Friday, August 21, 2009

Maybe It's Time and Bitter And Angry...

Anger is a scary emotion. Anger, if you let it can turn into rage, and rage if you let it can ruin a lot of people's lives.

I'll be honest and say that I've struggled with some anger issues in my life. You probably won't know this unless your pretty close to me,{such a sad but true statement isn't it?} since I'm normally upbeat and easy to get along with. That's the problem with anger, it's a lot of times reserved for the people who are closest to you. I have had a lot of anger of my own to deal with and a lot of anger from other people to deal with as well. I hate it very much. Both sides of the spectrum are just plain ugly. Being angry yourself and being around an angry person, it's all the same, ugly. Anger and rage are extremely ugly emotions. They make you feel out of control... and just lost. I have known my share of angry and enraged people... I hate to admit it... but I kinda come from a long line of 'em.

Some of them are people I've never met and will never meet...but they are in my family tree none the less. Recently, I was looking at an old photo album I had found at my grandma's house, it was mostly full of black and white photos of people I'd never known. So I asked my dad if he knew who all these people were. He sat down next to me and for the next hour told me all about the people in the black and white photos who turned out to be my great aunts and uncles, 2nd and 3rd cousins, and my great grandparents. My dad told me stories about these people that I heard bits and pieces of throughout my life but never in depth. To put it bluntly, they were an angry and enraged bunch of folk. Not really the kind of family you want to sit down and have dinner with. And to be perfectly honest, not the kind you want to claim either lol. But they are a part of my family tree all the same, whether I ever knew them or not. It was very unsettling to know that that kind of cruelty and hatred is in my family tree. Not really the warm and fuzzy feelings you would think would come with looking at an old family photo album. No sir, no warm and fuzzy's there.

All those people in the black and white photos may be a part of my family but one thing that separates us from each other is that... they didn't know Jesus. They didn't know, or rather didn't believe, that they could surrender all the anger and all the rage to Jesus Christ, their creator. To a king who came off his throne to die on a cross for them so they wouldn't have to live in their anger and bitterness. So they could have life and have it more abundantly. And most importantly, so they didn't have to die in their anger and rage. I'm sooo beyond thankful that I know that. I wish they had known that too.

God has done such a work in my life over the years and delivered me from so much of that anger. Every now and again it starts to creep back in, as with any sin if you're not daily dying to self, daily dying to your flesh. Whatever it is your dealing with, it is a daily surrendering. It's waking up everyday and being reborn. Giving it all over to him because you will never be strong enough to do it on your own. So you give it to him. You put that burden on his shoulders and trust him to carry it, after all, you were never meant to.

I wrote these two lyrics like 3 or 4 years ago. They're about the angry people you love and pray for and hope for. The ones you hope will see they don't have to live this way. The ones you are hoping will drop their "fighting stance" long enough to give them a hug. Here's hoping....

Maybe It's Time

I hear your mouth speak but the words are muted. I hear your heart crying out but your lips won't admit it. Anger falls from your lips like water when your mouth is numb. So you succumb, cause you know as well as I do, it feels better to win.

You don't want to give in, because to you giving in means losing.

Maybe it's time, maybe it's time to lose. Maybe it's time to stop the excuse. Saying you're sorry doesn't change your ways. The monster will still escape from it's cage. So maybe it's time, maybe it's time to lose the rage.

Chaos ensues in the war zone of your brain. You let the fear in. You let the debris rain. Rain, rain down, we're all soaked and bleeding on the ground. Oh this struggle is not for the faint of heart. This flesh is a losing battle from the start.

You are dying not to lose, but you are already lost.

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh how can I live if I've never died? How can I be resurrected when I've never been crucified? How can I be saved from Jekyll and Hyde? The only way to find what I've lost is to surrender this fight.

(Repeat Chorus 2x)

Bitter And Angry

Let go of the ghost, the ghost of the past. You live in bitterness and it's drowning you fast. Your rage may be justified but realize it must be crucified. You hold on to your anger with a tight grip and refuse to surrender it. Now you're chained in bitterness with no hope for deliverance. Oh I hear you say "God how could you? My will to live you've taken away." But remember, he is present in our pain. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

He's walking toward you, don't you see him? He's saying please let me carry your burden. He holds out his hands and places them on your heart and heals every scar. Takes the chains off your wrists and makes you whole again. He's come to set your heart free. He suffered so you wouldn't have to die bitter and angry.

