2012

Holiday Year in Review: 2012

Rumor has it… 2012 is coming to an end. (And by rumor, I really mean my iCalendar told me so.)

This has been quite a year~ In one word? Educational. Well, and encouraging. (Ok, I know that’s two words– but hey, that’s the awesome power of the keyboard. I do what I want. Well, within reason. Ish.)

We here in the Knobloch Family are mixing things up a bit this year. Instead of sending out hard copies of printed letters, in envelopes with pictures with full postage, we are going digital. Don’t worry, we are still sending out picture postcards– but we wanted to save on postage and labor, so are trying something a lil new. (Plus it was a compromise of my desire to update our dear friends and family on our lives via full printed letter/picture and my sweet husbands theory of “Can’t we just send out a text message?”)

So, dear friends and readers… Here are some of the educational and encouraging lessons that we have learned (or have been continually reaffirmed) in 2012.

Holiday pic 2012

1. God is faithful… all the time. I know it sounds cliché, but it has been a year of ups, downs and all arounds. We’ve experienced some of our lowest lows (we had a miscarriage in March) and our highest highs (we are now expecting our Little Patriot to arrive February 26th-ish! As if you couldn’t figure that out per the picture above.) Brandon is still a drill sergeant (t-minus six months ’til he hangs up his hat! But who’s counting…) I have really been dedicating my life to this ministry here at 7 Days Time, while also fulfilling my role as volunteer ministry apprentice at Christ Community Church and pursuing my spiritual leadership coaching certification. Oh. And being Family Readiness Group Leader for our army company. And growing a baby. WHEW.

Through all of these experiences, God has proven so incredibly faithful!! We’ve cried and laughed over the last year. With each experience, our marriage has grown stronger, as has our relationship with God. It is almost hard to put into words how grateful we are for God’s continual grace, patience, love and faithfulness. It’s overwhelming.

You didn’t think this was gonna be all gushy, did you? My bad. Please excuse me while I grab a tissue… AHEM.

2. God is dependable… in all circumstances. My word for 2012 was “Dependence.” Whoo-ee, lemme tell ya, folks– has God really put that word front and center in our lives!  He REQUIRED us to depend on Him numerous times throughout this year including more separated-by-call-of-duty-seasons, life challenges/circumstances, moments of victory and also as we faced some big fat question marks pertaining to our future. Through it all– He has never left us, never forsaken us.

We have seen incredible, remarkable, unexplainable growth in our ministry. I started blogging back in August 2011 and have since written 300+ blog posts at the time of this update. (That’s over 175,000 words!! Go Jesus, go!) We felt a stirring early in 2012, so we revamped and launched 7 Days Time back in February. With that, God told us He didn’t just want it to be a blog, but rather faith in action… which started our Factor of 7 movement where each month we do a random act of kindness for a group of people or strangers. Even though we are living on one income and I am working for “Jesus Dollars,” He has continued to provide for us financially in creative ways– which encourages our heart to keep giving it away for His glory. It’s an awesome process to be a part of– and such a blessing for us.  (We encourage you to check out our many Factor of 7 stories– and join in the movement. You won’t regret it. Seriously.)

3. God is loving… eternally. God has shown His love to us in some awesome ways this year both big and small. Our pup Sweet Justus is still a great at-home-cuddly-writing companion for me, and a perfect chase-around-the-living-room-please-don’t-break-the-lamp playing partner for Barn. He’s the best. And still hilarious. We have also been blessed with great people in our lives within our church family that have come alongside us this past year. (My boss/mentor Kelli and her family are a huge blessing in our lives! Plus they are wonderful puppy sitters whenever we travel.)

