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It’s time to get out of my own head voice for a minute.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I serve on staff at a pretty rockin’ church here in Nashville called Cross Point. I love so much about this place – the raw community, the desire to serve, the tough lessons I learn each week – but I am consistently standing in awe of the team I’m surrounded by. This summer will be no exception.

Our Senior Pastor, Pete Wilson is going to be traveling for most of the month of July. This left our team with a huge opportunity to create a summer series that would be both fun and something to really drive home conversation. Thus, our Creative Arts team came up with Summer Slam.

The whole premiss of this series is allowing our communicators to share scriptures that leave them with more questions than answers; things that they’re wrestling with. They’re inviting us in to their story and I couldn’t be more excited.

I love any time that we get to hear from our Bellevue Campus Pastor – Justin Davis and Nashville Campus Pastor – Blake Bergstrom. The wisdom and life that pours out of these two is just unreal. In this series, we’ll also get to hear from a couple of fresh faces: our Dickson Campus Pastor – Willy Maxwell and our new North Campus Pastor – Brent Hodge. But what I love about this series even more is that we won’t just be hearing from our pastoral staff. We’re bringing in a couple of our attenders to share their hearts and thoughts, which takes it to another level.

Carlos Whittaker is a worship leader and serves with our music team here at Cross Point. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite people because of his heart. He’s an advocate for worship, adoption and authenticity. I’ve never met someone with so much drive and passion who also lives out and backs up everything he’s saying. I count myself very fortunate to know him and call him friend.

Jon Acuff is an author and blogger working at Dave Ramsey. I’ve followed Stuff Christians Like, a satire blog of his, for a few years now. His humor is so relatable. I can vividly remember where I was when I first read my most favorite of his posts, Thinking You’re Naked. I giggled at the title, but by the time I got to the bottom of the page was practically in tears. He has a natural gift for speaking the truth, whether he would agree or not.

Check out this promo video…it’s pretty awesome:

It’s going to be a great summer at Cross Point. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and grow more and to really come in to a place of leadership that I know I’m capable of. So thankful He’s not finished with me yet.

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Last night was one of the most refreshing nights I’ve had in quite a while.

Tuesday started off with a bang, having set my alarm an hour earlier than normal so I could be awake to begin my morning on the phone with the post office about a missing package. After an hour of back and forth and an extremely awkward exchange with a very sassy postal woman, I leave for the office. The morning was chaotic, but Tuesday’s are our meeting days and usually are. My stress levels were off the charts – mainly due to the missing package – but I tend to do things better when I’m stressed since it helps me focus on something other than the problem at hand. Then my favorite part of Tuesday arrived – staff lunch.

Our senior pastor, Pete, is sharing, teaching and encouraging us right now about the different ways we can lead: upward, outward, inward and horizontal. Something he said really struck a chord with me and the thoughts I’ve been having lately. Pete reminded us that we have to invest in relational chemistry; that we have to invest in people if we want them to invest in us. I suck at this. No really. I’m awful. But last night reminded me just how important relational chemistry is.

I’ve been really struggling with my heart for a certain friend of mine. I don’t feel like she’s in a good place and I know that the things she’s saying aren’t lining up with the things she’s doing and it makes me want to run. I am very protective of the team I’m surrounded by and when I feel like someone poses a threat, I’ll be the first to stand up on the front lines to defend the people I love.

Yesterday, I spent my evening with a very lively young girl who has starting leading worship with our team recently. The minute she showed up she exclaimed “let’s go on a walk!” and so we did. Walking through my super cute neighborhood and hearing her heart and passion for people, our church and her faith just set me on fire. We came back to the house and shared our stories and talked about the difference in singing a worship song, leading worship and ushering people in to the throne room…the wisdom and heart she had just floored me. It was so refreshing. We went for another walk and talked more about our dreams and hopes and also about barbecue…but that’s another story. When it came time to leave, I realized what had just happened. I was able to sit there and hear her and then turn around to edify and encourage her the way my mentor always does with me.

