Posts Tagged With: community

Not-so-lonely Road

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives.

That moment of heart-heaviness. It feels like we are surrounded by darkness. We might be by ourselves or in a crowd of people.

Either way… we just feel straight up lonely.

Lonely, at least in my personal opinion, is one of the most un-fun places to be. Now, true loneliness is a heart issue and is very different from intentional solitude. We all need some “alone time” every now and then, whether it is to rest, recharge, reflect or just  BE.

But being lonely, especially in our hearts, can be a painful and scary place.

Honestly, as a Christian and army wife, I sometimes feel a bit alone in my walk.

Sure it looks long and lonely... but it's not. He promises.

Sure it looks long and lonely… but it’s not. He promises.

This happens frequently when we move to a new place or my husband is gone for an extended amount of time. When we first moved to Georgia, the first several months were some definite lonely-heart moments. Just me, the dog… and the enemy, duking it out in our living room.

Lemme tell ya what… It was exhausting. And way not fun.

Now before you get all up in my Kool-aid about Jesus always being with us, I know that is true. And I drew a lot of strength from Him in those moments. But He has also designed us to be in community.

Recently, I was having a conversation around this topic with great friend and fellow army wife, Sam, while we hung out on an impromptu Sonic date. (Sometimes the best revelations come over milkshakes and cherry limeades.) We talked about the struggle we face when battling this lonely feeling… because while God calls us to live in community, we have to be careful where we plant ourselves.

After all, we are called to be IN the world but not OF the world. (John 15:19) Great theory, super hard to live out. It’s a fine freaking line, one that I have yet to completely figure out. Sometimes, especially in the military realm of life, some of the things aren’t exactly productive for our Christian hearts or minds. Instead, we are exposed to negative seeds that try to take root. (And let’s be honest– the same thing can be said for ALL areas of the world… it’s a fallen world. We have to deal with it. SIGH.)

So whats a gal (or guy) to do in those lonely moments?

First of all, we can pray. Like, a lot. We can beg for Jesus’ presence to fill us up, to be the light in darkness as we battle the heart-lonely feeling. Also, we can recognize when the enemy is trying to attack. (More than likely, he’s lurking– so watch out!) We can surround ourselves with others who build us up– Christians who are genuine in their walk with words, love AND deeds, so that when we are called to go out into the world and walk a new path (military or otherwise) we can be IN the world and not OF it… We can cling to our strong, solid roots in Christ.

Oh, and we can take heart knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggle. So many people, just like you (and me) struggle with this lonely-heart feeling that rears its ugly stinkin’ head from time to time.

Christ understands our struggles. After all, He was alone on that cross when He took His final breath for you and me.

Take heart, dear friends. Christians before and after you have felt the same thing you might be feeling right now. While it might seem like a long path, remember that with Christ and fellow Christians, our path is a not-so-lonely road.

Hand in Hand with Him,
SGK

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” ~John 15:19 NIV

PS: Where or when do you find yourself most lonely? How does Christ show up in those moments? Let us know– comment below.

Categories: heart | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Journey of a Lifetime (Anxiety-Free Monday, Wk 1)

The sun is barely peeking over the horizon. I lug my last suitcase out to the car and with a final heave, toss it in. Slamming the trunk, smile and let out a satisfied sigh.

Let the journey begin.

I have been blessed to travel to many different places so far in my lifetime. I’ve been to about 30 states(ish), a few foreign countries– Spain, Portugal, Italy and China. All of these trips have been educational, challenging and blessing to my heart.

Although traveling as a “big kid” isn’t as frequent as my college days, I can’t help to still be filled with anticipation and excitement with each new journey.

Starting out our journey of wedded bliss on our honeymoon, just “Rome-ing” around.” (Get it? Rome? Italy? Ok. Sigh. I’m done.)

But now my journeys have started to shift– they aren’t in the form of road trips for college football games (Go Kansas State!) or boarding a plane for a solo trip to China “just because I can.” Now, it’s a journey through marriage. A journey to parenthood. A journey of walking with Christ.

And today starts a new journey– one that you are personally invited along for…

A JOURNEY TO CONTENTMENT.

I hope you are packed and ready to ride. (Oh, and buckle up. Safety first.)

