Posts Tagged With: challenge

How to Deal: “Rug Rippers” (Repost)

We’ve all been there. We finally feel like we’ve gotten our balance. We are walking on solid ground. Things might not be going absolutely grandiose perfecto, but they are going. We take what we can get and relish the stability. When suddenly…

WHOMP!!!  Someone (or something) rips the rug right out from underneath us.

Yep. We all have ’em in our lives. Those dreaded people/things that knock us completely off-balance and throw things out of whack.

I “fondly” call them the “rug-ripper-outters-from-underneath-us-ow-that-hurts.” That’s kind of a long name to refer back to in a blog post, so for the purposes of this post, I will refer to those people/events/things as “Rug Rippers” aka R-squared for short.

Sometimes we go from keeping our balance-- to falling down the stairs... Or tripping when the rug is ripped right out from under us.

If only we could have as much fun as this guy when we lose our balance…

Depending on the season of life, I seem to have a lot of rug-ripping moments. Sure, I bet some of that can be contributed to the fact that I am incredibly uncoordinated and trip UP the stairs on a regular occasion… but it also comes with the territory of being a Christian, an army wife, a minister, a friend…

Heck, just LIVING and BREATHING sometimes seems to be the ultimate set up for a rug-ripping experience.

It happened to my hubby and I last Friday night at 10pm. We were finishing up an evening of  rare together time at a holiday military function. All in all, it was a decent night and we were treasuring the time we had with one another. Things were going smoothly, we had survived another rough phase in army life over the last month or so. PRAISE. GOD.

Then a few unexpected phone calls and some changed (yet previously un-communicated) schedules later, the rug was ripped right out from underneath us. WHOMP!! 

We were faced with a decision. Do we let this unexpected circumstance derail all of the blessings that we experienced from God in the previous hours? Or do we somehow engineer a way to recover from our frustration?

We silently pondered (ok, steamed would probably be a better word for me) for a few minutes. We arrived home and I found myself in a battle– my flesh was frustrated and ticked, the Enemy was all up in my Kool-aid trying to get me to be upset at my husband even though he had about as much control over the situation as I did. All the while, God was telling me what I should do: Release it to Him.

Barn and I headed to bed shortly thereafter. We have a policy not to go to bed angry so we talked and vented for a while (fortunately, we managed not to get tick at each other– thanks, Jesus.) And then my Beloved suggested the perfect remedy to restore our balance that the R-squared event caused.

“Sharita… I know it’s really hard and we might not feel like it right now. But let’s pray about this.”

Confession: There was not a single bone in my body that desired to pray. I mean, I was MAD. Fortunately, there WAS a spot in my heart that KNEW I had to… So we prayed. Together. Out loud.

As we said amen, our balance was restored. Not even kidding. Immediate. And even with the jacked-up schedule we were facing the next day, our weekend wasn’t “ruined.”

I have continued reflect on this “rug-ripping” experience. And God gave me this vision. We live in a fallen world. Which means we are ALL going to be knocked of balance from all directions.  Picture it:

If the rug is ripped out from behind us… we end up falling forward… On our knees.

If the rug is ripped out from in front of us… We end up flat on our backs, wind knocked out of us… peering towards the heavens.

Both positions are IDEAL to pray, taking the issue or circumstance to God.

It might take a hot minute (or twelve) for us to recover from our fall. But if we go to God– He will help us back to our feet.  He WILL restore us. AND our balance.

No matter how big, unexpected or painful your rug-ripping experience is… God is sovereign over all. Nothing surprises Him. And when we are at our most unbalanced and weakest– that is when we are closest to God.

Restored Daily,
SGK

“He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” ~Romans 3:24 MSG

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True Dat (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
Hi there, friends! It’s time for Five Minute Friday…

(Back story: Each week I link up with Lisa-Jo Baker. She gives us a prompt and we write for, yep, you guessed it… Five minutes.)

So here goes nothing.

Today’s prompt: TRUE

AND GO! 

***

I swallowed the lump that was in my throat as I slowly looked around. I blinked. Then I realized what I knew to be true all along.

I. Was. Different.

Now, back in the day, the truth about me being different was kind of hard to swallow. Sometimes I yearned to be the fit and fashionable girl giggling by her locker instead of the non-boyfriend-having-super-academic-way-involved-uber-creative-girl I actually was designed to be.

However, as the years passed, it didn’t take me long to realize the truth about myself… and I kind of liked it.

True dat.

I was the girl who wore duct tape to senior prom in an attempt to win a scholarship for college.

I was the girl who, as a first generation college student, went straight to a 4-year university right out of the gates.

I was the girl who, for one spring break, went to Missouri Auction School to become a certified auctioneer.

And now, I am the woman who is married to a solider, has a degree in animal science and masters in Christian leadership and works in ministry. For Jesus dollars.

