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Choose Courage, Even When You Really Want to Choose Cowardice

Choose Courage, Not Cowardice

It’s been a rough week for me as a blogger.

While it’s usual for me to get at least a few fairly critical comments and emails on a daily basis, for some weird reason, this past week I was pummeled with criticism and harsh comments.

I was called names. I was told I was a terrible mother. I was told I am disobeying God. I was told I am dishonoring my husband. Even, my kids were called names I can’t repeat.

Most of these comments never made it out of moderation, but I still saw them. And with each one, it was a little like being stabbed with a knife unsuspectingly.

Because here’s the truth: bloggers are people, too.

We aren’t some object to hold up and throw stones at because we don’t have feelings.

Choose Courage, Not Cowardice

As bloggers, we often share personal things on the internet and I know that when we do this we are opening ourselves up for questions and critique. However, this doesn’t mean that we are immune to discouragement or that comments that attack, belittle, or rip us apart aren’t hurtful.

Over time, I have developed fairly thick skin, but this past week, when the comments and emails kept coming from random places over even more random things, I felt beaten up and beaten down.

I questioned why I was doing this in the first place. Wouldn’t it be easier to close up shop? Wouldn’t it be safer and less exhausting to just stop blogging and speaking and writing?

I certainly considered it this past week.

But then I realized that reacting like that would be the epitome of cowardice. Because the definition of a coward is:

Anyone can be a coward. Here’s how: You just stick with things so long as there is no danger, pain, or hurt. When anything uncomfortable or hard comes your way, a coward balks and runs.

Yes, it’s simple and easy to be a coward. But there’s little joy or fulfillment. You never get to experience the rewards of hard work. You never get the thrill of jumping outside your comfort zone. You never get to know what it’s like to punch fear in the face.

So instead of cowardice, I’m choosing the exact opposite: I’m choosing courage. I’m seeking to sift out the truth from the lies. I’m continuing to check my comments and read my email and write those blog posts and say “yes!” to those opportunities that are stretching. I’m praying for wisdom and surrounding myself with wise counselors and cheerleaders.

Choose Courage, Not Cowardice

Courage isn’t easy or simple. It means willingly facing the difficulty and danger. It means putting yourself out there. It means that you are risking getting hurt.

But it’s worth the risks for the rewards you’ll reap. Will you join me?

When you want to run away from that thing you fear, choose courage instead.

When you want to back out of that thing that scares you, choose courage instead.

When you want to wimp out of something you know you should do, choose courage instead.

When life feels overwhelming and you just want to give up, choose courage instead.

Choose courage, not cowardice.

; ;

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283 Comments

  • vena brown says:

    Thanks! I need that encouragement right now in my life!

  • KEB says:

    I am SO sorry that people have been so harsh towards you and your family. What everyone should be saying is THANK YOU – thank you for your encouragement, your leading by example, the great amounts of your life that you share with us. Just THANK YOU. Please take heart that those who are so critical (in my opinion) are likely jealous of all that you have and all that you have done.

    I, for one, am so encouraged by what you share. It truly inspires me to make positive changes.

    • Jo says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! The vast majority of readers here are just amazing and I cannot imagine not having you all in my life. You bless me every day!

  • says:

    Crystal! I wish I could give you a hug! I’m sorry some people are so harsh sometimes! I’ve really loved your blog for a long time but even more so basically since the Say Goodbye to Survival Mode publication and when you started writing more personal posts. You bare your soul to us and I really appreciate it! I’ve learned a lot from reading your posts about finances, life, and family. Thank you for sharing even when you get criticism!

    And PS your Instagram is awesome! I love the cute pictures of your children and the fun little updates. I’m quickly learning to love the “drama-less” land of Instagram more than the “drama-filled” Facebook!

    Much love to you and your family!

    • Jo says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. They blessed me a lot tonight.

      Also, I’m so with you on Instagram!!! I LOVE it!

      • says:

        🙂 I’m glad – on both counts! My husband would roll his eyes but he would also agree that two of my favorite things are your website and Instagram 🙂

  • Alison says:

    Saddens my heart to hear this. I think this may be the first comment I’ve left on your blog even though I’ve read it daily for a long, long time now.

    I know you know this but I just want to echo it. People appreciate your honesty, people struggle with the same things you do and sometimes just reading it helps others feel less alone. Sadly, people feel its their right to say awful things, like they’re some how justified in it.

    I really enjoy your posts. I love that you post all sorts of fantastic deals and I think that many of us feel honoured that you invite us into your lives by sharing your life. It’s a gift you’re giving us by letting us in, a gift many of us (myself included) wouldn’t be willing to do.

    I hope that this group of followers will surround you and let you know we enjoy your blogging and enjoy knowing you even though we don’t “know” you. Please don’t let these people get to you, you’re loved!

  • says:

    Crystal,

    Take heart! You are doing amazing things for your family, for yourself, and for the world! People are going to be jealous, bitter and unable to see outside of the little box they have made for themselves. I don’t understand why people have to be so critical. To call your kids names? Oh, I am sorry, because that hurts a Mama heart. Just know when you’re doing great things, haters gonna hate. Comes with success. Just realize how successful you are!

  • says:

    My heart aches for the reason you had to write this post, but WOW what a way to come through this fire with a wonderful resolve. Choose courage always! You offer so much of yourself to all of us and I cannot imagine having to dodge that much criticism at once. Be true to yourself, that’s the person we all come back here to visit. Sending you a great big virtual hug and a huge high five.
    #choosecourage always.

  • Melody says:

    Crystal- I’m so sorry that this week has been so hard and that people can be so mean! I love your blog and check in several times a day. I can’t imagine what has people in a tizzy this week, but I’m glad that you’re not going to give up. Thanks for your openness and for all the great deals you send our way!

  • Diane says:

    Great post. I’m sorry for the rough week. Cowards type things online that are rude that they, I hope , wouldn’t say in person. Regardless , I’m grateful for you and was prompted to pray for you this morning. (And side note, I completed a freezer cooking session from a link you shared and am so glad to have more in my freezer, thank you ! ).

  • Kate says:

    Anyone can be a coward. Here’s how: You just stick with things so long as there is no danger, pain, or hurt. When anything uncomfortable or hard comes your way, a coward balks and runs……….or this could be the definition of a survivor. Just thinking. Love your posts and agree that you have helped so many. Thank you.

  • Nicole says:

    I am so sorry that people attack you and your family! I have read your blog for the past 8 years and you are an inspiration to me. I love that you are open about your Christianity and that you write Jessie weekly love notes!
    It’s unfortunate that there are so many negative critical people out there and no matter where you work (in an office or at home) they always appear. I have learned over my career to ignore the negative voices – you will never make them happy and surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive!
    Hang in there!

  • Susan Jones says:

    Admiring you for choosing courage when it would be easy to crumple up into a ball and fall apart. I’ve been there recently. From my own experience the only thing I would add is that it is so important to keep your focus on God and not yourself or the opinions of others. I am encouraged by what you do. You obviously have the heart of a godly wife and mother and love your family very much. I read a total of four blogs and yours is one that I enjoy immensely. God bless!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I usually don’t comment on blog posts, but I just wanted to say that it is just sad that people feel the need to criticize and unfoundedly attack people in the Christian arena who have great influence (bloggers, pastors, etc. ). What you do is awesome! Thanks! If they don’t like your site just go somewhere else that more aligns with their values! Because the rest of us LOVE what you do. I am a pastor’s daugher and it always baffled me how ridiculous and crazy people get about leadership and control. Who even has time to be that concerned about what someone they don’t even know personally is doing? If the person in question needs correction that should be done by someone close to them who has the insight into their character and has earned the position to speak those kinds of words.

  • wendy says:

    You and your website are so encouraging and such a blessing. Keep up the good work – someone has a problem in their own life and is just taking it out on you – but it really has nothing to do with you!!

  • Rebecca says:

    I just read your post on your negative comments and being discouraged and just wanted to thank you for continuing to have this blog. It has been really encouraging to me as I found it recently and I have learned a lot by reading it. I also wanted to encourage you because we are reading James with our Bible Study group and James 1 says, “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials if many kinda because you know that the testing if your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete bit lacking anything.”

  • Wanda says:

    I’m so glad this popped into my feed right now. This is my first time commenting but I felt compelled to respond. I’m feeling very discouraged with my life right now. I have my husband in school out of town for 10 weeks, my Mom is dying, I work a very stressful job while taking care of my 2yr old and 7 yr old boys. I’m battling depression right now, money is very tight/non existent. I’m dealing with an unreliable daycare and my boys have had every flu this season making me miss tonnes of work. This is of course causing extra strain on the views of my performance at work…today has been a culmination of several of those problems rearing their angry heads and I was ready to throw in the towel tonight. To walk out of life and not look back…

    But then I read this. Yup. My life sucks right now. It really, really does. But I know it’s not always like this; I really do have a blessed life…it’s just buried right now. So I’m going to choose to be brave right now, and courageous and continue to shovel away at the challenges that are heaping up right now. Reading this made me realize I’m not the only one having a rough time and I can rise out of this.

    I’m sorry you had a rough week, mean people suck but thank you for my wake up call.

    • Katie T says:

      You don’t know me, but I just wanted to let you know your post tugged at my heart strings. I just prayed for you & your stressful situations that you’re going through right now. I truly hope that things get better for you! {hugs}

    • Anne says:

      Wanda, I prayed for you just now. While not exactly like your year, my husband and I had a difficult 2014. It will get better.

      I had postpartum depression and it was AWFUL. I got help and it got better. Please keep reaching out and know there are people who will support you, even with just a prayer from a blog comment. 🙂

    • Rebecca says:

      I’m so sorry, Wanda. I just prayed for you and your situation. I hope you find peace soon.

    • Kim says:

      I pray that God surrounds & envelopes you with His love, compassion, & encouragement. And also that He surrounds you with favor as with a shield (Ps 4: 11-12), gives you favor with your employer, & gives you hope. I wish I could give you a great big hug & do some freezer cooking for you!

  • Marie says:

    My heart aches for you tonight Crystal. I can’t imagine why someone would say hurtful things about you or your family except that they must be hurting inside. I’ve learned that hurt people hurt others. It takes courage to blog, knowing that some will not recieve it. You and your family and how you do life have always been an encouragement to me and I know to so many others as well. Even in this trial you are offering us courage. If I could I would hug you and tell you how much I appreciate all you do and how you have been a tremendous blessing in my life! You are authentic and live your life with purpose. Your children are beautiful and their hearts are so full of the love of God it shines through them! You have a real marriage. And you admit when it’s hard. The encouragement I get from your blog makes me feel like we’re friends. I pray that you will be flooded with encouragement this week and unexpected blessings!!!

  • Sarah D. says:

    As one Christian to another, sounds like Satan is just trying to discourage you from doing something for God – whatever that might be. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! That spirit of fear we all encounter from time to time isn’t from God, so we can confidently reject it. Hugs!

    • Amy M. says:

      This is my thought as well. Crystal is being spiritually attacked. Satan is trying to derail the good she is bringing by blogging and feeding children in Africa. All this in addition to being a great wife and mom. Thank you Crystal for all you do. I really appreciate it.

  • I really enjoy your website and thank you for sharing your life with us. I feel like I know you and I enjoy all that you share about your beautiful family. People hunger for support, encouragement, love and acceptance. We need each other and most of all we need to cling, now more than ever, to Jesus. Thank you for all you do. Stay strong and courageous! Psalm 90:17

  • Jennifer says:

    I can’t understand how anyone could have anything negative to say to you. You are so positive and encouraging. Your blog is my favorite that I follow, and I believe your posts have challenged me to be a better wife and mother. Please never let the nay sayers get you down. For everyone of them there are 50 of the rest of us who love what you are doing!

