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. I definitely needed to read this today. Thank you so much for this reminder and I can say it was definitely Jesus Christ ministering through you. I had a similarly embarrassing experience the other day and, thankfully by the grace of God, I was able to roll over and laugh it away.

    Like you I am familiar with “Cricketville” and your reminders are wisdom my heart needs to heed. Thank you.

    – In Christ,
    Emily Sophia.

    • EmilySophia, I just have to first tell you you have one of the prettiest names ever.

      And thank you so much for your grace and “been there before” support. What a gift you are!

  2. Love the transparency of your post; thanks! I also love your explanation for why you chase blue skies (on your website). Social media is a double-edged sword. It’s very healthy to hold it loosely and walk away from it often.

    God bless your ministry!

  3. god’s perfect timing. i have friends all over the world as an MK but i also have a right in front of me life. always thankful for a balance check. and p.s. my fear is the tp hanging out the underwear. fully expect it to happen one day. just hoping someone stops me before i get out the bathroom door! 🙂

  4. Kristen, I am that girl too. For all of my life, I’ve been having “sweater dress in the tights” moments…only now, yes, it’s online. : ) I was just recently thinking, “I don’t think my humor comes across so well in typed form!” Thanks so much for letting me know someone else feels this way too. And I love this line: “If we are meant to interact with someone on a deeper level, God will see that it happens.” Totally.

  5. OHHHHHH I feel this way frequently… I hate that at 46 (yikes!) I still feel “awkward”…and yes, stepping away and gettingn perspective helps. (by the way… I have walked out of the bathroom at work with my skirt stuck in the back of my hose… all the way down a hall of glass offices… eeeek good think I can laugh about it now… almost 20 years later LOL)

  6. Can’t tell you how many times I read a blog post that deeply touched and impacted me and I wanted to comment and say thank you, but I had to … well, fill in the blank, someone pulling on my apron strings, an emergency call for me like right now, the list of to do’s haunting me …everyone knows, I am sure. I thanked the Lord most of the time, but after reading this I will try harder to let the writer know how their words hit home!! Thank you for your post today!!

    • Maria dear, do not apologize for not commenting. My intent here isn’t to heap guilt on anyone. I comment on only a small percentage of what I read out of necessity to all those “fill in the blanks” you mentioned. Thanking God for bringing the words you needed to you is perfect.

      We are so grateful for you, Maria. You are a treasure! xo

  7. Wise words. The Holy Spirit convicts me about seeking validation too often from the “digital thumbs up”, instead of being content in desiring a “well done” from my Father.

    I can SO relate to the dress-tucking episode. Last Christmas I split my pants at our church ladies’ function. Welcome to our elite club, sister!

  8. Every blog you write has inspired me…I am sorry that I haven’t left a comment each time…I especially loved today what you said about it not mattering if we’re not always appreciated by others, but more importantly knowing who we are in Christ and feeling confident and secure in that knowledge. When I stay focused on that knowledge, then I feel so much less threatened by what others think of me and actually respond better to people who may otherwise hurt me by their indifference. Very freeing to stay in Christ each day like that…and more importantly than that, can serve Him better each day as He would want….doing it for Christ!

  9. Kristen!
    God is so amazing when He confirms something He has given me to think about!

    Our church is spending this first week of the new year fasting and praying. I decided to fast social media, Facebook (and all its wonderful games) specifically. Admittedly, I am addicted to my smartphone. JUST LAST NIGHT I was laying in bed thinking on why I missed FB so much. I realized that it is because I want people to like me, to think I”m funny, to acknowledge me, to “want” me in their life. (I’ve been a people pleaser my whole life.) Then God told me that HE WANTS ME!!!!!! He has always wanted me. He wants each and every one of us. It went straight to my heart and I’m going to cling to that truth.

    Thank you for sharing this post! God is good and worthy of our attention….so much more than facebook!

    Vicki

  10. Excellent post! I am not good socially and have few (a handful?) of friends off the web. Social media allows me to have friends in a way I am comfortable and to do what I feel the Lord wants me to do which is encourage, uplift in prayer and share a smile.
    Oh and talk about being ladylike, when I wore pantyhose, I once had the elastic waist fail in public and ended up with them around my ankles! Oy vey! LOl!

