About the Author

Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We Are THAT Family and is author of Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Safe Sparkly Faith is No Longer Enough and founder of The Mercy House. Follow Kristen on twitter as @WeareTHATfamily.

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  1. Very good blog today. In 1988 I was widowed suddenly. Today I am married and have celebrated many anniversaries with my husband but still miss my first love that died 2 days before Vanentines. I do try to reach out to widows and widowers when God gives me an opportunity.

  2. Kristen,
    Mistakenly, I thought I had to be in a “good place” in order to help someone else who was struggling, when actually if I was in the crucible too, there was a “realness” to my reaching out. Instead of being a patronizing well wisher, I was a fellow sojourner through the valley. It’s okay for others to know that we are human too and that God, thankfully, is mindful of our frame. Also, I have found that when I reach out to others when I am struggling, God gives me an extra measure of grace and strength to do so and in the process I am lifted up as well. Miraculous how God works! Thank you so much for the reminders to reach out to others, no matter the state we are in ourselves. I “know” this, but needed a reminder to “walk it”. Thanks.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. This is a beautiful post, thanks so much for writing it. I lost my stepfather (who I was as close to as my biological father) six months ago, very suddenly from a heart attack. It’s been a difficult grief-filled road. And watching my mother and children face this type of grief has been overwhelming. I needed this today.

  4. Kristen, Your post was just what I needed. My mom went to heaven Jan 15 of this year and some days I feel so hollow inside missing her so. Psalm 23-it is like a hug from God

  5. Kristen, what a beautiful post. Your words resonate with my heart. Watching friends struggle with their children, your post reminds me to pray for them. One friend in particular is raising boys, just like I am. It’s never easy. Thanks for the action points to help me be better about reaching out to my community.

  6. Thanks so much Kristen! Your words resonate in my mind. We do go through different seasons in life that bring us joy and pain. I feel the pain of seeing my kids grow up before my eyes, and missing the days when they were small and innocent. I agree that if we didn’t have pain we wouldn’t know what joy is. I sometimes forget to think that there may be pain behind the smiles of people that I encounter throughout my day. It reminds me that a smile, a word of encouragement, or some other act of kindness might be all it takes to help someone in their pain. Thanks again!

  7. Excellent post & helpful advice! I love Psalm 23. I also learned it as a child, but recently its been one of the passages I recite to myself during this hard season. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. This is so true. I can relate to a lot of the things that do help me stay linked to God’s heart, even in my worst pain. And I am glad, I am starting to feel like I am ready to reconnect with the good God things that I was becoming painfully afraid of due to my issues.

    The little flame for God in my heart is growing again^^*

    I will be fully on fire for God and be a kingdom builder again!

  9. Kristen,
    Beautifully written post. I have often thought that what I or others are going through is for a reason. Yes it will bring us closer to God, but we can then encourage others going through same things.
    A dear friend went through breast cancer. Now she is more able to encourage others and pray for them. She volunteers and has for years with Relay for Life. She will talk to anyone going through any type of cancer and pray with you. She has become a champion for all cancer patients.
    I agree we need to look past smiles and how are you doing with neighbors. Last year one neighbor lady lost her young (46) son, We immediately got food for them, but time went on. I try to talk with her as often as I can and be there for her. At Christmas I made goodies for her and the family. Just to let her know I haven’t forgotten her family!
    Blessings 🙂

  10. I am sharing this with my husband who lost his father suddenly last week. He too had a moment where he was reaching for the phone to call his dad to let him know that we made it back into town. Thanks so much for putting these thought on paper.

  11. My parents were cool. I could go on. They had so many of the richest friends in Christ that to this day they reach out to us, my bro&I. Today was I was thinking about how He (my Daddy) would already have her (my mommy) gift picked out. He would show us with trust and glee knowing we wouldn’t tell a soul……..you see my bro&I lost these two miraculous God fearing parents awhile back. But as always they never leave. I have learned to open up an share them w/my own 4 kids. They had a beautiful time with my dad for a long time……but then in a day while they were gone playing He was gone…… It was heart wrenching to witness my own kids suffer. But God is always faithful. I told them. He always has THE plan. Do not fret. So for your husband with a sister he must have absolutely adored, I say Celebrate her love…..She would expect (i am sure) nothing less, she must have loved with the LOVE OF CHIRST!!!