Eyeglasses Matter + DIFF Eyewear Giveaway

My son, Aiden, has always had terrible eyesight.

The first time we were with him in Grenada (where he was born), he didn’t have glasses on and we realized he could not see anything.

We would hand him a book and he would bury his face in it to see even one thing on the page.

We were walking down the beach one night trying to point out some crabs scurrying on the sand to him and he nearly fell over trying to bend down close enough to see them.

Aiden wearing my DIFF sunglasses over his regular glasses. ūüôā

My Mommy heart broke when I saw this, yet I understand it so much as I suffer from terrible eyesight as well – but not near as bad as my son does.

He has a couple of issues fighting against his vision that we have been working on over the course of his two years home with us.

If you get me to talking at all about his eyes, you will know right away how important it is to me that we take care of his vision and have him in the perfect glasses.

This summer, after a year and a half of researching on my part and doctor visit after doctor visit after doctor visit, Aiden is having surgery on his eyes. The story of how I came to this and what is being done is too long for this post, however, as nervous as I am about this, I am so excited for him to have better sight.

You say smile and he sticks his tongue out. Go figure.

Even after his surgery, he will need glasses. I will always be an advocate for his eyes and remember how helpless I felt when he needed them in the orphanage and I could do nothing about it.

When I came across DIFF Eyewear, there was something within this mama’s heart that fluttered a bit. Not only do I love their sunglasses, but they give eye glasses to people in need with every purchase of sunglasses.¬†

Among the eye care they are able to help fund are eye exams, vision assistance, and eye care treatment to those who would otherwise not receive it.

Go to their website to read more about the wonderful work they are doing : www.diffeyewear.com

I have the Bella Motley Frame sunglasses with blue mirrored & polarized lenses. I LOVE them! They are so clear when you look through them, they do not fatigue my eyes at all, and the frames are super comfortable. I am certain to be purchasing another pair in the near future.

I spend a lot of my time these days gazing at two little boys who have my whole heart ūüôā

Now for the good part – DIFF and I have partnered together to do a great giveaway today and offer an amazing discount to my readers.

I am giving away ONE PAIR of sunglasses to one of my readers. Follow the instructions below to enter and win. 

However, ALL of my readers get a special 25% discount on your own pair of DIFFS from now until the end of the month when you use the code KRYSTAL25 at checkout. SWEET!

To Enter:

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @diffeyewear on Instagram

2. Tag two friends in a comment on my Instagram contest photo who would love my mission and @diffeyewear’s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page OR pop up on home page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @diffeyewear

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday night June 21, 2017 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram (Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what DIFF Eyewear is doing with their sunglasses and I want you all to join me in supporting their cause!)

We Do What We Want

I have always said, “People do what they want.”

When I’m disappointed in the outcome of something based on someone’s actions, I remind myself of this. And if I am being totally honest, I try to point the finger back at myself when I don’t want to do something and feel terrible about it.

Honestly, think about it – you do what you want. You spend your time how you want to.

This is a time I did exactly what I wanted and I made my husband go along with it – I searched LA for the Golden Girls House. Yes, please.

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about the things we spend money on and how that shows what we value/where our hearts are. This conversation started because we feel we are spending too much on our television choices and we do not want TV to be that big of a thing in our family. We do not want the amount we are currently paying to be reflective of how much we value TV- so we were assessing a change.

We tell the world who we are internally by our outward purchases and actions.

I was driving downtown with my boys the other day (we live in Nashville and we were going downtown to get into the CMA Fest madness. If you have never been … umm it’s crazy-town; especially for those of us who are local.)

As we were driving, I pointed out some of the government buildings to my oldest and I said, “You see those buildings? Mommy went to those buildings a bunch of times to fill out paperwork and turn it in so that they would let me come get you and bring you home.”

A: “Those big buildings? You filled out paperwork so they would let you bring me to Nashville?”
Me : “Yes baby. All the paperwork, because I wanted to bring you home.”

Our first trip to Grenada – this was right before we took him back to his orphanage at the end of our time with him

As I was saying this, I remembered all the times I drove downtown. All the trips; all the parking fees I paid; all the hills I walked up to a building and down to another one Рall the hours  of filling out information about myself and my husband.