Yep. True dat.

Bottom line, I am thankful to know and embrace my true self– and encourage you to do the same.

Specifically by worshipping the hippest, most loving, truest King there ever was…

Jesus Christ.

True dat.

STOP!
****

I straight up rejoice in these, truths, my dear followers. Think to yourself for a moment: What personal truths are you thankful for in your own life? As always, don’t be shy– leave a comment below.

True blessings to you today,
SGK

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” ~John 17:3 NIV

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Recognize the Enemy

There are few things more awkward in this world than not recognizing someone… especially when they seem to know you so well.

We’ve all be there. We are walking through the grocery store or exploring the county fair, when suddenly, from across the way, someone waves enthusiastically and shouts our name.

We glance at them and… Nothing. “Who the heck is that?” We wonder. We respond, pseudo-confidently. “Um, oh hey… YOU…” 

Maybe it’s a former co-worker, or a church member, or a high school classmate. Regardless, we feel awkward. And taken by surprise.

The same thing happens in our daily lives when it comes to recognizing our enemy– that’s right, the evil one, Satan. (You might know him from my references here at 7 Days Time as that “Big stupid jerkface.”)

Recognizing the enemy of our soul takes a lot of practice… but the more in tune we are with God, the easier it becomes.

John 10:10 reminds us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” So when things are, um, hitting the fan, it might be time to take a good look at who is causing that, so you aren’t caught awkward, uncomfortable or even hurt by our enemy’s advances. 

Let me give you a real-life example. Several weeks ago on a Sunday, I woke up in a MOOD. All you ladies know what I mean. (And all you dudes probably do too. YIKES.) I was just… funky. We were still living in a hotel waiting for our house on post to become available, so things weren’t ideal. I was extra short and snappy with my husband, and I could feel the non-typical anger and frustration rising… For no reason at all.

We headed to church… And got lost on the way. We had been there before, but were still new to the area. Weirdly enough, our GPS led us in the completely wrong direction and even though my internal compass was flashing the warning light, I wasn’t sure enough with my directions to contribute anything productive. (There’s apparently a huge difference between 23rd Street SE and 23rd Street SW. SIGH.)

So, we were 20 minutes late to church, the baby was crying, I was furious at my husband (although this wasn’t fault) and I wanted nothing more than to say “Screw this!” (pardon my French) and head back to the hotel. Suddenly, I realized… This was NOT our doing. The enemy was hard at work trying to jack up our Sunday and keep us from setting down roots in our new church home. He wanted to ruined a precious day of family time and keep us mad at each other… Kill, steal, destroy. HELLO. Before I could say anything, my husband piped up and said “I think we need to pray. The enemy has ahold of our hearts right now.”

We prayed and boom. Our Sunday was saved. We recognized the enemy (before it was too late,) invited God into our situation and He gave us the weapons of warfare we needed to immediately stop his evil advances.

This is a discipline that takes lots and lots of practice. Sometimes, we still miss it and we get in deep before we stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute… Something isn’t right…” And right there, we recognize that the enemy is all up in our Kool-aid wreaking havoc on our hearts.

Do you recognize the enemy when he’s at work? What can we do to make that recognition quicker/stronger so that we can reduce that big dumb jerkface’s power over us? In what situation do you need to be extra alert? I would love to hear feedback… Comment below.

Take heart, dear friends. Yes, we live in a fallen world. Yes, we live in a world where we aren’t ALWAYS going to recognize that old classmate or co-worker.  But when it comes to recognizing Satan’s work, we can stand close to Jesus.  He will not only help us realize when we are under attack, but also give us daily victories over the enemy.

Because let’s be honest… the more we recognize Christ in our daily lives, the quicker we can recognize (and defeat!) the evil one. And really, there’s no one else I would rather have on my team than Jesus.

We best recognize,
SGK

 “If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~Romans 8:31 NIV

Weapons Rack, Mighty Weapon Rack of Castle Grayskull

Bring it on, Satan. God give us weapons even cooler and more dangerous than these…
(Via Marc Thomas @ Flickr)

Categories: Enemy | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Being a Man, Husband and Father for Christ (Guest Blog)

My heart is all a-flutter today… I am SO excited about this post… AND I DIDN’T EVEN WRITE IT! That’s right, after over two years of me writing and blogging, my Beloved Husband has blessed and honored me with guest posting. (BE STILL MY HEART!) His sincerity and love of Christ is sure to inspire you (and the other men in your lives… Be sure to share it with them.) 

Oh. And be sure to leave lots and lots of comments below so Barn will know how awesome this article is… (And so he will write again soon.) 

