Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Kristen Strong
#TellHisStory Storytellers Series
Story has the power to change the world, one paragraph at a time. I share this space, once a week, with some great storytellers I’ve met during my years of writing.
This week’s featured storyteller is Kristen Strong, a beautiful writer with a beautiful spirit to match.
Be sure to come back Wednesday to link your own stories or photos with us in the #TellHisStory community.
The Truth About Who You Are
by Kristen Strong
Of the two sets of quiet that bookend each day, I write best in the hours before dawn’s early light. Today, however, my brows furrow intensely as I grasp for words that seem super glued inside my head. My usual morning chai can’t even dislodge them.
It’s then that my early riser ambles down the stairs. She comes over to hug me before stretching her long limbs over my curled up legs on the sofa. She is content to snuggle near me. In that moment when my words come slow, the feeling isn’t necessarily mutual. I really want to make progress on my article, so I try to plow on just a bit more. But soon my mind throws its hands up in the air, and I set the laptop aside to give her my attention. We talk for a bit as I finish my chai, and she wants to know what is this morning’s Olympic gold medal count. I pull the laptop back over, and we discover the United States and Russia are tied for first with 18 golds while Netherlands sits in second with 17 golds.
She sees a picture of a gold medal winner with a rounded section of his prize between his teeth.
“Why do some winners bite their medal?” she asks.
“I’m not really sure,” I answer, shrugging my shoulders. “Maybe it’s just tradition? Maybe they saw others do it first so they think it’s the thing to do.”
“Maybe they don’t even know why they do it,” she replies sleepily while reclining back on the sofa.
It’s then a few of those words for my article break free. I lean back, reposition her legs over my own before placing my laptop on both.
I sometimes want the parts of my life to stay in their boxes, my family time to sit right here, my writing time to sit over there. But this often makes for frustrating living. Those worlds slide into each other throughout the day, like when I slice vegetables while discussing middle school issues with my son or when I prepare breakfast while quizzing my daughter on spelling words. Even intentionally focusing on one thing – or person – is a good way to tug free sticky ideas related to something else.
I can more easily accept this about the parts of my life than the people in it. I’m embarrassed to admit how often I’ve wanted to place folks into neat and tidy boxes, too. Heaven knows I’ve done this with myself. Either out of tradition or because I saw someone else do it first, I have repackaged my own personality, interests, and ideas into something that isn’t me, not having a clue as to why I did it.
When I see my reflection in the full length mirror, I see a woman who has attended both denominational and non-denominational churches. Her itunes repertoire ranges from Prokofiev to Paisley. She finds educational value in keeping art and music programs inside our schools. And as a military wife for almost twenty years, she believes our military and their families hold immense worth. She loves to write and laugh and encourage. She suffers disappointments but not defeat.
And just like you, she’s not a type of person, but a uniquely-created person.
I’m learning that what is most beautiful in this world are those traditions, talents, and traits that mix in a kaleidoscope of never before seen colors. It’s the beauty we find in the Olympics right now. It’s also the beauty we find in you everyday.
You are who you are because of Christ’s generosity, and He uses His endless creativity to happily show you off. You are chock-full of your own totally creative combination, a beautiful blend of abilities that God breathed into your soul. God didn’t copy you from someone else. He singularly created you, and He has no interest in categorizing you.
Because you dazzle in a singular category all your own.
Kristen Strong is wife to a retired Air Force veteran and mom to twin sons and a daughter. She lives in Rocky Mountain country of Colorado and writes of the fresh-air hope found in Jesus at her blog Chasing Blue Skies. You can also find her words regularly at (in)courage (the blog of DaySpring) where she is a monthly contributor. Kristen can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Kristen has an ebook FREE for all of her email subscribers!
And if you’re a military wife, feel free to visit here to learn more about some special encouragement just for you!