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On Perfectionism & Disappointing Readers

Can I just be really honest with you tonight? You know what one of the hardest parts about blogging has been for me?

It’s that some readers want me to be perfect.

I know they’d probably never say out loud, “I expect you to be perfect,” but if I admit that I failed at something or am struggling with something, they are disappointed and they voice that disappointment.

Here’s the thing: I understand that part of blogging in a public forum is the fact that I’m choosing to let people into my life. I’m choosing to open up myself and our family and our choices to other people’s really honest opinions.

I get that. And I own that.

But at the same time, in the past, it’s held me back from sharing candidly about certain topics that I’d really like to blog about. Why? Because I know that writing about certain topics means other people are going to voice their opinions over my decisions and or be disappointed in my short-comings.

More and more, though, I’m becoming okay with it. Because I realize that it’s exhausting to try to please everyone.

I don’t have it altogether.

I sometimes yell at my kids.

I get frustrated with my husband.

I don’t always want to make meals from scratch.

I sometimes (usually?) let my laundry pile up way too high.

I’m often running late.

I have many moments where I feel so very inadequate to be sharing anything in a blog post or a book or on a stage because I feel like I’m such a mess myself.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about quitting my cutting back on caffeine goal for this month. I know it was the right decision and most of you cheered me on in it or even expressed relief that I gave up my lofty goal.

A few people weren’t so thrilled with me. They wrote in annoyed that commentors would be supportive of me and a some even strongly chided me for not following through with my goal.

I’m sure these readers meant well, but in each case, they didn’t know me or my family personally. In addition, they didn’t know that the next few weeks are some of the fullest weeks I’ll probably have all year long (we have multiple trips + some big projects to complete) and I can’t be dragging or running on weird sleep patterns. I have to do what’s best for my family and myself and I have follow my own advice to give myself grace — even if it means that I disappoint a few readers.

What I’m learning, though, is that when I share my short-comings and struggles, I may disappoint a few people. But ultimately, I will encourage many, many more people.

It helps others know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. We’re in this together.

We’re learning right along with each other. We’re stumbling. We’re falling down. We’re making mistakes. And we’re here to encourage each other to get back up, keep pressing forward, keep doing the best you can do with the time and resources we have.

Progress Not Perfection

And here’s the truth: I’d rather disappoint a few people and be a completely honest and authentic blogger who shares my struggles and success than try to pretend like I have it altogether and make the majority of people feel like they can’t measure up.

None of us have it altogether. None of us are perfect. But we can all learn from each other, inspire each other, and cheer each other on — in both our struggles and successes.

When we are honest and authentic with each other, we are all stronger for it. Who’s with me? 🙂

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  • Analisa says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this post! I’ve been following MSM for years because of how authentic you are Crystal. You’re completely right in saying no one wants to be alone in their struggles. That is why some of my favorite posts have been where you spilled your heart out. There have been times where I’ve felt “less than” and your words seem to show up just when I need them. Thank you! It is really sad that some people feel the need to tear you down, especially when you’ve opened yourself up so much. Apparently some adults need to be reminded that if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

  • van brown says:

    I love the honesty factor! As mom’s we often set a goal and meet it, but realize it’s not sustainable, or don’t meet it at all. And that’s ok. We are people. We have little people to take care of above ourselves. We have husbands that have needs. Frankly, I stopped reading for awhile because I couldn’t measure up. I would check in ever so often and one day you had the first new scary (for you) honest post. I’ve been reading every day since, and so has my friend who stopped as well. It’s not that we want you to fail to make ourselves feel better, but rather that it’s encouraging to know we aren’t alone in the struggle. Thank you!

  • cwaltz says:

    As you pointed out, you can’t please everyone all the time. I haven’t been able to kick the caffeine habit either.

    I have a child that tends to be harder on himself than anyone else can be. He struggles with fitting in despite being one of the kindest most empathetic souls I have known(that’s not just the mom in me talking either. He’s the type of kid who after hearing the craft intructor talk to me about her child being sick, crafted a get well card for her son.) It’s hard on him that people find him “weird” and it’s hard on me to try and make him understand these beautiful differences are not just burdens but blessings( the flip side of stubborn is determined, the flip side of sensitive is empathetic, etc, etc) One of the things I once mentioned to him is the fact that when Jesus was here, there were people who didn’t like or disagreed with him. If Jesus didn’t get a 100% approval rating then why on Earth would any of us think we’d get one? In short, just be the best you that you can be Crystal and don’t sweat that we all aren’t going to agree with you all the time or even get why you made a certain decision. As long as you can look in the mirror and know you did your very best, that’s enough.

  • Su says:

    I appreciate your continued honesty. I want to know that other moms aren’t perfect and do sometimes yell, etc. I need to know that. Thinking you’re the only one who snaps sometimes or is just exhausted some days is a lonely and tiring place to live for me. It helps me to hear. thx

  • Crystal these readers who project their insecurity issues onto you… Well frankly they need to get a life.

  • Kim says:

    I, for one, am most definitely “with you” Crystal!! (hugs)

  • Jennifer says:

    Aww… some people complain if their ice cream is cold. Even Jesus wasn’t good enough for some people- but he stood his ground, and you should , too!

  • Christine S. says:

    This is the type of honesty is what your readers appreciate and love to hear. I’ve been a long time reader, and supporter of you, you’ve always been so helpful and as you stated, “But ultimately, I will encourage many, many more people.” this is the TRUTH! It’s been wonderful to watch you and your family grow and change.

    Continue to remind yourself…when you have a setback, something that didn’t go your way, or you ‘hit a wall’, that’s when there is GROWTH. You’re an amazing woman who inspires so many. Keep it truthful with yourself, and your readers, if you choose to share.

    Personally I like that you have been writing about your grocery budget increase, and trying new ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. Many of us do that too, and it’s nice to hear that your struggling with the same things many of us are.

    Try to read the positive comments, which is easier said than done, but I and many of us, look forward to your posts! 🙂

  • Marie says:

    Crystal I have never felt disappointed in you! I love that you set goals, accomplish so much in a day, are a “real” mom who shares with her readers, and are 100% authentic! You are an encouragement to so many including myself. I’m sorry that others have to voice their disappointment in you. It probably comes from a place of insecurity. I’m glad that you won’t let this stop you from posting honest posts. I appreciate you so much! God has used you to bless me over and over again. And I know it’s not just me but your other readers as well.
    I set a goal to loose 30 pounds by Nov.7th. it was a very lofty goal for someone who doesn’t like to workout and struggles to find time for myself. My husband and I are going to Hawaii and I wanted to look better. After 4 weeks of ups and downs with my eating and working out regiment I realized i needed to give myself grace. Right now there are two many factors in my day I can’t control that make it hard to stick to a plan that is rigid and you have to eat at certain times. My husband loves me and isn’t expecting me to loose this weight. I realized I could be frustrated over it and possibly ruin my time in Hawaii or accept it and have a fabulous time with my husband. I will continue to work on the weight but I had to lift off my expectations.
    I struggle with wanting people to approve of me all the time to. I pray God protects you from the naysayers comments and fills you with such peace!! You are a blessing and your family is as well.
    I’m cheering you on from a distance. You are the type of person that I would want as a friend. Thank you for your vulnability and sharing your life and your family with us.

  • Carol says:

    This is no longer High School where the one crowd can dictate just what is in or cool. Embrace your own life and realize you are the only one you have to wake up to in the morning, and the only one that will be looking back and remembering all the things you have done and living with the choices you make. If you get hung up on the small stuff, you will never accomplish the big stuff – most people who criticise are simply so worried about their own short commings that they pick and anyone else so they don’t have to acknowledge them. Don’t let the trolls under the bridge stop you from being you!

  • Sue says:

    I am glad you posted this. People can be rude, even when they are trying to be helpful. I am so glad I didn’t comment on your previous post. I always tease my husband that he needs his “drugs” to get through life. I also tease him that I am saved and I don’t need drugs. I was going to tease you about that, but I am glad I didn’t. Life is complicated and certain things are just that – complicated. In regards to your coffee: You go, girl! It is what it is!

  • Caren says:

    I think you are awesome, Crystal! I can’t imagine the intense pressure you must be under. You are very courageous to put yourself out here & remain as authentic as you do just to encourage all of us! We APPRECIATE YOU!

  • Jamie says:

    I love this! I’m sorry for criticism you’ve dealt with. Keep being real.

  • Christine says:

    Why in the world would any care if you decided to drink caffeinated beverages? That’s like criticizing you because you said you weren’t going to wear blue and then changed your mind and wore blue. There’s more important things to criticize in the world than a stay-at-home mom’s beverage choice.

  • Vickie says:

    I have to kind of laugh a little it was because of your caffeine post that I decided I might need one more cup of coffee. I stopped drinking diet pop a year ago. I was drinking a lot. Soon I realized I needed some caffeine and started drinking coffee …at 51! I’ve been so tired in the evenings then I read you post and I started drinking another cup (really about a half cup) when I need too. I personally see nothing wrong with that.
    Sometimes you just need to do what’s best for you and I appreciate your being honest with us.

  • Tracy says:

    I LOVE this post!! Thank you for being honest. I LOVED your post about “quitting” the caffeine goal you had set after you realized that it didn’t work for you and your family. THAT is part of life. We must always be reevaluating what we do and whether it works or not.

    Keep up with what you’re doing Crystal! You are making a positive impact in many lives!!

  • Can I hug you??? Seriously, I needed this post this morning. Since I choose to share my family’s finances, in all their gory details, some folks are ugly about decisions that my family makes. I share my real life on a budget and as anyone who has ever budgeted before knows, it is not always easy or pretty or even goes according to plan. I had a guy who is an award-winning personal finance author write me telling me it was his responsibility to make sure that I was providing full details in my posts. It was very upsetting since, well I post our real numbers, taxes are the only thing that I don’t disclose. He even said on a particular post that due to the decision made in that post, we must have been struggling to pay our bills and our reason for decision couldn’t have just been to pay off debt. It truly hurts when others don’t understand our decisions but you are so right, that by sharing ourselves openly and honestly, we help so many more people. Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Kristen says:

      That is the worst, isn’t it? Posting specific dollar amounts bring out the criticism like nothing else. (“You paid $10 for that??? I get those at garage sales for $0.50!)

  • patti says:

    My favorite post, thus far. Thanks for your honesty:)

  • Anne Klein says:

    I will support you no matter what. {{{hugs}}}

  • Cathy says:

    I think we need to hear the message that we are not all perfect. Our kids are not always on the right path. Our lives do not always go as planned, and so we adjust the plan. We need to know how to embrace changes when it is healthy for us. I would call that being wise and certainly not a failure. Being real is smart and giving grace to others is even smarter. I think we can help others in this way.

  • Love this. Sending you well-wishes in the form of digital Starbucks. (Fully leaded, of course. 🙂 )

  • I struggle with the same thing, both on and off of the internet. I believe it’s the goodness of your heart not wanting to let people down or to disappoint them. As far as your blog goes, I’ve been reading for five years and it is one of the most encouraging things I’ve got going for me….so THANK YOU and please keep it up!

  • Lana says:

    Backing you all the way!

  • Kim H says:

    Crystal , I know for sure that for every one person that has had something negative or mean to say there are HUNDREDS of us who agree and support you !!! You just need to continue to do what your heart leads you to do . Don’t let people steel your joy in what you love to do . There are some people I find that have to pull people down with them because THEY are insecure . Don’t let the devil get in your head and play games . You keep your head held high and keep blogging girl !!

  • Rachael says:

    I so appreciate your honesty. I drink a lot of coffee; I have a lot of my plate with balancing a busy career, my husband’s busy career, and our two small children. It’s just the season we are in right now!

    Thanks for your continued honesty and authenticity. I look forward to your blog on a daily basis.

  • Sheila says:

    AMEN Sister! 🙂

  • Bonnie says:

    It’s just coffee!
    Our value comes from the Lord, not from our works and to do lists.

