About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. Kristen,
    I’ve thrown a few, okay several, tornado sized fits in my day. Through it, God has taught me to, as you alluded to, “practice with the small stuff”. If I can be thankful for the small blessings, it increases my ability to be thankful for the big blessings. God wants to know that He can trust us with the small as well as the big stuff. I love your analogy of rebuilding our home brick by brick, blessing by blessing. Also as wives and mothers, we need to take good care of ourselves (it’s not being selfish). A rested body and mind are less prone to tornado sized fits…thanks so much for a wonderful post!
    Love you much friend,
    Bev

    • Totally agree, Bev. It’s never selfish to practice self care– it also goes a long way to ward off the ugly moods. Shortly after this time, I hired the high school daughter of some family acquaintances of ours to babysit for me once every week or every other week. During that time, I had no agenda but to do things like browse Barnes & Noble and find a book or magazine to read. It–along with a better attitude of gratitude–made me a much better wife and mama!

  2. I am attempting to remodel my workplace and replace negativity with better morale. Great reminder that the biggest change may need to begin with me. Lots of praying and seeking to do – allow Him to be the difference.

  3. What a lovely reminder, Kristen! I am thankful for your transparency. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding me of something I needed to hear.

  4. Some of my fits have come when our boys have pushed and pushed and I have stuffed and stuffed. And then out it all comes in one raging scream. They cower and I usually end up crying. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Gratitude has been huge in helping me regain an accurate perspective more quickly.

    Other things that have helped me is to 1) see my boys as the gifts from God that they are, 2) remember they are still in training. They are not little adults. They are children molded and shaped by how hubby and I respond to and train them, 3) realizing that Prov 15:1 is true: a gentle word turns away anger. When I am gentle in my tones and words toward my boys, it often diffuses their anger, which helps me in diffusing mine. And 4) releasing expectations—of how I thought time would be spent, of how I expected them to behave. Instead, I ask God to help me see beyond their behavior and into their hearts.

    I’m not successful all the time, but I’m learning. 🙂 Thanks for your transparency today, Kristen. This was such a meaningful post!

  5. Oh Kristen, how I can relate! I did this very same fit throwing thing 5 years ago. And the anger stayed way too long and my poor family suffered so for it. I was all about looking through the lens of the “I don’t haves” and not looking through the lens of “what I do have”. Notice how the “I” seems to permeate those statements? Thankfully, God gently turned me around and showed me more blessings then I could imagine. Way more! I believe to this day he was preparing me for a season of really true struggle and wanted me to walk through that with grateful eyes. Which I did. Every single day.

    Thanks for your post, friend. So very encouraging.

  6. You gals and your stories get to me each time!! I am so there, today, right now…. I take a deep breath after reading and I feel alive again.

  7. Kristen,
    I don’t have any fancy words to say, and I NEVER comment on blogs….but I had to let you know that this caught my attention in my email and then I literally hung on every word as I continued to the full story, finally ending with me sitting here in my living room alone with my bible opened next me BALLING crying as I immediately acted upon your instruction to pick up something close to me and thank God for it. I live in a trailer with HOLES in our roof, floors that sink in and space heaters everywhere…so you can imagine how I might throw a fit or two — BUT MY GOODNESS what a move of the Holy Spirit in me THROUGH YOU AND YOUR WORDS – YOUR OBEDIENCE TO WRITE AND BE VULNERABLE AND OPEN — thank you sincerely. I ran my hands across the back of the love seat and said “thank you Lord” and tears began to stream out of no where. I turned to my tray table where I am sitting with my son’s laptop and ran my hand across all of it and balled some more as I said “thank you God”. I crave a reverent, TRULY humble, grateful heart…and I thank you for your words that have given me a push start in the right direction. May God bless you a hundred fold and May He keep you and yours every day one day at a time. Thank you so very much again!

    • Amee, your words are unbelievably tender…and perfect. Now I’m the one crying with gratitude. Thank you for sharing here. Truly, I am treasuring every word. Much love to you and your family, beautiful girl. xo

  8. Thankfulness is a theme that has been cropping up more, and more in my own life. I think God is trying to teach me something as well. Thanks for the encouragement, and the push to be faithful with the little things. Have a great Thanksgiving (hopefully sans tornado). 🙂

  9. Yes, I can relate! My four boys are all school aged now, but I remember days when the walls were squeezing me close. “All too often I let my feelings be the boss of me.” It is easier as they get older to have smaller tantrums myself, but they still come in the guise of a bad attitude, and remembering to say thanks can surely turn bad attitude around. Thank you you for your post, and vulnerability, and you have blessed me with memories, too.

  10. Such a lovely post Kristen. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, when I needed it the most. God bless you sister.

  11. Kristen,

    Oh how I can relate to this post!! Over the years I have seen/thrown “fits” of hurricane size. It is usually, like you said, when I’m tired or don’t feel good and my hubby says or does something to “hurt” my feelings or changes our plans.

    This year I have probably thrown a few more than before. I have had my roughest year dealing with my aging dad moving into assisted living, medication issues, hospitalized twice, and psych issues. Add to that my job has changed drastically and the culture at work is not a gentle calming one–instead it’s rush rush rush! Also my hubby almost lost his job. Talk about stress levels rising.

    I have endured by leaning hard into God and praying more and more. I also take quiet time for myself. Years ago I remolded our house by doing a thankful journal. I just listed basic daily items I’m thankful for–turns out to be (247). Each day I write down what I’m thankful for that day–even if it just a job, paycheck. Also helps to have a wonderful, loving understanding hubby.

    Thanks for a super great post!

  12. What a beautiful piece and timely reminder for me, Kristen! I am in a season where many things seem to be going wrong, and I have resolved to thank God for all the little blessings I have often taken for granted and model a grateful heart for my young daughters. Brick by brick. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  13. i would also like to recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s book “unglued” because sometimes we don’t watch the “weather”. It’s good to have and evacuation plan. she was highlighted in some of the “let’s all be Brave” videos and i’ve just finished it and found it funny and sweet and helpful, especially in the middle of hurricanes and snow storms.

  14. I remember the times I have had fits or yelled cuz something was going wrong. Years ago, on my 30th birthday, I was expecting something more than I got, as a present from my husband. I wound up crying, not being nice to him and crying in our bedroom. To this day it bothers me. I wasn’t thankful and I was unappreciative. I discuss politely. I refrain from yelling at my adult daughter who lives with us. I would get upset enuf to bring on a headache! I have gotten better over the years. Walk away, bite my tongue instead of saying anything. Choose battles wisely. Ask forgiveness. Read God’s word to stay within His truths in my life. Life isn’t easy and we hopefully learn from our mistakes. Grow in love and grace. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Hugs!