glory

Cool story, Bro.

Our first dance started out all sweet and romantical… Then we busted out the salsa. With maracas. Seriously. I guess you had to be there.

“DUDE! It was awesome! There was like this guy and these three girls, and they sang some stuff, and then the stage lit up and sparks showered from the ceiling.”

Ever tried to share an incredible story or experience with someone and you are met with a dumbfounded look of incomprehension? When that happens in our household, my husband often says “Huh. Cool story, bro.” (Even though I’m not his bro. I’m his wife. But that’s besides the point.)

Or ever tell a story and realize halfway through that the other person just doesn’t get it? We usually end the description of our incredible experience with a comment like “And then I found five dollars” or “I guess you had to be there.”

Well, sometimes you do have to be there. Some things in life are meant to be experienced.

Like bungee jumping. (Not for this girl, though.) Or a really great frozen yogurt flavor. (That’s more my style.) Or listening to a great speaker at a conference. Or maybe… God.

Experiencing God is much different from acknowledging that He exists.

“But Sharita,” you think in protest. “I don’t have time/energy/cash/ability to go to the top of a beautiful mountain peak or lay in a field watching clouds to experience God.”

Au contraire, my friend. (French lesson of the day: That means “on the contrary.” Just in case you were reading this blog for simply informational purposes.)  God can be experienced everyday, right where you are, in more ways than you can imagine!

Think about your five senses. We are made to feel. Hear. Smell. Taste. See.  When we experience the small sweet things in life that move our heart, it’s probably one of those little “Experiencing God” gift moments.

We can experience God…

When we smell that pot of coffee brewing on an early morning.

When we feel the protective, loving hug from a friend as we cry.

When we taste the explosion of flavors from a new recipe.

When we hear the mourning dove welcoming in another day.

When we see a baby take her first steps across the living room floor.

God is everywhere. He is meant to be experienced. But the key is we have to be aware of His presence. We have to be on the lookout for Him.

When/where/how do you experience God? How does God show up through your five senses? I have my list of God’s gifts and experiences that make my heart sing His praises. What are some items on your list? Please share your joy by leaving a comment below!

When we experience God fully in our lives in every moment of our day, it can become contagious. Pretty soon others catch our joy and instead of us just telling about it, they too can experience it. Then and only then, when we are sharing our incredible experiencing God moments with them, they can say “Cool story, bro…” And actually mean it.

Living in experience not just existence,
SGK

“I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.” ~2 Peter 1:1-2 (MSG) 

Categories: excited, glory, God | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

God Only Knows Where We’d Be

I was never a crier. I was the tough girl. I once went through an entire semester at college without crying.

And then I fell in love. With a soldier. And with Jesus.

At one point in my life, my heart was hardened. I was not compassionate and completely confident that I could make “it” on my own. Tears were not an issue. I had it together.

And then I feel in love. With a soldier. And with Jesus.

Today is Memorial Day. A day of tribute. A day of remembrance. I am forever thankful for our soldiers– and for Jesus.

Many people post tributes and touching pictures on Facebook in support of our troops. That’s great. But I have quite a different perspective. See, I am married to one of those soldiers. And not just married to him, but deeply in love with him.

My beloved has served overseas three times. He’s been shot at. He’s watched his battle buddies fall. All the while– he clung tight to Jesus. And led me into a relationship with Christ much deeper than I could have ever imagined.

As my relationship with my soldier and my Christ has deepened, my heart as been softened. I try to avoid “tearjerker” videos because I still don’t like to cry. But it is hard not to be overcome with emotion– primarily in the form of gratitude- when I stop to really consider what my beloved husband AND what Christ has done for us.

They both have willingly offered to DIE for me. Simply the thought of this type of love moves my heart.

The song “Soldiers and Jesus” by James Otto sums it up pretty well.

(If you couldn’t view the video in your email, click HERE to watch.)

