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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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Kristen,
    I love what your friend told you and I can only imagine it with a Texas drawl. My children are “grown” as I say. What this basically means is that now they have real adult problems and I am still their mother. And, I still have a choice on how I’m going to react when they do and say things. Once as momma…always a momma…I still try to hug the mean out of them and I still have to pray to God to ask Him to fill in the gaps where I fall short with my words and actions. The bottom line is that these relationships continually keep me going back to God…because that’s where I need to be. Great post!
    Blessings sweet friend,

  2. Hey Kristen, I’m a mama of three but my kids are 9.5, 6 and newly 5. I love your “I yelled when I should of held” it made me laugh as that’s how I sometimes feel after the guilt arrives after the storm has passed. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, parenting is hard and it’s not all roses but although my oldest can push my buttons and has no problem to yell and scream…at the end of the day he is a lovely boy, they are all healthy good kids and I’m so lucky God blessed me with being their mother. Thanks for sharing when things get heated- I’m going to use your “love the ugly right out of them” to hug them when I most don’t feel like it, and to do my best with fresh starts, gotta love a fresh start! Jesus affords them to me many times over!!

  3. I heard something similar to that on the radio the other morning…a mom said after arguing with her 8 year old for a bit….”I love you too much to argue with you anymore, so I am done”….she said the 8 year old looked at her with surprise and walked away too.

    Done. The End. HA!

  4. Oh man… I’ve got miles and miles to run on my own parenting trail! Mothering hearts within a wide age span is not for the weak is it?! We are entering a huge transition and I am asking Jesus to bring me to many more held over yelled moments as we wade together! Thanks for writing these words Kristen.

    • No, no it is not.

      I’m praying the same thing for you and me both, Jenny. And when we have a bad day and feel like we might lose our minds, may we know His grace just the same. 🙂 Much love!

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I have 4 kids and 2 of them are teenagers. The last 2 years have been my most challenging years of parenting. I also have swung the pendulum of hovering and then withdrawing.. and then second guessing almost every thing I do! I really appreciate your words and I pray too that my kids will always see our home as a safe harbour and more importantly.. feel compelled to run to Jesus as their everlasting safe harbour.

    • Oh yes–that pendulum and the second guessing. I know it all so well.

      I love your words right here, Ashley, “I pray too that my kids will always see our home as a safe harbour and more importantly.. feel compelled to run to Jesus as their everlasting safe harbour.” May it be so!

      Thank you for sharing here. Much love!

  6. Oh my friend, I feel this post. It’s so hard some days. Then I add in all the students I teach (as I’m one of those back-to-work moms who’s always busy) and it’s enough to overwhelm the most patient soul. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Yes–it IS enough to overwhelm the most patient soul. Thank you for saying this. Love you, friend. xo

  7. Ah! This is my fave part: “The One who elbows His Father and says, “Just look at her and the amazing job she’s doing!”” It reminds me of what I read w/my kids the other night in Rev chapter 3:5 (in the letter to the church in Sardis)…Those who overcome will also be dressed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life. I will speak of them by name to my Father and his angels. We were imagining Jesus speaking to his Father and the angels about us! How amazing is that?!?!

  8. Kristen,
    Parenting is the hardest, most rewarding job in the world! There is no handbook for handling these littles, tweens and teens. Life happens so fast and they grow up to quick. It is great if you can tell and show you love them! Hug the stuffing right out of them. It is something they will never forget!!
    Blessings 🙂

  9. And especially when our own ugly gets in the way, right? They seem to draw it right out of me! Thanks for this.

    Fellow mama to teens

  10. Oh sweet sister in Christ I needed this – my 4 children range from 15-21 and boy do I feel isolated !! Thank you for sharing your heart! Sometimes I think I am the only one who feels this way and boy is it hard! What a blessing your blog is to me – may the Lord bless you today for your honestly and for encouraging me today ! Oh how I need encouragement !

    • Hi Kim, sounds like we have similar lives.. but my kids are younger. My four kids were born in 5 years. In a few years, I will have four teenagers! I hope you have someone near you who can encourage you. I am thankful that I have some friends around me that I can cry with and pray with when I am about to lose it! It’s funny how we can feel isolated when the kids are toddlers because we are mostly stuck at home, but at least at that stage our children adore us! I found a different kind of isolation at this stage.. when the kids aren’t quite as cute and they are the ones who make me feel like I’m a failure or not good enough (well, at least some times they do..thankfully they can be pretty sweet too). Grace and strength to you!