Posts Tagged With: memories

The Wheels on the Bus

School Bus_Fotor

It’s been years since I’ve ridden on a school bus route for the sole purpose of getting to and from school.

Even now though, I still can’t see one of those big, yellow behemoths without being briefly taken back to my youthful days of riding the bus.

When I was in elementary school, we lived in rural North Central Kansas. North Central as in, seven miles from Nebraska. And rural as in, 90 (yes 90!) miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. So five days a week for year after year, I rode the big yellow school but from our house ten miles to town and back again.

But because we were so rural, our bus route was huge. Like, an hour and a half huge. And the way the route was set up, we were usually “first on, last off.” It made for some long (yet entertaining) days.

Many life lessons were learned on that big yellow beast. Like the farther back you sit, the higher you are going to bounce off the seat when it hits a pothole in the gravel road. And that, while very popular, sliding under the seats and “sneakily” jumping across the aisle were not overly safe activities. Oh, and school busses that travel on only gravel roads are incredibly dusty.

These memories make me grin and there was one day I would never forget…

The end of the route was nearing and I was the only one left on the bus. (I’m not sure where my sister was?)   So I decided to put my feet up in the seat, lay down and take a little snooze. (That was before school busses had seat belts.) I settled down, mentally mapping the route in my head waiting for Mr. Nech the bus driver to turn down our road.

I waited… And waited… But we kept going straight. Maybe my timing was off. I started to get concerned, so I popped my little head up to look out the window.

My little elementary school heart was terrified. “He missed my turn! We are headed back to town. What if I have to spend the night in the bus barn? I am gonna get hungry. And cold. WHAT DO I DO!?!”

Believe it or not, I was kind of shy back then… (A lot has changed the last two decades.) I dug down deep in my little trembling heart and squeaked out a feeble plea…

“Um… Mr. Nech?”

His eyes flashed to the mirror, then widened with surprise. He muttered something (I don’t think it was a profanity– he was a real nice guy. And even if it was a dirty word, it was justified. :-))

“Sharita! What are you still doing back there?!?!”

Mr. Nech turned the bus around at the next intersection and I made it safely home. Crisis averted.

As I was reminiscing about this humorous adventure, I (as usual) thought about our relationship with God. While it was an honest mistake, God never forgets about us like my bus driver did.

He always knows where we are going, what we are doing. He constantly cares for us and answers our feeble little cries for help.

We never need to be terrified that He will overlook us or take us down an un-legit path.

Because as the wheels of our life-bus go round and round with daily activities, God is in the driver’s seat, tenderly and diligently guiding us until that glorious day when we finally arrive HOME.

Homeward Bound,
SGK

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” ~Genesis 28:15

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

In the Garden (Revisited)

I am smack dab in the middle of learning what it means to be a new Mama while moving across the country. No big deal, right?  (It is an adventure, that is for sure!) So today as I considered what bloggy ministry message God wanted me to share, He put this one on my heart. (Actually, He put the song on Pandora which made me think of this post written a little while ago…) 

As my Beloved Brandon and I make new memories with our little one as we seek out our new home with the army, I couldn’t help but get all gushy thinking about my parents. This post recalls one of my favorite childhood memories with my dad… and my heavenly Father. 

Where do you go to meet with the Father? I would love to hear all about it. Feel free to comment below! 

Praying today is full of Him!
SGK 

****

Growing up in northwest Kansas as the daughter in a farming/ranching family provided me with many chances to “get away.” Ok, let’s be honest– we were 90 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. We were always “away,” so actually going somewhere aka civilization was a big deal.

Anyway, Dad worked a lot of hours taking care of the cattle and crops, but some of the most precious memories I have of my youth were those moments when I would climb onto the bathroom sink, lather up my face and pretend to “shave” my face with my finger as he did the same in the mirror. We would sing as we “shaved,” and to this day the song “In the Garden” takes me “away” and back to solidarity on the farm… and now to solidarity with God.

