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That thing others are shaming you for? Do it anyway.

The thing that others are shaming you for? Do it anyway.

“You have such crooked teeth! You really should get braces.”

“Why do you make such weird faces in your pictures? It’s annoying!”

“You have such an ugly ‘smile’! I can’t believe you post selfies here. You should be embarrassed.”

All of those remarks — and more! — have been left in comments here and on Facebook in the last few weeks. Most of them were from the same two people who apparently are on a mission to get me to stop posting selfies.

I’ve just been deleting the comments as they come in and didn’t plan to mention them in a post because I don’t like to give trolls or rude commentors a platform here. My policy has always been that if your comment is shaming, harsh, or sharply critical, I promptly remove it as I want to keep this place upbeat and encouraging.

That thing that others are shaming you for? Do it anyway.

However, when I deleted yet another comment this morning about my “dumb selfie faces”, I could keep silent no longer and this post just bubbled forth.

You see, posting a selfie might seem very inconsequential to some of you. For me, being brave enough to take and then share selfies this past year has been monumental.

Why? Because it’s something that I ran kicking and screaming from for years.

I was embarrassed of my sometimes dorky faces, of my jaw, of my crooked teeth, of my overbite, of my skin that was prone to breakouts, of the fact that I probably don’t know how to do makeup, and of the fact that I probably don’t shape my eyebrows correctly.

For years, I hated the fact that I wasn’t photogenic. I was so self-conscious and insecure, that whenever a camera came out, I’d be so nervous, I wouldn’t be able to smile. My mouth would quiver. My hands would shake. I’d break out in sweat. And I just plain couldn’t smile sincerely.

That thing that others are shaming you for? Do it anyway.

I remember the night I was supposed to get my senior pictures taken. There were a group of us getting individual pictures done and when my turn came, I froze and couldn’t smile. The photographer tried over and over again to no avail.

I was so embarrassed and frustrated with myself. And ever since then, I shied away from cameras because I didn’t want to suffer that same humiliation again.

When I started blogging 10 years ago, I found that it was such a safe outlet for an introverted, insecure, and un-photogenic girl like me. It allowed me to mostly hide behind my computer screen. To carefully pick and choose any pictures I showed to the public. To take 46 different pictures in hopes of getting a decent shot.

The more I hid behind my computer screen, though, the less authentic I felt. I didn’t want to photoshop my life. I didn’t want to live life behind a smokescreen.

That thing that others are shaming you for? Do it anyway.

I wanted to be real… even though I know that it would mean sharing the good and the not-so-good. Even though I knew it would be opening up myself for criticism. Even though I knew not everyone would like the real, sometimes dorky, sometimes un-photogenic, me.

As I’ve stopped believing lies about myself and starting living under the truth, it’s given me more and more confidence to just be me. To stop worrying about what people would think. To stop caring whether I was going to be criticized. To stop stressing over whether I was going to disappoint someone.

And little bit by little bit, I’ve been brave enough to step out from behind the safety of the computer screen and be authentically me.

That’s meant accepting speaking engagements. Blogging about my struggles with shame and insecurity. Instagramming real-life stuff. Filming videos. And yes, getting brave enough to start showing my face in many more pictures.

Posting a selfie publicly represents something much deeper than the picture itself. It’s a testament to the work that’s happened in my heart, to the confidence that has grown in my soul, to the acceptance I have for exactly who God has made me to be — imperfections and all.

So when those recent comments have come over and over again, attacking me for how I look and how I smile, it really and truly hasn’t phased me. Instead, it’s encouraged me to realize how much I’ve grown in confidence and it’s also motivated me to keep posting the real-life, imperfect stuff.

The thing someone is shaming you for? Do it anyway.

The world needs to see that just because I happen to have a large number of people reading what I write online doesn’t mean that I am all perfect and polished and put-together. The truth is: nobody has it all together and nobody just floats effortlessly through life with flawless skin, perfect smiles, and zero struggles.

Now, let me be clear: I don’t share this post with you because I want you to criticize the few people who are on a “Stop the Selfie Crusade”. Honestly, I pray for them and hurt for them because I have a feeling that their unkind comments are probably coming from their own place of hurt and insecurity.

I also don’t share this because I need your affirmation. Truthfully, I don’t. I know who I am in Christ. I know the truth that I am enough. And I really can stand confidently in that.

I am writing this post tonight, because I have a feeling that some of you out there can relate to my struggles. Maybe you have no problem at all when it comes to smiling or showing your face in pictures, but perhaps you struggle with feeling like you don’t measure up somehow.

Maybe you had a really humiliating situation that forever cemented in your head that you weren’t good enough at X.

Maybe you’ve been shamed by someone close to you regarding your weight or your appearance or your skills or your mothering or your “inabilities”.

And it’s cut you deeply. So deep, in fact, that ever since then, you’ve avoided that thing at all costs.

That thing that someone's shaming you for? Do it anyway.

Can I encourage you to stop believing the lies & start camping on the truth? Can I gently admonish you not to let shaming words from others dictate how you live and hold you back?

Be brave. Be YOU. The world needs your gifts, your story, and your unique perspective.

And every time you see me post a selfie, can it be a reminder to you to keep putting yourself out there, keeping stepping outside your comfort zone, keep pushing forward little bit by little bit?

Let’s be a community of people who don’t let shaming words get the best of us. Let’s camp on the truth, walk in confidence knowing that we are enough as we are, and then let’s bravely face our fear gremlins head on — imperfect selfies and all.

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  • Jennifer says:

    I hate my smile! I always have, even when I was a little girl. I think it’s just ridiculous looking!

    But I love this post and I think you are just adorable! Keep posting those selfies. Haters gonna hate, forget them!!!!

  • Jamie says:

    How very brave you are to share yourself and your life with the public. I have to say that I think you and your family are adorable. I’ve never noticed anything but a genuine, Christ-filled woman. I love your silly selfie faces, they make me laugh each time. Please continue to ignore hateful people and bring on the silly.

  • Darlene says:

    Good for you for overcoming something so hard! And I can relate (I am my own worst critic). Shame on those who make undeserved rude comments. You really have no reason to hide from the camera!

  • Lela says:

    I’ve always thought you were so photogenic!

    • Christine Addis says:

      I agree, I’ve always thought you were totally adorable!! I think your joy and fun personality shines through in your photos and totally covers up any “flaws” the world may think you have!

      • Rochelle says:

        I always appreciate real, authentic people over the photo-shopped facade. It’s sad that anyone feels that have to always put their “best” or “fake” face forward.

  • Brianna says:

    I just love you, Crystal! I’ve followed you for a ridiculously long, long time (think original blog–yes!), and it’s just plain awesome to see you become bolder and stronger and freer and to share that with us. Keep on being you, girl. I love those selfies, and now I’ll think they’re even greater when I realize what they actually represent. 😀

  • Stephanie says:

    I have never been a fan of cameras either, but my husband and kids have little by little convinced me to post pictures of myself. Now I post even the goofiest ones, after all, it is me, and me is what I am best at being.
    I think you are beautiful. Keep on posting away!

  • I can relate to this so much! I don’t have straight teeth and always tried to hide them and often got comments like “why don’t you smile!” well…smiling without teeth showing is still smiling 🙂 these days I don’t care as much because the memory and happiness outweigh my insecurities. Thanks so much for an inspiring post!

  • Katie says:

    <3 I know you don't need my affirmation. I know the value Christ places on you is enough. So, in an effort to magnify the heart of Christ and to shout louder than the opposition, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! You are absolutely enough!! You are the work of a skillful Craftsman who never makes mistakes. You have Christ in you, on you, and over you and that will always shine forth a beauty time can never corrode. Thank you for Glorifying our Savior by humbly, yet confidently, sharing an open heart and transparent spirit. Many chains are being loosed because of your bravery. Let these words, and the words of so many others, always drown out the noise when it gets too loud. Love you, sister!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, and here I think you are adorable, and you go and list some crazy things as imperfections. No, sorry, still adorable. And I can see your confidence in your pictures, and it stands out in your posts. You are in your groove! And I have learned things from you and I thank you! I am sure your husband knows what a beauty he has sitting across the table from him! You have a beautiful family. I love reading about you all!

  • Adrienne says:

    I read your blogs all the time! I’m glad I read this one because I think or used to think if you post a lot of selfies it means you’re self absorbed. Something that I see many teenagers, including my own doing. But as I was reading your meaning behind it, I began to relate. My teeth are terribly crooked thus making me not smile for pictures or only partially smiling. I will even have my friends edit pictures if I smiled too much in them. Thank you for sharing a very humble self!

  • Gina says:

    Wow, you are so awesome! I love this post and I love that you have overcome your fear and are posting precious selfies! We all struggle with insecurities and this helps me with mine. You are beautiful and touching so many of us in amazing ways. Thank you for opening yourself up so that we can learn from you. I cannot believe anyone would say such hateful things to you and I am so glad you are not taking their harsh words personally and you can see it in a positive light. Keep doing what you do best!

  • Jessica says:

    This was just what I needed to hear! Thanks for always being so encouraging.

    P.s. I think you are beautiful, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing you, and hearing more about your day to day life.

  • Bubs says:

    That was wonderful to read. I have many things I try to work on. I want to print this to read more than once, it’s a great encouragement to me, thank you for putting yourself out there. I’m trying to remind myself daily that you can’t please everybody, but you can find peace within yourself.

  • Ashley says:

    Preach it sister. For the kingdom… ROCK ON!

  • Heidi says:

    Three words: YOU GO, GIRL!

    As Taylor Swift sings, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate …”
    Selfie on!

  • Amanda says:

    I am so over women hurting other women with words! In my opinion there is rarely a neutral you say something with intentions- to be nice or nasty! To educate or to challenge, it’s an absolute shame that this continues to go on in a recent study women in equivalent positions with another women will 65% of the time talk negatively about their peer, it’s an absolute shame, your blog was built with a bases of empowerment and help for others, my to shame someone or be nasty! These women should be ashamed of them selves, and to be honest I am too!

  • Patty says:

    Wow! Just wow! I would venture to say the real problem is in the heart of those commenters. Most likely jealousy. I’m almost positive they’d never have the guts to say it to your face either. I sure hope you consider the source and don’t allow that kind of nastiness to affect you. Your selfies are far better than many I see online. You are very pretty so keep on rocking those selfish Crystal.

  • Kristy says:

    Crystal. PLEASE keep posting your selfies! I love them! You have such joy and sense if humor in them that it always makes me smile.

    And frankly, I keep reading because you are authentic and honest and have this attitude of “we are all in this together, let’s help each other out!” When you share the less than stellar stuff it is gift of encouragement and we all need that!

    Thank you for sharing what you do.

  • Carrie B. says:

    I’ve enjoyed seeing photos of you in your blog – I think you’re quite pretty, and honestly, your photos show a personality that would be absolutely fun to be around. I appreciate you making this situation into an example for others to be themselves and have confidence. No one is or needs to be picture (or is that Photoshop?) perfect!

  • Beth says:

    Love this! It’s exactly where I am right now as I put myself out there more and more with my blog and my coaching. I know you didn’t write this so everyone would tell you how wonderful you are, but I truly was looking at one of your recent selfies and thought how beautiful you are. Thank you for being real and encouraging us to push through the fear to the freedom on the other side.

  • Sunny says:

    Wow! Super awesome and affirming post. You really are “set apart” and a great light. Thanks.

  • Michelle Haviland says:

    I’m with Lela. I thought the same thing. And wished I could have photos of myself turn out as well as yours!

    I’m on a similar journey as you are, Crystal. Not just with the selfies. With the internal growth. Learning to accept myself as I am, as God made me.

    Here’s a really sad example of where my insecurity about my weight and my non-photogenic face took me. My daughter is now a junior in college. She was a beautiful baby and such a joyful child. She also turned out to be the only child I ever had.

    There are very few photos of the two of us together. I had to “lose weight first”. Only somehow that battle didn’t get fought in time for us to take those mother-daughter photos while she was still little.

    I agree with Crystal. Don’t let the lies dictate your life. Prove that they’re untrue. We don’t get another shot at yesterday. Only today.

    And by the way, I’ve only got room in my heart for people who ARE real. That’s the reason I’ve followed your blog for eight years.

    Thank you, Crystal. <3

  • Jill Lehman says:

    I always read your blog but rarely comment. How strange that others would find the time and enjoyment in such rude remarks. You are beautiful inside and out because you are authentic and seeking to bring glory to Christ! Thanks for you many tips and insights, I have been blessed by you!

  • Karen Amberson says:

    I really hate that people would be so insensitive and unkind toward you so very personally, or in any way! It seems that personal opinion reigns supreme in our culture! I call it the “Oprahfication of America”. I think you have a lovely smile and face! Furthermore, you provide such a helpful service to so many through your blog and I love your vulnerability. You’re a deeply encouraging person and God is using you daily in fruitful ways!

  • Theresa says:

    I have one sentence that I teach my children who are 14 and 2. Be kind . Those two words mean so much . I told this to my son when he was little and he grew up to be the sweetest young man you ever met! My daughter at age two is learning what this means and though she struggles from time to time she is slowly learning to be kind to others . To not say or do things to hurt other people’s feelings . These women that say these things to you really need to stop and ” be kind” .
    What if they have children of their own who are reading/ hearing what they say? What kind of example are they teaching their children ? It’s very sad .
    Crystal , you are an inspiration to so many .. Keep doing what you are doing !

  • Jessica says:

    I like the selfie faces!! I feel like it gives log readers a glimpse into a fun side of your personality (not that you seemed boring). Keep it up!!

  • Christy says:

    Someone very wise told me recently, “Hurting people hurt other people.” I have found this to be true. Thank you for leading the way and encouraging us to show courage and be brave. God bless you!!

  • steve cousins says:

    Saying you don’t have a beautiful smile is like saying Jlo isn’t sultry, James Bond isn’t confident, and the Dallas Cowboys aren’t America’s team. You are the epitome of sweet, wholesome motherhood. What God had in mind when he made girls. Haters gotta hate, you just go be you girl!

  • Kim Gibson says:

    I love this post…. And you! I feel like we are friends. My kids even ask me how you are doing like we chat or something! This post really spoke to me… I don’t have a blog or anything but I am a pastors wife and sometimes I feel on display as well… knowing I don’t have it all together. I think you are beautiful and real and I appreciate you so much. It makes you so easy to relate to, like we are friends!

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Rachel Smith says:

    I just posted selfies of myself and my daughters on my Facebook the other day–something I VERY rarely do. I hardly have any pictures of them and I together because I just hate how I look in pictures. However, largely due to your posts, I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone lately in several areas and realizing how much I miss out on when I hold back. I am “in charge” of VBS this year (yikes) rather than just helping, and I have a job interview coming up which would use my degree if I am able to get the job. Due to bad experiences previously in the workplace, obtaining this job would be a major opportunity for me to “punch fear in the face”. I can commune with God all I want about how I am learning that He is enough to carry me through anything–but putting that faith into action really brings things to a whole new level. Keep these posts coming and thank you for your courage! You have truly inspired me!

  • I think it’s awesome you post selfies. It’s great to see the person who shares do much with us all. Keep up the boldness.

  • Angela O says:

    What a beautiful testament to your confidence and willingness to be real! I truly appreciate it!

  • Kim says:

    As someone who has always felt unphotogenic and usually ugly, I can relate to your struggle; I dislike almost every picture I’m in. Thank you for sharing how God has brought you through to a point of healing and victory! You encourage me to learn to become the person God made me to be – and to love being authentically me!

  • Lorrie says:

    i am in my 60’s and I don’t think I am unattractive but I have never taken good pictures. Anyone who is honest with me would agree. I can count on one hand the pictures I have not wanted to destroy. Most of those were taken when I was unaware that my picture was being taken. When confronted with a camera I get nervous. I always look very uncomfortable in photos.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Oh, I need this today, I can relate. Yesterday, my father was honored at church. Someone took a picture of us and sent it to me. Instead of being grateful That they captured this memory, all I could see is how awful I looked. I am still on the journey to acceptance, thanks for sharing it encouraged me!

  • Nichole says:

    Ive always wanted whiter teeth. Recently dentist told me it would cost $3,000 for my teeth to get whiter by putting on veneers because the stains are in the teeth and not on the surface. Well I guess I am going to embrace my stained teeth Because they represent growing up as a country girl on well water.

  • Leigh Anne says:

    It’s a “shame” you seem to have so much fun in life and make fun faces in your insta pics 😉

    But seriously, thank you for continuing to be so real and authentic in the blog world. When so many blogs seem to be changing to all sponsored material and pinterest perfect posts and perfectly arranged and staged instas it is refreshing to read your honest and interesting posts and see your real life instagram pictures! Keep those fun selfies coming!

  • julie says:

    I feel the same as you. I’ve been bluffing for years and always felt so frustrated with articles and Facebook and magazines and television for portraying this unattainable perfection. Maybe it was just unattainable for me? But looking into that split second frame of someone’s existence and judging their whole life on it is somewhat ludicrous. Raw untethered honesty and openness has always been my creed. It’s not about being brave, but sharing so that the rest of us out there that wonder where the other unphotogenic screw ups are in life finally can know there’s a group out there they can belong to.

    I’ve also been shamed and put in a corner in my life and haven’t yet crawled out of that shadow. So thank you for writing this.

    • I am cheering for you and know you can find that courage to slowly crawl out of the shadow and be you and share your gifts and unique personality with the world. The world needs you!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have had a blog placed in my heart that I have been working on for a year, but have not launched it because I am ashamed of how I look and don’t want to post pictures of me. I have always been shamed for my appearance and often times still am, but tonight you gave me the strength to move forward and embrace who I am and not worry about what others think. Thank you… and while I know that you don’t need my reassurance, i just want you to know that I think you are adorable and I love your selfies!

  • Aubri says:

    I have been following you for quite sometime and this is the first time I have felt the need to comment because I am a bit of a lurker and just read and don’t usually comment.

    Thank you for your authenticity and for writing this post. I have definitely noticed the increase in selfies lately and I have enjoyed your 5 things in this picture posts.

    I struggled with confidence and caring way too much about what people think of me for way too much of my life. I really needed to read this post tonight.

    Thank you for being you and for being brave.

