About Crystal

History Teacher with a passion for truth and a penchant for humor.

Days of Our Lives


Dear Monday,

My mom says we can’t be friends anymore. She says you’re mean to me. She says I shouldn’t tell you that.
Can you keep this a secret? Please check yes or no.


Dear Friday,

My mom says we can’t hang out anymore. She says you’re a bad influence. She says I only do irresponsible things because you are here.
Do you think I’m irresponsible? Please check yes or no.


Dear Saturday,

My mom says if we’re going to hang out, we have to do something productive. She says Netflix doesn’t count.
Do you like to build boats? Please check yes or no.


Dear Sunday,

My mom says I have to be friends with you. She says that will make Jesus happy.
Do you like ice cream? Please check yes or no.



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Oh hey! You’re still here!

Ok, so yeah, January was a long time ago.

You see, I got a job.

Then I went back to school.

And things got busy.

Don’t be mad, ok?

…So, about this job.

I’m teaching science to a group of fabulous middle schoolers, at a fabulous school, with some fabulous people.

It’s simply…fabulous.

However, these fabulous people love prayer circles.

I mean, seriously.

It’s like a religion or something.

And if you happen to be one of the few lucky people who know me personally (Ok, who am I kidding? That’s most of the people who read this blog.), you know that I am really, really uncomfortable with awkward unsolicited physical contact…like, holding hands…in a circle…during prayer.


It was in the midst of one of these prayer circles that I began to think about how awkward prayer circles were. And how funny that awkwardness is. And how sacrilegious my thoughts were. And how I should really write this down.

And then I remembered I had a blog.

So, you know, maybe I have a couple days off soon. And maybe I’ll share my prayer circle story. And maybe I won’t get struck by lightening or anything.

It will be fabulous.

Sunday Morning Football

order of service

Well, it happened again.

I don’t know why I was surprised. It’s usually a theme this time of year when pro football is in full swing, and college football is in bowl season.

But for some reason it caught me off guard.

Maybe because I wasn’t really firing on all cylinders this morning.

I’m still not sure how we made the jump from I Peter to the Dolphins/Redskins game of 1983, but in Sunday School today, someone made the inevitable comparison between our fanatic excitement at a football game and our lack thereof at church.

Which always makes me giggle at the mental picture.

Can you imagine what would happen if we did act in church the same way we act during a football game??

Would we wear the jersey of our favorite soloist? Perhaps the number of our favorite hymn?

Or would it be Team Worship Music vs Team Preaching?

Would there be hecklers?

Please let there be hecklers.

There’s a kerfluffle in the sound booth and the mics aren’t hot for the opening chorus…
“False Start! False Start! Are you seeing this, ref??!!”

An usher fails to take the offering plate when it reaches the end of the row…
“Incomplete pass?!! C’mon, man! You’re killing us!!”

The soloist feels led to add two extra choruses to her song…
“Delay of game! Delay of game! Is no one watching the clock??!!”

The pastor really gets into his introduction and takes a while to make his first point…
“Seriously??!! Can we not get a first down here??!! Ten words! Just ten words! That’s all it takes!!”

A kid gets out of his seat, disrupting the service…
“Can no one stop him?!!! Whose man is that?!! WHOSE MAN IS THAT??!!”

The head deacon is called on to give the benediction, and feels the need to re-preach the sermon before he dismisses in prayer…
“Are you kidding me??!! Overtime??!!! Doggone it!! …I need another slice of pizza.”

The Sunday School Sneak

This morning I realized I was in the wrong Sunday School class.

I started attending this church about six weeks ago. It’s a fairly large church, and to be honest, my biggest concern was not their theology, or missions statement, or their music philosophy. Don’t get me wrong – those things are important. But what I really wanted to find was a good Sunday School Class.

On my first Sunday, the sweet little old lady greeter took me to her class which, sure enough, was full of sweet little old ladies.

Not really my scene.

The next Sunday, I asked the greeter for a class that was “more my age,” and was directed to the wonderful class I now attend.

I truly enjoy this class. It’s small, and there is a great sense of camaraderie, and we’re doing a very interesting study of the Book of Galatians.

Plus, there are muffins.

However, this morning I saw something I had never seen before. The name of the class.

I don’t know how I missed it, except that no one ever told me. But there, plastered to the side of the box where they place the roll sheet and the offering were the words: “Growing Families Sunday School Class.”