You don't just hold on to your past, you superglue it to your hands. But you don't control it, it controls you. Loss gives us an excuse to lose ourselves. Oh but it's a selfish path when anger and self pity fill up like water in your bath. We all have scars of our past that sometimes try to carry us back. But we can put them in a file called forgiveness and under a gift called the blood of Jesus.

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh what did he die for? What did he die for if not to save and to heal what this world tries to kill?

(Repeat Chorus 2x)

(C) Krystal Celeste

Thursday, August 20, 2009

To Live And Not Hide

I actually wrote this one back in 2005 and just barely typed it up last night, go figure. :) I really wasn't sure if I was going to post it or not but my sister read it today and said it was her favorite. She's kind of my go to person, whenever I write something she's always the first one to read it. She told me if she could tattoo it on her she would...if you know my sis you know that's a high compliment lol. ;) So since she seemed to really like it I thought I would go ahead and put it up here. This is another one I wrote at like 4am, I tend to write better on little sleep. It holds a very special place in my heart. :)

To Live And Not Hide

I want to travel to places near and far. I want to fall deeply in love with my life and live it passionately, shining like the luminous stars. I want to smile and laugh and have that everlasting joy that is contagious enough to make you smile just as big as I. Yeah, I want to fly to a place where my heart and the heavens collide. Breathe in and breathe deep. Run like there are no boundaries. Sail away with new dreams dreamed and fulfilled each day. Say everything I have to say till my heart is understood in every way. I want to store up my treasures in Heaven and not on this temporary earth. Spend eternity basking in the sunlight of this rebirth. I want to express myself with a pen in my hand and a song in my confused yet hopeful heart. I want to dream of you intimately knowing every little part. I want to love like there's no tomorrow. Head for bluer skies and search for deeper water. I want to dance all night in Paris with the man God's chosen to love me forever. And even if it's only in our dreams we'll travel the world together. I want to submerge my fears in your healing tide, and finally be brave enough to live and not hide.

(C) Krystal Celeste

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Confessions Of The Nameless... {Beautiful & Broken}

I have a confession to make. It is something I try to hide most of the time...but really, I know that everyone already knows this little so called secret....

The truth is, I have a lot of trouble opening up to people and letting them get to know the real me. I have a hard time being myself with people. I'm the type of person who has a horrible tendencey to listen to other peoples problems (I'm a good listener) and not share my own. I have to fight the fact that I'm not good at opening up to people, and that sometimes I can get a bit too comfortable with that....

I by nature can be quite a hard person to get know. I'm really careful about who I let my guard down with and how much. Way too carefull really. I've always been like this, and it has always been my down fall. Even blogging on websites like these feels scary when I realize doing that means I'm sharing my heart with complete strangers....not an easy thing to do when you have a hard time being open and honest with even the people you're closest to. Really, I thought being like this was a good way to protect myself, but all it ever did was put me in a self imposed prison cell. A place I was never meant to be.

When I was a child, I was always been labeled as "shy", and "quiet". Which to the people who labeled me as such, it was just their simple, natural way of describing me. I don't believe they meant any harm by it. But to me, those labels felt like a brand, a permanent stamp across my forehead. To be fair, they were, at times, very true statements of how I was, but they weren't all that I was. Labels, however true they seem, are no less damaging. Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way, but I felt that those labels gave me no choice but to play that specific role. Even though it was so far from who I really was, that was who I had to be, and there was no hope for becoming anything more. And I've spent my life trying to rewrite this role, but I seem to mostly fail at it.

Some people in my life would say that a large amount of this problem comes from the fact I was homeschooled. But the whole " typical homeschool stereotype" is not always as true as most people would like to claim it is. I went to public school till the last part of 5th grade. And I acredit that time in public school to blame for most of my shyness and awkwardness. School was always hell for me. It wasn't the work, I made mostly A's and B's. That wasn't the problem at all. It was the fact that at school (not at home, mind you) I was mostly a very quiet child. And I learned very, very fast that was not okay. So both kids and teachers would label me as shy, and quiet. I was labeled as the kid that didn't talk. I remember walking through the lunch line as a little 1st grader and over hearing even the lunch ladys say "There's that kid who never talks, I think there's something wrong with her." I suddenly felt ashamed of how I was, and started to in fact believe that just maybe there was something wrong with me.

