heart

Not-so-lonely Road

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives.

That moment of heart-heaviness. It feels like we are surrounded by darkness. We might be by ourselves or in a crowd of people.

Either way… we just feel straight up lonely.

Lonely, at least in my personal opinion, is one of the most un-fun places to be. Now, true loneliness is a heart issue and is very different from intentional solitude. We all need some “alone time” every now and then, whether it is to rest, recharge, reflect or just  BE.

But being lonely, especially in our hearts, can be a painful and scary place.

Honestly, as a Christian and army wife, I sometimes feel a bit alone in my walk.

Sure it looks long and lonely... but it's not. He promises.

Sure it looks long and lonely… but it’s not. He promises.

This happens frequently when we move to a new place or my husband is gone for an extended amount of time. When we first moved to Georgia, the first several months were some definite lonely-heart moments. Just me, the dog… and the enemy, duking it out in our living room.

Lemme tell ya what… It was exhausting. And way not fun.

Now before you get all up in my Kool-aid about Jesus always being with us, I know that is true. And I drew a lot of strength from Him in those moments. But He has also designed us to be in community.

Recently, I was having a conversation around this topic with great friend and fellow army wife, Sam, while we hung out on an impromptu Sonic date. (Sometimes the best revelations come over milkshakes and cherry limeades.) We talked about the struggle we face when battling this lonely feeling… because while God calls us to live in community, we have to be careful where we plant ourselves.

After all, we are called to be IN the world but not OF the world. (John 15:19) Great theory, super hard to live out. It’s a fine freaking line, one that I have yet to completely figure out. Sometimes, especially in the military realm of life, some of the things aren’t exactly productive for our Christian hearts or minds. Instead, we are exposed to negative seeds that try to take root. (And let’s be honest– the same thing can be said for ALL areas of the world… it’s a fallen world. We have to deal with it. SIGH.)

So whats a gal (or guy) to do in those lonely moments?

First of all, we can pray. Like, a lot. We can beg for Jesus’ presence to fill us up, to be the light in darkness as we battle the heart-lonely feeling. Also, we can recognize when the enemy is trying to attack. (More than likely, he’s lurking– so watch out!) We can surround ourselves with others who build us up– Christians who are genuine in their walk with words, love AND deeds, so that when we are called to go out into the world and walk a new path (military or otherwise) we can be IN the world and not OF it… We can cling to our strong, solid roots in Christ.

Oh, and we can take heart knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggle. So many people, just like you (and me) struggle with this lonely-heart feeling that rears its ugly stinkin’ head from time to time.

Christ understands our struggles. After all, He was alone on that cross when He took His final breath for you and me.

Take heart, dear friends. Christians before and after you have felt the same thing you might be feeling right now. While it might seem like a long path, remember that with Christ and fellow Christians, our path is a not-so-lonely road.

Hand in Hand with Him,
SGK

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” ~John 15:19 NIV

PS: Where or when do you find yourself most lonely? How does Christ show up in those moments? Let us know– comment below.

Categories: heart | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Is Well… With My Soul

Sometimes, I pray while I exercise. And no, I am not talking about praying like “Please Lord Jesus, help me to finish this last half mile running strong, without throwing up or tripping on my own feet.” (Although I do frequently pray  something similar.)

In this particular case, I mean praying for others. Specifically those of you on my iPad Prayer List app. Now before you think I am trying to cut corners and multi-task, please know that 1) I still have my quiet time with Jesus in addition to my exercise prayer time 2) I never read/pray while on the treadmill, only the stationary bike and/or elliptical should I risk breaking my face and 3) For some unknown reason, I can concentrate and focus exceptionally well during a challenging workout, just as  good if not better than when I am sitting in my chair in my living room.

Yesterday was one of those occasions that I decided to pray for the numerous folks on my prayer list while burning calories. As I started hopping around on the elliptical and opened up my iPad, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all of the new prayer requests that were laid on my heart in the last 12 hours.

