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,
    Happy Belated Birthday :). Thank you for sharing your testimony of how God transformed your bitterness into joy…He’s pretty miraculous that way. It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity and pessimism around us, but knowing Jesus (like Rhoda) and knowing the end of the story brings me joy. I also agree, that when we find our God given niche in life, there is indeed joy that comes from that. Thanks for an uplifting post this morning to start my day!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Not belated at all, Bev 🙂 Today is actually my birthday! So thank you so much for your sweet words & encouragement. They’re the best gift a girl could ask for!

  2. Happy Birthday Crystal and to your twin sis, too. What would we do without them? 🙂 Thank you for introducing me to Rhoda, the beautiful bearer of joy. I am reading through the New Testament and am actually at Acts 12. And just like you, I have skipped over her in the past, but not today. Thank you for the joy-filled post.

  3. Crystal- what a wonderful goal for this year and always! I’m praying God keeps lighting up those character traits He wants you to pursue. And, you can be sure I’ll be going back to reread that account of Rhoda, in the Bible! It’s amazing how we can skip over things, isn’t it? But God…

    • It’s becoming one of my favorite features of Scripture – no matter how much I think I know it, there’s always something more!

  4. Happy Birthday! Please know how much this blessed me! I’ve been very discouraged in makung new women friends, but your story fave md renewed hope to keep trying. Thank you!

  5. Happy Birthday Crystal! Good word! It is indeed true, we can still have joy despite our circumstances by remembering what He has done in the past, and by remembering how active He is now in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the moment of the negativity. I was taken aback by a reading as if I hadn’t seen it before of from Colossians 3:15. A version says “And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts…and be thankful. Changes my perspective, and now the mindfulness of keeping these in my heart! Joanne

  6. Happy Birthday 🙂 And thank you for sharing your heart! I am blessed by your vulnerability and self-reflection. As a fellow-introvert and a woman who also has broken friendships sprinkled throughout her past, today I’m simply blessed to hear your story and to know I’m not alone in that feeling of not quite “measuring up”, or always striving for “perfect” friendships when really perfection isn’t what I need. Thank you, Crystal!

  7. Happy Birthday Crystal! I can relate to your story. I have security issues and trouble making and keeping friends. I’m not an extrovert but people may easily think I am. Truthfully, i would like nothing better than to wrap myself in a blanket and read a book..alone! But i still want to have friends i can count on and people i know I can call when I need them. But i don’t have a lot of those because I shut people out , out of fear and insecurity. Thank you for showing me there is hope!

    • Sending hugs, Alyssa – praying you would be encouraged today and that some of those hard things would be healed and redeemed. There is definitely hope!

  8. What a smart idea, to set some character goals as each birthday rolls around. And oh, I want to be one of those who helps fulfill your birthday wish: to be JOY in our world! Thank you for the inspiration, Crystal.

  9. Wonderful thoughts here, Crystal! Thanks so much for your encouragement today. (And Happy Birthday!)

  10. Crystal, Happy Birthday! What a great goal for this next year of your life—to share joy. I think I need to take lessons from this. 🙂 I’ve definitely let the world’s negativity determine my actions and choices to not embrace the joy God gives each of us. I’m going to work on this. Beginning now.

    Loved your post.

  11. Thanks so much for this today… I could have written half of it, though I just turned 50! I am inspired by the word Joy too. Perhaps next year I can have that word. Happy, happy birthday!

  12. Happy Birthday dear friend! I’m so grateful that God made you and that He uses you to teach us and encourage us and make us laugh and enjoy a good story together. Grateful for you today!!

  13. This is what I have strived to be these many years of knowing Him…”a joy-sharer, an encouragement-giver and a hope-bringer”…but today I needed these things. Thank you for writing this for me today. 🙂
    Bless you and a Happy Birthday!

  14. Crystal who told you?! When I read your story I thought “That describes me!” Well, mostly. So I figured someone must have told you about me, lol. Wow, look at God work! He is good! I understand the bitterness and disappointment all too well of broken friendships and not being able to trust. And longing for that one sister-girlfriend you can rely on and confide in, only to be heartbroken. But I’ve learned (am learning) to not be dismayed; to trust God and know that He will provide. So I LOVE how you speak about Rhoda and how she’s known for her joy. She is a reminder to us to be a “joy-sharer, encouragement-giver, and hope-bringer!” Love it! I’ve got to tweet that for you! God bless and keep you!! And Happy Birthday to you and your sister!!

  15. Happy belated birthday Crystal! I’m a twin too! Thanks for sharing your story. Seems we’ve both walked a familiar road. I’m always so blessed by your post.

  16. Crystal – I love your authenticity and willingness to share! I can so relate to your story… God seems to be raising up a generation of writers to encourage and share joy! Thanks for being an encourager to me!

  17. I guess I had never picked up on Rhoda’s story, either. I had to go back and re-read those few verses. I love her excitement! Thank you for the reminder today…to have joy in all of our circumstances, and to SHARE JOY with others. God is at work around us!

  18. Crystal,
    Happy Belated Birthday! May God give you and your sister many more birthdays to share!! 🙂 I’m currently in a season where I need my unhappiness/bitterness to be turned back into joy! (It has lasted 16 months now). It seems I’m letting some negativity discourage me and sour my attitude. I’m working daily on being an encourager to others and trying not to let my circumstances make me bitter. Perhaps when I truly find my niche and determine how I want to spend the rest of my life I will get my joy and happy back!
    Thanks for an uplifting post!!