Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy !!!

I have wrote before about the struggle I deal with at time excepting that my father is gone. Today was his 73 Birthday !!! I really believe that G-d knew how hard today was going to be because he sent me great friends to spend it with. I miss him so much more than I could ever put into words. Sometimes I wish I could have a one day pass to see him, but then I know one day would never be enough.

My father was not a religious man by any means, but the one thing he did believe was that when you passed on your spirit was sent back to nature. It's an old Indian belief called the everywhere spirit. You become part of the earth, the trees, the wind, and animals. I like to believe that this is where my daddy is . When the wind blows and brushes my cheek that is him. When the birds are chirping outside my window that is him. I choose to believe that he is watching his grandchildren grow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY !!!!! Gerald Edward Davis May 28,1938- October 5, 2007

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Journey has ended, but another has just began !!!

Well it is official I am Jewish woman !!!! I was asked if I feel any different ? I do ,but in a sense that I can not explain. I have been living my life as a Jewish woman for 3yrs now. I think as the days, weeks, and months pass I will notice more of the change. I do feel a great sense of pride to say I am a Jewish American !!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The name of this post is Reflection and for good reason...Today I am reflecting on all I have learned in the last 6yrs. I normally tell people that I started my journey to Judaism 3 and half years ago, but truth be told it started about 3yrs before that. Before we ever attended our first Shabbat service or spoke with a Rabbi I had been learning, reading, and studying about Judaism.

I Reflect back on a trip that my family made about 6yrs ago. It was right about the time husband had brought the idea up to me. At this time I was still set against converting. I knew nothing about being a Jew and the image I had in my mind was more Amish than anything..LOL...During this car ride he was listening to a musician by the name of Matisyahu and I remember being very critical of this musician. Today this is one of my favorite Jewish artists.. I know now that was G-d telling me that this is where I need to be, but me not wanting to listen.

I also reflect on what I have learned. A few weeks ago I had my daughter (4) at the park. It was shortly before Easter and another mom whom I did not know started small talk. You know whats your name, how old is your daughter, do you work ? I answered them all, but when I told her I was a fitness instructor she looked at me a bit odd. Which I am used to know being an overweight fitness instructor you normally do get an odd look. She sold health supplements and of course was trying to get me to buy some. I explained to her that I have a thyroid condition that limits what I can take. She then ask me if I believe in healing...drum roll please....I said yes ..She then proceeded to say "you know the strips on his side were for our sins".. Normally I do not say " Hi my name is Crystal and I am a Jew.." LOL.. So of course she had no idea. I politely told her that I was Jewish and she then politely tried to Save Me..From what I am not sure..She seemed very confused that I didn't concern myself with heaven or hell.. I reflect on how I may have handled this situation before my journey began...Then I realize this would not have happened.

I also reflect on how grateful I am for the teachers that my children have. When they ask me to come in and talk about our Holiday's or festivals. Hanukkah is always a given to talk about , but this year I was asked to speak about Passover as well.

On this eve of my final step in my conversion journey, however just the beginning of my Jewish journey REFLECTION is the only thing that comes to mind.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Jewish Journey Part 3

I realized reading through my post that I never finished my series on my journey. I am hoping in Part 3 to finish up to the point I am at currently in my life.

So after three meetings with the Rabbi in which he sent us with a series of books to read he agreed to begin our conversion. For the first year of our conversion we meet with him when he was in town which was 1 to 2 times a month. There were even phone calls and lots of "homework". When his time was up at our local synagogue we received a new student Rabbi. With the many things going on at our synagogue there just didn't seem to be enough time to meet with the new student Rabbi like there was with the previous one. So we continued to study on our own reading new things and rereading things we had previously read. When that year was up bringing us to our current year we are in now (2010-2011) we received another student Rabbi.

Our congregation like I have mentioned in previous post is very small. So we do not have a Rabbi with us at all time. Instead we bring in Rabbinical students from HUC so it is not uncommon to have a different Rabbi every year or so.

