Friday, November 22, 2013

I Can Just Be Me

It's a normal Friday, or so it seems to me. I have a LOT to get done today! I'm already flooded with thoughts of what I need to do, leaving me overwhelmed and tired before the day has even begun. Thankfully I knew what to do first (well, almost first...first, that is after getting dressed, chugging fiberwise, eye drops for the post-lasik eyes, french pressing the coffee, eating almond milk softened fiber one honey squares, packing a lunch [which I rarely do, but desperate times required it this morning] and trying to motive the crying child who didn't get enough sleep but needed to get dressed and off to school, kissing a few extra times the freshly-shaved Sean and sending him and the almost composed son out the door, checking and replying to a few texts, looking at my menu and grocery lists)...go sit with Jesus and tell Him all about it and listen to Him. I grabbed my hot coffee and my favorite blanket and sat in quiet (well, almost quiet...I hear a little one whimpering but he can wait just a couple minutes), ready and waiting.

I began to write down in my journal the thoughts that were on the forefront of my mind, stemming from a conversation I had last night with Sean as we dealt with some unpleasant attitudes coming from the back seat (and from within ourselves). What do I do with these attitudes?!!? My own quote was racing through my mind...Replace ATTITUDE with GRATITUDE. I began working through the various attitudes and and practical strategies for helping my kids (and me) find gratitude in those areas, God let me on a journey that started with gold (that's a blog for another day) and ended somewhere totally different but beautiful.

I opened my phone to look for something I had read on a blog recently about gold-mining in your children and I "stumbled" across a link to Laura Story's song "I can just be me." I began to listen to it and it was like God "walked" into my house and was right next to me. I didn't even know how to say what I felt, but she did for me. Through tears I just let the words pass through me and be my prayer. In such a beautiful and simple way, my normal day turned into a special day...that God can be God and I can just be me today. The attitudes seem so small in comparison to the power of this truth. I'm only left with gratitude and peace. I know I still have to live the rest of my day, but I'm starting from such a better place...I think I will be playing this song ALL day today. Maybe you can too.

"I Can Just Be Me"
by Laura Story

I've been doing all that I can
To hold it all together
Piece by piece.
I've been feeling like a failure,
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be.
It's just not me.

So be my healer, be my comfort, be my peace.
Cause I can be broken, I can be needy,
Lord I need You now to be,
Be my God, so I can just be me.

I've been living like an orphan,
Trying to belong here,
But it's just not my home.
I've been holding on so tightly,
To all the things that I think
Could satisfy my soul.
But I'm letting go...

So be my father, my mighty warrior, be my king.
Cause I can be scattered, frail and shattered,
Lord I need You now to be,
Be my God, so I can just be me.

Cause I was lost in this dark world
Until I was finally found in You
So now I'm needing, desperately pleading
Oh Lord, be all to me

And be my savior, be my lifeline, won't You be my everything.
Cause I'm so tired of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God
Please be my God
Be my God
So I can just be me
So I can just be me
I can just be me. 

List to the song here!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

He chose. I choose.

The boy who chose to follow Christ and be different even at a young age when few were walking the paths he did, didn't know that a girl next door was praying for someone just like that.

1.      He chose Jesus instead of the world.
2.      He chose purity instead of selfishness.
3.      He chose to explore, understand, create, build, design, instead of laziness.
4.      He chose to seek out and listen to wisdom instead of pride.
5.      He chose to work hard and save his money instead of spend it all.
6.      He chose to use his musical talents to worship God instead of the applause of man.
7.      He chose to enjoy his family instead of be too cool for them.
8.      He chose to work doing what he loved instead of what could make him the most money.
9.      He chose to do what he said he would do, instead of good intentions.
10.  He chose to find the good in a situation instead of pessimism.
11.  He chose to laugh, and laugh a lot, instead of taking life too serious.
12.  He chose to make jokes instead of boredom,
13.  He chose adventure instead of contentment.
14.  He chose to embrace a bigger worldview than himself.
15.  He chose to repent and turn instead of stubbornness.
16.  He chose to hide God's word in His heart instead of sin.
17.  He chose to care more what God thought than what people did.
18.  He chose to be real instead of fake.
19.  He chose to take care of his body instead of abuse it.
20.  He chose to invest in what matters to him and God instead of what's cool.
21.  He chose to dare to dream big instead of doubt.
22.  He chose to travel the world instead of settle.
23.  He chose to try new things instead of get "stuck in his ways".
24.  He chose to learn people instead of judge.
25.  He chose to be bold instead of passive.
26.  He chose to be weird instead of normal.
27.  He chose to think before he acted.
28.  He chose to live instead of die.
29.  He chose to give instead of take.
30.  He chose to receive instead of resist.
31.  He chose to be Sean Douglas Rassi instead of someone else.
  32.  He chose me, Kristina Kay Rassi, as his lifetime friend and lover. With all of the choices he made that led up to that day, how could I resist? I couldn't and I still can't. He still chooses these choices every day and they have helped make him into the man that I love sharing life with. God uses him every day to show me Jesus. I'm so thankful he chose.
I chose Him.
He chose me. 
I chose him.
I choose Sean.
I will always choose Sean.
Little choices take us big places.

