Books, Faith, Lent

Because You Should Know

I know I told you I was on a little blogging sabbatical, and mostly, I still am. But for the last 8 days I haven’t been able to write one single coherent thought, and today, the ground is breaking a bit. The words are swirling, but more than that, I have felt in no real describable way, the prayers of the saints–you, this broken-beautiful body of Christ, and I had to share this, to thank you and to remind you that you are not alone. (See you next week.)

Because You Should Know

I think it’s fair to say, I underestimated how utterly depleted I would be after my last project. I don’t say this as a complaint, but maybe as a warning to those of you who are currently pouring your souls into God-sized dreams (plan a time of respite!), and maybe also as a sort of apology for my fumbling attempts at being all here for you.

The book that so many of you have read and emailed me about, the one that has circled the globe and gone to the nations, well, it came at a cost–which I grossly minimized. This doesn’t actually surprise me about myself, because I am an admitted dreamer, a bit of a “pie-in-the-sky” kind of girl, who often manages to fully believe that she can actually do it all.

This is wildly far from reality.

And this sort of crazy, nonsensical thinking?–it comes at a cost.

Though the Lord certainly did the work, and fulfilled His promise to me, I didn’t realize the emotional toll such an adventure would have.

This book marks the first time that I can recall truly stepping out there for the Lord. This project was different from the time my friend and I proselytized to that budding atheist in the high school lunch room, or the time  I crossed states to serve on a reservation in North Dakota.

I keep saying I had no idea where this following God would take me, and I still don’t, except for where I’ve just been–clear up the mountain only to plummet straight back into the depths of the valley.

Lean into grace, my friend’s text reads. And I read it, while I’m dangling by thin line.

The Jesus path is a messy one, (in case you hadn’t realized this for yourself). I knew this at surface level, but have for probably my entire life,  have refused to really let that truth sink soul-deep.

How can I read the words of my own book and question who wrote them? Did I not spend hours weeping in my room, and in my closet, pouring these words first into a journal and then into that book?

Holey, Wholly, Holy came from the deepest places of struggle for me, out of an aching season, where tears watered seeds of faith and hope, sown in near-complete darkness.

I feel the need to confess to you, that even as I have written about the refining process, I still dug my own prideful heels in against walking back in. God knew that, and still He has brought me back into that smoldering place.

You can write a book on Lent and still find it hard to endure.

We wrestled again, this Lent, and though I already knew (and believed) the outcome would be for His glory–still, I have fought surrender.

I also think it’s fair for you to know, I gave nothing up for Lent this year. Nothing physical, anyway. Lent this year, for me has been a time of emptying, a time of self-reflection and grief over sin. The Lord has let me grieve. He has at moments, felt far from me.

Yet through all this pain and struggle, He has not actually been far off. He used so many of you to make me aware of His presence. The messages, the phone calls, the prayers and encouragement–each and every one has come at a moment of my most desperate need. How else can this be explained but by a God who draws near to the brokenhearted?

Psalm 34:18 reminds:

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Crushed. That is precisely the word to describe the  hollow place I have lingered. The enemy set up camp around my tent and in the wake of this obedience to God, the slithering snake has threatened to suffocate the very last shred of joy.

But God.

Though my sins are many, redemption is mine–It’s yours too. Whatever we’ve done, we can confess with our lips and be free. Living no longer as slaves, but free in the fullness and righteousness of Christ–

He resurrects the dead, breathing new life where only a husk exited. He is risen and in Him we rise. Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement

For my writing friends, I’m sharing a little encouragement over at Jennifer’s place for her #TellHisStory series
and if you’re wading your way through Holey Wholly, Holy, you really ought to go see what Nikki wrote today–it is just. So. Good.

And this one, from Lauren. Oh my. Such beautiful worship here.

*This post contains affiliate links.


    1. Kelli, you always encourage me. Thank you for that. It IS gift to journey with others–to journey with you. God is so very good to us, the way He provides company for our travels. Leaning in with you.

