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Do You Know What’s Inside You?

When I was younger, I had no idea that the term “gifts” was a thing for something that we had been given. Something that could be developed and would turn into something beautiful. Something, if we were brave and courageous enough to say yes to, receive and cultivate, would bring God glory and advance his kingdom. I had no idea that the things we desired, visited and thought about often were actually the things that were probably going to be a part of our life in the future.

I have heard the inner cries of women around me. There is this inner cry of women wanting to step into more, but fear, the voices and opinions of others, and societal expectations cripple us more than anything.

I have felt the struggles and seen the setbacks. I have seen the effect of the lies we have been fed. Those lies disrupt our belief system and kill our confidence. We are hearing that we should step into who we are, but there are so many blocks and its so hard.

The biggest cry is we don’t even know what we carry. We don’t know what’s truly inside of us.

We may have had a glimpse, or maybe its right there in front of our faces, but we constantly play it down, even talking negative over it. We get stuck in this trap of, we are a nobody and that what we bring to the table is no good. There may have been a time when we were younger and someone came to you, telling you their opinion of you or your gifts and talents, crushing the little bit of confidence you were holding on to. So you walked away feeling defeated and actually believed them.

Listen, the enemy wants you to be destroyed. He knows that what God created was beyond great and it terrifies him to the core. What God created was YOU and he called you GOOD. So because the enemy knows what is good, he doesn’t want you to step into any of it. He doesn’t want us to know what we carry, so he sends out confusion, distraction, people to get us to stop in our tracks, obstacles to get off track, anything in his little bit of power he thinks he has to accomplish his will. He comes to steal, kill and destroy.

And in this area of his schemes, he wants to destroy your gifts so that you will never rise to true knowledge of what is inside of you. He wants to deceive you like no other.

If he can deceive you, he can trick you into thinking you have nothing to offer, your past will be displayed to you over and over, your mistakes, your brokenness will make you feel like you will never be able to rise up, you will begin to shrink back and hide. You will be made to believe there is something wrong with you.

BUT GOD. But God has you and knows who he created. He constantly pursues you, nudging you.

His love fiercely chases you down, and he wants you to know the truth.

The truth is that there are gifts that were placed inside of you. Beautiful gifts were given to you to set you apart, but yet make up this beautiful kingdom as a whole.

It is the same Holy Spirit who continues to distribute many different varieties of gifts.
 The Lord Yahweh is one, and he is the one who apportions to believers different varieties of ministries.
 The same God distributes different kinds of miracles that accomplish different results through each believer’s gift and ministry as he energizes and activates them.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6

So, maybe somewhere along the way you have ventured away from who you truly are, but God is calling you back to his heart. He is calling you into his truth. He is calling you deeper. He wants to partner with you and reveal so much to you. He wants to tell you more about who he is and how much he loves you. Jesus wants you to bring you back to your original design because out of that is where we will be able to operate at our fullest. When we begin to understand who God is, and believe that he dwells inside of us, we will begin to have a greater understanding of who we are.

When we have that greater understanding of who we are in Christ, confidence begins to fill us and we are able to stand against all the things coming our way to get us off the path God has set us on. He wants to set us on that path with feet planted firmly in the truth.

“Jesus said, ‘I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life.'”
John 14:6

So as we begin to align ourselves with the truth (The Word of God/The Bible), as we seek Him OVER the lies, we are aligning ourselves up with who Jesus is and His spirit will pour out wisdom and knowledge, His spirit will teach us, lead us, comfort us and we will develop a deeper revelation, love and hunger. We will be opened up more to what’s inside of us. It won’t look anything like things of this world.

Your identity is in Christ Jesus and he wants you to walk in FREEDOM. We walk in freedom when we know the truth. We walk in freedom when we know what is inside of us. We walk in freedom when we operate as the person he created us to be. We walk in freedom when we accept and believe everything inside us is good, beautiful and such a gift. We walk in freedom when make a choice to go deeper with Jesus. We walk in freedom when we peel back the layers that have left us confined to ways of this world or religion and transform our way of thinking to align with the thoughts of God himself.