Have you EVER really stopped to think about the sacrifice from Christ and our soldiers? How does it make you feel? How have you experienced life from another’s sacrificial love? Please don’t be shy… Share your comments below.

So today, lets take a moment to give thanks for those who have given us a hope and a future by laying down their lives. There’s only two people who have ever died for me… Soldiers and Jesus. Without them… God only knows where we’d be.

Thankful beyond measure,
SGK

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” –John 15:13

Categories: army, blessing, Christ, cross, death, fight, freedom, glory, God, Jesus, life, sacrifice, soldier, Tribute | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Comfortably Close

Loose-fitting T-shirt? Check. Comfy black stretchy yoga pants? Check. Barefeet? Check. Perfect temperature? Check. Diet Dr. Pepper within reach? Check. Recliner engaged? Check.

Uh, yes please. Epitome of comfort. I want to go to there.

 Ahhhh… I love to be comfortable.  I am gonna take a guess that you do too. Take a moment to think about when you are most comfortable… Where are you? What are you wearing? What makes you comfortable? It is an INCREDIBLE feeling. What more could we ask for?

Believe it or not, we CAN ask for more… We can ask for God to make us uncomfortable. But that is really, really hard for us (ok, me) to swallow. Seriously, just the THOUGHT of being uncomfortable on purpose makes my stomach flop. Every inch of my flesh screams… Bu..Bu…But… Nooooo!!! I don’t wanna! (Insert two-year-old stomping tantrum here.) If I am comfortable, I would love nothing more than to stay like that—for as long as possible.

But staying comfortable sometimes leads to complacency. If we are comfortable and we don’t NEED anything else, why would we seek the Lord? We have it all handled and we feel fine right where we are. Pshaw. TOO. EASY.

A while back, I blogged about praying for faith like Abraham.  (Read the post “No More Cornflakes here for the full story.) This concept of praying to be uncomfortable is just as challenging as requesting faith as strong as Abraham. But when we are uncomfortable, whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritual… THAT then when we have the greatest opportunity to be closest to God.

 When we are uncomfortable… we realize our weaknesses.

When we are uncomfortable… we seek the Lord more than before.

When we are uncomfortable… we understand God’s goodness and faithfulness at a deeper level.

When we are uncomfortable… we have an opportunity to glorify God.

Think about folks you might know who have answered an uncomfortable call to be obedient to Christ. I am sure that most missionaries, ministers or Christians don’t go where the Lord has called them expecting to be comfortable. (Although that would be a pretty sweet perk. And motivating.) But when we become uncomfortable—we discover that we can be oh-so-comfortably close to Christ.

Confession:  Sometimes, (ok, a lot of the time) I am uncomfortable in my role as a minister. As a writer. As an army wife. As a speaker. But it is in those moments when I feel closest to God.

When was the last time you were uncomfortable? What did God do for you in that season? I would LOVE to hear about it. Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Do you have the courage to pray for God to make you uncomfortable? Drop what you are doing right now and pray: “Lord… Please overcome my flesh-goal of maintaining comfort, and if it is Your Will, make me uncomfortable for Your Glory.” 

You don’t have to sell everything you own and move overseas. (Unless of course He tells you to.)  Comfort levels differ for everyone. Perhaps your level of comfort will simply be asking the cashier how you can pray for them today. Or maybe it is helping out a neighbor who is, uh, less than cooperative. Consider any opportunities that God might be calling you to step out and be uncomfortable.

One thing is for certain—no matter how uncomfortable The Call might make us or how far it takes us from our recliner, yoga pants and Diet Dr. Pepper… If we answer our call, it can make us more comfortably close to Christ than ever before.

Comforted by being uncomfortable,
SGK

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” –Matthew 11:30 (AMP)

Categories: adventure, attitude, call, Christ, Comfort, dependence, glory, God, life, Live | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Up In Smoke

A little over a week ago, I had a moment. Here’s the back story…

Brandon and I both had a crazy week… my beloved was working ridiculous hours since it was his duty week as Senior Drill Sergeant (See: really early mornings, late/tiring nights) and I was running like a lunatic trying to keep up with more church activities/duties than anticipated.