I (we were) was overjoyed when the newest Rabbi was eager to help us complete on conversion. Although this is not a completion to my(our) journey, it is merely an ending to a chapter. For when you go through something like this you realize it really is like you are reading through the biggest book you have ever seen. Just about the time you think you are at the end of the book you realize there are many, many more chapters. If I had to guess I am on Chapter 2 right now. Eh not to bad 3 1/2 yrs to read 2 chapters in a book = ) . I think one of the biggest things that I have learned during this journey is that life is not a race. It is merely a gentle walk among a path that is to be savored each step of the way.

Although the path that I have taken is not for everyone I believe with my whole heart it is for me. It is the right choice for my family as well . With one chapter coming to an end I am very excited to see what the next chapter holds not only for me ,but for my family !!!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting Excited !!!!!

I am so excited about the finalization of my (our families) conversion. It has been a very long journey , but a great journey at the same time. I have been very blessed to begin my journey with a wonderful Student Rabbi . At the same time I have been very blessed to end my journey with a very wonderful Student Rabbi. Not only will our current Student Rabbi be completing my (our) conversion she has arranged for the Student Rabbi who began my (our) journey to be there as well. So it will come full circle from beginning to end. Although this is just merely a formality for me ( my family) since I have been living my life as a Jewish woman for 3 yrs now.

None the less I am very excited that it will be finalized !!!!! It is hard to explain why this is so important to me ,but it is . For most faiths you just walk into their place of worship and say that you want to become part of their community then that is it. This journey has taught me so many things not just about others , but mostly about my self. I never realized how closed minded I was until I began this journey . Also I never realized how much I took what was taught to me at face value and when encouraged to challenge that find out it wasn't exactly the way I thought it was. I Love the peace that comes with my faith.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Grief

It has been awhile since I last posted. Not a whole lot has really happened since then. I would like to talk about another journey that I am on right now.. It is the journey of healing from loss. Three years and 4months ago I said goodbye to one of the most important men in my life. He was a man of word, a man of strength , and a man of self worth. He is the man to whom I compared all men to and still compare my husband too , to this day. This man I speak of is my father Gerald Edward Davis.

Although he was not a perfect man he was my father. His family meant everything to him. He would walk through fire or jump in front of a speeding bus for any of us. That didn't just stop with his wife of 40 some years and his children , but it also extend into his many branches of family and friends.

There are many times of the year that are especially hard for me. One being his birthday May 28, another being his date of death Oct 5, and my birthday Feb 28. I know you think well why would your birthday be so hard. I will tell you why.. Since I was a small child it was a running joke of the family that my dad was the one that has wanted me. Not that my mom didn't love me and want me as well , but she had endured 3 miscarriages and 3 live births by the time I was born. To say the least she was done and the thought of another pregnancy with three small children already I think scared the hell out of her. See in 1977 the wife still had to get written consent from her husband in order to get a tubal, my dad wouldn't sign until she had one more.. And you guessed it I was the one more..LOL...

I think my father pushed in hopes I would be born a boy seeing how they had 2 girls and 1boy. I just made girl number 3 which I don't think my dad minded a bit. I was his tomboy and was never much into the girl things. There is exactly 9 months to the day from his birthday to mine May 28- Feb 28 you do the math. I tease that we know what his present was the year of 1976..

With my birthday only a few weeks away my heart aches . It aches to hear his voice if only for just a moment. It aches to see his smile, to catch a glimpse of him in his flannel shirt, or a hint of his scent. It aches the most to touch him to give him one last hug and kiss. As I write this tears fill my eyes and stream down my cheeks. It hurts at times so bad that I truly think my heart will stop. It is days like this the come less frequently since his passing which scares me.

For my children I try to keep his memory alive for fear they won't know who he is. In reality my youngest doesn't and she never really will know who her grandfather was. She was merely 8 months old when he passed. My hope is that my oldest will remember bits of his grandfather , but the unsettling fear that my middle child will eventually forget is a harsh reality. I keep photos of him hanging in our dinning room and I try to talk about him as much as I can .

They say time heals all wounds I am not sure that is exactly true.. For my wound may not be as open or as jagged as when first made. My wound will never close and it will never fully heal. Grief is a powerful thing that you have to learn to live with and not allow it to live you ..

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Jewish Journey !!!!

