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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.


Psalm 91: The Soldier's Prayer

 

 

Psalm 91 is often referred to as the Soldier’s Prayer or the Soldier’s Psalm. Countless veterans of the many wars around the globe have prayed this Psalm and carried it with them into battle. As military wives, it is our responsibility to wield the Sword of God’s Word in our homes, and Psalm 91 is one of the sharpest swords in our arsenal. If your husband is deployed, this passage of scripture can be prayed as a hedge of protection around him in battle. If your husband is home, these verses can be prayed over your entire family as you seek God’s protection from not only physical harm, but also from oppression, spiritual attacks and other wicked schemes from the enemy.

 

If you are not in the habit of praying God’s Word over your husband, I encourage you to start with some of these verses from Psalm 91. You can insert your husband’s name as I have done below. Your husband may fight physical wars in the military but as Christians, we all fight in a much larger spiritual battle. As military wives, our roles are very significant. We are Warrior Princesses of the Most High God, called into His service as a Sword wielding warrior. Pick up your Sword, Princess! It’s time to battle for those we love.

 

Bob, who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “You are Bob’s refuge and his fortress,
Our God, in whom we both trust!”
For it is He who delivers my husband from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover Bob with His pinions,
And under His wings Bob may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
Bob will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at my husband’s side
And ten thousand at his right hand,
But it shall not approach Bob.
(Psalm 91:1-7)

 

Reflection & Prayer
Pray the words of the psalm over your husband today, and rest in the truth that God goes before him and beside him in any battle he faces.




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.



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.



Dear Military Spouse: When God is in the Lonely Nights

Dear Military Spouse,

 

Military life can be so lonely. Deployments, TDYs and overnight training exercises leave us home alone much more often than we would like. When the kids are sick, the car breaks down, or the washing machine starts leaking, we often find ourselves asking, “Where is my husband?!” Even harder on the heart are the nights we lay in bed alone, curled up with a t-shirt that still smells like him and praying that God would bring him home safely. It has been during those moments that God has revealed Himself to me in a deeper and more intimate way.

 

Since I was a little girl I have known God has my Savior. As a teenager I began to know Him as the Lord of my life. As an adult, I learned how to go to Him as my Father. But it was not until I found myself all alone in our bed one night that I learned how to trust and love God as my Husband. That’s right; I said that God is my husband.

 

Isaiah 54:5 says, “For your Maker is your Husband – the LORD Almighty is his name…”

 

I remember reading these words and wondering how God could possibly be my Husband. I continued reading and found that God tells us that He will call us back as if we were a wife “deserted and distressed in spirit.” Oh sister, have you ever felt deserted or distressed in spirit? It was as if God had penned those words just for me. The more I read the more I learned that God has deep compassion for me and those words soothed my aching heart. How good is our God? Not only is He a Father to the fatherless, but He is a Husband to the single mom (even the geographically single mom!).

 

Whether your husband is sitting next to you as you read these words, or whether he is deployed on a mission, or he has abandoned you and his marriage vows, your Husband God is never going to leave your side. His love and compassion are never ending. His promises are never failing. Dear Sister, I encourage you to bring every unfulfilled expectation in your heart to God, lay them at the foot of His cross and exchange it for the peace that passes all understanding. Then curl up in the welcoming arms of your loving God and rest in His presence. He loves you, dear Sister. He always has and He always will.

 

Love,
Heather

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.



Dear Military Spouse: Fighting Back Negativity


Dear Military Spouse,

I don’t know where you are or exactly what you’re going through, but I am sure that your life is FULL of challenges. From the sudden changes that can occur with moves, TDYs and the uncertainties of deployments, we always have to be on our toes and ready to adapt. Combine those potential hardships with the demands of everyday life and work, and being a military spouse becomes a difficult job description to fulfill.

As the new kid on the block at our first base, I had all sorts of anxieties about meeting people and getting plugged into the community. When things didn’t progress as quickly as I had hoped, I became discouraged. When I wasn’t able to put my hard earned Master’s degree to work immediately, I began to feel worthless and lost. Fear and doubt became my enemy and I felt my faith becoming strained and tested.

Whether the enemy takes shape in the form of negative thoughts, negative people in your surroundings, or excruciatingly difficult circumstances, God wants to redeem you.  In the Old Testament, God is described primarily as the Redeemer. As the Israelites struggled in Egypt, the wilderness, and under Babylonian rule, God rescued them from their enemies, offering salvation and forgiveness. In the New Testament, the blood of Jesus is provided as an ultimate promise of redemption for all who accept Him. God is the redeemer of our lives and circumstances. He has the authority to rescue us from all our enemies if we simply reach out and ask for His help.

