Posts Tagged With: travel

Chocolate & Jesus

When the going gets tough… the tough get going.

Now, let’s tweak that statement a bit…  Complete it  with YOUR word… what do you desire/need/turn to when things get tough?

Here are a few of my potential examples.

When the going gets tough… the tough get frustrated.
When the going gets tough… the tough get take-out. (I’m an emotional eater. What can I say?)
When the going gets tough… the tough get snippy. (Not proud of this one—but it’s true.)
When the going gets tough… the tough get chocolate. (No explanation necessary, right?)

Um, yes please?!?

Um, yes please?!?

But what would happen if we replaced ALL of our tough-time tools with just one very powerful remedy?

When the going gets tough… the tough get Jesus.

Come on. You knew that was coming. 🙂

This example happened to me in real life a few weeks ago as we were slowly but surely trekking across this great nation from Georgia to Washington state en route to our new home.

We were somewhere in Wyoming and it was kind of a frustrating day of travel. Nothing out of the ordinary, but my Beloved and I were just getting a bit road weary after about 2,500 miles in the car with 4-month-old baby girl and a pup.

We had mapped out our trip so we wouldn’t have to push ourselves for hours and hours each day… We knew going into this journey that traveling with a little one was not going to be easy and would add several hours onto our trip daily. (As in a typically 4 or 5 hour daily trip could easily turn into a 7 or 8 or 9 hour trip quicker than you can say “Hey, she’s hungry/wet/needs to burp again.”)

On that particular day, sweet little girl was extra high maintenance. Fussier than normal and protesting her nap so well that it would make anti-napping babies everywhere swell with pride. It was crazy hot (Wyoming in July—‘nuff said) and we had been living a nomadic wandering lifestyle for about 11 days.

I was tired. Frustrated. The going was getting tough… my heart started to race and I could feel the emotions welling up.  My first instinct was to raid the console or glove compartment for anything covered in chocolate.

However, since I was the one who packed (and repacked) the car, I knew that there purposefully wasn’t a drop of chocolate anywhere in our vehicle due to the extremely high melting factor.

As my blood pressure rose, I gritted my teeth felt a meltdown coming… just because. I wanted to be done with this trip. I wanted out of the car. I freaking wanted some chocolate.

Suddenly, I heard a heavenly whisper reminding me I didn’t NEED chocolate… I needed HIM.

So I scrounged around in the backseat, amid the diapers and empty water bottles where I was permanently parked and found my small pink Bible. I “randomly” opened it to Psalm 89. It was a message about David… But in the moment, I replaced “David” and “him” with “you” to signify God talking to me. It went a little something like this:

“My hand with sustain you; surely my arm will strengthen you. No enemy will subject you to tribute; no wicked man will oppress you. I will crush your foes before you and strike down your adversaries. My faithful love will be with you, and through my name your horn will be exalted. I will set your hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. You will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’” ~Psalm 89:21-26

After I read through it a couple of times, peace flooded my heart… And wouldn’t you know it—my “need” for chocolate completely disappeared.

I often joke that everything can be fixed with chocolate. But in all honestly… chocolate ain’t got nothing on Jesus.

Loving Sweet Jesus,


“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” ~Psalm 55:22

Categories: faith | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Check it at the gate– Our Overpacking Issue

Hi. My name is Sharita Knobloch. And I am an overpacker. 

(This is where you all respond in unison with “HI SHARITA.” 

Seriously though… I don’t MEAN to overpack when I travel and/or move. It just sort of happens. I start out with a general packing list, and by the time I get done, I am standing in our driveway, staring at our car whispering prayers under my breath that all of this stuff will actually fit in our vehicle. 

As I type this, we are getting ready to move 3000 miles across country… With an infant. 

This oughta be good. (Feel free to start praying for us… Like, um, yesterday.) 

I’m doing my best not to overpack this trip… and I was considering this concept, I recalled a post I wrote a while back about overpacking when we walk with Christ. 

