peace

In the Garden (Revisited)

I am smack dab in the middle of learning what it means to be a new Mama while moving across the country. No big deal, right?  (It is an adventure, that is for sure!) So today as I considered what bloggy ministry message God wanted me to share, He put this one on my heart. (Actually, He put the song on Pandora which made me think of this post written a little while ago…) 

As my Beloved Brandon and I make new memories with our little one as we seek out our new home with the army, I couldn’t help but get all gushy thinking about my parents. This post recalls one of my favorite childhood memories with my dad… and my heavenly Father. 

Where do you go to meet with the Father? I would love to hear all about it. Feel free to comment below! 

Praying today is full of Him!
SGK 

****

Growing up in northwest Kansas as the daughter in a farming/ranching family provided me with many chances to “get away.” Ok, let’s be honest– we were 90 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. We were always “away,” so actually going somewhere aka civilization was a big deal.

Anyway, Dad worked a lot of hours taking care of the cattle and crops, but some of the most precious memories I have of my youth were those moments when I would climb onto the bathroom sink, lather up my face and pretend to “shave” my face with my finger as he did the same in the mirror. We would sing as we “shaved,” and to this day the song “In the Garden” takes me “away” and back to solidarity on the farm… and now to solidarity with God.

The song “In the Garden” fondly reminds me of my youthful days on the farm and also of my relationship with God. It brings back around the importance of spending time with Him daily, reflecting in his glory and love for us.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

(Refrain)
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Refrain  

Check out the link to hear the song… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW0WA8OSXZg
IMG_0174

Jesus deeply desires to spend time with us, love on us, romance us. Are you giving Him that opportunity? Where is your garden? Is it literally a garden? Maybe someplace else in nature? Perhaps at your kitchen table before the rest of the family awakens? It might even be at the bathroom sink, staring into the mirror, talking to God and thanking him for the memories of the past and the promises of the future.

Spend some time to go your “garden” with Him today. None other will ever know the joy you experience with Him as you walk, talk, and tarry there.

Walking in the Garden,
SGK

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Categories: peace | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Open for business 24/7

Sometimes you just can’t help but appreciate the businesses that are open 24/7.

I mean seriously– just think about it… The places that are open round-the-clock are usually those businesses that are most important or that we have to use in emergencies. Hospitals, fire stations, police/law enforcement, some gas stations, some pharmacies (like Walgreens) and even Wal-Mart and Waffle House. (Granted, Wal-Mart and Waffle House might not be needed in emergency situations– but it’s still super convenient!)

I can’t help but be thankful not only for these modern-day services and conveniences– but also am so grateful that our God is a 24/7 kind of dude.

open sign

He’s always there. Always accessible. Never closed, never out of reach. Always ready to help.

Which is great for the nights when I can’t sleep– and those nights seem to come more frequently the more pregnant I become. (Plus I heard some nasty rumor about parenthood taking away your regular sleep patterns… so apparently this non-sleeping-during-nighttime-hours is supposed to get more intense once baby arrives. 😉 )

This middle of the night can’t sleep issue happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I awoke right on schedule for my regular 3am preggo bathroom break. (Sorry if that’s TMI…) But as I headed to back bed, I had a realization that made my heart sink– my brain had woken up. It was in high gear.

Crap. (Pardon my language.)

Granted, I DID have a lot on my mind- and heart. Just a few hours before, I was in my first ever car accident and was still pretty wound up from that. Now I was faced with the prospect that this new little one was going to show up in our lives in a matter of weeks– and we probably needed to purchase a new car before that point. Oh, and did I mention we are planning to move 2800 miles to a new duty station within the first few months of this baby’s birth? No pressure.

But yes, my woman brain kicked into alert state. Which woke up this growing baby-child in my belly. I sighed heavily and took my sore hips and racing mind downstairs.

I grabbed a light snack since my stomach was growling, then laid down on the couch, hoping that things would settle down. After a few minutes, I knew I was going to have to call for help.

I was desperate. So I called in reinforcements. I started to pray.

