Posts Tagged With: gift

A Little View of Heaven (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
Hey all! It’s Five Minute Friday time… Each Friday, I link-up with Lisa-Jo Baker, she gives us a prompt, and we write.

No profound strategizing and content mapping… Just write.


Today’s Prompt: VIEW



If  someone were to ask me my most prized possession (other than family/people in my life) my answer would be pretty easy.

It wouldn’t be our new-to-us car. It wouldn’t be my iPad or computer. It wouldn’t be a family heirloom passed down from my great grandma. It wouldn’t even be my wedding right.

It would be my 1000 gift list.

My “gift list” is inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts (imagine that, right?) and given to me by God.

It is my most prized possession because it gives me a little view of heaven.

As I flip through the 1893 gifts on my ever-growing list, I can feel my heart start to swell. I am overcome by the power, presence and love of God… And I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the tiniest view of what heaven will be like someday.

According to my gift list, a view of heaven could be…

Inventing a new recipe… that works.

Baby girl discovering her voice and squeaking, squealing and cooing on the floor in the living room.

Praying with my Beloved.

New running shoes.

Puppy dog smiles.

Warm rainstorms.

Being prepared.

Frozen yogurt with a friend.

The list (obviously) goes on… and on.

So when this world is pulling me down or my eyes start to shift from being focused upward, all I have to do is find a quiet moment, pull out that little black journal… and then I get a little view of heaven.



What “gift” is God giving to you today? I would love to see how you view heaven from an earthly perspective… Comment below– and thanks for stopping by ūüôā

Be blessed (and safe) this Memorial Day weekend! (And a huge shout out to my Beloved Brandon for his unwavering service to our country. Go America!)

Viewing God with Love,

“Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and¬†view¬†a land that stretches afar.” ~Isaiah 33:17

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

A Simple Gift… In case you forgot

I LOVE getting gifts. Even more so– I love giving gifts. Although it’s not my primary love language– sometimes it sneaks its way to the top. And over the last year and a half or so of blogging and doing online ministry (time flies!) we have continually mentioned God’s great gifts– big and small. (In fact, I continue to work on my 1000 gift list inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book. As of this post, I am over 1500 and still going strong!)

The other day, I was digging through some of my archived blogs– and ran across this one. It made me laugh– and encouraged my heart… so I though that re-sharing it was in order.

I pray it speaks to you– so read, share, comment, enjoy. You know the drill.

Oh– and thanks for being such a blessing and gift in MY life, dear reader!

Jesus Fist Pound,



Gifts can come in many, many forms from that engagement ring promising a lifetime of commitment to that forced smile when we open up a “fashionable” sweater from Grandma. God’s gifts also come in many shapes, sizes and colors…

I ran across the following a few weeks ago when working on a project for church and was reminded of it today. The Lord loved us enough to create laughter and allow us to feel joy in our heart. (That’s a gift) He has also given us GRACE. (There’s another one) Sometimes he combines them. (One of my favorite gifts! )

How to Get Into Heaven 

A woman dies and meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Peter says to the woman, “Here’s how it works. You need to have one hundred points to get into heaven. You tell me about all the good things you’ve done. They are all worth a certain number of points. If your total is 100 or more, you can come in.”¬†

“Well,” says the woman. “I was happily married to the same man for 52 years. I never looked at another man. I was attentive and loved him dearly.”¬†

“That’s great,” says St. Peter. “That’ll be two points.”¬†

“Hmmm,” says the woman. “This is going to be harder than I thought. Well, I attended church regularly, volunteered my time and tithed faithfully.”¬†

“Wonderful,” says St. Peter, “That’s worth another point.”¬†

“One point!” says the woman. “Okay, okay. I was involved with a woman‚Äôs prison ministry for twenty-five years. I went into the prison, at least monthly, and shared Jesus with them.”¬†

“Wow!” says St. Peter. “That’s another two points!”¬†

“Only two points!” says the woman. “At this rate, it’ll be only by the grace of God that’ll I’ll ever get into this place.”

“Bingo!” says St. Peter. “That’s 100 points! Come on in.”

Praise God for the gift of His grace… because just like this example above, we can’t earn our way into heaven– but he has given us that nonrefundable present. It seems like such a simple gift with no fancy wrapping paper or ribbon, but instead by the body of Christ. ¬†That alone means so much!

No Receipt Needed,

‚ÄúFor it is by¬†grace¬†you have been saved, through faith‚ÄĒand this not from yourselves, it is the¬†gift of God‚ÄĒ not by¬†works,¬†so that no one can boast.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄďEphesians 2:8-9

Categories: Christ, faith, gifts, heaven, works | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Twas the Night Before Christmas~ A Military-Faith Reprint

Merry Christmas, beloved readers, followers and supporters!