So, as a refresher for all of us… here ya go. As you read, think about the areas of your life that perhaps YOU overpack? Is it insecurity? Worry? Unforgiveness? How can you leave that excess baggage behind? Feel free to share your strategies below in the comments. 

Until then… I am gonna invite Christ into this journey we are taking and asking HIM to weed through what I really NEED… His answer? 

All we need is Christ. 

Packing by Faith, 


“Attention passengers, flight 324 to Rome, Italy is now boarding.”

I am far from a professional flier. In fact, I was nearly a sophomore in college before I had the chance to fly for the first time. After that flight from Kansas City to Washington, DC (which was a little nerve-wracking as my co-traveler was also flying for the first time), I started to gain confidence on how to navigate airports in a timely fashion.

I’ve had the privilege of flying to DC, Atlanta, Spain, Chicago, Denver, Portland, Orlando, Rome, and China (and probably a couple others that I am forgetting.) Compared to my first time flying my nerves are much more in check.

Now I really don’t stress too terribly much about missing my flight because I do all I can to plan accordingly. But there is one place in the airport my blood pressure tends to rise.

The security line.

Yes, I am THAT girl. The closer I get to the front of the line, the more thoughts are racing through my head. I am strategizing on how to keep my boarding pass on my person while ripping off my shoes and/or belt, emptying my pockets, unpacking my laptop as I gracefully walk through the metal detector trying not to look like a bumbling fool and tick off the person in line behind me.

Meanwhile, other thoughts are racing through my head. “Where did I put my plastic baggie with 3 ounce liquids? Did I take my mini-pocket knife out of my purse? Are they going to confiscate my dried apple slices? Does a fingernail file count as a weapon?”

I also suffer from OPS… Overpacking Syndrome. I never fly without a carryon. If I did, it would eliminate a majority of the above thoughts/worries… But then I might  arrive at my destination without a spare set of clothes.
This is how the Knobloch’s travel… Rome to Home.
We were on our honeymoon. Can’t you tell? 😉

I couldn’t help but wonder if we are sometimes like this in our faith. Are we carrying too much baggage that in the end just weighs us down? The more baggage we carry around, whether it is insecurity, things from a past relationship or worry about future “stuff” the more likely Satan is going to be like the TSA agent who digs through your bag and finds that nail file. He will pick through our “baggage” and find the one thing that will bring us down and ruin our day.

Jesus asks that when we are traveling with him to leave our baggage behind. Don’t believe me? Check out what he says to his disciples in Matthew 10:9-10 as He is sending them out to the world:

“Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.”

The Message version is even more direct:

“Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.”

If I was there as a disciple, I am sure I would the one in the back to raise my hand and say, “Um, Jesus? Yeah. Are you sure about this? I mean, I would really like to have a toothbrush and change of clothes. Oh, and what about my cell phone and charger? Jesus? Hey, where you going, man…”

While we all may still choose to fly with a carryon or pack our car with extra bottled water and trash bags, we can travel luggage free with Christ. He gives us everything we need. He has called us to come on a journey with Him. So what about all that extra baggage? Yeah, let’s go ahead and check it at the gate.

Traveling Light with Christ,

“Then Peter chimed in, “We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?” Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” –Matthew 19:27-30 (MSG)

Categories: faith, travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fine time to be be Refined

Today’s post starts with a mini science lesson… (It’s not going to require any complicated chemistry formulas or anything I promise. Hang with me… It IS Friday after all.)

Did you know that it take MILLIONS of years for graphite to be transformed into a diamond? Not only does it take a significant chunk of time, but it also requires temperatures upwards of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure that is 50 times greater than that on the earth’s surface.

Sheesh. That’s intense! (And now you have something to talk about at the supper table tonight. You are welcome.)

But seriously– for us as Christians to be formed into the treasure that God has called us to be, we all have to experience pressure… challenge… change…

In fact, we must be REFINED.

Which is what I am doing this weekend. (Hence the non-presence of Five Minute Friday.)

