Posts Tagged With: attitude

Ultra-Sound-Off for Jesus

It’s always encouraging when God takes us in our ugliest, yuckiest, grumpiest moments and uses us for His glory.

That happened to me last week. In a big way.

Last Friday, I was scheduled for what I was *hoping* to be my last baby doctor appointment before our Little Patriot’s arrival. I was about 39 and a half weeks along… and unfortunately, the doc’s predictions of me delivering “ahead of schedule” hadn’t come true. (SIGH.)

Unfortunately for me (actually, unfortunately for everyone I encountered) I was in a MOOD. It really wasn’t the fact that I was very largely pregnant and had been contracting for nearly a month… But it was because it has been quite a trying week in our life as an army family. One thing after another seemed to pile up and mess with our hopes and plans. Although I was scheduled for a final ultrasound that day, things had spun out of control with my beloved husband’s job as a drill sergeant– so there was no way he was going to make it to join me in what I hoped was a joyous experience on our path to parenthood.

He was disappointed. I was lonely. Hormonal. And pissed. (Not at him… just the circumstances that had continued to beat up my heart for the last week or so.) Nothing about me that morning said “I love Jesus, please talk to me and let me share the love of Christ with you.” (Additional sidenote: Can you say “pissed” in a Christian blog?)

Anywho, I was mad, frustrated, exhausted. It was early by doctor standards as I was the first appointment out of that gate that morning. I was sitting in the chairs, waiting for the ultrasound tech to call me in… When SHE walked by. Yep, it was the ultrasound tech who had a rep for being grumpy (and had been a lil bit grumbly during our previous visits.) I looked up from my iPad and our eyes locked.

She scowled at me... <Oh no she didn’t!> Oh yes, she did, just like I was about to be a huge inconvenience to her day.

Let’s just say~ that didn’t help my mood.

As I continued to wait, I was texting my sweet mother-in-love, Lex. And by texting, I really mean complaining/whining/venting. Real classy, I know. She tried to encourage me and told me to pray for the scowling tech of doom.

My snarky non-Jesusy reply? “After this week, my prayer tank is running on empty. I want to be joyful, but I don’t feel joy anywhere.”

I’m not proud of my response… but it’s the truth. I did manage to pray for God to give the strength to make it through the appointment without venting to a stranger about how upset I was that my beloved husband couldn’t come or how uncomfortable I was or blah blah blah. I squeezed out a feeble prayer for Him to help me rediscover my joy and be an example for this scowling ultrasound tech.

They finally called me back to the room and I hoisted (waddled? lumbered?) my extremely large self  onto the table. The scowling tech remained silent and the gal running the show started asking questions as they went to work, checking baby’s size/position, etc.

Somehow, within about 15 seconds into the conversation, they asked if I was an army wife. (How they knew, I will never know…)

I responded yes and explained (briefly and vaguely) that my husband wasn’t deployed but his job was incredibly demanding so he couldn’t make this big appointment today.

Their response? They both scrunched up their faces and said, “Ug, I don’t know how you do it.”

Enter stage left: Jesus moment.

I took the opportunity to share with them my faith– how Jesus is the reason I get up in the morning, He’s the one who gives us strength, He is the rock on which our marriage is built. Both of the techs kind of stared at me… Unable to respond. I continued and told them that things were challenging with the army, especially this last week with some individuals specifically… but we prayed for them daily.

The scowling tech scoffed (in the joking-but-still-serious-way) and said, “Yeah, pray for them like that one country song… Pray that their brakes go out coming down the hill or a flower-pot hits them in the head from a window sill.”

They both chuckled at the notion… But I stayed serious– “No, ma’am… we pray for the grace and love of Jesus Christ to shine into their lives so they can experience what we do everyday.”

As we continued to talk about army life (aka our family was at least 1000 miles away, hubs works about 13-20 hrs per day on a normal basis, oh PS we are moving 2800 miles about 3 months after this kid is on the ground), the tech flipped a switch… and the screen transitioned to a 4D image.

My husband and I had decided early on that we couldn’t (ok, didn’t really want to) fork out the cash for a 4D ultrasound… They aren’t cheap, but for some reason, on that morning, I got a glimpse of our little one’s face.

Yeah. Lil Patriot looked about how I felt... Grumpy and smooshed and uncomfortable... But a lil Jesus encounter changed all that!

Yeah. Lil Patriot looked about how I felt… Grumpy and smooshed and uncomfortable… But a lil Jesus encounter changed all that!

Between the quick witness to these ladies and the sight of our baby’s scrunched up face… My joy was restored.

Talk about your not-so-classic-ultra-sound-off for Jesus.

Thankful He shows up and shows out,
SGK

“I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” ~Psalm 18:3

Categories: attitude | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

From Mess to Message

Sometimes we find ourselves in a big ol’ fat life mess.