Today my friend Kelli Wommack and I are starting a journey to contentment via an in person AND online bible study called “Calm my Anxious Heart.” 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I travel, I always have some kind of anxiety– usually stemming around “I feel like I am forgetting something” and “Did I turn off stove?”

But we are excited for Christ to take us on this journey and calm our anxious hearts. (Rumor has it, He’s a pretty stellar travel guide.)

Here’s how this journey is gonna work…

~Each Monday, Kelli & I will post our “take” on the previous week’s reading on our blogs, as well as post the “homework” for the coming week
~We encourage you to join in the fun and share your thoughts/comments on our blogs, regardless of if you have decided to so the bible study with us
~We will provide an opportunity for interaction on the Calm My Anxious Heart Facebook page
~Specifically for my blog: Homework will be posted at the very end of each of my Monday entries, which I am lovingly dubbing “Anxiety Free Mondays” or AFM for short (sounds like a radio station abbreviation to me… I like it!)

Then, we let Jesus do the work.

So as we kick off this journey, I have a couple questions for you…

  • What things cause you the most anxiety in your life?
  • What do you think a “content heart” truly looks like?

Please leave your comments below. 🙂

I hope you are all packed and ready to go! (Everyone bring their toothbrush? What about your cell phone charger? Your favorite beverage and snack?)

We are off and running… on a journey to free us from anxiety. On a journey to contentment. On a journey of a lifetime.

Revved up and ready to roll,
SGK

“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~Philippians 4:12-13 (MSG) 

If you are “officially” participating in the online bible study, here is your “homework” for week #1. Pencils up? Annnd GO!

Day 1: Read Chapter One
Write Philippians 4: 11 – 13 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.

Helpful Study Tools:

  • Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Zondervan. ($20)
  • A Good Study Bible

Great websites for searching and learning:

  • Crosswalk.com
  • Biblegateway.com
  • Blueletterbible.org
  • Studylight.org

Great apps:

  • Strong’s Concordance Lite (free)
  • eBible.com (free)
  • Tecarta Bible (free)
  • Biblestudytools.com (free)
  • Prayer list app (1.99)
Categories: Anxiety Free Monday | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

So long, Anxious Heart

I scan my list… Do I have everything? What if I forget something? I swallow the lump that is growing in my throat. My heart starts to beat faster. I glance down at my watch… Should I leave now? Or do I have more time?

If you have been hanging out with me here at 7 Days Time for a while, you have figured out that I am something of a worrywart. Honestly, it is super annoying and exhausting. Fortunately, God has used 2012 (and a majority of my adult life) to slowly but surely start weaning me from worrying. But he’s not done yet.

I’ve always heard that worry is like a rocking chair– it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere. (Can I get an amen?!?!) And let’s not forget to mention that worrying is a sin… Every time we let our mind/heart melt into that puddle of anxiety, it is like we are saying that God isn’t enough and we don’t REALLY trust His plan for us.

Just the other day, I was pouring out my heart to my sweet husband about my current worries that I was battling: Health, family, finances, army life, future etc. And that wonderful man spoke some much-needed (but kinda difficult) truth into my life:

“Sharita… there are ALWAYS going to be things we CAN worry about. But we have a choice… We can choose to worry or choose to simply TRUST GOD.”

Sigh. I don’t know about you, but I have a long way to go…

But here’s the awesome and encouraging news: We don’t have to go alone. God has given us tools and community to combat this issue in our life.

Which leads to my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT for today. Ready? I hope you are sitting down…

If you are a worrier, know a worrier, have been a worrier, worry that you might become a worrier (ha!) or anything of the sort, I invite you to come on a journey– a journey to calm our anxious hearts.

Eternal Youth

I don’t know about you… but I could definitely use a makeover.
(Source: Jan Tik @ Flickr)

Starting September 9, my friend/boss/mentor Kelli Wommack and I will be offering a bible study called “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow on Sunday nights from 5 – 6:30 pm at Christ Community Church in Columbus, GA for those of you who are local and can attend.

For those of you who aren’t local (which I know is a majority of my audience,) beginning September 10, we will be offering this study via online right here at 7 Days Time and on Facebook! WHOOT! Cool, huh? So whether you are local or in South America, you can participate! We are super excited about this and will be giving more details very soon. So if you are interested in either the Sunday night study or the online study, please let me know by leaving a comment below. Oh, and please share this with your friends if you think they might be interested!

