Life Without Edits (and a free download)

Life Without Edits (and a free download)

At this bottom of this post I have two free downloads for you!  They are each included at the end of this post (which got a little lengthy). I do hope you take the time to READ the post as it explains why I have something to share with you,

…but if you don’t have time to wind through my wordiness, be free!  

Just scroll down to the end and download the printable 🙂


Life Without  Edits
Photo credit:


I write.

It’s a reality.

I always have.  I’ve talked about why I write before.

But here lately, I’ve found it hard to write. Not only because it’s been a difficult season but also because people are watching. And I’m very conscious of that.

It’s hard to write without edits.

Before when I blogged, I wrote about anything without reserve and scantly edited.  There weren’t many eyes watching me and so it didn’t matter as much what I said or how I said it. At least, that’s how I felt. And what if they did care?  What if they did judge? It was my life and I was expressing my thoughts in my voice so what did it matter.

But here lately, I’ve found it hard to write.  In case you haven’t gotten to know me yet, I’m a recovering perfectionist and if it’s not going to be absolutely an A+, it’s hard for me to do it all.  Jacked up trait… but I have it.

But I’m a writer. And not writing would be to deny who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing.

Here’s another reality.

I am a girl. I’m a wife. I’m a mom.

I’ve always been a girl.  I’ve been a wife for a while now.  And I’ve been a mother as long as I’ve been a grown woman.

But here lately, being a girl hasn’t been so easy. Marriage, while wonderful, comes with trials all it’s own.  Motherhood… well… I love ’em with my life but sometimes they wear me out.

And people are watching and I’m very conscious of that.

It’s hard to share a life without edits.

Before when I blogged about my life. There was no platform. No Kingdom Woman. No assumptions from tons of people that I didn’t know whether I was doing things right or all wrong. It didn’t matter as much what I said or how I said it. So I didn’t think as hard about how I expressed my thoughts or what voice I used to make a point.

But here’s the thing. I love my life.

Even though it’s got lots of turns and twists and parts that I might be tempted to edit out, it’s my life.  And it’s the only life that is exclusively my story to tell. While I believe in using wisdom and discretion where appropriate, I also believe that much of it I should live unedited and be willing to share if it helps others.

So here goes.

Remember… I am a girl. I’m a wife. I’m a mom.

Recently we took a family photo.  We needed one.  It was way overdue.

Hurst Family 2014

Like it?  Hope so.  But there is something I didn’t edit out.

Take a look at the water mark at the bottom right hand of the photo.  Now bring your eyes up a bit.  See son #1’s jeans? Big hole.  Gaping hole.  And I didn’t have my photographer edit it out (I’m sure photoshop could have accomplished that). Why?  Cuz that’s the way it was on picture day.

I didn’t know that my son’s jeans had a hole in them until after I took the picture. I just needed to get the picture taken. I furiously got everyone dressed, including myself which was no small feat and as I am fashion challenged in the greatest way. We literally ran in front of the camera because the photographer made time to squeeze us in before sun went down and it got dark outside.

Lo and behold… a hole.

But guess what.  It was there and it doesn’t’ change the fact that I have a beautiful picture of my family.

I love Jesus. I love my life. I love my family. I love my  husband. And everyday I’m learning to love myself a little bit more.

But all that love doesn’t mean that sometimes when I paint pictures with my words that there won’t be a hole.

Sometimes I don’t know when I am writing that there’s a hole.  Sometimes when I write, I write because I just need to “take the picture” – process the emotion, share the joy, crack a joke, or learn a lesson. I furiously scramble to get my words out of my head  because I don’t want to miss the window of opportunity to access my thoughts. I furiously reach and press “publish” because I don’t want to miss a window of opportunity to share them.

I don’t want to forget the emotion, joy, joke, or lesson before the sun goes down and my day ends. I don’t want my unedited thoughts to get overshadowed by other thoughts, tasks, or even talking children that need me to drop everything to help them with their own raw moment.

And sometimes, after the fact, I see a hole.

Trust me… there are parts of my life that I wish I could edit out.

…The parts where I knew I should speak to my husband in a respectful tone and I didn’t… and in that moment didn’t care.

…The parts where I yelled at my kids

…The parts where I stayed in a relationship way past time to give it up.

