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A Time to Stand and a Time to Move

Meg Chaney


There are two portions of scritpure that have long been favorites of mine. The first comes from Psalm 46, words I memorized way back in my high school days. In Psalm 46, we’re reminded that God above is our refuge and our strength. Our all powerful God controls the wind, the waves, the very rising and falling of kingdoms, He is present in all of this and more. At the end of the chapter, we find verse 10:

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
— Psalm 46:10, HCSB

I have often needed such a reminder, to be still, to lesson distractions, to trust that our God is ultimately in control. There’s another place in scripture that I also love. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites have just followed Moses out of Egypt. They’ve come to the Red Sea, when the look behind them and see Pharaoh and his chariots chasing them:

But Moses said to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.’
— Exodus 14:13-14, HCSB

I truly believe that our hearts have to be settled. We have to quiet down our lives so that His peace can truly dwell in our hearts. Often, we stay so busy, so distracted, that we don’t even have time to listen to His voice. I’m oh, so guilty of this! With our recent military move, with kids at two different school, multiple Bible studies that I’m a member of, other ways I’m looking to volunteer and be a part of the community, I can quickly fill my days to the brim. And yet, God calls me to moments of stillness, He calls me to seasons of letting go of somethings, so that I can wait for Him to His word in new ways.

In Exodus, right after Moses encourages the people to not be afraid, do you know what happens, friends? The LORD parts the Red Sea so that they can all walk through to the other side. I’ve heard this story since I was a little girl, but it never ceases to amaze me! They were so afraid, and the LORD still came through in such a miraculous way. He moved a giant, powerful body of water out of the way so that they could walk right through. But they had to pause, and let the LORD provide for them. No amount of trying on their own could succeed. They couldn’t lift that water out of the way. Maybe a bucket at a time, but that’s about it. On their own, that water would have still stood there, separating them from the Promised Land. But they stopped, and the LORD provided!

Through my season with little ones at home, I put a lot of my life on hold. No, I’m not sure I want to say that exactly. I let go of other dreams so that I could live completely in the present with my little ones. I invested every day to them. I didn’t write as much, I didn’t seek a career out of the home (although bless all of you that do! You’re amazing, and living right where God wants you to be!). I lived right then and there with them. And now, they’re both in school. That long season of waiting is through, and I find myself continuing to ask, what now? What’s before me? I’ve prayed, been in Bible Study, and continued to wait and listen. And then, I read this in my Bible study last week:

But standing firm is not only about digging in; it’s also about moving forward. It’s about going into enemy territory from a strong position of victory and taking back ground he’s sought to steal from us.
— Pricilla Shirer, Armor of God, p.114

You all, Pricilla’s words struck me so deep! As I look at my own heart, I can definitely see areas I need to reclaim. Yes, standing firm and strong is so important. That is why I always seek out Christian community and fellowship, why I make Bible study a priority in my life. I want to stand firm. But there’s a time to move as well. I time to claim back some things I didn’t truly even realize that Satan had grabbed ahold of. By doing this, I don’t stop standing, I don’t stop listening. No, I’m still continuing to do that, but I’m also moving forward. I’m taking that first step across the Red Sea, trusting that the LORD will part the waters, trusting that He has something intentional in store for me on the other side. I’m standing, but I’m also moving forward, I’m looking toward what’s up ahead.

Yes, there’s a time to stand, but there’s also a time to move. Instead of feeling sad that my kids are getting older, and may not need me exactly like they used to, I find myself excited, excited for the new things up ahead of me. Excited for the way God may use me, my gifts, my talents, for His kingdom. Being a Mama will always be one of my most important callings, but it’s time to start moving, and see what else may be in store!

Mama, It's Not Over Yet

Meg Chaney


He put on his shoes, grabbed his backpack, and walked to the bus stop holding his sister's hand. And, then, before I was ready, he hopped up the steps and took a seat on the bright yellow bus. I'm not sure he even looked back. As much as my son resists change, that first morning when smoothly. I was wondering how it would go, but we really didn't have any resistance. It probably helped to have his big sister there. It definitely helped my Mama heart.

But, after both of my kiddos went off to a new school year, the house felt so quiet. The rooms, way too dark, way too clean. Friends, I haven't had a quiet house for 8 years! I'm sure many of you can claim much longer. I haven't had a schedule this open since I was a newlywed.

With  the advent of that bright yellow bus, my days of parenting have drastically changed. For one, writing has been the back burner for years now. I've had pockets of time through the years (mostly during preschool), but suddenly I have 7 hours 5 days at my disposal. More than anything, I want to use that time wisely. I don't want it wasted. 

Yes, I'm thankful for solo trips to the grocery store, for a cleaner house, for time to invest in crafts, and, most of all, writing. The extra free time to do those things is amazing! But I find myself having to find a new place as well. My role of Mama is evolving and changing. It's such an integral part of who I am, that it's diffcult when these changes come.

At the same time, it's hard to let go. It's hard to admit that my children are growing older, that they don't need me as much. After so many year of devoting so much time to them, I find myself asking, what's next? It's hard when I feel myself flailing a bit, searching for a new place to stand. It's such a strange feeling, having both of my kids at school.