  • Leah says:

    This post is so real, and I have to say I’ve always thought that you were beautiful and super photogenic – uniquely YOU. 🙂 Please keep posting those selfies, they brighten my day and inspire!!

  • Gretchen says:

    Oh! I love your attitude about this! Most of my life…and I’m a Gigi to 10 grandkids …I have second guessed myself, over-analyzed what I’ve said or how I look. I finally reached a point where I just felt like I had to be genuinely me…good/bad/ugly. .It is very freeing. I still hate most pictures of me, but, oh well…it probably ain’t gettin’ any better!
    those people who trhive on criticism and negativity need to join another club; I’m defriending/deleting them if they try to join mine.
    So…hooray for you! Be your delightful self and enbolden all the rest of us to join you!

  • Tania says:

    Thank you for this->>> “Be brave. Be YOU. The world needs your gifts, your story, and your unique perspective.”

    I needed that!

  • Carol says:

    Goodness, Crystal, you hit me where I live for the second day in a row! The shy introvert who breaks out in a sweat when a camera is pointed at me. When I hear “smile” I panic. I make an attempt to produce a modest smile and am again admonished to “smile.” “No, a real smile.” I can remember my father telling me when I was a little girl to smile like I did a couple of minutes ago. Huh? I have tried practicing in the mirror before having pictures made. Aaagh!

  • Cori says:

    Love this post. Thank you. I love to be *behind* the camera and totally avoid getting my picture taken. Pretty much avoid posting pics of myself and use my kids’ pictures as my profile pics places. I’ve always felt unphotogenic, too. It seems so silly, but I’m working on it. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • Theresa Ginty says:

    Keep posting!! I love how real ur blog is! Your my 2nd favorite blog, 1# is my sisters.

  • Adrian says:

    Girl, you crazy! You are adorable and absolutely gorgeous! Besides all of that, you had a heart for the Lord, your family and others. THAT is more beautiful than most people could ever dream of being. You just keep being you. It’s beautiful.

  • Lindsey says:

    So…the post mudder selfie kind of threw me for a loop. For a second, I thought that was just how you looked post workout. And for a second, I felt better about my pitiful workout regime.

  • Yolande LaBrasseur says:

    You are beautiful—
    because you reflect God’s grace.
    Shine on!

  • Winona says:

    I love that you post real life. I love that you’re not perfect, and that you show it. It helps me to realize I don’t need to be perfect either. I have the same confidence problem, and your showing me all those imperfections tells me I am not alone in my imperfections and my insecurities. There ARE others out there that are just like me sometimes. And I am reassured that I too, can be enough, imperfections and all.

    I am a single parent (again). And I try hard to do it all, but I can’t. Your posts (good days and bad days) are enough to tell me and reassure me that I’m ok, and I don’t have to strive for perfection. Intention is enough. So you just keep on posting your real life stuff.

    BTW, I think you ARE photogenic. You just don’t know it yet.

  • Diana says:

    Love you Crystal! For being so genuine and sincere. The world needs more people like you. I take tons of selfies, but delete them asap since I don’t like any of them. These days I have stopped taking selfies. Your post came at the right time, reminding me that God has created me fearfully and wonderfully 🙂 🙂 Thank You for all that you do!

  • Hannah says:

    Preach, girl! I love it! I’ve never posted a comment to your site before but I have to tonight. You have been such an encouragement to me in the past two years since I found your website. And I have watched you step out of your comfort zone in this area. You actually feel like a friend to me now because I see you in a more realistic way. Thank you for being vulnerable and for approaching the scary in life and cheering us all on in our own. I’m so grateful!

  • April says:

    YEAH! You just keep on posting those selfies. I am looking forward to see your smiling face on “Make Over Your Morning”. I’ve been holding off b/c I was on vacation, but this week I’m back, and I’m going to jump in and blog through it as well.

  • Barbie says:

    Coming from someone who NEVER posts photos of herself because she doesn’t like the way she looks, this is truly beautiful. Way to go! So encouraging.

  • Sally says:

    I could list all the things I like about my physical appearance on less than one hand. But the things I hate about my looks? I’d need an army of hands.
    However, like you, I’m doing things any way… I’m just “doing them afraid”. Usually when I do, I find that there was nothing to fear after all. But then things/comments/people like you mentioned here pop up and that fear tries to creep in. I just try to remember that they probably have a lot of self-hate and fear of their own and I just keep on going.
    I don’t really know you, but I’m proud of you! You keep taking selfies and I’ll keep showing up at the waterpark with my kids, in an actual bathing suit, having fun and making memories with them. So much better than all those years sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to become “perfect” so I could finally join in the fun. ?

  • Williamsmommyof5 says:

    This is interesting to me for a couple reasons. One, if a reader doesn’t like what the blogger, why don’t they unsubscribe. If funny faces really bother you or you don’t want to read the opinion of the blogger, then why waste your time? Second, I never noticed that you make funny faces in your selfies. The photos I’ve seen seem playful and are endearing, so sorry you get so much negative feedback. That must be tough!

  • Saras says:

    This is your first post I have read of yours.
    It all depends on what you are selling. If you are selling perfume or fat busting myths, then a ‘photo face’ is required. By that, I mean, being able to hold the same pose again and again.
    However, if you are ‘selling’ yourself (as all bloggers etc are) then having the same look for every photo is, well, zzzzzzz. You’re expressions let us see who you are. I couldn’t wait to scroll down to the next picture in your article to see what you had come up with next. It gave me the impression that you are confident and fun to be around. Let the haters hate and be miserable. More fun times for the rest of us!

  • Kat says:

    I’m fat. I’ve been made fun of and publicly “prayed for” by “Christian” women calling me out on my sin. Yet their sin of looking down on me isn’t even an issue in their eyes–as they befriend only white, physically fit women and don’t include the fat, homely ones in social outings. WE ARE IN A SHELL that will die. My soul is not my body! I am not my fat rolls! Too bad everyone else can’t see that. Keep on keepin’ on, you are a beautiful person because of what you DO, not what you look like.

  • Colleen says:

    You hit the nail on the head. True to life, typically when people try to bring us down it is because the themselves are in a dark place and feel the need to share that dark place. I was once told by a mother that the others mothers at the school were intimidated by me and some did not like me because I was always “put together” and was petite. It was both funny and hurtful, I rolled out of bed each morning, put my hair in a ponytail, rarely had makeup on, if I did, it was from the previous night lol. I chose to pray for those that are hurting and in those dark places, reaching out to them when I can. Please know,that your blog posts make me smile. I am sorry that envious people, people who envy your beauty inside and out and your success, are choosing to try to hurt you. Stay strong. I am not sure how old you are, but I can say, the 40’s bring a new world of caring less what anyone thinks of you and caring more for those around you!!

    Blessings to you!!!

  • Trisha says:

    I just started following your blog and Facebook page. I don’t normally comment on anything but I wanted to say that your blog is so refreshing and encouraging! It’s so nice to find someone who is real and relatable. Thank you for being you and showing us that real life is beautiful without Photoshop. I’ve always been insecure about pictures of myself too. Thanks for being such an amazing example! I look forward to learning more tips and tricks from your wonderful blog!

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I’ve read your blog for quite a while but I’ve never commented, but I just felt like I had to after reading this! I can’t express how much I love this post. I have had (still have) similar struggles, and I think it’s just amazing how you’ve been able to overcome yours and be free of the lies. And I love your pictures – they always make me smile!

  • Rachel says:

    Great post! I can relate to not liking the way I come out in photos and not wanting to smile too much or show teeth… I can’t believe anyone would comment in such a way. Keep being authentic and awesome and inspiring us to do the same!!

  • kate says:

    Thank you for being authentic, and encouraging us to do likewise.

  • jody says:

    When I was in the third grade I got hit in the mouth with a softball, so one of my front teeth is darker than the other. Which has sometimes bothered me.

    It is funny though to get perspective, because my mom has always had one front tooth that crosses over the other, and I never thought twice about it. When she got that fixed (in her 70s), I really did miss her old teeth. Probably silly, but you like what you know.

    I have never noticed anything about your teeth – smile on.

    Life and death are in the power of the tongue – proverbs

    • jody says:

      I also want to add that in middle school, a girl told me I was fat. Even though I was a size 6, I let her words rule over me. Friends said not to listen to her, but I have to confess that I did.

      The sobering thing was that within five years she died of a heart attack, because of bulimia.

      I doubt every word I spoke to her was kind. How I wish I could go back and speak truth to both her and myself.

  • Abby says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been subjected to these rude comments, I think you’re beautiful. Your selfies look like you have a wonderful sense of humor and I bet there’s a lot of laughter in your home with your kids. I can relate to wanting to be in the shadows. There are very few pictures of me on my blog. I avoid being in pictures at all costs, and most of the time am the family photographer, which is a safe comfortable place for me. Thank you for telling this story, you are appreciated! I’ll be sharing with my readers. Blessings to you and yours dear one. Thank you for your ministry. ~ Abby

  • You go, Crystal! I don’t read your blog all the time, but always have considered you a bright spot on the internet. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. You are beautiful. (I know you know, I just want to say it!) And this is such an important message.

    As one of the commentors above said, Rock on!

  • Terri Franz says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kanni says:

    You’re beautiful inside and out and I know you dont need anyone to tell you that!! I love your blog because you are real, no sugar coating necessary. People like to say mean things to make themselves feel better, its ugly, but I agree with you about praying for them, maybe someday they will be able to see that hurting others isn’t the way to boost their own self esteem! Keep up the good work, I love your daily blog for keeping my positivity up!! <3

  • patti says:

    Thanks for all you do and share. All I have ever seen in your pictures is a beautiful happy family:)

  • Robin Lynch says:

    People can be so cruel. I love your photos! They really add to how real you are. I am so glad you wrote this post. So encouraging for all of us to accept ourselves how we are, we are all made just right!

  • Jennifer says:

    I have been reading you for years. When you first started posting selfies, I was so excited. It put a face to the blogs.

    I hate every picture taken of me but someday my kids will want to remember me. 🙂

    Keep the duck faces coming.

  • Lori says:

    I LOVE your selfies! I do not know why people say things on the internet that they would never say to somebody if they were face to face. You just keep being adorable you! 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    When I read about your journey to finding your identity solely in Christ, I can so relate to you. God has been revealing to me so many lies I’ve believed about myself over the years. Things that people have said about me and to me that hurt so deeply that for many years I completely withdrew from any friendships. I still have a long way to go, and the area of how I look is probably the biggest one I’m dealing with now. I’m not usually one to link my own blog posts in comments, but I thought this one was fitting..
    I think you are beautiful and brave. Reading your stories gives me hope that my own confidence in who I am will continue to build as I learn to find my identity in Christ alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!

  • Laura says:

    Bless You Crystal. This honest, personal post is exactly why you should keep doing what you’re doing. By sharing your story, you have turned something negative into something positive. Yours is the message we need to give to our children, your words are true. We should all be grateful that God has given us eyes to see, a head of hair, a mouth to smile, hands to hold the camera, a brain to figure it out! Keep smiling 🙂

  • Kate says:

    Oh, Crystal! I absolutely love your photos, they are cute, real, honest and did I mention real? You have a beautiful heart inside and out and you are so brave to share it so openly with how ever many thousands of people! Keep that beautiful smile on, it’s yours! I loved your blog before all these changes and I love it now, too. People who cut others down are just hurting from wanting their lives to be better and jealous of the fact that they see other people enjoying life rather than putting the effort into enjoying their own! ♡

  • Jen says:

    Love this!! You are an inspiration!!

  • Kim says:

    Well said! Haters gonna hate, but shake it off. Don’t let other people’s opinions affect you. Only you can live your life.

  • Ann says:

    Love this!
    Yes we are all perfectly and beautifully made by God!
    Keep posting those pics, Girl!

  • Deni says:

    Hi Crystal! First I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog and everything you do to help others. I am a new follower, I purchased your “Make Over Your Mornings” course and it has changed my life!!! Not only is my life coming together, but I am for the first time facing some issues that I have pushed aside for years. I am walking every morning as part of my new routine and have lost 3 lbs. (a good start) in the first 2 weeks! I feel motivated and know that I need to love and care for myself in order to take care of my family like they deserve. I read this post with tears in my eyes and could relate to the same criticism and lack of confidence from it. I just purchased your book “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” and can’t wait to read it. God bless you and your family! Deni in NC

  • Jen says:

    I went to a talk on metaphysical health this past weekend and one of the things the speaker said really struck me. She said, “The criticism that someone gives to another usually mirrors the criticism they give to themselves in their heads.” She went on to say that women often feel they are less than, or not good enough in some way. She encouraged women to stop saying mean, negative things to themselves that they wouldn’t say to their friends. The talk focused on the idea that all cells in our bodies are made up of energy, and negative thoughts will eventually lead to illness or injury. As a massage therapist, I have seen from firsthand experience that bodies hold memories and emotions. You are so right that we should give these negative talkers grace and pray for them, because I’m willing to bet their own minds and hearts are dark places that need some light.

  • Val says:

    I love you! Thanks for being real!

  • Jewel says:

    I normally don’t comment on sites but I feel the need today. I want to thank you for the help you have given me. I want you to know that I found your blog and on-line course at the perfect time in my life when I needed it. You are doing GREAT work and you have a gift for sharing the positive in a very negative world. I am been implementing your make over your morning program and feel like I am putting my life back in order and am much happier for it. I look forward to checking in with your beautiful face and spirit each day. I understand the struggle to not let the voices in your head take over having come from a home that perfectionism is equal to your self worth. I have worked for years to overcome that and have to stay diligent because those thought will creep back in. Thanks for your positive and joyous message of in God’s eyes I AM ENOUGH. You are touching and changing lives in a wonderful way. Thank YOU!

  • Jessie Lowe says:

    “All of the past, I believe, is a part of God’s story of each child of His-a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the very preparation suited to our particular personality’s need.” Elisabeth Elliot

  • Jodi says:

    I love all your selfies! I think you are awesome, sharing your life, your “flaws” as you call them.
    It is about time someone is REAL. Thank you for being you and allowing so many people into your life. Keep it up. ??

  • Kelli says:

    I have been following your blog for almost the whole 10 years. I have seen your transformation. I have to say I love your pictures. I think you are beautiful. I never even noticed your so called “imperfections”.

  • Victoria says:

    I love this! As one of the most unphotogenic people out there this gives me courage. Seriously I have had people in my family tell me “you ruined my……. (wedding, birthday etc) picture why don’t you learn how to smile”. I have about 2 people in my life who can get a good shot of me and it still takes them about 100 photos to get 1 good one. I make a point of getting my photo taken anyway for our family albums as I so wish I had more of my mom who has been gone several years now but I don’t often post public shoots of me on Instagram or Facebook at least not of my face. I think we need to start a hashtag #100%me .

  • Kathleen says:

    You are so very beautiful inside and out, and I LOVE your photos, and posts’! You are amazing, and such a blessing and example….don’t let the negatives outweigh the positives!!!! 🙂 You are dearly appreciated!!!! 🙂

  • Lesley Palmer says:

    I read somewhere that the truly strong women are those who build each other up.

  • Risha says:

    Thank you for your transparency. It is affirming to hear from you that you have the same insecurities as the rest of us. It’s so easy in the online world to assume those who have a large presence are untouched by those things. I have crooked teeth too, and either due to genetics or environmental factors, or both, my permanent teeth came in mottled yellow and white. But being with people makes me smile, and for the most part, I don’t think of how my mouth looks until someone (usually a child) makes a comment about my needing to brush my teeth. For a moment the smile slips from my face, and I wonder if I shouldn’t smile so big and then wish for the millionth time that I had the money to get braces and whiten my teeth. But then I move on and keep enjoying life. Thank you for sharing your life with us, Crystal, and keep enjoying it. Your confidence and bravery are inspiring.

  • Alicia says:

    Thank you so much for your real and lovely selfies. I love your “dorky” photos, and they make me smile. It makes me feel like I can post silly pictures of myself and not feel judged. I have a lot of respect for you, and am amazed by you all the time. I hope that the unkind commentors that you have been dealing with somehow realize how they are hurting themselves by hurting others. And thank you for showing us again, how to handle tough things with grace and beauty.

  • Kris says:

    I personally find your “dumb selfie faces” both funny and real. No one has a perfect picture face all the time and if it takes 5 tries to get a “spontaneous” selfie then it’s not authentic.
    Your weird faces show the world that you’re enjoying life as it comes not trying to photoshop it.

  • Renee says:

    This really hit home. I strongly dislike having my picture taken, and my kids ask quite often for me to take “selfies” with them, and often, I will say no. And then, I find myself regretting it. We had a family member that passed away from a tragic accident at a very young age, and when they were getting pictures together for the memorial service, they couldn’t find pictures of her and her kids together, because she was always the one behind the camera. Why? Because, us as mothers, are always the ones who are self conscious about anything and everything because of the way the world tells us we should look. It’s sad, because some of us believe those lies. And then, we end up not doing silly things, like taking selfies of ourselves, or with our children. I’m not saying that all women do this, I’m speaking for myself. We should embrace the beauty that God created in each one of us. I just finished a book yesterday, called You’re Already Amazing, by Holley Gerth. It’s a good one. Crystal, keep posting those selfies, and keep posting your silly pictures!! You are beautiful! You are real! You show your life in your pictures! I love them!! You inspire me, you truly do!!!

  • Tracy S. says:

    Well, here we are back at ” YOU ROCK!” Again. 🙂 I love your selfies because they are so real and chances are id be making the same face. 😉 You’re such a blessing to my life. <3

  • Lyn says:

    rock on! perfect!

  • Anna says:

    This is so interesting to me, I have to tell you I watched your fox segment last night with my husband (he hears all about your blog) so it was fun to see you “in person”. And his comment was ” well you know it helps that she is good looking to be on TV “. He rarely says stuff like this… Too funny!! You really are!!! You have nothing to worry about!!! You go girl!!

  • Rebecca says:

    I too have been challenging myself to push past my comfort zone and get in front of the camera. And be silly. My last of self confidence always came through in pictures and I would critique them to no end. But my kids’ lack of inhibitions inspired me. Now we even make DubSmash videos together and although I still cringe a bit, they love it and the laughs make it worth it. Keep pushing yourself. Change is uncomfortable but worth it!

