Beautifully Unconventional

Tam Hodge. Jenni Clayville.

If you never get the privilege of spending even 5 minutes with these 2 women in real life… you will have lived an unfulfilled life.


I can’t believe there was a time in history when the internet and technology were not a part of our lives. Some people say that the internet and all of this social media mumbo-jumbo is creating fake intimacy. Fake relationships.

But I say to you now… just look.

Without blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. I would not even be in Portland this weekend. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak at an up and coming church plant and minister into the lives of people. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience worship with Jenni, Tam, Brent and Kass. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet Brian and experience his crazy awesome organic cooking. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to hold, cuddle and nibble on 2 of the cutest kids ever. I wouldn’t have met Lauren Allen, Tyler & Rose Braun, Mandy Conforth, Melanie Sainz, or Rick & his wife. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity for Kota to fart on me (okay, so I could have done without that last one).

Because of this crazy world (that is getting smaller and smaller each day through technology), I have a whole other family. Real relationships and real friendships, that even 5-10 years ago… would have been impossible to create.

My life has actually been changed and impacted for the better because of the people I have met through the internet (via lifegroup online, twitter, my blog community, my book site, etc). I think about all of the people I met this weekend and as well as people like Diane and David who are seriously the most generous and prayerful people I know, Christy who is darn near my personal therapist at times and Lynse Stevens who is one of my biggest encouragers.

And there’s so many more people that I can’t even begin to name everyone. I can’t imagine my life without them in it or what it would have been like to never have met them.

This is Church. This is life.

I know it is unconventional. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.



  1. Looks like you are having an amazing time! haha I may have an unfulfilled life if I don’t get off of this island more!

  2. Unconventional is the new conventional anyway 🙂

    Love you guys – we will meet (in the conventional sense) soon. I’m a prophet you know.

  3. I feel so blessed to have met you too Crystal! You are an amazing woman, and are impacting women all over the world. I feel privileged to have been in your presence this weekend. THANK YOU.

  4. Tina

    You said it well Miss Crystal! See you soon…we need to plan another time out. (Time out….I like it)Later!

  5. Crystal Renaud

    @Anne, absolutely. but without the internet, i wouldn’t even know them. that’s what i’m saying.

  6. tam

    jenni – shut up.

    whats up with my husband in that pic???

    crystal – i love you!

  7. I ♥ You.

    And seriously chatting with you is a pleasure….it is fun to be real with someone 🙂

    And I am so glad you are having such a blast on your trip!!

    I think we should see what the halfway point between David and Diane and the US is and we should all meet there! LGO Field Trip! Whoohoo 🙂

    Just an idea 😉

  8. I believe Kiribati (pronouced Kirra-bus…yeah, I know) is approx half way from the US to Oz…

    Or … Hawaii would do fine 🙂

  9. Really glad we were able to meet Crystal. Hope you enjoyed your time here. At least the weather was beyond perfect.

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