Last year, I wrote a poem for you… and since this ministry has grown leaps and bounds over the last 12 months (thanks, Jesus) I wanted to re-gift it. (Hope you aren’t offended. At least it’s not a fruitcake.) This is a tiny reminder of WHY we celebrate this wonderful holiday. We are free to celebrate thanks to two different sources: Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and our beloved American Soldier.

Christmas love and blessings to you all!


Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the base,
Soldiers were last-minute shopping,
Running all over the place.

It has been a crazy year,
Full of missions and drills,
But through serving their country,
Their hearts were fulfilled.

The soldiers had learned,
That military service involves giving,
Boots on the ground charging enemy lines,
Is how they made a living.

Some of them were traveling,
Going home to see  family and friends,
Others were in a desert,
For our freedom they defend.

Their faithful wives and their kids,
At home in beds did they lay,
Whether together or separated by duty,
Prayers of love, protection and hope they did pray.

Christmas morning arrived,
The military family gathered by the tree,
But before opening presents,
They prayed for the real reason they are free.

On a starry night long ago,
A baby in a manger did lay,
Sent as the son of God,
For our sins he would pay.

God sent us a piece,
A tiny portion of his heart,
In his Son Jesus Christ,
So from Him we wouldn’t part.

Our soldiers and our Lord,
Stand to sacrifice and give,
Willing to die for our freedom,
So that can have hope and truly live.

As we approach another Christmas,
Remember it’s not about the gifts or the food,
Nor the games, shopping or decor,
But it’s a season of love and gratitude.

Remember that only two have ever offered,
To die for you and me,
Jesus Christ and the American Soldier,
One saved our soul and both made us free.

Praise the Lord for both freedoms,
That we can live in His light,
Merry Christmas to all,
And to all… a good night.

“An angel¬†of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.¬†But the angel said to them, ‚ÄúDo not be afraid.¬†I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.¬†Today in the town of David a Savior¬†has been born to you; he is Christ¬†the Lord.” ~Luke 2:9-11 NIV

barn sharita justus xmas 11

Merry Christmas from Barn, Sharita, Justus, Little Patriot (not pictured) and Jesus (not pictured… well, not visibly anyways.)

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

Cool story, Bro.

Our first dance started out all sweet and romantical… Then we busted out the salsa. With maracas. Seriously. I guess you had to be there.

“DUDE! It was awesome! There was like this guy and these three girls, and they sang some stuff, and then the stage lit up and sparks showered from the ceiling.”

Ever tried to share an incredible story or experience with someone and you are met with a dumbfounded look of incomprehension? When that happens in our household, my husband often says “Huh. Cool story, bro.” (Even though I’m not his bro. I’m his wife. But that’s besides the point.)

Or ever tell a story and realize halfway through that the other person just doesn’t get it? We usually end the description of our incredible experience with a comment like “And then I found five dollars” or¬†“I guess you had to be there.”

Well, sometimes you do have to be there. Some things in life are meant to be experienced.

Like bungee jumping. (Not for this girl, though.) Or a really great frozen yogurt flavor. (That’s more my style.) Or listening to a great speaker at a conference. Or maybe… God.

Experiencing God is much different from acknowledging that He exists.

“But Sharita,” you think in protest. “I don’t have time/energy/cash/ability to go to the top of a beautiful mountain peak or lay in a field watching clouds to experience God.”

Au contraire,¬†my friend. (French lesson of the day: That means “on the contrary.” Just in case you were reading this blog for simply informational purposes.) ¬†God can be experienced everyday, right where you are, in more ways than you can imagine!

Think about your five senses. We are made to feel. Hear. Smell. Taste. See. ¬†When we experience the small sweet things in life that move our heart, it’s probably one of those little “Experiencing God” gift moments.

We can experience God…

When we smell that pot of coffee brewing on an early morning.

When we feel the protective, loving hug from a friend as we cry.

When we taste the explosion of flavors from a new recipe.

When we hear the mourning dove welcoming in another day.

When we see a baby take her first steps across the living room floor.

God is everywhere. He is meant to be experienced. But the key is we have to be aware of His presence. We have to be on the lookout for Him.

When/where/how do you experience God? How does God show up through your five senses? I have my list of God’s gifts and experiences that make my heart sing His praises. What are some items on your list? Please share your joy by leaving a comment below!

