and he is on unemployment barely working part-time just a couple of weeks before our 4th child is born.  Will you dance?

My husband is given the opportunity to become a Fire Fighter and save lives while giving his.  He might die in that environment.  He might spend the next 20 years saving lives and retire and we grow old and wrinkly together.  Will you dance?

I have a calling to reach people and show love in extraordinary ways.  It looks different than I thought it was going to.  It might mean more education, and it might mean giving up what I thought belonged to me.  It might cost me a lot of money, and it might impact hundreds of lives and families along the way that I wouldn’t have influence in without taking this path.  Will you dance?

God says, “Start a blog.”  I don’t want to be a hipster and become just another “blogger.”  Will you dance?

My mom calls me and says, “Your dad has been referred to an oncologist.”  A month later, “Your dad has leukemia.”  Will you dance?

This is my question. Will you dance?  I spent the last few years struggling to just dance.  I wanted and desired but felt I came short more often than not.  In the beginning weeks of this year, I have thought about nothing more than living in the moment.  To simply, let go of the past, and stop wondering about the future but to live each day with so much fullness I lay on my bed at night knowing I danced.  I laughed and I loved and I cried and I pushed and I gave today everything I had.  I don’t sit on the sidelines of history anymore.  I dance.

Will you dance?

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