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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.


Patience and Price
Patience and Price


by Mary Parker



Have you ever waited on something with bated breath? A call to ensure a family member arrived home safely. An answer to the job you held out for for months. The orders that held the fate of your next duty station. The call from the doctor letting you know how the test results turned out. 

Often, we don’t actually like to wait very much, and part of living in the 21st century is becoming acclimated to instant, automatic responses via email, phone, and text, often making patience a more difficult virtue to build upon.

Can you imagine how the Israelites felt before the birth of Jesus? Sure, they may not have had the distractions of our technology and accessibility, but there’s no doubt some of the firmest believers struggled with the ability to trust God’s plans and promises when He had been silent for so long. They may even have been desperate in the same ways that we often feel desperate and alone in the face of trying and unforeseen circumstances.

Then, something amazing happened. A miraculous savior, promised to the Israelites hundreds of years prior, came in the form of a tiny baby (Matthew 1). Have you ever reflected on how important it is that Jesus was born to human parents in a dirty cave with barnyard animals? Jesus was sent in the midst of imperfect surroundings to provide perfect salvation for anyone who wanted to follow Him.

This Advent season, as you prepare for Christmas, I encourage you to wait patiently. As much as you possibly can, focus on the person of Jesus and his timely entrance into this world to save us and provide communion with God. Whether your circumstances seem merry and bright, or dim and dark, we all have unrest in our lives, which we occasionally try to solve by our own devices. I encourage you to remember the price for our sins has already been paid, but we sometimes need to wait on God to move through us. 

As you seek God fully this Christmas, remember that Jesus is the most precious gift ever given – the only payment in full for a meaningful relationship with God on which to build the foundation for a better life.

As Jesus illustrates to His disciples in John 14:6-7, 
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him." 

Prayer: 

Father, thank you for sending Jesus as a baby who would turn into a perfect man so that He could know my struggles and yet still pay for my sins. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me despite my sins. Grant me the patience to wait for your guidance in all circumstances in my life and help me not go astray. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Questions for Reflection:

1)    Are there areas of my life where I need to wait patiently for God’s instructions? How can I make active steps to pursue Him?

2)    What does it mean that Jesus is “the” way to God instead of just “a” 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 Mary's Mischief.


Finding Moments of Reflection
Finding Moments of Reflection


by Chantal Graupmann




Sometimes I wonder about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Who was she? How did she worship, parent, love? What thoughts went through her mind during key events of her life? I often wonder about Mary during this time of year. She did, after all, give birth to our Savior, the whole reason behind the celebration of Christmas.

As I started reading through the birth of Jesus in my Bible, a verse caught my attention, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” Luke 2:19. I am still in awe when I read that verse. 

Can you picture this? Strangers are coming from afar to see and prophesy over baby Jesus. Mary is a new mother. Rather than reacting with the fierceness of a mother, she simply listens and ponders. How many of us would react the way Mary did? I know I would not. I would be asking questions, and probably be trying to shield my new baby from this crazy world! 

We can’t know exactly what Mary knew about her son, but I think I am safe in saying she had no idea the impact this little baby’s birth made on the world.

I continued to think on this verse and I wondered, as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, do we do as Mary did? Do we treasure and ponder the birth of our Savior? Most often we do not. We whiz through the many events leading up to Christmas without a moment of true, deep reflection on Christ’s birth and what it meant. 

As I strive to live for Christ, this realization got me thinking how this holiday season should be different for my family. Maybe some activities need to be let go or new ones need to be included. The process of purposefully pondering Christ in our holiday season will likely never be complete, but one thing I know I can always come back to as we add or subtract from our holiday to-do list is this: treasure is not found everywhere, it is carefully kept and often concealed.

 

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for your grand plan and the birth of your son. We confess that we often neglect to ponder the true meaning of the season. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, help us to treasure and ponder the events that have taken place for us. Strengthen us to be open to any convictions the Holy Spirit may place on our hearts regarding this busy season, and help us to seek Christ in a new way. 





Chantal Graupmann is an Air Force wife and mother to two children. She is striving to serve women in the midst of motherhood and military life, and is passionate about building community. She loves finding time for DIY projects, experimental cooking, and travel.


Taking Time to Focus on Christ
Taking Time to Focus on Christ


‚Äčby Brandis Trionfo



My 4-year-old has recently started singing "Away in a Manger" around the house. I'm fairly certain it's because his preschool is starting to rehearse for their Christmas program. It's so precious to hear and I love how my kids learn about Christ at school.


The song touches me. In modern times, none of us can fathom what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph in that space. Giving birth on hay? Where were the epidurals and sterile blankets? What a miracle to know that Christ did that FOR US.


In these times, it can be so difficult to find even a moment to be still. To step away from our iPhones and technology and television. To find just a moment to breathe. To focus on our maker.

 
During Christmas, especially if you have little ones, at least for most of us, it's all about Santa. What he's going to bring.

 
Last year (thanks to Pinterest--there goes that technology again!) I learned A LOT about biblical Christmas themes. Things like how candy canes are shaped the way they are after the staffs of the shepherds who visited Christ. I've taken these little nuggets of knowledge and made it so I speak them to my kids AS we're celebrating the other stuff. I found a pin about 25 verses to read up until Christmas, to prepare yourself and your family to celebrate Him. This list could go on, but you get the idea.


I find that the little things like that will help us to slow down and focus on what Christmas is REALLY about. It's so hard to wrap our heads around the fact that Christ came for us, knowing already what would happen to him, so that we could be set free.


Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)- "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."


Just think about that for a moment. The words that pop out: Wonderful. Mighty. Everlasting. Peace.


In these times, it's good to have that on your side. Take a moment this holiday season to meditate on the word of our Father. Take a moment to focus on Him and how He is preparing your way. Through the season and the snow and the gifts and the hot chocolate, remember Him. He came so that we might have LIFE. And live it to the FULL.


Enjoy your Christmas. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

 

Prayer:

Lord, I thank you for this season. I thank you that we're able to take a day to celebrate you. I thank you for your grace in knowing that we should be celebrating you every day but sometimes we fall short. I pray Lord that during this time we're able to focus on you and all that you've done for us. I pray that we use whatever tips and tricks we can find to remember what this holiday is all about. I ask these things in your name, Amen.


Questions for Reflection:

*What are some ways I can find to incorporate more biblical truth in my holiday routine?

*How can I slow down and focus on the Word?  

*Do I need to carve out more time for Him?




Brandis is a former Sailor turned Air Force wife, a stay at home mom to 3 kids, and a lover of rustic country decor. She misses the Navy almost daily but is so very thankful for the time she gets with her family, dogs, & friends living near the beach.