Dear kids: We’ll look back on these days and miss them

Dear kids,

We’re driving each other crazy and loving each other like crazy. While we have no known end date to this quarantine, I’m pretty sure we’ll look back on this time and miss it. 

We’ll miss sleeping in and staying in our PJs, working on your chromebooks on the couch, zoom calls with your teacher, playing old fashioned games, enjoying dance parties, playing Nintendo Switch, taking walks as a family with the dog, baking 5 batches of cookies in a day, Facetiming your family and friends, and really having nothing to do or anywhere to go.

We’ll miss not having a schedule filled with activities, school functions, demands, responsibilities, doctor appointments, and more. We’ll miss the quantity of time together. I know we will even if we’re not thinking about it now.

It’s not that we didn’t do all those special things before. We’ve always valued our family time. But now more than ever we have to be together. It’s the memories we’re making.

I couldn’t believe the other day when I saw how much you all have grown – seeing your growth from the beginning of the year in our photos on iCloud. My draw dropped. In this time, you’ll go up a pant size, maybe two. Lose more of those wiggly teeth and tell me you need new shoes. You’ll eat me out of the house like you always do.

During this time, you’ll mature even more. It will go fast– it always does. Even though the days are long, the years fly by.

So, until then, I’ll keep documenting our days. Praying for sanity. And trying not to take all God has given for granted. I’ll try to cherish these moments as much as I can. 

When the house is empty one day, I know I’ll give anything to go back to the days when your fingerprints were all over the front glass door, the floors were sticky and messy, and your presence was right within my reach and I could control where you were. 

These coming weeks and months will go down in history, and in the memory books of our family. Let’s keep persevering through this pandemic and savoring this time together. 

I love you,

Mom

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagramand Facebook.


Take heart, He has overcome the world…


So much has changed in our country and world in just a matter of days. You may be feeling enormous amounts of stress and anxiety when you think about your own future, perhaps in your business, work, health, relationships, and more. These are stressful times right now and let me just say: You may need to have a good, ugly cry. I did last night while watching Fox News reports. 

Yesterday, my heart ached as my family and I were in Kearney, Nebraska for a quick get-away and you can just see the sadness on people’s faces at restaurants. I gasped when I stared in the windows at Starbucks and no bodies were in the chairs enjoying coffee and conversation.  And just last night the Governor of Colorado announced the new mandate for public areas that impact our little town too. I’m sure by the time this post is published, new laws will be in place.

You and I are looking at an unseen future and who knows what the aftermath will be like? 

But rest assured as a believer in Christ, you don’t have to live in a state of panic, worry, and fear. You have a great hope and future awaiting you – one day God is going to restore all that’s been corrupted and broken. He promises to make all things new. We’re living in the “in-between” where sickness, sin, and death remain. But this won’t be forever and what’s going on in our world are the aches and labor pains until Jesus returns. 

The end of our story isn’t darkness and death, it’s glorious and beautiful redemption. That doesn’t mean we won’t have to go through suffering, trials, and tribulations on this side of heaven. We will. We are right now. But he’s promised to never leave us in our pain and trials. 

A verse that has given me great comfort in this time is John 16:33: 

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is bigger than anything you face here on earth. He knows you’ll endure tribulation but he is still here. He has overcome the whole world. Your heart can rest easy knowing He is sovereign and fully aware of what’s playing out – even if it’s scary when the shelves are bare and your whole life has been put on hold. 

Not only that, there are also many other people feeling the same as you – loaded down with heavy anxiety and needing comfort and assurance. You’re not alone in your heartaches. 

In times like these, we need one another even more. We know we can’t socially isolate spiritually. We need one another to bear our burdens, share our struggles, pray with and for, and encourage daily. Spiritual isolation is not our friend. We need to lock hands even more in helping one another especially the vulnerable and elderly. It’s our time to step up to the plate and make sacrifices with our time and resources. 

So, let’s lean on each other and find ways to tangibly help our neighbor, family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s get our eyes off ourselves and go be the hands and feet of Christ. 

