I learned a few lessons during my self-imposed, God-directed July sabbatical.

Some were profound. Some rather simple.

One over-riding theme was that often in my life, I am strapped.

I’m strapped to my kid’s schedules–run to the doctor, taxi to the youth group, head to the ball field. That kind of strapping, I really don’t mind.

Daily I am strapped to my duties at home.

Someone must gather the groceries, feed the clan and scour the commode. While my flesh would love to afford to hire these tasks done, my spirit instead whispers that it is I who needs to perform them. As I heard a friend declare (by way of another friend who was quoting her) “It is kind of hard to take yourself too seriously when you are down on your hands and knees, scrubbing your own toilet.”

Sometimes I am strapped by my words; words flung in haste or, worse yet, in anger.

“…if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth,  then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!  Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.  Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” Proverbs 6: 2-5

I get strapped by over-committment.

I get strapped by not being forthright with people and later, I have some explaining to do.

I get strapped by the Internet, when I don’t use it as a tool, but allow it to become a tangent.

And, sometimes, I feel strapped to this site.

I love to ponder and post and then pray my words might help at least one sister who reads.

But staying to a tight schedule (while at the same time writing my current book project) well, it leaves my straps so tight, I feel they may strangle me.

Will you allow me the grace and space to post only when I feel I have something worthwhile to offer? Not just because my calendar or smart phone tells me it is a certain day of the week?

I’ve loved the Weight Loss Wednesday gang. I still do. I just can’t commit to cranking out content on specific subject right now with my book and my sweet sister-in-law’s current condition.

Oh, I’ll still be here. Got multitudes of musings swirling around in my head just waiting to fly out of my fingertips. I just may not adhere to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule I usually follow. (In fact, I’ll be posting a giveaway tomorrow—on a Thursday—with the launch of my friend Renee’s very first and FABULOUSLY HELPFUL book).

Now, let me ask you something. Just what has you strapped?

Is it good? Is it godly? Is it necessary? Is it nice?

May we all ultimately allow ourselves to be strapped only to that which will make us more like the Savior.

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14

Strapped-to-My-Savior Blessings,


  1. Karen,
    I am so glad you are back and completely recognize your feelings of being “strapped.” It is my hope and prayer that you take all the time you need. Your wisdom is so helpful when you are able to share but you and your family are going through a stressful time and need more space, not more commitments. Those of us who truly love you will be patient.

    I, too, am a Weight Loss Wednesday gal but while you were gone my “Made to Crave” group decided to do a reboot so I have plenty of support in that area, at least for now. :)

    Renee’s book is so timely because I am soooooo strapped by my lack of self-confidence. Of course, a lot of that comes from the intangibles Ayla listed above. I suffer from them, too. I have let fear and insecurity run my life for more than 50 years now. It’s time to stand up and take back the life God intended for me to have. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It’s time for me to re-evaluate the things I let eat up my life.

  2. Karen – please know that you can take whatever time you need! When I was out walking my dog at 6:15 this morning, I was thinking about you and praying for you. I was thinking about how you are “back from Sabbatical” but yet wondering how on earth you manage all that you do, with adding the book contract and caring for Thais.

    I feel strapped in many ways, but the most strapping thing right now is that I have lost three of my four part-time jobs in the last seven months. It would seem that the Lord is leading me in a different direction, but I don’t know what or how to get there. Trying to live in faith that it will be worked out in His good time, and that the bills will be paid in the meantime.

  3. There are tangible things I feel strapped by; housework, being a mother to a toddler, school, blog, cultivating & maintaining relationships with individuals that are hurting and inadvertently hurt me in the process.

    But as I was reading your post this morning, I realized that more than the tangible things, it’s the intangible things that often strap me: doubt, insecurity, fear, stress, anxiety, uncertainity etc. All great enemy tools and all things that once turned over to God, He can turn into a tool for His love, grace, encouragement, hope, strength, peace, and joy.

    Thank you for the reminder that the things we should be “strapped” by (and even in that we need to realize that God’s will is not suffocating, burdening, nor does it steal anything from us) should bring glory to God and not to the enemy.

    Love ya.

  4. Karen,
    You are a positively fabulous person and I completely understand feeling strapped. I just commented to a friend moments ago that I have this whole evening to myself and I’m catching up on housework.

    I am so grateful to have your blog back but hope that I speak for all the women who love to read it when I say to take all the time you need and post when you can. Any bit of wisdom and blessing from you is enough, no matter how often you can give it.

    I’m praying for your dear family as you deal with your sister’s condition. We just lost a family member to the “dreaded disease” and know how difficult the battle can be. I know God will give you all the strength you need to travel this journey together.

    Blessings to all of you.

  5. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for today’s devotional, it gives me a lot to think about. I have been home from work for 3 weeks due to knee surgery and the thought of going back is stressful because it is a high pressured job. I am going to seek the Lord to help me manage time better there.

    I pray that your sister in law’s condition gets better.

    Thanks Again

    1. To Debbie,

      I pray the Lord will strengthen you my dear sister. I pray that you will feel the love of Christ surrounding you and that God in His grace and mercy will bring healing to your body. He will give you the grace to sustain you as you go through this time.
      May the Father strengthen you physically, emotionally and spiritually.

      You are His precious child.

      Be encouraged,

  6. Karen,

    I am one of your Weight Loss Wednesday girls. I had hoped you would be starting it back up in August so I checked today. I’m disappointed you’re not going to (at least now) but I understand. I would, however, like to ask for prayer from all the ladies. This Monday I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. It has been caught in the early stages and I have received lots of reassurance from my doctor but he wants me to see a gynecological/oncologist. He gave me two names and for various reasons, I am unable to get an appointment as of yet. One is out of town until mid-August and the other is just really busy. Thanks.

    1. Oh Debbie— Praying God pours His peace and comfort down on you right now! I know He will direct you to the right doctor and treatment and will make you more like His Son in the porcess. Keep us posted on your progress!!! Cyber {{hugs}} to you friend!

      1. Karen and ladies, After my diagnosis of uterine cancer on Monday, I had a CT scan Friday (yesterday). Because my daughter is a nurse at the hospital, I was able to get the report this morning (Saturday). These words are NOT used in the report…cancer, tumor, mass, lesion, shadows, etc. As I was getting the CT, I kept repeating Psalms 30:2 “Oh Lord, my God, I called to you for help and you healed me”…and according to this report, He did!!! I am still waiting for an appointment with the specialists which hopefully will be this week. Thank you so much for the prayers offered up on my behalf. Our God is so Good.

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