Posts Tagged With: growth

Blog Niche Nada– GIVEAWAY!

Keep reading for the GIVEAWAY details! :-)

Keep reading for the GIVEAWAY details! 🙂

Hi there compadres.

Long time no blog. (Ok. It’s only been like 10 days. But it feel like forever.)

It’s been an intense past week and a half unpacking, organizing, decorating (ish) and acclimating to our new home. We are plus or minus settled in at our humble little Washington abode (thank you, Jesus!) so it’s back to business as usual.

Well. Sorta.

Remember how in my “Brief Little Breather” post I told you that there were some exciting things coming up for 7 Days Time? Well, now you get to hear all about it… AND potentially win some cool prizes (Yes, plural!) for your very valuable input.

I’ve been praying about this for a while, and God is slowly and gently nudging me to move forward. I am one interview away from receiving my Spiritual Leadership Coaching Certification from Blackaby Ministries. (Yahoo!) That being said, things are going to shift a little bit here at 7 Days Time.

Whoa, WHOA, don’t panic!! I’m still gonna be blogging and bringing you little Jesus snippets three times per week… But I feel the call to expand and add a coaching dimension to this ministry. (With a website revamp.)

For the last 2 years and 400+ blog posts (seriously? That long and that many? Good job, Jesus!) I’ve been wondering what my “blog niche” was. You know what I mean… “They” (whoever “they” are) say that you MUST have a blogging niche to be successful… Which is sorta true-ish. Some folks blog on agriculture or homeschooling or domestic-crafty things or leadership or… etc… and they are very successful.

I, on the other hand, blog about life. The little things of everyday… how Jesus showed up and/or what lesson He is teaching me/wants me to share with you.

So for the longest time, I was convinced I didn’t have a “niche.” I was feeling a bit blog niche nada.  I thought I just blogged on whatever. But let’s be honest. Jesus isn’t whatever.

Thus today, my friends, as I (slowly) start to make some tweaks and expansions to this ministry, I celebrate 2 years and 400+ blog posts worth of writing, plus a call to coach… And I need your help.

Right now, the “tagline” for 7 Days Time is “Limited Time. Spend it Wisely. Live for God.” I haven’t really “worked” that line lately (did you even know it existed?) and while it was sufficient for the last couple of years, things are changing up a bit.

I *think* my new tagline is going to be more active… something about finding Jesus in the everyday. But I’m stuck on what verb to use.

That’s where YOU (and the giveaway) come in.

I will be giving away TWO PRIZES! One $25 gift card to a locale/store of your choice (as long as I can access it in person or online to hook you up… AKA Target, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the possibilities are endless.) A second lucky Jesus-lover will receive a journal and a suh-weet inky legit writing pen. (Only because I’m a nerd like that.)

So here’s how to enter… Comment below with your verb preference  of the following tagline options for 7 Days Time.

A) COACHING you to find Jesus in the everyday.
B) HELPING you find Jesus in the everyday.
C) ENCOURAGING you to find Jesus in the everyday.
D) INSPIRING you to find Jesus in the everyday.
E) None of the above…. (And leave your own suggestion.)

You can be entered multiple times… Once for leaving a comment with your “choice” of tagline verbage (make it a double entry if you tell me WHY you chose that), then again if you share on Facebook, Twitter, via email etc.. Just comment to let me know that you did.

(Sidenote: Sorry the giveaway entering isn’t nice and neat and has to be done all via commenting… but Rafflecopter doesn’t work on Fun fact, right? And another reason there might be some website upgrade-age in the future.)

Oh. And the giveaway starts NOW (aka once this is posted) and ends at 12am on Sunday night/Monday morning.  Winners will be announced on next Monday’s blog on August 19th.

So get to voting… Tell your friends. And get pumped for the new direction and Jesus adventures here at 7 Days Time!

Ready? GO! (And be blessed in the meantime!)

Many thanks (and fist bumps,)

“God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus.” ~1 Corinthians 1:8 MSG

Categories: giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , | 40 Comments

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

I’ve learned some great lessons over the years… from muppets. (Yeah, I said it.)

Growing up, it was Sesame Street… Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Oscar the Grouch, Burt and Ernie… I learned that sharing is the right thing to do, that C is for cookie (that’s good enough for me, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!–Anybody else remember that song?) and many other life lessons that have served me well the last 27 and a half years.

I’ve also learned a lot from other muppets– perhaps the more widely known clan… Yes, THE MUPPETS. Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear (Waka, waka!) and of course~ Kermit the Frog.

In one of my brand-spanking-new-mama late night feeding sessions with Baby Charis, a thought from Kermit came back to me:

It ain’t easy being green.

Kermit The Frog

Via Eva Rinaldi at Flickr

I know. Weird thought, right? But I let this idea marinate. What exactly does he mean, it ain’t easy being green? Green isn’t really a positive color to be I guess (at least according to Kermit.) He wrote an entire song about it– wanting to be a different color, more bright and brilliant and noticeable.

