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Failure is Hard. The End.

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Today we’re talking about chapters 1 and 2 of Rising Strong by Brene Brown.

I’m only two chapters in and I’m already loving this book so much. In fact, it is exactly what I need to be reading right now.

The introduction stopped me in my tracks. Especially when she talks about how we sometimes sugar coat failure and dismiss how hard and painful it can be.

I loved this quote:

“But embracing failure without acknowledging the real hurt and fear that it can cause, or the complex journey that underlies rising strong, is gold-plating grit. To strip failure of its real emotional consequences is to scrub the concepts of grit and resilience of the very qualities that make them both so important — toughness, doggedness, and perseverance.”

This last year has been hard. It’s been full of heavy things and stretching things for me as a business owner.

I started the year with gusto. I was pumped and excited.

We had a plan. We had put some great things into place. We had streamlined some things, changed up some positions, and brought in some reinforcements in areas where we were weak. And it looked like it was going to be an amazing year.

And then things got hard. Stuff didn’t pan out like we expected. I made some big mistakes. Others on my team made some big mistakes. There were miscommunications. There was tension. And I struggled to know how to lead in what turned out to be some very difficult situations.

I can’t share the details of these situations because they involve people other than me and this is not the place or time for that, but suffice it to say, it’s been rough.

I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to walk away from it all. But I felt like I needed to stay strong, fight through, and push forward. Wasn’t that what a good leader does?

So I put on my brave face, I stuffed down those feelings of hurt and frustration, and I pressed forward… all the while reeling from the weight of it all.

When you just want to give up and throw in the towel

But yesterday, as I read the first two chapters of Rising Strong, I felt this weight come off my shoulders. That I don’t need to try to stuff it in and suck it up. That it’s okay to acknowledge how hard this past year has been for me, how disappointed I’ve felt over the setbacks and crumbled dreams, how mentally and emotionally exhausting it’s been, and how lonely it has felt at times.

I’m writing this, not because I’m asking for pity, but because I want to share how this book is impacting me on a very personal level. And also because I think it’s easy to look at someone like me and think that, “It must be nice to be so successful.”

Honestly, the success that has come over the past few years has also brought some of the greatest pain with it. The pain of losing people you thought were your friends because they were jealous over opportunities you were given. The pain of being talked about like you’re some sort of object. The pain of people misunderstanding and criticizing decisions you made. The pain of betrayal. The pain of having your parenting choices and life choices being raked over the coals and ripped apart…

Success truly does comes with its own set of hard things. 

And while I want to focus on my blessings and walk in the confidence that I am enough, Brene’s book is challenging me to also be more honest about how much some of this pain has hurt.

I don’t need to write blog posts about these things, but I do need to acknowledge this personally and to my inner circle of friends. I need to have safe places where I can be completely vulnerable — without having to feel like I need to sugar coat or stuff anything.

Sometimes, Courage is Just Showing Up

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

Did you read the first two chapters of Rising Strong? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Susan says:

    Thank you for your honesty and be willing to show that your life isn’t perfect. On days (weeks, months…) when life is hard, the new Heavens and the new Earth look so much better….

  • Christa says:

    Thank you so much for this, exactly what I needed to read right now. We’re closing our second business- health, marriage and family just made it impossible to do. So many failures in the past few years, I’ve just tried to forget them and run away from them as quickly as possible. I definitely need to read this book, what I’ve been doing isn’t working 🙂 Thank you so much for what you do, I always see the perfect post from you right when I need it.

  • Amy says:

    I love your posts so much, but this is the one that has hit the closest to home. I opened a small boutique last summer (2014) and despite doing everything in my power, I had to close this past April. While it was certainly the best decision for our family, a huge part of me felt like a failure. I didn’t understand how I could feel so confident about stepping out and trying something new, only to have it fall apart. All of this to say that I’m still healing from this experience, and I will definitely have to pick up a copy of this book!

    • {Hugs!} I am so sorry you’re going through that… having a business fail can be devastating! Give yourself grace to grieve this loss, because it is a loss to you — the loss of something that you were so excited about and had poured so much into!

