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,
    So glad to see it’s you writing this morning 🙂 ! I love the fact that you are the real deal. By daring to go beyond “fine” you give the rest of us permission to be just as we are…to be able to approach God and others in our imperfect state. When we drop the façade, we find that there are more similarities than differences. I love how you say that we can live lives filtered by nothing more than the grace of God…Amen! Thank you for a wonderfully encouraging post this morning. I look forward to meeting you, someday, in real life 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Crystal,
    So glad to see it’s you writing this morning 🙂 ! I love the fact that you are the real deal. By daring to go beyond “fine” you give the rest of us permission to be just as we are…to be able to approach God and others in our imperfect state. When we drop the façade, we find that there are more similarities than differences. I love how you say that we can live lives filtered by nothing more than the grace of God…Amen! Thank you for a wonderfully encouraging post this morning. I look forward to meeting you, someday, in real life 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. well, honestly, seeing everyone at In-RL, my friend and I commented that many of you ladies looked like ‘regular’ people then, not like the perfection we see in your little photos on screen. that was an improvement, in our opinions! thanks!

    • Oh I’m blessed you felt that way! Those tiny little avatars are (at least for me) far from the the “norm” and I’m so glad you saw our hearts when you heard our voices!

  4. I try really hard to portray real on my blog. I’m going to visit a family in Iowa in 2 weeks. They supported me on my Mercy Ships adventure last year. We’ve been blog friends for years. I’m nervous and excited about meeting them, curious to find out if they’re as real as I think they are or if it was all an illusion. It’s a bit risky for me because I do have trouble with being socially uncomfortable. Haha! Thanks for keeping it real Crystal!

    • From one social uncomfortable gal to another, I’m praying it’s a time of sweet fellowship and you’ll feel like you can pick up right where you left off online – with some big in real life hugs thrown in 🙂

  5. Crystal,
    I love this post! I was a latecomer to Facebook for the reasons you talk about — I fell into the comparison trap looking at all the perfect photo postings of kids and husbands — and I was lacking both. What beautiful words you write about “removing the filter of fine” to show the imperfection and pray for each other. Loved it!

    • You encourage me to be purposeful about posting more of those typical every day scenes online (I’ve got PLENTY of messy house & fussy kid & giant mess caused by a “DIY” project photos I could share!). I feel more comfortable when I walk into someone’s house and it looks like someone actually LIVES there – why not do the same online? My dust bunnies will show up to say “hi” 😉

  6. Crystal,
    I love this post! I was a latecomer to Facebook for the reasons you talk about — I fell into the comparison trap looking at all the perfect photo postings of kids and husbands — and I was lacking both. What beautiful words you write about “removing the filter of fine” to show the imperfection and pray for each other. Loved it!

  7. I LOVE this…”I believe we can be women who choose to share authentic lives that are filtered by nothing more than the grace of God.” Girl, this is beautiful and inspiring…and so are you. I also adore your faux hawk…you know you’re the reason one occasionally pops up on my head, too, right? 😉 Thanks for being the real, amazing YOU…I can’t wait til our next coffee and chat.

    • Only 3 months! Woohoo!! You are beautiful and have such a love for Christ and others that shines through you online and off – you live this with excellence.

  8. Every time I see your picture, I think “I love her haircut!” Wish I could pull it off and that my husband would let me part with my long hair. You must get ready really fast in the morning!!

    • Ah, girl – hair grows back 😉 And you never know – he might love it, too! And you’re right – I can get ready in about 5 minutes & out the door on a speedy day…so I say “go for it!”

  9. Thank you so much for your grace-filled words this morning. Exactly what my heart needed to hear. My prayer is that I would live an authentic life filtered by the grace of God. <3

  10. I love this, Crystal. I’ve thought about how authentic I can be on social media. It’s hard to find the balance. And since I worry about boring others, I post nothing. 🙂 I appreciate the invitation to invite others into my days, through the little things, or the bigger things going on in my life. I find it easier to be real on my blog, sharing warts and all some days. 🙂

    I really love what you said: “there is freedom and fellowship when we remove the filter of “fine.” Being real with others invites intimacy and fellowship indeed. Thanks for this post. I needed it!

  11. I love this, Crystal. I’ve thought about how authentic I can be on social media. It’s hard to find the balance. And since I worry about boring others, I post nothing. 🙂 I appreciate the invitation to invite others into my days, through the little things, or the bigger things going on in my life. I find it easier to be real on my blog, sharing warts and all some days. 🙂

    I really love what you said: “there is freedom and fellowship when we remove the filter of “fine.” Being real with others invites intimacy and fellowship indeed. Thanks for this post. I needed it!

