Dear Daughter, Your Servant Heart is so Beautiful

Recent published work on Her View From Home

We were cooking in the kitchen the other day and daddy said, “Man, I’m thirsty.” Without saying a word, you walked over to the fridge and dispensed the ice and water into a stainless steel cup for him.

“Here you go, daddy,” you handed over the cup smiling. It made his day that you thought of him.

When I was a substitute teacher at your school last week, I saw how you helped your classmate with a math problem and included friends from all backgrounds on the playground. At lunch, you listened as your friends shared stories and your laughter brightened my day. 

Your selfless love for others inspires me to be a better wife, mom, and friend. Putting others first doesn’t always come natural for any of us.

The way you care for your pets and feed the animals shows responsibility, compassion, and careful attention to them. You love them unconditionally just as they love you. You share them with others so they can experience the joy of those furry creatures too.

This world will tell you beauty and worth is found in long eyelashes, full lips, a flawless face, the number in your bank account, who you’re friends with, which designer brands you wear, and more. But it goes deeper than that.

Selfless love for others is what makes a young woman so incredibly attractive. A considerate young woman shows …

** Continue Reading over on Her View From Home

I’m thankful for a God Who Knows What He’s Doing

A letter to God – written recently for Her View From Home

Dear God, I’m weary in the waiting, but you know exactly what you’re doing.

Right now, my husband and I need you to show us what’s next. I know your plan is always right and good, but I’m growing weary in this waiting period. 

Close family and friends are asking, “What’s next?” Their words are the exact echo of my heart. Sometimes it’s difficult responding, “We’re still in the process,” because I like answers now. But often, you don’t work on my timetable.

I’m anticipating the next place we can put down roots and start fresh. We’ve been interviewing, praying, sitting in silence, interviewing more, flying to new places, and meeting new people. It’s been exciting and exhausting. 

We’ve only heard no through every door we’ve encountered so far, and we believe you don’t want us to settle. We’re waiting for your yes, the precious place and people who you have prepared for us.

Right now, I need strength and perseverance to trust you with the nos. Hope to press on toward your yes.

I know real strength and power come from your hands. I trust you to provide a 2021 miracle. I know many people are asking the same.

Please keep my marriage strong under the weight of these pressures. Show my children they’re loved even when our situation feels unstable and unsettling. Give us moments of encouragement and laughter when it’s frustrating. Help me to smile in the suffering and work with my husband, and not against him.

I’m so thankful you know… ** Continue Reading over on Her View From Home.

Dear Son: Here’s what Daddy is really building when he uses his hands

We stood in the barn the other day and daddy was building handcrafted tables for a friend’s living room. With each stroke of the brush, you watched his hands moving back and forth. 

“That smells so good!” you exclaimed as he varnished the wood. Soon enough, you asked for the brush.

You see, daddy uses his hands to provide for our family so you can have your chocolate milk, extra cheesy goldfish, spaghetti and meatballs, trains, clothes, and a warm room to sleep in every night. He works hard to give you a full life.

Often, his labor results in bruises and cuts and you run to the house and grab the Star Wars bandages. After a long day, sometimes daddy goes to bed shortly after you. He knows that the good things you get to enjoy don’t magically fall from the sky.  

When daddy’s out in the barn, he’s using his gifts and making our town a better place. He’s providing a side table for a mama to set her coffee mug down while she kicks up her worn feet in the chair. He’s creating a farm table for gatherings so people can draw closer to one another and connect. He’s making shelves to help someone’s life become less chaotic and more organized. He’s providing a rustic entryway piece to rest a picture frame on that keeps a loved one’s memory alive.

Daddy places your little hands above his when using the mitre saw and lets you measure the different boards and pieces. He finds joy knowing one day you’ll have the necessary training and tools to help your future family and make a difference in your sphere of influence. Above all, he loves teaching you about Jesus and helping you grow.

He’s helping build bridges in the lives of others- not barriers. And one day, son, I believe you’ll do the same. No matter what kind of work you choose to do, my prayer is you’ll be a man who leaves the world better than you found it, who’ll use your gifts to be a builder. 

Build relationships within the family God gives you. Build in a way that’ll help others find rest, connect more deeply, and treasure the relationships in their lives.

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 has appeared on The Today Show, Her View from Home, Cafe Mom, and Love What Matters. You can follow her work on Instagram and Facebook.

No Matter What’s Happening to You and Around You this Christmas, He says, “Come”

In October, I turned 38! Gasp. I loved the sign Jeremiah picked out. Pretty appropriate.

I was irritable, moody, exhausted, and needed quiet. Between getting BLT’s on the table, breaking up fights, one unhappy child, meeting deadlines, and ensuring the kids were doing their online schooling assignments, I yelled and screamed at my kids from yet another heated argument they got into over someone breathing on them.

