On The Move

On The Move, by Crystal Stine; www.allume.com

It’s been over four years since I started blogging. Four years, 536 blog posts, hundreds of thousands of words given to me by God to use for His glory. It’s been a testimony of God’s faithfulness, the power of persevering, of discovering who I am, Whose I am, and why I write. It’s been so much more than a hobby.

Without my blog, I would not have:

  • Been introduced to the power of online community
  • Discovered my passion for encouraging women
  • Chased a God Sized Dream to become a Virtual Assistant
  • Met some incredible, life long friends
  • Been brave enough to go to Allume by myself last year
  • Watched God open – and close – doors to completely change my life

In my story, more than anything else, God has used my love for writing to bring me closer to Him. He has called me to stay in it, in faith, when I wonder why I should bother. In those moments when looking at blog statistics and comments and reach and all the other things that scream “success” whisper “failure” at me, God reminds me of the moment in middle school when a teacher saw my talent and invited me to join the school newspaper. He brings back the memories of the joy when I saw my stories in print for the first time. He reminds me that I once wanted to live in New York City and work for a magazine as an editor.

I laugh now at those dreams because they are so far from where I are, a toddler mama writing blog posts in a small town coffee shop. But really? Though the journey has been different, the passion is still there. The desire to write words that bless others – it now looks like encouraging women instead of working at a magazine. The joy of seeing my story printed – it now looks like guest posts at my favorite sites and seeing friends sharing my words when they touch a special place in their hearts.

This writing testimony? It has God’s fingerprints all over it, but I never see them when I’m in the middle of the mess, the early mornings of writing, the deadlines and the goals. It takes a moment of intentional reflection to look back and see what God has done, how He has changed me, and where He has taken me. He has a plan for your writing too – a story He wants you to tell, a testimony of faithfulness, answered prayer, His glory shining through words typed weary and afraid. God is on the move – let’s take a minute to see where He’s taking us. 

Crystal

Crystal’s heart is to encourage women through the written word. She is a toddler mama dedicated to her family, pursuing God Sized Dreams & her jobs as a Virtual Assistant, (in)courage Community Leader Coordinator, & Raising Generations Today team member. Follow her on Twitter at @CrystalStine.

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  • APRILLE

    I love this post Crystal. I never even really dreamed about being a writer like you did. It was so funny – I recently met a girl at my new church and I was just trying to get to know her. In passing she said, “And I recently became a published author…” And I was like “Wow, tell me about that!” And she said “I got an article published on xyz website.”

    And I was kinda taken back because 1) I have a “blog post” published on the same website and 2) I also have my own website with personal articles and post and ….I’ve never once thought of myself as a “published author.” Just the way she put it made me so thankful for this journey that so many times I down-play as “just a blog” ya know?

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      Isn’t it funny what a change in perspective will make? I think I downplay my role as a “published author” because for me, this is just what I do. It’s a hobby that I love, not something I make money doing, so it doesn’t seem right to claim that title – but it really is what we are!

      • APRILLE

        Exactly. I don’t do any advertising or sponsored posts on my site, lol I spend far more on blogging than I make on it, so I agree – I think that plays into it as well!! It’s just a hobby! an outlet…a ministry…a connection. Love it! PS are you going to Allume again this year? It’s my first!

        • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

          I am going to Allume! Can’t wait to meet you :)

          • APRILLE

            I’m excited to meet you too!

  • KRISTINHILLTAYLOR

    I told God I would never move back to my husband’s small hometown, work at the small newspaper here, quit my job I never wanted to leave even though I never wanted it. I assumed I’d live in a bigger city, be a working mom once we had some biological kids. Here I am … a work-from-home mom (which only happened this year; I had been a stay-at-home mom) with my two adopted children in my husband’s small-town hometown. It’s nothing like imagined, but so, so much better. I’m learning never to say never and trust that God really does know what’s best. Your words have encouraged me many times this year and I’m certain I’m not alone.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      Thank you, sweet friend :) Oh if I counted the times I said “I would never” only to have God say “oh really?”…lol…moving back to my home town, becoming a mama…it’s been an adventure!