My mind flashed to the news article about some of my friends/schoolmates at K-State that were in a car accident over the weekend which resulted in fatalities. I remembered the Facebook status of a family from back home that were grieving the loss of their 15-year-old cousin from a hunting accident. Monday was the two month anniversary of my miscarriage. And finally, yesterday I had to say “See you later” to my beloved Mama as I dropped her off at the airport after what seemed as too-short of a visit.

Ever have one of those days when your heart and soul just feel heavy? Yeah. That was the feeling. Right as I was debating on quitting my workout mid-gait and running to the car to burst into tears, the acoustic version of “It is Well with My Soul” came through on my iPod.

Immediately, peace flowed through my heart. God whispered “I am bigger than all of these things, my beloved child. Rely on me… and it shall be well with your soul.”

That beautiful song, a song full of God’s love and promise, echoed in my mind for the rest of the day. With each tear that fell,  I was comforted. Strengthened. Hopeful. Prayerful.

Is your heart heavy today? Are you in the midst of a trial or a life season that seems more powerful than an ocean wave? Please leave a comment below  or send an email to sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com so I can pray for you.

In the meantime… Know that God is greater than ANYTHING you are going through. Sit back, take a deep breath, press play on the following video. Listen, feel, live the lyrics and melody. Say to yourself “I love you Jesus. And because of that love, it is well… with my soul.”

Soulfully living well,
SGK

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
 ~John 14:27

Categories: believe, Comfort, death, exercise, God, heart, help, hope, Jesus, promises, song, strength | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

He Forgave You– Now Forgive Yourself Too.

“If only I hadn’t… I wish I didn’t… Why can’t I go back… It’s all my fault.”

Regrets. Mistakes. We all have ’em. We’ve all made ’em.

So what are we supposed to do?

This week,  we have been working through reasons why our hearts can be blocked and how we grow apart from Christ. (Click to read the original post here.) Yesterday was all about forgiving others… a hard but necessary topic.

Today we touch on a subject that I feel is sometimes overlooked in our Christian world. Forgiving ourselves.

Our hearts are really complicated. When you add our brains and flesh to our heart mixture, things can get super confusing… And kinda messy. Fortunately, God can clear things up for us.

See, here’s the deal. God forgives us WAY more than we deserve it. Yes, we screw up. Yes, we repent and apologize to Him. Then He forgives us… And thanks to our human nature, that cycle repeats. (And thanks to God’s love, He continues to forgive us. WHEW.)

We can get stuck when we refuse to let it go  and let God do His thang. When we hang onto our past sins, hurts, regrets and don’t allow God to take them… It is like we are saying that The Cross was not enough.

Let me say it again… When we hang onto our junk (blockages), we are essentially saying “Thanks so much for sending your beloved Son to die on The Cross, God… but that’s not quite good enough for me. I need something more.”

Uh. Yikes? I think a mindset like that might be offensive to The Big Man! I sure wouldn’t be happy if I made the biggest sacrifice of my entire existence and somebody said it wasn’t “good enough” for them. Sheesh.

So what do we do? We need to get over ourselves. Seriously. (Yeah, I said it.) Yes, we are God’s loving creation, but we aren’t better than The Cross. And we don’t have the power to mess up more than Jesus’ sacrifice can cover.  We must GENUINELY believe with our heart, soul, mind and strength that The Cross WAS enough. God made a promise to us through His Son. The action of Jesus’ death on the cross FORGAVE us of ALL of our transgressions. Not just the little ones. Not the easy or simple ones.

ALL. OF. THEM. Every last lousy sin, from stealing a pack a gum, to hurting someone else to… well, you get the picture. After all– a sin is a sin is a sin. (But that’s another blog post 🙂 )

So today’s challenge for unblocking your heart is to FORGIVE yourself of any past hurts or hang ups. If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior* then YOU. ARE. FORGIVEN.

Period. The End. IT IS FINISHED. (Does that sound familiar?)

Do you struggle with forgiving yourself? Have you forgiven yourself in the past? What did you experience? Please comment here… I would love to pray and/or rejoice with you!