Get ready to enter into the Jesus Testosterone Zone. 🙂 

SGK

****

Hey folks, I’m Brandon (Sharita’s husband) and I’m guest blogging for my wife today.  I’ll be talking to you about what being a man, husband and father for Christ is like for me.   When Sharita asked (told?) me to guest blog for her, I had no idea what to write about that wouldn’t totally disrupt/turn away her current readers and followers.  So I stuck with what I knew and picked a subject that is a big factor in my life at this time.

Let’s begin with the basics- being a man for Christ.   I feel this starts with salvation, as this is the foundation of any Christian.  Nothing worth any value will ever come out of my relationship with my wife and daughter or other roles I am called to serve if I don’t have Christ as my foundation.  “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” ~Matthew 7:25

My walk with Christ began many years ago and continues today.  When I have an active relationship with God on a daily basis, it helps me to center my life on him.  Now, everything I do is for God instead of me.  My family and job feed off of this unmoving relationship with God.   When I put Christ as a priority, I am much less distracted by the things of this world. 

If I trust in myself, life will fail to reach its fullest potential.  So to all you men out there who feel your relationship with your family or friends could be better, you need to start with your own relationship with God.  All other problems in your life will be much more manageable with Jesus’ help and guidance. It takes patience and discipline, but the outcome is worth it.

My second major role in life is being a husband for Christ.  There is plenty of scripture in the Bible that can be referenced for this task. “Well,” you say,  “I’ll just do what it says and I should be ok.” Ha. If you’ve been married for over 3 seconds you know it isn’t that easy. Just like being a man for Christ, it takes patience and lots of practice.  Again, it starts with your own relationship with God. If my relationship with God isn’t  solid, how can I be the spiritual leader in my house?

Being the spiritual leader will look different in every marriage. In our marriage, my wife has a master’s degree in Christian Leadership and is a certified Spiritual Leadership Coach. Sounds intimidating right?  Well, it is, but it’s not about who has the most experience or who has been a Christian longer in the relationship that makes them “in charge.”

Sharita will frequently remind me that I’m not in charge of her 🙂  Instead,  I’m in charge of the spiritual well-being of our marriage. It’s about being an example, a leader, and a mentor for our wives.  We need to be that rock for her, that presence in marriage that never falters or gives up. The one who brings her back to Christ– every time.  We need to be like Christ, just as it says in Ephesians 5:25~ “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”  Remember, Christ was beaten, forsaken by loved ones, took every sin that was committed then now and to come.  He gave his life for us!  Let’s ask ourselves how we as men can emulate Christ like this in marriage.  I encourage you to pray for the Lord to show you how to specifically do this.  Oh… And guys… Don’t ever tell your wife you’re in charge. 🙂

Finally, my newest role: being father for Christ.  This takes much patience as I have already learned with our 5-month-old daughter.  Patience. I seem to use that word a lot, don’t I?  (I keep telling Sharita we should have named our daughter Patience, so every time I spoke/yelled her name I would be reminded that being a parent takes patience.  Maybe our next kid?)  I try to look at my daughter like God would look at me.  Specifically by loving her, teaching her and forgiving her like God does for me.  God forgives us, his chosen people and also gives us many chances when we screw up. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” ~Colossians 3:13  (Somebody please remind me of this post when Charis is a teenager, ok?)

I will always keep my relationship with God foremost in everything I do. I pray that all you men of God out there do the same.   Why? Because this side of heaven, there is nothing more fulfilling as being a man, husband, and father… for Christ. 

Prayers and Blessings,
Brandon

PS: Please note that Sharita edited this post for grammar because I write so goodly. 🙂

The Famous Daddy Hold

Categories: husband | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

10 Commandments for New Mamas

Charis wasn’t just the inspiration for this blog… She helped.

This post has been a while in the making.

After all, I HAVE been a mama for a whopping 5 months.

Oh wait. You mean that’s just the beginning? Well, even though I still have a few decades to go as a mama, I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I have learned (and am still learning) as a new mama.

You might remember the 10 Commandments mini-series I did for friends/families of pregnant gals, our hubbies and all you procreating ladies out there.  Now today, we add a new dimension.

So grab your sense of humor and your loudest AMENs… Because I have a sneaky suspicion a handful of you might identify with these 10 Commandments for New Mamas. (Side note: Most, if not all of these, apply whether you are a biological mama or adoptive mama. Just sayin.)

1. Thou Shalt give yourself grace. This is a biggie. I don’t know about you, but I know several new moms who have great dreams and expectations of what motherhood is going to be like… The snuggles, the smiles, drying tears… and that’s totally legit. However, motherhood is freaking hard. (Most rewarding thing we will ever do, but hard.) The sleepless nights, first sickness, the days where your patience is running thin… And newsflash, I’m not perfect. (My guess? Neither are you. Sorry.)  I personally have jacked up many times so far in my short time of being a mama. So what keeps me going? The promise that God doesn’t want us to be perfect… He just wants us to be faithful.