It wasn’t prayers of just “Jesus, PLEASE help me go to sleep.” But I started running through all of the stuff in my life that was on my heart. I prayed for a preggo pal who although we were due within days of each other, had already given birth to her baby prematurely a couple of weeks prior. I prayed for a friend who was facing having a tough conversation with her parents about faith. I prayed for our family mission statement. I prayed for God to take my tension away and replace it with peace. I prayed… and prayed… and…

Next thing I know– it was no longer 3:47am. But I awoke that Thursday morning semi-ready to face the day– during “normal” business hours.

I’m so thankful that God is always open for business and ready to listen, save and help.

Have you every had trouble sleeping? What is your remedy? How does God being available 24/7 change your relationship with Him? Better yet… how can it improve or encourage your relationship with Him? Don’t be shy… leave a comment below!

When the weight of this world is pulling you down– or keeping you from peace– or disrupting your sleep pattern– remember, dear friends… that God is always accessible. Always ready. Always here to help.

Now THAT’S what I call being open for business 24/7.

Finding peace in His presence– at all hours of the day,
SGK

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” ~Psalm 46:7 NIV

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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

Peace is a Priority

When I was a little girl, Easter ranked in the top 4 of the most exciting and wonderful days of the year. It was just behind Christmas, my birthday and the last day of school. I loved hunting for eggs and that feeling of excitement as I came down the hall peered into the kitchen… and on top of the deep freeze, our Easter baskets would always be sitting, overflowing with candy and toys.

Ahhh. Those were the days.

But back then, I don’t recall having ANY idea what Easter was really about. Now as an adult, things are a wee bit different. Don’t get me wrong– if anyone is willing to sneak into my house and leave an Easter basket on our deep freeze filled with chocolate, please feel free. (But call first so I can kennel up the pup. I would hate for your ankle to have an encounter with our ferocious 12 pound beast.)

So yes, now Easter has a MUCH different and much more profound meaning to me… It of course signifies that Christ has Risen. How. Awesome. Is. That??

During my quiet time last week, God gave me a revelation of sorts… In all of our hustle and bustle of life, specifically for a minister preparing for Easter church services, PEACE is a priority.

We see this in John 20:19-21 when Jesus first appears to the disciples after He has risen from the dead.

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.””

Jesus makes peace a priority. “Peace be with you” was the first phrase He uttered to his group of best friends after this profound event of rising from the dead. It wasn’t “Hey y’all, I’m back!” or “I win, let’s party!” or even “Now let me tell you my plans…” It was simply “Peace be with you.” He didn’t just say it once– He said it twice. Pretty important, eh?

When have you experienced God’s peace most deeply in your life? Have you mastered it or do you still struggle with it? Please share your Jesus-peace experience by leaving a comment here.

As we approach Easter, let’s rejoice that He has risen and will soon be coming back. But let’s also remember  the promise of peace that comes from clinging to Jesus and spending time in His presence– daily, not just on Easter. Jesus made peace a priority– shouldn’t you?

Rejoicing in the Peace,
SGK

“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” –Romans 15:33

Categories: believe, Bible, calm, celebrate, Christ, hope, Jesus, peace | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Questions are ok… Sorta.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Are we there yet?

What’s gonna happen next?

What should I do?

Ahhh, yes…Everyday questions… Many of which lack solid answers. Kind of like a lot of the questions we have for God about our lives.

Question Marks

via

Somewhere in the journey to Jesus, we have created the idea that it is not OK to “question” God. I disagree with that statement. But before you think I’ve lost my mind and unsubscribe to my blog, hear me out.

I think it is ok to ASK God for stuff… and even ask ABOUT stuff, specifically for clarification on things. Asking “Why did this happen?” or “What do you want me to do?” isn’t wrong. We are supposed to talk and commune with the Lord. In fact, He loves when we talk (and listen) to Him.