AKA: Married People Only

Panic set in almost immediately: I’m not married. I’m a family of one. I don’t think that’s going to grow any time soon. Oh no! Are they going to ask me to leave? Do I have to find another class? Why did no one tell me?! I’m going to end up in one of those depressing Single Classes full of 20 year old college kids and 48 year old divorcées!

But as I sat there munching my muffin and contemplating my future exile, the absurdity of the situation hit me.

Why does it even matter?

Who cares if I’m single, or married, or divorced, or widowed, or childless, or starting my own private colony of offspring?

Is there a different Bible I’m supposed to use if I’m single? One that doesn’t have the Song of Solomon, maybe?

Do I have to pray differently if I’m not allowed to read the book The Power of a Praying Wife?

For that matter, why do we sequester single people into different Sunday School classes away from the rest of the adult population? Is there some sort of Single disease? Are we afraid the married people will catch it?

Why must we assume that someone can only fall into the categories of “Married and Multiplying” or “Single and Stuck”?

For years, I’ve said that the church has a problem with developing an adequate Singles Ministry. Maybe the problem is that there IS a Singles Ministry. Maybe there should just be a People Ministry where everyone is welcome no matter where they are in life.

I don’t mind hanging out with married people. I like married people. Some of my best friends are married people.

And hey, if I’m here long enough, maybe it will rub off on me.

My Name is Single

Lessons from the Soup Line

Men Waiting Outside Al Capone Soup Kitchen

Four weeks ago yesterday, I lost my job.

Happy unemployment-versary to me.

So, while I sit here fielding rejection emails and eating chocolate chips out of the bag, I thought I would share with you some things I’ve learned:

October is a terrible time to look for a teaching job.
No one is hiring teachers in October. Seriously.
I’ve gotten on a few substitute lists for schools in the area, but do you know what also doesn’t happen in October? Sickness. No one is missing class!
Is it terrible to pray for the flu to hit a faculty? That’s bad, isn’t it…

It takes about a week and a half to watch all six seasons of The Good Wife.
Trust me. I know.

Forgiveness is a choice.
Leaving the school was not entirely my decision. Some people said (and are still saying) some ugly and hurtful things. And I’ll be honest, for a little while I was rather defensive and indignant about the entire thing. For a few fuming days, I wondered what I could do to plot their destruction and my revenge. But eventually, I realized that I wasn’t responsible for their actions, just my own.
Every moment I allowed anger and resentment to cloud my judgment was a moment I gave up control of my own choices. I was allowing their actions to dictate my attitude.
Instead, I chose to forgive – to free myself from the bondage of their decisions and allow God to use this situation for my good and His glory.

And sometimes it’s a hard one.
Giving up on resentment and revenge is only the first step of forgiveness. And it’s a relatively easy step. Moving from bondage to blessing is the really hard part.
David’s imprecatory prayers for his enemies are much easier to pray than Jesus’ prayers of blessing on His enemies.
Holding my tongue when I want to be unkind about those who wronged me is easy. It’s passive. I don’t have to struggle…much. But speaking words of kindness and blessing instead – that’s the hard part.

You can do without a lot of things.
I’ve lived on a budget pretty much my entire life. But I’ve always had income to budget. When there is no income, only outgo, you learn rather quickly what can be trimmed from an already slim plan. If possible, I’ve become even more frugal than I was before.

Toilet Paper isn’t one of them.
I may be able to do with out pedicures, haircuts, meat, and food that is within its expiration date, but there are some things you just have to break down and buy.

My family is pretty amazing.
Actually, I already knew that. My family is super cool. And the way we all step up when one of us is need doesn’t really surprise me. We’re just awesome like that.

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Today, I Felt Like a Failure

I woke up this morning with a sick headache.

But I went to school anyway.

Because who calls in sick on the third week of school?

I lost count when I was making the coffee, and I made it too strong.

The other teachers were in for a surprise.

I remembered to take attendance.

But I forgot to send it to the office.

I tried to open my web browser.

But I accidentally restarted my computer.

Then Windows had to install updates.

My head hurt.

I was impatient with my students.

I think I forgot to teach one class.

I didn’t grade a single paper.

There is a huge stack waiting on my desk.

I’m pretty sure my weekly newsletter had mistakes.

I know my weekly test schedule is wrong.

I didn’t even bother to answer emails.

I have no idea if my students took the right books home.

I’m not sure I even assigned all the homework.

I didn’t clean my room.

I just left.

Today, I felt like a failure…

…But God thinks I’m pretty awesome.

…So that’s the story I’m going with.