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Video Blog: Introducing You to Chris Seay

We had the incredible opportunity of getting to have Chris Seay and his cameraman come to our home for a short visit last week. Chris is a pastor, author, and a man with an amazing heart for the poor. I was so blessed and inspired to meet him and get to hear a little of his heart.

Chris has traveled all over the world to visit those living in poverty. He’s seen suffering beyond what most of us could even begin to fathom (some of the stories he shared just blew my mind!). But he’s not just witnessed the poverty, he is actively seeking to live a life of walking with the poor–sacrificing his own comforts and wants in order to reach out to those in desperate need.

In his new book, A Place At the Table, Chris is issuing a challenge for us to not just talk about the dire needs and poverty around the globe, but for us to actually walk with the poor. His book challenges readers to consider a 40-day fast from excess.

This week, I’ll be sharing short clips from our interview and encouraging you to consider if there are sacrifices you feel called to make in your own life in order to help those who are in need in your own area–or in other parts of the world.

In the short video below, I share about two books that have impacted me recently when it comes to giving and living a simple life and Chris shares more about his heart for the poor (excuse the fact that this is the very first time I’ve ever conducted a video interview before so I’m a wee bit nervous about it!):

Interview w. Money Saving Mom Part 1 from Chris Seay on Vimeo.

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  • Jen Freeman says:

    Very nice thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa says:


    This is so great! I am right there with ya! I am taking the 40 days of lent to declutter my home and my heart making room for more relationships and less stuff.

    People can follow along with my 40 day declutterin on my facebook page Organize365.

    Thanks for all your posts about living generously!


  • lori says:

    What an awesome and inspiring idea. I can’t wait to get the book and learn more about how to do this in our own home! Thanks so much for sharing this (Crystal you did a perfect job interviewing him too) !

  • Yvonne says:

    Thank you for sharing this video! I was blessed with a copy of this book and have read the first four chapters already. Our family will be changing the fast up a bit to make it work for our family. Once a week for the rest of the year, we will be eating rice and beans for dinner, and doing on of the readings from ‘A Place at the Table’. The money we would have spent on dinner for that night will be used to purchase Bite Back nets from Compassion. This is a new journey for us and we look forward to watching how God will change us through this.

  • How ironic, some of Chris’s kids attend the same homeschool co-op my son does, and he’s a church planter in our city. I didn’t know about his new book, so thanks for sharing! Would love to read it.

  • Valerie says:

    Worlds colliding!!! Chris is a good friend (and pastor before I moved from Houston), since I was part of his first small group in Houston in 2001! So so glad to find out you two know each other!

  • Megan says:

    I just bought this book. I’m excited to see what happens!

  • Charlotte says:

    I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Julie in IN says:

    Thanks for sharing this interview; you did a great job, Crystal! Great information shared and I’m looking forward to reading his book.

    Please share where you found that super cute short sleeved sweater top. :o)

  • Emily says:

    The whole Seay family is such a blessing! Robbie makes awesome music, his dad is a great pastor as well, and Jennifer is a loving wife with a true heart for adoption. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Chelsea says:

    Thank you for challenging me in sharing this. 🙂 What a cool concept!

  • What a fantastic idea! Hmmm, what are suggestions you can give us to give up excess. Please define. I’d like to hear more about this for sure!

    • Andrea Q says:

      I can think of a lot of things to try living without:

      hot water
      central heating or cooling
      washer and dryer
      fresh fruit
      a car
      telephone service

    • Andrea Q says:

      Sorry, I hit enter before I finished my thought.

      The book, however, specifically focuses on food. Read the description at Amazon:

    • Crystal says:

      Stay tuned for the videos coming later this week when Chris will flesh out more what that’s meant in his own life. I’d also highly recommend the book I’m reading 7 (shown in the video). It has really challenged me to step back and examine my own life.

  • Celia says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I just purchased the book and I am so excited to read it. I can’t wait to share what I learn from this book with others.

  • Love this Crystal! Our family was just discussing how much we would save each year if we gave up eating out, and my kids were pretty shocked at the number (yikes!) We didn’t even go as far as to think about where to that money could go if we didn’t use it at a restaurant . . .but it’s definitely something we need to consider. Thanks so much for your continuing encouragement to give to those in need, we truly are so blessed and so often forget just how fortunate we are!