  • Adrienne says:

    It’s posts like this one that keeps me following your blog. Showing your vulnerability, your failures makes you so relatable. I don’t look at my failures as regrets but as a lesson God was trying to teach me. In the moment we are so mad or hurt that the outcome wasn’t what we wanted. After a period of time I can accept that wasn’t Gods plan and he just may have a better one for me!

  • Jen says:

    Sometimes I think that people who are successful in some way are made to feel like they aren’t allowed to say anything is hard or wrong in their lives. How can you complain? People think. I’d love to be in your shoes. But it is hard–we all have hard things in our lives whether we are successful in some public way or not. Thanks for being real even though you know some will criticize it.

  • Kandra Hawkins says:

    Love Brene Brown! So glad you have found her and her amazing teachings?. She is the reason I had the courage to leave a full-time, soul sucking corporate job and dive head first into part time work that allows me to be a better mom, wife and human being. Can’t wait to read this new book.

  • Kelly says:

    I just finished reading Rising Strong tonight. I so appreciate the message that Brene Brown has bravely shared in her books! Daring Greatly & Rising Strong have been life-changing to me. I respect you for your willingness to be vulnerable both now and in the past. I know how much courage it takes & your willingness to share your story does make a difference in others’ lives. Prayers for you as you rumble through the rest of the book. 🙂

  • Chelsea says:

    I’m glad God is using this book to convict you and bring to light these areas of pain to light… I’m sure He wants you to be able to lean on Him as you face the things that hurt most. You’ve always been such an encouragement, know that you are enough!

  • LeahB says:

    THANK YOU for this! We are going though a major life change that (after some hard work) will be amazing for our family. BUT there is already criticism and negativity coming from places we didn’t expect it. We wouldn’t change course based on what other people say, of course, but it’s hard to not let it affect us.

    I need to get this book. Now. 🙂 Glad you’re hanging in there and seeking out resources to refresh and uplift you!

  • I admire and love your transparency. As a woman entrepreneur I struggle the hardest with learning how to be a leader for my team. It is so welcoming to be able to feel that you are not alone. Thank you for sharing. I absolutely love that your posts are from the heart. Good, Bad and Ugly

    • It is hard to be a leader… I had no idea how much work and effort and emotional effort it would require! And I have a whole new appreciation for other people who are leading in different spheres!

  • Wow! Thank you for being so transparent here! I really hope 2016 is a more peaceful year for you! And you so have me wanting to read this book, but i think I might have to wait for 2016 for it!

  • Ana says:

    I can relate to some of what you’ve said. I’ve recently lost 3 friendships this past year due to my husband experiencing financial success in his business finally, after several hard financial years. I would have never believed that people I was so close with would literally stop wanting to be around me for only that reason. And I never post anything about our change in circumstances or talk about it, ever. There is literally nothing I could have done differently. And its hard. I would choose meaningful relationships over money, every time. In this case, the relationships I lost, (and likely yours too) probably weren’t that meaningful to begin with, sadly.

  • You may be my all time favorite blogger! Thanks for keeping it real, always. That book may be the next book I read. Seems like some great advise that we could all use in life. Thank you!

  • Tracie says:

    She says that when we tell others we are not so perfect and are asked how we are, we need to be honest. This takes the weight off others to feel like they should be as good as we say we are. This makes us real, vulnerable, brave. We must believe in ourselves. Thank you for sharing, for being so brave.

  • Melissa says:

    I clicked on the Rising Strong to see if I could order it. It sent me to your book and, while I do want to read both, I thought I would give you the heads up.

    Thank you for this post. I can’t wait to read both books.

  • Jessica H says:

    Thank you for your honesty! Just know that though there are many critics, there are many silent followers that admire your choices. The critics are usually the ones that are the most vocal. You have been such an inspiration for me. Thank you for continuing even through the hard times.

  • MaryBeth says:

    Love your transparency and how you’re willing to share your successes and failures. Life is hard and it’s ok to admit that. I sometimes feel like the little hamster on the wheel and that I have to keep moving to keep everything going and moving in the right direction especially when it comes to caring for my son on the autism spectrum. I feel like I have to be ever vigilant to make sure the school is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, that we’re working with him on things here at home, that the doctor appointments are made, etc.
    I’m putting this book down on my must read list.