(This is where I will insert my two cents for those who always ask me, “Why do they make it so difficult?” Because it SHOULD be difficult to adopt a child. We SHOULD have to jump through hoops to make sure these children aren’t trafficked or headed to their doom. It isn’t easy, but nothing worth fighting for should be easy. Every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears is worth every ounce of his protected life.)

A: “Mommy, when I was in Grenada I would cry and cry because I never thought I would have a family. But because you filled out all the papers, they let you bring me home to my family.”

(I proceeded to cry my eyes out for quite a while over this statement. I don’t believe he actually cried about it, but I do believe he longed for a family and he now, as a 6-year-old, has the words to tell me what his 3-year-old self was feeling.)

You see, I showed my son the other day what mattered to me. I showed him that I did what I wanted and what I wanted was to give him a home. I showed him that I would fill out all the papers in the world to bring him home to me. He doesn’t know it also means I spent all the money I needed to make it happen as well; that I raised every penny I could to make him my son.

What do we show our loved ones with our actions?
Do we show them that when we do what we want, we want to love them well?
Do we show them that when we spend our money, we aren’t wasting it on things that don’t matter?

What do you show your children?
What do you show your family?
What do you show your friends?

Challenge : Do what you want and let what you want do a world of good.

-KR

 

 

Love Me In The Waiting

I have something really awesome brewing in my life all because of this message – Love Me In The Waiting.

Since I am still fleshing out the meaning of it all, I had to share some of my thoughts here. I believe they will encourage you on a deep level.

I am a firm believer that we can all do a better job loving one another. 

Some of us do this well 99% of the time. Some of us never do this well. Some of us are in between.

I have several friends going through intense waiting periods right now.

One friend is waiting to see if her fertility treatments are working. 
One friend is waiting to find out if they are going to lose their job.
One friend just began trying to have a baby. 
One friend is waiting for God to answer a lifelong prayer. 
One friend is waiting for her adoption agency to call and tell them to come get their baby. 
One friend is waiting for their marriage to heal. 
One friend is pregnant and waiting for her baby to enter this world; whom they know will pass away not long after being born.

One friend is waiting for their house to be renovated so they can move in.

I could go on and on. Each person waits in a different way. Each waiting period has its own anxieties and pain. 

waiting for my baby boy

What I have realized is that we can all love one another better in our waiting periods.

When a friend is waiting for God to speak, to direct them, or to give them something – we can be God’s arms of peace on this earth for them.¬†

I remember when I was waiting for my adoptions to finalize, I felt so alone during those times. Any act of kindness towards me took my heart a thousand miles in the right direction.

me after a social visit in Ukraine about our adoptive daughter. we would lose her adoption days after this.

Find those people in your life and figure out a way to be the arms of Jesus for them.

You have no idea how painful their waiting period is. Step in and help them breathe through it.

Be Jesus for the tribe He circles around you. The blessings will be twofold. 

-KR

The #1 Thing To Do This Summer

A title as catchy as that should have something profound beneath it.

I’m not sure I can be “profound,” but I can be real.

This summer has been much-anticipated and much dreaded in my house.

We wanted to enjoy this summer with our 6-year-old and also share sweet moments with our newborn babe.

We still will, but this summer will be difficult.

Our 6-year-old has major eye and ear surgery in June and I have my ACL & meniscus repair surgery in July.

Not exactly how we want to spend our first summer with our 3 month old.

However, as I have battled through the levels of grief with my ACL injury, I have come out (for the most part) on a pretty positive side. (Some days you can catch me down and out about my knee –¬†I’m trying to stay positive-I really am.)

Last summer was my first summer as a mom and I wanted very badly to just “be” in all the moments I had with Aiden. I wanted to be present and there and whole for him.

What I didn’t know last summer was that it was easier when I didn’t also have a baby to care for on top of everything else.

Aren’t they cute?!?!

This past month has had me hobbling on crutches, battling a bunch of different knee braces, therapy twice a week, not being able to carry my kiddos because I can’t trust my leg, trying to still make lunch and pack snacks and do normal activities with my kiddos but all while one leg down, etc. On top of all the Mom and Wife duties, I am exhausted from just getting myself from room to room.

So after I had a pity party about this summer and all my limitations that will take away from my children’s fun –¬† I looked up from my poor self and realized –¬† the same truth of last summer is still here.

