Graduates, what would you teach us?

This weekend, I’m excited to attend the graduation for some amazing young people I’ve watched grow up through youth group. They might say they learned from me, but in many ways, I learned just as much from them.

I met with them for coffee a few weeks ago to hear about their plans and next steps. Listening to their dreams inspired this post, which appears in full at DailyPS.com.

Whether you’re a graduate or farther down life’s road, I hope this post encourages you.

Post excerpt

Graduates are on fire for life and its seemingly endless possibilities, but those of us on the other side know Forrest Gump was right when he said life can be like a box of chocolates—and not always in a good way. As a result, we adults have both wisdom and experience to offer. However, let’s take a moment to switch places and ask ourselves what we can learn from the Class of 2018.

Celebrate your success, and don’t dwell on defeat.

Sometimes, life and its school of hard knocks jade us. We see the rejection letters, the closed doors, and the failed hopes. When we do, we often lose sight of all the bright moments we’ve experienced, too.

On the other hand, graduates are young and resilient—and for the most part, not as burned by disappointments. For those of us feeling frayed, let’s exercise our stamina again. Accept defeat and criticism when they come, learn from them, but don’t dwell on them.

Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate those successes. Graduates know how to party, and we need to cheer for the moments where we do make the deadline, conquer the laundry pile, and get the upper hand on “adulting.”

To read the full post, visit DailyPS.com. Congrats to the Class of 2018!

~ Kristen

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What graduates can teach us – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

The Command to Rest

If there’s one adjective we all use to describe our lives, it’s probably busy. Some days, I look at my list and wonder: How did all that get there? One item you won’t see on the to-do list is this: Rest. But I think we would all do well to add it.

I’m not talking about lazy, couch-potato rest, although if we burn out our bodies to the point of illness, that sometimes becomes necessary.

Instead, I’m talking about a quiet rest, a renewing rest, a distraction-free rest. What that looks like differs for each one of us, but here are some suggestions:

  • Spending a quiet weekend morning with our Bible, journal, and coffee (always coffee!)
  • Leaving the laptop off on weekends
  • Taking a break from social media
  • Getting outside to enjoy nature and the good things God created for us to enjoy
  • Making time to catch up with friends and family

As Solomon reminds us, there is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). However, the Bible reveals that our “seasons” should include rest.

Click here to read the full post at DailyPS.com.

~ Kristen

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Carve time into your calendar to rest – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Embrace the Possible: Lessons from a Half Marathon

“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’!” This quote by Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorites, because so often, the difference between success and failure is our perspective. A decade ago, I equated running a mile as an impossibility, thanks to a curvy spine and the enablement of doctor’s notes excusing me from my physical education classes in college.

Then, after graduation, my brother dared me to run anyway and get in the best shape of my life. I accepted the challenge, pushing through shin splints and back spasms. Eventually, I plateaued at 3-4 miles. In other words, I became too comfortable with my routine, until a friend invited me to run a half marathon with her this year.

Last week, I ran those 13.1 miles in a time better than I could have thought possible. This physical dare has taught me to embrace the potential of seemingly impossible goals. I hope what I’ve learned might encourage you today.

Click here to read the full post on DailyPS.com. As always, I welcome your comments.

~ Kristen

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Embrace the Possible: Lessons from a Half Marathon – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

3 Pitfalls of People Pleasing

Does anyone else out there struggle with the problem of people pleasing? What are some core values we can keep in mind to help us be honest with others and ourselves? I’m excited to share this post with you, which published today on DailyPS.com, and welcome your comments.

Post excerpt

As a youth leader for six years, I often challenged teens not to conform to peer pressure but to let God’s Word transform their thoughts and actions (Romans 12:2). Recently, I realized we adults suffer from a subtler form of this problem called people pleasing.

Those of us who dislike conflict and change (or is that all of us?) find this problem particularly painful. If we’re going to conquer it, though, we have to take an honest look at the pitfalls of putting others’ opinions over what we know God has asked us to do.

Pitfall #1: Pretense over Transparency

Perfectionism often goes hand-in-hand with people-pleasing. We want others to think we have our lives, jobs, and relationships immaculately intact. We crave acceptance and applause at the cost of quenching the impact our messy, imperfect stories can make.

Can you imagine if the Apostle Paul had attempted to cover up his past crimes against Christians? He would never have gained anyone’s trust or been half as effective in spreading the gospel. Instead, he proclaimed from the rooftops “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV).

Are we afraid God can’t use cracked vessels? A quick study of Scripture reveals the very opposite is true. In fact, He chooses the most unlikely people to accomplish His will. Yes, transparency makes us vulnerable, but it can also open doors to the most unexpected, amazing places.

To learn about the other common pitfalls and find help to overcome them, click here to read the full post on DailyPS.com.

~ Kristen