I know that the Lord isn't finished with me yet. My story is far from over. I have the priviledge of watching my children grow older, of seeing a world of learning with all of it's vibrant colors light up before their eyes. I get to volunteer and still be a part of their education. What privileges those are! 

We are truly fortunate when it comes to elementary schools in our town. One of my greatest joys is volunteering there! I love passing out water during field day, helping kids in the classroom, planning special events with the PTO, even meeting my kids for lunch. Elementary school opens up a whole new commuunity of us to be involved in, one I've been so blessed by these past few years.  

Dear friends,

In whatever season you find yourselves in right now, if you're sleep deprived with newborns, watching your baby step onto a bus for the first time, or maybe you're a bit in front of me and just sent your youngest off to college, you still have such an amazing purpose, such a story yet! Embrace this new season. Shed a few tears, maybe take a day to paint your nails and watch copious amounts of Netflix, but then stand up the next day and move forward, because He's not finished with you yet!

Just after 3PM I watched my baby step back off the bus. He held my hand (isn't it wonderful that he still wants to do that?) and told me his favorite part of the day was music class: "Mama, I got to bang the drums!" He asked me for a snack and played with his Legos before I shuttled him and his sister off to Karate. And my heart was full. My days of being Mama are not over yet. There's so much of this story to tell.


First Impressions (A Review)

Meg Chaney

I received this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program, in exchange for my honest review. 

I received this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program, in exchange for my honest review. 

I adore Jane Austen. In fact, back in the day, my Master's Thesis was on Pride & Prejudice. And so, I jumped at the chance to review a modern retelling of the tale. When I received the book in the mail, my first impression was that I loved the cover! Covers are so important to me! I want to be drawn right into a story. I was also excited that the author was Debra White Smith. I've read many of her other books (like the The Seven Sister's Series) and enjoyed them!

This modern retelling takes place in Texas. Texas is a place very far away and different than England. Or maybe not so much? If there's one thing I've found out about Jane Austen over the years, she's relatable at so many levels, that's why we love her stories to this day! In First Impressions, the characters truly have their own backgrounds and stories, but the story does fall out like Pride and Prejudice. The characters within the story are also in a local theater production of Pride and Prejudice, so there are definitely many layers of nods toward the original story. Even in modern day Texas, or at least the Texas of this story, there's a class division between the rich and not so rich. There's a certain expectation to marry well, or at least marry the right person. There's a pull to marry the person with all the money, for just the wrong reasons. And there's deceiving first impressions, that are often wrong, until the characters take the chance to truly get to know each other. 

For me, I liked the modern retelling, I even liked the characters. My only struggle came with the plot at times. At times, I felt as if the story was being forced into the Pride & Prejudice mold. I was reminded that the author was trying to match it to the original tale, which can be... a little heavy handed maybe? I love to be swept away by a story. I want to be so gripped, so mesmerized that I can't put it down, and actually feel sorry when the story is through. I never want want to be reminded that the author is forcing the story a certain direction. I hope that makes sense. And I hope that doesn't deter any of you. If you'd like a nice, rather light summer read, maybe for the beach, and you're a Jane Austen fan, you may enjoy it. When you've read it, come back and let me know what you think! 

Happy Summer reading!

I know this blog has been quiet for such a long time. I'm really hoping one of these seasons to be back with more!


Waiting on God's timing in all of this,




The Heart's Appeal (A Review

Meg Chaney

I received a copy of this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program in exchange for my honest review. 

I received a copy of this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program in exchange for my honest review. 

Julia Bernay believes that God has called her to be a doctor,  but in 1881 London this is not an easy thing to accomplish. A large portion of society i still opposed the idea of women doctors, or in any profession for that matter, but new opportunities are becoming available each day. Entering the London School of Medicine for Women is extremely difficult, but Julia is determined to succeed. She studies hard at Queens college for a year, catching up in areas her education has lacked until now. And then trouble strikes. A lawsuit against the school of medicine threatens to close the doors. A battle rages between two sides, one a rich man with title, power, and influence who feels offended, the other a school of woman. One of the barristers fighting against the school is Michael Stephenson, a man Julia is quickly becoming close to, despite her best efforts. Michael and Julia form an unexpected bond, which has consequences for all involved, and begs the question, can a woman be a doctor and still have a family? 

I loved the premise of this book, the time period was so interesting. I loved looking into the lives of these early female doctors, and how they balanced the ins and outs of life and family. I also liked Julia's interaction with the poorest set of London, the parts of London that most people avoided at all cost, and how she realized that there's a need for medical attention, and a need for God, everywhere you go in this life. The premise of woman doctor, and the interaction of Julia and her patients, was truly my favorite part of this book. There was also a little bit of a mystery, having to do with Julia's past, which was also fun, and admittingly, still left a little open ended, even with the epilogue. I liked how it ended though. 

In my opinion, there was a little too much time spent on the "romance" part of the story. The inner dialogue of the two characters, making eyes at each other, and constantly thinking about each other, was a little over the top for me. 

Overall, a job well done! This is actually book 2 in the London Beginnings series (although they seem to stand independently as books, as far as I can tell). I would definitely read other books by Jennifer Delamere (even if I do roll my eyes a bit sometimes, ha!). 