My sons still need me to just “be” with them.

kissing my boys after a long day

My 6-year-old needs me to be present and focused and interested in his days. My baby needs me to be attentive and loving and whole for him.
 

They need me to BE.

They need me to BE THEIR MOM.

Krystal and Ryman

Aiden riding his scooter
(the same scooter Krystal tore her ACL on- ugh!)

When I am struggling with what to wear to the pool because I still have Ryman love cells hanging on my hips and because I have a leg brace that is uncomfortable without leggings on…. My kiddos don’t care, they just need me to BE THERE. My boys do not look at me and see extra love cells or uncomfortable clothes or the flaws I feel right now –¬† they both look at me with these lovey dovey eyes that I could only dream about. My kiddos don’t see me as the struggling cripple I feel like right now –¬† they see me as God does –¬† perfectly made for them.

So suck it up Krystal. Find a moo-moo and drape yourself up and go enjoy the freakin’ pool with your kids.

From one Mama to another  : The #1 thing to do this summer is to BE. 

Let’s BE AMAZING for our kiddos this summer.
Let’s BE REAL for our friends this summer.

Let’s BE AVAILABLE for those that need us this summer.

BE YOU. It’s the only you that will do.¬†

-KR

Life After The Black Hole

Today is October 10. I checked my blog today and the last date I posted was June 28. I mean…..black hole much?

For years we have had friends with school age children tell us that their summers get crazy when the children aren’t in school and Jared and I have never understood that. Can’t you put them in camp? Aren’t they visiting grandparents? Don’t you let them watch TV in the summer?

And then I became an instant mom to a 4-year-old who completed preschool this past May and all of a sudden my world halted. I had him scheduled every single week this summer with some sort of activity. So what happened to me??
I spent the whole summer managing his schedule only to realize that was all I had time to do – if I was going to also see my husband, clean my house, get some of my own work done here and there, and feed my family – The only thing I had legitimate time to do was manage my child’s summer schedule.

I just now (after he has been in kindergarten for two months) feel I am shaking off the black hole dust of summer. I honestly have no idea what happened, but I do know that as my priorities have needed to shift since becoming a mama, I was right on point to have been wrapped up in his little universe for his summer break.
We were both ready for school to start, but it was a good first full summer home with him.

Aiden at Disney (he went to Disney World this summer. Swoon!!)

Since getting my feet on the ground again, new things have been happening in the Ribble household. I can’t specify at the moment ALL the things, but I want to mention one of them.

Last year, I felt very strongly God asking me to become involved in the college ministry my church supports with a group of Belmont University students. I was able to write a bible study for the gals of the group and go through it with them. I was so excited for this time with them and greatly appreciated getting to know them.
As God would have it, the beginning of this school year brought about the current college minister moving on and the church approaching me about being the new College Minster for our church.

Because of the size of our church and the current involvement of the college students, this is a part-time position. I have a lot on my plate with my adoption work, writing, and wife/mom life, but it was very clear that I had already set my life up to be involved with these students and that God was carving a path for me back a year ago.

I accepted the position and my sweet husband jumped in with me. We have been going non-stop getting ourselves accustomed to this new ministry and adding new activities for them to be a part of/serve in. There’s a million times in my life being on staff at a church made sense (and was a reality at one point) but I never expected to be a collegiate minster.

I love it. These students are amazing. I don’t feel old enough to be their elder, but I am and I just have to deal with it and appreciate that they tell me I look like I’m still in my twenties and I am cool. Thanks kiddos. I will cherish those words. ūüôā

I leave you with this, which is something I will write about again soon :

Bob Goff Quote
I have been taking the students on a journey this semester of looking at Jesus in different circumstances throughout the bible and dissecting his temperament and his compassion. I want to teach them to look for the character of Jesus and to emulate it to those they come in contact with. If they learn nothing else while under my leadership, I want them to know how to love others in a way so fitting of the King of Kings. It’s the least we can do.

My challenge to you my readers… If you haven’t jumped ship over my sabbatical…. Is this :

Pick up your bible. Find a story about Jesus (there are a lot of them by the way). Read about how he interacted with those he came in contact with. Why did he speak the way he did? Why did he love the way he did? Why did he stop his world for certain individuals?

