About the Author

Kristen, wife & mom of 4, lives deep in the heart of Texas. Each day, she starts many tasks but finishes few, thankful for a God who, unlike her, is faithful to complete.

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  1. Kristen, how wonderful that you could turn something around and use it for good in the life of a young, impressionable child. You amaze us all…with your attitude and your writing!

  2. Thank you so much, dear one. I am a sinner saved by grace. He takes my imperfect mess and turns it into His perfection–the very best kind!

  3. We have a Sam…and a Samantha (names changed to protect the innocent). Now that I know they’re moving soon, my greeting is greater and I smile genuinely. What’s up with that? They may see the cute signs saying “In this house, we will serve the Lord,” but how am I showing that to them? Thank you, Kristen, for revealing my heart and showing me how I can offer a gift to God by accepting all of those He puts in my path, and in my kitchen! Through your humble confession, I discover the need for my own…thank you.

    • It is easier to love when you know there is an end. Thankfully, our Father’s infinite love is the exact opposite of ours. Thank you for your comment and for your correct use of the direct address comma. 🙂

  4. Such beautiful words from a beautiful lady, inside and out. We should remember this during this time and all year long. It is such a blessing to me to have found you and your precious family. So proud of you today!

  5. Surely, we all have Sams in our lives. You remind us to not only love them as Christ loves us but to be ready for the lessons He has for us in those relationships. They will sanctify us (as you have beautifully demonstrated) if we will open our hearts to it.

  6. Thank you for this post! My husband has a guitar student, named Sam! He has become a bit like your “Sam”. He overstays his lesson time, often stays for dinner, hangs around for hours after the lesson. Just this morning, I was thinking about asking my husband to put a time limit on Sam’s guitar lesson as his ‘intrusion’ is beginning to annoy me. After reading about your “Sam”, I have repented and asked the Lord to forgive me for being selfish. This young man obviously needs something that only my husband and the Lord can provide! Thank you for this insight!

    • The Sams of the world should unite! I am so thankful that you can carry my lesson from God over into your own life. I will pray for an extra helping of patience as you set that extra place at the table.

  7. I love your perspective on this. We have lived in the country for the past 20 years, but before that we lived a short time in a trailer park. I know how little neighbors can grab at your heart and generosity. They get themselves into your homes and slowly but surely appear to dictate their surroundings. Mine was a little girl from who-knows-where. She saw me outside tending my small flower garden, and just, I understand now, wanted/needed attention. She would show up frequnetly, eagerly walking past our place to hopefully spot me outside, and eventually knocking on my door. And this was before we had children! So it was just me to entertain this girl of say 3-4 years old. One day when she appeared to just be camped out at my house and requesting several snacks, I decided to have her show me where she lived. We walked and walked, down and around the corner in the trailer park. Their home was locked, as the girl pounded and yelled at the door. Her young mother finally came to the door and after explaining that the girl has been at my home, she thanked me and ushered her into the home. My prayers went out for this young girl and her siblings and many others reared in this manner.
    These many years later and with my own children I could not imagine jsut letting my children wander and not knowing where they were. As I said we don’t live close enough now to people for this to happen, but I commend you for your change in perspective and using it as a mission field, one lading on your door-step!!!

    • A mission field on my doorstep for sure–and yours, too! What a blessing I’m sure you were to that little girl. You weren’t just caring for flowers in that small garden, you were caring for God’s children! Blessings to you this Christmas season.

    • A mission field on my doorstep for sure–and yours, too! What a blessing I’m sure you were to that little girl. You weren’t just caring for flowers in that garden, you were caring for God’s children! Blessings to you this Christmas season.

  8. I love your perspective on this. We have lived in the country for the past 20 years, but before that we lived a short time in a trailer park. I know how little neighbors can grab at your heart and generosity. They get themselves into your homes and slowly but surely appear to dictate their surroundings. Mine was a little girl from who-knows-where. She saw me outside tending my small flower garden, and just, I understand now, wanted/needed attention. She would show up frequnetly, eagerly walking past our place to hopefully spot me outside, and eventually knocking on my door. And this was before we had children! So it was just me to entertain this girl of say 3-4 years old. One day when she appeared to just be camped out at my house and requesting several snacks, I decided to have her show me where she lived. We walked and walked, down and around the corner in the trailer park. Their home was locked, as the girl pounded and yelled at the door. Her young mother finally came to the door and after explaining that the girl has been at my home, she thanked me and ushered her into the home. My prayers went out for this young girl and her siblings and many others reared in this manner.
    These many years later and with my own children I could not imagine jsut letting my children wander and not knowing where they were. As I said we don’t live close enough now to people for this to happen, but I commend you for your change in perspective and using it as a mission field, one landing on your door-step!!!

  9. This is a powerful message, and one that needs to be revisited over and over. It is a humble gift to bring- when we die to self and give to others. I’m sure you and your family are a huge blessing to that little boy. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Thanks for reading and relating to my story, Katie! “It is a humble gift to bring when we die to self and give to others.” Indeed! Merry Christmas to you!

  10. I have a little, “Sam” also! Have always had one (now as I think about) in every house I have lived in? Why does God bring us Sam’s & zip lock bags, & boundary stretchers that draw us past our comfort zones? Could it be to grow us, to help us, to bless us….more than any hope that we might have to be a blessing to them? Thanks for expanding my heart with your words! ~ jen

    • Jen, I seem to be a magnet for “Sams” myself! I am thankful for these boundary stretching opportunities that grow and refine our love to be a little more like His bit by bit. What a great God we serve!

  11. A great reminder for me. That regardless of my annoying habits, my disobedience and my failures God loves me with an everlasting love. Something that I don’t always share with others. My husband and I work with children at church and over the past 12 years there have been a few children that really “wear me out” and really try us. But, God showed us a long time ago that the child that drives you the craziest is the one that probably needs you the most.

    • mmmm….an everlasting love. I love that in contrast to mine that can be so conditional. “Jesus loves the little children; all the children of the world.”–not just the clean, obedient, and non-annoying. What a blessing the two of you must be to your church family as you demonstrate Jesus’ love in action!

  12. Again I hear from one with the heart of God. God bless you and your family this Christmas and everyday. Sam has been blessed by being your neighbor….

    • Sam and I have been mutually blessed, my friend…as has my family by knowing you! Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks so much for reading, Clara. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas, as well!

  13. Kristen,

    What a wonderful perspective! It is time that we stopped thinking of ourselves and what we want for Christmas and ask Jesus what He would have us give him!
    One thing I know for sure is he would love a generous, giving heart and this year my hubby and I sponsored a Salvation Army Child. It was easy to pick one off the tree go buy a few items and turn them in. Now I know that child will have a good Christmas!

  14. I had a “Sam” named Sarah who I pretty much raised right alongside my daughters. I felt the same way at one time, but I got over it, too. I still love and pray for her today as she is now a young mother herself. Too young and unmarried. I pray that God will water that seed that I tried to plant in her heart over the years. I don’t see her much anymore, but I will always feel like I have a third daughter out there. A little piece of my heart roaming free out in this world.

  15. Wow. I love your analogy. What a sweet, sweet story. And a good reminder for me as our family ministers to two fatherless boys who only want to be in our home. May it never be annoying, Lord.