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,
    When I think of community and encouragement, I think of you. One, who often felt left out and for whom there was no place on the bench…God needed someone like you, who knows the sting of being left out, to really truly be able to reach out with compassion to other women who are in desperate need of love, affirmation and community. I could definitely relate to always trying to do the “right” thing – that was me and I also did not see the love and delight of my Heavenly Father mirrored in my earthly father. We all need the invitation (often many times) to join the group. Thank you for being a champion of “no one left out…no one left behind”!!
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

    • I love the way you see right into the heart of all of us, to the pieces that need the most love and a kind word. Thank you for making me always feel so welcomed and understood, Bev 🙂

  2. Crystal,
    When I think of community and encouragement, I think of you. One, who often felt left out and for whom there was no place on the bench…God needed someone like you, who knows the sting of being left out, to really truly be able to reach out with compassion to other women who are in desperate need of love, affirmation and community. I could definitely relate to always trying to do the “right” thing – that was me and I also did not see the love and delight of my Heavenly Father mirrored in my earthly father. We all need the invitation (often many times) to join the group. Thank you for being a champion of “no one left out…no one left behind”!!
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

    • I love the way you see right into the heart of all of us, to the pieces that need the most love and a kind word. Thank you for making me always feel so welcomed and understood, Bev 🙂

  3. Thanks for your post crystal it really does surprise me that people older than me that seem to have the world at their feet like you and people at incourage can feel or have felt left out, thank you for this honest post you certainly have built hope and community right here!

    • Oh Jas – not one of us – here or anywhere else on the internet or in real life -has it all together or does any of it perfectly or is always included (despite what it might look like sometimes). We build community here not because we’ve figured it all out, but because we haven’t and we need it more than anyone!

    • Oh Jas – not one of us – here or anywhere else on the internet or in real life -has it all together or does any of it perfectly or is always included (despite what it might look like sometimes). We build community here not because we’ve figured it all out, but because we haven’t and we need it more than anyone!

  4. You know you are speaking right to my heart! Such a sweet word and I love how you love to live this out my friend!

    “If you’re wondering how to build community, build it on a foundation of encouragement, hope, and kindness.”

    This is your heart 100% and I see how you are always building, inviting, making room, and loving women well in Jesus name!

    xo,
    Stacey

  5. You know you are speaking right to my heart! Such a sweet word and I love how you love to live this out my friend!

    “If you’re wondering how to build community, build it on a foundation of encouragement, hope, and kindness.”

    This is your heart 100% and I see how you are always building, inviting, making room, and loving women well in Jesus name!

    xo,
    Stacey

  6. Such a beautiful heart and a wonderful message to start the week. Sometimes I get so caught up in the craziness of life that I miss the chances God puts in front of me to say a kind word and encourage someone else. I appreciate this gentle nudge to tune in to His whispered calling once again. Thanks for that! xoxo ~Jess

  7. Crystal, this is so YOU!! The building up, the encouraging, the transparency…sharing of yourself and leading us down the path with you. Thank you for this post and for all you do to build up the rest of us.

    • Your encouragement brings me such joy, Mary – you always know just what my heart needs to hear. Thank you for being a woman who builds hope into my life 🙂

    • Your encouragement brings me such joy, Mary – you always know just what my heart needs to hear. Thank you for being a woman who builds hope into my life 🙂

  8. Thanks for the reminder this morning! I read in a devotion a couple of weeks back that the secret to happiness is that everyone no matter what their status or lot in life has need of YOU- even if it’s just a smile their way…! : )

  9. I have always thought that my spiritual gift of encouragement ranked lower than other gifts, until recently. The Lord knew what he was doing when He gifted me with this special gift, as I am disabled, and although I would like to serve more and do more I am unable, but with encouragement I can always bless someone with kindness, an uplifting word, or by sending a card. There are so many ways to lift another up. I thank you for the reminder that we may never know what our encouragement may mean to another.

    • I love that God has given you exactly the gift He knew would be your strength, to serve where you are and how He needs you 🙂 I’m so glad you shared this with me today!

