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 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.

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!



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.

The gift of a friend who tells you the truth (& when your boots need polishing…)

Last Sunday, a man in our church took me by the side after our communion meal and said:

“I’m going to tell you something that my dad always told me.”

“Oh really?” I asked, curious as to what he’d say.

“Always keep your boots polished,” he smiled.

I looked down at my brown cowgirl boots that I’ve had now for four years and haven’t polished even once.

“Oh yeah, they do need polishing, huh?” I said.

I looked at his black boots and they were in great shape.

That was all the conversation entailed. The funny thing is that I could’ve taken offense to his comment or been embarrassed but I knew better than that. He was telling me the truth as my elder and someone I admire and respect.

That encounter reminded me of the precious gift of truth-tellers in our lives. The book of Proverbs talks a lot about being cautious of the friend that only speaks flattery to you with their lips. That only tells you what you want to hear- not what you need to hear, sugarcoating reality.

A true friend will openly correct you from a genuine, caring heart (Proverbs 27:5-6). You can trust this kind of friend because ultimately, she cares for you and has your best interest at heart. She’s looking out for you and wants success and blessing in your life.

But, ouch, correction isn’t fun! It really stings initially. Our pride wants to protect the places we’d prefer to not let anyone know about. The places we’d rather not have a friend check in on. How we’re:

  • respecting and loving our husbands?
  • treating our children with kindness?
  • practicing self-control in eating, drinking, social media, Netflix, Instagram and more?
  • using our time, talents, and treasure for God’s kingdom and not the kingdom of self?
  • sharing the gospel and love of Christ with those God has put in our path?
  • controlling our tongue from gossip and listening to gossip?
  • using our words to build others up, and not tear down?
  • stewarding all the resources and gifts God has given?

I’m grateful for how God has used friends in my life over the years to sharpen and encourage me in my faith when I was teetering and open my eyes to behaviors and habits I didn’t see. I thank God for friends who’ve shown me scriptures about why I can’t put my hope in the things of this world, but I can in Christ alone. He’s used friends to help strengthen my marriage and my relationship with my kids and to remind me of his goodness when I was falling short on grace. He’s used friends to show me love and not condemnation (after already beating myself up a thousand times).

A friend that corrects you is one of the greatest gifts you could ever have in your life. Thank the Lord for her. Be that kind of friend in return – one who doesn’t simply hide what needs to be said but will tell the truth in love from a genuine and caring heart.

And by all means, if your boots need polishing too, go spoil yourself!



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. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.





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Finding Your Tuesday People: Out of Loneliness and into Community


About six months into my family and I being settled into our new home in a brand new state, I expressed to my husband that I felt really lonely. I was loving everything about where God had put us. The serenity, beauty, community, our church, and the simple way of life had my heart (still does!), but I still felt like something was missing. Solid relationships and friendships have been important to me since I was a child.

“Well, I think you’re going to have to be intentional in reaching out,” my husband responded being the logical man that he is.

I pouted a bit about it. “Well, I kind of want them to invite me…” I replied.

Then I remembered the popular phrase that goes something like this,

To make a friend you have to first be a friend. 

IMG_1956Deep down, I was waiting for an invitation. And the funny thing is that I already had several invitations from others but I was focusing on the negative and just in a “poor me” state of mind. Have you ever been there? I began praying that God would help me in those feelings of loneliness and I asked him to sort them out for me. I started inviting others for lunch or coffee and began to minister to others, instead of being focused on myself and waiting for others to come to me.

There happened to be two moms who I consistently rubbed shoulders with and enjoyed their company. Out of the blue, I got a text from one who invited me to coffee at her home. I felt like a kid again, excited to be included and invited. The three of us met and talked about life, struggles, and hopes. From that meeting, they asked me about my interest in leading a Bible study. At first I was nervous about starting it from scratch, but I was definitely up for the challenge. I loved that they asked because I’m not sure if I would have without their prodding.

We eventually landed on a book to go through and yesterday we finished our third meeting. There are five us who meet and a few who are considering joining in the future. Over coffee (a must!) and a sweet snack, we dive into Scripture, pray, and discover how the truths in the book relate to our everyday life. It is a highlight of my week and keeps me accountable to reading.

282540_SimplyTuesdayFreeman_pins5In the wonderful book, Simply Tuesday, author Emily Freeman shares about the importance of having your “Tuesday people.” Tuesday is the most ordinary day of the week. We need those friends that we can share life with in the mundane, small moments of life. Friends that we can be comfortable with letting our insecurities out on the table. We need people who will pull up a chair or sit on a bench beside us and listen to our stories.

While we are still getting to know each other, this group has been that for me and I have been blessed because of it. Ironically, we meet on Tuesday mornings too so they are my Tuesday people in this season of life. Our time together has helped get me out of the lonely zone and into community where people can know who I am and where I can in turn, know who they are.

If you’re finding yourself stuck in a funk of loneliness, know that you really aren’t alone. Maybe for you, it will mean sending that text and inviting someone into your home. Maybe it will mean inviting someone to lunch or dinner. It could mean offering to watch someone’s kids so they can have a break. Maybe it will require being very intentional in the sphere of influence God has put you.

We live in a well-connected society digitally, yet many of us remain disconnected and lonely in our relationships. The good thing is that we can do something about it by extending a hand and inviting someone to sit on the bench with us in the real, ordinary days of life.

Who knows, maybe God will do something great in your relationships as you first seek to be a friend to someone else.

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