Blind Spot (A Review)

Meg Chaney

The Bethany House Bloggers Program has given me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

The Bethany House Bloggers Program has given me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Have you all read Dani Pettrey before? I friend clued me in on this Christian author a year or two ago, and I've loved her ever since! In fact, I just finished the prequel to her Alaskan Courage series earlier this month, Shadowed). If you like suspense, but struggle with the language and content in other books on the market, Dani Pettrey is definitely a good pick for you! Her stories draw you in from the beginning, and at times may make you even want to jump out of your skin! They're fast paced and deifnitely keep your interest. Blind Spot is book 3 in the Chesapeake Valor series. I read book 1 awhile ago, so I felt like I was already familiar with most of the main characters. I do want to go back and read book 2, to fill myself in on some of the plot. This is one of those series that really does seem to connect, book to book. The Chesapeake Valor Series revolves around a group of childhood friends, who had at one point been pulled apart through difficult circumstances, but now band together to solve some cases. These cases include missing persons, human trafficking, and what appears to be terrorism. Their jobs in the Police Force, FBI, and Forensics, all come into play. It's really pretty interesting! The last few pages of Blind Spot leave you waiting... waiting for the answers that will have to come in a future book!

The only downside for me? The characters felt a little flat. I don't know why. I'm hoping reading book 2 will help explain some of that to me a bit more. They really didn't develop or change for me during this story. The romance aspect also made me role my eyes a bit. But it does make me wonder, maybe this story really is more about the action, and less about the personal characters? I still loved the fast paced nature of the stories, I think I just love the Alaskan Courage series a little more. Either way, the author has my attention, and I'll definitely be watching for book 4!

Happy Reading! 


Awaken (A Review)

Meg Chaney


I was asked by B&H Publishing I wanted to take on an additional review for this month, Pricilla Shirer's new devotional, Awaken! Lately, it feels like my world has been surrounded by Pricilla! For awhile now I've been reading through her book Fervent. My Bible Study at church is in the middle of doing her re-released Discerning the Voice of God study. And just last Spring, my church also did her Gideon study. I love how Awaken feels like a continuation of all of these. A peek into her quiet time throughout the years, what she must have been mulling over as these other Bible studies and books came to be. 

Awaken consists of 90 separate devotionals. Each devotional has a scripture for the day, some thoughts, and additional space for journaling. My favorite part has often been the extra scriptures at the end. I find myself hunting them down in my own Bible, tucking them away in my own journal for remembrance.

Each devotional isn't supposed to take long, but is supposed to strike a cord, make you think, encourage you to pause at the beginning of your day for prayer and reflection. 

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts:

So give. Even in your deficient places. Especially in those places. Given, even when what you’re giving is more than you feel like you can afford.
— Shirer, Awaken, p.28
Abundant living mandates different living—different even from other believers who amy be complacent with their freedom, lulled to sleep in their wilderness wanderings
— Shirer, Awaken, p.40
Digging deep, hitting bedrock, and pouring a solid foundation on Christ alone and His Word alone are what secures you solidly to the ground. Because, listen to me, the storms are coming. And yet you can be strong, steeled, and storm-proofed because you’ve not only heard what the Spirit says, but you’ve put hammer to nail and implemented it into your architecture
— Shirer, Awaken, p.180
Give yourself permission to wait, remembering that waiting is not the same as inactivity. Waiting is a commitment to continue on in obedience until God speaks
— Shirer, Awaken, p.336
You need only to start operating in the power He has granted you as His child, and then you are on your way to witnessing the steady growth of spiritual transformation you’ve been struggling so hard to generate yourself.
— Shirer, Awaken, p.356

These are deep thoughts, thoughts that I truly want to tuck away in my heart. I love when any book hits home like that. This devotional is extra sweet, because I can come back to it time and again. The connections I'm making to her other various books and Bible studies only make it better for me. A certain devotional may strike a cord, and remind me of a truth from a past study. Sometimes we need to see the connection, we need to hear that a storm is coming, but that He has us firmly in His hands. This devotional is that for me. Truly a gift! 


The Proving (A Review)

Meg Chaney


Don't you love Beverly Lewis? Her stories of Amish life always fascinate me. Each story is so different. It amazes me that she can still create such interesting plot lines. I read The Proving as part of the Bethany House Bloggers Program. They give copies of the books in exchange for our honest reviews. Selecting a Beverly Lewis book was a no brainer for me. What, and excuse to read one of my beloved authors? Sure! There is always a bit of a risk involved. I would hate to give a favorite author any less than a stellar review, but I also always desire to be honest and forthright. This book did not disappoint. 

One thing I love about Beverly Lewis is her authentic people. You really delve down into the deep with them. Mandy Dienner has not had it easy. Years before, she left behind her Amish life to live in the outside world. This sudden leaving was brought on by a betrayal, a betrayal and angry words that seemed to leave her with no other choice than to leave. When she comes back, it's for sad reasons, sad reasons and a challenge: Live at and manage her family's Bed & Breakfast for 1 year, and then it will belong to her. This is easier said than done. The Amish community in the area doesn't look kindly on a former-Amish Inn Keeper. They see her as a betrayer, an outsider, and interloper. These Amish neighbors were the very people she was once close too. Now Mandy is at odds with them all. Redemption doesn't come over night. The battles are inward, and they go on for most of the story. 