Let God do the work. Give Him your hurts and regrets. He loves you more than you can imagine. Let it go and let God do His thang, covering you with mercy, grace and forgiveness.

He has got it covered. The Cross did that for us. He Forgave you– Now go ahead and forgive yourself too.

Thankful for forgiveness,
SGK

“…If we admit our sins…he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” 1 John 1:9 (MSG)

Forgive Yourself

(*If you haven’t accepted Christ and aren’t sure what  all that involves,  shoot me an email via sharita{dot} knobloch{at} gmail{dot} com. I would love to talk with you about it.)



Categories: attitude, Christ, cross, faith, forgiveness, freedom, God, health, heart, Love, peace, promises, release | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

In the Bottom of Your Sink

Who would you say that your everyday hero is?

Perhaps it is your spouse? A parent? A child? A mentor? Maybe it’s the law enforcement officers or firefighters or soldiers (or maybe if you are lucky like me, it is your soldier spouse…)

In addition to those awesome hero’s listed above, my hero is any person who had the courage to clean out the drain in the bottom of the kitchen sink.

What's at the bottom of YOUR sink?

Bet you didn’t think I was gonna go that direction, did you?

Seriously– cleaning out the bottom of the sink after doing dishes is probably the most gross, nasty thing in my world. ICK! But before you think I am prissy sheltered girl, I am not squeamish. I grew up on a farm. I have actually paid to take a class to learn how to artificially inseminate a cow (a pretty invasive experience, just FYI. Oh, and is that TMI? Hope you haven’t eaten lately.) I have cut, pushed, pulled, sliced, diced, dug, and dissected a variety of not-so-pleasant things. I can face almost anything dealing with blood, poo, people or animals.

But the bottom of the kitchen sink still makes me shudder.

You know what I am talking about… After you do the dishes or load the dishwasher, there is a just a bit of water left in the sink. You gather the courage to plunge in there and pull the drain, but the left over food chunks clog up the drainage hole.  To finish the mission, somebody has to plunge their hand down there and fish out the wilted pieces of lettuce, the partially disintegrated peppers and the waterlogged ground beef.

Things that make ya go BLUH!!!

I do this nasty deed, but I am never, ever excited about it. So to all of who you accomplish this task without a second thought, I salute you.

And this also makes me thankful that our God isn’t squeamish– because I’m willing to bet many of us have little pieces of wilted bottom-of-the-sink-gunk deposits in our heart.

We are all sinners, myself included. I would love to say I have a pure heart, but that’s a lie and poof, there’s another sink-gunk heart sin. From every judgmental thought, every worry, doubt, lie, unkind word, ignored person in need, and sin in general, we have that gross heart junk just sitting somewhere in our hearts.

But God isn’t squeamish. He isn’t afraid of digging in there and helping us clean that out. He loves us so much that He doesn’t give a second thought to our bottom-of-the-sink heart bluck. All we have to do is ask Him to reach in and remove the gunk.

And just like the water drains freely after the sink-gunk is removed, so is the same for heart love and purity. Once we repent and ask our Father to clean out our bottom-of-the-sink heart, WHOOSH! The feeling of free-flowing love returns.

So think about it– what do you have at the bottom of your heart sink? It the freedom of His love flowing freely? Or is it all clogged up with gunk that makes you squirm?

God is waiting and ready, bravely and anxiously poised to reach into your heart daily and give you a newly, free-flowing, refreshed feeling of love and hope. He isn’t afraid– no matter WHAT you have in the bottom of your sink.

From gunked to grateful,

SGK

“Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely.” Matthew 13:12 (MSG) 

Categories: Clean, freedom, fresh start, God, heart, sin | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lesson of Love

It was the day of the year I dreaded the most.

No algebra exam or P.E. class mile run could rival the distaste I felt. My stomach would be in knots, my heart heavy, my head swimming.

It was Valentine’s Day in high school. (DUM, DUM, DUM…)

Just typing that sentence made me wrinkle my nose a little bit. But before you think I am gonna be sippin’ on some Valentine’s Day Hatorade (get it? Hater? Gatorade?)  let me explain my perspective.

