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What Matters More Than Hitting the New York Times Best Seller’s List

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Last night, something really exciting happened.

Something that YOU all made happen…

My book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, hit #8 on The New York Times Best Seller’s List!!!

If you’re not an author, that might not mean much to you. But as an author, that’s a HUGE honor… and something I still can’t believe actually happened!

It didn’t happen because of me. It happened because of YOU.

You all rallied around this book. You pre-ordered the book. You asked your libraries to carry it.

You celebrated my launch week last week by sharing about my book on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and word-of-mouth with your friends. You went to your local bookstores and bought the book. You wrote reviews on Amazon.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for believing in this project. Thank you for celebrating with me. Thank you for sharing your excitement with others. Most of all, thank you for being readers here.

I wish that I could invite each and every one of you to my house for coffee and cookies and tell you face-to-face how much you all mean to me. I am humbly grateful for the opportunity I have to write here each day, to learn from your comments and emails, to interact with you all on the MSM Facebook Page, and to get to meet you all at speaking events.

But there’s something that means much more to me than hitting the NYT list… You see, last week, on my Book Launch Day, Kaitlynn (6) brought some brownies and a sign that read:

What Matters Much More Than Hitting the NYT List

That sign speaks volumes of what I want for my life.

I’m thrilled to have made The New York Times Best Seller’s List, but what matters much more is that a six-year-old girl calls me “#1 Mom”.

What Matters More Than the NYT List

The opportunities that have opened up as a result of this blog in the past few years are exciting. It’s my heart’s desire that I use the platform I’ve been given to influence as many lives as possible. I am passionate about challenging women and families everywhere to live all of their life with intention and purpose.

However, in the midst of this, I don’t lose sight of the opportunities to nurture and love the four people (my husband and three precious children) right in my own home. At the end of my life, those four people matter much, much more than any accolades.

So yes, we celebrated last night with cake and pancakes — two of my very favorite things! We hugged and hollered and called and texted our closest friends.

What Matters More Than Hitting the NYT List

But it’s back to real life today. Back to the homeschooling and cleaning and cooking and the everyday things of life.

It’s messy, it’s often loud, and it’s sometimes exhausting, but I want to love and savor every minute of the everyday-ness of life in this home with these four wonderful people. Because that’s what’s going to matter most at the end of my life.

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  • debbie says:

    You are so sweet! I have been following your blog since 2009 and have told so many people about it over the years because it is so helpful and inspiring and just sweet! I have both of your books and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! Your family is precious and blessed to have you!

  • CONGRATULATIONS!!! As long as you keep that focus you will always live a successful life!! Your ultimate calling is your family…. helping us is wonderful, but always secondary! 🙂 Keep up the fabulous work, attitude and priorities!

  • Monica says:

    I’ve been following you since late 2011 and while I’ve told so many people about your website people often say, I just don’t have time. Well, I am here to tell you that hundreds of other women across the U.S. make time to check your website daily. So received your book a week ago today and I am still reading it. As much as would like to read it in one day or two, I can’t. The family needs clean laundry and needs to eat, Lol! So, I am hopping to finish it this weekend. Congratulations on reaching the list! =)

  • Lana says:

    WOOHOO!!! Congratulations!

  • Pamela says:

    Holy cow, that is amazing! I know your family comes first, but I hope you take some time to bask in this HUGE accomplishment too!!!

    Your kids (and family) must be so proud of you (and if the kids don’t realize quite what this means now, they will when they’re older!!)

    • My kids don’t really understand all that it means, but they were SO ecstatic about it last night and it was SO sweet!

      And thank you for your kind encouragement! It means so much!

  • Jolanthe says:

    WOOT!!! So excited for you, girl!! That is fabulous news to hear and well worth every moment of celebrating and savoring with your most favorite people {little and big}.


  • Lisa says:

    Crystal –
    I have followed your blog for years – recommended it to others – encouraged my teenaged children to set big goals (like saving up to buy a house in cash) and I simply couldn’t be more pleased and happy for you!