  • KATIE PHILLIPS

    God IS on the move! Thanks for your encouraging words in this post! Love hearing how your journey unfolded. I, too, had the high school newspaper experience–and while I didn’t have a dream to move to New York to be a magazine editor, I moved to LA to write for TV. One could laugh at how far I am from that “dream” now, but I see that God used that path for good and brought me exactly here.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      The song my husband & I danced to at our wedding was “Bless the Broken Road,” and it’s one I think of a lot when it comes to writing & building community … how God has used all the broken roads, the unexpected paths, the unplanned journeys, to bring me to THIS place, right now :)

  • NJ

    This is a great post that really showcases the WHY of why you blog. God is on the move and what a gift it is to have 4 years worth of record of it! I blog for similar and different reasons. It is funny how things always work for good!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      Writing it like this, looking back & setting up those little Ebenezer stones..it’s how I remember in the middle of the chaos of “now” that it DOES work together for good :)

  • http://www.handmedowngrace.com/ JESSICA HOOVER

    An echo of so many of our stories I think. I love that our stories can be different but shared in all the mess and wonder of social media. You are right, so much of this journey is unexpected but it leaves us knowing that God has done it all. Such timely,beautiful words friend.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      I think our paths cross often because our hearts are set in Christ, but I love seeing the side roads and unexpected adventures God gives each of us to bring Him glory in our own, beautiful ways :)

  • DEBRA

    I love this post, Crystal. I am so thankful I met you virtually through the pages of your blog, and (in)Courage, as a fellow (in)Courager-turned Community Coordinator/Assisatant to Leader. Wow! God’s handprints were all over this blessing in my life.

    I had an overwhelming desire from childhood to share words on paper. A dream of becoming an editor or reporter of a newspaper. What a journey God has lead me to and through. I became an editor of a small town newspaper, turned co-publisher with a vested interest, to consultant of four papers in Texas. Another opportunity in New England as a Community and City Editor of a daily newspaper. Thank God for creating the desires of our hearts, then giving them to us.

    I moved into the blogging world and online writing for publishing houses. All miracles. I try to be faithful and hear God’s Word for those who will read them.

    You are an inspiration to me. All brave and vulnerable at the same time. Thanks for all you do to further the Kingdom of God.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      Debra, YOU are an inspiration to me! So blessed to do kingdom work along side your beautiful heart.

  • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ KRIS CAMEALY

    It’s beautiful, Crystal, watching God move and being a part of it… It’s wild! Hang on girlfriend, it’s only going to get better :)

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      Whew…send the chocolate! Let’s go!

  • KIM

    Crystal, love this beautiful post. Thanks for inspiring me to look for “God’s fingerprints all over my mess”.

  • AMY KRANCE-WENDT

    Crystal, I’m one of the lurking wanna-be bloggers who loves your words, and how generously you share your heart. I am so grateful God is moving in your life, and so glad you are open to His work. Keep writing — keep sharing — keep following Him — so you keep inspiring us!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

      So glad you were brave enough to “un-lurk” today and leave this sweet comment :)

  • BETH

    Your words inspire me, Crystal. Keep on writing! I hope to one day have the opportunity to meet you in real life. Blessings.

  • VICTORIA WILSON

    Beautiful post Crystal :) I’ve been thinking a ton lately about why the Lord planted the desire to write in my heart and what I can be doing to make sure that gift is cultivated in grace and truth. That, as believers, we should write all of our words well to the glory of God. I enjoy watching you managing this whole blogging business, you’ve certainly become an inspiration to me.

  • TONYA

    Not sure where my comment went from this morning… but I just wanted to let you know how much I needed your words this morning… I’ve been entertaining the “why bother” thoughts myself… and they are hard to move past… but yet God continues to put words in my heart that bleed out my fingers so I continue to write. Love you friend!!! And love that you’re words make it to me everyday.

  • MKHOLMBERG

    Time and time again I’ve had to return to the question of ‘why’ I write. And the answer is always ‘Who’ not ‘why.’ I appreciate your words here as they may keep me out of the dip this time around, simply knowing I’m not the only one. God is on the move, even when I can’t see Him. Thanks!

  • http://threebeesinabluebonnet.blogspot.com/ REBEKAH

    Oh yes, He does move. Your words touch and encourage me again. Like at my very first FMF Party – lurking on the fringes – and you said welcome, jump right in. I always thought that my career was where God was going to put me and use my creativity. Never saw it coming that He freed me from a career that was hurting me, to move me to one that I love (almost more) that allows me to use my creative gifts for His purpose and without the exhaustion, stress, and anxiety. There has been so much grace given to me – even in my darkest times – and I hope that my writing will reflect that back, and shine through my words as they come bubbling out of my heart.

  • LINDSAY@LITTLEHOUSEBIGWORLD

    So fun to see how God is teaching you through your own writing. It is so good to remember the gift that is found in being content with where you are and the gifts God is using through you.

  • ALISON

    Like you, God has been on the move, changing my desires and heart through blogging so that His interests and plans come first. It’s been difficult at times, but He’s grown my faith and given me a different perspective. Glad to be on the journey with you!