The on going struggle is part of what I enjoyed about this story. The solution wasn't instant. Fences weren't just magically mended over night. But isn't that true to life? I was truly happy with the end of the story. It came up gradually. It seemed more realistic than fiction often can be. 

I hope you truly enjoy this latest installment from Beverly Lewis, I did! It's a nice book for a rainy Fall day, just brew a cup of coffee and start in! 



Meg Chaney

It's always been thrilling to own a blog. To know that I can share my heart on a tiny corner of that internet. At times, that reach has felt so endless and wide, at other times, that reach has felt so entirely small. I've always felt a pull to words, but sometimes, I still wonder, just how God will use this passion. At times, I can't help but write down the words tugging at my heart. There's no way to keep in. And then other seasons come. Seasons of defeat, seasons of busyness, or simply seasons of peace, where there's nothing to say. 

It's a struggle, feeling what seems to be an intense calling, but then not seeing that calling come to fruition in the ways I expect.

Does any of that make sense at all?

For years I've struggled with the balance of health, of family, of responsibliities-- cramming into any writing time that I have. I've never wanted my family to feel like an imposition. I've never wanted to live distracted.

And so I pull back, I pray, I focus, and I wait for the next words to come. I trust that this desire to write is for a specific reason. I remind myself that God is always working for the good, that He uses each season to teach us something new. 

I never want to forget my calling, but I also want to open myself up to the idea that a calling can take so many different forms. My neatly defined box may not be what God has for me in this season.

All those ramblings to say, I've misseed this place. Please, continue to hop on and check out my blog. I'm hoping to still pop on here and share my thoughts, my encouragement, especially now that my kiddos are back in school for the year. 

We're in this together, friends. 

Could you pray for me in this new season? I'd love to pray for you as well. Leave any requests below.

Be blessed.



A Name Unknown: A Book Review

Meg Chaney

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 

Hello Friends! I'm excited to share another book review with you today. I'd love to come back soon and share all my summer reads with you. It's wonderful to have at least a little more time to read again. Hooray for kids getting "slightly" older.

Reading is one of those things that relaxes me, centers me, and gives me a bit of that "introvert" space I desire, space that's hard to come by with kiddos at home. 

A Name Unknown, by Roseanna White was right up my alley. It had a spy, a little bit of mystery, and pre-WWI England backdrop. This story left me really wanting to read more. 

Rosemary, an orphan and thief, learned early in life how to fend for herself on the streets of London. Over time, she's formed an unconventional family made up of other orphans. They've learned the skills of the streets, perfected gentile accents, and learned how to steal with the best of them. For them, stealing is survival. Stealing is the way they are able to keep a roof of sorts over their head and food on the table. One day, Rosemary is given a mysterious job: travel to the countryside, befriend a nobleman there, and find proof that he's a German traitor. Rosemary, who has never had a tremendous love of books, must now pretend that books are her profession, that organizing them is what she does for a living. She must play a part of a librarian, so completely different from her upbringing, and play it convincingly. If she does so, and proves Peter Holstein is a traitor to the Crown, she will make a enough money to truly provide for her family, to give the youngest ones schooling and a true chance at life. But what will she find as she starts to dig into the past? Who will she find?

At time, I found Rosemary's responses a little unbelievable. She's a street rat/thief at heart from London, so I'm not sure she would have responded as a lady quite as much as she did.  I couldn't really always understand her, which made some of her reactions confusing. The story also seemed to drag for me in spots. I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it had nothing to do with the story at all, and more with me being distracted by kids and summer and life :) 

 The romance part of it was gentle, not over done as I feel some Christian novels are. In some novels, I find myself rolling my eyes, because the scenes feel so over dramatic. I never felt that way in this book. The characters seemed like real people, the development of the romance seemed pretty realistic (well maybe a little rushed, but I still liked it!). 

In the end, I was left waiting for more. The downsides didn't really matter to me, in the end I was satisfied with the story.  I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series, which will focus on Rosemary's siblings, former thieves turned spies during WWI. I think they will all make for fun reads!

Thank you for joining me for this book review. If you know if books you think I should read, comment below! Also, be sure to find me on Instagram @megchaneywrites  There you'll find me latest reads and encouragement for the heart! 




With You Always: A book review

Meg Chaney

Bethany House bloggers program gave me a copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. 

With You Always, by Jody Hedlund, came in the mail just as we were heading out of town for our road trip! Over the next few days, I quickly raced through the pages, immersed in the world of a young immigrant girl, Elise, who has to earn a living in order to provide for herself, her sisters, and some other orphans they "adopt" into their family. This was a different Orphan Train saga than I expected. When I saw that the series was entitled Orphan Train, I expected another saga of young children. I didn't realize that Children's Rescue Mission sent more than just young orphans west. They also sent women out west to help form new towns. These women worked as seamstresses, laundresses, cooks, cleaners. It was a chance for a life outside of poverty, a chance to hold down a respectable job, so that they wouldn't be pulled into jobs of ill-repute. It was a chance to send money back home and hopefully bring relatives out of the desperate poverty of the big city. 