32 Choices and a Happy 32nd Birthday to my man!

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."        

 John 15:16

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Steal my joy or my toy?

After a fairly normal week of life with three kids, I was fed up with all the toy clutter! I mean FED UP! I was in tears, angry tears, fed up. I wasn't so much angry at my kids but at the toys. How did they, little inanimate objects, have such power over me? Why did I feel like their servant? Aren't they here to serve ME? Something had to change. I felt like I was paying way too much attention to them than they deserved...constantly picking up toys, buying tubs to organize them, shouting out orders about picking them up or siblings not to fight over them or yelping because I just stepped or stubbed my toe on me. Where was the fun, the joy, in these toys...where was the joy in life?

Thankfully I was able to "run away" from the toy monster and think in one of my favorite places...the shower. I let the water wash away my angry tears as I cried out to God for wisdom. "God, where has my joy gone? It's lost somewhere in this chaotic clutter of toys. I am so distracted from what I love...that which brings me the most joy. Help!" His answer? Craziness! Well, at first it seemed crazy, but the thought that popped into my head was to go through the whole house, gather up ALL the toys and put them away in my storage room and not buy any new ones for an entire YEAR! Then, instead of all the time it took to deal with them, we would focus on spending time together as a family doing crafts, reading books, playing games and all the things we truly loved in life.

At this point I began to get really excited. The anger at the toys began to fade as the excitement of what could be gained began to rise in my heart, if they were not in the way. Joy. This is joy. The simple time spent with a child, with a spouse cuddling and sharing life together. Toys had nothing to do with that. There is nothing wrong with a toy in itself, only if it gets in the way of love. Then, that toy becomes my enemy. It was meant to be a tool...a tool to learn...a tool to laugh....a tool to bring joy. If it's not doing that, then something needs to change. If my toys were becoming more important than people...than God, then they must go. If I have to choose, then I will choose the later.

Is she reading?!? What else do you do without toys? Apparently kids will still be kids, because her room is still messy with clothes, Kleenex's, shoes, decorations and anything else her little imagination can work with! :)

 So, that's what we did! Although, we decided to start with a month and see how that went. I explained to my oldest two (the ones who could maybe understand) that Mommy wanted to be able to do more of the things that brought me joy and less time cleaning up toys. I asked if they would rather have toys or have my time? They chose toys. Just kidding! :) They, thankfully, caught my heart and chose time with me. They caught my excitement apparently because they wanted to start right then, that very night. It was amazing to see how all of our attitudes changed (well, except for Mr. Squawker, my 18 month, who couldn't understand why we were taking all of his toys away :( ) as we unified towards a goal...a goal of making time for what was most important to us.

We are still chipping away at our mountains of toys, deciding what we can do without completely, what we will store and what we can give away. Each child got to choose one toy (or set of toys) to keep out for the month. We are discovering the joy of giving away our toys as well as the peace that comes from a clean home and time together. I'm looking forward to the rest of this month to see how it goes and the impact it has on our family. My prayer is that the God of all wisdom would guide us in our adventure.

The mountain of toys that is now in my laundry room!

So, the moral of the story is...go ahead, steal my TOY, just don't let my toys steal my JOY!

Why are your hearts filled with Doubt?

"Why are you frightened?" he asked. "Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Luke 24:38

This is my memory verse this week through my Proverbs 31 online Bible study. It seems like a simple question, but it really has me thinking. 

