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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week (+ an update on my 2018 goals!)

Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! 🙂 

It snowed a tiny bit on Monday! Which meant that, since we live in the South, Kathrynne’s school had a two-hour delay. Silas doesn’t have school on Mondays + it was his Spring Break (he goes to a 4-day-per-week school right now) and Kaitlynn was off for teacher in-service day, so we got to enjoy a leisurely morning… which was perfect for right after we “lost” an hour due to Daylight Savings on Monday.

Did you read my review of this book? I highly recommend it!

We all filled out our brackets for the NCAA championship this week and have a very big family competition going on for who is in first place. 🙂 We were very disappointed that WSU (the school Jesse went to for three years of undergrad) didn’t make it past the first game. 🙁

Silas & I had a fun outing on Wednesday for his Spring Break. .

Jesse left on Thursday to head to Peru for a few days to help put on a Discipleship Conference down there with this team from our church. We’re missing him while he’s gone, but we’re loving his updates and the opportunity he has to go on this trip and encourage and share with the church there.

While he was gone, my mom and sister came to visit for two days. It was fun to get to show them our house and have them stay with us! We took them to some of our favorite places — including the Spice Shop downtown where you can taste test all the spices! Oh man, they have some really yummy ones!

We also went to Winstead Park — which has great historic significance and beautiful views! (We took a lot more pictures from our time together, but my mom and sister said they weren’t dressed presentably enough to have me share the photos online! ;))

I got a text from a friend one morning this week. She was struggling with some big life transitions & she needed encouragement. She was feeling invisible, scared, and overwhelmed.

I texted her these words… and I feel like some of you might need to hear them tonight, too!

“I am standing with you. Well, maybe more like sitting with you! 😉

“It’s SO hard to feel out of your element and that you don’t belong. That you just don’t have what they want and you don’t know how to be what you’re supposed to be.

“As I was thinking of your text this morning, I kept hearing God whisper these words to me: ‘She doesn’t feel like she belongs there. She feels like she’s an imposter. That she’s out of her league. That she’s too much or not enough. But with ME, she belongs. I’ve placed her there. She can hold her head up high and walk in confidence knowing that I have called her to this. I will be her ENOUGH. For this day. For this hour. I see her. Her work, her heart… it’s not invisible to me.’”

Over 13 years ago, when I first started blogging, I picked a lot of fights with people by blogging on hot topics. And I expended a LOT of energy defending my positions in lengthy comments & posts.

Guess what happened? Well, for one, I realized (after a few long years and a whole lot of cringe-worthy posts) that I didn’t really know what I believed & needed to stop touting the beliefs & convictions of others & step back and do my some deep soul-searching & understanding of why others believed differently than I did (instead of just adopting the prideful “I’m right, you’re wrong!” mentality.)

But I also realized that spending much of my time on the internet trying to defend myself and prove my point and convince those who disagreed with me to change their minds… all this was just frustrating me, zapping my time, and taking way too much of my emotional energy.

So I quit that blog and made the big decision to set huge boundaries on what I will and won’t blog about (that list includes basically ALL hot button issues) and I also decided to commit to not defending myself online.

Even though I don’t blog about hot button issues anymore, there are still plenty of people who don’t like me online. They wish I would blog differently. They don’t like it when I say this or fix my hair that way. They don’t like my makeup or wish I had addressed something more clearly. They upset that I make money as a blogger. They wish I would go back to being poor. They don’t like how I’ve changed over the years. They are disappointed in my choices. They think I’m too frugal or not frugal enough.. & on & on it goes.

It’s rare that a day goes by that someone doesn’t write in saying they are offended or upset or bothered by things I’ve put out on the internet.

I’ve come to peace with this. It’s part of putting yourself out there. I love the sage advice, “I am not responsible to those I don’t have a relationship with.”

I have amazing local truth tellers in my life who check in and check up on me regularly. I need that. I want that. And it gives me freedom to let almost all of the rest of the negativity roll off my back. Because you just can’t please everyone!

2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.