  12. Great article and something I too am working hard to become transparent both in my business, online and in person. I have hidden my true thoughts and self away for so long that it is very difficult and scary to be real. I am attending a leadership conference this week for my company and to say I am scared is a major understatement. I have never felt more ‘under the microscope’ than I do right now. My ex-husband won’t leave me alone and keeps ‘finding’ me on social media and I continue to block him because he has no right to my present or my future.
    Thank you for everything you do to keep us focused!

  13. Great article and something I too am working hard to become transparent both in my business, online and in person. I have hidden my true thoughts and self away for so long that it is very difficult and scary to be real. I am attending a leadership conference this week for my company and to say I am scared is a major understatement. I have never felt more ‘under the microscope’ than I do right now. My ex-husband won’t leave me alone and keeps ‘finding’ me on social media and I continue to block him because he has no right to my present or my future.
    Thank you for everything you do to keep us focused!

  14. Brilliant, Crystal. And a true picture of who you REALLY are…and who all of us long to become. Honest. Humble. Caring more about others than self.

    I think we hide our true selves out of fear: “What would people think if they knew the real me?”
    The truth is, they would think “Yay! A kindred spirit.” That’s certainly how I felt when I read your great post this morning.

    Blessings on your week, dear Crystal! (And yes, I love your hair too!)

  15. Brilliant, Crystal. And a true picture of who you REALLY are…and who all of us long to become. Honest. Humble. Caring more about others than self.

    I think we hide our true selves out of fear: “What would people think if they knew the real me?”
    The truth is, they would think “Yay! A kindred spirit.” That’s certainly how I felt when I read your great post this morning.

    Blessings on your week, dear Crystal! (And yes, I love your hair too!)

  16. Thank you, Thank you, Thank. You. 🙂
    It is so refreshing to hear this message. So many times we only post the “perfect” pictures of our selves, our homes, our vacations, fun times etc… leading others to think our lives are perfect when in fact, they are far from that. This often opens the door to comparison and resentment and I really dislike feeling that way. I know Jesus doesn’t want that for us. He wants us to be happy for one another. 🙂
    It’s great to know that there are women/families out there that do life similarly. 🙂
    Great post!

  17. Thank you, Thank you, Thank. You. 🙂
    It is so refreshing to hear this message. So many times we only post the “perfect” pictures of our selves, our homes, our vacations, fun times etc… leading others to think our lives are perfect when in fact, they are far from that. This often opens the door to comparison and resentment and I really dislike feeling that way. I know Jesus doesn’t want that for us. He wants us to be happy for one another. 🙂
    It’s great to know that there are women/families out there that do life similarly. 🙂
    Great post!

  18. Thanks Crystal!
    I was just thinking this weekend how it must have been before the fall…I bet it never occurred to Eve to put makeup on the face God had created, or to think overmuch about the size of her waistline. Because she was secure in her Creator’s love, she was able to be real. We lost so much at the fall.

    Even as Christians who have been made right again with our Creator, we are afraid to be real. My prayer is that we will regain the total security that comes from knowing we are loved by the One who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Then the wrinkles won’t matter, and the mistakes will simply be opportunities for the world to see God’s amazing grace at work in us.

    Thanks again.

  19. Thanks Crystal!
    I was just thinking this weekend how it must have been before the fall…I bet it never occurred to Eve to put makeup on the face God had created, or to think overmuch about the size of her waistline. Because she was secure in her Creator’s love, she was able to be real. We lost so much at the fall.

    Even as Christians who have been made right again with our Creator, we are afraid to be real. My prayer is that we will regain the total security that comes from knowing we are loved by the One who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Then the wrinkles won’t matter, and the mistakes will simply be opportunities for the world to see God’s amazing grace at work in us.

    Thanks again.

  20. Thank you for sharing this Crystal. I’ve been having trouble with filtering my answers to people rather than being willing to share – even a bit – openly and not just hiding behind the brick wall of “fine”. I’m thankful for God’s sovereignty in allowing me to read this today.

