path

My Kind of GPS (Recalculating…)

I’m taking a New-Mama day today…so that being said, I wanted to share with you a post that was written a while back- but is still very pertinent to our everyday walks with Christ.

We might not always know where we are headed– but He does. And His plan can sure be trusted. (I promise.) Let me know what kind of surprise turns your life has taken and how God helped you through it by leaving a comment below. 

Blessings to you my darling readers!
SGK 

****

The tires are humming on the highway. The radio on just loud enough to provide some background noise but soft enough to avoid drowning out the conversation going on between the driver and passenger.

“When do I turn?”

“Um, let me look. I feel like it is coming up.”

“Come ON, babe, its rush hour… I need to know if I need to exit anytime soon. Can I get over?”

“NO, don’t merge you are blocked in… This paper map is terrible. Our GPS says it is coming up soon.  What exit number is this?”

“122B.”

“TURN NOW!!!”

The next thing you hear in the car is the driver shouting words not appropriate for a Christian blog, which barely masks the dreaded sound of the GPS uttering the words “Recalculating… recalculating… please make a legal U-turn at the next available intersection.”

Aren’t you glad we aren’t supposed to create (and drive) our own path in life alone? I know that if I were driving the “bus” that is my life, I would be shouting at the GPS constantly, lost in a shady part of town, bumping into other vehicles and maybe even broken down on the side of the road. So glad that God isMY GPS.

GPS

The kind of GPS I’m talking about is a “Godly Path-directing Service.” God has it figured out. Thankfully. And while his GPS methods don’t always seem the most “direct” route or even the smoothest, He always, always, ALWAYS gets us to where we need to be… usually in better condition than when we left.

I was having a conversation with the Agricultural Education teacher/FFA Advisor at my old High School the other day. As we were chatting about our backgrounds, we couldn’t help but stand there in that ag class and essentially revel at the craziness that has been our path to where we are now. But now, where we are… it ALL… MAKES… SENSE. Good work, Lord.

My “GPS” experience has been what I like to call “squiggly.” I had all of these grand plans of driving my own “bus” in life…Graduate high school, get bachelor’s degree at K-state,  go to vet school, work with people, work for a corporation, retire there and make lots of money, work for a non-profit organization, stay single for as long as possible while enjoying dating around, meet future husband upon college graduation, dominate the world by doing my own thing, become an army wife, remain satisfied with bachelor’s degree, go back to school to get master’s degree, live in a foreign country, move to Georgia, work on post at Fort Benning full time, be called into ministry… Arrived. Current Destination.

Confused? Probably. Now do you understand what I mean by a “squiggly” path. I personally think it is almost FUNNY how ridiculous I was thinking I had a plan figured out. Apparently, I didn’t check my map or refer to the correct GPS. And it is AWESOME that God scratched through my plans, threw in a few U-turns, breakdowns, and speed bumps all the while directing a new path and creating the perfect map for my life. I have learned that I don’t have to fear the word “recalculating” because God IS my map. He never let’s me miss my exit or turn. Rejoice that we have our own “Godly Path-Directing Service.”  He is MY kind of GPS!

Stopping for Directions isn’t a bad thing,
SGK

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths…” –Psalm 25:4

Categories: direction, God, guidance, path | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Own Set of Footprints

You can tell a lot about someone’s footprints.

No, I don’t mean what type of shoes they wear or what size their feet are. Footprints can often tell us where someone’s been… and perhaps where they are going.

Where do you see footprints most often? Typically for our family, sandy army boot footprints make their way across my kitchen. Sometimes its wet puppy paws. When I was growing up, it footprints were left in the snow. Or  on the back porch after doing cow chores outside. (You can imagine the “stuff” that was tracked in with THAT experience.)

As I woke up yesterday morning, I pondered this footprint concept when it comes to our walk with God. Most of us have heard the poem “Footprints” where a man dreams that he was walking with God along a beach. For most of the journey, there were two sets of prints– his and Gods. But at one point, there was only one set. Perplexed, the man questioned God. “Father, I though you said you would never leave or forsake me. But during the darkest times of my life, there’s only one set of footprints.” God’s reply? “My son, my precious child… It was then I carried you.”

Oh snap. Heard ya, Lord.

Just like our muddy/snowy/sandy/soggy footprints on the kitchen floor, we can tell a lot about our walk with God by looking at both His footprints and ours footprints on our path of life.

Picture the following images and think of examples from your own life:

One set of prints-– God carried us through the hard times. (For me, examples are induction into married army life, our miscarriage, other losses, challenges, dealing with the unknown.)