Elise finds herself in such a place. She is struggling to survive as a seamstress in New York City, when The Great Panic of 1857 occurs, leaving her and many other women without jobs. It's heartbreaking for her to leave her young siblings behind, but she knows that this chance to ride the train west could mean something good. And so, she goes, and it's not easy. The work is still backbreaking, but the hope is always there. 

The romance part of this story is a little weak for me. I don't want to say too much, in the worry that I'll give too much away, so I'll just leave it as this: for me, some of the dialogue, the way the characters act toward each other, just isn't realistic. I admit, I rolled my eyes a bit. 

But outside of the romance, the story itself is a great one. It's definitely a series I want to come back to again. This book ended with some unanswered questions. I would love to tune in again, and find out what happens next to Elise's family. If she finds her other siblings and is able to take them west with her, and what other, new sides of the orphan train we'll learn about in future books. 

Happy Summer Reading! 

April: The Month of the Military Child

Meg Chaney

I wrote this earlier this month, but thought it was too important not to share. It's still April, so here you go!


Here's to my super heros! My little resilient souls who remind me time and again how to trust, how to live with excitement, how to love.

And here's to the Month of the Military Child. I'm so blessed to have two such kiddos to celebrate this April. I think I feel it all the more now that our daughter is school aged. With this move, we decided to place her in a public elementary school.  And what a great experience it's been! The location means that many military children also attend right along side her. Once a week, she's pulled out of class, or has a lunch date, with a military counselor. She gets a special time to talk and make crafts, and slowly learn what it truly means to be a military kid.  I love that from day one she's had this outlet. This trusted counselor. Admittingly, in kindgergarten, the talk may not be that deep, but I love that the resource is there. I know my girl talks excitedly about her lunch dates with Miss Brooke. She had and two other boys in her class have formed a nice little friendship, military kids experiencing life together. 

Today is an extra special day at my daughter's school. I know when she walked into her school this morning, the front steps where all decorated in purple, celebrating military kids everywhere. Her classmates wore purple today too. And I sit here crying, becasuse it's all so precious.

 May the Lord continue to grow and form your character through this military life. 

You are awesome Military Kids. 

And here's to the conselors and teachers that love on military kids each and every day. That make each move, each deployement season, go a little smoother. Thank you for the tremendous work you do each day for our military kids. You are superheros. 

A Military Family Goes to Disney

Meg Chaney

Over Spring Break, we suprised our kiddos with a trip to Disney. I don't know about all of you, but my husband's job in the military makes it hard for us to plan trips. We honestly didn't know if he'd be in town that week, or if he'd even be able to take leave. This makes it harder to plan a big trip, especially to somewhere like Disney. People make dinner reservations months out, and reserve Fast Passes for rides 1 to 2 months out. My perfecitonist/planner brain was going a little crazy with not being able to plan. 

But even this turned out fine in the end.

It was a great lesson in not worrying and not over planning for a trip.

Our biggest tip for the parks? Arrive early and leave at lunch time. We really took Disney in small bursts, made a few ride reservations (Fast Passes), and then left the park when those were finished. Or at some parks, we just enjoyed the sights, had a nice lunch, and then when back to our hotel. 



Shades of Green is a military resort located right on Disney property. The location really is ideal. Each room has either a balcony or a walk out. We were on the bottom floor, just around the corner from the splash pad, kid friendly pool, and playground. We've never stayed at a resort with such a nice pool! I also loved how close Shades of Green was to the Magic Kingdom! The shuttle bus was there in just a few minutes. It's also in walking distance to the Polynisian Resort, so a few times we were able to just take the short trek between the two resorts, and make use of the Monorail & boats that cross the lake between the resorts & the Magic Kingdom. Really, the location couldn't have been nicer! Only downside of Shades of Green? The buffet downstairs was just decent. Enough to fill us up after a super busy day, but not spectacular. But when it's close to bedtime, descent meal near your room is enough! But, their  little cafe serves Starbucks, so that may make up for it :)



I'm sure my little ones would answer Magic Kingdom, but my favorite park was Epcot. And honestly, my kids seemed to really enjoy our day hereas well.  The Flower Festival was in full swing! The displays were beautiful, and there were plenty of things for the kiddos to interact with along the way. They had a little passport book to stamp in each "country" we went too, and also enjoyed the butterfly garden and the musical playground. The kiddos were especially excited when we saw the Eifffel Tower in the French section! Epcot is the one place that I honestly could have gone back to for another day, I loved it so much!



We enjoyed two different character meals, Holywood & Vine (Hollywood Studios) & Tusker House (Animal Kingdom). The food was excellent at both, and the kiddos really loved meeting Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy & Goofy! It was fun eating, wondering when the next character would show up at our table! Definitely less stressful than standing in lines at the parks! The price of these meals wasn't cheap, but it really is a special experience, at least once.  I noticed at Animal Kingdom & Epcot that there were many quick dinning places with yummy sounding food. Next time, we may make less reservations and just depend on the quick service a little more! It's part of the adventure! 