…The parts when I heard God’s voice and disobeyed.

…The parts when I should have tried harder… kept going… but didn’t.

But if I spend too much time looking back at the holes,  I run the danger of wallowing in an unhealthy view of myself and my life as I start to see myself embodied in what I wish I could go back an re-write.

I miss the big picture.

And guess what. The hole on paper, on my blog,  in my heart, or in my life doesn’t change the fact that my life is a beautiful picture.

And it doesn’t change the fact the I am loved. Loved by myself. Loved by my family. Loved by my husband. And most of all. Loved by God.

Whether or not we’ve gotten it all right. He loves us. He loves us anyway. He loves us because we belong to Him. His love is unconditional and not based on whether or not we’ve done it all right.

He doesn’t express or withhold His love for us based on whether or not we have we have holes or have gross portions or our lives that we wish we could edit.

Actually, he fills our holes.

And instead of going backwards to bring needed  life-edits to our attention, He loves us forward and encourages us to live well written days in the future.

So today, I pray that you know you are loved by God.  

And just in case you need a reminder, I’d like to share  some reminders that have helped me in the past.

A couple of months ago, I posted the first set of “Reminders of God’s Love”. These are messages based on Scripture that got me through a tough season in my life.  There are more where those came from and I’m sharing the next round those with you today.

Click on the link below to receive your free download of “Reminders of God’s Love” – Set 2.

I pray they bless you.


 Don’t miss out on one more freebie available to you!

Click the link below to access the Kingdom Woman Study Guide.

Kingdom Woman’s Study Guide


I’m so impressed with the idea of being disciplined in my writing that I’ve decided to join in with the “My 500 Words” challenge offered by Jeff Goins.  I plan to exercise the daily discipline of writing for the month of January.  

Everyone says that writers ought  to be writing every day, but let me tell ya… it’s the hardest thing in the world! I love to write when I’m INSPIRED to write and writing when inspired is not the same as being a disciplined writer.

Some of it I’ll edit.  Some of it I won’t. Some of it I’ll publish. Some of it I’ll keep to myself. But I do plan to write and write freely without edits because I don’t want to miss the picture of my life.

If you are a writer and need the challenge, accountability, and the practice,  I encourage you to join in.

By |2016-12-05T17:54:16+00:00January 7th, 2014|Faith|29 Comments


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  1. Sharon G. January 7, 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Great word for today Chrystal! I love the family photo and the worn and torn knee of the jeans. Sometimes we get in a mode of wanting everything the appear perfect because that’s what others expect. I just finished a phone interview and i had not taken the time to style my hair. i didn’t think it necessary since it was a phone interview : ) but somehow members of my family felt the need to comment on my uncombed hair. : /
    Thanks for your writing Chrystal, I appreciate the unedited real version.

    Sharon G.

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Thanks girl. Cuz I sure am sitting here right now thinking… I need to edit it. It’s too long and doesn’t really succinctly state my point. So your encouragement matters 🙂

  2. Anita Rawls January 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Oh, that was such a blessing! Yes, on all points. I feel you.

  3. Gina J January 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Loved this Chrystal! I too am guilty of “over-editing.” So thankful that no matter how imperfect we are, God loves us anyway! Awesome!

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      I’m guilty too Gina 🙂 We’re going to learn though aren’t we!

  4. Nefertara January 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you! Thank you for being open and honest. Thank you for the reminder that God’s love isn’t based on whether or not we get it ALL right. Be blessed.

  5. Jacquita January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Awesome Post. It helped me because Im a perfectionist as well and it drives me all day …even Ive started cooking (a little)…lol.. Some people think that I cant cook but actually I can , but in my brain if I dont think the food is perfect then I dont want others to eat it ..My Biggest fan is my son and he tells me everything is always good. Thank you AGAIN Chrystal!

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      My biggest fan is my husband. He doesn’t care what it is as long as it’s hot and served up in front of him. LOL!

  6. Diana January 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm - Reply


    i love reading your blogs. Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom.

    I had already registered for the Kingdom Woman how do i get the 2nd set of cards?