We get in trouble when our questions turn from a guidance-seeking motive to essentially questioning God’s attributes. Our question of “Why did you do this?” can quickly turn into “Why did you do this, I thought you loved me?” which is questioning God’s power, plan, goodness or love.  That’s dangerous ground, my friend. Believe me. I know.

Crappy stuff happens in life. That’s why it’s called life, not heaven. (Is that too blunt?) And while I wish I had all of the answers, I have to remember: That’s not my job. I can ask God to share His plan with me. He might– and He might not. That’s where the TRUST factor comes in.

In our recent trials, (i.e. miscarriage, ranger school, drill sergeant stuff, ministry, etc) I have tried to frame my questions to the Lord like this: “Lord, I trust you and I love you. I know that you love us and won’t do anything to harm us. Why did you allow ______ to happen? What purpose does it hold in our life?” Sometimes He gives us an immediate answer. Other times, it’s been a hot minute. And yet on other occasions of questions to the Lord, we still have no answers… And might not til we see Him in Heaven.

And you can bet when I get there, I am going to have the heavenly equivalent of a Starbucks date with God to seek some clarification. 🙂

But in the meantime, I will continue to question God in a way that helps me to discover my purpose– specifically how I am to glorify Him through it all. If He gives me the answer, great. If not, that’s ok… because I trust Him. I KNOW He loves us. I KNOW His plan is perfect.

What questions have you asked God lately?  Are you waiting on answers? I would love to pray for you! Leave your comment here.

Shrugging my shoulders and looking towards heaven,
SGK

“I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.” –Psalm 17:6

I’m linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today… Pop over, check ’em out and leave a few comments 🙂

Categories: God, listen, patience, peace | 7 Comments

Peace by Piece

Sometimes you have to be knocked down to get your balance. Or perhaps you need to be broken into pieces before you experience real peace.

I love it when God reveals concepts in a new and fresh way… which is exactly what happened to me last week.

My emotions, fears, hopes, feelings have been all over the board in the last couple of weeks. But during my quiet time last Thursday, God gave me a revelation that literally changed my life.

The amount of peace in your life is directly proportionate to the extent in which you trust God.

Let me say it again: The amount of peace in your life is directly proportionate to the extent in which you trust God. 

This was a thwack in the nose for me. DUH. Why, oh, why, had I never understood this? I had been praying for peace with everything going on in my life and God answered with “Well then, trust me more, my daughter.”

OH SNAP.

As I processed this concept, I thought of those balance scales that we used in math and science class in elementary school. You remember, the ones that you would put a certain gram weight on one side, the have to figure out how to balance it out on the other side?

With this trust-peace concept, I imagine we are sitting near one side. We have little “grams” of Trust we put on the scale. God is sitting close to the opposite side and each time we place a trust gram on the scale, He IMMEDIATELY gives us a Peace gram on the other side to keep things balanced.

We have NO CONTROL over the things that are going to happen in our lives. Zippo. Nada. Which means we can’t directly control the level of peace and comfort in our heart.

HOWEVER… (don’t you just love the “however dot, dot, dots? I love God clauses.) However… we CAN control the amount to which we trust God. If we give Him all our trust, He in return gives us peace. In equal balance.

Is your trust-peace scale balanced? Or is it completely empty, flopping about in the wind, letting gravity do its own thing? In what ways can you lay down your worries, your troubles, your fears, your need for control and TRUST God more fully? I don’t know about you, but I have had to intentionally trust God multiple times a day to receive the Peace He has waiting for me.

Honestly, I still kinda stink at remembering to TRUST God 24/7. But I’m getting better. (I never was very good at math…)

Remember that with each piece of trust we give Him, He gives us Peace in return. That’s what I call a wonderful life balance… Gaining Peace by Piece.

One Peace at His Time,
SGK

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” –Romans 15:13

Categories: attitude, calm, fear, God, peace, trust | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enjoy the Ride

The sun was bearing down on our necks. I tried to smoothly fan my armpits to make sure sweat didn’t show. I peered around the dude wearing huge flowered shirt in front of me, who was eating a corndog and funnel cake at the same time.