Green doesn’t have the best connotation in our world either… Check it out:

Green can denote inexperience: “Oh look at the new guy… over there fumbling around. He’s so green. (Or what a greenhorn.)”

It is the color of envy… Which is one of the seven deadly sins. “When I saw her new necklace, I was green with envy.” Uh, not good.

And finally, it signifies a “sick” look. “Are you ok? Was that roller coaster a little too much for you? You look a little green.” (Insert vomit noise here.)

But as I mentioned, this random “being green” thought came to me one drowsy morning around 3am. After I pondered the worldly connotations, it brought me to one of my favorite Bible verses from Jeremiah.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~Jeremiah 17:7-8

Huh. Who knew, right? I want to be green. I want to be THAT tree, planted by the stream who is not afraid because I KNOW that God has my back.

This current season of life as a new mama is a blessing (as I write this, I am playing “Beat the Clock” as Baby Charis kicks and squirms beside me on the floor… hoping I can get a good chunk of this knocked out before she gets bored.) But as blessed as being a new mama is… It’s still FREAKING HARD. Which I knew it would be. But still. SHEESH. (Love you baby girl!)

I’ve been pretty green lately… in most of the ways mentioned above. Feeling like a greenhorn not having a clue what I am doing have the time with this 7 lb ball of needy, adorable love. I admittedly have been a little green with envy of others who still drive their own schedule– or who have survived the initial hard season of newbornhood. And yes, I have been even a little green with nausea on occasion. (Not really from being grossed out– but just with the prospect of being solely responsible for this little life. Dear Lord, help me.)

In this season of different shades of green– I am reassured that yes, it ain’t easy being green… But when it comes to following Christ, I want to be that tree. I want my leaves to always be green and bear fruit.

Are you in a “green” season? One of growth and bearing fruit? Or in a time of the drought where you are just trying to make it through one day at a time? How do you cling to God in those times? I always welcome your thoughts– leave a comment below.

Today friends, I leave you with this thought from a Godly perspective– it’s ain’t easy being that tree, always trusting in the Lord– nope, it ain’t easy being green. But being that green tree and placing our confidence in Him sure is worth it.

Growing and greening up for Jesus,

“Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” ~Genesis 9:3 NIV

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From Seed to Orchard

When I was growing up, I loved field trips.

I mean, what kid doesn’t? It was an excuse to get out of the classroom, explore something new, educational (ish) and exciting (ish.) Plus we got to pack a lunch in a classic paper bag or cool metal (or plastic) lunchbox.

Some of my favorite field trips were trips to local orchards.

It probably stemmed for my love of agriculture… and also my love of food. (Rarely did these trip ever not include free samples of juice, fruit, candy, etc.) Plus, orchards weren’t a super popular deal in Kansas– wheat and beef, yes. Orchards? Not so much.

I am still love visiting orchards and down-homey-agricultural commodities. (And no, not only for the free samples. That’s just a perk.) Each time I visit or drive by one of these super cool businesses, I can’t help but to be impressed. I mean, planting and growing one of these bad boys is no small commitment.

It takes YEARS. Like, a long time before the owners see fruit from their rewards. Apples, if planted from a seed, can take from six to ten years before they bear good fruit. Peaches range from three to five, pecans need up to six years and oranges start bearing minimal fruit at around three years, but don’t reach full production strength and maturity til 27 years.

Good grief. That IS a commitment.

orange tree

As I pondered this truth, I (as usual) was drawn back to thinking about our walk with Christ.

It’s not an overnight process. I mean, seriously, we aren’t growing a Chia Pet here people… This kind of thing takes TIME.

And apparently, lots of it.

In fact, our walk with Christ is going to be a lifelong experience. We will never reach “full maturity” and truly see all of our fruit until we reach heaven’s gate.

But don’t be discouraged… The growth process is very rewarding too!

Just like the orchard owner starts out small, perhaps with just a few seeds or some baby seedlings, God does the same with us. He plants a tiny “Jesus seed” in our heart…. and then events, circumstances and people we encounter over the coming years cultivate us, growing our faith from a leedle-bitty seed into an orchard that anyone would be proud to explore!

God plants us on solid ground– rooted in Christ… Encouraging us to reach for good soil in His Word. He sends sunshine to encourage us to grow upwards… Sometimes comes rain because we need it to grow. Every now and then He will prune back the “unproductive” branches of our lives to ensure we are reaching our fruit-bearing potential. And yes, He even sends the “fertilizer” events in our life– things that kind of stink, but make us grow stronger and healthier.

Then, after much tender care, protection, and nurturing– we bear fruit. As that fruit falls around us, new little baby trees sprout up from our seeds– and the orchard that is our earthly life continues to grow.

Kind of a cool thought, huh? At what rate would you say your current “faith orchard” is growing? What type of Christian fruit do you see in your life? What encourages you to keep growing?

I love the power of God… How He can take empty vessels like you and me… and with one tiny seed (and lots of love!) grow us into a sweet, fruit-bearing orchard!

