Posts Tagged With: Comfort

Finding Comfort (Five Minute Friday)

Hey folks.

It’s Friday.
Five Minute Friday
Which means we link up with Lisa Jo and write. For five minutes flat.

Today’s prompt: Comfort

And Go!

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Comfort. Just the word brings warmth to my heart. I personally need comfort in all sorts of situations and can find it in so many different ways.

I’m guessing you can too.

It’s been an extremely rough week in new-mommyland for me. What started out as a 2-month check up for our precious baby girl bracing for 2 month shots and ended it in the words “beginning stages of failure to thrive.”

Needless to say… I about lost it. My world felt like it was crumbling. I felt like a failure– and the Enemy wanted to make sure that “reputation” as a mother stuck.

But, as usual, our loving, sovereign, comforting God had other plans.

Although my week was foggy and filled with stress, I knew God was in it somewhere. I just had to keep looking. Praying. Seeking His comfort, relying on His faithfulness that He had this planned long before Baby Charis arrived on this earth.

Fortunately, Baby Girl/s lack of weight gain looks like a milk production problem on my part. (Thank you Jesus– it’s fixable!) As we move forward to rectify this issue, I continue to find comfort in prayers, quotes from others, Scripture– all stemming from the God of all Comfort.

“God doesn’t ask us to be perfect– He just wants us to be simply faithful.” ~Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7

“My kids don’t need to see a super mama. They need to see a mama who needs a Super God.” ~Ann Voskamp

“The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:24

Yes. I have found comfort. I have found confidence. I have found courage…

It all stems from the Most Highest, Eternally Holy, Always Loving God.

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Where and how do you find comfort? I would love to hear all about it.

Know you are loved, my friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Thankful to Worship a God of all Comfort,
SGK

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Go, Mama, Go!

Go, Mama, Go!

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Everyday Jesus: An Encounter with the God of All Comfort

Greetings friends! It’s time for another life-changing, heart-moving installment of our “Everyday Jesus” blogging series. Today it is my great privilege to introduce not only a talented writer and dear friend of mine, but also a beautiful woman who has an incredible heart for Christ. Meet Tracy. She’s awesome. She’s sweet. She’s profound. Plus… She’s a K-State Alumni and Military wife (just like me. Thanks, Jesus.) Get ready for a powerful testimony of what it really looks like when we are ALWAYS looking for Jesus– particularly in everyday life.  

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I love encountering the majesty of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father, in the darkest of moments.

Image courtesy of healingdream/freedigitalphotos.net"

Image courtesy of healingdream/freedigitalphotos.net”

You gotta love boarding a Southwest airplane. It used to be chaotic, but now order has been restored to the masses due to the ticket number groupings and vertical beams that Southwest installed in the waiting area. However, before the beams were born, I felt like a herded calf being pushed along. On one particular “cattle call,” my life (and carry-on bag) collided with hers.

The people in front of me were whispering. They seemed irritated, and other passengers crammed in beside them were staring at something. Above the commotion, I heard sniffles. Someone was crying. Our line started to move again. The couple in front of me slowed and moved around a woman who was visibly upset. I instinctively touched her shoulder, walked around her, and turned to look into her face. I offered her a Kleenex and asked if she needed anything. She doubted there was anything I could do to help her.

And the God of All Comfort entered the scene.

I took her by the arm and started to help her down the gateway and into the plane. I learned that she was on her way back to meet her family. She didn’t want to give her children the news that her breast cancer had spread. She was scared and devastated. She said I wouldn’t understand. She had no idea who she was talking to.

God did though.

He chose for me to meet this woman at this particular moment of darkness in our lives.

Days before I sat in the Mayo clinic holding my mother’s hand. We were waiting for another batch of test results. By this point, I was used to seeing her in pain, and I loathed her breast cancer with everything in me. Just when my heart seemed to find hope, the Mayo doctor confirmed that a scan found a tumor in her brain. My heart was dashed into a billion pieces once again.