Was this line EVER going to move? HURRY. UP. 

Those were the days of theme park rides. I have to say that I have (sadly) grown out of that thrill, but for a teenager, “riding rides” was as good as it got. (Sidenote: unless you have a super strong stomach, don’t eat a corn dog and funnel cake right before you get on a ride that is name something along the lines of “Roller Coaster of Doom…” you will most likely embarrass yourself and gross out everyone around you. Just sayin.)

I have never been a thrill-seeker or fan of heights. When I was asked to climb on top of the grain bins while working on a pig farm one summer, I was so scared I thought I was going to have a stroke. But for some reason, theme park rides were a novelty that I sought out, regardless of the profuse sweat, long lines and uncertainty if I would live to see tomorrow.

Worlds of Fun, Six Flags, Disney World, take your pick. But the mother of all “Riding Rides” experience for the Lacey family was  The Missouri State Fair. (Specifically: the Tilt-A-Whirl and Scrambler. Two names that could easily insinuate what could happen if you ate a corn dog and funnel cake before boarding.) Those were the days.

Dad and my lil Bro Dal... at the Missouri State Fair in 2009.

But as of this writing, I can’t really remember the last time I went to a theme park or “rode rides” at a fair… Probably because I no longer need to seek that thrill. Why? Because most days, I feel like I am on one big roller coaster of adult life.

I don’t want to get all cliche-ish… but sometimes life really is one big theme park ride. And unlike the “rules” of my youth to avoid “upside down” and “leg dangling” rides, it seems that God really likes to make our lives exciting.

Up, down, twisting, turning, forward, backward, sideways, in the light, in the dark, through the water, out of a tunnel, plummeting to the bottom, creaking to the top… Theme park rides of life can be exhausting. Or awesome.

Yeah. This is how some of us feel daily about our ride of life...

Think about your life, right where you are today. Are you on a ride where you are squealing with joy? Or have you made it onto the ride, sat down and began to panic: “Let me out, let me off, I’VE CHANGED MY MIND!!” Or maybe you just wanna throw up. (It happens.)

God is our ride of life operator. He knows every twist and turn that we will experience. He understands when we are scared, excited, or simply sick with the thought of experiencing the ups, downs and all arounds. However, unlike that creepy carney from the fair rides of long ago, He doesn’t just stand around looking bored and checking his watch to see when he can close down.

Instead, God climbs into the seat next to us. He takes our hand. And changes our panic into peace.

God probably won’t give you permission to jump off the crazy upside-down, feet-dangling, million mile per hour ride and go sit on the bench, watching the action while you sip your Coke. But He will bring you such deep and overwhelming peace that you can sit back, relax, toss up your hands and enjoy the ride.

Embracing the ups, downs and all arounds,

SGK

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

OH… One more thing… Today is the LAST DAY for our Jesus Caffeine Giveaway… See Friday’s Post  for details, or simply comment and/or share here to enter!

Categories: adventure, challenge, God, peace | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Love, Peace and Jesus Cheese

“Would you like cheese on that?”

Talk about a moment of truth. You haven’t really given any thought to the question prior to this very blip in time. It doesn’t matter if the person behind the counter/at your table is asking about a salad, a Big Mac (ick) or Subway sandwich.

For me, the answer is almost always yes.

Cheese is awesome. I am a non-discriminatory cheese eater. My only stipulations are if it smells like a foot or comes in a can,  it is not going in my mouth. Other than that, bring on the cheese baby!

Just last Saturday, my supervisor Kelli and I traveled to Macon, GA to do some SHAPE training for a church plant. As we were discussing each person’s spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences, we got to the topic of “filling” holes in ministry with volunteers.

Now, this is a baby church, just being planted and doing the work to get off the ground. Their numbers are small, so “filling holes” within their group was a challenge. But one participate piped up and jokingly said, “Holes aren’t bad. Just think of swiss cheese. People love swiss cheese. We are the swiss cheese church.”