    Your humble spirit and genuine servant heart is what makes us love you and makes us rejoice with you in your success. I also know that what is more important to you than making the NYT best seller list and even being #1 Mom, is being a follower of Jesus. You have inspired me by your walk.

    Congratulations and glory to God!

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement… and for following along for years! And yes, without Him I am nothing. What God can do with broken vessels is just amazing.

      I’ve been meditating on Ephesians 3:20-21 a lot today. Truly, He does exceeding abundantly above all we could ever ask or think! To Him be the glory!

  • Shelly says:

    Congratulation not only for reaching the New York Times best sellers list, but also for being a #1 Mom.

  • Tiffany Bell says:

    Congratulations on this great accomplishment. You totally deserve it! So wonderful that God has blessed you and all your readers! My eight year old daughter just saw this post and now wants to read the book :-). Bless you!

  • Dee says:

    You go, Crystal!!! Your readers helped. But you did a boatload of work to make it happen. Congratulations.

  • CJ says:

    Congrats Crystal! That is a huge accomplishment and much deserved!

  • I think this is the best post I’ve ever read on MSM. I am so happy for you and your family. Thank you for so beautifully putting your family first in a world that often puts them last. And congrats on making the New York Times Best Seller List! That is seriously AWESOME!

  • Jo Lynn says:

    Congratulations Crystal!!! This is huge! I am so so SO glad your book made the NYT list for several reasons. First…it is a top quality book, the way you wrote it, the way its organized and laid out, and the content within. Second…what an honor and great way for your diligence and hard work and writing to be celebrated!!! And third…I really really believe the message and life lessons and practical help available in this book is something that NEEDS to make its way into as many hands and lives as possible…and what better exposure than the NYT list.

    And the final reason….as this post exemplifies, you really know and get what it’s all about. I love seeing Ephesians 3:20-21 being exemplified in your life before so many of our eyes…what a testimony to so many and most importantly your precious, watchful, taking it all in children. Congratulations to you and your family!!!

    • Thank you so very much for your kind encouragement! Point #3 on your list was what made me most excited about this… God truly does far beyond what we could ever imagine or dream! To Him be the glory!

  • Maureen says:

    WOW!! So exciting! I have not read your books, but I’ve been a fan of your site for a long time. So let me congratulate you. I love your honesty and faith!!

  • That’s awesome Crystal! Thanks for sharing your heart.
    As I read this tonight I’ve struggled with my day. Am I making the most of every day? Am I doing what’s best for my kids? Could I be doing better? Am I spending too much time on Pinterest, Facebook and my blog and not enough time with my children? Yet, I want to advance the kingdom in the platform he has created for me.
    I’m seeking God’s guidance as I struggle with these questions. He is my strength and my song.
    Thanks for invaluable insight!

    • {Hugs!} I just prayed for wisdom for you in this! Maybe ask your husband or a few other trusted friends for some advice and input?

      Having really wise people around me to speak into my life has been hugely beneficial in helping me to figure out priorities and make sure that I stick with them as life ebbs and flows and there’s the pull in different directions.

  • Jenn says:

    So awesome! Congrats, Crystal. I feel like we are old friends even though we don’t know each other. So happy for you. 🙂

  • katie says:

    So happy for you! I think this is just the beginning for you! Way to go and many thanks for your blessings!

  • Gina says:

    Thank you so much for being “real” and not pretending to be something that you are not. Your blog and real-ness are a source of encouragement and inspiration!

  • Diane says:

    Congratulations! This is an amazing honor, and you definitely have earned it!

  • Congratulations!!!

    (Also, I can’t believe how big Silas has gotten!)