  • What a great challenge! I agree we have too much excess. I am looking forward to spending some time soon overseas in a country that has a lot of poverty. Thankful and excited about the opportunity. 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    Wow Crystal this is such an important post. I’m so inspired by your willingness to get your readers to think outside the box. Its so refreshing how you never stop encouraging us (even though you could) to be our best in so many more ways than just saving money! Its very humbling and I am very grateful.

  • Jaime says:

    SO exciting. We literally just ordered the books this morning – my friend and I are walking the journey together. She’s not a mom but I am sending her this way to check this post out! 🙂

  • Natalie F says:

    Consider me inspired!

  • Susan says:

    To me excess means the inability to afford anything beyond the basic food itself. And we’ve been there. Plain chicken, plain meat, plain veggies, beans and rice, oatmeal rather than cereal. It means eating some odd combinations for meals–when you think you’re “out” of food for dinner–scrape together what’s left in the pantry or the fridge. And eating every leftover so it’s not wasted or things that are still fresh but not palatable. If you’re out of soy sauce or ketchup, you’re out. This kind of diet can be very hard for kids, though, so I don’t know that I’d recommend it for them unless they are okay with being very deliberate about it rather than feeling deprived. What you can survive on is not necessarily very healthy–and more often the poorest are surviving on rice, ramen, oatmeal–if they even have access to refrigeration or means to heat their food.

    We are on an extraordinarily tight budget the past few months (though not as tight as above). Today the phrase “buy only what you need” kept coming to me–even though there are some items that I’m virtually out of for recipes next week–olive oil, sugar, black beans, some produce. Then this afternoon my mom offered us a large turkey she had received. So instead of the meals I planned, we have that for next week plus the freezer meals I completed today. I have to learn to trust that divine voice every time.

  • Susan says:

    Excuse my grammar–I meant to say that excess is the ability to pay for items beyond the most basic food.

    Food costs have risen by about 1/3 in the last 2 years on many products–beans, chicken, etc. For families like ours, it means making more from scratch and being extraordinarily careful and going for less expensive but sometimes more healthy ingredients. For others, it means bad nutrition or no nutrition.

  • Andrea says:

    More information here:

  • deborah says:

    Very inspiring! I would like to read all those books! I struggle with knowing what is the right balance to have in my life. When is something just a want? My family has so much more than most people in the world and yet in America we are definitely on the lower end. It is hard to find a balance.

    Are those your tulips from Aldi’s on the table?! Very pretty!

  • Kara Honaker says:

    Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mom and get SO inspired to be a better mom, wife and person. Thank you for your blog – it has been a god send for me because as a mom of four girls, ages 11, 8, 4, and 1, most days the work is never ending and as moms, we need to get inspired and motivated to be leaders in our homes and to set godly examples for our kids. I agree – it seems here in the states we as a society are obsessed about food and buying things. We need to turn from the lies and turn to the truth of God’s word!

  • Beautiful job, Crystal! Well done! 🙂

  • Crystal –

    Sometimes I wonder if you know how much you inspire others ?

    I started following your blog to learn more about couponing and saving money by living simply, but in the time that I have spent on your site, I have learned so much more than that !

    You are changing the way that people think about this world. Your kindness and thoughful reflections remind me that there is always room in my budget (and heart) to help others who are less fortunate than me.

    Thank you –

  • With my husband heading to Malawi on Monday to minister to widows and orphans in severe need, this whole concept is resonating with me. There are many areas where I do live simply. And then there are others where our family is in complete excess. Thank you for not fearing to bring this topic to the limelight; it’s not popular to live on less…on purpose.

  • Jo Ann says:

    I am so excited to see the rest of this series! With several young children I might have to get creative to make this work (maybe once a week?) but this is exactly what my heart has been crying out for to help our family’s perspective. 🙂 Your blog has inspired me in so many ways, but this kind of content is “where it’s at”. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    By the way, you did great in the interview!