  • Jennywren says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences, yor family and your life with us. You have been a blessing in my life and God has used you to bless many with your experiences. There is already good coming out of the bad. God used this unfortunate and unpleasant situation to inspire you to encourage others as you encourage yourself.

  • Siobhain says:

    Crystal, Sorry to hear about all of the negativity. I think leadership is lonely…as soon as one raises above the masses, folks want to throw something at them. Keep on keeping on and thanks for all you do.
    I am taking your charge to live fully, without cowardice. When we get to the ends of our Earthly journeys, may we all have no regrets. HUGS

  • K says:

    I am very sorry that people have been cruel to you and your children. Thank you for driving on and writing this great and encouraging post despite all of the negativity. You’ve done so much for so many through your inspiring and informative posts.

  • Heidi Wolfe says:

    Those with low self-esteem are critical of others and it makes them feel better making others feel bad. Keep your head held high and don’t let others discourage you!

  • says:

    Crystal – Picture me standing up offering you wild applause! That’s exactly how I felt after reading this post. So proud of you for speaking truth, in love! I, too, have been there and have far too often allowed those types of comments to define me. Until that “one” day! You too have found that “one” day! You are indeed a brave woman! Thank you!

  • Christie says:

    It is so hard not to give up on people when they hurt you. Thanks for not giving up on people. I appreciate you!

  • says:

    Hang in there hon, you are NOT dishonoring your husband and anyone who says terrible things about your, your husband, and your children should have never taken the issue (whatever that may be) to that level. In doing so they have crossed a line that should never have been crossed. <3

  • Jessica Westphal says:

    I don’t take time to comment on blogs often, although I am an avid follower (my Bloglovin’ feeds the addiction). Thank you got being courageous. Thank you for reading horrible things so you can moderate comments like mine. Thank you for sticking with it and not believing the lies. Thank you.

  • Shea says:

    Even though we are Christian doesn’t exempt us from anything, it just puts a bigger target on us. But it’s not how many times we get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up. Thanks for getting up again

  • says:

    I immediately thought of John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The more you offer, the more opportunities the enemy has to try and steal from you and destroy you. But even greater is the opportunity for God to give abundant life both to you and through you as you obey. Keep on walking, sister! You are appreciated.

  • sandra says:

    sorry about the meannies that attacked you in such a way. It’s one thing to not always agree with someone, I dont’ always agree with everything, but I cant imagine being so mean, I dont understand mean spirited people. thats another thing altogether, and I doubt you could ever please people who are like that.

  • Autumn Beach says:

    Okay, I’m sorry…a person has GOT to be outside of their right MIND to call somebody’s child a name. Truly. That’s just crazy town. I am sickened. And saddened. By all of it. But targeting your children is just the lowest of low. So thankful you are full of wisdom and surrounded by truth tellers to protect yourself from these lies. And a resounding AMEN to all of these positive and encouraging comments above!!

  • Terri says:

    I’m sorry to hear. Don’t close down shop, you offer encouragement to so many! You are wonderful shake off the harshness & keep up the great work you do;). It’s not easy to grow thick skin, I know. You are wonderful & I’m sure you kids and husband are too. After all the apple dosn’t fall far from the tree.

  • says:

    Cheering you on brave friend. Don’t lose heart – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Gal 6:9. I am SO believing this with you and for you!

  • Carrie says:

    I love reading your blog and the encouragement you give families wanting to be faithful with their money, energy and time. I felt God tugging on my heart this morning to pray for your family, so know you are being covered in prayer. Keep up the good work.

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you for what you do! I read your blog every night, I love it! I just can’t believe there are such hateful people out there. I so appreciate all of your kind words and helpful messages. Getting my family on track to financial freedom is not going to be easy, but you are helping me everyday, and for that I am so greatful. Please know that there are people like me out there following you and LOVING your positive messages!!! Thank you!

  • Lori L. says:

    I’m so sorry that there are such mean people in the world, I love your blog and your sweet family! I’m so glad that you are choosing courage, I agree that the meanies are just jealous, they don’t want to work hard, just hide behind their computers! Hold your head high and know that there are so many more people that love you and your family and blog!

  • Sherry says:

    I love your blog! You’re doing an excellent job. Stay encourage and keep moving forward with courage!
    Sherry

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m loving your blog more and more these days. You are the most authentic blogger in my feed. I’m so sorry you have to go through this and I’m so sad people feel like they can ridicule behind a computer screen because they are anonymous. People who are hurting hurt others. I pray you can pray for each and every one of those who feel like they need to say what they shouldn’t say. I pray you can forgive them, and I pray you can show your children clearly how to forgive others who have never and will never ask to be forgiven. Thank you for being courageous! You are a blessing to so many. Hugs.

  • Lindsey Swinborne says:

    Thanks for blessing this mama on a near-daily basis for 8 years now! I am sorry you have had a tough and discouraging week. For every critic there are probably 1,000 ladies thankful that you are blogging. Your authenticity is so very brave and admitting that the comments sometimes hurt is such a needed message in today’s world where people think that they can say anything on line, without considering the people who will be reading it. The people who know you the very best, your hubby and kids, absolutely adore you, and their opinion is far more important than the jealous trollers that feel like slinging’ mud. I pray that God would protect you from these attacks. You are doing a great work for the kingdom of God and the enemy doesn’t like that and will use whatever he can to discourage you. Don’t grow weary in doing good!
    With love and prayers to you, my friend and sister in Christ

  • Rhonda says:

    Crystal- Thank you so much for all you do for us! I appreciate you and am sorry others are judging your family pain and are giving you doubts about your work. Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s all good! : )

  • Tamboliya says:

    You know ,Crystal, it appears to me as if Satan has meant this for evil (to discourage you) [spiritual attack], but it appears to me that God has perhaps allowed this for good, b/c out of it came a plethora of loving, validating, encouraging comments–many/most of them from those who have never commented before–but this was the event that motivated them to come out of hiding to risk leaving a comment to speak up on your behalf to come along side you, to be your cheerleaders, to show support for you and your blog, to sing your praises, to love on you. You might not have ever seen these comments otherwise b/c they might not have ever written these positive comments had the unfortunate event of criticisms not occurred. Thus, perhaps, the devil meant it for evil to harm you, but perhaps God allowed it to cause a chain reaction of far more positive comments blitzing your blog like a blizzard of praise blanketing your webpage like a blanket of snow covering over the negative criticisms, in a ginormous quilt-like, cozy Blanket of LOVE! “Love covers a multitude of sins”. 🙂 BASK in people loving on you. It takes more intentionality to listen more to the positive comments than to the negative comments. I’d encourage you to print out the positive ones and tape them up on your wall or mirror or to take with you when you drive or go on errands to always be with you to encourage you again & again as a reinforcement. 🙂 🙂 Warm Fuzzies sent your way…-Tamboliya 🙂

  • Flavia says:

    It amazes me how many people suddenly have the “courage” to state their opinion, even when it hurts and tears up another soul. They “speak” their mind. When did it become acceptable to verbally attack? I wonder, would they be so brave in person?

    No, that’s not courage.

    Crystal, you are demonstrating courage through your honestly and passion to live out your calling. YOU inspire and encourage countless people, take courage…HE is with you.

    • says:

      Oops! Let’s try that again 🙂 You are a HUGE inspiration, Crystal. I can’t begin to imagine how you do all you do AND keep a good attitude! Thank you for letting us into your little life!

  • Karen says:

    I am so sorry to hear this & that you have received such negative, hurtful words. My son turns 8 in a week & If my memory is correct I have been reading your blog since before he was born, you don’t know me, but you are kind of like a friend I haven’t yet met. I’ve been blessed to travel through the years “seeing” you grow. So please hear me; You are an amazing Woman, Mom & Wife. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. It’s lies & they are 100 percent wrong. You are an author, have a blog that provides for your household & are just super successful because of your hard work & God’s blessing. They can’t fathom your kind of determination & they are small. Your faith will offend some, let them say it & move on. There is an awesome motivation that comes when someone says, “you can’t.” Watch out! You’re just about to show them & use this to get some fire & accomplish more than you can imagine. God’s blessings are all over you! You take His Word, that you ARE His Daughter; Princess & move forward! Love you & praying for you!!

  • says:

    Blogging from the heart (not just clicks) can leave us very vulnerable. Kudos to you for choosing courage. The good Lord has equipped you for this journey, therefore all that comes to you is to strengthen and prepare you for where He is taking you! Thank you for all your hard work! Thank you for creating a loving, kind, resourceful place on the internet that encourages me a a mom, wife, and blogger daily.

  • Eliza says:

    I never comment on any blogs, but I just wanted to say thank you for this. Within the last hour, I contemplated giving up on something that brings me a lot of joy because it has now become hard and painful and hurtful. I am so grateful for you sharing your story on your blog today at this exact time. I too will choose courage.

  • megan says:

    I have a book recommendation that will make you feel good, and strong. Wonder by Pallacio. You can even possibly read it with your older daughter. It is such a good book! “Never give up. Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding” Not that you are a failure of course. For my own personal reasons, I keep sticky notes of quotes like this on my bathroom mirror!!!

  • says:

    Great post! Have you considered an assistant moderating your comments so you don’t have to waist your emotional energy reading these negative comments? Just seems unnecessary for you to read all of that when you are going to forge ahead anyway. Blessings!

  • says:

    This is exactly one of the things that holds me back. I am gaining a good following, but then I sometimes think, is this what I really want? People can be so horrible. I love writing, but I worry that I’m just not helping anyone. I don’t think anyone is more full of doubt than me. Your transparency is so encouraging Crystal, thank you.

  • says:

    Crystal,

    I have been following your blog for 5 years now, and I read everything you write. Yours is the only blog I have followed consistently for that long, and I may just be your biggest fan (next to Jesse, of course!) That being said, I just want to encourage you. You are an inspiration, a virtural mentor, and a role model to thousands of women just like me. We admire you, look up to you, and learn from you. Thank you for being you. We readers are lucky to have you. I also want to thank Jesse, Kathrynne, Kaitlynn, and Silas for sharing you with us for all these years. The five of you have sacrificed so much to minister to the masses. My family of five will be debt-free (except for our mortgage) in the next few months, and we wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    Love,
    Jessie

  • says:

    Crystal this post made me cry for several reasons! I am so sorry for the hurt you have endured as a blogger. You are such a blessing and I can not thank you enough for keeping on even though you’ve been criticized and scrutinized so much. I cried thinking how grateful I am that you have not folded under the pressure and that you have not let negativity keep you from putting yourself out there and being used so mightily by God to bless so many people. You have helped me so much, I have made so many positive changes in my life as a result of your blog. It sounds dramatic but I honestly don’t know where I would be without your blog. You have just blessed my life and taught me so much and helped me to look at challenges so differently. Thank you for being courageous and not letting the negativity steal what you have to offer from all of us who just love you and appreciate you so much. I admire you so much, thank you for this very honest post. I can’t even begin to express how much your blog means to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you pour out here. I am cheering you on all the way.

    • I agree with some of the comments I have read so far. There is NOTHING on your blog that could possibly create such a strong need for people to be so rude and nasty. The have the choice of not visiting a site if they see something they don’t like. I am a widowed mom and I have learned so many valuable tips from you since my husband died. You definitely provide a need for people and you should not give up blogging. You have a gift and we as readers like to open your presents every day.

  • Tiffany from Texas says:

    Oh Crystal! Don’t lose heart!! There are many, many people who love you. 3 years ago we adopted a little girl with Down syndrome and I had a blog to chronicle the adoption. You wouldn’t believe the nasty comments I got through that process–one commenter even told me our little girl was an ugly retard that deserved to rot in an orphanage. It beat me down. Hard.
    But know this, you are a GREAT encourager. I have read your blog for 7 years. I signed up for the homeschool confernece in Arlington, TX because I saw you were speaking.
    It’s so easy for cowards to sit on another side of a keyboard and spew hatred on someone–and then Satan uses that to deceive our hearts and take our eyes off HIM. Though hard-pressed on every side, don’t be struck down. Blessings.

