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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

What I’m Learning Right Now

I had to ask forgiveness of one of my kids yet again this past week.

I had told one of them — who is currently struggling with some relationships — that they could come and tell me anything. And I emphasized the word anything.

I had told them how I didn’t want them talking to others about this situation and their frustration, but that they could come to me and air everything they were feeling — no matter how ugly.

So they did yesterday. They were frustrated and upset and, instead of just patiently listening, I sort of flipped out inside… and that came out in my responses.

“What’s changed with you? Why are you all of sudden having such an unkind attitude toward this person? This is not the child I’ve always known you to be.” I asked, genuinely concerned.

And then this child looked at me and said, “I thought you said I could tell you everything. I thought you said it was okay to air my frustrations to you. I’ve felt like this all year, I just was scared to tell you because I was afraid you’d be upset.”


I sat there stunned. I had blown it as a mom. Instead of being a safe place, I’d been a judgmental space. Instead of fully listening, I quickly jumped to conclusions.

Instead of processing with them and praying with them, I’d shut them down.

What was the root of all this? It was about ME. It was me worrying about what other people would think. It was about me parenting for others’ approval.

And so, I went back to my child and asked forgiveness and acknowledged why I was reacting like I did and that it was wrong.

What followed was a beautiful conversation about grace, about responding like Jesus, and about how it’s just plain hard to love people sometimes.

My prayer: Lord, help me to parent from a space of knowing that I’m pre-approved by You and it doesn’t matter what other people think. Let me love my kids with Your love, remembering how much I am loved by You.

What I’ve Been Pondering

On Thursday, I got two really discouraging emails. And it got under my skin big time.

I was at the very end of a LONG and full week of launching a brand-new course and hosting three webinars as part of the launch.

We had bumped the launch date up by a week at the last minute because of some unexpected scheduling conflicts. So it meant I had worked a lot of extra hours to pull it off.

I get unkind, rude, discouraging, critical comments and emails pretty much every single day. And usually I’m pretty good at letting it just all roll off my back.

So I knew that when these emails really bothered me, it was a sign that something was out of sorts in my heart and that the cure for that was time offline.

I declared Saturday as a SLOW (mostly) offline day. A day to step away from the noise online. A day to refresh and refuel my weary soul and body.

I slept in, I stayed home all day, I wore comfy clothes, I drank tea, I read my Bible, I exercised, I played fooseball with Silas, I hung out with the girls and watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls (I’m watching it for the very first time!), I took time to pray and plan and think, I cleaned, I spent time with Jesse, and we capped off the day with dinner around the fire pit and a hilarious rendition of family karaoke.

It was exactly what my soul needed.

If you’re struggling with stress, frustration, or irritation, try taking a slow day. A day where you step away from the busyness, to usual to do’s, the errands, the noise… and just take time to rest, refresh, and remember what matters.

It just might be the perfect balm to your stressed heart.

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  • Jess says:

    Beautiful, Crystal. Love seeing your humility coming through in your writing.

  • Kara says:

    So grateful for you Crystal. Still reading after 12+ years. While I never comment these days, I still regularly read your blog and am so blessed by you. You may remember you were part of God’s plan in leading me to faith. 12 years later my husband is a believer and we’re raising our 7 kids to love the Lord. So for every negative email you get, remember there are dozens of positive emails that just never get sent. Love your heart for the Lord. I’m so encouraged to watch you grow in your faith, as I’m doing also. -Kara C.

  • red2red says:

    A long-time reader sending prayers for this situation.
    Enjoy your site and your honest way of sharing with others.

  • Victoria says:

    One of my kids and I are on the very last season of Gilmore girls right now. For me it isn’t the first time I watched the show, re-runs use to be on late at night when I was nursing the child who is currently watching it with me -time flies. I hate that you get negative emails so often – you truly don’t deserve it. You do a lot for your readers and fellow bloggers.

  • DeeDee says:

    Crystal, you didn’t blow it as a mom. You’re human. It’s so easy to get frustrated and flustered when people say negative things. But it hurts. Sometimes deeply. But I know that your heart always is in the right place – with motherhood and your blog. Don’t let negative things that others say make you weary. You are a wonderful person. And mother.

  • Liz says:

    Thank you for your honesty.
    I’ve been a reader for about eight years now, and I just wanted to mention that I think you will become discouraged to find the many immoral situations in the Gilmore Girls. I started it a couple years ago and loved it until Rory has an affair with a married man to which she has little remorse, about season 4, I think. I continued to watch the next season hoping it would get better but it didn’t so I stopped. It really stinks when they ruin show with sexualized junk. (It reminds me of why you said you didn’t continue with Poldark) Anyways, it would be worth googling for you so you can make an informed decision.

    • I had heard that things went downhill about season 4… which I was kind of dreading. I’ve loved so much of the first two seasons (which has surprised me since it’s kind of chick-flick-ish and I’m not usually one to go for those kinds of shows/movies)!

  • Alli says:

    “What was the root of all this? It was about ME. It was me worrying about what other people would think. It was about me parenting for others’ approval.” This is me, 100 percent!! I think my intentions, most of the time, are good. But I go about it all wrong. As school starts and friendship dilemnas will unfold (I’m sure), thank you for sharing and encouraging and helping us Moms of younger kids (7, 5, 3, 1) grow in wisdom! You truly live out Titus 2! Thank you:-) It makes me so sad that people are critical and unkind. Love your blog:-)

  • I’m really sorry you had to deal with negative emails during your product launch!!! I found what John Maxwell says about listening to critics very helpful (from “Put Your Dream to the Test”): he says to “heed the advice of a critic when 1) You are unconditionally loved by the one who criticizes you 2) the criticism is not tainted by his or her personal agenda 3) The person is not naturally critical of everything 4) The person will continue giving support after giving advice 5) He or she has knowledge and success in the area of the criticism” You’re a blessing!!!

  • Jen says:

    Love your blog…I just realized I have been following since my 7 1/2 year old was born. I often mention “Crystal” and my husband knows who I’m talking about (til a few months ago when I made a new friend Crystal!)
    I wanted to say, I LOVE your new mobile format, because after moving out of the country I almost stopped reading because I don’t need the deals posts. But I missed the content posts! I got so excited that I can more quickly access them!!
    Thank you for all you do, you are such a blessing to me and so many women!

    • Oh yay!! I’m so glad about the mobile format! We needed to change that for forever and we finally got it done!

      Thank you for your kind encouragement — and for being such a longtime reader!

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