  21. Crystal,
    Beautifully written. Thank you for challenging us all to be ‘authentic’. I personally am on this journey and finding the more I am accepting and embracing Jesus’s heart and passion for me…really, really getting that He adores me as His daughter, It is allowing me to strip away the veneer. The things I hide behind for acceptance and approval. He sees me completely raw and human and real, and loves me. So, I am trying to let that kind of acceptance, permeate my being and become ‘Purposefully Real’ in a world that is in love with Fake! Your awesome…oh and love the hair beautiful sister! – xoxo Cynthia

  22. Crystal,
    Beautifully written. Thank you for challenging us all to be ‘authentic’. I personally am on this journey and finding the more I am accepting and embracing Jesus’s heart and passion for me…really, really getting that He adores me as His daughter, It is allowing me to strip away the veneer. The things I hide behind for acceptance and approval. He sees me completely raw and human and real, and loves me. So, I am trying to let that kind of acceptance, permeate my being and become ‘Purposefully Real’ in a world that is in love with Fake! Your awesome…oh and love the hair beautiful sister! – xoxo Cynthia

  23. “Can we share the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful and bring God glory through our authenticity?”

    We all have good, bad, ugly and beautiful in our lives. The key is bringing glory to God in ALL of it.

    Thank you for sharing.

  24. “Can we share the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful and bring God glory through our authenticity?”

    We all have good, bad, ugly and beautiful in our lives. The key is bringing glory to God in ALL of it.

    Thank you for sharing.

  25. HI everyone and Crystal! Thank you so much for this post and I can so relate. Its hard to come out of hiding, exposing all of our weak and broken parts to a loving God who already knows it all anyway-which is a great relief. I am so grateful to each of you for sharing your stories.

    Maybe that is the first step towards being real-being real, really real with God. I’ve learned that when I am struggling to bring those hidden parts into Jesus’ love for healing, I yell and scream at God and then feel bad that I did that. Once I calm down, I realize that God just did one of the most loving things for me that He can do-provide me the safe space, the safe person to say it all too and that He encourages that honesty. It helps me to learn to trust Him more as He takes me through the healing process after some long term and horribly traumatic experiences while building my faith. He put an old book in my hands that helped me to this place-Hiding from Love by Dr. Townsend. God is good all the time 🙂

  26. HI everyone and Crystal! Thank you so much for this post and I can so relate. Its hard to come out of hiding, exposing all of our weak and broken parts to a loving God who already knows it all anyway-which is a great relief. I am so grateful to each of you for sharing your stories.

    Maybe that is the first step towards being real-being real, really real with God. I’ve learned that when I am struggling to bring those hidden parts into Jesus’ love for healing, I yell and scream at God and then feel bad that I did that. Once I calm down, I realize that God just did one of the most loving things for me that He can do-provide me the safe space, the safe person to say it all too and that He encourages that honesty. It helps me to learn to trust Him more as He takes me through the healing process after some long term and horribly traumatic experiences while building my faith. He put an old book in my hands that helped me to this place-Hiding from Love by Dr. Townsend. God is good all the time 🙂

  27. It’s hard when you are raising children and dealing with friends and family not to react to the pressure of perfect. It takes time to realize everyone has times they don’t share each and every day. This is why it’s so important to bond together in places like this. Guidance and advice without judgement is what so many women need. Love this post, Crystal!

  28. Hey beautiful Crystal,

    I love who you are in front of the world, as well as who you are not behind the screen. You give grace to help others who are editing themselves as well. ❤️

  29. Hey beautiful Crystal,

    I love who you are in front of the world, as well as who you are not behind the screen. You give grace to help others who are editing themselves as well. ❤️

  30. So good, Crystal! This made me think of the way Bible writers represented their lives and emotions when they communicated, especially the Psalmists and the Apostle Paul in his letters. They were authentic and told the truth, good or bad. They had no inhibitions because their motivations weren’t their reputation but rather glorifying God and encouraging His people. They had no need to be “fine,” and so, like you said, they had freedom!