The truth is – in the end – people are worth the investment. Even when the investment comes back null and void. Everything in life is seasonal, friendships included. But not investing in the people around us hurts more in the long run. I’m still trying to find this balance…and it’s not easy, but when I think about people who have invested in my life, it seems just wrong to not pay it forward.

(and just so you know, the package did show up and I was able to give it to the person it was for. i love giving gifts. especially really awesome gifts.)

So I found an old picture of me the other day. It’s probably my most favorite picture of myself I’ve ever found. Take a look:

I’ve been completely captivated by it. I keep looking at it with mixed emotions…I think she’s cute and all but it’s hard to not be jealous of her. Instead of letting all these thoughts just sit in my head, I decided to write her a letter.

Sweet girl,

Do you remember where this picture was taken? I do. I remember this day. Mom was still pregnant with Daryl and we were visiting Josh’s grandparents. We played on the swing set. If you look closely, you’ll see that your nose is running…which means you were playing just a little too hard. You always did. But that’s okay. Keep doing that.

You are going to have so much fun over the years. So many adventures, vacations and friendships that you are going to remember forever. But sadly, you have no idea the significance that this picture holds. Life isn’t going to be easy for you, sister. Everything is going to change for you, but keep that smile. You’ll need it.

You are going to do some amazing things…things that you never dreamed possible. You are going to make friends with amazing people who you can’t even imagine. Know that things change and friends will leave, but don’t take it personally. Everything in life is seasonal. You’re going to meet people who live life differently and believe differently than you. That’s okay. Everybody has to find their own way. Don’t treat people like they’re broken and you’re the only one who can fix them. That’s just silly, but keep that heart…you’re a helper and that’s going to come in handy. Don’t be devastated when things don’t work out…sometimes the way things happen (or don’t) is a blessing. God will save you from doing a lot of really stupid things over the years, but don’t regret a single step you take. That’s what this journey is all about. Keep pushing forward. Keep dreaming. You’re gonna be just fine.

Do me a favor and go hug tight on Granny & Poppi and Grandma Lottie & Papa Jim. Remember the way you feel in their arms. Eventually they won’t be there anymore…but you’ll remember their laughs, smiles and the way the made you feel…which is loved (and a little like a princess…which you are!). You and your brother will eventually be great friends (but he’ll still have that weird sense of humor…just laugh, it really is funny). Be a little nicer to your sister. She just wants to be like you. I know that seems silly and is a lot of pressure, but just oblige her. You both end up leading very different lives and wanting very different things…so it’s not a big deal to wear the same outfits and get the same presents. Besides, pretending to be twins and mannequins together will be some of the funniest memories you’ll have. Mom is really the best. She’s very wise, so don’t roll your eyes at her so much…she really does know what she’s talking about. Dad will be your best friend, but don’t deceive him. It never works and you end up just hating yourself for it.

When March of your 4th grade year comes along and that fateful day approaches that changes how you see yourself, remember that you are loved. I know what happens is so confusing, but when you start to doubt that your parents care, know that they’re doing the best they can. They’ve never dealt with this either. I promise people can’t see it all over your face, so don’t hide from them. Not everyone is so dark and cold. And as hard as it is, forgive him. He may have been old enough to know better, but he was hurt, too. You don’t have to love him or even like him, but you have to let it go. It’s not healthy to be this angry all the time…trust me, I know. And you may not believe it, but this horrible thing will be a catalyst to connect you to so many other girls.

You are loved, baby girl. Hold on to the good times. They really do far outweigh the bad ones. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. This world gets crazy, but it’s a beautiful place. Take lots of deep breaths and enjoy it. You only get to do this once!

Don’t you ever grow up,
Me

I woke up in a weird mood today. I’ve been feeling very burdened lately; everything just seems heavy. It’s causing me to see things in a light that I normally wouldn’t and also allowing me to be really honest with myself.

This past weekend I allowed a dear friend to see a very ugly side of my heart. I knew that if anyone could understand the whereabouts of my heart as of late, it would be her. It shouldn’t have surprised me in the least when she knew what I wanted to talk about…even called me out on it. Guess I’m not as mysterious as I’d like to think.

