ITA #27 – Cultivating Community, Military Wives and Raising Teens and – An Interview with Kristen Strong

By January 13, 2014Podcast

A Conversation with Kristen Strong

Kristen is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She is warm, friendly and unpretentious. As soon as you start talking to her, she feels like an instant friend.

As a military wife, Kristen has learned the art of making friends quickly and cultivating those friendships regardless of where military life takes her. In today’s show we talk about how she “warp speeds” the friend making process, the challenges that come with being a military wife and why having a teenager has been shocking. Click the play button (at the top of this post) to join our chat or keep reading for some great nuggets of wisdom from Kristen.

Kristin Strong Family

Kristen writes at and at She is also a military wife, mother of 3 kids (including twins) and an author of several ebooks.

NOTE: New Podcast Post Format!

It’s my goal to make sure that everything I put online is as ridiculously useful as possible, so I’m going to be sharing all the notes from each episode so those of you who don’t enjoy podcasts (what?!) can still get great content. Of course, I don’t cover EVERYTHING we talk about in each episode, but I will pull out all the highlights and try to make it as accessible to you as possible.

If there is anything I can do to make the content more actionable for you, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Quick announcement: My friend Sally Clarkson is hosting her annual MomHeart Conference in three different locations around the country. If you’re looking for a mom’s weekend away where you’ll get inspired and encouraged, this is a “can’t miss” event. I’ve gone every year since I first heard about it and I’m always so blessed. I’ll be attending the Dallas event, I’d love to connect if you plan to be there as well. Click here for all the info on MomHeart.

Today’s Wisdom

Being a Military Wife

Military wives are heroes. Pure and simple. Their spouses aren’t the only ones who sacrifice and serve.

A few months ago I (Kat) was talking to the young man who carried out my groceries at the store. He told me what his plans were after high school and in the middle of his monologue he said this, “I thought about joining the military, but I love my freedom too much.”

The irony and weight of that statement made the rest of his story a blur. The fact is, those who serve in the military and their spouses are quite literally surrendering their freedom to give us ours. They surrender the freedom of choosing where they will live. They surrender the freedom of deciding how often they will be together. They surrender the freedom of choosing safety and comfort.

So to all of you out there who are in the military or married to someone in the military…thank you.

Cultivating community

Military wives create community in warp speed. They don’t have the luxury of having years and years to make friends. Kristin has learned the value of and being brave and valuing the possibility of connection over the fear of rejection.

She challenges us to make the most of our relationships by “being brave, being vulnerable and making the first move.”

Click to Tweet: “How to create community: Be brave. Be vulnerable. Make the first move.” – Kristin Strong

Hope for the teenage years

Kristin encourages us that the teenage years have been unexpectedly fun. Most of us have heard horror stories about the teenage years, but Kristin shares why they’ve been a wonderfully pleasant surprise for her.

We discuss that one powerful way to make the teenage years a positive time is to consistently have “face time” with our kids now in the early years. Sowing our attention into them now is likely going to bring a harvest of them valuing our attention and opinion later.

Quick Links

1. Kristen’s eBook for Military Wives Serving You: 31 Days of Encouragement for the Military Wife

2. Kristen’s new ebookThe Way Jesus Sees You

3. Love the song in the podcast outro? It’s called God Day. It’s by Jen Stanbro and you can get it on iTunes by clicking here and check out Jen’s site by clicking here.

Take Action Now

I have two challenges for you to choose from today:
1. Create community – in the next 5 minutes, email, text or call someone and invite them to lunch. Be brave.
2. Plan “face time” with your children – Today, put some one on one time with each child on the calendar. Plan a date or just a walk around the block.

Did you take the challenge? Tell us in the comments and inspire someone today!

How to Listen to This Podcast

If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.

1. Listen right here on the blog. Click through to the site and click the little play button at the beginning of this post.
2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one in the app store, but I like one called Downcast. It allows me to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio.
3. Subscribe to the Podcast – just click here to access the podcast in iTunes. You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

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