    • Kelly says:

      Oh my goodness I actually gasped out loud when I read your comment about the rude comment you got. I truly didn’t know such mean people existed.

    • AC says:

      I am HORRIFIED that anyone would say something so awful. I can’t even.

      Bless you and your sweet family!!!

    • Tamboliya says:

      I am so incredibly sorry that someone was so cruel and hurtful to say such awful things…! 🙁 That is so horrible. Your daughter is a precious gift from the Lord/God. You are a beautiful treasure that brings glory to God as well for exemplifying God the Father’s heart of adopting us as His children by adopting your daughter. Be encouraged. You are a stellar example of Christ, shining brightly as a star. Keep shining Jesus’s light. [I assume you are a Christian; if not, I hope I am not offending you. 🙂 You still are making a wonderful difference in the world by giving a sweet little girl a home and a mommy]! 🙂 Have a blessed day. 🙂 Smiles. 🙂

  • says:

    Thank you for sticking through all of the criticism and negativity from people. I have been reading your blog for years. It is one I check first thing in the morning and again at night before going to sleep, along with only a select few others. You, Ruth at living well spending less and brandy at prudent homemaker are the sole reason that my family is in a much happier place today than 5 years ago. Your daily wisdom and encouragements have helped pave the way for routines that focus in family and reduce spending in areas so we have more time and less stress in our daily lives. I have recently decided to take the plunge into blogging with eyes wide open if what may come due to your honesty and transparency in your blog. Please stay strong and hold true. It is very easy to judge behind a screen not knowing the entire story. I, and I am sure many of your readers, would greatly miss you and be saddened if you left due to feeling defeated.

  • says:

    Crystal,
    I am so glad I read this post! I should be in bed, but nevertheless I was up, getting a last minute thing done on the computer. I kept thinking I needed to head over here and read your latest post, and it was definitely something I needed to hear. I am about to launch a new blog, and I’m stepping out in some other new areas as well. I’ve had a couple of discouraging and disheartening things happen lately (one of them just tonight), and although I’m learning a lot from my experiences, it still hurts! Thanks for the encouragement–I’m choosing courage!

    By the way, I cannot imagine what anybody could criticize you for. I know you’re not perfect, but who is? You are an inspiration and a help to so many women, including myself. Your honesty and candidness is a breath of fresh air. I know the Lord has called you to do what you are doing as a mom, a wife, and a blogger… For such a time as this. Keep on doing what you’re doing, girl! 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    I’ll just add to the chorus of praise for you, Crystal. I’m so sorry you have faced such a hard week, and I am praying for the Lord to continually strengthen your heart as you follow His will. I also have been been reading your site for about seven years, and yours is the only blog I follow daily. We may not know each other in person, but I love your heart, your family and what you do to encourage us believing mamas all over the world. Stay strong and courageous.

  • Kathryn says:

    I have followed you since almost the beginning! I have loved watching you grow as a blogger and as a woman serving God. I can’t fathom the attacks you recieved, but I can’t help but wonder if this was a direct attack from Satan. You are doing amazing things for God’s kingdom. Praying for your strength, and peace, as well as for those posting mean comments.

  • Janet says:

    You’re fantastic. I love you. Thank you for your service to the world.

  • says:

    yes please … choose courage and don’t give up because you still have a commitment to us to keep us inspired by your blog … we are your people not them. thanks you stay.

  • Gudenufmom says:

    Your post has found me at just the right time: I have been agonizing over harsh words that I received at work today. And the things you’ve said about pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones to grow and learn are invaluable. I am glad to know I am not alone in the feelings of hurt over the stones thrown by others. Being vulnerable and real is not easy but it is necessary for being one’s true self. Thank you for reminding me!

  • Antonella says:

    Oh Crystal, I’m so sorry! Whenever you write, and esp. when you show some vulnerability or share something practical that’s working or not working for you and your business or family, you give me so much to ponder and reflect upon. You make me think in which ways I’m exactly like you or in which ways I’m different. You make me think about which changes I could implement in my life to make it easier or happier. That is to say: you stretch me and this makes me grow! It’ so useful and beautiful! I think this is what makes this blog so special. Haters gonna hate but remember you are loved and what you do is precious.

    Hugs from Italy
    Antonella

  • Kim says:

    I’ve been an avid follower of your blog for probably over 2 years now & have learned so much from it. I’ve recommended your blog to many. You have saved me so much money on a tighter than tight budget through teaching me to coupon, coupon match ups, & freezer cooking ideas, just to mention a few. I see you as a Godly woman, wife, & mother. You are definitely raising your children up in the Lord & I think you’re a great Mom! You’re such an encouragement to many. I pray God’s abundant grace be on you to forgive & receive complete healing from the wounds. God bless you, your family, & your blog abundantly!!

  • says:

    Some people are just plain mean. Doesn’t matter what moral high ground they pretend to stand on, they are just mean. Haters gonna hate. It’s what they do. Their attitude is a reflection of them, not you. So, be true to your own guiding principles and ignore everything else.

    Stay strong, you’re doing wonderful work in the world.

  • Maryalene says:

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with unpleasant comments! Thinking back, I can’t recall anything you’ve written this week that would prompt negative responses. I would chalk it up to those people having a bad day or maybe being in a bad place in their life and misdirecting their anger toward you. Still, I know that doesn’t make it easier when you’re on the receiving end. 🙁

  • cwaltz says:

    It makes me sad that you’re hurt and that you’ve been the victim of judgmental behavior. Chin up. Just try to be the best you that you can be. It’s all anyone can expect and it’s good enough(don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise) As far as people telling you that you are disobeying God, I find that incredibly hard to believe. I also tend to believe that God isn’t as monochromatic as people make Him out to be. God may want something different from you then he wants from them. Follow your heart and ignore them. Anyways sending you a virtual hug and a message to let you know that many of us perceive you as a GOOD PERSON who tries darn hard to be the best version of herself.

  • says:

    So proud of you! Unfortunately there are mean people everywhere, and especially online. I love that you spoke up and chose courage. Well done! And remember:

    “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” — George S. Patton

    You are choosing courage and you can bounce even higher than before to add value to all these blessed people who read your blog! Be blessed 🙂

  • Amy says:

    You are a blessing ! Thank you for always sharing your heart with us. The internet and social media can be such a cruel place. I know it hurts. But please know what an encouragement you are . Just reading this helped me remember to find that courage . I needed that.Many Prayers for you and your family 🙂

  • Angela lambert says:

    This is one of my daily enjoyments – your blog, please don’t ever shut this down because of a few trolls on the Internet that want to take joy in trying to make you miserable.

    I’m glad you are deciding to “to take your power back”, because your blog makes a lot of people happy, including myself!

    Remember, “no one can ruin your day without your permission”!!!!!!

  • Lucy says:

    Keep up your great work on this lovely, useful business you have that is saving moms not just money, but the joy we could otherwise lose when we are only operating in survival mode. You are making a difference.

  • Jennifer says:

    I can’t believe anyone would have any stones to throw at you. You are a great inspiration to me and I am so sorry you have to deal with negativity. But when you stand for something people try to get you to fall I guess. Thank you for your uplifting posts and the work you do as a blogger. It’s making a real difference in lives of many women who may never even comment. We are reading and appreciate your leadership!

  • Chanda says:

    Thanks, Crystal, for consistently challenging and encouraging us! This was a great post to read at the start of the day!

  • Meredith says:

    You rock!!!!

    Remember for every negative comment there are at least 100 people that you have helped. I find your blog inspiring!

  • Amanda says:

    Know that for every harsh word, there are so many more of us being incredibly blessed by your site. You have helped me score countless deals that made my budget much better off. You have also provided me with some really convicting and inspiring posts that have helped me become a better person and mom. I don’t know that I would have the courage and balance and charm to do all the things that you do. I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in my daily life of kid raising and home schooling. Keep up the awesome work and realize that those who try to tear you down are just trying to fill their own selfish needs to feel better than you. Its not about you, its about them!

  • Tracit says:

    i do have a question… If it is tour site and blog can’t you block those people who are downright mean and hurtful? I was just curious. I love your posts and feel like i want to meet you for coffee!!! Keep it real! Praying fir you.

    • Jo says:

      Yes, you can. If they have the same IP address all the time — which some people do and some don’t.

      However, at this point, I only choose to set it up so their comments aren’t automatically posted and go to moderation instead. I don’t want to ban people from this site who need the help/encouragement and are just struggling so much that they lash out or say hurtful things, ya know?

  • Lana says:

    Praying for you today. Hugs!

  • BarbieSue McCrane says:

    I am so sorry you had to go through that this week. I have been reading your blogg for about 10 years and enjoy it very much. I don’t understand why people could be so rude and mean. Well, this reader loves what you do and its made a huge impact on my family. We definately live penny to penny, not by choice. Your blog helps us out financially and spiritualy. Thanks for being courageous and continuing this journey. Remember, we are all with you.

  • Jane says:

    You go girl! I feel really upset that you have had to read all that awful stuff. Will be praying for you and your family. Just the other day I was admiring what a healthy marriage you have and how gorgeous your kids are. I see you as a great example for other women and I appreciate how more personal and faith orientated your blog has become lately. Though if the personal criticism continues please feel ok about taking a break from reading comments. We’ll cope!

  • Mandi says:

    Crystal, I am sorry you had to deal with such negativity. I am a long time reader of your blog and have been so encouraged by it. I admire you a great deal and you have made a positive impact on my life and my family!

  • Amy says:

    I second the above comments. Your blog is always encouraging. I am also ok with disagreeing with someone’s opinion without attacking them as a person! Yesterday, with my kids we went over the “think” acrostic again for my kids (And me!) Before you speak ,or comment : ),THINK! T – is it true? H-is it helpful? I- is it inspiring? N-is it necessary? K – is it kind?. I wish everyone could try this! Keep up the good work. Be strong and take courage!

  • Abigail H. says:

    You have been a great inspiration to me! I have talked about your blog everyday at least to one friend, regarding friendships, one mother, who is always overwhelmed, a person who wants to know how to save, the motivation of “we paid cash” has always moved me. I appreciate everything you do, I appreciate you letting your readers be part of your journey. God was criticized, God was accused and through it all, he died on the cross for our sins. As spiritual beings, living in human bodies, we have to understand that God’s purpose with our lives will be done, whatever comes our way, we have to stay focused and continue to pray for our enemies or those who try to bring us down. I believe in my heart, God has not finished yet, he has bigger things in store for you and your family. The doors of heaven will continue to be open, pouring blessings and you will continue to be used by God. You are AWESOME!!!!!!

  • says:

    I’m so, so sorry that the attacks have been personal. It’s one thing to disagree with your work. It’s another to attack your person, your faith, and your family. I echo what others have said: we don’t know each other in real life, but you’ve been instrumental in that real life of mine. Thank you for being strong and courageous. He is worth this!

  • Lindsey says:

    I saw you speak at the 1st Mom Life Boot Camp and I knew you were nervous, but I remember admiring your courage. I was a reader long before that conference, and I remember so much of what you said during that talk because it mirrored my own life. Good for you for not shying away from vulnerability and authenticity. I know you are a reader, so maybe check out “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. It’s available on audible as a lecture (and she is a funny, engaging speaker.) She is a social worker who studies wholehearted living, shame, vulnerability, and so many other concepts and ideas that you touch on in some of your more personal posts. Her work is
    really powerful and I hope you will check it out. I’m not sure if you read all of these comments, but I sure hope you see this one and know that I’m certain you aren’t perfect but I like you anyway.