Our footprints are several steps ahead of Him– That’s when we are “helping” Him out, running before Him, not waiting on Him. (Uh, this was the majority of my early Christian walk. AKA, “I-get-what-I-want-when-I-want-it-ouch-I-tripped-and-fell-on-my-face.)

His steady footprints moving forward while our prints are a light, jagged, scuffed line– This could be when we are shuffling along, slower than normal, focusing on the icky-part of our journey or even being ungrateful. (Also, been there, done that– sometimes daily.)

His steady footprints are walking the path and ours are veering off, swirling around, backtracking. In this instance we are fighting for control, trying to find our own way. Or distracted. (Think: “OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY!”)

His footprints face backwards and we see two long, deep lines in the sand/snow/mud… He has got ahold of us under the arms and around our chest (lovingly but firmly) and is dragging us along the path. (This image makes me laugh. Because it’s true. When we resist what is on the path up ahead, but He loves us enough to tug us along.)

His footprints have stopped, facing backwards… and there’s our round little keister mark in the sand. This is the point where we pout. We protest briefly, throwing our little humanly hissy fit when things don’t go our way. Fortunately, He waits it out– He doesn’t keep on walking or leave us behind. He waits.

Finally, we have the two pairs of footprints, His and ours, walking side by side… This is the ideal, when we are walking close to Him, strolling hand-in-hand. It is at this moment that we are most filled with His peace and understand (or at least embrace) the purpose He has for our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve left all these prints with God at some point within my walk with Him. (Sometimes multiple ones all in a matter of days or hours!) Lately, I’ve been doing my best to reach that ideal– giving up control, completely depending on Him for EVERYTHING and walking side-by-side.

This is true in my marriage, life, motherhood-in-progress and ministry.

Which of these “prints” are you leaving with your walk with God today? Which of these images speak to you the most? Please don’t be shy– I would love to hear from your heart. Comment below if you feel so led.

God is calling us to walk with Him by His a sweet, sweet promise to NEVER leave or forsake us. Let’s walk with Him– and leave our own set of footprints.

He Walks with Me,
SGK

“I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it.” ~Job 23:11-12 MSG

PS: Speaking of walking side-by-side with God in ministry… He is taking me on a new path. I am blessed to have the opportunity to preach at two services (Rock Valley, IA and Seeds of Faith in Lester, IA) on Sunday, October 28th. If you are in the vicinity, we would love to see you there!!

Categories: God, path | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Because Sometimes God Has Other Plans (Vlog)

Today we are changing things up a bit… And I am trying my hand at another vlog (aka video blog.)

Sometimes things don’t go our way… but take heart. It could be an incredible blessing in disguise!

(If you can’t view this video in your email, click here.)

When have your plans and God’s plans not quite matched up? How did you react? I would love to hear all about it– you know the drill… Leave a comment below.

Today let’s rejoice that yes, sometimes God DOES have other plans.

Praying that His Plans Prevail,

SGK

“I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) 

Categories: God, path | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Stay In Step

“TTWWWWWEEEEEETTTTT!!”

Click, click, click, click… “One, two, three, four…”

Oh, the glory days of marching band. Now, before you start the cracks about being a band nerd, know that my high school was kinda tiny. Tiny like I graduated with 18 people in my class. And had about 80 people in our entire high school.

Which meant you were either in the band… Or you weren’t. (And seriously– who really wanted to go to an extra study hall? Pshaw.)

So yes, I was in the band. Played the flute actually. From 5th grade to senior graduation. I wasn’t a stellar player. I mean, I showed up for band every day for 7 years, so I could play– just not awesomely. Oh, and I am really uncoordinated. Which is why MARCHING and playing the flute at the same time really caused some issues. (I tried to be a front line pom-pom girl or in the flag corp for most of my marching band career.)

Our tiny little marching band would hit up various local parades ever couple weeks from about September to the final Christmas parade in December.

We were a small group. Our band director Mrs. Buckle was incredible. And brave. She dealt with teenagers. With instruments. Which is probably why she yelled a lot. She had to contend with the trumpets and the bass drum. And those instruments tend to get a little noisy.

Plus, it turns out I wasn’t the only uncoordinated one in the group. Teenage boys and girls playing instruments, following music and trying to stay in step? Yeah, sometimes it wasn’t pretty. (Which is why we never had white shoes with our band uniform. Always black. Harder to notice when someone is blatantly out of step.)

Not a picture of our marching band. Our uniforms weren’t QUITE that nice.

I as I think about those fun memories, and Mrs. Buckle’s voice still resonates in my head:

“LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT!!!”

“HEY TRUMPETS, GET IN LINE!”

“STAY. IN. STEP!”