  • Julie says:

    Great post! How could folks who read your blog be so cruel to say those things? They are the ones who ought to be ashamed. Thank you for giving each of us a vote of confidence in whatever area we may fear.

  • kerri says:

    Crystal, I love your pictures and your outlook! You are preapproved and you are an awesome inspiration! Congrats on completing a Tough Mudder, that is awesome! Thank you for your message and just being you, because that is exactly what the world needs for us to show up as who we are not some fake cardboard cutout. I may even try to post a selfie myself today. Thanks!

  • sabrina farber says:

    You’re lovely! Stay the course and God bless

  • Susan says:

    It is your authenticity and encouraging spirit that draws so many to read your blog. Persevere in doing things the way you are doing them. The Lord has given you a wonderful platform to reach out to so many. You are a wonderful example of a godly wife, mother, and friend. Keep on smiling and being the person that He created you to be. You are beautiful!

  • Rhonda says:

    The fact that you are so real & genuine is one of the many things that I love about you & your blog. It’s good to see that someone that is “in the spotlight” has the same daily struggles & life issues that the rest of us do. Keep it up!

  • Charlotte says:

    i was afraid that you have been getting blasted from a few others. I pray that you continue to grow strong in the Lord. Praise him and give thanks to him for he is strong and mighty in battle. i want you to know that you are so encouraging. dont weary in well doing. Praying for you.

  • Julie says:

    Very well said. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cyndi Bricknell says:

    Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

    People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
    It was never between you and them anyway.

  • Susan says:

    This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read here.

  • Terry C says:

    Keep going strong. You are an overcomer and represent many of us. It’s encouraging to see real authentic people, so many people hide their true selves. You are an inspiration to those of us who struggle with many of the same things. You rock!

  • This is a somewhat related comment. I was wondering if you’ve read the book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” yet. I’ve heard it recommended from other bloggers and was curious about your thoughts. It’s on my list, but I haven’t gotten it from the library yet.

  • Kayla says:

    Crystal–as a newish mom, your website and Makeover Your Mornings course has helped me immensely. You are so wonderful and so real. Thank you for all that you do! You just keep doing you and God will guide you through it all!

  • Lucy says:

    Wow. I think you’re so beautiful; I can’t imagine people actually thinking those things! Keep up your amazing work.

  • Ashley P says:

    Normal is a setting on your dryer. Who wants to be that? I’d rather be quirky and weird any day of the week! Do your thing, girl! God made you who you are. To try and be anyone else is to hide His handiwork. 🙂

  • Carolyn says:

    I live in Australia and have been enjoying your posts for a long time. I think you’re funny, brave and gorgeous. Keep it up, I just loved this one 🙂

  • Robyn says:

    Oh, Crystal. I had NO idea people were saying these mean things. That just makes me sad…for them, and for the pain that they dredged up for you.

    You are beautiful. Your courage inspires me. Your relentless pursuit of deep, authentic, real, courageous truth is amazing.

    Thank you for being real.

  • Chi says:

    If God is for us, who can stand against us? “Therefore, my dear sister, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

  • Maria says:

    You are a lovely woman and I suspect the people criticizing you are jealous of your beauty and confidence (even if you aren’t really confident, you seem to be). As you know, some people have to build themselves up by tearing others down.

  • Kris says:

    I needed that encouragement. Thank you.

  • Kathy says:

    First of all, I’m sitting here completely shocked that someone would say those things to you. I know it happens, obviously…and you’ve mentioned it before. I’ve seen nasty comments on other blogs too, but for someone to criticize you so personally, it just baffles me. I suppose it’s safe to do so from their keyboard, but they are talking to a human being. I just can’t imagine being that hateful to someone in any form…from a keyboard or face to face. I appreciate your ‘silly selfies’ since they remind me of me 🙂 Keep it up!!

  • Ashley says:

    Wow what a blessing this post was to me ! I have struggled in so many areas in my life with my self image. embarrassed about different things like my weight and face shape.. watching your selfies has been an encouragement to me 🙂 thank you 😉

  • Beth says:

    There is a reason why my husband recognizes your name when I talk about what I’ve read. There is a reason why I say I’ve learned more from you than anyone else on the whole internet. And there is a reason why I finally got the nerve to post a perfectly imperfect profile pic of a happy silly moment with my husband & baby. I’ve been preacher’s daughter, preacher’s wife, sneeringly called a “super saint”, been called a hypocrite over perceived faults & finally decided to own it. My life is beautiful. I’m not where I want to be but I’m growing. So much of this new confidence comes from reading your journey & the awesome ladies here. Thank all of you for that.

  • Kathy in Illinois says:

    I can’t believe what I just read. I have been reading your blog for years and I never thought anything like these people said. I have always thought you are a very pretty young lady with a loving husband and darling kids. Plus you seem so sweet and loving and just a nice Christian lady. Some people are mean but we can be glad we aren’t like them.
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  • Emily Ryan says:

    This post completely surprised me because the only thing I’ve ever thought about your photos is how beautiful you are! I know it does not define you, but as I watched MYM, I seriously marveled at your sweet voice, your super cute hair, wardrobe, everything. (I even thought that in the opening credits when it was the everyday you!) But thank you for sharing because you’re right, I can totally relate. Thanks for the reminders to keep being brave and to refuse to let my insecurities keep me from serving God! Blessings!

  • Lana says:

    You go girl! I love your real selfies! Keep ’em coming!

  • Kariane says:

    Indeed! Let’s build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

    In and of yourself, you are enough.

  • Leanne says:

    Back in the days of your Biblical Womanhood blog, I would be so excited when you would post a picture of yourself! it made me, your reader, feel like I knew you more! and I always thought how lovely and poised you were!
    I’m not sure what I think of the whole “selfie” thing (just in general, not specific to you at all) … I don’t love it… but, I do love that is an opportunity for people to wonder “why is she so happy”… “why is she so brave”?…. so others can experience the joy of knowing they are fearfully and wonderfully made!! that it is Christ in us that makes our beauty shine… a beauty not based on makeup, hair, weight, clothing… etc….
    thank you for your example of being brave! and letting your Light shine!!!

  • Danielle Hull says:

    Your post left me teary-eyed. I’ve always thought you were pretty! I’m so proud of you for writing this post! Woohoo! And all sorts of cheers and congratulations 🙂

  • Charleen says:

    I so agree with you. When people look at us, they should see Christ not any imperfections. We were made in his image. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I thank God that I knew who I was in Christ at a very young age because I was tall and skinny and received lots of comments about that. Thankfully, it never affected me. My daughter has a birth mark on her leg. She is 4 and I’ve told her since she was a baby that that is a kiss from God letting her know he’s always with her. She loves it because I have a similar birthmark on my side.

  • Tiffany says:

    Rock on lady! As a mom to two little munchkins I can only tell you what inspiration and organization you have given me and my home! LOVE your books and morning makeover course. I was also watching the videos thinking how pretty and put together you are…and wondering how the heck you got your hair curled so perfectly.

    Hold your head up and rock your selfies. As I tell my daughter all the time…”you do you.”

  • Sheri says:

    Couldn’t agree more! One of my favorite quotes: “You were born an original; don’t die a copy” Thank you Crystal, for being real and for encouraging others to do the same. May Jesus be glorified through His children and all the “one of a kind” ways He created us!

  • Alyssa says:

    Great post, and good for you! This really hit home for me as well. 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    Ironically, good selfies take several retakes for most people! I love seeing real people in pics because it reminds me its ok to be real too. I find beauty in imperfection and I hope most others do to. Keep up the great work and try to remember to focus on the 100 positive comments instead of the one or two negatives. (I’m always working on that one myself too)

  • Lauren says:

    Thanks for sharing this deeply personal story. You have helped me through your story. Btw- you remind me of Meg Ryan, yet super sweet and inspiring!

  • karol says:

    When i read this post i just feel huge necessity of writing this comment i am very shy person but at the same time God has giving me so much love to give but i refrain many times to express my joy because in this world there is a lot of bitterness and they don’t see things the same way as i do just because they lack of the sweetness only God can give us. Please Be yourself that is what it makes this blog authentic and valuable, God use you in many ways and criticism is part of this battle but God is with you he loves you and many of us love you too thank you for everything.

  • Tiffani Keyes says:

    BRAVO!!! Crystal, it’s always the insecure that have to build themselves up by tearing others down. I love your “real” selfies!
    And it’s a maturity issue too. The older I get, the more I realize it’s what’s on the inside not the outside that matters.
    You are beautiful on the inside AND outside!

  • Dianna A says:

    I struggle with confidence in certain areas as well. I totally needed to read this today. Thank you for posting. And BTW I always enjoy the selfies. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Amen 🙂

  • Jaime says:

    AMAZING, Crystal. Your best article ever. I’m sure there have been and will be more articles about the psychology of selfies. Your piece should be referenced. For the record, I think you take cute selfies.

  • Melissa says:

    Beautiful post! Thank you!

  • CJ says:

    I was glad when you started to post more selfies – it brought more of you back into your blog (that is a good thing). We all have bad photos that get posted to social media (usually by our friends or family) and life goes on, so why not post some fun selfies. And I loved the selfie with the spoon with the peanut butter and chocolate chips – thought that pic was adorable! Keep doing what you are doing and being you!

  • Cynda Baldini says:

    YOU are adorable!!

  • Mel says:

    I think it’s amazing that your comfortable with yourself to post funny face selfies! Your beautiful inside and out and others that wrote such horrible things are not and makes them even more ugly to write such nasty comments. Your not only beautiful inside and out but you are strong! It takes a very strong person to stand up and write a great blog like this! Don’t let them negative comments ever get you down Bc they are not true! Have a great day!

  • Cate R. says:

    Well I must say I admire your maturity in the Lord. I have nowhere near the public exposure you do but still feel shamed, probably, stupidly, mostly by myself. I struggle with feeling outright disdain and disgust seeing pics of myself. I have “severe teeth crowding” according to dentists but have never been able to get braces… but seeing your confidence here makes me think maybe it’s ok if I never get braces. That and the shame I feel about showing my self, thoughts, anything to the world. Thank you for sharing your real self with people.

  • Molly says:

    First of all, you are awesome, you rock. You have changed my life with your blog! Secondly, this is your blog and you can put up whatever you want, posts, rants, vents, and yes, even silly, funny selfies. Those pictures show us the real you. You are a person just like everyone else. You have funny moments and you want to share that with us. Isn’t that what a blog is about? I love seeing your funny pictures, you are having fun and you are sharing that with us. What you do in your daily life is what some of us are going through at the same time. So to the people that posted rude comments, don’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say. Crystal, you keep putting up those selfie pics and keep us smiling!

  • Heather N says:

    Ummm…I have always had the opposite reaction to your pictures…thinking how beautiful you are on the outside (all the while knowing how beautiful you are on the inside because of the words that you post). I like your cute and funny selfies because it makes me think that I could be your friend if we were neighbors. Life is too short to be self conscious. What utter bitterness and sadness those rude posters must be feeling to make comments like that; I will ask God to open their hearts and give them a full measure of joy and peace.

  • You are BEAUTIFUL. Inside and Out. I am so encouraged by your boldness and your post. Like many mama-bloggers, I too am an introvert and not a fan of the camera being pointed at me. But you’re right. I’d rather have a REAL version of myself out there than something I primped, curled, and took 100 shots to get ‘just right’. That isn’t who I am, it itsn’t who I want my kids to learn to be, nor do I have time for that! Keep being bold-your pictures make me SMILE! And no matter what those people have commented (shame on them, seriously!), the truth lies in who you really are. Silly, bold, witty, and overcoming personal struggles that you gracioulsy share with the world.

  • Shelly says:

    I tried to take my own selfie and post it to encourage you. Keep it real and shine HIS light!

  • Tonya says:

    Love this post, Crystal. I love your beautiful spirit AND your beautiful smile. 🙂

  • Diana says:

    I really appreciated this post–thank you for sharing! Very thought-provoking.

    It also just goes to show that you can’t assume people’s motives–many selfie-posters may be just looking for attention, but we shouldn’t assume the worst. (I never assumed that you were doing that, by the way! Yours always make me chuckle–they show that you are see the humor in sometimes tough situations and I love it when people do that 🙂 )

    Thanks for the peek into your thought process–love hearing the “why” behind what people do.

  • Emily Millsaps says:

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t remember the last time I posted a photo of my self because of being so self-conscious. So, thank you for your honesty. It really helps. Also, I love all of your selfies you’ve posted. I think they are authentic and give us a little insight into who you are. Again, thank you. It does inspire me to do the same.

  • sue says:

    You are beautiful and I love your pictures!!
    Some people just don’t have enough to do in the world. Perhaps they should channel their energy into something positive!

  • Sheri Hepworth says:

    If the Lord tarries, and your children become adults, they’ll be very glad their mom is in lots of pictures.

    • The LOVE taking fun selfies with me… and I’m so glad that I got over my self-consciousness to start doing it with them as we’ve had so much fun and so many laughs taking them together!

  • KApple says:

    I love your selfies!!! They are real life, spontaneous, and fun. Keep them coming. The negative comments come from those who are misguided by their own vanity. (Bless their little hearts.)

  • Becky Meng says:

    I actually find people who show and reveal EVERYTHING on their blogs refreshing and helpful to me. Not only are the people who read these posts helped but the authors are strengthened in a way that can be hard to express – for sometimes some very personal reasons. I applaud your honesty in word and in picture and I will encourage you to continue on in your quest to share yourself – not what others think you should share. Otherwise, why write on a blog at all?!!!! You are helping people in ways that you probably don’t even know so just keep on doing what your doing.

  • Amanda L says:

    Trolls need to get a life!

    I love all your photos and inspiration. Keep them coming! I want to learn from someone who is real and learning right with me, not someone who thinks they have it all together. I applaud you for writing this and for letting the trolls know you won’t be intimidated into hiding and being unreal.

    You rock!

  • Alisa says:

    The Lord continues to use you to be a blessing and encouragement to many, including myself. Thank you!

    • Stacy says:

      I can assume some people have never been taught the time old saying of…If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. People who think that spewing their negative comments is helpful, are so wrong. Those are the people I feel sorry for. Those are the people who need our love the most. They feel that they are unequipped for their lives and rather than working on the struggles in their lives, they find fault in others. I pray that those people find happiness in themselves somehow!

  • Charity says:

    It’s hard to believe people would pick on you for what you look like. I thought that stuff stopped in junior high! Just silly!

    Your blog is loved by so many. Just ignore the few who are trying to pull you down. 🙂

  • Tina Bloomer says:

    You are beautiful. I would rather see a real expression than the stone statuary shots that many share. I too have crooked teeth. They are part of who I am. I get captured in candid photos making expressions that I would never make on purpose, but I’m an expressive person who has passion about what I’m sharing. It often makes me very embarrassed about photos of myself. I think we both should embrace our crooked toothed expressive selves! Real is much better than artificial and again, you are beautiful.

  • Julie says:

    Thankyou. The ripple effects from this post will be felt far and wide and will help to set others on the right path and with the right vision. Thankyou.

  • Suzanna says:

    I was totally expecting something totally different when I clicked to read your post. I thought, from the title and from the fact that your picture was in front of a thermostat, the post was going to be about extreme money-saving measures! My immediate impression of your photo was, ‘ha! She’s adorable! What a beautiful girl. I like her and she makes goofy faces like I do!’ Rock on!!!

  • Jana says:

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy seeing your photos and I have always liked your expressions. It feels like we get to see more of your personality. Thanks for having the courage to show a real woman and not a picture perfect unreality.

  • Amber says:

    you are beautiful inside and out!

  • lisa says:

    Im not sure what these people are talking about. You are very pretty! There is maybe 3 pictures out there of me, they were not taken willingly. I am a ugly and I know it. Photos seem to make it ten times worse. I hate selfies and you will never find one of me.

  • Pamela Frohn says:

    From a blog reader perspective, I like the blog better with the selfies. I don’t like getting info from big business, impersonal blogs. The selfies make you seem like a real person that I can relate to.

    • Aw, thanks so much for this kind comment. I’m the same way with blogs I follow — I want to know about the person behind the blog and I love it when they talk about their lives and give us a “peek behind the curtain”!

  • Theresa Smith says:

    It truly shocked me that anyone could say such things to you. Many, many times, I’ve thought how so beautiful you look in your pictures. I remember wishing I looked that good as a young mom! You have a sweet, lovely way about you and I love how upbeat and genuine you are. May God bless you abundantly!

  • Kristin says:

    “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” What a shame that there is so much ugliness in this world (Not to mention an obvious lack of better things to do with one’s time!). I just wanted to say that I have read your blog for many years and have come to like you more and more as you have revealed more of yourself to us. You are right where He wants you to be, doing just what He wants you to be doing. And yes – that includes making “dumb selfie faces”!

  • Lisa Tan says:

    I love your willingness to show your true self. The silly, sometimes goofy, and genuinely happy person that we read about is evident in your selfies. Keep doing what you’re doing. We love it!!!

  • So true! Those people don’t live your life, so they don’t have any idea what it’s like to be you. People who shame me, on my blog or anywhere else, have no place in my life. I KNOW who I am in Christ, and if they have an issue with it, then they need to talk to Him!

    And btw Crystal, your smile is just fine. People are stupid!

  • Candice says:

    I am upset for you too, but admire your bravery and courage! I love your blog and love seeing all your IG posts!

  • Kristen says:

    Every emotion you described I have been working thru for years! It’s so hard for me to take selfies (even with my kiddos!) Cuz I’m so self-conscious. It doesn’t even matter how others encourage me. I don’t like how i look. But Jesus continues to work on my heart and I’m realizing I want to be part of my family’s memories and scrapbooks. AND this is how He created me. I just want to enjoy my life and the blessings He’s given me. Which sometimes means just letting go and not worrying about what everyone else might be thinking of me 🙂

  • Charlotte says:

    You are an amazing person and anyone who try to put you down because of the way you take selfies must be really hurting inside for some odd reason and since they are not happy with themselves they have to try and bring others down. Keep doing the great things you are doing, you are helping so many of us in a great way and you are a blessing to me and my household. God Bless you, and just know that you are a wonderful person and we love you for being you. :0)

  • Shelli says:

    You have encouraged so many of us. You are a women of God and show it through all you do. I have been reading your blog for many years. I am so thankful you stand up to people like that!

