about us

{Fall 2015, technically this is all 8 of us, but #6 is still in my belly here!}

Hello!!  I'm Crystal, married to Matt and mama of 6 sweet little souls...actually 6 of the loudest little creatures, if I'm being honest....especially Lucy, she's high on life and speaks in 6 octaves higher than the rest of us.  Our home is noisy and chaotic, but we're striving for love and the good life, loving Jesus and college students here at Mississippi State University. Matt works with a college discipleship ministry called Lightbearers, and I stay at home raising the littlest ones of the bunch and trying to keep this home in order....which means me, a mostly right brain person (if there's truly such a thing), trying to implement left brain abilities like organization, order, and routines....which usually just leaves us inconsistent and crying for more structure! But, hey, we're getting there!

I smother my babes with way too many kisses and raise my voice a wee bit much ;)...trying to believe in Jesus and the power of change that's within Him....wholeheartedly wanting Him to emanate HIS presence from me, instead of my own flesh.  I totally desire authenticity and to encourage other mamas in this walk with Jesus, helping you know, you are not alone!  I struggle too, and to prove it, I want to share it with you.  I need Jesus and lots more prayer to love my family than I ever realized before! I've tasted His love and seen His power through little and big miracles countless times.  It's these stories that encourage us to keep believing and persevering one step at a time.

I guess this is some sort of legacy blog with photojournalism at its heart.  It's these moments of slowing down and cherishing memories that help me get through every other chaotic moment in life with so many littles. I write about life in hopes that one day I can have lots of words and pictures for our kids to look back on and learn from, but I pray it can somehow be a blessing to anyone who reads it now.  {for more on that, see "Why the Name" below}.


That's pretty much the gist of it all, but if you love details like me, then read on!



Jesus....and I want to love Him incredibly more
my man...my good, good man, Matt
my six kiddos {5 girls and 1 boy stuck in the middle...Lord help him}
my family
friends who are like family
bargains and thrifting....I know I'm a dork, always...see?

the coffee shop
the coffee shop with my man
the coffee shop with girlfriends
because, ahhh coffee shops are quiet.  my home is not.
bread, cake, and dough...and lots of it....yes, I've consumed lots of raw eggs
and details...and usually sharing too many details....I mean look at this page.  I don't know how to keep it simple.

and let's get real...I'm not fancy.  I like fancy, but I'm just not it.  In my mind, I live in Anthro style, but in reality, I live in Old Navy style. In my mind, my home is Anthro style, too but in reality it's yard sale and freebies.
If I had to choose between getting something for my home versus my wardrobe,  I'd  probably choose my home.  I just enjoy that more.  It's not better or worse.  just me.
But, I don't want a lot for my home. I keep it simple, meaningful, and practical mostly.

I am a sinner saved by grace alone, and I love to share and write about what Jesus has been in my life and what I'm learning.  Transparency in a believer's life is the way we can each be challenged and encouraged in this crazy world.  I need it from others, and I want to be it for others.  This world needs more of it...in an encouraging way, not a woe is me kind of way!  My life and home are far from perfect...I mean really...if only you could be a fly on the wall....and the peering into this little window of true words and pictures of our messy and organized chaos is what I hope can speak to your heart.   Our home is louder than I would prefer, but my hope and prayer is that our love will be even louder....and on some days, that's sadly just not the case. But we pick back up and move on in the forgiveness and hope of Jesus.

Despite the fact that I had a loving family growing up, it was still broken and I managed to go down a long road of hurt, rebellion, shame, redemption and love.  I share more of my testimony in these pages through The Reflect Series, and I need to finish that up.  I want my children to know the choices I made as I sought after love and acceptance in this world, and I want them to know the real consequences of those decisions.  So, I will write for them and I will write for you.  We all need to see mistakes from each other and that others are not perfect, and we need to hear what others are learning.  We need to know we are not alone.  We need to be encouraged and challenged to seek God and not this world. Not that everyone has to plaster their testimonies on the world wide web!!

Why the Name

From the post "Why the name"  July 3, 2014

Basically, I needed a fresh start, a new focus, a new name that correctly depicts why I write.  Because while I will still post about anything vintage that deems itself worthy, I wanted something less narrow than "blossoms and vintage," and well, I think "arise and tell" is just perfect.  It basically states the obvious of why someone would do a family blog, but I like it.  It's our driving motivation in so much we do....and it fits in this little blog world, too.  It's the force behind it all.  

Psalm 78:4-8

We will not conceal them from their children,
but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
for he established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
that they should teach them to their children,

that the generation to come might know, even the
children yet to be born,
that they may arise and tell them to their children,

that they should put their confidence in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep His commandments,
and not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that did not prepare its heart
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Not that we all have to start blogs in order to tell our children of the praises of God.....but being a truly forgetful mama and writer at heart, it's the best fit for myself.  In addition to needing to teach them the Word and all the wonderful truths and principles and stories it entails, I want to journal the stories of our lives for them to really know where we came from and how God has turned our lives upside down in the redemption of His faithful and merciful love. I want them to see our journey. 

They can learn from the bible stories, and they can learn from their own stories.

I want them to see what we spend our days doing. 
even if it's just training them to sit still on the couch....
{although they do NOT always look so happy in training....and are usually not snuggled up so close....if so, they would all kill each other....and we have so far to go, by the way!  We should've started this when Anna Jaymes was the size of Libby! And there's a 6th one since this pic.}

{and how he got them to be all smiles while all looking at the camera, I have no idea.}

Anyway, I continue to learn....all is a gift of grace.  

recognizing it in the days and journaling spurs on more thankfulness.

I want the truths I'm continuing to learn to be all spelled out for them. As they get older, I want this to be our legacy we have for them to see.

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