Taking heart with you,

Samantha

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


Dear Leader: It’s not your job to make everybody happy


Certain personality types easily cave in to people pleasing – mine being one of them. I desire to be liked by others. I don’t like to upset the apple cart or challenge anyone. I’m not a fan of conflict so I probably shouldn’t be on a board. Deep within, I desire to make people happy.

Yet, I know this way of living is entirely impossible. Because the truth is, I’m not responsible for everybody’s happiness. Steve Jobs said it best: 

“If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.”

I read in a recent article that 10% of every organization or church consists of unhappy people. And often that 10% is very vocal making it seem like more people are frustrated than what’s reality. When a church or organization is thriving and everything is smooth sailing, it’s rare people will email or call and say, “I just love being here… Thank you for being so incredibly awesome…” 

Take your phone, for example, you are highly unlikely to email Samsung or Apple and tell them how amazing your Galaxy or iPhone is and how they aid in your productivity and communication abilities every day. You’re more likely to gripe and complain when you have a grievance or problem needing to be solved. 

In whatever capacity you lead people, rest assured, you’ll have unhappy campers. Some people are skilled in finding thorns among the roses – I mean, they’re pros at this. So, how do you move forward when a percentage of people don’t like you or something you’ve done? 

  1. In opposition, remain faithful to your calling. You know you were created to lead. It won’t be easy, but your responsibility is to be faithful in what God gives you. Even in all your gifts and talents, you’ll screw up sometimes. You’ll fail. You’ll let others down. But your greatest success will come from staying faithful to the end and not quitting when it gets muddy.

2. Forgive major and minor offenses. Easier said than done right? You’ve got that right. In Scripture, Matthew 18 commands you and me to forgive others and what it does to our soul when we choose not to – our souls will be tormented from within. Bitterness is too high of a price to pay when we don’t forgive those who’ve hurt us. Jesus desires for us to be set free.

At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. (Matthew 18: 21-22, MSG)


3. Remember leadership is a call to be lonely. Some days, the conflict you’re in won’t be resolved. The people are still difficult and it’s all you can do to get out of bed and lead again. But the call to lead is also a call to loneliness at times. Not everyone will understand the choices and decisions you make for your company, organization, or church. But at the end of the day, you can rest in peace knowing you did what was best for those you lead, even if you’re alone in an important decision.

4. Hold tight to the truth that you simply weren’t born to please others. As I mentioned, people-pleasing is a vice of mine. But I know it’s not right. It’s impossible. It’s ungodly. You and I will never be able to please everybody. We cannot live our lives in fear of what others think of us or don’t think. We live to please God alone, and He’s enough. What he thinks of us matters most. Your joy and peace matter to him too.

Some days, I’m sure you’d rather sell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, but don’t forget this world needs you and your gifts. And one thing I know is true: Everybody needs a good leader to follow.

Blessings,

Samantha

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


A friend who tells you the truth is better than a friend who flatters


Thrive Conference – Omaha Nebraska – Lysa Terkeurst

Recently I traveled to Omaha with my friends Jonetta and Casey for a women’s conference. After the conference was over we ventured to the mall taking advantage of our kid-free time. Besides, we “needed” new jeans. 

As we walked into the clothing store we were approached by a spunky, tall, brunette, spiral-haired young woman who was on a mission. Her name tag read Tessa.

“What can I help you, ladies, with?” she asked.

“Jeans,” we said in unison.

“Ok, let’s see what we can find.” She looked at Casey without asking for her size and went to get her several pairs to try on. I was immediately confused.

“You can just look at us and guess what size we are?” I asked Tessa when she came back.

“Yep! I’ve been doing this for a long time and I can tell you right now your jeans are too big for you,” she said.

“Wait, what?” I said, my jeans fit fine. 

She proceeded to bring out a bunch of pairs that made me gasp when I looked at the tag.

“Trust me on this,” she said. 

My eyes grew wide and I shut the dressing room door. Tessa wanted to see every pair I tried on. She told me which ones fit well and which ones didn’t. Eventually, I showed her a pair I thought might work according to her standards (not mine).

