The most exciting thing that has ever happened to me as a blogger

I’ve been hinting around recently that I had some big news to share with you all. Truthfully, this is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me as a blogger and I’ve been bursting at the seams to share this with you all, but I had to wait until a lot of different things were in place before I could make it public. Today, all the behind-the-scenes details are in place and I can finally share my big news with you!

But first, I need to give you some background story…

When Simon & Schuster contacted me out of the blue in late 2010 to offer me a book deal, I was really hesitant about taking it. The thought of being a published author was exciting, but I was scared. Scared of the work involved and the short time frame they were asking for it to be done in. Scared of the strain it might put on my health, my marriage, and our family.

But the biggest reason I was uncomfortable about the whole thing was the money issue. Simon & Schuster offered me a nice first-time author advance and I just didn’t want it. Sure, I could come up with some savings goals we could put it toward, but it just didn’t feel right–especially because we already have more than plenty.

I was washing dishes at the kitchen sink and contemplating and wrestling over what to do one day when it was as if God spoke in a still, small voice to me and said, “Give it all away, Crystal. Take the book deal, but give all your proceeds away.”

Without a doubt, I knew that that’s what I was supposed to do. And not only that, but I knew instinctively that I wanted to give the proceeds to Compassion International, an organization that exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry to some of the poorest of the poor.

For the first time since I’d gotten the book offer, I actually felt really stoked about the whole thing. This project was no longer about me. It was no longer just about writing a book. It was something much bigger–helping to meet the basic needs of those who were impoverished.

And so I accepted the offer and spent the first half of 2011 writing and editing my book, The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget. It was a lot of work, there were days when I wanted to throw in the towel, and I often had to ask the Lord to give me strength and wisdom beyond what I humanly possessed in order to do everything I needed to do to pull off this project.

But through it all, I felt such a sense of peace and purpose. I was excited to think that this book wasn’t just going to impact thousands of lives in America, it would hopefully also directly impact many lives through the money it raised for Compassion. That was such an exhilarating thought and it kept me going even when I was tired and drained.

After I finished the final draft and the manuscript went to the printers, we turned our attention to exploring what God was specifically calling us to do with the proceeds from the book. After discussions with Compassion, we really felt that we were to give the money to the Child Survival Program Fund.

On the phone, they off-handedly remarked that we could actually fund an entire Child Survival Program in one area, if that was something we were interested in. I asked them for more information and, after much thought and prayer, my husband and I knew that this was what we wanted to invest all of the proceeds from The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget into.

We chose a Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic that was already established and needed a donor. This Child Survival Program offers life-saving health and medical care for over 80 at-risk expectant moms and young moms and over 80 at-risk babies and young children in the Dominican Republic.

It provides healthy deliveries in hospitals or clinics, immunizations, growth monitoring and development for the babies, and education for the mothers on how to care for and feed their children. In addition, one of the facets of the program is equipping mothers with income-generating skills so they can provide for their babies and young children.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of my book project. Thank you for buying the book and telling others about it.

I’m beyond thrilled to let you all know that–thanks to your amazing support–the money we’ve received from The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget so far was enough to completely fund an entire year of the Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic. How amazing is it to think that your support of the book is directly helping to impact the lives of over 160 at-risk women and children?

Pictured above are a few of the women in “our” Dominican Republic Child Survival Program. Women and children who have proper nutrition, medical care, and hope, thanks to you.

Our family is committed to supporting “our” Child Survival Program in the DR for as long as it is in existence and we are looking forward to taking a trip to visit there in the not-too-distant future. We’ll take pictures and share with you all about the lives you are impacting! {And I have a feeling we’ll come home forever impacted ourselves, too.}

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I’m humbled, honored, and overcome with gratitude to be a part of all of this. And it never would have happened if it weren’t for you all. You all mean more to me than I can express. Just thank you.

Postscript: I’ve been planning to share this post today for a number of weeks. Little did I know that one of the women I appreciate most in all the world would also be writing a similar post today. You must go read Ann Voskamp’s post Because Saying Thank You Can Change The World.

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Comments

  1. taciana says

    I cried in the bathroom last night b/c I was so convicted by your testimony. How selfish and unfocused I’ve been in my giving and serving. God bless your efforts and example!

  2. roccsmom says

    As being from Dominican descent, to see that you picked a charity where I have a lot of roots really warms my heart! It is such a beautiful country with equally beautiful people, and it really needs our help. Keep up the good work and best wishes!

  3. Glenda G says

    Your post on the Dominican Republic blessings, from your profits of your book just stirred me to crying tears of joy! I pray that salvation will befall upon everyone there.

  4. says

    This is so awesome. I got goosebumps as I read this post! I am certain that God is behind it all, and thanks to you Crystal, there are dozens and dozens of moms and kids who are healthy and safe because of your generous giving. Thanks for all your hard work on this project.

  5. Emily says

    I work with one of the “graduates” of a Compassion Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic. I can promise you that Compassion made all the difference in this man’s life and he is now doing the same in other people’s lives.

  6. Charity says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I know I am going to sound terrible when I say this, but I was beginning to think you were getting greedy by pushing your book so much. Now I know why. I am so sorry for thinking that and I want to ask your forgiveness. Thank you again for sharing.

  7. Kim S. says

    Crystal, the following verse comes to mind, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”.
    1 Timothy 6:18. May God continue to bless your family. Y’all are definitely trusted servants!

  8. says

    So, I have been reading about your upcoming books for weeks now. Didn’t really think I ‘needed’ to purchase it. But when I read this post and saw how you are using the proceeds, I had to purchase a book! What an amazing thing you are doing with Compassion! I pray the proceeds from your book pays for many years for that Child Survival Program!

  9. Jeff Crews says

    Very cool. It is awesome to see how God works in the little things. In the end this life isn’t about us. A package wrapped up in ourselves is a pretty small package.

  10. Ashley says

    You and your husband are truly wonderful Christians, may God continue to bless your family as you are blessing many others with your true selflessness and giving!

  11. Jessica Tillett says

    This post literally just brought tears to my eyes Crystal! I think what you have done with donating all of the proceeds from this book to people that really need it is truly wonderful! You are such an inspiration and God has given you such a blessing to be able to help so many people and be able to impact so many lives. I look forward to reading your book and am so happy and excited for you! Thank you for everything you do. God Bless you and your family! :)

  12. says

    That is so awesome! Looking at the pictures I was wondering if they were of the Dominican Republic, because that church almost looks familiar. My parents were missionaries in the DR, and I spent my growing up teenage years there. I love the country so much. My husband and I have the goal to celebrate when we are free of school loans to go back and visit.
    Compassion really does some great things. Once I was translating for a work team who was putting a roof on a church that partnered with Compassion and was also doing a VBS. The first day the team was mobbed by kids asking “are you the person who helps me go to school?” “Are you my sponsor?” (we were not associated with Compassion, and none of them were sponsoring a child). I’m pretty sure they all went home and sponsored kids after that trip.

  13. Betsy says

    I was thinking of buying the book because I love your blog…..well now I am rushing to buy the book. I love that the proceeds are going to serve mothers in need. I thank you for listening to God’s call about the book.

  14. Sarah says

    Really all of the money from the book will go to this ?
    Or is it a certain amount of the proceeds after expenses?
    If I am going to blog about this great give away I would love it if you share this exact answer here on your blog.
    I heard that it was proceeds after expenses.