Our backyard needed to be mowed. It is a small, little yard and we really can’t justify spending a couple-hundred bucks on buying a mower… If we play our cards right, we only need to mow about once a month anyways. When we have “time” we borrow a mower from our sweet neighbors.

However, our schedules didn’t allow for that and I didn’t want to make our neighbors do it for us. (They are busy people too.) So I contacted a small local business to do it. I’ve used them before and they do a great job. Just $10 to mow our yard. No biggie. (And still cheaper in the long run than if we actually bought a mower.)

Long story still long… I wasn’t going to be home when they were coming to mow on Saturday, so I agreed to “hide” the payment on the grill in our backyard.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make it on their scheduled day. No biggie, right? They were going to come on Sunday. Worked for me. I left the envelope with cash in its hiding spot so I wouldn’t forget to put it back the next day  before they arrived.

Saturday evening, Brandon finished out his duty week and came home at a semi-decent time. (AKA in time for supper.) We hadn’t really gotten to spend any time with one another for the last week, and he had to work another 24 shift on Sunday. So we decided to cook supper together.

Preparations began. Suddenly, I heard Brandon call me from the backyard… “Uh, Sharita???”

Oh no. The grill.

Sure enough, I rounded the corner  just in time to see the faint resemblance of a 10 dollar bill turn to ash and be whisked away by the breeze.

Our money went up in smoke. Literally.

Brandon thought it was hilarious. (Cue deep belly laugh.) Me? Not so much. I was working really hard on keeping our budget in check… and my beloved simply didn’t understand that those tiny ashes could have  bought me two (maybe three) servings of Fro-Yo at Chill. Or two skinny mocha-lattes at Starbucks… Or, or, or…

What do you do when things go up in smoke?

It’s funny now. (Kinda. At least my bitterness for the situation is fading.) And I know you are laughing. But sometimes it isn’t funny when things go up in smoke… Like our plans. Like our dreams. Like our money. Like our relationships.

When those go up in smoke… it can be painful. But I have good news. Notice the keyword in all of those? OUR. Our plans. Our dreams… Not God’s. God’s plans never go up in smoke. God’s dreams for us never fail. God’s love for us never runs out.

Nobody can send God’s goodness up in smoke. Not even The Enemy.

Have you ever had something go up in smoke? How did you react?  How do you handle the disappointments in life? Don’t be shy… Share your thoughts here.

If you feel like your life right now is similar to that poor $10 bill on the grill, take heart. God has you covered. He has a fire extinguisher on hand. Submit to His plans, His dreams, His love… and He will save us from going up in smoke.

Beauty in the Ashes,
SGK

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” –Revelation 8:4

Categories: beauty, Christ, funny, glory, God, hope, Lesson, life, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

To All His Good and Faithful Servants

God's love and affirmation can come in my forms...

God speaks to us in many ways… Sometimes it is through Scripture. Occasionally through song. Or another person.

And sometimes, He just straight up talks to us. However– we have to be willing to listen.

Today’s post isn’t eloquent or hilarious or exceptionally creative. It is a loving word I received from Him during the last few moments of my sabbatical in Pine Mountain this past weekend.

The following are words that He wanted me to hear– but as I prayed over them, He wanted me to share His heart with you as well.

So this post is for all you who are doing His work, whether that is praying, blogging, living a Christian life in a secular world, ministry, raising a family in Christ, you name it. If you have been called to live a Christ-like life, then this message is from God FOR you…. To All His Good and Faithful Servants.

“Place Me first and foremost in all areas of your day. I promise I will give you the energy and strength to accomplish what I have planned for you. Rely on Me to do the hard work– your trust in Me is the ultimate remedy to avoid exhaustion, frustration and burn-out.