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, definitely get creative and figure out what works for your family. I know some families are committing to one beans and rice dinner a week. Or maybe eating oatmeal every day for breakfast for a period of time. Or giving up desserts. Or no eating out. Or eating from the pantry for a few weeks and only buying fresh produce and dairy products. Or doing something entirely non-food related.

      There’s no one “right” way!

  • Crystal – What an interesting interview! I will be adding a Place at the Table to my reading list. This will be quite a challenge to many of your readers, including myself. Thank you for always being the beacon of inspiration – I simply love how much you give and share with others all around the world. One day, I would like to say I have done the same.

  • Laura says:

    My husband has been without a paycheck for 15 months. Last year, for Lent, I chose for our family to eat only out of our pantry and freezer (my ginormous stockpile) for the full 40 days of Lent. I then took the money we would have spent on food for that time and donated it to our Church, which was way behind on collections due to the poor state of the economy.

    I felt so good being able to give, even when we really had very little. It was a comparatively painless way to give and it felt great to give back to our Church as I was feeling so much love and support from my faith that our journey would end positively.

    This has been a true test of faith and, though we have stumbled occasionally, we have trusted that God would provide for us and help us find our way. I am happy to report that my husband has gotten his first paycheck in ages just last week. We are truly blessed!

    We plan to do the same thing this year, but I think I will donate a portion to Operation Rice Bowl, which provides food to children in need in countries around the world. It is something that children generally collect for, so, since the kids will be eating from the stockpile, I will share a portion of our donation with them to share with other children.

    Love this! Can’t wait to share with my church ladies tomorrow at our meeting :).

  • Jessica says:

    Great video series, Crystal! Thank you so much for sharing these with us! It makes us realize how blessed we truly are… and how we can help those that are need. Thank you so much for everything that you do! 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    I would Love if we in America could learn to take care of America first. I know folks who are living out of their cars and I have taken them food, or blankets, toothpaste, shampoos. I have visited with them washed hair using bottled water and sample shampoos. What are we doing everyday to help someone next to them , your neighbor could be suffering more than you know. We have friends who are millionaires and they do not realize that even some in my family go to bed hungry at night. Life is short help our own first!

    • Andrea says:

      I totally agree with you, Sarah. There are a lot of international charities, but I choose not to support them, as it is more important to me to help people close to home.

    • Laura says:

      I really struggle with this question. I would love to donate to local families in need, but I am a stickler that I want to donate to families who are here legally.

      I recognize that people in need know no nationality, but I also feel that if I donate and make it easier for people to break the law (by providing food and necessities), then I am part of the problem and not really part of the solution.

      How do other people address this concern? I really wonder what is the best thing to do.

    • I think it is sad to think that just because someone isnt born in America it is wrong to help them. Let people support whatever charity they want – starving people are starving people – America or otherwise. If someone is willing to sacrifice personal comforts they have the free will to choose who to share it with.
      I am sure that Chris is charitable here too. I am sure Crystal’s family is charitable in America too.
      But it is really sad to me to see someone criticize feeding starving children because of their geography =(

    • Nancy says:

      I think Galatians 3:28 answers this question. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

      Help everyone. Do unto (all ) others.

  • MK Jorgenson says:

    How timely: my husband stopped drinking pop a week ago, sick of how much it cost. Today’s my Day 1 of joining him.

    This week, my daughter and I are eating rice and beans all week because I’ve been reading Kisses from Katie and wondered what it would be like to live on rice and beans.

    Looks like I have some more reading to do… 😉

  • Diane says:


    Nice job in the video – one question – who wrote 7? I can’t find any information about it. Thanks!

  • Marlana says:

    OMG right on the nail. So many of the kids I’ve seen don’t even get beans and rice. They will fight over food if placed in front of them. Let us remember.

  • Rebecca says:

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we have a similar program called “Fast Offerings.” We are encouraged to fast from all food/drink for a period of 24 hours on the first Sunday of every month. We then donate the money that we would have spent on food for ourselves to “Fast Offerings” through our church that are then distributed to those in need in our immediate community. The funds are used for church members and non-members alike. I’ve grown up with this program, and it is a blessing to me and my family every month. It helps keep us mindful of all the blessings we’ve been given and reminds us of those who aren’t as fortunate. I thought I’d share this with others who may be searching for something they can do throughout the year.

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