  11. I often refrain from commenting because I don’t want to seem the “groupie” –a symptom of my festering pride. (Admission is the first step to recovery, right?)

    But… you are one of my favorite contributors, and that is a “gift” to you.

    I will not stand and tap my foot and wait for a response : )

  12. oh, i just love this. my word for this year is “fearless” and so much of it is tied up in your words here. they fill me with hope.
    blessings and happy new year!

  13. So, a confession. If I ever use a public restroom, I always, always check the bottoms of my shoes before I leave…to make sure I’m not dragging any tp with me! Um, not that anything happened in the past that would cause me to do that or anything! (wink)

    Your story brought a smile to my face but was also a good reminder that I needed today. I struggle with my little bloggy space sometimes and wonder if it makes a difference. Thanks for the reminder that “we give to give, not to get”…LOVE this. Blessings to you!

  14. Wow! Thanks! You nailed it for me. I’ve felt the same way, as I attempt to find my place in the New World of social media. Funny how, as a Lead Pastor, I’m so confident and competent in my world. Yet I find myself feeling like a 6th grader on the first day of school: awkwardly trying to learn the new rules. You gave me help and hope! Thx!
    Chris

    • Yes…a 6th grader on the first day of school. That’s a perfect analogy.

      So happy to have you here, Chris! We throw the doors open wide for you and welcome you with open arms.

      Happy New Year!

  15. Hi, I so so so appreciate this post. I ditched Facebook in August and it’s been an awesome experience for The Lord and me. :). I’ve been seriously considering getting back on and paring my “friends” list way down… Anyway… Thank you so my h for your honesty here …gave me insight into myself. Xo!!

  16. Hi, I so so so appreciate this post. I ditched Facebook in August and it’s been an awesome experience for The Lord and me. :). I’ve been seriously considering getting back on and paring my “friends” list way down… Anyway… Thank you so much for your honesty here …gave me insight into myself. Xo!!

  17. Kristen indeed you are so right. I’m rather new to this blogging thing myself, and I have to really remind myself that I’m doing what I do ultimately to honor God. Yes, i want to encourage others and hope to build community. But it certainly helps to keep all those valid points you mention in perspective. People are busy! I’m grateful if someone reads my posts. I pray they are encouraged and good seeds are planted. How fortunate we are that social media is being used as a method to spread the Good News. Thank you for clearly stating what we all needed to hear. Dress in tights huh? Bless your heart. It’s refreshing that you can laugh at yourself. Great parenting skills too, by the way.
    http://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com

  18. This was definitely needed today. I am still new to blogging and sometimes I post and feel bad because no one answers but I know people are reading because my page views are up, so maybe they are hearing in their heart but just not responding, either way like you said I’m doing this to give not to receive. Thanks. Also bless your heart I would’ve died had I been caught with my dress in my tight. Thanks for all your encouraging words 🙂

    God bless.

  19. Thank you so much for posting this message!

    It is EXACTLY what I need to hear and it PERFECTLY describes EXACTLY how I feel about social media!

    Your story has given me a better perspective!

    God bless you!

  20. Love this Kristen! I’m laughing about “cricketville” and grinning with you about the sweater dress debacle. You are so real and transparent. Thanks for being that in this social media place. Funny, funny friend 🙂
    PS – you don’t have to reply – I know we’re buddies 🙂

  21. I needed this *she says with a sheepish smile*. There’s been a lot of worry around social media for me recently. Thoughts about what I ‘should’ write, why don’t post like others, ‘why does this one do this or that’ etc etc. Praying about it has resulted in God speaking to me through you Kristen… Thank you!

    • Oh goodness yes, those questions can swirl in your mind ’til you go crazy. Praying we are both faithful to the singular, tailor-made road He asks each of us to walk. So thankful for you, Amanda!

  22. I had to write and say bravo and thank you. A great reminder that God will ensure we get what we need when we have faith in Him – whether it’s more “likes” or comments on our posts or new friendships on and offline. It all happens when we have faith in God. Love it. Thank you!! You penned (blogged) my heart today.

  23. I enjoy keeping up with my family and friends through Facebook, most of whom are not close enough to grab a cup of coffee with. However, it does consume some time. Lately, though, I have been asking God to bring me stories for my blog, and have found myself reaching out to those same Facebook friends, for stories of Grace in their lives, which is what my blog is about. I just acquired a wonderful piece from a friend in the UK which will surface on my blog, soon. I’m very excited!