  1. I really appreciate your honesty in this, Kris. I’m feeling the same way as I slog (and there’s just no other word to describe it at this point) through the 50 Women book. I keep telling my husband every day, “I’m not going to make it. No seriously honey, I’m not going to make it.” Thanks for being real…

    1. Oh, you’ll finish it, Michelle, and then you would do yourself a world of good to take a long breath, find some quiet and let Him refill you. Praying for you as you work through this project–that God would inspire and equip you for the work–He is faithful to complete that which He has called us to. That’s wildly encouraging!! I’ve got your back, friend, write on!

  2. 2 Cor. 4:8-10 have been my saving grace this Lent. because it shares just what you said…we’re crushed, but not destroyed. my favorite: Perplexed, but not in despair… confession: I often feel in despair until I look at my Jesus and see what despair really looks like…

    Yes, let’s keep leaning in. soaking up what He has for us.

    praying for you, friend. as you adjust yourself to carry the weight of Him.

    1. yes, Nikki, crushed but not destroyed, and isnt the crushing where the sweetness comes, as all the impurities are pressed right out… sometimes I do despair, but you are right, when my eyes are on Jesus, my perspective changes. Soaking it up this season, hanging out in the garden, letting Him press me. Thank you for encouraging me, for walking this journey alongside. I treasure you.

  3. Dianne Hogue

    Beautiful post and I am looking forward to reading your book–I had not heard of it until now.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Sweet blessings to you,

  4. You have been on my heart and mind all week, sweet one. The physical and emotional toll is so very hard when you pour so much of yourself out, as you have done. Yes, lean in and rest in Him because He gives strength to the weary. You are loved!

    1. Lauren, thank you for sharing the book with your readers, and for encouraging me during this season. I am so grateful to have met you through this, and to know you a bit better through your words. What a gift you are.

  5. You’ve been on my mind and heart daily but want to give you space. I’m taking a break next week and I’m giddy to spend time with Him. I feel like I’m packing up my mind for a tropical vacation. You are loved, deeply loved, I hope you hear that. Doing this the way you are is an inspiration, you know that?

    1. Oh Shelly. Friend, your kindness overwhelms me. I am proud of YOU for taking a break too. It’s hard but worthwhile, and SO richly rewarding. I will be praying for you too, that The Lord would fill you during that time, that you would return refreshed and inspired in your worship and service to His calling on your life. Love you, so much.

  6. You know what, Kris? I’ve been so busy being a student that I’ve missed this book and when I come back to blogosphere, it’s EVERYWHERE!

    I now HAVE to read it. 🙂 It’s on my wish list on Amazon. 🙂

    Great post and thanks for the reminder to not get burnt out!

    1. Duane, you know what its like to need a break, to need to focus on one thing rather than 10. You have lived this as well in your life, and this season of intense learning as a student. Thanks for stopping by, and I pray the book encourages you in your own journey. It’s a gift to be in community with you.

  7. You are a life poured out, of which I am truly grateful for. I was sidetracked on Chapter 2 of your book and haven’t gotten back to it. Perhaps for fear of what would be revealed. But I will, I must. Praying for you my friend.

    1. Barbie, I pray you would hear the Lord in this season, that you’d go where He calls you with boldness and trust that He will not leave you,, nor forsake you. I know fear so well, and I know how it has held me back again and again from absorbing the grace that is mine to claim because of Christ. Friend, I don’t know what your struggling with, but I just want to tell you, it’s okay to go where He’s leading. He will not let your foot slip. Love to you, sweet friend. Truly.

  8. Dear sister – my heart swells for you. For your ability to maintain the real – to carry the cross and be brave enough not to pretend it isn’t heavy or splinter-giving. Because it is. And it digs deep into our sin and spills the yuck out for our eyes to gape at. No longer able to ignore.
    And that is what drains us, empty to the bone, we find ourselves sunken by the awareness of our sin. Drained by the busy task of being shown.