So, my beautiful sister, you were created by the master creator. Everything he created is very good!

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Genesis 1:31

I pray you choose to say yes to the invitation to go deeper with holy spirit and allow him to walk with you to unveil who you really are and what’s inside you.

Fear, opinions of others, ways of this world has no place at the feet of Jesus. It all must bow down to his name. It keeps us confined in a box, never allowing us to experience freedom or live our life to the fullest.

When you feel that nudging or a calling to go deeper with God or hear God speaking to you, don’t be afraid. We often think we must be qualified with some crazy high level skills or popular, in order to be used by Him, but God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

HE equips us.

 “He chose the lowly, the laughable in the world’s eyes—nobodies—so that he would shame the somebodies. For he chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent,  so that there would be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence.  For it is not from man that we draw our life but from God as we are being joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. And now he is our God-given wisdom, our virtue, our holiness, and our redemption.”
1 Corinthians 28-30

It may feel scary and big and beyond your comfort zone, but guess what? He doesn’t expect you to go full into the vision right then. He will take you into training little by little as you continue saying yes to the little things in obedience.

We have His power in us and when we activate in our gifts with our personality, our experiences, our testimonies and our faith, we can become this mighty force in the kingdom with fire burning inside us for Him. Those around us will begin to experience God through us. Its not about us, what we think we can or can not do, its always about Him. So when we begin to understand that, its easier to step into what He calls us to. The beautiful thing about it all is that He always blesses us too because of our obedience and His love and passion for us.

Saying yes to YOU doesn’t come without trials and tribulation, but it comes with a freedom, a joy and a peace that can be found no where else except from Jesus. I hope you are filled with awe and wonder as you pursue the journey set out before you and God reveals more of himself and of you to you.

Much Love,

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You Are Not A Follower

When our daughter was smaller, pretty much ever since she stepped out into the world and entered kindergarten, I would tell her so often as she got out the car, “You are not a follower, you are leader. It doesn’t matter what other kids around you are doing do not engage in things that are wrong. You may feel left out and even pressured to join as everyone follows into trouble, but you stay out of it. You can show others how to do the right thing.”

Some people would call me crazy, but hey, the names people call me are not our problem right? So many underestimate the teaching we can give our children early on.

As adults, there is so much going on in life seeking our attention, pulling us in different directions.

Some good things, some bad things, some things that look good, some things that may be for someone, but just not for us. It will be so easy to get caught up in all the things, but I believe God calls us to great things, not the things that every one is doing. We are not to get involved with everything that looks good.

God has been teaching me about man’s heart in this season and the heart can be deceived even when it looks good. When we are not careful, we can set ourselves up when we dive knee deep into something we were never supposed to align ourselves with.

Being a leader takes courage and bravery. Leading does not look like following everyone. As we make a choice to do something different, many times we will be talked about. We may face judgemental eyes. We may loose some friendships. We may be ostracized. We may have to stand alone. People may turn on you.

Listen, none of that is ever fun, nor is it easy to face.

Those things that follow after making a decision to set yourself apart, can be the hardest to stand in. And this is where so many are not able to keep going forward as a leader, because people’s opinion of them means more than doing the hard thing. We all want to be a part of something. We want to feel accepted.

But there comes a time when we have to take a good look at what’s going on. We have to get to a place where we can pull our selves out the equation, pull ourselves back and look on from above as we observe what may be going on, as we discern the situation, as we partner with God and ask him if this something we are to be a part of or engage in. There may be a red flag flashing, but going head on can cause us more pain and strife in the future when we ignore the warning signs.

Pleasing people does not make our life any better. In fact it makes us suffer. We were created to have space in this life. Space for us to exist in all of who we are, but when we seek to people please, we are lowering our standards and dismissing our values to fit the standards of someone else.

I was reading the book of Mark (chapter 15) and when the people brought Jesus in, they were all shouting to crucify him. It states numerous times that so many just went with it because they didn’t want to stand alone with the truth. The religious leaders were willing to let an actual criminal go because they were so envious of Jesus and out of spite, they wanted him out of there.