“Um, those look amazing on you!” she said. 

“Really?” I said, “Well, they feel really tight.”

“Yeah, our jeans stretch as you move around in them. It’s important to remember that,” she said. “It’s best to go one size down.”

Jonetta and Casey looked at me and agreed they looked much better than my old saggy pair. I was elated and sweaty from changing so many times. When Jonetta took a photo on my phone, that sealed the deal. They were right. The jeans looked so much better. 

I was thankful Tessa was straightforward. I’d never had a sales clerk like her. We left the store with new jeans in our bags and big smiles on our faces.

That experience taught me the importance of honesty. Tessa could have lied and told me the more expensive brand she had as an option looked the best, but she didn’t. When I walked into the store, she didn’t have to share her honest feelings about my present clothing condition, but she was there to help. 

I was able to find a pair that was reasonably priced and she didn’t please me with flattery to make me feel good. I thanked her repeatedly for it. 

Proverbs 29:23 says, “Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.”

A friend who corrects us is considered wiser than one who lavishes insincere praise and compliments upon us. We can trust someone who’s willing to tell us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear. We’ll get further in life with correction and loving rebuke.

Scripture teaches us that the person who’s favored is the one who’s corrected, not the person who’s flattered– opposite of what we might think.

Sure, it hurts to be told the truth sometimes. It stings and crushes our pride. It doesn’t feel good. But if you have someone in your life who loves you enough to be completely genuine, consider yourself doubly blessed. They’ve got your back. They won’t let you walk out the door with spinach in your teeth or let you say something stupid that could ruin your relationships. Their sincerity just might keep you out of future hurt and pain.

You need friends who’ll check in to see how you’re really doing. Friends who’ll ask the hard questions about how you’re treating your spouse, kids, co-workers, and more. Friends who have permission to lovingly call you out when you’re in the wrong. Friends who’ll pray over the deep, dark areas you struggle in – not to judge but to support. Friends who’ll tell you when you’re not thinking clearly. 

That’s a friend who truly loves you.

After that shopping experience, I’ll take the truth any day over flattery if it makes me a better person … and … helps me fit into the right pair of jeans!

Blessings,

Samantha

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


Dear Husband, Let’s Show Our Kids What Love Looks Like – Her View From Home

This past week, the winds and rain have threatened the oneness and unity in our marriage and home like never before. They came without warning.

Why do we fight like we’re against each other, instead of for one another?

We know the truth. We know better, but sometimes emotions fly too high and we act like children.

Our sinful natures can be so nasty, but I want you to know I’m sorry for not building up our home. I’ve torn it down with my selfishness, disrespect, careless words, nagging attitude, and resentment.

Our uncontrolled yelling has affected our children negatively, too. They understand much more than we give them credit. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The choice is up to us…

Continue Reading my article this week over on Her View From Home

{Christian Inspirational Gifts Product Review} – The Commandment Co.


I’m excited about today’s product review and giveaway. The Commandment Co. is a Christian inspirational gift company based in sunny Singapore. Their business was birthed from the desire to provide personalized designs and gifts that encompass God’s love and truth in order to inspire others. They’re passionate about being an inspiration and encouragement to someone who is struggling, in need, or just feeling tired and weary.

I recently received a shipment and I love what I received. Their products are high quality design and they fulfill what they claim. If you’re looking for unique gifts for your loved ones and friends, but also want to encourage them in their faith, I highly recommend ordering from them online at www.thecommandment.com

You’ll enjoy just looking through their collection. It’s beautiful.

Please note: when you order, ** you will receive 10% off at checkout with the Promo Code name: SAMANTHA10 

The products featured in the image to your left include a floral necklace (Grace), a mint green planner perfect for your purse or handbag, and a bright-colored floral pen/pencil pouch (“Your Grace is Sufficient for Me”).

