Welcome to our FIRST My Life Well Loved community feature in celebration of this Instagram community at 100K. I am HONORED to have some of you sharing your stories and your heart with us here.
If you missed my THANK YOU LETTER to each of you in the My Life Well Loved Community at the 100K milestone, go here to read it. And if you’d like to share your story, please email me at email@example.com.
I gave Crystal several Q’s/thought starters below and am so excited that she’s sharing with us today!
Kids? – My husband and I just welcomed our first newborn son named Josiah Lee Williams on June 21st!
How you found MLWL? – I first found MLWL through an Instagram giveaway about 3 summers ago. That same year I joined the Holiday Honey Hustle and immediately felt welcomed and included in the MLWL community. Since following along on Instagram and on the blog, Heather has always been so intentional to reply to my DMs and comments. I’m grateful for how she has connect with me over the past 3 years.
Fave verse? – “In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, and in submission to their husbands, so that God’s word will not be slandered.” Titus 2:3-5
Your story? Hi, MLWL girl gang! My name is Crystal Williams. I’m a disciple of Jesus, wife, new mom, blogger/writer and speaker. My husband, Calvin, and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage in August and we just welcomed our first son, Josiah, on June 21st. Calvin and I reside in Houston, Texas and are church planters. We both have been full time ministers for over 5 years in a variety of ways – worship leading, preaching/teaching, discipleship, home groups, etc.. At www.crystalleewilliams.com I write about faith, ministry, marriage, and now, motherhood. I wrote and released my first 7-day-devotional last year online and plan to write more. Teaching the word of God and pouring into women is one of my favorite things to do, whether face to face or through a screen.
Almost three years ago, my husband and I began our journey of growing our family. After months and months of trying to conceive, we began to grow discouraged. Not many knew at the time because if you’ve ever experienced this or currently are, it’s hard to talk about, isn’t it?
I began following Heather before this and enjoyed all her healthy living and faith related content. And of course, I enjoyed all the cute Leyton stories on Instagram as the next gal did. Though I wasn’t a mama yet, I enjoyed learning from Heather as I watched her be a mom and share all the things!
Around this time Heather was working on a bumpdate post while pregnant with Finn and she invited us to ask any pregnancy related question to answer on her blog post. Knowing she is also a woman of faith, I took a step of courage to reach out and ask her, “What advice would you give a couple that has been trying to get pregnant with their first for over a year now?” Heather included the question on her blog post and replied with such encouraging words.
Fast forward a few months from that and God answered our prayers! We were pregnant!! I shared the news with Heather and shared a blog post about Our Journey to Pregnancy (also linked below) with her. She celebrated with me and from then on I soaked up all the MLWL motherhood content I could in preparation for my little one’s arrival. From baby registry must-haves to what to pack in a hospital bag, I read every blog post and DM’d her many questions, I’m sure.
At 20 weeks, my husband and I found out that our baby would be born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate. Throughout the pregnancy, Heather checked in on me. I was so grateful for that. So, as my husband and I began sharing the news with others, I published a blog post about The News I Wasn’t Expecting While Expecting (also linked below) and shared it with Heather. And she continued checking on me and my pregnancy, sharing encouragement along the way.
Prior to giving birth I listened to a podcast interview where Heather shared her birth story and postpartum journey. I’m so glad I did. My birth story was nothing like I had imagined or planned. I was induced at 39 weeks, labored for over 24 hours, had an epidural that wore off, and our baby was sunny side up and on my sciatic nerve with his chin up so after over an hour of pushing, my doctor called for a c-section.
At this point, our baby boy was still sunny side up, with his head hitting my pelvis bone with each push and my contractions getting stronger. Having a vaginal birth in mind, I was nervous about needing a c-section. But after being told I also had a 103 fever and the epidural had completely worn off and being completely exhausted, I knew a c-section was what was best for baby and I. They rushed me to the operating room and just minutes later, our son was born.
Once I left the hospital I realized, I had a lot to process. Each birth story is different and there’s no need to compare one to the other, however, I know that what I experienced was hard. It was a lot. So for the first couple of days PP, I was incredibly emotional and exhausted. I knew it was important for me to cry out to God, pour out my heart to him along with all the heaviness and weariness I felt.
Since having my son, I’ve continued to enjoy being a part of the MLWL community. I am a new mom, learning the ropes as I go, with great tips, advice, and encouragement to draw from the MLWL girl gang. I may be just a few years behind Heather in motherhood but I’ll tell you all what: I’m learning from women like her and those that make up this community each day and I’m here for it.
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and I’m grateful for my immediate, local community as well as this online community.
So here’s to more women finding their online community to help guide them as they live a life well loved!
LINKS to see more from Crystal:
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crystalleewilliams/
Website – https://www.crystalleewilliams.com
Our Journey To Pregnancy Post – https://www.crystalleewilliams.com/blog//our-journey-to-pregnancy
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Post – https://www.crystalleewilliams.com/blog//the-baby-news-i-wasnt-expecting-while-expecting
Thank you for being a part of the My Life Well Loved Community, Crystal! It’s an honor to have you here!
Heather Brown helps busy mamas of young littles who are caught in the hustle to find encouragement in their journey to true health, from the inside out, starting with the heart. Read her journey of learning to live a life well-loved HERE!