Knowing Jesus had not done anything wrong, they wanted him dead any how.

One of the key phrases in this chapter was “because he wanted to please the people“. Because he, Pilate, the Roman governor wanted to please the people….

As a leader it was hard for him to stand up and stand against all the voices and shouting of the people who were WRONG, but he didn’t have the courage to do the right thing. He was fully aware of everything, but went through with what the people wanted and didn’t want to disappoint them

If we keep reading that chapter we will see person after person doing ridiculous things all in the name of following each other.

Can I encourage you to be brave and courageous? I believe we all have a level of discernment, and I believe God wants us to partner with him more than ever. Can we go back to him and ask what he wants us to do? Can we step back a little bit and begin to see what is going on before we say yes and engage into things? It will probably involve disappointing some people.

The world will tell us what we should do. The world will shout and scream in your ear, “go this way, do this or else”, condemn and shame us, and make us feel like an outcast.

Maybe someone has made you feel less than, called you a few names, disowned you for standing up to them or going a separate way from the world. Continue to stand tall and partner with God as He leads you.

You may be feeling a pull to go your own way, but your family wants you to take over the family business. Oh my, that looks and sounds wonderful, but God may be calling you to higher things. Its okay to lead a new path.

You may be feeling this cultural pull to do things like they have been done for generations, but you have this different way of thinking and may have felt like you never fit in any how, but you feel God leading you to step out. The voices of culture are shouting so loudly that it feels as though you are abandoning your people. Sis, its okay. God’s ways are higher. There is freedom in Jesus Christ. There is zero culture with him. Follow HIM.

You may be feeling so different for having opposing views of many around you. The thing about perspective is that usually we all see a bit differently, so find freedom in that. Since we all see differently with different perspectives, nothing would be exactly the same right? Don’t allow others to make you feel like you are no body. Think about this, our legs don’t operate like our arms, our fingers don’t operate like our eyes, our mouth does not operate like our toes, but they all work TOGETHER to make our body work. We are all supposed to be different, but we can all work together for good of His kingdom. Worldly ways have a hard time grasping that.

When we can begin to step into who we are as who we are in Him, we will experience his freedom.

We don’t have to follow the customs of those that came before us, dragging our mistakes, our shame and pain around like its a body part. You are not a follower.

We don’t have to follow our parents’ wishes, going after the careers they wanted for us. You have been set apart.

We don’t have to follow our “friends” into things we know God is not calling us to. I know its hard to go against these people you have known forever. Here is some hard truth. Good friends would want the best for you and wouldn’t pull you into things that are not good. You were not created to fit in.

We don’t have to follow the elders of the church or the church folk that have known you while you were in your mother’s womb. You know, the ones that have known your mama, grandma, great grandma even. We feel as though we should listen to them out of respect or think they have been going to church for a long time, they must be right.

Listen, man’s hearts can be deceived. There are so many chapters in the bible that talk about false teachers. Go back to God and ask him what he said. Open your bible to read about what he said so that you won’t be led astray, but you will know the truth. (2 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:1, Titus 1:10, but so many more)

We don’t have to follow the ways of this world. The world is missing so much! Its longing for something, but keeps seeking temporary things. Its missing love, compassion, understanding, kindness, joy, peace, patience, and so much more, but most of all the world is missing King Jesus.

My hope is that you find freedom as you follow Jesus himself. He wants to fill us with his truth so that we are able to walk out this life with boldness, confidence, courage, bravery and show the world the love that it longs for so much.

Much Love,

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Our Soul Craves Rest

Back in December, I was determined to start the new year on fire, with determination, going full blast into my goals, to start the month off with all my goals planned out, but as I took time off for the holidays, the slower pace was so amazing that I felt led to keep that slow pace for the whole month of January. When I did that, so many other things lined up without me striving for them. I had pushed so hard before the holidays with a new paint collection and holiday collection, teaching painting classes, all while recovering from surgery.