As I worked hard to thwart negativity, I recalled this passage:

 “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:2-5).

Remembering how God pulled me out of a pit of despair in order to grant me new life helped me understand this truth: God saved me for a purpose! God gives us a new blessed life in free of fear and worry.  He brings us from deep darkness into marvelous light. Putting that sharp contrast into perspective
reminds me to be thankful, no matter the circumstances.

I am alive in God! I am whole in Christ! I am redeemed and set free! I am forgiven! I choose not to live in fear!

Dear Sister, as you walk through today- potentially a difficult path where you feel the pain of every step- I ask you to remember where you have been and how God’s love has saved you. Cling to the truth of His salvation: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23). Remember Jesus’ sacrifice and hold onto the hope of salvation. Know that as our circumstances change, our God stays the same, and He wants to redeem you today! 


Love,

Your Sister in Christ, Mary 




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.


Dear Military Spouse: When Plans Come Undone

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

Jeremiah 32:17


Dear Military Spouse,

You've probably been there, and so you know- deployments come with a great deal of planning. I made the decision to move into my parents’ home while my husband would be deployed for ten months. There was a lot of planning and preparation put into this move. Two days before the deployment, I stood in the kitchen surrounded by boxes. My mother-in-law and I were cleaning and getting things together when I received a phone call from a friend. She was asking if I had heard the news about deployment being canceled.

Can you picture that? I have to believe you’ve been through similar experiences. How everything you set in order is turned upside down and there lie all the scattered pieces of your well-thought-out plan.

I stood outside for a moment, trying to accept our new reality while mumbling under my breath, “I don’t know what to do.” I must have said that over and over for at least an hour. I was suffering from serious whiplash!

That afternoon we fielded dozens of phone calls and messages from family and friends offering assistance, and a place to stay for however long we needed. What a gift!

Sometimes when you’re going through something, it’s not clear what God is up to. It’s only when you’re out of the fog that you can turn back around and see where He was working things together for your good and His glory.

He is in control of our circumstances and nothing is a surprise to him. It’s one of my favorite characteristics of God because I love having a plan! He is not shrugging his shoulders about the direction of our lives. We can trust that he is at work through this challenging lifestyle to which he’s called our families. We are led by the God who is in highest authority and rules over everything that was, and is to come.

Laura



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.


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.



Joseph Surrendered His Plans

By Mary Parker


Although there are many examples of Godly people in the Bible, one of the most admirable is Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. In Matthew 1, Joseph discovers that his betrothed, Mary, is pregnant and is certain the child cannot be his. Joseph, despite what must have been devastating news, decides to go through with the marriage and plans to quietly divorce Mary (Matthew 1:18). This passage clearly displays Joseph’s great love. In spite of his own hurt, he does not try to hurt Mary. 


Joseph abandons his plan and follows God’s plan, trusting the word of God as truth. Then, an Angel of the Lord visits Joseph in a dream and tells him that Mary is in fact carrying Jesus, who “will save his people from their sins”. Joseph does not sit idly by or doubt the word of God (Matthew 1:21). We are told that Joseph was faithful to the law; it is important to remember that before Jesus, the law was the only way for people to consecrate themselves to God. 
Because Joseph was so faithful to God, he was obedient to God’s word. We are told, “when Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife” (Matthew 1:24). Despite news that would rattle even the most faithful believer, Joseph puts all his trust in God and immediately follows God’s instructions from the moment he wakes up. Joseph abandons his plan and follows God’s plan, trusting the word of God as truth.


The story of Joseph, his strong character and faith show us that God does not operate according to our plans. I’m sure Joseph never dreamt of marrying a pregnant woman whose child was not his own. But I’m also confident that Joseph would not have traded being the earthly father of Jesus for any plans he may have prepared on his own. 


As we study this story around Christmas, I encourage you to pray over any plans you have made for your life – for today, tomorrow and long-term. Instead of relying on your own plans, put all your trust in God, our faithful Father who provides a way in every circumstance, even those that test our faith. 



Reflection

Why is Joseph’s story an important aspect of Christmas? 

How can you develop the strong faith of Joseph?

In what areas of your life can you surrender your plans and trust God completely? 

Prayer
Father God, Thank you for this time that we get to study your son Jesus, and all of the wonderful ways that his coming blessed the world. Thank you for your word that tells of Joseph’s faith so that I may learn how to better follow you and your plans for me, each and every day. I trust that you will make all things work together for my good, even when circumstances seem scary or turn out differently than I expect. Help me to put my plans aside and put all my trust in you today and every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. 

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


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.