  • karen b says:

    I have always loved your honesty!!!!!!!!!!!! Only ONE person that’s ever walked this earth was perfect and that was……………. JESUS……………. the rest of us will fail no matter how hard we try or what we do………. off my soap box………… so thankful that you share when things aren’t “perfect” that helps to remind me once again that GOD will always give us GRACE, & especially give me grace for when I fail…………I hope you can continue to share & try not to let the negativity get to you to much… are an inspiration to so many & I enjoy reading here & your books that I have so far……….remember “the joy of the Lord is our strength” have a truly blessed day
    ps…..was wondering how you were going to drop to just 1 cup of coffee because I drink 2 cups everyday also & enjoy them everyday 🙂 enjoy your 2 cups you deserve them 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    Thank you for being honest and real! I completely agree in your feelings and have dealt with some of the same struggles. But I think it is more about how we overcome our challenges and carry-on then with the issue at times. I so appreciate knowing I am not alone as a Christian follower.

  • Natasha says:

    I would always rather read an honest blog by an imperfect writer! People forget we are all imperfect. Haters gonna hate. Don’t read their comments twice! I always say a prayer for them before I delete their negativity. Everyone has the right to their opinion, but some people are either not smart enough or are so closed minded that they don’t know how to express it with respect. Just be you! That’s who those of us that matter love! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Really just echoing what most other posters have said. Over the years I have really appreciated your authenticity and honesty. I am so glad you are real! Keep up the good work and thank you so much for your site which is a daily encouragement to me for sure.

  • charity says:

    We should never have nothing to hide that’s what authenticity is! Plus who are we here to please anyways man or God? I would have to say God! Keep it real and keep doing what is best for YOU not do what is best for others to hear. If those that complained don’t like it they can go read somewhere else.

    Have a blessed day crystal and keep following on the path that God shows you is best for you and your family for whatever season of life you are in.

    Blessings and peace 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for being REAL! There are enough images and examples of “perfection” bombarding us daily, making us feel like failures for having weaknesses. I SO appreciate your honesty – it helps me embrace my own struggles and understand that they’re okay. We may not be perfect, but we’re trying to be a little better each day. That’s what counts, right? 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    Good for you Crystal. It takes a lot to be open to so many people knowing you are going to face a few critics. I love your honesty.I follow your site because you are honest and open and post good deals 😉 We are not put on this Earth to live to someone else’s standard. I myself have finally realized that and it is indeed very exhausting trying to please everyone. We will all make mistakes. I finally accepted that I can not be the perfect mom I imagined I would be. I too yell and get frustrated, but I own up to it too and apologize. We can not be calm and perfect all the time. Life goes on and we just have to learn and move on.

  • Josie says:

    Stay true to who you are! This post has a great point to it, nobody is able to please everyone all the time, whether you are a blogger or not. So keep your head high, those of us who are not perfect totally understand! 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real!

  • Jamie says:

    I love my TEA way to much too. I do not drink coffee and I have not drank soda in so long. I actually do not like any form of sweet drinks now. Not soda, juice or some smoothies (such as not homemade). I only drink unsweet iced or hot tea, water or milk. LOL. My tea has to be fresh brewed too. Not that yucky fountain or pre bottled stuff. Every morning I drive out of my way a few minutes to go to a gas station that has fresh brewed ice tea. I have a station up the street from me, but their tea is “not the same”. Point being is we all have our ways and it is OK to want our daily comfort rather it be tea or coffee or chocolate 😉 LOL

  • Lauren says:

    I’m so tired of bloggers getting their feelings hurt over comments! Get over it! I’ve seen this several times on blogs I frequent lately and I’m so tired of it. You put yourself out here for everyone to see so stop complaining when someone has something negative to say. The world is not always sunshine and roses and people have different views. People are allowed to be negative and criticize and if you don’t want to hear or see that, don’t allow the comments or stop blogging! But stop complaining!

    • Katie says:

      I don’t think Crystal is complaining at all. I see her as being real with her readers in order to be an encouragement to them. She’s just being real — and real life involves human beings who have feelings. I’ve never understood why people feel the need to be harsh with each other, especially when it comes to people commenting harsh things about a person that they probably don’t even know personally.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Crystal!

    • MaryEllen says:

      “Here’s the thing: I understand that part of blogging in a public forum is the fact that I’m choosing to let people into my life. I’m choosing to open up myself and our family and our choices to other people’s really honest opinions.

      I get that. And I own that.”

      “And here’s the truth: I’d rather disappoint a few people and be a completely honest and authentic blogger who shares my struggles and success than try to pretend like I have it altogether and make the majority of people feel like they can’t measure up.”

      I believe the point of Crystal’s post was not to complain (although bloggers are real people; and it hurts when your readers slap you in the face with their words) but to say that she’s going to be honest and real regardless and not try to tiptoe around those who may disagree.

    • Jodi says:

      Amen Crystal. Please don’t let the negativity of a few get you down. Lauren’s post makes me so sad. We should not criticize our sisters in Christ, but instead build them up with encouraging words.

  • Carrie L says:

    Adding my hearty AMEN!! Excellent post, Crystal.

  • Kristin F. says:

    Nobody has it all together, and anyone who says they do is fooling themselves. 🙂 What I love about your blog is the transparency in it along with your mission to help others moms. You inspire, while still showing that you’re a “normal” mom and wife and share our same struggles, and you don’t pretend to be anything different!

    Oh, and kudos to you for making it as long as you did on the caffeine challenge! I wouldn’t have made it a day without 2 cups of coffee. 😉

  • Jen says:

    Wow!!! Love the third to last paragraph… I have to say I’ve been reading you for years and over the last few months you have become SO relatable and encouraging….unlike many other bloggers…. I think for every reader you may alienate over silly things like this, a couple hundred more are going to breathe easier knowing someone they respect so much gives herself grace too.

  • jen b says:

    I’d much rather read a blog that wasn’t about how perfect the blogger is. In fact, that sort of blog makes me feel like a bit rubbish really!

  • Jen says:

    Amen, sister! I started reading this blog when I was at rock bottom and pretty sure I could never be a successful home manager. Running a household, working full time, being a first time mother – forget it! I like knowing this is a supportive place to get ideas on what might work for me.

    And honestly, if someone is that disappointed that you didn’t cut back a cup of coffee (coffee!!!) there is something else controlling their emotions and it has nothing to do with you. To be disappointed in something so small in another, means they’re fighting big demons of their own.

  • We have ONE person to please. I have to remind myself of that all the time! I’m a natural people-pleaser and it hurts when my readers aren’t pleased. But you’re right; trying to please them all is just exhausting! Keep being YOU!

  • tara says:

    I love this post Crystal! I struggle with being real and you are an encouragement!

  • Robin says:

    Thank you for being human like the rest of us moms!
    Everyday is new and full of rewards and challenges, and we do the best we can do fulfill God’s plan.

  • Alexa says:

    The reason I love this blog so much is because of YOU. I’m not into deals or coupons – I come to read the posts that you write. I think you’re incredibly authentic and if you were to try and please everyone you’d lose that. I really admire you and the fact that you can own up to your own failures.

    And I don’t understand why people would be negative about the caffeine thing. The way I look at it is that it was an experiment. You tried it, found out it didn’t work for you, and owned that. Personally I think it’d be wrong if you kept doing something just to please others.

    Look past the negative comments. You’ve helped tens of thousands of people by just being yourself. You’re awesome!

  • Michele says:

    I found your blog 4 years ago when my husband and I found out I was pregnant. Although we were planning to have a baby, the news was unexpected and was about a year earlier than we were planning to start trying to conceive.

    We needed to get rid of debt, learn to save money, change our lifestyle and find peace with the new lifestyle that we would have – kids and the dreaded “budget”.

    The first day I found your blog I was hooked. For the last 4 years I check your blog several times a day. With your motivation, money saving ideas, and encouragement we were able to pay off all of our debt (credit cards, student loans, and car notes…everything except our mortgage – working on that now)

    I was also able to leave my job where I was making six figures to be a stay at home mom – this was a huge deal and something I feel so blessed to have been able to do.

    It was because of you that we learned to live off of one income – we learned we could still have most of the stuff we had before just had to watch for sales, coupons, cook at home rather than eat out, buy our name brand clothing at the end of season for the next year, and of course watch your blog for deals and steals!

    I even called our cell phone carrier and after going around and around with them – I was able to cut our cell phone bill from 167.00 to 107.00 without losing a thing. Just one phone call saved us 720.00 a year and we still have the same exact Iphones and same coverage and data. I was so stoked about that, I would have never thought to do that if it wasn’t for one of your posts.

    Sorry for the long comment, I have never commented before but after reading this post – which really made me angry…not at you but the absolutely rude people out there that would write something like that – I wanted you to know the impact you have had on our lives.

    The fact that you are a real person, that you are honest and that you have 2 cups of coffee a day LOL is refreshing!

    Obviously if someone feels the need to write negative comments to you or anyone else – especially regarding something as trivial as you giving in and having 2 cups of coffee or increasing your food budget money than they truly do need a life! Life changes, people change, and every day is different. Life is trial and error, schedules are trial and error…everyone needs to see what works for them or what works for their family. If they can not respect that or you, than too bad for them. If negative comments come in, delete them and don’t let them affect you one bit..I know easier said than done but truly those people have issues that have nothing to do with you or your blog.

    Love your blog!!


    • Katie says:

      I agree so much with this post! My husband and I do not have children yet because he is pursuing his PhD, but we’re young professionals who are trying to set ourselves up and prepare for the day that we do have children. Crystal has inspired us to save, pay down debt, and live frugally!

      Also, I’d like to thank Crystal for the many giveaways that she does. She’s blessed our family through these, and for that, I’m grateful!

      • charlotte says:

        I thank the Lord that you are a bright light.Your blog is like a ministry to me. Pray for all of your readers and bless them all because God has put us all in your path. You will never know the influence that you have on others. I come back to your blog not because of the money saving tips but because of what God is doing in your life.

    • I am so grateful — and so very excited for you and your family’s success! Way to go!

  • JOYce says:

    In the beginning, the middle, and the end what matters isn’t comparisons between those riddled with imperfection(and that means all of us) AND glories in self(whether noting advancements or overt/covert shortcomings) BUT His perfection and glory. Like a former pastor shared…liken it to one beggar sharing with another(other) beggar(s) where to get bread. And let some things roll off the back as water off a duck as my dad used to say. Be grateful, too ~ in the part and parcel of God’s working good for you in what, at first blush, doesn’t feel so comfortable(the Potter’s refining and the heat turned up). Disappointments ~ change one letter and see His Appointments in the adorning of His truth/gospel/doctrine in and through you! That IS the goal to the race finish. Right?

  • Eva Nance says:

    I think it is so wonderful that you share your life with all of us and that you are real and NOT perfect. I think if you seemed perfect, even if it just looked that way, you would be doing us all a disservice. How would that help moms that are occasionally tired, running late, trying to prepare healthy meals, have husbands, have piles of laundry, who are trying to do the best for their families in whatever way they can?

    Also, thank you for being real and occasionally changing your mind about a goal that wasn’t workout out. Goals (and schedules) are not our taskmaster, they are something we personally choose to do to achieve the things WE want to achieve. If we no longer want to achieve something, then we have the right to let it go. There is no such thing as a “goals” police out there.

  • Melissa A. says:

    I love your blog! I have always found your personal stories/struggles very helpful. Please continue to be honest and share your stories with us!!

  • jen says:

    Crystal you have to remember you will never please everyone. it is your decision regarding your caffeine intake. Personally I love coffee and I wont give it up. Crystal your truthfulness has kept us here for years. so just keep doing what your doing you are amazing and you rock

  • Denise says:

    You go, girl!

  • Faith says:

    Just want to pray blessings on your day! Love your honesty. You’re an amazing person and don’t you forget it! 🙂

  • Tisha says:

    Dear Crystal,

    Thank you so much for your honesty & openness. People can be harsh & judgmental. I am sorry for this. Please know that you are a true inspiration & help to many of us…many of us who are very glad that we have a real friend out there in the blog world who is trying to help us out in our roles as wives & mothers.

    Thanks for being real & thanks so much for sharing your heart!

    May the LORD continue to bless you & your sweet family! :o)

  • Shauna says:

    A big THANK YOU for being honest! I LOVE when bloggers are honest and show they don’t have it all together. I honestly do not enjoy reading some blogs and have stopped all together that act like they have it all together all the time. Thank you for sharing with us!!!