Our families have also been a huge blessing as they continually showcase God’s love in our lives. They have been so supportive and encouraging as we run after Jesus (and try to continually play nice with the army 😉 ) Lex & Dietrich (Brandon’s awesome parents)  are doing great… In fact, Lex and I are BFF’s… we text back and forth all day, talking about life and lifting each other up as we walk with Christ. My parents CJ and Gail are also doing well– although they are about a thousand miles away, Mom is always there ready for a phone conversation to remind me that everything can be fixed with prayer and a hot bath. (And chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate.) My younger sister Kathleen and her hubby Chris are trucking along in SE KS a few miles from my parents, still working on the farm and adopting calves, kittens, puppies and other random creatures whenever they can. My “little” brother Dal isn’t so little anymore. He’s ginormous. He’s 14. Driving. A freshman in high school. Awesome– yet it makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Weren’t we just bringing him home from the hospital after he was born like 20 minutes ago?? So yes– we are very blessed. And God’s love has been showered on us in so many ways in 2012!

4. God has a plan… for all of us. So what’s next? Great question. When we know, we will post it on Facebook. The end.

Just kidding.

Seriously, we know God has an awesome plan for us in 2013 (and beyond).  As of right now, we know that includes becoming parents for the first time (yay-yikes!) and potentially moving to a new duty station. (No, we do not know to WHERE yet– He is stretching and growing us– teaching us to wait– which we know is one of the hardest yet most important things we will ever do as Christians!) He has opened the door for me to preach a couple of messages over the last few months, so we are excited to see where that takes us as well.

We don’t really know what He has in store for us next– but we are determined to walk by faith, whatever time zone it takes us to and whatever new experiences life brings. Today, we encourage you to do the same. Please know that this holiday season is not a great excuse to eat sweet treats and buy cool presents… but it signifies the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the continual, constant and never-changing reminder that God is faithful… dependable…loving… and has a plan for each and every one of us.

May the love of Christ fill your heart not only during this holiday season– but each day that you are walking with Him.

Our love, prayers, and blessings,

Sharita, Brandon, Sweet Justus and Little Patriot

PS: Please let us know how we can pray for you by leaving a comment below…or following on Twitter @sharitaknobloch… or liking our Facebook page… Or subscribing to receive these post updates by email… Or emailing me via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com. Blessings to all of you, sweet readers, friends and family!!

Categories: 2012, Christmas, God | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Operation Fortitude Fitness (Month #5)

Is it seriously June? Last I checked, June is month #6 in our calendar, which if my stellar math skills prove correct means we are nearly halfway done with 2012… seems like just 5 minutes ago we were ringing in the New Year.

I guess time flies when you are living for Jesus.

But a new month means another monthly reflection of my Smart Goals for 2012. So let’s hop to it!

SMART Change #1: Operation Fort-itude Fitness.  In short, my goal for 2012 is to log at least 98 miles per month via biking, swimming, running, elliptical etc to “travel” from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Riley, Kansas. Also, in order to stay on track with my strength training, I need to do 2,500 various reps per month. As of last update, I had logged 551 miles Jan-April and “arrived” in Thayer, Missouri.

RESULT: GOAL MET…  Sorta. May was a good month for working out. I started training for another 5K, which surprisingly kept my average mileage about the same but boosted intensity significantly. (It’s officially sweat season in Georgia, just for everyone’s info.) I still have about 3 weeks until my next 5K race, so I am excited to see where this training leads. (I have continued to break some personal records in this area… Praise you Jesus! I might become a “runner” after all.)

So this month, I logged 131.5 miles, mostly running on foot and at a higher intensity on stationary bike and elliptical. This brings my grand total to 682.5 miles since January. I have “arrived” just on the outskirts of Springfield, Missouri. Yeehaw! (Springfield is a great town. If I didn’t have to stick to a schedule, I might have to hang out there for a few days 🙂 )

Oh, and as far as the “sorta” part of this goal? Yeah, totally didn’t do much with strength training reps in May. Really gotta get back on that.

SMART Change #2: Spend significant time Lord’s presence by using my Jesus Calling Devotional and studying the accompanying Scripture. I will also continue to keep a prayer request list in a notebook and/or iPad.

RESULT: ON GOING I really lived and loved this goal in May. God’s Spirit is truly working in my life and I am watching prayers answered daily. (PS: I just received a new big kid parallel NIV/MSG study bible. I already LOVE it!) Oh, and in addition to this goal: In case you missed it, I attended the Blackaby Spiritual Leadership Coaching Conference. Talk about experiencing God in a whole new way!