2. Thou shalt enjoy it. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before… “Enjoy this time because you will wish it back.” Well, I totally agree with the enjoying this new journey as a mom to the fullest– every moment, milestone and thrilling experience. However, it is so easy to get caught up in tomorrow, worrying about what’s coming next or what we are going to do when _____ <you fill in the blank>. Just as it says in Matthew… Tomorrow has enough worries in itself. So let’s just enjoy our little one today.

3. Thou shalt not forget about other folks… And Jesus. It’s SO easy to get fully, totally, completely consumed taking care of and nurturing this little life that God has entrusted us with. However, probably the best parenting advice I ever received was in a sermon several years ago… They gave an illustration of pyramid of God being at the top, spouse second in line then kiddos next. Yes, babies take a TON of work in those early stages, but remembering God is over it all and our hubs (or other family members) are here to help us takes some of the pressure off, keeps our relationships healthy and let’s us enjoy the journey even more. (See Commandment #2.)

4. Thou shalt laugh and exercise your sense of humor. Some of the crazy things that happen in motherhood are hilarious. Maybe not at that exact moment, but the next morning when you realized your sleep-deprived zombie self tossed that 3am dirty diaper in the laundry hamper instead of the trashcan sure can warrant some grins. (As long as you catch it before you toss it in the washer.) Kids are hilarious, even the little teeny ones. So don’t be afraid to laugh at the motherhood journey… and even yourself on occasion. That, in itself, is a gift from God. 

5. Thou shalt not compare. This is a biggie, folks. We live in a competitive culture. Everyone wants bigger, better, smarter, faster. Well, guess what? Being a mama can sure suck you into this trap. You see/hear someone else’s baby weighing more at their doctor’s appointment, getting a tooth sooner, sleeping through the night, crawling quicker, blah blah blah… Then suddenly you start to worry (sin), judge the other mom (sin) or envy them (sin.) See where I’m going with this? Yes, it is a struggle to overcome our human tendencies… But I think I remember something about that with God, ALL things are possible.

6. Thou shalt ask questions. And lots of them. Anybody who is gonna get all up in your Kool-aid for asking questions bout your little one and the millions of parenting decisions/responsibilities needs to quit sipping that Haterade and step off. (I get a bit fired up about this one… Can you tell?) As far as I am concerned, there are no dumb questions, especially if putting in a 1am phone call to your pediatrician’s nurse line to get a question answered will help you sleep a bit better and rest your weary heart/mind/body. Also, ask lots of questions to YOUR doctor about what your bod is going through, and ask questions to your pediatrician. If they give you flack, I vote time to get a new doc. AND you can also ask questions to God, asking for guidance in a particular situation/mamahood moment. (See Commandment #10.) Oh, and avoid Google. Seriously. Don’t google your questions or you might never sleep again. One more note on this one– Always go with your mama-Jesus gut. Docs/experts/other parents are great, but YOU (and Jesus!) know your baby best.

7. Thou shalt embrace your new body. Let’s be honest– pregnancy may or may not have been super kind to your bod. Heck, even if you adopted your little one, your body is probably still gonna go through some changes with the lack of sleep, learning how to eat/exercise with a babe… Embracing our new physical selves can be a challenge. Sometimes you gotta wonder if things will EVER get back to normal and be the same. Answer? Nope. I mean, seriously– you grew a human being inside of you! That’s kind of a big deal. But although your bod won’t ever be the “same” it will have a new normal… And new normal is great considering you have a little one to remind you that it was all worth it. God’s temple (your body) is a blessing to begin with. (PS: See also Commandment #5… Because for those of us that becoming a mom was physically not the best, don’t be hatin’ on your FB friend when she posts that she lost all of her baby weight day 2 after giving birth and ran a marathon a week later. Just sayin.)

8. Thou shalt remember you are human. This commandment goes hand-in-hand with #1. But seriously… We need to come to terms with the fact that we cannot and will not be perfect parents. (As much as I would love for the opposite to be true.) In those moments of feeling like blah/ican’tdothis/crapimessedup, don’t listen to Satan’s voice telling you that you “failed.” Instead, hit your knees and seek God’s grace, guidance and forgiveness. After all, He is our heavenly Father so he totally gets how hard it can be– times a few billion.

9. Thou shalt not stress…. Too much. I wish I could write a rock-solid commandment of “thou shalt not stress at all ever.” Maybe for some mamas out there is a possibility, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that the majority of us experience some kind of stress when they send us home with a teeny little person (minus the instruction manual) and we suddenly realize that we are solely in charge of this little one’s upbringing for say, the next couple of decades-ish. That just might bring on some stress. But as new mamas, we gotta take it one day at a time… Laying our fears at the foot of the cross, praying through them (might I recommend Philippians 4:6-8?) and TRUST that God will see us through every nerve-wracking, uncertain yet joyous moment of being a new mama.