This comment not only made us laugh, but it got me to thinking. We know that Jesus is all about love and peace… but how would he feel about cheese? Specifically, swiss cheese. (Hang in there readers… this will make more sense momentarily, I promise.)

We have already determined some types of cheese are “holey.” And I don’t know about you… but so are our lives.

Let’s start with our holey selves. We are full of holes. Looking to be fulfilled. Broken. Searching for something greater. Seeking love and peace. Completeness.

So where do we find it? In Christ. Jesus fills our holes with His eternal love and neverending peace. We can be wholly His. ALL of us can live in Him. Lean on Him. Trust in Him… And ultimately we can become…

HOLY.  This is a good kind of holy. Fully, deeply and completely dedicated to Him through our actions, words and lives. We can live a full un-holey life by being holy. Our original holes are filled to the brim with love and peace through Him.

So maybe Jesus is a cheese fan like me and you. He understands our “holes” and embraces our longing to be filled wholly with Him… to make us holy FOR Him.

And let’s not forget that Jesus STILL has holes… no, not the ones that are needed for perfection. He needs nothing, because He is perfect. But He himself has holes in his nail-scarred hands. The holes in His hands ultimately compensate for the holes in our lives caused by sin.

Don’t be ashamed or concerned if your life looks like swiss cheese. Mine does. Instead, find the love and peace from Jesus. And next time when someone asks if you want cheese on it, you can simply reply, “Sure, but I’ve already got some… I have love, peace and Jesus Cheese.”

Life is cheesy,

SGK

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.” Acts 4:31 MSG

Categories: Christ, food, fulfillment, healing, hope, Love, peace | 2 Comments

Patience to Flourish

GUESS WHAT!?!

She lives… AND she blooms!

My peace plant FINALLY BLOOMED!! Eeeeeeeee!

Ok. I should probably back up. At this point, I imagine you are either 1) confused at my excitement or 2) think I have lost my mind. But the answer is neither.

I usually don’t get this excited about blooming flowers either– but I have been waiting about 22 months for Chloe (that’s the peace plant’s name) to bloom. Here’s the thing– I don’t have the greenest thumb in the world.

I can typically keep plants alive, as in I remember to water them on occasion before they start to look droopy and I attempt to pay attention to their size in case they need to be repotted. I even add fertilizer every now and then. But I am not a “plant lady.” I do name my plants and on a very rare occasion might actually talk to them… but I’m more of an animal/people person myself.

Chloe is special to me because she is a peace lily plant from my Grandad’s funeral back in late December 2009. He passed away on Christmas that year… and if you were able to catch my “recovery testimony” No Bologna Testimony (Part 2) you would understand why I was so desperate for peace. Unfortunately, Chloe didn’t start off very strong with me as her new owner– it was one of those blisteringly painful cold days in Kansas when I packed her up to head back to Missouri after the funeral… Mom said I should cover her up, even if it was literally an 8 foot walk from the porch to the truck. I didn’t. And that Kansas wind burned her something awful. Thus, it has taken her nearly 2 years to recover become healthy and bloom.

My husband and I have debated so many times if we should keep “nursing” Chloe… She looked pathetic. I always fought to keep her because I held out hope that someday all her leaves would green up once again. It took a trip from Oklahoma to Kansas, Kansas to Missouri, Missouri to Kansas, and Kansas to Georgia before she finally could recoup. Interestingly enough, Chloe isn’t the only “symbolic” plant in my life that has struggled.

I received my first ever house plant from Kelsey as a Christmas present in December 2008. Kelsey and I were “co-coaches” for one of our dear friends Andrea on her quest to be a National FFA Officer. That little plant, who I named Enrique, became even more special to me when Andrea’s wonderful father suddenly passed away that next March (Note: This was the starting point of my recovery testimony.)

Enrique and I have been through so much together… and he has struggled too. I graduated K-State and took him with me to Missouri… each time I saw my little spider plant, I thought of Kelsey, Andrea and Andrea’s dad. But like Enrique, I was struggling. Job sucked, Brandon was deployed, zippo friends in Missouri, working ridiculous hybrid night shift, Grandma died, Dad was sick, Grandad died, you get my drift. Enrique was healthy when I got him… but over time, instead of growing, his little leaves were dying off until there was literally only one tiny sprig left in my pot.