SMART Change #3: Complete my 1000 Gift List (inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book) by the end of 2012.

RESULT: ON GOING  This month, I am at #941… an increase of  105 gifts from last month! I am relatively confident that I will “complete” this goal by reaching 1000 in June. But I shan’t be stopping. This is a wonderful scavenger hunt for God’s love!

SMART Change #4:   Memorize a book of the Bible, starting with 1 John.

RESULT: ON GOING Yeah, kinda fell short on this one– Didn’t make a lot of progress as far as memorizing new stuff this month, still hovering around the 1 John 4 area… But those first 3 chapters have created some new revelations and are really starting to sink in!

SMART Change #5: Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry and submit to God DAILY in all areas of my life.

RESULT: ON GOING God is working. I keep asking to help Him to submit. It’s awesome. (I could write an entire post on this one alone. But I will spare you the details. For now.)

So yes, we are nearly halfway through 2012. Has God put any surprises in your path on your way to accomplishing your goals? How has he modified your walk with Him? I always dig your feedback– comment below.

Now if you will excuse me– a 4 mile training run is calling my name.

Marching onward,
SGK

“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” –Philippians 3:15-16 (MSG)
Categories: 2012, accomplishment, challenge, exercise, fitness, goals, God | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Operation Fortitude Fitness (Month #4)

Is it just me, or does it seem a little bit crazy that 2012 is already 1/3 of the way completed?!? Apparently time not only flies when you are having fun, but also when you run a personal ministry. (Fortunately, for me, those two are one and the same for me… most days 🙂

April was legit. 7 Days Time Ministry continues to reach new levels (insert happy dance here!) and I feel like I’m kinda sorta getting back on track for my Getting Smart with 2012 goals. (Click here to read the full story from January.)

As promised, I will now update you on my personal progress for my 2012 goals… I know this might not be the most entertaining post on the planet, but let me tell you what, folks– if you want a great way to stay accountable, blog your journey and stick with it. There have been SEVERAL days over the last couple of months that I didn’t want to follow through on ANY of these goals. However, because YOU (yes, you!) are my accountability partner, I have pressed forward.

So without further ado… I give you… (hey that rhymed!) my April results for Operation Fortitude Fitness. (AMERICA!)

SMART Change #1: Operation Fort-itude Fitness.  In short, my goal for 2012 is to log 98 miles per month via biking, swimming, running, elliptical etc to “travel” from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Riley, Kansas. Also, in order to stay on track with my strength training, I need to do 2,500 various reps per month. As of last update, I had logged 423 miles Jan-March and “arrived” in Turrell, Arkansas.

RESULT: GOAL MET…  Again and FINALLY! The month of March and first three weeks or so of April I was really struggling. I mean, I was doing stuff, but without much enthusiasm. Or sweat. But praise 9 pound 3 ounce Baby Jesus, my exercise mojo appeared to be on its way back in at the latter part of last week. YES! On Friday of last week, I tied my personal best for distance traveled, logging 14 total miles. (8.3 on foot, 5.7 on the bike.)  I guess my body has finally recovered (ish) from the physical stress of our miscarriage. Yesterday, I started (and dominated!) my new re-training plan to run a 5K. I signed up for one in Americus, GA on June 23. My goal: Get my time under 30 minutes. I know I have a long way to go (my best “race” time so far is 36:30) but this will only be my 3rd 5K. Pray for me 🙂

So, back to my “original” goals. I was able to log 2,975 reps in April! (Goal met!) I also logged 128 miles this month (551 total for 2012) and have “arrived” in Thayer, Missouri! YES! “Feels” great to be back in the Midwest. (I know. I am a nerd.)

Crossing the Missouri border! YES!

SMART Change #2: Spend at least one hour per day in the Lord’s presence by using my new Jesus Calling Devotional and studying the accompanying Scripture. I will also continue to keep a prayer request list in a notebook and/or iPad.