Stunned, my mother and I found the nearest bathroom, and let our tears flow freely.

Why God?

I began to journal and stumbled across 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. With what little strength I had left, I simply wrote: “If my mom must suffer in this way, then please let me use this trial for your glory. Help me to comfort others, with the comfort I believe you are going to give me.”

As I continued to walk down the gateway with a weeping stranger, all I could hear is “I AM the God of All Comfort Tracy, comfort her as I have comforted you.” Talk about a God encounter! I didn’t care if I held up that boarding line all day–this woman was going to hear my story. Through tears, I told her about my mother and about how her courage and faith in God affected me. She got an ear full about the comfort and strength I’d received from Jesus. As she listened, her tears slowed, and she began to smile. As I helped her to sit, she said thank you and embraced me. I told her that I would pray. And pray I did.

I will probably never see this woman again.

God gave me 5 minutes with her. I believe God knew this was enough. The Kleenex, the touch, the listening ear, the tears, and my testimony were enough. It was enough for the God of all Comfort to be experienced through a hurting and imperfect vessel.

In the end, my mother journeyed through breast cancer for 11 years. She won her battle when she passed from our arms into the arms of Jesus on October 8, 2012. I encountered the majesty of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God the Father in the midst of her cancer.

God still hasn’t answered my question of why. I no longer need Him to. He was gracious to answer a prayer from my journal. I hold onto the memory of that stranger’s smile and call it to mind when I miss my mother. It reminds me that one of my darkest moments has glorified God, and this is enough for me.

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV 1984

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Tracy Bio Picture

Tracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (4) and Katherine (2), throughout their toy-infested home.  Tracy graduated from Phoenix Seminary in 2005, and served as the Director of Student Women at Scottsdale Bible Church from 2005-2007. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at One Degree Ministries. You can also connect with her on Facebook or chat with her via Twitter.

Categories: Everyday Jesus | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Moment of Blog Silence

Today at 7 Days Time, there will be no new information or profound revelations. No witty or snarky comments. No creative analogies.

Today, there is a moment of blog silence.

On Friday, over two dozen people (including 20 children) were gunned down and killed in the Connecticut elementary school shooting. Soon after discovering this heartbreaking news, I was informed that one of our dear Kansas Agricultural Education teachers, Ms. Kendra Linnebur, had suddenly passed away from a form of meningitis. She was 32.

As I read the updates on both of these tragic events, I sobbed over Facebook. I sobbed in the shower. And now, while the tears have slowed briefly, I continue to mourn and weep upon the writing of this post.

Today, we pray… And sit in silence.

Father God… we come to you with broken hearts. With each tragic event in our world, it is hard not to become hardened and calloused to the events around us. So we thank you that our hearts are still tender and we feel this pain. Lord, we lift up the families and victims involved with the Connecticut shooting. We acknowledge that while these events are unfathomable and unexplainable to our human hearts, you were there, in the classrooms, every single moment. Thank you for your continual presence. 

Oh Jesus, we ask you to come– come into our hearts and lives deeper still. Your word says that you are the God of All Comfort– well God, we need that now. Please be with the friends and family of Ms. Linnebur… I pray she is dancing on the streets of heaven with those little boys and girls from Connecticut. 

God, we know we live in a fallen world– but I pray we can take heart that while this world is fallen, your Son has Risen. We have a hope. A future. In you. Come to us today, Jesus. Our nation, our lives, our families and our hearts need you more than ever.

Amen.

Dear friends… Please let me know how I can pray for you today. Or, if you would like to leave a Scripture, tribute or prayer for the victims in Connecticut or for Ms. Linnebur, feel free to share your heart below in the comments section.

Seeking Comfort In Him,
SGK

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” ~Isaiah 66:13

Categories: Comfort | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Our Cup Filled Up (Anxiety-Free Monday, Wk 2)

Few things in life make me happier than a smooth, warm beverage.