The very first story I presented for the students to look at about Jesus was the story of the paralytic being lowered through the roof to him.
Bob Goff said this, “We are throwing people off of roofs we should be lowering them through. We’ll be remembered for our love, not our opinions.”

We need to love well. We need to bring people to Jesus at all costs. And we need to be the Jesus who will stop for them when they need us.

Can we be this Jesus to those around us?

Let’s try.

It’s good to be back friend. I love you all.

-KR

Moriya Clutch Giveaway

Every May I attend an orphan/adoption conference we call CAFO. CAFO stands for Christian Alliance for Orphans. The conference is massive. People attend for a multitude of reasons that range from global orphan care to local social workers working in small cities.
One of the greatest things, in my option, is the booth section where organizations and companies can set up to sell and promote their goods/services. Most conferences of any theme have this option and often it is annoying, however at CAFO, I always get to meet and learn about new organizations doing amazing things that I had no clue about.

If you remember last year, right before we went to get our son, I posted about getting Aiden a shirt that said “grafted-in.” This conference is where I saw that company for the first time. I also purchased a tank top from them that says “Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves” and if you are out and about and you see me, I am probably wearing it. I wear it too often. I honestly should get rid of all of my clothes and keep this one shirt.
Maybe I should buy a second one so it doesn’t seem I only wear this shirt. But I do. Maybe I should purge my closet of everything but this shirt. (I am wearing it right now. Oh my. I just looked down and saw this. I have an issue.) I digress…..

Anyway, my point is, I found Hope Grafted In at CAFO in 2015 and purchased from them and now in 2016, I found Moriya Ethiopian Accessories and now you will thank me later.

I walked past their booth maybe four times while I was on a phone call just waiting to end the call so I could swoop in and gather all the goodies. They only had a sampling of their products, but that was more than enough for me. ¬†My eye was immediately caught by this vibrant blue clutch. I don’t need another clutch. I hardly carry the ones I already own, but when I saw this clutch I knew I wanted it to be my next giveaway from my Instagram. I immediately imagined one of my readers carrying this gorgeous clutch and posting pictures to make me and everyone else jealous of it’s beauty.

Moriya Clutch Purse

Moriya is an organization that is providing jobs for mothers in Ethiopia who have had trouble feeding their children. By giving these women a job and a marketplace to sell their goods, their babies now have full bellies. I just LOVE that! Every purchase you make is feeding a child in Ethiopia and strengthening the family they have. How could you not want to be a part of such a beautiful story?

I also purchased a make-up bag from them in army green that has chevrons on it. I have been using it for my makeup and I often think it is too small, not because the design is too small, but because I pack too much into it. However, the greatest thing about this, because I travel so much, it forces me to pack my makeup in a more economical way for my suitcase. WIN WIN!

Moriya Makeup Bag

I highly recommend both of these products and if you are anything like me, you will immediately stalk their Etsy and Facebook for more eye candy.

As I mentioned, you are welcome.

Enter my giveaway for this sweet clutch from Moriya (distributed by Loving Shepherd Ministries).

To Enter:

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @lovingshepherd on Instagram

2. Tag two friends in a comment on my Instagram contest photo who would love my mission and @lovingshepherd’s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @lovingshepherd

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Friday night July 1, 2016 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram (Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what Loving Shepherd is doing with their Moriya Accessories and I want you all to join me in supporting their cause!)

 

{KR’s Book Club} Red Notice by Bill Browder {Review}

Book Club

To the normal person who sees this book and picks it up to read it, it is a book about high finance in both the United States and Russia with a story line to keep you on your toes. Its good. Really good.

I am not normally one to read a true thriller like this, but I had one particular mission to accomplish.
This book is the story about the circumstances that led to Russia banning Americans from adopting Russian children. This book is about what really happened to our little Alina. This is why she couldn’t come home to us.

Red Notice

If you want to read about finance and taking big risks, this is an awesome story about that. {I actually learned a ton of things that I never knew about high finance} However, if you are an adoptive parent and you have adopted internationally, you NEED to read this. Even if you never had a thing to do with Russian adoptions, you NEED to read this.

Why?

