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 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.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for a Quarantined Easter – Guest Post by Katie Bowman

On the blog today, I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Katie. I met Katie while our husbands were studying at Dallas Seminary together. She has been a constant encouragement in my life through her faith and creative communication. I pray you’ll be refreshed and encouraged by her words in this time!

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Dear Momma,

Easter is going to look different this year. Instead of dressing up with bows and bow ties and sending your kids off to children’s church we will all be at home watching the Easter service from our living rooms. It may not be traditional but it can still be incredibly special.

I don’t know about you but this whole quarantine, virtual school, not being able to go anywhere has had me running the gambit of emotions. From the highs of more family time to the lows of… unending family time. Top it off with stresses like financial loss, being sick, rainy days and an extra work load its a recipe for a mommy meltdown.

Here are three things I am doing to prepare my heart for an Easter in quarantine:

  1. I am setting my mind on things above. For the first part of the quarantine I was taking advantage of not having to set my alarm but I quickly realized that my time with the Lord was getting pushed out. I began setting my alarm and pressing in to the disciplines and routines I had already established pre-quarantine. Time with the Lord is a non-negotiable. His Word reminds me to store up my treasures in heaven, not get bogged down with the troubles of this earth. Right now, it’s almost impossible to not let our minds run wild with worry unless we are constantly pushing it back with the Truth of God’s perfect Word.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10

2. I am lowering my expectations. So much of our hurts come from unmet expectations. We can come to these expectations by comparing our lives to others seemingly picture perfect lives on social media. I am putting my phone down and lifting my eyes up. What will make Easter special for MY family? How can we bring glory to God through our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection? How can I disciple my children to see the wonder, hope and joy that is only possible because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

“But it is true! Christ has been raised from the dead! He was the first One to be raised from the dead and all those who are in graves will follow. Death came because of a man, Adam. Being raised from the dead also came because of a Man, Christ. All men will die as Adam died. But all those who belong to Christ will be raised to new life.”

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

3. I am committing to CELEBRATING Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus’ Resurrection is what makes our salvation possible. We have so much to celebrate! This will look different for every family, but for me I am committing to joining in the fun instead of just facilitating it. It’s when I get face to face, eye to eye with my kids that the gospel is communicated most clearly. I want my kids to see that my joy is not contingent on what is happening in the world, it is tied solely to Jesus. Billy Graham put it this way, “Earth’s troubles fade in light of heaven’s hope.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1 Peter 1:3

Easter will look different this year, but it can be one that really showcases the hope we have in Jesus. Right now the world looks hopeless. But here’s the truth: the world has never been where we should find our hope. We get blinded by it’s charms, but with it’s charms stripped we can look full into the face of Jesus and declare: My hope is in You!

ABOUT KATIE: Katie Bowman is a chaplain’s wife and a mom to three children: Greyson, Violet and Shepherd. She has her Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and enjoys reading, theology, photography, and anything creative. She lives in a suburb of Dallas, TX and loves connecting with others through Instagram, her blog and Facebook.

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.

 

 

 

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My One Word Resolution for 2016

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Several years ago, I ditched writing down the long list of New Year’s resolutions and instead adopted the idea of sticking to a one word theme for the whole year thanks to the website MyOneWord.org. It’s not that I didn’t fulfill my goals in past years, but when I fell short on them, I felt like a failure. Plus, I needed more simplicity and something different.

I loved the idea of choosing one word to inspire you the whole year and throughout each day. On our way driving back from Christmas vacation in the Midwest, I saw a church sign that read:

Daily devotion is better than a New Year’s Resolution.

That really struck a chord with me. I want to be devoted daily to the disciplines and responsibilities that are required of me right now, rather than being so committed to a pie in the sky resolution that isn’t specific or realistic.

In 2014, I chose to go with the word discipline. In 2015, I picked the word joy. And this year, it took me a few days to decide on the word C L E A N. I don’t know about you, but there are areas in my life that need some cleaning. I’m naturally a bit messy. I have to work hard at organization. My brain just doesn’t function in an orderly manner all the time. I want to be clean in the respect of my home.

Spiritually, I desire to have a clean heart and lips. I want my heart to be pure so I can more clearly hear from the Lord. I want to build others up this year with my words. I also want to have clean eating – less foods that include preservatives and additives and more foods made from scratch. I’m sure as the year progresses, I’ll find more areas that involve the word  C L E A N.

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In case you set some New Year’s Resolutions and are finding it difficult to stay committed to them, may I suggest that you choose one word for your 2016 instead? Some ideas for your word could be: balance, contentment, freedom, strength, trust, courage, prayer, simplicity, service, perseverance, peace, healthy, community, creativity, and more. It might take some time to think about which word suits you well. Once you have the word, write down why you chose it and what you hope to gain from committing to that word. You could go even further and paste it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror so it’s easily visible. The important thing is that you allow yourself to be regularly reminded of it so you can take daily action.

2016 is a clean slate and a time to start from scratch. May you have a great beginning, daily devoting yourself to the tasks in front of you right now.

Have you already chosen your one word? What word do you think suits you well for 2016?

Blessings,

Samantha

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