Names of God | Jehovah Shammah

We are living in an increasingly strange world. In the midst of voluntary and involuntary isolation, we find ourselves often feeling alone. We not only ask where everyone is when we look outside, but also even ask “Where is the Lord?”in all this? I’ve been doing some blogs on the praying through the names of God because each of God’s names reveal to us more of His character. As we know more of His character than we can have more revelation of His nature. This revelation helps us as we pray to the all powerful God. Today we are going to discuss His name of Jehovah Shammah.

With all this Covid-19 taken place all around us, it’s stirred up lots of conversation about end times and the book of Revelations. The Bible does speak about many adventures coming as we get closer to Christ’s return, but the main point of all these things leads us to the return of Jesus. That brings us to the name of God, Jehovah Shammah, which means The Lord is There.

It is originally referenced in Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord Is There (Shammah).” In this passage, it speaks of the New Jerusalem and that the Lord will be there. After all things are said and done, God will establish a new heaven here on earth with the New Jerusalem. This verse in Ezekiel reveals that God’s physical presence will dwell among us in the New Jerusalem. How amazing will that be? You see throughout time, we have seen God be there with us and even live amongst us with the life of Jesus, but now it will be established forever.

Let’s discuss a few times where God was there in our midst in Biblical times. In Genesis 39:2 “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” And further, Genesis 39:21 “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

In these verses, Joseph was in difficult times as a slave and prisoner. Life was not easy for him but these verses show that God was there in the midst of his adverse situations and it makes a difference. How would Joseph survived the slavery and pit without God being there with him? We don’t always realize he is there but God is there making a difference.

Another way of describing this is with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were thrown into a fiery furnace for not worshipping anyone but Jehovah. What happens, though, is that three men were thrown into the fire but a 4th showed up (the son of God) and was there in the midst of the fire with them walking about. How exciting is that to be in the worst trial of your life, literally thrown into burning blaze to have the son of God walk around with you in the midst of it.

So these were examples of Jehovah Shammah in the Old Testament but now in the new covenant, His presence is constantly with us when Christ accomplished the work of the cross. Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” And in Ephesians 3:17 is just one of many scriptures that reveals Christ resides in us “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith”. Jehovah Shammah feels very much like Immanuel (God is with us), this is because it would be difficult for God to be there and not be with us. So the two are really tied together. I believe there is still yet another revelation of Jehovah Shammah. I’ve shown you one perspective of what Shammah means, and it’s one thing to know that God is with you, but it’s another thing for your enemies to know that God is there by your side.

Let’s read in 1 Samuel 4:5-8

“5 And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before. Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.”

What does this say to our enemies when Jehovah Shammah is there in our midst. What confidence does it give us, to know that daddy God’s presence is there amongst us. Shammah is not only a confidence that God is here but is a reminder to your enemies who they are up against. So just know as you go forth this day that Jehovah Shammah is not only there with you, but that your enemies also know it too, and that’s a scary thing for them. Shammah’s got your back.

The Day My Life Changed

It’s Valentine’s Day, but I probably didn’t need to tell you that. We usually don’t view Valentine’s Day as anything overly special in our house, besides the opportunity for deals on chocolate the next day. That’s something to celebrate.

However, I thought it would be fun to share our love story in the world of bloggers.

Before I start, I want to give a shout out to my friend Sarah Quinlan. She is one of my favourite people and definitely one of my favourite artists, so when I saw that she was branching out and marketing some of her artistic talents, I wanted in. She did a Valentine’s promo where she offered a cartoon sketch for couples – so I immediately messaged her and ordered one of Brian and me. It turned out so perfect, right down to some of the little details that describe us to a T! Check out her Etsy store for some of her latest artwork for sale.

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Ok, now for our story. (check out this post to catch a glimpse of our crazy life together)

It was Sunday, a beautiful August morning a long time ago…1998 to be exact. I thought it was going to be like any other Sunday – get up, get dressed, go to church, then home to nap. Instead, it was the day that changed my entire life.

After church, I tried to sneak out quickly without anyone noticing. As I exited the Sanctuary and turned down the hall, I felt like I could hear my name being called. I turned around to see Brian facing me. There was no way he was calling me, I thought. I had been going to the church for 10 years and he never indicated he even knew my name. I had only ever seen him from afar, so the idea of him stealing my heart never presented itself – until now.

Brian’s strong jaw and stunning eyes captivated my attention for what seemed like an eternity! All of a sudden, I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to his words, but only to the hook that he knowingly threw my way.