When we experience God fully in our lives in every moment of our day, it can become contagious. Pretty soon others catch our joy and instead of us just telling about it, they too can experience it. Then and only then, when we are sharing our incredible experiencing God moments with them, they can say “Cool story, bro…” And actually mean it.

Living in experience not just existence,

“I write this to you whose¬†experience¬†with¬†God¬†is as life-changing as ours, all due to our¬†God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our¬†God¬†and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your¬†experience¬†with¬†God¬†and Jesus, our Master.” ~2 Peter 1:1-2 (MSG)¬†

Categories: excited, glory, God | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Lord, Thank You for the Socks (Five Minute Friday: Expectation)

Come one, come all!
The time is here once again,
To bust out a Five Minute Friday post,
With all our online friends!

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama,
We get only five minutes to write,
Our urge to over think and edit,
We must honestly fight.

She has given us a prompt,
So without further ado,
Let’s get to crack-a-lacking,
What are we waiting for, hop to!

Today’s prompt: EXPECTATION



It’s covered in beautiful paper and decorated with a bow. I shake it. It doesn’t rattle, but hey, that doesn’t mean much. Maybe it’s padded really well. The time has come– my heart pounds as I rip open my gift with great anticipation and expectation. Maybe it’s that new book I wanted. Or a sweet pair of shoes. Or maybe even something shiny…

Socks. It’s socks. Talk about your all time expectation let down. Siggggghhhh.

I force a smile and blink my eyes, trying with all I can to be grateful. I had expected such big things only to get socks.

Isn’t that how it goes sometimes? We dream up all sorts of ideas and plans of what the ideal gift or circumstance may look like, and sometimes God gives us proverbial socks.

It certainly isn’t wrong to have high expectations. But just because those “socks” we received from the Lord aren’t shiny or have a great plot-line, doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose.

Sometimes what we see as socks from God can really be the initial pathway to His incredible plan for us. That seemingly let down expectation of a gift is in fact very useful and necessary.

Through those less than perfect circumstances and gifts from God, aka the “sock gifts of life,” we have an opportunity to seek Him out at a deeper level. If it is a trial or period of uncertainty in life we didn’t expect, we can rest in His protection. ¬†We are kept warm. And our feet are covered and prepared for the journey ahead.

The outcome of that gift, while initially might seem like a let down, can result in an experience that changes our life and surpasses all of our wildest expectations.

So in that case… Lord, thank you for the socks.¬†



Always such a fun rush,
For my brain and my fingers,
But hey it’s almost the weekend,
No reason to hang around and linger!

Jesus pumps me up,

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God¬†to be revealed.” –Romans 8:19

PS: What did you think of today’s quick-fast (and slightly goofy) rhyming post? I always love hearing from folks… feel free to leave a comment below!

Categories: blessing, Christ, excited, Five Minute Friday, gifts, God, gratitude, perspective, plans | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

25 Reasons Why Moms Rock

“But Moooooooommmmmmmmmm…”

“Mom, you just don’t understand.”¬†

“Whatever, Mom.”¬†

Aaahhh, the sweet, sweet sounds of my childhood. (My teenage years were kind of brutal. Just ask my parents. Apparently, I had something called an “attitude.” Pshaw. Whatever ūüėČ )

Fortunately, I am well on the other side of my teen years and my beloved Mama and I no longer butt heads. (At least not like we used to.) In fact, she is my best friend. It’s amazing what a little personal maturity can do for a gal. (Talking about you, Mama. Just kidding…)

Love my Mamas. ‚̧

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, yesterday was Mother’s Day. (If you didn’t call, text, or acknowledge your Mom, I will allow a brief blog intermission for you to panic and subsequently rectify the situation.)

Are we good? Ok, great. So yeah, yesterday was Mother’s Day. And for the first time in my adult history (at least I think?), I actually had a chance to celebrate Mother’s Day WITH my Mama. Yes, folks, she is spending a few days in Georgia with me. This is a big deal… because I haven’t seen her since Christmas, and this is her first time in Georgia since we moved here over a year ago.

We’ve had a great time. Scratch that. It’s been incredible. I love that woman. ¬†In the days I have spent with her (and the days leading up to her arrival) I couldn’t help but think about why my mom (and moms in general) simply rock. They are just so awesome.

