Tag Archives: Kristen Hogrefe

Girls with Gusto: From Giveaways to Community



You probably know that I’m working on a book called Girls with Gusto. This may give you the mistaken impression that I “have it all figured out.” You may even say to yourself, “She must be the most energetic, spiritual young woman to have come up with such an idea.”

Not true.

Okay, I do like to think of myself as being young, but I struggle with a low energy level, and I don’t often feel (or think) “super spiritually.”

I’m just a Christian. I don’t use the word “just” to mitigate what God has done in my life but to clarify that all of my life is defined by this one characteristic. You could say that I’m saved. I like to think that I’m purchased, that Jesus redeemed my life at a great personal cost.

I am not who I was. I am not yet who I will be.

God is perfecting Himself in me a little more every day, if only I will let Him take control. The alternative is that I could be…well, I could be what I was: self-seeking, self-destructive, confused, frustrated, angry, and useless for the Kingdom. Been there, done that. Now I want to be everything God created me to be. I’m convinced that’s the best, and only, way to live the life He’s given me.

So that’s what the book Girls with Gusto is all about—how to find ourselves in the journey of seeking God. I believe with all my heart that this idea will resonate with other women.

Now I just need to convince publishers.

Enter to Win!

Please share on your social media! #giveaway #bigsisterknows

I’ll be attending a big writers conference next month, and I really need to show publishers that there is an audience for Girls with Gusto. To do this, I’ve developed a giveaway with some pretty cool items:

Register for the drawing today through my Facebook Author Page (at http://gvwy.io/xsq6e8x) and then let your friends and family know about it. The more folks who enter, the better. I’ll pull the winning names at the end of February.

Remember that every time you like, share, or comment, you help me get one step closer to publishing Girls with Gusto—and doesn’t the world need “girls with gusto”?!

Join the Community

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, choosing to be a Girl with Gusto—to pursue the amazing plans God has for us—can be hard at times. Although I’m an introvert at heart, I’ve come to realize that I need a community of believers, especially other women, with whom I can share my thoughts and concerns and get a little advice along the way.

That’s why I just created the Girls with Gusto group in Facebook. If you’re a Christian girl (of any age!) and the idea of a real community appeals to you, please accept this as your official invitation to join the club. (Did you notice the authors listed above, the ones who are donating their books for the giveaway? All three are members of the Girls with Gusto group. How cool is that?)

Whether you’re a girl or a guy, I encourage you to live with gusto!


“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:1-2 NAS).

3 Things Every Christian Should be Prepared For



The following blog was first seen on KristenHogrefe.com. Thanks so much to Kristen for hosting this and sharing it with her readers! Check out her site for more encouragement and godly challenges!


Last week, Florida had its first measurable snow fall in nearly 30 years! Although we only received a tenth of an inch here in Tallahassee, a long section of Interstate 10 was closed for hours, FSU canceled classes, and several schools closed for the day.

Of course, social media was a-buzz as northerners made fun of us for making a big deal out of such a small amount of snow and ice. But the truth is that we weren’t prepared for this kind of weather—and we never are. That’s because the potential for it is too low to justify the expense of preparing for it.

This experience got me thinking about the topic of preparation, and I wondered what the Bible said about spiritual preparation. After a little research, I found the following three things that every Christian should be prepared for.


1 – Prepare to see Jesus. 

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7 NAS).

We may witness the Second Coming of Jesus, or we may pass on to Heaven before He returns. Either way, we will see Jesus face to face one day!

So, how do we get ready to meet our Savior? Through “sanctification,” which is the process of becoming holy. In his best-selling book, The Pursuit of Holiness, author Jerry Bridges states that “Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.” This is something we must do, not something that is done to us. (See Ephesians 4:20-24 and 1 Peter 1:14-16.)

Here are four ways we can pursue holiness in our lives:

  • Know God’s Word. Meditate on it and commit as much to memory as we can. (Psalm 119:15-16).
  • Focus on Jesus and everything else will fall into place. (1 Peter 1:13 NAS).
  • Do good deeds with a sincere heart. (1 Timothy 6:18 NAS).
  • Stand firm against evil but prepare for peace. (Ephesians 6:14-16 NAS). 

 [Click to Tweet: Are you ready to meet Jesus face to face? #faith #bigsisterknows]


2 – Prepare to pay the cost.

In The Cost of Discipleship, author Dietrich Bonhoeffer states that true grace “is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life…Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son…and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.”

As followers of Jesus, we must walk in godly discipline. Here are a few ways we can prepare ourselves to pay the cost of our discipleship.

  • Be disciplined. (Hebrews 12:4-7)
  • Carry our individual crosses. (Luke 14:27)
  • Commit all that we have to the Lord. (Luke 14:33)
  • Trust in God and do not fear (1 Peter 3:14-15)

[Click to Tweet: True grace is costly because it cost God the life of his Son. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer #grace #quote #bigsisterknows]


[Click to Tweet: What has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer #grace #quote #bigsisterknows]


3 – Prepare to share the Gospel.

