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CMWF Blog

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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.


Grow in Patience, Not Impatience

It is amazing how much God loves us and nourishes our growth each and every day. God formed us “in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). While some good works start outwardly and have an impact on the heart, others begin with heart change reflected in our actions.

God has called me to be more patient. For some people this may not take a lot of work, but that certainly doesn’t describe me, and never really has. The more quiet time I spend with God, the more confident I am that God wants me to focus on enhancing the fruit of the spirit in my life that is most challenging: patience (Galatians 5:22-23).

This morning God challenged me to grow by extending grace to a stranger. I was strolling along down the dairy aisle when a woman in front of me made a sudden, wide U-turn, forcing me to cling to the rack of shredded cheese for dear life. Moments later we encountered one another in the 10 items or less self-checkout lane. As I quickly scanned my three produce items, I could hear her behind me sighing and saying some pretty hurtful things about me. Satan was on my left shoulder telling me to be offended and urging me to confront her in anger.

Instead, I chose to focus my thoughts on Jesus. He challenged me not to judge others because others can’t see God in my actions when I act impatiently. I was convicted to pray, “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” (Psalm 139: 23-24). So I scanned quickly, smiled, and wished her a good day.

When we set our eyes on Jesus, we can find the strength to extend patience and gentleness to others under any circumstance. Although a smile in the checkout lane is a small thing, it was given with the patient intention to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”
(2 Corinthians 1:4).

We live by God’s grace each day, and by extending grace towards others, we can do a good work in the lives of others as well as our own hearts.



Reflection

What situations tempt me to be impatient?

How can I better please God in situations when I choose not to judge others?

What opportunities do I have to pray for others each day?

Prayer
Father, thank you for always being patient with me, especially when I make mistakes. Thank you for not throwing my mistakes in my face or creating obstacles for me because of them, but welcoming me into your comforting, loving arms so that I might learn. Help me to be more patient with myself, others and my surroundings each and every day so that I may nurture the fruits of the spirit and become closer to you. Help me to be a more godly woman so that others can see your great works and love in my actions. Thank you God for loving me. I love you and worship only you. 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 on her blog, Mary's Mischief. 


It's Not a Masquerade: A Call to Come Together
Sometimes, life as a military spouse is like being smack dab in the middle of a masquerade ball. You know, the dance where everyone gently places a mask on and twirls around perfectly?  Being a military spouse isn’t comfortable. We have a hard time planting roots as we jump into a new community, church, job, or group of friends. Deep down, most of us are pretty lonely a lot of the time, but we’re pretending it’s all good.  We put on a mask. And it’s not helping anyone.

 

Our arms are full of babies, bottles, laundry; paper work spills onto the counters and kitchen table. We buy into the lie that everything will fall apart if we admit we’re not perfect so we don’t ask for help as we chug along with our mask in place.  It’s in the quiet moments that we discover we’re not doing well. And in those moments, how desperately we need to be reminded of the need for transparency with one another.

Proverbs 27:17 describes the kind of friendship God desires for us:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

God has created us to sharpen each other, to help us each become more like Christ, through authentic friendships. You and I need each other. We need to reach across the table and grab hands, to be told that it’s normal to cry when our husbands leave, and normal when we’re exhausted after juggling a full day of being mom, and that it’s okay to slip up! We can come together to encourage and lift each other up but only by slipping off our masks and showing flaws, and revealing just how much we depend on our great God.

We bless our sisters when we help them carry the load through authentic relationships. We have a rare and beautiful sisterhood that is unexplainable to those outside the military world. It’s our military sisters that pick up the kids, drop off a meal, call to make sure we’re alive, and give us that reassuring look when things are falling apart.

Drop the mask today. Keep loving and reaching out, because we truly need one another.

Reflection

How has a military spouse blessed you recently?

What is holding you back from being authentic with others?

Who are a few military spouses you can bless through friendship and prayer?

