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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.


Hope
Hope

by Molly Huggins




Here’s a little known fact about me: I am horribly indecisive. Inevitably, the season I find myself living in is my very most favorite! And after weeks of snow and ice have blanketed the South, spring is here! My very most favorite season. Spring, the days when what seems dead comes alive, when daffodils cover the bleak- looking fields, a harbinger of the explosion of green coming. A season of birth, and life, and hope. 

A season echoed in the book of Romans, a glorious retelling of our death, our rebirth, and our life through the story of Abraham and Sarah. 

“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, 'I have made you a father of many nations' in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, 'So shall your descendants be.' And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” 

Friends, there have been more moments than I care to remember where all the circumstances in our Army life have been contrary to hope. Miscarriages, the loss of friends, countless moves, wrenching goodbyes, and so. much. fear. We are in the midst of one now, another move, and little ones who are old enough to understand the heartache of goodbye but not old enough to comprehend the whys of it. 

And yet, and yet, there is hope in which I believe. Hope for the new year, hope for new places, hope for a new life (we are pregnant with our 6th child, the 4th living one), hope in glory, and above all, hope and faith in the gospel. 

I just finished writing my testimony and I will tell you like I tell the world, 

“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). 

As you watch the world come to life around you, in what are you placing your hope?

And sisters? If you are in a place contrary to hope, a place that feels like death, I am praying desperately that you will see and be comforted by the steadfast love of the Lord, that you will receive grace, and above all, hope. 



All my love. 

Molly Huggins 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.



 


Butterly Patience
Butterly Patience


by MaryLee Heller


When I was in elementary school my dad was still serving in the US Navy. We were stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which was still a hub for fleet training.

One of the more powerful memories that came out of GTMO was a day when I quietly wandered off, at school recess. I've always loved nature and there was plenty of wonder to be found there. On this day I found a butterfly's cocoon that was clear and I could see the butterfly moving inside. It was hatching. I couldn't tear myself away. Soon, friends found me. Most wandered off, bored. A very few stayed.

When recess ended, the teacher found us. In an elegance that I would not understand until much later, we were allowed to remain outside and finish watching the emergence. “But,” she warned, “do not touch or try to help it. It must struggle to become strong enough to live.” The butterfly fought, struggled, and wriggled. Soon it stood, allowing its wings to dry, to open, to expand, to strengthen. It went from a simple, dark, fuzzy creature with hints of wing structure, to a regal monarch butterfly. All too suddenly it flew off.

It seems to me that we all have times in life where people around us are like butterflies fighting their way out of cocoons. My grown sons went through it between the ages of 16 and 18 before they suddenly needed to fly away. My husband is retiring from the Navy now. Pregnant friends wait for babies. Sick friends wait for health. Embattled marriages and other relationships often have one in struggle and another waiting and watching. 

We cannot help them as they struggle to exit their confines. We cannot hurry them as they dry and strengthen their wings. We must do something equally hard: we must be patient.

In the King James Version of the Bible, patience is often translated as "long-suffering." It doesn't say "short inconvenience" or "brief interruption of frustration." It is suffering alongside someone as they struggle or as they perch in a wait. It is witnessing their change, in true awe. It is knowing that we are doing nothing, but much is happening that is beyond our control. Something is happening, even though we are frustrated at our own lack of influence or activity. There is really nothing that we can do to help the butterflies in our life—except watch and wait and celebrate when they begin to soar into life again.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant," says 1 Corinthians 13:4. It seems to me that it's not about whether or not we have times of wait—all love has times of wait, according to this verse. It seems to me that it's more about how we wait.

 

Prayer for the wait: 

Father God, please help me to endure the suffering alongside this person who I care so deeply for. Please help me to trust you and what you are doing as I just witness, in faith, what you will do to work this for the good of us who love you. And, help me, please, to wait in the spirit of kindness. Thank you. Amen.

 



MaryLee is a grown Navy "brat," veteran of the US Navy, and wife to a recent Navy retiree. She home educates two of the four children she shares with her husband of more than twenty years while authoring novels and serving as Director of Christian Military Wives Fellowship. In her copious amounts of free time she pursues her creative, Bible study, and Bible teaching passions.