  • Kelly says:

    I think that this just goes to show you that even though we all set goals sometimes we have to tweak and make changes to those goals to make them work for us and there is nothing wrong with that. Thanks, for always being so honest and upfront. That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy your blog so much 🙂

  • Elaine says:

    Crystal, I am very sorry that some of your readers have been hurtful to you. I think that sadly people hide behind the anonymity of online comments. But then again, some people are just that way, even in real life. Graciousness is one of those things that not everyone possesses 🙂 I appreciate your honesty. And I would also add that it’s okay to have boundaries in the blog world. Some things you share with your trusted inner circle. Some things you can publish for a gazillion people to read. Trust is earned. Respect should be freely given. I’ve known your mama for years and I’m very happy for the success of your blog and your business. Keep up the great work! From the peach lady 🙂

  • April says:

    I LOVE seeing that you’re not perfect. None of us are and as much as we try to be perfect mothers, perfect wives, to put on a facade of perfection for the world to see…. we’re just not! Thank you for ALL that you share and for being willing to allow us into your personal life a little. What you share really, honestly, does make a difference.

  • You are indeed a source of encouragement – to SO many! I struggle with perfectionism and letting people down, too, but God comes first – then family, before others. If what we are doing lines up with those priorities, than the disappointments don’t count. They may sting for a bit, but they don’t get to count. Thank YOU for being so honest with your readers! You are truly an inspiration!

  • Marissa says:

    I love this! Like a reader commented on one of my posts on FB, we all don’t live in a Pinterest perfect world. Bloggers are real people with real lives, even though there are those out there who would like to pretend otherwise.

  • Barbie says:

    Crystal, you are just normal. Normal like me, normal like all your other readers. None of us has it together every day, all day. We all only have so much time and energy to extend out each day. Don’t waste any more thoughts or energy on these negative comments. God created you to be you, and you are such a blessing to many people. You stay focused on that.

  • Cathy F. says:

    No one is perfect, and nobody should expect that of anyone. You must do what you feel the Lord is leading you to do. His is the only opinion/thought that truly matters. You can’t please people all of the time, but if you are doing His will then you are where you need to be. I give you Galatians 1:10 this scripture always reminds me of where my focus needs to be when I find myself getting sidetracked trying to please others. I am thankful for all that you do, for your honesty and for your authenticity! Keep up the good work!!

  • Bonnie says:

    Thank-you for being you. I struggle with perfectionism, and to see someone else give themself grace helped me. I need to give myself grace more often. I get caught up in the end result, and I miss the journey. Your blog has helped me in so many ways. Thank-you for being real, and letting us into your life.

  • Debra Breckenridge says:

    Thank you for your honesty and candor. You are doing a great job. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    OMG! Crystal, you are so awesome. I was so glad that you shared that you were quitting your coffee cut back goal. I’ve been working on many goals over the past few months (thanks in large part to your encouragement and info) and have made some serious strides in many areas of my life. I’ve also learned through that process how to set goals, reevaluate those goals, restructure those goals, etc. It’s about the journey, YOUR JOURNEY. You and I both get to decide what we want to do, be, have, spend money on in life. That is going to look different for everybody. Keep being you, sharing truth on your blog, and don’t worry if some people haven’t learned how valuable that is yet. You have loyal and supportive readers who’ve prayerfully got your back.

  • Sarah says:

    Personally, you Amaze me! I would love to accomplish half of what you do! I have 3 kids, 3 and under to hear what you do is amazing! Sometimes you seem superhuman! Thanks for your honesty! God Bless you and all you do!

  • Brianna says:

    There’s a line from the movie “Keeping the Faith” that says something along the lines of “Jews want their rabbis to be the kind of Jews they don’t have the time to be” and “Catholics want their priests to be the type of Catholics they don’t have the discipline to be”…it reminds me of your situation. I suppose some readers want their bloggers to be the type of wife/mother/friend/teacher/homemaker, etc that they can’t or won’t be. It’s much easier to point a finger at someone else than to look at our own shortcomings. Shame on anyone who makes you feel inadequate because you’re doing what is best for you! We could all use a lesson in giving ourselves (and others) some grace. I know all too well that it’s easy to take that criticism to heart, but just remember that for every negative comment you’re receiving, there are hundreds of people in your shoes who are all nodding our heads in agreement with the decisions you make to keep in line with your own PERSONAL priorities.

  • Beth says:

    I’m with you!!

    I’m not a blogger, but in life, I try to surround myself with people who support my sense of humor about things. I remember once when someone freaked out in a combox about your kiddo playing under the sink near some potatoes. They were worried that your child would be exposed to dirt. First, it’s clear your an attentive mother, so it isn’t clear why anyone would feel the need to tell you to watch your child. Second, even if your kid would touch the potatoes…they can wash!! I hope, hope, hope you found the humor in that silly comment and the many others like it.

    Sometimes people are so invested in their own ideas, that they become rigid and militant and forget that the “acceptable” range is really wide.

    Best of luck to you!!

  • Susan says:

    I like that you “keep it real”. We all make goals that we don’t achieve. We all have disappointments in our lives. I deeply appreciate that you are honest. It makes me feel better when you tell us all that you didn’t plan ahead, forgot to get cash for a sitter or went late to an appointment with the empty sign flashing on your car. All of us struggle with issues, big and small and I like that you don’t tell us you have a perfect life. We don’t either. It actually makes me feel better when you share that you can’t do it all.

  • Alexis says:

    Personally, it really helps me to hear that you let go of a goal. Like you, I don’t end up doing everything I set out to do and it is refreshing to know that I am not alone in that!

  • Beth says:

    You posted once that you’re “no Ann Voskamp” but I’d submit to you that you ARE, at some level exactly like Ann. True, you have different styles and talents. But, at some point, she ceased being “just” the wife of a pig farmer. Similarly, at some point, Martha Stewart stopped being “just” a cookie baker. Like these women, you have taken a trade and turned it into a business. I hope you can really OWN that idea. Ann isn’t any less authentic now that she has multiple books and contracts to write and speak at various places. Martha is probably just as good of a baker as she ever was….

    You have genuine knowledge on intentional living, frugality, homemaking, etc. Your ministry is has credibility because you’ve ESTABLISHED credibility over the past 10 years, not because you continue to live on $8,000/ year.

    Own it! Live it! (We’ll continue to pray for you!)

  • Delorise says:

    I enjoy your blog because you aren’t perfect and don’t always have it all together. If you blogged that your life was absolutely wonderful all the time and you never had flaws then I wouldn’t read your blog. No person or family are perfect- we are all just human beings doing the best we can with each day and the highs and lows life sends our way. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten off caffeine and/or sugar then gone back to again. My friends are always supportive and probably chuckling in amusement inside thinking to themselves about how long this time I will last. Be true to yourself and do what is best for you and your family. Ignore the naysayers– I guarantee you they are low in numbers.

  • Erin says:

    What works for you and your family should ALWAYS come before making us happy!

  • Charity says:

    I agree 100%. Now, go enjoy a cup of coffee! And some chocolate too!! 😉

  • Stephanie says:

    So beautifully written! I feel that so much of what’s presented in blogs, on facebook, instagram, etc. is just the best of someone’s world photoshopped to look even better. I love that you are being true to yourself and your family!

  • Elizabeth says:

    grr i don’t know why my home pc can’t post to your blog double grrr

    girl on yer most imperfect day you are more perfect than i so those silly butts need to get over it

    shoot for good enough because nothing is ever perfect

    ….which yes my phone doesn’t allow caps on your page… go figure …shrugs…

  • Sarah says:

    I appreciate that you are real. Honestly for me sometimes reading blogs like yours makes me feel like such an underachiever but knowing no one else is doing everything perfect is actually really motivating! God Bless!

  • The real and honest posts are the ones I like best! As a SAHM who just moved across country and has moved 3 times in the last 18 months, you have been the constant for me. That long distance friend who I am constantly gleaning knowledge from, who is teaching me to cook and who is encouraging me to do things that are outside my comfort zone. Btw, Thank you for your post about caffeine! It helped me to take a look back and realize that I was not blessing my family by giving up Coke. I was taking naps in the afternoon, getting grumpy with my husband and kids and not taking care of other responsibilities because I was so tired. The couple of lbs I have lost are not worth the bad attitude and tiredness I have had over the last 3 weeks. I got a coke this morning and am ready to make a few goals for this weekend. Thanks. 🙂

  • Yes! Thank you! We need more authenticity like you give. Keep on keeping on …

  • Erin Sidmore says:

    You do an awesome job making things real, which is so encouraging to the rest of us! Please don’t let those who are negative discourage you. The rest of us SO appreciate all you do! Keep up the good work! Your blog is truly a ministry to many, many women!

  • Amy says:

    So glad you aren’t perfect because guess what? No one is!!! When are people going to figure out that tearing someone else down is not going to make yourself feel better. We can only live our lives the best way we know how. Live, learn, do the best we can. I am so glad that you share the good, the bad, and everything in between. Drink your coffee and enjoy it!

  • Ultimately, you need to do what is right for you and for your family. This earth is not our home, and not one of us has it all together. Each one of us will make mistakes, and some people won’t be happy with decisions that we make. You read ‘The Best Yes’ right?

  • Mrs. S says:

    Can I just say that I am proud of you for sharing that?! We (as humans) will constantly have someone who can do it better, bigger, prettier, with more confidence, or whatever and it can be hard to admit that we aren’t 100% in every area of our life.
    So proud of you for continuing to encourage and bless those around you, despite the naysayers!

  • I’m with you. Honestly, I think a lot of the arguments and stress that happen on the Internet (and in life) occur because people just don’t want to admit that they don’t know everything, that they’re wrong sometimes, and that they mess up. We can never be truly perfect, yet we feel we have to present this perfect face to the world. And honestly, the Internet makes that easy to do since you can carefully curate what you put out there for other people to see. But I think exposing the mess is more instructive and helpful. So is saying, “I’m sorry, I screwed up.” Or admitting that perhaps you’re not an expert on the subject that’s being discussed. Sorry…that got long, but this has been on my mind.

  • JOLINDA says:

    I very seldom comment on anything, but I wanted to thank you for this post. It is so easy for me to compare myself to bloggers and writers (yes, like you) and feel like they are perfect, This leaves me feeling so discouraged. I think the open honesty that you gave in this post is often what is missing in Bible studies, women’s groups, etc… The façade of perfection leaves many women feeling inadequate and discouraged. Thanks again.

  • Lori says:


    One of the reasons why I follow your blog is because you share candidly your successes and your struggles.

    I’ve always admired your determination and drive, and how you have been able to accomplish so much at your young age. I don’t have a Type A personality but I’ve taken note of the things I can implement in my own life from your examples, and I can tell you that they have been a tremendous blessing to me and my family.

    One thing you need to remember is that there are many people out there who have lots of insecurities, and reflect their own shortcoming onto others. They either want to control everything/ everyone, or are so out of control in their own lives that they feel they have the right to impose their expectations or wishes onto others.

    The internet has also made it so easy to be rude and disrespectful because of the anonymity factor. This is one of the reasons why I try to think twice before posting anything. I ask myself whether or not I would tell the same thing to a loved one face-to-face. If not, I keep my thoughts to myself. Just as I would not want to hurt someone I love, I don’t want to hurt anyone else just to make myself feel okay.

    Please ignore the rude comments. I know this is easier said than done because those comments are the ones that we pay most attention to. Remember that there are thousand of us who appreciate your candor and honesty, and for whom you have been a blessing from the Lord.

    • “This is one of the reasons why I try to think twice before posting anything. I ask myself whether or not I would tell the same thing to a loved one face-to-face.”

      Such words of wisdom there!

  • Meagan says:

    Keep it real and I’ll keep on reading!

  • Stephanie says:

    Crystal – you are awesome and whatever you do is yours to do. Some people unfortunately don’t think before they hit the send button and others believe that they are right, whatever the case, I love your honesty and willingness to maintain this blog because it really benefits me.

  • Agreed. Thanks for being real, Crystal. 🙂

  • People criticize simply because they can, whether they mean it or not! They have a forum. You are brave for making your initial decision, and braver still for sharing your choice not to follow through.

    You didn’t have to share your decisions with us; you chose to, hoping to find understanding and solidarity. Your honesty is so refreshing and appreciated. Sharing your struggles – the same ones I, for one, face, too – only cements your followers’ admiration because we are ALL on this same imperfect journey together.

    Don’t let the mean girls in the cafeteria stop you from eating what you want for lunch. 🙂

  • Susan says:

    Thanks for keeping it real, Crystal! And remember, you will only answer to God one day, not these people!!!

