- Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
- Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all
- Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised
- Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
In the very beginning of my blogging journey, one of the first bloggers I started following was Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom. At first for the couponing and deal posts, and later for her cleaning and organizing posts, like the Clean in Thirty and the Clutter-Busting challenges I participated in last year. Because we're in different seasons of life--she's a young, work-at-home mom to three small children, a successful speaker, author, and blogger, and I am none of those things--I put her blog in the "Frugal Living, Couponing, Shopping" section of the blogs I read frequently, and thought nothing more about it.
Lately, though, I find myself reading her other posts more and more, and not only that, relating to them as well. Posts on goal setting, and achieving success--in whatever form that may take for you. I bought her e-book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined life, and read even more.
Then I had an opportunity to sign up for a sort of lottery to participate in the launch of her newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. As a result of being drawn from that hat, I received an advance e-copy of the book to read and review.
Ladies--I have to tell you, I really think Crystal has hit it out of the park with this one. She gives us more of her personal story of how, even while appearing successful and together on the outside, she felt like she hit rock bottom. Suffering from a combination of burn-out, postpartum depression, and a bad case of "yes-I-can"--even when her body and soul told her "no-you-can't", Crystal relates what she learned and the steps she took, to get beyond the point of survival mode, all the way to thriving and learning to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
This book could not have come at a more perfect time for me--if anyone has been in "survival mode" the last couple of months, it's been me. The small church I pastor in a tiny rural town developed a leak and was flooded--about a third of our building was soaked--and believe me, it gives the phrase "walking on water" a whole new meaning, especially when it's in the sanctuary. And while everyone has pitched in and done their part, I am the one ultimately responsible for seeing to it that it gets done. Meanwhile we decided that while everything was torn up and in disarray already, we may as well address some remodeling/painting issues that we'd been avoiding, and because the labor is all voluntary, we work around schedules, making all of this take much longer than if we'd just called in professionals to do it--which we can't afford, hence the procrastination. Shortly after the Great Flood, someone very near and dear to me was assaulted and robbed, which is NOT supposed to happen in a small town, but guess what, it does. My emotions were haywire for a while after that, both personally and on their behalf. I got sick with a bad bronchial cold. The holidays came and went, and all I could think of after they were gone was that I wanted a do-over, because I didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to, and I felt like the joy of the season was robbed from me. Then I got sick again--or maybe I relapsed, I'm not really sure. My house was a mess, my body was a mess, my emotions were a mess--I couldn't pray, couldn't read, couldn't do much of anything. Between being sick, stressed, and overwrought, I felt like all I could do was lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself. Oh, and watch cheesy movies. Nothing too cheerful, mind you, but nothing that caused me to have to engage my brain, either.
Enter Crystal's book, which I had started long before all of this took place, but which languished, unfinished, on my computer. I finally transferred it to my new Kindle that I'd received for Christmas, so I could prop it up and read it laying down if I wanted to. And read I did. Maybe laying down, maybe not.
I don't want to give away all of the good points that Crystal has made, but it boils down to this--we are each unique creatures, created to be someone wonderful in the eyes of God. We need to quit comparing ourselves to others. We need to quit trying to please people who really don't matter that much in the long run. When we say "yes" to one thing, that means we need to say "no" to something else. We need to take care of ourselves, because if we don't, we won't be able to take care of anyone else around us, including our families.
Crystal is ever so much more eloquent, than I, but the steps she outlines are so very practical and do-able, and while some of them are things we probably already know we should be doing, she breaks it down into such easy pieces that nothing seems impossible. This book is practical and inspirational at the same time.
My story is not her story, and neither is hers mine, but we each have a story, and we each have a unique opportunity to effect, not just the ending, but the story-line along the way.
I already feel better, and I feel I've barely scratched the surface. Time for a re-read, this time taking some notes and implementing some changes along the way.
Meanwhile, over on Crystal's blog, she's all kinds of goodies in anticipation of the official release, which is January 21st. You can participate in her 7-Day Challenge to jump-start yourself, or sign up for the giveaways she's hosting. And if you pre-order the book, you qualify for $125 of other goodies.
Until next time...
(Disclosure--I received a copy of Crystal's book for review, but I have not received any additional compensation, and the opinion expressed is that of my own)