  31. No one is always perfect. But life is still at its best when we live life happy. No matter what.
    Life has had its tough moments. I’ve bit my lip many a time just to survive.
    In life there will always be struggles but I’ve found is how you view struggles. If you overcome them, then, you grow. Stronger ……
    It’s better to be an over-comer than to think everything is perfect.
    I’ve tried to live my life not in the plastic manner of things. To be real. The real me. The real deal. But I’ve failed at times when people need to think things that is not really the real me. They needed it. I needed peace. Rather than conflict. Fighting for my rights. Sometimes, appearing wrong brings peace.
    I’ve struggled in these last years with hatred. Which is a huge sin. For hatred is the opposite of love.
    We are commanded to love and commanded not to sin. It’s clear instruction.
    So, I know I fall short of the glory of the LORD. Even in my good days.
    We’ve just moved into our new apartment and it’s a mess and fitting everything in is slow and needs patience. It’s not going to happen in a day. Things that we’ve been using for the last ten years need to be binned and new ones bought to replace them. Organizing a home is not one of my good points.
    But, in the end it will all come together with a great deal of hard work though the months.
    When I bowled it was really tough. Doing what I wanted yet not being able to live life like a normal person. I only bowled. I slept bowling. I ate but my mind was bowling. Till today, I’m still bowling in my mind. At times. When I think about the most perfect scenario.
    What is our target in life.
    God first and then other things will most definitely fit into place. Some way and some how.
    I’ve only just recently found I no longer hate. I do not have that feeling anymore inside of my heart. It no longer resides in my heart.
    It’s an enormous breakthrough for me. Sometimes you cannot stop how you feel when you feel it. Regrets and bullying and constant negative people caused me this most terrible feeling. I had never had this feeling ever before.
    I’ve never really ever felt bored in my life.
    Cos I love to daydream. Anywhere at any time.
    I love to be happy and laugh a lot and do things all the time that’s bright and joyful and filled with giggles and enormous joy joy joy. I love to smile and giggle and be positive.
    When I bowled I had to deal with issues which would creep into my mind when I was competing. Life and issues had to be talked out openly and dealt with. Even if I had to spit it out in a fit.
    So, hatred and anger is a very serious sin in my point of view. Though I would try to over come this struggle it was hard and there seemed no breakthrough at all.
    Yet, I do not feel that way any longer by God’s grace as HE took it all away in my heart.
    If we try to live life on our own, we would all fail. We truly need God. The LORD.
    One of my dreams is to go to one of Kay Arthur’s live daily bible studies. I hope next year I will be able to get there.
    I’m not perfect. But it’s OK.
    God loves me just the way HE created me. Even my flaws. Even though my home is a mess. Even though I’ve not got it all together. Even though I’ve failed with hatred feelings for so many many years.
    Have I failed HIM.
    I think not.
    I think HE takes delight in my failures so that in my admission of it, I can overcome my own weaknesses and insecurities and failures.
    It’s alright in HIS eyes, cos, no matter what, HE’LL catch me when I fall.
    Just fall right into the arms of the LORD. My Father. HE LOVES me so much.
    JESUS LOVES me so much.
    Whatever, this is all that should matter in my life.
    My Father, HIS SON and the Holy Spirit, the Three in ONE, LOVE me so much that THEY are willing to accept me, especially, my flaws.
    🙂

  32. No one is always perfect. But life is still at its best when we live life happy. No matter what.
    Life has had its tough moments. I’ve bit my lip many a time just to survive.
    In life there will always be struggles but I’ve found is how you view struggles. If you overcome them, then, you grow. Stronger ……
    It’s better to be an over-comer than to think everything is perfect.
    I’ve tried to live my life not in the plastic manner of things. To be real. The real me. The real deal. But I’ve failed at times when people need to think things that is not really the real me. They needed it. I needed peace. Rather than conflict. Fighting for my rights. Sometimes, appearing wrong brings peace.
    I’ve struggled in these last years with hatred. Which is a huge sin. For hatred is the opposite of love.
    We are commanded to love and commanded not to sin. It’s clear instruction.
    So, I know I fall short of the glory of the LORD. Even in my good days.
    We’ve just moved into our new apartment and it’s a mess and fitting everything in is slow and needs patience. It’s not going to happen in a day. Things that we’ve been using for the last ten years need to be binned and new ones bought to replace them. Organizing a home is not one of my good points.
    But, in the end it will all come together with a great deal of hard work though the months.
    When I bowled it was really tough. Doing what I wanted yet not being able to live life like a normal person. I only bowled. I slept bowling. I ate but my mind was bowling. Till today, I’m still bowling in my mind. At times. When I think about the most perfect scenario.
    What is our target in life.
    God first and then other things will most definitely fit into place. Some way and some how.
    I’ve only just recently found I no longer hate. I do not have that feeling anymore inside of my heart. It no longer resides in my heart.
    It’s an enormous breakthrough for me. Sometimes you cannot stop how you feel when you feel it. Regrets and bullying and constant negative people caused me this most terrible feeling. I had never had this feeling ever before.
    I’ve never really ever felt bored in my life.
    Cos I love to daydream. Anywhere at any time.
    I love to be happy and laugh a lot and do things all the time that’s bright and joyful and filled with giggles and enormous joy joy joy. I love to smile and giggle and be positive.
    When I bowled I had to deal with issues which would creep into my mind when I was competing. Life and issues had to be talked out openly and dealt with. Even if I had to spit it out in a fit.
    So, hatred and anger is a very serious sin in my point of view. Though I would try to over come this struggle it was hard and there seemed no breakthrough at all.
    Yet, I do not feel that way any longer by God’s grace as HE took it all away in my heart.
    If we try to live life on our own, we would all fail. We truly need God. The LORD.
    One of my dreams is to go to one of Kay Arthur’s live daily bible studies. I hope next year I will be able to get there.
    I’m not perfect. But it’s OK.
    God loves me just the way HE created me. Even my flaws. Even though my home is a mess. Even though I’ve not got it all together. Even though I’ve failed with hatred feelings for so many many years.
    Have I failed HIM.
    I think not.
    I think HE takes delight in my failures so that in my admission of it, I can overcome my own weaknesses and insecurities and failures.
    It’s alright in HIS eyes, cos, no matter what, HE’LL catch me when I fall.
    Just fall right into the arms of the LORD. My Father. HE LOVES me so much.
    JESUS LOVES me so much.
    Whatever, this is all that should matter in my life.
    My Father, HIS SON and the Holy Spirit, the Three in ONE, LOVE me so much that THEY are willing to accept me, especially, my flaws.
    🙂