  • Jacki says:

    I want to encourage people. Everyone has their own lives and ways of living. I have a blog that I’m sure if I had enough readers, would let me know that they don’t agree with me on several subjects. You go girl! Women rule this world and we need to stand up and encourage each other.

    If everyone agreed on everything there would never be a war to fight.

  • Christine says:

    Don’t let over-opinionated people change you!! You are a normal human being just like the rest of us. You just have a better handle on things than I do most of the time. 😀 I think you are great!! Love reading your posts.

  • Dawna says:

    You know what? You’re Awesome! You’re not perfect and you are perfectly alright with that. I pretty sure every parent is the same way when it comes to being fustrated at kiddos or hubbys, and….(sigh)…. the laundry hahaha. But it’s awesome that you are keeping it up and I love your blog, I have learned a lot about saving/apps and other stuff inbetween. 🙂

  • Cate Hoepner says:

    The fact that you are relatable is what makes you one of my favorite bloggers! Perfection is boring and nothing short of a mask.

    We need reminders that it’s okay to not be perfect more than we need to see perfection that we can’t attain.


  • Lindsey says:

    I love this post! Thanks for always “keeping it real” and addressing unrealistic expectations. None of us is perfect and we can all strive to do better everyday. But let’s face it, it’s not always easy. I’m sure it is hard to read negative comments, but please try not to let it affect the way you write. I love reading this blog because it is honest and inspirational. As a stay-at-home mom I love learning about new ways to save and set personal and family goals. Keep up the good work!

  • Emily C says:

    My husband and I have a saying.
    “Honesty in our imperfections is what allows people to approach us with confidence.”
    So I’m pretty sure you’re doing something right, even if all the world’s an armchair critic.

  • Marcia says:

    I think you do darn good! I don’t get a third of the things done that you get done–no-make that a fourth, or even less! No one makes all of their goals. I really wanted to lose 25 pounds in 6 months, but I only lost 18. I even had the help of an online weight program. I finally decided that I was satisfied enough with the weight loss and decided to give myself grace. I plan to hold my weight until January, then try to lose some more. We are all human and I think that you are very inspiring!

  • Kim Sullivan says:

    I love your blog and your authenticity! You are real, and honest, and that is a beautiful thing. I am so sorry that some people feel it is their place to express their disappointment in you, but remember that harsh words from another are just a reflection of how they feel about themselves. I pray for those with a critical heart and I pray for you to continue to have the strength and courage to embrace and be proud of who you are in all of the choices you make whether people agree or disagree with what you do!

  • Heather says:

    I have followed your blog for quite some time now and it has been a blessing to watch you grown in wisdom and confidence. This post truly reflects that. 🙂

  • Denise says:

    Crystal, your honesty about trying goals and sometimes changing them is what I I love about your blog and the community you have created. I need the inspiration to try something even if I am not sure I will succeed — I don’t get why some people feel they have the right to tell others that they should have stuck with a goal that wasn’t working or done something completely different. It’s not their life or their headache (figuratively and literally). Perfection is overrated and unattainable but joy can be found with family and friends drinking a third cup of coffee in a messy house.

  • Emily Casuse says:

    Very well said!! I love reading your posts b/c they do give me a great deal of encouragement, and, at the same time, let me know that I am not alone in the chaos that life brings! : ) We’re all human, and no one is perfect!!!

  • Rachel Smith says:

    Posts like this make me wish we could just have a cup of coffee together!! Bwahaha! 😉 Seriously, I love the genuineness, the fact that there are other people like me who are struggling, striving, working hard at goals, not having it all together, loving their family imperfectly, and loving God with their whole hearts. It motivates me to not give up or feel like there is something wrong with me. Thank you!

  • Rose says:

    I love your blog BECAUSE you are REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Angela B. says:

    I look forward to reading your blog everyday. You and your family inspire my family. I’m not perfect and quite honestly I don’t want to be. I think we learn from our experiences bad and good that have brought us to the place we our right now. I love your blog because it seems real and honest…thanks for eveything that you do.

  • Sheli Mader says:

    I am really glad when you write about your struggles because sometimes I feel like I am the only one who messes up. Keep sharing! It makes me feel better and makes your blog real

  • Christie says:

    Aren’t we all tired of the plastic mask of perfectionism? People show us the best parts of their lives and make us feel inadequate because we can’t measure up to that standard. What we don’t see is that their lives are 10% perfect and 90% messy like the rest of us. Sharing your weaknesses may open you vulnerability but also makes us sigh in relief that we aren’t the only ones who don’t have it all together.

    I say bravo, God bless, and keep sharing.

  • Melissa S says:

    I’m glad that you are doing what the Lord, your family and you need to do. No one knows what’s goes on in other people’s lives. Encouragement is what we need from others. Some people have gifts and blessings that others do not. Everyone is different. I am 42 yrs old and have come to the conclusion in the last 5 years that I can only do so much. I have 5 children, homeschool, 4h and have NUMEROUS activities with 3 littles under 7 and 2 teens. I do the best that I can. I honestly don’t care what other people think of me and what I do. Not that I want to be mean and unfriendly, but their opinion is not on my list of cares. Most of the time I just ignore people’s comments and opinions. Sometimes I let them know that I really don’t care for their opinions, with a smile;). I’m over some people in this world just being judgmental and nasty. I’ve also seen that those same people who are so nasty, need to get their own life/house in order because their priorities are so out of whack.

  • Laura says:

    I agree. I know when I began to share my blog a person used it against me. Claiming my Christianity should mean I agree with everything.
    I thank you for your authenticity! I am praying for friendships in my life of woman who are authentic.
    I have to remind myself daily to keep my eyes on Jesus!
    Be encouraged today friend. Keep sharing!

  • Sarah says:

    Awesome! Just what I needed to hear this morning!

  • Lindsey Coffman says:

    “Moreover it is required of stewards to be found faithful. But for me, it is a small thing to be judged by you or any human court. In fact, I don’t even judge myself.” 1 Corinthians 4:2-3

    Be faithful to God, that is all! : ) We need to stop getting all worked up over silly little things that people decide about us. Fear God, not man! Good job.

  • Erica says:

    Crystal – This is the first time I’ve posted on your blog although I’ve been a reader for years. I can honestly say that the “realer” you are the more I love to read your posts! I’m a 40ish mom of 4 who works full time and many days I feel like I’m hanging on by a mere thread. If everyone is fed, clothed and no one killed each other that’s the best I can do sometimes! To know I’m not alone is far more satisfying and helpful than a blog full of platitudes and pretend perfection.

    Perfectionism is a dirty word in my book and we all need support – not judgement. Have that extra cup of coffee, sleep that extra hour, ignore that laundry an extra day if that’s what you need to get by. Extending grace to your self is as important as extending it to others.

    Take care of your self and keep on keeping it real!

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement and for taking the time to comment! It blessed me today!

    • Lisa says:

      I wholeheartedly agree! I too have been a reader for years but don’t think I’ve ever posted. It’s awesome that you are able to juggle so much and keep it real. I think if you were perfect, I would stop reading! Keep rockin on and thanks for opening up to us.

  • Melissa H says:

    I applaud you for your honesty in writing. Thank you for sharing about your fingernails and what isn’t working for you. I know when I sit down and watch a movie or pick up a book and I don’t like it I have a hard time “giving up”. BUT I do know, some things aren’t worth my time, etc and they don’t NEED to be completed.

  • Katie says:

    I actually prefer people not to be perfect. It makes you more real, more approachable and make me enjoy your writing more. Like, hey, she’s going through struggles just like me.
    Rock on sister.

  • Faith says:

    You know, what we dislike in ourselves usually shows in what we criticize in others. One way to lessen the impact of negative comments is to consider that people might be vesting a lot of themselves in your given effort and when you fail, they get upset because they would or do fail in that area. And since YOU couldn’t do it, they get even more upset.

    Or, they’re just jerks!

    Or, they think they are giving constructive criticism.

    We have enough perfect people presented to us in the media, so please share because your imperfections make me feel like it’s ok when I fail too!

  • Maegan says:

    I think you need to be more real. Not that you are proud of the failures that you have but sharing them sometimes help other moms know that they aren’t the only ones with them. Life happens and times have changed a lot in these last years and thing that you did before just don’t happen the same way now. I realize your posts are not just written for me but sometimes it is hard to read about how we need to not pay for cable because it is a waste or if we didn’t eat completely healthy that week then we are not doing a good job. I think goals are important to set for ourselves but we can’t just get wrapped up in them because life happens. I would encourage you to keep sharing your struggles because it helps more than you know.

  • Becky says:

    Good, good, good! I agree that you are encouraging thousands more people than who are disappointed. Makes me feel so much more hopeful when I see that you also have struggles. I’m surprised that people like that are even reading your positive and graceful blog. You’re nothing but kind to others. Must be nice to be so perfect as the naysayers are.

  • Cindy says:

    Crystal, none of us is perfect — that’s why the Father sent his Son for us!

    I know it’s difficult. I blog, too. And I write books, and speak publicly. What’s important is that you do the best you can — give that to God, and let Him take care of the rest. If Jesse is saying you’re doing all right — and I’d trust his assessment on whatever’s going on in your life — then you’re most probably just fine.

    Growing a thick skin is hard — but you’ve got to do it.

    P.S. Not all studies say drinking caffeinated coffee is that bad — some argue that there’s a health benefit! So I am a little puzzled that you’re attaching such importance to this…it’s really not that big a deal. Have your daily cups, and know that there are plenty of us out there joining you in it.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for your honesty. It’s so encouraging!!!!!

  • Hooray for you Crystal! As a fellow blogger, I understand the struggle to hit “publish” on a post that may cause others to respond in a negative way. Thank you for doing that over and over again…it is SUCH an encouragement!

  • Rhoda says:

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency through yoir blog. Completly understand the fear of opposing comments when you open up. However, you are very encouraging to me to know that I’m not the only one who fails sometimes. The reality of your blog is what draws me back to your posts!!

  • Diana says:

    Poo Poo on all those constant critics! You are real and transparent in your writings which is to be commended. Please keep sharing your successes and struggles as we all grow and learn right along with you. Those people who feel they must condemn or judge really need to take a close look at their own lives and and stop lashing out at those who are genuine! Keep on keeping on Crystal 🙂 You are appreciated!!!!

  • Crystal, your openness and transparency is an encouragement to us all. I appreciate your honesty! As a fellow blogger and mom of a large family (10 but only 7 are still at home) I understand how taxing it is to open yourself up and then be ridiculed or to disappoint others. I am praying for you as you seek to do the Lord’s will!

  • Corie says:

    I’m with you, Crystal! I read your post when you talked about quitting your goal of giving up caffeine. To be honest, I thought you were incredibly hard on yourself. When you talked about how giving up caffeine was wrecking havoc on your life, you said the issues that it was causing may seem ‘trivial’ to some of us. Let me tell you that none of that seemed trivial to me and you were absolutely right to decide that it wasn’t working for you and your family! I can’t believe anyone would criticize or be disappointed in you for that. WOW! Their behavior says more about them than it does about you. Be confident in the knowledge that you know what’s best for your family and disregard comments from those who criticism you for carrying that out.

  • Melanie says:

    Way to go!!!! 🙂 I think people struggle to accept differences of opinion or different methods without looking down on the person who does it differently. I, like many others, read your blog because you are real. keep on keeping on.

  • Anya N. says:

    Agreed! This morning, you posted a picture that joked about the rush most of us parents have when it comes to getting our kids ready for school in the mornings. While most of us saw the humor in it, there were a few comments from moms that wagged their fingers and said things along the lines of, “Well, I’M always prepared the night before, so I NEVER have that problem.” It seems that there is always someone that has to tut-tut someone else in order to make themselves feel better. I used to be angry at those kind of sanctimonious parents, but now I kinda just feel bad for them and move on.

    You do you, Boo.

  • Alison says:

    Agreed! I, for one, was encouraged by your giving up that goal. Sometimes we set ourselves goals that are too lofty (even if just for now). Wisdom is knowing when you need to adjust your aims. 🙂

  • Mitzi Limburg says:

    I love your honesty and being a “perfectionist” does not mean you’re perfect, it means you would like to be perfect! LOL And I truly believe that being honest and open is so much more important and I believe it pleases the Lord more, too! Keep blogging! And have a great weekend! 🙂

  • Trish says:

    I love your blog and how real you are. Don’t ever change because of someone else’s opinion that doesn’t know what it is like to be in your shoes.