  • Deborah says:

    Leadership often brings it’s own set of struggles, doesn’t it? Praying God uses the trials to refine. Glad you could find a safe place to voice the pain.

  • Lori in NC says:

    Brene Brown has a great TEDx video on YouTube about the Power of Vulnerability. Intriguing.

  • Tara says:

    Reading through Rising Strong was hard for me. The last 6 months have been filled with a kid breaking bones, a husband with cancer, and some other scary things. I had people making sure I focused only on positive things….which was good, and I am thankful for all my blessings…I just never was brave enough to acknowledge those really dark days and thoughts. Brene took me there, she coached me through writing that SFD (you will hear more of that later in book).Now I feel like a new person who was brave enough to acknowledge all the things, not just the sugar coated ones. I only borrowed this book from the library, but I might need to splurge and get it for my shelf and to lend out to others.

  • Leanne says:

    I have a son with serious ADHD (and I homeschool him and his 2 other brothers, as well)…
    I have better days if I don’t think about things in terms of failure or success… I try to ask myself, instead, did I use the opportunities God gave me to learn?– to either be a better wife or mom or friend or simply a follower of Jesus…
    Life here can be VERY hard… I’m so glad that these circumstances are truly temporary…
    2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison….
    Peace to you, Crystal

  • Last week was probably the worst week I’ve had in my life in several years.
    I felt so lonely, so angry and so defeated. So lonely in fact that I didn’t reach out to anyone because of fear. Fear what people would think of me.

    Healing started over the weekend with my husband and I opening up to one another and I’m still in a vulnerable place. Coming out of this I don’t know what to expect going forward. But I can expect for God to meet me right where I am because He will never turn his back on me.

    Thank you from the bottom of of my heart for sharing. This blogging world can be awesome but it sure can be rough.

    I’ll say a prayer for you Crystal. You’ve been a mentor to me through your blog, books and Periscope. I appreciate you so much! (((hugs)))

    P.S. I’ve got to order this book!

  • Emily says:

    Thank you for being so authentic. I tune in to your blog to be encouraged. I’m glad that you want to give up sometimes just like I do. And that you don’t. And I don’t either. We keep pressing on despite setbacks.

  • Janey says:

    I have to apologize over leaving a critical comment about the typography on your new inspirational quotes. I design books for my job and a lot of the time I see these amazing inspirational quotes and the typography kills me because it’s so bad. Your quote was about filling your bowl and when I saw the “W” of the font-I wanted it to be a full bowl (this is how my brain sees letters) and it was a deflated, off-center little cup, so I made a comment about it. Days later I realized the quotes are made by your team and I feel awful because you guys have benefited my life in so many ways and I could have said it nicer or sent a private message. Anyway-it isn’t sitting with me well, so sorry! I think you’re doing a wonderful job.

  • Leah says:

    I just opened the book this morning and I’m already gleaning so much wisdom! Thank you for being transparent with your readers!

  • Thanks for making yourself vulnerable, Crystal. Opening up, and being real and raw, is horribly difficult. When you do that, you give others the encouragement they need to do the same. I hope that being so honest provides healing and hope for you, because I know it opens the door for others to find more joy in their own lives.

    I am waiting for my own copy of Brene Brown’s book to come from the library, so I will be a little late to the game in getting it read. I look forward to reading words of honesty and encouragement.


  • Sarah D. says:

    Maybe this isn’t the time or place for this, so you don’t have to answer unless you really want to, Crystal, but how do you explain the “I am enough” statement in light of being a Christian? In my mind, I am NOT enough. I need God for everything, from my eternal salvation to daily wisdom to the ability to love others the way I should. Our sufficiency is of Him (that’s a verse somewhere . . .). I’ve seen you use that phrase more than once and am curious what your understanding of it is.