The song “In the Garden” fondly reminds me of my youthful days on the farm and also of my relationship with God. It brings back around the importance of spending time with Him daily, reflecting in his glory and love for us.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

(Refrain)
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Refrain  

Check out the link to hear the song… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW0WA8OSXZg
IMG_0174

Jesus deeply desires to spend time with us, love on us, romance us. Are you giving Him that opportunity? Where is your garden? Is it literally a garden? Maybe someplace else in nature? Perhaps at your kitchen table before the rest of the family awakens? It might even be at the bathroom sink, staring into the mirror, talking to God and thanking him for the memories of the past and the promises of the future.

Spend some time to go your “garden” with Him today. None other will ever know the joy you experience with Him as you walk, talk, and tarry there.

Walking in the Garden,
SGK

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Categories: peace | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus’ Funniest Videos

Let’s all be honest… Sometimes life is HILARIOUS.

I grew up watching America’s Funniest Home Videos (originally with Bob Saget.) While I never really understood why people thought that dudes getting hit in their uh, nether regions was so funny, I still enjoyed it. Plus it was relatively family friendly.

For me, most of the funniest things came from young kids.

Which brings me to share with you some of the hilarious things I did when I was younger. (Too bad we didn’t get them on tape. Maybe we would be a few thousand bucks richer?)

As a young un, I came up with the craziest ideas. And was kind of gullible. One of my uncles once told me that cockleburs were porcupine eggs… So I took a bucketful of them to school for show-and-tell. Teacher was amused… I was embarrassed. (And my mom still loves to tell that story.)

Or there was the occasion when I convinced my younger sister to stick her tongue to the iron wrought handrail on our front porch on a frosty morning… At the exact moment that she obliged my request, the school bus pulled into the drive. I left her stuck to the rail fending for herself. (She still made it on the bus that morning, thanks to my Mom’s quick thinking…) That was the first time I ever got grounded. Ahhh, memories.

Then there was the time I came to school really mad. My teacher asked me what was wrong. I told her that I couldn’t believe what my parents did after I went to bed at night!!! Her eyes got really huge… she shifted in her chair… I said “THEY EAT ICE CREAM WITHOUT ME!!!” (You thought I was going in a much different more awkward direction, huh?)

This would have SO been me... if my parents didn't eat the ice cream without me. (But it's fine. I'm not bitter.)

This would have SO been me… if my parents didn’t eat the ice cream without me. (But it’s fine. I’m not bitter.)

ANYWHO…

Life is way easier to deal with if we can laugh through the crazy moments. In fact, my friend Kayla and I were once having a discussion about this very topic– and we decided that there has got to be a series in heaven called “Jesus’ Funniest Videos.”  (JFV for short…)

Can’t you see it? Jesus and His disciples chillin’ out up there, watching the action on earth. Peter yells for them to push pause for a second because he’s waiting for the popcorn to get done… Jesus is giddy with excitement to watch the next ridiculous thing we do and the lesson we learn in the process.

Now don’t get me wrong– I know God (and company) sure doesn’t get pleasure from our pain and failure. But sometimes we really do ridiculous things that we know better and/or could have been prevented if we would have just listened/learned.  In the aftermath, it brings a chuckle to us all.

It’s in those moments of “Seriously– did I just do that– AGAIN?!” that we can laugh at ourselves. Just think of ourselves as being the star of the latest JFV episodes. Sometimes we just don’t get it. And when we screw up, there’s nothing else to do but laugh at ourselves and move on.

In what areas of your life do you feel like a main player in JFV? What’s been your latest hilarious slip up? Be bold and give us all a great laugh by commenting below.

We can’t take life too seriously… Because none of us get out of it alive. But when that day comes, we are no longer the main characters in JFV– but we get to be spectators in heaven, looking down and enjoying the hilarious adventures of being a Christian.