  • Lori says:

    What a wonderful post. 🙂 Love the “1# mom” – so cute! Very recently I have been praying for God to show me what He has in store for me “beyond” the incredibly important task of taking care of my husband and our 3 small children. Beautiful to see your heart in that even in your “fame”, you’re keeping your priorities straight. 🙂 I think that’s why I am afraid to venture out and do some of the things I long to do – because of the fear that I’ll get my priorities all out of whack. (And, also, because with 3 children 3 and under, I am rarely “beyond survival mode”. :)) You show me that it CAN be done. 🙂 By the way, I went to Barnes & Noble tonight to get your book. I was SO excited! I got all 3 littles in bed by 7:30 (an amazing feat, I’m telling you – it’s never happened before!) so that I could go out and get the book while my husband stayed with them and . . .they didn’t have it. 🙁 I was so disappointed. It never occurred to me they wouldn’t have it, especially since it’s on the NY Times best-seller list!

    • So sorry you made a special trip to Barnes & Noble and they didn’t have the book… can you email me your mailing address? I’d love to send you a book.

      • Lori says:

        Awww, Crystal, that is so sweet . . .thank you! I might have given them the wrong title? I’m a little sleep-deprived. 🙂 I realized later I think I might have told the employee, “Beyond Survival Mode”. I will check again before I let you send me a free one! I have a gift card I can use to cover some of the cost of the book.:)

  • Beautiful!

    And congratulations!

  • Congrats! Love your perspective. You are an inspiration to us all!! 🙂 God bless you.

  • Jen says:

    Wow! So great! You are such a wonderful person. God bless!

  • Julie C says:

    Investing time into eternal rewards is the BEST! These little ones need you so much!

  • You are SUCH a blessing, been following you for years and I am so happy to see this! Bless you bless you for remembering your first amazing calling, that of Mom. 🙂

  • Crystal, I just want to say that I think you are such an amazing woman. You are truly an inspiration to so many and it’s no surprise to see so many people agree. Congratulations on your book success, what a dream come true!

  • Erin says:

    Just wanted to say I’m very excited for you and inspired by you. Congratulations! Wishing you and your family all the best.


  • Congratulations! And thank you for reminding us all what matters most! Big hugs!

  • J. Rae says:

    YAY!! Celebrating with you!! And, it basically happened because you wrote an awesome book 😀

  • Wow, exciting!!! I remember following you on your biblical womanhood blog when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2005 or so. I loved your thoughts and your tutorials on CVS saved my family SO much money on diapers. I was thrilled when you started this venture and have followed you (mostly silently) ever since.

  • I am SO excited for you Crystal. I am one of the MANY that has learned SO MUCH from you. Thanks so much for being real and sharing your life, struggles and all. And I can’t WAIT to read your book… Almost there… saving up my swagbucks. I am sure it will be worth EVERY penny. I can’t recommend your site and work enough. GOD BLESS YOU!

  • Gwen says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you and your family. I’ve been following you for a couple of years and refer you to my family and friends. Your posts and guest posts are so wonderful and relevant. I enjoy reading them, and I’m a loyal fan!

  • Terra says:

    Crystal, Congratulations on this accomplishment! Although I haven’t read the book (I really want to, just not at a point to purchase it & waiting to find out if the library will purchase), I am sure it is just as much of a blessing as your website. I was able to get out of “survival mode” only in the past 6 months; life is busy with 7 kids, homeschooling, etc. My oldest 3 are now at a point where they can help me more (like with cooking, etc). After feeling alone, overwhelmed, and unsure of what I was doing as a mom for so long, I am now trying to begin my own “ministry” of sharing my experiences with other moms, particularly those with small children. Anyway, I appreciate your practical frugality and honesty- I know being genuine isn’t always easy but it allows people to relate to you. I look forward to hearing you speak in Spartanburg at the TTD Homeschool conference. Congratulations again!!

  • Em says:

    Thank you for the book…I am about halfway through it, thanks to a snow day! I can not wait to finish it. I have been inspired to pursue my passions of writing and photography. Not sure what will come of it.

    I am trying to focus more on my self esteem and spending more time with my family too and it makes me feel so much more like superwoman than being busy and on committees

    Thank you for your encouragement and the sharing of your life with us.