  • Zoya says:

    Hi Crystal!
    I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a big encouragement to me with your positive attitude and grateful spirit throughout the years! I also went through a period of many failures and coming to the end of myself after my third was born but I realized later that God wanted me to come to the end of myself and trusting in myself so that I could fully rely on Him in every single aspect and second of my life. So it would no longer be me but Him living in me and in all areas of my life. So that i would fully rely on Him and not on myself. Praise Him for helping me realize this and helping me in all areas of my life! All glory and honor to Jesus our Lord!
    Blessings to you and may you be encouraged in Christ!

  • Beth says:

    Rising Strong is the best book I’ve read all year.

    Brene says, “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall.” I think even if we’re not “daring greatly”, we will fall.

    She proposes that disowning our difficult stories, including our falls, keeps us from wholehearted living.

    I find it hard to embrace my whole story. Acknowledging the dark chapters is counter intuitive, but I believe Brene is right.

    It is freeing to admit that all of our stories have shaped us, especially the difficult ones.

    Thanks, Crystal, for your courage to vulnerable.

  • Emily says:

    Your posts are so much more meaningful when the rawness is there. You do SO much right and help so many, but when you say, ‘I tried this, but it didn’t work,’ it also helps. Thank you!

  • Amber says:

    I find that before great things happen, life is hard. Obviously, sometimes it’s hard anyway, but I was thinking that maybe part of it is because your new book is so helpful and inspiring. Hopefully things will calm down for you, or at least be busy in a better way.

  • Paula S. says:

    Thank you for sharing this, my heart is heavy reading it. I’ve added this book to my “Wish List” on Amazon, but am not ready to read it now. The hurt is too fresh for me and also is not for me to talk about here.

  • I have not read the book or part of the book club on this one. I think that far too often we are told to put on our big girl underwear and forget the haters. While that is all true, you have to learn to mourn your losses. My friend is going through counseling for depression. Over the last year, she has really taught me to put words to the way I feel about things that have happened in my life. It is ok to talk about injustices that were done to you and own those feelings.

  • Guest says:

    Yet another great post, Crystal! I’ve read your blog for so long (I think since around 2007/2008??). Anyway, it’s been a blessing but I reached a point where it wasn’t resonating so much. We were debt free, we both had/have well-paying careers and I wasn’t interested in washing Ziploc baggies or lengthening the use of our milk by adding water. 🙂 I can’t remember if I sent an e-mail or posted a comment but I essentially asked…so what’s next? What are your plans once you’re not barely scraping by. There wasn’t a response, the blog became less personal but then BAM! You began writing more personally again and talking more about how your life has changed as your financial situation has evolved. I have LOVED this change and am so appreciative of it. I understand that many of your readers may still be in very lean times. The awesome thing is you’re showing this wide arc of financial stewardship and rewards that can come from that.

    As a business woman also, I can very much relate to these experiences you share. It does sometimes feel like we don’t have a right to complain when we are blessed but I’m learning that there is nothing useful about a reverse race (i.e., who has it worst and only they can complain). I grew up below the poverty line and though I’m incredibly thankful that God has blessed our hard work and continues to do so, there is a certain amount of stress that comes from wanting to maintain and not be poor again. Those are valid concerns and struggles for me and others.

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement and for being such a long-time reader!

    • Chris says:

      This is so right. We tend to believe that just because a woman is successfull in her business and making good money means that she somehow stopped being human and stopped experiencing failure, guilt or fear. We don’t do a favour to anyone if we try to sugar-coat the hard things that come with success, we only set up other women for disappointment when they choose to follow our path.

  • Bethany says:

    Your honesty and your heart for Jesus are two of my favorite things about your blog. Even though I know in my heart that HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness, I struggle with perfectionism. I’ve added Rising Strong to my reading list! Sometimes the fear of failure stops me from stretching out of my comfort zone, which keeps me from the lessons and the work God has for me. There’s no doubt many besides myself have been blessed and encouraged by your post today. Thank you!

  • Wendy says:

    I honestly come here for posts like this. I don’t clip coupons or shop sales. I tried to clip coupons, but it was too stressful so I quit. It seems we never have the extra money when there is some awesome can’t pass up deal, so that doesn’t interest me. But this…this is interesting. We were there in this moment(of your words) 5 years ago and are still reeling the emotions and setbacks from that time. I have a had time admitting I was bothered by the whole thing so I clammed up and cut off contact with others so I didn’t have to pretend. But your post stirred up the emotions again. Ugh….guess I should read this book too.

