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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.


Heather's Story:

By Heather Tabers

 

I have often been envious of Christians who have amazing stories of how God rescued them from a life of drugs, alcohol, abuse, or poverty. To be brought out of a life of despair and into a life of hope is a beautiful testimony of God’s saving grace. My story is nothing like that and, to be perfectly honest, for a while I felt like my story had less value. Growing up in the church and in a Christian home, I was saved at the age of 9 on a Sunday evening. Sure, I had felt convicted of my sins- but at that point in my life, the worst thing I had ever done was stealing a sticker out of my best friend’s sticker book. That didn’t feel like much to need to be rescued from. As I got older and heard countless Christians tell of their dramatic salvation and rescue stories, I was disappointed that I would never have such a powerful story to share. I could not have been more wrong.

 

While I grew up loving Jesus, my faith was not tested much as a child. I always knew that Jesus was there but I didn’t feel like I needed him very often. That all changed when I was 21 years old. Having been diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease during my senior year of high school, my doctors told me when I got married at the tender age of 20 that if I wanted to have a baby I should start trying early as they were not certain that my body would be able to bare children. After our first year of marriage we decided to try and within three months I was pregnant. When I called my rheumatologist to tell her the good news, she had devastating news to share with me. The results of my routine pulmonary labs had come back showing that I had pulmonary hypertension and that I was most likely going to die.

 

The worst news I have ever received became the defining moment in my faith. My rheumatologist immediately sent me to one of the best perinatologists in the country who immediately urged me to abort my unborn child. She showed me case studies and read me the statistics- I only had a 50% chance of surviving the pregnancy, if I aborted the baby. If I refused, they did not expect me or the baby to survive. Against my doctor’s wishes, I chose to keep my baby. My doctor continued to pressure me with horror stories of how I would die hooked up to a ventilator in the hospital, suffocating to death, leaving my husband a widower to possibly have to raise our potentially premature, sickly baby alone. My faith was tested but it did not waiver. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the same God who rescued alcoholics, prostitutes, and drug abusers from a life of pain and shame was big enough to rescue me. I trusted His sovereignty and His will for my life and I placed both my life and my baby’s into His capable, loving hands.

 

The story of my pregnancy is long but it is a testimony of the power of prayer. Because so many believers came to the throne on our behalf, my daughter, Miracle Denene, is now a beautiful red-headed thirteen year old who loves Jesus. I learned to never compare my story to someone else’s. God paints beautiful pictures on the canvases of our lives. No two pictures look the same but each comes with the surrender of ourselves to His capable hands. Some pictures may be bold and very detailed while others are soft and subdued but they are all beautiful masterpieces of our God.

Heather Tabers is the wife of a wounded warrior and the mother of five children. She is also currently a full time student, a specialty cake baker, and a volunteer with the VA Public Relations office. She writes about her life and her faith to encourage other women on her blog, Wives of War.



Mary's Story

By Mary Parker

On August 29, 2010, things were a little hectic in my life. I had just started graduate school, and was a full-time student working about 20 hours a week. I lived with my future husband, and we were scheduled to be married in just a little over a month. School work, planning the last details of the wedding, and feeling imminent pressure from a number of sources left me drained, sad and alone.


I confided in my fiancée and one of our best friends how I was feeling, and we decided to try a church we had heard a lot about. Although I attended church frequently as a child, I always felt the messages were condemning and didn’t really apply to my life. Once I was on my own, friends and priorities like working and partying became my life, so church wasn’t even on my radar. Neither was God. I felt like something was missing in my life, and since I had tried everything to fill the void (work, school, relationships, lifestyle), it seemed like church was worth a shot.

That night I heard the gospel in a way I never had before, laid out in a way that I could understand and even see in my own behavior: God loves me, but due to sin I am separated from God. NO amount of work that I do on my own can ever bridge the gap between us, but God is constantly pursuing me through the love of Jesus, who died so that I might live. “The only way to the Father is through the Son,” Jesus, who lived a perfect life in a horrifically imperfect world, and by acknowledging that he is the “way, the truth and the life” I can return to communion with God.