RESULT: GOAL MET (ok, kind of modified.) Here’s the thing, peeps. The first two months of this goal were INCREDIBLE. March was kind meh. Then April continued to get “routine” instead of relationship-seeking. When God called me away on my sabbatical, He spoke volumes to me. Turns out I was becoming legalistic in this goal. Instead of seeking to spend quality time with Him, my tick-tock hour was a “to do list” thing for me. So, I am still DEFINITELY doing quiet time every day and praying from my iPad prayer list app. However, I don’t look at the clock anymore. I make sure I am not rushing through it, but I am letting GOD decide how much time He wants me to chill with Him. Most days, it is still around 45 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. The time I spend with Him each day is once again back to the quality of Jan/Feb, not the legalistic “check it off the list so I can move on” mode of March.

SMART Change #3: Complete my 1000 Gift List (inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book) by the end of 2012.

RESULT: ON GOING  This month, I am at #839… an increase of  155 gifts from last month! (And a majority of those have come in the last 10 days.) God is awesome and I am well on track to reaching 1000. (But I doubt I stop there– this LIST is a gift in itself!)

SMART Change #4:   Memorize a book of the Bible, starting with 1 John.

RESULT: ON GOING I’m feeling pretty legit about this one for the month of April. I have stumbled my way to 1 John 4… It’s far from perfect and it isn’t completely ingrained in my brain, but I think by October, this will be doable in a “I-don’t-have-to-peek-at-what-comes-next” kind of way. YAY!

SMART Change #5: Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry and submit to God DAILY in all areas of my life.

RESULT: ON GOING Did you read my sabbatical post? Yeah. Making HUGE strides on this one by letting HIM do the hard work and me simply be the hands and feet. My soul is recharged and I am loving it!

Moral of the month: Allow yourself some flexibility. Sometimes (ok, almost always) God is going to have some hidden lessons along the way, especially when it comes to your own personal goals and plans. Make sure you aren’t blazing through life so fast that you miss those lessons! What God taught you so far in 2012? Have you achieved any of your goals? How have you witnessed God moving in 2012 for you?  I would love your input. Leave a comment here.

Thanks for coming along… You all are AWESOME lifetrippin-cheerleading buddies!

One step at a time,
SGK

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” –Philippians 3:13-14 (MSG) 

Categories: 2012, accomplishment, America, Ann Voskamp, challenge, fitness, healing, living | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Real-Life Love Offering

Yesterday, my husband reenlisted in the army.

For how long you ask? Six. Whole. Years.

So for all of you wonderful friends that ask when we are “getting out” of the army? It’s gonna be a while. The signed paper says so.

I wasn’t in a great mood yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love (and support) my husband with all I am. And my crappy mood really had little to do with the whole re-enlistment thing. But it was just one of those days.

I was/am fighting a cold that my husband contracted from the germy privates he is training, which he so generously shared with me. (It happens every red phase. Almost all of the wives/families in our company are ill. Airborne, anyone?)

In addition to feeling like poo, the reenlistment ceremony was at 1300 yesterday afternoon. (That’s 1pm for all of you non-military folks.) Yeah, right smack dab in the middle of the day… Which really jacked up my schedule. I really don’t enjoy when the army messes with my battle plan, especially when it involves me missing out on the majority of a day of work on a week that we have a huge project to work on.

Oh. Did I mention the ceremony was outside? In the sun. At 1300. In Georgia. And I didn’t dress appropriately because it was only supposed to get up to 75 and was about 47 when I left the house that morning. But the 86 degree temp and sweat through my long sleeved blouse proved otherwise. Sigh.

As I sat there trying to sweat as un-awkwardly as possible, I was overcome with emotion. Now, before you think I am softy, I should clarify what kinds of emotions. Pity. Annoyance. A tiny smidge of pride. Fear. This reenlistment kind of snuck up on me– and not that I ever planned that we were getting out of the army, but talking about it and actually signing the paperwork (for six years!) are two different discussions.

I was just in a grumpy (sweaty) mood most of the early afternoon. But suddenly I was struck with the thought…  I sure am being an ungrateful little heifer today. It was like a Jesus lightening bolt. Every had one of those?  I remembered Easter was just two days ago. Jesus did A LOT more than just sit in the sun and agree to follow the army for (at least) six more years.

He gave us His life for us. Bled for us. Hung on the cross. Died.   It was a real-life love offering for you, me and all of mankind. A sacrifice that I can’t even comprehend.

Now I’m not downplaying my beloved’s reenlistment contract or his commitment to our country/family. After all, it is a big life event– and if it matters to us, it matters to God.  I love my husband with everything I have, second to Jesus. I will support him and follow wherever God leads us in the army. But it is Christ’s love for us that helps me realize the sacrifice required to love another person.

America!

People always tell me “I don’t know how you do it.” Well, I don’t know either. Other than Jesus. He is a constant reminder of HOW I am supposed to live, love and honor my husband, no matter how many years we will be serving in the United States Infantry, where we go or how we get there.

I do it because Christ died for me. This is my way of giving my God-chosen husband my own real-life love offering.

Can I get a Hooah,
SGK

“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.” 1 John 3:16 (MSG)

PS: Do you have something or someone in your life that you regularly give a “real-life love offering” to? I would love to hear about it… Comment here. 

Categories: 2012, America, army, attitude, gratitude, hope, loyalty, marriage | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Depend on it

Last week, my supervisor (ok, more my friend than “boss”) called me to a challenge.

I needed to find a “word” for 2012. (To take Kelli’s challenge, read her full post here. It’s awesome. I promise. Hey, it inspired me so much I’m blogging about it!)

Honestly, I have never found a word like that before. Sure I have had themes or big ideas for new season/years/chapters of life, but never really focused on a single thing or experience.

So I began to pray.

Here’s the challenge for me. If I am not focused on prayer and being in God’s presence, I start to think. And thinking leads to distraction. And distraction leads to focusing on whatever shiny thoughts I have in my head as opposed to what God wants to reveal to me.

My thoughts started to flow. “Maybe it will be an exciting word like ‘adventure.’ Or a loving word, like ‘compassion.’ Or something inspirational, perhaps the word ‘hope.'” 

This went on a for a few minutes until I realized I wasn’t listening but rather doing this on my own… Again. Fail. <insert sigh here.>

Let’s try this again.

I sat, closed my eyes and began to pray. I thought of Kelli’s challenge. I focused on the words I had read out of my devotional. I started meditating on Scripture that I had read recently.  I took a deep breath. Then BOOM. There it was.

DEPENDENCE. 

Dependence. THAT was my God-word for 2012??!? Huh. I began  to let it sink in. If this is really my word… it’s going to be an interesting year. 


You might have picked up on this through my previous blogs, but I really enjoy having control of things. Which is why I struggle with letting go and letting God just do His thing in my life. I’m getting better… but apparently…

I needed some work.

DEPENDENCE. 

The longer I sat and let this marinate, the more excited I became. This WAS going to be a challenge… but one that I was interested in exploring. So, in my typical nerdy fashion, I grabbed my iPad and looked up “dependence” in the thesaurus.

What I found there surprised me.

Dependence: confidence, reliance, assurance, belief, expectation, hope, faith, stability, steadiness, trust, attachment, habit, subordination, yoke, craving, security blanket.

Surprising, huh? Those words stood out to me… They all were some form of dependence and could certainly be applied to my 2012 journey.

Confidence in Him. Reliance on Him. Assurance that he IS God. Belief in His faithfulness. Expectation of His promise. Hope of His plan. Faith in His love. Stability of Him in my life. Steadiness of Him to never fail me. Trust that He is with me. Attachment to God. Habit of spending time with Him. Subordination to Him. Being yoked with Him. Craving Him. He IS my security blanket.

DEPENDENCE. 

I am slowly releasing it to Him. I will depend on Him in all things. I don’t need control… I need Him.

Yep. It is going to be a great 2012. We can DEPEND on it.

With Expectation,

SGK

What is YOUR word for 2012? I would love to hear it! Leave a comment here.


“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” –Psalm 62:7

Categories: 2012, growth, new year, word | 3 Comments

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