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. Chapter 4: I was so encouraged by Emily’s explanation that the mustard seed “grows without much human effort at all.” That is so liberating. My job is to plant seeds and water, but not to make anything grow.

    Chapter 5: Both of my maternal grandparents have been in and out of the hospital about a dozen times since June. They are both on hospice now, and mom has fully retired to oversee their care. I feel like my pool is down there in Miami with them. We are praying for them and try to get down there at least once a week to sit with them, and we try to do little things to bring sunshine into my mom’s life. Grieving is so hard, but right now that is my pool. — Being present for my family has meant that I’ve had to say no to some very cool things — like speaking at a conference and going out with friends…. but I know that if I don’t focus on my family right now that is not pleasing to God at all.

    Chapter 6: I volunteered to lead this online small group, and then only 3 people signed up to join. — I decided that I would sing in that tiny stairwell and do my best just as if there were 100 people in that group…. and I am growing so much through the experience. God has met me there as I prepare, and He is teaching me so much.

    • Love that, Lyli – He’s meeting you right where you are, and using you to impact those hearts right in your stairwell. Beautiful.

  2. wow, Emily! I have no idea how you can give the talk and look at the comments simultaneously! I’m a teacher, and speak a lot in front of people, and I noticed how difficult this periscope thing is! Good job keeping your thoughts going!

  3. and, thanks for posting these sessions on here afterwards–my phone is not smart enough to have periscope!

  4. I am busy during the day and have yet to attempt periscope- but I am enjoying it the videos! Thanks for posting them! This book is exactly what I need to be reading, right now.

  5. Wow! I was so encouraged by this week’s video from Emily. I admit the book as been put on a back burner for this week because of how crazy things have been, particularly at work. But I love how God doesn’t see it that way but rather puts it in a place where I will need it at His perfect time, which was this morning.
    As I write to you today, an almost 32 year old mommy of two busy boys, a crazy hard working husband, teacher for students who are deaf/hard of hearing, leader of several things at my church, I also writing as someone who has been diagnosed with shingles. And not for the first time. I had it about five years ago and now I have it again. I have to start by saying God has given so much grace in my situation. It is not painful or significant. It is just enough that the doctor said it would be best to take a prescription to help knock it out. There is also grace because it has forced me to slow down and rest.
    While I only work part time, I have a lot of other things going on. Some are must-do’s that drain me more than I wish they did and others are things that I am thinking I should step away from because of where God may be calling me in those must-do’s (or how I am tempted to see them as “small areas”).
    I really appreciate what Emily said in this week’s Periscope episode about comparision. To be honest, if I wasn’t sick and forced to sit down and really take in what she was saying, I may have missed it. God is so good and gracious! I am grateful He allowed me enough time to sit down and hear what He wanted to say to me through Emily. So I am totally guilty of comparison. Defiantly in my work with teaching but being that my job is so specialized I don’t have a team that I necessarily find myself compared to. Rather I think I compare against myself and dare I say I worse way to compare because that nagging voice is always around!! 😛 I wish I was more organized or my schedule was more predictable. I wish I had more time in my office to develop these amazing lesson plans. But the reality is I don’t. And the grater reality is God has always provided exactly what I need for that day and for my students and the teachers I support.
    I also loved how Emily ended the video with the simply question, “What is the next best thing?” I need that written on my walls!!!!!!!! This is so true and so simple. Even today as I have the gift of being at home and resting, across the room from me sits a to do list that is calling my name. I pray and ask you to pray for me that I would be able to discern what the next best thing is. Pray that I will rest in my decisions. Also pray that I will trust God and his timing for upcoming opportunities to make decisions. These are not so small but rather have to do with work and the potential of moving.
    Thank you for creating this community where we can come together to be (in)couraged and grow closer to this great God we serve!!