Tuesday, April 28, 2009

horror film

sometimes i can't stand myself. i feel like i'm watching myself on a movie screen and i'm screaming "stop!", "don't go there!", "don't do that!", "don't think that!", "don't say that!", but nothing happens. it's times like these when i understand completely what paul is saying in romans 7:

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

and i have to remind myself of the depravity of my own flesh. the imperfection that remains in me as long as i am bound to my body. and as disgusting as this is to me, it can only further magnify the grace of my God. a God who, knowing that I have NOTHING good within me, chose to save me anyway. who does that? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Love, krystal

Sunday, April 19, 2009

when tragedy strikes

i cry a lot. it's not usually a big deal because it's frequently triggered by a sad movie, or sympathy or something. but since i was little i've had a problem keeping the tears from coming. if i was angry, i would cry. if i was frustrated, i would cry. if anything uncomfortable was going on, i would cry. when something was out of my control, i would cry. it has caused me a lot of anxiety in my life. everytime i would get a not-so-great grade, or i couldn't figure out a homework problem or something, the tears would start streaming down my face, to the horror of the people around me. it got to the point where i had to warn people about it...tell them that nothing was wrong, that my body was just a little whack at the moment and that it would go away soon enough. and it has also made me feel weak. i can't even think to count the number of times i've felt absolutely ridiculous and angry at myself for allowing the tears to fall...consequently giving my body even more reason to keep the tears coming. it's a great strength and a horrible weakness to cry...and i've had my share of both.
my life now has been blessed enough to not have great reason for tears. it's rare that i get anxious or nervous or sad enough to let out a legitimate cry. i would say that my weakness and prone-ness to crying is the same, but my life is not so nearly dramatic. thank God.
yesterday, however, it happened again. many of you know, and many of you don't, that i experienced a great "tragedy" yesterday. i got up early in the morning and made it to the library in good time, prepared to do some work for the next couple of hours---i had somewhere to be that evening. all was well until about 4 hours into my working, when my word processer decided that it was done for the day. that would have been all well and good if it had warned me and allowed me to save my work. but it didn't, because that's the kind of inconsiderate program that it is. and so...after quite a few hours of plugging away, i lost everything. it was as if i had never even started.
at first i was just shocked. hadn't really taken it in, thought it was a figment of my imagination, etc. but no. it was true, as real as you and me. and so the tears started flowing. i could barely feel them at first, that's how numb i was. but i knew that any second i would explode.
i walked to the bathroom, tears pouring down my face, and stood in front of the mirror. then every emotion streamed out. anxiety, frustration, desperation, anger, hurt, confusion. and i couldn't stop. i just stared at my contorted expression for a while and let the tears sting my face.
i hadn't felt that way in a while.
no one had died. my family was fine. my friends still loved me. my God was still my Savior. and i still had more than enough time to finish the assignment. but my tears didn't care. they just wanted to fall. and so they did.
i've been thinking about it a lot and have come to a frightful and heart-wrenching realization. as much as it hurt to lose 4 hours of work, there are so many things that will hurt so much more. and i don't know if i'll be able to take it. people that i love too much to explain are moving on and i don't think i'm ready to let go. but i have to remember the one verse that i kept repeating those couple of minutes in the lovely bathroom: "Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the PEACE OF GOD, which TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, will GUARD your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." The Lord of the Universe is my shelter and my comfort--i trust in HIM.

Love, krystal.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

it's true, this entire outfit for only 50 cents

i've heard you refer to me as "cheap", "frugal", or a "bargain shopper" several times in my life, and to be honest, you're absolutely right. ever since i was little, i was taught to seek out sales and to buy cheap-- although not at the expense of quality. it was one of the family traits that i carried on well. even my mom thinks i'm too frugal sometimes...and that's saying something. it boggles me sometimes when i witness non-frugal shopping, or watch as amateurs buy yard-sale items at asking price. but i think i've come to realize that it's not their fault. they just don't know any better. that's why i've decided to give out a few tips on getting the biggest "bang for your buck" (i have to admit that phrase is somewhat disturbing to me)

1. the 80% rule: so you're at target and you see a pair of jeans and you think "hmmm, i bet the original price for those jeans is about 30 bucks". naturally, the only acceptable price to pay would be 6$ or less. and don't let the original price on the tag fool you...if your gut says they're worth 30 bucks, then that's what they're worth. end of story.