Growing with God,

“Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good.” ~Genesis 1:12 MSG

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Everyday Jesus: Playing Hide ‘N’ Seek

Some folks just make ya wanna hug them… Today’s guest blogger is just one of those such people! My dear friend Dawn is not only a talented writer, but also a sweet and loving daughter of Christ. Show her some love as she shares a smidge of her Jesus heart with us today!

Loving me some Jesus in the everyday, 


“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Hiding his eyes behind two pudgy hands, my toddler grandson starts counting. “One, two, three, four, five…” His excitement builds and he rushes, “Eight – nine – ten…here I come!” He’s now in hot pursuit of his slightly older sister. Oh, how he thrills in the pursuit.

He searches all the obvious spots—behind the couch or the chair, under the kitchen table, or behind a closed door—and calls her by name. Barely unable to contain her giggles, his sister stays hidden until she just can’t stand it anymore and yells, “I’m here! I’m here!” And willingly, she becomes the pursuer.

We still play Hide-N-Seek—you and I—only it’s not as obvious.


Sometimes we hide from one another. We hide inside our houses, within our busyness, or behind our Facebook statuses. We’d rather appear “put together” than risk revealing our true selves or admitting our neediness. And, when others seek us and find us, we’re always quick to answer, “I’m here and I’m just fine.”

We hide from God, too. We don’t physically hide behind the living room furniture or closed doors, but we might miss a few days of quiet time, barely crack open our Bibles, and leave little room in our days for prayer until we completely veil our hearts from God’s presence.

Why do we do hide? I can’t answer that for anyone but myself. I guess sometimes I hide because I don’t want my weaknesses confirmed by others or God and I fear rejection by both. (Gulp! Big risk right there).

But here’s what I’ve found to be true: God never plays hide-n-seek. No, God never hides from us. In fact, the Bible says God can always be found by those who seek Him:

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”Jeremiah 29:13

“I love those who seek me, and those who seek me find me.” Proverbs 8:17

God created us for relationship—with Him and one another—because that’s how He lives within the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

How do we seek relationship with others or God?

  • Be intentional—connections don’t just happen. Deliberately set a specific time and place to meet.
  • Be consistent—relationships flourish the more regularly you meet together.

The result?

  • Intimacy—you build trust as the relationship grows and sharing more intimate heart issues comes naturally.
  • Freedom—as intimacy grows, you’re free to be who you are; who God created you to be.
  • Release—when you realize who you truly are—who God created you to be—you’re released from others’ expectations and set free to soar in God’s purpose for you.

I’m ready to stop hiding and seek God and others, today. How about you?


Dawn Aldrich  photo

Dawn Aldrich is a children’s author, inspirational blogger, and T V host of Penn’s Pals. She enjoys her roles as wife, mother, grandmother and daughter of the King. Dawn enjoys her family, four seasons, dark chocolate, and sharing her God stories. You can connect with Dawn via her blog or check out her book or her TV website.

Categories: Everyday Jesus | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Everyday Jesus: Run for God~ Praising Him in the Rain

I am not gonna lie. I absolutely love how God orchestrates and carries out His plan in order to make connections with people. In fact, this is exactly how today’s guest blogger, Charity, and I became such great pals. Charity is a sincere, determined and passionate lover of Christ. We both go to Christ Community Church and *somehow* (ahem, Jesus) kept ending up in the same groups, classes, and events over the last year and a half or so. Now, we are friends “in real life…” and I couldn’t be more excited to share this inspirational story about how Jesus is showing up in Charity’s life daily through her love of fitness, faith and encouraging others. 

So strap on your running shoes and let’s get to stepping!

PS: Please note that I am super, duper, incredibly jealous that I can’t take this class alongside Charity and the others… But something about being ridic preggo/birthing a brand new baby/doctors order to chill out/blahblahblah keeps me from participating at the present moment… SIGH. 😉 


I love Jesus. I love to run. I do not, however, love the rain. But somehow– those three things came together for our first Run for God class at CCC…

Run for God is a 10-12 week training plan aimed at running a 5k while maintaining a Christian focus. The primary goal is to prepare people to be better witnesses for Christ – Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually.

Run for God hands feet

When I first thought about what stories I would share about this class, I wanted to share some of the reasons individuals chose to come to the class… or stories about connections made and friendships started… or individual responses to the run… All those sweet things happened and more. God is already doing an awesome work through this class, but today – we’re praising God in the Rain!

Running in the rain was not anywhere on the top 10 list of things I had planned for the first class…in fact it was probably on the bottom of my list… but God has bigger plans.

Rain – It’s inconvenient. We avoid it. We have umbrellas and rain gear to keep it off of us. We plan gatherings with back up plans to avoid the rain. People in Georgia cannot drive in it. Most people don’t get excited about the rain. Guess what – Rain is out of our control.

But without rain, there is no growth. Rain is one of the primary sources of generating life!  What if the rain was just God cleansing us for this journey.