  • Cindy says:

    You are gorgeous!!! It’s so rare to see someone so beautiful AND be an amazing woman! You have been such an inspiration in my life 🙂 I would be proud to have my daughters grow to be someone with your bravery and beauty.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for being real and posting your un-edited, photos! In a world where all we see is photoshopped images, it’s encouraging to see someone post “imperfect” images. (For the record, I think you are gorgeous!) I am my biggest critic. Thank you for encouraging us to walk with confidence, knowing we were made in God’s image. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    you are beautiful! Don’t let some jealous people get you down!

  • Nicki says:

    Crystal, you are a BEAUTIFUL child of the One True King! You keep on keeping on with your selfies and enjoy life. 🙂 xoxo

  • Anna says:

    Like you said, I think many people are holding onto a lot of hate, anger, and insecurities of their own stemming from past life events, that just spews out sometimes in the form of these types of rude comments.

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your selfie faces and I’ve always thought you’re beautiful on the inside and out. Keep posting them and being authentic — you’re a real inspiration to everyone, including other bloggers like me who don’t feel comfortable at all posting selfies, but wish they did. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    I had to respond to this post. First off, I’ve never thought that you looked stupid in your pictures. The sometimes goofy faces you make seem to go with the picture and post to me, and I’ve never thought anything about them.

    The reason I had to post though, is because I’ve thought SEVERAL times that you have some of the most photogenic children I’ve ever seen! So even if you don’t feel photogenic, you apparently make photogenic kids!

  • Lora says:

    WOW! People never cease to amaze me. So glad that you are able to deal with this stuff! I have struggled for most of my life with people making fun of me because I have long feet. Unfortunately my mother fussed at me because shoes for me were pretty pricey.

    I didn’t choose to have long feet and would have chosen differently if I had been asked but I wasn’t so I was blessed with them. They work just like other people’s feet and are a blessing.

    I might not have said they were a blessing a few months ago, but like you I got to a place where I realized that I did measure up and that I was actually pretty awesome to the only one who matters–God!

    You are awesome! And like you I have chosen not to let people define me. God gets to do that!!

  • Susan says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank you for being who you are in Christ!( And for realizing you can’t change those with a critical spirit)

  • holly says:

    Thanks for sharing. If we could just judge less, we would be so much happier with ourselves and others. I’m listening to a book on shame now, “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from ‘What Will People Think?’ to ‘I Am Enough.’ Every time I hear someone else talk about their insecurities or shame, it helps to diminish mine.

  • Candace Lewis says:

    I was not shocked at all to read this posting. I am aware that people with noing going on in their own lives, love to criticize others who are doing great things in their lives. Keep doing what you are doing. Post more selfies that you ever have. You have self confidence and thats what those people are lacking. They say something negative to people to make themselves feel better and thats crazy. You are a beautiful and smart person and your posting gave me the courage to post selfies of myself and not be ashamed of ME.

  • Sue says:

    Your experience is not unlike what many others go through. When did what we now call “social” media become so mean? Increasingly I see people who must feel their own lives are not interesting trying to somehow co-opt the lives of others and then judging those people very harshly. It’s sad and reflects more on the emptiness within them than it does on their target.

  • Sue says:

    Your experience is not unlike what many others go through. Why is what we call “social” media so mean? Increasingly I see people who must feel their own lives are not interesting trying to somehow co-opt the lives of others and then judging those people very harshly. It’s sad and reflects more on the emptiness within them than it does on their target.

  • Anita F says:

    Beautifully put. Don’t change for anyone, be true to yourself. Keep posting selfies! 🙂

  • Candace says:

    this may actually my favorite post you’ve ever done. 🙂 THANK YOU for this response to the comments. All the comments you’ve received (that I can’t believe, by the way!) are things I’ve said to MYSELF regarding pictures. I share some of your same insecurities and just adore that you’ve written this post.

  • Emily says:

    I’ve had trichotillomania since the 4th grade, which cemented in me i wasn’t pretty enough or popular enough for anyone to like me or take me seriously. Until I met my husband, that is, who was hurt I hadn’t trusted him with that information sooner in our relationship. He couldn’t care less I didn’t have eyebrows without drawing them on or had minimal eyelashes. Now, I tell everyone. I started selling make-up, and this has become my testimony. We are enough. As an aside, I love the testimony of your faith in this post. 🙂

    • I love, love, love how I’ve seen your confidence grow through comments here over the last few years. And I just LOVE that you are selling makeup. That makes me so happy!

  • LeahB says:

    I didn’t know about your struggles, but I’ve observed that you were working toward being in more pictures than before. I’ve been hesitant for a while to take pictures of myself (due to 3 babies’ worth of weight gain, skin that breaks out, and that lovely “exhausted” look), but I have taken the first steps toward making sure my kids have pictures of me from their early years. Because I really doubt they’ll see my “flaws” the way I see them.

    • Lisa Guyer says:

      I’m the same way with being in pictures with my kids. But in reality, I keep telling myself, I want my kids to look back at pictures and see the mom they remember in their hearts. This is the way I look – be it big ears, or tired eyes, or no makeup – my kids have seen it all. So when they look back at pictures, I don’t want to be this beautiful, made up woman that my kids don’t even recognize. I want to be who I am and who they know, even if that’s a little scary sometimes!!

  • Amy says:

    You put a smile on my face today, Crystal! I just read yesterday about how toddlers are delighted to see themselves in a mirror. I see it in my 1year old daughter. She squeals with delight and kisses the mirror. I wonder if we should have that childlike wonder and delight, not as a vain thing, but when we look in the mirror, maybe it’s ok to smile and rejoice, as in wow, we are made in the image of God, His creation! Maybe it’s really ok to rest assured that we are just fine and good simply because He made us. I think we’re probably more beautiful when we are at ease with ourselves anyways. Thanks Crystal!

  • Thanks for your honesty and willingness to forgive others.

  • Beautiful post, beautiful you! We all need to be more authentic! Thank you!

  • Connie C. says:

    Be real, and ignore the haters. Life is too short! Love you and your blog!

  • Janell says:

    Well said! We definitely need more LOVE in the world.

  • Jeanie F says:

    I always thought you were really pretty. Too bad people can be so mean and petty. I agree that it’s probably insecurity within themselves. Keep on doing what you’re doing. God bless!

  • Anne says:

    You are absolutely beautiful on the outside and inside Crystal! Your real friends and fans love you for your funny selfies. 🙂

    As a side note, I had braces and didn’t wear my retainer long enough and my overbite is back as an adult.

  • I am an insecure person. I know this and it is something I am working on. Years of being told I was too dark or making fun of my accent, and some other things lead me to simple isolate myself. This went on even when I started to blog and write. I was too insecure. I wouldn’t even write with my real name for fear. Until this year I have been able to open up and not care about what others think. I think for 1 to 3 negative comments due to my appearance or look or whatever it is they feel to throw shade at me, I get many positive. I personally enjoy your Instagram and your silly poses because I am that way. You are making it fun. You are making it you. Think about it this way, when you open up and do things out of your comfort zone, and write about it, you are helping others. To me that’s what count. Keep on girl!

  • Reva says:

    Hey Crystal,
    I don’t comment that often here. But today I felt compelled to write this.
    As a long time follower, I am happy to see you grow and spread your branches. And also seeing pictures of you and your blessed family connects me more to you.So please continue to connect with us.
    People who make rude comments can choose other blogs. No one is forcing them.
    We love you…Reva

  • Amy says:

    I have been following your blog since the very beginning but I don’t think that I’ve ever commented. It’s been so refreshing to see you show your authentic self and I’m so happy for you. To be honest, there was a short time that I stopped reading because I couldn’t relate to the perfection….perfect family, perfect marriage, perfect faith. I missed reading about your family. So glad to have YOU back and better than ever!

  • Rachel says:

    I’ve always thought you were a gorgeous gal, especially in person. Your inner beauty is what shines through! I hope those readers that comment so negatively will find a peace within.

  • tonya says:

    This may be my favorite post of yours! Ever! God has trusted you once again to handle a potentially self-crumbliing situation to rise above AND help others!! It has been so much fun to “watch” you experience freedom! It’s been inspiring to see you use that freedom to draw others out of their own insecurities! Love what you’re doing & how God is using you!

    By the way, when I look at your pictures I’m always amazed at how beautiful you are! I’ve started to email several times to ask for your beauty tips (skincare routine, makeup, etc.)!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Mary says:

    I’ve often thought you were a beautiful person inside and out! For what it’s worth, I am a fan of the selfies and your pictures! Keep the faith!

  • Susan Shipe says:

    Just like Jennifer Dukes Lee says in her book, you are preapproved by God! Love this blog post. Woo-hoo!!!

  • Leslie says:

    Love every word of this! Love your selfies too 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    I think your selfies are cute! Just shows you have personality! Keep them coming!

  • Davonne says:

    As a blogger, noticing your more frequent selfies has made me consider that I should be more willing to share things like that with my own readers. It feels so personal and real, and makes me like you even more. Thank you for sharing yourself with us even when the haters get loud – you’re doing a great job!

  • Mireille says:

    You are an inspiration! Keep on posting!

  • Crystal,

    I follow your blog for your authenticity and originality. I like your selfie posts and have never thought you looked any different than a beautiful person. I don’t understand why someone would be so rude to people. The world has both good and bads. Take the good and move on with life (i’m sure you’re aware of it and need no additional advice from us). Good luck and keep posting your moments with us.

  • Madre says:

    Hey Crystal,
    You know what they say…haters gonna hate. I think I know what that means? But really, unfortunately the anonymous nature of the net allows folks to say hateful things they would never say to your face…shame on them! Weren’t we taught as children not to behave in such a way. I can’t even imagine all the garbage you are subjected to by being in the public eye. I’m sorry. It is amazing to me…and not in a good way…some of the things that people feel free to say…or type. Why in the world don’t these people just exercise their freedom and not read your blog if they are so bothered by the photos?
    Take Care,

  • Julia Reffner says:

    Crystal, thank you so much for this post! It speaks to me as I was just asked to publicly speak about writing. The thought terrifies me. And yet at the same time I was asking God to grow me in my writing career. The thought occured to me that this may be his way of doing just that. When I was in school I was teased during public speaking and one time passed out because I was so nervous. I don’t need to be held back by comments of others or those things in my past. Thanks for the reminder to walk in what God has called me to do.

  • I saw you at Re:Write and you’ve been so sweet to help me with my book launches via free book promotion – I’ve always thought you were UBER cute – whether in a “beautiful” selfie or a “dorky” one – i heart you!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing! You are right “hurt people, hurt people” and that is terrible. I also believe the enemy of our souls always reverts to what worked in the past to derail us. You are beautiful and wonderfully made – meant to be just who you are and I for one appreciate you. I’ll join you in praying for those that want to bash and tear you down through the anonymity of the internet world.

  • Maria says:

    You are a breath of fresh air in a world obsessed with perfection and striving to look like Barbie. This is why yours is one of the few blogs I regularly read. Thanks for keeping it real!

  • Jennifer says:

    That is the best way to eat peanut butter, straight from jar with chocalate chips ?.

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks, Crystal. I loved that post. It was one of my favorites in the 6+ years that I’ve been reading your blog!

  • Angie says:

    Good for you! God calls us to live in His light and let our love and vulnerability show the world the truth of who we are and what He did for us. Thanks for being an authentic light for all to see!

  • Dena says:

    Your pictures are beautiful.

  • Debra says:

    I love this piece and I love the selfies in it! I can’t believe that people would be so cruel as to comment on your teeth?? I think you have gorgeous eyes and the pic with your kids is awesome. You keep right on taking and posting those selfies! And this piece speaks to the beautiful lesson we all need to remember: we are not perfect and can never be. But we can be kind and we can love and that is what makes the difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Not whether we had perfect teeth or Jennifer Anniston hair. God bless you.

  • Keri-Lynn says:

    Ahhh I totally get YOU girlfriend!! Ive been going through a simular thing. So awesome and freeing hey. Funny how people can still be offended and opinionated about this blog u just wrote already, but it doesnt matter ?. Man, Ive learnt to make peace with my ever non matching socks and Ive recently had a few people call me quirky. By the way I had to find my dictionary to figure out what that meant. Its pretty cool. I, in my own vanity and having such a harsh standard for myself with taking selfies, I used to find myself so ugly etc… And you know what its been freeing to take crazy ones and “quirky” ones and make peace with my skew teeth too ?, and also my kinda long nose and double chin. Lets be free man!! I dig it. Dig your post, dig you. Hope my South African slang makes sense…
    And even being able to write this comment post, I always felt Im not as clever or wise or bla bla… Its all pride….
    How wonderful when Jesus makes ya free, and gosh did I long to be free and confident, sigh..
    Anyhows. Awesome!!
    Keep writing

  • Amanda Smith says:

    This harsh, cruel world needs MORE words like this! Don’t let anyone tear you down from your true, God-given purpose. Much love <3

  • Jen says:

    I love your pictures! Lately I’ve been thinking about how much you look like your daughters. That’s beautiful! I love when moms looks like their kids.

    I also loved that muddy picture of you after your run. I get so hung up on being perfect when our real beauty is we are daughters of God.

    And you are beautiful. Your youngest daughter and you have a lot of style similarities in the pictures you post.

    And I love seeing your oldest daughters uniqueness in being herself. Also beautiful!

    I love that you share your life… struggles and joys. Don’t stop because of mean people. What’s wrong with people? If you don’t like a blog then don’t read it. No one has to read your blog.

    I love your deals and how you share your faith in your life. Some of the more personal stuff you have been sharing lately has really related to me. Thanks for sticking with it!

  • Jodi says:

    I love selfies like yours. The real kind. Silly faces, sweaty post workout faces, good times with kiddoes faces. All of them. Keep posting them and forget the haters!

  • Rachel Contreras says:

    Thanks for this – not that you wrote it for me. I have some people in my life that have been able to influence me not to take chances or to put my life or real feelings out there. These aren’t people that can be taken out of my life, and I wouldn’t want them out. But . . . I do wish I did not have to listen to their negative comments about a blog I was thinking about starting, or a venture that I thought would be neat. I’m so grateful to have the friend of your blog for encouragement. My life is so much better because I have things like this to read and your silly adorable selfies to look at. Thanks

  • Catherine says:

    Your selfies make me smile!

  • I am so glad that you do not let the haters stop you from being your authentic self! It is so fun getting a peek into your life, with all its ups and downs and funny faces. 🙂

    I can also relate to your struggles because I have struggled with anxiety and insecurities most of my life. I always try to be the one taking the pictures so that I don’t have to be the one one the pictures! And taking selfies? Never! But one of my goals is to get over that fear, too. So thanks for the encouragement and honesty. Blessings. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Umm… People seriously say that? Some people must have an oftly lot of time on their hands…

    What I really came on here to say was that I have two more chapters in the book I got the other week, and I know I’ve already thanked you, but as I read each chapter, it sounded like you were telling my family’s story.
    We’ve faced multiple job losses, I worked 3 part time jobs up until last year, we have a special needs child, we have faced so many dissapointments and failures, and I wondered wether or not what little I am able to do at this time really makes a difference…
    Then I read the chapter on giving to others and I completely lost it. I’ve been so heartbroken that we haven’t had more to give. I knew that we were doing what the Lord wanted, but I often wondered if it was really making a difference.
    The Lord has been good to us and has met our needs, but While really trying to trust Him, I’ve often asked, “Why? We’re trying to serve you. We’re trying to obey and do your will.”, to some of the trials and dissapointments, and then I heard you say, “Sometimes God allows things so we have no where else to turn but Him.”

    The people who have the time to complain about the little things have really missed the point, and for what it’s worth… You’ve made a difference in my life.

  • Val Hochstetler says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for the encouraging post, and allowing God to use a negative situation to help others. You’ll never know, until eternity, how much this post and similar ones are helping others. May the Lord be glorified!

  • Megan says:

    This might be my favorite post you’ve ever written.

    I LOVE this new “Living out loud, being my authentic self” mission you’re on. I know you’re inspiring so many women, myself included, to come out of hiding and unapologetically be who we are–something that’s so hard in this very hypercritical culture.

    And not that it even matters, but “Wow, she is so gorgeous” (followed by some “why can’t I look like her” thoughts…not healthy thinking, I know!) is what I think every time you post a selfie.

  • Ashley says:

    Wow! It’s like you are writing all the things that are in my head. So thankful for your testimony and encouragement on being delivered from insecurity. Breath of fresh air!

    And- as a long time reader, I ran into you at my friend’s church a couple years ago. When we met, all I could think is, “Wow! She is strikingly beautiful! On the internet she looks cute, but those pics don’t even begin to do her justice!” The selfies reflect more of what I saw when we met in person. YOU! Gorgeous!

  • Delorise says:

    If you can’t say something good about somebody, then just keep your mouth shut– I remember hearing that often while growing up. I think it can be updated to include — if you can’t post something good about somebody then don’t post. There is enough negativity in the world– why somebody would feel the need to point out another persons shortcomings (in their opinion) baffles me. Be true to yourself!

  • Love this, Crystal! People shame and judge and it’s very rarely really about the person they are doing it to, at least that has been my experience. We choose whether to read your posts or follow you on various social media channels – and if we don’t like what we see and/or read – we also have the freedom to leave. You are certainly doing nothing wrong – far from it – and instead are doing something very right!

  • Jennifer says:

    You go, girl! I just listened to Andy Stanley’s message called “Label Maker” this morning and then happened to read your blog post this afternoon. It is an inspirational message to a group of teenagers, but is so applicable to most people these days. If you get a chance to listen to it I’m certain it will be an inspiration to you and your readers!

  • Jacquie says:

    That is awful, that troll should be ashamed of themselves! I think you are simply beautiful and genuine. You just keep sharing those selfies….as my daughters say, “haters are always gonna hate”! You are an inspiration to many of us, your candor and honesty about your own insecurities help many of us overcome our own.

  • Trish says:

    Hear hear!

  • Wendy says:

    Wow. Thanks for the post. I can’t believe people have the audacity. Thank you for your bravery, your transparency, and your beautiful smile! This post has inspired me to add in a few extra sentiments into a presentation I am working on for a Masters level course about digital safety and citizenship. Our world–it sure has changed!