  • Kandace says:

    I’m with you! I don’t come to your site for perfection, though you do a lot of things very well. I value your honesty and how you share your struggles with reaching goals, etc. Keep up the good work!

  • Erin says:

    Sharing your struggles and shattering the facade of perfection will help the majority of your readers better relate to you. Don’t let the naysayers get to you!

  • Lisa says:

    Haters gonna hate, lol. But I value your honesty and seeing how someone who isn’t perfect handles things, because God and my husband (at the least) know that I’m not. If you were always perfect it would be intimidating and alienating. I think your website and your posts are always great. 🙂

  • Jill says:

    I’m with you!! =) Your honesty and realness is what brought me back to this blog as a daily reader and you’re so right, sharing your struggles has encouraged so, so many people, me being one of them. Keep on doing what you’re doing well!

  • Julie says:

    As a long-time reader on your blog I can see huge steps being made on your part just by not letting the negative comments get to you and by being willing to confront them in a loving way. Way to go!!!

    Thank you for being more transparent and letting us know that you are real. It helps us all so much. 🙂

  • Christie J says:

    I don’t have a blog, but a few years ago my New Year’s resolution was to give up posting anything negative on Face Book. I just don’t think it’s a good place to vent frustrations about day to day things. Since that time, I’ve had a few friends who have said they wish they could have my life, where nothing bad ever happens and I have everything all together. I asked them where they ever got that idea, and they said it was because my Facebook never had anything bad on it! I had to explain that I was just choosing not to publicly vent all my frustrations and bad days, but believe me-they’re there! They were so relieved to know that I’m normal. I think it’s interesting that when you try to be real and let people know your shortcomings, they criticize you, but when you don’t air all that stuff, they criticize themselves or feel badly for not measuring up. I sometimes think you can’t win no matter what you post or don’t post. Thank you for your honesty in your journey!

  • lyss says:

    I wonder if those who criticize are jealous of all your accomplishments? Just saying…

    Sometimes, though, it’s easy to misinterpret a comment on the computer. There’s no voice inflection, body language, etc. in a typed paragraph. I know that things I have written have been taken as criticism when I thought I was just stating a fact.

    People may have their opinions about caffeine consumption(or whatever you write about), but like you said, they don’t know you. You have to do what is best for you. And that may change. That’s life. Keep on keeping it real. : )

  • Annie C. says:

    You are a huge encouragement to me. I started reading your blog when I was first married 3 years ago to try and save money. I’m still reading and trying to save money as we have a four month old son now. You are a blessing to many with how you are so real. No one , I repeat, no one, has it altogether. That is a lie that the Enemy tries to get us to believe. Thank you for all you do. You are a blessing.

    My mom shared this quote with me a couple weeks ago, and it has encouraged me.

    “Inauthentic people are ineffective people.” – Beth Moore-

  • Sonya says:

    I appreciate your honesty. You inspire me because I see that I don’t have to be perfect to be successful. It’s always refreshing to see someone living in their truth.

  • Michal says:

    I couldn’t agree more!!! Most recently I have begun to admit out loud to other moms that I’m horrible at remembering to bathe my 4 kids (ages 4 yr-twins, 2 yr & 3 months. 🙂 And I’m trying to post the blooper pictures on facebook as well as the angelic ones. 🙂 Being real is so much more encouraging that airbrushing your story. Keep being open and honest with me, I consider you a friend!

  • Betsy says:

    Drink that caffeine, Crystal! (Type A personalities like you and me thrive on it!) And keep on blogging!!

  • MelissaJ says:

    I have been thinking of a quote I heard a while ago, thinking I should share it with you Crystal, so here goes:

    “People will respect you for what you know, but they’ll love you for your vulnerabilities.”

    Colleen Barrett of South West Airlines said that.

    For me, knowing that you are not perfect helps me think that maybe I can get my act together with the goal setting and other improvement ideas I get from your blog. Jump in wherever you are, right? And when you make a mistake, fess up, ask for forgiveness if necessary, and move on.

    As much as I can love a person I’ve never met, I do love you for your vulnerabilities Crystal! Please keep being real! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for your honesty and transparency! As a recovering perfectionist, I love to hear public figures be real about their lives. It’s encouraging and builds love. Like you said, no one is perfect. Keep up the good work! 🙂 As for the readers who criticize you, they just haven’t gotten past the logs in their eyes yet. 😉 They take extra grace, because they can’t see that they are not perfect yet….

  • Lindsey Swinborne says:

    You are always such an encouragement to me and it especially blesses me and my friends when you admit that you aren’t perfect because we often marvel and your self-discipline and how much you get done. It’s so encouraging to hear that you have struggles like the rest of us. I’m sorry people feel the need to voice their disappointment. If they “walked a mile in your moccasins” they might be more understanding. Keep on doing what you do; you are an amazing woman whom God is using!

  • Lindsey Swinborne says:

    You are always such an encouragement to me and it especially blesses me and my friends when you admit that you aren’t perfect because we often marvel at your self-discipline and how much you get done. It’s so encouraging to hear that you have struggles like the rest of us. I’m sorry people feel the need to voice their disappointment. If they “walked a mile in your moccasins” they might be more understanding. Keep on doing what you do; you are an amazing woman whom God is using!

  • Varsha says:

    Hello Crystal,

    You have been and inspiration to me and you are to me everyday .There have been times in my life when I was wrong and did not know what to do your blog has given me the answers that I needed.. I have learnt a lot in the past 4years. I did not even know how to do goal setting and how to plan. I have learnt so much about mothering and how to save money from your blog.. I have learnt the most important thing from you that as a mother it is ok to let go of things sometimes . Earlier I used to do everything and get exhausted and think oh man I have so much more things to do and I learnt from you that we cannot do everything and I do not have it altogether. I thank you for that. I come to your blog everyday because of your honest opinions that you share … Thanks for being yourself and helping us and inspiring us everyday.. I always feel that I have lot more to learn from you ..
    Thanks for being real in the blogworld..

  • Kristen Marsh says:

    Haters gonna hate.

    Sadly, many of those people probably hear those negative voices inside demanding their own perfection, and possibly their children, spouses, etc. Hopefully they will learn acceptance. FlyLady taught me that 🙂
    Take care

  • Shannon says:

    I am glad to hear that you are not perfect (that sounds kind of bad for me to say, but read on). I would rather read about someone in the real world having some of the same struggles that makes me feel normal and inspired versus read something written to make the author appear perfect. Reading about perfect things just makes me feel inadequate and overwhelmed. When I read your posts, it makes me realize that there are things out there I can do to improve myself and here is a real world normal person doing them so I can give it a try, too. Carry on with courage and inspiration!!

  • Ruth says:

    People will say almost anything behind the mask of the world wide web that they would never say to your face. Crystal you are an inspiration to us all. Don’t let the enemy of our souls get to you with through them. Hold your head high. I had to learn that when someone rejects me or a piece of me they are rejecting Jesus and that is just never a good thing. Since I have his acceptance and approval I don’t need theirs. I read the caffeine blog and was so proud of you for being mature about your limits and not making excuses about the situation but being transparent.

  • You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me! I struggle with people pleasing too and I’m so proud of you for living life fully in spite of the discouragement. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂

  • Jen says:

    Echoing all your readers, I appreciate your honesty too! The idea of disappointing readers and perfectionism in general is probably holding me back from starting my own blog!!

  • Karla says:

    I’ve kind of always tried to remember that I’m not perfect. I’m perfectly imperfect, or I’m perfect in my imperfection. Either way, it’s nice to know that I am not alone. 🙂

  • Brighid says:

    Yeah for you! I know it’s so, so much easier to tell someone not to worry about something than actually do that myself (not worry or self-criticize) but you were the one who made “give yourself grace” stick in my head.

    Just as we need to learn from other’s successes, we also need to share our failures. How else are we to learn “Don’t do that”? And as far as I know, there’s only one being that can claim to have not made mistakes. 🙂

  • Karen says:

    I am so sorry to hear you have encountered your fair share of negative nillies. Who would want to read a blog about how perfect someone is? Sometimes people project their self-hatred onto the people that are kind and open like yourself. You are right, you have made me feel better by you sharing your insecurities and imperfections because I know I am not alone. I suffer from severe depression and only a small handful of people know because of how judgemental the world can be. Kudos to you for being yourself and sharing it with the world!

  • Sarah says:

    I actually can’t believe there are people that would rather you be fake than honest! What you choose to do is between you, your family and your heavenly Father. Don’t sweat it girl, you have a ton of supporters who truly appreciate your transparency!

  • cherie says:

    This post made me SO sad Crystal. But then I remembered that the internet is full of people – just like the real world – and there are loads of great ones. And there are ALWAYS a few that will judge everyone around them, who think they’re better than the rest of us, who are prideful and arrogant.

    Let me tell you something, all you who feel able to criticize and denigrate someone who is trying to share and to help people up. Those who feel entitled to critique other’s choices – your opinions don’t matter, you have no right to judge. EVERYONE YOU MEET IS STRUGGLING. And some of them are doing it so bravely, with such grace and positivism, that you don’t even know it. Keep your unpleasantness to yourself. If you don’t have something nice to say, something supportive and understanding, then keep it to yourself unless you’re specifically asked your opinion.

    Sorry Crystal – rant over – I just really hate seeing anyone picked on. I appreciate the way you always share your failures as well as your successes – I know so many folks take courage from that – that I hate to see you knocked down for it – even a peg.

  • Kath M says:

    Crystal, I’m with you. It’s quite hard to bear up under criticism, but you must do what is right for you before the Lord, and husband. That is what matters. Then you can walk before “man” with a clear conscience.

    Personally, I appreciate sharing in your days whether they be high or low. You’re real. You know it has, unfortunately, taken me to long (now in my mid to later 40’s) to really in my mind, but importantly in my heart realize that we are all facing so many of the same struggles. Learning to be gracious…is just so very necessary to being truly empathetic towards one another. How precious this life is!

    If I am to be a light in this world for the Lord, I need to be approachable, real, loving, empathetic, and caring. The facade must come down. Thank you for sharing the real you with us. You are appreciated :~)

  • Natalie says:

    I am totally with. I read your blog often, but this is my first to comment. I thank you and commend you. True, we all make mistakes, but you are courageous and giving enough to share both your successes and failings. I’m encouraged by both. I recently shared with a friend that ppl need hear how others have failed and overcome. marriage is hard work. but realized that it’s possible and SO worth it to push thru the rough patches. instead of thinking that everyone else is either sublimely happy or divorced. so I thank you! I am truly blessed to have found your blog.

  • April says:

    Such a relief to hear you say this. Keep on keepin’ on. Don’t listen to the nay sayers. God is using you to encourage and instruct others.

  • Crystal says:

    From one “Crystal” to another, I just have to say that I love the things you share. It’s nice to see that even bloggers are real people too – even if my laundry pile makes your’s look like an anthill! 🙂 I like reading about your family – both the everyday things and the big/life changing events. I think it helps lots of people to see that everyone has things that they do well and others that they always have to work on. Keep on posting just like you do so you give the rest of us hope and a few giggles too! Just wished you lived in Colorado so I could give you a big hug!

  • Oh my goodness Crystal, I have to say that this post both saddened and surprised me. This past week I have been starting to lose my faith in people a bit… Everywhere I go I either have terrible customer service or encounter rude, pushy, nasty people and it has been starting to weigh on me. Although I am disappointed and shocked that people would react to your honesty in such a way, your positive attitude and bright spirit was uplifting on a day when I really needed it.

    I also wanted to let you know that you are the only blogger (that I know of) who shares their goals and then is 100% honest about their progress (both good and bad). This honesty makes me trust you more as a blogger, feel more connected to you, and also admire your bravery!! Congratulations on having the courage to share your real life with us and more importantly not letting negativity get you down! Thank you!

  • Mary Price says:

    Just wanted to add my voice as one more person saying, “We love you, just the way you are.” What business is it of anyone else’s how much coffee you drink, or don’t drink? What’s important is that you are so incredibly honest, helpful, kind, and approachable. How I wish you lived next door! Please know what we readers love you and your precious family dearly!