So call us crazy, but 65 brothers and sisters in Christ decided to run in the rain – all for the glory of God!

Let’s face it. A little rain never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s exhilarating. Remember back to your childhood when you would intentionally jump in mud puddles and play in the rain. It was fun! What are we so afraid of? People thinking we’re crazy? Getting wet? Or “getting sick?”

Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning to dance (or in this case run) in the rain!

Even though everyone was wet, the smiles were abounding by the time our class concluded. Spirits were high! Encouraging words filled the area. As we arrived back from our run, even the other life school classes noticed how excited everyone was from running…in the rain.

It doesn’t matter what life circumstance(s) you are facing today, Praise God in it! Maybe the storm is just God cleansing you for something bigger… better… and FULL of HIM.


charity running

Charity is a child of God. Simple as that. She love’s God and is thankful to have such an awesome church family, and thankful daily for the work God is doing in my life. Everyday. She is married to an incredible man, Adam-  there are so many great things to say about him that she’ll save that for another time, date, and location. But just know he is awesome. Finally, she has two cute, furry, cuddly cavalier King Charles spaniels, Zoe and Charlie. You can connect with Charity via her Running 2 His Arms Blog.

Categories: Everyday Jesus | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

10 Commandments of Pregnancy: For the Preggos Themselves

Over the past several months, my beloved hubby and I have been privileged to experience the joy of pregnancy. This lil one has been cooking for 8 months now– and we have learned A LOT. (I know, I know– the real learning doesn’t start til he/she gets here. But we have learned/grown in the meantime.)

I have published a couple of humorous (yet true) posts in the past dealing with the 10 Commandments of Pregnancy for Husbands and 10 Commandments of Pregnancy for Friends/Family/Strangers. Both articles have been well-received, but honestly, I was feeling a bit left out.

That’s right. Today’s post is all about the 10 Commandments of Pregnancy… for the preggos themselves.

Some of you might be saying, “Wait, wait, WHOA! I am (or have been) one of the preggos… Don’t tell me what to do. I will cut you.”  

RELAX. Back the procreation-truck up. This isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts or crazy opinions. And yes, as a pregnant person myself, I totally agree with the idea of doing what we want– to a point. (Even I need boundaries. Or things are gonna get crazy all up in here.)

So don’t be offended by these soft boundaries or thoughts… Just make sure your sense of humor is intact… and laugh right along with me 🙂

Let’s do this.

1. Thou shalt not make irrational weight excuses… or get too caught up with the numbers on the scale. This one goes both ways– I have talked to former pregnant gals who gained excessive weight during pregnancy… not because they were underweight to start with or had health complications, but just strictly because of their choices. I’ve heard some crazy excuses (I was stressed/tired/moody/it just made sense to eat three bags of Doritos at once.)  I totally get the semi-crazy eating habits every now and then– but for 9 months straight seems a little much. Also, for some of us who are rather cautious about trying to be responsible and NOT gain too much weight, that’s great– but we shouldn’t go so far as to lose our minds every time we step on the scale at the doctor’s office. We are, after all, growing a baby!

2. Thou shalt give thyself grace. This ties into #1… and really to all of these commandments. While the baby growing part of pregnancy is kind of science-based… the method/moods/behavior aren’t so much. We all have our good and not-so-good days. Give yourself some grace. Jesus does!

3. Thou shalt not overdo use of the “Pregnancy” card. This “card” is a powerful tool in our arsenal… if played correctly, it can earn us foot or back rubs from our beloved, a bowl of ice cream in the evening after supper (that we did not have to scoop) and help around the house. HOWEVER… once we start to abuse the pregnancy card, it loses all power. Play it carefully.

4. Thou shalt use the pregnancy card– and accept help when needed. Sigh. Swallowing our pride is hard (or maybe it’s just me.) We don’t have family within a thousand mile radius, so I have been forced to get over my desire to do it all… We are made to live in community. So live it up. Let someone cook you supper and offer to throw you a shower. Or give you things for your new addition.  Oh, and on a related note– definitely play the preggo card take advantage of the “expectant mother” parking– especially when you are rocking a pretty sweet waddle.

5. Thou shalt not freak out.  Ok, this commandment is MUCH easier said than done, especially as a new mama. It seems like every day of pregnancy, there is a new, awkward symptom that makes you raise an eyebrow and wonder “Is that normal?” Chances are… it probably is. Pregnancy is beautiful– but weird. Regardless of what you are going through, don’t freak out. Pray about it and call your doc if you are super concerned… And even if something crazy is going on– don’t freak out. God’s got your back! Oh, and on that note…

6. Thou shalt avoid Google at all costs. If you google your questions and symptoms, then click on the first few sites, it WILL make you freak out. Every time. Guaranteed. Even if your inquiry is as simple as “how to install a crib bumper.” The top 50 sites will be about how crib bumpers cause SIDS and you will spend the rest of the evening rocking in your chair half panic-sobbing to your mom on the phone asking if you are going to be  terrible mother because you want a crib bumper in the nursery. (Not that I would know…)

7. Thou shalt embrace the new you. Most preggos are adorable. Assume you fit in that category and work your new look. It’s one of the few times in our lives where we can gain 30 pounds in 9 months and still look stunning. And if the “new you” is feeling like a beached whale as you approach the end– keep in mind that there is a profound purpose to your body changes– and soon you will get to meet him/her!

