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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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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Today at nap time, Jonathan, asked me to read this book to him.  I bought this book last year to really understand the theme of my work’s end-of-year recital, but had no idea the impact it would have on me.  Last year was also the first time I had read this particular Dr. Suess book.  As I read through the pages today and my son listened, I realized this book was describing my life -especially most recently.

You see, this book marches through a story of life: the things you encounter, experiences, trials, failures, unknowns, accomplishments, waiting, unexpected turns, new cities and sites, the unknown, and how you are capable of moving mountains!!! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!  As I lay on the bed next to Jonathan reading this silly book, I began reading it as if it was me facing and experiencing all those things. And then about halfway through, I realized that it WAS me!  I saw how this character experienced just about every emotion, thought, and circumstance & was still climbing his way to higher heights.  The greatest encouragement throughout the storyline was that life will take you many places. Some you will like and some you will not.  But, you get to rise above it all and move mountains!!!

The last month and a half has been a whirlwind of change, ups, downs, unknown, joy and excitement, adventure, and even getting a house for the first time!   I had no idea I’d be sitting in Redding, CA with no family or friends around, going to a new (very big) church, no real furniture (just beds pretty much), spotty cell service, and just my God, my hubby, boys, and me.  It is humbling and awe inspiring at the same time.

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When we made the decision to move down here, it was one of great excitement and enthusiasm and very, very quick!! Did I say quick? Because I meant superhero fast!!!  The process had been one in thought for awhile but when we knocked on the doors at the end of July, they flung wide open and we jumped in!  Before we knew it we were driving down the highway stopping every 30 minutes to tie down the tarps!  Not kidding!  It took us nearly 4 hours to get out of Washington!!!  We would be lying if I said we didn’t have thoughts of “What did we get ourselves into!!”  But, tarry on we did!

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Now, here we are 9 days into living here and things are starting to take shape.  The speed in which we came is not the speed in which we are unpacking.  Our garage is still full of boxes both empty and full, the kids have their mattresses and toys and a great, big backyard, and our china hutch has some character now with a hole in the top where a piece of wood came off in the travel.  We found the pots, pans, & coffee filters today so we can cook meals again and have coffee, and I unpacked 6-8 boxes of books unearthing a load of memories flooding my mind as I placed each one on the shelf.  Each one is a story from someone’s heart & passion.  From a simple kids book about the places you’ll go, to the Basics of Biblical Greek, to Harry Potter, to What to Expect When You’re Expecting -each book tells a story.  Each one represents a different stage of life and holds a different spot in my heart.  And today, I understood a new meaning to life as I lay there choking up next to my 4 year old who just wants to know what Hakken-kraks are.  No matter what steps you take though they may seem a mistake or a success or a big royal mess, that is called living life!  Some of us are surrounded by family and friends and some of us are on missions or are now hanging their clothes to dry because we couldn’t afford a dryer (thank you, Jesus for Redding heat!!) But all of it is your story.  And a great story at that!  No matter the fear or bumps or heights and great places, all of it is meant to be lived!  You win some and you lose some and you don’t have to worry about doing it wrong -that’s part of living too!  You can’t appreciate the good if there’s not opportunity for the not-so-good!

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I don’t care what possessions I have, all I know is I am meant for great things!  I am meant to experience it all. I am meant to learn and grow and be challenged and be humbled and to make life everything it is meant to be!  I don’t have to wait for everything to fall into place or be just right.  I don’t have to be a pastor to pastor or be a singer to sing!  I can be me and that is  perfectly enough!

So…..

be your name Buxbam or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!!!