I was to take time to rest and spend more intentional time with God. I was to lean in and listen to what he was speaking. While, I still did some work, I really embraced that rest.

Over the years, I have learned that rest is extremely important. We can see in the book of Genesis, that God himself rested. We can see Jesus an his disciples rested after teaching and traveling a lot. They needed to be replenished and refreshed. We can see that Jesus said,

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden
(weighted down with or as if with a heavy burden : OPPRESSED, BURDENED)
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28 – 30 ESV

So, here is the dilemma we have: we feel always feel there is so much to do and no time to rest. We are wives, moms, sisters, daughters, have businesses, work full time, going to school, etc. We feel we gotta go, go, go…

But ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️
– We are tired/exhausted
– We many times are unfulfilled
– We lack direction
– We feel heavy with weight
– We have trouble sleeping
– We don’t have energy
– We feel depleted
– Our minds are cluttered
– We have no peace
– We crave time with God
– We want to grow spiritually
– We feel that there is not enough time in the day
– We want our dreams and visions to come to life
– We face burnout

So we end up distracted, unfocused, not accomplishing all that matters anyhow feeling like we are spinning our wheels AND haven’t been able to connect the dots to what our soul is really craving.

REST.

True REST.

We decide “I’VE got this” and continue approaching life in our own strength. We gotta realize that through REST in the Father, is where we find refreshment, replenishment, restoration, direction, and so much more. We are not physically or mentally capable of doing everything, God comes in and completes us.

So if we can shift our thinking and stand on the truth that in order to accomplish his will for our life, we need rest. We need to sit with him and slow down. We need space to think and dream and be. Our souls long to be in partnership with its creator. Our hearts long to be connected to the Father.

We can CHOOSE to give ourselves permission to rest. Its a choice we have to consistently make and then take note of how we feel when we do rest.We will be so glad we did.

Soul rest looks different from sleeping or falling on the couch after a long day. Soul rest isn’t about what you do, its a “place” you go. Try meditating on that, asking God to go deeper with you and give you deeper revelation of what soul rest looks like. Ask him to help you in this area. Sure, its about being, and slowing down, but when you are able to truly go after God for him to fill you up, strengthen you, give you hope, awaken you, you show up in life a whole lot better.

We are REAL AMAZING WOMEN and in order to continue going and serving, we gotta enter into soul rest. We can’t give from an empty cup. In order to continue doing what God calls us to, we gotta go to him to rest our souls.

“Jesus told his disciples, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace.
Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace.
Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”
John 14:27 TPT


This world can not give us peace. When we can come to a place to understand that, we will know The Truth. Peace and calmness in our spirit comes from resting in God.

Resting with God.

Casting our cares upon him as we surrender things out of our control. When we rest with him we begin to understand what trusting him feels like. He is able to speak to us, lead us, give us new revelation, open us up to things we can’t do on our own and so much more.

He gives us peace.

His LOVE is peace.

His Love and peace allows our soul to rest and we begin to crave those moments with him because we will know and understand that coming out of this place, is where we operate the best. When I get out my rhythm of resting in him, my soul longs for Him, my spirit craves it, I feel scattered, I feel like I’m missing my absolute best friend, I feel a bit lost, I feel disconnected.

I even get grumpy or frustrated at times. But when I enter back into it, there is this breath of fresh air that sweeps over me, comforts me, overwhelms me, fills me, speaks to me, loves me, and so much more. I encourage you to keep seeking him and enter into that place. Nothing in this world can fill us like Him ❤

Much Love,

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Staying Grounded In The Midst Of It All

These times we are living in can wear on your soul and leave you feeling empty, alone, lost, feeling like you are not doing enough, and so much more. It will be easy to follow what everyone else is doing, but I firmly believe that we are not to follow everyone. We are to partner with God to see what He wants us to do. We have not all been called to the same things. We are unique, right?