8. Thou shalt reserve the right to complain– every now and then… but not too much. This goes along with commandments #3 & #4. It’s true that pregnancy is uncomfortable– from the lack of sleep, to heartburn, to ahem other digestive issues, to swollen body parts… It can be super bluck somedays. But on those days, cash in your preggo card to get a massage from the hubby… Or perhaps spend a little more time with Jesus asking for help (That one ALWAYS works.)

9. Thou shalt enjoy the experience. You have been chosen to be a very important part of an incredible Jesus arts and craft project… It is truly a miracle. Live it up, sister!

10. Thou shalt pray–a lot– and depend on God– at all times. Not only can we calm our potentially anxious hearts by turning to God, but we can ask for support and protection of those sweet people in our lives who are walking with us in this journey. We can give thanks. We can pursue Him daily. We are all in this together… And Jesus is behind it all. Don’t forget that… (And pregnancy brain is no excuse 😉 )

Can you relate? Which commandment is most true (or untrue) for you? Do you have your own to add? Comment below.

Oh… And let me know how I can pray for you– preggo or not…

Thanking Jesus for this Baby Bump Miracle,

family pic preggo

“I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.” ~Psalm 131:2 MSG

Categories: baby | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Power of One Word: 2013

Believe it or not, one word can make quite a difference in a conversation, in a blog post, and yes, even in a life.

I participated in the “One Word” challenge for the first time in 2012. For the entire 12 months, God helped me to learn, grow and be shaped around the word “Dependence.”

Now that 2013 is upon us (Happy New Year, by the way!) it is time for a new challenge.

I’ve been praying for the last month or so for my new word… And today is the big reveal… READY?

Drum roll please…

(Insert sound of envelope being opened by shaky, excited hands…)

My word for 2013 is…


As it was with 2012, I am not sure what all the word “STAND” entails for my walk throughout 2013… But I trust God knows what He is doing– and I am SO EXCITED to see how this shakes down.

I have prayed over this word and done some initial research. Here’s some fun facts about my “word” for 2013:

  • “Stand” is used over 438 different times in the NIV. (Granted, some of those examples are nouns and I am thinking that God is wanting me to focus on verb usage… but we shall see!)
  • In modern-day language, “Stand” can also mean attitude, belief, position, rise, remain, rest, abide, Hmmm….)
  • “Stand” is used  22 different ways in the original Greek and Hebrew translations of Scripture.
  • Of those 22 original interpretations, 13 directly apply to what I currently interpret/expect as “Stand” meaning in my life.
  • One Greek word for stand is “paristano,” which means to “become.” Another word, “eis” means to “move toward.”
  • Other ancient translations can mean rise up, stand firm, be steadfast, come back to life, come to pass, establish, to be present, heal, restore, strengthen, come near, remain, assign, confirm, dwell, witness, hold each other up and comfort. (Very interesting!)
  • Oh. And there are lots of great Jesus-y songs that include the word “Stand” in their lyrics. (On Christ the Solid Rock I stand… I stand amazed in His presence… etc)

Cool stuff, huh? I’m pumped to see how this year shapes up.

There are also a lot of great Scriptures that encompass the verb “stand.” In my prayer and research, I have found that many reference “standing firm in the faith” which encourages (and challenges!) my heart. So something new that I am hoping to do for 2013 is to memorize one verse per week that has the word “stand” in it. (Pray for me in this– I have a feeling with a new baby this could be challenging– but if God wants me to do it, He will make it happen!)

So. Stinkin. Excited.

Does this inspire you to ask the Lord if He has a word for you in 2013? Or perhaps you already have one? What is it? Leave a comment below and let’s get a conversation started! 🙂

I can’t say enough how living out the “One Word” challenge has literally changed my life. It gives me something to focus on daily, in all circumstances. It opens my eyes to see how God is moving. I totally believe that He gave me this word and He is going to move mightily and powerfully through it in the coming months.

Again, I am praying that in 2013 God continues to strengthen and encourage our hearts… So that we can ultimately STAND up for Him.

Standing for Him, in Him, because of Him,

“… If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” ~Isaiah 7:9 NIV


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Be “PrePRAYERed”

Life happens. (Profound statement, right? Or not.)

You know what I’m talking about. The life “stuff” that is good,  meh and “Are-you-kidding-me?!!”

It all happens. But really… our daily circumstances are neutral. Our reaction to them actually determines which category they fall into.

So today’s question: On a scale of one to ten– how much are you prepared to handle?

Believe it or not, we can all be closer to ten if we are truly prePRAYERed.