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Click on the graphic for Set 2 at the bottom of this blog post 🙂 (they are blue and gray colored)

  7. Robin B January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I love this post and it’s okay/fine if it’s long or lengthy lol. You have taken the time to share your heart with me & others. It’s genuine. It is a blessing and an inspiration. I love the “reminders”. I post them around the home for not only me but for my daughters as well, so that they can be encouraged and reminded of His love too. I thank God for the inspiration that lies within you to do what you do everyday!

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Robin. It’s a blessing for me to know that the reminders are being used! Frankly this was a friend’s idea and I wasn’t sure that anyone would think they were a good idea. I moved forward on the faith of another so it really warms my heart to know that they bless you!

  8. Sarah January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Thank you!! I needed this today!!! I love the picture!! You don’t want to see mine : ( I’m convinced I will never have a family picture that we are all smiling at the camera together… Me and my boys and my husband is one big boy when it comes to pictures… But we have fun…we goof around… We are always trying to eat someone’s head in a photo but we love each other and it shows in those messed up pictures… So I don’t think I care anymore – when I look at them I laugh and it brings that moment back…I just looked at some at my parents at Christmas and we are all smiling and they all turned out good……EXCEPT my husband was making a hundred ugly, goofy, monster faces and the funny thing is none of us knew it but my son’s fiancé who was taking them. Lol I was mad for a moment and now I think I’m having them printed…it’s been a rough year for us…I think crying is my new job… So these are things that bring a smile…. And to see my husband goof and play when I don’t think I’ve seen that in a long time…it’s ok with me (he is an electrical contractor ) and sometimes being a man of integrity is hard in a construction field…
    Anyway- thank you for sharing!


  9. Darlene January 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    God told me that 2014 is the year of truth for me. I must tell my truth and not be afraid of their faces. My authentic self will be a blessing to many. It’s time out for knock off Christianity and the only way people will be delivered is that they hear truth, see truth, experience truth and witness truth. The hole in the jeans was the truth of that moment and look how many people you set free. The truth will set you free and others also. Thank you for the unedited post.
    Darlene #uncensored

  10. Diana January 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    thank you so much! have a blessed day.

  11. Toni January 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Ummm…I saw the hole and thought it was soooo cool! And that it actually showed your willingness to allow the kids to be individuals and pick out their clothes. (Somehow I figured you wouldn’t have selected it for him…lol). Family photons are best when they are real, and that’s exactly what that photo is…real! And that’s why You serve as a great inspiration as a Kingdom Woman…because you are real.

    • Toni January 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      And my own typos in the comment above are driving me absolutely crazy. #notfullyrecoveredyet

  12. Diana M. January 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful life, and all it’s “holes” with us Crystal. Reminds me of when Paul says to the Thessalonians “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives , because you had become very dear to us.'” (1 Thess 2:8)

    • Chrystal January 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Diana… Thanks for sharing that scripture with me. It fits my sentiments exactly!

  13. Hicunni January 8, 2014 at 6:49 am - Reply

    I needed to read this post! I am so overjoyed that God led me to your site. I know my “stumbling” upon it wasn’t by chance! I to am a recovering perfectionist. I laughed so hard when you revealed the hole in your son’s jeans. I often wonder how my son gets random holes in his jeans and are not discovered until we are “out”. Thank you so much for your willingness to share your story with us. You have given me some encouragement to continue to share mine as well. Thank you!

  14. Tiffany Brown January 8, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Beautiful family picture. Thanks for sharing your world, and for the encouragement you bring.

  15. Gladys L. January 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I just started reading your blogs here lately, and I am so glad I did. This one really set me free. I saw a hole. It wasn’t in fabrics, materials or matter. It was in me. I hurt someone last year, not intentional…but as I went on about business as usual. I’m a nurse administrator. In my career I learned to critique everyone and everything because we always have so many governing bodies over us looking; not for what we did right but what we do or did wrong. So over the years I developed a critical eye. I learned to see thru the eyes of a professional critic of multiple surveyors. I got good at it, and was well paid to see like they see. I became so good at it…the governing bodies would ask me to join the team. Never did. But I learned… Unfortunately it became a part of me. Never any thought about it, no second guessing…just do it and call it out. If I felt it was wrong and needed to addressed I was expected to call it out. No ifs ands or buts..Recently I was asked to review a church. My church. I did. Identified and called just like I did in my profession. But later…I saw the hole. I used the same system, method I used in my profession, but in doing so hurt a sister in Christ. I was floored at the thought! Piercing pain in my gut. OMG! What have I done! My hole created a hole in someone else. I made a phone call to make a meeting to do a face to face apology. No answer….left a message…Pleeeeeeease call me. No reply yet. Anyway I began to stare and stare and stare at my hole. Almost named it and framed it. Wanted to ware a scarlet letter made of my own blood even. But in reading your blog….GOD filled my hole, stopped the pain and set me free to go on. Reminded me He knows I didn’t get it right. He is aware of my sorrow of hurting a sister, a daughter of His. And loves me anyway. It doesn’t negate His love or my destiny… you stated “go forward and live a well written life.”. Thank you Crystal. This was a well written word.