I am at The Refine Conference in Minnesota with my friend Kelli (she’s a breakout speaker!), my sweet mother-in-love, aunt and several other women who are to become my friends (although they may not know it yet…)

We are coming together to be Refined in different areas of our lives: Professional. Relationships. Emotional. Spiritual. Health/Wellness. Financial. Yep. The whole she-bang. This incredible conference is put on by Teri Johnson over at Keeping It Personal. 

I have a sneaking suspicion this weekend is going to be epic. I am expectantly anticipating God to transform or rather refine me in various areas of my life. And I couldn’t be more excited. (Maybe this diamond-in-the-rough Christian girl will be a little more diamond-y and little less rough when we are all said and done!)

So, with that being shared, we would all appreciate  prayers for God to move in might ways this weekend (and in the following weeks as we what we learn continues to “marinate.”)

Also, I am a bit curious… In what areas of your life (professional, relationships, emotional, spiritual, health/wellness, financial) do you feel you need to be refined the most? Why or in what ways? How has God refined you during your walk with Him? Leave a comment below with your response!

Now if you will excuse me, dear readers– rumor has it that is now a fine time to be refined.

From Pressed to Precious,

“I’ve refined you, but not without fire.” ~Isaiah 48:10 (MSG) 

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

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Do you remember that movie from the 1993 called “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey?” You know, the one with the two dogs (Shadow and Chance) and the cat (Sassy.)

Oh. You don’t? Well, google it. I will wait.

Got it? Ok. Well, it was one of my favorite movies back in the day– we owned it on VHS, and if we still had a VHS player, I would probably still watch it on occasion. That movie included my favorite things: Disney, animals and adventure.

Now my life is a little less Disney and a lot more adventure.

Living about a thousand miles from “home” provides challenges and opportunities for growth like you wouldn’t believe (unless of course, you have lived it. Then you totally get what I’m saying.)

As you read this, I am currently in the process of being homeward bound for a few days– We (as in Sweet Justus the pup, our currently-cooking-softball-sized-baby Little Patriot and myself) have made it to my sweet parents-in-love’s house in South Dakota. (Note: It is a LONG frigging drive from Fort Benning, GA to South Dakota. Just saying.)

And I think my heart is about to explode. (In a good way, of course.)

It is SO awesome to be back in the midwest… I haven’t been back since last Christmas break  and I am thrilled to get back to the land of corn (well, if the drought hadn’t burnt it all up) and cattle. In a few short days, I am southbound and down, heading to Kansas for a few precious days of family, agriculture and chaos that only our tiny little community can provide.

WHEW!!! They still fit!! (There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…)

I addition to anticipation of seeing my family, the farm,  and friends– I also have a big-ish announcement. Ready?

I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PREACH. That’s right, I have been invited to bring the Sunday morning message at our local church for TWO different services.

I couldn’t be more excited. (If you happen to be in the southeast Kansas region on September 30th, come on down to the Kincaid United Methodist Church at 9am then follow us over to the Welda UMC church at 11am. I would love to share with you what God has laid on my heart!)

It is such a blessing to have a home to love and look forward to– but honestly, my friends– it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you love your “home” or not… we ALL have a home that we can look forward to.

See, we are all homeward bound– someday, we will be home. Like, with Jesus. Yeah, in heaven. And that’s gonna be so awesome that it will blow any sweet childhood memories and love of the countryside out of the water.

Our current adventure of being homeward bound might seem to be kind of long and tedious some days. (ARE WE THERE YET?!?)  There are going to be “those days” where we are at the end of our ropes. Then there are other days where we can’t imagine that things can get any better than this.

But trust me. It can. And it will. Because we are all Homeward Bound. And yes, it’s an INCREDIBLE journey.

There’s no place like home,

PS: In what place do you feel most at home? How do you feel when you think about our eventual eternal home? I always love to hear your thoughts– please leave a comment below!

