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A Peek Into Our Lives This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I give you a little peek into our life from the past week and also share things I’m pondering/learning.

The last two weeks or so, life has just felt loud and lonely all at the same time.

I’ve struggled with feeling irritable. I’ve felt emotional and moody and blue. I’ve snapped at my kids and my husband way more than usual. And I’ve just felt this frantic unrest in my soul.

I didn’t really realize I had spiraled to a bad place until my eye started twitching incessantly — which is usually an indication I need more sleep. Only, I had been sleeping at least 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours every night.

I was frustrated that I was feeling frustrated. I felt down that I was feeling down. And I was irritated at myself for feeling irritated.

It felt like a vicious cycle I was trapped in and there didn’t seem to be an easy fix.

The last straw happened when one of my kids said to me, “Mom, you just seem angry all the time.”

My kid thinking I’m angry all the time? Um, not how I want to live.

So I stopped. I took a few days mostly off. I slept. I prayed. I took email off my phone. I got honest with a few people close to me.

And I took a hard look at what the root of this stemmed from.

I realized that I was craving more consistency and more quiet spaces in my life. That I had let myself get spread too thin and the result had been too much chaos in our schedule and too little calm and breathing room. I also realized I was letting anger and hurt fester in my heart over a situation in my life.

I acknowledged my feelings. I let myself really be honest with God and others about them. I let myself grieve and feel and process.

And then Jesse sat down with me and mapped out a game plan for simplifying our days for awhile. I said no to some things. And I gave myself permission to let go of some things. (Oh and I started taking magnesium this week, too! Because I was told that the eye twitching might be related to that.)

You guys… I can’t believe it. I’ve felt like a completely different person! Calm, cheerful, excited about life… my happy, motivated self is back! And I’m so grateful!

I debated sharing this, but I thought it might encourage someone else who might be struggling, too. ❤️

Our Community Group (5 families from our church) went to La Follette, TN to spend the weekend together at a house we booked through VRBO. We were actually supposed to go camping together (like we had done earlier this year) but then the weather took a big turn and it was going to be really, really cold for TN and we decided to try to find an alternative.

So, three days before we were supposed to leave, we found this big house on VRBO that was beautiful and had 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms — and was on a really amazing off-season rate. It turned out to be a fantastic set up for us and we had a great weekend together. So much laughter, game-playing, talking, cooking together, and just being together (including all of the adults staying up until the wee hours of the morning talking and laughing and playing games together!)

There were 15 kids all together and even though it was too cold to go outside most of the time, so they all found creative things to play together — games, treasure hunts, and more. It was loud and they may have gone to bed way late and gotten up earlier than the parents were ready for and they may have eaten quite a bit of junk food (s’mores for breakfast, anyone??), but it was a weekend full of memories and fun!

We’re so grateful for these families and the gift of their friendship in our lives.

We had a little fun on the way home at Cracker Barrel, too! 😉

Did you see that we launched a new line of Thankful Tees? There are 3 different styles to choose from and you can get one for just $17.95 shipped!

I’ve struggled to patiently parent a child who is extremely creative and artistic.

There have been times when I’ve done it all wrong — trying to stuff her into my minimalist box, getting frustrated at her artistic pursuits (that just look like cluttered messes to me), and wanting to pull my hair out over all.the.stuff she wants to save and keep and store in bins and drawers and stashed all over her closet and dresser.

But I’m slowly letting go. Slowly learning to embrace her for who she is instead of trying to stifle her into my neat and organized little minimalistic box.

I’m learning to give her spaces and places in our home where she is free to exercise her creativity however she sees fit. And I’m seeing her come alive in new ways as a result.

This is Kaitlynn’s new desk set-up. It used to be my very minimalistic office area upstairs, but I felt like it was more important for her to have this space than me.

So we gave it to her last week. And you guys, this girl couldn’t have been more excited about having this desk all to herself to store some of her special stuff, work on homework at, and have space to tackle various projects.

All week long, she’s been dreaming up ideas for how she wants to decorate it, talking about DIY ideas she’s going to try for her desk decor, and planning new touches she wants to add (she made the Tape Art Canvas wall-hangings this week). And it makes my heart so happy!

“Lord, let me let go and stop trying to fix my kids into exactly what I think they should be. Let me instead embrace them for who You have created them to be and love them and appreciate them right where they are at.”

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  • Katie says:

    Those tape pictures are gorgeous – what clever use of colour! Yes, she is certainly talented. I’m glad she has a creativity space to work in now. Apparently, it can make creativity people very depressed if they are unable to express it. I wouldn’t know as I’m INJT personality – I was so upset that I took the test 10 times and still came out the same each time. Suppose I should embrace my talents too – not sure what they are as yet!