  • Ashley says:

    Crystal- I have been a daily visitor of you blog for years now. You have encouraged me in countless ways. Through your posts, I have learned how to manage my household, how to thrive in the chaos, and gained hope through struggles with my marriage and motherhood. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us so that we can feel a little less alone. You are an inspiration to me, and I consider you a true role model for women from all walks of life.

  • says:

    I’ve been following your blogs since before you had December212012 and have always found what you post to be helpful, encouraging or educational! I’m so thankful of your posts about taking FPU; I eventually started listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast and paid off my student loans within three years of graduating from college. My 10 year reunion is in a few months, and I know so many of my classmates are still paying on their education.

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve had to deal with and applaud you for turning this into something worth sharing and helping others. May God continue to bless your family and your work!

  • Agnes says:

    This was also a great encouragement to me. Ty for sharing it. It challenged me to take courage all the while looking to Him for his enabling grace. It’s a balance I’m still learning 🙂
    Blessings to you!

  • says:

    Crystal, I have always been a believer that we should listen to constructive criticism because it can help us grow. I also believe that insults designed to hurt and bring us down with no modicum of constructiveness is just an indication that you are doing something right and you’ve hit the raw nerves of people who are simply unhappy and don’t have any coping mechanisms other than to lash out. The shame is that they don’t recognize what they are doing. Hopefully they will. Keep onward!

  • Carrie says:

    I read your site daily and have found nothing but encouraging, inspiring and uplifting posts. I applaud you as a person, a Christian, a mother and a wife. Keep up the good work.

  • Amy says:

    I am sorry that some readers have been cruel and discouraging. I read your blog faithfully and have never commented before. I just want to say, I feel like we’re friends even though we’ve never met. And I thank you for opening up your heart and your home to us every day.

  • says:

    Whenever I receive negative feedback on my blog and want to throw in the towel, I think about all the brave bloggers like you who keep plugging along no matter what they are facing. I’m so sorry that you’ve have to deal with mean people this week, but thank you for not giving up. You are an encouragement to so many. Now let’s turn up Taylor Swift and “Shake it Off” !! 🙂 You are truly loved Crystal!

  • Kristen says:

    Love your blog it’s my favorite! ! You provide so many fantastic ideas here. I’m beginning to get things more organized because of all your encouraging posts! Thank you for your honest sharing! It’s takes someone with a big beautiful heart to do what you do!! 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Oh this post made me so sad for you. You are a wonderful inspiration to me (and to so many others, judging by the comments!). I will pray for you. Is there someone on your team who could “weed through” the comments and delete the ones that personally attack you so you don’t have to read those? I am all for constructive criticism, but not criticism that beats you down and discourages you!

  • Jean McKinney says:

    Don’t listen to the haters. I think some people are just so miserable in their own lives that they try to make everyone around them miserable. I love your blog. Stay strong and courageous!!!

  • Maria says:

    You are one of my heroes! We are leading a Financial Peace University class and I am directing all of our folks to follow your blog because you are such a great example of how to live life with meaning and pursue your dreams – on a budget!

    I hope you have a person who is a “comment filterer” for you. I cannot imagine the impact of having to sift through the negative comments you receive. There are trolls who don’t know you at all and have no personal relationship with you from which to speak into your world. I hope there is a barrier set up so your heart is not subject to their comments.

  • says:

    Have been focused in recent days concerning “dis”appointments being “His”appointments; it’s a good thing to be grateful for those sanctifying times that paramountly God, yes God, orchestrates being sovereign in all affairs of mankind. Crisis of faith times don’t pass under His radar! Hope you make time for the following two links, convicting…encouraging…instructive; and may they, as they are to me in Christ and with the keeper at home high calling, be a blessing to you as you adorn His gospel ~ <3

    The normal Christian(to have: a Heavenly vision, a human purpose, the Holy Spirit, a humble effort … and to be hated by the world) ~

  • Allison says:

    Crystal, I just want to say that you are an inspiration to me and I am sure many others. Yours is the only blog that I look forward to reading daily. Keep doing what your are doing and being the wonderful authentic you.

  • Delorise says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog and make a point of reading it several times a day. I am sure you have more loyal followers than critical nay sayers. I had a dear friend tell me recently that I was a opinionated. Yes that hurt. Then almost right after that I had another dear friend tell me that she wanted me to know how much she treasured the advice and opinions that I offered her. Two dear friends with two totally views of me. I realized that the first friend enjoys skipping through life allowing others to assume her responsibilities and with no wish to expand her horizons. While the 2nd friend wants to be able to stand on her own feet and make her own decisions and continue to grow and learn. These two women are both still my dear friends but only the 2nd gets tips and options and opinions offered to her. So for us loyal followers that think you are great and human like us, keep up the blogging and may you and your family live your lives like God lays on your heart.

  • Amber says:

    I choose courage too. I own and run two small businesses, a mother to three beautiful kiddo, a wife, a friend and etc, life is busy. I encounter these same nasty people. I have found that when people attack you, call you names, and beat you down. They are not mad at you nor does it really have anything to do with you. They see you as a happy, successful, and loving person and they want you to be as miserable as them. I’m not excusing their behavior, by no means, but it really has nothing to do with you. It’s them!!! Here’s a saying I say to myself when I encounter ‘one’ of these people; “Thank goodness, I don’t have to live with them!!!!”

  • Abby says:

    Too often electronic courage is confused with courage. People write things online to others that they would never say to that person in real life. Also, as Taylor Swift would say, “haters gonna hate so I’m going to shake it off” (or something like that!).

  • Heather says:

    Crystal,
    I away not one of the people that was sending you criticism. It is never acceptable behavior. However it often comes from a state of brokenness. Jealousy is a powerful emotion. I have almosted stopped reading your blog a few times (I’m a very long reader…. Way way back to the early days of biblical womanhood). The reason I have struggled at times continuing to read your blog have not had anything to do with you or your content….. You and your content is perfectly fine and wonderful!! It is all due to ugliness of sin in my own heart. I have struggled with jealousy of all the things that are sooooo great about your life that are not all as good in mine. You seem (in my eyes) to have it all!! An incredible husband, adorable children, health, beauty, financial abundance, strong extended family, nice house, vehicles, successful business, and now over past few years, fame. My life isn’t as rosey and I have found myself struggling with jealousy that leads me to a critical spirit.
    So much of the challenges we face stem from a root of sin. I apologize to you for my unspoken critical, jealous spirit.
    I pray that you can walk in the truth of Gods word and pray and love those who persecute you…. Not easy!!! I will pray you have strength!!! Stand firm!!

  • Cate R. says:

    Crystal, I’m so sorry you’ve had to experience these nasty remarks from commentors. The anonymity and disconnectedness of the internet can especially bring out the vileness in some people (I had a small-time blog for a while and had a couple of trolls including someone who I suspect was a former significant other, who made vulgar remarks) . If you ever do decide to close up shop it’s really between you and God and the people closest to you, but your readers do love you. I have been a from-the-beginning reader. I even submitted an attempt to design your site when you were looking!

    I am embarrassed to admit but sometimes I am envious of your success and extreme productivity. But I guess success can have different definitions. When it comes down to it I hope I can encourage you in some way. You help me and my family to have a better life.

  • Melanie says:

    Thanks for this encouragement today. Mothering has felt very difficult lately, and this is a great reminder that anyone can do things while they are easy, but courage hangs in there!

  • marie says:

    Crystal, thinking of you during this hard time. The devil attacks us in all sorts of ways but you know God is there for you. Stay strong in HIM.

    Marie

  • Sophie says:

    Crystal,

    You know you are doing something right when you experience resistance. Doing the right thing- the hard thing- tends to be counter cultural. I hope you know what a HUGE impact your blog and book has made on our little family. Haha when you moved to TN my husband said maybe you will meet Crystal. I think y’all would be best friends. But seriously, I feel like you’ve been my mentor. As a young mom, you’ve helped learn how to best use my time, set goals, and enjoy this season.

    I am thankful you aren’t giving up! I am praying that you feel God’s special grace and peace today.

    Keep at it!

    P.S. Your sweet kids are so blessed to have a mom like you 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    Crystal, it never ceases to amaze me how brutal people can be because of the anonymity of posting things online. There are so many things we would never say to someone’s face but feel that it’s somehow “ok” to post it on their blog or Facebook page or on other social media. It’s so sad how little respect we can have for each other. I would not be surprised if some people are extra crabby and argumentative because they are tired of winter. I am sure this is part of the reason for the increase you have seen in jegative comments. People are just grumpy! That is no excuse for the behavior, but it also is not a true reflection of you or what you are doing. Keep pressing on, and good for you for choosing courage. FollowbGod’s cl on your life, and He will be your defender.

  • Melissa A. says:

    I think you are awesome!! I love your blog!

  • says:

    oh Crystal! I’m so sorry for the words that have been said to you and the criticism that’s been shared. I don’t know you well, but the few times I’ve met you at Relevant/Allume over the years and in ALL you write and share, your kind heart, love for the Lord, and care for others is evident. Today I’m praying healing, encouragement, deep joy, and fierce tenacity as you pursue all God has called you to. Sending love and hugs!!

  • says:

    You got this and we’re on your side – I’d say the majority of your readers are on your side. Focus on that and God’s call, which you’re obeying…. and I’ll remember this blog whenever I feel like sticking my head in the sand. 😉
    Thank you for your courage!

  • Meagan says:

    The anonymity of the internet makes it all to easy for people to write mean-spirited and vicious messages. It’s wrong and I would guess that those people would never have the audacity to say those malicious words to your face. They are cowards and I applaud you for pushing forward and using this as a way to encourage and lift up your readers.

  • says:

    I definitely think this is the devil trying to get you to stop what God has so clearly gifted you to do! Take heart and know that He is with you and you are a blessing to your family and your readers.

  • says:

    A different perspective perhaps –

    If it hadn’t been for your sharing my family’s journey (via guest posting), over 13,000 people wouldn’t have seen our little Kyle’s story. That’s a lot of people who have seen how valuable little lives are. And how amazing our God is!!

    And my heart – oh my heart – the encouragement I get from the stories that come from those viewers. Your blogging and sharing your space has had a part in that.

    I’ve been able to heal and hope so much that now I’m 15 weeks pregnant 2 1/2 years after Kyle died. And now more people are reading and following and hearing about Jesus.

    We don’t always know the circles of influence our actions have – but hopefully I can shed a little light here on one spin off.

    We don’t see the bad hard things you do often. But my goodness do we see the good.

    • Jo says:

      Thank you so much for these sweet words and for sharing this. It blessed me a lot. And thank you, again, for sharing Kyle’s story here.

      Also? Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m so thrilled for you!

  • Lora says:

    As I read your post I was reminded of my pastor’s sermon from last Sunday. In it he pointed out that there were those who could not accept Jesus because Jesus didn’t fit “their” ideology/beliefs. I have come to realize that in life we will have similar experiences with people–they just don’t get us and they do their best to “straighten us out”. Unfortunately those who feel the most need to “straighten out others” may need to take long hard looks at themselves and see that there is plenty of work for them there.

    I am glad that you are continuing with your blog. It has blessed me tremendously! I am sure there are many others who have been blessed too!

  • Heather R says:

    So, after reading some comments I ran across the book “Daring Greatly”. While looking it up I came across a quote from a speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave in 1910, that in Brown’s words “resonated with her”.

    I think it fits your week!

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

    Crystal I have been with you since 2009 when my first little joined us and I became SAHM. I can’t even begin to explain what your blog has done for me and my family. Your blog is the only one I choose to spend my time reading.

    All I can say is Thank You! Thank you for choosing to be in the arena.

  • Amanda Smith says:

    Maybe this is just a trial to help you grow! God is with you and the devil uses what he can to bring you down. Stay strong in the Lord! We followers of your blog are here to encourage you as you encourage us! Love, prayers and ((hugs))!