  • Barbara Peter says:

    Crystal, it’s tough making everyone happy. Just be yourself and share in your struggles and triumphs. I applaud you! Here’s my little coffee secret for you: I stopped drinking coffee for months. One day, I felt like drinking it again. So now I have a cup every morning and thoroughly enjoy it. And…over the last few weeks, I’ve been spoiling myself with a cup in the afternoons too. It is a treat that I look forward to. And I’m going to continue doing this until I feel like stopping. I remember that my German grandma enjoyed a cup of coffee every afternoon. It was her little ritual. Enjoy your afternoon coffee, Crystal! It’s very European!

  • Nicole says:

    I know this may be easier said than done because, even though I say I don;t care what others think, that’s not always the case, but you should never have to justify a decision you make. I read the caffeine post and thought, “she tried something and it didn’t work for her so she decided to stop. Good for her for trying and better for her for knowing what was best for her and her family.” I know no one is perfect and I’m sure that each one of the people who wrote in a negative comment has tried to do something then decided it wasn’t working. Also, I have to say that reading that your laundry sometimes piles up or you don’t always cook from scratch or achieve all the goals you set for yourself makes me feel relieved. I don’t take pleasure from your stumbles, but they help me realize that I’m ok. Your truth allows me to give myself more grace. Honestly, people who always say they have it together or act that way can’t be truthful. We all stumble and it is in sharing those stumbles that allows us to feel united and akin with one another. I recently read something on FB that said, “Moms – you’re doing your best, and that is good enough! Your kids love you because you love them!” This is so hard to remember sometimes especially when others pretend to be perfect! Motherhood isn’t about perfection. It’s about trying to be better each day. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we may falter, but we will never be perfect so the sooner we give that up, the better for our sakes and the sakes of our spouses and children. Please keep being honest. I must prefer honesty to fake perfectionism any say!

  • Pam says:

    I appreciate that you do what’s best for you and your family and are honest about it. I think it’s very brave to put that out there for the world to see too.

  • Heidi says:

    What is they saying? “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time”. Frankly, Crystal, I could not do what you do, putting yourself out there, opening yourself up to criticism, I am not that brave! There are people who LOVE to criticize, especially with the anonymity of the internet. I would pay them no mind! As far as the caffeine goes, I was glad you went back to your cup of coffee! Coffee is GOOD for you! Do not listen to the naysayers!!

  • Karen says:

    I’m with you!!

  • Goodness gracious, we all try things and some don’t work out like we plan. It is better to do what is best for you and your family than push on with a goal stubbornly just for the sake of achieving it. I really don’t understand why people feel like they need to put their opinions on it. They are not living it. I personally am so glad you are open and honest, it is one of my favorite things about your blog and part of why I have stuck around for many years. Thank you for sharing your life with us! That is a gift and should never be taken lightly or with judgment. I’d rather someone be “real” and also it makes me feel better to know that you might have to change your goals since so many times in my life I’ve had to step back and decide if something is working or not.

  • Mac says:

    Oh, Crystal! I love it! I’ve felt so much better reading your more recent posts! When I first found your blog, I made some rather unrealistic goals based on what you’ve been able to accomplish with your family in the past. It took me a while to realize that in my own situation, I just can’t pull off a $50 or even $80 grocery budget right now… At least not EVERY week! It’s so much better to find goals that are challenging, but still doable for US. Yes. Authenticity is so encouraging! It helps us use your inspiration to set the right goals for ourselves.

  • Dana says:

    This is the first time I’m commenting, as I usually read your blog via email. But this one inspired me to chime in! Like others have said, we’re all trying our best to be/do the best we can for our families. Honestly, probably would not like/read your blog if you made yourself out to be perfect. It would be too depressing for me! The more people I see who (or portray themselves to) have everything together, clean house, amazing career, happy family, home cooked food on the table every night, fun vacations, etc., the more I compare myself to some unrealistic ideal. NO ONE has everything together all of the time. It is fruitless to compare yourself to anyone who claims to! I would much rather hear how people are handling all of the “stuff” we have to handle in everyday life. I want to hear tips and tricks from others who may have nailed one particular thing, so maybe I can incorporate that one little nugget into my life to make things easier. As you said, we’re all in this together, and it makes so much more sense to support each other and build each other up than tear each other down! Keep doing what you’re doing! I appreciate it, and I know a lot of others do too!

  • Charlotte says:

    As the saying goes…honesty is the best policy! Thanks for being real and always encouraging!

  • Karissa says:

    This is the first time I have ever posted a comment here, but it HAS to be done. You are such an encouragement to me, Crystal! I am encouraged that sometimes your kids fight, and sometimes you yell, and sometimes you just need another cup of coffee! I can relate to that. :o) So, please continue to share from your heart, and brush off the negative comments. Of course we can’t please everyone – let’s just be confident in ourselves, share what’s really going on, and seek God’s guidance with all of our imperfections. Thanks for everything! :o)

  • Beth says:

    One thing I’ve been working on this year is saying no. I’ve gotten better at saying no to people and activities…but saying no to perfection? Still a work in progress!

  • Christine says:

    Thank you for being you! You will never know how much of a blessing you have been to me. And more so because I know you are a real person with real problems, not some one who is perfect. My God Bless you and your family.

  • Tibi says:

    I’m with you!! Way to go Crystal! I am so thankful that you are authentic and share your struggles. It is definitely easier to read a blog about a person who doesn’t have it all together and knows it verses a blog by someone who thinks they have it all together and makes their readers feel like failures. We have an easy enough time feeling like failures, so it is so important that we just accept our limitations and be honest about them and move on. We all struggle and we all need each other. Amen sister!! Keep pressing on. You are an inspiration to me.

  • Beth says:

    I think you hit it right on – Grace! We need to give it to ourselves and others. It’s hard to put yourself out there publicly because there will always be criticism. (I struggle with that myself!!) But when we are willing to be real, we can reach down into the hearts of our readers, not just the surface. When we realize that God loves us just as we are – dirty dishes, Legos all over the floor, hopped up on caffeine 🙂 – and still has an awesome plan for our lives, it’s so much easier to extend that same grace to others. And I think that’s what so so many are craving in this world where we are constantly bombarded with images of what we are supposed to be aspiring to as “perfection”….Grace, to say “you don’t have to have it all together for God to love you or use you”. There’s a line in a song I love that has really ministered to me. It says “He’ll never say I’ll never be enough.” So, thank you for being real and allowing yourself to be vulnerable so you can truly reach the hearts of your readers.

  • Nicki Beyale says:

    You go girl! We women are so tough on each other and I have yet to figure out why! You’re such an inspiration and are one of the first blogs I ever started following (way back). Love your blog! Keep being you! 🙂

  • Rachel E says:

    Please please please share more! I like to hear about things that make people human! It is hard to read various blogs where everything seems perfect. Or people are able to meet their goals on the first try. I think you giving up on caffeine was one of my all time favorite posts of yours. Maybe it is just where am at in life. I like to read things that inspire but I also like to have some realism sprinkled in.

  • Lizzy says:

    The more you show your honest, transparent and “real” heart,the more I see Him in you and love & appreciate you, and your blog 🙂

  • Michelle Wilkins says:

    I’ve been a reader for a loooong time. Since the days of Biblical Womanhood! I’ve watched this blog grow and grow and the great success you have achieved both personally and monetarily. You yourself have stated it has put you in a place that even you could never imagine. With the thousands and thousands of readers you have, I think it’s unrealistic to think someone is not going to make a negative comment, or maybe two. Heck go to the grocery store, take longer than the person behinds you thinks you should, and your able to hear just about anything!
    You’ve put yourself out there in a very public, personal way sharing your heart. I just read almost all your comments and just read an outpouring of love and support. Take the good and let the rest go!

  • amber says:

    I’m sorry you had upsetting replies to your post. I remember reading it the other day. It seemed normal to me, you needed extra energy so you started drinking coffee again. I have a terrible time falling asleep and staying asleep so, ever night I take Zzz Quil before I go to bed. In the morning I drink a cup of coffee to get rid of the lingering fog.

  • Katie says:

    I just want you to know that your blog is one of my favorites because you are so real & human with your writing. I started reading because I wanted to save money, but I’ve stayed reading because I have learned so much from you as a person. I love your attitude & approach to life. Please keep sharing your life with us!

  • Michele says:

    I’m with you girlfriend. You be you and no one else!

  • Carey says:

    Crystal, I would honored to be among the ones that tell you how much you have inspired me, motivated, and anchored me. You are loved and appreciated and respected by so many, including myself. It is because of your willingness to be vulnerable and “human” that I and so many others can relate to you and love your blog!!! I want to tell you that I am so sorry that you had to endure some uncalled for comments, it saddened my heart that you had to go through that. But please know how much that you are dearly loved and appreciated by countless countless COUNTLESS others!!! Through your humility, I always feel like God has such a chance to shine through your blog, and in your blog, I always feel so much life. So thank you for being so real Crystal! A big hug, and a big high five to you 🙂

  • kathy wallace says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for being honest. I want to read a blog that is human and not perfect. I love to hear when you try things and the out come and when things go well or they don’t. Keep on keeping it real.

  • Tina says:

    Like my momma said ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t be casting stones’. You are a real person with real emotions, feelings, accomplishments and even failures just like the other billions of people on earth. Nowhere on your blog have I read where you claim to be perfect or that you have life figured out. To the contrary you admit to having failures, shortcomings just as you admit to having successes and attain goals you set for yourself as well as your family. I am like others that enjoy your blog because you are real and we can relate to you even with our diverse backgrounds. Please don’t be discouraged by the negativity of a few people who if this is the standard they live their life by, will always be unhappy and miserable because no one on this earth today are perfect and have no failures or disappointments. Your blog has not only encouraged me on a daily basis but has helped me to set and succeed at small goals. Thank you and your family members for your time and for sharing your life experiences with us.

  • Amy says:

    Your authenticity is your greatest appeal for many of us. Please don’t hold back – none of us are perfect!!

  • Anna says:

    Nothing anyone does could ever make everyone else happy. Nothing.

    On your coffee post, I noticed there were a lot of people happy you are drinking more coffee again. If you had given up your second cup for good, they probably wouldn’t have been as happy. Maybe they wouldn’t have said anything, maybe they would have.

    We can only strive to make Him happy and do what is best for our own families and ourselves. No one else could ever fully understand us.

    Keep walking in the light and being yourself!

  • Autumn Beach says:

    Amen and amen! What you said. Why am I still amazed (appalled?) that there are folks out there who choose to dispense negative words? It’s really too bad for them. I mean, seriously…how sad is that?

    Unfortunately, it seems that as one’s success increases, so does the opposition. Especially when you’re taking a stand. I have faith in you, though. I know you are grounded enough in your identity in Christ to shake, shake, shake…shake it off. ☺ (I’m sorry…that song has been in my head all day.)

    I do believe that’s what it comes down to, though. Knowing and remembering who you are. Who you belong to. Writing for your Audience of One. And knowing that you are striving to honor Him in all that you do. That is enough.

    Thank you for sharing glimpses of your life with us. And THANK YOU for keeping it real. Stay strong, sister.

    Oh, and keep cheering for those Royals! 🙂

  • Gary Armour says:

    Thank you for being open and honest with your readers, Crystal. People can relate to your personal struggles and most of us expect you to be normal, have a “regular” sort of family, and deal with the same kinds of issues we deal with. Your honesty about your struggle with coffee makes you seem more “us” and I appreciate it. As for this really old Kansas Boy I appreciate reading about a Kansas Girl and what is happening in her life and her family. My wife and I have benefited greatly from your suggestions and offers in your blog. We thank you very much!

  • Well said, Crystal. As a blogger I completely understand your dilemma, but I love your honesty with the readers. It is refreshing.

  • Gina says:

    To be honest, I actually like reading well rounded blogs that aren’t all sunshine. And also, whether you drink a half a cup of coffee or not is really trivial. People have WAY too much time on their hands if they are spending it criticizing any blogger at all. I would count it as a success that you made it as far as you did, enjoy your coffee, and move on.

  • Kim says:

    Oh, Crystal, thank you for being so honest. It is refreshing when people can be real and not blow sunshine and unicorns out their wazoo. Seriously, who’s life is perfect? Not a one of us and we all have to give ourselves the grace needed every day to let go. Like you– I strive to save money, coupon, pray, be a good wife and mother, etc…but honestly, I want to run away more so now than when I was a child. Lol! Being true to yourself is the best way to be in life. Much love and hugs to you. I truly love your blog and will continue to keep reading. Again, thank you for being you!