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

Categories: Home | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Just GO

As I child, I didn’t get out much. (Hey, we lived on a farm. In the country. At least 15-25 miles from a legitimate restaurant. In fact, the first 10 years of my life found us 90 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. Seriously.) So when we did get the chance to go ANYWHERE as a family, I wanted to know WHERE we were going… Immediately.

“HEY! WHERE ARE WE GOING!?!” (Imagine this forceful statement in your best childlike slightly whiny/curious voice.)

For those of you who haven’t met my beloved Daddy, he is something of a smart aleck. (Good thing that’s not hereditary, right?) Whenever I asked this oh-so-vital question, it was met with one of the following answers:

“We are going down the road.”



And my all-time favorite…

“We’re going crazy.”

Needless to say, I led quite an exasperating childhood. 🙂 Unfortunately, I haven’t grown out of this need-to-know attitude. I still do the same thing with my Heavenly Father.

And, not surprisingly, His answers are similar to my Dad’s answers from my days of youth. (Minus the “crazy” response.)


Source HERE

Last week, my beloved boss/coach/mentor/friend Kelli and I attended the Blackaby Spiritual Leadership Coaching Seminar. It was a pilot program and we went not really knowing where it was going to take us.

We went hoping for some information– but came home with transformation. WOWZERS.

On that three day journey, we had an opportunity to experience God at a very deep level. He revealed some incredible things within our hearts. And gave me a new path down which to travel.

He has called me to become certified as a Spiritual Leadership Coach.

It’s a long story, but it was literally life-changing for me. When I realized this affirming call on my life I was excited. I was tearful. I was grateful.

I was terrified beyond all reason.

I didn’t really want to go there. I mean, this was big. Like, potential career stuff. I don’t know what it all looks like for me yet. I tried to convince God that perhaps He had the wrong person. On Friday morning before we departed, we had an opportunity to spend a few moments in His presence as we “Reported for Duty.” (It was a short time of “CRAVE”– experiencing God through prayer and listening.)

As I sat there with my head on my table, arguing with the Lord to change His mind about this Spiritual Leadership Coaching hoopla, He silenced me. He gave me this word:

“My beloved. GO. Go out. Go forward. Go faithfully. Go humbly. Go with Me. Go all out. GO! You don’t have to know specifically where you are going… But go with Me so you can live as you fully went.” 

Oh snap. Ok, Jesus. You have my attention. I was encouraged… Yes, I was still nervous to turn in my commitment card to begin down the path of Spiritual Leadership Coach certification, but I knew I had to GO. Just GO.

Is God calling you to something right now? What is holding you back? Where is He asking you to go? What will it take to follow Him? I would love to hear (and be encouraged!) by your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

Honestly, I don’t know for sure what becoming a Spiritual Leadership Coach looks like. I am not sure where it is going to take this ministry or our lives. However, I do know that I would love to be look back and say that I WENT with all I had. Won’t you join me on this journey? Don’t hesitate. Don’t worry about all the little details, corners or where you will end up. If we are going with Our Father, we know it is going to be the trip of a lifetime. So let’s buckle up and JUST GO.

Just Going Down the Road with Christ,

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” –Hebrews 11:8

Categories: adventure, affirmation, call, challenge, changes, Christ, faith, fear | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Cruise Control with Jesus

As of late, I have been driving (and riding) in a car a lot more than normal. In fact, by the time this week is over, I will have logged three round trips to Atlanta (3 hours each) and two round trips to Fort Stewart. (Those are difficult– 8 hours in a car and back without ending up anywhere that involves sandy beaches.)

Driving (and riding) in the car is great “think” time for me. Actually, the car and the shower are my top two places for blog epiphanies.  As I was driving, I had one. Hence, today’s post.

When we drive, we are typically going somewhere. (Or at least I hope so.) And I don’t know about where YOU live, but traffic in these here parts can get a little… ridiculous. Apparently, speed limits are merely a suggestion. Pretty sure it is like that in most areas of the U.S.