I love you for who are, NOT for what you do. Your love and obedience is all I ask of you. Receive My gifts of power and truth that I am giving to you. I will strengthen you for the journey ahead, My beloved and mighty warrior. 

Remember that a ‘successful day’ is NOT determined by what you cross off your to do list, but rather how much you keep in touch with Me. It’s not what you do, it’s ultimately about how you glorify Me. Your personal plans of earthly things to do will never be completely accomplished. But that’s ok, because it is My purpose for you that truly matters. The more you are in tune with Me, the more opportunities I will give you to bring Me glory. In turn, I will fill you up from the inside out, overflowing with love and motivation. 

Get plenty of rest by spending time in my presence. Remember that people are a priority, not things. Keep your eyes open for how I am moving  and when you can love on someone. 

You are doing a great job, My Beloved One. I adore how you yearn to please and worship Me. Just remember that this is a learning process and I am the Ultimate Teacher. Any mistakes you make along the way are fully covered by My Grace. Keep running towards Me, My Good and Faithful Servant!”

I don’t know about you… but I am going to hold this precious message very close to my heart. My prayer is that this message from Our Father has spoke to you– empowered and encouraged you wherever He has called you. Keep pressing forward, my friends. I believe in you… and more importantly, so does God. After all, Beloved, He calls you His Good and Faithful Servant.

Pressing Onward for His Glory,
SGK

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” –Matthew 25:23

PS: Don’t forget! “A Latte Love” contest to win a Starbucks gift card is still going on until the article runs in the Bayonet this week. If this post (or any others) has moved you in any way, I would love for you to share with your friends and leave a comment here!

Categories: accomplishment, affirmation, cheerleader, glory, God, grace, obedience, plans | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Because Jesus Told Me To

People think I am crazy. Hey, sometimes I think I am crazy too. (We have covered this thought in several posts prior to this one.) But sometimes a little crazy is a good thing.

Last week during my quiet time, God led me to the Message version of Philippians 3:13-14. I literally laughed out loud because it reminded me of this ministry.

“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.”

That should be my mission statement for 7 Days Time ministry. I am making it up as I go, listening to the Lord, taking it one slightly crazy step at a time.

Yesterday at staff meeting, we watched part of a message from Pastor Steven Furtick. That dude is legit. And motivational. Hence the ra-ra-shish-koom-ba-ness of this post.

It is already finished.

Here’s the overall gist of Pastor Furtick’s message: Stepping out and loving the Lord in your daily life can be a little scary. But remember: You don’t have to have the courage to see it finished. You just need the faith to get it started. God already has it all planned out. The mission was finished when Christ hung on that cross the rose three days later. We are just the blessed tools that God has chosen to use to spread that love throughout the world.

Pastor Furtick reminded us in that video that if people don’t laugh at our vision, then we are not dreaming big enough.

So the good news: I’ve been laughed at. Kind of a lot.

Laughed at and questioned. And when folks question me, this is usually how it goes:

WHY do you have a masters degree if you are just going to work at a church for free? Because Jesus told me to. 

WHY do you go to the trouble of blogging every single day? Because Jesus told me to.

WHY do you take $107 each month and do something kind for people you will probably never see again? Because Jesus told me to.

WHY… WHY….WHY…..?!?!?

Because Jesus told me to.

Is God calling you to something? Remember that it doesn’t have to be significant or “profound.” Even the most insignificant task is incredibly important if it is done to glorify the Most Significant One who ever existed.

Tell your naysayers to stick THAT in their pipe and smoke it.

So WHATEVER God is calling you to… Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t question it. Just do it. Keep your eyes on the goal. Live a life of obedience. Work as if it is already completed. Because it is!

And when people ask you WHY you are doing something a little bit crazy? Bat your eyes, crack as sweet smile and say “Because Jesus told me to.”

Nodding and smiling towards the heavens,

SGK

“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you…” –Romans 16:19

What is God calling you to do? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment here. 