I was really happy with our Fast Passes. The Fast Past+ system means that you can use the fast line for rides throughout your trip. You can only reserve 3 in advance, per day, and those 3 have to be in the same park. 

Our first morning at the Magic Kingdom, we used our Fast Passes to meet Princess Rapunzel, ride Dumbo, and hop onto the Buzz Light Year Ride (at lunch time, when lines were very long). 

After we used up our Fast Passees, we were able to book more. We grabbed up It's A Small World, right as the park was starting to get crazy. Then we left for lunch and naptime. 

The only thing I would have done different? I probably wouldn't have scheduled my first Fast Pass for 8:30 AM. The lines really weren't that crazy yet. The Fast Passes closer to Noon really were helpful. We came back to the Magic Kingdom a different afternoon for a few more Fast Passes.  People were standing in line for the Winnie the Pooh ride for more than an hour, in a few  minutes, we had seats. Definitely nice with littles! 




There's so much more I could share, but I'll leave you with this: as with any family trip, give each other a lot of grace. Remember that any given day won't go perfectly, little ones will still have meltdowns, plans just won't work out, you probably will all be a little tired at the end of your trip, such is life! But precious time was spent together as a family. That's really all that matters. I'm sure it it will be quite awhile before we try to take on Disney again. That time, our kiddos may not need naps, we probably won't be pushing a stroller, we probably will stand in line for thexample big rides. I'm excited for trips when they're older, but I'm treasuring those moments of wonder through their young eyes. My son may not give Minnie Mouse kisses the next time we go. Cherish each experience friends, even with it's ups and downs ❤

Treasured Grace: A review

Meg Chaney

Hello friends,

This week I have a book review for you, Treasured Grace by Tracey Peterson.

To start, the premise of this book fascinated me. Grace marries, not for love, but to provide for herself and her two younger sisters. They head West with her minister husband, in order to join an Indian Mission on the frontier. Along the way her husband dies, leaving the girls once again on their own. Thankfully, there's room for them to live and serve at the Indian Mission. But their story is far from over. While at the mission, they experience the Whitman Massacre, a horrible incident, drawn from real life, in which one of the local tribes turned on the mission and killed almost everyone there. 

I love the amount of research that went into this story. Peterson did a lot of work to bring a real life incident to life. The intermingling of fact and fiction has always fascinated me. Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genre's. I really thought Peterson did an excellent job with the historical aspects of this story.

I will say this: the dialogue felt extremely stilted and unrealistic to me. Even way back when, I doubt that people talked the way that they do in her book. I also felt like a few of the interactions felt a little too scripted. Would the head of a settlement really sought out Grace and her sister's like He did, taking such an intentional interest in her well being, over others?

For me, the research and setting made it fascinating, but the dialogue was too unrealistic for me to really dig in. It left me distracted, skimming through certain parts so that I could get to the end of the story. I don't really like when that happens.

And so you have it, my honest review of Treasured Grace.  If you had a different reaction to the book, please let me know! I'm sure there are different viewpoints out there :)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The Bethany House Blogger Review Program is awesome like that :)

That Girl

Meg Chaney

This weekend was a big one for our girl.  She had her first loose tooth. She chatted about it all weekend, chewed on lots of apples, and repeatedly had us check the tooth to see if it was wiggling anymore. It hasn't fallen out yet, but it will any day now. In addition to her tooth, she was also convinced that she no longer needed training wheels on her bike. 

I warned her that it might take some time. 

I told her she would probably fall. but that falling was ok. It was just a part of the process.

And then we were off. Papa, Mama, little brother, cheering her for every few feet of freedom. 

And she made some progress. She even made it down to the stop sign before falling over. 

We were all so proud of her! But what amazed me most of all was her positive spirit.

She never gave up.

She approached every fall with grace.

She looked at the progress.

She kept her eyes looking toward the goal ahead, not on the falls.

She simply saw the falls as something to overcome.

If something didn't work, she just tried it differently next time.

And she kept going further.

She's far from done. I'm sure she'll be back at it after school today, wanting to go even farther, even further.

But her sweet spirit touched my heart so very much.

It made me wonder how I face defeats in my own life. If was honest, I would admit that I often want to give up, I want to go back to bed, burry my head in my pillow, and give up on the day. I take defeat personally. 

My daughter believes she can ride her bike. She believes that she's learned the necessary skills, and that, with hard work and trust she'll get there. But in order to do so, she has to keep looking ahead. When she wobbles to the side, she falls. 

My trust needs to be the same. I have to keep looking ahead. I have to keep trusting that God has given me the gifts I need to complete each task through the day. I have to trust that He has a great purpose for me. I can't give up when a setback happens, but instead, need to keep going. 

Oh the beautiful lessons our children teach us. I think I'll always say that this child has been my greatest test, but also one of my greatest treasures in this world. 





Meg Chaney

This book has long been on my list of books to read. It's a book title that resonnates with me. I mentioned that reviewing Craving Connection really affected me. It touched on a sore area of my life. 

And so, I pray over this Bible study we're about to study at church. 

The girl who feels so uninvited has THREE meetups with friends this week. The girl who doesn't feel like she fits, is suddently surrounded by people. What exactly that means, I'm not sure. 