  33. I love this post, Crystal. It’s so easy to get caught up in fine, isn’t it? I love my friends who won’t let me get away with saying fine when clearly I am not. But I also know that it is the picture I most often project online. Thanks for helping me think through how to live more authentically with everyone I come into contact with.

  34. Especially in the summer months – “I struggle with anger, but I trust God to give me peace.” This whole post is so good, Crystal. Loved every bit of it! And, you know what? I’m not fine! This has been a hard 6 months for me. I really needed to read this. Thanks for speaking truth!

  35. Crystal, I’m so glad to see this post! In the past few years I have acquired a neuro condition that causes spasms of my eyes and face. These spasms make it difficult to wear make up the way I used to, so most days I go with little or none. As for showing up in photos…hahaha! A smile usually brings on the spasms, so most of my photos are of me with a contorted face. I’ve learned to accept this as beautiful, actually, as the way my grandchildren look at me, spasms or not, make me feel so loved. And isn’t that what really makes us feel beautiful? Love*Love*Love this post! Let’s just be real! <3

    • OH as, far as other issues of imperfection, I have a lot of those too! LOL! Praise God, for I need Him every hour!

      Blessings, All! <3

    • OH as, far as other issues of imperfection, I have a lot of those too! LOL! Praise God, for I need Him every hour!

      Blessings, All! <3

  36. Thank you for the posting and attachment to “Oversharing”. I am learning how to be me and communicate with others after 2 decades on autopilot juggling marriage, children and work. God is good and you share His love beautifully. I need Him for all what is shaping up to be the rest of my life. Blessings to you and yours, brave and honest one.

  37. Dear Crystal,
    Thank you for writing this – it’s just another confirmation that God wants me to write about the “un-fineness” that I’ve been struggling with lately and how He is helping me through it. Thnk you for the encouragement!

    Danielle

  38. Dear Crystal,
    Thank you for writing this – it’s just another confirmation that God wants me to write about the “un-fineness” that I’ve been struggling with lately and how He is helping me through it. Thnk you for the encouragement!

    Danielle

  39. My struggle with being “real” is I’m afraid of sounding like a broken record and people getting tired of me. My “real”, behind closed doors in the everyday life of my home, is waiting to see if it’s going to be a good day or a bad day for my husband with his chronic pain and taking care of our two kids. Day after day after day. Friends ask how we are, and the answer is the same. My husband is in pain, the medications barely help, and we don’t know why. And that’s our real. 🙁

  40. I feel like I’m always alone. My husband and I don’t communicate. Weve been married 29 years and have 2 adult children. I taught for 25 years and I’m now retired. Some of the people that I thought were friends never talk to me, reach out to me. I’m tired of putting forth the effort and never feeling like anyone cares.
    I feel sometimes like Jimmy Stewart in “Its A wonderful life”. I’m trying to be positive, to pray, to substitute part time, to help my community, to like pictures/comments of friends on Facebook. And, yes I made calls when I first retired. But, no one ever seems to call/reach out to me. I am very depressed, I can’t seem to quit gaining weight.
    I try to help others constantly, but right now I just feel like I have no hope.