    I would love to have you guest post, too, Kristen. If you ever find time to do so, what with all your time spent in the “Loud and Crowded Social Media sites.” 🙂 [grins]

  24. The media monster. That is what I affectionately call it. 🙂 Seems like we can’t live with it and we can’t live without it. Finding a balance between interacting with those who are in our ‘real’ life and social life it hard at times. I think in a techno society, we have some how shifted from face to face interaction to post, tweets, blogs etc. Smart phones and Wi-Fi have uped the anti. Each has its place. I like both. I can send an email, post a blog, send a text and then at their convenience the other party or parties can respond. Sometimes a phone call or conversation is not possible in that moment. Other times I need that face to face. A lunch with a friend, a ‘live’ phone call. A social gathering. I think it just depends on the circumstance at the time. We have gotten so use to ‘instant’. Take the internet for example. As fast as it is, if we have to wait a few seconds, we grow impatient. So, I think finding a balance is key and that it is different for each person.

  25. Your vulnerability makes us all stand a bit taller…knowing we are not alone. I still think you should put these all in a book! What a fun gift for me to give to our small group ladies :).

  26. What a wonderful perspective as many of us head into a new year filled with hope and expectation of all that we might miss if we’re not “jacked in”. I’m loving the reminder that we are already loved because of who we are in Christ – sweater dresses tucked in tights and all. (Loved that!)

  27. I so needed to hear this. Have been struggling this entire week with my own expectations that friends on social media should acknowledge every sentence that I say. Thank you for the reminder that we give to give and not to get.

  28. Fun post! I can tell that I’m in a rough spot emotionally when I’m checking my Facebook page regularly – for what? Some sort of acknowledgement that someone has noticed me. It’s a sign that I’m lonely and really need to turn to a friend or quiet myself in prayer. But turning to Facebook is the quick and easy place to go. It takes the desire to live authentically to close the laptop lid and call up a friend instead. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

  29. Kristen,

    I have been drawing much strength-encouragement-words of love and hope from your blog !!! I read it – ponder – take notes and have shared many posts with friends or fam I feel you are speaking to!!! 🙂 thx for sharing your heart and helping me draw near to the heart of God! Many blessings to you!

  30. What perfect timing! I deleted my FB account yesterday and my Twitter some time ago. I didn’t like that I spent more time in social media than in my Bible, and I didn’t like how emotionally attached I was to them. I think for women especially, social media can be a bit of a snare because it is our nature to want close, satisfying relationships and its impossible to have that in social media by its very nature. When I feel that familiar compulsion to glance at the media (which only confirms to me that it was indeed an addiction) I glance in my Bible instead. I do believe this year I will be memorizing scripture! 🙂

  31. This is just what I need at this time.I am having a rude awakening with facebook…A dear friend urged me to open one at the wake of the Newtown shooting…and have been posting ever since.But I have found that I may be getting obsessed with the “likes” or comments from people…Definitely time to step back and get perspective.Thanks so much for your words of wisdom!

  32. I am really just venturing into this whole world in terms of blogging, facebook, etc., but I can already tell that I need to keep a close eye on my need for approval from those who are reading what I write. My real deep down desire is to write to glorify God. And He isn’t leaving comments on my blog or facebook page! But He does let me know, as I take time to sit before Him, that writing is what He wants me to do. I am striving to write for Him, for that audience of One, trusting that He can use my words to bless others, but not writing for others, which gets me all twisted up inside.

    This was so good to think about…thanks for writing, Kristen!

  33. First of all I’m not a big big fan of social media–I used facebook, email-that’s it. No tweets, twitters here! My fear is that I’ll post something and either someone will be hurt/upset by it orit could accidentally ruin my reputation!

  34. Wow. I needed this today. It has been rough-going on this end lately. I need to find some encouragement.

  35. I read and love all of your Chasing Blue Skies writings…I seldom answer, but please know that so many of them touch my heart. So “Cricketville” does not mean no one cares or relates – only that hearts are quietly drinking it all in. 🙂 Keep up the good work – unbeknownst to you, you are changing lives, one word at a time – online or off!