Prayer
Lord, thank You for loving me unconditionally, even in my failures and shortcomings. Your Word says that Your power is made perfect in my weaknesses. Help me to trust You for that. Thank You for the friendships You have given me as I walk through all seasons of life. Give me strength and courage to be vulnerable with others. I pray that you will make me a blessing to others as I walk with You, living authentically, relying on Your grace and not myself. 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 Embracing This Life.



When Fear Takes Over

I have a confession to make. Seven years and four deployments into this Army life, I still wrestle with fear. We all do. I tell my fellow Army wives that battling fear is a daily struggle. There is no magic pill, special prayer, specific activity, or pithy quote that instantly unfreezes you. That keeps you calm when he hasn’t called and he's on a mission and you are spiraling into crazy, imagining all that's gone wrong. You fight every day and towards the end, you sleep a little easier, you breathe more. You surrender every day to a loving, merciful Savior with a Master Plan and irresistible Grace.

 

But fear still lurks. 


Just months ago, on this most recent New Year’s Day - I found myself momentarily paralyzed. There was a hailstorm. Out of nowhere. I was so confused. As I was scrambling to pick up the chalk scattered over my garage parking space so I could get my car inside, I had an epiphany. I was contemplating how (or if) I wanted to write about the last year, to wrap it up in a neat little package, or maybe write about next year, what I want to do, hope to do, have fooled myself into thinking I will do . . . but I realized that the weather told the whole story.

It was beautiful. And then stormy. Out of nowhere. And in this life, I pick up the pieces and scramble for the shelter I know I have in the arms of the Almighty.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:21-24, ESV).

In that moment I was struggling desperately with fear already, the vague harbinger of a specific storm. I felt it in my gut. A move. A new job. Another deployment? Another deployment. Fear.

My heart was sinking, hardening a little . . . moving, more goodbyes, another year apart, more loneliness. And then in the deep dark, I knew . . . I know . . . there is sunshine in between. There is sunshine after. There is joy in the morning. There is shelter in the storm. I am His.

And oh, in this life there is sunshine. Joy when “I’ll see you next week” really was next week, when I stood in a cavernous hangar that was echoing with brassy patriotic anthems and the barely contained excitement of a hundred other families, living out their own stories in the spaces around me. Joy when I caught a glimpse of my handsome, head-shaved man in lockstep, and he slid his eyes sideways and saw me and started to grin, my so serious, always composed, always professional soldier-Husband who couldn’t keep the smile from splitting his cheeks. Joy when he folded his arms tight around me, my head fitting tight under his chin, my gravity restored, albeit slightly off-kilter, because we were different, not better or worse, but different. Joy in this Army life we live together.

So, beloved, when the fear comes - when it creeps into shadowed corners and speaks dark into your heart - push back with relentless truth, with hope, and yes, joy. He loves you with a steadfast love, never ceasing. His mercy and grace are limitless. You belong to Him, a daughter of the King.


Reflection

What fears have taken root in my heart recently?

What steps do I need to take to surrender those fears to God?

What other things do I try to lean on- instead of God- when I am afraid?  How can I make an effort to trust Him above all else?

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for your unending love and grace.  I'm so thankful for the hope I have in knowing You- that You will never leave me, that You have control over all that goes on around me, and that You are for me.  Help me to trust You and believe truth about You, even when fear surrounds me.  Give me the strength to trust You in all things.  Amen.

 

Molly Huggins (www.allthegracebetween.com) 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.



Splashed: Trusting God in the Storm
I hate getting splashed. I mean, I really hate getting splashed. I don't like running through the sprinkler or getting sprayed with the hose. I don't even like getting splashed when I'm in the pool. The problem is, in life, we get splashed a lot. God gave me an image a few years ago when everything in my life was falling apart. I would curl up in a ball in my bed and cry, begging God to hold me as I cried myself to sleep. But God gave me this beautiful image of a small child, curled up in His great big hands with waves crashing all around underneath and lightning striking across the sky, sleeping peacefully and blissfully unaware.