    Amanda

  • MCL says:

    You have a successful blog with many readers. This blog has allowed you to stay at home working part-time. It has allowed your husband to quit his job and also stay at home working part-time. You should be thanking God every day for the readers who support this profitable blog and your other ventures. You should be thankful to get any comments at all.

    If you are going to blog about personal matters, you must be able to accept criticism. I would think you would not want readers who hung on your every word but hung on every word of God. I would think you would want readers with critical thinking skills who could determine if your advice is pertinent to their situation and be able to express a differing opinion. I would think you would promote a robust dialogue in the comment section. Constructive criticism can be so helpful. Throw caution to the wind! Publish some of those less than glowing comments.

    Your blog tone is frequently preachy. Take a look at The Pioneer Woman blog or the Life as Mom blog. Both of these blogs have a more understanding and self deprecating tone. People are encouraged when others are real and share some of the same struggles. Your recent post titled “Why You Need to Give Yourself a “Time-Out” ” was insensitive to those in difficult situations such as those who have many young kids, who work full-time and who have husbands that can’t or won’t help out. It is easy to you to preach “me-time” as you work part-time from home and have a husband who only works part-time and he does much of the home schooling and cooking. If you want to publish a post like this, you need to be more sensitive in addressing situations where achieving this may be difficult or impossible. You gave no encouragement that a super busy stage in life is sometimes unavoidable. You gave no encouragement that if this is your life it will probably get better. You also gave no practical advice on how to carve out this me-time.

    Be thankful for every comment- the good, the bad and the ugly.

    • Jo says:

      I am SO very grateful… but that doesn’t mean that discouragement doesn’t come at times — especially when there are many, many hurtful things said. As I’m sure you can imagine and have felt when you’ve experienced those same kind of comments in your life.

      I want to be honest with my readers here and share the lessons I’m learning in the process. No matter what stage or season or life circumstance, there are hard things that come with it. It’s good to remember this as it’s easy to look at someone else’s life and think it would be “easy” to walk in her shoes. But no one has it “easy”. We all have struggles and hard things we carry — many that can’t be shared publicly.

      I’m so grateful for readers who share differing perspectives and love the engaging discussions we have in the comments. I’m constantly learning and growing as a result! That said, I want to keep things upbeat here, so I’ve chosen to delete comments that are harshly critical because I’ve learned that it quickly turns into a debate that isn’t healthy or encouraging.

      By the way, I’m so sorry that you felt like my posts were insensitive. I wish I could have shared them over coffee because my tone was to encourage women — not hurt women. That said, I have 1-2 followup posts planned (soon!) with very practical ideas and advice and encouragement. I think you’ll find them helpful!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and have a wonderful day!

      • says:

        “No matter what stage or season or life circumstance, there are hard things that come with it. It’s good to remember this as it’s easy to look at someone else’s life and think it would be “easy” to walk in her shoes. ”

        Yes!! One cannot sit back and assume: oh they have it sooo easy.

      • MCL says:

        I would agree that the harshly critical comments should be deleted but I think it would be helpful to publish more differing opinions. It is encouraging and brave of you to publish my comment. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I look forward to the follow-up posts.

        • Jo says:

          Just to clarify: I post the majority of differing opinions and love it when we have different viewpoints in the comments and welcome hearty discussion so long as people can keep it cordial and considerate… it’s only comments that are harshly critical or attacking other readers/my family that I don’t post/delete because my policy is that if I wouldn’t allow someone to say something to my friend or my kids/husband, I’m not going to allow it here on the blog.

      • Leah says:

        I admire and learn so much from your gracious responses to criticism, Crystal. It is difficult, and yet you do it so well. I want to emulate that aspect of your communication in my life!

      • Tracy says:

        I found Crystal’s “Me Time” article to be encouraging. I am going through a very hard time right now. I am a full time working outside the home single mom. And my family is dealing with cancer affecting our lives once again. Along with other struggles.

        Crystal’s article reminded me that I needed to take even just 5 minutes for myself. Many times that is just using the bathroom without having a child knocking on the door for something. But it does help.

    • Amy says:

      I did not get the impression that Crystal is not open to disagreement. It is the way the disagreement is delivered that is hurtful. When people personally attack your children, that’s tough. In this comment, you did not personally attack her; you offered your opinion respectfully. And people may or may not agree with you, but you handled expressing your disagreement well (though the implications made in your comment about her husband were, in my opinion, inappropriate). Others are needlessly cruel and judgmental. I respectfully disagree that she needs to be thankful for EVERY comment, but I’ve no doubt that God will work them all out for her good.

    • Betsy says:

      Count me as one of your supporters Crystal. I said a prayer for you. I thank you for not printing the negative comments, I sure don’t want to read them! I am sorry you had to read them. Please continue to have courage.

    • AC says:

      I have a different point of view. I think the people who are overly sensitive are those that believe every blog post should fit where they are in life. None of us should have to carry the burden of only saying or writing what applies to every single person within hearing or reading distance.

      One reader commented on that particular post that she has a family of 7 and it’s so hard, Crystal is being flippant, etc., etc. I thought that comment was cowardly. Here’s a person commenting who has chosen to have FIVE kids, stay at home, homeschool, etc. and then she’s whining because someone else who has worked her tail off is able to go to Disney, have coffee dates, etc. It takes courage to own up to your choices and in my opinion, that reader was not owning up to her choices.

      Crystal and her family have worked hard for many, many years. They have chosen a frugal lifestyle that most do not. They have been wise with their money and their investments and now they are able to reap the rewards of that. And that’s how it should be!

      Unless a person is overtly insensitive (saying prejudice things, knowingly making fun of others) people need to put on their big girl panties and not be so sensitive about everything that is said.

      • Pat says:

        AC, I couldn’t agree more! You took the words right out of my mouth!!! My life circumstances are very different from Crystal’s, and yet I can still learn much and feel encouraged by this blog.
        “Comparison is the enemy of joy!”

  • Susan says:

    Remember, you only have to answer to One at the end of the day, and you obviously love Jesus!!! If the haters had to leave their names, they would not be so quick to throw stones.

  • Connie C. says:

    ((hugs)). Haters will hate. Ignore. Choose life.

  • Leah says:

    I am so grateful for your blog! It has helped me and my family and so many ways. Thank you for being courageous and I pray that God would continue to bless you and your family abundantly above all you ask, dream, or imagine.

  • says:

    Wonderful post Crystal. I’m still so amazed at the harsh words people use on the internet – and that they seem not to notice that bloggers are real people with feelings too. I can’t imagine anyone questioning you as a wife or mom (at all – crazy!), but know that you’ve impacted so very many in an amazing way.

    Thank you for sharing ~ and as hopefully you know, so many of us are thankful for you!

  • Jen says:

    You are an amazing person, so inspiring, and I love your sweet kids! thanks for sharing your journey. This last week has been so isolating with sick kids….pulling up your blog feels like getting to sit down with an encouraging friend for a few minutes. Is that weird??? 🙂

    • Marie says:

      Jen I feel the same way so if it’s weird we can be weird together. You were able to put into words how feel about the blog. “Getting to sit down with a encouraging friend” love it!

  • MARILYNN GARRETT says:

    Stay true to yourself and do what is best for you and your family. I am blessed and encouraged each time I read your blog. As other readers have shared, the internet gives people permission to be mean with no consequences. Can you allow yourself not to read the comments and let your assistant handle the mean ones? Some things we don’t need to have in our minds. If you don’t see it, you can’t be hurt by it. Keep up the good, positive work. You are a special person and a good mother and wife. You know these things in your heart. Try to forget the hurtful comments and give yourself permission to let someone else filter what you read.

  • says:

    I am sorry you had to go through this struggle. You have blessed so many people. So if .0000001% of your “readers” have an issue with something, it’s unfortunate that it can hold so much weight. It’s understandable that a hurtful comment would weigh so heavily. Keep doing what you are doing! You are a wonderful blogger, encourager, momma & witness for your Savior!

    The internet has great qualities, but also bad. It’s frustrating that people are so happy to be mean and hurtful when oftentimes they would never say anything in person. Oftentimes I think it’s just to get a rise out of someone. Just trying to pick a fight. It’s just way too easy to type a mean line or two online…

  • Patricia says:

    I am sad that you and you sweet family has to endure such cruelty from a small majority of your readers. I love reading your blog and you and your guest posts are wonderful. As Christians we are going to be attacked and prosecuted. Your fellow Christians can help lift you up in these hard times. Be strong and continue to follow God. Our Savior is much stronger than the hateful and vile comments of a few.

  • says:

    Sending encouragement your way. Thanks for being brave and putting yourself out there. <3 Hugs!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you. I needed this today. I have been a coward, too afraid to reach for my dreams mostly because I’m just scared. The possibility of failure has stopped me in my tracks for far longer than I care to admit. It’s time to stand up tall and reach even though I may fall. I would hate to live a life wondering what if…So thank you, your courage is motivational.

  • Tara G. says:

    Just a big hug and a prayer you’ll be encouraged today!

  • Becky says:

    Oh my, I am so sorry for these horrible, cowardly and insensitive comments that have been sent to you. I love your blog. I have been reading and sharing for about 6 years now (I think). Some people are so insecure in themselves that they only know how to lash out. Jealously and envious people are so very unhappy. God bless you Crystal, and your family!! Keep the faith 🙂

  • Sandra A says:

    I know I probably don’t need to say this as I am probably repeating, but a coward is someone who hides behind their anonimity to be rude, mean, hurtful, degrading etc… It is the essence of cyberbullying.

    I find it ironic that people who search out your blog to read (or any other blog) feel that they are justified to comment on your life. I have read your blog for years, there have been things that you have written about that I don’t agree with, based on my life – however, I would never feel it’s my place to put that onto you.

    And for people to comment on your children is beyond out of bounds.

    There are more who support you than those that make mean comments. Hold on to that.

  • says:

    Crystal, I appreciate your authentic vulnerability and blunt truths about your life and blogging. I look at your stuff nearly every day and am helped by it every time I look! Thank you! Keep your eyes on Jesus and let those negative comments slide off you like water off a duck’s back. There will always be naysayers. It is not the critic who counts. Thank you!

  • Anna Maddux says:

    “I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

  • Shannon says:

    I have read your blog for approximately 7years. While I can’t say I agree with everything, I do respect you and your views. The type of people that would publicly write some of the items you mentioned are hurting and lacking and sadly took that out on you. Carry on with COURAGE -this too shall pass !

  • Stephanie says:

    I love your blog and the fact that you share. You encourage and motivate me. May there be things that don’t interest me or fit in my life, sure. But shame on people, especially professing to be Christ-like to name call, insult and set out to intentionally hurt another. That goes against the greatest command – TO LOVE. So sorry you have to experience this. Praying for your protection and peace of mind.

  • Mari Jacobs says:

    Crystal I have been reading your blog since the spring of 2009. You have helped me and my family through some really difficult times. Those times are long gone now and life is really great. You and your posts helped me in so many way:
    Learned to Coupon-helped during a layoff and unemployment
    Learned to Budget/Bake From Scratch/Freezer Cook & Menu Plan
    Discovered Dave Ramsey-On our way to being debt free
    Rekindled my relationship with God-no words can describe this
    Became closer to my husband and daughter and realized that I was missing out on a lot of my life working 70-80 hours at a job I hated. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I left corporate America and started my own business and we are truly happy. I do sometimes still work long hours but it is from the comfort of my home and I still get to see my daughter and my husband more than I ever did before. I love my new career and I am confident in my decisions at this phase of life.

    My family and myself are forever grateful for the life lessons and words of advice you have shared over the years. I got so much more from your blog besides “couponing advice”. Do I agree with everything you post no. That still does not stop me from stopping in at least once a day to see what’s going on. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the lessons and advice you have shared. I know that I am not alone. You have helped change many lives and been a true blessing to many. Chin up! You have more cheerleaders than nay-sayers. God Bless!