And finally, the one that trumps them all…

10. Thou shalt pray… A LOT. (This one was also included in all 3 of the previous preggo commandment posts… Seeing a trend of importance here?) I think I’ve prayed more as a new mama than I have in all my life. I pray for wisdom. Patience. Energy. Discernment. Composure. Strength. Guidance. Rest. Encouragement. Forgiveness. Courage. And every time I pray, the task of raising my little girl becomes a little less daunting and I can see God’s fingerprint as a bigger heavenly picture comes into view.

All you mama’s out there… Can I get an AMEN?

Motherly love to you,
SGK

“May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!” ~Proverbs 23:25 NIV
PS: Be sure to pop over to Monday’s blog for a chance to enter a giveaway! (Ends 8/19/13)
ALL DONE!

ALL DONE!

Categories: motherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life-as-a-wife Survival Kit

Today I would like to share with you another fun marriage post “from the archives” with a few updates and modifications. It doesn’t matter if you are a wife, know someone who is a wife or is preparing to become a wife… I am sure you can relate… 🙂 

Be blessed, 
SGK 

****

God sure has a sense of humor. It still cracks me up almost daily that He had the idea to create man, then create woman, make us COMPLETELY different and say “Ok, live together for your entire life. Play nice. Love each other. I’m here when you need me. Good luck.”

Sometimes I think marriage needs a survival kit. Specifically, I need a survival kit as an army wife. So today is my appeal for  either 1) every man getting married to give their wife the following kit, 2) every woman getting married to get this kit for herself or 3) for the army to standard issue the following items to all army wives everywhere.

But before I get into the actual life-as-a-wife survival kit, I would like to address the survival kit needed for married men, military or otherwise. I am sure they are already feeling left out, and we certainly wouldn’t want that.

So here is the basic supplies needed for dudes in an I-wanna-be-a-husband-in-a-joy-filled-marriage kit.

1. Food. Any kind will do. Preferably red meat. Maybe a potato or two.

2. Shelter. Any kind will do. Preferably warm and dry.

3. Soda/beer and/or TV. Not any kind will do, and amounts will vary per man.

4. A passionate wife. Why? To um, ahem, satisfy, eh, their, er “urges.” (If you don’t get this one… ask your spouse. Or any random man. I am sure he can clarify.)

Welp. That was easy.

Now, back to the life-as-a-wife survival guide in reverse ranking order. (United States Military, I hope you are paying attention. Seriously. This should be standard issue when anyone marries into any branch of the military. I will be waiting by my mailbox. Oh, and attention all pastors/priests/preachers/justices of the peace/anyone who can legally marry two people– you might consider this as a prerequisite gift for those you are hitchin’ together. Just saying.)

(Note: These of course are hypothetical. They certainly aren’t based on MY experiences at all… right.)

10. An upright punching bag. With accompanying hand wraps and gloves. There will be frustrations in marriage… and this is a healthy way to, um, release some tension without taking it out on your beloved. It works. Or so I’ve been told.

9. Chocolate. Any kind will do… some might prefer a mint-chocolate combination, or dark chocolate varieties. Large quantities preferred.

8. Kleenexes. Emotional roller coaster breakdowns can happen at any given moment. I have known wives (again, not myself of course) to end up sitting on the couch tearing up a boxes of Kleenex telling their husband as she gasp’s between sobs “I…(gasp)… don’t… (hack)… know… (snort)… why… (sniff)… I’m…(honk)… cryinggggg… (waaaaaa!) *Also useful for happy and/or Holy Spirit tears as well. Those too are very common.

7. A wine glass. I have  been “told” that some wives don’t always even drink wine out of the glasses. A wife last week perhaps kinda sorta drank Diet Dr. Pepper out of a fancy wine glass. Or chocolate milk (see #9) Wives are all about feeling elegant and keeping it classy. Do what it takes.

6. A bathtub. This is best used for life-as-a-wife survival tool if combined with #9 and #7. (Just add steaming hot water and bubbles.)

5. Tylenol.  For recovering from #8 and other semi-stressful and/or overwhelming experiences.

4. A movie/TV show filter. Sometimes as a wife (especially army wife) we need a magical filter that blocks certain shows or movies from our viewing. AKA films that involve war, adultery, excessive tears, etc. They are seed planters and can be super un-survival-ish.

3. A positive go-to person. This can be a friend, neighbor, mom, family member or fellow wife. When the husband is either the cause of the issue OR is not available (which is often the case), wives need to have a pep-talker on-standby, even if it is via phone, internet, text or Skype. <Note: this is not an out to air dirty laundry. If you have an issue with your Beloved, go to HIM first…>

2. A sense of humor. Marriage can either be stressful and painful or hilarious and fun (most of the time.) Choose the latter option. It is way more productive, and requires less of #8, #9, and pretty much all of the above… and WILL help you survive. (ESPECIALLY in the military.)