There have been some really exciting things happen since I last posted..This post I am going to focus on my faith. My boys were part of their first Jewish dedication last Friday night at our Shabbat service. They were given their consecration certificates and a small Torah. It was to make official their Jewish learning and Sunday school.. Now my oldest has been going to Sunday school for 3yrs now and my middle boy for 2 yrs now , but we thought it would really be great to have this ceremony for them now they also have another young boy in their class as well.. It was just so exciting..

We also nailed down a date for our conversion to be complete and that is May. Although I feel in every aspect that I am already Jewish. This is a mere formality to say the least. None the less it is very, very exciting.. This Journey has been the most amazing thing I have ever been on..I have discovered so much about myself and the way I truly want to live my life..

I try to find words that explain how I feel. It is not that easy to say the least.. There are many out there whom I know do not understand the journey that I am on.. That is fine with me we all have our own Journey's in life. They are not meant for other's to understand they are merely meant for us to understand.

On that note I shall close this post ....

Monday, January 10, 2011

My weight loss Journey !!!!!

It has been a few days since I have posted anything on here just busy I guess. I am going to give my Jewish Journey a break in this blog and focus on something that has troubled me for years. My weight !!! All my life I have felt FAT , but looking back at photographs of myself I realize that I wasn't FAT at all... As a child I was average and as a teenager I was a little chunky, but looking that he pictures I could hardly call myself FAT.. I have however always had a self esteem issue for as long as I could remember .. Thinking and feeling that I wasn't as pretty or as good as the other girls around me.. I didn't date much in high school.. I actually had the same boyfriend all through high school, and if your thinking that is who I married you are thinking very wrong..

Even up until I meet my husband 10yrs ago I had a real problem with "self image"... Looking at pictures once again of when we meet I was chunky , but I was by no means obese.. I think I kind of got comfortable once we got married though .. The toll of having three children on your body alone..oy...Now I look back on all the times I thought I was heavy and I wasn't and now that I truly am it is hard to make myself believe it.. In my introduction I said that I am a fitness instructor and this is true..

Although being a fitness instructor gives me great self esteem when I am teaching ..When I am not teaching I can't help , but think about how disgusting I am. I chose to become a fitness instructor to help people. I figured that if obese people seen an obese instructor then they would feel comfortable taking my class. Now I am not sure if that has anything to do with.. All I know is I am tired of living in this body !! Tired of excuse after excuse !!! Tired of not being able to play with my children or walk up a flight of stairs without being winded !!!! I know I need to do something and only I can do it no one else..

Last year I joined weight watchers and lost 25lbs and all together I lost about 40lbs last year.. WoooHoooo Hoory !!!! Right !!!! Now I find myself slipping right back into the old habits that make me so comfortable and I have gained about 15lbs back... DAMN IT !!!! I am so sick and tired of being comfortable.. I don't want to be skinny I just want to be healthy , but the two go hand it hand.

Well enough of my rant on this ..I am sure I will post more at some point ..For those that reading Thanks for listening....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Jewish Journey Part 2

So once our son was home and healthy I decided that I really needed to find a place to call home with G-d.. I really researched Judaism by reading a lot of books and of course the good ole internet.. Then when our second child was 15months old I found out I was pregnant for yet the 3rd time.. By this time I had done all the research I needed as far as knowing that Judaism was the path that I wanted to go in and take my family in. So in the Spring of 2007 my baby girl was born , that same fall I lost my father to kidney failure. That is when I started actively looking for a synagogue so our family could begin our processes. Little did I know that it would take 3 plus years.

Converting to Judaism is nothing like I had ever experanced as a Christian. Even after all the reading about living a Jewish life and what it meant to be Jewish person it never prepared me for the processes I was about to under go. As a Christian if I wanted to join a congregation at a certain church I would just attend a few services profess my love for "Jesus" and BAM I was a member. It is nothing like that when you decide that you want to become Jewish. For one "Jesus" is not a factor in your beliefs any longer. Everything is based on the Torah (Old Testament) and it's writings, but they are not alone. There are other writings as well that you study. The studing part seems to be a never ending part of being Jewish ..

Anyways back from my rant after the birth of our daughter and the death of my father I activly sought out a synagogue .. It just so happens the town I live in does have one ,yes just one Jewish place of worship . If I choose to drive an hour either way from my town I will find others in the bigger cities, but there is not need for that. The one that we have is just right for me it may not be the biggest , but it is the mightiest in my opinion. So my (our) Journey begin then at a Shabbat service where we actually met with a Student Rabbi who in tradition turned us away 3 times to make sure this was the path we wanted .