I have a sneaky suspicion that this could change ALL of our lives. I’m not even kidding. I’m stoked. And hope you are too!

I feel incredibly blessed that God has placed this opportunity for us to trade our anxiety for trust– together, as a community, both online and in person. Please, if this study sounds like something God has brought across your path for a reason, don’t be shy– jump aboard and let’s prepare to let God transform our hearts and minds. Again, leave a comment below so I can get you signed up 🙂

It’s time my friends… Time to say “So long, anxious heart.”  Who’s with me?

Goodbye worries, Hello Trust,
SGK

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) 

Categories: God, worry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Comfort from Community (Five Minute Friday)

Good morning, America! (Or should I say “world?” Fun fact: 7 Days Time ministry has grown and we actually have legit and semi-regular readers in other countries. Thanks for that one, Jesus!)

Anywho, today is one of my favorite blogging days of the week. That’s right– it’s Five Minute Friday. Top three reasons why its my fav?

  1. Less pressure to get it right (or at least “perfect”)
  2. It is a great conditioning tool and change of pace from normal posts (AKA: I write for 5 minutes flat… and don’t have to come up with a topic of my own)
  3. It’s on Friday. So what’s not to love??

Every week, I link up with The Gypsy Mama… She gives us a prompt, then we go to town with our writing. Today’s prompt: “COMMUNITY.” 

Annndddd GO!

It can be found in person. It can be found online. Sometimes it shows up out of no where. Other times you gotta be more intentional.

Community is a beautiful thing.

As an army wife, finding community right where we are sometimes requires a bit of… uh…. creativity. And a lot of help from Jesus. Fortunately… He never fails us in that department.

Already in our marriage, my beloved and I have experienced a lot of challenges– not necessarily with marriage, but just life in general. Separations by duty, crazy hours, moving, life purpose limbo, miscarriage… The list continues.

But every time we have walked through something less than awesome, Jesus has been with us… as have other people in our community.

You know God is creative when He brings you to a community where we can dress like this... 🙂 Rocking the 80's!

We find the greatest comfort from our community within the body of Christ. What  a blessing those folks are to me! Also, I find incredible community online. You wouldn’t believe (Ok maybe you would) the kind of cheerleaders and supporters that have helped me walk through some of these challenges that were strictly from an online/blogging/commenting connection.

God is mighty and powerful. He is also INCREDIBLY creative. He brings community right where we are through a variety of avenues. We simply have to have our eyes open and be willing to rejoice in that blessed comfort of our community– regardless of how it comes into our lives.

STOP

Man, that never gets old! Such a fast-writing adrenaline rush. I feel like I should write a few more paragraphs to cool down.

But I won’t. (That’s the great thing about Fridays… One and done, baby. No overthinking. Love it.)

So as I sign off, I am curious– where do YOU find community? Do you have to seek it out or does it seem to fall in your lap? I would love to hear your Jesus community strategy– leave a comment here. 

Ok, my dear readers… Have a B-E-A-U-Tiful weekend. Oh… and thanks for being such an incredible, loving and supporting community for this crazy lil Jesus writer.

You rock my world (and so does Jesus),
SGK

“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” –James 3:18 (MSG) 

Categories: 1980's, community, companionship, encouragement, Five Minute Friday, joy, Love | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Some Comments On Commenting

Aight, beloved readers… (That means “All right” for those of you not currently residing in the south.) Today, for essentially the first time in my blog history, I write to you from atop my soapbox.

No, we will not be discussing politics. (Yikes.) And no, I will not be preaching about the “hard stuff” from the Bible. Instead, I am going to share with you my comments… on commenting.

Yes, I am writing about commenting on blogs. Those of you in the “blogging community” will <hopefully> understand and support this idea… but for you beloved readers who don’t have a blog of your own, I just want to share with you how important it is to comment on blogs.

You can't actually comment "here" per say... but you can scroll to the bottom and comment. Just sayin'.

