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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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you, so very much, for these wise words. So much more to say, but I’ll leave it right here. God Bless You and your family…and the Colorado snows!

  2. So well said! And what a timely reminder. May we all choose to reflect God’s Glory and be a light of life and warmth in this dark world. We need desperately to hear that one voice that can calm the troubled seas around us. Thank you, Kristen!

  3. I am blessed by this message this morning. My heart prayer is that we ALL will reflect His light with dignity and be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger. Thank you

  4. Thank you for encouragement to pause before responding & highlighting we can choose to offer dignity not defensiveness! Beautifully said!

  5. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my redeemer. Thank you so much. Praising and thanking God for using you to share His word. Amen.

  6. I have been learning that I also need to slow down my thinking and response to things over this past year and weigh my words very carefully to make it through the new mine fields of issues that threaten to divide us while trying to not let our enemy have the victory in hurting our fellowship with one another. I have a feeling it will take more effort now to shine my light as I should so I am working on that. I know God will be working on me in this area to help me!

    Thanks for sharing!

    BTW, I have a new 60 day devotional called CLAY that talks a lot about God working on us!

    • *BIG CONGRATS* on your new devotional, Kathy! What a wonderful gift to this world.

      And make no mistake, God is certainly working on my heart (and therefore my own mouth) as much as anyone’s. The desire to “have my say” can be real, but I believe my desire to not let the “enemy have victory in hurting our fellowship with one another” is stronger–by God’s grace. Thank you for your worthy words here!

  7. This is so well-written and is advice that all of us can use from time to time! Thank you for this very thought-provoking article that was much-needed this morning!!!

  8. As always, God shows me what I desperately need to see/hear about my behavior. Everything said is me to a “T” . Thank you so much for the lovely way you say it so that I am encouraged to adopt the message into my life.

  9. Kristen,
    Over the years I’ve grown from being a microwave to being more like a crockpot. I used to have a knee jerk defensive reaction to others’ words like nobody’s business. In Ephesians 4:26, Paul says, “Be angry, but do not sin.” Words and comments and posts are going to upset us. Other people will rub up against our sensibilities like sandpaper. We will get angry. Be angry…but what comes next is the most important thing. You’ve expressed it so beautifully here. “But, do not sin.” I’m joining with you in weighing my words, letting my thoughts simmer for awhile before blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, asking myself whether what I’m about to say will encourage and build others up – or tear them down? Yes, let’s go forward choosing thoughtfulness over defensiveness. Beautiful post, my friend!
    Bev xx

  10. I’m a crockpot too! People sometimes don’t understand that, but with so much information to filter through, I pray for the courage to be kind or not speak at all. I love the phrase dignity rather than defensiveness. I struggle mightily to respond when my brain is ready to react.
    Well said

  11. Amen! I find myself, especially on FB commenting than going back and deleting it!! Good thing I can do that, but sometimes you can’t delete words said! PS… praise God you have sunshine, in Michigan it’s rare to see sun in winter

  12. I so agree with all of the sentiments above. This is a timely message for all time and circumstances.

    At first I related to the crock pot metaphor for myself, but also recognize my ability to lash out and react quickly and emotionally and the resulting fallout. I tend to be a better slow cooker at work or out in public, but allow myself too much leeway in how and when I speak at home to those I love most. So your message has hit home in such an important way. Thank you.

    I think now more than ever we all need to measure our responses, reactions and our words.

    As for the weather, as I’ve always loved snow but it can be difficult to deal with when it piles up, or even worse when it turns into a heavy, slushy mess as it often does here in New England. I grew up in Ontario and it was much fluffier. But the lack of sun in the winter is really hard to deal with, so I’m a bit envious of your many days of sun. But I’m truly happy for you. So enjoy it!

    • K Ann, my husband was stationed twice in Ohio, so I know what you’re saying about dark, dreary winters. Sometimes, I think we went months without seeing the sidewalk! I guess every place has its strengths and weaknesses.

      And I hear everything you said here and see the same tendencies in myself. I’m still working on doing better, too! By God’s grace, I know we can. Sending love!

  13. This is exactly the wisdom that I needed to hear today. So well written. Thank you, Kristen!!

  14. Such a great post Kristin; thank you! I’m so fascinated by just how many of us are receiving something significant at this time by way of the sunrise and sunset each day. I’ve been obsessed more and more with the colourful skies as darkness gives way to the light of day, and vice versa. I capture it to the best of my iphone’s ability; I rush out to my deck in my jammies at dawn some days (literally half-awake), so nothing from inside obscures my view (and I live in chilly snowy Canada!! brrr, but it’s worth it!). It’s a hope practise. It feels like a new spiritual discipline, and I know I’m not alone in this because I’m hearing many others include it in their stories these days. I feel like the skies reflect the full range of God’s emotions, nuanced, beautiful, powerful, gentle, etc. … the same emotions we, his image bearers, feel. Blessings Kristin!

  15. Thank you for being light in the darkness. Praying God’s best blessings on you and yours.

  16. I think being kind is so important. We should all try to be respectable to others “do unto others as we would like to be treated’ It so much easier to be kind than it is to be cruel .God bless all

  17. “Pausing before posting doesn’t lessen the validity of my viewpoint or the courage of my conviction. But it lessens any biting tone or defensiveness I might bring to the conversation.” Amen, my friend! I’m so thankful for these words and for you.

  18. You’re words speak volumes to me. All this has bounced around in my brain for weeks. I’ve been unsuccessful to deliver my thoughts in a non defensive way as I’ve let the overwhelm of my days consume me. Thank you for being warmth and light and inspiring me to be the same for others.

  19. i am always glad when a post from you comes along!!!!Your heart touches mine for good purposes! Blessings!! Psalm 46
    Irene in Woodland Park Co.

  20. Kristen,
    After a discouraging week, your words truly touched my heart. I love your insight and wisdom!
    Thank you so much for lifting me up and inspiring me to do better!

  21. THANK YOU! Having just found myself…. irritated… with a matter, this was a great reminder that not only can I pause before responding (which I tend to do), but in that pause I can temper my reaction and how I let it affect my attitude.

  22. Kristen,

    I, too, want to be a slow cooker when responding to posts. It is easy to get a full head of steam & want to vent. One must remember what we post on social media is out there for the whole world to see. It can ruin your testimony. Whilst I may be angry & agree or disagree with you often times I ignore posts & don’t respond. You will find that I mostly post Christian ideas, songs, etc. out there. I desperately want people to see the “real” me out there in person & on line. Hitting pause before responding is one thing I already & will continue to do.

    Blessings 🙂