When you lose an international adoption due to government policies, problems, and red tape you often have no idea why. It is so difficult to understand what back door meeting happened that caused you to lose an adoption of a specific child. Just reading one example can lessen the burden of the unknown. {And even if you haven’t lost an adoption internationally, this is a good book to give you insight into how foreign governments work together on issues pertaining to your foreign-born child}

Browder’s book did just this for me. Being a part of a Congressional family has always given me a little better perspective on what actually happened to us all those years ago in Russia, but nothing could give me clarity like Browder’s depiction of the moments.

While reading this book I found myself cheering Browder on in his quest to seek justice for those Russia treats poorly; not only poorly… for those Russia kills. I applaud Mr. Browder.
I am sure there are a lot of families who lost their children in the Russia ban that would hate for me to say this; but this is what I have learned through attempting to adopt from three different countries : Sometimes, our passion to bring a child home is one of the fuels to the¬†instability in their country’s current political and economic environment. Sometimes we are harming our children and ourselves more when we walk into a situation like this.¬†When you go into another country to bring a child¬†home to our country, there are so many moving parts that are defining how the process will go for you. Most of these moving parts you know nothing about and will never see, but they are vital to the health of your adoption process.

I have always been a firm believer that we can tell our relationship (As the United States) with another country not only by our trade agreements with them, but by how they handle adoptions with us. There were signs for many years that Russia was not working with us well. Mr. Browder’s book was able to shine so much light on the situation our family went through a couple of years ago.

As a girl who now spends time in DC helping families navigate our Congressional system to be advocates for the orphans they seek to help, I am so proud of Mr. Browder’s work to bring justice to his corner of this vast world. Isn’t that what we all want to do when we face injustice?¬†

Mr. Browder, if you ever read this, I hope we get to meet one day. I want to shake your hand as a mom who had a broken heart from losing a little one in Russia and instead of being upset with you, I want to thank you for standing up for what is right. Thank you for advocating for Mr. Magnitsky and his family. We all need to be a voice for the voiceless, no matter HOW they lost their voice.

-KR

**You guys and gals need to read this book. Like pronto. It’s so good.**

Buy it here : 

Greenola Style Giveaway

I came across this company on Instagram when I was scrolling through a bunch of other ethical companies.

Because it was winter when I first discovered them, I fell in love with their hats and headbands. My first item from Greenola was one of their Maria hats {made in Bolivia} that is so cute and comfy.

Greenola Style is known for its accessories and jewelry. As a Noonday Collection Ambassador, I normally do not purchase jewelry from other ethical jewelry companies simply because I wear a lot of Noonday, however, Greenola has a lot of other styles and unique designs that I love. They also partner with some countries that Noonday does not yet and that is intriguing to me. For instance, I did not own anything from Bolivia and thus this hat was a great addition to my collection.

Greenola Style
Since it has warmed up in a few places across the US since I first discovered Greenola, I decided to add a couple more pieces to my collection before I offered this giveaway.

I bought some of their Acai seed bracelets made in Bolivia and Baga Horn Stud earrings made in Kenya.

I have fallen IN LOVE with the Acai seed bracelets. At a minimum I wear three of them at a time. Yesterday I wore 7 of them. Ha!

The Baga Horn Studs are so classic and they go with everything. I mean everything. If I don’t know what earrings to wear, they are my go to.

One of my amazing readers is going to win a $50 gift card to Greenola Style to purchase your own amazing pieces. I am so excited for this giveaway!

To Enter :

1. Like this post and FOLLOW BOTH @krystalribble and @greenolastyle on Instagram

2.¬†Tag two friends¬†in a comment on my Instagram contest photo who would love my mission and @greenolastyle‘s mission to uplift the broken people and places of this world

3.{optional for a second entry} Visit www.krystalribble.com and subscribe to my blogs (Pink Button on the Blog Page) in order to be notified each time I do another giveaway

4. {optional for a second/third entry} repost this photo with #krgiveaway and tag both @krystalribble and @greenolastyle

GIVEAWAY winner will be drawn at random on Friday night April 22, 2016 and announced on my (@krystalribble) Instagram (Giveaway not sponsored by IG. Please know that I am receiving no compensation for this. I just absolutely LOVE what Greenola Style is doing and I want you all to join me in supporting their cause!)

Noonday Collection Blog : Ethical Home Goods Companies To Decorate Your Abode

I have the extreme pleasure of being a freelance writer for many different publications and sites. I will do my best to post links here to those articles.

Noonday Collection is one company that I do some work with not only as an Ambassador for their brand, but as a blogger for their site.