He asked me who I hung out with. His suave was uncanny. Me, on the other hand, knew nothing about how to be suave. I awkwardly told him I was a lonely homebody with no friends. Real smooth. He asked me if we could hang out sometime, to which I said yes. Somehow, he responded, he misplaced my number. Funny, I had never given him my number before. Sly, Brian. Real sly.

We exchanged numbers. My heart fluttered more than I had ever felt before. I was captivated, weak in the knees and so nervous. Thoughts of what was happening were rushing through my head at the speed of light. How could this be? How could this happen? Brian was interested in me? Hmmm…

I raced home and literally sat by the phone, willing it to ring. Sure enough, it did and Brian was on the line, asking me if I knew how to rollerblade and if I would like to go down to the Ganatchio Trail the next evening after he was finished work.

For the record, this would officially be our first date. Not to be confused with Brian’s idea of our first date which came 2.5 years later.

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I barely slept on Sunday night, but just like clockwork, Monday morning rolled around without giving any sympathy to my sleepless night. On the bright side, the lack of sleep wasn’t unsolicited. Thoughts of change had crept into my mind and I spent almost the entirety of the night on my knees petitioning God to show me who would be my knight in shining armour.

The day couldn’t pass fast enough! However, though as slow as it may have been, I made it to the end of my work day. Sure enough, my phone rang shortly after five o’clock. There was no question in my mind as to who I would hear on the other end of the line.

After the call, I let out the biggest scream of excitement I had ever let escape my lips. Brian Ciaramitaro was taking me out on a date!

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I wish I could end it here and say that the rest was history – and it was, but just not the fairytale kind. That would come 2.5 years later.

When Brian picked me up, my eyes met his and my heart took a leap inside my chest. The way the sun was hitting his striking eyes was enough to make me weak in the knees.

The next few hours flew by. The sun was starting to set and the picturesque view from the trail was simply breathtaking. As we skated back to his car, I couldn’t help but think about how idyllic my life would be with this amazing man.

We got in the car and I assumed this was the end of the date. When he turned the opposite way out of the parking lot, I couldn’t help but wonder where he was taking me.

“Want to split a strawberry sundae?” the words came off his lips like a sweet melody. Once again, I was completely mesmerized.

My awkward reply? “Uh, yeah. I mean, if that’s what you want.”

He pulled the car into a spot at Dairy Queen. I slid into a booth while Brian ordered a sundae. I watched him intently with a twinkle in my eye. This very well was the start of an amazing adventure.

The next year and a half was a rocky ‘on-again-off-again’ ‘interested-not interested’ ‘are we dating or not’ ‘Sheri’s madly in love with Brian, but Brian could take her or leave her’ kind of adventure. We parted ways for a full year, during which time it appeared that Brain was moving on. I didn’t think I could ever move on – he was all I wanted. Little did I know that he spent that time doing some praying and soul-searching, which brought him right back to me.

Cue Brian’s version of our first date.

No games, no nonsense. If we were going to date, it was going to be with the intent to marry each other. He gave me his knight in shining armour ring.

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We were married 1 year and 3 weeks later.

The rest, my friends, is a dream come true.

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Knee Injection with Durolane

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a blog – I want to say it’s because I’ve been busy.

Yes, we will say it was a combo of the holidays, vacation, and busyness of trying to serve in ministry, film & edit videos, all while entering into the production phase of our new board game (check out SoapBox Games).

…but I’m back….

Today, it’s a video on my latest gel shot experience.

12 years ago I tore my meniscus (working out on the elliptical of all places). I ignored it until a few years later when we went on a cruise. Simply walking around NYC for a full day, I tore it even further.

I’ll spare you the details, but the back of my knee turned into a blue baseball.

Surgery was the answer. It was supposed to make it all better.

Except

…it made it all worse.

I had a scuff on my knee cap and the doc decided to take all the shredded cartilage out of my knee.

Bone on bone. That’s what I was left with.

My options were slim, but I opted for gel injections. (Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried them before). I have a love-hate relationship with them, but they provide me with much-needed relief.

I don’t want this post to be too long, so I won’t go into the details…but until something new and innovative comes along (like a bio-knee or something), I’ll be injecting this beauty of synovial-fluid-like gel into my knee for the next 30 years.

How Do You Handle Tough Times?

Life doesn’t always go the way we think it should. Sometimes it even feels like the twilight zone.

Handling the hiccups and the poop that tries to bury you can be downright overwhelming at times.

I am so grateful for my faith in God because I know He is faithful and will see me through any circumstance – no matter how intense it is.

Today I posted a little heart to heart – hopefully it helps even one person who watches.

A Royal Wedding

Tea crumpets
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I bolted out of bed this morning, thinking I just missed the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Royal Weddings don’t come along all that often and although I believe people should have their privacy, I may be a teeny bit obsessed with anything Royal.