It is not enough that we believe in Jesus; we must also introduce others to Him. Regardless of your calling or your role in the church, make sure you are willing and able to share the Gospel and to mentor other believers in your sphere of influence. 

“I solemnly charge you…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:1-2 NAS).

[Click to Tweet: It is not enough that we believe in Jesus; we must also introduce others to Him. #crosslife #bigsisterknows]


Resolve to Prepare

It rarely snows in Florida, so it makes sense that we would be less prepared than northern states.

But as Christians, being unprepared doesn’t make any sense at all. If we truly love the Lord, why wouldn’t we want to draw close to Him, to be like Him, and to introduce others to Him?

If this list seems daunting, though, don’t worry! The first step is to write down the Scriptures so you can study and meditate on them throughout the year. You may also want to check out The Pursuit of Holiness and The Cost of Discipleship referenced above.

As always, ask for God’s help and guidance. You can pray something simple like this:

“Father God, you said that I should make myself ready for your return, to pay the cost of discipleship, and to share the Gospel. Please soften my heart and harden my resolve that I would be prepared for all the wonderful things you want to accomplish in my life and through it. Let everything I do glorify You. In the name of Jesus, who was and is and is to come. Amen.”

[Click to Tweet: As Christians, being unprepared doesn’t make any sense at all. #crosslife #bigsisterknows]

Are you resolved to prepare yourself spiritually? What methods or tools are you using to help you get started and stay on track?


Love, Truth, Love



I’m so pleased that author Kristen Hogrefe hosted the following blog post on her site today. Her blog focuses on seeking and living out God’s truth on a daily basis. If you haven’t already signed up to receive her blogs via email, please do so today. I’m sure they’ll be a blessing to you! 


My husband Robby and I have been happily married for over six years now. One of the reasons we work so well together is that neither of us likes drama. We prefer the simple life. But, sometimes, stuff happens and you just have to deal with it. And that’s when our complementary personalities really shine. You see, Robby is a natural-born peacemaker, and I’m…well…scrappy. As you can imagine, we didn’t always see this difference as positive thing.

Early into our relationship, Robby’s “can’t we all just along?” temperament grated on my “why can’t everyone just do it right?!” attitude. It wasn’t long before we realized some very important things about ourselves.


Truth, Truth, Truth 

I am a “truth, truth, truth” kind of person. Not only do I want to know the truth, but I want to relay the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, at all times. If that hurts your feelings, I’m sorry—but not really, ‘cause I can’t help that it’s the truth.


Love, Love, Love 

Robby, on the other hand, is the quintessential peacemaker. He is a “love, love, love” kind of person. Yes, he wants to be truthful in all things, but if he has to pick, he’ll choose a loving silence over a truthful discourse any day.


Truth or Love?

At one point, we talked about what was more godly: truth or love? Fortunately, I was taking Bible classes at that time, and we looked into the following verse:

 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NAS)

The teacher suggested that “in spirit” means “in love,” since we know that “God is love” (1 John 4:16 NAS).

Although the context of John 4 is worship, all of our activities can be considered worship if we do them as unto the Lord. (See Colossians 3:23.)

Pulling these concepts together, I realized that my words and actions should be as loving as they are truthful.


Love, Truth, Love 

That’s when Robby and I made a pact. He would be more upfront with the truth, trusting that I wouldn’t overreact or blame him for passing along difficult news. And I would be more loving, sweetening each word of truth with love. Now, we’re both striving to be “love, truth, love” kind of people—sandwiching the necessary truth in love.

I have to admit that this has made me a better person, wife, and friend. It’s also enabled me to minister to others in a meaningful way.


[Click to Tweet: Our words and actions should be as loving as they are truthful. @bigsistertweets @kjhogrefe #loveandtruth]


Learn to Love 

If you’re a truth-focused person like I am, take heart! You can learn to be more loving in your interactions with others. Here are a few tips.

God first – Remember, the great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor. (See Matthew 22:37-39.) We can’t fulfill the second commandment until we fulfill the first. It might help to think of the image of the “love cup.” Focus on your love for God first, letting that fill your love cup. Then let God’s love overflow and pour through you into your relationships with others.

Fake it – In the meantime, “fake it ‘til you make it.” I don’t mean that you should be a fake person, but if you make an effort to be nice and caring, you’ll find your emotions follow suite.

Pray – You can’t dislike someone you’re praying for—at least not for long—so pray daily for their welfare.


Learn to be Truthful 

If you have a hard time telling difficult things to people you love, you can learn to be more truthful.

Right motives – We should never speak the truth out of a sense of self-righteousness or judgment. However, we should speak truth in love if it will help the other person in some way. This could be as small as telling your friend that she has spinach in her teeth; or it could be as big as confronting her with her addiction to alcohol. Just make sure your motives are righteous before you speak.

Faith – If you need to say something, then have faith in your friend and in the strength of your relationship. Even if the truth rocks the boat a bit, your friend should appreciate that you said what you did in love.


What about you? Have you struggled with speaking truth in love? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NAS).