  • Chris says:

    I just want to say, I have been reading your blog since Biblical Womanhood (By the way I loved that blog). You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for all you do.

  • Juli says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever left a comment but felt it necessary today. I’m completely floored that people would insult you and your family. Just yesterday I was thinking of you in awe. You seem to have it all together. Youre so disciplined and scheduled. Your family is blessed. You keep a great perspective on daily living yet have your long term goals. You’re an inspiration to so many.
    Unfortunately too often people tear someone down to make themselves feel better.
    No one is forcing anyone to read and follow your blog. We are choosing to do so. And for thousands of people you are a true gift and amazing role model and encourager. Today for example, I am so encouraged that you are being courageous. Yet Again an encouragement and convicting to me, as if the post was meant for me. There were several things I wanted to back out of today in fear but you helped me to conquer them instead of running.
    I have a feeling I’m not he only person that was touched by the post! Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re not perfect just forgiven. Keep pressing on. Keep being courageous!!!!

  • Erika says:

    Hi Crystal, I’m sorry to hear that others who benefit from your encouraging site would have the heart to turn and say hurtful words not only about you but also your children. I think it’s easier to judge a person who finds the courage and is brave enough to be vulnerable than what it is to extend grace once we learn we differ in some trivial areas, in the whole spectrum of this world we live in today. We are all so different by nature, nurture, and unique in Gods perfect image. I don’t always agree or care for all the post that are posted here, however I am grateful that through this gift of your site you have helped my family save money at the grocery store in some very dire times in our lives. So rather than placing focus on the many ways we differ and whether or not I agree or disagree with your personal choices, I choose to love you and practice accepting you and our differences. Thank you for wearing a brave heart, it’s not always easy but by the grace of God we stand.

  • Sara says:

    Dear Crystal,

    I am so sorry that you are going through a tough phase at this moment. Please don’t forget that for every nasty comment you get, you also have at least 1000 other readers who may not always comment, but for whom your blog is a blessing.

    I am a single Hispanic woman with no children. I obviously don’t homeschool, don’t blog, don’t own my own home yet, etc. Therefore, many of your posts don’t always apply to me. Yet, I have learned so much from your blog. Mainly your grace and kindness. I have never felt that you were insensitive when posting ideas for others. If there’s a post that I feel doesn’t apply to me, I move on. I don’t have to berate anyone, and can’t even imagine why you’d attack a person’s children. That’s just pathetic.

    There is no possible way for you to please everyone so stop stressing about that. One of the blogs I follow posted this: “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” I like that! WE, people-pleasers, tend to beat ourselves up when we think we’ve offended anyone or done something wrong. We need to stop.

    As many others have said. Keep your eyes on God and put your worries on his hands. He will guide you and show you what you need to do. I hope you don’t close your blog because I love it, but if you feel that’s what you need to do, then do it.

    May God bless you and your family.

  • Deb says:

    Crystal, thank you so much for your blog. I want you to know that your site is a huge encouragement to me in many ways. I’m so sorry you’ve had so many hurtful comments recently.

  • Brandy Fisk says:

    I’ve never gotten the impression that you were a bad mom and I’ve been reading for years. Your family is lovely! Your blog is only 1 of 3 I read on a daily or almost daily basis. No one is perfect and it’s tough to be put on a pedestal. Thanks for being real and I hope all these positive comments encourage you like you encourage so many others. 🙂

  • says:

    I’m not sure where these comments are coming from but I love reading your blog. I love your openness and sincerity. I like how you admit you are not perfect but you still do your best!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • lyss says:

    Wow. Just wow. Calling her names? Judging her for not obeying God? Seriously, people? No reader has the right to email judgmental comments to a lady about her personal life, if all you know about her is from a handful of articles and pictures. She doesn’t need opinions from strangers about her personal relationships.

    I don’t understand why someone would continue to read and comment on a blog they don’t like or agree with. I’ve “left” numerous blogs that I disagreed too much with the author’s beliefs, attitude, or lifestyle. No need to post hurtful comments-just find another blog that suits you better.

    Keep your chin up, Crystal. Keep doing what you’re doing, or whatever else the Lord leads you to do. Know that you have blessed a lot of people.

  • says:

    Oh goodness. I know how hard that is. I had one of those weeks recently – couldn’t open my email or Facebook account without something nasty coming up. Even my Pinterest pins had nasty comments! And like you, I just wanted to run away from it all. It’s so stressful! Praying for you as I know the stress takes it toll on your body even when you’re choosing right thinking. Those rising emotions every time you see that next comment give you that adrenaline surge – not exactly what you need when you’re trying to purposely stress yourself LESS! Hoping it dies down quickly and that when the dust settles you’re stronger than ever.

  • Esther Boodhoo says:

    Thank you Crystal for choosing to be open and honest about your family’s personal life. For the tips, ideas and ecouragement, may you be filled with God’s almighty wisdom, peace, love, joy and presence especially durning this season. Thank you God, for giving Crystal a heart to stick it out

  • kelly says:

    Good Morning!
    I don’t usually comment but I had to chime in on this one! 🙂 I am blessed to
    be a SAHM, homeschooler and pregnant with our third. I visit your blog everyday because your posts encourage me! Just like your one on courage did this morning. We are stepping out of our comfort zone and opening our own Plumbing business in a few weeks. I am SCARED, overwhelmed and did I mention SCARED? 🙂 But your example and courage have blessed me this morning and so I say Thank You! You inspire me to be better than average in my life.

  • says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this.
    I don’t understand mean people.
    You have created a vibrant, supportive, educational community on your website–no small feat by any measure.
    You are where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Hang tough sister.

  • Christine says:

    I’m really sorry you are being criticized and being sent hurtful things. I personally find your blog to be encouraging and uplifting and I enjoy reading!

  • Lori says:

    I have been receiving more negative comments than average lately, too. I think folks are just struggling and hurting, and lashing out anywhere they can. Not sure if I want to hug them or smack them 🙂

  • Miriah says:

    Although the audience isn’t quite the same in this post, I was very encouraged by Ann Graham Lotz’ video in it. It’s only 10 minutes long and helped me get a right perspective of forgiveness.

  • Danielle B says:

    I know that if I’m honest with myself, when I’m pointing out the flaws in other people, at the root of my criticism is either guilt because I’m struggling in the same area or jealousy. It’s not easy to admit, but it is the truth. There were months when I couldn’t read your blog because my family was struggling so badly, and it seemed like your life was so lovely and perfect.

    That wasn’t fair or accurate.

    There have been many times though, when the dark depths of depression had swallowed me, that reading your blog was like pricking the dark and letting tiny beams of sunlight in. Your words didn’t fix my problems or my family’s struggles, but it gave me hope that the problems we were facing wouldn’t last forever.

    Keep shining, Crystal. There is so much more to be done. 🙂

    • Jo says:

      This was such a beautiful comment! Thank you for taking the time to share! And know that I am cheering for you and your family and constantly inspired by your comments here.

  • Vicki says:

    As an “older” woman (58) I would like to commend you for your honesty and vulnerability. You are transparent and strong. Hang in there! God is on your side and so are MANY ladies, old and young, out there.

  • Erica says:

    Just a quick post to share a link to a book that may be nice to read with your kids -my sister gave it to us years ago and it’s still encouraging to me & my kids.

    chin up Crystal! I appreciate you sharing the good and bad in your life. Please know you are loved.

  • Darcy says:

    I cannot imagine why folks are attacking you. You are one of the most amazing people I don’t know (although would LOVE to meet – please come to Iowa!), and you are such a down-to-earth and all-around great person! Good job confronting the haters out there and encouraging the rest of us to do the same. AIR HUG!

  • says:

    I do not like confrontations and criticism and words hurt me. Courage is a hard thing!!!

    Guess what? I think you must be getting a LOT of things right and Satan doesn’t like it very well. He knows where and how to attack. Prayers for you and your sweet family.

    I hate that you’ve had a rough time, but it does encourage others by you sharing. I relate to walking through hard and hurtful times. I doubt there’s a person out there who doesn’t!!

    Hugs~Blessings~Peace~Trust~

  • says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the numerous criticisms and harsh comments. I am glad to hear you are choosing courage! I can see where others may disagree with your opinions, but harsh comments are uncalled for and destructive. Thanks for the inspiring reminder on courage. It really is necessary for growth.

  • Melissa B. says:

    Your light shines so bright. Thank you for sharing it and know that prayers are headed your way.

  • says:

    As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.”

    You are greater than their words, Crystal.

    Chin up, buttercup!

  • Isabel says:

    First off, I’ve followed your posts for years. I noticed that your posts have become more personal and for lack of a better word, honest. I LOVE IT. It’s nice to get to know you on this level, even after I’ve been following your website for years. I’m not surprised that people are writing horrible things about you and your family. Churchill said it best, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” I love your posts! I’m sorry this week has been hard for you. I’m so happy you decided to go with courage!

  • Danielle says:

    When I read this I felt like I was reading a text I received from a friend just last week.

    I am so sorry to hear this. Those who have the potential to the most good are also in a position to be the most attacked. You are an incredible mother! The respect and honor you have for Jesse is so apparent. I can not imagine criticizing someone I have never met.
    Praying for you!

  • J says:

    If the people who attacked you were attacking you for your post on requiring time for time-out for moms, don’t listen to a word. There is a destructive “service at the expense of your health” culture in this country that is truly destroying the health and sanity of its people. Anyone who says you shouldn’t slow down and take time for yourself? Hand them a copy of the “adrenal fatigue reset diet” book that you just mentioned. Those who don’t take care of their health, pay a significant price later. The sanctimommys, those who go all out, all the time, they will pay a price for not respecting and honoring the bodies they have. Don’t listen to a word they have to say! They will learn soon enough, unfortunately.

  • Leanne says:

    my heart hurts for you, Crystal….
    I think it would be easy to look at your blog and think “wow, she has everything together… and I’m a failure….” (okay… occasionally, I do think this for myself!), but when you share your heart like this… you encourage me more than you could ever know… I remember we all have the trials that come with the blessings… and God asks us to walk the journey with both…
    I have read you from the very beginning… I appreciate your blog, your heart, your advice… I don’t follow all of it… but I certainly file a lot of it in my “wisdom portfolio”….
    we must pray for our enemies…. I pray that they will quit attacking out of fear… repent… and become encouragers instead….

  • Joyce says:

    Crystal, you are amazing and inspirational. I can’t tell you the number of times you have encouraged me through your posts. It has been fun watching you grow and evolve and go deeper in partnership with God. As He holds His hand of blessing out to you, you in turn extend your hand to bless others and you are teaching your children to do the same and in the process encouraging all of us who follow you to be a blessing to others and that no thing is insignificant. Thank you for not giving up and for pressing on. Praying for you and your family, and even for the haters as they need God’s love desperately.
    ~Joyce

  • Julie Shoup says:

    I have followed your blog for several years now and I enjoy the articles and the help you provide in practical approaches to improving life.
    Jealousy can incite many negative reactions. I’m glad to hear that you won’t let the petty dictate your life.
    Keep on chugging away. My prayers are with you 🙂

  • Andrea Gillan says:

    Crystal, I love your honesty! Keep doing exactly what you are doing. You are an encouragement to me and so many others!

  • Elizabeth says:

    My mom always told me: “if the shoe fits, wear it.” Thus ignoring the rest. Seems you could stop those cruel ones from responding anymore…block them. One reason I don’t have a blog is my hide is not that thick. There is always the chance of misunderstanding, written things, especially. When you cannot see the person and expression on their face.