It sounds so simple now, but it rocked my world. As a child, I legitimately thought the only reason people went to church was so they wouldn’t go to hell. No one had ever told me that the reason Jesus died was because God loves me.

So that night, full of conviction, I walked to the front of the sanctuary, wrote my name on a slip of paper and nailed it to a cross. My husband and dear friend made the same demonstration of faith that night, and our lives began to change forever.

A month later my husband and I were married. Two days after our wedding we were baptized together. We began volunteering at church and in the community. Our relationships were enhanced. We learned daily lessons about following Jesus, especially in ways of patience, mercy and grace, through reading our Bibles and worshipping with fellow believers. I learned that in my past I had been too focused on church to see Jesus shining through.

Following Christ didn’t mean that all our troubles were over, however. When I was in graduate school, we struggled financially, which led to credit card debt and tension in our new marriage. Once we realized this was a “treasure” in our lives that we were coveting and prioritizing more than Jesus, we made the move to surrender our finances to Christ and began tithing. On a household income of less than $40,000, we paid off more than $11,000 in debt in under a year. If I ever needed proof that God wants what is best for me, this was it.

During this same time, it became apparent that something in our lives needed to change. My husband was unfulfilled in his work, and I was daunted by anxiety and responsibility. We prayed and studied our Bibles, but couldn’t figure out a solution. We had always hoped for worldwide travel and adventure, but we felt stuck and stagnant, as though we weren’t in the right place to flourish. That’s when the United States Air Force entered our lives, by glowing recommendation of my husband’s aunt, a retiring Lt. Colonel.

After a lot of discussion and prayer, we became an Air Force family. We had one long hot summer in the west Texas desert, and then we moved to the frozen frontier of Fairbanks, Alaska. We love our home and the adventurous lifestyle we experience everyday in the extreme climate and adventure of Alaska. We still face struggles, big and small, daily.

Though we’ve searched for months and visited several churches, we haven’t found a new church home. We miss our church in South Carolina dearly; it is the community where we received salvation, were baptized and began walking with the Lord. Nothing can replace that, but we are seeking a new community of believers locally to share life with. We’ve also been trying to grow our family for more than a year, and have reasons to believe that we may have more difficulty than the average couple.

Whatever struggles life may bring, we know and are ever thankful for the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ. Our God provides, comforts, sheds light on a narrow path, and is always right beside us every step of the way.

Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief. 



Laura's Story

Editor’s Note: This month, the ladies of the CMWF Writing Team are sharing parts of their stories with you. These military wives come from all different backgrounds and bring unique, beautiful stories to the table. We hope you enjoy getting to know us a little bit better!

By Laura Moore



When Darren and I were first married, we were not a military family. We were a young couple trying to figure out how to love each other and live together at the same time. It was kind of ugly at times. We were both selfish and had different ideas on how to do everything- and I mean everything! It was difficult, and looking back I wonder why I didn’t see that it was more important to love Darren instead of always needing to prove my point and determining to be right.

I didn’t know how God could save a marriage that was crumbling within the first few months.


Thankfully His plans were to bring us hope, and when Darren joined the military it was a turning point in our marriage. It didn’t make everything perfect, but I know that’s when I started to appreciate him a lot more.

Having him gone for extended times with little communication revealed how much I loved that guy. I was able to step back and see how God called me to support and love him. I came face to face with what was really in my heart. I don’t mean to say we didn’t have disagreements and that our marriage was always thriving. The first few years as a married couple, we struggled. But I’m thankful for how God would teach both of us and pull us closer year after year.

Here we are, nearing our fifth year as a military family, and I look back fondly at these years. I was told many times that the stress on our marriage from the military lifestyle would make it difficult to have a good marriage. I saw a lot of marriages end these last few years, but prayed God would strengthen ours no matter the circumstances.