The context is when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples inside a room where they were meeting. Okay, so legitimately I too probably would have been a bit frightened as well if a person suddenly appeared in the room with me without opening a door and coming in. However, it was the doubt they had that it was really the Jesus they knew, that has me puzzled. How could they, the ones who had touched and talked with Jesus, the son of God, have any doubt? Especially now that they had seen him raised from the dead?

Jesus patiently begins to help them with their them convincing reasons why they could believe.

"Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. (Luke 24:39-40)

They were a bit emotional and still couldn't quite think clearly, so he decides to seemingly drop the subject and just hang out with them for a bit...

"And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence." (Luke 24:42-43)

Then, as one on a very intentional agenda, he gets right back to their doubt, by reminding them of what he had told them before about Himself and His purpose on earth.

"He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45)

BOOM! Incredible. Did you notice that? "Then he opened their minds so they could understand scriptures." Were they filled with doubt because they were human and unless God opens our minds to understand Him and His ways, we just don't get it, EVEN if we, like the disciples, could see him face to face, touch Him and talk to Him? Is doubt a natural part of our sinful DNA? Is the only cure for doubt, a divide revelation and understanding God puts into our hearts? Given by grace alone? Wow. I'm humbled.

What is doubt?


verb \ˈdat\
: to be uncertain about (something) : to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely
: to have no confidence in (someone or something)
It's true, I doubt. Just like the disciples, I doubt. Even though I have seen God's love, truth and goodness pouring out in my life over and over, I still doubt. Why? My heart is naturally filled with doubt...especially about something really good. I struggle having confidence in someone if they seem "too good to be true". I doubt their honesty. I figure they might be trying to get something from me. After all, many "good" things in my life didn't turn out to be so good, so I have "reason" to doubt. Why do I put on God, what I put on people though? Do I dare to trust Him? 

The antonym of doubt is trust.


noun \ˈtrəst\ 
: belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.
The cure to my doubt is trust. Trust in God's word (aka scriptures). Lord, please open MY mind so I can understand the Scriptures and not live in fear and doubt any more. Fill me with the power you promised the disciples and is still here with me today, the Holy Spirit, so I can be a witness for you. 

Here are Jesus' ending words to his friends...

"He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)

Listen to this song if you have time! It's been a constant song on my tongue lately as I choose to trust God and not "worry and fret".

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why BLOG? Why am I, going to blog?

Why does anyone blog? I imagine the reasons are as diverse as people are. I have resisted it for a long time for fear of it wasting my time either because no one would read it or be positively impacted by it...or perhaps worse, I would get caught up in it and neglect my more important responsibilities...that of taking care of my little house on the Prairie and those live in it (NOTE: I live on a road called prairie view drive in Indiana...not exactly a true prairie but kind of close :).

However, the truth is, I already spend hours blogging. It's just not called's called journalism. I write my questions and thoughts about life in my journal every day. Why not instead log by thoughts on the web so others, besides myself can be affected by me processing my life. That, after all, is the definition of blog..."a contraction of the words web log".

So, here we go. I am officially beginning the journey of logging my thoughts on the web for anyone who wishes to get a peek into my daily life!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Hundred Miles a Mile at a Time

Last week before going out for a small run, I turned my Nike App on my Iphone as I always do, to keep track of my miles. I happened to notice that it said "100 miles". I stopped while that reality sank into my head and heart. "I'm not a runner" has always been my motto. That is until the beginning of the year when God began challenging me to let Him knock out the "I cant's" in my life. He told me that maybe I can't, but He could and to have faith in Him. 

So, in January 2013 I literally stepped out my door in faith, letting Him coach me day by day, minute by minute. The first time I ever ran an entire mile without stopping was in February. It was so hard but at the same time felt so good. A few months later, in June, he helped me accomplish a dream of mine to run a race with my husband. We finished together without walking at all! I thought I was going to faint, but I finished.
After the race my friends were asking me what my next goal were...a 10K...a half marathon? I didn't know. I only had one goal obey God and follow His coaching. Running was still really hard for me. In the months that have followed, there have been many ups and downs, partially because God's direction has not always been clear and also because  my knees have been bothering me. I've not given it up completely though.  Some weeks I only get a mile or two in, others more, but never more than three at a time and mostly one or two.