1. A Bible… and the faith to go with it. This is easily the most important of all the survival supplies on this list. When our husbands are gone, busy, preoccupied, confused, deployed, injured, uncertain etc, we have ONE to lean on, and that is our Father in Heaven. Hey, even when our Beloved is in tip-top shape, God STILL needs to be our number one. The closer we (husband and wife) are to God, the stronger the marriage will be. Ultimately to survive as a wife and live in a joy-filled marriage, we must FIRST be married to HIM. Be so in love with God that your husband has to seek Him to get to you. And allow your husband to lead in your walk.

Keep the faith– it will ultimately lead you to both survival and revival of your marriage.

Living and loving my life-as-a-wife,

SGK

“Stay with God. Take heart. Don’t quit. I will say it again: Stay with God!” Psalm 27:14 MSG

Categories: marriage | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Falling to Faith (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
Hi friends! Yep, it’s Friday. (Can I get a whoot-whoot?!?) And Friday can only mean one thing ’round these parts.

Today is the day we link up with Lisa-Jo and rock out Five Minute Friday.

For FMF, Lisa gives us a prompt. Then we write. Uninhibited. For five minutes.

It’s as easy as that.

So let’s see what is in store for us today…

Today’s Prompt: FALL

AND GO!

****

Fall. It’s not just a season… It’s a verb (you know, one of those words that shows action…)

It has positive or negative connotations. We can fall down the stairs. (And up the stairs. I’m so graceful, I’ve done both. In the same day.) We can fall in love. (Done that too.) We can fall short. (Yep, sounds familiar.) And we can fall to faith.

Falling to faith is a beautiful thing… I don’t mean it is exceptionally graceful or easy– but it sure is a wonderful feeling, even though it might take immense effort and get a little messy sometimes.

When we are in a tough spot… We can fall to faith.

When we are unsure of what to do next… We can fall to God knowing that He has got our back.

When the enemy of our soul is all up in our grill and wreaking havoc on our hearts– we can fall into Jesus’ arms for protection.

When we are overwhelmed… We can fall to His feet for rest.

When nothing seems to be going right… We can fall forward onto the One who is and was and is yet to come. He never changes.

When this world starts to suck us down… we can fall to the Father in faith.

Falling to Faith isn’t easy. But it sure is worth it.

STOP!

****

This post is straight from my heart today, dear readers. (Well, all my posts are, but this one from the deep places in my heart.) I would so appreciate your prayers for our little army family. Things are changing quickly as we prep to move across the country… and as a Mama of a 3-month-old, I am trying not to become overwhelmed… but really, that’s easier said than done 🙂 Regardless… I will continue to fall to faith.

Thanks for stopping by and may God bless you!

SGK

PS: How can I pray for you today? Let me know via leaving a comment, sending me a message on Facebook or dropping me an email at sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” ~Matthew 8:10 NIV

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Finishing Strong

I personally believe that there is no other feeling in the world than accomplishing a huge goal and finishing strong.

Think about it…

When you cross the finish line of a race after weeks (or months!) of training… When you hit SUBMIT on that last paper for a really tough class… When you walk across the stage and receive that diploma that has been years in the making… When after 9 months, that little baby is finally laid in your arms for the first time…

Yep. There’s no other feeling in the world.

And interestingly enough, sometimes a strong finish is a beginning of a new season.

Which is exactly where we are today.

The Knobloch family (as in my Beloved, our baby girl Charis, our pup Justus and I) are preparing to celebrate a strong finish in what has been a very challenging (yet blessed!) season of our life.

The last 24 months have been very intense during our time as a drill sergeant “on the trail.” And now…we have just two (that’s right, count em, TWO!) days left!! THANK. YOU. JESUS.

My sweet husband has been in the army as an infantryman for going on 10 years… Which includes three deployments totaling about 45 months in an Iraqi desert. I asked him where our two-year stint of drill sergeant-ness fell on his scale of challenging seasons of the army. His response? This was by far the most difficult.

Not only were the hours crazy (typically working 12-24 hrs per day,  7 days per week for weeks on end) but we were also learning what it meant to be a family in the military who desired to treat Christ as our Commander-in-Chief.

Um yeah. It was not an easy task.

In addition to the crazy hours and tasks of the hubs being a drill sergeant and my call as a minister/blogger, we got pregnant, had a miscarriage, experienced some really sticky leadership situations, got pregnant again, and welcomed a baby into the world… among about 14 bajillion other intense life events.