That's a beautiful image, and it has carried me through many dark nights. But it would probably be more accurate if the little girl were sleeping in a wet soppy puddle in God's hands. Oh, how I long to be blissfully unaware of the pain, devastation, and sin that surrounds me! How I would love to snuggle with my Papa God, unscathed by the storms. But you and I both know that when the storms come, we get splashed, even in the safety of our Creator's hands.

God has offered us many promises in His Word. He promised to always be with us (Joshua 1:9), He promised to deliver us from bondage if we commit ourselves to Him (1 Samuel 7:3). But He never promised it would be easy. When He promised to carry us over the storms of life, He never promised that we wouldn't get wet.

Friend, are you getting splashed? I know I am. I feel like a soppy, wet mess. But I am SAVED. I cannot be devoured by the rising waters! I cannot be lost at sea! My Pappa God will hold me safely and securely in His hands. He will not drop me! Do you know that friend? Do you believe it? Can you wipe the wet hair from your eyes for just a minute to peek out over God's hands and take sight of the roaring storm? Can you see what you are being delivered from? Together, let's be mindful to stop fussing when we get splashed and be grateful that we've been saved!

1 Timothy 1:12 "That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day."

 

Reflection

What storms in my life are causing me panic and fear?

Am I trusting God to carry me through these storms?

What fears do I need to surrender to Him?

Where can I see God’s hand in these storms and thank Him for it, even now?


Prayer

Father God, You are my strong tower, my refuge. Thank You for carrying me through so many storms. Even when storms rise up on every side, I know that my salvation lies in You, and it cannot be shaken! Help me to trust in Your strength, and surrender my fears to You in this season. I believe that You are strong enough to carry me through this. Give me the strength to endure hardship and heartache for Your Name’s sake. Amen.

 

 

 

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.

Losing Control, Learning Surrender

“Too much to do.”  How many times have you heard that internal voice repeat itself in anxiety and guilt on any given day? Yesterday I found myself sitting in an urgent care waiting room for nearly four hours, frantically wanting to be at home. Even though I knew I was where I needed to be, I rebelled against the way the day led me and tried to hold onto my plans in anger and resentment.


My husband and I survived, even though not every task on my itemized list was checked off. We didn’t eat a meal made from scratch. I didn’t make it to the gym (I’m sure you can tell how that broke my heart). Work took a backseat, and the infernal baseboard dusting was ignored yet again. But we lived, and if only I had surrendered to God’s plan for my day sooner instead of the vision that I stubbornly stuck to despite all the arrows pointing me in another direction, I could have been more obedient and enjoyed the gift of every moment, rather than grumbling and letting time slip ungratefully through my hands.


Letting go of the illusion of control over our lives is tough. In the military we are reminded incessantly that we don’t have control – over where we live, our husbands’ work hours, how long we can be employed or keep our kids in the same school. But we can take comfort that God has control. He has a plan that is always greater and better for us than the ones we devise.

As we try to make plans for our day or our future, we have to remember this truth:


“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).


We have to ask God to show us His will in every day, and we must be aware enough of His loving, gentle presence to recognize it and be obedient.

It is incredibly comforting to remember that as we go through this process of surrendering to God’s plans, we are never alone, regardless of what the enemy tells us (Hebrews 13:5). Not only has God promised us that we will never be alone, but He also tells us that He is working for the good of those who love Him (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). God knows our plans are inferior and tentative, compared to His eternal and glorious blueprints. By trusting in God and His plans completely, we can throw off the shackles of anxiety and rejoice in each moment God has provided. We can look toward the future with hope, a gift we could never provide for ourselves.

 

Reflection

What areas of my life am I struggling to surrender to God’s control?

What fears do I have about giving my plans over to God?

Am I choosing to live today in obedience and joy, or am I acting in resentment?


Prayer

Father, thank You for the gift of today. I know that You are working for my good and Your glory. I praise You for Your sovereignty, for always being in control. Thank You for Your awesome plans that are so much better than mine could ever be. Help me to trust You today. Give me eyes to see Your plan, and a humble heart to submit to it throughout the day so that I can live joyfully in each moment. I choose to lay my plans down at Your feet, accepting whatever You have prepared for me today. 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.