See, I never dated anyone in high school. Actually, I never dated anyone until the last 40 days of college. And that cool dude became my husband. I sure don’t regret the way things worked out… but Valentine’s Day in high school still kinda sucked for us singles.

The morning would start out ok. But as the day wore on… things went downhill. At the end of the hallway was the school admin office. With huge clear glass windows. It was unavoidable to notice the changes of that stinkin’ countertop’s contents with each passing class.

It would start slowly. Maybe with one rose in a vase. Then a few teddy bears were added to the mix. Some balloons showed up, followed by the influx of flowers that would make wedding flowers seem pathetic. By the time that final bell rang at 3:10pm, the office was overflowing with candy, trinkets, floral arrangements… and the giddy girls who received them.

(Sidenote: Flowers are ridiculously expensive. I am not sure where these high school boys were working and/or getting their allowance from, but I sure would have appreciated a job application to rake in that kind of dough when I was 16.)

Obviously, I was never on the receiving end of those extravagant gifts. As I stomped to my car, past the groups of clucking flower/balloon/chalky heart recipients, thoughts swirled through my head, ranging from “poor, poor, pitiful me” to “I bet if I catch that heifer off guard, I could grab her box of chocolates and make a break for it.”

Fortunately, my Mama raised me with self-control and I never did anything too irrational during my brief moments of pity, jealousy and annoyance.

AND…  I am super happy to report that I really don’t feel the same way about Valentine’s Day anymore. Not because I have a husband, but because I am really not too attached to “dates” and “holidays” on the calendar. (Honestly, my husband is the Anti-Valentine’s Dayer… he thinks it’s some commercialized made up holiday. Spoken like a true man, right?)

My semi-indifference to Valentine’s Day is an acquired army wife skill. Today marks the third Valentine’s Day that my beloved and I aren’t together. And honestly… I’m ok with it. Due to his career in the army, we’ve missed varying numbers of Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, birthdays, etc. (Fortunately, he was present at our wedding. Whew.)

I don’t need flowers, chocolates, balloons or teddy bears from him. If I want flowers, I buy some cheap ones for myself. I don’t need chocolate… period. (Minus the stash in the top of my pantry.) Balloons are a little inconvenient, and who needs a teddy bear when you have an adorable Baby Dog? (Plus, I have a “date” tonight with one of my good girl friends and her kids… Complete with a recipe for chocolate avocado mousse. I will report back on that one after we see how it turns out.)

All I need for Valentine’s Day… well, any day for that matter… is my ultimate bridegroom… Jesus.

This goes for all us– single, dating, married, together or separated by duty. Christ is the ultimate romancer. His love is everlasting and eternal. He woos us, sweeping us off our feet! Jesus didn’t give us chalky candy hearts or an expensive bouquet of flowers… He gave us HIS LIFE.

So for everyone out there that is celebrating Valentine’s Day today, I go for it. That’s awesome. Romance rocks. But regardless of your relationship status, remember the most important love relationship…

Our relationship with Jesus… He loves us unconditionally, always keeps His promises, and gave up His Life for us.

Yep. That’s the ultimate lesson of love.

Sharing the Love,

SGK

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” — John 3:16 (MSG) 

Valentine's Day 2012 Calendar

Source Here

Categories: army, chocolates, Christ, heart, Love, romance, roses | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

We have… a Heart Condition

Do you know what really grinds my gears?

The inaccuracy of the hand grip heart rate monitor things on the handles of treadmills. Are they EVER accurate?

Ok, maybe I should slow down a little bit. I am really not THAT upset about it, but it just makes me think sometimes. Perhaps you can help. Maybe I am not gripping them right? Whenever I work out on a treadmill (or elliptical, bike, anything with the fancy-schmancy heart rate grippy things) it never, ever seems to be even close to accurate.

