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Home is Where Jesus Calls You

You’ve probably heard your share of “homey” quotes…

“Home is where the heart is.”

“Home Sweet Home.”

“Home is where you hang your hat.”

“There’s no place like home” (Wizard of Oz, what, what!)

Ah, home. It conjures up all sorts of apple-pie-wafting, couch-snuggling, T.G.I.F sitcom watching (does anybody else remember the T.G.I.F television programming?) images of joy.

Ahhh... Homey.

Ahhh… Homey.

There is one “home” saying that I have often pondered; one that is (obviously) very popular in the army.

“Home is where the Army sends us.”

This saying is typically painted on a sign, then below it are little placards that have the bases where folks have been stationed. I always think it’s interesting to walk around my neighborhood and imagine the adventures and challenges that come from “home” being Fort Bragg, North Carolina, then Fort Wainwright, Alaska, onto Fort Bliss Texas then Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (I don’t know anyone specifically off the top of my head that has traveled that exact pattern, but you get my drift.)

We, however, do not have one of those signs on our front door. Not because I don’t think they aren’t cool, but because I believe the army isn’t the director of where we move every 2-5 years(ish.)

Jesus is behind the army… So as far as I am concerned, home is where Jesus calls you.

This concept doesn’t just apply to military people. And really, it doesn’t matter if you have moved 10 times in the last 10 years or still live in the same house in which you were born 60 years later.

Home is where Jesus calls you. It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes I struggle with this idea… I see my friends living close(ish) to family, buying or building a home… And honestly, I kind of want that.

No more slapping a coat of paint on hospital-white walls in an attempt to make what we know is a temporary home a little more personal. No more “creative-curtain-ing” when we move into a new home and realize all the windows are a completely different size than the last place we lived. No more praying over the stain in the carpet when it’s housing-move-out inspection time.

God has done (and continues to do) some really incredible work on my heart in this regard, reminding me that HE is in control of where we live, how we get there, how long we stay.

After all, home is where Jesus calls us.

So, three big (albeit, slightly random) thoughts surrounding this topic:

1. Regardless of the place we are called to live, there is no room for envy, jealously, pride or discontent in that equation. Instead of “wishing” for a permanent place near family, we should revel in the adventure God has called us to. Or instead of yearning to get out of a small home town, we should find joy in the familiarity.

2. No matter WHERE we live, or how long we live there… It is STILL temporary. This world is not our home. Let’s enjoy it while we can, but keep in mind that life is but a vapor and there is something WAY more awesome coming our way. Which brings me to point #3…

3. We must live with an eternal perspective. I have a sneaky suspicion that when we eventually make it to our permanent heavenly home, it will blow us away, and no amount of screened in porches, built-in ice machines or bathtub jacuzzis will compare. (Just a few thoughts for my earthly dream home, FYI.)

As you read this, I am enjoying some time back with my family in my childhood home. It’s great to be back in the country with the animals and feeling of fall all around. But as awesome as ALL of my earthly homes have been so far, whether it was in Kansas, Missouri, Georgia or Washington, I know something even more incredible awaits me…

Because after all, home is where Jesus calls us… and someday, we will experience Home sweet Home like never before!

Heaven is where my heart is,
SGK

PS: Do you know where your eternal home is going to be? If not, I would love to talk with you about that. It won’t be weird or awkward or judgey, I promise… But seriously, gimme a shout via sharita.knobloch@gmail.com.

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.” ~Hebrews 11:8-10 MSG 

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Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Do you remember that movie from the 1993 called “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey?” You know, the one with the two dogs (Shadow and Chance) and the cat (Sassy.)

Oh. You don’t? Well, google it. I will wait.

Got it? Ok. Well, it was one of my favorite movies back in the day– we owned it on VHS, and if we still had a VHS player, I would probably still watch it on occasion. That movie included my favorite things: Disney, animals and adventure.

Now my life is a little less Disney and a lot more adventure.

