About the Author

Crystal is passionate about cultivating a community where faith, fitness, and friendship come together. Author of “Creative Basics: 30 Days to Awesome Social Media Art,” Crystal is a writer, speaker, host of the Write 31 Days challenge, and coach who shares encouragement at her blog, crystalstine.me. Connect with her on...

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  1. Crystal,
    My answer would have to be…Be in His Word. A large part of why I write is because it takes me delving deeper into scripture. I haven’t written for two weeks and I feel the emptiness rising within me. Yes, I’m getting things done – good things for God’s kingdom, but I’m ignoring why He sent His Son – because He wants to live in relationship with me. It’s hard to have a relationship if you don’t spend time together. Thanks for the wake up call!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Yes! I know that feeling – writing this was one of the first posts I’ve done in awhile and it did my heart some good to get the words out and being in the Word has been refilling what has felt so drained. xoxo

  2. Speaking to my heart early this morning, Crystal! Oh my – running away (& hiding) is my “go to” response when life gets hard too. Thank you so much for encouraging me this morning to pray for what God wants for me that might not be on my never-ending to do list. Have a wonderful day!

    • Oh, so thankful for you Kim – thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one who goes into “flight” mode. Praying God would be so beautifully present in your day today.

  3. Crystal, you’re really transparent here and showing your love to others. Like Bev, I think mine is getting into his word – at the start of the day. I’ve woken up at 5a.m. – way earlier than I need to – and I think God’s getting me up! I just need to respond!

    • Ah, those early morning wake up calls from God! Praying your time with Him was sweet and that you have extra coffee brewing today 🙂

  4. Perfect. I can relate 100%. I just finished my early worship time and that is exactly what I was waiting on the Lord for, waiting for Him to put all these demands in His order. He put me here for Himself and His purposes. My heart’s desire is to know Him-PRIORITY- and to learn His purpose and plan for this day and each day. Will I do it perfectly? Probably not, but I am pressing towards Him. Freedom in Christ!!!

  5. Amen! I try to be open to Jesus and go where he wants me to go. There are many times when I choose to be selfish and self centered and just do what pleases me. Yesterday after working and being tired I went to dinner with my husband, my two girls and their husbands to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was a beautiful time with them.
    Today I wanted to do things for ME!!! But as he does many times the Lord nudged me and I sent a text to my friend Joanne to ask if she would like to take our mutual friend Renee to lunch. Joanne shared that yesterday was the twentieth wedding anniversary of Renee’s husband who just died in November. It was then that I realized why the Lord had prompted me. Renee is homebound and cannot drive so the only outlet she has for fellowship is when friends take her to church or lunch or to the grocery, etc. Praise the Lord for the opportunity to do His will and not mine when I obey.

  6. “Holy hustle” — <3 Amen, sister. I'm right there with ya, feeling that weight, needing that break. I'd like to run away for a while, but it would be futile, b/c my heaviest weight is my mind. I'd still be thinking about "all.the.things." ((hug)) Prayers for you, sister. ((grace upon grace))

  7. Oh Crystal, thank you for this great post. I too have this love language, a beautiful gift from the Lord for His purpose and glory. I have caught myself spending time in the Word, but not letting it fully sink in being so rushed. I praise the Lord for this gentle admonishment to quality time, not quantity, in His Word and in prayer. May we each hear His tender voice and nudges to do His will today 🙂

  8. Thank you for this timely post, Crystal. I work full time and do freelance work on the side, my children are 5 and 7 and my hubby works overtime on call at his medical technician post at the local hospital. I too feel the weight of too much expectation and feel like too many people/things want something from me. What I’m not doing is taking time to decompress and spend time with the Lord. Thank you for the reminder to connect daily with him.

    • Oh friend, I can’t imagine how full your plate must be. Praying you find time in little unexpected ways to reconnect with God today.

  9. When my kids were all tiny, in utter frustration, I chose a day every so often and refused to write anything on my planner except the word “BE.” What good memories were made on those days.