Once again I shall end my post here and begin again with part 3 of My Jewish Journey..

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Talking about my Jewish Journey .

I want to talk a little about my religious journey that I am on..The word Journey does fit this best because it has been 3yrs in the making. Let me start at the begining and then move forward. I am sure that I will not get everything in this one post so just bare with me for the continued parts.LOL...

Let me start with my religious background which is interesting to say the least.. We didn't go to church every Sunday or even on Holiday's for that matter. When my siblings were younger I am told that my parents went often to church ,but stop before I can remember it at all. My father was raised Jehovah Witness ,although I can not speak of a personal experance I can speak from a propective of being raised by someone who was ousted by the church. My mom from what I gather was raised Baptist, but she never really spoke of them going to church on a regular basis. Because of my father's bad experance with the Jehovah Witness's like I said before we did not attend church. I did however attend with Aunts when I was younger and friends as well I attended everything from Baptist to Pentecostal when it came to churches.

When I was about 17 I started having a lot of pain in my lower stomach. My mom took me to many female doctors and what they discoverd was that I had something that was called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) along with anovulatory ovaries..Humm...I know a lot of big words ,but from what I gather the PCOS is not that uncommon. What made me stand up and pay attention was at 17 yrs old being told that "I would never concieve and child naturally".. WOW I know right a lot for a young girl to take in.. So setting in that room that day I made a pact with G-d I told him that if he allowed me to become a mother someday I would raise that child to know and love him as I do..

Fast forward now about 7yrs I have now met the man of my dreams and we want to have a family..Only problem with this is I am no longer attending any type of church. G-d blessed me exactly one month after I wed my husband we found out we had concieved a child. After the baby was born I tried going to many churches ,but none of them felt right . Almost 2yrs to the day of our first child being born G-d blessed us with yet another baby boy.. I knew it was game time at this point G-d had full filled his part , yet I had not. Then our second child was born my husband brought up the idea of converting to Judaism..

Hold on to your Hats I know what you are thinking ..Given my background at being primarily Pentecostal ,how could I even think of doing this.. To be honest I shut him down didn't even give it a second thought until our son was born ...He was taken from my arms and shipped to a nicu unit where he spent the first 8 days of his life..This made me wake up and think of a path that I wanted for my children .. So I decided without letting my husband know of course to look into Judaism..No need to tell him of course because it wasn't an option after all right..*wink *wink...

I think for now I will end here and pick this up on my next post about my Jewish Journey...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Well today I decided to start a Blog ?

Hummm...Today of all days I decided to start a Blog just about me.. Not sure why and really not sure if anyone out there is even interested in reading what I have to ramble about. So here goes nothing.. The main title page of my Blog is My Journey it is that for many reason. Mainly b/c I am on a lot of Journey's right now in my life metaphorically speaking of course.

I started the most wonderful journey I could ever imagine 3yrs ago, with my husband and children of course, when I decided to become Jewish. Although it has not been as easy as I first thought it would be I would not change a minute of it.. It has show me so many things that I was missing in my life. I have become a more patient and tolerant person because of this single choice that I have made in my life. I will definately touch on this journey more in future entries.

Another HUGE journey I am on right now is reclaiming my life from obesity.. Currently I set at 250lbs yes I wrote that for all the world to see .. Friends and strangers alike , to be honest just looking at it scares the hell out of me.. Three years ago I lost my father he was only 69yrs old and his lifestyle is why he died. Although his additction was not to food as mine is his was to alcohol, which I feel that one is just as bad as the other.. Yes that is right I just admitted that I am addicted food . I love everything about food the way it smells, the way it tastes, the way it makes me feel when I eat it...In the last year I have became a fitness instructor yes you read that right a 250lb fitness I will also touch on as I post more about My Journey !!!

I Hope I spark and interest and people want to read what I write .. Wheather anyone reads this or not really doesn't matter ...I am a normal person just like you , and you , and yes YOU !!!! There are many other Journey's that I am on right now ,but these are the two biggest..