I felt like Enrique. I felt like there was nothing left of me. I tried everything I could think of to bring Enrique back around- nothing worked. I always expected to walk in the living room in Jefferson City, MO and see his tiny green leaf brown and withered. I almost expected my heart to do the same. I vividly remember telling God through my sobs that I had nothing left to give.

But as usual, God had a plan. He was growing patience in me. He was pruning me. “Go down the rows of vineyards and rip out the vines, but not all of them. Leave a few. Prune back those vines! That growth didn’t come from God!” (Jeremiah 5:10 MSG)  My Father had to cut away all the junk that had filled up my life over the 24 years to make room for HIM… Then, and only then… I began to flourish. And so did Enrique and Chloe.

God was nurturing me, pruning me, giving me what I needed. Sometimes we forget that we have to have the fertilizer (the poop) to make beautiful flowers. I struggled with the patience. I wanted to be a beautiful Christ-like flower NOW. But God knew that to get the job done and do it right, it was going to take some time.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” –Psalm 40:1


Enrique isn’t just a single spindle of a
plant anymore… He’s even has babies!

Now, about two years later, both Enrique and Chloe are flourishing. As you heard, Chloe survived, is no longer brown and actually blossomed. Enrique has grown exponentially, and actually has “babies” on his spider plant spindles that need to be transferred to their own little pots. My heart is flourishing too. God has shown me a new light of Christ. He has taught me to be (semi)patient. He has allowed me to marry a wonderful man who loves me like Christ loves the church. He has called me to ministry. He is helping me get my masters. He is empowering me to make a difference in our new home in Georgia.

So now I ask you– are you in the “building patience pruning” season of life or the flourishing season? Maybe somewhere in between? Try to remember then words of Romans 12:12– “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” It’s not easy… but while fertilizer stinks, the blossom can smell oh-so-sweet.

I rejoice because God has done it– He pruned me… grown me… fertilized me… but most of all LOVED ME. God has allowed me to have patience… and now– I FLOURISH!

Blooming for Him,

SGK


“But things have changed. I’m taking the side of my core of surviving people: Sowing and harvesting will resume, Vines will grow grapes, Gardens will flourish, Dew and rain will make everything green.”  Zechariah 8:11 (MSG)


Herman’s babies Franklin
and Eleanor! No pruning
needed here!
My aloe vera plant named
Herman, who has fared
better than other plants
Categories: growth, peace, testimony | 2 Comments

In the Garden

Growing up in northwest Kansas as the daughter in a farming/ranching family provided me with many chances to “get away.” Ok, let’s be honest– we were 90 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. We were always “away,” so actually going somewhere was a big deal. Anyway, Dad worked a lot of hours taking care of the cattle and crops, but some of the most precious memories I have of my youth were those moments when I would climb onto the bathroom sink, lather up my face and pretend to “shave” as he did the same in the mirror. We would sing as we “shaved,” and to this day the song “In the Garden” takes me “away” and back to solidarity on the farm… and now to solidarity with God.

The song “In the Garden” reminds fondly of my youthful days on the farm and also of my relationship with God. It brings back around the importance of spending time with Him daily, reflecting in his glory and love for us.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

(Refrain)
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Refrain  

Check out the link to hear the song… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW0WA8OSXZg

Jesus deeply desires to spend time with us, love on us, romance us. Are you giving Him that opportunity? Where is your garden? Is it literally a garden? Maybe someplace else in nature? Perhaps at your kitchen table before the rest of the family awakens? It might even be at the bathroom sink, staring into the mirror, talking to God and thanking him for the memories of the past and the promises of the future.

Spend some time to go your “garden” with Him today. None other will ever know the joy you experience with Him as you walk, talk, and tarry there.

Walking in the Garden,
SGK


“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

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