Now, I’m not saying all these things to say “Oh look how big/bad/awesome/tough we are.” Because honestly, there were a few moments that I wanted to curl up in a closet and just pray for May 2013 to HURRY UP. It was freaking hard. Instead, I share these details with you because through all the frustration, tears, uncertainty… God was there.

God has been with us every step of the way. He has used these last two years to mold us, shape us, grow us in mighty and powerful ways. He has been preparing us for our next season of life, whatever that might look like.

Today, we rejoice in hope of finishing strong– and celebrate God’s faithfulness and goodness!!!

In what seasons of life do you feel closest to God? How do you feel when you finish strong? Are you preparing to “finish” a season of life? I would love to pray for you in that– just let me know by leaving a comment below, sending me a message on Facebook or an email via sharita {dot} knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.

Also, we would like to say thank you to each of you that has encouraged us and prayed for us in this season. We are so grateful! As we countdown these last two days of this challenging season, our hearts are full of joy, relief, gratitude and anticipation of what this next season of ministry and army life (and family life!) will look like in our new army home in Fort Lewis, Washington.

So today, we praise God for helping us to finish strong– and that His love, presence and faithfulness is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate!

To the Glory of God Alone,
SGK

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” ~2 Timothy 4:6-7 NIV

When the going gets tough... The tough get Jesus. (And perhaps create an elementary school-type paper countdown chain, complete with a Bible verse for each day left on the trail as a drill sergeant.)

When the going gets tough… The tough get Jesus. (And perhaps create an elementary school-type paper countdown chain, complete with a Bible verse for each day left on the trail as a drill sergeant.)

Categories: army | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sticky Leadership: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

Leadership.

It’s a source of influence. It’s a source of inspiration. It’s a spiritual gift. It can be used vocationally.

And it can also teach us… a lot.

Leadership is something I am very passionate about– and not only in a Biblical sense. My minor in college was leadership studies and I have always enjoyed working alongside self-less, heart-driven leaders.

Before I get too far into it, I ask that you open your mind to the leadership perspective– most people have a sliver of leadership in them somewhere… it doesn’t have to be leading a church or a huge corporation. It can be fulfilling the role as a parent to your children leading them to Christ or simply being a subtle witness at the coffee shop. On that note…

Leadership is a sticky topic… in more ways than one. Not only do the positive (or negative) leaders in our life have the ability to influence us for a season or lifetime (aka, it really “sticks” with us) but sometimes the hard leadership situations such as conflict or compromise of integrity put us in a “sticky” position.

So, as I was pondering this post while feeding baby girl at 0430 one morning, here’s an interesting analogy that God placed on my heart regarding the different kinds of leaders… The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly.

The Good

Sticky Factor: “The Bumper Sticker”

Description: Good leaders in life are like bumper stickers. They are clever. Potentially creative. Insightful. Sometimes heartfelt, sometimes humorous. And they stick with you for a long, long time. Have you ever tried to remove a bumper sticker from your car (or any other surface) after it has been stuck for any amount of time? Odds are that you won’t be able to remove it in one piece and little remnants or residue will remain afterward. AKA the lessons and influence from the good “bumper sticker” leaders have the potential to influence us for life in a very productive way.

In real life: These leaders are going to be the ones that you still turn to for questions. They might be a mentor and a source of encouragement, even after your seasons of life have led you in a new direction. These bumper sticker leaders are precious- so treasure them!

Verse: “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” ~2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

The Bad

Sticky Factor: “Ticky Tack” (or is it “Sticky Tack?”)

Description: Remember Ticky Tack, that sorta sticky stuff that was found in elementary classrooms in the 90’s? (Do they even still make that stuff?) It was used to hang up posters or paper decorations around the room… and for some reason, we, as young uns, thought it was cool to collect. (I remember having a big ol’ grody ball of it in my middle school locker. Why? I have no idea.) But ticky tack is kind of like the not-so-awesome leaders… they do their job-ish. Sometimes. And often not very well. It can get messy and after a while, their gunk starts to build up and they are less effective. Their followers start to pull away. Their longevity isn’t stellar.

In real life: It’s kind of hard to define “bad” leader (and really, I don’t enjoy calling anyone that.) But the fact is we have probably all been around them… You know the folks who might be in a leadership role for the wrong reason (to self-promote instead of serve) and just don’t quite have the capabilities and skills (or heart!) for the position. So what do we do? We can first support them by submitting to their leadership (even if we don’t quite agree with their methods), pray for them, and if the opportunity arises, gently and lovingly offer our encouragement and counsel to them. Who knows– you might be able to help then transition from a ticky tack leader to a bumper sticker one!