He has answered that prayer, and we have made a strong effort to stay connected.

There were certainly challenges. How can you have a marriage with little to no communication month after month? I chose to marry Darren and wanted to spend my life with him, not apart. When he was home, most of that time he was very exhausted with little to offer. That was our biggest challenge.

I think if I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord then our situation would probably be very different. I would have felt hopeless all those years. But when issues presented themselves, we talked through them and didn’t shut each other out. That was not always easy but it was important to let each other know what was working and also what wasn’t.

We are currently on Darren’s shore duty and it has been amazing. I am so happy that he has a chance to rest. He still has a job that he works hard at here, but we’re soaking up this time together as a family.

We face unique challenges in our military marriages, but I would love to hear one thing that you do to stay connected to your spouse. Looking forward to reading your ideas in the comments!

Laura is a Christ-follower, Navy wife, mother to one toddler, writer, and coffee drinker. She writes about Faith, Military Life, and Motherhood at Embracing This Life.




Psalm 27: Take Heart
{Trigger: Combat loss}

Word of a crash travels quickly in the aviation community.

On this particular Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to hear the news from my husband, which meant I also knew he was safe.

But grief still comes with relief, with the knowledge that somewhere, on six different doorsteps, two solemn uniformed soldiers are ringing the doorbell. Six lives changed in a horrible, irrevocable way. Six people waiting on a phone call that isnʼt coming.

Bear with me, I am going to go a little backwards here. I want to tell you about Psalm 27, a psalm characterized by Matthew Henry as being, “Expressive of the pious and devout affections with which gracious souls are carried out towards God at all times, especially in times of trouble.”

And oh, in this life there is trouble.

Verse 14 tells us to wait. Specifically, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”

 

 


We wait on the Lord, but the stark truth is we donʼt always get the answer we want--healing, prosperity, life. But friends, that does not void the promises made in His inerrant Word. We are not abandoned. We are loved. We are FORGIVEN. We are known. And He works all things for the good of those who love Him.

And while we wait, may this be what we seek:

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock {Psalm 27:4-5}.


“The gracious presence of God, his power, his promise, his readiness to hear prayer, the witness of his Spirit in the hearts of his people—these are the secrets of his tabernacle, and in these the saints find cause for that holy security and serenity of mind in which they dwell at ease. This sets them upon a rock which will not sink under them, but on which they find firm footing for their hopes; nay, it sets them up upon a rock on high, where the raging threatening billows of a stormy sea cannot touch them; it is a rock that is higher than we” {Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible}.

So we wait, we rest, we cling tight to the promises that are true even in the darkest days. And sisters, I know there are days, weeks, months even that the knowledge of His promises must carry us through the treachery of our despairing hearts. What we know is not what we feel.

“Those that wait upon the Lord have reason to be of good courage” {Matthew Henry}.

 

Reflection

What does it mean to “wait on the Lord?” What should your attitude be while you wait?

How easy is it for you to remember God’s promises during times of heartache? Why?

 What is your typical response when you don’t get the answer from God that you were hoping for? What does God want for you during those times?




Prayer

Father, give me the strength to wait on You in my times of heartache and fear. Let Your Spirit remind me of Your promises. I believe that You are good, and that You love me. I trust You as my safe dwelling, my shelter, my Rock. Amen.

 

Molly Huggins (All The Grace Between) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.


Psalm 139: Search My Heart

 A little over a year ago my husband left for two months of training. We’ve been together for years and living without him provided new challenges for me, like how to sleep in an empty bed, how to make meals for one, how to laugh and how to talk through my day. I felt an emptiness without his presence.

 

Within a week I was lonely. Although I was surrounded by friends and family, nothing could fill the void my husband left. I was desperate for comfort but was reminded of Psalm 139. My anxious heart found comfort as I prayed the words of the Psalm,

 

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (23-24).