At home, I was a completely different child. I had friends and close cousins that I played with. I would talk and laugh and be me. When I started homeschooling at the end of my 5th grade year, my life changed. I all of the sudden started getting out of a lot of my shyness. It was and still is at times a battle. But for me, at that time in my life, I became a totally different kid. One that felt secure in who I was.

Although, I'm not trying to advocate homeschooling in this blog, and it certaintly isn't for everyone, it was a saving grace for me in many ways at that time. It has it's good points and it's definite downfalls. But that was my specifc journey. School was the place I knew I couldn't be me. And trust me, I know that there have been kids who were labeled way worse than I ever was. But at any level, it is a truly amazing thing to see how the damage sticks with you. How these labels, if you let them, will define you for the rest of your life.

It's funny to think that, at first, I never felt like the things I was labeled as. But sooner or later, you become that part. It's not that I didn't want to break out of it, I just never knew how. You take up that role because you do not feel permission to be anything else. That's who people know you as and that's how they expect you to be. Or maybe they never really did, but that's how I felt at least. You feel like they think this is all you are and all you'll ever be. It is your name. Not just metaphorically speaking either. I have had people introduce me (and I'm sure some of you have to) and say "This is Krystal, she is really shy." So in essence, it became my name. It became me. But yet in my heart I knew I was always so much more than just that.

Madeleine L'Engle says:"To be given a name is an act of intimacy as powerful as any act of love."

I longed to be given a name. I needed to know that people knew I was more than those labels. She goes on to say:

"It seems more than ever the compulsion today is to identify, to reduce someone to what is on the label. To identify is to control, to limit. To love is to call by name and so open the wide gates of creativity. But we forget names and turn to labels. If we are pigeon-holed and labeled we are unnamed."

I confess I truly let myself be pigeon-holed. I let myself be nameless for a long time. I let myself be placed into a box, a small one at that. I know that in our society people will always label us, always put us in boxes. But we are just too big for these boxes and too complex to be defined. There are so many different layers to a person. Layers that are not always visible at first. Different people, situations, and enviroments will bring out different layers in each person. It's like with God, our society will always try to put him in a box that he is way too big to fit. They will always try to define him, but he is way too complex to fit any definition. These boxes and labels will never contain him. If we are made in the image of God, I can only conclude that we to, are way too big for the narrow boxes that could never possibly contain us.

For so long these labels made me feel like I had to protect myself. Keep a strong guard up, even in my friendships. But I'm sick of doing that. It's taking the easy way out. How can you have real friendships and relationships when you can't share your heart with people? I want my friends and family to feel like they can tell me anything. I feel blessed when they come to me and entrust me with their heart. But I feel like I've robbed them of that same blessing by not sharing my heart with them. I feel like you need to carry the full weight of who you are into all your relationships. Being open and honest brings healing to your life and your friends lives. For when you share a part of your heart with someone, and let them into your struggles, pains, fears, joys, dreams, hopes, you give them permission to do the same. I'm learning that more and more each day.

I'm blessed to have people in my life that love me, who know I'm more than a label. Who give me a name everyday, and I thank God for that. I feel challenged to finally start letting my guard come down. Being more open and honest in my friendships. And also challenged to start getting to know people and letting them get to know me. I'm tiried of being so hard get to know. By the grace of God, I will learn to let people in. It will be a process, but I know that it will get easier.

It took me years to realize (and I still need to be reminded) that "shy" isn't my name. "Quiet" isn't my name. "Awkward" isn't my name. God knows my real name. He calls me "Beloved".


This is a lyric I wrote a few years ago about being labeled and unnamed. A lot of this lyric was also inspired by the book "Walking On Water:Reflections on Faith And Art" by Madeleine L'Engle. Which I would recommend to all artists. I learned so much through that book. We are all so broken but he makes us so beautiful through him.