Verse: “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” ~Romans 13:5 NIV

The Downright Ugly

Sticky Factor: “The Hot Glue Gun”

Description: The Hot Glue Gun leader… They are good in theory, meant to hold things together, but really when their leadership skills aren’t used correctly end up being a huge mess. They are effective in very few situations… They might go from hot to cold really fast and if all things don’t line up perfectly, their mission fails and their team won’t stick together. (You know how hot glue  cools quickly then is hard and essentially useless. Yeah, same thing.) Sometimes they aren’t very flexible and when change is thrust upon them, they leave behind a crusty, spiderwebby-mess. Also, if you don’t watch you… you will get burned. And sometimes, if that burn is bad enough– it will leave a scar.

In real life: Oh the “ugly” leader. It hurts my heart that there is even a category for this one, but again, we know it is true and my Beloved and I have been under the authority of these individuals in different seasons of life. Hot glue gun leaders are ones who are negative, toxic, selfish, lack integrity, and sometimes even downright hateful. So what are we supposed to do in this situation? PRAY. And pray HARD. Not only for ourselves– but for them. (Gives praying for your enemies and those who persecute you a whole new meaning, huh?) Hold firm to your values, specifically those rooted in Christ. (After all, His opinion is the one that ultimately matters.) Finally, just like the other two types of “sticky” leaders… we can learn from them. My beloved husband reminds me that we can sometimes learn just as much about leadership in the form of what NOT to do from yucky leaders who put us in not-so-great sticky situations as we can from great bumper sticker leaders.

Verse: Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” ~Proverbs 10:9 NIV

What type of leadership experience have you had? What steps can we take to make sure that we are “The Bumper Sticker” leaders? What character traits do you think make a great leader?

Friends, I pray this not only offers a unique perspective to leadership (I am SUCH a sucker for analogies!) but also encourages us to seek Him for guidance to be the leader He has called us to be.

No matter what leadership situation or position you find your self in… STICK with Christ. THAT’S the perfect kind of sticky leadership.

Stuck on Him,
SGK

Love ememies bumper sticker

Super cool bumper sticker pic (great Christian leader inspiration) via bamalibrarylady @ Flickr

Categories: leadership | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Bubble Wrap Faith

Oh bubble wrap. The magical packing material that has been causing squabbles among siblings for decades.

Or was that just my sister and I who fought over who got to pop those addictingly-fun little bubbles? Either way, ya just gotta love the multi-purposeful qualities of bubble wrap.

bubble wrap

Via CMMahon @ Flickr

As I was pondering this idea (again, at 3am… sorry, apparently 3am is prime time for random thoughts to enter my mind– blame it on the new-mama sleep deprivation) I, as usual, started thinking about how bubble wrap can relate to our faith.

Random. I know. Sorry. It’s how I roll.

Anywho, I considered the topic at hand… when I was thinking about it, I was struck by the idea of motherhood and how the first few weeks of baby girl’s existence  I was (ok, still am) so twitchy and overprotective… And I really thought at one point the possibility of how to “bubble wrap” her from this world to keep her safe.

Then I heard God’s voice: “Beloved daughter… that’s not your job. You are called to love her and care for her– but in this world, you will all have trouble. I am her protector. Trust me.”

Gulp. Ok. Heard you, Father.

Then, my random thoughts took me to the scene from Finding Nemo where Marlin the clownfish (Nemo’s dad) and Dory are in the mouth of the whale. Marlin starts to yell at Dory and the following scene ensues:

Marlin: “I promised I’d never let anything happen to him!!”
Dory: “Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.”
Marlin: “What?”
Dory: “Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.”

Dory, although she can’t remember Nemo’s correct name to save her tail, makes a pretty good point. And it holds true not only to “real life” parenthood but also our walk of faith.

Sure, we all wish nothing <specifically: bad or challenging> would ever happen. But if that were true– where would we stand with God? I don’t know about you, but I am typically closest to God when things are the toughest.

Ultimately, Jesus is our bubble wrap. He protects us. He guards us. And He makes sure we get to our final destination (ahem, heaven) in one piece.

But in order to really live a bubble wrap faith life, we have to let go of our need to be the bubble wrap in both our lives and the lives of those around us. We can’t protect those around us from all harm. We can’t control others to make perfect decisions. (Heck, our decisions aren’t perfect either– even if we think we know best.)

We have to let go and let Jesus do the guarding and protecting. We have to trust Him that He knows what He is doing (He does) and loves us beyond all comprehension.

In what areas of your life do you try to be the bubble wrap? How would letting go of that desire to be the bubble wrap free our spirits?

Be encouraged, friends. Letting go and letting Jesus be our bubble wrap isn’t an overnight process. (Believe you me, I am still working on it!) When we transition from control to trust, we can rest assured that He will not only carry us to our final destination– but we will be more protected and secure than ever before.

That’s what I call a special delivery handled with care.

Wrapped up in Christ,
SGK

“He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” ~Joshua 24:17

Categories: trust | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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