  • Tonya says:

    I’m with you! It’s why I read your blog in the first place. I need someone to be real and let me know it’s okay to give Myself grace.

    BTW-my laundry is stacking up, too! Don’t feel bad 🙂

  • This really spoke to me, especially this line, “What I’m learning, though, is that when I share my short-comings and struggles, I may disappoint a few people. But ultimately, I will encourage many, many more people.”

    As a food blogger who talks about healthy eating, if I ever share my “failures” to live up to the “ideal” lifestyle, there can be negative comments and judgment, but I want to be authentic to readers and honest as well. Yet, when I do share about some of the struggles I’ve had, I have been surprised at how often it DOES speak to people – much more then the posts outlining my successes at times. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Gloria says:

    Disappointed? Are you kidding me? There’s nothing more annoying than bloggers who try to present that they’re “perfect.” Go ahead and disappoint some people. If anyone is that upset over whether you drink coffee…they need to work on themselves.

  • Anna says:

    I may be very off here but I know that the way some people give encouragement doesn’t always come off encouraging. I read through the comments of the said caffeine-quitting post and found the annoyed reader comment. It seemed like she was trying to give you a sort-of pep talk about going for it since it’s only one week left in the challenge.

    I don’t think she realized that in your schedule coming up, you needed all the strength you can muster to make it through. It sounded more like when a personal trainer pushes you to go one more mile to finish the race.

    I hope you can give her grace. I don’t think she thinks you should be perfect. Haven’t we all at one point given advice that seems sound to us at the wrong time?

    • Absolutely! I’m all about giving people grace… This post was not to call out a person or commentor but just to share something that’s been on my heart based upon MANY comments I’ve received over the past year — a number of which were so harsh that I’ve not published them. 🙁

  • Lindsay says:

    Love this!!! You are amazing!!! Keep up the great work!!!

  • Karen C says:

    Well Crystal, it’s obvious at the number of comments on this post in a few short hours that you have a lot of supporters on this issue, count me in as one of them!

    Frankly, at my age I’m amused that anyone would be disappointed in another on something as trivial as coffee consumption:) I’ve disappointed others (and myself) countless times over the years when trying to attain a goal. Sometimes I’ve gone back again and attained it and sometimes I decided it was just not worth it or was an ill conceived goal to begin with. It’s all in the trying and the learning.

    I read this blog because I get something of value out of it. I don’t expect you to be perfect because if you were, I probably wouldn’t trust you. I like you just the way you are and I thank you for the savings, tips and inspiration you send to my inbox. Enough said;)

  • Renee' M. says:

    Amen sister!

  • Lor Alessi says:

    Please don’t stop being transparent. It’s one of my favorite things about your blog. You inspire me to be a better me for His glory. It’s refreshing to know you are a real live woman just trying to do what God has called you to do. Not perfection. Just progression. That’s all He asks. Because of you and Him convicting me, I am trying to take better care of myself through exercise, healthier food choices, and striving to make more meaningful friendships. That last one is so hard for this introverted gal. Thank you Crystal for striving to be who God has called you to be and sharing the journey with us.

  • Sissy Sweet says:

    No one is perfect, and we all know that. I am so glad you keep it real, and tell your blogging story honestly and truthfully, Crystal. <3 Big Hugs!

  • Leah says:

    Crystal, I have been reading your blog for years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have always appreciated everything you post, both good and bad. No matter how hard anyone tried not everything turns out every time like planned.
    I like to read and try new recipes online. My family on the other hand? You would think I was feeding them martian food a lot of the time. I even had a “corn ” mutiny one time, who would think a kid wouldn’t eat corn? Now it’s cooked on the grill in the summer and with a bit of bacon in the winter. It’s what works for my family.
    You have a lot on your plate this year and I think you are doing an awesome job. !!!
    You have a lot of friends out here Crystal, we are behind you all the way!

  • Jan says:

    If we were all perfect, yourself included, we wouldn’t need blogs like yours. You inspire us to do better and that’s so much more important. Yes we fall down, yes we sometimes stop and pick up again later on when the situation allows us to, and yes sometimes we fail BUT failure is not having a go in the first place, not bothering to try,try, try again. Eventually we will make it. Thank you for sharing your life with us and helping us to know that with time and practice anything is possible. <3

  • Jennifer says:

    I love your authenticity and very much appreciate it! Blessings to you and prayers while you enter into this very busy next few weeks!

  • Cindy Stevens says:

    Yes! Keep being forthright. We all face daily struggles. We need to hear we are not alone, and we will make it through (with God’s help). I love reading your blog

  • Oh, my! Can I just say that I’m glad you don’t paint yourself as the “look at me! I’m so perfect! My life is so grand! You’ll never be as good a wife/mother/woman as me!” We all know those types and, frankly, I avoid them! Like the plague!

    I recently read a book called A Lineages of Grace by Francine Rivers. Each section was based on one of the 5 women in the lineage of Christ. Those women weren’t perfect either and God used them in a mighty, mighty way! So, just imagine what He can do with us in spite of the fact that we yell at our kids sometimes or drink a little too much coffee! Not that I do those! 😉 HAHAHAHA!

  • Sheryll says:

    Thank you for being honest. Please continue to do so even if it only helps one person.

  • Mary says:

    Three cheers for being YOU to the fullest! I’d much rather hear the honest truth than have you telling all your readers how perfect life is as a wife and mother.

    P.s. I’m with you on the coffee challenge-you stuck it out loud get than most probably could! There’s nothing wrong with making a decision that will help you feel better throughout the day!

    Thanks for all your wonderful posts-keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Thank you for putting yourself out there & sharing your heart as often as you do. I’ve been extremely blessed by reading your posts & browsing through the snapshots of your life.

  • CC Bynum says:

    Amen! Don’t ever stop being REAL! For that is the only way to be. Put yourself first, be REAL about who you are and don’t worry about what others think. Period. I have NO respect for Fakes. Fakes are illusions. Being Real is Reality. That’s the life I live in, a REAL one.

  • Christine G. says:

    THANK YOU FOR BEING HONEST!!!!! You have no idea how much I needed this post today. I have been struggling with a lot of adjustments since we brought home our second daughter from China last year, and it has finally caught up with me. The last couple of days I have done more crying and stressing than I have done in a very long time. I know this is completely unrelated to what your post is about, but just knowing that I am not the only one who is having problems is such a comfort today. I admit to sometimes thinking that certain people “have it all together”, and I feel like such a failure because I can’t get my act together. It really helped to encourage me to read this post and realize that we all go through this at some time. Thank you again.

    • {Hugs!} I am so, so sorry that you’ve been struggling recently! I just prayed for comfort and encouragement for you.

      • Christine G. says:

        Thank you, Crystal. I have truly enjoyed reading your blog; I find it to be a constant encouragement, as well as very good information. I absolutely love your list of free ebooks. such a HUGE help to me.

    • Anne says:

      I just prayed for you, too. We just have one biological child, but I want you to know you are not alone. 🙂 You belong to the Mom club and while we can’t all relate exactly to your unique struggles, we all have them as mothers.

  • Marsha says:

    Thank you so much for being transparent. No one is perfect and the people that chastise you need to take a closer look at themselves. Keep up the good work. You have a lot more encourages than critics!!!!!

  • julie says:

    Love this! Love you b/c of it. You are such an encouragement for being real. Humbleness and kindness ooze thru the screen. You will do great in these next busy weeks, I just know it. Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding… Thanks for all that you do, share, convey, tell, explain, etc!

  • francine says:

    Well said! I often wonder how some people seem so put together. Maybe their heart is missing?

    • Sonja says:

      I think you’re right…I think their heart is missing! Something I’ve grappled with a lot lately. I could be “perfect”, too, but it’s not me; I care too much for people and ministry to be “cold” yet “perfect”. 🙂 I’m trying not to be bitter about it. It’s a choice I’ve made, because that’s who I am. I will do what I am! 🙂

  • Jessika says:

    I NEED you to not be perfect! I have too many friends who tout their perfect lives with home cooked organic meals, homeopathic cures for their children’s illnesses, homemade Halloween costumes, daily art projects, blah, blah, blah. I’m lucky to throw a lunchable at my kids in their Target costumes while calling the doctor for another round of antibiotics for my 3 year olds latest ear infection while the 4 year old draws on the walls. It’s really not that bad, but knowing people I respect have the same issues I do gives me hope and comfort that our best is good enough. Thank you for your honesty and candor about the hardest job ever!

  • Susanna says:

    A friend and I actually talked about your post and how much we loved that you posted it. I love seeing how you’ve grown as you’ve blogged and been real about it. I’d choose reality over perfection any day. Re-evaluating and prioritizing is essential work that only I can truly do in my life and only you can do in your life. The ability and willingness to take responsibility for doing that is a strength, not a weakness. Thank you for not only the practical blessing that your blog is but for the inspiration and encouragement that you bring.

  • Anne says:

    I don’t usually leave comments, but I just wanted to let you know how much I APPRECIATE your honesty. We live in a world where people constantly pretend to be perfect. They set up their “facade” of a perfect life right there on facebook, and go from there. Most of us don’t have the courage to let others see us as we really are. You are so brave. We all have some of the same failures, and instead of kicking each other when we are down, we should be helping each other up. Grace is a beautiful thing.

  • Maya Andrews says:

    I was thinking last night as I got ready for bed about your post of ‘quiting’ the coffee challenge. I thought it was wise to figure out what works for you and do it, rather than keep up appearances and do the ‘in’ thing.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have been reading your blog for years, and have been so blessed by all the recipes and shopping deals that you post. When you posted that you wanted to begin writing more personal posts, I was a bit disappointed, but only because you always seemed so perfect to me. I get very tired of reading and hearing about all these other moms that have it all together. I simply don’t measure up to that ideal, and I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t want to even pretend anymore. I don’t think it’s helpful, especially for Christians, to pretend that we are perfect. It alienates others who know that they can’t measure up. It’s so encouraging to me to see other moms who aren’t perfect, but are still striving to improve themselves. So thank you for being brave enough to be real with us all.

  • Sarah says:

    Crystal, the fact that you share your struggles makes everything else that you write seem more genuine and inspiring. Also, I am constantly reminding myself that what I accomplish in a day has a great deal to do with my priorities. Sure I could have gotten dinner on the table right on time, but I chose to read an extra 20 min. with my kids while they were interested and engaged. I’m sure you could have knocked the caffeine challenge out of the park if that had been your top priority, but you re-evaluated and decided it was impeding you not aiding you and you changed course. BRAVA!!! Sadly, we frequently give strangers more grace than we do ourselves. Please do your best to ignore the negative comments, the rest of us really appreciate your honesty!

  • Amber says:

    Thanks for keeping your blog posts real. It’s easy for people to judge when you are just not putting the highlights of your life on the web for people to see. Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Sondra H says:

    I am so proud of you for keeping it real and not pretending to be someone you’re not! All too often we read about these bloggers lives and get jealous or disappointed in ourselves for not being “perfect” or having it all together like they do. In reality, they struggle just as we do. Just like most people on Facebook, we tend to only post about the happy and positive moments.
    This is why you are such a great role model for other women and mothers.

  • Diane says:

    I never leave comments, but feel compelled to this time. I really enjoy your blog, and even more so your honesty. Anyone who is criticizing you for going back to caffeine has way too much time on their hands. And, I would like to turn the tables on them and ask if they finished every goal they set out to finish..I highly doubt it. I am also not perfect, I also yell at my children sometimes, I, too, get frustrated with my husband, I also have nights that I just don’t want to cook…never mind from scratch, you should see my laundry pile, and I also run late sometimes. But I know my husband loves me and thinks I am wonderful regardless of these things, and my children think I am a great mom…even when I mess up. I know your family feels the same way about you – and they are the most important people in our lives. : ) Please know that there are way more of us who appreciate you and your life than those who find fault – and I would wager to add that those who find fault are not happy with their own lives so they feel the need to nitpick at others.

  • Tracy says:

    I loved that post! Thank you for sharing your “real” life with us.

  • Nicole Giordano says:

    Way to go Crystal! I appreciate your authenticity and genuineness… The world needs more people like that. Thanks for your great articles,deals, recipes and inspiration 🙂

  • kerrie says:

    Posts that paint someone in a light of perfectness tend to rub me wrong. I appreciate real life ups and downs. We all have strengths and weaknesses. When someone only posts the strengths it perpetuates the tendency of women to compare their weaknesses with others strengths. Love it when people keep it real!

  • terrytunes says:

    Well, recently I read a post of yours about friendships and honestly, I began to feel depressed because of all the pictures of you with your new-found friends and seemingly ideal lifestyle. And, my life is not like that. Lo and behold, at the bottom of that post, you commented on how you had been struggling with certain things in your life. Suddenly, I realized that you were really real! Not a person trying to put on a show and trying to make others think she has it all together! Most of us don’t. What a relief to know that you must rely on our great and mighty God, too, and that things don’t come all that easy to you, either. God bless you and don’t let the negative comments get you down. My advice would be to skim them quickly if you read them at all, or just don’t read them! Not everyone does mean well, and it would be counterproductive to focus on them to your detriment, and to ours. Rise above !! 🙂

  • Zoe A Schoppa says:

    I truly appreciate your beIng authentic. It’s very hard I know as I am a pastors wife and the expectation is that pastors and their families are to be perfect examples. Well, we are raising four priceless special needs children that we adopted through foster care. That doesn’t lead to perfection nor should it. Fortunately God doesn’t call for perfection, just devotion.

    I for one am grateful that you are choosing to be real and will be supportive of that.

  • Charlene E says:

    Stay with your own ideas, Crystal. Yesterday I tried adding caffeine back into my life. I’m not supposed to drink it since I now have Meniere’s disease. Well I was awake most of last night and slept most of today when I had other things I should have been doing. I used to love the energy my cup or two would give me each day, without regrets. Be wise and don’t try to be perfect. There was a certain man born about 2000 years ago and he was the only perfect man I ever knew about.

  • maria says:

    I have a lot of trouble understanding those that are not very understanding types! Reading this post made me even more frustrated with them, yet I have to remember some people need to grow and hopefully, with a little prayer and maybe some gentle but firm words, they will! I guess they forget they are not perfect either! In any case, different people are at different levels of maturity and need our understanding even while we are wishing for theirs! It is hard though, isn’t it?! Still, they are part of the world at large, and we are going to bump into them. Sometimes it helps me to be more aware of my behavior so to avoid being rude and downright mean as some are! Only listen to those that speak the truth in love. The rest need that grain of salt! Keep doing what you are doing; you are doing a great job!

  • Emma says:

    I guess I’m the opposite of the readers you mention – I *like* to hear about when others fall short of perfect. I like to see that bloggers make the same mistakes as “normal people” (I mean that in the best way, lol!) and that they struggle like anyone else. Keep it real – most of us appreciate the honesty! 🙂

  • Jenn says:

    Crystal, I’m glad you’re not perfect (whew!), and I like to see your honesty here. I totally agree that you have to do what works for you right now and it does not bother me that you “quit” a challenge. That said, it does concern me a little that you couldn’t stay awake during your bedtime routine on 1 and 1/4 cups of coffee/day. Your body is probably trying to tell you something that you might want to explore down the road when this season of life is over. Now go drink your coffee! 🙂

  • Crissy S. says:

    Are you kidding me??? I was always so intimidated because you seem so perfect. I can’t cook worth a darn. I can’t get my head around freezer cooking (although I really want to do it). You read more than I can dream of reading. All I can imagine is that you must sleep only 2 hours a night. To finally hear that you are not perfect makes me feel less inadequate! Share your failures and what you learn from them, because we need that too as readers. Whether you realize it or not, many of us look up to you.

  • Lisa says:


    Thank you for posting about this subject and I am glad you have a healthy perspective about people leaving negative comments. The anonymity of the internet seems to give people permission to lose their manners. One of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, has recently stopped posting new material. Although John and Sherry didn’t say that negative comments factored in to the decision, I am afraid that the negativity over the years did play a role in the decision.

    I hope you maintain the positive and healthy outlook. I don’t want to lose another favorite blogger.

    Thank you for all you do!

    Lisa Brooks

  • Amarilis says:

    I am with you. Your struggles make me feel better not because I want you to fail but because I can see in you a successful imperfect person and it give me hope on myself. Please don’t change your honesty for anybody.

  • Kathie says:

    I’m glad you aren’t perfect! I’m certainly not either – extremely far from it and although it’s easy to see others as “all put together” on the outside, you rarely realize that they are just like you on the inside! I applaud your honesty and it shows that others struggle with the same things and we aren’t as alone as we think!

    Keep on keeping it real Crystal – just be yourself…….

  • Melissa says:

    I really appreciate your blog! After reading your post yesterday, I see that you and I have a lot of similarities. I think you do an amazing job on your blog, which has got to be tough since you are also home schooling your kids. That’s got to be a lot on your plate! As much as I would love to, I would never be able to have a blog. It takes a lot of courage to open up your life to everyone so honestly. There are a lot of negative nelly’s in the world so don’t let them bother you. I think some people just don’t even realize how they come across. I love reading your blog and I especially enjoy your suggestions on how to be better organized because now that I have three kids, I feel like I’m behind on just about everything.

  • Jen says:

    Writers, bloggers and any other type of business does not require perfection. In fact, if everything was perfect, there would be less humor in the world!!! I love reading what you write, trying new recipes and being inspired by other projects that you write about. Just because you get one person criticizing you does not mean that you don’t have hundreds or thousands behind you loving what you do. Most people that criticize others either are jealous because they don’t have it together enough to do what you do or they are someone that can never be happy with anything. Just keep moving forward. I love what you do. I turn to your site when I need encouragement. Nobody is perfect anywhere in the world. There are just a lot of people who believe that they are perfect!!!! As far as the caffeine goal, it was your goal. If you decided you didn’t want that, it was your decision, not theirs. Everybody is entitled to their own goals and dreams. Reach for them instead of worrying about what others want in your goals and dreams. It is your life, not theirs!!

  • Leanne says:

    Well said. I totally agree with you. You wouldn’t seem as real if you didn’t share your struggles.

  • Joy says:

    I’m always in awe of how much personal stuff you actually share on this blog. It takes a lot of guts and courage to do so. 🙂 Opening your heart to thousands of readers is mind-blowing to me and something I could never, ever do. I didn’t read the other post, but shaking my head at how mean spirited people can be over something so petty as caffeine. Sigh. You are always so encouraging to others and have a wonderful gift of sharing this kindness. So keep your chin up and so proud of you for speaking up and not letting the naysayers bring you down. Hugs!

  • Anne says:

    I wish I could give you a “like” on this post. Just keep doing your thing. God has lead you here. I think overcoming perfectionism is part of my unique faith journey. Maybe it is for you, too?

  • Audra says:

    Hi Crystal, Have you heard about these “internet trolls” who get a kick out of upsetting people? I can’t help but wonder how many of those you’re dealing with considering your broad readership…
    I ,for one, appreciate your transparency and applaud you for giving yourself a breqk!

  • Staci says:

    I would be your friend in real life. You are real, honest, and learning. So am I. No buddy wants to be with a know it all type friend, if you ask me! Yes, you put your goals out there and yes you can change or adjust them to fit the big picture of yout life. Your authentic writing is appealing to MANY!!! Way to go Crystal.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve been a reader for years. I appreciate that you are “perfectly imperfect”!

  • julie says:

    Amen. To not pleasing everyone. This reader is with you. Thank you for your transparency and in the midst of honesty.. choosing grace for yourself. You allow others to see what that looks like while still challenging us not to settle.

  • Julia says:

    I find open and honest posts from bloggers refreshing. We are bombarded with “perfect people” “perfect families” “perfect homes” constantly. When someone who many people try emulate in some way shape or form admits their own shortcomings or even failures…it’s okay…it reminds the rest of us normal people know that no one is perfect and we are all okay too. Thank you for your post. (I have read the blog often but I don’t believe I have ever commented).

  • Marian says:

    Thanks for your honesty and the encouraging post. We, as Christians, live primarily to please God and do what He’s calling us to do. Everyone will have their own opinion about everything but we must live by faith and by the Word of God — not by everyone’s expectation of us (especially those who’ve never even met us!). It’s a blessing that you are mature enough to know that and to continue living to please Him and doing what is best for you and your family. Be encouraged and keep up the good work! Thanks for your blog.

  • Hollie brothers says:

    You go girl! Keep it real.

  • Kreena says:

    I love your blog because you are authentic. I don’t want or need perfection. Once during some frustrations in our family my mom said the coolest thing “I love my imperfect family”. The expectation of perfection sets up unrealistic expectations and often stops us from attempting new challenges or learning what is not right for us. I strive for learning and growing. And about the coffee… I’m way over 2 cups a day and still okay :). God bless you.

  • Kimberly Gates says:

    Thanks for keeping it real! I am more inspired and encouraged by someone who is honest and transparent, than someone who is fake and trying to be perfect. If you were “perfect” Crystal most of us women would not have joined your blog. We need to hear stories from real women, with real lives and real issues.

  • takeya dunca says:

    I just really adore you. You really help me feel more confident in starting a blog because you are real. You speak from your heart and you let people know that you are here to help but you aren’t perfect, which is great neither are we..Thank you so much

  • Guest says:

    Keep being real. 🙂 I am going to make a confession: In previous years, I used to resent some of the articles on here (I know–don’t hate me!) because they sometimes seemed “perfect.” I am much more comfortable accepting advice here now, seeing the real you. For example, I appreciated your honest grocery list the other week. Someone questioned you for buying $19.00 worth of deli turkey, and you just said, “My husband likes it, and it feeds us for a week.” That was an honest, real answer, and I appreciated it. If people want to live in Perfecto-land, go watch a Disney movie. The rest of us are here. So keep posting the honesty. 🙂

  • Laurie says:

    Everyone struggles. EVERYONE! There is not one perfect person in this world. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your victories. Readers need to know your not perfect. When I read your blog I often fill inadequate like I should be reading more, writing more love notes, spending more quality time with children, etc. These are all great goals and they need to be done but I don’t do them on a consistent basis and I feel horrible after reading your weekly goal list and seeing most of them crossed off. It’s nice to know your human too! I appreciate all you do for your readers and for KEEPING IT REAL!

  • Maria says:

    I find it very refreshing when you share your shortcomings! We have perfection and high standards bombarding us everywhere else. It’s nice to know you aren’t perfect and are ok with it. You are right- you would wear yourself out trying to be perfect, and so would we, thinking it can be done! Wisdom reassesses goals from time to time to make sure they are serving you and not the other way around. Love your blog!

  • Betsy says:

    I’m WITH YOU! You keep being you, and that will keep encouraging so many people. Thanks for your refreshing words today!

  • Elly says:

    I feel like as an individual you should do what works for you. I always find it frustrating when people feel the need to make judgements, especially when they really hear/know the full story. Good on you for sticking to your guns, hey 🙂

  • Tasha says:

    Thank you for being honest! This post helped me tremendously, because I am just getting started blogging. I just signed up with bluehost and downloaded WordPress… I’m planning on going live in January after I have a good bit of content on there. I often feel like my shortcomings make me less-than-adequate for the job… But I know that it’s something I want to do. I pray that the Lord will give me the grace to be honest so others can be encouraged! 🙂

  • Can I be your neighbor? I seriously adore you, friend.

  • Kelsie says:

    I am waaaaaaay less likely to follow a blog where the blogger seems too perfect….that’s just me… 🙂 If I hear someone just say that “they struggle like everyone else,” I honestly don’t believe them. Until someone is at least a LITTLE open about what their struggles ARE, I will assume they are as “perfect” as they “pretend” to be. I read the following post today from a preacher I respect who recently admitted doing something FAR less than perfect. I think what he said IS perfect:

    What typically happens when a Christian leader falls is that they disappear and only reappear when they’re strong and shiny again. No one ever sees them in their broken and weakened condition. When we do this, we send the message that Christianity is only for good and strong and clean people. But believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better. It is, rather, good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good. The message of the Christian faith is that because Jesus was strong for us we are free to be weak. The gospel of grace, in other words, frees us to let people see us at our worst so that they can see God at his most gracious best. After all, this whole thing is not about us and our reputation and status and strength and competence. It’s about Jesus, what he’s done, and who he continues to be for broken down ragamuffins like me.

    I hope we can extend the same grace to each other that Jesus extends to us.

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