Colorful shoes DO help!
I often feel embarrassed by what I do and my lack of progress...especially when my friends and family are training for a marathon! I often feel like I should do more. In that moment though when I saw that 100 milestone, it was if I felt, my God coach, say He was so proud of me because I had continued and hadn't given up even after I had reached my dream. He began to show me the reality that each little choice to choose discipline had added up to be a miracle! It wasn't glamorous but it was real and powerful and pleasing to Him. I never imagined I could run 100 miles, but somehow each choice to get my shoes on and dare to believe I could run, one mile at a time, I did! HE did through me! I may never run a marathon in one day, but I guess I ran a total of four of them already this year. I'm learning the hard lesson, that man applauds speed and distance, but God applauds  perseverance.

The amazing reality is that this is true in every area of my life. I always wish I could do more in serving God, loving my family and reaching out to others, but this reminds me that each little discipline I choose in that direction, will turn into a something big if I DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!  Now what would be cool is if I had a Nike life app so I could see my spiritual and relational mile stones, but I don't. I will just have to keep listening to my coach even if I never get the applause of man or see big results. As long as I make Him proud and finish the race He has set out for me, it's totally worth it.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

Monday, July 15, 2013


Our yes stories won’t always be big. Sometimes surrendering in the small things brings the greatest blessing.

Here's a little sneak peek into my daily life and one little way I chose to surrender...

Last week was to the dentist with my kids. I have taken my two oldest with no problem before but this was the first time I was taking them along with their little brothers...affectionately nick-named "the squawker". It wasn't that I hadn't tried to find an alternative place for him to be while we went there...especially since it was smack in the middle of his afternoon nap time, but nothing seemed to work out. So, I decided I would just make the best of it and hopefully we would all three come out with clean teeth and call it good.

As Mom's do, I was hoping beyond hope, that since he hadn't taken a nap earlier that afternoon maybe he would fall asleep on the way to the dentist and I could just transport him from his car seat ever so gingerly into his stroller and he would just, like the sweet little child that he is, sleep right through my dentist appointment. Obviously if that was the case, I probably wouldn't be blogging about "surrendering" in the small things! :)

Well, not only did he not fall asleep but he was wired full-steam when we arrived at the dentist. We arrived early and went to the waiting room to wait for our appointment. Sir "Squawker" started at squawking in his stroller while his two older siblings were reading. Then they started tickling him and trying to make him laugh, which annoyed me because I'm thinking "he needs to go to sleep...that is our only hope!" Of course smart me thinks "I will take him out and try to bounce him to sleep" (it has worked before). Not so. Holding him was like trying to restrain the bucking bronco at a rodeo. He was flailing, grabbing my earrings, reaching, twisting, giggling...he thought this was so funny. I was not amused. The familiar feelings of "big fail" came over me as I felt like we had just brought major chaos into the office and everyone there was probably thinking "wow she sure is an out of control Mom...why did she bring all these kids here?"...or something along those lines.

However, as I'm feeling these panic frustrated thoughts and I'm walking back and forth wondering what I should do and how I'm going to come through this without losing my cool, I felt God remind me to pray. I remembered that God was there with me and his Holy Spirit lived inside of me and would be my helper. I began to pray for peace over my son, peace over me, grace to not lose my joy or witness. I said "yes" to God's truth and "no" to my flesh. Soon after I did that the two receptionists began to talk to me about their own sons of similar ages and relate to my situation. They began to empathize with me. It made me feel slightly better.

As our names we called, I ended up putting him into the stroller again with his blanket and a snack (yay for dried mangos!). Amazingly it went well. We all got our teeth cleaned and no one would've known little mr. in the stroller was the same kid squawking in the waiting room! What happened? The peace of God? Yes. Blessings on my saying "yes" to God in the small thing? I think so.

The simplest, yet most amazing thing happened next. Two of the girls who worked there, one of whom had been empathizing with me previously, and the other a dental hygienist who had just had her first baby 9 weeks ago, came to my room and started talking to me about parenting advice. God's humor is too much! Just when I felt like the worst out-of-control parent, he sent me someone to ask for my advice. I guess it helps to know someone is real and relate able. :) They came for advice because they had heard from my hygienist that I'm a great Mom and do some cool things with my kids. I was stunned! I didn't know that she was watching me, nor that she had found fruit in my life. I was humbled. I was thrilled to encourage those young Moms in their journey...

I am so thankful I had the courage and faith to say YES to God's prompting to trust Him and change my attitude, so I was ready to encourage someone else...even in the midst of my chaotic Mom moment. I wonder where their journey will go and if they will remember our "meeting" in the dentist that day. One never knows where the small connections of God will go.