Before I you think I am an ungrateful blogging heifer, please know that I am INCREDIBLY thankful for my loyal followers who have the courage to comment on my blog (or other folks’ blogs.) Seriously. Ever since I  “launched” this ministry two months ago and migrated to WordPress, my blog comments have been tremendous compared to my old site. So on that note, here are a few facts you might not know about commenting on our blogs…

1. Your comments keep us going. This is so, so, SO important, especially for us faith bloggers that are currently working for Jesus dollars, not world dollars. Blogging, especially daily, is freaking hard. Yes, it can be incredibly rewarding. But little tidbits in the form of your comments keep us pressing forward in the name of Jesus when our brains are mush and our fingers are sick of typing. Second to God, YOU are who we are writing for!!

2. We LOVE hearing your thoughts. When you respond to our post(s), it encourages our hearts that people actually DO read our stuff. Yeah, our stats might say people are stopping by, but a few comments mean more to us than a hundred page views. If you comment, it helps us to believe even more deeply in the mission to which we have been called. Plus, we love the interaction– writing to a silent screen can get a little monotonous. And if we talk to ourselves while we write (especially in public places like Starbucks) people think we are nuts. So save us the embarrassment and talk to us through the screen! 🙂

3. Your comments don’t have to be “profound.” If I EVER figure out who started THIS nasty little rumor, I am going to cut them. Or at least judo chop them in the neck. Seriously. Yeah, we love it when comments reflect/respond to something we actually wrote (because it means you actually read it) but your comments don’t have to be profound. We aren’t expecting a greek translation or a Scripture quote or a profound revelation that changes our lives (although sometimes that does happen, which is awesome.) But sometimes, just a simple “Amen sister!” Or “Great thoughts!” or “Really spoke to me!” can make all the difference.  We comment on Facebook statuses and pictures all the time… why not take 14 extra seconds, comment on the actual blog and make it permanent? We appreciate ANY comments we receive on our blogs! (Except spam… we despise blog spam. It’s almost as yucky as the luncheon meat stuff.)

4. Your comments help our “legitness” factor. Yeah, so I made up that word… but seriously. When others view a blog, one of the first things they probably do is glance down at the bottom to see how many comments have been made. I certainly do that. If there are a lot of comments, that makes me think either A) Whatever the blogger wrote is super legit B) They have such an incredible platform that they could blog about ketchup and people would still love it or C) They are paying people under the table to leave comments. (I am pretty sure options A & B are the most feasible here.) Seriously though– if a “big dawg” publisher, minister, blogger, whoever lands on our page… Comments can make or break an opportunity that might lurking around the corner.

Blogging is like wearing a different outfit each day… although in our world, they are never going to be the SAME outfit. Sure, there are going to be occasions where a blog post might be the equivalent to t-shirt and sweats, but most days, we bloggers are hopeful that someone will notice and comment. Think about how you feel each time you sport a new haircut or outfit and someone positively mentions it to you… It can keep you going for the rest of the day! Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. And for those of us in the Jesus blogging world– we love warm and fuzzy. (Or feisty and festive. Whatever.)

Finally, we know that God encourages us throughout Scripture. From the beautiful and romantic words of Song of Solomon to the promises of Jesus, He offers encouragement to keep us going. And while those reminders keep us reaching for Jesus, sometimes we need a little earthly help from our readers to have the courage to face our keyboard again as we share our hearts.

Aight… (it’s slacking grammar day if you can’t tell…) I hope the above case for the importance of commenting on blogs has empowered you to take heart and reach out to those of us who have been called to blog for Jesus… And before you roll your eyes thinking this is a desperate attempt for feel-good moments, please note that this is not a plea for more comments on my blog. If you don’t believe me, comment on some of these other Jesus gals’ blogs if you don’t feel called to comment on 7 Days Time. It’s not about the numbers… It’s about the mission.

Check out (and comment on– hint, hint!) these other blogs…

Kelli (my beloved boss) at Living for One.
Jen over at Finding Heaven Today
Shannon at Jesus & My Orange Juice
Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama
Colleen at The Restarter Home

WHEW! Aight, I need to click publish before the view from my soapbox makes me so dizzy I pass out (or chicken out.)

Oh… and just in case this post actually stuck… feel free to leave a comment here. 🙂

Sharing the Jesus Comment Love,
SGK

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11

Categories: blogging, encouragement, God, Kelli, Love, mission, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

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