  • Scout says:

    Great post. For the record, I love the selfies.

  • sarah says:

    Can I just say that the resemblance between you and your children is so striking in these pictures and that makes the message you are sharing so much more important. You are growing, sure, and are inspiring all of us, yes, but you are also setting one awesome example for your children. Thanks for being you.

  • Jenny says:

    Reading this gave me chills! Best post I have ever read from you!! Thank you for sharing your own struggles and triumphs!! The love of Jesus is all we need to run this race!!! Keep on smiling and posting!!!

  • jen b says:

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Thank you. Love this post. You rock in so many ways, and writing encouraging posts like this is one of them.

  • Laura says:

    Because of your selfies I have started to post more photos of myself on Facebook. I have never ever liked any photos of myself. I’m always too fat, my hair is messed up or I have a weird look on my face. In the past, I have even avoided having my photo taken. So many wasted opportunities. Funny Selfies are the best and you look adorable in all of your photos.

  • Deborah says:

    I’d recently thought about my Mother telling me and my siblings and my Grandmother before her telling my mom and her siblings, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” It makes me laugh remembering it, but there’s a whole lot of big truth in it. I was thinking that our online world needs a good dose of this rule! 🙂

    My husband and I also recently had a conversation about how you can get yourself stuck and geared towards a negative strain or a positive one. If you choose to look for good, rejoice with those who rejoice, and count your blessings, it enriches everything. I’ve found myself going down either path at times. I thank God for the ways He has kept growing me and encouraging me to cultivate gratitude and a positive attitude. Am I perfect in it? Nope. Am I better in it than I used to be? Yep!

    I don’t love selfies or my photo taken, but I’ve been embracing it more recently too and I so relate with your introverted personality. God has been teaching me a lot.

    I’ve always loved people who can ham it up in a crowd and just have fun and be silly. In part, because that wasn’t my personality, yet it can be. I am that way with my family and people I’m really, really close to. But few people see me that way. 🙂

    I love how God always is teaching us and leading us and how He loves us right where we are, how we are.

    Blessings to you!

    And for the record I like all your posts. Never once thought about your teeth and think you have a great smile. And I also have read your blog long enough and know you enough to know you didn’t write this post for affirmation and that you are settled in Christ. Sometimes though it’s good to share because in many ways people aren’t that different and we relate. No one wants people making unkind, cutting comments.

  • Love this post! I was where you were at in the past and where you are at now in the present! It is definitely a great feeling to be confident in yourself! I have enjoyed the personal side of your blog lately, including all the pictures! 🙂

  • Tabitha says:

    Thank you for this. I rarely post selfies because I am ashamed of my teeth, but after reading this with tears in my eyes, I am inspired to be courageous!

  • Kris says:

    I love your selfies! They show that you are REAL – you are a real person, with real struggles, and a real life! They show that you have a personality and spunk and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Joy is the best thing in life, don’t let anyone take that from you. I find it hard to believe that people could post such mean comments, they serve no purpose, except to try and hurt you. I am so glad that you can rise above them as the only opinions that matter are those that reside within you.

    Keep the selfies coming!!!

  • Julie says:

    I love your selfies! And now I appreciate them even more, knowing a little background behind them 😉 Thanks for staying positive, you’re awesome!

  • Stephanie Porter says:

    You go, girl! Haters gonna hate.

  • Ashley says:

    I actually did not read the entire story. I myself am not photogenic and don’t do selfies. But you! You are adorable by my standards. I’m glad you are posting what you want. Keep it up. 🙂

  • Wanda says:

    Love this post. You are an encouragement to many, both in word and deed. Press on.

  • Bless your heart. People are so mean!! I think you’re so brave to keep putting yourself out there after those horrible comments! I’m 4’10” and have put up with comments about my height for almost all of my 30 years. Recently I’ve had a couple adults say rude things to me about my height and it literally takes the wind out of my sails and makes me want to crawl under the covers! There’s no Instagram filter for height! 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement and example! Hugs!

  • Kelly says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t like you anymore than I already do, you proved me wrong again! I LOVE your posts (selfies and your words)! You are such a wonderful inspiration to so many. Thank you for doing what you do. I feel so lucky to have found your blog years ago. You’ve made a true difference in my life, and really help me with my own issues with self-confidence.

  • Adrienne says:

    your blog, your rules.
    your facebook, your rules
    your instagram, your rules
    your feed, your rules

    hang in there and keep posting what you want

  • Susan says:

    My favourite read of the year !!!!! Your beautiful from the inside out…..nobody’s perfect in every way but everyone has beauty just some choose not to see it. We are God’s creation and everything about us was chosen for a reason……your my hero thanks :)~……………off to take some species with my wet hair and buck teeth because it is me….

  • Christine says:

    I like your “dorky” selfies. It shows you are fun and carefree. I love your smile as it shows warmth. Why would anyone criticize a person’s appearance? I’m sad for them and we should pray for them.

    I think you are quite pretty and love how your hair looks when you curl it into long ringlets.

    You are strong and courageous! Thanks for helping us be strong and courageous too!

  • Love this post! I’ve struggled with my teeth and considering braces AGAIN after not wearing my retainer for years, but you know what – my husband thinks I’m beautiful and I don’t really care about impressing anyone else! Thanks for sharing so beautifully – I love all your selfies! Just don’t do the duck face and I’m good! LOL

  • Tara says:

    I appreciate your “less than perfect” pictures. In a world filled with fake, photo shopped people it’s refreshing to see “real” people. Hurting people hurt people. Hoping the ones that take the time to criticize you will redirect that time and energy into finding happiness themselves.

  • Lorrie Alessi says:

    Thank you once again for your honesty and transparency. You continue to inspire me to be more real and transparent with those in my life. Recently my husband and I went on a two week trip to Alaska for our 30th anniversary. I ate things and did things I had never done before. I also put myself out there to talk to new people (something this 54 year old introvert has struggled with all her life). As I overcame my fear and went white water rafting and then had a blast doing it, I thought of you and how I was punching fear in the face. I had the best vacation trying new things and being with my sweetie. Thank you so much for touching my life and helping me find the courage to be the woman God wants me to be.

  • Liesl says:

    Hi Crystal,

    You may not be looking for affirmation, but you deserve it. I, for one, am thrilled that you are comfortable being yourself online and sharing your less-than-perfect pics with all of us. You are an inspiration. Thank you for everything you do, and keep up the great work!

  • Priscilla says:

    This post is so inspiring! I especially appreciated the part about knowing who you are in Christ! I think this is an issue that touches women everywhere. I just stumbled across your blog two weeks ago and have had such a boost to serve my husband and kids each day through being more organized, routine, thrifty, etc. I’ve been following every day and I honestly think your blog inspires me and motivates me to excel more as a homemaker. Anybody who can do that is truly beautiful in my eyes! I love your selfies! Keep them coming!

  • Alto says:

    I think you are beautiful inside and out. It’s easy for people to hide behind their computer screens and shame others. What you do everyday is brave and God honoring. I’m so inspired by your blog and your encouraging words help me get through rough times. Keep being who God made you to be. You are bearing fruit for His kingdom and that’s all that matters.

  • Stacy says:

    Bravo!! And you’re adorable. : )

  • Mackenzie says:

    Can I just say how much I love this post, Crystal?? 🙂 You spoke the words that we all feel sometimes about ourselves. Bless you!!! And keep the selfies coming; we all enjoy them 🙂

  • lizzy says:


  • Carolyn Rivera says:

    Thanks for your transparency, it’s great to read about real people…imperfect people., Who know who they are in CHRIST… Nothing else or no one else defines you!! I also have problems smiling.. Not happy with my teeth… Should’ve, could’ve listen to my parents when I was younger to get braces…tried to get them as a adult.. To late. I don’t feel very photogenic and I try to hide my teethe when I smile…struggling, but know who I am in CHRIST!!

  • Kristen says:

    You are adorable! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I know what it’s like to be a shy , private person so I commend you on your candid pictures on your blog. You have opened up your personal world to others and people can be fools in life. No one is perfect in this world. The only perfection is God!

  • Eileen says:

    Crystal I rarely comment on blogs that I follow, but you’ve made me want to start! I love your blog and your selfies! You are amazing please don’t ever stop what you are doing!

  • Coco says:

    That’s weird. I look at your pictures and can never find a thing wrong. I’ve never noticed your crooked teeth and I certainly don’t see anything wrong with your smile or the faces you make.

    All I can say about those who say otherwise is that they’re jealous. Plain and simple. So poor them. Dump ’em, block ’em, turn them in to toads, whatever you have to do. Bless and release, bless and release.

  • Janice says:

    If you pick up my cellphone, you will see mostly pix of my 2 cats and my 17-year-old granddaughters silly selfies. It makes me smile to look back at them because we love being silly together. So keep going on with your silly selfies!

  • Tami Sprague says:

    Thanks for this post…. I shy away from the camera as I have huge insecurity and am completely un=photogenic. I enjoy your pictures which add greatly to your posts and to hear you struggled for so long with picture taking gives me hope for my struggle. Thanks for being open, honest, and yourself.

  • Adam B says:

    Anybody who would make such derogatory statements must be jealous and insecure.
    Chin up.

  • Agnes says:

    so well written….and you’re encouragement to me. Bless you dear lady! And you’re created in the image of God therefore you are BEAUTIFUL with or without makeup, pretty poses or quirky ones 🙂

  • Nicki Bishop says:

    Girl, you go ahead and rock that orange sweatband and make all the faces with your kids you want!! It’s like your mama always said in grade school. If someone is working that hard to be unkind, obviously they are insecure. You are a blessing to tons of mamas out there! Thanks for all you do!!

  • Jamie says:

    This blog has really resonated with me. I have always hated getting my picture taken for a lot of the same reasons as you have mentioned. I noticed that it was something that I didn’t want my children to feel. I always encourage them to be themselves and to not care about what others say but what was the message I was sending? I still freeze up when a camera comes out and I am going on 37. I don’t know if that feeling will ever truly go away, but it is something I try to work on. You are perfect just the way you are and thank you to for posting about this subject. Just BeYoutiful!!!!

  • Susan Iskowich says:

    Such a timely post as I was talking to someone yesterday about not being accepted by a community of people and this person’s response was so sorry you have been hurt by others comments. My response back was, nope, haven’t been hurt because I know who I am and I love myself for who I am regardless of what others say. Not always easy to do, and took me many years to accept myself, but makes life a whole lot easier when you are comfortable in your own skin.
    As for your goofy pictures, sure I have to admit that sometimes I kind of cringe and wonder why you chose to post a silly photo, but I also am grateful that you continue to be honest with who you are and that is why I continue reading your blog.

  • teri says:

    Dear Crystal,
    I just started to read the post–have only just started–but HAD to comment! What ever teeth, jaw, eyebrow, acne, etc. issues you’re talking about cannot be seen through the beautiful eyes (looks as though you have your Father’s eyes…), the smile that brightens any day, and the assurance that doesn’t come from hiding behind a mask. You’re beautiful, girl! I l-o-v-e your REAL and honest posts. I’m so proud of you that at your very young age, you can see that being real and transparent is more freeing, more beautiful, and more encouraging to others than to hide behind a painted (perfectly?) facade. I hope you’re able to teach your young ones the same respect for who God has made them so they can start their adulthood out on the right foot. ….this from a 56-year old (had to add that in–my Dove chocolate says, “be proud of your age”…….)

  • Go girl! Good on you! Love that you’re encouraging others to love the skin they’re in!

  • I’m saying a little prayer for the people who would make such nasty comments – why? It just blows my mind that someone would lash out with such a blatantly rude remark online, they would never, ever say that to you in person, I bet. May God help them to have a little more grace…

  • Crissy S. says:

    I look at your pictures and I’m envious of how pretty you are and how you are able to post pictures, especially of a clean home. You seem like you have it all together and then you post something like this which reminds me how you are just like me in terms of insecurity. Thank you for continuing to be a positive inspiration!

  • Vanessa says:

    Crystal, I appreciate you so much. Over the past couple years I have followed you, it’s been a joy to see your smile grow more and more confident in your photos. (At first when I started following you, your photos often looked a little forced and I prayed that it wasn’t from fear of what others say about you or your awesome family.) Thank you so much for being such an encouragement, for allowing God to work in your life, and for sharing that with us! Your selfies and pictures with your family are so great! 🙂

  • Stephanie Naumann says:

    Phooey on the naysayers! Keep the cute selfies coming!

  • Tracy Harper says:

    I’ve never noticed crooked teeth until you said so in this post. Guess I’m too busy being encouraged by the words to notice “flaws” in the photos. Keep up the great work!

  • ANGI F says:


  • Jennifer Barrett says:

    It is such a shame that others have to point out things to hurt your feelings and image. Apparently, these people have insecurities and have to bully others to make themselves feel better.
    I enjoy your blog, the family pics and definitely your selfies. So prayers are needed for these people, because they feed on drama.

  • Liz says:

    I am always challenged by your honesty and transparency. Loved this post. Your life inspires me so much. Keep up the great work that you do.

  • Katie says:

    I have been following you for well like forever…and I love you gave grown and has grown. You inspire me in all aspects of my journey in life. From young adulthood..motherhood and taking challenges in many forms head on!

    You rock! Kudos to you and yet another honest in your face masterpiece! Your kids selfies are hilarious too! Keep up the great work and great spirits!

  • Daphne says:

    Beautiful Crystal, in an effort to simplify and declutter my life, I’m unsubscribing to MANY of the e-mails that land in my mailbox every morning, but yours and you are keepers!

  • Alicia says:

    I know you aren’t looking for affirmation, but I just had to leave a comment. When I opened this post, the first thing I thought….before I ever read a word of it…was “I love that she is confident enough to put such fun, goofy pictures of herself in her posts.” I think they’re adorable & authentic. I was amused when I read the words that mirrored those thoughts. Good for you! Most of us like them, so keep it up!

  • shanna says:

    If you have crooked teeth well I’ve never noticed & your smile I think it’s great. You can tell you live life to the fullest by that smile I think. And for your selfies yeah sure they’re kind of dorky but I just thought you meant them to be that way on purpose & thought nothing of them but that you looked like you were having fun. Ppl are cruel & getting more cruel by the day so just keep on doing what you’re doing bc I love your blog, dorky smile & all. Lol

  • Jenn says:

    I’ve always thought you were pretty and never noticed any crooked teeth. Your funny faces make me laugh. I like that you are real! Keep it up!!! Any you looked amazing on the TV interview!

  • Ann says:

    I normally don’t post comments on your posts, but I just can’t help myself. I was thinking as I started to read it ” who would say such mean things”. Unfortunately there are many people out there that find it easy to say mean things when they can hide behind technology. Children are bullied this way in our country every day and it can be devastating to their well being.

    I think your smile and is cute and I never realized your teeth were crooked. Maybe I just see a cute sweet young woman with a nice blog.

    Anyway,to those who criticize you, I suppose they are entitled to their opinion, but if they don’t like what you are posting, the they should stay away from your blog. Since this is your blog, one would expect to see pictures OF YOU. That includes your beautiful smile. Sounds to me like they have their own insecurities that they need to deal with.

  • Cat Graham says:

    My goodness! Your post has hit a nerve!

    I was disgusted to hear about those people being mean and criticizing you for your selfie photos.

    I’ve always thought you were quite pretty and I love reading your blog. It’s very real. You don’t pretend to be a beauty queen with a perfect house and life. I appreciate that because my life sure isn’t that way.

    I’m so glad you’ve come to terms with the anxiety you used to have about having your photo taken. I don’t like my photo taken either just because it reminds me I’m aging and in my mind I’m still a goofy teen. Reality is so harsh!

    From Cat in Ottawa, Ontario who appreciates you being real. Continue!

  • Kelly Cox says:

    I found your pictures fun and adorable. Plus, we get to see a bit of your personality! Great post. 🙂

  • Holly says:

    Crystal, I just want to say that you are beautiful. I struggle with self esteem issues, no confidence and not being the perfect mom. I know who I am in Christ but it is hard to believe it sometimes. My husband tells me I am beautiful but sometimes hard to believe. Thank you for your honesty and helping us who struggle as well.

  • Jennifer says:

    Woo-hoo! You go girl! Keep it real! XOXO

  • Oh wow, the best post ever! I’m serious! I think you are amazing and very inspirational to so many women (and men). Running an online business can be sometimes even tougher than having to face people in “real-life.” I cheer for you!!!! 🙂

  • Here’s the thing: I can’t love this post enough. I have to say, I’m a new follower of yours, and I am so very appreciative of the honest, unphotoshopped world you show. So much of today’s world is full of the “perfect image”, and it makes it difficult for people like me with poor self-image to find any good in the images we share with the world that feature ourselves. Seeing a normal, everyday human being that’s a success in the blogging industry portray herself in such a manor is a confidence builder and a reassurance that we don’t all have to be selfie queens and Instagram perfectors to make a positive impact in others’ lives. That being said, the images I see from the photos you post are of a woman with a beautiful heart, mind and body. I know we all see ourselves in a different light than others do, but you are a beautiful individual inside and out created by God. 🙂

  • Courtney says:

    Love this post! Thanks for being real. You’re great!

  • marguerite says:

    you are beautiful inside and out and don’t let “those ” people make you think any different!!

  • CynthiaJo says:

    We are all made in the image of God. I’m not ashamed of that. If he made us then he made the silly faces we make. I’d like to think I get my “seriously kids!?” look from him. 😉

  • Jacque Wiebe says:

    Crystal, I think you sre BEAUTIFUL!!! I think your eyebrows are great and I have never noticed your teeth!! Just keepbup the good work!!

  • Robin says:

    …and the church said, Amen!

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you for posting this! I feel the same way – it should not matter what other people think, what matters is what you think, feel, etc. I just had a terrible fall in the past week and look terrible and feel like hiding but realized its ok. I do not need to hide – I am still the same person inside!

  • Beverly says:

    I love you and your blog!! Keep those cute photos coming. I love them and receiving your emails is a true joy. My motto is don’t ever let anyone steal your joy!! Lets all join together and pray for those people who choose to hurt and ask God to instill in them a joyful heart.