Living and laughing,
SGK

“On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.” ~Psalm 100:2 MSG

Categories: funny | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

My Mama Did A Lot (Five Minute Friday)

Greetings, sweet readers!

Tis Friday. Five Minute Friday specifically. This is the time that we hook up with Lisa-Jo Baker and write. For five minutes. Just letting the words flow and our hearts go. (Yes, I sorta meant for that to rhyme. It might be one of those days…)

Five Minute Friday

As usual, Lisa has given us a prompt… and today’s is a smidge different– it’s not just a single word, but a phase. A whole bucketful of memories and lessons.

And now, I have a whole five minutes to capture everything my heart would like to say from the last 27 years. (This oughta be good. Oh boy.)

Today’s prompt: “What Mama Did” 

AND GO! 

****

My Mama did… A LOT. Yeah, she fed us, clothed us, loved us… But that is only the beginning.

It’s impossible to even touch on what my Mama did (and is doing!) for me in my life in my nearly three decades on this earth in a measly five minutes. She did a lot. And still does a lot.

She gave me two younger siblings. A lil sister a year and a half after my birthday– one lil brother TWELVE years later. (SURPRISE!) She taught me what it means to “stand by your man” for nearly 34 years (and still going strong!)

She taught me to cook and the fine art of NOT getting “too creative” with the many spices in the cabinet. Mama introduced me to fried okra and corn bread dressing. She did laundry. Cleaned house. Worked outside the home. Filled the role of a farmer’s wife.

She fixed fence and defrosted baby calves in the bathtub during blizzards. She “went to town” to get farm supplies at a moments notice. Cut alfalfa in the 112 degree KS heat. Stood up for us. Disciplined us. (Yes, we needed it!)  She taught me when it was time to suck it up and move on… and taught me that sometimes, you just need a good cry.

My mama did a lot. She forever ingrained in me that a hot bath and chocolate will fix nearly anything. She sewed my prom dress and later our ring bearer pillow. She helped plan my wedding. She has thrown parties. She has encouraged me. She has brought me back to earth when I needed it. She celebrated the day I led my Daddy (her husband) to Christ.

She taught me to forgive. To move forward. To celebrate. To strive. To grieve.

My mama did a lot.

Now, my Mama is teaching me how to be a Mama. I’m four days away from the due date of our first baby. We are a thousand miles apart, but her encouragement and phone conversations keep me going. Now, we talk openly about Jesus and what He is doing in both of our lives. How we can be better wives and Mama’s ourselves with His leading.

I can only hope that in the next three (and more!) decades, our son or daughter will have a fraction of the incredible lessons and experiences that my Mama did for me written on their heart from my relationship with them.

My Mama taught me how to love like Jesus.

Yep. My Mama did a lot.

STOP!

****

Ok. No profound conclusion today… But I am awarding myself excessive pregnant lady bonus points for not sobbing through this entire post. (Seriously. That’s a Jesus miracle in itself.)

So today’s response: What did YOUR Mama do for you? Comment below.

A Daughter in many ways,
SGK

“…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” ~1 Thessalonians 2:7 NIV

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hey, Soul Sista…

As of late, I have been stuck on the term “soul sister.” Or, more appropriately to my pronunciation, “Soul Sista.” (It just makes me feel cooler.)

Interestingly enough, we have been challenged by a digital soul sista Jen over at Finding Heaven Today with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood to share on our blog what “sisterhood” means to us… So for all my gal readers, get ready to have some fun! (And for all my dude readers… buckle up for an inside look at what sisterhood is all about… take some notes. You might learn something productive and be able to impress that lady in your life with new info later. Just sayin’.)

Ready? Here… We…. GO!

Sisterhood is… a bond that can’t be broken– by miles, life circumstances, or time.

Sisterhood is… the inside jokes that years later still make you belly laugh so hard you cry.

Sisterhood is… understanding that biological relationship has nothing to do with your bond.

