3 Enjoyable Things I Want to Share with You

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A few days ago, a kind email landed in my inbox from one of my launch team members. I had just asked those members of my launch team who had finished reading Girl Meets Change to leave a review on Goodreads. This launch team member, Debra, wrote me to say that as she looked at reviews of other books on Goodreads, she noticed some of them were just plain hurtful. Knowing the land of vulnerability that publishing a book entails and how I could quite possibly receive a hurtful one or two (or more) of my own, she offered up a beautiful prayer on my behalf–a sword wielded at the gates of the book.

If you believe the kindness of Debra’s act and imagery of her words brought tears to my eyes, you’d be right. I only know Deb through my launch team, but her words and actions are a remarkable testimony to the beauty found in the family of Christ.

Great day, I hope I never get over it.

To be sure, this book journey has held its share of difficulties, namely in how I’ve been tested on change in ways like never before (because of course). Other less desirable realities will show their faces still. But there have been an abundance of soul-nourishing gifts in it too, like Debra’s prayer. There have been enjoyable parts to the ride, and some just may encourage you as you pursue your own interests and walk through your own season of change.

Three Enjoyable Things to Come from Writing this Book:

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Holding Evidence of Hard Work in My Hands On a Friday afternoon, a real deal copy of Girl Meets Change arrived to my front door. As someone who has dreamed of this since she was 10 years old, it was no small thing to receive this book from the UPS man into my shaky, 41 year old hands. I will always be grateful to God for not only remembering the dreams of  a little girl, but also for giving me the change-filled life he’s given me that prepared me for the book’s message.

Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong

 A Home Base for Girl Meets Change  I am so so happy to have my book page up and running. The lovely Erin Ulrich did a wonderful job creating it, and I’m especially thankful to Jenn Tucker who did the title art for me. (Have you seen her cute shop Little House Studio? Beautiful prints inside–and free printables!) I adore this book page because not only is it simple and beautiful, but it also feels like information about the book now has a comfy place to land. As odd as it sounds, this gives me a little rest, too.

If you feel like perusing the page, you’ll find *beautiful* graphics and tweets to share, and endorsements from writers like Ann Voskamp, Emily P. Freeman, Holley Gerth, Lisa-Jo Baker, and Leeana Tankersley. There’s also some really lovely testimonials from other readers of the book. If you feel like sharing the book page with others, you can refer folks to the handy dandy link www.girlmeetschange.com. Hooray for something that’s easy to remember!

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A Shimmering Community of Fellow Girl-Meets-Changers When I begin to feel wobbly or overwhelmed because change has me sitting on the edge of something new, I hop onto instagram and check out the latest photos from our #girlmeetschange community. No lie–it’s an instant deep breath for my heart. At this time on the calendar when school is beginning, moves are happening, families are transitioning and new jobs are starting, I find it helpful to see glimpses into the lives of others experiencing the same thing. Change isn’t as scary when you’re experiencing it with others. Feel free to join in the fun by posting your own snapshot of change tagged with #girlmeetschange.

I pray y’all have a good week, dear friends. And whatever creative interests you have, I encourage you to paint it, draw it, write it, teach it, bake it, craft it, film it, take it, and do it. Whether others have the privilege of seeing evidence of your hard work or you and God alone, take some time to sit and enjoy the fruits of your God-given talent. It all matters.

Much love to each of you! xo

You’re Invited to My Book Launch Party!

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The other day a friend and I sat with hands wrapped around steamy cups of coffee and chai, and she asked me how long I’ve been working on my book. I had to pause and think for a minute because you know what? That’s not a cut and dry question. It’s like asking a military kid Where are you from? There is more than one right answer to the question.

In the literal sense, it took 6 months to write the original manuscript. But if you want to know how long I’ve been working on this book or the proposal for this book, the answer is since summer of 2013. And what’s more, it’s true I’ve been down in the trenches learning the message of the book for most–if not all–of my married life.

Before I learned how to better accept the change God allows in my life, I lived hostile to it, certain that the change was in the way of what my life was supposed to be. I fought it like crazy, confident the only road to contentment was near the corner of Calm & Familiarity. I thought that handling change well meant leaning in the opposite direction of it. I believed the change to have no purpose except to drive me batty.

But what if change is just on the way to how your life is supposed to be rather than in the way?

What if the road to contentment is found in the midst of change rather than around it?

What if in this world that literally tilts on an axis, you steadied yourself by leaning into the change rather than away from it?

What if the purpose of the change was for God to bring himself closer to you than ever before?

Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t leave a safe place to acknowledge the hard parts of change too. You know me too well to believe I’d ever suggest such a thing. But it can still mean we believe the change is not the end of life as we know it. Instead, God’s grace and goodness are.

When I look over my shoulder from today to the beginning of my own change story, it feels like I’ve taken a million steps uphill and in the snow to get from there to here. But you know what? I still got here. Sure, sometimes I backtrack. But when that happens, I regroup and recommit to begin again with a fresh start. I’ve seen change in a new light, and I’ve felt the Lord’s goodness through change enough to believe he doesn’t want me to be miserable through it. He wants me to know that even here, he is faithful.

If you decide to read this book, that means you’re committed to begin again by seeing change in a new light too. It is my prayer that no matter what your next step is admidst your change, you believe God will indeed meet your sense of anxiety with his sense of purpose. It is my prayer that you see his intention to use this change for your benefit and his glory.

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So for our next step, it seems appropriate to have us a little party.

It seems good and right to honor the message of change God wants us to know. I think it would give him pleasure to see several of his daughters and their families celebrating a new vision for the change in their lives. My friend Allison thinks so too, so she is throwing a little shindig to celebrate all this and to celebrate this book baby’s birthday!

Although I know it will be easier for you local folks to attend, each of you are warmly invited!

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If you join us for the soiree, there will be:

light snacks

live classical music*

giveaway prizes

the opportunity to get your book signed

*Don’t think this little affair is going to be super fancy because we will have classical music. It will be nice and casual. And while I love classical music, you know I’ll be requesting a few country fiddle tunes as well (cough cough “Orange Blossom Special” cough cough).

If you’re attending, you can RSVP one of two ways:

  • Email me at girlmeetschangeparty@gmail.com and let me know how many are attending in your group.
  • Visit the launch party’s facebook page and sign up to attend there.

Looking forward to seeing you one month from today in Colorado Springs!

PS: If you’ve never heard of “Orange Blossom Special,” bless your deprived little heart (grin). Here’s a cute group of wee-watts performing it. They are good! (Subscribers click here to view.)


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