Living about a thousand miles from “home” provides challenges and opportunities for growth like you wouldn’t believe (unless of course, you have lived it. Then you totally get what I’m saying.)

As you read this, I am currently in the process of being homeward bound for a few days– We (as in Sweet Justus the pup, our currently-cooking-softball-sized-baby Little Patriot and myself) have made it to my sweet parents-in-love’s house in South Dakota. (Note: It is a LONG frigging drive from Fort Benning, GA to South Dakota. Just saying.)

And I think my heart is about to explode. (In a good way, of course.)

It is SO awesome to be back in the midwest… I haven’t been back since last Christmas break  and I am thrilled to get back to the land of corn (well, if the drought hadn’t burnt it all up) and cattle. In a few short days, I am southbound and down, heading to Kansas for a few precious days of family, agriculture and chaos that only our tiny little community can provide.

WHEW!!! They still fit!! (There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…)

I addition to anticipation of seeing my family, the farm,  and friends– I also have a big-ish announcement. Ready?

I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PREACH. That’s right, I have been invited to bring the Sunday morning message at our local church for TWO different services.

I couldn’t be more excited. (If you happen to be in the southeast Kansas region on September 30th, come on down to the Kincaid United Methodist Church at 9am then follow us over to the Welda UMC church at 11am. I would love to share with you what God has laid on my heart!)

It is such a blessing to have a home to love and look forward to– but honestly, my friends– it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you love your “home” or not… we ALL have a home that we can look forward to.

See, we are all homeward bound– someday, we will be home. Like, with Jesus. Yeah, in heaven. And that’s gonna be so awesome that it will blow any sweet childhood memories and love of the countryside out of the water.

Our current adventure of being homeward bound might seem to be kind of long and tedious some days. (ARE WE THERE YET?!?)  There are going to be “those days” where we are at the end of our ropes. Then there are other days where we can’t imagine that things can get any better than this.

But trust me. It can. And it will. Because we are all Homeward Bound. And yes, it’s an INCREDIBLE journey.

There’s no place like home,
SGK

PS: In what place do you feel most at home? How do you feel when you think about our eventual eternal home? I always love to hear your thoughts– please leave a comment below!

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

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A Spirit of Discovery

I’m not gonna lie… Sometimes I miss being a little kid.

Ok, I will admit—I am still clinging to some of my childish ways, like getting really excited to go out for ice cream (although now I prefer frozen yogurt) or enjoying a good Disney movie (most recent favorite: Tangled.) But as I returned home to Kansas for a visit, my little dog Justus reminded me of childhood aspect that we should all hold onto.

This was Justus’ first road trip out of state… we covered six states during our 15 hour drive. After conquering about 12 hours of our journey the first day, we stopped in Springfield, Missouri. I had planned ahead a booked a pet-friendly hotel so I didn’t have to deal with the stresses of smuggling a tiny dog into my room and keeping him quiet. When we arrived to our room, I turned Justus loose… and watched.

He went bonkers. Not “destroy-everything-in-sight” bonkers, but more like “oh-my-goodness-I’m-out-of-the-car-and-experiencing-something-new!” bonkers. He was leaping and rolling and running and sniff, sniff, sniffing, leaving no corner of the room untouched. Justus was so overwhelmed and excited for all of the new discoveries!

The same thing happened when we arrived at my parent’s house the following day (and the pattern continues as I write.) He has sniffed out (and rolled in) a variety of new things, which included meeting 14 chickens, looking at roosters through a crack in the trailer door, trying to be a tough dog by intimidating our small herd of cattle, and running like a wild farm dog with our three cattle dogs and the red-bone coon dog puppy Cletus. (Note: I did NOT pick that dog’s name. Ha.)

Justus has a spirit of discovery. Children have a similar spirit of discovery, which starts the moment they are born. Little by little, babies discover new things: How their hands work, that mommy makes funny faces, how to walk, what the word NO means, the list goes on and on… This whole reflection made me think: Do I still have a spirit of discovery?