The Bible says worry about nothing and pray about everything. It doesn’t say “Pray about the “hard” stuff and just deal with the smaller stuff on your own.” Pray about everything. We’ve talked about it on here before– if it matters to you, it matters to God. So pray about it.

Let me give you a real-life example…

Our darling LadyBug. Reliable. Efficient. And in need of a check up.

Our darling LadyBug. Reliable. Efficient. And in need of a check up.

Car trouble has a tendency to stress me out. Taking my car in for anything but routine maintenance can create anxiety in my heart and worry on my brain. Getting the car fixed ranks right up with going to the dentist, adjusting our budget and unexpected trips to the doctor. (Side note: Why is being responsible so challenging? Lame. SIGH.)

Anywho, our sweet little car, Ladybug, had been making “noises” for about a month. In my automotive knowledge, I was pretty sure it wasn’t a motor thing, but more of a wheel/brake issue. Finally, it got bad enough that we were embarrassed to drive her around a corner due to the loud roaring and squealing that ensued. (Plus, we are prepping to do some cross-country road tripping for the holidays… so we really don’t want to break down in Boondock, Tennessee.)

It was time to suck it up and be responsible. I made an appointment at a local auto shop for 8am on a Saturday morning. (I was motivated when I made the appointment. Saturday morning proved differently.) Before I drove her in, I prayed.

I wasn’t overly nervous. I knew it wasn’t a transmission thing… and really, this year of living out my God-word dependence has really FORCED me to trust Him with EVERYTHING.

Even car maintenance.

But still,  I prayed… “Lord, please let this go smoothly and quickly. Let the mechanics be courteous, and I pray for good news for our car. You know the desire of my heart is for this not to be really expensive… but I trust you with whatever happens today. Amen.”

I know it sounds a little hokey, but right when I said AMEN, the anxiety left. It was go time.

Well… Three hours later, Ladybug was fixed… And our savings account was a little less full. Ouch.

As I was paying our rather large (and un-budgeted-for) bill, I remembered that just a few short seasons ago, a bill of that magnitude would have sent me into a tailspin. I would have been in tears. Sick to my stomach. My weekend ruined. Depressed that for Christmas this year that yes, our family will get to see us, but that any presents they were expecting are now in the form of new brake pads, rotors, tires, etc. (Merry Christmas, everyone!)

Instead, my heart was grateful. Can you believe it? I couldn’t. But God has prePRAYERed us for this. God reminded me that I had a reliable car to drive– and had the money in our savings account to cover it.

Praise. Jesus. I was blown away by how praying about EVERYTHING can change our perspective so quickly and drastically.

What are you facing today? A challenge at work? A test, final or presentation in school? Perhaps a stressful family situation? Or maybe just needing the energy to do the dishes? Again I ask… On a scale of one to ten– how much are you prePRAYERed to handle?  Comment below with your answer and what you might be facing today. (I would love to pray for you!)

Friends, whatever you are going through, big, small or in between, pray about it. If it matters to you, it matters to God. He is sovereign over all. Take it to the Lord… And Be prePRAYERed.

Prepared with Prayer,

 “Be prepared… Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.” ~Ephesians 6:13;18 MSG

Categories: prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Holiday Year in Review: 2012

Rumor has it… 2012 is coming to an end. (And by rumor, I really mean my iCalendar told me so.)

This has been quite a year~ In one word? Educational. Well, and encouraging. (Ok, I know that’s two words– but hey, that’s the awesome power of the keyboard. I do what I want. Well, within reason. Ish.)

We here in the Knobloch Family are mixing things up a bit this year. Instead of sending out hard copies of printed letters, in envelopes with pictures with full postage, we are going digital. Don’t worry, we are still sending out picture postcards– but we wanted to save on postage and labor, so are trying something a lil new. (Plus it was a compromise of my desire to update our dear friends and family on our lives via full printed letter/picture and my sweet husbands theory of “Can’t we just send out a text message?”)

So, dear friends and readers… Here are some of the educational and encouraging lessons that we have learned (or have been continually reaffirmed) in 2012.

Holiday pic 2012

1. God is faithful… all the time. I know it sounds cliché, but it has been a year of ups, downs and all arounds. We’ve experienced some of our lowest lows (we had a miscarriage in March) and our highest highs (we are now expecting our Little Patriot to arrive February 26th-ish! As if you couldn’t figure that out per the picture above.) Brandon is still a drill sergeant (t-minus six months ’til he hangs up his hat! But who’s counting…) I have really been dedicating my life to this ministry here at 7 Days Time, while also fulfilling my role as volunteer ministry apprentice at Christ Community Church and pursuing my spiritual leadership coaching certification. Oh. And being Family Readiness Group Leader for our army company. And growing a baby. WHEW.

Through all of these experiences, God has proven so incredibly faithful!! We’ve cried and laughed over the last year. With each experience, our marriage has grown stronger, as has our relationship with God. It is almost hard to put into words how grateful we are for God’s continual grace, patience, love and faithfulness. It’s overwhelming.