    • many of us ladies are in that boat..keep reaching out to the friends who never call back or when you do get ahold of them are toooo busy to care and cut the phone call short.i have been in that boat and learned thru Christ to stand stronger and really dump all this ..don’t always be chasing after friends but reach for my bible, getting to know god really has lead to knowing who I am. Gone are the days of sadness and seeking others for my entity..i enjoy my cup of tea,pop in a Christian movie or reach for my bible. theres always hope..for everyone.

  41. I feel like I’m always alone. My husband and I don’t communicate. Weve been married 29 years and have 2 adult children. I taught for 25 years and I’m now retired. Some of the people that I thought were friends never talk to me, reach out to me. I’m tired of putting forth the effort and never feeling like anyone cares.
    I feel sometimes like Jimmy Stewart in “Its A wonderful life”. I’m trying to be positive, to pray, to substitute part time, to help my community, to like pictures/comments of friends on Facebook. And, yes I made calls when I first retired. But, no one ever seems to call/reach out to me. I am very depressed, I can’t seem to quit gaining weight.
    I try to help others constantly, but right now I just feel like I have no hope.

  42. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Crystal!
    I have been struggling with this for some years now.
    I use to work in very high end retail where one of the face creams I sold cost over five hundred dollars an ounce more than 10 years ago. And it was how you looked every minute, every hour, every day, every week that allowed me the opportunity to share with my potential client what knowledge I had and was this a product that was right product for them? But in order to have that conversation everything balanced on my appearance no matter what I thought, felt, knew or was experiencing on any given day.
    I spend a lot of time asking Jesus these days what He has as His will for me going forward and He listens and knows even when I do not look or feel like looking my best.
    Social media is the conversation I am having with Him a lot these days.

  43. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Crystal!
    I have been struggling with this for some years now.
    I use to work in very high end retail where one of the face creams I sold cost over five hundred dollars an ounce more than 10 years ago. And it was how you looked every minute, every hour, every day, every week that allowed me the opportunity to share with my potential client what knowledge I had and was this a product that was right product for them? But in order to have that conversation everything balanced on my appearance no matter what I thought, felt, knew or was experiencing on any given day.
    I spend a lot of time asking Jesus these days what He has as His will for me going forward and He listens and knows even when I do not look or feel like looking my best.
    Social media is the conversation I am having with Him a lot these days.

  44. Wow. You’re article takes my breath away. I often scold myself because I can be too ‘real’, and now you’ve given me permission. Thank you. I recently put a photo online of the dust gathered under my bed and asked others to quite faking this perfect internet life and be real. I loved the photos returned with laundry piled high, etc. This is another reason I love this Incourage community. It’s the real deal.

  45. Hi! I’m really not sure if I should post about this … But I feel maybe this is a “safe” place for me…. I can’t bear to bring myself to share this in my Sunday school class… Always thinking someone will be judging me…. I feel very inadequate….ok here goes….
    After almost 22 years of marriage we divorced…. About a month after that my 16 year old son told me he was gay…. As a Christian mother you can imagine my shock… Fear…. Absolute helplessness…. Tried to get him counseling … It didn’t work…he said mom, you can’t pray me straight… I pray for his soul everyday …. I know I know most Christians would “disown” him maybe… Well I can’t do that… I know homosexualality is a sin…. But I can’t stop loving my son…..the bible says to love the person hate the sin so I’m trying soooo hard….the bible doesn’t say love your son unless he’s gay…
    I pray everyday for God to forgive me if I have done something that influenced him in this lifestyle… I don’t think I have but the depression I live in wants to blame me….. PLEASE PRAY for me

    • Lillie, our extended family is in a similar situation, and your comment made me want to reach out to you and encourage you. You did not cause your son to choose the path he is on right now – it was his decision. You are doing the right thing by loving and accepting him and praying for him. Hang in there. There are more believers in the same boat than we realize. (((hug)))

    • no us moms just sometimes have these issues come up and our children take different paths then we wanted them to..in all areas of life.raised my child to be a holy man of God and he is a angry young man because his dad and I divorced..theres no talking to him as he has all the answers at age 20..just keep praying as a mom and love them,God did promise that they would return to it( him) in their old age..

    • Lillie,

      I want to reach out and encourage you. Pray pray and pray some more for your son to change from his ways. This Christian would never disown your son!! I dislike the sin of homosexuality, but love the person regardless. We must continue to show love to everyone regardless of what they do or how they act. By showing them Christ’s love they may eventually become Christians!

      Praying for you and your son!!