Fun times. But seriously. As I thought about my experience with marching band and the importance of staying in step, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is for us to stay in step today… With God.

We have to trust Him, knowing that He is walking beside of us. If we stop to look at our feet, we will lose our rhythm and mess up the whole formation He has lined up for us. We have to let Him set the pace, not falling behind Him or  trying to gallop out in front. <<That would be me.)

Are you letting God direct your life like the a drum major or band director? Or are you trying to do your own thing? What does it feel like when you are out of step? In step? What steps can you take to make sure you stay in step with Him marching beside you? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comment below!

We are all marching in this life. It doesn’t matter if you are lugging a tuba, a piccolo, snare drum or are a member of the flag corp. We all have to march. So the question is: Who is directing your band? Follow Him closely and you will always stay in step.

Marching to the beat of a heavenly drum,
SGK

“The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?” ~Proverbs 20:24 MSG

Categories: challenge, God, obedience, path | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Aftermath of our Path

It is Friday… It is Friday… It is Friday, Hey, Hey, Hey, HEY! <Feel free to sing this outloud to the same tune from Little Rascal Buckwheat’s rendition of “I got Two pickles.

It IS Friday and that can only mean one thing– It’s time for our weekly Friday Flash Mob, writing style.

Here’s the deal: Each Friday, I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a prompt. Then we write. Unscripted. Unedited. For five minutes flat.

Too easy right? Well then, let’s get to cracking.

Todays prompt: Path

Ready? GO!

*****

The bags are packed. My water bottle is full. Pup is leashed up. It’s go time.

We are out to discover a new running path. We begin our walk/jog/hike in a beautiful spot. Trees surround us. Birds whistle cheerfully. The sun gently warms our neck. It’s gonna be a good day.

Off we go. This is awesome! Trotting along, I sing quietly to myself. I talk to the pup. Our new path curves a bit.

HOLY CANNOLI. That’s a big freaking hill. Um, that wasn’t in the plans.

Meh, it’s just one hill. We can do it. We trudge on. The sun is getting warmer. Beads of sweat form on my brow. My calves are screaming. We get to the top. And there in the distance, is another beast of a hill. Ugggg…

Walking on our chosen path isn’t always easy– both literally and figuratively. When Jesus called us to follow Him, He didn’t say it would be easy. But He said it would be worth it.

Our paths are going to be filled with hills, curves, broken areas, bridges that have gone out, detours, sweat and maybe even a snake or two.

But we must keep walking. One foot in front of the other, following after Christ. Because after all… Our path, no matter how hilly or sweaty or snake-infested, has a heavenly destination.

Tie on your tennis shoes, bring your water… Because the aftermath of our path is heavenly.

*****

Know what I love more than  Friday flash mob writing? Your feedback. I would love to hear about the current path you are on… Are you facing a hill? What’s around your next bend? What keeps you motivated to press onward to reach that glorious path-walking aftermath? Please leave your comments below!

And now… I must get started on my path for today! Many blessings to you… and as always, if you have any prayer requests, leave a comment, send a message to 7 Days Time Facebook page or email me at sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.

Following After Christ,
SGK

“Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.” ~Psalm 16:11

Categories: Christ, Five Minute Friday, God, path | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

iPad Art for the Heart: Walking on Clouds

My iPad is the bomb diggity. (Yes, I’m bringing that phrase back. Excited for it to catch on.)

Honestly, I probably don’t use my trusty iPad to the extreme that some hardcore Appladdicts do. (That’s my new name for people who love Apple products.) But I L-O-V-E the convenience and entertainment it brings to my life. Plus, it was a gift, so that’s a total bonus.

Last week, I volunteered to do our devotional for Staff Meeting at the church where I work. And while it was initially unexpected, I managed to integrate some iPad art into the heart message. Here’s how things went down…

I was praying about what to share with the group. I wanted to be prepared because presenting to that team of stellar Jesus leaders can be pretty intimidating. Between the people sitting around that staff table, there was over 100 years of ministry experience. And it’s not like our pastor is 80. It is pretty evenly spread… and can be a little scary for a gal who has been “officially” in ministry for less than a year.

Anyway, I was praying and God gave me a pretty deep heart message to share. The members of our staff were all going through some pretty crazy life stuff the week before: adoption, death of a father, cancer diagnosis of a parent, army junk, you name it, it was probably happening… So I shared the following message right out of my journal, which turned out to be a culmination of several different Jesus Calling takeaways as well as Prayer Week epiphanies.