Sisterhood is… an automatic and continual chain of support, love and prayer.

Sisterhood is… the permission to always send random text messages no matter what time of day, including things like “BAH, HORMONES!” or “I need chocolate.”

Sisterhood is… grace given when undeserved.

Sisterhood is… knowing that sometimes all you can do is offer a hug and a prayer… and that’s ok.

Sisterhood is… staying up til all hours of the night in “comfy clothes” eating an entire bag of Dove Chocolates together– then providing justification to each other on why consuming the entire bag was necessary.

Sisterhood is… rejoicing together, mourning together, hoping together, praying together.

Sisterhood is… the mutual agreement of cashing in your “crazy woman cards” to one another every few months… and knowing that after a little while of sobbing, snotting, stomping and tearing up a box of Kleenex that you are prepared to do the same in a few months when it’s her turn.

Sisterhood is… sharing those loving words of Jesus-based encouragement at the exact moment they are needed.

Sisterhood is…  “girl dates” of epic proportions– from self-pampering, to quiet coffee dates, to rolling down the windows, cranking up the radio and singing at the top of your lungs.

Sisterhood is… laughing off the ridiculous life decisions you make in a moments notice: The idea to dye your hair ridiculous blonde senior year of high school…  when you got a tattoo on your foot… or the time you decided to go camping in a pasture with minimal supplies…

Yep... My foot. Soli Deo Gloria. To the Glory of God alone.

Yep… My foot. Soli Deo Gloria. To the Glory of God alone.

Sisterhood is… a true blessing from God that reflects His love in ways we can never fully comprehend.

These are just some thoughts on what sisterhood means to me… Can you relate to any of them? What does sisterhood mean to you? Why is it special? What are your fondest memories with your soul sistas? I would love to hear all about it– leave a comment below!

Today, I’m thankful for all of my “Soul sistas” out there who have walked with me in previous seasons of life and into the current moment. You come in all forms, from real life to digital and even some in between. Just wanted to say thank you and I love you…

Fist pound to my soul sistas,
SGK

“Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” ~Proverbs 27:9

Categories: Soli Deo Gloria | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Jesus Likes to Party Too.

Balloons…Games…Cake…Hats…Loud noises…music… laughter…chaos…sugar…presents…toys…pictures.

Kid birthday parties rock.

When I was little, birthday parties were practically the highlight of my life. (It ranked right up there with our annual trip to the Missouri State Fair and calving season.) It didn’t even have to be MY birthday party… just the prospect of socializing, games and CAKE were enough to make us talk about upcoming party for weeks.

Being an adult, it is kind of hard to find that unbridled joy and anticipation that rivaled a birthday party of my youth. Now, we have to be all responsible and adult-like… Birthday parties can be more of a burden than a joy, and if we eat too much birthday cake, we spend the next two weeks in the gym trying to work it back off. (How a 6 oz piece of cake can make us gain two pounds defies all laws of science.)

But I still have a chance to party everyday. And so do you. Because Jesus likes to party, too.

Granted, Jesus’ way of partying doesn’t involve much Pin the Tail on the Donkey (I don’t think the live donkeys of ancient Israel would have appreciated that much) and birthday cake wasn’t a priority. (Although Jesus did turn water into wine once. And that’s better than sugary cake icing.)

We can party every day with Jesus, rejoicing in the good and wonderful gifts that He gives us. They come in so many different packages, all shapes and sizes. There is no specific location for our daily Jesus party– it can be in the car, in the living room or before you rise out of bed in the morning.

Think about the incredible promises that He has given to us. Unending love. Eternal life in heaven with Him. A daily invitation to experience Him.

Those things are better than ANY gift I ever received at one of my birthday parties in my youth.

God loves when we celebrate Him. Each time we say a prayer, open our Bible, or share the love of God with another, He rejoices with us. He shows up to the party every time– but we have to remember to send Him the invite.