I needed to press the restart button to the day and it wasn’t even 10:00 am. The dog and cat even looked at me like I was slightly crazy. The load was so heavy that day, I couldn’t carry it. I’d been handed more than I could chew. 

Perhaps, you’ve been there before or are presently bogged down in your overwhelming circumstances – maybe not with raising young children but with caring for a loved one, waiting for a new job, watching a friend suffer, strained relationships, dealing with a difficult spouse, feeling unstable in today’s world, and more. 

I don’t know about you, but unstable circumstances sure reveal my brokenness and need for Jesus. My sinful nature that creeps in so ugly sometimes reminds me of my humanity. I can’t do life alone. I can’t make it without Jesus or others by my side. 

Our new cat, “JAK”

I realize my utmost need for Christ is what Christmas is all about. Christmas shouts to you and me, “Come.” To those who are needy; and that’s all of us no matter how good we look on the outside or the raw emotions hiding behind a smile. 

God sent his son Jesus into the world knowing exactly our poor condition. He knew you and I were broken and needed rescuing, a complete regeneration of our hearts. He knew the world was dark. Yet, he came anyway. He came for the unfaithfulness, insecurity, bitterness, fear, doubt, and more that invades our hearts more than we like to admit. 

He came right into the mess of our lives to reveal the mystery of his great love. He came into the darkness as the Light – as your light today. Trust him when he says, “Come.” He will be everything you need in life’s struggles. He will be all you need when your heart is hurting.

O come, all you unfaithful
Come, weak and unstable
Come, know you are not alone

O come, barren and waiting ones
Weary of praying, come
See what your God has done

Christ is born for you

O come, bitter and broken
Come with fears unspoken
Come, taste of His perfect love (
Sovereign Grace Music)


Blessings to 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 Instagramand Facebook.

When you’re afraid to ask God for good gifts

The other night before bed, I laid down with my oldest daughter Rebekah and I wrestled with a question: “Does God desire to give us good gifts?”

I thought about all the good gifts I want to give Rebekah as my child. And it was as if a light bulb went off in my heart.

God was showing me that just as I want to give her the best, God wants to give me good things too. As his child, He is always considering my best interest – not just in material things that I need but also emotionally and spiritually.

Why do I doubt his promises and his provisions?

I’m like a seesaw when I should be steady. I’m not always good at trusting Him. I think of Matthew 7:9: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”

How ridiculous right? Who would give their child a stone, when he’s clearly asked for bread to nourish his belly. Jesus goes on to say:

Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:10)

Yes, you serve a God who knows how to give good gifts to you. Maybe like me you’re just afraid to ask Him. Truth is, you can be confident and secure in the fact He desires to bless you. You don’t even have to question if He will.

Kids are the best at asking – even if they might get a no. The other day, a neighbor kid asked us for a cookie at our garage sale. We gladly gave him two. My kids are ALWAYS asking for a certain toy for Christmas (all year long). They’re never shy in their requests. They know what they want!

7″Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

What gifts are you asking for God to give today? Where are you needing his grace and provision in your daily life?

Humbly come to him as his child, ask him for what you need, and wait expectantly for answers.

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 Instagramand Facebook.

When you desperately need a season of Healing

Around this time every year, I get excited. The leaves begin falling to the ground,  mornings are cooler, afternoons warm up, and the colors are inspiring.

“Fall is in the air and on the ground,” says Amelia Bedelia in one of my daughter’s favorite books.

The changing of seasons before your eyes is breathtaking. Even though it’s technically not the first day of fall yet, I ushered in the season early by buying an Autumn Orchards scented candle from Jake’s Feed. (If you haven’t checked out their selection, you’ll want to do that!) My house smells glorious!

first time planting pumpkins!

Just as the aroma in our homes and the landscape outside is changing, I’m praying for healing and change in our own lives. 2020 has been downright exhausting and depleting for many of us. Our lives were interrupted, schooling, jobs, small businesses, finances, lifestyles, the way we travel, our relationships, mental health, and much more from a virus that we had no idea was coming.

I’m grateful that COVID-19 can’t take away the joy of fall. It can’t steal it from us. And in this time of recovery, I’m praying for relationships to mend, businesses to thrive again, and school to carry on without sudden interruptions. I’m praying each of us will enter a season of spiritual, emotional, and physical healing as we experience the beauty all around us. 

If you’re still doubting your faith like I do at times, don’t forget that God is in the business of making all things new and redeeming what was lost. Truth is, we’ve all lost a lot this year. But God is for your healing. 

May you be reminded of that each time you step outside and enjoy the gift called today.