2. yard sales: don't be afraid of being ridiculous. this is a yard sale, not goodwill. when the seller says 5$, say "how about 2?"...chances are some negotiation will ensue, at which point you'll agree on 3$...which, for a dining room set, isn't bad.

3. always be alert: sales don't come looking for you. if anything, they hide away in little corners, or stay out for only hours at a time. always be prepared to take advantage of a 2$ pair of shoes--who cares if they're bright yellow, us bargain buyers can find a way to use them.
a. avoid compulsion: bargain buyers tend to be prone to buying on a whim. though good deals are usually ideal to take advantage of, sometimes, you just don't need it. step away from the 2$ bag of 8 lbs of sunflower seeds...even if it causes you to shed a tear or two.

4. don't give in: i think this is one of the most important aspects of bargain shopping. once you've committed to buying cheap, there's no turning back. there are times when you'll be tempted to pay full price, when there seem to be no other options...DON'T DO IT. be strong. you can live without food for at least a week. be willing to make the sacrifice.

bargain-shopping is not for the weak of heart or mind. it is a life-long commitment to frugality and everlasting sale-seeking. accept it if you will.

Love, krystal

Sunday, April 5, 2009

love in the ballpark

i was listening to a song in the car today--thanks to bekah--and it was called "out of my league". it was a funny song, basically a guy expressing all the ways in which his girlfriend/girl-friend? was ,well, out of his league. but this song...however great some people might think that it is...is not the point of this post.
my focus here lies in the phrase: "out of my league"
i understand the concept. basically, when a person feels that another person--usually of some romantic interest--is perhaps of better quality or higher caliber than him/herself. it makes sense, although i would never use the phrase myself. but i think the bigger question here is, what happened to "in my league"? the phrase seems to have been completely overlooked. and really, it's quite a shame.
take zack for example. he's a pretty cool guy, plays the guitar, knows a couple of interesting jokes, not strikingly handsome, but definitely above average. he's your typical guy and tonight, he's at a friend's house, hanging out with his peeps. his good friend ernie is there and he spots a girl across the room. she's a little shorter than average height, brunette, brown eyes, has a nice shirt and jeans on, and rumor has it, she's a pretty good student. so ernie turns to zach and says, "hey, you should go talk to that girl over there...she's in your league..." and zach, being the sensible guy that he is, heads over to the girl and says "so i noticed that you and me, we might be in the same league, and i was wondering if you didn't mind dancing with me for a bit?" "sure", girl says, "i agree with that statement." two weeks later, they're married.
unfortunately, because, as a society, we have completely ignored the flip side of the phrase "out of my league", millions of people have been refused their right to know that certain others are in their league, and so we have destroyed the increased amount of happiness that this world truly deserves.
so what is our hesitation? what is our bias against this combination of words? i submit that there should be none.

Love, krystal.

for the record...if you ever tell me i'm "in your league", i will kick you in the face. that's just rude.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


today i remembered again. it was so strange, i was listening to some music, minding my own business, and for some reason i made a face, and there was an immediate flashback. i saw my expression in one of their faces, one they frequently made, especially when i was around. i would laugh at their faces, my heart smiling, and continue on with the conversation/activity/silence, not realizing then that it was soon going to be gone forever.
it's one of those things that i will never forget. friendships created in an instant and as real as you and me. i remember our first encounter: i was sitting outside of the dorms when a bunch of guys came up to where i was and we started talking. well, i wasn't really talking much, as is usual when i first meet people, but there was a conversation. a bunch of broken english and misunderstandings later, i went to bed, thinking very little of the encounter, but content nonetheless, happy to have met such interesting people.
even now i can't describe or even understand how such an awkward beginning turned into one of the most memorable friendships of my life.
those guys came all the way from Turkey to change my life forever. they were my long lost brothers that i could trust with anything. i had never experienced such a sacrificial attitude and such beautiful hearts. there were so many times that we looked at each other and knew exactly what the other was thinking. we spoke in first grade english most of the time, but it didn't matter.
these flashbacks...moments of memory come back to the present...are both happy and painful. and they only happen every once in a while now. but i doubt that they will ever go away.

i miss them a lot. my brothers, seviyorum.

Love, krystal