    Congrats on being #1 mom and the best seller list!

  • Juliann says:

    Congratulations on the achievement. It is wonderful

  • Johanna says:

    Congrats Crystal!!! that is awesome!!!

  • cher says:

    Crystal, your love is such a blessing to this world. Your family values, love for Our Lord, and ability to put valuable insights into writing are all worth celebrating. Your voice as a writer is just splendid. I’m so happy your book has found it into the hands of so many readers! I think it is so precious how much your kids love you. Their smiles really do speak a thousand words. Praying for countless more happy mommy moments and lots more success for you!! There is a trail of transformation where your efforts have flourished. I think it is so fantastic that lives have been immensely blessed by your efforts. I’ve read your blog every day since I found your other blog Biblical Womanhood five years ago. I remember that feeling like grace shooting out at me off of every page. Awesome!!! I just needed a few freezer meals after the baby arrived but stumbled upon a gold mine of wisdom and just kept reading everything I could find in the archives. Later as I clicked over to msm I was so happy I kept reading faithfully because the wisdom kept pouring of the pages. I think I is just great that you have ranked as a NYT bestseller and I rejoice that you are number one in the hearts of the hearts of those you hold closests. You being authentically you is a great gift! Thank you again for all of the ways you have blessed our family!! God bless you abundantly!!

  • Congratulations!! You are such an inspiration in so many ways. I’m glad that good things are coming your way. And you are remarkable for keeping your perspective–#1 Mom is a wonderful honor!

  • Jamie says:

    I’ve been a reader since 2007 when my sister told me about this blogger who was teaching women how to play “the CVS game” and save lots of money on groceries. 🙂 What an exciting day for you, congratulations!!

    I rarely buy anything for myself, but I decided earlier tonight that I am going to treat myself to your book. I can’t wait to read it!

  • Candy says:

    Got it loaded to my kindle! Waiting to start it! Kids and work keep me busy! Cant wait to crack it open this weekend! I hate reading, but I am SOOOOO excited to dig into your book! 🙂 thank you for your time ,and most of all, your family for giving you the opportunity to change so many lives!!! 🙂 keep up the good work!

  • Emily Ryan says:

    Congratulations!! I can’t even imagine the excitement you must feel! I pray God continues to use you and bless your platform in amazing ways!

  • Jessica says:

    Crystal, Thank you so much for sharing this post. After reading it, I am really thinking I should read your book – I just don’t know when I could find the time to read it. Our son just turned a year old and every day I feel like I am just barely getting by. At the end of the day food is always on the table, clothes are clean, bills are paid, and most trauma/drama has been avoided. But I’m always tired, feel physically, mentally and emotionally drained, and hardly every look forward to getting up in the morning (I’ve always been a night owl and morning have never been my thing.) I’m tired of always being tired. I know I am very blessed to be able to stay at home with our son. I honestly don’t know how working moms keep up with everything. I want to be a good wife and mother, but feel can’t when I’m so exhausted all the time. I know things need to change….I just don’t know where to start. Seeing how much focus you put on your family and yet have been blessed to have such great success with your blog and book, you obviously have something figured out that I don’t. That’s wonderful! I’m sure your road hasn’t been easy, but at least your there. I’m happy for you. Maybe someday I’ll be there, too.

  • April Schroeder says:

    Wow, what an incredible accomplishment- congratulations!

  • Angie says:

    I read your site more for your articles than for your deals. Your writing voice, your life-story, optimism, and encouragement is what makes your site stand out from others in your niche. I’m so glad you have branched out into other areas of writing.

  • Lori Estey says:

    What a lovely post, Crystal. Congratulations on your book AND your family. I am probably one of your older readers (3 mos. shy of 60, yikes!), but I learn so much from you and I appreciate all that you share.

  • Kristen says:

    Reading all the amazing reviews on your book makes me want to forget our budget and go out and buy it, but I can’t. Such an honor, you should be proud of yourself, #1 mom is truly an honor, And to be # 8 in New York Times!