Learn More about their work and follow them on – www.facebook.com/TheCommandmentCo 

www.instagram.com/TheCommandmentCo

Again, to Order Online remember:

– Promo code name: SAMANTHA10
– Period of the promotion: 2 months from the post
– Promotion for using your code: 10%
– Company URL: https://thecommandment.com/

Blessings,

Samantha

20 Easy and Fun Fall Activities for Your Family

“Fall is in the air and on the ground” is what Amelia Bedelia says in my 8-year-old daughter’s favorite Autumn-themed book: Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie. Like me, she loves all things fall.

In our family, welcoming this season is a big deal. Not just because we have four birthdays to celebrate in October (gasp!), but because it’s our favorite season of the year. Trees are bursting in color and vibrancy, pumpkin spiced lattes fill the air at local coffee shops, pumpkin patches await excited children and adults, chili and bonfires warm your insides, football games are in full swing, and so much more.

Fall is the perfect season to savor memories with your family. Here are 20 activities I hope will help make this autumn season the best it can be for your family.

20 Easy & Fun Fall Activities for Your Family

  1. Rake leaves into piles. Kids will rake and play in the leaves for hours. Be sure to relive your childhood and jump in the leaves with them.

 

  1. Roast pumpkin seeds. After pumpkin carving, have your kids’ google recipes for the seeds. You can find all kinds of sweet or salty recipes. Roasted seeds are a yummy and healthy snack.

 

  1. Host a backyard dinner party. Play some relaxing music. Make a bulk soup or chili. Put up some lights and invite your friends.

  1. Collect acorns and leaves. Have your kids make a craft out of their nature collection and help them hot glue their findings to a canvas or construction paper.

 

  1. Go to the library and check out Autumn-themed Children’s books. There are so many adorable and beautifully illustrated books. Get in the spirit and read them each night to your kids.

 

  1. Stop at a roadside farm stand. Buy local and take your time exploring the names of all the different apples, berries, and produce. Talk to your kids about the hard work required for a bountiful harvest and how you’re enjoying the fruit of the labor.

 

  1. Go on a nature walk. Play the game “I Spy” with your kids and have them find something interesting. Talk about the changes taking place on the trees.

 

  1. Surprise friends with pumpkins wrapped in a ribbon on their porch. Our friends did this for us one year and we loved it. Let your friends know you’re thinking of them.

 

  1. Schedule a professional photo session. You might as well get a head start on your Christmas card and utilize the colorful backdrops in nature. Plan while most photographers aren’t swamped in holiday sessions.

 

  1. Make home-made chili. Chili recipes are endless. There are so many variations and anyone on a diet can find a recipe they can eat. Don’t forget the cornbread or cinnamon rolls as a side.

 

 11. Bake pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My girls made pumpkin pie with me the other day and they loved the process from mixing, baking, and waiting for it to set. They ate it for the next few days and want to make more!

 

  1. Take a trip to Hobby Lobby. Get inspired by filling your home with cozy fall décor. Have your kids pick out a fall craft.

 

  1. Print photos off your phone and send them to Grandparents. If you’re like me, you’re probably due for sending photos of the kids to your parents.Send them your fall photos with a sweet card in the mail.

 

  1. Make an autumn-inspired wreath. Pinterest has endless ideas for DIY wreaths that look tasteful and are easy to make.

 

  1. Gather friends together to watch your favorite football team. Make some appetizers and enjoy the game days together. It’s even more fun when your teams are rivals.

 

  1. Host a cookie exchange. Last year, I made invitations on PicMonkey.com, texted moms to meet at my house and bring their favorite fall inspired goodie. We had a blast exchanging sweets and talking over coffee and cider.

 

  1. Decorate your Pumpkins. Kids love being creative with their pumpkins. You can paint them, put glitter on them, spray paint them, draw faces with markers, put string for hair on them, write sayings with gold sharpies, and more. Kick it up a notch!

 

  1. Make a gratitude tree. Have your kids cut out a tree with paper, draw and cut out leaves and put what they are thankful for on each leaf. Tape it on the wall in your kitchen or living room to see each day.

 

  1. Fill mason jars or glass hurricane jars with candy corn. Set an LED candle or artificial flowers on top. It’s a cheap and easy way to decorate your house and get in the spirit.