Perhaps it’s due to a decision we made. Or a choice someone else made. Or a life season. Or whatever. The important thing to remember is that when we are in a big ol’ fat life mess… God is sovereign, He is over it all, and knows what He is doing.

And oftentimes, if we open our eyes (and our hearts!) that mess will turn into a pretty suh-weet Jesus message.

Been there. Done that. Living it now.

In my last post, “When you Wreck– Rejoice!” I told you all about my latest life, um, “adventure.” (Ok. Wreck. Mess. Whatever you want to call it. Adventure sounds more optimistic.) Yeah, at 34 weeks pregnant, we (as in myself and Little Patriot) were in a car accident that jacked up my car Ladybug pretty significantly. (As in… we need a new one. No pressure. It’s fine.) We were all physically ok, but shoot dang–  my nerves were SHOT.

The next day after the wreck, I was one stressed-out future Mama. Less than 24 hrs before, I had been feeling pretty legit about this whole “final countdown” to baby’s arrival… my to-do list was in ok functional order, I was swimming in the peace of God, and physically I felt pretty great.

But post-wreck day found me slightly overwhelmed– a big ball of nerves. I had yet to legitimately cry about the whole experience (that wouldn’t come til a few days later) and my to-do list had exploded in a matter of seconds. Rental car, insurance, car shopping, cleaning out Ladybug at the impound/tow lot to say goodbye (Sidenote: Those places are like car funeral homes. Super sad place to hang out) etc, etc, etc.  Oh, and not to mention that just a few days prior, our upstairs toilet broke AND our washing machine had decided to go kaput.

The peace from God I had been living in (and loving) was suddenly buried under dozens of phone calls, repairs and paperwork.

Needless to say– I was in a less-than-chipper mood. A bit stressed.

Yeah. That expression kind of captures how I felt, post-wreck. Minus the groomed-ness. And the BFF making faces in  the background.

Yeah. That expression kind of captures how I felt, post-wreck. Minus the groomed-ness. And the BFF making faces in the background.

But as usual– God showed up. In some big ways.

First, the rental car driver showed up by 9:15am (kudos for being motivated.) I stumbled into the car to go pick up the rental. I casually asked the driver Chris how he was doing.

His response? “Meh. I’ve been better. Today sucks.”

FAN-TAST-IC. My driver was a Debbie Downer. Honestly, my fleshy heart was regretting that I even said anything for small talk, because I wanted nothing more than to focus on my iPad Wunderlist to try to get a handle on what my day was going to look like.

But Jesus intervened. I responded to his bummed out answer with “Well, Chris, why is that?”

He proceeded to tell me how much he despised his job, how it was raining that day, how he wanted to move out-of-town, that it was his birthday and nobody cared, etc.

I turned to him, blinked and said, “Well happy birthday. Perhaps we should count our blessings today?”

He looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Yeah, whatever.”

At that point… I had already had enough. There was gonna be no sugar-coating from this preggo gal. Before I could stop myself, I was laying some truth on him… In a rather brash kind of way.

I said, “Well, Chris. Let’s shift our perspective a bit. Psalm 118:24 says “Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” SO LET’S REJOICE!  It could be worse you know. After all, you could be the 34 week pregnant lady who totaled her car last night and is the one in need of a ride to a rental car. Also, let’s remember that you have a job, you have clothes on your back, and I am going to guess that you had the choice to eat some breakfast this morning, correct?”

It sounded kind of harsh (it was– probably not in my best loving Christian voice) but apparently, it was the kind of truth the man needed to hear. “Well… I guess you are right.” (Dang skippy, I’m right! <I didn’t say that part out loud.)

For the rest of our short drive, I softened and listened to his story… I coached him on resources to find a new job and I tossed in some advice on trusting the Lord in all situations. As I got out of the car, I wished him happy birthday again, told him he did a great job driving me to my destination and asked how my husband and I could pray for him. His voice cracked as he shared his requests… and he thanked me for taking the time to listen to him.

Sometimes people just need to know that you care… and even more to so to know that Jesus cares. As quick as you could say, “Would you like extra rental car insurance?” God had changed my mess– into His very powerful message.

Messy and ok with it,
SGK

“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” ~Romans 8:28 MSG

PS: In what life instances has God used a mess and turned it into a message? I love to hear your feedback, stories and testimony. Be bold and comment below!

Categories: witness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Lifestyle Fashion Statement

Hmmm… Ok… Should I wear my favorite blue shirt? Or maybe the one with pink stripes? If I do, maybe I could go with the hoop earrings? Or should I be dressier? Ok, let’s do the blue shirt with silver dangly earrings and my cross necklace. There. Decision made.

Oh wait. My blue shirt is in the dirty laundry. Sigh. Let’s try this again.

