A line in the sand

A line in the sandThe birds are chirping outside my window.

My mind is racing, my hands are shaking and at the same time, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.  I’ve been reading Facebook, making tea and doing everything I can to avoid doing the important work of today.

It’s because I have a deadline tomorrow.  

I drew a line in the sand, saying we’d open the Shop by HeartStories and begin our new blog series, sharing our first Love Maker’s heartstories, tomorrow.

I was advised not to put a date on it, not to commit to a specific timeline, but I had to.  That’s the only way I will conquer the fear, the resistance, the lizard brain.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s the thing that keeps me delaying, making excuses and never actually doing something new.

I would rather wait until it’s perfect, but it won’t ever be.

In fact, I’m expecting kinks. (wincing as I write that)  The shop won’t be perfect, but it will be open.  And I will share our first Love Maker’s story on the blog.

I might make more tea, take the dog for a walk, clean a few spots off the wall, play cards with the kids, rearrange my desk, pay a few bills, do ANYTHING to avoid doing it, but eventually, tomorrow morning . . .

I will hit publish.

You may be reading this thinking, What’s the big deal?  Why is she telling me this?

I’m telling you because it’s been a long, wild journey to get to this day.

I’ve been dreaming of this for almost a year.  At first is was thrilling, invigorating, and exciting. Then the scale of it suddenly became daunting and I felt inadequate in every way.

There have been obstacles, behind the scenes issues and a lot of blows to my self confidence.

But there was a day in January, the 27th to be exact, that I determined, in my heart and mind, that I wasn’t turning back.

I wrote this blog.

Then, I reached out to my closest friends, my inner circle, in a text that said,

“My heart is pounding. I scheduled the blog and the newsletter to go out telling the world about the HeartStories marketplace at 2:00. I know it may not sound like a big deal, but to me, it’s enormous.  It’s a commitment to the world that I’m going to do this.  I’m battling so much shame about not accomplishing more already (I know it’s not rational) and fear that it won’t work because I don’t have the funds. But, I’m trusting. I can’t deny this in my heart, so I have no choice. I’m practicing what I preach today. (Now typing through tears) . . .”

I made lunch, walked out to the back porch with tears streaming down my cheeks, and sat down.

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky.  My sweet dog Hartley even seemed to be peacefully smiling at me.

I took this picture of that moment and wrote a journal entry that said,

“Standing here shaking. Crying uncontrollably. So emotional, not sure why. Just scheduled the post to go out for the announcement of shop by stories.  I’m terrified and excited all at the same time. Reached out to my family and inner circle to pray.  I just can’t stop crying.  Not a cloud in the sky, 73 degrees and beautiful. I’m just going to take it all in and pray and eat lunch in peace while it all goes out.”

Tomorrow marks the line in the sand.  

It’s the line on the other side of planning and preparing.  It’s the moment of “Here, I made this.  What do you think?”

And it’s scary.

I may post our first story and send out the link, to the sound of crickets.

Or something might not work.

I’m living what I spend my days encouraging you do to.

In this moment, who I am today, with the time and resources available to me right now,

I’m giving it all I have.

Whatever happens, I hope it inspires you to do the same.  

I hope by sharing a little of my behind the scenes, you can look at me, and my imperfections, and be encouraged to take a step in the direction your heart is leading you.

That you’ll say, Yes.  

Yes to caring more.  To giving more.  To loving more.  To being more intentional.

To making a difference.

To doing what you can with what you’ve been given.

That you’ll do it, knowing that it’s not the easiest choice.

It’s not the safest choice.

It’s not the least expensive choice.

And, it’s totally worth it.  

Let’s do this!

To more love,



  1. Crystal,
    While I was reading this, all I kept thinking was that God doesn’t ask for perfection, but He does ask for obedience when He has placed something out hearts. This is exactly what you have done creating Heart Stories and that is what you are doing now. I just wanted to encourage you and let you know how encouraging you have been!

    1. Wow. Thank you Amy. I’m so grateful perfection isn’t the expectation! I’m also so glad to know you’ve been encouraged. So nice of you to let me know!

  2. Crystal: I can so relate to the procrastination associated with tackling things that scare us! What a bold and courageous thing you’re doing by pressing on even in the midst of fear and doubt. What you’re doing matters — it fills a void where there is need, and the way you’re doing it includes a stroke of genius! Allowing this marketplace to be not just a store by a story is brilliant. I can’t wait to see what unfolds next.

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer. Your words mean so much to me. It’s nice to know others relate to my stories! It’s also wonderful to know that you see the need for the Shop by HeartStories marketplace. Yay! It’s going to be fun!

  3. Crys,
    I am so excited for what this day will bring! Saying prayers along with you!

    – Steph

    1. Thank you Steph! Love you!

  4. Crystal,

    You totally rock in the way you are so honest and heart-felt.

    You GO girl! We all need more of this in our lives.


    1. Thank you Glenna! That means the world to me, coming from you.

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