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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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  1. says

    Wow, Crystal, that is so exciting! What an amazing God we have, to allow us to watch Him work and help touch people in beautiful ways such as this. I am so happy for your family and rejoice with you! Can’t wait to read about your trip!

  2. Erin says

    Beautiful and extraordinary. Not just what your giving has provided for people who need it, but the fact that – you gave. Thank you!

  3. says

    What an incredible feeling that must be! Praising God with you for all the lives that will be touched as a result of His plan and your generosity!

  4. Deb says

    This is awesome…glad that we get to be small part of it by purchasing such a great book! Blessings to you and your family for all the sacrifices you made to make this happen!!!

  5. Karis says

    Wow so exciting! Thanks for being a great example to us of what GOD wants us to do with excess. I find myself so often wanting to splurge on myself instead with the “I deserve it” mindset but you chose to think of others first

  6. Crystal says

    That is amazing! Thank you for all you do for others. Just curious why did you choose an organization abroad verse an organization in your hometown area or the states?

  7. says

    Crystal, you are my hero. :-) It is very inspiring how you decided to put all that work into the book simply to give the money away. Also, I visited Banica, in the Dominican Republic, on a mission trip in college and was forever touched by the experience. It is so wonderful that the proceeds from the book will be helping women there. God bless you.

  8. says

    That is incredible! What a blessing for you and for the women and children who are able to benefit from your program! Compassion is such a great organization. I pray that many more books will sell and you will be able to continue to support this project for years to come and bless many more people.

  9. Alison Flores says

    WOW! Just WOW!! An awesome story! Congrats on your book & a bigger congrats for using it for the greater good! Such an inspiration!!

  10. says

    THANK YOU for following God’s leading on your heart. Your ministry is so encouraging to me. Praying blessings over the women and children who will be ministered to because of your wonderful book!

  11. Adrienne Berg says

    That is so awesome! I am happy to be a part of this by purchasing the book. I’m excited to get it and read the book! Congrats!

  12. Cindy Kluger says

    Funny you post this. My whole life I have lived comfortably but have been uncomfortable with the idea of having too much. I realized recently that the only way I wouldn’t be is if I were using my money to better life as we know (for people, animals, the environment, etc.) it in some way. It was upon making that realization I suddenly became less paralyzed by the visualization of my own success.

    Good girl, Crystal. You will live knowing you made a difference. : )

  13. Lacie says

    What a great blessing for you, your family and the clinic in DR. I would love to give you some support by ordering your book.

  14. says

    Crystal-That is amazing! Praise God that all of your hard work paid off and bless you for being so generous! We love Compassion and the child survival program. What a great way to share your “extra” earnings. Thanks for all you do; thanks for your inspiration and your example! Stephanie

  15. says

    This truly brought tears to my eyes!! What an amazing gift to you, to them, and to us, your readers to watch this amazing journey! It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it? What started off as something you were questioning turned into a way to help SO MANY people. Thank you. :)

  16. Martha says

    Wow, how exciting! I have sponsored a boy in Haiti through Compassion International for the last 12 years. So happy you are doing this

  17. Lynn says

    Oh, I am jumping up and down and screaming with excitement over this (well, just inside since I’m in an office). Our church just did a presentation on this program and it has become a cause very close to my own heart. I am so pleased to hear how God has used you and your family to fund this wonderful expression of love for mothers and babies. Halleluiah and praise Him!

  18. Erin says

    This is so amazing and exciting! I know that those women and children will be so blessed by what God is providing for them through your family. I pray that you and your family will be so blessed in return for your generosity.

  19. Barb Sandage says

    You are definitely as very special person. It is sad that there are not more people in the world like you! I am sure you have a special place in heavin awaiting you there.

  20. says

    That is the coolest thing…ever! What an amazing illustration of the body of Christ doing kingdom works. Thank you using your talents to be such an amazing blessing to others and for being such a great example of good Christian stewardship.

  21. says

    Crystal, that is just amazing! What a blessing you are to so many through your blog, and now through this book as well! Now through your sacrifice to share & write, your readers benefit from what we learn and the Child Survival Program benefits from your readers and your generousity. A win-win situation all around! Thanks for being a blessing!

  22. says

    What an opportunity to use the resources you’ve been blessed with…and push them into eternity! Tears came to my eyes as I thought of all those sweet women and babies’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs being met….amazing!!

  23. Jody says

    Absolutely awesome! Heading over to buy more copies of the book to give to friends. Thank you for letting us be a part of this amazing project. I have a son who is medically fragile and survived birth by the grace of God and the medical care I had access to. I often think of women in the same situation who don’t have the same access. I love that you have chosen this arena to support.

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