From peppermint tea to hot chocolate to my favorite doctored-up cup of coffee, drinking a warm beverage out of one of my favorite mugs makes my heart sing with joy.

It’s not just a taste thing for me– it’s a total body experience. On those cool fall mornings or perhaps right before bed as I wind down from a long day, my whole being is just moved by my cup filled with liquid awesome.

There’s really only one warm beverage that not only fails to bring me joy, but it is something I avoid at all costs… Theraflu.

When I was younger, I would, as most kids do, tend to get sick on occasion. My loving Mama would doctor me up. I would be snuggled down on the couch, kleenexes within reach, Vicks Vapor rub smeared on my chest… then suddenly, it happened.

The microwave beeped. I knew what was coming.

Theraflu. I tell you what– I just couldn’t do it. If upset stomach wasn’t one of my symptoms when I started, it sure was by the time I finished choking it down.

Psalm 16:5 says Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup…”

And lets be honest. Sometimes the portion in our cup is glorious peppermint tea… and other times it’s closer to the likes of  Theraflu (or whatever beverage you aren’t such a big fan of.)

But God expects us to drink it. He gave it to us– and He knows what is good for us.

Even if it makes us gag. (Or cry. Or rebel. Or whatever your choice reaction/emotion happens to be.)

This concept of gratefully drinking the portion God dumps in my cup was really brought to light as I worked through our current Bible Study “Calm My Anxious Heart.” I was really moved by the thought of being grateful and content no matter what.

And then I was convicted. Kind of a lot.

Because I have to admit– there are some days that God gives me a Theraflu-like portion, and instead of saying thanks and choking it down because I trust Him, I throw a tantrum.

Enter stage left: The ungrateful, discontented heifer. (SIGH.)

When something that I don’t want to drink what is put in front of me by God, I cop an attitude. My heiferish self slaps the cup away, I cross my arms and start back talking. “God, I don’t WANT this! It is too hard to swallow! Why can I have something better?!” 

Linda Dillow reminded me that “Contentment is a state of the heart, not a state of affairs.”

Touche.

So I have been literally visualizing my current “cup” that God has given me: I see a big sturdy mug with the words “Army, Georgia, Ministry, Drill Sergeant, Pregnancy” written on it. Then my portion depends on what God gives me each day.

One way that I have really been focusing on this journey to contentment is taking to heart, memorizing and living “Ella’s Prescription for Contentment” in our study. It says:

*Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather
*Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
*Never compare your lot with another’s
*Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise
*Never dwell on tomorrow –remember that [tomorrow] is God’s, not ours

Profound, huh?

Here’s a couple of questions to ponder (and perhaps answer/leave a comment below!):
1. Which one of Ella’s Prescription steps do you struggle with the most?
2. What does your “cup” and “portion” look like right now? Is it like peppermint tea? Or more like Theraflu (or whatever other beverage you aren’t a huge fan of?) How can you drink it more gratefully?

Sweet friends… I’m so thankful to be sharing this journey with you. For my heart today, the bottom line is that GOD GIVES US OUR PORTION… As in, it’s FROM HIM.  Our cup has been filled up. So we need to drink up.

Bottoms Up,
SGK

“Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” ~Matthew 26:27-28

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For those of you doing the online bible study “Calm My Anxious Heart,” here is the homework for week #2. Happy learning!!

Day 1: Read Chapter Two of “Calm My Anxious Heart”
Write Philippians 4: 6 -8 on a card and go over it every day.  Pray it.  Praise God with it!  Memorize it.  You can do it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Day 2: Study Guide (back of book)
Questions 2, 3

Day 3: Study Guide
Questions 4, 5, 6

Day 4: Study Guide
Questions 7, 8a and 8b

Day 5: Study Guide
Question 9

Write in your journal what you learned about God this week, what you learned about yourself this week.  Write a prayer to remember what God has taught you.

The following stuff is “extra.” As in, if you have time and like this kinda thing, great. Otherwise, don’t worry bout it!