Here’s my philosophy with speed limits. I like to hover right around the “5 mph over it” rule. Any less, I feel like I am going to get run over. Any more, I start seeing visions of triple digit speeding ticket fines. (Not from my experience. But you should ask my beloved about that one.)

Thus, I really love cruise control. I can set it at 75 and roll towards my destination. I once made the mistake of getting a rental car to drive from Jefferson City, MO to Wichita, KS that did not have cruise control. Bad idea. Longest. Trip. Ever.

I get in trouble when I don’t use cruise control on long, open stretches of highway. I start to go with the flow of traffic. Which can be very, very… fast. I am caught in the traffic flow, and before I know it, I am driving a good ten (or fifteen… or TWENTY) miles per hour over the speed limits. Sorry, officer.

Getting caught in the flow of traffic is a lot like living our lives with an earthly viewpoint. If we get right down to it, going over the speed limit is essentially breaking the law. And according to 1 John 3:4, sin is lawlessness. See the comparison? We live in a fallen world, one of sin, one where the people around us can influence us to “break the law” (aka sin) almost without our conscious knowledge.

But there is great news. We have God as our cruise control. He can be The One to set the pace. To direct our path. To bring us back when we are breaking the law. However, we need to remember that it is going to be difficult not to WANT to follow the flow of traffic. I tell you what– I get puh-lenty of dirty looks (and one-fingered waves) from driving only five over the speed limit from the speed racers that pass me by. The same is going to be true of those in our world who don’t understand how or why we would follow Christ.

The other positive point about Jesus Cruise Control? We don’t have to work as hard to maintain a constant speed. Sure, we still need to be conscious while driving, ready to stop or go at red lights, exits and bathroom breaks. But if we set our life cruise control with Jesus, He will help us avoid fluctuating speeds and arrive at our final destination in one piece–with minimal “traffic tickets.”

In what areas of your life do you struggle with not following the “flow of traffic?” Where are you challenged when it comes to following Jesus or following the world? I would love to hear from you. Comment below!

So the next time you are caught up in the flow of our worldly traffic, zig-zagging in and out of the lanes, ignoring that speed limit suggestion, tap your brake, slow down a smidge and set your cruise control with Jesus.

Cruising with Christ on the highway of life,

“Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law.” ~1 John 3:4 (GNT) 

Categories: adventure, Christ, God, life, relax, release, sin, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Operation Fortitude Fitness (Month #4)

Is it just me, or does it seem a little bit crazy that 2012 is already 1/3 of the way completed?!? Apparently time not only flies when you are having fun, but also when you run a personal ministry. (Fortunately, for me, those two are one and the same for me… most days 🙂

April was legit. 7 Days Time Ministry continues to reach new levels (insert happy dance here!) and I feel like I’m kinda sorta getting back on track for my Getting Smart with 2012 goals. (Click here to read the full story from January.)

As promised, I will now update you on my personal progress for my 2012 goals… I know this might not be the most entertaining post on the planet, but let me tell you what, folks– if you want a great way to stay accountable, blog your journey and stick with it. There have been SEVERAL days over the last couple of months that I didn’t want to follow through on ANY of these goals. However, because YOU (yes, you!) are my accountability partner, I have pressed forward.

So without further ado… I give you… (hey that rhymed!) my April results for Operation Fortitude Fitness. (AMERICA!)

SMART Change #1: Operation Fort-itude Fitness.  In short, my goal for 2012 is to log 98 miles per month via biking, swimming, running, elliptical etc to “travel” from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Riley, Kansas. Also, in order to stay on track with my strength training, I need to do 2,500 various reps per month. As of last update, I had logged 423 miles Jan-March and “arrived” in Turrell, Arkansas.