It usually takes the majority of my workout to get a close to legit reading. I spend all that time trying to adjust my hands so it will show that I actually HAVE a pulse, and when it does, it gives some astronomical number on the verge of heart explosion. (I work hard, but not THAT hard. Seriously.)  Oh, and don’t get me started on how I feel when it occasionally blinks judgmental messages of “Do not run while gripping handles.” (Well if you would read my heart rate while I am walking/recovery, I wouldn’t have to, you stinkin temperamental machine…)

Here’s the great news about that story. God is OUR heart monitor. And a very accurate one at that. He knows our heart. It’s important to understand that regardless of what physical shape we are in, we ALL have a heart condition.

That is symptom #4 of being a human. We have a heart condition. As much as we would like to deny it or argue, we have sin in our heart. While I would love to blame Adam and Eve for messing it up, let’s be honest… If it wasn’t them, it would have taken 13.43 seconds before someone else came along who would have thought the snake’s ideas were great and screwed it all up. Oh, the “joys” of being a human.

Our sins give us a heart condition. But God is constantly “monitoring” our heart, much more effectively and accurately than the treadmill example. He knows everything in there and we don’t need surgery to clear the “blockages” (aka sin.) Why? Because we have Jesus!! (More on THAT tomorrow)

If you haven’t done so already and feel called, stop right now and ask Jesus into your heart. If you have already experienced that, then go ahead and ask Christ to continue clearing out the “junk.” He will condition your heart. He will strengthen it. He will be your accurate, never-ending tool to monitor your “heart condition.”

Next time you are on the treadmill and you begin to argue with the heart rate grippy things, remember… Jesus has got your pulse. And He IS the cure for our heart condition!

Lub-dubbing along,

SGK

“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Proverbs 27:19

Categories: exercise, forgiveness, heart, sin | Leave a comment

Lifted by being Gifted

So you might have noticed yesterday that we talked a bit about looking for Goodness of God everywhere… Today, I wanted to keep this simple (it is Friday after all, let’s be honest) and share with you a few of the A-MAZ-ING gifts God has given me. They lifted my heart as I typed them– I prayerfully hope that as you read them, you too are lifted by being gifted.

*Drinking wine on the front porch on a cool evening
*Early morning walk-jogs
*Nutella sandwiches with a glass of milk
*Waking up early feeling rested
*Sleeping late and not feeling guilty
*Hitting the final “Submit” button after completing a large project
*Laughing til it hurts
*Dessert (chocolate involved) with zero guilt
*Comfy pants
*Deep conversations with a close friend
*Puppy cuddles & high fives
*Sweat from an awesome workout
*Fresh bed sheets
*Standing on a tall hill looking down
*Fancy coffee on a cold morning
*The smell of a library
*Eating pasta… in Italy.
*Fitting into new, smaller sized clothes
*Blingy, feisty shoes… that are comfortable*Catching a fish
*Cuddling on the couch
*Really inky pens
*Starting a cute new journal
*Purchasing large quantities of bargain books
*Roadtrips
*Reaching your destination
*Fuzzy socks
*Feeling extra cool when strapping on barefoot/minimalist shoes
*Baby calves
*Good smelling candles
*Paying off a debt
*Brightly colored fingernails
*Mama’s homemade salsa
*Shiny, dangly earrings
*Fresh baked banana bread
*Christmas decorations
*Wearing a flower behind your ear
*Bubble baths
*Waking up in the middle of the night praying
*Hot fresh popcorn with a cold soda
*The nerves, excitement and relief when getting off a plane in a foreign country
*Warm rainstorms
*The smell of the farm: dirt, straw, cows
*Missouri State Fair
*Movie marathons
*Being completely surprised
*Feeling extra close to God

This isn’t my complete list– it grows almost daily. Do you have a “Lifted by being Gifted” list? If not, consider starting one today. Not only will it make your heart lighter and tingly when you read back over it, but it helps us to remember that God loves us so much that he exerted extra effort to give us these seemingly small but oh-so-significantly impacting gifts. Plus, it gives us a reason to smile– and who doesn’t need more of THAT?

I would love to hear about some of your “gifts” in your life… feel free to comment below!

Not returning THESE gifts,
SGK
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” –2 Corinthians 9:15
Categories: gifts, God, happy, heart, Love | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: