America

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 ūüôā

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 ‚Äútravel‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúarrived‚ÄĚ in Turrell, Arkansas.

RESULT: GOAL MET‚Ķ ¬†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 ūüôā

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‚ÄĒto 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 Latte Love from Fort Benning Bayonet

It’s the big day, folks! The story about our latest “Factor of 7” (Latte Love)¬†where we bought $107 worth of coffee for unsuspecting customers at Starbucks¬†has appeared in the Fort Benning Bayonet. This is truly a blessing from God. AMERICA!

Check out the awesome write up here.  (I am excited, can you tell?)

Also, a huge thanks to Cheryl Lynn Rodewig for meeting us at Starbucks to document the story.

Please be in prayer for God to move in the hearts and lives of all who read this story. Remember, words without action are essentially dead.

And on one more awesome note… don’t be shy about sharing this story with your friends/family etc… And if you do, please comment here¬†for your last chance to win your own Latte Love in the form of a Starbucks Gift card. The contest ends at 9pm (EST) TONIGHT!!

Loving our Jesus Caffeine,
SGK

“The¬†Message¬†is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The¬†Message¬†bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you.” –Colossians 1:5-6 (MSG)¬†

Categories: accomplishment, America, army, blessing, Factor of 7, faith, freedom, Love, mission, servant evangelism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 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

Operation: Fortitude Fitness (Month #3)

Oh dearest readers… March was certainly “a month” for the Knobloch family. I have always hear that it was supposed to come in like a lion, out like a lamb (or visa versa.)

But for me, it kind of felt like the whole month was one big ol’ roaring lion. Baring it’s teeth. In my grill. Chasing me down the street.

However… It didn’t catch me! The Lamb seemed to save me. (Jesus = Lamb. Get it? Look at me go with my play on words. Whew.)

We are kicking off a new month (and that’s no April fool’s joke) so it is time to start fresh. But in the meantime, here is my accountability update from my “Smart” changes for 2012. (Read the Original Post here.)

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 ‚Äútravel‚ÄĚ from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Riley, Kansas. Also, in order to stay on track with my strength training, I needed to do 2,500 various reps per month. As of last update, I had logged 306 miles Jan-Feb and “arrived” in Wallerville, Mississippi.

RESULT: GOAL MET… Sorta.¬†I fell short on reps this month with only 2,100. But even with being exhausted from pregnancy and the subsequent miscarriage recovery, I did manage to still log 117 miles. Granted, most of these were walking or on the stationary bike. But I am extending some grace to myself this month (a task harder for me to do than running 5k!) and chalking March up to one of my most challenging, emotionally draining months of my 26 years on this earth. ¬†I am now Turrell, Arkansas and have traveled 423 miles in 3 months. Gonna count that as a win! ¬†America!

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!! ¬† Honestly folks, this goal was even harder to achieve than the above physical challenge. Not only did I have company staying with us for about 12 days this month which kind of squiggled up my schedule a bit, but losing the baby didn’t help at all. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted for several days… And if I am being perfectly honest (which I always try to do in my posts) I was pretty ticked off at the Lord for a few days and really didn’t WANT to meet with Him, let alone talk to Him and spend precious quiet time together.

But I did… Many days during my quiet time, I read Jesus Calling, then cried and cried at the feet of Jesus from my red recliner rocking chair. He always had something to say to me and my quiet time is helping immensely in the healing process. Plus… I still pray every day for the folks in my iPad prayer app. It helps me keep a larger perspective of God’s plan and helps me to be commune with Him.

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

RESULT: ON GOING¬† I am downright shocked at the progress I made on this one, dear readers. I guess Jesus really has a hold on me. It was one of the toughest months of my life… and at last update, I was at #571‚Ķ ¬†I am now at #684. For all of you non-math folks out there (like me) that is 113 new things to be thankful for added to my list in one month. In the midst of crisis and heartbreak. Talk about digging the gifts out of the crevices and finding the blessing in the “ugly beautiful!” Praise Jesus ūüôā

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

RESULT: ON GOING¬†Uh, yeah… bout that. I made it to 1 John 3:3 (three whopping verses farther than last month) the things kind of bottomed out. Memorizing was put on a hold this month… No excuses, but considering that the day after I miscarried it took a hot minute to remember how to make a sandwich, I’m gonna play the self-grace card on this one too.

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

RESULT: ON GOING¬†This was the most drastically improved of all the goals this month. God FORCED me physically to slow down… as in, I barely did anything for three days after our loss except cry, text and hug on my husband. In my mandatory slow down time (which is still in progress, BTW) I have been able to listen to and submit to God on the deepest level thus far in my life. ¬†As much as I wish that God’s plan for March 2012 was different, I can’t help but feel His generous blessings flowing over us in our experience of ruthlessly eliminating hurry and submission. After all…¬†“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Matt. 5:3 MSG)¬†

So today’s moral of the story: Goals are awesome. They really are. Everyone should have some. But sometimes, we need grace more than goals. Have you been in that position before? I would love to hear you recount of grace vs. goals– leave a comment here.

Thanks for all of the support, love and prayers you all have been sending our way last month. While our bodies and emotions have been tired, our faith has never been stronger and more energized. What an interesting fitness blessing, huh?

“Marching” onward,
SGK

“…We¬†also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;¬†perseverance, character; and character, hope.” –Romans 5:3-4

Categories: accomplishment, America, Ann Voskamp, blessings, dependence, fitness, goals, God, living, miscarriage | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Prayers: Atchison & Agriculture

Today’s post isn’t funny or witty. It isn’t meant to be convicting or profound. It’s simply a request for prayers.

On Saturday night at about 7:00pm a grain elevator in Atchison, Kansas exploded. At the time of writing, three people are dead. Three are still missing (presumed dead) and two are hospitalized.

Unforeseen tragedies happen every day throughout our cities, nation and world. So why is this one so different for me?

1. I am from Kansas.

2. I have a deep appreciation for American agriculture.

3. Several K-state College of Ag grads work in that region and industry

4. One of my childhood friends, Carla, works in Atchison. At a grain elevator.

Carla was our first friend when we moved to southeast Kansas in 1996. She babysat my sister and I. Her family lives right up the road from us. Her dad Larry leases and farms our ground for us. I hadn’t talked to Carla in quite a while, but when I heard about the explosion, my heart started pounding and I began to pray.

I didn’t know for sure which company she was employed with… Due to my internet research, I determined that this deadly explosion happened at the Bartlett Grain Company. I called my mom to see if she had heard if Carla was ok.

It was a tense few hours for all of us on Sunday morning. Mom tried to call her parents, but they didn’t answer their cell or home phone. Not good. ¬†I was trying to concentrate on our church service here in Georgia, but my mind was racing because we hadn’t heard anything. Every time I started thinking negative thoughts, I prayed harder and a voice in my head said “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!”

The last song we sang in worship yesterday was “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.” I knew that while the tragedy in Atchison was indeed devastating and people were mourning, that God knew what he was doing. I had to stand on Christ, the solid rock… because all other ground is sinking sand.

Halfway into the church service, we received word from Carla’s parents that it wasn’t her elevator that exploded. She was ok. While I was relieved for a moment to know my friend was safe, I remembered the victims’ families, friends and other elevator employees. I continued to pray.

This event might not mean a lot to some of you out there… especially if you don’t really give a second thought to where you food comes from when you are in the grocery store. But the military isn’t the only career that involves sacrifice…¬†putting food on our table has a much higher price than what we see in the grocery store.

I encourage you to take a second and remember that God is a God of comfort, and while we might not know the answers as to WHY things happen on this earth, we can stand on Christ, our solid rock. Also, there is a lot of power in prayer… so today, let’s unite, and pray… for Atchison and agriculture.

With a full heart,

SGK

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” –Psalm 62:5-7

Categories: agriculture, America | 1 Comment

No Comma Included: "One Nation Under God"

It’s been ten years.¬†

I was sitting in freshmen English class at Crest High School in Colony, KS. One of my classmates, KC, was tardy from school that day. Suddenly he came barreling through the doors saying that the reason he was late was because he stayed home watching the news about some planes crashing into buildings in New York City. A few moments later the teachers got word of the attacks and clicked on the cable in various classrooms. Is this really happening?

For weeks after that, we all watched the news footage unfold on television. The death toll climbed… and we were soon at war. Songs were wrote about that day, movies and documentaries made. Here we are a full decade later. It has impacted so many lives, mine included.

No, I didn’t know anyone in the towers that day. I didn’t personally ever meet the firefighters or the police officers that sacrificed so much. But I did marry a soldier, who, because of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, has now been deployed to Iraq a three times. Brandon is now a drill sergeant training our future soldiers to carry on in that noble and challenging task. Just as countless people did that day ten years ago, our current service members continue to this day to live out the words of John 15:13.¬†“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Even ten years later, it is hard to find good in the tragedy of that fateful day. But Romans 8:28 says¬†“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I doubt that many of us will know in this lifetime why the events unfolded the way that they did. But because we have a God who truly does love us and is a God of compassion, caring, trust and understanding, we can hold tight to the fact that either in this life or the next, God will work this historic moment for the good of those who love and believe in him.

We worship the God of Comfort. We are beginning a study of 2 Corinthians today at church. After the greetings stated by Paul, the first topic covered is “The God of All Comfort.” I think that it is no accident that it falls on the anniversary of September 11th in a military community.¬†“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4¬†

As I was praying about this post, felt God whisper that I should pay tribute via poem through his words.

NO COMMA INCLUDED


Today we recognize an event,

That will forever be in our mind,

An attack on our American soil,

One before it you cannot find.

Ten years ago it happened,

When planes crashed and buildings fell,

The memory of the victims and heroes,

In our hearts forever dwell.

But we take heart in the dear fact,

That we worship a God of love,

Who is always watching, guiding, comforting,

Sending hope down to us from His throne above.

We remember as those towers fell,

Hearts broke and we fell to our knees,

God loved us so much that he came down,

Met us here, comforted and answered our pleas.

For in this life we may not know,

The purpose for that tragic plight,

But someday we will understand why,

As we see glory by taking wings of flight.

It’s really hard to understand,

How God can work this tragedy for good,

But remember as the planes crashed, towers fell,

Our beloved nation rose together and stood.

Praise be to Him as God blesses America,

From back then, right now and tomorrow,

God repeatedly brings us together,

Continued strength from Him we can borrow.

The United States of America,

A country like ours there is no other,

For nowhere else shall you find,

So many willing to lay down their life for another.

September 11, 2001

A day that none will ever forget,

God came down and comforted the weary,

Needs of hope and promise his love truly met.

There is a real reason why there is no comma,

No punctual pause in that fateful line,

In the pledge “ONE NATION UNDER GOD,”

For being under Him is a blessing, truly divine.

So we pray to Our Father in Heaven,

That He will keep America Red, White and Blue,

And that phrase with no comma included,

Will always stand strong and be true.

Take comfort, dearest readers, that while today is a day of tribute and remembrance, we can also be comforted that God loves us and is in control. There is a reason that this is no comma included in the pledge of allegiance in the phrase “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.” We, as a nation, ARE under Him. ¬†The God of Love. The God of Compassion. The God of Comfort.

May God Bless America.

SGK


“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11

Categories: America, Comfort, God, Nation, September 11th, Tribute | Leave a comment

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