Thus, in honor of Mother’s Day, I have compiled 25 Reasons Why Moms Rock. (Feel free to forward this to your Mom in case you forgot to acknowledge her awesomeness yesterday.) Let’s praise Jesus for the gift of our Mamas! Drumroll please…

25 Reasons Why Moms Rock

  1. They love you unconditionally.
  2. Moms always know what to say.
  3. They know what NOT to say.
  4. Their hugs are unbeatable.
  5. They ALWAYS have that one recipe that you need… memorized.
  6. Moms laugh at your jokes… whether you are funny or not.
  7. They give great advice.
  8. When angry, their voice can be projected and heard up to 3.64 miles away.
  9. They are great nurses when you are sick.
  10. They are so good at drying tears.
  11. Moms always have the cool band-aids on hand.
  12. There is always something good to eat in their fridge.
  13. You can sit together in silence with your Mom and it’s not awkward.
  14. Their eyes have the sweetest little laugh-induced wrinkles.
  15. Moms are the ultimate cheerleaders.
  16. They are supreme holiday tradition-setters.
  17. The things they taught you in your youth stick with you… forever.
  18. They don’t get stuck on “biological requirements” to be a Mom.
  19. They are Moms to every child under 17 in the neighborhood. (See #18.)
  20. They are resourceful.
  21. Their remedy of “eat some chocolate and get a hot bath” will fix almost anything.
  22. The Mother of the Bride/Grooms are ALWAYS the prettiest people at weddings. (Bride excluded)
  23. They pray for you. A LOT.
  24. You can always call them. Anytime.
  25. They were HAND HEART-PICKED by God.

Why does YOUR Mom rock? Please feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment HERE. 

To all the Mama’s out there (My Mama CJ and Mother-in-Love Lex specifically) THANK YOU for being such great role models and influences on our lives. You are truly a gift from God, and I pray that your legacy lives on for generations.

Thanking The Father for our Mamas,

“Her children arise and call her blessed;¬†her husband also, and he praises her:¬†‚ÄúMany women do noble things,¬†but you surpass them all.‚ÄĚ –Proverbs 31:28-29¬†

Categories: adoption, baby, blessing, cheerleader, childhood, chocolates, Christ, Love, parents, patience | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

True Love’s Gift (Five Minute Friday)

“It’s finally Friday… Free again… Finally Friday… Time for a ‘wild’ weekend…”

Oh hey. Didn’t see you there. (Ok, maybe I did, but I really wanted to finish the chorus.)

Today is Friday, in case you didn’t get my singing memo. And Friday in this gal’s blogging world specifically means it’s FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY.

For those of you newcomers, on Fridays I link up with The Gypsy Mama… she gives us a prompt and we write for five minutes flat. No more, no less. Just letting the words flow. No editing, no over-thinking. Challenging, fun and theraputic. My kind of Friday fun.

Ok, enough yammering on my part. Let’s get this Friday party started. Todays prompt is GIFT.¬†



His comings and goings make my heart pound. “When will he return?” As an army wife, specifically the spouse of an infantry drill sergeant, this question is often in my mind. God has called me to this role and while it is a challenge… it is also a gift.

Someone once asked me what the best part about being an army wife was… I knew they were expecting an answer something similar to “living new places” or “excitement” or “steady paycheck.” But without hesitation I replied, “We never take each other for granted.”

Now that is true love’s gift.

My husband and I have been apart during our relationship more than we have been together in the same zip code. Just this morning, I kissed him goodbye as he prepares to pick up another basic training cycle. He will be home off and on for the next several weeks, but our “quality time” will be rare.

True love’s gift as an army spouse can be wrapped in many different packages, in different shapes and sizes…

It’s getting up early on a Friday to cook breakfast for him before cycle picks up.

It’s helping him bottle his home-brew.

It’s the front porch conversations.

It’s the sideways hugs before we drift off to sleep.

It’s the words of comfort as he holds me when I cry.

It’s sharing a moment of prayer together.

It’s loving each other unconditionally, no matter what challenges are in our midst.

Being married to a soldier is a challenge… but such an incredible gift. Very similar to True Love’s Gift on the Cross. Blessing. Sacrifice. Hope. Trust.

That is True Love’s Gift.


Five minute Friday posts always get my heart to pounding… I still think it should count for some kind of cardio workout ūüôā

¬†I’m gonna go cool down and hit the showers… God’s most wonderful blessings to you and seriously– thank you for stopping by! (PS: If you are feeling super motivated, leave a comment here.)

Thankful for True Love’s Gift,


[¬†Never Take¬†Love¬†for Granted¬†] Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel, draw water from your own spring-fed well”? It’s¬†true. Otherwise, you may one day come home and find your barrel empty and your well polluted. –Proverbs 5:15-16 (MSG)¬†

Categories: beautiful, believe, blessing, Five Minute Friday, gifts, God | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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