  • Mylynda says:

    Love this post! I have been following your blog for years and I can totally see that you are at a new level now. Christ pours out to others through you. Thanks for being brave enough to allow Him to make you fearless. You are such an encouragement to so many people, me included. I am known to be the encouraging one among my friends. Sometimes, we need encouragement for ourself, though. Your blog is a well that I can come to and receive exactly that. Thanks for being such a great Servant of Christ.

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for having such a wonderful blog!! You remind me to push myself out of my comfort zone, to read more, to be grateful for all that my family has, and creating memories with my family. Being a newlywed I’ve really paid attention to all the things you say about your marriage….writing love notes, reading books on marriage, your day to days in your life, and having God in your marriage. Thank you again to your husband and you for a great example! Please ignore those negative people and never let their small mindedness bother you. I, like many others, enjoy your blog. Thank you for all you do!!

  • Joene merlo says:

    Love all of your posts so sorry for the people who are speaking unkindly. You’re a gift keep letting your light shine!!!

  • Julie says:

    this is just the best!

  • Jill says:

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you do. I enjoy your blog and look forward to it everyday. Your positive encouragement helps me become a better woman of GOD.

    Thank you!!

  • Ghislaine "Jez" Naumann says:

    I love your website and read everything you post. You’re doing a great service for all us penny pinchers and I for one appreciate you. What does it matter what you look like, I think you’re great and very cute! Thanks.

  • This post was a breath of fresh air for my soul. I can’t thank you enough for speaking truth vulnerably. For me, it hasn’t been shaming words but the feeling of shaming silence.

    “Be brave. Be YOU. The world needs your gifts, your story, and your unique perspective.” – Yes, this. Thank you.

    You’re meeting and exceeding your goal to keep this space positive and encouraging (in my opinion)!

  • Sharon says:

    I was actually thinking the other day how you always look so cute in all of your pictures! It’s a shame how mean grown adults can be on-line. Comments like that would crush me to a puddle of tears!

  • JoDi says:

    For the love of God and all that is holy, could people please stop caring so much what other people look like and feeling the need to comment negatively about it? I just can’t understand why people feel the need to tear others down like that. It’s sad because it comes from such a place of insecurity which is the exact opposite of the confidence you so clearly display when you post your selfies. You are too cute, and your funny selfies are adorable. When I see you posing with your kids, I think how much they must love it and how fun the photos will be for them to look at and remember these times years from now.

    It’s funny that I read this post this evening. Earlier in the day I went out and ran some errands competely without makeup which is something I never would have done years ago! I’ve never worn much makeup, but I never used to leave the house without it. Once I reached my 40’s I found that I just didn’t care as much what other people think about how I look. So if I’ve worked out and showered after work and find that I need to run out to the store, I’m not putting makeup back on again. If somebody doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

  • Angie says:

    You are precious!! LOVE your selfies!!!

  • Jamie Spiers says:

    I would like to start by saying that I much prefer your selfies to the posed, filtered and fake selfies that seem to be the norm these days. When I look at your photos, I see a person. Your selfies are genuine and have personality. I find that much more enjoyable to look at than someone pretending to be something that they aren’t. The photos that accompany your posts help me to relate to you and learn from your wisdom, rather than being intimidated by someone who perceives themselves as “perfect”.

    As for the “Shamers”, it is sad that there are those that would spend their time trying to make others feel bad about themselves. While I agree that it is quite possible that these rude remarks come from a place of self loathing, it is juvenile for these persons to leave hateful remarks about others. This is a grade school tactic, and a lot of maturing needs to happen.

    Thank you, Crystal, for being true to yourself, and not allowing others to make you feel bad! No one is perfect, and everyone has self doubting moments, but knowing that you a “perfect” just the way you are is truly important and a lesson that everyone should learn.

  • Rebekah Tastet says:

    You are a beautiful person and I admire you for your courage!

  • Tina h says:

    Love this! Keep up all the great work, your blog is a fave..

  • Hannah L says:

    I keep reading this blog for one big reason: your authenticity. There are so many things i get out of your blog but it’s the realness that keeps me loyal. Thanks for opening your life to all of us strangers. 🙂

  • Jenifer says:

    Love this!!! Thank you for being real!!

  • Ramona says:

    I never noticed you have crooked teeth. I will take your word for it. I can’t thank you enough for your blog, you have taught me so much. I hope the positive comments you receive from this post far outweigh any negative comments you get. Keep posting selfies. God bless.

  • T Jones says:

    Thank you, skinny little Crystal whom I’ve compared myself to a time or two…or three or…
    Love the transparent truth. How easy it is for me to get away from truth and cling to lies. Crazy.
    Good stuff here. Grace to you for another post!

  • Sherrie Olson says:

    This post was just what I needed today, after a morning of feeling I don’t measure up, and not by anything anyone said, but by what was unsaid. For you, being attractive, to have felt such insecurity about yourself, really helps that I’m not the only one. Thanks!

  • Elissa says:

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it, sharing it, and giving me something positive in my inbox. Prayers for your continual reliance on Jesus and for your ‘haters’ to know/learn that Jesus loves them, too!

  • Samantha says:

    I am anti-selfie myself as a protest to the people who post a million selfies and fish for compliments, but when I do post a selfie they are similar to yours–fun, goofy, and big eyes:)

  • Michelle says:

    So thankful our confidence is in Christ and His love is life-giving and hope-filled!
    Every time I watch one of your Make-over your morning videos I always think, “She’s so beautiful!”

  • Tara M says:

    I can’t believe you have any insecurities! You are a beautiful successful woman! Also, the selfies are gutsy. I love them. You inspire me.

  • Chandra O'Connor says:

    Their comments would only make me want to post more and more pictures and maybe tag them in everyone. Lol why do they follow up you if it annoys them so much. My New Years resolution was to keep negativity that some people seem to always have out of my family, so far so good. Keep having fun and makes many faces, smile plenty, and laugh loud!

  • lara says:

    Crooked teeth or no teeth? I am going to likely lose all my bottom to gum disease. Rock on! You’re beautiful & miserable are those who nitpick such things. I love your dramatic expressions (maybe b/c I’m a bit that way myself. lol). No matter who you are, how pretty, tiny, rich, educated, talented, etc. etc. you are, someone will ALWAYS find fault! Always. So we don’t live to please man.

  • Personally, I love fun faces in selfies 🙂 I do them myself! I swear some people’s pages are the same fake smile in every single photo… it says a lot.

    SMILE 😀

  • Audra says:

    You and I share so many similarities! This post inspired me to step out confidently, no longer feeling ashamed of being shy and generally quiet. What a blessing you are for posting this for all of us! I truly pray that the rude comments will cease…so happy to see that you rise above them!

  • Jennifer says:

    I can relate to this completely as I am not photogenic at all BUT you are gorgeous! I know you said this wasn’t for affirmation but I think your pics are awesome.

  • Linda says:

    OMG..those people are crazy. You are beautiful!! I loved this post. I hate taking pictures, and even though, I do post selfies, they are few and far between. I delete almost all the pictures I take. Thanks for this post!!!!!

  • Robin R says:

    My mom raised me with the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I find it absolutely mind-boggling that someone would read your blog and then make a point to criticize you about something as inconsequential as a selfie and personal appearance. There’s a difference between having a conversation, making a constructive addition to a dialogue, and being deliberately hurtful. Please continue to do what you are doing without listening to those who have nothing positive to add.

  • Haters are gonna hate! You’re doing a great job and remember that even though these haters hate what you do, there are people out there in your community who need to hear your words and see your selfies. You are doing a GREAT job!

  • Natalie says:

    Love this! I wonder though, do you have any advice on how to deal with an overly critical child? This kid critiques every meal and pretty much anything I do. I love him so much but find myself fussing at him for this all the time. He is this way with everyone. He is also one if the most loving and caring of my kids but apparently has no filter!

  • Kam Kay says:

    You are so beautiful Crystal. Both inside and out! Keep up the good work and keep inspiring others!

  • Rosalind Myer says:

    I just love you.
    I’ve been reading you for 5 years and I have seen your growth.

    I admire you , weakness and all.

    I see the true love of Christ beam thru you and thank you.
    Thank you.
    I’m going to Nashville in 2 weeks and I told my husband I wish I could meet you. …
    I have everything you have written – books. The deals and coupons don’t interest me it’s really the tips on helping me be more minimalist, save money and pay off debt .

  • Veronica says:

    You are freaking awesome and I love reading your posts and seeing your selfies!

  • Jamie says:

    You are a beautiful woman. The fact that you can show us a “dorky face” sometimes shows that you are a real woman. Honestly, your faces catch my attention in the sea of memes that are all over my news feed. You don’t need to change a thing.

  • Maryalene says:

    Wow! It’s amazing what people will say when sitting behind a computer screen! Hopefully, these two will realize how shallow and silly it is to spend their time making comments about a stranger’s looks on the internet.

  • Theresa L says:

    No fair making me cry so early in the morning! You rock it, girl!

  • Melinda says:

    First, hurt people hurt. I grew up very overweight, and so I’ve been called pretty much every mean thing you could think of. I realized at an early age that the people saying the meanest things, were the ones that were struggling with their own insecurities. I also realized at an early age that I did not want to fall into that pattern. This world would be a much better place if everyone focused on lifting others up instead of trying to tear them down.

    Second, I LOVE your blog. I love that you’re real. There are so many blogs out there where every.single.picture is staged. talks about only the wonderful things, never anything else, and a false picture is given. I gave up reading beauty magazines years ago because of how unrealistic they are. But now I follow blogs that are portrayed in just as much of an unrealistic way. I find certain blogs making me feel bad about myself.

    And finally, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you have anything to be self conscious about. I’ve never noticed anything that those rude people mentioned. And if those people are so bothered by things that they’re imagining, they can choose to look elsewhere. They need to take a look at themselves and figure out why they are so bothered.

  • Lindsay says:

    Excellent read! A truth everyone needs to hear and unfortunately a harsh reality of what our teens are going through in school. It is so unfortunate that it spills over into adulthood too. Thank you for sharing your heart. God has made it beautiful!! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. ❤️ Psalms 139:14

  • Daniele Vitanza says:

    It’s funny how many people have a negative opinion about what others do with their time. My motto is don’t listen to them. Their opinions are more about who they are and less about what you do. Keep the selfies coming. They make me smile and I look forward to reading why you have a specific facial expression.

  • Jeanetta says:

    First, let me say that I think you are beautiful! And thank you for sharing. I too, am one who is self conscience about my looks.. my out of shape body and my smile in particular, simply because my front teeth are crooked. Your blog reminded me that no matter what, I am beautiful in the eyes of God. Your blog has inspired me. Thank you!!

  • Thanks so much for this. I was praying about not worrying about others opinions and be who God created me to be. I was cleaning out my emails and saw this. Praise God for confirmation. I am in tears because I understand completely. No more hiding! Thanks for sharing your heart, it has truly encouraged me today!

  • Rachel says:

    Good truth friend! Thanks!

  • Allison says:

    Thank you for putting out there in a public way your struggles in this area. It’s encouraging in all the right ways for us to keep viewing ourselves the way God sees us and to improve only on the aspects of ourselves that make us more beautiful to Him, which are mostly improvements to our inner selves. Of course that comes with remembering His sweet grace as well. Thanks for being a good friend to your readers.

  • Vicki says:

    You hit it on the head when you said, “I know who I am in Christ.” Isn’t that all that really matters? Yet as humans, we deal with these emotions we just sometimes can’t seem to control – like awkwardness in front of a camera. Thank you for not only posting selfies (you are photogenic, by the way), but being an example to others, and going forth no matter what.

  • Jamie says:

    Crystal I think you are a beautiful person inside and out. I actually love the silly faces – who wants to be boring all the time!?! I am prone to adult breakouts as well (not part of the family heritage I was hoping to get) and I’ve only found one thing that works (and I unfortunately don’t get paid for referrals!) it’s called Carley’s Clear & Smooth. I’ve tried everything under the sun including some pretty expensive products that would all work great initially and then would stop working, I’ve been using Carley’s for years now and while I will get the occasional time of the month breakout it’s nothing compared to what it was when I first started using it. I had started to get really bad, painful cystic acne on my neck – hard to hide and it just kept spreading, it was so embarrassing I didn’t want to go out in public. I haven’t had any since I started using this 5+ years ago.

  • Meredith says:

    Thank you for your honesty and your example of a loving, gentle response to hurtful comments. Good for you for continuing to post whatever you feel God leading you to post! It is so easy to think everyone else’s life is perfect and get discouraged about the struggles I face in my own life. Your post pulls back the curtain and encourages us against that lie!
    Your teeth seem straight to me but if you want to straighten them, I recommend Invisalign! I used it in my 30’s and it was easy even with my busy lifestyle as a mom. Even my pastor, Rick Warren, had his teeth straightened with Invisalign a few years ago! Just a recommendation if YOU are bothered☺️

  • Chris Barratt says:

    Crystal, I have always thought that you are really pretty and none of your pictures look like the things those people said. Maybe they are just jealous and wish they could be you! Something to think about anyway. Sometimes people say mean things because they feel bad about themselves!!

  • Tracy K says:

    Amen sister. Keep it real! Love your blog and all that you do!

  • Cate says:

    I rarely ever comment on blogs these days. But I wanted to say that I love your very real selfies. Like you, I have always been very insecure about my appearance. I thought my nose was too big, my skin was too pale, I was always “too” something. Over the past couple years I have been taking a lot of selfies. And while I sometimes feel vain, I also know that they have helped me stop running from the camera. I take selfies with my kids. I take silly selfies with my morning coffee. I am a beautiful person and who I am is okay. And I deserve to be seen.

  • Bethany says:

    I needed this so much this week. Thank you for sharing and for letting God use your struggles in this way!

    • Silvia says:

      BRAVO!! For standing up to people who are to scared to look inside and see the ugliness that is inside of them. Instead they choose to hurt people who are not afraid to let other’s see who they really are. I’m very proud of you. Keep up the good work!

    • Tricia says:

      Crystal – bravo!!! I can relate and so can so many others. Thank you for sharing that post. You know, someone recommended your site and I “liked” it on facebook even though I’m no longer the mom of a youngster – my daughter is grown and has daughters of her own. Nevertheless, I’ve been entertained and enlightened by some of your posts but none impacted me like this one. When I was in high school all I could see when I looked in the mirror was my big nose and overbite. I avoided cameras and almost never smiled. This blog helped me move forward with making my brand new website and blog public. My site is I still don’t have it totally working right (I’m technically challenged – my current obstacle is getting my subscribe page to work right). But I’m excited that I posted my first two blogs today and have a facebook page (another thing I need to figure out is how to put the start of a blog on facebook with the link to carry folks back to my blog if they want to read the whole thing). I hope to use my site to help bring forth changes that will help others realize that we are all imperfect and that true beauty lies within. Bless you for having the courage to own your story and share how your former insecurities have impacted your life. And I love how you post goofy selfies – makes most of us smile and like you even more.

  • Amy B says:

    I wanted to say thank you for this post today. I’ve enjoyed your photos and how comfortably you seem with yourself. I have my own blog (very small and intimate), and am always hesitant when I hit the post button because it’s putting a piece of me out there for ridicule and judgement. You’ve managed to overcome that and be authentic which is so refreshing. I have often found myself thinking how brave you were to be so secure in who you are. Bit by bit, I am finding the same thing in myself. God has created us all in His image – not some of us. Thankfully, He sees the beauty even when we or others do not. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your own authenticity!

  • reba says:

    This title? Love it. Oh, snap. The voice of shame is the voice of the lie. Truth brings the bold strength of being able to stand and fight those that tell us we ought not to being doing (or to be) what is good and right…maybe because they are either jealous (insecure) or arrogant (not loving enough). I so appreciate your backbone, CP!

  • amber says:

    Thank you for this. I am a work in progress, but I need this reminder on repeat lately. Thank you for being human too!

  • Debbie says:

    How bizarre that folks would contact you just to be mean. (I have never posted before -except to win something :)) but I have been reading for years. I have always thought you to be very pretty and I thought your funny faces were supposed to be just that – funny faces.

    Good for you, Crystal. Forget the mean girls. They will get their comeuppance.

  • Brenda T. says:

    I love EVERYTHING about this. From another non-photogenic, crooked teeth mama — post away, girlfriend!!!

  • Christi says:

    I know you are fine and you don’t need my affirmation, but I just have to say you are gorgeous, inside and out, and those people are JEALOUS. Oh and one more thing, I had a guy friend tell me once that he thought my snaggle tooth made my smile even cuter!!

  • Maggie says:

    Seriously? Some people are such poops. You have inspired me SO much as a blogger, mom, and wife. Those people are simply jealous. Which makes me feel a little bad for them, not mad at them. Keep on being awesome!

  • Kendra says:

    I am the queen of weird faces and giant cheese smiles in pictures (and in life) so I can tell you with certainty that you are adorable and I love this post- sharing it with all the ladies in my life who need to be encouraged to do what you want and embrace the imperfections!!!!

  • Lois says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out how on earth anyone thinks it’s perfectly ok to criticize – over selfies? “Selfies”? Don’t they have better things to do than pick apart what someone else is doing? Good grief! If a blog doesn’t appeal to me I don’t waste my time reading it. I still appreciate the work that goes into it whether I’m interested or not. You write it, I read what I want, skip what doesn’t interest me. No one forces me to stick with it. Simple. For people who are think it’s ok to be so disrespectful, get a life and start your own perfect little blog! Maybe someone will read it.

    Thanks for what you do, Chrystal. At twice your age, I still learn things from you or remember things long forgotten.

  • Cindy Brick says:

    I thought you were being a little too self-conscious and silly, to let this bother you so much…

    Then I spent the week being savaged by someone who doesn’t care that much about me — just wants me to change a business decision! She has attacked everything from my integrity to my willingness to admit I’m not perfect. Ouch.

    I’ll try not to take it personally so much, if you will, too. This being out-in-public business can be no fun. (Thank you for sharing.)

  • Joni says:

    I think you’re pretty and you should keep on deleting negative remarks. Try to ignore them even if it’s hard.

  • Laura says:

    Totally makes me love you even MORE, Crystal!

    I, too, have struggled with selfies – taking about 7 and criticizing myself for features I feel self-conscious about. But just like you said, NO one is perfect. And the things I’m focusing on are probably things that either don’t phase other people or they would think I’m totally ridiculous for being self-conscious of.