Matters of the heart are tricky. Everything turns into this big gray mess of blurry lines and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how you got to where you are. All I know is that the things I always thought would come easy are the most difficult things to deal with. It’s seems so easy to be just who I am and to allow people in to my story. But when people start reading a little deeper in to the chapters, I just want to snatch the book out of their hands and throw it back under the bed. I keep hearing people say that everybody wants to be known, but honestly, the feeling of being truly known just makes me want to vomit.

I could tangibly see the fear in my dear friend’s eyes as I invited her to see the brokenness I’ve created for myself. And just when I was getting ready to close the book, she allowed me to read a new chapter in her story, too. I realized then that her fear was that I was going through the very things she saw herself go through at my age. There wasn’t an ounce of judgement in her face or the tone in which she spoke to me; sincerity was all that flowed from her heart. And just like that, I decided to leave the book in her hands.

I believe that God puts us with people at just the right moment. My heart really is going on a path all its own and I really don’t like it. But I’m so thankful that I have an amazing friend who will walk beside me even when the chapters get messy.

I’m noticing a trend in my life lately. I think it’s safe to say that I’m smack dab in the middle of a personal rebrand. Call it selfishness, call it wisdom. Call it whatever you like…I just know there’s something different going on.

At 25, I’ve ventured off in a direction I never could have imagined when I first moved to Nashville. If I were doing what I had initially set out to do, I would be living in East Nashville, working at a management firm (preferably Red Light), have about 3 artists and be traveling all over the world. God is pretty funny about things like this, though. Now, I’m working at a great church, living in a house with 5 girls, and nowhere near involved in the music industry. I wouldn’t say so much that I gave up on my dreams, but that my dreams changed.

I have the most amazing friends who are absolute rock stars. I love hearing their stories from the road. But I wouldn’t trade my life for theirs any day. I’m not a gypsy, I’m a homebody. I love knowing that at the end of the day, I know exactly where I’m gonna lay my head. I love that I know almost down to a ‘t’ what my schedule is going to be like on any given day. I mean, I LOVE having a set schedule. I’m all about spontaneity, don’t get me wrong. I love jumping in the car and driving to wherever I might feel like going at that exact minute. I’m just learning to appreciate the art of planning trips and rendezvous’.

I’ve always been a spoiler. I’ve been known to give until I can’t give anymore…and a lot of times, I’m still that way, but I’m starting to see me use my time and funds on…wait for it, this one’s big…me. It’s a really crazy concept. But I think that is part of the balance. I like being able to go out and buy things that are a little bit selfish; sunglasses, kicks (which seriously is becoming my go-to), clothes. I’m also starting to notice that when invited to things, I know what my answer is going to be when I know how many people are going to be there. My rock star best friend once told me that everyone has a quarter sized circle of friends that can fit about 5-10 (at the very most) names in it. Those are the people who you’re truly walking through life with…really investing with. Then you have a half-dollar sized circle where there’s another 20-25 names – friends you can hang with and be just fine knowing them on a slightly deeper than surface level. Then, there’s everybody else. As a people-pleaser, it is so very necessary for me to not just know, but practice this balance. I’m blessed with friends that continue to invite and invest with me who know that there are plenty of times where I say ‘no’ to things.

I’m nowhere near done with change. Like I said, I’m smack dab in the middle of this rebrand. The question is, will I be able to find the balance between who I’ve been and who I’m becoming?

I’m really not an emotional person. I’ve been through a lot in my life and have realized my capacity to handle heavy stuff is pretty great. However, when it comes to things that aren’t necessarily in my control – particularly relating to any kind of work (which I’ve talked about this struggle before) – I tend to be hypersensitive.