I am certainly not the most fashionable person on the planet—far from it, actually. I dress decent enough to get by, and if I really need to, can groom and clean up reasonably well. I’m not a girl who has to wear make up every time I leave the house and if you see me at the gym wearing mascara, you can assume that it is leftover from an event earlier in the day.

 We all have different tastes, needs and functions for our wardrobe, fashion and appearance. But there is one thing we can always wear, every day.

 Jesus.

Yeah, I said it. Wear Jesus. It says in Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG) “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

But here’s the thing about wearing our Jesus wardrobe. It might not always be the most fashionable. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to fit very well. Our Jesus outfit might even be uncomfortable on occasion.

However, when we wear it, we sure do look purty. (Or pretty for all of my non-southern readers.)

Note: As hard as you try, duct tape accessories will never be a legitimate fashion statement. Jesus, on the other hand, is a whole different story.

Putting on Christ should be the first thing we do in the morning, right after our trip to el bano and brushing our teeth. I am sure each and every one of you have a different method to “wearing” Christ— perhaps you wear it formally or in a low-key casual or some combination of the two.

It will probably look a little different for compared to anyone else around you.  However, Jesus is one accessory we should all put on.

Here’s the best part: this incredible fashion statement goes with everything, never shrinks or tears, doesn’t fade and can be the most expensive and remarkable thing we wear in our entire lives.

If you looked at yourself in the mirror right now, would you say that you are “wearing” Jesus? What does that look like to you? I would love to hear your thoughts– leave a comment below! 🙂

So as you stare at your closet, accessories, and shoes, take one moment to think about The One “accessory” you can’t live without. Put Him on every single day and wear Christ with pride. Who knows—He might just be the next big thing. And what a way to make a permanent lifestyle fashion statement!

Making a daily fashion statement with Jesus,
SGK

“Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”–Romans 13:14 (MSG)

Categories: attitude, Christ, fashion, fresh start, God, life, Love | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Real-Life Love Offering

Yesterday, my husband reenlisted in the army.

For how long you ask? Six. Whole. Years.

So for all of you wonderful friends that ask when we are “getting out” of the army? It’s gonna be a while. The signed paper says so.

I wasn’t in a great mood yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love (and support) my husband with all I am. And my crappy mood really had little to do with the whole re-enlistment thing. But it was just one of those days.

I was/am fighting a cold that my husband contracted from the germy privates he is training, which he so generously shared with me. (It happens every red phase. Almost all of the wives/families in our company are ill. Airborne, anyone?)

In addition to feeling like poo, the reenlistment ceremony was at 1300 yesterday afternoon. (That’s 1pm for all of you non-military folks.) Yeah, right smack dab in the middle of the day… Which really jacked up my schedule. I really don’t enjoy when the army messes with my battle plan, especially when it involves me missing out on the majority of a day of work on a week that we have a huge project to work on.

Oh. Did I mention the ceremony was outside? In the sun. At 1300. In Georgia. And I didn’t dress appropriately because it was only supposed to get up to 75 and was about 47 when I left the house that morning. But the 86 degree temp and sweat through my long sleeved blouse proved otherwise. Sigh.

As I sat there trying to sweat as un-awkwardly as possible, I was overcome with emotion. Now, before you think I am softy, I should clarify what kinds of emotions. Pity. Annoyance. A tiny smidge of pride. Fear. This reenlistment kind of snuck up on me– and not that I ever planned that we were getting out of the army, but talking about it and actually signing the paperwork (for six years!) are two different discussions.

I was just in a grumpy (sweaty) mood most of the early afternoon. But suddenly I was struck with the thought…  I sure am being an ungrateful little heifer today. It was like a Jesus lightening bolt. Every had one of those?  I remembered Easter was just two days ago. Jesus did A LOT more than just sit in the sun and agree to follow the army for (at least) six more years.

He gave us His life for us. Bled for us. Hung on the cross. Died.   It was a real-life love offering for you, me and all of mankind. A sacrifice that I can’t even comprehend.

Now I’m not downplaying my beloved’s reenlistment contract or his commitment to our country/family. After all, it is a big life event– and if it matters to us, it matters to God.  I love my husband with everything I have, second to Jesus. I will support him and follow wherever God leads us in the army. But it is Christ’s love for us that helps me realize the sacrifice required to love another person.

America!

People always tell me “I don’t know how you do it.” Well, I don’t know either. Other than Jesus. He is a constant reminder of HOW I am supposed to live, love and honor my husband, no matter how many years we will be serving in the United States Infantry, where we go or how we get there.

I do it because Christ died for me. This is my way of giving my God-chosen husband my own real-life love offering.

Can I get a Hooah,
SGK

“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.” 1 John 3:16 (MSG)

PS: Do you have something or someone in your life that you regularly give a “real-life love offering” to? I would love to hear about it… Comment here. 

Categories: 2012, America, army, attitude, gratitude, hope, loyalty, marriage | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

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