Categories: Courage, faith, glory, God, Jesus, obedience | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Joy in the Mourning

It’s the day after Easter, folks… This means that in addition to Easter candy going on sale today (YAY!) and most church workers being tired after working like crazy yesterday, lent has ended for another year.

What did your 40 days bring? Mine were… um… profound.

For Lent, I “gave up” worrying. (Read “Removal of the Worrywart” for the whole story.) Long story short, God told me to stop trying to control things and not to worry so dang much about stuff. So during Lent, whenever I worried about something, I wrote it down, crinkled it up and literally laid it at the foot of a cross in my living room. Then I would write a “Faith” statement to counteract whatever worry I had. I kept the faith statements in a jar and would give myself a “refresher” when the worries started to resurface.

Well, 40 days have come and gone… God has done a number on my worrywart of a heart.

But that isn’t the “profound” part of the story.

God grew my trust in Him immensely. Here’s the profound part: My two biggest worries actually happened in the last 40 days… and God carried me through it.

Not only did He carry me through it, but I am able to write about it. And find joy… in the mourning of it all.

My first fear was miscarriage and losing our baby. I kept writing it down, laying at the foot of the cross… and it kept coming back. When that fear became a reality 27 days ago, I felt as if God had answered my prayer to prepare my heart for this baby, whatever was to happen.  Now, don’t get me wrong– if Jesus Himself came down from Heaven and asked me if I wanted things to turn out differently, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to scream “YES!” before He finished His sentence. However…

With that biggest fear of losing that baby came tiny blessings… I now understand Matthew 5:4– “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I lost something I held very dear– but Jesus never left me. Not for a moment. Yes, my heart broke… but our Father’s heart also broke as He watched His son die on the cross. In mourning, I became closer to my husband than ever. In mourning, I became closer and more dependent on Our Father than I have been in my entire life. In mourning… I found joy that only comes from Jesus.

My second fear was my beloved husband recycling Ranger School– mainly because I didn’t want him to miss any more of the pregnancy than required. God has a plan with that as well… because Brandon did end up as a Darby phase recycle, which would be a 7 week extra wait due to Best Ranger Competition coming up. But once I told Brandon about the loss of our little one, he decided to come home to me immediately. He told me that it wouldn’t have mattered if he was going to recycle or not– he was going to come home to deal with what we were facing.

The worries with Ranger school were also realized, but under the circumstances were a blessing as God brought us through it. Oh, and did I tell you that God also planned out that Brandon would make the promotion list way sooner than expected, the day after the miscarriage and the day prior to Brandon withdrawing from Ranger school. To me, it was affirmation that God has Brandon’s career in His hand.  I guess God knows what He is doing after all, huh?

I can’t help but feel a little bit like Mary  when she discovered that Christ was gone from the grave. When she saw that empty tomb, her mourning turned to confusion… then to joy as she discovered Christ’s incredible plan. Praise the Lord, for He is Risen! His promises hold true and we can fully depend on Him– no worrying necessary!

What did you learn during Lent? Did you grow closer to God? I would love to hear your feedback. Comment here. 

I have laid my fears at the foot of the cross… and I will continue to do so. That cross will stay in my living room as a constant reminder of God’s promise, plan and purpose for our lives. God removed the worrywart in me… and helped me to find exceptional and unexpected joy in the mourning.

Rejoicing for He is Risen,
SGK

“Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” –Jeremiah 31:13

As promised, I set fire to my worries at the conclusion of lent. I've given them over to God... For good.

Categories: blessings, Christ, cross, dependence, faith, glory, God, joy, lent, promises, worry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Salt and Light (Five Minute Friday)

Praise the Lord for Five Minute Friday! Why, you ask my dear reader? Well, I am learning a lesson on what it means to be a Jesus blogger and temporary Mama. I offered to watch a friend’s two little precious girls overnight so they are currently ankle deep in toys in my living room watching Tangled.