I work with a lot of really talented, really creative people. So having a job that is more administrative, I always feel a little out of the loop and like I can’t quite cut it. To make up for it, I overwork. I don’t do it because I want anyone to notice. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t do things to be the center of attention. I do this because I want to prove to myself that I can hustle just as hard as anyone else and that my time and efforts do make a difference to our team. I want to feel more like I belong with our team. (sidenote: no one, and I mean NO ONE, has ever not made me feel a part of the team…I’m simply stating the administrative vs. creative battle in my own head.)

I think the enemy’s best trick with me is causing me to doubt my worth and ability. No, I may never be able to write a song. True, we will probably never use any graphic I design for a logo or series. But what I’m learning is that just because I don’t hustle in that way doesn’t make what I do any less of a baller job.

Someone has to have a vision for the lobby. Someone has to make sure that people are at the right place, at the right time. Someone has to be on the front lines to make sure the rest of the teams have the tools they need to get their hustle on. So no, I may not be a creative…but when you’re trying squeeze in extra appointments to an already busy schedule, you get creative. I may not be the ultimate hustler…but when you have a last-minute change to a plan and you only have 10 minutes to add in an extra element, you turn your hustle on stun. I’m definitely not the flyest person I know…but when you’re in charge of a team that welcomes in thousands of guests and want to do it in a way that keeps them coming back, you must have the right amount of swag.

I fully believe the God blessed me with this job because it’s well within my giftedness. There’s a lot that I learn on a daily basis and there’s a lot of room for growth, but at the same time, I know my idols are Success and Work. I have to be extra careful to not let my personal gifts – hospitality, planning, organizing – get lost in my job title. Who I am is so woven in to what I do, which is what makes the battle so hard and causes me to not ever be able to ‘shut it off.’

I have a great buddy who tells me on at least weekly – but usually more often – basis that I am loved for who I am and not what I do. At first, especially read in conjunction with the whole ‘who I am is so woven in to what I do’ bit, I found that to be a little insulting. But the more he says it, the more I really try to believe it, specifically in the moments where I start to feel like I’m not enough.

I am almost one week in to my 25th year of life and it has been met with a lot of excitement. I don’t think it would be far-fetched to say that there’s been a lot of confusion as well.

I’m learning more and more everyday how all the things I never thought I would say and do are the very things I’m starting to say and do. Not even just those things you say as a kid “I’ll never do this the way my parents did…” I’m talking about 21 year old self wouldn’t recognize me. I lived with my mentor for a year and was very selfish for any time that I could spend with her, so I always invited her everywhere…knowing one day she would cave and go do whatever it was that I had invited her to do. Sometimes, she did. Most times, she did not. Keep in mind, however, that I would invite her to go to a movie that started at 10:45 or to go paint the town red, but we weren’t leaving the house til 10:30 or whatever other activities kids create to be out at 1, 2 or 3 in the morning. One time in particular, when she (as always) very politely said no, she concluded with “one day, you’ll have a big girl job and will value your personal time, space and sleep.” I thought she was crazy.

Here I am, a mere 4 years later, realizing the deep value in her words. I have a steady job. I have a fairly steady schedule. I know what time I need to be in bed in order to not be a train wreck the next day. I still say and do a lot of very stupid things, but this is still a journey.

In turning 25, I’ve had to say one thing over and over and over to myself that almost seems ridiculous, but has been a lifeline:

Krystin, you’re not 21 anymore…

21 year old me was young and could care less about anyone around her. Everything revolved around her and she had to be the center of attention. 21 year old me was as arrogant as they come. She was horrible with her money and irresponsible beyond reason. 21 year old me had something to prove, but not sure who she was trying to prove herself to. She knew she was better than everyone else around her…because a few people told her she was great…but the truth is she was just like every other 21 year old.

I thank God, every day, that he allowed me the great blessing of having my world wrecked so that I could see just how big of a fool I had become. I know plenty of people who are either “21” or “stuck at 21” and it causes me to be very wary of not only who I surround myself with, but also to be more sensitive to the things the people around me are saying or doing. I hear the very wise words of my mom saying to me “be careful what you say and do, baby girl…out the mouth is the overflow of your heart.”

so i’m thinking over the things that you’ve said…

little birdy told me…

Recurring Thoughts

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