  • Ashley P says:

    Congrats, hon! The Lord has promised that if you are faithful with a little, you will be given much more with which to be faithful. And He always keeps His promises. Enjoy the rewards of your faithfulness, both your book success and your family. And continue being faithful. You will be surprised how much more you will be blessed.

  • Well, when you write a great book, it is going to sell. I haven’t even finished the book yet, but have gotten into at least 5 or 6 conversations with other moms sharing about your book and encouraging them to read it as well. If each of us reading it just share about it that much, imagine how quickly it’ll sell. I’m definitely taking the time to savor your book and make actual changes in my schedule and my life so it may be a little while before I actually finish the book! Congratulations.

  • Jen says:

    Love this. 🙂

  • Melissa Hayner says:

    Congratulations! That is such a major accomplishment! What I think is even better about that stat is that in order to get there, millions of people are benefiting from your methods! You’ve changed so many lives and made a real difference in the world, and that is an accomplishment far greater than the NYT list! Thank you for all that you do, you have made a major difference in my life!

    • Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! One of our big prayers for this book was not for the numbers sold but for the lives changed… because that matters so much more!

  • Deanna says:

    What a beautiful post and beautiful family. Thank you for being honest, transparent and for reminding all of use to keep our priorities in line. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Molly says:

    Wow, that is an amazing feat! So proud and happy for you. You deserve all the success that comes your way. I am reading the book you sent me and let me tell you something, I cannot believe that what you wrote has and is happening to me. The part where you were getting sick every so often, that actually is happening to me and now I know why! As for the goal setting, I have been implimenting that since December and boy, has it helped me, except I call it “stop talking about it and just do it” goal. You would not believe the effect it has had. I have gotten so much done in just this short period of time. I have been following you since last year and you have helped me in so many ways, money, family, cooking, couponing, goal setting and the list goes on. You were my inspiration for my first blog, then I stopped doing that one and decided to do a facebook page instead, that has become so special and growing everyday and after reading parts of your book, I decided to redo my blog and will be launching it next month because of the growing numbers on my facebook page! You are my inspiration through and through. I feel I can accomplish anything. This book could not have come at a better time for me, I wanted this year to be all about changes and goals and family, and what you wrote in the book (I am on page 82 right now) has helped me already. Thanks for writing the book and keep doing what you are doing. You are a #1 Mom and a #1 person!

  • JOYce says:

    YAY!!! 🙂

    Help us see where their list reflects this, Crystal. Hands-Free Mama was 8 last week(TRUMP BUMP! 🙂 and something else is listed at 8 today for Feb 2 publish on the site. Do they only publish a list once a week or am I looking at the wrong category(checked several for the newest list they show on Feb 2 publish)? Even searched by author. Where else to look to see you there??? Amazon doesn’t show you on their NY Times list of 100 though you are still in Amazon’s best sellers. Does the NY TIMES change that quickly? Where oh where can we link see yesterday? 🙂

    • My book will be listed in the February 9 Best Seller’s List. They send the list out to all the publishers as soon as it’s released, but the official list isn’t published until two weeks later.

      Sorry for the confusion there! And I’m SO excited for how well Hands Free Mama has done!

  • Chrissy says:

    This is awesome!! Congratulations!!!

  • Jessica W says:

    Congrats Crystal!! I’m so excited for the success of your new book. I’m going to pick it up once our taxes come in and we have a little breathing room to spend.

    Thank you for all you do here on your site!

  • Danielle Hull says:


  • Sarah Sanders says:

    So, so awesome!!!!! Your focus is in the right place and God will continue to bless your socks off!!! 😀
    Many blessings on you and yours-

  • Charlotte says:

    I keep reading all the reviews and would love to read your new book with my husband. However, money is tight right now as we are expecting a new baby in the next few weeks. Congratulations on your success!