Renewal
Renewal



By Brandis Trionfo



​If I’m being honest I can say, without a doubt, that I’m overwhelmed. I’m in school full-time. I have three precious kiddos that are go, go, GO all the time. I have three dogs, and as most of you deal with the same, a husband who's not around much. It certainly isn’t his fault--he’s off keeping our country free and safe and I’m so very proud of him.  

My house is a shell of what it used to be--cleanliness has taken a backseat. I also am a Navy Reservist, which you’d think only takes two days a month, but it’s much more involved than that. I lead a team at my church, which takes time. If I had an extra few hours in the day, I wouldn’t complain.


So spring is (supposedly) upon us. Spring is considered a time for renewal and a time for new beginnings. At some point, the flowers will start to bloom, the grass will become green again, and we will all be thankful for the sunshine.


I’d be lying if I said I would experience joy then. I’ve spent many years just thinking, “Well, if this happens, I’d be happy. If this changes, I’d be happy.”  It’s a lie that I’ve led myself to believe when rushing from one thing to the next. I’m overwhelmed, friends.


I need to experience renewal in a bad way. Any guesses on where I can find that renewal? Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 (NLT), 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” 


Can I get an Amen?


Jesus provides us the rest we need. I remember when I had just two babies at home and I was sleep-deprived and I thought I’d never get the rest I needed.  Somewhere I heard someone say that God gives us the rest we need. I took it to heart and have prayed over that thought ever since. If I’m at this point now, then God is guiding me all along. He’s giving me the rest I need and the strength I need to get through it. It may not always feel that way, but He is.


On the days that I wake up early, get into the Word, and prepare myself for what lies ahead, I feel that strength and resolve. On the days I don’t, I’m crabby, frustrated, and easily irritated over the smallest things. 
I’ve found the best way to experience renewal through Christ is to simply read His Word. 


This is just a season that I’m in. In a few years, I’ll be done with school, my kids will be older and therefore better behaved (I can hope), my husband will be retired, and it’ll be another season. Just like the weather changing, we roll with the seasons of life. When we put on the armor of God and go after Him, we can readily accept what comes our way. It’s all a season. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) says, 

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”


God knows what season you’re in. Just like mine, you may be overwhelmed and stressed and just plain tired. You may be in a season of great joy or a season of great pain. But if you follow through with the Word of God, you will see the flowers blooming in due time.


Hopefully the weather will improve, too.


Father, I thank you for your continued guidance. I pray that you’ll see me through the season of life that I’m in and know that you are with me every step, even on days I can’t see you. I pray that you’ll give me strength and renewal for this time and that I’ll come out of it seeing your hand in all I did. I pray in your name, Amen.


Questions for reflection:

What season of life are you in? How can you use that season to give God glory?
Where in your life do you need renewal? Are you digging deep to know Him to get you there?




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.


Perspective
Perspective
by Molly Huggins

​My husband and I, we are both helicopter pilots. 

I say are, although it’s been five long years since I sat in the driver’s seat of my favorite machine. Are, because the love and longing never quite go away, and I hang onto my husband’s every word as he tells me about his days, his months, his missions for all the time he was away from me. 


(We have a strict “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy when it comes to the danger he faces on deployment. I wait until he comes home and then I binge on the stories. A result of his first deployment where fear was a battle I almost lost.)


And then he tells me about one VERY close call, and my throat closes up a little, and my stomach turns, and I have to stop listening for a little while. Because, sisters of mine, I am momentarily stunned anew by the gifts we’ve been given, smack in the middle of this chaotic Army life. 


I am one stray bullet from being a widow. I am a one dollar test away from a child with special needs, ravaged by the effects of unchecked jaundice. (Go here to read my friend’s story). I'm white in a world where my brothers and sisters of color still routinely suffer violence and oppression. I’m rich by the world’s standards and I have three healthy children that I know can be lost in a moment. 


And the perspective, it sure doesn’t make me hurt less on days that are hard and achy, but it never fails to make me thank Him more, praise Him more. 


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. ~ James 1:17


We are moving to a new (big) city in three months, and I’ll be a belly-swollen, bone-tired toddler mama desperate for roots and community and weeks away from giving birth. But still, I’ll be on my knees, all gratitude for the gifts, and the steadfastness of a Father who shows no shadow of turning from me. 


Sisters, in seasons of difficulty, how can you be thankful? 





Molly Huggins 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.