*Beautiful & Broken*
We are born beautiful and broken. We grow up incomplete and uncertain. Each of us with a different crippled limb. Oh she tried so hard to fit in but she was labeled a misfit. She said "Everyone's gotten so used to it that I guess it's just easier this way. Everytime they walk by they convince me why there's no hope for change."

But with you I can walk on water in spite of my broken legs. I can speak to angels who call my name. With you I'm more than they tell me I'll ever be. I'm healed, made whole and holy in my ever limited human skin. You are the God of the beautiful and broken.

We are born beautiful and broken. We grow up scared and insecure. Every part of us crying out for your holy perfection. For more than this broken reflection. We don't belong in a box with a double lock. I want to grow and overflow like the tree outside my window. They'll try to tell you who you really are. A label will either define you or make you search for your true definition.

{Repeat Chorus}

They give me a label when I'd rather have a name. For a name is an intimate gesture in the everyday mundane. Only you allow me to become, you give me room to grow. You are the beautiful that has healed my broken soul.

{Repeat Chorus 2x}

(C) Krystal Celeste


"In art we are once again able to do all things we have forgotten. We are able to walk on water, we speak to angels who call us, we move unfettered among the stars." - Madeleine L'Engle

"If you’re an artist or creative person of some kind, your artistic “digestive system” is your heart, mind and senses, your soul. So if something affects your soul, it affects your art" - Brooke Fraser

"We write, we make music, we draw pictures, because we are listening for meaning, feeling for healing. And during the writing of the story or the painting or the composing or singing or playing, we are returned to that open creativity which was ours when we were children. We cannot be mature artists if we have lost the ability to believe that which we had as children An artist at work is in a condition of complete and total faith." - Madeleine L'Engle

"Our sacred calling is supernatural expression in which we endevor, through a creative act, to participate in all creation." - Sufjan Stevens

"If it's truthful, it's gospel. Meaning if it's truthful, it's good news." - author David Dark

"When the words mean more than the writer knew they meant, the writer has been listening. And when we listen we are led into places we do not expect, into adventures we do not understand." ~ Madeleine L'Engle

"Christians need not, because of our God of abundance, always be so concerned about the evident utility of everything that we do. We are called to worship a God who is interested in whimsy and not just utility. Cultivating art is one of the ways we do that." - Laura Winner

"I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to let your God given creativity surface. The world needs you. The church needs you. We need your ideas, your insights, your colors, Your contribution. What you are passionate about was created in you to make a splash in this life that no one else can make. Make it now." - Nicole Johnson

"Writers are like spies who keep their eyes on suspicous characters, working on espionage, taking notes, observing particulars that everyone else overlooked, scouring the world for clues of meaning." - Soren Kierkegaard

"A bad Christian artist only tells the story of the gospel and the way he thinks the world is, based on what Christianity has told him. A good Christian artist is one who has lived the Christian story and is no longer trying to convince anyone of it's reliability." - Matt Odmark

"You can sing about the light, or you can sing about what you see because of the light. I prefer the latter." - T-bone Burnett

"The great artists keep us from frozeness, from smugness, from thinking the truth is in us rather than in God, in Christ our Lord. They help us to know that we are often closer to God in our doubts than in our certainties, that it is alright to be like a small child who constantly asks: why, why, why?" - Madeleine L'Engle

"Perhaps art is seeing the obvious in such a new light that the old becomes new." - Madeleine L'Engle

"Poetry takes something that we know already and turns it into something new." - T.S. Eliot

"Ultimately when your writing, you stop thinking, and write what you hear." - Madeleine L'Engle

"Whatever coaxes us out of hiding, to write, record, and express, is a revolutionary act. It says that we believe our lives count: Our lives do count." S.A.R.K

"Paint images as if you were an artist putting brush to canvas. You are not simply picking words at random. You are painting with words." -

"Writing is important, beautiful, silly, sexy, and sometimes dangerous." -

"The place God calls you to is a place where your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet." - Frederick Buechner

"When you really let music become a part of you, it tells you what it wants to say." - Cindy Morgan

"Art is a reflection of God's creativity, an evidence that we are made in the image of God." Francis Shaffer (Founder of L'Abri)

'If you haven't gotten lost in a mystery today than it hasn't been much of a day." - Leonard Sweet

"Develop interest in life as you see it, in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. Forget yourself." - Henry Miller