Word Study:  Phil. 4: 6
Prayer
Supplication (Petition)
Thanksgiving
Requests

 Word Study:  Phil. 4:7
Peace
Understanding

Word Study:  Phil. 4: 8
True
Noble (Honest)
Right (Just)
Pure
Lovely
Admirable (Good Report)
Excellent (Virtue)
Think

Helpful Study Tools:
Strong Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Zondervan.  (around $20.00)
The  Complete Word Study New Testament, edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., AMG Publishers. (around $40.00)
A Good Study Bible – NIV has a great study bible
Crosswalk.com  search engine

Categories: Anxiety Free Monday | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Comfortably Close

Loose-fitting T-shirt? Check. Comfy black stretchy yoga pants? Check. Barefeet? Check. Perfect temperature? Check. Diet Dr. Pepper within reach? Check. Recliner engaged? Check.

Uh, yes please. Epitome of comfort. I want to go to there.

 Ahhhh… I love to be comfortable.  I am gonna take a guess that you do too. Take a moment to think about when you are most comfortable… Where are you? What are you wearing? What makes you comfortable? It is an INCREDIBLE feeling. What more could we ask for?

Believe it or not, we CAN ask for more… We can ask for God to make us uncomfortable. But that is really, really hard for us (ok, me) to swallow. Seriously, just the THOUGHT of being uncomfortable on purpose makes my stomach flop. Every inch of my flesh screams… Bu..Bu…But… Nooooo!!! I don’t wanna! (Insert two-year-old stomping tantrum here.) If I am comfortable, I would love nothing more than to stay like that—for as long as possible.

But staying comfortable sometimes leads to complacency. If we are comfortable and we don’t NEED anything else, why would we seek the Lord? We have it all handled and we feel fine right where we are. Pshaw. TOO. EASY.

A while back, I blogged about praying for faith like Abraham.  (Read the post “No More Cornflakes here for the full story.) This concept of praying to be uncomfortable is just as challenging as requesting faith as strong as Abraham. But when we are uncomfortable, whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritual… THAT then when we have the greatest opportunity to be closest to God.

 When we are uncomfortable… we realize our weaknesses.

When we are uncomfortable… we seek the Lord more than before.

When we are uncomfortable… we understand God’s goodness and faithfulness at a deeper level.

When we are uncomfortable… we have an opportunity to glorify God.

Think about folks you might know who have answered an uncomfortable call to be obedient to Christ. I am sure that most missionaries, ministers or Christians don’t go where the Lord has called them expecting to be comfortable. (Although that would be a pretty sweet perk. And motivating.) But when we become uncomfortable—we discover that we can be oh-so-comfortably close to Christ.

Confession:  Sometimes, (ok, a lot of the time) I am uncomfortable in my role as a minister. As a writer. As an army wife. As a speaker. But it is in those moments when I feel closest to God.

When was the last time you were uncomfortable? What did God do for you in that season? I would LOVE to hear about it. Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Do you have the courage to pray for God to make you uncomfortable? Drop what you are doing right now and pray: “Lord… Please overcome my flesh-goal of maintaining comfort, and if it is Your Will, make me uncomfortable for Your Glory.” 

You don’t have to sell everything you own and move overseas. (Unless of course He tells you to.)  Comfort levels differ for everyone. Perhaps your level of comfort will simply be asking the cashier how you can pray for them today. Or maybe it is helping out a neighbor who is, uh, less than cooperative. Consider any opportunities that God might be calling you to step out and be uncomfortable.

One thing is for certain—no matter how uncomfortable The Call might make us or how far it takes us from our recliner, yoga pants and Diet Dr. Pepper… If we answer our call, it can make us more comfortably close to Christ than ever before.

Comforted by being uncomfortable,
SGK

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” –Matthew 11:30 (AMP)

Categories: adventure, attitude, call, Christ, Comfort, dependence, glory, God, life, Live | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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