    • Jo says:

      It’s often new commentors or people emailing in, so there’s no way to completely block stuff. And sometimes (as was the case this past week, it was also a few long-time commentors/readers). While you can block IP’s, I always think about how some of these people are probably really struggling and could use the encouragement here, so I’d hate to block them when they desperately need light and hope, you know?

      • Mylynda says:

        While I have no experience with blogging, I completely agree with what you are saying about not blocking people. Jesus never blocked or denied anyone the opportunity to hear the Good News. Crystal, your blog is such an inspiring one filled with Christ like gentle love. I am always blessed to see/hear your words of encouragement and faith without judgement. That’s exactly what HE put us here to do. I am with you on letting them continue to be exposed to what God is leading you and your family to do. Who knows, your messages might be the very route that God is gonna use for them to come to a season of humility. Unless, of course, they are hindering others from receiving God’s love, then I understand. I believe it was very kind and loving for you to consider their spiritual needs first instead taking an offensive stance.

  • Heather says:

    I don’t even remember you writing anything controversial this week that would incite anyone to call you or your kids names. That’s crazy.

  • Angela says:

    Crystal, you are using the gifts God has given you to bless so many people. You are already so courageous and authentic. I so appreciate everything you do and how you willingly open up your life so that we can benefit from your experiences. Thank you!

  • Jeannine says:

    So sorry to hear about how people have treated you. Thank you for all you are doing and I admire how you handled it. Not sure why people have to be mean and cruel. Hang in there!

  • Laura says:

    Oh Crystal, I have been a reader for almost four yrs. now. I am so proud of you and you are an example to me in many ways. Often, people feel threatened by greatness. I’m facing similar fears in my life, and you’ve given me the courage to continue. Some people seem to think I have it easy because my husband and I are doing better than they are, have healthy marriage, decent finances, and goals we are working towards. Much of where we are today is because I read your blog and applied principles that fit our family’s needs. I’ve never felt like I had to do it exactly your way, and that’s why this blog has been so helpful for me. Some sermons from Matt Chandler’s series “A beautiful design” about women may give you some comfort. Two of the biggest results the fall had on women are comparison, and perfectionism. Comparison can lead to jealousy and all sorts of yucky things. I’m sure you know this, but it’s good to hear it from others at times!

  • says:

    Well anyway, you’re amazing so keep on keeping on. (hug) We love you to pieces and are grateful for you. No one is perfect. Everyone does something well and nobody does everything well. You are gifted in so many ways and you find creative ways to use the gifts God has given you, even though it does set you up for criticism and we appreciate that because it inspires others to do the same. You answer to God alone. His assessment is the only that matters. Your faithful peeps will love you on your good days and on your bad so keep on keeping on for us faithful peeps. 🙂

  • Lourdes says:

    I love how you not only chose courage but have completely inverted a negative thing. All the best!

  • says:

    Thanks for this. I needed to hear this too. … and by the way, I think you’re great. Just push the negative aside and keep going!

  • crystal says:

    I am sure you have had plenty of comments of support, but I wanted to add my two cents- You are a good person. You conduct your life in a Christ-centered way. You encourage people to do what is right for them- there is no one size fits all way to live your life! You encourage people to be brave, to reach for their dreams, to be debt free, to live frugally! I have found that most people criticize what they don’t understand, or what they feel guilty about in their own lives, to assuage their own guilt. Its easier to attack someone else than to fix your own problems. Hang in there. I love your blog. I love your positive attitude. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us!

  • says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and I really commend your courage and vulnerability. It’s sad that people can be so cruel and hurtful. But know that you are making a difference and inspiring those of us who follow you to be better mother’s, wives and just all around better people. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  • says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that people will actually take the time to go out of their way to be so negative and mean. I’m sorry that this week has been rough. Please, please keep doing what you are doing! You are such a wonderful and encouraging person and I have been so blessed by your writing here.

  • chelsea says:

    I’m trying to even remember what you wrote that was controversial this week. Clearly you are doing something right, if the criticism is rolling in! Don’t let them get you down. You must know that of the few voices of criticism that rise to the surface, there are hundreds more that are cheering you on from the sidelines. Don’t forget that!

  • Monica says:

    Crystal, first of all I give you a ton of credit for your willingness to open up on your blog knowing that so many people are reading who could potentially disagree with you and/or criticize you. I blogged for like two seconds (okay, maybe more like 18 months) and found it very difficult. I would get a knot in my stomach every time I posted something personal and lots of things I wrote never even got posted because I felt so uncomfortable sharing personal information. And I didn’t even have many readers! Anyways, I know this is tough stuff and while it can be very beneficial for others to hear about your life, it puts you in a very vulnerable place.

    It’s upsetting that people think it’s ok to say mean and nasty things about you and your family. There is no excuse for it. However, I think that it’s probably hard for people to read about your life if they are in a very different situation or haven’t achieved the success that they’d hoped to achieve.

    You have an incredibly successful blog/business that most people don’t have (even when they work super duper hard) and that creates jealousy. Some people don’t know how to deal with that and lash out in anger. God has given you an amazing gift (which probably feels like a curse sometimes) with the success of this blog. But keep in mind that there are people who have spent lots of time and money on getting a degree, then put tons of time and money into building a business (or something else) and it doesn’t work out for them. It’s sometimes hard to understand why things work out for some people and not others (and while hard work and perseverance often brings success that is not always the case).

    In addition to that, you have a very supportive and helpful husband which many women don’t have. I am typically not jealous of other people lives knowing that no one has it easy. But I have read some of your posts and felt a twinge of jealousy from time to time seeing how much help you get from your husband around the house. You two work as a team in this area and for us women who don’t get much help around the house that is tough. I have a wonderful husband who works really hard to make money so I can stay home with the kids and homeschool, which is wonderful and such a blessing. BUT (there is always a but, isn’t there?) it would be a dream come true for me to get a wee bit of help around the house from time to time.

    I don’t usually comment and I don’t even know if this is helpful to you. But anyways, thank you for all you do. I really enjoy your blog and I think that you are doing a very brave thing each and every time you post something personal!

  • Courtney says:

    Praying for you and your beautiful family. One reminder…it is Lent. Christ suffered for us. He was humiliated and made to look the fool and yet He won out and by doing so He opened the gates of heaven for us. All things work for the good for those who love Him. God bless!

  • CJ says:

    I didnt read the post that must have lead to this. But I admire how open and honest all of your posts are. How sad that strangers feel they have any right to tell anyone what kind of person/wife/mother others should be. Too much hate is this world, especially online. Keep up the courage and dont let them drive you away from the wonderful work you are doing 🙂

  • Hannah Beth Reid says:

    I am so sorry for the harsh words you (and your family) have received this week. Your words always seem well thought out and encouraging, for which I am very thankful!

  • Annette says:

    Crystal, thank you for your thoughts on courage and for being open and honest about the hard things you’ve been going through this week. I’m so sorry for the unkind and hurtful words…may Jesus be your Healer in this! I really appreciate your blog; thank you for faithfully sharing with us. Blessings to you, your family, and your business!

  • karen b says:

    first you are an encourager to so many people!!! I’m sure this has about got you down but keep on keeping on! I’m not even sure what post this would have came from to cause such ugliness either I missed it or it didn’t effect me the same way. There has been times when I haven’t agreed w/ you & even if I would have commented on that it wouldn’t have been in an ugly way! No ones lives are exactly the same so we can’t say what you are doing is wrong for your family, just like no one can say what we are doing is wrong for ours. It might work for us but not someone else and vice versa. Remember if you are following Gods will its going to be Ok. I truly enjoy reading your posts & they have helped me too be a better person or try to be 🙂 praying for you

  • Jessica W says:

    Thanks for having the courage to post this! I really needed to read this today!

  • Susan says:

    I see all the positive comments coming in, but I want to add my two cents worth to let you know that you have lots of love and support from lots of people. Unfortunately, I think that it is so very easy for people to be critical and mean when posting on the internet since there is not the face to face interaction. When I think about posting a somewhat harsh comment about something, I actually do stop and think “would I actually say this to the person’s face?” If so, then I go ahead and write it. I probably don’t agree with all of your more personal posts, but I do read them and appreciate them as your opinion or way of doing things. Keep up the great work with this blog and, as Taylor Swift would say “shake it off.”

  • Jana Barclay says:

    Crystal,

    Your posts enlighten and enrich my life and the lives of so many others. Today, may you feel your worth as God sees it. You. Are. Amazing.

    Blessings,

    Jana Barclay

  • Debbie Tracy says:

    I never comment but felt the need to this time. I can’t imagine why people feel the need to be so harsh and critical of someone they have never met. I love reading your blogs and think you are doing a great job. Please don’t let them get you down and know by how your children are turning out to be wonderful young children and your relationship with your husband is good you must be doing something right. I am a 65 year old grandmother of one and mother of two and admire how you are living your life. Keep up the good work!

  • Therese says:

    It always amazes me how some people (the ones who ed Crystal with uncharitable comments) can be so pompous, judgmental, and spiritually blind. How can some people lack so much charity? Who do these people think they are anyways? And if they don’t like something, no one is forcing them to read this blog or any other blog or website. It reminds me of how some people can be so critical, but never lift a finger to help anyone else. God bless you Crystal! Hugs!

  • karen says:

    Sorry to hear about the rough week. As a pastor’s wife, I certainly understand. On a practical note – might there be anyone who could be the front line of receiving blogger comments for you? To screen them a bit? Words can be so powerful and can’t be unseen.
    Praying for peace for you tonight.
    karen

  • ANGIE MCCORT says:

    Dearest Crystal, I love reading your blog and that you share your ups/downs and in-betweens. I loved your valentine post about people who are sad that day and it meant the world to me…. I am doing a Beth Moore bible study about David and in the video she talks about how she likes to “sparkle” she is a “girly girl” and I thought of your beautiful daughter! angie

  • AM says:

    I have been a long time blog reader, too, and one thing I have never said thank you for IS filter your comments. I can’t imagine what a task that might be time/soul-wise, but thank you. Sometimes reading a great blog post and then going to read comments can end up feeling like a slap in the face when I read someone’s negative/cruel comments. I am very thin skinned, so even if it’s nothing about me, it sticks with me for days. I have stopped following a few blogs/ feeds, etc. if it feels like they attract negativity. So, thank you. Keep writing all your wonderful posts and sharing it!!!

  • AveLeigh says:

    Crystal, I grew up in a house where we were taught “judge not lest you be judged”. I can’t predict the future but I also don’t think God will judge us as harshly as our peers do. You have a beautiful, seemingly well adjusted family. Be proud of that and be confident that you won’t let anyone take that joy away from you or make you 2nd guess yourself. As a mom of 5 “spirited” (haha) kids, I and their behaviors have been judged. Surprisingly, it has helped me NOT judge other people. I used to have to fake that part-LOL-but now it’s 2nd nature AND sincere. I wish for you PEACE.

  • Charlene E says:

    There are so few moms with the time and commitment you are providing to your family. Few can be home as much as you can. Maybe there is envy from that.

    When I saw the pic of your daughter in eye shadow the other day I wondered if you would get criticism for that, but at my house my granddaughter frequently raids the makeup with her mother’s or my okay. She comes out looking quite wild and sometimes she sees herself and actually takes some of it off or asks me to take some off for her. She is only six and it is only play and there is nothing wrong with playing at being a grown up. It is how they learn.

    I too have been reading for years and it makes my heart hurt for you when I hear what you have to go through, but I admire you so much, and I am a grandma with a lot of years behind me. I too had three children and my grown up daughters are admired by everyone they meet so I know I did a good job raising them. Keep praying, keep sharing. All will be well.

