experiences inspirational life lifestyle

What’s In a Smile?


What’s in a smile? I was in town one day and a lady that passed me gave me a beautiful amazing smile out of nowhere. I must say that I definitely wasn’t expecting it and began to think after she done that. There are many positive effects in a smile.

Smiling is more than medicine to the soul: There are many people walking around hurting, but just a brief smile can touch them and make a difference in their day.

Smiling let’s someone know that you care: When you feel that you have no words to say, you can give a warm smile and let them know that you will pray.

Smiling gives hope: When hope is lost for many it may seem like a very long dreadful pause. Smiling lets someone know that it’s going be okay and that they will see a sun shiny day.

Smiling speaks volumes: Sometimes a gentle action is only needed and says more than words can bring.

Give the gift of a smile. What’s in your smile? How does a smile effect you?

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God is Writing My Story

pen-33077_640 I make my plans. I say this will go this way and by this time this would have happened. It will look this way and I will do it this way. Picking up the pen trying to create. God is the author of our lives, but how many times do we act like we are writing our own story? We try to get in control of what God is in control of. Acts 17: 28 says “For in Him we live, and move and have our being.”

We are not on our own and this is not our own thing. As believers we live and move in Christ. What part of the story are we trying to make our own? We are not good at doing what the Father does best. The challenges and struggles we may have never written or allowed in if it was up to us. God sees us and knows what we don’t even know about ourselves. He uses the challenges and struggles as sandpaper and tools to equip us.

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The Effectiveness of Reading: How Reading Can Bring Growth In Your Life


I enjoy reading. Not just because I love writing. Reading has a lot of valuable nuggets and tokens that can stir up exploration in many forms. Words are very effective and can have either a positive or negative impact on a person. Below are 5 ways reading can affect us in a positive light.

1) Knowledge

We can learn a lot just by reading. There are things that we never saw or known of that can educate us to try something different or understand another point of view. It’s good to expand our reading on various topics where we can get knowledge from. Perhaps we can discover uncommon findings in our adventure of reading. There are things we can learn about people, places, health, morals, relationships and more.

2) Vocabulary Builder

Not only English enthusiasts can benefit from building up their vocabulary, but everyday English speakers can build on the kinds of words they communicate with others as well. Reading is a great source for vocabulary building. As a writer and person I find reading helpful when it comes to learning new words. When I see a new word in a book or article, most times I would look it up in the dictionary for its meaning if need be. There are sometimes I would see or hear a word that I’m not sure of and it would be bothering me to find out about it. And when I do I often would already be familiar with the meaning of the word.


3) Inspiration

I have been inspired just by reading books, articles, blogs, devotionals and more. A sign on the street can be a spark of inspiration. Reading is not limited to long texts, but even one word or phrase can be enough to digest and think on. There are some things that I’ve read that has encouraged and helped me on my journey. What book(s) have made a difference in your life? How can you use it to help others in return?

4) Relaxation 

Stressed? Tired? Grab a book! There are many books, articles, comics and magazines that offer entertainment and fun. Clean, fun and positive reading can be a great source to chew on. Why not relax, read and refresh all in one?

5) Ideas

I have gotten writing ideas and other forms of activity ideas just by reading. You can create, remake and cultivate through those conceptions. Look for ideas when reading and you never know what may come out of them when you carefully try them.

What effects has reading had on you lately? How will you use them for a great cause?

   A Few Books To Discover 

A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises
5 of 5 stars
This book spoke to my heart and I enjoyed the words on the pages. It challenged me in some ways and it encouraged and inspired me deeply.
Fifteen Minutes
5 of 5 stars
Love this book and the message it brings!!! Fame is definitely not worth the cost!!! It’s a reminder that nothing is worth losing our faith in God.
5 of 5 stars
This book was definitely a great read! I can relate to Bailey in this book. It’s a similar journey I’m on. I’m in a place of transition and sense that God is about to do something new and is about to take me to a place where I have never been.
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Give Thanks In The Trials and Tests


It’s easy to give thanks when things are going good and smooth, but the true test of a thankful heart is giving thanks when we face all kinds of trials, tests, temptations and affliction. A good example of someone in the bible who had a thankful heart was Job. God blessed Job abundantly and when everything was taken away He still praised God. Below is a poem I wrote on thanksgiving.

With A Thankful Heart

With a thankful heart I lift my hands,

With a thankful heart I can dance.

With a thankful heart I praise you Lord,

With a thankful heart I adore.

With a thankful heart I look beyond the trials and tests I face,

With a thankful heart I know strength comes only by your grace.

With a thankful heart I long to know you more,

With a thankful heart I will soar.

With a thankful heart I seek your face,

With a thankful heart I love that secret place.

With a thankful heart that experiences hurt and pain,

With a thankful heart yet I will still praise.

I praise you Lord for all you have done,

I praise you Lord no matter what storm may come.

I lift my eyes to you with a thankful heart full of praise,

With a thankful heart who is totally amazed.

  ©2015 Crystal Holdipp    

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Crossroad…that place where there are signs pointing in different directions. We as humans think we know what’s best and what we should do. What if the way we think things should go will only lead us into ruin? God is patiently waiting for us to just do things according to His great Master directions. Yet we beg and plead and ignore what we need. What if it takes something crazy or troubling to cause us to see what we’ve been doing all along is not your complete picture and purpose. What if something is missing? Or if the storm is shaping us so that we can soar? Every time we try to deviate, the Father’s love still pours and gives us the chance to get back on the course. The intersection where we freely get to choose is where we learn to get so desperate for the Father and heed to His perfect will. What we see now is not all that will be as we continue on we will experience a great brawn. What will we choose? Which sign will you follow? What path will you take? It may seem like everything is at loss and toss, but soon enough there will be a magnificent cause. Pause, think, breath, look, listen and then move, groove and improve. Crossroad in the race is where we pace and lean and depend on that never-changing and everlasting grace.