RESULT: GOAL MET…  Again and FINALLY! The month of March and first three weeks or so of April I was really struggling. I mean, I was doing stuff, but without much enthusiasm. Or sweat. But praise 9 pound 3 ounce Baby Jesus, my exercise mojo appeared to be on its way back in at the latter part of last week. YES! On Friday of last week, I tied my personal best for distance traveled, logging 14 total miles. (8.3 on foot, 5.7 on the bike.)  I guess my body has finally recovered (ish) from the physical stress of our miscarriage. Yesterday, I started (and dominated!) my new re-training plan to run a 5K. I signed up for one in Americus, GA on June 23. My goal: Get my time under 30 minutes. I know I have a long way to go (my best “race” time so far is 36:30) but this will only be my 3rd 5K. Pray for me 🙂

So, back to my “original” goals. I was able to log 2,975 reps in April! (Goal met!) I also logged 128 miles this month (551 total for 2012) and have “arrived” in Thayer, Missouri! YES! “Feels” great to be back in the Midwest. (I know. I am a nerd.)

Crossing the Missouri border! YES!

SMART Change #2: Spend at least one hour per day in the Lord’s presence by using my new Jesus Calling Devotional and studying the accompanying Scripture. I will also continue to keep a prayer request list in a notebook and/or iPad.

RESULT: GOAL MET (ok, kind of modified.) Here’s the thing, peeps. The first two months of this goal were INCREDIBLE. March was kind meh. Then April continued to get “routine” instead of relationship-seeking. When God called me away on my sabbatical, He spoke volumes to me. Turns out I was becoming legalistic in this goal. Instead of seeking to spend quality time with Him, my tick-tock hour was a “to do list” thing for me. So, I am still DEFINITELY doing quiet time every day and praying from my iPad prayer list app. However, I don’t look at the clock anymore. I make sure I am not rushing through it, but I am letting GOD decide how much time He wants me to chill with Him. Most days, it is still around 45 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. The time I spend with Him each day is once again back to the quality of Jan/Feb, not the legalistic “check it off the list so I can move on” mode of March.

SMART Change #3: Complete my 1000 Gift List (inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book) by the end of 2012.

RESULT: ON GOING  This month, I am at #839… an increase of  155 gifts from last month! (And a majority of those have come in the last 10 days.) God is awesome and I am well on track to reaching 1000. (But I doubt I stop there– this LIST is a gift in itself!)

SMART Change #4:   Memorize a book of the Bible, starting with 1 John.

RESULT: ON GOING I’m feeling pretty legit about this one for the month of April. I have stumbled my way to 1 John 4… It’s far from perfect and it isn’t completely ingrained in my brain, but I think by October, this will be doable in a “I-don’t-have-to-peek-at-what-comes-next” kind of way. YAY!

SMART Change #5: Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry and submit to God DAILY in all areas of my life.

RESULT: ON GOING Did you read my sabbatical post? Yeah. Making HUGE strides on this one by letting HIM do the hard work and me simply be the hands and feet. My soul is recharged and I am loving it!

Moral of the month: Allow yourself some flexibility. Sometimes (ok, almost always) God is going to have some hidden lessons along the way, especially when it comes to your own personal goals and plans. Make sure you aren’t blazing through life so fast that you miss those lessons! What God taught you so far in 2012? Have you achieved any of your goals? How have you witnessed God moving in 2012 for you?  I would love your input. Leave a comment here.

Thanks for coming along… You all are AWESOME lifetrippin-cheerleading buddies!

One step at a time,

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” –Philippians 3:13-14 (MSG) 

Categories: 2012, accomplishment, America, Ann Voskamp, challenge, fitness, healing, living | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Operation: Fortitude Fitness (Month #3)

Oh dearest readers… March was certainly “a month” for the Knobloch family. I have always hear that it was supposed to come in like a lion, out like a lamb (or visa versa.)

But for me, it kind of felt like the whole month was one big ol’ roaring lion. Baring it’s teeth. In my grill. Chasing me down the street.

However… It didn’t catch me! The Lamb seemed to save me. (Jesus = Lamb. Get it? Look at me go with my play on words. Whew.)

We are kicking off a new month (and that’s no April fool’s joke) so it is time to start fresh. But in the meantime, here is my accountability update from my “Smart” changes for 2012. (Read the Original Post here.)