  16. Gwen January 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you for being “unedited” as you interact with us through words. The most pleasant thing is that you are like this in person too! The unedited version is the true representation of who we REALLY are. Not the cleaned up, pristine re-writes. The trick is discerning how much of the unedited version you reveal ….and to whom.

    Although you are now under more scrutiny than you were before you went “public” with Kingdom Woman, I dare say that you are handling it well. You are still the pre-published author that your friends, family, and people who “know you” have come to love. There is no need to change who you have been all of these years to please the masses. Once you start “editing”, you force yourself into a mold that you have to squeeze in to from time to time, and the fit is sometimes very uncomfortable. I love the freedom with which you present your life, public and private. You give JUST ENOUGH information to let us know that what we see on the outside is not always what is going on inside – in your spirit and in your home. You give us JUST ENOUGH information to remind us that you are, first and foremost, a Kingdom Woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, and friend to many. But above all else, you remind us that you have the same life struggles that every reader of your blog will/has experience(d).

    As you can see, your lengthy blog elicits lengthy responses! So now I will edit this and say, “Thank you for your words! They bring a sense of normal to those who may be struggling with “always editing!” (And because I am a perfectionist in rehab, I DID go back and edit this post!)

  17. […] done I check my email and began clearing out mail and notice an email from Chrystal Hurst called, Life Without Edits. I read the email and I was so in need of that email.  A few days ago I created this blog (I will […]

  18. T. Jones January 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    This article was a kick start for me because I was cheating myself in not writing and I have planned to do so for some time now.

    Love the photo. It could very well be my family photo because we have two girls and three boys and just like my family photos I see an ‘almost’ smile in your husband that I see in my own husband in our photos. After all blessed is the man who’s quiver is full of children so he should be brandishing the biggest smile. He doesn’t and it irritates me and I give him the blues EVERY chance I get.

    Anyway, no joke just this week I had to rush to get to an appointment on time with the boys only to look in the back seat and see my 4 y.o. with a big hole in his jeans. I learned with my older kids that the wardrobe thing is not a battle to fight. So I made sure they were buckled in and off we went. HOLES are okay, Chrystal’s family photo has just settled that for me. The Hurst’s are trendsetters…lol

    Thank you for sharing those everyday moments in which many of us can relate. We are due for a family photo and in honor of the Hurst family we will have someone in jeans with a hole. I will definitely share.

    Thanks girl, I enjoyed the post.

  19. Jennifer Judice January 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Thanks Chrystal for sharing this with us. I love to read your blogs. I love your honesty and keep-it-real attitude. Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  20. Kalonda Coleman January 11, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

    I love this post! And your family picture is beautiful 🙂 I am a writer as well and my prayer for this year is to walk in a holy boldness allowing the Lord to use me as He will. If you have the time I would love for you to review my new book, Holy MatriMommy, encouraging wives and mothers to walk in the grace that God has given them to fulfill His purposes for their lives. More information about myself and the book can be found at

  21. Vonae Deyshawn January 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I love this! I always feel so guilty when I’m not writing because like you, I know I should be. Blah! I love your decision not to edit out your son’s hole. Really shows your letting go, letting God, and letting things just be. Praise God for releasing His daughters from the need to be perfect. Excited to read Kingdom Woman. Congrats!

  22. Kimberly Porter January 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    This post truly blessed me. Thank you for sharing and being transparent! I too am a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser. You have encouraged me and reminded me that God loves me no matter what. Continue to allow God to use you. You are a blessing.

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