I do think we go through seasosn where we have to stand on what we know. I know my God is faithful. Iknow my God provides. But it still astounds me when he shows up. I'm still just so amazed at his unending faithfulness and love. 

Yesterday, I had a wonderful morning at church, went out to brunch with family, and then the hubby and I took the kids to a playground. It was there that I ran into a sweet friend. We sat down on a bench, and both said just how uninvted we've felt in this season. How we both feel like God is calling us to this study for a reason.

Friends, He's precious and relentless. And He never ceases to put people in your life each and every day. Be encouraged by that today. 



Meg Chaney

This Southern world that I now live in celebrates something known as Mardi Gras. In the North, we literally called it Fat Tuesday. It'sa day of excess, of parties, before a time of pentitence. It's a day of craziness before Ash Wednesday. 

I've never attended a church that applies Ash crosses to foreheads on Wednesday. But I'm aware of the ritual. I'm aware that it's a outward sign of inward repentence. I'm aware that it's the begining of Lent. 

Lent is a season that has gone by in the past without too much notice, for me. In recent years I have participated in some special Bible studies, or gone through specific devotionals. I've even written about Lent on this blog before. 

But it does make me wonder, what should I be doing in a year of Katergazomai? If I'm working out my faith in a new, intentional way this year, how should I approach Ash Wednesday? How should I approach Lent? I thought about purchasing a special Bible Study, as I have in the past, but I'm already two Bible studies deep in my life right now. So what else? I've thought about actually eating Fish on Fridays, it's something Catholic's do during Lent, and a practice my family could pretty easily take up without much trouble. I've also wondered about giving something up for this Lenton season, but I'm just not sure....  

I think for one, during Lent, I'd like to pick up one of my journals again. It's a practice I fall in and out of, depending on the season, and how busy my outside life is. 

February in The Influence Network was on Bible Literacy. I loved the extra resources, and the extra podcast. It was all really encouraging for me. I struggle in Bible Studies at times, feeling as if I almost know too much. I've grown up in the church, attended Christian schools, and read plentiful books, so I know lots of random things about the Bible. I know a lot, so I'm afraid that I'll come across as a know it all. At the same time, Scripture truly is living and breathing. There's always more to learn. And so I want to encourage myself to grow in new ways. I want to take advantage of those in between times. I want to seek out what He may have for me this year. I want to learn. And for me, that might means journaling, taking apart scirpture, looking up verses in commentaries, looking up the original Hebrew and Greek. Really learning the meat of it all. That excites me, and I always want to be excited when I delve into scripture.

I also want to embrace contentment, letting God fulfill me right here, right now. Living fully in the life He's given me, but also opening up my heart to new friendships, new opportunities to write, new opportunitiees to reach out and love others. But to do that, I feel like I need to delve in. And for me, that begins with a pen, a Bible, and a journal. Will you join me? This blog is such a tiny corner of the world. But I'd love to share what I'm learning with you. 

How do you approach Lent? Do you give something up? Focus on reading certain scirptures? I hope, whatever your approach, that you're waiting with anticipation for Easter to come. 



Meg Chaney

Our Bible Study has been going through Angie Smith's Seamless. I love Angie's genuiness, she's hilarious, but also gives a really clear outline of the Bible. It's been a really helpful study for me! I know so many stories from the Bible, but it's wonderful seeing it as the big picture, all pointing toward Jesus. This week, we've been looking at the Prophets, all of the men and women that prophesied to the Israelites and the surrounding nations about their sins, but also prophesied about the rebuilding of Jersulam, and the ultimate redeemer to come, the Messiah, Jesus.

I have felt so empty this week. So spent. My nights have been restless, my dreams distressful, my kiddos have been bikering. I have felt drained and low. And then I read through the Bible scriptures for today. I read, yes, of the discipline the Israelites and surrounding nations would face, but I also read about Isreal's restoration. These words were meant for them, but they spoke so sweetly to my tired spirit. They spoke of the ultimate restoration He does in my heart again and again. They spoke of the tremendous picture, not always seen to me, but always seen to Him. They encouraged me, as I hope they will encourage you. 

May your soul be satisfied today. May you find solace in the LORD God, who restores and makes whole, who is at work, even in the dryest of seasons. 

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. ‘Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. ‘The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years the swarming locus as eaten, the hoppper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent amoung you. ‘You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wonderously with you. And my people will never again be put to shame.
— Joel 2:21-26, ESV

Craving Connection: A Review

Meg Chaney

I received this book from the B&H Bloggers Program, in exchange for my honest review

I've been a following (in)courage from the begining. Have you heard of them? Over the years I've read their blog posts, and even participated in some online book clubs. Craving Connection lives and breathes the very message of this community. You're not alone. You have a God who loves you and created you for community. The book itself is a 30 day devotional, written by women in the community. Each day has an inspirational verse, a devotion, some questions, a practical suggestion for community living, and a closing prayer. I love the aesthetic of the book. The pages remind me of a scrapbook or Journaling Bible, with pretty details along the margins. It makes me happy to pull it out and look through it.

Honestly, the subject of community can be a raw one. I've been in some intensely lonely places. But at the same time, I can relate. All of us as women crave community. 