  • LEANNE says:

    these are my favorite posts…. every week you write something that I can completely relate to…I have a creative child, too… and I battle what to do with him at times…and we received some heartbreaking news…and we are in the middle of a move too (without a permanent house picked out yet…)…and even if I hadn’t read all your post…I would see that friendship and raising children are some of the most precious gifts from a most generous God… thank you for what you share…it encourages me so much…

  • René says:

    I can not believe no one has asked about the beautiful top/poncho you have on! Great picture! Do you mind sharing where the top is from?

  • Dana says:

    I read your Instagram post about the lamp and I was so grateful that you listened to that prompting. The Lord woke us up in the middle of the night when our sons were younger and I checked on them, which I never do. We found our middle son hanging from his neck, his body having somehow managed to wiggle between the bunk and the railing on his top bunk bed. I believe that had I not gone in, he would not be here. This promptings are absolutely the work of God and I’m so glad you didn’t ignore it!!!!!

  • Nikki says:

    I’m glad you shared! I started reading your blog to save money, but now I mainly come back now for your from-the-heart, vulnerable posts.

    And magnesium, it’s amazing! I bought a chamomile magnesium roll-on off Amazon for my boys.

  • Didi says:

    I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I almost didn’t click because I’ve been feeling like such a “poopy” mom, wife, Christian lately and I didn’t need to see another “perfect mom” share her “minor sins” and perfect life.

    But, I’m so glad God had me read it. Your words really resonated with me. Just creating calm and rest in the midst of the chaos. Taking a break from the noise. And seeing the pics of your small group just made my heart so happy. We had an amazing church before we moved, and I didn’t realize until recently how deeply I am mourning losing my dear friends. Well, not loosing but being faraway.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing.

    From one exhausted imperfect Mama to another – Jesus loved you and Hes got this even when we dont.


  • Helene says:

    Thank you for your transparency…I’ve been experiencing almost the same exact thing. I’ve been craving consistency, routines, and “white” space. I need to heed that. I also started taking magnesium this week because of some nerve issues. I never respond to these, but wanted to reach out because I feel like this post was for me.

    Thank you, Crystal.

  • Mireille says:

    I love your prayer at the end of the post! I need that prayer in my life. Just had baby boy 4 this past week and as the weather has turned cold all boys were indoors. I have been struggling with letting my children be children and how I respond to them. My oldest bears the brunt of my frustration and many times I forget that he is only 11! And that he still needs hugs! I need to make that a goal of mine and help support them instead of tearing them down and trying to make them fit my mold.

  • Melissa says:

    Great post. Since embracing your young creative artist and ALL the STUFF what have you found helpful in keeping it organized and cleaned up is a way that works for her. My son is creative and his mind is now starting to build things. I don’t mind he goes through the recycling bin or trash picks on our walks and that his bedroom is not the way I would like it. The problem lies for me when he leaves the project all over his room or the walkway in the garage. When I say you have to pick it up his response is I and still working on it.

    • We have time in the afternoon when her room and desk and bathroom have to be picked up and tidied… and anywhere else that she’s made been creative, too. If it’s not, there are consequences — usually in the form of extra chores or a missed privilege.

  • Thank you for the reminder to let some things go. For me the struggle is making sure my kids are taking in their own chores so that I am not shouldering the load. I am learning to balance which teaches them responsibility along the way. That also means I have to be okay when things aren’t perfect.

  • Jennier says:

    You just completely explained me and my week this past week, THANK YOU FOR SHARING! It is very helpful to know other moms experience this, even with the Grace of God. I really appreciate seeing it written and reading it. I cannot thank you enough…. now I just have to figure out how to “reset” myself, because I don’t want to feel angry, frustrated, irritated all the time 🙁

  • Lisa Estes says:

    Just wanted to mention the time and season change cause me to need more Vitamin D and use of light therapy (Happy light from Bed, Bath and Beyond) to boost my moods and squelch my irritability this time of year here in TN.

  • It’s so encouraging to read that even though you felt stuck, you were able to get unstuck! Thank You Jesus for helping us get unstuck!

  • Jennifer says:

    My heart tells me that Kaitlynn needs her own blog too.

  • Tyla says:

    About your creative child….I was a creative child who became a creative adult. Space for creativity and controlled messes are really important for us. I had a mom who was great about that. Keep on giving the gift of freedom of expression with appropriate boundaries to your daughter. I am currently in a living situation where I do not have this space. This lack of outlet for expression has adversely affected my relationships with others, as well as my emotional, mental and physical health. Changes are coming to improve this, but it all takes time. Being able to be spontaneously creative is an awesome coping skill for your daughter to have handy.

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