Jesus isn’t like birthday cake. He isn’t only for special occasions. He is the bread. We can partake daily.

And make quite a party out of it.

How do you celebrate Jesus? When have you rejoiced in Him lately? Do you treat Him like cake or bread? I would love to hear from you– comment below!

We don’t have to wait weeks looking forward to the party with Jesus. We can party daily, complete with balloons, games, shouts of joy, gifts and all. Invite Him to your life. Make it a party. Because Jesus likes to party too.

Partying like a Jesus Rockstar Daily,
SGK

“So I answered, “I’m coming. I read in your letter what you wrote about me, And I’m coming to the party you’re throwing for me.” That’s when God’s Word entered my life, became part of my very being.” ~Psalm 40:7-8 (MSG)

Categories: celebrate, God | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Playground Guardian

We waited for this precious experience every single day.

Small children snarfing down their lunch, tater tots flying, ketchup splattering, milk dribbling. We were racing against the clock.  We had to get to recess.

Sure, recess came three times a day throughout my years of very early youth. But the length after-lunch recess was solely dependent on our ability to inhale our food and power walk from the cafeteria to the outside door. (Note: Sometimes a second grader’s definition of “not running” is different than the principal’s definition. And you had to walk that line carefully, or the five minutes you spent in the office during recess for “running” would nearly break your heart. Not that I would know.)

Most parents (and teachers for that matter) frowned at our strategy to scarf and run. But the moment that we heard the click of that recess door opening made it the fact that we barely tasted our pig-in-the-blanket so worth it.

I loved my elementary playground. I actually got a little bit nostalgic thinking about it this week. It was huge– or at least seemed huge to an 8-year-old. (I’m sure now the vastness of the play area seems rather proportionate to the size of us kids.)

We were a tiny school, but man-oh-man, that playground changed our life. We had the huge slide and monkey bars, and concrete basketball court that doubled as a 4-square area. Down the hill was an open area to run and “play pretend” which overlooked a wheat field. On the edge of that hill (just beyond our boundaries) a hearty crop of wild gourds grew, which was super fun to explore… until you got busted.

The playground had a fenced in tennis court where we could bring roller skates. It had a huge red swing where we did “Underdogs.” (Again, as long as you didn’t get caught.) Then in the far corner of the grounds was a low-lying around that could be used for “playing house” or kickball or more frolicking.

I loved that playground. There was such FREEDOM, openness, joy, imagination there. And while we might have complained back then, I am now thankful that we had a “Playground guardian” watching our every (other) move.

You know the person I am talking about– that one teacher who is assigned for the week to be on duty, with that trusty whistle around her neck, ready to break up any mischievous ideas that sprouted out of our young minds. She was like a lifeguard on dry land.

That weekly “Playground Guardian” would pick me up when I fell and skinned my knee. She would comfort me if someone hurt my feelings. She kept me within the boundaries of the playground when I got a little too involved in gourd hunting. She even taught me that the 4th graders are often incorrect in their teachings. (Specifically when they tell you that a purple flower blossom is called honeysuckle, and if you suck on the flower, honey will come out… turns out honey comes only from a beehive, not a bitter tasting flower.)

As I fondly reflected on my playground experiences, my mind was drawn to God. Isn’t our Lord and Savior very similar to that “Playground Guardian” in our everyday walk in life? He gives us freedom to roam around, but always calls us back to Him when we get too far away. He picks us up when we are hurting. And He to clarifies the lessons of life, whether they come from a 4th grader, a neighbor, friend or spouse.

I am so thankful that I get to “play” daily in this vast and beautiful world… but I am even more thankful that no matter what hair-brained honeysuckle ideas I come up with, God is always there to gently guide me back to Him. He is my Playground Guardian.

Grateful to be Guarded by the Great One,

SGK

“He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.” –Psalm 121:3-4 MSG

Categories: childhood, God, guidance, memory, parents, security | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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