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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.


Calm in the Midst of Change
Calm in the Midst of Change

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by Chantal Graupmann

The butter dish.


It's a simple yet useful tool every kitchen should have, and we have never owned one. This little fact drives me crazy. I cannot count the number of times I have noted that I need to buy one, but for some reason or another, a butter dish is never purchased. Instead, our butter gets placed in a bowl, on a plate, or sometimes even stays on the counter in its wrapper. This seemingly small annoyance irks me in a big way, as I constantly waste time and energy as I move the butter around the kitchen because the container is too large, takes up an awkward amount of space, or it makes a mess. 

 
Yet, isn't that a picture of how our lives can be? We sit, day after day, knowing that a small change can make a big difference in our lives. Yet we move this or that, avoiding the real problem.


James 4:8 states:  "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." 


Our family is about to experience our very first deployment in a matter of just a couple short weeks. Not only that, but my husband and I have been making some decisions about the way we want our life to look, the way it should look, as followers of Christ. Talk about big changes.


These things, these important things, have been in the back of our minds for some time now. However, just like the butter in our kitchen, we have failed to address the small change that can make such a huge impact in our lives.


The simplicity and usefulness of James 4:8 bores into my heart: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” 


All we must do is draw near!


My countless hours of worry, of looking for answers, of outright avoidance have all been a waste of precious time. If I simply seek God, he will be my source of all comfort and he will guide me in the right direction with his constant presence and conviction.


This truth helps me stay calm in the midst of all the change happening in our lives. I have found that taking even 5 minutes in the morning to seek God makes a huge impact on my attitude and my perspective throughout the day. 



Questions for Reflection:

*Are you willing to make a small change in your life and draw near to God?

*What are some practical ways to "draw near" to Him?




​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.


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.