“God is nudging us to continue to make Him the center of everything, knowing that He is bigger than death, cancer, exhaustion, the army, finances, all of it. It is in our everyday  life circumstances that we MUST remember to He is walking with us. With Him holding onto our hand, we can live above our circumstances, living each day in light of eternity. We don’t have to walk the curvy, dark paths found within our circumstances. Instead, we can walk daily with Him on the staircase to heaven. 

This is hard to do. Not only do our circumstances seem daunting at times, but the enemy is right there, waiting to whisper clever half-lies to keep us focused on the dark clouds of our circumstances. But God calls us to the light, because He is the light and in Him there is no darkness at all. No dark clouds. No ominous motives. No curvy paths. He gives us more grace and mercy than we could ever need. We must simply look upwards, stretch out our hands and receive those free gifts.

God does not call us to anything more than we can handle. He gives us circumstances according to our abilities. We can walk with Him and know that He is the one who called us to it, is faithful and will do it. OR… we can rely on our own strength, thinking we can tackle the dark clouds and curvy paths on our own as we walk in darkness. Which do you choose? 

God desires to help us. If we keep every action and thought focused on him, we can live with Him ABOVE our cloudy circumstances, safe in His arms and on the path to heaven. Then and only then will be live be able to live in the meaningful life that God gave us. We will be literally… walking on the clouds.” 

Wow, deep right? I thought so too. But don’t worry. I chose to bust out my iPad and share the following picture that God also gave me as I was writing to lighten the mood a bit…

I will give you a second to stop laughing. (Yeah, I had to wait for the staff to stop cracking up too. Praise the Lord for humor right?)

Let me quickly explain this picture a bit. On the left, you notice the faces. That’s you. Well, kinda. Maybe you are totally legit with where you are with life, or maybe you are overwhelmed you could throw up or you would like to sit down and cry. You pick.

In the world part of the picture, we have the “poo” of life. There’s a lot of it. The gray squiggly line? Yeah, that’s the path we can walk without Jesus. OR we can choose that sweet architecturally correct yellow staircase to heaven. As we walk up the staircase, we cut through the dark icky circumstance clouds. On the top is heaven, where all the love and great things are at. The smiley face at the top? You guessed it. That’s Jesus, standing right beside the checkered “congrats-you-finished-the-race” flags.

Are you living above your circumstances and walking on clouds, knowing that God is bigger than EVERYTHING going on in your life? Or are you wading through the poo in the world along on that dark, curvy path?

It’s your choice. Personally, I’m all about walking towards the hearts, kisses and extremely smiley Jesus. Go ahead. Choose the golden staircase and ask God to be your guide. Live above your circumstances and you too will soon be walking on clouds.

Cutting through the clouds (and the poo),
SGK

“Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?  If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—  you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.” Psalm 139:7-12 (MSG)  

Categories: challenge, faith, glory, iPad, Jesus, path | 4 Comments

My Kind of GPS

The tires are humming on the highway. The radio on just enough to provide some background noise but soft enough to avoid drowning out the conversation going on between the driver and passenger.

“When do I turn?”

“Um, let me look. I feel like it is coming up.”

“Come ON, babe, its rush hour… I need to know if I need to exit anytime soon. Can I get over?”

“NO, don’t merge you are blocked in… This paper map is terrible. Our GPS says it is coming up soon.  What exit number is this?”

“122B.”

“TURN NOW!!!”

The next thing you hear in the car is the driver shouting words not appropriate for a Christian blog, which barely masks the dreaded sound of the GPS uttering the words “Recalculating… recalculating… please make a legal U-turn at the next available intersection.”

Aren’t you glad we aren’t supposed to create (and drive) our own path in life alone? I know that if I were driving the “bus” that is my life, I would be shouting at the GPS constantly, lost in a shady part of town, bumping into other vehicles and maybe even broken down on the side of the road. So glad that God is my kind of GPS.

The kind of GPS I’m talking about is a “Godly Path-directing Service.” God has it figured out. Thankfully. And while his GPS methods don’t always seem the most “direct” route or even the smoothest, He always, always, ALWAYS gets us to where we need to be… usually in better condition than when we left.

I was having a conversation with the Agricultural Education teacher/FFA Advisor at my old High School the other day. As Erin and I were chatting about our backgrounds, we couldn’t help but stand there in that ag class and essentially revel at the craziness that has been our path to where we are now. But now, where we are… it ALL… MAKES… SENSE. Good work, Lord.

My “GPS” experience has been what I like to call “squiggly.” I had all of these grand plans of driving my own “bus” in life…Graduate high school, get bachelor’s degree at K-state,  go to vet school, work with people, work for a corporation, retire there and make lots of money, work for a non-profit organization, stay single for as long as possible while enjoying dating around, meet future husband upon college graduation, dominate the world by doing my own thing, become an army wife, remain satisfied with bachelor’s degree, go back to school to get master’s degree, live in a foreign country, move to Georgia, work on post at Fort Benning full time, be called into ministry… Arrived. Current Destination.