Needless to say– my attention is a bit divided.

On that note, time to get down to business… Of Fridays I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a one word prompt, and we write like the wind for five minute. No over thinking, no editing.

Today’s prompt: LIGHT

Ready? GO!

***

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

 What does it mean for YOU to be the salt and the light of the earth? That’s a great question and I am discovering it for myself daily. Call me an informal Friday slacker… But I don’t think it is any accident that I spent the better part of yesterday morning walking around belting out the song “Salt and Light” by Jami Smith. So today, I would like to share that video. (Of Jami singing it… not me. I really don’t want me first vlog to be me with fuzzy hair in PJ’s singing a very-low octave song.

Tell someone about Jesus today– be the salt and the light! And don’t forget to enjoy this video!

Now if you will excuse me… I am on a pancake-making mission for these little ones… and it’s getting to my favorite part of Tangled– can’t miss it! 🙂

Keeping it Bright and Salty,
SGK

Salt is excellent. But if the salt goes flat, it’s useless, good for nothing. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”– Luke 14:34

Categories: adventure, Christ, faith, Five Minute Friday, glory, God, light | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Factor of 7: “Chill” with Jesus

I love frozen yogurt. And I love Jesus.

So what happens when you put the two together? A dang good, heart-healing, God glorifying experience.

Last night my husband, my cousin Hailey from Oklahoma and I had the chance to do our 2nd official monthly “Factor of 7.” (For more information on this movement, click here.) In addition to blogging daily for this ministry, God has laid on my heart to DO something at least once a month.

So this time, we took $107, my nifty new info cards and a notebook, and we camped out near the register of one of my favorite treat spots: Chill Frozen Yogurt in Columbus, GA.

The principle was quite simple. We paid for the next $107 worth of yogurt that came through the line, then asked people how we could pray for them .

It was probably the coolest 30 minutes… EVER.

As folks came through the line and the sweet cashier Whitley told them to put their wallets away, their reactions were priceless. Some were suspicious. Some thought they were being punked we were bringing back ol’ school candid camera. But as they approached our table and I said, “First name and how can we pray for you…” Their was nothing in their hearts but gratitude.

Many of them were shocked… I mean shoot, I would be pretty stoked about free yogurt on a random Tuesday! But shock aside, every single one of the 35 people that came through the line were receptive to our request of letting us pray for them. Talk about knocking our Jesus socks off!

A few folks gave us hugs, some just laughed, a couple others teared up. Some asked “why” and I said “Because Jesus loves you… and told me to.” We met a newlywed couple, parents of kids of all ages, and even some students who were having a powerhouse study session for their AP statistic test today. (I am praying extra hard for them– because if they do math like me, they might need it. Just kidding, girls. You will do great 🙂 )

As we were nearing the end of our $107 amount, one couple came back in the store after they left and handed us a $20 bill… They wanted to make a donation. (Side note: My heart almost exploded with joy!) I told them to add that to our “total” at the register. So overall, we were able to share a spoonful of faith with 35 people and provide $127 worth of fro-yo on a random Tuesday.

I could write about 12 blog posts from the reactions, answers and great little Jesus moments that grew out of this small 30 minute event. But instead, I pose a question to you: How will you give someone a spoonful of Jesus lovin’ today?

Sharing His love doesn’t have to be an all day event. Pay for someone else’s lunch today. Mow your neighbor’s yard without being ask. Buy the person in line behind you their Starbucks for the day. Give someone a hug and ask how you can pray for them. The possibilities are endless, folks.

Be a Factor of 7… It can be simple as finding somewhere (or someone) to “Chill” with Jesus.

Keeping Cool with Christ,

SGK

 “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

Categories: disciple, Factor of 7, generosity, gifts, glory, God | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Faith by the Foot

Hey you. Yeah… you.

Wanna know a secret? C’mere. Lean in close…

Ready? I have a tattoo. 