  • Sharon Kraemer says:


    Thank you so much for writing such a vulnerable post. It was a huge encouragement to me. I greatly appreciate your honesty. It is so easy to forget that even amazingly successful people have real struggles.

    I love how you share both your triumphs and disappointments with your readers. It has given me so much hope.

    You accomplished great things in Africa this year. Often these victories don’t happen without a fight. You are an amazing woman and I am excited to see what blessings your future holds.

  • Tam Hodge says:

    Always in my prayers. Love you big.

    And so very proud of the woman you are.

    • Thank you for being one of my dearest friends… and for letting me word-vomit all over you as soon as you said hello to me last night!!! I should not go a week without seeing you or I have WAY too much to share. 🙂

  • Tasha says:

    I can say that I understand the frustration you are speaking of except ours is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Ours wasn’t business success but failure. No mind you that the only ones affected financially were our immediate family. But Friends walked away and we’re back-biting. It made a difficult situation even more so.

    I’m sorry that you have experienced this. Your blog is so encouraging. I have followed you from the start. Do as the Lord leads you. He is the only one that you have to answer to.

  • Harmony says:

    Your honesty and wisdom continue to be an inspiration. This wonderful post reminds me of my mantra that “everything happens for a reason.”

    We are working towards a goal of early semi-retirement so that we can spend more time together as a family. The money mistakes we have made in our past are frustrating because they are holding us back from accomplishing our dreams. However, the failures have taught us to better-prioritize our life and our finances. These lessons will give us the ability to maintain our new habits on a long-term basis.

    Adversity makes us stronger and provides an opportunity to grow. Great job rising above the failures and staying optimistic.

  • {Hugs!} I am so sorry for all that you’ve been going through, dear Crystal. Thanks for being open and vulnerable. I will be praying for you.

    Oh, and I know your family/work life isn’t very traditional for a homeschool family, but it’s been a huge inspiration to us. My husband would love to get to help out with the homeschooling, but works way too many hours to make it possible. Thanks for being such an inspiration to work hard and pursue our dreams. <3 {Hugs!}

  • Catrina says:

    Thank you for your honesty! I’ve followed your blog for years and love it. We all have struggles and hurts…..and pleasing everyone is never possible. One thing I’ve learned – the older I get, the less I care what others think. (My husband, who is 7 years older, used to tell me that all the time, but now I’m a believer.) Be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. I know you’ve inspired me for a very long time! Praying and cheering for you!

  • Tehila says:

    Dearest Crystal,

    Thank you so very much for being so honest and open with your readers. For trusting us with your pain and your heart. I praise God for your example of vulnerability, because I struggle to tell it like it is to my readers. I fear that through my posts and emails, I come across as someone with a ‘perfect’ life, and of course this is not the truth.

    May the Lord complete the beautiful, healing work that He has begun in you… and may you know His loving Hand behind each trial that He has handpicked for you to walk with Him through, for your own good and for His magnificent glory.

    With my love to you always

  • Kelly says:

    Everyone needs to be able to share their discouragement and failures in a safe place. You’ll find out who you can really count on, that’s for sure.

  • Kerina says:

    I always told my children the mark of a true leader is the one who does the right thing first. Failure in anything is not final until you stop trying. It’s ok to fall 7 times or 700 times. As long as you get up 8 times or 701 times. The point is dust yourself off and get back up. Wear your battle wounds with pride and Be the weeble wobble. Those wounds and scars show that you have tried, been tested, and survived. Sometimes success is measurable by survival and to date your survival/success rate is 100%. Thanks for the wonderful encouragingly honest post.

  • Andy Traub says:

    Amen friend. Even when some things are better (money, where we live, friendships) there are still struggles. I think it’s because we’re on this side of Heavrn. Humanity will always disappoint us and we are part of that humanity.

    Know that we’re here for you anytime you need someone to listen. It’s been a very difficult year for us as well.