      Blessings 🙂

  46. Hi! I’m really not sure if I should post about this … But I feel maybe this is a “safe” place for me…. I can’t bear to bring myself to share this in my Sunday school class… Always thinking someone will be judging me…. I feel very inadequate….ok here goes….
    After almost 22 years of marriage we divorced…. About a month after that my 16 year old son told me he was gay…. As a Christian mother you can imagine my shock… Fear…. Absolute helplessness…. Tried to get him counseling … It didn’t work…he said mom, you can’t pray me straight… I pray for his soul everyday …. I know I know most Christians would “disown” him maybe… Well I can’t do that… I know homosexualality is a sin…. But I can’t stop loving my son…..the bible says to love the person hate the sin so I’m trying soooo hard….the bible doesn’t say love your son unless he’s gay…
    I pray everyday for God to forgive me if I have done something that influenced him in this lifestyle… I don’t think I have but the depression I live in wants to blame me….. PLEASE PRAY for me

    • Lillie,

      I want to reach out and encourage you. Pray pray and pray some more for your son to change from his ways. This Christian would never disown your son!! I dislike the sin of homosexuality, but love the person regardless. We must continue to show love to everyone regardless of what they do or how they act. By showing them Christ’s love they may eventually become Christians!

      Praying for you and your son!!

      Blessings 🙂

  47. When I struggled with chronic pain I find myself being less authentic because I have not been healed. I am writing more and I am more authentic in my blog than when I am asked at work. I use my blog to help others who may be suffering. One thing I do say now when asked how I am, I tell the person, I am blessed because that is true regardless if I am in emotional or physical pain.

  48. I love this. I long ago decided that I’d rather be real online and in real life because it is too much work to present the filtered, air-brushed version of me. But it’s also so scary, being vulnerable and admitting your weaknesses. It’s hard to admit that your life isn’t usually pin-worthy, but rather messy, tangled, and chaotic. That the kids fight, my hair won’t be tame, and the dog peed in the house yet again. (Ugh.) Living honestly takes real work, but I find myself most encouraged by the people who do just that (yourself being one of them!).

  49. Hi 🙂 I soooo LOVE this line”•I’m not perfect – but God will FILL IN where I am weak” He has DONE a lot of ‘FILLING IN’ 🙁 & :'( & 🙂 & 😀 ON ME, IN ME and THROUGH ME and WILL still continuing to DO so. Thank You ALL 42 woman sitting chatting on my bed this morning and no one tried to take my coffee lol 😉 Bless you ALL my sisters from Outback Australia <3 🙂

  50. Thank you Andrea …. Talking about that on a Christian format is comforting…. I’m praying about sharing this with my Sunday school class…. I know I need to…. I’m just not there yet….

  51. Crystal- I was just thinking over the weekend that I love going to people’s homes when they haven’t cleaned it for me. It’s so refreshing to know that other people have messy lives. And the same holds true for the rest of our lives… we can minister to others by letting them in before we tidy up or hide what’s usually there. Thank you for having the courage to let others in. I, for one, was blessed by it. And… I love your faux hawk. 🙂

  52. Hey Crystal, this was great! Get down with your funky faux-Mo-hawk, vulnerable self. I actually noticed the other day on the conversation post and was like ‘wow, that’s cool, she totally is like a professional woman rockin’ a Mohawk.” Get down with it! I think vulnerability is a spiritual gift and it is one of the things I value and appreciate most. I had a victory tonight, we are having the minister and his wife over for desert tomorrow night to get to know them better-our kitchen table – a bit of a disaster (legos, craft projects, puzzles, etc). My husband said “you want to move it to the church instead?” I said nope. Because a messy kitchen table is me and the point is for them to see me. I will probably get it slightly cleaner, but time is precious, and at this stage, a sparkling house not realistic and overrated. I kind of want to hang with them in my pj pants. That part to be determined.
    Great post!

  53. Hey Crystal, this was great! Get down with your funky faux-Mo-hawk, vulnerable self. I actually noticed the other day on the conversation post and was like ‘wow, that’s cool, she totally is like a professional woman rockin’ a Mohawk.” Get down with it! I think vulnerability is a spiritual gift and it is one of the things I value and appreciate most. I had a victory tonight, we are having the minister and his wife over for desert tomorrow night to get to know them better-our kitchen table – a bit of a disaster (legos, craft projects, puzzles, etc). My husband said “you want to move it to the church instead?” I said nope. Because a messy kitchen table is me and the point is for them to see me. I will probably get it slightly cleaner, but time is precious, and at this stage, a sparkling house not realistic and overrated. I kind of want to hang with them in my pj pants. That part to be determined.
    Great post!