Even as we grow up and mature, physically and spiritually, we can hold onto our precious spirit of discovery. God desires us to seek Him out—the more we do, the more we can discover about Him. My master’s degree studies have aided me in discovering new little tidbits about God and Christianity. Almost every time I open the Bible, I discover something new, primarily because God reveals it to me.  Little discoveries are lurking around every corner!

Holding onto the spirit of discovery doesn’t automatically happen. We have to intentionally seek out new experiences, whether it is meeting someone new, doing a new Bible study or traveling to a new location. Do you still have a spirit of discovery? What makes your heart excited? Go after it! Discover!

I personally look forward to the new discovery opportunities that God allows me to experience every day. With prayer and a willing heart, we can all hold onto that child-like faith and spirit of discovery!

Loving life’s surprises,

SGK

“Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.” –Proverbs 4:22 (MSG) 

 

Categories: childhood, Home, puppy | Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

The highway stretched out before me… I look to my left, and there is a pasture full of cows with their new fall calves. On my right, a paddock with a few head of horses lounging in the Kansas mid-morning sun. I crack my car window just a smidge. I take a deep breath as the air rushes in, tousling my hair. I turn to my faithful baby dog traveling companion in the passenger seat, smile and say “Justus… we are almost HOME!”

He just looks back at me, half quizzically, half exasperated, shooting me a glance that says “LET ME OUT OF THIS CAR… NOW.” See, we had been driving approximately 15 hours over a two-day span from Fort Benning, Georgia to Southeast Kansas. I hadn’t been home in over six months… but we were almost there!!

The last couple of days here in Kansas have been great. Being away from home that long really makes me appreciate all of the little things that make home HOME. Little things like listening to my teenaged brother (who, might I add, is ginormously tall, skinny and awkward now—hello puberty!) bicker with my Dad about appropriate doing of the farm chores. Or laughing hysterically at Justus as he meets a variety of new creatures, from the small pack of dogs that my parents own (three cow dogs, two coon dogs), to chickens, cattle and horses. Not to mention all the new smells that this puppy has never experienced before. Can you say sensory overload?

We can’t forget the thrill of going to our local Wal-Mart to get groceries, which resulted in a mini reunion/social experience involving conversations with two of my high school classmates, three parents of schoolmates, one of my brother’s teachers and one of our dear neighbors. Small world in Anderson County, Kansas. And believe it or not, I’ve missed it.

There are so many things that I now appreciate about being HOME, from gravel roads to coyotes howling to the November moon rising over the trees. But as I was reflecting on the rejuvenating experience that is a little quality home-time, I started to think about God… And how if this is great, how AWESOME is our final home gonna be?!?

Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the magnitude of being home with Jesus. We can only imagine what it is going to be like. But all I know is that if I get such a thrill from making Tutti Frutti jelly with Mama in the kitchen and lounging with a non-school book in comfy pants with my family in the living room, then heaven is going to ROCK.

When I first started this blog, one of the reasons (in addition to the biblical premise) that I called it “More Precious than Rubies” was that I was born and raised in Kansas. For Halloween, I was Dorothy, Brandon was the Scarecrow and Justus was Toto from the Wizard of Oz. And I was so excited for this trip HOME that I might have possibly kinda sorta packed my ruby slippers. Now that is “precious.”

We can all enjoy the time that we have on this earth, wherever God calls us to go from Kansas to Georgia to who-knows-where. But we can also look forward to eternity with Him! How remarkable is THAT?!?! Home with my friends/family is blessed… Home in Georgia with my beloved Brandon and puppy is wonderful… But someday, reunited, resting at HOME in Heaven? Now THAT is gonna be HOME SWEET HOME!

There’s no place like home,

SGK


“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” –2 Corinthians 5:8  

Categories: agriculture, God, heaven, Home, Kansas | Leave a comment

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