Oh. Are you not impressed? Dang. If you knew how much I hated needles, you should be blown away by this statement. But honestly, it isn’t much a of a secret. After all… the foot-tattoo story made it into my engagement pictures, the wedding ceremony and even into a class I was presenting about spiritual gifts a couple of weeks ago. (Glad my boss didn’t fire me for that one.)

So yes. I have a tattoo on the top of my left foot that says “Soli Deo Gloria” which is Latin for “To the Glory of God alone.” Let me give you a brief summary of the backstory.

It was late March of 2010. I was at the lowest point of my life. Over the last several months, I had moved away from friends/family, was working nightshift in a job I hated (Note: I never use the word hate. It was bad.) I cried everyday (and I was NOT a crier.) My grandmother had died suddenly, then three months later my Grandad died. My mom got fired from her job, Dad was sick. Oh, and my beloved was deployed. Relatively certain I was clinically depressed but was so far into denial that I refused to get diagnosed. (For the full story of my testimony, click here.)

It was a Friday morning and I was getting off work around 9am after working all night. I was incredibly sleep deprived. I recently had some dental work done, in which they totally messed up a crown on my tooth. So it was infected. Neat. I was fed up with life so decided it was time to take action. I was going to take control of my situation and live above my circumstances. With God.

I left work (in tears.) At 3am that morning, I decided that I was going to have a good day OR ELSE. So instead of driving home, I took the long route to Columbia, Missouri, praying the entire way. My beloved was coming home from Iraq in a couple of weeks for R & R, and I wanted to feel more like myself again. It was time for an attitude adjustment.

First stop: The mall. New outfit. CHECK. New hairdo. Sorta check. (It was new, and felt great at the time… I learned that chunky blonde highlights are NOT a good choice for me. I looked like a skunk. But my hair could have been purple with green streaks and I still would have felt like a rockstar.) Next: call the dentist and tell them to give me something for the pain. CHECK. They subscribed a narcotic for me to pick up at the pharmacy in a few hours. (Huh. I was feeling better already.)

Last stop: Tattoo parlor. Dear. Baby. Jesus.

I had already decided the what/where details for this tattoo. I always said I would never, ever, EVER get a tattoo… But then again, I never thought I would be smitten with an army man who had Bible verses tattooed on his ribcage OR personally be so crazy in love with God. I needed a personal and permanent reminder of who I was living for. Soli Deo Gloria: To the Glory of God alone.

I was terrified, especially since the guy who greeted me at the front door was so tattooed and pierced that he looked like someone that was recently featured on Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not. But I had done my research. This place was certified and up to code. It was legit and not (too) shady. No turning back.

So I did it. The tattoo artist was extremely impressed– I didn’t flinch once, and he said that top of the foot is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. (Good to know… after the fact. Sigh.) My eyes were closed and I was praying the entire time that he was inking my foot.  Craziest moment of my life.

My foot. Beloved's arm. God is awesome.

I wear that tattoo with pride. I see it when I look down. I see it when I’m reclined. I see it when my feet are up as I relax in the tub. From the moment that I walked out of the tattoo shop, my perspective on life changed dramatically. It shifted to God. Permanently.  I had hope. I knew from that day forward, everything I did was going to be Soli Deo Gloria… to the glory of God alone.

Now, I’m not telling you to go get a tattoo (unless of course you feel led… but do your research.) It was a little extreme, and might not be for everyone. (My husband was impressed.. my parents were less than thrilled.) What do you need to do to remember who you are living for? Is it a note on your bathroom mirror? A piece of jewelry you constantly wear? Live for God and your faith will gradually grow. Maybe first by a centimenter. Then maybe an inch… and soon… you will be growing your faith by the foot.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SGK

“Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3 (MSG)

I’m linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today.
Won’t you join the party for God’s glory?

Hey

Categories: faith, glory, God, perseverance | 8 Comments

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