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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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  • Shauna says:


    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:

    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.

  • 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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