**Progress: 16 books read so far this year

2. Read through the entire Bible.

**Progress: I’m using the  and am all caught up— yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 13 notes written so far this year

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 96 miles run so far

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

**Progress: I’ve finished one book so far.

7. Take the kids to South Africa.

**Progress: We nailed down dates for our trip!

8. Go on a family road trip.

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

**Progress: 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January and  launched in February. We launched the 4-Week Blog Coaching Program this past week and we’re currently working on a new course that we hope to launch near the end of March.

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  • Joolz says:

    Love that you were so encouraging to your friend. Thanks for sharing what you said to her.

    Good for you for letting the negativity roll off your back! you do you and keep doing it well! 🙂

  • says:

    This is beautiful, Crystal: “I am not responsible to those I don’t have a relationship with.”

    Sometimes those who are not closest to us want to think that they know most about us and have the best advice to give us. I had a conversation like that recently and just had to give it all to God.

    I’m so happy that you had your mom and sister in town for a visit. Family time is always so precious

  • Melissa A. says:

    I LOVE your blog, I read it everyday!!

  • Karen Carter says:

    i love the comment: “I am not responsible to those I don’t have a relationship with!” This so resonated with me. We are in the process of leaving a church (where I have been a member for 38 years!) and they have a new (young) pastor and leadership team. I haven’t been valued or respected there for many years (I tell the truth and don’t sugarcoat things! For those with an Amish/Mennonite background, that is particularly difficult, as well as those who are super sensitive!). I do try to walk in love and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. A new “leader” (who doesn’t even know me, just read the notes they have on me, suggested I go for counseling before even being considered for a volunteer position!) They keep trying to stuff me into their boxes, so this is particularly helpful. Thank you. BTW- we are looking for another church.

  • Teresa says:

    I so needed to hear that today.
    “I will be her ENOUGH. For this day. For this hour. I see her. Her work, her heart… it’s not invisible to me.’”
    I have had a job since I was 13 (now 44) and I just left my position I have been with for 5 years to finally really stay home. Today is my first day home, I did the stay at home thing kind of backward, two in college and only three left to homeschool, so I am so used to being on the constant move that I am not sure what to do with myself yet. But I will learn a new normal.
    I think I need to learn that my worth is not in my job, but after so many years it might take me awhile.
    My word for the month is “Peace”. I have peace I made the right decision, but from here I am a little lost to what next.

    • Jo says:

      YES! Your worth is not in what you do, but in who you are as a daughter of the King! Keep immersing yourself in the truth and it will slowly seep in!

  • Susan says:

    I have read your blog for years and feel blessed to have witnessed such transformation and growth in a woman who is so generous and kind hearted.

  • JoAnn C. says:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been going through a very rough time finding my way and I often find your words encouraging. May I ask what Bible you read? There are so many to choose from, and I find some harder than others to read because of the thin, see through pages. I guess I want to know really is how do you read your Bible in book form or on a device. Thanks again.


    • Jo says:

      I am currently using the She Reads Truth Bible. I prefer to read in actual hard copy form since I find it hard to fully concentrate if I read it on a device.

  • Sam Fisher says:

    Love your blog!! Did you see that that author wrote another book on her life, called “Three More Words”. I’m going to check out that one from the library per your recommendation. Love hearing what books you are reading.

  • Archie says:

    I like what you are doing. My word of encouragement is for you to never forget the humble beginnings you had in your life with your family. I believe where some miss it is when they think they have arrive when they made it out. I am always remind my self that I have to keep growing and going after the things I feel the Lord wants me to do. To me the Lord has given us gifts to be a blessing to others whether a person blogs or work a regular job. To me also a person has to be a good steward of what has been given to them. You should never get caught up what others think of you. Gods know what he is doing in everyones life. No one is going to agree on everything and people need to learn this one thing some are using different methods to reach their goals when in come to areas of life. We all don’t listen to the same speakers and I know I read a lot of John Maxwell books and his books helped me on my leadership skills and each person might be in a different season of what they feel they need to do in their phase they might be in. I believe that is why it is important to compare yourself to others.

  • Jessica Woodward says:

    I love your personal development courses. Will you be doing any more this year?

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