So, if we are unique, then how come we get so wrapped up in the world with chaos, discouragement, anxiety, confusion, and so much more in our spirit? How can we get to our best when we are uncertain about everything or feel as though we are no one unless we are engaging and showing up in life just like those around us. We gotta show up in life like US. I gotta show up in life like ME. You gotta show up in life like YOU. When we are not fully grounded its so hard to know which way to go.


For me, I love the comfort, peace and freedom I experience on a daily basis. Life has not always felt that way, but I know now that this feels so much better. I make a decision to always stay grounded and near the source where all my truth, guidance, peace and everything comes from, so I want to share a bit of what I do to stay grounded.

1. I start each day with gratitude. I always want to experience joy and have peace, so in order for that to happen, I must give thanks. To be eternally grateful for all that I have been given. Food, a home, I try to wake up with joy in my spirit with excitement and gratitude for a brand new day. I believe each day we have been given is a gift.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Thessalonians 5:16-18


2. I spend time with God. I call it my quiet time. Early morning, I grab my bible, a cup of coffee, my pen bag that is filled with colorful markers and pens, a journal, and sometimes a book then head out to the front porch without my phone to unplug. I sit, read the bible, listen, pray, wait for strategies and downloads then write them down. If I had a dream, I would jot that down in my journal as well.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Mark 1:35


3. I turn on worship music. I plug my ears almost on a daily basis with my headphones to have sounds of worship around me as I work and paint. It helps to drown out false narratives that try to slip into my mind, it helps me focus, and reminds me of truth throughout the day.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs
Psalm 100:2


4. I partner with Holy Spirit. I believe I must walk in truth and believe God for everything He says. I want to be everything that Jesus called me to be. I must follow Jesus himself and not man. Jesus is THE truth and man’s hearts can be deceived.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
John 16:13‭-‬14 ESV


5. I think good thoughts. I have trained myself over the years to replace bad thoughts with the truth and that leaves me with peace and joy. I am able to believe what God says about me and not the opinions of others. My mind had to be transformed as I embraced the scripture to not be conformed to this world. I try to hold every thought captive as it comes into my mind.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

I hope that encourages you to keep yourself grounded in the midst of everything going on around us so that you too can experience everlasting joy, peace, truth, comfort and freedom with a firm foundation to stand on.

Much Love,
Crystal Keefer

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Vlog: Podcast Interview with Jenny Bonilla

“Podcast”, you might be asking yourself. Like how is she on Episode 07 when this is my first time “reading” about a podcast?

Well I completely forgot to blog about starting a podcast. Right after it launched the 1st week in July, I was heading out to Washington state to help a friend (we have been friends since kindergarten. Then I came back, caught a cold, then caught covid, and just about a week ago is when I fully felt like myself 100% again.

So I am catching you up. With Episode 07…

The podcast is called The Blessed Brokenness Podcast and its all about sharing truth, light and encouragement to uplift women around the world. Its also a place where women that have walked through brokenness and and said yes to freedom, can come to share their story to help bring other women through the valley. My hope is that every woman will begin to realize we are not “just broken” as we may have rehearsed over and over to ourselves, but that we are holy because we have been made holy and whole.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Jenny Bonilla recently and it was such a beautiful time. I got to hear how brokenness came knocking at the door, but after being nudged by Holy Spirit, even when she didn’t know what was happening, to make some radical decisions, God lead her to truth and freedom. We all love a story of redemption right? Take a listen!

You can also listen on your favorite podcast app including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Just search Blessed Brokenness Podcast.

The part I forgot at the end was What was meant for evil, God will turn around for good. I pray that you are able to see the hope for your own life through Jenny’s story.

For scripture reference on the story of Rahab the Harlot (prostitute), refer to Joshua chapter 2, Chapter 6 verse 22, then in Matthew 1:5 we will see how she married the man she rescued in Joshua.

For the woman with issue of blood, is found in the Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but you can take a look at Luke 8:43-48.

I hope we begin to pick up our crowns and walk the journey back to our original design and The Truth.

Always remember sisters (and brothers), you are brave and so courageous! Grab a hold of the hope in front of you and hold on to it to begin taking that first hard step.

I am cheering for you and praying for you

Much Love,