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...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Great reminder. Since both our parents are now in heaven we typically enjoy holidays as pajama days. No work, household chores, sleep til we wake up, wallow in doing nothing. Might stay in our PJs all day. With Christmas day on Sunday we’ll celebrate Christmas Eve candlelight service & then 17 hours later be back at church for Lessons & Carols service. Wonderful worship celebrating the One Who is the cause for celebration! It will be different. But it will be good. Thanks for sharing your different but good story, it helped me not be weary in missing our Pajama Day this year. Blessings!

    • Thank you for sharing part of your own different but good story too, Ruth. We love to spend Christmas in our pajamas as well! Maybe this year, you can both declare the 26th as Pajama Day! 🙂

  2. This hits home as it’s the first Christmas since my last child flew the coop. I’m working on letting some traditions go and creating a day of rest for my husband and I on Christmas day. It’s different, but it will be good! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. At my small group the other night, a sweet friend invited us to share Christmas traditions. As the question landed back to her, she explained that as an empty nester, Christmas doesn’t look the same as it did when children were underfoot, and she was looking for ideas for new traditions in this season of life. I’ve pondered that thought ever since because I’ve been wrestling with a different-looking Christmas for a few years now. I LOVE the intentionality of looking for NEW traditions in this season; I hadn’t thought of doing so before Melinda mentioned it.

    “Things may be different, yes, but different can still be good.” holds so much hope! The reason we celebrate never changes, thankfully, just the wrappings around the reason :). I love how your message reinforces the very ideas I’ve already been mulling over. ((hugs)) to YOU, Kristen as we figure it all out together <3.


    • Robin dear! Truly, you have mentored me in how to embrace this new season well, and I can’t thank you enough. I also love the way you phrase this: “The reason we celebrate never changes, thankfully, just the wrappings around the reason.” So good, Robin! And I’m so happy to have you alongside me as we walk through these changing seasons!

  4. Kristen

    Thank you for your Sharing.

    “During this Christmas season, may we be acutely aware of how God births miracles in the dark. He did so for Mary, and He, in His sovereignty, can do so for us. May we remember He turns our impossible into possible, our difficult change into a grace. When we start to doubt or forget this, may we take our eyes off of what’s around us and instead look toward Jesus — the Way, the Truth, and the Real Life that is with us always.”

    This is so very Helpful.

  5. I so needed this beautiful reading this a.m. A reminder, that even after a year of loss & change, Christ is the reason for the season.

  6. Having been through what you are coping with, only without a spouse, I decided to create a few new traditions spent without my kids: invited other family-less gal-pals to dinner, volunteered time in the Rescue Mission kitchen and on the serving line, enjoyed my passions (such as hiking through the state forest, which filled my heart with appreciation, awe and wonder at our Creator’s glorious majesty and love). I was able to worship Him and serve others, all the while renewing my heart and finding peace.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story today. Our immediate family of kids and grandkids will all share some special time together this year. One family arrives from Bolivia several days before Christmas.

    Our extended family gathers Christmas Day. Our niece and her husband and children are going through serious crises in their lives. I am not sure how this will affect Christmas Day, but I offer this time we all spend together to Jesus. I pray that God’s love will pour through my heart to those who are hurting so deeply, and that deep wounds will slowly heal in my niece and all her family.

    • Praying for your family right now, Karen. I’m sure your own presence, kindness, and prayers will be an abundant blessing to your niece and her family. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  8. ‘Miracles form in the shadows, and we never know when one will show up smack-dab in the middle of Real Life”
    I love this…Thank you Kristen.
    Life has been a “happy” different this Christmas season. We moved for the “millionth” time. But we also moved out storage. Sooooo I was able to see my memories of Christmas in forms of ornaments, pictures, Christmas dishes and space to put them out!
    I realize not everyone has a happy season at Christmas time. That’s why God’s love for us is high and endless.
    “He did so for Mary, and He, in His sovereignty, can do so for us”

  9. You are so right…Different can still be good! Embrace it! When the kids marry you have to be flexible as they have in-laws to visit also. When you have grandkids then your children begin traditions that you must be flexible and accepting of. And for me who does not like change all of the above was tough. But I did it to make my kids holidays easier.

  10. Kristen,

    You are not alone my friend. This has been a hard holiday season. My hubby gets depressed this time of year as we no longer have family around–no pets either. He has one nephew in area. Working in hospitals this time of year is rough. So much sadness. Add to that My new job changed drastically from last year. It has been hard to suddenly adjust to doing new things at work. I’ve gotten a bit depressed this year also. No one really emphasizes the real meaning of Christmas. The birth of our savior Jesus. Prayers for everyone to have a Christ filled Christmas.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I guess I am deeply grieving a friendship seeming to dry up. It has been greatly changing since July but I’ve seen sparks of life until realizing lately I think it’s gone, Heidi. I had debated talking to the person. I’ve tried talking to them, I’ve written letters to them, I’ve done so many things, it seems. This was a good reminder to let it happen how it’s going to happen. To let go, which I hate to do because I love my friends dearly. There are some broken dreams related to it as well. Thank you for this reminder today.

  12. Thank you for sharing! As usual, your encouragement arrived at just the most perfect God-time. Enjoy your Christmas Day, however that may look this year

  13. Thanks for this Kristen. This “new and different” season when kids and grandkids move far away, is hard enough, without throwing in the holiday season too. I totally identified with your words today. I know without a doubt God directed them to this new far away state, and that has helped my emotions immensely. But last week, a little heartfelt song on a TV advertisement suddenly sent me sobbing… I was totally surprised at that and realized not having family around this Christmas affected me more than I thought. The Lord and His wonderful Word is always the answer for anything and everything we are going through. I’m so thankful He steps into our lives with comfort, love and compassion and gives us a new perspective. And with that new perspective comes gratefulness and joy!
    Merry Blessed Christmas to you Kristen!