Confused? Probably. Now do you understand what I mean by a “squiggly” path. I personally think it is almost FUNNY how ridiculous I was thinking I had a plan figured out. Apparently, I didn’t check my map or refer to the correct GPS. And it is AWESOME that God scratched through my plans, threw in a few U-turns, breakdowns, and speed bumps all the while directing a new path and creating the perfect map for my life. I have learned that I don’t have to fear the word “recalculating” because God IS my map. He never let’s me miss my exit or turn. Rejoice that we have our own “Godly Path-Directing Service.”  He is MY kind of GPS!

Always ask Him for directions,

SGK

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths…” –Psalm 25:4

Categories: direction, God, guidance, path, plan God power knowledge | Leave a comment

A Tilt of My Head

I can’t draw/cut a straight line to save my life.
I personally think it has something to do with my qualities of being graceful <sarcasm here… I am so clumsy. Recent example: I smoked my shin when I fell off doing box jumps today with my personal trainer. It’s purple. Go K-State?!?) But seriously, if someone asks me to hang something on the wall, cut a piece of paper, or draw a line across a page, I hope they don’t mean straight. Cause it’s not gonna happen.

Fortunately for me, I do have some tools to deal with these issues. Sometimes it comes in the form of a level for wall-hanging stuff. Maybe a ruler or one of those massive paper cutting hacker things that you find in school copy rooms around the nation (although I have been known to cut a whole stack of papers  straight… in a crooked line.) My favorite troubleshooting solution to the straight line issue? Either get another person to do it (my preference) or change my perspective with a tilt of the head. There, now it’s perfect!


Sometimes our life situations aren’t in a straight line as we think they should be. I struggle with understanding “army logic” and “military strategy” when it comes to my husbands schedule. Just last Wednesday, I needed a perspective shift. I was wallowing in a vat of self-pity about more overnight staff duty/charge of quarters scheduling issues… Then on Thursday, that awesome God of All Comfort that we worship sent me my “head tilt”  I needed to see things clearly once again. It was in the form of having a chance to pray for some “basic training” baby soldiers.
Now, these guys weren’t my husbands soldiers (he isn’t in cycle currently.) But those little requests of the trainees that I received on small slips of paper to pray over during CRAVE time at church on Thursday reminded me of why my husband and I are here, a drill sergeant and his wife in tropics of Georgia. Some baby soldiers wanted God’s help to pass basic training. Others asked for protection for their family. A few prayed for their battle buddies. One prayed for God to be with his wife, who was due to have a baby on September 11th, and he was going to miss it since she was back home and he was at basic training. God thumped me upside the head so hard and efficiently, I got my head-tilt wish ASAP. I was seeing things straight again with my changed perspective.  It’s all about the bigger picture, folks. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.” (Proverbs 4:11-12)

As humans, our flesh is great at distorting our thinking and conjuring up what we think should be our “straight path.” If you couple that with The Enemy, man oh man, things really get foggy. Brandon and I have been through a deployment together, and I am very thankful that we have broken a “new” record in our relationship for being in the same time zone for 5 months now. In light of 9/11, this “current suffering” of temporary separations that I am undergoing is no biggie.  But God also doesn’t want us to discount those challenges. He simply desires that we turn to Him and ask for his strength, possibly coupled with that “head tilt.”
Paul said we should rejoice in our sufferings. He discusses in 2 Corinthians 11:16-30 his amazingly long list of sufferings, essentially saying they are nothing compared to future glory. Only someone that has his head appropriately tilted in the direction of Eternity would be able to think like that. I don’t know about you, but I know I could do a better job of clinging to the promise of eternity when my lines seem “less than straight.”
When our puppy Justus is confused or can’t see things properly, he doesn’t remain in the same position, pouting in the middle of the floor or sulking on our lap. Instead, he tilts his head in a quizzical doggie manner until he can figure it out. I know that when we are experiencing struggles and sufferings, it isn’t quite THAT simple as a doggie head tilt… but maybe sometimes I need to pray for God to help me see a little more clearly, in the light of eternity and allow him to tilt my head. By His strength, and His strength alone will I be able to “cut my paper” straight.

Do you need to tilt your head today? Ask God to help you see the “bigger” picture, even if you think it looks a little crooked hanging on the wall. Everything can be straighter if you tilt your head and view things in the light of our glorious, heavenly home!
Unbalanced & OK with it,
SGK

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6
Categories: path, prayer, soldier, straight | Leave a comment

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