  • Chris says:

    I felt like this was such an important blog. It something I feel more and more. What I about to share with you guys is a little personal but I feel like it’s a safe place to talk about. I most certainly don’t see Crystal a judgmental type at all! I noticed just from your posts and scopes Crystal that you seem to be a very true follower of Christ. I write now because I’ve been feeling like a failure….however, sometimes it may not always be are own faults but circumstances. We just need to know how to handle tough circumstances…which at the moment I am struggling with.

    After high school, I had many different jobs, most of them in retail. It was off and on for years and when I didn’t have a job I sometimes volunteered at Avamere nursing home. I even use to be part of a Toastmasters International Club and enjoyed public speaking knowing that too is a great skill to have.

    Eventually I went to school and got my associate’s transfer degree. I had everything set up to go to Portland State University except it wouldn’t actually be in Portland but at a little Salem center in Salem my hometown. Portland would have been too far to drive. After months of getting set up and everything, I got an email from the counselor that they decided to close the center. That took me off guard as I had absolutely no plan B. I was very frustrated. I decided I needed to work at the moment.

    I applied for Express temp agency and they placed me at a production job. This too was very far to drive and wasn’t really worth it. Normally, you can’t quit an assignment through this temp, you are expected to finished it or be hired on permanently with the company I was working at.

    Then tragedy struck me and my family. My brother went missing and never came home one day. The very next day (warning…a little graphic) I found my brother deceased face first in water in a ditch. The temp agency understood what I went though and let me go and take what ever time I needed.

    About a month and half later I got another assignment but one of them didn’t work out well with me and then did other odd jobs. I finally got put on yet another assignment. One that I worked VERY hard at. The year went by and there were talks about hiring me and this other co-worker temp on permanently. However, they did not. That struck a big blow to me. I was very upset, frustrated. I can’t understand that this company would rather get rid of very experience temps and not hire us on. Why? Because the company don’t want have to pay extra for employee benefits. What happens when they get very busy again? HR can’t allow them to go past our 1 within the temp and are they just gonna hire more temps and have to everyone again? I just don’t get it.

    I be completely honest. I am currently unemployed again. I feel into another depression and on top of that, we had to put down our dog due to cancer. I finally only recently contacted the agency to see if they will find another job again. I have looked for myself but couldn’t find anything that will be a good match for me and my skills. It just so frustrating. I can’t just be job hopping all the time?

    Here I am 30 years old and still with my parents. It is shameful because society has made me feel that way. I worked very hard only to feel like everything I do closes for me. I am just too discouraged now. I know that I could never ever date anyone because the lack of independence and not having my own place. I haven’t even been to my church much this year because a fear of judgement. I feel like I just don’t belong. All my friends around my are at least on their own and most of them married and with children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very, very happy for them. I am not jealous. However, it does make me feel less of a person. Maybe it’s harder because I am a man too…and this makes me feel less of a man. I admit, I have lost some confidence in myself…and sometimes faith can be shaky.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that I am very blessed and grateful to be living at home with my parents. I have shelter. I have food (which I help out on) I pay my car insurance, do my own laundry…ect. Especially in recent days, I know there are people less fortunate that I am. At the same time, I can’t stay here forever. My parents don’t really mind me being here either because of the loss of my brother…but they won’t be around forever I don’t know what to do with my future. I want to be able to help others too so I am not always thinking about my problems but I can’t let that take over the need to take care of myself also. I can do so much more if I am secured myself. There are times I had, I just don’t like saying it because I don’t like blowing a trumpet every time I do a good deed. It should be kept secret.

    My brain is very much active on the creative side. I love music and playing my keyboards. I sometimes compose little bits of music. I also love and always loved drawing. Recently, I have been practicing and practicing to be a caricature artist. I figure maybe just maybe I can least do something on the side. The arts is something that is just not something you can make living at unless you are truly prodigy. I am not. I am okay but not great.

    Sorry this comment turned out to me more of a blog. I don’t know what kind of response I will get, but it felt great writing this and maybe there is a supportive group in Crystal’s online community. I know her blogs and scopes are usually aimed at women and mothers, so I hope you ladies don’t mind a man to be a part of this community. I think there is some stuff that she feels is great for men too and not just for ladies.

    I will end this with a quote I love: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Philo

    To you ladies who are moms – please never ever feel like a failure. You are not. You mothers should always be appreciative.

    And as Crystal likes to say, “Choose Love!”

    God bless!

    P.S I apologize if this was too long!

    • Chris: I’m so sorry you’ve gone through so much… I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been to lose your brother. That breaks my heart. And then to experience so much rejection and hurt and shame.

      Have you read Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly? If not, I’d love to send you a copy as it’s a book that deeply impacted me when it came to shame, insecurity, and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Email me your address if you haven’t read it and I’ll send you a copy, if you’re interested (crystal @

      Also, I’ve seen your caricatures on Twitter and I think you have great talent! Super impressive!

      Praying for encouragement and hope for you tonight.

      • Chris says:

        Thank you very much for the encouragement and kind words. I will send you my address. That is very thoughtful of you to send me that book.


  • Jolene says:

    Thank you for honestly sharing in this blog. You are one of my favorite people that I follow on FB and have appreciated so much of what you do and share with others. I read Brene’s book recently and it is good. She articulates things so well and helps us all to be real and kind to ourselves and others.

    I love that last quote about vulnerability. “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” And your quote about it takes courage to just show up. It is very true. That is also articulated in Kara Tippet’s book Just Show Up that talks about how to help people through hard things like cancer.

    I think the hardest part for me is practicing this kind of vulnerability in my friend group and not getting much back from them. But God has been teaching me that it is a step of faith for me. To do the things that He is asking me to do and not have an expectations of others. And He is providing new, willing to be real friends too.

    Keep doing the next things that God is asking you to do and trust Him with everything else. Thanks again.

  • Meg says:

    I echo a lot of the sentiments your other readers have left in their comments. You are an incredibly talented writer and obviously a very devoted wife and mother. It makes sense that people would be jealous. However, just remember that for every nasty comment or act of betrayal, there are hundreds or thousands of us who have been encouraged and blessed by your work, though many of us are busy nursing a baby 🙂 while we read your blog one handed and don’t take a moment to tell you. I know you weren’t asking for affirmation like that, you were just doing what you always do: being real and hoping to bless others by sharing what you are learning. But I still wanted to say it. Blessings to you and I’m saying a prayer for you and your family right now.

  • Christina says:

    Have you seen the story of the woman who created spanx? She was interviewed lately and her primary message was embracing failure. (Not to minimize the pain you’ve felt by any means because it’s real!). But it’s a very interesting perspective to take, especially when raising our own kids. Her father asked them at the dinner table each night where did they fail today? And they would praise the failure. Because after all, to have great successes in life, we also must experience failures. Her father encouraged and taught her and her siblings to see and celebrate the failure. She attributes her success of becoming a billionaire to this attitude. From a young by age celebrating failure within a family, because after all, credit belongs to the man in the area, not those who are too timid to try. So hats off to you for being in the arena and trying! Failure is another step closer to the next success. And I very much feel for you and the pain of relationships. You’ve had a great influence on so many and I’m sure have formed so many valuable relationships in this process. And congrats to you for failing this year! You’re one step closer to another wonderful success!

  • Heather Cribbs says:

    Love Brene Brown! I especially love her perspective in boundaries! I always tell my children that our scars are our stories – that you are more interesting when you can share where you have been and how you got there. Thank you for being real and true. Keep being You – You were made for such a time as this!

  • Erin says:

    It sounds like an amazing book and you’re amazing Crystal, not just because you are successful, but because you stay real and humble. This year I’ve learned that success doesn’t always come with a large paycheck. But I’m living my dream of being a writer and how many people get to say that?

    I finished writing my book, switched blogging platforms and just recently had a pin go viral on pinterest. But what really gets me is how good God is, always, in the failure and the success.

    A year ago I wondered if I would ever made it as a blogger. Then getting word that I had a submission accepted to your blog turned everything around. You did that. Your team did that. Because you were here, because you show up every day for your readers even when you want to quit. I think that is the very definition of success.

    So thank you for being quite literally the answer to this bloggers (ugly cry) prayer.

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