    But oh what sight to see the empty nourished with the lasting. Getting cancer out and putting fight and victory of life back in. The pulchritude of our golden calfs melting away into nothingness while the new, impenetrable metal of FAITH is welded in refiner’s fire. Nothing else is like it. It’s value incalculable.

    It’s true that when we are more aware of our depravity, we are stunningly clearer on our understanding of the cross and what Christ gave in order that He and we would gain. He is always breathtakingly more when we are finally less.

    So my prayer, cherished sister, is that you be unafraid of the empty, the valley, the draining. For oh how you are glorifying Him by sustaining. By speaking truth into your heart, by surrendering your tears for His storehouses. By declaring the King to a wayward nation. Focus not on your less – fix your eyes on His all. And peace will wash over – downcast eyes cannot abide – worshipful posture will burst forth from every limb. For it is finished! You are victor over the empty. Always. Every moment. Your inheritance is lasting.
    {Hugs friend. Big, tight hugs.}

    1. Leigh, your words of encouragement leave me a bit speechless, but to say simply, thank you. I know that prayers of yours and others have been answered this week, as the Lord has strengthened my soul in a radical, unexplainable way–except by prayer. Thank you, sister, for lifting me to Him, and for standing in the gap with me. I am grateful beyond words.

  9. I just love you. All of this is for His purpose in you and your life will bring so much light to those walking in darkness. I’m praying for you, friend. Standing in the gap and hedging you with His power Words.

    1. Thank you, sweet friend. I am beyond thankful for you and praying His covering over you this coming week. You are a treasure to me, and to many. You shine for Him, and whatever He’s doing in you–it is amazing. Honored to be a part of your journey. Love you.

  10. Julie Reynolds

    as usual your words inspire me… I have been wondering, fearful to ask what this silence, this period where I just long to be quiet is leading me. After reading this and Nikki’s post, I feel Him whispering that it is not in the doing, but in the abiding that He will change me. I just have to take the steps to quiet myself, my to-do list, and abide. Thanks sweet friend, and as always my prayers are for His grace to overwhelm you during your time with Him.

    1. Thank you Julie. Praying for you as you abide. It’s so hard sometimes to just lay it all down, but He will meet you there, in the quiet waiting, and He will usher in His truth and encouragement for the days ahead. I have strong feelings about this upcoming retreat, rest now. Let Him minister to you in this time. Let Him fill you for His glory… He plans to pour out through you. I feel this so strongly. Love you, my friend.

  11. Kris,

    I continue to be touched by your willingness to bare your soul before others…it’s not only inspiring, but helpful to others in ways that I’m sure you’re not even aware… amazing, this “broken-beautiful body of Christ”…how, through sharing our struggles and deficiencies, we are united by His Spirit, how we are encouraged and uplifted by truth revealed as we share His Word with one another and are spurred onward towards holiness. How this holiness, when we catch glimpses of it, brings with it a “ridiculous joy” that I am positively convinced is a shared joy with The Father himself, as He delights in watching His children mature in His ways.

    Thank you for reminding us that obedience invites the anger of the accuser, that we need to “…be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18b-NIV) The significance of this verse, placed at the end of the famed “Armor of God” passage (Ephesians 6:10-20) is not lost on me…we are not meant to do battle alone…there is strength in numbers…a solo soldier defending with his/her own shield (of faith) is left vulnerable to attack, but when others gather ’round, they can form an un-penetrable barrier.

    I would like to encourage you today by pointing to Paul’s surrender found in v.20 of this same passage where he refers to himself as “an ambassador in chains” to “the mystery of the gospel”, and also with your very own words, used in reply to a recent fb message: ” May we live within the bounds of Christ’s redeeming love, and embrace the ridiculous joy that can be ours, when we surrender unto Him–all things, by His strength and for his glory alone.”

    1. Thank you, Thomas. Your words of encouragement are a gift, and I pray the Lord strengthens you as well, in this season, as He has pulled you in close. It’s a blessing to hear how he has spoken to you. I appreciate the prayers, so much.


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