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No Limits to Education!

With the internet a person can learn, study and research almost anything. Finances and other circumstances never have to stop us from at least learning what we want to. While traditional education has its good place and is beneficial to many, it’s not for everyone in every situation. Society may say that we have to do things a certain way in order to be successful. That’s far from the truth. The way in which we learn is not as important as learning what we need to learn. No learning path is better than the other, but like the saying goes “What works for one may not work for the other.” Both paid and free learning platforms such as The Writers Bureau, Alison, Udemy, HubSpot Academy and more have helped many to gain the skills and education in a non – traditional setting. My thoughts are that they can be a great avenue, but they also require discipline and perseverance. More frequently people of various ages are enrolling in online and distance studies while trying to get through their circumstances. Others may have no particular reason, but decide to do it anyway. Learn, learn, learn and learn some more! Whatever we learn, must also be applied. It’s a process all in applying what we learn. The start is to find out the best ways we learn, do it and work on applying it. There are no limits to education!

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Transition…that place between where you used to be and where you are heading. You’ve grown, but have not really experienced the wholeness of the picture and completeness. It often feels like a stuck place and a never ending cycle of the same things over and over. I find myself in a place of transition. Just wanting to get at a place of fulfillment. I have questions of why, what, when, where and how. That’s just me, I like to know and have my hand in it at the same time. I’m trying to just release everything in the Father’s hands. While in the in between place, there are lessons that have to be learned, healing that needs to take place and transformation evolving even when we don’t feel it, see it or sense it. So while in the making there are simple steps to take. Those steps are not about having the acceptance and affirmation of others, but hearing God’s voice and following His leading. What happens when you find yourself in a dry place? What happens when you seem so far away? There are times when others expect us to be strong and continue to go on. What happens when the doubts start screaming in your face and you’re in a breaking place and you long to embrace the grace? Seasons come and go, but God’s love is a constant flow. What happens when it seems like you’ve always experienced something? Every time you look you collide and crash and looking to get out in a haste. God knows all the whys, whens and hows. Suffering doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, but often is a confirmation that God has his hands on you. Transition often brings some shaking and waking. After shaking, the waking opens our eyes in only the way that will propel our lives.

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Learning Contentment

That feeling of dissatisfaction seeking deep within. The thoughts of needing to be further and lacking stick close to the mind. I have an overload of accomplishments, goals and experiences that I desire to meet. My age tells me I have a lot of time because I’m young.  Why does that urge tell me the sooner and quicker the better? Why do we put too many time deadlines on possibilities and potential? And allow it to drain, stain and remain. Yet through us God has accomplished and achieved things that many people do and reach at a much older age than us.  Discontentment reminds us once again about all the things that went wrong, have been a great challenge and struggle. Contentment where are you?  We should be happy, joyful and satisfied. Praying, but still feel like we are in a great enormous pit.

The bible clearly encourages us to be content in all circumstances. Although some of us may find it harder than others, it starts with resting with the Father and trusting Him every step of the way. It’s about putting our eyes on Him completely. Don’t get us wrong there are things we are thankful and grateful for, but then there is the comparisons, expectations, demands  from outward and within. Time is in God’s hands and if we really believe He has the best plan then we have to learn to accept that this mapped out life and self  pre – planned script is not what we need to cling on. I’m telling myself this. Learn to be content even in difficulty and with your disappointments.

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Embrace Your Artistry


I was walking home from town and as I was enjoying the walk, this lady that saw me grow up came in passing. She asked me, ‘Where are you working now?’ I told her that I’m just doing freelance writing part-time. Every time someone asks me are you working or something close to it, I have that dread feeling of discontent. The lady stopped me in my tracks and poured lots of encouragement and wisdom on me. Little did I know my walk home would lead me on a message concerning the art and beauty within me. This messenger encouraged me to dig deeper with my writing and to explore art more. She built me up with words that there is a lot within me and that I need to not focus on what’s going on around me. As she continued in her words, she told me not to think lowly of myself because I’m not doing the traditional living of where people expect us to be and how we should do things. Once again I was encouraged to create my own establishment of art.

Some may not know, but I’ve been interested in and explored various kinds of art. Art such as performing arts, fine arts and writing. Being creative is beautiful! We should never be ashamed of our artistry and we must learn to embrace it. Regardless of our circumstances.  Art is beauty within that sparkles outwardly in many forms. What art do have in you? Are you embracing the artistry within? Sometimes we wait to see what happens or we may have a lack of courage or motivation because of what we think we don’t have. With God we have everything that we could have never imagined. Taking small steps and then bigger ones will lead us on a brighter path. There is no limit to our art! Embrace your artistry!

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Life is a Classroom

sky and line

Life is like a classroom ready to explore. The lessons are often a variety. Some softer and others more tougher to swallow. It’s up to us to digest and take it in. Learning comes in many forms and sizes and education expands beyond a traditional setting. What are we willing to learn in this journey? Or do we secretly wish that we already had all sorts of things in it’s place and everything worked out. It was never meant to have it figured out, but to trust more, obey the leader of all leaders. Timing in life is a beat of a rhythm we learn. When, where, what and how. The clouds are not fatal, but a clear instrument to brighter days. The sunrises are  with a refreshing of a new day and the sunsets teach us the calmness and need to reflect and recharge to prepare for what’s ahead. We have a map, compass and guide. Let’s learn in this classroom of life and keep trying in the midst of what seems like a never ending fight.