 

This prayer is a constant reminder to stay grounded as I strive to please to God while facing the challenges of missing an absent husband. The loneliness I felt afforded me the opportunity to dig deeper into God’s word.

 

The Psalmist exudes love for God and praises His companionship in verses 4-6; “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” As I missed my husband and the way we would finish each others' sentences, I learned to recognize that my Father God is always present and knows my sentences before I even think them! Although this was knowledge I already had, the Holy Spirit comforted me by bringing it to my remembrance when I needed it the most.

 

Aside from working and spending time with family, I dedicated our time apart to God. I sought to build a more firm relationship with Him by putting Him first in every situation. Psalm 139 encourages a dialogue with God, a conversation about the ways that He loves me and is always with me, constantly encouraging me to draw closer to Him. During a season when I needed God the most, I found Him through His word and His precious thoughts of me (17).
In retrospect, as I think about the time apart from my husband, I realize things were not as gloomy as they seemed. As we prepare for another separation from each other as well as the support of friends and family, I am thankful I have God as my light for whom, “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (12).

 

Reflection
What actions, thoughts or behaviors in my life may be “offensive” to God?
How can I pursue a stronger relationship with God every day?
Do I prioritize other people or things above God in my life? How? Why?


Prayer
Pray the words of the Psalmist today as you go about your day, inviting Him into all the things you are doing:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 


 

Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects, at Mary's Mischief. 




Dear Military Spouse: You Are Not Alone


I walked into the guest room as he was packing his bags. I had to weave through the camouflage catastrophe to get to him, making miracles of space in an oversized rucksack.


I leaned over his shoulder, kissed him, and eased myself out of the room.

I hate watching him pack his bags.

And this morning, when he stands framed in the wavy leaded glass of the front door, an olive drab duffel bag in each strong, tanned hand ... my heart cracks a little under the weight of it. This is the image I will carry through the next nine months, his broad back filling the doorway, walking away.

And we are not alone in this ... there are a million goodbyes whispered in doorways in the dark, on tarmacs, in hangars, and everywhere else soldiers gather to be shipped away. Many have gone before us. He represents them all in this moment, gathered in the shape of one man gripping his bags and hefting them on his shoulders.

And I curl inward on the hurt from my breaking heart, tears welling up from the dark, hard places that know about the leaving. Fat drops that pool in the corners of my eyes before I hastily brush them away. Because I ... we know about the leaving, the goodbyes, the what-could-happens. Grief and loss are begrudging companions on this journey we’ve traveled.

We all know about the leaving.


With wet cheeks, I uncurl from the leather chair. Because, sisters, here is the truth that keeps me breathing deep.

He’s leaving tomorrow. But I am not alone.

I am never alone. My loving, heavenly Father promises he will never forsake me. Never abandon me. {Hebrews 13:5b}

“Fear not,” he says, “for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” {Isaiah 43:1-3}.


I know this is true. We’ve lived it. The Holy One has walked with me through moves, miscarriages, deployments, and death.

We serve a steadfast God, who lives with us in the hard places. One who knows about the leaving. And I will urge you {and preach to myself}, in the same way Moses exhorted Joshua before the battle of Jericho, against all odds: 


“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” {Deuteronomy 31:6}.


He’s leaving. But I am never alone.


Molly Huggins (All The Grace Between) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.



A Shepherd for the Shepherds

By Molly Huggins



I’ve lost two babes at two different times in the days before Christmas.

And so I revel in the humanity of the players in that first Nativity. I empathize with young Mary, of course.

I keep thinking of her physical feelings, her emotions at being a first-time mother. Closing my eyes and thinking of her in labor…in a cave/stable/animal dwelling. The smell, the temperature, the dust…the pain. Cleaning, or trying to clean him. Nursing him for the first time. How sweet that moment is. Or scary, or frustrating, or overwhelming.
Unwashed teenage boys came traipsing in to see her wee man. Was she scared? Happy?
I just love knowing that Jesus had a mommy who did mommy things like nursing, and wiping bottoms, and soothing tears, and swaying to calm Him, and loving His smiles…all the while knowing He was never really hers.