Blessings to you,

Samantha

Samantha Krieger is a wife, mom to 2 boys and 2 girls, and author in rural Colorado. Her writing appears on TODAY, Her View from Home, Family Life, and KirkCameron.com. She writes regularly on topics of faith, family, marriage, relationships, and motherhood.

Friends who’ll sit with you in the in-between and “I’m not really okay”

A friend and I took a trip this week to the mountains for some girl time and of course, Starbucks coffee since we don’t live close to one. On our drive, she asked how I was doing – a genuine, “Really, how are you doing?”

I paused for a minute and knew I needed to be authentic in my response. Crazy the temptation to only say “fine” when you’re not.

“I’m struggling. It’s hard. I feel like I’m stuck in the in-between. And that’s just where I’m at. I wish I could sugar coat it.”

She listened intently and understood my words. Deep down, the pride in me wanted to say I was fine. Really, I’m fine.

But I’m not and it’s okay. Like many of you, I miss routine, the excitement of summer sports activities, seeing people more frequently, gathering at church, not having to go inside stores with a mask that annoys me, only being able to walk through one set of doors in Walmart and Target, constant worries about my kids’ future, and more.

In our home life, I want to be more patient with my kids and not so irritable and easily set off.

I realized it’s okay to sit and not be fine. It’s okay to not have answers yet. All of us are in the “in-between” not only in this crazy pandemic, but as we wait on Jesus to make everything right again in this sin drenched world.

We’re all waiting for something.

And until then, there’s no need to pretend or wear an emotional mask to hide behind our soul sickness. We need friends right there with us who get it – not aiming to fix or give advice, just to be present in our pain. To truly care. More than that, we just need Jesus.

The very things I was missing God was answering as we drove along the highway. I had companionship to my right, iced coffee, and time in nature hiking. I had fellowship with another woman who deeply loves Jesus and encouraged my faith.

I can’t say I’m okay right now. I’m still struggling to trust. Maybe you are too. But Jesus hasn’t changed one bit. He answers prayer all the time in mysterious ways. His faithfulness is constant. His mercies are new every day. He knows the desires of your heart.

Sometimes I just don’t see it. And I’m thankful for the many friends God has put in my life who’ll sit with me right where I’m at and remind me of His goodness regardless of my roller coaster emotions.

“When our eyes run out of tears. When our pen is out of ink. When our prayers sound dry. When our words fall few. When our faith feels flat. He still is.” – Paige Pippin @thepaigepippin

Persevering with you dear friend,

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, and Love What Matters. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Dear Mom: Your Investment was no small thing. In fact, it was everything.

Growing up, you prioritized our family first before everything else. You gave us hot meals, washed our clothes, faithfully supported your husband, served our neighbors, volunteered when help was needed, and were always there to greet me with a snack when I came home from school.

You prayed for me at my bedside when tears streamed down my face from girl drama in middle school.

You were at all my sports’ events, milestones, graduations, and made sure all my friends were fed when they came to our house.

You took me to church even when I whined and complained. You encouraged me to travel the world while I was still young. 

You prayed hard during my rebellious teen years – even when I didn’t know it.

You didn’t have to do any of that, but you chose to. You lived a life of sacrifice on behalf of your family. 

Most of all, you showed love in tangible ways through your support, love, generosity, and grace. You put our lives before your own.

Before I entered the halls of high school, you’d already prayed for my future husband and children. You were planning ahead when I wasn’t even aware.

Growing up, you prioritized our family first before everything else. You gave us hot meals, washed our clothes, faithfully supported your husband, served our neighbors, volunteered when help was needed, and were always there to greet me with a snack when I came home from school.

You prayed for me at my bedside when tears streamed down my face from girl drama in middle school.

You were at all my sports’ events, milestones, graduations, and made sure all my friends were fed when they came to our house.

You took me to church even when I whined and complained. You encouraged me to travel the world while I was still young. 

You prayed hard during my rebellious teen years – even when I didn’t know it.

You didn’t have to do any of that, but you chose to. You lived a life of sacrifice on behalf of your family. 

Most of all, you showed love in tangible ways through your support, love, generosity, and grace. You put our lives before your own.

Before I entered the halls of high school, you’d already prayed for my future husband and children. You were planning ahead when I wasn’t even aware.

You faithfully served when no one else was watching. You loved me when I was unlovable; even when nasty words spilled from my lips. 

You chose to love when it was hard and messy.

Years have passed since my school days and now, you’re the beautiful, radiating grandmother of six – 4 boys and 2 girls. Your grandchildren adore you.

You were there for their births and held them gently and tenderly like you did me. You were present and engaged for all the difficult days after.