    I love weird, goofy selfies. As a girl who is rather *ahem* expressive (read: sometimes a bit dramatic), it’s just totally who I am.

    And while no wants to see my feed of all selfies, one every now and again showing my very “Laura faces” are just honest, real life. I hope we can all live into who God made us to be – our weird, quirky selves. XO

  • Jina G says:

    Why do others really care? If they don’t like the pic, then they shouldn’t look. People need to stop being bullies on Facebook and better themselves instead of worrying about others!!!!

  • Virginia Holder says:

    Bravo beautiful lady. Something I needed to hear also.

  • Lisa Triplett says:

    HATERS GONNA HATE…. But that’s because they truly hate themselves and need to bring others down in hopes of making themselves feel a bit better (which never works, by the way). Good for you for rising above and embracing your own beauty. We all have something beautiful to share. Keep posting those awesome selfies!!!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Wonderful post! I struggle with taking selfies too, so much that I have never posted a selfie on my FB ever. I am hyper critical of every pic I take and I know it needs to stop. You are inspiring to me! Thanks for the message of encouragement!

  • Cristie says:

    I really enjoyed this! I posted a selfie last week for the first time and it was the hardest thing to do! I’m known for taking a ton of pictures, but I’m never in any of them….simply from lack of self-esteem. I’ve come really close to deleting it, but I forced myself to leave it up. Thank you for this blog post!
    BTW….the spoon with peanut butter and chocolate chips looks SO GOOD!! I may need to run to the kitchen and get some now. haha

  • Nicki says:

    Wow, what an amazing truth, that is so encouraging to hear. On one hand it’s so sad that people are willing to post such mean comments and that you have to see them, but what an amazing triumph over not letting them bring you down! I need to bookmark this post and never forget it because I so often let so many much smaller things than this bring me down. Thank you so much for sharing!! God Bless you and your wonderful family.

  • Amanda says:

    Crystal –
    400+ comments later, you clearly have so many people behind you and supporting you! But I had to tell you that this post was incredibly meaningful to me. You inspire so many women to keep pushing. You make me feel “normal” about wanting to be frugal and a good steward of everything god gives me — versus others that make me feel like I should want high end cars and purses etc. We all have our own demons we face – be it insecurities in our looks/jobs/families – and I think it’s incredible that you face yours regularly and then are willing to tell us all about it. Very few people can do what you do. Keep making your “silly” faces. You have plenty to be proud of. Thank you for everything you do.

    • Holly says:

      Wholeheartedly agree with everything Amanda says here. I’m glad you delete those ugly comments – none of us who think you’re amazing want to read them. What I admire about you is that despite so much success, you remain humble, you encourage your husband (let’s face it, sometimes husbands can get a little twitchy when we are more notable for whatever reason) and are intensely loyal to him, and you make it obvious that your children are your first priority. To the casual observer, your success might look easy, so people snark because they assume you have been really lucky. What I see, though, is a woman who works really, really hard to just be *better* every day. And “luck” is where hard work and opportunity meet. If others worked as hard as you do – maybe they’d see the blessings in their lives multiply too. You go, Girl. You inspire me.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you for posting this! Love you and your smile and your example of pushing through the anxiety, insecurities, fears, etc., that plague so many of us! <3

  • JJ says:

    Love your heart! When I was in 7th grade, one of my friends was a goofball and purposed to make me laugh during my yearbook photo. Well, it worked. And my face looked like I was pooping(!?!), moon cratered chin contest winner and all! It was forever my worst picture, but I laugh now. Good for you to see the best in everyone and still rock on with your bad self.

  • Shannon says:

    Crystal. Thank you for this post. Firstly, you are GORGEOUS, and I adore your selfies. Personally, I think people who post selfies are far more confident than those who don’t 🙂 Secondly, I want you to know that you have had a profound impact on my life. I have read all of your books, and write in your blessings journal each morning. I have been traveling, but purchased your make over your mornings course and plan to start it next week. Please know that your point of view is most inspiring. I appreciate that you can pray for those putting you down, something I am working hard to do every day. Sometimes, it’s not easy being so awesome. I believe it was Audrey Hepburn who once said “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle”. Shine on 🙂

  • Holly says:

    I think your selfies are very fun! They actually show some personality UNLIKE most selfies which are just a desperate attempt to get someone to notice them.

  • Jill says:

    I so needed this, as I have battled insecurity all my life (I’m 50). You are such a role model for me…you go, and be the only you that you can be and I will do the same! I so look forward to receiving your daily posts and I love how you share such personal details. You have inspired me to be a better person!

  • Theo-Ann Johnson says:

    Totally love that you are confident in who God made you to be, Crystal. I so appreciate your website and all that it has been to me and my family. Here’s a little observation though on how the world has been going in social media…..I was on Facebook several years ago, until the Lord got a hold of my heart with it. There were things being said back and forth and pictures that were all being so discouraging. I decided then, that I would be careful as to how much I would “put myself out there”….I am very confident in who God made me to be, and do not care what people think in how I dress (pretty conservatively), music I listen to, choices of entertainment, etc. Now, for the past couple of years, I have been hearing/reading about in the news how people are getting in trouble with the law….how so many others “chime” in on their opinions and hurt one another….just because of a picture on social media! It seems like so many feel they have to “voice” their opinion. As believers in Christ, we are not going to be liked by the decisions we make, or the pictures we post, etc. So, while it’s true that so many of us like to have Facebook, Twitter, etc., and want to post things about our daily lives, just know that there are going to be some who oppose us for whatever reason. I personally don’t feel like I need to be “out there” to get affirmation. Not everyone posts selfies online, and just because it is a popular thing, don’t feel like I need to. I actually love meeting up with people face to face, talking on the telephone, or even sending a quick text, rather than updating myself online every hour! These are just my personal opinions….not meant to criticize if you are on social media. Just wanted to share a different angle. As time goes on, social media will continue to hurt, ridicule Christians, because, well….they don’t have the same philosophy in life.

  • Aimee says:

    The remarks those people made are cruel and say everything about their character. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that kind of nastiness. Keep posting your selfies- they’re fun!! ?

  • Daenah says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I feel so silly doing this ( I don’t think I’ve posted more than 3 comments ever in 10 years of Internet) but as a 28 year old dealing with this issues I am so grateful the Lord has worked through you and you’re now sharing this with the rest of us. There is hope! Thank you for posting on this. Thank you for being His willing vessel going out there ahead of us and showing the way.

  • Maria says:

    Crystal, God Bless You! My Pastor once told me that people that hurt are hurting themselves. He advised me to pray for them and to show the love of Christ. I must admit that loving the “unlovables” has not been an easy thing for me. In fact, I struggle with this a lot. I keep praying that the Lord will continue to strengthen me in this area. When people are mean or simply are trying to put me down, I pray for them, forgive them, and turn them over to the Lord’s mercy. Crystal, you are a beautiful lady. You have blessed me a lot. So keep doing what you are doing. I will be praying for you!

  • Monica Schaper says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, I really needed this. I felt like this was a message just for me as I am sure many others felt the same. I too struggle with my photographs of me and have for many years. Whether it is my weight, my skin/complexion, my smile, teeth, double chin etc…I always hated what I looked like in the picture or video. And yes I have had many people share with me their negative comments of what they see in the picture including my own mother and sister.
    But I have been on the path of not being so harsh to myself and accepting who I am, who GOD has made, imperfections and all. So yes I post those selfies I take with my husband and boys and am now kind to myself. I have to accept who I am and just enjoy all of me and what life has to offer.

  • Thank- you so much ,I may as well have spoken for you. Because I live through insecurities everyday. Have since Grade Two.i also went through a few years of agrophia. I walk with the Lord but still have to fight off Satan constantly. Would love to belong to your blog. Eileen

  • Ashley says:

    I can’t believe someone would say those things to you–you’re gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing, I too have went through the same insecurities that you’ve listed and am not a fan of the selfie. Thanks for being brave and not letting these comments get you down.

  • Cris says:

    I’m not a comment writer. I can probably count the number I’ve written on one finger, but I want to say thank you for sharing this post. It ministered to my wife at just the right time, and I think it’s a message so many of us need to hear. As I read it, I kept thinking of its parallels with one of my favorite children’s stories – You Are Special, by Max Lucado. In the story, the characters give gray dot stickers or gold star stickers to each other. But there is one character on whom the stickers, good or bad, don’t stick. They don’t stick because she knows the love of her creator, and it’s he who defines her identity and worth. Thank you for sharing your own testimony, and turning the evil against you to good for so many.

  • Amy N says:

    Selfie ON! Love this!

  • Brandi says:

    I know you don’t necessarily need to hear it, but I just wanted to say anyway that I think you are so beautiful and I personally love seeing your goofy selfies! Also, this post was so on point. Between my mother’s and my aunt’s comments, I have struggled with body image issues since I was 8 years old. That’s 19 years of my life! It took me having my son to finally get over this idea that somehow the number on the scale defined who I was as a person. I still have my days where I really struggle, and it’s hard not to fall back into old habits (especially since I am at my current heaviest, thanks to baby weight that just won’t go away). But I know now that all those things they said to me at such a young age had less to do with me and a lot more to do with them. I no longer crave being “skinny” to the point of sickly. Instead, I crave being healthy so that I can teach my son good habits and keep up with his toddler energy! So thank you for putting yourself out there and letting me know that even someone I admire and find beautiful (and “perfect”) has had the same thoughts and feelings I have had. 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    ummm…. can i just say that i never noticed crooked teeth or an ugly smile? I just see a beautiful woman who has encouraged and motivated countless women. Keep up the good work, and the selfies 🙂

  • Sharon says:

    i applauded you for now having the confidence in yourself and now feeling secure in yourself. I wish I could say the same thing! But it looks as though you figured it all out in time….your girls are watching. When you put yourself down they are learning not to like what little flaws they may have. So good for you! And also, you have a beautiful smile and look like a pretty fun person. ?

  • Cindy Halcombe says:

    You are truly gorgeous and an inspiration to many. Keep smiling.

  • Great post! Yes, keep posting your selfies! I use to be in the habit of not taking pictures of myself…I was the one holding the camera. Then I read a very good, very true, story that basically ended with “When your children grow up, will they be able to see pictures of you and them together when they were young?” Someone else somewhere also wrote recently about coming across a picture of their mother, not with kids, just doing “mom” things. I don’t have any pictures like that for my kids. I really need to try and get more pictures of me, so we can all look back on them together some day.

    I might even buy myself a selfie stick now!

  • Elisabeth says:

    Crystal, honestly your authenticity is the thing I love the most about your blog. I love the pictures and I think you’re beautiful. My daughter just saw a new dermatologist and something about her face and mannerisms reminded me of you in your videos. You’re a very likeable person and anyone who chooses to tear you down is missing out. Don’t change or edit who you are ( I know you won’t)

  • Awww! Why do people have to be so mean. Completely uncalled for. I love your “dumb selfie faces” — they make you look approachable, fun, like a real person… And I totally understand the brave thing. I have a headshot and NO other pics of me on my blog… for a reason. so kudos to you!

  • Christine says:

    Haters are gonna hate! But you keep doing what you do because you are beautiful inside and out. I love your selfies, and I love your posts.

  • lizajane says:

    I don’t have time to read the gazillion comments left before mine, but I’ll bet they all say the same thing…they MUST have posted those comments on the wrong blog! I have never noticed crooked teeth or anything the least big ugly about you. (I do, of course, notice the silly faces, but like any normal person I laugh at them.) All I see is a smart wonderful mother and wife who is raising her children to be smart, kind, giving, responsible people and teaching them it’s perfectly ok to make silly faces and post them too 🙂 Oh, and she also shares her experiences with the world thru a blog with a whole lot of readers, in an effort to support her family and her goals and to help those readers any way she can. I’m sure I left a lot out, but that’s what all the rest of the comments are for. You rock!

  • Debbie says:

    You have so many comments on this post that who knows if you’ll see this, but I wanted to add that I feel exactly the way you do! I don’t take selfies and rarely even think a family photo is good enough to post. This speaks so much to the condition of our vain mindset in our society!

    I can’t believe there are people that let their jealousy dictate their actions toward others (which is where the shaming comes from).

    Keep on doing your thing and inspiring the rest of us 🙂


  • Anne Bogel says:

    This is great. And for the record, I love your selfies. 🙂

  • Catie says:

    I, along with everyone else, love your pictures! I think the world needs more people like you–people who aren’t afraid to be WHO GOD MADE THEM TO BE! 🙂 You’re beautiful! Keep it up, sister!

  • Melissa Swett says:

    Crystal – I love your blog. Especially love the fact that you are very willing to reveal your imperfect self and that makes me want to read your blog all the more. You mustn’t let those that only want to bring you down any voice. I think you are handling this in the best way possible. I know you have helped me so much, in the past 4+ years, I’ve been reading your blog. Initially, because it was about saving money but also in other areas, like what this post is about. Keep on doing what you are doing. It’s important!! I hope to meet you some day but enjoy my time each day learning more about myself through the work you do.

  • THANK YOU so much for this post! Bravo for not only writing it, but LIVING it out as an example. Such an inspiration!

  • Leanne says:

    Thank you for your poignant honesty! I have come under a lot of scrutiny lately for: my mothering skills, weight, appearance, etc. etc. etc. I, like most, are a work in progress. No one knows your struggles because they aren’t walking in your shoes. I have acne prone skin, a large nose, hate my picture being taken, have medical issues that make me exhausted all the time, my weight & emotions are all over the place since I had my daughter, I struggled with severe PPD for 1.5 years after my child was born, I have always worked & am now a SAHM, my self confidence wavers (like my emotions!)….minute to minute. Yet, the haters keep hating. Why? Why do you thrive on negativity? I don’t need that unsolicited criticism, thanks though! Nobody has it all together, despite appearances. How about this…you see me struggling….HELP me instead of criticizing me. I’m just trying to figure it all out as I go, just like everybody else! I pray for the haters too. It must be exhausting and depressing to be THAT negative all the time. I try to keep my chin up, regardless of hurt feelings. Keep being & loving the unique person you are, period.

  • Rhonda says:

    This post is excellent. I am a new reader and I have appreciated your writing. You are very real and honest and I am enjoying your site. I also struggle with being self consious and needed this reminder that we are Daughters of the King and don’t need to feel shame in our appearance. Thank you! Love that you keep it positive!

  • Jennifer says:

    The thing about your smile and crooked teeth cracks me up since I have been admiring your white teeth and pleasant smile while watching your makeover your mornings videos! Thanks for writing this though because it does help me think about what I need to value about myself. 🙂

  • Cindy says:

    Thank you. Just thank you for sharing what I feel and struggle with myself. And thanks for making it a little safer to not be perfect.

  • Mary says:

    Who even notices things like crooked teeth or cares about the expressions on peoples’ faces i their selfies? Not me. Lol. You just look like a normal chick who is far skinnier and better put together in her every day selfies than I am in mine. And I’m still proudly posting selfies. 🙂

  • AM says:

    I, too, wanted to say thank you for this post–and, also, thank you for deleting the negative comments. I love your blog and your instagram. And I always smile when I see them–and I love being able to read the comments and not feel like I (vicariously) got slapped in the face by a mean-spirited comment. So please keep sharing your life and photos and inspiration and thank you again for preventing the negative comments to clog your blog!

  • Melissa says:

    I too am so glad you posted this. I love seeing you being real and down to earth just like the rest of us. We all know there is a lot of bad in the world and we don’t need people negative people bringing it to a happy place like the one you have created for us. We join sites like yours to help us be more positive and make everyday a day worth living. So I am personally very happy that you delete the negative comments. Thank you:-)

  • Denise says:

    Thank you for being so real and down to earth. I think you are doing a great job. I am working through your morning make-overs and am learning so much. This mothering business is a tough business, and I am so tired and overwhelmed most of the time, I barely look together anymore. However, my 9 year old daughter tells me how pretty I am while I hear the opposite comments from my 15 year old daughter and all the things I need to fix.
    Also, thank you for taking the time to remove unimportant opinions from negative commentators. Us women have enough to deal with. God Bless!

  • Crystal,
    I love how real you are. Being authentic and honest is something you don’t see often on blogs. I love how you put yourself out there and pull us into a big bear hug with not only you, but also your family! Keep being unashamed of who God created you to be girlfriend! It inspires and refreshes my spirit!

    Maiden Princess

  • Melissa says:

    Omg! I love this post and its sort of funny because you are gorgeous and so smart! I’m sitting here listening to your book and looking at your blog at the same time and I can’t help but think how awesome you are! And then you say you know who you are in Christ and that just rocks!
    Thanks for this post!

  • Elissa says:

    When I saw you on the Mornings videos, I thought you looked super glamorous and like you had it all together! Isn’t it funny how we assume everyone else is OK with themselves and we are the only one who struggles? I too have been trying to avoid the tangle of worrying too much what others think of us. Hopefully we can all be women who support each other and are content in ourselves

  • rebecca says:

    I love you, your awesome !

  • beth says:

    Personally, I think you’re adorable! I sincerely appreciate your willingness to be REAL, and honest, and vulnerable. It gives me courage to do the same. THANK YOU.

  • Holly Truitt says:

    Thank you for this!! AWesome! 😀 Holly

  • Angel says:

    Love it! I do the same thing. Why? Because I don’t want to look “posed” sometimes. Sometimes I just know I’m almost 40 and this way maybe it will take away from the lines and greys…lol. This reminds me of a Friends episode….Chandler and Monica’s wedding announcement pictures. His smile is so awful she ends up getting Joey to play Chandler.

  • Janel says:

    Thank you for that post!

  • Vere says:

    I’m a 46 year old mom, and this being real thing is fairly new and I love it! Finally it’s become fashionable to unfashionable, to go against the norm and actually be launched up in praise for it. We women are so critical of ourselves, but when we see someone else show their authentic side it inspires us. Thank you for being part of that trend. I pray it continues. One thing selfies has done, is make it okay to just be in the moment and not pause to pose. We used to be able to stop, and delete pictures that weren’t our best side, but PLEASE, there’s too much to edit now. I love it, just go with the real you. YOU are beautiful – and I’m not talking about your chin or eyebrows – it’s your heart.