You didn’t think this was gonna be all gushy, did you? My bad. Please excuse me while I grab a tissue… AHEM.

2. God is dependable… in all circumstances. My word for 2012 was “Dependence.” Whoo-ee, lemme tell ya, folks– has God really put that word front and center in our lives!  He REQUIRED us to depend on Him numerous times throughout this year including more separated-by-call-of-duty-seasons, life challenges/circumstances, moments of victory and also as we faced some big fat question marks pertaining to our future. Through it all– He has never left us, never forsaken us.

We have seen incredible, remarkable, unexplainable growth in our ministry. I started blogging back in August 2011 and have since written 300+ blog posts at the time of this update. (That’s over 175,000 words!! Go Jesus, go!) We felt a stirring early in 2012, so we revamped and launched 7 Days Time back in February. With that, God told us He didn’t just want it to be a blog, but rather faith in action… which started our Factor of 7 movement where each month we do a random act of kindness for a group of people or strangers. Even though we are living on one income and I am working for “Jesus Dollars,” He has continued to provide for us financially in creative ways– which encourages our heart to keep giving it away for His glory. It’s an awesome process to be a part of– and such a blessing for us.  (We encourage you to check out our many Factor of 7 stories– and join in the movement. You won’t regret it. Seriously.)

3. God is loving… eternally. God has shown His love to us in some awesome ways this year both big and small. Our pup Sweet Justus is still a great at-home-cuddly-writing companion for me, and a perfect chase-around-the-living-room-please-don’t-break-the-lamp playing partner for Barn. He’s the best. And still hilarious. We have also been blessed with great people in our lives within our church family that have come alongside us this past year. (My boss/mentor Kelli and her family are a huge blessing in our lives! Plus they are wonderful puppy sitters whenever we travel.)

Our families have also been a huge blessing as they continually showcase God’s love in our lives. They have been so supportive and encouraging as we run after Jesus (and try to continually play nice with the army 😉 ) Lex & Dietrich (Brandon’s awesome parents)  are doing great… In fact, Lex and I are BFF’s… we text back and forth all day, talking about life and lifting each other up as we walk with Christ. My parents CJ and Gail are also doing well– although they are about a thousand miles away, Mom is always there ready for a phone conversation to remind me that everything can be fixed with prayer and a hot bath. (And chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate.) My younger sister Kathleen and her hubby Chris are trucking along in SE KS a few miles from my parents, still working on the farm and adopting calves, kittens, puppies and other random creatures whenever they can. My “little” brother Dal isn’t so little anymore. He’s ginormous. He’s 14. Driving. A freshman in high school. Awesome– yet it makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Weren’t we just bringing him home from the hospital after he was born like 20 minutes ago?? So yes– we are very blessed. And God’s love has been showered on us in so many ways in 2012!

4. God has a plan… for all of us. So what’s next? Great question. When we know, we will post it on Facebook. The end.

Just kidding.

Seriously, we know God has an awesome plan for us in 2013 (and beyond).  As of right now, we know that includes becoming parents for the first time (yay-yikes!) and potentially moving to a new duty station. (No, we do not know to WHERE yet– He is stretching and growing us– teaching us to wait– which we know is one of the hardest yet most important things we will ever do as Christians!) He has opened the door for me to preach a couple of messages over the last few months, so we are excited to see where that takes us as well.

We don’t really know what He has in store for us next– but we are determined to walk by faith, whatever time zone it takes us to and whatever new experiences life brings. Today, we encourage you to do the same. Please know that this holiday season is not a great excuse to eat sweet treats and buy cool presents… but it signifies the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the continual, constant and never-changing reminder that God is faithful… dependable…loving… and has a plan for each and every one of us.

May the love of Christ fill your heart not only during this holiday season– but each day that you are walking with Him.

Our love, prayers, and blessings,

Sharita, Brandon, Sweet Justus and Little Patriot

PS: Please let us know how we can pray for you by leaving a comment below…or following on Twitter @sharitaknobloch… or liking our Facebook page… Or subscribing to receive these post updates by email… Or emailing me via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com. Blessings to all of you, sweet readers, friends and family!!

Categories: 2012, Christmas, God | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

10 Commandments of Pregnancy: For friends/family/strangers

Remember a little while back I wrote a snappy lil blog post called 10 Commandments of Pregnancy for Husbands? Well, it was such a hit (per generating many laughs, comments and/or AMENS) that we are adding a new chapter of 10 Commandments of Pregnancy…

This time, it’s for everyone. That’s right, friends, family members, acquaintances and yes, even strangers.

Buckle up. Brace yourself. And get ready to chuckle at these real life, personally-instigated guidelines from this pregnant gal.

Remember: They are funny (and applicable) cuz they are true.