  • Teresa says:

    Crystal,
    Not sure where the complaints are coming from but you are one of the people who encourages me each and every time I read you blog. That is pretty much daily. I have been reading for about two years and I remember the first post I read was about slowing down and seeing the opportunities to help the people in front of you. That challenged me and I had an opportunity to do just that. It hasn’t stopped there. You have challenged me to get out of debt and showed me how. You have challenged me to go after my dreams which has lead me to do just that. Not sure about anyone else but for me it would be a great loss to not have your encouragement anymore. You make a difference. Don’t ever think any different.

  • Danielle says:

    Do you listen to This American Life? They had a really interesting episode a couple of weeks ago about a blogger and a troll that was harassing her. The troll went so far as to send her awful tweets from an account he created with her recently deceased father’s name. The episode includes an interview between the blogger and the troll where he explains why he did it and apologizes. It’s a great podcast, and it gave me an entirely new perspective on internet harassment. You can find it on episode #545 and it’s free to listen.

    I enjoy your blog, thanks for all the work you put into it!

  • Stephanie Downing says:

    Crystal, I think you are an awesome woman of God, and I have great respect and appreciation for you. Keep doing what you’re doing! Stephanie

  • Chris says:

    Hugs, Crystal. Don’t let the haters get you down. Keep doing what God has called you to do. Hold your head high as you look towards God. And shame on those who involved your children and had the audacity to name call. Where in the Bible did Christ mandate that?

  • says:

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with this. While I usually think it’s wise to listen to critics, I’d say that if you don’t know these people in real life then there’s no way they can know what they’re talking about. God bless you and family, Crystal!

  • Marci says:

    One thing I have learned in my short years (read: 5) that I have been following where I feel the Lord is leading me, which have included moving to a new country then moving across a continent and a whole slew of other things. Sometimes when you are doing what He has lead you to, you will be attacked more as an attempt to stop you (1 Thes 2:17-18). There are so many lives that you touch with what you are doing and encouragement that you send out into the world. You have many people lifting you up in prayer. For those that allow themselves to be these instruments, they are also being prayed for. So, good for you! Keep going! Choose courage! Choose HIM!

  • Stephanie says:

    Crystal, I have been following you for 5 years and I can tell you for sure, you’ve changed my life and the lives of my many friends who now follow you as well. I work with the homeless and my Pastor always told me that when Satan was attacking hard, it meant I was doing something right. He has no need to mess with those who aren’t out there sweating and working for Christ. So take heart and keep up the good work that REALLY matters–and remember, you are the daughter of the MOST HIGH KING!! Rock on SISTER!!

  • Rebecca says:

    The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 Praying for you today.

  • Jen says:

    You have a great husband you love, good kids, you make time for your kids to love and enjoy them.
    I think people who have healthy relationships are rare.

    I love your blog. It’s inspiring to see how you interweave your faith, family and work.

    People shouldn’t be judging each other! As Christians we should be supporting one another and building each other up.

  • Karen Rucker says:

    I can’t understand why anyone would criticize you for the things you put on this blog. You are simply trying to help your family by earning a good living and help your community of readers to save money and improve their standard of living. And anyone who would call your children names deserves a bad case of head lice, jock itch, and halitosis.

  • Shauna says:

    Crystal,

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had a rough week. I’ve followed your blog for years, but have never commented. Your blog and specifically your “31 days to a better grocery budget” were an answer to prayer for me and my family 5 years ago when we were trying hard to make ends meet. For a long time now I’ve wanted to thank you, and I thought this was a good opportunity to do so, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for blogging and helping so many people!! Sending prayers your way!

  • Becky says:

    Crystal, my heart goes out to you. Remember, if you feel right before God, no one else’s opinion matters. His opinion is the only one you ever need to count. I commend you for choosing courage. Remember, in the moment you see those words which are meant to tear you down, you have the choice, in that moment, to either suffer because of those words, or to rise above them and choose happiness, peace, and the the love of our God. These people do not understand what is truly important. Choose to forgive people for what they do not know. You have the power within you and the grace of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. May God continue to bless you and your husband and children.

  • Barbara says:

    I see courage written all over this post. Which enCOURAGEs me! It’s easy to hide behind anonymity and say ungracious things. Everything you do is worthwhile, and important to so many people. Thank you for not giving up!

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you for your post. It was a huge encouragement to me because I’m a pastor’s wife and I understand the criticism. It has been very difficult lately and your post helped me to choose courage. You are a great example to so many and I’m very grateful for you. I’m so sorry that you’ve had a difficult week. I will be praying for you.

  • Cece says:

    Crystal, wow! so sorry to hear of your rough week. Easier said than done, but try to let the positives out weigh the negatives. Keep trusting The Lord. You are touching so many people in a positive way every day.

  • says:

    I’ve never commented before… I’m a busy mom of 3 under 5 – reading your blog posts every few days is usually all I have time for… but I wanted to thank you for being real. You are inspiring to me! I’m sorry about those who felt the need to tear you down – it’s sad! God is using you to bless and teach me – and so many more readers too. Don’t give up – we need you!

  • says:

    ps – the adorable pictures of your daughter sharing her “sparkle” brought back warm memories from my dress-up” days! I only wish I was half as stylish as she was. My scarf of choice was always a fuchsia feather boa….

  • Carol Sue says:

    After following your blog for several years, at least weekly and daily, if possible, I cannot imagine anything that would bring about such comments. I appreciate the information and very obvious hard work and tremendous time that goes into providing that for your readers. I am very encouraged and often convicted in the spiritual things you share as well. Thank you for choosing courage. Keep up the great work. You are using your gifts and talents to bless others and, most importantly, glorify God.

  • lizzy says:

    Crystal, somehow I missed this post the day it was posted and am just now seeing it. I am so sorry you have been attacked. I’m trying a new “exercise” myself, something I’ve done in the past, of writing down specific truths from God’s Word that directly confront the “lies”. I’m praying you will do that too, at least in your own way–and speak Truth to your soul~ prayers for you

  • Megan says:

    I have been reading awhile and rarely comment but I felt I had to tell you that your posts lately have been exceptional and courageous, particularly the ones like these and the trip to Africa recaps. I thank you and encourage you to keep writing because let me tell you, we are reading and being inspired.

  • Christy C. says:

    I rarely comment either, but felt it was time to come out of the lurking shadows. You are such an inspiration to me. I have followed your blog for many years and find it so helpful and encouraging. I have also read both The December212012’s Budget and Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode. My husband hears your name all the time, because I’m always sharing something I have learned from you. I have been through a situation in the past 7 or 8 months that has made me feel that I want to hide from the world. But a confidante and mentor told me that I was in the pit right now and that it was just important to go forward doing what I always do and continuing to be who I’ve always been. To maintain my integrity and good character and that everything would be ok. I still feel I am in the pit, but I’m trying to find the joy in each day and courage for every step I take. Thank you for taking the time to be real with your readers and encourage us to find courage for every day. May God richly bless you, your family, your business, your ministry and your future endeavors!

  • Jennifer Ray says:

    Thank you for your tenacity. Your posts consistently give me something meaningful to chew on for my own life. You matter and what you do matters.

  • Marie says:

    As I was reading the beginning of your post my comment was going to tell you to ignore the mean comments. Those people are unhappy and are just looking to bring everyone else down to their level of misery.

    But then you talked about courage … so my comment is now to say thank you, that was very inspiring! I try to choose courage, but I see where I don’t always do so. My new resolution is to choose courage!

  • Jenny Austin says:

    Thank you Crystal for that post, I too have been going through not the same thing you sadly are, but thinking I am not good enough for the job I am doing and sometimes referring to ‘coward’ likeness…… Thank you for the encouraging words…. Soooo sorry people were saying those things about you and your family….. I believe you are doing a great job at your blog and you inspire me in soooo many ways: couponing, goals, Godly tidbits, organization stuff, etc. Thank you for all that you do and may God richly bless you and your family……

    Joyfully Yours,
    Jenny Austin

  • Dorothy says:

    Crystal, I’ve been reading for about 2 years. Out of alllllllll the bloggers out there who homeschool, YOU are the one who gave me the confidence and courage to make the decision that “yes, I CAN homeschool my children!” Thank you for your time, and your love. Only someone with a deep love of humanity could write and inspire so many of us out there. Please keep writing, and I pray God sends several someone’s to come alongside you and refresh and refill you, and encourage you!

  • K says:

    I enjoy reading your blog and receiving your emails. I really enjoy seeing what you buy each week with $50. That is very encouraging and motivating. I’ve learned along the years that there is always one in the crowd, the one who wants to criticize others, the one who wants to be mean spirited, the one who just isn’t happy for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s hard to not let those comments get us down or we dwell on them, but you said it best “choose courage”, because sometimes it takes courage to overcome and rise above those things that hurt us. I am going to “choose courage”. Thank you for this encouraging post. May God continue to bless you and your message.

  • Myrna says:

    Crystal, you have more courage than anyone I know. I don’t understand people who spend their days criticizing others. I read your blog and I don’t see anything to criticize. If I don’t agree with something you say or do, that’s my opinion. You are entitled to yours. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who think they rule over others. We have a saying in my house: they think the world revolves around them. Well, they ‘think’ that , but is isn’t true. So just know there are many of us who respect you and look forward to reading your blog. You go, girl!!

  • Leah says:

    Crystal, most likely our paths won’t cross. We live on opposite ends of the country. Our lives have some similarities, but many differences too. But, as a quiet reader of yours for the last few years I do know that we both love Jesus, our families, and our communities. I can’t always put into practice what you do (whether getting up at 3:30am, or writing books, or working out daily), but I appreciate how you spur me on to look at different parts of my life with a different eye. I like how you challenge me to think outside of the box, partly because you and I are different people and what you know works for you and your family is way out there (sometimes) for me and mine! I like that about you. And I’ve really appreciated your candidness during your whole moving process. We just moved a couple of states away from where me and my husband have always lived–our entire lives. It’s been a big step and I’m happy to learn from you because your just a few months ahead of me and so you always give me good advise on what to watch for, pitfalls, possible points that could cause unhappiness, etc. I’ve learned a lot from you. And I’m thankful for you. And I didn’t think I should just always be at the receiving end without trying to encourage you and possibly drown out some negative noise you’ve been getting this week. I appreciate you, Crystal. Keep on keeping on!

  • Marilyn says:

    Crystal, I am so sorry that people feel the need to behave that way. I don’t have a blog but I enjoy reading yours and have followed some of the advice given and I love it. I have an ADHD child and a son currently in college so due to budget and time I don’t blog but I do love to read the ones I connect with.
    Bless you….

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have a Winston Churchill quote up at work that I’ve really been drawn to lately because of my own daily challenges. Hope you will find it inspirational as well.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  • Diane says:

    Hey Crystal! I have followed your blog for years. You have helped me, encouraged me, and inspired me SO many times. Just look through all of these comments…….You are SO loved!! And needed, and appreciated!!!! A few weeks ago I was verbally attacked and falsely accused. Even though nothing the person said was true, it still really hurt. Hold on to the truth! And please keep sharing it with all of us. Thank you for all you do!

  • says:

    Crystal,
    Thank you to the moon for this post. You will never know this side of eternity the impact for good that you have had because of your courage.
    I’m standing up for you.
    You’re writing, example, and growth have been used to show me my gifts and equip me to choose courage for my calling.
    Thank you, thank you.
    Cara

  • Amy says:

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy and look forward to your daily emails/newsletters. There is almost always a tip in there that is helpful. I don’t usually write or comment but I just want to say how much I appreciate what you do. I feel sorry for and pity anyone who chooses to lash out and say awful things to someone like you who’s worked so hard to help other people/public.

  • Olivia says:

    Your post, though coming through my email later than posted, was timely. Fear of man is my downfall and I’ve recently had to push through to aggressively love a couple people in spite of their possible reactions. So press on sister.

  • Darla says:

    You go girl! I love that you’re back to blogging again. It was sorely missed, even (maybe because of) in a world of, way too much information. Your words calm.

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