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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.


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.



 


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.


Changing What "It Is"
Changing What

​by Mary Parker


If there’s a phrase that has always peeved me when others say it, “It is what it is” takes the cake! The writer in me hates the undefined antecedent. All of me is disturbed by the concept that although something is not right, not good, or in some other way displeasing, we must accept it without trying to change it.

Something I’ve learned through a core value in my home church and my walk with Jesus is that growing people do, in fact, change.

Change can be hard, but necessary. 

Although my wedding day is filled with beautiful memories, I’m happy that my marriage continuously changes for the better, rooted in discipline and intentional improvement. On our wedding day, our marriage wasn’t where it needed to be – Will and I were intrinsically selfish people not yet sure how to navigate the world as a dynamic duo.

We could’ve simply thrown our hands in the air during our first marital conflict and muttered, “It is what it is,” but we decided to fight for one another, not against one another. To fight for the vows we made to God and one another in front of our family and friends. To fight for a love we believe in, and want to learn more about.

There have been times since then where it could have just been easier to quit rather than adapt, too. TDYs, last minute changes in plans, challenges in seeing family and feeling stranded in the Arctic wilderness (strictly hypothetical, obviously), for example.

But we adapt and seek God’s will in all circumstances, aware that His will won’t always match our plans.

Paul writes in his letter to the church in Rome, 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Change can be hard, but beneficial.

The world tells us to be mad when others hurt us. To react when we’re angered. To show hostility toward our enemies. Learning from Jesus’ examples in life has helped me shift from bitterness toward others to forgiveness, from frustration to acceptance, and sometimes even joy and peace over things that were once aggravating (loud chewing for instance). 

These heart changes, however small, create shifts in our thoughts, which result in behavior modification, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45b).

It’s a daily commitment, but I’m learning to rely on God’s strength to make changes in my life so I can ultimately be more pleasing to Him and, honestly, be a more pleasant person to be around.

As for challenges in marriage, often posed by the military, seek God’s will as husband and wife, open to change, and work toward a daily-renewed union.

 

Father, thank you for the blessings you have shown me in this life. I pray you will supply the strength to help me make changes in my thoughts toward others – help me to be more pleasing to you and love others more fully. Show me your will so I may obey any changes in my life and marriage you are asking of me. Help me to live for you today and every day. Amen.


Questions for Reflection: 

*What changes can I make to improve my attitude today?

*How can committing my perspective to be more pleasing to God
affect my thoughts, behavior, and relationships?


 


 

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.


The Biggest Change
The Biggest Change


by Brandis Trionfo


​Our biggest change as a military family came about when my husband received orders to Cheyenne, Wyoming. At the time, I was still active duty Navy. Wyoming isn’t exactly a hotbed of Naval activity, so we were at a crossroads in our marriage--merely 6 months into it. I was newly pregnant with our first child, and already had almost 10 years in the Navy. We had some big decisions to make.

This was before I was a true Christ-follower. I can say I was always a believer, and looking back now I can see how He had a hand in every step we took.

I made the decision to get out of the Navy. I knew if I stayed in we’d be separated for months at a time. I knew I’d be on a ship, nowhere near my husband or our son.

Boy, talk about a BIG change. I went from being a full-time Military Police Officer to a military spouse, and a first-time stay-at-home mom on top of it. We moved to Wyoming in April, and the following February, I met Christ. I was so very lonely--I didn’t know how to reach out to other people and I didn’t have many friends. My husband was gone for 4 days at a time and I’d reached my breaking point. Our marriage was not doing well.

Tony convinced me to go to a spouse’s function on base one day and I met up with a woman whose husband worked with Tony. She invited me to her church and the Spirit moved me, y’all. I met up with her the following Sunday and walked into a new life. The church was doing a sermon series titled, “Desperate Households,” about marriage. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ was what was missing from my life. He met me right where I was at. He always does, doesn’t He? I sat in my chair, tears pouring down my face, and I KNEW that I’d been pretending for far too long. 


Meeting my Savior that day was the biggest change I’d seen, military or no.


See, the day I surrendered to Christ was the day that my life began to make sense. All the things I’d done up to that day were just preparing me to open my heart to Him. Most of us know the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Don’t you just feel hope when you worship the Lord? When you accept Christ into your life you begin to see changes that you can’t even describe. You suddenly know that He’s got plans for you!

Talk about a change for the better! Once I began to regularly attend church and follow Christ, my marriage improved. I’m not saying it’s perfect (we’re pretty big on NOT being perfect, haha!), but we love each other. Once we made Christ the center of our home, we learned quite a few lessons. And six years, three kids, and two duty stations later, we’re still going strong.

Where do you need our Heavenly Father to meet you at today? I can tell you this for sure: He’s there. He’s waiting for you, calling to you, with arms wide open. He loves you more than you can ever imagine and He has plans for you! You are called by Him. He has written your name.

Father, I thank you for your unending grace. I thank you that you are always willing to meet me where I am and give me the strength to go forward. Lord I pray that you would give me the ability to accept the inevitability of change and to know that you are sovereign. I ask that you remind me who I am in you, and to remember that all changes in my life are according to your plans for good. In your name, Amen.


Questions for reflection:

*What changes in your life have showed you your need for God and His grace?

*Where has the Lord met you in your life at the weakest moments?





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. She occasionally blogs but mostly forgets at Anchored in the Air Force Life.


Marriage: The Pathway to Maturity
Marriage: The Pathway to Maturity


by Mary Parker



When Will and I decided to embark on our Air Force adventure, we barely knew what it would mean to be a military family. We felt confident our values matched with the service and looked forward, unsure what the future would hold.

Almost two years into our journey, we call Fairbanks, Alaska home; it’s a mere 4,000 miles from our starting point in South Carolina. Being so far away from everything familiar – family, friends, homes, college football games, and winding country roads – can be challenging, but we embrace the ride!

Whenever we begin to feel distant or miss our family, we reflect on the idea that we are never alone, and God is leading our family with and for a purpose.

We also believe God designed us, as two people, to come together and form a family, as foretold in the Biblical introduction to marriage through the story of Adam and Eve:

“A man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Faith in God’s plan helps fortify us as a team, when it seems difficult to be so far away, or when it stings a bit to be just a team of two on a military installation where it can feel like every couple should have two kids minimum. 


Although facing life together continues to become easier as we nestle into marriage and learn more about one another, there are times when being a military family can provide additional challenges: last minute TDYs, late nights on standby duty, missed dates and appointments.

Overall, we have it pretty lucky due to the nature of my husband’s job. Still, sometimes it can be extremely frustrating when it seems like the Air Force has total control of our circumstances. It can be downright discouraging!

But the truth is encouraging – God is in charge, and His word prepares us throughout the entire Bible, especially the New Testament, for circumstances that can rock our lives and families:  

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

 
As I strive to persevere and develop spiritual fruit to offset the challenges that come along with the joys of being a military family, I grow in patience and my marriage blossoms. Obviously, this is not a complete picture of marriage, but it is a component. Faith that God has control of the situation and is guiding us with and for a purpose carries us through and helps us as we walk, as straight as possible, the narrow road on the pathway to maturity.

 
My consummate mantra as a wife, and as we face challenges, is to possess these qualities of the infamous Proverbs 31 wife:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:25).

I encourage you to laugh in faith today! 

 

Questions for Reflection:

*Am I trusting the military, or God, with my family’s future?
*What practical steps can I take to develop perseverance in my life? How can that impact my family as a whole?



 

 

 

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.