  54. Oh, well said!

    I’m not ok, and then I feel horrid for speaking the truth of my life when someone asks me… see, I forget that while I may want to know how you are REALLY doing, I forget that not everyone else wants to know that about me/us. sigh. I’m never sure where that boundary goes… so I mess up all the time… and that’s got to be ok (because I’m aware of how socially awkward I am, and can’t live in constant fear, so please don’t hate me just because I’m quirky).

    So the real me… never wears face make up. loves cotton dresses and denim jeans and doesn’t like wearing socks. dislikes waking up to a dirty sink of dishes (but also dislikes folding laundry and putting it away). hates wearing a bra (they hurt my back/neck). feels pain. is broken. leans HARD on Jesus. is hopelessly romantic. treasures gifts of time. appreciates art in all mediums. loves pj days. fears losing my sight and hearing (this happened to my aunt). loves my children and grandchildren fiercely. cries easily from hurtful words, even when said from a child. remembers words to songs easier than scripture, or faces and names (I’m HORRIBLE at names!). keeps secrets when they are prayer requests. looks at daily life as though I’m framing a black and white photograph, even when the camera is not in my hand. lives life lonely. prays.

    • lots of me in there too..always busy but lives life lonely even tho I hve lots of things going on.

  55. Oh, well said!

    I’m not ok, and then I feel horrid for speaking the truth of my life when someone asks me… see, I forget that while I may want to know how you are REALLY doing, I forget that not everyone else wants to know that about me/us. sigh. I’m never sure where that boundary goes… so I mess up all the time… and that’s got to be ok (because I’m aware of how socially awkward I am, and can’t live in constant fear, so please don’t hate me just because I’m quirky).

    So the real me… never wears face make up. loves cotton dresses and denim jeans and doesn’t like wearing socks. dislikes waking up to a dirty sink of dishes (but also dislikes folding laundry and putting it away). hates wearing a bra (they hurt my back/neck). feels pain. is broken. leans HARD on Jesus. is hopelessly romantic. treasures gifts of time. appreciates art in all mediums. loves pj days. fears losing my sight and hearing (this happened to my aunt). loves my children and grandchildren fiercely. cries easily from hurtful words, even when said from a child. remembers words to songs easier than scripture, or faces and names (I’m HORRIBLE at names!). keeps secrets when they are prayer requests. looks at daily life as though I’m framing a black and white photograph, even when the camera is not in my hand. lives life lonely. prays.

  56. nice to hear..working on it too after a long time of being real then feeling so alone in my friendships I removed myself from my friends in many ways but am trying to be real again..doesn’t come easy after being hurt .am very guarded on what everyone should know and what is not said..its never easy being a woman and a mom in todays society.

  57. Sometimes it’s easy to share the vulnerable when we are walking on the other side, but what about when we are still crawling out of the pit and our faces are smeared with mud? As women we tend to act of emotion or hormones (ahem, oh, maybe that’s just me); but when we follow Christ, we set our feet forward on the path of truth even when our feelings screams something else. Recently, I wrote about the struggle of “this is how I feel” and “this is what I need to do anyway” dichotomy–the inner struggle of being His. May we be wholly His.
    http://momentsofpeace-khanley.blogspot.com/2014/07/when-great-american-dream-hits-great.html

  58. Sometimes it’s easy to share the vulnerable when we are walking on the other side, but what about when we are still crawling out of the pit and our faces are smeared with mud? As women we tend to act of emotion or hormones (ahem, oh, maybe that’s just me); but when we follow Christ, we set our feet forward on the path of truth even when our feelings screams something else. Recently, I wrote about the struggle of “this is how I feel” and “this is what I need to do anyway” dichotomy–the inner struggle of being His. May we be wholly His.
    http://momentsofpeace-khanley.blogspot.com/2014/07/when-great-american-dream-hits-great.html

  59. Crystal,

    We talked about this very subject a while back at Bible Study. Why people at church say “I’m fine”. When really they are not. I long for people to know the real me and me to know them. When I ask how are you tell me–not just “fine” but all the stuff you are going through. I can encourage and pray for you.

    Here’s to living life unfiltered and unmasked!

    Blessings 🙂

  60. Crystal,

    We talked about this very subject a while back at Bible Study. Why people at church say “I’m fine”. When really they are not. I long for people to know the real me and me to know them. When I ask how are you tell me–not just “fine” but all the stuff you are going through. I can encourage and pray for you.

    Here’s to living life unfiltered and unmasked!

    Blessings 🙂