So without further ado… We now present “10 Commandments of Pregnancy for friends/family/strangers/etc.” Let’s do this…

1. Thou shalt not give unsolicited advice. This is a big one. Remember that pregnancy, especially for a first time mama (like me) can be overwhelming in general. Our body is doing some absolutely crazy stuff and we are bombarded with information on TV, the internet, books and our doctor. If we approach you asking for advice, by all means, let’s pour a cup of decaf coffee and chat. However, if we met four seconds ago in the produce section of the grocery store, please don’t share the latest statistics about how the .0001% amount of pesticides that might possibly be on the lettuce could cause birth defects. Unnecessary.

2. Thou shalt remember that the pregnant future-mama’s word filter is broken… if it is still intact at all. This is no excuse for us preggos to be rude… but sometimes, especially if you violate commandment #1, our broken/missing word/politeness filter reaction will be automatic and we will say something we will probably regret later. We appreciate your compassion to laugh it off and take no offense to our surge of progesterone word-vomit… or better yet, just nod your head, smile and walk away before the situation escalates.

3. Thou shalt not uninvitedly share your overly-detailed, graphic, or scary aspects of your personal delivery experiences. (This especially applies to complete strangers.) I understand that birthing a child results in the automatic induction to an elite and awesome mommy club. Which is super cool. But remember that our preggo brains are already really good  at dreaming up all of the crazy possibilities that could (but probably won’t) happen during delivery.  So please, please, don’t share with us how much you “tore” during labor (Dear Lord!) or the fact that the 48 hrs you were birthing your child were the most horrific two days of your life. It’s not encouraging. It’s just scary. (And we would like to live in denial for as long as possible, thank you very much.)

4. Thou shalt be excited for said pregnant mama. It doesn’t matter if it is her first baby or her twelfth. The overall idea of two leedle, bitty cells coming together to make a person as part of the coolest Jesus arts and crafts project ever is something to be celebrated. (See commandment #10)

5. Thou shalt not awkwardly apologize for things that do not need to be apologized for. Weird, but true. Even if the mama is a little overwhelmed by the fact that she is expecting her second baby in record time after baby #1 was on the ground, (whoops) or if she announces that her third baby happens to be “another” boy just like the previous two, don’t apologize. It can be offensive and disheartening. (Refer to Commandment #4 and #10.)

6. Thou shalt offer to help in any way possible. Yes, we preggos want to be independent… but sometimes it is nice to be taken care of… I mean seriously, who doesn’t want an extra casserole in the fridge in preparation for baby’s arrival? (This one is especially important if future-mama doesn’t have immediate family right down the road… or in the same state… or in the same time zone.)

7. Thou shalt not be judgey. Seriously. This is dangerous for all parties involved. If you see me shotgunning a Venti Starbucks drink, please don’t shoot me a look of doom… Because in all honesty, it’s probably decaf anyways and it’s been “one of those days.” Yes, if we are super close as friends/family and you see me going to town chowing down 13 Big Macs, by all means, lovingly call me out. (But keep your fingers back. I might bite.)  This also applies to general parenting decisions, such as whether or not we are finding out the gender, or what kind of diapers we will be using. If its something seemingly harmless, just let us be.  It is the safest option for all parties involved.

8. Thou shalt make and extra effort to guard your word vomit… Specifically avoiding phrases like “Wow, you are HUGE!” or “No baby YET!?!” or “Oh you are still super early in your pregnancy” or “Oh you just wait…” Each one of these make me cringe. Remember that we preggos tend to be overly sensitive and hormonal with broken word filters ourselves. So when we are miserably 40+ weeks pregnant counting the hours still baby makes his/her appearance and you utter the words “Still no baby yet? You look like you are going to pop!” we reserve the right to mutter something under our breath about “I will show you pop” then whacking you in the face. (Just kidding. Violence is not the answer.) But seriously. Please guard your words.

9. Thou shalt not touch the belly… or enter into the mama-bubble at all unless invited. I haven’t had to deal with this one too much– yet. I don’t know if it’s because I am not “super big” yet at 27 weeks, or I am not around enough people or if I naturally wear a subconscious look on my face of “Stay back or I will cut you.” Just remember that if you get all up into our kool-aid to “pet” our baby bump, we might spray you down with lysol (if we happen to be in a germaphobic mood) or reach out and pat your belly– which will just make the situation super awkward (and remind you that you shouldn’t have eaten that extra piece of cake after supper last night.)

10. Thou shalt encourage and pray for the mama-(and daddy)-to-be! Much like the 10 Commandments of Pregnancy for Husbands, we need all the prayers and encouragement we can get. As first (or second, third, fourth, etc) time parents, its super exciting, overwhelming and scary. I promise you that if you ask how you can pray for us, we will appreciate it– and be more willing to extend grace when you accidentally  violate any of the other 10 commandments.

What do ya think? Got any other commandments to share (that perhaps personally happened to you?) Don’t be shy about commenting below or sharing with your friends for a lil dose of encouragement today!

Grow baby grow,

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” ~Psalm 139:13

Did you take notes?
(PS: For all of you demanding baby bump pics~ Here’s one from around 23ish weeks.)

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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