But today, I want to talk to you about the shepherds--those unwashed teenage boys.


Shepherds were second-class, or no-class citizens. They were despised, distrusted, and outcast. “Smug religious leaders maintained a strict caste system at the expense of shepherds and other common folk. Shepherds were officially labeled ‘sinners’—a technical term for a class of despised people.”


And yet ...

“Into this social context of religious snobbery and class prejudice, God’s Son stepped forth. How surprising and significant that Father God handpicked lowly, unpretentious shepherds to first hear the joyous news: “It’s a boy, and He’s the Messiah!” ~ From Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries.

The angel promises the shepherds in Luke 2:10, “... good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

For all of us. The broken, the broke-down, the hurting, the poor, and the lonely. All of us--the wounded and the wound-makers. The Shepherd came to the shepherds, for the shepherds.


And oh, the Good News. We don’t just celebrate a Birth. We celebrate victory over death, over sin. We celebrate a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, a Prince of Peace {from Isaiah 9:6}.

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. His peace is not as the world gives...is unable to give {from John 14:27}.

Peace to mend a broken heart, a broken marriage; peace to bind the wounds of our shattered lives. Peace to calm a grieving mother as she watched her Son die slowly on a cross.

“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them” Luke 8:20.

Dear friends, take a moment to marvel at the news--to praise God for the Good News of great joy that will be for all the people.


Prayer
Father, thank You for sending Your Son into the world to be with us. Thank You for Emmanuel- God with us- right in our brokenness and mess. Bring peace to our hearts today. Bring hope and healing where our souls need it most. Thank You for the gift of life given to us in Jesus. Amen.



Molly Huggins (All The Grace Between) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.



Mary Trusted God

By Heather Tabers


“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” ~ Luke 1:45

“I have trust issues.” Have you ever heard anyone say that?
Perhaps you have uttered those words yourself. Placing trust in someone can be very risky- there is great gain to be had if that person holds true to their word and great loss to be felt if they do not. Most likely we have all felt the crushing of our hearts when we trusted someone who proved to be untrustworthy, especially if the loss we suffered was great in doing so.

Mary was a young girl who found herself in a very difficult and embarrassing position. She was a virgin, engaged to be married and pregnant with a child that was not her fiancée’s (nor hers, really). She knew that she could be accused of adultery and stoned to death. Everything was at stake- her marriage, her reputation, her life. Yet, Mary chose to believe God. She believed the words of the angel and of her cousin Elizabeth. Most importantly, she trusted the heart of the God she loved and served.

Friend, you may find it hard to trust the people in your life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to trust our government. Sometimes it is hard to trust our husband, our family, or our friends, but the heart of our loving Father can always be trusted. This Christmas season I invite you to treasure the gift of Jesus in a fullness that you may have never known. Leave the doubts of your heart at the cross and seek the Baby in the manger with a completely open heart.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~Romans 15:13



Prayer
Father God, we confess our seasons of unbelief and we lay them down before you. You know the wounds of our hearts and the reasons we doubt. Heal those areas in our lives, Lord. This Christmas season we want You to fill us completely and wholly with Your love. We believe, Lord. Amen.

Reflection
1. Take a moment to reflect on how Mary and Joseph must have felt. Do you trust God that deeply?
2. Has there been a time in your life where you didn’t trust God, yet he proved Himself trustworthy?
3. Is there an area of your life that you need to let go and simply trust God?


Heather Tabers is the wife of a wounded warrior and the mother of five children. She is also currently a full time student, a specialty cake baker, and a volunteer with the VA Public Relations office. She writes about her life and her faith to encourage other women on her blog. Wives of War.




A Savior is Born

By Laura Moore


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

 

Who would have thought that God would use a tiny baby as the light that would save a dark world? Through a prophecy recorded in Isaiah 9:6 God shows us a glimpse of our savior.