    • I love that God has given you exactly the gift He knew would be your strength, to serve where you are and how He needs you 🙂 I’m so glad you shared this with me today!

  10. You build community through encouragement and hope better than anyone I know, Crystal! Bless you for your leadership with (in)courage and the example you set for every one of us. You are loved and appreciated!

  11. “Encouragement builds up hope, and hope creates community. No one left out. No one left behind.”

    I love this. I, too, spent the early part of my life being left-out…or feeling left-out. Always moving with my Air Force family, I was always the new kid in school, church…everywhere. As a result, I was always behind in what was going on in whatever community we moved to. Never moved in time for try-outs for athletics or school officers or anything like that. When you are left-out and isolated, there are a million different places you can turn. God bless the ones who reached out to me and pulled me into church and Bible Study.

    I believe that God never wastes an experience. Because I know what it feels like to be left-out/behind, I try to always reach out to the “new kids” I meet in life…new people (kids or adults)…or those left-behind because of looks or abilities. And it’s not because there’s any good in me…it’s because one day years ago, God reached down and touched the life of an awkward, left-out girl…and my life has never been the same.

    Thank you for this post. It’s spot-on for where we all need to focus!

    • I believe that, too, Marty! The more time I spend loving and learning about God, the more He reveals to me how He’s using every experience for His glory – somehow!

  12. “Encouragement builds up hope, and hope creates community. No one left out. No one left behind.”

    I love this. I, too, spent the early part of my life being left-out…or feeling left-out. Always moving with my Air Force family, I was always the new kid in school, church…everywhere. As a result, I was always behind in what was going on in whatever community we moved to. Never moved in time for try-outs for athletics or school officers or anything like that. When you are left-out and isolated, there are a million different places you can turn. God bless the ones who reached out to me and pulled me into church and Bible Study.

    I believe that God never wastes an experience. Because I know what it feels like to be left-out/behind, I try to always reach out to the “new kids” I meet in life…new people (kids or adults)…or those left-behind because of looks or abilities. And it’s not because there’s any good in me…it’s because one day years ago, God reached down and touched the life of an awkward, left-out girl…and my life has never been the same.

    Thank you for this post. It’s spot-on for where we all need to focus!

    • I believe that, too, Marty! The more time I spend loving and learning about God, the more He reveals to me how He’s using every experience for His glory – somehow!

  13. Crystal,

    I was a lot like you only my nose was watching TV. I didn’t have many friends as I was shy–due to hearing loss During those years I was in church & did youth choir, hand bells, youth, etc. Never really understood about a relationship with Christ and what community means.

    Now years later I truly understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ & be in community. I want/need community so much that I make it any way I can. Today I sent 2 post cards to friends back home. Letting them know I miss them and love them in Christ!

    Thank you for sharing your heart!! From one who was left-out of life!!!

    Blessings 🙂

  14. Crystal,

    I was a lot like you only my nose was watching TV. I didn’t have many friends as I was shy–due to hearing loss During those years I was in church & did youth choir, hand bells, youth, etc. Never really understood about a relationship with Christ and what community means.

    Now years later I truly understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ & be in community. I want/need community so much that I make it any way I can. Today I sent 2 post cards to friends back home. Letting them know I miss them and love them in Christ!

    Thank you for sharing your heart!! From one who was left-out of life!!!

    Blessings 🙂

  15. I see in your bio, Crystal, that you’re a toddler-wrangling mama. Even though I’m a toddler-wrangling grandmama (babysitting for the time-being), I identified with your efforts toward self-preservation rather than embracing possibilities. I also celebrate with you the glorious exchanges God provides. Though I’m much older than you, I’m still experiencing similar exchanges! Praise God for his perseverance and faithfulness. Praise him also for the transformation he has performed in your life, and for your willingness to share. Your impact undoubtedly ripples onward!

  16. What a beautiful word for us, thank you. At this stage in my life I appreciate true community more than ever. I am so thankful for a “come just as you are” mindset of the encouragers in my life. My heart is to offer that same gift in return and be an encourager who reaches out to others daily.