 

  1. Build a blanket fort. While the weather is so pleasant, have your kids collect blankets or sheets to make a fort outside. Play with them and serve hot chocolate or chai tea. I guarantee you they will love it!

 

Which number would you like to attempt first? I’m going for #13!

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, KirkCameron.com, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

Subscribe to SamanthaKrieger.com & receive weekly encouragement:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Dear sons: This is how real young men use their hands

The news right now is absolutely heart-wrenching. And it’s not just news for many people- it’s hell on earth for those living the nightmare. Young men are destroying the gift of life God created – in bars, schools, neighborhoods, churches, Walmart, and more. They’re murdering the innocent with their very own hands. It is saddening. It is sickening. It is pure evil.

These are the days you’re growing up in, son. It breaks my heart, and I want you to know how serious it is that you be a young man who uses his hands wisely and carefully. That you will be a young man who understands that your actions have consequences. That the choices you make matter not only to you but to others.

Please hear me. You’ve been called to so much more. You are a young man with responsibilities, talents, and gifts. How you use your hands means everything. How you use your hands can set the very course of your whole entire life.

Real young men use their hands to build up, and not tear down.

When you see others using their hands to abuse, intimidate, bully, or attempt to kill the life of another, don’t coward in fear but confront the terror and fight for those who can’t help themselves. Use your hands to be a strong defender amid chaos and despair.

Real young men use their hands to persevere.

No man will ever be perfect. What’s important is that you’re falling forward, you’re persevering through trials, conflict, adversity, blood, sweat, and tears. You’re not allowing life’s let-downs and disappointments to keep you down, but you’re pushing through the aches and pains.

Real young men stretch out their hands to help another and ask for help themselves.

You will need help sometimes. It’s okay to ask for it. At some point in your life, you will be in the right place at the right time and it will be up to you to make a difference. People will need your strong hands, wisdom, and tender heart. They’ll need someone to follow who is choosing the right way. Show them where to go.

Real young men use their hands to create, dream, and inspire.

God gave you hands to work them diligently. Use them to dream big goals. Don’t settle for small-minded thinking. Use your hands to create a masterpiece and a better life for someone else. Use them to inspire the hurting and broken world around you.

“Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace.” – Prov 12:20

I love you so much,

Mama

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, KirkCameron.com, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

Subscribe to SamanthaKrieger.com & receive weekly encouragement:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Top Summer Survival Tips for Moms with Kids at Home

It was only a matter of minutes of school being out for summer that my kids began fighting. One declared, “Stop looking at me!” to the other across the kitchen table. I knew it was going to be a long summer, so I began planning in my mind what we’d stay busy with for sanity’s sake. 

Two weeks in, I can say we’re surviving even though mornings are challenging with their fighting and name-calling. I’ve already implemented several of the suggestions below and they’ve brought more joy to our summer. I hope these can spark ideas and provide encouragement for your family’s summer break too!

Top Summer Survival Tips for Moms with Kids at Home:

1. Give yourself loads of grace and patience. This is at the top for a reason. Moms don’t just carry a lot of laundry in the summer, but guilt too. Be sure to extend grace to yourself every day.

2.  Plan one outing a day. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and then everyone is in a better mood when you return. 

3.  Utilize paper plates and cups. Sure, it costs extra and creates more trash, but this will help you tremendously when you’re making breakfast, lunch, and dinner all summer long. 

4.  When it’s possible, separate yourself from the noise and chaos. Because if you don’t, you’ll be drowning in it. Allow yourself space each day from your kids and from one another. 

5.  Treat yourself to self-care. Schedule a massage or manicure, go for a walk, go to the chiropractor- whatever it is that you enjoy, take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty. 

6.  Don’t reward your kids with TV shows or electronics until they’ve cleaned their rooms and picked up after themselves. Then let screen time be their reward.

7.  Have a family movie night. Choose one child a week to pick that night’s movie. Pop popcorn and enjoy resting on the couch together out of the hot sun.