 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

 

Before we talk about the wonderful meanings of these names of Jesus, don’t you think it’s wonderful how God’s word is always fulfilled? As military families we are often given a direction only to have it changed a few times. We don’t have much hope in the date we’re given for our spouse’s return from deployment. We are told we will be moving to one place and at the last moment it falls through. We are told a medical procedure is covered, only to be thrown for a loop when we are slapped with a huge bill.

 

While we can’t hold a lot of hope in these circumstances, we can celebrate how our God does not waiver in His plans for our lives or this world. Isn’t that great news?!

 

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

 

During this Christmas season, remember that God gave the world a tiny baby as He promised. This small one is our Wonderful Counselor who is exceptional and always gives the right advice. He is our Mighty God, not only Jesus, but God himself. Our Everlasting Father is timeless and as The Prince of Peace, He runs a government of justice and peace.

 

We were given a gift and this is why we celebrate together: that to us a child was born who is our light, and we can find hope in Him through any circumstance we face.

 

Reflection
In what ways has God shown you His faithfulness lately?

What areas of your life do you struggle to trust Him with- family, friends, work, etc.?

 

Prayer

Lord, thank You for always fulfilling Your words. You are so faithful. Thank You for being all that You are- Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Help me to rest in You today. I choose to let go of every fear or worry in Your presence, knowing that You will always come through for me. Give me the strength to trust You. Amen.

 

Laura is a Christ-follower, Navy wife, mother to one toddler, writer, and coffee drinker. She writes about Faith, Military Life, and Motherhood at her blog, Embracing this Life.



Choosing to See


Written by Laura Moore



There are certainly times in our lives we forget all that God has given us and we need to be reminded.
At least that’s true for me. It’s easy to forget the gifts while we are concentrating on the many things that seem to be going wrong. Sadly, we’ll find there are always things wrong in this world and in our lives.

As military spouses we are placed in situations that can be hard to thank God for. How do we give thanks when a spouse misses another birthday, when our best friend down the road moves across the country, and we feel utterly alone?

I’m not saying it’s not going to be easy. But I want you to know that peace does come to the woman who kneels before God and starts thanking Him and acknowledging His hand over her life.

Throughout scripture we’re instructed to give thanks. Thankfulness should be the language a Christian speaks best, for we have so much to be grateful for! Our attitude matters in this choice to give thanks or keep on talking about everything going wrong. I’m kind of an expert at pointing out problems, but it reflects after awhile and I get tired of my own complaining! We are always given a choice, and lately I’ve been trying hard to see where God has shown His love. It makes me a much happier person to focus on Christ rather than my circumstances.

Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)
…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Our God not only calls us into a relationship but He also pours out blessings through the simple things all around us. Whether it’s the sun peeking through the curtains, a view of golden and red leaves spread across the trees, or even a warm hug from a friend- these are blessings God pours out for us, His children.

Here is my challenge for you during this season where everyone is encouraging us to give thanks: Grab a pen and paper and jot down some of the little things you see where God is working in your heart, or showing how much He cares for you. Begin to open your eyes today to the small gifts around you, and thank God for them.

I will start by letting you know how grateful I am for you--that you have landed on this article and that we get to walk through this military spouse role together as we both figure it out.


Reflection


In what areas of my life do I struggle to give thanks?


What holds me back from living a life of thanksgiving?


What are three blessings I can thank God for this morning?

Prayer
Lord, thank You for all of Your blessings in my life. Even when I can’t see them- or choose not to- Your steady hand continues to provide for me. I pray that You would change my heart today toward a posture of thanks. Open my eyes to see the beauty You’ve placed all around me, so that I might give thanks to You. Amen.

 

Laura is a Christ-follower, Navy wife, mother to one toddler, writer, and coffee drinker. She writes about Faith, Military Life, and Motherhood at her blog, Embracing This Life.