  • Asma says:

    Congratulations!!! So very happy for your success and wishing you much more!!!

  • Bethany says:

    Congrats, it’s such an amazing accomplishment! I’ve been following your blog for the past couple years, and I couldn’t begin to name the things I’ve learned from you! I can’t wait to read it, we don’t have the money to buy, but I’m hoping our library will end up getting enough requests to order it! I’m sure it’s amazing, obviously since its hit #8! You seem to have it all together (most days :D) with an amazing family that supports you in your endeavors of helping others! Congrats again, you deserve it!

  • Misty Nicole Overstreet says:

    What a major accomplishment! I love the concept of your book, and was wondering what your thoughts might be as to sharing the ideas in the book, for young mothers who are struggling to turn their lives around. I am currently working on baskets of couponed-goodies, pre-made coupon guides and binders, and am thinking I might want to include your book into the mix for these ladies; they are 18-22 and many get help in various ways from places in their community, and attend our church. They are military wives, unwed moms, or mothers hoping to start living a more frugal lifestyle, for their children. These ladies have never been taught that thriving, is not just a lifestyle choice, but a lifestyle of abundance and joy that is obtainable! I think your book would help them all tremendously!
    Thanks for all you do!

  • How exciting! Congratulations!

  • Katie says:

    congrats! My husband ordered it for me for a valentine’s day present! So excited I can’t wait to read it!


  • Nicole says:

    How exciting! I am sure you must be thrilled 🙂 Congratulations, I hope God blesses you and your family, and your move. I can say that a week ago I was feeling overwhelmed and upset all the time…just by taking care of three little ones and a home. But when my book came on Monday (I was having a hard day) It was just the encouragement I needed. Just getting the book in the mail changed my day 🙂 And my week has been much better because of it. Thank you so much!

  • Clare C. says:

    What an awesome accomplishment and what a sweet note from your Kaitlynn! Congrats, Crystal!

  • Brit says:

    Great news and congratulations!!!

  • Stacie says:

    Yay!! I’m so excited for you!! I didn’t realize!!

    I love this post, too–a great reminder that even the amazing things we accomplish pale in comparison to our families–and the calling we have as wives and moms. What great memories…the sign is precious!

    Love you, sweet friend. Can’t wait to see you soon!

  • Lety says:

    This post has my soul smiling! My heart is so filled with joy for you as well as with gratitude for having stumbled upon your blog so many years ago. Congratulations, Crystal! May you and your family continue to be blessed.

  • Dawn Marie says:

    I wasn’t sure if your book would be right for me. I have read SO MANY organization books written by people who are naturals at organizing. How does a person explain what comes very, very easily to them to the mind of a person that it does NOT come easily to? I also homeschool and have two toddlers on top of my three is school, and every day I look at my house and just get so discouraged and completely overwhelmed.
    After reading the review you posted I feel as if your book might be the right one. It isn’t this complicated 87-step process of sheer perfection. Though purchase isn’t a part of our budget, finding five things I do every day seems attainable for me and my family, so I will develope my list and hope to be able to afford your book sometime in the future. One step forward is an encouragement to me.

    • I’d love to send you a copy of my book. Just email your mailing address to

    • Nicole says:

      I read your post and I felt I needed to encourage you 🙂 I am probably the WORST organizer/cleaner in the world! I work very very hard just to keep my house clean..and it always seem that once I get one thing organized…another thing falls apart..ahh! And I only have two toddlers and a baby! I know (sort of) exactly how you feel and even though I have no organization advice to give you I will be praying that the book helps you and that God helps you with your organization (and mine!) God bless you and I hope you have a great week 🙂

  • Laurie says:

    Thank you, Crystal, for being so genuine – that shows through every page of your best seller, and through all you do at MSM everyday. And thanks for reminding us of the true priorities.

  • You are such an inspiration to me–that’s what I want to, and I just have a itty bitty blog and know how much time that takes! Thanks for encouraging and inspiring so many moms and women in your realm of influence.

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