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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.


Alive With Grace

By Molly Huggins


 


How do I tell you my story and still make it about His Story? How do I give a voice to one snapshot, hoping the echoes will glorify the Master Planner?


I’ve pondered this a lot lately, and I’ve written much of our story on my personal blog, so I wrestle with this on a regular basis. Today, I might just tell you a little about how I came to be in the Story.

For the better part of two years, I hid in the library. For thirty precious minutes in the midst of my day I would tarry there with the piles of books. It was a brief respite from the torture of eighth and ninth grade, the years when I would step off the bus in tears, unable to navigate the halls without torment, to sit through a class without snickers. I hovered there, in that library, peeking into the unchanging lives of beloved characters--virtual friends before there was such a thing, whose existence was wholly unaffected by my scabby knees, tomboy looks and utter social ineptness. I was lonely in the stacks, but I was safe.

But somewhere around my junior year, between Nancy Drew and the impossibly long walk down the main hall-- you know, the one where you have to step over the legs of the popular kids lounging against the wall and you just know they are laughing at you and your second-hand clothes and sad attempts at following a trend, and not even a cool one at that ~ I came alive.

I was at a church camp. Of course, right? Not what you think, though. My youth pastor taught me to love the Word. He was bold, and he loved the Lord fiercely. He challenged us to do the same. And our youth weekends were wild and adventurous, as befitting a former Marine.

So on this wild and adventurous weekend, digging deep for the Truth, I learned to look at myself through the Savior’s lens. I discovered the redemption of the gospel and the freedom of being His creation. I was known, and loved. All those things that seemed SO IMPORTANT-- my scabby knees, second-hand clothes, and sheer awkwardness, and the acceptance I secretly, desperately wanted-- they melted away in the arms of my Savior.

And so I pick up the weave in His story, somewhere around age 16--me, who is known, who is knitted together in my mother’s womb, me, whose name is written in the Book of Life.

It’s a long story; I’m just giving you a peek at the beginning. We have valleys behind us, and more ahead. Of that I have no doubt. But I will fear no evil in the shadows. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…”

Me, who is tattooed on the hands of the Maker. Alive with grace.

 


Reflection
Where did your part in His Story begin?
What prompted your search for meaning and significance?
Who could you be sharing your part in His story with today?

Prayer
Jesus, thank You for making me a daughter in Your Kingdom. Thank You for inviting me in, to be a part of the story with you. Help me to live each day worthy of the calling I have received. I trust You with my story, Lord, knowing that it is truly Yours. I trust that You hold all of it in Your capable hands. 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.



Words, Words, Words

By Mary Parker

 

 

Words. The basis of our language. The focal point of my career as an English teacher and marketing editor. We use them every day. Write. Speak. Post. Text. Tweet. Words are a beautiful gift that can foster communication…or tear relationships apart. But how often do we consider the effect of our words on others, ourselves and our relationship with God?

For me, the answer is not enough. I can usually find the perfectly precise word to punctuate a point, but when my emotions run high, I use hurtful words against others, often in my mind but sometimes aloud. As Jesus demonstrates in Luke 6, words are a direct result of an overflow of emotion. I say things that I don’t mean, often to the people who mean the most to me and are not in the slightest way deserving of such malice. I always regret my thoughts or actions.
My misuse of verbal ammunition has bothered me for a long time. I try to steer away from profanity, but it’s so easy to use and sometimes it just feels cathartic. Although I curb my misuse of words around most people, I save it for the people closest in my life who are bound to forgive me. Sometimes I let inappropriate language slip in a less familiar group of people, and the pangs of guilt nag me into over analysis and self-depreciation.

Last night, God used a Bible study to help me realize two things:
Although I use language inappropriately at times, God does not condemn me for this. I am not lowly or despicable to Him, but a child who keeps foolishly making the same mistake. I accept His tender grace and resolve to do better. Although God loves and forgives me, it is time to deal with this sin issue head on.
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul, arguably one of the Godliest men to ever live, expresses grappling with sin in a similar way: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” (7:15-17).

Ultimately, my abuse of language can negatively affect others and definitely affects me. So why would I continue to pursue such momentary pleasure? Although it may feel good to release emotion in the moment, the sensation is fleeting. Ultimately, if it doesn’t bring joy to my life or glory to God, I don’t believe He wants it for me. I remember that God’s ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9). Because He loves me, He wants good for me and constantly pushes me to make my life better by seeking Him.

With these beliefs in mind, I commit myself, my thoughts and words to glorifying God in all I say and do. Each time I am tempted to speak out in anger or frustration, I will think twice about the impact and purpose of my words, and question whether these articulations benefit my life. Although this will be hard, and I’m certain to stumble along the way, I know that God is reigning grace over me and helping me to pursue Him, happy to see me seeking His strength over my lips.

 

Reflection
Do you have sin habits that secretly bother you? What do you need to do to honestly seek conviction for these actions?
What thoughts, actions or words do you need to commit to God today? What will this process involve?

Prayer

Lord, thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. I fall short in so many ways, and yet, You stil love me. You still choose to work in me and through me. I confess the sin habits in my life, and I ask You to change my heart. Mold me to be more like You through the work of the Holy Spirit. 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.