    • I LOVE this! I am in the midst of the “tiny kids” stage and find myself frustrated on some days that I’m not getting “enough” done. I need to just BE and it’s okay 🙂

  10. God always knows what we need. We just need to stop long enough to listen. My list needs to be more organized and full of things that bring joy rather than frustration. I’m craving face to face time with friends so that is what I am scheduling on my list. God knows my heart and realizes that desire for real conversations and time that renews rather than frustrates. So here’s to listening to God and getting out of my own head to make this happen.

  11. Oh Crystal, I have soooo been there. Recently, too. End of school year busy-ness and family craziness has left me WEARY. I’m working to spend time with Jesus every day, which helps. I’ve been fighting discouragement lately over disappointing No’s. The thing God is telling me to do is to Wait and Trust Him. So, that’s what I’m doing, moment-by-moment.

    • I’m doing some moment-by-moment waiting with you today, Jeanne. I’m sorry for those disappointing “no’s” and praying that God has something beautiful planned for that time that you never would have been able to experience had they been the “yes” answers you wanted. xoxo

  12. Crystal, I think we all can identify with the same struggle! One the books we read and promote to our students at the unversity is called The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, and it not only addresses but helps to refocus the concept of being a better steward of our egos, abilities, agendas, etc. so they fall in line with what God wants for us as servant leaders. It has been a great help to me, and perhaps it will be to you also:)

  13. Love, love, love seeing you make these changes to align yourself more fully with God’s will for you. You know how I am praying about direction too…God keeps telling me “be faithful with little.” You are doing that well, friend!

  14. Great post – I think we can all relate about taking on too much! I have been in the same place with a lot of work stress and I decided I’m taking off tomorrow and Monday, and just having some extended non-work relaxation time. I am very blessed that I get to do that, I know, so thank you God for the freedom!

  15. “But none of the items I was adding to my list were bringing me joy —
    lasting joy — the kind that comes when we settle into that sweet spot of
    doing the holy work God is calling us to do to make His name important —
    not our own.”

    This resonated with me. As my school year draws to a close, I’m tempted to fill the empty time with things that make me feel important, useful, purposeful. You’d think I’d just want to enjoy my summer off, but instead I can feel myself planning how I can find those things. I stepped back from blogging because my “sweet spot” is preschool. I fully expected to just jump back in over the summer, but I think deep down I know I want to for the wrong reasons. I think maybe instead He is asking me to enjoy this season of rest He has given me, to be refreshed, to be renewed, and to do just a little work for next school year because I can’t help it and it gives me joy to plan for my littles and grow professionally. But mostly because I really do believe my classroom is my mission field and it’s so important we allow ourselves time for rest when we are serving Him, no matter how that looks. I’m glad for this reminder today – you just simplified my to-do list greatly!

  16. I had one of the most positive and uplifting experiences this week. I was teaching two women how to crochet and one of the women brought up the movie War Room. I used it as an opportunity to talk about having a book study on the book Fervent. I look forward to starting a crochet/book study group where all items made will be donated to charity. That is what God is placing in my heart.

    • Angel1111
      May God bless the Bible Study and the group. I pray it all goes well and you can crochet many nice items for charity! I pray you and your family are blessed as well!

      Blessings 🙂

  17. I wanted to make myself feel important. Accomplished. Worthwhile. Worthy. OH that is so me! I have an insatiable need to feel useful and be used by God. most days I don’t get the sense of accomplishment I would like. Then suddenly I will come to In Courage and wham! God blesses me with sweet messages that I am being used by Him. God is calling me to pray more and fervently. Be in His Word, listening to good Christian music and soak Him up-whilst giving up this crazy world of ours!
    Blessings 🙂

  18. Oh friend. I almost yelled at a Periscope notification the other day, too!! I’m glad to know I”m not the only one. I just took all SM off my phone to quiet the noise and get quiet with Jesus so He can tell me what I need to hear. My heart is craving something but I’m still trying to figure out what it is. Thank you for being so real and going first in this confession. It is so good for my soul.

  19. SAME! Overwhelmed Jen = the shutting off of community. Its my best way for me to introvert after too much connecting (which I love). But you are right, we still require others in our spaces to grow and refine. Thanks for this today!

  20. I love how you listened to God. He knew just the right medicine. I can’t tell you how many times he whispers to me, “Kelly, if you look and love around you, it all won’t feel like it will consume you.” Such a great message.