SMART Change #1: Operation Fort-itude Fitness.  In short, my goal for 2012 is to log 98 miles per month via biking, swimming, running, elliptical etc to “travel” from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Riley, Kansas. Also, in order to stay on track with my strength training, I needed to do 2,500 various reps per month. As of last update, I had logged 306 miles Jan-Feb and “arrived” in Wallerville, Mississippi.

RESULT: GOAL MET… Sorta. I fell short on reps this month with only 2,100. But even with being exhausted from pregnancy and the subsequent miscarriage recovery, I did manage to still log 117 miles. Granted, most of these were walking or on the stationary bike. But I am extending some grace to myself this month (a task harder for me to do than running 5k!) and chalking March up to one of my most challenging, emotionally draining months of my 26 years on this earth.  I am now Turrell, Arkansas and have traveled 423 miles in 3 months. Gonna count that as a win!  America!

SMART Change #2: Spend at least one hour per day in the Lord’s presence by using my new Jesus Calling Devotional and studying the accompanying Scripture. I will also continue to keep a prayer request list in a notebook and/or iPad.

RESULT: GOAL MET!!   Honestly folks, this goal was even harder to achieve than the above physical challenge. Not only did I have company staying with us for about 12 days this month which kind of squiggled up my schedule a bit, but losing the baby didn’t help at all. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted for several days… And if I am being perfectly honest (which I always try to do in my posts) I was pretty ticked off at the Lord for a few days and really didn’t WANT to meet with Him, let alone talk to Him and spend precious quiet time together.

But I did… Many days during my quiet time, I read Jesus Calling, then cried and cried at the feet of Jesus from my red recliner rocking chair. He always had something to say to me and my quiet time is helping immensely in the healing process. Plus… I still pray every day for the folks in my iPad prayer app. It helps me keep a larger perspective of God’s plan and helps me to be commune with Him.

SMART Change #3: Complete my 1000 Gift List (inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book) by the end of 2012.

RESULT: ON GOING  I am downright shocked at the progress I made on this one, dear readers. I guess Jesus really has a hold on me. It was one of the toughest months of my life… and at last update, I was at #571…  I am now at #684. For all of you non-math folks out there (like me) that is 113 new things to be thankful for added to my list in one month. In the midst of crisis and heartbreak. Talk about digging the gifts out of the crevices and finding the blessing in the “ugly beautiful!” Praise Jesus 🙂

SMART Change #4:   Memorize a book of the Bible, starting with 1 John.

RESULT: ON GOING Uh, yeah… bout that. I made it to 1 John 3:3 (three whopping verses farther than last month) the things kind of bottomed out. Memorizing was put on a hold this month… No excuses, but considering that the day after I miscarried it took a hot minute to remember how to make a sandwich, I’m gonna play the self-grace card on this one too.

SMART Change #5: Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry and submit to God DAILY in all areas of my life.

RESULT: ON GOING This was the most drastically improved of all the goals this month. God FORCED me physically to slow down… as in, I barely did anything for three days after our loss except cry, text and hug on my husband. In my mandatory slow down time (which is still in progress, BTW) I have been able to listen to and submit to God on the deepest level thus far in my life.  As much as I wish that God’s plan for March 2012 was different, I can’t help but feel His generous blessings flowing over us in our experience of ruthlessly eliminating hurry and submission. After all… “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Matt. 5:3 MSG) 

So today’s moral of the story: Goals are awesome. They really are. Everyone should have some. But sometimes, we need grace more than goals. Have you been in that position before? I would love to hear you recount of grace vs. goals– leave a comment here.

Thanks for all of the support, love and prayers you all have been sending our way last month. While our bodies and emotions have been tired, our faith has never been stronger and more energized. What an interesting fitness blessing, huh?

“Marching” onward,

“…We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” –Romans 5:3-4

Categories: accomplishment, America, Ann Voskamp, blessings, dependence, fitness, goals, God, living, miscarriage | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: