Video Blog: The Beauty in Broken Shells #EverydayJesus

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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I know, I know… They say don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, God recently revealed to me that I shouldn’t judge a seashell by its wholeness… Or lack there of.

Because apparently, broken shells are still beautiful.

If you are reading via email, click here to watch the video.

Dear readers, where do you find beauty in your brokenness? In what ways can you share your story to bring God glory in your everyday? Don’t be shy. Tap into your Jesus-courage and share a comment below.

Let’s not discount our cracks, our fractures, our chips, our scuffs, our smudges, our brokenness. Because only in our brokenness is Christ found.

We are those shells. Broken, but still beautiful.

Whole in Him,

Initials Signature Blog

“You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” ~2 Corinthians 8-10 MSG
7 Days Time
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Factor of 7: A Hopeful Home

Hi friends! I am taking a quick breather from creating new material on Wednesdays as I prep for an upcoming conference and lay some foundational leadership work with a one of my local organizations. I was digging through the archives and found this post worthy of a re-share. I pray you enjoy it! Thanks for the grace. 

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Confession: I always feel… um… awkward… when I pass a homeless person on the street.

I never know what to do. Do I ignore them? Then I feel like a huge jerk. Do I make eye contact and say hello? I still feel like a jerk. Oh wait. Maybe its not awkward. And maybe it’s not just feeling like a jerk.  Maybe it’s conviction. Like, from the Holy Spirit. As in I should do something about it.

But I haven’t really known what to do. Until recently.  [Read more…]

In the Lord’s Army #SDG Connections

Lords Army SDG

I never thought it would happen, but I have finally gotten used to it. Sort of.

I check the clock, certain that at least six hours have passed. But it has only been three minutes. Sigh.

I make plans, but I always write in pencil. Sigh again.

My heart no longer jumps into my throat every time the phone rings. Sigh. (Do you see a pattern here?)

Yes. I am Jesus lover AND an army wife. And just because I say I have gotten USED to this call, it doesn’t mean it is easy. [Read more…]

When Bumps become Potholes #EverydayJesus

Potholes

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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It’s been more than two years, and I still don’t love running with a stroller.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for the ability to run– or should I say “yog.” (That’s jog with a soft “J.”) But given the choice, I would rather let my daughter go to “school” and play with her friends instead of load her up and push her down the sidewalk.

Although it still isn’t my favorite thing, I am sort of getting used to it. Now I am less shocked about how heavy that stroller with a kid plus our junk and  a tiny dog attached is when trying to push it up the hill with already-jelly legs. And “embracing” that running into the wind just adds a new level of conditioning.

One thing I am still not accustomed to is how a tiny bump in the road or sidewalk can eventually make a big difference.

I have been running on the same 2-mile-out-and-back path for months now. And some of the bumps are growing bigger.

So big that they are nearly potholes for my poor discount jogging stroller. [Read more…]

It’s That Time Again #WilcoWednesday

Moving time
7 Days Time

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Today, let’s welcome (and send-off… SIGH) my friend Jenny as she prepares for another cross country move in response to telling God “Wilco!” 

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PCS. Permanent Change of Station. To the average person, it’s just three letters, another acronym, but within the military community, those three letters carry with it, a lot of meaning and bring with it a plethora of emotions, (not to mention endless questions and concerns). In the coming months some of us will see many dear friends move on to their next duty station and have to say, “see you later…”, while others, like myself, will be the ones that have to pack up and, “go where the army send us.”

I am roughly down to the one month mark, you know, it’s when you REALLY have to get things in order, declutter, begin planning and finalizing the road-trip, not to mention– give notice to housing! It’s crunch time! Oh, how this year has flown by. This will be our 7th move in 11 years of army life, so by now, you think I’d be used to it. Does anyone ever get used to it?!

I’ve had non-military friends tell me (and I’m sure many of you have heard them too), “oh, I could never do what you do” or, “it would be so hard to move every couple of years” and “I just can’t be away from family and friends.” I agree, there’s some truth to those words. It’s not easy and it’s hard at times, but what I’ve learned and gained from those experiences thus far, I want to share with you.

Moving time

God is for us.

God will not take you somewhere and abandon you there. “…the Lord goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deut. 31:6. He goes before us and provides what we need, in His perfect time. He always has. Think of how He constantly, miraculously provided for the Israelites in the desert (for 40 yrs) even with their constant temper tantrums and complaints!

I’ve never regretted being at a place He has sent us. Yes, the Californian in me complained when I first found out that Alaska would be our first overseas assignment (didn’t everyone get to go to Germany or some other exotic locale as their first overseas assignment?!). Let me also say that my first few months there felt like we were abandoned at the other end of the world, (a very dark, very cold, very lonely world). That was a pretty tough place to be, emotionally and physically for an extrovert like me.

He deepens our walk with Him.

When I feel most alone is when God takes those opportunities to show me He was, and is, enough. Isn’t it in our times of greatest need or struggle that we cry out to Abba, Father and He so graciously brings comfort? I find solace in His promises for me. It is during those moments, my walk and dependence is fully on Him, rather than on others. Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not saying that you need to be alone, or cut off your godly friendships in order to grow deeper in your walk with the Lord. What I am saying is that He uses all our circumstances and situations to continually mature us in our walk with Him.

He emboldens us

I love how God shows us that we are capable of more. He tells us,“…be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9b Had He not sent me to a place of such extremes—what I sometimes call my “wilderness”—I would have missed out on some of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. Sometimes a change of scenery, (or state, or country) is just what is necessary to change our perspective and push us to new heights. So don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. Dive in.

He blesses us

We’ve been able to see and experience things and places I could never have imagined (there are things that I have witnessed with my own eyes that will never be properly, proportionately, or accurately portrayed in a photo or video or facebook post). Sharing those experiences with our kids (including one, who was born in Alaska), is even better! However, beyond the sights and experiences, He has blessed us with incredible friendships as a result of those relocations and moves. Sweet, loving, deep friendships I otherwise never would have had.

Change is never easy, and relocating to new places can seem rather daunting, but remember that He goes before you. He has hemmed you in. Looking back, I can honestly tell you, by His grace, I have a love for the places we’ve been to and would go back willingly. On the other hand, I welcome the opportunity with both hands up, to allow God to show me something new and fresh, to take me where I’ve never been and to make it incredible.

How about you? How will you handle this next season of change? Would you be willing and open to His purpose and plan for you? Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and let God show you what He can do! Join the conversation and leave a comment below

Jenny KoJenny is a stay-at-home-mom to three children ranging in age from 16 to 6 years old. She and her husband David, an Army Chaplain, have been married for 19 years. She loves the military community and the ministry of PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). She enjoys cooking and sharing her love of cooking with others. She marvels at this incredible life she has been given and the journey God has taken her on and continues to lead her in.

Linking up today with my friend Kristin over at Three-word Wednesday and having a little Coffee for your Heart with Holley.  Oh! And be sure to join our #EverydayJesus link-up community right here at 7 Days Time every Thursday!

Our Quiet Beauty

Our Quiet Beauty

We live in a very loud world.

Now don’t get me wrong. I occasionally love blasting my favorite Christian radio station in my car with the windows rolled down on a bright sunny day. And I giggle when my daughter cuts loose a really loud happy squeal.

But sometimes quiet is a bit underrated. Especially in the beauty department.

Our world is all about the LOUD beauty. You know, the stick-thin-air-brushed models that pepper every dang magazine at the checkout stand. (Not judging, just saying.) Honestly, our culture is kind of superficial. It’s all about what size of pants we should wear, how to shed eleventy-billion pounds with no effort in 20 minutes, the name brand clothing and flashy make-up.

But what about our everyday, ordinary quiet beauty? The beauty that truly is more than skin deep. [Read more…]

Fishing in Calm Waters #EverydayJesus

Fishing waters

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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I love water.

Specifically, bodies of water. Maybe it is because living in Kansas I didn’t grow up around much water. Or my affinity for exploring the life teeming beneath the surface. Or perhaps I just really like eating fish.

Either way, it is on my bucket list that sometime in the next 20-70 years we shall live by a body of water and own a small boat. (Oh. And ice fishing. Never been– need to go.)

When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to live in work in Minnesota for two summers. The Land of 10,000 Lakes? Uh, yes please.

I worked on a hog farm (that’s a story for another time) and lived with my Uncle Billy and Aunt Cindy. Uncle Billy was a professional fun-haver. Although our hog farm work schedule was quite demanding for my teenage self, Billy always made sure to fill our off hours with adventures. [Read more…]

More Than Eeyore #WilcoWednesday

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience.  Joining us today is my dear, wonderful, beautiful and encouraging friend Kristen. Share. Enjoy. Interact. And let’s respond to God’s call with  a hearty “Wilco, Lord!” 
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My mother use to lovingly call me Eeyore, as in Winnie the Pooh’s gloomy detachable-tailed donkey friend. A cautious optimist from childhood, I can worry with the best of them over things yet not happened.

Perhaps the most devastating aspect I carried with me to adulthood was not the outwardly visible worrying, but the warped perspective about my importance to God. Not that God didn’t love me, but how much love I felt I deserved in relation to how important I felt others should be loved and cared for by Him because I’ll be honest, I was born to an upper middle class American Christian family. I’m not impoverished, parent-less, abandoned, truly on the battlefields of faith, my life is not daily threatened by the bible sitting on my nightstand. So I struggled with obedience to God’s plan because I failed to see how I really played a part in God’s plan. [Read more…]

To My Daughter: It’s OK

OK

Two years ago, the Lord saw fit to bless me with a daughter.

A daughter who is a lot like me. She has my nose. My hair. My gracefulness. (See also: Falls up the stairs.)

She also has my attitude. Stubbornness. Passion. Independence.

Feel free to pray for me.

In all things, she is a blessing. Even in those moments when scrambled eggs fly across the kitchen table or as she nails me in the jaw with a foot during one of her epic tantrums. (Disclaimer: If you ever see me in these moments, I might be muttering something about her being a blessing through gritted teeth as I talk to the ceiling.) [Read more…]

Ranger School Recap: Jesus Lead the Way #EverydayJesus

Ranger School

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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I know I have said it before and I will say it again… Sometimes Jesus just totally knocks my socks off.

You might recall that a few months back, my Beloved Army infantry husband left for Ranger School.

For those of you not on this crazy roller coaster ride we call army life, Ranger School is intense. It is a 64 day experience of little food, little sleep and a lot of unknowns.

Nothing is guaranteed in Ranger School. Really, anything can happen. Men get hurt, recycled, and dropped all the time. Oh, and did I mention that communication is practically zero, minus (maybe) one short phone call about every 3 weeks at the end of each phase and a tiny handful of snail mail letters?

I don’t say all of this to stir up strife or pity. Instead, I say these things to showcase God’s faithfulness. [Read more…]