I’m not a good Mom – that’s why I need the Gospel

Yesterday, I met my friend Crystal for iced Boba tea (without the Boba – haha). She brought her 2-year-old daughter on our date and we talked about the struggles of motherhood and parenting.

“There’s no manual for it…” she said.

I nodded my head and shared my stories of survival when the kids were 5 and under. “I was just trying to keep them alive,” I told her.

Flashbacks of potty training, temper tantrums, sleepless nights, and wearing my old maternity pants all year ran through my mind. I told her my recent challenges with my 13-year-old now being the oldest. The challenges are different, but they still loom. Oh, do they exist!

Sometimes, I’ll sleep 8 hours and still wake up with bags under my eyes and a caffeinated cup of coffee doesn’t help the drag. The sibling rivalry and competition are through the roof. Arguing and challenging my authority is difficult. And the sass with girls? Don’t get me started. I told my husband last night I was taking a time-out.

Mornings don’t always look like me sitting down with coffee and reading my Bible. Some days do, but most days it looks more like me playing drill sergeant and putting out emotional, hormonal fires before going to school. It looks like disciplining name-calling and making sure lunches aren’t left on the countertop.

Every season in mamahood from infancy, toddler-hood, to teenage days has its highs and lows, mountaintops and valleys, blessings and disappointments. There’s no arrival where it’s bliss. Don’t get me wrong, God does give those days that can feel like heaven, but those are rare.

Every mama also has seasons when a child gives her greater challenges and it can feel like she’s parenting 5 children instead of 1.

Motherhood has shown me my sin as nothing else has. It’s revealed my desperate need for the gospel. In my weakness and brokenness, I need rescuing. I need my Savior. I simply cannot be the kind of mom I desire to be in my own will-power.

I don’t have a guide or a book that can fix all my broken pieces but I have His word – the only Guide I’ll ever need in life.

I fall short every, single day and He picks me back up again. I sin every single day and his mercy is new as the sunrise. I’m not a good mom, but his grace makes me able to be who I otherwise could not be on my own. I’m a broken mama attempting to make something beautiful in parenting, but in order for that to happen, I need his Healing power.

Crystal said there was no manual for motherhood, so she asked her aunt whose kids are grown for counsel and guidance. And I loved that. We need mamas who’ve journeyed ahead of us and get it. We need family and friends to fall back on for support. We need to be okay with calling or texting the appropriate reinforcements.

Never forget – it’s not weak to admit you need help – it’s actually incredibly brave. And it’s okay to admit you just need Jesus.

Love,

Samantha

Samantha Krieger is wife to Jeremiah and mama to 2 boys & 2 girls- 13 and under. She loves iced coffee, TJ Maxx, and mascara. She’s the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her work has been featured on the Today Show online, Love What Matters, and Cafe Mom. She writes from Florida’s gulf coast and enjoys connecting with readers on her personal blogFacebook and Instagram.

Fresh Starts, Willing Hearts – Family Adventures on Florida’s Gulf Coast

the boys on Anna Maria Island

One day, I’m driving down the open plains of NE Colorado and the next I’m swimming in the gulf coast beaches of Florida. Our family relocated from Colorado to Florida a few weeks ago. Talk about a landscape change. Life certainly is an adventure!

We’re getting settled in our new area and it is definitely not small town living, but there are certainly other amenities like over-sized honey crisp apples at the grocery, turquoise water beaches, pools in almost every neighborhood, lots of people, restaurants, traffic, a tropical climate, and more.

We found a rural area to live in outside of the hustle and bustle.

Will said the other day, “Mom, we won’t have winters anymore.” I have to admit, I’m excited we can be outdoors more during the year.

As my friend Anna said, “You’re trading in snowsuits for swimsuits.”

New seasons are exciting, but they can also be intimidating. As a mom, I’m starting over in friendships and finding a place to deeply connect. That can certainly be nerve-wrecking but yesterday while driving to run errands, Jeremiah said, “We haven’t even reached the best part yet. This is just the beginning.”

He’s right. I just want everything to happen now.

It’s only been a few days in our new place. It takes time to get situated and find the pots and pans. It’s normal to miss old friends and think about the past. It’s typical to be exhausted and a little emotionally unstable. 🙂

I want to have a willing heart in this new adventure. A willingness to embrace the unfamiliar and anticipate what new things God will do in our family here.

Change is never easy, but I’d never mature and grow without it. Change is actually to my benefit even if it hurts a little. I’m jumping out of the boat of comfort and into the unexplored waters of faith and reliance upon my Savior.

In whatever season you’re in today, don’t forget that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel a little lost. Even if it hurts a little, God is doing a work in you – shaping and molding you. Changing you for the good.

We’re all trying to find our way. We’re all looking to connect more deeply with others and in the unique home God has given us. He knows the desires of our hearts. He knows your every need.

With Love,

Samantha

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

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.

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.

Dear Husband: I’m ready for date night again

This pandemic has me missing our nights out together. I can’t believe how much I took it for granted before. I’d put on a little extra makeup, change out of my mom attire, and spray on perfume. You’d wear a collared shirt, boots, and rustic cologne.

We prioritized date night even if we were at odds with one another. After the evening was over, we’d love and like each other again. Crazy how that works! Maybe because it felt like old times, like our dating days before kids.

Date nights were our peace in the beautiful chaos of family life – a harbor from life’s troubles and difficulties. Our time, just you and me, together. Sometimes my favorite part was the drive to our destination, in peace and quiet.

Date nights gave us time to breathe from our busy schedules and enjoy conversation and laughter in a relaxed environment.

Date nights reminded us that our marriage was a priority – before being daddy and mommy. Because what our kids need most is a daddy and mommy who love each other.

Some date nights were casual like driving to watch the sunset or walking a trail together. Sometimes it was bowling or surprising friends with ice cream. Other times, our friends would watch our kids for a weekend get-away and we never wanted that to end.

I miss the romance, break from the ordinary, and the routine too.

But until that day comes when we can go out again, let’s do take-out and support a local business. And get a cheesecake or fudge sundae for a palate cleanser. Let’s light some candles, turn on Netflix, and cuddle on the couch.

We can get creative when the kids are in bed and make the most of these nights spent at home. What really matters is being with you. Love is what matters most in this stressful and unpredictable time. We can make the most with what we’ve got.

When this pandemic is over, I’ll let you pick which restaurant we dine at first. I promise I won’t complain, be picky, or be impatient if the food takes longer.

I’ll be grateful date night with you is back in the world again.

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.

Dear child: Forgive me for being impatient with you in this scary and stressful time

In a matter of days, our lives have turned upside down like those rollercoasters you’ve dreamed about riding this summer. Your sports activities, spring musical program, and school have all been closed. Your playdates and outings are being withheld to ensure your safety on lockdown. 

When you first heard the news, you yelled and cried out to me, “Why, Mom? Why?”

I felt the same as you. 

I’ve lost my temper and unstable emotions have got the best of me. I’ve forgotten you’re just a child and don’t see the world as adults do. You just need my love and care right now – not my harshness and anger over things I can’t control.

I’m trying my best to keep our home a place of calm, but sometimes it feels more like a war zone. The world is in crisis, and lots of mommies and daddies are in survival mode too. 

You’ve seen me blow up and shed tears on my pillow. I’ve seen the tears you’ve cried and concerns at bedtime when darkness settles in. I hear your complaints for wanting your friends and missing your teachers at school. I know your need for routine and structure, and I’m trying my absolute best. 

We’ve never gone through a worldwide pandemic together. I don’t know how to feel about it all. But I know I have to take responsibility for my actions and how I respond. I have to be willing to learn, adjust, process, grieve, and find our new normal.

Please forgive me for not being more patient, loving, and gentle with your spirit. My words have been reckless, not uplifting. Anxiety has filled my soul. I need to focus more on the issues going on in your little heart, instead of focusing on panic and fear.

I’m amazed at how incredibly strong and resilient you are in this time. You inspire me and have given me a lot to laugh about and be thankful for. Thank you for having grace on me.

At the end of the day when you’re tucked in bed, I watch you peacefully sleeping and I’m so grateful God gave me you. We’re together and that’s the greatest blessing of all.

I love you,

Mom

*** A special thanks to TODAY Parents, Love What Matters, and Her View from Home for sharing this piece on your platforms.

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.


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

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