8.  Make root beer floats or ice cream sundaes. Sometimes a “hey kids, let’s get in the car and go get some ice-cream” really lightens the mood and helps them savor summer. Don’t be afraid to finish their cones either! 

9.  Allow yourself to adjust physically and emotionally. Don’t forget that a new schedule takes adjusting especially to the longer days. Let your body get adjusted physically, but especially emotionally. 

10.  Invite friends over for backyard water play. It’s easy to become isolated from others, but what makes summer the most fun is being with friends. Set up the sprinkler, pool, or slip-n-slide and cut up a watermelon.

11.  Text the babysitter and prioritize date night. All the more as you’re with your kids 24/7 make the time to be with your husband and enjoy the warmer evenings out together.

12.  Host a garage sale for extra cash. We did this last weekend and it was a blast meeting neighbors and bringing in extra cash. We made money off baking cookies too.

13.  Attend a friend’s swim meet or a baseball game. Encourage your kids’ friends who are in sports by attending their events and cheering them on. 

14. Put your exercise routine first. Summer doesn’t always provide a strict, set routine so be sure to put your exercise routine as a priority. You’ll feel better when you sweat and release endorphins. 

15.  Remember your girlfriends. Your friends are most likely going through much of what you are and need encouragement too. Grab coffee together, plan a girls night out, and treasure your friendship.

16.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some days, you’re just going to need a helping hand. Ask friends or family for help so you can run an errand or have some quiet time. 

17.  Host a lawn party with your neighbors. Print out invitations and invite everyone on your block to bring a chair, side dish, and gather around your lawn.

18.  Sign up your kids for Vacation Bible School (VBS) or local camps. I know moms that sign their kids up for multiple VBS programs at churches in their town. There’s no shame in that! Let them have fun, learn about Jesus, and get their energy out. 

19. Schedule a professional photo session. Summer is the perfect time for family photos shoots. No one is shivering from the cold in the photos, you’ll have your summer tan, and evening golden hour is just breathtaking. 

20.  Put your kids in a sports activity. Our kids have loved the Holyoke Summer Swim Club. They practice for one hour a day with meets on the weekends and it’s been a lifesaver. Sign your kids up for a sport they enjoy and watch them grow.

21.  Create a family photo book of your favorite summer memories. I love using Blurb.com, Shutterfly.com, or Walgreens one-hour photo for reasonably priced books. Apps like Chatbooks will even sync your Facebook and Instagram photos and send you a book automatically in the mail. My kids love flipping through the books and seeing themselves.

22. Write cards of encouragement. What child doesn’t love to draw and color? Have your kids sit at the table and write notes to loved ones and friends. Have them label and stamp the cards themselves to put in the mail. They can anticipate a letter in return.

23.  Focus on training your children in conflict resolution. Summer is a great time for training as you have more time together, thus more conflict. Look for teachable moments in times of frustration, fighting, and anger. 

24.  Give your children more responsibility. Can they feed someone’s cat or dog? Mow the lawn? Make cookies? Ride their bikes in the neighborhood? Help an elderly person with chores? Give them opportunities to take ownership and feel useful.

25.  Give them the freedom to use their imagination in nature. Hit nature trails together, swim in the lake, have them play on dirt piles, build forts, collect bugs, climb trees, or play flashlight tag in the dark.

26. Don’t guilt yourself about screen time. The reality is that sometimes mama just needs a break and pressing play to a movie is a sweet relief to all. 

27.  Go to a craft store and let your kids pick out a project. They can paint a wooden birdhouse or jewelry box, paint a canvas, bead jewelry, create a wreath, and more. 

28.  Sell cold lemonade with friends. On a hot summer day, people will stop for an ice cold cup of lemonade. It allows your kids to serve and make some cash. Don’t forget umbrellas for shade! 

29.  Roast marshmallows and make S’mores in the backyard. Walmart has even done the work for you. Yesterday I passed a whole aisle dedicated to graham crackers, marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate bars, and lighters. 

