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Podcasts, CrossFit, family photos, mountains, and more!

Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! ?

It was a very full week around here — and I didn’t get very many pictures taken of all that went on! My friend, Melissa, and I asked Jesse if he would start training us a few mornings per week.

So we had our first CrossFit workout on Thursday morning and Jesse had it all written out on the board, complete with illustrations. He loves CrossFit so much and spends a lot of time researching it and studying it, so I loved seeing him come alive in “coaching” us!

Another big thing that happened this week: I recorded my first podcast episode!! The Crystal Paine Show officially launches in a few weeks and we’ve spent the last few months working hard behind-the-scenes to learn how to do a podcast, plan and be strategic for how to best serve you with a podcast, and then get the office finished so we can record podcasts in there.

The office isn’t quite done yet and the furniture hasn’t all come in yet, so we pulled in various items to help absorb the echo — including the tumbling mat. 🙂

Friday afternoon, we picked the kids up from school and headed for the airport to fly to Denver, Colorado to meet up with all of my side of the family for a vacation in Breckenridge. This was my dad’s Christmas gift to us this year — to pay for all of us to go on this trip together.

My dad rented a huge house and all 28 of us are staying together in it through Tuesday morning!

I’m reading this book right now. It is excellent — as you might imagine from the title. 🙂

These girls! Life is never dull with them around! 🙂

My parents hired a photographer and we got family pictures taken today while we’re in Breckenridge together.

These two just melt my heart!

The weather was absolutely perfect for pictures!


On my heart…

“I can’t make any friends! I try so hard, but it never goes anywhere.”

Many of you have written me about your struggles with friendship and relationships. I get it — and my heart hurts for you.

I’ve been right there and felt those same feelings. But I’m here to tell you that deep, rich, authentic relationships are possible… if you’re willing to put forth a LOT of effort.

There is usually no simple path to deep friendship, just like there’s no 3-step easy plan to a strong marriage.

It requires work, more work, a willingness to work on yourself and your own junk and unhealth, a bucketload of forgiveness, grace, & honesty, and a whole lot of just showing up.

If you’re lonely today and wishing you could develop relationships, here’s my encouragement: look for someone to reach out to. Find someone who is new or hurting or struggling or overwhelmed or on the fringe and reach out to them.

Don’t expect anything in return. Just love them right where they are at.

Keep doing this over and over again. Open your door. Invite someone to play with your kids at the park. Ask that new girl at book club out to coffee. Offer to watch a neighbor’s kids. Write a note. Send a text. Ask how someone is really doing. And then listen and care. Check in with people. Remember important dates. Send a funny text. Invite someone to join you in something you were already planning to do.

Begin looking for those who are in need of a good friend and start reaching out. Keep doing this. Go first with vulnerability. Open your heart up to people who are very different from you and maybe don’t look like who you pictured would be an “ideal friend”.

Extend grace. Don’t judge. Forgive willingly and keep short accounts. Be open to differing perspectives and viewpoints. Don’t feel like you need to get in the last word, prove your point, or have to be right.

Keep doing this and you’ll likely wake up one day and realize you have the most beautiful tribe of people around you who are also showing up for you.

Friendship takes work and sacrifice and humility… but I can tell you that it is oh so worth it!

Who needs you to show up for them today?

photo from @thejessicashook


2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.

**Progress: 54 books read so far this year

2. Read through the entire Bible.

**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 33 notes written so far this year

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 325 miles run so far

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

**Progress: We’ve finished three books so far.

7. Take the kids to South Africa. We took this trip in July. What a memorable experience!

8. Go on a family road trip.

**Progress: We’ve been researching some options for this and are planning to make this happen over Fall Break. Stay tuned!

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

**Progress: The workout room is DONE and the office almost done!

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

**Progress: We launched 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March, Email List Setup 101 in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass in May, and we launched Build Your List 101 in June!

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  • Lana says:

    We have made an effort to meet people who are visiting our church for the first time. December 2016 my husband had a heart attack and was in a coma for 10 days. People came in droves to visit and one after another they stood on the other side of my husband’s bed and prayed for him and told me that when they visited our church we were the ones who welcomed them and talked to them and often no one else. CICU staff was irked at how many people were coming and going from my husband’s room but I am convinced that those prayers were answered because they told me every day that he would never wake up but he did. We knew that we had lots of friends at church but had no idea how that it was the first time visitor meeting that had made all those friends until they came to the hospital and told me. We met our closest friends that way. It is not a hard thing to do and now I know how important it is. In fact our closest friends were in town checking out the area to move here and made the move because they met us that Sunday that they visited. So, just another suggestion.

    BTW for anyone who reads this and would like to pray for our closest friends, they are on their way to Uganda today to work with orphan refugee children. There is Ebola and cholera in the area where they will be working and we covet prayer for their safety.

  • Tara says:

    Wow Crystal! “Just show up” is amazing. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your feelings. Also, sharing that others have written to you and feel the same. It makes me feel less alone. I am a wife and mom of 2 and in my 40’s. I have drifted from some friends others have moved out of state. I am having a difficult time making new friends. Thank you for your insight. I plan on trying some (or all 😉 of your tips. Thank You again.

  • Diane says:

    I’m just thinking how great it us that your parents were frugal and now can treat all their kids to a vacation. Mine are the same way. I’m close to your age and it is inspiring to think of blessing children and grandchildren because of frugal, debt free decisions we make now.

  • Lacey says:

    JUST SHOW UP, has gave me the shot in the arm that I need today. Thank you so much for being honest on a blog that so many read, on this huge platform the Lord has given you.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Friends…I could write a book. Still suffering some from the last, and worst disaster…I have discovered that sometimes we are taken in by sociopaths. Without a doubt that was our plight. And she was someone we helped, as we had never helped anyone outside our own kin. But recently, I refound (with internet help) some old friends that we lost contact with over 30 years ago…living just 40 minutes from our home. We had the most wonderful visit and they so want to meet up again as soon as both our schedules permit. There truly is no friend like an old friend. We figured out that we both moved about the same time to different parts of this state and in the days before internet it was very easy to loose someone. We all said we did not want that to happen again!! So if you find yourself in the latter part of life…having already lost quite a few friends to death…and still affected by a recent rejection, maybe go online and relocate someone you lost track of before the internet was in all our homes.

  • Ashley says:

    Thank you for those friendship reminders, Crystal! It’s so true that to have friends, you must be a good friend yourself.

  • Janet says:

    Thanks for sharing the book. I was excited to see that it is free with Kindle Unlimited now!!

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