  • Erin says:

    This really spoke to me. I’ve never enjoyed being the center of attention and never thought I was “good enough”, often shying away from photos. Recently, I’ve started posting more photos of myself as an exercise in self-confidence and it’s refreshing to see that other brave women are doing the same. Thank you so much for posting this! Keep putting your beautiful self out there!

  • Mac says:

    This post is EXACTLY what I needed today! I have been a reader for sometime, and personally I love to see your fun and silly selfies. You always seem so real, and down to earth. When I read into someone’s life everyday, I’m not looking for “perfection” or the airbrushed versions of reality! I want to sort of get to know someone, and the goofy faces, impromptu pictures complete with real life mess in the background is exactly what life is like! I will try to take some of the confidence that you show in the post, and breathe into my own struggles against shaming. Thank you

  • Lila says:

    I tried for several minutes to think of a criticism.. Here’s what I came up with .. Zip, zilch, nada .. lol .. THANKS for keeping it Real ? I Love your open, honest & down to earth format.
    I hate pics of me, mostly because I always wonder who that old woman in the photo is .. Not me, surely! Haha.
    Thanks again, for your presence in my life! ❤️

  • Michelle Smith says:

    i am soooo glad I ran across your blog! It’s perfect timing, and I’m sure God led. I have been wounded and have sadly, also wounded others in my attempt to be secure with myself. I have lost a large circle of my friends and have been praying for God to bring new friends into my life that together, we are able to learn from past mistakes, focus solely on God, and the direction He would have us to go. I long for friends to build up and encourage. To uplift and hold up. I want to love like Jesus would have me to love. And I pray that comes to me soon. Thank you again. This was so well said. And I love your transparency and the strength God has given you to just be “Real” God Bless You!!

  • Norma says:

    I have never seen your blog before today, but found this page through Pinterest. You are beautiful and your selfies are adorable. Keep ignoring the haters and encouraging all of us who need to hear what you have to say.

  • Kreena says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you get such negative posts. I have always liked the pictures including the ones with silly faces. True expressions give us a glimpse of your fun personality. I love to take pictures of my family and my favorite ones are the ones where they are not posed-they are just being themselves. I don’t take very good pictures but I have learned to take them anyway because I want to be in them with my family. I want to have those memories forever. God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Love your posts, pictures and smiles. Your a wonderful person.

  • Love, Love, Love this post! Who cares what other people thing? Do what makes you happy. That’s so awesome that you have become more comfortable with yourself this year. Congrats!

  • Melanie says:


    Keep it up! You’re amazing!

  • sunny says:

    Great post. I would add that sometimes the voices are the ones in our head from the past (childhood, etc.). Some of us live with those constantly whispering in our ears. In either case, it certainly takes a an effort to ignore those voices and remind ourselves of who we truly are in Christ. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • You’re truly so cute! I’m sure it was kind of hard to post this, but we appreciate it. 🙂

  • Jen says:

    What a great post! I’ve struggled with mean comments too from strangers online and despite my best efforts, let them get to me. I just need to remind myself, as you said, that it comes from a place of unhappiness and insecurity in their own life. I’m Pinning this post for later, as a wonderful reminder to just keep doing what I do best and be myself 🙂 Keep up the great work and fun selfies!

  • This is such a powerful post! I see myself in your words – hiding my introverted shy nature behind a computer screen and refusing to show “me” to my readers, but showing everything else. It’s definitely something to think about for me 🙂

  • toni says:

    Yes, I hide from cameras and I do not sing even though I would like to. When I was in elementary school the singing teacher, Sister Mary S, asked me to “just move your lips dear, don’t actually make sounds” for the Church choir. Result = can’t sing. My parents could not afford braces. I needed braces. Result = can’t smile, can’t be in photos.
    It’s OK though. I am almost 70. I have learned to be happy with what I have and what I can do. Yeah, there’s lots I can’t do or shouldn’t do, or won’t do, but there’s lots I CAN do too. I am OK with that.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful, Crystal ? I’ve followed your blog since the beginning and have been blessed to witness your transformation. Your transparency is inspiring many women to live a “real” life!

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful, Crystal ? I’ve followed your blog since the beginning and have been blessed to witness your transformation. Your transparency is inspiring so many women to live a “real” life!

  • Heather says:

    You are beautiful just as you are! If we could all have your amazing-ness! Keep on with those selfies! They are awesome!! I have only been following you for a few months, and I rarely leave comments because..well, I am just not good at them, but this post deserved a comment. Love your blog! You are an inspiration. 🙂 Christ made us who we are and He isn’t ashamed of us, so we shouldn’t be either. Keep on sharin’ cause it gives the rest of us courage!

  • Christine says:

    I feel like your post was speaking directly to me. I hate all pictures of myself. All of them. Maybe time to try to change that. Thank you!!

  • Natalie says:

    I have been following you for a bit and I really love your positive vibe. It is sad that others want to pushbyoubdown when you are constantly striving to lift your readers up.
    I have had some huge struggles in the last 5 years and have finally found a peaceful place for my heart and soul to live. I look for others that want to lift people up with honesty and positive information.
    Thank you!

  • RHonda says:

    You have crooked teeth? I never noticed. Thanks for not letting the idiots have the upper hand. Why do people feel the need to tear someone else down?
    I remember Beth Moore talk about ladies who ask her when is she going to get a nose job.

    Often I care too much about pleasing other people, but most of the time I like to live my life freely and have a good time, even if people do see me singing in the rain!

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for this post! Love it! Hits home with me feeling the same.

  • Alayna Adams says:

    I love you. Yep, that’s all I could come up with after reading this. This post is so spot on for me and such a window into you. Thank you for sharing this!!

  • Teresa Aman says:

    So brave! I love this! Your transparency is inspiring and I have enjoyed the awkward selfies. They make me feel the growing solidarity that you have with your readers. God bless!

  • Sarah says:

    The first thing I do every day when I wake up pretty much is check your newsfeed on facebook – I live in New Zealand so much of what you say in relation to deals, grocery shopping etc does not apply. I love to read your stuff though because of the positive messages that come through and the fact that as a woman, wife and mother I relate to so much else that you write about. This post is no exception. It is powerful stuff. It makes me feel sad for the people who must be in such a dark place that they would miss the power and beauty of your words and try to find something superficial to criticise instead. I love that you post pictures of yourself and your family. The personal nature of your blog is what makes it so readable – your authenticity and honesty set your work apart and your work absolutely enriches my day and inspires me too so thank you.

  • Jessica says:

    People are mean and ugly for one reason alone-because they feel bad about themselves. Five years ago, I was overweight and generally just a miserable person overall. I thought that putting other people down as often as possible would somehow make me feel better about myself but clearly it didn’t. It When I finally took action and changed the things that I didn’t like about myself I felt it unnecessary to find the flaws in others. You are doing a wonderful thing….you are brave enough to put yourself out there and you have helped many people in many ways. The ugliness of others has nothing to do with you, just keep being you and keep deleting all that nastiness. <3

  • Mindy says:

    I personally think your beautiful and your real!! And I love that!! They just don’t possess that strength to push through that insecurity and it’s eating them up!!

  • Amanda Peterson says:

    My favorite one is the peanut butter & chocolate chip spoon pic. Your hair? Fabulous! Your eyes? Gorgeous! The expression? Priceless!

  • Hanna says:

    Love this post!! It is hard to put yourself out there!!! I am like you, in that someone always has to say something to me about how I look. It is so discouraging and then I remember that they are only saying it because they themselves are insecure about how they look or talk. It seems that some people weren’t taught by their mommas, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I hope your post helps those negative Nancy’s to take a hike or think about what they post, before they do. Thanks for keeping it real!! You always add some brightness to my day!!

  • Naomie says:

    You are a true inspiration. I’ve been reading your blog for years now, and I’ve loved getting to see the everyday you recently.

  • peggy says:

    i know you don’t need the affirmation, but i just wanted to say that one of the reasons i started reading your blog was because i loved your quirky, fun selfies! (i also love your lists of “five things to know about this picture” for much the same reason.) i’m so glad you’re not going to let these insecure little people bully you into changing something you like about yourself!

  • Wendy says:

    I love your posts even your silly selfies. They show you are a real person not fake. Encouraging others to be real, to be yourself. Keep up the great work!

  • Sarah says:

    This post came to me at the perfect time. I’ve always hated the way I look in photos and believe I’m the worst selfie taker ever. I always see all flaws and nothing positive. Not long before reading this I updated my 2 year old/heavily filtered fb profile pic with a recent unfiltered photo. Not going to lie and say I’m confident about it but, I have finally found the courage to say screw it, this is me warts and all. No longer will I shy away from the camera. Especially when it comes to photos with my daughter. I refuse to raise a child that questions her worth bc of some silly photo. I also adamantly refuse to raise a person that feels the impulse to put other people down. What a sad, lonely, and terrible existence that must be. Thank you for sharing this post and reminding us all to keep our heads up.

  • JPeterson says:

    Oprah has her photo on every single issue of her magazine, and people pay her for it! Your selfies are real life, and they are great (and someone should pay you for them)!

  • Jennifer says:

    Goodness gracious people are downright, horribly mean!!! Hiding behind a screen and a keyboard is a cowardly way of attacking someone. After all the years you have put into helping others, you have a few that try their hardest to tear you down,
    Forgetting you are a human being with feelings. Not a computer randomly typing blog posts. I am so sorry you have had to read those comments. I know how troubling it is to put it aside and push through the day, all the while picking yourself apart for no reason. Please be strong and know that your dedication is what drives those random idiots mad. Being a great example and living a life for Christ will always be tough and will always demand the attention of those who seek harm.

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for this piece. It is perfectly timed for things that are going on in my life. I truly appreciate you being willing to put yourself out there for all to see and being true & real.

  • Allison says:

    This is what I have needed to hear for a while. It is great motivation to rethink the self-criticism that constantly invades my thoughts.

    By the way, when I see the “goofy” selfies, I just think that chick is fun and I wish I had her spirit.

  • Renee says:

    This was so beautifully written. Thanks for being so vulnerable. Love this!!

  • Cynthia says:

    How sad that people would say such ugly things. I think you are beautiful!
    I don’t like the way I look in pictures. So mostly I post pictures of others or my cats. If I do post something of myself, I heavily critique it first.

  • Jenna Priest says:

    You’re a very physically attractive woman. I don’t get it? LOL. Some people are crazy. And probably making mean comments because they are jealous of how pretty you are and that you run a successful website. How bizarre. Trying to find a hint of ugly but I fail.

  • christy says:

    I didn’t know that others felt the way I did about selfies.. and going one step further, posting a post on FB! I will actually lay in bed at night thinking if I made a spelling error or if I somehow offended anyone! Thank you for putting yourself out there! It is an encouragement for me to do more!

  • Beth says:

    Love your selfies!

  • Aubrey says:

    I love the faces in this post. They are real and human. I’d rather see “real” faces than perfectly posed faces. You keep on keep in’ on with your fun selfie faces!!

  • Tracy says:

    Keep taking and sharing your photos. Your selfies are real and fun and your kids and family will love them for the rest of their lives. I had a mother who was not a fan of having photos taken and often avoided the camera at family gatherings. She died at 46 and I so wish I had so many more photos of her. I made a decision to always let people take photos with me in them. I want them to have those memories of me no matter how I felt I looked in them.

  • A. Rose says:

    You’re beautiful and I love this post.

  • amy says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post! There are so many ways I feel insecure and inadequate and I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I try and fit into what I think other people think I should be.

    After feeling really down I decided to try to just be me — I used to like me! And I’m terrible at being someone I’m not! It’s funny, I totally don’t even see the “imperfections” that worried you about yourself which really made me think… Maybe all the things that are “wrong” about me are just my insecurities?

    Thanks for the inspiration! You’ve given me a lot to think about and even though I don’t even know you, I am very grateful for the support!!!

  • Misty says:

    I seriously think you and I should be friends! I feel the same way about a lot of the things you post on your blog and I love it. Sometimes a sister needs to know she’s not alone in the world and I think you are brave for facing the trolls head on. People don’t know how degrading their comments can be, either from ignorance or just plain meanness. And I’m glad there are women out there that are willing to be REAL! You are such a beautiful lady, and obviously from the inside out. Haters gonna hate ;). Keep on keeping on!

  • Erin says:

    It’s amazing how God orchestrates the right encouragement at just the right time! I was at the mall yesterday with my 5 (almost 6 year old daughter). I am 28 weeks pregnant, and exhausted. I had jeans and a t-shirt on. Hair in a pony tail, and little to no make up on. I had just finished 2- 12 hour shifts in a row, and I had things I needed to get done (despite the fact that I really just wanted to take a long nap). I am generally a very confident person, and don’t let what others say about me get to me. It’s easy to judge someone from across the room (or behind the guise of anonymity on the internet).
    Two girls in their late teens/early 20’s made a comment about my appearance. At first, I wanted to confront them, and tell them exactly how I felt about their comments. I, however, stopped myself knowing that would not please the God who loves me and knitted me together himself. Later in the evening I began to think about it again. I prayed for those 2 girls. I prayed that whatever struggles they are currently in or would experience in the future- that God would use those things to draw them to Him. I truly believe that the majority of the time, those types of comments come from a place of hurt.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. It lets me know that I am not alone.

  • Hayden says:

    Thank you for this post. My Facebook pics consist of my girls because I love them but also because I don’t like how I look in pics. I don’t take selfies without my girls and maybe one of them ends up posted. I struggled with acne and don’t always have my hair and makeup photo ready. I just feel insecure. Thank you for your words. It’s nice to know other women understand.

  • Mama Bear says:

    Thanks for posting this. I can definitely relate to the insecurity of getting your picture taken and posting selfies. I have never considered myself photogenic and don’t like having my picture taken. I am so proud of you for growing enough to get over this fear and hope that someday, I can, too. BTW – you ARE beautiful!

  • Emily says:

    Go Crystal! You are speaking the truth and being a wonderful example to your daughters and to the world! Thank you for being brave and for following Christ! Keep posting your selfies, I love them! It reminds me to be real, authentic, and to celebrate the small things and laugh at the inconvenient!

  • Bonnie says:

    I’ve been following you for years and I love that you’re posting more of the “real” you. Your selfies are authentic and fun. Keep them coming. I’ve recently lost 45 lbs and I know how it feels to want to take selfies and pictures. For the first time in my life, I’m comfortable with how I look and I like sharing my life in pictures now! Thanks for the spot on post!

  • Julia says:

    Our MOPS theme last year was “Be you, Bravely” and you just keep on keeping on being you bravely. ?

  • Sherri Davis says:

    Good for you! I’m glad you don’t photoshop and are brave enough to show your real life. It’s refreshing and that is one of the reasons I continue to follow your blog. Keep it up!

  • Amy says:

    Yay you! Good post. You’re beautiful especially in the silly everyday pics. I’m so glad you deleted the ugly posts…I love the upbeat vibe you keep.

  • Kendra says:

    I honor this post so much!! We are all in such need of love and being able to be authentic, who God designed us to be! How freeing to be able to keep looking to our Fatherfor validation and unconditional love instead of others. That is my mission too! To push fear aside and step out revealing my true self praying it might benefit and help someone else. Hurt people hurt people. What f we start looking at people through Jesus’ eyes and love them as His gift….precious and valued….one of a kind? I am so proud of you and inspired to stay on this journey! You rock! Let’s stay the course!!?

  • I think you are beautiful, my friend. Thank you for sharing the progress that these selfless represent. It is truly significant how far you have come, and I celebrate that. I also appreciate the fact that this post reminds us all that the person behind the blog is a real person. I hope that it helps us all think about the comments we write. If we don’t like something we see, is it necessary to demean the writer? Why not just move on? I simply do not understand. I have had to grow some pretty thick skin to keep blogging over the years, but it hurts when people are cruel. I would like to say THANK YOU for putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. I know how much TIME, EFFORT, THOUGHT, and HEART it takes to keep up a blog and share from the soul. I appreciate you so much, as well as the authentic messages you write.

  • Kris says:

    What in the world!?! Why would they say those things? I don’t get it. You stay you, goofy faces and everything else. You are beautiful inside and out, so the comments are just dumb.

  • Noelle says:

    It makes me sad that there are adults who are bullies. I love reading your blog. I love how real it is. It’s always fun and sometimes funny to read. I’m glad you are secure enough in Christ to not let it bother you and to still use your blog to encourage others.

  • Fawn says:

    I absolutely love this article! Such a great reminder that we are all different but God loves us just the way we are! We are all a work in progress. Thank you for sharing!

  • Cindy says:

    I love all your pictures, please ignore the negative comments that come from people who are so insecure of themselves that they have to criticize others to make themselves feel better!

  • Melissa Fornwalt says:

    I cannot believe people are so cruel. Especially to someone as beautiful as you 🙂

    Thank you for this post. It is a blessing to know there are women out there trying to be brave and be the person God has created them to be… themselves!

  • Bertine says:

    Thank you. I do relate!
    And it’s nice to know there are others out there ; )

  • Patty says:

    This is beautiful and so are you! Thank you for sharing so openly and for encouraging us to be ourselves!

  • Merry Jo says:

    You are beautiful, and I appreciate you and your ministry so much! Thanks for this post! <3

  • Janet says:

    Loved this post. Such a shame that some people feel the need to say such hateful things. Thanks for the encouragement for your readers to be brave, celebrate their beauty and uniqueness. Good for you for doing the hard work you have to overcome insecurities and become a stronger confident woman who knows her value in Christ. By the way, I love the fun expressions in your selfies, it’s real life.

  • Anne Vincent says:

    You are such a pretty lady inside and out! I love your blog! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. keep up the good work!

  • Janis says:

    Oh how jealousy can bring out the bitterness in people. They claim to dislike your goofy faces, teeth, whatever, yet they continue to read your blog. I dare these haters to post selfies as I would love to see what they consider perfection looks like. Life is about having fun and being proud of who you are and you do a perfect job of it. Keep up the silly faces because what child doesn’t like having a silly, fun loving parent to goof around with. Beautiful memories are being made with a beautiful, real mom.

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post and the encouragement that we are enough in Christ. I love that. I want that to become more real in my life. I want to be confident and not look for others affirmation. God bless you for sharing your heart.

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