Your investment in my life was no small thing. In fact, it was everything. And it continues to be.

You are a light. You shine so bright in the lives of your children and children’s children. 

Mom, your love is a legacy to celebrate each and every day. “Thank you” will never be enough. I love you.

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.

May His Strong Will Cultivate an Even Stronger Faith

Dear Lord,

At the end of an exhausting and emotional day with my strong-willed child, I just need you. I’ve cried and prayed and cried and prayed, and I need your intervention.

He isn’t responding to me the way he used to. He’s distant, moody, down, and in his own world it seems. His body is changing along with his emotions. He’s maturing before my eyes, and it’s blowing my mind.

I don’t know how to reach his heart right now. 

I know this doesn’t surprise you at all. You’ve known him since the day I gave birth to his sweet 7-pound frame on that sunny October day. You’ve watched all his first milestones, and You’ve been there with me navigating all his developmental changes—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

You’ve been with him in the hallways of his elementary school, on the playground, and in his sports activities. You’ve never lost sight of him. Even when I doubted, You were with us as mama and son.

You have great plans for his life and put me in his life for a reason.

Channel his pride, energy, intelligence, creativity, determination, and leadership in the right direction. Keep him away from …

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

Dear daughter: You are beautiful, worthy, valuable, and a masterpiece

Dear daughter:

Not long ago, my friend treated me to a facial at a spa a few hours away. The minute the esthetician started massaging and exfoliating the dead skin cells on my face, I felt like I was melting into the massage table. As we chatted, we got on the topic of image and beauty. She was honest with me about the pressures she feels from our culture and certain social media apps like FaceTune to look a certain way.

“So many girls use the app,” she said. “It’s really a thing. Even celebrities admit to using it.”

“Really?” I replied. 

I’d never heard of the app. I was aware of other photo-editing apps but this one seemed to go a bit deeper.

She said you can enlarge your eyes, remove blemishes and scars, tan your skin, soften your face, fine tune your jaw bones and facial structure, and more. When I got home, I looked up FaceTune online and discovered the app has been downloaded more than 20 million times.

These apps have an impact on us, no matter our age. When I was a teen, I felt pressure staring at Seventeen Magazine in the grocery store checkout line. I didn’t quite look like the flawless, perfectly toned model staring back at me. I didn’t feel pretty enough.

Because there’s nothing new under the sun since I was your age — meaning the struggles you have are pretty much the same just with improved technology. The human heart hasn’t changed, and I owe it to you to tell you the truth.

You’ll never measure up to the filtered version of that picture-perfect image. You know, the one with the drop-dead gorgeous girl who has a perfect smile, white teeth, striking cheekbones, lash extensions, slender waistline, and adorable outfit? Instagram is an endless sea of this kind of “perfection.” You can’t compete with an edited image of another girl. It’s impossible.

That snapshot taken in the perfect moment when she’s all put together and then enhanced in a photo-editing app is not the authentic her. And you never should have to compete or feel insecure around an unrealistic version of another girl.

Your worth and value can’t be measured from the outward appearance. And that girl you’re constantly measuring yourself against? Her worth and value isn’t defined by her appearance or enhancements, either. 

When you were being fashioned and knit together in my womb, God saw you. And he saw something of great worth. You were precious to him before you were ever conceived. After all, he created you. 

When I delivered you in the hospital and saw your face for the very the first time, I was instantly in love with all of you. God gave you the exact color of eyes and hair on your head, made you female for his plans and purposes, and gave you gifts and talents for a reason. Your physical features were decided by Him first and foremost. And when he looks at you, trust me, he is well pleased. When I look at you and all your amazing abilities, I’m overjoyed.

When culture and your friends attempt to mold you into something you’re not, remember God has a say in who you are today. He says you’re already valuable—long before you analyze and post an image of yourself. Way before you scroll the newsfeeds and examine friends’ and celebrity feeds and think to yourself:

Am I pretty enough? Am I valuable? Do I make the cut?

Remember God says you’re loved for who you are—fearfully and wonderfully made. True friends will love you for who you are inside. Your value and significance aren’t determined by how pretty, attractive, sexy, or stylish you are to other people. Or by how many likes, comments, emoji kisses, or social media engagements you gain from an airbrushed photo.

So, the next time you’re scrolling your phone and see that filtered FaceTune image and you’re tempted to doubt how God made you and if you’re good enough, remember what He says about you. 

You are His masterpiece.

I love you beautiful girl, 

Momma

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10

Samantha Krieger is a wife, mom to 2 boys and 2 girls, and author in rural Colorado. Her writing appears on TODAY, Her View from Home, Family Life, and KirkCameron.com. She writes regularly on topics of faith, family, marriage, relationships, and motherhood.