Today I published a story with them featuring Ethical Home Goods Companies To Decorate Your Abode.

Ethical Home
I wanted to share all the amazing products that make my home more rich.

AND….. if you follow me on Instagram, you just might have a chance to win some of these goodies throughout the next couple weeks. Just sayin’…….

Go read my blog HERE.

-KR

The Trait Project : #7 {Boyd Thomas}

He will probably be upset that I used his real name in the title, because no one alive calls him Boyd anymore. Most people know him as Tom or Little Tommy Tucker, but I know him as Dad.

He was the first man I ever loved.

Krystal & Dad

I believe he would agree with me telling you our relationship got off to a rocky start. When I was born my dad was a very hardworking retail manager of one of the largest office supply companies in the US. He didn’t manage just one store; he opened and closed stores in a few states and had a large territory to cover. Because of this we moved every six months and he missed most of my ‚Äúfirsts‚ÄĚ in this big world.

Of course I don’t remember him missing those things, but I do remember not feeling very ‚Äúfamiliar‚ÄĚ with my dad. I was young and there was plenty of time to make up for those years, but it was work we both had to put in.

My dad is a ‚Äúman on a mission‚ÄĚ about every single thing in his life. He and my husband share this look ¬†I call ‚ÄúGo Mode‚ÄĚ and when they are in this mode, there is no talking about anything other than the work they are thinking about. I try to hide my resentment of this mode in my husband, but it is a very difficult task. HA.

My mom tells me stories about my dad as a retail manager  I have such a hard time believing because time and, honestly, the Lord have softened his rough edges. Apparently back in the world of handheld recording devises that recorded on cassette tapes, he would record what he had to say about you and the areas you needed to improve for that days work and leave the recording on your desk. Ouch. Bossy much? HA!

He was this type of person in the corporate world for the first six years of my life.

For the biggest portion of my life though, he has been a pastor. If there is one thing I have seen as I have aged within the evangelical world, there is a huge difference between a preacher and a pastor. My dad is blessed to be both of these things, but as his daughter looking in on his life, he is much more of a pastor. His heart for people is astounding.

He has a true love for the people God has created on this earth, this being every single person. His ultimate passion is to see everyone come to know the love of the Christ he serves, but he knows just being Jesus to people is where the rubber hits the road.

Dad in South Africa

{My favorite picture of my dad. He has been traveling to South Africa to train pastors and do mission work there for more than a decade now. This picture shows so much of my father’s heart.}

As an adult I have had the privilege of watching him pastor a group of people from afar. I actually prefer it this way. I know he and my mom would love to have my family be a part of their church, but I actually get more joy in watching his ministry from afar. The main reason is I get to enjoy and appreciate the love his church family has for him. They adore him. The church he¬†pastors now thought they would never be able to get a preacher like him and they take such good care of he and my mom. It’s astounding to see. Their overflow of affection radiates into my own little family that lives a few states away. They love us well even though we aren’t there with them. It’s a true testament to the man my father is; to the leader God made him to be.

I remember being in elementary school and when we had projects to write about our ‚Äúheroes‚ÄĚ I would always choose my dad. I think this is because he was still a mystery to me. If we were to be honest, the people we consider our heroes in life are often elusive to us. We don’t really know them well, but we long to. My dad was like this to me. I knew I would spend a lifetime getting to know him, and as an adult, I can honestly say, I know my hero so much better now.

I am able to work a room full of strangers because of his influence. I have a love of academia because of him. My gypsy soul comes from the adventure he instilled in me. I am sarcastic because of his personality¬†(sorry mom!).¬†However, the best thing I have gained from my dad I am putting to use today is my ability to ‚Äúpastor‚ÄĚ people. I have a love for people I know directly comes from seeing him love so well. If you need him, he is there. I want to be this kind of girl. I want the people God brings me in contact with to know they can count on me and I will be there for them. I want to love people with a Christlike determination for the well-being of their soul.

My earthly father does this so well.

I want my son to be a man who will be sensitive to the needs of others. I want him to be like his Poppy {my dad’s assigned grandparent name from his grandchildren}¬†in so many ways.

Krystal & Dad at her wedding

Dad, thank you for loving people how God loves them; and most of all, thank you for loving me.

-Krystal Marie