This military life means that I know what it's like to be the new girl in town. I know what it's like to feel like I don't quite fit in. I also know that it takes investment, it takes time, time seeking out Jesus, time seeking out community. Reading devotionals on this subject doesn't discourage me, but instead fills me up, reminds me of God's perfect plan in my life. I hope it encourages you as well. 

 I was surprised at the length of the devotionals, this definitely isn't quick in and out reading. It takes time to read through, time to ponder. I also think it would be helpful to have a journal on hand, a place to write down your own answers to the questions from each day. Overall, it's a sweet book, and one that I think any Christian woman can resonnate with. We've all been lonely, yes? Even in the midst of busy lives, we crave connection. 


Abiding and Katergazomai

Meg Chaney

Abiding seems to be a crucial part of Katergazomai. 

As we "work out our faith" we have to abide. 

Abiding means living like his Sons and daughters. It means seeking out fellowship with Him. When we love God, we want to be close to Him. We want to live in His ways. But it does take work, it does take intentionality. It does take moments when we chose to sit down with a Bible study, when we chose to change the chanel or listen to a different type of music, when we chose to go to church, to fellowship with other believers,to learn more about Him. To me, abiding in Christ is katergazomai. It is working out my faith. Works don't make us a Christian, if we could work hard enough, we would, but we needed an ultimate sacrifice, Jesus. Just the same, works reveal our faith. Reveal our true heart. Yes, those works may be imperfect, but I would hope that, over time, the way we act, the way we speak, would only become more like Jesus. 

You know the Jars of Clay song,  "They will know we are Christians by our love?" (also see John 13:35), that's the song running through my brain at the moment, but I think that's it at the core. We shouldn't have to scream it, we should be able to display it. Imperfectly admit to our faults, but also express our true heart intentions.



Seek out.

Work out.


No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the begining abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life....And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
— 1 John 2:23-24,28, ESV

Word of the Year 2017

Meg Chaney



Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling...
— Philippians 2:12, ESV

My word is so different this year, so personal. It's hard to describe, exactly. All I know is it's something my husband and I are working through this year. It started with our PCS in June. As we searched for a new church, we found ourselves really drawn to services with a little more liturgy, and little more tradition. We were at a point that we were craving some good old fashioned hymns. We found ourselve attending a United Methodist chruch. Very different from the last church we attended, but good. Isn't it amazing how vast the kindgdom of God is?  We're all so different, but Sunday comes and all draw together and worship Jesus. Worship comes in so many ways. It's fascinating. At this new, United Methodist church, there were things we were unfamiliar with. Why the different colored robes? Why the focus on different scriptures through the year? These are new things the Christian church as a whole, but they were new to us. It piqued our curiosity. 

And then I took an Influence Network class. This teacher talked about how she and her family found their rythmn in the seasons of the church. She talked about how, for them, Advent was the begining of the year. The birth of Christ was only the begining.  Each season had a specific focus, that looked toward Jesus, instead of crazy schedules. Advent, Ephipeny, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time, these season weren't a completely unheard of concept to us. We were both raised in the church. But we loved the idea of focusing on them a little more intentionally. Of making it a point of dicussion with our children throughout the year.

We wanted to work out our faith.  

For us, we've started reading through this book: and doing a weekly devotion with our kids on Sunday nights. It's been great, because they seem to be talking about the same thing at church as well! So far we've looked at Jesus' Baptism, the calling of the disciples, and his first miracles. I think I'm really going to enjoy this new change in our family time! 

We also picked a word for this year. It's the first time my husband and I have picked a word together! 

Katergazomi: to work out

Work out means I'm activiely thinking about ways to make Jesus the center of our family's life. The center of our rythmn. That's the first part, right? Not necessarily knowing all the answers, but finding new ways to emphasize that Jesus sets the rythm of our lives, not busy schedules.

Philippians 2:12 was an endorsement from Paul to the early church to continue working out their faith with fear and trembling. Not as one who is afraid, huddled in the corner in the dark, but as a people who understand just how great and awesome God is. Who understand that He really does hold all things in his hands. I really enjoyed this definition of fear and trembling: " [Work out is] used to describe the anxiety of one who distrust his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty" (, accessed 01/26/17). Isn't that us, as humans? Or is it just me? As a child of God, I honestly want to do my best to serve Him each day. I honestly want each word I say, each action I take, to mirror Him. But I also know that I mess up alot. I honestly know that I could never do it all on my own. I would never be enough. I honestly know that I need Jesus. I need Him to work through me each day. I need Him to ulitimately bridge the gaps that I honestly can't complete. But that doesn't stop me from working. That doesn't stop me from seeking. That doesn't stop me from ever moving closer to Him. Praying, spending time in His word, being intentional with my children, reevaluating priorities in my life: all of these things are part of the Christian walk, as we ever seek after Him. 

And so, that brings us to 2017. The year of katergazomai.  The year of experiencing more of God, and seeking after Him all the more.

I don't completely know what that will look like. But I do know that I want to be intentional. And that's why I'm sharing these words year, on my little corner of the Blogsphere.

I hope you join me in finding a word for this year. 

Being intentional.

Seeking the Lord. 

Let's see what happens.