I was grateful to find out that I wasn’t late to the viewing, but rather a day early. So, with that I decided to plan a fantastic viewing party with my daughter where we will use words like crumpet and drink our tea with our pinkies in the air.

I might have to bribe her to get out of bed at 4am, but she’ll soon learn that it’s so worth it!

First things first.

We need a royal name.

I used this website to generate our royal names. I will absolutely expect anyone who interacts with us tomorrow to address us as follows:

Sedona Calhoun, Countess of London

Voila Calhoun, Lady of Windsor

Since it will be super early in the morning for us, I only have plans to stay snuggled in our pyjamas. However, if it wasn’t so early morning, we would be donning our Sunday finest complete with fascinators and five inch heels.

I will break out our treasured tea cups and saucers. I will steep the earl grey tea in the teapot and set it on a tray over a stunning white tablecloth. The scones will be arranged perfectly on a china plate.

Table set
Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

Half of our living room will look like a bedroom.

Half of our living room will look like we are having high tea.

We are going to “ooh” and “ahh” over all the beautiful guests and mostly, we are going to watch an incredible vow of love between two people beginning an incredible journey.

It’s almost Wedding Day!

I know I’m just a small voice in a small town, but I want to extend my best wishes to the happy couple. May their years be blessed and their time together be cherished.

From my heart to theirs, Congratulations!

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding? Comment below.

Mother’s Day | 2018

Mother’s Day. It comes every year. Every year I feel a little more sentimental than the last. 2018 has been one of those periods of time where I’ve needed the comfort, love and support of a mother.

I am so thankful to have the privilege of having 3 beautiful mothers in my life. They have each deposited genuine things in my life for which I’m grateful. If I can live up to a fraction of who they are, I know it will leave a lasting impact on the precious lives with whom I’ve been entrusted.

Then there are those who aren’t my actual mothers, but have left an incredible impact on my future. These are women who pray for me, offer advice when I’m struggling as well as thriving and who care deeply for the well-being of my family.

Now picture all my friends and peers who are also mothers. I find we sharpen each other like iron sharpens iron. We learn from each other’s successes and failures. We pick each other up when the rough days come. We speak encouragement on days we just want to ‘move to Kentucky.’ There’s no judgment when it’s 3pm and pjs are still being donned. These are the women who I’m grateful to have beside me.

To my sisters. I was blessed to grow up close with my sister and then I’ve gained 6 beautiful ones as the years have grown on. Each of these women have a special place in my heart. They laugh with me, cry with me, get stronger with me. They love with me. 2018 is changing a few dynamics as distance tries to settle in. I’m grateful for these treasures and even if I don’t know how to pick up a phone, I do know how to text. Plus, I know how to vacation, so you won’t get tired of seeing my face.

Now to my daughter, who I pray will learn from all my struggles, pick up where I left off without missing a beat and soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams. When you become a mother, I pray you see your children as the most precious gifts that have ever been bestowed upon you. I can’t imagine how life was before you. My wildest dream in life was to be a wife and mother. I’m so grateful that I have been given that gift.

To all these women, to all the mothers, you are true superheroes. Let me be the one to say, Thank You.

Happy Mother’s Day!

An Open Letter to Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

Life gets messy sometimes.

It’s not fun. You won’t like messy. As a matter of fact, you will like all your ‘life items’ to be arranged neatly and fit perfectly in a box that can be topped with a lid and wrapped up in a bow.

Guess what.

That box will tip. I mean, sometimes it will be picked up, dumped on the ground, smashed up and you might feel as though those life items are being whipped at you.

Something’s trying to take you out.

Not cool.

But it will happen.

Don’t let it break you.

Remember who you are. (you may have watched a few too many Disney movies along the way)

Seriously, though. Remember.

You will go through things that will shake you to your core. You will be betrayed by people you cared about deeply. You will be wounded.

You know what?

You get stronger. You stand taller. You become who you are meant to be. Your core is strong and secure. You accomplish more than you even knew you desired. You have a beautiful family with a husband who cares for you dearly.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t get caught up in meaningless drama. Don’t play into that which is meant to destroy you.

Find the forerunners. Find those who want to do good in life. Empower them. Encourage them. Hold their hands tight and their hearts carefully. Guide them toward the light. Use your influence to inspire others to be the best version of themselves – because that’s beautiful.

When you don’t know what to do, fall back on what you already know to be true. Fear God. Honour the King.

Do what you are meant to do.

Be who you are meant to be.

Be you.

Be. You.
❤ ❤ ❤

Have you ever thought of writing a letter to your younger self? If you could write a letter to your younger self using only two words, what would they be? Comment below.