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 get caught in this same trap also…confusing shame for humility. I think that when we try to live with a humble heart, shame has a way of pushing herself into the doorway that we open. I have felt a lot of shame lately as I have been working with Redeemer Christian School in Pakistan. These children, the least of these, have barely a roof over their head if they have even that, and I look around my home and shame hisses and points her finger. I am grateful and I do give generously, but I need to allow myself to enjoy the “life to the full” that God has given me and kick shame to the curb. Thanks for this spot-on post Kristen…I needed this!
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev

    • It’s a balance, isn’t it Bev? Giving well without giving in to the shame. As always, I’m so thankful for your thoughtful words here!

    • Wow, Bev, that statement really stood out to me…”confusing shame for humility…”

      Yes, this is soooo easily done.

      THANK YOU for your insights!!

  2. As James says in the New Testament, “all good and perfect gifts are from above coming down from the Father…” I think we don’t realize just how wide and abundant that range of gifts really is! Fun post! Thanks for writing this – we need to receive so much more of His gifts with joy and delight! Your post gives me permission to enjoy ALL His gifts, all the more!

    • That’s what I’m working on–the receiving without the shame. Thanks for giving me good words here to receive as well, Maria. What a gift you are.

  3. Hi Kristen,

    I also feel guilty when I see all the needs around me, and those who do not have their basic needs, or have so little. I am grateful for God’s abundant provision, and for His hand and His face. I have a hard time spending any kind of money outside of basic needs. I will remember this post and not think who am I to do this, or spend this, or whatever.

    Thank you!

    Joanne

    • I am trying to remember the same, Joanne. It’s such a balance, isn’t it? Giving where we can while acknowledging all the big and small we’ve been given, too. I’m thankful for folks like you that help me hash it out with wise perspective.

  4. Kristen, I loved this post. And your depiction of shame. Yeah, I’ve been there, feeling small and puny, pushed around by shame. For too many years, I’ve let it dictate to me what I can and cannot do, believe, and live. And, I love, LOVE the picture of living a front seat life. God’s been working that in me lately. And I’m learning to embrace it in every area of my life.

    As a PS, a few years ago, hubby and I took a trip, and the rental car company offered us an upgrade from a midsize to a red mustang. At first, I was so worried something would happen to it and it would be our fault! And then God reminded me He was our protector. Once I began clinging to that truth, I was able to really enjoy driving the little powerhouse around town. 🙂

    • Kristen, your post, coupled with one from yesterday, gave the shame trying to strangle me the one-two punch!! 🙂 Thanks for kicking that ugly monster’s booty, in Jesus’s precious name!
      😀
      Love,
      Nina Ruth 🙂

  5. Hi Kristen! GREAT post. It rings so true. Thank you for reminding me of a loving heavenly Father who delights in giving us little moments of joy! 🙂

    • He truly does delight in them, and I want to be better at receiving them. Thankful for you here, Alice. xo

  6. Oh, I had so many feelings reading this! My husband and I got an upgrade to a really nice car when we went to an out of state wedding, and I had that momentary feeling of shame. It actually took me a little while to remember not to be ashamed of this blessing and gift. I think there are situations where shame is appropriate but definitely not here.

    Happy anniversary!

      • Thank you Kristen! All my five children are grown with their own families. As a single mom there were times God stretched our budget in ways I could not possible have imagined…but He did!
        This morning I am sitting on a brand new computer chair I recently purchased. You great Email came at just the right time. I am thoroughly enjoying this luxury drinking a mug of Creme Brulee coffee reading your thoughtful article!

        • I love this! What a mama you were then…and are now.

          May we both remember to choose gratitude rather than shame for the Creme Brulee coffee and furniture luxuries of life. Thankful for you, Wini.

  7. Yes friend I SO get it! I’m a minivan mama of 5 and when I finally gave myself permission to go on a much needed vacation with the hubs after not having one for 12 years with just the two of us, the shame crept in. I was so excited on the plane. When we arrived at the resort, shame said, “how dare you bask in this opulence when your children are at home?” I’m so glad friend were praying me and God opened my heart to receive His blessing. The trip was a smashing success. Praising Him for freeing us from that bondage.

  8. Kristen,

    Great fun post! God wants to bless All His children in His own way! As James so aptly put it: “Every good and perfect gift is from God”. If He chooses to allow you to drive a sports car for a weekend enjoy! Remember this phrase: “I will not let shame shove me toward any place other than gratitude.”
    Right now I’m thanking God for allowing me to resign my last position and stay at home for a while to take care of my dad–if he gets sick again!
    Wonderful story! Happy Anniversary!! Blessings 🙂