I'm a bereaved mother, veteran military spouse, writer, artist, and journal enthusiast.

I believe writing + creativity can offer healing + hope to anyone—including you.

Hi there!I'm Kristin.

It did. It got worse. In the years following, still navigating life without my daughter and dad, I struggled as a young mom (giving birth two more times to two healthy sons). The stress of military life, deployments, and frequent moves tore at me. And eventually I faced a crisis in my marriage that undid me. Life felt unrelentingly hard and heavy. I never imagined the pain points I experienced would be a part of my story. As much as I didn't want them, they were now woven into my story. 

Just when I thought life couldn't get any worse... 

At 24 years old, just when my happily-ever-after should have been starting, my story took a devastating turn. The beginning of a wonderful, new chapter of my life turned into an ending I never saw coming. I had been a young woman full of hope, ready for my first military adventure with my husband (a newly commissioned officer in the Army), and pregnant with my first child. Within a few short months, I walked away from my career, moved away from all I'd ever known... and I experienced the birth and tragic death of my daughter, followed by the death of my father just weeks later.


My story here began the moment I thought my story was over. 

Grief, depression, and anxiety all took their toll on me. I was desperate for relief and for something to change but felt so stuck and alone. In all that was out of my control, I began to focus on what I could control. I sought help and wisdom from safe friends, wise spiritual mentors, and licensed therapists. And then I began to write. All the wisdom, all the hard-won lessons, all the thoughts stuck in my head, all the feelings flooding my heart, all the prayers and laments of my spirit... I wrote it all down. I used what was I learning in my spiritual, mental, and emotional life to write in a such a way that writing became like the ladder helping me emerge from a dark pit. Writing felt (and still feels) like a fresh, cleansing, life-giving breath to my spirit starving for air.

there were moments when i felt helpless + hopeless. I wanted to give up, but i didn't...

 I believe writing offers healing + hope. I believe you have healing words to write and that you can write your way to hope.  If you want to write for personal processing on the journal page or want to have your words published for others to read, I have offerings to help you. 

And now i'm here to help you own your story + write

As a child, I adored words. I've always loved reading and writing. But amid all my losses, I abandoned and buried my writing and creative side. But as I returned to the page and wrote again, I began to uncover and recover the parts of myself I'd lost. I began to experience a renewal of my mind and spirit and found relief for my aching heart. Writing became a life-saving tool for me. Owning my story, my choices, my emotions, my thoughts, and becoming curious and compassionate about myself and my life through writing brought (and still brings) such healing + hope to my life.

That was when it all started to change for me. When I started owning my story + writing...

take a next step and journey with me:

lament
journal

ART that
INSPIREs HOPE

THE PEN & MEND
COLLECTIVE

FREEBIES
FOR YOUR JOURNEY

If you're in a season of darkness or difficulty, unlock the powerful healing benefits of journaling combined with the spiritual practice of lament with my journal for lament: Rest.
 

I have free downloadable resources for you in my shop, featuring printables like a journal page template, habit tracker, questions for journaling bookmark, the Pen & Mend manifesto, and more.

Do you want to write for healing and hope? Join my private membership for paid Substack subscribers, featuring exclusive monthly journal prompts, monthly writing rooms, discounted events, opportunities for connection, and more!

Art meets us in wordless places and can offer our hearts hope. Browse my art collection of oil pastel mini paintings and find the original or print to inspire your space.

  • I have a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • I've taken numerous continuing studies courses at Yale and Stanford on religious studies, creative writing, and communications.

academic

  • I'm a certified writing coach.
  • I've created and hosted monthly journaling workshops serving 5-50 attendees at a time.
  • I've led hundreds of writers through the best-selling book, The Artist's Way.
  • I've taught a 6-week course to 50 writers on Writing Your Hard Story.
  • I've spoken at local churches for women's ministry events since 2017.
  • I've hosted a breakout session at the Hope*Writers Conference in 2022.

PROFESSIONAL

  • My writing has been featured online on (in)courage and Proverbs 31 Ministries' the First 5 App. 
  • It has also appeared in printed collections published by Proverbs 31 Ministries and DaySpring.
  • And pieces of my writing have been featured in Rachel Marie Kang's book, Let There Be Art.
  • My journal for lament, Rest, released in November 2022.

Find a full list of my publications with links here on LinkedIn.

PUBLICATIONS

experience & publications

journaling

can't live without

This is Us

favorite show

oil PASTELS

favorite art medium

CREATIVITY + healing

PASSIONATE ABOUT

Mary Oliver

CURRENT WRITING CRUSH

a few of my favorite things

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Sign up below to receive entries from my weekly newsletter "The Jotter's Corner." This weekly email is like a beautifully curated, minimalist, mini-magazine with jottings of inspiration, tips, favorite resources, and more to help spur you on toward healing + hope in your own life. As an email friend, you'll also have direct access to offerings I create for you from journal workshops, art, and more.

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