30.  Go out to eat one night a week. This will get you out of the house with no kitchen clean up.

Embrace the time with your kids as much as you can in this special season. The days at home are long but summer is short and before you know it, you’ll be school supply shopping again (how many of you moms are saying, Hallelujah?!). 

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to SamanthaKrieger.com & receive weekly encouragement:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

 

Consumed by People Pleasing? Live for This “Yes” Instead

Recently, a friend who I admire, and respect asked about my interest in helping with a project. After we talked a bit, I knew in my heart I wasn’t comfortable with it. I needed to be honest about how I felt, so I said:

“No, I’m sorry. I don’t think I’m the best person for that. Do you think someone else may be interested?”

My friend said it was fine and she’d ask another, but after we got off the phone, I replayed our conversation in my mind. I worried about what she thought of me. Was I not being a good sister in Christ? Did I hurt her feelings? Should I have told her yes?

I replayed our conversation over and over to the point of getting a headache. Yet I knew I didn’t feel comfortable with the request. I’d already said no, but I was still caving toward people pleasing.

A futile attempt

It’s amazing the tendency to people please or say “yes” to something we don’t really feel led to do. People pleasing has been a sin struggle I’ve dealt with most of my life. It shows itself in different forms: a constant need for approval, acceptance, a desire to be well-liked, and obsession over what people think.

In the past few years, I’ve been more awakened by my sin and have asked the Lord to change me in the process. I’ve learned that I can say “no” kindly and not have to give an excuse. I can say no to good things in order to say yes to the most important: my relationship with Jesus, husband, and children. I can be confident in how God has uniquely made me. And much more.

The truth is that it’s futile to seek out glory, honor, or approval from others instead of the Lord. It’s quite exhausting and leaves you feeling emptier. No number of likes, followers, or “you’re doing a great job!” can replace what our hearts ultimately need in Christ.

Winning the approval of God

The Apostle Paul knew that pleasing men and pleasing God was impossible. He could not do both and be a servant of Christ. To be a servant of Christ meant that his one mission in life was to live for God’s will and glory alone, as he says:

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

If others were not handling the gospel properly or living according to God’s ways, Paul couldn’t flip flop his position based on their opinions or feelings. He had to remain steadfast on the word of God.

Crazy Calling?

Now if we’re honest, we know this isn’t always easy. Family, friendships, parenting, work relationships and more can make this tendency towards wanting to please others really sticky. Our dear friends Jay and Julia recently left for the mission field thousands of miles away with their six kids and we saw the tension it created in their family at the beginning. God’s calling on them was to serve an unreached people group where only 1% call themselves Christian.

Their news was difficult for her parents and sister to swallow- not being able to see their grandkids and worrying about their safety were just a few concerns. It’s been hard for them. Sacrifices have been made and many tears shed.

But while some might call this “yes” crazy, I’ve seen Jay and Julia walk in radical obedience to the Lord (even when it doesn’t always feel good) and it’s been such an encouragement to my faith. They live their life to please Jesus alone. He’s the one getting them through the adjustments and enormous culture and lifestyle changes. He’s taking care of them. God has also given their family in the states greater peace.

You can’t please everyone, and that’s OK

Whether it’s a simple no to a request as mentioned at the beginning of this article or a real gospel issue, the Lord will take care of us. He will see us through. We are his servants. We worship him and submit our lives under his reign and authority – not ourselves or other people. We must be willing to say yes to whatever he’s calling us to do.

You and I can’t please everyone, and that’s ok. It was never intended to be that way. But to be a servant of Christ, we’re called to please him alone.

God desires to give us his joy, peace, satisfaction, and an abundant life when we repent of this constant need to live for the approval of others. He wants us to be free to worship him and live in the calling he has placed on our lives. And make no mistake—it’s a special and unique calling, and it requires a daily effort of realigning our hearts to his.

Is your heart fully devoted to Him?

 

Blessings,

Samantha

** This article first appeared on Kirk Cameron’s TheCourage.com

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to SamanthaKrieger.com & receive weekly encouragement:

Delivered by FeedBurner