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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.


Perennials

Written by Molly Huggins

I read a quote about military wives recently:


“She plants annuals for herself and perennials for those who come behind her.”

 

 

And I, the extreme extrovert-whose soul needs relationships like my lungs need air-I teared up, a little. Tears of pity, I think; for the friends left behind, for the constant moves, the re-plantings. Fast friendships, uprooted in one or two years.

Because that’s where my heart went ... and how much are our relationships like this? We dig in ... And it's messy and ugly and hard and beautiful. You have to be bare and transparent and vulnerable.
You have to be a friend to make a friend. You have to let people into your dirty house and your messy life and your moments where you just. Can't. Go. On.
And in the moment when that woman, who are you dying to get to know better, steps lightly over the clutter without batting an eye ... seeds nestle in, tender shoots appear in rough, honest dirt.

And we feed it ... with truth, with tears, with the gospel.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. and above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).

And something grows. And each new planting, it’s different, and divine, and soul-sustaining.

And I’ll tell you my secret that makes the goodbyes a little sweeter ... I only plant perennials.

I have heart friends scattered across all across this continent. They read like a chronological map of where we have laid our head, and I would be lost without them still. They have born my burdens ... been the very hands and feet of Christ. They bloom still, in late night phone calls and Facebook chats, and random sleepovers. They feed my soul.

Beloved, however long the season might be ... one year, two years, or more ... I would encourage you to dig deep, to dig in. Don’t waste precious minutes believing that you will leave soon ... or that no one cares ... or understands. Invest in the women around you. Plant a friendship that will grow across the miles, that will bloom across the years.

And above all, love the way Christ loves ... “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galations 6:2).

 

I promise, the soil is rich.

 


Reflection

Is there someone around you God has laid on your heart to reach out to?


This week, how can you be intentional in your existing relationships?


What are some ways you can let down your own walls as you reach out to others?


Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for being God over every season in my life. Through the changes, You are faithful. I praise You for the people You’ve placed in my life for this season, and for all the ones before. Help me to always put on compassion toward others. Let me love people like You do, so that they might see Your face. Give me the strength to be vulnerable in my relationships with others, even when it’s tough. Thank You, Father. 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.




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.